The Builder Magazine
June 1929 - Volume XV - Number 6
A Roman Catholic Grand
BRO. A. J. B. MILBORNE, Canada
the many brethren who have occupied high offices in the Craft in Canada, none
are more affectionately remembered than the Honorable Claude Denechau, a
distinguished French Canadian, who rendered valuable public service to his
fellow countrymen during the formative period of the country.
Claude Denechau was a Roman Catholic, and became a Mason under the early
"Modern regime in Lower Canada, and as appears from a Certificate issued by
St. Paul's Lodge, Montreal, No. 12, of the P.G.L. of Lower Canada
("Ancients"), he was "haled" from Modern to Ancient Freemasonry on the 14th of
January, 1800. He subsequently became a member of Merchants Lodge, No. 40, at
Quebec, and was appointed Grand Junior Warden of the Provincial Grand Lodge of
Lower Canada in 1805 during the Grand Mastership of H.R.H. The Duke of Kent.
Appointed Grand Senior Warden in the following year, he served in that
capacity until 1812, in which year H.R.H. The Duke of Kent resigned as
Provincial Grand Master in order that he might accept the office of Grand
Master of the Grand Lodge of England ("Ancients").
The official Circular for the year 1812 records that the Hon. Claude Denechau
was "elected" Grand Master of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Lower Canada. This
was an irregular proceeding for it was acknowledged that the appointment of
the Provincial Grand Master was a prerogative of the Grand Master of England.
It seems clear, however, that Denechau's election was merely an expedient to
meet the situation which had arisen, and that steps were immediately taken to
regularize his position by the application to England for a Patent. This
Patent was not received until 1820, the delay in issuing it being no doubt due
to the difficulties the United Grand Lodge of England was experiencing in
putting its own house in order following the Union of 1813. Denechau's
unconstitutional position was clearly recognized at the time, for in The
Mason's Manual, issued on the 2nd March, 1818, by the Provincial Grand Lodge,
it is provided that "the appointment of the Provincial Grand Master is a
prerogative of the Grand Master of England, by whom . . . a Patent may be
granted. . . . The Grand Master shall be installed, agreeably to ancient
usage, on the twenty seventh of December annually, provided his PATENT has
been obtained." (Italics in the original.)
Special Communication was held on the 12th June, 1820, after the Patent had
been received, and the Hon. Claude Denechau was regularly installed as Grand
Master of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Lower Canada, a position he held until
1823 when the Provincial Grand Lodge was divided into two Districts the Hon.
William McGillivray being appointed P.G.M. for the District of Montreal and
William Henry, and the Hon. Claude Denechau P.G.M. for the District of Quebec
and Three Rivers. This office he held until his death in 1836.
The Grand Master's address, delivered by Denechau on the 27th December, 1821,
is to be found in Graham's History of Freemasonry in Quebec, but it was not
the last Charge given by him to the P.G.L. of Lower Canada, as the Quebec
historian suggests, for there has recently come to light a later address
contained in the printed proceedings of the P.G.L. of L. C., held on the 27th
this address is of unusual interest, apart from its historical value, it
is with heartfelt pleasure that on again meeting you at the Anniversary of our
Tutelar Saint, I have to congratulate you on the improving state of the Craft,
and the progress it has made in this Province, since I last met you on a
The observations which I then thought it my duty to make on the neglect which
to a culpable degree I found to prevail in the several lodges throughout the
Province, have not been without effect and I have now to acknowledge the
dutiful and corresponding spirit with which the Brethren have universally
received the admonition, which I can only ascribe to a conviction on their
part of its propriety.
Not only have the Brethren been more zealous and punctual to their Masonic
duties and in their attendance to their respective lodges, but by the
information I have received from the Deputy Grand Master, our numbers have
considerably increased. This circumstance is the more gratifying as many of
the Brethren recently initiated are from that class of our fellow subjects
amongst whom prejudices against the Craft are industriously kept alive from an
erroneous notion or rather pretext of the views we are supposed to entertain
with respect to matters of Religion. The deception is gradually dispelling,
and a steady perseverance in that probity of action which characterizes Masons
throughout the world, and which in fact is the very essence of the principles
of the Craft, will hasten the period when our most ancient and honorable
Institution will not be less revered by our Catholic Fellow Subjects in this
quarter of the Empire, than by our Protestant Fellow Subjects in Britain and
The great maxims of our Institution comprehend all that is valuable in
Christianity, and while it embraces all that is charitable among every sect or
denomination of Christians, it entertains nothing repugnant to those great
truths in which every true Christian must agree. The practice of the Masonic
Craft is by no means incompatible with the religious exercises of any sect of
Christians or of Christian virtues that can be named.
Our duties are plain, simple and consolatory, to the Great and Omnipotent
Architect of the Universe we owe our gratitude as the great basis and
foundation of all the happiness we now enjoy, to the King, attachment and
allegiance, to all mankind (and in a more especial manner to Brethren of the
Craft) friendship Charity and brotherly love. From him who hath much wealth
much charity to his poor and suffering fellow-creatures is required, and from
him who hath little, not more is required than he can consistently with his
other obligations conveniently spare, from the poor it requires honesty,
industry and sobriety, a due respect for superiors and all those who are
placed in authority over them.
Exempt from those scandalous persecutions, to which under the pretext of
religion, the Craft has and still does labour in some countries, Masonry has
at all times prospered under the powerful and protecting arm of the British
Government, and accordingly our lodges are proverbially Loyal. The Craft we
profess instead of debasing mankind tends to enlighten, and many are the
Brethren of exalted rank and eminent character whose names are foremost in
Patriotism, and whose devotion to their King and Country, evince that Loyalty
may be justly considered as among the first of Masonic virtues.
is our bounden duty, Brethren, collectively and individually as far as our
influence may extend among our fellow subjects to inculcate principles of
Loyalty to the King and obedience to his Laws as well as the most entire
confidence in the wisdom and efficiency of his Government as exemplified in
our present and unequalled constitution without which there can be no rational
you Brethren, Officers of the Grand Lodge, who have served for the last year,
I return thanks for your assiduity in the duties of your respective offices,
and the assistance you have rendered me in the discharge of mine, and to you
Brethren and Officers of the Provincial Grand Lodge installed this day, I
enjoin a perseverance in the zeal and harmony which I have witnessed in the
lodges for the last year, and desire that you will afford a like laudable
example to your successors as you have received from those you have succeeded.
In your several lodges you are to take care that the necessary labour be duly
and fully executed, you are to be regular and careful that a proper decorum be
observed, and that the advice and instructions necessary to form the perfect
Mason, be from time to time attended to, and imparted so that the younger
Masons may have frequent occasions to improve in the Craft and qualify
themselves as officers in their several lodges. I must particularly call your
attention to the Returns, and request that they may be regularly made at the
appointed times to the Grand Lodge, and I am confident that this request will
meet with a ready acquiescence on your part.
take this opportunity of informing you, Brethren, that our Grand Master, His
Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex, has been pleased to appoint by an
Instrument under his hand and seal of the Grand Lodge of England, Brother
McGillivray, to be Provincial Grand Master of the Lodges in Upper-Canada a
Brother of distinguished merit, and I therefore desire that whenever he may
honor any lodge in this Province with his presence, he may be received with
the distinction and respect due to his Masonic Rank and Station.
(Signed) C. DENECHAU,
There is now on the Register of the Grand Lodge of Quebec a lodge which bears
the name of Denechau. Founded in 1906, and drawing its membership from the
French-speaking citizens of Montreal, it has had a steady and encouraging
growth. The ceremonies are conducted in the French language. The translation
formerly in use has been revised, with the result that the difficulties and
harshness of a literal rendering have been removed.
The Hiram Abiffs of Other Races
BRO. D. D. ANDERSON. Island of Mauritius
THE legend of H. A. forms the kernel of Freemasonry; it is the peg on which
all that the Craft teaches is hung. Let us very briefly sum up the tradition
having not only the rendering as given in "Emulation" working, but where
necessary, going outside it to other sources in order to fill in the picture.
A., the Master Architect, paid his devotions to the Most High . . . I have so
far no precise information as to where it was in the Temple; probably
somewhere towards the W. where was situated the Holy of Holies. In the Ritual
of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, it should be noted, he eventually tries to
escape by the W. door. Emulation then states that he went to the S., to the
N., and then to the E. Other rituals give a different path, but all that I
have had access to agree in the main detail that death overtook him in the E.
Another point of difference among the rituals are the working tools figuring
in the tragedy. His grave was marked by a sprig of acacia. All the various
traditions agree on this point. Some rituals stress the r .... g of the corpse
on the F. P. of F. and its subsequent interment as near to the Holy of Holies
as possible. Others the finding on the body of the Mystic Name engraved on a
gold triangle, which with the sprig of acacia, is placed in a coffer on the
altar in the Holy of Holies.
Now although these last details appear so different, the underlying meanings
are identical. We must realize that it has been for long a common belief that
human spirits on death enter into plants. Acacia, more than any other, is
associated not so much with the actual survival of the ghost, but with the
idea of resurrection. What is more dead looking than the pod containing the
seeds, yet what is more certain to sprout however adverse the conditions? The
sprig of acacia thus symbolizes two distinct but complementary ideas, that of
immortality in the abstract and that of survival of the soul in the concrete
(if it is permissible to use such a word in this connection).
The Sacred Name engraved on the Triangle of Gold is another paraphrase of the
same general idea, but advanced a degree further. Ever since the ancient
Egyptians pictured Osiris as the All-Seeing Eye, the Triangle has served as
the representation of God Almighty, no matter how different the name by which
He has gone for the time being. The removal of the Golden Triangle is another
way of describing the transference of the Vital Spark, the Blazing Glory at
the c .... e, the G. from the human corpse to the Holy of Holies, that is back
to the Godhead. Consequently, whether you take the tradition of the actual
body being taken to the sacred spot, or others of the Triangle or acacia being
placed on the altar, the idea remains the same; an actual, positive step-up of
H. A. from being a mere man to a being somewhat nearer to Divinity.
are now in a position to analyze this extraordinary myth. Stripped of all its
pictorial and descriptive trappings, a man who is above the average is killed
by members of the ruck of mankind because of his superior relationship towards
the Deity. But instead of being snuffed out, he is elevated to rank with the
Gods, and as such continues to benefit the human race. The Masonic Ceremony
forces this story in a peculiar way to the attention of every Brother, thereby
linking up the impersonal external teaching with the internal personality of
each of its members. It is therefore of considerable interest to inquire
whether we can find the same teaching in any other ceremonial practiced either
in the present or in the past.
meet it at once as the underlying motif of the best known theology of our
surroundings, the Christian religion. Let us here consider the one of its
facets which is pertinent to our ends. The Christian story is of a Man
superior in many notable respects (conception, powers, etc.), who by reason of
this superiority and of His connection with His "Father," is put to death. He
comes to life again, but there is already something more of the sublime, of
the untouchable about Him, and He finally "ascends into Heaven," i.e. to the
Godhead where He continues to benefit mankind. The whole matter is too well
known to require more than this brief reference. We should realize its
importance, however, as it is the only modern religion which uses the H. A.
principle. It is not contained in any other. Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism,
the beliefs of the Parsees or those of the Jews; they all use other vehicles
to carry the truths as they see them into the minds of man. Even in the creed
of Islam, its chief actor does not die to benefit the genuine believer. In the
past, however, we find a very different state of things.
The earliest trace of the Resurrection-God appears probably in the myth of
Osiris. Originally one of the minor gods of Egypt, the Spirit of the Corn and
no more, he wedded his own sister, Isis, who was the personification of
nature. As time went by tradition changed him into a great and beneficent king
and Isis into his queen; of her it was said that she discovered how to plant
corn and taught the secret to her subjects. Osiris was possessed of a
half-brother, Set, the God of Storm and Darkness. Bad brother Set killed him
by luring him into his coffin by a trick, nailing on the lid and throwing it
into the Nile. After many adventures Isis found the corpse, and with the help
of certain other gods, revived Osiris, who thenceforth reigned as king over
the dead in the Underworld, his particular seat being the Morning Star. All
corpses were made to go through the adventures of Osiris, which course would
then, by the concepts of imitative magic, ensure immortality for their
respective disembodied spirits. Some authorities believe that an actual
ceremony of initiation was made of the myth whereby the initiates guaranteed
for themselves continuity after death.
Babylonia, not long after, or perhaps even before, a different version of the
same idea arose, which is summed up in the words of the Grand Old Man of the
Euphrates, Ea. "Let one brother God be given, let him suffer destruction that
man may be fashioned." The story goes that the great Mother, before the
creation of the world, was Tiamat, the Womb of the Abyss. When the gods
decided to bring the world out of the universal chaos, she opposed the scheme
and was championed by a human-shaped monster, Kingu, also called in the
tablets "her husband." Marduk, the leader of the pantheon, slays Tiamat and
makes use of her body to form the arch of heaven. He gets hold of Kingu, who
has hidden himself in Tiamat's womb, kills him and "created man out of the
blood mixed with earth."
have here the old collateral meaning of "blood" and "life," that we also find
in Genesis, ix, 4. "But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood
thereof, shall ye not eat" . . . In the Tiamat-Kingu tale we find a
supernatural being dying, but his spirit (the blood) continuing, and in its
continuance being of use to mankind.
The passing centuries saw Babylon climbing the ladder of civilization and the
modification of the older gods into newer guises. Ishtar, the nature goddess,
is fertilized by her lover, Tammuz, who dies as a result of that act which is
so violent as to mutilate him. From the union a son is born, who is the
reincarnation of Tammuz. Each year he sacrifices himself, and were the tragedy
not to occur there would be no subsequent crop to feed mankind. The myth in
different forms flourished all through the Near East in early historical and
classical times, the chief actors always being the same, although disguised
under a host of different names such as Astoreth, Astarte, Aphrodite, Cybele,
etc., and Adonis, Attis, Pygmalion, and many others.
More recently we have an almost historical person in the shape of Hercules. He
was a man strong above all others, who died at the hands of his wife. It is
beside the point that he burnt himself on a funeral pyre, as the cause of his
act was the poisoned shirt sent him by his better half. His after-life is
depicted in the story of the eleventh and twelfth Labours, which by various
erroneous trains of thought have been transferred into his earthly life. In
one of these he goes to the underworld to rescue the human souls in bondage;
in the other he is wafted to the Isles of the Blest where he marries the
Goddess of Eternal Youth; it would be laboring the point to analyze this
further story of the dying god.
have a disguised version in Celtic mythology. Taliesin, who claimed to be the
chief architect at the building of the Tower of Babel, in his previous
incarnation was pursued by a woman. To evade her he changed into a bird, but
the woman, adopting the form of a hawk, was too quick for him, even when he
changed himself yet again, this time into an ear of corn, for she promptly ate
him up. On resuming her human form she found herself to be pregnant, the baby
being Taliesin, a man above men.
All over the world the legend is found in some form or other, in the present
and in the past, some with minor variations, others with distinct and even
striking differences, but all built upon the substructure of the death of a
supernatural being under unnatural circumstances, who by his resurrection to a
heavenly life benefits mortal man. But when we have attained the end towards
which we set out and have contented ourselves by finding that H. A. is not the
solitary hero of a single system but rather a Saviour recognized by mankind
throughout the ages, we find our journey of discovery but begun. Intimately
bound up with him in his many personalities are the sprig of acacia (sometimes
metamorphosed into an ear of corn), the tau cross, the lion, the morning star,
the emblems of mortality and many another symbol of well-known import to the
Freemason. As our French friends would say "it gives one to think," which,
after all, is the essence of our Second Degree.
The following authors were consulted in the preparation of this article:
Ward: Who Was Hiram Abiff?
Fraser: The Golden Bough.
Driver: The Book of Genesis
Stewart: Symbolism of the Gods of Egypt.
The Degrees of Masonry; Their Origin and History
BROS. A. L. KRESS and R. J. MEEKREN
(Continued from May)
now come to the consideration of the second division of the evidence, the old
will, fortunately, not be necessary to bring forward very much that has not
already been discussed, with the exception of the Aitchison's Haven minutes,
which will have to be cited in their place. The great bulk of these records
are Scottish; for, beyond York and Alnwick, none exist in England earlier than
1717, and none at all before 1700. Those of Alnwick beginning in 1701
apparently and those of York in 1712 (1).
This state of affairs, which Hughan found inexplicable (2), makes it essential
that the question of the relation of Scottish to English Masonry before the
Grand Lodge era should be fully canvassed before we can proceed with much hope
of arriving at safe conclusions; for as Gould says, there is far more involved
in the reply made to this question than at first sight appears (3). We have
already had it before us, and we have sufficiently indicated our own views
(4), but the point is too important to be left with a mere expression of
opinion. The situation may be thus described; Gould as learned counsel
presented an argument based on the brief provided by Lyon. The conclusions he
reached seem to have been accepted by everyone as final. Fortunately, to
continue the legal metaphor, there is no statute of limitations in such
matters, and no judgment at the bar of scholarship is beyond reconsideration
Gould treated this question in the sixteenth chapter of his history. While it
seems fairly certain that he had not then been converted to the theory of the
existence of a plurality of degrees before 1717, yet he does not ever seem to
have relaxed in the least his conclusion that Scotch and English Masonry were
so different that, judging by some expressions, there was really nothing in
common between them. As, for example, when he tells us that the "old Scottish
Mason Word is unknown" and that there is nothing to show whether it was ever,
before 1736, the same as anything used in England.
Owing to his discursive style of writing this chapter requires careful reading
and close attention to disentangle the various steps of his argument. As a
whole it makes a general advance over the terrain of Early British
Freemasonry. First one feature and then another is taken up. This tends to
conceal whatever weaknesses there may be in the argument on this particular
point. For in one place we are promised further discussion later on, and then
we are referred back to what was said earlier. The chapter should be re-read
in conjunction with this criticism, so that our analysis may be checked (5).
To give our own impressions quite frankly, it might be likened to a trial
where a clever rogue is acquitted because there is insufficient legal evidence
against him, although every one, judge, jurors and counsel, are quite certain
of his guilt. Or putting it less figuratively, Gould so limited and restricted
the significance of the facts that it was impossible to arrive at anything but
a negative conclusion.
THE CHARACTER OF EARLY SCOTTISH MASONRY
The essentials of his argument seem to be the following: It is pointed out
that the scanty traces of lodge activities in England prior to the eighteenth
century seem to reveal only speculative (or more accurately, non-operative)
bodies; with possibly, of course, some operative Masons in the membership.
Only one exception to this rule exists, the operative lodge at Alnwick. But it
is not properly included in the period as the existing minutes do not begin
until 1701. Besides it was close to the Scottish border, and might well have
been of Scottish derivation.
the other hand, the comparative wealth of records in Scotland reveals an
organization, wholly operative in character, though including a considerable
number of honorary and non-operative members, in some lodges, indeed, a
majority. Again there is just one exception, the lodge at Haughfoot. But this
also is close to the border, and might have derived its ritual from England;
and besides, like Alnwick, it is too late to be included in the period, as its
earliest records do not begin till December, 1702. It is insisted that, in
spite of possible inferences from the Old Charges, there is no proof, outside
of Alnwick, that there ever was an operative lodge in England. Thus a
presumption is raised in the reader's mind that these two exceptional cases in
effect cancel each other out. The one really Scottish though in England, and
the other having an English character though in Scotland.
we have stated earlier (6), Gould went beyond Lyon in his interpretation of
the phrase "the Mason Word." Lyon had said that it was evident, from the
Dunblane record, that "this talisman consisted of something more than a word."
