The Builder Magazine
November 1915 - Volume I - Number
ESTABLISHMENT AND EARLY DAYS OF MASONRY IN AMERICA
BY BRO. MELVIN M. JOHNSON,
GRAND MASTER, MASSACHUSETTS
MAY I conclude with a few
words concerning recent Pennsylvania claims to precedence? After conceding
that the Pennsylvania Lodges prior to 1734 were held without Charter or
Warrant, a most astounding argument is offered to the effect that they made
themselves regular by confederating in a Gland Lodge; in other words,
irregularity plus more irregularity, plus still more irregularity equals
regularity. It is contended that in 1731 these unwarranted Lodges came
together and formed a Grand Lodge which was a "sister" and not a daughter to
the Grand Lodge of England. The complete answer to this argument is given by
Pennsylvania herself. Her application to Price in 1734; her sending Franklin
as a proxy several times to the Grand Lodge in Boston in the early days; her
application again to Massachusetts in 1749; her application immediately
thereafter direct to England for a confirmatory Deputation which was issued to
her and accepted and acted upon by her in 1750; her payment April 10, 1752, of
31:10:0 to the Grand Lodge in Boston as a charter fee; her acceptance and
action under a Warrant received from England bearing date July 15, 1761; and
indeed all her Masonic acts since 1731 are consistent only with the complete
recognition by Pennsylvania of the fact that all of her lawful Masonic
authority flowed directly or indirectly from England. Just as it is sound law
and good reasoning that a tenant cannot deny the title of his landlord, so it
is equally sound reasoning that a deputized Lodge or Grand Lodge cannot deny
the authority of the source issuing the Deputation accepted and exercised by
it. After nearly two centuries of Masonic life during which it has recognized
the Grand Lodge of England as its lawful predecessor, and as the one Body in
the world having the primary right in those early days to issue Warrants or
Deputations covering Pennsylvania, it is a little late to claim for the first
time in 1908 and for a present day historian to contend that "The Grand Lodge
of Pennsylvania was a sister and not a daughter to the Grand Lodge of
England." It is, in fact, a daughter of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts and,
therefore, a grand-daughter of the Gland Lodge of England.
It is entirely correct that
"the movement in Massachusetts was not an independent one, but subordinate to
the Grand Lodge of England." But Pennsylvania having in the early days again
and again acknowledged itself to be subordinate to England and to
Massachusetts, it is now too late for Pennsylvania to expect that the novel
modern theory of some of her recent sons will be permitted to upset the facts
of history. Pennsylvania is too great a jurisdiction; she has too grand a
history; she is too highly respected in the Masonic world; she has too much
claim to Masonic grandeur and pre-eminence in many directions to stoop at this
late day to belittle Franklin and others of her great men; to belittle Price;
to belittle Massachusetts; and indeed to belittle the Grand Lodge of England
itself by the attempt now being made to distort history.
While it does not
particularly concern this discussion, I cannot let pass without notice the
same historian's statement that the legitimate Grand Lodge of England (which
had been nicknamed "Moderns") was superseded by the rival organization known
as the "Ancients" (this being the schismatic Grand Lodge), and that such
supersession has continued down to the present time. Every impartial Masonic
historian and student in the world knows better. In 1813 there was a fusion or
union of the two rival Grand Lodges in England known as the "Moderns" and
"Ancients." On St. John the Evangelist's Day in 1813 there was a very
elaborate ceremony of union. The story of the union and its attendant
circumstances are thoroughly detailed by Bro. Albert G. Mackey in the fifth
volume of his History of Freemasonry, Chapter XLIII. A learned paper on this
subject is to be found in XXIII Transactions of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge,
215. The ceremony of union is given in full in the Minutes of the United Grand
Lodge of England, and may be found also in Bro. W. J. Hughan's "Memorials of
the Masonic Union of A. D. 1813" published 1874; Revised, augmented and
republished by the Lodge of Research in 1913. Original programs of the
ceremonies and of the music are in the archives of Massachusetts. So far were
the "Moderns" from being superseded, that their Gland Master, the Duke of
Sussex, became then the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge. I call
attention to this statement more particularly that it may illustrate how much
weight is to be given to the other claims with which we have been dealing made
by the same historian.
Recapitulating briefly the
facts, we find that prior to 1733 many Lodges met without authority; that a
regular Commission issued to Daniel Coxe for a part of North America in 1730,
but that this Commission was never exercised; that after Masonry became an
organized Institution and meetings of Lodges without a Charter or Warrant were
prohibited, no lawful authority was ever exercised in America until July 30,
1733, when Henry Price organized a Provincial Grand Lodge in Boston under the
authority granted him by the Lord Viscount Montague, then Grand Master of
Masons in England. It is thus that the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts is the
Mother Grand Lodge of America, and that Henry Price is the "Founder of Duly
Constituted Masonry in America."
Recognition has widely and
frequently been made of Massachusetts as the oldest Grand Lodge in the Western
No effort has been made to
collate with any thoroughness the instances, but a few which come to mind as
this is being prepared for the printer are as follows:
By England. There has been
frequent recognition by the Grand Lodge of England of Massachusetts as the
oldest jurisdiction in America. The earliest instances have been heretofore
referred to. More recent is a letter from the Grand Master of England to the
Grand Master of Massachusetts, dated Feb. 7, 1912, in which he speaks of that
Grand Lodge as "The oldest Lodge on this (the North American) continent, and
which originally owed its Warrant to the Grand Lodge of England." The most
recent instance is a resolution of the United Grand Lodge of England,
unanimously passed on Sept. 2, 1914, reading as follows:
"That Grand Lodge expresses
its thanks to the Most Worshipful Grand Master for communicating the letter
his Royal Highness has received from M.W. Bro. Melvin Maynard Johnson, Grand
Master of Mason of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and desires to associate
itself with his Royal Highness' deep appreciation of the expressions therein
contained, as voicing a sincerity of Masonic feeling especially welcome to
Grand Lodge as coming from its 'eldest child in Western Hemisphere.' "
By Canada. See the Address of
Grand Master William David McPherson at Grand Peace Festival, held at Niagara
Falls, Ontario, Canada, July 16, 1914, to be published in memorial volume,
also his 1915 annual address.
By Nova Scotia. See "Early
History of Freemasonry in Nova Scotia," by M. W. Bro. Hon. William Ross, June,
By the District of Columbia.
Massachusetts was given seniority in ceremonies of dedication of Washington
Monument, Feb. 21, 1885. This was after a formal hearing by a Committee before
which Massachusetts and Pennsylvania presented their claims to seniority. The
decision was in favor of Massachusetts.
By Idaho. M.W. Curtis F.
Pike, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Idaho, in a letter to the writer
dated April 8, 1914, says, "It occurs to me as I write that Massachusetts is
the oldest Grand Jurisdiction in America, if my memory of Masonic History is
By Indiana. See Proceedings.
of May, 1852.
By Louisiana. See 11 Moore's
Freemason's Magazine 167.
By Maine. See 1887 Mass. 236.
By Maryland. At a banquet in
Baltimore, Md., in 1885, the representative of Massachusetts was called upon
to respond to the toast "The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, the Mother Grand
Lodge of Masonry in America."
By Missouri. M.W. Van Fremont
Boor, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Missouri, in a letter to the writer,
dated April 29, 1914, refers to Massachusetts as "The oldest Grand
Jurisdiction in the United States."
By Pennsylvania. As set
forth in earlier chapters.
Wor. Alfred P. Reigh, a
learned Masonic student and Past Master of Washington Lodge No. 164 of
Pennsylvania, in a letter dated Sept. 9, 1852, refers to Massachusetts as "The
oldest Grand Lodge in the United States."
The Grand Lodge of
Pennsylvania on June 16, 1834, on motion of a Committee of which Past Grand
Master Michael Nisbet was Chairman, unanimously adopted a resolution, "For the
celebration of St. John the Baptist's Day, 24th of June A. D. 1834, A. L.
5834, being the Centennial Anniversary of the Establishment of the First Lodge
in Pennsylvania, of which Lodge Bro. Benjamin Franklin was the First Master."
M. W. Sereno D. Nickerson of
Massachusetts on June 10, 1903, said: "At the time of this Centennial the
orator (R. W. George W. Dallas) was the Attorney General of Pennsylvania and
ex-United States Senator; afterwards Minister to Russia, Vice-President of the
United States and Minister to England. He was Deputy Grand Master, and six
months later was elected Grand Master. He was then fighting the battle with
anti-Masonry in his State. His father was a distinguished lawyer in
Philadelphia, Secretary of the Commonwealth when Franklin died, and Secretary
of the Treasury under President Madison; he must have known Franklin well, and
lived until the son, born only two years after Franklin's death, was
twenty-seven years old. It is simply absurd to claim that the orator, under
such circumstances, did not know the history of his Grand Lodge, did not know
whether they were celebrating the true date of the 'Establishment of the First
Lodge in Pennsylvania, of which Lodge Bro. Benjamin Franklin was the First
Master.' It is not improbable that there were Brethren present who had heard
the story from Franklin's own lips. Only forty-four years had elapsed since
Franklin's death, and probably the incidents of his life were as familiar as
household words to some Brethren then present."
On Sept. 26, 1855, Bro. James
King was orator at the dedication of the new hall on Chestnut Street,
Philadelphia, and there and then referred to the illustrious Franklin as "The
First Master of a Masonic Lodge in Pennsylvania."
On Sept. 26, 1873, Past Grand
Master Robert A. Lamberton of Pennsylvania, President of Lehigh University, in
an oration at the dedication of the Temple in Philadelphia said: "The Lodges
in Philadelphia, doubtless desiring to place themselves under the immediate
jurisdiction of that Grand Lodge (Massachusetts), accepted and recognized the
power of R.W.G.M. Price to appoint Benjamin Franklin as the Grand Master;
Massachusetts authority gives the date of this appointment the 24th of June,
1734. From a contemporary account it is certain that on that day at the
celebration of the Feast of St. John the Baptist he appeared as 'Grand
Master.' Franklin evidently had doubts of the regularity of the powers of the
Lodge or Lodges over which he exercised authority, for, signing himself as
Grand Master on the 28th of November, 1734, he wrote from Philadelphia to the
'R.W.G.M. and Most Worthy and Dear Brethren in Boston,' requesting that a
Deputation or Charter be granted by the R.W.G.M. Price, by virtue of his
commission from Britain.
He continued: "It is needless
to follow on the history of the Grand Lodge, as then constituted, and of which
Franklin, in 1749, again became the Grand Master by appointment of R. W.
Thomas Oxnard." It would seem that Brother Lamberton was disposed to give full
credit to Massachusetts.
By Tennessee. See 9 Moore's
Freemason's Magazine 316.
By Vermont. At the laying of
the corner-stone of the Bennington Monument.
By Lafayette. In this
connection it is interesting to recall a letter written by General Lafayette
on Aug. 29, 1824, to the Master of St. John's Lodge of Boston, in which he
refers to that Lodge as "The first Lodge on the Continent of America."
Agnosticism, as now stated,
assumed not simply the impotence of the
human, but of the Divine
reason; for a God man cannot know is at
the same time a God who.
cannot make himself known. Our inability
to reach Him is possible,
only because of His inability to become
THE END OF
Evil on itself shall back
And mix no more with
goodness, when at last,
Gathered like scum, and
settled to itself,
It shall be in eternal
Self-fed and self-consumed.
If it touches the heart of a
The gods and the ages will
For over the waters and crags
The winds of the world will
My Brother kneels, so saith
To stone and brass in heathen
But in my brother's soul I
My own unanswered agonies;
His God is as his fates
His prayer is all the
--Poems of Kabir.
Joseph Fort Newton
BROTHER Toastmaster: Time is
a river and books are boats. Many volumes start down that stream, only to be
wrecked and lost beyond recall in its sands. Only a few, a very few, endure
the testings of time and live to bless the ages following. Tonight we are met
to pay homage to the greatest of all books--the one enduring Book which has
traveled down to us from the far past, freighted with the richest treasure
that ever any book has brought to humanity. What a sight it is to see five
hundred men gathered about an open Bible- -how typical of the spirit and
genius of Masonry, its great and simple faith and its benign ministry to
No Mason needs to be told
what a place of honor the Bible has in Masonry. One of the great Lights of the
Order, it lies open upon the altar at the center of the lodge. Upon it every
Mason takes solemn vows of love, of loyalty, of chastity, of charity, pledging
himself to our tenets of Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth. Think what it
means for a young man to make such a covenant of consecration in the morning
of life, taking that wise old Book as his guide, teacher and friend! Then as
he moves forward from one degree to another, the imagery of the Bible becomes
familiar and eloquent, and its mellow, haunting music sings its way into his
And yet, like everything else
in Masonry, the Bible, so rich in symbolism, is itself a symbol---that is, a
part taken for the whole. It is a sovereign symbol of the Book of Faith, the
Will of God as man has learned it in the midst of the years--that perpetual
revelation of Himself which God is making mankind in every land and every age.
Thus, by the very honor which Masonry pays to the Bible, it teaches us to
revere every book of faith in which men find help for today and hope for the
morrow, joining hands with the man of Islam as he takes oath on the Koran, and
with the Hindu as he makes covenant with God upon the book that he loves best.
For Masonry knows, what so
many forget, that religions are many, but Religion is one--perhaps we may say
one thing, but that one thing includes everything--the life of God in the soul
of man, and the duty and hope of man which proceed from His essential
character. Therefore it invites to its altar men of all faiths, knowing that,
if they use different names for "the Nameless One of a hundred names," they
are yet praying to the one God and Father of all; knowing, also, that while
they read different volumes, they ale in fact reading the same vast Book of
the Faith of Man as revealed in the struggle and sorrow of the race in its
quest of God. So that, great and noble as the Bible is, Masonry sees it as a
symbol of that eternal Book of the Will of God which Lowell described when he
wrote his memorable lines:
"Slowly the Bible of the race
is writ, And not on paper leaves nor leaves of stone; Each age, each kindred;
adds a verse to it, Texts of despair or hope, of joy or moan. While swings the
sea, while mists the mountain shroud, While thunder's surges burst on cliffs
of cloud, Still at the prophets' feet the nations sit."
None the less, much as we
honor every book of faith in which any man has found courage to lift his hand
above the night that covers him and lay hold of the mighty Hand of God, with
us the Bible is supreme What Homer was to the Greeks, what the Koran is to the
Arabs, that, and much more, the grand old Bible is to us. It is the mother in
our literary family, and if some of its children have grown up and become wise
in their own conceit, they yet rejoice to gather about its knee and pay
tribute. Not only was the Bible the loom on which our language was woven, but
it is a pervasive, refining, redeeming force bequeathed to us, with whatsoever
else that is good and true, in the very fiber of our being. Not for a day do
we regard the Bible simply as a literary classic, apart from what it means to
the faiths and hopes and prayers of men, and its in weaving into the
intellectual and spiritual life of our race.
There was a time when the
Bible formed almost the only literature of England; and today, if it were
taken away, that literature would be torn to tatters and shreds. Truly did
Macaulay say that, if everything else in our language should perish, the Bible
would alone suffice to show the whole range and power and beauty of our
speech. From it Milton learned his majesty of song, and Ruskin his magic of
prose. Carlyle had in his very blood, almost without knowing it, the rhapsody
and passion of the prophets--their sense of the Infinite, of the littleness of
man, of the sarcasm of providence; as Burns, before him, had learned from the
same fireside Book the indestructibleness of honor and the humane pity of God
which throbbed in his lyrics of love and liberty. Thus, from Shakespeare to
Tennyson, the Bible sings in our poetry, chants in our music, echoes in our
eloquence, and in our tragedy flashes forever its truth of the terribleness of
sin, the tenderness of God, and the inextinguishable hope of man.
My brethren, here is a Book
whose scene is the sky and the dirt and all that lies between--a Book that has
in it the arch of the heavens, the curve of the earth, the ebb and flow of the
sea, sunrise and sunset, the peaks of mountains and the glint of sunlight on
flowing waters, the shadow of forests on the hills, the song of birds and the
color of flowers. But its two great characters are God and the Soul, and the
story of their eternal life together is its one everlasting romance. It is the
most human of books, telling the old forgotten secrets of the heart, its
bitter pessimism and its death defying hope, its pain, its passion, its sin,
its sob of grief and its shout of joy--telling all, without malice, in its
Grand Style which can do no wrong, while echoing the sweet-toned pathos of the
pity and mercy of God. No other book is so honest with us, so mercilessly
merciful, so austere yet so tender, piercing the heart, yet healing the deep
wounds of sin and sorrow.
Take this great and simple
Book, white with age yet new with the dew of each new morning, tested by the
sorrowful and victorious experience of centuries, rich in memories and wet
with the tears of multitudes who walked this way before us--lay it to heart,
love it, read it, and learn what life is, what it means to be a man; aye,
learn that God hath made us for Himself, and unquiet are our hearts till they
rest in Him. Make it your friend and teacher, and you will know what Sir
Walter Scott meant when, as he lay dying, he asked Lockhart to read to him.
