The Builder Magazine
August 1915 - Volume I - Number 8
(A NEW TRANSLATION FROM THE
BY BRO. F. W. KRACHER, OF THE
DEPARTMENT OF GERMAN, STATE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA
(The historic document
herewith presented is a new translation, made especially for the National
Masonic Research Society, of the oldest Regulations of the German
Stonemasons--or Steinmetzen-- dating from 1459. The original German, as quaint
as the English of Chaucer, may be found in Die Romanische and Gothische
Architektur, by Max Hasak, published at Stuttgart 1902. Other documents of the
kind fall chiefly in the time of the German Renaissance, and present nothing
but unimportant extensions or modifications of the first Regensburg
Regulation. They are mainly as follows:--the Strassburg Regulation of 1459,
the Torgau of 1462, the Basle of 1497, the so-called Brothers' Book of 1563,
and the Querfurt Regulation of 1574. Further, there were different records of
the original Regulation, such as those of Vienna, of Admont and the Tyrol
Regulation of 1480.
This interesting document
brings up the question, so hotly debated in Masonic literature, as to the
relation of the German Steinmetzen to the Guilds on the one hand, and to the
Freemasons on the other. English writers, like Speth, go so far as to deny to
the Stonemasons any esoteric lore, while German scholars, like Krause, Findel
and Steinbrenner, insist that they were Freemasons. Of course this question
cannot be discussed in an introductory note, but we shall have something to
say about it in due time. Meanwhile, with this debatable question in mind, the
Brethren will find these old Regulations a very profitable study if they will
read them in the light of what Brother Gould has to say in his "Concise
History of Masonry," (pp 42-62) and on the other side the discussions of
Findel and Steinbrenner in their histories of the Craft.--The Editor.)
In the name of the Father,
the Son, the Holy Spirit, and the mother Mary and also her saintly servants,
crowned in honor of the holy quartet, be it stated that genuine friendship,
harmony and obedience is the foundation of all virtues. For the common good
and for the information of all princes, nobles, lords, cities, founders, and
monasteries who are now erecting churches or other large buildings of stone or
may erect such buildings in the future, this is written, so that each one may
know his rights and privileges. It is also written for the benefit of all
master masons and journeymen throughout the German lands, who are especially
desirous to keep the Craft clean from all discord, jealousy, care, expense,
and harm. Some of the regulations which the fathers had drawn up with the best
intentions are being misused by both, masters and workers, and they no longer
endeavor to adhere to the rules. To change this condition, delegations of
master masons and workers met at Spyr, Strassburg, and Regensburg with power
to act for the Craft. The old existing rules were renewed and somewhat
purified, thereby bringing all peacefully together. After the regulations had
been written down we solemnly promised not only to keep them ourselves but to
enforce them in the future among the followers of the stonemason craft. The
rules are as follows:
1. Whoever finds any of the
rules in this regulation too severe or too lenient may, in accordance with the
conditions of the time or the country, add to or subtract from them. Any
change must neither disturb the arrangement nor the spirit of the original
rules and must then be faithfully observed by all.
2. Any stonemason who has the
desire to join our order, for which this book is written, must promise (swear)
to keep all the separate rules of our regulation. Master masons shall be those
who can erect a stone structure according to a plan. They do not have to do
actual work with their own hands unless they so desire. Whether they are
masters or journeymen, they ought to conduct themselves honorably, harm no one
in his rights, and in case of necessity are to be punished in accordance with
the rules laid down.
3. Buildings which are
erected at present and where the workmen are paid by the day are, Strassburg,
Cologne, Vienna, and Passan, also in the workshops belonging to the same. Day
wages shall continue in connection with these buildings and in no way shall
the contract system be used, so that no interruption in the work arises due to
the change from the day labor system to the contract system.
4. In case of death of any
stonemason employed on a regular building, it is permissible that any workman
or master, capable of doing the work, apply for the vacancy. In this manner
the supervisors of the work shall find a proper successor. The same rule
applies also to a journeyman who understands stone masonry.
5. If a master should accept
a second job, or any master who is not occupied accept a new job, it is their
duty to start work by the day immediately so that no discredit may come to the
craft. Should trustworthy parties lodge complaint against a master as to the
work or the employment of a certain kind of labor, then he shall be tried and
punished according to the rules. The complainant may not carry his case that
far but simply demand that the master begin the work either by the day or
contract. The master must then act according to the suggestion.
6. If a master in charge of
some work dies and another master steps in his place and finds prepared stones
either placed in position in the wall or not, he is not allowed to remove
placed stones nor to discard loose ones. This is necessary so that employers
may not be subjected to unnecessary expense, and that the master who did the
work may not be criticised. Should the employer wish to remove stones it may
be permitted as long as no danger to the structure arises therefrom.
7. A master shall not hire
out his masons for any other work except such which is directly connected with
the hewing of stones. He may use them for breaking stone, lime, or sand by the
day or by the job without danger of reproach.
8. In case masons are needed
either to hew stones or to set them, the master may shift them. Those so
shifted are not subject to the rules set forth as long as they do it on their
own accord and willingly.
9. Two masters shall not
jointly supervise a job or a building unless it be a small building which can
be finished within a year. Such a job may be undertaken with a partner.
10. If a master accepts a
contract according to the submitted specifications he must not change
anything. The work must be done according to the specifications which he
submitted to the employers, cities, or to the country. This will prevent the
weakening of any part of the work.
11. If there be any master or
journeyman who attempts to force a master, who is conducting a job under these
regulations, out of his position, he shall be tried. The same is to be done if
one openly or secretly intrigues against any master without his knowledge. No
master mason or journeyman shall associate with him, and no craftsman
belonging to the order shall work for him as long as he is busy with the job
wrongfully obtained. This is to continue until the one forced out of the job
shall be reinstated and explanations given him by the committee of master
masons appointed for this purpose by the order.
12. If any one should attempt
to break stone without having previously served as a regular workman and
acquired some shop training, his stones must not be accepted by anyone. In
case some one should do so, then no journeyman must stand by him or go with
him, so that employers are not given unnecessary expense thru such an unwise
13. No workman or master,
neither parlierer (instructor) nor journeyman shall instruct anyone, not a
stonemason, from any manual unless the instructor be a member of the craft.
14. No workman or master
shall take any money from a journeyman for teaching him something concerning
stone-masonry. No parlierer (instructor) or journeyman shall instruct for
money. If one wishes to show or teach something to others he may do so step by
step for fellow-workman's sake.
15. Any master having charge
of a building may have three helpers, either master masons or journeymen. If
he has more than one building he shall not have more than two helpers on the
second building. Not more than five helpers shall be employed on both
16. No master or workman
shall be taken into the order who does not receive the holy sacrament at least
once a year, or who does not observe the Christian rules of conduct, or who
gambles. In case such an unfit person did by chance get into the order, no
master mason should have any association with him whatsoever. No workman
should work for him unless he turns from his old ways and has been punished by
those who are in the order.
17. No workman or master
mason should be adulterous. Should one insist upon such a course, no
journeyman or stonemason should work for him or associate with him.
18. If a fellow craft accepts
work with a master who has not yet been raised to the rank of overseer in the
order, he shall not be subject to a punishment. He may very well do so because
each craftsman should seek advancement. The workman should keep the rules of
the order although he is not working in a regulation shop or for a brother of
the order. Should one take a wife unto himself and not work in a regulation
shop but settle down in a city where he had to work at a craft, he will have
to pay four pennies poll- tax but be free of any other tax, as long as he does
not work in a regular shop.
19. In case a complaint is
made by one master against another master that he acted against the rules of
the order; or by a master against a craftsman, or by a craftsman against
another, it shall be brought to a master who has been appointed to handle such
cases. Both sides shall be heard, and then a day set when the case will be
considered. During the time up to the trial no controversy whatsoever shall
take place between master and worker until the case has been settled. The
decision shall be given by masters, and this decision must be carried out. The
case is to be tried where it arose by the master in whose jurisdiction it
20. A "parlierer" shall
respect his master and obey him willingly in everything pertaining to the
craft. The same shall be done by the fellowcraft.
21. If a journeyman decides
to travel on, he should depart from his master and the shop without any
complaint against him, and leaving no debts, whatsoever, behind.
22. Any journeyman, in
whatever kind of a shop he shall be employed, ought to be obedient to the "parlierer"
and his master in everything pertaining to the craft.
23. And he shall not scold
about the master's work secretly nor publicly, unless the master were to act
contrary to the rules of the order.
24. Every workman who has
received the power to enforce the rules of the order in all disputes touching
upon stonemasons and masonry, has also the power to bring to trial and to
decide upon punishment. All masters, parlierers, and craftsmen shall be
obedient to him.
25. Even though a craftsman
has journeyed and worked as a stonemason and made advancement in the order, he
should not be accepted by a master if this experience be less than two years,
and if he only wanted to do a little work.
26. Masters and workers
belonging to this order shall obey all the rules of this regulation. Should
one or the other break any one of the rules he is not to be punished if he
repents and promises to keep the rule in the future.
(To be continued.)
BUILD ME A
Oh Soul build me a house of
And roof it with the stars;
With walls of awe and azure
And ether bolts and bars.
A house of Joy, Oh Life build
With windows vision-wide;
With friends of Mirth and
To neighbor on each side.
Oh Love build me a House of
Where happiness dwells free,
And set on a sunny slope
Of my heart's hill for me.
Oh Faith build me a House of
With words that cry unsaid,
And rear to heaven a perfumed
On which my dreams may tread.
Oh God build me a house of
And hallow it with sleep;
Be Thou the one celestial
My happy house would keep.
Let music wake me in the
When this old house is still,
And let me feel a Presence
That all the place would
Dear God and Father of us
Forgive our faith in cruel
Forgive the blindness that
Cast down our idols--overturn
Our bloody altars--make us
Thyself in Thy Humanity."
Here wrought He in His might,
Temples of shade and light,
Altars of praise.
On snow-clad mountain crest,
In vales with verdure blest,
Each heart with peace at
Its homage pays.
O! land of mighty form,
Sunshine and shifting storm,
Blest for all time;
By lakes of azure blue,
Glaciers of varied hue,
Our hearts to you are true,
There is a place where lute
and lyre are broken,
Where scrolls are torn and on
a wild wind go,
Where tablets stand wiped
naked for a token,
Where laurels wither and the
Lo: I, too, join the
brotherhood of silence,
I am Love's Trappist, and you
ask in vain,
For man, through Love's gate,
even as through Death's gate,
Goeth alone, and comes not
Yet here I pause, look back
across the threshold,
Cry to my brethren, though
the world be old,
Prophets and sages,
questioners and doubters,
O world, old world, the best
hath ne'er been told.
--From "Poems," by G. K.
ESTABLISHMENT AND EARLY FREEMASONRY IN AMERICA
BY BRO. MELVIN M. JOHNSON, G.
M. OF MASONS IN MASS.
CHAPTER II Part 1
IN previous issues the writer
has pointed out that Massachusetts is entitled to precedence as the founder of
Masonry in America whether determined upon the first presence of Masons, or
upon the first meetings of Lodges, or upon the first exercise of authority
from the Grand Lodge of England. Attention has also been called to the
beginnings of Masonry in Pennsylvania and to the acknowledgment at the time by
Franklin and his associates in Philadelphia of the precedence of
Within the next few years
after Henry Price organized the Provincial Grand Lodge in Boston on June 30,
1733, regular Masonry was established in other colonies. With this spread of
the institution this article will not attempt to deal except so far as it was
fostered by, and emanated from, Price and his successors and tends to the
historical establishment of their positions and authority for many years as
Provincial Grand Masters for North America (with certain definite exceptions.)
Reference has already been
made to the extension by Grand Master Craufurd of Price's authority over all
North America, and his immediate exercise of that authority by granting the
petition of Benjamin Franklin and his associates.
In 1735-6 Price chartered a
Lodge in Portsmouth, N. H. The original petition for this Charter, dated Feb.
9, 1735-6, is still preserved. On June 28, 1736, a petition was forwarded for
the appointment of Brother Tomlinson to succeed Brother Price as Provincial
Grand Master. I can find no copy of that petition. The Commission to Brother
Tomlinson issued under date of Dec. 7, 1736, and arrived in Boston April 20,
1737. On St. John the Baptist's day in 1737, occurred the first public
procession of the fraternity in America, Governor Belcher being in the line.
The Masonry of South Carolina sprung from Massachusetts in 1735 Nova Scotia
and the West Indies in 1738.
In 1738 Pennsylvania Masonry
ceased utterly, being revived until 1749.
During the year 1738,
Provincial Grand Master Tomlinson went to England by way of Antigua where he
stopped long enough to establish Masonry. On 31, 1739, he attended a meeting
of the Grand Lodge of England.
This year also, on December
27, marked the beginning of the record pra of the First Lodge in Boston so far
as it has been preserved. It is singular that the keeping of formal records
did not sooner occur to these bodies founded in the early part of the
eighteenth century, but such seems to be the case with all of them, both
English and American. Careful as Franklin was about keeping a record of his
personal affairs, he caused no record to be kept of the affairs of his Lodge
save a financial record. Or at least if any were kept it has disappeared as
effectually as Franklin's Commission.
