Conversations on Freemasonry



 Edited by Lewis C. Wes Cook








THE FOLLOWING CHAPTERS are, in reality, conversations with an exceptional Masonic student, researcher and author. I was fortunate to have enjoyed a good many telephone conversations with Henry Wilson Coil Sr. over a period of several years and to have corresponded with him on Masonry, journalism and other subjects. He advised:


"Where you are presented with a `sea of troubles' the tendency is to spread your concern over the whole and thus, never to get right down to the crux of any of them. Better to select one situation as the sole object of remedy and go toward its solution until it is beaten. Where you have two or three or a dozen other participants, get them to work all at the same time on the same problem and keep comparing notes, procedures and progress, shifting the attack as needed. If you cannot whip one problem, you certainly will not whip several at the same time."

The Missouri Lodge of Research is even more fortunate than most because of the "legacy" Bro. Coil not only has provided in this research and writing, but because he sat down with a representative of MLR in the late 1960s in a television studio and gave of his heart and mind in a thirty minute interview that has been preserved on videotape. Many of our members have shared in that video recording and it will be in our archives for many, many more to share and enjoy in years to come.


Share with us now as you read and listen! His voice echoes in our ears, quiet, gentle, firm, confident, urging each of us to discover the realities of Freemasonry, its challenge and its promise "by its absorption of advancing knowledge and enlightenment."


The Editor WES COOK




HENRY WILSON COIL, SENIOR passed away quietly January 29, 1974 at the age of 89, still alert in mind.


Before his death, however, he left a legacy to the Missouri Lodge of Research. You are about to share in this legacy, for it was his manuscript entitled Conversations on Freemasonry.

In this volume, as in his other writings, Coil takes Freemasonry's House and examines it room by room. He looks into the closets; peers into the nooks and crannies. He clears the cobwebs from the corners and sweeps the trash from the floors. With logical reasoning and a legalistic mind, he explodes many of the myths and much of the misinformation that has gathered, moss-like on the framework of Freemasonry and cluttered it throughout the centuries. He opens the windows that we may smell the fresh air and gives it a new coat of paint that enhances its appearance.

This is Brother Coil's third volume to be published by the Missouri Lodge of Research. The other two were a set entitled Freemasonry Through Six Centuries, published in 1967 and 1968. Other volumes by Coil are Outlines of Freemasonry, A Comprehensive View of Freemasonry and his magnum opus, Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia of Freemasonry.

In this volume Coil discusses the grand lodge system, jurisprudence and landmarks, literature, lectures and the ritual. He goes into the various rites of Freemasonry and has chapters on Freemasonry and religion, ancient paganism, Rosicrucianism, Catholicism, Mormonism and revolution.

The author was born in Denison, Texas, December 12, 1885. He graduated from Colorado College with a B.A., Cum Laude in 1910 and from the University of Denver, College of Law, Cum Laude in 1914. He began the practice of law in Trinidad, Colorado in 1914, but in 1918 moved to California to become attorney for the California Electric Power Company and that firm's general counsel from 1926 to 1955 when he retired to private practice in Riverside, California. He was president of the Riverside County Bar Association in 1938. He is survived by his wife, Alice Edna (Orcutt) to whom he was married in 1931, and their four sons.


Active in community activities, Brother Coil was a member of the First Congregational Church; president of the Riverside Kiwanis Club; 17-year member of the Riverside City Planning Commission and president for 11 years; member of the Public Library Board of Trustees and district chairman of the Boy Scouts of America.

Masonically he was a past master of Riverside Masonic Lodge No. 635, past high priest of Riverside Chapter No. 67, R.A.M. and commander of Riverside Commandery No. 28, K.T. A member of the Long Beach Scottish Rite Bodies, he was an honorary 33° and a member of Al Malaikah Shrine Temple of Los Angeles. He served the Grand Lodge of California in many capacities and was on its History Publication Committee at the time of his death.

We invite you now to share the legacy of Brother Henry Wilson Coil.


Missouri Lodge of Research 1976-77


Foreword            .

Preface .           











40 83 133

Index   . Missouri Lodge of Research Officers, Secretary-Treasurer Combined Report            .            .            .            .            .




What Is Freemasonry?

NOBODY KNOWS what Freemasonry is. Let those who deem this statement extravagant or absurd attempt, for themselves, to answer the question, not by mere aphorism or pithy phrase, but with considerable precision and completeness, and they will, at once, find themselves in difficulty and in conflict with others pretending to be expert on the subject. The more there are who attempt to explain what Freemasonry comprises or teaches or stands for, the more their disagreements seem to multiply and clash.

The Fraternity has no hierarchy to plot its course; no pontiff to declare its creed; no censor of books to check heresy. Anyone, either within or without the society, may think, believe, or write about it what he.wills, and many have taken advantage of that liberty. Literature varying as widely in reliability as in viewpoint has flowed from many pens, and the wildest fancy as well as the ablest historiographic talent has added to its volume. One has but to scan that literature to sense its heterogeneous character. The society, itself, contains so many men of so many different nationalities, sects, and opinions and of such varied mentalities, proclivities, environments, and educational advantages that it must ever be impossible to bring them to a common understanding.

Doubt has always existed, not only as to the origin, but as to the meaning and principles of Freemasonry, and that doubt has been most pronounced, not among the uninformed masses, but among the most erudite of Masonic students, who have endlessly debated one or another phase of the subject. Opinions have taken a wide range and reached a variety of conclusions, many novel and some startling. The order has often suffered as much at the hands of its overzealous exponents as it has at the hands of its most vindictive foes. Said Hallam, (Middle Ages, 1856, Vol. III, p. 84)

"The curious subject of Freemasonry has unfortunately been treated only by panegyrists and calumniators, both equally mendacious."

All the vitriol that a Barruel, a Robison, or a Bernard could throw left no permanent scar; the persecutions of the Church of Rome served but to fill martyrs' graves; the utmost monarchial severity only


temporarily or locally arrested its career; but the literary excursions of its fondest adepts have all but turned it into an Old Curiosity Shop.


Masonic writing got off to a poor start and that, too, at a critical time, that is, almost coincidentally with the Revival of 1717, which brought the society into national and, ultimately, into international prominence and made it the subject of widespread curiosity and comment. The origin of the Fraternity was known to the premier Grand Lodge only through the old and rather crude legends contained in the Gothic Constitutions, and was further obscured by Dr. Anderson's fabulous and distorted history of Masonry set forth in the Constitutions of 1723. Nevertheless, that remained the authorized and accepted version for a century and a half, though it convinced none but the most credulous. It gave the society no realistic background and it persuaded many to discredit the whole subject. But the credulous made full use of imagination, speculation, and conjecture, so that the rise of the society came to be, at various times and by various writers, ascribed to almost every conceivable source from ancient pagan sunworship and sex-worship to political conspiracy and international intrigue. Obviously, most of these theories were wholly unsupported and unworthy of serious consideration, but some of them received wide acceptance.

The Masonic authors who probably wielded the greatest influence in Britain and America until about the last quarter of the 19th century were Anderson, Preston, Oliver, Morris, and Mackey, not because of their reliability, but because they wrote at critical or formative periods when the soil was most receptive to the seed. The advantageous position of Anderson was obvious, for he wrote with the approval of the premier Grand Lodge and something seemed to forestall any competition for half a century, until the time of Preston, who was to improve upon, but not differ from his exemplar. During yet another century, though other theories were advanced, the Andersonian theory held sway and was accepted by such influential authors as Oliver, Morris, and Mackey, the last named, however, only up to about the last ten years of his life when he encountered the discoveries of the realistic school. The works of Preston and Oliver went into many editions and spread much error, neither of these writers being wont to investigate a story before giving it currency. Morris was widely read, but Mackey was most effective in America. Both came onto the Masonic stage when the country was developing rapid


ly, population was migrating westward, new lodges and Grand Lodges were being formed, and the membership of the society was increasing.


Not only the works of those authors, but Masonic writings generally have often had an effect disproportionate to their accuracy or even to their inherent probability, for the Craft has been quite predisposed to credulity, fancy, and romance. The more profound and realistic productions are often confined in their circulation to the few, and the authors of them are forced to dissipate much of their energy in removing rubbish before beginning their constructive expositions. Error is long lived and is kept fresh by ceaseless and careless repetition. If a thing sounds sensational, wonderful, or even miraculous, it is very likely to spread and persist.

Books which made great reputations for their authors three-quarters of a century ago but which have long been disproved or discredited are still being reprinted, often in their original texts or, at least, only slightly edited or revised. This is true even of some books which have been virtually repudiated by their own authors, for example, Mackey's "Symbolism" and his "Landmarks." Masonic magazines are another efficient agency for keeping outmoded tales in circulation. These can rise no higher than their source, that is, the knowledge or ability of their editors and contributors, and that is often poor. None of these things is very creditable to the publishers, but, evidently, the Craft is not discriminating to the point where it demands anything better. There are probably ten purchasers of books and magazines to one who is a judge of good literature.


One of the commonest misapprehensions about Freemasonry is that which assumes it to be scientifically compounded, homogeneous, and unchanging, so that, like a bar of steel, it will exhibit a crosssection at one time or place identical with that at any other time or place. But Freemasonry is not a simple substance; it is not a standard branded article made under a registered formula; it is not homogeneous; and it is not unalterable. It is rather a mixture of many elements, stirred in at widely separated times by men of different abilities and purposes and without collaboration or a common goal. It is a development or an accumulation rather than a creation. It is the work of many hands, each with a different touch and of many minds of varying talents. It is the result of changes which have


occurred from time to time and from place to place and, hence, one of the principal difficulties in defining Freemasonry.

The fabric of Freemasonry may be likened to a patchwork in which occasional pieces are missing, others have not worn well, and some have been sewed in where they do not exactly fit. This is quite noticeable in the rituals where, not only are there considerable divergencies among the 100 or more Grand Jurisdictions, but, in each of them, there are inconsistencies, anachronisms, and incongruities as the result of additions, elisions, and emendations, the multiplication of which is still in progress.

One of the most remarkable peculiarities of Masonic writers and orators is the habit of repeating, over and over, some time-worn phrase or supposed axiom which only a little reflection or study would dissipate. One or two of these may be considered here. We are told, times without number, that Masonry is fixed and unchangeable, and that any alteration in it is forbidden. We do not, however, find any such doctrine in the Gothic Constitutions or in those of 1723 or in the later Charges or Regulations of the premier Grand Lodge. The Masons of the Revival made quite extensive modifications in, and additions to, both law and ritual. The doctrine of immutability was of later importation and was, in and of itself, a change. It seems to have resulted from careless reading. On June 24, 1723, the Grand Lodge resolved:

"That it is not in the power of any person, or body of men, to make any Alteration, or Innovation in the Body of Masonry without the Consent first obtained of the Annual Grand Lodge."

This plainly implies that an alteration or innovation can be made by, or with the consent of the Annual Grand Lodge, but, in the course of time, the qualifying phrase was overlooked and the belief became current that, as later stated by Preston, "No man or body of men can make any alteration in the Body of Masonry." To this day, the installed Master of a lodge is required to give his assent to that proposition, which never was adopted as a general rule of Freemasonry. It crept in through the Prestonian lectures and became generally accepted largely as the result of misinformation. It reached its extreme ascendency in the 19th century "landmarks," and Mackey went so far as to say that his particular version and concept of the landmarks could never be changed even by one jot or tittle!

Corollary to the foregoing, we find the reiteration that, "There is but one simple Ancient Craft Masonry, which is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore." If that be so, how strange it is that no one


seems able to tell us what it is! The very term, "Ancient Craft Masonry," is a misnomer arising from the belief, formerly held, that the Three Degrees, Grand Lodges, and Grand Masters had existed from the time of King Solomon, at least, and that the society had enjoyed an unbroken career from those times to the present under a succession of Grand Masters. In the 18th century, Masons referred to themselves as "Noachidae," that is, Sons of Noah, but this name is no longer heard. The term, "Ancient Craft Masonry," was used up to the last half of the 19th century to describe the society as having originated prior to the Christian era. Though this notion has been discredited for over half a century, the term as well as the whole idea is still occasionally heard, and we must continue to bear up under the exuberances and extravagances of Masonic orators exemplified by the following:

"In the very dawn of time, ere men had emerged from tribal relations, before the races were fixed and scattered over the earth, the sound of the Mason's labor disturbed the quiet of the wilderness. Even then these ceremonies were in vogue, and continued into historic times. . . . This Fraternity was old when the soldiers of Caesar landed on the shores of Britain; old when Alexander carried the civilization of Asia to Europe; it antedated Rome and Athens, the years of Confucius, Buddha, David and Solomon, and who can know but the Grand Master of long ago may have tested with plumb and level the foundations of the Pyramids. . . . My Brethren, more than 30 centuries of its matchless achievements look down upon you. . . . Through all these changes and varied strata of social, political and religious organization, running through ages of time, Masonry has remained unchanged and unchangeable." (Bro. Harry Parsons, Grand Lodge of Montana, October 6, 1915.)

"From out a period dating back thirty centuries beyond the beginning of the Christian era, it existed during the childhood of the race, when man carved from blocks of flint his rude weapons of defense. . . . [Masonry] stood sponsor for, and was the sole witness to the contract when God made His covenant with Abraham." (Grand Orator, Grand Lodge of North Carolina, 1917.)

When Abraham "offered his hand in double marriage first of all to the Egyptian Princess Hagar . . . and later to Sarah the Hittite Princess was inaugurated the first great international treaty of the world, and one w ich, humanly speaking, was nothing more or less than the real birthd9y of Masonry." (Grand Chaplain, Grand Lodge of Quebec, 1917.)

"In the morning of time, in the gray dawn of civilization, Masonry became the guardian of light and truth, of tolerance and justice, of equality and brotherhood." (Past Grand Master Hanna of Indiana, 1918.)

Such effusions have given way but reluctantly to the march of truth and realism and they still appear occasionally, but, doubtless, in the course of time, "Ancient" will drop out of "Craft Masonry" leaving


the latter to indicate that Masonry which, though considerably modified, derived from the stonemasons' craft and fraternity of the Middle Ages. The similar term, "Ancient York Rite," has been contracted to "York Rite" to indicate the legendary and, to some extent, the factually supported original center of English Freemasonry.


The same idea of fixation was embodied in the so-called Ancient Landmarks, an innovation introduced about the middle of the 19th century, and, of which, Mackey was the chief exponent and disseminator. They set the Craft agog and swept almost a score of American Grand Lodges off their feet into a maelstrom of confusion. The purport of these landmarks was to define Freemasonry, not in all its minute details, but as to its fundamental and indispensable elements. But they contained two main defects: Many of them were not ancient, as Mackey, himself, discovered and announced a few years later, and some were not true either in ancient or in modern times. So, from the very first, sharp divergences of opinion arose, which, instead of diminishing, became aggravated as the years passed and more and more players took hands in the game, until, at present, there are more than forty purported definitions of landmarks and no less than a score of individual lists, all different. Now, considering that each of these lists is supposed to state the fundamental character, doctrine, and laws of Freemasonry and to be so fixed and everlasting that the several propositions have always existed and must continue to exist forever, unchanged by time and untouched by human hands, we have as complete an impasse as it would be possible to devise.

The idea that Freemasonry or anything else of human origin has always been, and must always remain the same is obviously absurd. As no legislature can bind the hands of its successors, so no man or generation can prescribe the course which later men or generations must follow. The illusion of fixation has attracted and disappointed men of all ages and countries who have attempted to set up institutions that would not fail and monuments that would not crumble. The laws of the Medes and of the Persians which could suffer no change have long since disintegrated. Nothing human is immutable; all earthly institutions change; society flows on as a great river; and constant variation is the law of life. That is what makes progress; that is what makes history.


Nothing could be more dreary and insufferable than a society, ei8

ther private or general, which, like a stagnant pool, was denied the infusion of new ideas, but monotonously remained the same generation after generation. All of the advantages of modern civilization have come through change. The advent of Christianity was a change; the Reformation was a change; the invention of the steam locomotive and the steamship, the incandescent electric light, the typewriter, radio and television were changes; the bacterial theory of disease and the discovery of antiseptics were changes; the discovery of America, the adoption of the Constitution of the United States, and the abolition of slavery were changes. Change occurs every day in the lives of all of us and in the society about us.

Freemasonry changes and, strange as it may be, those who have been the most vigorous exponents of fixation have often been the most active innovators.

Freemasonry is, in some degree, shaped by developments in the larger society which surrounds it and of which it forms a part, for, alter all, the Craft consists of men, successive generations of whom come into the order bringing with them ideas which they do not readily relinquish. They are all engaged in various occupations and activities about which they are more concerned than they are about Freemasonry. They have their friends and associates without, as well as within, the society; they are immersed in business, industry, and the professions by which they make their livings, to which they devote most of their time, and on the problems of which they spend most of their thought and energy. They have acquired many religious, social, political, and economic ideas from their parents, and they gain others by observation and experience. They exhibit the virtues, frailties, passions, desires, motives, and reactions common to men of their standing. In short, they are something more than mere Freemasons. They bring ideas into the Fraternity quite as much as they take Masonic principles out. Changing social institutions, advances in the arts, sciences, literature, industry, commerce, standards of living, concepts of morality, the settlement of new territory, the establishment of new governments or changes in old ones, war, peace, prosperity, depression) and the general onrush of current history all affect Freemasonry.

It was the prosperity, power, and influence of the Church of Rome and the erection of its numerous and magnificent cathedrals, abbeys, churches, and other buildings which placed the Freemasons among the most remarkable builders of all times; it was the Lutheran Reformation which stiffled those operations, sounded the death knell of


Gothic architecture, and cast the Fraternity into a decline from which it never recovered as an operative agency. Had that not occurred, doubtless, the present speculative or symbolic society would have remained unborn. Later, the English Reformation protected the Craft in that country from the persecution which it experienced in every Catholic land, and the liberty of the individual under the English Constitution allowed Freemasonry to thrive. The religious turmoil of the 17th century and the development of rationalism and deism, undoubtedly, influenced the Grand Lodge of England in its rejection of religious doctrine and in its assumption of a noncommittal attitude on sectarian distinctions. The formal elegance of the 18th century produced the Prestonian lectures. Christian sentiment brought the Holy Bible and the altar into the lodges.

The American Revolution and the development of constitutional government in the United States and the erection of numerous sovereign states resulted in the multiplication of Grand Lodges, in the emphasis placed on their sovereignty and isolation, in the American doctrine of exclusive territorial jurisdiction, in breaking down the old idea of "one Masonic family," in the elaboration of.Masonic law and jurisprudence, and in writing into the codes much of the language and some of the forms of political institutions. The 4th of July and Christmas gradually crowded out the observance of the Saints John Days, which were so nearly coincident with them.

The increasing revulsion of society against the liquor evil gradually expelled King Alcohol from the lodges and even out of the banquet halls and other parts of the buildings housing the lodges.

The patriotic fervor of World War I brought the Stars and Stripes into some lodges and Grand Lodges as a prescribed emblem or part of the furniture. Prosperity in the United States during the period 1927-29 produced an average net increase of over 44,000 Freemasons per year, but the Great Depression of the 1930s resulted in a net loss of membership in this country of 62,000 in the year 1932 alone. World War II brought to many lodges more applications than they could conveniently handle and required them to work three or four times per week. Each World War has encouraged a movement to relax or repeal the law of physical qualifications in favor of veterans who have become disabled in the service of their country.

Increasing population, especially that of the cities, has so swollen the membership rolls of some lodges that the spirit of brotherhood therein is only a theory, since many members of those lodges do not know one another even by name. The automobile, the cinema, radio,


television, and the faster tempo of life generally have done much to deprive the lodge of its former character as one of the few, if not the only place of diversion and recreation in the community.


At the present day, we find much uncertainty as to what Freemasonry is or means. Some call it a religion; others, merely religious. Some say its fundamental dogma is monotheism; others add immortality of the soul or even resurrection of the body; some consider it Christian; while still others aver that, fundamentally, it has no religious doctrine at all. Many think of it almost as a temperance society or one of pharisaic morality; others as a patriotic society to uphold the flag, the Constitution, and the public schools. Not a few regard it as a charitable or benevolent institution, at least, expecting it to care for them in old age. Some look upon the lodge as a holy place; others as merely a private room where the ceremonies may be performed in secrecy. Some never tire of the ritual and have mastered it so thoroughly that the least slip of a word or phrase gives pain; others are soon surfeited and care little to hear it oft repeated. Many take the ritual literally; others symbolically; while a few, with no thought about it either way, perfect themselves in its rendition in order to gain that eminence which comes from passing through the chairs. Some see all sorts of meanings in the symbols; others see only the symbols themselves. Some become immersed in the history of the Fraternity; others in its philosophy of life; and a few work out of it a fine and exalting spirituality. Some sense a strong bond of brotherhood; others find only a social club or place to meet for diversion; some merely scent the aroma of a dinner; while some find nothing whatever in the order and soon lose contact with it. Surely, if Freemasonry is a jewel, it is a diamond with many facets.


The above observations may be confined to Craft Masonry. But what of the forty odd degrees associated with, and regarded as an extensi~o}t or elaboration of it? Are the so-called higher degrees of the Yor1K and Scottish systems a part of Freemasonry? This item is one of the most perplexing in answering the question: What is Freemasonry? Let us examine the various tests which have been applied.

First: We are told that these higher degrees are not Masonic, because they are not recognized as such by Craft Grand Lodges. That is rather technical and insubstantial, for it means that what is not Ma

sonic today would become such by a mere resolution of a Grand Lodge, and, perhaps, would revert to its former status by a subsequent contrary resolution. The inadequacy of that test is disclosed when we observe that those degrees have been recognized by some Grand Lodges. In 1813, the United Grand Lodge of England recognized the Holy Royal Arch as a part of the Third Degree, and, though this work was afterwards placed under the control of the Grand Chapter and conferred separately, the three principal officers of the Grand Lodge are, ex officio, the three principals of the Grand Chapter. In 1856, the same Grand Lodge recognized the Mark Degree as Masonic, but reversed its action a few months later. So, in England, the Royal Arch is recognized and the Mark is not, being under a separate Mark Grand Lodge. In Scotland, the Mark is recognized and the Royal Arch also, though it once was not. In Ireland, both are deemed Masonic. In the United States, neither is generally recognized, though there are some exceptions and in recent years there has been a tendency to expand the zone of recognition.

We are told that the reason why there can be no degrees higher than the Third Degree is that an "ancient landmark" fixes the degrees irrevocably at just three, no more, no less. When and by what authority was such landmarks established? We find, in the pre-Grand Lodge era, but one simple ceremony, and, though some pretend to find traces of a second, there is no evidence of a third. The Constitutions of 1723, which are the foundation of all modern symbolic Masonry, clearly and explicitly recognize the Fellow Craft Degree as the highest at that time. So, the oldest "landmark" which anyone can identify would be one establishing a two-degree system. The Third Degree, formulated between 1723 and 1725, was not actually or officially promulgated or required to be conferred, so that, until the middle of that century, many lodges conferred but two degrees. This was true, also, in America. The first Constitutions adopted by the Grand Lodge of England reflecting the three-degree system were those of 1738. Accordingly, if Freemasonry can consist of no more and no lIss than three degrees, most of the lodges of the early 18th century, the Masons made therein, and the Grand Lodges which governed them must have been irregular!

It is also said that, to be Masonic, a degree must relate to the Temple Legend or the Hiramic Legend. But the First Degree does not, and some of the higher degrees do. The Mark Master and the Most Excellent Degrees of the York system are certainly Temple degrees, and the Scottish Rite degrees of Secret Master, Perfect Master, Elu of the Nine, and Elu of the Fifteen are strictly Hiramic.


While any Grand Lodge may determine, for its own jurisdiction, what is or is not Masonic, there is no test or means of determining the matter before us which will govern the Fraternity as a whole. National or local opinions and preferences will continue to have their effect no matter how denounced or repudiated by others.

It cannot be too carefully observed that Freemasonry will be or become what the great majority of the members think it is or want it to become, and it cannot exceed their aggregate average ability or capacity to conceive and carry out the purposes of the Order. The truth seems to be that the contents of Freemasonry are often influenced, if not controlled, by the general sentiment or belief among Masons. It was by that process that the Third Degree gradually became accepted, and, also, that the Royal Arch, Mark Master, and Scottish degrees became recognized in some quarters.

It must also be remembered that Freemasonry is shaped to some extent by the general society in which it exists. Its initiates are all taken from the body of the general public, which has long since decided that a 33rd Degree Mason or a Shriner is at the top of the Masonic ladder. The Master Mason often hurries on into the Chapter, Council, Commandery, Consistory, or Shrine, and invariably speaks of "going up" by the York or Scottish Rites. It is unrealistic to expect the Master Mason to regard as non-Masonic that which, as the holder of a higher grade, he regards as the very flower of Masonry. The leaders in one branch are often, if not generally, leaders in other branches, so that it is quite illogical to expect a Grand Master to think of the Scottish Rite as non-Masonic when, as a member of the Supreme Council, he holds the "33rd and last degree of Masonry," or for the Master of a lodge who is an officer in some of the other bodies to regard them as alien institutions. The Craft lodges and higher bodies often meet in the same temples, follow approximately the same laws, regulations, and customs, have interlocking officers and memberships, and take notice of one another's proceedings.

Illustrative of the manner in which the higher degrees creep imperceptibly into the closely guarded circle of Freemasonry in spite of the most ppsitive efforts to keep them out, there may be cited the example oi°the Grand Lodge of California, which is certainly a most conservative body, yet, for many years prior to about 1946, the Report of the Committee on Correspondence, printed in the Annual Proceedings, contained an appendix in which there was stated the composition of "American Freemasonry" as embracing the York Rite and the Scottish Rite, the former including the Symbolic, Capitular, Cryptic, and Templar degrees, conferred in the Lodge, Chapter, Council, and


Commandery, and the latter including the degrees conferred in the Lodge of Perfection, Chapter Rose Croix, Council of Kadosh, Consistory, and Supreme Council in the Southern Jurisdiction, to which was added the Council Princes of Jeruselem in the Northern Jurisdiction. This apparently struck no one in the Grand Lodge as being inappropriate or incorrect.


What is and what is not Freemasonry must depend on something more substantial and convincing than an arbitrary declaration, a supposed landmark, or an old legend. Were that all that shaped Freemasonry, it could hardly have lasted so long or be expected to endure. There must be something deeper and more sustaining in it, something that lifts us to a higher moral, spiritual, and intellectual level. There is, and much of it is found in the higher degrees.

Symbolically, the Third Degree declares its own abbreviation and incompletion, and it invites further search, offering only a substitute for that which is sought. The mere existence and perpetuation of the higher grades confirms the fact that Masons seek more light than the Craft degrees afford. Indeed, Craft Masonry has, to some extent, -shone by rays reflected from the higher degrees. An apology is sometimes made by saying that the higher degrees are not really higher but merely additional or collateral. It would be just as sensible to say that high school or college is not really higher than the elementary grades but only an addition to them. Just as the student, by his advancement, absorbs and understands more intricate instruction and broadens his comprehension and appreciation, so the Mason in reaching beyond the simple lessons of the Blue Lodge, finds opened up to him a richer curriculum of Freemasonry and gains a better grasp of its principles.

Freemasonry must present an abject spectacle if it attempts to limit the illustration or elaboration of its message by saying, "thus far shalt thou go, but no further." Such too closely similates a religious creed like that of the Church of Rome, which sets barriers against independent thought and progress.

.v         These higher Masonic degrees were inevitable; if they did not exist, it would be necessary to create them or something like them. Had they not been needed, they would have died a natural death. They can hardly be superfluous or unwarranted when there is an active demand for them; they offer symbolism and instruction and afford many Masons the opportunity for work not available in the Craft lodges.


Freemasonry cannot be measured by degrees or limited by artificial barriers. Masons, as all men, struggle toward the light; they burst the chains that would hold them in the shadow. Freemasonry must be tested by its power to raise men to loftier thoughts and ideals, to a finer spirituality, to a more practical charity, and to a more philanthropic life. The Fraternity cannot impose any numerical or quantitative limit upon such imponderables, but must say with Holmes:

"Build thee more stately mansions, O, my soul, As the swift seasons roll!

Leave thy low-vaulted past!

Let each new temple, nobler than the last

Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast, Till thou at length art free

Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's unresting sea!"


Enough has been said to show that it is not easy to answer the question, what is Freemasonry? If we include all that is commonly considered Masonic, ignoring technical distinctions, we have such a variety of doctrine, ritual, and organization that much said of one part will not fit others. The degrees as a whole are not logically or chronologically arranged, and those in juxtaposition are often the least related. The religion of one is taboo in others, and even Grand Lodges are not in accord as to what are the indispensable elements of Freemasonry.

Some have tossed off the assertions that "Freemasonry is a beautiful system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols," and that it is "a progressive science taught by degrees only." Such are aphorisms; not definitions, for other orders answer the same description. To define is to mark the limits or boundaries of a thing; to make distinct or fix its outline or character; to explain, expound, describe, or interpret it; to determine its significance; to distinguish; to set apart in a class by identifying marks. A definition must be mutually inclusive and exclusive; it must describe the peculiarities of the object inAuch manner as not only to include that object but to exclude all else.

No concise statement can satisfactorily perform that function for Freemasonry. It is so broad and complex that the only way to define it completely is to write a book about it. This is done in the pages before us, and, by a careful inspection of, and reflection upon, what appears herein, we may form a concept of Freemasonry which we may


not be able to condense enough to satisfy everybody. It will not do to begin with the society as we find it today, thinking retroactively and assuming that qualities of the present have always existed, a fallacy that has marred so much Masonic writing. Neither may we assume, as many have done, that Freemasonry has existed from ancient times. We must begin where some tangible facts appear either in written records of, or in preserved outside comment about the Fraternity.


Virtually all we know about the Freemasons prior to the year A.D. 1717 is contained in the Gothic Constitutions, dating back to about the year A.D. 1400 and containing the Old Charges and some seven simple legends; the minutes of lodges in Scotland, somewhat fragmentary, back to A.D. 1598-99; the minutes of two English lodges back to 1701 and 1705, respectively; and several private diaries and writings, to which may be added pretended exposes which, though made after 1717, are supposed to exemplify the old catechistical ritual.

The Gothic Constitutions were the base upon which Symbolic Masonry was erected, the Charges of a Free-Mason of 1723 being a rather faithful speculative modification of the operative code, except where the "expedient" alteration was made in the matter of religion. The General Regulations were new and quite detailed, and, it seems, were really considered more important than the Charges. It is sometimes said that the Grand Lodge of England is the mother of all other Grand Lodges, but this is inaccurate. It furnished the example followed by the Grand Lodges of Ireland and Scotland, which copied, to some extent, the Constitutions of 1723, but they were, in no other sense, daughters or offshoots of the Grand Lodge of England, nor were they in any way beholden to it for their authority. We know very little about the antecedents of the Grand Lodge of Ireland, but that of Scotland was constituted by lodges which antedated any lodge known in England by a little over a century.

Modern Freemasonry springs from the Gothic Constitutions, and ,A the further we depart from those documents or from a close speculative interpretation of them, the less likely are we to remain in the domain of Freemasonry.

The very earliest minute books disclose the presence of gentlemen or theoretics in the lodges. This element increased during the 17th century, and the Four Old Lodges which met to form the Grand Lodge of England in 1717 were undoubtedly composed mostly of


this class. To them, is due the preservation of the Society. We do not see clearly what there was in the simple legends, charges, and catechistical rituals of the 17th century to attract these theoretics. Indeed, they were not attracted in great numbers, for, though they probably outnumbered the operatives, it is not likely that there were more than 700 or 800 Freemasons all told in either England or Scotland at the end of the century, out of total populations of about 5,000,000 and 1,000,000, respectively. No marked popularity or prosperity of the Craft is indicated. It must have been the antiquity and honorable traditions of the society, together with feasting and merriment, which attracted gentlemen, even prominent ones, to affiliate. The "knife and fork" Mason of the present day need not be ashamed of his ancestry, for the activities of the lodges centered largely around the banquet table.

But the founders of the Grand Lodge saw that such was an inadequate foundation upon which to erect or maintain a permanent and influential organization. They saw the necessity for directing the Fraternity into symbolical, moral, and educational channels, unless it were to slip into desuetude for want of vision, inspiration, and instruction. Their efforts brought immediate and impressive results; members and lodges increased in numbers; the nobility patronized the society; and Freemasonry was soon disseminated, not only throughout Britain, but throughout the civilized world.

Just prior to 1717, Freemasonry exhibited the following characters:

(A) It was the remnant of a once more eminent and influential brotherhood of operative stonemasons, architects, and artisans, which had been kept alive in its later years very largely by the support of theoretic members who were attracted by its long career and honorable reputation and also by the opportunity it afforded for social recreation.

(B) It inculcated morality, brotherhood, mutual aid land assistance, and loyalty to government.

(C) It met in lodges, some of which, particularly, in Scotland, met at stated intervals and at fixed places and others of which assembled occasionally at the summons of the Master or by the concurrence of any five or six Masons, each lodge being governed by a Master, assisted by one or more Wardens.

(D) Members were not necessarily identified with a particular lodge, but were members of an entire fraternity, enjoying the same privileges and bearing the same obligations everywhere.


(E) The members were probably bound by a sworn obligation. (F) Certain mental, moral, and physical qualifications were necessary for admittance.

(G) The proceedings were secret, as were also certain signs and means of recognition.

(H) The lodges adhered to and based their ceremonies on the old Legends and Charges, which were inculcated by lectures of catechistical and somewhat symbolical character.

(1) The society was nominally Trinitarian Christian, but there is no indication that such was more than formal or that any religious belief was prerequisite to admittance.

(J) Feasting and drinking played a prominent part in the meetings, continuing even during the ceremonies of admitting candidates.


The changes effected by the Grand Lodge in the six years 17171723 were:

(A) The Grand Lodge, headed by a Grand Master, was formed as a central governing body, and, though its jurisdiction was at first limited to London and Westminster, its growth was rapid and its prestige and authority expanded.

(B) Stated Annual and Quarterly Communications were scheduled, the latter consisting of the Grand Officers and the Masters and Wardens of lodges, all Masons being privileged to attend the Annual Assembly and Grand Feast, but having no voice or vote, except by special consent of the Grand Master.

(C) Authority to allow the formation of new lodges was vested solely in the Grand Master.

(D) The Charges were codified into new Charges and General Regulations, following the old Charges so far as they applied to speculative purposes.

(E) Lodges abandoned all pretense of regulating the building trade, but adapted the working tools, regulations, tenets, and customs of the operative Craft to a purely symbolic, moral society.

(F) Degrees, rituals, and lectures and, possibly a new legend, were formulated.

(G) The society abandoned its nominal adherence to Trinitarian Christianity and obligated its members merely to obey the moral law, to be good men and true, men of honor and honesty.

THE DECADE 1730-1740

A number of very important and far-reaching events and developments took place during the decade 1730-1740 as follows:


(A) Martin Clare published his "Defense of Masonry" which gives us some insight into the character of Masonry of that period.

(B) Lodges and Provincial Grand Lodges were established in Europe and America, and several lodges were warranted even as far away as India.

(C) The Grand Lodges of Ireland and Scotland were erected in 1730 and 1736, respectively.

(D) The Chevalier Andrew Michael Ramsay, at Paris in 1737, in a charge to some candidates, placed a new interpretation on Freemasonry.

(E) The Grand Lodge at London changed or switched some of the passwords in the degrees.

(F) Dr. James Anderson issued the second edition of his Constitutions in 1738.

(G) Pope Clement XII issued the first Bull against the Freemasons in 1738.

(H) The fabrication of Hauts Grades was well under way by 1740.


The Old Charges suffered less alteration at the hands of the Speculatives than did the Legends. Though the latter were plainly nothing but legends, displaying anachronisms and other inaccuracies, the Speculatives, not only accepted them at face value, but expanded them by adding details retracing the footsteps of the society back to the Flood or even to the Creation, and conferring Grand Masterships on almost every prominent figure in history from Moses down to Sir Christopher Wren, who, though their contemporary, probably was not a Freemason. This fallacy was invited by the synonymous and interchangeable use of the terms, "Masonry" and "Geometry" in the Old Legends, so that Anderson, Preston, Hutchinson, Oliver, Morris, Mitchell, Mackey, and every other Masonic writer, prior to about 1860, either intentionally or thoughtlessly, ignored the distinction and assumed that the antiquity of Geometry necessarily indicated the equal antiquity of Freemasonry.

This,Aad a profound and lasting effect upon the whole literature, ritual, and doctrine of the society, filling all of them with the theme of extreme antiquity and leading every Masonic organization and rite to claim as early an origin as possibly could be asserted and much earlier than could be proved. "Ancient" became a word to conjure with. It was used in the title of the Constitutions of 1723; it was employed by the junior Grand Lodge of 1751 to indicate a primacy of doctrine over that of its older rival; it appeared in the title of the


Irish Book of Constitutions of 1751; it was assumed by the Scottish Rite in 1801; and it soon became imbedded in the form, "Ancient Craft Masonry" or "Ancient York Masonry."

Bible scholars of early days having calculated from the text of the Hebrew Scriptures that the Creation occurred 4,000 to 4,004 years before Christ (it was at least 50,000,000 and probably 2,000,000,000 years), Masonic chronology was formed by adding 4,000 to the current era, thus, A.D. 1946 becomes A.L. (anno lucis) 5946.

Royal Arch Masons dated from the erection of the Second Temple, 530 B.C., thus, making the year A.D. 1946 become A.I. (anno inventionis) 2476.

Knights Templar were disposed to believe that their order dated from the foundation of the Medieval Order in A.D. 1118, so that that number is subtracted from the current year making A.D. 1946 become A.0. (anno ordensis) 828.

Royal and Select Masters date from the completion of Solomon's Temple and the deposit of the Ark of the Covenant in 1000 B.C., thus, making A.D. 1946 become A.DEP. (anno depositionis) 2946.

Mark Masonry symbolically goes back to 2000 B.C. and the Order of High Priesthood, to 1913 B.C.

The Scottish Rite dates from the Creation, but, using Hebrew chronology, fixes that event at 3760 B.C., so that, instead of A.D. 1946, it uses A.M. (anno mundis) 5706, though such year, like the Jewish year, begins on March 1.

So deeply has the idea of antiquity permeated Masonic thinking that it always has been, and still is comparatively easy to circulate stories of Masons and Masonry in any remote era or in any strange land, even among uncivilized or partly civilized peoples.



The Gothic Legends, even the Temple Legend, were cursory, so that there was little material at hand for a ritual. It was apparently intended that two degrees would suffice, for the Constitutions of 1723 make it clear that the Fellow Craft was of the highest rank, except .gone installed as Master of a lodge. Such system conformed to operative practice whereby the Apprentices and Fellows constituted the bulk of the Craft, Masters being comparatively few. But the Grand Lodge, itself, furnished the example and set the precedent for the numerous higher degrees and orders by instituting the Third Degree about 1723-25, which must have caused a sensation and possibly aroused some resentment. Here was a degree apparently designed to


confer a rank theretofore belonging only to the Master of a lodge, and it would be odd if the old Masters and Past Masters failed to take this as an affront. Moreover, the character, Hiram Abif, unknown to the Old Legends, was introduced, and the new work was further set apart by being initially confined to the Grand Lodge. That cast doubt upon its regularity, though it was released to the lodges two years later, in 1725. Thereafter for some years, the Third Degree remained in an uncertain status, for many lodges failed or refused to confer it, those which did being called Master's Lodges.

In 1738, Dr. Anderson published a second edition of his Constitutions, in which he sought to recognize the new system by substituting "Master Mason" for "Fellow Craft" as it appeared in the prior edition. Though this properly reflected the altered conditions, the work was otherwise unsatisfactory and soon dropped into disrepute. It was, however, rather faithfully copied to make the Irish Book of Constitutions of 1751. Hence, even after 1738, the Third Degree was not definitely approved by the Grand Lodge or required to be conferred. It seems to have won its place by its own merit and the general acquiescence of the Craft.


With matters in that state, an event occurred at Paris in 1737 which was trivial enough in itself but which almost immediately produced startling and lasting consequences. The oration of the Chevalier Andrew Michael Ramsay introduced or reflected for the first time the theory that Freemasonry was not at all the outgrowth of architecture, building, or stonemasonry but originated as a knightly order during the Crusades, its secrets being the watchwords of the military camps in Palestine. Prior to that time, Freemasonry had had no connection, legendary or otherwise, with feudalism, chivalry, the Crusades, or military operations of any kind. It belonged to an entirely different stratum of society, for, though it admitted to its ranks some of the nobility, its whole theme was based on the operative art, and the nobles thus accepted did not seek to elevate the Craft to their social grade but, on the contrary, consented to take their places on the leAA-l of a tradesmen's brotherhood.

Ramsay's theory of the Scots Masters who, while exploring the underground vaults and crypts of ruined churches and temples in the Holy Land, had discovered the old, original, and true secrets of Freemasonry, immediately inspired the French brethren with a zeal that spread as a conflagration. More than a hundred degrees exemplifying


chivalric and related themes sprang up in France and spread to other parts of the Continent. It was one of the most momentous movements in the history of the Fraternity.

Not as French or Continental degrees, but as English degrees founded on those ideas, the Royal Arch Degree and the Royal Order of Scotland appeared in the Islands as early as 1743-1744, followed, some uncertain number of years later, by the Order of Knights Templar and the Order of Malta, the latter two being Chivalric Christian.

The period 1717-1751, though of great interest and importance, witnessing, as it did, so many changes and developments, is, nevertheless, a period of considerable obscurity, because of the scarcity of records and the almost complete lack of any Masonic literature. The indications are that the activities of the lodges were still largely social and that the content of Freemasonry was uninspiring. To this, is added the fact that the Grand Lodge, if it did not maintain a censorship on Masonic publications, certainly, discouraged any public communications respecting its nature or affairs.

What, then, had Freemasonry become by 1751?

(A) It was a symbolic derivation from the operative Fraternity of Freemasons, basing its Constitutions and symbolism upon their Charges, customs, working tools, and terminology, though it was now completely speculative, the old laws and customs having been considerably amended and, in some respects, abandoned.

(B) It still inculcated morality, brotherly love, mutual aid and assistance, and loyalty to civil government.

(C) It still met in lodges, but these had become warranted lodges meeting at fixed times and places and presided over by Masters and Wardens elected for definite terms.

(D) Members were now more identified with a particular lodge, though visitation was permitted and the rights and obligations of general membership in a common fraternity were recognized.

(E) Initiates were bound by a sworn obligation.

(F) Certain mental, moral, and physical qualifications were still required of candidates.

(G) Secrecy was maintained as before.

(H) Legends, lectures, and charges were still used, but three degrees had been formulated, including one new legend, and most of the Gothic Legends had been dropped, except for slight traces of some of them remaining in the ritual.

(1) Religious neutrality had displaced Trinitarian Christianity,


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though, toward the close of the period, indications of Christian doctrine began to appear and belief in God was probably somewhat generally but unofficially accepted.

(J) Lodges were under the government of Grand Lodges in England, Ireland, and Scotland; one had probably been established in France; and the Ancient Grand Lodge of England was about to be formed. Provincial Grand Masters had been warranted in Germany and America.

(K) There had been grafted, upon the stem of Craft Masonry, numerous higher degrees, partly in elaboration of the Legend of the Third Degree, but elaborately exemplifying a new chivalric theme reflecting a supposed origin of the Society in the Crusades and asserting the possession of deeper Masonic secrets.

Thus, by the middle of the 18th century, Freemasonry had changed considerably from what it was in 1723. It had grown vertically and horizontally; vertically, by the addition of degrees, and, horizontally, by migration into various and distant parts of the world. Within the comparatively short space of thirty-five years, the society had changed from operative to speculative, had altered its nominal religious affiliation, had dropped most of the Gothic Legends, had adopted a new one, had brought the lodges under control of national Grand Lodges, had created the rank of Master Mason distinct from that of Master of a lodge, had sustained the addition of numerous higher degrees and orders, and, lastly, had experienced a tremendous growth in membership, popularity, and dispersion.


The complexity of Freemasonry continued to increase during the rest of the century; Hants Grades multiplied; a new system of dissemination by patent was invented; a serious division of authority was created; deep seated discord split the Fraternity; the literature of the Craft began to expand and to become richer; and the American Revolution resulted in the erection of new Grand Lodges which were to exceed, in both membership and constituent lodges, those of the rest of the world combined.

A pyrotechnic display like bursting rockets releasing clusters of brilliantly colored rites, degrees, and orders illumined the Continental sky. So many Hauts Grades sprang up that historians have despaired of even enumerating them. Some became bones of contention over which the Grand Lodge of France, the Grand Orient of France, the Knights of the East, and the Emperors of the East and West quar


reled until the French Revolution put an end to the chaos by virtually putting an end to the Fraternity in that country. But, when the bloody Reign of Terror was over and the lodges, chapters, councils, and consistories reopened, old feuds revived, and new ones were kindled.

In Germany, the Strict Observance with the mystery and allurement of its Unknown Superior held minds in thraldom until the absurdity and fraud became too apparent to be ignored. The superiority of the Templar rites and other Hauts Grades was widely accepted on the Continent, and mere Master Masons were regarded, and often regarded themselves as plebeians subject to the overlordship of the nobility and high state and military officers who possessed the aristocratic titles conferred by various councils, chapters, and consistories.

One of the most serious departures from the British system was the practice of empowering an individual by patent to carry on and about his person the prerogative, not only to confer degrees, but to authorize others to do so and even to set up chapters and councils. The results of this were both good and evil; they were good insofar as, by Morin's patent of 1761 and by other patents emanating directly or indirectly therefrom, the Rite of Perfection was brought to America where it was reformed in 1801 into the present Scottish Rite. Thus, was the demoralized French system rejuvenated and committed into the hands of some of the ablest of Masons, John Mitchell, Frederick Dalcho, Albert G. Mackey, and Albert Pike. In consequence, it became the most widely dispersed of the two great systems of Freemasonry. The patent system was bad, however, in many respects, as exemplified by the half-century of discord and confusion which followed the introduction of the Rite of Perfection in New York by means of the Bideaud and Cerneau patents and the propagation of the Rite by like means, until numerous dissident and contentious bodies arose, traces of which remained for many years after peace was ostensibly established in 1867.


The principle that lodges could exist only by warrant from a Grand Lodge and were subject to the government of the Grand Lodge had no more than become thoroughly established than the large and influential group of chapters, councils, and consistories of the higher degrees arose to dispute the proposition. These were independent of Grand Lodges and, indeed, often considered themselves superior thereto, the only restraint upon them being the fact that their mem


bers were members of lodges under Grand Lodges. But even this limitation upon them was soon eliminated, for these bodies, themselves, took charge of the Craft Degrees and, hence, became, or claimed to be completely autonomous. If this was not, in itself, a schism, through ill management, it produced schism on the Continent of Europe, and, by a coincidence, it ran concurrently with the estrangement between the two Grand Lodges in England, with which it had no real connection. The Scots Masters, who claimed possession of secrets unknown to Master Masons, assumed precedence, not only over Master Masons, but even over the Masters of lodges, remained covered in the lodges, submitted to discipline only by Scots Master's lodges, and, eventually, came to elect the officers, and direct the affairs of the ordinary lodges of Master Masons. Even the sovereignty of the Grand Lodge of France was questioned and menaced. That body, never too democratic, gradually became composed solely of Masters of Paris lodges, many of whom were Masons ad vitam and virtually proprietors of their lodges, treating them as their personal property. Thus, the government of the symbolic Craft was concentrated in a few hands, and those hands often controlled one or another group of Hauts Grades. All of the Grand Bodies were managed by chambers or committees, the rank and file of the Craft having no voice.

Yet, there was much sentiment for the separation of Craft and Chivalric Masonry, so that, when the Grand Lodge and Grand Orient of France separated in 1773, each, at first, thought to confine itself to the Three Degrees, but, in a few years, each was in possession of higher grades, either directly or through a council or chapter. Scarcely had the Grand Lodge and the Grand Orient consolidated in 1799, thereby promising some stability, when De Grasse-Tilly arrived from America with his 33rd degree patent, empowering him to establish Supreme Councils of the Scottish Rite. Thereupon, a new series of contests began.

The idea of higher degrees having gained headway in the British Isles and in America, though with less extravagence and display than on the Continent, there resulted some forty degrees and orders in addition to the Craft Degrees, and these were embraced in four separate Masonic governments outside of, and in addition to the Grand Lodges. This posed a problem, for Grand Lodges cannot consistently regulate, under the rules of Masonry, that which they do not recognize as Masonic. They have often felt the need for exercising such authority, but have recoiled from the consequent implied recognition,


so that the consensus is that Grand Lodges can reach these higher bodies only by regulating the conduct of the individual Master Masons who compose them.


All the while these new systems of Masonic degrees and government were developing, Craft Masonry was divided in England and, to some extent, in the American Colonies, between two rival Grand Lodges. In addition to those bodies, which contended for place during the sixty-two years following 1751, three lesser lights sought to shine in England, but were soon extinguished. One of the Four Old Lodges, Antiquity, was erased from the roll of the Grand Lodge of England, and its exponent, William Preston, who had rendered invaluable service to Masonry, was suspended, all over a very trivial incident. The Grand Lodges of Ireland and Scotland displayed commendable conservatism and stability, but, all together, the last half of the 18th century was marked by disaffection and dissent.

Conditions in the Anglo-Saxon countries were, however, quite different from those on the Continent of Europe. The premier Grand Lodge pursued the even tenor of its way, apparently unperturbed by the pelting which Dermott administered with every verbal missile he could lay his tongue to, and the rivalry probably stimulated the growth of both bodies. When they united in 1813, they remained one body, without the slightest threat of a relapse. But before their separation was ended, the fortunes of both were diminished by the loss of the rich Masonic field in the American Colonies where Masonic bodies followed the example of political independence. That process was accompanied by the introduction into Masonic law of many principles reflected from republican, constitutional, and political government.


Considering how much there was to write about, Masonic literature of the late 18th century was pitifully small, though what there was of it was not unworthy. Preston was a literary craftsman; IVtchinson, a spiritual philosopher of the type of Krause in Germany, followed and surpassed him. There was an awakening of speculation, reflection, and theorizing, obviously laudable, but dangerous in a society which pretends to be "the same yesterday, today, and forevermore." When men begin to think and to write, they necessarily change things. Though Schroeder and Fessler in Germany may be

called conservatives, others were urging new theories not calculated to make for fixation. Chivalric and mystical origins of Freemasonry were suggested. A Frenchman had stumbled onto facts which pointed to an operative origin of the society, but the French were self-centered and concerned with their national affairs, so that it was left to the Germans, led by Vogel, to develop the theory. The Germans remained, for almost a century, far in advance of other national groups in the grasp of the philosophy of Freemasonry and in efforts to explain its origin.

Then, the ancient Pagan Mysteries arose ghostlike to haunt the Fraternity, and Rosicrucianism and Hermeticism enveloped all in clouds of mystical and alchemical vapors, so that Masonic symbolism was treated with such imagination and distortion as scarcely to be recognizable as Masonic, and the Fraternity's obvious architectural and geometrical attributes and background were all but entirely submerged.


British Freemasonry was a tree which, when transplanted in other soils, did well or poorly according to the talents of the husbandsmen. It grew true to species wherever the Anglo-Saxon carried and cared for it; but, though it flourished and even grew rampant on the Continent of Europe, it there brought forth strange fruit. From the grafting of the Ramsay bud, there sprouted so many variant branches that the old stock was all but completely obscured. Knightly and princely panoply, followed by political machinations and personal animosities, brought endless discord and confusion, so that the fortunes of the Craft ebbed and flowed with the tides that swept in, or swept out monarchies, republics, directories, consulships, and empires. The French never really understood British Freemasonry. They were ambitious, contentious, and lacking in humility and good taste; the lodges were either socialistic or aristocratic; the Grand Bodies were arbitrary, bureaucratic, quarrelsome, and servile to those from time to time in control of the nation. Rebold (p. 412), quoting a German writer, says:

"Englishmen look upon Freemasonry with veneration, Germans with awe. Frenchmen adopted it without a thought, but with ardor; and soon it became with them a play-thing on account of certain pomps; they surrounded it with a cloak of chivalry; they loaded it with multi-colored ribands or ultra-antique ceremonies; and if we seek the deepest and most serious signification of these usages, we only meet with means conducive


to extreme culture; whilst the English and Germans have at all times regarded Masonry as a means to perfect the spirit and heart; this is why it has degenerated in France. In that country Lodges sprout up like mushrooms, but they die out as quickly."

Religious matters played queer pranks. Although the French lodges were surrounded by Roman Catholicism, opposition from the Church seems to have occasioned no major difficulty, largely because French monarchs, though Catholic, were strong rulers, not puppets of the Church. But, in Germany where the power of the Vatican had been broken more than two centuries before, religious and sectarian differences, particularly, the Jewish question, plagued the Fraternity up to the time when Hitler obliterated both the lodges and the Jews. Strangely enough, he classed them both together, blaming each for the faults of the other.

By the early 19th century, the predominance of English-speaking Freemasonry was clearly predictable, not by reason of the wide expance of the British Empire, nor, yet, because of the vigorous growth of the American Republic, but rather as the quiet operation and inevitable effect of Anglo-Saxon organizational and administrative ability. Nowhere else was there such disposition to reconcile differences for the welfare of the whole and to minimize that dissidence which is inevitable in every large body of men. In English-speaking countries generally, the career of Masonry was more orderly and prosperous than elsewhere, and there was again and again displayed that talent or knack of making things work to a desirable fruition, whether it was a political government or a private society.

Though, in France, strife between the Hauts Grades and Craft Masonry lasted for about three-quarters of a century, in England and America, the Royal Arch, the Royal Order of Scotland, the Mark Master, Past Master, and Most Excellent Master Degrees and the Orders of the Red Cross, Knights Templar, and Knights of Malta, and even the Royal and Select Master Degrees were associated with Craft Masonry, all with so little ado that neither the times nor places of their affiliations can be more than approximated.

I+1 may be said that there was, for years, as much turmoil in the Scottish Rite in America as there had been in France, and this is almost, though not quite true. Such was implicit in the patent system, but American genius for organization took the French material with all its defects and made it over into one of the greatest and best administered and most prosperous systems in the whole Masonic gal


axy. The mother Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite was located, not in Europe, but in America, and the whole world of Scottish Masonry quaffed at the fountain which flowed at Charleston, South Carolina.

English-speaking Freemasonry always preserved its democratic quality, though the government of the English Craft was, at times, likely to be somewhat personal to a noble Grand Master such as the Duke of Sussex, in whose behalf, it must be recalled, that he presided over a United Grand Lodge composed of elements which had been rivals for over sixty years.

In America, men were preoccupied with events attending and following the Revolution, and, after the peace, with organizing a rapidly expanding population nervously migrating into new states and territories. Freemasonry kept pace with civil progress, so that, by 1813, though there were but eighteen states, there were nineteen Grand Lodges, and lodges had begun to meet in eight territories soon to become states. The development of law, the erection of civil institutions, and the study of constitutional principles occupied much of the popular thought and took hold of the minds of Masons, who, of course, were members of the general society. Instruction in Masonic customs. principles, procedures, and even degrees was scant, fragmentary, and unreliable, but everyone was more or less familiar with the fundamentals of free government and popular sovereignty. The rapid expansion of the Fraternity raised many questions which required orderly settlement, and many factual situations arose for which there were no precedents.

The effect was to lead Freemasons, quite naturally, to apply, to their problems, principles applicable to civil institutions. Therefore, they thought of having one and only one Grand Lodge in each state, and they began to speak of each Grand Lodge as sovereign just as each state was sovereign, until one writer, Mackey, advanced the idea that societies were but "empires, kingdoms, or republics in miniature." This was not true, of course, but it seemed axiomatic to the "sovereign, free-born American citizen." So, each jurisdiction became a principalsv and the "peer" of each other jurisdiction just as each citizen was the peer of each other citizen. Grand Masters and Grand Lodge committees looked for analogies in the civil law more than they did for precedents in Masonic regulations. So, American Freemasonry came under a new Masonic law modeled upon, and having all the rigidity of civil statutes and supported by sanctions corre


spondingly severe. The lack of precedent or even of rationale of a rule did not retard its enforcement, though, on occasions when expediency dictated, the rules were qualified or ignored.

Then, it was conceived that the place which written constitutions occupied in political establishments should be filled by something of like character in Masonry, and the "ancient, universal, and immutable landmarks" were supplied, which, although supposedly immune from the slightest change, were termed "unwritten law." Masonic authors, as so many fox hunters, dashed over the Masonic landscape in quest for landmarks, bagging the most remarkable variety of game. The result was that American Freemasonry was divided into geographical fragments, each wrapped in bonds of legalism, and the old principles of universality, charity, brotherhood and one Masonic family were considerably obscured.

But there were beneficial results, for, with the exception of the deplorable anti-Masonic excitement of 1826-1840, no major strife disturbed Craft Masonry in this country, and, when that setback had spent its force, Freemasonry resumed its march, spreading through the Ohio and Mississippi Valleys, along the Gulf Coast, and across the Great Plains to the Pacific. State and national bodies of Capitular, Chivalric, and Cryptic Masonry were organized, and, with two great jurisdictions of Scottish Masonry, the Fraternity has here reached proportions, popularity, and esteem unequalled anywhere in the world and scarcely in all of the rest of the world combined.

Necessarily, the above picture is painted with a broad brush. Generalities are often misleading and it must be remembered that, in so large a subject, many exceptions exist to the principal current of events. Here, as in general history, tragic characters and sensational scenes often obscure our view of that quiet substratum of society which plods its weary way along, unheralded and unsung, but which is neither idle nor sterile. In both France and Germany, there were individuals and lodges understanding and adhering to the fundamental tenets of the order, and, especially, in the latter where there persisted a strong and influential element resisting all allurements of pomp )nd glory. It is equally true that dissident elements, at times, disturbed the American Craft, but they were local and transient and insufficient to mar the general picture.


Though, in general, Freemasonry retains the form which it had assumed by the middle of the 19th century, gradual and considerable


changes have come over it in the past 100 years. One of the most notable was the revolution in Masonic historiography during the quarter-century between 1860 and 1885. Books written in the 1850s were obsolete in the 1860s, and the so-called ancient landmarks, so confidently proposed in the earlier period, soon began to disintegrate in the pitiless light which disclosed that much of what had been considered ancient was modern; the universal was local; the fixed was movable; and the unwritten was written. By the close of the century, the old idea that Freemasonry was of patriarchal origin or coeval with the Creation had been abandoned, except by the most imaginative and prejudiced.

The reign of law and regularity was firmly established and the Grand Lodge system, including the American Doctrine of Exclusive Jurisdiction, was recognized practically everywhere, so that schismatic disruption approached the vanishing point, and even the claim of Scottish Masonry to control of the first Three Degrees was dropped, except where no Craft bodies existed. In most quarters, the Fraternity settled down to a life of peace, prosperity, and growth, and, indeed, expanded so rapidly in recent decades that, in the minds of many, it greatest problem was of assimilation or education.

The growth of the concordant degrees and orders of the York and Scottish Rites followed, in somewhat due proportion, that of Craft Masonry.

In addition to the well-known bodies of the York and Scottish Rites, there have gradually become attached to Freemasonry a great number and variety of organizations limiting their memberships to Master Masons or their female or minor relatives. The principal examples are:

Bodies of More or Less Traditional Masonic Character, Conferring Secret Degrees

1. Allied Masonic Degrees, College of, including the eight following:

a. Bath, Order of;

b. Grand College of Rites (reprints old rituals); c.            oly Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests; d.            night Masons, Order of;

e. Operative Masons, Society of; f. Royal Ark Mariner;

g. York Cross of Honour (limited to those who have presided over a lodge, chapter, council, and commandery of the York Rite);


h. Ye Ancient Order of Corks (fun and refreshment);

2. Anointed High Priests, Convention of, or Anointed High Priesthood, Order of (limited to High Priests and Past High Priests of Royal Arch Chapters) ;

3. Anointed Kings, Council of ("Silver Trowel"); 4. Ark and Dove;

5. Builders, Order of; 6. Desmons, Order of; 7. Good Samaritan, Order of;

8. Great Priory of America C.B.C.S. (Rite of Strict Observance);

9. Jesters (attached to the Mystic Shrine); 10. Knight and Heroine of Jericho;

11. Knight Mason of Ireland; 12. Knight of Constantinople; 13. Knight of the three Kings; 14. Mediterranean Pass;

15. Mystic Shrine, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the (limited to Knights Templar and 32nd Degree Masons);

16. Nine Muses, Council of;

17. Oriental Shrine of North America; 18. Palm and Shell;

19. Perfect Craftsman, The;

20. Priestly Order of the Temple; 21. Rams, Loyal Order of;

22. Red Cross of Constantine;

23. Red Cross, Imperial and Ecclesiastical Order of; 24. Royal Masonic Rite;

25. Royal Order of Scotland;

26. Sciots, Ancient Egyptian Order of; 27. Secret Monitor, Order of the;

28. Societas Rosicruciana; 29. Sword of Bunker Hill; 30. Tall Cedars of Lebanon; 31 ,. Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm (Grotto).

Literary and College Societies

1. Acacia Fraternity (college);

2. Blue Friars, Society of (Masonic authors); 3. Gamma Alpha Pi (college) ;

4. Philalethes Society (Masonic students-authors);


5. Sigma Mu Sigma (college).

Masonic Clubs

1. Heroes of '76 (attached to National Sojourners); 2. High Twelve International (luncheon club);

3. Hiram International (luncheon club); 4. Low Twelve Club or Low Twelvians; 5. Masonic Veterans Association;

6. National Federated Craft;

7. National League of Masonic Clubs; 8. National Sojourners (military);

9. Officers and Past Officers Associations;

10. Past Illustrious Masters of Councils of Royal and Select Masters;

11. Past Masters Associations; 12. Square and Compass Clubs; 13. Thrice Illustrious Masters of Councils of Royal and Select Masters;

14. Travellers, The;

15. True Kindred of the United States and Canada.

Women's, Girls' and Boys' Orders

1. Amaranth, Order of the (women); 2. Beauceant, Order of the (women); 3. Beatitudes, Order of the (women); 4. Daughters of the Desert (women); 5. Daughters of Mokana (women);

6. Daughters of Osiris (women);

7. Daughters of the Eastern Star (girls); 8. Daughters of the Nile (women);

9. DeMolay, Order of (boys);

10. Eastern Star, Order of the (women); 11. Golden Chain, Order of the (women); 12. Job's Daughters, International Order of (girls); 13. Mason's Wife and Daughter (women);

14. Rainbow, Order of the (girls) ;

15. White Shrine of Jerusalem (women).

Even the above list, containing 73 separate orders, societies and associations, is not complete.

The degrees of the York and the Scottish Rites are, by tradition and by substance, more closely related to Craft Masonry than the


others above named, and they purport to continue, embellish, illustrate, and broaden Craft teachings. They all have enthusiastic participants many of whom become so attached to these ceremonies and precepts that they virtually lose contact with their Blue Lodges, except for the mere retention of membership. These appendant degrees have, however, conferred inestimable benefits on Masonry, for the Craft degrees alone, in all probability, would never have attained their wide popularity without the aid of these complementary ceremonies. Much of the literature of the Craft was inspired by them.

The two World Wars profoundly affected the Craft, but, strange to say, in directly opposite ways in English-speaking countries and on the Continent of Europe. In World War 1, European Masonry was not seriously injured, because the monarchs of Germany, Austria, and other European countries were, after all, noblemen with royal traditions and a feudal sense of honor and humanity. But the despoliation of Masonry which began some years before the outbreak of World War 11 and was completed during that holocaust was the work of the plebeians, Mussolini, Hitler, Franco, and Stalin, who were without cultural backgrounds or training but who, if sane, were as low in the scale of morality as any group to be found in the underworld. Freemasonry was practically obliterated in all of Europe, except the Scandinavian countries, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, and, possibly, Greece. But, in Britain and America, Masonic membership grew by leaps and bounds in both wars. Young men, destined to a great adventure, sought the Fraternity's protecting hand and comforting influence.


World War I, waged to "make the world safe for democracy," ended in disillusionment, but World War 11, of greater proportions, waged at a tremendously greater cost, and brought to a close in a most dramatic manner by the epochal introduction of the atomic bomb, filled men's minds with fear graver than any engendered by the hostilities themselves. It was the tragedy of peace. As if not satisfied, the Fates added the threat of world Communism, and, before long, men vjere contemplating the possibility of World War 111.

World War II, like its predecessor, stirred men's minds to new thoughts. This was manifest in the Masonic Fraternity, as becomes evident to one who reads the proceedings of American Grand Lodges for the years 1945-1948. Since few readers have access to all these proceedings of the many jurisdictions, recourse may be had to the re


view of them by some Grand Lodge Correspondence Committees or reviewers.

Nowhere is Freemasonry as a changing, developing institution more clearly portrayed, and nowhere does the difficulty become more apparent of answering the question: What is Freemasonry? But, nowhere, does one become more convinced of the strong hold which Freemasonry takes upon the minds and lives of those aging workers in the Craft who have attained its highest honors and of their firm belief in the power of its teachings to purify the souls of men and raise them to a new dignity and to greater heights of spirituality and practical morality. Would that their hopes might all come true.


What Freemasonry is, what it includes, what it does, and what it is to become are still, to a large extent, products of a changing world. Diversity marks the opinions of those most active in the leadership of the society and the old contest between fixation and progress continues. The resolution of this contest is of momentous import to the Craft, and upon it may depend the whole future of Freemasonry. If the Craft adheres to its venerable policy of isolation, attending strictly to its own internal affairs, the world may march by, leaving it standing like a weather-beaten tombstone. If, on the other hand, it participates in the so-called social services and movements and in political contests, domestic or foreign, and in the problems of war and peace, it may become merely one more of the numerous, struggling participants and subject to the hazards that have destroyed one after another of such agencies throughout the ages.

There have been few, if any, successful attempts to define Freemasonry, not only because of its numerous facets, but because it has changed from time to time and from place to place. The only method, therefore, which is likely to succeed is to break the definition into sections as, (1) Craft Masonry in all times and places, (2) Craft Masonry as i t generally exists at the present day, and (3) Freemasonry in its larger and more comprehensive sense.

(A) CRAFT MASONRY IN ALL TIMES AND PLACES FreemascVry is an oath-bound, fraternal order of men: deriving its origin from the medieval fraternity of operative Freemasons; adhering to many of their Ancient Charges, laws, customs, and legends; loyal to the civil government under which it exists; inculcating moral and social virtues by the symbolic application of the working tools


of the stonemasons and by allegories, lectures, and charges. The members are obligated to observe principles of brotherly love, equality, mutual aid and assistance, secrecy, and confidence, have secret modes of recognizing each other as Masons when abroad in the world, and meet in lodges, each governed somewhat autocratically by a Master, assisted by Wardens, where applicants, after particular inquiry into their mental, moral, and physical qualifications, are formally admitted into the society in secret ceremonies based, in part, on old legends of the Craft.

Every symbolic lodge in existence or which ever existed answers that description; no other order does so.


To cover modern Craft Masonry, the following must be added:

In modern times, the Fraternity has spread over the civilized portions of the globe and has experienced some mutations in its organization, doctrine, and practices, so that lodges have come to be subordinate to Grand Lodges, presided over by Grand Masters, each sovereign within a given nation, state, or other political subdivision. There is generally, though not universally, inculcated in, and demanded of the candidate, who ordinarily seeks admittance of his own free will and accord, a belief in some Supreme Being and, less generally, in immortality of the soul. The Holy Bible or other Volume of Sacred Law is displayed in the lodge and used for the obligation of the candidate during his conduction through the three degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason, the last named including the Legend of King Solomon's Temple and Hiram Abif, though additional degrees are found unobjectionable in some quarters.

That language is broad enough to cover lodges in all lands, even in France, Germany, and Scandinavia. But, by that definition, the Order is narrowed to a mere system of lodges established and maintained in accordance with regulations and circumscribed by technical limitations, tenets, and beliefs which fall short of furnishing what human wants require for spiritual and intellectual stimulation. It seems, theref re, necessary to define Freemasonry in a broader and more comprehensive sense.



The word, freemasonry, has become imbedded in our language as 36

a common noun designating any natural or instinctive fellowship or sympathy, thus, the freemasonry of childhood, the freemasonry of the sea, the freemasonry of the open range. Mariners are subjected to the common perils of the high seas, so that, when a vessel is in distress, there is no inquiry whether it be of one national registry or another or what may be the color or denomination of her crew; all vessels within the reach of signals stand by for the rescue. Children, of their own volition, know no color, rank or station but enjoy a common bond of friendship with all other children. The frontiersman of all lands is universally hospitable and holds out a welcome to all wayfarers. These illustrate broadly what Freemasonry seeks to attain, though not always successfully.

In its larger sense, therefore, Freemasonry has come to mean all those principles originally illustrated by symbolic use of the working tools but now expended to include, not only principles of right thinking, right living, probity, friendliness, and concord, but also those pertaining to the rights and dignity of man, freedom of thought and action, political and religious liberty, and all that makes for contentment and progress. It teaches, not merely temperance, fortitude, prudence, justice, brotherly love, relief, and truth, but liberty, equality, and fraternity, and it denounces ignorance, superstition, bigotry, lust, tyranny, and despotism. Freemasonry does not accept bondsmen and it will not live in bondage.

Many official doctrines are honored in the breach, and Freemasons, as individuals, are constantly urged to action which the Fraternity will not officially take or which is even contrary to its policy. Though Freemasonry requires obedience to the civil government under which it exists and abjures political discussions in the lodge, hundreds of Masonic spokesmen have lauded Washington, Franklin, Revere, Warren, Hancock, and the many other patriotic brethren who rebelled against their king, and the part that Freemasons played in the American Revolution and in the formation of our government has been the subject of innumerable inspirational addresses before lodges and Grand Lodges. And, today, would anyone seriously propose that Freemasons stand by complacently while tyrannical hands seized o*f government or despotic feet trampled upon our Constitution?

Abstinence from religious discussions, too, is insisted upon, although the preference among the great majority of the Craft for Protestant Christianity is acknowledged. The Roman Catholic hier


archy shall never control the education of our youth or the religious beliefs of our people if Freemasons can prevent it.