"From what book?" asked Lockhart, and Scott replied, "There is but one Book!"
Let there be light ! In world's dim dawn
When all earth's hopes
The spread of that effulgent
To germinate all things
Then wisdom's laws, by His
Made ready evolution's hand.
Then were the clouds of chaos
When that decree by Him was
Let there be light!
Let there be light ! The
O'er all the universe, where
The essence of the Power
Alight with glory's potent
Which woke to action, growth
Each slumb'ring atom in its
While life's prodigious
Took shape at earliest dawn
Let there be light !
Let there be light ! In
When hov'ring clouds with threatening powers,
By superstition's gruesome
Are spread o'er mystic
Swift as the lightning's
flash from heaven
The blest decree to worlds is
And lights revealing hope and
Break through the darkened
Let there be light !
Let there be light! By
That wonderful decree is
Expressing each true heart's
That lights of truth from
Which burns in each appointed
May spread their gleam o'er
all the race
And they, in glow of beauty
Pare truths long sought by
Let there be light!
Let there be light ! When
And war clouds hover o'er the
When thunders of the battle
O'er lovely plains, and havoc
VVhen devastation's scorching
Is borne through lands on
wings of death,
When horrors of the conflict
And leave their marks on
hist'l y's page
Let there be light!
Let there be light ! Nay,
seek no more
To stop each devastating war
While leaving causes of the
To stay and harass human
While war lords yet their
To make mankind's condition
Think well of these, of moral
Which, violated, gave the
Let there be light!
Let there be light ! When
they, in war,
The rights of liberty ignore
And scatter baneful dangers
'Mong friends and foes, all
Vain are the pleas ignobly
For wholesale murder's cruel
Nor can diplomacy atone
For willful acts of murder
Let there be light!
Let there be light! In time
That each oppressive system
Should be our aim, and never
Until remonstrance be too
Till outraged manhood's
hosts, in wrath,
Poise up across the
And freedom's warriors' bold
At length brings peace
through every land.
Let these be light!
- Lewis Alexander McConnell.
THE WAY OF
This truth comes to us more and more the longer we
live, that on what field or in what uniform, or with what aims we do our duty,
matters very little, or even what our duty is, great or small, splendid or
obscure. Only to find our duty certainly and somewhere, and do it faithfully,
makes us strong, happy and useful men, and tunes our lives into some feeble
echo of the life of God.
- Phillips Brooks.
Masonry is not an exposition of a manufactured
ritual, nor is it a new revelation. It expresses the underlying principles
which govern all the religions which the race has loved, and is founded upon
the accumulated traditions which are necessities to humanity.
- Sir Gilbert Parker.
SPIRITUAL SIDE OF MASONRY
BY BRO. J. H. MORROW,
ONE of the most beautiful of
natural phenomena is the dew. We rise up early in the morning, throw open the
casement, and there, spread out before us on earth's green carpet, lie myriads
upon myriads of gems more brilliant than ever graced a queenly brow. It is as
though God before rolling up the canopy of night had laid the stars for a
moment upon the earth for man's nearer view.
As we gaze, entranced, the
sun asserts his majesty, and along invisible paths the wealth of magic beauty
vanishes in thin air. But each crystal drop has left refreshment in its wake.
The tender blade of grass, the new-born leaf of the shrub, the unfolding petal
of the blossom has each in turn gathered fresh life and renewed vigor.
And so, in a way, is
spirituality. Heaven sent, it comes to earth to quicken men's souls into new
life. It is all that the dew is to nature, but it is far more. It more closely
resembles the gentle rain in the depth and permanence of its effect.
A dove brought a seed from
the skies, and it said to the man, "The seed I bring is precious beyond all
price. Its name is the Knowledge-of-God. I would fain plant it where it shall
find constant nourishment, so that it may germinate and grow and bear fruit
for the healing of the nations."
Reverently the man uncovered
his head, and humbly bared his breast. "O gentle dove," he said, "vouchsafe
that this seed may find lodgment in my poor heart." And the dove replied, "So
let it be," and straightway it planted the seed in the human breast so freely
And there flew to earth
another dove, and the seed it brought- was called Faith, and this seed, too,
found lodgment in the man's heart. And still another dove brought the seed of
Hope, and another the seed of Charity, and a fourth the seed of Brotherly
Love, and again a fifth the seed of Immortality; for these seeds, too, the
man's breast gave welcoming place
The name of the man was
Freemason. The life he lived, and the deeds he wrought, be they small or
great, are known to all, but the vision of the doves and the planting of the
seeds were for his eye alone.
Brethren, if I have indulged
in metaphor and resorted to parable, it has been but to stimulate the
imagination that you may the more easily rise with me to the plane upon which
Masonry in its teachings and their fulfillment rests. The first seed implanted
in the heart of the Freemason was the Knowledge-of-God. To put our trust in
Him is the initial and the directing step in the journey of life. With Him as
our guide, our mentor, we can press forward without doubt or fear. As
Christian, Jew, Brahmin, or Mohammedan, each may call Him by a different name,
but to one and all He is the Great Architect, the Supreme Ruler of the
Universe, and as we learn to accept His guidance, He becomes better still the
Heavenly Father, drawing us to Him with bonds of love. "We feel His presence,
e'en unseen," and we walk by faith, and are sustained by hope in its whispered
promise of eternal life. And so it is with the other seeds. In the exercise,
for example, of charity through the promptings of brotherly love--charity
which softens and modifies our judgments, makes us conscious of our own
shortcomings, and renders us responsive to the appeals of those in
distress--we become partakers of the Divine nature and thus children of God.
"To worship rightly is to
love each other; Each smile a hymn, each kindly deed a prayer." "Each loving
life a psalm of gratitude."
King Solomon's Temple is long
crumbled into dust, but we as Masons are taught that we may rear another in
its stead. The plan lies upon the trestle board of the Supreme Master. Happy
is the man who builds according to that plan. For the temple site is the human
heart, and the temple is known as character. Masonry is character-building,
and whether we be Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, or Master Mason, our duties
are clearly defined, and our accountability made clear.
Now, character is what we
are, and must not be confounded with reputation, which is what men think of
us. If character be sound, be good, be true, then reputation can safely be
left to take care of itself. Men covet reputation, but reputation is only
secure when it rests upon a moral foundation. Hypocrisy, deceit, false
pretensions may achieve their ends for a while, but sooner or later the sham
will be found out, and the structure so faultily built prove but a house of
cards. Therefore, the question which concerns me as a Mason is not what do men
think of me, but what do I think of myself ?
In the light of Masonry I am
able to judge myself. The plan lies before me. My obligations are emblazoned
upon the walls of my remembrance. How have I hewn and laid the foundations of
my character? How have I built the superstructure? Dare I apply to the walls
the plumb and square and level of righteousness ? The heart of the man who
received the seeds from the doves knew as the days and the years went by how
well it had cherished the divine gifts. So, as I lay my head at night upon my
pillow, and turn upon myself the eyes of introspection, I can search my soul.
Shall I be discouraged by the
faults I find? Nay, not so. If I only realize that I have tried to build a
temple acceptable to the Supreme Architect, I have not wholly failed. To be
able to discover the fault shows that I have not lost sight of the plan, and
am not deaf to the still small voice of conscience. And the wonderful thing in
character-building is that so long as life lasts opportunity is given all to
correct the faults. Fortunate, indeed, am I if the faults be those of days
rather than of years. Yet it were better to begin all over again, though the
structure eventually remain incomplete, than never to have made the attempt.
But I must not put off the rebuilding to "a more convenient season," for "the
night cometh when no man can work." Opportunity is mine, but it is limited.
The sands remaining in my hour-glass I cannot see.
Still, I must not despair.
Hands of brotherly love are outstretched to help me.
Toil though we may, none
toils alone-- A brother's hands help lift the stone My arm is powerless to
place; And love is beaming from his face.
Furthermore, we cannot
contemplate the sublime truths of Masonry without receiving a reciprocal
blessing. It is an immutable law that like begets like. Out of the abundance
of the harvest is the promise of another garnering of like kind. And we sow
without doubt, knowing that as we sow so shall we also reap. What is true of
nature is true of spirituality. Of all the gifts of the inner life, the
highest is that of love. Brotherly love unifies Masonry, and in its expression
ennobles the lives of the brethren. It is this ennoblement, this enrichment so
evident in innumerable instances, that draws men to our sanctuaries, humble
and voluntary applicants for admission. They have discovered in the influences
of Masonry a transforming power for good which they would fain enjoy.
Sculptured in profile on a
New England mountain cliff is the noble face of a man. Tradition foretold that
one day the counterpart would appear in human form. And the story runs that a
lad was wont to visit the spot, watching in his boyish faith for the
fulfillment of the promise. Alas, many passed, but never one who in lineament
and expression reflected the heavenly beauty of the face of the granite hills.
From boyhood the watcher grew to youth, and from youth to manhood, and still
his dream remained unfulfilled. The tocsin of war sounded, and he hastened to
the defense of his country's flag. Bravely, honorably, heroically he did his
part, but often on picket duty in the gloomy watches of the night or amid the
fitful sleep of the turf-pillowed bivouac, that radiant face of the distant
mountain would reveal itself, and he would study it with the eyes of
introspection. The war ended, and it was vouchsafed to him to return to his
home. From force of habit he repaired to the mountain. There stood the face,
as it had stood for ages untold, not an attribute impaired. Lost in reverie
the soldier in his faded uniform became unconscious of surroundings, and
unaware of the gathering of an awe-struck group. The tradition was at last
come true; the counterpart in human form was there--but he did not know it.
Like begets like, beauty
begets beauty, love begets love, holiness begets holiness, but the discovery
is left to others.
Frequenting the almost
inaccessible peak of a lofty mountain was a bird of snow-white plumage. Its
name was Purity, and to him who should find one of its spotless feathers was
the promise of eternal life. Many essayed to find a feather, but discouraged
by the obstacles became disheartened and dropped back to the Valley of
Ease---all save one. Undaunted, though bruised and bleeding, he pressed
upward. Often he stumbled, sometimes he slipped backward, but only to regain
lost ground and to keep on climbing. Would he ever reach the top ? His
strength was giving out, when suddenly the shadow of the bird rested upon him.
With one last effort he stretched forth his hand, but only to grasp thin air.
He fell and died, and then, lo the miracle ! From the pitying breast of the
hovering bird descended a feather, and rested on the palm of the nerveless
hand. The gift of eternal life was won.
Brethren, the spiritual
rewards of Masonry are not to be sought in the Valley of Ease. They may be
summed up in one phrase--the satisfaction of feeling that we have endeavored
to walk uprightly in every path of life, and to discharge our duties to God,
to country, to home, to our fellow-men in conformity with the sublime
teachings of the Order. The rest may be left to Him who noteth even the fall
of a sparrow.
"Oh ! the cedars of Lebanon
grow at our door, And the quarry is sunk at our gate; And the ships out of
Ophir, with golden ore, For our summoning mandate wait; And the word of a
Master Mason May the house of our soul create ! While the day hath light let
the light be used, For no man shall the night control ! Or ever the silver
cord be loosed, Or broken the golden bowl, May we build King Solomon's Temple
In the true Masonic soul!"
And the meaning is this--that
we do not have to go far afield to discharge our Masonic obligations, and to
be spiritually quickened. In the pursuit of wealth men often travel to the
uttermost parts of the world and endure danger and privation without end,
alas, sometimes in vain, not realizing that mines of golden promise lie buried
at the very doorsteps of the homes they have spurned. So the demands for the
exercise of Masonic virtues lie close at hand. The stranger, hopeless,
distressed, is knocking at our gate for admittance. The tearstained faces of
the widow and the orphan are lifted in appeal to our windows. The brother,
needy in a material or in a spiritual sense, is mutely stretching out his hand
for help and sympathy along the pathway of our daily routine. Our homes are
demanding of us the highest expressions of love. Our city and our country are
expecting us to exemplify civic righteousness. And the voice of God is ever
ringing in our ears, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of
these, my brethren, ye have done it unto Me."
It is a misnomer to speak of
the spiritual side of Masonry. If there be another side it is foreign to our
Order, and I know it not. Spirituality is the life of Masonry. Blest is he who
is privileged to partake of it, and to help rebuild the Temple of King
(A Series of Researches into
the Operative Efforts of the Craft
III.THIE TEMPLE AT IOWA CITY,
ERECTED and completely equipped for slightly less
than $50,000.00 the Temple occupied by the Brethren at Iowa City, Iowa, is at
once compact, convenient and commodious. It is designed to meet Blue Lodge,
Chapter and Commandery needs. The Brethren have ventured further into club
house arrangements than we have previously illustrated in this series. Iowa
City is the home of Iowa State University, and the presence of a large number
of Masons in the student body probably accounts for this.
The basement story (not illustrated,) is occupied
by a dining room, kitchen and heating plant. The first floor is arranged
around a central "Exchange," utilized for social features as well as a
Commandery Drill Hall. Two Game Rooms, a Billiard Room, the Secretary's Office
and Vault, and a Reading Room, all have openings into the Exchange. In the
forward part of the building, separate parlors and cloak rooms are provided
for the ladies and Brethren, both readily accessible from the main entrance.
In the second floor, additional cloak rooms are provided. The
Armory, with a generous balcony, is well adapted to the uses of the Commandery,
and opens directly into the Lodge Room. The Ante-Room, Committee
Room and Preparation Room open into the Lodge Room also, while (as in all
plans thus far presented) the paraphernalia and storage room parallels the
Lodge Room. East and West. A high ceiling in the Lodge
Room affords opportunity
for mezzanine floors all around it, thus permitting the introduction of a pipe
organ and other accessories, if desired.
RELATIONSHIP OF MASONRY TO THE LIBERATION OF SPANISH AMERICA
BY BRO. HENRY BIXBY HEMENWAY,
A.M., M.D., ILLINOIS
(Note.--The following article
has been written at the earnest solicitation of the Editor. It is submitted,
not as a completed study, but that it may aid others who wish to follow a
similar path. Unfortunately, such a study should occupy much time, and the
investigator should be able to follow the path into many countries, and to
search through documentary records. Citations are here given to shorten, if
possible, the preliminary work of other students.-- H. B. H.)
ONE of the most inviting
fields for the Masonic investigator is that which pertains to the relationship
between this great order and governmental history. It is not probable that any
one would be so rash as to affirm that Masonry was the cause of the War of the
Revolution. On the other hand, there are many who believe that the Revolution
would not have been successfully begun, continued and ended were it not for
the aid of that body of patriots. If this be granted, the next question to
arise is whether the revolution was the incidental result of the teaching of
Masonry, or was the organization used by the leaders of the movement because
secrecy was necessary for their operations. Were these leaders driven into the
society for mutual protection ?
Apparently it was the
oppression of the Huguenots in France and the constant annoyance of the Scotch
Irish by the English government that developed in each of those oppressed a
spirit of determined endurance, and a love of liberty, which they strongly
exhibited on coming to America. This had much to do with the starting of the
revolution. Both of these peoples were patrons of Masonry, and the two leading
spirits of the movement which resulted in the formation of the Grand Lodge of
England, June 24, 1717, were James Anderson, a Scotch Presbyterian clergyman,
and John Desaguliers, a French Huguenot. One of the fundamental principles of
Masonry is religious liberty; and it therefore received the condemnation of
the Roman See. While Masonry has no opposition to the Roman church as a
religious institution, it does oppose its attempt to connect spiritual and
temporal power. As between monarchy and democracy that church has in the past
always been arrayed on the side of monarchy. It was therefore a natural result
that a large proportion of the leaders in the American revolution were members
of the fraternity, though it must by no means be forgotten that some loyal
members of the Roman church gave important moral, financial, and personal
support to the cause.
In the minds of such men as
Washington, Masonic membership was another evidence of a man's reliability and
fitness for trust. Silence and circumspection had been taught him. If
therefore there were some important business to be done in the interest of the
colonial army or government, it was natural that it should be safeguarded by
those fraternal bonds. If a council were necessary, it was not unlikely that
it might be protected by the privacy of the military lodge. There was a double
test of safety in the membership in the order, and the position in the army.
The practical influence of this association impressed itself upon the Marquis
de Lafayette, and he became an enthusiastic Mason.
It has been said that when
Lafayette came to this country he had upon his staff a young native of
Venezuela by the name of Miranda. It has been supposed that Miranda here
became a Mason also, and it has often been said that Washington was his ideal.
After he left the United States he settled in London for a time. There he
established a secret society for the avowed purpose of freeing Spanish America
from the European yoke. This society, we have been told, was founded on
Masonry. It inculcated republican doctrines, and was formed principally, if
not exclusively, of Spanish Americans who were pledged, in different degrees,
to work for South American freedom. Into this society the great leaders of the
southern rebellion were initiated--San Martin, Bernardo O'Higgins, Bolivar,
Sucre and the rest. At Cadiz, we are told, (1) a subordinate society was
established affiliated with the mother organization, and known under the name
"Sociedad de Lautaro, o Cabelleros Racionales." Subsequently a Logia Lautaro
was established in Buenos Aires, and another at Santiago, Chile.
