The Builder Magazine
July 1928 - Volume XIV - Number 7
The Order of St. John of
Historical Sketch By BRO. R. J. NEWTON, Texas
THE Order of St. John has a long and honorable history. It is said that a
hospital for pilgrims had existed at Jerusalem from the third century on.
Charlemagne seems to have founded and endowed a Latin hospice towards the end
of the eighth century. This probably combined the functions of a hostel (or
hotel) and that of a hospital. Jerusalem was in the hands of the Saracens from
the time of its capture by Omar in 637, but he and his successors interfered
but little with the affairs of the resident Christians and the pilgrims, with
some exceptions. In the year 1010 Abu Ali alMansur, the Fatimite Caliph of
Egypt (himself the son of a Christian mother, and reputed to have been
insane), ordered the destruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and other
Christian buildings in Jerusalem. Some years after his death in 1020 some
merchants of Amalfi, a city of Campania in Italy, purchased the site of
Charlemagne's institution and founded a new hospital which was put in charge
of monks of the Benedictine Order, and this was later dedicated to St. John
the Baptist. The master of this hospital in 1087 was a certain Gerard, of whom
very little is known, but he gained the favor of the Crusaders under Godfrey
de Bouillon, and was enabled after the capture of the city to enlarge the
institution of which he was the head. At this time the "rule" was changed from
the Benedictine to that of the Augustinian Friars.
The fame of the hospital spread throughout Europe and gifts were made to it,
by princes, prelates and nobles, of lands and money. In 1113 the Pope took it
under his especial protection, and Gerard was entitled, by the bull of Paschal
II, as the "Institutor" of the Order of the Hospital of St. John.
The change from a purely charitable and religious institution to a military
one probably came about under the successor of Gerard, Raymond de Puiz. This
does not seem to have been deliberate, but to have been due to force of
circumstances. The Saracens were renewing their efforts to win back the Holy
City, and defenders were doubtless at a premium. With the example of the
Templars before them, it was only natural that those brethren of the Order who
had previously been soldiers should have taken their weapons again in the
emergency. However, though it became military it did not at once take on that
exclusively aristocratic character that marked it in later times. The rules
enacted by Raymond provided that the brethren were to be bound by the usual
three monastic vows, chastity, proverty and obedience. They were to claim
nothing for themselves but bread and water and coarse raiment, "since our
Lord's poor, whose servants we are, go naked and sordid, and it is a disgrace
for the servant to be proud when his master is humble." They were to wear the
cross on the breast of their "capes and mantles" and were not to bear arms
except when "the standard of the Cross is displayed" in war against the
The clothing of the brethren is said to have been black in peace and red in
war, and in each case the cross was white. This usage has continued to the
There were nuns of the order also, doubtless to care for female pilgrims, and
these also wore the white cross on a hooded mantle of black over a red robe.
From being a local institution it rapidly expanded, and it had houses at
various places in the East and on the pilgrims' route, and all over Europe as
well. Like the Order of the Temple it was made independent of the local
ecclesiastical authorities by repeated papal bulls. Though its character to
some extent was changed by this wealth and prosperity, yet it must be said
that its original purpose was never forgotten. There were hospital wards as we
would say in all their houses; the best physicians and surgeons of the day
were retained in their service, and the rule that the sick were masters and
the brethren their servants was never wholly lost sight of. Unlike the
Templars the affiliation of women to the Order was encouraged, and these
ladies engaged actively in nursing the sick.
This great increase in numbers, and the acquiring of property largely in the
form of landed estates necessitated a much more elaborate organization than
had been necessary for the original hospital at Jerusalem. The head of the
Order, the Grand Master, had perforce to be an administrator as well as a
soldier. In fact he was, under feudal conditions, to all intents and purposes
an independent prince. The organization adopted, or evolved, followed the
lines familiar at the time, of devolved responsibilities. The Grand Master was
to the other chief officers as a king to his chief barons. Through them the
hierarchy passed down to the provinces, the priories and so to the
commanderies, which were the smallest unit. The chiefs of these administered
the estates and endowments of the order in their locality. The division into
"Languages" was a later development, but sprang naturally out of the
Provincial administration. It is possible that this form of division was
intended to obviate the suspicion and jealousy of the rulers of the different
countries in Europe consequent on the rise of a new nationalism in the
thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The example of the fate of the Templars
doubtless helped them to see the danger.
The later history of the Crusades is far from being a wholly edifying one. The
domination of the Holy Land by the "Franks" was, or largely became, a
commercial, or at least an economic business. Without adequate support from
Western Europe it was only a question of time before the growing power of the
Saracens forced the intruders out of Syria. And as intruders they were
regarded not only by the Mohammedans but by the Oriental Christians as well.
It does seem, however, that with the decadence of the Crusaders generally, the
Knights and Brethren of St. John kept on the whole to a higher level. As has
been noted they never forgot the claims of the sick, nor did they forget the
claims of the weak. They fought the rear guard action of the ebbing occidental
invasion. While the other warriors returned home they resisted obstinately at
every step, and first at Rhodes and later at Malta they formed a bulwark
against the aggressive attacks of the oriental hordes that, but for them,
might quite possibly have overwhelmed a divided Europe piece-meal.
will be impossible in the limits of a brief sketch to do more than to mention
the heroic defense of Rhodes against the enormous forces of Muhammed II in
1480, under the leadership of Peter d'Aubusson; or the still more heroic
defeat under Grand Master de l'Isle Adam in 1522 by Suleiman the Magnificent.
From Rhodes the Knights withdrew to Candia in Crete, where they remained for a
few years till the Emperor Charles V gave them the Island of Malta, with
Tripoli in Africa. The latter possession they lost in 1551. Eleven years later
the Ottoman fleet under Dragut attacked them in great force. They were
besieged for nearly four months, during which 25,000 Turks are supposed to
have been killed, including their leader. The Knights of St. John were again
fortunate in having another heroic Grand Master, Jean de la Valette, under
whom they withstood the fiercest attacks, until long delayed relief appeared
in sight. Whereupon the Turks raised the siege and departed. It was the last
serious attempt of the latter to conquer their ancient enemies in their
stronghold; and though the Knights saw much fighting through the following
centuries they remained in secure possession of Malta till 1798, when the
feeble von Hompesch surrendered to Napoleon without a struggle. This really
ended the career of the Order as a sovereign independent entity, although it
did not cease to exist.
the time of the Reformation in England, the Knights refusing to take the Oath
of Supremacy were deprived of their estates and other revenues, but the Order
was not definitely suppressed for some reason. However, it naturally became
extinct with the death of its members.
Scotland the preceptor, Sir James Sandilands, surrendered the property of the
Order to the Crown. This was in 1547. It seems to have been something of a
bargain, for he was created Lord Torpichen, and a considerable part of the
estates was returned to him as his own property. There has been a claim made
that the Order was continued under his headship as a Protestant organization.
the time of Queen Mary steps were taken to revive the Order in England, but
though a Royal Charter was issued nothing was actually done owing to the death
of the queen and the accession of her sister Elizabeth. However the charter
was not revoked, and it remained in abeyance until 1834.
After the final collapse of the first Napoleon there was an effort on the part
of the Order to obtain a new sovereignty. Malta was out of the question, as it
was too valuable to England for her to relinquish it, but there was a hope
that they might regain Rhodes or some other island in the Eastern
Mediterranean. Doubtless largely with a view to securing the support of the
British Government steps were taken to revive the English Langue. In 1826 the
Commission that had been instituted by the French Knights as an emergency
administrative body appointed Sir William Peat as Prior for England, and he
qualified for office under Queen Mary's charter. Thus, though the English
Order has not had a continuous existence, it does have a legitimate descent.
has justified its existence by quiet but persistent work for the sick. The
Ambulance Association was formed in 1877 under its leadership and in
considerations of the value of this movement Queen Victoria granted a new
charter to the Order eleven years later, under which its later work has been
carried on. The following account of the later developments is taken from a
pamphlet published by the Order:
What was done for field hospitals by Florence Nightingale has been done for
ambulance work generally by the St. John Ambulance Association. For nearly
forty-five years its powers and organization have been steadily developing,
not only in the British Isles, but throughout the Empire, so that India,
Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and all the other Dominions have
now their own splendid organizations.
was soon found that those who had received instruction in first aid and home
nursing and had passed their examinations should be banded together to work in
unison, and for this purpose the St. John Ambulance Brigade was formed as an
offshoot of the St. John Ambulance Association. It may be said to have begun
on the occasion of Queen Victoria's Jubilee in 1887 and has ever since
steadily grown. The first war service of the St. John Ambulance was during the
South African and Chinese Wars of 1899 and 1902, when upwards of 2,000 men
went to the theatre of war and 70 of them laid down their lives in carrying on
This war proved the expediency of establishing regular reserves for the naval
and military authorities, a step which was taken with their most cordial
cooperation, and on the outbreak of war in 1914 these reserves were called up.
the 1st August orders were received from the Admiralty to mobilize the Royal
Naval Sick Berth Reserve, the peace establishment of which was 1,200, out of
which 849 men reported at their respective naval depots within forty-eight
hours of the receipt of orders for their mobilization. Orders were received on
the 4th August to mobilize Military Home Hospital Reserves, 2,000 strong, and
by the 10th all members of this reserve had reported at their respective
hospitals. On the 6th August the War Office called for 450 men to proceed with
the Expeditionary Force immediately and the call was promptly answered.
Following these demands the recruiting in the Brigade was continued with
greatly renewed zeal in order to meet the constant demand of the naval and
military authorities, and at the close of the war no less than 21,986 members
of the St. John Ambulance had served with the naval and military forces.
Amongst the chief work of the Order should be mentioned the St. John Ambulance
Brigade Hospital at Etaples. The hospital was originally situated at Etaples
and was designed for 585 beds, with splendidly equipped operating theatres,
X-ray room, laboratory, dental surgery and all other necessary adjuncts to a
first-class hospital and so superior were its personnel and equipment that the
hospital came to be regarded as the autotype of a military hospital. On the
19th and 31st May, 1918, the hospital suffered severely from hostile air raids
which resulted in death of eleven patients and four members of the hospital's
personnel and many more casualties. Material damage was so great that the
hospital had to be closed and was moved to the heights above the village of
Deauville, and re-opened shortly before the Armistice.
most interesting and successful experiment was carried out at Southport where
an open-air hospital of 500 beds was formed by the local units of the St. John
Ambulance, guaranteed financially by headquarters. This hospital proved
entirely successful and demonstrated the fact that even cases where the lungs
were involved did best in a hospital constructed on the open-air principle.
The ladies of the Order were in no way behindhand, and immediately on the
outbreak of war formed a committee which was engaged chiefly in the despatch
of surgeons and nurses for service abroad and in establishing and maintaining
a warehouse from which nursing and medical comforts of all sorts were
time of peace the Order is ever at work instructing tens of thousands annually
in first aid to the injured, nursing and the elements of hygiene, and at the
time of writing no less than 1,447,095 certificates of proficiency have been
awarded. It is from these certificated workers that the ranks of the Brigade
have been recruited, and that body has been enabled to carry out its programme
of help to the injured on public occasions and processions. This work, though
most under the notice of the public eye, represents by no means the bulk of
the work of the St. John Ambulance, for there are the innumerable eases of
injuries, great and small, which occur in factories, mines, railways and other
industrial occupations, and here, though not in the limelight, the ambulance
men are at work.
The British Ophthalmic Hospital at Jerusalem is another important undertaking
of the Orderfounded in 1882, it continued its work amongst the population of
Palestine and the neighboring countries until it was forced to close owing to
the hostility of the Turks. On the entry of the British Forces into Jerusalem
the hospital, which had been used as an ammunition depot, was blown up by the
retiring Turks. It has, however, now been rebuilt and is continuing its work
as of old.
The spirit which inspires the Order of St. John has its roots in the earliest
years of chivalry, when the Knights of St. John combined for the first time in
the history of the world the art of healing with valor as soldiers of the
Cross. Through the centuries the Order has continued with a history more full
and stimulating than that of any royal dynasty.
England, the Order of St. John includes among its officers and members the
greatest and oldest names of the realm. The King himself is its Sovereign and
Patron. The Duke of Connaught, Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge, is the
Grand Prior. The sub-Prior is the Earl of Scarbrough. The Prelate is the
Archbishop of York, the King of Norway, the Prince of Wales and Prince Arthur
of Connaught are Knights of the Order, and the list of the members of the
Grand General contains many of those most notable for their services to their
country as statesmen or as soldiers and sailors.
The Order of St. John in America plans to function along the same practical
lines of humanitarian service which has distinguished the English Order above
every other branch of the Hospital Order in other European countries. The
record made in England shows what can be accomplished by a fraternal order
existing for service only and the hundreds and thousands of Freemasons, and
others, who have sought an opportunity and agency through which they can help
their fellows will now find it in the Order of the Hospital of St. John.
Grand Lodge Acts
PERHAPS it is the high privilege of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey to save a
Lost Cause, or at least, a cause which many of those not actively engaged in
the movement may have come to consider as lost.
New Mexico come great tidings. Past Grand Master Herbert B. Holt, President of
the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association, writes that Grand
Master Samuel E. Wood of New Mexico has received a check in favor of the
Tuberculosis Association in the sum of $21,878.90, which represents the total
contribution of the Masons and members of the Order of the Eastern Star of New
Jersey for the cause of Masonic tuberculosis relief. Of this total, $12,299.00
was contributed by members of Masonic Lodges, and $7,672.00 by members of the
Eastern Star, the balance being represented by interest on the fund.
forwarding the contribution the Grand Master of New Jersey wrote that it was
sent "with the express request and distinct understanding that it is to be
used exclusively for actual relief and hospitalization of Master Masons, their
wives and children."
commenting upon this generous donation, Bro. Holt writes:
represents the most munificent contribution which our association has thus far
received. It speaks more eloquently than words of the true spirit of Masonry
which prevails among the brethren of the Grand Jurisdiction of New Jersey. Its
receipt has given us new hope and courage. We shall now press forward toward
our ultimate goal.
Jersey's contribution comes at a time when apparently there was no more hope
of securing any official action or assistance for Masonic tuberculosis relief,
and it therefore has a value far in excess of the amount of money contributed,
in that it will give the brethren of New Mexico new strength and courage to
continue their self-imposed task.
Jersey's action proves two things. First, that a cause that is right is never
lost, and second, that Freemasons, anywhere and everywhere, will, when given
the opportunity, always respond generously to the call to aid and assist their
distressed brethren. The chief obstacle to the movement for relief has been
the apathy and indifference of Masons in official positions, and their
unwillingness to permit any appeal from the Southwest to be presented to the
Masonic bodies under their supervision.
Jersey's action is a challenge to every other Masonic Grand Jurisdiction in
America. A precedent has been created, a tradition has been established, and a
landmark has been founded, and those who worship at the shrine of this Masonic
trinity may now, perhaps, be able to turn their gaze toward their brethren in
need. Other Grand Lodges have voted small contributions paid out of Grand
Lodge funds. A few have levied a small per capita tax. But New Jersey
permitted an appeal direct to its constituent bodies, and to the Eastern Star,
and this contribution is a voluntary free gift from individual Masons and
their female relatives, for the succor of their suffering brethren. It is an
evidence that Freemasonry, in America, can function to fulfill its
honor to New Jersey. May its noble action help to arouse renewed interest and
activity in every state for the help of our numerous brethren and the member,
of their families, who are afflicted with tuberculosis. May it cause every
Mason in official position to consider seriously whether he has been a
stumbling block or not in the way of his brethren, in denying to them the
opportunity and the privilege of serving their brethren in need.
The Degrees of Masonry; Their Origin and History
BROS. A. L. KRESS AND R. J. MEEKREN
(Continued from June)
dealing last month with the arguments of William James Hughan in support of
the theory that our present second and third degrees were invented some time
during the interval between the definite organization of the Grand Lodge in
June, 1717, and the publication of the Book of Constitutions in 1728, we had
noticed that the minutes of the old lodge at Alnwick, like the pre-Grand Lodge
records of the old lodges in Scotland, spoke of entering apprentices and
admitting fellows, without any indication of what the terms used implied in
the way of ceremonial, esoteric or otherwise, and suggested that aside from
some interpretation based on other considerations these references were
indeterminate in their bearing upon the problem.
Hughan next refers (1) to the "admission into the fraternity" of six gentlemen
at Scarborough in 1705, and the Rules and Minutes of the old lodge at York.
The former, which bears the date of 1725, provide only for the "making of a
Brother," or "to make a Mason," which proves, he thinks, "the simple and
primitive character of the regulations." The minutes use only the formula
"admitted and sworn" varied by "sworn and admitted." Yet, as he points out,
Dr. Drake, in his famous speech made on St. John's Day, Dec. 27, 1726,
referred to three degrees under the initials E.P., F.C. and M.M., though the
minutes go on to 1730 recording the swearing and admission only of candidates
(2). One point which Hughan did not seem to have considered was that these
records make no reference to any grades, apprentices do not seem to be
mentioned at all, nor yet fellows. The head of the lodge was a President,
though some of the brethren presiding signed themselves "master," as in 1725,
followed by the two wardens, bracketed together without further distinction.
number of other minutes and records of lodges subsequent to the formation of
Grand Lodge are cited and discussed, the first being those of the lodge
meeting at the Swan and Rummer, which was instituted Feb. 16, 1725-26, the two
years being given because it was in the awkward period of transition between
Old and New Style of dating. These minutes we unfortunately have not been able
to consult. Hughan however definitely states that the degree of Fellow Craft
(3) is never mentioned, but he says that this is not remarkable as the
secretaries of lodges often ignored this ceremony even during the following
decade when it is known from by-laws and other records that it was duly
"sandwiched" between the first and third degrees. Consequently the omission in
this case is not, in his opinion, conclusive that it was not being worked in
this particular lodge. On the other hand it does not prove that it was.
According to the citation made by Hughan, at the meeting on June 8, 1726, Dr.
Desaguliers and the Earl of Inchiquin being present as visitors, four
gentlemen, including a lord and a baronet,
Were admitted Into the Society of Free Masonry and made by the Deputy Grand
that is by Dr. Desaguliers. The terms "made" and "admitted" may be important.
The first reference in these minutes to the grade or degree of Master is under
the date of April 29, 1727, and gives four names bracketed together with the
brief note appended:
Were admitted Masters.
Hughan says that the first of these names, that of Jno. Dixon Hammond, Esq.,
appears "in the minutes of a remarkable meeting" in the previous month, March
26, with the remark
Dispensation of the G. Master this Gent, was admitted.
What was remarkable about this meeting does not appear unless it was this
entry. This is important as showing that the term "to admit" was not used in a
specialized sense as applying to any particular grade or ceremony.
may be noted also that this lodge was about a year old, if this year 1727 is
reckoned New Style, as we presume it was. The next reference to Masters is
under date of March 31, 1729, two years later, when in an entry headed
a particular lodge held for passing of Masters . . .
The Masters Lodge was formed and the following brethren were admitted Masters
followed by six names and this,
Brother John Emslie having been Recommended as a worthy and good Mason he was
passed Master at the same time.
appears that two of the six first mentioned brethren had been elected as
Wardens of the lodge at a meeting on the 26th of the same month. There having
been three meetings apparently between the 26th and the 29th, inclusive. It
seems also that they were installed after being "admitted." But it may be
better to quote what Hughan says in full, seeing we have not been able to
refer to the original:
Two of the six who were thus made "Masters" or Master Masons, viz., Nelthorpe
and Aynsworth, had been elected as Wardens at the previous Lodge held on the
26th of the same' month, and were so invested immediately after their becoming
Masters, but certainly not because thereof, the third degree not being a
qualification for office at that period (4).
The last statement refers to the first Book of Constitutions of 1723, where
almost incidentally it is said
The most expert of the Fellow-Craftsmen shall be chosen or appointed the
Master, or Overseer of the Lord's work,
which is adapted without very great change from the phraseology of the old MS.
Charges or Constitutions (5).
