The Builder Magazine
June 1916 - Volume II - Number 6
JACQUES BERNARD DE MOLAI
BRO. G. ALFRED LAWRENCE, NEW YORK
JACQUES Bernard de Molai (or de Molay), a native of Burgundy, was born in the
year 1243, and his life and times are of deep interest to Masons, and
especially to Knights Templar, owing to the fact of his being the last Grand
Master of the Order of Templars, together with his heroic martyrdom for the
cause to which he had devoted practically his entire life. He was the youngest
brother of one of the most distinguished houses of the "Compte" of Burgundy,
his elder brother having a large property and a higher position.
Entering the Order in 1265, at the age of 22 years, he had passed through all
the degrees and became Grand Prior (or Preceptor) of England. His devotion and
service resulted in his acquiring an enviable reputation throughout the
Templar world of that strenuous period.
of true merit, of undaunted bravery, highly intellectual, of amiable
disposition and pure morals, with a character beyond reproach, meriting and
receiving the favor of his King, he was a welcome guest at the Court of
France. In 1297 his treacherous sovereign selected him for the distinguished
honor of holding his (the King's) fourth son, M. Robert, at the baptismal
font. All this time Philip the Fair, while pretending friendship for de Molai
and the Order, with avaricious eyes looked longingly at the rich possessions
of the Templars, and was secretly plotting their destruction. Ignorant of the
hatred of the King, the lords of his Court held de Molai in such high esteem
that they aided in his election as Grand Master in 1298. In 1302 de Molai, as
the Head of this powerful Order, made the last effort--a result of the seven
Crusades that had swept Europe for several centuries--to recover Palestine
from the Moslem hordes, but he and his faithful followers suffered defeat at
the hands of the Sultan of Egypt, with a loss of 120 Knights; and this ended
their endeavors to recover the Holy Land. After that the activities of this
powerful Order, as a military organization, ceased.
many grants from time to time the Templars had become possessed of large
estates and were very rich and prosperous. The cupidity of the clergy, the
need of money by their avaricious King, and the decadence of the Templars as a
military organization, were the principal factors leading to their downfall.
first Grand Master of this famous Order of Templars was Hugho de Payens,
elected in 1118, followed by Robert de Craon, 1136; Everard des Barres, 1146;
Bernard deTremelay, 1151; Bertrand de Blanquefort, 1154; Philip of Naplous,
1167; Odo de St. Amand, 1170; Arnold de Torroge, 1180; Gerard de Ridefort,
1185; Brother Walter, 1189; Robert de Sable, 1191; Gilbert Horal, 1195; Philip
Duplesseis, 1201; William de Charters, (date of election unknown) who died in
1218; Peter de Montague, 1218; Herman de Perigord, 1236; William de Sonnac,
1245; Reginald de Vichier, 1152; Thomas Berard, 1256; William de Beaujeu,
1273; Theobald de Gaudini, 1291; and finally in 1297 Jacques Bernard de Molai
(or Molay), Preceptor of England, was elected Grand Master by a general
Chapter of the Order.
interesting to note in this connection that King John of England frequently
resided at the Temple London, and it was there that he resigned England
Ireland " to his lord Pope Innocent the Third," and signed that epoch-making
document "Magna Charta." This historic building, which became Crown property
upon the dissolution of the Order in 1313, afterwards came into possession of
the Knights of St. John, who in 1346 leased it to the students of common law,
and it has served continuously since then as a law school and today houses the
inns of court--societies for the study of law and possessing exclusively the
privilege of calling to the bar--four in number, the Inner and Middle Temple,
Lincoln's Inn and Gray's Inn.
events that led up to the tragic death of de Molai and the dissipation of
Order and confiscation their estates, was the avarice of Philip IV, called
Phillip the Fair, the sore financial straits in which the French monarchy
found itself coupled with the cupidity of the clergy and the vacillating
character of Pope Clement V. Philip pretended to be anxious for a new crusade,
and at his instigation Clement V called the Grand Masters of the Templars and
Knights of John to Europe. De Molai, as a true soldier of the cross, answered
this summons and returned to France in the fall of 1306, accompanied by a
chosen band of distinguished Knights of the Order. He repaired to Portiers in
1307 to render allegiance to the Pope, and at that time nothing was said about
investigating the affairs of the Order.
Shortly thereafter Philip appeared before Clement and preferred charges
demanding the dissolution of the Order. As this was the beginning of French or
Avignon Papacy, the Pope was largely under the influence of Philip and was
finally induced to order this investigation. Instead of awaiting this papal
investigation, however, the King immediately procured the arrest of every
Templar in France, and on October 13, 1307, de Molai was seized in the house
of the Temple and taken before special commissioners of the Inquisition.
Although the Pope was indignant at this presumption the part of Philip, and
suspended the power of the Inquisition, yet the King's influence was so great
that he finally compelled the Pope to take part in the action. De Molai was
thereupon examined by a Papal commission, and under torture confessed the
truth of some of the charges. On March 11, 1314, he was condemned to perpetual
imprisonment. He immediately retracted all he had said while under torture,
and this so infuriated the King that the latter ordered him forcibly seized
and burnt at the stake the same evening. This occurred in front of Notre Dame,
Paris, and as the flames mounted up about his body and were fast consuming his
flesh, after protesting the innocence of the Order, he called aloud to the
surrounding crowd, "You who behold us perishing in the flames shall decide our
innocence ! I summon Pope Clement V to appear in forty days and Philip the
Fair in twelve months before the just and terrible throne of the everliving
God, to render an account of the blood which they have unjustly and wickedly
him perished Guy, the Grand Preceptor; Hugo de Paralt (or Peraldes), the
Visitor General; and Theodore Bazile de Merioncourt. Retribution followed
swiftly; the King Philip IV dying four weeks later embittered by misfortune
and deserted by his nobles. Pope Clement V, after a painful and lingering
illness, died one year and a month after the death of these martyred Templars;
and it is recorded that all those others foremost in persecuting the Templars
came to an untimely and miserable death.
Philip had plotted to invest one of his sons with the title of King of
Hierusalem, (Jerusalem), and hoped to procure of Pope Clement V the large
revenues of the Order by this dastardly act. What actually occurred was the
confiscation of the possessions of the Templars which were divided among
various Orders, many of the surviving Knights of the Order languished in
dungeons, and the remainder were compelled to leave their homes, discard their
Templar garb and go forth penniless into the world.
Tradition tells us that the surviving Templars became divided into four
parties: (1) Templars in Portugal and Italy, known since as Knights of the
"Order of Christ"; (2) those who accepted Peter d'Aumont- as the successor of
de Molai; (3) those who asserted that John Marc Larmenius was his successor;
and (4) those who refused to accept either d'Aumont or Larmenius. Modern
Templarism is supposed to be derived from the fourth class, although there are
no historically authentic documents to prove this contention.
Addison, on the contrary, claims that de Molai appointed as his successor John
Marc Larmenius, of Jerusalem, and that from him a regular uninterrupted line
of Grand Masters succeeded, and that the Charter of transmission with the
signatures of the various chiefs of the Temple, together with the ancient
statutes of the Order, the rituals, records, seals, standards, and the early
memorials of the Templars, are preserved at Paris. As Grand Masters were
elected, and not appointed, such a succession to say the least from de Molai
could not be regular. This with many other points in the history of various
Orders that flourished and were powerful factors for good during this troubled
period, together with the early history of Knights Templarism as it exists
today, are fruitful fields for Masonic research, which it is to be hoped some
member of the National Masonic Research Society can take up at an early date
and prosecute to a successful issue.
life and tragic death of Jacques Bernard de Molai should be an inspiration to
every Mason zealously to work for the advancement and uplifting of our beloved
fraternity, and so usefully conduct his own life that he can in the evening of
his own earthly existence lay aside his working tools and fall asleep to
awaken in that "Celestial Temple," and greet this perfect Knight whose
enfranchised spirit soared aloft these six centuries agone.
a sparrow on the window rest,
caught a simple rose in blossom there;
nerveless echo from the muffled past,
canst thou with the living voice compare!
costly shrines, in stone and splendor clad,
stir not, tho' the stately music roll,
me, the pulsing life, the sun, the sky,
blessed influence of soul on soul.
bird and rose and sunbeam be without,
gloom and dust and marble fill the shrine ?
those who will all humbly bow within,
larger, broader Father's house, be mine!
--Abram S. Isaacs, New York.
noble life, a simple faith,
open heart and hand;
are the common litanies
all men understand.
are the ornaments of grace,
hidden to the view,
square and plumb and level,
build the world anew.
--Abram S. Isaacs, New York.
friend is one who backs you up
other men assail;
find him near when others cheer,
near the times you fail.
does not ask blue skies for you
leave when days are grim
good or bad, the luck you've had,
all the same to him.
friend is first to cheer for you
last one to desert;
old time's sake your part he'll take
However much he's hurt.
by your side through thick and thin
back you to the end;
great is he whoe'er he be
worthy of his friend !
--Edgar A. Guest.
come I in the pride of youth to learn
life work: through my limbs there runs a fire,
of my vigor, shaped by wild desire.
from the quarry of the race, I turn
shape myself more finely, to discern
part of nature's harmony, aspire
excellencies great, to powers higher,
then, perchance, my great reward to earn.
Master gave me tools for work, when light
come by which to work; a simple rule
Whereby to labor best by day and night,
instrument to take away excess;
clad as learner, entered I the school
strength controlled at last will bring success.
W. Ticknor, Florida.
WHATEVER THE WEATHER
"Whatever the weather may be," says he--
"Whatever the weather may be,
the songs ye sing, an' the smiles ye wear,
a-makin' the sun shine everywhere;
the world of gloom is a world of glee,
the bird in the bush, an' the bud in the tree,
the fruit on the stim o' the bough," says he,
"Whatever the weather may be," says he--
"Whatever the weather may be !"
"Whatever the weather may be," says he--
"Whatever the weather may be,
bring the Spring, wid its green an' gold,
the grass in the grove where the snow lies cold;
ye'll warm yer back, wid a smiling face,
sit at yer heart, like an owld fireplace,
toast the toes o' yer sowl," says he,
"Whatever the weather may be," says he--
"Whatever the weather may be !"
--James Whitcomb Riley.
WEBB RITUAL IN THE UNITED STATES
BRO. SILAS H. SHEPHERD, WISCONSIN
year 1717 will ever stand out as a prominent date in the history of
Freemasonry. Since then we have voluminous written and printed records; before
then we had but about a hundred old manuscript charges, a few mentions of
Freemasonry in biography and laws, and a very few lodge minutes.
Previous to 1717, the rituals, or forms and ceremonies of reception of
candidates and other work of the lodge, were most probably given in the
language and manner the presiding officer chose. It may have been in a "set
form of words," which form was transmitted orally from one generation to
after the "revival," or the organization of the Grand Lodge in 1717, Rev.
James Anderson, the author of the "Book of Constitutions" of 1723, and Dr.
John T. Desaguliers, the master mind of the organization, arranged the
lectures into the form of questions and answers for the first time, and this
was adopted by the Grand Lodge as the authentic lectures. (1)
1732, Martin Clare revised the lectures and made a few Christian applications
which were not in strict conformity to the cosmopolitan character of the
fraternity. Dr. Thos. Manningham and Thos. Dunkery were the next to "improve
the work" and Dr. Manningham's prayer is still used, with slight modifications
in opening a lodge and at the reception of candidates. Thos. Dunkerly is said
to have given the theological ladder its three principal rounds. In 1763, Wm.
Hutchinson again revised and "improved" the lectures and gave more Christian
applications to their rites and ceremonies. (2)
greatest of all ritualists, however, was William Preston who was made a Mason
in a lodge of "Antients," in 1763, and soon after induced that lodge to be
reconstituted by the "Moderns." In 1767 he became master of his lodge. He
believed that Freemasonry should not only be a progressive moral science, but
that it should have an educational value in giving its votaries more knowledge
of the liberal arts and sciences. His "Illustrations of Masonry" was the
result, and no book having more influence has ever been written on Masonry. He
was the father of the monitor. By 1774 he had completed his system of "work"
and established a school of instruction, and from that time to the present the
Preston "work" has been, and undoubtedly far into the future it will continue
to be, one of the most potent influences of the ritual. Preston's "work"
continued to be the standard work for the Grand Lodge of England until 1813,
when the "United Grand Lodge" adopted the Hemming lectures. The Hemming
lectures differ in many particulars from the Preston. The Preston lectures are
still given once a year in England under the auspices of a foundation made for
Freemasonry was first established in America is an open question. We are not
quite sure that the stone with the date 1606 is really a Masonic stone of that
date, or that Mordecai Campanell and his companions conferred the degrees of
Masonry in 1656 at Newport, R. I. (3) Neither are we certain as to where
Freemasonry was first practiced in this country by authority of the Grand
Lodge of England after 1717. It is, however, well known that lodges were
established in the colonies and that Daniel Coxe, Henry Price and James Graeme
were issued deputations as Provincial Grand Masters.
ritual of the English lodges would naturally have been the one used in the
English colonies, and in this connection it is well to call attention to the
fact that the "Grand Lodge of England according to the old Institutions," or
"Ancients," was established in 1751, and from that time until 1813 chartered
lodges in all the colonies. In many of the colonies there were two conflicting
Provincial Grand Lodges.
establishment of the "Ancient" Grand Lodge changes were made which were of
considerable importance. (4) Uniformity was not accomplished in England until
1813, and it has not yet been attained, and probably never will be attained,
in America. Pennsylvania still retains the "Ancient work."
the Colonies had declared their independence of Great Britain, the Provincial
Grand Lodges naturally declared their independence of the Grand Lodges to
which they owed their origin. Each was then a sovereign Grand Lodge.
return to the lectures; they took the form of the place whence they came, and
were quite probably not transmitted with a great degree of accuracy, and were
not very uniform in the United States at the close of the Eighteenth century.
Smith Webb was born in Boston, Mass., October 13, 1771, and became a printer
or book binder. Early in life he became a Mason and a teacher of Masonry. In
1797 he published the "Freemason's Monitor." He subsequently did more for
Masonry than almost any one else in his day, and was probably personally
instrumental in founding the "American Rite," or system of degrees of Royal
Arch, Council and Commandery. What we are particularly interested in, however,
is his connection with ancient craft Masonry.
the close of the eighteenth century a printer named Hanmer came to America and
brought the Preston work. He communicated it to Webb. Soon afterward Webb
abridged it, arranged it differently, as to sections, and taught this revision
to Benjamin Gleason, Henry Fowle, Bro. Snow, and others. In 1806 a joint
committee of six, of which Bros. Gleason and Fowle were members, met and
agreed upon the Webb work as the standard work of Massachusetts and New
Hampshire. Bro. Jeremy Cross claimed to have received his work from this
committee. (5) In an address before the Grand Lodge of Vermont in 1859 G. M.
Philip Tucker gave much valuable information from which we excerpt the
"About the year 1800--twelve years after the publication of Preston's
Illustrations an English brother, whose name I have been unable to obtain,
came to Boston and taught the English Lectures as they had been arranged by
Preston. The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts approved them and they were taught
by Thomas S. Webb and Henry Fowle, of Boston, and Brother Snow, of Rhode
Island. About the year 1801, Brother Benjamin Gleason, who was a student of
Bro. Webb, received them from him, and embodied them in a private key of his
own. About the year 1805, Bro. Gleason was employed by the Grand Lodge of
Massachusetts to teach all the Subordinate Lodges of that jurisdiction, and
was paid for that service, fifteen hundred dollars. To those lectures the
Grand Lodge of Massachusetts still adheres, with a very slight variation in
the Fellow Craft and Master's Degree. Bro. Snow afterwards changed and
modified the Lectures he had received--mingling with them some changes from
other sources--so that the system of lectures descending through him, is not
Gleason was appointed Grand Lecturer of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in
1805, and that Grand Lodge appointed no other Grand Lecturer until 1842. He
was a liberally educated man; graduated at Brown University in 1802, and was a
public lecturer on geography and astronomy. He was a member of Mount Lebanon
Lodge, in Massachusetts, in 1807, and died in Concord in that State, in 1847,
at the age of 70. He visited England and exemplified the Preston Lectures as
he had received them from Bro. Webb, before the Grand Lodge of England, and
the Masonic authorities of that Grand Body pronounced them correct. In the
year 1817, Bro. John Barney, formerly of Charlotte, Vermont, went to Boston
and received the Preston Lectures there as taught by Gleason, and as they were
approved by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.
unable to say whether he received them from Bro. Gleason himself, or from Bro.
Henry Fowle. My impression is that he received them from Bro. Fowle. In
possession of these Lectures he returned to Vermont, and at the Annual
Communication of our Grand Lodge in October, 1817, visited that Grand Body and
made known the fact. The subject was submitted to a committee for examination,
which reported that these Lectures were according to the most approved method
of Work in the United States, and proposed to give Bro. Barney letters of
recommendation to all Lodges and brethren, wherever he may wish to travel, as
a brother well qualified to give useful Masonic information to any one who may
wish his services.
Grand Lodge accepted and adopted the report of its committee, and Bro. Barney,
under the recommendation thus given, visited many of the then existing Lodges
of this State, and imparted to them a knowledge of these Lectures. Among
others, in the year 1818, he visited Dorchester Lodge, in Vergennes, and
imparted full instructions in them to Right Worshipful Samuel Wilson, now and
for several years past, Grand Lecturer of this State. Upon this occasion Bro.
Barney wrote out a portion of them in private key, and Bro. Wilson wrote out
the remainder. Both were written in the same book, and that part written by
Bro. Wilson was examined carefully and approved by Bro. Barney. That original
manuscript is still in existence, and is now in possession of my son, Bro.
