The Builder Magazine
March 1916 - Volume II - Number 3
BY JOSEPH FORT NEWTON
MR. TOASTMASTER: Surely the
idea of such an evening as this was most happy. There is a day set apart in
honor of our mothers --God bless them !--and no one would detract one iota
from its sanctity and beauty. But it has remained for this lodge to dedicate a
day to our fathers, and especially to the fathers of Masonry into whose labors
we have entered, and of whose prophetic sowing we are reaping the harvest. Of
truth, we honor ourselves when we meet and pay tribute to men who did so much
to make Masonry what it is.
Some do not well know that
there was a time, and not so long ago, when it was a courageous thing for a
man to be a Mason. Prejudice against the order was intense, often fanatical,
and our gentle craft was held by many to be a dangerous fraternity, as if its
innocent secrets harbored dark designs. How different it is now. Today our
order is everywhere honored, and our gates are thronged with young men eager
to enter its ancient fellowship. What has brought about this change of feeling
and attitude toward Masonry ? More than all else it is due to the quiet
dignity of the men of the order, and the noble way in which they have shown
what Masonry is in their lives. Nearly every man here, if asked directly,
would admit that he was drawn to Masonry by the quality of its men. After all,
the greatest influence of Masonry in the world, is the silent, eloquent
influence of character.
"A FEW OLD BRETHREN"
It may be interesting to some
to know that such an evening as this recalls one of the oldest traditions of
the order. If you will look into the "Old Charges"-- the title deeds of
Masonry, and a part of its earliest ritual--you will see that among the duties
required of a young man entering the order, was that he respect the aged.
When, after a period of decline, the Grand Lodge of England was organized in
1717, who presided over the assembly? In the scanty records of that scene it
is set down as significant that the Grand Lodge came to order with "the oldest
Master Mason in the chair." Indeed, it seems clear that the impulse by which
the scattered Masons of the time were drawn together into closer union, came,
as Anderson suggests, from "a few old brethren"; and during the critical
period of transition, it was the old men who guided the craft. For the first
Grand Lodge, so far from being an innovation, was in fact a revival of the old
quarterly Assembly, and was intended to preserve the ancient usages of the
order. So that, our meeting this night in honor of the veterans of the craft,
has the sanction, not only of our own finer feeling for the fitness of things,
but of the long tradition and custom of the order.
When is a man old? Age is
said to be a matter of feeling, not of years, but old age seemed to come upon
men earlier in former times than it does now. At the age of 49 Shakespeare
sold his holdings in the London theatres, retired from active life, and went
back to Stratford. Dr. Johnson felt himself old at 40, and Lincoln at the age
of 48 spoke of himself as old and withered. The Roman senate was an assembly
of old men, but there was a law that no senator over 60 should be called to
his duties, lest his failing mind bring harm to the republic. But it is
different with us today. With us a man is intellectually in his prime at 60,
and many do their best work much later. Gladstone, at 70, was just entering
the second volume of his biography.
YOUNG OLD MEN
When is a man a patriarch ?
Let me tell you. Old age is that period when one sees the limit of life,
whether it be at 20, 50, or 80; when he sees clearly, what once was covered by
mists, a grave full of songs unsung, hopes unrealized, and ambitions
unachieved. There are men, not yet 30, who are asking that ultimate question:
"What is the use?" These are the old men--old of heart, world-weary, smitten
with palsy of soul, and gray with a sense of futility; these are the unburied
dead. Think of a man asking such a question in a world where sunsets are like
sacraments, and the hush and solemnity of the dawn is like the smile of God!
Think of finding life flat, stale and unprofitable in a world where the
incredible is an everyday fact, and the impossible is always coming true--a
world where there is truth to seek, love to consecrate, and hope forever
building its great Arch of Promise! Such a man has come too early to the sear
and yellow leaf.
Also, there are men far along
in years--walking down the western slope where the shadows lengthen towards
evening--who are eager and alert of spirit, happy and forward-looking, their
faith undimmed, their zest of life unabated. These are not old men. There is
in them a foregleam of the immortal life. Years have piled up betimes, but
they have kept their faith firm, their feelings buoyant, their sympathies
active, and their interest in life fresh and vivid. How fine it is to see a
man grow old reverently and beautifully, his heart aglow with the soft light
of eventide and the glory of the star-crowned night ! It is not strange that
such men enjoy the authority of influence and counsel, wisdom and prophecy,
which Cicero held to be the trophies of age.
THE SEVEN AGES OF MAN
Each of the seven ages of
men, as Shakespeare marked them, has its uses, its joys, its disadvantages,
and its compensations. He is a wise man who takes life as it is, each degree
as God confers it, each experience in its season--youth with its flaming
visions, age with its serenity. For age is opportunity not less than youth,
albeit in another form. Old age, to be sure, has its disadvantages and perils.
Failing strength, stiff joints, "the lean and slippered pantaloons, sans
teeth, sans eyes, sans taste"--these are familiar enough. Often it weakens the
tenacity of memory, but if we can manage to forget what is not worth
remembering, that might be enviable. With few exceptions--like Sophocles and
Tennyson--age clips the wings of imagination; but it also cools our passion
which befogs and perverts reason. Age is clarifying and may attain, as Milton
said, to "something of prophetic strain."
At least, it belongs to age,
in a life well spent, to look upon the world with calm and wise vision. As
Plato said in his Republic, old age "certainly has a great sense of freedom
and serenity"; but he added, "the cause is to be sought, not in the ages of
men, but in their tempers and characters." That is to say, it is quality and
not the quantity of life that counts for most. The fact that a man has lived
on this earth three score years and ten does not mean, necessarily, that he is
either good or wise. Some men are as foolish in age as they were in youth.
Doubly foolish is he who, living to grow old, has not learned the priceless
value of virtue, and the wisdom of love. Time alone brings neither honor nor
THE SADDEST THING ON EARTH
An eastern king offered a
reward to the one who would tell him the saddest thing on earth. There were
three competitors in the contest. One said it is unrequited love; another that
it is the death of the young; and the third, who won the prize, that it is old
age and poverty. I do not believe it, unless by poverty you mean that pitiful
penury of soul which makes the gloaming of life so desolate. No; the saddest
thing on this earth is old age and sin--an old man crass, crafty, hard,
cynical, and impure! Great God! rather than come to such an end, let me die
tonight, in the morning of life, my work hardly begun !
When we are young we draw
checks on the Bank of the Future. Some men go on doing this, unable, it seems,
to live year in and year out upon their current income. Not many of those
checks are cashed at full value. There is nearly always a heavy discount, and
more often they come back to us for lack of funds. When we are old we draw our
checks on the Bank of the Past. Whether they are cashed or not depends on how
thrifty we have been in laying up that treasure which neither moth nor rust
can corrupt, nor thieves break through and steal. More precious than rubies is
a wise faith purified by trial, a conscience void of offense, and the memory
of years spent in purity, honor and service. When a man comes to the end the
only things he does not regret, and would not recall if he could, are the kind
words spoken and the deeds done in love of God and his fellow men. At that
hour an empty alabaster box, with which he has anointed some friend in need,
counts for more than all the gold in all the hills !
YOUTH AND AGE
Other things being equal, the
advantages of age, though less obvious, far outweigh its handicaps. For one
thing, age sees life in a long perspective and in a clearer, if drier, light.
It has a vision of the beauty and grace--and folly--of youth, which youth does
not have. It is the young who despise youth and try to get away from it--the
urchin longing to be a school boy, the freshman to be a senior. No man, when a
boy, ever had half the joy running across the meadow that he gets from seeing
his boy--not to say his grandson--on that very spot. It is the old who see the
loveliness of youth, and love it. Youth is the drama, in which the actors are
absorbed in their parts; age is the audience. By virtue of its detachment, age
has a truer insight into life, and if it knows little of ecstasy it knows less
With the mellowing of life
there comes also a deeper sense of the kinship of things. Youth loves cliques,
the more exclusive the better; it rarely gives love unless it is returned. Not
so age, whose affections, if less turbulent, are less touched by selfish
motives. Age makes little of human differences, and sets much store by the
great common fellowship of humanity, seeing many ties of union where youth
sees only discord. Work, too, takes on a new aspect with lengthening years.
