The Builder Magazine
February 1916 - Volume II - Number
ALEXANDRIA-WASHINGTON LODGE NO. 22
BRO. CHARLES H. CALLAHAN, VIRGINIA
GENERAL Washington, having resigned his commission as Commander-in-Chief of
the American army, arrived at his home, after an absence of several years, on
Christmas eve, 1783, and two days later received a letter from the Master,
Wardens and members of a Lodge of Free Masons, which had just been organized
in the little city of Alexandria, Virginia, under a warrant from the
Provincial Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, felicitating him upon his safe return
to private life. In reply to this fraternal communication Washington wrote on
December 28th, as follows:--
"GENTLEMEN: With a pleasing sensibility I received your favor of the 26th and
beg leave to offer you my sincere thanks for the favorable sentiments with
which it abounds. I shall always feel pleasure when it may be in my power to
render service to Lodge No. 39 and in every act of Brotherly kindness to the
members of it. Being with great truth, your affectionate Brother and obliged
humble servant, GEORGE WASHINGTON."
following June the General visited his Masonic Brethren in Alexandria and,
according to the minutes, still extant, "was unanimously elected an honorary
member of the Lodge."
1788 the Lodge surrendered its Pennsylvania charter, under which it had been
known as No. 39, and applied to the Grand Lodge of Virginia for a new warrant.
General Washington became the first Master of Alexandria Lodge No. 22, under
the Virginia Charter, which quaint and historic instrument still constitutes
its badge of authority. Not only does this venerated parchment contain the
name of Washington as Master, but also the autograph of Edmund Randolph, who
was then both Grand Master and governor of the Commonwealth, and who
subsequently served in the Cabinets of our first President as Attorney General
and Secretary of State respectively. In 1805, by permission of the Grand
Lodge, the name or title of the Lodge was again changed by adding the sir-name
of its first Master, making it Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22. It has been
claimed by some writers that General Washington lacked zeal in the cause and
work of our institution, and a few skeptically inclined have contended that he
was not even a member of the Masonic Fraternity. The fallacy of this
contention is positively proven by the records of and personal letters from
Washington to this Lodge. Indeed, the Charter itself is an eloquent and
emphatic denial of the claim. Mr. Randolph, in wording the instrument, leaves
no doubt as to the identity of its first Worshipful Master. After the usual
preamble, it sets forth, "Know ye, that we, Edmund Randolph, Esq., Governor of
the Commonwealth aforesaid and Grand Master of the Most ancient and honorable
society of Free Masons, within the same by and with the consent of the Grand
Lodge of Virginia, do hereby constitute and appoint our illustrious and
well-beloved Brother George Washington, Esq., late General and
Commander-in-Chief of the forces in the United States, etc." This settles
beyond a doubt any question as to whether or not it was the renowned leader of
the American Revolution, and the appointment also marks the beginning of the
great patriot's official association with the Masonic Fraternity of his home
town; an association which has made a little obscure organization, situated in
what was then an old fashioned colonial hamlet, the most famous subordinate
Masonic Lodge in America--a veritable shrine to which thousands of patriotic
members of the Fraternity from all parts of the country annually wend their
way and reverently view the cherished mementos of their illustrious Brother
Washington, which hang upon its walls and rest in the alcoves of its sanctum.
General's official connection with the Lodge raised it to a conspicuous place
in the order from the very beginning of its existence, and, as a consequence,
few noteworthy events have occurred in that vicinity in which it has not taken
a prominent part. We shall, however, only refer to those that have in some way
a direct association with the sage of Mount Vernon. On Friday the 15th of
April, 1791, by invitation of President Washington and in the presence of his
special commissioners Hon. Daniel Carroll and David Stuart and a large
concourse of citizens, it laid the first cornerstone of the District of
Columbia; and on the 18th of September, 1793, it acted as escort of honor to
the President and assisted in laying the corner-stone of the Capitol of the
United States. But the most important ceremony in which the Lodge has ever
participated, and which is undoubtedly the most important of its character in
the history of the American Fraternity, was the funeral of General Washington
on December 18th, 1799. Few people realize how extremely simple and how truly
Masonic were the obsequies of this great man. Washington's last illness was
sudden and severe, lasting only twenty-four hours. There were four men at his
bedside when he died, viz: Drs. Dick, Craik and Brown and Washington's
Secretary, Tobias Lear. Three of these were members of the Craft; Drs. Dick
and Craik were members of his own Lodge, Dick being the Master; and Dr. Brown
was the fifth Grand Master of Maryland, while Tobias Lear joined the Lodge in
1803. The funeral ceremonies were arranged by a committee from the Lodge,
consisting of Dr. Dick, W. M., Colonel George Deneal, J. W., and Colonels
Simms and Little, members. The body was borne from the death chamber at "low
twelve" and deposited in the main room on the first floor, and the funeral
appointed for "high twelve" on the 18th. Five of the six pall bearers,
Colonels Little, Payne, Gilpin, Ramsay an Simms, were members of No. 22, as
were three of the four ministers present, one of them being the Chaplain
Colonel George Deneal, J.W., commanded the military organizations in
attendance while several of his subordinate officers were members of the
Lodge. Owing to the late arrival at Mount Vernon of the Alexandric contingent,
which was composed of the Masons, militic and a large concourse of citizens,
the funeral cortege did not start until three o'clock; but the body was borne
from its resting place in the State Dining-room to the front veranda at
meridian, and there the assembled throng took a last view of the remains.
procession moved first north to the "Ha-ha Wall," which borders the lawn (and
which has been recently restored), then east to the walk in front of the
mansion, then, by this walk, in a southerly direction, to the old tomb; the
militia leading the way, followed by the Masons, the family and other mourners
bringing up the rear. On arriving at the tomb, the procession divided column,
facing inward; reversing the order of march, the family and relatives passed
through the separated lines, forming an inner circle around the tomb; next
came the Masons who arranged themselves in an outer circle around the family,
while the militia filed back to the crest of the hill, forming a column facing
east toward the river. "The ministers performed their divine services, the
Masons their mystic rites and the militia closed the ceremonies with
resounding volleys over the bier of the fallen chieftain."
evening was far advanced and deep shadows fell upon the familiar landscape
around the beloved home of Washington, before the Lodge, with its military and
civic escort, took up its lonely march over the snow-clad hills of Virginia
back to the little town of Alexandria, nine miles away. How distant these
scenes now appear under the later splendor of man's achievement. Several hours
were consumed by these devoted Craftsmen in their solemn march through the
gathering twilight from Mount Vernon to Alexandria, while in this day of rapid
transit tourists board a trolley car at Mount Vernon gates, and, almost
paralleling the road over which the funeral cortege wound its way, make the
trip in thirty minutes.
12th of January, 1785, the General wrote in his diary: "Went up to Alexandria,
attended the funeral of William Ramsay, ye oldest inhabitant of the city.
Walked in the procession with the Free Masons; he, being a member of that
order, was buried with their ceremonies." It was this William Ramsay who set
apart in his will an half-square of ground for municipal buildings in
Alexandria, reserving thereon a site for a Masonic Temple. Facing this plot on
the west stands the old city hotel, Washington's headquarters while waiting
for Braddock in 1755; from its steps in 1799-he held his last military review
and gave his last military order, thirty days before he died. Facing it on the
east is the equally historic Carlysle House, Braddock's headquarters in 1755,
where Washington received his commission as Major on that ill-fated General's
Staff, and in which also, during the conference of the five governors, holding
at that time, was made the first suggestion of colonial taxation by the
British Parliament; and in the old Court House, which stood on this square,
Washington cast his last vote, in 1799- -in it also his will was recorded,
January 20th, 1800. In 1802 the Lodge erected its first Temple on the site
provided by Ramsay. It was but-a small structure, flanked then on either side,
as the more modern and commodious one is today, by diverging wings of the City
Immediately after Washington's funeral his friends and relatives began to
send, as presents to the Lodge, valuable mementos which had been among the
cherished possessions of the General or in some way closely associated with
him in life. So numerous were these gifts that in 1818 the City Council of
Alexandria, to relieve the congested condition of the Lodge, set apart a room
in the City Hall adjoining the Temple for the specific purpose of exhibiting
the relics, and the Lodge appointed a custodian of this museum. In 1870 the
old frame temple, erected in 1802 with the entire city hall, containing the
museum, was burned to the ground. Fortunately, through the heroic efforts of
the fire department and a number of Masons who were present and assisted in
the rescue, most of the treasures were saved but some of the most valuable
were either stolen or destroyed. Among those lost was the bier on which
Washington was borne to the tomb, the crepe which hung on the door at Mount
Vernon at the time of his death, a portrait of Martha Washington in her youth,
Washington's military saddle, a settee, which stood in the hall of Mount
Vernon, Washington's card table, numerous original letters of the General, the
flag of Washington's life-guard; a bust of the celebrated Paul Jones,
presented to Washington by LaFayette, the flag which flew over the "Bon Homme
Richard" in her death grapple with the "Seraphis," presented by Paul Jones;
and numerous other historic and highly prized acquisitions went down before
the fire king.
Notwithstanding this serious loss, there is- still remaining in the present
Lodge room, which was erected in 1872 on the site of the old Temple, the most
valuable collection of genuine Washington relics and heirlooms in existence,
with the possible exception of the collection at Mount Vernon. There we see
the Master's Chair, presented by Washington, in use for one hundred and
seventeen years, now preserved in a glass case. In a niche in the wall, and
occupying a space of about 2x3 feet, you are shown Washington's wedding
gloves; farm spurs, pruning knife, a glove he wore when in mourning for his
Mother, his pocket compasses, his cupping and bleeding instruments, a little
pen-knife his mother gave him when twelve years of age, in his possession
fiftysix years; a button cut from his coat at his first inauguration, a
legging strap worn by Washington in the Battle of Fort Duquesne, (these were
presented in 1803 by Captain George Steptoe Washington, a nephew the General
and one of the executors of his will); Washington's Masonic Apron, embroidered
by Madame LaFayette, with silk sash and inlaid box, presented to Lodge in 1812
by Lawrence Lewis, the General's nephew, who married his adopted daughter,
Nellie Curtis. In the same case you see also a picture of Dr. Dick; Dick's
medicine scales, and by their side Washington's medicine scales; a piece of
Braddock's coat worn in the battle of Fort Duquesne, and other articles of
another case is shown the little trowel w which Washington laid the
corner-stone of the National Capitol, the representatives of the lesser lights
used on that occasion and at Washington's funeral; Washington's bed-chamber
clock, stopped by Dr. Dick at the moment of his death and presented to the
Lodge by Mrs. Washington, its hands still pointing to the exact minute of his
dissolution, ten-twenty, P.M. It is said to be the only piece of furniture in
the room when the General died which has not been returned.
Hanging around the walls are numerous aprons of the General's contemporaries,
some of them of elaborate design with the emblems of Masonry worked in silk,
among them are Dick's and Craik's. Autographic letters of Washington, and rare
old engravings of the Father of his Country and other important personages
also adorn the side hall, while paintings of historic characters, from the
hands of celebrated artists, embellish the Lodge room proper. Among these we
shall only name a few. Probably the most interesting of all is the picture of
the General himself, painted from life by Williams of Philadelphia, in 1794,
for the Lodge. It is a gem of art. Notwithstanding it has hung in a glaring
light for over a hundred years, its bold lines and rich colors are as striking
and as fresh to-day, apparently, as they were when it received the last touch
of the Master's brush 120 years ago. Unfortunately, being a pastelle, and, as
we have stated, highly colored, this work cannot be satisfactorily reproduced
in a halftone, and to be fully appreciated the original must be inspected at
close range. The Lodge has a standing offer for this picture of $100,000.
Avoiding publicity, the Lodge has refused all applications to reproduce the
picture until a few years ago. Permission was given to have it copied in oil
for the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. Brother Julius Sachse, in making the
request for a copy, stated that his investigations of about fifty paintings of
General Washington, many of them made from life, convinced him that the
Williams was the most authentic likeness in existence. Not a blemish on the
face of the subject has been concealed or omitted. The scar on the left cheek,
shown as a dimple by others, the black mole under the right ear and the pock
marks on the nose are clearly visible on the original of the Williams painting
in the Lodge, and to a less extent in the reproduction in colors given in The
Builder, which is made from the same plate as the frontispiece in Charles H.
Callahan's book, "Washington, the Man and Mason," which is the first and only
photographic reproduction in colors ever made.
history of this great work is brief. The Lodge desiring a correct likeness of
their illustrious First Master passed a resolution requesting General
Washington to sit for the painting, obtained his consent and employed
Williams, an artist of Philadelphia, to execute the work. At the time the
painting was made, General Henry (Light Horse Harry) Lee, representing the
Eighth Congressional District, in which Alexandria is situated, in the
National Congress, being not only the official representative of their section
but a member of the Fraternity, arranged for the sitting and introduced the
artist to President Washington. After the work was completed and General
Washington had approved it, Williams personally delivered the picture to the
Lodge, who officially approved it and paid the artist for his service.
next important canvas is a life-size painting in oil of Thomas, Sixth Lord
Fairfax, Baron in Cameron, for whom Washington surveyed when a boy, from the
famous brush of Sir Joshua Reynolds. Being the only picture of the old Lord
extant, it has a two fold value, and has been estimated by art critics to be
worth $150,000. Besides these we see La Fayette in Colonial uniform, by
Charles Wilson Peele, the Pope Peele picture of Washington, a rich engraving
of the Washington family by Savage (1798), a life size canvas of LaFayette in
Masonic regalia, showing him in his old age, and many, many other unusual
works of art, souvenirs and treasures that cannot be either properly described
or even scheduled in an article of this kind. It is, indeed, a priceless
collection, around which the fondest memories cling and in their association
form an enduring fraternal link between the material present and that romantic
the erection of the new Temple and City Hall no provision was made to restore
the museum and these valuable heirlooms are now kept in a non-fire proof
structure erected over a public market and heated by large cast iron stoves.
Access to the Lodge itself is through another building by a winding stair and
by no conceivable means could all of these treasures be saved from destruction
if the combustible temple should fall a prey to a disastrous fire as the
original did in 1870.
UNIVERSAL ELEMENTS IN MASONRY
Masonry is universal. It knows no race but the human race. It recognizes no
distinctions of class or divisions of society but the ability to serve
mankind. It places humanity above nations and the ranks of royalty. It lifts
all men to the high level of the sons of God, the brothers of men.
Masonry by lecture, symbol and drama represents truth, and truth is truth the
world around, be it in the great universities of America or on the
blooddrenched fields of Europe or in the darkest isle of the sea. Masonry is
religious since it readily lends itself to the inculcation of those truths
which bring satisfaction to the universal longing in the hearts of men.
Recognizing the Supreme Architect of the Universe as Father and all mankind as
one great brotherhood, Masonry places upon every man the sacred obligation of
reverencing the Great Deity and of rendering service to his fellows. Thus in
its ideals and purposes Masonry is universal and it is all but universal in
its marvelous and benign influence.
Scottish Rite Masonry is the highest and best expression of the universal
elements of Masonry. About its altar come men of every nation, of every rank,
of every belief, to bow in reverence before the Great Spirit whom we have
learned to know as "Our Father in Heaven" and to whom "alone we bow the knee."
Here kindred spirits blend as we break bread together in token of our
friendship, pledging ourselves anew to the common brotherhood. We drink the
common cup symbolical of our mutual needs, binding ourselves again to charity
and patience, to selfdenial and virtue, to truth and honor. In this fellowship
liberty is queen and with her scepter, jeweled with toleration and
appreciation, she holds loving sway in every heart. --Charles Henry
you know, to know that you know; and when you do not know, to know that you do
not know--that is true knowledge. --Confucius.