This Gould refused to accept, standing on the literal meaning of the phrase.
(7) The Haughfoot reference to a grip he dismisses summarily as abnormal (8).
The reference in the Dunblane minutes to "the secrets of the Mason Word" is
then evacuated of its apparent meaning by the following argument.
Dec. 27, 1729, two Entered Apprentices from Kilwinning desired to join the
lodge of Dunblane and be passed as fellows of Craft. This petition
. . being considered by the members of Court [i. e. of the Lodge] they ordain
James Muschet to examine them as to their qualifications and knowledge, who
having reported to the Lodge that they had a competent knowledge of the
secrets of the Mason Word, then the said Lodge, after entering them
apprentiees pass them to be fellows of craft of this Lodge (9).
However (according to Gould (10)) this really means little (or nothing)
because, even so late as 1735 the Kilwinning "ceremony of initiation was so
simple" that two persons, in that year, were "received into Masonry by
individual operators at a distance from the lodge," and "being found" in
lawful possession of the word "were recognized as members of Mother Kilwinning.
CRITICISM OF GOULD'S ARGUMENTS
This seems to be the real substantial argument offered by Gould in support of
his position. Naturally, clothed in literary form, with the aid of forensic
rhetoric, and with its weak places concealed by the many breaks in carrying it
through to a conclusion, it appears much more convincing than in this summary.
Whether this last is really a just analysis and exposition or not, must be
left to our readers to judge for themselves. To us it seems that the logical
fallacies of the argument are so obvious as to scarcely need pointing out. We
have just as much right to insist that the last mentioned incident proves that
"possession of the word" at Kilwinning included the "secrets of the word"
spoken of at Dunblane, as the reverse. We are in fact faced with the negative
argument in an acute form. And when we consider the practical side of the
question, it is seen that the inference last suggested gives the most probable
result. Gould presumably understood the "benefit of the mason word" to mean
the obtaining recognition as a mason among strangers. Upon reflection it will
be obvious that a single word, with nothing leading up to it, would be totally
inadequate for this purpose, unless, like military watch words, it were
changed very frequently. Even then, there would have to be some rules as to
how it was given. Gould appeals to universal silence. But the silence is not
universal, for there are the exceptions. And as we have insisted at painful
length, one positive instance is sufficient, logically, to overbalance the
negative weight of an otherwise complete silence. Of course such a single
instance must be "exceptional" as long as it stands alone. To so describe it
does not reduce its force, as Gould seemed to think. To do that some other
consideration would have to be brought forward to show why it should not be
accepted. This indeed he tried to do by the suggested doubt raised by date and
locality, but these have no weight unless we admit that the difference which
he assumed between English and Scottish Masonry really did exist in this
course Gould (11) was too careful to state these conclusions positively, as
being compulsorily required by the evidence; and we have always to bear in
mind that the only alternative to this position which then presented itself
was practically the acceptance of the traditional position of the antiquity of
our present system and ritual. We have no desire to call in question the value
of Gould's work. He cleared the ground and laid the foundations; we are only
trying to continue the building where he left off. We are not demolishing any
part of the structure he reared, but removing some of the scaffolding for
which there is now no need.
must go a little further, however. In the course of this argument Gould lay
great stress on the date. The suggestion was that Alnwick, Haughfoot and
Dunblane could tell us nothing of the state of affairs in the seventeenth
century. This sounds impressive, but there is a kind of fallacy in it.
Centuries, after all, are artificial periods. We may compare one with another,
as wholes, just as we may compare one month with another. March is windy,
April is showery. But the last week of March may be rainy and there may be
high winds early in April. We cannot, without fallacy, separate the last years
of the seventeenth century from the beginning of the eighteenth. There is this
just kernel of truth in the suggestion created by Gould's classification of
the evidence by centuries; that we can only infer the existence of a thing
before the date of its being first definitely mentioned. Yet in this case such
inference is sound enough when the whole nature of the phenomena is
considered, and especially the intensely conservative and traditional nature
of the institution. And we need only ask that a very few years of previous
existence be inferred to carry things back over the fatal (artificial) line
drawn between 1699 and 1700.
That there was a difference between English and Scottish Masonry we willingly
admit, and Gould has the credit for having pointed it out. It was a difference
of organization and function. Where we hold that he was mistaken, and indeed
went beyond legitimate inference from the evidence, is in the assumption that
this external difference implied equally great differences on the esoteric
side. We know that very great differences of organization during the strictly
historic period, even down to the present day, have not involved differences
in ritual to the point of making recognition impossible. Variations exist now,
and very likely existed then to an even greater degree than now, but that is
not the same thing at all (12).
ENGLISH AND SCOTTISH MASONRY ESOTERICALLY IDENTICAL
Although Scotchmen will doubtless repudiate the idea with vigor, and perhaps
with heat, historically the English speaking people of Britain have a common
origin and culture. The Lowlanders of Scotland are ethnologically the same
race in the main as the inhabitants of the north of England. That there was
ever a division between them was a political accident, largely due, it is
probable, to geography. The natural assumption is that Scottish Masonry would
be derived from England. There is no need to go over in detail the minor
features that are common. Just one thing may be mentioned, and that is the
fact that a good number of copies of the MS. charges have been found in the
possession of many of the old Scotch lodges. When therefore the argument
against recognizable likeness and close relationship between the Masonries of
the two countries has been countered, the original and natural assumption,
that internally they were closely related, once more takes its place.
There is one more argument that may be brought forward. Scottish minutes go on
speaking of the "Mason Word" years after Desaguliers' visit to Mary's Chapel,
where he, a London Mason, was examined and "found duly qualified in all points
of Masonry." This hardly bears out the minimal interpretation of the phrase
insisted on by Gould; and, once we are free of that presumption, the
possibilities are unlimited. Scottish forms, under the influence of extreme
Protestantism may have been, and very probably were, subjected to a process of
deletion in some places, each lodge being a law to itself, but not to the
point of making intercommunication impossible (13). There may also have been a
process of decay and atrophy. Gould gives a sketch of Scottish history,
dwelling on the many invasions the country endured, most of them accompanied
by complete devastation of towns and countryside alike; and the unexpressed
suggestion is given that as the arts and crafts generally declined the
esoteric side of Masonry would also decay and be forgotten. This does not
necessarily follow. Men could remember and transmit signs and tokens and
secret catechisms even though practically debarred from exercising their
craft. The process of decay would probably, we think, affect England equally.
It would be merely another example of the gradual change of institutions; and
one of its effects might well have been that alleged fusing of two grades into
one in some non operative lodges in England in the seventeenth century which
have thus given our reasons for refusing to admit that the external
differences of organization and function in the two countries in the
seventeenth century necessarily require us to postulate equally radical
differences on the esoteric side. Our contention is that the attempt to prove
such differences breaks down under critical examination. There must have been,
in the nature of things this much we may assume geographical variations, both
local and regional, just as there must have been secular changes in the
passing of the years. But equally, on the other hand, the intercommunication,
indications of which are everywhere frequent, and the conservatism which so
strongly characterized members of the Craft, must have had a strong
stabilizing effect. Like an army on the march, with scouting and foraging
parties on the flanks, the vanguard far ahead while the rearguard lags behind,
nevertheless the organization may be supposed to have retained coherence, and
to have evolved along the same lines in different places and at different
rates. We say supposed, deliberately, because it is not proved, nor can it be
disproved beyond all shadow of doubt. The dictum of Huxley, quoted by Gould
himself, regarding that "postulate of loose thinkers; that what may have
happened must have happened," is a warning. Yet there is its converse, which
Bro. Tuckett has more recently enunciated; the unconscious postulate that the
critically minded often assume; that what cannot be proved cannot have
happened - the pitfall of the negative argument, in other words (14). In view
of all which we hold that we may assume, not only as possible, but to some
degree probable, that the Masons of the two countries employed substantially
the same ritual forms and possessed in essentials the same secrets. Upon this
assumption we will proceed.
THE TERMINOLOGY OF THE OLD RECORDS
First we will recall that in our consideration of the Old Charges last month,
we saw that they pointed to a definite dividing line between apprentices and
the skilled Fellows and Masters. Further, it appears that (though far from
consistently) there was a tendency to employ different terms for changing the
status of the individual. An apprentice was "allowed" according to some
versions, but a Mason was "made," and a Fellow was "received." Any
interpretation of these vague indications by themselves is mere guesswork. But
they may fit into a scheme suggested by other facts. The Schlaw Statutes and
the Orders of the lodge at Alnwick do give some further precision to the hazy
impression received. According to the former the apprentice was "taken" by his
master; "received" either by his master or the lodge, or by both for this is
not clear and "entered" to the lodge- or in the lodge records for again it is
not clear. On the other hand it is quite clear that a master or fellow was
"received and admitted'' into the lodge; and this "admission" must almost
certainly, from the way it is spoken of, have been formal in character.
Alnwick (15) we saw that the apprentice was "entered" and "given his charge,"
while "Masons" were "made free," and apprentices at the end of their servitude
were "admitted or accepted." Again we have the same vagueness as appeared in
the Old Charges, yet an outline begins to appear, as in a clearing mist.
Remembering, as we saw last month (16), that "Mason" was apparently used,
sometimes, at least, as an inclusive term for the more particular designations
"Master" and "Fellows," it begins to look dimly as if an apprentice was taken
and allowed or entered, and at the end of his term was made free by being
admitted or accepted as a fellow or master, or alternatively, made a Mason. At
York the "Old Rules" of 1725 speak only of a "Mason" or "Brother" being
"made," there being no reference at all to apprentices.
Coming back to Scotland (17) we find the Statutes "ordeined" by the Lodge of
Aberdeen, in 1670, giving the conditions under which an "Entering prenteise"
is to be "reciaved." "Master meassons" are said to be "made," and apprentices
at the end of their time are to "receave the fellowship." The last is also
spoken of as getting his fellowship.
"Mother" Kilwinning in 1643 wrote into its records the clause of the Schaw
Statutes relating to the passing of fellows. In 1646 four persons, one a Mason
of Paisley, were accepted as "fellow brethren to the said trade"; the meetings
being described as "Courts of the Mason trade of the lodge of Kilwinning."
This entry probably relates to what we should call affiliation.. The next item
is to the effect that five individuals, who are named, were received as "prenteisses
to ye said craft."
Glasgow, on the first day of the year 1613, John Stewart younger, apprentice
to John Stewart elder, was "entered" by the Warden and Brethren, "conform to
the acts and liberty of the Lodge," whatever that meant precisely to the clerk
who wrote it. The earliest extant minute of the Lodge of Dunblane is dated
January, 1696. In December of that year the members "ordained" a scale of fees
to be paid by those wishing to join; "at their entrey six punds, and att their
passing thrie punds Scots, with the ordinar dues." Twenty years later, in
1716, it was enacted that "there be no meassons or uthers entered and past by
the members of this Lodge at one and the same time," excepting only "such
gentlemen" who could not be present at a "second diet." Instead, those
"entered" were to be "first reported prentises, and their passing ordered by
the Lodge thereafter according to qualifications." Evidently the "entering"
was generally done by a group of members of the lodge at their own
convenience, as was apparently quite customary in Scotland at the period, and
possibly in England, too.
Dec. 27, 1720, is the first of the minutes of the admissions of fellows of
craft that contain the peculiar reference to the square and compass which for
a number of years was regularly used by the Secretary of Dunlblane Lodge. It
is worth quoting in full:
Compared John Gillespie, writer in Dunblane, who was entered on the 24
instant, and after examination was duely passt from the Square to the Compass,
and from ane Entered Prentiee to a Fellow of Craft of the Lodge.
While the date of this is later than the formation of the Grand Lodge in
London, yet it is hardly likely that the ripples created by that event could
have had much effect in Scotland in the short interval of three years. For the
present, however, we will pass on as this calls for further consideration
later. Only it may be said that the phrase can hardly mean anything aside from
some ceremonial to which it was a veiled reference.
The Lodge of Peebles seems to have been deliberately founded by the members of
the "Honorable company of Masons" of that place, who took
. . into their consideration the great loss they have hitherto sustained by
want of a Lodge, and finding a sufficient number of Brethreen in this Burgh,
did this day [Oet. 18 1716] erect a lodge amongst themselves within the said
This makes one wonder just what the "great loss" was that they had sustained.
It could hardly have been a business or financial one, as the Company or Gild
should have been sufficient for such matters. It seems as if it might be a
curious parallel to the "Accepcon" in the London Mason's Company. However that
may be, in December the same year, 1716, William Brotherstanes was "decently
and orderly" entered; while Alexander Veitch, an "enter'd prentise, made
application" to the lodge and was "received." Minutes of later years up to
1725 speak of Apprentices being entered, and other persons being "received and
admitted," (apparently in most cases non-operatives who were made fellows at
once. But this is not absolutely certain in every case.) A peculiarity of
these minutes is that we are frequently told that these "enterings" and
"admissions" were "decently and orderly" performed, which can hardly refer to
anything but some ceremonial.
The minute book of the Lodge at Haughfoot begins in December of 1702, but the
first ten pages have been torn out, and it is strongly to be suspected that
they contained, if not a ritual, at least ritual memoranda. In 1704 William
Cairncross "gave in his petition" to be associated with the lodge, and was
examined and found to be a "true entered Apprentice and Fellowcraft." This
shortened form of the usual term "Fellow of Craft" was used also at Aberdeen,
whence it was probably transplanted to London by Dr. Anderson, and thence,
through the medium of the Book of Constitutions, it has spread over the whole
St. John's Day, 1706, "John Scott, brother of Sir James Scott of Gala, was
orderly admitted to the Society of Apprentice and Felllowcraft." A year later
a similar rule to that of Dunblane was made. The "meeting" having come
. . to a general resolution that in time coming they would not, except on
special considerations, admitt to the Society both of apprentice and
fellowcraft, at the same tyme, but that one year at least should intervene
betwixt any being admitted apprentice and his being entered fellowcraft.
Here we have another of the puzzling variations in terminology. It is
practically certain that in this exceptional lodge (which has been taken by
many students as exceptional in the sense of being sui generis) there were two
ceremonies used throughout its existence. But the term "enter" is used for the
higher grade and "admission" for the lower, the exact opposite to what we have
been coming to accept as the normal terminology of the period.
come finally to the minutes of the Lodge of Aitchison's Haven. These begin in
the year before the earliest extant minutes of Mary's Chapel at Edinburgh, and
the first entry records that "Robert Widderspone was maid fellow of Craft" in
the presence of "John Fender the Warden," and seven other fellows of craft. No
apprentices are mentioned. This of course does not prove that none were
present, especially as the Warden was one of those who signed the Schaw
Statutes which insisted that two apprentices were required at the admission of
fellows of craft.
The omission was remedied on later occasions, however, as on May 28, 1599, "Johne
Low was maid fellow of Craft in ye presence of Johne Fender Warden for ye
present," followed by the names of six others, who are said to be "all fellows
of Craft," and then comes "also of enterit Drentis Richart Petticrief [and]
James Petticrief." So that the lodge was formed of seven fellows with the two
apprentices that, as we have seen, were so insistently required by the Schaw
The second minute in the book, January 11, 1598, records that "Alexander Cubie
was enterit prenteis to Georg Aytoune." Two years later, Jan. 2, 1600, we find
Alexander Culbie chosen by "Andro Pattene" as one of his intenders, the said
Andrew being "enterit prenteis to Johne Crafurd his maister," having paid
twenty shillings for "his boukin," or fee for registration, and given gloves
to his "admitteris," who included six fellows and four apprentices.
These minutes favor the term "maid fellow of craft" for the higher status, but
while frequently using the term "enterit" in regard to apprentices, this is
varied by the expression "buikit," booked or recorded. This definitely raises
the question, which has already hovered in the background, as it were, more
than once; was the "entering" of an apprentice anything more than formal
registration in the lodge records, in the presence of its members as
witnesses? For the present we leave it without attempting an answer, though it
may be noted that in some places mention is made also of the "buiking," or
paying the fee therefore when fellows were "maid."
is evident that where men's professional or occupational status is affected
records must be kept. And as we have already noted, in Scotland membership in
a lodge was as important to a working stone mason then as membership in a
Trade Union is at the present day to the skilled workman in such trades as are
fully "unionized." It is this that accounts for the fact that Scottish lodges
not only made records, but preserved them also. But further than this, it also
accounts for their general character. They are concerned mainly with those
things that affected the rights and seniority of the members of the lodge, and
for this reason it is only incidentally, and as it were by accident, that they
ever tell us anything about those traditions and customs in which we are
chiefly interested, all of which gives us an additional reason for being very
wary of the negative argument here.
shows the difficulty of the subject that Gould quite overlooked the
significance of the record concerning William Cairncross at Haughfoot, quoted
above. The phraseology irresistibly suggests that he was examined not only as
an apprentice, but also as a fellow craft. But this once granted implies that
this lodge was not ritually exceptional, but that there was a real community
between it and the lodge in which Cairncross was entered and accepted.
Our developing picture is now a little clearer; the lines are still vague and
misty, but like a composite photograph certain features begin to stand out.
The difference in status between apprentices and full Masons, i. e., Masters
and Fellows, Which the Old Charges clearly indicated, seem, in Scotland, at
least in the seventeenth century, to have been marked by certain formalities,
generally referred to respectively, as entering, and admitting or receiving.
(1) Gould, History, Vol. iii, p. 13; and Rylands, A. Q. C., Vol. xiv, p. 6,
for Alnwick. Gould, op. cit., p. 23, for York; also Hughan Masonic Sketches
and Reprints, pp. 34-35. We have not been able to refer to the reproduction of
the Alnwick minutes published in 1896.
(2) Hughan, Op cit., p. 19.
(3) Gould, op. cit., iii, p. 10.
(4) THE BUILDER, 1928, pp. 135, 170, 299, 332, 333; and 1929, pp. 19? 36 and
(5) Gould, History, vol. iii, Chap. xvi. The argument begins on page 10, is
touched on in pages 12 and 13, taken up again at pages 29 and 30. From pages
48 to 56 is an outline of Scottish history and its bearing on the existence of
the Mason's craft, concluded in pages 58 to 63. Pages 10, 29 and 30 should be
read in conjunction with 62 and 63, so far as Haughfoot and Dunblane are
(6) THE BUILDER, 1928, p. 332.
(7) It is possible, however, that in his cryptic manner, Gould here only
intended to convey the fact that nothing more than this was proven by the
(8) Gould, op. cit., vol. iii pp. 29, 30 and 36.
(9) Lyon Hist. Edin., p. 417.
(10) Gould, op. cit., vol. iii, p. 63.
(11) Ibid., vol. iii, p. 30. Compare also vol. ii, p. 51.