What was two centuries ago a negative attitude toward religion and, later, a mere formal acknowledgment of God has become more and more a spiritual concept of the whole universe. Though the discoveries of modern science have induced some to deny the existence of God, Freemasonry sees, in all natural laws and phenomena, a corroboration of the Divine Plan; it is, by every addition to our knowledge and by every disclosure of the mysteries of nature, increasingly convinced of the symmetry and order of the Creation as a work magnificently designed by the Great Geometrician; and it views with awe the immense and intricate structure which could have been erected by no other hands than those of the Great Architect of the Universe. To the thoughtful Mason, every mountain and every blade of grass is at once a mystery and a revelation. He is surrounded by God's handiwork; his feet press upon the earth, but his soul reaches for the stars.

Freemasonry is not a sleeping potion; it need not be militant; but

it must believe in something and stand for something of actual human value. It need not proselyte or propagandize; yet, it must teach;

it must stand upon the Rock of Truth, religious, political, social, and economic. Nothing is so worthy of its care as freedom in all its aspects. "Free" is the most vital part of Freemasonry. It means freedom of thought and expression, freedom of spiritual and religious ideals, freedom from oppression, freedom from ignorance, superstition, vice, and bigotry, freedom to acquire and possess property, to go and            + come at pleasure, and to rise or fall according to will or ability.

All these things are in Freemasonry; the great majority of Master            t Masons accept them; few will reject them. They mark the inevitable development of Masonry by its absorption of advancing knowledge

and enlightenment. Masonry has grown with the growth of man. What was neither a human right nor a Masonic principle two centuries ago is now both.

So, now, the whole basis of definition changes. We no longer have

to do with technical distinctions, with constitutions, regulations, laws,   , charkrs, rituals, degrees, symbols, or lectures, which seem to circum

scribe us within a narrow cell. We now speak of principles and ideals of a pattern of life.

Freemasonry, in its broader and more comprehensive sense, is a system of morality and social ethics, a primitive religion and a


philosophy of life, all of simple and fundamental character, incorporating a broad humanitarianism, and, though treating life as a practical experience and not ignoring the pleasures of refreshment and entertainment, subordinates the material to the spiritual; it is a religion without a creed, being of no sect but finding truth in all; it is moral but not pharisaic; it demands sanity rather than sanctity; it is tolerant but not supine; it seeks truth but does not define truth; it urges its votaries to think but does not tell them what to think; it despises ignorance but does not proscribe the ignorant; it fosters education but proposes no curriculum; it espouses political liberty and the dignity of man but has no platform or propaganda; it believes in the nobility and usefulness of life; it is modest and not militant; it is moderate, universal, and so liberal as to permit each individual to form and express his own opinions, even as to what Freemasonry is or should be, and invites him to improve it if he can.

The Grand Lodge System; Masonic Jurisprudence; Landmarks

IT MAY NOT IMMEDIATELY be apparent why the subject, Grand Lodge System, is linked in this chapter with that of Masonic Jurisprudence or why, to the latter, is subjoined the subject of Landmarks. The fact is that what is called Masonic Jurisprudence grew out of the organization of so many Grand Lodges in this country in the 112 years following the Declaration of Independence and developed somewhat proportionately to their multiplication, and that Landmarks were a product of Masonic Jurisprudence.

Masonic Law and Jurisprudence concerns two main classes of rules: First, those governing the organization and administration of Grand Lodges and their constituent or subordinate lodges and the conduct of individual Masons; and, secondly, those constituting a sort of international law concerning relations among Grand Lodges. Since Grand Lodges are independent bodies or, in the language of Masonic lawyers, "sovereign," this latter kind of law is only advisory. Had there been erected in the United States but one national Grand Lodge, what we call Masonic Law and Jurisprudence, probably, would not have developed as it did, and we would not have had the legalistic codes of landmarks which were handed down to us.

The early St. John's lodges had no law, except the Ancient Charges, the observance of which was enforced by no sanction other than the general sentiment among Masons for adhering to old customs. Manifestly, any method by which five or six Masons could form a lodge and make Masons at pleasure was conducive to vagaries and variations, and, in many instances, must have rendered it difficult to disthtlguish between the genuine and the spurious. The so-called "legof-mutton" Masons, who made Masons for the reward of a dinner, were not infrequently complained of, even well into the Grand Lodge era. Irregularities were repeatedly denounced by the Grand Lodge of England, and it was largely to exclude clandestinely made Masons


that it, in 1738 or 1739, altered or switched words in the several degrees, thus, giving rise to an accusation which plagued it for almost three-quarters of a century and which it was forced to disavow in 1809.

The first detailed regulations for the government of lodges were those of 1721-1722, which, also, controlled the Grand Lodge. These were generally followed in Ireland and Scotland, some variations being introduced from time to time in all three British countries, but, even yet, being regarded as somewhat basic and affording a number of precedents followed in America to this day.

Lodges outside the British Isles and, to some extent, those within, were under the immediate direction of Provincial Grand Masters and their creations, called Provincial Grand Lodges, which were, after all, little more than the Provincial Grand Masters, themselves, due to the careless system or want of system by which the Grand Lodge left them very largely to their own resources. Several Provincial Grand Lodges in Europe soon evolved into national Grand Lodges, but this change did not occur in the American Colonies until during and after the Revolution. At the outbreak of the Revolution in 1775, the Moderns had Provincial Grand Lodges in New England, New York, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia; the Ancients had the Provincial Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and, in 1781, warranted one in New York; and the Grand Lodge of Scotland had the Provincial Grand Lodge for Boston and 100 miles thereabouts.

Communication between the Colonies and the Mother Countries was all but completely interrupted by the War. Several Provincial Grand Masters, particularly, John Rowe of Boston and William Allen of Philadelphia, having shown some lack of sympathy with the patriot cause, lost their influence, while two others, Sir John Johnson of New York and Sir Egerton Leigh of South Carolina, fled, one to Canada to take up arms for the King, and the other all the way to England.

Massachusetts Grand Lodge (Warren's) and the Grand Lodge of Virginia were formed during the Revolution, but no more were created u ljt~il after the Treaty of Paris in 1783, which definitely established fhe independence of the thirteen states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Each of these states asserted full sovereign


powers, and, though they were bound to each other by the flimsy tie of the Articles of Confederation, and though they had certain problems in common, the spirit and interests of the people were predominately local. Some states distrusted others almost as much as they had their recent common foe. Freemasons, being only a part of the general community, conformed to the general trend and, when they came to form Grand Lodges, they thought of them as state and not national entities.

These facts account in great measure for the failure of the movement which started surprisingly early to elect a Grand Master over the whole country. American Union Lodge, chartered for the Connecticut line of the army in 1776 by Provincial Grand Master Rowe of Massachusetts, became very celebrated, not only by the fact next to be related, but also because its Master carried the charter to the far away Northwest Territory, reopened the lodge there, and participated in the formation of the Grand Lodge of Ohio some thirty years later. On December 27, 1779, American Union Lodge, being composed of soldiers and having a more nationalistic concept, proposed

that a Grand Master be elected over the thirteen states, and at a con- ` vention of military lodges held at Morristown, February 7, 1780, a

memorial was directed to be sent to the various jurisdictions to the foregoing effect.

This was immediately approved by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, which unanimously named George Washington for the post. Grand Master Webb of Massachusetts Grand Lodge was agreeable but, in a letter to the Pennsylvania brethren, asked some questions            i which seem to have set the latter to thinking. He inquired whether the

General Grand Master would appoint the Grand Masters of the States, adding that Massachusetts Grand Lodge would never give up the right of election. The Pennsylvania Grand Lodge replied that it had had no thought of giving up its right to elect its own Grand Master. So local pride asserted itself and restrained the nationalistic movement.

But there was another and quite as stubborn obstacle not apparent

on the surface. The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania was strictly An-      ; cie~ in doctrine and had no thought of joining a national body per

meated by Moderns. The Massachusetts Grand Lodge was, also, of the Ancient persuasion, being warranted from Scotland, but was, by no means, as excessively so as its southern neighbor was at that time, for it freely held intercourse with the Moderns. It was unwilling to join the national organization unless several Grand Lodges con


curred. Hence, these two prominent and influential bodies, holding different views as to the composition of a central body, were far from agreement. The plan, therefore, languished and died.

In 1785, the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania suggested a mere conference of Grand Lodges for mutual advice, but, thereafter, consistently opposed the idea of a General Grand Lodge.

In 1790, by which time, eleven Grand Lodges had been formed, the Grand Lodge of Georgia proposed the establishment of a Supreme Grand Lodge. Pennsylvania opposed it as inexpedient and impracticable; Maryland, New Jersey and Connecticut were, also, cold to the proposal and Rhode Island, though, at first, for the plan, later reversed its position. New York, alone, seems to have favored the idea. The matter was put aside to be toyed with from time to time in subsequent years.

While, in the formation of the various State Grand Lodges and in the development of the rule of territorial exclusiveness, the Masonic lawyers were greatly influenced, one might say overwhelmed, by the example of political and civil institutions, often using similes and precedents and analogies taken from constitutional government, the peculiarity of the event is that they did not follow through and emulate the example set by the founders of the federal government by establishing a National Grand Lodge and Constitution. The same opposition, resultant of local pride and interstate jealousy, manifested itself in both the civil and the Masonic fields. In the one, the merits or the necessity for concerted action outweighed the isolationist sentiment, while in the other it did not.

In the quarter century from 1777 to 1800, fourteen Grand Lodges were born and during the ensuing eighty-nine years, thirty-five more. The significant fact is that the Masonic lawyers looked to, and were influenced by civil and political institutions much more than they were by Masonic precedents, which was only natural, for there was little of the latter, while the air was charged with the discussion and debate of the former. The country was growing and sovereign states were very rapidly added to the nation. Hence, Masonic lawyers were enraptured by the concept of sovereignty and, almost with one accord, came to think of a Grand Lodge as a type of state or political entity.)This culminated in Mackey's dictum that societies were but empires, kingdoms or republics in miniature, their laws being likened to the statutes of the realm. The fallacy of this should have been apparent but it was not.

The erection of so many "sovereign" bodies or "miniature em


pires," and the fact that each took control of territory already occupied by lodges chartered by older sovereigns created many novel situations for which there was no precedent in either Masonic, international, or municipal law. There were questions as to the proper manner in which a new sovereign Grand Lodge could be created, as to the relations between the existing lodges, subjects of another sovereign, and the superseding sovereign, and as to conflicts in jurisdiction between sovereigns. Each case seemed to raise some point not characteristic of its predecessors, so that decisions of Grand Masters and Grand Lodges upon these points became numerous and often conflicting. Remarkably soon, however, they assumed such order and consistency as to become what might be and was called a body of Masonic law or system of jurisprudence.

These determinations often appeared arbitrary and, naturally, were sometimes erroneous, but neither fault deterred their purveyors from being very positive and unyielding, until, in some instances, it seemed that the basic principles of Masonry were almost displaced by dogmatic technicalities. Form sometimes overrode substance, and the fact that there was often no actual ancient precedent for a rule did not at all diminish the assurance with which it was pronounced or the severity with which a penalty was threatened or applied. Whether or not they had any prior training in the science of law, a succession of Grand Masters and their committees were very much convinced of their infallibility and thoroughly persuaded of the righteousness of their courses.

Notwithstanding the austerity of some of these rulings, threatening at times to ignore that charity which one body of Masons should bear toward another, the main purpose was laudable and the overall effect was beneficial. Throughout the history of the Fraternity, thoughtless individuals or groups have threatened to, and often succeeded in, getting out of hand and have indulged in practices harmful to good discipline. This has never been fully obliterated, but it has been greatly curbed by the administration of Grand Lodges, and it is not too much to say that the past growth and present standing of the society over the world never could have been attained without the institution of Grand Lodges, and, perhaps, not without their rather severe application of disciplinary measures. A Grand Lodge is a cross section of the Fraternity, at least in its own jurisdiction, and, even though the majority may and often does err, unified and uniform doctrine and action, though not perfect, is better than a vagrant and disorganized course. There is hardly an instance on record from 1717


to date where the formation of a Grand Lodge has not been followed by immediate growth and prosperity of the Craft.

We will now examine some of the peculiar circumstances attending the formation of the various Grand Lodges of the United States and try to trace the origin and development of some of the main principles and rules of Masonic law as it grew up in this country.


There was no one to question the right of the Four Old Lodges to form the Grand Lodge of England in 1717. No one's rights were affected since the new body asserted jurisdiction over only those existing lodges that elected to come under its control, and as to new lodges, it sought to direct the formation of only those in London and Westminster. It sought to charter no lodges in Scotland or in Ireland and, hence, the erection of Grand Lodges in those quarters aroused no conflict. Moreover, the Grand Lodge of England, evidently, did not attempt to enforce its supposed control of all new lodges formed in London, for it seems that lodges were chartered there by the Grand Lodge of Ireland which, in 1751, united to form the Grand Lodge of Ancients, which, itself, encountered no opposition from the older body. On the contrary, it was very soon put in a defensive attitude by the younger body's assertion of greater antiquity and regularity of doctrine.

But, in the American Colonies, it was different. So far as we know, every lodge in the Colonies had been chartered by a Grand Lodge abroad or by one of the Provincial branches thereof. They, therefore, owed allegiance to the Mother bodies, and the serious question was how to justify, on Masonic precedents, a secession, for they had not even the grievances asserted to justify the political revolution. Masonically, perhaps, the separation could not be justified. Our efforts to understand events will be aided, if we reflect upon what has already been said, that, after all, Freemasons are only a part of the general community, swayed by the same notions that swing majorities and often acting from sentiment that would not be supported by pure reason.

The Provincial Grand Lodge at Boston, warranted by the Grand Lodge'%)f Scotland, and of which Joseph Warren was Grand Master, was the first to grapple with the question of separation. The St. John's Grand Lodge of the Moderns was in eclipse, but Warren's followers carried on. After Warren's death at Bunker Hill in 1775, his Grand Lodge did not meet until December 1776. At its meeting in


February 1777, a petition was received for a new lodge which, at once, presented the question whether the authority of the Provincial Grand Lodge had not been suspended by the death of the Grand Master appointed by the Grand Master of Scotland and whether it would not remain suspended until the Grand Master of Scotland should appoint a successor. It seems to have been the theory that a Provincial Grand Master was the personal appointee and representative of the Grand Master in Britain and that the Deputy Provincial Grand Master was the personal appointee and representative of the Provincial Grand Master, but that the Deputy was not the representative of the British Grand Master and that there was no line of authority connecting them. It had been held in the St. John's Grand Lodge at Boston that, in the event of temporary absence of the Provincial Grand Master, the Deputy acted for him, his acts being those of his principal, but, if the Provincial Grand Master died, his Deputy's authority ceased and the Junior Past Grand Master acted until a new one was appointed by the Grand Master in the motherland. That situation existed several times.

The prospects of action by the Grand Master of Scotland were remote with a war on, and we are privileged to assume that the Boston brethren were not diligently searching a way to avoid secession, for, otherwise, it might plausibly have been resolved that, under unusual and pressing circumstances, the Deputy, Joseph Webb, was fully empowered to assume leadership. It must be remembered, however, that this body was composed largely of patriots; their leader had fallen before the fire of Red Coats; and patriotic fervor outweighed rules of Masonic jurisdiction. It was

"Voted that, the Deputy Grand Master send a summons to all the Masters and Wardens under this Jurisdiction to assemble here on the seventh of March 1777, in order to elect a Grand Master for this state in the room of our later worthy Grand Master deceased."

On March 8, 1777, the assembly elected Joseph Webb Grand Master, together with other officers. The charter for a lodge previously applied for was granted in form clearly indicating that Webb was cting in his own right as head of an independent Grand Lodge. This 1tion was accompanied by a brief notice publicly circulated to the effect that the death of Grand Master Warren and the separation of the Colonies from the Mother Country made the election of a Grand Master necessary. This was an implied secession with no clearly appropriate argument to support it.


This procedure was open to question, though it was not challenged openly until about five years later. St. Andrew's Lodge, although it had participated in the secession, remonstrated, and, at a special meeting of the Grand Lodge in 1782, a committee of five was appointed to draft resolutions explanatory of the powers and authority of that body. The report, one member dissenting, recited the chartering of St. Andrew's Lodge by the Grand Lodge of Scotland; the appointment of Warren; his chartering of three lodges (Massachusetts, Tyrian, and St. Peter's); the expiration of Warren's appointment with his death; the consequent dissolution of the Deputy's authority; the absence of a head of the Grand Lodge; the imminent extinction of the four lodges to be followed by the dispersion of the brethren; the neglect of the penniless and the extinction of Ancient Masonry in that part of the world; the severance of political ties with Britain; the principle that the Craft must be obedient to the civil authority of the country in which they reside; that the brethren assumed an elective supremacy, chose a Grand Master and erected a Grand Lodge; that the new body had constituted fourteen lodges within a shorter period than that during which only three had been formed under the former Grand Lodge; that, in England, there were two Grand Lodges independent of each other, in Scotland, the same and, in Ireland, a Grand Lodge independent of either England or Scotland; and that the authority of some of these Grand Lodges originated in assumption, otherwise, they would acknowledge the head from whence they derived.

Resolutions were adopted to the effect that: (1) the Grand Lodge, in assuming independence, acted from the most laudable motives consistent with Masonic principles, the benefit of the Craft, and the good of mankind, which was warranted by the practices of Ancient Masons; (2) that Massachusetts Grand Lodge of Ancient Masons was free and independent; (3) that its authority extended throughout Massachusetts and to lodges which it warranted in other states where there was no Grand Lodge; (4) that the charters granted by Warren be called in and endorsed so as to show recognition by the lodges of the authority of the new body; and (5) that no other person or personAcould exercise the powers or prerogatives of an Ancient Grand Master or Grand Lodge or erect lodges of Ancient Masons in Massachusetts.

St. Andrew's Lodge claimed that political changes had nothing to do with Freemasonry and voted thirty to nineteen against acknowl


edging the new body. In 1784, it voted twenty-nine to twenty-three to continue adherence to the Grand Lodge of Scotland. The twentythree negative voters, headed by Paul Revere, separated and formed Rising States Lodge under charter from the new body.

Still, doubt existed and, in 1785, a convention was called to give the matter further consideration. St. Andrew's Lodge and Tyrian Lodge declined to attend. One of the other old lodges, Massachusetts Lodge, was then extinct. By this time, however, twelve other lodges had been erected. These met and appointed a committee which rendered a rather lengthy report much along the same line of thought as that of 1782. The report was adopted with one dissenting vote.

St. Andrew's Lodge remained aloof until 1809 when it acknowledged the Grand Lodge. Meanwhile, Tyrian Lodge and St. Peter's Lodge had weakened in their adherence and were striken from the roll in 1788.

It will be recalled that there was another and older Provincial Grand Lodge in Massachusetts, St. John's Grand Lodge, of which Rowe was the head. This became dormant in 1775 and remained so until 1787. But it was not dead, for, in 1783, the Grand Master chartered a lodge. A more remarkable fact is that this charter was so worded as to indicate that Rowe was acting for an independent body, and, when it came to life again in 1787, it seemed to have become an independent Grand Lodge without any particular declaration, explanation, or apology. It seems, therefore, that this body went to sleep during the Revolution as a Provincial Grand Lodge of the Grand Lodge of England, and awoke twelve years later as a sovereign entity!

In 1790, it elected Grand Officers, except a Grand Master. In 1792, a merger was effected with Massachusetts Grand Lodge and, strange to say, all the officers of the consolidated body were of the St. John's contingent, except the Senior Grand Warden, and stranger yet is the fact that, according to the records, Massachusetts Grand Lodge was dissolved and, at the end of the meeting, St. John's Grand Lodge was closed in due form. Thus, the Modern or English body ba~came the surviving body, the Ancient or Scots element being absorbed. So far, however, as concerns any express declaration or justification of independence, the new Grand Lodge for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts derived its rights from the Massachusetts Grand Lodge.

Virginia approached the matter of independence rather directly and indulged in very little doubt or argument about it. On May 6,


1777, delegates of five lodges met and resolved that a Grand Master ought to be chosen, and, a week later, it explained this by the simple statement that the Grand Lodges of England, Scotland, and Ireland had been formed pursuant to their own authority and, therefore, Virginia Masons could do likewise. Accordingly, though there appears to have been some dissent, a convention of lodges met on October 13, 1778 and elected a Grand Master, resolving simply that "It is the opinion of this convention of Masonry, that all the regular chartered Lodges within this State should be subject to the Grand Master of said State."

It is not clear whether this action was predicated on that in Massachusetts or whether the movement had an independent origin in Virginia. In the former, the first action toward independence was taken at the meeting in February 1777, and the first action in Virginia was in May of the same year. The Masons in Virginia may have heard of the movement in Massachusetts but the shortness of the interval seems to indicate that the action was spontaneous.

The Provincial Grand Lodge of South Carolina (Modern), in 1783, simply began to act as an independent Grand Lodge. In 1787, five lodges chartered by the Ancients met and formed a Grand Lodge. Thus, these two bodies merely assumed independence.

In Pennsylvania, in 1786, an express resolution of independence was adopted, the Provincial Grand Lodge was closed and the new Grand Lodge organized.

In Georgia, in 1787, the Provincial Grand Master (Modern) resigned the Chair and Solomon's Lodge under that obedience and Hiram Lodge, chartered by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, formed the independent Grand Lodge.

New Jersey offers the unique example of a Grand Lodge formed, not by lodges, but by a petition or declaration, dated in December 1786, signed by some fifty or more officers and members of lodges authorizing the formation of a Grand Lodge and naming the Grand Officers. Under that authority, the Grand Lodge was organized in January 1787.

Maryland came near to introducing another novelty. All the lodge's then existing at the close of the Revolution held charters from Pennsylvania. In 1783, a convention of five lodges resolved that they of right ought to be independent, and it was agreed to petition the Provincial Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania to warrant a Grand Lodge in Maryland. But the Pennsylvania body doubted its power to warrant another Provincial Grand Lodge and denied the right of Mary


land Lodges to organize an independent Grand Lodge. Although Grand Officers had been elected, no meetings were held for four years, but, in 1787, the same officers were reelected and, from that date, the Maryland brethren assumed the powers of an independent body. Meanwhile Pennsylvania had formed an independent Grand Lodge which recognized the legality of the Maryland action.

New York seems to have cast off its English dependence with little formality. A committee was appointed in 1787 to consider the advisability of retaining the warrant under the Grand Lodge of Ancients. It reported that nothing was necessary upon the subject but to change the form of warrant used to create new lodges, and proposed a form to be used purporting to be issued by the Grand Lodge of New York. The lodges were directed to surrender their old charters and take new ones, but it was not until the following year that the Grand Secretary called attention to the necessity for removing the word "Provincial" from the seal of the Grand Lodge.

With these precedents before them, the brethren of the remaining states had no hesitation in proceeding, and no debate seems to have arisen thereafter as to the propriety of forming independent Grand Lodges. Three general principles had come to be recognized: First, that the independent sovereignty of the lodges followed that of the political state; secondly, that each Grand Lodge had exclusive jurisdiction in its own state; and thirdly, that a Grand Lodge could warrant lodges in another state so long as there was no Grand Lodge in the latter.

The District of Columbia was not a state, being merely a federal district containing the offices of the government, but a Grand Lodge was organized there in 1811, apparently, without question by anyone.

Thus far, the right to secede from British allegiance or the right to erect a new Grand Lodge in a new state had been justified on the principle that Masonic sovereignty ought to follow that of the state, because of the Masonic tenet of obedience to government. Since a mere territory had no sovereignty, the principle of following the sovereignty of the locality really did not apply. But this distinction was not observed, so that approximately half of the Grand Lodges o f anized after the original thirteen were formed in territories, and several of them many years prior to statehood.

But when, in 1874, a Grand Lodge was set up in the Indian Territory, which was occupied by the Five Civilized Tribes brought there from the southern states, and which now constitutes the eastern part of the state of Oklahoma, its legality was seriously questioned,


because each of these tribes was theoretically an independent nation, and because the Territory was under a specialized form of government by Congress and might never become a state. This Grand Lodge, however, eventually received general recognition.


The doctrine that there can be but one Grand Lodge in a state and that it has exclusive jurisdiction therein originated in the United States and is commonly called the "American Doctrine." This was contrary to such Masonic precedents as existed on the question, and cannot be said to have become generally recognized even in this country until toward the close of the 18th century. The Grand Lodge of Ireland had chartered lodges in England, some of which, in 1751, formed the Ancient Grand Lodge. To this, no challenge was offered by the premier Grand Lodge based on any asserted "invasion" of its jurisdiction; nor does it seem ever to have occurred to that body to remonstrate against the erection of a Grand Lodge at York.

It is true that, in the British Isles and in the various countries of Europe, the scope of Grand Lodge activities was usually confined within national boundaries, but that was due more to differences in sentiment, social conditions, and language than to any Masonic precept.

Both of the Grand Lodges of England and the Grand Lodge of Scotland warranted lodges or Provincial Grand Masters in the American Colonies, leaving no record of any objection that any one of them had trespassed on the domain of another. There were two Provincial Grand Lodges in Massachusetts, one Modem, the other Scots; and there were two in Pennsylvania, an Ancient and a Modern. Provincial Grand Masters often warranted lodges in the midst of lodges under a different Provincial body. The Provincial Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania (Ancient) repeatedly chartered lodges in territory where Provincial Grand Lodges of the Modern were active, and, in this way, became the principal disseminator of Ancient Masonry in this country. While there was some pretense of describing, in the deputations to Provincial Grand Masters, the limits within which they wer~ to exercise their authority, yet, due to carelessness or to ignorance of American geography, these zones were vague and sometimes inconsistent with other deputations.

The doctrine of territorial exclusiveness had its rise in this country during and following the Revolution. The action of Masons in the Colonies and, later, the states in casting off allegiance to their Grand


Lodges in Britain, for which there was no Masonic precedent, in reality instituted the idea that Masonic jurisdiction follows the political, though this was renounced by some well-informed Masons at the time. The same idea, carried further, led to the separation of Grand Lodges in the several states. The feeling of state political autonomy was stronger than that of national unity for some years after the ratification of the Constitution in 1789, and, in the South, persisted until after the Civil War. State pride and the sentiment for home rule had a strong tendency to restrict Masonic activities within state lines. Besides these considerations, there were very practical and logical reasons making for the same end. The country was growing and Grand Lodges had enough work on hand without inviting the discord which surely would have followed extraterritorial excursions with the inevitable reprisals.

One of the first, if not the first, express declarations on the subject was the self-imposed restraint which the Grand Lodge of New York adopted in 1796 when it resolved that it would not charter a lodge in any place outside that state where there was another Grand Lodge.

The rule of territorial exclusiveness spread more or less by common consent as, indeed, it had to, there being no central authority to declare or enforce it. It was a rule of comity which grew slowly, and there were notable exceptions to, or infractions of it well into the 19th century.

There were two Grand Lodges in South Carolina from 1787 to 1803, and two in Georgia from 1827 until the anti-Masonic excitement put one of them out of existence and threatened to exterminate the other.

New York had two rival Grand Lodges from 1823 to 1827, from 1837 to 1850, and from 1853 to 1856.

In Louisiana, there was such confusion that it is difficult to say how often or how long such duplication of authority existed. When the Grand Lodge of Mississippi deemed the Grand Lodge of Louisiana too erratic in its practices, it declared the Louisiana body spurious and proceeded to charter lodges there.

When the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia was formed, Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22 was within the District but, at the solicitation of the lodge, it was allowed to remain under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Virginia.

Upon the formation of the Grand Lodge of Ohio in 1809, the oldest lodge in the state, American Union, after participating in the preliminary proceedings, withdrew and claimed to be free of Grand


Lodge authority, because it had existed before the Grand Lodge was organized. This was similar to the contention made by William Preston on behalf of Lodge of Antiquity in 1787, which ultimately led to the expulsion of Preston and the erasure of the lodge from the roll of the Grand Lodge of England. The charter of American Union Lodge was later withdrawn and a new charter was issued to the loyal contingent of the lodge.

In 1846, the Grand Lodge of Wisconsin issued a dispensation for a lodge in Illinois located near the state line, claiming the right to do so on the ground that the Grand Lodge of Illinois had not restrained the Grand Lodge of Missouri from doing likewise. But the Grand Lodge of Illinois asserted that its jurisdiction followed the lines fixed by the civil power, which were conclusive, and the fact that it did not enforce its rights against Missouri did not prevent it from asserting them against others. The views of Illinois finally prevailed.

The legality of the Grand Lodge of West Virginia was questioned by several Grand Lodges, particularly, Virginia, because the State of West Virginia was split off without the consent of the State of Virginia, and on the further ground that the lodges had not returned their charters or paid their dues to the Grand Lodge of Virginia. The dues were finally adjusted and Virginia recognized the new Grand Lodge. The charters were surrendered, but contrary to the theory of Virginia which required that they be retained by that Grand Lodge, they were, at the request of the lodges, returned to them.

In the instance of the Indian Territory above mentioned, Alpha Lodge, chartered by the Grand Lodge of Kansas, refused adherence to the new body and was supported by Kansas. The question was not settled until 1878, by which time, the Grand Lodge of the Indian Territory had come to be generally recognized.

The Grand Lodge of Minnesota chartered two lodges in the Territory of Dakota, one before and one after the organization of the Grand Lodge in that Territory in 1875, the latter having been chartered before news of the new Grand Lodge reached Minnesota. But, upon learning of the conflict in jurisdiction, the Grand Lodge of Minnesota resolved to defend its claims as long as its lodge chose to adhere to it, and did not recede from that position until about 1879.

'*e Grand Lodge of Illinois would not, for some time, take jurisdiction over Western Star, Lawrence, and Libanus Lodges, chartered from Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Tennessee, respectively, because they had not paid their dues to, and received the consent of their Grand Lodges, and, when an appear from a trial came up for


Libanus Lodge, the Grand Lodge of Illinois refused to entertain it for want of jurisdiction over the lodge. Again, the Grand Lodge of Illinois allowed the Grand Lodge of Missouri to revoke the charter of Sangamon Lodge in Illinois for nonpayment of dues. In another case, involving Vandalia Lodge chartered by Missouri in Illinois, an appeal from a sentence of suspension was taken to the Grand Lodge of Missouri before the Grand Lodge of Illinois as formed. Yet, after the latter event, the Grand Lodge of Missouri affirmed the decision and rejected a plea of the Grand Lodge of Illinois that the case be reconsidered. The proper procedure would have been to transfer the case to the Grand Lodge of Illinois.

The Grand Lodge of Missouri gave little attention to the jurisdiction of other bodies. It chartered St. Clair and Marion Lodges in Illinois in 1842, and, while recognizing the Grand Lodge of New Mexico in 1877, kept two of its New Mexico lodges on its roll and, even after earnest pleas, refused to relinquish its hold, until the Grand Lodge of New Mexico had suspended Masonic correspondence with it and had arrested the charter of the surviving Missouri Lodge, the other being expired. But, when the Grand Lodge of Tennessee revoked the charter of one of its lodges in Missouri, the Grand Lodge of Missouri held that it alone had jurisdiction.


There never was any fundamental Masonic principle concerning the number of lodges required to form a Grand Lodge. The premier Grand Lodge of England was organized by four. The only account we have of the formation of the Grand Lodge of Ireland indicates that it was accomplished by a general assembly of the Craft. At least thirty-three lodges participated in founding the Grand Lodge of Scotland. York Lodge seems to have constituted itself a Grand Lodge. Six lodges formed the Grand Lodge of Ancients.

The first Grand Lodges formed in America seem to have known of no rule. Massachusetts Grand Lodge (Scots) was formed by four lodges. Massachusetts (Modern), South Carolina (Modern) and New York Provincial Grand Lodge simply began to act as independent bodies. The Ancient Lodges in South Carolina followed the Ancient rule, five lodges participating. The Grand Lodges of Georgia and Rhode Island were each formed by only two lodges, the latter not even holding a convention but separately approving the proposed constitution. In Kansas, the organic convention contained only two lodges, though a third approved the proceedings. The Grand Lodge


of New Jersey was not formed by lodges at all but by the petition or declaration of some fifty or sixty officers and members of lodges acting as individuals.

For some reason, the Ancient Grand Lodge of England wrote into its Ahiman Rezon that five lodges were necessary and this idea gained some currency in America. The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania disputed the regularity of the Grand Lodge of Delaware, partly, on the ground that it had been formed by only four lodges. Only four lodges participated in the organization of the Grand Lodge of Ohio, and, the question being raised, a committee was appointed to investigate the matter. It reported that no particular number of lodges was required and that conclusion was adopted.

Other Grand Lodges were formed by constituent lodges as follows: Mississippi, Missouri, Florida, Texas, Wisconsin, California, Oregon, Minnesota, Nebraska, Colorado, Montana, Utah, Indian Territory, New Mexico, and Arizona, three; New Hampshire, Delaware, Ohio, Arkansas, Iowa, Michigan, Washington, Idaho, and Wyoming, four; Virginia, Maryland, Vermont, Kentucky, District of Columbia, Louisiana, Illinois, Dakota Territory, five; Tennessee, Indiana, and Nevada, six; West Virginia, eight; North Carolina and Alabama, nine; Connecticut, twelve; Pennsylvania, thirteen; North Dakota, twenty; and Maine, twenty-four.


The idea of a quorum of lodges as necessary for a meeting of a Grand Lodge was an innovation that repeatedly caused trouble. There was no Masonic precedent or necessity for such provision in a constitution. Massachusetts Grand Lodge, in 1770, voted a very wise resolution to the effect that, summons having been issued for a Grand Lodge, the resulting congregation was a Grand Lodge with full powers, however few the members attending. But the Masonic lawyers could not restrain their penchant for political and parliamentary analogies, so that, in many instances, quorum provisions were inserted which often interrupted the work of the Grand Lodges and, in some instances, resulted in the extinction of those bodies.

In Georgia, the anti-Masonic excitement so reduced the number of lodge, that it was necessary to reduce the quorum to five and, even then, no meetings were held in 1833 or 1834 for want of a quorum. The provision for a quorum of five in the New York Constitution was one of the causes for the dispute between the City and Country lodges about 1801.


At the 1801 session of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, only four lodges were represented, whereas following the Ahiman Rezon, its law required five. Thereupon, the law was amended to provide that a majority of lodges were sufficient. Thus, the meeting which was not a legal meeting legislated so as to legalize itself, rather an extraordinary proceeding. Still, there was difficulty, and it was later necessary again to amend the law so that three lodges constituted a quorum.

The Grand Lodge of Ohio provided that a majority of the lodges constituted a quorum, but, in 1817, while the business of the Grand Lodge was being conducted, it was suddenly found that a quorum was lacking, so that it had to be closed. At the next session, the law was amended to require fifteen lodges and this came near to preventing a session of the Grand Lodge during the anti-Masonic excitement when less than fifteen lodges were represented.

Michigan offers a good example of the folly of engrafting upon Masonic bodies too stringent rules taken from political or parliamentary precedents. Masonry had appeared here at an early date (1764) and, in 1826, a Grand Lodge was organized just in time to receive the effects of the anti-Masonic excitement. The Grand Lodge suspended work just as did the Grand Lodges of Maine and Vermont. When an attempt was made, in 1841, to revive the Grand Lodge of Michigan, the Masonic lawyers objected on the ground that it had not kept up its annual elections, though Grand Master Cass was still active, and, also, on the ground that three lodges were not represented as required by the constitution. There was only one chartered lodge and two others present. But in 1843 and 1844, although three lodges were represented, the recognition of other Grand Lodges could not be obtained. So the lodges had to go through the formality of taking new charters from New York and commence the organization of a Grand Lodge all over again.

The Grand Lodges of Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin have no quorum requirement. South Carolina requires no quorum to meet but does require one-third of the lodges to transact business. Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Oklahoma, Minne4ota, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Wyoming require three lodges to form a quorum. Maryland, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia require five lodges. Nebraska requires seven; New York, Indiana, and Tennessee, ten; New Jersey, fifteen; Illinois, twenty to open and fifty to transact business; Georgia, twenty-five;


Texas, at regular sessions, twenty-five, and, at special sessions, fifty; Missouri, thirty; Iowa, fifty; Michigan, ten members to open and fifty lodges to transact business; California, seventy-five lodges; Alabama and Ohio, one-third; Kentucky, one-third to open and one-fifth to transact business; the District of Columbia, Montana, and Utah, a majority of the lodges.


A very common representation in Grand Lodges consists of three representatives from each lodge with three votes per lodge, the Grand Officers and Past Masters having one vote each, but there are a variety of provisions. Virginia allows one vote each to the Grand Master and his Deputy, one vote to the other Grand Officers collectively, one vote to the Past Grand Officers collectively, and one vote to each lodge. Proxies are sometimes allowed and sometimes not.

Usually, only Past Masters are eligible for Grand Lodge offices but the status of Past Masters and efforts to eliminate them from the Grand Lodge has led to several serious disputes. South Carolina disfranchised Past Masters, both prospectively and retrospectively, with no serious question, but the same attempt in New York caused a schism which lasted about nine years. In that state, it was held that a Past Master from another jurisdiction, even though a member of a New York lodge, was not a member of Grand Lodge, but, in Tennessee, just the opposite is true. In Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee, originally, Chapter or Virtual Past Masters were regarded as equal to actual Past Masters, but, in Missouri, though this rule was recommended by a committee, its adoption was refused.


The Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts declares that it has the power of legislation for the government of the Craft and the conduct of the work, the power to issue and revoke charters, to investigate, regulate, and decide all matters relative to the Craft, to particular lodges, or to individual brethren, and its power to revoke charters and expel Masons is exclusive. This is a fair sample of the powers asserted by most Grand Lodges.

Iik New York, it was held that circulars sent out by lodges or conventions of lodges were irregular, as all business should be conducted in Grand Lodge. In Connecticut, it was held that the reversal of a judgment of expulsion restored the defendant to good standing, and, in Ohio, it was resolved that the Grand Lodge had the power to


restore an expelled Mason to his former standing, and, also, that there was a distinction between membership in a lodge and good standing as a Mason.

In Rhode Island, the charter of a lodge was revoked, the Master expelled, and some twenty members suspended for refusal to adopt the work prescribed by the Grand Lodge. The Grand Lodge of Ohio declared that it had the power to determine what Masonry consisted of and to prohibit the members of its lodges from practicing, as Masonry, any system or ceremonies which it had not recognized.

The Virginia Constitution, modeled on the Ahiman Rezon of the Ancients, is lacking in bristling declarations of autocratic power, though Masonry is as well regulated there as elsewhere and has experienced fewer schismatic disturbances than occurred in some other states.

In general, the earlier Masonic constitutions and regulations seemed to assume that a Masonic spirit would prevail and that the Grand Lodges would exert such power as might be necessary to preserve upright and regular conduct among lodges and Masons in their jurisdictions. But, later, the supposed analogy between a society and an empire and between a Grand Lodge and an absolute monarchy took possession of Masonic legal minds, so that "sovereign" and "supreme power" became terms to conjure with. Soon, the constitutions began to contain such language as follows:

"The Grand Lodge is the Supreme Masonic Power and Authority in this State, possessing all the attributes of Sovereignty and government -legislative, executive, and judicial-limited only by a strict adherence to the Ancient Landmarks of the Order, and by the provisions of its own Constitution and Regulations."

The Masonic lawyers in the United States borrowed the concept of sovereignty from international law and imposed it upon Masonry, it having been previously unheard of in Masonic law or custom. The thought of power, sovereign power, unlimited and unquestionable, was fascinating, as it always has been, though the supposed analogy between a voluntary charitable brotherhood and a sovereign nation was false, leading to such extremes as Mackey's declaration that "societies are but empires, kingdoms, or republics in miniature."

Independent nations enforce their sovereignty by appeals to arms, but Grand Lodges did not have military forces enabling them to impose their laws and regulations upon lodges and members. They used what force they had by revoking charters, expelling members, and imposing sentences of clandestinism. Such measures seldom worked


for good but often made the strife so much more bitter. Freemasonry is a moral science, having no doctrine of force, and, hence, warring factions usually were brought together only by cool-headed brethren who employed the age-old methods of conciliation and friendly appeals to the kindly side of human nature.

The Constitutions of 1723 breathed a spirit of kindliness, forbearance, brotherly love, good manners, tolerance, liberality, and charity, and offered an example of purer Masonic law than did those later based on sovereignty, autocracy, and power.

Another legal concept which came to have great influence was that Grand Lodges were "peers." From this, it was reasoned that one Grand Lodge could not erect another Grand Lodge, it being supposed that such would, in some way, mean that the new body was inferior to its founder. So, it was concluded that a Grand Lodge could be formed only by lodges, but this theory encountered difficulties, because the constituent lodges were usually already subject to the jurisdiction of one or more Grand Lodges to which they often owed dues. Therefore, it was considered necessary for these lodges, sometime during the process, to discharge their obligations to their superior. This was usually done after they had formed the new Grand Lodge, so, we have the situation of lodges subordinate to the new sovereign paying tribute to the former sovereign, hardly a logical situation, or one consonant with the conduct of empires or states. .

The example of the formation of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee by a charter from the Grand Lodge of North Carolina must have scandalized the Masonic jurists, who regarded it as an unthinkable monstrosity. Yet, it has never been observed that the Tennessee body has suffered from inferiority or that its career had differed essentially from other Grand Lodges. Indeed, such method would seem to be the very finest way to create a new Grand Lodge, since it includes in one proceeding, consent of the older body, payment of lodge dues, surrender or endorsement of the old charters, and all other necessary formalities, accomplished with some difficulty under the other method. That example and the instance of the installation of the Grand Officers of Maine by the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire and the reciprocal installations of the Grand Officers of North and South Dakota Ire in line with the best Masonic practice.


The provision adopted in some states requiring the individual assent of a majority of the lodges to amend the constitution caused


much inconvenience. Where, as in Rhode Island, Alabama, Texas, Wisconsin, and several other states, the constitution could be amended by the Grand Lodge, the lodges having only their votes therein, amendments could be readily adopted or rejected. In Vermont, however, the amending power was reserved to a convention of lodges to be called by the Grand Lodge, and, in other states, the amendment had to be approved by the lodges as such.

The Grand Lodge of Tennessee, in 1842, adopted a new constitution and submitted it to the lodges for approval, but the lodges failed to act one way or the other. The same thing occurred in 1843 and 1844. In 1845, it was only after the Grand Lodge ordered the lodges to act upon it that the constitution was adopted by a two-thirds vote, but even then, fifteen lodges failed to take action. This provision was derived from North Carolina, which seems to have copied the procedure for amending the Constitution of the United States, another example of the mistake of applying political principles to a social organization. The idea seems to have travelled from Tennessee to Missouri, Illinois, and Iowa. Delaware, Alabama, Ohio, and one of the Grand Lodges in Georgia had adopted it, probably, for the same reason that North Carolina did.

The Grand Lodge of Illinois, finding in 1841 that the provision was inconvenient, severed the Gordian Knot by simply declaring that the consent of the lodges meant the vote of their representatives in Grand Lodge, and proceeded to adopt an amendment by a twothirds vote of the lodge representatives in Grand Lodge. Soon thereafter, the constitution was amended so as to expressly provide for amendment in that fashion.

The political concept of sovereignty continues to obsess the minds of lawyer Masons so that, to this day, some of them complain that the Grand Lodges of Alabama, Delaware, Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Idaho are not sovereign, because those Grand Lodges cannot amend their constitutions without taking the vote of the separate lodges. But it is not perceived that these lodges are any the less sovereign than others. The objection lies rather in the direction of expediency or convenience. The lodges sometimes fail to act, because they are not particularly interested in the amendment or do not understand its purpose or effect, not having the advantage of debate upon the subject. Political institutions are wholly different. There, a constitutional amendment may seriously affect life, property, or other


vital rights. Debate is afforded by the public platform and the press, which is not characteristic of Masonic affairs.


The status of charters and lodges existing before the organization of a Grand Lodge sustained two opposite interpretations, each with variations.

In Massachusetts, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Maine, and Missouri, the theory was that the erection of the Grand Lodge, ipso facto, vested it with complete authority over the existing lodges and ousted the authority of the Grand Lodge which had issued the charters. The lodges might retain their old charters if they saw fit but they had no effect upon control by the Grand Lodge.

The opposite theory prevailing in Virginia, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Florida, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois was to the effect that the charter was the tie between the Grand and subordinate lodge and, like a deed, was an evidence of title. Hence, it was insisted that the old charters be surrendered to the Grand Lodge that issued them and new charters be taken from the new Grand Lodge.

As stated, each of these theories had variations. Thus, the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts and that of the Indian Territory held that, while the old charters could be retained, they should be endorsed or validated by the new Grand Lodge.

The Virginia doctrine was varied in Connecticut by allowing the lodges to retain the old charters and also take out new ones. When the Grand Lodge of West Virginia was formed, the Grand Lodge of Virginia insisted that the old charters be returned to it and that new charters be obtained from the new Grand Lodge. This was done but, at the special request of the West Virginia lodges, the charters were returned with the advice that they be surrendered to the Grand Lodge of West Virginia.

Tennessee was long uncertain what to do about the matter and some lodges followed one course, others the opposite course. In the end, the Grand Lodge of Tennessee seemed to adopt the Virginia method.

Wh ever charter was held by the lodge was generally considered necess ry for the existence of the lodge. When a charter was revoked, the lodge's operations were suspended and, if it persisted, it was declared clandestine and all Masons of the jurisdiction warned not to


hold Masonic intercourse with it. This usually brought a reformation or termination of the lodge. In some places, resort was had to this principle by a Master who lost control of his lodge. He would surrender the charter to the Grand Secretary, thus, putting a quietus to the Masonic activities of the lodge, and when the recalcitrants came to order, the charter was restored.


In Vermont, attempts were made to forbid the establishment of lodges within twenty miles of each other but the regulation as adopted required the consent of all lodges within twenty miles where a new lodge was to be chartered, and, later, this was changed to require the consent of two-thirds of the lodges in the same district. New Hampshire required that a lodge be held only in the town named in the charter. In New York, a petition for a charter had to be recommended by the officers of the nearest lodge.

The rule of "perpetual jurisdiction" over a candidate has caused much discussion among Masonic lawyers. The first regulation relating to territorial jurisdiction of lodges was adopted by Connecticut to the effect that, if a candidate applied to a lodge other than the nearest lodge or other than one in the town where he resided, the latter lodge must be notified and take a ballot as in the case of one of its own candidates, and, if adverse, the candidate could not be admitted. New Hampshire forbade a candidate to be received from the jurisdiction of another lodge without inquiry being made of the latter. Rhode Island forbade the reception of a petition from one residing nearer another lodge without the recommendation of such other lodge, and, if a resident of the state received the degrees outside the state, he was not to be recognized in Rhode Island, except on a favorable vote of the lodge nearest his residence.

From such beginnings, arose the rule of perpetual jurisdiction. Massachusetts would not allow a lodge to receive a candidate rejected by another lodge. Rhode Island would permit such only upon the unanimous recommendation of the lodge that had rejected him.

Two attempts made in Ohio to adopt the rule of perpetual jurisdiction failed. In New York, it was held that no lodge should initiate a c~ didate until satisfied that he had not been previously rejected, but, if 'he had been, then, the lodge must be satisfied that the cause was not meritorious. This, in effect, denied the rule of perpetual jurisdiction, for it left the decision of the merits of the prior rejection in the hands of the lodge petitioned.


Connecticut, also, adopted a regulation that a candidate could not be advanced in a lodge other than that in which he had received the preceding degree, without the concurrence of such other lodges given by ballot.

Mackey, always ready to commit himself dogmatically upon a plausible proposition, was so sure of the' rule of perpetual jurisdiction that he laid it down as one of his ancient, universal, and immutable landmarks that no lodge could interfere in the business of another lodge nor give degrees to brethren who were members of other lodges. But he overlooked the fact that the two lodges might owe allegiance to two different "sovereign" Grand Lodges and, hence, what one lodge did with members of the other was not a matter of law but only of comity between the two governing bodies.

The supposed rule of perpetual jurisdiction has been quite generally denied and the obvious difficulty of enforcing it seems to leave little of substance even if it were theoretically sound.

How many Masons are required to form a lodge or hold a charter? Massachusetts Grand Lodge and also Vermont and Tennessee said five. Massachusetts Grand Lodge held in 1780 that no one could be a member of more than one lodge in the same town, implying that dual membership might exist in lodges in different towns.

In Missouri, it was held that Entered Apprentices and Fellow Crafts could not be expelled for nonpayment of dues, because they were not members of the lodge and had no vote.

A Vermont regulation empowered lodges to suspend, expel, or restore members by a two-thirds vote, from which there was no appeal and, apparently, this was without trial. Lodges were, also, authorized to try offenders whether they were members of that lodge or not. In New York, a lodge, by majority vote, could expel a member. In South Carolina, a member of a Texas lodge residing in South Carolina was tried and expelled and the Texas lodge notified. Virginia, also, held that it had power to try and expel a member of a foreign jurisdiction. But, in 1914 and 1915, it was held by the Grand Lodge of California that the sentence of expulsion pronounced by a Nevada lodge on a member of a California lodge resident in Nevada had no effect in California. It went on to say that though California claimed the right to try and expel a member of a foreign jurisdiction resident in California, it claimed no extraterritorial effect of such judgment but merely that it governed the rights of the sojourning Mason in California.

In New York, doubt was expressed as to whether a lodge could


try its Master. It is now generally held that it cannot and, characteristically, the Masonic lawyers give as the reason that the Master and the brethren are not "peers." It is a sound rule but the reason for it is that the Master could not govern the lodge if he were virtually subject to recall.

Prior to the Revolution, business in the Colonial lodges was often conducted in the Entered Apprentice Degree and many lodges conferred only the first two degrees. In Vermont, it was not until 1805 that voting was limited to Master Masons. In New York, it was held that a Master or a majority of the lodge could exclude a visitor and, also, that a pecuniary or mercantile claim could not be adjudicated by a lodge.

The increasing opposition to spirituous liquors is noted in several decisions. In 1816, New York prohibited distilled spirits at lodge meetings. In 1826, Vermont forbade the use of ardent spirits at meetings of the Grand Lodge and recommended to lodges that they do likewise. In 1827, the Grand Master of New Hampshire stated that liquors were permitted in few lodges.

That lodge funds are trust funds for charitable purposes was held in several decisions, sometimes by the civil courts. When the old Masonic Hall in Philadelphia was sold pursuant to an act of the legislature, one-third of the proceeds were turned over to the City to be held as a trust fund for supplying fuel to indigent persons. The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts determined that lodge funds are held in trust and that, when the lodge becomes extinct, the Grand Lodge succeeds as trustee holding the funds for charitable purposes. The same was the decision of the Grand Lodge of Georgia. New York held that lodge dues were contributed for charitable purposes and were not to be diverted. During the anti-Masonic excitement in New Hampshire, one of the lodges voted to dissolve and divide the funds among the members, one of whom sued the Treasurer for his share. The court decided that the funds were trust funds for charitable purposes and that the court could appoint a trustee to administer the trust.

Thus, by the slow process of decision, a body of Masonic law emerged, but it was not until the middle of the 19th century that books appeared upon the subject. Since that time, a large number hav* been published in America and in England, including the following: Code of Masonic Law by Rob Morris, 1856; Principles of Masonic Law by Albert G. Mackey, 1856; Digest of Masonic Law and Decisions by W. B. Hubbard, 1858; Text Book of Masonic Juris


prudence by Albert G. Mackey, 1859; Institutes of Masonic Jurisprudence by George Oliver (Eng.), 1859; Familiar Treatise on the Principles and Practice of Masonic Jurisprudence by John W. Simons, 1864; Digest of Masonic Law by George W. Chase, 1865; Masonic Law and Practice by Luke A. Lockwood, 1867; Masonic Trials by Henry M. Look, 1870; Freemasonry and Its Jurisprudence by Chalmers I. Paton (Eng.), 1872; Masonic Parliamentary Law by Albert G. Mackey, 1875; Digest of Masonic Jurisprudence by H. Robertson (Can.), 1881; Masonic Code of Washington by William H. Upton, 1897; Masonic Jurisprudence by John T. Lawrence (Eng.), 1912; and Lectures on Masonic Jurisprudence by Roscoe Pound, 1916.


The question of the power of Grand Lodges to pass upon the legitimacy or illegitimacy of appendant bodies was mentioned briefly in a preceding chapter in reference to the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite after 1813. It there appeared that, in the fight against Cerneauism, some Grand Lodges refused to be concerned with the regularity or irregularity of Scottish Rite Councils and that Albert Pike concurred in the propriety of that policy. Other Grand Lodges contented themselves with banning Cerneauism, while still others undertook to hold that there were two and only two legitimate Supreme Councils in the United States, and that all others, including the Cerneau bodies, were impostors.

The last described action went beyond the necessity of the case, for it accomplished no more than did the simple action of declaring Cerneauism illegitimate for the reason that it interfered or threatened to interfere with the exclusive jurisdiction of Grand Lodges over the Three Degrees. This could have been done without reference to the status of other Scottish Rite bodies.

Considering the difficulty Grand Lodges have in determining the legitimacy and right to recognition of other Grand Lodges, it may be doubted whether, as a practical matter, they can properly determine questions less germane to their constitutions. Where a Grand Lodge undertakes to decide internal constitutional questions related to another body, it amounts to a tacit admission that such other body is, to som4 extent, Masonic. How can a body be partly Masonic, and, if it is, how can it be determined to what extent it is Masonic? It is difficult to see how a body can be so Masonic that its regulation is a part of the business of a Grand Lodge and, yet, not include some por


tion of Masonry. It must be that there is a kind of Masonry which is not Craft Masonry, and, if that be true, what becomes of the claim that there is but one Masonry consisting of the Three Degrees?

The truth seems to be that the old idea, so long cherished, that Freemasonry includes only the Symbolic Degrees has, in the course of time and by an imperceptible process, become greatly eroded. Though the change has not been noted by Masonic technicians, the common understanding, both within and without the Fraternity, is that certain of the Appendant degrees are a part, and, in the opinions of some, the brighter part of Freemasonry. At the present time, these orders are in a sort of Masonic penumbra, but it is quite evident that, by confining their membership to Master Masons, they have so closely associated themselves with Symbolic Masonry that what harms or affects one body will harm or affect the other or others.

A serious question of some magnitude arose in California in 1932 (Calif. Proc. 1932, pp. 71, 315) when, contrary to repeated warnings from the Grand Master, the Mystic Shrine held a $115,000 lottery in connection with its National Convention in San Francisco. This involved Masons from all over the country, and indictments for violation of the lottery law were threatened. The matter occupied a large part of the Grand Master's report to the Grand Lodge annual communication the same year. The Grand Master, himself a prominent lawyer of that city, reported that there were six kinds of action possible, viz., (1) to direct charges to be brought against the leaders if Grand Lodge felt that a Masonic offense had been committed; (2) to assess penalties without trial; (3) to prohibit members of constituent lodges from belonging to the Shrine so long as the latter confined its membership to Masons; (4) to prohibit members of constituent lodges from belonging to the Shrine unless the latter submitted itself to control of the Grand Lodge; (5) to prohibit members of constituent lodges from belonging to any organization which required Masonic membership in its own members unless such organization enforced Masonic law; and (6) to adopt legislation making it a Masonic offense for any member of a constituent lodge to bring discredit upon any organization which required Masonic membership in its own members.

The Committee on Policy and General Purposes to which that part of the Grand Master's report was referred found that the Grand Master had seemingly questioned the advisability of four of the six proposals, leaving (3) and (6), the former of which the Committee felt


the Grand Lodge would be indisposed to adopt at that time. Its recommendation was adopted to the effect that (6) be approved and that legislation be drafted accordingly. There was no dissent, possibly, because the resolution was the least drastic of the several actions suggested and, furthermore, delayed proceedings until consideration could be given when the legislation were presented. It seemed to be felt that no action was advisable to redress the past injury, and that only legislation with prospective effect might be adopted.

The pyramidal structure whereby each appendant order requires the possession of certain preceding degrees by its own members is peculiar to Freemasonry and raises novel questions, only a few of which have yet come up for consideration. There is no question about the power of a lodge or Grand Lodge to discipline members for unMasonic conduct whether the act be committed in the respondent's capacity as a Master Mason or as a member of some appendant degree or without reference to any Masonic body at all. The charge that one has brought discredit upon an appendant order must be bottomed upon the presumption that the act inevitably brings discredit upon Craft Masonry, otherwise the Grand Lodge would be unconcerned about it. But why invoke a presumption; why not charge directly that the act had brought discredit upon Craft Masonry? It is apparent that a trial commission would have great difficulty in proving the effect of any act upon some other body, it being largely a matter of disputable opinion.

If the method under discussion is the correct procedure, then, it would appear that a Grand Royal Arch Chapter could make it a Capitular offense to injure the reputation of a Council of Royal and Select Masters or a Commandery of Knights Templar, and the Grand Commandery could make it an offense to bring odium upon the Shrine.

In the case above referred to, if the Master Masons who participated in the Shrine lottery were guilty at all, they were guilty of violating civil law, which is, itself, a Masonic offense, and they should have been tried and either acquitted or convicted on that ground. It is always better to adhere to strict and indisputable principles than to follow remote courses which seem to be dictated by temporary expediency.


The most notable and, certainly, the most disputatious invention of the Masonic "lawyers" of the 19th century was the so-called


"Ancient Landmarks." These have caused more controversy and produced less tangible or beneficial consequences than any other subject discussed in the literature of the Craft, unless it be the "Ancient Pagan Mysteries." Landmarks had been referred to by Masonic speakers and writers in a general and uncertain way for many years, but the American concept turned them into a super constitution of ancient and universally recognized laws, so immutable that no human hand could touch them and no human mind could contrive the slightest alteration in them. The discussion rose to a crescendo in the latter part of the 19th century and, then, became confused and chaotic when it began to appear that no one knew what these landmarks were so as either to define them generally or to enumerate them specifically. Quite often, the general definition and the specific list by the same author did not coincide. Finally, it became evident that these landmarks which were circulating so briskly and manifesting themselves so diversely were, themselves, no more than creations of contemporary human minds and decidedly fallible minds at that.

The subject is too broad to be treated exhaustively here, so that, for a complete exposition, reference must be made to the article in Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia.

The whole complex chain of development began with a single remark inserted in a passing, casual, and indefinite way in the last Article (XXXIX) of the General Regulations of the premier Grand Lodge of England, adopted in 1721-1722 and incorporated in the Constitutions of 1723. This read as follows:

"Every Annual Grand Lodge has an inherent Power and Authority to make new Regulations, or to alter these, for the real benefit of this ancient Fraternity; Provided always that the old Land-Marks be carefully preserv'd......

The term had not been used in the Gothic Constitutions and this was its only occurrence in the whole of the Constitutions of 1723. What was meant by it is unknown, and it appears that the Grand Lodge itself was uncertain.

Within six months after the approval of the Charges and Regulations in January 1723, the question of approving the latter came before the Annual Grand Lodge in June of that year when two new terms were introduced, equally lacking in definiteness, viz., "Ancient Rulet of Masonry" and "Body of Masoncy," but the term, "landmarks," was not once mentioned in the proceedings. It was resolved:

"That it is not in the Power of any person, or body of men, to make


any Alteration, or Innovation in the Body of Masonry without the consent first obtained of the Annual Grand Lodge."

They either observed nothing of Masonic importance in the term, "landmarks," or else they deliberately avoided it as doubtful. They did, however, clearly imply that changes could be made in the Body of Masonry by or with the consent of the Annual Grand Lodge.

After January 1723, the term, "landmarks," was not again used in the proceedings of the Grand Lodge for eighty-six years. Much earlier, however, the idea seems, imperceptibly, though erroneously, to have grown up that they were fixed and unchangeable ceremonies.

Wellins Calcott's A Candid Disquisition etc., published in 1769, was the first book issued as a general commentary on Freemasonry. The word, landmarks, appears in it but once. Preston's Illustrations of Masonry, published in 1772, used the word half a dozen times but never in a way to throw much light upon it. Hutchinson's Spirit of Masonry, issued in 1775, did not use the word at all.

The premier Grand Lodge of England having switched some of the words in the ceremonies about 1738-1739, after submitting to the jibes of the Ancients for many years, resolved in 1809 to revert to the "landmarks," thus indicating a concept that the secrets were landmarks. In the same year, the Lodge of Promulgation, in its proceedings, mentioned the "landmarks restricted to the first degree," and, in the following year, called the ceremony of Installed Master one of the "two landmarks."

The Articles of Union between the Ancient and Modern Grand Lodges, signed in 1813, provided for "one pure unsullied system according to the genuine landmarks."

Dr. George Oliver, who wrote voluminously and almost continuously from 1820 to 1863, referred to the "landmarks" in a variety of ways, showing that this exceptionally informed Freemason had no concrete or fixed notion as to what they might be. At different times, he used the term with reference to the secrets, the lectures, and the symbolism, finally asserting that there was no agreement as to what they might be. That seems to have been the general state of thought upon the subject up to the middle of the 19th century.

Doubtless, many Masonic addresses and articles, in the half century preceding 1850, had mentioned landmarks in general terms, so that they became something to conjure with, but by the latter date, inquiring Masons desired to know more precisely what they were.

In preceding pages, we have seen the effect which the development


of constitutional and civil governmental forms had upon Freemasonry in the United States. The concept of political entities and organization was carried into the Fraternity. Said Mackey, "societies . . . are but empires, kingdoms or republics in miniature." This was not so, but it was accepted and, as the result, efforts were made in several quarters to supply the Fraternity with something corresponding to the Constitution of the United States, the statutes, and the common or unwritten law. But, then, the concept became confused and the landmarks of Freemasonry were put forth as written "unwritten" law. Not only was the supposed unwritten law put into writing but it was given a finality and inflexibility which did not characterize any civil institutions. Thus, the so-called landmarks, supposedly unwritten secrets, ceremonies, or customs, were violently laid hold of and forced into the shape of inflexible super constitutions.

The innovation thus effected was threefold; first, in treating landmarks as laws; secondly, in treating them as written; and, thirdly in making them immutable. In one respect or another, this was unprecedented either in civil or Masonic theory.

The first effort of any Grand Lodge to investigate the subject of landmarks was that of the Grand Lodge of Missouri, a committee of which, headed by Past Grand Master J. W. S. Mitchell, reported, in 1850, to the effect that the Constitutions of 1723 contained "all or nearly all of the Ancient Landmarks and usages of Masonry proper to be published." Notwithstanding the great show of learning that has been made upon the subject, that declaration has never been surpassed for simplicity, clarity, or accuracy.

In 1856, the Grand Lodge of Minnesota adopted a constitution containing a list of twenty-six propositions declared to be "among the Ancient Constitutions, having the force of Ancient Landmarks." That was the first effort to name or identify landmarks. In 1856, Rob Morris, Past Grand Master of Kentucky, published a list of seventeen propositions, accompanied by many pages of supporting argument. These differed, in essential respects, from the Minnesota list.

All prior efforts were eclipsed by the list of twenty-five "ancient, universal, and immutable landmarks," promulgated by Dr. Albert G. Mackey in 1858-1859. Strangely enough, Dr. Mackey stated in his Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry, published in 1872, that he was the first to issue such a list, and that others had copied his without giving credit. He ignored the two lists which had preceded his and seemed, unconsciously and unintentionally, to admit that his twenty-five theses were not the landmarks of Freemasonry and the common


property of all Freemasons, but were his private literary property which had been pirated!

The very fact that landmarks have to be hunted for and disputed about is proof that, if and when found, they will not be landmarks. A landmark is some prominent object plainly visible on the ground and generally from a distance which is used as a guide to locate other objects or areas. Hence, it was incongruous to regard as landmarks those propositions which either had not existed at all or had remained hidden and obscure and doubtful from the earliest times until 1850, then to be disclosed as a copyrighted transformation of unwritten law into unchangeable decrees.

Of course, unwritten law, such as the Common Law, is only a collection of general, variable, and adaptable principles. It is not fixed or unalterable, but, on the contrary, one of its chief virtues is that it expands and changes to meet the demands of developing society, trade, industry, science, and the arts, often casting off outmoded principles and inventing new ones to fit the circumstances. Hence, by definition, unwritten law cannot be congealed, and, if it be moulded into fixed written form as by codification or enactment into statute law, it ceases to be unwritten.

But, in the rapidly expanding Fraternity which was following the western migration of 19th century America, the need for Masonic information was urgent, and no opportunity was afforded for analysis or reflection to test or judge its accuracy. Positive formulae were no less in demand because they might lack historical or doctrinal accuracy or support. Anything put out with the appearance of authority was avidly siezed upon.

Two of the greatest Masonic students of the times, Gould and Pike, took no stock in Mackey's landmarks. The former said:

"We may vainly search in the records of the ancient Scottish Lodges of the early times for a full specification of the twenty-five `landmarks' which modern research pronounces to be both ancient and unalterable. Of the ancient landmarks it has been observed with more or less foundation of truth: `Nobody known what they comprise or omit; they are of no earthly authority, because everything is a landmark when an opponent desires to silence you; but nothing is a landmark that stands in his own way.'"

Pike made a more extended commentary on Mackey's twenty-five theses ynd rejected eighteen of them, questioned four others, and gave unqualified acceptance to three. He concluded:

"Thus most of these so called landmarks were not known either to Ancient Craft Masonry in England or Scotland before the Revolution of


1723, or to the new Masonry, as landmarks, for years afterwards. It is a pity that Masonry has not a Pope, or cannot make one of some Grand Master, Editor, or Chairman of a Committee on Foreign Correspondence, endowed with infallibility, to determine the age which a landmark must have to entitle it to call itself a landmark; what is the essential nature of a landmark; how many of the supposed twenty-five are landmarks; and what others the oracular wisdom of the author of this catalogue has overlooked.

"A mushroom may grow ever so tall, on a boundary line or at a corner, but it will never be mistaken for a landmark.

"If there were such an infallible authority and arbiter, I should like to submit for his consideration a score or so of additional landmarks of the same nature as some of those on the semi-official catalogue, and it seems to me equally entitled to figure on it."

Little heed was paid to these warnings if, indeed, many read them. Mackey's works were widely circulated and accomplished the difficult feat of causing a number of Grand Lodges in this country to engraft innovations upon the body of their Masonry. Four Grand Lodges in the United States adopted Mackey's list, and nineteen others recognized them in more or less tacit fashion, although six of them, also, included the Charges of 1723. Eleven others, approving Mackey's general approach but doubting his specifications, proceeded to draw up and adopt lists of their own, all differing from Mackey's and from each other. Fifteen, together with most foreign Grand Lodges, have taken no action upon the subject. Moreover, some Grand Lodges which tacitly recognize Mackey's list have adopted regulations or statutes inconsistent therewith, thus, disputing the authority of the supposed landmarks.

Then, some embarrassment developed. Soon after Mackey's landmarks were issued to the Masonic public in 1858-1859, a school of English investigators began their work of searching out the Gothic Constitutions, lodge minutes, and other records of the Craft, the results of which work began to be felt about 1870. This movement, culminating in the publication of Gould's monumental History of Freemasonry in 1885, completely overturned and rendered obsolete all prior pretended histories of Freemasonry, and disclosed facts unknown to Mackey or any one else prior to about 1860.

Mackey, himself, affiliated with this school, adopting its methods and ideas, so that, in his History of Freemasonry, which he left unfin hed at the time of his death in 1881, and which was completed bylthers and published in 1898, he made but a single reference to landmarks. This occurs at page 896 where he says that the Charges of a Free-Mason of 1723 were the basis of "what are called the Land


marks of the Order." Moreover, in that work, he repeatedly emphasizes facts which demonstrate that, at least, seven of his earlier propositions relating to degrees, Grand Masters, and Grand Lodges fail to answer his test of antiquity which he set up for landmarks.

The whole subject is now in a chaotic state, there being utter lack of any agreement as to what the supposed landmarks consist of or how to define them. An analysis of forty attempts by leading authorities to formulate definitions shows the following results: Twelve emphasize antiquity as a test; nine emphasize universality; and thirteen emphasize immutability. Two call landmarks laws; one calls them fundamental laws; three consider them unwritten laws; two say they are both written and unwritten laws; and two deny that they are laws at all. Eleven consider landmarks to be the leading, fundamental, or essential principles of the Order; two call them the Body of Masonry; three say they are established customs; seven claim that they fix the boundaries of the Society and distinguish it from others. Four declare that they check innovations or limit the power of the lodges or Grand Lodges; one says that the Grand Lodge can amend or abrogate them. Five deem them to be the Ancient Charges or the doctrines of the premier Grand Lodge of England in 1717-1723. Three say a belief in God and the immortality of the soul is the only dogma; two emphasize the brotherhood of man. Three assert that the secrets and ceremonies constitute the landmarks; three give prominence to the modes of recognition. Two do not go beyond a surveyor's or a seaman's or a builder's concept of physical landmarks. One stresses the moral and social virtues. Two suggest that landmarks are innumerable. Finally, four appear noncommittal or wholly skeptical as to whether there are any identifiable landmarks.

While references to landmarks are still observed in Masonic addresses and articles, this is usually now in a general and nonspecific sense, for the enthusiasm which they so long invoked has about burned out. So many critical and apparently just appraisals have been made of them by careful writers, who have exposed the fallacies of prior efforts, that the word, landmarks, is being less and less used and may, eventually, almost disappear from Masonic literature.

Contrary to the basic concept upon which the supposed landmarks were founded, Freemasonry changes and the understanding which Masons have of their order change. Freemasonry is bound to be and become whit the vast majority of its votaries think it is or want it to become, and, in fact, the so-called landmarks expounded by the various writers are quite generally found to be merely the customs and


practices to which those writers, respectively, have become accustomed and for which they naturally have their predilections. Since Masonic customs and practices differ from place to place and from time to time, there is continual nonconformity among them. When these are compared and when attempts are made to trace them back to antiquity or to show that they are universal or immutable, the error of the whole theory is disclosed.

Freemasonry has peculiar customs, ceremonies, practices, and laws; some of them are "ancient," that is, mediaeval and some are more recent; some are almost, if not quite, universal and some are nowhere near universal; and none of them are immutable. The most that we can say in that respect is that Freemasonry resists innovations and tends to remain uniform and constant.