Hughan held that our three degrees were in existence in 1723, that is that the
present F.C. and M.M. had been invented and super-posed upon the original
simple initiation, he very naturally interpreted the reference to the
"Master's Lodge" in the minute of Mar. 31, 1729, as indicating the working of
a "third" degree at that date, or rather, of the third degree, as is indicated
by the use of conjunction "or" between "Masters" and "Master Masons" in the
quotation above. That this numerical designation is no more than his
interpretation of these minutes is definitely indicated a little further on,
where he says, in parenthesis,
The next entry respecting the third degree (though not so called) is dated,
There seems to be nothing of special importance in the remaining quotations
from the records of this lodge. The entry of April 14, 1731, uses the phrase
"passed" instead of "admitted":
Bro. Roul and Bro. Shipton having a desire to be passed Masters, the Master's
Lodge was formed and they were passed accordingly.
The new term is used in the other citations, but we cannot say if the older
word was disused completely after the above date.
Two quotations from old by-laws are also given which are important, taken in
conjunction. Lodge No. 71, meeting at the Barbican, constituted in January,
1730. required each new member
pay two Pounds seven shillings at his Making, and received Double Cloathing.
Also when this Lodge shall think Convenient to confer the Superior Degree of
Masonry upon him, he shall pay five Shillings more.
The term "superior" being comparative seems to imply two grades only. Hughan
does not discuss this at all, nor yet the following from the by-laws of Lodge
No. 83 meeting at the Three Tuns constituted in December, 1731,
. . for making the sum of Three Pounds three Shillings, And for their
admittance the sum of five Shillings, and every Brother who shall pass the
Degrees of F. C. and M. shall pay the further sum of seven shillings and
Both these Codes were framed in 1732, so on the face of it one lodge worked
two degrees and the other three. The notable point is not that No. 83
practiced our present system, for we know from Prichard's work that three
degrees were in existence in 1730, but that there was still a lodge in London
that apparently provided only for two. Possibly the clause was copied without
alteration from some earlier set of by-laws. But then again, it may equally
have represented the actual usage of the lodge.
brief reference is also made to the records of other old lodges which
. . illustrate the working of both the F.C. and M.M. Degrees; as those of the
old Lodge at Bath (now No. 41) from 1733; whilst others, similar to a still
older lodge at Lincoln, arrange for the Master Mason's Degree being worked
(By-laws, A.D. 1732, and Records 1734, etc.), but do not provide for the
Fellow Craft's ceremony. Doubtless the latter was known to and practiced in
the Lodges, whose Secretaries are uncommunicative on the point, as in the
others, whose Scribes inform us of all three being worked. It is probable that
the term "making" often included the First two Ceremonies; the third being
left to convenient opportunities when the Master's Lodge was convened, or in
many instances never communicated at all, the brethren being content as Fellow
have quoted this at length because it seems a curious argument from one who so
greatly objected to inferences and suppositions when made by others, and who
so constantly exhorted them to keep strictly to the evidence. "Doubtless" the
"Fellow Craft's ceremony" was "known to and practiced" though no mention was
made of it. "It is probable" that the first degree and the second (that
"doubtless" was worked) were often included in the term making. But none of
this is here on record.
The curious minutes of the Philo-Musicae et Archtecturae Societas were also
quoted. This Society was an early instance of an "appendant" organization,
having been inaugurated in February, 1725. It required its members to be
Masons, and considered it had the power to form a lodge to initiate those who
wished to become members who had not the necessary Masonic qualification. On
the old theory it would seem that its members had this "inherent right," but
the Grand Lodge naturally did not like it. These minutes on their face seem to
refer to our present three degrees, and Hughan took this view of them, but as
this point will have to be mentioned later it may be passed over here.
The question also of the interpretation of the references in the first and
second editions of the Book of Constitutions was also discussed, but this also
may be more conveniently treated when we come to the views of R.F. Gould. We
may just quote the following from the close of Hughan's paper:
respects the "Book of Constitutions," I consider the regulations of 1723 and
the alteration agreed to in 1725, concerning the "Making of Masters," are
alone sufficient to prove that the three degrees were known to the English
Craft of that period, the uniform silence as to the trio of an earlier date,
suggesting that the Ceremonies were arranged subsequent to the inauguration of
the premier Grand Lodge.
Hughan expressed his views elsewhere than in the discussions of Quatuor
Coronati Lodge; in fact they were fully crystallized long before the lodge was
founded. A great many volumes of old periodicals have been gone through
without much result so far as discovering any further argument for his views.
In 1873 he replied at length in the London Masonic Magazine (6) to a review of
Lyon's History of the Old Lodge of Edinburgh by the Rev. A.F.A. Woodford, in
which he argued for the antiquity of three degrees. In his reply to this
review Hughan rather takes, as he undoubtedly had the right to do, the
position of an expert giving his dogmatic conclusions from prolonged study of
the evidence. He says that nowhere is there any record from the sixteenth
century "to the first half of the second decade of the eighteenth" of any
assembly of Masons working ceremonies or communicating "secrets" from which
any portion of the fraternity was excluded, or denied participation. He admits
the existence of three grades or ranks, those spoken of in the Old Charges as
Masters, who had men working for or under them, Fellows and Apprentices, but
. . so far as the records throw light on the customs of our early brethren the
apprentices were as welcome at the election and reception of masters as the
latter were required to participate in the initiation of the former.
might have put it more strongly and said that not only were apprentices
welcome, but that their presence was required by the Shaw Statutes, as we have
already seen. He goes on to say:
are quite willing to grant for the sake of argument that a word may have been
whispered in the ear of the Master of the lodge (or of Master Masons) on their
introduction or constitution in the lodge, but supposing that such were the
case, and we think the position is at least probable, the three degrees are so
far from being proved as before, especially as we have never traced any
intimation ever so slight of a special ceremony at the "passing" of Fellow
Crafts peculiar to that grade, and from which the apprentices were excluded.
And further on he emphasizes this opinion:
must reiterate our conviction that whatever the ceremonies may have been at
the introduction of Fellow Crafts and Master Masons anterior to the last [the
eighteenth] century, they were not such as to require the exclusion of
apprentices from the lodge meetings . . . in other words we can only fairly
advocate that to have existed of which we have evidence.
must be borne in mind that in this earlier expression of his views he is
arguing against the existence of three degrees of M.M., F.C., and E.A., while
at the same time, it would seem, he believed that three grades existed, that
is, that the Master was a grade or rank above that of Fellow, and not merely a
Fellow holding an office in a lodge or acting as an employer or supervisor.
The last sentence cuts both ways for it might be argued that there is no
evidence in these old records (with one or two exceptions) for any initiatory
ceremony at all.
a letter to the Grand Lodge of Ohio (7) a few years later he asserted that
is quite clear that the evidence submitted by Bro. Lyon proves that Modern
Freemasonry was introduced into Scotland by Dr. Desaguliers in 1721. Before,
however, the Past Grand Master was permitted to visit the Ancient Lodge of
Edinburgh he was examined, and found to be "duly qualified in all points of
Masonry," so that whatever differences (or additions) there might have been
between Modern and Ancient Freemasonry they were not sufficient to obliterate
the original character of the society or prevent visitation.
This is one more indication of how much Lyon's work was built upon. If the
foundations fail the superstructure must fall. "Modern" and "Ancient" in this
passage of course are to be understood generally, and not in their partisan
sense during the schism between the senior and junior Grand Lodges in England.
may now pass on to other exponents of the single initiation theory. In the
discussions in Quatuor Coronati Lodge John Lane and Edward Macbean strongly
supported Hughan's position, as did also Murray Lyon in a letter to him, but
these brethren adduced no new evidence.
will be noted that, so far, the discussion has been confined entirely to
documentary records, statutes, bylaws and minutes, and early references to the
Fraternity. Hughan was not inclined to place much weight on ritual evidence,
though in criticizing the opinions of his opponents he referred to it. We now
come to the American student, Albert Mackey, who did argue from this point of
view. In his Encyclopedia, however, under the heading of Degrees (8) the
conclusion is based chiefly on the external evidence. He says that "it is now
[in 1874] the opinion of the best scholars, that the division" was the work
. . of the revivalists of the beginning of the eighteenth century that before
that period there was but one degree, or rather one common platform of
ritualism; and that the division into Masters, Fellows and Apprentices was
simply a division of ranks, there being but one initiation for all.
Then he continues with the startling assertion that
1717 the whole body of the Fraternity consisted only of Entered Apprentices,
who were recognized by the thirty-nine Regulations, compiled in 1720, as among
the law-givers of the Craft, no change in those Regulations being allowed
unless first submitted "even to the youngest Apprentice."
see what he means, of course, but it is very awkwardly, even inconsistently,
stated. He then goes on to observe that in Anderson's Constitutions
.... the degree of Fellow Craft is introduced as being a necessary
qualification for Grand Master, although the word degree is not used.
And he adds that in Regulation xiii
. . the orders or degrees of Master and Fellow Craft are recognized in the
following words: "Apprentices must be admitted Masters and Fellow Crafts only
in the Grand Lodge."
This quotation is not quite correct, and the passage will have to be
considered later. But neither the 1723 or 1738 editions have the phrase "in
the Grand Lodge" though that is undoubtedly the meaning of the actual words,
"admitted . . . only here." He then points to the change made in the revised
book of 1738 in the fourth article of the Charges which definitely states the
progression of the Candidate through "Entered Prentice," or "Free Mason of the
lowest degree" through that of Fellow Craft to Master Mason," which does not
appear in the earlier version, and from all this he deduces that
The division of the Masonic system into three degrees must have grown up
between 1717 and 1730, but in so gradual and imperceptible a manner that we
are unable to fix the precise date of the introduction of each degree, a
conclusion which seems to have been inspired by Findel.
Now there is reason in the suggestion that the new system was the result of a
growth or evolution, seeing that it was propagated with no recorded objections
or disputes; but the introduction of two new superposed inventions, as he
apparently envisages the process, is neither growth nor evolution, and could
hardly have been imperceptible.
THE PRINTED CONSTITUTIONS
brief reference is made to the Grand Mystery first published in 1724 (though
he says 1725) as being "the earliest ritual extant" and as making no reference
to degrees. Actually another "ritual," the Mason's Examination, was published
in 1723, and there was yet another, earlier still, of which no copy remains,
but evidently he had not then heard of these, nor perhaps later we may
presume, as he does not mention them in the fuller discussion embodied in
Chapter xxxii of his History. But before considering this it may be as well to
dispose of the arguments based on references in the first edition of
Anderson's Constitutions and the changes made fifteen years later in the
second. Mackey of course was not the first to point out their significance but
he may have seen it independently. In the first book we are told the
Apprentice is to look forward to being made a Fellow Craft, and then perhaps
to being elected Warden or Master; the Fellow Craft thus appearing to be
eligible to any office in the Craft. The Tyler of Grand Lodge was to be a
Fellow Craft, the Committee to examine visitors at the annual feast were to be
Fellow Crafts, as also the Treasurer and Secretary of Grand Lodge. Naturally
these officers would have to be of the highest degree known in the lodge. In
constituting a new lodge the Master and Wardens were "among the Fellow Crafts"
before installation, and finally the ultimate secrets of Masonry were only to
be obtained by the "key of a Fellow Craft." In the second book all these
passages have been systematically amended to read "Master Mason" instead of
Fellow Craft. These were not the only changes it may be mentioned. In the
first edition there was a distinct tendency to call the annual gathering, or
assembly and feast, a General Lodge, and to restrict the term Grand Lodge to
the quarterly meetings of the Masters and Wardens of particular lodges. In the
revised book the term General Lodge has been everywhere deleted and Grand
Lodge substituted, doubtless to be in accord with the disuse of the other and
earlier term among members of the Craft.
The fourth charge in the first edition (10) has a long and rather obscure
Only Candidates may know that no Master should take an Apprentice, unless he
has sufficient Imployment for him, and unless he be a perfect Youth, having no
Maim or Defect in his Body, that may render him uncapable of learning the Art,
of serving his Master's Lord, and of being made a Brother, and then a Fellow
Craft in due time, even after he has served such a Term of Years as the Custom
of the country directs.
This is a cumbersome adaptation of the language of the Old Charges, and
leaving out the intermediate clauses it states negatively, that:
Master should take an apprentice . . . unless he [have no defect that would
render him] uncapable . . . of being made a Brother, and then a Fellow Craft
in due time.
the second edition this passage has been much changed, and the clause of
special interest in the present connection runs as follows:
....that, when of Age, and Expert, he [the apprentice] may become an Enter'd
Prentice, or a Free Mason of the lowest degree, and upon his due improvements
a Fellow-Craft and a Master-Mason, capable to undertake a Lord's work.
The fiction of operative usage is carefully retained, but the highest grade
now appears to be Master Mason, although the meaning is not absolutely
unequivocal, as Master Mason might still be taken to mean Master of a lodge.
But the next paragraph bars this interpretation. for it runs:
The WARDENS are chosen from among the Master-Masons, and no Brother can be a
Master of a Lodge till he has acted as Warden somewhere, except in
Regulation xiii deals with the Quarterly Communications, and states that
.... all matters that concern the Fraternity in general, or particular Lodges
or single Brethren, are quietly, sedately, and maturely to be discoursed of
and transacted: Apprentices must be admitted Masters and Fellow-Craft only
here, unless by a dispensation. Here also all Differences, that cannot be made
up and accommodated privately . . . are to be . . . decided:
and a right of appeal to the Annual Grand Lodge is provided for.
Mackey argues that the clause after the colon, about Apprentices being
admitted Masters and Fellow Craft, is an interpolation. It certainly does seem
to be an after thought, but it does not follow that we must conclude, as he
would have us, that it was inserted after the manuscript had been submitted to
the Grand Lodge for approval. Mackey supposes it to have been done
surreptitiously by Anderson, at the instance of Dr. Desaguliers, to pave the
way for the introduction of his newly invented degrees, and possibly connived
at by some other members of the Grand Lodge. But the approbation and license
to print give the impression that the manuscript was very fully considered;
and in the second edition Anderson states, in the chronicle of events after
1717, that at the meeting of the Grand Lodge on March 7, 1722,
The said Committee of 14 reported that they had perused Brother Anderson's
manuscript, viz., the History, Charges, Regulations and Master's Song, and
after some Amendments had approved of it.
The awkward clause may quite well be an interpolation, as Mackey suggested,
and yet one made regularly and in order by this Committee, or else in Grand
Lodge. There is no reason to doubt this statement of Anderson's, and
amendments to motions and by-laws are frequently interpolations that are quite
as awkward as this. We shall have to return to the consideration of this
clause again, so here we will only note that in the second edition it was
repealed and made to read, according to Anderson,
The Master of a Lodge, with his Wardens and a competent Number of the Lodge
assembled in due form, can make Masters and Fellows at discretion.
But he also made a change in the wording of the "Old Regulation" itself,
making it read:
Apprentices must be admitted Fellow Crafts and Masters only here unless by a
Dispensation from the Grand Master.
Thus, by reversing the sequence of "Masters" and "Fellow Craft" he has made
the original enactment fit the new three degree system.
All this is also "interpretation." Mackey here apparently followed Gould,
though it may possibly be that he reached this conclusion independently. It
depends on when this part of his work was written, and that seems impossible
to determine exactly. At least Gould has priority of publication. This will
have to be further discussed when we come to the consideration of the views of
the latter authority, when Hughan's comments will also have to be taken up
again. Mackey, though at one with him in regarding both the second and third
degrees as inventions made after 1719 as he insists there was but the one
simple admission till that year, yet agrees with Speth and Gould in holding
that in 1723 a two degree system was in existence. The possible permutations
are confusing to say the least !
may now go back and consider Mackey's arguments for the hypothesis of an
original single ceremony of admission with one set of esoteric secrets. He
quoted the thirteenth article of the Regius MS. (under the title of the
Halliwell MS.) which deals with the Master's duty to instruct his apprentice.
Mackey interprets the last two lines
That he the crafte abelyche may conne Whersever he go undur the sonne
refer to means of recognition, and says that it implies that
was to be invested with the modes of recognition common to all, whereby a
mutual intercourse might be had. It was not that he was to know just enough to
prove himself to be an apprentice, but he was to have such knowledge as would
enable him to recognize in a stranger a Fellow-Craft or Master in other words,
he was to have all they had in the way of recognition.
Old English is not very easy to understand. These verses might be paraphrased;
That he the craft ably may know Wherever he may go under the sun.
Mackey has taken "craft" to mean "the Craft" in our modern sense of the word,
the members of the Fraternity at large. Of course it means the craft or art of
operative masonry. But in any case the argument is a curious one. What kind of
secrets would enable an Apprentice to recognize a Master as such that would
not make it possible for him to pass himself off as one?
his next quotation he is on more solid ground. This is the "third point," and
gives a metrical version of a rule that appears in all the Old Charges, that
the Mason is
....to hele the counsel of his fellows in lodge and in chamber and wherever
the Cooke MS. has it; or as it is said in the William Watson MS.
That every Mason keep true councell both of Lodge & Chamber all other
Councells that ought to be kept by way of Masonrie.
But there is nothing that is necessarily to be taken as esoteric about these "councells,"
or the "secrets" of his Master or Dame, that in later versions of the MS.
Constitutions the Apprentice is charged to keep. Aside from ritual tradition
these could be best and most naturally interpreted as referring only to trade
and business secrets, and domestic privacies.
(1) In the paper read before Quatuor Coronati Lodge in 1897 A.Q.C., Vol. x, p.
(2) Ibid, p. 131.
(3) Ib., p. 134.
(4) Ib. p. 135.
(5) "And that . . . they should ordain the wisest of them to be Master of the
Lord's work;" which, with variations, appears in the "charges" that, according
to the Legend of the Craft, were delivered by Euclid in Egypt.
(6) Masonic Magazine (London 1873-74), Vol. i, p. 108
(7) Ibid (1867-77), Vol. iv, p. 418.
(8)The article will be found unchanged in the Revised edition Vol. i, p. 203.
(9) Mackey; History of Freemasonry (1905), Vol. iv, p. 975 et seq (In the
Revised edition, Vol. iv, p. 1030.)
(10) The citations from the 1723 Book of Constitutions have been taken from
the reproduction in Vol. i of Kennings, Masonic Archaeological Library, edited
by the Rev. A.F.A. Woodford; and for those from the New Book of 1738, the
reprint in Quatuor Coronatorum Antigrapha, Vol. vii, edited by W. J. Hughan
has been employed.
(11) Mackey: op. cit., Vol. iv, p. 949.
The Papacy and the State
DR. JOANNES GALLICAN
the January and February numbers of THE BUILDER a splendid article by Dr. Leo
Cadius appeared, which was very instructive and showed a great deal of
thought. The matter of bringing about the reforms that he desiderates is one
that presents very grave difficulties..
is not my desire in the following article to arouse the animosity of any
Christian organization, but rather to show the origin of the papacy as we now
understand it, which means the Roman Catholic Church in action; and if, by
arousing honest discussion of the facts involved, we can once and for all
remove the cancer of the seemingly growing religious strife in this country so
needless among real intelligent Christian people, such as the United States
holds within its confines.
GENERAL HISTORY OF THE PAPACY
Christianity arose in the East, Greek being the language of the common people
and also the language of the New Testament, the rites of the Church were
conducted in Greek. Christianity was bitterly opposed by the Roman Empire
until Constantine was converted to Christianity, when it became the official
religion of the Empire.
divided his provinces into dioceses and the Church adopted the same division.
The Council of Nicaea, called by Constantine and held in 325 A.D., the first
of the Ecumenical Councils, recognized three patriarchates, Rome, Alexandria
and Antioch. To these were subsequently added Constantinople and Jerusalem.
When the Empire was divided there was only one patriarch in the West, viz., at
Rome, while in the East there were two, Alexandria and Antioch; Constantinople
and Jerusalem were later added as shown above. Each of these patriarchs was
sovereign within his own territory; the early Church was governed by an
oligarchy of patriarchs; there was no thought of a despotic monarch nor of the
papacy as at present organized. The bishop of Rome was only called upon to act
as a referee when any differences arose between brother bishops; even then his
decisions were not always put into execution, nor even respected, unless the
dissenting patriarch was condemned for heresy, as was Honorius I, bishop of
Rome in the seventh century, for maintaining "one will" in Christ.
After the power of the Roman Empire was concentrated upon the Italian
peninsula with provinces extending all over the known world, the bishop of
Rome occupied a position of great prestige and vast power. In 1054 A.D. the
Western Church separated from the Eastern Church. There never had been
complete harmony between them; the Eastern Church used the Greek language in
its liturgy, the Western used the Latin; the former remained dependent upon
the state, the latter was to a large extent independent.
