The Builder Magazine
April 1929 - Volume XV - Number 4
Freemasonry in Business
How should it work? The Sixth of a Series of Articles on Ancient Freemasonry
and Present Day Problems
BRO. HERBERT HUNGERFORD Author of Seeing Both Sides of Yourself.
How far should Masonry enter into the commercial relationships of Masons
between themselves, as distinct from those that are purely social? Is there a
middle way between the demands only upon the Craft of the Mason who is such in
name only, and who seeks to exploit his connection therewith for his selfish
interest, and the reaction of those who seem to think that no consideration or
favor should be shown to a brother Mason in anything relating to business?
A NUMBER of our preceding discussions, we have tackled some pretty ticklish
topics. Some of the questions we have raised have caused a few of our timid
brethren to fear that we were treading upon dangerous grounds. In fact, in one
or two cases, we have actually been accused of discussing issues encroaching
upon the ancient Landmarks of our Fraternity.
But we have been undisturbed by these criticisms because we have always been
clearly conscious that our only objective has been to promote the welfare of
the Craft by endeavoring to throw more light upon the fundamentals of
Freemasonry and, as far as we possibly could do so, by trying to stimulate the
study of the whys and wherefores of the relations of Freemasonry to all the
various vital problems of modern life.
these studies of our ancient order and its relations to modern problems have
progressed, doubtless, those who have been following the series have observed
the pertinent fact that no problem in life can be isolated. Each particular
problem, in many ways, is connected with or related to all other
life-problems. So, when we attempt to discuss the problems of business as
though they were separate and distinct from the problems of politics,
religion, education, or any other phase of life, we must draw a purely
arbitrary line of differentiation which does not exist in reality. Let us bear
in mind, therefore, as we attempt to consider the relations of Freemasonry to
modern business problems, the fact that many of the points we have tried to
bring out in discussing other problems, might be applied most aptly in our
Matter of Common Criticism
any rate, we may discuss this particular problem without fear of being accused
of raising a traditionally undebatable issue. Surely all observing members of
our Craft will agree that there is no subject upon which Masons are criticised
more freely and more frequently than the various attitudes and relations which
Freemasons hold in their business dealings. There are two extremes of business
behavior which draw rather severe condemnation down upon the brothers who
adopt these particular attitudes.
the one hand, we hear constant criticism concerning certain men who attempt to
work their Masonic membership in every possible way in furthering their
business interests. No one can deny that some men seem to have joined our
Fraternity almost solely for business purposes.
the other hand, we hear frequent complaints that many brethren seem to feel
that it would be a violation of Masonic ethics to favor a fellow-member of the
Fraternity in any business way.
Surely, therefore, an issue on which there are so many differences of opinion
and such a variety of viewpoints is deserving of being brought out into the
light for frank examination from all possible angles. We shall not pretend to
settle this issue any more than we have claimed to solve the problems or
answer the questions raised in our previous articles; but we shall at least
lay claim to the credit of giving frank and sincere consideration to one of
the most perplexing problems of our Craft.
Masonry and Business Come in Contact
The reason why this question touches most of us so closely is doubtless due to
the fact that nearly all men and Masons are obliged, in these modern days, to
devote most of their time and energies to the business of making a living and
a little bit more, possibly. Naturally, therefore, we are vitally concerned
about any association or activity which either helps or hinders our business
seems pertinent, therefore, for us to consider at least three ways in which
Freemasonry might affect our business activities. So we raise three questions
which may serve to clarify our understanding of what the relations of
Freemasonry should be to our business problems.
First To what extent, if any, should membership in a Masonic Lodge contribute
towards a man's commercial advancement?
Second To what extent, if any, should Freemasons show preference to their
fellow-members in business dealings ?
Third To what extent and in what ways should Freemasonry participate in
helping to solve the outstanding business problems, such as promoting harmony
between employers and employee; the distribution of labor and problems of
unemployment; the stimulation of pride in craftsmanship and the discouragement
of slipshod and slovenly work, and similar matters to which leading thinkers
in the business world today are giving serious consideration?
Raping Questions Is Our Objective
Perhaps it may become monotonous for me to remind my readers so frequently
that my objective in this series of discussions is to raise questions for you
to consider rather than to present my own particular notions as to what the
answers should be. But I am obliged to mention this again, lest anyone should
regard me as being so foolish as to attempt to present, or even suggest,
solutions to all the problems of life in such a series of brief articles.
Accordingly, please let it be understood that, whenever I attempt to answer
any of the questions under consideration, I am merely throwing out a few
personal viewpoints, without intending that anyone shall regard these as
either complete or conclusive.
when I offer you a few brief personal notions on these three pertinent
questions, do not think for one moment that I am attempting in any way to
emulate the example of King Solomon. Frankly, I believe that your own good
judgment, my brothers, should enable each of you to formulate his own personal
answers to the first two questions presented above. I do not believe that
either of these questions can be answered arbitrarily, as the different
circumstances and conditions will materially affect the answers.
Yet I have no hesitancy in stating that it seems to me that the affirmations
in the opening and closing ceremonials of our lodges would become merely a
hollow mockery or a lot of high-sounding but meaningless phrases, if we should
attempt to take the position that the teachings of Freemasonry give an
absolute negative answer to our first question. If Freemasonry was not
designed to aid men in the business of making a living for themselves and
their families, then the author of our ritual surely wasted a lot of words in
affirmations and statements quite contradictory to this negative notion.
course, there must be limits to the extent to which Masonry should aid its
members to gain success in business. Without professing the wisdom or ability
to define such limitations, which are merely suggested in our second question,
let me cite an illustration which came under my personal observation and
which, I trust, will at least give you some hint as to my personal views on
True Story of Masonic Dealings
There is a certain firm of brothers who constantly exploit their Masonic
affiliations in seeking business for their concern. Some years ago this firm
obtained an account from another Freemason. The latter experienced a series of
those strange disasters, which seem so frequently to enter into the lives of
men. The deaths of two members of his family, and the serious illness of
another member, together with a failure of a business project with consequent
losses, brought about a nervous breakdown. During this time, however, our
brother, who was going through these difficulties, was paying off debts
incurred by his business failure as rapidly as possible. For instance, his
indebtedness to the Masonic firm first mentioned was reduced during three
years at the rate of several hundred dollars a year, leaving a balance of a
little over five hundred dollars due to the Masonic brothers. These brothers,
in order to force settlement of the balance due them, put their claim into a
lawyer's hands. When notified of this, our troubled brother advised the lawyer
that he would immediately put his mortgaged home into the market, giving the
lawyer definite assurance that the residue from the sale would be ample to pay
all outstanding indebtedness. The only reply of the attorney for the firm of
Masonic brothers was to serve our struggling brother with a summons, which our
brother managed to settle by obtaining a loan from a friend. But, of course,
legal fees and heavy interest charges were collected and added to the burdens
our weary brother had to bear.
Now, the odd fact is that our brother had nearly a score of other creditors,
to each of whom he was making payments in the same way he was settling the
debt of the Masonic brothers, whose concern was the only one to try to force
him to the wall.
What Does the True Masonic Spirit Mean ?
this were merely an isolated instance of dealings between members of our
Fraternity, it would not be deserving mention. But, it illustrates many
similar cases that have come within my personal observation. Of course, on the
grounds that "business is business" and has nothing to do with a man's
fraternal affiliations, such conduct may be justified. But, if it represents
the true spirit of Freemasonry, I have failed to comprehend the real meaning
of such spirit.
Freemasonry means what it clearly professes in the affirmations that every
candidate must make in being initiated into any lodge; then, not only in
personal business relations, such as those with which our first two questions
deal, but also in the larger business problems of society as enumerated in our
third question, the teachings of our great Fraternity, if actually carried out
in every day practice, certainly would take away some of the avarice, greed
and other selfish attributes of near human natures and so transform our
characters that we would conduct all business transactions in the spirit of
brotherly love actually should prevail among all Masons, regardless of the
attitude or behavior of others, there would be enough of this leaven in our
great Fraternity to permeate and transform all society. If brotherly love and
dealing strictly on the square in all business transactions was the inevitable
and inviolate practice of all Freemasons, how long do you think it would be
before harmonious relations in all business dealings would be the general
rule? How long would strife between employers and employees endure, if
brotherly love were practiced on both sides? You know the answer to this,
because there are business concerns which do practice this principle and these
concerns never have had a strike or any other clash between employer and
a previous article I have stated my opinion that materialism in the great
menace of our times. Of course, this sordid, selfish spirit always has been
one of the dominant evil forces of frail humanity. Every motive of Masonry, it
seems to me, is arrayed against this evil. When we begin to conquer the
selfish side of our natures and begin to live in accord with the principles we
profess in our Masonic ceremonials, there is no question in my mind that we
shall arrive at the solution of every problem of business.
Again, some of my readers will accuse me of "preaching impractical idealism."
I frankly admit, of course, that I am not expecting all Masons to begin
immediately to practice the high ideals of our profession. But I certainly
shall voice my vigorous protest at any attempt to interpret these high ideals
as merely "words and phrases void of meaning."
contend that the high idealism upon which our great Fraternity was established
by its far-sighted founders accounts for the permanency and the progress of
the institution. Because we have thus far failed to accomplish or realize our
Masonic ideals is no excuse for ignoring them or lowering our standards. As
Masons, we still must remain poor frail mortals, struggling towards the light
of our high ideals. Remove that light and you deal the death blow to
This, my brothers, concludes our series of discussions of the relations of our
ancient Fraternity to present day problems, with the exception of a final
summing up of the series which I expect to present next month under the title
of "The Future of Freemasonry."
may as well warn those of my readers, who regard me as an impractical dreamer
of dreams, and an advocate of impossible idealism, to skip this next article.
Frankly, I intend to present my personal prophecy as to what I believe
Freemasonry could accomplish and what the Fraternity would become if the
majority of our lodges should begin to place proper emphasis upon the
permanent and abiding features of our program, and should, consequently,
change our almost universal practice of devoting all or most of our time and
effort to the trifling and incidental activities of the fraternity.
Let me again repeat our invitation to any reader who may desire to challenge,
question or comment upon any point suggested or any question raised by this
series of discussions. After the series is concluded, the writer expects to
continue his efforts towards the objectives he has suggested in these articles
by acting as the general field manager of a membership campaign for our
Masonic Study Clubs. As a feature of this work, I expect to conduct The Study
Club Forum as a regular department of THE BUILDER. Your questions, suggestions
or comments of any sort are invited for this department. Address: Herbert
Hungerford, Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Some Notes on Symbolism
BRO. SILAS H. SHEPHERD, Wisconsin (Concluded from March)
EVERY religious system has had a vast amount of symbolism in its forms and
ceremonies. Much that was taught by this method has been lost to us. Such
symbols as the lion for strength, the ox for patience, the lily for purity,
the plumb for rectitude, corn for nourishment, wine for refreshment and oil
for joy are easily traced to quite a distant past; but there are many very
important symbols that are not so easily disposed of.
The original significance of such symbols as the Circle, Triangle, Square,
Swastika, Crux Ansata, Serpent, Lotus and many others is more problematical.
Mackenzie, in his Migration of Symbols, has brought out a thought in clear
outline which is well worthy our attention:
The early thinkers had formulated definite ideas regarding the world in which
they lived long before they began to speculate regarding origins; and when
their minds soared into space they carried into the other world the familiar
objects of everyday life. They did not imagine that the sun was carried across
the sky in a boat, like the Egyptian god Re, before boats were invented, or in
a chariot, like the Hindu god Surya, before chariots came into use and horses
were domesticated. Nor did they regard the heavens as the roof of the
world-house which had been fashioned by a divine artisan before they had begun
to build houses for themselves. The idea that there was a gate or door in the
sky did not have origin until there were gates and doors on the earth.
should not be assumed in this connections however, that the "world-tree" of
Egyptian, Hindu, Scandinavian and other mythologies was necessarily earlier
than the posts or pillars of the cardinal points. The tree did not probably
come into prominence before it had been deified and connected with the
After the early artisans had constructed habitations for themselves, they
imagined that the sky roof was supported by posts or pillars. The idea that
there was but one pillar may go back to the time when the earliest tents were
in use; the two pillars may have been first suggested by the fact that day has
its entrance in the east and exit in the west. The four pillars were not
introduced until man had discovered the four cardinal points.
Egypt, as we have seen, natural phenomena suggested to man the idea that
certain influences emanated from the cardinal points. As has been indicated,
hot blistering winds blow for a period from the south, and a cool reviving
wind blows for a period from the north, heralding and therefore, according to
early belief, bringing the inundation which ushers in the season of coolness
and fruitfulness. Certain deities were identified with these influences, and
they came to be regarded as controllers of them.
The early Egyptians saw Egypt in the sky. The "Milky Way" issuing apparently
from the region of the "imperishable stars" was the Celestial Nile, and the
source of their own Nile. It was the river of night. The river of day flowed
from east to west, and carried upon its breast the boat of the sun; before it
carried this boat, it carried the earlier reed floats which were, according to
Pyramid Text 1026, bound together by the "four youths" of the horizon for the
sun-god Re and the dead Pharaoh.
The phenomena of nature were early associated with ideas of God and a future
life. In Egypt the two most prominent forces of nature which the people
observed by their beneficent effects on the crops were the sun and the Nile
and these were soon personified and considered as gods. Late research seems to
justify the charge that we have misinterpreted the word "gods" and that it was
not intended to express the plurality of Deity. It is now thought that the
original belief of those people was in a Supreme Being and intermediary
beings, lesser than God, but greater than man. As lesser dignitaries, the sun,
moon and other planets, and the characters of mythology which they later
assumed, more nearly correspond to the saints of the church in its most
Mythology and astrology are intimately connected with the development of
thought, and it is plausible to assume that much of our symbolism had its
origin in astrology.
primitive man all existence was divided into two categories, heaven over head
and earth under foot, which is the foundation on which all mythology and
cosmogonies are built. To the Israelite they appeared the works of Jehovah; to
the Chinese they were the father and mother of all things, the Yin and Yang.
To the early Greeks they were the first divine beings, Uranos and Gaea.
man gradually advanced from his primitive condition other aspects presented
themselves to his mind, and he began to regard their various aspects in more
detail, heaven as functifying, lofty, male and controlling the thunder and
lightning; earth as prolific, passive and female. In the old mythologies
heaven and earth formed a union and the sun, moon and stars were reputed as
their children. The sun soon took the place as the manifestation of the God of
Day and the moon as the God of Night, and in the fantasy which symbolism and
mythology built around the many diverse properties of the sun and moon their
different aspects took on additional personification. The sun rising out of
the ocean and again sinking into it became neptune and the invisible sun which
tarries in the night in the underworld became Pluto and so with many other
phases of its manifestations. The waxing, waning, rising and setting of the
moon gave rise to groups of sisters; the graces, fates and furies, and to many
other forms of goddesses which are sad, chaste, alluring, winsome; or the moon
assumes the form of some fair daughter of man, who being loved by some god,
becomes the mother of gods and heroes.
seems most probable that a few astrological symbols, originally very simple,
gradually developed into the very complex system known as Greek Mythology. As
centuries passed the true sense and original meaning of these myths and
symbols, transmitted from father to son, was lost, and the whole was taken to
be an actual fact.
seems probable that the earliest astrologers were shepherds, and that they
discovered the most prominent phenomena of the heavenly bodies, among which
was the fixed position of the pole-star and the apparent revolutions of Ursa
Major around it, from which it is supposed we have one of the oldest symbols,
the swastika. The "All- Seeing Eye," "The Rite of Circumambulation," the
"Covering of the Lodge," and the Ladder, orientation, or the situation of
lodges due east and west, and the emblems in the rods of the Deacons, and the
"point within a circle" are among symbols and symbolic ceremonies which may be
illustrative of the probable origin of some of the Masonic symbolism. To place
a proper estimate on the significance which these and many other symbols held
in the religious thought of the Egyptians, Chaldeans, Phoenicians and other
races it is necessary to acquire at least an elementary knowledge of their
religious systems. A survey to this end would be far beyond the scope of the
present outline. Reference to several Masonic writers and other generally
accepted authorities will be made. There is no brief account by which we may
hope to obtain a comprehensive idea of thoughts of philosophic minds from
those of the earliest man who tried to realize the attributes of Deity by His
physical manifestations, to the twentieth century student who expresses ideas
about God in terms which clearly prove the limitations of finite minds to
comprehend Deity. The pure religion which may have been the origin of the
later phallic worship was quite probably an endeavor to express belief in
Deity through the manifestations of the male principle of the sun and the
female principle of the earth.
society became organized religious systems were founded. All religious systems
have been to a great extent agents in both the development and the
transmission of symbolism; yet in some ways they have been a cause of the loss
of the original meanings attached to those Symbols.
THE ANCIENT MYSTERIES
The Ancient Mysteries (1) were originally pure and taught the great basic
principles of true religion, but they eventually degenerated into gross
perversions of the original purpose. In their purest state the Mysteries
taught by symbols and allegories (which are dramatic symbols), the great truth
of the immortality of the soul and the perfectibility of man's nature by the
conquest of the physical nature by the spiritual. The fragments we possess of
the judgment of the soul in the Book of the Dead and the very veiled allusions
to the ceremonies of initiation warrant a belief that the truths taught were
of first importance to man's spiritual growth.
The Ancient Mysteries were widely diffused over Asia, Africa and Europe from
the earliest known period until the fifth century of our era. They were
practiced with a variation of details but with a similarity of purpose and
design. The Mystery of Osiris and Isis, which is generally considered as the
most ancient, was produced in Egypt as far back as we can trace authentic
history, and inferentially much further. Even with this record of its very
great antiquity, some oriental scholars think it had an origin in India and
was borrowed by the Egyptians.
Arthur E. Waite finds that part of the Book of the Dead (the name given by
Prof. Karl Richard Lepsius to a collection of 166 texts or chapters of sacred
writings of the earliest Egyptian literature found on the walls or tombs and
scrolls of papyrus), described ceremonies which he believes were a rite of
initiation and advancement, rather than the after-death experiences of the
soul in the judgment halls, an opinion held by many scholars. Albert G. Mackey
divides the Egyptian Mysteries into the three degrees of Isis, Serapis and
Osiris, which was the consummation. The legend of Osiris' murder and the loss
of his body; the search and recovery; its final burial; and the account given
of its resurrection comprise one version of an allegory which was the
principal feature of all the mysteries.
Osiris, a king of Ancient Egypt, after having taught many arts and sciences to
his people, resolved to extend his benefactions still further and travel in
foreign countries and educate humanity. He left his kingdom in charge of his
queen, Isis, and for three years devoted himself to the task he had entered.
In the absence Typhon, his brother, had conspired to usurp the throne, and at
a banquet given in honor of Osiris' return brought a beautiful chest which he
announced would be given to the one whose body it most nearly fitted. Osiris
laid down in the chest to try it and Typhon closed the lid and securely
fastened it and threw it into the Nile.
The long search for the body by Isis was finally rewarded, and it was found in
a tamarisk tree which had grown up and encased it after it had been washed
ashore in Phoenicia. Isis returned to Egypt with the body, but before it could
be buried Typhon again seized it and cut it into fourteen pieces, which he
scattered in many places. Isis resumed her search and was again rewarded, but
one part, the phallus, was never found. The body was embalmed and it was
announced that Osiris had risen and resumed his place among the gods. (Several
variations of detail are given in the many versions of this legend, but the
loss, recovery and resurrection are essentially the same in all.)
The Mysteries of Mithras are supposed to have been instituted by Zarathustra (Zoroaster),
but Bactrian chronology is as difficult to determine as ancient Egyptian,
consequently this period may have been anywhere from 1,500 to 5,000 years
before the Christian era, according to the different systems of computation.
The Mithraic rites, although differing in dramatic details, teach the same
symbolic lessons of life and immortality as those of Osiris, and are full of
astronomical allusions. Mithras was worshipped as the God of Light, and the
initiation into this ancient society was accompanied with extremely severe
tests through seven grades or degrees. Although originating in Persia, it was
afterward extended over most of Asia and Europe, and many of its monuments are
preserved in European museums.