The recognition of one Grand Lodge by another is usually likened to diplomatic relations between one nation and another friendly nation. In Freemasonry, it means that one Grand Lodge is convinced of and admits the Masonic regularity and legality of another Grand Lodge, and of course, in such event the latter would recognize the former. In international diplomacy, where two nations are not on friendly terms and have not exchanged representatives, communications of absolute necessity are carried on through the agency of some nation friendly to both. But in Freemasonry the severance is more severe, for two Grand Lodges either one of which does not recognize the other simply have no intercommunications and the one generally deemed regular will not allow its adherents to visit lodges of the one generally regarded as irregular, but the latter usually not having such pride may not care if its members do visit any other lodge, regular or irregular. Indeed, it would be glad to have them do so in order to make itself appear more lawful. Regularity is generally judged by and of Grand Lodges, rather than lodges, for a Grand Lodge to be recognized it must be of such high character that it has required all of its lodges to be regular, while a Grand Lodge that is not lawful or regular cannot have any regular lodge.

The criteria by which Grand Lodges or lodges are deemed regular and lawful, or irregular, unlawful, clandestine or spurious will be exami ed later, but the preliminary question may be asked: What is the valu~ of strict regulations and decisions about regularity? If a body of men are conducting what appears to be a Masonic lodge, in peace


and harmony, rendering characteristic aid and assistance to their brethren and being respected by the public, what difference does it make if they have no charter, or if a Grand Lodge is composed of several lodges which simply walked away from a larger body holding forth in the same state or nation?

There are several reasons. First, customary law of the operative fraternity as set up in the Gothic Constitutions, beginning at least as early as the latter half of the 17th century, stated what was required to compose a just and lawful or just and perfect lodge, and these definitions became more numerous and more varied with the catechistical rituals in the exposed manuscripts and pamphlets which began to be published in 1723. But the most compelling and effective was the requirement of the General Regulations of 1721-1722 prohibiting any group of Masons from forming voluntary lodges without a warrant from the Grand Master. By such warrants and the charters which later came to be issued out of the Grand Lodge, each lodge was under surveillance from its inception.

Secondly, there was originally and at all times since and there is now a basic necessity for demanding of Grand Lodges and lodges some authority for their existence and the continuance of some standard of conduct. That is, from the earliest times, a brotherly relation existed among Masons, demanding aid and assistance in time of need, the motto being, Brother Love, Relief and Truth. In the quaint language of the Gothic Constitutions the Masons were charged to receive needy brethren traveling over the country and give them work, if any is to be had, or if not, to help them to the next town where employment is available. Then, as now, secret means of recognition were provided whereby one Mason might know another, even in the dark as well as in the light. Necessarily, therefore, some means had to be employed to separate legitimate Masons from false pretenders who would always ask but never render aid and assistance. There had to be some way to define the elect and that came to be done by limiting them to members in good standing of duly created lodges.

Thirdly, Freemasonry has always had an ethical component and some degree of mortality has always been demanded of its members. If every group of moral men is allowed to pose as a Masonic lodge without responsible supervision, Masonic standards would soon be dissipated and the mores of each community where such unregulated body eAsted would determine its action and character. Experience has shown that such is exactly what results in instances of that kind


and that clandestine lodges have often been set up with the purpose to escape control and with resulting disreputable and un-Masonic conduct.

Fourthly, where a Grand Lodge can trace its origin back to one of the Grand Lodges of England, Scotland or Ireland, there is known to be a chain of oath bound obligations to adhere to Masonic standards of conduct, otherwise authority can go back only to some pretended founder who had never assumed any obligation of Masonic conduct or loyalty and, hence, whatever promises were enacted were without sanction and worthless.

If the purpose and effect of regulated conduct were sufficient, the problem could be considered solved, but, unfortunately the methods of defining and enforcing regularity have been successful only in places and at times, and otherwise have been somewhat vague and indifferent. Even in England where symbolic or speculative Freemasonry arose and was organized into Grand Lodges, no more than a generation passed before there were half a dozen rivals of the premier Grand Lodge, and at least one of these arose after the Union of 1813 between the Ancients and the Moderns, which had supposedly unified English Freemasonry.

Occasions for breaches and wider and wider breaches in doctrine arose as Freemasonry crossed international boundaries, particularly into non-English speaking countries. Great changes occurred in the French interpretation of Masonry and other changes of a different nature attended passage into Germany and the Scandanavian countries. In Latin and Latin-American countries the French concept mainly prevailed. Naturally the least modifications were noted when Freemasonry moved among English-speaking countries. There was no language barrier and social and political ideas, if not similar, were easily reconciled to mutual tolerance.

Yet, in England, innovations were introduced and changes were made which formed a basis on which the regularity of other jurisdictions were judged. The principles of symbolic Freemasonry contemplated, if not expressly stated, the worldwide unanimity and amity among all members, founded upon ethics and morality in which all men of good intention could agree. Religion was not deemed a necessary element. The Constitutions of 1723 under the first Charge, entitlep God and Religion, stipulated that the only qualification in that respect called for "good men and true; men of honor and honesty," and expressly stated that their other opinions were left to the individ


ual. But so gradually that it is difficult to name the times, various religious or even sectarian doctrines and symbolism crept into the ritual, prayers were said, and the Bible found its way on the Master's pedestal and later on the altar, often being called the "Great Light in Masonry." Even the Union of 1813 between the Ancients and the Moderns, which resulted in complete revision of the ritual, in the attempt to remove divergencies and departures from genuine Freemasonry, failed to restore the original neutral position on religion. Christian references were in some instances removed, mere monotheism substituted and King Solomon was set up as the patron saint, a sanctification which the Holy Scriptures clearly show was not his just due. The religious theory that belief is the key to salvation and that the unbeliever or heretic is headed for perdition became in many quarters accepted Masonic doctrine and the United Grand Lodge of England in 1877 resolved not to admit visitors to its lodges who did not certify that they believed in T.G.A.O.T.U. and that they had been initiated in a lodge which adhered to that dogma. Belief was the test rather than conduct or character. This policy was adopted by practically every English-speaking jurisdiction as the fast and most important necessity for Masonic regularity, and on that basis some Grand Lodges in France, Italy, and some other European jurisdictions and their far-flung subordinates have been utterly rejected. In the opposite direction it is interesting to observe that, although the United Grand Lodge of England and most other jurisdictions tracing their ancestry to England have abandoned all pretense of Christian associations or dogma and are purely monotheistic in religion, practically all of them recognize the very definitely Christian Grand Lodge of Sweden as perfectly legitimate. Moreover, the Grand Lodge of Sweden is completely under political domination, the King being the hereditary Grand Master, which is also quietly overlooked.

About the middle of the 19th century the idea began to be broached that there were in Freemasonry certain inherent, inalienable, self-sustaining and immutable landmarks which served as boundaries defining what was and what was not Freemasonry, and did so with such finality and force that any Freemason or even a whole Grand Lodge which violated or ignored one landmark would automatically exclude himself or itself from Freemasonry. This theory spread rapidly, as previously discussed. The lists were open and practically very Masonic writer or supposed authority, including many Grand Lodges in the United States issued definitions or compilations


of landmarks and sometimes both. This craze had died out by about the time of World War 1, with only sporadic mention of the subject thereafter.

The Grand Masters' Conference of North America held annually in Washington, D.C. in February, last took up the subject in 1939 and, without attempting to define or list landmarks, adopted a Declaration of Principles, eleven in number, as quoted below, the excuse for repeating it here being that it soon went out of circulation and the present copy has the charitable purpose of preserving it from utter oblivion


1. Freemasonry is a charitable, benevolent, educational and religious society. Its principles are proclaimed as widely as men will hear. Its only secrets are in its methods of recognition and of symbolic instruction.

2. It is charitable in that it is not organized for profit and none of its income inures to the benefit of any individual, but all is devoted to the promotion of the welfare and happiness of mankind.

3. It is benevolent in that it teaches and exemplifies altruism as a duty.

4. It is educational in that it teaches by prescribed ceremonials a system of morality and brotherhood based upon the Sacred Law.

5. It is religious in that it teaches monotheism, the Volume of the Sacred Law is open upon its altars whenever a lodge is in session, reverence for God is ever present in its ceremonial, and to its brethren are constantly addressed lessons of morality; yet it is not sectarian or theological.

6. It is a social organization only so far as it furnishes additional inducement that men may forgather in numbers, thereby providing more material for its primary work of education, or worship, and of charity.

7. Through the improvement and strengthening of the character of the individual man, Freemasonry seeks to improve the community. Thus it impresses upon its members the principles of personal righteousness and personal responsibility, enlightens them as to those things which make for human welfare, and inspires them with that feeling of charity, or good will, toward all mankind which will move them to translate principles and conviction into action.

8. To that end, it teaches and stands for the worship of God; truth and justice; fraternity and philanthropy; and enlightenment and orderly liberty, civil, religious and intellectual. It charges each of its members to be true and loyal to the government of the country to which he owes allegiance and to be obedient to the law of any state in which he may be.

It believes that the attainment of these objectives is best accompl~hed by laying a broad base of principle upon which men of every race, country, sect and opinion may unite rather than by setting up a re stricted platform upon which only those of certain races, creeds and opinions can assemble.


10. Believing these things, this Grand Lodge affirms its continued adherence to that ancient and approved rule of Freemasonry which forbids the discussion in Masonic meetings of creeds, politics, or other topics likely to excite personal animosities.

11. It further affirms its conviction that it is not only contrary to the fundamentals of Freemasonry, but dangerous to its unity, strength, usefulness and welfare, for Masonic bodies to take action or attempt to exercise pressure or influence for or against any legislation, or in any way to attempt to procure the election or appointment of governmental officials, or to influence them, whether or not members of the Fraternity, in the performance of their official duties. The true Freemason will act in civil life according to his individual judgment and the dictates of his conscience.

By December, 1940, twenty Grand Lodges in the U.S.A. had adopted the foregoing declaration; twenty-eight had not done so, while twenty-two had adopted their own statement of principles, a few of which had also adopted the above list

The Grand Masters' Conference was evidently not satisfied with its 1939 endeavor, so that, between 1951 and 1958, it organized and carried out probably the most thorough attempt ever made, aside from the celebrated "landmark" episode, to determine what sort of body should be recognized as Masonic. But, strange to say, this pretentious undertaking slipped, in part, right back into the "landmark" complex, as will be observed. In 1951-1952, a commission of six Past Grand Masters was appointed by the Chairman to serve for staggered terms, one commissioner dropping out and a new one taking his place each year. That was unwise for several of the starting commissioners would not have sufficient time to become well versed in the subject, and as will be noted, they employed the services of Dr. Roscoe Pound, who was not a Past Grand Master, though he had been Deputy Grand Master of Massachusetts. The duties of the commission were to collect information on Grand Lodges and to establish an irreducible minimum of conditions by which the regularity of Grand Lodges should be governed.

The results of the commission's work were published in two small volumes of 76 and 159 pages respectively. The first was issued in 1956 and entitled Grand Lodge Recognition, explaining the different qualities which a Grand Lodge should have to be Masonic and receive recognition from other Grand Lodges. The second volume issued in 1958, entitled Information for Recognition, sought to show the results Af applying said tests to some fifty Grand Lodges.

In the first volume, the standards finally selected were five as follows: (1) Legitimate Origin; (2) Territorial Sovereignty; and (3)


Ancient Landmarks Limited to Monotheism, (4) Volume of Sacred Law, and (5) Ban on Discussion of Religion and Politics, making five, since any one of the last three seems to rate as high as any others.

Chapter I. Legitimate Origin is treated as meaning a warrant or charter from the "Mother" Grand Lodge of England, at best a very loose term, evidently used to indicate the Grand Lodge formed in 1717 and to exclude the Grand Lodge of England according to the Old Institutions formed in 1751-1752, the regularity of which was recognized by the Union of 1813. It would exclude the Grand Lodges of Scotland and Ireland which were formed after, but in no wise dependent on any authority from the "Mother" at London, although they did adopt in the main the English ritual. The rule would disqualify a number of Grand Lodges in the United States, for at the end of the Revolution in 1781 the "Modern" or "Mother" element in several colonies or states had died out, because of their adherence to the Tory or English cause, and the resulting state Grand Lodges were derived largely from the "Ancient" Grand Lodge. The report attempts to escape this obvious limbo by declaring the recognition of illegitimate Grand Lodges which have for some unspecified period borne the "tongue of good report" and conducted themselves honorably. But since we would not want to recognize a Grand Lodge of either legitimate or illegitimate origin which has a bad reputation, does not the "tongue of good report" and honest conduct become the sole test? No other would perform any desirable function. The report slips further into a bog by advocating the recognition of any Grand Lodge which has been recognized by any other Grand Lodge of good standing, which is simply to throw off the duty and burden of deciding an important matter for one's self. The report concludes that there is no standard of legitimate origin and that until "a common standard has been devised, the development of cohesive strength among all Grand Jurisdictions in the North American continent, as well as throughout the world can not be organized."

Chapter II. Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction, written by Roscoe Pound, after discussing the point, concludes that there is no universal Masonic rule on the subject, and ends with a question as to how any such rule could be maintained or enforced under various conditions. Why the commission adopted that test is difficult to imagine.

Chapter III. Belief in God, written by Thomas S. Roy of Massachusetts makes the mistake of becoming involved in "landmarks" and then not being able to establish any "landmark." It adopts a line of


argument formerly used by P.G.M. Melvin M. Johnson by going back to the religious behests of the Gothic Constitutions (the Christian element being ignored) but the difficulty there is that no Grand Lodge is descended from the operative lodges, but are from the symbolic Grand Lodges originating in 1717 and later. It is true that religious belief was brought into the Fraternity somewhere around the middle of the 18th century, but how can that disqualify a body which follows strictly the Constitutions of 1723? Yet, that is exactly what some claim and many Grand Lodges stand on with the resulting disruption of world Freemasonry.

Chapter IV, The Volume of Sacred Law cannot be traced in Masonry back of about 1760, so, it is not made any test of regularity by merely calling it a part of the lodge furniture. Certainly it has none of the qualities of a landmark.

Chapter V. Prohibition of Discussion of Religion and Politics is another subject referred to Roscoe Pound, who declared that this is not only no landmark but is not even established Masonic law. The declaration of principles for recognition were not issued by the United Grand Lodge of England until 1929. The wrong citation is given as "The Old Charges, Sec. 4 (1723)" and again as "The Old Charges Chapter 1 (1723)" though the quotation from Charge VI, paragraph 2 is generally correct as follows:

"No private piques or quarrels must be brought within the door of the lodge, far less any quarrel about Religion or Nations or State Policy, we being only, as Masons, of the Catholic Religion above mentioned (the religion in which all men agree); we are also of all Nations, Tongues, Kindreds and Languages, and are resolved against all Politics as what never yet conduced to the welfare of the lodge, nor ever will. This charge has ever been actively enjoined and observed."

This would seem to be about as well established as a landmark as any proposition could be, coming as it does right out of the original Constitutions of the first symbolic Grand Lodge, and Pound's rejection evidently was based on a few isolated instances of violation or disregard of it. The selection of the five tests seems to have been agreed upon prior to any independent investigation as to what the proper tests should be. There were sins of omission, too; for example, there is no excuse for ignoring the fourth article in the list adopted by the United Grand Lodge of England which was before the commission and se f eral times referred to. That is the point that Freemasonry is confined to men, and the importance of it is that traffic in "female" Masonry is one of the most serious violations characteristic of clan


destinism, especially in France, Mexico and other Latin countries, and even in England.

In the second volume mentioned above, the Grand Masters' Commission examined the histories of Masonry in various foreign countries, of course, without any "on the ground" experience or investigation and recommended most of them for recognition, although at that time (1959) a survey made by the Masonic Service Association of the United States showed that less than half of the bodies so recommended by the commission had been actually recognized by Grand Lodges of the United States. (See Coil's Masonic Encyclopaedia, pp. 505-508).

Argentina may be taken as a sample of the work done by the commission, for on page 8, it appears that the commission recommended this Grand Lodge and then attached a paragraph stating that since that declaration went to the printer, it was announced that the Grand Lodge of Argentina had effected a union with the Federal Grand Orient of Argentina, so that when the prior recommendation was made, the approved body lacked territorial sovereignty or exclusive jurisdiction. South America is slippery ground for one who is looking for regular lodges and Grand Lodges. There is a prevalence of Grand Orients which are little understood in the U.S.A. They are small groups made up of representatives of the Scottish Rite and Craft Lodges wherein first one and then the other element is most controlling. This is illustrated by the report on Brazil which is recommended for recognition, including by wholesale fifteen state Grand Lodges, in the face of the following statement by some unnamed Brazilian Mason who is quoted by the commission: "As a matter of fact, should we of the state Grand Lodges extend our hand and go as a token of confidence and good will, to the Grand Orient, it might very well happen that, since they outnumber us, we would simply be absorbed by their numbers . . . we would simply be drowned, and definitely reduced to silence by them."

It is not apparent that the commission accomplished any beneficial results, but it is apparent that a Mason going abroad to visit lodges needs a guidebook and the only reliable form of this is a list of Grand Lodges recognized by his own Grand Lodge and signed by its Grand Secretary. Then he has to see that the lodge to be visited is duly chartered by one of the certified Grand Lodges.


Literature, Lectures, and Rituals


FREEMASONRY CAN HARDLY be said to have had a literature prior to the last quarter of the 18th century or a literature of any considerable proportions or importance until well into the 19th century. None of the founders of the Grand Lodge of England, except Dr. Anderson, left any account of his ideas or experiences. John Theophilus Desaguliers was, by the standards of the times, a learned man; he was a minister and a Fellow of the Royal Society and is generally called the father of Symbolic Masonry; but, though it is said that he delivered an address before the Grand Lodge on Masons and Masonry, June 24, 1721, the text of it is missing, and we have not the slightest hint of his theories, purposes, or views about the Society.

The second Masonic address of which we have any information was that delivered in the Grand Lodge by Martin Folkes, Deputy Grand Master, on May 20, 1725, but only a fragment remains.

The third Masonic address and the first of which we have a complete copy was that delivered before the Grand Lodge at York, December 27, 1726, by its Junior Grand Warden, Francis Drake, M.D., F.R.S., in which, he pretended to sketch the history of the society in somewhat fanciful vein, but which is principally noteworthy for its advocacy of the superiority of York Grand Lodge over that at London, and for the fact that it mentions the Three Degrees.

The fourth address was delivered December 31, 1728, by Edward Oakley, formerly Provincial Senior Grand Warden for South Wales, and was reprinted in Cole's Constitutions of 1731.

The fifth was Martin Clare's Defense of Masonry in 1730.

The sixth address and, probably the first in America, was delivered by someone, now unknown, at Boston, June 24, 1734, entitled, A Discourse Upon Masonry, and published in Moore's Masonic Magazine, Vol. 8, p. 289.

The seventh address was by Martin Clare, then Junior Grand Warden, at the Quarterly Communication of the Grand Lodge of England, Del. 11, 1735, entitled The Advantages Enjoyed by the Fraternity, and was published in Dr. Oliver's Golden Remains.


The eighth address was that by the Chevalier Ramsay at Paris in 1737 and will be discussed in a chapter on Additional Degrees. Anderson's second edition of the Constitutions appeared in 1738. Though, from about 1740, Masonic addresses multiplied, no books upon the subject appeared for many years, except Fifield Dassigny's of 1744, later referred to, and constitutions, manuals, and exposes, the last named being the most numerous.

It was in answer to Prichard's Masonry Dissected, in 1730, that Martin Clare published his Defense of Masonry, which is the first publication from within the society about its character. Though in answer to a scandalous attack, Clare's defense was calm and dignified. It appears, however, not to have been an attempt fully to explain the purposes and tenets of Freemasonry but, more especially, to answer only the charges that it was a pernicious and ridiculous imposition, both a wicked fraud and an unintelligible heap of stuff and jargon. Indeed, we do not know that Clare was then a Freemason, though he was such soon afterward.

Clare, very cleverly, avoided any issue as to the truth or falsity of Prichard's pretended facts but assumed that they were true. In answering the charge that the oath was impious and the penalties terrible, he quoted Prichard to the effect that the purposes of the society were "to subdue our passions; not to do our own will; to make a daily progress in a laudable art; to promote morality, charity, good fellowship, good nature, and humanity," and, if that be so, he asked, what matters the form of the oath? According to the authorities on matters of conscience, he said, an oath is no less binding whether or not it have any penalty attached. He then showed that many philosophical systems and societies of ages past administered oaths of secrecy. As for the jargon, he said, he was surprised not to find more, for

"Masonry, as it is now explained, has in some circumstances declined from its original purity. It has run long in muddy streams, and, as it were, underground; but notwithstanding the great rust it may have contracted, and the forbidding light in which it is placed by the dissector, there is still much of the fabric remaining; the essential pillars of the building may be discovered through the rubbish, though the superstructure be overrun with moss and ivy, and the stones, by length of time, be disjointed."

He suggested that Masonry resembled the mysteries of the Egyptians, which were concealed in hieroglyphics; that it was possibly desfended from the Pythagorean discipline; that its ceremonies were like those of the Essenes or the Druids; and that its secrets were somewhat "lettered like those of the Cabalists."


The jargon about the "bone-box" and the "tow-line," said Clare, are not very different in character from Ecclesiastes XII: 3-6:

"In the days when the keepers of the house shall tremble; and the grinders shall cease because they are few, and those that look out at the window be darkened; and the doors shall be shut up in the streets; when the sound of the grinding is low; and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird; and all the daughters of music shall be brought low; or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern," etc.

He said that the opinion was almost unanimous that the keepers of the house are the shoulders, arms and hands; the grinders, the teeth; those that look out at the windows, the eyes; the doors are the lips; the streets, the mouth; the sound of grinding is the voice; the voice of the bird is the crowing of the cock; the daughters of music, the ears; the silver cord, the string of the tongue; the golden bowl, the pia mater; the pitcher at the fountain is the heart, the fountain of life; the wheel, the great artery; and the cistern is the left ventricle.

Finally, he gave classical precedents for the accidental discovery of Hiram's grave, referring to and comparing Aeneas' search for his father, Anchises, in Hades by carrying in his hand a golden bough or shrub, all in order to ascertain the secrets of the Fates; and also another example from Virgil where Aeneas finds the body of his murdered son Polydorus by accidentally plucking up a shrub that was near the grave on the side of a hill.

In 1735, Clare wrote an article on The Advantages Enjoyed by the Fraternity, which was little more than a lecture on good manners, good conversation, and consequent cultural improvement. He contended against four things directly contrary thereto, natural roughness, contempt, finding fault, and captiousness. He did not discuss any principles of Masonry as such.

Smith's Pocket Companion appeared in 1735, and was reissued over many years, becoming a very popular textbook or manual, though Dr. Anderson complained that it was a pirating of his Constitutions of 1723.

In 1738, Dr. Anderson issued a second edition of his Constitutions, which throws some light on the development of the degrees, for, whereas the Constitutions of 1723 clearly showed that the Fellow Craft was of the highest rank, the author, in the later work, generally substituted "Master Mason" for "Fellow Craft" wherever it had appeared in Me first edition. This indicates that the Third Degree had come into general recognition by 1738. The most valuable part of the


book was the account of the transactions of the Grand Lodge for the first six years of its existence, which is to be found nowhere else. Otherwise, the work was so unsatisfactory that it soon fell into disuse, and was so grotesque in parts that Gould has suggested that the aging Doctor was deliberately "spoofing" the Grand Lodge or he was in his dotage. It was, however, quite faithfully copied as the Irish Book of Constitutions of 1751. The fact seems to be that Dr. Anderson had almost lost contact with the Grand Lodge and, unlike the work of 1723, the later undertaking was a purely private venture, lacking any official authority and unexamined by any committee of advisers. Dr. Anderson died the following year, his demise receiving scant attention from the Fraternity, though Dr. Desaguliers and half a dozen brethren interred his remains with Masonic honors.

One of the earliest Masonic books was Fifield Dassigny's A Serious and Impartial Enquiry into the Cause of the Present Decay of Freemasonry in the Kingdom of Ireland, published in 1744. It contains the earliest mention of the Royal Arch Degree.

The beginnings of Masonic literature pretending to expound the tenets and principles of the Order are to be found in sermons preached to the Craft on St. John's Days and in addresses at installations and like occasions. Dr. Oliver's Golden Remains of Early Masonic Writers (1847) contains some of these, the earliest of which is apparently a sermon by Rev. C. Brockwell, minister of Christ Church, Boston, in 1749, entitled The Connection Between Freemasonry and Religion. He preached to the Boston Masons on St. John's Day that year and this is probably the discourse delivered on that occasion.

The next is On the Social Virtues of Freemasonry by Isaac Head, evidently at his installation as Master of Lodge No. 151 at Helston, Cornwall, in 1752. An anonymous address on A Search after Truth was delivered before Lodge No. 95 at Gloucester the same year. Then, comes one, somewhat celebrated, by Thomas Dunckerley on Masonic Light, Truth and Charity in the lodge at Plymouth in 1757. The Government of the Lodge was the subject of an address by John Whitmash, Master of St. George's Lodge No. 315 at Taunton in 1765. John Codrington, in 1770, addressed Union Lodge No. 370 at Exeter on The Design of Masonry. There are others given but, as we have now reached the date when more celebrated and pretentious wcuks appeared, no more need be cited.

All of these addresses were earnest endeavors to explain phases of Masonry and were, in every sense, true Masonic literature whether


or not the theses of the authors were sound. Those referred to were almost all spiritual and religious-monotheistic-in doctrine and, though some rather cautiously inferred Christian influences, others frankly evinced attachment to that faith. So, at least, by the middle of the 18th century, a literature was under way attempting, just as that of the present day, to show some deeper meaning and significance in the society than what appeared on the surface or even in the lodge.

The name of John Entick appears about this time. He was a clergyman (b. 1703, d. 1773) but we have no contribution from him, though he revised the third edition of Anderson's Constitutions in 1756 and his name appears on the title page of the following edition in 1767.

The first Freemason to attempt a book on the subject was Wellins Calcott, but it was not until 1769 that his work appeared, entitled A Candid Disquisition of the Principles and Practices of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons; together with some strictures on the Origin, Nature and Design of the Institution. This must have been awaited with great expectations, for it was issued with advance subscriptions from over 1,000 Masons whose names are printed in the front of the book. It must have been a disappointment, however, for about all that can be said in its behalf is that it possible incited others to write books, that is to say, it marked a departure from what seems to have been a hermit-like policy of the Grand Lodge. Considering that Anderson's Constitutions with the fictitious and fanciful account of the origin and progress of Masonry had been published almost half a century earlier, Calcott's rather cursory Disquisitions, embracing only seventy-eight pages, displays little improvement in concept of the aims of the society. Indeed, it hardly kept pace with some of the occasional sermons and addresses that had preceded it.

The four chapters into which the Disquisitions are divided may be briefly characterized as follows: The first is an abbreviation of Anderson's "history"; the second, a few strictures on conduct, an excuse why women are not admitted, a protest that the secrecy of the order does not menace political tranquility and a defense of the oath; the third answers the charge of trivialty; and the fourth meets the complaint that Masonry makes use of hieroglyphics, symbols, and allegories. The 1AVt three chapters follow much the same furrow that Clare plowed forty years before and are little, if any, improvement. The remaining 165 pages contain the appendix, setting forth the


celebrated Leland MS., now widely regarded as spurious; a list of all Grand Masters, Deputies, and Provincial Grand Masters from 1717; an account of the formation of the Grand Lodge of Scotland; a letter from James Galloway, advocating the erection of a Masonic Hall and giving a description of the banquet room of the Lodge of St. John at Marsailles; a group of short charges delivered to lodges by Dunckerley, Whitmash, Gaudry, Shedden, Chalmers, French, Calcott, and others; two forms of prayer; a model code of by-laws for lodges; an oratorio; and a group of songs.

Strangely enough, one of Calcott's own addresses set forth in the appendix is a much more enlightened attempt to explain Masonic principles than is the text of the book itself, for it gives his concept of prudence, temperance, frugality, faith, hope, and charity, and advocates brotherly love as a Christian principle. Although that address was definitely Christian in character, the text of the book, which, of course, was written later, does not mention Christianity at all. Perhaps he had been criticized.

Laurence Dermott, the caustic and uncompromising Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Ancients, had ideas about the principles of Masonry and the ability to expound them, but the contribution that he might have made was smothered by his irrascible temperament and an ambition to advance his particular faction. His Ahiman Rezon, first published in 1754, went into further editions in 1764, 1778, 1800, 1801, 1807, and 1813. This treated: secrecy, the principles of the Craft and the benefits therefrom, the qualifications of candidates and officers, the manner of constituting lodges, and installing Masters, the Regulations, an oratorio, and a collection of songs. The work had a wide influence as a textbook but was marred by the author's contentiousness and fell short of what he was capable of. A good man diverted from his destiny, he left so little fraternal love behind him that his death was not even recorded in the minutes of the Grand Lodge, which he founded and for almost forty years directed.


Thomas Dunckerley, though competent to do so, published no work on Masonry, but, as a popular speaker, delivered a number of addresses of spiritual tendency and strongly marked with Christian doctrine. He was born in London in 1724 of presumably humble pftentage and became a gunner in the Navy. When he was thirty-six years of age, he learned from the deathbed confession of his mother that his father was the Prince of Wales, afterwards George II. It was


not until 1767, by which time George II had died, that Dunckerley's claim was recognized by George III, who allowed him to use the royal arms and awarded him a pension of some $4,000 per year and apartments in Hampton Court Palace. Three years later, he entered upon the study of law and was admitted to the bar, never, however, practicing the profession.

He was made a Mason at Portsmouth in 1754 while he was yet in the Navy. In 1760, he obtained a warrant from a lodge to be held on board the ship of war, Vanguard, and, two years later, secured a similar warrant for the ship, Prince. The latter warrant he brought to land when he left the Navy and used it for a Lodge at Somerset House. In 1768, the Vanguard Lodge was revived at London with Dunckerley as Master, subsequently becoming London Lodge No. 108, which is still on the roll of the Grand Lodge. He, later, joined the Lodge of Friendship and, in 1785, established a lodge at Hampton Court. In 1767, he was appointed Provincial Grand Master for Hampshire and, later, of other provinces. He was also active in the Royal Arch and Knights Templar, becoming the first Grand Master of the latter order in 1791.

He has been credited with having revised the rituals of the Three Degrees and of the Royal Arch, and Mackey went so far as to say that he dismembered the Third Degree, thus, destroying the York Rite. There is no evidence to support any of these statements.

Dunckerley's influence in the Craft was due not only to his royal blood and likeable disposition but to his fine grasp of principles of the Order. His contributions were welcomed by brethren avid for some inspirational influence. While he did not revise the lectures, some of his phraseology later appeared in the monitorial part of the work, doubtless, picked up and put there by Preston. Dunckerley died at Portsmouth in 1795.


Between the years 1772 and 1775, two new stars appeared in the Masonic firmament and, though there may be some question as to the magnitude of these stars, yet, considering the darkness of the night, they blazed forth with an effort seldom, if ever, equalled since. These men were William Hutchinson and William Preston. Both exerted a profound influence. They were the first to open up the philosophy and beauty f the order, yet their contributions were different. Hutchinson was analytical, spiritual and philosophical; Preston was rhetorical. The one delved; the other embellished. The work of both was needed, for, prior to 1770, Masonic literature was scant and, for


the most part, mediocre. There had not been published even one readable and informative book upon the science, philosophy, principles, or meaning of Freemasonry.

Hutchinson, though he lectured, was primarily an expositor of ethics and philosophy. Preston, though he published a book, was definitely a lecturer and ritualist.

William Preston (b. 1742-d. 1818) was the first to give the Fraternity a complete system of formal lectures. For this purpose, he was eminently qualified by study and by the talent for facile expression, acquired by association with some of the foremost writers in England. He had been deprived of early schooling other than six or eight years mostly in English, Latin, and Greek, but became a clerk to Thomas Ruddiman, a celebrated linguist, and, later, at the age of fourteen, was apprenticed to Walter Ruddiman, a printer. At the age of eighteen, he went to London where he entered the service of William Strahan, King's printer, as a corrector of the press, in which occupation, he spent practically the whole of his adult life. He, thus, became a master of literary style and taste and earned the friendship and appreciation of such eminent authors as Hume, Gibbon, Robertson, Blair and others.

Preston had scarcely attained his majority when he joined a group of Scotsmen who formed a lodge in London under the warrant of the Ancient Grand Lodge. Having joined another lodge under the premier Grand Lodge, he and some of his brethren persuaded the old lodge to take out a warrant under the latter. At the age of twenty-five, Preston became Master of his lodge and, for the purpose of perfecting himself, entered deeply into the study of Masonry, not only by reading the scant Masonic literature he could find but by conversing and corresponding with experienced Masons. He, also, held meetings with his brethren once or twice a week for the discussion of his work.

In 1772, he held a Grand Gala at the Crown and Anchor Tavern, which was attended by a large number of the Fraternity, including the Grand Officers and, at which he delivered his first lecture. Meeting with general approval, this was printed in the first edition of his Illustrations of Masonry, published in that year. Not content, however, Preston employed a number of his brethren to visit various outlying lodges for the purpose of gaining additional information as to the 4rms of the work, from which it may be inferred that there was then, as there has been ever since, a variety of ritualistic ceremony in the English lodges. By 1774, this effort resulted in a system of lectures for the Three Degrees which he delivered at the Miter Tavern in that year.


His fame was now at its height. He was a member of numerous lodges and had been Master of several. In 1774, he was admitted a member of Lodge of Antiquity No. 1 and elected Master at the same meeting. This indirectly led to misfortune, for, in 1777, that lodge became embroiled with the Grand Lodge over a comparatively trivial incident. Preston, in the course of the dispute, unnecessarily, insisted upon the immemorial rights of the Lodge of Antiquity and its immunity from Grand Lodge regulations. As a result, he and other members were expelled, whereupon, the lodge withdrew from the Grand Lodge and became the "Grand Lodge of England South of the River Trent" under the Grand Lodge of All England at York.

Ten years later, the breach was healed, he was restored to good standing, and resumed his labors. In 1787, he instituted the Order of Harodim, designed to instruct the Craft in the lectures which he had perfected.

The action of the Grand Lodge in expelling Preston and his supporters has been generally condemned as unnecessarily harsh and as most unappreciative of his great services. Few Masonic books have had as wide circulation or as much influence as his Illustrations, which went into no less than twelve editions during his lifetime and several after his death, including a translation into German.

For historical accuracy, Preston is of little worth, his taste being for rhetorical flourishes rather than factual exactitude and his propensity being to accept almost any statement as a fact and, not only to repeat it, but to enlarge upon it. He made no serious attempt to discover the origin of the Society, though he did offer the conjecture that Masonry was not unknown to the Druids. His principal contribution was in his labor of enriching the lectures and expressing them in the rounded metaphorical and flowing English of his time. In this, no Masonic writer has matched him and probably few writers of any kind could excel him.

The condition in which Preston found the lectures cannot be definitely stated, but it is supposed that they were short catechistical tests of proficiency, containing some element of instruction. At least, that is the form in which they are set forth in the exposes published in the forepart of the 18th century. Dr. Oliver says they were such in 1720 and, though they may have changed somewhat from time to time, Preston is the first who is known to have made any substantial modificatiQps or additions to them. Judging by excerpts from exposes we may conclude that the lectures were fragmentary and disconnected, containing some substantial symbolic instruction but, also, in places, becoming more or less doggerel, possibly by design to con


fuse the cowans, but more likely as the result of corruption and corrosion accumulated in passing from mouth to ear during several decades.

Mackey was so impressed with the epochal nature of Preston's work, that he likened it to the "bursting forth of a sun from the midst of midnight darkness." Yet, Preston was neither an inventor nor an innovator. His work was that of elaboration rather than creation, though it is true that, in places, he expanded the material at hand to such an extent that it was virtually new work. For example, this question and answer appeared in the old catechisms

"How many lights? Three: a Right East, South and West."

Preston's interpretation was as follows:

"The Lights of a Lodge are three, situated in the East, West and South. As you may observe, there is none in the North, because King Solomon's Temple, of which every Lodge is a representative, was situated so far North of the Ecliptic that neither the Sun nor Moon, at meridian height, could dart its ray into the North part of the building. The north, therefore, among Masons, has always been termed a place of darkness."

That same process, continuing throughout, resulted in great verbosity, so that, it may be doubted whether the Prestonian lectures were delivered in full in many lodges or on many occasions. The lecture of the First Degree was divided into six sections, that of the Second Degree into four, and that of the Third Degree into twelve, though the last five belong to the Past Master's Degree rather than to that of the Master Mason. These were recapitulated in his Illustrations. In that way, Preston added to the lectures, but there was a basis in some prior lecture, charge or tenet for his interpretation. He did not seek to change the nature or teachings of the society.

It is asserted by several writers that Preston, in 1760, persuaded the Grand Lodge to make the Holy Bible one of the Great Lights. The accuracy of this statement is open to doubt, for Preston was not a Freemason in 1760, and it is probable that the Bible, as well as monotheism and Christian doctrine, had found its way back into the rituals, despite the effect of Charge I of 1723.

Dr. Roscoe Pound in an admirable little work, Philosophy of Masonry, analyzing the contributions of Preston, Krause, Oliver, and 1lke, attributes Preston's outlook to the influence of English thought of the 18th century, a period of mental quiescence, formal over-refinement, and intellectual domination. Knowledge was deemed to be the ultimate aim and desire of man, the universal solvent. Society had


settled upon certain accepted forms of literature and art as the final development and unalterable standard. This, he says, shaped Preston's lectures as instruments for instruction in the liberal arts and sciences, so that they could be stereotyped and memorized and delivered forever as they were formulated. Prior to this time, there appears to have been considerable latitude and discretion allowed the officers of the lodges in the performance of the work, but Preston introduced the idea of a fixed and immovable standard which has since persisted and remained the goal of Masonic ritualism.

Preston conceived, says Dr. Pound, that the object of Freemasonry was to instruct and to spread knowledge of the seven liberal arts and sciences. This is particularly marked in the Fellow Craft Degree, the Senior Deacon's lecture being a disquisition of fundamental knowledge which the Mason should pursue in more detail. Knowledge was not only power, thought Preston, but it was the ameliorating influence which would aid in the Masonic objective of controlling the passions.

Dr. Pound refers to the two globes upon the pillars, which Preston is supposed to have placed there to the everlasting puzzlement of the young and inquiring Entered Apprentice. These globes were wholly out of proper timing, but Preston used them, not only as an elementary lesson in astronomy, but also to impress upon the Mason the scope of the universe and the wide field open for investigation. He, then, discussed the efforts of man to provide himself shelter from the elements, which leads into a discussion of architecture and the five orders, the Doric, the Ionic, and the Corinthian invented by the Greeks, and the Tuscan and Composite by the Romans. He next entered the field of physiology and discussed the five natural senses, hearing, seeing, feeling, smelling, and tasting, and expounded upon each. Next, he marshalled the seven liberal arts and sciences, grammar, rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. These he explained, particularly, geometry.

There may be much in what Dr. Pound says, yet, his analysis may be too subtle and he may apply an excessively philosophical explanation to what may be subject to a much simpler origin. It is well, again, to remember that Preston was no innovator. His principal purpose was to express more fully and more elegantly what the officers of lodges were delivering in halting and somewhat variable phrases. He did not introduce the seven liberal arts and sciences, nor the two pillars, nor the five orders of architecture. They had all been presented in lectures used long before Preston's time. Thus, the Grand Lodge MS. of 1583 says:


"For yt is a woorthy Crafte & a curious science, for their bee seavin liberall sciences of ye wb seavin yt is one of them, and ye names of ye seavin ben these.

"First is Grammr and that teacheth a man speake trewly and to write trewly. The second is Rhetoricque that teacheth a man to speake faier in subtill tearmes."

(and so on through the other five.)

The two columns (without the globes, however) also came from the Gothic Legends, by which we are told that the science of Geometry was preserved from the flood by being carved on the two pillars, one of which would not burn in fire and the other of which would not drown in water. Though the orders of architecture are not mentioned in the old manuscripts they are in the catechisms of the early 18th century, thus, in the The Grand Mystery of Free-Masons Discover'd, published in 1724, we find:

"How many orders of Architecture?

"Five. The Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Composit."

As for the five senses, which do not appear in the Gothic Constitutions or the early exposes, it can hardly be doubted that they had found a place in the catechism before Preston's time. At least, we have it on the authority of Mackey that "In the earlier lectures of the eighteenth century, the five senses were explained in the First Degree as referring to the five who make a Lodge." And so, it is probable that there was to be found, in prior legends or lectures, the basis or suggestion for every item of any importance in the Prestonian lectures. In short, Preston was, in all probability, conscious of creating or originating very little, if anything, therein.

It is possible, of course, that Preston and his contemporaries conceived of these simple fundamentals as permanently marking the limits of the arts and sciences, for Science had scarcely begun to display her powers. James Watt was just bringing the steam engine to a practical development. Electricity was known only as the natural phenomenon of lightning and as a laboratory curiosity. Preston's contemporaries knew something of anatomy but anesthetics were not yet in use, a surgical operation being prepared for by strapping the victim to the table. Multitudes died annually from smallpox, typhoid, anthrax, diphtheria, cholera, and various other fevers, plagues, and "deaths" without more than a vague notion on the part of the •`;physicks" as to the cause.

But, against the supposition that Preston's lectures, as formulated, merely represented the ignorance of the times and were intended to


mark the limits of expected progress, there must be weighed the fact that Preston felt bound by what he found to exist in Masonic lore and by a lack of power to make any changes. He certainly announced most positively in those very lectures that "It is beyond the power of any man or body of men to make any innovation in the body of Masonry," thus, in fact, going beyond what the Grand Lodge itself had declared in 1723 when it said that changes could be made only with its consent.

What, then, should be done with the lecture of the Fellow Craft Degree? Should it be revised to reflect the marvels of modern science, which, in another half century, will be as out of date as that of the 18th century is now? No, Preston's lecture serves at least two purposes. First: Nothing could better emphasize to the Mason that we live in an ever-changing world; that material things which are today new and startling will be old and commonplace tomorrow; and that only moral and spiritual forces endure. Secondly, we may be somewhat embarrassed or humiliated to answer the question: Have we in all respects advanced beyond Preston's age? Has Grammer or Rhetoric improved? What writer of the present can surpass Addison or Steele or even Preston, himself? Have the 18th or 20th centuries added to logic or invented anything to supplant inductive and deductive reasoning? Are arithmetic and geometry different today from what they were in 1774? How many composers has the 20th century produced or is it likely to produce to rank with Handel, Bach, Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven of the 18th, or Brahms, Dvorak, Liszt, Wagner, Verdi, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, or Chopin of the 19th? Has modern architecture improved upon the five orders? Have the five senses of human nature changed? Of all the seven liberal arts and sciences named in the lectures, only astronomy has exhibited any remarkable development. The same questions may be carried into the fields of ethics, morals, and religion, and, if we answer them fairly, we will not be much impressed by our own superiority.

The lectures reached their culmination under Preston. Neither before nor since have they been so elaborate, for the work of subsequent ritualists has all been for abbreviation and contraction, the Prestonian forms being deemed too wordy for practical use. They probably have never been extensively used in full length. Thomas Smith Welt, in his American Monitor, and Dr. Hemming of the United Grand Lodge of England both deleted large portions and, subsequently, through the 19th and 20th centuries, Grand Lodge


lectures and ritualistic committees have pursued a steady course of contraction to meet the ever-growing impatience of the brethren. The demand at the present day in all quarters of society is for discourse that is "short and snappy"-and superficial.

Preston left several Masonic benefactions, among them, the sum of about $1,500, the income from which was to be used to pay a lecturer to give the lectures in full at every meeting of the Grand Lodge. The custom has been followed by the Grand Lodge with fair regularity of designating some qualified brother as Prestonian Lecturer to carry out the purpose and it is said that several hours are required for the oral delivery of these lectures.

William Hutchinson (b. 1732-d. 1814) was a solicitor by profession but found time to publish a number of works of fiction, archeology, and drama. He was, for some years, Master of the Lodge at Barnard Castle, County of Durham, England, and it was there that he prepared and delivered, for the instruction of the brethren, a series of lectures and charges which were so enlightening that large numbers of visitors attended from neighboring lodges.

In 1775, with the written sanction of the officers of the Grand Lodge, he published his Spirit of Masonry, which went into five editions during his lifetime, to which have been added several since in both England and America. This work was epochal, opening up new vistas and constituting the first serious attempt to expound the philosophy of the Order.

He likened the lost word to the lost religious purity of the Jewish faith. The Third Degree, in his estimation, symbolized the law of Christ superseding the old law of Judaism which had died, and the Master Mason represented a man raised from the grave by the Christian doctrine of salvation.

He wrote somewhat fancifully, placing his own interpretation upon the symbolism, introducing new concepts not originally there and expressing views on the origin of the Society wholly at variance with the conclusions of later and more realistic investigators. He held that Masonry was not descended from an architectural craft but was entirely moral, spiritual, and religious. Somewhat inconsistently, he asserted that the builders of King Solomon's temple were Masons. He claimed that through the ages Masonry had developed in three stages, represented by the Three Degrees; the era from Adam to Moses representinjp,the Entered Apprentice Degree, the second period from Moses to the advent of Christ corresponding to the Fellow Craft Degrees, and the third, the Christian era representing the Master Mason Degree.


The first era, he says, was characterized by a simple code of ethics and by reverencing only the God of Nature. After the Deluge, this religion degenerated, idolatry was introduced, and symbols and allegories were picked up from the Egyptians and others. Masonry, at this stage, he thought, was only a cult and had naught to do with the art of building.

. In the second stage, Moses extended the ethical principles and the God of Nature was supplanted by Him who had made Himself known to Moses on Mt. Sinai. There were also introduced into Masonry hieroglyphics and symbols of the Egyptians, Druids, Essenes, and Pythagoreans. During this stage, Masons took up the art of building and erected the Temple, but this was merely incidental and not a principal object of their cult. Hence, in Hutchinson's opinion, Solomon did not found Masonry and was not the first Grand Master but was the first to train Masons as builders and to send them forth into foreign countries following the completion of the Temple.

The last stage saw the Master Mason in complete possession of a knowledge of God and Salvation through Christ. To the Third Degree, he gave an exclusively Christian origin and interpretation, and the Legend of Hiram Abif he made to represent the expiration of Jewish law and the rise of Christian teachings.

The reverence and adoration due the Divine was buried in the filth and rubbish of the world, until Christ was sent to raise man from sin to a life of righteousness,

The Legend of Hiram, as a historical occurrence, he entirely dissociated from that character, regarding it not even as a corrupted or inaccurate legend. Hutchinson never recognized any connection between Hiram and the Legend, the latter being religiously and symbolically explained, and the former mentioned merely as one of the workmen skilled in graving and metal ornamentation. Indeed, according to Hutchinson's theory, Masonry had not yet progressed to the Third Stage or Degree and, hence, he wholly rejected the commonly accepted interpretation of the Legend, which must have been well known to him; though, from his book, one would suppose that he was not familiar with it.

Hutchinson's concept of the Christian element in Masonry was not originated by, nor peculiar to him, for, as we have seen, it was preached a quarter of a century earlier and had even crept into the ritual, in'1Site of the original policy of the Grand Lodge to make the doctrine monotheistic only. Although Dr. Hemming, at the Union of 1813, expunged all direct references to Christian dogma from the ritual, it has to some extent persisted and Dr. Oliver, as late as the


middle of the 19th century, declared that he would not have become a Mason had he not been convinced that Freemasonry was a system of Christian ethics.


Hutchinson's account of the introduction of Masonry into England sounds rather artificial. He asserts that, during the first stage, it was taught and practiced by the Druids, who received it from the Phoenicians, the second stage was introduced by the Masons of Solomon, and the third stage developed upon the conversion of the Druids to Christianity.

Hutchinson seemed to be reaching for ideas which he could not grasp or clearly express and his work is consequently characterized by indefinite generalities. He was not the first to suggest that the rites and ceremonies were descended from the Ancients, Clare having done that in 1730, but Hutchinson was more positive, and to avoid the soiling of his pure Christian ideals, he was forced to qualify by dividing the devotees of the Ancient Mysteries into two classes, a polluted idolatrous group and a select group of sages such as the Magi among the Persians, the Wise Men, Soothsayers, and Astrologers of the Chaldeans, the Philosophers among the Greeks and Romans, the Brahmins among the Indians, the Druids and Bards among the Britons and, lastly, Solomon and the people of God among the Hebrews. Through these and through Christianity, the Ancient Mysteries were transmitted to and inculcated in Freemasonry.

Hutchinson's work, while in places philosophically sound and scholarly, was factually weak and unimpressive, amounting to little more than a collection of myths and figments. No other author has accepted any considerable part of his thesis, except, possibly, to some extent, Oliver, and, at the present day, the book is out of print and hardly read by any, except some curious investigators. The principal effect of the book was to start an evolutionary process of thought so that the more recent literature of the society has taken on a considerable spirituality.

It is not impossible that Hutchinson's work may have suggested the theme of the Abbe Robin's Researches on Ancient and Modern Initiations, published in 1779-80, wherein the author became the first to advance in distinct form the theory that Freemasonry was derived from the Ancient Mysteries, though transmitted through the Crusaders.



Thomas Smith Webb (b. 1771-d. 1819) is the next outstanding figure in connection with the lectures and rituals, though not with the


literature of the society. His work was done entirely in this country. Despite his labors over twenty years and the wide acquaintanceship he must have enjoyed, not a great deal is known about his personal affairs. By trade, he was a bookbinder or printer, and we first hear of him as engaged in that occupation at Keene, New Hampshire. There, he was made a Mason in Rising Sun Lodge about 1792 but, it is said, before he was twenty-one years of age. About that time, he married and moved to Albany, New York.

Just what his Masonic activities were at Albany does not stand out, but he must have interested himself in the ritualistic work, for, in 1797, he published, anonymously, the first edition of his Freemason's Monitor, or Illustrations of Masonry, which soon became the standard textbook and, which, bearing his name in second and subsequent publications, went into a large number of editions, many after his death, the later publications being made by Rob Morris of Kentucky, the twenty-third edition dated 1869.

Though this work attained great popularity, particularly, among the officers of lodges and its author became one of the best-known Masons of his time, he did not essay to go much, if any, beyond his chosen field, and seems not to have been particularly acquainted with or impressed by the philosophy or symbolism of the Order. He issued no other work and, if he made any Masonic addresses other than as recitations of the material in the Monitor, they were not preserved.

Webb's service to Craft Masonry was the popularization and spread in America of the Prestonian lectures somewhat abbreviated. He declared in the preface his use of Preston's work and, then, made a very significant statement to the effect that he differently arranged the sections because they did not agree with the mode of working then in use in America. This requires some explanation.

Freemasonry came to America (Philadelphia) as early, at least, as 1730, the first chartered lodge (Boston) being warranted in 1733. It spread rapidly, so that, by the middle of the century, warranted lodges existed in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Canada, and the West Indies. Before Preston's lectures appeared about 1772, Masonry was not only growing in those colonies but had spread to Maine, New Jersey, Delaware, North Carolina, Michigan, and Florida. In short, it was thoroughly established and many lodges were working and using the ceremonies, somewhat various, familiar to the two Grand Lodges of England and


that of Scotland with, possibly, some Irish work. Most of this work was passed along from mouth to ear. It never was uniform even under the premier Grand Lodge of England and it never has become so. Consequently, the variety must have been great. But whatever it was, it was the old, pre-Prestonian work of the British lodges.

Webb's purpose was to unify the working of the lodges and, for this purpose, he selected Preston's formula as the best and the one which all could be induced to accept, but, as he said, it did not agree with that already in use in America. Due to the circulation of Webb's Monitor and to his personal lectures and, also, to the inherent beauties of the Prestonian work, the new forms were generally adopted during Webb's lifetime. With the exception of later variations made by Cross, Barney, Cushman, Fowle, Vinton, and others and, excepting Pennsylvania, which still adheres to the working of the Ancient Grand Lodge, the American rituals of the present day are substantially Webb's abridgment of Preston.

At the risk of getting ahead of our story, it may be observed that not only did the Prestonian work never become completely adopted in England, but, following the Union of the two English Grand Lodges in 1813, Dr. Hemming and his assistant and successor, William Williams, prepared rituals designed to unify the Ancient and Modern work of the two constituent Grand Lodges and effected some changes in forms. In some places, the Williams or Emulation ritual, the most popular in England, found favor, while, in other places, the Hemming work was adopted and, in still other places, neither was accepted. The result is that there are, today, no less than seven or eight rituals in use in England: Emulation, Stability, Logic, West End, Oxford, Bristol, Universal, and North London.

But, during and following the American Revolution and before 1813, all of the American states that had been under the jurisdiction of British Grand Lodges, severed their connections and set up independent Grand Lodges, thus not participating in or being affected by the changes of 1813.

This explains away the effort made by some to credit Webb with having established a so-called "American Rite," the error of which lay in jumping to the conclusion that, because the American and English work of the present day differ, the latter must be the original and the former must be an invention. Just the contrary is true, for the ..American working is older and more English than the present English work itself.

That principle is not confined to Masonry but operated in exactly


the same way in the common law. The common law of England was brought to America just as was Masonry, that is, as one of the institutions of the Mother Country which the colonial immigrants carried along with their family heirlooms. Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England, published 1765-69, at once sprang into great popularity in the Colonies. Burke, in his great speech on Conciliation, stated that there had been almost as many copies sold in the Colonies as in England.

This work arrived in America just preceding the Revolution which created thirteen independent states, each in need of a body of laws. In every instance, this need was filled by Blackstone, which became the standard text. But just as the English Masonic rituals changed, so the English laws changed and, indeed, Blackstone never was accepted in England as it was on this side of the water. These Commentaries remained a required textbook in some law schools of this country as late as the forepart of the twentieth century, at least fifty years after they had gone out of circulation in England.

In short, we have here the same paradox as in Masonry where an English institution retained its original character in this country after Englishmen at home had made alterations in it.

But, returning to Webb, we observe that he moved to Providence, Rhode Island, in 1801, and joined St. John's Lodge in due course, becoming its Master and, in 1813, Grand Master of Masons of Rhode Island.

Webb was equally active in the Royal Arch and Knights Templar. In 1797, the year in which the first edition of his Monitor was issued, he was Chairman of the Boston Convention to consider the formation of a national Grand Chapter. Such body having been formed in 1798, Webb became its first Grand Scribe. In 1806, he became Grand King and, in 1816, Deputy General Grand High Priest. He was one of the moving spirits in the formation of the General Grand Encampment of Knights Templar in 1816 and was its first Deputy General Grand Master.

Webb has been credited with doing much more fundamental or revolutionary work upon the rituals of these other degrees and orders than upon those of the Blue Lodge. This is a favorite claim made by the proponents of the appellation "American Rite." The theory that Webb created the Most Excellent Master Degree has been exploded for that degree was conferred long before Webb was a Mason. The same fate, robably, awaits the claim that he originated other Royal Arch or Templar work. The probability is that Webb originated no


work at all but that his talents ran principally to organization and administration.




The Rev. Jethro Inwood was Chaplain of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Kent for some twenty years, during which, he delivered many sermons at Masonic meetings. In 1799, a collection of these was published and, in 1849, republished by Dr. Oliver in his Golden Remains.

In 1801, John Cole published at London his Illustrations of Masonry containing a variety of Masonic information.

In 1801, the Rev. Thaddeus M. Harris published, at Charleston, Massachusetts, his Discourses Delivered on Public Occasions Illustrating the Principles, Displaying the Tendency and Vindicating the Design of Freemasonry. This was the first American work on the philosophical side of Masonry.

The first work pretending to be an authentic history of the Craft was published in 1804 by Alexander Lawrie, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, under the title, The History of Freemasonry, drawn from authentic sources of information; with an account of the Grand Lodge of Scotland etc. This work is now thought to have been written at Lawrie's request by David Brewster.

Dr. Frederick Dalcho (b. 1770-d. 1836) was born in London of Prussian parents. Brought to Baltimore by an uncle, he was educated as a physician and went to Charleston, South Carolina, where he later studied divinity and became assistant rector of an Episcopal Church. He was made a Mason at Charleston in an Ancient Lodge and, in 1801, participated in the formation of the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. In 1801 and 1803, he delivered several orations which excited such admiration that they were published in 1803 under the title Dalcho's Orations, with an appendix which, for many years, furnished the best information available about the Scottish Rite in America. In 1807, and again in 1822, he issued editions of his Ahiman Rezon based on that of Dermott.

Tom Paine's Essay on the Origin of Freemasonry, published in 1810, was unfriendly to the Society, tracing the origin to the Druids. Paine was one of the moving spirits in the American Revolution but greatly injured his reputation by his attack on Christianity. He is said to have joined, shortly before his death, the Lodge of the Three Muses at Paris, to which Benjamin Franklin, John Paul Jones, and other noted men belonged.



To the Germans goes the credit for having started the investigation to ascertain the true origin of Freemasonry at a time when the English and American Crafts seemed still satisfied with the old fables. G. E. Lessing, in his Ernst and Falk; a Conversation about Freemasonry, published in 1781, advanced the idea that the Society arose out of the Templars but was made over by Sir Christopher Wren. In 1782, C. R. Nicolai, in Trial on the Accusations which were made on the Knights Templar Order and on the Secrets; with an Appendix on the Freemasons' Society, leaned toward the idea that Lord Bacon, influenced by the writings of Andrea, put much Masonry into The New Atlantis. But the real start was made later as the result of the hint given by the Abbe Grandidier, who will be mentioned under the head of French Literature. He suggested a connection between the modern society and the Strassburg stonemasons.

In 1785, Paul J. S. Vogel published in Germany his Letters Concerning Freemasonry in three volumes, the first on the Knights Templar, the second on the Ancient Mysteries, and the third on Freemasonry. This was the first serious attempt in Germany, and perhaps in the world, to trace the real historical origin of the society. He concluded that its origin lay in the operative stonemasons of the Middle Ages.

In 1789, Osnabruck seems to have been the first in Germany to espouse the Ancient Mystery derivation of the Fraternity.

Heinrick C. Albrecht followed Vogel's theme in an uncompleted work, published in 1792, entitled, Material for a Critical History of Freemasonry. Then, came J. A. Schneider's Altenburg Constitutions Book and, in 1801, Frederich L. Schroeder's translation of Jachin and Boaz into German.

Ignaz A. Fessler attempted to confine the Masons of Germany to the work of the Three Degrees. Though meeting serious opposition and finally giving up in despair, he made a profound impression on German thought. His collected works were published in 1801-07, the most noted being An Attempt to Furnish a Critical History of Freemasonry and the Masonic Fraternity from the Earliest Times to the year 1802.

In 1803, C. Gottleib published his work, On the True Origin of the Rosicrucians and the Freemasons Orders, with an Appendix on the History of the Knights Templar. In 1804, J. G. Buhle issued his book, On the Origin and the Principal Destiny of the Order of Rosi


crucians and Freemasons, a Historical and Critical Examination.


In 1809, Karl C. F. Krause (b. 1781-d. 1832), one of the most learned of Masonic writers and philosophers, published his Spiritualization of the Genuine Symbols of Freemasonry, being a group of lectures which he had delivered to his lodge at Dresden. The next year, he followed this with his epochal work entitled, The Three Oldest Professional Documents of the Brotherhood of Freemasons. Critics agree that this is one of the greatest books ever written on a Masonic subject. His thesis was that the ultimate purpose of Masonry was to perfect humanity.

At that time, Masonry in Germany was very secret, so much so that it could hardly be mentioned by Masons outside the lodges, and the prevailing sentiment was opposed to all discussion of what was regarded as esoteric. Attempts were made by one of the German lodges to suppress Krause's work before publication. That having failed, Krause, together with his friend, Mossdorf, another very learned Mason, was expelled and was even subjected to Masonic interference in his professional and literary career. Such fanaticism today seems unbelievable, but at that time and for some years afterward, there was sharp conflict of opinion, particularly on the Continent, as to what was esoteric and what esoteric, and even the mention of Hiram Abif outside the lodge would have been considered by some a Masonic offense.


The first French work of importance on Freemasonry was Joseph J. F. de Leland's Memoir on the History of Freemasonry, issued in 1774. In 1781, appeared Louis Guillemaine de Saint Victor's work on Adonhiramite Freemasonry and, in 1787, a second work on the same subject. In 1784, J. P. L. Beyerle published two volumes of argument for a union of the different branches of Masonry, under the title, Essay on Freemasonry, or the Essential and Fundamental Objects of Freemasonry; of the Possibility and Necessity for Union of Different Systems or Branches; of the Proper Rules of the United Systems and of Masonic Laws.

In 1788, Nicholas de Bonneville issued a book entitled, Jesuit Pursuit of Masonry and their Broken Dagger for the Mason.

The first writer to give a hint of the historical connection between the modern society and the operative stonemasons was the Abbe Grandidier, who conceived the idea while he was writing an essay on the Strassburg Cathedral, which he published in 1782. He was not '"'primarily interested in the Masonic implications and developed the

thought no further than to write a personal letter to a friend, which was published in. Journal de Nancy and Journal de Monsieur in 1779. Therein, he clearly expressed the view that the modern Fraternity had emerged from the working stonemasons whose headquarters were at Strassburg. Aside from the publication of this letter by de Luchet in his "Essay on the Sect of the Illumines" in 1789, the French authors quite generally ignored it, but it had a profound influence on those in Germany, several of whom adopted and developed the thought.

French writers began to develop several new themes. In 1791, the Abbe Le Franc published The Veil Raised for the Curious, or the Secret of Revolutions Revealed by Aid of Freemasonry. One of the most noted of early French publications was the Abbe Barruel's Memoirs Illustrating the History of Jacobinism, issued in 1797 in four volumes, which was a very extreme and severe castigation of Freemasonry, charging it with political revolution and religious infidelity. The first charge was based on the asserted purpose of the society to restore the deposed House of Stuart, and the second alleged Freemasons were descended from the Templars, adherred to their impious code, and were sworn to avenge their injuries. It created a sensation but was so intemperate as to discredit itself and eventually came to have little weight. A more judicious work appeared in 1801 from the pen of Jean J. Mounier, On the Influence Attributed to Philosophers, Freemasons, and Illuminati in the French Revolution.

In 1805, J. L. Laurens published his Historical and Critical Essay on Freemasonry, or Researches on the Origin, System, and Objects, including a Critical Examination of the Principal Works, as much Published as Unpublished, which have treated this Subject, and the Apologetic Refutation of the Charges made by the Society. In the same year, he issued A Vocabulary of Freemasonry. In 1810, E. F. Bazot issued his Vocabulary of the Freemasons, following the General Constitutions of the Order of Freemasonry, and, in 1811, Manual of the Freemasons, containing Reflections on the Origin, the Connection, and the Importance of Freemasonry, Remarks on the Excellence of the Institution and the Necessity to be freed from the Sects which Distort it. In 1812, Claude A. Thory published his History of the Foundation of the Grand Orient of France, which was soon followed by his other works on Freemasonry. In 1813, J. F. Vernhes issued his Essay on the History of Freemasonry from the Foundation to Our Days.

Afters century of Symbolic Masonry, we find but ten or twelve


Masonic books in Britain and America, half a dozen in Germany, and four or five in France that can be classed as analytical and serious efforts to explain the original purpose or philosophy of Freemasonry. There were more of manuals, exposes, and other superficial treatments of the subject, but, of deeper understanding, there was little. Masonic authors were plowing new ground and that they produced variant and disorganized furrows is not to be wondered. In historical and philosophical analysis, the Germans exceeded all others.


In the next thirty-seven years from 1813 to 1850, about three times as many Masonic books were published as had appeared during the whole preceding century. They numbered almost 100 in all and the rate of publication increased markedly in the latter part of the period. Subjects took a wide range, increasing interest being shown in Britain and America in the history and antiquities of the society, its ancient constitutions and background.

The first work laid out on the trestleboard for the English Masons was the revision of the rituals in order to unify the work of the Ancient and Modern Grand Lodges which had united on Dec. 27, 1813. This work was entrusted to Dr. Hemming and his assistant Brother Williams. Naturally, little can be said about it.

In America, this period witnessed the anti-Masonic excitement and political campaigns extending from 1826 to 1836 or later. Many antiMasonic magazines, and periodicals appeared together with at least four books. The most noted of these was Light on Masonry (1829) by Elder D. Bernard and Letters on the Masonic Institution (1847) by ex President John Quincy Adams.


No less than sixteen books were from the pen of Dr. George Oliver. This remarkable man began his contributions in 1823 with his Antiquities of Freemasonry. his most pretentious work being Historical Landmarks appearing in two volumes in 1843. He had not finished his contributions by mid-century and, thereafter, published five or six more works. The whole period of his writing covered fortythree years. Oliver practically dominated the field during the period from 1823 to 1851, there being no outstanding work issued during that time in England or America which offered much competition, though Preston's Illustrations was still read, and Webb's Monitor and Cross' Chart were the standard pocket companions for officers of lodges.


Oliver has been very generally criticized by later writers for his credulity and the avidity and often carelessness with which he picked up and repeated erroneous statements. Historical investigation was certainly not his forte but he probably never asserted anything that he did not believe and his grasp of the true principles of the Order has been equaled by few. As a minister, he naturally approached the subject from the spiritual standpoint and he argued long and persistently for the recognition of Christianity as one of the fundamental principles of the Craft. Too little attention, perhaps, was paid to his contention that the rituals and lectures should advance with the progress of general education and information among the population and with the development of the arts and sciences. He was one of the few who understood why so small a fraction of the membership attend lodge.

Oliver was initiated in 1801 when but nineteen years of age. He was Master of the Lodge at Grimsby for fourteen years. He received the degrees of the chapter and commandery, and was successively appointed Provincial Grand Steward, Provincial Grand Chaplain, and Provincial Deputy Grand Master for Lincolnshire. The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts conferred on him the honorary title of Past Deputy Grand Master. In 1840, his friend, Dr. Crucefix, incurred the displeasure of the Grand Master, the Duke of Sussex. Dr. Oliver's espousal of his friend's cause brought a request for his resignation as Provincial Deputy Grand Master with which he complied, after which, he withdrew from all active participation in the work of the lodges. This penalty aroused quite general indignation among the Craft and, in 1844, by general subscription, he was presented with an offering of plate as a testimonial of the regard which the English Craft held for him.

Another writer destined to become almost as prolific as Oliver was Dr. Albert G. Mackey who issued his Lexicon o f Freemasonry in 1845, but most of his work was done after mid-century.

Although the German writers had, many years previously, indicated the way to the true history of Freemasonry, English and American Masons were still under the spell of Oliver and others of the Andersonian legendary school, all of whom traced Masonry back to ancient times, about the only point of difference among them being as to whether the origin should be fixed at the building of Solomon's Temple or a few thousand years prior thereto.

A notable exception to this generality was James O. Halliwell's Early History of Freemasonry in England (1842), in which the Regius'VS. was discovered as one of the Gothic Constitutions. There


was also Wm. Herbert's History of the Twelve Livery Companies of London (1834).

Other books were of miscellaneous character, including one book of Masonic fiction, that is to say, deliberate fiction.


In this period, German authors were again ahead of others in delving into the origin of Freemasonry. In 1819, Frederich Heldmann published his Three Oldest Historical Monuments of the German Freemasons Brotherhood, with Groundwork for a Universal History o f Freemasonry, in which the Constitutions of the Strassburg Steinmetzen were published for the first time. In 1822 appeared the first encyclopaedia of Freemasonry. This had been compiled by C. Lenning and was revised and enlarged into three volumes by Mossdorf.

In 1846, Georg B. F. Kloss published his The Freemasons in their True Meaning, traced from the Ancient and Genuine Documents of the Stonemasons, Masons, and Freemasons, and, in 1848, History of the Freemasons in England, Ireland, and Scotland, produced from the Genuine Documents. His theory was that the Order originated in the stonecutters and building corporations of the Middle Ages.

In 1848, appeared Frederich A. Fallou's Mysteries of Freemasonry, or the Secret Brotherhood, Constitutions, and Symbolism of the German Building Trade Guilds and their True Ground and Origin in Mediaeval German Political and Folk Life.


In 1814, Alexander Lenoir became the first noted and generally accepted proponent of the thesis that Freemasonry was only a repetition of the Ancient Mysteries of the Egyptians and the Greeks by the issue of his Freemasonry Explained in its True Origin, though this had been suggested by Hutchinson in England in 1775, by the Abbe Robin in France in 1779-80, and by Osnabruck in Germany in 1789. The idea was somewhat generally accepted in France, though it was criticized in Journal of Debates, and was rejected by Cesar Moreau and Emanuel Rebold, the latter adhering to the Roman Collegia of Artificers theory.

In 1815, Thory continued his work with the issue of Acta Latomorum, and, in 1835, R. H. Azais published Freemasonry, its Origin, its General History and Actual Destination.

With those two exceptions, French writers of the period seemed to ignore the realistic approach of Vogel, Krause, and Kloss, and


followed the Ancient Mystery theory, which ultimately captured the minds of so many, not only in France, but in Germany, England, and America, and which has done so much to confuse Masonic thought. This fascinating theme of the similarity, if not identity, of Masonic symbols and ceremonies with those of the Ancients, which allows an author free run for his imagination and permits him to say almost anything, without fear of contradiction, took firm hold on the fancies of many Masonic students, and, by mid-century, was well on its way to reach the extreme limits of credulity, which it finally exceeded.

In 1819, F. J. M. Ragon published his Hermes or Masonic Archives for a Society of Freemasons. In 1833, M. Reghellini de Schio followed with Masonry Considered as the Result of the Egyption Religions in three volumes. In 1840, P. P. F. de Portal issued his Comparison of Egyptian Symbols with those of the Hebrews. In 1843, came the Abbe Clavel's Pittoresque History of Freemasonry and Ancient and Modern Secret Societies.

The idea promptly took root in England and America. In 1835, John Fellows coupled an exposition of the Egyptians, Pythagoreans and Druids with the origin of Freemasonry, and, in 1849, J. A. Gottlieb produced at New York a pamphlet on the Ancient and Primitive Rite of Memphis.

By 1850, therefore, we find the German realistic school of research generally traveling in the right direction in suspecting the origin of the Society in the builders of the Middle Ages but tracing the line of descent to the Steinmetzen instead of the British Craft; the French Masons plainly enamored with the Pagan Mysteries concept; and English and American writers beginning to dabble in the latter theory, though the great majority of the brethren in both countries probably were still held enthralled by the legendary concept of Anderson, Hutchinson, Preston, and Oliver.