It will also be remembered
that almost immediately after the success of the Spanish revolution, Masonic
lodges were formed throughout Latin America, and that the political leaders
were Masons. Further, though the Roman church was not disturbed in its
ministrations, wherever the Masonic influences were the strongest, there the
temporal power of that church was the most restricted.
The general evidence,
therefore, tends to show a direct relationship, not only between the
revolution in the English and that in the Spanish colonies, but between both
and the Masonic order, either as a causative, or as an executive agent.
It is only within a
relatively short time that the study of history has approached scientific
accuracy. Formerly it was the custom of a historian to take what came to hand
without special question, unless he found that statements or evidence did not
agree. The consequence was that misstatements were kept alive, and by their
very frequency they became convincing. If, as sometimes happened, many writers
went to the same source for their information, a mistake in the original
caused the error of many; still, in the place of being really the evidence of
many, it was the evidence of only one, oft repeated.
In the sketch of Miranda's
life in the International Encyclopedia it is said that he resigned from the
Spanish army in order to fight with the French in the United States. The
Encyclopedia Britanica says: "He entered the army, and served with the French
in the American War of Independence. The success of that war inspired him with
a belief that the independence of Spanish America would increase prosperity.
He began to scheme a revolution, but was discovered and had only time to
escape to the United States. Thence he went to England." As will be seen later
this account is almost entirely wrong, though that writer refers in his
bibliography to the only critical study of the subject which has been made.
The Encyclopedia Americana repeats the former error about Miranda's service in
our Revolution, even giving the dates, 1779-1781. It also refers to his
formation of the Gran Reunion Americana, which is correct. The other
encyclopedias are silent as to this society, and the Logia Lautaro.
The misstatement relative to
Miranda's service in our Revolution is repeated by Dalton, (2) Hirst, (3) Eder,
(4) Garcia Calderon, (5) and Chisholm. (6) Chisholm gives no authority for any
of his statements, but he dwells at some length upon Miranda's influence in
the liberation of the Spanish Americans, and his formation of the Gran
Turning now to South American
sources, (but Professor Pennington, of the University of Cordoba, Argentina,
and Garcia Calderon of Peru, should also be so ranked,) we find the two best
recognized authorities for this period of history are B. Vicuna Mackenna of
Chile, and Bartolome Mitre of Argentina. Mackenna, in his "Ostracismo de
O'Higgins" in speaking of Miranda says (7) that he went to the United States
and fought for freedom, with Washington as his hero, and Lafayette as his
companion. Mitre, the poet, historian, general, and President, wrote large
histories of San Martin and Belgrano. In the first of these he says (8) of
Miranda that he was "a soldier of Washington in the war of North America,
Comrade of Lafayette, a General with Dumoriez in the early campaigns of the
French revolution, a companion of Madame Rolland in prison, the confidant of
Pitt in his plan of insurrection of Spanish American colonies, distinguished
by Catherine of Russia, by whose favors the important mission which was
imposed was fostered, and considered by Napoleon as a crazy man, fired by hot
blood. In a similar manner Mitre speaks in his life of Belgrano (9) of
Miranda's having known Hamilton when under the orders of LaFayette and
Washington he had fought for the independence of the English colonies.
We have been thus particular
to refer to many accounts which speak of Miranda's service here because they
are all in error, but evidence of the mistake is likely to be overlooked. The
only critical life of Miranda which the writer of these lines has found is
that by Professor William S. Robertson, which is hidden in a copy of the
Proceedings of the American Historical Society. (10) Robertson has taken the
pains to verify his study by searching through official documents and private
diaries. In marked contrast with the methods of Mitre, Mackenna, and the
others cited, he makes it a rule to state the evidence. What he says may be
taken as reliable so far as he goes, and from his account, unless otherwise
specified, the following sketch is taken:
Francisco Miranda was born of
Spanish parents in Caracas, Venezuela, probably June 9, 1753. Blanco gives
(11) the year as 1756, and Vicuna Mackenna (12) as 1758. He was educated in a
college in his native city, and according to his statement to President
Stiles, at Yale college, he received his B. A. degree in 1767. He later
studied law "for a year or more" at a college in the city of Mexico. (The
father of Mexican independence was Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a creole
priest, who received his B. A. degree in the city of Mexico in 1770, (13)
after his education in the college of Valladolid, Mex. It is therefore more
than a possibility that Hidalgo and Miranda met at that time. It must be
remembered that the word "creole" does not imply mixed blood, as many imagine,
but is descriptive of those of pure Latin blood, born in America.) In Caracas
it is probable, as has been stated, that one of Miranda's companions during
those early years was Manuel Gaul, who later took an active part in the
revolution, and who was punished for translating and publishing the "Rights of
Man." Incidentally we may here mention that later Thomas Paine became one of
Miranda's intimate friends, and that his "Rights of Man" became one of the
potent influences for the revolution of Spanish America. Miranda was an
enthusiastic student, and before he became of age he went to Spain, and there
applied himself to the study of mathematics. His sympathies at that time were
intensely Spanish. In 1772 he was commissioned a captain in the Spanish army.
He served in Africa against the Moroccans. During the summer of 1777 charges
were made against him, and he was imprisoned for a short time, at the
instigation of the Inquisition, he thought. However, the official report of
his commander in November of that year said, in contrast with the report
relative to many of his fellow soldiers: "This captain performs his duties
During his early service he
came under the command of Cagigal, who was ever thereafter his firm friend. In
March, 1780, Miranda was transferred from Madrid to Cadiz. Early that spring
the French and Spanish governments cooperated in hostile operations against
England, and in the Spanish force sent to the West Indies Miranda was on the
staff oœ Cagigal. In August, 1781, Miranda was brevetted Lieutenant Colonel.
In September Miranda was sent to Kingston, Jamaica, ostensibly to arrange for
an exchange of prisoners, but really as a spy. There, with the aid of a Boston
man by the name of Fitch he purchased some ships. The English commander
received at the least a strong reprimand from his superior for the
transaction; and Miranda found charges preferred against himself, and was
arrested in the absence of Cagigal, but immediately released on Cagigal's
return. Envious fellow officers later made other charges involving both
Cagigal and Miranda. Cagigal was transferred to Spain. April 16, 1783, Miranda
wrote to Cagigal that he was disgusted with his treatment, and saw no chance
for justice, though he was "more innocent than Socrates"; he had therefore
determined to return to Europe by way of the United States. In spite of his
desertion from the command, and in spite of the knowledge of the government
that after leaving the service Miranda had been engaged in intrigue and
plotting against the Spanish authority, in 1799 the Council of the Indies
fully exonerated both Cagigal and Miranda of the charges made. Early in the
summer of 1781, and while Cagigal was in command, Pensacola was captured from
the English. It is possible that Miranda was present at this siege; but aside
from this there is no evidence that he was within the present bounds of the
United States before the spring of 1783, when he landed at Charleston to make
his tour of the country.
Because the West Indies were
very properly regarded as in "America"; because the Spanish and French nations
were warring in the West Indies together against the English during the latter
part of the war of the Revolution; and because Lafayette, a Frenchman, and
some of his compatriots were with the American army, though not with the
sanction of the French government; and because Miranda and Cagigal were
serving in the Spanish army in the West Indies, it was, perhaps, natural that
some non-critical historian should draw the inference that those Spanish
officers were serving with Lafayette in the Colonial army. While the
incidental effect of the Spanish campaign might have been helpful for the
Colonial army, this was not its object. By the treaty of 1783 England
surrendered title to Florida to Spain as a result of the Spanish victory.
Since Miranda was not serving with Washington and Lafayette in the Revolution,
it follows-that the inference was unfounded that his observations at that time
led him to an appreciation of Masonry, and that he was made a Mason in the
Military lodge, or anywhere in the United States at that time.
From time to time Miranda
sent letters to the Spanish government demanding justice and protection, but
he did not dare to visit Spain. However, the Spanish government kept a close
watch of all his movements, and at one time expected to capture him in France.
This official espionage, and the consequent records, makes it easy to trace
his wanderings. The Spanish government feared that he might dispose of
valuable plans of Spanish fortifications to the English.
After a tour of the United
States Miranda went to England. Complaints from his friends in Spanish
America, combined with his own feeling of injustice received, and contrasted
with his observations in the United States, begot in his mind a scheme for
freeing Spanish America from the Spanish rule. He visited most of the European
countries to study their governments, and secured from Catherine of Russia
financial aid and encouragement in his scheme. He got Pitt thoroughly
interested for England; and in the expectation of commercial advantages to be
received, there seemed to be a prospect of naval and military assistance from
Britain. Miranda also received encouragement from Alexander Hamilton and from
Rufus King that the United States would also assist. It was probable that
during his American tour he discussed this project with Washington, Smith,
Sayre, Adams and others, some of whom became his firm friends. It was here
that he made the acquaintance of Thomas Paine. After his trip through Europe,
and another sojourn in London, he entered the French contest for liberty.
Later, with the turn in fortunes, he was imprisoned in the Bastile, at the
same time that Madame Rolland was there incarcerated. On being released he
returned to London, and continued to plan for action in America.
At this time there was a
young Chilean at school in Richmond, England. He was the natural son of
Ambrosio O'Higgins, then Viceroy of Peru, but was known then as Bernardo
Riquelme. Needing an instructor in mathematics, chance sent the young
O'Higgins to Miranda, but their discussions were not limited to pure science.
They studied maps together, and discussed the great problems of the western
hemisphere. It was about this time that Miranda organized the Gran Reunion
Americana, with headquarters in London, though from a statement by Mitre (14)
we infer that it was organized in Paris in 1797. It is natural that we should
find few records of this most important organization--in fact, the wonder is
that we find so many. It is also natural, considering all the circumstances,
that its existence should be covered by the assumption of various names.
Professor Pennington, of the
ancient university in Cordoba, Argentina, close to the seat of San Martin's
most strenuous exertions in connection with the secret organization, gives
this account: (15) "General Francisco Miranda, a native of Caracas, the
capital of Venezuela, was the first South American to dream of the greatness
of the various South American Colonies if they could be freed from Spanish
dominion and converted into independent states. In order to carry his ideas
into effect, he established a secret society called the 'Gran Reunion
Americana' with headquarters in London. This parent association gave birth to
many branches and affiliated societies of which the principal was the Sociedad
de Lautaro, or of Caballeros Racionales, which in 1808 had more than forty
members in Cadiz alone. The meetings of these societies were secret and
protected by rites and pass-words derived from Freemasonry. There were various
degrees, the first involving a promise to work for American independence and
the second accepting Republican principles. The fifth grade was the highest
and most responsible, as it involved more than mere expressions of opinion and
professions of faith."
Chisholm says: (16) "Erected
on the models of the Lodges of Free Masonry that wielded such a beneficent
influence for humanity during the eighteenth century, and conforming in great
part with Masonic principles and methods, the "Reunion" included in its rolls
many of the foremost patriots of Spanish America. There were found registered
the names of Nariiio, San Martin, Fretes, Cortes, Yznaga, Bejarano and many
others who represented every Spanish American colony from Cuba to Chile. When
Miranda had satisfied himself that Bernardo [O'Higgins] possessed those
qualities of character that would render him steadfast as well as
enthusiastic, he opened before him the great purpose of achieving the
independence of all the Spanish Colonies in America by one concerted and
irresistible movement, and O'Higgins joined the lodge and took the necessary
oaths of fidelity and service. It is interesting to know that a few years
later Simon Bolivar also joined the same order, took the same oaths and
fulfilled with equal fidelity the solemn engagements which joined him with San
Martin and O'Higgins in overthrowing the power in America of the King of
Spain." (Though this indicates that O'Higgins was not an original member, I am
satisfied from many items that he was one of the founders of the organization
in Paris, in 1797.)
In February, 1797, Pedro Jose
Caro came to London, representing that he owned large properties in Cuba and
in the city of Mexico, and attempted to get the English government interested
in the scheme for freeing Spanish America. The Spanish officials thought that
he was an escaped conspirator from Caracas. About the same time Antonio Narino,
a conspirator from Santa Fe, failed to secure a favorable hearing from the
English government. "It is possible that both these emissaries were sent or
directed to London by Miranda. It is also possible, as stated by Miranda
later, that other alleged agents, from South America were sent to London while
the master intriguer remained in Paris." (17) "It is clear that the arrival of
Miranda in England early in the following year was with the full knowledge and
consent of the English government." (18) On January 17, 1798, Miranda
addressed a communication to Pitt beginning with the words: "The undersigned,
principal agent of the Spanish-American colonies, has been named by the junta
of deputies of Mexico, Lima, Chili, Buenos Aires, Caracas, Santa Fe, etc. to
present himself to the ministers of H. B. M., in order to renew in favor of
absolute independence of these colonies the negotiations begun in 1790," (19)
etc. "Nothing is known of the alleged Spanish junta which was to take
cognizance of the negotiations. Nevertheless, it is possible that some
revolutionary spirits from Spanish America, like Caro and Nariiio, did meet in
Paris and discuss a plan of campaign." (20) Apparently the junta was the
mother lodge of the Gran Reunion.
In his original scheme
Miranda planned a constitutional monarchy, binding the states in a federation,
with an Inca at the head; this monarchy to extend westward from Brazil and the
Mississippi, and from parallel 45 degrees north to the Cape Horn. (21) In the
new version it was to be a federation of republics, and one of the
propositions included the cutting of canals connecting the Atlantic and
Pacific at Panama and through Nicaragua. (22) Though Robertson does not
mention the Gran Reunion by name, he says: (23) "Miranda may well have been
the founder of a revolutionary club which later developed into a great
international association of Spanish American revolutionists, that was
transported by the leaders to the different parts of Spanish America."
Vicuna Mackenna speaks (24)
of the departure of Bejara, Caro, Iznardi, O'Higgins and others to arrange for
the entrance of the Gran Reunion Americana into the Spanish peninsula; and
Mitre tells us (25) of the Sociedad de Lautaro o Caballeros Racionales in
Cadiz. Vicuna Mackenna tells us (26) that the Lojia Lautarina (Chilean for
Logia Lautaro) was founded in Buenos Aires in 1812, and Mitre says (27) that
in 1717 a lodge of the Lautaro was established in Chile, to be composed equal
parts of Chileans and Argentinos. It will be remembered that the rebellion of
all the Spanish American colonies began at practically the same time, about
1811, and that the names of the leaders in each country are among those
enrolled in the Gran Reunion or its branches. I have somewhere seen the
statement that Hidalgo, who sounded the signal for the Mexican uprising from
his pulpit in Dolores, was a member of this organization. Certain it is that
there was an organized secret body of Mexicans in the plot, but I have not
found definite evidence as to its official connection with the Gran Reunion.
As to the meetings of the
Buenos Aires lodge, Mitre tells us (28) that it sometimes met in the factory
of Vieyetes, or in the country house of Orma; but more frequently in that of
Rodriques Pena, who was the sinew of this association, of which Belgrano was
the counselor; and which showed sometimes the enthusiasm of Castelli, or the
prudence of Vieyetes, or the high reason of Passo.
The organization having
ceased to-exist, Vicuna Mackenna has been able to publish a copy of the
constitution and by-laws of the Lojia Lautarina. (29) "The mother lodge is
composed of thirteen Caballeros, aside from the President, Vice President, two
secretaries, one for North America and one for South America, an orator, and a
master of ceremonies. The number cannot be increased. No Spaniard or foreigner
can be admitted, nor more than one ecclesiastic." Whenever a brother is made
the governor or magistrate in a section of the country he shall assist in
forming a subordinate lodge. When one of the brothers is elected Supreme
Governor, he shall plan nothing of grave importance without having consulted
the lodge. The objects of the institution are to assist and protect each other
in the conflict of civil life, and to support the opinion of the others, but
when it is opposed to the public, they should nevertheless preserve silence.
Every brother should support, at the risk of his life, the determinations of
the lodge. Two-thirds constitute a quorum. A brother, who by word or sign
reveals the secret of the existence of the lodge shall be put to death by the
means most convenient. There is no mention of any connection with the Masonic
order, and no stipulation that the members shall be Freemasons.
Mitre says (30) of these
secret societies that they were composed of South Americans with the object of
the emancipation of South America, and its foundation upon the republican
plan. They resembled greatly in their organization and in their political
plans the societies of charcoal sellers formed upon the Masonic rites, and
which have not only the Masonic forms, but also their symbols.
Garcia Calderon says (31)
that "from Mexico to Chili the same revolutionary fervour engendered the
partial movements of 1808 to 18L1. Conspirators similar to the Italian
carbonari, lodges in which men spoke of liberty in the midst of ingenuous
rites, and university students who read the Encyclopaedists, were preparing
the great crusade." And again he says: (32) The Masonic lodges worked in
silence against the power of Spain and Portugal, and upheld the humanitarian
ideas of French philosophy. In the lodge of Lautaro, San Martin and Alvear
received their initiation as revolutionaries. In Mexico the lodge of York was
transformed into a Jacobin club."