The Cabiric Mysteries were first practiced on the island of Samothrace, and
are sometimes called the Samothracian Mysteries. Little is known about them,
but they are generally supposed to have been instituted in honor of Atys, a
form of the sun god. The principal feasts and rites were held at the vernal
equinox and it is probable that the legend of death and immortality was taught
by an astronomical allegory.
The Mysteries of Adonis were practiced at Byblos, the home of the Giblites,
who were the supposed "stone-squarers" at the building of King Solomon's
Temple; and if any historical importance may be attached to traditions
relating to the building of that Temple there may be found in this connection
a source of a well known Masonic legend.
The Dionysian Mysteries, instituted in honor of Dionysius, who is more usually
called Bacchus, gave an allegory of immortality in a varied form. The rites of
Dionysius are supposed by scholars to have given rise to the Greek drama.
The Eleusinian Mysteries, celebrated at Eleusis, a village near Athens, were
probably conducted on a larger scale than any of the others and have become
the most widely known of all. They are divided into the lesser and the
greater, requiring a probationary period of one year before the candidate
could advance. In the Greater Mysteries an elaborate procession was made in
the day time, and the initiations were conducted at night. The legend of the
abduction of Pereephone by Pluto, and the search and recovery for half of each
year by Demeter, her mother, was exemplified in dramatic manner and is
supposed to have an astronomical origin.
Much that is excellent and divine does Athens seem to me to have produced and
added to our life, but nothing better than those Mysteries by which we are
formed and moulded from a rude and savage state of humanity; and indeed, in
the Mysteries we perceive the real principles of life, and learn not only to
live happily, but to die with a fairer hope.
Bro. Oliver Day Street, after treating of the Mysteries, says: Thus did
ancient societies seek by means of dramatic presentation of a legend to teach
the great Masonic doctrine of the resurrection and the life after death.
The Scandinavian and Druidical Mysteries are only variations of the others
and have the same objects. Very little is known about them, though traces of
initiatory rites are to be discovered in the Younger Edda.
The Ancient Mysteries are fascinating to those who delight in the obscure and
complex portions of history; but, notwithstanding what many Masonic authors
have written about the subject, they should be studied with great care and
discrimination. What it is possible to verify of the belief and thought and
the rites and ceremonies of those ancient societies is pieced together from
fragments. These fragments are sufficient, however, to justify conceding that
the Ancient Mysteries taught moral instruction by symbolic methods. Many of
the forms and ceremonies and signs and symbols seem to have been either
transmitted to Freemasonry or borrowed from them. It is impossible to find any
direct chain of transmission, and it is also impossible to find any authentic
account of such symbolic teaching being incorporated into the Masonic system
at airy given period. Many writers on Freemasonry have compared the symbolism
of Freemasonry with what is known of the Ancient Mysteries. Every one admits
the similarity, but some doubt any transmission from them to Freemasonry as we
The conclusions reached by some of the greatest students are that the most
important lesson of the Mysteries was the Osirian legend. Mackey says in his
Manual of the Lodge:
was the single object of all the ancient rites and mysteries practiced in the
very bosom of pagan darkness, shining as a solitary beacon in all the
surrounding gloom, and cheering the philosopher in his weary pilgrimage of
life, to teach the immortality of the soul. This is still the great design of
the Third Degree of Masonry.
While Albert Pike expressed the opinion in regard to Freemasonry, that
. . those who framed its degrees adopted the most sacred and Significant
symbols of a very remote antiquity used many centuries before Solomon built
the Temple, to express to those who understood them and to conceal from the
profane, the most recondite doctrines in regard to God, the universe and man.
Let us, however, carefully consider whether the degrees of Freemasonry were
framed, and whether men of a comparatively recent date adopted some of its
most significant symbols. The brethren of the period of the formation of the
Grand Lodge of England did not have access to the records of Ancient Egypt.
Champollion announced his discovery of the inscriptions on the Rosetta Stone
as the key to reading Egyptian hieroglyphics in 1822, and any knowledge
Freemasons had of the Ancient Mysteries must have been through some
The Mysteries of Osiris-and Isis are known to have been celebrated on the
island of Philae as late as 453 A. D., and the most prominent of the Mysteries
that influenced European thought at the commencement of the Christian era were
those of Mithras.
The study of the deeper significance of Masonic symbolism will be greatly
helped by the realization that most of the symbolism used at present has been
transmitted through channels which sometimes perverted the original meaning,
or at least obscured it; and if the student begins at the basic principle he
must consider the most probable origin and original meaning of symbols. We
believe that the important symbols are but few and simple, but their
migrations and interfusion has brought them down to us so that we must trace
them back to origins as far as possible.
will be impossible to limit a study of symbolism to strictly historical or
archaeological lines, although we must use them both as far as they can give
us facts before entering upon speculation. The records we possess clearly show
that the first serious contemplations which man indulged in regarding things
not pertaining to his immediate physical necessities, were regarding Light and
Life. The East as a place from which the orb of light appeared to come was one
of the first things that started the human mind on its endless journey of
inquiry into the reasons thereof, and eventually developed the present
knowledge of the universe and its laws which still remains one of the
profoundest subjects we may study. Life, or the reproductive principle, was
also a cause of making man think and reason.
must bear in mind that before the primitive man could develop, he must have
experiences and that it was only such things as he experienced that could
influence his mental Process.
(1) By mysteries the educated reader will not understand merely doctrines or
symbols, or even secrets as such, but a system of discipline and instruction
in esoteric learning which was deemed too sacred and recondite for those who
had not complied with the essential conditions. Every ancient country had its
sacerdotal order, the members of which had been initiated into the mysteries-
and even Jesus defended His practice of discoursing in parables or allegories,
because that only to His disciples was it given to understand the mysteries of
the kingdom of God, whereas to the multitude it was not given. The priests of
Egypt, the Magians of the ancient countries beyond the river Euphrates, the
priests of Phoenicia and the other countries of Western Asia, were all members
of sacerdotal colleges that might not divulge the esoteric knowledge to the
uninitiated. Even the Brahmins of India are said to have also their mysteries
at the present time; and the late Godfrey Higgins relates that a Mr. Ellis was
enabled, by aid of the Masonic tokens, to enter the penetralia of a temple in
the presidency of Madras. That there is some such "freemasonry" existing in
many of the countries which we denominate uncivilized and pagan, is probable.
The early Christians and heretical sects had also their signs of recognition,
and were distinguished like the initiates of the older worships, according to
their grade, as neophytes (1 Timothy, iii, 6), spiritual, and perfect. The
mysteries most familiar to classical readers are the Eleusinia, which appear
to have descended from the prehistoric periods. Pocoeke declares them to have
been of Tartar origin, which is certainly plausible, and to have combined
Brahminical and Buddhistical ideas. Those admitted only to the Lesser
Mysteries were denominated Mystae, or veiled- those initiated into the Greater
Mysteries were epoptai, or seers. Socrates was not initiated, yet after
drinking the hemlock he addresses Crito: "We owe a cock to Aeseulapius." This
was the peculiar offering made by initiates on the eve of the last day, and he
thus sublimely asserted that he was about to receive the great apocalypse.
BRO. C.H. BRIGGS, P. G. M., Missouri
EACH petitioner for the Mysteries of Freemasonry must declare that he is "a
firm believer in the one living and true God." He is told that in the
beginning God created the heaven and the earth. He is taught the importance of
prayer. He is told that "the Holy Bible is given us as the rule and guide of
our faith and practice." He is taught man's immortality.
Lo! Judah's Lion stoops to save
His strong right hand
reading downward to the grave
The dead shall stand.
grip, a word, he springs upright
The shadows fly
basks in heaven's eternal light
more to die.
The Freemason who rejects these great principles outlaws himself. Forty years
ago a "progressive" Freemason who had outgrown his belief in these verities
was expelled from a Missouri Lodge. The Grand Lodge by a unanimous vote
sustained the action of the Lodge in expelling him and said in the report as
adopted: "The 'Book of the Law' is that volume which by the religion of the
country is believed to contain the revealed will of the Grand Architect of the
Universe." The Jew and the Christian meet in the lodge. Each finds in the
"Book of the Law" the revealed will of God, but each is left free to find his
own interpretation of it.
The efforts which many critics and some preachers are making to discredit the
Old Testament need not disturb intelligent Freemasons. Fifty years ago they
told us the art of writing was not sufficiently advanced in the time of Moses
to warrant us in believing he could have written the Pentateuch. Since the
Code of Hammurabi was discovered such critics are dumb. They told us Luke was
an ignoramus because in the seventeenth chapter of Acts he used the word "Politarchs"
in writing of the rulers of Thessalonica. The critics said the word was not
found in Greek literature. Thirty years ago I saw in the British Museum a
marble slab dug up at Thessalonica which uses that very word. It is an unusual
word and Luke uses it nowhere else.
Those who wish to read a sane book on the Old Testament can find it in
Professor James Orr's "Problem of the Old Testament." Robert Dick Wilson of
Princeton, who knows twenty-six languages and is probably the best American
authority on Oriental literature, says: "There is no book in the world which
has been handed down as the Bible. There are twenty-nine Kings of Egypt:
Israel, Judah, Moab, Damascus, Tyre, Babylon, Assyria, Persia; ten different
countries mentioned among these twenty-nine, both in the Bible and on the
monuments, so far as we can trace them. Every one of these is mentioned in the
Bible as King of the right country. Every one of the twenty-nine is mentioned
in the correct chronological and synchronous order. Remember, some of these
kings reigned like Rameses II for sixty-two years, some for two months.
If you were going to write the history of this century, and had to get those
little kings in the Balkans and Germany and Austria and Italy down right in
the synchronism and in their relativity, you would find a big problem. But the
Bible has its kings right."
is the best Ancient History the world has. Dr. John Lord commences his "Beacon
Lights of History" with Moses of whom he says: "I begin my review of the great
actors in the world's history with the man who gave the first recorded impulse
to civilization, and who is the most august character of all antiquity." He
stands out in clear historic light and we know the names of Amram, his father;
Jochebed, his mother; Miriam, his sister, and his brother Aaron. That he wrote
the Pentateuch is far more probable than any of the guesses with which the
critics have sought to discrown him. Those common sense considerations are all
we need to urge as reasons for believing that the Hebrews did not blunder in
regarding him as their Lawgiver.
Jerusalem is not named in the Pentateuch.
Music, instrumental or vocal, formed no part of the Mosaic Ritual.
The term "Lord of Hosts" is not in the Pentateuch.
David captured Jerusalem from the Jebusites and made it the capital of his
kingdom. From his day dates its glory among the cities of the world. From his
day music became prominent in Hebrew worship.
The critics ask us to believe that centuries after David's day, when Jerusalem
had become the center of their national life, when music, both instrumental
and vocal, was so prominent in their worship and when their literature named
the Lord of Hosts, the most skillful literary forgers the world ever knew
fabricated the Pentateuch, ascribed it to Moses, and to give it an antique
cast, kept out of it the name of Jerusalem, any reference to music in worship,
and the term "Lord of Hosts." My answer is, "Tell that to the marines."
The first chapter of Genesis gives the order of the creation of earth as
geology unfolds it. How came Moses to be a geologist thousands of years in
advance of his day? Had the tallest archangel who flames before the throne and
who saw fire mist-taking form until man stood in Eden the climax of the
creative work undertaken to reveal the story of what he saw he could not have
put in the same space a better account than Moses has given us.
Take his statement concerning marriage: "Therefore shall a man leave his
father and mother and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one
flesh." Jesus of Nazareth had nothing to add to that. Shallow critics have
sneered at the account of the first human sin. It may be poetic in its form,
but no theologian or philosopher has ever been able to give a better
explanation. It shows that sin is the assertion of self-will against God. In
passing we may say that there are only three perfect pictures of the Devil in
the world's literature. One is in the third chapter of Genesis, one in the
second chapter of Job and the third in the Gospel narrative of Christ's
temptation. The essential difference between human life and all other forms of
terrestrial life is not only clearly marked in the account of the Creation
which Genesis gives, but is emphasized in God's words to Noah recorded in the
ninth chapter. Flesh is given man for food. This gives him the right to take
animal life to meet his needs. But human life is sacred. God gives it and God
can take it away. "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed;
for in the image of God made he man." Here is the Divine warrant for Capital
Punishment, for murder. What does the Evolutionist do when he comes to this?
What did the old bell cow do when she came to the fence? Went right over it.
Joseph's answer to his tempters "How then can I do this great wickedness, and
sin against God ?" shows as clear a conception of the double nature of sin as
the New Testament unfolds. He shrank from its impurity and feared to sin
The Ten Commandments given on Sinai and deposited in the Ark of the Covenant
constitute the one and only moral code given to man. Jesus was not a Lawgiver.
Grace and Truth came by him but the Law had already been given by Moses. Jesus
interpreted it and applied it, but did not re-enact it for it had not run out
and is the basis of the jurisprudence of civilized lands today. Where did
Moses get that law?
The Hebrew people did not give Monotheism to the world. Their mission was to
preserve a faith which had been man's heritage from the beginning, but was
dying out. Abraham had as friends and associates Melchizedek, the priest of
the Most High God, and Abimelech, King of Gerar to whom God appeared. But when
Moses has led the Children of Israel through the wilderness and they are about
ready to enter the Land of Promise no successors of Melchizedek or Abimelech
are found who shared their faith in God. All we see is a torch going out in
the darkness Balaam, a back- sliding prophet, who loved the wages of
unrighteousness and who was slain in the war against Midian.
Your theories of Evolution break down when you come to deal with the world's
Religions. Every great religion the world has known was loftier intellectually
and nobler morally in its earlier stages than in its later history. The
suggestion of a recent Masonic writer that the bones of Joseph were in the Ark
of the Covenant and he became their god, is absurd. Joseph's body was embalmed
and an ark three feet nine inches long was not its coffin. There are many
mummies in the British Museum, but I saw none stuffed into boxes three feet
and nine inches long.
THE BUILDER APRIL 1929
American Army Lodges in the World War
Sea and Field Lodge No. 3, at Le Mans, France By BRO. CHARLES F. IRWIN,
our studies thus far into the American Field Lodges that were active during
the World War we have covered considerable space and have already brought to
the student Masons the realization that our Fraternity had a vital place in
the life of the soldiers who constituted the American Forces.
Last month we had presented to us the record of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 2,
which was stationed at Paris. New York in like manner has the credit of
placing one of her Overseas Field Lodges at the center of the A. E. F.
understand why Le Mans was selected -as a point of strategic importance it is
necessary for you to look carefully at the war map of the A. E. F. You will
there discover that of the many ports of debarkation whereby our American
Forces were landed in France and distributed throughout that country, the
Harbor of Brest was the one through which the largest number of our forces
passed. Now it is not only important to have a Port of Entry but the constant
stream of Americans who were entering France daily had to be distributed in
such manner that congestion at the coast might be avoided. The ships were
arriving in such numbers that thousands of men and huge quantities of supplies
were daily entering France and disembarking at its forts.
Nature and man's application of modes of transportation have made of Brittany
a region especially fitted for the handling of such problems as
transportation, housing, and training. It is a rugged, hilly section of
France. Large sections are heavily wooded and towns are often at considerable
distances from each other. Consequently it is an ideal location for the
training of artillery. Thus large numbers of our Artillery Brigades were moved
from Brest to camps in Brittany where they completed their preliminary
practice prior to the passing up into the Battle Zones. The Infantry were
moved more quickly to regions south and southeast of Paris.
Mans is on the main line of the railroad running from Brest to Tours and
Paris. It became naturally the center around which many of the American
Divisions found temporary quarters before being broken up and scattered
throughout the country. The Eighty third Division for example became a
Replacement Division and was practically a permanent resident of the Le Mans
region. Its artillery was detached and sent forward and attached to other
Consequently, both prior to the Armistice and afterwards, hundreds of
thousands of our soldiers were stationed in the Le Mans district. The welfare
activities of all the accredited civilian organizations set up shop within
Brittany and ministered to our men. Especially was this true of the Y. M. C.
A. which established a complete organization throughout the Brittany borders
and especially at Le Mans. Among the secretaries that were stationed at Le
Mans was Brother Harry B. Mook, member of Excelsior Springs Lodge, No. 195,
New York City. His position was one of responsibility and he threw himself
into the welfare work with great zeal. He tells me that very early in the life
of the Le Mans American Occupation the Masons got together. In a letter he
puts it this way: several months previous to the entry of Masonry into France,
a number of Y. M. C. A. Secretaries being Masons organized the AMERICAN
MASONIC CLUB and honored me with the Presidency. Our Club house was situated
at 45 rue Chanzy, quite a pretentious building. The American Officers and
Doughboys joined in large numbers making the undertaking a financial and
social success. Here we billeted both officers and doughboys under the same
roof and here they met upon a common level. A request to the Commanding
Officers of the different camps brought Military Bands and Jazz Orchestras
from the different units. The female element was supplied by girls from the Y.
M. C. A., Red Cross, and English "Waes." The conditions in the area at that
time were very depressing. Morale was at a very low ebb. The description given
by Miss Katherine Mayo which was quoted in the account of Sea and Field Lodge,
No. 2, last month did not overstate matters. If anything the reverse for no
one who was not in it could ever fully appreciate it.
. . the big nervous effort that had preceded the Armistice had stopped short.
The excitement was over. A dull long pause had ensued. Men had begun to fret
and fear about their jobs at home; to ponder at leisure the possible personal
cost of their war period. Mail service had been exceedingly defective. For
many months in many eases home news had been entirely cut off. Meantime in
America the influenza had slain its thousands, and every man who had failed to
hear from his family dreaded the possible truth....
is little wonder that men felt as they did under such conditions, which were
generally true all over France, but especially in this center through which
were to flow for months the returning millions of Americans when the Overseas
Masonic Commission began to study the Situation of France, from a Masonic
The New York Mission went down from Paris to Le Mans and were conducted over
the Le Mans Area. They saw the preparations that had been made to accommodate
thousands upon thousands of Americans eastward moving. They saw these same
thousands re-appearing westward into the Le Mans Area until over 300,000 men
were billeted within the area at one time. Situations were constantly arising
that demanded the wisest and most intensively directed activities to bulwark
the morale of these men.
SEA AND FIELD LODGE, NO. 3, CONSTITUTED
condition could be more challenging to a group of experienced Freemasons than
this. Their problem resolved itself into a very clear proposition. Had Masonry
within it upon such a condition and work out plans whereby men could be held
to the highest ideals of their kind? The Masonic Overseas Mission were
convinced that it did, Bro. Scudder took action. In his Report to the Grand
Lodge of New York in 1920, he says:
also instituted Sea and Field Lodge, No. 3, at Le Mans, the great Embarkation
Center, with R. W. Harry B. Mook, of New York, as Wor. Master, which sat 12
times at the Temple of the Lodge Les Amis du Progres of Grand Orient, No. 3
rue Gastelier, and conferred the degrees on 203 Candidates, which included 14
Candidates accommodated by courtesy for other Lodges. Its first session was
April 9, 1919, and its last June 21, 1919.
the same volume of Proceedings, we find also the report Brother Mook made to
the Masonic Mission:
W. Townsend Scudder, Past Grand Master of Masons of the State of New York,
Chairman. Masonic Overseas Mission.
Dear Sir and M. W. Brother:
Herewith I submit a report of the activities of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 3,
located at Le Mans, France.
From Aug 26, 1918 I was stationed at Le Mans, France as Regional Director of
the A. E. F.-Y. M. C. A. in that area. Le Mans is approximately 240 kilometers
(130 miles) in a general southerly direction from Paris, and had been early in
1918 established as a camp for the American forces, with a quota of
approximately 4,000 men.
THE WITHDRAWAL OF THE AMERICAN TROOPS
Soon after the Armistice, the necessity of withdrawing the American troops
from the front and from their several billets was presented to the
Commander-in-Chief, and pending the determination by the Government to return
the troops to America, and the method of such return it was planned that the
Le Mans area, comprising roughly the territory centering about Le Mans with a
diameter of 100 miles, should be expanded as a so-called embarkation camp to a
capacity of approximately 325,000 men, for the purpose of providing
accommodations for the men thus necessarily transferred, and for whom
accommodations elsewhere, and particularly at the seaboard were entirely
The enterprise was speedily undertaken and promptly carried out, and January
and February, 1919, saw a sudden, continuous and incredible increase both in
the number of men stationed in that area and also in the accommodation for
The resources of the Welfare Workers, and particularly the A.E. F.- Y. M. C.