As compared with about 100 Masonic works in the preceding thirty-seven years, the ensuing thirty-five years produced approximately half as many more. This period was probably richer in both the number of books and the variety and significance of the themes developed than any other period of like duration. It is not easy to classify the literature of this period either chronologically or geographically, because it was so varied and more cosmopolitan. The period terminates with 1885, which witnessed the publication of Gould's History of Freemasonry, a landmark in Masonic writing.


Broadly, it may be said that three outstanding peculiarities are exhibited by the literature of this period: first, the demonstration, after much wandering, that the origin of the modern society lay in the Craft fraternities of Medieval England and Scotland, thus, displacing the Anderson-Preston-Hutchinson-Oliver school of legend and fable and, also, the German school attached to the Steinmetzen theory; secondly, the increased vogue of symbolism and the spread of the theory or fancy that the Society was descended from the Ancient Pagan Mysteries; and thirdly, the establishment of new Masonic law and jurisprudence, including the invention of "Ancient Landmarks," especially in the United States. This does not mean that many other miscellaneous themes did not appear, for the three classes abovementioned account for only about one-third of the total.


The German writers, who had begun with so much promise, seemed unable to escape the trail blazed by Fallou back to the Steinmetzen. Their general concept was true, that the Symbolic Craft emerged from the earlier operative craft, and it was also true that the Steinmetzen seemed to leave behind them traces of more or less nonoperative societies, just as was perhaps true in France. But these did not constitute any part of the present Fraternity, which, when it was imported into the Continent, found nothing that it recognized or that recognized it as of any kinship.

In 1850, J. Winzer published The German Brotherhoods of the Middle Ages, and Moss, his History of Freemasonry in France. In 1859, W. Keller issued a History of Freemasonry in Germany.

All prior works were surpassed by J. G. Findel's History of Freemasonry from its origin to the Present Day, published in 1861. It at once ranked as a contribution of the first magnitude. It went into many editions; being translated into English in 1866 and revised by D. M. Lyon -at London in 1869. It, however, possessed the common defect of adhering to the Steinmetzen theory which was exploded by Gould in 1885.

Other German contributions were H. Lachmann's work on High Grade Masonry in 1866, C. C. F. W. Von, Nettleblatt's History of Freemasonry in 1878, and his History of Masonic Systems in England, France and Germany in 1879.


France never produced a Masonic historian of great note. Clavel and Thory had confined themselves largely to the history of the So

ciety in France and were none too reliable even in that field, a fault for which the extended aberrations and wanderings of French Freemasonry may be in large part responsible.

The outstanding French historian of the period was Emanuel Rebold, who published a General History of Freemasonry in 1851, and a History of the Three Grand Lodges in France in 1864, and a General History of Freemasonry in Europe in 1875. But his work was couched in generalities, often from hearsay, and was in great part unreliable. His chief merit was that he attempted to be realistic and did not trail after the "Ancient Mystery" school which attracted a number of his predecessors and contemporaries.


American Masons seemed quite generally oblivious to the investigations that had been and were being carried on in England, and, with two notable exceptions (Steinbrenner and Fort), produced nothing worthy of note upon the history or antecedents of the Order. Illustrative of the morass into which the American Masons were content to remain and of the revolutionary change that came over Masonic historiography in the following quarter of a century, we need only observe that as late as 1858, Dr. J. W. S. Mitchell, Past Grand Master of Missouri, published his two volume History o f Freemasonry, in which he expounded with no uncertainty or misgivings the origin of Masonry at the building of King Solomon's Temple and even took apparent pride and satisfaction in his conservatism by denouncing those views which had asserted an earlier origin.

From his name, we may assume that G. W. Steinbrenner read German and, hence, had access to the works of Findel and others which were closed books to most American Freemasons. In 1864, he published at New York a very creditable little volume of 164 pages entitled, Origin and Early History of Freemasonry. This was the first and, for a decade, remained the only realistic work upon the subject published in this country. His view was that the Society grew out of the German stonemasons, being carried into Britain by German Masters, where it developed into Symbolic Freemasonry. He was, obviously, influenced by the German writers who were much impressed by the Torgau Ordinances of the Steinmetzen, overlooking as, indeed, almost everyone else had, the English Gothic Constitutions and the records of Scots lodges.

English investigators became active about this time but confined themselves to monographs on selected subjects of limited scope. In 1861, Matthew Cooke transcribed in modernized English the manu

script which bears his name, being the second oldest copy of the Gothic Constitutions. Next came one of the most indefatigable of British investigators, W. 7. Hughan, who, in quick succession, published his Constitutions of the Freemasons (1869), Masonic Sketches (1871), Old Charges of the British Freemasons (1872), and Masonic Union of 1813 (1874). In 1870, W. P. Buchan issued a series of articles opposed to the "Revival" Theory. In 1873, appeared D. M. Lyon's History o f the Lodge o f Edinburgh.

Then came the second exception to the American apathy on historical subjects, George F. Fort's Early History and Antiquities of Freemasonry as connected with the Ancient Norse Guilds and the Oriental and Medieval Building Fraternities, published in 1875. This was an epochal work, in fact, the first complete presentation of the true origin of the Fraternity and the stimulant for much of that which followed.

In 1878, Hughan published his Register of Lodges, and Robert Wylie, his History of the Mother Lodge Kilwinning. Then, in rapid succession, followed W. H. Ryland's Freemasonry in the Seventeenth Century (1881); Fort's two additional works, Critical Inquiry into the Conditions of the Conventional Builders and their Relations to Secular Guilds in the Middle Ages (1884); and Historical Treatise on Early Builder's Marks (1885) ; and Hughan's Origin o f the English Rite of Freemasonry (1884).

Meanwhile, there had been at work an English lawyer, a Past Senior Grand Deacon of the Grand Lodge of England, who was to take foremost place among all Masonic historians, Robert Freke Gould. He had begun his contributions in 1789 with the issue of his Atholl Lodges and Four Old Lodges. In 1885, he published his epochal and monumental work, The History of Freemasonry, which for over half a century completely displaced all prior works and has been recognized as the most authoritative treatment of the subject. He tore down and demolished much that had preceded, including the Anderson-Preston-Oliver fancies and the basic theory of Findel and other German writers, and displaced them with the clear and logical explanation of the rise of the modern society out of the English and Scots lodges of the 17th and prior centuries.

Dr. Oliver, who had almost dominated the British field and exerted great influence in America as well, closed his long career, but, during the seventeen years preceding his death in 1867, produced no less than six books, one or two being published posthumously. It required two Americans to fill his place either as to volume or appeal.


Robert Morris, who abbreviated his name to Rob to distinguish his identity from that of the former Philadelphian of the same name, was born near Boston, Massachusetts, on August 3, 1818. By profession, he was a teacher but, for some years, engaged in civil engineering, geological surveying, and military service. He received his Masonic degrees at Oxford, Mississippi, in 1845, and, after 1850, traveled and lectured on Masonry. He was a happy and entertaining writer and speaker and a poet of no mean ability, producing almost, if not quite, 300 odes and poems on Masonic subjects alone. No part of Masonry escaped his attention and, probably, no other Mason of his century was as versatile.

His published works were: Life in the Triangle (1854); Universal Masonic Library (1855), being a reprint of thirty prior, well known Masonic books; Lights and Shadows of Freemasonry (1855); Code of Masonic Law (1856), containing his list of seventeen suggested landmarks, the second of its kind to appear; History of Freemasonry in Kentucky (1858) ; Masonic Odes and Poems (1864) ; Freemasonry in the Holy Land, (1872), the result of a journey to Palestine; William Morgan or Political Anti-Masonry (1883), his most exacting work, accomplished by much investigation; and Poetry o f Freemasonry (1895), published posthumously.

Morris was Grand Master of Kentucky for the Masonic year 185859. He was crowned Poet Laureate of Freemasonry at New York in 1884. He was the author of the ritual of the Order of the Eastern Star and is generally credited with founding that Order. For a time, he was President of the Masonic College at La Grange, Kentucky. While in Palestine, he established lodges at Jerusalem under Canadian warrants, and is generally admitted to have been the most widely travelled and personally the best known Freemason of his time. It is claimed that he visited more than 2,000 lodges and nearly every Grand Lodge in the United States and Canada and was personally known to more Masons than any other member of the Fraternity. As we shall see, he conceived, instituted, and, for five years, conducted a movement known as the "Masonic Conservators," which accomplished little more than to impair his well-deserved eminence in the Craft. He died in 1888.


Dr. Albert G. Mackey is difficult to appraise, for he wrote so much on so many different subjects and was so erudite without always ex

hibiting good judgment. He was raised a Master Mason in 1841 and, the following year, became Master of Solomon's Lodge No. 1 at Charleston, South Carolina. In 1843, he was made Secretary of the Grand Lodge of South Carolina; in 1844, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite 33rd Degree; in 1845, Grand Lecturer of the Grand Lodge and Grand Lecturer of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, holding all those offices concurrently. In 1847, he dropped the Grand Chapter Lectureship and became Deputy Grand High Priest; in 1854, Grand High Priest; in 1859, General Grand High Priest of the United States; and, in 1860, Grand Master of the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters. Between 1865 and 1867, he relinguished all these offices except Secretary General of the Scottish Rite. Accordingly, from about 1845 to 1865, he was Grand Secretary, Grand Lecturer, Secretary General and either Grand Lecturer, Deputy Grand High Priest or Grand High Priest, and, a part of the time, also, General Grand High Priest and Grand Master of the Royal and Select Masters.

Those positions would seem enough to keep him busy, but, during that twenty years, he published his Lexicon of Freemasonry (1845), Masonic Law (1856), Book of the Chapter (1858), Masonic Jurisprudence (1859), and Manual of the Lodge (1863). Afterwards, he produced Mystic Tie (1867), Masonic Ritualist (1869), Symbolism of Freemasonry (1869), Cryptic Masonry (1874), Encyclopedia of Freemasonry (1874), and Masonic Parliamentary Law (1875). At the time of his death in 1881, he had completed about four and onehalf volumes of his History of Freemasonry which was completed by W. R. Singleton and published in seven volumes in 1898.

Probably his most popular work, even exceeding his History, was his Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry.

Mackey's works were widely read and had a profound and lasting effect upon American Freemasonry, for the author possessed a ready and graceful art of expression and explanation, and they came at a time when the country was growing and population was spreading westward. Many Grand Lodges were formed during his literary career and there was an insistent demand for manuals covering lodge, chapter, and council work and, also, Masonic law.

His faults were, perhaps, too much dogmatism and a tendency to allow his pen to travel faster than his research. What other author could take raw material consisting of vague and ill-defined unwritten customs, tenets, and peculiarities of the Craft and transform them into twenty-five iron-clad written laws called ancient, universal, and

immutable landmarks of Freemasonry, with such finality that "not one jot or tittle of these unwritten laws can be repealed," and, not only that, but persuade some twenty Grand Lodges to adopt, approve, or accept them? What other author could subsequently demonstrate the errors in his own work and, yet, not turn a hair or expressly admit the slightest deficiency in it?


In the United States, Masonic law and jurisprudence occupied the attention of many writers. The erection of so many Grand Lodges and the growth of lodges and membership raised many questions, the decisions of which soon came to comprise a body of precedents or kind of Masonic common law. This was enhanced by the discovery, really the invention, of the so-called "ancient landmarks," which were assumed to be fundamental laws of the Society.

The Grand Lodge of Minnesota was first with the adoption in its Constitution of 1856 of a list of twenty-six "Ancient Landmarks," followed in the same year by Rob Morris' "Code of Masonic Law," in which, a list of seventeen was presented with 480 pages of explanation. In 1858, Mackey first published, and, the following year, incorporated into his Masonic Jurisprudence his celebrated list of twenty-five "ancient, universal, and immutable landmarks," although he had written his Masonic Law in 1856 without mentioning them. Other purported lists followed, some forming parts of works on Masonic law or jurisprudence, some originated by Grand Lodges, all different and all purporting to be true and unalterable! The subject is too large to be developed here, so it must suffice to say that later thinkers have very generally disparaged the whole idea and, in particular, have discredited many of Mackey's propositions as not only not ancient landmarks but, in some instances, not even true laws or customs of any kind. It is only fair to say that, later, Mackey joined the factual school of historians and, in his History of Freemasonry, disproved several of the "ancient landmarks" without daring to say so expressly, for, meanwhile, several Grand Lodges had committed themselves to his guidance and could not retrace their steps without embarrassment.

Other works on Masonic Law or Jurisprudence during the period were published by: W. B. Hubbard (1858) ; Dr. George Oliver (1859); J. W. Simons (1864); G. W. Chase (1865); L. A. Lockwood (1867) ; H. M. Look (1870) ; C. I. Paton (1872) ; and H. Robertson (1881) .


Up to 1850, the theme of the identity of Masonic symbolism with that of the Ancient Pagan religions and philosophies seems to have been popular principally in France, though one English and one American book had appeared upon the subject.

F. J. M. Ragon continued to pursue this thesis with another work published in 1853 on Occult Masonry and the Hermetic Initiation as did E. Haus who published a book on the Gnostics and Freemasonry in 1875.

This idea, which had made little headway in Germany, now began to have some effect. In 1861, J. Schauberg published his Comparative Handbook of Symbolism of the Freemasons, with Special Consideration of the Mythology and Mysteries of Antiquity.

Interest in this subject on the Continent was slight, however, compared to the avidity with which English and American authors seized upon it. A contest seemed to exist as to who could get his ideas on record first and make the most sensational' disclosures. Seven works upon the subject appeared in America and ten in England, an average of more than one every two years for thirty years.

The American publications were: in 1866, J. W. Simons' translation of Portal's Comparison of Egyptian and Hebraic Symbols; in 1868, Ernest Jacob's Illustrations of the Symbols of Masonry, Scripturally and Morally Considered; in 1869, Mackey's Symbolism of Freemasonry; in 1874, M. W. Redding's Masonic Antiquities of the Orient Unveiled; in 1880, John A. Weisse's Obelisk and Freemasonry according to the, Discoveries of Belzoni and Commander Garringe; also Egyptian Symbols Compared with those Discovered in American Mounds; in 1882, Robert H. Brown's Stellar Theology and Masonic Astronomy, or the Origin and Meaning of Ancient and Modern Mysteries Explained; and, in 1882, Henry R. Coleman's Light from the East.

The English publications were: in 1856, Oliver's Dictionary of Symbolical Masonry; in 1856, Robert A. Vaughn's Hours with the Mystics; in 1864, C. W. King's Gnostics and their Remains; in 1870, Thomas Inman's Ancient Pagan and Modern Christian Symbolism; in 1872, John Yarker's Scientific and Religious Mysteries of Antiquity; in 1873, C. I. Paton's Freemasonry, its Symbolism, Religious Nature and Law of Perfection; in 1876, Thomas Inman's Ancient Faiths and Modern; in 1880, Herbert Giles' Freemasonry in China; in 1885, Thomas Holland's Freemasonry from the Great Pyramid of

Ancient Times; and, in 1885, H. M. Westropp's Primitive Symbolism as Illustrated in Phallic Worship.

Albert Pike's Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, completed in 1881, is another work to be included in the foregoing list, although pertaining principally to the Scottish Rite.


Albert Pike was one of the most dedicated and persevering of Masonic writers. He revised and practically rewrote all of the rituals of the Rite, and produced Morals and Dogma as a purported series of lectures on the thirty-three degrees. It is necessary to say, however, that these have very little connection with the respective degrees and do not disclose or explain the particular features of each or the differences between them. With the exception of passing references to what each degree teaches, the lectures constitute a continuous essay on morality, a philosophy of life, some principles of constitutional government, and a great deal of mystical philosophy and Cabalism. In addition, he wrote considerable non-Masonic verse showing no mean poetic power.

There is not much doubt that the French had resorted to ancient mystical symbols and ceremonies out of which, in part, to weave the fabric of so many degrees, but the rituals, being in the unfinished and vapid condition described by Pike, could not have contained much of this or anything else. We must conclude that Pike, himself, from his studies, which he tells us, embraced every source of ancient mysticism, religion, and philosophy, incorporated much of this as new matter. Pike expressly tells us that about half of Morals and Dogma was borrowed with no attempt to distinguish it from his own. According to Waite, much of this came over bodily from the work of Eliphas Levi (Alphonse Louis Constant), a French occultist, published in 1855-56. The fact that Pike so soon became familiar with this work shows how diligent he was in gathering material of that kind.

Pike had a very short contact with Craft Masonry and very little sympathetic understanding of it. Within three years after being raised a Master Mason, he was made a 32nd and was, almost immediately, entrusted with one of the most burdensome tasks ever undertaken by a Freemason, that of rewriting and virtually recreating the rituals of the Thirty-Three Degrees. Pike drew a distinction between the Craft Degrees and the chivalric and philosophical degrees of his favorite

Rite. This distinction was mostly by way of assuming and asserting that the first Three Degrees were basically of the same quality, though they had either deteriorated from a much richer symbolism or were deliberately designed to cover a hidden meaning. He certainly inferred that the whole of Freemasonry was made of the same material, the mystical and cabalistic philosophies and religions of the East. This was unjustified and, in all probability, untrue.

Morals and Dogma, though containing much simple and practical philosophy of a moral, social, religious, and political nature in the earlier part, is, in the latter part, so profound, so abstruse and so pedantic that few in this day and age have the time or the taste to read it or would understand it if they did. Yet, with startling dexterity, Pike repeatedly brings the reader back to reality with more practical advice which is often as appropriate to the problems of today as they were when written more than half a century ago.

1885 To DATE

Masonic literature since 1885 has been too varied and too voluminous to permit any extended review of it here. It is mostly current or in print, so that the reader may form his own judgment of it. Only a few of the more outstanding works will be discussed.

The revolution effected by Hughan, Gould, and their compeers, furthered by the work of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076 of London and a few similar groups in America, put an end to historical fanciful conjecture and relegated, to the realm of curiosities, much of what had previously passed for fact. The exceptions are works on symbolism and mysticism which have continued to multiply. Much of the edge was taken off such productions, however, by Arthur Preuss' A Study in American Freemasonry (1908) wherein the author, an avowed enemy of the Craft, with the sanction of the Catholic hierarchy, severely castigated the extreme doctrines which Mackey and Pike promulgated, connecting Freemasonry with phallic sex worship of the Ancients and making such plainly operative and geometric structures and figures as the two columns and the right triangle symbols of an hermaphrodite god. As a result, later writers on symbolism have got along without these absurdities and obscenities. This is the second time that the Roman Catholic Church has rendered a service to Freemasonry, the first being the abrupt end put to the career of Cogliostro, the imposter.

In 1891, there was published a History of the Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons and Concordant Or

ders by a board of editors headed by H. L. Stillson and W. J. Hughan, assisted by numerous contributors. It is somewhat poorly arranged but contains much useful information and is generally reliable.

Mackey's History o f Freemasonry, which was left unpublished and, in fact, unfinished at the time of his death in 1881, was completed by W. R. Singleton and published in 1898, and, later, republished with addenda by W. J. Hughan and Robert I. Clegg.

In 1904, Gould published a Concise History of Freemasonry in one volume, a considerable condensation of his larger work but corresponding to it in the main, the principal departure being the author's conversion to the theory that two degrees were inherited by the Speculatives from the pre-Grand Lodge era.

Dr. Roscoe Pound, in 1915, published his Lectures on the Philosophy of Masonry, in which he compared the theories of Preston, Krause, Oliver, and Pike. In 1916, his Lectures on Masonic Jurisprudence appeared. The former possibly overestimates the theories and purposes of his four characters, and the latter is less fundamental and searching than we would expect from the author. He seems to accept, as a starting point, much that is popularly and erroneously believed about the landmarks, without having made any investigation of his own.

One of the most popular and widely read of late authors is the Rev. Joseph Fort Newton, whose work, The Builders, first appeared in 1915 and has had a phenomenal circulation, going into a number of editions and being translated into several foreign languages. This was followed by The Men's House, Religion of Freemasonry, and Short Talks on Masonry. None of these are, in the ordinary sense, histories, but the author had a good grasp of events as well as of the doctrines of the Craft.

Delmar D. Darragh's Evolution of Freemasonry, published in 1920, though containing some errors, is properly entitled in that it does present the changing character of the society, and, thus, evinces a concept that is all too rare. It is written in a popular vein, profusely illustrated, and generally factual.

The Story of the Craft by Lionel Vibert, published in 1921, is accurate and reliable.

On the history of Freemasonry in America, two excellent books appeared: Beginnings of Freemasonry in America by Melvin M. Johnson, which is somewhat colored by the author's advocacy of

Boston's precedence, and Freemasonry in the Thirteen Colonies by J. Hugo Tatsch.

Other works were: History of Freemasonry by Haywood and Craig, English Speaking Freemasonry by Alfred Robbins, Speculative Masonry by A. S. McBride, and Introduction to Freemasonry by Knoop and Jones.

Many works on symbolism and mysticism appeared, among which were: Secret Tradition of Freemasonry by Arthur E. Waite (1911), Elusinian Mysteries and Rites by Dudley Wright (1920), and Masonic Legends and Traditions by the same author (1921), Freemasonry and the Ancient Gods by J. S. M. Ward (1921), Symbolism of the Three Degrees by Oliver Day Street, Ancient Freemasonry by Frank C. Higgins (1923), Symbolical Masonry by H. L. Haywood (1923), and Thoughts on Masonic Symbolism by Charles C. Hunt.

A very complete bibliography of older Masonic works will be found in the appendix to Mackey's Encyclopaedia (1919 edition). A more modern but apparently incomplete one is that of W. L. Boyden (1915) republished in pamphlet form by the Grand Lodge of Wisconsin.

Following World War 1, conditions in Europe were so disrupted that the subject of Freemasonry attracted few writers; indeed, they were virtually eliminated in Germany along with Hitler's closing of the lodges in 1933. In the United States and Great Britain a not inconsiderable flow of writing continued, much on historical subjects and less toward mystery and symbolism. Reality was superseding sensationalism as shown by the following:

The Old Charges, London, 1925, by Herbert Poole; The London Mason of the 17th Century, Manchester, 1935, by Professors Douglas D. Knoop and G. P. Jones; The 16th Century Mason, pamphlet, 1937, A. Q. C., Vol. L, Part iii, by Knoop and Jones; Introduction to Freemasonry, Manchester, 1937, by Knoop and Jones; Short History of Freemasonry to 1730, Manchester, 1940, by Knoop and Jones; Genesis of Freemasonry, Manchester, 1947, by Knoop and Jones; Early Masonic Pamphlets, Manchester, 1945, by Knoop, Jones and Douglas Hamer; Pocket History of Freemasonry, New York, 1961, by Pick and Knight; The Cathedral Builders, New York and London, 1961, by Jean F. Barnes Jr.; The United Grand Lodge of England, Oxford, 1967, official publication, by various authors and an appendix on several topics; A Comprehensive View of Freemasonry, Macoy, New York, 1954, by Henry W. Coil; Freemasonry


Through Six Centuries, Missouri Lodge of Research, No. 23, 2 vols. 1966-68, by Henry W. Coil;

Special histories were: History of Wigan Grand Lodge, Manchester, 1920, by Eustace B. Beesley; Freemasonry in Virginia, Richmond, 1936, by William Moseley Brown; Two Hundred Years of Blandford Lodge, 1755-1955, Petersburg, 1955, by W. M. Brown; Notes to the Minutes of Lodge of Edinborough, 1598-1738, London, 1962, by Harry Carr; Mother Kilwinning Lodge No. 0, 1642-1842, London, 1961, by Harry Carr; A House Undivided, Missouri Lodge of Research, No. 18, 1961, by Allen E. Roberts; Sword and Trowel, Missouri Lodge of Research, No. 21, 1964, by J. B. Vrooman and Allen E. Roberts, a history of military lodges; Freemasonry in American Courts, Missouri Lodge of Research, 1958 by W. Irving Wiest; The Supreme Council 33° Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, SJ, Washington, 1930, by Charles S. Lobingier; History of the Supreme Council 330 A. & A.S.R., S.J., 1801-1861, Washington, 1964, by R. Baker Harris, 33°; History of Supreme Council 33° A. & A.S.R., S.J., 1861-1891, Washington, 1967, James D. Carter.

Ritual: Early Masonic Catechisms, Manchester, 1940, by Knoop and Jones.

Miscellaneous: Freemasons Guide and Compendium, Macoy, New York, 1950, by Bernard E. Jones; Freemasonry and Roman Catholicism, Chicago, 1943, by H. L. Haywood; Anti-Masonry in Missouri, Missouri Lodge of Research, No. 18, 1950, by Lloyd Collins; AntiMasonry, Missouri Lodge Research, No. 19, 1962, by Alphonse Cerza; Bibliography of Anti-Masonry, pamphlet, 1963, by Dr. W. L. Cummings; Freemasonry Among the Indians, Missouri Lodge of Research, No. 13, 1956, by W. R. Denslow; Ten Thousand Famous Freemasons, Missouri Lodge of Research, Nos. 14-17, 1957-1960; Grand Lodge Recognition, Grand Masters' Conference, 1956;

Encyclopedias: Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Vol. III, by H. L. Haywood, Chicago, 1946; Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, Macoy, New York, 1961, by Henry W. Coil with Editors W. L. Cummings, W. M. Brown and H. V. B. Voorhis.


A warning should be sounded for the benefit of the beginner about reading Masonic books and literature. First:

No one work affords all that needs be known about Freemasonry. Works upon one phase, such as history, may neglect other phases,

such as doctrine, symbolism, or philosophy, and vice versa. Even upon a given subject, for example, history, one must consult several, preferably many, works to find all relevant facts. This is so, not only by reason of the human frailty of the authors to slight some occurrences, but because of their different appraisals of events and of the space to which they are severally entitled. What one treats briefly another will emphasize. Where one states merely the effect of a document, another will print that document in full. No description of any one of the Gothic Constitutions, no matter how complete and explicit, will afford the reader the same understanding of it as if he, himself, picks his way through its quaint text. Each author has to balance the desire for completeness of data against available space, the reader's demand for facts against the reader's disposition to become irked by detail. Second:

The whole literature of the Craft has changed and developed just as has the Craft, itself. New truths have been unearthed, more reasonable theories formulated, and a greater regard has been shown for accuracy and facts. Hence, the first precaution in taking up a book on Freemasonry is to ascertain when it was written and the date of its first publication, so as to classify it in its proper period and appraise it accordingly. Special care must be used to guard against old works, later republished, for, while such books may contain much worth perpetuating, they are also liable to present ideas long obsolete. It is remarkable how Masonic error lives and how old mistakes are repeated. Much of this is due to republication without adequate revision and editing. Third:

One should ascertain from the preface, if possible, what the author pretends to do, and, as the book is read, one should discern what the author is actually doing. If he quotes records and authorities, gives dates and places, and furnished evidence that he is following and nor forcing the facts, he is entitled to more confidence than if he merely indulges in metaphors and generalities. The bane of Masonic literature has been the disposition of so many writers to formulate a theory and, then, marshal the facts to sustain it, or worse yet, to be unconsciously influenced by prejudices. A panegyrical writer may be regarded as unreliable. Fourth:

The most misleading of all Masonic literature is likely to be found in "Masonic" magazines, except those issued by responsible Masonic bodies, and the latter are not entirely free from error. Neither editors nor contributors are chosen by competitive examination, and there is no official censorship of the Masonic press. Most insidious of all


is the question-and-answer method of disseminating Masonic information, for there are few questions about the subject that can be answered briefly and categorically, and the data, even if correct, is so fragmentary and disconnected as to convey little true understanding of the matter. An important element in any event is its date, its place in the sequence of events, its relation to other occurrences and developments, it causes, and its effects. Fifth:

The sincere student should abandon any idea he may have that, in a few days, weeks, or months of concentrated effort, he will learn all, or even much, about Freemasonry. Those who have devoted years to that study have often reached divergent conclusions, some have changed their minds, and a few still reserve their decisions. Freemasonry cannot be pried open and swallowed as an oyster.


Although some theories have been presented, supported mostly by bold assertion, about the origin of Masonic ritualism and symbolism, sometimes fixing their beginnings in remote ages of the past, the fact is that no one knows where any of the rituals came from, when they were made, or who were the authors. This applies to the later and socalled higher degrees as well as to the first Three Degrees.

The crude catechisms inherited by the Grand Lodge from the 17th century have been explained and, to some extent, quoted in a previous work. In them, operative, moral, and religious symbolism was mixed with somewhat meaningless jargon. Whether the lastmentioned element was the result of corruption through oral transmission or was designed to confuse impostors we do not know. Doubtless, the first rituals prepared by the Grand Lodge in 17171723 constituted little improvement over their predecessors. This condition may have endured for some years, possibly as late as Preston's time.

W. Bro. Harold V. B. Voorhis, a prominent member of the College of Rites, which specializes in seeking out and preserving old rituals, states in his pamphlet Thumb-Nail Sketches on Medieval Knighthoods (1945):

"With very minor exceptions, we have not been able to ascertain either when, where, or by whom any of the various rituals of Masonic degrees or Orders were written. Such rituals are not written in one stroke by any one man or small group of men. They were devised and conferred by individuals according to their particular notion, with any available help. As times passed and additional individuals received the grades, the presentation was improved upon so that several persons combined to confer


a given grade. These additions to the first simple ceremony undoubtedly took on different forms in different sections of the country, or in different countries. In places where there have been only minor changes for long periods of time, the ceremonies or rituals are more ancient than in places where changes were made continuously. There probably was no `original ritual' of any of the early degrees of Masonry. There was an original ceremony, of course. It was no doubt an obligation and a sign or two, with a legendary lecture of a few paragraphs. The very nature of the early Masonic groups prevented the members from committing the work to paper. It was many years after the passing of those who conceived the various degrees that any of them were put into manuscript form. Then it was many years more before these manuscripts were put into printed form, all after a great deal of revising again."


Few things about the Fraternity at the present day are so likely to cause inquiry from Masons, even those of some years standing, as the divergencies in the rituals of the various state Grand Lodges and between those used in America and England. If the substance is the same, they ask, why should not also be the floor work and discourse? There are two parts to the inquiry: first, how did these divergencies arise; and second, why do not the Grand Lodges in this country, at least, reconcile them as was done in the Capitular, Cryptic, and Chivalric Rites?

Though the Three Degrees were formulated within six or eight years after the Grand Lodge was organized, the ceremonies probably remained rather crude for many years, possibly being little improvement over the catechistical rituals of the prior era. In many quarters, no more than two and often no more than one degree was attempted by the lodges. The quantity as well as the quality of the working was undoubtedly as varied as was the ability of the officers. During a period of some years, it is probable that individual imagination and creative talent, from time to time and from place to place, added many new ideas. Though numerous statements have been made about the supposed contributions to the rituals by Martin Clare, Wellins Calcott, Thomas Dunckerley, and others, William Preston is the first one known to have made any considerable changes, and his contribution was extensive.

Preston became interested in ritualism some time before 1772, in which year, he held his "Grand Gala" attended by Grand Officers and others where he delivered an address on Masonry. He gathered all the information he could from both town and country lodges and, apparently, took what he deemed to be the best workings, from


which, he prepared his Illustrations of Masonry and a course of lectures. Preston was a master of the language and his lectures were ornate and rhetorical, and, also, quite lengthy. It is doubtful whether they were ever used in many lodges in their complete form. For many years, the Grand Lodge of England arranged for their delivery at Annual Communications by a brother appointed for that purpose, called the Prestonian Lecturer.

It is not certain to what extent the Prestonian work was adopted in America, but there was little opportunity for it to gain a foothold here until after the Revolution. Then, during the period of about fifteen years until Thomas Smith Webb began lecturing, probably, portions of the Prestonian work crept in. It is to be borne in mind, however, that Ancient Masonry was very influential in the states and Preston belonged to the opposite faction. It is probable that few American lodges attempted the more ornate work, but they did have the work from which Preston had made his selections, and this was undoubtedly quite diverse in character, not only between lodges of the Ancient and Modern variety, but also between those of the same obedience.

Dr. Oliver informs us that, as late as 1801, the lodge in which he was initiated consisted of

"a long table extending from one end of the room to the other, covered with a green cloth, on which were placed duplicates of the ornaments, furniture, and jewels, intermixed with Masonic glasses for refreshment. At one end of this table, was placed the Master's pedestal and at the other that of the Senior Warden, while about the middle of the table-in the South-the Junior Warden was placed, and the brethren sat around as at a common ordinary. When there was an initiation the candidate was paraded outside the whole, and on such occasion, after he had been safely deposited in the northeast angle of the Lodge, a very short explanation of the design of Freemasonry, or a brief portion of the lecture, was considered sufficient before the Lodge was called from labour to refreshment. The song, the toast and sentiment went merrily round, and it was not until the brethren were tolerably satiated that the Lodge was resumed and the routine business transacted before closing."

Illustrative of the crude ceremonies and appointments of the early 18th century, were "drawing the lodge" and the "mop and pail." Since taverns were the usual places of meeting, and the quarters hired for only an evening, furniture and equipment had to be improvised. Therefore, the lodge was represented by a drawing made with chalk upon the floor, and, probably, the various steps, Jacob's ladder, the two columns, and over things were likewise depicted. At the


close of the ceremonies, the candidate, no matter what his station in life, was required to obliterate the markings, for which chore the mop and pail were employed. Later, floor cloths were used upon which designs and symbols were painted. These persisted in some places through the 19th century. Still later, charts and stereopticons were used to illustrate the lectures.

Throughout the 18th century, a great variety of working prevailed. This was true in England, not only because of the local preferences and abilities of the Masters, but, because, during the whole of the second half of that century, there were two Grand Lodges, each pursuing its own way. Not only were these diverse workings brought to America, but, also those of Scotland and Ireland, so that, in the Colonial lodges, there must seldom have been two lodges following the same working. Nor was this abnormal or any cause for wonder, for, at that period, there was no plan or policy that work should be uniform. The work never had been uniform, except possibly in limited areas.

Naturally enough, when Grand Lodges were formed in America and began to look toward some uniformity of ritual in their respective lodges, each started from a different base, and each developed and adopted that practiced in its most influential lodges.

Had it not been for Thomas Smith Webb or someone like him, doubtless, this variation would have been much greater. Webb began, in 1797, to effect a general unification of working by the publication of his Freemason's Monitor or Illustrations o f Masonry and by his personal lectures. But, by that time, thirteen Grand Lodges had already been formed, and divergencies were pretty well established. Webb died in 1819 and, though his effert was continued by others, the tide was too strong. New lodges were being formed throughout the country, and new Grand Lodges were being set up, each of which was largely influenced by the sources from which its constituent lodges had come. There were usually three, sometimes more, lodges participating in the formation of the new Grand Lodge, each of which was very likely to have a somewhat different work from the others, so that greater diversity rather than less was created.

It is quite commonly said that Webb made considerable innovations in the English work when he prepared his Monitor, and that the ritual, for that reason, became something different in this country from what it was abroad. This was a rather shallow conclusion, but so persistently was it believed that some gave it as the basis for the term "American Rite" as applied to the working of the Three Degrees


here. The rituals being different on the two sides of the Atlantic, and England being the older country of the two, what could be more obvious, they thought, than that the younger country had developed the newer work. Emphasis was laid, particularly by Mackey, on Webb's statement that he had "rearranged" Preston's work to conform to that in this country, and the implication was given that this meant to rewrite and change substantially. Furthermore, the assumption seems to have been indulged that Preston's work was uniformly or generally followed in England, which was not true, and it certainly was not in Scotland or Ireland. The fact is that the American working was older than Preston's, and since the latter was presented to the English Craft in 1772, so shortly before the American Revolution, it is evident that it could have gained no currency here until after that event. But, by that time, American Freemasonry was under the administration of its own Grand Lodges which then looked very sparingly, if at all, to the Mother Country for guidance or inspiration. Webb, probably, did more than anyone else to introduce here the Prestonian working which he contracted and rearranged to fit forms then in use. Neither Preston nor Webb was an innovator; both sought to improve and unify the work; but neither was entirely successful.

At the Union of 1813 of the two Grand Lodges of England, the working of the Ancient and Moderns underwent reconciliation, in the course of which a number of changes were made, new forms were introduced, and the lectures were revised by Dr. Hemming and his assistant, William Williams. A standard ritual was formulated and proclaimed but was never adopted by all of the lodges, they always having been accorded considerable liberty in this respect.

A type of lodge grew up in England for which there seems to be no counterpart in this country. Stability Lodge of Instruction, attached to Lodge of Stability, was formed in 1817, and Emulation Lodge of Improvement, attached to Emulation Lodge, was organized in 1823. These devoted their time exclusively to the exemplification of their rituals, the two not being exactly the same. Of the former body, Peter Thompson was the best known lecturer, and, of the latter, Peter Gilkes. Gilkes was probably the most famous of all the lecturers, because of his colorful character. He would never let the slightest error slip by, no matter who the offender might be, and he often reprimanded persons of dignity, who took it in good spirit. He was born a Catholic in 1765, and was made a Mason in 1786. By industry and thrift, he acquired a competence and retired from busi


ness to devote his whole time to Masonry. It was his custom to hold open house every afternoon from one o'clock until it was time to attend some lodge or other, and, at those sessions, he gratuitously taught the Emulation work to all who sought to learn. He was first elected Master of Lodge of Unity No. 69, but, in order to qualify as member of several boards of the Grand Lodge, he annually served as Master of some lodge, so that he successfully occupied the Chair of Lodges Nos. 7, 23, 69, 162, 172, 180, 256, 214, and 211, several times each, and was Master of the last named when he died in 1833. He refused Grand Lodge offices several times on the ground that his circumstances in life were not equal to the rank.


The idea that there should be one uniform Masonic ritual has haunted the Fraternity from, at least, the time of Preston, who seems to have been the first to make a diligent effort in that direction. Yet, viewed historically, ritualistic uniformity might actually be called unMasonic. The Gothic Constitutions were by no means identical, and such exposes as pretended to disclose the pre-Grand Lodge rituals of the 17th century are likewise divergent. In the forepart of the 18th century, each Master had his favorite work, and groups of them were so attached to their particular forms that there never was any likelihood that any of them could be induced to change.

Preston began work by visiting various lodges and conferring with well posted Masters for the purpose of selecting, rearranging, and rephrasing the work he deemed best. The extreme length of his lectures is undoubtedly due to the fact that he had so many sources from which to draw and found so much which he hesitated to reject.

The presence of two Grand Lodges in England from 1751 to 1813 promoted diversity, and, though the United Grand Lodge sought to place in effect one standard form of working, it never succeeded, with the result that six or eight varied workings have persisted. Indeed, one Grand Master ruled that a Master might follow such form as he preferred so long as the essential "landmarks" were not neglected, meaning thereby the principal symbolism and secrets.

The lodges in the American Colonies drew their work from the two Grand Lodges of England and those of Ireland and Scotland until the time of the Revolution. Great diversity prevailed until the effect of Webb's effort was felt, beginning in 1797. Following his death in 1819, Jeremy L. Cross became his most noted successor, because of Cross' energy and zeal and, especially, his Masonic Chart, which


rivaled Webb's Monitor. There were many other lecturers, among which, we find Barney, Cushman, Fowle, Wilson, David Vinton, and John Snow. But, while each of them promoted, to some extent, interstate uniformity by traveling widely over the country, they each introduced interpretations or variations of their own. They, also, did much to popularize the so-called higher or side degrees.

Efforts to secure uniformity of working through action of Grand Lodges began with resolutions adopted by an informal gathering of Masons at Washington, D.C., on March 9, 1822, at which, a committee of prominent Masons, including John Marshall and Henry Clay, was appointed to present to Grand Lodges the project to form a General Grand Lodge of the United States. The Grand Lodges were circularized but turned a deaf ear.

Several other conventions were called for the purpose of promoting uniformity, the most noted of which was the Baltimore Convention of 1843, which arranged the "Baltimore Work," a monitor of which was prepared by Charles W. Moore of Massachusetts and S. W. B. Carnegy of Missouri, under the title, New Masonic Trestleboard. The work of the Baltimore Convention was widely respected and may have had the intended results in limited areas, but nothing like that hoped for. Strange to say, Rob Morris, who was to make an even more ambitious effort fifteen years later, denounced the Baltimore Convention in scathing terms.


Rob Morris became obsessed with a purpose to unify the work of lodges all over the country and to have them adopt what he supposed to be the true Webb-Preston work. As early as 1848, he began, and, for some years, continued to collect versions of the work of various lodges. By comparison of these and with aid given him by Samuel Willson of Vermont, he eliminated the errors which, as he supposed, had crept in, thus, endeavoring to recapture the pure Webb-Preston work. When he had accomplished this to his satisfaction, he printed it in a small book called Mnenwnics, which was a cipher catechism of the Three Degrees. In 1858-59, he distributed copies of it to numerous Masonic acquaintances, by whom it was very favorably received.

Then, his ambitions overreached prudence, and his misfortunes began. He conceived, and attempted to put into operation a most pretentious, unique, and theoretically effective, though dangerous, scheme to effectuate ritualistic uniformity throughout the country. His


instrument was an association called "Conservators of Symbolic Masonry." There can be no doubt of the bona fides of the enterprise, and there is no indication that the author had financial profit in view or any purpose other than to attain the single objective of ritualistic uniformity quickly and thoroughly. This is shown by the express limitation which he placed on the life of the association to five years, but, otherwise, it exhibited bad judgment so that its hectic career was destined to end short of its alloted span.

About June, 1860, Morris, as "Chief Conservator," sent confidential circulars to Masons throughout the country, circular No. 1 outlining the plan in general and circular No. 2 more specifically describing it, each marked confidential and requesting the concurrence of the recipient within ten days, else no further communication would be addressed to him. The stated purpose was to disseminate the true Webb-Preston work, secure uniformity, discountenance innovations and errors, establish schools of instruction, strengthen the ties of Masonry, and open the way for more intimate communication between the Masons of Europe and America.

There was to be one Conservator and two Deputies in each lodge, in addition to which, the Chief Conservator might appoint Deputy Chief Conservators in each Congressional District and a Vice Chief Conservator for each Grand Jurisdiction. Each Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master, Grand Senior Warden, Grand Junior Warden, District Deputy Grand Master, and Grand Lecturer who joined the association was to be a Deputy Chief Conservator.

For an initial contribution, each member was entitled to a copy of Mnemonics and to receive the magazine Conservator. The operations of the organization and even the names of the members were to be secret. A degree, "Masonic Conservator," the ritual of which was prepared by Morris, was to be conferred on the participants. The whole scheme was to be terminated and the association dissolved on June 24, 1865.

The cipher code of Mnemonics was curious and complicated. Only a letter stood for a word, the latter being found in a "Spelling Book," the pages of which were referred to by certain numbers in the code. This was made less vulnerable by requiring certain columns to be read vertically and others horizontally, while others were not to be read at all, being decoy numbers. To the ordinary person, the code was indecipherable, but the defect was that a "circular" had to be issued to enable the initiated to read it. Hence, by possessing the circular, Spelling Book, and Code, anyone could read Mnemonics, that


is, every part of the ritual. Masonic codes of later times have been mere reminders, requiring some preceding familiarity with, or oral instruction in the work, the full text not being derived from anything written. In the "Conservators' " system, every word was available to one having the necessary documents.

Attacks against the Conservators broke out in 1862 in the Grand Lodges of Illinois, Kentucky, and Maine; in 1863, in Missouri, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oregon, and Wisconsin; in 1864, in Michigan, New Jersey, Iowa, and Kentucky; and, in 1865, in New York. Not all of these Grand Lodges took official action, but some were very severe in their denunciation and proscribed the whole Conservator movement. The fight was bitter in Missouri where the Grand Lodge required Masons to take an oath renouncing the "Conservators."

Objections to the plan were of various kinds and included assertions that it violated the Masonic obligation not to write or print the secrets; that it violated the landmarks; that the ritual taught by the "Conservators" was not the true Webb-Preston work and did not conform to that promulgated by the Baltimore Convention of 1843; that the scheme was mercenary and clandestine; that it vested control of the ritual in one man; that it was a new system of work; that the new work was not approved by the Grand Lodge, and that the cipher Mnemonics was shameful.

It would seem that one crucial objection would have been enough, that is, that the Conservator plan constituted a society within a society, a mystery within a mystery, and a government within a government. Nothing is more un-Masonic than private committees or cliques within the Fraternity. Here, there was a secret group working inside the Grand Lodges but without authority from them, a sort of super society which presumed to take control of the ritual, certainly one of the chief functions of a Grand Lodge.

Morris, though a very high-minded and intelligent man, and an enthusiastic and valuable Freemason, was reviled in bitterest terms. He tried to defend himself and his associates, but without avail. Many of his converts adherred to him, believing firmly that the plan was constructive and for the benefit of Freemasonry. Morris, true to his promise, issued a statement, June 24, 1865, ending the existence of the "Masonic Conservators," and the fires of dissension quickly died. Though he had been especially denounced in Missouri, Morris was warmly welcomed when he visited that Grand Lodge twenty years later.

Very little of lasting nature was accomplished by the Masonic Conservators, though it is said that the rituals of several Grand Lodges closely resemble the Mnemonics.

There are several reasons why Grand Lodges in the United States do not come together and agree upon a uniform ritual. In the first place, there is no pressing need, nor is it especially desirable. Variation has been the rule rather than the exception all over the world and from the very beginning of a ritual. No great inconvenience exists by reason of divergency, for a well posted Mason has no difficulty in making himself known in a foreign jurisdiction. The Masonic ritual is such that its beauties could not be reflected in any one draft, and the attempt to embody all in one text would involve a loss to Masonry as a whole. In the second place, the unification of ritual among forty-nine jurisdictions would be practically impossible due to preferences long established. Each Grand Lodge deems its work the best and each would insist that the most of its work be used. Such a change would mean that every Past Master and every Past Grand Master in each jurisdiction would find all he had known of the ritual to be obsolete, and it is not likely that those individuals in any jurisdiction would invite any such consequence. Such unification could not be effected short of the erection of a General Grand Lodge and its promulgation of a ritual as was done by the General Grand Chapter, the General Grand Council, and the Grand Encampment. A General Grand Lodge has been several times suggested, starting in George Washington's time, he being indicated as first to become General Grand Master. Neither that nor later movements have made any considerable headway and the project may be regarded as impossible, or extremely improbable, of consummation.



Rites of Freemasonry


RITES of ONE KIND or another constitute much of Masonic substance, so that the term, rite, is frequently used in speaking and writing about the Craft. In its original sense, the word is clear enough, but, due to a novel or distorted interpretation which sprang up something over a century ago, it has occasioned much confusion and needless dispute. In short, it has come to be applied to groups or systems of degrees, and even to the Masonic bodies and to the administration of the bodies which govern such degrees. This secondary usage was not adopted thoughtfully or deliberately, and, as time went on, it became more variant, until even those who presumed to be instructors expressed strange notions as to what the word meant.

The present effort to explain the matter is another of those discussions which, at first glance, seem not to promise results consonant with the time and space devoted to them, for the end product does not appear to be of great moment. But, here, as often is true, the explanation is necessary to an appraisal of much that appears in Masonic literature and to a full understanding of Freemasonry. Moreover, it affords a vehicle for the disclosure of many circumstances of interest and importance, which may be of more value than the main topic.

Rite is defined by Webster's International Dictionary as the "act of performira divine or solemn service, as established by law, precept, or custom; a formal act, or series of acts of religious or other solemn duty; a solemn or proper observance; a ceremony; as the rites of freemasonry. A prescribed form or manner of conducting religious service, as the Roman or Ambrosian rite"; and by Funk and Wagnall's Dictionary as follows: "a solemn or religious ceremony performed in an established or prescribed manner, or the words and acts constituting or accompanying it; also any formal, solemn or ceremonious act or observance, as a marriage rite, the rite of baptism; hence, any formal practice or custom as the rites of hospitality, or the prescribed form of worship or religion of a people or country."

There are several rites in Masonic ritualistic work, such as the rite

of circumambulation, the rite of discalceation, etc. (See Mackey, Encyclopedia o} Freemasonry, those titles). Several of these rites may be grouped to form a rite of initiation, thus, the Entered Apprentice rite. In the same way, we may have a Fellow Craft Rite, a Temple Rite, a Hiramic Rite, a Cryptic Rite, etc. But it is probably going too far to attempt to combine several into a "Craft Rite," so many different rites being included as to cause confusion. We should stop somewhere lest the whole be pyramided into one Masonic Rite.

It certainly was going too far, as was done in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, to include, within one rite, from seven to twelve degrees or even some thirty odd degrees, each containing one or more rites, which were often conferred by several distinct Masonic bodies. It was also unwarranted to employ the term to mean a system or association of degrees or ceremonies and the governmental organization and method by which they were administered.

The terms, York Rite and Scottish Rite, used to designate, not ceremonies or rites proper, but governmental and administrative systems, or groups of systems is hardly a proper use of the term, rite, especially, since each group includes so many different true rites. The York Rite, presumably including Craft, Capitular, Cryptic, and Chivalric degrees, exhibits little unity or chronological sequence, and those degrees are under the control of four separate, autonomous bodies. The Scottish degrees, now so governmentally compact, embrace a variety of divergent themes and rites, partly brought together in France by a process of accretion, and partly expanded in America by a process of interpolation. They contain Craft, Cryptic, Pagan, Christian, Chivalric, Philosophical, and Political themes.

York Rite and Scottish Rite are not objectionable in their conventional usage, for they are generally understood and furnish a ready means of reference to those well known systems, but Masonic technicians have attempted to employ that loose terminology as a basis from which to draw highly technical conclusions which do not necessarily flow therefrom.

The expansion of the term, rite, to include a collection of degrees and, then, the bodies or administrative systems by which they were governed probably began in France with such terms as Rite Moderne, French Rite, Rite of Perfection, etc. At the time these terms arose, there seems to have been no comparable practice in the British Isles.

Dr. Oliver stated in his Historical Landmarks of 1843 (Vol. II, p. 230)

"A rite is an item in the ceremonial of conferring degrees; although in


some countries it is extended to include a number of orders and degrees; as in the French rite Ancien et accepte, which comprehends the Maconrie Symbolique, Elu, Chev. d'Orient, du Soled, Kadosh, Rose Croix, &c with the grades dits Philosophiques et Administratifs. "

He implied that the term, rite, was still used in England in its original sense, and had been expanded only in France.

Mackey, in his Lexicon of Freemasonry (5th ed., 1866) seemed oblivious to the dictionary definition of rite, and appeared a bit confused, inferring that a rite was an innovation in, or modification of Freemasonry and, also, a method of government, saying:

"Rite. A modification of masonry, in which the three ancient degrees and their essentials being preserved, there are varieties in the ceremonies, and number and names of the additional degrees. A masonic rite is, therefore, in accordance with the general signification of the word, the method, order, and rules, observed in the performance and government of the masonic system.

"Anciently, there was but one rite, that of the `Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons,' consisting only of the three primary degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow-Craft, and Master Mason, hence called the degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry. But on the Continent of Europe, and especially in France and Germany, the ingenuity of some, and the vanity of others, have added to these an infinite number of high degrees, and of ceremonies unknown to the original character of the institution......

He, then, enumerated seventeen "rites," such as "1. York Rite; 2. French or modern rite; 3. Ancient and Accepted Scotch Rite; 4. Philosophic Scotch Rite," etc.

The clarity of Mackey's concept did not improve much up to the time his Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry was issued in 1874. Although he defined several separate, pure rites such as those of circumambulation, discalceation, etc., he still defined the bare word, rite, to be "a method of conferring Masonic light by a collection and distribution of degrees" and "the method and order observed in the government of a Masonic system."

Albert Pike did little better, saying:

"A rite is an aggregation and succession of any number of degrees given by one or more bodies, but by the authority of a single Supreme government."

Of course, strictly speaking, a rite is not the government or the method of governing anything. Pike's definition would exclude the York Rite, for the lodge, chapter, council, and commandery are all severally autonomous.

Masonically, therefore, the word, rite, has been expanded in two


ways: First, to embrace a number of rites grouped into a larger rite, and, second, to designate systems of organization, administration, and government. It is now scarcely ever used in its original sense, but is almost entirely confined to such combinations as Craft Rite, York Rite, Scottish Rite, Capitular Rite, Cryptic Rite, Chivalric Rite, etc.


The Craft Rite embraces the first three degrees: the Capitular, Mark Master, Past Master, Most Excellent Master and Royal Arch; the Cryptic, Royal Master, Select Master and the ceremony of Super Excellent Master; and the Chivalric or Templar, Order of the Red Cross or Knight of the East or Sword, the Order of Malta, and the Order of the Temple or Knight Templar.

But those groupings cannot be logically explained, for they did not arise according to a preconceived plan but rather fortuitously and by force of circumstances. The Mark Master and Past Master Degrees are, in substance, Craft Degrees, and this is probably true of the Most Excellent Master Degree. The Royal Arch and Select Master Degrees are Cryptic Degrees. The Royal Master Degree exemplifies a Hiramic rite-and, hence, is more of the Craft variety than otherwise. The Red Cross, a pagan or Babylonish degree, is, strangely enough, associated with two Christian or Chivalric degrees. The Royal, Select, and Super Excellent Master Degrees are not York, but were first side degrees of the Scottish Rite, and went through the strange adventure in the early 19th century of being claimed by the Scottish Rite, by Royal Arch chapters, and by independent councils, emerging, generally but not everywhere, under a system of local, state and national bodies.

There can be little doubt that the Royal Arch, Red Cross, and Templar degrees were of continental inspiration, if not origin, though they became incorporated into the York group at an early date. The Scottish system, so called, includes Operative, Craft, Hiramic, Cryptic, Pagan, Babylonish, Christian, Chivalric, Philosophical, Historical and other degrees not easily classified. The Scottish Rite is not Scottish at all, but is French, Prussian, and American, the last named element possibly predominating, since the rituals were almost completely rewritten by Albert Pike shortly before the Civil War.

The degrees of the York Rite are especially anachronistic in sequence and heterogeneous in substance. If arranged in order of the events recounted and in respect to subject matter, they would occur as shown in the second column of the following table:


York Rite as Generally            Arranged as to Substance            Subject Matter Conferred in U.S.A. and Chronology Lodge

1. Entered Apprentice            1. Entered Apprentice            Initiation 2. Fellow Craft

3. Mark Master

2. Fellow Craft 3. Master Mason


4. Mark Master            4. Select Master

5. Past Master            5. Master Mason

6. Most Excellent Master            6. Past Master

7. Royal Arch            7. Royal Master

Operative or Temple

Most Excellent Master Super Excellent Master Destruction of Temple

Council 8. 8. Royal Master 9. 9. Select Master

10. Super Excellent Master Commandery

11. Order of Red Cross            10. Order of Red Cross            Embassy

12. Order of Malta   11. Royal Arch            Discovery

13. Order of the Temple            12. Order of Malta

13. Order of the Temple            }Christian Knighthood


The twenty-five-degree Rite of Perfection, after being brought to America by Stephen Morin in 1761, was generally superseded in France by the Rite Moderne or French Rite of seven degrees. At Charleston, South Carolina, in 1801, the Rite of Perfection was expanded to thirty-three degrees by interpolating eight degrees provided for in the Constitutions of 1786, under the name, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. The degrees now embraced in that Rite, though arranged about as well as can be, often bear little substantial relation to each other and, in some instances, could be conferred out of the scheduled order, without inconvenience. In fact, ordinarily only about half, and sometimes less, are actually conferred, the others being communicated, that is, briefly described and explained. The rituals constitute something of a study in comparative religion, colored by Kabbalism, Hermeticism, Rosicrucianism, and other mystical philosophies.

The Lodge of Perfection is the administrative body of the Rite and includes degrees up to and including the fourteenth, all of which are called Ineffable Degrees. Only the thirteenth and fourteenth, however, now answer that description, though several of the others originally did so. The fifteenth and sixteenth are Babylonish degrees; the seventeenth to the twenty-sixth inclusive, together with the twenty


eighth are called the Philosophical and Historical degrees; the twentyseventh, twenty-ninth, and thirtieth are Chivalric; and the thirtyfirst and thirty-second constitute the Consistory.

The Thirty-Third Degree is conferred only upon a limited number in each Orient or Valley in proportion to the number of ThirtySecond Degree Masons therein, and, of these, certain ones are made Inspectors General in their respective Orients and members of the Supreme Council, the others being called "Honorary Thirty-Thirds."

The title, Knight Commander of the Court of Honor, is conferred in the Southern Jurisdiction on some of the Thirty-Second Degree Scottish Rite members, not as a degree, but in recognition of merit.

The Supreme Council in the Southern Jurisdiction consists of not more than thirty-three Inspectors General, while, in the Northern Jurisdiction, the maximum is sixty-six.

The names of the degrees are not identical in the Northern and Southern Jurisdictions, nor are the degrees distributed in the same way among the four or five governing bodies, as will appear from the following list of degrees and bodies:


Lodge of Perfection            Lodge of Perfection

4th: Secret Master            4th: Secret Master

5th: Perfect Master            5th: Perfect Master

6th: Intimate Secretary            6th: Intimate Secretary

7th: Provost and Judge            7th: Provost and Judge

8th: Intendent of the Building            8th: Intendent of the Building

9th: Elu of the Nine    9th: Master Elect of Nine

10th: Elue of the Fifteen            10th: Master Elect of Fifteen 11th: Elu of the Twelve or Prince 11th: Sublime Master Elect Ameth

12th: Master Architect            12th: Grand Master Architect

13th: Royal Arch of Solomon            13th: Master of the Ninth Arch 14th: Perfect Elu or Grand Elect,  14th: Grand Elect Master Perfect and Sublime Mason

Chapter Rose Croix            Council of Princes of Jerusalem

15th: Knight of the East or Sword 15th: Knight of the East or Sword

16th: Prince of Jerusalem            16th: Prince of Jerusalem


17th: Knight of the East and West            17th: Knight of the East and West 18th: Knight Rose Croix   18th: Knight of the Rose Croix de H.R.D.M.

Council of Kadosh            Consistory

19th: Grand Pontiff 19th: Grand Pontiff 138

Chapter Rose Croix


31st: Grand Inspector Inquisitor Commander

32nd: Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret

Supreme Council            Supreme Council

33rd: Sovereign Grand Insppector            33rd: Sovereign Grand Inspector

General            General

It seems to be generally assumed that the York and Scottish branches are duplicates of, or substitutes for each other, and, hence, the whole degree structure is commonly represented as a capital Y, the Craft Degrees forming the stem, the York Rite, one arm and the Scottish Rite the other. It is not unusual, then, to see the extremities of the arms topped by two other lines meeting in a point above called the Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. Such really represents no more than the successive prerequisites for the various degrees or orders. Either the York or Scottish Rite leads to the Shrine, which, by the way, is not Masonic at all.

This "Y" concept is unfortunate, for, while both the York and Scottish Rites contain Operative, Hiramic, Cryptic, and Chivalric rites, the latter embraces much besides, and such duplications as exist are detected only by close scrutiny. The Fraternity would be benefitted if Masons were not discouraged from partaking of the beauties of either branch of the higher degrees in the belief that, in taking one, they had received the substance of the other. It would be better to represent the whole by a straight line extending from the

            Grand Master of all Symbolic       

20th:            Lodges          20th: Master Ad Vitam

            21st:            Noachite or Prussian Knight 21st: Patriarch Noachite

            22nd:            Knight of the Royal Axe or 22nd: Prince Libanus

            Prince Libanus         

            23rd:            Chief of the Tabernacle            23rd: Chief of the Tabernacle

            24th:            Prince of the Tabernacle            24th: Prince of the Tabernacle

            25th:            Knight of the Brazen Serpent            25th: Knight of the Brazen Serpent

            26th:            Prince of Mercy or Scottish            26th: Prince of Mercy


            27th:            Knight Commander of the   27th: Commander of the Temple


            28th:            Knight of the Sun or Prince 28th: Knight of the Sun


            29th:            Grand Scottish Knight of St.            29th: Knight of St. Andrew

            30th:            Andrew         30th: Grand Elect Knight K-H or

            Knight Kadosh          

                        Knight of the White and Black


31st: Grand Inspector Inquisitor Commander

32nd: Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret


Craft Degrees through the York, and, thence, through the Scottish Rite.

There are considerable differences between the two systems in organization, government, ceremonies, and doctrine.

The York Rite, in form, somewhat similates republican constitutional government, the lodges representing the states and the Grand Lodges the central governments. Every Master Mason of a lodge has a voice and a vote in all proceedings, including the election of officers. Representatives of lodges, also, have the right to be heard and to vote in the Grand Lodges. But, there, the resemblance ceases, for Grand Lodges exercise legislative, executive, and judicial functions without separation, although some effect of that kind is obtained through the use of committees to consider and recommend action in those several categories.

In the Scottish Rite, under the Constitutions of 1762, promulgated in France, and those of 1786, supposedly sanctioned by Frederick the Great, all power is vested in a council or chapter of some kind, it being, under the latter Constitutions, the Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree. Such a council is a self-constituted and self-perpetuating body, which chooses its own members and elects therefrom the Grand Commander. The individual members of the Supreme Council reside in different states or provinces, called Orients, where they serve as Inspectors General and are the sole arbiters in local affairs, subject only to control of the Supreme Council or Grand Commander. The ordinary members, therefore, have no voice or vote in determining the policies or actions of the Rite, except in their local lodges, chapters, councils, or consistories, and, even there, such matters are very largely directed by the officers, who, though elected annually, are usually continued in office for many years. This system, often called by the officers, themselves, a benevolent despotism, works well, at least in this country.

The ceremonies of the York Rite are conferred on candidates, usually, one at a time, the officers and the candidate participating in the floor work, so that the lessons are personally and intimately transmitted. The ceremonies of the Scottish Rite, on the other hand, are presented before large classes. The drama is performed on a stage with scenic, lighting, and costuming effects. In many jurisdictions, the York Rite today is following a similar format; large classes with the degrees dramatized on a stage or in a large lodge room.

The York Rite abjures politics and sectarian religion, except in commanderies of Knights Templar, which are avowedly Christian.


It remains aloof from worldly affairs outside the Fraternity. Political action was unnecessary, for it grew up among a people who had a natural love for liberty and a talent for self-government, and, who, by several centuries of struggle against strong willed monarchs, had strengthened that character of their nature. As for religion, British Freemasonry had only to avoid that narrow sectarianism which had kept the nation in turmoil through almost the whole of the 17th century.

But the French system arose under monarchial despotism and ecclesiastical bigotry and intolerance. Whereas an Englishman might become a Freemason with no more than the expense of a little time and money, a Frenchman assumed, by a like act, a political and religious status which at once set him apart from many of his neighbors and, sometimes, from his family. His Catholic friends, necessarily, regarded, with suspicion, his entry into a secret order which had been denounced by the Church. An Englishman might unite with the Fraternity for mere social diversion, but a Frenchman was more likely to be animated by a purpose to espouse political and religious liberty.

The motto of French Masonry was Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity, and, accordingly, we find, running through the Scottish degrees, denunciations of tyranny, despotism, bigotry, intolerance, and ignorance, and laudation of freedom of body, mind, and spirit. Its doctrine was, however, neither revolutionary nor radical, for, from the beginning, French Masonry was patronized by the aristocracy, and the Scottish Rite undoubtedly had encouragement from Frederick the Great. In view of the extensive revision of the rituals by Albert Pike after 1854 and his own statement of how considerable his work was, we must suppose that these features of the rituals were emphasized by him and inspired by the institutions of constitutional government to which Pike was passionately attached.

Notwithstanding the long struggle between adherents of Craft Masonry and the Hauts Grades in France, there has been general concord in other countries, so that the Scottish Rite confines itself to degrees above the Third Degree, except where there is no York Rite lodge, in which event, it confers the full list, though authority over the Craft Degrees is assumed and not derived from any Grand Lodge.


After the name, York Rite, had been used for more than half a century and had become well established and understood to describe a series of degrees conferred in the United States as well as a similar,

though not identical system practiced in the British Isles, a movement was started shortly before the Civil War to substitute "American Rite." This, if not one of Mackey's innovations, was circulated and popularized by him, so that, largely through his influence, it became fixed in the opinions of many as the more accurate and preferable term.

Since that beginning, a dispute persisted for some years between the champions of the two titles, who usually displayed more of prejudice and predilection than of reason or reality. The contest was one of those tempests in a teapot which arouse verbal antagonisms and do no good. The whole might well be dismissed were it not for the fact that misinformation has been spread by specious arguments and false assumptions. Indeed, the theory of Mackey was founded on tales then current but since repudiated.

The views and arguments of the American Rite advocates are difficult to capture and analyze, because they are so vague and various, generally leaving it doubtful just which degrees they are talking about. It is seldom if ever made clear whether the discussion involves the whole list of degrees conferred by the lodge, chapter, council, and commandery, or only those above the lodge, or perhaps only some of those. Of this, Mackey furnishes a good illustration. From 1845 to 1866, he used the term, York Rite, as applying to the first seven degrees of the lodge and chapter, though admitting that the eighth and ninth, or Cryptic Degrees, were included by some in the United States. But, by 1874, he had begun to apply that term solely to the Craft Degrees as he supposed them to have been originally formulated, and had accepted the theory that they had been disrupted by Thomas Dunckerley, thus, destroying the York Rite. He, then, credited Thomas Smith Webb with the creation of a new system called the American Rite, embracing the first to the ninth degrees inclusive. He excluded the commandery orders, which everyone of his followers at the present day would include, and he still regarded a rite as a governmental agency or function.

Since Mackey's time, the arguments and the degrees affected have changed and the dispute has diminished in intensity.

One error was in the assumption that to reject the term, "Ancient York Rite" would be to reject York Rite. The former arose at a time when it was generally supposed that the degrees of Masonry dated from the time of King Solomon or earlier, and, therefore, that the York Rite was necessarily ancient as all Masonry was ancient. The supposed antiquity of Freemasonry was greatly foreshortened by the work of the realistic school which began to have effect after


Mackey had committed himself to a number of errors. But the fact that the York Rite was not ancient did not eliminate it any more than did a like showing with respect to all Masonry destroy the Society.

Sentiment often governs arguments and shapes beliefs. In the United States, undoubtedly, a narrow nationalism eroded a broad fraternalism, so that the desire to possess an American Masonry, simulating an American Constitution, was irresistible. But it seems not to have been appreciated that, unless Masonry was British or York, it could not be Masonry at all.

A third error, queerest of all, was the supposition that a name must be precisely descriptive of the person or thing named. As a matter of common knowledge, very few names are so specific. The name, America, embraces, not the United States alone, but large areas and populations where the York Rite or so called "American Rite" is not practiced at all. Then, so far as actual proof goes, more of the Scottish Rite was added in the United States than could possibly have been added to the York Rite. The reformers have ignored the fact that what they guess was done to the York Rite by Webb is known to have been done to the Rite of Perfection at Charleston, South Carolina, in 1801, only on a larger scale. They have been quite unanalytical in their approach, for their argument actually would give us two "American Rites."

Neither Mackey nor his successors have considered the question whether or not the degrees above the 3rd are Masonic, in other words, whether or not their argument relates to Masonry. Mackey, in particular, seemed confused, for he sometimes included, in the York Rite, only the first Three Degrees and, at other times, those up to and including the Royal Arch, but never those of the Commandery.

Virtually, the only necessity for, or use made of the terms, York Rite and Scottish Rite, is to distinguish those exhibiting the British type of ceremony and administration from those of the Continental type. To make the necessary differentiation, these terms are in constant use. On the other hand, the term, American Rite, is designed to draw a distinction between the Masonry of the British Isles and that of the United States, neither of which, in itself, is quite uniform. This difference is one which is seldom alluded to and which does not require any short and convenient terms for daily reference.


The name, York, is one of the oldest and most celebrated in both the legendary and authentic history of the Craft, and very early and


very properly, became identified with Freemasonry, particularly, that practiced in England and transmitted to the American Colonies. This is true of Royal Arch and Knight Templar working as well as of Craft Masonry. In recent years, facts have come to light which tend to confirm, not only the legendary precedence of York, but, also, Preston's warm advocacy of the Grand Lodge at that place.

At York, one of the principal cities in the North of England, is located York Minster, second to no other English cathedral in dignity and form, constructed between A.D. 1100 and 1340 on the site, it is said, where Paulinus, at Easter A.D. 627, baptized Edwin, King of the Northumbers. Here, also, as some of the Gothic Constitutions relate, was held the first General Assembly of Masons in the 10th century A.D., at which, King Athelstan granted them a charter. There is nothing inherently improbable in the York Legend, and even the critical school of Masonic historians, though naturally not vouching for its accuracy, do not regard it as worthless. Facts recently ascertained tend to support it.

Poole and Worts, in The "Yorkshire" Old Charges of Masons (1935), point out that, of the ninety-nine copies of the Gothic Constitutions now known, at least forty can be traced to that portion of England north of a line running east and west through Cheshire and Nottinghamshire, that is to say, almost half of these old MSS. come to us from Yorkshire, Cheshire, Staffordshire, Northumberland, Cumberland, Durham, Westmoreland, Lancashire, Lincoln, Nottinghamshire, and Derby. This area lies adjacent to the South of Scotland where some of the oldest lodges in the world were situated, such as Dumfries, Peebles, Kelso, Melrose, Kilwinning, Glasgow, and Edinburgh.

From this same area, come two of the earliest references to English Freemasonry, viz., Ashmole's diary entry recording his admittance to a lodge in Lancashire in 1646 and Dr. Plot's statement that he found the society especially popular in Staffordshire.

There is, also, the old tradition that Queen Elizabeth, hearing of the meetings of Freemasons at York and suspecting treasonable conventicles, sent her commissioner with a force of men to disperse the meetings and forbid their resumption. But, upon his arrival, the commissioner was admitted to the lodge and gained such a favorable impression of its members and activities that he departed without taking any steps to suppress the York Masons, and, upon his recommendation, the Queen quite abandoned her project.

No lodge minutes have ever been found in England prior to the


18th century, and, so, the oldest minutes of York Lodge (1705) ever discovered and antedated only by those of Alnwick Lodge (1701) do not fix its antiquity. At the time of its earliest extant minutes, the Lodge at York was largely theoretic, a baronet being Master, and the Lord Mayor of the City being elected to that position two years later. No less than six copies of the Gothic Constitutions were found in its archives.