The very plain implication of
Garcia Calderon is that there was a vital connection between the revolutionary
secret societies and Freemasonry. It is true that in those early years there
were no Masonic lodges established as such. So long as the old regime lasted
such organizations were prohibited. It is probable, however, that there were
many Masons scattered through the countries, and that they met occasionally as
Masons. We may perhaps suspect that Miranda and O'Higgins may have received
Masonic light, either in England or in France. In speaking of the early days
of the independent Mexico, Rives says (33) "The nearest approach to a social
or political organization was to be found in the Masonic lodges, which had
been successfully established near the very beginning of independence. The
fundamental principle of that order --the fraternity of all men and the
apparent indifference of its members to theological beliefs had always arrayed
the Roman Catholic Church against it, and indeed against all secret societies.
Damnantur clandestinae societates, were the words of an infallible Pope; and
so long as ecclesiastical authority was in full vigor in New Spain Freemasons
were not tolerated in the kingdom. But when Mexican delegates sat in the
Spanish Cortes under the Constitution of 1812 some of them were initiated
under the ancient Scottish rite, so that in 1820 and afterward Masonic lodges
were established in Mexico, and came to be exceedingly influential bodies."
"The first Masonic lodge in
Mexico was established in 1806 by Spaniards. There were at that time four
lodges in the peninsula, which had been founded by Englishmen--two at
Gibraltar, one at Cadiz, and one at Madrid--and it may be reasonably assumed
that from these the Mexican Masons first derived their existence. It is
reported that Hidalgo, who first raised the cry of independence, became a
Mason about 1807. At any rate, the existence of this first lodge was short
lived, for it was denounced to the authorities in 1808, and many of the
brethren were imprisoned and prosecuted before tribunals of the Inquisition.
Later on the Spanish troops which landed in Mexico after 1811 brought in their
ranks a number of Masons; and still later the Mexican delegates to the Spanish
Cortes were initiated in Europe, and on their return founded lodges, which,
deriving apparently from French sources, followed the Scottish rite. These
lodges were chiefly composed of men who were fairly well-to-do or were of
recognized professional or commercial standing, and they thus naturally came
to form in a short time a nucleus for those who were not favorable to the idea
of a republic." (34)
The York rite was introduced
into Mexico by Mr. Poinsett, the American Minister, in 1825, and became the
great force of the populist movement for a republic. The two rites nominated
candidates for the Presidency and the Yorkino candidate was an Indian by the
name of Gerrero. Not content with battles of ballots the parties actually went
to war. From that day to this Masonry has been powerful in Mexican politics.
When the writer was in Mexico several years ago, he asked an acquaintance if
he were a Mason. The reply was: "No, I never meddled with politics." (35)
According to the "Diccionario
Enciclopedico Hispano-Americano," pages 687-703, Masonry was introduced into
Brazil in 1816, and the first regular lodge was established in 1820. In
Colombia it was introduced in 1820, and in Peru in 1825. The Grand Lodge of
France founded the first lodge in Uruguay in 1827. In 1857 a lodge and chapter
were founded in Guayaquil, Ecuador; and the Grand Lodge of Venezuela was
established in 1865. In addition to these lodges, we aretold that the Grand
Lodge of England has established lodges throughout Chile, Argentina, Uruguay
and Paraguay, which are still in active operation.
The immediate founding of
Masonic lodges throughout Latin America so soon as the bonds of Spain had been
broken is an indication of their probable existence, sub rosa, at an earlier
time. The fact of the immediate disbandonment of the Gran Reunion, and of the
Logia Lautaro, is strongly indicative of their giving place to another
organization. The way that prominent men in South American politics during the
last century referred to these three organizations more or less together,
suggests that the Logia Lautaro, was simply another name temporarily adopted
by members of the Masonic body who were banded together for a special purpose.
Otherwise it would have been natural for these old companions in the struggle
for freedom to have continued their organization, and to have kept thus alive
the principles of the order among their children and grandchildren. * * *
Masonry cut no small figure
in the settlement of the Texas problems, and Poinsett's activity in Mexican
politics wrecked his mission.
When the Spanish government,
through its London and Paris spies. became aware of the intimacy between
Miranda and Bernardo O'Higgins, the commission of his father, Ambrosio, was
cancelled, and the father ordered home for explanation. Ambrosio died in Peru,
and probably never knew why he had been deposed.
Miranda was evidently a
scholar of no mean ability. He was an enthusiastic maker of plans, but unable
to carry them to perfection. Bolivar was perhaps the strongest of the great
South American Caudillos, but he was also intensely selfish, and was willing
to sacrifice any one and any thing to obtain his own advancement. O'Higgins
was faithful and patient, working much of the time very quietly. San Martin
combined in himself the good qualities of all, and having served as Grand
Master of the Logia Lautaro for years, and having won the freedom of
Argentina, Chile, and Peru, turned his army over to the northern "Liberador"
who demanded supreme command, and then went into voluntary bal;lishment in
France, that his presence might incite no possible opposition to his brother
Caudillo, Bolivar. Whether or not San Martin was ever brought to light in a
Masonic lodge, no truer Mason, nor one who more clearly illustrated the
principles of our noble order, probably ever lived.
(1) Mitre, Vida de San
Martin, Vol. 1, p. 135.
(2) Venezuela, p. 81.
(3) Argentina, p. 77.
(4) Colombia, p. 32.
(5) Latin America, p. 66.
(6) The Independence of
Chile, p. 101 and ff.
(7) p. 44.
(8) Vol. 1, p. 82.
(9) Vol. 1, p. 113.
(10) 1907, Vol. 1.
(11) Documentos para la
Historia de la Vida. Publica del Liberador,
Vol. 1, p. 80, note.
(12) La Ostracismo de
O'Higgins, p. 44.
(13) Noll & McMahon, Miguel
Hidalgo y Castillo, p. 7.
(14) Belgrano, Vol. 1 p. 113.
Also see Blanco, Op. cit. p. 17.
(15) Argentine Republic, p.
(16) Independence of Chile,
(17) Robertson, Op. cit. p.
(18) Robertson, Op. cit. p.
(19) Chatham MSS, 345.
(20) Robertson, Op. cit. p.
(21) Robertson, Op. cit. p.
272 and ff.
(22) Robertson, Op. cit. 319.
(23) Op, cit. p. 338.
(24) Op cit. p- 49
(25) Vida de San Martin, Vol.
1, p. 135.
(26) Op cit. p. 269.
(27) San Martin, Vol II, p.
(28) Vida, Belgrano, Vol. 1,
(29) Op cit. 269
(30) San Martin, Vol. 1, p.
(31) Latin AmeriCa, P. 65.
(32) Op, cit. p. 81.
(33) The United States and
Mexico, Vol. 1, p. 62.
(34) Rives, Op. cit. Vol. 1,
(35) (For information as to
the influence of Mexican Masonic lodges see Ward's Mexico, Vol. II, p. 408,
Suarez, Historia de Mexico, 77-79; Zavala, Ensayo Hist. Vol. 1, 346 Tornel,
Breve Resena, 43-46.)
I made a pilgrimage to find
I listened for his voice at
Searched for the print of his
In the dust of broken altars;
yet turned back
With empty heart. But on the
A great light came upon me,
and I heard
The God's voice singing in a
Felt his sweet wonder in a
Received his blessing from a
Looked on his beauty in a
Saw his bright hand send
signal from the sun.
Look up, not down; look out,
not in; look forward,
not back; and lend a hand.
--E. E. Hale.
By C. M. Boutelle
My foot to thy foot, howe'er
thy foot may stray;
Thy path for my path, however
dark the way.
My knee to thy knee, whatever
be thy prayer;
Thy plea my plea, in every
need and care.
My breast to thy breast, in
every doubt or hope;
Thy silence mine too,
whate'er thy secret's scope.
My strength is thy strength,
whenever thou shalt call;
Strong arms stretch love's
length, through darkness, toward thy
My words shall follow thee,
kindly warning fond,
Through life, through drear
death--and all that lies beyond !
In the quiet hours of
evening, I doze by the study fire.
My mind on the plans of a
palace, from lintel to towering spire.
Tinted its windows with
colors, caught from the rain-bow at dawn,
Painted by hand of a Master,
designs, man hath not drawn.
Stately columns of marble,
carved to adorn its halls
Scenes from the noblest
subjects, hang from its Jasper walls,
Truly a noble structure,
wrought by the mind of man,
Shrine for some priceless
Jewel, Flawless - Beautiful - Grand.
Yet were its corridors empty.
hollow they sound to my tread
Cold and silent its chambers,
as the presence of something dead.
A something seems to be
lacking a feeling that dulls my pride -
As I gazed at my garnered
treasures, What is missing? I sighed.
A beaver came to its portals,
his garments tattered and worn -
All he once had, had long
been Riven, to silence the sufferer's moan,
Bound un the wounds of
cripples, dried he the widow's tear
Holding the babe to his
bosom, lovingly quieting its fear.
Knelt by the side of the
sinner, Yea - the scarlet woman of vice,
He whispered the old. old
story, Love of a merciful Christ -
A light shone forth from his
features, with a wondrous peaceful glow -
Surely, I said, 'tis a
prophet come from the long ago.
He calne to my gorgeons
portals, in the chill of the evening tide,
Glanced at its cold. chill
beauty. shivered and turned aside -
Amazed, I caught at his
garments, Hold stranger, a reason I pray
Why quiver and turn to the
darkness? - Enter, I beg thee and stay.
See - I have built me a
palace, Jewell'ed its walls with arts,
Columned its halls with
marbles, treasures from many marts
Yet I admit a yearning,
Something - I have not attained
Seems to be casting a shadow,
o'er pleasures I hoped to have gained.
He bowed his head as in
sorrow, then stepped to the door by my side,
Glanced in at my marvelous
beauties, then turning, sadly replied -
Brother, I see a widow,
haggard, weary, and worn.
Three little hungry orphans,
nowhere to call their own.
Thrown to the mills of
Mammon, crushed neath its cruel stones,
Ground into shekels of
silver, matters little their moans.
'Tis only the price of a
picture, one of your Jewels of art
Yet can I see on the canvas,
tears from a broken heart.
Down in the slums of a city,
a brother striving to rise,
Striving to gain his manhood.
the spirit within him cries -
Give me the hand of
friendship. that is mv prayer for help.
Did'st answer his call my
Brother? Assist with part of thy wealth?
'Tis only the price of a
column such as I see in yon nave,
Yet, I see by that column,
the form of a Brother's grave -
What if its price had been
given, with a smile and a word of cheer
Life might not have been
failure, but brighter while he were here.
And so in the halls of your
palace, lofty - gorgeous - wide,
Built from the tears of
suffering, built with the spirit of Pride
Empty its heart to me
Brother, cold as yon marble glove
The soul of the builder has
never awaked to the beauty of "Love."
This is the Jewel missing,
this, - the shadow that falls
Over your princely palace,
over your lordly halls -
Search for this precious
treasure, not in some distant land
Not in some wondrous
building, wrought by the hand of man.
Deep in thy spiritual nature,
search for its hidden ray
This pure white stone of the
Temple; Light of a new born day -
Buried perchance in the
rubbish, trampled and covered from sight,
The gift that was sent by a
Master, burns with a luster bright.
I gazed at my royal palace,
it slowly crumbled to dust
Judged bv this humble
Brother, merciful, candid, - Just.
Again, will I build a
mansion, my labor has not been lost,
Each "Great Truth"
discovered, ever has labor cost.
Here at my hand the quarries,
here in the walks of life
Here will I rear a building,
here in the midst of strife
I will build with the widow's
blessing, paint with the orphan's smile,
Trim with the rays of
gladness, caught from the face of a child.
Its columns in place of
marble, shall be the strength of man
Saved from the life of
madness, upright, noble, grand -
Wisdom, Strength and Beauty,
they shall support my naves,
Keyed by the stone so
priceless, the Great White Stone that saves.
I turned to thank my critic,
only to find him gone,
To find that I had been
dreaming, into the early dawn.
Light in the East was shining
with glow of a crimson flame,
I thought of my dreamland
treasures, thought of them only with shame.
Life seemed purer, grander, -
the restless longing ceased
Words cannot express it, this
message out of the East -
Thy search for treasure's
ore, a whisper drifted down
Thy soul can name the Jewel,
that which was "Lost" is "Found."
- L. C. Stewart, Florida
BY BRO. H. R. BEST, SOUTH
BEFORE I became a Mason I was
often assured that Masonry had nothing to do with religion, but with this
statement I cannot agree, as it seems to me that it has much to do with
religion. Of course, it does not deal specifically with orthodox creeds, but
the very vitals of religion are involved, woven and interwoven through it all.
A man must have religious convictions, who passes through its sacred symbols,
otherwise he would be a conscienceless hypocrite. No man, who is morally
impervious, can be a true Mason.
In the next place:--Since "We
meet upon the Level and we part upon the Square," it seems to me that the
great Masonic Brotherhood has before it a sublime mission at this particular
time in the world's conflict of ideas. In such an age as this, it is not
difficult for a man to speak on some phase of life; it is however a difficult
task, in an age so complex, to survey the field of life, weigh the various
forces of progress, compare the organizing ideals and arrive at an accurate
generalization of truth. Still, I believe that thoughtful people will agree
that the outstanding social fact of our day is the democratization of life.
The history of the race
reveals a constant tendency to Aristocracy. Aristocracy always ends in the
oppression of the weak. In the crude stages of the race, we see the strong man
by brute force assume the leadership of his clan and wave the big stick. With
the same motive, later, he becomes a soldier and with his army he conquers his
fellows, going through slaughter to a throne. This is the Aristocracy of
Force. This vantage he passes on to his offspring and thus we have the idea of
"The Divine Right of Kings" and all its pernicious results. This is the
Aristocracy of Heredity. Later, as men form larger ideas of culture, we have
born the Aristocracy of Culture and Learning. Here men feel that because they
have swallowed a college curriculum of classical heathenism, they are lifted
above their fellows and it is not consistent with learning to bear the burdens
of society. Then, as creative genius has produced wealth, we have, especially
in this country, built up an Aristocracy of Wealth, which class has insisted
on its right to plunder the public and outrage decency "within the law," or in
spite of it, and claimed immunity from punishment due social criminals.
Now, over against the
philosophy of Aristocracy, of the privileged few against the unprotected many,
of selfishness against the public weal, we have this modern uprising of the
masses, the unfolding of a new democracy. Look at Art. There was a time when
painters, for the most part, thought only of the gorgeous, the outstanding in
nature; now they find beauty everywhere, in some dull cut by the way, some
meadowbrook with its pastoral scenes or a peasant's hut with parents and lusty
off-spring about a simple board. These are sufficient to inspire the genius of
the modern painter. Again, look at the field of Literature. Once the poem was
inspired by the idle luxury of the court and dedicated to some voluptuous
queen. To-day, we are inspired by everyday-flesh-and-blood people whom we can
know and love and serve. We are learning to "Live in a house by the side of
the road and be a friend to man." Then look at Fiction. Once the heroes or
heroines must always, in the end, turn out to belong to the Aristocracy. Now,
instead of princes in disguise and masked knights and an endless procession of
impossibles, we have a new moral picture being drawn in modern books in which
the heroes and heroines are found among the men, who swelter at the forge or
women who stand behind counters. We are getting "Inside the Cup" and cleaning
out "the drains" even under the pulpits of "sacred evils." We are finding the
sources of a new life in helping folks who wrestle with hunger in an empty
bread tray. This same tendency may be seen in education. The day when the
educated man was defined as the man who had swallowed all the heathen gods and
goddesses has gone as it ought to go. We are learning that education is not
stuffing people on the debris of ages, but awaking the potentials of
personality and turning a man loose in a world to create some utility. The new
education is culminating in The Kingdom of the Commonplace. We are finding
that every man and woman has in them the elements of greatness, which should
be developed to the maximum of individuality. This individuality is finding
its medium of immortality through social service and thus:
"The common deeds of the
common day Are ringing the bells in the far away."
We are ever in danger of
hanging on to cast-off husks of truth and losing sight of the vital organism
that seeks a newer habiliment. This evil is what I call social appendicitis
and in the classic phrase must be "cut out," else we endanger the whole social
body. Now in this new democracy, this kingdom of the common-place, we can all
have a part. It does not destroy individuality but creates it. Altruism is the
law of life and produces the maximum of personality. It calls every man to
live for public weal. It enthrones every man as his own priest, prophet and
king. Any religion, politics or economy, that gives the destiny of people into
the hands of a few, is dangerous and must be resisted. The man, who is
emancipated from the slavery of selfishness, must stand for the emancipation
Now friends, in the light of
these ideals, it seems to me that our Fraternity, based as it is on ideals of
equality, can be a mighty factor in overcoming these ancient evils and
enthroning the people. With the regard for history and a proper use of ancient
foundations, we should build thereon the structure of "Liberty, Equality and
Fraternity," that shall truly bless the world. It is this vision that thrills
me; it is this hope that makes me join my little mite to yours in order that
we shape with true horizontals and erect with correct perpendiculars the
Temple of Life. If this be the spirit that animates our brotherhood, we shall
play well our part in that drama of life.