A. were sorely taxed. Officers and men situated thus, heartsick for home,
uncertain when they could be embarked, with nothing to do and little or
nothing to occupy their minds, were in a moral and mental plight which can
only be imagined. Naturally, coincidentally with the expansion of the area,
and the congregation of large numbers of men thereat, the civilian population
increased correspondingly, and among them were a large number of dissolute
women from the larger cities, and particularly from Paris, seeking to prey
upon our troops.
was personally in the most intimate association with the conditions. I know
whereof I speak. When I learned early in February, 1919, of the advent of the
Masonic Overseas Mission it seemed to me as though a veritable gift of God was
at our door. I promptly applied to you and to the Mission for assistance in
the financial support of a Masonic Club at Le Mans, which you graciously and
immediately granted without stint. That is another story, however, save that
the Club, thoroughly established in ample and unusually comfortable and
appropriate quarters, with a permanent membership of 903 men, and a roving
attendance of at least 5000 additional, proved wholly inadequate for the
purpose. The association of Masons which the Club afforded, and the
comfortable opportunity for recreation and social enjoyment was most
important, but the need for more intimate and a more genuine Masonic relation
afforded was observed by their non-Masonic buddies and intimate friends, and
both for nonMasons and Masons the request for lodge activities was insistent.
presented the matter to you. The Mission investigated the situation, and you
graciously issued the warrant of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 3, overseas, signed
by the Most Worshipful Grand Master of New York, and appointed me Master
thereof with authority to designate the other necessary officers..
THE COOPERATION OF FRENCH MASONS
The French Masons of Le Mans, owing obedience to the Grand Orient of France,
most cordially welcomed us and our Masonic activities, and tendered to us,
free of charge, the use of their lodge room, 3 rue Gastelier, and here Sea and
Field Lodge, No. 3, was instituted April 9, 1919, by the Masonic Mission.
Master of the lodge I did my utmost to impress upon the candidates from the A.
E. F., as well as upon the Frenchmen's minds, the dignity and character of our
institution, and hope with some measure of success.
The quarters of the French Lodge being inadequate, I secured the use of the
Opera House, which was employed on May 2, 1919, the attendance outside the
candidates testing the seating capacity of the house, about 1500.
the request of the Mayor of Le Mans, M. Buon, who is not a Mason, I called
upon him, and was pleased to learn that he was desirous of doing something for
the American Mason, because he had learned the difference between American and
French Freemasons in respect of their belief in God. It was through him that I
secured the use of the conference room in the Municipal Dessin and found it to
be what was needed, holding from three to four hundred with ample floor space,
and with adequate security. Our paraphernalia was crude, but served the
purpose. Our ballot box was made of a cigar box, the ballots marbles painted
with white enamel, the cubes pieces of ebony ruler, the gavels potato mashers
varnished, the jewels of the officers, made from brass linings of shells at
the machine shop in Camp Hospital No. 52. For cabletows, we used upholstery
cord, for staves we used flag poles, for canvas sheet an army blanket; for the
representatives of the three lesser lights, candles bought in the department
store- the altar was a table properly draped, the square and compasses came
from the Engineering Corps, 83rd Division, and the Bible was one which I had
in my trunk and took from my rooms at Cavanaugh's, the largest Bible
available, and which bore the name in gilt letters on the cover, "Cavanaugh,"
who, I understood, is a member of the K. of C. and on this Bible were raised
the Candidates of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 3, overseas.
The ceremonies of the lodge were marked by dignity and order. It sat April 9,
17, 24, May 2, 8, 16, 23, 29, June 6, 13, 20 and 21, and each of its sessions
was very largely attended. The ceremonial and ritual were the standard of the
Grand Lodge of New York, which the personnel of the lodge, hailing from all
over the United States, zealously applied themselves to and mastered with
Its service was indeed a holy service and its influence benign.
closing, I wish to express to you my thanks and the appreciation for the many
kind acts extended to me by you on the occasion of our numerous meetings at
Paris, and for your helpful assistance, encouragement and advice which did
much toward making our efforts so successful in Le Mans.
Fraternally, HARRY B. MOOK
Thus the account of Bro. Mook in his report em bodied in the Proceedings of
New York Grand Lodge of 1920. In a letter to me Bro. Mook covers much the same
ground but with some further details.
Sea and Field Lodge, No. 3, was instituted in the French Masonic Lodge Room
in Le Mans, they having kindly offered the free use of the quarters. The
following officers were duly installed by the Masonic Mission.
Master R. W. Harry B. Mook, New York.
Sen. Warden Wor. Wm. Higgins, New York State.
Jun. Warden Lieut. Hyson, Arkansas.
D Wor. Capt. Wilson, Mass.
D Wm. Sampson, Texas.
M. C. Capt. Ehrenwerth, Montana.
M. C Harry Young, Conn.
S Rev. J. C. Black, Texas.
S. Capt. Peterson, Ohio.
Tiler Sergt. Gilmore, California.
Treas Lieut. Taylor, Colorado.
Secy Lieut. Ross, Kentucky.
Finding the French Masonic lodge room too small to accommodate the many
hundreds who tried to attend, and having the First, Second and Third Degrees
to confer on 84 candidates in waiting, I hired the Opera House, seating
capacity about 2,000. The lodge was set upon the stage, with scenery
representing King Solomon's Temple (used by the Paris Opera co. that came here
at certain seasons of the year); thrones for the Master and Wardens; a
Fellowcraft team made up of soldier boys, the costumes furnished by Moran, who
had his factory in Le Mans and was the costumer for the opera company. I had a
special dispensation from the Grand Master of New York permitting me to confer
all three degrees one night, and the number unlimited. This I found to be
necessary owing to the constant shifting of the troops. Upon this occasion all
three degrees were conferred in full, with just the descriptive lectures of
the First and Second. We started at seven o'clock and finished at twelve.
Our Senior Deacon was the Town Major. He started out to find a larger room
where we could hold our weekly meetings. He called upon the Mayor, M. Buon,
who sent for me and between my bad French and his bad English, we made
ourselves understood. The Mayor, a staunch Catholic, said he had heard of the
American Masons and had formed a good opinion of them. He said the French
Masons are a political body that threw their influence against the Church.
They were mostly Atheists, which accounted for our nonaffiliation with them.
He took me by the arm and led me to the Municipal De Dessin (a large hall
where the public assembled to make their complaints) a place seating about
400. Upon assuring him that it would be an ideal place for us to meet, he gave
his consent and furnished me with an autographed letter, giving the American
Masonic Lodge the free use of the room as long as the American Army was in
France. Pretty fine conduct from a Catholic to a Mason.
This courtesy on the part of one undoubtedly brought up to believe everything
evil of Freemasons was certainly very remarkable. Bro. Mook went on in his
letter to describe the paraphernalia used, which, as it has already been
described in the report quoted above may be omitted here. He adds one detail
that may be of interest, the "setting maul" was "an ordinary hammer, with a
boxing glove attached," and he then goes on to describe the borrowing of the
Bible more fully:
. . and now comes a secret. Before leaving for the other side I was quartered
at the home of a friend who is a member of the Knights of Columbus. In my room
on the table was a large handsome Bible. Realizing I was going over to do
service for the Y.M.C.A. as a Financial Secretary, I thought this might be
useful, so I borrowed it. When we looked around for the Great Light, we had
nothing larger than a Testament. I thought of the Bible and during the four
months that we held our weekly meetings, I raised 288 Masons on a Knight of
the proceedings of various Grand Lodges I have come across a number of
references to the military lodges with New York Warrants. Some of them have
queen favorable, and some otherwise. Among the latter I found in the
Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Tenessee for 1921 the following paragraph in
the Grand Master's address:
The following were healed: Marcus Elmo Nellum, who had received the F. C. and
M. M. Degrees in Sea and Field Lodge, No. 3, New York, he having received the
E. A. Degree in Corinthian Lodge, March 26....
The Grand Master also referred in his address to the opinion expressed by the
Grand Master of Kentucky the previous year:
(Ky GM) criticised the reported initiation, passing and raising all in one
night the ceremony of a class of over fifty men by the Sea and Field Lodge,
No. 3, at Le Mans, France, under a Special dispensation of the Grand Lodge of
New York under which said S&F Lodge was working in France in 1919.
This expression of opinion naturally roused curiosity. The Proceedings of the
Grand Lodge of Kentucky for 1919, in which the following letter was found,
which speaks for itself:
Mans, France, May 3, 1919.
Right Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F. & A. M.
From across the seas I send greetings and salutations to the Craft of
Kentucky. The purpose of this letter I consider for the good of Masonic Lodges
throughout our State.
was my lot the other afternoon to visit Sea and Field Lodge, No. 3, which is
located here, and I believe is working under the authority granted by the
Grand Lodge of New York. Special dispensations having been granted by the
Grand Lodge of New York, there was a class of over fifty men initiated passed
and raised that night. Aside from the obligations of the first two degrees,
there was nothing further of the ritual used. All those beautiful lessons were
ignored. In the Third Degree the candidates took only the obligation and were
given seats where they saw the remainder of the work "staged." This solemn
degree work was put on the stage while all the candidates witnessed it as they
would the season's latest hit in shows. Not a single one of the class was
raised, and if the duties which accompany that act were performed I did not
see them. The Master announced that he would make it his duty to see that each
candidate was raised at a later date.
Having been reared in a country lodge where we know no more than to do things
as prescribed in the rites and ceremonies of the fraternity, I cannot endorse
this work. I would fear for my good standing if any member of Franklin Lodge,
No. 28, Danville, Ky., were to find me endorsing this Masonic butchering by
even my presence.
I take this means to warn you and ask that the Craft be warned about giving
their consent to waiver (sic) jurisdiction. Hoping that this year may find the
Fraternity in its best condition for years and hoping soon to mingle with the
Craft of Kentucky, and with highest personal regards, I beg to remain,
Allen C. Terhune.
Lt. M. G. U. S. A. Spur Camp, Le Mans, France, A. P. O. 762.
The Grand Master of Kentucky commented as follows:
am not familiar by mouth-to-ear information, or by reading just how much
seriousness or extent of thoroughness is practiced in conference of degrees of
Symbolic Masonry in France, or even in our New York jurisdiction, but wherever
such procedure is staged or such a large class "put through" in sieve-like
fashion within a few hours, in the same breath as it were, I can see scant
impression, no solemnity and but little good derived, from the standpoint of
the candidate receiving "light."
When I came upon these items I copied them carefully and forwarded them to
Bro. Harry B. Mook, of New York, with the request that he give me an answer to
use when this account was published. In his reply to me Bro. Mook says:
May 2d, 1919, we were compelled to hire the Opera House, seating more than
2000. On that evening we conferred the First, Second and Third Degrees on 84
candidates. The Lodge WAS SEATED ON THE STAGE (the critic failed to get this
fact), with appropriate scenery, resembling King Solomon's Palace, with
thrones for the Master and Wardens. The FC Team were Doughboys from our Army.
We worked the three degrees in full (a flat denial to the criticism quoted by
the Grand Master in his address) with the EXPLANATION OF EXPLANATORY REMARKS
as the First Degree and the Middle Chamber Lectures.
appears to us in view of the recent creation "At Sight" in the Grand Lodge of
Pennsylvania of three men in one and the same day from Entered Apprentice to
Master Mason, without any tests or lectures being required that the criticism
of the late Grand Master of the Kentucky Grand Lodge was not warranted by the
facts. I fear that much of the argumentation against the creation of Army
Lodges during the War was due to the prejudice already embedded in many Grand
Masters who were in position to nullify any movements that might arise within
their own jurisdictions looking to the formation of such lodges. The taking of
other Masons' words without due testing of them and using them to frustrate
the desires of large bodies of Masons under their obedience did not, to say
the least, manifest that urge that the Craft are supposed to have toward the
Truth whatever way it tend.
want to put over against all criticisms that may have found lodgement
concerning the work of these Sea and Field lodges of New York Grand Lodge this
letter that came to me from Hawaii some years ago:
Feb. 14, 1923. N.M.R.S. Sir:
an explanation of my petition for membership (in the N. M. R. S.) I enclose
the following data. Degrees taken at Le Mans, France, June 13, 1919.
Secretary, H. W. Ross. Lodge Charter under Grand Lodge of New York. Present
Headquarters, c/o Grand Lodge State of New York. Present station, Temporary.
KAUAI MASONIC CLUB.
Sincerely yours, Lester W. Alexander, U. S. Engineers,
Lihue Kauai, T. H.
other words here is one of our Army brothers who might never have had
opportunity to secure the Masonic degrees had he not been in Le Mans at that
time and found the New York Field Lodge there and at work. Here he is four
years later still active in his attachment to the Craft far out in the
And so the record keeps growing. The Field Lodge at Le Mans touched thousands
of the Craft at a time when they were under terrific mental strain due to that
terrible period of waiting that followed the Armistice. It reached beyond the
Craft itself and made its impress upon native Frenchmen both Masonic and
anti-Masonic, and it was a beneficent influence. It touched non-Masonic
material in our A. E. F., who observed the effects of the fellowship of the
members of the Craft and it awakened within many scores of them an attraction
toward Freemasonry that produced in them a desire to secure light either
overseas or upon their return home.
give below a copy of the Warrant delivered to
Bro. Mook by the Overseas Masonic Mission and also a table of the work done
by this lodge:
Upon the surrender of the Warrant of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 3, its books,
records, furniture and all effects were collected together by the Overseas
Masonic Mission and conveyed to the Grand Lodge Temple of New York where they
are at present deposited. Many of the members of the lodge were transferred
and consolidated with the membership of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 1, of New
York City. Part of them took their demits and joined other lodges, some of
them are still carried on the roll of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 1, but the
lodge itself has been perpetuated, and located at Auburn, N. Y., with the
permanent number, 974.
SIT LUX ET LUX FUIT William S. Farmer, Grand Master
William S. Farmer, Grand Master of Masons, in the State of New York, do, by
these presents, appoint, authorize and empower our
Worthy Brother Harry B. Mook, New York, to be the Master, our
Worthy Brother Wm. D. Higgins, New York, to be the Senior Warden, our
Worthy Brother R. J. Hinson, Arkansas, to be the Junior Warden, our
Worthy Brother A. E. Taylor, Colorado, to be the Treasurer, our
Worthy Brother H. W. Ross, Kentucky, to be the Secretary, our
Worthy Brother P. J. Wilson, Massachusetts, to be the Senior Deacon, our
Worthy Brother W. H. Sampson, Texas, to be the Junior Deacon,
a Sea and Field Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, to be by virtue hereof,
constituted, formed and held at Le Mans, France, and elsewhere overseas as may
be convenient and necessary, which Lodge shall be distinguished and known by
the name and style of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 3, at Le Mans, France.
The said Master is hereby authorized to appoint subordinate officers of said
Lodge, and said Lodge is authorized to adopt all such by-laws and regulations
for the governance of its proceedings and labor as may be necessary and
requisite, subject to my approval and subject as hereinafter set forth.
And further, the said Lodge is hereby invested with full power and authority
to assemble on all proper and lawful occasions and to elect and confer the
three degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry or any or either thereof, upon
candidates who have actually enlisted or been drafted or commissioned officers
in the United States Forces in the present great war, on payment of Twenty
Dollars; conforming in all respects and at all times to the provisions of the
Book of Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of the State of New York and to the
standard ritual prescribed thereby, as also to do and perform all and every
such acts and things appertaining to the Craft as have been and ought to be
done for the honor and advantage thereof.
Membership or officership in said Lodge shall in nowise impair or affect
existing membership or officership in a regular chartered or warranted Lodge.
Said Lodge shall have a seal and shall have and keep all books required to be
kept by regular Lodges in the State of New York, the same and all records to
be surrendered to the Grand Lodge on the termination of this Warrant.
This Warrant shall terminate at the pleasure of the Grand Master.
Given under my hand and Private Seal at the City of New York in the United
States of America, this 9th day of April in the year of our Lord, One thousand
nine hundred and nineteen, and in the year of Masonry, Five thousand nine
hundred and nineteen.
William S. Farmer. Grand Master.
COMMUNICATIONS OF S. & F. LODGE, NO. 3
S. & F. Material
N. Y. Lodges
Demitted in 1919 - 33, in 1920 - 23 Total - 56
The Degrees of Masonry; Their Origin and History
BROS. A. L. KRESS and R. J. MEEKREN (Continued from March)
HAVING freely criticized the work of others it is now our turn to present our
own conclusions, to be the prey and sport of others. Doubtless our readers
have gathered much of our views on the negative side, and perhaps something on
the positive side also. But it may be well to briefly recapitulate the
different types of theory that have emerged. The naive theory that three
degrees, essentially as they exist today, were part of the original system is
certainly untenable, and we doubt if anyone in the least familiar with the
evidence would support it. But in a modified form it still seems to persist.
Bro. Tuckett's two degrees and a ceremony-with-secrets is a triple
arrangement, and so in truth is Bro. Vibert's theory of two grades preceded by
the formalities of swearing in the Apprentice, for the latter seems to be not
much more empty of content, considered as a "degree," than the single
ceremony, "crude" and "simple," of Hughan, Lyon and others.
The single initiation theory has taken different forms; all the way from the
bare "entry," and the communication of a password, asserted by Gould, up to
the inclusion in it of all the essentials of the present first and second
degrees, and even to embodying those of the third degree as well.
The two degree theory has still more variants. It can be taken as comprising
the elements of our first and third, of our first and second, and also of a
bare entry as a first step, with the combined elements of our two first
degrees for the second one. And still other combinations are possible. How is
anything like order to be evolved out of such chaos ?
does seem to emerge, however, that many of these conclusions have been
reached, not on the implications of the evidence as it stands, but on the
latter as viewed in the light of various prepossessions, themselves based on
quite other considerations which do not appear in the argument, or at least
not explicitly; in many cases, indeed, without any clear realization on the
part of the individual that they are there, and perhaps sometimes wholly
unconscious. For example, it certainly seems as if the well known American
students, Mackey and Pike, eagerly accepted the single initiation theory when
it was first propounded by Findel, because of their interest in the Scottish
Rite. As scholars they were obliged to admit the eighteenth century origin of
the "high" grades out of which that Rite was formed, and this put it into an
inferior position in regard to the venerability that is conferred by
antiquity. But if the significant and fundamental part of "Craft" Masonry, the
Third Degree, were also an eighteenth century invention, then it would, at
best, have but a few years seniority over the "Scottish" grades. This is
merely one case, for such prepossessions may be observed or suspected in
perhaps most of the brethren who have sought to explain the confusing records,
as indeed is in the nature of things practically inevitable. We are,
therefore, going to begin by as full confession as we can make of our own
prepossessions, and thus have all the cards on the table. These may be taken
as postulates for the ensuing argument. Their truth is a separate question, to
be argued separately. But we shall put our case thus: if they are true, then
the acknowledged facts can be explained thus and thus. The conclusions reached
can then be criticized in two ways; directly, on the ground whether they do or
do not follow from the evidence in the light of the postulates: or else
indirectly, by attacking the postulates. But the defense of the latter is
outside our present limits. We can only state them here, not explain or
much turns upon the question of ritual that it is necessary to make some
general observations upon the subject, for strange as it may seem, there
appears to be no little uncertainty in its meaning as used by Masonic writers.
A great deal has been learned since our earlier scholars did their work, and
there is now little excuse for haziness or confusion. Yet, even now, it seems
as if most of those who touch upon the subject do implicitly regard the
Masonic ritual as something that was at some time, by some one, deliberately
and consciously devised, invented and propagated. That whether it is supposed
that it was Desaguliers, Anderson or Payne, or whether it was some unknown
personage of the Stuart or the Reformation period or in the Middle Ages, it is
unconsciously assumed that the motives and objects were of a practical,
didactic or ethical character, and would appeal as such to our civilized
mentality. But the great mass of material now available, collected by
anthropologists and students of folklore and similar subjects, presents too
many parallels to Masonic ritual for such an uncritical assumption to be
longer tenable. We know now how extremely tenacious folk or group memory is.