The bishop of Rome was assuming unconferred powers; while Western Christians
accused the Eastern patriarchs of being disloyal to the See of Rome. Then the
Western Church introduced the words Filioque into Nicene Creed, causing a
complete separation. At this period the patriarch and bishop of Rome assumed
the title of pontifex maximus (the pope), and the Western Church became the
Roman Catholic Church, while the Eastern Church was henceforth known as the
Orthodox Church, consisting of the four patriarchates of Constantinople,
Antioch, Alexandria and Jerusalem. They remain so to this day (1).
THE LANGUAGE IN WHICH THE FIRST MASS WAS CELEBRATED
the time of our Lord three particular languages were common throughout Judea.
They were, in some sense of the word, the languages of the world in those
days, viz., the Hebrew, Greek and Latin. The first, better known as the
SyroChaldaic, or more properly the Syriac, was the language of the greater
part of Judea, especially of Jerusalem itself and its environs, and without a
doubt, was the vernacular of our Divine Lord and His Blessed Mother. This can
be proved almost to a demonstration, both from the common consent of critics
and from the numerous Syriac expressions that we find here and there in the
New Testament yet in their original dress, such as "talitha cumi," "eloi, eloi,
lama sabacthani," and "ephphetha," all of which are Syriac, with a few
euphonic changes made to suit Greek ears.
The second, or the Greek, obtained a large sway in Palestine also, as St.
Jerome testifies (2), and various records show. "And this glory," says
Brerwood in his Languages and Religions, "the glory the Greek tongue held in
the Apostles' time, and long after in the Eastern parts (3)."
The third, or the Latin, had obtained a far wider sway in the Holy Land in the
time of our Lord and His Apostles than either of the other two, for it was the
language of imperial Rome; and as Judea was a Roman province at that time, and
for years previous, it was but natural to expect that the language of Rome
would be forced on the conquered people. But as we shall have occasion to
treat of these languages more fully a little further on, we dismiss them with
these brief remarks, and take up the subject that heads our article, viz., in
what language was the first Mass offered?
Eckius, a learned German divine and antiquarian of the sixteenth century, was
the first who broached the opinion that Mass was celebrated everywhere, in the
beginning, in Hebrew. But this cannot be sustained for the ablest liturgical
writers and linguists hold that in the days of the Apostles Mass was
celebrated in the language that prevailed in those places whither the Apostles
went to spread the light of the Gospel; hence, that at Jerusalem it was
celebrated in Syriac; at Antioch, Alexandria and other Grecian cities, in
Greek, and at Rome, and throughout the entire West, in Latin.
the first Mass then was celebrated at Jerusalem, it is an opinion which it
would be rash to differ from, that the language in which it was offered was
the Syriac (4).
the minds of many of the Roman Catholic people of the world the only official
language used in the administration of their sacraments and of the Mass is the
Latin. Many assume, also, that all priests of the Roman Church, and those in
communion with Rome, are celibates. The following quotations from The History
of the Mass by Father O'Brien prove conclusively that neither supposition is
THE LANGUAGE IN WHICH MASS IS CELEBRATED TODAY THROUGHOUT CHRISTENDOM
The Catholic Church of today celebrates the holy Sacrifice of the Mass in nine
different languages, viz., in Latin, Greek, Syriac, Chaldaic, Sclavonic,
Wallachian, Armenian, Coptic and Ethiopic.
Latin This is the language of the Mass in the entire West and in a few places
in the East, and has been so, without change from the beginning of
Christianity. It may, in fact, be called the vernacular language of the
Greek At the present day Mass is said in Greek by the Uniat or Melchite
Catholics of the East. They are to be found in Syria, Jerusalem, Russia, in
the kingdom of Greece, in Italy, and in several places of Europe; and they
comprise the Mingrelians, Georgians, Bulgarians, Muscontefs and others. These
Catholics are allowed by Rome to retain all their ancient rites such as
consecrating the Holy Eucharist in the leavened bread, giving Communion in
both kinds, saying the Creed without the "Filioque," and putting warm water
into the chalice after Consecration. Nay, more, the Holy See even allows their
clergy to marry. They have three patriarchs, residing respectively at Antioch,
Alexandria and Jerusalem; and they use three different Liturgies for the
celebration of the Mass.
is true, however, that Father O'Brien adds:
When we say the Holy See allows the Eastern clergy in her Communion to marry,
we must not be understood as implying that she allows those who are in Sacred
Orders to do so. This would not be true. Her discipline in this matter is
precisely as follows: Marriage is allowed all the inferior clergy from the
subdeacon, exclusive, down. Should any member, then, of this inferior body be
promoted to Sacred Orders, whether to be subdiaconate, diaconate, or
priesthood, he is allowed to retain his wife and do for her as best he can
from his living, but he can never marry again. Should he do so he would be
degraded and forbidden to officiate. There is no such thing allowed or heard
of as a clergyman getting married in Sacred Orders. If he is not married when
a subdeacon he never can be afterwards. And as for bishops, patriarchs,
metropolitans and the other great dignitaries of the Oriental hierarchy, the
rule is that they must be single men. Hence it is that all, or nearly all the
Oriental bishops, are taken from the monasteries; and this is the rule with
the schismatics (5) also.
Besides these there are the "Old Roman Catholics," who in 1870 refused to
accept the dogma of Papal Infallibility, represented in this country by one
Archbishop, Henry Cornell Corfora, who resides at Chicago. It permits its
clergy to marry, allows the Latin, English and other languages; mention is
here also made of "The American Catholic Church," with Archbishop F. Lloyd,
Primate, whose headquarters are in Chicago, at 64 West Randolph St. This
Church has also retained valid Holy Orders, is thoroughly American in ideals,
receiving Apostolic Succession from the Patriarch of Antioch, the very seat of
Catholicity. They believe in absolute separation of Church and State, their
clergy may marry, auricular confession is optional, the sacraments are
administered in Latin or the vernacular of the country; their members can and
do join Masonic and any secret orders so long as they profess a belief in a
Supreme Being. The Roman Pontificale is rigorously followed in administering
Holy Orders to its clergy.
The pope is a despotic monarch, has complete control of his subjects, both
temporal and spiritual. This has always been so.
The popes have been responsible for eight crusades. Pope Innocent III preached
a crusade against the Albigenses and placed Pierre de Castelnan at its head in
1204, and afterwards the legates Milon and Arnaud Amalric as well as Simon de
Montfort and the crusaders in 1209 obtained possession of Beziers and there
slew 60,000, among whom were some Catholics.
Carcassone also soon fell into their hands The legate ordered his troops to
slaughter all in this city without distinction of age or sex. Thirty thousand
persons, including women and children, perished in one day and when one of the
crusading officers affected with carnage came to the legate to inquire by what
signs he could distinguish heretics in the crowd, the legate replied, "Kill,
kill. God will know which are His."
The principle of action in this war was identical with that of the crusades
against the Turks. The pontiffs of those times thought it right to exterminate
by the sword the unbelievers whom they could not convert whenever their
presence became dangerous to the Church and to society, or was supposed to be
Heresy was then regarded as rebellion against the State no less than against
the Church. It was a crime of the deepest dye and worthy of the severest
punishment. It was impossible to exaggerate the note of the evil or to devise
means too severe for its suppression.
Let us remember that the present reigning pope in his recent Bull or
Encyclical on "Church Unity," speaking for his Church, said,
have received the deposit of faith from the Holy Ghost and anyone who
knowingly refuses to join our Church, if in his own mind he feels that our
Church is the only true Church, for him there is no salvation.
Inasmuch as the papacy was not thought of until the conversion of Constantine,
how and from whom was the deposit of faith received? It is regrettable that
the mere mention of historical data at the present time arouses such a storm
of protest from many well meaning persons. It is regrettable that there should
be religious hatred in any country, and if the papacy is divinely inspired by
the Holy Ghost it is a peculiar negation that its early history should be
written in blood. The papacy has time and again killed thousands and tens of
thousands because they called themselves heretics; time and again preached the
righteousness of crusades, and if American Roman Catholics only understood the
history of the papacy and compared it with the teachings and life of Christ
they would perhaps then learn to know really what real religion is. Romanists
in this country support a despotic monarch, a nobility that they know nothing
of; pay tribute and blind obedience to an institution that is neither Catholic
nor Apostolic, an Institution that is political first, last and all the time
and has very little real religion, simply to perpetuate a hierarchy of princes
of the Church, papal knights, ministers accredited to foreign governments
under the names of papal delegates, legates, nuncios, and so on.
The papacy never presents a financial statement of its condition, and the
laymen are never expected to ask any questions, they are assessed for the
construction of churches, schools, academies here and abroad, subscribe to all
the magazines, papers; every parish is taxed for the support of the different
colleges and seminaries and for the education of students for the priesthood,
while many of the clergy are living lives of luxury and have fortunes to leave
to their immediate families.
attending services in the different parishes in many parts of this country
about five minutes are spent in reading Gospels of the Sunday and thirty
minutes in begging, or rather hounding, the people for money; so much so that
a friend of mine was very careful in purchasing his new home in a certain
diocese to avoid certain sections where they were building new churches.
Dr. L. Cadius' remedy to ameliorate the conditions he so eloquently depicts,
viz., through the Knights of Columbus, is a hopeless task. The Knights of
Columbus would not even dare to allow a lecturer to present the history of the
papacy from some of their own publications, and how can any reform be brought
about when the pope can excommunicate at any time and for any reason he sees
fit. There is not a Judge of one of our Supreme or higher Courts that will
even dare hear a case in which the prelates or princes of the Roman Catholic
Church are concerned, and this is in free America, not Soviet Russia. What is
free born Americans why not organize and support an American Catholic
Apostolic Church, having the real Apostolic Catholic faith and the primitive
sacraments acknowledging complete separation of Church and State, where all of
the clergy are allowed their God created rights to marry, and where every
incentive to live upright lives is held out, that thoroughly believes in a
sound public school educational system; a Church that has no princes nor
nobility, a Church thoroughly liberal in all countries and climes, a Church
that permits its clergy and members to membership in the Masonic or any
fraternal association as long as they profess a belief in a Supreme Being, a
Church that does not "double cross" Masonry in America, only to wage war on it
in France, Italy and foreign countries. Would to God we had such a Church in
Not until we come right out and show on what false premises the Roman Catholic
Church and papacy stand and how insulting the Encyclical of the pope on church
unity is to the millions of educated, liberty-loving Americans, and letting
the world really know where we stand on this question, will there be real
peace and brotherhood. And if this were done, all religious strife would
disappear. I doubt whether even the Ku Klux Klan would fight such a program.
The way to successfully fight the false position of the papacy is to refuse to
open up our pocket-books directly or indirectly; then let them keep their
Canon Law with their forged decretals, their papacy, their hierarchy, their
nobility, and all the corruption that goes with it in the country that desires
it, and this will bring them to their knees quicker than anything else.
America is to retain true freedom from all religious strife, several matters
must be thoroughly understood and forever settled. There should be no room for
any political interference of any religious sect or creed with the state or
government and a church which must needs have the police powers to enact and
enforce its creed of faith is neither Christian nor religious.
have proven that the position of the Roman Catholic Church and papacy as
expressed by the pope in his latest Encyclical is false, since Christ never
founded the papacy nor the Roman Catholic Church; Christ founded an Apostolic
Catholic Church. The Roman Catholics of America as citizens are the equal of
any others, and those who claim America to be a Protestant country are as much
in error as the Romanists. There is no room in America for a bigot, be he
Romanist or Protestant, and anyone seeking office on such claims should be
defeated continually and exposed to ridicule. It is regrettable that those of
us who came from the Isle of Saints are prone to rancor and bigotry, and I
must confess we are very quick to show it upon the slightest occasion. Our
priests are continually preaching against the public schools as "Godless," as
being responsible for loss of religion and morals. If this be true I would
suggest that all Roman Catholic teachers be employed in Roman Catholic schools
and institutions of learning and let Roman Catholics support them without any
hope of taxpayers helping them out, because the atheist's and agnostic's child
has the same equality according to our Constitution as the Romanists.
The pope is a despotic monarch as a temporal sovereign. As pope he is the head
of the Roman Catholic Church. These are the claims of his Church and while the
Romanists of America may never attempt to rule as they have in European
Catholic countries, it may also be true that our American Roman Catholic
priests are different; but until the entire papacy as at present organized is
overthrown it would be a sad day for free American institutions to put the
balance of power into the Roman Catholics' hands, or any other sect.
the Knights of Columbus are attempting to organize the young boys of Italy
with Mussolini's help that is their affair; nor should it concern Americans as
to their reasons for so doing. All liberty-loving Americans should stamp out
the professional ex-nun, and any periodical or magazine that continually
strives to stir up religious rancor or hatred. The personnel of the Roman
Catholic clerical and religious ministry are morally as good as any of the
learned professions in America.
is to be regretted, however, that Roman Catholics, who in this country preach
so much broadmindedness and tolerance regarding their Protestant neighbors and
the large fraternal orders, as Masonry, Odd Fellows, etc., are very intolerant
of these same organizations in Catholic countries. Go to Ireland or the
Province of Quebec to organize a Lodge of Masonry and report back the welcomed
Oh, yes, the Romanists tell us that the Freemasons of Italy, France, Austria
and the European countries are not like those of America. I have made it a
point to interview Masons in this country as to their views on evolution,
belief in a Supreme Being, and find the ratio the same; and according to the
Roman Catholic Church, not one Mason have I met would pass muster.
Wall Street banker recently told me that all the solid business financial
interests should encourage the Roman Catholics of this country to prevent the
Soviet system of Russia from taking a foothold in America; he was a 33rd
Degree Mason; personally admitted the falsity of the papacy as to its divine
origin; admitted the Roman Catholic Church was simply a part and parcel of the
old Apostolic Church, but that it was a good business arrangement to have a
responsible head, as the pope is, of a highly centralized government, even if
he was a despotic monarch; admitted our system of electing presidents hadn't
proved successful nor beneficial, and that as a solid business proposition he
encouraged the missionary labors of the Roman Catholic Church; and this
evidently is the opinion of many business people of America.
have no reliable method of finding out just what the Soviet Government means,
much less what they are accomplishing. I do know about the Roman Catholic
Church here and in Europe, and if we are to retain a free government, of, by
and for the people, as founded by the framers of this Constitutional
Government, let us one and all, at all times and in all places, demand a
complete separation of Church and State and refuse to allow any sect or creed
to lobby bills or enact laws to perpetuate the religious teachings of their
peculiar sect or creed.
(1) Strictly speaking the title of the Eastern Church is the "Holy Orthodox,
Catholic and Apostolic Church." That of Rome is the "Holy Roman Church," also
Catholic and Apostolic. The conception of the Roman Church as actually
including the other churches of Western Europe did not reach its final
evolution till the nineteenth century. The term Catholic, or Universal can in
its full sense apply only to the Christian Church as a whole. A division of
the Church can properly call itself Catholic as an integral part of the Church
Universal, or it can do so controversially by unchurching all other churches.
(2) St. Jerome, Proem, 1, 2, Com. Eptst. ad Cabal
(3) Brerwood, Languaves and Religions, p. 9.
(4) Bona, Re. Liturg. 207; Gavantus, Thesaur, Saer. Rit. 16, 17; Kozma, Liturg.
Sacr. Cathol., p. 111.
(5) The "Schismatics" are those of the Oriental Church who steadfastly refuse
to acknowledge the papal claims.
(6) [The writer seems to be somewhat misinformed here. In Quebec the
comparatively few French Canadians who become Masons are subject to petty
persecution in their own social circles, but there is no general opposition,
nor can there be under the Constitutional safeguards, to the flourishing Grand
Lodge of the Province. The same is true of Ireland. Ed.]
"The Religion of All Good Men"
Communicated by BRO. LOUIS BLOCK, Associate Editor, Iowa
THIS address was given by Rabbi Hirschberg in the auditorium of Medinah Temple
at Chicago, on the occasion of the Feast of Atonement last year. It is a
wonderful plea for religious charity and tolerance in the true sense of the
word. The Rabbi is not a Mason, we understand, but he has, nevertheless, given
utterance to the belief of all thinking Masons, that the essentials of true
religion should draw men together and not separate them.
THESE holy days of ours, friends, and especially this solemn night, reveal as
nothing else the philosophy of the Jewish religion. More than that of any
other day, the ritual of Yom Kippur plainly indicates what is the ground-work
and foundationstone of all Jewish belief and practice. Would we understand the
real essence of Judaism, we need but consult those utterances of our Bible and
prayer-book that are inseparably identified with the observance of this day.
Whether it is the passionate declaration of an Isaiah, rebelling against the
social abuses of his day, whether it is the flaming appeal of an Amos, crying
out against the hypocritical pomp of the Temple service and the corruption of
the priests, or whether it is the eloquent utterance of a Micah, phrasing in
words that can never die his immortal definition of religion:
hath told thee, oh man, what is good and what the Lord doth require of thee,
but to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God:
there is, in reality, but one supreme theme to which they are all attuned: to
win men back to God, to turn them away from evil thoughts and vain pursuits,
to dedicate them to a life of loving service every day in the year, to foster
a finer feeling of fellowship in the world, to free men's minds from the
galling chains of prejudice, to bind their hearts with indissoluble bonds of
brotherhood and love. This is the one melody, the one divine note, the supreme
motif of the Kol Nidre anthem, the keynote of all the prayers of this holy
night. All others are but minor chords that blend harmoniously with this major
Those who are still under the impression that this day is chiefly concerned
with the mechanics of religion, prayer and fasting, ceremonial, creed and
custom, may be surprised and shocked at such a revelation. They may consider
me an iconoclast for making such a statement, but there is indisputable and
incontrovertible evidence to support the contention. In fact, if we read the
prophets with an open mind, dismissing all our inherited beliefs and
traditions, there can be no doubt as to what religion meant to them and what
they considered the prerequisites of a religious life, and the proper, the
most fitting, observance of this day. Judaism, as they understood the term,
was something more than a profession of faith or a declaration of principles.
It was something more than a church or a synagogue, an elaborate ritual, an
inspiring song-service or an eloquent sermon. It was life itself, the entire
gamut of life, with all its play of light and shadow, comedy and tragedy,
laughter and tears. Nothing was foreign to life. And so they interpreted
religion in terms of human service and human brotherhood. What other
interpretation than this can be given to such immortal utterances as:
Rend your hearts and not your garments. Cease to do evil, learn to do good.
Let justice roll down as waters and righteousness as a mighty stream. Ye shall
do no unrighteousness in judgment. Ye shall not curse the deaf nor put a
stumbling block before the blind. Just weights, just measures shall ye have.
Love thy neighbor as thyself.
What are these and countless other inspired passages, if they are not the
mighty preachments of liberal-minded men, wedded to the broadest kind of
universalism, world-embracing in its scope, with no geographical bounds and no
racial limitations whatsoever? No narrow-minded, hide-bound sectarians these,
but ambassadors of God, champions of humanity, praying and working to make
life more clean and decent, to usher in an era of peace and good-will that
would spell out the betterment and the happiness of the race, not Israel
alone, but the whole human family.
And we, who are the spiritual heirs of the prophets, their religious legatees,
are unalterably committed to just such an interpretation of religion. That is
why, on such a night as this, the real leaders, interpreters and spokesmen of
Judaism, devote their sermons to an enunciation of twentieth century problems
rather than to a plea for the conservation of all the ancient rites and
practices. We do not believe that just because a thing is old, it is therefore
sacred and inviolate. We would not make a fetich of the dead past while
ignoring the living present. We do not feel that the ancients knew all that
could possibly be known about God and man. We have a profound respect for
their piety and zeal, but we are unwilling to admit that the very last word,
the very last chapter has been written in the story of religion. We feel that
the book of revelation is not closed, that God is speaking to the heart and
soul and mind of man today as He spoke to the ancients and that new times and
new conditions call for new interpretations and a new vocabulary in keeping
with the trend of modern thought and scientific discovery. If we could only
get men, who have been alienated from religion, because of their belief that
it is fossilized and static, to understand this, if we could convince them
that there is just as much liberal and progressive thinking in the domain of
religion as there is in that of science, I am sure that their antagonism would
quickly be destroyed. For they would soon discover that we are not afraid of
the truth but rather welcome the search-light of investigation and knowledge.