Old men do not feel, as young men often do, that the universe rests upon their
shoulders. Nor do they imagine, as Hamlet did, that they were born to set the
world right. They see that each must be content to do his little human part,
and trust the fate of the world to a Power greater than man. If age limits a
man, it the better sets his bounds within which he can work quietly, and get
something done before he dies.
HAMLET AND PROSPERO
Youth seeks very high for
what age finds nearby. It is when we grow older that the simple things of life
begin to unfold their wonder, and open long vistas of meditation. Nogi fought
great battles on the plains of Manchuria, but towards the end he was wont to
muse over an iris, finding in its beauty a mystery beyond his fathoming. Youth
knows more than old age, because it knows so many things that are not so.
After 50 our bottle of knowledge is so shaken that it is all of one color.
When we are young we love Hamlet, with his obscure, haunting melancholy, but
when age comes on we like best the wisdom of Prospero who, by the aid of
Ariel, won victory over Caliban. Age may not be more religious than youth, but
it is religious in a different and deeper way. It thinks of God, not as a
flaming fire, but as an abiding presence, made real by the revealings of the
years--serene, infinitely patient, unutterably great and kind. Youth is for
faith; old age for trust.
Why did Shakespeare all at
once drop his task and go back to Stratford? No doubt many things blended in
the making of the decision, one of which was that he was wise enough to know
when to quit. Another fact may have been the elemental love of man for the
earth, his great mother, in whose bosom he sleeps at last. But perhaps the
chief motive was a desire for quiet amid the scenes of his boyhood, and time
to gather the threads of his thought and weave them into a fabric of faith.
There is a deep instinct which leads a man back to his native place, as many
of you have made long journeys to Ohio, New York, or Maine just to see the sun
come up over the hill or sea. One finds something homelike in his native
landscape, and in the old haunts a man can fuse his latest thought with his
earliest memory as he can hardly do anywhere else. Some such feeling must have
led Shakespeare to leave London and go back to the winding Avon. And it was
there that he wrote the gentlest of all his plays, the Tempest--a miracle of
art, an allegory of the victory of man over fate and fortune by self-surrender
to the highest laws of life.
THE HOUSE OF FAITH
Similarly, Albert Pike used
to urge upon old men the study of Masonry, not only because it brings to us
from afar the high and simple wisdom of humanity, but it offers to every man a
great hope and consolation. At its altar a man may gather up his deepest
thoughts which, in the busy mid-years of life, are too often left scattered in
the disarray of a temple yet unbuilt, and fashion them into a House of
Faith--a Home of the Soul. How to live is the one matter; and the oldest man
in his ripe age has never found a wiser way than to build, year by year, on a
foundation of faith in God and love of man, using the Square to test the
rightness of our lives, the Plumbline to mark the rectitude of our acts, the
Compasses to keep our passions within bounds, and the Rule to divide our days
into labor, rest and service. Love is ever the Builder, and whoso obeys its
sweet law and builds after its pattern will not be left shelterless and alone.
After old age, what? Ever the
evening shadows fall; ever there comes a time, to whomsoever is a man, when
even the wisest knows not where he is; ever and ever the twilight--and after
that the dark, when all the lights of philosophy go out, and only faith and
hope and love remain. There is nothing for it but to walk calmly down the
western slope, the sun shining in our faces, into the evening
shadows--trusting the great God over all.
"Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life
For which the first was
Our times are in his hands
Who sayeth, 'A whole I
Youth shows but half; trust
See all, nor be afraid.' "
Bede the Venerable, in giving
an account of the deliberations of the King of Northumberland and his
counsellors, as to whether they should allow the Christian missionaries to
teach a new faith to the people, recites this eloquent incident. After much
debate, a grey-haired chief stood up and spoke, recalling the feeling that
came over him on seeing a little bird pass through, on fluttering wing, the
warm bright hall of feasting, while the winter winds raged without. The moment
of its flight was full of sweetness and light for the bird, but it was brief.
Out of the darkness it flew, looked upon the gay scene, and vanished into the
darkness, none knowing whence it came nor whither it went.
"Like this," said the veteran
chief, "is human life. We come, our wisest men know not whence. We go, they
cannot tell whither. Our flight is brief. Therefore, if there be anyone that
can teach us more about it --in God's name let us hear him!"
THE GREAT TRAGEDY
What has Masonry to teach us
about immortality ? Instead of making an argument, it presents a picture--the
oldest, if not the greatest drama in the world--the better to make men feel
what no words can ever tell. It shows us the tragedy of life in its most
dismal hour; the forces of evil, so cunning yet so stupid, tempting the soul
to treachery--even to the ultimate degradation of saving life by giving up all
that makes it worth our time to live. It shows us a noble and true man
smitten, as Lincoln was, in the moment of his loftiest service to man. It is a
picture so true to the bitter, old, and haggard reality of this dark world
that it makes the soul stand still in dismay. Then, out of the shadow there
rises, like a beautiful white star, that in man which is most akin to God--his
love of truth, his loyalty to the ideal, his willingness to go down into the
night of death, if only virtue may live and shine like a pulse of fire in the
Here is the ultimate and
final witness of the divinity and immortality of the soul--the heroic, death
defying moral valor of the human spirit! No being capable of such a sublime
sacrifice need fear death or the grave.
"What has the soul to lose
By worlds on worlds destroyed
It is the old, eternal
paradox--he who gives his all for the sake of the truth shall find it all
anew. And there Masonry rests the case, assured that since there is that in
man which makes him hold to the moral ideal against the brute forces of the
world; that which prompts him to pay the last full measure of devotion for the
sanctity of his soul; the God who made him in His own image will not let him
sleep in the dust! Higher vision it is not given us to see in the dim country
of this world; deeper truth we do not need to know.
"There are more lives yet,
there are more worlds waiting,
For the way climbs up to the
Where the white ones go to
their mystic mating,
And the holy will is done.
I shall find them there where
our low life heightens--
Where the door of the Wonder
Where the old love rules and
the old fire whitens,
In the Stars behind the
THE EARLY DAYS: HISTORY VS.
BY BRO. WM. G. MAZYCK, SOUTH
In a series of articles
under the title "The Establishment and Early Days of Freemasonry in America,"
published in the May, October and November numbers of The Builder, M. W.
Brother Melvin M. Johnson, Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, has
presented some deeply interesting matters, partly history and largely
tradition. With commendable enthusiasm and pardonable partisanship he defends
the apocryphal claim that Boston is the birthplace of Freemasonry in America,
with some skill and much plausibility, but since we have elsewhere made the
statement that Solomon's Lodge No. 1, A. F. M., of Charleston, S. C., is the
oldest Masonic body in the United States, the Record of whose establishment is
absolutely unimpeachable, a statement which we here repeat without
modification, we take friendly issue with Bro. Johnson in some of his
statements and conclusions.
In the Century Dictionary we
find the following definitions:-- HISTORY; the recorded events of the past.
LEGEND:--unauthentic narrative handed down from early times; a tradition.
TRADITION:-- Knowledge or belief transmitted without the aid of written
memorials. Now while legend or tradition may be deeply interesting, highly
probable and in the absence of written record often valuable, we protest that
the written record, especially when contemporaneous with the event described,
and more especially when of independent and unprejudiced origin, is and it
alone is to be considered History, and, therefore, in this discussion we
eliminate the ifs, buts, possiblys and every other form of expression which
implies doubt, and confine ourselves to the recorded fact, and will present no
evidence but that which can be to-day produced in the original Record, no
copy, no substitute, nor any writing based upon any man's recollection, nor
will we admit on either side the employment of any statement whose
authenticity is susceptible of any reasonable doubt.
Brother Johnson lays great
stress upon the authority and the actions of Henry Price, and threshes the old
straw with great energy. In evidence he produces what we may style Exhibit A,
Price's "original gravestone now in Masonic Temple, Boston," (just why or when
it was removed from the Cemetery does not appear), and he instantly destroys
its suggested value, by himself questioning one of its most important
statements! We think we may, therefore, fairly rule out Exhibit A.