Philip C. Tucker, Jr., of Galveston, Texas, to whom Bro. Wilson presented it a
few years ago. Bro. Wilson has a perfect copy of it, and refers to it as
authority in all cases of doubt. Bro. Gallup, of Liberty Lodge, at Franklin,
was one of the original Grand Lodge committee, and is still living to attest
the correctness and identity of these Lectures as taught by Barney, in 1817.
are the only Lectures which have been sanctioned in this jurisdiction, from
October, 1817, to the present day. The Grand Lodge has sanctioned no others.
My predecessors, Grand Masters Robinson, Whitney, Whales and Haswell,
sustained them against all innovations, and to the extent of my power I have
done the same. I think upon these facts I am justified in saying that the
Lectures we use are the true Lectures of Preston.
changed the arrangement of the sections as fixed by Preston. for one which he
thought more simple and convenient, but, as I understand, he left the body of
the Lectures themselves as Preston had established them. Subsequently to 1818,
Bro. Barney went to the western and southwestern States; he was a man in
feeble health at the time, and pursued Masonic lecturing as a means of
subsistence. Upon his return to this State, a few years afterwards. he stated
to his brethren here--as I have been credibly informed and believe-- that he
found different systems of lecturing prevailing at the west and south-west,
and that, upon presenting the Lectures he had been taught at Boston in 1817,
to different Grand Masters, they were objected to, and that various Grand
Masters would not sanction his lecturing in their jurisdictions, unless he
would teach the Lectures then existing among them, that desiring to pursue his
occultation, he did learn the different systems of lecturing then existing in
the different States, and taught them in the different State jurisdictions, as
desired by the different Grand Masters in each. This circumstance accounts for
the strange disagreement between the east and west and south-west as to what
are the true Barney Lectures. They meant one thing in New England and another
in the west."
in 1861, he says: "Bro. Gleason was appointed Grand Lecturer of Massachusetts
in 1805 and no other Grand Lecturer was appointed by that Grand Lodge until
1842. During all this time Bro. Fowle was a member, sometimes a subordinate
officer, and occasionally Master of St. Andrew's Lodge of Boston, one of the
oldest and best informed Lodges in the world. For most of this time, also,
Bro. Gleason was at home in Massachusetts, and holding his office of Grand
Lecturer of his State. Is it not a very violent presumption to assume that he
did not know what Lectures and what kind of Work were taught in one of the
strongest Lodges of Boston.
knew Bro. Henry Fowle from my boyhood. My father was one of his intimate
friends, and they were members and officers of the same Charter. Bro. Fowle
was a man of far more mind and attainments than are usually found among men of
his sphere of life. His was not a mind to forget anything, and was too
tenacious a Mason to make changes without authority. But setting all
inferences from such considerations aside, I remark, that I was present at St.
Andrew's Lodge in 1823 or 1824. AND SAW THE WORK DONE, BRO. FOWLE TAKING PART
IN IT THAT EVENING AS A SUBORDINATE OFFICER, AND THE WORK WAS IDENTICALLY THAT
WHICH HAS BEEN PRACTICED IN THIS JURISDICTION FROM 1818 TO THIS DAY. AS
EXEMPLIFIED IN THE LECTURES COMMUNICATED TO WILSON BY BARNEY. I add also, that
I was subjected, upon another occasion, to a thorough examination, in an
ante-room of the same Masonic hall, upon a visit to St. Andrew's Chapter, by a
strong examining committee, which, finding that I answered readily, ran
through the Lectures ENTIRE from entered apprentice to Royal Arch, and that
the whole of them were IDENTICAL with those in use in the Lodges and Chapters
of Vermont. There can be no doubt, then, that the Lectures communicated by
Fowle to Barney were the genuine Lectures taught by Webb and Gleason, the same
which Gleason received from Webb in 1801 or 1802; the same which he taught as
Grand Lecturer of Massachusetts, from 1805; the same that I found among the
Boston Masons, in 1823 or 1824 and the very same which are taught there now.
there any opportunity for them to be falsified in their translation from
Barney to Wilson? Barney received them in 1817 and made private notes of them;
in October of that year, he submitted them to the Grand Lodge of Vermont, and
got its permission to teach them in this jurisdiction: he was well known here,
was a man of integrity and had every motive of interest and honor to preserve
them in their purity. In 1818--and before he had gone from the State to teach
elsewhere at all--he imparted them to Bro. Wilson, having his original notes
before him, and aiding that Brother in making a correct copy of themand when
they came into use practically, they were found to exactly agree with those
used in the jurisdiction from which Bro. Barney received them. There seems no
room for error or mistake here. The link in the chain of transmission is not
broken at all."
work of Webb was evidently well done, and in his life time there existed a
fairly uniform method where he or his disciples taught. He died in 1819.
Jeremy L. Cross published his "True Masonic chart" in 1819. It was the Webb
monitor with the addition of a series of illustrations of the emblems. This
feature has been copied in most monitors since.
"Morgan excitement" in 1826 put Masonic activity to a disadvantage, and there
was little done from 1826 to 1839 or thereabouts. Then there was a revival of
interest and an agitation for uniform work resulting in the Baltimore
Convention of 1843, at which the delegates adopted the "Webb work."
Barney, of whom Philip Tucker speaks, was made a Mason in Friendship Lodge No.
20, at Charlotte, Vt., in 1811. After teaching the Webb work in Vermont he
went west. He was Grand Lecturer in Ohio from 1836 to 1843, and Grand Lecturer
of the Grand Lodge of Illinois in 1846 and 1847. He died at Peoria, Ill., June
22, 1847. He was the most influential ritualist of Vermont, Ohio and Illinois.
Michigan and Wisconsin, and the states which have since become independent
Masonically, derived their work from these, and follow the Barney work to the
best of their knowledge.
Barney was the delegate from Ohio to the Baltimore Convention of 1843. Charles
W. Moore of Massachusetts, was also a delegate. In a letter written in 1863 he
work and lectures of the first three degrees, as adopted and authorized by the
Baltimore Convention, in 1843, were, with a few unimportant verbal exceptions,
literally as they were originally compiled by Bro. Thos. S. Webb, about the
close of the last century, and as they were subsequently taught by him during
his lifetime, and also by his early and favorite pupil, Bro. Benjamin Gleason,
from the years 1801-2 until his death in 1847. In a note to me, under date of
NOV. 25, 1843, Bro. Gleason says: 'It was my privilege while at Brown
University, Providence, R.I., (1801-2) to acquire a complete knowledge of the
lectures in the first three degrees of Masonry, directly from our late much
lamented brother Thos. S. Webb.' In 1805 Bro. Gleason was commissioned by the
Grand Lodge of Massachusetts as its Grand Lecturer and empowered to visit and
instruct the Lodges in the ritual, as he had received it from Bro. Webb. This
duty he performed with great fidelity, and to the entire satisfaction of the
Grand Lodge; and this ritual is in use in the lodges of Massachusetts at the
present time. There may be some verbal departures from the original, but no
material change has been made in it. In 1823-4 Bro. Gleason was my Masonic
teacher. I learned the work and lectures of him. We were connected by family
ties, and close Masonic relations continued to exist between us until his
death in 1847. I was associated with him in all the various branches of
Masonry for nearly a quarter of a century, and enjoyed all the rare advantages
of his extensive and accurate knowledge of the various rituals of the
different grades of the Order. In 1843 I was appointed by the Grand Lodge of
Massachusetts a delegate to the Baltimore Masonic Convention, called for the
purpose of revising the various modes of work then in use, and agreeing upon a
uniform system for the country. Before leaving home, and as a preparation for
the better discharge of the duties of the appointment, I availed myself of the
assistance of Bro. Gleason, in a thorough and careful revision of the
lectures, which I had originally received from him and which, on frequent
occasions, I had been called to deliver and work with him, both in-and out of
the Lodge. I was, therefore, qualified to report them to the convention,
through its committee on the work, in their purity and integrity, and, beyond
all doubt, just as they originally came from the hand of the late Bro. Webb. I
had the honor to be a member of the committee, and to report the amendments,
and the lectures as amended, to the convention. This I did without notes, but
subsequently took the precaution-to minute down the alterations from the
original; and these are now in my possession. They are mostly verbal, few in
number, and not material in their results. The only change of consequence was
in the due guards of the second and third degrees, which were changed and made
to conform to that of the first degree in position and explanation. This was
this Baltimore Convention sixteen of the twenty-three then existing Grand
Lodges of the United States were represented, and the "work" adopted was
called the "National" or "Barney" work. No opposition of consequence to this
work occurred until 1860, when Robert Morris tried to have a "Webb-Preston
work as taught by Robert Morris" adopted through the medium of a Conservator's
Association. This Conservator's Association gained much influence and many
brethren lent it their support. The plan was to have a conservator in each
lodge who was to use his best efforts to promulgate the "Webb-Preston work as
taught by Robert Morris." Each conservator was provided with a copy of
"Mnemonics," which Robert Morris claimed was the true work.
Grand Lodges, however, became alarmed and promptly condemned the Conservators;
in the early 60's most of them passed resolutions reaffirming the work as
handed down through Gleason, Barney, Wilson, Wadsworth, Cross and others, and
as approved and recommended by the Baltimore Convention. Robert Morris claimed
to have received the work from Bro. Wilson of Vermont; but Bro. Wilson says:
1857 Robert Morris visited Vermont for the purpose of ascertaining what were
the true Webb lectures. P. C. Tucker introduced Morris to me for the purpose,
and I loaned him a copy (not my original) of my cipher, and which
unfortunately had several omissions through mistake. In copying this, Morris
made several mistakes and misread many passages. In fact he could never read
it at all until I met him in Chicago in 1860, and I think he cannot read it
all now. This copy, with its blunders and omissions, is the text from which
the book you refer to (Mnemonics) was made."
are correct in judging the condition which prevailed from 1843, when the
Baltimore Convention was held, until the time of the Conservator's
Association, we would conclude that there was a difference in the work in the
different Jurisdictions which made a Conservator movement possible. (6)
Morris may have been sincerely desirous of promoting a uniform work and
believed he could accomplish it; He probably could if he had possessed either
the Preston work or the Webb work, but he had neither. His was a Morris work,
and there had been too many changes to suit the Brethren, and from then until
now the work adopted and maintained in the East and Northwest (7) has been as
near the Webb work as our ritualists could ascertain, with the exception of
Pennsylvania which still adheres to the "Ancient" work.
See Mackey's Enc., Article Lectures, for simple questions and answers.
See Hutchinson's "Spirit of Masonry."
History of Freemasonry and Concordant Orders, by Hughan, page 250.
considerable difference of opinion exists as to what was done. See "Hughan's
English Royal Arch." "Sadler's Reprints and Revelations."
think this a rather improbable claim, as Bro. Cross was not made a Mason until
"Two text books, differing materially were issued, each claiming to be the
work adopted. ( By the Baltimore convention). I have heard a dozen variations
of the lectures, each declared to be such as were agreed upon at Baltimore."
A. T. C. Pierson, G. M., Minn., 1858.
am uninformed as to the South and Southwest.
country ! In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the
right; but our country right or wrong!
DAWNS A DAY
there shall dawn a day
it here on homely earth ?
yonder, worlds away,
the strange and new have birth,
Power comes full in play?
life is--to wake not sleep,
and not rest, but press
earth's level where blindly creep
perfected, more or less,
heaven's height, far and steep.
amid what strifes and storms
wait the adventurous quest,
is Love--transports, transforms
aspired from worst to best,
the soul's world, spurned the worms'.
faith such end shall be:
the first, Power was--I knew.
has made clear to me
strive but for closer view,
were as plain to see.
see? When there dawns a day,
on the homely earth,
yonder, worlds away,
the strange and new have birth,
power comes full in play.
His Presidential Address at the Peace Congress in 1849.) A day will come when
you, France--you, Russia-- you, Italy--you, England--you, Germany--all of you
nations of the continent--shall, without losing your distinctive qualities and
your glorious individuality, blend in a higher unity and form a European
fraternity, even as Normandy, Brittany, Burgundy, Lorraine, Alsace, all the
French provinces, have become blended.
will come when war shall seem as absurd and impossible between Paris and
London, between St. Petersburg and Berlin, as between Rouen and Amiens,
between Boston and Philadelphia. A day will come when bullets and bombs shall
be replaced by ballots by the universal suffrage of the people, by the sacred
arbitrament of a great sovereign senate, which shall be to Europe what the
parliament is to England, what the diet is to Germany, what the legislative
assembly is to France.
will come when a cannon ball shall be exhibited in our museums as an
instrument of torture is now, and men shall marvel that such things could be.
A day will come when shall be seen those two immense groups, the United States
of America and the United States of Europe, in face of each other, extending
hand to hand over the ocean, exchanging their products, their commerce, their
industry, their arts, their genius --clearing the earth, colonizing deserts,
and ameliorating creation, under the eye of the Creator.
where is the sea?" the fishes cried
they swam the crystal clearness through;
heard from of old of the ocean's tide
long to look on the waters blue.
wise ones speak of an infinite sea;
who can tell us if such there be ?"
lark flew up in the morning bright
sang and balanced on sunny wings,
this was its song: "I see the light;
on a world of beautiful things;
flying and singing everywhere
vain have I sought to find the air."
will not cease--
is war's ground--
world goes round.
GLIMPSES OF A PRE REVOLUTIONARY MASONIC LODGE
BRO. J. EDWARD ALLEN, NORTH CAROLINA
diary of old Samuel Sewall of Massachusetts has been called "a window in old
Boston," and in the same way the early Masonic records may be called "colonial
views." It is from this point of view that the writer has been greatly
interested in the early records of Blandford-Bute lodge of Masons, of Bute
County, North Carolina. The early North Carolinians were an interesting
people. That polished gentlemen, William Byrd, of Westover, Virginia, after
appointing a line of division between these and his people, speaks of them, in
his "History of the Dividing Line," as "mere Adamites," forgetting that a
large part of the Carolinians were Virginians.
interested to know that many of these men were Masons, and in particular, a
number of those who came to Bute County. Therefore we find that on the
twenty-ninth of April, 1766, these Bute County Masons had already organized a
Lodge, and were on that date actually initiating candidates, "at Buffaloe,"
and were resolving to call their lodge "Blandford-Bute," probably in honor of
the old Blandford Lodge, near Petersburg, Va., chartered in 1756, and in honor
of their new home-county. They came down the trail which afterward became the
Petersburg-Raleigh - Charleston stage road, passing through Warrenton, and by
Buffalo. Aaron Burr later took this route on one of his journeys, spending a
night in Warrenton.
not know what the status of these Masons was in April, 1766. They seem not to
have been completely organized, for at the next meeting resolutions were
passed as follows:
"Resolved, that the Quarterly Meetings shall be held regularly at Bute court
on the first day thereof--
Resolved, that every member shall duly attend the lodges in course or give a
sufficient reason for his absence or pay the sum of two shillings sixpence for
Secondly, shall prophanely Swear in the Lodge under no less penalty than two
shillings and six pence for the first offense and five shillings for each
Thirdly, that there shall no member Indecently behave such as whispering or
Laughing in the lodge under the above penalty.
Fourthly, that no member shall disclose the proceedings of the lodge to any
but Masons, and not to them without they intend to become members or should
give such reasons as they should think they would.
Fifthly, that no member shall speake in the lodge without rising and
addressing himself to the Master.
Sixthly, that Every Member shall pay for his quarterly Payment Six Shillings
and Eight Pence Proct. money to the treasurer that shall be appointed by the
Seventhly, that no member shall reflect, or laugh, at any Rules proposed by
any member without, in the lodge, and there to make their objections in a
manner becoming any Mason.
Resolved, that no person be initiated in this lodge except he pay the money
down for his initiation, or give one of the members of the lodge for his
security, to-wit 4-4sh. Virga. currency--
Resolved, that Jethro Sumner Treasurer of this Lodge, bring his account of the
expenses of the same--
Resolved, that the treasurer Prepare a Striped Shirt and a Pair of Trousers
for the use of the Lodge."
curious commingling of trivial incidentals and important matters was evidently
regarded as the fundamental law for the government of the lodge, for it is
signed by the thirteen members, and is then concluded with the statement "Then
the lodge adjourned till the Lodge in course."
word personal here about these men will not be out of order. We must
understand that the English language was not then nearly so firmly fixed in
its forms and usages as now; and that therefore what appears to us to be bad
grammar would not have then been scorned. We must remember also that these men
all lived hard outdoor lives, many of them traveling long distances to find a
lodge or a church, and that therefore schools were almost inaccessible to the
most of these settlers and education was within reach only of a privileged few
who could employ private tutors. And did not that notorious governor of the
neighbor state, Sir William Berkeley, write concerning the condition of his
people: "I thank God there are no free schools, nor printing, and I hope we
shall not have these hundred years; for learning has brought disobedience and
heresy, and sects into the world, and printing has divulged them, and libels
against the best government. God keep us from both." But in spite of
unfavorable conditions many of the members of this old lodge were men whose
names appear on the pages of history as those of heroes of a great faith or
magnificent champions of liberty. Jethro Sumner, an officer of the lodge, was
one of the great generals of the Revolution. It is said that his name was
seriously considered when a Commander-in-chief of the American armies was to
be chosen. Green Hill, another of the members of the lodge at this time, was
the man in whose house was held the first conference of the Methodist
Episcopal Church in America. One part of this one county furnished at one
time, later, both U. S. senators, the congressman, the Governor, and a judge
of the State court of appeals. Here was born and raised Nathaniel Macon, the
greatest North Carolinian, long Speaker of the National House of
Representatives. And, by contrast, hence came Beau Hickman, the greatest
deadbeat, immortalized by G. A. Townsend as the villain in "Crutch, the Page."
business of these old lodges was almost always conducted in the first degree.