(12) Every institution must perforce adapt itself to the conditions of the
society in which it exists. Thus we find that every organization of more than
local scope will exhibit variations, and the wider it is spread the greater
these variations will be. In Scotland the lodges retained the quasi-legal
status of the gilds which it is possible that the English lodges had before
the fourteenth century. And it is possible that in Scotland the lodges filled
the place of gilds to some extent, as that form of organization arrived later
in the northern kingdom than in England. The Statutes of Laborers in England
undoubtedly had some effect on the general situation, although their frequent
re- enactment proves that they were as difficult to enforce as some more
recent laws of prohibitory character. But the law of Henry VI which definitely
forbade the Masons "to confederate themselves in Chapters and Assemblies"
would undoubtedly destroy any external authority that custom and usage may
have given such organizations, and would tend to drive the lodges underground.
This would quite naturally account for our finding so few traces of permanent
lodges in England, and no records at all before the eighteenth century.
Records are a constant source of danger to an illicit organization, and casual
lodges would have no use for them in any ease.
(13) So late as 1764 such a revision seems to have been made. In the second
edition of his History of the Lodge of Edinburgh (Chap. iv) Lyon gives the
following excerpt from the minutes of the Old Lodge of Melrose, which remained
independent till well on towards the end of the nineteenth century. The
Melrose brethren, it seems, decided:
"That the Mason word be administered in a simple way and manner, free of
everything sinful and superstitious, only word, sign and grip, and some simple
questions to distinguish a Mason from another man, and all under a promise not
to reveal it, under no less a penalty than to forfeit all right and title to
every benefit belonging to the lodge, and to be held in abhorrence by every
Such "reforms" might well have taken place in other lodges at an earlier date.
(14) A. Q. C. vol. x, p. 52.
(15) Gould, Hist., vol. iii, pp. 14-15. The Alnwick Orders are dated Sept. 29,
1701, the "Gen'll Head Meeting Day" of the Lodge. The 5th Order has already
been quoted, BUILDER, May, p. 141. The other relevant passages are:
"9th. Item. There shall noe apprentice after he have served seaven years be
admitted or accepted but upon the Feast of St. Michael....
"12th. Item. Thatt noe Fellow or Fellows within this Lodge shall att any time
or times call or hold Assemblies to make any mason or masons free Not
acquainting the Master of Wardens
"13th. Item. That noe rough Layers or any others thatt has nott served their
time or [been] admitted, shall work within the lodge . . ."
have here the term "accepted" equated with "admitted" and possibly with "make
(16) THE BUILDER, May, 1929, p. 131.
(17) It will be more convenient to give the references in the text altogether
here, as it would otherwise entail much quite needless repetition. For
Aberdeen, Miller, Notes on the Early History and Records of the Lodge,
Aberdeen, pp. 61-63. Also Lyon, History of the Lodge of Edinburgh p. 423. The
same chapter contains extracts from the records of Kilwinning, Glasgow
Dunblane and Peebles. For Haughfoot, Yarker, A. Q. C., vol. xxvi, p. 16 - and
for Aitchison's Haven, Wallace-James, Ibid., vol. xxiv, p. 30. See also Gould,
op. cit., vol. iii.
(To be continued)
Consideration of Some of the Difficulties of Squaring the Circle
BRO. CHARLES H. MERZ Ohio
THIS paper is not intended as an attempt to set aside the commonly accepted
ratio or any other, or to uphold the same; but it is written to set out, so
far as opportunity permits, some of the difficulties attendant upon quadrature
of the circle, and to show the rudiments of the complicated and tedious method
commonly adopted of attempting the approximation of the true ratio between the
diameter and the circumference.
The different methods of solving the problem of the quadrature of the circle
are more than a hundred in number. The ratios of the circumference to the
diameter are equally numerous. Some differences exceed eight hundredths of the
circumference, while others vary as much as twenty-three hundredths.
the mechanic arts the ratio of the diameter to the circumference is assumed to
be as 7 to 22, which is accurate enough for many purposes, though it is
claimed that the real ratio can never be exactly expressed in numbers. In
ordinary mathematical work it is assumed to be as 1 to 3.14159215. One English
mathematician has carried out the decimal to 607 places.
The ratio between the diameter and circumference is fundamental, and any error
made in the beginning is carried into all the operations which depend upon it,
and the same is true of any other possible errors that may occur in the
additional operations to ascertain the relation between the circle and the
is of interest to note that the Masonic apron is actually an ancient Egyptian
mathematical problem, based upon the principles of the Operative Mason's
Square. showing a quick and very nearly perfect manner of determining a
squared circle, in which the peripheries of both square and circle are of
precisely equal length. Correctly analyzed, it consists of two oblongs of 3 x
4 (at the top) and two oblongs of 4 x 5 (at the bottom).
These constitute a perfect square. Setting one leg of the compasses upon the
intersection of the lines that divide the square and the free leg on A or B.
we have a circle the circumference of which is equal to that of the square.
Lines drawn from A and B to E will be of precisely the same length as the
distance from E to F which is the vertical axis of the triangle E-C-D. The
relation of this to the circle squaring problem is that A-E, B-E and F-E are
the radii of a circle of almost equal perimeter to the whole square. In the
square taken as the base and the triangle E-C-D as the vertical section
thereof, we have the precise geometrical proportions of the Great Pyramid of
As there are comparatively few Masons who are familiar with that most
admirable work written by the late Brother H. P. H. Bromwell, "Restorations of
Masonic Geometry and Symbolry," I take this opportunity of presenting some of
the facts stressed by him in this connection.
The circle, though in itself intractable by any mathematical method as far as
actual precision is concerned nevertheless comes to the aid of mathematicians
as the sole key to unlock the treasure house of trigonometry and expose its
all the processes in which the circle, or any part thereof, is directly
involved, the ratio between the diameter and the circumference is the
fundamental truth to be first ascertained-for the diameter is what may be
termed the measure of the circle (i. e., the surface thereof). For it is
always known or ascertainable by direct measurements. And the circumference is
that which must conform, according to some ascertained ratio, which, if
correct, makes all correct which it affects; but, if erroneous, infuses the
error into all the results, and there it remains constantly present.
for instance, in the case of the velocity of the rim of a revolving wheel, or
the length of an arc; but not in that of the length of a radius, or of the
spoke of a wheel, or the sine of an angle, for these last may be ascertained
without knowing the length of any circumference, or without any circle at all.
Furthermore, all proportions between the circumference and the parts of a
circle, as chords, segments, sectors, etc., remain unaffected; and in
calculating the diameter of one circle that shall be of twice or thrice the
surface of another of a certain diameter or circumference, no harm can arise
from an error in the ratio, for the operation only applies to the proportions
between certain parts of one figure, or the corresponding parts in two or more
But when it is sought to ascertain the area or the length of the side of a
square, hexagon, or other regular polygon, or the several sides of an
irregular figure, which shall be equal to or otherwise proportionately greater
or less than a circle of a given diameter, the error, if any, in the ratio
between the diameter and the circumference, enters at once into the work, and
remains and propagates itself in every subsequent operation founded upon or
involved with it in most cases increasing as it proceeds. For, in finding the
content or surface, the circumference must first be known; and finding an
equal square, triangle, or other figure, depends on first knowing the contents
of the circle. If the ratio depended on be too great or too small, the
circumference, and consequently the area or surface therein contained will be
too great or too small. Hence in seeking a circle which shall contain a given
surface say, equal to a square of five on a side if the ratio should be too
great, as 3.16, a diameter shorter than is correct must be assigned to the
circle, in order to bring the surface within the requirement of the ratio,
that is, of the square.
The several methods of computing the surface of a circle of given diameter,
depend on the ratio. One method is to multiply the circumference by half the
radius, or one-fourth the diameter, which is the same as to multiply the
diameter by one-fourth the circumference. No doubt a correct mode, if the
ratio be the true one. Another method is to multiply the square of the
diameter (the square circumscribed about the circle) by one-fourth the ratio.
Still another method is to multiply the square of the radius by the ratio. By
any one of these methods, the same result is obtained, whether the ratio is
right or wrong and the result will be right if the circumference be right, i.
e., if the ratio between the diameter and circumference, on which the latter
is computed, be right; and as certainly wrong if there be error in the ratio
assumed for the purpose.
The conclusions reached by ninety-eight different authors, most of them
skilled in mathematical pursuits, have shown very positive but very different
conclusions concerning this problem, already subjected to centuries of
continued dispute. The different methods of finding the ratio are not less
than forty-four, and the different ratios proposed, not less than seventy-two.
The number in which the proportion between the diameter and the circumference
is greater than the commonly accepted ratio is about fifty-eight. The number
giving a lower ratio than the "orthodox" is sixteen, and the number of those
which agree with the orthodox ratio is twenty-six. Of the whole number, one
hundred and seven bear date in this century. Now every specific numerical
value assigned must be wrong, except one; if any of them, by chance, should
happen to be right.
The "orthodox" ratio depends for its validity on what Bromwell calls "the
process of exhaustion," that is, in the sufficiency and correctness of the
work in the arithmetical computations of the area of a regular polygon having
a sufficient number of sides to render it substantially equivalent to a
circle. No one of the modes of dealing with a series of numbers or fractions,
or known dimensions, of some part of a circle, or other figure, by
multiplication, division, etc., carries with itself its own demonstration. Had
such been the case, there never would have been any controversy. On the
principle that several doubtful calculations make one good one, one of two
solutions or both are accepted because they agree, not because either is
correct. Is it possible in any such case that any one can say, before seeing
the result, that the operation to be pursued is actually its own test and must
be correct, or that it can be referred to a veritable test? Some of the
conclusions examined are manifestly false, while some others afford nothing,
except the assertions of the author, to show that the result is a ratio of
we take a polygon of four sides (a perfect square) and successively double the
number of sides making it a polygon of eight, of sixteen and then or
thirty-two on so on, the sides will eventually become so numerous and so short
that the figure is so nearly a circle that the difference may be deemed of no
consequence. However, at the same time the content or surface of each polygon
must be computed at every increase of the number of sides, by means of two
proportional triangles, involving multiplication, division, addition,
extraction of the square root, etc., and the surface of the last polygon
computed is accepted as the surface of the circle in question.
every regular polygon (square, hexagon, polygon) may be considered as composed
of as many isosceles triangles (equal sided) as it has sides the side of the
polygon being the base and the two equal sides of the triangle meeting and
forming an apex at the center of the polygon the circle may be regarded as a
polygon of an indefinite number of sides, and consequently composed of a like
number of triangles, each having two equal and two very long sides and an
exceedingly short base, which is the same as the side of the polygon. Such a
polygon may be regarded as having a thousand million of equal sides, and
consequently composed of as many equal sided triangles. If accurately
measured, such a polygon would doubtless furnish a very close approximation to
the measure of a circle having a radius equal to either of the two equal sides
of any such triangle. But one with a less number of sides, say 30,000, with a
slight error in the computation of each triangle, might offer a grossly
defective result. But it might be much worse in case of a million sides, with
an error in each.
it appears from principles not dependent on any ratio between the diameter and
circumference, the circumference of a circle whose diameter is one is
necessarily equal in figures to the area of a circle whose diameter is two,
and whoever succeeds in finding the surface of the latter circle, is thereby
in possession of the number which shows the true circumference of the former.
Hence, the computation is made by ascertaining the area of a circle having a
diameter of two. To accomplish this, a polygon of four sides is circumscribed
about the circle, and another of four sides the corresponding sides being
made parallel is inscribed within it. The outer polygon is the same as the
square of the diameter, that is, its surface is equal to four, while the
inscribed polygon (or square) is necessarily one-half as much, equal to two;
the side of the inscribed square being to the side of the circumscribed square
as the side of any square is to the line of its own diagonal so that the two
squares (polygons) are in proportion to each other as any two adjacent squares
inscribed in any other circles for it can always be seen that the diameter of
any circle is the same as the diagonal line of its inscribed square. The
object in taking two polygons is to secure a convenient basis of measurement
which would be lacking if only one were used. In doubling the number of sides
it necessarily comes to pass every time except in the case of the two polygons
of four sides each that the angles of the inscribed polygon present themselves
to the middle of the sides of the exscribed polygon and vice versa. By this a
mean proportional as to surface, between corresponding parts of the two
polygons, is also presented in geometrical form, susceptible of being computed
by ordinary mathematical rules. The beginning of this series of duplications
of the number of sides may be seen in the accompanying figure.
The forming and doubling the number of sides of these polygons is easy enough
and the process may be continued until the sides become so minute that no
farther division is practicable, but however far carried it would go but
little toward finality, which is only to be reached by the computations. These
give the measurements and demand the utmost accuracy and here is where the
trouble begins. The principal cause of difficulty is error, which attends the
work from first to last.
order to reach the point at which the operator may intend to stop say at a
polygon of 32,768 sides (the number usually adopted) no less than twenty-seven
complicated processes each made up of several partial or ancillary operations
must be accomplished. These are each simple enough, but they are not separate
and independent, so that any error, from omitted fractions or other causes,
will only affect the particular calculation in which it may occur, and there
stop, but they are cumulative, as will be seen from what follows:
First, a simple expression of the surface content of a corresponding part of
each of the two original polygons one being 2, the other 4. Then a
multiplication of these parts together and extraction of the square root of
the product, leaving a remainder. Then following twenty-seven operations,
including thirty-six multiplications, involving sixty- eight numbers, each
containing an endless decimal fraction; also thirteen additions, each of two
of the same numbers, each with its fraction, being very nearly equal to, and
slightly exceeding, so many multiplications by two, the finding of thirteen
quotients, and the extraction of thirteen additional square roots, each root
and quotient leaving a remainder. The entire process being one unbroken series
of computations, every one dependent upon all which precede it to the last.
Any deficiency or excess in the first computation (which leaves a remainder)
is thus multiplied and remultiplied no less than sixty times, by a factor not
less than 2.8 (and reaching 3.31; or more as an upper limit, and thirteen
times by two. And besides this we have the addition of two of the larger
factors together thirteen times, making it equivalent altogether to eighty-six
multiplications by two in a series, each multiplying the former product. And
this all relates back to the first remainder, it being the first of twenty-six
following in succession, each on an average through forty-three
multiplications, making more than one thousand one hundred multiplications in
is easy to form a square and a triangle equal in area to each other; and the
same is true of any two figures bounded by right lines however different their
forms, for their lines are subject to direct and equal measurement, and these
being known, the included surfaces are easily dealt with. But not so with the
circle. This remarkable figure has something about it almost mysterious. While
it is that by which all right lined figures may be proven as to their forms,
and in many cases even to their contents, yet to ascertain its own content,
that is, to find an equal square or other rightlined figure, has been a
special object of search and the ever a present stumbling block of
mathematicians of all ages.
will be understood that the point raised in the article is theoretical rather
than practical. All measurements are approximate, and in the ease of the
circle and other curved figures we have a second approximation. The first one
is the determination of the radius of the figure, and the second is that in
the calculations to determine the ratio between the radius or diameter and the
circumference. And though, as has been shown, any error in these calculations
is a cumulative one, yet the process adopted puts a limit to the error. In
subdividing the sides of the inscribed and exscribed polygons shown in the
second figure, it will be seen that the perimeter of the former increases at
every step, while the latter decreases. Eventually each becomes approximately
coincident with the circle. Thus every step in the calculations must fall
between these limits and whatever error there may be cannot be great enough to
vitiate the result for any practical purpose. Ed.
American Army Lodges in the World War
Sea and Field Lodge No. 5, Overseas, at Beaune, France By BRO. CHARLES F.
IRWIN, Associate Editor
enter into the story of this Field Lodge adequately, we are compelled to cover
to some extend the entire field of the Educational Program within the American
A.E.F. To most people the educational program of America within its military
forces is a sealed story. And yet to those who participated in it, or who have
in later years retraced the steps in the official literature of the U. S. A.
and of the Y. M. C. A., the wonder of the story passes any limits that might
ordinarily be established. After a thorough study of the official volumes
published by the Y.M.C.A. as embodied especially in Chapter 34 of their
"Service With Fighting Men," found in the second volume and covering some
twenty-five pages, and after a similar study of the two volumes officially
issued by the University at Befaune, together with an extensive correspondence
with many of the men who were identified in this Educational Program, and
modestly stating that I had myself some limited experience as a schoolman
overseas, having one of the larger Post Schools with over 500 students and a
Faculty of 35 instructors, I am in a position to appreciate the work the
government set out to do and how well it was done.
Early in 1918, the Y.M.C.A. turned its attention to this problem. They secured
Dr. Anson Phelps Stokes, Secretary of Yalta University, to draw up a
comprehensive plan. Dr. Stokes arrived in France on Jan. 18, 1918, and made a
thorough survey of the entire educational field. In February he submitted a
report to the Chief Secretary of the Y. M. C. A. In his plan he made provision
for teaching during the ante-Armistice period, and for teaching in the
post-Armistice period. His plan was approved by General Pershing in a telegram
dated Feb. 28, 1918, and by letter dated March 5, 1918.
is of course impossible for me to go further into this part of the story.
Suffice it to say that some 27,000 men were enrolled in the various divisional
educational centers throughout the Army.
But in addition to this secondary school work, there was a provision made for
men whose academic work had been interrupted baby entrance into the war. Also
others who desired to pursue post-graduate advantages while in Europe. This
was made easier by the fact that the British and French Educational leaders
were most sympathetic and enthusiastic about our educational program. They
threw open their Universities and Colleges to our troops. This was accepted by
our command, and thousands of American soldiers attended various universities
in the above countries. In some of these, Masonic Clubs were formed, and their
stories will be told in our subsequent series on Clubs.
But even with these opportunities there were thousands of others whom the
service desired to aid. Consequently it was decided by the Educational leaders
within the A.E.F. to form and open an American University along American
Beaune, France, there had been established during the war a great Hospital
Center, about two miles square, containing more than 200 buildings. This was
chosen as the site of the new American University. Ten miles away was Allerey,
another hospital camp. Surrounded by 600 acres of farm land, it offered an
ideal site for an Agricultural College. Within one month after the plan was
adopted, the hospital buildings were remodeled to suit educational purposes,
and one hundred and seventy-five new ones were erected.
Feb. 7, 1919, Colonel Ira L. Reeves, former President of Norwich University,
was appointed the local representative of the General Staff of the A.E.F. He
became the Superintendent and Commanding Officer of the new University, and
finally its President.
collecting the specialists for a Faculty, the A.E.F. was found to contain 2600
commissioned officers alone, who had been college professors, or who were
equipped to teach in such a college. Consequently a faculty was selected,
second to none on the continent or anywhere in our own country.
Students commenced to arrive on March 7, 1919. Soon 6000 of them were at work
on a wide range of studies. When in full action the University at Beaune had
240 courses, in 36 departments, with a total class enrollment of 13,243.
Amid such a great assemblage of Americans of College and University standing,
it was natural that members of the Fraternity of Freemasons were to be found
in large numbers. Indeed, contemporaneously with the appearance of the advance
troops to man and condition the center, the Craft came to the front. The first
attempt to foregather appears in the history of the "American Masonic Club,"
which was formed on March 30, 1919, just 23 days after the first students
appeared. Perhaps this record has never been surpassed in the history of the
Craft. Their Roster printed at Dijon, France, 1919, displays the names of 458
members. Among the officers of this club we find the name of Col. Ira L.