BY BRO. LOUIS BLOCK, P. G.
M., FRATERNAL CORRESPONDENT OF IOWA
(Responding to many requests,
we reproduce the "Afterward" of Past Grand Master Louis Block in his report as
Fraternal Correspondent of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, as expressive of the
horror of world-war, and the ruin wrought to the finer fellowships of
humanity. What the war means to Masonry is shown by the following Resolution
adopted by the German Grand Lodge, dated Berlin, May 29th, 1915:--"In view of
the attitude of Italian Free Masons, who, inspired by French sympathizers,
took part in the political struggle leading to the war, and thereby violated
the cardinal principle of Masonry expressly forbidding such methods, the
German Grand Lodge hereby severs all former relations with Italian and French
Free Masonry. Toward Free Masons in other hostile lands The Grand Lodge
affirms the decision adopted at an earlier date, that all relations of various
Grand Bodies be suspended from the outbreak of hostilities.")
Beauteous the love of country
is, The love that gives so willingly its life-- But, oh, we long for that
more beauteous day When love no boundaries shall know. When man So love his
fellow-man, where'er he dwell, That he refuse to slay him. Nor yet dare Send
a soul into that great beyond While yet that soul's experience on earth For
which God sent it forth is incomplete. Beauteous the love of country is The
love that gives so willingly its life-- But may that day more beauteous soon
come When man, though loving not his country less Shall more than country
love his fellow-man."
When we started upon our
journey to visit the Grand Lodges just one year ago, it was with the
pleasantest of anticipations. For the world then lay smiling beneath the
sunshine of peace, and the prosperity of the people everywhere was most
pleasing to behold. Involuntarily there flowed from our lips the sentence
hallowed by so many sacred memories: "How good and how pleasant it is for
brethren to dwell together in unity!"
But scarce had the warm winds
of summer begun to turn the green of the fields into the gold of the ripening
grain, when a dark cloud blotted out the sunlit landscape, and we found
ourselves shuddering beneath the somber shadows of an awful war. Shocked and
stunned we cowered aghast before a perfect welter and whirlwind of hate, that
seemed ready to tear from the human heart every last vestige of brotherly
love. Never had human eye beheld a war so vast, so awful. The madness of
murder and the lust to kill seemed to have set the heart of man aflame, and
none knew how soon the horrible holocaust might wither even the new world with
its blight. Mighty hordes of what once were men, led on by leaders filled with
the lust of empire, by crowned-heads goaded on by commercial greed, swept down
upon one another and left the land a blackened and smoking waste. Nation after
nation has slipped into the flood and been whirled away into the mad
maelstrom. Even as we write the sons of sunny Italy, after having so long
withstood temptation, have at last succumbed to the horrid infection, and are
now storming their way northward into the land of the Teuton, swept on by the
fire of conquest.
The madness seems to be in
the air, and we on this side must curb our desires, master our passions, and
pray God for strength to resist, or we, too, shall be swept away into the
horrid flood of flaming destruction.
Just think of it! Twenty-nine
million men flinging themselves at each other's throats; was ever horror so
frightful known before? Civilization? Was there ever any real civilization;
will there ever be any ? Will men never be better than beasts? What is to be
the end of it all? Will peace ever smile on us again, or will this bloody,
burned, and sorely burdened world blow itself into blackened splinters as a
culmination of the catastrophe ? Far better so than that man should live on
hating man, with the fire of brotherly love forever cold and dead in his stony
And yet, and yet, we Masons
cannot endure to have it so. We cannot, we dare not let it occur, that this
structure of brotherly love, which with such sore and sharp endeavor we have
so steadily struggled to raise throughout the ages, should thus come toppling
and tumbling into the dust ! We cannot suffer the temple of humanity to be
thus ruthlessly torn down! Our hearts cry out against any such dire disaster
Why is it that in every Grand
Lodge we have visited since this horrid war broke out, the Grand Master has
deplored in heartbroken accents this awful thing that has befallen us ? Was it
not that he felt that the very foundation of our structure was being
threatened, so that a mighty trumpet call was needed to rally men round about
the standard of human brotherhood, to drive back the hordes of hate and save
man from self destruction ?
When you take from Masonry
its basic principle of Brotherly love you have nothing left, absolutely
nothing, not even an empty last year's bird nest. So that with so much hate
raging round the world the very life of our order is itself at stake.
And in heaven's name what was
there to fight about? Before this awful war broke out men lived in comparative
comfort and happiness no matter what flag flew over their heads. Peace and
prosperity reigned both sides of the line dividing nation from nation. What
then did it matter to the ordinary individual whether he lived in France or
Germany? Either place was better then than is now the one into which both are
merged; one for which there is no fitter name than "Hell-on-Earth!"
What was the cause of it all?
Was it true that nations could no more stand prosperity than could
individuals? Was there a grasping greed for gain that, under the pretense of
preserving peace, built a vast military machine made for murder on a mighty
scale? Precipitating the greatest war the world has ever known is scarcely
Side by side with this
foolish pretense of "fighting for peace" stands that equally palpable pretense
of patriotism--of patriotism preached for the very purpose of hiding a passion
for plunder. Away with such vile patriotism as that ! A nation that cannot
treat another nation fairly, but hungers to devour it; that is not willing to
live and let live, is not worth dying for, much less living for. When my
nation grows so mad with greed that it will not do right, then it becomes my
duty in a higher and nobler loyalty to humanity to abandon that nation to its
fate. Yet my first duty is to try to save it from itself. The cry, "My
country, right or wrong," is wrong and not right. For it we should substitute,
"My country, may she ever be right and do no one wrong!"
What is our duty as American
Masons in this present crisis? Surely in loyalty to our underlying principle
as an institution; in loyalty to the real welfare of the people, it must be to
hold up the hands of our President in the hour of his strenuous struggle for
peace. Not since the days of Abraham Lincoln has a lonely leader in the White
House pled so patiently with his people for the truth, and the right, and the
love to prevail, and we were unworthy and traitorous ingrates did we fail to
respond to his appeal.
For he pleads the cause not
of America alone, but of that of humanity as well, and if we, turning a deaf
ear to his call, shall join the blood-mad hordes of Europe, then we, too,
shall both deserve and meet the fate that shall surely be theirs. "For they
that take the sword shall perish with the sword !"
Here in the western world two
great nations facing each other with never an army, a fort, or even a single
soldier to guard thousands of miles of border, have for over a hundred years
preserved the peace that blesses mankind, a thing which Europe, with the
greatest armies and the mightiest war-machines the world has ever known, has
most miserably failed to do.
Yea, my brethren, man's road
to hope and joy is never along the way of war, but ever along the path of
peace. As Masons we are here on earth to learn to subdue our passions and
improve ourselves in Masonry, which, after all, is but another name for the
divine art of human brotherhood. Let us pray that we may be ever true to our
mission, ever loyal to the high calling that is ours, that each one of us in
his own humble place may do his level best to speed the coming of the day--
"When the war drums beat no
And the battle-flags are
In the parliament of man,
The federation of the world
Then, and then alone, shall
we be content to leave the issue in the hands of the Great Architect.
Do we try to live Masonically
As we perform our daily tasks
Do we carry out the teachings
That's the question that- HE
Do we apply to every second
Throughout every living day
The truths of the Square and
We will find that it will
Do we divide our daily lives
By the Gauge as we've been
Do we always use the Gavel
On every word and thought ?
Do we meet upon the Level
Will our acts the Plumbline
Is our parting Square and
Do we hear the lodge
Do we in the daily building
Of our lives and thoughts and
Have in our hearts the Trowel
And use a love cement that
--James T. Wray, W. M.
Whether the time be slow or
Enemies hand in hand
Must come together at the
No matter how the die is cast
Or who may seem to win,
You know that you must love
Why not begin?
HEW TO THE
BY BRO. J. N. SAUNDERS, G. S.
THE chief tendency of the
students of Masonry, manifested by almost all of them, is to create a
mysticism to which is given a forced interpretation by which they attempt to
connect, as of simultaneous origin, the symbols of Masonry with incidents of
the pre-Christian era.
The men who do this assemble
isolated facts, assume as true whatever links are needed to complete the chain
and in ecstacy of delight exclaim--I have found it! I have found it!!
To the thoughtful man, who
declines to follow blindly, but demands to be shown, this species of Masonic
interpretation and this class of Masonic history is indeed laughable. An apt
illustration is found in the blindly accepted interpretation given as the
Masonic lesson of the forty-seventh proposition of Euclid-- that Pythagoras,
an illustrious member of the Order, upon discovering the square described upon
the hypotenuse of a right angle triangle is equal to the sum of the squares
described upon the other two sides, sacrificed an hundred oxen. This the
lesson, in substantial entirety, as usually taught is both meaningless and
Pythagoras was born about 582
B.C., and there is no historical inference that justifies intelligent
conjecture of the origin of Masonry for more than a thousand years after that
time, unless such assumptions are indulged as would discredit the verity of
Pythagoras was a scholar and
a traveller, and is due the honor of having raised mathematics to the rank of
a science. He had no connection with Masonry, for Masonry did not exist. He
did belong to a brotherhood based upon the ideal of abstinence and hardihood
and even community of goods, but by no justifiable stretch of the imagination
can it be in any way connected with any fact which leads even to reasonable
supposition that he was a Mason, or that Masonry, or any antecedent
organization from which it was derived, existed at that time.
How much more satisfying to
the man of thoughtful intelligence is it to discard all such patch work
combinations of fact, deduction, imagination, fabrication and sheer nonsense,
and look the facts squarely in the face. Masonry is a noble institution, the
gradual outgrowth of the divinely implanted social instinct by which men of
similar tastes have been drawn together into what is now a powerful and
cohesive organization, but the growth of which has been gradual, and made
possible by men who have themselves left no data by which to judge with
accuracy the place and period of its origin. Its growth was a slow development
which did not attract the attention of the writers of history until its full
attainment. The symbols now employed to convey its precepts have been of
gradual adoption, and are but the result of the love of all men for figurative
expression of truth. Why not let us seek a direct approach to the reason for
the symbols employed ? The reason that addresses itself, in simplicity, to the
open mind is more to be relied upon than that which requires genius to
conceive and pages to express, and whose line of reasoning is so occult as to
addle the brain and bewilder the understanding of the plain man who in plain
way seeks plain facts in plain fields of plain truth.
The geometric diagram alluded
to but reveals the fact that in a right angle triangle the square of the base
line added to the square of the line of altitude is equal to the square of the
line connecting their terminal points and on which line depends the perfect
How simple the application of
this figure to the very object of Masonry--the perfect character in man. The
square of the foundation or base line represents the physical efforts of man,
the square of the line of altitude represents the intellectual and moral
uplift of man, and the sum of his physical efforts added to. the sum of his
intellectual and moral aspirations form his character. As the square of the
level base line added to the square of the upright altitude equals the square
of the line on which depends the perfect angle, so the sum of man's physical
efforts if level with industry and honesty added to the sum of his
intellectual and moral aspiration, if upright, collectively form the character
on which depends the perfect man.
Why then does not the
geometric diagram serve as a symbol to portray the perfect man rather than to
recall the fabled butchery of beef cattle by a man who had no connection with
our Order ? It is a more satisfying explanation to me, and the same objection
prevails to many of our strained interpretations of strained coincidences upon
which some base the conclusion that Solomon had really felt our grip and heard
our secret pass word.
Across the azure spaces,
Athwart the vasts of sky,
With winnowing of mighty
The winds of God go by.
Above the meres and
With unseen sandals shod,
Above the plains, with choric
Sweep by the winds of God.
"Peace !--in His name !" they
"Peace--in His name!" they
"Oh, men, give ear ! Do ye
The winds of God go by
TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS
BY BRO. GEO. W. BAIRD, P. G.
M., DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
THE handsome bronze statue of
Frederick The Great, in Washington, is a replique of the one in Dresden, and
was presented to the United States by the Present Emperor, Wilhelm. It was
unveiled on the 19th of November, 1904.
It has not the prominent location it deserves: It
stands on the Esplenade in front of the Army War College, at the foot of
Four-and-a-half Street, near the extreme southern end of the City, and is out
of the usual path of tourists.
At the unveiling and dedication of this splendid
work of art there was the entire Diplomatic Corps, in Uniforms officers of
every Corps of the Army and Navy in full-dress uniform; Judges of the Supreme
Court of the United States, Governors of States, etc.
Among the special guests was General Lowenfeld,
the representative of the Kaiser.
The stops, which held the veil, were broken by the Baroness Von
Sternberg, wife of the German Ambassador. The invocation was by the Bishop
(Protestant Episcopal) of Washington, Mr. Satterlee: The presentation speech
was by the German Ambassador, Baron Von Sternberg; the acceptance by Mr.
Roosevelt, the President of the United States; the principal address was by
the Hon. Charlemagne Tower, our Ambassador to Germany, and the benediction was
pronounced by the Rev. Mr. Menzel of the German Luthern
After the President had signified his acceptance
of this memorial from the Emperor of Germany, a protest against its acceptance
and installation was received by the President, from the Polish Catholic
Federation, whose see is at Chicago; but the President had already accepted
However, on the 19th of the following January
(less than two months after the dedication) a bomb of high power was exploded
on the base of the Statue by some unknown person or persons. The bomb had a
time fuse, which gave the vandal an opportunity to escape. The injury to the
statue was small.
The Polish Catholic Federation was suspected, but
an Irishman was afterward arrested in New York against whom there was
evidence, but was released on the claim of insanity.
The protest of the Catholic Federation claimed
that Frederick II was a despot and that the statue should find no place on
“soil mad sacred by the blood of martyrs of liberty."
Frederick the Great was an admirer of George
Washington and a friend of the new Republic: It must not be forgotten that the
war of George III upon the Colonies was unpopular in Great Britain: so much so
that the king was unable to get men in England to enlist and was obliged to go
into Hesse Darmstat and Hess Castle, in Germany, to hire the "Hessians" to
fight the Colonists: It was then that Frederick the Great learned of and
forbade further enlistments of Germans for the purpose. Frederick the Great
sent a sword to Washington with the Message.
From the oldest General
living to the
Frederick the Great was a Mason of the 33d degree,
and has the credit of revising the Ritual of the Scottish Rite, giving it to
us substantially as we now have it.
BY BRO. GEO. W. WARVELLE,
(Scattered through the
Reports of Brother Warvelle, as Committee on Fraternal Correspondence of the
Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Illinois, are many scholarly and wise little
essays on matters of vital interest and instruction. These little essays
deserve a wide reading for their accuracy, their lucidity, and their
importance to the Craft, and we are permitted, by the kindness of the author,
to reproduce them from time to time; beginning with the following little gem,
which will give our readers a foretaste of what is to come.--The Editor.)
We often hear the
interrogatory, "What's in a name?" And, usually, the question so propounded is
pregnant with the answer, "Nothing." Indeed, this is a generally accepted
opinion. But, is it really true ? Let us investigate it a little, for the
reason, if none other, that what is known as the ineffable Name is the very
essence of the Masonic system.
It would seem that in
primitive thought the personal name of an individual was not regarded merely
as an attribute--a simple designation. On the contrary it was treated as an
integral part of the man himself-- of his being. Hence, it followed that an
injury or insult to a name reacted upon the person who bore the name.
Notwithstanding our great intellectual advance have we wholly outgrown this
primitive thought? Consider your own case. Would it not seem as though you had
lost your personality if you should be deprived of your name? Can you, by any
effort of the imagination, really disassociate yourself from it? Is not an
injury to your name still resented by you as an injury to yourself--you, the
conscious Ego ? Then is not your name, in fact, a part of yourself ? And, this
being true, is it not easy to extend the idea, with even greater force, to the
name of the deity ? As has been well said by Prof. Brinton, "for the practical
purpose of life the name confers or creates personality. This fact exerted a
profound influence in the earliest development of religion. The vague sense of
spiritual power first became centered in the idea of an individual, or a
personal god, when it received a name." And we can readily understand, if the
names of men were held so dear, how sacred must be the names of the gods. And
we may further understand why this feature should have become a component part
of all religions when we remember that it has for its basis the primal
conception of the name as a part of the Self.
It was also thought in an
earlier and ruder age, as it still is among many savage tribes, that the
essential power of deity was lodged in the name, and that a knowledge of this
name would enable one to exert practically the same power as the deity
himself. And so, we find the gods of the ancient world sedulously concealed
their names. Particularly is this true of the Semitic nations and it has been
surmised that it was the fear of some such subjection of their deity, through
the malicious use of his name by an enemy, which led the early Jews to conceal
it so effectually that it is now lost. This name--the true divine name--as it
was not to be spoken, has now come to be described as the "Ineffable Name" and
as such it figures in the symbols, rituals and philosophy of Freemasonry.