Hence the charge for initiation was four pounds four shillings Virginia
currency, equivalent to about fourteen dollars. This is excessively high, when
we think of the fact that the average fee for the three degrees in North
Carolina today is less than twenty dollars. But when he was initiated, the
Mason signed the by-laws and became an active member. Relatively a small part
of the Masons took all the three degrees, and the Master Mason's lodge was not
opened "on Buffaloe" oftener than three or four times each year. The Royal
Arch work seems to have been done by the same organization, for we read about
twice in each year's record that "at a lodge of Arch and Royal Arch Masons,"
somebody was advanced to the "exalted Arch degree," or to the "superexalted
Royal Arch degree."
times the lodge met when court was in session, and at night, actually in the
court house. Bute court house was ten or twelve miles from the nearest town,
and when it was afterward removed to Warrenton, the old records were lost.
They were found more than seventy-five years later, by a non-Mason, an
excellent gentleman, who is said to have sat up all night reading them, and it
is charged that on the following morning his first question was, "What did
those old fellows do with that pair of drawers that the Lodge bought?" No one
was able to advise him.
plainly there has been a change of sentiment toward many things somewhere in
the decades. We read that often this lodge "repaired to brother So-andso's
tavern, where a sumptuous repast was enjoyed." This was usually paid for by
the candidate of the day, but sometimes there is an entry in the minutes of
the next meeting to the effect that "the secretary read a bill for two gallons
of rum, which on motion was ordered paid." It is possible that this may have
been intended for use as medicine, but we may safely conjecture that such was
not the case. It is a matter of common knowledge that many of the religious
gatherings of the day in this and other sections were composed to a strikingly
large extent of men who each and all were unwilling to leave home without
their "ticklers," "demijohns," or even "runlets" of the liquor that cheers and
then does some more. The truth is, the history of Masonry is the history of
the morals of its devotees, and as surely as we can read the signs of the
times, just so surely can we see that the morals of the country are being
elevated. Lodges frown on drunkards today and deal stringently with them.
think, however, that twentieth-century lodges have a monopoly of the duty of
dealing with violators of the Masonic law. Our eighteenth-century brethren,
too, had troubles in that line. At a meeting of Blandford Bute lodge held on
November 20, 1767, the members seem to have been uproariously hilarious.
Christmas was coming, and they may have been either glad with its spirit or
spirits, or mad with its prospects of paying the bills, for at this season
"everybody works father." Whatever may have been the trouble, we find that in
this meeting Brother Duncan misbehaved three times and was fined two shillings
sixpence each time. It was a fellowcraft's lodge, and the brother who had just
been passed was next fined 2s.6d. for "a breach of behaviour." He must have
had something more than nerve! Brother William Tabb next was discovered
laughing and received the same dose. Tabb was next soaked 2s.6d. for going
out, and lastly Arch Campbell received the uniform penalty for misbehaving. At
this point it seems that the lawbreakers must have outnumbered the more sedate
brethren, for we read that at the end of the meeting all the fines were
remitted, as well as the fines of the members who had been absent without
excuse at the last meeting. What a deal of relief there would be to the Master
of many a lodge today if he could by fines force his members to attend the
meetings! It was in the previous August that one brother was fined for
swearing, another for getting drunk, and two for no less grave an offense
against the dignity of the lodge than singing. This reminds us of the case of
the lady who sang so atrociously in the Methodist church of the nearby town of
Warrenton about a hundred years ago, that she was excluded from fellowship.
The case was carried to the State court of appeals, which restored her to her
former rights and privileges.
these old records we find only one allusion to Joseph Montfort, of Halifax,
"Grand Master of and for America," as he was designated in his commission from
the Duke of Beaufort. On August third, 1767, Jos. Montfort is recorded as one
of the visitors. There is no record of any recognition of his standing, except
in the fact that at this meeting there was a larger attendance than at any
other which Blandford-Bute ever held. His commission was not issued until
Trouble between the adherents and supporters of the mistaken policy of the
reigning house in the mother country, and those who stood uncompromisingly for
their liberty, early became acute in North Carolina. In several sections of
the state there were many Scotch Highlanders and others who were loyal to
England to the last stand. Governor Tryon defeated the ill-trained Regulators
in the battle of Alamance about 1771, and only made these seekers for freedom
more determined. The call of military duty suspended temporary interest in
everything else, probably including Masonic lodge work. If Blandford-Bute was
active from 1768 to 1782, it left no records.
probable that many of the Masonic lodges became hotbeds of Revolutionary
spirit. Almost every one of the leaders of the Revolution in North Carolina
was an active Mason, and there is good reason to believe that many of the
Masonic lodges were closely in touch with the machinery used at this time to
ascertain the spirit and temper of the various sections and communities
concerning the war. This was probably the case with Blandford-Bute, for it was
a household saying around here that there were "no Tories in Bute." It is
probable that there was a close relation between the lodges and the Committees
of Safety, or the Committees of Correspondence. If the lodges were concerned
thus, they met informally and left no records. One might wonder whether such
activities could have suggested the general plan of the Ku Klux Klan to the
sorely troubled Southern men of Reconstruction days. Do the words which the
writer has italicized in the quotations below possibly suggest some sort of
unrecorded, irregular activity?
secretary of post-bellum days, in transcribing the records, possibly for Grand
lodge inspection when the North Carolina Charter was given, says of what he
gives up to 1768:
foregoing are all the proceedings that can be had from the lodge while it was
held at Buffaloe which is transcribed from part of the original by J. Macon,
Fortunately, we have both the original up to 1768 and the copy. The
reorganization meeting is discussed in the records as follows:
LODGE OF ROYAL ARCH AND MASTER MASONS Opened and held in due form the 6th of
April, 5782, at High Twelve.
Resolved, that a due record be kept from and after the date of this lodge
together with the reasons it has not been kept up according to the
Constitutions and Rules of the Craft.
THIS AND ALL SUCCEEDING LODGES
known unto you
from the unavoidable necessity of entering into a Cruel and Unnatural War,
with the parent State, the Numerous Calls, Tryalls, Embarrassments of our
fellow Citizens and Brethren Be it not Dismay'd, therefore, that the Harmony
of this as well as many other Lodges have been greatly disturbed thereby, and
only to be restored but by Unanimity and an unshaken hand of Fidelity which we
owe to each other. So that under these deplorable circumstances we consider it
a sufficient Vindication for our neglect in meeting. Particularly when we may
Justly Add the many Battles, Skirmishes, Massacres, Robberies, Murders,
Conflagrations and many other Hostile and inhuman acts which this present
unnatural war hath produced. Consequences so destructive to Mankind in general
and Obnoxious to us, and the Harmony of Masonry in particularly. But, arriving
at a period which gives some respite, distinguishing us from the rest of
mankind, then who is the Mason that will not meet and wheres the hand that
denies his brother?
RESOLVED that a summons be issued to all the late members of our lodge to
repair to our room at this place the first Saturday in May next by ten
the remnant of the once flourishing lodge accordingly came, true to that
Masonry which had made its place in their lives in times of peace, and which
had helped make life worth living in time of war. Only six battle-scarred
veterans were left. But, strange to say, we find among them a number of
members whose names we have never seen before. They must have been doing some
work during the war sub rosa, without keeping any records of meetings. Their
sources of income, their relatives, their homes, their health, all sacrificed
for freedom, once more these old men in tears rekindled the fires on the
altars of their homes and placed the Rule and Guide to Faith on the altar of
their Lodge. It is interesting to note that the Masonic soldier thought of
Masonry as having a definite place in the protection of his home. The wife
left behind was sometimes placed in possession of some kind of secret by
imparting which she might, and sometimes did, invoke the aid of Masons. The
writer does not know what this was, but many of us have heard stories of the
preservation of a home by means of this kind. It was afterwards done again in
the old Masons "on Buffaloe" were dead, and the remnants voted to move the
lodge to Warrenton. At the first meeting there the Secretary read an address
one sentence of which was as follows:
"Whereas our ancient lodge room has lately been brought to ruin by the
soldiary, and therefore rendered unfit for our purposes in meeting, So that
under these circumstances we are exposed to much difficulty in our new
designs, . . I recommend that a plot of ground be purchased in Warrenton. . ."
plot of ground thus purchased adjoined the lot of Emmanuel Episcopal church,
within whose walls Horace Greeley was married. It is interesting to note in
passing that near the scene of the lodge's early labors was kept later one of
the most famous pleasure resorts in the country, Jones' or Shocco Springs,
which had its thousands of guests each season, and near which, almost within
calling distance of the old lodge, were laid away the remains of Anne Carter
Lee, beloved daughter of the great Hero of the Lost Cause, "there to await the
Peaceful and uneventful was the later history of the old lodge, for after the
storm of war always peace is most beautiful. In quiet did the old fellows meet
and confer the degrees or dispense sweet charity, occasionally having a little
celebration all their own. In the minutes of June twelfth, 1784, we notice
that the secretary presented a bill for supplies, and it was "ordered, that
the treasurer pay Wm. Campbell 29s.4d (about five dollars) for a loaf of
sugar." For what could this have been bought, unless because there was here
and there one of their members who "took sugar in his'n" when the drinks were
did they in this period digress from the even tenor of their way, but once or
twice we find them coming in contact with affairs outside before the Grand
Lodge of North Carolina was formed. Once we find that Jethro Sumner moved,
"that inquiry should be made respecting the appointment of a Grand Master for
the United States." Sumner and Jos. Montfort had been close friends, and by
this motion we understand that Sumner acknowledged the genuineness of the old
Montfort commission and was looking to having his place filled after his
death. Nothing came of this, as of similar moves in present times.
this resolution, poorly written and almost unintelligible though it is, at
length explains to us darkly the source from which Blandford-Bute lodge had
for these many years derived its authority to work:
"Resolved, that if the State of Virginia has made choice of a Grand Master,
that the proceedings of Blandford lodge of 23 Dec., 5766, for a copy of the
Deputation given this lodge in order that a charter be had from that date."
would appear from that crude and badly written resolution, that Blandford
lodge, near Petersburg, Va., on December 23, 1766, gave these men some sort of
dispensation under which to work. It is probable that this was asked for
before April of that year.
let us leave the old lodge. Its hundred and thirty odd years of further
history have not been without interest, but, the pioneer days past, by degrees
it approaches our modern system.
writer hopes in concluding, that he and the reader may imitate the example of
these good brethren, of whom their faithful secretary records that they
"PARTED LOVINGLY ON THE SQUARE."
DISCUSSING THE PREVIOUS QUESTION
BRO. R.I. CLEGG, OHIO
is an oblong square? These things make me wonder." "And no wonder, for as the
old farmer said when he saw a giraff for the first time, 'There ain't no such
animals.' Such errors no doubt crept in by virtue of the law of exaggeration
for the sake of emphasis, and may easily be corrected."
is the sort of question and answer the text of ritual and monitor must
withstand. These comments are typical. How far are they justified?
outset I confess to a very cordial attitude toward both the inquiry and the
response. Much may be said by way of excuse for them. In fact the position of
inquiry and of wonderment is an excellent foundation for research. Granted a
respectful persistence in regard to the subject and starting from such a point
of departure, the inquirer can unearth material of great importance.
that happy outlook is not always the result. Well do I recall a very
industrious effort made by an esteemed co-worker of mine to obtain the
approval of one Grand Lodge Committee for certain drastic changes in our
ceremonies. It took long argument before it was at all possible to make him
see any reason for sundry expressions. His was essentially the modern
iconoclastic view, mine that of retaining whatever could be justified by
ancient or present day usage.
plea was and is for the retention of everything Masonic, unless it could be
shown that in the olden days it was as incongruous as it may seem to be in the
light of today. Now as it is obvious that this position calls for ample and
exceedingly difficult investigation, there would be few changes if the
attitude were universally adopted. To say the least, it is emphatically the
one prescribed by the charge to every Master Mason.
not be understood that in all respects I am a "Standpatter." Whenever a change
is universally approved is ample time for its adoption, and when conservatives
like myself cannot show some excellent reason for stemming the tide of
innovation, perhaps we ought not to protest overmuch at the laying of hands
upon the structure of ceremonial formulas. We would nevertheless hope that
even in such cases the alterations be made in none but a reverent manner,
rather as a repair for some ageworn weakness than as a movement of drastic
renovation. If alteration be done at all let it be done tenderly and with
returning to our topic, what do we find ? How far is this particular
expression a mere exaggeration? To the offhand glance there is probably a
contradiction in the terms. A four-sided figure having its sides equal in
length and all its angles of ninety degrees is commonly called a square, and
such a figure cannot be oblong. Manifestly we must seek in some other
direction for an explanation of the phrase "oblong square."
Mathematically the word "oblong" can be applied to intersecting axes of
unequal length. For the same reason it may properly be also descriptive of the
working tool known as a square when the latter has arms of unequal length. Is
there any other brief phrase that could so well be employed for the purpose?
And to what else could the term be so pertinently applied as to the unequally
armed tool familiar to every workman in all lines of industry? Mention the
word to any workman and his mind at once visualizes the same thing in every
case, and that not an enclosed figure.
it is true that the square with us is usually with arms of equal length, and
as far back as the painting of "Night" by Hogarth, Grand Steward in the early
part of the eighteenth century, the Master's square was so represented, yet
there are as in the familiar "gallow's" square and in the square adopted by
the Continental brethren an oblong form to be found. This is very probably
selected from the operative form.
plain square having its arms measured off as integral quantities and in units
well known to a special class of workmen would have an extraordinary
significance. Some studious brethren, Lawrence for example, have attacked the
custom of placing graduations of length upon the arms of the square. To my
mind this suggests the foundation of the forty-seventh proposition. Given the
graduations on the square blades and then with the help of another rule across
the hypotenuse you have the measurements of a right-angled triangle, and on
multiplying these by any one number you possess the direct dimensions of a
large figure; the larger the dimensions of course the less likelihood of
inaccuracy creeping into the fundamental layout of a building.
are those who hold that the oblong square represents the early civilized
world, when as in the case of the Roman Empire it stretched due East and West
to about twice its Northern and Southern limits. This has seemed to me more
fanciful than demonstrative. It might as easily be supposed to represent the
famous double cube, that puzzle of the centuries. I refer of course to the
ancient problem requiring the determination of the size when the cubical altar
of Apollo was to be made with twice the former volume.
let us not get too far from the Lodge room. Recall the occasion when the term
oblong square is used. Consider the immediately preceding and following
locations and positions. Do not forget the peculiar features of the ceremony
of laying a cornerstone of any building when performed with Masonic auspices,
and in connection therewith compare the ceremonial associated with the
North-east corner. Now let us go a step further, and I use this expression
the above in mind, think of the bonding of a wall as it would be thought of by
an operative Mason. The simplest and crudest way of rough walling would be to
throw the squared stones rudely together hit or miss. Probably the inexpert
would lay them end to end and side by side as the obviously quickest way of
getting over the ground. Does this suggest anything to the reader as being
comparable with the progress made at the entrance and until the candidate has
been properly taught? More I cannot say of that particular feature, but to the
discerning enough has probably been submitted.
pass on our way. The bonding of a wall calls for the placing of certain bricks
or stones at an angle to the rest, preferably a right angle as a matter of
efficiency and for compactness; the several parts then lending each other
their maximum co-operation and being more uniformly acted upon by the mortar
or cement. In this position they better resist the load that may be placed
upon them. Their individual and complete strength is firmly a unit, they stand
together in cohesive compactness. Thus should we Masons stand and so are we
or bricks are seldom cubes for building purposes. They are oblongs preferably,
and invariably squared. The tools to test them are all the better for having
their axes of different lengths, and especially is this true if the oblong
square contains the ready means of setting up the forty-seventh proposition.
Then the workman is not only equipped to carve the stone but to lay out the
area for the completed walls.
Masonic student wishing to go further into the use of the square by the old
workmen may well consider the painted and sculptured representations of the
tool itself. He may also examine the working methods of such as Cellini,
Vasari, Vitruvious, etc., in the proportional uses of such implements as the
square in highly skilled masons' work, they being architects of antiquity of
whom the oblong square is a fitting symbol.
PURPOSE OF MASONRY
comes from time to time, with what would seem increasing frequency, a cry for
leadership by Freemasonry and its organizations, but when these cries are
analyzed they seem to suggest an abandonment of the most sacred of our
principles and to call for a will-o'-the-wisp guidance into the Sorbonian bogs
of politics or down the Gadarenian cliffs of religious controversy.
all those who so insistently demand that Freemasonry shall take up all the
latest fads as they catch the wind of popular favor, or that we shall
zealously attempt to divide the citizens of our nation into many warring
camps, that the sacred walls of our asylums may resound only with the accents
of 'hatred, uncharitableness and intolerance,' we may wisely ask, 'Whither
goest thou ? What is the way you ask us to travel, and where is the end of the
journey upon which you would have us enter with light hearts ?'
true that an order without a purpose would be like a body without a soul, but
that purpose certainly need not be to control or dictate the daily life, the
politics, or the religious affiliations of our fellow citizens.
"Primarily, the great purpose of Freemasonry is the teaching, by and through
its organized forces and its symbolism, of the moral truths which lie at the
foundation of human society. So far as it performs its great duty to humanity,
Freemasonry selects those men, and those men only, whose character and
intelligence fit them for its teachings; and those men, by most solemn and
sacred appeals to their minds, their hearts and their emotions, it knits into
its great union of friends and brothers and sustains, supports and encourages
them in all that goes to make up true manliness. To those so selected and so
trained we may safely leave the performance of their duties to God, their
country, and humanity.
still true that charity and toleration are cardinal principles of Freemasonry,
and we may proclaim in all honesty and candor that we practice here and
everywhere, to the utmost extent, the great, generous, tolerant, liberal
doctrines of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite."
--Barton Smith 33d
SWEETNESS OF A FRIEND
sure there is some one to whom you can open yourself, to whom you can tell
everything, and who will be willing to confide everything. Deserve such
companionship, and, where it exists. do not let it die away. On such intimacy
somewhere, all social life depends. --E. E. Eale.