Reeves as Honorary President. He is a member of De Witt Clinton Lodge, No. 15,
the 1920 Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of New York, on page 193, in the
report of P.G.M. Townsend Scudder on the work of the Overseas Masonic Mission,
we find this reference to the institution of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 5, at
instituted Sea and Field Lodge, No. 5, at A. E. F. University at Beaune, with
Bro. Mark E. Penney of New York as Wor. Master, which sat ten times at the
Temple of the Lodge Reveil de la Cote d'Or, of Grand Lodge, No. 1, rue de la
Loge, Beaune, and conferred the degrees on 64 candidates. Its first session
was May 3, 1919 and its last July 4, 1919, at Brest. . .. of the Masons made
overseas, to date . . . 8 (have dimitted) from No. 5 . . . the warrants have
been surrendered to you and are in abeyance and the untransferred material,
consolidated with that of Sea and Field Lodge. No. 1.
Bro. Mark E. Penney, the former Wor. Master of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 5,
Overseas, made his final report to Bro. Townsend Scudder under date of April
19, 1920, as found in the 1920 Proceedings of New York, page 208, as follows:
"In submitting my report of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 5, Overseas, permit me to
say at the beginning that the statements and discussions which follow are not
offered as in any sense a justification, either of the request of the American
Masons at Beaune for the greatest possible Masonic intimacy, or of your own
action in granting one of the warrants issued by the Grand Master for the
establishment of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 5, Overseas, at Beaune. The former,
I venture to assert, needs no justification, and the latter is amply justified
in the Grand Master's and your own desire to offer to the Masons of America a
type of Masonic intercourse which, without the foresight of the Grand Master
of New York, and magnanimous concern for the interests of the American soldier
at home and overseas, would never have been achieved.
"Upon my arrival at Beaune I set myself to ascertain something of the status
of Masonry in the camp, and to learn, if possible, the number of Masons
assembled there. By personal inquiries I was soon able to gather a little
group of sixteen officers and Y. M. C. A. Secretaries.
met in one of the unused barracks, and it was decided to advertise all over
the camp, a meeting of all the Masons to be called at an early date. Each
member of the group offered his services to distribute the notices to a
section of billets, and the result surpassed anything that could possibly have
been predicted. The meeting was called to be held in the largest mess-hall in
the camp, and when I arrived there, not even standing room was available
inside the doors, and large numbers of Masons stood around outside, crowding
the doors and windows. This condition was not merely an incident of Masonic
activity at Beaune, but in the highest sense typical of what took place there
until the camp broke up. The 'American Masonic Club' was formed at that
meeting, with the Commander of the camp as honorary President. The prestige of
the Club soon gave rise to a desire on the part of non-Masons to associate
with us, and this in turn, quite naturally and inevitably, gave rise to a
desire on the part of the Masons and non-Masons alike for a Masonic Lodge. "I
sent a telegram to the chairman of the Masonic Mission at Paris, requesting a
visit from him, and asking him if a Lodge would be possible. In response to
that telegram R. W. Bro. W. C. Prime, a member of the Masonic Mission, paid us
a visit, fortunately on the date of the regular meeting of the Club. We did
not know of his coming until he was upon us, his letter of advice having
miscarried, and in spite of the fact that no notice of his visit had been
given, he was enthusiastically greeted by upwards of a thousand of Masons,
whom he addressed in the evening.
"At this time there were estimated to be in the vicinity of fourteen thousand
men in camp, more than half of whom were students and teachers in the
University which had been created there by the American Expeditionary Forces.
This is a clear indication of the type of men who were interested in Masonic
intercourse. Representatives were there from all the learned professions, and
among the students were many young men who had left their studies where they
were preparing to become lawyers, doctors, etc., and some who expected to
enter studies leading to these professions upon their return to America. These
students, and the officer-instructors were not required to do camp duty except
in emergency, and thus had ample time to devote to Masonic work. As to the
exact number of Masons in camp it was impossible to make a census, owing to
the conditions of camp life, and the changing personnel. But a conservative
estimate placed the number between three thousand and four thousand. At one
time we had on our Club Roster the names of over twelve hundred Masons, and
that in the earlier days of the camp.
"It was generally understood at this time that the duration of the camp at
Beaune would extend throughout the summer and autumn, and perhaps even longer,
and the Commander of the camp, in a personal conversation with Bro. Prime, in
my presence, made the statement that, so far as anyone could foresee, the camp
would remain for an indefinite period. Whisperings were heard that a renewal
of hostilities might become imminent, in which case the American Camp at
Beaune would continue until the American armies should be withdrawn from
"As a result of this visit and Bro. Prime's report thereof, I received, some
days later, a notification from the Masonic Mission at Paris that we were to
receive a warrant for a Lodge. In due time, Bro. Merwin Lay came to the camp,
instituted the Lodge and installed the officers. The Commander of the Camp and
his Adjutant gladly consented to act as Senior and Junior Wardens
respectively. The cosmopolitan character of the Lodge may be seen when I point
out that ten states were represented among the officers, and among those who
attended the meetings of the Lodge, I was told by the examining committee,
that during the course of the Lodge meetings every State of the Union was
"The granting of the warrant for a Masonic lodge at Beaune raised the question
as to a suitable place in which to hold the meetings. The buildings of all
army camps, and consequently those at Beaune, were flimsy structures,
inadequately lighted and heated, cheaply and hurriedly built, and in no sense
adapted for the purpose of holding Masonic lodge meetings. The Commander of
the Camp assured me that everything possible would be done to make feasible
the holding of the Lodge in the Camp, but after careful investigation, the
situation was considered hopeless. Moreover, it would be extremely difficult
to procure proper furniture and keep it from being destroyed, or defiled, when
accessible to strangers and enemies. In my anxiety to find a suitable place
for meeting, I consulted the Master of the French Masonic Lodge in the City of
Beaune, and asked him where a suitable building might be found in the city for
our purposes. He immediately offered us the use of the French Lodge rooms,
their furniture and equipment, without any reservation whatsoever in regard to
time and nature of their use. The spontaneity of his offer, his willingness to
be of service to us, and his cooperation during our stay at Beaune, are in no
small degree responsible for the success of our work there.
"The French Lodge at Beaune operates under the jurisdiction of the Grand Loge
de France. It bears the suggestive title of 'Le Reveil de la Cote d'Or.' It
has been for sixteen years under the guidance of Worshipful Master, or as he
is called, Le Venerable, Louis Barbier, a man of broad sympathies and high
intellectual attainments. He has a profound knowledge of Masonry in France,
both as to its historical and philosophical expects. Through his efforts, the
French Masonic Fraternity at Beaune occupies a status which is exceedingly
gratifying to him, and which procured for us a welcome and a prestige socially
and fraternally, which we could not otherwise have attained.
"In bringing this report to its conclusion, permit me to express the hope, in
which I voice the desire of almost every Mason who had anything to do with our
work at Beaune, that some means may be found whereby a closer relation may be
brought about between the Grand Jurisdiction of which this French Lodge is a
member, and that of American Masons in general, and those of the State of New
the final settlement of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 5, we find that 52 members
were transferred from the roster of the Lodge to that of the consolidated Sea
and Field Lodge, No. 1. An appended list of the names of the members of this
Lodge may be found in the Proceedings of New York, 1920, page 202, together
with a tableau of the full staff of officers. For the benefit of the reader
this latter is here printed together with the names and jurisdictions of the
Lodges in each case.
W.M. Mark E. Penney, Konosioni No. 950, Syracuse, N. Y.
S.W. Col. Ira L. Reeves, DeWitt Clinton No. 15, Northfield, Vt.
J.W. Capt. Waldo P. Hair, Woodlawn Park No. 841, Chicago, Ill.
Treas. Lt. Terrence W. Gilbert, Rising Light No. 637, Belleville, N. Y.
Secy. Arch Paterson, A.E.C., Englewood No. 690, Chicago, Ill.
S.D. Joseph H. Ford, District of Columbia.
J.D. William H. Leet, Ohio.
S.M.C. Lt. I. Weinstein, Evergreen No. 51, Tacoma, Wash.
J.M.C. Maj. Spencer A. Merrill, West Point No. 877, N. Y.
S.S. Lt. E. T. Stretcher, Imperial No. 159 Portland, Ore.
J.S. Pvt. A. R. Davis, Lakeside No. 739, Chicago, Ill.
Marshal Maj. E. H. Whitehead, Cornerstone 247, Osmond, Nebr.
Chapl. Henry B. Monges, Durant No. 268, Berkeley, Calif.
Tiler James A. Davis, Flora No. 204, Flora, Ill.
of W. Lt. F. S. Wheeler, Burlington No. 100, Burlington, Vt.
There are several observations we wish to make regarding these New York
Lodges, which illustrate the entire field of Masonic activity in the A. E. F.
They touch largely upon the persistent question of French Masonry. And one of
these observations concerns the difficulties which faced every one of the
group of Masonic leaders when they contemplated the institution of a lodge in
France. In some cases military red tape made it inadvisable to attempt to open
or conduct Masonic meetings within military reservations. In other cases the
inadequacy of location and buildings wherein to conduct the ceremonials of the
Craft were met. In every one of the four overseas Lodges of New York the last
resort was to the generosity of the native Masons. And without fail our
American Craftsmen bear testimony to the unexcelled generosity and unflagging
hospitality of our French brethren. Not only in the metropolitan Lodges in
Paris, but also in the rural cities and sowns scattered throughout the
country, the American Masons met with this high type of men. Their Lodge rooms
were thrown open for our use without money and without price. There was no
intrusion, and no attempt to secure entrance within our tiled bodies, except
upon invitation extended by our own American Craftsmen. In every case the
French Masons who appeared before our altars were men of faith and devotion to
the highest and most ancient of the landmarks of the Fraternity. Only direct
contact with the conditions in France under which Freemasonry must struggle
for existence can prepare the American mind to draw conclusions as to the
particular cast their indigenous Masonry shall take.
the particular case of the Sea and Field Lodge at Beaune, the environment made
for a high type of thinking and living. The results were happy. The American
Military Lodge that found so brief a stay within the bounds of the Educational
Center of Beaune drew to itself younger and older American Masons of the very
strongest character. The larger proportion of our troops stationed at Beaune
were there for the purpose of continuing the educational discipline which had
been interrupted when our youth was called to the colors. These young soldiers
were filled with the American characteristic ambition to take the fullest
educational benefits offered them. And today scattered throughout the United
States are men of the professions and of business who trace back to the days
at Beaune much of their inspiration and their training.
The experiment at Beaune proves that a Republic based upon an enlightened
intelligence has within itself a vital influence that dares to break through
conventionality and to blaze new trails for the coming generations. This was a
unique experiment among all nations. A great nation pausing with its allies
while an Armistice stays the actual conflict turns its attention to the
intellectual needs of its men in arms and out of its resources of men and
material brings into being an educational center that ranks second to no old
established institution in our own or any other land. The meetings of this
Field Lodge were all held in the same Lodge room at Beaune with the exception
of the last meeting it ever held. This communication was held at Brest on July
4, 1919, while the bulk of the students who had trained at Beaune awaited
sailing orders for home.
Wearied of the delays and restless with the exuberance of young life, there
appeared to Worshipful Penney and the other officers of the Lodge the
advisability of gathering their members together, with other Masons, into a
farewell meeting. Accordingly the notice was issued and a large body of Masons
assembled. Bro. Prime in a recent letter to me calls attention to this unique
meeting and praises it in highest terms.
Thus the roll of New York Lodges in military service during the World War has
been called. There was a historical booklet issued by the American Masonic
Club at Beaune which presents vividly and artistically the ability of our
soldier artists of the Craft. The reproduction of the cover design will be
found on a previous page.
The Warrant under which Sea and Field Lodge. No 5, at Beaune, operated was
identical with those of the other Sea and Field Lodges. For the benefit of
readers who have not had access to my former stories of these Sea and Field
Lodges, it is reproduced here.
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 Mark E.
Penney to be the Master, our Worthy Brother Ira L. Reeves to be the Senior
Warden, our Worthy Brother Waldo P. Hair to be the Junior Warden, our Worthy
Brother Terrence W. Gilbert to be the Treasurer, our Worthy Brother Arch
Paterson to be the Secretary, our Worthy Brother Joseph H. Ford to be the
Senior Deacon, and our Worthy Brother William H. Leet to be the Junior Deacon
of a Sea and Field Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, to be by virtue hereof,
constituted, formed and held at Beaune, 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. 5, Overseas, at Beaune,
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
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 pertaining 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 Fourteenth day of December in the year of our Lord,
One thousand nine hundred and eighteen, and in the year of Masonry, Five
thousand nine hundred and eighteen.
William S. Farmer
MASONS' MARKS FROM AFGHANISTAN
Communicated by Bro. N. W. J. Hayden, Associate Editor,
addendum or appendix to the article that appeared in the May number of THE
BUILDER, the following notes by Bro. J. T. Thorpe in the Transactions of the
Lodge of Research, No. 2429, of Leieester, England, will be of interest. The
accompanying illustration is from a pen and ink drawing made from a photograph
and is substantially accurate so far as the inscription is concerned. This,
and the following remarks upon it, Bro. Thorpe has most kindly given
permission to me to reproduce:
"These Masons' marks were found by Bro. Lt. Col. W. N. Hay, C. I. E., on a
scarped rock in the Afghan fortress of Spin Baldak, after its capture.
basis of the marks is a five pointed star, or triple triangle, known by the
name of Pentalpha from the Greek pente (five) and alpha (letter A), because it
shows that letter in five different positions. This figure is quite a common
Masonic emblem of considerable antiquity, being typical of the bond of
Brotherly Love that unites the whole Fraternity.
"Mediaeval Masons considered it a symbol of deep wisdom and it is found among
the architectural ornaments of many of the ecclesiastical edifices of the
Middle Ages. It has also been employed for many ages throughout the East as a
charm to resist evil spirits, and it was, perhaps, with this object in view
that these particular marks were cut.
the five points of the Pentalpha are five sets of three tens and, in the
center of the figure, a pentagram and five triangles, all of which are of
significance and interest to every Mason who has been exalted to the Supreme
Degree of the Holy Royal Arch.
addition to the geometrical figures, there are in three of the four corners of
the group certain Afghan characters which when translated and written in
English letters, read as follows:
left corner - Arnjad Khan.
right corner - blank.
Bottom left corner - Mahomed Aslam.
Bottom right corner - Attaulla.
"These were probably the names of the Afghan Masons who were employed at the
erection of this fort."
1909 Bro. A. J. Dawes made an interesting communication to Quatuor Coronati
Lodge Notes and Queries, A. Q. C. vol. xxii, in which certain alleged
occurrences were cited which suggest that a recognizable Freemasonry might
exist among the Pathans and other tribes in Afghanistan. The most interesting
was the following: "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.
if true, is very interesting and curious. But without further proof it would
hardly be safe to accept it.
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
JOHN'S DAY IN SUMMER
course all Masons know that the Fraternity has two patron saints, St. John the
Baptist and St. John the Evangelist. Perhaps no one knows definitely how or
why these two saints came to be considered the particular guiding geniuses of
Freemasonry. There were other saints who were patrons of particular lodges and
there seems to be no real reason why St. Michael, for example, was not
accepted as a patron as readily as the two Sts. John. Possibly the London
Masons who were the fathers of the Grand Lodge accepted the Sts. John as their
patrons, or it is even conceivable that some of the lodges may have had one of
them and others the other saint. The acceptance of both would thus partake of
the nature of a compromise.
of the country lodges seem to have revered one and some the other, while there
were others who accepted both. At least one lodge paid particular attention to
doubtless more than a mere coincidence that the Saints Days adopted by the
Masonic Fraternity should coincide with the equinoxes and the solstices. St.
John Baptist's Day, for example, comes very close to the summer solstice; they
falling on June 24 and 21, respectively. St. John the Evangelist's Day is on
Dec. 27, and the winter solstice on December 21. St. Michael's Day comes in
September, very close to the fall equinox. These days were venerated in sun
worship, and particularly in the Mithraic sect. At least one authority accuses
Christianity of setting the date of its Christmas festival on Dec. 25 to
correspond with the festival of the solstice celebrated by the followers of
Mithraism. Mayhap some of our Masonic students see in this coincidence a
reason for believing that Freemasonry is a descendant of Mithraism. They can
reach such conclusions as best suit their convenience. There is no present
reason for quarreling.
thing that is interesting at this time is not the historical significance of
these Saints Days, but the fact that it was almost an universal custom for
lodges to hold their annual meetings on one of these days. There were other
meetings, of course, but those gatherings at which all Masons were expected to
be present took place on these days. Thus, one of these days was the date of
the General Head Meeting Day, or the occasion of the General Assembly.
Officers were elected for the ensuing year and were installed on these days.
the Grand Lodge of England celebrates both Saints Days.
American Grand Lodges are still following the custom so far as to mentioning
the Sts. John as the patrons of Freemasonry, but the ritualistic reference to
them is about as far as we go. There is no presence of St. John's Day
meetings, as a general rule. There is no attempt upon the part of subordinate
lodges to install on either day, in spite of the fact that St. John's Day in
Winter, Dec. 27, is close enough to the end of the calendar year to satisfy
unfortunate that the lessons ritually taught by the references to our patron
saints are not more deeply impressed by some formal observance of the days
that have been set aside as theirs.
decry innovations in the body of Masonry; we protest against ritual changes;
and still we let such important and ancient customs as the celebration of St.
John's Day lapse. E. E. T.
* * *
INTOLERANCE AND TOLERATION
words of social import and significance are very difficult to define.
Technical terms, with which are to be classed those used in the various
sciences, are clear and definite as a rule. But the great majority of words
that are used to express human relationships are vague and general in meaning,
and depend for their exact significance upon the context, upon the way in
which they are used.
follows that while they are clear enough, and adequate enough for purposes of
describing the situations, actions and events of human life, they are little
adapted for argument or discussion. Reflection will show that this must be so.
When we use a given word in reference to some social relation or attitude, it
is limited by the circumstances described, and still more by those that are
understood. When we use it generally there are no limitations, and first one
meaning and then another may be uppermost - which leads straight into
ambiguity of expression and confusion of thought. An example may make this
clear. We all know what the descriptive term "honest" means. We understand
perfectly what an "honest man" is. But an "honest woman" means, or may mean,
something quite different. Again it is said "honesty is the best policy." This
is perfectly clear when a certain background of social ethics and beliefs is
understood, and because the background is usually taken for granted the
statement seems unquestionable. But when this background is questioned or
denied, uncertainty at once arises. What is honesty as a policy? What kind of
policy is honesty? Is it the honesty that keeps within the law? Or is it the
honesty of him who loves his neighbor as himself ? And a policy is good or
bad, according to the end in view - and what is the end to which honesty is to
be the means?
this is not a word about which confusion is likely to arise, because that kind
of conduct termed honest is very nearly unanimously agreed upon by all men.