Brother Tomlinson died in
1740 and the Provincial Grand Lodge was held by Thomas Oxnard as Deputy Grand
Master until March 6, 1744, when he received his Commission as "Provincial
Grand Master for North America in the Room of Our Bro. Robt. Tomlinson, Esq.,
In 1740 a Deputation was
granted from Massachusetts for a Lodge at Annapolis and Bro. Erasmus James
Phillips was appointed to act in Nova Scotia.
Again it was publicly
proclaimed that Massachusetts was the Mother of Masonry in America; For
instance, on Oct. 23, 1741, Bro. Peter Pelham, Secretary of the First Lodge in
Boston, in an address of congratulation to Gov. Wm. Shirley, made public claim
that the First Lodge in Boston was the Mother Lodge of America.
Governor Shirley was
Belcher's successor. The Masonic correspondence between these officials and
the First Lodge in Boston is so interesting historically that I quote from the
records of that Lodge as follows:-- Wednesday, September 23, 1741.
(At a regular meeting of the
First Lodge in Boston, held) Wednesday, Sept. 23, 1741, our Rt. Worshipful
Master recommended to the Brethren, that it was his opinion, some perticular
order should be observed in toasting the health of our Rt. W: Bro: the Honble
Mr. Belcher: and that a Committee might be appointed as soon as possable to
wait upon him, with acknowledgments from the Lodge, of his past favours, and
to return our thanks, etc.
Voted, that next after the G:
M: the late Governor of this Province, is to be toasted in the following
manner, viz: To our Rt. W: Bro: the Honble Mr. Belcher, Late Governour of N.
E., with 3-3-3--9.
Voted, that Our Rt. W: Bro.
T. Oxnard, D. G. M., Brors. Phillips, Rowe, Price, Hallowell, Forbes, McDaniel
and Pelham, be a Committee to form a speech, and wait upon the Honble Mr.
Belcher in behalf of this Society, and to make report of their proceeding the
On Fryday Septemr 25, 1741,
the Committee appointed by this Lodge waited upon the Honble Mr. Belcher,
etc., and made the following Speech:
Thrice Worthy Brother.
We being a Committee by the
Mother Lodge of N. England held in Boston to wait on You, take this
Opportunity to Acknowledge the many favours You have always shewed (when in
Power) to Masonry in General, but in a More Especial manner to the Brethn of
this Lodge, of which we shall ever retain a most grateful Remembrance.
As we have had your
Protection when in the most Exhalted Station here, so we think it is Incumbent
on us to make this Acknowledgment, having no other means to testify our
Gratitude but this; And to wish for Your Future Health and Prosperity which is
the Sincere desire of Us, and those in whose behalf We appear, and permit us
to assure You we shall ever remain
Honoured Sir Your most
Affectionate Brethn & Humble Servants. Peter Pelham, Secr. In behalf of the
To which, we receiv'd the
following Answer: Worthy Brothers.
I take very kindly this mark
of your Respect. It is now Thirty Seven years since I was admitted into the
Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and accepted Masons, to whom I have been
a faithful Brother, & a well-wisher to the Art of Masonry.
I shall ever maintain a
strict friendship for the whole Fraternity; & always be glad when it may fall
in my power to do them any Services.
Wednesday, October the 14th,
1741. Being Lodge Night, (it was) Voted, that a Committee be appointed to wait
on his Excellency Governour Shirly to Congratulate him on his Advancement to
the Governmt of this Province &c when it was propos'd, and agree'd that the
following persons should form sd Committee, to act in behalf of this Society;
Viz; Our Rt. W. Brors Thos. Oxnard, Forbes, Overing, Price, Hallowell,
Jenkins, McDaniel, Phillips, Johonnot and Pelham, and to make report of their
proceedings next Lodge Night.
On Friday October the 23d,
1741. The Committee appointed by this Lodge, waited upon his Excellency
Willian1 Shirly Esqr and presented him with the following Address:
May it please your
We being a Committee
appointed by the Ancient and honorable Society of Free and accepted Masons of
the MOTHER, LODGE of AMERICA held in Boston, presume to wait upon you with the
utmost Sincerity, to congratulate your Advancement to the Government of this
Province, and to assure your Excellency that our Desire is that your
Administration may be successful and easy.
We have had hitherto the
Honour of His Majesty's Governor being one of our ancient Society, who was
ever a well-wisher & faithful Brother to the Royal Art of Masonry.
And as it has been the Custom
for men in the most exalted Station to have had the Door of our Society's
Constitutions always opened to them (when desired) we think it our Duty to
acquaint your Excellency with that Custom, and assure you, that we shall
chearfully attend your Excellency's Pleasure therein; and as we are conscious
that our Society are loyal and faithful Subjects to His Majesty, so we may
reasonably hope for your Excellency's Favour and Protection, which is the
Your Excellency's most
obedient humble Servants, Peter Pelham, Secr. in behalf of the Society.
To which His Excellency was
pleas'd to return the following Answer:
I Return the Ancient and
honourable Society my Thanks for their Address, and Invitation of me to the
Mother Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of America; And they may rest assur'd
that their Loyalty and Fidelity to his Majesty will always recommend the
Society to my Favour and Protection.
Voted, that the above Address
to His Excellency Wm. Shirley Esqr. &c. with his Excellency's Answer, be
printed in one of the Publick papers next Monday.
Wednesday, May the 25th,
1743. Being Lodge Night the following Brethren met.
The Rt. Worshipl Bro: H:
Price M pro: Bro: Benj: Franklin of Phila. etc.
Wednesday Augst 10th 1743.
Being Lodge Night, Voted, that Bror. Jenkins, Charles, Hall, H: McDaniel,
Phillips, & Price, take a proper opertunity to wait on Bro: Belcher, (our Late
Governor,) with an Invitation from the Brethren, to give us the favour of his
Company, at such time as he shall please to appoint.
Thursday Feby 9th, 1743. (o.
Being appointed for the
Entertainment of the Honble Mr. Belcher (according to vote,) who attended with
about Forty of the Brethren in Open Lodge; and a Handsome Supper was prepar'd,
after which we took leave of Our Hond Brother in the most solemn manner. (He
soon after sailed for England.)
Wednesday, Augst 26th, 1747.
Being Lodge Night, Voted, That Our Rt. W: Bro Oxnard G. M., Brors Brockwell,
Aston, Pelham, T. McDaniel and Secray be a Committee in behalf of the Lodge to
Send a Letter of Congratulation to Our Honble Bror Belcher, upon his
Advancement to, and Safe Arrival at his Government of the Jerseys.
Wednesday Sepr 9th 1747.
Being Lodge Night. The Committee appointed to form a Letter of Congratulation
to His Excellency Our Bro Belcher presented the same to the Lodge, which was
to the acceptance of the Lodge. Voted therefore that the Secretary do forward
the same as soon as may be, and the Commee have the Thanks of the Lodge for
the same. It is as follows, Vizt
Thrice Worthy Brother !
It was with the greatest
pleasure and the utmost Satisfaction We recd the News of your Safe Arrival at
your Government of the Jerseys; And from a Just Sence of the distinguishing
marks of your Esteem shewn to the Antient & Honble Society of Free and
Accepted Masons when you fill'd the Chair of Government in this Province,
(which upon all Occasions we doubt not but you would still Continue,) We
cannot but hope the sincere and hearty Congratulations of Our Lodge on your
present happy Accession may meet with favourable acceptance.
You have sufflciently
distinguish'd your adherence to Our THREE GRAND PRINCIPLES in your Firm
attachment to his Majesty's Person and Government with (with Joy we find) has
preferr'd you to a second Commission (an uncommon Instance of Royal Favour)
and as the weight of so great a Charge must be attended with many concerns, so
we heartily wish a happy Concurrence of everything that may Render your
Administration Satisfactory to your Prince, Advantageous to your People, and
Easy to your Self; so that full of Days and full of honour (which but little
Survives our Actions) you may finally meet with a reward of that Honour and
Happiness which will be as Eternal as Inconceivable.
By Order of the Rt Worshipful
the Provincial GRAND MASTER of North America, and the Rt Worshipful Master,
Wards and Fellows of the LODGE held in Boston N England Sepr ye 3. in the Year
of Masonry 5747 Annoque Domini 1747.
Chas. Pelham Secr.
(Reply to the above letter.)
Wednesday Novr. 11th, 1747.
Being Lodge Night. Our Rt Worshl Bro: Oxnard G: M: presented to the Lodge, a
letter from His Excellency our Bror Belcher at the Jerseys, in Answer to the
Congratulatory one sent him from the Lodge, which was most kindly Recd. and
Order'd to be read by the Secretary, and is as follows, Vizt
Rt. Worshl Brothers !
I have with much pleasure
Receiv'd your respectful Congratulation of my Safe Arrival to this Government,
dated from your Lodge in Boston ye 3 of Last Month. From the Testimonials I
carry'd with me to London from your Lodge I was Receiv'd by the Rt HONOURABLE
the GRAND MASTER; and at the Lodges where I attended as a WORTHY BROTHER; I
shall always with great Alacrity show Respect and Kindness to any one that may
fall in my way, who is a BROTHER of the Society of FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS;
and I am the more Gratified in the Kings Repeated Grace and Favour as it does
me double Honor in Clearing my Character from all Imputation, & setts me at
the head of this fine Province, and may also Reflect some honour on the
Society of FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS; that the King has so Publickly justified
the Conduct of a Brother in his Administration of the Government of two of His
Majesty's Provinces in New England for Eleven Years together.
I am much Oblig'd to the
Brothers of your Lodge for their kind Wishes of my Welfare and Prosperity in
the Arduous affairs of Government, but above all that they extend them to my
Obtaining a reward of hor and happiness that shall be Eternal. I have been
receiv'd by the Good People here with uncommon marks of Respect and kindess,
which I shall return by all such Acts of Goodness in my Power, as may most of
all contribute to their Interest, & to their quiet & Satisfaction.
May you Rt. WORSHL BROTHERS,
and all and every one of your Lodge live long in much health and Ease, and in
such other Circumstances of Life as you would wish for your Selves, and when
this Life must be Exchang'd for One that will have no end, May you all be
happy thro the Mercy of God in Jesus Christ Our only Lord and Saviour, Amen.
From Kingswood House in the
City of Burlington (New Jersey) this Sixth day of Octobr in the year of
Masonry 5747. Annoq. Domini 1747.
signed J. BELCHER.
To the Rt. Worshl Thos Oxnard
Esqr. Provincial Grand Master of No. America
The Rt Worsl Master, Wards &
Fellows of the Lodge of the Ancient and Honble Society of Free an Accepted
Masons in Boston.
Meanwhile Franklin was again
visiting his Masonic Brethren in Boston. On May 25, 1743, he and Price
attended the meeting of the First Lodge in Boston. Governor Belcher dined with
the Brethren of the First Lodge Feb. 9, 1744, and soon after sailed for
England bearing the tidings of Masonry in America and a letter from the Lodge
which he read in person to the Grand Lodge held at the Devil Tavern, Temple
Bar, London Sept. 26, 1744.
Of the Master's Lodge in
Boston, Price was Master from its Constitution on Jan. 2, 1738, until his
resignation in 1744. In 1746 Oxnard constituted a Lodge in Newfoundland.
In 1749 Franklin revived
Masonry in Pennsylvania and, with full knowledge of the facts and the proper
course of procedure, came again to Massachusetts for authority. In response,
Thomas Oxnard, successor of Price, and duly commissioned Provincial Grand
Master for North America, granted the rights and privileges for which Franklin
petitioned. Thus, for the second time, Benjamin Franklin, leading Mason of
Pennsylvania's earliest Masonic days, recognized the authority of
Massachusetts and his need to apply to Massachusetts for authority to conduct
Masonry in Pennsylvania. His authority under his Massachusetts commission was
instantly recognized at home. In the same year Price accepted another election
as Master of the Masters' Lodge in Boston, and a Lodge was chartered by Oxnard
in Newport, R. I.
The Second Lodge in Boston
was established Feb. 17, 1750, and Price accepted the chair, although he was
retiring from business. He remained active in Boston's affairs, joining the
Boston Episcopal Charitable Society the same year. August 12, 1750, Charters
were granted from Boston to Brethren in Maryland and Connecticut, and, the
preceding month, in Nova Scotia. October 7, 1751, another proclamation of the
precedence of Massachusetts was made in a request to the Grand Master of
England that all Deputations for any part of North America should be asked
from Oxnard and his successors, "which some Lodges have not observ'd" though
"Masonry in British America has wholly Originated from us."
In 1750 P. G. M. Oxnard also
visited England. On April 10, 1752, Pennsylvania sent tangible evidence of her
loyalty to Massachusetts as the fountain head, for Brother McDaniel appeared
for the Lodge at Philadelphia, and paid for its constitution thirty-one pounds
and ten shillings.
On Oct. 13, 1752, Lord
Colville had gone to England, and on October 12 of the following year a letter
was voted to be sent to him there. January 12, 1753, a Charter went from
Boston to New London, Conn. On Feb. 4, 1754, we find Oxnard again acting
officially as Provincial Grand Master of North America in a Charter granted by
him to Middletown, Conn., and on July 12 Henry Price again assumed the East of
the Grand Lodge after Oxnard's death.