DEEPER ASPECTS OF MASONIC SYMBOLISM
BRO. ARTHUR EDWARD WAITE, ENGLAND
RECURRING to the Legend of the Third Degree, the pivot upon which it revolves
is the existence of a building secret, represented as a Master-Word, which the
Builder died to preserve. Owing to his untimely death, the Word was lost, and
it has always been recognized in Masonry that the Temple, unfinished at the
moment of the untoward event, remained with its operations suspended and was
completed later on by those who obviously did not possess the Word or key. The
tradition has descended to us and, as I have said, we are still on the quest.
what does all this mean? We have no concern at the present day, except in
archaeology and history, with King Solomon's Temple. What is meant by this
Temple and what is the Lost Word ? These things have a meaning, or our system
is stultified. Well, here are burning questions, and the only direction in
which we can look for an answer is that which is their source. As to this, we
must remember that the Legend of the Master Degree is a Legend of Israel,
under the aegis of the Old Covenant, and though it has no warrants in the Holy
Writ which constitutes the Old Testament, it is not antecedently improbable
that something to our purpose may be found elsewhere in the literature of
not of course mean that we shall meet with the Legend itself; it would be
interesting if we did but not per se helpful, apart from explanation. I
believe in my heart that I have found what is much more important, and this is
the root-matter of that which is shadowed forth in the Legend, as regards the
meaning of the Temple and the search for the Lost Word. There are certain
great texts which are known to scholars under the generic name of Kabalah, a
Hebrew word meaning reception, or doctrinal teaching passed on from one to
another by verbal communication. According to its own hypothesis, it entered
into written records during the Christian era, but hostile criticism has been
disposed to represent it as invented at the period when it was written. The
question does not signify for our purpose, as the closing of the 13th century
is the latest date that the most drastic view-- now generally abandoned-- has
proposed for the most important text.
find therein after what manner, according to mystic Israel, Solomon's Temple
was spiritualized; we find deep meanings attached to the two pillars J. and
B.; we find how the word was lost and under what circumstances the chosen
people were to look for its recovery. It is an expectation for Jewish
theosophy, as it is for the Craft Mason. It was lost owing to an untoward
event, and although the time and circumstances of its recovery have been
calculated in certain texts of the Kabalah, there has been something wrong
with the methods. The keepers of the tradition died with their faces toward
Jerusalem, looking for that time; but for Jewry at large the question has
passed from the field of view, much as the quest is continued by us in virtue
of a ceremonial formula but cannot be said to mean anything for those who
undertake and pursue it. It was lost owing to the unworthiness of Israel, and
the destruction of the First Temple was one consequence thereof. By the waters
of Babylon, in their exile, the Jews are said to have remembered Zion, but the
word did not come back into their hearts; and when Divine Providence inspired
Cyrus to bring about the building of the Second Temple and the return of
Israel into their own land, they went back empty of all recollection in this
putting things in a summary fashion that are scattered up and down the vast
text with which I am dealing--that is to say, Sepher Ha Zohar, The Book of
Splendor. The word to which reference is made is the Divine Name out of the
consonants of which, He, Vau, He, Yod, we have formed Jehovah, or more
accurately Yahve. When Israel fell into a state which is termed impenitence it
is said in the Zoharic Symbolism that the Vau and the He final were separated.
The name was dismembered, and this is the first sense of loss which is
registered concerning it. The second is that it has no proper vowel points,
those of the Name Elohim being substituted, or alternatively the Name Adonai.
It is said, for example: "My Name is written YHVH and read Adonai." The epoch
of restoration and completion is called, almost indifferently, that of
resurrection, the world to come, and the advent of the Messiah. In such day
the present imperfect separation between the letters will be put an end to,
once and forever. If it be asked: What is the connection between the loss and
dismemberment which befell the Divine Name Jehovah and the Lost Word in
Masonry, I cannot answer too plainly; but every Royal Arch Mason knows that
which is communicated to him in that Supreme Degree, and in the light of the
present explanation he will see that the "great" and "incomprehensible" thing
so imparted comes to him from the Secret Tradition of Israel.
also to this Kabalistic source, rather than to the variant accounts in the
first book of Kings and in Chronicles, that we must have recourse for the
important Masonic Symbolism concerning the Pillars J. and B. There is very
little in Holy Scripture which would justify a choice of these objects as
particular representatives of our art of building spiritualized. But in later
Kabalism, in the texts called "The Garden of Pomegranates" and in "The Gates
of Light," there is a very full and complicated explanation of the strength
which is attributed to B., the left-hand Pillar, and of that which is
established in and by the right-hand Pillar, called J.
regards the Temple itself, I have explained at length elsewhere after what
manner it is spiritualized in various Kabalistic and semi-Kabalistic texts, so
that it appears ever as "the proportion of the height, the proportion of the
depth, and the lateral proportions" of the created universe, and again as a
part of the transcendental mystery of law which is at the root of the secret
tradition in Israel. This is outside our subject, not indeed by its nature but
owing to limitations of opportunity. I will say only that it offers another
aspect of a fatal loss in Israel and the world--which is commented on in the
tradition. That which the Temple symbolized above all things was, however, a
House of Doctrine, and as on the one hand the Zohar shows us how a loss and
substitution were perpetuated through centuries, owing to the idolatry of
Israel at the foot of Mount Horeb in the wilderness of Sinai, and illustrated
by the breaking of the Tables of Stone on which the Law was inscribed; so does
Speculative Masonry intimate that the Holy House, which was planned and begun
after one manner, was completed after another and a word of death was
substituted for a word of life.
shall not need to tell you that beneath such veils of allegory and amidst such
illustrations of symbolism, the Master-Builder signifies a principle and not a
person, historical or otherwise. He signifies indeed more than a single
principle, for in the world of mystic intimations through which we are now
moving, the question, "Who is the Master ?" would be answered by many voices.
But generically, he is the imputed life of the Secret-Doctrine which lay
beyond the letter of the Written Law, which "the stiff-necked and disobedient"
of the patriarchal, sacerdotal and prophetical dispensations contrived to
destroy. According to the Secret Tradition of Israel, the whole creation was
established for the manifestation of this life, which became manifested
actually in its dual aspect when the spiritual Eve was drawn from the side of
the spiritual Adam and placed over against him, in the condition of face o
face. The intent of creation was made void in the event which is called the
Fall of Man, though the particular expression is unknown in Scripture. By the
hypothesis, the "fatal consequences" which followed would have reached their
time on Mount Sinai, but the Israelites, when left to themselves in the
wilderness, "sat down to eat and rose up to play." That which is concealed in
the evasion of the last words corresponds the state of Eve in Paradise, when
she had become affected by the serpent.
up as regards the sources, the Lost Word in Masonry is derived from a
Kabalistic thesis of imperfection in the Divine Name Jehovah, by which the
true pronunciation--that is to say, the true meaning-- is lost. It was the
life of the House of Doctrine, represented by the Temple planned of old in
Israel. The Master-Builder is the Spirit, Secret or Life of the Doctrine; and
it is the quest of this that every Mason takes upon himself in the ceremony of
the Third Degree, so that the House, which in the words of another Masonic
Degree, is now, for want of territory, built only in the heart, "a
superstructure perfect in its parts and honorable to the builder."
these are the sources of Craft Masonry, taken at its culmination in the
Sublime Degree, what manner of people were those who grafted so strange a
speculation and symbolism on the Operative procedure of a building-Guild? The
answer is that all about that period which represents what is called the
transition, or during the 16th and 17th centuries, the Latin writing scholars
were animated with zeal for the exposition of the tradition in Israel, with
the result that many memorable and even great books were produced on the
subject. Among those scholars were many great names, and they provided the
materials ready to the hands of the symbolists. What purpose had the latter in
view ? The answer is that in Germany, Italy, France and England, the Zeal for
Kabalistic literature among the Latin-writing scholars had not merely a
scholastic basis. They believed that the texts of the Secret Tradition showed
plainly, out of the mouth of Israel itself, that the Messiah had come. This is
the first fact. The second I have mentioned already, namely, that although the
central event of the Third Degree is the Candidate's Raising, it is not said
in the Legend that the Master-Builder rose, thus suggesting that something
remains to come after, which might at once complete the legend and conclude
the quest. The third fact is that in a rather early and important High Degree
of the philosophical kind, now almost unknown, the Master-Builder of the Third
Degree rises as Christ, and so completes the dismembered Divine Name, by
insertion of the Hebrew letter Shin, this producing Yeheshua--the restoration
of the Lost Word in the Christian Degrees of Masonry.
course, I am putting this point only as a question of fact in the development
of symbolism. Meanwhile, I trust that, amidst many imperfections, I have done
something to indicate a new ground for our consideration, and to show that the
speaking mystery of the Opening and Closing of the Third Degree and the Legend
of the Master-Builder come from what may seem to us very far away, but yet not
so distant that it is impossible to trace them to their source.
is something beyond the philosophies in the light, in the grass blades, the
leaf, the sparrow on the wall. Some day the great and beautiful thought which
hovers on the confines of the mind will at last alight. In that hope is
BRO. CHARLES SUMNER LOBINGIER, CHINA
almost commonplace to observe that one--perhaps the most important--of the
secrets of success in any career is a recognition of the value of time. "Dost
thou live thy life?" asks Poor Richard; "then value thy time, for time is the
stuff life is made of." It is often said that "time is money." But the phrase
is inaccurate for time is much more than money. It is true that time may
usually be converted into money but it is by no means as easy to reverse the
process. Has not the quest of the ages been for an elixir that would prolong
life ? And what fabulous fortunes would a modern Croesus, like the late J. P.
Morgan, have given for only one additional year!
brevity of life and the elusiveness of time have afforded a favorite theme for
the poets from Homer down. Chaucer sang of
lyfe so short,
craft so long to lerne."
Longfellow elaborates the same thought in his lines:
is long and time is fleeting,
our hearts though stout and brave
like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave."
the greatest dramatist of all time said:
are such stuff as dreams are made of
our little life is rounded with a sleep."
course, too, the hymn writers have taken up the refrain in sombre strains like
to its close ebbs forth life's little day."
* * *
is winging us away
is but a winter's day
journey to the tomb."
WASTE OF TIME
Notwithstanding the paucity of time and its transcendant value nothing is more
common than the waste of it.
we are told is a bubble, a shifting dream, evanescent as the morning mists,
uncertain as a young maid's promise, brittle as a reed. And yet men proceed to
deal with it as if it were as inexhaustible as the widow's cruise." (1)
every serious individual, however, sooner or later, there comes a profound
recognition of this truth and a painful consciousness of this waste.
think at the age of twenty," said one (2) who later became an octogenarian,
"that life is much too long for that which we have to learn and do; and that
there is an almost fabulous distance between our age and that of our
grandfather. But when, at the age of sixty, if we are fortunate enough to
reach it, or unfortunate enough, as the case may be, and according as we have
profitably invested or wasted our time, we halt, and look back along the way
we have come, and cast up and endeavor to balance our accounts with time and
opportunity, we find that we have made life much too short, and thrown away a
huge portion of our time. Then we, in our mind, deduct from the sum total of
our years the hours that we have needlessly passed in sleep; the working-hours
each day, during which the surface of the mind's sluggish pool has not been
stirred or ruffled by a single thought; the days that we have gladly got rid
of, to attain some real or fancied object that lay beyond, in the way between
us and which stood irksomely the intervening days; the hours worse than wasted
in follies and dissipation, or misspent in useless and unprofitable studies;
and we acknowledge, with a sigh, that we could have learned and done, in half
a score of years well spent, more than we have done in all our forty years of
is another lament:
yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, three golden hours, each
worth sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered for they are gone forever.
Gone forever! In those bitter words lies the sting of the moralist." (3)
mere remorse and repining will do little to relieve this unpleasant situation.
They are helpful only as they arouse us to action. The practical view is
better expressed in such homely maxims as these:
cry over spilt milk."
too late to mend."
the practical question is, What can be done to stay the waste?
the first step toward curing an evil is to ascertain its cause. And when we
seek the causes of our waste of time we will find foremost among them the lack
of system. We have not put our lives in-order. We spend our time in a
haphazard fashion. We have no fixed method of utilizing it. Hence we undertake
enterprises which we never finish because we find ere long that they should
not have been begun. If we read it is for amusement and recreation rather than
for inspiration or instruction. All this necessarily involves waste of time
and the remedy must be sought in the adoption of the orderly life. For an
essential feature of any scheme of economy is method, order, system. Well did
is heaven's first law."--
one of the first applications of method is the analysis and survey of our
resources. If, as Franklin says, "time is the stuff life is made of" our days
are the basic elements of the stuff.
the structure that we raise
is with materials filled;
to-days and yesterdays
the blocks with which we build." (4)
days then are the units of our lives and it is to our days that we must apply
any workable scheme for improving time.
said Thomas A. Kempis, "Oh that I had lived one day thoroughly well." And the
psalmist prayed "So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts
diem" (I have lost a day) was the lament of Rome's imperial philosopher,
Marcus Aurelius. Carpe diem! (seize the day) was the more practical thought of
the modern-minded, Horace.
the day which we must seize is not some distant day--not even to-morrow--but
"To-day is king" says Emerson.
here we must face the truth that "procrastination is the thief of time." Too
many of us have planned great deeds "when we get time" !
to-day as the unit of our life, how shall we se it and stay the waste? Well in
the first place we must plan it. Just as the well ordered workshop has "a
place for everything and everything in its place," so the fruitful day has "a
time for everything and everything in its time."
time for everything;" ay there's the rub! It cannot be found, you say. Well it
will surprise you to ind how much can be done by trying. The idler has the
least time. And here we reach a second step in the process--selection. For
since we have not time or all we must be content to exclude some. At least we
must select the most essential things. Do not fail to allow for health,
character, the moral, spiritual, and intellectual life, as well as for
business and pleasure. Without these first the day is barren.
live in deeds not years; in thoughts not breaths; in feelings not in figures
on a dial." Some one said of a certain octogenarian, that in all his four
score years he had never really lived fifteen minutes !
only when we are trying to find a place in our crowded day for even the most
essential things that we come to appreciate the value of its fragments. For
just as the day is the unit of life, so the hour is the unit of the day and
the minute of the hour.
as we may to make our working plan complete, the most successful of us will
always find moments, and even hours, which have not been provided for. Here is
the chance for economy. The old adage "save the pennies and the pounds will
take care of themselves," may be adapted to the situation. "Save the moments
and the days will take care of themselves."
some less important tasks for rainy days.
good book ready for that wait at the station.
aside the next lull for reflection on some important problem.
been said of the late Grant Allen--who died in early middle life after having
written voluminously and much that will live-- "Like all men who do much in
this world, he had a genius for using up remnants of time. He had, too, an
almost Gladstonian power of concentration." (5)
THE PLAN COMPREHENSIVE
while our days, hours and minutes deserve our first attention we shall fail to
make the most of them unless they are considered as parts of a whole to which
each is essential. Our work of to-day is most effective when it supplements
that of yesterday and prepares that of to-morrow. Happy is the man who finds a
life-- work--one to which he can devote his best energies throughout his
active years. One of the sagest remarks of Theodore Roosevelt was, that "the
best fate is to be able to work hard at something worth while:"
do this effectively we must look a long way ahead and plan for the far future.
And here we encounter a paradox. Just as we begin to realize at once the
brevity and the uncertainty of life, we must prepare to live long. For
consider the consequences of any other course ! If every man believed that
to-day was his last, the world would cease to move. Then
as though you are to die to-morrow; work as though you are to live forever."
try to find our vocation; let us discover a task worth while; and then let us
take a lifetime to accomplish it.
Another source of leakage in our time is indolence and sloth. We will not
force ourselves to do what is necessary to improve our time; it is so easy to
drift and dawdle. And here the orderly life requires the substitution of
industry and diligence for idleness. One of the most pregnant of the recorded
sayings of Jesus is the injunction, "Work while the day lasts; for the night
cometh when no man can work."
many lives but only one have we;
sacred should that one life ever be
after day filled up with blessed toil,
after hour still bringing in new spoil !"
EXECUTE THE PLAN
However complete our working plan it will avail nothing unless we are prepared
to carry it out. "Hell is paved with good intentions." The shores of time are
strewn with the wrecks of beautiful theories whose authors had not the
strength of character to venture out upon the real ocean of life.
execution of a matured plan is merely the most intelligent form of what we
call diligence or industry which is the handmaid of economy in enabling us to
make the most of our time.
these virtues require an exercise of the will-- that dynamo of the human
spirit. And it has been well said that "character is perfectly educated will."
Hence our quest for a means of utilizing time and stopping its waste ends in
finding that it depends in the last analysis upon the education of the will--i.
e., the development of character. This then is the key to the orderly life and
this alone will enable us, in Charles Kingsley's inspiring words, to
dream them all day long;
make life, death and the vast forever
grand sweet song !"
Adams (W. H. Davenport), The Secret of Success.
Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 115.
Adams, ubi supra.
Longfellow, The Builders.
Galleinne, Attitudes and Avowals, 205.