Even the dishonest prefer as a rule to imagine they are really honest, and
they certainly desire honesty in other people. There are other terms in which
this substantial agreement does not exist; "religion," for example, is one of
them; and most words that are used in connection with religion are likewise
variable in meaning; among them "intolerance."
very necessary in any discussion to define the terms we use; so much argument
and dispute is at bottom little more than a logomachy, a fight about words, or
their meanings. And in the case of words with a wide range of meaning it is
almost always necessary to know something of their derivation and history in
order to fully understand their use. "Intolerance" is evidently derived from
"toleration," the privative or negative prefix "in" makes it equivalent to
"the state of being not tolerant." Now when one word is derived from another
it is natural to assume that the thing designated by it is also derived, or is
at least later in time. But this does not follow. It may be, and often is the
fact, that it has merely been distinguished later. Things that have never been
questioned are often things without names, for language is a severely
practical affair. Words are not invented for the sake of theoretical
completeness, they come into existence only when needed to describe something
new, or something newly seen. And this is the case with "intolerance." Until
toleration became an important attitude, its opposite was nameless; although
it is not too much to say that the thing called intolerance is not only the
natural state of humankind, but of all organisms of whatever kind. For it is
merely an aspect of the instinct of self-preservation, the tendency of an
organized whole to persist and maintain itself in the presence of forces that
would disrupt it. If this view be correct, then toleration can never be
complete, it must always be a partial attitude on a background of native and
should any one be inclined to deny this (with or without vehemence) he is
requested to recall that it has been premised that these words have very
general meanings, and that certain propositions may be true of them in one
sense and untrue in another. What we are trying to do here is to get at some
underlying principle of general application, and not merely to speak in vague
Tolerance, as a social attitude, is very closely connected with religion, or
rather, with the strife between the adherents of different religious creeds.
It is one of the stock arguments of the Rationalists ( and a very telling
argument, too) in their attacks on the Christian religion or religions. The
argument is that the Christian religion introduced religious intolerance into
a world previously quite innocent of it. Of course this is obviously not true
in so sweeping a form, for no community has ever been tolerant of the
infringement of established usages and customs, and no state has ever
tolerated rebellion or treason.
it may be said that we do not usually call these attitudes intolerant. And
this may be admitted; for the point is, not whether they are called by the
same name, but whether they are the same kind of thing. John Smith and Thomas
Jones may be sons of the same mother in spite of bearing different surnames.
us, however, confine ourselves for the moment to religious intolerance. It is
asserted that the three great monotheistic religions, the Jewish, the
Christian and the Mohammedan, are alone in being intolerant, and that of the
three the Christian is intolerant par excellence. This belief - for it is
believed - is founded on a misapprehension. Other religions are quite as
intolerant, only not about the same things. In fact it is only from the
Christian point of view that this seems to be so, for the Rationalist
opponents of religion are only members of Christian churches turned inside out
- their hostility to religion and to belief in God being only a reaction from
some form of Christian faith, and presupposes such faith. From the general
point of view of the history and. evolution of religion the intolerance of
Christians is seen to be only a special case.
all organized religions, ritual has a prominent place - in most it has the
only place, it is religion in fact. Only in the three religions above
mentioned has it a competitor in creed or belief. It is necessary to make this
quite clear. In most religions there is no creed - the gods worshipped are
indifferent as to what is believed about them. They are interested only in
what their worshippers do, or leave undone. Any neglect of the proper
offerings, any infringement of tabu will anger them. Consequently, such things
are not tolerated. But opinion or belief about the gods has no consequences
good or bad, and so that is regarded with indifference, that is, tolerated.
on precisely the same grounds, socially and humanly, a monotheistic religion
cannot tolerate polytheism. Where there are, en hypothesi, a number of
deities, a few more are easily assimilated. When the Great King of Babylon, or
of Ninevah, conquered a city or a tribe - the gods of the vanquished were
added to the celestial court of the conqueror's supreme god, just as the
captive kings became his slaves. But a monotheism cannot do this, it must, to
maintain itself, deny the existence of other gods. Hence, creed becomes of
equal or greater consequence than ritual.
impossible here to show in detail how, in the necessity of the case, this
emphasis on creed became still stronger in the Christian churches. The fact
that it did is undeniable; and this is sufficient for our purpose, which is to
see why intolerance took the form of persecution of heresy and heterodoxy
reason is not very far to seek, and it is a perfectly natural and human one.
Men naturally transfer or "project" their own interests into the realm of the
divine. They assume their deity to be as interested in ritual as they are, if
ritual to them is important. Equally if "right belief" is the chief thing to
them, they may suppose God will punish those who believe wrongly. The mystic
knows, of course, that neither is intrinsically of any real importance; only
as some ritual and some belief, of some kind, is necessary for men to live and
act together. The reason then that wrong belief, heresy, must be combatted and
extirpated, is because it is a menace to what is orthodox, whichever orthodoxy
it may be. Heresy and infidelity are each a menace, because belief is subject
to discussion and argument. Hostile argument shakes it. Those who are
absolutely sure they are right are not intolerant of other beliefs. But
churches have to consider the mental babes as well as the strong men, and
policy is determined by the need the former have for milk, as they are always
greatly in the majority.
inherited belief must in the first place be imparted dogmatically. There is
always a shock to the youthful believer to learn that his creed can even be
questioned. The cogency of the arguments advanced against it does not matter,
it is the psychological effect of the attack. Consequently no church has ever
willingly permitted its creed to be discussed; it is only to be taught and
expounded. Thus from the human and sociological viewpoint, Christian churches
are intolerant by necessity - the necessity of self preservation and
perpetuation. When to this is added the desire for dominance which is so
strong in many people, and the desire for conformity which characterizes all
communities - and each of these phenomena is ultimately sprung from the same
root, self preservation - we are able to understand, even while we deplore,
religious persecution in whatever form it appears.
when in any state or nation there are found two or more creeds, and the
adherents of these creeds find that no one is able to abolish or suppress the
others, a situation is created that necessitates a compromise, and this
compromise is what is usually known as religious toleration. It is a choice of
evils so far as the churches are concerned, because the mere co-existence of
another creed in the community has the same effect as hostile criticism. It
undermines the faith of the "true" believers insensibly. The eventual and
natural result is that indifference towards religious creeds which is the
distinguishing feature of so many people in all countries where religious
toleration has existed for some generations. This indifference is frequently
regarded as a virtue, as marking a higher stage of development. Really it is
nothing of the kind. It merely means that religion and creed are regarded as
of minor importance. The same people who are religiously tolerant are often
fiercely intolerant on other matters which are important to them. As a matter
of fact intolerance has very largely been transferred from the religious to
the political sphere, because the state now has the dominant place, and has
enforced peace on the rival creeds. Therefore, it takes the place the creed
did originally, and is defended in the same blind, instinctive way. This
attitude, however, is not called intolerance, but patriotism - though we must
remember, too, that from the inside religious intolerance is zeal and
devotion. It is always hard to realize how we appear to other people.
tolerant attitude may thus be due merely to indifference, but it may also
spring from a wider knowledge and more comprehensive understanding. And we
find as a constant phenomenon that the degree of intolerance exhibited is in
inverse proportion to the intellectual level. The greater the ignorance the
more intolerant an individual or community will be found. And this again is
inevitable, for the ignorant have not the aids and resources that knowledge
gives. The highest type of mind can see that all creeds and all attitudes have
their reason, and some basis in truth His view is comprehensive, and so needs
not be in tolerant.
is the tolerance which is the ideal of Freemasonry. Not that it has ever been
realized, or that Freemasonry alone has upheld it. But it is founded, not on
indifference to beliefs, but on a conviction that all beliefs held by good men
are expressions of the same, or parts of the same, fundamental verities. Yet
Masonry has its intolerance, too. It cannot tolerate bad moral character in
its membership, because immorality (in the general sense) is disruptive of an
association of such a character - far more than it is of a church, for the
churches aim at converting and raising the sinner. In this respect Freemasonry
is on a distinctively lower level.
is no intention in all this to try to change the ordinary denotation of the
word "toleration." It came into being to describe a religious compromise, and
as has been observed, language is purely practical. All that has been
attempted is to show why intolerance is not only natural, but inevitable; and
also to show why, to those who exhibit it, it seems necessary and right.
Further it is to point out that toleration is not always a virtue; it may even
be a vice. Only when it springs from knowledge and sympathy has it any moral
value. We may even say that none but a being who is omniscient and omnipotent
could be absolutely tolerant; and that in measure as we are weak and ignorant
we must be intolerant, physically, mentally and morally. True tolerance, in
our sense, the Masonic sense, is not easy - it is the crown of a lifework of
self-improvement and knowledge, of sympathy and understanding.
* * *
READERS of THE BUILDER will recall that last year a Conference of Masonic
Librarians and Educators was held at Cedar Rapids, a similar gathering having
taken place the year before at Detroit. Continuing the example of Michigan and
Iowa, the Masons of Wisconsin arranged for the third Conference at Milwaukee,
which was duly held on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of last month. The Grand Lodge
Committee on Research and Education undertook the responsibility, with the
active approval and concurrence of M. W. Bro. Fred L. Wright, Grand Master of
Wisconsin, who indeed officially welcomed the delegates at the opening
of these Conferences has been a great success, and each has been an
improvement on the previous one. Though there is nothing in the way of any
organization to perpetuate them, they have proved of such value to those who
participated in them that we may confidently expect them to be continued. Two
or three jurisdictions are in friendly rivalry as to which shall undertake the
calling of the fourth one in 1930.
the Conference just held, more time was allowed for discussion than has been
given before, and as a result this proved a more prominent and important
feature. Even so, there was not time for all the papers that were prepared.
Wisconsin Committee on Research is to publish the papers and discussions, and
as soon as possible they will be presented in THE BUILDER.
one of the delegates, the Editor must congratulate the Committee on the
completeness of their arrangements and the efficient way in which everything
was managed. The kindness and hospitality of the Milwaukee brethren were
beyond praise. On the social side the Conference was a succession of banquets
and festivities, Henry L. Palmer Lodge being the host one night and the Grand
Master another. Aurora Lodge, No. 30, which follows a modified form of the old
French rite in the German language, called a special meeting so that the
delegates might be enabled to witness their mode of working. The first degree
was exemplified, and it made the deepest impression upon all the visitors. The
ceremony was characterized throughout with striking dignity and with all the
old traditional formality and courtesy.
those present at the Conference were the Grand Master of Missouri, M. W. Bro.
Byrne E. Bigger, who gave a paper on Grand Lodge Publications. Bro. Robert I.
Clegg, Vice-President of the National Masonic Research Society, and Bro. C. C.
Hunt, its General Secretary, discussed respectively the subjects of Masonic
Education, Its Matter and Methods, and the Place of a Library in Masonic
program as arranged is given on a later page for the information of our
* * *
MASONIC EDUCATION IN MONTANA
eighteen months ago the Grand Master of Montana, M. W. Bro. William J.
Marshall, invited the cooperation of the National Masonic Research Society in
a proposed educational movement in his jurisdiction. As matters developed the
plan adopted was that the Research Society was authorized to approach the
lodges in the state directly and urge upon them the organization of Study
Clubs and the adoption of some definite program, preferably to begin with the
Syllabus prepared by the Society as a first course in Masonic Education.
were rather glad, in deciding to accept this task, that Montana is
comparatively weak Masonically speaking, at least so far as numbers go; there
being only a hundred and thirty odd lodges in the state. It meant a great deal
of extra work of an experimental kind. Practically all of it fell on the
shoulders of Bro. Thiemeyer.
Recently we have been obtaining reports of the result, primarily to present to
the Grand Master. The figures are rather remarkable. Montana may be said to
have "started from scratch" so far as education was concerned. In the first
place the percentage of replies is unusually high, for a great many lodge
secretaries are very poor correspondents outside of necessary official
communications - and some are poor at that if rumors from Grand Secretarial
offices are to be believed.
lodges were unable to do anything, not from lack of will or interest, but from
sheer force of physical circumstances. The percentage of lodges which took up
some form of educational work is approximately 50 per cent, which those who
have experience in such matters will agree is very gratifying - small as the
figures may seem to those who know nothing of the heartbreaking obstacles met
with in any such enterprise.
was no attempt to exert compulsion. We strongly advised against this; for such
work has little value unless it be undertaken voluntarily, and with a real
interest in learning more about Masonry. The work having been done by the
advice and with the countenance of the Grand Master, and not by command, it
will undoubtedly have deeper and more lasting effect.
hope next month to present a detailed account of what has been done, as a
study of what may be possible elsewhere.
* * *
will be of interest to members of the Society that Bro J. Hugo Tatsch, who is
one of the best known Masonic students of America, and whose work is well and
favorably known abroad, has resigned from the Curatorship of the Iowa Masonic
Library at Cedar Rapids. This, it will be generally felt, is a great loss to
the Library, as it is doubtful if there is anyone in the United States better
fitted for such a position.
However, the position has to be frankly faced that in Masonry, or at least in
the field of Masonic education and research, the laborer is not (apparently)
regarded as worthy of his hire. The same ability and effort in other
occupations will bring many times the financial remuneration. In fact Masonic
study is by force of the indifference and misapprehension of the great body of
the Craft confined perforce to those brethren who have independent means of
livelihood or to those few who are indifferent to or willing to forego
Tatsch, who is a Captain in the U. S. A. Reserve, is for the time being taking
a course at Leavenworth, Kan. When this is completed we understand he intends
to go to New York, where there is no doubt that his talents and special
knowledge will be in request. This change will not affect his connection with
the Research Society we are happy to say, and he will remain one of the
Associate Editors of THE BUILDER.
* * *
According to the rules of the Order we may not ask a man to become a member of
it. How then are the members to spread abroad the Masonic faith? By deeds, not
words. True, the Masonic faith is contained within the covers of the V.S.L.,
the guide of and to Masonic life, which should be exemplified in actions, not
only on lodge night but in every act and deed of the daily life. The teaching
and training in the lodge should receive exemplification outside. Hence the
lodge work must not consist solely in degree conferring. Degree confirming
must take an equally prominent place in the curriculum. The lodge is not only
the place for the demonstration of ritual but it is also the place of
instruction in fundamentals. - South Australian Freemason.
THE STUDY CLUB
The Masonic Study Club Forum
Conducted by BRO. HERBERT HUNGERFORD
You Are Urged to Help Make This a Real Forum
All brothers interested in any phase of Masonic Education, especially those
who believe in fostering the Masonic Study Club movement, are invited to send
criticism, comments and, particularly, practical suggestions for furthering
this movement. Those who are willing to help organize Round Table Discussion
Groups or other Masonic Study Clubs in their Lodges or their districts are
invited to send for Membership Blanks, etc., which will be supplied free of
HERBERT HUNGERFORD, General Campaign Manager,
The Masonic Study Club Campaign Harrisonburg, Virginia.
WHY does the Masonic Study Club movement progress so slowly ? This is a key
question. Its answer will disclose just what those who are attempting to
foster the Study Club movement are up against. Let us face the facts frankly
and fearlessly. Let us not dodge any feature or phase of the situation.
know that there are many thousands of Freemasons who believe that the most
vital problem of our Fraternity today is teaching our newly-made brethren the
fundamental principles of Freemasonry and encouraging them in practicing these
principles. In fact, I doubt if any thoughtful observer or leader in the Craft
will dispute the claim that the educating of more of our members in the
genuine art of Freemasonry is the paramount problem of our Fraternity today.
know, likewise, that a fair percentage of our newly-made brethren will gladly
avail themselves of an opportunity to learn more about the fundamentals of
Freemasonry, providing they can obtain this knowledge without too great an
expenditure of time, money and effort. From my personal observation, I
believe, that at least seven out of ten newlymade Masons would be glad to
enroll for at least a primary course of studies or discussions of the
fundamentals of Freemasonry.
This does not imply that more than a small minority of our brethren are very
seriously concerned about digging deeply into the study of Freemasonry or
would be willing to devote any great amount of time, money and effort to
The enthusiasts the "dyed-in-the-wool fans" of the Masonic Study movement seem
to think that any brief and superficial study of the history, symbolism or
teachings of Freemasonry is scarcely worth while. Here is where we, who are
undertaking this present campaign on behalf of the Masonic Study Club
movement, do not entirely agree with our more learned brethren. We hold to the
old principle that creeping comes before walking and walking before running.
We believe that many of those who enroll for our admittedly superficial
introductory courses of Masonic Study are more likely thereby to acquire a
taste or desire to dig more deeply into the lore and principles of the Craft.
Likewise, we believe that even a little Masonic Study is better than none at
heartily approve of the endeavors of our learned brethren to develop more
Masonic scholars, but we also insist that what might be termed the
kindergarten class of Masonic students are deserving of due consideration.
One answer to the question which opens this discussion, therefore, is that one
of the factors which has hindered the progress of the Masonic Study Club
Movement, heretofore, is the fact that the courses of study recommended
usually have been "over the heads" of the rank and file. Even the so-called
elementary courses have been too elaborate and deep for most of us.
But, this is not the real answer to the question. Getting right down to the
"brass tacks" of the situation, the reason why more Masonic Study Clubs have
not been organized is due to the fact that most of those who profess to
believe in the value and importance of such clubs, simply talk about their
views as to the advantages of Masonic Study and, likewise, deplore the lack of
interest on the part of their brethren in this matter. But, how infrequently
do these critics, these Masonic Study talkers, ever lift a finger in actually
starting a Study Club? Answer this question honestly and you will find the
real reason why there are only hundreds instead of thousands of Study Clubs.
give a pertinent and practical illustration of this point. Since the writer
began his series of articles on "Our Ancient Fraternity and Present Day
Problems," more than two hundred brethren in all parts of the country have
written to express their approval of our viewpoint that the stimulation of
more Masonic Study Clubs is the most practical solution thus far proposed for
the problems briefly reviewed in our series.
each brother who has thus expressed approval will actually do his bit to form
at least one Study Club, we surely will make a flying start in getting our
present Study Club Campaign under way.
COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS
stated in my announcement, I am anxious to conduct this department as a real
forum, filled as fully as possible with comments and contributions from
brothers from all sections who are interested in furthering the Study Club
movement and are willing to pass along their views and, especially, their
experiences for the benefit of their brethren.
This is written before our first announcement could reach many of our readers,
consequently few comments and contributions have been received, excepting
those from brethren who wrote me regarding my series on "Our Ancient
Fraternity and Present Day Problems," which series was sort of a fore-runner
for this forum. So, although some of the comments are not directly concerned
with Masonic Study Clubs, selections are presented from the letters of several
correspondents, because, indirectly at least, all problems of the Craft are
concerned with Masonic Study.
Bro. Daniel B. Robinson, 5020 W. 23rd St., Cicero, Ill., President of the West
Suburban Masonic Standard Club of the 17th Masonic District of his state,
sends a mimeograph outline of the program used in his Lodge during his term as
Master, in the year 1927. We present a Topical Outline of W. Bro. Robinson's
MASONIC STUDY CLUB PROGRAM OF PRAIRIE STATE LODGE
1-The Beginning of Free Masonry in America
2-Masonry's Place in the Early History of America
3-The Fatherhood of God and Brotherhood of Man
6-What and Why Is Masonry
7-The First Degree ( Symbolical)
8-The Second Degree ( Symbolical)
9-The Third Degree (Legendary)
Bro. M. E. Gore, 51 Main St., Orange, N. J., also sent us a ritual designed to
stimulate interest in Masonic Study Clubs, which we regret went astray in the
mails. We hope to receive another copy from Bro. Gore for our next forum.