In 1725, the York brethren began to meet as a Grand Lodge, though, for some years they warranted no subordinate lodges. Soon after the Grand Lodge of England issued its Constitutions of 1723, the prestige of York Lodge and Grand Lodge was enhanced by the address of its Junior Grand Warden, Francis Drake, F.R.S., delivered at York on December 27, 1726, in which, he referred to the legendary first "Grand Lodge" at York in A.D. 926, and stated that York Lodge was the "Mother Lodge of them all," and that, while there was a Grand Lodge of England at London, York possessed the "Grand Lodge of All England." This eulogy was revived and enlarged upon by William Preston, who became particularly partial to York Grand Lodge after his severence of relations with the Grand Lodge at London in 1778, and whose widely circulated writings made the antiquity and purity of York Masonry a maxim among the Craft. York Masonry, therefore, became synonymous with English Masonry.

Even Mackey said (Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, titled York Legend):

"The city of York, in the north of England, is celebrated for its traditional connection with Masonry in that kingdom. No topic in the history of Freemasonry has so much engaged the attention of modern Masonic scholars, or given occasion to more discussion, than the alleged facts of the existence of Masonry in the tenth century at the city of York as a prominent point, of the calling of a congregation of the Craft there in the year 926, of the organization of a General Assembly and the adoption of a Constitution."

This preeminence is not confined to Craft Masonry, for the first references to the Royal Arch and Knight Templar degrees in England are identified with York. Fifield Dassigny, writing in 1744, said with reference to York: "I am informed in that city is held an assembly of Master Masons under the title of Royal Arch Masons."

He referred to some as having received that degree at York, but the first actual conferring of the degree is mentioned in the York records for Feb. 7, 1762. The earliest record of the Knight Templar Degree in England is found in a certificate issued at York, stating that


the brother named had received the Royal Arch Degree, Oct. 27, 1779, and the Knight Templar Degree, Nov. 29, 1779. In the latter half of the 18th century, the Royal Arch and Knight Templar Degrees were customarily conferred at York as the 4th and 5th Degrees of Freemasonry.

It is true that the very earliest records of the actual conferring of these degrees are found in America, that of the Royal Arch at Fredericksburg, Virginia, in 1753, and of the Knight Templar at Boston, Massachusetts in 1769. It is also true that the Royal Arch was mentioned in the proceedings of the Ancient Grand Lodge in 1751, and was conferred at Bristol, England, in 1758. In view of the great loss of Masonic records, those remaining at York are not necessarily the earliest that ever existed there. In 1780 and 1786, respectively, York Grand Lodge warranted encampments of Knights Templar at Rotherham and Manchester. Although Bristol asserted primacy in Templary by assuming in 1780 the position of "The Supreme Grand and Royal Encampment" etc., there can be no doubt that York Lodge was one of the first, if not the first, to work both the Royal Arch and the Knight Templar Degrees. Nor is there any doubt that these degrees were imported into America from England.


In the same way as York Masonry came to be thought of as synonymous with English Masonry, the Royal Arch and Knight Templar Degrees gradually took their places as parts of the York Rite. As other degrees such as Mark Master, Past Master, Most Excellent Master, Order of the Red Cross, and Knight of Malta were worked and came under the administration of chapters and encampments, they assumed the names of the principal degrees of their respective classes, that is, Capitular and Chivalric, and were accepted as parts of the York Rite.

The only degrees which are known to have been incorporated into the York Rite in America are the Royal and Select Master Degrees, which were evidently of Scottish Rite origin, and which, after a strange migration, found their way into the other branch.

In both Britain and America, the term, York Rite, was adopted by common usage to distinguish two systems, each having well known characters peculiar to itself. Dr. Oliver, in Historical Landmarks published in 1846 (Vol. II, p. 216) stated that some American lodges had adopted the York Rite, some the Scottish Rite, and others that of France, and, on page 248 of the same volume, he stated th



three Craft and three Capitular degrees were prerequisite to the Royal Arch in America and Ireland, though, in England, any Master Mason was eligible.

Mackey was thoroughly familiar with the term, York Rite, at least in 1845 when he issued his Lexicon of Freemasonry and approved its use, and up to 1866 when the fifth edition of that work was published. He appeared to know nothing of any "American Rite," but, under York Rite, stated:

"The Ancient York Rite is that practiced in all English and American Lodges, though it has deviated somewhat from its original purity. It derives its name from the city of York, where the first Grand Lodge of England was held.

"The Ancient York rite originally consisted of but three primitive degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry, but in this country four others have been added to it; and its degrees, as it is at present practiced, are as follows: 1, Entered Apprentice; 2, Fellow-Craft; 3, Master Mason; 4, Mark Master; 5, Past Master; 6, Most Excellent Master; 7, Holy Royal Arch. In some of the United States, two other degrees are also given, in this rite, those of Royal and Select Master. The order of High Priesthood is also given, as an honorary degree appertaining to the presiding officer of a Royal Arch Chapter.

"The York Rite is the mother of all other rites; from it, they have separated as so many schisms; it is the most ancient, the most simple, and most scientific, and so far as my knowledge of the other rites extends, with the principal of which I am sufficiently acquainted, I may be permitted to say, that it is the only one in which the true system of symbolic instruction has been preserved."


A marked change occurred in Mackey's concept and expression some time between 1866 and 1874. In and prior to the former year, he had defined a rite as "the method, order and rules, observed in the performance and government of a Masonic system." He, also, defined the York Rite as embracing degrees to and including the Royal Arch, possibly but not certainly, including the Cryptic Degrees. But in his Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry of 1874, he changed his concept of a rite and, treating it as a formal or solemn ceremony, that is the working of a degree, claimed that the esoteric part of the Third Degree had been disrupted, thereby, destroying the York Rite, which he deemed to be only the first Three Degrees. Therefore, in place of the seven or nine degrees which he formerly called the York Rite, he substituted an "American Rite" of a full nine degrees, including without question the Royal and Select Master Degrees. His only consistency lay in continuing to exclude the Commandery or Chivalric


orders. He considerably muddled the whole subject and the resulting confusion is not surprising. He said (Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, titled York Rite)

"York Rite. This is the oldest of all the Rites, and consisted originally of only three degrees: 1. Entered Apprentice; 2. Fellow-Craft; 3. Master Mason. The last included a part which contained the True Word, but which was disrupted from it by Dunckerley in the latter part of the last century, and has never been restored. The Rite in its purity does not now exist anywhere.... In the United States it has been the almost universal usage to call the Masonry there practiced the York Rite. . . . It has no pretensions to the York Rite. Of its first three degrees, the Master's is the mutilated one which took the Masonry of England out of the York Rite, and it has added to these three degrees six others which were never known to the Ancient York Rite, or that which was practiced in England, in the earlier half of the eighteenth century, by the legitimate Grand Lodge. In all my writings for years, I have ventured to distinguish the Masonry practiced in the United States, consisting of nine degrees, as the `American Rite,' a title to which it is justly entitled as the system is peculiar to America, and is practiced in no other country."

The foregoing is not based on facts, and is illogical when considered in the light of the supposed facts. If the 3rd Degree had been disrupted by Dunckerley or anyone else, which it was not, the effect would have been the same in England as in America and would produce no change in the latter that it did not effect in the former. Mackey apparently still thought that the rites of Masonry were ancient and, hence, became entangled in the term, "Ancient York Rite." He probably did not then know that the Royal Arch and Knight Templar Degrees were practiced at York at early dates, and he certainly misstates the effect of his former writings as including more than seven degrees in the York Rite. Mackey never did explain why he omitted the Commandery Orders, which everyone of his present day followers would include. Finally, he failed to observe that degrees above the Third are not regarded as Masonic in this country, though the Royal Arch is accepted as such in England.

But Mackey was like that. He spoke ex cathedra and needed not to be either factual or logical. He was dogmatic about things as to which the most profound students have remained doubtful, and he often seemed oblivious to obvious and yawning pitfalls into which his theories led him.

Under the head, "American Rite," in his Encyclopaedia, he made essentially the same statements as last above quoted, but averred that additions were made to the Rite in America by Webb and other lecturers, and listed the nine degrees of the lodge, chapter, and council,


admitting the possibility of including the Super Excellent Master's Degree, but expressly disqualifying the Chivalric Degrees without giving his reasons.

Mackey was here in characteristic form, basing the most categorical declarations upon very doubtful premises, and relying upon his reputation to carry conviction, which it almost always did. His abrupt change between 1866 and 1874 was founded on a mere rumor which was inherently improbable, which was unsupported by evidence, and which is not accepted by any modern authority.

The life and Masonic career of Thomas Dunckerley have been an open book. He was very popular among the Craft, he made several Masonic addresses which are preserved, and he was especially active in Royal Arch and Knight Templar circles. But there is no evidence that he had any considerable influence in the Grand Lodge, or that he ever tampered with the ritual of the Third Degree, or worked on the rituals at all. Nor is there any proof that any part of the Royal Arch was ever a part of the Third Degree, or that the latter was split or disrupted by Dunckerley or any one else.


If Dunckerley disrupted the Third Degree, he must have done so after 1767 when he left the Navy and took up residence in England, being recognized by George II as an illegitimate son. At that time, there were hundreds of lodges scattered all over the world, a Grand Lodge in Ireland, one in Scotland, lodges in all of the thirteen American Colonies, in several countries of Europe, and in various other lands. Moreover, there were two Grand Lodges in England, one of them, the Ancient Grand Lodge, critically watching its so-called Modern rival, on which it had already fastened the charge of innovation, and any false step of which would have been instantly detected and proclaimed in the trenchant sarcasm of Laurence Dermott. In fact the whole claim of superiority by the Ancients was based on the fact that the premier Grand Lodge had reversed or shifted some of the passwords, supposedly about 1738 or 39, and supposedly merely to foil impostors. This was trivial compared with what Dunckerley is alleged to have done, and the explosion which would have marked any such event can well be imagined. It would not only have caused a sensation in the British Isles but would have left traces all over the world.

Viewed realistically, the "Dunckerley disruption" theory is not merely absurd; it is fantastic. How on earth would the Modern Grand Lodge go about introducing into lodges all over England, Ireland, Scotland, America, and other lands, so ephocal an innovation


as that of transferring one of the principal secrets from the Master's Degree to the Royal Arch which was, in fact, not recognized by the Modern Grand Lodge? That body had little influence in either Ireland or Scotland, the Masons of which adherred rather to the Ancients. How could this change have been kept secret from Dermott and the Ancients, who espoused the Royal Arch and deemed it a part of Craft Masonry? How could lodges in America and elsewhere, with which the Modern Grand Lodge maintained only the most tenuous relations, have been induced to effectuate this radical changeall of them uniformly and contemporaneously-without the slightest confusion and without leaving a trace in the annals of the time?

Not only would such alteration have been rejected by the Ancient Grand Lodge and its affiliates, the Grand Lodges of Ireland and Scotland, but it would have been hailed by the Ancients as a confirmation of their accusations, and would have practically resulted in the ostracism of the Modern Grand Lodge by the other bodies.

By 1767, the Third Degree had, for some years, been conferred by practically all lodges, and its secrets were in the possession of thousands of Master Masons. Hence, for another generation after 1767, there would have been Master Masons who had received the original degree, others who had received it in its disrupted form, and a third group who had received the disrupted part in the Royal Arch -an incongruous and incredible situation.

The "Dunckerley disruption" theory is impossible, and the whole of Mackey's opinion expressed in 1874 is destroyed, leaving his earlier statement standing, to the effect that the York Rite consists of the Symbolic, Capitular, and, possibly, the Cryptic Degrees.


Another assertion by which "American Rite" is sought to be sustained is to the effect that Thomas Smith Webb created several of the degrees conferred in this country and so altered the rituals of some or all of the degrees that a new rite was created. The theory, as usual, is hazy, leaving it uncertain as to whether the supposed changes were in the Craft Degrees or the higher degrees or both.

Mackey declared (Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, titled Webb) that Webb was the ". . . inventor and founder of the system of work which, under the appropriate name of American Rite (although often improperly called the York Rite), is universally practiced in the United States."

His only supporting evidence was Webb's own statement that he


differently arranged Preston's distribution of the sections, because they were "not agreeable to the mode of working in America." Mackey was grasping at a straw, and basing a momentous conclusion on a very insignificant circumstance. If such slight changes were deemed to create new rites, we should have forty-nine rites in the United States, commencing with the "Alabama Rite" and ending with the "Wyoming Rite," for the divergencies among them are probably no greater than any that Webb introduced.

Sponsored by Mackey and influenced by the undeniable differences which exist between the rituals in this country and in the British Isles, the belief became widespread in this country that the departures were all American, and some carry this to such extent that they demand a new name for the supposed domestic product as if to stamp it "Made in U.S.A." This movement, like that to call our speech the "American language," is undoubtedly fostered by national pride, which is hardly as appropriate in the Masonic field as in some others, and is fraught with some danger. Since all of the Freemasonry in the world sprang from the British Isles, and since no organization, degree, or ceremony, no matter how delectable it may be, is considered irregular or illegitimate Freemasonry unless it conforms to, or derives from that source, an American Masonic product so distinct that it may not even bear an English name occupies a precarious position.

What has been said of Dunckerley is equally true of Webb; there is no evidence that he created any degree or made any substantial change in any of the rituals, except by way of abbreviating or rearranging the Prestonian work. That has been done even in England; the full Prestonian work has never been used to any extent, simply because it is too long. There is nothing in Webb's career to brand him as an innovator or inventor. Indeed, Mackey, himself, points out (Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, titled Webb) that Webb made no mark in Masonic literature and was but little acquainted with the true philosophical symbolism of Freemasonry, his accomplishments being confined to a single work, his Monitor of the Blue Lodge Degrees.

Webb was adept at organization and was attracted by regularity and uniformity. Hence, his labors were purely monitorial and his purpose was to place in the hands of officers of lodges, a manual which would aid them in conferring degrees. His work was in demand, not because it presented something new, but because it logically arranged and briefly and compactly (3 inches by 5 inches and 1/2 inch thick) recited what was old. He adopted portions of the Pres

tonian work, which he doubtless acquired from John Hanmer, who arrived in this country in 1793, bearing a certificate of his proficiency in the English work, and with whom Webb was associated for several years.

Mackey says: "The Prestonian system was not then followed in the United States." Of course it was not, and the reasons why are apparent. Freemasonry was in the Colonies some forty years before Preston delivered his lectures to the English Craft in 1774. But the Revolutionary War, which began the following year, completely cut off communications between the American lodges and the Grand Lodges in England. Meanwhile and during or promptly following the close of the war, independent Grand Lodges were erected in all of the thirteen states, so that there was no opportunity for the introduction of the Prestonian system until that work was brought here by private lecturers, Hanmer being the only one whose name is preserved.

Quite naturally, the deduction has been made that the forms of Masonic work in England are older than those in the United States. As a matter of fact just the contrary is true. Freemasonry was brought hither by immigrating brethren in sufficient numbers to begin the holding of immemorial rights lodges as early as 1730, the first lodge being warranted in 1733, a scant decade after the completion of the rituals of the Three Degrees in 1723-25. Freemasonry not only spread from those beginnings but continued to infilter from England, Scotland, and Ireland and from the four Grand Lodges in those lands. Our Colonial brethren quaffed at every spring and sampled every source of legitimate Freemasonry. There was much diversity between lodges as well as between Colonies. So, as the Fraternity developed and spread, there was a sort of cross-pollination, though its exact character cannot now be precisely described. Pennsylvania and, to a less extent, Virginia, Maryland, and Kentucky, adhered to the working of the Ancient Grand Lodge of England. The others were mixtures of various components until the time of Webb, Hammer, Cross, and other lecturers who brought about some semblance of uniformity based on the Prestonian work. But whether or not the working became Prestonian or, if so, in what measure, does not establish its Masonic purity, because there was Masonic work before Preston became a Mason.

Nor are variations in working of any significance in testing the purity of a rite, for they have always existed in the British Isles and in each of the countries of those Isles, most certainly between the Ancient and Modern Grand Lodges of England, which, for sixty


years, proclaimed their differences. The fact is that variability of working is characteristic of pure Freemasonry, and any Freemasonry pretending to be completely uniform and inflexible would be unique.

Mackey assumed that the Prestonian work was the only pure Craft Rite, and, therefore, that Webb had committed some heresy in presuming to rearrange the sections to conform to the order already followed in this country. But he, inexcusably, overlooked the fact that Preston belonged to the Modern Grand Lodge, whose changes in ritual had no bearing whatever on lodges under the Ancient system, of which there were many in America, and he seemed oblivious of the fact that the Modern Grand Lodge, never at any time, gave instruction to its Provincial Grand Lodges or their subordinates, or showed much concern about them. It, certainly, could not have done so during the Revolution. The Prestonian work was probably heard of only indistinctly until Hammer arrived in this country in 1793, and it gained no wide circulation before the publication of Webb's Monitor in 1797, some fifteen years after the cessation of hostilities.

In 1813, the Ancients and Modems in England united, whereon it became necessary to conform the working of the two bodies. A "Lodge of Promulgation" was formed for that purpose, Dr. Hemming was commissioned to revise the rituals, and the "Emulation ritual" was the result. It effected considerable changes and met much adverse criticism, among others, that of Mackey (Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, titled Hemming).

But those changes had little or no effect in the United States where there were nineteen Grand Lodges and lodges in about eight other states, none of which accepted any guidance from England. Moreover, the two countries were again locked in the war which began in 1812.

The result is, therefore, that Masonic working in the United States probably has a larger element of pre-Prestonian working, and, so far as it was adopted, a purer form of it. In Pennsylvania where the Ancient system is still in use, there is no Prestonian flavor at all, and the same is true to a less extent in Virginia, Maryland, and Kentucky.

The original Prestonian work was too long for practical use and has never been followed anywhere. Hence, it cannot be the standard of what is English or York Masonry. It was an elaboration of older working but was, in turn, abbreviated and modified by Dr. Hemming who produced the Emulation ritual. None of these changes destroyed the York Rite, for, so long as the essentials of a rite are retained and


are recognizable, the rite is intact. Complete absence of variations is not necessary to conformity or identity of rites, that being indicated by substance or essence rather than forms of phraseology. There is not a degree in Masonry that has not changed repeatedly. Even in England at the present day, as noted previously, there are some eight rituals in use: Emulation, Stability, Oxford, West End, Bristol, Logic, Universal, and North London.

Accordingly, it will require much more labor and erudition than has, thus far, been devoted to the subject to show that Craft Masonry, as practiced in the United States, is not the York Rite.

Although it is often suggested that all Grand Lodges in this country should reconcile their rituals and agree upon a standard form, such is neither necessary nor desirable, for there is probably no such thing as a perfect Masonic ritual, all of them having some merits not contained in the others. Whatever were included in the supposed master ritual would always remain subject to improvement, and whatever were omitted might be an irreparable loss. Each of the many versions casts a little different light or emphasis upon a theme which is too broad to be viewed through a single narrow orifice. That variety is a virtue and not a fault will be appreciated by those who visit several foreign jurisdictions and witness the workings.

It is proper to add that the Grand Lodge of Scotland claims to have and undoubtedly does have an older form of working than any in use in England.


It will be observed that both Mackey and Macoy used the term, "Ancient York Rite." That term, along with "Ancient Craft Masonry," was almost universally employed by Masonic speakers and writers well into the latter half of the 19th century and, to some extent, even later. Both were intended to mean exactly what they implied, viz., that the York Rite and Craft Masonry were of ancient origin, dating from the time of Solomon at least. There was hardly any question that the Three Degrees, Grand Lodges, and the office of Grand Master had existed for many thousand years. It was, further, the common theme that this primordial Masonry had been, and must ever remain unchanged and unchangeable. There are remnants of that belief at the present day, kept alive by obsolete books still in circulation. But, as the work of the critical and factual school of Masonic historiography, which has prevailed since the latter part of the 19th century became more widely understood and appre


ciated, well informed Freemasons began to abandon the "Ancient" and to speak of the York Rite and Craft Masonry.

But some have failed to realize that the mere fact that the Masonry practiced at York and elsewhere in the British Isles was not ancient does not mean that it was not York or Craft Masonry. They have mistakenly conceived that the whole of the term, "Ancient York Rite," or the term, "Ancient Craft Masonry," was condemned instead of only the first word, "Ancient."

Craft Masonry is that which derived from the stonemasons' craft and fraternity of the Middle Ages, and which, though modified for speculative purposes, had, for its essentials, the Constitutions, Charges, Legends, and generally the customs and practices of the operative Freemasons, and, for its symbolism, their working tools and architectural works. The name indicates a derivation and descent from, rather than an identity with the operative craft. Accordingly, it excludes most of the higher degrees and orders.

In the same way, York Masonry or the York Rite is that which developed in England following the revival or reorganization of 1717 and spread through Scotland, Ireland, the European and American Continents, and other lands, having engrafted upon it, from time to time, additional and more elaborate degrees and orders. Doubtless, the York Rite was, originally, identical with Craft Masonry, but, as degrees accumulated, the principal ones being worked at York, the term expanded with the subject matter until it came to describe generally all of the degrees practiced in England. Though some differences existed, from time to time and from place to place, in the number, arrangement, and working of these higher degrees, the essentials were the same throughout.


It was formerly the popular thing to attribute to Thomas Smith Webb the creation of any degree which could not be otherwise accounted for, and, of that habit, the Most Excellent Master's Degree was the outstanding example and never failing recourse. Mackey stated unequivocally (Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, titled Most Excellent Master)

"It was the invention of Webb, who organized the Capitular system of Masonry as it exists in America and established the system of lectures which is the foundation of all subsequent systems taught there."

Since Mackey's time, however, records of the Mark Lodge and

Royal Arch Chapter at Middletown, Connecticut, have been found 155

which recite the conferring of the Most Excellent Master's Degree there in 1783, in which year, Webb was only twelve years old, having been born in 1771. These records, also, show the conferring of the Royal Arch Degree and degrees variously called, "Mark Master," "Excellent," "Super Excellent," and "Passing the Chair."

So far as known, Webb did not create any degree whatever. He did not issue even a monitor for any of the appendant or so-called "higher degrees," his literary efforts being confined to the Monitor for the Craft Degrees. Again, it must be emphasized that Webb was principally noted for his disposition to organize and administer existing degrees and to bring some uniformity into the working. There is nothing in his career which seems to comport with the supposed creation of degrees.

Furthermore, there is no indication that any of the York Rite degrees were invented in America. They were all, evidently, brought from the British Isles, except the Royal and Select Master Degrees, which were undoubtedly side degrees of the Scottish Rite.

Reference to an earlier chapter on the degrees of the York Rite will disclose the following sequence in which mention of the several degrees first appears in records thus far discovered:

1744: Royal Arch at York, England 1751: Royal Arch, Ancient Grand Lodge 1753: Royal Arch at Fredericksburg, Virginia 1758: Royal Arch at Bristol, England

1762: Royal Arch at York, England

1769: Royal Arch at Boston, Massachusetts Mark Master at Portsmouth, England Past Master and Excellent Master at Boston, Massachusetts Past Master and Excellent Master at Bolton, England Knight Templar at Boston, Massachusetts

1770: Mark Master at Dumfries, Scotland 1773: Mark Master at Durham, England 1775: Mark Master in Ireland

1777: Mark Master at London, England 1778: Mark Master at Banff, Scotland 1779: Past Master or Excellent Master in Ireland

Most Excellent or Super Excellent Master at Dublin, Ireland Knight Templar at York, England

1780: Knight of Malta at Bristol, England Knight Templar at Bristol, England 1782: Knight of Malta in Maryland

1783: Mark Master at Middletown, Connecticut

Most Excellent and Super Excellent Master at Middletown, Connecticut Red Cross at Charleston, South Carolina

Knight of Malta at Charleston, South Carolina Knight Templar at Dublin, Ireland

1797: Red Cross at Boston, Massachusetts 1806: Knight Templar in Scotland


In England, the Mark Master, Past Master, Royal Arch, Knight of Malta, and Knight Templar degrees have been worked from their earliest appearances in that country, except that the Malta and Knight Templar orders seems to be consolidated into one. Gould (Concise History of Freemasonry, p. 370) states that the Most Excellent, Royal, Select, and Super Excellent Master Degrees have been worked in England since 1871 and have been under a Grand Council established in 1873.

In Scotland, the constitution of the Supreme Chapter originally provided that chapters were entitled to grant the degrees of Mark, Past, Excellent, and Royal Arch, but the Past Master's Degree was later dropped and its place was filled by the ceremony of Installed Master derived from England. Gould (supra) states that the Most Excellent, Royal, Select, and Super Excellent Degrees have been conferred in Scotland since 1878 and have been under a Grand Council since 1880. The Knight Templar has long been worked there, and later the Malta was adopted.

In Ireland, the Mark and Royal Arch Degrees are both worked in Royal Arch Chapters, but, apparently, the Past Master, Most Excellent Master, Royal Master, and Select Master Degrees are not there conferred. The Knight Templar, but not the Knight of Malta Degree, has been worked there from an early date.

The Order of the Red Cross is another degree often attributed to the authorship of Thomas Smith Webb, but this degree is mentioned at Charleston, South Carolina, in 1783 when Webb was but a boy. Mackey (Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, titled Embassy) was of the opinion that the Red Cross was borrowed directly from the Seventeenth Degree, Prince of Jerusalem, of the Scottish Rite. It does not appear to have been worked to any extent in the British Isles.

Although several of the intermediate chapter degrees are first mentioned in American records, the probability is that, with the exception of the Red Cross and the Cryptic Degrees, all were imported from Britain. At least, since the possibility of Webb's authorship is removed, no other figure in this country has been suggested as an originator. Nor is there anything to indicate that American Masons were in a creative mood; rather they were occupied in absorbing the degrees brought hither.

In England, the Royal Arch is recognized by the Grand Lodge as Masonic but the Mark Degree is not. In Scotland and in Ireland, both are recognized. In the United States, neither is generally recognized, but, in Minnesota and New Hampshire, the Royal Arch, Royal and Select Masters, Knights Templar, and the Scottish Rite are recog


nized as Masonic, and, in the latter, a Master Mason may vouch for one in the lodge with whom he has sat in a chapter, council, commandery, or Scottish Rite body.

If Pike's definition of the term, rite, be accepted, requiring that the various degrees be under a single government, then there is no such thing as a York Rite or an American Rite, and the whole discussion becomes moot. Degrees as different as those of the council and commandery, having no connection whatever either in substance or in government could hardly be parts of a single rite. It seems impossible to disprove a York Rite without disproving an American Rite and, in fact, without condemning the very word, rite, itself, as commonly used.

Therefore, we are brought back to our original proposition, that a mistake was made in expanding the word, rite, to include so numerous a collection of degrees and ceremonies. Had that term retained only its original significance, we could have referred to an English, a York, or an American grouping, association, or collection without confusion and without that damaging admission, implicit in American Rite, that Masonry in this country is not of the original British stock.

But, if a collection of degrees not under a single government but merely associated by custom can be called a rite, and, if those degrees are Masonic, it is hardly possible to suggest a name more appropriate than York Rite to include the Craft, Capitular, Cryptic, and Chivalric degrees and orders as practiced in Britain and America, regardless of the slight differences either in the number of degrees or in the precise character of the respective rituals. It may very well be that the term does not exhibit scientific accuracy, but the subject matter, itself, is not capable of such exactitude, as few phases of Freemasonry are.


Strange to say, Mackey and his followers have blandly accepted the term, Scottish Rite, with never a qualm, though a finer example of misnomer could scarcely be imagined. No one asserts that the Scottish Rite had any relation to Scotland, that it originated there, or was, in fact, worked there until late in the 19th century. The Rite of Perfection was, so far as any one knows, purely French. It was brought to America by the Frenchman, Morin, in 1761 and remained a system of twenty-five degrees until 1801 when it was expanded into the thirty-three degree system called the Scottish Rite. The Supreme Council whose see was at Charleston, South Carolina, was the first Supreme Council Thirty-Third Degree in the world; it was the


Mother Supreme Council, and, from it, emanated every other Supreme Council Thirty-Third Degree of the Scottish Rite, even that of France.

But that is not all. Pike tells us that the rituals of the degrees as he received them in 1855 were worthless, excepting the Rose Croix, that he almost completely rewrote them, and virtually made something out of nothing. In 1861, he stated (Trans. 1857-66, pp. 203-258) that the degrees were "unintelligible" and an "incoherent gabble"; that they were "either originally so miserably defective, or had become so corrupted as to be worse than none"; and that "they were a heterogeneous and chaotic mass, in many parts of incoherent nonsence and jargon, in others of jejuneness; in some of the degrees of absolute nothingness." In 1870 (Trans. 1870, p. 158), he said, "They seemed to teach nothing, and almost to be nothing." In 1878 (Trans. 1878, p. 20), he called them "a lot of worthless trash." The effort that went into the new American rituals was stated by Pike as follows (Trans. 1870, pp. 158-160)

"After I had collected and read a hundred rare volumes upon religious antiquities, symbolism, the mysteries, the doctrines of the Gnostics and the Hebrew and the Alexandrian philosophy, the Blue Degrees and many others of our Rite still remained as impenetrable enigmas to me as at first.... The fruits of the study and reflection of twelve years are embodied in our degrees. Hundreds of volumes have been explored for the purpose of developing and illustrating them; and the mere labor bestowed on them has been more than many a professional man expends in attaining eminence and amassing a fortune."

It would seem, therefore, that the Scottish Rite is an "American" Rite, if any such thing exists.

Now, Mackey knew all this, for he was Secretary General of the Southern Supreme Council and was a member of the same committee along with Pike to revise the rituals, though the latter did all the work. Yet, he ignored these facts with which he was familiar and chose to make some very positive statements and to draw some very crucial conclusions as to things about which he had no personal knowledge at all, viz., unsupported tales about Dunckerley's dismemberment of the Third Degree and Webb's fabrication of degrees. But Mackey was like that; he would make the most unequivocal declarations about matters wholly unsubstantiated and overlook what was obvious and apparent to the contrary. He answered categorically and fearlessly questions that have baffled the most profound of modern students of Masonic history. But that very self-assurance gave him a wide following and gained converts. Masons did not want to study,


reflect, and ponder; they wanted a short, direct answer, right or wrong. Even today, some of Mackey's obviously incorrect assertions are still current.

So, if we are going to name things scientifically and accurately, we must call the Scottish Rite the American Rite or, better yet, the French-Prussian-American Rite.


Not only are the advocates of the name, American Rite, not sustained by the supposed facts or theories upon which their idea is based, but they are made to appear carping and pedantic when it is observed that they as well as everyone else are accustomed to employ, in their daily lives, numerous mismoners of the most glaring and obvious kinds without objection and evidently without inconvenience or mental pain.

Sunday is no more the Sun's day, nor Monday the Moon's day than any other day of the week. Tuesday ought not to honor Tiu, the Anglo-Saxon god of war, now scarcely known to the American public. Wednesday should not be dedicated to Wodin, nor Thursday to Thor, nor Friday to Friga, nor Saturday to Saturn. Perhaps some one will start a movement to call them First, Second, Third, etc. Why have a month, March, dedicated to the god of war? Why have July and August named for Roman Emperors, neither of whom we greatly admire? September is not the seventh month but the ninth, and, likewise, October, November, and December bear Latin names which are two months out of keeping with their place in the calendar.

Since the heart is only a pumping organ why should we longer speak of a large heart or a great heart to mean generosity or courage? The brain being the seat of intelligence and of the emotions, let us be precise and cease to appeal to men's hearts and appeal to their cerebral cortices. One's sweetheart must become a sweet cerebrum, and heartfelt joy will be brainfelt joy. It should be unlawful for a man to go under the name Green, Black, or Brown unless he is actually green, black, or brown.

Of course, the metropolis of this country cannot be called New York, for it does not resemble York. It was settled by the Dutch and was called New Amsterdam. Obviously, it should be rechristened at once, but its population is so diverse, probably, no one could suggest a fitting name.

There can be no such place as England, because that country was originally inhabited by the Britons, Celts, or Gaels long before the


Angles, Saxons, and Danes invaded it. Ireland should be Scotia, as, indeed, it was once called, and Scotland should be Pictland. There are no angels in Los Angeles and no saints in Saint Louis.

Perhaps, what we need is a sort of French Revolution in which all familiar names will be abolished and a scientific board of experts formed to prescribe a system of precise nomenclature for everything. Doubtless, they would make some mistakes.

The name, America, itself, is a misnomer. Probably, this continent ought to be called Columbia, as part of it is sometimes. The name, America, became attached to it, because, according to certain writings of the 15th century, Amerigo Vespucci actually visited the mainland earlier than Columbus. But Leif Ericson landed on the shores of what is now New England several hundred years before Cristoforo Colombo or Amerigo Vespucci was born. So, our country is Ericland and our Masonic degrees should be called the "Ericland Rite." But the Indians were here long before the Vikings, and, therefore, the whole Western Hemisphere becomes Indiana. Then, we reflect that the Indians were not correctly named, it being supposed that the new continent was a part of India or the East Indies and, hence, its inhabitants Indians. So, we must find out what these red aborigines called the land they inhabited. It is doubtful whether they had any name for it at all as a continent, though they probably had a name for the soil, earth, or dirt. In the present state of our knowledge, we may be forced to designate the Western Hemisphere by some such appellation as Terra Incognita or Noname Land and that would, likewise, be applied to the degrees of Masonry practiced here.

If this be rejected as foolish, let us make a few practical and pertinent enquiries. Just what does the name, America, embrace? We of the United States, with characteristic presumptiousness, appropriate it solely for ourselves, entirely ignoring any claim that Canadians, Mexicans or South Americans have to it. Our neighbors to the south, very properly from their standpoint, call us "Americanos del Norte." Are not Brazilians or Peruvians as much Americans as we, assuming that any people are properly so called? The names, America and American, are quite lacking in precision, and there is really no simple designation for us who dwell in the United States of America. We need an adjective. We have Texans, Californians, Vermonters, and New Yorkers, but "Unitedstatesians" or "Unitedstatsers" will hardly do.

Obviously, the York Rite could not properly be called the Ameri

can Rite, for the degrees included in it are not only not practiced but are virtually unknown in a large part and probably the larger part of America. The Scottish Rite is, with minor exceptions, the only Masonry practiced in that part of America south of the United States.

After all is said and done, a name is only a convenient handle by which we grasp ideas in order to talk about them conveniently. Many names are applied arbitrarily, while others have simply come into use through circumstances often difficult to trace. Ordinarily, names cause no discomfort. One born in December does not fret because it is the twelfth instead of the tenth month; nor do we feel sinful in observing Sunday because its name is a relic of paganism. We will continue to call ourselves Americans even though it irks our friends to the south. We will still call a loved one sweetheart even though that one's cardiac valvular functions are most defective.

We need some convenient handle by which to grasp certain degrees which, for the most part, grew up and became associated in the British Isles and in the United States. We scarcely ever need any such name to distinguish the differences between the degrees practiced in Britain and in this country. That distinction is very seldom drawn in ordinary Masonic parlance and is one with which very few Masons are familiar.

On the other hand, it is an everyday necessity to distinguish between the English or York type of Masonry and the French or socalled Scottish type. This enters into our daily conversations, because the two are present throughout the land and are active rivals, though many Masons belong to both. The terms, York Rite and Scottish rite, clearly and simply draw this distinction and need not involve endless quibbling about some differences which may exist in either system as practiced in various countries, distinctions which have, thus far, been confusingly and inconclusively attempted on various grounds mostly erroneous.



Freemasonry and Religion; The Holy Bible or V.S.L.; Masonic Charity


RELIGION IS AN IMPORTANT element in the life of a man, a society, or a nation. Man's feet are upon the ground but his soul reaches for the infinite. Intimations of immortality are all around us, manifest to savage and civilized alike. Since religion touches everything, we would expect to find a definite religious principle in an order so old and widely established as Freemasonry. We do find it, but there is perhaps no question of like importance upon which the attitude of the Fraternity has been less certain.

Masonic writers have differed; Mackey called Freemasonry a religion; Pike dissented; others have avoided the issue by calling it religious. The oft repeated aphorism, that "Masonry is not a religion but is most emphatically religion's handmaid," has been challenged as a meaningless rhetorical flourish. It would seem that a society which inculcates any religious belief or which, to any extent, directs attention to the Supreme Being, is, to that degree, a religion. So Mackey thought, but Pike argued that one could not hold two religions at the same time and, hence, a Christian, a Jew, or a Mohammedan who retained his religion could not accept Masonry also as a religion. Therefore, said he, Masonry could not be a religion. Whatever may be thought of this logic as applied to an avowed religionist, it still does not fit the man who has no strong sectarian connections but finds in Freemasonry "all the religion he needs." There are innumerable instances of that kind.

It is easy to assert that Freemasonry teaches or requires this or that belief, but the test comes when Masonic discipline is attempted to be meted out for failure to conform to some such demand. Must a Grand Lodge, in order to be Masonic, espouse some religious belief and require that belief to be held by its candidates? Is a Grand Lodge un-Masonic if it conforms to the standards of the Constitu


tions of 1723? If, after being made a Mason, an individual becomes skeptical, may he, for that reason, be expelled? The answers to these questions are in doubt.

At the outset, there is presented a pertinent distinction which has been ignored or glossed over by almost all Masonic commentators. It is the difference between the espousal or the inculcation or the nominal adoption of a religious belief on the one hand, and the requirement that such belief be held by the candidate as prerequisite to his admittance on the other hand. It is often said that, because the Gothic Constitutions began with a Trinitarian invocation and included a Charge that the Mason must "love God and Holy Church," it necessarily follows that the medieval apprentice was required to be of Christian faith. But that is taking much liberty with the provisions, for the two ideas are not the same. We may be importuned and directed to go to church and, yet, may not do so. A society, general or limited, may adhere to or preach a religious creed, and yet, not require the members to believe it. The United States is often called a Christian nation, for its people are predominantly of that faith; it stamps "In God We Trust" on its coins; it encourages religious activities in many ways; it opens the sessions of the national Congress with prayer; yet, it does not require any religious belief whatever in its citizens, either natural born or naturalized, or even in those who hold its highest offices. On the contrary, by its fundamental law, it has separated church and state, and it positively forbids any religious test to be applied in any connection whatever with its affairs and prohibits the establishment of any religion by law. So, a session of Congress may be opened with prayer, but any number of seats therein may be occupied by atheists or other non-Christians. Also, in England where there is an established Christian Church, Jews have occupied prominent places in the government, for example, Disraeli and Hore-Belisha, the latter's true name being Horeb Elisha. Religious formalism in a society does not necessarily require every member of that society to embrace that religion.

In pursuing the subject, we note some conflict between the social, architectural, and scientific concept of Masonry and the religious concept, together with an ebb and flow of Christian doctrine. Pre-Grand Lodge Masonry was nominally Trinitarian Christian, such not being deemed inconsistent with the Legends of the Craft, for the Legend of Solomon's Temple was not emphasized but merely one of several mentioned in the course of retracing the supposed history of Masonry or Geometry. The scientific or architectural theory seemed to prevail


in the Grand Lodge of 1717, for neither Christian nor any definite religious doctrine was proclaimed in the Constitutions of 1723. With greater emphasis on the Temple Legend, naturally came more attention to the Bible and the Patriarchal Religion and a realization of the nonconformity between that legend and Christianity.

Even as late as 1772, Preston struggled unsuccessfully with this inconsistency, and, though later some references to Christian doctrine were deliberately elided from the rituals, much remained, and the Holy Bible, including the New Testament, found a place in the lodge. During the past century, the tendency in Masonic literature has been increasingly toward the spiritual and the religious, including Christian doctrine, without, however, expressly recognizing the Divine Author of that message.

A fair sample of the Trinitarian invocation in the Gothic Constitutions is afforded by the Grand Lodge Manuscript of 1583, reading as follows:

"The mighte of the Father of Heaven and ye wysdome of ye Glorious Soonne through ye grace and ye goodness of ye holly ghoste yt bee three psons - one God, be wh vs at or beginning and give vs grace to govrne us here in or lyving that wee maye come to his blisse that nevr shall have ending. Amen."

The first Charge is

"That ye shall be thee men of God and holly Churche, and that yee use nor errour nor hearsye by yt vnderstanding or discretion, but be ye discreet men or wyse men in eache thing."

Such provisions were not peculiar to the Freemasons but were common to craft and guild ordinances of the time. They do not indicate any pronounced leaning toward religion but were the formalized introductions adopted by the priests or monks who inscribed the ordinances and constitutions. Among the qualifications required of the apprentice, we find physical, social, and moral tests but none of a religious nature. Thus, the above mentioned MS. requires that the apprentice

". . . be able to brythe, that is to saye borne & hole of lymes as a man ought to be.... and that he wch shall be made a Masson be able in all mann degrees, that is to saye free born, come of good kyndred, true and no bond man. And also that he have his right lymes as a man ought to haue."

No substantial change is noted in the corresponding provisions of the other Gothic Manuscripts through the 17th century or even in


those which were reproduced in the 18th century. It is going far beyond the bounds of legitimate deduction to say that there was any religious test applied to the candidate in the pre-Grand Lodge era, and it is quite significant that none was imposed by the Grand Lodge of 1717-23.

There was some Christian doctrine in the pre-Grand Lodge catechistical rituals, which referred to the Trinity and indicated that lodges were dedicated to the two Saints John. From the Grand Mystery o f Free-Masons Discover'd, we take the following:

"What Lodge are you of? The Lodge of St. John.

"How many Lights? Three: a Right East, South and West.

"What do they represent? The Three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

"How many Pillars? Two, Jachin and Boaz.

"What do they represent? A Strength and Stability of the Church in all Ages."

But, in the Mason's Examination of otherwise similar character, none of this religious doctrine appears, though, at one place, the answer is given: "I am of the Lodge of St. Stephens." There is indicated some diversity of rituals in this period.

Of course, the Constitutions written prior to the English reformation of 1535, of which there are only two examples, the Regius and the Cooke, must have referred to the Church of Rome, there being no other. After that date, they must have been construed as referring to the Established Church of England, though there was no change in language. Nor are we privileged to assume that Freemasons, any more than the public generally, all promptly changed from Catholic to Episcopalian allegiance. In short, all these recitations in the Constitutions and the catechisms comprised a formalized or ritualized creed, to which all Freemasons probably did not strictly adhere.

The 17th century was a period of religious turmoil in England. The House of Stuart, Roman Catholic at heart, sought to rule a nation Episcopal by act of Parliament. To this was added a considerable deistic movement which attracted many prominent men. Many people migrated to America in search of religious freedom.

It is hardly probable that Freemasonry of the late 17th and early 18th centuries was strongly Christian or avowedly adherent to the Established Church, for, in that event, it would be very difficult to account for such fundamental change in religious doctrine as made by the Constitutions of 1723. We would have to assume that a few


leaders simply rode over the strong religious persuasions of the body of the Craft, all without any disturbance. Such is contrary to experience, for no group of Christians, either before or since, have complacently allowed their religious feeling to be so treated. Accordingly we must conclude that Freemasons of 1717-23 recognized no marked connection between religion and Masonry, and that any reference to such matter in the ritual must have been of merely formal character.

Charge I of the Constitutions of 1723 seems to have aroused more controversy by later writers than it did at the time. This is so, because these later writers, by a common fault of anachronistic treatment, have attributed to earlier times the religious doctrine which was imported into Masonry sometime about the middle of the 18th century. Thus influenced, some have argued that Charge I taught belief in God as the "Religion in which all Men agree," but it seems hardly probable that Dr. Desaguliers and Dr. Anderson, familiar as they were with the shades or religious thought and the use of the English language, would have expressed such doctrine in such dubious phrases. Charge I read as follows:


"A Mason is oblig'd by his Tenure, to obey the moral law; and if he rightly understands the Art, he will never be a stupid Atheist, nor an irreligious Libertine. But though in ancient Times Masons were charg'd in every Country to be of the Religion of that Country or Nation, whatever it was, yet 'tis now thought more expedient only to oblige them to that Religion in which all Men agree, leaving their particular Opinions to themselves; that is, to be good Men and true, or Men of Honor and Honesty, by whatever Denominations or Persuasions they may be distinguish'd; whereby Masonry becomes the Center of Union, and the Means of conciliating true Friendship among Persons that must have remain'd at a perpetual Distance."

The only other reference to religion was in Charge VI (2) where

it was said:

"Therefore no private piques or Quarrels must be brought within the Door of the Lodge, far less any Quarrels about Religion or Nations, or State Policy, we being only, as Masons, of the Catholick Religion above mention'd; we are also of all Nations, Tongues, Kindreds, and Languages, and are resolv'd against all Politicks as what never yet conduc'd to the welfare of the Lodge, nor ever will. This Charge has been always strictly enjoin'd and observ'd; but especially ever since the Reformation in Britain; or the Dissent and Secession of these Nations from the Communion of Rome."


Considering that Desaguliers and Anderson, both Christian ministers, participated in drafting these Charges and that they knew very well how to express any degree of religious doctrine, it can only be concluded that the intent of the Grand Lodge was to substitute a broad, practical morality for whatever theism or Christianity there may have been in the Society. The Constitutions, which were first approved at the Quarterly Communication in January 1723, came up for further consideration and approval at the Annual Communication in June of that year when a critical discussion occurred respecting certain provisions of the Regulations, but no question was raised about the above Charges or about religion.

There seems to have been a small minority of the Fraternity which disapproved of the Grand Lodge movement, and this may have involved some dissent on religious matters. For one reason or another, there existed, for some years, "St. John Masons" and "St. John lodges," somewhat distinguished from those adherring to the Grand Lodge, yet, not entirely alienated, for they sometimes visited lodges, under the new regime. Possibly, this St. John element adherred more closely to old customs, including religious doctrine. While some writers have hinted that there was a serious break between the old and the new elements over religion, there is nothing to indicate that such was more than local or transient. The Fraternity had not become irreligious; it had simply said that religion was not a prominent or vital feature in Freemasonry; and this attitude was no more reprehensible than was the separation of church and state under the Constitution of the United States, adopted two-thirds of a century later.

The policy of the premier Grand Lodge may be explained as an effort to avoid the religious turbulence which had characterized the 17th century in England where it has been accompanied by a drift toward Deism and a more rational or scientific concept of the Creation. Walker, in his History of the Christian Church (Scribner's, 1918), explains that, through the 17th century, there was a movement of rationalization of religion which emphasized the element of reason and rejected that of miracle and superstition, accompanied by increased Deism and Arianism and an awakening of science in which the Ptolemaic theory of the Earth as the center of the universe was giving way to the heliocentric concept. Religion was forced to undergo an analysis of its reasonableness by such writers as Descartes (Discourses on Method, 1637; First Philosophy, 1641; Principles, 1644) ; Spinoza (1632-1677) ; Leibnitz (1646-1716) ; John Locke (Essay Concerning Human Understanding; Reasonableness


of Christianity, 1695); Toland (Christianity not Mysterious, 1696); Thomas Emlyn (Inquiry into the Scriptural Account of the Trinity, 1702); the Earl of Shaftesbury (Characteristics of Men, 1711); Samuel Clarke (Scripture Doctrine of the Trinity, 1712); and Anthony Collins (Discourse of Freethinking, 1713). The epochal work of Sir Isaac Newton (Principia, 1687) placed the universe in the realm of mathematical law and substituted physical cause and effect for divine, arbitrary action.

In any event, the founders of the Grand Lodge saw no necessary connection between Freemasonry and religion, though they had no animosity toward religion or religious observances, for the lodges went right on celebrating the St. John Days, and the Grand Lodge, for some years, held its annual and one of its quarterly communications on one or the other of those days, June 24 and December 27. But, aside from that, the Grand Lodge seems to have considered itself a social society based on architectural symbolism and dedicated more to science than to theology.

One of the most noted items of Masonic literature in the early 18th century when such literature was scarce was Martin Clare's Defense of Masonry of 1730 in reply to Samuel Prichard's Masonry Dissected, in which it had been charged that Masonry was a "heap of stuff and jargon, a ridiculous imposition and pernicious." Now, it would seem that nothing would have helped to dispel that assertion than to show that Freemasonry was religious and required a belief in God. But Clare evidently entertained no such idea, for he described the purpose of Masonry as being

"to subdue our passions; not to do our own will; to make a daily progress in a laudable art; to promote morality, charity, good fellowship, good nature and humanity."

In 1735 when Clare was Junior Grand Warden, he delivered an address entitled, "The Advantages Enjoyed by the Fraternity," but he made therein no allusion to religious subjects, except to say:

"We are, let it be considered, the successors of those who reared a structure to the honor of Almighty God, the Grand Architect of the world, which for wisdom, strength and beauty hath never yet had any parallel."


There is no evidence of any considerable religious element in Symbolic Masonry up to 1735, but, during the next fifty years, it made great progress. It began to creep into Masonic sermons and


addresses rather hesitantly, some of the discourses being avowedly Christian while others made studied effort to omit Christian doctrine. One of the first, if not the first, of these which is preserved was a sermon on The Connection between Freemasonry and Religion, delivered in 1749 by Rev. C. Brockwell, A.M., probably to the Provincial Grand Lodge at Boston, Massachusetts. This was outspokenly Christian in character, asserting that Masonry was basically Christian, though individual beliefs differed in circumstantials; that the society was founded on the rules of the Gospels; and that

"Whoever is an upright Mason, can neither be an atheist, deist or libertine; for he is under the strictest obligation to be a good man, a true Christian, and to act with honor and honesty, however distinguished by different opinions in the circumstantials of religion."

A Candid Disquisition of the Principles and Practices of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons by Wellins Calcott, P.M., in 1769, was the first book published by a Freemason intended to explain the character and tenets of the Fraternity. No where in the text, did the author emphasize any religious element, though the appendix contained a charge which the author had delivered two years earlier to Palladian Lodge in which he represented frugality, brotherly love, and charity as Christian virtues, saying: "a good Mason is a good man, and a good Christian." In the same appendix, Calcott included two model lodge prayers, one of which was addressed to God alone, while the other invoked the intermediation of Christ. He also printed, in the appendix, Masonic addresses as follows: John Whitmash, 1765; Alexander Shedden, 1767; Henry Chalmers, 1767; J. S. Gaudry, 1768; Thomas Dunckerley, 1769; two undated charges by Thomas French; and one anonymous address.

Oliver's Golden Remains of Early Masonic Writers contains, in addition to Martin Clare's two addresses of 1730 and 1735, speeches by Isaac Head, 1752; John Whitmash, 1765; John Codrington, 1770; Rev. R. Green, 1776; Rev. John Hodgets, 1784; Rev. Daniel Turner, 1787; and several anonymous.

Of the twenty-two specimens which Calcott and Oliver thought worthy of preservation, sixteen inculcate reverence for God and six are silent on that subject; five refer to immortality of the soul, but seventeen do not; eight contain Christian doctrine, while fourteen do not; and none of them indicate that any religious belief was a prerequisite to initiation. Some religious doctrine, though varied and undetermined, had become recognized as having a part in Freemasonry.


The work of William Preston, beginning possibly as early as 1767 and maturing in 1772, casts an important light upon the subject, because he was not, as sometimes supposed, a creator or innovator, but was a compiler, arranger, and embellisher of the ritual. He surveyed and sampled the field within his reach and selected and adorned what he deemed the best interpretations of Masonry. He, undoubtedly, found much religious doctrine, so that, in his Illustrations of Masonry of 1772, he said:

". . . religion is the only tie which can bind men; and that where there is no religion, there can be no Masonry. Among Masons, however, it is an art, which is calculated to unite for a time, opposite systems without perverting or destroying those systems.... Hence, the doctrine of a God, the creator and preserver of the universe, has been their firm belief in every age; and under the influence of that doctrine their conduct has been regulated through a succession of years. This progress of knowledge and philosophy, aided by Divine Revelation, having enlightened the minds of men with knowledge of the true God, and the sacred tenets of the Christian faith, Masons have readily acquiesced in a religion so wisely calculated to make men happy; but in those countries where the Gospel has not reached, or Christianity displayed her beauties, they have inculcated the universal religion, or the religion of nature; that is to be good men and true, by whatever denomination or persuasion they are distinguished; and by this universal system, their conduct has always been regulated. A cheerful compliance with the established religion of a country in which they live is earnestly recommended in the assemblies of Masons; and their universal conformity notwithstanding private sentiment and opinion, is the art practiced by them, which effects the laudable purpose of conciliating true friendship among men of every persuasion, while it proves the cement of general union."

It is seen that Preston had some difficulty in reconciling the variant religious doctrines which he encountered, and in rationalizing them with the doctrine of Masonic universality. He found definite Christian ideas in the celebration of the Saints John Days, in the dedication of lodges to those Saints, and in the symbol of the point within the circle touched by two parallel lines, which he said represented St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist. He, also, of course, found considerable extra-ritualistic sentiment favoring Christianity. He took the position that belief in God had been adherred to in every age, but that, where Christianity had appeared, Masons had "acquiesced" in it, though they had not in other countries. This ability to adjust themselves in religious matters, Preston said, was an art. This meant, of course, that there was no universal religious doctrine throughout the Craft, and opened the way for lodges in Christian countries to adopt Christian doctrine. It left, in somewhat uncertain

status, the Jewish Mason in a Christian country, who, presumably, was to acquiesce in the religion of that country, just as a Christian Mason in a Moslem lodge would restrain his Christian sentiments.

Hutchinson's Spirit of Masonry, in 1775, was the first pretentious treatment of Masonry from a purely philosophical and religious standpoint. As illustrating the somewhat unsettled religious views of the Craft at that time, it is important to observe that this work, though unqualifiedly Christian, was published with the approval of the offices of the Grand Lodge of England (Modern). The following excerpts are taken from pages 39, 69, 87, and 142:

"It is not to be presumed that we are a set of men professing religious principles contrary to the revelations and doctrines of the Son of God, reverencing a Deity by the denomination of the God of Nature, and denying that mediation which is graciously offered to all true believers. The members of our society at this day, in the third stage of Masonry, confess themselves to be Christians.

". . . we may naturally conjecture that the founders of our maxims had in view the most ancient race of Christians, as well as the first professors of the worship of the God of Nature";

". . . our three lights show us the three great stages of Masonry, the knowledge and worship of the God of Nature in the purity of Eden-the service under the Mosaic law, when divested of idolatry-and the Christian revelation; but more especially our lights are typical of the holy Trinity."

"We are totally severed from architects, and are become a set of men working in the duties of charity, good offices, and brotherly loveChristians in religion-sons of liberty, and loyal subjects";

Christian doctrine made considerable headway in the dogma of the Society. It was adopted and still exists in Prussian and Scandinavian Masonry and seems to have enjoyed much favor in America. Webb's Monitor of 1787 contained the following:

". . . and the Blazing Star, in the center, is commemorative of the star which appeared to guide the wise men of the East to the place of our Saviour's nativity."

Although this was disapproved and stricken out of the work by the Baltimore Convention of 1843, it remained in subsequent editions of Webb's Monitor as late as the 23rd by Rob Morris in 1869. Though Preston had represented the Blazing Star as a symbol of Divine blessing and omnipotence, the Hemming lectures, adopted by the United Grand Lodge of England, following the Union of 1813, made it a symbol of the Sun. The reasons for the change is difficult to see, for the same body required its candidates to believe in the G.A.O.T.U.,


and, in 1815, amended its Book of Constitutions to read in part as follows

"Let a man's religion or mode of worship be what it may, he is not excluded from the order, provided he believe in the glorious architect of heaven and earth, and practice the sacred duties of morality."

This language was almost verbatim that used by John Codrington in his address of 1770, and clearly added something to the previous religious doctrine of the Craft, the last prior declaration being that in the Constitutions of 1723. Christianity was not only not adopted but suffered some diminution in that the United Grand Lodge substituted Moses and Solomon for the two Saints John as the Masonic parallels, and dedicated its lodges to King Solomon instead of the Holy Saints John.

Dr. Oliver was another great and persistent exponent of Christianity, claiming in his Symbol of Glory (1850) that, Masonically, the Grand Architect and Contriver of the Universe and, also, the Jehovah of the Jews was no other than Christ, himself. He argued (p. 31) that the main objection made by the public to Freemasonry was

"That a true Christian cannot, or ought not, to join in Masonry, because Masons offer prayers to God without the mediation of a Redeemer."

At page 13, he stated:

"The principle events in the Jewish history are types of Christ, or the Christian Dispensation. But these events form permanent and unchangeable landmarks in the Masonic lectures. Therefore, the lectures of Masonry are Christian."

At page 100, he stated that the Masonic meaning of the Master's word was "the Grand Architect and Contriver of the Universe" or he that was taken up to the top of the pinnacle of the holy Temple, which meant Christ or the second person in the Trinity. He continued by saying that a series of types was introduced into the lecturers and explained as applying to the Messiah; that an explanation was appended of His birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension; and that the herald and the beloved disciples were represented by parallel lines touching a circle, they being the two patrons of Masonry. He then stated:

"The three great virtues of Christianity were embodied in another emblem on the same road to heaven; and which, as the authorized lectures expressed it, `by working according to our Masonic profession will bring us to that blessed mansion above where the just exist in perfect


bliss to all eternity; where we shall be eternally happy with God, the Grand Geometrician of the Universe, whose only Son died for us, and rose again that we might be justified through faith in his most precious blood.'

"Many of the above illustrations were expunged by Dr. Hemming and his associates in the Lodge of Reconciliation, from the revised lectures; Moses and Solomon were substituted as the two Masonic parallels and T.G.A.O.T.U. was referred to as God the Father instead of God the Son; forgetting as Bishop Horsley observes that `Christ, the Delivered, whose coming was announced by the prophet Malachi, was no other than the Jehovah of the Old Testament. Jehovah by his angels delivered the Israelites from their Egyptian bondage; and the same Jehovah came in person to his Temple, to effect the greater and more general deliverance of which the former was an imperfect type.'

"The above changes were made under the idea that Masonry being Cosmopolite, ought not to entertain any peculiar religious tenets, lest, instead of being based on the broad foundation of universality, it should windle into sectarianism. But without reminding you, that so far from being a religious sect, Christianity, if we are to believe the Jewish or Christian scriptures, is an universal religion, which is destined to spread over the whole earth, and to embrace every created people in one fold under one shepherd-the substitution of Moses and Solomon for the two Saints John is in fact, producing and perpetuating the very evil which the alteration was professedly introduced to avoid-it is identifying the Order with a peculiar religion, which though true at its original promulgation, was superseded by its divine author when the Sceptre had departed from Judah."

Similar contentions appear in others of Dr. Oliver's works, for example, The Revelations o j a Square (1855), pages 47, 52-56, 113120, 182-184, and 254. Dr. Oliver's theory, however, gained little headway in England or America, though it must be admitted that his proposition is challenging. It does seem to involve some inconsistency for a Christian to belong to a society which requires him to believe a religion which is something less than Christianity. But thousands of Christian ministers, who, presumably, are our mentors in theology, have accepted the conditions, so that the laity ought to be satisfied. It is a little difficult, however, to understand the reason for the extreme eulogy which Masonic writers and authors have poured upon monotheism as though it involved something of unusual accomplishment and merit, whereas it is a rather primitive belief, which many inferior and even savage minds embrace, and is hardly anywhere ranked on a par with Christianity.

In the early 19th century, many of the lesser Protestant clergy opposed Freemasonry. Some probably for the reason asserted by Oliver and some, probably because they deemed it a competitor of their


churches. In America, this spirit had manifested itself prior to the Morgan affair of 1826, but, during the frenzy which followed that unfortunate event, the antagonism of many Christian preachers was strong and bitter. In this, the Catholic Church did not join, possibly, because, owing to the narrow bigotry of the times, it was often subjected to the same treatment.

The three Grand Lodges of Prussia all adopted Christian doctrine and, for long periods, not only would not accept non-Christians as members, but declined to allow Jewish Masons to visit their lodges. The Grand Lodges of Sweden, Denmark, and Norway are, also, Christian, but, while they are almost universally recognized by other Grand Lodges, the Prussian Grand Lodges were generally renounced. This appears to have been due, not so much to the mere Christian character of Prussian Masonry, as it was fact that the doctrine was carried to an unreasonable and unnecessary extreme.

By the middle of the 19th century, the doctrine that Freemasonry inculcated belief in God and that such belief was prerequisite to admittance into the society was generally established in practically all of the Grand Lodges of the world. Even the Grand Orient of France, which had followed the neutral attitude of the English Constitutions of 1723 (and had nevertheless been recognized as regular) amended its Constitution in 1849 to read:

"Freemasonry has for its principles the existence of Deity and the immortality of the soul."


The doctrine of immortality of the soul or, in some quarters, a resurrection seems to have followed, inevitably and imperceptibly, that of belief in God, for while they are not necessarily the same, they are usually associated in most minds, particularly, those of Christians. Indeed, the advent of this belief in Freemasonry was undoubtedly due to Christian ideals. The ancient Jews, prior to the Exile, seem to have been almost oblivious to the theme of immortality, and the prophets of the Old Testament, even the later ones, mention it rarely and with no apparent uniformity.

"Dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return."-Genesis 3:19.

"But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and dryeth up: so man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.... If a man die, shall he live again?"-Job 14:10-14.

"For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the


latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God."-Job 19:25-26.

The above, together with the following passages, are, it is believed, the only references to a future life to be found in the Old Testament: Psalms 16:10, 17:15, 49:14-15, 73:24-25, 88:3-11; Isaiah 26:19; Ezekiel 37:1-4; Daniel 12:2; and Hosea 6:1-2; 13:14.

Christ, however, made the future life one of the principal tenets of his message, and, so, we find a very different treatment of the subject in the New Testament. While a resurrection of the body would seem to be a more elaborate concept and to require a higher faith than a mere future spiritual immorality, just the reverse is true, for savage tribes often believe in a future physical existence, for example, the "Happy Huntingground" of the American Indians or the custom among many primitive people of burying, with the dead, articles of utility to administer to the comfort of the deceased in the life to come. Indeed, it is said that some savage tribes who hold such belief are totally unable to comprehend a future spiritual life.


When the whole of Grand Lodge declarations and the views of Masonic authors is examined, four or five concepts of Deity appear: God, God the Father, a Supreme Being, the God of Nature, and the Great (Grand) Architect of the Universe. As to a future life, we find immortality of the soul, a resurrection, and a resurrection of the body.

Mackey and, presumably, those Grand Lodges which have adopted his asserted landmarks require the candidate to believe in "God or T.G.A.O.T.U." Minnesota requires him to believe in "a Supreme Being or T.G.A.O.T.U."; Nebraska, in "God the Father"; and Kentucky, in a "Supreme Being whom men call God and whom Masons call T.G.A.O.T.U." No other American Grand Lodge declares it a landmark that the candidate must hold any religious belief. The rest of them do, however, by statute or regulation, require some such belief. Those which have pretended to adopt landmarks, without requiring as a landmark any belief in the candidate, have announced religious tenets as follows: Tennessee, "Supreme Being"; Connecticut, "Supreme Being and Revelation of His Will"; Mississippi and New Jersey, "God or T.G.A.O.T.U."; Nevada, "Supreme Being or T.G.A.O.T.U."; West Virginia, "God, the Creator, Author, and Architect of the Universe, Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent"; and Massachusetts and Virginia, "Monotheism."



On the matter of a future life, Mackey and the Grand Lodges which follow him declare for a "Resurrection to a Future Life"; Mississippi is the same; Massachusetts, Tennessee, and West Virginia, "Immortality of the Soul"; Kentucky, "Immortality of the Soul and Resurrection to a Future Life"; Connecticut and Nevada, "Immortality of the Soul and Resurrection of the Body"; and Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, and Virginia declare no tenet under this head.

The code of Rob Morris (1856) contained nothing about immortality or the Bible, and, though not specifying belief in God, said: "The Law of God is the rule and limit of Masonry."

Some Masonic writers have gone so far as to assert that the belief in God and immortality is the sole dogma of the Fraternity, or that the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man constitute the principal tenets, but these are extreme minority views.

The above illustrate how, in a society composed of men of such varied kinds, where religious doctrine is not prescribed by a hierarchy, different meanings, purposes and dogma will be read into the society and become attached to it even as supposed fundamentals. The various shades of creed announced by Grand Lodges often result from the influence of some individuals of strong sectarian impulses who press their particular preferences or concepts upon the Craft in their respective circles of influence.

Masonic literature is full of loose language upon all these matters touching religious creed. One concept will find lodgement in one place; another in another. But general or inaccurate language is put to the test and often discredited when brought into direct issue as where the rights of some individual Mason are to be affected. There, mere ipsi dixit will not do; the accuser must show his authority.


In the celebrated Crum case, the Grand Master of Illinois suspended a lodge charter because of failure to discipline a member for being an atheist and ridiculing the Bible. The Grand Lodge appointed a committee, headed by W. Bro. Joseph Robbins, to investigate and report. The committee, in its report, among other things, said:

"The first of the Charges of a Freemason is the landmark of Masonry concerning God and religion; stamped with the approval of the first Grand Lodge, as the essence of the recognized law on that subject, and agreed to by those who had better opportunities of knowing what was the pre-existing law than any who have succeeded them. All propositions


and deductions claiming to be landmarks, must, if they touch the subject, square themselves by this Charge. It prescribes the maximum as well as the minimum limit of required faith, and any thing more or less than this is not only no landmark, but if made a requirement, is a direct infraction of the paramount law of Masonry."

The Grand Lodge of Illinois adopted the report and restored the charter of the lodge.

Luther Burbank, the celebrated plant and horticultural scientist of Santa Rosa, California, and member of a lodge in that state, was quoted in the public press as doubting the existence of a Supreme Being. The notoriety given the announcement indicated necessity for some action, but none was taken, and, a few years later, Bro. Burbank died.

The outstanding example of discipline of a Grand body for failure to conform to what other Grand Lodges consider fundamental doctrine was afforded by the general excommunication of the Grand Orient of France. This has, however, been quite generally misunderstood, other things besides religious dogma being involved, so that it does not exhibit a clearcut case. As we have seen, the Grand Orient, up to 1849, adherred to the neutral position of the English Constitutions of 1723 and remained silent on religion. In that year, it adopted, as principles, belief in Deity and immortality. It must be remembered that French Masonry was surrounded by a very dogmatic Roman Catholic Church, which, according to its most authoritative declarations, had classified Freemasonry as belonging to the realm of Satan. One source of trouble between the Society and the Church was the claim of the latter that the Grand Orient was teaching a false religion and encroaching upon the domain of the Church. In order to meet these objections and to free the Fraternity from religious persecution in a strongly Catholic country, Bro. Desmons, a Protestant minister, introduced a resolution, which was adopted in 1877, amending the Constitution to read:

"Masonry has for its principles mutual tolerance, respect for others and for itself, and absolute liberty of conscience."

A year or two later, the Grand Orient made the display of the Bible optional with the lodges.

These actions aroused resentment in England, so that, Gould tells us (History of Freemasonry, Vol. IV, p. 477), the United Grand Lodge of England began to refuse French Masons the right to visit its lodges unless the visitor certified that he was made in a lodge acknowledging T.G.A.O.T.U. and that he, himself, held such belief


to be prerequisite to membership. In 1877, that body adopted the following resolution:

"That the Grand Lodge, whilst always anxious to receive in the most fraternal spirit the Brethren of any Foreign Grand Lodge whose proceedings are conducted according to the ancient Landmarks of the Order, of which a belief in T.G.A.O.T.V. is the first and most important, cannot recognize as `true and genuine' Brethren any who have been initiated in Lodges which either deny or ignore that belief."

Where that body came by such "Ancient Landmark" is not explained, its own Constitution not recognizing the necessity for such belief until 1815.

It has been stated over and over and is quite generally believed that the Grand Orient's action of 1877 resulted in a general severance of relations with it by Grand Lodges in the United States. But this is not true, for most of them had severed relations with French Masonry some years before. The fact is that the Grand Orient had been a problem for a long time, its whole history having been erratic and bordering upon, if not reaching, irregularity. Whatever reaction there was to the resolution of 1877 was the culmination of a long series of irritations, of which the following is a brief enumeration:

(a) The Grand Orient conferred and controlled degrees above the First Three Degrees; (b) It espoused female Masonry, CoMasonry, or the Adoptive Rite; (c) It engaged in political activities and discussions; (d) It became embroiled in religious disputes; (e) It resolved in 1869 to admit all men, irrespective of color, race, or religion; (f) In 1871, it abolished the office of Grand Master and substituted government by a council headed by a president; and (g) It made a practice of invading the sovereignties of other Grand Lodges.

The last named was the unpardonable offense. Grand Lodges may be slow to anger about many things but they will not tolerate for an instant any invasion of their territories, following, in that respect, the custom of nations. The Grand Orient had never acknowledged the American Doctrine of territorial exclusiveness, and, accordingly, in 1867, it recognized the Cerneau-Foulhouze Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite in Louisiana, which claimed authority over the first Three Degrees. Upon a call for aid by the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, some twenty-five or thirty Grand Lodges in this country severed relations with the Grand Orient. Although the resolution of 1869 to disregard color, race, and religion was entirely consonant with Masonic doctrine, strange to say, a storm of protest arose in


the United States, obviously, on account of the "Negro question." The abolition of the office of Grand Master two years later practically completed the alienation of American from French Masonry. Accordingly, the action of 1877 in religious matters found very few Grand Lodges in this country still in correspondence with the Grand Orient.

Careless, prejudiced, and vindictive writers have attributed to the action of 1877 effects which it did not have, and, quite generally, they have sought to bolster their attacks by the charge of atheism. No branch of French Masonry is atheistic or agnostic but, on the contrary, all are composed of men exhibiting the finest moral and spiritual attainments. They have simply followed the founders of symbolic Masonry in believing that the Order does not require any religious belief.

The hostility of the Grand Lodge of England rather increased up to the time of World War I, for, in 1913, it amended Rule 150 of its Book of Constitutions to read in part as follows:

"No brother . . . shall be admitted as a visitor unless his certificate shows that he has been initiated according to the ancient rites and ceremonies in a lodge professing belief in the Great Architect of the Universe, and not unless he himself shall acknowledge that this belief is an essential Landmark of the Order."

It is not apparent how that latter statement could be true when the Grand Lodge, itself, was the same Grand Lodge which had included no such "landmark" in its original Constitutions.

War usually stirs men to new thoughts and brings about revolutions in ideas as well as in material affairs. So it was with World War I. English Freemasons were English subjects, and they could not be insensible to the brotherhood of arms in which they had become locked with Frenchmen. The heroic defense of French soil by British Tommy and French Poilu could hardly fail to break down barriers of nationality and religion.

The American Doughboy was there, too, and the same sentiment prevailed in this country. Masonic charity revived in the Craft. There was an awakening of conscience and a softening of the harsh attitude which had prevailed against French Masonry. In both England and America, there was a disposition to modify the rigors of religious dogma. Had the Grand Orient of France reciprocated by becoming otherwise circumspect or even evincing a promise of reform, it may not be doubted that much headway would have been made toward a realliance.