How resistant it is to innovation, even though subject often enough to decay
and atrophy; sometimes followed by revival. It is not an isolated phenomenon
that we are investigating, as to earlier scholars it inevitably appeared to
ANALYSIS OF RITUAL
Following the general results of the anthropological sciences ritual generally
may be thus analyzed. There are two obvious elements the things said and the
things done. Each of these is again naturally divisible into what is essential
to the purpose of the rite, and what is merely supplemental. The supplementary
may be also subdivided, but it is not necessary to do so here. The two
essential elements in any rite are always closely and vitally related, the
thing said is the verbal counterpart of the thing done; in the supplementals,
spoken and performed, this is not necessarily so, things may be done that have
no spoken formula as counterpart, things may be said, exhortations and
explanations for example, unaccompanied by any action. For illustration let us
take the Christian rite of Baptism. It is of the simplest possible character,
there is one thing done, aspersion with, or dipping into water, with its
necessary accompanying verbal formula. All beyond this in Church services is
supplementary. The proof is that it can in emergency be omitted. The Eucharist
is slightly more complex; it contains several essential actions, manipulation
of the elements, and administration, each with its accompanying spoken
counterpart. When we come to a rite like Coronation we come to something that
is really complex, and primitive too, there is much more to it than merely
putting on a crown. But it would take us too far afield to go into that now
(1). But when we analyze the Masonic ritual from this point of view we find
that it is essentially complex. There are a number of things that are
absolutely necessary to be done, each with a corresponding verbal formula that
is entirely apart from any explanation or exhortation, and which is quite
separable from the ceremonial that inevitably grows up about the essentials of
a rite when it is performed at regular intervals in a place especially set
aside for the purpose. But the essentials remain, complex as they may be,
entirely between the neophyte and the officiant. The latter may of course
depute others to do certain things, but however customary such deputation may
become the fact remains that, setting aside all questions of validity and
regularity, it is still possible for one individual to do everything that is
really necessary and essential in initiation. This probably will sound very
startling, but we believe that upon reflection upon the things that are
essential the truth of the statement will become obvious. The importance of
this will appear later. It nullifies any argument from the casual methods that
seem to have been by no means rare in Scotland; that the initiation of a
candidate was sometimes performed by two or three Masons, or even apparently
by one alone in some instances, proves nothing in regard to the character of
the forms that were used.
Much of the complexity of the ritual is quite obscured in modern recensions,
in which the hortatory and didactic is so preponderant in mass. Yet all this,
genetically considered, consists of accretions about the primitive essentials.
Viewed as consciously devised for didactic, ethical or mystical objects, the
earliest ritual forms do naturally seem "simple" or "crude," but that this was
their origin and first purpose it is difficult, in the light of present
knowledge, to believe. In our opinion, "archaic" and "primitive" are far more
accurate adjectives than "simple" or "crude," though crude they are in one
sense, and from the civilized standpoint. But the earliest vestiges of Masonic
ritual remaining to us could no more have been invented de novo by medieval
Operatives than they could have been by eighteenth century Speculative Masons.
Their object, to our mental outlook, had originally nothing practical in them
at all, they were purely magical. We do not mean that there was nothing more
in the system of the medieval Masons, or more probably, of the builders'
crafts; undoubtedly the old usages were adapted to the practical needs of the
period, just as they have been continuously subject to adaptation ever since;
and even at the beginning of the Grand Lodge era, the primitive elements had
become very much what the coccyx and the vermiform appendix are in the human
anatomy, i.e., residual vestiges of organs atrophied by disuse. They may (or
may not) be of little importance in their later stages, but they cannot be
ignored in an investigation into the history of the organism or organization.
CHARACTERISTICS OF PRIMITIVE MASONRY
The original "ceremony-with-secrets" or "narrative ceremony," that was in some
way connected with the mastership, appears in its earliest known form as
complex and primitive. We must insist on the complexity. It is plainly closely
connected in origin (in a remote and indefinite past) with the many
religio-magical folk customs that still survive in various places. The ritual
dance of the Mummers or Guisers is an excellent parallel. We know, from recent
collections of variations of this dance (2) that the vague plot of the drama
enacted remains the same, with a significant persistence of what at first
glance seem most trivial details; while the characters, on the other hand,
change their names like patterns in a kaleidoscope. The earliest form of the
Mason's drama, or play, or dance, has only two named characters, and the
selection of these names seems quite secondary and non-essential. But we have
in it a curious insistence on the numbers three and fifteen and on the points
of the compass. There is a ritual death, a green bush or tree growing out of a
grave, which in primitive ideas is, not a resurrection exactly, but a
continuance of life; and then a real resurrection through a word of power, or
evocation by a mystery name. (3)
There are, also, equally magical elements in the preliminary initiation or
"making"; and it would be possible to reconstruct hypothetically a primitive
original ceremony on those lines alone, without any trace of symbolic or moral
teaching. There is the tabs on metals, the deisul, or sunwise
circumambulation, the sacred enclosure, the contact with fetich objects,
merely to mention some of the more obvious of these survivals. How these
things got into the Masonic system, and what their line of transmission, is
yet another question. All that is necessary to say here is, that in our
opinion, they are discoverable, and that, too, not as incidental borrowings or
conveyances, but as part of the very warp of the relics of operative ritual
Irrelevant as this may perhaps seem, we do think that it will help to clarify
the situation. The evidence with which we are dealing is not sufficient in
itself to lead to any determinate conclusion, it must be interpreted on the
basis of some hypothesis. Instead of leaving others to guess at our
conceptions, and preconceptions, in respect to the question, we are making
them explicit. And we trust that if we draw conclusions differing from those
reached by others from the same evidence, we will not be regarded as illogical
or perverse, but that it will be recognized that we are looking at the facts
in a different light and from another point of view.
THE DEFINITION OF TERMS
There is another source of misunderstanding, and that is the undefined and
fluid terms that occur in the discussion. The meaning or meanings of the
distinctive names Master, Fellow, Mason, and their variants and combinations,
are really part of the problem to be solved. The term degree, also, has
varying meanings; and we may here add to what has already been said about it
by giving a definition of our own. It would be preferable to use some other
word if there were one available, but there does not seem to be. What we
desire to express by it is the concept of a ceremony in and through which
certain secrets are communicated to an individual, by others who have already
received them in the same way. Or it might be better to put it even more
generally; a secret ceremony by which an individual enters into a special
relationship to a group of others who have already passed through it.
This is a good deal more comprehensive than the ordinary Masonic sense of the
word as it is now used. It is also more indefinite. This should be borne in
mind in order to obviate any risk of transferring characteristics common to
present day degrees to the ritual forms of the past.
THE CRITICISM OF EVIDENCE
The next thing that needs preliminary discussion is the general question of
evidence. By what canons is it to be criticized, accepted or rejected, and
what rules are to be observed in its use?
may perhaps appear that this is a rather unnecessary digression, seeing that
the canons of historical criticism are well established, and very generally
known. While this is perfectly true, yet there are certain features in our
present problem which seem to call for some reference to first principles. As
we have seen in tracing the discussion of the origin of degrees from its
beginning, there has not been entire agreement as to what evidence should be
received and what rejected; or how to interpret what was received and how its
weight was to be estimated. Hughan, for example, practically rejected the
ritual documents. These do present a difficult question, and there might be a
plausible case made out for their rejection as evidence. But further than
this, Hughan, and Gould also, were inclined to minimize or ignore certain
other documents, such as the Haughfoot and Dunblane minutes, which are
undoubtedly authentic in that they are what they profess to be, records of
Masonic lodges. We are, therefore, obliged to ask if evidence may be rejected
because it will not fit into a certain scheme or theory ? Doubtless, put
generally, every one would say no. But this is not final. Suppose that we have
pieced together a perfectly logical and selfconsistent pattern out of many
scattered fragments, and there are one or two left over that will not fit in,
we are almost obliged to give some added weight to the pieces that fit and
deduct some from those that will not.
Gould touched upon this subject in his commentary on the Regius MS. where he
says, referring specially to the old Charges (4);
The value of the evidence . . . depends upon the channels through which it has
descended.... Therefore leaving undecided all minor questions relating to [the
particular documents under consideration] I think their inclusion among the
"records of the Craft" is of itself sufficient to demonstrate the necessity of
a legal system of classification being used concurrently with the philological
and other methods that may be called into requisition.
have italicised the word legal, as it is significant of the general trend of
his position. He continues:
When in a court of law, ancient documents are tendered in support of ancient
possession, care is especially taken to ascertain the genuineness of the
documents produced and this may in general be shown, prima facie, by proof
that they come from the proper custody It is not however necessary that they
should be found in the best and most proper place of deposit, but it must
appear that the instrument comes from such custody, as though not strictly
proper in point of law, is sufficient to afford a reasonable presumption in
favor of its genuineness; and that it is otherwise free from just grounds of
suspicion. Where old deeds have been produced as evidences in eases of title,
from collections of manuscripts made for antiquarian purposes, they have been
rejected. They must be produced from the custody of persons interested in the
The italics in the last passage are Gould's own. We see here quite plainly the
position he was inclined to take. "Proper custody" in the case of Masonic
documents would imply that a document was found in the possession of a Masonic
Lodge, and also that it had always been in its archives, and further that the
lodge was older than the document. A strict application of this rule would bar
out all but some half dozen or so of the copies of the Old Charges. Gould was
even inclined to insist, at least in 1884, that the Antiquity Roll No. 2,
which had been in the possession from time immemorial of the oldest lodge in
England, could not be accepted unreservedly. His reason being that it was
dated 1686, while the engraved list of 1729, "the only official publication in
which the dates of origin" are given of the oldest lodges, gives the Lodge of
Antiquity as founded in 1691. Therefore, he argued, the MS. was older than the
lodge, and we do not know how it came into its possession. (5)
the later pronouncement he did make the following admission:
is true, no doubt, that the historian has no rules as to exclusion of evidence
or incompetency of witnesses. In his court every document may be read, every
statement may be heard. But in proportion as he admits all evidence
indiscriminately, he must exercise discrimination in judging of its effect..
With which caution every critically minded student must wholeheartedly agree.
But we do not think so much weight can be given to his earlier purely
legalistic contention, and it is necessary to explain why.
There is a constant tendency to take laws and legal rules as things or rather
objects in themselves, and to neglect the reason for their existence or for
the particular form in which they are cast. We cannot blame lawyers for this
attitude of mind, for it is forced upon them by their profession, they have to
interpret and apply the law as it actually is. For others, philosophers or
historians let us say, and pre-eminently legislators of course (who ideally
should be both) the purpose of law should be paramount, and that it is a means
to an end, and not an end in itself, should never be forgotten. Consider then
the circumstances of a court of law. The questions that come before it affect
the property, the rights and liberties, and even the lives of individuals. We
must remember also that normally, behind every suit or trial, there exists a
state of hostility, strife, anger or resentment between individuals. Every
condition is present to induce concealment or misrepresentation of facts by
the parties concerned. The legal rules of evidence, as they have been evolved
under the influence of English Common Law, are eminently sound, practical and
just for the special purposes in view. But when the purposes or circumstances
are changed they may no longer apply. They may become absurdly restrictive,
and hamper instead of aiding the search for truth.
THE VALIDITY OF THE DOCUMENTS
Let us return to Gould's illustration. We can see why it should be required
that documents upon which the ownership of property depends must be in the
custody of those who are interested, in the eyes of the law; or else that it
can be shown how they were removed from the proper custody, as for example, by
theft. A deed is a unique document, it represents the property, there cannot
be more than one. There may be copies, but each legally authenticated copy is
also unique in a secondary sense. To be of any weight legally, a copy like the
original must also have been made by the proper persons, attested in the
proper manner, and in the custody of parties interested in the eyes of the
law. Copies made for curiosity or as an exercise in writing would be of no
effect no matter how accurate or exact. To take a very obvious and common
example; a check has a certain value under the proper conditions; that is when
it is drawn by one with sufficient funds to his credit, and that it is
presented by the person named therein. A duplicate is valueless except under
specific conditions, in which it replaces the original, and the latter (if in
existence) becomes valueless in consequence. Photographs, drawings or other
facsimiles or copies are useless for the proper purpose of checks.
The principle that seems to underlie the uniqueness of such documents is that
they represent property, and for that reason cannot be multiplied; secondly,
being unique they pertain to certain specified individuals who alone have
interest in them, or right to them, in the legal sense. But historical
documents are not unique in this way at all, while the interest is not
restricted but general. Copies are as good as the originals, if exact and
complete, and anyone has a right to intervene.
Gould by implication equated the Old Charges with deeds and similar legal
instruments. The analogy is a misleading one. They should be likened rather to
statute books and legal digests. A lawyer may cite Blackstone in an argument
(we believe even yet this might be done) but the court will not ask him from
what custody he produced his copy of this author. Of course this parallel is
merely approximate, as Blackstone, who was the last of a series of exponents
of English Law which began with Glanville in the 12th century, built upon
court records which, if not often consulted, were in existence and could be
adduced in evidence.
may however examine more closely the specific case mentioned above. In the
first place Gould seemed to think that the discrepancies and contradictions
between certain copies or families of the Old Charges carried the implication
that some of them were faulty, inaccurate and untrustworthy. But this depends
on the purpose of our search. If we are seeking the original form, then we
will naturally prefer the older documents, and have a prejudice in favor of
any particular item found in them. If however we are tracing the evolution of
Masonic law, then the later MSS. are as important as the earlier; nor can we
summarily reject one of two of the same age because they are inconsistent.
Only on the supposition that there was one, central, supreme, legislative
organ in the Craft could we do this. And there is not the least indication
that any such a thing existed in the past any more than in the historic
period, with the exception of the superficial, if natural, presumption based
on the references in the different versions of the Old Charges, that the
Assembly spoken of in them was an Assembly for the whole kingdom. An
assumption inherently improbable, not to say impossible. Different rules could
well exist contemporaneously in a number of centers, each independent, and
capable of modifying old laws to fit changed circumstances.
Whether Robert Padgett copied the Antiquity Roll No. 2 in 1686, or whether
there ever was such a person, is really irrelevant. Nor is it of consequence
if the lodge is junior to the manuscript as Gould seemed to think, any more
than it is through what channel such lodge became possessed of it whether by
inheritance, in this case, of the records and archives of the Acception of the
Mason's Company, or whether through some individual. Because, not only were
lodges properly "interested" parties, but individual Masons were equally so.
The real question is really whether or not the lodge received this particular
document as an archeological curiosity, or as a valid copy of the traditional
law as it then stood. The former alternative is highly improbable.
Now in the investigation that we have in hand this particular question
discussed by Gould is of no consequence. So far as the evidence of the Old
Charges bears upon our problem they are practically in accord. The important
point is the principle involved. If we are to reject evidence on such narrow
and legalistic grounds we will deny ourselves the right to consider the highly
important ritual documents, which are known as the Old Catechisms, which all,
with one exception, come to us from unknown, and in most cases highly
suspicious sources. We, therefore, insist that the criticism of the evidence
is not to be exclusively based on the ascertained history of the documents
themselves, but on their contents. Naturally, we may gladly receive any
confirmation that can be drawn from the legal rules of evidence, but these are
not our only means of investigation nor even the most important.
Thus, just as anybody might be interested in a sonnet of Petrarch, or a folk
legend, and write it down, just as any early Christian might have been
interested in a letter from the Apostle Paul, just so any Mason would be
interested in a copy of the Charges or notes of a (Catechism, and this
interest is strictly analogous in its own field to the legal interest the
inheritor of a piece of land has in the deed transferring it to his father or
grandfather; though of course with much greater generality, and
indefiniteness, as it would make no difference by whom, when, where or how the
copies were made or acquired; neglecting here of course questions of accuracy.
There is a class of Masonic documents to which legal rules should be strictly
applied, and those are Charters and Warrants, precisely because they are legal
instruments. The discovery of an ancient charter of transmission or one
empowering some person to propagate a rite or degree, in a museum or
second-hand book shop gives no right to the discoverer or purchaser to
transmit or propagate anything; and so of such documents we may demand that
they be found in proper custody, or that it be shown, without any breaks in
the chain of evidence, how they came to be elsewhere. But with these we have
nothing to do fortunately.
(1) Those who wish to follow this further may be referred to A.M. Hocart's
work Kingship, in which Coronation, Installation and Consecration are shown to
be closely related. and also that marriage ceremonials are largely adaptations
of those of coronation.
(2) Tiddy, The Mummers Play; Chambers, The Medieval Stage.
(3) We may refer for a more detailed, though only preliminary expression of
this view to the articles in THE BUILDER, Vol. ix, page 177, "The Origin of
the Legend of the Third Degree," and Vol. x, page 67, "Mythology and Masonry."
(4) Q.C.A. Vol. i, page 11; Reprinted in the Essays, p. 11.
(5) A.Q.C. Vol. i, page 53.
(To be Continued)
Freemasonry in Czechoslovakia
BRO. JOSEPH S. ROUCEK, New York (Concluded from March)
WHEN it was evident that Austria would fall, fifteen Czech Masons met in a
private house in Prague, No. 23 Kralodvorska ul., on Oct. 26, 1918, and at
this meeting it was decided to form a Czech Lodge. This happened just two days
before the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which came sooner even than
had been expected. Thus Czechoslovak independence was proclaimed two days
after this decision to create an independent Czechoslovak Masonry.
One of the principal reasons for the founding of a new Lodge was precisely to
create a Masonic center which would not be dependent on the Grand Lodge of
Hungary. In this there is evident a semi- political, or at least a national,
tendency, which is easily explicable if we recall the difficulties that
Czechoslovaks experienced with the Hungarians before and after the war.
Besides this, there was a sincere desire to have a closer Masonic relation
with the Yugoslavs and the Poles. Thus, first of all, there was a need to
establish a lodge under the auspices of a Grand Lodge situated in a friendly
The majority of the brothers who met on Oct. 26, eleven to be exact, belonged
to Hiram Zu Den Drei Sternen Lodge, Orient of Pressburg; two belonged to the
French jurisdiction, viz., to Les Inseparables du Progress Lodge and La
Justice Lodge, both of the Grand Orient of France. Among them were members who
in 1927 had worn the Masonic Apron for thirty years, and one even for thirty-
The necessary preparations and the work on rituals took several months. It was
not until on May 12, 1919, that seven Master Masons of Hiram Zu Den Drei
Sternen Lodge voted unanimously to create a temporary Czechoslovak Lodge,
named Jan Amos Komensky, under the protection of the Grand Orient of France.
The light was brought to the Lodge on Sept. 28, 1919, from the Grand Orient of
France by Bro. Besnard, 33d.
Italian Masons also showed their interest in Czechoslovakia. Their emissaries
founded meanwhile the Lodge Narod [Nation] on June 20, 1920, the "28 Rijen"
[28th of October] Lodge on Oct. 20, 1920, and Dilo [Work] Lodge on Nov. 5,
Thus it is evident that the evolution of Czechoslovak Masonry took two
independent roads. One of them was represented by Jan Amos Komensky Lodge,
which was under French jurisdiction, and the other by the group formed by
Narod Lodge together with "28 Rijen" and Dilo, under Italian jurisdiction.
Between these two jurisdictions there was no organic connection, and it is
pretty safe to say that some mistrust and prejudice existed between them.
However, the efforts of individuals working for a rapprochement were
successful. The greatest part of the credit goes probably to Bro. Alfons
Mucha. A great impetus to the project was given when the news leaked out that
German Masons in Czechoslovak territory were ready to form a German Grand
Lodge. The consideration of this information led to a lengthy debate in
Komensky Lodge on Nov. 21, 1922. The discussion lasted far into the night, and
finally it was decided to allow three brothers to visit "28 Rijen" Lodge. The
visit took place on Nov. 22, 1922. The three ambassadors received a very
cordial welcome and the speeches that followed foreshadowed the desired
agreement. The result was the union of French and Italian rites into one
Meanwhile it was felt to be important to create a Supreme Council of the
Scottish Rite for the country. When Czechoslovak Masons discovered that the
Grand Orient of France was not of the Scottish Rite, they asked to be released
from its jurisdiction, and succeeded in obtaining this demission. On May 16,
1922, Jan Amos Komensky Lodge declared itself independent and on June 14,
1922, it was officially released from French jurisdiction. The Supreme Council
of Switzerland received favorably the petition for a new authority of the
Scottish Rite, and sanctioned the formation of the Supreme Council of the
Scottish Rite in Czechoslovakia on May 8, 1922, which action was officially
approved by the Scottish Rite Congress at Lausanne on June 8, 1922.