We want to open wide the windows of our minds and let in the light so that
superstition may speedily disappear and error be no more. We want no blind
alleys, no darkened rooms where ignorance festers and superstition breeds. And
as we do not fear the truth, so de we not fear any honest exploration in the
realms of knowledge. It is only the darkness of fanaticism and bigotry of
which we are afraid. Into the laboratory of the scientist, into the study of
the scholar and the archaeologist, we go undaunted and unafraid, confident
that the more we learn, the more we discover, the more light that is thrown on
what is now obscure, the greater, the profounder our reverence for the Supreme
Power that rules the universe.
FREEDOM THE LIFE OF TRUE RELIGION
Our one aim, our sole desire is to strike off the shackles from the minds of
men that they might be free to think for themselves and to decide for
themselves, free to believe or not to believe, free to pray or not to pray.
our only regret is that the day, envisioned by the prophets and for whose
speedy coming we earnestly pray, "when every man might sit under his own
roof-tree and none there will be to make him afraid," has not yet been
realized. In this respect our system of education has been thus far a dismal
failure; in spite of all our institutions of learning the vast majority of men
are still victims of inherited fanaticisms and bigotries. And the saddest
thing of all is the fact that their number is not confined merely to the
ignorant and uneducated, but even college graduates and university professors
are guilty of blind and unreasoning hatreds. Amongst all the varieties of the
human species, amongst all the millions upon millions of people in the world,
the rarest specimen of all is an absolutely unprejudiced man, without any
preconceived opinions, whose judgments are based solely upon the facts, whose
decisions and convictions are the result of inexorable logic and whose only
concern is the naked and unvarnished truth. A modern Diogenes, lantern in
hand, would have as difficult a time finding such a man in Chicago or New York
in 1927 as did his ancient predecessor, the Greek philosopher, when searching
for an honest man in the city of Athens twenty-three hundred years ago. We
like to think of justice as the artist conceived her, blindfolded, holding in
her hands evenly balanced scales. That is our democratic ideal, that is the
principal upon which our republican form of government is founded, equal
rights to all, special privileges to none. And yet, how many of us even
faintly measure up to that ideal in practice. Who of us, in this congregation
tonight, can honestly and sincerely say that he is free from the slightest
taint of prejudice and that he approaches every question with an open and
unbiased mind? How many of us even try to put ourselves in the other man's
place and see any given question from his viewpoint ? How many of us are
willing to admit that he may be right and we may be wrong?
And it is right here, I believe, that is to be found the crying fault of the
present generation, its lack of gentleness and consideration, its brutal
disregard of tender sensibilities. Our age is brilliantly intellectual. We are
blessed with a wealth of genius. Sometimes I fear that we have too much brain
and would be infinitely better off if we had a little less and a little more
heart, a little more human sympathy and understanding. The world,
unfortunately, has not yet rid itself of its encumbering ostracisms and
taboos, its petty class distinctions, its superficial aristocracies of birth
and fortune. Even in the church, within the sacred precincts of the House of
God, the last place where it ought to exist, the very first place where we
ought to find a spirit of absolute equality, there still exists the absurd,
the ridiculous notion of a preferred class. Think of it, friends, men and
women, pious members of the church, have yet to gain a broader and more
liberal outlook upon life, a finer feeling of fellowship and tolerance.
Tolerance, how I hate that word, how I wish it could be completely expunged
from the dictionary and the thoughts of men! How it smacks of that snobbish
superiority and arrogant condescension against which this day so passionately
protests. Tolerance, how contrary to the challenge of this holy night, the
challenge to meet together, not as master and slave, but as equals, children
of the same Father, members of the same great human family, with equal rights,
equal privileges and equal duties. "Have we not all One Father, has not One
God created us all?"
RELIGION AND HUMANITY
is the challenge, friends, that finds its noblest expression in the glorious
vision of One God and one Humanity. Here is an aspiration whose sublimity the
flight of time has not dimmed, whose nobility all the battering rams of
scientific criticism has not destroyed. For untold ages, the Jew has cherished
this lofty hope. It has always uplifted and inspired him, it has been his
strength and stay even in the darkest years of persecution and oppression. He
read it in his Bible, he recited it in his daily prayers, he taught it in his
schools and over the doorways of his House of Worship in every age and in
every clime, carved the inscription, which is vocal with this same noble
aspiration: "My House Shall be Called a House of Prayer for All Peoples."
When all has been said, this is the one outstanding, distinguishing and
dynamic principle of our religion. It is the only genuine test of real
religion; not its theology, not its conception of the universe, not its
speculation about a vague hereafter, but its power to fire the hearts and
souls of its devotees with a consuming passion for humanity that transcends
all the barriers and bounds of sectarian prejudice. Has modern science with
all of its inventive genius, modern philosophy with its cold and mechanistic
theory of the universe as a blind and ruthless machine, formulated any thought
comparably as fine and ennobling and inspiring as this? Suppose the Bible is
an intensively human document, suppose it is not the best or most
authoritative history or treatise on the origin of man, grant that there are
many imperfections and defects in it and, yet, may we not ask without the fear
of contradiction is not its vision of a world-at-peace, the rude alarms of war
stilled forever, swords beaten into plowshares and spears into pruning-hooks,
is not the vision of a united family of man, all hatred and tolerance banished
forever, and completely under the domination of a loving and universal Father,
the sublimest conception that has ever dawned upon the mind of man?
LOVE AND GOOD WILL TO ALL MEN
And is not this the most urgent need of the present hour? I am only too ready
to admit that it is highly important that we have a reasonable and enlightened
faith to which a thinking man can readily subscribe. It is highly important
that we be ever ready to welcome the truth no matter whence the revelation,
that we be hospitable to the latest findings of careful scientific research
and investigation and learn as much as we possibly can about the universe in
which we live. God only knows that we need light, more and more light to
illumine the stygian darkness of ignorance and chase away the shadows of
superstition and blind credulity. I would be the last person in the world to
oppose any honest effort to get at the truth, but let us not forget that,
important as it is to break asunder the shackles that enslave the mind, even
more important is it to sunder the chains that shackle the heart and soul. We
need something more than science and logic and philosophy to satisfy the
hungry heart and the starving soul of man. Life is something more than a mere
cold abstraction or mathematical theorem and there is something more urgent
and pressing today than the proof of the doctrine of evolution. There is need
as there never has been need for the emancipation of men from every kind of
hatred and intolerance. Above every other need of the present hour is the
vital need for a recognition of the inalienable, the God-given right of every
human being to live his own life, think his own thoughts, obey the dictates of
his own conscience, be the captain of his own soul, the master of his own
destiny. Call no man great, no matter what his fame, be he even the President
of these United States, who has not done everything in his power to bring this
about, to put an end to all the antagonisms that set man against man, nation
against nation, religion against religion and bring about an era of good-will
and better understanding that will stress instead the heritage that we all
hold in common. "Have we not all One Father, has not One God created us all?"
Under the dome of God's temple of humanity God, who is the universal Father of
all, who knows no favorites and will tolerate no distinctions, with whom there
are no high and no low, no proud and no humble under that dome, wide and high
and all-embracing as the overarching skies, there are no reserved seats for
the high and mighty and powerful of the earth, but there is room for all His
children, men of every creed, color and nationality, white, black or yellow,
American or European, Jew or Christian, Protestant or Catholic, Fundamentalist
or Modernist, believer or unbeliever. Such is the lesson that this day teaches
above every other lesson. Such, indeed, is the fact that, according to the
prophet Isaiah, the Lord hath chosen to break every yoke and let the oppressed
go free. Such is the ministry to which we are asked to dedicate ourselves
tonight. In it there is a defense of the down-trodden, a brief for the widow
and the orphan, the sorrowing and the heavy laden. Oh! that we might begin
that ministry this holy eve and see in the man struggling, toiling at our side
not a hated adversary but a loving brother, with the same desires, hopes and
dreams that we possess oh! that tonight we might hear this evening whisper of
peace and goodwill, pardon, forgiveness and reconciliation and speed the
coming of the day when "men will no longer hurt nor destroy in all God's holy
mountain, when the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the
waters cover the sea." Oh ! that tonight we might attune our hearts to the
music of the Kol Nidre song and prayer:
Brothers hear the sounds which now invite
"Men," they plead, "let love God's sons unite
Let hate take flight. Love ye for God is love
Forgive like God above. Burdens sore make light,"
and thus make our atonement by achievement of our at-onementat-one with God,
at-one with man !
JOHN T. THORP
have received a copy of the Leicester Mercury of May 24, published in
Leicester, England, in which is an account of a presentation made to Bro. John
T. Thorp, whose name is well known to American Masonic students. The brethren
of Leicester gathered to do him special honor, and the Deputy Provincial Grand
Master, Lt. Col. Oliver, presented him with his portrait in oils.
Thorp became a Mason as long ago as 1870. In 1875 he was installed as Master
of John of Gaunt Lodge. In 1892 he was the first Master of the famous
Leicester Lodge of Research. It is as Secretary of this lodge that he is best
known in America. He has edited the lodge proceedings from the first, and has
superintended the publication of reprints of a number of rare and valuable
workson Masonry, including a number of those of the late Bro. Hughan.
1900 he became a full member of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, to whose transactions
the well-known Ars Quatuor Coronatorum he has contributed a number of valuable
won honors not only in the Craft but outside as well. He is a Fellow of the
Royal Historical Society, of the Royal Society of Literature of Great Britain,
of the Royal Society of Antiquities of Ireland, and of a number of similar
institutions in various parts of the world.
Thorp is now well advanced in years and it seems well that he should receive
these deserved honors while he is yet with us. We are very glad of this
occasion to contribute the felicitations and good wishes of members of the
Research Society to one who has done so much for Masonic scholarship.
Seeing that we quoted the Fortnightly Review on this subject in the last issue
of THE BUILDER it will be only fair to reproduce the following from the number
for June 1, which shows that the original story is as incredible to
intelligent Roman Catholics as it is to us. The quaint thing about the
situation is that the Freemasons of France are supposed to be atheists, and
yet believers in the real and miraculous effect of the valid consecration of
the elements in the Eucharist. The paragraph referred to is as follows:
Apropos of the article on "Masonic Satanism" (F.R., XXXV, 9, 181 sq.) an
eminent Catholic physician and author writes to us: "I find it very hard to
bring myself to think that men would do such things unless they were
distinctly disequilibrated. The mentally alienated often do things of this
nature. I am inclined to think, however, that there is something wrong also
about the reporter. For instance, the woman who reported when dying that she
had been present at black masses by apostate priests, would have exactly the
same place in my mind as the women who, during the witchcraft delusions,
confessed to attendance at the witches' sabbath and direct communication with
the devil, even succubation, if there is such a word, and all the rest. Such
people are affected by a combination of hysteria and mental alienation. The
Leo Taxil matter and the way that a lot of our otherwise sensible people fell
for that delusion or counterfeiting always comes back to me in this
Richmond-Randolph Lodge, No. 19
cannot help but be fascinated by the City of Richmond in that aristocratic
State of Virginia. It is full of historical associations, yet charming in its
modernity. It is, perhaps, a bit unfortunate that the older section of the
city has become an ant hill of industry. Modern business buzzes around the
curios of a century and more ago with a vitality that distracts from the quiet
of meditation that one would prefer in contemplating such reminders of times
long past as is the home of Richmond - Randolph Lodge, No. 19. The commission
house which flanks the lodge hall upon one side, and the other equally squalid
commercial enterprises which surround it upon every hand, are certainly not in
keeping with the antiquity of the building and the air of an American Masonic
shrine which should envelop it. The large frame building seems out of place
among the more modern brick structures and its air of quiet refinement seems
particularly inappropriate to its present environment. Still the fact remains
that this structure is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, Masonic building
present writer understands that Pennsylvania claims to have possessed the
first building erected solely for Masonic purposes, and in order to avoid any
controversy and the necessity for searching out the facts of the case it is
the intention to qualify the statement of Virginia brethren and to leave our
colonial friends to settle the matter between themselves. There is at least no
doubt in his mind but that the brethren of Richmond-Randolph Lodge can claim
the distinction of holding their meetings in a building which has been used
for strictly Masonic purposes for a longer period of time than any other.
origin and history of this temple is most interesting, and doubtless readers
of THE BUILDER Will Welcome an opportunity to learn something of its past
existence. In order that credit may fall where it is due, let it be frankly
stated that the following description is taken, by special permission, from
the account compiled by Bros. M.J. DeWitt, W.A. Clarke, Jr., A.J. Clarke and
C.P. Eldridge, the historical committee of the lodge.
structure was built by Richmond Lodge, No. 10 (then No. 13), in 1785. During
the first century, until 1878, to be precise, the building was occupied
jointly by Richmond-Randolph Lodge, No. 19, and Richmond Lodge, No. 10, at
which time No. 10, changed its place: of meeting to St. Alban's Hall. It is
interesting to note. that No. 19 has met regularly in the hall for over one
hundred and forty years. The title to the old hall was held by trustees of
these two lodges, but the title to the ground on which it stood was clouded,
and for a long time there was a tradition that. the land had been donated, and
that it would revert to the heirs of the original owners should it no longer
be used for the purposes originally intended. An investigation undertaken in
order to perfect the sale of the rights of Lodge No. 10 to Lodge No. 19, in
1883, has. brought to light some interesting facts.
first Grand Lodge in Virginia was assembled in Williamsburg, Va., on Tuesday,
6th of May, 1777. The first lodge in Richmond was chartered on Dec. 28, 1780.
It assembled at the Raleigh Tavern, and was known as Richmond Lodge, No. 13
(now No. 10). The Grand Lodge assembled in Richmond on 14th November, 1784, in
the "Lodge Room" in the city of Richmond, and Edmund Randolph appeared as the
Representative of Richmond Lodge, No. 13. We can only conjecture as to the
location of this lodge room, but it was probably in McGuire's school house,
then next to the present site of the Mason's hall.
building which would serve as a suitable lodge room, and also as a permanent
location for the Grand Lodge, soon became necessary, and, accordingly, on the
12th of August, 1785, Gabriel Galt sold to "George Anderson, Alexander Nelson,
Foster Webb, Jr., Alexander MeRobert, Patrick Wright, Samuel Scherer and John
Grooves, a committee from Lodge No. 13, a lot of ground fronting 80 feet on
the back street, opposite Mrs. Warrocks," an d engaged, "under a penalty of
9500, to convey the above ground in fee simple and make a deed for the same
whenever required to do so."
were then taken to erect a hall upon this lot. The cornerstone was laid by
Most Worshipful James Mercer, Grand Master, assisted by the officers and
members of Richmond Lodge, No. 13, Oct. 12, 1785.
RAISING MONEY BY LOTTERY
Dec. 27, 1785, the Legislature passed an act authorizing "the Society of
Freemasons of the City of Richmond to raise, under the direction of the Common
Hall (now the Common Council) of said city, a sum of money not exceeding
11,500, by way of lottery, for the purpose of erecting and completing a
Freemason's Hall in said city." The Common Hall, at a meeting held Jan. 2,
1786, appointed a committee, consisting of John Marshall, Recorder, Gabriel
Galt, Foster Webb, Jr., David Lambert, and John Beckley, to form a scheme of
lottery agreeably to the above act. The committee reported, Jan. 9, a scheme
which was adopted, and managers were appointed. This scheme for raising money
did not seem to meet with much success, and at the expiration of one year the
managers reported that but few tickets had been sold.
this time the Common Hall, it appears, had abandoned the hope of raising money
by the lottery scheme. There was much complaint on the part of those who had
purchased tickets and the managers desired to be relieved.
meeting held April 13, 1787, it was
Resolved, That the Society of Freemasons be requested to nominate a committee
to call upon the lottery managers to render an account and to receive the
money for tickets sold; that they be required to give security in the sum of
X5,000, and that they (the committee from the lodge) be appointed managers of
said lottery, according to the following, which was only one third of the
scheme provided for the raising of 500 instead of 1,500, as was first
proposed. It is probable that the building had not been raised above the first
story at this time; that it was roofed over, and served as a lodge room and a
hall for public meetings of citizens.
first story is built of brick, and it was the original design to erect a
building of that material, but after the abandonment of the most ambitious
scheme of raising 11,500, the plan was changed; the remaining stories were
constructed of wood, and the Hall, as it now stands, was fully completed Dec.
10, 1787. And now the members of the lodge were sorely perplexed as to how the
money should be raised to pay the debt incurred. The lottery scheme appeared a
difficulty of raising money at this time is easily accounted for when we
remember that, on the 9th of January, 1787, a most disastrous fire had
destroyed between thirty and forty houses in Richmond, and swept away property
of the value of more than 1130,000. But there were some members of the lodge
who bad determined the enterprise should succeed. John Marshall came to the
front to awaken enthusiasm and restore harmony. Lodge No. 13 was, in 1786,
renumbered as Richmond Lodge, No. 10.
29th of October, 1787, Richmond-Randolpn Lodge, No. 19, was chartered, with
William Waddill as Master, John Dixon, Senior Warden, and David Lambert,
Junior Warden. The members of the two lodges then went earnestly to work; the
remainder of the tickets in the lottery were sold, and the drawing took place
in the Hall June 10, 1788, when over 2400 was realized. This amount served to
satisfy t h e clamors of the workmen or a time, but there was still a large
sum due on the building. May 28, 1791, William Booker, the contractor, filed
his bill in the County Court of Henrico, praying a sale of the building for t
he payment to him of the balance of 247, 18s., 2d. This sum was, however,
advanced to the lodges by Joseph Darmstadt an d the suit dismissed. The Hall
was not completed and the lodges were receiving numerous accessions to their
membership, and among them were many of the most influential citizens of
debt which had embarrassed them was gradually reduced and several years of
the business of the lodge was then transacted in a lodge on the First Degree
of Masonry, and a lodge on the Fourth Degree was opened whenever it became
necessary, for the purpose of raising a Master-elect to the degree of Past
Master. The Steward's Committee were the almoners of the lodge, and made
regular reports at every meeting.
annual festivals of St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist were
occasions of much interest, and the following extract from the Richmond
Gazette, Jan. 4, 1788, will show how they were celebrated:
Thursday last (Dec. 27) being the Festival of St. John the Evangelist, the
ancient and honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons of lodges in this
city went in procession from their hall, with a band of music, to the church,
where their Chaplain delivered a very suitable discourse, after which they
returned, in the same order; and in the evening they concluded with a grand
this time the Masons' Hall was the most popular place in the city; with the
exception of the court house (Main and 22nd streets), it was the only building
east of Shockoe Creek in which public meetings could be held. The large room
on the ground floor was in frequent use as a place of amusement, for public
and political meetings and for religious worship. Three times a week Monsieur
Capers instructed the "youth of both sexes in the most approved court dances
and the latest and most popular figures and steps." Here tke citizens
assembled to instruct their delegates to the convention; on the absorbing
topic of the adoption or rejection of the Federal Constitution. Here grand
balls were given on the Fourth of July and also
22nd of February, the anniversary of the birth of the illustrious General
George Washington, whose exertions, under the smile of heaven, have been
productive of freedom, happiness and glory to a grateful people.
the Hustings Court of the city was held when the General Court was sitting in
the court house, and John Marshall as recorder was having his first judicial
experience; and here, on Sunday afternoon, "dissenting ministers" proclaimed
the new era of religious freedom and preached the gospel of Christ.