Brother Johnson further
produces Price's "deputation"--Exhibit B. W.Bro. Charles E. Meyer, P. M.
Melita Lodge No. 295, Pennsylvania, in History of F. & A. Masons and
Concordant Orders, p. 225, says: "Nowhere can it be found on the English
records that a deputation was granted Henry Price by Lord Petre or any other
Grand Master," and "it will require authentic documents to satisfy an
impartial reader." Again p. 239, "To trace the early history of Freemasonry in
Massachusetts is like a person walking in the dark." P 240, "There is no
record in the archives of the Grand Lodge of England at London of the
deputation," and he further states that "if the fac-simile printed in the
Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, 1871, is authentic, then the
date of Price's deputation is not correct." Bro. P.F. Gould in his History of
Freemasonry recognizes "The very precarious foundation of authority on which
the early Masonic history of Massachusetts reposes. The actual records of the
Provincial Grand Lodge--by which I mean a contempolaneous account of its
proceedings--date from 1751. There are also what appear to be transcripts of
brief memoranda describing the important incidents in the history of that body
between 1733-1750; or they may have been made up from the recollection of
brethren who had been active among the Craft during these seventeen years!"
Again "The more we rely upon the early Boston records as independent
authorities, the greater becomes the necessity of critically appraising the
weight and thereby the value of their testimony."
P.G.M. Sereno D. Nickerson,
Recording Grand Secretary of Massachusetts, in his "First Glimpses of
Freemasonry in North America," says "The earliest records of the First
Provincial Grand Lodge in New England are in the handwriting of Peter Pelham,
and his son Charles." "Peter Pelham was made a Mason Nov. 8th, 1738, and on
the 26th of December, 1739, he was elected Secretary. He served in that office
until September 26th, 1744, when he was succeeded by his son Charles."
"Charles Pelham was made a Mason in due form in the First Lodge in Boston, on
Sept. 12, 1744," and two weeks later, on Sept. 26, it was "voted, That Bro.
Charles Pelham be Secretary, in the Room of Our Late Sect, who has laid it
down." He served as Grand Secretary from June 24th, 1751, to January 20th,
1752, and Nickerson admits that "the first eleven pages of the record of the
First Provincial Grand Lodge in America, now in the archives of the Grand
Lodge of Massachusetts, consist of copies of Deputations and what appear to be
transcripts of brief memoranda describing important incidents in the history
of the body between 1733 and 1750, or they may have been made up from
recollections of brethren who had been active among the Craft during those
seventeen years"! ! !
Please note that we base our
claim unreservedly upon an existing original record. The earliest record in
New England Grand Lodge archives was made by Peter Pelham, certainly not
earlier than 1739, he was not Raised until 1738, and therefore could have only
hearsay evidence for his guide.
Surely in view of these
statements we can fairly ask that Exhibit B be also ruled out.
In support of our South
Carolina claim we will produce absolutely unimpeachable evidence, but we admit
nevertheless with the utmost frankness and freedom that we cannot produce the
original deputation, warrant or charter, and we decline to ask the acceptance
of any copy thereof or any substitute therefor.
This devoted City of Disaster
has suffered more from fire and flood, plague and pestilence, war, siege,
storm and earthquake than any other City on the Continent. The great
conflagration of January 18th, 1778, is described in remarkable detail in the
South Carolina and American General Gazette of January 29th, 1778, and in the
Supplement, or as it is quaintly styled "Addition to the General Gazette, No.
1002, Apl. 2nd, 1778," p. 2, col. 2, the following advertisement appears:
"Lost during the late fire in
Charlestown, the Alphabets of the Ledger and Register of Solomon's Lodge.
Whoever has found them and will deliver them to the subscriber, jeweller, next
door to Mr. Ancrum, in Church street shall receive Five Pounds for each or
either of them with thanks: - Thomas Harper."
On the night of April 27,
1838, nearly one-third of the City was destroyed by fire, when the Craft not
only lost its new Hall then in course of erection, but sustained a far greater
calamity in the destruction of Seyle's Hall, in which the Grand and
Subordinate Lodges met, with nearly all of the property of the various Masonic
bodies and the entire records of the Grand Lodge, with the exception of one
minute book commencing with the year 1836. Yet though Deputation, Warrant,
Charter and Minutes are all gone, there has been preserved a Record whose
truth is incontestable, far removed from any possibility of doubt and utterly
beyond any contradiction.
Amongst the other vastly
important treasures of the Charleston Library upon its shelves there are today
files of our colonial newspapers and in "The South Carolina Gazette, Numb.
144, From Saturday, October 23, to Saturday, October 30, 1736," page 2, Column
2, we find this supremely important paragraph:
"Last night a Lodge of the
Ancient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons was held fol the
first Time at Mr. Charles Shepheard's in Broad street, when John Hammerton
Esqr., Secretary and Receiver General for this Province, was unanimously
chosen Master, who was pleased to appoint Mr. Thomas Denne Senior Warden, Mr.
Theo. Harbin junior Warden, and Mr. James Gordon Secretary."
Upon this Record, we rest our
claim, and unhesitatingly repeat that Solomon's Lodge No. 1, of Charleston, S.
C., is the oldest Masonic body in the Western Hemisphere, the Record of whose
establishment is absolutely unassailable.
Further on in his interesting
paper Bro. Johnson says: "On St. John the Baptist's day in 1737, occurred the
first public procession of the Fraternity in America," but this paragraph from
the "South Carolina Gazette No. 174, From Saturday, May 21st, to Saturday, May
28th, 1737," page 3, Col. 1, completely refutes this statement, for which, by
the way, no authority whatever is cited:
"CHARLESTOWN, MAY 28, On
Thursday Night last the Recruiting Officer was acted for the Entertainment of
the ancient and honourable Society of Free and Accepted MASONS, who came to
the Play House about 7 o'clock, in the usual Manner, and made a very decent
and solemn Appearance; there was a fuller House on this Occasion than ever had
been known in this Place before. A proper Prologue and Epilogue were spoke,
and the entered Apprentices and Masters Songs sung upon the Stage, which were
joined in Chorus by the Masons in the Pit, to the Satisfaction and
Entertainment of the whole Audience. After the Play, the Masons return'd to
the Lodge at Mr. Shepheard's, in the same order observed in coming to the Play
Note please that this was a
month earlier than Bro. Johnson's date, and besides, the Brethren "came to the
Play-House in the usual Manner," and "return'd in the same order observed in
coming." We have ruled out all ifs and buts, nevertheless we suggest that "the
usual Manner" indicates that even this was not the first occasion of a public
procession of the Craft in Charleston and though the date, May 26, 1737, is
sufficient proof of the inaccuracy of Bro. Johnson's statement the Craft had
"probably" been long accustomed to such processions.
Possibly at a later date I
may give some account of the magnificence with which the Great Feast of St.
John the Evangelist was celebrated in the early days in Charleston.
LEAVE THEM OUTSIDE
Don't bring them into the
Anger and spite and pride;
Drop at the gate of the
The strife of the world
Forget all your cares and
Forget every selfish sorrow,
And remember the cause you
And haste ye the
Drop at the gate of the
Envy and spite and gloom;
Don't bring personal quarrels
And discord into the room.
Forget the slights of a
Forget the wrong of a
And remember the new
That ye love one another.
Bring your heart into the
But leave yourself outside--
That is, your personal
Ambition, vanity, pride.
Center every thought and
On the cause for which you
Fetter the demon selfishness,
And make ye the Old Harry
--Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
THE CHANCE OF LIFE
"Our life, with all it yields
of joy and woe,
And hope and fear--believe
the aged friend--
Is just our chance o' the
prize of learning love."