WASHINGTON, THE MAN AND MASON
BRO.GEO. H. SAWYER, IOWA
"Native goodness is unconscious; asks not to be recognized, But its baser
affectation is a thing to be despised. Only when the man is loyal to himself
shall he be prized."
and there on the world's calendar of time the finger of the Almighty has
during its progress over the pages rested with peculiar significance and left
its imprint indelible and unmistakable. These imprints mark the red letter
days of history and of progress. Sometimes the day thus set apart by the
Master Builder commemorates some deed or battle which he would have us
recognize as a milestone of advancement on the highway which leads to that
last great day when God shall be acknowledged in deed as well as word the
Father of us all and when all men shall be as brothers.
again this finger print is occasioned by the dedicating of a date as the
birthday of some man or woman destined to perform a mighty service for God,
humanity and the world. Strange it seems that the little month of February
should commemorate the births of the two greatest men whose names adorn the
pages of American history. Should any one presume to doubt that an All Wise
God has from the very beginning guided this nation of ours, let him study with
care the biography of Washington and of Lincoln and learn there the lessons
that He would teach. Never should honor be paid the memory of one of these
noblemen on his natal day without mention being made of the services of the
Washington and Lincoln --what names with which to conjure. God intended the
latter to supplement the work of the former and that their memories might be
preserved in common, he caused their natal days to be in close proximity on
February's meagre page. Washington born in honor and in plenty, and Lincoln in
humility and poverty, teach us the lesson sorely needed in these latter days
that patrician and plebeian, rich and poor, high and low, are distinctions not
to be reckoned with in anything that pertains to things American. Then, too,
how similar and yet how vastly different were these great Americans. Here
again can God's plan be read. At a period in the world's unrest a man was
needed whose heart beat in close accord with manhood's struggle for equality,
and yet a man withal whose dignity, seclusion and apparent sternness of
character forbade at all times a familiarity which meant anarchism and
destructic. In witness of this note well the horrors of the French Revolution.
But in Lincoln's time a purely local measure in a certain sense demanded a man
who training, manner and method made him familiar almost to contempt. Austere
dignity and seclusion wou have made a Washington in Lincoln's time a farce and
Lincoln in Washington time a national tragedy. To Washington the Father and
Lincoln the Savior of our country we bow in humb reverence.
as a nation we this day pay homage to the memory of Washington, is peculiarly
fitting that Masons we meet in our various Masonic homes and in solemn
quietude around our several altars contemplate the virtues of this man and
Mason; this great character who exemplified every virtue which Masonry
inculcates. So intimately are the history of Masonry and the life of
Washington interwoven that th seem but the web and woof of the same fabric.
The year 1732 marks the birth year of Washington, and about that date for the
first time recognized Masonry makes its formal appearance on American soil in
the form of established lodges. From that date until the present time Masons
and Masonry have played important parts in the wonderful history of our
republic. This is not the occasion for the lauding of this order nor does the
institution need or demand public commendation. As we review the history of
the past, however, we cannot but be grateful that Masons have been permitted
under the providence of God to contribute as they have to liberty and progress
as exemplified in the development of the United States. Let us be thankful
that not one word in the obligation that we take nor one act in the mystic
rites which we indulge conflicts in the slightest degree with our duty to God,
our country, our neighbor, or ourselves, but rather fosters and impels the
noblest and the best in the way of social, civic, and religious advancement.
Briefly let us call to mind a few of the events in the history of our country
in which Masons and Masonry have played important roles. The Boston Tea Party
of 1773 perhaps will for all time be shrouded in mystery and yet it is
scarcely to be doubted that Masonic brothers wont to meet in the rooms above
the Old Green Dragon Tavern of Boston could have lifted the veil of mystery
had they been so disposed. It was a Masonic messenger in the person of Paul
Revere who on the "18th of April in '75" carried the message flashed from the
tower of the Old North Church on that historic night so many years ago. Bunker
Hill was forever consecrated by the shedding of precious blood. Masonry here
offered as its sacrifice the Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts in the
person of Gen. Warren, whose name is ever mentioned in every account of that
memorable engagement. By a strange coincidence it happened that on the very
day that Warren fell, another brother in the person of Washington received his
commission as Commander in Chief of the American forces. The Declaration of
Independence is acknowledged the world over to be the most profound exposition
of civic and religious liberty that was ever penned by man. History and
tradition inform us that among the signers of that era-forming document were
several leaders of public thought to whom Masonic teachings were a constant
source of inspiration.
roll of Masonic honor in connection with the Revolutionary War besides the
aforementioned are to be found the names of the following whom we delight to
designate as brothers: Benjamin Franklin, the astute diplomat and statesman;
Baron Steuben, the Prussian drill master; Gen. Israel Putnam, the two
Randolphs, Edward and Robert Livingston, Gen. Knox, and last but not least the
great LaFayette, the companion and confidant of Washington who in the dark
days of intrigue vindicated the character of his brother when wrongfully
traduced. To him America owes a debt of gratitude beyond measure. To what
extent the fraternal bonds buoyed up and encouraged these men during those
long eight years can be understood somewhat by a review of the correspondence
of the times.
30th of April, 1789, Washington took the oath of office as the first president
of these United States. The ceremony was a most impressive one. The oath was
administered by Robt. E. Livingston, the Chancellor of the State of New York
and the Grand Master of Masons in that state. The Bible on which rested the
hand of Washington as he entered into that solemn engagement had been taken
from the altar of St. John's Lodge No. 1 of New York City. Having taken the
oath, Washington in reverence kissed the page of the sacred volume. The leaf
whereon his lips had rested was then folded and after the ceremony the honored
volume was returned to its cushion of crimson velvet on the altar where it
remains until this day.
other memorable occasions in the career of Washington as President did Masonry
play an historic part. On the 15th of April, 1791, with Masonic ceremonies was
laid the southeast cornerstone of the District of Columbia from which point
was surveyed the area comprising the federal grounds, the location of which
had with deference been left to Washington; and again on the 18th of
September, 1793, with the most elaborate and impressive of Masonic ceremonies
Washington as Grand Master protem. laid the cornerstone of the Capitol
building itself in the city which bears his name. At least eight brother
Masons since the days of Washington have occupied the president's chair. From
first to last the history of Masonry in America has been an honorable one.
is to Washington, the man, that we wish this day to pay our homage. Someone
has said that the perpetuity of this nation depends upon the spirit and the
manner in which the American people observe their patriotic days. If this be
true it behooves us to look well to the charge that the rising generation
lacks in these three essentials--restraint, respect and reverence. Lord
Brougham has said that "The veneration paid to the immortal name of Washington
will ever be a test of the progress which our race makes in wisdom and in
have stated that Washington exemplified every virtue which Masonry inculcates.
At the age of 20 he sought admission into the mystic order and soon after the
attainment of his majority he was made a Master Mason. The teachings of the
order impressed him deeply and his connection with it was intimate and
constant. The story of his life is too well known to justify repeating. We can
profit most perhaps by causing to pass before our eyes some scenes which tend
to show the man and the virtues which were his.
home life of Washington affords a beautiful picture of devotion to wife and
mother. He was an ideal son and husband. What tribute could be greater ? He
was a man passionately fond of his home and nothing on earth would have been
so in harmony with his conception of a happy and contented life as to have
been permitted to have spent his days in the supervision of his beautiful Mt.
Vernon estate. But during the forty seven years from the time of his majority
until his death at sixty eight, public duties of the most exacting nature
forced themselves upon him, and hardly did he retire to peace and quietude at
any period but that some new duty confronted him, and when duty called,
personal comfort and preference were laid aside. Extracts from letters written
by him to personal friends at the close of the war breathe the satisfaction he
felt at being able once more to live the private life. One of these extracts
reads as follows: "The scene has changed. On the eve of Christmas I entered
these doors an older man by nine years than when I left them. I am just
beginning to experience the ease and freedom from public care which however
desirable take some time to realize. I hope to spend the remainder of my days
in cultivating the affections of good men and in the practice of domestic
virtues. I have not only retired from all public employments but I am retiring
within myself and shall be able to view the solitary walk and tread the paths
of private life with a heartfelt satisfaction. Envious of none, I am
determined to be pleased with all, and this, my dear friend, being the order
of my march I will move gently down the stream of life until I sleep with my
how soon this dream was shattered. There followed the stirring days of the
Constitutional Convention and the eight years of the presidency. Again he
retired voluntarily to private life, but once more came duty's call. Scarcely
had Adams been seated in the president's chair when France assumed such a
belligerent attitude that war clouds hung thick and heavy. Washington received
and reluctantly accepted the command of the provisional army against France
and repaired at once to Philadelphia to perfect plans for a military campaign.
This was at the age of sixty five. Fortunately the sentiment of France changed
and Washington was spared. But all this teaches well the lesson to man and
Mason that when public responsibility seeks the man he has but little right to
resist the call.
many beautiful pictures tell the story of Washington's devotion to his mother.
The fall of Yorktown had been accomplished. The war was over. His journey from
New York to Virginia had been a continual ovation. At Fredericksburg he
stopped to visit his aged mother. He allowed no pageantry or pomp to mar the
scene. She was alone. Her aged hands were busy with household duties as he
crossed the threshold. She smiled as she turned to greet him. A mother's
embrace and kiss were more to him than the flying of banners and the blare of
trumpets. Not a word was said of the mighty conflicts. To her he was not the
humbler of Great Britain's power. He was the son for whom she had sacrificed
and who in manhood's years had crowned her life with glory, not as
commander-in-chief of the American army but by virtue of a pure and upright
life. With a mother's solicitude and only as a mother can, she noted the
furrows which seven years of the nation's sorrows had plowed deep upon his
evening a gala event was planned in the city in honor of Washington's
presence. The distinguished men of this and other nations who had accompanied
Washington to the city, together with the brilliant company of Virginia's
best, were in the receation hall. Mother Washington consented to be present
although she said demurely that her dancing days were over. Leaning on the arm
of her son she emerged among the happy group. A beautiful picture she made
dressed in the plain but becoming gown of the Virginia lady of olden times.
With quiet reserve and dignity she met the flower of Virginia society and the
polished attentions of gallant French officers present. Courteous she was but
with naught of haughtiness as their compliments fell upon her. At an early
hour she retired saying simply that she wished the company much joy in their
entertainment but it was time for old folks like her to be in bed. Again on
the arm of Washington she left the room. To the army officers present who were
familiar with the artificial distinctions of society life in the old world
this scene was a revelation. With wonder unrepressed they said among
themselves that any country which produced mothers such as that would never
lack for illustrious sons.
spring of 1789 on his way to New York, the Federal Capital, where as
President-elect he was to take the oath of office, Washington once more, ever
mindful of filial duty, stopped at Fredericksburg to see his mother. He came
to explain to her that again his country demanded his services but that he
would soon return. With prophetic vision she interrupted: "You will never see
my face again; my great age warns me that I shall not be long for this world.
But go, George, fulfil the high duties which Heaven appears to assign you, and
may Heaven's and a mother's blessings attend you." Washington hid his face on
her shoulder and wept. Her prophecy was all too true. In a place of her own
choosing near a ledge of rocks where she was wont to go for prayer, her body
rests- -a spot made sacred to American liberty by a mother's prayers for her
son as he bore the nation's burdens.
Washington is said by some critics to have been stern, cold and unresponsive.
Perhaps in a measure the charge is true so far as outward manifestation is
concerned. But we must remember that this was a transition period from the
artificial dignity and pomp surrounding power as manifested in office, and
that growing desire to break from all such artificiality and to reduce all to
the level of absolute equality in form and effect. Neither extreme is safe nor
can long exist. One of the greatest secrets of Washington's power lies in this
very element. But that underneath a stern exterior there beat a brother's
heart let no one doubt. If doubt there be, read again the story of Valley
Forge. During that awful winter Washington's headquarters were at the home of
a Quaker minister. One day, 'tis said, this good old Quaker, while wandering
in the woods, accidentally came upon the person of Washington absorbed in
audible prayer. The minister is reported to have remarked after this
experience that he never from that moment doubted for an instant the outcome
of the struggle for such prayers must needs be answered.
who shall know the might
words he uttered there ?
fate of nations then was turned
fervor of that prayer."
Perhaps the scene which tells most of his inner heart life is that enacted at
Fraunces' Tavern in New York City December 4, 1783. The occasion was the
gathering of the principal officers of the war to take final leave of their
commander. "As Washington entered the room and stood before them for the last
time he could not conceal his emotions. Filling a glass he raised it and said:
'With a heart full of love and gratitude I now take leave of you; and most
devoutly do I wish that your latter days may be as prosperous and happy as
your former ones have been glorious and honorable.' And then, his voice
trembling with emotion, he added, 'I cannot come to each of you, to take my
leave; but shall be obliged to you if you will come and take my hand.' Gen.
Knox stood nearest him. Washington grasped his proflered hand, and, incapable
of utterance, drew him to his bosom with a tender embrace. Each officer in
turn received the same silent, affectionate farewell. Every eye was filled
with tears, every heart throbbed with emotion, but no tongue interrupted the
tenderness of the scene. To those who had known him only as a stern commander,
it was like Joseph's making himself known to his brethren; but to those who
had met him as a brother in the lodge room it was but the renewal of the
mystic grasp, and the well known silent embrace they had known before."
"Weeping through that sad group he passed,
once and gazed, and then was gone--
his tenderest and his last."
Another virtue taught by Masonry is that of benevolence. To what extent this
was exemplified in Washington's career let the following excerpt from a letter
by him at the beginning of the war give testimony. This letter was written to
the one in charge of his estate at Mt. Vernon and at a time when the
demoralized condition of his army might well have demanded his whole time and
thought. "Let," he said, "the hospitality of the house be kept with regard to
the poor. Let no one go away hungry. If any of this kind of people should be
in want of corn, supply their necessity, providing it does not encourage them
in idleness. I have no objection to your giving my money in charity when you
think it will be well disposed. I mean that it is my desire that it should be
so." This together with the fact that for all his sacrificing service during
the war he would accept nothing but his expenses puts to shame the graft and
greed of public life today.
eight years of the presidency having passed, how eagerly he sought the
quietude of Mt. Vernon and the happy private companionship of his wife. In a
letter he expressed it thus: "To the wearied traveler who sees a resting place
and is bending his body to lean thereon I now compare myself." But political
enemies forgetful of his services and sacrifices were seeking to malign him.
To his everlasting credit and greatly to his comfort he was able to say that
"conscious rectitude and the approving voice of his country" removed the sting
than three years were allotted to Washington's life in private. His fatal
illness began on the evening of December 12, 1799. The physician gave no hope.
" 'Tis well," said Washington, "I am not afraid to die." At the foot of the
bed, her face buried in the curtains, the faithful wife prayed in silence that
the end might be a peaceful one. Her prayer was answered. "It is well, all is
now over. I shall soon follow him. I have no more trials to pass through."
Thus went out the life of Washington.
his soul, naked and alone
Appeared before the Great White Throne
pure and spotless, we believe
leathern apron he'd received
many years before.
full Masonic ceremonials, together with the burial service of the Episcopal
church conducted by his pastor and Masonic brother, his body was laid to rest
in a tomb near which it now reposes. The Bible on which he had taken the oath
of office as president was brought from the lodge room in New York and played
a conspicuous part in the ceremonies of the day. Washington's war horse,
riderless that day but carrying saddle, holsters and pistols, took its place
in the procession.
wondrous changes in these more than a hundred years since that far off funeral
day. From a struggling nation among the humblest in history to a world power
whose influence is second to none is the record of our rise. But in this very
thing lies lurking our greatest peril. That the virtues of Washington and the
ideals for which he and his compatriots fought may be preserved unsullied, let
us here and now as citizens and as Masons rededicate ourselves to the service
of God and humanity and thus in the truest nse do honor to his memory.
of our fathers, known of old
of our far flung battle line--
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine--
God of Hosts, be with us yet,
we forget--lest we forget."
host now joins and each a god inspires,
Mars incites and those Minerva fires,
flight around, and dreadful terror reign;
discord raging bathes the purple plain.
Discord ! dire sister of the slaughtering power,
at her birth but rising every hour,
scarce the skies her horrid head can bound
stalks on earth, and shakes the world around.
nations bleed where'er her steps she turns
groan still deepens and the combat burns.
Iliad, Book IV, Pope's Translation.
prejudice, bitterness, unkindliness, deliver me. Make me charitable in
thought, slow to condemn, and may my heart and soul be free of the poison of
malice, intolerance, bigotry and hate.