It is a curious fact,
however, that the doctrine of the ineffable Name is not confined to any one
form of religion, nor to any particular people or age. It is held in common by
many widely differing faiths, being found in the rudest superstitions of
savage races as well as in the most developed faiths of civilized peoples. But
this is only another evidence, if such were needed, of a widespread belief of
the fact that the name is of the essence of being.
* * *
At the present time the
current transcription of the tetragrammaton J H V H is Jehovah, but the
pronunciation as well as the derivation of this name are still matters of
controversy. By some modern critics the name is derived from the names of
Egyptian divinities, supposed to have been nationalized by Moses. Others
derive it from an Assyrian form of the divine name, but all of these
derivations are in large measure conjectural. It is contended by some of the
scholars that as the name of the national deity it must have been older than
the time of Moses, as the name of the mother of Moses is compounded with it.
For the most part, however, Jehovah is regarded as having been originally a
family or tribal god, either of the family to which Moses belonged or of the
tribe of Joseph. That it was, in fact, only a special name of El which became
current within a powerful circle, and which, on that account, was all the more
fitted to become the designation of the national god.
In the earlier periods of its
history the name was not associated with any idea as high as that of
"creator," but as the religion of Israel developed in spirituality and depth
it became invested with new and richer meanings. So, too, primarily, Jehovah
was strictly Israel's God, and it was not until long, very long, afterward
that He came to be regarded as the God of the Universe.
Thus far we have employed the
name of Jehovah, but this is not really a word of any language, neither is it
the name now generally recognized and used by the biblical scholars. The Jews,
of later periods, at least, either from religious awe, or from a
misunderstanding of Ex. XX, 7; Lev. XXIV, 16; abstained from pronouncing the
divine name, and whenever it occurred in reading substituted therefor the word
Adonai (Lord). As only the consonantal outline of the word was written, (thus
J H V H) in time the true pronunciation became lost. Subsequently the revisers
of the Jewish scriptures, known as the Massorets, punctuated this consonantal
outline with the vowels e (for a) o a of the word Adonai (Adonay) and thus we
get the present name which, it will be perceived, is distinctly a hybrid form.
It is now generally agreed among scholars, however, that the true
pronunciation of the name is Jahwe (Yahwe), a conclusion which is supported
not only by the linguistic argument derived from the fact that the various
contracted forms in which the name appears, either separately or in compound
proper names, are all reducible to Jahw, but also by the testimony of ancient
tradition. * * *
The meaning of the name is
involved in some obscurity. It does not seem that the Hebrew phrase lends
itself very readily to translation into idiomatic English, and the scholars
are not wholly agreed with respect to its etymology. The translation furnished
by the Authorized Version of the Scriptures in Exod. III, 14, "I am that I
am," is the one employed in all Masonic liturgies. The Revised Version gives
the same translation with the marginal readings, "I am because I am," or, "I
will be that I will be." The Douay Version, following the Latin Vulgate,
renders it "I am who am," and-" He who is." The English rendering of the
Septuagint seems to be, "I am he who is," or "who exists." The biblical
scholars, as a rule, translate the phrase, "I will be what I will be," and "I
will." This latter seems to be the true grammatical reading, as the words, in
the original, are in the future tense. The root, however, is 'to be," and the
essential meaning throughout the scriptures is "the being," or "the
The foregoing states the long
held and generally received opinion concerning the meaning of the phrase As
previously stated, however, the etymology of the word Jahwe, is still
unsettled and many of the biblical critics are of opinion that the better
translation is, "He who causes to be," or "He who causes to happen." This view
is now held by a very large number. It will be perceived that it still
emphasizes the essential fact of being and, it is contended, in a much more
satisfactory manner than the vague "I will be what I will be." It is also more
in consonance with the views of the Israelites concerning the Deity at the
time of its probable origin.
But, however we may translate
the phrase, or eve though we may be unable to state its meaning in words the
ideas which it connotes are the highest conception of God that can be
framed--sublime and comprehensive --the great mystery of Nature which is at
the heart of all things and connects all things into one whole. But that great
mystery we may never know, for it is no given to the finite to comprehend the
infinite. As a fitting conclusion I quote the words of Kant (Critik de
Urtheilskraft, pg. 197): "Perhaps in all human composition there is no passage
of greater sublimity, no amongst all sublime thoughts any which has been more
sublimely expressed, than that which occurs in the inscription upon the temple
of Isis (the Great Mother-- Nature) :"
"I am whatsoever
is--whatsoever has been what soever shall be: and the veil which is over my
countenance, no mortal hand has ever raised."
A creedless love, that knows
No caste, no cult, no church
That deems to-day, and now,
Are voice and vision of the
That through this lifted
The inflow of the breath of
Still sheds its apostolic
Such love, such trust, such
faith be ours.
We deem man climbs an endless
Toward far seen tablelands of
That he, through filth and
shame of sin,
Still seeks the God that
That all the years since time
Work the eternal Rise of Man;
And all the days that time
Tend toward the Eden yet to
Too long our music-hungering
Have heard the iron clash of
The creedless love that knows
No caste, no cult, no church
Shall drown in mellow music
The dying jangle of their
Such love with all its
Such love to God and man be
--Sam Walter Foss.
Where is the true man's
Is it where he by chance is
Doth not the yearning spirit
In such scant borders to be
Oh, yes ! his fatherland must
As the blue heaven wide and
Is it alone where freedom is,
Where God is God and man is
Doth he not claim a broader
From the soul's love of home
than this ?
Oh, yes; his fatherland must
As the blue heaven wide and
Where'er human heart doth
Joy's myrtle wreath or
Where'er a human spirit
After a life more true and
There is the true man's
His is a world-wide
Where'er a single slave doth
Where'er one man may help
Thank God for such a
That spot of earth is thine
and mine !
There is the true man's
His is a world-wide
--James Russell Lowell.
(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)
HEAR now the history of a word as it has come down
to us from days of old. In the ancient Guilds of artisans, the skilled
metalsmiths of the Middle Ages, an Apprentice toiled for seven years at his
tasks. When at last his hand was trained, and he had wrought some beautiful
thing, perhaps in beaten silver, he brought it to the Master of the Guild and
said, "Behold my experience !" Having worked for seven long years, the sum of
all his impassioned patience and aspiration was in that tiny bit of shining
metal; it was a symbol of his character which, as the word tells us, is
Like every man who achieves a delicate and
difficult task, he had made many mistakes, had spoiled many a piece of metal,
had dulled the edge of many a tool. He had spent painful days and nights in
labor, and his Masterpiece, his Experience, was the sum and reward of all his
Experiments. He had given himself to his task with enthusiasm; he had obeyed
his Master; his faith had made him faithful - and the whole was in that tiny
bit of silver. He might now take his kit of tools and go out as a journeyman,
a Master of his Craft.
Which story is a parable of how a man becomes a
Master Mason, not by receiving a Degree, but by the attainment of a habitual
mastery of his appetites and passions by the Reason and the Moral Sense; a
habitual mastery, as Pike reminds us, not a never-failing mastery - for that
is a trophy which few mortals win in this world. The task of every man is to
take the raw material of his life, with whatever of glowing passion or hard
heredity it may hold; take it as it is, and by patience in spite of blunders,
by perseverance in face of failures, by loyalty to an Ideal and fidelity to a
noble Life-plan, shape it into a constant beauty and enduring worth.
No man who has tried it needs to be told that this
is no easy task, albeit for some it is easier than fold others - it was easier
for Emerson than for Burns, who tried so hard and failed so much. By the same
token, since every man fights a hard fight, no one can boast over his fellow;
and if, by reason of rare power or a sweeter ancestry he is unhampered by the
failures of his fathers, it is the more reason why he should be an inspiration
and aid to his fellow men. No man wins this victory all at once, or once for
all. Let him who thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall, for the enemies
of Mansoul are many and exceeding cunning.
As Huxley said, "it does not take much of man to
be a Christian, but it takes all there is of him," and he might have added
that it takes all his time. Just so, if one would be a Master Mason in very
truth, and not in name only or the wearing of a pin, he will find that it asks
for all that he has of wisdom and of wit, the while he divides his time into
labor, rest, and the service of his kind. How well Wordsworth knew who he
" 'Tis the most difficult of tasks to keep
Heights which the soul is competent to gain:
Man is of dust ;"
and as all are made of the self same dust, it
become us to be gentle as it behooves us to be just. More an more, as we grow
older, and learn the perils of the roar and remember how often we have failed
and how fe we have wandered, the words of Goethe come to mine
"If during our lifetime we see that performed by
others to which we ourselves felt an earlier call, but had been obliged to
give up, with much besides, then the beautiful feeling enters the mind, that
only mankind together is the true man, and that the individual can only be
joyous and happy when he has the courage to feel himself in the whole."
Here is the great Fraternity in whose heroic and
inspiring fellowship we live, and by whose inspiration we may win victory -
man in God, and God in Man willing the God to be! Yet in each soul there is
some thing unique, something not to be found anywhere else, a beauty peculiar,
particular, precious, as no two leaves on a tree are alike, and no two sunsets
the same. Each man must make Research to find that hidden Pearl of Eternity
within his own soul; that star which shines for him alone - "My Star," as
Browning called it; and having found it, let him follow it and he will find
himself, his Brother, and his God. Even so, each of us by mastery of himself,
may add a pearl of great price to the common wealth; each may set a new star
in that sky which arches over our human world.
What though a man win wealth and the applause of
fame, and have not Charity, it is nothing; what though he sway the world with
his eloquence and miss the high prize of "self-knowledge, self-reverence and
self-control," even if men erect an obelisk of gold above his grave it is a
monument to a failure. He only is wise who lives a simple, sincere, faithful
life, building on the Square by the Plumb, toiling in the light of Eternity;
as Browning would say, did we alter one word in his lines -
"Masonry is all or nothing;
it's no mere smile
Of contentment, sigh of
aspiration, sir -
No quality of the finelier
Like its whiteness or its
lightness; rather, stuff
Of the very stuff: life of
life. and self of self."
* * *
Naturally, in a Society of more than ten thousand
members one finds men of varying types of thought, as well as of different
degrees of interest and training; and it is not easy to edit a journal in
which all will find equal inspiration and value. What will appeal to the
veteran student is often over the head of the young man who, though he is the
Master of his Lodge, is really an Apprentice in the study of the history and
philosophy of Masonry. Many men, many minds; but we are finding the range, and
while it is difficult to hit so many marks at the same time, our aim is to
reach every man who has an interest in Masonry.
Frankly, as we have more than once confessed, our
chief concern is for the young men - the shock-heads, God bless them ! - who
are to take our places and lead the Fraternity forward in the days to come.
Sixty years ago Robert Lowe, in the beginning of the University Extension
movement in England, made the slogan, "We must educate our masters;" and that
is also a necessity in the development of Masonry. More young men new to the
study of Masonry are enrolled in this Society than in any other body of
Masonic students on earth; and it is of vital importance to the future of the
Order that they be started right, not only as to the facts of Masonic history,
but also, and much more, as to its spirit, its meaning, and its mission among
Unless the masters of tomorrow are led to see
clearly what Masonry is, what it is trying to accomplish, and in what spirit
it labors, the future will suffer from a misunderstanding, if not a misuse, of
Masonry. Once they really see what Masonry is, they will not think of it as a
kind of secret annex to the club-life of the day, or what is still worse, as a
mere weapon with which to fight a party or a sect. They will know that it is a
great fellowship of free men for the practice of righteousness and the culture
of good-will, seeking to train men for the service of humanity, to heal the
bitterness of the world, and to promote its peace !
In this behalf we toil, seeking the truth for the
love of it and the freedom which it gives, insisting that facts be
distinguished from conjectures, and history from tradition; granting to the
occultist every liberty to exploit his fantastic philosophy, but reminding him
that the glory of Masonry is its simplicity, its moral teaching, its spiritual
faith and its practical value. Nor can we ever be turned aside one iota from
the path wherein our fathers walked, in whose tradition we stand and upon
whose foundation we build; keeping in mind the young men who are to make the
future greater than today, and loving Masonry more than we love any theory of
The essay on the influence of Masonry on the
liberation of Latin America in this issue, like the thesis by Brother Street
in the last issue of The Builder, is a piece of real research, as interesting
as it is valuable. Happily we are able to present both of those admirable
articles in full, without chopping them up into sections, as, unfortunately,
we had to do with the splendid seriesby Grand Master Johnson which now comes
to a close. Brother Hemenway is widely known in other fields of scholarly
labor, as for example his monumental volume, which has become a standard
treatise, on "Legal Principles of Public Health Administration," which welds
the two sciences of law and medicine into the one science of Public Health.
His interest in Latin Americah Masonry grew out of his labors on the literary
staff of the Chicago Evening Post, and his essay is the fruit of long research
in a field hitherto little explored.
Robert Burns was wont to regard his contemporaries
as an "unco squad," but we have no such mind toward our fellow-workers, albeit
we wish some of them would mend their ways - as when our Brethren take our
little paragraph on "When is a Man a Mason?" and fire it off as their own. No
matter; what we had in mind was to express appreciation of the department
called "The Deeper Problems," conducted by Brother Frank Higgins, in the
Masonic Standard of New York. Nor do we forget the careful and accurate essays
of Brother J. L. Carson, contributed to the Virginia Masonic Journal, a
selection of which in permanent form would make a book worth while. Readers of
these pages will soon meet Brother Carson face to face, and we are quite sure
they will agree with us both as to the quality of his work and the fineness of
* * *
Grand Master Bledsoe, of California, in a letter
to the Lodges of his Grand Jurisdiction in regard to the Study Side of
Masonry, has some pertinent things to say about the necessity and the
difficulties of Masonic Research. He announces the appointment of a Committee
on Masonic Education - which Committee is already in conference with this
Society - to formulate a plan of procedure. A few sentences will show the
drift of the letter of the Grand Master:
"There is among the Brethren a pronounced craving
as well as necessity for additional information and education along the lines
of the true spirit, purpose, philosophy and destiny of Masonry. . . Masons as
well as profanes are becoming more appreciative of the fact that the real
genius of the institution lies not in its obligations, lectures, floor work or
mere mode of operation, but in its broader conception - its relation to human
life, its opportunity for true service, its development of the social and
fraternal element in man's make-up. This tendency is made evident in the
suggestions and requests coming to the Grand Master's office, from time to
time, for the service of those who, skilled in Masonic lore, traditions and
symbolism, may interest and instruct the Brethren through the medium of
articles, lectures and the like. In this behalf I have felt extremely chary
about recommending every ambitious Masonic lecturer who feels the 'call' to go
forth and instruct the fraternity. . . The subject matter of Masonic lectures
is a matter meriting genuine concern. 'Masonic Symbolism,' a frequent subject,
as well as source, of inspiration, because of its illimitable bounds and
possibilities has been in some instances overworked. In the same strain much
so-called 'Masonic History,' as the same is dilated upon by lecturers, is
nothing more nor less than 'Masonic Hysteria!' "
* * *
SCOTTISH RITE MASON
Dear Brother Editor:- It seems to me that Brother
Warner in his letter entitled the First Scottish Rite Mason, got things
twisted as to facts and dates. It is surely news to read that "Morin was
commissioned by the Grand Orient of France to carry the Rite of Perfection to
North America," whereas his commission bore date of Aug. 27th, 1761, that is,
ten years before the Grand Orient of France came into existence. As his
commission has been printed so often, I am at a loss to know how any one could
have fallen into such an error. Some writers say that Morin was commissioned
by the "Council of Emperors," others by the Grand Lodge of France, and that
his commission was signed by eight persons and by Daubantin, "by order of the
Grand Lodge." But no one can pretend that it was authorized by the Grand
Orient before that body existed. Nor is it correct to say that Morin was a
Scottish Rite Mason. The error is common enough - even Samuel Oppenheim, in
his history of "The Jews and Masonry in the United States Before 1810 "
stumbles into it - but that is all the more reason why it should be pointed
out and set right. Of course, an editor cannot keep tab on all his
correspondents, but I think this matter of sufficient importance to call your
attention to it, for the benefit of others who may be confused by it. Accept
my fraternal regards and best wishes.
Russell Furgeson, Ohio
(Brother Furgeson is entirely right both as to the
Commission of Morin not being authorized by the Grand Orient of France, and as
to the error, all too common, of calling Morin a Scottish Rite Mason; and we
are grateful to him for calling attention to the facts. Morin was never a
Scottish Rite Mason nor was Francken, nor was Hays. They all belonged to the
Rite of Perfection, which consisted of twenty-five degrees, and not to the
Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, which consists of thirty-three degrees.