GLAD EASTER DAY
Glad Easter Day, when Christ
A mighty victor o'er His
He conquered death with all
And rose triumphant from the
Ye saints and angels loud
The glories of His wondrous
He lives again, no more to
Exalt your King in earth and
Glad Easter Day, bright
When comfort came to hearts
Who sought His grave with
Their work of love to there
They saw the place where
For angels rolled the stone
And then this message to them
That Christ had risen from
Glad Easter Day, our pledge
Beyond this vale of sin and
For trusting souls at last
To share His glories in the
Till then press on His will
And for your Lord be brave
Keep close to Him who is the
The Christ who rose on Easter
--N. A. McAulay.
I never mean to possess
another slave by purchase, it being among
my first wishes to see some
plan adopted by which slavery in this
country may be abolished by
MASONIC RESEARCH: WHAT IT HAS
DONE AND CAN STILL DO
BY BRO. JOHN T. THORP,
Up to within the last thirty
years, the ceremonial of the three degrees through which he had passed, and
which he saw repeated from time to time, was virtually all the ordinary Master
Mason knew about the Fraternity of which he had become a member. He had
listened to a ritual which appeared to him strangely archaic and out of date,
curious words had been used the meaning of which he could only surmise, and
soon he came to the conclusion that the whole thing was too old-fashioned, and
antiquated, to justify further wasting time in this restless and go-ahead
world. Even if he troubled to make inquiries, he could learn little or nothing
of the past history of the Craft, of its origin, growth and gradual
development. What wonder then that after a few years of more or less active
participation, his interest waned, he became a nonaffiliate, a Mason in name
only, ignorant of the glorious history of the Brotherhood, and unconscious of
the grand legacy which he and his Brethren had inherited from the past?
But by slow degrees, through
the last quarter of a century, this unsatisfactory condition of affairs has
been improving. The movement towards a fuller knowledge and a more just
appreciation of what, Masonry has been and has done in the world, commenced by
a handful of enthusiastic Masonic students, has spread and developed beyond
their utmost expectations and their fondest hopes. No longer must we be
content to grope in the darkness of our previous ignorance; the veil has been
lifted from before our eyes. We see our ancient and beloved Craft now
occupying a position in the esteem and affection of the Fraternity, which in
the days gone by we never imagined possible. Our lineage has been traced back
through many centuries. We rejoice to know that it is to our forefathers in
the Craft that we are indebted for those magnificent temples, palaces,
cathedrals and abbeys which are spread over the world, which charm us with
their beauty and fill us with wonder and admiration. Realizing our direct
descent from the cathedral builders of the Middle Ages, whose genius adorned
many lands with beauty, we begin at length to recognize a value in Freemasonry
which hitherto had escaped our notice. A visit to Milan, Cologne, Westminster
or York, or even the study in books of the magnificent temples of worship
there, has given us a new estimate of the Society which we had before held so
cheaply, and taught us more justly to prize our connection with a Fraternity,
which has left behind such splendid examples of skill and industry, of noble
work and pious worship.
There has thus been
established, growing in conjunction with the increasing knowledge, a
legitimate pride. We are proud to belong to a society of men, that in days
gone by worked so nobly for the world. No longer is there the same inclination
to drift away from our allegiance to the Craft, for what we are proud of, that
we rejoice in, that we cherish, that we strive to serve in our own day and
generation, not indeed as our forbears did, but in ways more suitable and
necessary to these modern times. Thus our increased knowledge of the past has
added a charm to the present by widening the horizon, and has rendered the
future radiant with a glorious promise.
It is but fair to
acknowledge, that much of this changed condition of affairs in the Masonic
Fraternity, is the result of the unceasing labor and undying zeal of the
Research Lodges and Societies, which have been established among us during the
last twenty-five years. They have lighted up the past, that we can see,
admire, and claim our inheritance in the glorious work of the grand old Craft;
they are ceaselessly active in stimulating us to further research, in order
that our knowledge and affection, advancing hand in hand, may inspire us to
noble work for the present, and they bid us look forward to a gradual
extension of the Masonic principles, as the basis of all human intercourse,
and as foundation stones of a grand and glorious temple to be built in the
days to come.
NEW FIELDS OF LABOR
The work is still very far
from complete. Much, very much, remains to be done. There is a boundless field
for the enthusiasm and devotion of every individual member of the National
Masonic Research Society. I devoutly wish it were possible for me to speak a
word that would not merely encourage you, but would impel you to the
fascinating work--for even after more than forty years of Masonic Research it
still fascinates me. I wish that I could so inspire and deepen your affection
for the Brotherhood and its glorious past, that your best efforts might be
devoted to its elevation, purification and regeneration, so that a solid
foundation might be laid for its permanent welfare.
THE LIVING TEMPLE
Labor on, then, my Brothers,
ours is a noble work, a glorious task- -one worthy of our best endeavors. Seek
to make Freemasonry a shining light, dispersing the darkness, and illuminating
all mankind with a new spirit. Strive to make it a living force, permeating
our social and national life with the grand Masonic principles of Brotherly
Love, Relief and Truth. Thus it will become a real power for good in the
world, for although we should no longer be building stately temples of stone,
as our ancient Brethren did, we should be contributing, in body, soul and
spirit, to the erection of a sumptuous palace, an edifice of a regenerated,
ennobled and glorified humanity, a temple of living souls. So mote it be.
WHEN IS A MAN A MASON?.
When is a man a Mason? When
he can look out over the rivers, the hills, and the far horizon with a
profound sense of his own littleness in the vast scheme of things, and yet
have faith, hope, and courage. When he knows that down in his heart every man
is as noble, as vile, as divine, as diabolic, and as lonely as himself, and
seeks to know, to forgive, and to love his fellow man. When he knows how to
sympathize with men in their sorrows, yea, even in their sins--knowing that
each man fights a hard fight against many odds. When he has learned how to
make friends and to keep them, and above all how to keep friends with himself.
When he loves flowers, can hunt the birds without a gun, and feels the thrill
of an old forgotten joy when he hears the laugh of a little child. When he can
be happy and high-minded amid the meaner drudgeries of life. When star-crowned
trees, and the glint of sunlight on flowing waters, subdue him like the
thought of one much loved and long dead. When no voice of distress reaches his
ears in vain, and no hand seeks his aid without response. When he finds good
in every faith that helps any man to lay hold of higher things, and to see
majestic meanings in life, whatever the name of that faith may be. When he can
look into a wayside puddle and see something besides mud, and into the face of
the most forlorn mortal and see something beyond sin. When he knows how to
pray, how to love, how to hope. When he has kept faith with himself, with his
fellow man, with his God; in his hand a sword for evil, in his heart a bit of
a song-- glad to live, but not afraid to die ! In such a man, whether he be
rich or poor, scholarly or unlearned, famous or obscure, Masonry has wrought
her sweet ministry!
--Joseph Fort Newton. The
THREE KINDS OF MASONS(?)
There are three kinds of
Masons. The Mason who has taken the degrees out of curiosity and after being
accepted as a member never finds his way again to the lodge room and forgets
what he has heard but not understood. The Mason who attends when an election
is to take place, or when he can exhibit himself in a public procession,
always pays his dues and demands to be buried with pomp and show, and the
Mason who at his first inception begins to see the beauties of the Craft, and
to understand its teachings, and who studies to know and serve his lodge with
faithfulness. He pays every obligation, sustains his lodge, accepts every
assignment of duty, and may be depended upon always for his work. The first
class never produces a real Mason. The ceremonies meant nothing and can mean
nothing. One wears the gilt button, but is unable to tell its meaning. The
second class is a drag upon society. The recognition and benefits are
demanded, and the burdens refused. The third class makes possible that
progress without which the Order would long ago have fallen into decay and
been buried unknown in the great pyramids of the past.
THE LOT OF US
"There is so much good in the
worst of us,
And so much bad in the best
That it best becomes the best
To praise the best in the
worst of us,
And ill becomes the worst of
To mock at the faults in the
best of us.
Then let the best and the
worst of us
Extol the good in the both of
And hide the fault in the lot
MASONIC HOMES - PART 1
BY BRO. SILAS H. SHEPHERD.
"The end of Masonry is not
festivity. It has far higher and nobler aims. Its legitimate object is to
benefit and bless mankind." (Geo. Oliver.)