CHARACTER OF WASHINGTON
HON. W.E.H. LECKEY
appointment of Washington, far more than to any other single circumstance, is
due the ultimate success of the American Revolution. Punctual, methodical, and
exact in the highest degree, he excelled in managing those minute details
which are so essential to the efficiency of an army, and he possessed to an
eminent degree not only the common courage of a soldier, but also that much
rarer form of courage which can endure long-continued suspense, bear the
weight of great responsibility, and encounter the risks of misrepresentation
and unpopularity. For several years, and usually in the neighborhood of
superior forces, he commanded a perpetually fluctuating army, almost wholly
destitute of discipline and respect for authority, torn by the most violent
personal and provincial jealousies, wretchedly armed, wretchedly clothed, and
sometimes in imminent danger of starvation. Unsupported for the most part by
the population among whom he was quartered, and incessantly thwarted by the
jealousy of Congress, he kept his army together by a combination of skill,
firmness, patience, and judgment which has rarely been surpassed, and he led
it at last to a signal triumph. In civil as in military life he was preeminent
among his contemporaries for the clearness and soundness of his judgment, for
his perfect moderation and self-control, for the quiet dignity and the
indomitable firmness with which he pursued every path which he had
deliberately chosen. Of all the great men in history he was the most
invariably judicious, and there is scarcely a rash word or action or judgment
recorded of him. Those who knew him well noticed that he had keen
sensibilities and strong passions; but his power of self-command never failed
him, and no act of his public life can be traced to personal caprice,
ambition, or resentment.
despondency of long-continued failure, in the elation of sudden success, at
times when his soldiers were deserting by hundreds and when malignant plots
were formed against his reputation, amid the constant quarrels, rivalries, and
jealousies of his subordinates, in the dark hour of national ingratitude, and
in the midst of the most universal and intoxicating flattery, he was always
the same calm, wise, just, and singleminded man, pursuing the course which he
believed to be right without fear or favor or fanaticism; equally free from
the passions that spring from interest and from the passions that spring from
imagination. He never acted on the impulse of an absorbing or uncalculating
enthusiasm, and he valued very highly fortune, position, and reputation; but
at the command of duty he was ready to risk and sacrifice them all. He was, in
the highest sense of the words, a gentleman and a man of honor, and he carried
into public life the severest standard of private morals. It was at first the
constant dread of large sections of the American people that if the old
Government were overthrown they would fall into the hands of military
adventurers and undergo the yoke of military despotism. It was mainly the
transparent integrity of the character of Washington that dispelled the fear.
It was always known by his friends, and it was soon acknowledged by the whole
nation, and by the English themselves, that in Washington America had found a
leader who could be induced by no earthly motive to tell a falsehood or to
break an engagement or to commit any dishonorable act. Men of this moral type
are happily not rare, and we have all met them in our experience; but there is
scarcely another instance in history of such a man having reached and
maintained the highest position in the convulsions of civil war and of a great
not know it--nay--for if you knew,
soul would burst the bounds of time and space To stand here
in the market-place,
to those who know not what they do.
your country's loving children, you
best could serve her in her desperate case--
whom no power could force to aught of base,
life was but the passion to be true.
what end your spirit's high emprise,
Schiller's white flame, Goethe's Olympic calm,
after you come men of low surmise,
who belie your truth without a qualm,
think to enjoy--God's love!--a place in the sun,
all around black Hell and faith fordone !
there's only one thing that I can say
you might be likely to carry away;
that your Masonry of worth will be
proportion as you take it seriously.
no "market cart" with the physical fare
alike by us all must be won;
vehicle laden with mysteries rare,--
"chariot of the sun."
MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS
BRO. GEO. W. BAIRD, P. G. M., DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
fourth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States and Grand
Master of Free Masons of the State of Virginia. The splendid bronze statue
shown in the cut was presented to the Nation by the Bar Association: It is the
only statue in the parking of the Capitol Grounds in Washington. It rests on a
cubical marble pedestal, on the west side of the building, at the foot of the
It shows the great
Jurist sitting in his chair, clothed in his Judicial robes. The marble base
has basso-relieves, in the white stone, one of which shows young America being
led by Victory to swear fidelity at the Altar of the Union: another shows
Minerva dictating the Constitution to young America.
It is a beautiful work
of art, executed in Rome by the famous sculptor, Mr. W. W. Story. No one has
ever uttered a word of adverse criticism on this sculpture.
What Blackstone was to
law givers of England, and what Moses was to the Children of Israel, John
Marshall was to the legal fraternity of the Republic of the United States. He
was the fourth Chief Justice, chronologically, but the first in ability. The
example he set, the logical rulings he made and the words he used to express
his decisions will ever be held as models for future generations.
In the day of John
Marshall the people were guided by the law: they possessed intelligence and
altruism, and the law was executed with the assistance of the people, and with
John Marshall was born
in Virginia in 1755 and died in Philadelphia in 1835. He was the eldest of 15
children of Colonel Thomas Marshall, the distinguished commander in the battle
of the Brandywine. His ancestry, on both sides, was English. John Marshall was
an unusually bright student, possessed with a wonderfully retentive memory: at
the age of 12 he could recite the whole of Pope's writings, and he was
familiar with Shakespeare, Milton and Dryden. He was a fellow student of
Monroe, in Westmoreland. He began the study of Law at the age of 18 years.
In 1775 he joined a
Military company, and was soon in the field. He took part in the battle at
Dunmore and Great Bridge with his company of Culpeper Minute men. He became a
lieutenant in the Eleventh Virginia regiment in 1776, and marched north,
taking part in the battle at Iron Hill, whe he was promoted to be a captain.
He was in the engagement at Germantown and Monmouth and went through the
hardships at Valley Forge. In the darkest hour he was bright and cheerful,
being able to see the funny side of everything, and earned the reputation of a
humorist. He was frequently detailed as Judge Advocate, and secured the warm
attachment of Washington.
He attended the
lectures at William and Mary College and was admitted to practice law in 1780.
Possessed with a warm, genial nature, but with determination, he made hosts of
friends, which lasted through life. In 1783 he married Mary Ambler; and in
1788 he was chosen a member of the Virginia convention to act on the
constitution drawn up by the Philadelphia convention assembled, and took a
conspicuous stand, by the side of James Madison, Edmund Pendleton and other
advocates, making a masterly defense of the constitution against all its
assailants. In three famous debates on the subjects of taxation, the Judiciary
and power over the militia, John Marshall showed powerful logic and massive
faculty of reasoning, which led to the adoption of the federal plan
John Marshall was
reselected and continued to sit in the assembly during the sessions of
1789-90-91. Virginia was the headquarters of the States Rights party whose
views were represented in the National Cabinet by Thomas Jefferson. The
question whether the U.S. Constitution should be strictly or liberally
construed was the point at issue: Marshall supported the Federal view with the
calmness and moderation of tone which ever characterized him, but with all the
vigor his friends had expected.
In 1792, his
biographers say, "he retired from the body, without leaving an enemy behind,
and devoted himself to his law practice until 1795."
But, for a fact, during
that time John Marshall was particularly active in Freemasonry, being Deputy
Grand Master in 1792, and Grand Master in 1793 and 1794.
If another object
lesson is needed to prove the wisdom of selecting a Grand Master for his worth
and usefulness to the Craft, rather than promoting vigorously by seniority, as
is becoming the practice, we have it here. John Marshall was elected from the
floor of the Grand Lodge to be Deputy, and at the next election was made Grand
Master. So great a man brought us great credit and honor.
But during all that
time he was frequently at the side of Washington, and his constant supporter.
During the period of his Grand Mastership he defended the proclamation of
neutrality occasioned by the conduct of the French Minister, Mr. Genet; he
also advocated the administration of Washington with his pen and secured the
passage, by a meeting of the citizens, of a set of resolutions approving it,
which he had drafted. When he had retired from office in the Grand Lodge he
sat again in the House of Delegates, taking part in the violent discussions on
Washington offered John
Marshall the position of Attorney General, which he declined. Marshall later
declined the office of Minister to France: When the French Government refused
to receive Mr. Pinkney, the President prevailed on Marshall to accept the
Ministry, when he successfully negotiated with the Directory in relation to
the obstruction thrown in the way of the commerce of the United States.
Pages could be filled
with glowing accounts of the public services rendered by Past Grand Master
John Marshall, but space does not admit. He afterwards-served in Congress; was
appointed Secretary of War, and then Secretary of State and in 1799, the year
Washington died, President Adams offered him a seat in the Supreme Court which
he declined. In Congress he became the administration's principal reliance
though he did not approve of the alien or the sedition laws. In 1801 he was
appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, where his record was brilliant.
He published a "Life of Washington," five volumes; a History of the American
Colonies, and other valuable books.
Marshall was ungraceful in appearance, "tall, meagre and emaciated; his
muscles relaxed and his joints so loosely connected as to destroy harmony in
his movements." But he was, socially, a great favorite, and the centre of
attraction in polite society. He was an unaffected Christian, and liberal in
his views. He possessed great wit, and was fond of a joke.
In looking over the
biographies of great men we find little or no mention of their Masonic ties:
ties which, we think, have had so much to do with their ability to adapt
themselves to their surroundings; to recognize the inherent rights of their
fellow man and to set an example in altruism. Whether these biographers have
made this omission intentionally or not it is hard to say. But of all the
memorials to great men, in the Capitol of the Nation, there is but one that
intimates the hero was a brother and that one was erected by the Fraternity.
IN A WHILE"
There's a nice little isle
"Once in a while,"
most of us will go
our work is done,
our race is run,
our lamp is burning low.
don't write home
"Once in a while,"
there's nothing much to say,
lost the touch
means so much
old folks far awaar.
Perhaps "Once in a while"
Because it's our duty to.
like the choir,
the sermons we tire
don't always sit it through.
on time at the office,
"Once in a while,"
awfully hard, you know,
train is late
sure as fate,
Big Ben is slow.
keep a date
even "Once in a while,"
a half an hour or more?
nothing was wrong
wonder why they're sore.
"Once in a while,"
there's nothing else to do.
work is the same
we're hardly to blame
leave before they're through.
A MASON AT SIGHT
BRO. WILDEY E. ATCHISON, COLORADO
prerogative of the Grand Master to make Masons at sight is described by Dr.
Albert Mackey as the eighth of the Twenty-Five Landmarks of Free Masonry. To
quote Dr. Mackey:
a technical term, which may be defined to be the power to initiate, pass and
raise candidates, by the Grand Master, in a Lodge of Emergency, or as it is
called in the Book of Constitutions, 'an Occasional Lodge,' specially convened
by him, and consisting of such Master Masons as he may call together for that
purpose only; the Lodge ceasing to exist as soon as the initiation, passing,
or raising has been accomplished, and the Brethren have been dismissed by the
1731, Lord Lovell, being Grand Master, he 'formed an Occasional Lodge at
Houghton Hall, Sir Robert Walpole's House in Norfolk,' and there made the Duke
of Lorraine, afterwards Emperor of Germany, and the Duke of Newcastle, Master
initiation, passing and raising of Frederick, Prince of Wales, in 1737, was
done in an 'Occasional Lodge,' over which Dr. Desaguliers presided, but this
cannot properly be called a 'making at sight,' because Dr. Desaguilers at the
time was a Past Grand Master, and not the actual Grand Master at the time. He
most probably acted under the dispensation of the Grand Master, who at that
time was the Earl of Darnley.
1766, Lord Blaney, who was then Grand Master, convened an 'Occasional Lodge,'
and initiated, passed and raised the Duke of Gloucester.
in 1767, John Salter, the Deputy then acting as Grand Master, convened an
'Occasional Lodge,' and conferred the three degrees on the Duke of Cumberland.
1787 the Prince of Wales was made a Mason 'at an Occasional Lodge, convened,'
says Preston, 'for the purpose at the Star and Garter, at Pall Mall, over
which the Duke of Cumberland (Grand Master) presided in person.'
has been said, however, by those who deny the existence of this prerogative,
that these 'Occasional Lodges' were only Special Communications of the Grand
Lodge, and the 'makings' are thus supposed to have taken place under the
authority of that body, and not of the Grand Master. The facts, however, do
not sustain this position. Throughout the Book of Constitutions, other
Communications, whether Stated or Special, are distinctly recorded as
Communications of the Grand Lodge; while these 'Occasional Lodges' appear only
to have been convened by the Grand Master for the purpose of making Masons.
Besides, in many instances, the Lodge was held at a different place from that
of the Grand Lodge, and the officers were not, with the exception of the Grand
Master, the officers of the Grand Lodge. Thus the 'Occasional Lodge' which
initiated the Duke of Lorraine was held at the residence of Sir Robert
Walpole, in Norfolk, while the Grand Lodge always met in London. In 1766 the
Grand Lodge held its Communication at the Crown and Anchor, but the
'Occasional Lodge' which in the same year conferred the degrees on the Duke of
Gloucester, was convened at the Horn tavern. In the following year, the Lodge
which initiated the Duke of Cumberland was convened at the 'Thatched House'
tavern, the Grand Lodge continuing to meet at the Crown and Anchor.
without doubt, a conclusive argument may be drawn from the dispensing powers
of the Grand Master, which has never been denied. No one has doubted, or can
doubt, the inherent right of the Grand Master to constitute Lodges by
Dispensation, and in these Lodges so constituted, Masons may be legally
entered, passed and raised. This is done every day. A constitutional number of
Master Masons applying to the Grand Master, he grants them a Dispensation,
under authority of which they proceed to open and hold a Lodge, and to make
Masons. This Lodge is, however, admitted to be the mere creature of the Grand
Master, for it is in his power at any time to revoke the Dispensation he had
granted, and thus to dissolve the Lodge.
if the Grand Master has the power thus to enable others to confer the degrees
and make Masons, by his individual authority out of his presence, are we not
permitted to argue that he has also the right of congregating a proper number
of Brethren and cause a Mason to be made in his sight? Can he delegate a power
to others which he does not himself possess ? And is his calling together an
'Occasional Lodge' and making, with the assistance of the Brethren thus
assembled, a Mason 'at sight; that is to say, in his presence, anything more
or less than the exercise of his dispensing power, for a temporary period, and
for a special purpose? The purpose having been effected, and the Mason having
been made, he revokes his dispensation and the Lodge is dismissed. If we
assumed any other ground than this, we should be compelled to say that though
the Grand Master might authorize others to make Masons when he was absent, he
could not do it himself when present. The form of the expression 'making
Masons at sight' is borrowed from Lawrence Dermott, the Grand Secretary of the
Athol or Schismatic Grand Lodge; 'making Masons in an Occasional Lodge,' is a
phrase used by Anderson and his subsequent editors. Dermott, commenting on the
Thirteenth of the Old Regulations, which prescribes that Fellow Crafts and
Master Masons cannot be made in a private Lodge, except by the Dispensation of
the Grand Master, says:
is a very ancient regulation, but seldom put in practice, new Masons being
generally made at private Lodges; however, the Right Worshipful Grand Master
has full power and authority to make, or cause to be made, in his Worship's
presence, Free and Accepted Masons at sight, and such making is good. But they
cannot be made out of his Worship's presence without a written Dispensation
for that purpose. Nor can his Worship oblige any warranted Lodge to receive
the person so made, if the members should declare against him or them; but in
such case the Right Worshipful Grand Master may grant them a warrant and form
them into a new Lodge.'
the fact that Dermott uses the phrase does not militate against the existence
of the prerogative, nor weaken the argument in its favor. For, in the first
place, he is not quoted as authority, and secondly, it is very possible that
he did not invent the expression, but found it already existing as a technical
phrase generally used by the Craft, although not to be found in the old Book
of Constitutions. The form there used is 'Making Masons in an Occasional
Lodge,' which is of the same signification.
mode of exercising the prerogative is this: The Grand Master summons to his
assistance not less than six other Masons, convenes a Lodge, and without any
previous probation, but 'on Light' of the Candidate, confers the degrees upon
him, after which he dissolves the Lodge and dismisses the Brethren."
discovered several instances of the prerogative having been exercised by the
Grand Master in Pennsylvania.
Brother Joseph Eichbaum, Grand Master of that state in 1887, initiated, passed
and raised a Candidate at an Emergent Communication on April 23rd of that
year, in Philadelphia. He said the initiate was a young man with whom he had
been in almost daily intercourse and closely associated with for some fourteen
years and whose moral character he was fully prepared to vouch for. He claimed
the right to be unquestioned, although the exercise of it possibly
Brother Michael, Grand Master of Pennsylvania in 1893, called a Special
Communication of the Grand Lodge on May 3rd of that year for the purpose of
making a Mason at sight, and on June 13th, five weeks later, he visited Lodge
No. 59 for the same purpose. His principal reason for exercising the
prerogative was "in order that it might not be said that it has become
obsolete by non-use."
1894, Brother Richard C. McCallister, Grand Master of Masons of South Dakota,
granted Coteau Lodge No. 54 at Webster, a Dispensation to confer the three
degrees upon Governor Sheldon, waiving the usual time. The Grand Master states
that he was present and witnessed the conferring of the three degrees, which
was done in a very satisfactory manner. "Although I am very well aware that
Masonry regards no man for his worldly wealth or honors," he states, "in this
case I fully believe the Candidate possessed both the internal and the
external qualifications, and accordingly granted the Dispensation."
the Committee on Jurisprudence did not approve of this action and made the
following reference to it in their report, which was adopted by the Grand
reference to the Dispensation granted for conferring the degrees out of time
upon Governor Sheldon, the committee is of the opinion that this prerogative
of the Grand Master should only be exercised in case of the greatest
emergency, and only when the Candidate shows himself by examination, to be
fully proficient as required by our by-laws and usages. The facts in he case
reported did not, in our judgment, justify the exercise of such power."