Bro. Philip Crossle, Assistant Secretary of The Lodge of Research, Dublin,
Ireland, writes a most interesting letter which, if space permitted, we would
like to quote in full. But we must confine our extract to the first two
paragraphs of Bro. Crossle's letter, which give the keynote of his comments.
Later we hope for further contributions from Bro. Crossle telling us something
of the particular methods of his Lodge of Research.
have been reading your recent series of essays in THE BUILDER with great
interest. Much of what you say about the inner meaning of the teachings of our
Antient Fraternity appeal to me so much that I feel your Study Club Forum, if
conducted according to your practical point of view, would be of inestimable
help to Masonic students who are not carried away by fanciful theories so
prevalent these days.
The inner meaning of the symbolism of Freemasonry, as I endeavor to insist
upon with my brethren here, must be based upon something more sublime and
practical than a peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory, and
illustrated by symbolism, a definition which has never appealed to me as
embracing the foundation upon which our Antient Fraternity stands.
Bro. Franklin H. Reeder, P. M. of Colonial Lodge of Philadelphia, Pa., makes
an excellent comment upon Freemasonry and Business, from which we quote the
following brief extract:
When the question arises as to whether Freemasons should show preference to
fellow members, it is easily answered by your own heart. If you are a true
Mason, you will have a due regard for the rights of others, more especially
our brethren in Freemasonry. As it takes not only push but pull to advance
materially, we should always help a brother, when knowing him to be worthy and
his cause just. Holy Writ informs us that If any provideth not for his own,
and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith and is
worse than an infidel. The Quakers look out for each other and no one ever
sees or hears of a Quaker begging. The Knights of Columbus always give
preference to a Roman Catholic, and the children of darkness are wiser than
the children of light. Masons should stand up more for Masons. Any true Mason
will consider every other Mason worthy, unless proved otherwise, and will give
him a reasonable amount of preference over a non-Mason and will do so as a
privilege, and not as an obligation; and no true Mason would take advantage of
such consideration and wrong his brother. One who would violate such
confidence reposed in him should be regarded as an unworthy and false brother
and should be treated as such.
Bro. G. A. Kenderdine, Iowa City, Iowa, takes a slightly different attitude,
as shown by the following extracts from his most interesting letter:
have been following your series in THE BUILDER with a great deal of interest.
Many of your suggestions I agree with, and others, I think are counsels of
perfection, but not practicable.
Let me ask this question squarely, in respect to business ethics. Can we, or
should we, as an ethical proposition, expect from a brother Freemason in
dealing with him, any greater degree of honesty, or service, than one can
reasonably expect elsewhere? In other words, if a man is absolutely honest in
his business dealings (and there are very few who don't draw the long bow
sometime, as we all know. Must of us are guilty of at least gilding the lily
and painting the rainbow when presenting a business proposition) but, as I
say, if we are dealing honestly and giving a good quid pro quo, what more
would another Mason have a right to ask or expect of us or we of him in
don t think Masonry should be considered an exclusive virtue, although there
are many who wear our badge, as someone has said recently, for the purpose of
being called Rabbi, Rabbi, and being asked to eat in high places, there is no
question about that. There is a growing tendency among people to prize their
Masonic membership as a badge that, at some time at least, they were
respectable in their community and to wear it as a sort of certificate in that
direction with no intention of working at any of the duties or
responsibilities of the Craft.
Masonry seems to be more popular than ever in point of men wanting to get into
it, for the reason that I have expressed. Certainly interest in the average
lodge is dying down and, despite the increase in the number of brethren
holding proficiency certificates, the time will come when these badge-wearers
will have to receive their degrees from teams of semi-professionals at least,
who may have to be hired to take time from their other secular employment in
order to perform this work.
Dr. A. J. Caldwell, Amarillo, Texas, Past Potentate of the Shrine, writes a
most vigorous and pertinent letter from which we quote a few paragraphs:
every age of recorded history, when an organization becomes creed bound, and
therefore, ossified, a few progressive Entities have deserted the sinking
craft and sought so-called "Salvation" in the life boats of progressive
thought and a greater appreciation of truth. Within the organization of
Masonry there is an ever- increasing number who are becoming dissatisfied with
a few rudiments of Geometry; a few unimportant traditions, the meaning of
which is imperfectly understood or totally unknown, and a few maxims of
morality that have been preached and practiced for thousands of years.
Unconsciously or otherwise, the organization has and is building within itself
a Robot or Frankenstein monster that is both certainly and surely causing its
disintegration. Physical and mental inertia must be speedily overcome, in
part, if this so- called Accepted Institution remains and functions, during
the oncoming centuries.
are deeply interested and greatly concerned that we, as an organization,
assist a great number within the pale, toward acquiring not only further Light
but more Light than we are now giving.
Space will not permit quotations from many other interesting and helpful
comments, but we wish at least to make mention of a number of brethren whose
letters have given us much encouragement. Also, we want sincerely to thank
each of these brothers for their promise of cooperation and support in our
Study Club Campaign and give each writer the assurance that we will be
grateful to have them report fully regarding their efforts and experiences in
fostering or organizing Study Clubs in their localities. Letters pledging
support for the Masonic Study Club Campaign have recently come from the
following brethren, and with such support the spread of the movement is
Prof. O. W. Dynes, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tenn.
Mr. Edson Davis, 191 N. Harris Ave., Columbus, O.
Mr. C. W. Sehulz, Rex Hotel, Duluth, Minn.
Mr. Alex Vanna, 1146 13th st., San Diego, Cal.
Mr. E. C. Parmenter, Belmont, Vt.
Mr. Raymond Williams, 845 S. National Ave., Fort Scott, Kans.
Mr. Ernest w. Gruss, R. No. 6, Pox 317, Houston, Tex
Mr. Samuel Pfrimmer, Corydon, Ind.
Mr. W. M. Strom Greenville, Texas.
The Easiest Way to Organize a Masonic Study Club
With Keypoint Programs for Discussion and Study, Historical, Symbolical and
BRO. HERBERT HUNGERFORD
THAT graded courses of study must be provided which are adapted to the various
ages, interests and tastes of all classes of students is a sound pedagogical
principle which, I believe, should be applied to Masonic Education as well as
to all other branches of knowledge.
some Masonic scholars it may seem a sad situation that most members of our
fraternity can only be interested in a superficial or extremely elementary
study of the fundamentals of Freemasonry. Yet, this is a real condition and
not a fancied theory. Therefore, we must face the fact that the introduction
of Masonic Study into the average lodge should begin with what we might call
the Primary Grade possibly, in many cases, kindergarten would be a better
Likewise, if we make Masonic Study appeal to the rank and file, we must accept
the condition that the average Mason will not be willing to permit studies of
any sort to interfere with or distract from the time and attention he devotes
to the movies, sports, and other recreational and social affairs. Furthermore,
the average Mason will become bored and drop out of the meetings if there is
too much red tape officialism, or if the discussions go into matters too deep
and mystical for ordinary understanding.
Keeping these plain, common-sense factors in mind, the easiest way to
introduce Masonic Study into a Lodge is to begin without any great hurrah or
STARTING OUT IN THE RIGHT WAY
Experience has shown that many a time an enthusiastic Masonic orator has
stirred up so much interest that a large group has begun a Masonic Study Club
which, after just a few meetings, has entirely petered out, leaving those who
started the club disillusioned and, perhaps, bitter over the indifference of
their brethren towards "the deeper interests of life in general and
Freemasonry in particular."
every Lodge, I believe, it will be possible to discover a few members who will
take a fairly keen interest in the hidden mysteries of the craft. But it is
almost impossible to find out just who these members are by any check-up of
Experience indicates that the best way to discover the genuine Masonic
students of any Lodge is to begin your Masonic Study Club work with a brief
series of informal discussion group meetings, taking up at each meeting a
topic of the most universal and elementary nature. For a few meetings of this
character it will be possible to maintain the interest of quite a large number
of members. But one important objective of these introductory discussions
meetings will be to discover or develop a few genuine Masonic students who are
likely to get together and take up more advanced work in Masonic Study.
the other hand, my personal opinion is that every member who attends any of
these introductory discussion group meetings will receive considerable
benefit, so that the courses would be well worth while, even if none of the
members should be encouraged to pursue the more advanced study of Masonic
subjects. But, in most cases, I am sure you will find that your introductory
discussions will start a number of the brethren on the way towards the keen
enjoyment to be gained from digging more deeply into Masonic problems.
presenting the following outlines for our Seven Keypoint Programs on Masonic
History, Masonic Symbolism and Masonic Teachings, no apology is made for their
incomplete and somewhat superficial character. It would be impossible to cover
these subjects completely in seven short programs.
The reason we have arranged for seven meetings on each general Subject is
obvious to all members of the Craft. The term, Keypoint, refers to the idea
that each discussion is intended merely as a key to the door which opens up a
broad field of information.
GROWING YOUR OWN STUDY COURSES
The brief topical outlines we present herewith are simply offered as
seed-thoughts to enable each discussion group to "grow it's own" study course.
We make no pretense that our outline programs are the best. On the contrary,
our strong hope in offering them is that they will bring forth many
suggestions and ideas for their improvement.
change our figures from the seed-thought idea to what may be regarded as more
of a Masonic comparison, our introductory outline programs are merely the
rough framework for our proposed structure. We expect to modify and improve
the construction of the programs in accordance with the suggestions for their
betterment which we hope to draw from the experience of our well-informed
brothers from all parts of the country.
Accordingly we not merely invite but most earnestly urge every interested
reader to send his comment or criticism. Do not hesitate to point out any flaw
or weakness that you may find, or to suggest any change or correction that you
think would be an improvement. We shall gratefully welcome all comment from
every possible source.
These Introductory Keypoint Programs actually will be arranged and constructed
by the readers of THE BUILDER. At the outset we merely offer the topical
headings for the seven meetings of each course. We propose, from month to
month, to present a more elaborate outline of questions, items of interest and
suggested references for the successive topics of each of the three general
brief, these Keypoint Programs will be conducted through this department of
THE BUILDER and it is hoped that a goodly number of our readers will help us
knock off the rough corners and construct a fairly smooth working course or
rather, three courses to be used as the best possible introduction to the
study of the main phases of Freemasonry.
The best possible way, and by far the most practical plan, to aid us in
developing this Study Club Campaign is for every brother interested to get
together a study club group and follow the program with us. It is not
necessary that your discussion group be numerous or your plans elaborate. To
simply get a few interested brethren to meet once a month and discuss together
the question presented will be better than to attempt a more elaborate and
Our references will be confined to the most popular and easily procured books
on Masonic subjects, which may be found in any good library. It will be
unnecessary for any member of the introductory discussion group to purchase
any text-books, since all the data actually required will be given in THE
BUILDER. Of course, it is hoped that the discussion will encourage some
members of the group to read more Masonic literature, but that objective will
be gained, usually, when the leader of the group conducts the discussions so
enthusiastically as to stimulate deeper interest in the subject on the part of
some of those participating in them.
Bear in mind that all the abundant resources of information of The National
Masonic Research Society are available to every Study Club discussion group.
All you have to do is to ask and you will receive advice or information on any
Finally, brethren, don't overlook the point that this puts the problem of
fostering the Masonic Study Club movement up to you. If you really believe
that more Masons ought to be better informed with regard to the principles of
the institution, you are the one who should start the ball rolling. You can do
it now with the least possible expense and effort. Instead of going about
criticising the Craft for being indifferent or ignorant regarding the real
fundamentals of Freemasonry, let us put a little action in the place of mere
talk and we shall at least start things on the way towards the betterment of
our beloved brotherhood.
Seven Keypoint Introductory Programs, Arranged for Round Table Discussion
1-Primative Origins of Masonic Activities.
2-Legendary Forerunners of Freemasonry.
3-Early Records of Operative Freemasonry.
4-The First Grand Lodges of England.
5-Beginnings of the Craft in America.
6-Patriotism, Persecution and Progress.
7-Historical High Spots of the Past Fifty Years.
1-The Origin, Development and Importance of Symbolism.
2-The Major Symbols of the First Degree.
3-The Minor Symbols of the First Degree.
4-The Major Symbols of the Second Degree.
5-The Minor Symbols of the Second Degree.
6-The Major Symbols of the Third Degree.
7-The Minor Symbols of the Third Degree.
1-The Prime Importance of Character Building Through Self-Denial, Self-Control
2-A Reverent and Reasonable Faith in the Fatherhood of God.
3-The Practice of Brotherly Love in all Human Relationships.
4-The Belief Life is Eternal and the Soul of Man is Immortal.
5-The Profession and Practical Exemplification of the Spirit of True Democracy
6-The Practice of Universal Tolerance, Unlimited Charity and Constant Loyalty.
7-The Ultimate Triumph of Truth and Righteousness.
following is the program of the Milwaukee Conference referred to on a previous
INFORMAL CONFERENCE OF MASONIC LIBRARIANS AND
Egyptian Room, Scottish Rite Cathedral, Milwaukee. Wis.
2nd, 3rd and 4th, 1929
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 H.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 the Social Welfare of the Community - Clara
Clubs - 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 is provided for general discussion of each of the topics
and this program is subject to additional numbers.
books reviewed in these pages can be procured through the Book Department of
the N.M.R.S. at the prices given, which always include postage. These prices
are subject (as a matter of precaution) to change without notice, though
occasion for this will very seldom arise. Occasionally it may happen where
books are privately printed, that there is no supply available, but some
indication of this will be given in the review. The Book Department is
equipped to procure any books in print on any subject, and will make inquiries
for second-hand works and books out of print.
OFFICERS OF THE LODGE. By Frank T. Lodge. Privately printed, paper, 64 pages.
author, M. W. Bro. Lodge, is a Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of
Michigan, and there is a brief foreword from the Grand Master for 1928, M. W.
Bro. F. H. Newton. It is being distributed by the Grand Lodge Service
Commission of Michigan. But though especially written for the brethren of that
state, it contains little or nothing that is not equally applicable in any
other jurisdiction of the United States.
Manuals and Handbooks for the guidance of lodge officers we have had before,
and many of them are most useful. The present work is on somewhat different
lines, for the author tries to keep in view, or perhaps more accurately, to
develop, the symbolical aspects of their relative positions in the hierarchy
of the lodge and their stations and functions, combining with this, brief
sketches of their particular duties and the special qualifications demanded to
carry these out in the best way. It is prefaced by a short introductory
chapter touching on a few of the "high spots" in the evolution of Freemasonry
from an Operative Craft to a Speculative art. The next chapter is devoted to
the lodge, in part of which the formal description in the lectures is
discussed and certain features specially elaborated, and part is devoted to
lodge "atmosphere." Bro. Lodge evidently feels quite strongly that the lodge
with swollen membership that has become a characteristic of American Masonry
is not, in practice, an unmixed blessing, and he describes with approval the
small lodges of England and Europe where every member is the close friend, as
well as brother, of all the others. In this the reviewer is in the heartiest
accord, and he is glad to find so influential a Mason as Bro. Lodge saying
. . .
a large increase in the number of lodges and a corresponding decrease in the
membership of each lodge would mean far greater strength and value to the
Masonic institution, and we cannot too deeply deplore the tremendous increase
in the expense of running each lodge which has seemed to make these modern
American methods necessary.
goes on to point out that a few very large lodges have, by special effort and
devoted work, managed to maintain a high level of fraternal feeling and
usefulness, but it is admitted that such as these are very exceptional.
last chapter is headed Suggestions, and it is interesting to note the author's
regret that the old Masonic formalities of the "Banquet" have been so utterly
and completely forgotten in America. It is indeed a great loss. The simplest
food eaten together formally, as a fraternal rite, is far to be preferred to
the most elaborate meal served as in a hotel, where the only object is to "get
outside" as many of the good things as possible. Bro. Lodge also regrets the
old time toasts - as probably do most American Masons who have been guests of
English lodges where they are still given. He describes certain old customs,
not Masonic, that used to be observed. The Masons of the eighteenth century
seem merely to have adapted the common usages of the day, and thus made them
distinctive of the Craft. Even the use of military phraseology, "charging,"
"handling your weapons," "firing" and so on, was quite common practice, and is
referred to in the popular songs and drama of the period.
one point in the brief sketch of the history of drinking toasts that is given,
it is impossible to acquiesce, and we believe Bro. Lodge must have been badly
misled by some inaccurate, not to say untrustworthy, authority. Treacherous
attacks, attempts at assassination, and the like, at feasts have never been
common, either among the early Teutonic races, from whom these drinking
customs were directly derived, or among any other race. Such abuse of
hospitality has always been exceptional, and though the early legends and
history of most peoples contain instances of it, it is almost always a crime
so dreadful that the guilty party was thenceforth accursed of gods and men,
till Nemesis brought him to an unhappy end. This point, in such tales, may
easily be overlooked by modern readers, for primitive story tellers never
moralize, never offer judgments on their characters. The moral is in the story
itself as a whole.
Another error, of less consequence, is to speak of the right as the dagger
hand. The right was the sword hand, the dagger was used in the left. Except of
course, that like the-table fork in eating, if used alone it would probably be
in the right hand. Toasts were only drunk kneeling when they were to some
person to whom special loyalty and service were due. The true loving cup has
three handles, not two. It was held, while drinking, by two of them, and when
passed to the next man, he took it by the unoccupied handle first and then by
one of the other two. If this were done in the same way each time the cup
would be rotated on its axis once for every three drinkers. Loving cups and
bottles were always passed "sun-wise" round the table.
regard to inviting all Installed or Past Masters to sit in the East, this
would not be pleasant or comfortable for them as American lodges are Usually
arranged. But in other countries it is held to be highly improper for brethren
of this rank to sit anywhere else, and lodges are furnished accordingly, with
ample and comfortable seating arrangements in the East.
practically all of the author's suggestions we heartily agree; the restoration
of these lost formalities and courtesies would go far to help us regain that
intimate fraternal atmosphere we have lost in the lodge and vainly seek in the
"higher" orders and the various "playgrounds" of Masonry. We hope that Bro.
Lodge's work will be widely disseminated, and as widely read.
* * *
CAUSERIES INITIATIQUES POUR LE TRAVAIL EN LOGE D'APPRENTI. By Edouard E.
Plantagenet. Published by V. Gloton, Paris. Paper, index, 190 pages.
author is well known in French Masonic circles, and though the present work is
written, naturally, as a commentary on the symbolism of the French ritual,
there is much in it of great value for Masons everywhere. Indeed, perhaps, of
greater value to them for it would give them an entirely new viewpoint of many
familiar things, and thus reveal still greater depth of meaning. As the title
informs us, it is concerned entirely with the initiation in the first degree.