THE oldest written records of the Craft contain
positive evidence that relief of the distressed brother was one of the oldest
of Masonic usages. The Mother Grand Lodge of England had barely started her
career of usefulness when the Charity Fund was started in 1723 by a proposal
of the Duke of Buccleigh seconded by Bro. Desagulier. This benevolent fund has
been so long continued that a complete description would require volumes.
Although this form of relief by the Grand Lodge is near two centuries old, the
more general method of affording relief until quite recent times has been by
the individual brother or by the particular lodge. This method will probably
always do the greater part of the work and can not be too highly commended. It
is especially effective in affording relief which is temporary in its nature.
The changed conditions of life have, however,
modified many of our methods and made it necessary to do many things in our
collective capacity which were formerly done individually.
The past half century has witnessed a development
of our Masonic Homes. They are an established fact in 29 of our Jurisdictions
and to a brief description of them we will invite your attention.
Alabama has a home which has been in operation
about three years. It is located just out of Montgomery on an estate of 236
acres. It has assets of $133,408.83. There is a main building, hospital,
cottages and a servants' house and an up-to-date barn and out buildings. It is
the home of 38 adults and 85 children. The cost per capita for maintenance in
1914 was $190.13. It is supported by a per cap. tax of 50 cents. It is under
the supervision of a board of control, the chairman of which is Bro. Ben M.
Jacobs, a life long student of Masonic benevolence. The O. E. S. has ever been
an able assistant of the brethren in promoting this good work in Alabama and
built and furnished the hospital the past year.
Arkansas has a Masonic Orphans' Home at Batesville
which was established in 1909 and consists of an estate of 100 acres with
three substantial, modern, brick buildings on an elevation of about 200 feet
above the surrounding country. It represents an investment of $125,000 and
cares for 102 children. The cost per capita for maintenance is $198.08. It is
supported by a per capita tax of 50 cents. An endowment fund is being urged as
a provision for the future. The Masons of Arkansas have an institution of
which they can be justly proud.
California has two Homes with total resources of
$449,506.48,The DeSoto home was established in
1889 on an estate of 267
acres. The buildings are many, commodious and modern. The main building has a
lodge room, reading room, music room, reception room, an up-to-date club for
men and a sun parlor for women. There is a family of 79 men and 42 women. The
cost per capita for maintenance in 1914 was $275.77. The San Gabriel home was
established in 1909 and has a family of 34 boys and 27 girls. The children
attend the public schools and in addition have home training along industrial
lines. The cost per capita for maintenance in 1914 was $278.11. These homes
are supported by a per capita tax of $1. California Masons are very
enthusiastic in the support of these noble institutions and are endeavoring to
raise a sufficient endowment fund to support both homes.
Connecticut has a home at Wallingford which was
established in 1889 on an estate of 100 acres. There are at present buildings
valued at about $50,000 which will be eventually replaced by modern ones at an
estimated cost of $175,000. The farm is in a very prosperous condition; the
gross products in 1914 being ove $11,000 worth, of which most was used for
home supply. The home has total recourses of $158,015.95. The family at
present numbers 136, nearly all adults. The cost per capita for maintenance is
$182. It is supported by a per capita tax of 90 cents.
Delaware has a home at Wilmington which was
established in 1912. As the size of the home is much smaller than other
jurisdictions the home is more like a private residence than any we know of.
It is sur rounded by beautiful grounds. The total assets are $30,141.04. There
is a family of 9, all adults. The cost per capita for maintenance is $180.72.
It is supported by a per capita tax of $1.
The District of Columbia has a home at Takoma Park
which was established in 1913 and which has property to the value of about
$80,000 and an endowment fund of $4080.02. The present number of residents is
25. The estimated cost per capita for maintenance is $320. It is supported by
contributions of 25 cents per capita from 30 lodges and 18 O.E.S. chapters,
and contributions from other bodies.
Florida has no home but has a "Masonic Home and
Orphanage fund" of $27,866.69 and will establish a home when the fund becomes
adequate. At the 1916 communication of the Grand Lodge a motion was made and
carried to levy a per capita tax of 50 cents for this fund.
Georgia has a home at Macon which was established in 1905 on a
100 acre estate. The main building is a modern three story brick with all
modern conveniences costing about $40,000. In
1914 there were 65
residents, 12 adults and 53 children. The cost per capita for maintenance was
$157.88. It is supported by Grand Lodge appropriations.
Illinois has two homes. The LaGrange orphans' home
was erected in 1910 at a cost of $100,000, and now has property valued at
about $165,000. It superseded a former home in Chicago. It is the home of 101
children who receive every attention possible for their physical, mental and
moral welfare. The cost per capita for maintenance is $235. The Sullivan home
is for aged Masons, their wives and widows, and has been in operation, since
1904. It is located on an estate of 474 acres, 200 of which was originally
donated and the balance of which has since been donated. The Grand Lodge has
built substantial, commodious buildings on a 64 acre plot and this year (1915)
the Royal Arch Masons erected a $70,000 hospital, making a total value of
buildings $350,000. There is a family of 120. The cost per capita for
maintenance is about $240. These two homes are supported by a 35 cent per
Indiana is now building a Masonic Home at
Franklin, on an estate of 223 acres valued at $45,000. Six buildings will be
constructed at a cost of $201,000. The entire home will be free from debt. The
per capita tax for the support of the home is 50 cents. The O. E. S. has
contributed $32,000 of the total of $246,000 raised. The Indiana brethren will
have an additional claim to Masonic progress in this great and glorious
Kansas has a home at Wichita which has been in
operation since 1896. The property of the home is valued at $250,000 and there
is an endowment fund of $25,000. The education of the children is one of the
first cares of those to whom is entrusted the management of this splendid
home. Thel e is at present a family of 55 adults and 45 children. The cost per
capita for maintenance is $186.51. A per capita tax of 50 cents is levied for
the support of this home. The O. E. S. also contributes 50 cents per capita
and in many ways assists the brethren in making it a real home.
Kentucky was a pioneer in Masonic home work. The
Masonic Widows' and Orphans' Home, which was established in 1871, is located
at Louisville and has assets of $694,016.03 of which $327,859.24 is an
endowment fund. There is a family of 182 boys, 134 girls, and 24 women who
find comfort and protection under its sheltering roof. The education of the
children is given thorough attention. There is a printing office, a wood
working department, a shoe shop and a sewing loom where many of the clothes of
the family are made. The cost per capita for maintenance is $128.85. It is
supported by a per capita tax of 75 cents on each Master Mason. The Old
Masons' Home at Shelbyville was established in 1901, and in 1914 had property
valued at 360,000. The family consists of 31 aged brethren. The cost per
capita for maintenance is $226. Kentucky Masons consider the maintaining of
these homes one of their most important duties.
Massachusetts has a home at Charlton which was
opened in 1911. It is located on a beautiful estate of 397 acres. The home is
valued at $104,668.06 and there is a home fund of $128,355.18 which with other
funds make total assets of $244,165.94. From the opening in 1911 to November,
1914, 81 were cared for. The average number of residents in 1914 was 44, all
adults. The cost per capita for maintenance was $393.27. It is supported by
Michigan had a home at Grand Rapids for 20 years
which was burned in 1910. Mr. Ami Wright, not a member of our fraternity but
having the spirit of it, gave the Grand Lodge of Michigan the present home in
1911. It was formerly a sanitarium and was remodelled to fulfill its new
requirements and is now a real home of which the brethren of Michigan are
justly proud. A new $25,000 hospital has been recently erected. The total
value of the property is $200,000. There is a family of 95 adults. The cost
per capita for maintenance is $234. It is supported by a per capita tax of 40
cents and each lodge which has a member as a resident contributes $1 per week
as a stipend. Bequests of over $25,000 have been made to the home in the past
Minnesota hopes to have a home in the near future.
The funds being raised for this purpose were increased from $35,000 in 1914 to
$56,000 in 1915, and the $100,000 which is the required starting point, seems
only a short time away. The O. E. S. has been an able and generous assistant.