Brother J.L. Spinks, Grand Master of Mississippi n 1895, gives the following
account of having been made a Mason "at sight:"
June 1st, at sea, in Ship Island Harbor, and within the tate of Mississippi,
by virtue of the high power in me vested as Grand Master of Masons, in and for
the state of Mississippi, organized and opened a Lodge of Free and Accepted
Masons, and with the consent and assistance of the Brethren present erect,
conferred the degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason,
upon Captain George Maddrell, master of the British Steamship County of York,
giving him in full the lectures of each degree, after which the Lodge was
anyone can or will question the right, or rather the prerogative of a Grand
Master to do this, I do not for a moment suppose. That many do question the
propriety, I am fully aware, as I have had many requests from many Brethren
for full particulars, and from the tone of some of their letters, one would
infer that I had committed the 'unpardonable sin.'
Committee on Masonic Law and Jurisprudence, to whom the matter was referred,
reported as follows:
have given such consideration to so much of the Most Worshipful Grand Master's
address, as was possible under the circumstances. It is a question which must
be considered as one of law and expediency. Under the first branch, we find
that as late as 1875 the Grand Lodge adopted the 'Blue Lodge Text-Book,'
containing Brother Mackey's Twenty-Five Landmarks, one of which is declaratory
of such a prerogative residing in the Grand Master. In the present edition of
the Text-Book there is a declaration of the 'Fundamental Principles of
Masonry,' in which the Grand Master is declared to have certain prerogatives
among which we find enumerated this:
make Masons at sight, with the consent and assistance of the Masons he
assembles into a Lodge.'
question of expediency, your committee is unanimous in the opinion that if the
prerogative exists, it ought not to be exercised under any circumstances
whatever. And in expressing this opinion we do not wish to be misunderstood as
criticizing the act of the Grand Master, for if he has the prerogative, it
certainly is discretionary with him whether he will exercise it or not. We
concede this right to the Grand Master, and while not approving the act, we
cannot deny to him the right and if he has the right it surely is
discretionary with him whether he will exercise it or not."
matter was on motion recommitted to the same committee, with directions to
further examine the question, and report at the next Annual Communication, at
which time they reported, in part as follows:
are not insensible to the fact that in this Grand Lodge and in a number of
others, the doctrine that the Grand Master possesses powers and prerogatives
which are not subject to the control of the Grand Lodge, has been maintained,
and we give due weight to the learning, zeal, and Masonic character of the
large number of eminent Masons who have sustained the claim but
notwithstanding the great array of names which may be cited against us, we
fail to find in the arguments presented, a single reference to any Ancient
Law, which gives, as we conceive, even by implication, to the Grand Master the
right to set aside a law of the Grand Lodge, and without so doing he cannot
make a Mason at sight. But, granting, for the sake of the argument, that he
formerly possessed such a prerogative, we are confronted by the fact that
every Grand Master, in modern times, is obligated at least thrice, to support
and maintain the Constitution and Regulations of the Grand Lodge, and we
think, therefore, that if they do not confer upon him the power of setting
aside their provisions regarding the initiation of Candidates that he must be
deemed to have waived whatever prerogatives he may have anciently possessed,
by assuming the obligation of office. He is not above the law, but, if
possible, more than any other Mason, bound to support and maintain it in all
its integrity. Without entering into argument to demonstrate that the Grand
Master is a Constitutional officer, it seems very clear to us that he is at
least bound by the maxim in Masonry that 'those things which are not permitted
to a Mason are clearly prohibited.' (Drummond, History of Masonry, page 552.)
It is not permitted now, nor has it been since 1717, to make a Mason except in
a Regular Lodge, nor since 1753, until due inquiry has been made as to his
character, nor without the unanimous consent of the members of a Lodge, which
qualification is not the subject of a Dispensation.
conclusion, therefore, is that the prerogative of making a Mason at sight does
not exist, and has not since 1717, or, if those who contend for exploded
Masonic History, prefer it, since 1663, and we recommend the adoption of the
"Resolved, That it is the sense of this Grand Lodge that the prerogative of
making a Mason at sight does not exist by virtue of any Landmark or Ancient
Regulation, and is not conferred by the Constitution or Laws of this Grand
commenting upon the above resolution of our Mississippi Brethren, Brother
Lawrence N. Greenleaf, Past Grand Master of Colorado, and Chairman of the
Committee on Foreign Correspondence, says:
1862 to 1875, the Constitution of this Grand Lodge, among other powers of the
Grand Master enumerated in Article IX, contained the following:
is his prerogative to make Masons at sight, and for this purpose may summon to
his assistance such Brethren as he may deem necessary.'
1875 the revised Constitution was adopted and the above paragraph no longer
appeared. Under 'Grand Master,' section twelve reads as follows:
Most Worshipful Grand Master shall have and enjoy all the powers and
prerogatives conferred by the Ancient Constitutions and Usages and Landmarks
the Book of Constitutions as revised by the Grand Lodge of Colorado in
September, 1914, this section is now numbered 19.) Brother Greenleaf says
the prerogative has never been exercised in this district, it has nevertheless
been deemed to exist. The report of the above committee is a valuable
contribution in support of the negative side of the question, but we are not
wholly convinced of its correctness.
shall be shown that the prerogative referred to is an inherent right of the
Grand Master, neither the Grand Lodge of Mississippi nor any other Grand Lodge
can dispossess him of that right. 'Usage,' whether for 120 or 200 years,
certainly must enter largely into the determination of the question."
Brother Thomas J. Shryock, Grand Master of Masons in Maryland in 1897,
exercised this prerogative and says:
virtue of the authority in me vested as your Grand Master, I convened an
'Emergency Lodge,' and made 'at sight,' His Excellency Llovd Lowndes, Governor
of Maryland, a Mason. An erroneous idea has arisen in the minds of many of the
Fraternity as to the ceremony of making a Mason 'at sight,' and to erase this
wrong, and perhaps damaging, impression, I deem it but proper to say that in
the making of a Mason 'at sight' by the Grand Master, the Candidate is
required to pass through all the forms and ceremonies incident to the
conferring of the three degrees, in the same manner that an applicant does in
applying to a Subordinate Lodge. The impression of some, that the Grand
Master, by virtue of his authority, touches a man on the shoulder and creates
him a Mason, is entirely erroneous, and as I know that this impression does
exist to a certain extent, I think it proper to here state, so the Craft may
understand it throughout our Jurisdiction, that such is not the case. The
making of a Mason 'at sight' is one of the Landmarks of the Fraternity, the
prerogative of the Grand Master, and I have on two occasions exercised that
prerogative, as much for the purpose of not allowing it to become dormant as
for any other reason.'"
William Howard Taft, Ex-President of the United States, was made a Mason "at
sight," shortly before his inauguration in 1909. The ceremony took place at
the Scottish Rite Cathedral in Cincinnati, on February 18th of that year, of
which the following account appears in the review on Foreign Correspondence in
the Colorado Grand Lodge Proceedings of 1910:
ceremonies were simple and brief, the entire meeting, from its opening to its
close, taking only one hour.
"Promptly at the appointed hour the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Ohio arose
and made the announcement that by virtue of the power and authority vested in
him by the Grand Lodge of Ohio, he declared the present Convocation of Master
Masons to be an 'Occasional Lodge,' convened for the purpose of conferring
upon Mr. William Howard Taft the degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft
and Master Mason, and he declared such Lodge open, directed the Senior Deacon
to perform his duty, and then called upon the Grand Chaplain of the Grand
Lodge, Rev. Paul R. Hickok, to invoke the blessing of Almighty God.
"Brother William B. Melish, Past Grand Master, as Master of Ceremonies, then
escorted Mr. William Howard Taft into the room and presented him at the altar,
declaring him to be a legal resident of the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of
Ohio, and stated that he introduced him at his request, it being his desire to
receive the degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason.
Grand Master, after propounding the customary questions and receiving the
required answers, obligated the Candidate in the Entered Apprentice
obligation, and then instructed him fully in the unwritten work of that
same procedure followed with the Fellow Craft and Master Mason degrees, the
final statement being made that the details of the Master's degree would be
exemplified in full form in the evening by Kilwinning Lodge, and that he would
then have full opportunity to learn that part of the work more fully.
charge appertaining to the Master's degree was then read.
Grand Master then made proclamation that William Howard Taft, having received
the degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason, he declared
him to be a Master Mason in good and regular standing.
congratulations and welcome to the recipient, he delivered an address setting
forth the appreciation of the honor conferred after which the benediction was
pronounced and the Grand Master then proclaimed the purpose for which the
'occasional Lodge' was convened having been effected, he declared the Lodge
closed and dissolved."
Brother George Fleming Moore, Editor of the New Age, in the March, 1909, issue
of that magazine, says:
"Before he was nominated for the Presidency, Secretary Taft expressed a desire
to become a Mason and really made application 'of his own free will and
accord.' The proper initial steps were taken to make him a Mason 'at sight'
and Brother William B. Melish, an eminent Mason of Ohio, and a Past Grand
Master of the Grand Lodge of that State; Levi C. Goodale, another Past Grand
Master, and Jacob H. Bromwell, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge, joined in a
petition addressed to Charles S. Hoskinson, Grand Master of Masons of the
State of Ohio, asking that the three degrees conferred in the Blue Lodge might
be given to William Howard Taft, and that he might be made a Mason 'at sight.'
this petition it was shown to the Grand Master that Mr. Taft had been
compelled by official business to be absent from his home in Ohio for a long
time. and that this had interfered with his initiation into the Fraternity."
following article on this subject appeared in the June, 1909, issue of the New
public press gives the information that President Taft has received notice of
his election as an honorary member of a Lodge instituted in London, on June 3,
1909. The Duke of Connaught, who is a brother of King Edward VII, and Grand
Master of Masons in England, has granted the Dispensation to carry out the
President recently attended a meeting of Temple Lodge of Washington, D.C., and
saw the third degree conferred. He was introduced by Grand Master Simpson of
the Grand Lodge of the District, who had seen him made a Mason 'at sight' in
Cincinnati, and was received and welcomed by T. C. Noyes, Worshipful Master of
the Lodge, in the following words:
"Brother Taft: Along with Masons throughout the civilized world, the 8,000
Masons of the District rejoiced when you became a Master Mason. That was not
so much because of your distinguished attainments, not so much because of your
high official position, but because we knew that Masonry had come into its
"Masonry stands for the binding together of man to man, of men to men, of
peoples to peoples, of nations to nations, all in one great Brotherhood of men
under the Fatherhood of God. Your whole life, Sir, both private and public,
had been Masonic before you took the degrees your private life was Masonic,
your public life was Masonic, your smile was Masonic.
therefore rejoiced that you had finally come into the Brotherhood and had
actually been made a Master Mason by taking the degrees, had become one of us
in fact, as you had been in spirit, all through your life. It is a great
pleasure for me to welcome you to this Lodge, to invite you to a seat in the
"President Taft responded, in part, as follows:
"Worshipful Master, I appreciate in full your very cordial welcome. I am
conscious that my introduction into Masonry needed some support and I
attribute it to the spirit of mercy and charity that I am sure is found in a
reception such as you have given, in order to justify the brevity of my
not a looker-on
life of anyone,
bearer of all grief,
sharer in relief.
can never stand aloof
reproach, denial, reproof;
under every ban,
part of every man.
MASONRY AND RELIGION
BRO. CHARLES C. SMITH, IOWA
that, in discussing a subject of this kind, it is necessary to define briefly
what we understand by the term religion. There is perhaps no social force
among men that is quite so ubiquitous as the religious force. Like the law of
gravitation, it is found in all the realms of human experience. There is no
human sphere in which its voice and language are not heard. Travel back into
the dim dawn of the past and you find the evidence of its presence there.
Plutarch, the Roman sage and traveler, on returning from his journeys,
declared that he had seen cities without walls, that he had seen cities
without libraries, that he had seen cities without the public bath, but that
nowhere had he seen a city without its temples of worship. It might seem from
this that a definition is unnecessary. Yet in spite of its universality, in
spite of the voluminous literature written on it, there is really no subject
of human importance about which people are so unreasonable, so fanatical and
so ignorant as this subject of religion.
poet, looking into the future, has mentioned "a far off divine event toward
which all nature moves." But what is it that compels man to take his place in
the procession of these events? Matthew Arnold, a pessimist and almost a
skeptic, after studying the entire field of human history, was forced to
declare that "there was a power, outside ourselves, which makes for
righteousness." Now this power may not be a part of ourselves, yet it becomes
of human importance only as it comes to expression in and through man. Now, it
does not matter especially what you call that force, or what you call its
source. I hold that, at least so far as man is concerned, the activity of this
force within man is religion. Religion then must be a participal something
provoked by a fundamental influence. Thus I would offer as my definition;
Religion is the searchings of finite beings for the Infinite Being with the
view of becoming like the Infinite One in ethical character.
will see at once that I do not confine religion to the churches. I am a hearty
and thorough believer in the churches. No institution has had, or is having,
so large a part in moulding ideals and shaping the destiny of man as the
churches. Nevertheless, with all our various denominations, and with the
various organizations within our denominations, religion is not circumscribed
by our churches. Religion is as broad as humanity. The churches have no corner
on it. I suppose many good people will look at me with eyes askance when I
give religion such a broad interpretation. Nevertheless, I am convinced, that
religion must take this view of herself before she can realize her own ideals.
And the quicker our churches recognize it the better.
is a tendency for many to us to mistake the overt expression of a force for
the force itself. When we speak of thunder we think only of a loud noise. We
speak of lightning and we see only a zigzag streak of light or perhaps a barn
burning. Likewise when we speak of religion many of us think only of the
churches, as if the two terms were synonomous. And this applies also to Masons
and Masonry. Too often we mistake the organized Lodge for the spirit and
teaching of Masonry. There are many Masons who have been made such "in a just
and lawfully constituted lodge of Masons," but who have never been "duly and
truly prepared" in their hearts. They fail to discriminate between the
organized Lodge and the aim and ideal of Masonry; between the "white leather
apron" and that for which it is emblematic.
been said that Masonry is not a religion. This is without doubt correct,
especially in the popular understanding of religion. It has no creed that must
be believed. It offers no dogmas about either God or man or the universe that
must be accepted. In fact, when Free Masonry is "duly tiled," religious creed
and dogma can gain no admittance. Nevertheless, Masonry does have some of the
religious ear-marks. In whom does she put her trust but in God ? Are not the
virtues which she fosters and demands in her members the same virtues that
religion emphasizes? Was not Free Masonry born of the feeling of Ought? It is
unfair if not criminal to accuse her of sordid and selfish motives when she
talks about, and strives for, the brotherhood of man. Nothing but the feeling
of Ought is responsible for her existance. There may be individual Masons, and
even whole lodges, whose motives are sordid, but if so they are positively out
of harmony with Free Masonry as such.
above definition of religion be true, is not the development of virtue, upon
which Masonry insists, a religious work as much as, of not even more than, the
believing of certain creeds? It appears, therefore, having cleared our minds
of the misconceptions of both religion and Masonry, that while Masonry is not
a religion she is vitally connected, in fundamentals, with religion. It is a
branch upon the tree of religion. There are many other branches, of course.
Masonry, like the churches, lives, moves and has its being in the broad
principle of religion. Masonry without religion is like a branch severed from
the vine. The particular lodge that is not permeated with the religious spirit
is not true to Masonry as such. The individual Mason whose ideal of manhood
does not possess a mind and heart like unto the mind and heart of the barefoot
Carpenter of Galilee, has not incorporated into his life the fundamental aim
and spirit of Free Masonry.
only is Masonry religious in her foundation. She also appears religious in her
ideals. This is clear in comparing her ideals with the ideals of our churches.