BRO. WALTER RUSSELL REED, NORTH DAKOTA
CRAFTSMEN, it is truly a matter of rejoicing to me that my journeyings have
brought me near your Lodge of Operative Cathedral Builders, so that I may
again greet you, and know of your welfare. And it is a great pleasure to me, a
Speculative Mason, to note the progress you have made in the construction of
this noble and beautiful building. Its growth has no doubt seemed to you slow,
but to me the advance you have made is most evident, and the development has
been rapid toward that completed structure which our Master Architect has
planned. It will be truly a poem and a prayer in stone, and each of you may
well be proud to have had a part in so noble and glorious an undertaking as
the erection of this cathedral which overshadows your lodge.
remember, possibly, that on the occasion of my first visit to you, I held
familiar discourse with you here on the likeness of such a work to the growth
of human character. Again when I was with you a brief time last year, I drew
from the same source some lessons on the strength of organization. Even as I
walked about the building today, I noticed in the work-yard many of the stones
which had been brought from the quarries, and were lying there until they
should be needed. Beautifully finished some of them were, and much labor had
already been expended on each one, yet as they lay here and there without
order there was no beauty in the assemblage. One, which seemed to be the key
for an arch, appeared at even a less advantage than its fellows, and I thought
of our old legend of that "Stone which the builders rejected." Yet, united
according to the wisdom of our Master Architect, these same stones will
combine to form the wondrous strength and beauty which is produced only by
harmony. If it has chanced that you have pondered on my words, Craftsmen, as
you have day by day spread the cement which has united these stones to one
purpose, so that now you are grown to a higher regard for the craft, a greater
loyalty to the state, and a deeper respect for law, then my words have not
been in vain. For verily I would urge upon you that by organization, and true
co-operation, even the rough stones of Failure may be builded into the
beautiful temple of Success.
now I might tell you of my travels in foreign countries, or speak of some of
the ancient legends of the craft. But rather would I talk of the familiar
things around you, so that with new eyes you may look on these common objects
of everyday life. Would I could leave with some of you that Philosopher's
Stone of thought and observation which turns each common thing to gold, and
gives to him who possesses it the true title of Master.
Brother Warden, I notice that you have, with a carefulness which is no doubt a
habit to you, brought your working tools with you into the lodge. Lend me for
a moment your square. And a right good one it seems to be, and I doubt not the
angle is true and the blades straight. How then, craftsman, do you use this
tool? To try your work. Ay, and how often it tells you that your work is not
yet perfect, does it not? The surface of the stone may be chiselled ever so
smooth, but if, when the square is applied, the angle proves to be untrue, all
must be done again, or the stone will be rejected by the overseers, and it may
be that he who has shaped it will be humiliated by seeing it heaved over among
the rubbish. Truly, square work only is what is required of us. Some may bring
up stones for inspection of a pattern we know not, and which the square will
not justify. Yet be not too hasty to condemn or criticise them, my Brother.
Such stones may yet be needed for the building. Genius is not always to be
fettered by the common standard. But as for us, we know that we must apply the
square to every angle of our work ere we pronounce it good.
now name this working tool with a new name. Suppose we call it Duty. As we day
by day shape the rough ashlar of our rude and natural selves into the perfect
ashlar of virtuous character, let the Square of Duty be our unerring standard.
Swerve not from those principles of honor and morality, of truth and right,
which are expressed by this symbol. Stand erect, and let your feet form its
angle. In your walk of life pursue no crooked and devious way, but turn only
on the angle of the square. Let Duty be with you always, craftsmen. Do that
thing which is right; because you would, if that be possible; but even if you
would not, do it because you should. Only thus may your work be approved by
the Great Overseer.
the Square of Duty is an inflexible and arbitrary thing. I would fain leave
with you some more inspiring thought, which may make duty easier, though not
less imperative. Worthy Master, in your work at the trestle board you often
make use of the Compasses. Lend me, I beg of you, those useful and valuable
here we find no fixed and arbitrary angle, but one which may be varied from
the closest contact to the widest circle of action. Let us give to the
compasses, also, a new name. We shall call them Love. And a great name it is;
perhaps that Most Great Name which gives to its possessor power even over
things of darkness and evil. Duty often drives unwilling feet, which with Love
go gladly. Duty alone could not bring us Goodness, or Devotion, or Charity, or
Heroism. Truly, we must place Love above Duty, for Duty speaks to us from the
earth, but Love comes down from God. Let Love guide you in your dealings with
your fellow men, and Duty will be easy.
brethren, we have by thus placing the compasses on the square formed the six
pointed star, the Seal of Solomon, with which you are familiar in
ecclesiastical architecture. You already know some of its meanings; possibly
now you have learned another. Let us lay these tools, so placed, here upon the
open Book of the Law, that like a Blazing Star the Square of Duty and the
Compasses of Love may be as a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.
Unseen Power that rules and controls the destinies of the children of earth:
teach me the symphony of life so that my nature may be in tune with thine.
Reveal to me the joy of being loving, self-sacrificing and charitable. Teach
me to know and play life's game with courage, fortitude and confidence. Endow
me with wisdom to guard my tongue and temper, and learn with patience the art
of ruling my own life for its highest good, with due regard for the privacy,
rights, and limitations of other lives. Help me to strive for the highest
legitimate reward of merit, ambition, and opportunity in my activities, ever
ready to extend a kindly helping hand to those who need encouragement and
succor in the struggle. Enable me to give a smile instead of a frown, a
cheerful kindly word instead of harshness and bitterness. Make me sympathetic
in sorrow, realizing that there are hidden woes in every life no matter how
exalted or lowly. If in life's battle I am wounded or tottering, pour into my
wounds the balm of hope, and imbue me with courage undaunted to arise and
continue the strife. Keep me humble in every relation of life, not unduly
egotistical, nor liable to the serious sin of self-depreciation. In success
keep me meek. In sorrow, may my soul be uplifted by the thought that if there
were no shadow, there would be no sunshine, and that everything in life must
have its antithesis. Grant that I may be a true, loyal friend, a genial
companion with the broad, honest charity born of an intimate knowledge of my
own shortcomings. If I win, crown me with the laurels fitting to be worn by a
victor, and if I fall, may it be with my face to the foe, fighting manfully,
"and falling fling to the host behind,--play up, play up, and play the game."
--William J. Robinson.
MOTIVE OF MASONRY
cardinal doctrine, the underlying motive of Masonry, is service. There is not
a degree in the elaboration of its teachings which lacks the inspiration of
this thought--service to our fellow men, regardless of race, creed or color;
service to our country; service to God. In the Nineteenth Degree of the
Scottish Rite the teaching is emphasized that "Unconsciously we obey the dead;
and the living, when we are dead, will obey us." Life is worth living in all
its aspects if it be made worthy by doing. The waves of human influence go on
and on in every widening circles until they beat upon the shores of time
itself with resistless energy. The impulses of Masonry--ah, who can foresee
their outcome? You, and I, my brother, have it within our power to contribute
to those things which shall make others obey us long after we are dead and
forgotten. Shall it be for weal or for woe? It must be for weal if we walk
uprightly in the sight of God and of men, discharging our obligations with
H. Marrow, Cal.
FOUNDERS OR FINDERS ?
talk sometimes of the "founders" of religion. But did ever a man in all the
history of the world found a religion? Did Franklin found electricity ? Did
Newton found gravitation ? Both forces existed long before these men were
born. They were the finders, and not the founders. It is so with religion.
Neither Moses, nor Buddha, nor Zoroaster, nor Jesus, ever founded a religion.
Religion was founded in the primitive constitution of things, and these men
were the finders of it instead of being its founders. They are gone and the
traditions have followed them. The original order of things remains. Let us
study religion at its primal sources. Let us seek as they sought, and we shall
find as they found. They will help us to find. But not one of them ever
claimed to be a founder of religion. They all depended on antecedents.
man be more of woman, she of man;
gain in sweetness and in moral height,
lose the wrestling thews that throw the world;
mental breadth, nor fail in childward care,
lose the childlike in the larger mind;
at the last she set herself to man
perfect music unto noble words.
MASONRY: ITS PHILOSOPHY AND INFLUENCE IN WARTIME
BRO. JOHN LEWIN McLEISH, OHIO
ago one or our greatest Masonic writers declared: "Masonry is the great Peace
Society of the World. Wherever it exists, it struggles to prevent
international difficulties and disputes, and to bind Republics, Kingdoms and
Empires together in one great band of peace and amity."
general laity little appreciate the boundless influence for good exerted in
troublous wartimes by the Order whose keynote is silence and unostentation,
whose basic foundation is cemented by the principles of brotherly love, relief
and truth, of liberty, fraternity and equality. The Masonic Order is a vast
army of men bound together by the mystic tie of brotherhood universal.
United States it numbers over two million members, and has fifty-one sovereign
Grand Lodges. Of these, the smallest jurisdiction is the District of Columbia
comprising sixty square miles and embracing thirty lodges with more than ten
Grand Lodge of England controls 2578 lodges with a total membership of
234,333. Eight Grand Lodges of Canada dominate 94,359. In Germany are eight
Masonic sovereign jurisdictions, in South America six, in Australia six, in
India five, in the West Indies three, in Mexico, Liberia, Egypt, Central
America, Hungary and Servia, one each. In France and Italy Freemasonry is
exceptionally powerful, as also in Switzerland, Holland, Belgium and Portugal.
lot of the Freemasons of the United States it has fallen to send first aid to
their distressed brethren abroad. Right nobly they have responded to the call.
Through the United States Masonic War Relief Association, with headquarters at
Cincinnati, Ohio, a most substantial sum has been raised and liberal
disbursements made respectively to the Grand Priory, Knights Templar of
England and Wales, the Grand Lodge of Masons of Ireland, Masonic Relief Fund
of Scotland, Grand Lodge of Masons in Germany, Supreme Council of Scottish
Rite in Luxembourg, Grand Lodge of Masons in Switzerland, Grand Lodge and
Supreme Council in Belgium, and the London Branch of the Masonic War Relief
Association of the Unitcd States.
hoped and planned to expend in like manner $100,000, by the end of the current
year. At this moment measures are under way to make ample provision for
veteran distressed Master Masons, their widows and orphans, whose need will be
especially pressing in the aftermath of war.
time in the world's history has the Universal Brotherhood failed to answer the
crying need of humanity; never has it shirked the call of country when the
cause was just, nor failed to raise its mighty voice in protest at a time when
to draw the sword against a weaker enemy, could only mean the staining of a
nation's flag with lasting dishonor.
American Masonic History is especially interesting. How many people today know
that the Boston Tea Party had its inchoation in a Masonic lodge room, that the
participants in the history making raid upon British ships in Boston harbor
were all Masons? Of all the minute men answering the summons of Paul Revere,
many were brothers of his Masonic lodge. General Warren who fought and fell at
Bunker Hill, was a Worshipful Master. Our Declaration of Independence was the
handiwork of two great Masons, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, and
Thomas Paine. Of the fifty six signing it, two-thirds, it is said, were
Masons, among them Charles Thomson, Rev. John Witherspoon, Captain William
Whipple and the entire Virginia delegation. Peyton Randolph, the President and
most of the First Continental Congress, were Freemasons.
army of civilization has its Masonic lodges. Among members of the American
military lodges were Washington, Light Horse Harry Lee, Gens. Warren, Israel
Putnam, Mad Anthony Wayne, Baron de Kalb, Lafayette, Andrew Jackson, Sam
Houston, Stephen Austin, David Crockett, Worth, Quitman, McClellan, Robert
Anderson, Garfield, McKinley, Albert Pike, Nelson A. Miles, and John Corson
ever occurred to you to reflect exactly what in Masonry has attracted and
sustained the unflagging, lifelong interest, devotion and enthusiasm of
Americans like Washington, John Paul Jones, Franklin, Monroe, Andrew Johnson,
Garfield, McKinley, Roosevelt, Thomas Marshall, Bryan, and a legion more of
our most reprentative men of affairs?
whole Philosophy of Masonry is uplifting and inspiring. Nowhere else can be
found a more bitter arraignment of the horrors and futility of war, than in
the Masonic teachings. The question has been asked frequently of late: "What
is the attitude of Freemasonry towards the World Powers at present engaged in
a titanic struggle to prove the right of might ?"
think it may best be answered by the beautiful paragraphs scattered through
that voluminous masterpiece by Albert Pike, "Morals and Dogmas of the Scottish
Rite " They apply as forcibly today as when first offered to his Masonic
brethren a generation ago. Read with me:
like thunderstorms are necessary to purify the stagnant atmosphere. War is not
a demon without remorse or reward. It restores the brotherhood in letters of
men are seated in their pleasant places, sunken in ease and indolence, with
Pretence and Incapacity and Littleness usurping all the high places of State,
war is a baptism of blood and fire, by which alone they can be renovated. It
is the hurricane that brings the elemental equilibrium, the concord of Power
and Wisdom. So long as these continue obstinately divorced, it will continue
the mutual appeal of Nations to God, there is the acknowledgement of His
might. It lights the beacons of Faith and Freedom, and heats the furnace
through which the earnest and loyal pass to immortal glory. There is in war
the doom of defeat, the quenchless sense of duty, the stirring sense of honor
the measureless sacrifice of devotedness, and the incense of success. Even in
the flame and smoke of battle, the Mason discovers his brother, and fulfills
the sacred obligations of Fraternity. . . The nation that grasps at the
commerce of the world, cannot but become selfish, calculating, dead to the
noblest impulses and sympathies whlch ought to actuate States."
will submit to insults that wound its honor, rather than endanger its
commercial interests by war; while to subserve
brethren of the blue and brethren of the gray in behalf of each other were of
almost daily occurance. It was a Grand Lodge in South Carolina which first
those interests it will wage unjust war on false or frivolous pretexts, its
free people cheerfully allying themselves with despots to crush a commercial
rival that has dared exile its kings, and elect its own ruler." "A war for a
great principle ennobles a nation."
for commercial supremacy, upon some shallow pretext is despicable, and more
than aught else demonstrates to what immeasurable depths of baseness, men and
nations can descend."
can sum up the horrors and woes accumulated in a single War?"
"Masonry is not dazzled with all its pomp, and circumstance, all its glitter
comes with its bloody hands into our very dwellings. It takes from ten
thousand homes those who lived there in peace and comfort, held by the tender
ties of family and kindred. It drags them away to die untended, of fever, of
exposure, in infectious climes, or to be hacked, torn and mangled in the
fierce fight: to fall on the glory field, to rise no more, or to be borne away
in awful agony to noisome and horrid hospitals."
groans of the battlefield are echoed in sighs of bereavement from thousands of
is a skeleton in every house, a vacant chair at every table."
"Returning, the soldier brings worse sorrow to his home, by the infection
which he has caught of camp vices."
country is demoralized. The national mind is brought down from the noble
interchanange of kind offices with another people, to wrath and revenge and
base pride, and the habit of measuring brute strength against brute strength
"Treasures are expended that would suffice to build ten thousand churches,
hospitals and universities or rib and tie together a continent with rails of
iron. If that treasure were sunk in the sea, it would be calamity enough: but
it is put to worse use, for it is expended in cutting into the veins and
arteries of human life, until the earth is deluged with a sea of blood."
age re-enacts the crimes as well as the follies of its predecessors, and still
war licences outrage and turns fruitful lands into deserts, and God is thanked
in the Churches for bloody butcheries, and the remorseless devastators, even
when swollen by plunder, are crowned with laurels and receive ovations."
has not been a moment since men divided into Tribes, when all the world was at
peace. Always men have been engaged in murdering each other somewhere. Always
the armies have llved by the toil of the husbandman, and war has exhausted the
resourees, wasted the energies, and ended the prosperity of Nations."
loads unborn posterity with crushing debt mortgages all estates and brings
upon States the shame and infamy of dishonest repudiation."
times the baleful fires of war light up half a continent at once. At times,
the storm revovling, howls over small areas only. At times, its lights are
seen like the old beacon fires on the hills, belting the whole globe."
but hears the roar of cannon, no river but runs red with blood: no plaln but
shakes, trampled by the hoofs of charging squadrons: no field but is
fertilized by the blood of the dead: and everyvhere man slays, the vulture
gorges, and the wolf howls in the ear of the dying soldier."
city is not tortured by shot and shell; and no people fail to enact the horid
blasphemy of thanking a God of love, for victories and carnage."
Deums are still sung for the Eve of St. Bartholomew and the Sicilian Vespers."
ingenuity is racked, and all his inventive powers are tasked, to fabricate the
infernal enginery of destruction, by which human bodies may be the more
expeditiously and effectually crushed, shattered, torn and mangled."
"MASONRY ALONE preaches Toleration, the right of man to abide by hls own
faith, the right of all States to govern themselves. It rebukes alike the
monarch who seeks to extend his dominions by conquest, the Church that claims
the right to repress heresy by fire and steel, and the confederation of States
that insist on maintaining a union by force and restoring brotherhood by
slaughter and subjugation."
every war has been in evidence the potency of Freemasonry as an ameliorating
influence in the horrors all abounding. Masonry was especially dominant during
the American Civil War and self-sacrifices between bethren of the blue and
brethren of the gray in behalf of each other were of almost daily occurance.
It was a Grand Lodge in SOuth Carolina which first voiced the policy its
brethren should pursue towards brother Masons of the North, as early as 1862,
when the strife was young. A Grand Lodge of Maine approved the encyclical
almost word for word, and the beneficent Masonic principles were put into
actual practice by Grand Lodges of the North and South almost simultaneously.
Among other things Masons were ordered:
faithful towards all and singular the brethren whether these be met in lodges
dedicate, or only known to you by divers means in darkness or light, in health
or sickness, in wealth or want, in peril or safety, in prison, escape or
freedom, in charity or evil-mindedness, armed or unarmed, friend or seeming
foe and as to these, most certainly as towards brethren, when Masonically met
on, by or with all due and regular intercommunication and intelligence. . .
Let us not hear among us that there is war, that strife and dissension
prevail, as Masons it concerns us not."
different this fraternal stand of the Grand Lodge of a state at war, in 1862,
and that this year manifested by the Grand Lodge of Germany which has issued
an open announcement to the world from its headquarters in Berlin, suspending
all fraternal relations with the Masons of France, Italy, and England during
the continuance of this war.