The formation of the Czechoslovak Grand Lodge came about as a result of the
discussion in Jan Amos Komensky Lodge on Nov. 14, 1922. The Supreme Council
paved the way for its formation which was realized on Feb. 25, 1923. The
"Light was brought" from the Grand Orient of Jugoslavia on May 18, the
following year. The Grand Lodge, however, is entirely independent of the
Supreme Council, and has complete control of the symbolic degrees
Czechoslovak Masonic literature is so far very scarce, which is only natural
under the circumstances. The first book to be published was The Masonic
Symbols by R. J. Vonka. In this the author proves that all Masonic symbols can
be found in the philosophy of Comenius, who belongs among the spiritual
fathers of Freemasonry. Other works are in preparation; Comedies as a Founder
of Modern Masonry, by the same author, and A History o f Bohemian Masonry, by
Dr. Joseph Volf, Past Master of Jan Amos Komensky Lodge at Prague. A regular
Czech Masonic magazine is published, as well as a German Masonic magazine (
Quatuor Coronati. Coetus Pragense)
SOME PROMINENT CZECHOSLOVAK MASONS
The popular prejudice against Freemasonry, which has been previously spoken
of, does not permit me to write about every prominent Czechoslovak Mason. The
second strongest political group in Czechoslovakia is the Catholic party. With
all the advantages of property, prestige, press and church organization it can
readily be realized that Roman Catholicism still exercises a wide influence
over the life of the nation. It must not be forgotten that it was the only
church having the official right of entry into all the schools, which are
public institutions, and it had its religious teachers paid, not out of the
funds of the Roman Catholic Church, but from those of the state. Also every
parish had, and still has, its Roman Catholic spiritual administrators
supported by the state. The enormous wealth of the church makes it possible
for the Roman Catholics to maintain their many-sided press and to publish a
number of papers journals and books for propaganda purposes. Besides their
clergy they support a number of agitators, whose activity ranges over
political rather than purely religious questions. And this activity is
decidedly antiMasonic. Hence it is only natural that various prominent men in
public life might be seriously embarrassed should their names be revealed
publicly as members of the Fraternity.
Among those who founded the first Czechoslovak Lodge on Oct. 26, 1918 was a
member of the National Revolutionary Committee which proclaimed Czechoslovak
independence and created the Czechoslovak State, the eminent writer, poet, and
dramatist, Jaroslav Kvapil. He was elected to be the first Master of the
Lodge. Kvapil was a member of a German Lodge in Prague whose members before
the revolution traveled to Bratislava to attend the ritual work of the Magyar
Dr. Rasin became the first Czechoslovak Minister of Finance. He was also a
member of the National Revolutionary Committee. His financial genius enabled
him to stabilize the Czechoslovak currency, the first state of Central Europe
to do so; his accomplishment has been imitated by all Central European States.
His book on the subject, Financial Policy of Czechoslovakia During the First
Year of Its History has been recently published by the Carnegie Endowment for
One of the eminent Masons, and the present Sovereign Grand Commander of the
Supreme Council of Masons of Czechoslovakia, is the great artist, possibly the
greatest living Slavic artist, M. W. Alfons Mucha, 33d, renowned the world
over, and especially known in America for his decoration of the Metropolitan
Opera House in New York City. He has recently added to his fame by the
completion of his great life work, "The Epic of Slavic History," a series of
twenty enormous paintings in which are depicted the most decisive events in
the history of the Slavs. This great artistic achievement was made possible by
Charles R. Crane, whose son was the first American minister to Czechoslovakia,
and whose daughter is married to a son of President Masaryk, Bro. John
Masaryk, now Czechoslovak Minister to England.
Mucha was initiated in Paris. His fame was made when Sara Bernhardt noticed
his work. Mucha's Slavonic Epopejs are his gift to the city of Prague and to
Czechoslovakia, with the wish that they be held in trust for all nations of
Slavic blood. Not only the outstanding incidents in the history of his native
land have been depicted by the artist, but also important moments in the life
story of other Slavic lands, such as Russia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Poland. For
this reason it is expected that the paintings, after they have been hung in
some permanent place of exhibition at Prague, the Czechoslovak capital, will
attract thousands of visitors from the Slavic countries of Eastern and
Southern Europe, for whom such a visit will be in the nature of a pilgrimage
to a sacred historical shrine.
There are other, equally, if not more famous men, who are Masons, among them
one of the makers of Czechoslovakia, whose names cannot be mentioned without
trespassing beyond the limits of discretion. However, to enable visiting
Masons to get in touch with these men, and the lodges, the address of the
Foreign Secretary is: Mr. L. Schwarz, Vinohradska 24, Prague XVI,
MASONIC PROBLEMS IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA
The greatest problem of the Czechoslovak Masons is to get their own temples.
The difficulty lies in the fact that the Czechoslovak crown is depreciated to
one-sixth of the value of the Austrian crown before the War. But conditions
have improved, and international relations are amicable with all nations
except, probably, Hungary. At the present scale of prices it would be
necessary for every Czechoslovak-speaking brother to pay 5,000 crowns (about
$152.00) in cash, should they decide to build their own temple. This sum
represents the monthly salary of a Czechoslovak cabinet minister. The lodge
rooms should inspire one as "Masonic Temples." The Temple is a sacred
enclosure, a plot of ground marked off to be a holy place. I have visited all
the Czechoslovak Lodges and I am very sorry to say that their places of
meeting do not represent the ordinary requirements, with the exception of the
Bratislava Temple. But this is not due to the negligence of the brothers. It
is due to the general economic situation which does not permit the spending of
the money that would be necessary for such a purpose. When I compared the huge
sums spent in America by lodges and Grand Lodges and the comparatively
insignificant sum needed to build a Masonic Temple in Czechoslovakia, I felt
that a great could be done if only in the form of a loan.
Personally speaking, it seems to me that the problem before the
Czechoslovakian Masons is not peculiar to them but applies to the Masonry in
Continental Europe in general. The membership is made up largely of
intellectuals, men of scholastic and artistic castes, who have very limited,
if any, social contacts with the ordinary man. Farmers, small shopkeepers,
clerks and day laborers either are not wanted, or when admitted find
themselves ill at ease in the lodges. Professional men, artists, men of social
idealism, find in the lodge, recreation, comfort, inspiration, and an outlet
for their philanthropic zeal. All this is good. But something is lacking. And
that lack keeps Masonry from realizing its full purpose. This can be
accomplished only where sincere men of all walks of life can meet together and
work together as a band of brothers and carry with them, each into his own
social circle outside of the lodge, the moral and philanthropic impressions
received within the lodge.
When it comes to seriousness of purpose, solicitude for the reputation of the
Craft, willingness to serve the brotherhood, and a firm insistence that every
man shall exemplify in his life the virtues that mark a true Mason, we have
much to learn from the lodges over there. When it comes to making that which
Masonry has to offer accessible to all men who, with moral worth, sincerity,
kindness of heart and a tolerant spirit, combine willingness and capacity to
serve their fellowmen, the lodges over there have much to learn of us.
The outside public can know but little, if anything, of the workings of our
lodges. But all can form an opinion from the exemplars of Freemasonry, the men
whom they know to be Masons and whose conduct they can observe. Where
opportunities of contact and experience in dealing with Masons are scanty or
lacking altogether, mendacious trouble-makers have no difficulty in
propagating suspicion and hostility against the brotherhood. On the other
hand, it is a question whether the Czechoslovak Masons can combat this
situation, especially when we realize that the Roman Church is still very
strong in Czechoslovakia. According to the first religious census of 1921,
about 71 per cent of the population still describe themselves as Roman
Catholics. Hence this problem will remain for many years to come, if there is
any solution to it at all, as far as Czechoslovakia is concerned.
There are three things which are emphasized in America as essential in
Masonry, according to Ossian Lang, Grand Historian of the Grand Lodge of New
York. In his recent report, "Freemasonry Under Fire in Continental Europe," he
makes the following statements:
Freemasonry teaches and seeks to realize the Brotherhood of Man on the firm
foundation of belief in the Universal Fatherhood of God.
In every country Freemasons are required to be loyal to the government by law
established, true to their nation and helpful to the common good.
Freemasonry will not tolerate religious disputes and is resolved against all
polities, as was never yet conducive to the welfare of the lodge, nor ever
The Czechoslovak Mason may be credited with the first and the third points,
though I have a suspicion that "all politics" are not entirely excluded.
However, this doubt applies to all Continental Masonry, as I know from
Regarding the second point, much more can be said on the positive side. To my
mind the observance of the rule brought the greatest gain and good to the
country as well as to Masonry. A little discussion of it may well serve as a
THE GREATEST ASSETS OF CZECHOSLOVAK MASONRY
order to understand this discussion it is necessary to recall briefly the
history of that "coat of many colors," the Austro- Hungarian Empire. What is
now Czechoslovakia was included before the War in the international political
system based on the suppression of nations or on the method of ruling over
small nations by a few big nations. From the earliest times the Czechoslovaks
had to struggle for their life against their neighbors, especially against the
Germans and the Magyars. Today the Germans and the Hungarians represent the
minorities of Czechoslovakia. One would expect that the day of reckoning would
repeat the old hatreds and increase the acts of revenge. On the other hand,
the same old spirit never expected to accept the new political and national
situation. It is one of the greatest international problems that problem of
minorities, which the League of Nations was charged to cope with, if possible
(2). In other words, there are a number of legal provisions which are supposed
to take care of the situation. Unfortunately, the problem is primarily
psychological and social, and not legal. Its solution depends more upon the
behavior and psychology of each individual rather than on legal forms.
The behavior of the Czechoslovak Masonic Lodges happily presents a solution.
Here is a splendid spirit of cooperation among the lodges. The German and
Czech Lodges visit one another and exchange speakers. The Czechs speak German
in German Lodges and the Germans speak Czech in the Czech Lodges. In
Bratislava the Slovak Lodge is the regular guest of the Magyar Temple. I am
lucky to say that I visited one meeting in Plzen when all the Czechoslovak and
German Lodges met and the spirit of brotherhood was most touching. Here is a
spirit and an influence of vital moment in Masonry, as well as in
international political relations, a factor which may yet play a very
important part in the solving of problems of international importance in
Europe. Here the ideals of international brotherhood, tried out on a small
scale, are making good.
conclusion I should like to mention that every Czechoslovak Mason seems to be
vitally and intensely interested in American Masonry. Just the opposite is the
fact as far as the American Mason is concerned. My lectures and visits to many
lodges of this land convince me of this fact. But the Czechoslovak Mason
convinced me of his sincere interest and desire to receive the attention of
American Masonry. The reason for interest my be easily deducted from what has
been said earlier.
was the recipient of a great number of requests for literature and personal
advice of how American Masons might be approached. I approached many of them
without getting any response at all. But we as Masons should realize that over
there are our Brother Masons, not only Czechoslovaks but also others of other
nationalities, who are most anxious to strengthen the fraternal ties between
the Masonry of their country and that of America. It is up to the brethren
here to respond.
(1) The Czechoslovak National Grand Lodge was organized as a separate and
sovereign body entirely free from any dependence on any other organization. It
adheres to the Ancient Landmarks, requires a belief in God from its members
and the Holy Bible is one of its three Great Lights.
There is also a Grand Lodge with concurrent jurisdiction so far as territory
is concerned, working in the German language. This is also sovereign and
independent and professes the same principles and conforms to the same customs
as all regular Grand Lodges. Its official title is Gross Lodge "Lessing zu den
(2) Those desiring to know more of these difficult problems may be referred to
the author's works: The Minority Principle as a Problem of Political Science
and The Working of the Minorities Treaties Within the League of Nations, both
published by the Orbis Publishing co.
Freemasonry in Afghanistan
BRO. N. W. J. HAYDON, Associate Editor, Canada
MANY readers of THE BUILDER will have read with appreciation that remarkable
story of Bro. Rudyard Kipling entitled The Man Who Would Be King and have
perhaps wondered how much of it was drawn from his own experience, e.g.,
meeting with the two wandering brethren, Peachey Carnehad and Daniel Dravot,
and how much was built thereon from tribal legends to show their tragic end
and the heroic loyalty of "Billy Fish."
Recently, while indexing a series of volumes of Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, the
Transactions of the Lodge Quatuor Coronati, I came across the following
account in Volume xxii, pages 223-4, and, struck by its coincidence with the
background of Bro. Kipling's story, sent him a copy and asked for his opinion.
Bro. Kipling was good enough to reply that he had frequently heard of this
legend and had talked with Afghans about traces of Masonic ritual in their
country. He does not have sufficient information to come to any definite
opinion, but believes it is generally accepted that there is evidence of
Masonic influence in that country.
The following is the transcript from A. Q. C.:
FREEMASONRY AMONG THE AFGHANS
a support to the theory that the Pathan tribes of the frontier are descended
from some portion of the lost ten tribes of Israel, it has been urged that in
appearance and characteristics they are typically Semitic. This is very true,
and the rapacity and greed of the Cabuli money-lenders, who have drifted
southward to prey on less warlike and more simple creditors, is notorious
throughout India and Burma. Bloodthirsty, and intensely cruel, yet possessed
of an independence and frankness of manner which hides treachery and
duplicity, very Ishmaelites in their dealings with others, the Pathan
tribesmen often seem to have been modelled on the strictest form of Old
Testament morals though their standard of morality is low and their practices
are incredibly bestial.
is said that a casual romance of King David's period of wandering resulted in
the birth of one Afghana, who later became captain of King Solomon's Archer
Guard, and a personage of high standing, filling among other notable offices
one of trust in the building of the Temple. On Solomon's death the jealousy of
Rehoboam caused him to fly for his life, accompanied by the faithful of his
archers, and his wives and family. After a period spent in mercenary service,
drifting ever eastward, he at last crossed the mountains and entered the
service of the ruler of the trans- Himalayan tracts. Here on the death by
accident or design of his master, Afghana became chief and, extending his
dominions towards India, created for his sons, Isa (Isaac) and Yussuf
(Joseph), satrapies on the frontier. To this day, the Isazai (people or sons
of Isaac) and the Yusufzai (people of Joseph) are powerful tribes, many being
enlisted in our Indian army.
The legend states that he called his land after his own name the land of
Afghana, i. e., Afghanistan, and his capital and personally directed province
Kabul. In I Kings ix, 13, we find that King Solomon gave to Hiram, King of
Tyre, ten cities of Benjamin as a reward "And they are called Kabul unto this
day." This is the legend and it is noteworthy that, some years back, an Afghan
Sirdar demanded admission to a lodge in India, proved himself and was
admitted. To the interpreter who was put at his service, he expressed surprise
at the accuracy of the working and wondered how Masonry had spread to England.
He seemed to consider the proceedings somewhat tame, a fact those who know
trans-frontier tribesmen will not wonder at, for unless all blood-feuds are
provisionally laid aside and the tribesmen disarm before meeting, it is
difficult to understand how a Pathan lodge could meet at all, at all events
how they ever part without open bloodshed, or frequent ambushes later on. The
Sirdar was uncommunicative and would say practically nothing as to Tribal
Masonry, but if they have a Grand Master we may well wonder who he is. Is he
the Sultan of Turkey, who claims the powers of Sulieman and the Kalifat of the
Mussulman world, or is he the Amir? If the latter, was the ceremony of
initiation of the present Amir while visiting India a piece of characteristic
Afghan bluff at which the potentate was laughing up his sleeve, or behind his
apron? We know that it caused offense to his subjects. Was this the reason?
is interesting that when the Pelly Expedition, of which my father, Commander
Dawes, late Indian Navy (a member of Lodge 355, S. C.), was second in command,
visited El Rindh, the capital of Central Arabia, the Emir Fazl ben Saoud
responded to a Masonic grip and, later, not only warned them of danger but
facilitated their escape. He was blind and losing his authority, and the
Expedition were practically prisoners so investigation was hopeless. Fazl ben
Saoud had been in Alexandria in his youth and may have been initiated there,
but it is possible that there may be something in the tradition that the
ancient Sheba was in Arabia and that the old legend of Solomon's son by
Sheba's queen may have a basis of truth. All this would point, if true, to the
existence of a Masonry far older and possibly more accurate in its workings
than our own, and I should be very much interested to know if any authentic
writings exist bearing on the Subject.
This communication was from Bro. A. J. Dawes of Peace and Harmony Lodge, No.
834, under the Grand Lodge of Scotland. At the June meeting of Quatuor
Coronati Lodge the same year, Bro., the Rev. W. K. Firminger, of Calcutta,
presented a photograph of the Certificate from the Grand Lodge of England
issued to Habibullah Khan, Amir of Afghanistan, dated Oct. 11, 1907. The Amir
received the three degrees on Feb. 7, 1907, in Concordia Lodge, No. 3102,
Calcuttas by special dispensation of the Grand Master.
There is, as has been stated, another side to this question and I offer the
following transcription from Tales of Travel, by the Marquess Curzon of
Kedleston, pages 72-74, in which he describes a visit of two weeks that he
paid to the court of the Amir of Afghanistan, being the only unofficial
Englishman to receive that privilege. I do not know whether the late Lord
Curzon was a Brother of our Order but, in view of the verdict of his careful
judgment, it would certainly appear that we must look elsewhere for the source
of any Masonic resemblances that may be found in their ceremonial usages.
One of the subjects that interested the Amir most was his claim, on behalf of
himself and of his people, to a descent from the lost Tribes of Israel. I had
heard of this theory, and I had noted the distinct resemblances of many Afghan
features to the Semitie type. But when I interrogated him about it he
unhesitatingly proclaimed his acceptance of the legend. He declared that the
Afghans took their name from Afghana, who was Commander-in-chief to King
Solomon- some were descended from him, and others from Jeremiah the son of
Saul. This is the conventional account given in the best- known Pushtu
history, called Tazkirat-ul-Muluk, which was composed in the time of the early
Duranis, who probably invented the legend.
another occasion the Amir's eldest son, Habibulla, whose ethnology was a
little hazy, told me that the Afghans were Jews, who had been conquered by
Babu-Nassan (i. e., Nebuehadnezzar) in the time of Yezdigird, and deported to
Persia where they lived a long time. Later on they migrated to Afghanistan,
where they settled in the region of the Sulieman ( Solomon ) Mountains, to
which, in reference to their origin, they gave that name.
a matter of fact the Hebrew descent of the Afghans has been the subject of
prolonged dispute, great authorities having argued on either side. The
champions of the theory point to the marked Jewish features of so many
Afghans, to the great number of Jewish Christian names (e. g., Ibrahim=Abraham
Ayub = Job, Ismail = Ishmael, Ishak = Isaac, Yahia = John, Yakub = Jacob,
Yusuf = Joseph, Isa = Jesus, Daoud = David, and many others), to the fact that
the Feast of the Passover is still observed by the Pathan border tribe of the
Yusufzai; and to the occurrence of the name Kabul in the Old Testament (e. g.,
1 Kings ix, 13) where Solomon, having given King Hiram twenty cities of
Galilee in return for the timber and gold presented to him for the Temple,
Hiram went out to see them and was very much disgusted, "calling them the land
of Kabul (i. e., dirty or disgusting) unto this day."
believe that this reasoning is quite fallacious, the biblical names employed
by the Afghans being all in their Arabic form i.e., post-Mahommedan in origin
and the Hebrew word Kabui in the Old Testament having no connection, except in
spelling with the Afghan Kabul. The theory of a Semitic origin is now
generally discredited, but there is nothing inherently improbable in the
belief that some of the Afghan tribes may have entered the country from Persia
(of which language they speak a patois) and may have come at an earlier date
into Persia from Syria or Assyria, the land of the Captivity. There I will
leave the matter, to which I have alluded here only in order to record the
opinions of the Amir.