Even Masonic historians, as Brother Furgeson points out, are continually
falling into this error, and thereby making confusion worse confolmded. The
Body at Albany, created in 1767, belonged to the Rite of Perfection, as did
the Bodies at Charleston, created in 1783. We had no Scottish Rite on this
Continent until Col. John Mitchell and Dr. Frederick Dalcho established the
Supreme Council for the United States on the 31st day of May, 1801. By the
kindness of a Brother of the Rite, we have this testimony of Hon. Giles Fonda
Yates Grand Commander of the Supreme Council for the Northern Masonic
Jurisdiction, in an address delivered by him on Sept. 5th, 1851, to the
Northern Supreme Colmcil. In the course of his address Brother Yates said
that, after having revived the Lodge at Albany, New York, which was founded by
Francken, one of the deputies of Morin-
"Having been made aware of the new Constitution of the Thirty
Third Degree, ratified on the 1st of May, 1786, conferring the Supreme Power
over our Rite on Councils of nine Brethren, I hastened to place myself in
correspondence with Moses Holbrook, M. D., at the time Sovereign Grand
Commander of the Supreme Council at Charleston, and with my esteemed friends,
Joseph McCosh, Grand Secretary of the last named Council, and Brother Gourgas,
at that time Gr. Sec. Gen. of the H. E. for this Northern Jurisdiction. Lodges
of Perfection in the Counties of Montgomery, Onondage, Saratoga and Monroe in
the State of New York, were successively organized, and placed agreeably to
the Constitutions under the superintendence of the Grand Council before named.
The establishment of this last named Body was confirmed, and all our
proceedings in 'Sublime Freemasonry' were legalized and sanctioned by the only
lawful authorities in the United States, the aforesaid Supreme Councils."
By all means let Brother Warner continue his
studies, and give the Craft the results of his researches, but the value of
his work will be enhanced by keeping these facts and distinctions clearly in
mind. Fifteen years ago, Brother George F. Moore, now Sovereign Grand
Commander of the Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction, said that the
history of the Scottish Rite had not been written, and that statement is still
true. Here is a rich field for a careful student. - The Editor.)
* * *
Dear Brother: - I have been much pleased with the
selection of poetry in The Builder. To every Brother who has endeavored to
subdue his passions and improve himself in Masonry, there are endless
allusions to Masonry not alone in literature and in social life, but in
Nature. If you have space to spare at some time in the future, I believe many
Brethren have never seen Brother Greenleaf's beautiful poem "The Temple," and
it would do them good to read it.
I have also applied Gerald Massey's beautiful
thoughts to my ideal of Masonry to much advantage. Our whole Masonic teaching
so centers about the thought of Immortality, that this from Massey cannot be
out of place in our literature:
"Although its features fade
in light of unimagined bliss,
We have shadowy revealings of
a Better World than this:
A little glimpse when Spring unveils her face and
opens her eyes
Of the Sleeping Beauty in the soul that wakes in
A little drop of Heaven in
each diamond of the shower
A breath of the Eternal in the fragrance of each
A little low vibration in the warble of Night's
Of the praises and the music that shall hereafter
A little whisper in the leaves that clap their
hands and try
To glad the heart of man, and lift to Heaven his
A little semblance mirrored in old Ocean's smile
Of His vast glory who doth bow the Heavens and
A little symbol shining through the worlds that
move at rest
On invisible foundations of
the broad Almighty breast!
A little hint that stirs and
thrills the wings we fold within,
And tells of that full heaven yonder, which must
A little springlet swelling from the fountain head
That takes its earthly way to
find the ocean of all love!
A little silver shiver in the
ripple of the river
Caught from the light that knows no night forever
A little hidden likeness, often faded and defiled
Of the great, the good All-Father, in His poorest
Although the best be lost in light of unimagined
We have shadowy revealings of
a Better World than this!"
The first part of this letter was written a month
ago, and I enclose a copy of "The Temple." by Brother Greenleaf, which in my
opinion is the most beautiful Masonic poem, except "Every Year” by Pike.
Remember this also, Mom Massey: "There is no pathway man hath ever trod, by
faith or seeking light, but ends in God."
S. H. Shepherd, Wis.
(Between the first part of his letter and the
last, Brother Shepherd has paid us a visit, and we shall not live long enough
to forget it. He is a man for whom Masonry has done much, and who would do
something for Masonry in return, one who is seeking, what all of us are
seeking to be what St. Paul said we should be, "God's poems." His study of
Landmarks has made him known to our readers, as we trust other studies of his
will do in days to come. Cicero advised busy men, especially lawyers - for he
was a lawyer - to read a little poetry every day, if only to keep open a
window toward the City of Light. Otherwise, he said, the soul will become dry
and hard amid the dust and din and litter of our labor. Keeping this danger in
mind, we have thought it worth while to select snatches of great music for our
pages, if so its melodies may accompany the work of the Builders. Brother
Shepherd understands our purpose, and has sent us two sweet songs; perhaps
others will do likewise. - The Editor. )
* * *
Dear Sir and Brother: - First let me congratulate
you most heartily upon your success in making a magazine which is worthy of
the best in Masonry. It might be invidious to say that The Builder is the
first Masonic periodical in which are united intelligence, high purpose,
reverence, and literary ability, but it is the first one that I have seen.
While true to the Landmarks and to the spirit of the Fraternity, you know the
difference between history and tradition, and between fact and allegory. It is
dangerous to trust the interpretation of our ritual to a literal-minded man,
or to that of a visionary. Fortunately, you are neither.
But my present wish is to suggest what I believe
to be the alternative meaning of the word "travel," as used, for example, in
the phrase "travel for at least one year." It does not always mean journey, I
think, but sometimes labor; and it is the same word that is now-a-days usually
spelled "travail." The word in its present spelling, "travel," has also the
meaning of labor, and was frequently used in that sense in the early days of
It has always been used in this sense by the
Shakers, who speak of "travelling in the gospel," "travelling out of sin,"
etc. I find in a book on Shakerism, published a hundred years ago, the
"travail" of Freemasonry compared with the Shaker "travail." Regensburg
Regulations, 41, as published in The Builder for September, reads: "No Master
shall make any laborer a parlierer, although he may have served his term as an
apprentice, but who has not at least traveled one year."
There is a curious analogy in the double meaning
of the word "journey," derived from the French "jour," a day. It came to mean
a day's travel, or a day's travail. In Masonry, a journeyman was a man who
worked by the day, not a traveler. Our ancient Operative brethren set great
store by day's wages. The third Regensburg Regulation contains this: "Day
wages shall continue, and in no way shall the contract system be used." This
insistence upon the day-labor system, and upon rules in favor of the
"journeyman" or day's-work man, in distinction from the contract laborer,
throws an interesting side-light upon one of the Chapter Degrees.
Regensburg Regulation 25, begins thus: "Even
though a craftsman has journeyed and worked as a stonemason, and made
advancement in the order, he should not be accepted as a Master if this
experience be less than two years." Here "journeyed" may mean either "served
as a day's-workman," or "passed from place to place." The well-known double
meaning of the old word "hail," which sometimes signifies welcome, and
sometimes to conceal, is an interesting parallel. This is of slight importance
for publication, but it may interest for a moment.
Harlow H. Ballard, 33d Hon.,
* * *
Dear Brother Editor: - After reading the letter
from Brother Arthur B. Rugg, of Minneapolis, headed "The Realization of
Truth," one finds it rather difficult to decide whether or not Brother Rugg
places the seal of his approval unon "The Great Work." Like you, Brother
Editor, I am not of those who regard a difference of opinon as a personal
insult. However Brother Rugg seems to have taken Masonry, the Great School,
Christianity, and Mary Baker Eddy, and tangled them up in such a manner as to
render it well nigh impossible for one to distinguish the point at which he is
driving. For instance, he says "The question would not be the demonstration of
a future life, but the realization of the truth of the continuity of life."
May we not ask, whither this discussion leads?
Alwyn Vickers, Alabama.
* * *
Dear Brother: - What are the essentials of success
in the attainment of the ideals of Freemasonry by the earnest Mason? In answer
thereto, and as an illustration. the following advice, suggestion, or hint by
Brother George W. Kendrick, of Past Grand Master of Pennsylvania, will be
found a valuable guide:
"No longer are men banded together in our
Fraternity to erect physical structures to overcome physical foes. The light
that we follow leads to a keener insight, a better understanding and a nobler
expression of the human faculties. The materials with which we labor are
constituent elements of every human being, and our purpose is to learn how to
use the materials to construct temples of the mind and soul which will be
pleasing to the eyes of the Great Architect. For this work certain essentials
are preliminary to success. We must have faith in each other; confidence in
the success of our efforts as long as they are rightly directed, and we must
cast out every hatred and all uncharitableness. Constituted as we are, we
strive ever toward the highest and best, confined to no creed, not bound by
any political or social lines. Our strength is greatest and our opportunities
for good are most numerous, and therefore our responsibilities weightiest, in
times like these, when suspicion lurks in every corner, ready to be swept by
the winds of ignorance and discontent to shake the foundations of confidence
in God's greatest work - Man."
John C. Yorston,
* * *
Dear Brother Newton: - As a basis for certain
historical research it seems to me that there should be made a directory of
all distinguished Masons in this country before a given date, as nearly as
could be discovered. This should be made from the old Lodge records, and the
collected names should be arranged alphabetically. The record should give the
name, lodge record, and dates. The fact that a certain name is not found is
not conclusive evidence that he was not a Masons hint the finding of a name
recorded is proof that he was a member of the Order. There is no question as
to the fact that Masonic membership has been used as a means of influence in
You recently stated positively that Thomas Paine
was not a Mason, and only the day before I read your statement an admirer of
Paine said just as positively that Paine was a Mason. This admirer of Paine
was the son of an English clergyman who was born in the early part of the last
century. I do not know upon what evidence either statement was made - but in
such matters we must remember that formerly the records were frequently not
well kept, and that degrees were loosely conferred. Further, though Paine
might not have been a Mason in this country, he may have joined the Order in
H. B. Hemenway, Illinois.
(The basis for our statement that Paine was not a
Mason was the positive statement to that effect in more than one of his
biographies. Mackey is also explicit on the point. The notion that he was a
Mason is probably due to the fact that he wrote an essay on Freemasonry, but
the essay, while ingenious in its argument, betrays a vast incomprehension of
the Order. Still, he may have joined the Fraternity in France after he wrote
his essay, and if there is any record or proof of that statement we shall be
very glad to know it. The suggestion of Dr. Hemenway is a good one, especially
as regards distinguished men - our Presidents, for example - some of whom are
said to have been Masons, while others deny, or have no proof, that they were
Masons. - The Editor.)
* * *
Brother Editor: - May I not call the attention of
the Brethren to the following history of the Cable-tow as found in "The Signs
and Symbols of Primordial Man," by Albert Churchward? No doubt you are
familiar with it, but it will interest many by showing how far back he traces
the Cable-tow, and also as suggesting that we have not considered the meaning
of what is one of the first things we meet in Masonry. You surely have begun
at the beginning, and your discussion of the Cable-tow makes one realize how
much there is of interest and importance in the first simple things of the
craft. The Passage from Churchward is as follows:
"How many of our Fraternity know the real import
and meaning of the Cable-tow? Originally it was a chain or rope of some kind,
worn by the initiate, or those about to be initiated, to signify their belief
in God and their dependence on Him, and their solemn obligations to submit and
devote themselves to His will and service; and the fact that he is neither
naked nor clothed is an emblem that he is untutored - a mere child of nature -
unregenerate and destitute of any knowledge of the tree God, as well as being
destitute of the comforts of life. This is the state in which we find
ourselves as candidates. The chain was used by the Druids and Egyptians as a
symbolism, as above stated. Also that he was being led from darkness to light,
from ignorance to knowledge of the one true and living God, Creator and Judge
of all. That the fope appears around the neck of more than one in these
picture scenes - seven in some - is only a symbol of 'the seven powers' - as
'the seven ropes,' and each one of the weavers of these represents one of the
seven attributes of Horus I. in their sacerdotal duties. Originally it was one
only which was associated with Horus I. and Amsu - the risen Horus or Horus of
the Spirit. Horus, having been led or passed through dangers, difficulties,
darkness and death in the underworld, emerged as Amsu, the first risen
man-god, and attached to his crown of two feathers - denoting the two lives,
earthly and spiritual - is this cable-tow or rope, as a symbol that it is a
'power' which has led him through from earthly to spiritual life."
David Duncan, California.
If Masonry is to be a factor in creating a noble
future for our race, we must not be content to learn only the truths of the
dead past, we must also master the knowledge of the living present. We must
prove ourselves to be "sons of the Light," and assimilate into our lodge work
the truths of modern thought and research. An institution resting on nothing
but its past, is a mummy, not a living body. He who makes Masonry a living,
working reality in the world is the real Mason.
- Speculative Masonry by A.
"IN A NOOK
WITH A BOOK"
THOSE who have not seen the booklet entitled "The
Jews and Masonry in the United States Before 1810," by Samuel Oppenheim, a
reprint from the publications of the American Jewish Historical Society, will
find it exceedingly interesting and valuable. The author, albeit not himself a
Mason, has given us a fine piece of historical research, taking up, first and
briefly, the relation of the Jews to Masonry in general, and then tracing the
presence and influence of Jewish Brethren in the early days of each of the
Grand Jurisdictions of the country. As a kind of text, he quotes the words of
Rabbi Isaac Wise:
"Masonry is a Jewish institution whose history,
degrees, charges, passwords, and explanations are Jewish from the beginning to
the end, with the exception of only one by-degree and a few words in the
obligation. The beauty and pride of Masonry is its universal character, its
tendency to fraternize mankind, and its being free from the elements which
have been ever the efficient causes of hatred, persecution, fraud, and rude
Turning to Massachusetts, we find a very good
sketch of the life and Masonic services of Moses Michael Hays - sometimes
spelled Hayes - who, as a deputy of Francken and Morin, brought the Rite of
Perfection to the old Bay State. From this account, he was a gracious and
noble man, of fine character, of beautiful home-life, devoted to the interests
of Freemasonry; though after his death, and owing to prejudice against his
race made use of by anti-Masonic fanatics - always experts in matters of
prejudice - his good name was assailed. Howbeit, he was Grand Master of
Massachusetts, Paul Revere serving as Deputy under him, and is entitled to all
the honors that belong to the memory of a good man and Mason.
Passing to Rhode Island, we find that the author
makes out a fairly good case in favor of that blurred, battered and
much-debated scrap of paper which records a tradition which haunts the annals
of that Grand Jurisdiction, to the effect that Masonry was brought to the
Island in 1658; that is to say, long before the "revival" of Masonry in 1717.
The scrap of paper reads as follows, as far as it can be read:
"Ths ye (day and lnonth obliterated) 1658 wee mett att y House
off Mordecai Campunall and affter Synagog Wee gave Abm Moses the degrees of
For the most part, Masonic historians have been
wont to pay scant attention to such a document, as Grand Master Johnson does
in his study of the Early History and Establishment of Masonry in America; but
the argument of Oppenheim is worthy of notice.
At any rate, he offsets, to a degree, the
arguments against it, such as that there was only one degree in the Masonry of
that day - about which no one can be dogmatic - and other points of like kind.
For the details of the discussion, we must refer our readers to the little
book under notice. All through the author is careful to give his authorities,
and his essay is valuable as showing how early and how deeply our Jewish
Brethren were interested in Masonry in America.
* * *
It was in accord with ancient usage, and with the
eternal fitness of things, for the Grand Lodge of Illinois to issue its
well-edited and neatly bounded book of "Appropriate Odes for Use in Masonic
Work," concerning which Brother Isaac Cutter, Grand Secretary, Camp Point,
Ill., can furnish information. We say that it is accord with ancient custom,
for the Masons of olden time were wont to sing a great deal, especially in
times of festival and play; and they had many such times of feast and fun -
which shows that our bread-and-butter Masons of today are well-descended - as
witness the collections of their songs which remain to this day. Indeed, one
scholar, seeking the origin of the word Mason, has actually traced it back to
the word "table.” Perhaps his derivation will not pass muster; no matter, it
serves to show the fun and frolic which marked the social life of the older
The object of the Grand Lodge of Illinois is to
enrich the ritual work of Masonry with a more liberal use of appropriate
music, and its purpose is as wise as it is worthy. There is much in Masonry
which no word, no symbol may express, and which only music, the most infinite
of all the arts, can utter; so much of that sweet, eternal mysticism which is
like fragrance from the Fatherland of the soul; and we need to make a better
and wiser use of the only art which carries the soul forward out of the
shadows of Time into the light of Eternity - that holy sacrament of song
whereby things inaudible may be known and loved. The advent of great temple
organs in our temples bespeaks this deep need, and foretells the higher
ministry of Music in the Masonry of the future.
* * *
If our readers are not familiar with the work of
Fabre, whom Maeterlinck called the Homer of the insects, now is the time to
make friends with one of the wisest, sweetest, greatest souls of this or any
other age. His biography, by Legros, is a volume of shining pages, made vital
by a thousand human touches that evoke laughter and tears, with here and
there, like swift flashes of spirit-lights, passages that send a ray of light
into the deep mystery of the world. Behind it and within it is a human soul so
simple, so artless, so unconscious of its greatness, so unforgettably lovely,
and a genius as rare, surely, as ever the round world has seen. Those who have
read his Mason-Bees, his studies of the Fly, the Spider, and the little soft
populations in the grass, can testify to a new sense of the infinite ingenuity
of Nature; of God first, God last, God infinitesimally vast. When long time
has passed, and the awful war has become a sad echo in the world, the name of
Fabre will still shine like a white star.