Despite all this, the international Masonic press is repeatedly filled with
circumstantial and convincing proof-positive that German Freemasons have not
at all forgotten their Masonic obligations, and many heroic deeds are narrated
as performed by soldier Masons of the several belligerents to help a worthy
brother in the ranks of the enemy.
time in history has Freemasonry played a treasonable part against the country
which gave it shelter. In the eighteenth century the Grand Master of the Grand
Lodge of England, the Duke of Wharton, a partisan of the Stuart Pretenders,
endeavored to enlist the Masonic machinery of England against the established
Government. In spite of his magnetic personality, and unusual popularity, the
Grand Master could not prevail upon his Masonic brethren to have a hand in his
nefarious plot. In disgrace, he surrendered his high office and fled to
unhappy exile on the continent.
reward for their unswerving loyalty in times of cunning conspiracy, and
revolution, the Freemasons of England today are the only Secret Society in
Great Britain permitted by especial grant and act of Parliament.
be that the human race is not yet ready for the practical application of the
Gentle Philosophy of Freemasonry.
man in the present century tried to govern his administrative functions as
President of a Republic on Masonic Ideals. He fell a martyr to the passions of
blind bigotry and darkness. I refer to Francisco Madero, Jr., for a brief
period President of Mexico. This college-bred man of fine old Mexican ancestry
is an ever present obstacle to the recognition by our country of any chieftain
in any way identified with the politico-religious sect responsible for his
assassination. Convincing proof may be found in "An Open Letter to American
Masons" in the New Age Magazine for August, 1915, by a high Mexican Masonic
Brother. This same journal of the Scottish Rite, in its issue of March, 1913,
had a touching tribute to Madero by Brother George Fleming Moore, 33d. In it
murder of Francisco Madero, late President of the Republic of Mexico, seems to
me the foulest and blackest crime of the age. Not very long ago, I received a
letter from him which clearly proved his sincere desire to guide his life and
actions, public and private, by those principles of equity and justice which
make for the happiness and prosperity of the individual and the race.
believed in the doctrine of sacrifice: that sacrifices for the sake of the
truth, or for his fellowmen would bring its reward either in this or in some
was an active member of the Supreme Council A. & A. Scottish Rite of
Freemasonry of Mexico, and was a MASON. On one occasion while addressing his
lodge, he said: 'Brethren, this ritual of ours is very beautiful, and we teach
high ideals, but what are we, you and I, doing to carry out these ideals and
teachings into expression in our own lives, and in the affairs of our country
was called weak and inefficient because he would not shoot men merely because
they crossed his pathway to power.
was laughed at as an Idealist because he hoped to lead his country to a place
of honor and power without ruining it by military despotism.
has fallen a victim to his ideals of truth and justice and the evil wiles of
false friends, for no man ever reproached him with vices until after he became
a prisoner and in the power of the men he had trusted.
his death shall teach men that nations must not let such crimes go unrebuked,
and shall render them impossible in the future, whether through intervention
or by other modes, then Francisco Madero's murder will bear good fruit, and we
verily believe, he would have sacrificed his life to secure that great
not hope that before the present Carnival of Blood is carried to more
sickening extremes, the Sovereign Masters of the World's Grand Lodges will
rally the Sons of Light and Peace to making a practical protest against the
insensate madmen glutted with power and relying upon the obsolete doctrine of
Divine Right, to send their subservient subj ects to death ? Stranger things
event, when the last shot has been fired in the present world war, when the
representatives of the exhausted powers assemble to determine the readjustment
of territories, the payment of indemnities, and the signing of Treaties, . .
the Power behind the Pen which drafts documents of so vital an interest to
posterity, will unquestionably be that Masonry which has fought the good fight
through the ages, that Masonry which will insist that War must end forever, so
that there may be cemented more firmly hereafter, Republics, Kingdoms and
Empires, . . if these two latter still exist, . . in one great band of Peace
ON KEEPIN' ON
the day looks kinder gloomy
your chances kinder slim,
the prospect's awful grim,
perplexities keep pressin'
all hope is nearly gone,
bristle up and grit your teeth,
keep on keepin' on."
--Frank L. Stanton.
QUESTIONS ON “THE STORY OF FREEMASONRY”
CINCINNATI MASONIC STUDY SCHOOL
43. When did the Roman
Catholic Church view Freemasonry with deep suspicion? Why did it settle into
deep seated hatred ? 18-1.
44. When, where and why
did a Lodge of Freemasons defy a government edict and what was the result ?
45. What was the result
of the promulgation of a government edict for the abolishment of Masonry in
Holland in 1735 and by whom was it instigated ? 18-1.
46. Why did Pope
Clement XII denounce Freemasonry ? What were the penalties inflicted upon
those who visited a Lodge ? 19-1.
47. Give an account of
the life and sufferings of John Coustos, a Freemason, who suffered from the
Inquisition at Lisbon, Portugal. Page 20-21-22-23.
48. What grounds did
the Pope have when he wrote the Encyclical "Humanum Genus" of 1884 condemning
Masonry? Page 24.
49. What was the effect
of the Encyclical "Humanum Genus" of 1884 issued by Pope Leo XIII ? 24-1.
50. By what Popes of
the R. C. Church were constitutions, edicts, epistles, allocutions and
encyclicals issued against the Freemasons ? Page 23.
51. Why are the fierce
denunciations of Pius IX of peculiar interest to Masons? 23-1.
52. Why was Pope Pius
IX expelled from Masonry, and who signed the proclamation of his expulsion?
53. Quote the Bishop of
Malta, in relation to a Malta Lodge ? 24-1.
54. What does a
Catholic do when he becomes a Mason and what does a Mason do when he becomes a
Catholic ? Page 26.
55. What was the nature
of the articles against Freemasonry published in 1875, 1881, 1893 in "The
Catholic World ?" 25-3.
56. What has resulted
from these bitter and sweeping attacks upon Freemasonry? 26-1. 27-1.
57. By whom was the
Roman Catholic Church drawn into an absurd entanglement and what is said of
him? 28-1, 2.
58, What reasons were
given for the Pope's attitude toward Freemasonry, The Odd Fellows, Knights of
Pythias and Sons of Temperance ? 39-1.
59. What was the
purpose of the Anti-Masonic Congress assembled at Trent in September, 1896,
and of whom was it composed ? 34-2.
60. What was the nature
of the decision of the Holy See in January, 1895, by whom announced in
Cincinnati, and who were included in it ? 28-2.
61. What is the status
of Freemasonry in Mexico at the present time? 110-2.
62. How has Masonry
been affected by the tempests of war, the storms of persecution or the
denunciations of fanaticism ? Page 112.
63. At the present time
is there any constant opposition to Freemasonry in the civilized world? 48-3.
What unfavorable critic
is worth noting? What favorable critic? 49 51.
64. What is said of the
termination of our pilgrimage on this earth ? 92-2.
65. What does the
author consider to be the fundamental principles of Freemasonry? 76-1.
66. What is said of the
burial of a Freemason? 88-9
67. Where is
Freemasonry now established? 71-3.
68. What has
Freemasonry done for Humanity? 72.
69. How did Frederick
the Great of Prussia help Free Masonry? Page 68.
70. Who nullified the
temporal power of the papacy in Italy and established religious and
constitutional liberty ? 23-1.
71. What did the Right
Reverend Henry C. Potter (bishop of the Episcopal Church of New York) say of
Freemasonry ? 49-2.
72. The most sacred of
all freedoms being threatened in this land who should be its most powerful
defender ? 50.
73. How should
fellowship in the Order of Masonry be regarded ? 50-1.
74. As now constituted
of what does Freemasonry consist ? 60-1. How conferred ? 60-1. What is their
foundation ? 60-1.
75. What is the name of
the first Lodge granted a charter and what distinguished American was a member
76. In what year did
the Masons of this country choose their first Grand Master? Page 62.
77. Why were Masonic
Lodges unknown in Austria, Russia and Poland in 1896? 34-2.
78. What is said of
American Templarism ? 65-1.
79. What is the first
published written record of the investiture of Knight Templar? Page 66.
80. Is there a
literature that will carry the individual Mason to the highest pinnacles of
Masonic learning ? To whom should we go for proper direction? 113-1.
81. What are the real
Landmarks of Masonry as specified by Dr. Mackey? 97-1. What is said of any
attempt to alter or remove the Landmarks by which we prove a Brother Mason ?
82. How is a lodge
described ? Page 87.
83. Where are Lodges of
Freemasons (Grand and subordinate) now established ? 109-1
84. What kind of
Masonic Lodges are maintained in Mexico and under what opposition? 110-2.
AN old Latin document
of our Order, said to be deposited with a Lodge at Namur, and purporting to be
a proclamation of the Masons of Europe, assembled at Cologne in 1535, declares
that Masons are called "Brethren dedicated to St. John," first among the
martyr stars of the morning. It tells us, further, that prior to 1440, the
Fraternity was called the Joannite Brethren, but that about that time it began
to be known by the name of Freemasons. No doubt it is largely fiction, but it
may serve as a text for an inquiry as to the relation of the two Saints John,
and especially of St. John the Baptist, to our Order.
There is no proof that
either of these holy men were ever patrons of our Fraternity, but it is a fact
that Masonry has patronized them for ages. The reason for this may be obscure
so far as history is concerned, but it is obvious enough if we have a care for
spiritual suggestion and the fitness of things. One was a prophet bearing
witness to the Light, the other an evangelist of Love; and since the object of
Masonry is the attainment of Light, and its first principle is Brotherly Love,
it is not to be wondered at that these two great figures became its patron
Saints - one the leader of those who are seeking the Light, the other the
teacher of those who have found it. For the same reason they are honored on
the festal days of the old, beautiful Light-religion of humanity - St. John
the Baptist amid the splendor of summer, St. John the Divine at the winter
solstice when the mighty orb of Light is most remote from us.
St. John the Baptist
was a prophet, "a son of the Voice of God," in the old Hebrew phrase; "yea,
and more than a prophet," said the Teacher whose advent he foretold. "There
hath not arisen among them that are born of women a greater than John the
Baptist." No man ever won higher eulogy; no one ever more richly deserved it.
What is prophecy ? It is two things - forth-telling and fore-telling. The
prophets have been for the most part forth-tellers, the great burden of their
messages being the exposition and application of moral truths. Yet ever and
again they have seen the clouds clear from the sky of the future, and have
caught glimpses of a light upon the far away hills of Time. They have seen, as
men see in dreams, places, cities, august figures, vast upheavals impending,
and felt the incommunicable thrill of advancing destinies. It is therefore
that they speak in words cryptic and vague, foreshadowing in dim and awful
form the fashion of things to be.
Such was St. John the
Baptist; a rebuker of kings, a scorner of sham, a denouncer of iniquity, whose
speech was swift, startling, eruptive, turgid, tearing away every thin veil of
pretense and bringing men face to face with eternal realities. Austere, aloof,
uncompromising, he saw clearly, felt deeply, spoke plainly; and if he lacked
those great fertilizing ideas out which new religions grow, he had a vast
capacity for moral indignation. Mere formalism evoked his withering satire.
Profession without performance provoked his blistering scorn. Hypocrisy he
flayed with whips of fire. Terrible in speech, he was yet tender of heart, and
when the storm of his eloquence has passed by the qualities that stand out in
his life are his exalted purity of soul, his passion for righteousness, his
courage, his sincerity, his self-effacing humility, his grand magnanimity -
his rugged nobility of character and his heroism in death.
Truly, Masonry makes
profession of high ideals when it invokes John the Baptist as its patron
Saint! Were he to appear at one of our festivals on his day, what would be his
message to the men of today who dedicate their Lodges in his honor? Would his
old indignation flash out upon us, rebuking us for our snug contentment, our
smug self-satisfaction, our worship of the past, and our ritualism without
reality? Would he not say to us today, as he did to the men of old, that we
must repent in our hearts and show by our deeds the sincerity of our
professions and the sanctity of our vows made at the altar of righteousness?
These are things to think about on St. John's Day, and if we are worthy to
meet in his name they will make us pause and ponder, the while we search our
Has Masonry, so eager
to honor a great Prophet, no prophetic element in it today? Has it no vision,
no dream, no forward-looking program, no creative purpose for the times to be?
Has its altar light faded into the poor flicker of a painted fire? Or will it
become an inspired teacher of righteousness as the sovereign reality of the
universe, the solitary hope of humanity and the secure foundation of personal
and social life! Will it put a new dignity into its degrees, a new fire into
its philosophy, and tell the young men who throng its temple gates that they
must prove their faith by their deeds, and keep their vows in the home, in the
marts of trade, in the state, and thus foretell the coming of a nobler social
order, a juster state, and a more humane civilization ! Size does not signify.
Numbers do not count. But righteous manhood is everything!
* * *
Several of our readers have asked us to solve the problem of the Shakespeare
Sonnets, by which they seem to mean the question as to who the Dark Lady was
with whom the poet became involved in intrigue.
Was it Mary Fitton, or some other light
lady of the Court of Queen Elizabeth ? Frankly, we neither know nor do we
care, because that is not the real problem of the Sonnets. Whether the story
of the Dark Lady be fact or fiction, after the manner of the times, does not
matter; the problem of the Sonnets is far deeper - the protest of man against
the transitoriness of love. Shakespeare loved a noble lad, and the more deeply
he loved, as all of us know, the more he was afflicted by the frailty of life,
its uncertainty, its change and decay. First he took refuge in the vague hope
of racial immortality, at the same time begging his friend to marry and leave
a copy of himself in the world. But, alas! the youth must die, and even if he
leaves a child, the child is not he, and for love no substitute will do. Then
he vows to use his art as a poet to leave an ideal image of his friend in the
world, that so long as men think, and read, and love beauty they may know the
youth - as we know Arthur Hallum in the Tennyson poem. This theme runs like an
undertone through more than a hundred sonnets, until, at last, the poet
realizes that such an image is only an idea, not the lad himself; his memory
is not he. Time seems to be victor after all, leaving us to seek in old
familiar places for "the touch of a vanished hand and the sound of a voice
that is still."
'Tis a squalid story
told us in the third section of the Sonnets, how, in an hour in temptation,
the poet was caught by the wiles of a wicked woman and led astray, and hating
himself for it. She was older than the poet, a musician, of dark hair and
eyes, and known to be an adulteress. Yet he is fascinated by her, all the
while knowing, with one side of his nature, that he was being besmirched. How
could he be base enough to be enslaved by one so worthless? Yet it is just
here, in the intensity of his bewilderment and defilement, that the
possibility of spiritual immortality is made known. Within himself he finds an
immortal nature at issue with his sin, denouncing it, refusing to consent to
it. This he recognizes as his true, eternal Self, and upon that fact he builds
his hope that by conquering his lower nature the great victory both of life
and death will be won. Hence those forever wonderful lines in the one hundred
and forty-sixth Sonnet, which is one of the greatest utterances of all time.
* * *
We are happy to
announce a series of five lectures, beginning with our next issue, on Masonic
Jurisprudence, by Brother Roscoe Pound, Dean of the Harvard School of Law,
whose studies in the Philosophy of Masonry were so much enjoyed last year. The
titles of the lectures are as follows: - The Data of Masonic Jurisprudence,
The Landmarks, Masonic Law - Usage, Masonic Law - Decisions, and Masonic
Legislation. These lectures, first delivered to the Acacia Fraternity of the
University of Nebraska, and again in the winter course under the auspices of
the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in 1916, are a distinct contribution to
Masonic literature. After they have appeared in The Builder they are to be
gathered into a little book by Brother F. E. Chipman, of the Boston Book
Company, and we are sure that many of our Members will want to own the book.
lectures, Brother W. E. Atchison, of Colorado, whose article on "Making Masons
at Sight" created no little interest, will give a digest of the various
Masonic Codes of the country, arranged topically - a huge undertaking, to be
sure, but a work much needed and very important. Taken together, these two
series ought to clarify the field of Masonic Jurisprudence, both as to its
principles and practice, and initiate our Members into the mysteries of
Masonic legislation. Nor is that all. Such a course of study should have a
very marked influence upon the future legislation of the Order, for that it
will bring to each Jurisdiction the thought and experience of the Craft at
* * *
Very wisely, as we
think, the Board of General Purposes of the Grand Lodge of England has
decided, at a recent meeting, not to press the resolution submitted to it
demanding more drastic measures against Brethren of German birth. It is deemed
best to let the matter rest as it is, inserting in the original resolution a
proviso which will keep it in force after the treaty of peace has been signed
until such time as the Grand Lodge shall see fit to modify its action. This is
indeed good news, and we sincerely trust that Grand Lodge will concur in the
decision of the Board. Heaven grant that it may be so.
* * *
If any of our Members
are unfamiliar with the work of the International Bureau of Masonic Affairs,
we are sure they will desire to come in touch with its work. It is conducted
by Dr. Edward Quartier-LaTente, Beaux-Arts, 26, Neuchatel, Switzerland, and
its publications are well worth while both for their matter and spirit. We
wish also to call attention again to the Miscellanea Latomorum, a little
monthly journal of Masonic Notes and Queries, intended to facilitate
intercommunication between Masonic students, edited by Brother F. W. Levander,
Middlesex, 30 North Villas, Camden Square, London, N.W. England - price Five
Shillings. Both of these publications are worthy of encouragement by the
* * *
We are sure that
Brethren will not deem it any disrespect to the dead, much less an offense to
the living, if The Builder does not make room for obituary notices and
appreciations sent to us. Such notices belong of right to the journals of the
jurisdictions in which the Brethren of whom they tell lived and toiled. The
Society thinks it wisest to confine its labors strictly to the task set before
it, seeking to deepen interest in the deeper aspects of Masonry, and using all
the power at its command to that one end.
SPIRIT OF MAN
SINCE the time long
gone when we first read the old Greek Anthology, we have had a fondness for
such selections, and here is one so beautiful that it makes one want to go off
and cry: "The Spirit of Man," selected by Robert Bridges. At any time this
would be an anthology of distinction, but it is doubly so now, because it is
the work of the Poet Laureate of England, and because it portrays the war of
the soul of man against dust - the intrepid and unconquerable faith of
humanity facing the brute forces of the world. Amid the smoke and din of world
war, it is eloquent of that higher and deeper war which never ends, as it is
prophetic of the greatest of all victories.