For further data on this subject, I am indebted to W. Bro. Wm England, of
Rotorua, New Zealand, in whose lodge is a brother who went to Afghanistan
during the war in connection with the Secret Service in India.
a pamphlet entitled "Ancient, no Doubt," Bro. England refers to this visit,
which he had from the brother concerned, direct, and an accompanying letter
describes it as a "thrilling incident," and a "weird experience" which he is
awaiting permission to publish in full.
this pamphlet he says:
The Afghans are not builders, nor possess edifices of such intricate structure
as to dub them architects. Yet you all know how Bro. McDonald, of this very
lodge, owes his life to the fact that an old chief acknowledged the sign of G.
and D. when our brother stood, bound at the stake, awaiting torture and death.
Are we to suppose that Freemasons have gone into the homes of the Afzhans and
acted as missionaries in spreading the tenets of our Order among these fierce
people? It would have taken ages to insure that anyone of them would give the
sign its full value, as was done in the ease I have submitted, especially when
it had been given by an alien and a supposed spy.
Bro. England also refers to a statement by John Yarker (in "Arcane Schools,"
page 183) that amongst the Moslems is the oldest secret society in the world,
and, further, quotes from a letter sent him by Bro. Willard, of California,
who said that he
. . had heard an address by Rev. Stone, a U. S. Army Chaplain, in which he
recalled a visit to a Mohammedan Lodge near Cairo. The members could not, at
first, believe he was a Mason because he was a Christian.
W. Bro. B. H. Springett's Secret Sects of Syria and the Lebanon there is much
evidence to connect the source of the Afghan people with the inhabitants of
Palestine and archaeology appears to have proved that all the country between
the eastern shores of the Mediterranean and western limits of India were
comprised within the Babylonian Empire. In his Who Was Hirarez Abiff? W. Bro.
J. S. M. Ward shows many ceremonial links that carry weight where documentary
and inscriptional evidence is non-existent.
While no reasonable member will suggest that the two, simple degrees
inherited from Operative Masons, so much elaborated in our present
ceremonials, have any connection with a fraternity of undoubted antiquity, yet
the hypothesis of Bro. J.S.M. Ward unites a mass of evidence from most diverse
sources, in both space and time, and gives our Third Degree, curtailed as it
is, a place in human effort that nothing else can hope to occupy. While,
therefore, there may be no counterpart in these countries to our ceremonies
born of operative usage, it does seem that the mysterious Third Degree, whose
time and point of juncture with us is still to be discovered, is the real tie
that binds us to a vast antiquity and a world-wide fraternity.
MEEKREN, Editor in Charge
THIEMEYER, Research Editor
ROBERT I. CLEGG, Illinois
GILBERT W. DAYNES, England
V. DENSLOW, Missouri
GEORGE H. DERN, Utah
N.W.J. HAYDON, Canada
CHARLES F. IRWIN, Pennsylvania
JOSEPH E. MORCOMBE, California
ARTHUR C. PARKER, New York
HUGO TATSCH, Iowa
M. WHTED, California
E.W. WILLIAMSON, Nevada
STUDY CLUB DEPARTMENT
than a year ago, in the autumn of 1927 to be precise, a change was made in the
conduct of the Study Club Department of THE BUILDER. The new policy, which was
more an attempt to return to the original one than entirely new, naturally
received a certain amount of criticism, but results have shown that it was
along the right lines. There has been a considerable increase in the number of
study groups, and we have been able to keep in closer touch with them than
result of this development further changes are contemplated. Changes chiefly
in the internal economy of the organization, however, and not in the general
scheme. We have long felt that the personal link was needed in this work; but
seeing the need and being able to meet it were two very different things. Now
we are hoping to have Bro. Hungerford take over the executive part of the
work. He is very enthusiastic about it, and it is hoped will be able to bring
about more personal contact. The details are not yet fully worked out, but we
expect they soon will be. As a first step, he will take over the Study Club
Department of THE BUILDER, for a time at least, which will release Bro.
Thiemeyer for other things that urgently need doing.
new arrangement will be more in the nature of a division of labor than
anything else. The preparation of courses, the providing information,
answering questions and so on will be done as before at headquarters. It is
the organization work, and what may be called propaganda for Masonic study,
that Bro. Hungerford is to take over. For this kind of work he has both
exceptional ability and wide experience. We are, therefore, looking forward
with confidence to a great increase in Study Club activity throughout the
country. Every such group becomes a center of light and instruction, and its
influence is out of all proportion to the member actively engaged, so we trust
that members of the Research Society will do all they can to help the movement
along in their own Masonic circle.
* * *
what is education? Etymologically it means "to lead out," but it is to be
feared most people conceive it as "cramming in." To have a wrong conception of
a thing almost necessarily implies using it wrongly or at least not to the
thinking Masons have an interest in the educational system of the country, and
besides this there are strong efforts being made to interest them
collectively. Whether such efforts are or are not likely to lead away from the
Ancient Landmarks we do not wish at this time to express any opinion, but only
to offer some reflections upon the subject as a whole which may (we hope) be a
point of departure for review of old ideas upon the subject.
fact seems to be, looked at dispassionately and objectively, that there is a
growing apprehension or suspicion that our modern educational institutions and
systems are not functioning so well as was confidently expected. We have no
comparative statistics at hand, but it is probable that not only is more money
being spent in gross, in the United States for education than in any other
country, but also that much more is spent per capita on each pupil, and much
more paid by each tax payer in proportion than elsewhere. Undoubtedly much the
same disappointment in result is discoverable in other countries, yet the
naive confidence with which it was assumed that to spend more money on
education was to automatically improve results has been checked. Mere spending
of money is no guarantee whatever for efficiency or results, and the recent
fashion of assuming that the educational status of a community is to be
determined by the amount of money allotted for this purpose is inherently
vicious. The schools are not bottomless pits with an infinite capacity to
absorb wealth. There must be some point where no more is needed. That amount,
whatever it is, should be given of course; but concurrently care should be
taken that it is used efficiently.
problem is a complex of difficulties in every direction. Education depends on
the teacher, not on the machine. It always has and always will. The teacher
should in justice be amply paid. But to pay teachers adequately is to attract
people unfit for the work. And mechanical screens for sifting them out,
diplomas, examinations, questionnaires, psychological tests, will never be
wholly successful in eliminating the unfit. Precisely, because they are
mechanical, and education is a life-process if it is anything.
is only one facet of the complexity. There are many others. What for instance
is the aim of education? Doubtless it sounds a rather silly question, but most
people who have not reflected upon the matter will find that their conceptions
are vague, confused and inconsistent. Is education proposed to fit the child
for successfully making a living? That seems to be one component of the
general conception. Undoubtedly, "education" is needed for "success." The
college graduate has better chances than those who have only been to high
school, and they again better than those who have only been through the
elementary grade. That is, judged by averages. The temptation is strong to
take this as cause and effect. Whereas it is just as possible, and we suspect
more probable, that the supposed cause is merely a parallel phenomenon. It is
not the going through college that increases the income index, in and by
itself, but that those who are so situated that they are likely to have better
chances in later life, are also given better chances in youth. And those who
have ability and ambition enough to make their own way, will probably use that
same energy and ability to get more education.
prominent criminologist has recently stated that eighty per cent of convicts
in his experience had never been trained to earn an honest livelihood. He
thinks, and certainly it looks probable on the face of the facts, that there
is something lacking in the education given in the public schools. The
question posed is this: if a child is taught to earn a living, and is trained
in morality and virtue will he be likely to turn to crime in later life. It is
not likely; but does it follow that anything is lacking in the schools ? To
put it more explicitly; a thing can only be said to be lacking or deficient in
matters which properly belong to it. An animal is not deficient in not having
wings, a cart is not lacking because it has no engine. Can the schools
properly be expected either to teach children how to work or to develop their
characters? Or to put it less sweepingly, can they alone accomplish this? It
is very much to be doubted. Work is a matter of habit, and character building
is certainly not a process of cramming or pouring information into empty
average man has very much forgotten his childhood. He remembers incidents of
course, but like St. Paul, he has "put away childish things," and finds it
very hard to recover the youthful point of view. But it will be very helpful
in clarifying one's conceptions of what schools can be expected to do and what
we have no right to expect of them, to try and recover some of the earlier
viewpoint, which for most has been covered up by later opinions, accepted
largely uncritically because current and popular. What is the attitude of the
child in the school? How much does it bulk in his life, in his interests? The
wisest teachers know that in most things that count in after life, children
educate themselves; just as physicians know that the body cures itself of
disease. All the physician does, all the teacher can do, is to remove or check
unfavorable influences, and encourage favorable ones. A great deal, truly, but
it is all indirect.
Perhaps a little personal reminiscence may make the point clearer. The writer
in childhood and youth came under some twenty‑odd teachers in some half dozen
different schools. Most of these teachers are but the vaguest figures in
memory. Five stand out very vividly. One for his utter incompetence, another
as a brutal bully, a third for his gift of cutting sarcasm which hurt far more
than a thrashing. Of the other two, one is remembered because of his being in
every good sense of the word a gentleman, and the other for his scrupulous
fairness and justice. Out of the whole group these two men undoubtedly did
influence, and educate, all who came in contact with them. But it was due to
nothing that would be discoverable in examinations, and the effect was not due
to their teaching but their living.
writer feels sure that if anyone will try and recall his own childhood that he
will be surprised at the astuteness and adequacy of his youthful judgments of
the characters of his various teachers. In many ways children do judge
character more correctly, because they are more direct, and they have not
learned the formulas and conventions in which we mask our real selves. But
even granting the tremendous and widespread influence of the right kind of
teacher - who is seldom among the highest paid - yet it is only part and a
small part of the child's life. Loose statements are frequently made about the
child spending most of his time at school. It is curious no one thinks of
doing a little arithmetic on the subject. Leaving out Sundays and holidays,
his school day is six hours let us say. Suppose nine hours are spent in sleep,
there are still nine hours left when he is not at school. It is at home and in
play that the child chiefly receives his character training - whether for good
are many other ways in which it appears probable that more has been expected
of the schools than they can in the nature of things supply. These cannot be
touched on here, but two points may be pressed. If the schools are to be used
as a means of shirking of responsibilities on the part of parents, they cannot
be wholly successful. The more they are expected to do that is outside their
proper scope the greater that failure will appear. The second is that the
efficiency of the schools cannot be judged merely by the amount of money spent
upon them, and the sooner the financial standard of judgment is discarded the
* * *
with very deep regret that we have learned of the death of W. Bro. J. Walter
Hobbs, which occurred on Feb. 25. News of this loss to Masonic scholarship did
not reach us till after THE BUILDER for March was issued. While Bro. Hobbs was
not so well known to American Masons as some other English students, yet his
work, The Masonic Ritual Compared, Described and Explained, has helped a
considerable number of Masons on this side of the Atlantic to get some idea of
the forms and ceremonies used in England. His two compact books on Masonic
speaking have also proved very useful. Lodge and After Dinner Speaking, and
the more recent Masonic Speech Making, reviewed in the January number of THE
Hobbs was Literary Editor of our able contemporary The Masonic Record, and we
understand that he was one of those chiefly instrumental in founding this most
interesting and valuable of the English Masonic periodicals. THE BUILDER has
had only one contribution from his pen, the article on "Royalty and Their
Patronage of the Craft" which appeared in May, 1925. He was a member of
Quatuor Coronati Lodge and this year, we believe, occupied the position of
Senior Deacon. He has also been a member of the Research Society for a number
survived by his wife and son, who is also a Mason. To them we extend on behalf
of the Society our respectful sympathy.
* * *
have lost by death another brother and fellow-member of the Research Society.
Bro. Clarke, under the pseudonym of "Uncle Silas," was the author of The
Gospel of Freemasonry, one of the best books of its kind, and one that has had
a deservedly wide circulation. He was also editor of The American Thresherman,
published at Madison, wis.
present writer never met Bro. Clarke, but he has heard of him, and how all who
knew him loved him for his kindly wisdom and keen sense of humor.
Clarke was born in Lexington, Va., June 24, 1851, and would have been
seventy-eight years old at his next birthday. He had an attack of influenza
early in the year which affected his heart. While he seemed to recover, the
after-effects remained, and resulted in a severe attack on March 11, while in
his office. He recovered somewhat during the week, but on Saturday, March 16,
another attack seized him from which he was unable to rally.
have no definite information as to his Masonic affiliations, except that he
had received the thirty-third and last degree of the Scottish Rite. An honor
in this case to those who conferred it as well as to him who received it. To
his widow and other surviving relatives we extend our heartfelt sympathy.
pamphlet on "How to Organize and Maintain a Study Club" will be sent free on
request, in quantities to fifty
Informal Conference of Masonic Librarians and Educational Workers
FOLLOWING a good example of the last two years the Grand Lodge of Wisconsin
has extended an invitation for a conference of Masonic educators and
librarians to be present at Milwaukee, Wis., on May 2nd, 3rd and 4th of this
year. The meetings to be held in the Egyptian Room of the Scottish Rite
Cathedral. This will be the third such conference, the first having been held
as an experiment two years ago under the auspices of the Grand Lodge of
Michigan, in Detroit. This was so successful that a second was called last
year at the invitation of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, in Cedar Rapids. Those who
have attended these two gatherings have gone away much enthused and prepared
to enter into their work with renewed vigor.
must be understood at the outset that there is no formal organization of any
kind, though it naturally happens that the majority of those who will be in
attendance have been present at the previous meetings. This is only natural,
considering the nature of the subjects brought up for discussion. Only a few
Masons, comparatively speaking, are actively engaged either in library work or
in the promotion of Masonic Education, and it necessarily follows that the
list of those invited to each meeting will be very largely the same on each
thing of the utmost importance to all who attend, is the opportunity to
exchange new ideas and views upon subjects of interest. It so frequently
happens that one person constantly engaged in the sort of activity which forms
the main portion of the discussion at these meetings falls into a rut. There
seems to be something in the human brain which works against new ideas. One
plan of action is adopted and if it works no attempt is made to better it or
to try something different. It is precisely this rut that must be avoided in
educational activity. These meetings by their interchange of views keep
everyone keyed up and prepared to work out new plans. The ideas advanced by
one man are not necessarily adopted in their entirety, but new adaptations are
found for them.
are reprinting below the tentative program of the conference. It is easy to
see the value of the meeting when the diversity of subjects to be discussed is
considered. Bro. Henry A. Crosby will be Chairman of the Conference.
Thursday at 9:00 A. M.
Address of Welcome - M.W. Fred L. Wright, Grand Master
Purpose of the Conference - Herbert N. Laflin
Opening of the Conference - Henry A. Crosby
Is Masonic Education - What Is There to Teach – What Can Be Taught and How?
Robert I. Clegg
Purpose and Possibility of Masonic Education - A paper by Prof. Roscoe Pound
Place a Library Occupies in Masonic Education. - C. C. Hunt
Thursday at 2:00 P. M.
Small Masonic Library - A paper by J. H. Tatsch
Possibility of Cooperation With the American Library Association - John T.
New York Grand Lodge Library - A paper by H. L. Haywood
Masonic Research; Its Methods and Possibilities - R. J. Meekren
Friday at 9:00 A. M.
Masonic Library and Its Relation to the Social Welfare of the Community -
Clara A. Richards
Clubs and Cooperative Effort in Masonic Education - E. E. Thiemeyer
Speakers' Contests - Frank T. Lodge
Speakers' Bureaus - Frank S. Moses
Friday at 2:00 P. M.
Education of a Corps of Masonic Speakers - W. C. Wicker
Lodge Publications - Byrne E. Bigger
Masonic Journalism - F.H. Littlefield
Recapitulation of Successful Methods - Oliver Day Street
thirty-minute period will be provided for a general discussion of each of the
topics and this program is subject to additional numbers.
Future numbers of THE BUILDER will carry an account of the proceedings of this
meeting. We shall endeavor to publish at least some of the papers given for
the benefit of members of the Society, and possibly all of them, as we have
done for the meeting held at Cedar Rapids, Ia., last year.
* * *
STUDY CLUB FORUM
another page of this issue of THE BUILDER there is a brief announcement that a
new departure in our Study Club Department is about to take place. Bro.
Herbert A. Hungerford of Harrisonburg, Virginia, will undertake to conduct a
Study Club Forum for us. Bro. Hungerford is already well known to readers of
THE BUILDER for his series of articles on Freemasonry and Present Day
Problems. Those who have any questions to ask relative to the organization of
Study Clubs, or their management, will find Bro. Hungerford's advice most
welcome. Communications for his department may be addressed either to him in
care of the National Masonie Research Society, or directly to the address
will be a corps of field directors under Bro. Hungerford and in many instances
these men will be able to personally cooperate with the Study Clubs seeking
information and advice.
is another direction in which the work of the National Masonic Research
Society is being broadened in an effort to spread the light of Masonic
knowledge over the whole of the United States.
* * *
CLUBS AND GRAND LODGES
Clubs as a means of acquainting the individual Mason with the history,
symbolism, etc., of the Order are doubtless a good thing, but it impresses me
that they are only local in influence and probably can be nothing else. Is
there any way in which the Grand Lodges might be interested in a comprehensive
scheme to establish Study Clubs in their jurisdictions under direct control
and sanction of the Grand Lodge? It occurs to me that through some such
organization more Study Clubs coupled be developed and further that a great
many of our Masons who are not interested in reading Masonic books could be
made to appreciate the value of them. - S.G.M., Maine.
is no doubt but what a plan such as is suggested in the above inquiry can be
made to work. It has been done and is still being done in the ease of at least
one jurisdiction in this country. The Society is cooperating in this effort
and thus we are familiar with the results. For some eighteen months now the
work has been going forward, showing more and more forcibly that such a plan
can be effective when the proper methods are followed. The brother who has
propounded this query has anticipated us by a few months. In a forthcoming
number of THE BUILDER the work which has been done will be discussed in
detail. The story is too long to be told here, but a few facts might be given.
The Grand Master of this jurisdiction asked the Society to help in his
educational problem and naturally we agreed to do all that we possibly could.
Thorough organization within the jurisdiction, a centralized control was
effected and it was hoped that a Study Club would be organized in every lodge,
or at least in every locality. Where there was more than one lodge in a
community it was thought that they might combine to form a Study Club. The
scheme of organizing was suggested by us and followed by the Grand Lodge
authorities. We then undertook the task of building Study Clubs and working
with them in such a way that they would secure the maximum benefit from the
work done. To date, Study Clubs have been organized in nearly eighty per cent
of the lodges and we are now prepared to suggest a means for increasing the
interest in them and carrying the work to even more fruitful conclusions. As
soon as the necessary data can be secured so that we have absolutely accurate
information we intend to publish a comprehensive account of the work done.
* * *
MASONRY A PROGRESSIVE SCIENCE
very first duty that an E. A. acknowledges is to improve himself in Masonry.
How many truly and sincerely attempt to discharge that duty? What would be the
success of a lawyer who never looked into a law book after his admission to
the Bar; a Minister of the Gospel who never read the Bible after his
ordination; a doctor who never took a medical work after securing his
sheepskin, or that of any other professional who does not take up postgraduate
studies? And yet you find Freemasons all about you pretending to be Masonic
lights who never read. Some of them, perhaps, can glibly repeat portions of
the ritual, but could not give an intelligent interpretation of the same to
save their lives. Masonic reading is an essential part of the education of a
Freemason, and it is never too late to begin; but always better to begin
early; it is the duty of the Master to impress this fact upon newly-made
Masons, but if they themselves are in the class of non-reading Masons, how can
we expect from them wholesome advice?
[South Australian Freemason.]
* * *
KNIGHTS OF MALTA IN AMERICA
Order of Malta at one time owned possessions in America. How great they were
can only be determined by a study of its archives. It was once one of the
richest Orders in the world. It is the oldest. Its members are high nobles to
whom the doors of kings and princes swing open as if by magic. Now that it has
been reintroduced into America and some of our richest and most influential
men have been admitted to its ranks, it is interesting to know when it first
came to the New World and the reason for its coming.
1651 the island of St. Croix, of the now Danish West Indies, was acquired by
France. It is the largest of these islands, is 65 miles southeast of the
island of Porto Rico, which belongs to the United States, and has an area of
84 square miles. Its population is now about 25,000. It was discovered by
Columbus in 1493.
1653 Louis the XIV, King of France, gave St. Croix to the Knights of Malta. It
was then a sovereign power with headquarters in the island of Malta in the
Mediterranean Sea. In 1733 St. Croix was purchased by the Kingdom of Denmark.