* * *
In the June issue of the Masonic Journal of South
Africa I read an address by you on the Ministry of Masonry, in which you refer
to a description of the initiation of a Mason by Count Tolstoi. Will you not
give the reference more specifically ? - H.K.B.
It is found in "War and Peace," by Tolstoi - a
book the reading of which will make vivid the great battles now raging in the
east - but as that prodigious novel is published in many editions to give you
the pages would do little good. You can find it, however, by turning to Part
five, chapter two.
* * *
My dear Brother: - I am an old man, and I find
that there grows upon me a feeling - I do not say a fear - that when my body
dissolves in death my mind will also melt into the universal whole and lose
its identity. Is this a common experience? - H.L.P.
Indeed, yes; perhaps due to the natural lowering
of vitality, and a slackening of the pulses of life. Yet there is no reason in
fact for feeling so. Every analogy of nature, as far as we can see, tends in
another direction. No atom is ever lost as we now know, nor can any element be
changed into another element. Water may be separated into oxygen and hydrogen,
but neither gas loses its identity or ceases to be. Hydrogen holds its own
through every change. Nor can force be destroyed, and this must be true of the
force - if such it be - which we call mind. When Emerson died, not one atom of
his body was destroyed, not one element lost its identity. Why fear, or feel,
that his great and pure mind, amid whose white shadows men saw truth as the
face of God, was dissipated and lost? Every fact we know tells us that such a
feeling is without basis, save, as we have said, in physical conditions.
* * *
In your book, "The Builders," you express wonder
that St. Thomas, the patron saint of architecture, is not honored by Masons
along with the two Saints John. I have been unable to find any basis for
saying that Thomas was, or is, the patron saint of architecture. What is your
It rests upon a lovely legend, never better told
than by E. A. Green, in his "Saints and their Symbols," as follows. When
Thomas was at Caesarea, it was shown him in a vision that he should go to
Gondoforus, king of the Indies, to search for skilled builders to erect the
most beautiful palace ever seen. He obeyed, and the king received him gladly,
furnishing him with architects and money. Thereupon the king went away for two
years. When he was gone, Thomas spent the money for charity. The king
returned, and was so angry that he cast the Saint into a dungeon, intending to
devise for him some horrible death. But the king's brother died, and four days
later appeared to the king and told him that he had seen a shining palace
which Thomas had built for him in heaven. Then the king released the Saint. It
is with reference to this legend, which is as old, almost, as the church, that
Thorwaldsen when he made his statue of St. Thomas, now in Copenhagen, revealed
him with a square rule in his hand - the Saint of the Builders.
* * *
Recently a visiting Brother was examined by a
committee of our Lodge, and proved very proficient, it was reported, except
that he could not give the Masonic Word, which he said was communicated to him
in so low a voice that he could not hear it. The Master declined to admit him,
which gave rise to some discussion afterwards, and I put it to you. - C.G.C.
The Master, of course, was within his rights, but
it is a rule, we believe, that no one thing taken by itself shall be made a
test of whether a man has received the degrees of Masonry. It is entirely
possible that the Brother was right in saying that the word was whispered to
him in so low a voice that he could not understand it; we have known cases of
the kind. Moreover, it is an unfamiliar word in a different language, and
might slip the mind. Had the Brother been an importer, he would have had the
word, or something very like it.
* * *
What relation to a Mason should a woman be to give
her the privilege of wearing a Masonic emblem ? If the privilege goes to a
wife, widow, mother, sister, daughter, does the daughter still hold it after
marrying a man who is not a Mason ? Similarly, does the mother of a Mason hold
the privilege if his father is still living and not a Mason? Does the rule
hold for the Chapter, Commandery, and Scottish Rite? - P.G.M.
The custom of extending the protection and
courtesy of Masonic fellowship to the ladies of Masons, while not a matter of
legislation - so far as we are aware - is as beautiful as it is useful. It
obtains in all Rites of the Order, and we see no reason why a daughter should
forfeit her privilege by marrying a non-Mason, if she cares to invoke it. As
it is, chivalry is not enough practiced among us, especially in the North and
West, and this custom is a part of the chivalry of the Order.
* * *
In 1866 the State of Louisiana issued for revenue purposes, two
Lottery stamps of the value Of 7
1/2 and 12
1/2 cents; the former of which has, as its most prominent feature, the Masonic
Square, compass and letter G. Why, and with what authority was the Masonic
emblem used? - W.I.M.
Brother Richard Lambert, to whom we referred this
inquiry, says that, so far as the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana,
of which he is Grand Secretary, show, there was no Masonic authority for such
use of the emblems. He recalls that at that time the whole state was in the
hands of the negroes - the Governor and Legislature being of that color - and
he thinks the negro lodge might have granted the privilege. Brother Lambert,
whose address is Masonic Temple, New Orleans, would thank Brother Mitchell to
let him see the stamp.
* * *
Regarding the inquiry about the Cable-tow, it may
interest the Brethren to know that it has no symbolic meaning in English
Lodges where it is used only in the first degree, when its physical use only
- E.E. Murray, Montana.
Might the Cable-tow not be a symbol of that moral
cable by which an apprentice is raised to the plane on which the Fellowcraft
is supposed to stand? And in the Fellowcraft degree might it not be a symbol
of re-enforcement - a buckler - an added strength, to assist the Craftsmen in
making the rough ashier a perfect one ? I would suggest that we make the Cable
for ourselves, using honor truth, justice, chastity, charity for the links
thereof; forging it true and strong, then welding this mystic Cable to our
hearts let us anchor it firmly to God, Home, and Country. - J.H. Jones, Iowa.
But the Cable-tow is something already woven, by
which we are brought into the Lodge, and by which we may be taken out if we be
unworthy, or unwilling, to proceed. What is it in a man by which he is drawn
into Masonry, and which, later, becomes the measure of his obligation when he
vows to do certain things if within the reach of his cable-tow? Here is
something very wonderful, if we think of it, and worthy of deep thought.
* * *
The symbolism of the 47th Problem of Euclid, to my
mind, is as follows: The problem demonstrates that in the building of an
edifice there are certain unalterable laws that govern the result. If these
laws are deviated from in the slightest degree the result will be at fault.
Every man is the architect of his own destiny. To gain a desired and pure
attainment, proper means must be employed. Do not delude yourself. The laws
governing conduct are as inviolate as the laws of Euclid. - E. E. Murray,
Allow me to suggest as the longer leg of the Pythagorean
triangle, Charity. Conscience says "Ought." But Conscience may be sadly warped
by education. Charity, being the very breath of the Spirit of God which is in
every man, unerringly reveals the truth. Hence Conscience, guided by Charity,
cannot go wrong. And he who to a square Conscience adds a square Charity
(which never faileth)
Wlll live on
the square to God, his neighbor and himself. - A. S. Harriman, Grand Lecturer,
Let us take the square on the hypotenuse as
representing our duty to God, the square on the base our duty to neighbor and
the square on the altitude our duty to ourselves. Let the base signify
Conscience, one side of the square Reason - the altitude Intellect, and one
side of its square Sentiment. Thus, Conscience acted upon by Reason results in
the fulfillment of our duty to our neighbor. Intellect acted upon by Sentiment
results in the fulfillment of our duty to ourselves. But in the faithful
performance of our duty to our neighbor and ourselves, we cannot fail to
fulfill our duty to God. Therefore, our duty to God essentially necessitates
and embodies the conscientious discharge of our several duties to our neighbor
and ourselves. - Leland Kress, Iowa.
* * *
Years ago I read a book called "Ginx's Baby," and
I halve often wanted to know who wrote it. Perhaps you can tell me. -
With pleasure. " Ginx's Baby, his Birth and Other
Misfortunes," was written by Edward Jenkins, the son of a Canadian minister,
who died last year at Upper Norwood, England. He wrote other books, one that
attracted some attention being "Little Hodge"; but none equalled the fame of
Ginx's Baby, which ran through sixty-six editions in a few years. Our copy
happens to be the eleventh American edition. It is one of the keenest satires
ever written on sectarianism and its folly when applied to charity work.
* * *
Will you be good enough to tell me something of
the personal history of Edward Waite, the author of the "Secret Tradition in
Freemasonry?" I have looked in vain for any material regarding him. - W.L.J.
In an early number of The Builder we shall publish
a sketch and appreciation of Brother Waite - an honored and dear friend - as
an introduction to one of the most fruitful and suggestive lectures on Masonry
which we ever remember to have read. If our Brother will wait a wee bit, he
will receive more than we could give him in a brief space.
* * *
I am not quite satisfied with what has been said,
either by Prof. Pound or by Mrs. Roome, about Pike and his Indian troops.
After reading the military reports of the battle of Pea Ridge, on both sides,
it seems to me that Pike miscalculated his ability to restrain the force he
had raised. This is not to his discredit, especially when it was against his
Manifestly, this is too large a question for our
space here but the Brother will find new material on the subject in a volume
entitled "The American Indian as a Slave Holder and Secessionist," by A. H.
Able, published by Arthur H. Clark Co., Cleveland. It deals not only with the
question here asked, but with the whole history of the Indian policy of the
* * *
The Worship of the Solar
Disk, by H. R. Evans. The New Age.
Freemasonry as a Means of Preserving the Peace of
the World, by Sir Gilbert Parker. London Freemason.
The Scriptural References in our Ritual, by J.
Young. Transactions Lodge of Research, Leicester, England.
G. F. Fort. by A. E. Bear. Miscellanea Latomorum,
The Grand Lodge of Virginia, by J. L. Carson.
Virginia Masonic Journal.
The 47th Problem of Euclid, by F. C. Higgins.
From the Bridewell to the Bridal Altar. Oriental
The Jews and Masonry in the United States Before
1810, by Samuel Oppenheim. Bloch Pub. Co., 40 East 14th St., New York.
Odes to be Used in Masonic Work. Grand Lodge of
The Acacia Fraternity, by W. F. Cleveland. Iowa
Let There be Light, by George B. Winslow, Grand
Miscellanea Latomorum, Vol. 2, London.
The Authorized Version of the Bible and its
Influence, by A. S. Cook. G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York.
When a Man Comes to Himself, by Woodrow Wilson.
Harper & Brothers, New York.
Fabre, Poet of Science, by C. V. Legros. Century
Co., New York.
Goethe, by Paul Carus. Open Court Pub. Co.,
Mithraism, by W. J. P. Adams. Open Court Pub. Co.,
* * *
CONTINUATION OF QUESTIONS ON "THE BUILDERS"
Compiled by "The Cincinnati
Masonic Study School'
275. What are all things human (not excepting the
church itself) apt to become? Page 51.
276. What did the great orders of antiquity
accomplish in ages of darkness? Page 524
277. Is it possible to trace Masonry along
historical lines ? Page 79.
278. Who were the Four Crowned Martyrs' Page 85.
279. How did Freemasonry during the Middle Ages
assist those who were persecuted by bigoted fa natics and what was the
religion of the latter? What is said of Masonic Toleration? Page 100.
280. What condition of thought existed in the
middle ages? Page 100-141-148.
281. For whom were the Masonic Lodges of the
middle ages a sure refuge ? Page 100.
282. State the mission of Freemasonry in the
Middle Ages; draw your own conclusions as to its present mission, and
formulate your part in the work of sustaining that mission. Page 121-289-290.
283. What were some of the laws which the old
Craft-masonry sought to train its members to make them good and true men? Page
284. What is said of the morality of 1724 ? Page
284a. How does Lowell define Freemasonry Page 272.
285. What is known of the so-called Wm. Morgan
incident and what was its effect? Page 227.
285a. Name some of the eminent men of history who
have been Masons. Page 232.
286. What are the two aspects of the nature of
man, which lift him above the brute and bespeak his divine heredity? Page 270.
287. "To fit one's self to know the Truth" (Page
59) as related to acting on the square or building character; what is it? Page
288. What symbols betray the unity of mind and its
kinship with the eternal? Page 26, 58.
289. Give dates and description of Cleopatra'
Needle, (The famous Obelisk) and the discoveries made incident to its removal
to New York City in 1879 Page 33.
290. Who was Osiris and how did he meet death?
291. What is said of the resurrection of Osiris?
292. What is said of Osiris forming a secret Order
and how does it compare with Masonry? Page 47, 48.
293. What reason is given for the claim that
Masonry had its origin while the Temple of Solomon was building? Page 79.
294. What is said of the antiquity of Masonry,
based on records of the middle ages? What had it in its keeping? Page 97.
295. What is the value of Leader Scott's theory as
to the link between the Roman College of Artificers and Freemasonry? Page 98.
296. What does an inscribed stone dating from 712
prove as to the antiquity of Masonry ? Page 89, 90.
297. How must we regard Masonic legends and
symbols in relation to the early history of the race? Page 97.
298. How far back do we have records of old time
Masonry? Page 102.
298a. How far back do we have records of North
American Masonry? Page 206.
299. What are the "title deeds" of our order ?
300. Give name, date, record and a digest of the
oldest record of Masonry. Page 104, 105.
301. When was the first time the name Freemason
was known to have been recorded? Page 104.
302. What is the Regius M. S. ? Page 104, 106.
303. How was the Regius document regarded by Gould
and Albert Pike? Page 106.
304. Give name, date, record and digest of the
second oldest record of Masonry. Page 106.
305. According to the Regius M. S. and the Cooke
M. S. where did Masonry originate? Page 104-108.
306. What is the Cooke document? Page 106.
306a. What is the purport of the Harleian MSS. ?
307. What document was discovered in the Bodleian
Library at Oxford? Page 111.
308. What caused the Freemasons to be persecuted
before the Reformation and in what year in England was a statute enacted
curtailing the privileges of Freemasons? Page 122.
308a. To what purpose did some Masons devote
themselves up to the revival in 1717? Page 124.
309. What led to the revival of Freemasonry in
1717 ? Page 124.
310. Has ever any order claimed such a legendary
or traditional history as Masonry? Page 128.
311. Why was it that during the purely operative
period the ritual of Masonry was naturally less formal and ornate than it
afterwards became ? Page 142.
312. What is known of the existence of Masonry in
England and Scotland prior to 1717? Page 159.
313. Where did the name "Accepted Masons" come
from? Page 160.
314. What is said to be the earliest reference to
the initiation of a Speculative Mason in England' Page 161.
315. What caused the renewed interest in
Freemasonry in England in 1666? Page 168.
315a. What was the condition of Society in 1724 ?
316. Why did Masonry alone of all the trades and
professions live after its work was done preserving not only its identity of
organization but its old emblems and usages and transforming them into
instruments of religion and righteousness? Page 185.
316a. Give a short sketch of the various schisms
of Masonry and what resulted? Page 213-219.
317. What is said of founding the Grand Lodge of
England in 1717? Page 181, 182. When were the various Grand Lodges united, and
what was included in the articles of union? Page 220 Note 1, and 221 Note 1.
318. What is said of Masonry as being an ancient
institution and what does it do for its members ? Page 239.
319. Why are some people opposed to Freemasonry ?
319a. Why criticize Masonry ? Page 252.
320. What are the real obstacles that thwart the
nobler aspirations of humanity and why is jealousy the worst of them all ?
320a. Does Freemasonry belong to any one age or to
any religion? Page 253.
321. What and by whom were the many arts handed on
to the Pyramid Builders of Old Egypt ? Page 9.
322. What was the symbol of the Pyramid as
compared to the square temple of the early Egyptians ? Page 15.
323. What may be hidden in the undiscovered
chambers of the Pyramid, what would be the result of discovery? Page 18.
324. How did Albert Pike, in his letter to Gould,
describe Freemasonry and its Symbolism? Page 18.
325. What is said of the antiquity of the simple
symbols of the Masons as related to the famous Obelisk known as Cleopatra's
Needle in Central Park, N. Y.? How old is the Obelisk supposed to be ? Page
326. Of what is the pyramid an image, as stated by
Plutarch ? Page 27.
327. What is said of the Pillars ? What did they
represent in the old solar myths ? What did they represent in India and among
the Mayas and Uncas? Page 28, 29.
328. What is written on the walls of the Pyramid
concerning death ? Page 40.
329. How long did Pythagoras have to wait to be
taught the hidden wisdom of Egypt ? What use did he make of it? Page 47.
330. Who was Pythagoras and what secret order did
he found? Page 48.
331. What does St. Paul say of the early teachings
and mysteries ? Page 50.
332. What does Plato say of the men in the early
ages who established the mysteries and what were their intentions? Page 52.
333. What qualifications are necessary for
knowledge of higher things ? Why ? Page 58.
334. Can fitness for the finer truths be conferred
335. Without moral development, what would be the
result of the teaching of the sages? Page 63-1.
336. What is meant by those "fit to receive it,"
that is those who understand the hidden teaching of the world ? Page 63.
337. What did Pythagoras say of the science of
numbers? Page 15