We look for the designs upon the trestle board of both Masonry and the
churches, and, perhaps to our surprise, find plans and specifications
regarding the same building. Each is clearly endeavoring to build a structure
of brotherhood. The plans may not be executed by the same methods, but the
finished product is the same. They are laboring on different sides of the
even the methods are becoming more and more the same as we understand one
another better. Already is the church beginning to insist that her members
square their lives by the Square of Virtue, that they "walk uprightly in their
several stations before God and man," and that they meet all mankind upon the
common level of brotherhood. Likewise, Masonry is about to see that before she
can reach her own highest ideals she must have the enthusiasm of religious
zeal, and the driving power of the conviction of religious duty.
if Masonry ever feels that the churches have often failed, I would call her
attention to the material with which the churches are compelled to build. They
must deal with "the old man in his dotage," with the "young man in his
nonage," with the libertine, the intemperate and all vulgar classes which
Masonry refuses to admit into her fold. Not that Masonry wishes such to
perish, but that she has no place for them. In this is found the answer to
that old question; Is the Lodge good enough without the church ? Most
emphatically it is not. That Mason who is not in hearty sympathy with the
church, even with all her faults, and who does not lend her his support, both
spiritual and material, is not as good a Mason as he ought to be.
other hand, if our churches feel that Masonry is exclusive and secular, I
would call their attention to the fact that for her to be otherwise would be
to weaken her social force and to lower her high standards. The advanced guard
must not be held back by too much dead weight. There is needed just such an
exclusive social force as Masonry. The stronger will be that force the more it
is supported by the church. To oppose her is like the hand opposing the foot,
for we are only members of the same body.
Masonry and religion must not grow suspicious of one another, therefore.
Society needs both, and in this need they are closely related. They should
toil on, in harmony and peace, side by side. They should march up life's
incline arm in arm, ever ascending until they reach that temple above, not
made with hands, eternal in the heavens, into whose inner chamber each may
enter where each shall receive, from the Supreme Architect of the Universe, a
CLASP OF A VETERAN'S HAND
There's a warmth in the clasp of a Veteran's hand
the world can never feel;
depth in the tone of a Veteran's voice
his words do not reveal.
There's a friendly beam in a Veteran's eye,
cheer in his pleasant smile,
enlivens the heart and makes one feel
the old world is worth while.
taught by the test of experienced years
the nature of men requires;
has learned by the use of the Veteran's Gauge
measure the hearts desires.
loved by his brothers in Masonry,
his heart is ever true;
reaches the souls of his fellow men
other one can do.
here's to the health of our Veterans all,
the hope that many years
granted them ere Life's shadows fall
the light of heaven appears.
is ever a spark in a Veteran's heart
keeps Love's embers aglow,
warmth in the clasp of a Veteran's hand
the world will never know.
--Nelson Williams, P. G. M., Ohio.
There's only one great light
can bring the dawn of day;
others show the night
the sombre shadows play.
brightest moral light
shines for the greatest good,
that makes the old world bright
light of brotherhood.
There's only one great light
reflects its warmth and cheer,
others leave but blight
flowers might appear.
sweet, soul warming rays
their gleams from heart to heart
Deity the highest praise
man his noblest art.
There's only one great light
never, never fails,
dawning greets the sight
salt 'neath rended sails.
dangers we may scan
sail the sea of time,
the best way blazed for man
SQUARE AND THE CROSS
BRO. A.S. MACBRIDE, SCOTLAND
of the most delightful of recent Masonic books is that entitled, "Speculative
Masonry: Its Mission, Its Evolution, and Its Landmarks," by Brother A.S.
Macbride; a series of lectures delivered in the Lodge of Instruction in
connection with Progress Lodge, Glasgow, Scotland. The lectures follow the
well-established conclusions of Masonic scholarship, as revealed in the work
of Gould, Speth, Crawley and Pike, but they give the results of that learning
in popular and suggestive form, with many exquisite studies in symbolism. One
of the most interesting chapters in the book is that on "The Law of the
Square," which the writer discusses under five heads: the law of the Square in
Nature, in material building, in moral building, in relation to the Circle
and, finally in relation to the Cross. We give here an excerpt from the study
of the Square and the Cross, having already reviewed the book in our Library
MASONS, generally, do not associate the square with the cross; yet essentially
they are the same. The cross is composed of right angles, or squares. It is
found on rocks chiselled in the prehistoric ages and in graves carved on rude
pottery buried with bodies whose very bones in the course of thousands of
years have crumbled into dust, and on the top of which lie the ruins of
periods and of peoples of whom history has not the faintest trace. It is found
thus, not in an isolated spot, but in regions scattered far apart. It is the
most universal of all symbols. In the Hindu temples, in the Egyptian pyramids,
in the ruined altars of America, and in the churches of Christendom, ancient
and modern alike, it occupies a conspicuous position.
cross--with a circle round it--is associated with the earliest known relics of
humanity, with the most ancient carvings and records of India, and with coins
and medals belonging to a pre-Christian age in France and elsewhere.
kinds the cross is formed of right angles, and the circle is implied where not
shown. In the Latin and Greek forms generally the circle has disappeared, but
it is still found at times, particularly in paintings, where it is shown as a
halo of light behind the cross. As the craftsman in making the cross has first
to form the circle and from its center work out the limbs, the circle must
always be assumed to be present, even where it does not appear. The oldest
form always has the circle. In the Egyptian form, the circle is placed on the
top, and the vertical limb is lengthened, evidently to form a handle. To the
Egyptians this circle symbolized the generative, or productive power, in
nature. It is the transverse section of the egg, which was also used sometimes
in its upright shape, in the form of a loop or oval. We find the Hindus
representing the same idea, also by a loop, but in every case the circle, or
loop, is associated with the cross. The basis of Gothic architecture is the
cross, the triangle and the loop, all of which are inter-related. The cross
and triangle form the base of the plan, and the loop forms the plan for the
windows, doors, and sometimes the roof.
aside details not helpful to our present purpose, let us turn our attention to
the general ideas connected with this symbol. The ancients of Asia, Africa and
Europe considered the circle as the symbol of the Divine One circumscribing
Himself, so as to become manifested to us. The limitations of human nature
demand this restriction, for, otherwise, we could have no knowledge of Him.
Without the limiting circle we gaze on boundless space, incomprehensible and
void of any idea to our minds. We must have form before we can have ideas. The
blank page of a book conveys nothing. Draw on it a flower, or an animal, and
an idea is presented to the mind. Thus, the Divine One circumscribed Himself
in His Creation and for our sakes clothed Himself in a garment of matter, so
that he might be manifested to us. The material universe is everywhere a
circumscribing of the Infinite and the cross symbolizes the Divine
manifestations of Power, Light, Life and Love.
first Divine manifestation symbolized-by the cross is that of Power. The two
lines of the cross, intersecting at right angles in the center and extending
to the utmost limits of the circle, represent the two great central forces
which dominate all matter and which we have already considered in the law of
the square in nature. If we work with these forces the Divine Power in them
will manifest itself by working with us. If we work against them, it will
manifest itself by destroying our work. They work on the square . . . and we
must therefore work on the square if we are to have the Divine Power with us.
second Divine manifestation symbolized by the cross is that of Light. Darkness
is infinite and expresses nothing. Light is circumscribed that it may be
manifested. It comes out of darkness and is lost in darkness. The energy from
the sun comes to our earth through the boundless ether: cold, silent, and in
darkness. Did it come in the form of direct Light the whole heavens would be a
blaze and we would see nothing else. Not until it impinges on our atmosphere
does it burst into light. In the same way, electricity is unseen in the wire
until it meets with the resisting carbon. Coal-gas, the common candle, and the
lamp, are all enveloped in darkness until they manifest their light in almost
essentially similar, although apparently, different conditions. In all these
varied conditions, however, light manifests itself on the square. The energy
from the sun strikes our atmosphere at right angles and bursts into light. A
rope, stretched out with one end fastened and the other end shaken by the
hand, appears to have waves running from end to end. In reality it is moving
up and down, at right angles to the line of progress. Science tells us it is
in this way light moves. It works on the square, and the circle with the
square, or cross, is a fitting symbol of the manifestation of material light.
this symbol is particularly representative of moral light. That only can be
light morally that is true and square. Beliefs and doctrines that do not
accord with the right angle of our conscientious convictions, can never give
third Divine manifestation symbolized by the cross is that of Life. Through
all nature there are two great elemental principles variously called the
active and the passive, the positive and the negative, the male and the
female. The various units of atoms, molecules, vegetables and animals possess
one, or both, of these principles. In the inanimate kingdom, the term
"polarity" and "affinity" are employed to indicate the action of these
principles and the relation of the one to the other. In the animate kingdom
the word "sex" is used for the same purpose. In both kingdoms everywhere we
find these two elemental principles at work. The formation of a crystal and of
a crystaloid, the building of a tree and of a man, all seem to proceed along
the lines of two main forces working at right angles--that is, working on the
square. The atoms, which form the basis of the material creation, have their
positive and negative poles. According to the latest scientific discoveries,
they are the product of electricity and something called protyle, the one
being active and the other passive.
is for the spiritual truths which this symbol reveals and yet conceals that it
is of greatest importance to us. In the frescoes of the pyramids we see it in
the hands of the god, as the symbol of regeneration. The dead one is shown
lying on the ground in the form of a mummy, and the god is coming to touch his
lips with it and revivify his body. Ages before Egyptian civilization dawned,
it was carved on pottery, and buried with human bodies along with food and
weapons, the evidence, even in that early period, of a faith in a resurrection
and a life beyond the tomb.
a somewhat saddening and peculiar fact that this sacred symbol should have
been associated with, what appears to us to be, a vile and most degrading
worship. While the phallic cult may have originally been the recognition of a
Divine purpose running through all the arrangements for the propagation of
life, and of the symbolic lesson therein of a spiritual regeneration, yet the
broad fact remains that the multitude saw in it the reflex of their own animal
passions. It brought ruin on the Greek and Roman empires. Had the glory of
art, the abundance of wealth, the grandeur of philosophy, or the culture of
the intellect, possessed any power of salvation, these peoples would have
survived. But salvation is neither possible to the individual nor to the
community that is impure. If you worship the brute, a brute you will be. If
you would be divine, worship the Divine.
fourth Divine manifestation symbolized by the cross is that of Love. From the
degrading associations of phallic worship this symbol had to be purged and
purified by blood and sorrow. For many years it was an instrument of tyranny
for the infliction of cruel and intense suffering. There can be little doubt
but thousands suffered on it whose only fault was in being too good to be
understood. The divine soul everywhere is at first misunderstood. His language
is heaven-born and his earth-bound hearers cannot interpret it. Hence the
thorny crown of derision. The good are not allowed to pursue their quiet path.
They are dragged into the full blaze of fame and their pains and punishment
become their glory. Love's best work is most likely to be rejected and
despised. . . . Suffering is the perfecting process of the perfect ashlar.
Insensibility is the sign of degradation. Capacity for suffering is the mark
and insignia of rank in the scale of evolution. The higher the love, the
deeper the sorrow. Through tribulation the higher forms of life are born.
Scowling and growling will make a man old;
and fame at the best are beguiling;
be suspicious and selfish and cold,--
Happiness stands like a maid at your gate;
should you think you could find her by roving ?
was greater mistake than to hate,--
SECRET OF WASHINGTON'S POWER
BRO. GILBERT PATTEN BROWN, MASS.
WASHINGTON is a man for the present need of the nation and its individual
citizens. And this is the reason: He saw through the superficial things of his
time into the profound truth of all time. His character and work were
controlled and shaped by that truth, and he sought to make it the controlling
force in the new-born nation. Acknowledgment of the wisdom and power of God,
trust in His providence, obedience to His law, formed the foundation upon
which Washington began to build this republic.
"Father of his Country" knew that the great achievements of his life were not
his own. "If such talents as I possess," he said, "have been called into
action by great events, and those events terminated happily for our country,
the glory should be ascribed to the manifest interposition of an over-ruling
Providence. I was but the humble agent of favoring heaven, whose benign
influence was so often manifested in our behalf, and to whom alone the praise
of victory is due."
more religion than he had creed. He was a mighty man of prayer. One of the
most interesting Washington relics is a Book of Prayers written out by hand,
as a man would sit down and write intimate letters to a dear friend. All those
prayers begin with a revelent address to the Almighty, and have characteristic
endings: "Let Thy favor be extended to all my relations, friends, and all
others whom I ought to remember in my prayers." Paine wrote and talked.
Washington prayed and fought. The name of Jesus appears often in these
prayers, which were evidently intended for daily use, morning and evening, and
were called by Washington his "Daily Sacrifice." A few extracts reveal their
Morning:--"I yield Thee humble and hearty thanks that Thou hast preserved me
from the night past, and brought me to the light of this day, and the comforts
thereof, a day which is consecrated to Thine own service and honor."
Monday:--"More and more direct me in Thy truth, and defend me from my
enemies--especially my spiritual ones. Pity the sick, the poor, the weak, the
needy, the widows and fatherless, and all that mourn or are broken of spirit."
Tuesday:--"I beseech Thee to help me to render Thee deserved thanks and
praise--for food, raiment, health, peace, liberty and a better life through
the merit of Thy dear Son's bitter passion--prosper all my lawful
undertakings--let me have my directions from Thy Holy Spirit, and success from
Thy bountiful hand."
Wednesday:--"Let my bed put me in mind of my grave, and my rising from there
of my last resurrection."
prayerfulness of Washington is well established by the evidence of his
personal and official papers. Frequently, in his public addresses and private
letters, we find ejaculatory prayers. He was often in attendance at meetings
of Divine worship conducted by Chaplain Evans and others amid the hills of
Valley Forge, and at those fraternal gatherings in the Temple of Virtue.
Brougham said that Washington was "the greatest man of our or any age."
Gladstone placed him in "the highest group of statesmen"; Everett declared his
genius was "the genius of patriotism"; Webster admired him for a "symmetry
where mind and heart, conscience and will were equal"; Choate spoke of his
"moderation and immense reserve"; Curtis finely affirms that "Hamilton was the
head, Jefferson was the heart, John Jay the conscience, but each of these
separate qualities may truthfully be said to have even more signal expression
when they were all united in the single character of Washington."
Citizens of this generation must do as Washington did--reach up by the power
of prayer and take hold of God's almighty power. The government of this
nation, the conduct of public and private business, the molding and exalting
of national character, the preservation of our dearly bought and deeply
cherished institutions, are things we cannot delegate to others. They belong
in very distinct manner to each of us.
WASHINGTON'S BELIEF IN DIVINE PROVIDENCE
contemplation of the complete attainment, at a period earlier than could have
been expected, of the object for which we contended against so formidable a
power, cannot but inspire us with astonishment and gratitude. The
disadvantageous circumstances on our part, under which the war was undertaken,
can never be forgotten. The singular interpositions of Providence in our
feeble condition, were such as could scarcely escape the attention of the most
unobserving--while the unparalleled perseverance of the armies of the United
States, through almost every possible suffering and discouragement, for the
space of eight long years, was little short of a standing miracle.--Farewell
Address of General Washington to the Armies of the United States, Rocky-Hill,
Near Princeton, New Jersey, November 2, 1783.
end, the moral, and purpose of Masonry is, to subdue our passions, not to do
our own will; to make a daily progress is a laudable art, and to promote
morality, charity, good fellowship, good nature, and humanity.
--James Anderson, Golden Remains.
FORTY-SEVENTH PROBLEM OF EUCLID
BRO. C. C. HUNT, GRINNELL, IOWA
Master Mason will readily recognize this proposition as one of the emblems of
the Third Degree. He will also recall the monitorial explanation of it there
given, and possibly feel that it is an explanation which does not explain. He
may not question the legendary history of it as given to him, but he does not
understand why it should have been selected as a Masonic emblem, nor how it
teaches Masons to be lovers of the arts and sciences. In fact there are many
Masons who are not mathematicians and do not even know what the proposition
is, and on this point the monitor is silent.
the object of this paper to briefly consider the history of the proposition
and offer a few suggestions as to its Masonic significance. In doing this we
may reach the conclusion that some of the monitorial statements are not
historically true, or at least that they have not been proven. We will find,
however, that the value of its symbolism does not depend on the truth of the
historical statements given in the monitors, but is inherent in the
will be hard for many Masons to understand. Through association of ideas, we
are accustomed to think that the traditions which cluster around a central
truth, are essential parts of that truth, and when critical investigation
attacks the truth of the tradition, we feel it is an attack upon the truth
itself. It is this trait of human nature which is the underlying cause of all
religious persecution, and we are by no means free from it as Masons, though
it is contrary to the fundamental principles of Masonry.
members of the Masonic Research Society, it is our duty to search for the
truth, no matter how much it may conflict with our preconceived notions or
with traditions. If we but search aright, we will find that these traditions
are but the outer garments with which time has clothed the truth, and that
they are not its essential essence.
associations with each other we meet a kindred soul whom we learn to love and
honor. We are told that he is the descendant of a great and honored name in
history, and we say that the spirit of his forefathers has fallen upon him.