Other similar "causeries" are in preparation, we are given to understand, for
the second and third grades. The first "talk" is on Masonic Education, and the
author says some very good things. For example:
evident that what we are to understand by Masonic instruction cannot be in any
sense assimilated to the teaching, of every kind, that society offers to every
man desirous of culture, and anxious to increase his knowledge. If this were
not so it would be impossible to conceive how Freemasonry has been able to
build itself up; we would be unable to explain the deep rooted causes of its
persistence, and we should have to admit that its universality would have been
unable to withstand the solvent action of its cultural mediocrity, and its
inferiority as an educational institution.
translation is a free one, but it gives the author's meaning. He goes on to
these conditions it is obviously erroneous to pretend that it is in our power,
or that we have any mission, to seek, didactically, to influence the political
opinions or philosophical [and religious] opinions of the neophyte who has
entered our ranks.
gives a rather different impression of French Masonry than that so often
presented in America.
man has his limits and is subject to the laws of his own being, a prisoner of
the prejudices inculcated by his education; how then shall the neophyte be
freed from this servitude merely by passing from the street into the Temple?
once more we have presented to us that essential difference between American
Masonry as a whole and that of Europe. The former is taken, by the majority at
least, as a social affair merely, as a kind of amusement. The European Mason
incurably believes that it means something, and should accomplish something.
what should it accomplish and how ? M. Plantagenet's answer is doubtless
largely personal - there is no orthodoxy in Masonry. He finds it in
initiation. This implies, of course, much more than the mere performance of a
profane declares "I would be instructed." The ritual responds, "Give him
light." Let us not confound these two terms. It is quite possible to
illuminate without instruction, just as it is possible to be instructed while
remaining a miserable prisoner of darkness.
story is told of a Polish traveler in pre-war days who, vexed by the
questionings of German customs officers on the French frontier, said to an
English fellow passenger: "The French know nothing, but they understand
everything. The Germans know everything and understand nothing." This kind of
difference between people can often be observed, though such generalizations
can never, at the best, be more than rough approximations. The difference is
one of intelligence, which is not at all the same thing as knowledge of facts.
But in the present case the reference is to much deeper levels. Perhaps the
author would not agree with the description, but it seems that his
understanding of Initiation is the gaining of an experience that is really
mystical. The apprehension of something beyond the world of sense. But this
experience, while the emotional reactions produced by the ritual in the
Candidate's mind and heart will aid, is ultimately only gained by his own
effort, by meditation on the symbols offered to him. Other symbols might serve
equally well; there are many roads.
ceremony of reception, in effect, teaches us that the character of Mason is
only acquired little by little, and never by privilege of age or seniority, or
by the prestige of degrees, but solely by patient effort after perfection.
ritual shows the stages and indicates the direction to be taken, teaching the
work upon the plane which is proper to his condition; by which labor he will
elevate himself to a higher level before he is aware.
explanations of the various symbols is different from those to which we are
accustomed, for the interpretations of European Masonry have developed from
those of the eighteenth century very much on a line apart from that taken in
America. But the final effect is much the same. It only goes to show once more
that symbols have no definite meanings - they are suggestive, and consequently
book contains also a translation of the first Book of Constitutions, the
author maintaining, and (as the reviewer thinks) proving, that previous
translations into the French language have been inaccurate and misleading.
Like most French Masonic writers he insists that the first of the "Old
Charges," "Concerning God and Religion," is the universal foundation law for
Masonry, and not later modifications made in Anglo-Saxon countries. The
argument is one that has never been fairly met by those who would force their
own religious conceptions upon Masonry.
* * *
VATICAN-ITALIAN ACCORD. Discussed by Count Carlo Sforza, Charles Clinton
Marshal and John A. Ryan, D. D. Pamphlet No. 56 of the Foreign Policy
Association. Paper, 31 pages.
discussion was the one hundred and sixteenth of the Luncheon Debates of the
Foreign Policy Association of New York, and took place the sixteenth of last
March, while the new concordat between the Pope and the Italian dictator was
still "front page" news. Count Sforza's reputation as a diplomat and patriot
hardly needs mention. Mr. Marshall is even better known in America, since his
Open Letter to Governor Smith, while Dr. Ryan is the well known Roman Catholic
controversialist and apologist.
judges from Count Sforza's address, though delicately and diplomatically
phrased, that he is none too well assured as to the outcome of the newly
ratified bargain between church and state in Italy. He insisted that those
Italians who had, in the past, opposed the Papacy as a temporal sovereignty
were, according to their lights, faithful sons of the church.
Marshall took the view that the assertions freely made that the arrangement
was a private and domestic affair, not touching the interests of the rest of
the world, were quite erroneous, and that the whole world might in fact be
very much affected by it. His contention was that, so far as claims go, the
Italian government, that is, Mussolini, acknowledged the Pope's universal
moral supremacy over all nations and peoples. That in fact it is an alliance
between two absolutisms, between which not a shred of freedom is left to the
Italian in his native land.
Ryan made a very clever defense of the new treaty, belittling those points in
which others see potential mischief, and by a series of skilfully arranged
comparisons sought to give the impression that the Roman church was to get no
more in Italy than any church has in the United States. All that he said is
doubtless quite true, but the entirely different constitutions and traditions
of the two countries make any such point for point comparison quite
set addresses were followed by a debate which was opened by Mr. James P. Roe,
whose pamphlet on Fascism, Masonry and the Vatican in Italy was reviewed in
these pages last month. As was to be expected he defended the Fascist regime
and sought to show that Mussolini had gained by it far more than he paid. In
this most competent observers in Europe seem to agree with him - it being
thought that the dictator has probably lengthened his occupancy of supreme
power, for few believe Fascism is permanent. But political prophecies are
notoriously dangerous - for the prophet's reputation.
pamphlet is to be recommended to all those interested in the future of
international developments, and of the part the Papacy aspires to play
* * *
GOD OF SCIENCE. By Arvid Reuterdahl. Published by the Arya Company. Cloth,
table of contents, index, xvi and 312 pages. Price $3.15.
is a very curious work. At first one is inclined from general appearances to
class it as one of the many freak books that are published as the gospel of
some new cult, or way of life, or mode of healing. In spite of the fact that
it is printed in clear type on good paper, the impression persists that it
belongs in this category. Analysis seems to point to this being due to
improper balance of the black and white on the page. For the large type used
should have been leaded, and it demands wider margins. In addition to this the
text is overcapitalized to an extraordinary extent. This seems to have been
done with the idea of giving emphasis, but emphasis has entirely been lost.
The same may be said about the use of italics. A further disfigurement to the
pages is the inclusion of references in the text, between brackets. It would
have been much better to have followed the usual convention and put them in
small type as footnotes.
to these external features which tend to prejudice the would-be reader against
the book, there are difficulties in the arrangement and style. Apparently the
intention was that the presentation should be popular - at least to some
limited extent. It seems, as so often happens when men of deep erudition
attempt to popularize their theories, to fall between two stools. Much of the
detail given would be unnecessary were the work intended only for the expert,
but at the same time it is too abstruse to be easily grasped by the
intelligent but unlearned reader (it is quite certain that Dr. Reuterdahl is
not writing for the unintelligent) and the result is that it is not at all
easy to follow the main course of the argument.
has not been written with any idea of belittling or derogating from the real
value of the work. Indeed exactly the reverse. The shell may be hard but it is
distinctly worth the effort to crack it to get at the kernel within.
Naturally, the appeal will be comparatively a limited one. In the first place
only the intelligent need attempt to read it, and it will certainly be easier
for those with some knowledge of the methods and results of modern scientific
research. And secondly only those who are really interested, for whatever
reason, or from whatever point of view, in the question of ultimate origins
and the real relation of man to the universe will find it worth the effort of
reading. But for those so qualified it is indeed an important contribution to
Reuterdahl approaches the subject from a rather unusual direction. He is a
physicist and mathematician of unquestionable standing, although he is not in
the fashionable mode, the scientific bon ton of the moment. For there are
fashions in science as in everything else. This is not only natural, but
practically inevitable. Scientists are human beings, and like gold diggers
they flock to any point where a "strike" has been made. When that ground has
been thoroughly worked and exhausted, some new line will be taken. This
produces satisfactory results in the long run, but it is always well that
there should be some who refuse to follow the crowd, who stand somewhere apart
and give us perspective by considering things from another point of view -
which in a few years may quite possibly itself become the fashionable one.
author's main contention in the present work is that we must infer the real
existence of God from the very nature of the world, taken as-a whole. That
such an inference is as proper and as inevitable as the accepted inferences
regarding the existence of atoms and their constituent particles, protons,
electrons, and so on. But as has been said, this main thesis is continually
being obscured by the introduction of detail of scientific investigations and
resultant hypotheses. It would not be fair to say these have no place in the
argument, but it might be said that they are somewhat misplaced. Which is to
say that the argument suffers from its arrangement, or perhaps more accurately
from its presentment.
first step undertaken is really a resume' of the history, or progress of
speculation and investigation into the nature of matter, leading up to the
present status where the theory of its being really hypostatized energy is
generally held in some form or other. In this the point is emphasized that our
conclusions on these points are all inferences based on observed phenomena.
Having thus linked up matter with energy, the latter is then similarly
discussed, and the nonsensical nature, in the literal sense, of all
mechanistic or materialistic theories of the universe is stressed. No theory,
the author insists, and the present reviewer would agree that he does so with
justice, that regards the universe as some kind of self-winding clock is
logically tenable. Energy, at least in the various physical forms, mechanical,
electrical, chemical and so on, is constantly being degraded into heat; so
that if there be not a constant and infinite supply of new energy flowing into
the system, everything must eventually come to a stop, a permanent equilibrium
devoid of all motion - a dead world in fact. No dodging of the issue is
possible. And the fact that the clock is running down implies that it must
have been started, at some time. Or probably that time began when it was
scientists evade this issue by saying that questions of ultimate origins are
without significance. Which, so far as any specialized branch of science is
concerned is perfectly true. But for science as a whole, for mankind in
general, they are not insignificant. Upon such questions depend our
conclusions as to whether the world and all in it, including men, are merely
machines, or whether there be something more behind the physical and material
next stage in the argument is the distinction of levels of energy ranging from
the purely physical up to what the author calls "deific." At bottom the
argument seems to rest on the old dilemma; is the higher to be understood in
terms of the lower, or the lower in terms of the higher. At bottom, that is
the fundamental question, the parting of the ways.
through the book there is much keen, and effective criticism of the views and
theories with which the author disagrees. The atheists, agnostics and sceptics
- the various modern cults, Einstein and the various hyper-geometrics and
super-mathematics, are touched on, and searchingly criticized, and dismissed.
cannot help but feel that a deeper acquaintance with theology would have led
to more respect for it. Theologians, one uses the past tense as there are very
few today, were not fools. And no honest exercise of the intellect is wholly
valueless. It is evident that when Dr. Reuterdahl (and the same is true of
hundreds of other writers ) inveighs against theology - dogmatic and
intolerant - that they are not speaking of theology, of which they evidently
know little, but of popular presentations of various religious creeds, whose
preachers are anything but theologians.
final conclusions reached by the author seem to be as follows: Personality
persists - the life or mental energy in each one of us is not merely emptied
into an infinite reservoir of energy, like a bucket of water thrown into the
sea; but though it becomes more intimately at one with the whole, it yet
retains its own entity. The Deity, who is this containing reservoir, is not an
abstraction, a pantheistic inclusion of the whole universe, because It - Dr.
Rueterdahl objects to anthropomorphic pronouns here - is more than the
universe. While very little is said as to the character of this scientific
God, it is to be gathered that It is the source and origin of everything, and
higher and greater than everything - including man. And from that, most of
what is enshrined in the creeds of the world Theisms would seem to follow by
spite of all its difficulties it is a book that should be read by everyone who
has been so much affected by the results of modern science as to wonder
whether anything "scientific" can be advanced in favor of religious faith, or
its essential content.
one or two references one might suppose that the author is a Mason, but of
this the reviewer has no certain knowledge. M.
* * *
MAGIC ISLAND. By W. B. Seabrook. Published by Harcourt, Brace & Company, New
York. Cloth, table of contents, appendix, 386 pages. Illustrations by
Alexander King. Price $3.70.
SEABROOK is an enviable person; he is able to go out into strange places and
see and hear almost unbelievable things. Most of us, even if we were able to
travel at will to the ends of the earth, would see nothing but exteriors. We
should take with us our habits, prejudices and inhibitions, that would raise
an insurmountable barrier which could not be broken through either from
without or within. The Magic Island is Hayti, that beautiful mountainous
island which until recently was an independent republic of a people of negro
blood. This democratic government ruled entirely by blacks has existed for
well over a century. The famous Christophe, who was the central character in
John Vandercook's recent book Black Majesty, was the first independent ruler
of the island. Until this negro made himself a throne through revolution the
island was the property of France. Christophe declared its independence, and
it has to this day remained a sovereign state, though the U. S. A. is now
exercising a not very clearly defined protectorate over it.
Seabrook spent several months in Hayti endeavoring to learn something of the
customs and religions of the people. Possibly due to his vivid style, perhaps
to his unusual powers of observation and his complete lack of prejudice and
preconception, he has succeeded in some inexplicable way in catching the very
soul of the island . The reader cannot help but feel that Hayti is an island
pregnant with mystery and teeming with the magic of primitive peoples. It is,
in very truth, a Magic Island.
Strictly speaking the book does not fall into the category of Masonic works.
It contains, however, a discussion of a peculiar type of religion that should
appeal to every Mason because of strange resemblances to Masonic ritual that
are to be found in some of the ceremonials. For apparent reasons it is not
desirable to indicate these parallels in this review. Doubtless this statement
will be taken in some quarters as additional support of the contention that
Masonry practices devil worship, witchcraft, and the like. But those who are
interested in seeking parallels between Masonic ceremonials and primitive
religions will find much valuable material contained between the covers of Mr.
book is divided into four parts, really it falls into two divisions. The third
and fourth sections dealing mainly with those things that any cultivated,
humanly sympathetic traveler might have seen. The cultivated society of the
capital, the government that receives stability from the American occupation
at the price of going in leading-strings. Such things are - perhaps needs must
be - but it seems too bad that it should be accompanied by the introduction of
hitherto unknown racial prejudices. One cannot help feeling glad that the
Haytians show a proper resentment at this, and that they have a fair chance of
maintaining their self-respect, if they will only be true to their own
culture. Their own by adoption, of course, for theirs is a thoroughly Latin,
or more specifically French culture.
French cultural antecedents of the island account, perhaps, for the peculiar
mixture of custom that is now prevalent. The primitive African nature survives
along with the veneer of French civilization and strangely enough they are not
working side by side, but are so completely interwoven that an entirely new
culture has developed. The written language of the island is French, but the
spoken tongue is Creole. The description of this tongue which forms a small
part of The Magic Island should be valuable from a linguistic point of view.
Mr. Seabrook's analysis is brief, but he furnishes references which will
enable one to pursue a study of this blending of French with the savage
African tongues if he feels so inclined.
as has been said, this part of the book, interesting as it is, might have been
observed and set down by any visitor; the first part must surely be unique. If
the cultivated classes are maintaining their culture in one way, the masses
are preserving their savagery in wholly another. Mr. Seabrook is quite
possibly the first person without negro blood in his veins to have been
initiated into the mysteries of voodoo. It is true that sundry anthropologists
and administrators have become members of the secret societies of Africa, but
voodoo is not the same. It is a religion, evidently an eclectic religion. The
slaves imported into the island in the old days of the French regime came from
many tribes and races, and they were all superficially Christianized. The
result has been a melange of many elements, that has become systematized into
something quite new, though it is more pagan than Christian.
Seabrook is not a scientific anthropologist, or student of comparative
religion. He is a literateur with a gift of vivid description, a boundless
tolerance and apparently a complete lack of any social or religious prejudice;
and with that the art of gaining the confidence of people who have the best of
reasons to be suspicious and reserved with strangers.
elements of Voodoo and Haytian witchcraft, which are not at all the same
thing, it seems, will not be new to students of these subjects, though their
details and the new combinations in which they appear will doubtless be
welcome. The sexual characteristics seem to be strongly pronounced, as would
be expected; though that is but following the fashion of the moment, as do the
hideous drawings with which the book is illustrated. It may be that they will,
as presumably was the intention, heighten the effect of uncanniness and horror
found in the text, but they certainly add nothing to our knowledge, as do the
photographs reproduced in the appendix.
mass of the blacks belong to either the witchcraft or voodoo sects. Both are
strictly forbidden by law, but the government is beginning to take a
charitable view and to overlook the legal code, thus permitting both religions
to function with no more than an outward show of secrecy. This attitude is, of
course, unofficial; its strength, or weakness, rests in the constables who are
not immune to the persuasive powers of silver. Good Catholics, and many
Christians of other denominations, would doubtless be horrified at some of the
ceremonies. They are basically primitive but intermingled with their elemental
character is much that is borrowed from Christianity. The Christian doctrines
were, of course, brought to the island by the missionaries of the Roman
Catholic Church during the French occupation, and many religious bodies have
sent missionaries since. Perhaps what has actually happened in Hayti has
occurred in other places that have been fruitful fields for missionary
enterprise. It may be that elsewhere the missionary work has been more
effective, and that what is found in Hayti is only an example of incomplete
Christianization; but whatever may be the solution, the fact remains that
there are Christian ceremonies grafted on to primitive religious rites in a
most unusual manner, in both the voodooism and witchcraft of Hayti. This
situation mayhap represents one of the sports so frequently encountered in any
evolution. Instead of following the normal religious development, and finding
Christianity absorbing the characteristics of its more primitive forerunners
as we do in other countries, the process is reversed and the primitive has
swallowed the Christian.
Reading a description of the rites practiced in these cults would incline one
to the opinion that the witchcraft of Medieval Europe had come to light again.
Certainly many people who did not completely understand the mental attitude of
the Haytian negro would accuse them of practicing Satanism. Mr. Seabrook shows
quite clearly, however, that this is not so. What has actually happened is
that the primitive religions and the Christian ceremonies have been grafted
into each other forming a religion different *tom either of its forebears, but
partaking of the nature of both of them. The conglomeration is a queer one and
would be interesting aside from the rites which recall some of Masonic
symbolism. The old fertility rites which came over into the Christian religion
are found working side by side with their more modern children.
student of these subjects will find the work of value, he will know how to
distinguish the observed facts from the author's explanations, and to estimate
the value of the latter. It is very strong meat, and hardly meet for babes.
And those with definite religious beliefs of their own will find it a
challenge that may be wholesome, if it sets them to thinking about the
realities and foundations of their own creed. M. T.
* * *
OUTLINE OF TEMPLE BUILDING. By Frederick G. Mueller. Privately printed, stiff
paper, profusely illustrated, 16 pages.
very curious, indeed, considering the enormous number of Masonic Temples that
have been erected in the United States, and the unsatisfied desire for yet
more in localities as yet not appropriately provided, that practically nothing
has been published that would be of assistance to building committees and
architects in planning, constructing and financing such edifices.