Mississippi has an Orphans' Home at Meridian which
has been in operation five years. It cost $60,000 and in 1914 had property
valued at $83,000, and an endowment fund of $112,460. In 1914 there were 112
children. The cost per capita for maintenance was $156.12. It is supported by
a per capita tax of 75 cents, 50 cents of which goes into the endowment fund.
Missouri has a home at St. Louis which was
established in 1889. It has assets as follows:
Endowment fund $130,948.59
Real Estate $100,000.00
There was erected last year a hospital costing
$100,000 which is said to be a model. The family consists of 83 men, 77 women,
42 boys and 50 girls. The cost per capita for maintenance is $163.02. The
education of the children is given particular attention and those who seem
adapted to it are sent to business college. (To be continued)
A WORD OF GOD
"So then believe that every
bird that sings,
And every flower that stars
the elastic sod,
And every thought the happy
summer brings -
To the pure spirit is a word
FREEMASONS AS BUILDERS
SCOTTISH RITE TEMPLE AT FT.
(In Volume I of THE BUILDER we presented under this title
several Temples devoted to Blue Lodges and to the York Rite in its various
phases. Each Temple presented possessed unique features, suited to its cost
and practicability for the work intended and the costs ranged from $600,000.00
down to about $40,000.00 for the buildings exclusive of equipment. In resuming
the series, we make use first of the Scottish Rite Temple in Fort Wayne,
Indiana. The construction of this edifice has attracted wide attention among
the Craft of all Rites, because of the ingenious manner in which the idea of a
stadium has been thought out and worked out. In practical use it has shown
marked advantages of convenience and efficiency where it is desired to use the
floor in connection with the portrayal of degrees. That these desirable
features will ultimately appear
Temples of other than the Scottish Rite we firmly believe, and for this reason
it is presented here.)
ALBERT PIKE'S imprint upon the Scottish Rite has
so long been acknowledged as indelible that none would attempt to gainsay it.
"He found it in a log cabin and left it in a Temple." The genius of his
imagery and the masterpieces of portrayal, have in themselves demanded a
construction more elaborate than in Blue Lodge Rooms, if the full effect is to
be brought home to the candidate in the very short time ordinarily alloted to
This has been recognized in Temple planning in
many different ways, during the recent rapid growth of this branch of Masonry.
To some of the Brethren the construction of the modem theatre, with very
slight modifications, has proven satisfactory. Others have merely added
balconies to large Lodge Rooms, or have constructed stages large enough to
accommodate the entire setting of any of the twenty-nine Degrees of the Rite.
The Brethren at Fort Wayne, however, if our
information is correct, were the first to take advantage of the historical
efficiency of the Stadium, avoiding, as many believe, the inconveniences of
the Lodge Room type of auditorium for Scottish Rite presentation, as well as
the lack of adaptability which the theatre type offers.
While the extelior appearance is satisfactory to
the last degree, and the general formation of the building conforms to the
Patriarchal Cross so significant in both the York and the Scottish Sites, yet
the interior arrangement of the working room itself will, as we believe, be of
greatest value to the Members of our Society, and to this we shall devote the
larger part of our attention
The Cathedral is entered by a short stairway,
between two cruciform columns - the stairway leading to a central vestibule,
beyond which is a large entrance hall, flanked on one side by an elevator hall
and on the other by stairways leading both up and down to othel floors. The
first floor contains a banquet hall 75x82 feet, with a commodious kitchen,
dish pantry, store room and every possible convenience, in the rear.
In the basement (not illustrated) is a corridor
and elevator hall, a billiard room, a bowling alley room, also a cloak room
and boiler room.
Ascending to the second floor, we find a library,
social room, music room, Secretary's office and rest rooms. Further back is a
card room, a Lodge of Perfection business room, and in the rear, under the
stage, is the robing room with ample wardrobes for paraphernalia, private
dressing room and private stairway up to the stage wings.
In the "Gallery Plan," shown elsewhere, is the
work-room proper of the Consistory. The seats form three sides of the
"stadium," the stage being the fourth. Under the seats are to be found a large
class room, assembly room, passage way and Guard Room. The Assembly Room
connects with the work room through the wide passage in the West, under the
organ. The Class Room occupies the entire space under the stadium gallery on
the left. (See interior illustration). The boxes for Visiting Brethren and
Dignitaries of the Rite help, rather than mar, the general effect. We only
wish that it were possible to present to our Members the carefully and
appropriately designed art glass windows and decorative effects which have
been introduced to make this $175,000.00 Temple attractive.
It is not difficult for Members of the Society who
belong to the Scottish Rite to appreciate the compactness, accessibility and
completeness of this amphitheatre. The comfort of the class is attained no
less than that of the workers. The Stage is ample. Every one of the 550
spectators can witness the entire rendition of each decree. The acoustics
ought to be perfect. The ventilating system has been carefully planned.
Illumination is well-nigh ideal. A study of the plans of this Cathedral not
only arouse the admiration of a Scottish Rite worker, - it tempts him to echo
the enthusiastic sentiments of those who have been privileged to participate
in the ceremonies under such auspicious conditions.
While the number of Blue Lodges which are planned to seat as
many Brethren as this auditorium affords accommodation for, are few, yet a
marked tendency is evident in modern Lodge Rooms to utilize the stadium
arrangement, in a modified form. And we feel certain that this brief
presentation will convince our membership that the use of the brains of a good
Architect, in the planning and construction of a Masonic Temple of any kind,
is in no senese a luxury, but a necessity.
THE AESTHETICS OF MASONRY
BY BRO. CHARLES H. MERZ, OHIO
AESTHETICS is the term used
to denote the "scientific classification of the faculties through which we are
enabled to appreciate the beautiful and sublime and which gives us the
experience of the resulting emotions."
Aesthetics endeavors to
translate our ideal conceptions into forms which can be understood by the
The term aesthetics is often
improperly employed as being synonymous with affectation--the attempt to
assume or exhibit what is not real or natural and the association of an
aesthetic culture with Masonry is apt to be regarded with an indisposition to
admit of any possible connection between them.
The term aesthetics, broadly
interpreted, applies to everything that produces shapes and cultivates
sentiment. To be aesthetic implies a faculty of being able to perceive,
comprehend and enjoy the beautiful wherever it may be found.
As logic is the science of
pure and formal thought-- aiming ultimately at truth, and ethics is a system
of rules and principles concerning moral duty, so aesthetics appertains to the
science of the beautiful, that quality which appeals primarily to those
complex determinations of the mind which result from the cooperation of our
entire rational powers and moral feelings.
If one follows with a
sympathetic insight, the progress of our ritual and its comprehensive
symbolism, which we believe to be the direct expression of a great religious
experience--the utterances of men who sought to embody in terms not subject to
times' law, the broad fundamental truths of man's relation to the great
unknown-- then we must admit that there is an aesthetic side to Masonry.
UTILITY AND BEAUTY
The human family has been
submitted to various classifications by philosophers. One has divided it into
the utilizers and the beautifiers of life and the world. The former class
labors strenuously for the accumulation of wealth and material comforts. It
fails entirely to appreciate a Dual Principle such as is intimately
incorporated into our Masonic system of teaching. It evinces no interest in
endeavoring to appreciate the duality which characterizes the whole
universe--riches and poverty, light and darkness, good and evil, bitter and
sweet and it ignores the fact that it is the ultimate unity, so to speak, into
which all the "pairs of opposites" is resolved--the complementary aspect of
duality merged into perfect synthesis--that stimulates man to strive
constantly for perfection.
This class fails to realize
that no man is at liberty to neglect his own mental development and culture --
that no man in this busy world of ours has a right to so involve himself in
the pursuits and cares of active life that it will be impossible for him to
give both time and attention to the improvement of his own mind.
The utilizers make the
culture of mind subordinate to success in the various employments of life and
something to be pursued merely as a means to an end.
In order to enjoy the arts
and sciences, the mind must be tranquil and at rest. The struggle for wealth
or political supremacy is apt to become a passion that enslaves and robs a man
of that very calmness necessary to enjoy even life itself. No reasonable man
will argue against the possession of property or the acquisition of wealth
through ordinary business pursuits but every thinking man will admit that it
is directly injurious to become a slave to business or to engage in the
pursuit of it at the expense of nervous and mental force.