Then some critic appears and shows that there is no proof of his illustrious
ancestry, or perhaps entirely disproves it. What of it? Is he not the same
friend we knew before? Has his soul lost any of its greatness? May not the
spirit of a great soul have descended upon him, though his physical blood does
not literally flow in his veins? We are told that the spirit of the prophet
Elijah descended upon Elisha and centuries later appeared in John the Baptist.
Yet there was no blood relationship between them. So it is with the
proposition we are now studying. Its tradition and its history are both
interesting, but its truth and the richness of its symbolism are not affected
Euclid's Elements of Geometry there are thirteen books, and the subject we are
considering is the forty seventh proposition of the first book. It is not a
problem but a theorem, and is so called by Euclid. A problem in geometry is
something to be done, as a figure to be drawn, while a theorem is something to
be proved. This proposition is to prove, as Euclid states it, that "In any
right-angled triangle, the square which is described on the side subtending
(opposite) the right angle is equal to the square described on the sides which
contain the right angle." The sides containing the right angle are called
respectively the base and perpendicular, while the side opposite the right
angle is called the hypothenuse.
monitors state that "This was the invention of our ancient friend and brother
the great Pythagoras." This statement has been denied by many students of the
subject. It has been claimed that this proposition was known to the Egyptians
long before the time of Pythagoras, and that he learned it from them and
carried it into Europe and Asia. We have no proof either for or against this
claim. Pythagoras himself wrote nothing, and we know of his teachings only
through the writings of his disciples. Vitruvius, a celebrated Roman architect
of the time of Augustus Caesar, attributes the discovery of this proposition
to Pythagoras. Plutarch quotes Apollydorus, a Greek painter of the 5th century
B.C., as authority for the statement that Pythagoras sacrificed an ox on the
discovery of this demonstration. Proclus credits Pythagoras with the first
demonstration, but asserts that his proof was different from that given in
Euclid. In fact so many writers, both ancient and modern, have attributed this
proposition to Pythagoras that it is commonly called by his name, "The Theorem
other hand, the properties of the triangle whose sides are respectively, 3, 4,
and 5, were certainly known to the Egyptians and were made the basis of all
their measurement standards. We find evidence of this in their important
buildings, many of them erected before the time of Pythagoras. We also find
that this triangle was to them the symbol of universal nature. The base 4,
represented Osiris, the male principle; the perpendicular 3; Isis, the female
principle; and Horus, their son, the product of the two principles, was
represented by the hypothenuse 5.
not find an explanation of this apparent discrepancy in the statement of
Plutarch that Pythagoras discovered the demonstration of the general
proposition, but that the particular case in which the lengths of the sides
are 3, 4, and 5, was earlier known to the Egyptians? Plutarch also thinks that
the case in which the base and perpendicular are equal (as in the sides of a
square) was likewise known to the Egyptians. This is called the classical form
in Masonry and is the form usually found on the Master's carpet. Both these
forms are rich in symbolism, and if known to the Egyptians, as they probably
were, would naturally lead to the belief that the general demonstration was
also known. Nevertheless it may be true, as claimed by so many writers, that
to Pythagoras we owe the demonstration of the general proposition, which
proved the theorem true for all possible cases. It was the delight of this
philosopher to discover a universal principle underlying a concrete fact, and
he must have attached a deeper meaning to the general truth than the Egyptians
did to the special cases known to them. With him the science of numbers was
the essence of all truth, and having discovered a proof for the general
proposition, he set himself the task of finding right triangles whose sides
can be expressed in numbers. Heron of Alexander and Proclus are authority for
the statement that Pythagoras discovered the following method: Take any odd
number for the shortest side; subtract one from the square of that number and
divide the result by two; this will give the medium side; add one to the
medium side and the result will be the hypothenuse or longest side. This is
true as far as it goes, but it does not give all the right triangles which can
be expressed in numbers.
numerical symbolism of Pythagoras is an interesting study in itself and is
closely allied to much of our Masonic symbolism, but that is outside the
province of the present paper. It is simply mentioned here, because, while it
is probably not true that he was raised to the sublime degree of a Master
Mason as stated in our monitors, yet there is so much resemblance between his
teachings and that of Masonry, that we can understand how the error might have
monitor also states that Pythagoras celebrated his triumph in the discovery of
this proposition by the sacrifice of a hecatome (one hundred oxen). We can see
how this may have been an outgrowth of the statement attributed to Apollodorus
above. Ovid denies it and Hegel laughs at it, saying, "It was a feast of
spiritual cognition, at the expense of the oxen." The strongest argument
against it, however, is the fact that Pythagoras taught the doctrine of the
transmigration of souls and forbade animal slaughter. However, when we
consider that among many of the ancients the sacrifice of a number of oxen was
their method of expressing their gratitude for a great triumph, we can
understand how the tradition arose, and accept the fact of the joy without
caring for the truth of the sacrifice.
should the discovery of this demonstration have been considered a great
triumph? Because it is of the utmost importance to the science of geometry.
Dionysius Lardner, in his edition of Euclid, quoted by Mackey, says, "Whether
we consider the 47th problem with reference to the peculiar and beautiful
relation established in it; or to its innumerable uses in every department of
mathematical science, or to its fertility in the consequences derivable from
it, it must certainly be esteemed the most celebrated and important in the
whole of the elements, if not in the whole range of mathematical science. It
is by the influence of this proposition and that which establishes the
similitude of equiangular triangles (in the sixth book) that geometry has been
brought under the dominion of algebra; and it is upon the same principle that
the whole science of trigonometry is founded." The Encyclopedia Britannica
calls it "One of the most important in the whole of geometry, and one which
has been celebrated since the earliest times ;" and adds, "On this theorem
almost all geometrical measurement depends, which cannot be directly
is its significance in Masonry? Our monitors tell us that it teaches Masons to
be lovers of the arts and sciences. Since it is so important a proposition in
the science of mathematics, we can understand why it should be adopted as a
symbol of scientific investigation, and to such an investigation all Masons
are pledged in their search for truth, the great object of Masonic study. But
has it not a deeper meaning? Dr. Lardner says it is the basis of the
application of algebra to geometry. Algebra is the application of symbols to
mathematics, and Masonry is the application of symbolism in character
building. The Britannica says that mathematical measurements which cannot be
directly obtained depend on this proposition. Yes, and as applied to Masonry,
the highest truths of morality cannot be directly obtained. They must come to
us indirectly through the medium, principally, of symbolism.
is no apparent relation between the numbers 3, 4, and 5 and 5, 12, and 13, for
instance; but when we raise these numbers from the first to the second power
(that is, square them), we obtain 9, 16, and 25 in the first case, and 25,
144, and 169, in the second. In this form we notice in each case that the sum
of the first two squares is equal to the third, and that the numbers in which
we could at first see no relation are the sides of right angled triangles. So
it is in life. Measured on the level of our lower natures, there is no
relation between our own desires and our brother's needs. We are connected, it
is true, as the sides of a triangle are connected, but there is no reason why
we should not use him for the accomplishment of our own selfish purposes,
irrespective of his welfare. It is only when we square our lives by the square
of virtue, and our selfish desires are raised to spiritual purposes, that we
perceive that our own welfare is intimately connected with that of our
brother. His misfortunes are our misfortunes, and we can no more injure him
and not be ourselves harmed thereby, than we can strike off our right hand and
be none the worse by reason thereof.
traveling upon the level of time to our eternal destiny. We cannot stand
still, but must constantly go forward. Shall we also go upward ? All the time
there is a spiritual force striving to lift us to higher levels. We may refuse
to avail ourselves of it and remain in the depths of our lower nature; or we
can accept it and allow its divine influence to shine in our lives. The base
represents our earthly nature on the level of time; the perpendicular is the
divine spirit striving to manifest itself through us. When these forces are
squared to each other, their union becomes a constant onward and upward
movement to the throne of God Himself. Pythagoras himself recognized this
symbolism when he said that early in life he came to the place where two ways
parted. One was easy and pleasant traveling; the other was rugged and tended
upward. It necessitated hard climbing. Which was the way that led to life ?
All who travel there and find these two paths, know that he should choose the
upward path, but the other seems so much more pleasant, and many are inclined
to walk therein. They will try it a little while, and then return to the
better way. But there is no turning back on the level of time. The farther
they go on the lower level, the wider apart become the two ways, and the
harder to cross from one to the other.
often we have heard Masons say that there is no moral lesson to be derived
from the 47th proposition of Euclid, and that it is not to be described as the
symbol of any moral truth. Have they forgotten that there is not an observance
or symbol of Masonry which has not a deep significance? Significance for what?
Certainly as Masons it would have no especial significance for us unless it
aided us in attaining the great purpose of our Order, "the uprearing of that
spiritual temple, that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." It
may well be that the significance is not recognized by us, but that by no
means proves its nonexistence. It may be buried in the rubbish of preconceived
opinions, and it only needs diligent digging to bring it to light.
have here suggested but a few of the many applications of this symbol in the
hope that it will stimulate others to more diligent research.
WASHINGTON IN GLORY - AMERICA IN TEARS
(Lines on a picture
over 100 years old, at Alexandria, Virginia. The objects seen in the painting
are mentioned in the poem. The jewels referred to are Washington's fraternal
jewels. The name of this picture is, 'Washington in Glory - America in
Washington in Glory - America in tears,
Such the heavenly
vision as the picture now appears,
Washington in Glory -
an Angel standing by,
Beckoning from earthly
scenes to mansions in the sky.
Washington in Glory - a
shaft of light is here -
and orphans weeping, an Indian crouching near;
Washington in Glory -
through the endless years,
Immortal is the story,
Washington in Glory - America in tears,
The scythe of Time is
cutting the brittle thread of years,
Washington in Glory - sands of time are through
hour-glass of the nation, again inverted, too.
Washington in Glory - while Liberty still appears
staff supports Old Glory while Patriotism cheers;
Washington in Glory - and through the endless years,
Immortal is the story, America reveres.
Washington in Glory - America in tears,
Cherish, in song and story the hopes of coming years.
Washington in Glory - our country's laws abide,
the "Constitution falling" nor "jewels laid aside,"
Washington in Glory - with all that name implies
its naked splendor looking upward to the skies;
Washington in Glory - and through the endless years,
Immortal is the story, America reveres.
Odillon B. Slane, Illinois.
clasp of two hands is literally a physical contact of two pieces of human
flesh. Woefully secular and lifeless it can be! We all know the flabby, the
clinging, the nervous, the icy hand grasp. Yet who has not sometimes rejoiced
in the grasp of a hand that conveys life and love? Two souls are here united
by a physical contact which gives birth to new aspirations and new
certainties. Two human beings are here linked hand to hand in mutual respect,
mutual trust, and mutual encouragement.
--Richard C. Cabot.
NO doubt most of our
Members know something of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial
Association, organized in 1910 with Brother Thomas J. Shryock, for thirty
years Grand Master of Maryland, as President, and Brother John H. Cowles,
Secretary General of the Scottish Rite in its Southern Jurisdiction, as
Treasurer. Although only five regular meetings of the Association have been
held, forty-two Grand Lodges, the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Etite,
the General Grand Chapter, the Grand Council, and a large number of grand
bodies have officially endorsed the plan. Representative in form and national
in scope, the Association is composed of two delegates from each constituent
Grand Body. Its objects, as set forth in its Constitution, are as follows:
"First, the collection
of a fund to erect and maintain a suitable Masonic Memorial to George
Washingtont in the form of a Temple in the City of Alexandria, Virginia,
provided that at least one floor therein be set apart forever as Memorial
Hall, to be under the control of the several Grand Jurisdictions in the United
States of America, members of this Association.
Second, To provide a
place where the several Grand Jurisdictions, members of said Association, may
perpetuate, in imperishable form, the memory and achievements of the men whose
distinguished services, zealous attachment, and unswerving fidelity to the
principles of our institution merit particular and lasting reward; to create,
foster, and difluse a more intimate, fraternal spirit, understanding and
intercourse between the several Grand Jurisdictions and Sovereign Grand Bodies
throughout the United States and her Insular possessions, members of the
Association; to cherish, maintain and extend the wholesome influence and
example of our illustrious dead."
The title to the
Memorial Temple, it may be added, is to be vested in five trustees elected by
the Association and appointed in accordance with the laws of Virginia. In this
fire-proof structure, when it is completed, the Alexandria-Washington Lodge
will deposit the priceless heirlooms in its possession, an account of which
Brother Callahan gives elsewhere in this issue. They are among the most
precious relics, both patriotic and Masonic, now remaining among us, and it
would be something worse than folly to allow them to be exposed to destruction
by fire, as they are now, when it is within our power to protect them and hand
them down to future ages.
As a perpetual memorial
to the first President of the Republic, who was the greatest man and Mason
this land has known, such a plan should appeal to every patriotic Mason.
Surely he is a poor Mason, and no American at all, who can visit
Alexandria-Washington Lodge, or Mount Vernon, and not feel his heart beat with
solemn joy and pride that he lives in a land that is free from the curse of
kings, and where the voice of the common people is heard. When one stands
beside the grave of a man who was greater than any king the world has known,
for that he refused a crown, or sits in the old Lodge where he was wont to
meet his fellowmen upon the Level, one sees to what fine issues our mortal
life may ascend, and why the whole world pays homage to Washington.
But this movement means
more than building a monument to the past. It looks also to the future. It is
a great school for the propagation of patriotic thought and sentiment, and the
Temple which it is to build will become a mecca and a shrine for American
Masons for all time to come. Not least among its benefits will be the
establishment of a permanent representative Association, which will bring
together in annual conference the leaders of the two great Rites of the Order
to deliberate and council upon topics of universal interest and importance to
the Craft. Any Mason, any Lodge, any Masonic body is entitled to membership in
the Association on payment of one hundred dollars, and we trust that many of
our members will take advantage of the opportunity and also induce their
lodges to do so.
* * *
LIGHT ON LINCOLN
Some years ago, while
studying Lincoln and Herndon, we went to Springfield, Illinois, to explore the
treasures of Lincoln-lore in that city. Of course we found much of value, very
much, but we also met one of the most remarkable men it has ever been our joy
to know. By chance, as the saying goes, we called on Mr. Henry B. Rankin, and
we shall not live long enough to forget our interviews with him in his
beautiful home. He gave us more insight into the real Lincoln than all the
books we had read then or have read since, and we fain would tell our readers
something about him.
Rankin was one of the
"Lincoln boys" who grew up in the valley of the Sangamon, before the sturdy
race of pioneers had disappeared, and saw Lincoln for the first time in 1846.
His mother was a friend of Ann Rutledge, the sweetheart whom Lincoln loved and
lost, and he heard the story of the courtship with many details not familiar
to others. Later he was for several years a student in the "Lincoln & Herndon"
law office - entering it in 1856 and remaining until the breaking out of the
war - and enjoyed an intimate fellowship with both men, who were at once his
teachers and his friends. He was also well acquainted with Mrs. Lincoln - whom
history has treated so harshly - with whom he used to read French, and in
whose home he often visited.
Having learned so much
from Mr. Rankin, we urged him to write his reminiscences of Lincoln. After
some hesitation he agreed to do so, and at our suggestion he kept on adding
pages to it, rewriting and elaborating as one fact suggested another, until,
at last, after six years, he has finished. He then placed the manuscript in
our hands to edit and publish, asking us to write an introduction. The work is
now done and will be published by the Putnams of New York in the early spring.
It is not a biography, still less a history, but a series of musing memories
and flashlight pictures, often discursive but always illuminating, recorded by
a man who, in the gloaming of his years, would fain add a touch to the
portrait of a great soul whom he revered in youth and whose memory is a
precious possession. If time has softened the outlines of years ago, it has
also brought the deeper interpretation which comes with the calmer light of
Ye editor, as one of
the biographers of Lincoln, thinks he knows something of the literature of the
subject, but this book has in it much not to be found elsewhere - some things
that will have to be reckoned with in the final account of a life which, were
it not a matter of history, would be regarded as one of the great romances of
the world. Here are pictures of the background of the life of Lincoln, of the
atmosphere and environment of his early years, of the growth of his
personality and genius, such as one can find nowhere else. A man of exquisite
spirituality, the writer brings to his record a keen, discriminating insight,
joined with a great veneration, and the total impression is such a sense of
the living Lincoln as one has hardly felt before.
Obviously it would be
unfair to tell in detail the contents of this remarkable book in advance of
its publication, except to say that it corrects a number of errors in the
popular mind. Here we see the real Lincoln in the setting of his life, as he
grew up among the hardy, wholesome, self-reliant pioneer folk, with many
snapshots and some full length portraits of the friends who, like the friends
of St. Paul, "were a help" in the making of the man. We are glad to have had a
part in the writing and publication of a book which, if we mistake not, will
be a permanent contribution to our knowledge of a man who was a child of the
South, a leader of the North, and the one mighty soul of his epoch who
embodied the prophetic genius of this republic.