Knights of Malta, also known as the Hospitallers, Knights of St. John of
Jerusalem and Knights of Rhodes, ceased to exist as a sovereign power in 1798,
when the great Napoleon annexed it to the French Republic. One branch of this
Order continued under the patronage of the Pope of Rome, another under the
King of Prussia and still another under the King of England. The one that has
been reintroduced into America is protected by the head of the Western Church
and guided here by the princes of that church. Burton E. Bennett. Washington
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 precautions 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.
SOLDIERS OF FORTUNE. By R. W. William M. Stuart, District Deputy Grand Master,
Grand Lodge, F. & A. M., of New York. Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Co.,
New York; cloth, 12 mot, 276 pages; index; portrait Price, $2.15.
means of the present volume, the author has placed in enduring form a series
of worth while biographical sketches of valiant men who were Masons. While
there are a few brethren included who are well known as figures of history -
John Paul Jones, Marquis de Lafayette, and the like, who could not be very
well omitted - Bro. Stuart is to be commended for the able selections he made.
So many of our prominent men have been "biographer" to death, so to speak; but
the reader of the book before us will find names mentioned which are unknown
to the average brother. Richard Montgomery, Baron von Steuben, Hugh Mercer,
Joseph Brant, Thaddeus Kosciusko, Casimir Pulaski, Baron de Kalb strike a
familiar chord; but who readily recalls John Whistler, David Gouverneur
Burnet, John Anthony Quitman, William Eaton and Charles Williamson? Sketches
of General Leonard Wood and Emilio Aguinaldo bring the stories down to the
item of particular interest is the proof that General Horatio Gates was a
Mason. This fact, though reported in a Masonic periodical two years ago, is
buried with many others like it in the pages of unindexed publications. The
valuable service of Bro. Reginald V. Harris, Grand Historian, Grand Lodge of
Nova Scotia, in bringing to light an obscure reference is thus placed on ready
record. The Masonic student seriously pursuing his study of men and Masonry
cannot afford to be without this volume. In sharp distinction with
biographical sketches that have appeared in the past, the present may be
relied upon as being historically and Masonically accurate. Though the
chapters are designed largely to meet the demand for light and entertaining
reading, the author has made excellent use of his opportunity to give
permanence to his work by careful selection and accurate rendition. Books such
as these are a credit to the literature of the Craft as well as to the
brethren who write them. Every lodge library and every Mason interested in a
collection of choice Masonic literature will do well to add this volume to
their shelves. The Iowa Masonic Library at Cedar Rapids has ordered
twenty-five for its Traveling Library section, knowing from the reception
given Bro. Stuart’s Hand to Back (see review in THE BUILDER for February,
1927) that the new book will also have a heavy circulation.
value of the new volume is greatly enhanced by an index of names and places,
making this a ready reference feature which will be frequently consulted by
those interested in the Masonic connections of Revolutionary characters.
* * *
GLIMPSE OF GREECE. By Edward Hutton. Published by the Macmillan Co. Cloth,
table of contents, fully illustrated, map and index of places. xii and 823
pages. Price $6.25.
as the Bible has made Palestine a land of pilgrimage, so also will Greek
literature keep alive an interest in the land whence it sprang, even when the
noble monuments created by the same genius have finally crumbled to dust.
Greece is a mountain land, and like most such countries, is largely sterile.
Wherefore its people became travelers and traffickers in other countries,
longing always to return home - for that is the magic of mountains and hills.
a little curious that scarcely any explicit appreciation of the beauty of the
natural landscape occurs in ancient literature; or mediaeval literature,
either, for that matter. This aesthetic development would seem to be quite
modern, so far as its conscious expression goes. Yet it is as hard to believe
that the ancient Greeks, at least, did not appreciate the natural beauty of
their mountains and valleys, as to accept recent theories that they did not
appreciate the exquisite proportions of their architecture, or the perfection
of their sculpture. It is quite possible they did not speak of them because
these things were taken for granted, because they had no knowledge and no
experience of the ugly and the mean.
Hutton, and his friend Norman Douglas, made the pilgrimage together; and their
conversations do indeed, as the dedication says, greatly enliven pages that
are quite full of interest otherwise.
sailed from Italy, as tourists do, and like Ulysses crossed the Ionian sea;
but unlike him did not land on Ithaca. Up the Gulf of Corinth and through the
"cut," the canal through the Isthmus, into the Gulf of Aegina and so to
Athens. From Athens they came back by land, through Eleusis and north to
Chalkis, and then west to Delphi, and so back to Megara and west again to the
Isthmus and Corinth, and into Argolis and Arcadia; visiting Mycenae and
Tiryns, on the way. And then still further south into Sparta. Then they went
northwest to Megalopolis and Olympia, and finally north to Patras at the
entrance of the `Gulf of Corinth, where they got newspapers and whisky - the
last first - from a steward on a ship in port - the ship on which they said
goodbye to Greece.
bare itinerary - but to those who have known anything at all of ancient
history or literature, every name is full of associations. Such a reader can
only envy, and wish he could go and do likewise.
Hutton Is exceedingly severe on Lord Elgin, who "removed" the famous
sculptures now in the British Museum. But a Fan must be judged by the
standards of his time. Undoubtedly such collecting has done much, in the
museums of newer countries, to produce the very feeling that inspires the
author; that such things Should be preserved in the land of their creation.
There seems little difference between Elgin and American millionaires who buy
up the art treasures of impoverished European countries. Possibly this is
Nemesis; and may in time produce its perfect work by causing a revulsion of
feeling among millionaires. Improbable doubtless - but who knows?
* * *
NEW QUEST. By Prof. Rufus M. Jones. Published by The Macmillan Company, 1928.
Cloth, 202 pages. Price $1.85.
is a book among many which will rejoice the heart of the spiritual-minded. It
is not a treatise. It is a string of pearls, each independent of all the rest,
polished up after the author's ideals and making a unified ornament without
detracting from the intrinsic value of itself or of its companions.
a volume does not admit of a consecutive review of its contents as "firstly"
and "lastly." It is a collection of essays - we might say, lay sermons, only
the author is the bearer, among other college degrees, of a "D.D." The first
essay is brief, under the same caption as the title of the volume - "The New
Quest," in which he gives us a kind of foreword. "The 'seeker'," he says, "is
not a new phenomenon, though the type of quest alters from age to age. . . .
Man by his fundamental nature is a 'seeker.' He goes out like Abraham from Ur,
not knowing whither he is bound - looking eagerly for a city with God-built
foundations.... The variety of 'seekers' today is very great and diverse. For
the most part, however, they are persons who have outgrown ancient
formulations and become dissabisfied with crystallized institutions and
inelastic systems, and who are eager for fresh and vital ways of life and
thought. In a word, they are seekers for reality.... These essays that follow
no doubt fall far short of the ideal as interpretations of reality and of
fragrance. But they are honest attempts to 'speak to the condition' of the
time. They seek to bolster up no sacred scheme or system. They defend no
status quo, nor any pet theory."
author draws heavily, but always appropriately, from the Bible. Mount Sinai is
taken as the symbol of formal, external righteousness, quoting St. Paul in his
letter to the Galatians, "for the bondwoman, Hagar, stands for Mount Sinai in
Arabia, bearing children for servitude.... It has taken thousands of years and
countless sacrifices to pass from Sinai to the freedom of Sons of God. We
passed Sinai in a few hours by ship, but it has taken the slow process of the
ages to leave behind the external forms - 'the yoke of bondage' - and to learn
how to live by inward insight and experience." . . . "The pure in heart see
God, not through favoritism or special privilege but because it is an eternal
law of spiritual cause and effect. God is spirit and they that worship Him
must worship Him spiritually and with a sense of reality. It cannot be done by
prayer wheels, or mummery or jargon."
are ten main divisions of the book, including the first, or introduction. Each
except the first is divided into a few subdivisions with ,sub-bitles. The main
titles are "The Heights and the Depths," in which Mount Shasta rising abruptly
from an extended plain without any companion peak or range is used as a figure
to represent those great characters in history who have risen above the
extended plains of humanity, like Lincoln, and supremely above all, Christ.
Mount Sinai and its significance have already been noted. The oil fields of
California, under the head of "Submerged Energies," with the refined product,
gasolene, and its driving power, is compared to the deep, mysterious urges and
driving forces that control the destiny of individuals. The rest are "The New
Smell," "Singular Lives," "Experiments in Heroic Love," "The Soul's East
Window," "Finding the Whole of One's Self," "Going on and Still to Be," "I
Believe in God," and "Complete Spiritual Health."
intelligent fundamentalist, the liberal Christian and the moderative
conservative will all find this one of the most inspiring books of the day,
but the rank materialist and the atheist will get no comfort from it - not
that it is in the least controversial further than to stand squarely upon the
spiritual truths of the Bible divested of literalism, and to deny that
religion is or can be developed in the individual soul from without; in other
words, the author presents the age-old truth of regeneration and salvation in
scientifically philosophic statements, but in language so simple and
illustrations so plain that he who runs may read and understand. It is one of
those books that should be placed in the hands of every young person for the
upbuilding of character and citizenship. L.B.R.
* * *
PYTHAGOREAN PROPOSITION: Its Proofs Analyzed and Classified. By Elisha S.
Loomis. Privately printed by the Masters' and Wardens' Association of
Cleveland, Ohio. Cloth, table of contents, frontispiece, fully illustrated by
diagrams, bibliography, index of names, 215 pages.
very curious, that in spite of the attention that Masons are supposed, in
theory, to give to the chief of the Liberal - Arts and Sciences, Geometry,
which the old MS. Constitutions so carefully endeavor to explain as the basis
of all arts and crafts and scientific knowledge, there has been so much real
ignorance of the subject in the Craft that the proper distinction between a
Problem and a Theorem has been consistently confused. This distinction is
clear and not unimportant, and is one that even the most elementary
acquaintance with the subject should make perfectly clear. Yet without
exception our Monitors persist in speaking of the 47th problem of the first
Book of Euclid.
Elements of Geometry, compiled by the Greek Mathematician Euclid three hundred
years before Christ, probably at Alexandria in Egypt, served as a textbook
till almost the present time, and it is to be doubted if modern works are
really an improvement from the purely educative point of view; that of
training the mind to appreciate rigid demonstration and the power to detect
fallacies in argument.
method necessarily adopted is that of considering definite propositions. In
Euclid's system the Problems are very few. A problem is something to be done;
as to construct a triangle equal to another, to describe a circle of given
radius that will touch another circle, to draw a tangent to a circle through a
given point and so on. In a theorem nothing has to be constructed (except it
may be incidentally for the purpose of analysis and proof) but in a given
figure certain relations, ratios and proportions are pointed out and
demonstrated. The 47th Proposition is a Theorem. A right-angled triangle is
given, squares are supposed to be drawn upon each and the Hypothesis is
propounded that the square on the hypotenuse is equal in area to the other two
squares together, and this being stated, the demonstration follows.
proposition, it is hardly needful to say, is really of the highest practical
importance. The whole science of Trigonometry is founded on it. Navigation,
surveying, engineering, all absolutely depend on it. In fact, could we imagine
its being untrue, or unknown, our civilized life would come to a standstill.
It might be made the subject of a most interesting study to show how, without
realizing it, we depend upon the truth of this Theorem.
importance has naturally led to a close examination of its special features;
and mathematicians, professional and amateur alike, have exercised their
ingenuity from the earliest times in finding new ways of proving it. Many
Masonic writers, with an interest in symbolism uppermost in their minds, seem
to have misunderstood the discovery of Pythagoras in a very curious way. To
them the special case of a triangle with sides in the ratio of 3:4:5 appeared
the most susceptible to symbolic treatment, and so they assume that it was
this that Pythagoras celebrated so elaborately and at such great cost. But
special cases are often obvious and easy to prove. Science advances by
transcending the particular in a general rule or law. Anyone who had to do
with laying square tiles or tessarae for pavements, could hardly help finding
it out. It was undoubtedly known thousands of years before Pythagoras lived.
But to prove that this relationship between the squares was true of all
right-angled triangles was an achievement to gladden any seeker's heart.
Loomis' study will interest only those who know or remember enough mathematics
to understand it. But it is of more general interest to learn that the
theoretical number of possible ways of proving the theorem is without limit.
There are four typical ways of demonstrating it. The Algebraic, based on
linear relationships; the Geometric (the Euclidean demonstration is the most
elegant of these) which involve comparison of areas; the Quaternionic, based
on vector operations; and finally the Dynamic, derived from the concepts of
mass and velocity.
number of proofs possible is really doubly infinite; for there is no limit in
either of the first two classes; though Bro. Loomis has discovered that only
ten types of geometrical figures can be employed in the second group of
proofs actually given there are fifty-eight algebraic, and a hundred and
sixty-seven geometrical ones. Of the latter, one of the most interesting is
that numbered 154, which was invented by the Hindu mathematician Bhaskara.
There have been some who have supposed this proof to have been the one
invented by Pythagoras. It is said that Bhaskara simply drew the two diagrams
required and wrote under them the single word "Behold." But of course the
sceptical are inclined to question this as they do all dramatic historical
* * *
FREEMASONRY: ITS VISION AND CALL. By the Rev. Joseph Johnson, with a Foreword
by Sir Alfred Bobbins. Published by the Masonic Record, Ltd. Cloth, table of
contents, 166 pages. Price $2.15.
JOHNSON is a Past Assistant Grand Chaplain of the United Grand Lodge of
England. Being a clergyman his outlook leads him to the more serious aspects
of Masonry, and especially in those directions where it borders on religion.
To those who feel that Masonry is, or ought to be, something more than a
social organization his work should have a strong appeal. But the problem of
combining the ideals and aspirations of the Craft with the peculiar
restrictions and limitations that its character and organization lay upon it
is not easy to solve. In the following passage Bro. Johnson gives his answer
to this question:
real mission of Masonry is to build in human life an ideal Temple. Masonry
provides a plan for the guidance and instruction of each workman. He has to
build the Temple in his own life, and in doing this serious and earnestly, he
contributes to the building of humanity as a dwelling place for the Divine
Spirit. Masonry recognizes no obligation to provide solutions for the economic
and political problems of society, but it does acknowledge that, if men will
act upon the square with their neighbors, many of these problems will be
except for the form, is hardly original. It might almost be described as
orthodox Masonic doctrines - so far as Masonry can be said to have any
orthodoxy. Yet it is a difficult position to hold, both intellectually and
practically. A via media is often enough, perhaps generally, the hardest way,
it is so much easier to go to extremes. The probability, based on human
experience, is that the "middle way" is wisest and most expedient. But there
is no certainty that a course is right merely because it lies between
the Masonic Fraternity there are two extreme tendencies - those who would
reduce its scope to a minimum, who add provisos and conditions until "the law
is made of none effect." The other tendency is that of the idealists and
enthusiasts who say Masonry teaches and inculcates this and this; let us "get
busy" and put it into effect. It is not easy to hold to the distinction, even
academically, between corporate action of the group, and corporate incitement
to each member to act individually. It is difficult indeed in specific cases.
We may say that this median attitude is held, not as a train is held to one
direction by the rails, but as a compass needle points to the north. The one
is rigid and undeviating, the other is constantly fluctuating between the
magnetic attraction of the pole and extraneous impulses.
theoretical position of Masonry in regard to religion and religious belief is
a still more difficult problem than that of ethical ideals. The present
reviewer is of the opinion, for whatever it may be worth, that this has never
yet been fully thought out. We have got along with compromises, the
intellectual weakness of which has been concealed by bold statements of
antinomies. First it is this, which makes it equivalent to a religion, and
then it is that, which evacuates it of all religious character.
is nothing strange in this state of affairs, it is only an aspect of the
problem of religion generally. Rigid and sharply defined creeds have been
common enough, they are too natural and human not to be constantly
reappearing. Freemasonry may have had its part in breaking down these "walls
of partition." As the author says:
other human order or institution has ever brought together men of such wide
diversities of types, temper, training, interest and achievement and succeeded
in uniting them in service for mankind and unfaltering faith in God.
regard it from the point of view of process, we can be patient with the
confusions of thought, and the unreconciled contradictions that may exist.
Masonry may be regarded thus as a leaven of tolerance and understanding; and
of a leaven we cannot demand fixity and definite form. In the builder's
workshop we have no right to demand that order and beauty that we hope the
finished Temple will possess. Nevertheless it would be well if the more
serious and religiously minded Mason would see the difficulties involved and
endeavor to work them out. Progress can hardly be hoped for until the problem
is fairly and definitely stated.
take, what is a typical example, not by any means peculiar to Bro. Johnson,
but so common as to be almost a matter of Anglo-Saxon Masonic creed. The
fourth chapter is devoted to the Book of Freemasonry. We may quote two
the V. of the S. L. is so interwoven into our Order so ingrained in its fiber,
that we have come to feel that there can be no real Freemasonry apart from it.
is literally true historically and ritually, but when it is added that
absence of prejudice, superstition and intolerance from Freemasonry may be
traced to the teachings of the V. of the S. L.
question is raised. How comes it about that so many intolerant, and some
superstitious, religious creeds have been based on a fervent and literal
following of that same Volume of Sacred Law ? Are we not entitled to ask, is
not the tolerance of Masonry derived from some other source? On its face the
Bible is not a tolerant book, and few who take it liberally have shown
themselves tolerant in creed - or action, when they had the power.
second of the two passages above referred to is this:
V. of the S. L. permeates Freemasonry with its teachings that those who come
under its spell are conscious of the Divine Presence whenever they meet in the
far as this is true, and it is true of many Masons, is there not in this
ground for the complaint made by all intolerant forms of Christianity against
Masonry; that it is a religion, or a substitute for religion?
it is possible, for example, that a Mohammedan may have as adequate and true a
conception of God as a Christian, yet it is certain that he drives it from a
different source and clothes it in different mental imagery. Freemasonry
accepts the Mohammedan, as it does any other theist, and thereby acquires an
intellectual, a logical, difficulty. A difficulty which, it must be repeated,
is not solved either by ignoring it, or by first stating absolutely one side
of the contradiction and then equally insisting on the other. The book on the
theory of Masonic relationship to religion has yet to be written.
is not to say that the work under consideration is to he considered
inadequate. It is not. The author has evidently a practical purpose in view,
and for that purpose it is adapted. Logical consistency is not a
characteristic of AngloSaxon thinking. Bro. Johnson has sounded a call to a
greater effort, a higher ideal among Masons. His arguments are powerful; they
are calculated to appeal to the great majority and from this point of view it
is to be judged. It is a welcome addition to the serious literature of the
Craft and it is to be hoped it may be as widely read and deeply considered as
it undoubtedly deserves to be. M.
* * *
MASONIC CODE OF IOWA, 1928. (n. p.). Cloth, 363 pages including copious index.
Published by the Grand Lodge of Iowa, A. F. & A. M., Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
publication of the eighth edition of the Masonic Code of Iowa adds another
substantial volume to the commendable books already issued by the Iowa Craft.
What William Henry Upton was to the Grand Lodge, F. & A. M. of Washington,
whose Code of 1897 was so highly praised by the eminent English Masonic
historian, Robert Freke Gould, so was Charles Trumbull Granger to the Grand
Lodge of Iowa. Prior to the adoption of the Granger Code in 1888, the
jurisdiction had no properly defined system of law - all that existed was a
Code with some digests of decisions. To really get at all the regulations
underlying an activity, it was necessary to scan the proceedings carefully for
some unknown or vaguely remembered action or decision, and as the pioneers
passed from the scene, their memories were no longer available as a source of
reference. It was this state of affairs, among others, which Bro. Granger
corrected; in doing so, he placed Iowa Masonry under perpetual obligation for
his able efforts. He lived to see his Code pass through six editions, all of
which were edited by him. As stated by Bro. Charles Clyde Hunt, the editor of
the new edition, the seventh (Craig) and eighth editions "have been based on
the work of Brother Granger, who still, in spirit, mingles in our councils and
inspires our work."