The purpose of the
work, as well as its unique arrangement, attract attention, the intent being
to show that spirituality is the basis and foundation of human life, rather
than its apex or final achievement. The method is to bring forward a cloud of
witnesses, chiefly poets and philosophers, beginning with the meditations of
Spinoza on the futility of life and closing with a triumphant chorus of faith;
in short, to show that "man is a spiritual being, and the proper work of his
mind is to interpret the world according to his higher nature, and to conquer
the material aspects of the world so as to bring them into subjection to the
spirit," This is indeed the Great Work which each man must achieve for
himself, and by as much as he wins this victory of deity over dirt, of sense
over sensuality, of mind over body, by so much does he attain the only success
How real this war is,
how dark the shadows that becloud us, how menacing the array of foes that come
up against the soul, is shown in the First Book by the testimony of poets
expressing weariness with life, dissatisfaction, defeat of faith, and the old
world sadness. Over against this mood, in the Second Book, we see the spirit
of youth measuring itself against the facts of life, trying its wings made in
fairyland, and singing of love and beauty, of the wonder of Nature and the
glory of the Ideal. It is lyrical with joy, defiant alike of life and death,
confident, audacious, unafraid, for that it has not yet been subdued, if not
dismayed, by the heat and peril and tragedy of the battle. Oddly enough,
Shelley is quoted more often than any other writer, and as one reads his
glowing lines again they seem like some remembered speech from another and
higher world, as if he were a Skylark caught and caged for a brief time in
this House of Mortality.
Turning to the Third
Book we hear the voice of the Soul after its rough encounter with reality; its
sense of the terror of life - the themes being mortality, melancholy, sorrow,
and sin. It is the still, sad music of humanity in battle with Fate, which
Sophocles heard in a time far gone, piercing, poignant, unutterably pathetic.
Happily, in the latter half of the book the mind of man lays hold of great
ideas of God and truth and justice, and lifts itself out of the low valley of
fear toward the heights of vision and power. Frail he is and fleeting - here
today and tomorrow gone - but by making a noble life man passes out of the
realm of things that fade, free from the tyranny of Time and the terror of the
Tomb. To unfold a beautiful soul, to build a pure character, is to become a
fellow to immortal spirits, a citizen of that City where the sting of
mortality cannot hurt, and where a thousand years are as a day. Hence the
grand chant of victory in the Fourth Book, with its rosary of hope, its
radiance of joy, its resounding shout of the Happy Warrior who, by loyalty to
the highest truth, has vanquished fear and fate and the dark shadow of death.
Read it, Brother; it
will help you to live bravely in this beautiful world, while looking beyond it
to the reality of things that abide; keeping your heart responsive to the
Unseen, and bringing the light of the highest truth to the service of the
humblest duty. It will deepen the old divine discontent, making more vivid
those ideals that torment by their loveliness; it will trouble you with
hauntings of an eternal tomorrow, and make you redouble your effort for a
larger, freer, richer life.
* * *
"Slowly the Cathedral
rises, in what unknown years to stand finished! Crowning a city of new people,
let it be hoped, of better laws. Finished and standing on its rock for the
order of the streets, for order in the land, and order throughout the world,
for order in the secret places of the soul. Majestical rebuker of the waste of
lives, rebuker of a country which invites all lives into it and wastes lives
most ruthlessly - lives which it stands there to shelter and to foster and to
After this manner James
Lane Allen meditates on the larger meaning of the cathedral of St. John the
Divine, now slowly rising to crown Cathedral Heights, New York City, and about
it he has woven his story, which is also a national parable, entitled, "The
Cathedral Singer." It is a story of toil and trial and tragedy and tears -
heart-breaking in its ending - the while it wonders whether in the rush and
scramble of American life we have room for a cathedral. It is a question worth
pondering, most of all by Masons, and one likely to be pondered long after we
close the book and brush the tears away. Does the life of our "gay and
giddypaced time" tend to make men of cathedral-like soul? Can that great pile
now rising in New York be humanized and become a real part of our life? If so,
such tragedies as the one here told will not happen, and the help which mother
and son found in their sorrow will be more common than it is. It is a Story to
break the heart - and mend it.
* * *
POWER OF MASONRY
The power of Masonry is
like sunlight, quiet, unobtrusive, unhasting and unresting. It does its work
without bells or blare of trumpets. Too often, in our impatience for results,
we forget the silent force of a great fellowship by which men are brought
together at an altar of light and friendship, and what such an altar means, in
ways too many and hidden to trace, in the life of a community. From a tiny
book called "Freemasonry, its History, Principles, and Obj ects," we read
"What a power for good
in the whole community a well-ordered Lodge can become. It is a body of
influential and thoughtful men held together by principles appealing to the
highest development of the moral sense. Most other associations have to appeal
to what is novel and perhaps untried. But it is one of the signs of high
genius to make the best use of old materials. Beethoven invented no new
instrument, Handel added no new stop to the organ, Milton and Shakespeare
added no new letter to the alphabet, nor did the great painters enrich the
palette with any new color. And our principles need no bringing up to date,
nor do we propound any novelty. Our application of them may change to suit the
varying need, but the principles are founded on the same rocks as the throne
of God himself, and they have for ages past pointed to an unvarying goal, the
diffusion of light and happiness; and so long as we move toward that goal with
one step, seeing with clear eye, speaking with one voice, we shall never fail
to attract to our ranks the best and noblest of our fellows."
* * *
Said Mr. Dooley: - "Opporchunity
knocks at every man's dure wanst. On some men's dure it hammers till it breaks
the dure down, an' thin it goes in an' wakes him up if he's asleep, an'
afterwards it wurrks f'r him as a night watchman. On other men's dures it
knocks an' runs away; and on the dures of some men it knocks an' whin they
come out it hits thim over the head with an ax. But every man has an
* * *
ARTICLES OF INTEREST
Mason and the Child, by J. G. Gibson. London Freemason.
Times Three, by F. C. Higgins. Masonic Standard.
Origin of Templary, Freemason, Toronto.
Degree Lecture, by D. S. Wagstaff. Trestle Board.
Masonry in Greece. International Bureau for Masonic Affairs
and Scottish Rite. Virginia Masonic Journal.
Ericson, The Norseman, by C. F. Willard. The New Age.
* * *
PAMPHLETS OF VALUE
is Freemasonry? by G. W. Speth.
Notes on The Knights Templar, by E.C.B. Merriman.
and Development of Masonry, by J. M. Wise.
Origin of Freemasonry, by W. W. Root.
- His Relation of John Hus, by L. M. Kuhns.
Culture and the State, by Thomas H. MacBride.
Are Our Nation's Credentials, by A. E. Bear.
* * *
American Literature Since 1870, by F.L. Pattee. Century Co. $2.00.
History of the Eastern Star, by W. D. Engle, Indianapolis, Ind. $2.00.
Spirit of Man, by Robert Bridges. Longman, Green Co. $1.50.
Worth Living, by E. C. Peabody. University Chicago Press. $1.00.
Books of the Apocrypha, by W. O. E. Oesterley. Revell Co. $3.00.
Concise Cyclopedia of Masonry, by E. L. Hawkins. A. Lewis, London. $1.25.
Cathedral Singer, by J. L. Allen. Century Co. $1.00.
Masonic Symbolism, by A. H. Ward. Theosophical Publishing Co. $1.00.
winds that o'er my ocean run,
through all heavens beyond the sun;
Through life and death, through fate, through time,
breaths of God, they sweep sublime.
thou God's mariner, heart of mine,
canvas to the airs divine !
sail! and let thy Fortune be
Forgotten in thy Destiny.
Destiny pursues us well,
sea, by land, through heaven or hell;
suffers death alone to die,
life all change and chance defy.
loveth life and good: then trust
most the spirit would, it must;
wishes, in the heart that be,
blossoms of necessity.
thread of Law runs through thy prayer,
Stronger than iron cables are;
Love and Longing toward her goal
pilots sweet to guide the soul.
Life must live, and Soul must sail,
Unseen over Seen prevail,
all God's argosies come to shore,
ocean smile, or rage, or roar.
David A. Wasson.
Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
one night from a deep dream of peace,
saw within the moonlight in his room,
it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
angel writing in a book of gold;
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
the presence in his room he said,
writest thou?" This vision raised its head
with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answered, "The names of those who love the Lord."
is mine one ?" said Abou. "Nay, not so,"
Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
cheerily still; and said, "I pray thee, then,
me as one who loves his fellow-men."
angel wrote and vanished. The next night
came again, with a great awakening light,
showed the names whom love of God had blessed
lo ! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.
TRACE OF AGE
Brother Editor: - Tell
met if you can, who wrote the following lines, and whether there are any more
that go with them. I have hunted for the author in vain:
me your mood, O patient stars!
climb each night the ancient sky,
Leaving on space no shade, no scars,
trace of age, no fear to die."
Those lines mean much
to me, being a kind of text for my faith, and I would so much like to know who
wrote them. -
They were written by
Emerson, and may be found among the fragments of a poem begun as early as
1831, probably earlier, and which received additions from time to time tor
more than twenty years, but was never completed. In its earlier form, it was
entitled, "The Discontented Poet, A Masque," but appears in his works -
fragments and all - as "The Poet." (Works of Emerson, Vol. IX, p. 277). They
are indeed great lines, reminding one of the Matthew Arnold poem,
Self-Dependence, albeit nobler as we think.
* * *
Of late you have been
referring to a book called "Sidelights on Masonry," by Lawrence. Tell us more
about it, and what it is worth. - J.D.S.
It is one of a series
of little books written or edited by Brother John T. Lawrence, Past District
Grand Warden, Madras, and is exceedingly interesting and worth while. Indeed,
the whole series is valuable - and inexpensive - such as By-ways in Masonry,
The Perfect Ashlar, The Keystone, Masonic Jurisprudence and Symbolism; and we
recommend them most heartily. They are published by A. Lewis, 13 Paternoster
Row, E. C. London, and sell for $1.25 each. They are particularly valuable for
a Lodge library because they are accurate, and the essays and discussions are
brief and can be read by busy men. The Society will be glad to secure the set,
or any volume in it, for any of its members.
* * *
Brother asks if we believe that Jesus was sinless, and if he was how could he
be tempted ? Questions of this kind have no place in The Builder, but since he
asks simply for our opinion, for what it is worth, we may say, (1) that if
Jesus was sinless it was not because he could not sin, but because he would
not sin; that he became Master by mastering; and (2) the most trying
temptations of life are not as between right and wrong, but between one form
of right and another, between the good and the best. Shakespeare knew this
when he said: "O virtuous fight! When right with right wars, who shall be most
right!" (Troilus and Cressida). Weak men are tempted by their weakness; strong
men by their strength. The temptation of Jesus in the wilderness was an
epitome of the struggle of every great soul since time began - how to use rare
power, for self or for others, for a lower good or a higher end? Surely the
Father of men does not tempt us with evil, but with good, seeking to entice us
to follow the truth to freedom. So much by the way.
* * *
Brother Newton: - I heard a sermon not so long ago in which the preacher - my
pastor - advocated the use of initiation by the church, or at least a kind of
blend of Lodge and Church polity. He referred to something of the kind in
Philadelphia. Tell us what you think about it. What was it that happened in
the city of Brotherly Love, anyway? - H.G.B.
pastor must have had in mind the usage of the early Christian Church, in which
initiation was practiced - probably in imitation of The Mysteries - whereof
you may read, if you are interested, in "Monumental Christianity," by Lundy,
especially the chapter on The Discipline of the Secret. The affair in
Philadelphia was interesting, and it stirred up a bad muss. One minister
organized a secret society of men called the Stonemen, after the manner of
Masonry, having three degrees, and many men of his own church and others
joined it. It grew rapidly, but it was
found, at length, that the third degree was really little other than a way of
joining his church - or at least, of confessing to its peculiar tenets.
Whereupon, as you can imagine, there was an explosion, and the wrath of rival
churches was terrible. It was to laugh. Let us hope that your pastor will take
due notice and govern himself accordingly - and not after the fashion of the
minister in Philadelphia.
* * *
The item which has been
going the rounds of the Masonic press to the effect that the Prince of Wales
was recently made a Mason, is an error. The mistake was due, says the
Birmingham Daily Post, to a misapprehension as to what young Royal Prince it
was who was admitted to the Craft. It was Prince Arthur of Connaught, the only
son of the Grand Master of English Masons - not the Prince of Wales. Albeit
the Post adds: "It would not be surprising if in the near future the Prince of
Wales joined the Order, following the example of not only his grandfather the
late King Edward VII., but George IV., when each was Heir-Apparent. The close
connection between Princes of Wales and Freemasonry goes, indeed, much farther
back than either, for one of the earliest official publications of the Grand
Lodge of England was dedicated in 1738 to Frederick, Prince of Wales, eldest
son of George II., 'a Master Mason and Master of a Lodge,' and a direct
ancestor of the present Sovereign."
* * *
There was read before
our Lodge the other evening a lecture in which reference was made to the
ancient land of Lemuria a submerged continent which it is claimed preceded the
more or less fabled Atlantis. Also reference was made to one Rama, a
descendant of that people with fair skin, blue eyes and light hair which,
according to the lecture, migrated from what is now the polar zone, and who
inhabited that country in large numbers previous to the ice age, and in time
drifted to what is now continental Europe and western Asia; and this Rama was
the one who introduced civilization into India, etc. Outside of what was
contained in the lecture I have been unable to find any reference to either
Lemuria or Rama. If a proper question I would be pleased to know the probable
source of the statements in the lecture. - E.P.H.
Almost certainly from
some such work as "Rama and Moses," by Edouard Schure. (Theosophical
New York); or "The Great Initiates," by the same author, in which his series
of interesting and highly imaginative studies are gathered together. They are
valuable as helping us to form some conception of the beginnings of things, of
the migrations of humanity in the dawn of time; but as authentic history they
are hardly to be trusted. With the utmost respect for the lecturer, we regret
that he did not give his authority, and also that he did not indicate in how
far his narrative could be substantiated and how far not. Esoteric history,
like esoteric philosophy, is rather slippery.
* * *
doing some research work in Masonic Tradition if it is not asking too much
would like to have reference material. Any suggestions will be greatly
appreciated. - E.D.G.
Settle, first of all, what you mean by tradition - a word which is used in two
senses in Masonry and everywhere else. (1) Reports of events either in part or
in whole historically authentic, or altogether consisting of arbitrary fiction
intended to convey an allegorical or symbolic meaning - as Dr. Oliver used
Masonic tradition; (2) traditions which refer to customs and usages of olden
time - and, in Masonry, especially in matters of law and ritual observance.
Take up, second, the value of tradition in general, and the methods of testing
its worth - a rich field with many difficult questions, as you must know if
you are at all familiar with theological discussion, which may be found in
books having to do with authority in matters of faith. The principles
formulated with regard to tradition will be found to apply to Masonic
traditions, whether it be traditions of the first kind or the second, "which
has been handed down at all times, in all
places, and by all persons," which Vincent of Lerins said must be the test of
an authoritative tradition - antiquity, universality, and common support. The
importance of this subject is seen from the fact that tradition has a large
place in Masonry, and our Brother will need to define his principles
carefully, and keep his distinctions clearly in mind, the while he sifts the
mass of materials; as for example in the "Traditions of Masonry," by A. T. C.
Pierson, on the one side, and traditional Masonic usage' embodied in our
landmarks, laws, and ritual on the other.
* * *
Through the exemplary
life led by my revered father, who was a member of our Order sixty years, I
had always held Masonry in highest esteem. But those feelings were totally
eclipsed when I experienced the thrill which must come to a thoughtful man
when the mysteries of Masonry are unfolded to him. My feeling of solemnity,
and the determination of my set purpose, reached their climax when, standing
before the Master of the Lodge, I heard him pronounce me a just and upright
Mason. Imagine my feelings when I heard that a Brother had stood sponsor for
my reputation ! Can you wonder that my firm resolve was never to drop below
that standard, if for nothing else than honor's sake, and to avoid bringing
reproach upon the Brother who had vouched for my integrity? Does not that
experience explain why we should take Masonry seriously? To me it does, most
emphatically. Let me ask this question: Do we, in our attitude toward Masonry,
blend a full percentage of esteem with efficiency? Yours most fraternally.
Sidney Bartlett, Iowa.
* * *
Could you tell me
whether Albert G. Mackey's Masonic History and Encyclopedia are considered
reliable? - L. E. D.
Reliable, but not
infallible. There is no book but will provoke differences of opinion both as
regards facts and the interpretation of facts - our little book, The Builders,
is no exception - but the works of Dr. Mackey are not only valuable, but
almost indispensible to the Masonic student. He was a tireless student,
covering many fields - almost the whole field of Masonry, in fact - and he was
not always accurate, perhaps; for one reason, because it is very difficult to
be accurate as to many things in Masonry. But his work as a whole is noble,
useful and vastly important; it cost him time and money and labor unbelievable
- we hope soon to publish a sketch and appreciation of the man himself, who
deserves the honor and reverence of his Brethren. Nevertheless, we have dreams
of a different kind of Masonic Encyclopedia, which shall limit itself to
subjects more specifically Masonic, treating each one adequately, so far as
possible, giving references and authorities where needed, and a brief
bibliography with each article - after the manner of Hasting's Encyclopedia of
Religion and Ethics. Perhaps time will fulfill our dream; and if it does all
the best Masonic students of the world will join in its making, and each
article will be signed by the man who writes it. We shall see what we shall
* * *
Can you assist me in
some work I am doing in the geneology of the Farley Family? The particular
information I desire is the Masonic record of John Farley in Virginia. He is a
greaterandfather of mine, born about 1758 or 1768, and was a Mason,
I believe, in
Bedford County. I have attempted some correspondence with Lodges direct and
the Grand Secretary of Virginia tells me that there is very little use trying
to get information back of 1800. I would like to establish the date and place
of his birth. His occupation was that of surveyor, and any information or
suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Fraternally yours, J. K. F.