* * *
Looking back down the
ages, we can see a few pillars still standing, despite the ruin wrought by
time. Socrates and Plato stand under the blue Grecian sky, half buried in the
rubbish of a once noble civilization. Just so, looking back over our own
history, we see two lofty characters towering above all others. If our nation
should fail and fall, as others have done before it in the weary round of
glory and decay, the lives of Washington and Lincoln would remain standing
despite the ravages of time and change, to mark the place where once stood the
greatest and freest of republics. Washington was born at the top, Lincoln at
the bottom, but they meet on the same level of honor, courage,
disinterestedness, and practical capacity - having little in common save their
faith in the republic and the fact that both were born in the shortest month.
No two men were ever more maligned in the days of their public activity; no
two were ever more bepraised after death. Time transformed both of them, and
is doing for them what they would have desired - the measure of their hard
fortune in life being the measure of their good fame in history. Byron's
tribute to Washington and Lowell's ode to Lincoln show them in their true
characters, and as such they have been accepted by the world as the best
contributions America has made to the greatest purposes of humanity.
* * *
Of unusual interest is
an essay in the latest issue of the transactions of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge
of Research, by Brother Wynn Westcott, on "Freemasonry and its Relation to the
Essenes." Its interest lies, however, in what it does not tell us. After an
elaborate and scholarly investigation, the writer can find scarcely any
resemblance, much less relation, between our Fraternity and a tiny sect or
cult of monastic Pharisees, of a communistic kind, inhabiting the wild region
near the Dead Sea in southeastern Judea. They vanished long ago, taking their
story with them into oblivion, and the few bits of information about them that
remain lend little encouragement to those ardent Brethren who would reckon
them among the ancesters of our Order. Josephus and Philo, two Hebrew
historians contemporary with the Essenes, knew very little about them,
apparently, and seemed to care even less. Where so little is known there is a
rich field for conjecture, and we have been told, as if it were a fact, that
both Jesus and his forerunner were of that cult, having learned their
teachings from it. If the essay by Brother Westcott abates by one jot or
tittle the ingenuity of Brethren who seek to make up in fertility of invention
what is manifestly lacking in actual knowledge, it will have served a useful
mystic art, come to my heart,
whisper sweet to me;
very near, to me make clear
art of Masonry.
mystic art, I crave a part,
little gift from thee;
be mine, of rare design
Because 'tis Masonry.
mystic art, somehow impart
secret rare to me;
thee I turn, of thee I'd learn, -
mystic art, hast thou no part
can'st reveal to me?
pass on without the song
rings to Masonry?
mystic art, must mine own heart
answer to my plea?
I plead for what I need
B. M., Michigan.
WASHINGTON, THE MAN AND THE MASON
OF books about
Washington we have many, very many, and yet it can hardly be said that we have
a really adequate picture of the man and his life. Indeed, it requires some
exercise of the imagination to call up the men of that far time and make them
live before our minds. Our historical fiction, when it is true to the facts,
may help us; but too often, when it is not a mere panegyric, it feels
commissioned to be iconoclastic. And as between the eulogists and the dealer
in barn-yard biography and back-stair history, there is little to choose.
Changes in manners and customs make it difficult to recall the men of those
days. Those knee-breeches and powdered wigs, those shoe-buckles and ruffled
shirts work a spell so peculiar that we feel that the men who wore them
belonged to another race.
So they did. They were
in fact English gentlemen in "blue and buff," even if Ben Franklin did insist
on wearing woolen hose. The stately Miltonian style in which they conversed
was so unlike the more familiar speech of our day - to say nothing of our
slang, which is language in misery - that we seem to live in another land.
Why, a love-letter of that time reads like a passage from an oration by Edmund
Burke or an article by Dr. Johnson. When we translate the letters of
Washington and Lafayette into simple language, they are full of friendship and
tender humanity, with now and then a glint of fun, but they must be translated
before we can see their beauty. Once we get behind these differences of custom
and speech we find Washington and the men of his time to have been very real
folk, less remote and much easier to know.
Indeed, one thing which
we very much like about "Washington, the Man and the Mason," by Brother
Charles Callahan, is its emphasis upon the more intimate and personal aspects
of the great life which it seeks to portray. No effort has been made by the
author to write a complete biography of Washington, and for that task he was
not fitted. Moreover, no such effort was needed, since his public career has
already many times been critically investigated and minutely recorded. But too
often the detailed analysis of his official life has overshadowed his private
life, with its rural pastimes and rustic occupations, in which, the author
holds, we find best illustrated the beautiful simplicity of his character.
Therein he is right, and to this task he sets himself, giving a delightful
history of Mount Vernon estate from the acquisition of the original grant by
John Washington, the immigrant, down to the present time. One gets here, by
the aid of story and illustration, a new conception of that great old colonial
home to which Washington returned again and again with gladdened heart after
the turmoils and vicissitudes of his public service, and which remains to this
day our noblest patriotic shrine.
But the real intent of
the volume, of course, is to give in brief form the history of Washington's
connection with Masonry and, in particular, his relation to
Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22, of which he was the first Master. The data
in this branch of the work has been gathered with diligence, and sifted with
care, unfounded tradition being cast into the discard; and the record as we
have it here - taken with the "Washington Masonic Correspondence," recently
published by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania - should forever hush the mouths
of those who have been wont to say that Masonry was of little account in the
life of our first President.
The last chapter of the
book is a story of the organization and growth of the Washington Masonic
National Memorial Association, by which the volume is published, and to which
the net proceeds of the sale of the book are applied. The volume sells for
$5.00, and may be ordered through the Research Society, or directly through
the treasurer of the Association, Brother John H. Cowles, 16th and S. Streets
N. W., Washington, D. C.
* * *
Of interest, too, is
the volume by Brother Sidney Hayden on "Washington and his Masonic Compeers,"
albeit published in 1905. The first half of the book is devoted to the life of
Washington himself in its Masonic relations, and the second half to sketches
of some of his friends and fellow-workers, such as Henry Price, Peyton and
Edmund Randolph, Franklin, Wooster, Edwards, Sullivan, Jackson, Putnam, Gist,
and others. The sketches are rather brief, laying emphasis upon the Masonic
services of the men discussed, and altogether it makes a volume interesting
and worth while. Not yet has been told the whole story of the influence of
Freemasonry in our revolutionary period, and its silent, moulding force in
giving shape to the organic law of this
republic. It will be told some day, or at least such part of it as can be
printed, and men will look with a new veneration upon an Order which, more
than any one influence, gave form to the greatest of all republics. Our young
men should study the Masonic life of Washington, and learn from it that -
mature manhood marked his youthful brow
sought our altar and he made his vow -
our tesselated floor he trod,
his knees, and placed his trust in God !
Through all his great and glorious life he stood
true, warm Brother, foremost e'er in good;
when he died, amid a nation's gloom,
mourning Brethren bore him to the tomb !"
* * *
FROM THE QUARRIES
Very modest is the
title which Brother Wm. F. Kuhn gives to the almost forty little essays which
he has brought together into a tiny volume, called "A Small Basket of Chips
From the Quarries." The subtitle is more accurate when it describes the little
book as "some practical thoughts on an everyday working Freemasonry." Four of
the essays included in it were published in The Builder, the expositions of
the Scripture readings of the Second and Third Degrees, the brief article on
The Future, and the essay on Hysteria in Freemasonry - if some of our friends
will pardon "a reference to an allusion." Therefore our readers know the
quality of this little book, and its pointedly practical emphasis upon the
useableness and usefulness of Masonry as an influence, yea, as an instrument,
for human good. Most heartily do we commend this wise and straightforward
book, and we are sure that many of our readers will want to own it.
ARTICLES OF INTEREST
We Got the Ritual of the Knights Templar Degree, by J. L. Carson. Virginia
Albert Pike, Scottish Rite Herald, Dallas, Texas.
America's Oldest Mason, by G. P. Brown. London Freemason.
Ancient Signs and Symbols, by Bro. Mehaffy. New Zealand Craftsman.
History of Colored Masons in Louisiana. The Plumbline.
Vehmgerichte, by E. J. Wittenberg. Bulletin Los Angeles Consistory.
Symbolism of the Universe, by B. R. Baumgardt. The New Age.
Lodge Room Floor, by F. C. Higgins. Masonic Standard.
Freemasonry and Peace, by J. H. Fussell. The Trestle Board.
Freemasonry and its Relation to the Essenes, by W. W. Westcott. Transactions
Quatuor Coronati Lodge.
* * *
Basket of Chips from the Quarries, by W. F. Kuhn, Rialto Bldg., Kansas City,
Mo., 75 cents.
Washington and His Masonic Compeers, by Sidney Hayden. Macoy Co., New Yorkr
Rockefeller Foundation, Annual Report, 1913-14.
Socrates, Master of Life, by W. E. Leonard. Open Court Pub. Co., Chicago,
Near East From Within, Anonymous. Funk & Wagnalls Co., New York, $3.00.
Star Rover, by Jack London. Macmillan Co., New York, $1.50.
Familiar Faces, by Theodore Watts-Dunton. Herbert Jenkins, London, $1.50.
WASHINGTON’S PROPHETIC VISION
When we consider the
magnitude of the prize we contended for, the doubtful nature of the contest,
and the favorable manner in which it has terminated, we shall find the
greatest possible reason for gratitude and rejoicing: this is a theme that
will afford infinite delight to every benevolent and liberal mind, whether the
event in contemplation be considered as a source of present enjoyment, or the
parent of future happiness; and we shall have equal occasion to felicitate
ourselves on the lot which Providence has assigned us, whether we view it in a
natural, a political, or moral point of view.
The Citizens of
America, placed in the most enviable condition, as the sole lords and
proprietors of a vast tract of continent, comprehending all the various soils
and climates of the world, and abounding with all the necessaries and
conveniences of life, are now, by the late satisfactory pacification,
acknowledged to be possessed of absolute freedom and independency; they are
from this period to be considered as the actors on the most conspicuous
theatre, which seems to be peculiarly designed by Providence for the display
of human greatness and felicity: here they are not only surrounded with
everything that can contribute to the completion of private and domestic
enjoyment, but Heaven has crowned its other blessings, by giving a surer
opportunity for political happiness than any other nation has ever been
favored with.CLetter from Washington to the Governors of the States, June 18.
I now make it my
earnest prayer, that God would have you, and the State over which you preside,
in His holy protection; that He would incline the hearts of the citizens to
cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government; to entertain
a brotherly affection and love for one another, for their fellow-citizens of
the United States at large; and particularly for their brethren who have
served in the field; and finally, that He would most graciously be pleased to
dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that
charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind, which were the characteristics
of the Divine Author of our blessed religion; without an humble imitation of
Whose example, in these things, we can never hope to be a happy nation. -
Letter from George Washington to the Governors of the States, June 18,1783.
Being's floods, in Action's storm,
and work, above, beneath,
seizing and giving,
fire of Living:
thus at the roaring Loom of Time I ply,
weave for God the garment thou seest Him by !
(More and more it
becomes clear that the Question Box is to be one of the most interesting and
valuable features of The Builder.
There is no reason why it should not be so. It is a kind of Open Lodge where
we can chat, compare views, and swap ideas, talking of a number of details
that do not lend themselves readily to elaborate and formal discussion. As
said before, it is a kind of free-for-all forum, as though we were gathered
about the great fire-place in the House of Light at the Sign of the Square and
Compasses; and we are happy to have our Members feel at ease and join in the
conversation as the spirit moves them. )
Not only do our Members
read The Builder closely, but many of their ladies also read it, whereof we
are made to know from many lovely letters that reach us betimes. A number of
ladies have written to thank us for the sketch of Father Taylor, "and I am not
a Methodist either," one of them adds. Another asks where she can find a story
called "A Sweet-smelling Name," which she has been unable to locate. It was
written by Fedor Sologub, a Russian writer whose stories have recently been
translated into English, and gives title to a book of his stories which is now
published with an introduction by Stephen Graham. Sologub does not rank with
Tolstoi or Gorki, but he has something to say, and the story of "A
Sweet-scented Name" is one of his best. (Published by Messrs. Constable,
London, $1.25 net).
* * *
Indeed, the ladies read
more than men do. For that reason, while we hold that woman has a right to the
ballot, if she wants it, we are half afraid for her to have it, lest she
disfranchise the men - on an educational test. Here is a lady who read "The
Harbor," by Poole, and agrees with us that it is a brilliant story, and now
she wants another equally good. Well, try "The Star Rover," by Jack London,
(Macmillan Co.) If it is not a masterpiece, it does not miss it by many
inches. Certainly it is the best thing London has done so far, showing his
mastery of his art, his richness of imagination, observation, and invention,
and it has passages the like of which it would be hard to find in recent
literature. There are many stories within this story, many hints, glimpses,
intimations, and dim memories of things half-remembered, like faint echoes
from the caves of the mind. Read it, and you will understand.
* * *
While speaking of the
ladies, we may also reply to a Brother who asks us to suggest a topic for an
address to a mixed audience of Masons and their ladies. Why not talk of Lady
Masons alleged to have been initiated into the Order? (See a paper by Edward
Conder before the Lodge Quatuor Coronati, Jan. 11th, 1895).Look up what
Hutchinson, Preston and others have to say about Masonic secrecy, as it is
related to women. Read the interesting chapter in "Sidelights on Freemasonry,"
by Lawrence, (Chap. XXVII) entitled "Ladies on the Level," and the glimpses
there given of the antecedents of the Order of the Eastern Star. If you
particularly want any thrills, you might get the story called "Love and the
Freemason," by Guy Thorne. by this time you will have abundant materials for
an address, with room for sense and nonsense, the while you discuss the
question: Should women be admitted to the Order ? The best answer to the
question, of course, is that to be inferred when we ask another: Why should
* * *
TEMPLE OF HEAVEN
My dear Brother: - The
article by Brother Lobingier on Masonry in "The Temple of Heaven" interested
me greatly. I wonder whether you or many of your readers noticed any
significance in the following words: "The Great South Altar, the most
important of Chinese religious structures, is a beautiful triple circular
terrace of white marble whose base is 210, middle stage 150, and top 90 feet
in width, each terrace encompassed by a richly carved balustrade." Divide each
of the above figures by 30, and we have in this temple of heaven used more or
less accidentally for a Masonic temple, the old sacred numbers 7, 5, 3.
Perhaps it was only a coincidence, but it is interesting. Yours fraternally,
R. P. Clarkson, Canada.
* * *
Brother Wm. B. Melish,
Executive Director of the Masonic War Relief Association of the United States,
writes that he recently received a contribution of $137.25 from the most
unique Masonic Lodge in the world - the "Roof of the World Lodge," located at
Cerro de Pasco, South America. The Worshipful Master says that they try to
keep very much alive up there on top of the Andes, and adds: "We have had
visitors from almost every jurisdiction in the United States, and have
acquired some little fame for having held (as far as we can find out) the
highest Masonic meeting in the world, at an altitude of 17,575 feet above sea
level." With right they claim to be high-up Masons.
* * *
Dear Brother: - The
Standard Dictionary defines "oblong" as something longer than it is broad.
Also a Square as an instrument to measure or lay out right angles, consisting
usually of two legs or branches at right angles to each other, in "L" shape.
Now this L-shaped square is the oblong square used in Freemasonry, and its
appropriate naming serves to distinguish it from the equilateral or perfect
square of the Master Mason. Moreover, we Masons know what we mean by an
"oblong square," and if others do not know what does it matter? With sincere
good wishes for the Society and its Builder, I am,
Fraternally yours, Wm. A. Montell, Maryland.
* * *
I have somewhere seen a
statement to the effect that the Masons organized the first total abstinence
society ever started. Can you help me find it? - H.B.R.
Perhaps the following
statement from "The Mission of Masonry," by Madison C. Peters, (p38) is what
you have in mind: - "The first total abstinence society on record, was formed
by Masons in Italy, one hundred and sixty-eight years ago, the Xerophagists -
men who do not drink - under which name they met to avoid the Bull of Pope
Clement XII, in 1738." The little book by Brother Peters was published in
* * *
THERE BE LIGHT."