1792 the question of title to the property was agitated. Gabriel Galt had died
in 1788 without having made a deed to the property, and the original trustees,
with two exceptions, had died or removed from the city. At the August, 1792,
term of the County Court of Henrico, the surviving trustees filed their bill
in chancery against the widow and heirs at law of Gabriel Galt, praying that
they might be required specifically to perform the contract of said Galt with
them, and make a deed conveying the property. The cause remained on the docket
until the August, 1794, term, when a decree was rendered requiring the
defendants, within thirty days, to execute a deed conveying the property to
John Marshall, Joseph Darmstadt, John Moody, Alexander Yuille, Thomas
Nicholson, Julius B. Dandridge, Jacob L. Cohen, Jacob Ege, John Steward,
William H. Fitzwhylson, John K. Reed, John Crawford, John Dixon and Samuel
McCraw in trust for the sole use and benefit of the Richmond Lodges, No. 10
and No. 19, and their legal representatives and successors forever.
original deed was doubtless executed, but it is no longer in existence. At
that time there was much doubt as to the proper office in which deeds to
property in the city of Richmond should be recorded. Some were recorded in the
County Court of Henrico, some in the Hustings Court of the city, others in
District Court, and many in the office of the General Court. It is presumed
from a recital in a deed to another lot on the same square, that the deed to
this property was recorded in the General Court, the records of which have all
been destroyed. The record in the suit above referred to is, however,
sufficient to show that lodges 10 and 19 have an indefeasible title to the
history of the old Hall and Lodge No. 19 is indeed full of interest. Patriots,
warriors, statesmen and philanthropists, whose fame was not confined to one
hemisphere, have been seated around its lodge altar. From the Grand Lodge,
assembled within its walls, have emanated the charters of nearly all the
lodges in the state. While it is true that the Grand Lodge had its birth
elsewhere, yet here it was nourished to vigor and manhood, and the "Masons'
Hall, on Franklin street, between 18th and 19th street, Richmond, Virginia,
may justly be regarded as the cradle of Virginia Masonry.
Worshipful William Waddill was the first Master of No. 19 and commenced his
administration with four members - three besides himself, viz.: David Lambert,
John Dixon, Sr., and John V. Kautzman. David Lambert was appointed Secretary
and John V. Kautzman, Tiler. The remaining subordinate officers were appointed
as members were received. WorshipfuI William Waddill's administration extended
over a period of two years and was very prosperous, having held one stated
meeting and ten occasional meetings during the month of December, 1787, and a
total of forty-nine meetings during the two years. Twelve brothers joined the
lodge, twenty-two persons were regularly initiated, eleven were passed to the
Degree of Fellowcraft, and ten raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason.
During this period there were no deaths, no withdrawals, and only two persons
recommended whose characters were not good and were consequently rejected.
Erection of Master's Chair in the Hall, Sept. 7, 1791. The lodge having agreed
to the proposition for the erection of a Master's Chair and other
accommodations in the lodge room, the Master appointed Bro. Crawford, Senior
Warden, to inform No. 10 that the lodge desired concurrence in the same. Lodge
No. 10 concurred, and at the next meeting of the Grand Lodge, Oct. 29, 1791,
the Grand Lodge resolved to pay one-third of expenses, not exceeding fifty
pounds. The chair thus erected in the lodge is now in good condition, and used
regularly by the Master of No. 19, and was purchased in England. The Grand
Tiler's sword, used by the Grand Tiler of the Grand Lodge at this time, was
presented to No. 19 by Worshipful Bro. John Dove, and is now suspended over
the same chair.
this time all the business of the lodge was transacted in the First Degree.
5, 1792, the lodge purchased ten tickets in the Richmond Lottery, gotten up to
build a bridge over Shockoe Creek. They drew blanks.
Oct. 3, 1793, the Worshipful Master of No. 19 received a letter under seal of
the Grand Lodge from Right Worshipful Thomas Matthews, Grand Master,
appointing Bro. William Waddill "Inspector-General of Lodges."
first penitentiary house in Virginia was built in Richmond and the cornerstone
laid on the 12th day of August, 1797, and of American Independence the XXII,
by Richmond-Randolph Lodge, No. 19, assisted by the other lodges of the city
following is a copy from the Lodge Records, "Oct. 6, 1824, at a stated meeting
of No. 19, held this evening at Masons' Hall, a communication was received
from Richmond Lodge, No. 10, through Worshipful Bro. John Dove, concerning
suitable arrangements for the reception of Illustrious Worshipful Bro.
Lafayette." A preamble unanimously adopted appointing a committee to confer
with committees of sister lodges, and to carry into effect such measures as
may be deemed by them proper for paying due respect to our illustrious
brother, General Lafayette, when he shall have arrived in this city and
directed the Tiler to draw upon the Treasurer for any expenses attending the
illumination of Masons' Hall.
Reception, etc., to Worshipful General Lafayette Saturday, Oct. 30, 1824. At a
called meeting of Richmond-Randolph Lodge, No. 19, held at Masons' Hall, in
the city of Richmond, the lodge was opened in the First Degree of Masonry in
due form. On motion of Worshipful Brother Cabell, seconded by Brother Ives'
Worshipful Brother Lafayette was unanimously elected an Honorary Member of
this lodge. On motion of Brother Ives, Brother George Washington Lafayette (a
son of Gen. Lafayette) was unanimously elected an Honorary Member of this
lodge. On motion of Brother Anderson, Brother LaVasseur was unanimously
elected an Honorary Member of this lodge. The lodge was then called from labor
lodge, after having joined in a procession, proceeded to the Union Hotel
(corner Main and Nineteenth streets) to partake of a dinner provided in
compliment to Brother General Lafayette. The lodge then escorted that brother
to his lodgings at the "Eagle Hotel" (corner Fifteenth and Main streets) and
returned to the Masons' Hall and resumed labors. Wor. Bro. R. A. Carrington
was Master at this time.
signatures of all the foregoing honorary members appear on the recorded
by-laws of No. 19 preceding the record of this meeting and reception (and have
been inspected by thousands of Masons from all parts of the world).
Nov. 3, 1824, meeting it was resolved that the Master and Wardens of No. 19
procure appropriate certificates of membership, written on parchment, and
present them to the brethren recently elected honorary members.
Bro. Gen. Lafayette died on 20th of May, 1834, and this lodge held suitable
memorial exercises to pay the last sad tribute of respect to our deceased
brother June 23, 1834.
lodge was called Thursday, July 9, 1835, to pay the last sad tribute of
respect to our deceased brother, Worthy Brother John Marshal, Chief Justice
and late Most Worshipful Master of the Grand Lodge of Virginia. The procession
formed and moved to the county court house, where they met the body, and
thence proceeded to the house of the deceased, on the corner of Ninth and
Marshall streets, where a suitable discourse was delivered, thence to Shockoe
burial ground, where the body was interred with the usual Masonic honors.
Judge Marshall was A member of No. 10. Why No. 19 buried him is not known.
There is no record that No. 10 participated.
will close this historical sketch with an impressive scene in No. 19, Dec. 17,
this meeting a most impressive scene was witnessed - that of initiating the
grandson of our esteemed Worthy and ever useful Worshipful Grand Secretary,
John Dove (Win. B. Isaacs, Jr., son of Wm. B. Isaacs, Sr., Past Master of No.
19). This occasion called forth feeling remarks to the time (1817) when No. 36
Lodge was amalgamated with Lodge No. 19, and some twenty or more members of
No. 36 were nominated and elected members of No. 19, and returning their
charter to the Grand Lodge of Virginia. Shortly thereafter (June 24, 1820)
Bro. John Dove became Master of No. 19, continuing, he said:
1842 the father of this candidate (Wm. B. Isaacs, Sr.) became a member of No.
19, and has continued a member to this evening." Turning to the Worshipful
Master, he said: "Thus, Worshipful Sir, you see what very rarely occurs, if it
ever occurred in Virginia, or elsewhere, three generations in good standing,
and present members of our respected lodge, No. 19, over which a John Marshall
and Edmund Randolph presided."
turning to his grandson (the candidate), Bro. Dove explained to him the
importance of keeping well in mind the impressive ceremonies he had just gone
through; and, concluding, he said:
infidel may scoff, the unbeliever sneer, the renegade denounce; yet will we
strive to emulate her noble teachings, and bound by the ties of brotherly love
and affection, continue on until the last setting sun sheds its golden rays
upon the unshaken dome of Freemasonry. But the crowning commentary on this
word 'brother' and the inestimable value of its relations to society is to be
found in the august words of Him who spake as never man spake, when He said,
'Ye have heard it said of them of olden time, thou shalt not kill; and
whosoever shall kill, shall be in danger of the judgment; but I say unto you,
whosoever is angry with his brother, without a cause, shall be in danger of
the judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother Raca, shall be in danger
of hell fire.' Thus, my brother, may we always appreciate our noble
lodge was one hundred years old Oct. 29, 1887, and celebrated its centennial
Oct. 31, 1887, at 8 o'clock, Worshipful Master Judson Cunningham, Master. The
lodge history was read by Wor. Charles P. Rady (now deceased), Historian of
the lodge, and many stirring addresses made, some of the speakers being Grand
Master Drankard, Judge B. R. Wellford, Col. Thomas J. Evans, Senator William
Lovenstein and R. W. William B. Isaacs, Grand Secretary, and others. And thus
could we proceed with the ancient history of the ancient lodge, No. 19, until
volumes would be consumed.
January, 1904, Bro. W. A. Clarke, Jr., while rummaging about the hall for any
relies of the past of historical value, found in the bottom of a closet three
heavy brass candlesticks, or columns, each 21 inches high and of Doric, Ionic
and Corinthian styles of architecture, an old Bible, and an old ballot box.
The candlesticks were green with canker, and were turned over to Bro. W. A.
Beard, of this lodge (now dead), who had them cleaned and polished. He gave
the opinion of expert brass moulders, who had examined them, that they were
very old - at least one hundred years old (opinion given 1904), as they were
probably made before the art of core-making was discovered, being cast in two
lengthwise sections and brazed. The lodge ordered them to be mounted on
suitable pedestals and to be used as the burning tapers about the altar. They
are fine specimens of brass work and have been much admired by the brethren.
What they were used for in the past is not known, but they now serve a very
old wooden columns or candlesticks of Doric, Ionic and Corinthian styles of
architecture, originally used about the altar, are kept in the cloak room of
the lodge, though not now used. They are probably as old as the building, and
from the best information obtainable were in use until 1838, when the
"appropriate chandelier" over the altar, given to the lodge by St. James
Episcopal Church, replaced them.
old Bible is in a fairly good state of preservation. The fly-leaf contains the
following inscription in ink: "Richmond-Randolph Lodge, No. 19, August, A. L.,
5795" (or 1795). This Bible was printed in "Cambridge, England, 1773, by John
Archdeacon, printer to the University," and no doubt adorned the altar of old
19 for a long time in its early years.
ballot box is rather a small one, and appears to be very old. On its sides is
painted: "Richmond Lodge, No. 10, and Richmond-Randolph Lodge, No. 19." It
contained a quantity of white and black peas, which were probably used for
large and handsome triangular shaped brass chandelier now suspended over the
altar was presented to No. 19 on May 2, 1838, by the Vestry of St. James
Episcopal Church, in appreciation of the "very handsome and spirited manner in
which Lodge No. 19 complied with their request to lay the cornerstone of the
NORTHERN CAVALRYMAN'S SABRE
Tuesday, Dec. 20, 1898, a motion was unanimously adopted instructing the
trustees to place on deposit with the Valentine Museum, corner 12th and Clay
streets, this city (in trust for the lodge), the old blue crockery which was
in use in the dining room of Masons' Hall for over one hundred years. The set
consists of six large dishes, three cups, two saucers and fourteen small
plates, all that remains of the original set. They are very old and beautiful
specimens of blue China. There are three different patterns or designs in the
set, the most beautiful being the willow.
of the meetings of the lodge held after the evacuation of Richmond, at the
close of the Civil War, and while the city was under military control, a
number of Northern soldiers who were Masons visited the lodge. One of them
wore his sabre at his side. Before entering the lodge he divested himself of
his sabre and hung it on a hook in the cloak-room. After the lodge closed he
went away and forgot his sabre, and it is still in the hall, a reminder of
those dark days of civil strife. Neither the sabre or belt contains a name or
anything to indicate its ownership.
the city was under military control some of the older members of the lodge,
fearing that some harm might be done the old Hall by disorderly soldiers,
waited upon the commandment of troops and asked for its protection. That
officer (Gen. Godfrey Weitzel, a Mason) was pleased to grant their request,
and a guard was placed at the Hall whenever the sentinels were posted, and no
harm was done it. Mr. John W. Fergusson, an old citizen of Richmond (now
deceased) informed the writer that he well remembers seeing the sentinels
around Masons' Hall in those days.
Jan. 17, 1888, Bro. C. W. Ragland, through the Worshipful Master, Judson
Cunningham, presented the lodge with a handsome set of Wardens' columns, which
were received on behalf of the lodge by Worshipful C. P. Rady.
Tuesday, June 18, 1889, Bro. J. M. Newell, through Wor. Bro. C. P. Brady,
presented the lodge with a very handsome set of Deacon's rods, made of walnut
and jointed with silver bands, inscribed: "Presented to Richmond-Randolph
Lodge, No. 19, by J. M. Newell, 1889." Worshipful Judson Cunningham accepted
the rods in behalf of the lodge. On the same evening Bro. A. B. Crowell
presented the lodge, through Worshipful Judson Cunningham, three gavels made
of wood from the Libby Prison.
Mason & Hamlin organ in the lodge room was given the lodge some years ago by
Bro. E. H. Fergusson.
the administration of Worshipful Judson Cunningham, Bro. (now Worshipful) Ed.
E. Richardson presented the lodge with a large steel knocker, made by himself,
for the lodge room door. It consists of the square, compass and letter G, and
the knocker is a metal gavel.
the pictures in the lodge room is a photograph of His Excellency Most
Worshipful Edmund Randolph, after whom the lodge is named; a photograph of
Bro. William J. Riddick, for eighteen years Secretary of No. 19; a photograph
of the gavel used by Worshipful Brother George Washington in laying the
cornerstone of the Capitol of the United States at Washington, and
subsequently used in laying cornerstones of many important buildings in this
country, and a picture of the Hon. Mrs. Aldworth, the only woman ever made a
P. M. Slaughter presented the lodge with a pretty Masonic emblem, composed of
beautiful minerals and metals from the Rocky Mountains, all enclosed in a neat
history of the old Hall would be incomplete without a reference to the
faithful old negro janitor, Joshua Henley, or Uncle Josh, as he is familiarly
known. He was over eighty years old when he died, and a genuine old-time
Virginia darkey, a type of whom, unfortunately, so few remain. He became
janitor in 1867 and remained until February, 1904, when he was relieved by the
trustees of active duties, given a pension by the lodge, and a home secured
for him, in appreciation of the thirty-seven years of faithful service he
rendered in taking such good care of the property entrusted to him. Although
not required to do so, he came to the Hall every meeting night as long as he
lived. Upon giving up his charge, he turned over to the trustees eight massive
iron keys of ancient design, which he said were given him when he took charge
of the building. Most of the big locks which they fitted have been removed and
modern locks with small keys substituted. The old keys will be preserved as
relies of the past.
eventful evening was held Monday, Feb. 8, 1909, when Worshipful Leonard G.
Roberts, Master of St. John's Lodge, Boston, Mass. (chartered July 30, 1733),
the oldest lodge in America, visited No. 19, to pay a fraternal visit from the
oldest lodge to this, the oldest Masonic building in America. He was
accompanied by Grand Master Joseph W. Eggleston and other Virginia Grand Lodge
officers. The officers of No. 19 were all clad in colonial costumes. The
address of Bro. Roberts was most masterly. No. 19 presented St. John's Lodge a
framed picture of the Hall and a set of working tools made of wood taken from
the building. The fraternal relations thus established between these two
lodges were further cemented when, on Oct. 30, 1922, R. Wor. Harry N.
Shepherd, Past Master of St. John's Lodge, visited No. 19 and presented it
with a large and handsome silver facsimile of the seal of St. John's Lodge, on
the reverse side of which is inscribed: "Presented to Richmond-Randolph Lodge,
No. 19, A. F. & A. M., Richmond, Virginia, at its 135th anniversary, Oct. 30,
1922, by St. John's Lodge, Boston, Mass."
the records of the lodge, from its institution to the present time, have been
preserved and are safely kept in a fireproof vault. From them and from other
sources a much better history can be written, which we will leave for a more
competent historian to write.
MEEKREN, Editor in Charge
Thiemeyer, Research Editor
I. CLEGG, Illinois
GILBERT W. DAYNES, England
H. DERN, Utah
CHARLES F. IRWIN, Pennsylvania
E. MORCOMBE, California
C. PARKER, New York
HUGO TATSCH, Iowa
M. WHITED, California
E. W WILLIAMSON Nevada
CORRESPONDENT, an American Mason of Italian descent, wishes to know why
American Masonry has not given any sympathy to the trials and persecutions to
which Italian Masons have been subjected in their own country. We presume that
an official expression is what is intended, for there have been many
sympathetic reports of what has happened in the American Masonic press
situation from the official point of view undoubtedly presents difficulties.
In the first place a majority of our Grand Lodges did not "recognize" either
of the two Italian governing bodies, the Grand Orient and the Grand Lodge.
There have thus been many good brethren who have taken it for granted that
Italian Masonry was a political and irreligious organization and was only
meeting its more or less just deserts. This general prejudice, based though it
is on ignorance of actual conditions, has had its effect.
Recently there has been a kind of treaty arranged between Mussolini and the
United Grand Lodge of England, in which the Italian dictator acknowledges a
difference between the Masonry of England and that of Italy. As this has been
reported in the Masonic press it would, at first glance, appear to be an
impertinence on Mussolini's part and a little undignified on the part of the
United Grand Lodge. It has been the occasion of some complacent
self-congratulation that English speaking Masons are not as their brethren of
other nationalities, but of far superior clay. Really this is not at all a
just or exact estimate of what was done. The Italian laws and edicts made no
exceptions, it was a crime for any citizen of Italy to be a Mason, a crime to
be avenged on his relatives if he were out of reach. The Grand Lodge of
England was only doing its duty in seeking to gain an exemption from the
strict application of these laws to those Italians who were resident in
England and were members of English lodges. Mussolini, to save his face in
agreeing to such exemption, had to differentiate between the two brands of
Masonry. Thus he was enabled with some superficial show of reason and
consistency, to hold Italian Masonry guilty of all the crimes and treasons of
which it has been accused, while making the exceptions in favor of English
Masons of Italian allegiance. No one however is likely to believe that this
exception was made from any real conviction of a difference. It was a matter
of political and diplomatic expediency solely. In the eyes of autocrats all
Freemasonry is equally pernicious. Its very virtues only make it more
dangerous to despotism. Like the early Christians in the Roman Empire, it is
not what Freemasons do, but what they are, that the reactionary forces are
afraid of. In countries possessing free institutions this is most difficult to
to some extent, official action of the kind desiderated by our correspondent
has been inhibited by prejudice and misinformation as to the facts. But there
has been another, and much more fraternal motive as well. One that has
definitely operated in the case of those more enlightened Grand Lodges that
knew the real character of, and had recognized, Italian Masonry. This was the
well-grounded fear that such action could do no good, and was practically
certain to do great harm. Grand Master Torrigiani himself begged his friends
in other countries to take no such action; and his fears were justified, for
the protests that were made by various European Grand Bodies only added fuel
to the fire of persecution. However such abstention from official expression
of opinion need not be interpreted as lack of sympathy. Nor does there seem to
be any logical necessity to construe it into a prohibition of any mention of
the subject, or presentation of the facts, either in Masonic lodges or other
assemblies of Masons.
* * *
SCOPE OF RESEARCH
May number we expressed ourselves editorially upon the question of the scope
of a Masonic journal, what subjects may be considered proper to discuss in its
pages, and what improper. And as such questions can hardly be answered without
some guiding principle we attempted a preliminary analysis for the purpose of
trying to discover something of the sort. So far as we are aware it is a point
that has hardly ever been explicitly raised and certainly has never been fully
then we have had some interesting letters from several members of the Society,
who seem on the whole inclined to disagree with the position taken, though on
the other hand there is not much more agreement between their several points
of view. One brother, for example, comes directly to cases. He grants a wide
liberty in the choice of subjects to Masonic periodicals generally, but would
restrict it in the case of a research organ such as THE BUILDER. Rather
unfortunately he did not give his reasons for this judgment. We are inclined
to believe that he is not alone in this view, however, and it may be well to
consider this aspect of the general problem more closely, for there seem to be
certain misapprehensions that obscure the judgment. Such an opinion must rest,
it would seem, upon a conception of what Masonic Research is, and we suppose
that this conception must be a narrow one. There is some cause for this, if
not any very good reason. Masonic Research began and has developed almost
entirely upon the purely historical side. This is due, however, to purely
extraneous conditions, for "research" is not merely a synonym for historical
investigation. The history of the institution had become so swathed in and
distorted by myth and legend, that this was naturally the place where those
brethren who desired to know the truth began their labors of clearing away the
rubbish and laying foundations for a new and more stable structure. Thus, for
the mere reason that the great majority of really sound Masonic students have
dealt with historical aspects of the Craft, it has been quite natural for
everyone to think that Masonic research had to do only with Masonic history.
surely, it only needs to state this in so many words for everyone to see that
it is a wholly arbitrary and needless limitation. After all, any subject
whatever that has a connection with Freemasonry (and there are few major
subjects that do not touch it somewhere) is a proper subject for investigation
by critical and scientific methods. There are mistakes and errors to be
corrected, principles to be established, new connecting links to be noted, and
everywhere differing opinions to be noted and discussed. Here again, as we
said previously, it resolves itself into a question of treatment rather than
any arbitrary delimitation of subject. Not even "news," which in general is
out of place in such a magazine as THE BUILDER, can be wholly excluded. There
are many things that are "news" at the time they occur, that should be
recorded for their historical value, as well as, often enough, as illustrating
the various tendencies and "movements" that are always affecting every living
organization in a changing world.
are told that nothing bearing at all on practical matters; nothing dealing
with the problems of the moment, should ever be a subject of research, nor
discussed in the pages of THE BUILDER. The doctrine seems rather strange.