When Oxnard died, the
Provincial Grand Lodge in Boston, on Oct. 11, 1754, voted that a petition be
sent to the Grand Master of England for the appointment of his successor, also
to be Grand Master of North America. Its last paragraph is as follows:
"And Whereas Masonry
Originated Here anno 5733, and in the year following Our then G. M. Price
received order from G. M. Craufurd to Establish Masonry in all North America
in Pursuance of which the Several Lodges hereafter mentioned have received
Constitutions from us. We therefore Crave due Precedency, & that in order
thereunto Our GM Elect, may in his Deputation be stiled GM of all North
America, and your Petitioners as in duty Bound shall ever Pray."
This petition set out also
the dates of the constitution of Lodges in other colonies subordinate to
Price, including Pennsylvania, as follows:
5734 Philadelphia. 35 New
Hampshire & South Carolina. 38 Antigua and Annapolis in Nova Scotia. 46
Newfoundland. 49 Rhode Island. 50 Hallifax in Nova Scotia. 50 Annapolis in
Maryland. 53 New London in Connecticut. 54 Middletown in Connecticut. 52 New
Haven in Connecticut.
The petition was signed by
the following Brethren as a Committee, viz.:
Hugh McDaniel. Benjamin
Hallowell. Chas. Brockwell. James Forbes. Robert Jenkins. William Coffin.
Is it conceivable that this
petition did not truly represent the facts ? Henry Price was in the chair and
not one word of suspicion has ever attached to him. Bro. Benjamin Franklin was
present. The Brethren at that meeting and those who formed the Committee which
drafted the petition were well acquainted with the history of Masonry in those
Of those who signed it:
McDaniel was made or admitted
Jan. 30, 1735, and rose to D. G. M. in 1737 and was the accredited
representative of Philadelphia to the Provincial Grand Lodge in Boston.
Hallowell was made or
admitted Jan. 23, 1735, and rose to D. G. M. in 1753. Brockwell was a
clergyman made or admitted Jan. 28, 1746, and rose to S. G. W. in 1753.
Forbes was made or admitted
Nov. 20, 1735, and rose to D. G. M. in 1756.
Jenkins was made or admitted
July 25, 1739, and rose to D. G. M. in 1757.
Coffin was made or admitted
Aug. 8, 1744, and rose to S. G. W. in 1758.
Leddell was made or admitted
Oct. 11, 1749, and rose to M. of the First Lodge in 1752 and of the Masters'
Lodge in 1755.
They were all close
associates of Henry Price and so constant in attendance upon Masonic functions
that their names appear literally hundreds of times in the first volume of the
printed Proceedings. Among those voting in favor of the resolution was
apparently Benjamin Franklin himself. Of the others voting, Rowe was made or
admitted July 23, 1740, and had been Master of the First Lodge in 1748;
Leverett passed F. C. Oct. 11, 1749, having been made abroad, Junior Warden of
the same in 1750; Williams made or admitted May 29, 1746, Junior Warden of the
Master's Lodge in 1750; Byard, made or admitted May 11, 1748, Senior Warden of
the First Lodge in 1750; Erving, Junior Warden of the same in 1753; Pelham,
made or admitted Nov. 8, 1738, Junior Warden of the First Lodge in Boston in
1750; Tyler, made or admitted Feb. 11, 1749, Junior Warden of the Third Lodge
in Boston in 1752; Gridley, made or admitted Jan. 22, 1745, was also present
at the Grand Lodge, and while at this meeting was elected for nomination as
Provincial Grand Master of North America. Ezekiel Price was Junior Warden of
the Third Lodge in Boston in 1752; Stowe had been present at the Grand Lodge
as early as 1753, though I have not his official Masonic record; and Holbrook
was Junior Warden of the Second Lodge in Boston in 1752. Many of them rose to
great public prominence and to exalted Masonic station. Will anyone contend
that these brethren did not speak the truth, or that they did not know the
facts about which they were talking? If so, they also discredit the
intelligence of Benjamin Franklin, who was present and participated in the
Proceedings of that meeting of Oct. 11, 1754, and who wrote the letters quoted
heretofore. No court in the world would decline to believe the evidence of
the men named with their personal knowledge of the facts.
So desperate in argument has
one Pennsylvania partisan become, however, that he not only ascribes
Franklin's acts to unworthy political motives, but also quotes with apparent
approval the words of a forgotten scurrilous writer of 1764 who calls Franklin
"false and insidious," an "ungrateful incendiary," of no consideration, a
vilifier, and other equally polite appellations. The impartial verdict of
history has settled the integl ity of Franklin. It is to be regretted that any
writer, to bolstel a weak position, finds it necessary to republish such a
maudlin attack. There is equal contemporaneous evidence to discredit
Washington and Lincoln and indeed every great man our country has known. Even
our learned Brother in Philadelphia, who would have it believed that these
Brethren had testified to what was not true, will hardly accuse Franklin of
being prejudiced against Pennsylvania and in favor of Massachusetts. Nor can
he so belittle the intelligence of Franklin as to have anyone believe Franklin
did not know all there was to be known about the then Masonry in Philadelphia,
or that Franklin would have remained present and yet non-protesting in the
face of the solemnly declared claims of Massachusetts, if he did not know them
to be in absolute accord with the facts. Franklin's letters of 1734 show that
the knowledge came then to him and his participation in the meeting of 1754
shows that after twenty years of Masonic experience as the leading Mason of
Pennsylvania, he still recognized that "Masonry Originated Here (i.e. Boston),
anno 5733 and in the year following Our G. M. Price received orders from G. M.
Craufurd to establish Masonry in all North America."
Explicit and first-hand
testimony of one who knew whereof he spoke is the letter of Aug. 6, 1755,
written by Henry Price himself to the Grand Secretary of Grand Lodge of
England, desiring a Deputation pointing the noted Gridley as Provincial Grand
Master. It is as follows:
Worthy & Dear Bro:--It was
with the utmost pleasure I saw a Letter from you to the Honble Peter Leigh
Esq. with his Deputation appointing him Grand Master of South Carolina the
last year and whom I have had the pleasure of Seeing in our Lodges in Boston.
I would Inform you that as I
rec'd my Deputation from the Right Honble Lord Montague in April 1733 Signed
by Thos. Batson Esq. D.G.M. George Rook James Moor Smith Esq. G.W., made out
by Bro. Reed late Grand Secretary for North America, which I held four Years
and Constituted several Lodges, and was succeeded in the office by Bro:
Tomlinson, and after him Bro: Oxnard who Dying it Reverted back to me again
according to the Constitutions. Now with my consent all the Brethren in North
America have made Choice of our Bro. Jeremy Gridley Esq. Counsellor at Law to
be Grand Master for Three Years, and then the Brethren to have power to
Continue him or apply for a new Grand Master, and as our numbers of Gentlemen
increase here and we are the oldest (or first Constituted) Regular Lodge in
America, We have made application to the Grand Master of England for our said
Bro. Gridley, which application and Three Guineas we sent per Capt. John
Phillips last Dec to our Rev. Bro. Entick Minster at Stepney desiring him to
forward the affair, but we are surprised that we have not yet Rec'd the
Deputation, nor a line from Bro Entick, whose Receipt we have for the Three
Guineas p'd to him by the said Capt. John Phillips who using the London Trade
may be now found at the new England Coffee House at Change Time.
I Therefore beg the favour
of you to make enquiry after the Money, and application Transmitted as
aforesaid to Bro. Entick and as much as in you lies forw'd the affair, which I
shall acknowledge as a great favour and will be a service to Masonry in These
Masonry has had as great
Success in America since my Settling here as in any part of the World (except
England.) Here is not less than Forty Lodges sprung from my First Lodge in
Boston. Therefore we desire that our Deputation may be made out for all North
America or over all North America. I shall be glad of a few Lines from you
even though you should have made out and forwarded our Deputation before this
Reaches you; as I shall have sundry things to Communicate to you from Time to
Time and cannot do it but by Letter to you, most of my old acquaintances of
Masons being either Dead or Remov'd from London. I have some remote thoughts
of once more seeing Lodon with all my Brethren in the Grand Lodge after Twenty
Two years absence, In the mean Time I am
Sir! Your most affect and
faithful Bro. and Humble Serv't
Boston New England
Copy of a letter
August 6, 1755.
Desiring J. Gridley's Dep.
TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS
BY BRO. GEO. W. BAIRD, P. G.
M., DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA|
IN August, 1783, the
Continental Congress resolved, unanimously, to have an equestrian
Statue erected of George Washington, in the Nation's Capital, and the
resolution specified that Washington should be represented "in a Roman dress
holding a truncheon in his right hand, and his head encircled in a laurel
wreath." The resolution was never carried into effect. But in February, 1832,
the House of Representatives resolved that "The President of the United States
be authorized to employ Horatio Greenough, of Massachusetts, to execute, in
marble, a full length pedestrian statue of Washington, to be placed in the
centre of the rotunda of the Capitol: the head to be a copy of Houdon's *
Washington, and the accessories to be left to the judgment of the artist."
While the legislators may have had an idea what a
pedestrian statue was, artists and critics had not, and they had their jokes
about the wording.
Mr. Greenough took up his residence at Florence,
where he could get Carara marble, and where skilled assistance could be
obtained, and there modeled and chiseled the statue, which, when completed,
weighed about 21 tons.
In 1840 the Secretary of the Navy sent Captain
Hull, in the famous old Frigate Ohio, to bring the statue to the United
States, but, on arriving and examining the work, it was found that it was too
heavy to be carried on deck (it would have capsized the ship), so captain Hull
was obliged to write to Washington for permission to tear out his decks, to
get the statue into the hold. As the mails were carried in sailing ships at
that era, several months were consumed and it was finally determined to employ
a Merchant ship for the purpose.
After several months delay the statue reached the
Navy Yard at Washington, when it was discovered that there was no derrick
there capable of lifting such a great weight, and, as Congress was not in
session, and there being no money in the Treasury available for the purpose,
it was necessary to await Congressional action, and still further time was
required to build the derrick.
When this was accomplished, the Navy Yard gate not
being large enough for the passage of the statue, it was determined to land it
on large floats ("camels") and tow it via the canal to a point nearest the
Capitol, and then skid it through the streets to its position. This was
admirably done by Boatswain Waters. ** But when the statue had been lifted up
the east stairs of the Building it was found the door was too small to admit
it. Congress, however, supplied the funds to tear out the door framing and the
statue was finally landed in the centre of the great rotunda.
The great artists of Italy, who had seen the
statue had praised it so highly that its merit was accepted everywhere. The
great sovereign people of the U. S., however, had become restive, and it was
their privilege to find fault with something. The shape of the statue did not
conform to the great vaulted dome above. The public was merciless in
criticism. Mr. Greenough himself admitted that the contours were not pleasing.
The public relieved itself in vulgar puns. One of these is attributed to a
"Hoosier" who had visited the City for the first time, and had seen in the
Patent Office (where the nucleus of a museum existed) the uniform and
camp-chest of Washington. He walked around the statue and read the inscription
on the three sides,
"First in War: First ill Peace: First in the
hearts of his countrymen," and, turning to his companions said he had
interpreted it all. He said "Washington is saying here's me sword, and me
clothes is in the Patent Office."
The figure of Washington shows him handing his
sword to Congress, and, with the other hand, pointing towards the Heavens, as
if invoking aid and inspiration.
Smarting under the scoffs of an inconsiderate and
perhaps the unlettered part of the public, Congress had the Statue moved out
of the Building, about 500 feet to the eastward, where it remained until 1908
when it was placed in the Smithsonian Institution.
To an Artist, this piece of work is a dream: It
has excited the admiration of connoisseurs of every Nation.
The words of Light Horse Harry Lee, uttered at the
funeral of Washington, are appropriately sculptured in raised letters on the
base, as quoted above, while, on the back of the chair, is engraved
ad magnum Libertatis exemplum
nec sine ipsa duraturum
Below the Rotunda there is a Crypt of immense
proportions, to which place it was intended to remove the remains of General
Washington, but it was never carried out.
George Washington was initiated in Fredericksburg
Lodge No. 4, in Fredericksburg, Va., on the 4th of November, 1752, when in his
21st year. He was passed and raised in the same lodge. He became the charter
Master of Washington Lodge, in Alexandria. He took an active part in Masonry
while in the Field, when circumstances permitted. One of the records shows
that "immediately after the close of the negotiations at Yorktown (the
surrender of Lord Cornwallis) General Washington, General LaFayette, General
Nelson and John Marshall went together to Lodge No. 9, in Yorktown and there,
by their union, gave testimony to the beautiful tenets of Masonry." As Acting
Master of Federal Lodge he laid the corner stone of the Capitol at Washington.
* Houdon was a member of the
lodge Soeurs, in Paris.
** Mr. Waters was a member of
The Starving Men they walk
With hunger in their eyes.
To them a Lighted House is
A Lamp in Paradise.
It is the window in the dusk,
That marks the drifter's
It is the thought of love and
That mocks the drifter most.
Now I have been a Starving
And walked the winter dusk;
And I have known how life may
A Heaven and a Husk.
The Fainting Hands they
pulled my sleeve,
And bade me curse the Light.
But I had seen a Rich Man's
That looked into the night.