OUR GREAT MASONIC TRIAD
Men who neglect to cultivate
an appreciation of the beautiful--one of our great Masonic triad--who bury
their talents in a one-sided life devoted to material gain, find it difficult
to regain in after years what they have neglected and lost. They cannot but
exclaim with the prophet, "I have no pleasure in them."
Observe the efforts that such
men often make to derive pleasure from the very source they have neglected.
Books, paintings and other art treasures are collected at countless cost but
there is no genuine pleasure derived from them.
A love for the beautiful or
at least a desire for it is inborn in man. The full embodiment of the
beautiful is found only in the Great Architect of the Universe, and, as no man
will ever reach moral perfection nor comprehend his might and power, so no man
will ever conceive the beautiful in all its perfection, unless it be revealed
to him in the great hereafter. That the Great Architect intended to develop
within us a love for the beautiful is evidenced by the fact that he has
created this world in which we live on so grand and wonderful a scale. He has
given us the capacity for enjoying the beautiful and he has surrounded us on
every side with works of surpassing and marvellous perfection and he intended
that aesthetic pleasures and influences should be one of the means of
advancing the human race.
Sensibility enables us to
enjoy the beautiful and so distinguishes us from the animal. The life of the
affections is essential to the full development and harmonious working of the
intellect. Our sensibilities and affections are our highest faculties. They
give us the nearest view of and strongest hold upon the truth. There exists a
very essential connection of cause and effect between the life of the heart
and that of the mind and the heights of intellectual greatness have never been
reached without a keen and lofty vision and the great fundamental ideas and
principles which a love for the beautiful alone inspires.
THE INFLUENCE OF MASONRY
While religion and science
have done much to bring about the degree of culture which we enjoy, the
influence of Masonry in this respect must not be overlooked. "Our ancient
friend and brother, the great Pythagoras, taught that as God in himself is the
all good--the harmony and liberty of necessity--so are all his works
characterized by the imprint of harmony--that which we today teach is the
strength and support of all institutions. Nature has her contrasts but these
are blended into harmony. This unity in multiplicity, this harmony in
contrasts, he defined as the beautiful. All his teachings were based upon the
idea that in God we find the beautiful in all its perfection. It is a,
remarkable fact that pagan philosophers should have built up a system which
Christianity with its revelation has been unable to either add to or destroy.
The Greek philosophy of the beautiful was recognized and reiterated by the
church fathers and when they endow man with imagination and ideals of beauty,
they accomplish nothing by way of improvement.
We are taught that nature and
man are sin cursed. The original beauty in both is destroyed, and, as man
endeavors to restore within himself the proper moral equilibrium, he must draw
upon the Divine source and this, both religion and Masonry teach him to do.
The mind of man has ever
employed itself with the lofty subject of Beauty--which together with Wisdom
and Strength, Masonry teaches us are the attributes of God, whom to love and
obey is the duty of all mankind.
Study, the cultivation of a
taste for the beautiful, which in itself constitutes the highest form of self
culture, enables us the better to "discover the power, the wisdom and the
goodness of the great Creator as the vast proportions of the universe are
revealed to us."
BEAUTY AND LAW
Pure intellect and the
reasoning powers alone can never lead to an appreciation of the beautiful.
Heart power and a love for study are necessary inspirations. Inspiration is
the power that leads man onward, and great though it is, being of Divine
origin, it must, like all else, conform to law--the rules of the beautiful.
There must ever be a discernible principle of order and this discernment is
what gives us aesthetic, artistic pleasure.
Thousands of Masons hear the
beautiful truths concealed in the symbolism of our ritual but in the language
of the Bible, "they have eyes and they see not: they have ears and they hear
No full and true enjoyment of
the beautiful in nature can be had except by those who see the hand and hear
the voice of the Eternal in his works. The beauty of but one autumn day is
more than has ever entered the mind of man to conceive and such beauty makes
us feel that the combined intellect and skill of humanity for ages and ages
could fill but a single leaf of the immeasurable volume which bears the great
Creator's imprint. After all, every creation of man is but a copy of the
thoughts of God. Truth to nature is the sole test of beauty and that which
departs from the great plan of the Supreme Architect has no place of honor in
man's ideal world.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
said:--"One story intellects; two story intellects; three story intellects.
All fact collectors who have no aim beyond their facts, are one story men. Two
story men compare, reason and generalize, using the labors of other fact
collectors as well as their own. Three story men idealize, imagine, predict:
their best illumination comes from above through the skylight."
THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE
The true Mason appreciates
the appeal that his Science and Art makes to his intellect and looks upon it
as a powerful universal language, capable of awakening the noblest emotions.
Truth alone is worth seeking
and to find the truth, no matter in what direction the human mind may travel,
must be the one great effort of every intelligent Mason.
The true Mason should believe
that the ideal of the beautiful here on earth is in man himself, who is the
temple of God. The true thinker not only admires works of beauty and art, but
still more the human mind that creates them and the Great Architect who has
given the power to create them.
To read God's laws from the
beauties of his creation is as heaven born a commission as to read them from
his book of Revelation. If revealed religion be true, it has nothing to fear
from Masonry for there can be no contradiction between the two. Just as God in
ages past, sent his prophets to interpret the book of nature for man and bring
him back to the paths of rectitude and truth, so he raises up men today to
unfold before us the beauties of nature and her wonderful proportions and
through their works of true art and interpretation, kindle and strengthen in
us a love of the true and the good. Art ever glorifies the Deity in rhetoric,
logic, geometry, music, astronomy and architecture and these liberal arts and
sciences have for centuries been embraced in our ritualistic teachings.
Religion represents love and
moral perfection, science represents truth and art represents beauty, while
Masonry represents them all. Science is for the few, art for the many and
Masonry for all.
The appreciation of the
beautiful rescues man from the exclusive domain of sensual and physical
enjoyment. We are unconsciously yet irresistably drawn by a fellow feeling
toward one who has studied the same subjects as ourselves or one who has
adapted and put into vivid prominence that which we have perhaps felt but
never expressed. Such coincidences of mind with mind and heart with heart are
productive of the stimulating effect of mutual sympathy and the pleasure so
derived is called aesthetic.
The truest theory of the
enjoyment of the beautiful is that it raises man from the grosser cares of the
world and gives him glimpses of the higher life--all of which demonstrates
that religion, Masonry and Art are closely related in their origin and effect
and that the aesthetic appreciation of the beautiful embodied in each, is
intended to make every Mason a better and purer man.
When we turn to the sciences,
we find that Geometry does not concern itself with the essence of natural
bodies. It fixes upon the notion of extension, a notion independent of the
senses and with this perfectly ideal and abstract datum, it develops the vast
series of its structures and theorems. It is an idea--not any being in itself
and hence is eternal and unchangeable. The angle comprehended in the square,
though the material square may decay and crumble to dust, is indestructible
and returns to God who gave it. How beautifully this applies to the Masons'
work with the use of these simple implements and figures. They enclose and
embrace a great number of things under a comprehensive design and the study of
them has a tendency to make an easily comprehended whole out of a numerous
host of particulars.
THE LODGE JEWELS
As the sculptor and painter
exercise the vocation of producing portraits that shall hand down to future
ages the precise lineaments of men and women of their generation, so the
conscientious Masonic student who has cultivated a love for the beautiful as
embodied in his Lodge Jewels, in his last hour, cannot feel that his work is
done but deems it just begun as he emerges from the routine of earthly duty
into a larger and loftier sphere of activity offered him in that "all perfect,
glorious and celestial Lodge above where the Great Architect of the Universe
There is danger that we look
down, as from a superior point of view, upon times when the symbolism of our
ritual consisted of "geometrical and mathematical verities that were the
jealously guarded secrets of a powerful priesthood"--when the very ability to
conceal the truths of nature was a measure of greatness--there is danger that
we fail to look up.