In 1918, a committee of the Grand Lodge of California said (California Proceedings, 1918, p. 173)

"It is held by many of our best thinkers that no man's creed or religious observances should be made an issue in any matter indirectly connected with religion; that Freemasonry is not a religion and, therefore, a religious test should not be applied to it, and that, while it is perfectly competent for any Masonic body to require such confession of faith from its own members as it deems expedient, yet, it should not refuse the name of brother to those who act on truly Masonic principles, but do not demand any confession of religious faith as a condition of membership.

"Because references to the Deity have been stricken from the French Constitutions, and the Bible does not lie upon French altars, your Committee has no more right to pronounce French Masonry godless and atheistic than it has to assert that the people of the United States are godless and atheistic because there is no reference to the Deity in their Constitution, or that the schools of our country are atheistic because the Bible is not taught therein."

The committee recommended that the requirement for recognition, adopted in 1913 to the effect that the body in question "must recognize and support the Ancient Landmarks, which include, particularly, the Three Great Lights, and belief in God, and the Immortality of the Soul," be applied only to Grand Lodges of English-speaking countries, and that Grand Lodges and Grand Orients of other countries be considered on the merits and with relation to the situation of the applicant. The report was adopted by the Grand Lodge of California, and was reaffirmed in 1923 (California Proceedings, 1923, p. 697).

In 1919, The Grand Master of Louisiana, in his annual address, said:

"I submit, my brethren, that in the misconception of the position of our French brethren regarding their interpretation of Masonic philosophy, English-speaking Masonry is clearly in the wrong, and we, as Masons, should be ready to admit it. While French Masonry is religiously tolerant, it is not in itself a religion in the restrictive sense of the word. It proclaims no dogma; it demands no profession; it respects all opinions, and in that tolerance is an example of that true religion which is the basis of Freemasonry-the brotherhood of mankind, which leads us through love of our fellow men-a spark of His own divinity-to the love, honor and glory of the Great Architect of the Universe."

In 1919, the matter of the recognition of the Grand Orient of

France came before the Grand Lodge of Alabama. The Committee, 181

appointed to report upon it, headed by W. Bro. Oliver D. Street, made an able and comprehensive investigation, and reported in part as follows

"We may, therefore, safely conclude that the laws and ritual of the Grand Lodge of 1723 required no more of its initiates on the subject of religion than that they should be good men and true, men of honor and honesty, obeying the moral law. No one questions or has ever questioned that the laws and ritual of the Grand Orient require that its members shall be men of this character."

The Committee's recommendation that the Grand Orient of France be recognized as a regular, sovereign, and independent governing body of Symbolic Freemasonry was approved by the Grand Lodge of Alabama.

It is by no means assured that the neutral position taken by the Grand Lodge of England in 1723 was not the wisest. The contrary endeavor to enter part way or equivocally into the religious field has not proved very satisfactory. Thus far, it has divided the Fraternity into three principal groups: the monotheistic, the Christian, and the neutral, or as some stigmatize it, the "atheistic." We may expect more as the shades of dogmatic distinctions increase.


The place of the Bible in Freemasonry is, also, uncertain. It is variously regarded as a Holy Book, as a symbol of Divine Revelation, and as a part of the furniture of the lodge along with the Square and Compass. The Holy Bible, Square and Compass are called the Great Lights of Masonry, but the Bible is often said to be The Great Light of Masonry.

The Gothic Constitutions generally referred to the Bible as authority for a part of the legendary account of the origin and transmittal of Masonry, but it is the opinion of some writers that the earlier copies of those Constitutions were really based on one or the other of several polychronicons or books of universal knowledge which were produced by medieval scholars and which were the crude forerunners of modern encyclopedias. It is often assumed that the reference in the Gothic Constitutions to the taking of the oath on a book was to the Bible, but the earlier examples of those documents, although referring to the Bible as authority for parts of the legends, use simply the words, "a book," in connection with the oath. This is true of Antiquity manuscript of 1686. Harleian manuscript of about 1670 contains both Old and New Charges, in the former using the words, "this


book," and, in the latter "the holy contents of this book." The Roberts version of 1722 expressly provides for the oath to be taken on the Bible. Thus, there was probably a progression from the employment of any book to that of the Bible. The Constitutions of 1723 give no hint that the Bible played any part at all in the lodge.

The indications are that, up to the 18th century, any book or even the Constitutions themselves were permitted to be employed in administering the oath, but that sometime previously, the Bible was often employed, and came into general use only gradually. Even after the organization of the Grand Lodge, there is no indication for about half a century that the Bible was required. The whole story of its introduction and the spread of its use in the ceremonies of the lodge has never been written, and probably never will be, because data on the subject are almost completely lacking.

By the middle of the 18th century, Masonic addresses took on a religious, and often a Christian character, so that the Bible naturally became more and more appropriate in the lodge. William Preston incorporated the Bible into his lectures, rather cautiously as a part of the furniture, but, he did not, as is said, in 1760, induce the Grand Lodge of England to adopt it as one of the great Lights for he was not yet a Mason. Since Preston was no innovator, the inference is that he found a precedent in some of the old lectures of the time. At first, the Bible was displayed on the Master's pedestal, but, in American lodges, it was soon transferred to the altar.

Probably, no authority would assert that Masons are required to believe the contents of the Bible. Mackey (Encyclopedia of Freemasonry) says that it is a "symbol of the will of God, however it may be expressed." His twenty-first "landmark" is that a "Book of the Law shall constitute an indispensable part of the furniture of every Lodge," but he states that this does not necessarily mean the Old and New Testaments, but only that volume which, by the religion of the country, is believed to contain the revealed will of the Grand Architect of the Universe. In Christian countries, he says, it is the Old and New Testaments, but he seems to ignore that fact that, in such countries, there are many Jews who join the Fraternity, and he does not explain how these are to accept the New Testament. There is a bit of inconsistency in placing the New Testament on the altar, either as a part of the furniture or as a Great Light, and, yet, restricting lodge prayers to God without the intermediation of the Redeemer.

In their asserted "landmarks," the only American Grand Lodges


which regard the Bible as more than a part of the furniture of the lodge are: Kentucky and Nebraska, which call it a Great Light; and New Jersey, which describes it as the revealed Word of God. Connecticut requires a belief in some revelation of God's Will, but says nothing about the presence of such in the lodge.

Since a Mohammedan lodge may use the Koran, a Brahman lodge, the Vedas, or a Hebrew lodge, the Pentateuch, there obviously can be no requirement that all Freemasons shall regard the Bible as a Great Light or of any sanctity or authority at all. So, it is evidently not the Great Light of all Masonry but only of some Masonry or Masons. Embarrassment is sought to be avoided by saying that only some Volume of Sacred Law (V.S.L.) shall be used as a symbol of Divine Revelation or Will; that no Mason is required to believe the Bible; and that the contents of the Book are not material in Masonry. If Masons in different countries can regard different Volumes of Sacred Law as their respective Great Lights, there would seem to be some flaw in the universality of Freemasonry. The consensus seems to be that the "Book," so far as Masonry is concerned, is any V.S.L. which is used as a symbol signifying respect for Divine revelation, irrespective of what that revelation may be.

Perhaps, it is best not to examine such things too closely or to expect them to be rationalized. The situation is another illustration of the fact that Freemasonry was not built with logic aforethought but by the accretion, from time to time, of many ideas of many men.


The word, charity, originally meant love, and, therefore, had a religious, especially a Christian content "Love thy neighbor as thyself." But, since charity often included compassion for poverty or misfortune and expressed itself in material relief, the term came to mean alms or philanthropy. Furthermore, eleemosynary institutions are often maintained or fostered by some church or religious organization.

In both senses, charity has been a Masonic tenet from the earliest times. Brotherly love, mutual aid and assistance, and the disparagement of quarrels were inculcated by the Old Charges, by the Charges of 1723, and now by the constitutions, regulations, or rituals of most modern Grand Lodges. But changing society has had its effect. Early lodges were small, so that each member had an opportunity to take a personal and friendly interest in the fortunes of each of the others. But the vast increase in the numbers of both Masons and lodges and


the faster tempo of modern life have eroded much of this intimacy. In large city lodges, the members often have no more than a speaking acquaintance with most of the others, if that much. With members of other lodges, they do not even pretend to be acquainted, except in limited degree.

In England, lodges have tended to remain small and compact, the average membership being below 80, as compared with 120 in Iowa and 250 or over in California and New York. English lodges often restrict their membership so that each is a closely knit brotherhood in which meetings are usually attended by the full membership, and a disabled brother or the dependents of a deceased brother are virtually wards of the lodge. On the other hand, those lodges are almost to be considered closed to visitors when compared with American lodges where the accredited visitor enters almost as a matter of course. The Master is glad to have them occupy the chairs left vacant by the large number of stay-at-home Masons. The average attendance at lodges in this country seldom exceeds 20 percent of the members, and often falls below 10 percent. Many members fail to attend as often as once a year.

The system in this country,

by which Master Masons are turned out as if from an assembly line with little or no instruction in the history, purposes, or philosophy of the Order, has aroused long and severe criticism, but no one seems to know what to do about it. War and rumors of war bring, to the lodges, petitions in great numbers, so that the conferring of degrees becomes almost drudgery to the officers. During World War II, many lodges worked three or four nights per week, raised fifty or more Master Masons during a year, and, then, had a waiting list of two score elected petitioners for the degrees. As a consequence of imperfect assimilation, periods of economic depression causes thousands to drop out of the lodges.

What this has to do with charity is made clear by the observation that it is impossible to love a name on the Secretary's register of members; there must be personal friendship and fraternal regard. Charity or love cannot exist where the only tie between Masons is that they each annually remit dues to the same lodge.

Through the 18th century and well into the 19th, the Order was regarded as a charitable organization even for the distribution of alms generally and not merely within its own precincts, and that subject was given prominence in many Masonic sermons and addresses. A Mason of the present day would be astonished to learn that, upon

commonly called the "degree mill,"


the sale of a lodge building or the dissolution of a lodge, the assets did not belong to the lodge or its members but would be impressed with a trust for general charity, yet, in earlier times, that principle was quite generally accepted.

The Freemasons' Fund, later merged into the City Fuel Fund, which is still used to supply fuel to indigent persons, arose from the sale of the Masonic Temple in Philadelphia in 1793. The sale required legislative authority, and the act provided that one-third of the proceeds, amounting to $1,533.57, be set aside for charity.

Also, when a New Hampshire lodge dissolved in 1835 and sought to divide its assets among the members, the court held that the entire funds of the lodge were dedicated to charitable uses and that no member had any individual interest therein.

In the early 19th century, New England lodges commonly contributed to the African Colony of Liberia, the American Colonization Society, the American Education Society, the American Bible Society, and other like movements.

Of course, few lodges had incomes sufficient to support any considerable charities, but many small donations were made quietly and unobtrusively to the poor, and all lodges had aspirations of that kind, supposing it to be a Masonic duty. The wide gap between the theory and the practice, together with the realization that lodge dues would have to be enormously increased if anything more than a pittance of charity were to be indulged, gradually brought about the entire abandonment of the idea, so that today Freemasonry as a charitable order outside its own ranks is scarcely ever mentioned. Indeed, in some jurisdictions, the use of lodge funds for non-Masonic purposes is prohibited.



Freemasonry and Ancient Paganism

WHENCE CAME THE IDEA, so extensively and so repeatedly proclaimed, and so widely believed by Masons and non-Masons alike, that Freemasonry derived from, or was identical with, or in some manner arose out of the Ancient Pagan Mysteries? There is no hint of it in the oldest documents of the Craft, either the Gothic Constitutions, which go back to about A.D. 1400, or in the minutes of lodges in Scotland, which begin in 1598. There is no mention of it in extraneous writings about Masonry in 17th century England, and, perhaps most significant of all, there is nothing on the subject in the Constitutions of 1723, either in the Charges, the General Regulations, or Dr. Anderson's fabulous history of Freemasonry. As that author showed himself possessed of a very lively imagination, it is unlikely that he would have overlooked so alluring a subject as ancient mysticism had he found any intimation of it.

Dr. William Stukeley, who was both a physician and a divine, and also something of an eccentric, and who was made a Mason in London in 1721, tells us in his diary that his curiosity led him to be initiated into the mysteries of Masonry, suspecting it to be the remains of the Mysteries of the ancients. From the nature of his statement, he appears to have concluded that he was on a cold trail.

In 1723 and 1724, respectively, there appeared two exposes of Freemasonry called, A Mason's Confession and The Grand Mystery of Free-Masons Discover'd, which were quite simple in concept and similar to each other, though they differed in detail, for example, the former indicated the two grades of Apprentice and Fellow Craft, while the latter did not, and the latter contained Christian doctrine which the former lacked. They employed geometrical figures of speech, with questions and answers relating to orders of architecture, points of fellowship, points of entry, jewels, lights, pillars, grips, signs, tokens, and modes of recognition. In neither is there anything more mysterious than such questions and answers as "Where were you made? In the Valley of Jehosephet, behind a Rush-bush, where


a Dog was never heard to bark, or Cock crow, or elsewhere," and "Why do odds make a lodge? Because all odds are to men's advantage."


Another of the exposes, Masonry Dissected published in 1730 by Samuel Prichard, asserted that Masonry was "nothing but an unintelligible heap of stuff and jargon, without common sense or connection," a "ridiculous imposition," and "pernicious." This was answered in the same year by Martin Clare's Defense of Masonry (see Oliver's Golden Remains of Early Masonic Writers), which seems to have contained the first serious suggestion that Masonry had inherited something from ancient philosophies and religions. It was there said:

"Considering through what obscurity and darkness this mystery has been delivered down, the many centuries it has survived, the many countries and languages and sects and parties it has run through, we are rather to wonder it ever arrived at the present age without more imperfections. In short, I am apt to think that Masonry, as it is now explained, has in some circumstances declined from its original purity. It has run long in muddy streams, and, as it were, underground; but notwithstanding the great rust it may have contracted, and the forbidding light in which it is placed by the dissector, there is still much of the old fabric remaining; the essential pillars of the building may be discovered through the rubbish, though the superstructure be overrun with moss and ivy, and the stones, by length of time, be disjointed."

He proceeded to refer to the Egyptian practice of concealing mysteries in hieroglyphics, the possible descent of Masonry from the Pythagorean discipline, and the similarity of Freemasonry to the Mysteries of the Essenes, the Cabalists, the Druids, and other ancient sects.

Seven years later, the Chevalier Andrew Michael Ramsay, in what appears to have been a charge or address to certain candidates in a lodge at Paris, expressed some remarkable and far-reaching opinions. His main theme was that Freemasonry was not the outgrowth of an architectural fraternity but rather of the chivalric orders of the Crusades, thereby apparently inspiring the creation of numerous Hants Grades. But more opposite to the present enquiry was his brief and subsidiary statement, somewhat inconsistent with his main theme, as follows:

"Yes, Sirs, the famous festivals of Ceres at Eleusis, of Isis in Egypt, of Minerva at Athens, of Urania amongst the Phoenicians, and of Diana in Scythia were connected with ours. In those places, mysteries were cele


brated which concealed many vestiges of the ancient religion of Noah and the Patriarchs."

In the preserved Masonic addresses delivered in the immediately following years (Oliver's Golden Remains and Calcott's Candid Disquisition, etc.) or in Preston's Illustrations of Masonry or in Hutchinson's Spirit of Masonry or in any other Masonic writings up to the year 1775, there is no evidence that the mystical idea had found any lodgment in Masonic thought. This idea seems first to have been taken up by the Abbe Robin in "Researches in Ancient and Modern Initiation" (1779), followed by Paul J. S. Vogel in "Letters Concerning Freemasonry" (1785), Osnabruck (1789), and Alexander Lenoir in "Freemasonry Traced to Its True Origin or the Antiquity of Freemasonry Proved by the Explication of Ancient and Modern Mysteries" (1814).

From that time, this variety of writing multiplied rapidly and attained great volume and popularity, so much so that any review of it is impossible in a limited space. The French, for a time its leading exponents, soon tired of it, and the Germans were never enthusiastic on the subject, their greatest student, Findel, adhering to the architectural origin of the Society. But, in England and America where one would expect to find more conservatism, it spread like wildfire, and many publications appeared which developed every angle and variation of the subject, though Dr. Oliver, one of the most prolific writers, ignored its call. The theory was in full bloom about the middle of the 19th century and dominated every book which purported to discuss Masonic symbolism. Although this variety of literature got a late start in this country, it soon ran itself out of breath. Mackey and Pike both embraced it avidly, and the latter's Morals and Dogma is, in greater part, given over to discussion and explanation of ancient symbolisms, religions, and philosophies.


Mackey, who seemed resolved to issue a new book ever so often and who had something of a newspaper reporter's bent for sensationalism and for scoring a beat on his rivals, pushed the subject to the limit in his Ritualist (1867) and in his Symbolism (1869), revised but not much purified by Robert I. Clegg (1921).

The character of his work is exemplified by his treatment of the portion of the Entered Apprentice lecture relating to the point within the circle and the two parallel lines representing the two Saints John.


The trite and inept explanation of this symbol given in the ritual, it is true, does not command admiration, but the question is: Where did it come from? It is plainly Christian, and the incongruity of it, if any, is its presence in the ritual of a non-Christian order. It was undoubtedly inherited from the old St. John lodges, which were nominally Trinitarian Christian and dedicated to the Holy Saints John. But see what Mackey did to it (Ritualist, p. 61 et seq.)

"The symbol is really a beautiful but somewhat abstract allusion to the old sun-worship, and introduces us for the first time to the modification of it known among the ancients as the worship of the phallus. The phallus was an imitation of the male generative organ. It was represented usually by a column, which was surrounded by a circle at its base, intended for the cteis, or female generative organ. This union of the phallus and the cteis ... was intended by the ancients as a type of the prolific powers of nature, which they worshipped under the united form of the active or male principle and the passive or female principle. Impressed with this idea of the union of these two principles, they made the older of their deities hermaphrodite, and supposed Jupiter, or the Supreme God, to have within himself both sexes, or, as one of their poets expresses it, `to have been created a male and an unpolluted virgin.' "

He goes on to say that the point within the circle represented the hermaphroditism of the Supreme Deity which was, also, represented by the Sun, and that the points where the two parallel lines touched the circle represented points in the zodiac at the summer and winter solstices, that is, June 21 and December 22, approximately the feast days of the two Saints John. Thus, the simple Masonic symbolism in honor of the two Christian saints is transformed into one dedicated to Sun-worship and a hermaphrodite god, so that lodges are, in reality, we must suppose, dedicated to the male and female generative organs and two points in the zodiac!

Mackey did not stop there, but undertook to explain the ineffable name of Deity, which the Jews represented by the tetragrammaton, J H V H or YOD, HEH, VAU, HEH, which he said meant I H O H, because, as he asserted, J or YOD was pronounced like E, and V or VAU, like O. This brought him nowhere, so he said that the Cabalists often reversed their words and, therefore, must have done so with this one. That made IH-OH become HO-HI, which, he said, meant HE-SHE, adding (Symbolism, p. 185 et seq.)

"But in Hebrew, ho is the masculine pronoun equivalent to the English he; and hi is the feminine pronoun equivalent to she; and therefore the word HO-HI, literally translated, is equivalent to the English compound HE-SHE; that is to say, the ineffable name of God in He


brew, being read cabalistically, includes within itself the male and female principle; the generative and prolific energy of Creation; and here we have again the widely-spread symbolism of the phallus and the cteis, the lingan and the yoni, or their equivalent, the point within the circle, and another pregnant proof of the connection between Freemasonry and the ancient Mysteries."

Now, all this was based on the assertion that, in Hebrew, J was pronounced like E, and V like O, so that H V became H O, and H J became H I. But the fact is, known to all, that J and V were consonants, not vowels, and could be neither E nor O. This was pointed out by Mackey, himself, in his Encyclopaedia (titled Jehovah) where he said:

"The Hebrew alphabet consists entirely of consonants. The vowel sounds were originally supplied by the reader while reading, he being previously made acquainted with the correct pronunciation of each word; and if he did not possess this knowledge, the letters before him could not supply it, and he was, of course, unable to pronounce the word. . . . Now this incommunicable name of God consists of four letters Yod, He, Vau, and He, equivalent in English to J H V H. It is evident that these four letters cannot in our language be pronounced, unless at least two vowels be supplied. Neither can they in Hebrew."

He goes on to say that J H V H was pronounced in half a dozen ways at different times by different patriarchs, and he finally shows that the ineffable name was derived from the Hebrew word meaning "to be," which also is the consensus of Hebrew scholars. So, the whole HO-HI theory falls apart.

Pike completely discredited the theory, saying (Morals and Dogma, p. 765):

"Obtuse commentators have said that the Kabalah assigns sexual characteristics to the very Deity. There is no warrant for such an assertion, anywhere in the Sohar or in any commentary upon it. On the contrary, the whole doctrine of the Kabalah is based on the fundamental proposition, that the Very Deity is Infinite, everywhere extended, without limitation or determination, and therefore without any conformation whatever."

Mackey continued to flounder when he came to discuss the letter G displayed in the lodge saying (Encyclopedia, titled G)

"It is to be regretted that the letter G, as a symbol, was ever admitted into the Masonic system."

Why is it regrettable? Because it unseats his "HO-HI-he-shehermaphrodite god" theory. Hence, he attempts to explain it away,

and, by inference, to lead us into believing that its place was filled originally by the Hebrew J or Yod, though he does not expressly say so. He does say:

"There can be no doubt that the letter G is a very modern symbol, not belonging to any old system anterior to the origin of the English language."

But that is not apparent, for the letter G was in the Latin almost 300 years B.C., and the word, "god," coming from an Aryan root, was common to all Teutonic languages before the English language took form, thus, the Gothic "guth," the Scandinavian "gud," and the German "gott."

Even a symbol so obviously geometric and appropriate to operative Masonry as is the right triangle, and one so naturally adopted into the speculative system is turned by Mackey into a sign of sex-worship. In his Encyclopaedia (titled Triangle) he states:

"The right-angled triangle is another form of this figure, which is deserving of attention. Among the Egyptians, it was the symbol of universal nature, the base representing Osiris, or the male principle; the perpendicular, Isis, or the female principle; and the hypothenuse, Horus, their son or the product of the male and female principles."

One entering a Masonic lodge with these concepts in mind would miss all the lessons Masonry has to teach, and see nothing but the phallus, male and female generative organs, symbols of sun-worship, and signs of the zodiac.

Mackey enjoyed the advantage or underwent the embarrassment, whichever way one looks at it, of living during that period when the age of fable gradually gave way to the age of true Masonic historiography. His earlier works are characteristic of the former, while his later History of Freemasonry unseats many of his prior conclusions. That work repudiated by implication, though not expressly, several of his "ancient landmarks," and, somewhat more definitely, his theories on symbolism. At page 185, appears the following:

"It has been a favorite theory with several German, French, and British scholars to trace the origin of Freemasonry to the Mysteries of paganism, while others, repudiating the idea that the modern association should have sprung from them, still find analogies so remarkable between the two systems as to lead them to suppose that the Mysteries were an offshoot from the Pure Freemasonry of the Patriarchs.

"In my opinion there is not the slightest foundation in historical evidence to support either theory, although I admit the existence of many analogies between the two systems, which can, however, be easily ex


plained without admitting any connection in the way of origin and descent between them."

In this statement, strangely enough, Mackey seems to ignore the fact that he, himself, had been one of the principal disseminators, in America at least, of these repudiated doctrines. Then, in answering his own question: "Is modern Freemasonry a lineal descendant and uninterrupted successor of the Ancient Mysteries?," he said at page 197:

"For myself, I can only arrive at what I think is a logical conclusion; that if both the mysteries and Freemasonry have taught the same lessons by the same methods of instruction, this has arisen not from a succession of organization, each one a link in a long chain of historical sequences leading directly to another, until Hiram is simply substituted for Osiris, but rather from those usual and natural coincidences of human thought which are to be found in every age and among all people.

"It is, however, hardly to be denied that the founders of the Speculative system of Masonry, in forming their ritual, especially of the third degree, derived suggestions as to the form and character of their funeral legend from the rites of the ancient initiations."

But Mackey's Symbolism of Freemasonry continues to be reprinted and republished, and, undoubtedly, many have read it who have not had their attention called to Mackey's own refutation. Thus, does Masonic error continue to be circulated.


Pike was, evidently, a deeper student than was Mackey; he conducted more original research; and he exceeded Mackey in the extremes to which he went in the interpretation of symbols. While he disagreed with the "HO-HI" theory which Mackey had so hastily accepted, he enthusiastically assented to the "phallic" theory. He converted such obviously appropriate architectural figures as the two columns into phallic columns, and he represented the square and compasses to be symbols of an hermaphrodite god (Morals and Dogma, p. 849 et seq.). It is obviously inappropriate here to attempt any extended reference to Pike's numerous excursions into, and expositions of ancient mysticism. One has only to read the above cited work to realize how impossible it is that Freemasons, operative or speculative, ever adopted into their symbolisms or arcana any such notions. It must be observed that Pike did not represent Morals and Dogma to be original with him, but he expressly stated that much of it came from other writers. According to Waite (Secret


Tradition in Freemasonry 11, p. 443; Doctrine and Literature of the Kabbala, p. 477-8), Morals and Dogma drew all its inspiration from, and is replete with extracts, often literal and extended, from the works (1855-56) of Eliphas Levi (real name Alphonse Louis Constant), a French occultist, and, according to Waite, a very unsafe expounder of Kabbalism.

Pike became so steeped in mystical theosophy that he could hardly comprehend, and had very little respect for the simple moral and architectural symbolism of Symbolic Masonry. He was not very familiar with it and was quite supercilious toward it, saying (Morals and Dogma, p. 819):

"The blue degrees are but the outer court and portico of the Temple. Part of the symbols are displayed there to the Initiate, but he is intentionally misled by false interpretations. It is not intended that he should understand them, but it is intended that he shall imagine that he understands them."

This is an example of getting so close to the trees that one fails to see the forest, of becoming so erudite that common sense is dethroned. What, we may ask, would be the reason for adopting a symbolism which no one understood, or which, if once understood, must soon become a complete enigma due to the passage of one generation of Masons and the incoming of another? Why would the ritualists of the 18th century want the candidate to imagine that he understood something that they knew he did not? What could possibly be the object of such a jest? Freemasons have always been respectable and responsible men, neither sun-worshipers, sex-worshipers, nor phallic adepts, and it is impossible to see why reasonable men should have gone to such labor to propagate a society for the purpose of perpetrating a gigantic deception.

If Pike's theory be true, one can hardly imagine a graver fraud. We are told that the initiate is presented with the symbol of the point within the circle and the parallel lines, the letter G, and such appropriate operative instruments as the square and compasses, such architectural objects as the two columns, and such geometric figure as the 47th problem, all of which he is led, by a trite explanation, to think he understands, whereas, by trick and device, he is made to engage unconsciously in sun-worship, sex-worship, and phallic worship, and the adoration of an hermaphrodite god represented by a triangle. Since a fee is charged for all this, there would seem to be a plain case of obtaining money under false pretenses and every lodge and every member should be indicted by the grand jury.


If Pike was right, Freemasonry is an immense hoax, and the only way it could clear itself would be to disclose the whole scheme to future candidates, and print, on the petition blank, a clear declaration that, by a belief in God, is meant belief in a bisexual being represented by two phallic columns, a right triangle, and other indicia of the male and female sex organs. If that were done, most petitions would be returned unsigned-and ought to be.

But no Grand Lodge has ever approved such stuff and nonsense, and we may thank our good fortune that the doctrine and administration of the Fraternity is in the hands of such bodies, composed as they are of sound, sensible, well balanced individuals. What we have been reviewing is not Masonic doctrine in any measure or meaning, but only the expressions of personal notions, to repress which, unfortunately, no censor of books is provided. Fortunately, the vast majority of the Society are men of common sense and balanced judgment. Not many read the class of literature of which we have been speaking, or want to, so that it is rapidly losing such popularity as it, for a time, enjoyed.

The above excerpts from the works of Mackey and Pike are but a small part of their contributions and, of course, a much smaller part of the enormous volume of similar and often highly imaginative discussions by many other writers, to review which would be impossible here. It was of such stuff that the Gold Rosicrucians, the Illuminati, the Egyptian Rite, and other quasi-Masonic orders which sprang up in Europe and did so much harm to Freemasonry were composed.


Rumor rides while truth limps along on foot. Many volumes and an incalculable quantity of periodical literature have, with the utmost abandon and affrontery, woven into the Masonic fabric, dark and cabalistic symbolism, false religions, ulterior or base motives, and complex schemes, plots, and political conspiracies. Certain things in Freemasonry, it is said, resemble symbols or ceremonies of the ancient Pagan Mysteries, of the Essenes, of the Culdees, of the Druids, or even of the later Rosicrucians and Gypsies, and, hence, to them or some of them, Freemasonry is allied. Even China has not been overlooked and, because secret societies existed there in ancient times and Chinese artisans used the square, compasses, and plumb line, the origin of Freemasonry in the Celestial Empire is inferred. Scarcely a single old order, movement, philosophy, belief, religion, or super


stition has escaped; nothing has been too remote or too obscure to avoid being deemed the origin of the Fraternity.

"It is impossible, therefore, I believe it," seems to be the motto in many quarters. Let facts be stated, supported by abundant evidence and, furthermore, let those facts be neither unreasonable nor improbable, and the very weight and completeness of the proof will confuse some and arouse doubt in their minds. But let a fanciful innuendo or incompetent implication be uttered about some ancient event or affair with a thinly veiled hint of a Masonic connection, and the inference is swallowed with open-eyed wonder and astonishment and entire credulity. Such romancing is the safer and more secure the more remote be the timing, for the further back we go in the history of the world the less possibility there is of either proving or disproving anything. Often, the most painstaking investigations leave us in doubt or, sometimes, in complete ignorance about Masonic events 200 or even 100 years ago in such highly literate countries as England and America; but Masonic romancers leap back 2,000 or 3,000 years without the slightest hesitation or question and prove their cases by the simple means of bald assertion.

Given the subject, "Masonic Symbolism," resourceful minds conjure up weird pictures. Inference and innuendo are overworked; direct statements are avoided; and proof is scarcely attempted. There has never yet been even a pretense of tracing the transmission of any ancient symbols or ceremonies through the long ages which separated their use from the existence of the oldest Freemasonry that we know anything about and having its beginnings in the 12th century, A.D. In what we know about the Freemasons from that time on, there is not the slightest indication that they knew or cared anything about the Ancient Mysteries.

Notwithstanding their insubstantial character, such fanciful contributions have had a wide and lasting effect, for even Masonic historiographic works, otherwise conservative and sensible, often are introduced with dissertations on the mysteries, occultism, mythology, ancient deities, the abracadabra, the pentagram, the vesica pisces, the tetragrammaton, sacred and lucky numbers, and other amulets and charms, symbols and hieroglyphics. As a result, Freemasonry is ranked by many with necromancy, so that one finds, in the book stores, works on Freemasonry on the same shelves with those on theosophy, astrology, spiritualism, fortune-telling, faith-heeling, and even slight of hand. A leading publishing house in New York advertises as specializing in "Masonic, Astrological, and Occult books."


There is such thing as becoming so erudite upon minutiae that large, obvious, and commonsense facts and explanations are ignored. Those who, with great labor and pedantry, have explored and explained the babel of ancient mystical jargon, have completely lost sight of the fact that there is a hiatus of at least 2,000 years between the time when that was in circulation and the time when they suppose that it reappeared in modern rituals; that there is no line of transmission between them; but, on the contrary, that the Gothic Constitutions and the minutes of lodges in Scotland, which cover approximately the last two centuries of that period, show no trace whatever of any connection.

It would be just as reasonable for some antiquary 2,000 years hence to assert that the United States was a direct survival of the Roman Republic, because Columbus, the Italian, was among the early discoverers of this continent, our Constitution embodies some of the principles and forms of the Roman government, the Capitol at Washington and those of many of the states are built in the Roman style, Latin inscriptions appear over their doors and on their interior walls, the motto "E Pluribus Unum" is on the arms, and the fasces of the Roman magistrates is minted on one of our coins. Nonsense? Of course, it is, but the conformities are quite as close and convincing as any used to link Freemasonry with ancient paganism.

Obviously, in formulating the rituals of the degrees in the early 18th century, much had to be added to the simple, crude rituals of the prior period. Where was it to be found? Just where all ritual makers go, to ancient times and eastern lands, to the Greeks, the Romans, the Egyptians, the Arabs, and particularly, to that unfailing companion of all ritual makers, the Holy Scriptures. A considerable portion of the symbolism of Freemasonry has a purely operative origin, but even such obviously geometric figures as the right triangle and such architectural objects as the two columns have been appropriated by Masonic mystics and traced to sex worship or sun worship.

Much has been written about "oriental wisdom," the "learning of the East," the "secrets of the ancients," and a great deal of adulation has been lavished upon the Ancient Mysteries. What did all this secret learning consist of and what did it amount to? No one pretends to say. Savants write volumes about it and become so entranced in their own erudition that they forget what they were looking for, what, if anything, they found, or what good it was. The oriental "secrets" still appear to be secrets.



The "Mysteries" were so-called, because the learned were few and, to the vast majority of ancient peoples, anything beyond the simplest bits of everyday gossip or commonplace occurrences were looked upon as mysterious or supernatural. The wise men were largely confined to the priesthood, and these, it is said, veiled their philosophy and committed it to writing only in cabalistic language or hieroglyphics, in order to conceal their great truths from the masses of the people. That idea is overdone. Few people of those times could read or write, and, had all the so-called secrets of the East been published in blackface letters in every hamlet and at every road corner, there would have been conveyed, to the bulk of humanity, no thought or information whatever. That same condition continued to the 12th or 13th century and, to a considerable extent, much later.

A few centuries hence, it may be said that the truth about the theory of relativity, or the fourth dimension, or atomic energy was hidden from us of the 20th century by scientists who deliberately obscured their secrets in strange and unintelligible symbols and terminology. Certainly, a computation in calculus is no more informative to the vast majority of the American people than was the Kabala to the shepherds on the hills of Syria. To some, a relatively small part, and to most people, nothing of the vast scientific knowledge which has been amassed in the last fifty years is understandable. Most people lack the schooling, the time, or the desire to master such things. The ratio of the learning of the learned to the ignorance of the ignorant really has not changed appreciably in the past 2,000 or 3,000 years.

Failure to make this simple comparison and to appreciate that the so-called mysteries were as much the result of the inability of one class to comprehend as it was of the purpose of the other class to secrete has occasioned much wasted effort and resulted in many misleading conclusions. It is intimated that the wise men of the East possessed some great secret, some powerful philosophical reagent or solvent, so that they are expected to command a sort of superstitious respect if not reverence. But it is just a little ridiculous to visualize any educated or well informed man of the 20th century doing obeisance to any ancient priesthood.

While there have always been scholars, sages, magi, philosophers, and soothsayers who vastly exceeded in wisdom, prudence, knowledge, and spirituality the masses about them, the belief that they possessed secret learning of any value is pure myth. On the contrary, they wallowed in ignorance and superstition. They could not combat the


simplest infections, in fact, did not know that they were infections. Plagues swept away multitudes and there commonly existed such insanitary conditions as would, in any modern community, be forbidden by law. Ancient peoples could travel at best no more than four or five miles per hour over any considerable distance, and, then, only with discomfort, so that vast numbers of them lived and died within a day's journey of their birthplaces.

All of the vaunted secrets of the ancients fade into insignificance when contrasted with the simplest devices of modern times. A fountain pen would have set tongues wagging in ancient days; a typewriter would have dwarfed the Colossus of Rhodes in the excitation of wonder; and a telephone would have been worshipped as a manifestation of Deity, unless it were considered a work of the Devil, subjecting its possessor to be stoned to death.

Superstition largely governed the lives of ancient peoples; incantations, abracadabra, and mystical formulae stood for knowledge. The practice of an art or handicraft involving any skill, even the ability to make simple arithmetical calculations, was regarded as a mystery. All of the so-called "secrets" of the ancients would not, today, bring ten cents if exposed for sale in the open market for any practical use or otherwise than as a curiosity. All combined would not match the knowledge possessed by a 20th century bookkeeper, a justice of the peace, or a locomotive engineer. A dozen centuries later, the Hermetics, the Alchemists, and the Rosicrucians were little better; they fanned the flame which afterwards broke out in the witchcraft frenzy and still smoulders in common superstitions.

Freemasonry received no secret from the ancients, and it now includes no mystery in the ordinary acceptation of that term as something extremely difficult or impossible to fathom or comprehend. It is no more occult than the Golden Rule; no more mysterious than morality.


Freemasonry and Rosicrucianism

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN efforts to show a Masonic inheritance from ancient mysteries and from Rosicrucianism is that the latter order is, so to speak, within historical reach. The quest takes us back a few hundred instead of a few thousand years. The alleged association of the latter cult is usually laid in the 17th or the 18th century.

Just what Rosicrucianism consisted of, when or how it originated, where it existed, what forms it took, and even the meaning of the name are all cloaked in obscurity. It seems to have changed character and course from time to time and this protean disposition and the cabalistic jargon which it affected make it difficult to identify or trace.

The first misapprehension which must be dispelled is that there was, sometime during the 15th to the 18th century, an order, society, or organization operating under the name, Rosicrucian. There was not; rather that term applied generally to individuals or groups versed and dappling in Hermetic philosophy, alchemy, astrology, and similar cults, which individuals and groups probably differed among themselves, followed various fads and phases of their art, and had no unanimity of opinion as to what the arcana or objectives of that art might be.

Rosicrucianism seems to have had its origin in three books; the first, published at Cassel, Germany in 1614, entitled, Universal Reformation of the Whole World, with a "Report of the Worshipful Order of the Rosicrucian Brotherhood, addressed to the Learned Men and Nobility of Europe"; the second, published at the same place in 1615, entitled, Fama Fraternitatis Rosae Crucis, meaning Report on the Fraternity of the Rose Cross; and the third, published in 1616, entitled, Chemical Nuptials. All three were anonymous but are attributed to Johann Valentine Andrea, who seems to have been a student with an insatiable desire for learning, accompanied by a philanthropic disposition toward all mankind. His purpose was to start a movement of Christian good will and good works, looking to an Utopia. In order to illustrate and inculcate his thesis, he put his ideas into the form of a romance involving the travels and experiences of his main character, Christian Rosencreutz, who was pictured as having ordained an order of Rosicrucians, governed by the rules of piety, charity, anonymity, and secrecy. The story takes Rosencreutz


to Palestine and the East where he learned, from the sages, much oriental wisdom.

This fanciful and mystical romance was promptly misunderstood by some to describe an actual order of considerable numbers, but, in reality, the order proposed was quite of contrary character, since it contemplated but eight adepts and no provision was made for the admittance of any more. Andrea's whole purpose was to encourage learned and philosophical people to become philanthropic and to partake in a movement to create a better world. They were to heal the sick free of charge, and search for the remedies which would effect that objective. The eight members were to wear no distinctive garb and were to make no disclosure of their connection with the order. The society was to be perpetuated by each brother's selecting a successor to continue his work after his death.

So far as known, no such brotherhood was ever formed and, even if it had been, it could not have become notable with only eight members and they pledged to secrecy and anonymity. The failure of the plan was plainly predictable, for no one knew where to find the order, nor was there room for them to join it if they did.

Andrea's idea of healing the sick was, however, at once siezed upon by alchemists, mystics, necromancers, charlatans, and quacks. Groups of somewhat diverse character sprang up throughout Germany, France, and England, calling themselves Rosicrucians and delving into all kinds of mystical philosophy, especially, alchemy and the search for the philosopher's stone, the universal solvent, the panacea, and the elixir of immortality, omitting, however, the moral and charitable features of Andrea's program. There has been a brisk demand for quackery in all ages, and the secrecy incorporated in Andrea's project was eminently fitted to imposition.

Just as there were conscientious alchemists who adopted scientific methods and paved the way for the emergence of chemistry as a science, so there were honest and learned men who were called Rosicrucians and who took up the study of Hermetic philosophy and, basing their claims on Rosencreutz' supposed acquisition of oriental learning, asserted an ancient origin for the Rosicrucian movement. The Hermetic philosophy, though not identical with Rosicrucianism, is so difficult to distinguish, that, for all practical purposes, the two may be treated as if they were the same. The literature of both is cabalistic and repugnant to the modern mind, so that no good purpose would be served by an attempt to explain them.

There is no agreement even upon the derivation of the name, Rosicrucian. Some assert that it is composed of "rose" and "cross," that the rose was the symbol of Christ, and, hence, that the Rosy


Cross meant the Crucifixion. Others claim that the name is purely a word of art, derived from "ros," meaning, in alchemical language, dew, which was regarded as a solvent for gold, and "crux," the cross, which was the symbol for light. The latter theory seems the more probable.

There has been a tendency to confuse the Rose Cross of Rosicrucianism with the Rose Croix of the Hauts Grades, but the two are entirely distinct, the similarity of name being a coincidence. The rose and cross of the Rose Croix probably does symbolize the Crucifixion.

One of the favorite reasons given to support a connection between Freemasonry and Rosicrucianism, is the assertion that Elias Ashmole was a prominent member of both and wove his Rosicrucian philosophy into the Masonic rituals. Some intimate that he joined the Freemasons in 1646 to learn more about Rosicrucianism, which, presumably, Freemasonry could teach. There are, however, three very plain facts which render any such theory impossible. First: We do not know that Ashmole was a Rosicrucian or even interested in it, except to the extent that any antiquary would wish to explore all sorts of ideas and movements which might manifest themselves among a people. Second: Ashmole was neither a prominent nor an attentive Freemason, having attended lodge but twice in his lifetime and the two occasions being thirty-five years apart. Third: Ashmole died twenty-five years before the Grand Lodge of England was formed in 1717 and could have had no part in the formulation of the rituals.

Elias Ashmole was born at Litchfield, England in 1617, the son of a saddler. He died in 1692. In 1638, he became a solicitor and, in 1644, was made commissioner of the excise, and, soon thereafter, captain of horse and comptroller of ordnance in the army. His interest in astrology was aroused by Captain George Wharton and William Lilly, but, later, that gave way to his absorption in heraldry and antiquarian research. He held several royal appointments, but refused one as Garter King-at-Arms in favor of Sir William Dugdale, his father-in-law. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society, and, in 1672, issued his Institutions, Laws and Ceremonies of the Order of the Garter, a work highly praised by those qualified to judge. In 1677, he founded, and presented to the University of Oxford, the Ashmolean Museum, the first public museum of curiosities in England. He, meticulously, kept a diary from which we learn that he was made a Mason at Warrington in Lancashire in 1646 and that, in 1682, he was summoned to attend a lodge at Masons' Hall in


London, which he did. These are the only two instances in which we find any association of Ashmole with the Fraternity, though, after his death, it was stated in a letter by Dr. Knipe of Oxford that Ashmole had intended writing a history of the Freemasons.

Naturally, one of Ashmole's enquiring turn of mind would investigate both Freemasonry and Rosicrucianism, but, so far as we know, he was not deeply interested in either of them. If the affair Ashmole proves anything, it shows that Freemasons and Rosicrucians were moving in different circles. Robert Fludd and William Lilly were prominent London Rosicrucians, but, so far as known, neither was a Freemason. The former, a physician, probably taking his cue from Michael Mayer, a German physician, published at London a work entitled, A Compendious Apology Clearing the Fraternity of the Rosy Cross from the Stories of Suspicion and Infamy cast upon them.

In 1722, an odd work appeared in London under the title, LongLivers-a Curious History of such Persons of both Sexes who have liv'd Several Ages and grown young again; With the Rare Secret of Rejuvenescency of Arnoldus de Villa Nova. And a great many approv'd and invaluable rules to prolong life: Also how to prepare the Universal Medicine. Most humbly dedicated to the Grand Master, Masters, Wardens and Brethren of the Most Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of the Free Masons of Great Britain and Ireland. By Eugenius Philalethes, F.R.S., author of the Treatise on the Plague. The author is unknown, but some have supposed that he was a Freemason. The book is metaphysical, mystical, and typically Rosicrucian, with a marked trend toward quackery as indicated by the title.

The jargon of the Rosicrucians was so different from anything found in Freemasonry that there is no room to suppose any connection between them. The old pre-Grand Lodge rituals of the latter did contain some jumbled discourse consisting of apparently meaningless words and phrases, but those crudities were quite distinguishable from the studied and well polished cabalism of the Alchemists, the Rosicrucians, and the Hermetics. The one was a simple doggerel; the other was an erudite mysticism.

Gould (History of Fremassonry, II, p. 184) states:

"It is, I think, abundantly clear that the Masonic body had its first origin in the trades-unions of mediaeval operatives. At the Reformation these unions, having lost their raison d'etre, naturally dissolved, except some few scattered through the country, and these vegetated in obscu


rity for a period of close upon two centuries, until we find them reorganized and taking a new point depart about the year 1717. But, by this time, the Masonic bodies appear under a new guise. While still retaining, as was natural, many forms, ceremonies, and words which they derived from their direct ancestors, the working Masons, yet we find that operative Masonry was, and probably long had been, in a state of decay, and a new form, that of speculative Masonry, had been substituted in its place. During these two centuries, we also have abundant proof that the world, or at least, the world of Western Europe, the world which was agitated by the Reformation, was full of all kind of strange and distorted fancies, the work of disordered imagination, to an extent probably never known before, not even in the age which witnessed the vagaries of the Gnostics and the later Alexandrian school. These strange fancies, or at least some of them, had been floating about with more or less distinctness from the earliest period to which human records extend, and, as something analogous, if not akin, appears in speculative Masonry, it has been supposed, either that there existed a union between the sects or societies who practiced, often in secret, these tenets, and the decaying Masonic bodies; or that some men, being learned in astrology, alchemy, and Cabbalistic lore generally, were also Freemasons, and took advantage of this circumstance to indoctrinate their colleagues with their own fantastic belief, and so, under the cloak, and by means of the organization of Freemasonry, to preserve the tenets which might otherwise have fallen into complete oblivion."

He goes on to say that one society, descending directly from the founder, is a very different thing from a variety of societies with no particular connection but having similar or identical symbols, language, or ceremonies. He does not deny that many rites, symbols, and beliefs in Masonry have been handed down from early times, but regards them as merely imitations one of another or as the products of the human mind in similar manners under similar circumstances in widely different periods and countries but with no close connection.

It may be added that the modern order known in America as the "Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis" with headquarters in San Jose, California, and claiming to have existed in the United States since 1694 appears to be quite circumspect, though its pretentions to great age and the authenticity of its "ancient" secrets may be doubted. It delves into theosophy and mental discipline by the inculcation of alleged secrets of the ancients, and resembles the mediaeval order of like name in the mystical and supposed remedial character of its doctrine. Aside from its having borrowed the word, "lodge" to apply to its meetings, as many others have, it bears no resemblance to Freemasonry, nor do the two orders claim or admit any relationship between themselves.






VIII Freemasonry and Roman Catholicism


IT HAS BEEN QUITE GENERALLY ASSUMED by the public and still by many Masons that the Fraternity has some quarrel with the Roman Catholic Church, and that it maintains a strict ban against men of that faith. There is no law, doctrine, or custom of Freemasonry which is antagonistic to the Catholic Church or any other church, order, body, or institution or to the members of them. One of the oldest and most marked qualities of the Society is tolerance. This is not so much the positive inculcation of tolerance as it is the entire absence of anything which leads to intolerance. It is neither militant nor crusading; it emits no propaganda; works for no public program; and is singularly self-contained and self-centered, even to a fault. If few Catholics are admitted to the Fraternity, it is equally true that few apply.

Obviously, the medieval Freemasons were in close association with the Church, at least, until the English Reformation in 1535, for all of their more pretentious works consisted of cathedrals, churches, abbeys, hospitals, and other such edifices, most of the outstanding examples of which were erected prior to the Reformation. If these early Freemasons had any religion at all, it was Catholic, for there was no other church. The Gothic Constitutions all charged the workmen to be true to God and Holy Church, though we cannot assume that any religious adherance was necessary for their admittance to the Fraternity. After the Reformation, the Charges retained the same language, but, then, could have referred only to the Established Church, the Episcopal, though there were many Catholics in the British Isles, and we have no reason to believe that all Freemasons, any more than all other persons, renounced that faith.

After the advent of Grand Lodge or Speculative Masonry, many of the clergy of the Church of Rome were Freemasons. The word, clergy, did not, at that time, necessarily, indicate a holy or even a pious man, for many were laymen who either sought seclusion for study or had the more selfish reason of advancing their own interests and getting on in the world. If a high dignitary of the Church could be a Freemason, there is every ground to suppose that many lesser


figures were also. The Boston Weekly Rehearsal for February 19, 1732/33, under its Paris news, contained an account of the arrival of the Papal Nuncio at the French Capital and of his engagement in various public functions, adding: "On Monday, his Excellency, being a Freemason, is to lay the first stone towards the building of the great Altar in the Church of S. Sulpice." In June 1737, the Boston Gazette related the admittance of two bishops to a Paris lodge.

By 1738, lodges had appeared in France (1725-32), Spain (172829), Belgium (1721-30), Germany (1733), Holland (1734), Italy (1735), Portugal (1735-36), and Switzerland (1736). Although Freemasonry was popular in Britain and was growing rapidly in numbers, it soon encountered opposition in Spain, Holland, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, and, to some extent, in Paris. All this opposition arose between 1735 and 1737, but it is difficult to distinguish between a Church and a state origin, for, in some instances, monarchs were amenable to Papal influence. Lodges in Spain, Italy, and Portugal were practically erased, but they soon revived in Holland and Switzerland, flourished in Germany, and seem not to have been seriously affected in France. Though the king of France did not approve of the society, he did not adopt the program of the Church, but treated the lodges with a sort of disdain.

The apparent vigor of the Order and its rapid expansion aroused the jealousy of the Pope, though his first reaction seemed directed more to the saving of his flock from contamination than to the destruction of the society.



On April 28, 1738, Pope Clement XII promulgated the first Bull against the Freemasons, which is identified by its opening phrase, "In Eminenti," and may be epitomized as follows:

The Society of Freemasons is making progress and daily increasing its strength. Assuming natural virtue, they associate in a close and exclusive bond in accordance with their laws and are bound by a stringent oath sworn on the Sacred Volume and conceal their doings under heavy penalties. To enroll one's self in one of their lodges is the same as incurring the brand of depravity and perverseness, for if they were not acting ill, they need not avoid the light. They have been banished from many countries as hostile to the safety of kingdoms.

Perceiving that they are inconsistent with civil and canonical sanctions and being obligated to keep thieves out of our household and foxes out of our vineyard and for other reasons known to us, we have decreed that these Societies should be condemned and prohibited.


Wherefore we direct the faithful in Christ, both lay and cleric, that no


one dare to enter these Societies or to propagate, foster, receive, conceal, afford them any facilities or advice or assist them, directly or indirectly, on pain of excommunication ipso facto without declaration, from which no absolution shall be granted, except on point of death and then only through the Pontiff. The Bishops and higher Prelates deputed as Inquisitors of Heretical Depravity shall take action and make inquisition against transgressors and inflict condign punishment as though strongly suspected of heresy.

That was hardly an indictment, for no crime was charged; it was directed only against communicants of the Church who dared to affiliate with the society or give it aid or comfort. But, considering that this Bull was supposed to be the voice of God speaking through His Vicar on earth, the situation was, at least, unpleasant. This Bull disclosed not only the Pope's claim of control over the lives, thoughts, and acts of the faithful but, also, that his power of enforcement had withered. Two centuries earlier, the penalty would have been burning at the stake, to be imposed upon all, whether they belonged to the Church or not, from whom the Inquisition could wring a confession.

Armed with that Bull, the menials of the Church did considerable damage, taking vengeance even on literary productions, a book supposedly written by the Chevalier Ramsay being burned by the public executioner at Rome. In spite of this Freemasonry continued to spread in France, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, and Poland, and even entered Austria and Russia, so that, by 1751, the Pope's "household and vineyard" were quite well infested with "thieves and foxes."

Pope after Pope tried to sweep back the tide with Bulls and Encyclicals. Between 1738 and 1902, eight Popes issued no less than seventeen such denunciations of Freemasonry.

Of all these, Humanum genus, issued by Pope Leo XIII on April 20, 1884, was the most pretentious and presumptious and, in some respects, the most preposterous. As its name implies, it was an essay (25 pages of an ordinary octavo volume) on the depravity of man, in which Freemasons were given preferred attention and credited with supporting every movement for evil. After confirming the proscriptions of his predecessors, Leo XIII remarked wryly that "their paternal care did not always and everywhere succeed," but that, "in a century and a half, the sect of Masons grew beyond expectations," and "grew to be so powerful that now it seems the only dominating power in the States."

This ought to have apprised him that he might find some more venial sin or some more vulnerable order to denounce, but it did


not. Indeed, the whole document seems to indicate a reactionary detachment from the world of actuality and progress, complaining, as it does, of the loss of the temporal power of the Popes, which had been gone so long that none but students of history knew that it ever existed. The indictment is forced and fictitious, repeatedly resorting to the scheme of denouncing many sects and movements and then adding, without support of fact, the statement that Freemasons approved or encouraged them. The following epitomy is a fair digest of Humanum genus;

The human race is divided into two opposing parties, the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. Freemasonry belongs to the latter. This "capital enemy rushing forth out of the darkness and hidden conspiracy . . . is equally a danger to Christianity as well as to society." The Roman Pontiff was, "under false pretext, deprived of the temporal power" and now the Sectarians would abstract the Spiritual power. It is the "real supreme aim of the Freemasons to persecute with untamed hatred Christianity, . . . By opening their gates to persons of every creed they promote, in fact, the great modern error of religious indifference and of the parity of all worships, the best way to annihilate every religion, especially the Catholic, which being the only true one, cannot be joined with others without enormous injustice; . . . the sect leaves to the members full liberty of thinking about God whatever they like, affirming or denying His existence. . . . The only morality which Freemasons admit and by which they would like to bring up youth, is that which they call civil and independent, or the one which ignores every religious idea." Some Masons have urged the multitudes to license. They trust the education of their children to laymen and allow them to select their own religion when they grow up. The naturalists teach and the Freemasons approve that "the people are sovereign, those who rule have no authority but by the commission and concession of the people" and that "the origin of all rights and civil duties is in the people or in the state." They would destroy the religion and Church established by God and try to revive paganism. They work to "pull down the foundations of morality, and become co-operators with those who, like brutes," would see the most abject degredation. It is "a capital error to grant to the people full power of shaking off at their own will the yoke of obedience.... This subversive revolution is the deliberate aim and open purpose of the numerous communistic and socialistic associations. The Masonic sect has no reason to call itself foreign to their purposes because Masons promote their designs and have with them common capital principles."

Pope Leo might well have stood off and looked at himself to remark how astounding it was that a man of his education and culture and with his network of world contacts should attempt thus to prolong the Dark Ages into the 19th century. One might suppose that he had no sense of humor, but it is not so, for he approached his


peroration with this remark: "A friend of peace and the mother of concord, she [the Church] embraces all with motherly love, intending only to do good to men." He should have read the history of the Popes!


The Fraternity in general ignored Leo's tirade, but Albert Pike, then Grand Commander of the Scottish Rite for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States, made a long public reply in August 1884 and a Praelocution at the meeting of the Supreme Council in October of that year. In the latter, he said that Humanum genus was

"a declaration of war, and the signal for a crusade, against the rights of man individually and of communities of men as organisms; against the separation of Church and State, and the confinement of the Church within the limits of its legitimate functions; against education free from sectarian religious influences; against the civil policy of non Catholic countries in regard to marriage and divorce; against the great doctrine upon which, as upon a rock not to be shaken, the foundations of our Republic rest, that `men are superior to institutions, and not institutions to men'; against the right of the people to depose oppressive, cruel and worthless rulers; against the exercise of the rights of free thought and free speech; and against not only republican, but all constitutional government."

In explanation of the difference in reaction between the York Rite and Scottish Rite bodies, attention needs be directed to the fact that, while the former dwells, for the most part, in security under constitutional governments, particularly, in the United States where Church and State are separated, the Scottish Rite covers a broader field and is practically the only Masonry known in Latin and LatinAmerican countries, all strongly Roman Catholic. In 1884, according to Pike, there were 100,000 Catholics who were members of Scottish Rite bodies over the world, including such men as the Emperor of Brazil, the President and the Ex-President of Mexico, the ExPresident of Honduras, the President of Venezuela, and the Prime Minister of Spain. How they remained in the Church is not explained.

Therefore, when Scottish Rite members seem to hear the rattle of rusty chains in the dungeons of the Inquisition, they are apt to be goaded into retaliation. It is one thing to sit secure under a free government with liberty of speech, press, and religion; it is quite a different thing to be under the menace of a vast hierarchy, often in league with pliant monarchs, both elements retaining their positions of power by enslaving the minds and spirits of men. In many countries,


the only light of political and religious freedom is that cast by Scottish Rite lodges where the motto, "liberty, equality, and fraternity" has more immediate and pressing application than "brotherly love, relief, and truth." It may not be doubted that those Scottish Rite members explore many avenues for the dissemination of principles of political and religious liberty in opposition to ignorance, superstition, bigotry, and despotism.

They cannot forget that, when the Church had the power, it committed atrocities which revolt the mind; nor do they doubt that it would repeat its actions under like conditions. That Church has never been heard to renounce or regret the unnamed and unnumbered multitudes who rotted in Papal dungeons or were mercifully put to death. Joan of Arc, condemned and burned at the stake by the Inquisition in 1430, gained a new trial and was declared innocent in 1456. In 1902, she was pronounced venerable; in 1909, she was beatified; and, in 1920, she was canonized! What a long time it takes a corpse to get justice in a Papal court! Galileo imprisoned for discovering that the earth turned upon its axis! The Massacre of St. Bartholomew and the murders of the Albigenses, the Lollards, Huss, Wiclif, Jerome of Prague, Savonarola! Thirty-four thousand six hundred fifty men and women burned to death in Spain alone by the Inquisition, and 304,451 subjected to cruel tortures! For what? Had they killed, stolen, borne false witness, or wronged some one? No; not at all; they did not believe what the Church wanted them to believe; they were heretics. According to the theory of the Church, all this was at the command of God and in the name of Christ!

True, those things occurred some centuries ago, when the burning bodies of the Church's victims cast a flickering light through the gloom of the Dark Ages, and it is said that this enormity, this sustained criminal career should be forgotten. Why should it? If it was right and approved and glorified by the Popes, God's Vicars on Earth, why does the Church not stand to it and defend it? If it was wrong; if, for centuries, Popes invoked a monstrous curse upon mankind, how do we know that any subsequent Pope has been right? They all deraigned their titles by the same law, theory, and creed, and, if one title was defective, none of the others was any better. Undoubtedly, the Church of Rome has become more civilized, but that is not the result of any effort of the Church, but rather of the civilizing influences which have developed outside of, and in spite of the Church, and in various countries in proportion as the power and blight of the Church has been controlled or destroyed.



Before the general public presumes to pass judgement upon any part of Freemasonry which manifests a distrust of the Church of Rome, let them cast the motes from their own eyes. In 1928, two men ran for the office of President of the United States. One of them, Herbert Hoover, had spent most of his life abroad and had little more than a legal domicile in the far western state of California, which had never mothered a President, nor seemed likely to. The other man, Alfred E. Smith, had lived his life in New York and had just completed several terms as Governor of that state, the most populous in the nation. Mr. Hoover was a Quaker; Mr. Smith was a Roman Catholic. Now, the important fact is not that the former won the election but that he won it so overwhelmingly. Five states of the "Solid South," Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, and Texas, four of which had not gone Republican since Reconstruction days, returned their electoral votes nominally for Mr. Hoover but in reality against Mr. Smith. Voting by Democrats against Mr. Smith took place throughout the country, not because of his personality, for he conformed to the typical American tradition of rising from poverty to power and popularity, but the country did not want a Catholic President.

It is unanalytical to say this resulted from religious prejudice. It did not; it arose from political prejudice against the Church of Rome as a political body. Not one Protestant in a hundred cared whether or not Mr. Smith said his prayers on a rosary, attended mass, used a Bible different from the King James version, or confessed his sins to a priest. Narrow creed would have excluded the Quaker as much as the Catholic. The prejudice in this country against Catholic candidates for office is a political prejudice based on the suspicion that they are under the dominating influence of a political priesthood. People do not want their public affairs run from Rome, London, Paris, Berlin, or Moscow.

The Church has played and worked at political schemes for centuries, some of them quite sinister. The early Popes erected a temporal as well as a spiritual power. By the former, is mean the right to rule and govern states as would any other monarch, to make laws, punish crime, collect revenues, coin money, wage wars, make peace, and do everything else that nations do. They did, in fact, garner a considerable domain of Papal States, the loss of which Leo XIII was lamenting as late as 1884. The Popes did not render unto Caesar that which was Caesar's but amassed vast wealth, wrung from

rich and poor alike. The remnant of that temporal power of the Church is the Vatican State, an area of about 100 acres and having about 1,000 population, set inside of the City of Rome. In theory, the Pope is still a sovereign, temporal monarch entitled to conclude treaties, as he did with the Kingdom of Italy in 1929; coin money, as he did in 1931; have a flag, as he has, a white and yellow standard charged with crossed keys and triple tiara; and to exercise other functions which characterize a national government.

From 1848 to 1854, the United States kept a charge d'affairs at the Vatican, and, in the latter year, the post was raised to that of minister, but the position was abolished in 1867. In 1939, Myron C. Taylor was sent as ambassador to the Vatican, largely on account of the World War then beginning. Though tolerated during the War, the maintenance of an ambassador at the Vatican has since been denounced by those who are not Freemasons. The separation of Church and State is a doctrine ingrained in the American people, as is, also, freedom from domination or influence by foreign functionaries of any kind.

So, we have no reason to censure our Scottish Rite brethren who constitute minorities in foreign lands dominated by the Church of Rome, because they keep their eyes and ears open and occasionally strike at the tentacles of a reactionary, monarchial, autocratic, semipolitical priesthood.

Undoubtedly, there is some prejudice, purely religious, against Catholicism, but this is largely the fault of Catholicism itself. It claims to be the one true religion; all others are relegated to the realm of Satan. It was that attitude which made it an act of grace for the medieval Church to- murder heretics and Protestants. Naturally, other sects distrust that policy. It is too bigoted and narrow for the modem world. The least serious result of it is to erect a "holier than thou" barrier around the Catholic communicant which people in general resent. No such thing as education is known to the Church, unaccompanied by indoctrination of its peculiar tenets, so that, in the period of youth when character is formed and friendships made, the Catholic must be segregated in a St. Xavier's Academy or a Loyola University. They, therefore, enter their productive lives under some handicap of social isolation or distinction. If their education has been complete, according to the Church, they must have a deep-seated disrespect for the religious and political ideas of others. Their religion sets them apart, not because it is a religion, but because it is so much else.


It is very much to the credit of the Catholics in this country that they overcome as much as they do of this narrow doctrine of the Church, and mix as well as they do with the rest of the people. All Catholics do not meet the ideals of the Pope. They differ as do other men; some are narrow and bigoted; some are enlightened and liberal; some are zealous and fanatical; some are indifferent and lax. Many so-called Catholics are no longer communicants of the Church, and many who remain communicants simply refuse to accept 15th century religious and political doctrine, take the Pope's encyclicals with a grain of salt, and proceed to do as they please. Obviously, few American Catholics would accept the political doctrines of Humanum genus.

Accordingly, not only does the Scottish Rite in foreign countries contain, as Pike said, a hundred thousand Catholics, but the York Rite in Britain and America has admitted many of them. Lord Petre, a leader among English Catholics, was a beloved Freemason and was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of England from 1772 to 1777, and, thereafter, attended Grand Lodge for many years. Alfred Brown, Viscount Montague, Grand Master in 1732, was a Catholic, but that was before the first anti-Masonic Bull thundered across the world. In 1874, George Frederick Samuel, Earl de Grey was Grand Master and, when all was in readiness for the Grand Lodge assembly of that year, the Fraternity in England was astounded to receive his resignation, based on the reason that he had been converted to Roman Catholicism and found his Masonic duties incompatible with his religion. This shows clearly that it was the Church and not the Fraternity which found dual allegiance impossible. Robert Edwards, 9th Lord Petrie, Grand Master 1772-76 was a prominent Catholic.

In the American Colonies, including Canada, many Catholics were Freemasons and this was especially marked in Maryland and Quebec where Catholics were numerous. This condition lasted, to some extent, well into the 19th century. John Hoban, an architect, who had charge of the construction of the Capitol and White House, and one of the founders of Federal Lodge No. 15 at Washington, D.C., was a Catholic as were some of his associates in the lodge.

Admittance of Catholics in Britain and America diminished, however, as Pope after Pope drove deeper the nail of intolerance. In later years, lodges which admitted Catholics, as they did to some extent, often came to regret it, because the entrants sometimes recanted, renounced Freemasonry, and returned to the Church. It is often supposed that the confessional is responsible for the rift between the Church and the Fraternity, because Masonic secrets would have


to be disclosed to the priest. But the repeated Bulls and Encyclicals issued over a period of two centuries, couched in the most derogatory terms, and placing the society under the ban of the Church would seem to be a complete explanation for the separation and to dwarf any slight effect which the rules of the confessional might have.

Grand Lodges have, seldom if ever, made any response to attacks or denunciations by the Pope or other spokesmen for the Church of Rome. It is a general Masonic policy to let the character of the Fraternity speak for itself and not to add fuel to the fire by denying this or that which may be said about it. Such attacks have sometimes been successful for a time, but invariably, Freemasonry seems to have recovered and become stronger and more honored than it was before. The lives of the great number of wise and good men who have voluntarily entered its portals and maintained their loyalty to, and love for the Fraternity attests the nature of the Order better than words.

Indeed, a prominent spokesman for the Catholic Church, in introducing his book denouncing Freemasonry, could not avoid paying it a signal, though possibly unintended tribute. The work appears to be speaking for the Church since it bears the approval of the Censor of Books and of an Archbishop. It is entitled A Study in American Freemasonry, St. Louis, 1908, and written by Arthur Pruess, Editor of the Catholic Fortnightly Review. In the introduction, appears the following:

"Among the varied influences that are ceaselessly engaged in shaping American ideas and moulding American life, Freemasonry must, in all fairness, be conceded a prominent place. Its principles are scattered broadcast by our daily press; its labors for humanity are the constant theme of tongue and pen; its members are in great part our lawgivers, our judges, our rulers; even the presidents of our republic openly join its ranks; the educators of our youth in school and university are often its adherents, and encourage among their pupils societies which ape its secrecy and methods and prepare the young to become its zealous partisans in after life. To crown all, Protestant ministers and bishops are its initiates and advocates, so that often not only the corner stones of our public buildings, but even those of Protestant churches, are laid by its officers and consecrated by its mystic rites. To deny its influence among us would be to deny a fact plainer than the light of day."

But what has been the consequence of that Masonic influence? That author did not care to pursue the inquiry. Has Freemasonry fostered or retarded education, enlightenment, religion, freedom, progress, prosperity, and social improvement? Our country does not suffer when we compare those results with the ignorance, superstition,


thraldom, fear, degradation, poverty, and oppression in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Mexico, South America, and other lands that have, for centuries, slowly depreciated under the blight of Roman Catholic political, educational, and religious domination.

As civilization slowly emerged from the Dark Ages, nation after nation was forced to repudiate the Catholic See, and those which did so became the leaders in political freedom, scientific advancement, industry, commerce, learning, and social development. In modern times, no Catholic country has retained more than a remnant of its former glory. Nor can this be laid to the senility of those nations, for, in the New World, the Catholic lands have possessed soils as fertile, mines as rich, and other natural resources as abundant as any on the globe. The Church of Rome has lagged behind modern civilization; it still dreams of a lost temporal power.

Yet, the Church has done much good work wholly at odds with its own authoritative political and social doctrines. We observe the contrast between the venality of the few great and the virtue of the many small. While Popes as corrupt as any character in history were plotting, robbing, and killing to fill life with terror, monks, priests, padres and missionaries whose names are lost to history were, patiently and with valor and self-denial, spreading the truths of Christianity over the far reaches of the earth. No land was so remote or inhospitable that it did not bear the imprint of holy sandals; no people were so savage as to turn back these messengers of the Gospel; no hardship stayed their progress. What is very opposite to our present investigation, the Church adorned Christendom with priceless examples of Gothic architecture, wrought, at its instance, by the medieval Freemasons.

Yes, the Church has done, and is doing much good. If it has adherred too stubbornly to outmoded political notions, it has, at the same time, with fidelity, stood by its religious creed often in the face of popular clamor for license. If its dogma contains pretentions and error, nevertheless, there is much in it that is good, sound, solid, and imperishable. Catholicism may be reactionary; in some respects, it has at times been corrupted; but it, at least, wears the jewel of consistency and does not compromise with deviations, because they happen to be temporarily popular. There is much in Catholic doctrine that Freemasons can and do approve, for Masonry accepts all religions. It believes that there never was a religion which was not originally and basically good, just as there has been no religion into which some error has not crept. There is too much evil in the world


to permit those to contend with each other who stand for the right.

So far as the Catholic Church will teach the cardinal truths and spread the Gospel of Christ, she will enjoy the complete confidence of Freemasons of all grades and of all lands, but, if the Church would do just that, it would never imagine anything wrong about Freemasonry!

(Editor's Note: Bro. Coil had prepared this manuscript in the late 1960s. He did not have the opportunity to revise or add to it some interesting observations that developed in the early 1970s. 1 am confident that he would have wanted to present this information from The Royal Arch Mason magazines of Winter 1971 and Spring 1972 for consideration and enlightenment.)


This article by Father Leo E. McFadden appeared in The Tablet, Brooklyn, New York, on September 23, 1971.

Can a practicing Catholic join the Masons?

Given the right conditions, the answer seems to be "yes," according to experts in Rome.

But this does not mean the Vatican is preparing a document announcing the end of the 233-year-old ban on Catholics enrolling in their local Masonic lodge, said one Vatican observer.

There is unanimous agreement around the Vatican that such a papal decree would be too dramatic, sensational and final. And it would not necessarily mean that the Masons would then give up any of their secrecy, a major reason for the Church's ban in the first place.

The ban of excommunication enacted by Pope Clement X11 in 1738 was strongly reemphasized by seven other popes, and was written into the current church law. Canon lawyers revising book five of the current 1917 code, which deals with "offenses and penalties," are adhering to the general principle of keeping to a minimum the number of automatic excommunications left on the books of the revised code.