Replying to a Brother
who asks for a few lines that may be used by the Master or the Senior Deacon
when the candidate kneels to offer prayer, the following suggestions have been
made. Both are good, but not more than one should be used at the same time:
"Prayer is the offering
up of the heart's desires to God for the things agreeable to Him, and which we
most need. As we come into life a prayer is offered up for us, and as we pass
out of life and earth's shadows grow dim and our eyes behold the shores of the
eternal world, a prayer is offered that our soul may be renewed inside the
gates of pearl. Then be not afraid to
not afraid to pray - to pray is right;
if thou canst, with hope; but ever pray,
hope be weak or sick with long delay;
in the darkness, let there be light."
* * *
GENERAL GRAND LODGE
After reading the
letters exchanged between Brethren Mikels and Shepherd, a Brother in Kentucky
asks us to state the facts about a general Grand Lodge as proposed by Henry
Clay while Grand Master of Kentucky. Brother Clay - a kinsman of ye editor, by
the way - was very much in favor of a general Grand Lodge, and was the moving
spirit in the Convention looking to that end held in Washington, D. C., March
9th, 1822, and wrote the Appeal in behalf of such a National Grand Lodge
adopted by that Convention. The nature and purpose of the movement were
misunderstood, if not deliberately misrepresented, by many. Brother Clay did
not have in mind a national body exercising jurisdiction coextensive with the
Union, embracing complete and universal control over the fiscal and detailed
concerns of every Grand Lodge, subordinate Lodge and individual Mason in the
country - that would manifestly be impracticable. The objects of the
convocation at Washington were two: To acquire an elevated stand for the
Masonry of the country, by uniting it, making it effective and influential;
and, second, to preserve between the States that uniformity of work and that
interchange of good offices, which would be difficult, if not impossible, by
other means. As such, a National Grand Lodge would be composed, undoubtedly,
of the ablest Masons in the Union, and so be a central point of Masonic
intelligence and influence; and that was what Grand Master Clay wanted. ( See
"History of Masonry in Kentucky," by Bob Morris, pp 232-241.)
* * *
Dear Brother: - While
in general I am more particularly interested in the History of Masonry, and
would like to receive further light therein, I am especially interested in
what seems to me to be the glaring weakness of our present system. That is,
the average Masonic Lodge spends itself in a weekly round of ritualistic work,
initiates, passes and raises candidates, dispenses a little charity within its
own circle, at rare intervals assist some worthy cause outside its own door
(Masonic cause, I mean) and then holds its annual meeting with the feeling
that it has performed all its obligations. I don't believe it has. It seems to
me that Masonry ought to stand for something better than a ceaseless round of
ritualistic work and some spasmodic charity; that it ought really to live the
principles it sets forth in the lives of its members; that there are calls
sounding on every side, not especially from brother Masons, which it ought to
answer. Just where a Masonic Lodge should begin, and how it should do this
kind of work, I do not know, at present. Perhaps there are other Masons like
minded with myself who, by correspondence, might devise a working plan which
would put into effect the great working principles and precepts of the Order
which, to my mind, are now for the most part lying idle and accumulating a
fine lot of dust and cobwebs. Yours fraternally, Charles O. Ford, Michigan.
* * *
Dear Brother: - At this
time of year our Chapter does not do much work in the way of initiating, and I
have been thinking that we might have a series of talks by different officers
dealing with the origin, history, symbols and ceremonies of the Chapter. I
would be pleased to have your suggestions in the matter, both as to materials
and plans of study. - W. F. E.
Certainly you can make
use of your time most delightfully and profitably, as you have a mind to do,
studying as you suggest. Of course, you will want the "Book of the Chapter,"
by Mackey (Macoy Co., New York, $1.60), and "The English Rite," by Hughan,
which can be obtained from the Lodge of Research, Leicester, England, Brother
J. T. Thorp, secretary. There are three brief but valuable chapters on the
Royal Arch in "Sidelights on Freemasonry," by J. T. Lawrence, and of course
the well-known chapters in the "History of Freemasonry and Concordant Orders,"
by Hughan and Stillson. The Bible, however, will be your chief text-book, and
you will find the study of the period of rebuilding the temple fascinating
indeed - a story to stir your blood, for that it tells of a heroic undertaking
in face of almost overwhelming difficulties. The origin of the Royal Arch
degrees is most interesting, and also their position in Masonry before the
Lodge of Reconciliation, in 1813. But the great question is this: - Mackey
held and taught - like Brother Williams, in his beautiful study of Royal Arch
symbolism in The Builder (Vol. 1, p. 51) - that symbolic Masonry is an
allegory of life in this world, and that the Royal Arch has to do with life in
the next world; with the progress of the soul in the life beyond. This
interpretation - suggestive as it is, and worthy of long pondering - is hardly
known in England at all, and we confess that it has never.satisfied us. Nor do
we believe that it was so understood in the early days of the Rite. There is
much to be said for it indeed, following as it does, chronologically, the
drama of the Third Degree. But with some of us the chief meaning of the Third
Degree is not its teaching of immortality after death, but its revelation of
immortality here and now. Some time we hope to go into this matter more
thoroughly than can be done in a brief note, setting forth another and, as we
think, more practical view; but we would have Brother Evans and his Companions
keep it in mind and
discuss it in their course
of study. Indeed, we
should like to have the question discussed in these pages, and trust that the
Brethren will take notice and govern themselves accordingly.
* * *
Dear Sir and Brother: -
Your note to Brother W. A. Harper's query in the December Builder regarding
the Katipunan, is misleading. The Filipinos can not be classed among primitive
peoples like the tribes of New Hebrides. The Filipinos, properly so-called,
are the descendants of the eight peoples (not tribes) who were converted to
Christianity at the time of the Spanish conquest (before 1600). Before the
coming of the Spaniards these were real peoples with a definite beginning of
civilization. Through the co-operation of America, they are now being slowly
welded into one people. But there are certain wild, non-christian, or pagan
tribes, like the Ifugao or Bontoc, of whom your assertion is more or less
true. But these can not be called Filipinos, but rather come under the broader
classification of "Philippine Peoples," which includes also the Filipinos. It
is a poor classification, but the best we have. The two pagan tribes (and I am
sure that we should not say "peoples") have the institution of the "Mens'
House," and it proves very useful among them. Both are far and away more
advanced than the tribes of New Hebrides or other pagan peoples outside the
Philippines in their general district.
However, this is only
by the way, and in order that I may set the Filipinos in their true
perspective. My real purpose in writing is to answer Mr. Harper's query re the
Katipunan and the pamphlet regarding it.
In Blair & Robertson,
The Philippine Islands: 1493-1898 (Cleveland, Clark, 1903-1909), Vol. 46, p.
361, note, I cite this pamphlet, (The Katipunan, Manila, 1902), and say of its
author "purporting to be by one Francis St. Clair, although it is claimed by
some to have been written by or for the friars." Its author is really one J.
Brecknock Watson, who is an Englishman and a convert to Catholicism. At the
time of its publication, Watson was in the employ of, or was actually a
lay-brother among, the Dominicans, for whom the pamphlet was compiled. The
author himself told me that he was "Francis St. Clair" shortly after my
arrival in Manila in February, 1910, when I went to the Philippines to take
charge of the Philippine Library. James A. LeRoy, until his death one of the
foremost authorities on things Philippine, says in his "Bibliographical Notes"
(vol. 52, p. 188 note, of the series above cited) that the pamphlet was
"published in order to put before Americans the friar viewpoint of the
Filipino revolutionists." The work is, as might be expected, ultra
anti-Masonic in character, and consists of translations into English from
Spanish writers who were opposed to Masonry. By the enemies of Masonry, the
Katipunan has often been designated "the fighting body of Masonry" in the
Philippines, a statement which is as ridiculous as it is erroneous. "Francis
St. Clair," at present an editor on the staff of the Cablenews-American, is
writing another book on the Katipunan (this time under his own name) from
materials which he claims to have discovered. The book will be anti-Masonic in
So much for the
Pamphlet, which is utterly untrustworthy. Now for the Society. The full name
of the latter was "Ang Kataastaasan Kagalanggalang Katipunan manga Anak nang
Bayan," or "The Sovereign Worshipful Association of the Sons of the People." "Katipunan"
simple means "society" or "Association" and is in constant use in the
Philippines in connection with many clubs, etc. As an organization, the above
society borrowed some of the trappings of Masonry, for some at least of its
founders were Masons, but in no sense can the organization be said to be
Masonry, nor did it have any connection with Masonry. Lodges were founded
under a regional grand lodge and secret signs and passwords were employed. A
Supreme Council was organized in 1892. The organization was generally
restricted to the island of Luzon, although some few lodges were organized
outside that island. It was, throughout its course, a Tagalog organization,
and was extended but slightly among any of the other Filipino Peoples.
The organization was
formed by men of the middle class, but it was distinctly for the masses, and
when the notorious Andres Bonifacio obtained control it was opened to the
ungovernable passions of the ignorant populace. The objects of the
organization in the beginning was not revolution against Spain but protest
against the friar abuses. But it is undeniable that Bonifacio fostered the
idea of revolution, and worked actively for that end, and to him probably more
than to any other man is due the violent propaganda against Spain that was
waged in the Philippines as a prelude to the outbreak of the revolution of
I dare not take any
more space to discuss this matter. I trust enough has been said to satisfy
Brother Harper's query. LeRoy's Americans in the Philippines (Boston,
Houghton, Mifflin, 1914), vol. 1, p. 79 et seq. should be consulted for a
fuller description, as well as various citations in Blair and Robertson, ut
Masonry in the
Philippines dates back to about 1860, when a lodge was formed among the
liberal-minded Spaniards. After a while some of the half castes were admitted
and later lodges were formed among the Filipinos. Some Filipinos became Masons
also in Spain. The movement was bitterly fought by the friars who had no wish
to see modern liberal principles enter the Philippines. Many Masons were
deported and some executed.
Upon the acquisition of
the Philippines by the United States, Masonry was able to come out into the
plain light of day. There is now a Grand Lodge of the Philippines, with five
lodges, one of which is composed of Filipinos almost entirely; about nine
Filipino lodges that work under a Spanish charter; one lodge chartered by the
Grand Lodge of Portugal; and two lodges chartered by the Grand Lodge of
Scotland. It is hoped that the day is not far distant when all these lodges
will be enrolled under one grand lodge. The Chapter, the Knight Templars, and
the Scottish Rite, all have local bodies in Manila; and there is a Sojourners'
Association which gathers in Masons of all jurisdictions. The Filipino makes
an enthusiastic Mason; and the Philippines offer a rich Masonic field.
Fraternally and cordially,
A. Robertson, Ohio.
* * *
Dear Brother Editor: -
In reading through the fascinating files of The Builder, two articles have
caught my attention upon which I happen to have, from other sources,
interpretations varying from those of your contributor. Will you courteously
accord me the same generosity you have shown to former correspondents, if I
briefly note these differences ?
The first is pertinent
to the article by Bro. Baird on "Ancient Evidences," as contained in your
January issue. Prof. August Mau's "Pompeii," translated by Prof. Francis W.
Kelsey of the University of Michigan, reproduces the same picture of the
mosaic table-top, p. 391, but describes it as having been found in a tanner's
establishment. May I quote: -
"In the same building
four tools were found, similar to those used by tanners at the present time.
One was a knife, of bronze, with a charred wooden handle on the back of the
blade; two were scraping irons with a handle on each end; and there was
another iron tool with a crescent-shaped blade.
"The garden on which
the colonnade opened contains an open-air triclinium. The table was ornamented
with a mosaic top, now in the Naples Museum, with a characteristic design. The
principal motive is a skull; below is a butterfly on the rim of a wheel,
symbols of the fluttering of the disembodied soul and of the flight of time.
On the right and the left are the spoils that short-lived man leaves behind
him, - here a wanderer's staff, a wallet, and a beggar's tattered robe; there,
a scepter, with a mantle of royal purple. Over all is a level, with the plumb
line hanging straight, symbolic of Fate, that sooner or later equalizes the
lots of all mankind. The thought of the tanner, or of the earlier proprietor
of the house, is easy to divine: Mors aurem vellens, Vivite, ait, venio,
plucks my ear, and says,
'Live!' for I come."
The inscription quoted
by Bro. Baird as having been found over the door of the house in question is
mentioned by Professor Mau in connection with quite a different house (p.
379). "Near the Porta Marina (at the northwest corner of Insula VII, xv), a
tufa block may be seen near the top of the wall, showing a Mason's tools in
relief; above it is the inscription, Diogenes structor, 'Diogenes the mason.'
This is not a sign - the inscription can hardly be read from below; it is,
moreover, on the outside of a garden wall, with no house or shop entrance near
it. It is rather a workman's signature; Diogenes had built the wall, and
wished to leave a record of his skill."
The third paper in the
series "Memorials of Great Men Who Were Masons," in the November issue of The
Builder, also from the pen of Bro. Baird, (I hope he will not think me guilty
of a personal animus), contains a reference to the sword presented to
Washington by Frederick the Great. Henry Cabot Lodge has an article in The
Outlook for August 26, 1911, entitled "An American Myth," in which he cites
the story of the sword as an example of historical myth (p.
"Washington was never a Marshal of France, and there is no evidence that he
was ever given a sword by Frederick the Great. Yet both stories have been
widely believed; both crop up from time to time, are roundly defended, and
then sink down, only to rise again, as smiling and as false as thev were in
Somewhere else, only recently, I have seen the same myth more minutely
discussed, but I can not now recall where. Perhaps some reader of The Builder
may happen to know. Fraternally yours,
Frederic Stanley Dunn.
P., O. E. S. of Oregon; P. M., P. E. C.
* * *
COLUMNS AND PILASTERS
Editor of The Builder:
- It seems to me that the title of your splendid magazine should suggest a
solution of the problem of how to get 1453 columns,
into King Solomon's Temple if it was only 90 feet long, 45 feet wide and 30
feet high, and also how to accommodate those two famous brazen pillar 60 feet
high "within the outer porch." One sleepless night this solution occurred to
me and, simple as it is, it seems the only solution and perfect in results. We
know that God's chosen people used two or more measures bearing the generic
name of "cubit" or measure of length. One was the measure of a man's forearm
or 18 inches, but another was of two paces or six feet. If they used both how
did they use them? Naturally small objects, interior decorations such as
columns, pillars and pilasters, were measured by the smaller cubit and
exterior dimensions and distances by the larger. Now to apply this rule draw a
rough sketch of a building by the larger cubit and follow the Biblical
statement and you will get a temple 60 cubits or 360 feet long, 30 cubits or
180 feet wide, and
20 cubits or 120
feet high. In its outer porch the 60 foot (by the smaller cubit) pillars would
satisfy the taste of any architect and the interior would be gorgeous with the
columns and pilasters, whereas in a building only 90 feet long and 45 feet
wide they could not be stored as cordwood. My idea as to why this rule of
estimate has not all along prevailed is that the subject of the Temple has
been studied chiefly by clergymen interested in the religious bearing alone
and who never had occasion to look into the mathematical problem at all.
Think of it in another
light. Would a Temple of 90x45x30 feet have been classed as one of the wonders
of the world in a generation when architectural display was the one
characteristic of the age? Would a building no larger than the average small
family apartment have excited the envy and avarice of a foreign potentate and
induced him to inaugurate a military expedition with a million men to destroy
and plunder such a building ?
I am sure that, vast as
were the expenditures of gold and other valuables, such a structure would at
best have been famed as a gem or bijou of architecture, and at worst have
excited ridicule and contempt.
W. Eggleston, P. G. M. Virginia.
* * *
SANDS OF THE SEA
Dear Brother Editor: -
An interesting thing came to my attention not so long ago which I give for the
benefit of the Craft. I am sorry that I cannot give the exact reference, as I
do not remember whether I read it or heard someone tell the story. It is said
that the poet Shelley, who met his death by drowning, was picked up on the
seashore in the territory of the "estates of the Church," as they were known
at the time. Biographies of Shelley state that, on account of quarantine
regulations, all such bodies were to be buried in quicklime where found,
although Shelley's body was burned. Now it so happened that Shelley was not a
Roman Catholic, and that the area between the high tide mark and the low tide
mark, literally the rough sands
of the sea and
just about a cable's length from the permanent shore, is regarded as being
neither land nor sea - that is, it is a most dishonorable place of interment.
I believe there is a reference in one of the Greek poets to a seaside burial
which might throw further light on the selection of so curious a place, but I
to find it. Perhaps some other Brother may be able to locate it. Yours
work on mind and matter now,
Master raised to power art thou,
Impress on each and all you can
Heaven's eternal Temple-plan.
a trestle-board portray
great Design, from day to day,
build, in silence rever’ntly,
temple of Humanity.