While we are far from holding that intellectual curiosity should be set to
labor in fetters solely for the sake of practical activity, nevertheless it is
a happy coincidence in the nature of things that any item of knowledge may
turn out to be of the most practical value, and it is certain that the average
intelligent man (either in or out of the Craft) will support research of any
kind chiefly for the sake of its practical value. It is for the reason that
Masonic study has been so abstract that the majority of Masons have neglected
it and passed it by.
advocacy of any special cause or movement is, from this restricted view of
which we speak, very improper in a research periodical. Our support of the
Tuberculosis Campaign has been criticised on these grounds. We have defended
this before on the grounds that we are Masons first and Masonic students
second, and that certain duties and obligations rest upon all Masons alike.
This defense we hold to be quite sufficient. But it can further be insisted
that there is a real place for research in such questions as this. There is
information to be collected, verified and disseminated for one thing, and the
best methods to solve the problems presented can only be decided after full
discussion. We might here paraphrase the well-known passage from Milton and
say that we do not love a "cloistered knowledge" that avoids the arena of
practical affairs, and its "dust and heat." The facts concerning any need for
Masonic benevolence cannot be barred from the purview of Masonic research, nor
the investigation of ways and means of exercising it. It is only on arbitrary
limitation that this appears even plausible. Research cannot be divorced from
action. Ultimately, even if only at times indirectly, all knowledge acquired
has a bearing on what we do and how we do it.
EVERY word that is not limited to the simplest and most definite signification
is capable of being used with different shades of meaning and thus of
collecting very different associations in the minds of individuals. It is in
this way that words change their significance, and either ascend the scale or
become "degraded," as philologists say. The word charity, one of the noblest
in origin in our language, is an example of a word on the downward path. Taken
by the translators of the English version of the Bible to represent the Greek
word for love, in its purest and highest meanings, it has come to be too often
used for cold and heartless almsgiving. Toleration is another word that is
frequently misused in the same way. In both cases the tendency to degradation
in meaning is due, it would seem, to the employment of the words to designate
actions or attitudes unworthy of the name. Virtues are always being imitated
in outward show for selfish ends, and words are always a convenient cloak.
Through its misuse toleration is coming to mean to many Masons an unworthy
laxity and indifference of opinion. Less generally, it is taken as designating
an arrogant and snobbish condescension. This tendency should be checked if
possible for there are other words to use for these purposes and we need the
word toleration in its proper sense, just as we need the word charity. The
language would be definitely the poorer if they were lost.
Toleration of other people's beliefs and opinions, does not imply a
self-sufficient indifference to them nor yet a lack of any belief or
principles of our own. Toleration properly speaking can exist only between
equals. We do not tolerate the naive ideas of children nor yet the ignorance
of the illiterate. Tolerance is really the same thing in the realm of opinion
and belief that probity and honesty are in material things. It is a
recognition on its own plane that other people have a right to their own
opinions just as they have a right to their goods and chattels, and the wealth
they have lawfully acquired.
The analogy is illuminating. No community or aggregate of human beings is
perfectly logical and systematic. Its customs, conventions, laws and
regulations are the result of an evolution determined by practical
considerations. By compromises and adaptations to meet new situations with the
least possible alteration and disturbance of existing habits and customs a
modus vivendi is arrived at. A state of affairs that, difficult as it may be
to realize, is always to some extent fluid and unfixed. We find, therefore,
that the individual is not free to possess any and every kind of material
objects without restriction, and still less entirely free to make, transport
or buy and sell them. Poisons, narcotics, explosives and the like will occur
at once as being in this category. In exactly the same way, no community,
civilized or savage, is absolutely tolerant in regard to ideas and opinions.
The intolerance may be in any given case a mistaken policy, but its motive is
sound enough. A social unit instinctively condemns ideas that have, or seem to
have, a tendency to disrupt it.
no longer burn people at the stake for heresy, and we are apt to plume
ourselves on the fact. But it is far from assured that we have really made
much advance, except perhaps in humanizing the penalties provided by our laws.
Heresy once meant the disruption of the social organism. To understand the
situation we should substitute political for religious doctrine. Communists to
us are what the Albigenses or Lollards were to Mediaeval states.
Toleration is thus an ideal, like liberty, but it is an ideal that could only
be realized in an ideal state. Toleration is indeed only the formal expression
of liberty in the realm of opinion and belief. It remains always to some
extent a compromise, and the limitations to freedom of thought, like those to
freedom of action are purely practical, and should not be greater than are
necessary to prevent interference with the rights of others or the well being
of society. We are slowly learning that repressions and inhibitions are worse
in their effects than the diseases they are employed to cure, both in the body
politic and the individual mind. Tolerance, in this sense, is an essential
characteristic of Freemasonry. Not fully or logically worked out perhaps, but
generally in advance of the community at large. And in Masonry, toleration is
felt to be the result of knowledge and understanding of the position and point
of view of those with whom we disagree.
Communicated by Bro.
Chas, H. Merz, Ohio
I have read with interest
the communication by T.H.P., of Illinois, in the May number of THE BUILDER. It
calls to mind the following item which appeared in a recent issue of the
Sandusky Masonic Bulletin, which was apropos of the following statement quoted
from another periodical:
"It (the Gallows Square)
is the ordinary carpenter's square, one leg 18 inches long and the other 12,
which makes it look like a gallows if stood on end, the short leg ready to
swing the culprit. One sees it occasionally in old Masonic illustrations. But
the real Masonic square is a little try-square, the legs of which are equal."
In comment upon this the
There are some things in
this connection which the writer of the above paragraph has not taken into
consideration. There is a form of square proper to be used as a "Great Light"
in each degree in Masonry, and there is a manner of placing the proper
symbolic geometric figure in each degree. Masonry I founded on geometry. The
compasses and square are called second and third Great Lights. It has been
asserted that square of equal limbs has no place in Masonry, and that the
square of unequal limbs is not a Masonic implement. What wonder that there is
confusion on this point.
The square of equal limbs
(equilateral triangle) is the representative, in geometry, of the Divine in
its essence or being; the right-angled triangle (the square) represents the
Divine existence, operation, or works. Each has its own proper and peculiar
place in the degrees. The reasons may not be given here.
Again, the Operative
Mason's Square is the true square of Freemasonry, and it is met with more
frequently in early symbolism than the so-called Speculative Square.
It is sufficient to say
here that the square mentioned in the above quotation as the gallows square
pertains more particularly to the E. A. and F. C. Degrees. It is not proper to
explain its particular use and positions in these degrees, but they may be
readily learned by every Mason with a little study and reflection. Reference
to the accompanying illustration will help make this clear.
The square of equal limbs
finds its application particularly in the second section of the Master's
Degree. The rightangled triangle is the prime symbol throughout the "work" in
all the degrees, and equilateral in the finality. The Masonic student who is
desirous of informing himself upon this subject more fully, will find much to
interest him in Bromwell's Masonic Geometry and Symbolry Restored.
[It is curious how
mistakes concerning easily ascertainable matters of fact are copied by one
writer from another with never a thought of verification. By the "carpenter's
square" in the quotation given above is presumably meant the steel square so
widely used in this country. Its dimensions are, however, the blade
twenty-four inches long and two inches wide, the "tongue" or shorter arm,
sixteen inches long and one and a half inches wide. Many masons use this same
kind of square, though there is one expressly made for stone cutters which
differs chiefly in the size, the tongue being two feet long and the blade two
feet and a half-thirty inches. It is not graduated so finely, showing only
eighths of an inch instead of sixteenths. But it must be remembered, and
insisted upon, that this type of square is a modern American invention. No
argument can be based upon it regarding the "proper" or original form of,
mason's square. Ed.]
THE STUDY CLUB
A pamphlet on "How to
Organize and Maintain a Study Club" will be sent free on request, in
quantities to fifty
Lodge Quatuor Coronati, No. 2076
EVERY reading Mason, no matter how superficial his interest in Masonic
Research, has at some time met with the letters A.Q.C. Reference to the list
of abbreviations used in the text will tell him that these letters stand for
Ars Quatuor Coronatorum. Less frequently he encounters the letters Q.C.A. In
like manner he learns that these mean Quatuor Coronatorum Antigrapha. To many
neither of these inscriptions mean very much, but the Masonic student
recognizes therein the sign of Lodge Quatuor Coronati, and the implied
meanings are many. The American Mason generally knows little or nothing about
this famous research body. Only too frequently he is unable even to pronounce
the name. It is because everyone in the least interested in Masonic Research
should know something about this lodge that we are devoting this month's Study
Club page to it.
For nearly half a century No. 2076 has been functioning as a Research Lodge.
The oldest body of its kind in the world, it set for itself at the very
beginning the highest of Scholastic standards. It has maintained those
standards through all the years of its existence. In spite of the fact that
other lodges have Since been chartered with similar purposes, Quatuor Coronati
still stands upon the pinnacle, and the aim of every research writer is to see
his name included among the list of contributors to the Transactions of this
lodge, which have for their title, Ars Quatuor Coronatorum. Such an inclusion
immediately places an author in the forefront among Masonic scholars.
The Transactions of the Lodge are published three times each year. The three
parts, together with the title page, St. John's Card and Index which accompany
Part III of each year's publication, constitute one volume. Included in the
Transactions are accounts of every meeting of the lodge, the paper read at
each meeting, what was said in the discussion of the paper, and occasionally
other treatises which have not been read, but which are deemed worthy of
inclusion in this publication.
Before leaving the subject of the publications of the lodge, let us briefly
touch upon the history, aims and membership of the group itself. Chartered in
1884 as the pioneer Research Lodge in the world, it had for its first Master,
Sir Charles Warren, whose name is so well known in connection with
archaeological work in Palestine, and equally noted for his brilliant record
in the military forces of England. Associated with him was George William
Speth, whose work on Builders' Rites is still eagerly sought, though rarely
obtained, by Masonic students. Bro. Speth became the first editor of A.Q.C.,
and the Lodge Transactions owe much of their present form to his untiring
effort in this field. Bro. Speth was succeeded in this position by Bro. W. H.
Rylands, an indefatigable worker and frequent contributor to the publication,
as well as editor of Volume I of the Records of Antiquity Lodge, No. 2. This
work has long been unobtainable and just recently has been reprinted under the
editorship of Capt. Firebrace, who scarcely a year ago had published the
second volume of the lodge history. Bro. Rylands was followed by Bro. W. J.
Songhurst, the present Secretary of the lodge and editor of its publications.
Membership in the Inner Circle, or rather the active membership of the lodge,
has always been limited to forty by the bylaws. The high literary and
Scholastic standing of the founders has insured the maintenance and the
qualifications originally set. It has never happened, in the forty-four years
of the lodge's existence, that the membership roll was filled. Among the many
well-known names to be found upon it are those of William James Hughan, who
first published a critical collection of the old MS. Constitutions, Robert
Freke Gould, the famous Masonic historian, and Count Goblet d'Alviella,
statesman and scholar, author of the much sought after work, The Migration of
Symbols. Without special reference to their accomplishments may also be
mentioned, Dr. Chetwode Crawley, W. Wonnacott (both unfortunately deceased),
John T. Thorp, Arthur Heiron, E. H. Dring, Lionel Vibert, J. Heron Lepper and
Gilbert W. Daynes, the names of whom are all more or less familiar to American
Masonic students. Is there any reason for wonder that Quatuor Coronati Lodge
still ranks first among bodies devoted to Masonic Research?
The purposes of the lodge are set forth as follows:
To provide a center and bond of union for Masonic students.
To attract intelligent Masons to its meetings, in order to imbue them with a
love for Masonic research.
To submit the discoveries or conclusions of students to the judgment and
criticism of their fellows by means of papers read in lodge.
To submit these communications and the discussions arising thereon to the
general body of the Craft by publishing, at proper intervals, the Transactions
of the Lodge in their entirety.
To tabulate concisely, in the printed Transactions of the Lodge, the progress
of the Craft throughout the world.
To make the English-speaking Craft acquainted with the progress of Masonic
study abroad, by translations (in whole or part) of foreign works.
To reprint scarce and valuable works on Freemasonry, and to publish
To form a Masonic Library and Museum.
To acquire permanent London premises, and open a readingroom for the members.
There is no need to comment upon the methods followed for accomplishing these
aims except to say that the lodge owns its own domicile at 27 Great Queen
street, and there maintains a library, museum and reading-room. The seventh
clause has been in part fulfilled by the publication of ten volumes of
Reprints, the Q.C.A. earlier mentioned. The first six objects are fulfilled by
the publication of the Transactions and the establishment of a Correspondence
Circle in conjunction with the Active Membership.
may be said now that a complete set of A.Q.C. of which thirty-eight complete
volumes have been published, is very difficult to obtain and, unfortunately,
those sets which are in existence are not always available to students of
Freemasonry. There is doubtless, no more complete and no more accurate source
of information relative to Masonic history available than A.Q.C. Practically
every theory of the origin of the Institution is discussed therein; almost
every outstanding character in the early history of the Grand Lodge is
represented by a biographical sketch; the ritual is traced from its earliest
beginnings; in fact A.Q.C. occupies much the same position in the world of
Masonic knowledge as the Encyclopedia Britannica occupies in general
Membership in the Correspondence Circle is open to Master Masons owing
allegiance to any Grand Jurisdiction in official communication with the United
Grand Lodge of England. Such 3 members enjoy all of the privileges of active
members except voting and holding office. There are some 3600 members of this
group at present. It is the desire of the lodge to increase the membership to
approximately four thousand. During the past fifteen years Quatuor Coronati
Lodge has been laboring under severe handicaps. Due to the war and the rapid
increase in the price of everything connected with printing, they have been
unable to publish all of their Transactions. At the present time this
deficiency has been reduced to approximately two years. We are informed that
there is much valuable material ready which should be made available to the
Masonic student through the medium of Q.C.A. This will be done as soon as
funds are available.
Two methods of accomplishing these purposes are suggested. The members of the
Correspondence Circle have been asked to assist in increasing membership in
this group, and a publication fund has been established. THE BUILDER welcomes
the opportunity to be of service to Quatuor Coronati Lodge and is sure that
there are many American Masons who will be more than willing to cooperate in
this movement to promulgate Masonic knowledge. We are not positive, but we
believe that every member of our editorial Staff is a member of the
Correspondence Circle. For the information of the members of the Society, the
joining fee is twenty-one shillings, approximately $5, included in this fee is
the first year's dues and the complete current volume of the Transactions. The
annual dues are 10s. 6d, about $2.50. In addition to new memberships
subscriptions in any amount are solicited for the publication of additional
volumes of Q.C.A. It is our understanding that with 500 additional members and
a publication fund of approximately $8,000 the lodge will have ample money to
bring its work up to date. With 4,000 Correspondence Circle members it will be
possible to carry on as before the war, without increasing the fees, which are
today the same as they were forty-four years ago. It may be well to state that
none of the funds solicited are for the purpose of paying debts. The lodge is
free of all but current obligations. The additional funds are to be used
entirely for publication purposes.
Subscriptions to the Publication Fund and applications for membership in the
Correspondence Circle should be by postal money order made payable to W. J.
Songhurst, Sec'y, 27 Great Queen St., London, W. C. 2, England. We shall be
very glad to recommend any member of the N.M.R.S. for this purpose. Lodges and
Study Clubs and Libraries are eligible for membership as well as individual
brethren. We shall be glad to furnish any additional information required to
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.
LEGISLATION OF THE CRAFT. By Lionel Vibert, P.D.S.G.W. Madras, etc. Inaugural
Address delivered at Bristol on Sept. 29, 1927, as President of the Bristol
Masonic Society. Paper, 15 pages. Privately printed.
PAPERS read at the 150th Anniversary of the Founding of the York Lodge, No.
236. York and the Craft through the Centuries. By' W. Bro. Lionel Vibert.
Also, The Founding and Early Years of the Union Lodge, No. 504, by W. Bro. W.
R. Makins. Paper, 39 pages, privately printed at York on the presses of W.
Bros. C. B. and G. V. Johnson.
VIBERT, who as is well known to readers of THE BUILDER is an authority on the
early history of the Craft, has touched on a subject, in the first of the two
pamphlets under review, that has not received anything like the attention its
importance deserves. The paper is a very brief one, and within its narrow
compass it was naturally impossible to do much more than mention a number of
points that one could wish to see fully developed. Bro. Vibert divides the
consideration of Masonic Legislation, or Jurisprudence, into three periods.
One before the gilds and fraternities had been made the subject of civil
enactments. The second, that during which Masonic regulations were modified
under the pressure of the requirements of the state, the third being the era
of Grand Lodge Constitutions. The first period lasted to the reign of Henry
VI, Bro. Vibert holds which will not mean much to most American readers.
Perhaps if we substituted the name of Joan of Are it might be better
Black Death or, as it is now called, bubonic plague, so reduced the population
of England in the years 1347-1350 that the economic balance of the, social
organism was totally upset. The ruling classes tried hard to keep wages and
prices at the old level, but in spite of laws and penalties the lack of supply
to meet the demand had its effect. The first Statute of Laborers was passed in
1351, re-enacting an Ordinance of two years earlier. From that time on such
laws were repeatedly re-enacted, with apparently but small effect, as the
preambles of each successive act confesses. At first they confined their
provisions to agricultural laborers and servants; but very soon artificers
were included as well, among them Freemasons.
Masonic code of the earliest period is represented only by the Regius Poem and
the Cooke MS. The law is divided into three parts, Charges, Manners and what
Bro. Vibert calls "the Rule." 'This term appears to be taken from the passage
in the Cooke MS., that "kynge adhelstone," and his council, for the great
default found among Masons, "ordeyned a certayne reule" among them, that once
a year or once in three years, "congreciones" should be held in different
provinces and "countries."
Charges in these two earliest documents are chiefly concerned with the
relations of Masons to the public and their employers. The "points" of the
"Manners," or as the Regius MS. calls them Plures Constituciones, deal almost
entirely with the behavior, morals, of the individual Mason and his relations
with his fellows.
Vibert says the Charges and Manners are fairly clear, but
whether owing to faulty transcription or to a faulty MS. that the Scribe was
working on, the Rule has come down to us in a very confused manner.
is quite possible, yet it seems fairly plain that the two accounts provide for
periodical assemblies, called congregations, in different centers, of all the
Masons working or domiciled within the surrounding district, up a radius of
sixty miles according to some later versions. And that such "congregations”
had power to legislate, if there were need, for the whole Craft within the
district, but their particular function was that of a, court to decide
disputes, punish offenders, and to "pass masters," if a modern phrase is
permissible, examining the candidates', (whether apprentices who had served
their time, or others is not, said) and giving them their charge.
Vibert holds that such assemblies were regularly held up till the period of
the various Statutes of Laborers. In the third year of Henry VI an act was
passed specifically forbidding the "yearly congregations" and "general
assemblies" of the Masons. This was in 1425, but in 1460 a statute was enacted
that prohibited "all alliances and covins of masons and carpenters" and "the
congregations, chapters, ordinances and caths betwixt them made." Bro. Vibert
thinks the law of Henry VI was effective and that the assemblies were no
longer held. He bases this belief upon the fact that the later versions of the
Constitutions divide the laws of the Craft into two parts instead of three.