A hungry face, a brother
That stared into the gloom,
And starved for life, and
starved for love
Within the lighted room.
Dana Burnet. Harper's
In one hundred years Europe
will be either all Cossack or all Republic.
The kind of Mason that I
Is one who always goes to
When not detained by reasons
And tries no duty there to
Who to himself is never
But keeps his moral record
Because too proud to court
He scorns the actions that
The kind of Mason that I like
Will strive to treat his
And make his welfare, when he
The measure of his own
Who helps him bear his daily
And shields him with a
That kind of Masonry we know,
The world will bless and
The kind of Mason that I like
Will not forget to think of
Nor fail to choose the
And follows where the good
To serve Him with a willing
He builds his temple to the
Where light and love eternal
This is the Mason that I
- Neal A. McAulay.
Not in dumb resignation
We lift our hands on high;
Not like the nerveless
Content to trust and die.
Our faith springs like the
Who soars to meet the sun,
And cries exulting unto Thee,
O Lord, Thy will be done !
Thy will ! It bids the weak
It bids the strong be just;
No lip to fawn, no hand to
No brow to seek the dust.
Wherever man oppresses man
Beneath Thy liberal sun,
O Lord, be there Thine arm
Thy righteous will be done.
- John Hay.
Build up your life like the
temple of old
With stones that are polished
Cement it with love, and
adorn it with gold
As all Master builders should
Upon a foundation, well
chosen and strong,
Build now for the ages to
Make use of the good, while
rejecting the wrong -
And test all your work with
- Neal A. McAulay.
CAME FREEMASONRY? WHO KNOWS?
BY BRO. J. W. NORWOOD,
GREATLY to my surprise as a
charter member of the National Masonic Research Society and a subscriber to
"The Builder," I find in the April issue a broadside attack upon "The School
of Natural Science," none he less unfortunate because cloaked with the
language of ridicule and irony.
That it comes from the pen of
so distinguished a Masonic journalist as Past Grand High Priest Dr. Wm. F.
Kuhn of Missouri, associate editor of the Kansas City Freemason, surprises me
still more. But supposing Bro. Kuhn to be a philosopher, he should not think
it discourtesy if I paraphrase Shakespeare and suggest that there are more
things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in his philosophy.
Not having the honor to be a
member of the "Great School of Natural Science" any more than of Bernard Shaw
School of Dramatists, or the Futurist School of Music, though proud to call
myself a Friend of Man and of the Work, like Abou Ben Adhem, perhaps Dr. Kuhn
will not consider me so biased as to ignore the following suggestions. [The
editorial remarks concerning "TK" and the remarkable book "The Great Work" in
the May issue of The Builder are much more in line with the spirit animating
those engaged in Masonic research than Dr. Kuhn's article, and because of the
disposition to be fair, evinced by the editor, I am emboldened to make these
First, how much real
knowledge have we of the origin of Freemasonry? What does Dr. Kuhn or any of
the Masonic writers he quotes, actually KNOW of the matter ? Do they not all
confess the origin of Freemasonry to have been before their day and
generation? How then, can he consistently assert so dogmatically that "no one
will deny that the so-called philosophy was engrafted into Masonry with the
evolution of the Royal Arch," in answer to the claim of the Great School that
the Guilds of "Operative Masons" were but the refuge and not the origin of the
Masonic system ?
If an historical discussion
embracing the various legends of Masonry were entered into, probably many
would be found to deny what Dr. Kuhn so positively asserts. Of late years, not
even the historians of the Guild system, now almost extinct, have been able to
prove their case to the satisfaction of all scholars. And then it is a matter
of definition as to the meaning of Freemasonry, whether it is a mere social
club or a system of morality. Also one might ask when or where the "Royal
Arch" had its rise. There have been many degrees of the name, extending back
thousands of years before the Christian era to the "Holy Royal Arch" of
Second, without knowledge of
the subject, is it fair to condemn? Is it Masonic
The reading of the "Great
Work" and its companion books of the "Harmonic Series"--the text books of the
Great School, gave the present writer unalloyed pleasure. They also challenged
his belief in many statements contained therein.
Not desiring to deny matters
of which he had no knowledge, there was only one course to pursue, without
deliberately turning away and refusing to investigate what had been offered in
the way of light upon some very dark subjects. As a Master Mason pledged to
the search for Truth, he would have been false to his obligations not to have
made some effort to prove or disprove matters of such alleged vital
The result, so far, has been,
that I have been unable to prove one single assertion made by the author of
"The Great Work," false in any particular. Nor have I ever found any one else
who has. I should be greatly pleased to discover any man or set of men who can
On the contrary, a somewhat
careful excursion into the realms of history, archaeology and comparative
religion, has indicated the truth of those brief statements connecting the
Great School with the origin of Freemasonry, so sneeringly flouted by Dr.
The author of the "Great
Work" is a Freemason, a member of the same rites of which Dr. Kuhn is a
member. He has not sought to impress the philosophy of the "Great School" upon
Freemasonry nor to force the two into a companionship. In the sense the term
is commonly used, the "Great Work" is not even regarded as a "Masonic Book."
Yet no more beautiful
exposition of the Masonic tenets could be imagined than that contained in the
works of this true friend of humanity. The very spirit of all that relates to
Freemasonry, might be paraphrased in the words of Dr. Kuhn himself:
"I have always believed that
Freemasonry was a very practical thing; a something that manifests itself,
chiefly in a man's life; that it is a life and not a theory; practical living
and doing, not dreaming and philosophizing. That it was a beautiful, every day
practical system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols;
not veiled to confuse or hide, but to make plain; not buried in symbols to
obscure, but to fix indelibly, some plain, possibly homely truth."
The value of individual
effort and personal responsibility is made plain without even the aid of
symbols and ritual which beautify and make impressive the Fellowcraft degree.
The living of a life in conformity to a "practical system of morality," is
insisted upon as forcibly as ever done in a Masonic lodge. Dreaming and
philosophizing are certainly not the basis of "The Great Work."
The Masonic beliefs in a
Supreme Being and in a life after physical death are asserted to be
scientifically true and proof is offered to all who will take advantage of it.
And here comes the rub. Science hesitates and Religion denies. It almost seems
as though Material Science will investigate before Religion is willing to
admit the possibility that the "miraculous" is only "natural" after all.
But however strong the
disbelief of the searcher after Truth, no true Freemason will ever dogmatize
over his own assumed knowledge. There is but one road to Truth. Wherever it
leads, whatever cherished delusions it overturns, the true Builder will follow
it. If a thing is True, it cannot be otherwise and all the ridicule in the
world will not make it so
Every member of the National
Masonic Research Society owes it to himself and to his membership in the
Society, to investigate the claims of the "Great School," regardless of his
prejudices or desires. If he can find one thing in the entire philosophy set
forth in its text books, contrary to the principles of Freemasonry, he may be
excused for dropping the matter and warning his fellows against it. If he
should discover that the friends of the work are the truest friends of
Freemasonry in this hard and cynical world, at a time when friends are most
needed, he may find himself entered upon a road to "life, liberty and the
pursuit of happiness," that many have dreamed of, but few realized.
(Perhaps it will clear the
air somewhat if we state, once more, the position of Dr. Kuhn and the Editor
with regard to the Great Work, which Brother Norwood and some others seem to
misunderstand. Several facts must be kept in mind if we are not to fall into
hopeless confusion in our criticism and appreciation of the book, such facts
First, the Great Work
professes to be an exposition of the teachings of an ancient School of Natural
Science which has existed from the beginning of time, having in its keeping
records reaching back beyond the days of Moses, if not further, which school
was the inspiration of Buddhism, early Christianity, and Freemasonry. Surely
these are amazing statements, and yet not one item of evidence is offered in
support of them. Some of us cannot accept such statements without facts to
justify them on the authority of an anonymous author, and therefore we make
request for proof. Truly that is reasonable if we are to seek for the truth,
much less find it
Second, the Great Work
purports to tell us the origin of Freemasonry in its chapter on the Lineal
Key--and this is really our only interest in the book as students of the
history of Masonry. Masonry, we learn, is, or was, until it turned out
abortive, one of the efforts of the said Great School to instruct mankind and
lead it into the light. Here again no evidence is set forth but only bare
affirmation of a man who does not even sign his name--and many Masons seem
willing to accept anything he says over against the labors and researches of
their own historians. Brother Norwood says he has not proved the statements of
TK false in any particular. Why not ask TK to prove that they are true, and
save himself the logical difficulty of trying to prove a negative? If the
origin of Masonry is obscure that is no valid reason for accepting the theory
of TK, which is still more obscure.
Some of us, because we love
Freemasonry, flatly refuse to accept any such account of its origin when no
facts are forthcoming to prove it. No consider! This book calmly tells us that
Masonry is only a makeshift substitute for something withheld by a mythical
Great School, a faded sham, an echo, an imitation, if not a counterfeit--not
the real truth that makes men free and fraternal, but a thing almost worthy of
contempt alongside the alleged Great School. Indeed, Masonry is only used in
this book as a kind of tail to fly the kite of the Great School in which the
author is, apparently, an instructor. Seldom have we seen a book which so
belittles the noble order of Freemasonry--not intentionally so, perhaps, but
actually so none the less--and some of us resent it.
In these despites, we find
Masons accepting the whole book as if it were a revelation. It is indeed
strange. And this, too, without any evidence save the dicta of a man whom they
never saw and whose name they do not know. If this is what is meant by Masonic
Research, then we might as well set fire to our libraries and set sail into
fairyland, the while we make contest as to who can spin the most extravagant
fancy and call it history.
Third, the Great Work teaches
a very noble and inspiring system of moral philosophy, and emphasizes the
necessity of practicing it. With most of its ethical teaching we agree, though
we would use different words to express it. (For example, much is said about
"the constructive principle of the universe"--a large remark, truly--which we
take to mean the principle on which the universe is constructed; since no one
ever heard of a principle constructing anything, not even a sewing machine.)
The reading of the moral thesis of the book will do a man good. It will bring
him to pause and think if he is living a careless and unworthy life. It will
compel him to realize that intelligent righteousness is the only solid basis
of character, and inspire him to do justly and love mercy. But the value of
its moral teaching does not prove that its historical statements are true--not
at all. The two things are different, and the one does not prove the other.
Fourth, the author of the
Great Work claims to have found, or rather learned, a process by which he not
only can, but actually has, demonstrated scientifically the fact of life after
physical death. The formula is not disclosed in the book, it being deemed
indiscreet and dangerous to make it known; but the author offers to teach it
to any one who approves himself worthy to receive it-- making himself, in this
way, a kind of keeper of the keys to a knowledge of a future life. It may all
be true. For ourselves, we are content to live by the ancient, high and heroic
faith which Masonry teaches in her great and simple drama, and face the future
as brave men have faced it before us.
Now surely Brother Norwood
can understand, from this statement of our case, why we suggested that the
Great Work should be read with discrimination and care, like all other books.
He agrees that it is not a Masonic book, albeit written by a Mason, it is
said, and professing to tell us the origin, or rather the decay, of Masonry.
If we have dealt with this part of the book sharply, and not without satire,
it is because it is an injury to the cause of Masonic Research. If we have not
made the matter plain in this statement, then it is because we are hopelessly
stupid and will not try it again.--The Editor.)
A sunbeam fell across the way
"Whence do you come?" I
asked; it said, "From God."
"Where do you go; what is
your mission here ?" With radiant head
The sunbeam brighter shone.
"I am the love Of life," it said.
"Death has no existence for
the wise man: it is a phantom made hideous by the ignorance and weakness of
the crowd. Change is the evidence of movement, and movement is life. The very
corpse would not decompose were it dead; all the molecules which form it
remain alive and are in motion to disintegrate. And you think that mind is the
first to be dissipated and lives no more! You believe that thought and love
can cease when the grossest matter never perishes!"
LANDMARKS OF MASONRY
BY BRO. SILAS H. SHEPHERD,
THE "Ancient Landmarks" and
"Landmarks of Masonry" are terms which appear throughout the literature of
Masonry, and are the source of deep study by many Craftsmen who have devoted
time, talent and genius to promote the best interests of our fraternity.
On the subject of
"landmarks," as on the subjects of history and symbolism, there is a great
diversity of opinion, both by Grand Lodges and by individuals, and the need of
a comparison of ideas which are held by those who have made the subject a
study was the cause which prompted us to compile this article.
"What is a landmark?" is a
debatable question. It has been answered in part by definitions; it has also
been answered by enumerating certain laws or customs which are considered
landmarks by the authors of the compilations; it has also been considered a
proper subject for legislation by some Grand Lodges and they have enacted laws
as to what are to be considered landmarks in their jurisdiction.
After the organization of the
Premier Grand Lodge in 1717, the "Charges of a Freemason" were extracted from
the old manuscript copies and a set of thirty-nine "General Regulations" were
adopted, the last of which reads in part 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 preserved." This is the earliest mention of
landmarks in connection with Freemasonry.
Neither at that time nor at
any subsequent period can we find any enumeration of landmarks by the Grand
Lodge of England, "Ancient," "Modern" or United.
On Oct. 19th, 1810, the Lodge
of Promulgation resolved "that it appears to this Lodge, that the ceremony of
Installation of Masters of Lodges, is one of the two Land Marks of the Craft
and ought to be observed.