Perhaps - who knows? -
some member of the Society may be able to furnish exactly the information
wanted by Brother Farley. Meanwhile, we suggest that he take up the matter
with the Historical Society of Virginia, at Richmond, which has untold stores
of genealogical treasures in its keeping. If Brother Farley has not tapped
that source of information, it is worth his while to do so.
* * *
Can we not agree upon a
head-dress for the Worshipful Master which shall be at once seemly, dignified
and characteristic? The horrible incongruity of a Master in a "cady" marred my
initiation, and took from the impressiveness of the ceremony not a little. The
operative Mason's cap would be less out of keeping, it seems to me. Again,
does not the "G" savor of provincialism instead of that universality which
should be the fundamental of Masonry? Fraternally, F. H. Dewart, Vermont.
* * *
In our list of regular
Lodges I notice some jurisdictions are headed F. & A. M., and others A. F. &
A. M. What is the significance of the difference? Is there an association
known as the American Federation of Masonic Lodges, and are there Lodges
working in this country under the jurisdiction of Scotland? There are none in
our list of Lodges. The other day I was informed that there are Lodges in this
state - California - who make claim that they are from Scottish authority and
that their work is the same as ours. - A. J. B.
(1) These differences
are a reminiscence of the days of the rival Grand Lodges of Ancients and
Moderns in England. After the union in 1813, some jurisdictions kept one form
of title, some another. That is all. (2) The American Federation of Masonic
Lodges is a bogus body which takes itself very seriously. (3) The Lodges
claiming to work under the authority of Scotland are clearly clandestine. We
are not familiar with their history, nor greatly interested in it.
* * *
If it is not asking too
much, I would like to see an article on The American Indian as a Mason, in The
Builder in the near future. That is, if the Indians have any Masonry, and
where they got it. - R. G.
See a little book
entitled "Indian Masonry," by Wright. So far as the Indian had or has any
Masonry as we know it, he got it from the white man, though he of course had
his secret order corresponding to The Men's House of all primitive society.
(See Primitive Secret Societies, by Hutton Webster). We shall be glad to
publish such an article as Brother Gentry asks for.
* * *
OATH OF HIPPOCRATES
By the kindness of a
Brother we have the following oath of Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine,
taken by the ancient Greek medical student upon entrance into his chosen
profession. It has been revived of late in our medical colleges, as for
example, by a non-secret, fourth-year, Medical Honor Society in the College of
Physicians and Surgeons, Chicago. It breathes a lofty spirit of dedication to
a noble art, as follows:
I swear by Apollo, the
physician, and Aesculapius, and Health, and All-heal, and all the gods and
goddesses, that, according to my ability and judgment, I will keep this oath
and stipulation: to reckon him who taught me this art equally dear to me as my
parents, to share my substance with him and relieve his necessities if
required; to regard his offspring as on the same footing with my own brothers,
and to teach them this art if they should wish to learn it, without fee or
stipulation, and that by precept, lecture and every other mode of instruction,
I will impart a knowledge of the art to my own sons and to those of my
teachers, and to disciples bound by a stipulation and oath, according to the
law of medicine, but to none others. I will follow that method of treatment
which, according to my ability and judgment, I consider for the benefit of my
patients, and abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous. I will
give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked, nor suggest any such counsel;
furthermore, I will not give to a woman an instrument to produce abortion.
With purity and with holiness I will pass my life and practice my art. I will
not cut a person who is suffering with a stone, but will leave this to be done
by practitioners of this work. Into whatever houses I enter I will go into
them for the benefit of the sick and will abstain from every voluntary act of
mischief and corruption; and further from the seduction of females or males,
bond or free. Whatever, in connection with my professional practice, or not in
connection with it, I may see or hear in the lives of men which ought not to
be spoken abroad, I will not divulge, as reckoning that all such should be
kept secret. While I continue to keep this oath unviolated, may it be granted
to me to enjoy life and the practice of the art, respected by all men at all
times; but should I trespass and violate this oath, may the reverse be my lot.
* * *
SANDS OF THE SEA"
Dear Brother Newton: -
I was much interested by the letter from Bro. Ticknor. re the "Rough Sands of
the Sea," in your February issue. Unfortunately, I have forgotten my Greek
pretty thoroughly, but I asked one of our best scholars here about it,
Principal Hutton of University College, and I append the gist of his letters:
"I know of no passage
which regards the foreshore as worse than either land or beater for burial:
there are many allusions to foreshore burial, but all of a perfectly natural
and rational kind: a body is washed up - the body of a drowned stranger -
where should one bury it so naturally as on the foreshore. Horace (Odes 1.28)
writes of Archytas the mathematician being so buried near Mutinum and of the
spirit of another drowned person appealing to him and to any passer by for
"The ancient world -
like our own faded sentiment on the same subject; but much more positively and
earnestly - demanded burial for the dead; it felt that only burial "laid the
ghost," It regarded the burial of drowned sailors on the foreshore as a
melancholy end, not because the foreshore in itself was the most dishonorable
place of burial, but because it was a wild, forlorn, and weather-beaten grave,
wet by the sea. though not perpetually as in the worst case of all. I find
this idea expressed in the Greek anthology three or four times; in the section
of epitaphs it occurs most forcibly in No. 430 (p. 199, Edwardes' Edition)
where the dead man lies eight cubits from the sea, and the sea is told to rage
as it pleases, but to keep off that distance. Other epitaphs bearing on
drowned men are 456 (p. 211, Edwardes), 513, 524, and 549."
"The Greek sentiment
does not appear to me to have included any idea of consecrated ground or
unconsecrate, least of all any special aversion to the foreshore as worse than
burial at sea, but merely the world wide idea that burial was necessary for
the spirit's rest."
"In Shelley's case I
imagine his religion, if not also medical scruples, forbade his burial in the
earth proper, which was all consecrated; and suggested the foreshore as the
only alternative - and a more humane one - than casting the body back into the
So much for the Greeks,
but this is hardly what we are looking for. So I suggested to Principal
Hutton, that the idea of ignominy might be implied in the fact that the
foreshore is a no-man's-land, owned neither by sea nor land but the scene of
constant battles between Poseidon and Gaiae; thereon no altar could be raised
whereon to offer a sacrifice to the departed shade, not could any memorial be
built there to his memory. His body would be constantly disturbed by the
strife of natural forces, and his spirit would be similarly troubled, for that
its former tenement could not rest, disintegrade in peace, and set him free.
If a suicide was to be buried at four corners, why not the perjurer in the
constant turmoil of the foreshore.
To this he replied that
if any sect, or church, or tribe regarded burial on the foreshore as
peculiarly ignominious, because the foreshore is the battle ground of the
deities of earth and sea, the idea is logical and to that extent natural, but
while these two customs probably go back to a common source, it is not to a
classical source, rather to the imagination of some northern tribe, more
gloomy and less rationalistic than were the very light-hearted and natural
J. Haydon, Canada.
* * *
CONSERVATISM SHOULD BE REASONABLE
I read in a recent
issue of The Builder an article from an inquiring correspondent on the
question of physical qualifications of petitioners for the degrees of Masonry
which I believe to be pertinent. I believe that this is a proposition that
should not be arbitrarily dismissed as being beyond the pale of serious
discussion on the ground that the requirement of physical perfection in the
applicant is a Masonic landmark and therefore can not be waived or ignored by
the Masonry of today.
I may begin by stating
that I am constitutionally conservative in all things: in matters of religion,
of politics; of social and economic questions, and of Masonry. I believe
firmly in "holding fast that which is good" in "all things" which concern the
spiritual or temporal interests of mankind while the irresistible current of
the law of evolution inevitably bears us gradually, and I may say largely
unconsciously, toward better and higher conditions. The label "Progressive" is
always a signal of caution to my intellectual eye and causes me to stop at
once and carefully consider what is covered by that label. Having lived
through a rather extended period of time, and for the greater part of that
time having been a student of Man, psychically and physically, and of his
activities and their resultants in both of these phases, I have learned that
mass-advancement is not to be attained by leaps and bounds - by jumping over
things - but by the slow and patient processes of removing the effete and no
longer serviceable, or that which has been well proven to be bad, as the new
and studiously selected is substituted for it. Many serious errors have been
made in the past, and are being made in the present, by attempting to erect
new and hastily or unskilfully constructed temples on foundations that do not
rest upon the bed-rock of human nature or human wisdom, the grain-by-grain
accumulation of the thought and experience of all-man in all-time.
With this understanding
of my mental attitude, let me approach Masonic questions unsuspected of being
of those who would recklessly advocate "innovations upon the body of Masonry,"
But may I ask what are we to regard as the body of Masonry in the light of
what it has been for now nearly two centuries ? Are we to regard the dust of
operative Masonry not even the bones of it remaining to our age, as a "body"
to which we are to be hopelessly chained for all time ? Speculative Masonry
has nothing in common with Operative except its name and in part its
traditions, its ritualism, its legends, its degrees and ceremonies, its
broader purposes, have been born or developed within the era of purely
As to the bodily
perfections required in the apprentice of the old era, it was the worthy aim
and intent of the material rather than moral builders of the time to exclude
from the inner circle of skilled workers those who for natural or accidental
reasons could not hope to attain to perfection, or even to competency, in the
laborious and exacting service of the Craft. Defect of limb might easily be an
insuperable obstacle to the mechanical success and usefulness of the man in
the practical art of building; at the least it was a handicap to his
participation with his fellows on equal terms.
Masonry, having no connection with physical labor in any form, has declared
that "it is the internal and not the external qualifications that recommend a
man to be made a Mason." It requires of him a prepared heart, a receptive
mind, an appreciation of moral worth, a faith in an all-wise and all-ruling
Supreme Power in which he lives and acts and to which he is responsible for
time and eternity. He is a builder of character in the broadest sense of the
term, both in his individual and in his relational life: not of monuments of
stone, however grand and temporally enduring such might be.
In this building with
"living stones," this construction of temples "not made with hands," not to be
disintegrated and destroyed with the progress of the ages but to grace the
unchanging landscape of the empire of God himself, what matters it that the
perishable body be imperfect? If heart and mind be competent to the work the
Speculative Mason is required to perform, what more in justice may we exact of
him who desires to engage with us in our "great and important undertaking?"
I think it time that we
should relax our requirements as to ability to strictly conform to purely
mechanical and no longer necessary portions of our ritualistic ceremonies and
accept any man internally qualified and not arbitrarily exclude him because of
some perhaps slight natural or accidental deformity or deficiency of the body.
If he be morally, spiritually and intellectually able and willing to conform
to the only requirements now essential in a true Mason, that should be
sufficient. I do not believe such relaxation could now be by any stretch of
the meaning of terms construed as an innovation upon the body of Masonry or as
the violation of a landmark. A landmark can only exist while the "land"
exists; and the land of Ancient Craft Masonry was long since swallowed up in
the changing ocean of time.
* * *
CHURCH AND THE CRAFT
It has long been the
claim of some of the denominations among the churches that fraternities,
particularly Masonic Orders, are inimical, and even hindrances to their work -
a commission which has the Divine authority and sanction.
The sincerity of this
claim has been quite borne out by their making the matter involved a pivotal
test of membership, though in the final analysis of motive in the matter
involved, it has, no doubt been true that human nature in this, as in many
other things centering in the success of institutions through given
principles, has often played for the higher stakes through the benefit of a
While the "war of
words," to say nothing of other means employed, has been from "time
immemorial" the weapon of the warfare of its enemies, Masonry's only defense
has been its absolute "silence and circumspection."
Right here I wish to
make it clear that this little paper is in no sense whatever a defense or
arraignment of either of the institutions involved, as from neither of these
angles can anything be accomplished save real harm. I would merely call
attention, both from the standpoint of a Churchman and a Mason, to the main
question of the ages, recognized now more than ever before - human welfare and
No two moral
institutions in the world have more distinct and clearly defined methods for
given purposes than the Church and Masonry. As light and warmth, air and
moisture are essentials to life, there is no conflict in the elements and no
one of the essentials can be eliminated. So it is with human nature which must
have its schooling and training in this world.
This human quantity,
however, must necessarily go to its tutor, as the rough Ashlar goes into the
hands of the Fellowcraft, in its crude and natural state. Herein is the
practical application of Masonry to the material, the institution to the human
nature of which it must its temple build. If the stone has only the right
material in it to render it eligible to a place in the Temple, it may,
eventually, in the symbolism, become a living stone in that House not made
Thus Masonry takes man
into its fellowship and confidence as it finds him, only stipulating that the
material must be sound. Creeds or dogmas count for nothing as regards the
quality of the material. Most men are apologists for some of them, some men
for most of them, while yet others stand from under them all. Even in their
classifications, it would be difficult to find two who are alike. So it is the
man himself, his moral fibre and habits that furnish the acid tests for the
material, that Masonry applies.
profession, or its opposite, like worldly wealth or honor, does not, as such,
recommend a man to Masonry. It is solely a question of morality and a belief
in a Supreme Being. On these two points Masonry has always been an absolutely
fair proposition for HUMAN NATURE to invest in. It has been as just as it has
been true, and human as it has been fair.
speaking, men must leave their coverts and come either to the Church or
Masonry, or, as some churches do not carry on their string of keys one that
locks the fraternal door, they may come to both. "Ask and ye shall receive,
seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you," perhaps
equally applies to both. And here the parallel ends. Masonry, fundamentally,
takes the man, the material, because it is sound. The Church takes him because
he has a creed. It makes this the supreme and final test. If the creed is
wrong, or lacking, all is wrong. If the creed is right, all MAY be right. But
what churchman would dare to say "creed right, man right." Far be it from me
to criticise the Church in this matter, I am simply stating facts. I must
believe, however, that it is largely the differences noted herein that to a
great extent answer the questions as to why the Church in adult male
membership is so fast declining.
Nature is the basis and
background of all things. Human nature is the highest expression of nature and
must be met measured and cared for in a NATURAL way. Further than that,
whatever prerogative the supernaturalist may assume, human nature, relatively
speaking, in the final analysis, will never
The work of the world
for social, ethical and moral uplift, to achieve a maximum of success, must
originate and be carried on from a practical standpoint. It must take the
material, the man, as it finds him, and not on points that in themselves
cannot guarantee his character and by which it would sort him out from the
rest of the world for its special own.
While the institution
may have the highest human ideals, it cannot conceive that its material for
its human Temple in the quarries and forests and mines can be finished in
advance of its being passed upon as GOOD material for its final place. Masonry
is of worth to the world only as it builds well and it cannot build without
the human material and to its glory be it said that among these necessary
quantities there is found many "diamonds in the rough." So while man, to a
given formality, must be "made over" to be eligible to a place in the Church,
Masonry takes him, practically, as it finds him, and it is in the hearts of
most men to render themselves deserving of the confidence reposed.
I have long believed
that every man who truly desires to be good and do good should be eligible for
Church membership. Why not? The Church, as such, is a man-made institution
from start to finish. Christ himself never even suggested such an institution
as the Church as we know it. We must conceive of Him only as the founder of
the Kingdom of the Heavens among men. "According to your FAITH be it unto
you," was His only test. It would seem to be beyond the imagination of a
normal mind to conceive of this King of the Kingdom of the Heavens as
descending from the sublime pinnacle of faith for His subjects to the wicket
gate of the formalism of which the Churches have made Him their guardian.
But the scales are
falling from men's eyes. The Kingdom, as it relates to individuals, is in the
heart, and as it relates to the world, in practical, or applied Christianity.
While Masonry makes no claim to being a religion, "it is so far interwoven
with it as to lay us under obligations to pay that rational homage to the
Deity which at once constitutes our duty and our happiness." This sublime
declaration is a "clearing house" of spiritual and Divine ethics. No single
man-made sentence ever meant more. In its directness and simplicity it
constitutes the very foundation of the Kingdom of the Heavens in the soul. It
is a declaration as broad as the universe. It suggests no anticipated
formality or creed, and alludes to no authority but duty, and duty glorified
is a privilege for love is the motive, the angel who presides at the throne of
The man of affairs,
especially, has a strong social instinct. He loves an unincumbered personality
more than an opinionated individualism. Every man has, or should have, his
close friends among all shades of religious belief, all political parties, all
professions, in short among all men who are MEN, and he will, so long as such
can meet in the bonds of Brotherhood on the Level, act by the Plumb, and part
on the Square, find this powerful social instinct met and satisfied and in a
dignified and uplifting way than which it may be said that the genius of man
has never been able to improve upon.
The Church, as
constituted, goes forward mainly on spiritual lines weighted down with dogmas.
Masonry progresses on practical lines supported by brotherly love, relief and
truth - the universal Brotherhood of man. The Church has been the architect of
its own misfortunes, but this is not the place to enumerate them. Even as it
is, it is a world necessity for it may mean something for good to every person
from childhood to the grave.
Every man who is both a
Churchman and a Mason should be a better Mason therefor. Every man who is a
good Mason should be a better subject - of the Kingdom of the Heavens - the
true Church of God. No institution, in the old orthodox sense, can save a man.
He is solely the architect of his own destiny. If he is trusting to his Church
or his Order for the salvation as understood by the above classification, he
is building on the sand. Neither the one nor the other can obtain it for him,
but they may both be the means - blessed means - to the best there is for
earth and what may follow on.
from the heart of nature rolled
burdens of the Bible old;
litanies of nations came,
the volcano's tongue of flame,
from the burning core below, -
canticles of love and woe.
word unto the prophet spoken
writ on tables yet unbroken;
word of seers or sybils told,
groves of oak, or fanes of gold,
floats upon the morning wind,
whispers to the willing mind.
accent of the Holy Ghost
heedless world hath never lost.
holy Church of God appears
Through every age and race,
Unwasted by the lapse of years,
Unchanged by changing place.
oldest time on farthest shores,
Beneath the pine or palm,
Unseen Presence she adores,
silence or with psalm.
priests are all God's faithful sons,
serve the world raised up;
pure in heart her baptized ones,
Truth is her prophetic gift,
Soul her sacred page;
feet on mercy's errand swift
make her pilgrimage.