The "Rule" disappears, and the articles and points of the two earliest
documents become "Charges General and Special"; as he says:
. . .
it is significant that there are now no instructions as to the Assembly beyond
the bare recital that the Mason is bound to attend it and there to stand to
the award of his fellows.
additional confirmation is instanced in the complaint of the Masons at Norwich
in 1491 that "since they are forbidden to convene their meetings they are
unable to appoint masters and frame or enforce regulations."
is no doubt that the question is a very obscure one. The Statutes undoubtedly
had effect - at times and in places. It is hard to say that they were
effective equally everywhere, and we know they were not effective all the
time. The fact that all the later documents continue to insist on the absolute
duty of masters and fellows to attend the Congregation or Assembly may be
significant of their continued existence here and there sufficiently at least
to keep the tradition alive. The point is not one of mere antiquarian
curiosity, for if such general assemblies did persist in some form or other,
then the Grand Lodge of 1716-1717 was not the complete, innovation it is now
generally considered to be by students of Masonic history.
first of the two papers in the second pamphlet is a sketch of the history of
Masonry in York. The first part deals with the early legends that ascribe the
organization of the Craft in England to the Assembly held there under the
Athelstan or Edwin. There is much information concerning the customs and
regulation of working Masons during the Middle Ages, to be derived from the
documents in the archives of York Minister. Much of this is quite well known,
but it is possible that valuable information still awaits discovery by
diligent research workers.
records of the old lodge at York begin in 1712. The usual interpretation of
the facts concerning it, which Bro. Vibert takes for granted, is that an old
lodge had existed there for an indefinite period - perhaps a very long one,
perhaps not - and that moved by the reorganization of the Fraternity in London
by four old lodges there, it decided to form itself into a Grand Lodge. Our
strict legalists of the older school have always been inclined to hold this a
highly irregular proceeding upon the grounds that a Grand Lodge must be formed
out of several - three at least private or particular lodges. That the York
body borrowed the term "Grand Lodge" is practically certain, but that in doing
so it changed its character or claimed new powers is not at all certain. We
are peculiarly liable to interpret the scanty vestiges of the past in the
light of our present organization, and to suppose that the terms we use meant
the same thing then that they do now. The York records can quite consistently
be interpreted in another way altogether. The St. John's Day meetings of
Masons in York may have been regarded as an Assembly, in the meaning of the
Old Charges, at which every Mason within reach was supposed to appear - even
if in 1712 this might have been more in theory than practice. If so, the use
of the new and more magniloquent term "Grand Lodge" instead of "General
Assembly" may have been effectually concealing the fact that the ancient
traditional organization persisted at York till well within the "Grand Lodge
Vibert concludes with a discussion of the origin and original meaning of the
term "York work." There has been much confusion about the term, and its origin
has been ascribed to downright dishonesty on the part of Laurence Dermott. But
we must agree with Bro. Vibert that Dermott meant, not Masonry as practiced at
York in his own day, but the original Masonry of the traditional York
Assembly, which the Ancients claimed to have maintained in its purity as
against the innovations and improvements of the Moderns.
second of the two papers is a sketch of the history of York Lodge, No. 236,
originally Union Lodge, No. 504, the 150th anniversary of which was the
occasion of both addresses. Bro. Makins is a Past Master of the Lodge and an
authority on the history and antiquities of the Craft in the North of England.
He has been for some years now Assistant Librarian to Grand Lodge.
the York Lodge was founded the old Lodge of York was still in existence, and
there was also a military lodge warranted by the Ancients at work in the city.
rather curious to note that even in a new lodge authorized by the Moderns in
1774 that Provincial affairs were mixed up with the private business. It thus
happens that in the minutes of the Apollo Lodge under date of 1777 is recorded
the petition of several brethren to receive authority to form themselves into
a lodge - the lodge in fact that became Union Lodge and has continued its
existence to the present day. It would seem that in York it was hard for
Masons in the 18th century to distinguish clearly between a private lodge and
a general governing body such as we call a Grand Lodge. It may be that there
is much yet to be learned from the Masonic records of the North of England if
we could only find the right key to unlock the secret of their meaning.
* * *
SYMBOLISM: Its Meaning and Effect. By Alfred North Whitehead. The Macmillan
Company. Cloth, Table of Contents, 88 Pages. Price, $1.50.
author of this little book is a professor of philosophy in Harvard, with
degree of Doctor of Science from five different universities, LL.D. from
another, Fellow of the Royal Society, and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge
University. It consists of three lectures delivered in 1927 and published by
the University of Virginia.
Insofar as the man of the street can apprehend the meaning of words, the title
is misleading. The Mason, for instance, who understands that the lamb is a
symbol of innocence, that the Bible is a symbol of divine truth, that light is
a symbol of knowledge and darkness of ignorance, and so on, will find but.
little in the book that is of direct interest. It is a book for
metaphysicians, but not for poets.
this, however, is not to belittle the book. It is a profound discussion,
briefly combining the sciences of being, knowing and thinking from the
metaphysical realistic angle, in its application to the psychological
processes of the development of civilized society.
Broadly speaking, in the author's use of language, all knowledge is symbolic.
It might seem at first blush as if he were a pronounced idealist and skeptic
as to reality. For, "things-in-themselves" cannot pass through the alembic of
the brain. All the knowledge we derive from sense-presentations is
representative and not real. The landscape does not become a part of us merely
because its lights, shadows and colors have left a sense impression upon the
nerves and organs of sight. It is only an image, or picture of the landscape
that we retain. And the author calls this image or picture a symbol. So with
all sense-presentations, whether through sight, hearing or the modifications
the author is in fact a metaphysical realist. He reminds the present reviewer
of Sir William Hamilton's view that we must accept the revelations of our
senses as true. "The root of our nature cannot be a lie." In the author's
view, that direct knowledge which comes from "presentational immediacy," or
what is usually known as sense perception, is infallible; what we have
experienced is experienced beyond all possibility of doubt. It is not in the
experience that we are liable to err, but in the symbolic reference of
perceptive data, by which are induced actions, feelings, emotions and beliefs
about things, which are mere notions without that exemplification in the outer
world which the symbolism leads us to suppose.
defines symbolism thus:
human mind is functioning symbolically when some components of its experience
elicit consciousness, beliefs, emotions, and usages, respecting other
components of its experience. The former set of components are the symbols,
and the latter set constitute the "meaning" of the symbols.
organic functioning, whereby the transition is made from the symbol to the
meaning, the author calls "symbolic reference."
symbolic reference is an activity of the percipient, although it may be
intuitive. The author calls it "self-production," and bases moral
responsibility upon it. "The potter," he says, "and not the pot, is
responsible for the shape of the pot." There is no indication of religious
belief, however, in the author's discussion, either of pantheism, or of old
Tom Carlyle's distinction of "pot-theism," despite this reference to the pot.
On the contrary, the determinism of Carlyle appears to be substituted by
freedom of the will in self -production.
somewhat in doubt as to the author's all-inclusive treatment of symbolism. For
are a poet and wish to write a lyric on trees, you will walk into the forest
in order that the trees may suggest the appropriate words. Thus for the poet
in his ecstacy - or perhaps, agony - of composition the trees are the symbols
and the words are the meaning. He concentrates on the trees in order to get at
the words. . . . For us, the words are the symbols which enable us to capture
the rapture of the poet in the forest.
true that words are signs, or symbols, of ideas. In their original adoption
they must have been purely arbitrary and conventional signs, without any
symbolic reference whatever beyond the mere recall of the idea signified. They
only become actually symbolic as distinguished from a mere sign, after they
have become a part of the unconscious mechanism of thought. But after they
become symbols, our judgment is that they remain symbols, and the poet,
instead of symbolizing language with trees, simply uses the symbols of
language to symbolize the feelings induced by the trees.
the first lecture is devoted to sense perception under the phrase
"presentational immediacy," the second treats of "causal efficacy," which
includes both the subjective and objective sides of perception in its
cognition of phenomena as simple cogs in a world unified as a relational whole
in space and time. He attributes this cognition to pure perception, and not to
a subsequent judgment. He disputes Hume's skeptical view that thinking and
judging are mere habits of thought on the one hand; and on the other he
disputes Kant's position that such judging is a category of thought. It is
this view of "causal efficacy" on the part of the author that distinguishes
him as a metaphysical realist from the skepticism of Hume or the idealism of
Kant. His view of time is that it is the scope of concrete succession rather
than the mere scope of duration.
conclusion of the second lecture is that symbolism provides the higher animals
with the power to forecast with some degree of probable accuracy the features
of the immediate future, but not infallibly, and therefore with the risk of
error and consequent disaster.
third lecture is so full of matter that it is impossible to give an
intelligible synopsis of it. It is entitled "Uses of Symbolism." Man's
attitude toward symbolism is an unstable mixture of attraction and repulsion.
But however much you may expel it, it ever returns. It is inherent in the very
texture of human life. When you eliminate symbolistic ceremonials from state
affairs, at once private institutions began to develop the masquerade. It
would seem that the author is hylozoistic in his biological views. For
is nothing else than a society of molecules indulging in every species of
activity open to molecules. I draw attention to this lowly form of society in
order to dispel the notion that social life is a peculiarity of the higher
organisms. The contrary is the case. So far as survival value is concerned, a
piece of rock, with its past history of some eight hundred millions of years,
far outstrips the span attained by any nation.
general conclusion of the book is that the progress of society is dependent
upon its symbolism, and this symbolism is undergoing constant changes in the
effort to adapt itself to the continual changes in social life and ideals. The
differing meanings evolved from symbolic reference as made by individuals
divides them into two classes, conservatives and radicals, comparable to the
two forces operating in circular motion, the centrifugal and centripetal; one
tending to centralize power at the expense of freedom, and the other to fly
off into space at a tangent at the expense of integrity.
the first step in sociological wisdom to recognize that the major advances in
civilization are processes which all but wreck the societies in which they
occur - like an arrow in the hand of a child. The art of free society consists
first in the maintenance of the symbolic code; and secondly in fearlessness of
revision, to secure that the code serves those purposes which satisfy an
enlightened reason. Those societies which cannot combine reverence to their
symbols with freedom of revision, must ultimately decay either from anarchy,
or from the slow atrophy of a life stifled by useless shadows.
as a whole, it is both interesting and instructive to the student of sociology
from a metaphysical and psychological basis; but the rhetorician, unless he
combines his rhetoric with profound thought on the deeper things of life,
would do better to give it a wide berth.
* * *
AMERICAN INQUISITORS: A Commentary on Dayton and Chicago. By Walter Lippmann.
Published by the Macmillan Co. Cloth, table of contents, 120 pages. Price,
is an exceedingly clever and amusing book, but it is much more than merely
clever and amusing. It really is one that every American interested in the
future of his country should read, more than once. This includes every
thinking American Mason.
in the mass are exceedingly easy to lead - either in the safe path, or far
astray - by catch-words, slogans, platitudes in short by "bunk." Even the
"debunking" of the moment, so much affected by our "civilized" circles, is
nothing but the familiar stuff turned inside out. 'So long as the majority of
people are not really educated but only trained - it makes no difference with
what scholastic paraphernalia the training is given - the minority who think,
or try to think for themselves, must always expect to find every new and
corrective statement of truth transferred into a truism and used as a formula
for popular consumption. It is discouraging, but so far it seems to be the way
humanity has wobbled and staggered along the path of progress like a kitten
that has not yet got its eyes open. So long as the majority are not able to
appreciate the thought of the intellectual leaders of the race, so long many
things that in themselves are simple, obvious and practical, will in truth be
outside "practical politics." By the time the new idea has reached the mass
mind it has become crystallized into a platitude or dogma, and the
intellectual pioneers have gone far beyond it.
the fate of the pioneer. He is regarded as a fool by his contemporaries, and
as a hero by their grandchildren. It is the conservative, safe, unprogressive,
practical people who have ridiculed or persecuted the inventor, philosopher
and prophet since men were men. It is the same conservative, safe,
unprogressive people who have always grabbed the profits, material, moral or
spiritual, of the men they persecuted, as soon as by use and wont, and the
evidence of their eyes, the new idea had been demonstrated through the labor
and sacrifice of their natural, but never recognized, leaders.
these three lectures delivered at the University of Virginia on the
Barbour-Page Foundation, Mr. Lippmann has raised in a few pages more questions
than could be easily answered in many times their number. It may be asked,
perhaps, to what end - seeing that the average man will ignore their
implications, will probably fail to see them, even if he be persuaded to read
the book; which he may well do for the sake of its humor.
device is adopted of imagining a conversation between Socrates, Jefferson and
Bryan, on the question of the relationship of church and state - religious and
political creeds. Like most Socratic dialogues the subject is left unsettled -
only one is left with a devastating sense that a lot of sacred principles,
maxims and dogmas are not much more than mere platitudes, if not sheer humbug.
author insists, and all who have considered the events of recent years as a
whole must agree with him, that the Scopes trial at Dayton, and the Thompson
episode of Chicago, are merely two typical and specially dramatic instances of
what has been occurring over and over again throughout the country. He
asserts, too - and this will undoubtedly rouse instant dissent, though it will
be hard to prove him wrong - that the Fundamentalists and Patriots have a much
stronger case than the intellectuals have perceived. He says, indeed:
assaults upon the freedom of teaching have been supported by the ignorant part
of our population, the spokesmen of these inquisitions have often been
mountebanks, and invariably they have been ignoramuses. As a result, educated
men have been disposed, partly because they were sincerely contemptuous,
partly because they were prudent, to treat the whole matter as a farce which
would soon break down of its own absurdity.
"Partly because they were prudent"! The author says that he is convinced that
had "Mr. Bryan at Dayton been as acute as his opponents he would have
conquered them in debate." In other words, the intellectual minority,
consciously or unconsciously, have taken advantage of the stupidity of their
opponents, because it would have been much more difficult to meet the issue
squarely on its merits.
make this plain Mr. Lippmann proposed in his lectures to take the part of the
Advocatus Diaboli, and argue the case for the modern suppressors of heresy -
or the suppressors of our modern heresies - because as he says, there "is no
advantage in winning a cheap victory because the opposition has a poor
However, this is not really much encouragement for fundamentalists - reIigious
or political - for he also says:
. . .
it is a curious fact that in the conflict between reason and authority, the
conflict itself is a victory for reason. Authority is always on the road to
defeat when it has to appeal either to force or reason. It is secure only when
it rests upon unquestioned habit. Inquisitions and heresy haunts are therefore
invariably the signs that reformation and emancipation are under way.
difficulty is that we live in a world of change, where nothing is certain,
nothing is clear, where we have to continually stake our future on the present
- it is, in the favorite scientific slang of the day - a purely "relative"
world. But men have to act, and those who are disinclined to reflect, or whose
daily labor leaves them no time for it, earnestly desire certainties - rules
of action. The human mind creates these certainties for itself, and is
naturally disturbed when they are questioned. Being disturbed it is naturally
indignant with the questioner. Hence, the sentence of death passed on Socrates
- and the dismissal of the modern school teacher who believes in modern
science. Perhaps the real fault of the latter is that he makes a new dogma out
of his science, not one whit better in principle than the old ones be opposes.
world being transitory, its conditions constantly changing, men are not really
standing still, or sitting comfortably under metaphorical vines or fig trees,
but are careering along at a dizzy speed in a high-powered automotive vehicle.
Because it proves safe to turn one way here gives no absolute rule for
steering, or for putting on the brakes or "stepping on the gas." As Socrates
is made to say:
Washington was willing to shed blood in order to defy the constituted
authorities. Your Lincoln was willing to shed blood to uphold the constituted
authorities. They have both been justified. There can be no rule of conduct.
That which brave men do with wisdom lesser men make rules to justify.
that pretty well sums it up. The lesser men do this because they follow on in
the footsteps of the last great leader - the one immediately before them - and
because they must have a rule of thumb to work by, being unable or unwilling
to think for themselves. We may conclude with one more quotation. Socrates
having led Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Bryan into an impenetrable thicket of
contradictions consequent on the application of their principles of freedom of
conscience and majority rule, is asked point blank what he would do himself,
and he replies, "I'd re-examine my fundamental principles." If the book will
lead others to do likewise, it will be well worth the hour or so it will take
to read it.
* * *
CREATION BY EVOLUTION. Edited by Frances Mason. Published by the Macmillan
Company. Cloth, table of contents, illustrated, index, 371 pages. Price,
that this symposium on evolution is dedicated "To those who seek evidence of
Nature's Universal Method of Creation and to those who find the story of
inexhaustible interest." Under this dedication should appear a bold-faced
solid capital line reading, "All others keep out." Possibly you will question
the propriety of such a warning, but unless the Fundamentalist, or better, the
opponent of Evolution, wishes to have his faith shaken to its very roots, he
had best not read the modern story of Genesis, which, to use a formula I have
previously expressed, has replaced the Book of Genesis.
immediate consequence of such a statement as that just made will probably be
to rouse dissent and disappointment in some quarters, but those who are
inclined to criticise and censor may be answered in the words of David Starr
any educated person now respect the dictum ascribed to Archbishop Ussher, who
said 200 years ago, that "Heaven and earth, center and circumference, were
created all together at the same instant, with clouds of water, on October 24,
4004 B. C., at 9 o'clock in the morning?"
query, propounded by the Chancellor Emeritus of Leland Stanford University,
may be supplemented with the pronouncement of James McCloud, a Presbyterian
minister of Lexington, Ky., in 1818, when Darwin was a small boy:
Progressive evolution is the universal plan. Everything which we meet in the
world around us, matter and mind, every individual and all congregated masses,
begin their course as germs and unfold in slow progression. . . . The
faculties of all intelligent creation, all that you call mind, all that you
call heart, are framed for an interminable series of evolutions. . . . It is
not mainly the mould of this mighty frame of things which establishes it, it
is the fact that creation is eternally unfolding new resources and presenting
itself under successive and amazing combinations of which no creature in the
universe had imagined it capable.
is too late in the day to argue the cause of evolution with anyone. Frankly,
the reviewer holds to it and is satisfied with the evidence and considers it
so preponderant that he can only say to those who, after reading this book, do
not accept it, "There are none so blind as those who will not see."
work is one which has long been needed. If it is read open-mindedly and with a
sense of fairness one cannot but be convinced of the weight of the evidence in
favor of evolution. The work is composed of twenty-four separate articles,
each intended to cover a particular phase of the subject and each written by a
specialist in his field. Thus all of the evidence upon the subject is
marshalled for the reader's consideration.
plan of the book is admirable and carries out the purpose of the editor as
stated above. Not only are the articles authoritatively written, but each
chapter is accompanied by a list of reference works which will enable those
interested in learning more about that particular branch of the subject to
follow their inclinations as far as they wish.
all the work is interesting, not merely sufficiently so to hold attention, but
grippingly. One reads it with all of the ease of the lighter types of
literature. It presents at the same time a picture of the universe that, so
far as the present writer knows, cannot be obtained from any other source
without a vast amount of reading and study. The authors avoid the use of
technical terms as much as possible and consequently avoid the too frequent
mistake of specialists who are apt to speak in language, compendious for their
own purposes, but obscure to dullness to everybody else.
could not begin to discuss any one of the many points that are brought up in
the several essays, but one is sufficiently important to merit comment. The
popular conception of the theory of evolution is simply that man was once a
monkey. The absurdity of this belief is strikingly shown in this new book. If
it does no more than correct this false impression the book will have
accomplished a great deal of good and will be worth all the effort that may
have been expended in its compilation.
curious that the controversy should have to be fought again in this country
fifty years after the rest of the, civilized world had made up its mind to
accept it. What is to be understood as evolution? David Starr Jordan says:
theory of organic evolution is, in brief, that in our world no living thing
and no succession of living things remain exactly the same for any period of
time, long or short; and furthermore, that all change is orderly, never the
result of accident or caprice or favoritism.
that to one's own body. Are we the same today as we were yesterday, or the day
before? The chemical changes which take place in the body are concrete
evidences of evolution.
let us take another definition. J. Arthur Thomson, Regius Professor of Natural
History in Aberdeen University, says:
Evolution just means that the present is the child of the past and the parent
of the future.
Edwin Grant Conklin, Professor of Biology, Princeton University, says:
Evolution means only the transformation of an earlier into a later stage
according to natural laws.
present work should go far to remove prejudice and misunderstanding, if it
meets the reception that it undoubtedly deserves.