We are left entirely in the
dark as to what they considered the other landmark. This is the only case
where we have been able to find any attempt to say how many or what
constituted a landmark until 1856 when the Grand Lodge of Minnesota adopted a
list of twenty-six articles which had the force of landmarks, which was two
years earlier than Bro. Albert Mackey enumerated his list which has been
generally considered the first attempt to enumerate them.
We will give the definition
of landmarks by several learned brethren.
"Of the nature of the
Landmarks of Masonry, there has been some diversity of opinion among writers;
but perhaps the safest method is to restrict them to those ancient, and
therefore universal, customs of the Order, which either gradually grew into
operation as rules of action. or if at once enacted by any competent
authority, were enacted at a period so remote, that no account of their origin
is to be found in the records of history." (Albert G. Mackey, Mas. Jur. page
"The very definition of
Landmarks shows that an enumeration of them is scarcely possible. All we can
know is that it is a law or a custom that has existed from time immemorial. If
any universal usage exists, and has existed so long that its origin is
unknown, it is a Landmark." (Josiah Drummond, Maine Masonic Text Book.)
"With respect to the
Landmarks of Masonry, some restrict them to the O.B., signs, tokens and words.
Others include the ceremony of initiation, passing and raising; and the form,
dimensions and supports; the ground, situation and covering; the ornaments,
furniture and jewels of a Lodge, or their characteristic symbols. Some think
that the order has no landmarks beyond its peculiar secrets. (Geo. Oliver,
Dict. Symb. Mas. )
"We assume those principles
of action to be Landmarks which have existed from time immemorial, whether in
the written or unwritten law; which are identified with the form and essence
of the society; which, the great majority agree, cannot be changed, and which
every Mason is bound to maintain intact, under the most solemn and inviolable
sanctions." (Simons, Prin. of Mas. Juris.)
"Those fixed tenets by which
the limits of Freemasonry may be known and preserved." (Dictionary of
"The Landmarks of Masonry are
those ancient principles and practices which mark out and distinguish
Freemasonry as such, and they are the source of Masonic Jurisprudence."
(Lockwood's Mas. Law and Practice, Page 14.)
My idea of an Ancient
Landmark is a rule or usage of the Premier Grand Lodge which can not be
abrogated, without cutting off the offending Body from the Universal Craft."
(W. J. Hughan.)
"A belief in God, oui Father;
in the immortality of the soul; in the brotherhood of man; and in the
necessary practice of all the moral and social virtue, were the essentials,
our duty to God, our country, our neighbor and ourselves, was everywhere and
universally inculcated. These we take to be the Landmarks of the Order." (John
Q. A. Fellows, Proc. G. L. of La., 1889.)
"A 'Landmark' that cannot be
established by the writings of the fathers, or other recognized authorities,
to have been the rule or belief among Freemasons in 1723 and before, or that
is not now generally accepted as such, can hardly be held as Landmark. (H. B.
Grant, Const. G. L. of Ky., 1910.)
"A Landmark, to be a
Landmark, must command the universal respect and observance of all Masons."
(T. S. Parvin, Iowa Proc. 1889, Page 106, cor. report.)
"The fundamental principles
of the Ancient Operative Masonry were few and simple, and they were not called
landmarks. Each lodge was independent of every other, and there was no
superior authority over all. Each was composed of Apprentices and FellowCrafts.
Each had its Master and Wardens, and these were elected by vote of all the
members. The ancient charges show by what principles the relations of those of
the fellowship to each other were regulated; and these may not improperly be
said to have been the 'landmarks' of the Craft." (Albert Pike, Iowa Proc.
1888, Page 156, cor. report.)
"The Old Landmarks were, in
fact, the secrets which existed amongst the Operative Masons in the days when
they alone supplied the membership of the Craft." (W. B. Hextall, Ars. Q. C.
XXV, Page 91.) "The Ancient Landmarks of Freemasonry, like all other landmarks
material or symbolical, can only preserve their stability, when they reach
down to sure foundations. When the philosophic student unearths the underlying
rock on which our Ancient Landmarks rest, he finds our sure foundations in the
triple dogma Georgia-- of the Fatherhood of God, the Brotherhood of Man, and
the Life to come. All laws, customs and methods that obtain amongst us and do
not ultimately find footholds on this basis, are thereby earmarked as
conventions and conveniences, no way partaking of the nature of Ancient
Landmarks." (Chetwode Crawley, Ars. Q. C. XXIII. )
The Masonic Congress at
Chicago in 1893 defined the landmarks thus:
"The Ancient Landmarks are
those fundamental principles which characterize Masonry as defined by the
Charges of a Freemason, and without which the institution cannot be identified
as Masonry, combined with the essentials of the unwritten language by which
brethren distinguished each other as Masons."
Having given a few of the
definitions of landmarks by individual brethren and the collective opinion of
the Masonic Congress at Chicago, 1893, which was very representative of
Masonic scholarship in America, we will give what each Grand Lodge in the
United States does or does not do in respect to landmarks.
Alabama recognizes as the
landmarks the Old Charges of 1722 by Anderson. Arizona--
Arizona is the only Grand
Lodge on which we have no authentic information. We have searched the
proceedings in vain to find what they hold to be the landmarks and have not
been favored with a reply to our letter of inquiry.
Arkansas-- Arkansas has no
enumeration of the landmarks.
California has no legislation on the subject of landmarks, but as a general
proposition accepts Mackey's twenty-five.
Colorado. Colorado has never
adopted a particular list of landmarks, having been governed by the old
constitutions and those published in Mackey's Encyclopedia.
Connecticut-- Connecticut has
adopted as its code the treatise known as "Lockwood's Masonic Law and
Practice" and by inference holds to the specification of Landmarks contained
Delaware-- No mention is made
of Landmarks in the Constitution of 1909 and no list of landmarks appears in
District of Columbia-- The
District of Columbia accepts as the landmarks the twenty-five laid down by
In the Masonic Code of 1905
is a valuable address on the "Outline of Masonic Law," by Geo. H. Walker, P.
Florida-- Florida has never
taken any action on the subject of landmarks.
Georgia-- Georgia has no list
of landmarks. Art. IV of the Constitution of 1909 reads: "The Grand Lodge
shall have power as follows: To propose, enact and establish new regulations
for the government of the Craft within its jurisdiction, and the same to
alter, amend, explain or repeal, not contravening the ancient landmarks of the
Edict 177 reads: "The
Unwritten Law, the Immemorial Usages, the Landmarks and the like, of Masonry,
are not repealed by the adoption of any Constitution and By-Laws, nor is it in
the power of any man or body of men to change, alter or repeal these or any of
Idaho-- Idaho has no
legislation defining or enumerating what landmarks are.
Illinois-- Illinois has no
legislation defining landmarks. Illinois follows Robbins and Drummond on this
Indiana-- No mention is made
in the Indiana Constitution of Landmarks; and no list of landmarks appears in
Iowa-- Iowa has no list of
landmarks. The following is Sec. 5, Gen. Law: "The unwritten laws of this
jurisdiction consist of the time honored customs and usages of the Ancient
Free and Accepted Masons, of general recognition, as they are found in the
traditional and historic records of Freemasonry and adapted to the conditions
and time in which we live, together with such rules for application as will
perpetuate its integrity and usefulness, and not repugnant to its written
Kansas-- Kansas does not
consider the landmarks a subject for legislation. With their code they publish
the "Bassett notes" containing list of landmarks by Mackey, Morris, Simons and
Lockwood for the information of the brethren.
Kentucky-- The declaration at
the beginning of the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky 1908, reads:
"The Grand Lodge of Kentucky acknowledges belief in God to be the great
fundamental principle and Landmark of Masonry upon which our fraternity is
The Ancient Charges of 1723
are printed on pages 200-205, and on pages 209 to 240 are the "Ancient
Landmarks with supporting evidence," by H. B. Grant, 54 in number. (G. W.
Speth reviewed them in Ars. Q. C. VII.)
Constitution of 1902, Sec. 4, second paragraph, considering the powers of the
Grand Lodge reads: "It may make all laws and regulations necessary for the
government of the lodges and brethren under its jurisdiction, and for the
propagation and advancement of the true principles and work of Ancient
Freemasonry, not inconsistent with the provisions of this Constitution, the
old Charges of Free and Accepted Masons of 1723 hereunto annexed, or the
ancient usages and landmarks of the Order."
Edict 44 reads: "That the
only written landmarks are those in the ancient Charges of the Craft, forming
part of the Constitution of the Grand Lodge; and the unwritten, those
contained in the ceremonies of initiation, and the ties which bind us together
as Masons: Nor is it proper by legislation to make any new obligations with
penalties attached, nor for a lodge to attempt, by resolution, to define the
landmarks of the Craft."
LIGHT IN MASONRY
As I look down the misty past
Through its vistas dim and
weird and vast,
Through the centuries of life
And the monuments of its
My craving centers in the
For "further light in
The stones were from the
And paths through mighty
The throbbing heart of labor
Was in the patient days of
But much is vague, and hence
For "further light in
And as the craftsman learned
Of the operative in all its
And traveled to foreign lands
To wages earn and skill
My heart goes with them in
For "further light in
And as those builders, great
And in the world's then
Sought in themselves the
That brotherhood unfailing
I catch their spirit in my
For "further light in
And O, what minds conceived
Of working out the art for
From the symbols to the
That have so long such
My wonder accentuates the
For "further light in
And through it all their work
Was guarded with such tender
That centuries of dire unrest
Left all their landmarks at
All this gives interest to my
For "further light in
Than this, there is no richer
The quest, the rarest
And the rewards? O brother
They may not all be known in
Let life be one insistent
For "further light in
L. B. Mitchell, Michigan.
Is this wide world not large
enough to fill thee,
Nor Nature, nor that deep
man's Nature, Art ?
Are they too thin, too weak
and poor to still thee,
Thou little heart?
Dust thou art, and to dust
A spark of fire within a
Should that be infinite for
which Thou burnest ?
Must it be God?
Destiny has many disguises
and many moods. Sometimes the unexpected leaps from its hiding place and
strikes stunning blows right and left, like Orestes among the steers in Tauris,
or a maniac let loose among sane men. But sometime Fate lurks in her lair,
silent poring over the tablets of the future, and she notes all we say,
scrawling 'Folly' against our wisest speeches and stamping 'So be it' under
the carelessly spoken jest.
--F. Marion Crawford.
(The Builder is an open forum
for free and fraternal discussion. Each of its contributors writes under his
own name, and is responsible for his own opinions. Believing that a unity of
spirit is better than a uniformity of opinion, the Research Society, as such,
does not champion any one school of Masonic thought as over against another;
but offers to all alike a medium for fellowship and instruction, leaving each
to stand or fall by its own merits.)
No Mason, we are told, ought ever to enter upon
any great and important undertaking without first invoking the aid of Deity.
Even so, but how few pause to consider how large a place prayer has in
Masonry, and what this means for the culture of the soul. A Lodge is a temple;
at its center is an altar of light; its rites are an allegory of human life.
It is thus that Masonry is mystical, as music is mystical - like poetry, like
love, like all else that makes it worth our time to live and look up at the
stars. For mysticism is only a big word for the deep truth that the kingdom of
heaven is within us. As well ask why birds sing and flowers grow as to ask why
man prays. He cannot help it:
"Dream unto dream may pass:
Deep in the heart alone
Murmurs the Almighty One
His solemn undertone."
The first sermon of Emerson was about prayer, and
it had three points. First, all men are always praying; second, all prayers
are answered without fail; third, beware, then, what you pray for, lest it
mean your undoing. These statements, if they seem startling at first sight,
are none the less true, and they go down to the root of the matter. All men
are always praying whether they know it or not. When a farmer sows his seed,
by that act he makes prayer to the God of the harvest. If a man of science
seeks truth, it is because he believes that truth exists and that it can be
found. Unconscious oft, unsatisfied ever, his search is a prayer to the God of
truth. The religion of a man is not what he professes, but what he lives out
and acts upon from day to day. His life is his religion, and what he most
desires is his unceasing prayer.
All prayers are answered without fail, since by a
law of the mind we become what we pray for, seek after, and most desire. When
we have a thing in mind it is not long before we have it in our hearts, if not
in our hands. On the kind of asking a man does depends the quality of his
manhood and the worth of his iife. If his unconscious prayer be solely for
material things he will become a materialist, and learn, perhaps too late,
that nothing fails like success. His prayer is not only answered, but the deed
of transfer is recorded in his face, as the deed is also recorded on the face
of him whose prayers have won for him a citizenship in the Kingdom of Light.
As Elizabeth Browning said:
"In a mother undefiled
Prayer goeth on in sleep, as
And pauseless as the pulses
and its answer is
recorded in a face written all over
with the hieroglyphs of
beauty, and in lines where smiles fall asleep when they are weary.