Mueller is himself an architect and has come up against the problem himself,
and has presented in compressed form the result of his experience. He starts
from the very beginning, the organizing of sentiment among the members of the
lodge or lodges and other bodies concerned in favor of building when that is
called for. Then follows a brief discussion of the formation of holding
companies or corporations, to assume the responsibilities of financing,
erection and maintenance. Follows a brief notice of the kind of architect, and
his qualifications, who should be employed. The next stage is to make up a
schedule of the various purposes for which the building is to serve, as a
basis for the plans. The requirements of the site, the design, and the
equipment are then touched upon, and after that the all important question of
finance. To this more space is given than to any other heading. The last pages
deal with the engineering, contracts and supervision of erection.
is included a very interesting chart which shows at a glance every point that
a building committee will have to keep in mind and the relative sequence of
each. It would serve admirably, with modifications, as an advertising poster
in a temple "campaign."
pamphlet should be of real service, but it can only be regarded as a stop-gap.
What is needed is a work of some size dealing with all the problems here
mentioned in greater detail, and with full reference to actual buildings
embodying various solutions, and the experience based upon them. Such a book
is needed, but it is doubtful whether sufficient demand could be found for it
to make the writing more than a labor of love, and the publishing a desperate
venture. So probably it will not be written just yet.
* * *
TO ORGANIZE THE AMATEUR BAND AND ORCHESTRA. By Ralph H. Morn, with an
introduction by Willem van Hoogstruaten. Cloth, illustrated, x and 117 pages.
Masonic bodies have bands and orchestras, and more would like to have them.
For the latter the present work will give information quite invaluable, and
very probably not without value to the former.
author confesses quite frankly that the several chapters of his book were
written in the first place as a series of articles for publication in a
periodical devoted to music. This came to an untimely end before all the
articles had been "run." This must have been post hoc and not propter hoc, for
the articles should have kept the magazine alive had that been possible!
author further says that he decided not to recast his material for publication
in bookform, and we believe this was a happy decision, for the familiar and at
times humorous style makes the chapters readable even for those not- intending
to undertake the formidable task of creating an amateur orchestra or band.
Incidentally a very great deal of what is said applies equally well to choir
and chorus work.
almost universal distribution of gramophones and wireless sets should lead to
an increase in musical interest generally. But there is always a something
lacking in such means of transmission even at their best. While the really
musical will always desire to produce music themselves. And of course, there
is no substitute for a band, for marches and parades.
several chapters of the book cover the formation of an amateur band or
orchestra and the various things that are necessary to make it successful,
including the conduct of rehearsals and the special qualifications of the
functionaries, from conductor to publicity man; the various pitfalls to be
avoided are discussed and many hints given to make it easier to "put it over,"
all of which are evidently based on experience, and one can well believe,
dearly bought experience, on someone's part. It is a book that everyone who
has the idea in mind that a band or orchestra might be an excellent addition
to the activities of his lodge or commandery, or of his community, should be
read and re-read. And having done so, if he has not been warned off by the
difficulties to be met, he will probably want to have it by him as a chart to
help him avoid the shoals and reefs that such an organization is bound to
encounter on the human and social side. For it is these that wreck amateur
choirs and orchestras, and not lack of musical ability.
book is well printed on good paper, and the proof reading has been most
carefully done, which too often is not the case in such handbooks.
* * *
og FALK, Samtaler for Frimurere. By G. E. Lessing. Translated, with notes,
into Danish by P. A. Fenger. Published by Levin & Munkspuard, Copenhagen.
Stiff paper, index, 77 pages.
is a Danish version of Lessing's well known Masonic Dialogues, Ernst and Falk.
Bro. Fenger has been a contributor to THE BUILDER in the past, his last
article appearing in the tenth volume.
* * *
CAGLIOSTRO. By Johannes von Guenther. Translated by Huntley Paterson.
Published by Harper & Bros. Cloth, table of contents, illustrated, xii and 445
pages. Price $3.65.
rather sensational novel based on the usually accepted accounts of the life of
Cagliostro. The Masonic connections of the mysterious adventurer are
elaborated, though the author has rather curious ideas about Masonic Lodges
and their organization. As fiction, with a vague background of fact, the work
will interest many readers.
* * *
HOLY KABBALAH. By A.E. Waite. Published by Williams & Norgate, Ltd., London,
also by the Macmillan Co., New York. Cloth, analytical table of contents,
illustrated, index, xxvi and 686 pages. Price $7.75.
study of the Secret Tradition in Israel," critical and interpretative. The
author avoids the Scylla of credulity and the Charybdis of scepticism. The
work will be indispensable to those who want to know what the Kabbalah really
was, and how to estimate it and its value to humanity.
* * *
WITCHCRAFT IN OLD AND NEW ENGLAND. By George Lyman Kittredge. Published by the
Harvard University Press. Table of contents, notes, index, x and 641 pages.
exhaustive study of witchcraft among the English people. The author disagrees
equally with recent writers who believe in the objective reality of witchcraft
and demonism, and those who consider it to have been an organized secret
religion. He corrects a number of erroneous, but widely accepted opinions;
among them that James I was responsible for a recrudescence of the persecution
of witches. The real facts seem to be that he discouraged it as much as he was
able. The notes, which take up nearly one-third of the volume, will be most
valuable to the student seeking for first-hand materials on the subject.
* * *
PHEIDIAS. By John Galen Howard. Published by the Macmillan Co. Cloth, table of
contents, x and 287 pages. Price $2.65.
very unusual piece of work for the present day. It is the life story of the
great Greek sculptor in blank verse, as related to his friend Pantarkes of
Olympia. The author has utilized all the fragmentary biographical notices of
his hero, and accepts that version of his death which makes him the victim of
the jealousy of the Athenians, like Socrates. The Epilogue is from the
imaginary Pantarkes himself, and describes Pheidias' defense against the
charge of sacrilege before the court of the Areopagus. While the modern reader
is not accustomed to blank verse as the medium of a story, in this case he
will be well advised to read it. It gives intimately the spiritual evolution
of an artist, and could only have been written by an artist.
* * *
LEERLINGSINWIJDINGEN DE LEERLINGSGRAAD. BY Dr. W. H. Denier Van der Gon.
Published by the Maconnieke Vereeiniging tot Bestudeering Van Symbolen en
Ritualen (Masonic Association for Study of Symbolism in Ritual). Paper, table
of contents, index, 171 pages.
study of the symbolism of the Apprentice Degree in the Rite of the
* * *
HISTORICAL ANALYSIS OF THE HOLY ROYAL ARCH RITUAL. By the Rev. F. deP.
Castells. Published by A. Lewis, London. Cloth, table of contents, index, 119
pages. Price $2.75.
discussion of the Royal Arch ritual from the point of view of its significance
in the light of what is known of its history. It naturally refers especially
to the English Royal Arch, though the author exhibits wider knowledge of
American rituals than is apparently possessed by many other British Masonic
writers. In a sense the present book is a sequel, or at least the complement,
of the earlier work, The Antiquity of the Holy Royal Arch, which was reviewed
in THE BUILDER some time ago. To a considerable extent the author's views seem
to be peculiar to himself.
have received both your letters and I thank you very much for what you say. I
am also emboldened to make one or two observations in regard to THE BUILDER,
or rather the form in which it is presented. In doing so I hope what I say
will not be construed as petulant faultfinding, indeed I am sure it will not,
as it is with the intention of making things easier for the vast army of
readers of the journal you have the responsibility and honor of conducting.
first observation I have to make is in respect of notes to articles; these are
assembled at the end of the article and to consult them necessitates often
turning over several pages, resulting in a break of the continuity much
greater than if the notes were inserted at the bottom of the page to which
they referred. The next observation is in respect to the splitting of
articles. Rarely is an article or installment of any length brought to a
conclusion in the same position of the journal as it begins, and I hesitate to
estimate the time lost in hunting up the continuation and in turning back
again carefully to avoid skipping anything.
Having said this I feel I must add that there is no department of THE BUILDER
in which I do not take an interest, and I find it difficult to say which I
note that the "Ancients" are still regarded as schismatics by at least one of
your contributors, whose interesting article is flawed by a term proved years
ago to be wrong. I refer to Bro. Bennett's article on DeWitt Clinton, page
262, September, 1928.
Editor would endorse every suggestion made by Bro. J. H. and would gladly
adopt them if -
Unfortunately he is not omnipotent (which may seem a strange confession) and
things often have to be done as they can. There are difficulties, technical
and other, in the way of attaining the most desirable "make up" for THE
BUILDER, but we live in hope that they may be overcome.
regard to the second matter brought up, the explanation is fairly simple. Most
American Masons who read have read or consulted the works of Mackey and Gould.
Both these authors, and their followers, took the older view that the Ancients
were schismatics and rebels. Very few American Masons whether they read or
not, have ever heard of the later work of Sadler, and his convincing proof
that the old orthodox view was wrong headed and unjust, and in the first place
merely propaganda for one party. Consequently it is not surprising if even
otherwise well informed brethren should take the view so emphatically
presented by two writers who are held in such high estimation as authorities
in Masonic history. But it is to be hoped that gradually the real facts will
soak into the consciousness of those who aspire to write for the information
of Masonic readers.
* * *
Mason who was in the War I have been keenly interested in Bro. Irwin's
articles. I did not have the luck to come across any military lodge, but I can
realize how delighted I should have been had the opportunity been afforded me
of visiting one; and still more of belonging to one.
Nevertheless, while I fully approve of military lodges, in peace time as well
as war for that matter, I cannot help sympathizing with Bro. Allen C. Terhune,
whose letter to the Grand Master of Kentucky is given at page 106 of your
April number. It seems to me that the crowd of candidates put through could
not have been properly assimilated. Had I been a member of a military lodge I
should not have cared to see more than one or two candidates at a meeting, and
they the pick of those offered. A war time lodge is a godsend to Masons in
military service, but I cannot see why such a lodge should be a degree mill
any more than in peace time; I do not approve of degree mills anyway. Indeed I
believe that young men in the army were attracted to the Fraternity by
mistaken ideas of its objects, and with motives that verged closely on the
improper and interested, and that in consequence many of them who succeeded in
gaining admission were bound to be disappointed.
* * *
PRESENT DAY PROBLEMS
articles of Brother Hungerford are timely and instructive. Surely, every
brother is deriving benefit from them. His assertion that the final aim of
Freemasonry is the brotherhood of man cannot be wrong. This is in keeping with
the teachings of all the great teachers of all time.
Whether the discussion of political subjects within the portals of the lodge
would work for good or ill, is very hard to say. It should work for the
better, for certainly, the whole framework of civilization depends upon
politics, and the better every citizen understands them, the better will our
political house be. Study is the great necessity of the day.
article of Brother Shepherd in the March number was also very good. We cannot
learn too much of the origin of things.
the newer books that throw light on the origin and development of Masonic
signs, symbols and ceremonials are The Lost Continent of Mu, The Problem of
Atlantis, Bison of Clay, and Village Life in England. The Lost Continent of Mu
is especially instructive and every Freemason could read it with profit.
S. Fair, Washington.
* * *
G. R. Kenderdine, of Iowa, seems disturbed by what he calls fundamentalism in
my article published in the April BUILDER. The Standard gives as the primary
definition of fundamental, "Relating to or fulfilling the purpose of a
foundation or ground work; indispensable; primary; essential; basal."
Certainly, I believe in fundamentals. "If this be treason make the most of
it." It was reported that the engineer who built a California dam some years
ago did not go down to bed rock at every point. He was not a practical
fundamentalist. His modernism cost hundreds of lives.
Kenderdine thinks many Grand Lodges are not in accord with Missouri in
requiring from petitioners a "firm belief in the one living and true God," and
doubts whether Missouri today would reaffirm the stand it took forty years ago
in a case I cited. Well, only a few years ago it did reaffirm that position.
In 1927 we adopted a special report on Recognition of Foreign Grand Lodges,
drawn up by M. W. Bro. Joseph S. McIntyre, Grand Master in 1923. This report
has already been quoted with evident approval by many correspondents of other
Grand Lodges. In my work as correspondent for Missouri, I have already
reviewed the proceedings of thirty-eight Grand Lodges and have failed to
notice any dissent from our position. I quote only one item of that report:
"Fifth: That every candidate initiated under said Jurisdiction shall have and
express an unfaltering belief in a Supreme Being as the Father of all Mankind,
the G.A.O.T.U., and shall also have and express a belief in the immortality of
Kenderdine is unfortunate in his selection of great names to illustrate his
views. Their greatness lay in other fields. Long before his death Burbank
stood in a California pulpit and told us that Jesus of Nazareth was a rebel
against the religion and government of his day. He was incapable of intending
a double-barrelled falsehood, but he did not know enough about Jesus of
Nazareth to know how to tell the truth about him. Jesus was not a rebel
against either the religion or government of his day. Edison’s pre-eminence in
his field no man dare challenge. But when in answer to a question as to the
origin of in our world he said it must have come as a spark from some other
world we smiled and said "shoemaker! stick to your last.”
Twain" was made a Freemason in his early years. If it was true as reported
that in his later years he undermined the faith of his good wife so that at
the end she drifted out into the unknown without hope, we doubt if in those
years he could have qualified for membership in a Missouri Lodge. The writer
has Albert Pike's Morals and Dogma in his library. Easter Sunday, 1928, on the
invitation of his Scottish Rite brethren at Joplin, Mo., he conducted their
Easter service. The local Commandery of Knights Templar attended in uniform,
and the service was open to the public. The speaker quoted freely from Albert
Pike in his discourse and if he in any way transgressed the bounds of
propriety a complaint to that effect has never reached his ears. Freemasonry
rests upon certain great fundamentals. The writer has installed many
Worshipful Masters but in every instance he has required the Master elect,
before his installation, to assent to this principle.
admit that it is not in the power of any man or body of men to make
innovations in the body of Masonry." Fundamentals do not change. The
forty-seventh problem of Euclid is the same as it was in the days of
Pythagoras, and the law of gravitation has not been amended since Sir Isaac
Modernists want something new let them organize and develop the Grand Imperial
Order of Snollygosters, but Ancient Craft Masonry is good enough for me.
* * *
LIGHTING THE CANDLES
further reference to the subject brought up in my letter which was published
in the Correspondence Columns of the April number of THE BUILDER, I would like
to add that our Grand Secretary holds that the candles are lighted according
to rank of officers, the highest or Master's candle first then the Senior
Deacon's then the Junior's and are extinguished in the reverse order. He holds
that the Great Lights are arranged first in opening, then the Lesser lights,
while we have been in the practice of lighting the candles first.
should be very much pleased to have you use this letter for publication as it
would be interesting to learn what is the custom or the ruling in other
jurisdictions on both of the questions raised; what is the order of lighting
and extinguishing the candles, and also whether the candles are lighted before
opening the Bible in opening the lodge and whether the Bible is closed first
or candles extinguished in closing.
will be remembered that last month Bro. C.C. Hunt asked the very pertinent
question if anywhere the candles or tapers were explained as representing the
three principal officers of the lodge. Bro. Hunt we believe is right, in
intimating that in none of the official rituals of American Jurisdictions, and
we believe it is equally true of those of the British Empire, and also in
those of at least some German lodges the explanation is equivalent to that
given by Webb in his Monitor that the candles or tapers represent the sun,
moon and Master of the lodge. However, there is an undeniable connection
between these lesser lights and the Master and Wardens, for they are placed in
the same quarters as the stations of those officers, which brings them
together in a symbolic interpretation. But this can only be said to be
implicit in the ritual, at most, for it is nowhere given expression.
* * *
FASCISM AND MASONRY
the issue of May, 1929, I read the review by Bro. S.J.C. of Fascism, Masonry
and Italy by James P. Roe. My highest esteem to Bro. S.J.C., and I certainly
do want to thank him for the way he upheld Italian Masonry. What Bro. S.J.C.
says is the truth and the best comment I have seen published. Bro. Roe is
quite wrong in many places in regard to Italian Masonry. I am much surprised
at Bro. Roe's writing in defense of Benito Mussolini's action towards the
Italian Masons, and especially about the way he links Mussolini and the Roman
question and Masonic activities together.
Enclosed here with you will find a circular letter of which M.W. Bro. Domizio
Torrigiani, Grand Master of the Italian Masons, wrote to Mussolini and the
Italian government making a protest against the injustice of killing and
destroying Italian Masons and Masonic temples throughout the country. I would
like to know what Bro. Roe and the Italian Historical Society thinks of this
circular and about the martyred Italian Masons who are now living in exile.
protest referred to was addressed to His Excellency, the President of the
Ministerial Council, by M. W. Bro. Domizio Torrigiani and was published at
Rome as an eight-page pamphlet under date of Sept. 18, 1924. This was at the
beginning of the dreadful persecution of which Italian Masons have been
victims. THE BUILDER has published from time to time articles on the subject.
The one that appeared in July, 1925, is worth referring to in this connection,
as well as those in August and September of 1927. It is only too easy for us
to forget what our Italian brethren have suffered, merely because they
belonged to the hated Fraternity.
* * *
article in the May number of THE BUILDER on Masonic Statistics was an
excellent one. It is just the sort of thing we need, to give us definite
information instead of vague impressions. Why could it not be made an annual
event, a statistical review brought up to date?
your article last month on Masonic Statistics you intimate that it is a
pioneer effort. May I draw your attention to the fact that M.W. Bro. A.B.
Andrews prepared some very interesting statistical charts covering the period
from 1876 to 1926. These were published as an Appendix in the Proceedings of
the Grand Lodge of North Carolina for 1928.
J.T.S., North Carolina.
read the article in your last number concerning Masonic Statistics, and while
it is very interesting I wondered whether it was worth the time and trouble.
Just what purpose can such information serve? You seem to intimate that they
would be useful, I should like to know just what you had in mind.
Editor has to confess that he was not aware of Bro. Andrews' elaborate tables
and charts when the article was written. As so often happens, as soon as it
was beyond recall they were brought to his attention. However, Bro. Andrews'
charts, which covered a more extensive period, and included data about other
Masonic bodies, were not designed to bring out quite the same relationships as
those accompanying the article. But had he known about this previous work, the
Editor would have given the credit which was due to their author.
question asked by Bro. G.S.R. is not an easy one to answer definitely. It
might be evaded by saying that the most useful advances in knowledge seemed
perfectly useless from the practical standpoint when first made, and that if
it were not for investigations made out of pure disinterested scientific
curiosity our civilization would probably not have advanced very much beyond
that of the stone age. But while it is profoundly true that we can never tell
what value any definite bit of knowledge may prove to have eventually, yet
there is one conclusion that can be drawn at once from the three charts; and
that is that the number of demitted Masons appears to be no more than it
normally should be, and that the loss by suspension is relatively a small one.
* * *
reference to the article by Bro. Strauss in the May number of THE BUILDER, I
note that Mackey says in his Encyclopedia that it is uncertain when this
symbol was introduced into Masonry, and he suggests that it was later than
1730. He also points out that it has no important significance except in the
English and German languages, that is, from a Masonic point of view. But he
also shows that at its first adoption it was taken to refer to Geometry, the
"fifth science," and in this connection he quotes Hutchinson as saying that to
restrict it to a reference to Deity is to deprive it of part of its Masonic