* * *
SMITH, THE POPE AND THE PRESIDENCY: A Sober Discussion of the Church-State
Issue. By Theodore Schroeder. Published by the author. Cloth, table of
contents, 212 pages.
SCHROEDER has a fine vein of sarcasm and ironic humor. Those who are really
quite certain about their position and beliefs may read him with much interest
and considerable amusement. But those who have any secret doubts, conscious or
unconscious, will do better to avoid him as a pestilence if they do not wish
to have their peace of mind disturbed.
the title page is a brief explanation of the circumstances which led to the
author producing his book himself. It seems that the subject is so
"unimportant" that "most of the many publishers consulted refused even to
consider the manuscript." This we can quite believe, not on the grounds of
unimportance, nor of intemperance of presentation, but because the author,
taking no sides, like an Irishman at Donnybrook Fair, hits wherever he sees an
available head. In a subsequent leaflet advertising the work he remarks:
Letters already received indicate that every organized prejudice can find some
displeasure in this book. Is there no prejudice anywhere in favor of the
METHOD of a sober discussion of this question?
is an example. None of us like to have our own beliefs described as an
"organized prejudice," and we all flatter ourselves that we are in favor of
the method of sober discussion. We can test the soundness of this private
opinion by observing the equanimity and patience with which we can listen to
arguments in support of some one of the many highly erroneous and pernicious
beliefs held by other people, who in general, aside from these, appear to be
quite respectable and fairly intelligent.
book is written, as its title suggests, about the now historic Marshall-Smith
correspondence of last year. It will doubtless be remembered with what a
remarkably unanimous chorus of enthusiastic approval the majority of the
newspapers of the country received Governor Smith's reply to Mr. Marshall, in
curious contrast to the timid reception of the latter's Open Letter. To the
thoughtful citizen, who has some interest in his country's future, that
phenomenon alone pointed to an unhealthy condition in the body politic. When
in any community or state there are subjects which must not be discussed, then
there is danger ahead for free speech. And when speech is no longer free,
freedom herself is ready to depart. This is true regardless of what the tabu
is upon - whether prohibition, historical textbooks, or the relations of
church and state. Freedom is never lost at a blow; tyrannies and despotisms do
not spring fully armed from the earth. They grow silently in the shadow like
pestilent weeds. And there are always those who are momentarily profiting to
say "Peace, peace," and "Hush-hush," when any attempt is made to check or
uproot them; and always many more who are unable to remember from yesterday or
foresee tomorrow, who will join this chorus of the "yes men," to use the
latest term for the breed. It is possible that the most significant thing
about this book is the refusal of publishers to have anything to do with it.
is not to say that it has no significance in itself. Very much the contrary.
It contains an acute, subtle and detailed examination of the question that was
raised by Mr. Marshall. To this is prefaced four chapters on church history in
special reference to its relations to the state. This is not particularly
illuminating, as it is merely retelling an oft-told tale. While it could
hardly have been left out, seeing so few people now-a-days know anything of
the history of the church, there is yet the danger that always lies in
condensed synopses of this kind; necessarily selective, bias is almost certain
to creep in. We must judge the church in the past by the circumstances of the
age, which is precisely what cannot be done in any such brief account. It is
perhaps for this reason so little use is made of history in judging problems
of the present - it is so easily turned to the uses of propaganda. As easily
indeed as statistics.
seems to the present writer that neither Mr. Marshall nor Mr. Schroeder have
realized that we are in a period of transition. Political theories always
begin with the existing state of affairs. The theory of feudalism, for
example, was founded on a practical condition that had come about as naturally
and inevitably as the interlocking of gangsters, bootleggers and corrupt
politicians in our large cities, and for much the same reasons at bottom - or
to use a more respectable example, the consolidation of financial and
commercial interests. No nation or people has ever yet had a wholly consistent
form of government, or a permanently fixed one. Every state is the resultant
of internal forces, that is, a result of compromise. As soon as any given
compromise becomes relatively stable, it is rationalized, and eternal and
immutable principles are deduced from it, which become the pet platitudes of
politicians and sometimes even of statesmen. Mr. Marshall believes in the
"civic supremacy of the people," we gather that Mr. Schroeder, though he does
not definitely say so, is a "secularist," and Governor Smith himself, in his
reply to Mr. Marshall, professed his adherence to the principle of the
separation of church and state. But that is just the question - is it a
principle? Mr. Schroeder shows in how many different ways the phrase may be
understood, and also that everyone actually tends to understand it in
accordance with his own general system of prejudices and beliefs, religious
and otherwise. But the still more fundamental question remains - is this
political "Principle," enshrined in the American Constitution, an eternal
truth, or a dogma, a mere formula expressing in a convenient and compendious
way a compromise that hitherto has worked without too much friction? And if it
is this last only, is it a compromise that will continue to work? Or has the
balance of internal social and religious forces been gradually changing so
that sooner or later some new arrangement will have to be made?
not a question that can be answered off hand, it cannot well be answered at
all – safely - without much study and thought, but it is one that every
intelligent American citizen should consider, and Mr. Schroeder's book, if it
does not supply any answer, will certainly be of assistance in pointing to new
viewpoints and opening up an approach to the essentials of the problem.
* * *
ANCIENT RECORDS. Published by the Ancient Records Publishers. Cloth, 120
pages. Price, $2.50.
book appears to be a collection of tracts printed separately and now issued in
a single volume. The several titles of these are: The Secret Law; The English
Alphabet; The Arabic Numerals; The Zodiac; Blessings of Israel. The dedication
is to "the Sons of God," and on the title page we are informed that the work
interpretation of very ancient records which seem to have been left to
humanity by a people who lived in an erudite age, one from a long forgotten
past, wherein God was One. Language was one language, the people one people
under divine law.
Masonic students have taken a keen interest in symbolism in general as well as
the more particular geometrical and architectural symbolism familiar to all.
This leads many of us to read a wide variety of works which purport to
interpret and elucidate a most difficult subject.
present work gives some very interesting interpretations of figures included
in a complicated chart. The central figure is a triangle on each side of which
is another triangle in which are inscribed a pyramid, a cube and a sphere or
the three geometrical manifestations of the Great Geometer. Around this is
constructed the manifestations of the spiritual principles which are
symbolized by the alphabet, the numerals and the zodiac.
zodiac was probably the earliest systematic astrological symbolism, and
numerical symbolism has been used from ancient times. Present knowledge of
their full significance, however, is problematic and the present
interpretation is useful only as it stimulates philosophical speculation. The
"Blessing of Israel" shows correspondence between the twelve tribes of Israel
and twelve officers of a Masonic lodge. This also is only useful as a process
of thought stimulant.
* * *
FOLLOWING CHRIST. By Charles Lewis Slattery, D.D. Published by Houghton
Mifflin Co., Boston. Cloth, table of contents, 167 pages. Price, $1.15.
book has evidently been written for Episcopalians, not for the general public,
and more especially for those who have been initiated (baptized) and become
learners of the wisdom contained in the forms and ritual of the church.
postulates and explains the duties and service of those who have been
confirmed and have taken upon themselves the full obligations of fellowship in
the church and the method adopted, and the reasons for the method by which
Episcopalians are expected to work and live, as they journey through life
concise paragraphs tell of the church's history, of the vestments, their use
another section the evolution of church architecture, the chancel, choir,
altar, lectern are briefly, authoritatively and pleasingly told.
book is not only interesting and informative, but lays down a line of conduct,
which by following truly the individual must surely benefit.
book can be read with profit by anyone who wishes to know the joy of a church
service centuries old carried majestically along, by the use of a beautiful
HISTORY OF ST. ALBAN'S LODGE
would like to ask you to make a correction in the next issue of THE BUILDER.
page 190, in the June number, you noticed the History of St. Alban's Lodge,
and the reviewer makes a statement that is wholly incorrect, doubtless due to
a too hasty reading of the paragraph referred to.
Bro. F. W. Harcourt, the first Master of this Lodge, is not and never was an
adherent of the Roman Church. The paragraph on page 7 of the History refers to
his father, Bro. Michael Harcourt, of whom it says that although a Roman
Catholic he "was opposed to Separate Schools and was also a Freemason."
taking this upon myself as the author, R. W. Bro. H. T. Smith, is away at
present and I know he would wish to have the correction made at the earliest
J. Haydon, Canada.
reviewer wishes to apologize for the error, which was due, as Bro. Haydon
suggests, to a too hasty reading of the passage in question.
* * *
June BUILDER, in an article on "The Legend of the Cross" Bro. Chas. Merz of
Ohio tells us "The early Christians revered the Cross as the way of the truth
and the life. They had no knowledge of a crucified Savior."
who is a better authority than Bro. Merz, in an Epistle whose authenticity is
generally recognized, says, "I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live."
(Gal. 11:20.) Again he says, "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the
Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ by whom the world is crucified unto me and I
unto the world." (Gal. VI:14.) To the Corinthians he wrote, "But we preach
Christ crucified." (1 Cor. 1:23.) "Crucified under Pontius Pilate" has always
been believed and preached in the Christian Church.
* * *
June number of THE BUILDER Bro. Chas H. Merz gives us a paraphrase of the
"Legendary History of the Cross." In this he says in listing various forms:
The crux ansata, the tau cross combined with the circle, as in the hands of
the Egyptian divinities - the symbol of life and immortality.
crux ansata in the hands of Egyptian divinities does not consist of the tau
cross combined with a circle, but with an oval, or rather an egg-shaped loop,
the two combined representing the male and female principles, and can only
symbolize the generating and creative attributes of the Deity.
E. Murray, Montana.
* * *
ARK OF THE COVENTANT.
C.H. Briggs of Missouri in the June BUILDER offers some criticism of my
article on the "Ark of the Covenant" printed in the May number of THE BUILDER.
I am always glad to have any mistakes that I make corrected.
authority for three of the statements that he criticizes is the article in the
Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 7, pages 907 and 908, by William Robertson
Smith, LL.D., editor of the 9th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica;
professor of natural philosophy, Edinburgh University, 1863-1870; some time
professor of Oriental languages and Old Testament exegesis Free Church
College, Aberdeen; appointed one of the Old Testament revisors, 1875; Lord
Almoner's Professor of Arabic, Cambridge, 1883; author of "The Old Testament
in the Jewish Church," "Lectures on the Religion of the Semites," etc., and
Stanley Arthur Cook, M. A., editor of the Palestine Exploration Fund; Lecturer
in Hebrew and Syriac; formerly a Fellow of Gonville and Caius College,
Cambridge; examiner in Hebrew and Aramaic, London University, 1904-1908;
author of "Glossary of Aramic Inscriptions," "The Laws of Moses and the Code
of Hammurabi ... .. Critical Notes on Old Testament History," "Religion of
Ancient Palestine," etc. They say:
Moses is said to have made a brazen serpent which, down to Hezekiah's time,
continued to be worshipped at Jerusalem. . . [The only certain date in
Hezekiah's time is 801, B. C.]
narrative of Exodus the relation of the "ten words" of xxxiv to the words
spoken from Sinai xx, 2-17, is not so clearly indicated, and it is generally
agreed that the Pentateuch presents divergent and irreconcilable views of the
Sinaitic covenant . . .
the general result of the study of the Decalogue as a whole, in connection
with Israelite political history and religion, strongly supports, in fact
demands, a post-Mosaic origin, and modern criticism is chiefly divided only as
to the approximate date to which it is to be ascribed. The time of Manassah
has found many adherents, but an earlier period, about 750 B. C., is often
held to satisfy the main conditions; the former, however, is probably nearer
over the rest of Bro. Briggs' criticism, although there is ample authority for
every statement made.
* * *
COMPAGNONNAGE IN QUEBEC
BUILDER for February, 1928, on page 64, in re "The Annapolis Stone," it is
town of Ste. Anne de Bellevue on the Island of Montreal, is a small wooden
building used by a friendly society of carpenters (charpentiers et menuisiers)
upon which appears the Square and Compass in the usual arrangement. The
society is purely French Canadian in membership and is dedicated to St.
Joseph. In view of the strong prejudice in French Canada against everything
pertaining to Freemasonry, it seems impossible to believe that this emblem was
borrowed and it is doubtless an independent tradition.
would be no difficulty in explaining this, or the Annapolis stone with its
date of 1606 and the Square and Compass, if we accept that these things are
the product of members of the French body, the "Compagnonnage," which
ante-dates modern Freemasonry and of which modern Freemasons as a rule are in
total ignorance. Members of this body naturally went to Canada, when it was
settled by French workmen, and used the symbol of the Square and Compass (Equerre
et compas) which was the common property of the three Devoirs, the Enfants de
(children of) Solomon, the Enfants de Maitre Jacques, and the Enfants de Pere
Soubise. "The stone cutters and joiners (menuisiers) who recognize Solomon say
that this King in order to recompense them for their work gave them a Devoir
(Charge or Obligation) and united them fraternally in the precincts of the
Temple, work of their hands." [See Le Livre du Compagnonnage. Agricol
Perdiguier, Paris, 2nd edition, 1841, page 20, beginning Les tailleurs de
carpenters at one time all belonged to the children of Pere Soubise. The
menuisiers (joiners) were divided, one section belonging to the children of
Solomon, and the other to the children of Maitre Jacques, who is, according to
a legend, Jacques de Molay. The members of the Devoirs of Maitre Jacques and
of Pere Soubise admitted only Roman Catholics, after the strike at the Church
of the Holy Cross at Orleans, which church was begun, according to the
Encyclopaedia Britannica, in 1287.
children of Solomon admitted those of all religions, hence they called their
Devoir, the Devoir de Liberte. The Roman Church attempted to catholicize the
workmen of France, and did; while the "Foreign Companions," as the stone
cutters called themselves after the strike, refusing to become Roman
Catholics, went over into English territory and from thence into England which
was the cause of the building of so many edifices in stone and the development
of the operative art in that country.
easy to see how the Catholic carpenters of Canada have used this emblem, for
the Square and Compass was used in the Companionage from the earliest times.
In 1551, during the reign of Francis I, an edict was issued against them. On
page 61, of Perdiguier's book, we read:
L’equerre et le compas sont les attributs de tout le Compagnonnage, car on
pense, je l'ai deja dit, que le mot 'compagnon' derive de compas,
is in English,
Square and the Compass are the attributes of the whole Companionage, for it is
thought, as I have already said, that the word companion is derived from
say here, in passing, that those who are striving to have Masons use the
singular form Compass, are correct etymologically and that form is imbedded in
our California ritual. On page 64, Perdiguier says:
stone cutters celebrate the festival of the Ascension and the carpenters that
of St. Joseph,
the Canadian society, which was undoubtedly a branch of the Compagnonnage. It
is easy to see that a member of this society could have carved the Square and
Compass on the "Annapolis Stone" in 1608, as they were in existence and used
this emblem when the edict was issued against them in 1551. It may also
explain the legend of the Jews coming from Lisbon to Newport, R. I., and
bringing the "degrees of Maconrie" and initiating Abm. Moses "at Mordecai
Campunall's house after synagog" in 1658. We know that the Faculty of the
Sorbonne fulminated against the Compagnonnage in 1655, and gave their
ceremonies in full, and at which time the ceremonies of initiation had
extended to the trades "without the Compass," that is, to trades which did not
use the Square and Compass in their daily work.
"Book of the Companionage," page 24, Perdiguier says, quoting the letter of
King Hiram to Solomon after saying that the latter had formed the earlier
branch, the stone cutters, "Now I am sending you a man expert and skillful,"
and in a footnote, on that page he adds:
homme expert et habile est sans doute, cet autre Hiram que l’on considere
comme l'un des architets du temple. (This expert and skillful man is without
doubt that other Hiram that they consider as one of the architects of the
Perdiguier was not a stone cutter but a joiner, and yet he says on page 39
"They wear also white gloves because they have not, so they say, dipped their
hands in the blood of Hiram."
are many other facts and sayings in the literature of the Companions, which I
shall bring out later, that shows that it was known that the body of Hiram was
placed in a certain place and how that place was discovered where under the
rubbish lay the body of Hiram, architect of the Temple, as he relates.
shows the existence of the Hiramic Legend among the Companions of France as
early as 1551 and by analogy, in 1287. At some time, the writer hopes to bring
out a book on the Companions which will give more of these facts and show how
Masonry came into England from France and that Desaguliers adapted it in
modern Freemasonry, when he and George Payne made the laws and regulations of
* * *
FIRST (?) MASONIC FUNERAL
Apropos of Bro. Williamson's article on the Dionysiac Artificers, as being
only a group of disreputables associated with Greek theaters, it may be
interesting to note the following which I quote from the Transactions of the
Lodge of Research, Leicester, 1922-23:
Weekly Journal or British Gazatteer of Jan. 12, 1723 - "Mr. Birkhead was last
Saturday night carried from his lodgings in Wych Street to be interred in S.
Clement Danes: the pall was supported by six Freemasons belonging to Drury
Lane playhouse; the other members of that particular lodge, with a vast number
of other Accepted Masons, followed two and two; both the pall bearers and
others were in their white aprons."
Matthew Birkhead was Master of Lodge No. 5, now Lodge of Friendship, No. 6. He
was a comedian and dancer at Drury Lane Theater, and sufficiently important
there to receive an annual benefit performance, one being on June 10, 1713. He
appears to have been partly responsible for the famous "Entered Apprentice's
Song," which appears in the first (1723) edition of Anderson's Constitutions.
N. Haydon, Canada.
* * *
would appreciate it if you will furnish me with some information in respect to
the use of the letter "G" with the square and compass as the Masonic emblem.
This question was recently discussed at a meeting of our lodge, wherein a
number of brethren participated. With one exception it was asserted by the
speakers that in London they had observed the Masonic emblem of the square and
compass with the letter "G."
only adds confusion to my mind for I have frequently heard it stated that
English and Scotch lodges do not use the letter "G" with the square and
compass, any more than Masonic publications in those countries show it in
their cover designs. I am therefore very much interested in learning the facts
regarding this subject.
would also like to know if the lodges of non-English speaking countries use an
emblem differing from the emblem of the American lodges, and if so, in what
is a question that might be gone into more thoroughly than it is possible to
do so here. There are several aspects to it. How, or through what stages, did
the square and compasses come to be, par excellence, the emblem or
distinguishing mark of the Craft? How and when did the, letter "G" come to be
so intimately associated with it, as it now is in America? And what is the
real status of the square and compasses, with or without the letter "G,"
regarded as an emblem?
might, briefly, take this last question first. All such distinguishing emblems
or designs are individual and voluntary, although there is little doubt that
the tendency in American Masonry is towards regarding the, square and compass,
arranged in the well known way, as part of the Masonic system, to be defended
and regulated as such. This may not be altogether desirable - but then there
are other tendencies still less desirable.
first two subsidiary questions may be taken together. The vogue for personal
adornments with Masonic designs seems to have set in towards the end of the
eighteenth century. Watches, signet rings, seals were the natural vehicles for
such designs. At first they were of a complex type, like miniature trestle
boards, or Webb's "Master's Carpet." Some were very ingenious and pleasingly
arranged. However, when reduced in size such designs became indistinguishable
except on close examination, and when the desire rose to advertise one's
membership to the world at large, it was necessary to simplify it. Doubtless
many other factors led to simplification other than the one mentioned. In the,
British Isles, so far as our information goes, such articles of a personal and
metallic kind as bear Masonic designs usually have the compass and square
simply. In Europe, France, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, and so on, such
designs generally include, with the square and compasses, other implements,.
The triangle or triangular level is common, perhaps most common, but mallet
and trowel are very frequent also. Often a five-point star appears where the
"G" does in the common American emblem. Now in the old complex designs the
letter "G" usually appears, and is very frequently enclosed in a five-point
star, sometimes plain and sometimes radiated. Historically, it would seem the
process of simplification has gone further in Great Britain than in America,
and that, as in many other things, the Masonry of Europe is most conservative
quite possible that American visitors to England have seen the letter "G"
associated with the compass and square. Such exceptions do not make or break a
general rule. There are Masonic temples in America that have the emblem of the
square and compasses without the letter "G" carved upon the cornerstone or in
some other equally prominent position, but even two or three swallows do not
make a summer, and such exceptional cases, due probably to the architect's
whim or ignorance of accepted usage, most certainly do not nullify the obvious
fact that the inclusion of the letter is the general rule in America.