Hence the wise warning, so little heeded, to be
careful what we pray for, especially in youth, for in old age it will come
upon us. At last, there seems to fulfill itself for every man that adage of
Goethe which, when we first read it, appears a mere paradox: "Of that which a
man desires in youth, of that he shall have in age as much as he will." Aye,
let a man be careful what he desires unconsciously today, for tomorrow he may
get it, and the price he pays for it may mean the defeat and ruin of
everything he consciously desired. Moral victory lies in teaching the deepest
desires of our nature to serve the highest ends of life. Our characters are
the sum of our answered prayers; they reveal today what we have been really
asking, desiring, pursuing in the days that have passed; For what a man is
speaks louder than what he says, and his reigning desire is an unceasing
prayer the answer to which is inevitable.
Having one Father we are united, to the last man
of us, forever. No man liveth unto himself, no man prayeth unto himself, not
even when he enters the closet of his heart to pray to the Father in secret.
Not my Father, but "our Father," must be his prayer, each one praying for all,
and all for each one. For better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in life
and death and the Beyond men are held together by ties of spiritual kinship
and destiny. By the same token, no man may ever hope to find God save as he
seeks Him in the great communion of humanity. This is the Prayer of
Brotherhood, in which no man will wish to ask anything for himself that he
does not ask, with equal fervor, for all his fellows. Only when he resolves to
share the fate of his fellows, light or no light, heaven or no heaven, do the
heavens open and the light of the Eternal shine round about him.
My Brother, let those who will go in quest of the
secrets of Masonry to some remote Arcana of the Occult, but if we look into
our own hearts we shall find its most precious mysteries, the while with
clasped hands we offer our prayer at its Altar of Light, drawn together by our
common need and necessity into a sweet, forgiving Charity, if so that we may
be worthy of the mercy of God, having learned to be merciful to one another.
Even so each may learn the sovereign Secret not only of Masonry, but of human
life, and become initiates into that eternal mysticism which is the soul of
all symbolism, as it is the strength and solace of all souls that struggle and
A number of Brethren have written to say that they
cannot understand our "hostility to the philosophy of TK set forth in the
Great Work." Why, God bless you, we have not so much as mentioned the
philosophy of TK, except to praise it. With the central chapters of the book
we have no quarrel at all, having learned its teaching long ago from Aristotle
with his "perfecting principle in Nature," in harmony with which, as he
taught, we must order our lives if we would live nobly and happily. That
philosophy is no more peculiar to TK, save in his manner of stating it, than
is the multiplication table, which was in use several years before he wrote
the Great Work. Philosophy is one thing, history is another, and it ought not
to be difficult to distinguish between them.. Of course it is unpleasant to be
handcuffed, so to speak, and tied down to documents, but if we are to have any
historical research we must deal with facts and proofs, and no amount of moral
philosophy can relieve us of our labor. What we have done is to ask for proof
of the astonishing statements made in the Great Work as to the origin and
history of Masonry, not out of hostility to the writer or his book, but in
behalf of the truth of history.
* * *
The Editor of the Occult Review has the kindness
to say "that The Builder and The New Age are not in the same category, but
there is nothing in English Masonic literature to compare with either." Such
words, coming from so noble a scholar, are most encouraging, and we are happy
to share them with the Brethren who edit the official organ of the Scottish
Rite in its Southern Jurisdiction. We quote these words for the opportunity
which they offer of expressing our appreciation of the attitude of the Masonic
press, both at home and abroad, toward this Society, its journal, and its
purpose and ideal. Almost without exception our Brethren of the press saw, at
once, that The Builder is in no sense a rival of any Masonic publication, but
has a field and program of its own, unique and vastly significant, the working
out of which means an enrichment of Masonic journalism of every rite and
jurisdiction. For this spirit of co-operation and good will we are profoundly
grateful, and we sincerely hope that it will never in any way be marred.
* * *
Dear Brother: - The very interesting article in
the June issue of "The Builder" by Bro. Kuhn, entitled "When the Almond Tree
Blossoms," brings to the mind of many readers a deep and careful consideration
of the meaning of the many beautiful metaphors in which the twelfth chapter of
The revised version of this beautiful chapter, as
given in the article, demonstrates in a measure by its understanding of the
meaning of the text, that there are different understandings of some of its
metaphors, an apparent fact that I confess that I had never noticed before
reading the article.
I refer in particular to that part of the 5th
verse "and desire shall fail" which to my mind, and I have always heard it so
considered, points out the time that comes with approaching old age when the
circulation of the blood is less rapid, when the sensibilities are duller in
many a delicate nerve, calloused or weakened by long action or debilitated by
abuse, when the stiffening of muscles with the lapse of time leave a less
desire for the sports and action of youth, when the appetite has grown more
feeble as compared with the strong appetites of youth and childhood, when the
fires of youth have cooled, those fires which potent manhood in its prime,
shows with greatest vigor and which often seem uncontrollable.
These, to my mind, are the "desires" which fail,
and which the writer of the beautiful lines had in mind and but poorly
expressed in the revision when it says "and all stimulants fail" which
introduces a new thought not in line with the rest, as a means of
counteracting the failure of desire and other growing debilities, of which
there is no suggestion elsewhere in the discourse which confines itself
entirely to man's physical decay until "the dust shall return to the earth as
I believe that I have expressed the meaning of
this passage in a better way on page 122 of "Poems of the Temple."
"His hoary head, like Almond
tree, conspicuous will seem
Among the congregation where perchance he may
appear, Like the grasshopper so lively, now, almost as in a dream
He becomes a heavy burden and his path is dark and
dream Then with his weakened faculties, and cooling of youth's fire
And his appetites and passions duller grown in
later years, He has reached at last the period of the failure of desire
And his conduct, with the quiet mien of apathy
It may be that in some instances the arrangement
of the discourse into verses, mars the continuity of the thought, yet often a
revision such as this, bringing in new words in places, with a different
meaning from those of the text, presents the reader with a less beautiful idea
than the words of the original text, especially when the new word chosen is
not synonymous with the old word, and the word "stimulant" by no means
represents the same idea as "desire" although it may sometimes be used to
incite desire. and so may many other things.
Lewis A. McConnell, Michigan.
(We are grateful not only for this good letter,
but also for the opportunity which it gives of calling attention to a volume
of verse, entitled "Poems of the Temple," in which Brother McConnell has
interpreted, often in beautiful and noble form, much of the spirit, symbolism,
teaching and aspiration of Masonry. The poems deaf with the Landmarks of the
Order, its Biblical imagery, its legendary history and lore, its symbols, its
great and simple truths, its patriotic faith and passion. They breathe a
spirit of faith and love and loyalty such as only one who has "labored on the
Temple" can know, and those who read them will discover anew what it means to
think of life, of duty, of God, of character, of immortality in terms of
Masonic imagery and faith.)
* * *
My dear Sir: - I regret to say that, since reading
your book, The Builders, my former enthusiasm for the Research Society has
been jolted. I find to my surprise that in your book you only reiterate the
Speculative Theories of alleged authorities on Freemasonry, and, like many of
them, you confound the Spiritual Builders of Human Character with the temple
builders in "physical material." Such an imputation seems to me ridiculous,
and I cannot bring myself to believe that Socrates, Pythagoras, Jesus and the
two Saints John were simply members of an ancient Bricklayer's Union, or
skillful artisans, or architects of material edifices. To me they were
Freemasons, building and teaching others to build the Temple of their own
character, that is, each freeing his individual soul from evil passions,
desires and tendencies, and thus preparing them as acceptable to the Craft
before the Supreme Architect as just and upright Masons.
I still more regret your derogation of the Great
Work as unmerited, prejudicial, and unworthy of a man of your high ideals and
lofty aspirations. And, speaking from personal exnerience, I venture to say
that anv earnest, sincere and unbiased Mason will find in the Great Work a
more fruitful field of more practical knowledge, truth and wisdom in a single
day, than a thousand prejudiced men could find in a thousand years searching
among the obsolete theories and musty records of ill-informed authors. Your
book is an elaborate compendium of what you found by hard labor in the Rubbish
of the Temple. It will produce no better results than to lead members of the
Fraternity deeper into the wilderness of man-made opinions. Unable or
unwilling to prove its truth or demonstrate its fallacy, you reject a message
that points out the way to "More Light." And thus, once more Intellectual
Vanity triumphs over true Humility and Wisdom hides her face, ashamed of her
fruitless appeals to the children of men.
G. A. Walter, Chicago.
(We publish this letter, as an example of many others, to show
that the Great Work and its propaganda means the belittlement of Masonry and
an injury to the Fraternity. Here is a Brother who, from his serene height of
imaginary knowledge, looks down upon men like Gould and Hughan - not to speak
of ye humble editor and author - as rakers in the rubbish, the victims of
vanity who leave a scrap-heap for a monument. Apparently he regards the
history of organized Masonry - one of the great institutions of mankind - as
contemptible and unworthy
of study. What he means by Masonry, is hard to know. If every
one who builds a beautiful character is to be reckoned a Mason - as this
Brother reckons Socrates and Jesus - why not include the women also; our
mothers, for example, so loyal in their faith, so lovely in their lives, whose
hearts are homes of silent prayer? Of course, the purpose of Masonry is to
teach men to build character, but such is also the purpose of the home, of the
church, and of every human institution worthy of our honor. Masonry is unique
only in the form in which it embodies the genius of the higher human life, and
the method which it uses to promote it. As such it is a definite institution,
having a history and an organization, the better to promote that spiritual
building of character of which our Brother speaks; and we think that history
and organization are worthy of respect. To be sure, Jesus did not belong to a
Bricklayer;s Union - no, He was a carpenter - but we are quite sure that He
would not sneer at a company of bricklayers, as our correspondent seems to do.
Like the Great Work - whose heavenly wisdom he contrasts with man-made
opinions - our Brother belittles the old operative Masons, not knowing,
probably, that the order of Freemasons included the greatest artists and
thinkers of the age; which fact he might learn from one of those "ill-informed
authors" whom he affects to look down upon. Finally, we have not been guilty
of any "derogation" of the Great Work and its author. For all the good the
book has done we are grateful; but when it purports to give the origin of
Masonry, we ask for proof. No doubt it is refreshing to disregard facts and
glide smoothly over the glassy road of imaginary history, but that is not
Masonic Research. The late William James once wrote an essay "On a Certain
Blindness in Human Beings,” and we fear that the above letter is an example of
it. - The Editor.)
* * *
Dear Brother Editor: - Ye writer has read your
comment on Hysteria and Hysterics, and noted your invitation for some one to
give you a good thrashing. The writer does not wish to rush into print. He
believes there are others who can make a better presentation of his views, for
they are legion - not the views but the others. But he wants to talk Will you
listen? He will promise to use none but kind words. He believes that you will
agree with him that it is practical to offer effective criticism without being
Witness the broad, brotherly spirit of your
Foreword in January. Let me quote: "Masonry is a form of the Divine Life upon
earth, an order of men initiated, sworn and trained to make righteousness,
sweet reasonableness and the will of God prevail." Are those your sentiments?
There is a lot more in that same Foreword of like import, like this for
instance: "Everything is ruined by hate. Love is the one mighty Builder, and
they toil in vain who build upon any other foundation." There is more yet, and
those sentiments evoked a mighty "so mote it be" from all who read your
Ye writer is one of the many who took exceptions
to Brother Kuhn's Hysteria article. He even reduced a draft of his position to
writing but the opportunity for sending it passed by. Nor is he ready to admit
that he lost his poise His protest (which you did not get) was against the
uncharitableness of Brother Kuhn's article. It is the same spirit that is
moving him to have this talk with you. In this article you say:
"For too long the field of Masonic research has
been a happy hunting-ground for the faddist, the hobbyist, the half-baked
mystic, not to mention the inveterate crank who seems to think that Masonry is
a mathematical puzzle instead of a human fraternity founded upon spiritual
Who are the faddists, the hobbyists, the cranks ?
Are they not Masons ? There are Masons and Masons. Ouite true. But what is the
process of making Masons of Masons? You yourself have supplied the answer:
"Love is the one mighty Builder." Whence came the aforesaid faddists,
hobbyists, cranks, etc? From out the great world-school. Why are they so illy
informed ? Evolution is slow but sure. They will reach all levels in time. Can
we assist them in the process of unfolding ? Manifestly. How ? Try this: -
"Love suffereth long, and is kind; beareth all things, believeth all things,
hopeth all things."
Now, Brother Editor, ye writer is sure that you get his point
of view. There are a lot of faddists, hobbyists, etc.,
in the fraternity, and for no other reason than that the fraternity has made
them so - created them, in a way. The soul yearns for light. Masonry says,
"Come, here is light." They go, but instead of light they find only greater
darkness. Out of the stygian mist the soul reaches and takes hold of any and
every vestige of truth. But still it gropes.
But behold a beacon in the sky - the National
Masonic Research Society! See the multitudes gather around its standard. Hear
the shouts of gladness. Almost a Hosanna! Is there any wonder that the Society
has made mighty strides? Too long we have had stones for bread, but now we are
to have feasting.