Accordingly, a Catholic who joined Masonry, assured that it was not an anti-religious lodge, could continue to receive the sacraments. A knowledgeable Vatican source contends that a careful reading of the current ban (Canon 2335) could allow the Catholic to join a Masonic group which is avowedly neither anti-religious nor planning the overthrow of civil government.

Canon 2335 reads: "Persons who have themselves enrolled in the


Masonic sect, or in other institutions of the same kind which plot against the Church or legitimate civil powers, incur ipso facto excommunication reserved simply to the Holy See."

In today's era of dialogue, this canon underscores-on the one hand-the need of Masons to make public their intentions and practices in order to show potential Catholic members that the lodges are not anti-religious, according to experts here.

On the other hand, the Church must realize it is not 1738.

It is foolish to have a blanket condemnation of all Masonry today, argues Father J. Ferrer Benimelli, a Spanish Jesuit. The one universal condemnation is unfair, he contends, especially when each separate lodge has its own individualistic beliefs or "landmarks." Explains Father Benimelli:

"We see many groups of Masons who intend to remain vigorously and sincerely faithful to their original inspiration based on their landmarks. That is to say: faith in a supreme being and the Bible; exclusion of any discussion in the lodge on arguments strictly political or religious, and sincere respect of the law of the state."

That is not to say the Popes were wrong for condemning the Masonry of their day. Pope Clement XII had reason to resent Masonic "contempt for orthodoxy and Church authority." Pope Gregory XV laid the blame for all the calamities of the age on secret societies. In his condemnation of 1884, Pope Leo XIII contended that the ultimate purpose of Freemasonry was "the overthrow of the entire religious, political and social order."

Nor, in the past, have the Masons been overly kind to the Church. One of the leading figures in American Freemasonry, General Albert Pike, called the papacy a "deadly, treacherous enemy." Writing to an Italian Masonic leader in 1886, Pike said:

"The papacy has been for a thousand years the torturer and curse of humanity, the most shameful imposter, in its pretense to spiritual power."

Happily, those days are gone.

Perhaps the best known expert in Rome on Masonry, Italian Jesuit Father Giovanni Caprile, speaking of extremely limited penalities envisioned for the new canon law code, observed:

"This new style of speaking, behaving and dealing with others is gaining ground in the Church to the advantage of urbaneness and charity without detriment to the Truth."

In a recent issue of Civita Cattolica, the Italian Jesuit periodical known to print Vatican-backed articles, Father Caprile cited some


points on modern Masonry written by fellow Jesuit Father Jean Beyer, dean of canon law at the Gregorian University in Rome and a consultor to the commission revising the code.

Analyzing the excommunication placed on Catholics who join the Masons, Father Beyer said the Masons should reveal themselves as believers in God and defenders of their government if they want Catholic members. According to him

"Membership in such a lodge ... need not imply any penalty (for a Catholic). There can be no excommunication except when this membership leads to unfaithfulness to God or alienation from Christ."



By Wor. Bro. ALEC MELLOR Grande Loge Nationale Francaise

Editor's Note: For those who have been speculating as to the present relationship between the Vatican and Freemasonry, this article will be a revelation. The author is a French Catholic Freemason who can speak from either the standpoint of the Church or the Craft with equal authority. This lecture was given October 24, 1970 before Phoenix Lodge No. 30, a research lodge under the National Grand Lodge of France. The introduction is by Arthur W. Barnett, who was then serving as master of the lodge. Brother Mellor is the present master; both are members of Britannic Chapter No. 9, Royal Arch Masons.


Brethren: The lecturer of the evening is our Masonically-young brother, Alec Mellor, who was initiated only some 18 months ago and quite recently became a joining member of Phoenix Lodge. He came to the Craft with an established reputation as the author of Our Separated Brethren-The Freemasons and other books on Masonic subjects, all written from the standpoint of an outsider after many years of patient investigation, and at a period when compliance with the rules of conduct laid down by the Roman Catholic Church precluded his applying for membership. Erudite in the letter of Masonry, he was nevertheless in a state of darkness and deeply concerned to find out what that unfathomable secret was which linked the adepts of the Craft in so tight a bond of fellowship.

He has taken to the practice of Masonry like a fish to water. We have seen this busy author and lawyer unsparingly give his time and effort to the practice of the Royal Art; we have seen him display that


eminently Masonic virtue-humility, and become a true and faithful brother to Jew and Gentile alike, thus demonstrating his ecumenical convictions. It was, therefore, with peculiar pleasure that I today appointed and invested him as Junior Warden of Phoenix Lodge, knowing that his assistance will be of inestimable value in the promotion of our aims.

He will explain to you that it has now, at long last, become quite reconcilable to be a fervent Roman Catholic and a good Freemason. The expression of his authoritative views on this subject are undoubtedly destined to mark an epoch in the annals of the Craft. I call on Brother Mellor.


Why do we speak of the "Roman Catholic Freemason"?

Why should there not be tomorrow a lecture on the "Protestant Freemason," the "Jewish Freemason," or the "Moslem Freemason"? Isn't there a kind of paradox in the very title of my lecture? No! The reason is that the Roman Catholic Church is the only one which, up to a quite recent date, has not allowed its members to join the Craft, and that this great historical conflict is now ending under our very eyes.

That is the reason for my title!

Brethren, I would never have dared to treat such a ticklish subject in any ordinary lodge, even in my Mother Lodge. But we are tonight in a lodge of research, or as you would say, a lodge for the diffusion of Masonic knowledge, where I believe more allowance should be made. Nevertheless, I fully intend to remain on purely historical ground and be obedient to our rules, which preclude anything that might resemble religious controversy.

Brethren, I am a Roman Catholic-I am a staunch supporter of the Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church. My spiritual father is the Pope-and I am proud of it.

I am also a staunch and loyal Freemason, and I am proud of that. I make no secret of the fact that I am a Mason. The whole world may know it, and I feel very moved when making this dual profession of faith, because ten years ago it would not have been possible for anyone to do so.

With your permission I will divide this lecture into three parts. Firstly, why did the great conflict between the Church and the Craft occur in the past? Secondly, how did it come to an end? Thirdly-and this is the most important-how can we face the future?


The Three Historical Periods

I shall deal very quickly with the past. You know that the history of the Craft is traditionally divided into three parts-the operative period, the era of transition and the speculative period.

During the operative period, harmony existed between the Church and the Craft. The Regius poem itself was the work of a cleric, and this was quite natural because the main aim of the Craft was building religious edifices. During the era of transition there were no attacks on the Craft by the Church-the few that did occur were by the Puritans. During the speculative period, things were to change. When the first Grand Lodge was founded in 1717, the Church made no move and uttered no word. When Anderson's Constitutions was published in 1723, the silence continued. But suddenly and most unexpectedly, in 1738, Pope Clement XII published his well-known Bull In Eminenti, the first condemnation of the Craft in history. This was confirmed in 1751 by Pope Benedict XIV.

First Bull by Pope Clement XII

If we read the text of the first Bull, we find that two reasons are given. The first one is secrecy. I pass on. The second reason is much more mysterious. It is expressed in a very short sentence, the text and translation of which I quote. This text, in Latin, was "Aliisque justis ac rationalilibus causes nobis notis"; the translation being "and for other just and rational causes known to us."

This little sentence is interesting because the Pope did not explain the term "other (aliisque) reasons," and we are driven to the conclusion that there was a hidden or occult motive. What was that hidden motive? Was it a religious one? I don't think so. Why?

First of all because Anderson's Constitutions was never put on the Index (forbidden reading for Catholics). Secondly, if there was a doctrine to be condemned, we wonder what that doctrine could have been. It couldn't have been the "Deism" upheld by the English philosophers of the time, such as John Locke. Anderson, himself, was not a Deist. He was a Presbyterian clergyman, while Desaguliers was of the Church of England.

Silence as regards the Revelation-I allude to Desaguliers-is no heresy. It couldn't have been 18th century rationalism, for the German Aufklarung and that of Voltaire and the French Encyclopaediast of 1738 was still far away. Had the Bull appeared 20 years later, in 1758 for instance, things would have been different. And there is another reason. In 1776, almost at the end of the 18th century, when


Pope Pius VI, in his Bull Inscrutabili, condemned the doctrines and the rationalism of the 18th century, he did not allude to Freemasonry. When the Church condemns a doctrine, it always emphasizes what that doctrine consists of, and such was not the case regarding Freemasonry. If the hidden motive was not religious, what could it have been? Was it a moral one? Did the Roman Catholic Church put a ban against the Craft in 1738 for some hidden moral reason? If so, for what reason?

A Moral Factor Behind First Ban?

It is not speculation, but historical criticism that makes us put this question. In those days, as you know, Brethren, the first exposures came to light in England and in France and certain of our enemies reproached us with homosexuality and others with drunkenness. As for the first one, we find one protest in that old song called The Swordbearer's Song, which I quote:

We have compassion for those fools, Who think our acts impure;

We know from ignorance proceeds Such mean opinions of our deeds.

As for drunkenness, things were different. The period was that of the implanting of the Hanoverian dynasty, when all England reeled and rolled under the table! Since the Treaty of Methuen, port wine could be imported free of duty. I remember an English lady, a friend of mine, telling me one day: "That's why we've all got rheumatism!" The squires simply rolled under the table, and one was accustomed to speak about two or three-bottle gentlemen, according to their capacity.

In 1722, 33,000,000 bushels of malt were used for brewing. At one time matters came to the point where Parliament tried to check drunkenness by an Act, putting a tax on gin. It was a vain, laughable effort. During a debate in the House of Lords, Lord Chesterfield stressed the inconsistency of banking on the reduction of alcoholism on one hand by the means of a tax and on the other hand counting on that same tax to finance military expenditure. Gin to the rescue of the House of Austria! I am not trying to be funny, but want to put the following question: Who in those days stood up against the immorality of that period of the first Georges? The answer is: The Craft.

Hogarth Portrayed the Times

It was our brother, our great brother, Hogarth, who executed the 221

famous engraving called Night, which represents a Worshipful Master and a Tyler coming home drunk after a lodge meeting. This was done to moralize the Craft, and it is curious to note that this engraving came out in 1738, the same year as the Papal Bull. There are other moralistic engravings of Hogarth, such as The Rake's Progress, now in the Sloane Museum, Lincoln Inns Fields. It is a fact that the progress of what we might call "gentlemanness" is largely due to the influence of the early lodges; and when the Craft came across the channel to France the movement went on, developing with all the gracefulness of French 18th century manners.

So there was already something paradoxical about the condemnation, and our astonishment increases when we learn that Masonry was the only institution of the period which welcomed Roman Catholics, who were contemptuously called "Papists." If we read the newspapers of the period, such as The Craftsman or The Gentleman's Magazine, we find a passage concerning the Craft stating: "They admit all men, including Jacobites and Papists themselves." This statement in that time was the utmost limit of scandal!

We can go even further and say that during that period when Roman Catholics were considered as outlaws in England, the Roman Catholic Duke of Norfolk was not only admitted, but became Grand Master of the Craft. I have even traced the presence, among Masons of the period, of a Jesuit called Father Cotton, who was also Brother Cotton. This was lawful in those days because the Papal condemnation had not yet been promulgated.

The Real Reason for First Bull

If the motives of the Papal Bull were neither religious nor moral, what could they have been? There is only one answer-they were political! I won't inflict the demonstration on you-I have devoted half a book to it. I'll merely give you my conclusion. My personal opinion is that the hidden motive was the following:

As you know, the Old Pretender had finally found a refuge in Rome. He was under the protection of the Pope, and he represented the last card for the re-establishment of Catholicism in England. There was a war of double-agents between certain lodges composed of Jacobites and others of Hanoverian membership. The Old Pretender decided to put an end to this by closing the Jacobite lodge in Rome and, finally, to enter into the first condemnation. This leads us to understand why the motive was hidden. If the Holy See had discovered the hidden motive it would have been a terrible


political blunder. The real reason was the politics of the day and the cause of the Stuarts.

Now, after the first Bull, if we examine what English policy was towards Roman Catholics, what do we find? First of all, that the legislation of the period was extremely harsh, because Roman Catholics were considered more or less as Jews were under the Third Reich: This, of course, was to become gradually milder, and the discrimination was to come to an end in the 19th century under the reign of Queen Victoria. But under the first Georges this was still very far away. It is a fact that during those two centuries, the Craft showed no hostility towards the Roman Catholic minority in Britain. It took no part in the Gordon riots, nor in the long, long troubles with Ireland. O'Connor himself was a Mason up to a certain period in his life; and you know, of course, that the so-called Orange "lodges" of nowadays are not, in fact, Masonic bodies.

Lord Ripon-The Catholic Grand Master

The Craft took no steps in the intellectual sphere against the Oxford Movement, nor against the revival of Catholicism under Cardinal Newman. The Craft never, in the slightest way, opposed the gradual legal improvement of the status of the Roman Catholics and the ultimate attainment of their aims, yet nevertheless, the Papal condemnation of the Craft remained even though no reprisals were sought by the Freemasons.

This calm and impavid attitude was even somewhat heroic in a case I would like to mention-that of Lord Ripon.

In 1874, Lord Ripon was Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England. He was a very religious man, and for pure motives of religious conviction, decided to convert and become a Roman Catholic. It must have broken his heart to resign not only his grand mastership, but his membership in the Craft, as well. I will read a very moving page in the newspaper, The Times of September 3, 1874. Imagine the scene, brethren! Imagine the Grand Lodge of England meeting held in that solemn fashion which is still its way. Here is what The Times related under the title "Lord Ripon and the Freemasons."

"Last night the members of the Grand Lodge of England received the intelligence that the Grand Master, the Marquis of Ripon, had sent in his resignation of the high office he has held for three years as Head of the Craft in all parts of the world, acting under the warrant of England. The Grand Lodge was in the summons prepared to deal with the resolutions


to be prepared by the Grand Master in the reference to the death of the Past Grand Master of Scotland, the Earl of Dalhousie, and great was the astonishment, therefore, of the brethren when it was found that the Grand Master's place on the throne was occupied by the Provincial Grand Master of Devonshire, the Rev. John Huish. There was also present a very full lodge of provincial grand officers, worshipful masters and wardens. The Grand Secretary, John Hervey, said that he had received a letter from the Most Worshipful, the Grand Master, to lay before Grand Lodge and it was with the utmost of regret he had read it, a feeling which he was sure would be shared by the Craft, whose sorrow and dismay he fully anticipated. He then read the following letter dated from Nopton Hall, Lincolnshire, on the first instant:

"'Dear Grand Secretary,

I have to inform you that I find myself unable to discharge any longer the duties of Grand Master, and it is therefore necessary that I should resign that office into the hands of the members of Grand Lodge. With the expression of my grateful thanks for the kindness I have ever received from them and my regret for any inconvenience which my retirement may cause to them, I remain,

Faithfully yours, Ripon'

"The reading of the letter caused the greatest sensation, and no one spoke for some time. The Grand Registrar, Brother McIntyre, Q.C. then rose and addressed the Acting Grand Master, saying that it was with feelings of the deepest sorrow that he had to propose a resolution on an occasion of this character. But the Grand Lodge had no alternative and must adopt a resolution concerning the sorrowful matter before them. It was a matter of the greatest grief to all that a Grand Master, who had presided over the Craft with such very great credit to himself and advantage to the Order would, for reasons which must be most cogent but which were entirely unconnected with the Noble Order, have felt it incumbent in him to resign the high post which he had held with such distinguished honour, and to which there was no doubt the noble marquis would have been elected from year to year by the body over which he had so long and so well presided.

"Deeply as they regretted the step, which the Grand Master had felt it his duty to take, they must know, all those who knew him so well and loved him so dearly, that he would never have taken that step unless there had been reasons so cogent to his mind, and therefore to the minds of the members of the Grand Lodge, to induce him to resign the Grand Mastership. Into those reasons the speaker was perfectly confident that no brother, throughout the great Order, would seek to pry with impertinent curiosity. The speaker then proposed that the resignation of Most Worshipful, the Grand Master, be accepted by this Grand Lodge with the deepest feelings of regret, and that the Grand Lodge shall be able to regard him, in his retirement from them, as they had in past times, as a bright ornament to this great Craft. The resolution was then put and carried."


Brethren, I call this grandeur. It is a splendid page in the history of Freemasonry. If Lord Ripon had lived nowadays he would very probably not have resigned and the consequence of such a conversion of a high-ranking Mason to the Roman Catholic Church would be minimal. In 1874 he had to choose!

About 15 years later, Bradlaugh, who was the founder of a league called The League of Freethinkers in Britain, and who was an open atheist, published a book entitled What Freemasonry Is; What It Has Been; and What It Ought to Be. His main object was to prove that English Freemasonry was bigoted, and that it should follow a line like that of Continental Masonry-which had just been condemned by Pope Leo XIII for its anti-religious views. Once more nothing happened, and Bradlaugh was eventually expelled from the House of Commons for political reasons which coincided with his Masonic prejudices.

Freemasonry Crosses the Channel

Now, after having rapidly seen what happened in the British Isles, let us cross the Channel and try to see what happened on this side. Things change completely. On the Continent an historical phenomenon which our brother, Jean Baylot calls La Voi Substituee (The Substitute Path) had begun about the year 1820. In 1815 the Congress of Vienna had established, throughout Europe, the political and spiritual Order known as The Order of the Holy Alliance, which was an Order of legitimate sovereigns connected with the spiritual source of the Roman Church. This Order was necessary after the troubles of the Napoleonic period, but it was nevertheless an Order founded on strentgh, on compelling strength, and even, in a certain way, on strength compelling human conscience. A certain number of conspirators, such as the Carbonari and others, at a period when there was no freedom of speech, conceived the idea of joining Masonry, which existed lawfully in Continental countries, simply because it was a convenient way of conspiring.

I remember 25 years ago when, in order to escape investigation by the. German Gestapo, French resisters would sometimes form groups of what we used to call in those days "Collaborationists." It was the same thing. Little by little, this perverted some lodges, however regular they might have been, and the very spirit of the Craft on the Continent. In 1849 there was a scandal in the town of Dijon. The well-known atheist philosopher, Proudhon, was admitted to the lodge in that town, and in accordance with the ritual, he was asked to reply


in writing to the following three questions: What are the duties of a man toward God, towards his neighbor and towards himself? Proudhon's answer to the question concerning the relationship with God was-"War!"

To a British Mason such a thing is unthinkable. It became increasingly compulsory in French Masonry. You know what followed. In 1877 the Grand Orient of France simply deleted from its Constitutions the name of the G.A.O.T.U. and the immediate riposte of the United Grand Lodge of England was to cease relations with that so-called Masonic body.

In Italy the origin of irregular lodges was mainly political; they confused Masonry with the fight against the temporal power of the Pope. Then there came a number of scandals in the French armythe famous "Scandale des Fiches." The anti-clerical Combes government used the Grand Orient of France for a disgusting kind of intelligence work, consisting of favoring or hindering the promotions of officers, according to their anti-religious ideas. Finally the very name "`Freemason" in France became synonymous with an anti-clerical and anti-religious militant atheism.

Logically, the Church should have taken account of the difference between Anglo-Saxon and Continental Masonry. Why didn't it do so? Well, the reason is obvious-it is because Roman Catholics were too few in Britain for the matter to be important enough. At least that is how it seems, and for the same reason the confusion has continued up to the present. Brethren, so much for the past.


Now I come to the second point of this lecture. How did the great conflict come to an end, and has it really come to an end? Some do not yet know about it. Well, the proper answer is-Yes! the present situation is the following.

Let us imagine a blackboard with a diagram. We may call the Roman Catholic Church "A," irregular Masonry "B" and regular Masonry "C." "A" has condemned "B," which means that the Church has condemned irregular Masonry, and "C" has condemned "B," for as you know, we have nothing to do with the Grand Orient and other irregular obediences. Is it therefore contrary to logic that, if "A" condemns "B" and "C" condemns "B," that "A" and "C" should not agree? Both of them condemn "B" and they even condemn "B" for the same reason-principally atheism! Unhappily, the human mind is not always logical and progress is very, very slow. Ideas have


progressed during the last 30 years on both sides. On the Roman Catholic side, the main promotors of pacification-or cease fire, so to speak-have been the Jesuits, Father Grouber, Father Berteloot and my friend Father Riquet, who delivered a famous lecture, which I personally organized in a lodge at Lavel. The lodge in question was not regular at the time, but has since joined the Grande Loge Nationale Francaise under another name.

On the Masonic side, we can now lift certain veils, and certain things are no longer confidential. I remember conversations having taken place in Paris with the Grand Master of Germany, M.W. Bro. Theodore Vogel (who is one of the great figures in the Craft), Brother Muller-Borner and my friend, Bro. Baron F. Von Cles, who was here half an hour ago and who was unfortunately obliged to leave. I must very proudly mention brothers from the Grande Loge Nationale Francaise, like our M.W. Grand Master Ernest Van Hecke, who have been in touch with the leaders of the Church. I must certainly not omit to mention Bro. Jean Baylot's book, The Substitute Path. I will forget about my own literary efforts, except to say one thing only: when I tried to sustain those theories, I waited to know whether or not they would be disapproved by the Holy Office-they were not censured. I consider, therefore, that they were implicitly approved. And then things went so far that a Spanish Jesuit, Father Forrer Benimeli, joined in this kind of tug-of-war.

Then in 1966, an important event took place, and most surprisingly, in the Scandinavian countries. The Roman Catholic Scandinavian bishops decided that if Protestants wished to join the Roman Catholic Church and happened to be Masons, they could remain so. That was the first step. In Paris, a former archbishop happened to be asked by members of the Grande Loge Nationale Francaise who had returned to faith after having lost it, what they should do in actual practice. Was it their duty to resign or not? They were told: "Oh well, remain where you are. Wait and see, as you say in English."

English Effort

My eminent friend and brother, Harry Carr, the secretary of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076 (English Constitution), who is not only a prominent British Mason, but also a prominent Jew-and proud of it-then had certain contacts with Cardinal Heenan in England and wrote an article on the question, from which I extract the following:

". . . On my last visit to the London Grand Rank Association, I spoke


at some length of our hopes of bridging the gulf which has so long separated the Craft and the Church of Rome. During question-time at the end of my talk, one of the brethren asked: `How can you possibly hope for an accord between us and the R.C. Church, when the bookstall in Westminster Cathedral still sells those horrible anti-Masonic pamphlets, etc.?'

". . . I wrote to Cardinal Heenan explaining that the pamphlets (I know them well) are both defamatory and inaccurate and begged him to use his authority to get them removed. I also sent him a copy of my talk on Freemasonry and the Roman Catholic Church, expressing my eagerness to see peace restored between the Craft and the Vatican, and asked for an appointment when we might discuss these matters. Cardinal Heenan replied, and in regard to the anti-Masonic pamphlet he promised that `. . . if, as I suspect, it is misleading, I shall see that it is withdrawn.' He also asked me to arrange an appointment through his secretary, and I went to Archbishop's House, Westminster on 18th March, 1968. I could not have prayed for a kinder or more sympathetic reception.


"I first explained that, as a Jew, I had high hopes from the ecumenical movement and, as a Freemason, the evidence of wider tolerance in the Roman Catholic Church had been a source of great joy to me. His Eminence replied: `Yes, your letter to me was quite an extraordinary coincidence because I am deeply interested in the whole matter, and have been for a very long time. I shall show you a picture later on.' Our talk ranged over many aspects of the subject.

"He told me that he would be reporting direct to Rome on Masonic matters, and he asked me a number of questions on side degrees and other bodies and their supposed connections with the Craft. (I later replied on eight sheets of typescript with a collection of official printed documents, all of which were subsequently taken by him to the Holy See.)

"The highlight of our conversation arose when I emphasized how important it must be to draw a sharp line between the kind of Freemasonry recognized by the U.G.L. of England and the atheistic or anti-Christian Grand Orient type. I urged that the Church of Rome could safely take the English standards as a yardstick for distinguishing between `the good and the bad,' and I added--'but what we really need is an intermediary to convince your authorities.' He answered: `I am your intermediary.'

"Then he led me into an adjoining council-chamber, a lovely room, and showed me `the picture,' a large oil painting of Cardinal Manning's last reception. It depicted the dying Cardinal seated on a settee, his face grey and haggard, speaking to several frock-coated men nearby, while the whole background was filled with similarly clad figures. It was a 'portrait' picture of famous men with a chart below giving their names.

"His Eminence pointed to one heavily-bearded man leaning over the settee in the group surrounding the Cardinal, and asked: `Do you know who that is?' I pleaded ignorance and he pointed to No. 3 on the chart.


`No. 3,' he said, `is Lord Ripon; you know he was a Grand Master and he resigned from Freemasonry in order to become a Roman Catholic. (I did know, indeed.) His Eminence continued: `You may not know, perhaps, that after he resigned he used to say that throughout his career in Freemasonry he had never heard a single word uttered against the Altar or Throne. Those words have always remained strong in my memory and so you can understand how eager I am to help.'

"Cardinal Heenan very kindly gave me another interview a few weeks later; when I was accompanied by a senior grand officer. It was a most promising conversation because His Eminence was on the eve of his departure for Rome when it was hoped that all these matters were to be discussed at the highest levels; but we were advised beforehand that `the mills of God grind slowly.' And then, almost without warning `The Pill' exploded in Rome, and now we may have to start all over again!

"I have told you all this, brethren, because I believe with all my heart that the Craft has much to gain from a reconciliation with the Church of Rome. Consider how valuable it would be if at the very least, we were able, at one stroke of the pen, to change millions of former enemies into friends. . . ."

However, brethren, someone had to begin; someone had to take, as our ritual says, the first regular step in Freemasonry. Well, I took that step on March 28, 1969. My sponsors were Father Riquet, a Roman Catholic Jesuit and Brother Harry Carr, one of the most eminent representatives not only of the Craft, but also of English Jewry. I was admitted to the Craft and did not consider it to be incompatible with my faith to adhere to "the religion to which all men agree."


The third point is, how can we confront the future? How do things stand in this autumn of 1970?

Before I joined the Craft, I had a personal conversation with a very important English Mason, who told me in the plainest way: "We never attacked the Church! The Church attacked us! If the Church considers it has to withdraw the Bulls of the past, we will just see what happens. We have no step to take." This was the official position explained by a high-ranking official. But in fact, British Masons go much further and I have my own personal experience to testify to this. They are looking forward to a settlement.

What about French Masonry? Well, I won't speak about the Grand Orient, of course, which maintains its old hatred, not only against my Church, but against all religious ideas and the very name of God. As regards the Grande Loge Nationale Francaise, it is entirely favorable, save perhaps some individual members who do not represent the


obedience. As regards the Grande Loge de France, it has taken up a curious kind of medium-way attitude. It is in favor of what it calls a talk, and its position is: "Let's have a talk, but why should the Church interfere with problems of Masonic regularity? Why should the Church, if it intends to lift the ban, lift it only for regular Masons-regularity is not the Church's business." That is the position of the Grande Loge de France.

Position of the Church

On the Roman Catholic side, what is the position? I think we can say there are three schools of thought. First of all there are what we call the integrists. They are the extreme conservatives of the past, what I think you call in English politics, the "diehards." They are the diehards of the old anti-Masonic feeling. They are not very numerous and they are generally badly informed and impassioned.

Then come those who uphold a theory developed in Italy by a Jesuit named Father Esposito, which we may call the "Esposito Theory." It is not mine, but I will explain it. According to Father Esposito, the Council of Vatican II has developed the idea that the Church should enter into an overall conversation, or dialogue, with all mankind, and especially with other religions, and with all schools of philosophy-atheists included. For that reason it involves Masonry and it is in accordance with the Grande Loge de France theory. I do not agree with it myself, for the simple reason that to my mind, Masons are not unbelievers. And it is a mistake to confuse the problem of a dialogue, which is one thing, with the problem of being a member of two bodies at the same time. It is quite different. As a Roman Catholic, I don't mind entering into a dialogue with a Protestant or a Shintoist, but that does not mean that I think that I can belong to two churches at the same time. If I think that the Shintoist faith is the best, I must logically adhere to the Shintoist Faith. If I believe that my faith is the true one, I remain faithful to my Church.

And o f the Craft

Regarding the Craft, the problem is quite different. Things do not appear under the same light, and it is obvious that a Roman Catholic may at the same time be a regular Mason. Why? Because the law is such, and that is certainly the compelling reason.

By "the law," I mean Article 2335 of the present-day Canon Code, which I translate from Latin in the following way: "No one has the right to join the Masonic sect, or a sect that conspires against re


ligion or against the Established Power." As my friend Brother Doctor Vatcher said in a rather humorous way in this very lodge: "We don't believe in England that the Archbishop of Canterbury conspires against religion, or that the Duke of Kent conspires against the State." So, if it is a matter of pure, bare fact, it has been proven that the Grande Loge Nationale Francaise, for instance, does not conspire against the Church and does not seek to overthrow the legitimate political power.

So the condemnation (there is no question of withdrawing it) simply does not affect it; it affects something else. It's like the story of the fellow who, when it rained, passed between the drops of water; the rain didn't wet him! That is my personal opinion, and that is the opinion upheld by Father Riquet. We waited to see whether the theory would be disapproved or condemned by the Church; it has not been so condemned and we are therefore certain that this opinion is the good one and the right one. Actually, the whole matter is being reviewed once more and the Vatican is fully informed.

How Will It End

So how will the whole matter end? That is the question!

Certain Masons and also certain Catholics hope for a solemn pontifical document. I am afraid this cannot be expected for an obvious reason. The Pope cannot legislate on Freemasonry (I speak of both regular and irregular bodies) because of the Craft is too divided. It is impossible to speak about Freemasonry in general because from a Catholic point of view, there are Freemasonries in the plural. Could one then expect the Pope to issue a sort of catalogue, stating that such a Masonic body is considered legal by Catholics, while another one is not? It could be done in theory, but it would compel the Church to intervene in matters of Masonic regularity, which are none of its business.

And then, brethren, it is a fact of which you are aware that the various Grand Lodges in different countries are not all in the same frame of mind. Can, for instance, a Roman Catholic now join a lodge under the United Grand Lodge of England with absolute security that he will be considered by his brothers as being the same as any other Mason? Certainly-there is no problem. Can he join the Grande Loge Nationale Francaise? Of course he can. Can he join a German lodge? Well, I'm afraid it all depends. Can he join the Grand Lodge of Belgium (regular)? I don't know.

In fact, to leave things to each man's conscience is probably, for


the moment-and I believe that is the idea of the Church-perhaps the safest way.

Personally, I have faith in the Craft. Regularity is every day gaining ground in this country. Many irregular Masons are daily more and more disgusted and join the only regular Masonic obedience, which is ours. I have faith too in the destiny of the Church. Never has the Papacy seemed so great. One can open papers to ascertain that there is no great problem of the present period on which the Pope remains mute. It is a fact, brethren, that whenever the safeguard and the dignity of mankind are in question, the tenets of the Church and the Craft are exactly the same. Let me quote another example-that of the attitude to be observed towards that persecuted race, of which Our Lord and his disciples were members.

There must be room in the world of the future for "The Roman Catholic Freemason." What must he be? Well, these will be my last words: Masonry, if he rightly understands the Art, must make him a better Roman Catholic, and his own religion, if he practices it, and upholds it as is his duty, must make him a better Mason.

And, finally, on Oct. 31, 1978, we take note of this exchange in the "Dear Abby" column distributed by the Chicago Tribune- N.Y. News Syndicate:

Dear Abby: In a recent letter to you, a person wrote, "I am a Catholic and a Mason," stating further that Pope Paul VI issued a ruling in 1974 which gave Catholics permission to join the Masonic Order. The letter was signed, "a Catholic who is also a Mason." Your comment was simply, "Thank you. Now I know."

Abby, that Catholic is no longer a Catholic in good standing in the church if he joined the Masonic order. Pope Paul never issued such an order. And now you really do know!

D.T. (a Catholic), Las Cruces, N.M.

Dear Catholic: Would you take the word of the most Rev. Fulton 1. Sheen, titular archbishop of Newport? Read on:

Dear Abby: It was a joy to hear from you and I shall try to answer the question submitted: "Can a Catholic become a Mason and maintain his standing in the Catholic church?"

Can a Catholic be a Mason? That depends. According to a letter sent to the presidents of the various National Conferences of Catholic Bishops by Cardinal Seper, prefect of the Vatican's Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, dated July 18, 1974, membership by lay people in Masonic groups is acceptable, provided the groups are not actively hostile to the church.

Clerics and members of secular institutes are still forbidden in every case to join any Masonic associations.

Although Canon 2335 of the current code of canon law of the church


continues to remain on the books, it is to be interpreted in the light of the above-mentioned letter.

With warmest personal regards-God love you!

Fulton J. Sheen


Freemasonry and Mormonism

FREEMASONRY FIRST BECAME acquainted with the Latter Day Saints at Nauvoo, Illinois, in the two and a half years of rather hectic experience between March 1842 and October 1844. The unhappy sect soon left the Mississippi Valley and started on the long trek across the barren plains and desert, seeking asylum in Mexican territory, as the area now embraced in Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and California then was.

Upon the deaths of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, Brigham Young succeeded to the Presidency of the Mormon Church. Only prejudice has prevented recognition of him as one of the greatest organizing geniuses and leaders of a century that produced many of them. Three years before the Gold Rush of '49, he led his flock across more than a thousand miles of almost trackless plains, through toils and dangers which would have discouraged and defeated any but one of great energy, courage, and resourcefulness. But more than that, in the Great Salt Lake Valley, then a desert, he set this exiled people to work with order and industry to perfect what is probably the first system of agricultural irrigation conducted by Americans in the West. Soon, the desert blossomed, and what had been a waste became a pleasant habitation. Moreover, this was accomplished without discord or confusion, the bane of so many cooperative settlement enterprises. When the Territory of Utah was organized in 1850, Brigham Young became its first Governor, a position which he held for eight years.

Notwithstanding their many hardships, the keenest disappointment suffered by the Mormons came with the acquisition by the United States of sovereignty over all that territory by cession from Mexico in 1848. This was aggravated by the discovery of gold in California, which, by 1849, began to attract wagon trains filled with fortune seekers into what had been planned as the exclusive domain of Zion. The saints had fled from civilization and government, seeking isolation and freedom, but fate decreed that they should not realize their dream. Almost immediately, government followed them, and the stream of exploration and commerce flowed directly through the heart of their settlement.


Twenty years after the Mormon migration, the first Masonic lodge (Mt. Moriah) was established in Utah in 1866 under dispensation from the Grand Lodge of Nevada, which had, itself, been organized only the previous year. During that twenty years, the Mormons, then practicing polygamy, had spread into Nevada, and the Grand Master there had issued a ban against them.

The Grand Lodge of Utah was formed in 1872 by Mt. Moriah Lodge, which had refused a charter from Nevada on account of the Nevada ban against Mormons and had secured one from Kansas, Wasatch Lodge chartered from Montana in 1867, and Argenta Lodge chartered from Colorado in 1871. Very soon, one of the lodges expelled a member for having joined the Mormon Church, and the Mormon question has plagued the Fraternity in Utah from that time to this.

We are indebted to W. Bro. S. H. Goodwin, Past Grand Master of Utah, for his treatise, published in 1924, which must be regarded as representing generally the attitude of that Grand Lodge toward Mormonism. He refers us to the proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Nevada for 1866, p. 28-53; and of the Grand Lodge of Utah for 1872, p. 15; 1877, p. 11; 1879, p. 29; 1880, p. 18; 1882, p. 22, 28, 78; 1883, p. 16, 24, 104; 1884, p. 75, 76, 79, 92; 1923, p. 65, 66; 1924, p. 25, 56-59, 81, 82.

These references indicate a chronic problem requiring frequent attention. The result is that the Grand Lodge of Utah permits its lodges to admit Mormons sparingly, if at all, and Bro. Goodwin concludes that the door of Freemasonry should be closed to that "organization," which term he uses advisedly to indicate something more than a church. In Utah, the applicant for the degrees is required to state in writing the fraternal and religious orders to which he belongs or has ever belonged. The purpose of this demand is apparent.

The Latter Day Saints spread, at an early date, into Nevada, Idaho, Arizona, and California. Their organiztion is very aggressive in missionary work and proselyting, being said to have missions or churches in every state.

In view of the attitude of Freemasonry, as thus far expressed upon the subject, it may be asked whether the Fraternity is as tolerant as it pretends to be upon religious matters, and whether it can continue to exclude one after another of peculiar sects and still maintain any semblance of neutrality.

From the time of Brigham Young's succession to the presidency of the Zion organization, which is both a church and a cooperative


business and commercial enterprise, its affairs have been ably and efficiently managed, accompanied by the amassment of great wealth and power. Encumbered with the early practice of polygamy and reviled by the public and prosecuted by the government, the sect has gradually purified its tenets and raised itself in prestige and esteem. Mormons, as individuals, are thrifty, industrious, conservative, and well behaved, for providence, economic stability, and industry are inculcated along with the religious doctrines of the Church. One must examine the ordinary Mormon with the most hypercritical eye to detect any reason why he should not receive the degrees of Masonry.

But here, as in the instance of Roman Catholicism, it is not the individual but the peculiar tenets indoctrinated by the Church which offers an impediment. Though the Church of Latter Day Saints does not openly pretend to resemble the Church of Rome, the two have certain things in common which seem similarly to affect their relations with Freemasonry. These are:

First; whether or not it was borrowed from the Roman Catholic Church, the Mormon doctrine of an infallible priesthood which presumes to speak as and for God with plenary power over the souls of its flock is quite as marked in the latter as it is in the earlier exponent of that dogma. The President of the Mormon Church has been described as the "very mouthpiece of God," and as "His viceregent on earth." The priesthood claims to be "in very deed a part of God," and their words are "just as binding upon us as if God spoke personally to us." The Mormon hierarchy, therefore, occupies the same position and performs the same functions with the same consequences as does that of the Catholic Church, the freedom of thought, speech, and action of the Saints being completely circumscribed.

Second; like the Catholic, the Mormon Church has condemned Freemasonry and discouraged, if it has not prohibited, its members from joining the Order. Freemasonry has been placed in the category of evil along with all other secret societies, which are said to have been originated by Satan, who made Cain a "Master Mahan" so that he might slay his brother, Abel. The revelation of the Latter Day Saints has condemned secret societies because the "covenants they impose are liable to conflict with religious obligations." The Prophet declared that they "threatened the liberties of all people and portend the destruction of whatever nation fosters them." It is said that they bring division and weakness into the Church, and that to join one is to play "into the hands of the Gentiles." In 1900, President Smith stated that those who joined secret societies were not to be


preferred as bishops or sought as counselors, and, later, he threatened them with excommunication. Though these proscriptions are neither so voluminous, so drastic, nor so specifically aimed at Freemasons as were the Papal Bulls and Encyclicals, nevertheless, there is sufficient in them to make it clear that a man who attempts to hold, at the same time, to Mormonism and Masonry must be either an unhappy Saint or a miserable Mason or possibly both.

Third; as in the instance of Catholicism, the inevitable tendency of Mormon ideology is to segregate the Saints from the rest of the community and to classify them as, not only different from, but superior to, the "Gentiles," thereby, retarding the acceptance of Mormons at the face value which they would otherwise have as men. Mormons dissolve poorly or not at all in the flux of general society. Tolerance is a reciprocal sentiment which cannot function unless both factions are equally liberal.

Fourth; there seems to be an element of Masonic clandestinism in Mormon practices. Undoubtedly, some of the Mormons who were admitted to the Society at Nauvoo went to Utah, and, though their brief and hectic excursion into Masonry gave them little grasp of its principles, they appear to have pirated some of its symbolism to complete their own. Perhaps, no one of these examples is sufficient in itself to indicate more than a coincidence, but, when the cumulative effect of several is considered, the purpose to paraphrase Masonic rituals is apparent. If convicted of no worse, the Saints would be shown lacking in that originality and inspiration to which they so emphatically pretend. The beehive was adopted as the symbol of the Zionist movement and was, also, placed on the Great Seal of the State of Utah, probably, by Mormon influence. "Holiness to the Lord," the motto of Royal Arch Masonry, is cut in the face of the Salt Lake City Temple and over the doors of some Mormon business houses. The clasped hands and the all-seeing eye are displayed on the Mormon Temple, and the square and compasses and a Masonic apron, adorned by representations of two columns, are said to be employed in secret ceremonies of the Church. The square and compasses, the level, and the plumb are painted on the ceiling of the "Garden of Eden Room." The "Masonic sacred drama of the Fall of Man" is said to be used in the Temple ceremonies, and an obligation with penalties, signs, grips, dialogues, and other ritualistic interpretations are used in Church ceremonies.

The four points above mentioned would seem to offer sufficient reason why Mormons should not be admitted to the degrees of


Masonry. Though the Fraternity does not quarrel with the Mormon Church any more than it does with the Church of Rome, at the same time, it does not engage in such fatuous experiments as to determine whether oil and water will mix. It is true that, by considerable agitation, oil can be emulsified in water, but neither agitation nor emulsification is a Masonic practice.

There are other reasons given why Freemasonry cannot or should not accept Mormons, but they are less convincing than those above noted. These additional reasons are:

Fifth; Mormon theology seems to teach a plurality of Gods, and, also, the materiality of Gods, and that the heavens were organized by the head God, who appointed a God for us. It teaches that God was once a man, God the Father and God the Son being two different corporeal persons. It is claimed that this differs so radically from the concept held by Masons generally and, especially in this country that it is questionable whether the believers of such doctrine would fit into a Masonic lodge. It must, however, require much theological courage to expound upon the difference between one God, three Gods in one God, a head God accompanied by lesser Gods, a spiritual God, a material God, and a God who was once a man as Christ, and to demonstrate that Mormon doctrine is so radically distinct from either the monotheistic or the Christian or the Trinitarian concept. Freemasonry seems to have no antipathy toward the Trinitarian creed, which contemplates three Gods in one God accompanied by lesser Gods such as the Angels, Gabriel and St. Peter, to which may be added the evil God, Satan. These and other concepts have been debated in Church councils for centuries with the result that religion has been divided into many creeds and sects and denominations. Can it be, for a moment, supposed that any lodge, Grand Lodge, or other body of Freemasons is qualified or entitled to deliberate upon such questions and to say what is the true religion?

These questions are more fully discussed in the chapter on Freemasonry and Religion. At this place, it is only necessary to say that Freemasonry does not attempt to define God, and requires only a belief in a Supreme Being or G.A.O.T.U., except in Prussia and Scandinavia where the Grand Lodges are Christian. In the latter instances, we meet odd results, for the Grand Lodges of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark are quite generally recognized, while those of Prussia have usually been repudiated because they carried Christianity to the point of excluding Jews from visiting them. Even upon comparatively simple religious tenets, the Society has vacillated. Pre


Grand Lodge Masonry was nominally, at least, Trinitarian Christian. The Constitutions of 1723 avoided, by eliminating religious questions. But there is Christian symbolism in the ritual, and, for almost two centuries, there has been a gentle, though persistent, effort to give a more Christian character to the religious feature of Freemasonry. In some places, immortality, or a resurrection, or even a resurrection of the body have been incorporated in the requirements. French Masonry, which, for a while, followed the development of religious belief, became estranged because it ventured to return substantially to the doctrine of the Constitutions of 1723, from which all modern Freemasonry emanates.

It is not apparent why the presence of a Mormon in a lodge would bring into discussion his Church's theological concepts any more than such results from membership of the Jew, the Baptist, the Presbyterian, or the Unitarian. It would seem, therefore, that the Mormon belief in a Supreme Being, even though He was formerly incarnate and even though He is accompanied by Inferior Beings, sufficiently complies with any Masonic doctrine on the subject that is definite enough to be identified.

Sixth; it appears that the Church of Latter Day Saints recognizes four authoritative books of Divine Revelation, viz., the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. Moreover, the Prophets of the Church are believed to be living oracles, through whom continuous and immediate revelations are made from time to time. It has been suggested that Masonry cannot allow its Great Light, the Bible, to be thus supplemented. But here again, we tread upon soft ground, for, while the Masonic ritual refers to the Bible as one of the Great Lights, it also refers to it as merely a part of the furniture of the lodge, and we are told by leading authorities that a Mason is not required to believe the Bible or any part of it, but that it is placed on the altar as a symbol of Divine Will, and that any other Volume of Sacred Law, such as the Koran or the Vedas, which is recognized as such symbol will suffice. Were this not so, we would have to regard as clandestine all Masons of other lands who did not adopt the Bible, they having denied themselves the benefit of the Great Light of Masonry. The few does not embrace the New Testament, and the Mohammedan does not recognize either Testament. It is difficult to repudiate, on rational grounds, the idea of present day revelation, and to prove that God cut off further communication with his creatures centuries ago, particularly, since man seems to need Divine guidance more now than at any time in the


past. While it was the doctrine of the ancient Jews that theirs was the chosen race, it was also their concept that God was a national, partisan God, hence, the scriptural doctrine of revelation contemplated only revelation to the Jewish people and, of course, does not speak of events subsequent to the production of those scriptures. There is no principle or tenet of Masonry which rejects the idea that God may talk to an Englishman, a Frenchman, or an American of the 20th century as freely and as helpfully as he did to the Hebrews several thousand years ago. No charge can be laid against the Mormons for adding either revelations or new books to the Bible that the Jew could not lay against the Christian.

Seventh; it is said that Mormons practice polygamy and, hence, should be excluded from Freemasonry. It is not clear just when and how polygamy was introduced into the Mormon Church. Joseph Smith is said to have embraced the idea as early as 1831 and the first practical application of it seems to have occurred in 1841 when Smith took his first plural wife at Nauvoo. At first, the "revelation" was confined to a select few, the principle not being incorporated into Doctrine and Covenants until some time after the migration to Utah, by which time, however, plural wives were not uncommon. When it became something of a national scandal, Congress legislated against it in 1862. The constitutionality of the prohibitory statute was contested in the courts, but, though the statute was sustained, many Mormons suffered fines and imprisonment rather than abandon their plural wives. In 1887, the Church of Latter Day Saints was disincorporated by Congress and the greater part of its property was confiscated by the government. In 1890, the Woodruff resolution was adopted by the Church, renouncing plural marriage, but it is claimed that polygamy is still practiced by Mormon leaders, that it has never been erased from Doctrine and Covenants, and that, while outwardly obeyed, the law is secretly flouted.

It is quite true that a polygamist cannot be admitted to a Masonic lodge for the reason that polygamy is an offense against the civil law and such civil offense is ipso facto a Masonic offense. But that is not the proposition. It is rather that one cannot be accepted who is affiliated with an order or organization, some members of which violate the law. This can hardly be sustained, unless it be true that polygamy is so socially repugnant and un-Masonic that, where practiced by any members of a church or society, it taints every member thereof, even those who could be convicted of no civil law violation.



But none of the constitutions of Freemasonry, ancient or modern, express or implied, renounce polygamy. Should the Fraternity attempt to do so, it might be subjected to taunting ridicule, because King Solomon, one of the most prominent figures in Masonic legend and ritual, one of the three first Grand Masters, and to whom many lodges are dedicated, was one of the most noted polygamists of all time. Except for that implied approval, there is nothing in Freemasonry on the subject. Polygamy is not condemned by the Bible, but seems to have been taken as a matter of course by the ancient patriarchs, and has continued to be practiced in the Orient into modern times. In those regions, a plurality of wives is an honor rather than a disgrace, and as many Turks, Syrians, Egyptians and others of Oriental stock are Freemasons, it is difficult to see how there could be a general Masonic law against the practice.

Domestic relations, including marriage, divorce, legitimacy of offspring, polygamy, miscegenation, and like matters pertain to state policy and are regulated by civil laws which reflect the social tastes of a people. The Fraternity has taken no stand on the divorce evil, which has, to some degree, developed into a system of plural wives and plural husbands seriatim as distinguished from polygamy which is a system of plural wives contemporary. So, the Mormon, charged with polygamy, may hurl back the charge of adultery, and, in this, he would be joined by the Catholic. The exclusion of those who hold peculiar religious views or indulge in uncommon social practices should be based upon their effect upon the peace, harmony, and esteem of the lodge rather than upon alleged faults in such religions or practices as such. The tenets of Freemasonry are neither numerous nor narrow; the Order has never assumed the prerogatives of a judge of social and religious institutions. The true rule would seem to be that the question of who is to be admitted and who is to be excluded from a lodge is a matter of sound judgment and commonsense, bearing in mind that the peace and harmony of the lodge must not be disturbed and that nothing should be done which might bring the Fraternity into disrepute by offending accepted standards of the community. But the real purpose and reasons for the policy should be stated rather than an attempted support of it by asserted principles of doubtful authenticity.

Many Mormons are, individually, well qualified for the degrees of Freemasonry, but the background and tenets of the Mormon Church render their acceptance inadvisable. Time heals many wounds


and, in the course of years, this condition may change. There is a large settlement of Mormons in western Missouri, and it is said that many of them have been admitted to the lodges there.

X Freemasonry and Revolution

IF WE BELIEVE all we read, we must be prepared to accept Freemasonry as an energetic political agency, and, indeed, a revolutionary instrument on a large, even an international scale. Often its enemies and sometimes its friends have cast it in that role, and endeavored to connect it rather directly with one or another phase of the long struggle between the British nation and the Stuart Kings and with both the French and American Revolutions. The secrecy of the society, which was more carefully maintained in the 18th century than it is today, furnished a favorable environment for the spread of such ideas, and they blossomed profusely.

Particularly, with reference to the House of Stuart, these stories assumed many forms, quite generally inconsistent with each other and, sometimes, with themselves. They reach heights of absurdity when they cause the Fraternity to play the double role of Jacobite and Hanoverian and to speak lines both revolutionary and reactionary. All these tales must be repudiated, for, while they are sometimes founded on circumstances more or less colorable, they are unsubstantiated and, in some instances, impossible. Hence, the supporting arguments are labored and far from convincing to any but those ignorant of the character and history of the Society.


A recent example is Revolution and Freemasonry by Bernard Fay, a French writer, who pretended to be unbiased but who, as indicated by subsequent events, was possibly allied with the anti-Masonic movement instituted by General Von Ludendorff and, later, carried out with such cruelty by others, notably, Mussolini, Franco, and Hitler. Fay attempted to show that Freemasonry actively promoted both the French and the American Revolutions, but, as to the latter, it must be said in Fay's behalf that he did little more than follow a theme which is very generally believed and has been widely advanced by American Freemasons, themselves. Fay's propositions are forced and amount merely to plausible conjectures based on insignificant events and often on his unsupported statements. When the Germans


overran France in 1940, Fay turned up as a Nazi collaborator. Following the liberation of France, he was arrested and tried by the French courts, and, in 1947, convicted and sentenced to hard labor for life.

- From the earliest of the Gothic Constitutions, through those of 1723, to and including all modern constitutions and regulations, there have been insistent injunctions concerning loyalty to the king or to the civil authority, denunciations of plots and conspiracies, and warnings against piques and quarrels about politics and religion. Charges of Masonic complicity in political or revolutionary activities must, therefore, be predicated upon such signal and widespread disregard of Masonic principles as could hardly escape being recorded in the annals of the Order. At least, they must have left a much more distinct trail than any later writer has been able to pick up.

Much error accompanies the misuse of the process known as inductive logic, that is, drawing a general conclusion from a number of specific incidents or facts. That process, in the hands of a skilled investigator, is indispensable, but, in the hands of the inexpert, is quite as likely to result in the wrong as it is in the right deduction. Where numerous instances of similar actions or qualities are found, none being inconsistent therewith, we may, by inductive reasoning, form a general rule, formula, or conclusion. But "one swallow does not make a summer." So, one or a few facts or examples do not warrant a general conclusion. It is quite misleading, therefore, to say that, because some Masons did certain things at some time and place, Freemasonry was of the character indicated by those acts.

The fact is that Freemasons differ and always have differed among themselves much as do people generally respecting matters of concern to the state or nation. Even if we are privileged to assume that all Freemasons espouse good government and civic virtue, nevertheless, there are many divergent individual opinions among them as to the route or method to be followed to reach those objectives and as to the desirable candidates for office who are expected to attain the desired results. When it comes to drastic revolutionary movements, it seems obvious that few vehicles could be found less available than Freemasonry, and few places less suitable for hatching conspiracy than a Masonic lodge. Since the brethren have not been admitted to the society on a political basis, there are few, if any, lodges where political sentiment would be unanimous or where at least one dissenter would not be present to expose a plot. Since lodges are usually open to sojourning brethren, often strangers in the commu


pity, one would never know when confidences were to be exposed, and, of course, there would be no restriction upon exposure, because such machinations would not be proper Masonic matters for a lodge to entertain.


Stories that Freemasonry involved itself in national and international politics in England and France were first laid in that interesting century beginning with the war, instituted in 1642, between the British Parliament and Charles I and ending with the last effort of the Stuart dynasty to regain the throne of England in 1745, when Charles Edward Stuart, the Young Pretender, was finally repulsed and abandoned the cause. The several stories have been timed at various stages of that struggle, and their plots have differed as widely as their timing, but their mutual inconsistencies or improbabilities have not restrained their fabrication.

First; there was the tale that Oliver Cromwell founded the Society to help him best the House of Stuart.

Second; there was the story that James III, Pretender to the throne of England, or his followers founded or shaped the society as an aid to his recovery of that throne. There was hardly a limit to the variety of these stories.

Third; it was alleged that the Grand Lodge of England was partisan to, and cooperated with the House of Hanover, which succeeded that of the Stuarts.

Certainly, Freemasonry must have been a most intricate and versatile political machine to manufacture so many, such large, and such inconsistent schemes.

The following table of chronology will assist in relating these theories to the events of history:

1603: James VI of Scotland, first of the House of Stuart, ascended the throne of England as James I.

Charles I succeeded to the throne of England. War began between Parliament and Charles I. Charles I beheaded; the Commonwealth under began.

Cromwell died, succeeded by his son, Richard. Charles II assumed the throne.

James II succeeded to the throne. James II fled to France.

1624: 1642: 1649:

1658: 1660: 1685: 1688:




1689: William and Mary approved the Bill of Rights and assumed the throne.

1701: James II died.

1702: Queen Ann succeeded to the throne.

1704: George I, first of the House of Hanover, succeeded to the throne.

1715: Jacobite riots in England and Mar's Rebellion in Scotland in support of the Stuarts.

1745: The Young Pretender, Charles Edward, defeated at Culloden.


In 1746, the Abbe Larudan, a foe of Freemasonry, published his Les Franc-Macons Ecrasses, apparently the child of the author's imagination, in which he asserted that Cromwell, in 1648, at a dinner attended by Parliamentarians, Presbyterians, and Independents, first indicated his intentions to form such a society. The development of this scheme was related by the Abbe with particularity and in detail. Cromwell, he tells us, held his confidants in suspense for four days, after which, he consummated the enterprise in dramatic fashion. Conducting his guests into a dark room, he prepared their minds for what was to follow by a long prayer in which he pretended to be in communion with the spirits of the blessed. After this, he explained his purpose to found a society to encourage the worship of God and to restore peace. Informing the company that they must all pass through a certain ceremony, and, gaining their consent, he appointed a Master, two Wardens, a Secretary, and an Orator. The visitors were then removed to another room in which was a picture of the ruins of Solomon's Temple. They were next blindfolded, removed to another apartment and invested with the secrets, after which, Cromwell delivered a discourse on religion and politics, so impressing the novices that all sects united with Cromwell's army in forming a secret association to promote the principles of the love of God and liberty and equality among men, but the real objective of which was the abolition of the monarchy and the establishment of the Commonwealth.

The Temple of Solomon, said the Abbe, was used as the symbol of glory or the primitive state of man, which, after some years, was destroyed by an army representing pride and ambition, the people being led away captive. Finally, the Freemasons were privileged to rebuild the Temple. The Order was divided into three degrees, the


Master's degree having a Hiramic legend differing somewhat from that later adopted. The death of Hiram represented the loss of liberty, and the confusion among the workmen represented the state of the people who were reduced to slavery by the tyrants. Cromwell is then said to have spread the Society over England, Scotland, and Ireland, the members being first called Freemasons, then Levelers, then Independents, next Fifth Monarchy Men, and, finally Freemasons.

The Abbe Larudan, like other fabricators, fell into the trap of his own ignorance. He did not know that Elias Ashmole had been made a Mason two years before Cromwell's supposed theatrical performance, or that lodges had existed in most of the principal cities of Scotland before Cromwell was born, or that the Master's degree was unheard of, and the Hiramic Legend, too, until sixty-five years after Cromwell's death. The Abbe's absurd story appears to have been composed by paraphrasing Edward Ludlow's Memoirs in which he described Cromwell's intrigues for the organization of a new political party, but in which nothing was said about Freemasonry.


The oft-repeated claim that there was a connection between Freemasonry and the ill-fated House of Stuart purports, not to account for the origin of the Society, but to make it the political instrument of the Stuarts at various times between the middle of the 17th and the middle of the 18th century. The general theme has had a wide vogue, and has been presented in a variety of forms, often by the avowed enemies of the Order. It exhibits many deviations, running from the wildest and most unqualified charges of Masonic involvement in international intrigue, on through the supposed institution of the Hauts Grades by the Stuarts or their agent, the Chevalier Ramsay, to the mere suggestion that some of the Scots Master degrees were shaped in such way as to do honor to the Old or the Young Pretender.

The whole idea may have had its inception in a foolish and unsubstantiated remark made by John Noorthouck in editing the 1784 edition of the Book of Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of England. At least, it was not heard of prior to that year. It was there stated without any apparent reason or support that Charles II was made a Mason during his exile (1649-60) and took great interest in Freemasonry. Of course, there were no Masonic lodges on the Continent at that time.


Neither Calcott, Preston, Hutchinson, nor Smith, the principal English Masonic writers of the last half of the 18th century, mention the Stuart tale at all, but, later, it was taken up by Robison in Scotland and Ragon and Rebold in France. It was, of course, swallowed by Dr. Oliver, and was credited in somewhat emasculated form by Findel and Mackey.

The Abbe Barruel's History of Jacobinism, published in 1797, was an exceedingly bitter castigation of Freemasonry, so much so that it discredited itself. Though it exculpated the British Craft, it denounced Continental Freemasonry in the most uncompromising terms as a revival of the mediaeval Templars. The Abbe Barruel seems not, however, to have charged the Society with being the creature or the protege of the Stuarts.

The alleged complicity between Freemasonry and the House of Stuart seems first to have been presented by Professor John Robison of Edinburgh in his Proofs o f a Conspiracy against all Religions and Governments of Europe, carried on by the Secret Meetings of the Freemasons, Illuminati and Reading Societies, published in 1797, in which it was asserted that the Jesuits united with the English lodges in order to reestablish the Catholic religion in England, and that there was cooperation between the Society and the Stuarts. Robison stated that the lodge at St. Germain, France, which James II attended, added the degree of Scottish Knight Mason, having, for its device, a lion wounded by an arrow, with a broken rope about its neck, lying at the mouth of a cave and manipulating some mathematical instruments which lay close by. A broken crown lay near a stake to which the lion had evidently been bound. He went on to say:

"There can be little doubt but that this emblem alludes to the dethronement, the captivity, the escape, and the asylum of James 11, and his hopes of reestablishment by the help of the loyal Brethren. This emblem is worn as the gorget of the Scotch Knight. It is not very certain, however, when this degree was added, whether immediately after King James' abdication or about the time of the attempt to set his son on the British throne."

In a second edition of his work, Robison completely exonerated British Freemasonry of any such conspiracy, thus, admitting inaccuracy if not recklessness in his original treatise.

By the middle of the 19th century, the tale had become widely credited. Dr. Oliver repeated it, seemingly following Robison, whose anachronisms he criticized, though he introduced others of his own. In his Historical Landmarks of 1846, he said (Vol. II, p. 7, 8)


"Freemasonry flourished during the reign of Charles II, and many new lodges were constituted in England. The King himself was initiated, and frequently attended the meetings of the fraternity; ...

"Toward the close of the seventeenth century, the followers of James II, who accompanied the unfortunate monarch in his exile, carried Freemasonry to France, . . . These lodges became the rendezvous for partisans of James and by this means they held communications with their friends in England thus giving a political character to the new degrees, which those of simple Masonry would not bear."

He then asserted that the learned, pious, and polite Chevalier Ramsay used Freemasonry to extend the interests of the Pretender by excluding new Masons who were not sufficiently partisan and by inventing new degrees; that, in the lodge chartered to Lord Derwentwater at Paris in 1725, Ramsay promulgated his manufactured degrees, and brought his system of Scottish Masonry into England, making an unsuccessful attempt to spread it there; and that, in 1745, the Young Pretender was received into the Royal Order of Scotland at Edinburgh and was made Grand Master, which office he exercised in France, there instituting the Rose Croix and other degrees, which was followed by opposition in Holland, by the decree of Louis XV, by Pope Clement's Bull, by the Edict of Berne, and by the act of the Synod of Scotland, all in opposition to Freemasonry.

Moss, usually a very careful and critical writer, in his History of Freemasonry of 1852, said:

". . . it is clear that Ramsay purposely introduced higher degrees in order to make a selection from the ranks of the brotherhood in the interests of the Stuarts, and to collect funds for the Pretender."

Ragon, in his Masonic Orthodoxy of 1853, was quite as absurd and even more explicit, saying that Elias Ashmole and others of the Rose Croix established new degrees based on the ancient Mysteries, the Fellow Craft degree being fabricated in 1648 and the Master's degree a short time later, but that the execution of Charles I caused modifications in the Third Degree and, about the same time, the Secret Master, Perfect Master, and Irish Master degrees appeared, Charles I being represented by Hiram; that the speculative members then worked secretly for the restoration of the Stuarts, and the Society took on a political tone, the Templar degrees being formed to teach revenge for the death of Jacques de Molai and, hence, the execution of Charles I; and that Ashmole changed the Egyptian character of the Master's degree to make it a Biblical allegory, both incomplete and inconsistent, but in such way that the sacred words


of the three degrees should have initials identical with those of the name and title of the Grand Master of the Templars.

Findel, the most reliable writer thus far quoted, in his History of Freemasonry of 1861, gave a much deflated version of the story, saying merely that the Old Pretender having gone to Rome where Charles Edward was bom in 1720, a secret alliance was kept up between Rome and Scotland, in which the Jesuits played a prominent part, seeking to use Freemasonry to further the interests of the Roman Church but not to restore the Stuarts, for Freemasonry hardly existed in Scotland at that time. He continued:

"Perhaps in 1724 when Ramsay was a year in Rome, or in 1728, when the Pretender in Parma kept up an intercourse with the Duke of Wharton, a Past Grand Master, this idea was first entertained, and then when it was apparent how difficult it would be to corrupt the loyalty and fealty of Freemasonry in the Grand Lodge of Scotland founded in 1736, this scheme was set on foot of assembling the faithful adherents of the banished royal family in the Higher Degrees! The soil that was best adapted for this innovation was France, where the low ebb to which Masonry had sunk has paved the way for all kinds of new-fangled notions, and where the lodges were composed of Scotch conspirators and accomplices of the Jesuits. When the path had thus been smoothed by the agency of these secret propagandists, Ramsay, at that time Grand Orator (an office unknown in England) by his speech completed the preliminaries necessary for the introduction of the High Degrees; their further development was left to the instrumentality of others, whose influence produced a result somewhat different from that originally intended."

Rebold, who is not regarded as a careful investigator, in his History of the Three Grand Lodges of 1864, reverts to the earlier period, saying that, about the time of the decapitation of Charles 1, the Masons of England and Scotland labored for the restoration of the monarchy, for which purpose, they instituted two higher degrees and gave the Order a political character; and that, through the influence of the honorary members, who were men of high positions, Charles 11, who had been made a Mason during his exile, was enabled to recover the throne in 1660. He then states:

"Ramsay was a partisan of the Stuarts, and introduced a system of Masonry created at Edinboro' by a chapter of Cannongate-Kilwinning Lodge, in the political interests of the Stuarts, and with the intention of enslaving Freemasonry to Roman Catholicism."

Any one of these stories is as credible or dependable as any of the others, but they are quite inconsistent with each other and, in many


respects, impossible. They are discredited by their anachronisms and show on their faces that they were based on idle tales and rumors. They all originated prior to 1865 and before the work of the critical historiographic school of 1860-85 had been felt, and when the history of Freemasonry, as current, still consisted almost entirely of fables.

Noorthouck and Rebold stated that Charles II was made a Mason during his exile (1649-60) while Oliver asserted that this occurred during his reign after 1660, presumably, in England. Charles II was in exile at The Hague, but there were no lodges on the Continent at that time. That the King could have been made a Mason in an English lodge after 1660 or could have attended it regularly without exciting any comment is hardly short of ridiculous. Dr. Plot, writing at the close of the reign of Charles 11, evidently, had heard nothing of the latter's connection with the society.

Robison's statement that James II attended lodge at St. Germain and that the degree of Scottish Knight was added to the Three Degrees is so anachronistic as to show that he was simply romancing. Neither at the death of James II (1701) nor at the time of the effort to seat his son, James 111 (1715), were there any Three Degrees, nor did any kind of Masonry appear in France until 1725, nor any Scottish degree until after 1737.

Obviously false is Oliver's claim that followers of James II carried Freemasonry into France toward the close of the 17th century, or that a charter was granted to Lord Derwentwater for a Paris lodge in 1725, the first English lodge being chartered there between 1726 and 1732. Oliver also seems to place the decree of Louis XV and the Bull of Clement after 1745 and after the Young Pretender assertedly became Grand Master of France, but those edicts were issued in 1737 and 1738, respectively.

Ragon calls Ashmole a member of the Rose Croix, while Oliver states that this degree was instituted by the Young Pretender after 1745. Ragon is, of course, more than half a century out of time in crediting Ashmole with the creation of the Fellow Craft degree in 1648 and the Master's degree a short time later. He seems to have been followed blindly by Rebold.

Ragon got further out of step with the calendar by fixing the origin of Secret Master, Perfect Master, and Irish Master degrees about the time of the decapitation of Charles I, which was almost a century before any of those or any similar degrees were heard of.

Ragon states that the Templar degrees were formed to teach revenge against the Church for the death of de Molai, though Robison


and Findel place Freemasonry in conjunction with the Church. Rebold's creation of the Scottish degrees in Cannongate-Kilwinning Lodge is so wholly unsubstantiated and is so inconsistent with the conduct of that lodge or any other lodge in Scotland as to need no refutation.

The Chevalier Ramsay plays a leading role in this medley of fancy, being cast in the role of an arch conspirator by Oliver, Kloss and Rebold, and as a mere accessory before the fact by Findel, who was an abler and more cautious historian. As a matter of fact, very little is known about Ramsay's Masonic activities. There is no evidence whatever that he was a partisan of the Stuarts, the whole theory to that effect being founded on the fact that he was a Catholic and tutored the two sons of the Old Pretender for some fifteen months at Rome. In Catholicity, he was very tolerant, and the brevity of his sojourn with the Stuart family certainly indicate no strong attachment to it. There is not a scrap of evidence that Ramsay created or helped create a single degree, except so far as his extraordinary address of 1737 may have inspired others to do so. Gould correctly says; "More dangerous and absurd speeches are still made in the Craft." We have no record of Ramsay's Masonic career before 1737 and, after his speech of that year, he disappeared from the Masonic stage and died six years later.

The connection of either English or Scots Freemasonry with the Stuarts is a figment conceived years after the Stuarts were in their graves. So far as known, none of them were Freemasons, the Young Pretender, the most likely candidate for that honor, having denied his connection with the society. There is no evidence whatever of any political activity in the lodges of England or Scotland, and, though some French lodges dabbled in matters of state, we do not know that they had any views on the Jacobite question, or, if so, what those views were.

There has been reserved for the last, Dr. Mackey's treatment of the subject which appears in his History of Freemasonry (II, p. 267), written about 1880. While all of the authors above quoted were operating in the dark, knowing practically nothing about the history of the society, Dr. Mackey had the advantage of the work of the realistic school, the effect of which was distinctly felt by that year. But about all that Mackey did with the Jacobite theory was to review the statements of prior writers, shear off those parts which had been shown to be plainly impossible, and adopt much of the rest. Here, as in some other places, Mackey seemed to labor between a bent to


make Freemasonry interesting, if not sensational, and his effort to give weight to facts. He pretended to find but two pieces of tangible evidence to connect Freemasonry with the Stuarts, which were:

First; a charter purporting to have been issued by the Young Pretender in 1747, two years after his repulse at Culloden. This charter was for the formation, at Arras, France, of a "Sovereign Primordial Chapter of Rose Croix under the distinctive title of Scottish Jacobite." It read, in part, as follows

"We, Charles Edward, King of England, France, Scotland, and Ireland, and as such Substitute Grand Master of the Chapter of H, known by the title of Knight of the Eagle and Pelican, and since our sorrows and misfortunes by that of Rose Croix," etc.

But that document, even if genuine, loses much of its significance in view of the fact, by the constitution of the Royal Order of Scotland, which Mackey says this order was, the King of Scotland was hereditary Grand Master, and, therefore, James 111, then living, whether he was a Freemason or not, was Grand Master. It will be observed that Charles Edward was acting only as substitute for his father, though it is difficult to see how he could describe himself as king with his father alive. It is further to be observed that, in 1747, the struggle to regain the throne had been abandoned, so that anything occurring in that year is much too late to be a part of any Jacobite plot with or without Freemasonry. (See Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, titled Arras, Primordial Chapter of.)

Second; Mackey states that Lord Derwentwater (Charles Radcliffe), who was a pronounced Jacobite, presided over a lodge which met in 1725 at the house of one Hure in Paris, all of the members of which were Jacobites. That Derwentwater was fervently attached to the Stuarts is unquestioned, but Mackey goes far beyond the evidence when he states that this lodge was composed of Jacobites, for there is no record of its membership. Both Charles Radcliffe and his elder brother were condemned to death for complicity in the Jacobite rebellion in England in 1715. The elder brother was beheaded, but Charles escaped to France. In 1745, the latter, in attempting to join the Young Pretender in the fiasco of that year, was captured by the English and beheaded the following year.

Strange to say, Mackey, as well as preceding writers, failed to note that the Earl of Kilmarnock, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Scotland in 1742, was also beheaded in 1746 for participation in the rebellion. Scotland was a hot bed of Jacobitism and there was much of it in England. It is entirely possible that some Freemasons ad


herred to the House of Stuart, but that is a far cry from indicating any league of Freemasonry with that cause.