Briefly, the main part of the new Code concerns itself with "The Charges of a
Freemason," taken from Anderson's Book of Constitutions, 1723; the
Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, and two lengthy divisions on "General
Laws" and "Trials and Punishments." There is also a collection of authorized
forms. (Let it be said at this point that Bro. Hunt is also the
author-compiler of an Iowa Trial Manual, a work which has been of inestimable
benefit in the distasteful but sometimes necessary procedure of a Masonic
the features so far mentioned, the new Code does not differ from the many
others published throughout the Masonic world; but it is outstanding in the
fact that it has a most comprehensive and detailed index. This may not mean
much to the average reader, but to the diligent user of a book, it is worth
its weight in gold many times over - providing the book is worth anything. It
was Lord Campbell who proposed that an author be deprived of the privilege of
copyright for publishing a book without an index, and that he be penalized by
a pecuniary fine. Those who enjoy the personal acquaintance of Bro. Hunt know
that he is a diligent indexer, a fact which in itself speaks for the
excellence of the 158 pages of index to the 182 pages of related matter. His
work makes the new Code a really useful volume, and should aid materially in
holding to a minimum the useless and unnecessary questions which a Grand
Master perennially receives from Worshipful Masters too indifferent or too
ignorant to use a Code intelligently.
topical index is in alphabetical order throughout. Even the subdivisions,
which might be preferred by some in logical sequence according to importance,
are consistently alphabetical, and in this manner are also of value for
academic reading. Iowa Study Circle readers will find the Index a great
convenience in obtaining topics for discussion - the references are very
handy, and reduce searching to a minimum. It is to be hoped that Code
compilers everywhere will profit by the Iowa Code and prepare indexes
volume has two serious defects, or omission, which the critical user of books
will observe immediately. First, there is nothing on the title page, or
elsewhere in the volume to indicate where the headquarters of the Grand Lodge
of Iowa are maintained; hence any non-Iowa brother desiring to get a copy of
the book would not know where to inquire for it. The words "Cedar Rapids,
Iowa," should have appeared at the bottom of the title page, where now only
the date "1928" appears. Second - and this is really vital - there is no
table of contents, although there are forty-four chapters in the book which
rightfully should be listed as such by number and title before the reading
text. It would not only give a general idea of the book's contents, but would
also facilitate reference when a major theme is under consideration.
Fortunately, insofar as Iowa use is concerned, the defects will not detract
from the ready use of the book, for the meat of the text can be reached
through the copious index which has been so laboriously and so meticulously
prepared. The Iowa Mason will find the new book far superior to anything
hitherto available in the Iowa jurisdiction, and he will not hesitate to give
Grand Secretary Hunt, and his associates, Bro. Charles C. Clark, P. G. M., and
Bro. Louis Block, P. G. M., the credit due them for their contributions to the
work. Bro. Hunt modestly disclaims the credit for his efforts, but those who
have been associated with him know what an effective and painstaking worker he
is. The Iowa Craft are under lasting obligations to Bro. Hunt for giving them
this comprehensive and usable volume for their guidance through the maze of
Masonic jurisprudence. J.H.T.
* * *
MASONIC RECORD (London). Vol. viii, 1928. - Cloth, 306 pages; index. Price
nineteen shillings, six pence.
all due respect to my colleagues in the editorial field, and with full
consideration of the particular phases of Masonic activities covered by them,
it must be granted that there are few Craft periodicals which are worth
preserving permanently. Most of them are ephemeral publications, for their
contents have no enduring worth when the next issue appears. Some there are
which carry learned and well written contributions on topics of historical,
biographical and symbolical interest; yet as a whole my comment will hold.
European Masonic magazines, outside of the learned Transactions of the various
research societies, are generally printed on medium grade paper or news print,
and as such do not lend themselves to fine illustrations. A noteworthy English
exception is "The Masonic Record," of London, now in its ninth successful
year. It is printed on calendered paper capable of taking a 150-screen
halftone, is well arranged and carries its advertisements on pages which can
be removed when binding the issues, thus leaving a volume given entirely to
reading matter. The news items which it carries are concise, and cover only
outstanding events, such as the Masonic historian must needs observe when
tracing the development of the Fraternity through succeeding years.
important feature insofar as the American reader is concerned, is the fine
articles written on a pleasing variety of subjects by capable Masons. Readers
of THE BUILDER will recognize among the contributors the names of Sir Alfred
Robbins, P. S. G. W.; Lt. Col. Gilbert W. Daynes, P. M.; Bro. Boris Telepneff,
the authority on Russian Masonry; and C. C. Hunt, Grand Secretary of the Grand
Lodge of Iowa; while brethren conversant with British Masonic affairs will
readily recognize names of other prominent Masons.
Interested as we may be in the literary contributions, we also give praise to
the beautiful illustrations so generously lavished upon us. Each issue has a
double page inside section depicting Masonic rarefies appealing to the
collector and antiquarian. Rare furniture, pottery, glassware, curios, medals,
badges, aprons - all such are shown in wondrous detail, sometimes printed over
a delicate tint of pea-green, lavender, light blue, etc., enhancing the
inherent excellence of the cuts. Consequently a bound volume of "The Masonic
Record" is not only a desirable collection of Masonic literature, but also a
reference work of rare subjects. Portraits of prominent Masons also appear in
large number, and are interesting to us on this side of the Atlantic because
the regalia shown and the jewels worn intimate very clearly that Craft customs
differ in various parts of the world.
Unfortunately, complete files of the publication are no longer available, but
the Masonic booklover who would add representative works to his collection
should start now on a file of "The Masonic Record." Having access to the
monthly issues as they appear by consulting files at a Masonic Library, I do
not have my volume sent until the end of the year. Thus a uniform binding at
very reasonable cost can be had.
* * *
AMERICAN PARTY BATTLE. By Charles C. Beard. Published by The Macmillan Co.,
New York. Cloth, table of contents, bibliography, 150 pages. Price $1.65.
book, the latest title to be added to a series entitled "The World Today
Bookshelf," is by the general editor of the series. The name of Charles A.
Beard has become very well known in the field of American History. Mr. Beard
was a co-author of The Rise of American Civilization. It is sufficient
recommendation to state that the same high standards are maintained in this
latest product of his pen as in the earlier and larger work.
title of the volume does not seem quite appropriate, to the reviewer at least,
although in a sense it does fit the contents. But it is to some extent
misleading. The reader is naturally led to expect that the book deals with
party struggles in politics today. In its scope, however, the book is broader
than that, and we really have a brief history of the rise of American
political parities. It is easy to read and for this reason should have much
man on the streets is prone to lose sight of the issues that are inherent in
either Republican or Democratic party, and of which little mention is made in
party platforms. Those points stressed in the platforms for national campaigns
become paramount. There is some merit in such reasoning, but the broader party
principles should always be considered; and modern, or at least, the pressing
questions of the day should be viewed in the light of the main party
principles. The effect of these basic ideals upon modern life should receive
the utmost consideration.
are some faults in Mr. Beard's book, but that is only natural. Any brief
discussion of American politics must have its omissions. The main trend of
thought is skillfully and accurately traced, and more than that, it is
accomplished in an intensely interesting way. E.E.T.
* * *
THINGS TO COME. By J. Middleton Murry. Published by The Macmillan Company.
Cloth, Table of Contents, 318 pages. 6 x 8 3/4. inches. Price $2.65.
Christian perspective is precious to me, and I am not gain" to surrender my
right to use and profit by it simply because I am told by the party of
orthodoxy that it is the only perspective, and by the party of rationalism
that it does not exist. I claim to be, in my own peculiar way, a Christian. I
am as fully entitled to my share of the Christian heritage as any believer. On
the other hand, I am not a heretic, nor even a Pantheist, but simply a
believer in humanity in its priest manifestations. In other words, I am a
great believer in Heroes and the greatest of my heroes is Jesus."
* * *
JEFFERSON, FRIEND OF FRANCE 1793. By Meade Minnigerode. Published by G. P.
Putnam's Sons. Cloth, Illustrated, Table of Contents, Index, Bibliography, 447
pages. 6 x 9 1/2 inches. Price $5.25.
subject of this book is Citizen Genet and his relations with Jefferson. The
sources are private papers of the Citizen which have been handed down in his
family until the present day. The book is interesting reading and contains
much hitherto unpublished material.
FRIEDRICH VON HUMBOLDT
have a lodge here - Humboldt, No. 47 - and the secretary, who is a very
personal friend of mine, wishes to learn what lodge Baron von Humboldt
belonged to in Germany. I find there were two Barons - brothers, Friedrich and
Karl - both eminent in German history a century and more ago. I have hunted
among the pages in my library, but can learn of no Humboldt, a Mason. I have
gone through my indexes in file of THE BUILDER and A. Q. C. and get absolutely
Humboldt Lodge here is the largest one in Ohio, and very active. Years ago a
picture of Humboldt was brought from Germany and presented to the lodge. Now
they wish to learn the name of the lodge he belonged to and its location.
Could you, without much trouble, advise me in this matter?
seems most probable that Humboldt Lodge, No. 476, would be named after
Friedrich Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt, and not his elder brother Karl
Wilhelm. The latter, though a most talented man and well known in his own
country, never attained the fame that the travels and scientific researches
gave to the younger brother.
Apparently neither of the brothers was a Mason, though their father was a
member of the Grand Lodge of the Three Globes of Berlin, and receives mention
in the history of that body. In the well known German Masonic periodical, Die
Banhuette, for January, 1870, there is a contribution on Friedrich von
Humboldt by H. Kunzel in which the subject of the article is described, by a
phrase not unusual in Germany, as "a Mason without the apron." By this it is
intended to express that an individual was in character and life all that. the
ideal Mason should be. To illustrate by an American instance, we could say
that Abraham Lincoln was a "Mason without the apron."
* * *
LIGHTING THE CANDLES
question has been raised in our lodge as to the proper order in lighting and
extinguishing the tapers or candles in opening a Blue Lodge.
has been my practice to light the taper representing the W. M. first, then the
one representing the J.W., and last the one representing the Senior Warden and
extinguish them in the reverse order of Senior, Junior and Master.
method of lighting seems to me about half logical and that is the sun rises in
the East, reaches its meridian height in the South and sets in the West, but
as to rank of officers, the Senior Warden outranks the Junior and in the
opening rises before the Junior Warden. My method of extinguishing doesn't
seem very logical either as the sun should set first in the East, then in the
South and then the West, but this would be somewhat contrary to rank of
officers and all are on their feet when the lodge is declared closed.
presume this is a matter of no great moment, sort of a tweedle-dee or a
tweedle-dum proposition, and I probably should not be taking up your valuable
time with it. But as I am appointed to the office of Senior Deacon for the
coming year, and will quite likely be performing this duty several times, I
will appreciate it if you will give me your ideas in regard to the same.
informed that the tapers are to be lighted first and extinguished last, that
is the first Great Light is not to be opened or closed during a period of
darkness. This I presume is correct. G. M. C., Montana.
is a very interesting question, even if it concerns only a minor detail of
lodge ceremonial. It would be very useful if we could have definite
information as to the rule (if any) followed in other lodges in different
rule suggested by our correspondent seems very appropriate from one point of
view, that of the symbolism of the cardinal points and the solar significance
of the stations of the three principal officers of the lodge. Unfortunately,
as is pointed out, this symbolism does not agree with the precedence of these
officers, and consequently it is necessary to make a choice of one or the
other, as they are too inconsistent to be combined.
use of electric substitutes for candles, which is becoming so general as to be
almost universal in some parts of the country, makes any formal lighting
impossible, which is a real loss from both the ceremonial and symbolic point
rule that the lights should be extinguished in the reverse order to that in
which they were lighted seems appropriate and is in accordance with
ecclesiastical usage, if that may be taken as a precedent. Also, that the
"lesser lights" should be presented before the greater ones, and extinguished
after the latter have been closed.
far as our information goes the ceremonial connected with the lesser lights
has been very much neglected in the United States and we hope that this latter
may be a stimulus to others to let us know and put on record, which is
actually customary in different places, and what is supposed to be correct
even if neglected in practice.
* * *
SCOTTISH DEGREES IN GERMANY
a fact that there is no Scottish Rite in Germany as stated in this month's
"New Age" (February) ? If I remember right I had a grand uncle who wore a
charm similar to certain 32d emblems, and I have a hazy idea that I was told
he was a 32d. H.K., Missouri.
is no organization of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in Germany, and
never has been. In the eighteenth century various degrees and rites were
introduced into that country that were the forerunners of the Scottish Rite,
but they seem to have had a very precarious existence. Certain of the German
Grand Lodges seem to possess and confer upon a very select circle a number of
high grades, but much secrecy envelops the whole subject so that it is most
difficult to obtain any definite information. It is possible that these high
grades pertain rather to the Rite of the Strict Observance and Knight Templar
Orders rather than to the groups classed as Scottish or Ecossais. It is quite
possible that some of the emblems and symbols used in these grades are the
same or similar to those familiar in the Scottish Rite. This would be
accounted for by derivation from the same general sources which were used as
material in the construction of all the high grades supposed to be superior to
* * *
enclosing my subscription for next year to the National Masonic Research
Society. The first three issues of the year have passed through my hands since
reaching here and everybody has commented favorably. The articles, "The Shadow
of the Vatican," applies here as much as to the U. S. A.; the Colony is
bigoted Catholic to the backbone. The humorous part is that their local
cathedral had its cornerstone laid Masonically by the then Grand Master of
India, Lord Moira, and his Mark Mason's mark is on the altar steps. At a
recent committee for the renovation of the structure the point was brought up
whether this could not be obliterated; after much discussion it was decided to
Sub-dean of the Anglican Cathedral drew my attention today to the account in
chapter four of the second book of Kings to the restoration to life by the
Prophet Elisha of the son of the woman of Shunem. It is remarkable and even
without drawing the long bow, the Masonic parallel is very striking. And why
did the child sneeze seven times, and why that before he received L by opening
his eyes? Is it only coincidence that the story is told in this order? If no
more, it is interesting and "gives one to think."
anthropological wanderings here I have come across another interesting point,
only indirectly Masonic, it is true, but the connection is there. In certain
Chinese shops are exposed for sale what at a quick glance appear to be small
figurines of the Virgin and Child. But they are not, although the female is
crowned. She is Yang Hin, the queen of Heaven, and she is never complete
without the child and the tiger. One knows of course that where the lion does
not exist, the puma, tiger, etc., are synonymous. One at once thinks of the
old Egyptian Trinity with all its related early cults and myths.
enclose a rubbing of a "Chakri" presented to me by a Hindoo Society here in
appreciation of some work I have done for them. It is their particular one and
stands to them very much as does the crucifix of the good Catholic. You will
notice the ten rays from the Point at the Centre; then between three circles
series of ten triangles. They explain it to me thus, that only by the practice
of the five spiritual virtues and their five bodily counterpart can you
advance from the outer circle of the body through that of the soul to that of
the spirit and that even when this is reached there is yet a long way to go
before attaining to the Centre. The ten virtues cannot be practiced except
with the help of the Deity hence the virtues are represented as triangles but
even as man and the Deity are one so the outer circle connected through the
other two is one also. They stress the feet of the Centre being an empty point
as the Centre cannot be realized by the human mind. The philosophy and the
expression hereof is extraordinarily like that of the Three Degrees and Holy
remember the Temple I wrote you about in which I obtained admission by means
of Masonic signs; I have been there again and was enabled to spend a much
longer time and to study it more closely. This time I was struck by another
aspect. The priest kept on emphasizing the fact that Shiva was the god-aspect
of transformation. He destroyed only to build up again or as he put it in his
faulty English, he was the Lord of the Down and Up. He directed my attention
to the many times repeated carving all over the structure of the god in a
seated position with his wrists together over his navel, one hand bent to
point upwards, the other downwards. I remember having come across the same
sign with the same meaning in the myth of Quetzalocoatl when I was in Mexico.
Of course this is not Masonic, but here is another sign at different ends of
the earth meaning the same thing.
letter from Bro. Anderson is as interesting as the first, that appeared on
page 383 of THE: BUILDER last year. It has taken nearly three months to reach
us from Mauritius and evidently it takes THE BUILDER a long time to reach Bro.
Anderson. We hope to be able to reproduce a drawing of the "Chakri" in a later
issue. The rubbing, though perfectly clear, is not suitable for photographic
* * *
going to lay before you a new proposition, and that is to organize an
international school in world politics in Washington, D. C., for the training
of boys and girls not over twenty-one years of age, and who have already
attained a certain standard of education, and who know the American language.
Let us say ten or twenty pupils from each nation per year. The school,
transportation board and room must be free. The students should all live and
dine on the campus in order that they may become thoroughly familiar with each
other's peculiarities. This would encourage a merging together of different
peoples into one common brotherhood of man. Transportation could be given on a
United States vessel. This would create an opportunity for Uncle Sam to visit
every nation once a year, bringing graduates back to their native countries,
and transporting members for a new glass to the United States. Such visits
could be held annually on the same date. That day could become a U. S. day of
celebration in every country in the world. The favorable effect of such a plan
for the United States cannot be over-estimated.
think that this scheme could be most easily carried out by the United States,
provided that it could avoid political obstacles. The expenses would return to
the United States many fold, I believe, but the underlying principle of the U.
S. would be to lay the foundation for "Peace on Earth and good win among men."
believe however that the Masons of the country could take the proposition,
carry it on their own expenses, and handle it in their own way. I believe that
every Mason in the United States would be willing to pay fifty cents per year
for the support of such an international school. The United States government
would undoubtedly be willing to donate the use of a war vessel for the
transportation of the students. Masonry would acquire influence and respect
beyond our imagination in every corner of the world, because the students
would in the course of time become educators and officers in their respective
countries. It works like magic to deal with the younger generations in our
age. They are naturally communistically inclined; they are intellectual, and
of an altruistic nature, but our old selfish economic and social system makes
criminals out of some of them. Let us try to make Masons out of them instead.
have arrived at a milestone in our development where it is demanded of us that
we take a firm stand for the enlightenment, and the liberation of mankind. God
or Nature never bee stows endless favors on anyone, sooner or later Nature
demands pay, and in no uncertain terms. During the World War we could not send
a man nor a dollar across the ocean. That reveals the influence we have earned
among mankind. Unselfish and altruistic service to all is the true way to show
mankind that we are our brother's keeper. That is the pay Nature demands.
most of us take Masonry only like light entertainment, but the fact is that
nature demands of us that we carry the heavy burden of the world's
development. If we fail in this stewardship the blessings which have since
1717 been so bounteously bestowed upon us will in the future be withheld. Then
we can again prepare for the stake.
firm on watch all through this terror season It is slow, but sure, man will
fear that this proposal win be considered too idealistic, not to say quixotic,
to most of our readers, but it is submitted to their consideration without
* * *
lodge has quite a few relics and curiosities that have been given by different
brethren in the past. Among them is a Masonic chart that is printed on some
fine material, cotton or linen. In the center is a perspective view of a
mosaic pavement, with three steps up to it, and two pillars surmounted by an
arch. At the far end of the pavement is a second arch, leading into an inner
chamber, or temple. About this central design are disposed various emblems and
symbols, which seem to include not only those of Craft Masonry, but also the
Royal Arch, Knights Templar, and I think the Red Cross also. This is all very
much like other designs I have seen, but there is something more that I have
not seen anywhere else. Arranged round the top and two sides are the collars
of the different officers of the lodge, each with its jewel; that of the
Master being in the middle at the top with those of the Wardens on each side.
design is supposed to have been an apron, but it seems to me much too large,
and not the right shape. It is square, and about thirty inches along the side.
It is said to be more than a hundred years old. I do not know much about such
things, but I should think it might date back to 1810 or 1820.
I am particularly anxious to know more about is the presence of the collars.
Was there at one time any symbolism attached to them? If so, what did they
signify? Or was it merely the natural and obvious way to carry the jewels of
office? If any members of the Research Society know anything about this I
would be very glad if they would discuss the subject in THE BUILDER.
relic in question is, from the description, almost certainly not an apron.
There were many charts printed on fabric such as this a hundred years ago or
so. It is probable that they were used to illustrate the lectures. Being on
fabric they were both easily portable and durable.
far as is known no special significance of a symbolic nature has ever been
attached to the official collars. They are the convenient and natural way of
supporting the jewels. Their inclusion in the design was doubtless to
represent the officers necessary to the lodge, and were thus mnemonic rather