So much for ye writer's protest. He has spoken
plainly, but charitably. He invites no contest, wants no controversy. He seeks
no space in The Builder. The only contest he will entertain is to see whether
he can best his Brothers in enlarging the usefulness and influence of the
Society. He believes inplicitly in the tenets of Brotherly Love, Relief, and
Truth. He believes that controversial argument and satire are out of place in
a Masonic journal. With best wishes for the continued success of the Society,
and with fraternal good will to you, dear Editor, I am,
R. M. Ogilvie, Nevada.
(Truly, it is a joy to be thrashed in so gracious
a manner and by a man of so sweet a spirit. We are deeply grateful for such a
letter. No, Brother Ogilvie, we have not forgotten that Foreword, to which you
refer so kindly; its spirit is still our guiding ideal. Howbeit, in speaking
of The Builder, that Foreword said: "Critical it must be, since criticism, as
Arnold defined it, is appreciation, estimate, co-operation in the search for
truth. Those who write for these pages may expect to have their theories put
to the test of reason and fact in the open forum of debate, which is what the
seeker after truth most desires." Therefore we cannot agree with Brother
Ogilvie that controversial argument has no place in a Masonic Journal, since
by free and frank debate welcome by the truth. Surely it is no departure from
the spirit of the Foreword when we put the theories of TK and others to the
test of reason and fact for that is all we have tried to do. Satire, to be
sure, is a dangerous weapon, but when it is aimed at a theory, or a type, and
not at an individual, it is legitimate. Indeed, one can hardly make a sensible
remark about an absurdity without satire of some sort conscious or otherwise.
Jesus of Nazareth was one of the most consummate masters of satire this earth
has known. We do not profess to be like Him - would God we were - but we beg
our Brother to believe we have not written a single word in any spirit of
unkindness; not one, for we have no such spirit. - The Editor.)
* * *
Dear Editor: - A short tome ago I had a
conversation with a young Mason who said to me something like this: - "You are
the Master of a Lodge and know all about the duties of a Mason. Now what are
the duties of a Mason? I do not know what they are. Only one thing I know,
that Masonry teaches Brotherly Love, and that is in direct conflict with human
nature. And furthermore, my father never taught me that truth, but taught me
to repay every one in his own money." He further told me other things which
his father had taught him, most of which were bad; and right here is a lesson
for all Masons, and that is the teaching of their Children. How careful we
should be in our homes and in what we teach the young. If Masonry means
anything it ought to show itself in the Home, as well as in the Lodge, making
us better husbands and fathers; ought to make itself felt in the example we
set for our boys of Purity, of Brotherly Love, of Charity. If we leave our
Masonry behind us in the Lodge "When the gavel sounds to close;" it will be of
little worth to ourselves or to the world.
A. R. Kafton, Utah.
* * *
Dear Brother: - I am sure that many readers of The
Builder would be interested in a very remarkable novel, "The Layman Revato,"
by E.P. Buffet, a philosophical story the subtitle of which is descriptive of
its kind: "A story of a restless mind in Buddhist India at the time of the
Greek influence." Such a novel is not to be judged by the accepted canons of
modern fiction which make the novel little more than a postponed wedding, or
funeral. Who runs may not read this story, and its type is rare enough to be
worthy of attention; for it was meant to appeal to a limited audience of those
interested in oriental philosophy and culture, and belongs with "Marius the
Epicurean" rather than with the mass of current fiction of the day. The love
motive is a minor feature, but the thought interest is most engaging.
especially to those who would like an exposition of the Buddhist system. If
any of your readers find as much pleasure in this book as I have found, they
will be grateful for having had their attention directed to it. Ay, The
Builder indeed, it is great!
Theodore Liggon, St. Louis.
(We may add that "The Layman Revato" is published by G. E.
Stechert & Co., New York, $2.00. It is indeed a brilliant story, albeit rather
heavily freighted, at times, with words which require a glossary. However, as
a portrayal of the perpetual conflict between the Greek passion for expression
and the Buddhist religion of repression, as well as for its illuminating
translations of Buddhist literature, it is exceedingly worth while, reminding
one, often, of the charm and atmosphere of Kipling's
* * *
A GREAT MASONIC BOOK.
Dear Brother: - Among the books recommended by you
to Masonic students and libraries I have failed to notice "Restorations of
Masonic Geometry and Symbolism," by the late Judge H. P. H. Bromwell, of this
city, which was published by the Grand Lodge of Colorado. Judge Bromwell was a
Past Grand Master of Masons in Illinois, and an honorary member of the
Colorado Grand Lodge, a great scholar, an enthusiastic Masonic student, and a
good man. In my humble opinion his book is one of the most valuable
contributions ever made to Masonic literature. It was the fruit of many years
of labor, and will interest and instruct any Mason who reads it. Allow me to
suggest it to your consideration.
Ralph E. Stevens, Denver.
(Assuredly; and with your estimate of Judge
Bromwell and his book we fully agree, but we had the impression that the book
was out of print. If we are wrong, we shall be very happy to spread the good
news to that effect. Indeed, so many of the very best Masonic books are now
out of print, or else so difficult to obtain, that we have found it a problem;
not wishing to recommend books which no one could buy. For example, Preston's
Illustrations of Masonry, to name no other, is hard to find. Here is an
opportunity for some wealthy Mason to render an inestimable service to the
Fraternity, for which young Masons will bless him in the times to come; that
is, by providing a fund, under the direction of this Society, whereby the
classics of Masonic literature can be republished in a form worthy of their
value, each one to be edited by a competent scholar, with critical notes to
illumine the text. Such a set of books wisely selected, carefully edited, and
tastefully printed, would be a boon to the cause of Masonic Research. We hope
that some Brother who has had it in mind to do something for the study side of
Masonry will take due notice, and find it in his heart to govern himself
accordingly. - The Editor.)
* * *
ABOARD, GOING WEST
Dear Brother: - I play be going out of your line,
but I would like to know if any of the officers or members of the Research
Society lecture before Masonic Lodges; also, if any of them contemplate coming
West to the Exposition this year ? If so, I would very much like to
communicate with them, so as to arrange for a number of talks to our Lodge,
and perhaps to other Lodges hereabouts. We would like especially to have talks
by informed members of the Iowa bodies on rudimentary lines, such as would
interest the younger Masons and provoke them to study. Almost all of our
visitors and lecturers talk along advanced lines.
John H. McGehee, P. O. Box
467, San Jose, Cal.
(We trust that Brethren going West during the
summer and autumn will keep this in mind, and communicate with Brother McGehee.
Meeting their Masonic fellow-workers in the West will add to the pleasure of
the journey, making new friends while promoting an interest in the study side
* * *
The Duluth Masonic Calendar publishes an article
on the well worn controversy between Massachusetts and Pennsylvania as to
seniority in Masonry, and says: "The upshot of the dispute will be, that
unless an agreement is soon arrived at, some other state, such as Virginia or
South Carolina, will step in and receive the verdict from the rest of the
NO! To quote from Sheridan's play, "It is a very
pretty quarrel as it stands." Virginia Masonry - of course the best - has
never found it necessary to enter controversies to sustain its Royal Dignity.
The Grand Lodge of Virginia was organized in 1778,
and all others on this continent since that time. Virginia Lodges were in
existence in the early half of the eighteenth century, as records show, and
there is sound reason for the deduction that they existed as early as any, in
this the oldest English settlement. But Virginia never had that curious
anomaly, a Provincial Grand Lodge.
A Provincial Grand Lodge, some specimens of which
still exist in the British Isles and elsewhere, is not, properly speaking, a
Grand Lodge at all. It is not sovereign, and cannot even choose its so-called
Grand Master. It is little more than a District Deputy's gathering of his
Lodges for local purposes, and never was more than that.
When the American colonies gained independence and
became sovereign states the (English) Provincial bodies, if they ever existed
as regular organizations, which is doubtful to say the least, ceased and
determined. They died. "Freemasonry notwithstanding, still survived," as did
the Lodges. This shows the ephemeral character of these temporary expedient
bodies and their inferiority to the Lodges themselves.
Hence, American Grand Lodges can trace their
lineage to Lodges alone and the relative age of those Grand Lodges must be
counted from their organization by the constituent Lodges.
Ours began its existence in 1778 - the first of
all. Descent from a previously existing, temporary ephemeral body subordinate
to higher authority is simply ridiculous.
As to Motherhood, we are content to let those who
will quarrel. Our Masons scattered over the great West and South and helped to
sow Masonic seed all but everywhere. Our seniority as a Sovereign Grand Lodge
is so indisputable that we see no sense in controversy.
We, too, could claim descent from the Grand Lodge
at York through the "Grand Lodge of Ancients" in England and through that of
Scotland. We could not claim that as a Grand Lodge, nor can Pennsylvania or
English bodies are not in dispute, and those
so-called bodies were English. Of American Grand Lodges ours is the senior. No
Grand Lodge to-day recognizes any but Sovereign Grand Lodges, and no man can
maintain that Provincial Lodges were ever Sovereign.
Jos. W., Eggleston, P. G. M.,
* * *
CONTINUATION OF QUESTIONS ON "THE BUILDERS"
Compiled by "The Cincinnati
Masonic Study School."
150. When is God considered one? Page 22.
151. Who have been the men who have done most to
establish the city of God on earth ? Page 286.
152. Does Freemasonry teach the Fatherhood of God
and the Brotherhood of Man and what are the two rocks upon which Masonry has
always stood? Page 134.
153. What question is asked every candidate ? Page
154. How does God work in this world? Page 296.
155. What is the first and last thing in the
Universe ? What is the highest and deepest thing ? Page 267.
156. If the city of God be established on earth
what will become of the wrangling sects? Page 286. How would this effect
business conditions among men ? Page 286.
157. What is known of the society called "The
Guilds?" Were the Guild Masons ever admitted into Freemasonry ? Page 119.
157a. What was the object in forming the Grand
Lodge of England? Page 174 to 184.
158. When were the Grand Lodges of Ireland,
Scotland, and France created? In what year? Page 205.
158a. What was the nature of the opposition to the
Grand Lodge of England? Page 202-215.
159. What is the genius of Masonry, as stated in
"The Builders ?" Page 34.
160. What view of Freemasonry had Henry Hallam
(not a Mason) of the middle ages ? Page 96.
161. Who was Hermes? Page 194.
162. Why cannot the gates of Hell prevail against
Masonry? Page 262.
163. What effect has the Egyptian teaching on the Hebrews in
regard to the origin of Masonry ? Page
164. What is one of the oldest instincts of
humanity ? Page 19.
165. What gives man hope of life after death? Page
165a. Whence cometh light and hope ? Page 179.
166. In what sense has a man always been a citizen
of two worlds? Page 19.
167. What is the result if we can conceive of our
separate existence? Page 38.
168. What did Emerson and Addison regard as proof
of immortality? Page 39.
169. What is found in the ancient Egyptian "Book
of the Dead" (The Book of Resurrection) relative to immortality ? Page 39-2.
170. To what ancient religion can the various
dramas of faith be traced? Page 41.
171. What reason has man for believing that the
race, sinking into the grave, will rise triumphant over death ? Page 41.
172. What meaning had the Egyptian drama of
eternal life for deeper minds? How was the idea of eternal life taught in the
Hermetic lore of Greece ? Page 46-47.
173. What cartoons in stone are mentioned as indicating
immorality among the Roman clergy ? Page
173a. What has Masonry to say regarding the
Immortality of the Soul? Page 277-278.
174. What is known of Isis and what reference does
she bear to modern Masonry? What is said of the burial of Osiris ? Page 45.
175. How far can initiation prepare men for truth
and to what extent can the initiate make use of said teaching? Page 63.
175a. How "build" in this world to gain a
foregleam of the world to come ? Page 275-276.
176. How many and what are the names of Freemasons
who were signers of the Declaration of Independence ? Page 225.
177. What is known as the Secret Doctrine or
Hidden Wisdom taught by Master Jesus? Page 58.
178. Jesus and other lesser lights have said:
"Live the life to know the Doctrine" - elucidate this idea from the Masonic
point of view. Page 69.
179. What does Josephus say the style of the
temple (Solomon's) was ? Page 76.
180. What is known of Inigo Jones of England? Page
181. What Jesuit plot was hatched in Rome, Italy,
to expose the secrets of Freemasonry? What people are known as Jesuits? Page
182. What is the difference between a Freemason
and a Jesuit? Page 210-211.
182a. When will the law of the jungle cease ? Page
183. Why does the Triangle and the Circle form the
keystone of the ornamental tracery of every Gothic Temple? Page 121.
184. What is meant by Hebrew Kabbalists ? Page
185. Did the Kabbalists make use of any emblems of
Masonry and did they mean the same to the initiates of both the Kabbalists and
the Freemasons? Page 157.
186. To what degree do the Kabbalists connect
their teaching with that of the symbolism of the Temple of Solomon? Page 191.
187. As Ruskin puts it, why is there no such thing
as liberty, and how may man attain that which he calls liberty? Page 7.
188. How did the ancients regard Light and
Darkness? Page 14.
189. What was light considered by the early men?
190. What are the conclusions of the wisest minds
as to the meaning of life and the world? Page 20.
191. What is said of man's desire to live? Page
191a. What is the author's intent in presenting
his subject relative to life and the World? Page 269 note.
192. What is said of the ceremony of initiation of
Lucius into the mysteries of Isis? Page 51.
193. Why is liberty the chief glory of Masonry?
Page 102, 122, 127, 266, 272, 274.
194. How did it come that Freemasons took Liberty
for their motto? Page 122.
195. What is said of Union, Liberty and Love? Page
196. Why did all those who have fought for Liberty
and Freedom like Washington, Mazzini and Garbaldi seek the friendship of the
Masonic order? Page 230.