Thus far, the case is rather fragile, but Mackey relies on several other assumptions and arguments. Though denying that the Jacobites invented the Third Degree, he avers that they interpreted the Temple Legend as referring to the execution of Charles I and the hoped-for raising of the Stuart family back into power. He states that they called Henrietta Maria, queen of Charles I and mother of James 11, the "widow," and, hence, that James 11 became the "widow's son," and a new substitute word, "Macbenac," was introduced which in Gaelic meant "a blessed son." He then refers to the names of the nine assassins as used in one of the French degrees, which were Abiram, Abidal, Akirop, Hobhen, Romvel, Gravelot, Guibs, Otterfut, and Scherkin, and says that Romvel was an anagram for Cromwell, and that Guibs stood for Adam Gib, an anti-Stuart clergyman of Edinburgh. Albert Pike, who also seemed to follow this theory, stated that Hobhen meant Bohun, the Earl of Essex, and that Gravelot meant Argyle. No one has suggested whom the names of the other assassins might represent.

Without citing any evidence, Mackey then follows the beaten path, asserting that Ramsay was an exponent of the Stuarts and manufactured the higher degrees, one of which was "Grand Scottish Mason of James VI," which he claims speaks for itself. He says that the word, "Jekson," is a significant word in one of the "Ramsay" degrees and is a corruption of "Jacquesson," or the son of James. He attaches importance to the degree of Heredom or Heredon, sometimes written, H.R.D.M., and fastens this order on Ramsay and the Stuarts, saying that, while, according to some, it means "holy house" or "Temple," according to others, it means "heritage," that is, the throne of England, the heritage of the Stuarts. In the rituals, Heredom was described as a "mountain situated between the west and the north of Scotland," and, hence, its insertion is traceable to Ramsay, because he was a Scotsman. But, there again, Mackey overlooked the obvious and failed to see that, while a Frenchman might locate such fictitious mountain in Scotland, it is hardly probable that an educated Scotsman like Ramsay would do so.

Mackey then states that, in 1748, the Rite of Veille Bra or Faithful Scottish Mason was created at Toulouse in remembrance of the reception given the Pretender's aid-de-camp, Sir Samuel Lockhart. Mackey eliminates both James II and James III from any and all


Masonic schemes, but claims that Charles Edward was well qualified for such exploit. Summing up his conclusions, Mackey states:

"In the first place, it is not to be doubted that at one time the political efforts of the adherents of the dethroned and exiled family of the Stuarts did exercise a very considerable effect on the outward form and the internal spirit of Masonry, as it prevailed on the continent of Europe.

"In the symbolic degrees of ancient Craft Masonry, the influence was but slightly felt. It extended only to a political interpretation of the Legend of the Master's degree, in which sometimes the decapitation of Charles 1, and sometimes the forced abdication and exile of James II, was substituted for the fate of Hiram, and to a change in the substitute word so as to give an application of the phrase the `widow's son' to the child of Henrietta Maria, the consort of Charles I. The effect of these changes, except that of the word, which still continues in some Rites, has long since disappeared but their memory still remains as a relict of the incidents of Stuart Masonry.

"But the principal influence of this policy was shown in the fabrication of what are called the `High Degrees,' the `Hauts Grades' of the French. Until the year 1728 (sic) these accumulations to the body of Masonry were unknown. The Chevalier Ramsay, the tutor of the Pretender in his childhood, and subsequently his most earnest friend and ardent supporter, was the first to fabricate these degrees; although other inventors were not tardy in following in his footsteps."

Thus, are the wild stories formerly in circulation considerably deflated by Mackey, who, however, retains much pure romance for which there is no proof. Even Mackey's version fails to be persuasive. If Freemasonry was to be made a tool of the Stuarts, why were these efforts confined to the Continent where they could render little service in restoring a claimant to the English throne? Why were these socalled Jacobite degrees not pushed in England or, at least, in Scotland? If Ramsay was the instigator of, and infatuated by the idea, why did he wait more than ten years after leaving the employ of the Pretender at Rome before starting work? He severed connections with the Stuart family at Rome in 1725 and spent the following ten years in England and Scotland, becoming a member of the "Gentlemen's Society" of Spaulding and of the "Royal Society" and receiving the doctor's degree at Oxford, none of which actions announce him as a Jacobite but rather the contrary. Why was he not fabricating degrees all that while and confederating with adherents of the Stuarts in England, Scotland, and Ireland in each of which there were many Jacobites? We are asked to suppose that this ardent Jacobite allowed the years to slip by while the Stuart influence diminished and until as Andrews says (History of England, p. 442)


"Men no longer worried about the Act of Settlement; the most of the people wanted stable government, and with this guaranteed, cared little whether the King was a George or a James, a Hanovarian or a Stuart."

The story of the Jacobite plot is rather senseless, because all the Freemasons in the world at that time could have aided the Pretender very slightly in regaining the throne. What he needed was men at arms to attack and defeat the royal forces, a role for which Freemasons have never been noted. The rebellions of 1715 and 1745 were armed rebellions. When "Bonnie Prince Charlie" landed in Scotland in the latter year, he was accompanied by only seven friends. Surely, the Freemasons could have mustered a better showing than that if merely sympathetic conspirators were required. The Young Pretender immediately rallied around himself, not Freemasons, but Scots highlanders, great numbers of whom fell at Culloden. But few Englishmen responded to his call, for, as Cheyney says (History of England, p. 549)

"The Tories who had preached the divine right of kings did not put their principles into practice. Jacobitism proved to be a very weak sentiment in the face of the practical dangers of the rebellion."

That some of the Hauts Grades fabricated in France showed traces of Jacobite influence cannot be denied, but that is amply accounted for by the purely local and limited influence of friends of the Young Pretender who were instrumental in formulating those degrees. It shows no participation of Charles Edward, himself, and comes far from indicating any plot within the Fraternity.


At the very time Freemasonry was, according to some, plotting to restore the House of Stuart, it was, according to others, in league with the House of Hanover, represented by George I (1714-27) and George II (1727-60), and was flattering the reigning dynasty in order to show its opposition to the deposed family. The sole circumstance upon which this assertion seems to be based is that the Grand Lodge, beginning with the Duke of Montague in 1721, always chose its Grand Masters from among the nobility. But it seems to be overlooked that, within two years, the Grand Lodge placed in the Chair, the unstable Duke of Wharton, who may have been a papist, a Jacobite, and a Hanovarian at different times in his career. At least, he was not noted for his steady attachment to anything, and, in fact, forced himself into the Chair by a sort of rebellion within the Grand Lodge.


But the idea of royal favor and patronage of the society was much older than the Grand Lodge itself. The Gothic Legends, for more than two centuries, had related how the King of Babylon, Nimrod, Solomon, Charles Martel, Athelstan, and the Royal Edwin had esteemed Masons and given them charges. Upon this base, Dr. Anderson greatly expanded the fanciful history of Masonry and added many names of imperial dignity, so that the Craft came to be called the "Royal Art." To perpetuate this royal sanction was quite natural and needs no explanation other than purely Masonic legend and tradition.

To this may be added the disposition of Englishmen to court royal or noble patronage for every association or movement which dared aspire to prominence or which could hope for such encouragement. The primacy and superiority of the nobility has been ingrained in British institutions for centuries.

The same thing occurred in other countries. Royal Dukes headed the Grand Orient of France, Frederick the Great founded the Grand Lodge of all Prussia by his royal edict, the Kings of Sweden and Denmark were made hereditary Grand Masters, and the same doctrine prevailed in the Royal Order of Scotland.

The Hanovarian Theory was fabricated of trivial circumstances, and other facts pointing quite as directly to the opposite conclusion were overlooked.


There is no evidence that Freemasonry spurred the French Revolution. It is true that some lodges, at an early period, undertook the academic study and discussion of political principles and, inevitably, came to make practical applications of their conclusions and finally dabbled in matters of state. Doubtless, some French Freemasons were divided upon the issues leading to the Revolution much as were those on the outside of the Fraternity. If some lodges were socialistic, it is equally true that many others were aristocratic. The royalist element was certainly at the head of the Order from the time of the accession of the Duke d'Antin to the East in 1738. He was followed in 1743 by the Count of Clermont, a member of the royal family. From about 1758 when the Emperors of the East and West arose, French Masonry was dominated by the aristocratic element, and the origin and great popularity of the chivalric orders in that country is entirely inconsistent with any supposed plebeian or socialistic or revolutionary spirit as an influential factor.

From 1773 to the outbreak of the Revolution in 1789, the Duke


de Chartres, later the Duke of Orleans and a member of the royal family, was Grand Master of one of the rival Grand bodies of French Masonry. If French Masons were revolutionists, they must have sadly misjudged their associates, for the Reign of Terror extinguished virtually all of the lodges and ended the lives of many Paris Masters. The Duke of Orleans, in order to save himself, adopted the name, "Egalite" (Equality), renounced Freemasonry, and declared his sympathy with the Revolution, but the mob beheaded him on the guillotine in 1793.

When quiet was restored, French lodges revived and, perhaps, more than ever toyed with political matters, but this seems to have been rather a toadying or catering to the favor of those who, from time to time, rode the crest of the political wave, having apparently no other purpose than to promote the prestige of the lodges. This conduct had too little consistency about it to constitute any sort of political policy, for any person or party that seemed likely to shed some luster on the society was adherred to. The conduct was humiliating rather than conspirational.


The American Revolution is far enough gone to permit many things to be said about it with little fear of contradiction, so that there has been a marked tendency among writers of popular works on Freemasonry to lend the impression that Colonial lodges were hotbeds of revolt. Though not expressly stated, the inference is created that the War was fought largely by Freemasons on one side and nonMasons on the other.

It is a bit significant that the American Civil War, which was caused by feelings not fundamentally different from those which instituted the Revolution, that is, the claim that constitutional limitations had been exceeded and the ties of consanguinity severed, thereby justifying revolt, has produced no such Masonic literature. No wreaths have been placed by Masonic writers upon the graves of those Freemasons who participated in that secession. There has been no tendency to romance about the patriotism, loyalty, and heroism of our Confederate brethren, no search to identify with the Fraternity those whose connections were doubtful. If revolt against what is deemed to be tyranny or oppression is a Masonic virtue, its luster ought not to be dimmed by the failure of the enterprise. Indeed, that very event calls for laudation, since success brings its own reward. Though there has been an effort to extoll Freemasonry by identifying it with the winning side in the Revolution, there has certainly been no similar purpose to laud those who wore the Gray.


The fact is that, in all wars of the past two centuries, Freemasons, often prominent Freemasons, have fought on both sides, some for and some against the king, some for and some against liberation, some for and some against aggression, some for and some against imperialism, some for and some against secession, and some for and some against all other things that wars are supposed to be fought about. Fathers, sons, brothers, and Freemasons often fight under different standards, and the explanation of it is as clear as the explanation of why men wage wars at all.

Before and during the Revolution, some Freemasons were loyalists and some were patriots. They were divided much as families are often divided under such circumstances. In general, the wealthier classes were loyal to the King, while the middle and lower classes, farmers, mechanics, and laborers, were the backbone of the revolt. It is doubtless true that the majority of Colonial Masons were for the cause of liberty, not because they were Masons or because of any policy of the Fraternity, but because most Masons, like most of the population, were of the less wealthy class. In order to show that Freemasons played an unusually prominent part in the movement, it would be necessary to show that a larger proportion of Freemasons than of others were patriots, which is impossible to do.

The impression that Freemasonry dominated the Revolution or that the Revolution dominated Freemasonry has grown out of the natural demand in this country for books on Masonry, as well as on general history, which deal with that stirring period from the American viewpoint. We would hardly expect a widespread sale of books which contained encomiums upon the Tories or upon those Freemasons who fought under the banner of George 111. There must have been many Freemasons, both officers and men, in the British forces, for sea and field lodges, especially the latter, were numerous, almost all British regiments having traveling lodges and some of them having several.

Since no effort has been made to compile a list of Tory Masons or those participating in the Revolution on the British side, we are confined to such outstanding personalities as could not escape attention.

Sir John Johnson, Provincial Grand Master of New York, fled the country at the outbreak of the War, as did also the Master, Junior Warden, and Secretary of St. Patrick's Lodge of New York. Sir John, later, commanded the royal forces in western New York and he and Guy Johnson, former Master of St. Patrick's Lodge, fought for the


King throughout the War. Col. Walter Butler was a Freemason in Johnson's army, and Joseph Brant, a civilized Indian and a Freemason, assisted Gen. Johnson in maintaining an alliance with the Indian tribes.

At Philadelphia, the Junior Warden and Secretary of Lodge No. 3 (Ancient) went over to the British, and the Master of that Lodge was suspected of entertaining like sentiments. William Allen, Provincial Grand Master of Pennsylvania (Modern), put himself under the protection of Lord Howe and endeavored to raise a regiment for the British army. Edward Shippen of Lodge No. 1 (Modern) at Philadelphia, Chief Justice of the state, was a prominent Tory and father-in-law of Benedict Arnold. Captain William Cunningham, a Freemason in Howe's army, was instrumental in saving some of the property of Lodge No. 2 at Philadelphia, which had been ransacked and looted.

At Princeton, New Jersey, Capt. William Leslie, a Freemason in Howe's army, was killed in action, and was buried with Masonic, as well as military honors by his American brethren.

In the South, we find Egerton Leigh, Provincial Grand Master of South Carolina, fleeing to the protection of the British. In the first attack on Charleston, South Carolina, in 1776, the British fleet was commanded by Admiral Parker, a Freemason. At Camden, South Carolina, the British administered two resounding defeats to the Colonials, one on August 16, 1780, the other on April 25, 1781. The Earl of Moira, one of the most valued and best beloved of English Freemasons, who afterwards became Acting Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of England from 1790 to 1812 and Grand Master of Scotland in 1806, led one wing of Cornwallis' army in the first battle and was in sole command of the British forces in the second. He was an able administrator as well as soldier and, for his services in India commencing in 1813, was made Marquis of Hastings, and died in 1826 while Governor of Malta.

At the outbreak of the War, there were upwards of 100 lodges in the Colonies, but, of all these, St. Andrew's Lodge at Boston is the only one which has left any record of a pronounced sentiment for or against the Revolution. In the absence of better authority than any thus far presented, we must conclude that the vast majority of Colonial lodges adherred to the Masonic percept which discountenanced participation in such matters. As above stated, Freemasons were influenced by their financial, social, or political conditions or


views, and membership in the Fraternity had little or nothing to do with their actions one way or the other.

A prominent example of how members of the same lodge took different stands is afforded as early as 1761 in First Lodge of Boston. Jeremy Gridley of that Lodge and Provincial Grand Master, was also Attorney General of the Colony and won, on behalf of the Crown, the celebrated case concerning writs of assistance (search warrants to discover contraband), but James Otis, a member of the same lodge, immortalized his name on this side of the Atlantic by his courage and ability in arguing the case for the citizens and challenging the validity of the act of Parliament instituting such writs.

In 1775, Richard Gridley, a member of Second Lodge at Boston and a brother of Jeremy, who had died in 1767, was the engineer under Washington in charge of the entrenchments around Boston and set the guns which drove the British out of that city. On the other hand, Thomas Brown, Secretary of both First and Second Lodges, was a Tory and fled to Halifax, Nova Scotia, upon the abandonment of Boston by the British.

John Rowe, who became Provincial Grand Master of the Moderns at Boston upon the death of Jeremy Gridley in 1767, was one of the wealthiest merchants of the city and, if not a Tory, was so lukewarm as to incur popular disfavor. He expressed disapproval of such unlawful acts as the Boston Tea Party, as did also Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, the latter not, however, being a Freemason.

First Lodge at Boston was more aristocratic than most other lodges, being composed largely of the mercantile and professional classes. St. Andrew's Lodge is supposed to have been formed by those who were not attracted by, and, perhaps, were not invited into the more exclusive atmosphere of First Lodge. The Scots Lodge often extended the hand of Masonic fellowship to its more estimable rival but was as often repulsed, although this may have been due in part to the difference in Grand Lodge allegiance of the two bodies.

There can be no doubt that St. Andrew's Lodge, which met at the Green Dragon Tavern, was almost unanimously in sympathy with the Colonial cause. To it belonged Dr. Joseph Warren, Provincial Grand Master of that branch, who fell at Bunker Hill, Paul Revere, the courier of the Revolution, John Hancock, and John Rowe, nephew of the Provincial Grand Master of the same name. The younger John Rowe is credited with suggesting the Boston Tea Party by expressing wonder as to "how tea would mix with salt


water." The Sons of Liberty met at the same tavern, which was called by the Governor of the Colony a "nest of sedition," and, later, by Daniel Webster, the "Headquarters of the Revolution."

The minutes of St. Andrew's Lodge show that, at the annual meeting on St. Andrew's Day, Nov. 30, 1773, the lodge had to be adjourned for lack of attendance because "consignees of tea took up the brethren's time." At the next meeting night, December 16, only five members were present, the absentees undoubtedly attending the Tea Party which was held that evening aboard the merchantmen at anchor in the harbor. At the foot of the brief minutes for that night, the Secretary or someone else filled the rest of the page with large capital T's.

The loss of their beloved Grand Master Warren undoubtedly cemented the brethren of St. Andrew's Lodge more closely and increased their patriotic fervor. The older Modern Provincial Grand Lodge lost prestige as the War progressed and, for a few years, practically became dormant.

In order more accurately to appraise the influence of Freemasonry, if any, in the Revolution, we must distinguish between occurrences before and after the commencement of hostilities at Lexington and Concord in April, 1775, because, naturally, there was, afterward, little room for one to remain neutral. Thereupon, most Freemasons, like most other people, joined the Colonial cause. We have information of only a few Freemasons who were prime movers in the revolt before actual hostilities began. These were all men of prominence whose names became emblazoned on the pages of our history..

Washington stands preeminent. Though he felt and expressed indignation at the conduct of the Crown, he was no radical or firebrand, but hoped for a more conciliatory attitude on the part of the British government. He sat in both the First and Second Continental Congresses and counselled moderation but firmness.

Franklin was the ambassador of the Revolution, spending many years in England and France seeking conciliation in the one and armed intervention in the other.

Paul Revere was more than the courier of the Revolution; he was the mechanic and artisan of the Revolution, his services in the production of material of war being so essential that he was never allowed to participate in military campaigns. He later became Grand Master of Massachusetts.


James Otis was the early counselor of the Revolution, his name being one of the first to shine in the cause of liberty.

John Hancock represented the wealthier mercantile class, and his courage is all the more creditable, because that stratum of society was, by no means, united in his support.

John Rowe the younger is said to have inspired the first overt act of revolt, the Boston Tea Party.

Jonathan W. Edes of St. Andrew's Lodge allowed his printing office to be used as a rendezvous for the "Indians" who conducted the Tea Party.

Joseph Warren, a physician, was the first prominent man to fall before British fire, and his death aroused the indignation of, and fanned the spirit of resistance in his fellow patroits.

Col. Henry Purkett of St. Andrew's Lodge, an officer in the Colonial army, was the last survivor of the "Indians." He declared that the plans for the Tea Party were initiated and matured in St. Andrew's Lodge and that its members were the leaders in the enterprise.

Following the outbreak of hostilities and during the six years of the War, many names were added to the list of Colonial patriots who were known to be Freemasons and of others who, there is strong reason to believe, joined the Fraternity. It must be remembered that lodge records of that period were not kept with the care or completeness of the present day, and those that were written have, in many instances, long since disappeared. Often extraneous evidence has to be relied upon, and advantage has sometimes been taken of the uncertainty to make unsupportable claims of Masonic affiliation on the part of various characters in the great drama. Even Gould falls into error by following overenthusiastic American authors who stated that all but three of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were Freemasons.


According to the investigations of Ronald E. Heaton of Morristown, Pennsylvania, a recognized authority on the subject, there were nine Freemasons among the signers of the Declaration of Independence, as follows:

1. John Hancock of St. Andrew's Lodge at Boston.

2. Benjamin Franklin of the original Tun Tavern Lodge at Philadelphia in 1730 and later Deputy Provinical Grand Master of Pennsylvania.

3. William Hooper of Hanover Lodge, Masonsborough, North Carolina.


4. William Whipple of St. John's Lodge, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

5. Joseph Hewes, recorded as a visitor to Unanimity Lodge No. 7, Edenton, North Carolina.

6. Robert Treat Payne, recorded as present in Grand Lodge, Roxbury, Massachusetts, June 26, 1759.

7. Richard Stockton, Charter Master of St. John's Lodge, Princeton, New Jersey, in 1765.

8. George Walton of Solomon's Lodge No. 1, Savannah, Georgia. 9. William Ellery of First Lodge of Boston.

Other Freemasons who furthered the Colonial cause but were without military records were: Peyton Randolph of Williamsburg Lodge and Provincial Grand Master of Virginia and President of the First Continental Congress; Edmund Randolph of Williamsburg Lodge and member of the national Congress of 1779; John Pulling Jr., who signaled from the church steeple the advance of the British at Boston; Perez Morton, who preached the oration at the funeral of Joseph Warren; Robert Livingston, who helped draft the Declaration of Independence and was afterwards Grand Master of New York; John Cruger, Mayor of New York City; Samuel Kirkland, later founder of Hamilton College; and Grand Master Montfort and his Deputy, Cornelius Hartnett, of North Carolina, who were proscribed by the British.

Those in the military service of the Colonies who are known to have been Freemasons are: Ethan Allen, leader of the Green Mountain Boys; Lieut. Boyd, who was murdered by Indians despite the efforts of Joseph Brant to save him; Col. Aaron Burr, who fought at Quebec and Monmouth; Joel Clark, Master of American Union Lodge No. 1, who was in the Battle of Long Island; Richard Caswell, afterwards Grand Master of North Carolina, commander of the militia of that colony; Amos Doolittle of Hiram Lodge No. 1 of New Haven, Connecticut, who was at the skirmish at Lexington; Major Gen. Johann De Kalb, who commanded the reserves and was killed at the Battle of Camden; Col. Richard Gridley, who was engineer in charge of the entrenchments at Boston; Col. Peter Gansevoort Jr., of Union Lodge of Albany, New York, who was in command of Ft. Stanwix; Gen. Nathaniel Greene, who commanded the army in the Carolinas; Gen. Mordecai Gist of Maryland Military Lodge and afterwards Grand Master of South Carolina, who commanded the Maryland militia; Nathan Hale, who was executed as a spy, saying that his only regret was that he had but one life to give for his country; Gen. Nicholas Herkimer of St. Patrick's Lodge, New York, who lost his life at Ft. Stanwix; Col. Robert Howe of North Carolina;


Col. Hambright; Henry Knox, who fortified Dorchester Heights, resulting in the taking of Boston; Thaddeus Kosciuzko; Lafayette; Gen. Benjamin Lincoln of Massachusetts Lodge, who was in command at Charleston, South Carolina, and received the surrender of Lord Cornwallis' sword; Gen. Harry Lee; Capt. Lenoir; Gen. Richard Montgomery, who captured St. John's and Montreal; Gen. Hugh Mercer of Fredericksburg Lodge, Virginia, who was killed at Princeton; Col. John McKinstry of Hudson Lodge No. 13, New York, whose life was saved by the Indian, Joseph Brant; Daniel Morgan of the Riflemen; Col. MacDowell; Lieut. James Monroe, who was afterwards President; Gen. Israel Putnam; Gen. Rufus Putnam of American Union Lodge No. 1; Gen. S. H. Parsons of the same Lodge; Col. Thomas Procter of Military Lodge No. 3 of Pennsylvania, who was in the Battle of Oriskany; Gen. John Sullivan of St. John's Lodge, Portsmouth, later Grand Master of New Hampshire, who was commander of the militia of that colony; Lord Stirling, a division commander in the Battle of Long Island; Gen. Philip Schuyler, who opposed Burgoyne; Gen. John Starke, who did not leave Molly a widow; Col. Abraham Swartout of King Solomon's Lodge, Poughkeepsie, New York, who was in the Battle of Ft. Stanwix; Col. Sevier; Gen. Sumter, the "Swamp Fox"; Baron Von Steuben of Trinity Lodge No. 12, New York; Gen. David Wooster of Hiram Lodge No. 1, New Haven, Connecticut; Col. Seth Warner of Union Lodge No. 1, Albany, New York, who was with Montgomery at Montreal; Col. Marinus Willett, who was at the Battle of Ft. Stanwix; Col. Otho Williams; Gen. William Washington; and, lastly, Gen. Benedict Arnold, who was one of Washington's most dependable and intrepid commanders until his treason in 1780 when he deserted to the British and afterwards conducted raids in Virginia and Connecticut.


The Convention which framed the Constitution of the United States consisted of fifty-five delegates, of whom, 14 are known to have been Freemasons at that time, six becoming such afterwards. There is some evidence, not conclusive, that twelve others belonged to the Fraternity. It is quite certain that twenty-two of the delegates never were Freemasons. Of the fifteen known to have been Freemasons, five did not sign the instrument.

The fourteen Freemasons in the Convention were: George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Edmund Randolph, John Blair, David Brearley, Gunning Bedford Jr., Oliver Ellsworth, Rufus King, John


Dickinson, James McClurg, Jacob Broom, William Pierce, William Houstoun, and Daniel Carrol. Randolph, Blair, Brearley, and Bedford had been or were to become Grand Masters.

Those six delegates who became Masons subsequent to the Convention were: William R. Davie Jr., Dr. James McHenry, John F. Mercer, William Patterson, Jonathan Dayton, and Dan St. T. Jenifer, although it is possible that Dayton was a Mason as early as 1787.

Those who may or may not have been Masons are: Robert Morris, Alexander Hamilton, Abraham Baldwin, William Blount, James Madison, Nicholas Gilman, John Lansing Jr., George Mason, George Read, Elbridge Gerry, and George Wythe.

It is always best to adhere as closely as possible to truth. Nothing will conform to a fact but another fact. This advice is especially appropriate to Masonic authors, for Freemasonry has often been cast in a false light, and has had to apologize for distortions of its history or doctrines by Masonic writers, though it has never had to do so for its own deeds. By making Freemasonry out as an active agent to promote the American Revolution, writers were encouraged to assert that it instigated that of France. The latter theory was lent some color by the political activities of lodges on the Continent of Europe, which, however, seem to have been little more than meddlesome. From this revolutionary thesis, was deduced the anti-Masonic program of General von Ludendorff and wife, following World War I, which was siezed upon by Mussolini, Franco, and Hitler to impose misery and suffering upon Masons and Masonry throughout a large part of Europe. Then, Masonic writers had to protest vehemently that Masonry had no political leanings at all.

Something similar happened in religious matters. Masonic authors made Masonry a religion, and some identified it with sun-worship, sex-worship, and other pagan cults until the Roman Catholic Church and even the Protestant clergy condemned it as heretical, false, and anti-Christian. Thereupon, Masonic writers had to recant by proceeding to prove that Masonry was not a religion at all but only religious.

The charitable activities of the Craft were stressed until the impossibility of administering outside charity unless lodge dues were to be inordinately raised became glaringly apparent, so that most Grand Lodges actually forbade the use of lodge funds for non-Masonic purposes.

Masonic authors made extreme applications of what they called the "universality" of Freemasonry and, basing their argument upon


the theme of the brotherhood of man, asserted that the Society admitted men of all colors, races, and creeds, notwithstanding the obvious fact that some colors, races, and creeds are systematically excluded, though not by any express, universal law. This has produced various explanations and pretexts, none consistent or convincing.

One will understand Freemasonry best by closely observing what Grand Lodges or even lodges actually declare and do, rather than by accepting the statements of writers who describe Freemasonry as what they think it ought to be or even try to make it more interesting by making it more sensational.


A Candid Disquisition of the Principles and Practices of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons, 107

A Compendious Apology Clearing the Fraternity of the Rosy Cross from the Stories of Suspicion and Infamy Cast Upon Them, 203

A Comprehensive View of Freemasonry, 120

A House Undivided, 121 A Mason's Confession, 187 A Moral Factor Behind the First Ban?, 221

A Search After Truth, 86

A Serious and Impartial Enquiry Into the Cause of the Present Decay of Freemasonry in the Kingdom of Ireland, 86

A Study in American Freemasonry, 118,214

A Vocabulary of Freemasonry, 105 A Warning, 121-123

Abif, Hiram, 21, 36, 97, 104 Acacia Fraternity, 32

Acta Latomrum, 108

Activities of Lodges and Masons, 62-65

Adams, John Quincy, 106, 261 Adonhiramite Freemasonry, 104 Advantages Enjoyed by the Fraterni ty, The, 83, 85

Ahiman Rezon, 55, 58, 88, 102 Albrecht, Heinick, 103 Alcohol, 10 Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22, D.C., 52

Allen, Ethan, 264 Allen, William, 4, 260 Allied Masonic Degrees, College of, 31

Alnwick Lodge, 145

Alpha Lodge, Ind. Tern, 53 Altenburg Constitutions Book, 103 Amaranth, Order of, 33 American Doctrine, 51




American Doctrine of Exclusive Jurisdiction, 31

American Freemasonry, 13

American Masonic Law and Jurisprudence, 115

American Revolution, 10, 23, 29, 37, 127, 243-267

American Rite, 99, 101, 126, 141-143, 148, 150

American Union Lodge, Conn., 42, 53,264-265

An Attempt to Furnish a Critical History of Freemasonry on the Masonic Fraternity from the Earliest Times to the Year 1802, 103

Ancient and Primitive Rite of Memphis, 109

Ancient Craft Masonry, 7, 20, 154 Ancient Faiths and Modern, 116 Ancient Freemasonry, 120

Ancient Landmarks, 8, 68, 110, 115, 179, 181

Ancient Mysteries, 103, 109, 111 Ancient Pagan and Modern Christian Symbolism, 116

Ancient Pagan Mysteries, 68, 116, 117, 195

"Ancient" Rites and "Ancient" Masonry, 154-155

Ancient York Masonry, 20, 154 Anderson, James, 4, 19, 21, 83, 109, 167-168, 187

Andersonian and Other Theories, 4-5 Anderson's Constitutions, 21, 84, 87 Andrea, 103

Andrews, 255

Anointed High Priests, 32 Anointed Kings, Council of, 32 Anti-Masonic, 30, 55, 106, 113, 121, 213, 243, 266

Anti-Masonry, 121 Anti-Masonry in Missouri, 124 Antiquities of Freemason, 106 Antiquity Manuscript, 182 Aphorism and Definition, 15-16 Appendent Degrees, 155-158

Argents Lodge, Colo., 235 Ark and Dove, 32

Ark of the Covenant, 20 Arnold, Benedict, 240 Articles of Federation, 42 Ashmole, Elias, 144, 202, 247, 249 Ashmolean Museum, 202

Atholl Lodges, 112

Authority of Grand Lodge Over Appendant Degrees, 65-67

Azais, R. H., 108


Bacon, 103

Baldwin, Abraham, 266

Baltimore Convention; Masonic Conservators, 128-129

"Baltimore Work," 129 Barnett, Arthur, 218 Barney, 100, 129

Barruel, Abbe, 3, 105, 248 Bath, Order of, 31 Baylot, Jean, 225

Bazot, E. F., 105 Beatitudes, Order of, 33 Beauceant, Order of, 33 Bedford, Gunning Jr., 265 Beesly, Eustace B., 121 Belief in God, 80 Beginnings of Freemasonry in America, 119

Belgium, 34 Benedict XIV, 220 Benimeli, Father Ferra Jr., 217, 227 Bernard, Elder D., 3, 106 Berteloot, Father, 227

Beyer, Father, Jean, 218 Beyerle, J. P. L., 104 Bibliography of Anti-Masonry, 121 Bideaud and Cesneau, 24 Blackstone, 100-101

Blair, John, 265 Blair, Randolph, 265 Blount, William, 266 Blue Friars, Society of, 33 Booneville, Nicholas de, 104 Book of the Chapter, 114 Books on Jurisprudence, 65 Boston Gazelle 206 Boston Tea Party, 261-262 Boston Weekly Rehearsal, 206 Boyd, Lt., 264

Boyden, W. L., 120 Brant, Joseph, 264-265

Brearly, David, 265

Britonnic Chapter No. 9, R.A.M., 218 British and American Historiography, 111-113

British Continental, and American Freemasonry, 27-30

Broom, Jacob, 266 Brockwell, C., 86, 170 Brown, Alfred, 213 Brown, Robert H., 116 Brown, Thomas, 261 Brown, William Mosely, 121 Buchan, W. P., 112

Buhle, J. G., 103 Builders, 119 Builders, Order of, 32 Bunker Hill, 45 Burke, 101

Burr, Aaron, 264 Butler, Walter, 260


Cabalists, 84

Calcott, William, 69, 87, 88, 124, 170, 189, 248

Candid Disquisition, A, 69, 87, 189 Cannon 2335, 2, 6, 230, 232 Cannongate-Kilwinning, 252 Capitular, Chivalric, and Cryptic Ma

sons, 25, 30, 124, 134 Caprile, Father Geovanni, 217 Cardinal Heenam, 228-229 Cardinal Seper, 232 Craftsmen, The, 222 Carnegy, S. W. B., 129 Carol, Daniel, 266

Carr, Harry, 121, 227, 229 Carter, James, 121 Casewell, Richard, 264 Cathedral Builders, The, 120 Catholic Conduct, 211-216 Catholic Fortnightly Review, 214 Cerza, Alphonse, 121 Cereauism, 65

Chalmers, Henry, 88, 170 Changes Effected 1717-1723, 18 Characteristics of Men, 169 Chase, Geo. W., 115

Chatres, Duke of, 258 Chemical Nuptials, 200 Cheyney, 256

Chicago Tribune, 232 Christianity not Mysterious, 169 Civil War, 52, 258


Civita Cattolica; 217

Clare, Martin, 19, 84, 98, 124, 169, 170, 188-189, 220, 239

Clark, Joel, 264 Clarke, Samuel, 169 Clavel, Abbe, 109, 110 Clay, Henry, 129 Clegg, Robert I., 9, 89 Clement XLL, 19, 216, 270 Clermont, Count of, 257 Code of Masonic Law, 64, 113-114 Codington, John, 86, 170 Cogliostno, 118

Coil, Henry Wilson Sr., v, vii, viii, 120

Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, vii, 68, 82, 121, 253 Cole, John, 102

Coleman, Henry R., 116 Cole's Constitutions, 83 Collins, Anthony, 169 Collins, Lloyd, 121 Colombo, Cristofora, 161, 197 Colorado College, vii Commentaries of laws of England, 101

Communism, 34

Comparative Handbook of Symbolism of Freemasons With Special Consideration of the Mythology and Mythology and Mysteries of Antiquity, 116

Comparison of Egyptian Symbols With Those of the Hebrews, 101, 115 "Concerning God and Religion," 167169

Connection Between Freemasonry and Religion, The, 86, 170 Conservators of Symbolic Masonry, 129-132

Concise History of Freemasons, 119, 157

Constitutions of 1723, 4, 6, 12, 19, 20, 59, 68, 70, 72, 76, 164, 173, 178,188-189

Conversations on Freemasonry, vii Cook, Wes, v

Cook, Matthew, 111

Craft Degrees, 25-26, 28, 113, 136, 142

Craft Masonry in All Times and Places, 35-36

Craft Rite, 134 Craig, 120

Critical Inquiry Into the Conditions of the Conventional Builders and Their Relations to Secular Guilds in the Middle Ages, 112

Cromwell, Oliver, 245-247 Cross, Jeremy, 99, 106, 128, 152 Crum Case, 177

Crown and Anchor Tavern, 90 Cruger, John, 264

Cryptic Masonry, 114 Cryptic Rite, 134 Cummings, W. L., 121 Cunningham, William, 260 Cushman, 99, 129


d'Antin, Duke of, 275 Dalcho, Frederick, 24, 102 Dalcho's Orations, 102 Dalhousie, Earl of, 224 Darragh, Delmar D., 119 Dassigny, Fefield, 86 Daughters of the Desert, 33 Daughters of the Eastern Star, 33, 113 Daughters of Mokana, 33

Daughters of the Nile, 33 Daughters of Osirs, 33 Davis, William R., 266 Dayton, Jonathan, 266 Dear Abby, 272 Declaration of Independence, 40, 262265

Declaration of Principles, 78-82 Definition, 133-136

Defense of Masonry, 19, 83, 84, 169, 188

De Gasse-Tilly, 25 DeKalb, Johann, 266 Demasking the Mysteries, 195-199 DeMolay, Order of, 33

Densiow, William R., viii, 121 Dermott, Laurence, 26, 88 Derwentwater, Lord, 249, 253 Desaguliers, John Theophilus, 83, 86, 167, 168, 220

Descartes, 168 Desmonds, Order of, 32 Desmond, 178 Disraeli, 164

Development and Diversity of Rituals, 124-128

Developments After 1751, 23-24 Dickerson, John, 266

Dictionary of Symbolic Masonry, 116


Digest of Masonic Jurisprudence, 65 Digest of Masonic Law, 65

Digest of Masonic Law and Decisions, 64

Discord in Craft Masonry, 26 Discourse in Freethinking, 169 Discourse Upon Masonry, 83 Discourses Delivered on Public Oc casions Illustrating the Principles, Displaying the Tendency and Vindicating the Design of Freemasonry, 102

Discourses on Method, 168

Doctrine and Literature of the Kabbala, 194

Doolittle, Amos, 264 Drake, Francis, 83, 145 Druids, 84, 91, 97, 102, 109, 188, 195

Dunckerly Disruption Theory, The, 147-150

Dunckerly, Thomas, 86, 88-89, 124, 142, 151, 170


Early History and Antiquities of Freemasonry as Connected With Ancient Norse Guilds and the Oriental and Medieval Building Fraternities, 112

Early History of Freemasonry in England, 107

Early Masonic Catechisms, 121 Early Masonic Pamphlets, 120 Edes, Jonathan W., 263

Edwards, Robert or the Lord of Petric, 213

Egyptian Symbols Compared with Those Discovered in American Mounds, 116

Egyptians, 84, 97, 109 Elaborated legends, 19-20 Ellery, Williams, 264 Ellsworth, Oliver, 265 Elusinian Mysteries and Rites, 120 Emlyn, Thomas, 169

Emulation Lodge, 127

Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, 70, 114, 120, 121, 134-135, 145, 147, 183,191-192

English Effort, 227-228 English Reformation, 10, 205 English Speaking Freemasonry, 120 Entered Apprentice, 36, 63, 96, 134, 135, 187

Entick, John, 87 Ericson, Leif, 161 Ernst and Falk: A Conversation About Freemasonry, 103

Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Reasonableness of Christianity, 168

Essay on Freemasonry or Essential and Fundamental Objects of Freemasonry; of the Possibility and Necessity for Union of Different Systems or Branches; of the Proper Rules of the United Systems and of Masonic Law, 104

Essay on the History of Freemasonry From the Foundation to Our Day, 105

Essay on the Origin of Freemasonry, 102

Essay on the Sect of the Illumines, 105

Essenes, 84, 97, 188, 195 Evolution of Freemasonry, 119 Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction, 80 Exposito, Father, 230


Facets of the Diamond, 11 Fallow, Frederick A., 108, 110 Fama Fraternitatis Rosae Crucis, 200 Familiar Treatise on the Principles and Practice of Masonic Jurisprudence, 65

Fay, Bernard, 243-245

Federal Lodge, No. 15, D.C., 213 Fellow Craft, 20, 36, 63

Fellow Craft Degree, 12, 93, 95, 96, 134, 135, 187

Fellows, John, 109 Fessler, Ignay, 26, 103 Findel, J. G., 110-111, 248, 250

First Bull by Pope Clement X11, 220221

First Lodge at Boston, 261, 264 Fludd, Robert, 203

Folkes, Martin, 83 Fort, George, 111-112 Four Old Lodges, 112 Four Old Lodges, 3, 16, 26, 45 Fowle, 99, 129

Franco, 34, 243, 266

Franklin, Benjamin, 37, 102, 261-263, 265

Frederick the Great, 257


Freemasonry: Its Origin, Its General History and Actual Designation, 108

Freemasonry: Its Symbolism, Religious Nature and Law of Perfection, 116

Freemasonry Among the Indians, 121 Freemasonry and Ancient Paganism, 187-199

Freemasonry and Mormonism, 234242

Freemasonry and Religion, Holy Bible, or V.S.L.; Masonic Charity, 163-186

Freemasonry and Revolution, 243-267 Freemasonry and Roman Catholicism, 205-233

Freemasonry and Roman Catholicism, 121

Freemasonry and Rosicrucianism, 200204

Freemasonry and Its Jurisprudence, 65 Freemasonry and the Ancient Gods, 120

Freemasonry and the Changing World, 8-11

Freemasonry Crosses the Channel, 225-226

Freemasonry Defined, 35 Freemasonry Explained in Its True Origin, 108

Freemasonry From the Great Pyramid of Ancient Times, 116 Freemasonry in American Courts, 121 Freemasonry in China, 116 Freemasonry in Virginia, 121 Freemasonry in Its Broader and More Comprehensive Sense, 36-37 Freemasonry in the Holy Land, 113 Freemasonry in the Seventeenth Century, 112

Freemasonry in the Thirteen Colonies, 120

Freemasonry Traced to Its True Origin of or the Antiquity of Freemasonry; Proved by the Expla nation of Ancient and Modern Mysteries, 189

Freemasonry Through Six Centuries, 121

Freemasons Guide and Compendium, 121

Freemasons Monitor, 99, 126 Freemasons in Their True Meaning Traced From the Ancient and

Genuine Documents of the Stonemasons, Masons, and Freemasons, 108

French, Thomas, 170

French Historiography, 110-111 French Literature; 104-106, 108-109 French Revolution, 24

French Rite, 134, 137


Galloway, James, 88 Gamma Alpha Pi, 32 Ganisvoot, Peter, 264 Gaury, J. S., 88, 170 General Grand Lodge, 43 General History of Freemasonry, 111 General History of Freemasonry in Europe, 111

Gentleman's Magazine, 222 George 11, 88

German Brotherhood of the Middle Ages, 110

German Historiography, 110 German Literature, 103-104, 108 Gerry, Elbridge, 266

Gibbon, 90

Giles, Herbert, 116 Gilkes, Peter, 127 Gilman, Nicholas, 266 Gist, Mordecai, 264 Gnostics and Freemasonry, 116 Gnostics and their Remains, 116 God and Religion, 76

Golden Chain, Order of, 33

Golden Remains, 83-84, 102, 120, 188, 189

Good Samaritan, Order of, 32 Goodwin, S. H., 235 Gordion Knot, 60

Gothic Constitutions, 4, 6, 16, 68, 72, 75, 94, 107, 111-112, 122, 128, 144-145, 164-165, 187, 197

Gothic Legends, 20, 23 Gottleib, C. 103, 109 Gould, 71, 78, 109-110, 157, 178, 263 Grand College of Rites, 31

Grand Lodge of Ancients, 45, 54 "Grand Lodge of England South of the River Trent," 91

Grand Lodge Manuscript, 165 Grand Lodge Recognition, 77, 121 Grand Lodges:

Argentina, 82

England, 10, 12, 16, 23, 25-26, 45, 48, 51, 73, 77, 80, 124,


128, 145, 172, 180, 245 France, 23-25, 179-180 Ireland, 16, 19, 23, 26, 45, 80, 128, 149

Quebec, 7

Scotland, 12, 16, 19, 23, 26, 45, 47-48, 51, 80, 88, 128, 149, 154

United States, Alabama, 55, 60, 181; Arizona, 55; California, 55; Connecticut, 43, 47, 55, 61, 131, 177; Dakota Territory, 58; Delaware, 55, 60; District of Columbia, 49, 52, 55, 61; Florida, 55, 61; Georgia, 52, 54, 60, 64; Idaho, 60; Illinois, 53, 55, 6061, 131, 198; Indian Territory, 7, 55, 61; Iowa, 60, 131; Kansas, 53, 60, 131; Kentucky, 53, 56, 61, 131, 177; Louisiana, 52, 55; Maine, 55, 56, 59, 131; Maryland, 43, 49, 55, 61, 131; Michigan, 56, 60, 131; Minnesota, 4, 5, 53, 55, 60, 70, 115, 131, 177; Mississippi, 55, 177; Missouri, 53, 55, 64-65, 131; Montana, 7, 55; Nebraska, 55, 60; Nevada, 55, 177, 235; New Hampshire, 55, 59, 61-62, 64, 131; New Jersey, 43, 49, 55, 61, 131, 177; New Mexico, 54, 55, 60; New York, 43, 49, 52, 54, 57, 61-64, 131; North Carolina, 7, 55, 59-60; North Dakota, 55, 59-60; Ohio, 42, 52, 55, 58, 60-62, 131; Oregon, 55, 131; Pennsylvania, 42, 43, 49, 53, 55; Rhode Island, 43, 54, 58, 60, 62; South Carolina, 49, 52, 54, 63, 114; South Dakota, 59, 60; Tennessee, 53, 55, 59-61, 63, 177; Texas, 55, 235; Utah, 55, 235; Vermont, 55-56, 60-63; Virginia, 41, 48, 52-53, 55, 57, 61, 118; Wisconsin, 53, 55, 60, 120, 131; Wyoming, 155 Grand Masters Conference of North America, 78

Grand Mystery of Free-Masons Discovered, 94

Grand Orient of France, 23, 25, 179180

Grandidier, Abbe, 103 Great Priory of America, 32 Green, Rev. R., 170

Green Dragon Tavern, 261 Greene, Nathaniel, 264 Gregory XV, 217

Grey, de Earl, 213 Gridley, Jeremy, 261 Gridley, Richard, 261, 264 Grouber, Father, 227


Hale, Nathan, 264 Hallan, 3

Halliwell, James O., 107 Hamer, Douglas, 120,152 Hamilton, Alexander, 266 Hancock, John, 37, 261, 263 Hammer, John, 152 Hanover, Lodge, N.C., 263 Hanoverian, 243, 245, 281 Harris, R. Baker, 121 Harris, Thaddeus M., 102 Hartnett, Cornelius, 264 Hans, E., 116

Haute Grades, 19, 23, 25, 28, 141, 202,256

Haywood, H. L., 120-121 Head, Isaac, 86, 170 Heaton, Ronald, 263 Hebrew Scriptures, 20 Heldman, Fredrick, 108 Hemming, Dr., 95, 97, 99, 106, 153, 174

Herbert, William, 108 Herkimer, Nicholas, 264 Hermes or Masonic Archives for a Society of Freemasons, 109 Hermeticism, 137

Heroes of 76, 33 Hewes, Joseph, 264 Higgins, Frank, 120 High Twelve International, 33 Hiram International, 30

Hiram Lodge No. 1. Conn., 265 Hiram Lodge No. 1. N.Y., 265 Historical and Critical Essay on Free masonry a Research on the Origin, System and Objects, Including Critical Examinations of the Principal Works as Much Published as Unpublished, Which Have Treated This Subject, and


Apologetic Refutation of the Charges Made by the Society, 105

Historical Landmarks, 106, 136, 146, 148

Historical Treatise on Early Builders Marks, 112

History of England, 255-256

History of Freemasonry (Mitchell), 111

History of Freemasonry, 72, 109, 111, 114, 115, 119-120

History of Freemasonry Drawn From Authentic Sources of Information: With an Account of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, 102 History of Freemasonry From Its Origin to Present Day, 111 History of Freemasonry in France, 110

History of Freemasonry in Germany, 110

History of Freemasonry in Kentucky, 113

History of Jacobinism,, 248

History of Masonic Systems in England France a td Germany, 110 History of Wigon Grand Lodge, 121 History of the Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons and Concordant Orders, 118

History of the Foundation of the Grand Orient of France, 105 History of the Freemasons in England, Ireland, and Scotland Produced from Genuine Documents, 108

History of the Lodge of Edinburgh, 112

History of Mother Lodge Kilwinning, 112

History of the Three Grand Lodges in England, France and Germany; 110

History of Twelve Livery Companies of London; 108

Hitler, 28, 33, 120, 243, 266 Hoban, John, 213

Hodgets, Rev. John, 170 Hogarth, 221

Holland, Thomas, 116 Holmes, 14

Holy Bible, 36, 92, 182 Holy Land, 121

Holy Royal Arch, 12

Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests, 31

Hooper, William, 263 Hoover, Herbert, 211 Hore-Belisha, 164 House of Hanover, 245, 256-257 House of Stuart, 245-246

How Will It End?, 231 Howe, Robert, 264 Hubbard, W. B., 64, 115 Hudson Lodge No. L 13. N.Y., 265 Hugan, W. J., 12, 118, 119 Humanum Genus, 207-209, 213 Hume, 90

Hunt, Charles C., 120 Hush, Rev. John, 224 Huston, William, 266 Hutchinson, William, 89-98, 108-109, 172, 189, 242

Hutchinson-Preston, 89-98

Illustrations of Masonry, 69, 90, 99, 102, 106, 124, 171, 189 Illustrations of the Symbols of Masonry: Scripturally and Morally Considered, 116

Immorality, 175-176

Increase of the Religious Element: Christianity, 169-175 Independence of the Thirteen States, 41

Index, 220

Information for Recognition, 79 Inman, Thomas, 116

Inquiry Into the Scriptural Account of the Trinity, 169

Institutes of Masonic Jurisprudence, 65

Institutions„ Laws, and Ceremonies of the Order of the Garter, 202 Introductions to Freemasonry, 120 Inwood, Jethro, 102

Irish Book of Constitutions, 20-21, 86


Jachin and Boaz, 103 Jacob, Ernest, 116 Jacobite, 243-245, 253 James 111, 245

Jenifer, Dan St. T., 266 Jesters, 32

Jesuit Pursuit of Masonry and Their


Broken Dagger for the Mason, 104

Joan of Ark, 210 Job's Daughters, 259 Johnson, Guy, 258 Johnson, Sir John, 41, 259 Johnson, Melvin J., 81, 119 Jones, Bernard E., 121 Jones, G. P., 120

Jones, John Paul, 102 Journal de Debates, 108 Journal de Monsieur, 105 Journal de Nancy, 105


Kabbalism, 137 Keller, W., 110 Kilmarnock, Earl of, 253 King, Athelston, 144 King, C. W., 116

King, Rufus, 265

King Solomon's Lodge, N.Y., 265 Kirkland, Samuel, 264

Moss, B. F., 108, 110, 249, 252 Knight of Constantinople, 32 Knight and Heroine of Jericho, 32 Knight Mason of Ireland, 32 Knight Masons, 31

Knight of Three Kings, 32

Knights Templar, 20, 22, 28, 66, 89, 101, 103

Knipe, Dr., 203 Knoop, Douglas, 120 Knox, Henry; 265 Kosciuzko, Thaddeus, 265 Krause, Karl C. F., 26, 92, 104, 108



Lachmann, H., 110

Landmarks, 5, 67, 74, 115, 128, 183 Lansing, John Jr., 266

Larudan, Abbe, 246

Latter Day Saints, 234, 239 Laurens, J. L., 105 Lawrence, John T., 65 Lawrence Lodge, 111., 53 Laurie, Alexander, 102

Le Franc, Abbe, 105

Lectures on Masonic Jurisprudence, 65, 119

Lectures on the Philosophy of Masonry, 119

Legend of King Solomon's Temple, 36 Legitimate Origin, 80

Lee, Henry, 265

Leigh, Sir Ezerlon, 41, 260 Leland, J. F. de, 88, 104 Leaning, C., 108

Lenoir, Alexander, 108, 189, 265 Leo X111, 207, 211, 225

Leslie, William, 260 Lessing, G. E., 103 Letters Concerning Freemasonry, 103, 189

Letters on the Masonic Institution, 106

Levi, Eliphas, 117, 194

Lexicon of Freemasonry, 107, 114, 134, 147

Libanus Lodge, 111., 53-54 Life in the Triangle, 113 Light From the East, 116 Light on Masonry, 106 Lights and Shadows of Freemasonry, 113

Lilly, William, 202-203 Lincoln, William, 265 Literature, 26-27 Literature, Lectures, and Rituals, 83132

Literary and College Societies, 32-33 Livingston, Robert, 264

Lobongier, Charles S., 120 Locke, John, 168, 220 Lockhart, Samuel, 254 Lockwood, Luke A., 65, 115 Lodge of Antiquity, 53, 91 Lodge at Barnard Castle, Eng., 96 Lodge at Grimsby, 107

Lodge No. 1, Penn., 260 Lodge No. 2, Penn., 260 Lodge No. 3, Penn., 260 Lodge No. 95, Gloucester, 86 Lodge No. 151, Cornwell, 86 Lodge of St. John at Marsailles, 88 Lodge of Stability, 127

Lodge of Three Muses, Fr., 102 Lodge of Unity, No. 69, 128 London Lodge, No. 108, 89 London Mason of the 17 Century, The, 120

Look, Henry, 65, 115

Lord Ripon-the Catholic Grand Master, 223, 225

Low Twelve Club, or Low Twelvians, 33

Luchet, 105

Ludendorff, Lt. Gen. Von, 266


Ludlow, Edward, 3, 247 Lutheran Reformation, 9 Lyon, D. M., 110, 112


MacDowell, Col., 265

Mackey, Albert, 4, 6, 8, 19, 29, 43, 58, 63-65, 70-71, 92, 107, 114115, 142, 145, 153, 157, 159, 183, 189-193, 248, 252, 254 Madison, James, 266

Manual of the Freemasons, Containing Reflections on the Origin, the Connection, and Importance of Freemasonry, Remarks on the Excellence of the Institution and Necessity to Be Freed From the Sects That Distort It, 105

Manual of the Lodge, 114 Marion Lodge, No. 11, 54 Mark Degree, 12, 28 Mark Lodge, Conn., 155 Marshall, John, 129 Maryland Military Lodge, 264 Mason, George, 26

Masonic Antiquities of the Orient Unveiled, 116

Masonic Chart, 106, 128 Masonic Clubs, 32 Masonic Code of Washington, 65 Masonic College, 113

Masonic Conservators, 113 Masonic Hall, Pa., 64 Masonic Jurisprudence, 65, 114-115 Masonic Law, 40, 44

Masonic Law, 114-115 Masonic Law and Practice, 65 Masonic Legends and Traditions, 120 Masonic Light, Truth and Charity, 86 Masonic Magazine, 83

Masonic Orthodoxy, 249 Masonic Parliamentary Law, 114 Masonic Ritualist, 114

Masonic Symbolism and Ancient Mysteries, 115-117

Masonic Sketches, 112 Masonic Trials, 65 Masonic Union of 1813, 112 Masonic Veterans Association, 33 Masonry Considered as the Result of

the Egyptian Religion, 109 Mason's Hall, London, 202 Mason's Wives and Daughters, 33

Massachusetts Grand Lodge of Ancient Masons, 47

Material for a Critical History of Freemasonry, 103

Mayer, Michael, 203 McBride, A. S., 203 McClugg, James, 266 McFadden, Father Leo, 216 McHenry, John, 226 McKinstry, John, 226 Medieval Order, 20 Mediterranean Pass, 32 Mellor, Alexander, 218 Membership in Grand Lodge, 57 Memoir on the History of Freemasonry, 104

Memoirs Illustrating the History of Jacobism, 105

Mercer, Hugh, 265 Mercer, John F., 266 Military Lodge No. 3, Pa. 265 Mitchell, John, 19, 24, 69, 111 Mnemonics, 129-130 Modem Craft Masonry, 36 Molai, Jacques de, 249 Monroe, James, 265 Montague, Viscount, 213, 256 Montgomery, Richard, 265 Moore, Charles, 265

Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, 117-118, 189

Moreau, Ceaser, 108 Morgan, Daniel, 175 Morgan Affair, 175 Moria, Earl of, 260 Morin, Stephen, 137 Morin's Patent, 24 Morin's Patent, 24 Mormon Church, 234-242 Morris, Robert, 4, 19, 64, 70, 99, 113, 129, 177

Morristown, Ohio, 42 Morton, Perez, 264 Mossdorf, 104, 108 Most Excellent Master Degree, 28 Mother Kilwinning Lodge No. 6, 121 Mounier, Jean Jr., 105

Mt. Moriah Lodge, Utah, 235 Muller-Brown, 227 Mussolini, 34, 243, 266 Mysteries of Freemasonry, or the Secret Brotherhood, Constitutions, and Symbolism Their True


Ground and Origin in Mediaeval German Political and Folk Life, 108

Mystic Shrine, 32, 66, 139 Mystic Tie, 114


National Federated Craft, 30 National Grand Lodge and Constitutions, 43

National League of Masonic Clubs, 33 National Sojourners, 33


Netherlands, 34

New Masonic Trestleboard, 129 Newton, Sir Isaac, 169 Newton, Joseph Fort, 119 Nicolai, C. R., 103

Nine Muses, Council of, 32 Noachide, 7

Northuck, John, 247 Northwest Territory, 42 Notes to the Minutes of the Lodge of Edinborough, 121


Oakly, Edward, 83

Obelisk and Freemasonry According to the Discoveries of Belzoni and Commander Garringe, 116

Occult Masonry and the Hermetic Initiation, 116

Officers and Past Officers Association, 33

Old Charges, The, 16, 19, 81, 120, 184 Old Charges of British Freemasons, 112

Old Legends, 19, 21

Oliver, George, 4, 65, 69, 92, 106108, 112, 115, 124, 134, 146, 174, 188, 248, 252

On the Influence Attributed to Philosophers, Freemasons, and Illuminati in the French Revolution, 105

On the Origin and Principal Destiny of the Order of Rosicrucians and Freemasons, 103

On the Social Virtues of Freemasonry, 86

On the True Origin of the Rosicrucians and Freemasons Orders, With an Appendix on the History of Knight Templar, 103 Operative Masons, Society of, 3 Order of Harodin, 90

Order of High Priesthood, 20 Order of Malta, 22, 28, 136 Order of the Holy Alliance, 225 Order of the Red Cross, 28, 136 Origin and Early History of Freemasonry, 112

Origin of the English Rite of Freemasonry, 112

Orleans, Duke of, 258 Osnabruck, 103, 108, 189 Otis, James, 261-263 Outlines of Freemasonry, A Comprehensive View of Freemasonry, vii


Pagan Mysteries, 27, 109, 110 Paine, Tom, 102

Palladian Lodge, 170 Palm and Shell, 32 Payne, Robert Treat, 264 Papal Bulls and Encyclicals, 206-208 Paris Lodges, 25

Parker, Adm., 260 Parsons, S. H., 265 Past Illustrious Masters of Councils of Royal and Select Masters, 33 Past Master, Degree, 25

Past Master Associations, 33 Parsons, Harry, 7

Paton, Chalmers I., 65, 115, 116 Patterson, William, 265

Paul VI, 232

Philalethes, Eugenius, 203 Philalethes Society, 32 Philosophy of Masonry, 92 Phoenix Lodge No. 30, 218 Pittoresque History of Freemasonry and Ancient and Modern Secret Societies, 109

Pierre, William, 260

Pike, Albert, 24, 65, 71, 92, 117-118, 135, 136, 158, 159, 163, 193-195, 209-210,217

Pius VI, 221 Plot, Dr., 144 Pocket Companion, 85

Pocket History of Freemasonry, 120 Poetry of Freemasonry, 113

Poole, Herbert, 120, 144

Popes, 19, 20, 207, 211, 217, 220, 221 Portal, P.P.F., 109, 116

Position of the Church, 230 Post War Trends, 34-35 Pound, Roscoe, 65, 79-80, 92-93, 119 Powers of Grand Lodge, 57-59


Pre-Grand Lodge Masonry, 16-18 Preston, William, 4, 6, 19, 26, 53, 69, 89-98, 109, 124, 129, 145, 189 Prichard, Samuel, 84, 169, 188 Principles of Masonic Law, 64 Priestly Order of the Temple, 32 Procton, Thomas, 365

Prohibition of Discussion of Religion and Politics, 81

Proofs of a Conspiracy Against All Religions and All Governments of Europe, Carried on by Secret Meetings of the Freemasons, Illiminati and Reading Societies, 248

Provincial Grand Lodge at Boston, 45 Provincial Grand Lodge at Kent, 102 Provincial Grand Masters, 23, 225 Pruess, Arthur, 118, 214

Puckett, Henry, 263 Pulling, John, 265 Putnam, Israel, 265 Putnam, Rufus, 265 Pythagorean, 84, 97, 109, 188


Ragon, F. J. M., 109, 116, 248, 251 Rainbow, Order of, 33

Rake's Progress, The, 216 Rams, Royal Order of, 32 Ramsay, Andrew Michael, 19, 84, 188, 249, 252

Ramsay's Theory; 21-23 Randolph, Edmond, 264-265 Randolph, Payton, 264 Read, George, 22, 266

Rebold, Emanuel, 27, 108, 111, 248, 250,252

Recognition of Grand Lodges, 74-78 Red Cross of Constantine, 32

Red Cross, Imperial and Ecclesiastical, Order of, 32

Redding, M. W., 116 Register of Lodges, 112 Reign of Terror, 258 Relations of Old Lodges to New Lodges, 61-62

Religion, 163-183

Revere, Paul, 37, 48, 261-262 Revival Theory, 42

Revolution and Freemasonry, 243 Right to Form Independent Grand Lodges, 45-57

Ripon, Lord, 223, 229 Riquet, Father, 227, 229, 231

Rising States Lodge, 48 Rising Sun Lodge, N. H., 99 Rite of Modern, 34, 137

Rite of Perfection, 24, 134, 143 Rites of Freemasonry, 133-162 Rituals, 99, 122-124, 154 Roberts, Allen, 121 Robertson, H., 65, 90, 115 Robbins, Alfred, 120 Robbins, Joseph, 177

Robin, Abbe, 98, 108, 189 Robinson, John, 248, 251 Roman Catholicism, 28, 37, 178, 205233

Roman Collegia of Artificers, 100, 108

Rosicrucianism, 27, 200-204, 237, 295 Rowe, John, 41-42, 48, 261, 263 Roy, Thomas, Dr., 80

Royal and Select Masters, 20, 28, 67 Royal Arch, 20, 22, 28, 67, 86, 89, 101, 136, 144, 145, 207

Royal Arch Mason, The, 216 Royal Masonic Rite, 32

Royal Order of Scotland, 22, 28, 32, 257

Royal Society, 83, 202 Ruddiman, Thomas, 90 Ruddiman, Walter, 90 Ryland, W. H., 112



"Scandale des Fiches," 226 Sangamon Lodge, Ill., 54 Samuel, George, 213

St. Andrews Lodge, Boston, 47-48, 260-263

St. Clair Lodge, Ill., 54

St. George Lodge No. 315, Taunton, 86

St. John Days, 86, 169, 171

St. John's Grand Lodge, Moderns, 45-46,48

St. John's Lodge, N.H., 264-265 St. John's Lodge, N.J., 264

St. John's Lodge, R.I., 101

St. John's Lodges, 40, 166, 168, 190 St. Patrick's Lodge, N.Y., 259, 264 Saint Victor: Louis Guillemaine, 104 Scandanavian Countries, 34 Schauberg, J., 116

Schneider, J. A., 103 Schroeder, 26 Schuyler, Philip, 26, 65 Schwider, Frederick, 103


Scientific and Religious Mysteries of Antiquity, 110

Sciots Ancient and Egyptian, Order of, 32

Scots Masters, 21, 25

Scottish Rite, 11, 13, 19, 20, 24-25, 28, 31, 33, 65, 101-102, 107, 111, 134, 136, 137-141, 179, 209, 212, 246

Scripture Doctrine of the Trinity, 169 Second Lodge at Boston, 261

Secret Monitor, Order of, 32

Secret Tradition of Freemasonry, 120, 294

Sevier, Col., 265 Shaftesbury, Earl of, 169 Shedder, Alexander, 88, 170 Sheen, Bishop Fulton J., 233 Shepper, Edward, 260

Short History of Freemasonry to 1730, 120

Short Talks on Freemasonry, 119 Sigma Mu Sigma, 33

Signers of the Constitution of the United States, 263-264

Signers of the Declaration of Independence, 265-266

Simmons, John, 65, 115 Singleton, W. R., 114 Smith, Alfred, 85, 211, 248 Smith, Hyrum, 234 Smith, Joseph, 234, 236 Snow, John, 129

Societas Rosicruciana, 32 Solomon, King, 7, 77, 173 Solomon's Lodge, Ga., 49 Solomon's Lodge No. 1, Ga., 264 Solomon's Lodge No. 1, S.C., 114 Solomon's Temple, 20

South Carolina, 21 Speculative Masonry, 12 Spirit of Masonry, 69, 96, 172 Spiritualization of the Genuine Sym

bols of Freemasonry, 104 Square and Compass Club, 33 Stalin, 34

Starke, John, 265 Steuben, Baron Von, 265 Steinbrenner, G. W., 111 Steinmetze Theory, 110 Steller Theology and Masonic Astronomy, or the Origin and Meaning of Anccent and Modern Mysteries Explained, 116

Stillson, H. C., 119 Stirling, Lord, 265 Straham, William, 90 Strassburg Cathedral, 104 Strassburg Stonemasons, 103 Street, Oliver, 120, 182

Strict Observances (Ger.), 24 Stockton, Richard, 264 Story of the Craft, The, 119 Substitute Paths, The, 227 Stuckely, William, 187 Sullivan, John, 264

Sumter, Gen., 265

Supreme Council 33° Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, 121

Sussex, Duke of, 29, 107, 264 Switzerland, 34

Sword and Trowel, 121 Sword of Bunker Hill, 32 Symbol of Glory, 123 Symbolic Degrees, 66, 110 Symbolism, 5

Symbolism of Freemasonry, 114, 116, 189, 190, 193

Symbolism of the Three Degrees, 120


Tablet, The, 216

Tall Cedars of Lebanon, 32 Tatsch, J. Hugo, 120 Taylor, Myron C., 212 Temple Legend, 20, 165 Temple Rite, 135

Ten Thousand Famous Freemasons, 14

Territorial Exclusiveness, 51-54 Texas, Denison, vii

Textbook of Masonic Jurisprudence, 65

The Age of Fable, 5

The American Revolution, 258-263 The Craft Rite, 136-137

The Constitution of the United States, 265-267

The Cromwell, Jacobite and Hanover Theories, 245-246

The Cromwell Theory, 246-247 The Decade 1730-1740,18-19 The Design of Masonry, 86

The French Revolution, 257-258

The Grand Lodge System: Masonic Jurisprudence, Landmarks, 40-82 The Hanover Theory, 256-257


The Higher Degrees, 11

The Holy Bible or Volume of Sacred Law, 182

The Jacobite Theory, 247-256

The League of Freethinkers in Britain, 225

The Men's House,, Religion and Freemasonry, 119

The Nature of God, 11, 176 The New Atlantis, 103

The Roman Catholic Freemason: Past, Present and Future, 218 The Scottish "American Rite," 158160

The Sixteenth Century Mason, 120 The Swordbearer's Song, 221

The Three Historical Periods, 220 The Three Oldest Documents of the Brotherhood of Freemasons, 104 The Veil Raised for the Curious, or the Secret of Revolution by Aid of Freemasonry, 105

Third Degree, 20, 23, 150, 249 Thompson, Peter, 127 Thory, A., 105, 108, 110 Thoughts on Masonic Symbolism, 120 Three Oldest Historical Monuments of the German Freemasons Brotherhood, With Groundwork for a Universal History of Freemasonry, 108

Torgan Ordinances, 111 Travellers, the, 33 Treatise on the Plague, 203

Trial on the Accusations Which Were Made on the Knight Templar Order and on the Secrets: With an Appendix on the Freemason Society, 103

Trinity Lodge No. 12, N.Y., 265 Tun Tavern Lodge, Pa., 263 Turner, Rev. Daniel, 170 Twentieth Century Freemasonry, 3034

Two Hundred Years of Blandford Lodge, 121

Tyrian Lodge, Mass., 47-48


Unanimity Lodge No. 7, N.C., 264 Union Lodge, N.Y., 264-265 Union Lodge No. 370, Exeter, 86 United Grand Lodge, 29

United Grand Lodge of England, 29, 120

Universal Masonic Library, 113 Universal Reformation of the Whole World, 200

Upton, William H., 65


Vanguard Lodge, London, 89 Van Hecke, Ernest, 116 Vatcher, 231

Vaughn, Robert A., 116 Vernehes, J. F., 105 Vespucci, Amerigo, 161 Vibert, Lionel, 119 Vinton, David, 99, 129 Vocabulary of the Freemasons Following the General Constitutions of the Order of Freemasonry, 105 Vogel, J. S. Paul, 103, 108, 189

Vogel, Theodore, 227 Voltaire, 220

Volume of Sacred Law, The, 81 Von Cles, Baron F., 227

Von Lubendorff, Gen., 243

Von Nettleblatt, C. C. F. W., 110 Voorhis, H. V. B., 121, 123 Vrooman, J. B., 120,170


Waite, Arthur E., 120, 194 Walker, 168

Walton, George, 264 Ward, J. S. M., 120 Warner, Seth, 265 Warren, Joseph, 37, 261-263 Warranted Lodges; 99 Wasatch Lodge, Mt., 235 Washington, D.C., 78 Washington, George, 37, 42, 131, 265 Washington, William, 265

Watt, James, 94

Webb Creation Theory, The, 150-154 Webb, Joseph, 42, 46, 106, 152, 156 Webb, Smith Thomas, 95, 98-102,

124, 126, 129, 142 Webster, Daniel, 262 Webster International Dictionary, 133 Weisse, John A., 116

Weist, W. Irving, 121 Western Star Lodge, Ill., 53 Westropp, H. N. M., 117 Wharton, Duke of, 256 Wharton, George, 202

What Freemasonry Is, What It Has Been; and What It Ought to Be, 225


What Is Freemasonry?, 3-39 White Shrine of Jerusalem, 32 Whipple, William, 264 Whitmash, John, 86, 88, 170 Willett, Marinus, 265

William Morgan or Political Anti-Masonry, 113

Williams, Otho, 265

Williams, William, 100, 106, 127 Wilson, Sam, 129

Winzer, J., 110 Wooster, Daniel, 265 Worts, 144

Wren, Christopher, 19, 103

Wright, Dudley, 120 Wylie, Robert, 112 Wythe, George, 266


Yarker, John, 116

Ye Ancient Order of Corks, 31 York Antiquity, 143-146 York Cross of Honor, 39 York Lodge, 145

York Rite, 11-13, 31, 33, 134, 135, 136, 140, 146-147, 155-156 Yorkshire Old Charges of Masons, The, 144

Young, Brigham, 234-235



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