197. What follows Masonry wherever it flourishes
and is allowed to build freely and what follows where Masons are hindered and
persecuted ? Page 231
197a. What has Masonry preserved to humanity and
the Church? Page 168-169-252.
198. What are the two extremely simple and
profound principles which Masonry lays great emphasis upon? Page 254.
199. Why should the Soul of man be free to think
and act according to his own standard of right ? Page 272.
199a. What is the real question of life and how is
Masonry related to this question ? Page 275.
200. Why is it worth while to live a true life?
200a. To whom does Freemasonry appeal ? Page 283.
201. What is each lodge? Page 288.
202. What is the law of life? Page 291-2.
202a. What is the relation of thought to the life
of man? Page 294.
203. Why must we Masons learn to "Love one
another?" Page 292.
203a. What was Edward Markham's conception of
Brotherhood? Page 282.
204. What is Life? Page 297.
205. What is the object in presenting a copy of
"The Builders" to every Mason within the Grand Jurisdiction of Iowa? Page 8.
"IN A NOOK
WITH A BOOK"
"Egypt ! how I have dwelt
with you in dreams
So long, so intimately, that
As if you had borne me:
Though I could not know
It was so many thousand years ago !
And in my gropings darkly
The long-lost memory at last
Of Motherhood - you the mother of us all !
And to my fellow-men I must
The memory too: that common
May help to make the common Brotherhood."
As the fertile land in Egypt is only a fringe to
the Nile, so to the ancient dwellers of that country human life seemed to be
only something temporarily afloat on the great stream of death. They had their
eternal pyramids as tombs for their kings, and their Cities of the Dead as
real homes for the people. They seemed, indeed, to have lived only in order to
be buried, life at most but a butterfly which fluttered for a few days. They
embodied their deepest thought in the figure of the Sphinx, half human, half
animal; they projected the idea of the Veil which no one has lifted.
And yet, in no land under the sky, perhaps, has
faith in the future life been more vivid, more all-commanding, than it was in
ancient Egypt. There, through untold ages, in picture, in parable, in stately
ritual, the soul of man made protest against death, refusing to think of the
Grave as the gigantic coffin lid of a dull and mindless universe descending
upon it at last. Hence the Book of the Dead, which had been better named the
Book of Eternal Life, in which they enshrined their profound and prophetic
thought, and their forecasting faith. Hence, also, their use of symbols, since
"the things which are unseen may be known by the things which are seen," that
is, by way of symbols and parables. Hence, again, their great order of The
Mysteries, in which was enacted the ancient allegory of the eternal life, of
spring victorious over winter, of the soul triumphant over death.
Ancient Egypt has vanished, leaving only its tombs
to tell its story, but its thought remains, its faith abides, set forth in a
rich and eloquent symbolism wherein, if a man search, he will find roots of
every philosophy and the sublime poetry of the Eternal Religion. There the
Mason finds his tools teaching the same truths which they teach today, the
same drama of faith, the same ideal of a House of Life built in imitation of
the World-temple; for Egypt was the cradle of Masonry. Such is the thesis of
Dr. Albert Churchward in "The Arcana of Freemasonry,"* dedicated to all Masons
"of whatever clime and whatever creed who take an interest in Masonic
Research," in which he traces our simple symbols back so far that it makes one
dizzy to follow his flight.
* Published by Wm. Tait,
As in "The Signs and
Symbols of Primordial Man," so here, with an erudition as remarkable as his
enthusiasm is infectious, he finds the explanation not only
of Masonic symbols, but of the teachings of every religion, in Egyptian
eschatology - that is, in its vision of last things thrown on the screen of
thought by the prophetic faith of a mighty people. If we cannot accept his
statements in all their details, we are convinced that his general conclusion
is sound, and that he who would know the real origin of Masonry, in its
symbolism at least, and its symbolism is its soul, must go back to old Egypt
where men not only thought, but built, for Eternity. Space does not permit a
minute account of this brilliant series of essays, but he who reads it, with
other works of like learning, will be disposed to make the words of the poet
"O Egypt ! Mighty Prophet,
On whom those truths so rest,
Which we are toiling all our
lives to find."
* * *
Concise, accurate, suggestive and valuable is the
little book called "The Master's Assistant," by Delmar D. Darrah, editor of
the Illinois Freemason. It is exactly what its title foretells, a hand-book on
Masonry, its history, organization, landmarks, laws, rules, and precedents,
furnishing in compact and dependable form much information which officers of
Lodges are much in need of and for which they are constantly in search. The
little book tempts to quotation, and perhaps the following lines, dealing with
different matters, will best disclose its fine spirit and its practical worth:
"Ritualism is too frequently mistaken for Masonry.
There is no greater error than to confuse the two, for they are as widely
different as day and night. Ritualism is merely the vehicle by means of which
the sublime truths of Masonry are conveyed to the hearts and minds of men.
Passing through the ceremonies of the several degrees does not make Masons. If
the forms and ceremonies through which a candidate passes fail to work a
change in his heart, and to lift him to higher conceptions of life, of duty,
of love, then they are no more than the tinkling cymbal and the sounding
"Each candidate for the degrees should be
presented with a genuine white lamb-skin apron. Many Lodges do this, but there
are some which are too miserly to adopt the practice, or may present the
candidate with an apron with three strings to it, two of which they use to tie
the apron on the candidate, and the third to pull it back again into the
possession of the Lodge."
"First impressions are lasting and the idea which
a man forms of Freemasonry on his first night will be a deep and lasting one.
All through his progress in Masonry he should be treated with such courtesy
and decorum as will convince him that he is being received into a society of
gentlemen distinguished for gentility and good breeding."
* * *
Having an idle hour, ye scribe bethought him to
reread "The Symbolist Movement in Literature," by Arthur Symons - a man with
the learning of a scholar, the insight of a poet, and the pensive, dreamlike
soul of a mystic; and he fell upon these words which may help some young Mason
to know what symbolism really is:
"Without symbolism there can be no literature;
indeed, not even language. What are words themselves but symbols to which we
have agreed to give certain meanings ? Symbolism began with the first words
uttered by the first man, as he named every living thing; or before them, in
heaven, when God named the world into being. And we see, in these beginnings,
precisely what Symbolism really is: a form of expression, at the least but
approximate, for an unseen reality apprehended by the consciousness. It is
sometimes permitted us to hope that our convention is indeed the reflection
rather than merely the sign of that unseen reality: we have done much if we
have found a recognizable sign. "A symbol," says Comte Goblet d'Alviella, in
his book on The Migration of Symbols "might be defined as a representation
which does not aim at Being a reproduction." Originally used by the Greeks to
denote "the two halves of the tablet they divided between themselves as a
pledge of hospitality," it came to be used of every sign, formula, or rite by
which those initiated into any mystery made themeslves known to one another.
Gradually the word extended its meaning, until it came to denote every
representation of idea by form, of the unseen by the seen. "In a symbol," says
Carlyle, "there is concealment yet revelation: hence therefore, by Silence and
by Speech acting together, comes a double significance." And, in that fine
chapter of Sartor Resartus, he goes further: "In the Symbol proper, there is
ever, more or less directly or indirectly, some embodiment and revelation of
the Infinite; the Infinite is made to blend itself with the Finite, to stand
visible, and as it were, attainable there.' "
* * *
Kindly tell me where I can find the lines quoted
at the close of your Easter editorial. I have looked diligently for them. I
regret to trouble you, but would like to know the name of the author. - H.P.M.
They were written by the late Richard Watson
Gilder, former editor of the Century Magazine, and may be found in his poems,
published complete in one volume by Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.
* * *
I am a newly made Mason and also a student of the
Bible, and I find the height of the two pillars at the entrance of King
Solomon's temple, as given in the lecture, rather puzzling. It seems to me
clearly inaccurate. What about it? - J.L.J.
Write to Brother N. R. Parvin, Grand Secretary of
the Grand Lodge of Iowa, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and ask him for a copy of the
report of a special committee on "Inaccuracy of Work," presented to the Grand
Lodge of Iowa in 1904, by Brother J. W. Barry. The report has to do with that
very question, and you will find it very interesting not only in its able and
thorough discussion of the subject, but also in its revelation of the
different heights to which those pillars ascend in the work of various Grand
* * *
To settle a discussion please answer the
following: A says we have never had a President who was not a Mason. B says we
have had several but is unable to name them. Which is right ? - T. A. S.
The following Presidents were Masons: -
Washington, Jackson, Polk, Fillmore - who, however, recanted his Masonry
during the Morgan excitement - Buchanan, Johnson, Garfield, McKinley,
Roosevelt, and Taft. Johnson, we believe, was the only President who was a
member of the Scottish Rite.
* * *
What is the best biography of Thomas Paine? Was he
a Mason? I have heard that he was and that he was not, what is the fact?
The life of Paine by Maurice Conway is perhaps the
best. No, Paine was not a Mason, though he wrote an essay on "The Origin of
Freemasonry," in which he held that the Order derived from the ancient Druids,
as Winwood Reade did, later, in "The Veil of Isis." Conway suggests that the
preface to Paine's essay of Masonry was probably written by his devoted
friend, Colonel John Fellows.
* * *
In your book The Builders - in the chapter on the
Working Tools - you refer to the oldest book of China as showing that the
Square and compasses were used as symbols long before our era. Are there not
other examples? - H.L.N.
Assuredly, many of them; take this example from
Maspero's "Guide to the Cairo Museum," as follows: "The Mason's Level and
Square belonged originally to the class of tools which were placed in the tomb
that the dead might use them for his own utility. They helped him to build
himself a house, perhaps the castle, which he built himself in Heliopolis,
according to a passage in the Book of the Dead."
Which reminds one of the same
emblems found on the tombs, of members of the Roman Collegia, and if we are
permitted, as Krause held, to trace our Masonic descent through the Collegia
of Rome, the intercourse which Rome had with Heliopolis renders the foregoing
item doubly interesting.
* * *
There is a quotation from Lincoln with regard to
the Roman Church and its influence in America, which I have seen a number of
times, the last time, I believe, in Brother Lemert's pamphlet on "Catholicism
and Freemasonry." Is it authentic? - F.W.T
Brother Lemert refers us to Chiniquy's "Fifty
Years in the Roman Church," but he is uncertain as to how far that book may be
trusted. As one of the biographers of Lincoln, we are quite sure the quotation
is not authentic, albeit his partner, Herndon, may have said something of the
kind. But such words are foreign to the spirit and style of Lincoln himself.
* * *
What do you regard as the best definition of
Masonry? There are several, but I have found none to satisfy me. Any help will
be greatly appreciated.
If you are thinking of Masonry as an institution
seeking to embody a pervasive and benign spirit, we know of no defini tion
better than that given in the old German "Handbuch," a follows: - "Masonry is
the activity of closely united men who employing symbolical forms borrowed
principally from the ma son's trade and from architecture, work for the
welfare of man kind, striving morally to ennoble themselves and others, ant
thereby to bring about a universal league of mankind, which then aspire to
exhibit even now on a small scale."
* * *
Who is Clarence M. Boutelle, author of "The Man of Mount Moriah?"
I have read this book three or four times, and find it one of the most
delightful stories I ever read. - W.F.B.
Unfortunately our information about Brother
Boutelle is meager. He once lived in Iowa, where he was prominent both as an
educator and as a Mason - was superintendent of school: at Decorah at one time
- but whether he is still living or not, we do not know. He moved from Iowa to
Wisconsin, first to Chippewa Falls, and then to Marshall - perhaps, if he is
still in life some reader of The Builder can tell us more about him. He wrote
many books and poems, including a number of stories published, for the most
part, in Frank Leslie's Illustrated Weekly, and some of which were afterward
issued in book form - such as The Wages of Sin, The Man Outside, The
Artificial Fate Beyond the End, and so forth.
* * *
Do you know the name of TK? If so, why not tell
it, as many of us would like to know it. Why should he remain anonymous? -
Yes, we know the name of TK, but for reasons set
forth in his books he prefers to remain anonymous, and we respect his wish,
the more so because he has requested us to do so. Therefore it is of no use to
ask us to disclose his name.
* * *
Usages and Customs of German Lodges, by Emil
Frenkel. The Trestle Board.
Promotion of the Unity of Masonry. Bulletin
International Bureau of Masonic Affairs, Neuchatel.
Franklin, Man and Mason, by T. G. Kerwin. Oriental
The True Destiny of Man, by J. B. Kerning.
John Harrower - Freemason and
Schoolmaster, by H. R. Evans. The New Age.
The Medieval Guilds, by J. E.
Morcombe. American Freemason.
The Kabalistic tree of Life,
by J. H. Power. Occult Review
* * *
The Arcana of Freemasonry, by
A. Churchward. Allen & Unwin, London.
Ceremonials of the Grand
Lodge of Iowa.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, by O. W.
Firkins. Houghton, Mifflin Co., Boston.
Our Cosmic Relations, by
Henry Holt. Houghton, Mifflin Co., Boston
Modern Religious Movements in
India, by J. N. Farquhar. Macmillan Co.
Plotinus, by W. R. Inge.
Lindsey Press, London
The Living Universe, by H. T.
Bray. Truro Pub Co., Chicago.