Beauty and truth are in
sacred and holy harmony and the mind that is influenced by the spirit of the
beautiful is enabled to comprehend more readily all the proportions, evidences
and relations of truth. It is at this point that man's soul, in which the
beauty of creation meets with an unhesitating response, enters more easily and
sympathetically into a close communion with the Divine mind, which is the
perfection of character.
While we of today have found
many things better than men used to seek and strive for, we may yet fall into
the error of not recognizing and fully appreciating the supremely good and
beautiful that everywhere surrounds us.
The nations all admire the
Who loves his native land,
And quickly to its calls
With willing heart and hand:
Whose all is on the altar
His country to protect;
We always feel that such a
Has won the world's respect.
We therefore love this land
Its people, hills and plains;
We strive to keep it pure and
From every vice that stains.
Our starry banner waves to
The cause of truth and right:
Its land-marks are our joy
Its triumphs our delight.
But ought our love for any
Be so supremely great
That we must treat a brother
With bitter scorn and hate ?
Because his earthly lot is
Upon another soil,
Have we a right to blight his
And claim his all as spoil ?
No, we must firmly hold this
And boldly for it stand,
That love to man can never
To love for native land.
For did not God decree it
When first the world began--
That nothing else could take
Of love of man for man.
--Neal A. McAulay, Lyons,
A MODERN MASONIC PHILOSOPHER
BY BRO. FRANCIS W. SHEPARDSON,
PHILOSOPHICAL in title and
deeply philosophical in their interpretation of the study and thought of the
wise men of Freemasonry, Dr. Roscoe Pound's "Lectures on the Philosophy of
Freemasonry" reflect in admirable fashion the ideal and the earnest purpose of
the National Masonic Research Society, which has just re-published them in
attractive and convenient form. The lectures were prepared primarily for
members of the Acacia Fraternity, the college secret society which is composed
of Master Masons. They were delivered also either in part or in their entirety
before the Grand Lodges of Nebraska and of Massachusetts. They made the most
striking series published in the first volume of "The Builder," and many who
read them first in the periodical will be happy now to have them in compact
book form for the library shelf.
Professor Pound's discontent
with the ordinary aimless speeches made in Masonic lodges by visiting brethren
first led him to determine to try to give out something of real value when, as
often was the case, he himself was called upon to respond "for the good of the
order." A thorough student, ever seeking foundation principles upon which to
build, and so paving in his own field of legal inquiry a sure road that led
him eventually to the coveted chair of Carter professor of jurisprudence in
Harvard University, he found in the marvelous mechanism of Masonry just the
sort of inspiration to investigation that appealed strongly both to his nature
and to his philosophical training. Of the five departments of Masonic study,
Ritual, History, Philosophy, Symbolism and Law, he chose the one dealing with
Masonic fundamentals, and then proceeded, with wide reading and rare insight,
in the preparation of the "Lectures," which are certain to be counted of high
value by those who, without his patience, application, or constructive energy,
will not pursue individual researches but will turn to his carefully-phrased
pages for their own enlightenment.
In the titles alone there is
an appealing subtlety which attracts attention right at the start and is
certain to prove stimulating to the thoughtful mind. The wealth of materials
is revealed; the breadth and depth of the inquiry is reflected; the unfolding
development of the institution is made clear; the comprehensive character of
Masonry is magnified. In Preston, Krause, Oliver and Pike are found, in order,
the exponents of Masonry in its relation to education, to morals and law, to
religion, to metaphysics and the problem of reality. And then, climacteric in
position and of deep significance to the Mason of today and tomorrow, is the
study-of the relation of Masonry to civilization, an attempt to answer the
three questions, ever present and ever pressing, What is the purpose of
Masonry, What is its place in a rational scheme of human activity ? How does
Masonry achieve its end?
Philosophy in itself is not
an easy subject. Its problems are large. The nature of reality, the conduct of
life, the relation of the human being to the universe, are topics which carry
the mind to the border land of infinity. The terminology of the study is
difficult for the uninitiated and untrained. But there are few who pass the
outer gates into the Kingdom of Masonry who do not at times ponder these
themes and feel the longing of the mind for light upon them. To interpret the
thought of Masonic philosophers and phrase it in terms intelligible to any one
who will read carefully and consecutively is no slight undertaking; to succeed
in it is a distinct triumph. This Professor Pound has done.
He gives the reader the key
to the mysteries. The student of the Masonic philosophers needs "chiefly to
connect the Masonic thinking of these masters of the philosophy of the Craft
with the general thought of the time and place in which they wrought and to
perceive the problems raised by the civilization of those times and places in
their relation to the ethical and social problems of today."
No better plan for the
accomplishment of this ideal could have been followed than that of this
volume. For, in the case of the four philosophers studied, the story of each
is fitted into a sort of mold. Who was the man? What were the prevailing
characteristics of the period in which he lived and thought? What was his
conception of the meaning of Masonry? The review of the biographical and
environmental details involved in answering the first two queries is so
stimulating and suggestive as to make the careful reading of the "Lectures"
well worth while to any Mason, even if he be neither disposed nor equipped to
follow the close thought connected with the answer to the last question.
The fifth lecture is a
natural outcome of the other four. No one can learn what Preston, Krause,
Oliver and Pike thought, each in his own day and generation, without applying
their views of the philosophy of the Craft to present conditions. Times change
and we change with them. So of this institution of ours. If it is to have a
vital part in twentieth-century affairs, it must relate itself to
twentieth-century thought. But it is far easier to look back upon a-completed
story than to interpret clearly what is passing through the minds of
contemporary-men. It is not at all improbable, therefore, that the Masonic
student of tomorrow, reading with pleased satisfaction the Pound "Lectures,"
will find their greatest value in the discussion of the Masonic philosophy of
today by a writer of such keen intellect, logical force, and clarity of
expression as the author is. Masonry today achieves its end "by its insistence
on the solidarity of humanity, by its insistence on universality, and by the
preservation and transmission of an immemorial tradition of human solidarity
and of universality."
The three centuries tell of
knowledge, of the individual moral life, of the universal human life. It is a
story of steady advance. It is the cumulative, constructive, forward-looking
development of life toward "that divine, far-off event, toward which the whole
creation moves." So we give this volume of Masonic "Lectures" high rank in the
literature of philosophy, convinced that it will find increased appreciation
as the days and years roll by.
And since it was written
avowedly for students, its concluding pages contain a carefully selected and
classified bibliography for the encouragement of those earnest souls who may
wish, for themselves, to make excursions, now and then, into fields of
investigation which are certain to yield rich returns to the inquirer.
One who reads this book
appreciates how Professor Pound has heeded that obligation taken by the little
group which with Benjamin Franklin as its inspiring genius formed the "Junto,"
each member of which promised, with his hand on his heart, "to love the truth
for the sake of the truth, to seek diligently for it, and when found, to make
it known to others."
By Brother Lawrence N.
The Temple made of wood and
stone may crumble and decay,
But there's a viewless fabric
which shall never fade away,
Age after age each Mason
strives to carry out his plan,
But still the work's
unfinished which those ancient Three began.
None but immortal eyes may
view complete in all its parts,
The Temple formed of Living
Stones - the structure made of hearts.
* * * * * *
'Neath every form of government, in every age and
Amid the world's convulsions and the ghastly
wrecks of time,
While empires rise in splendor and are conquered
And cities crumble in the dust, their very sites
Beneath the sunny smile of peace, the threatening
frown of strife,
Lo ! Masonry has stood unmoved - with age renewed
She claims her votaries in all climes, for none
are under ban,
Who place implicit trust in God, and love their
The heart that shares another's woe, beats just as
warm and true
Within the breast of Christian, or Mohammedan, or
She levels all distinctions from the highest to
The Kings must yield obedience to the peasant in
* * * * * *
What honored names on history's page, o'er whose
brave deeds we pore,
Have knelt before
shrine, and trod the checkered floor !
Kings, princes, statesrnen, heroes, bards, who
squared their actions true,
Between the Pillars of the Porch, they pass in
O brothers! what a glorious thought for us to
The mystic tie which binds our hearts, bound that
Although our past
achievements we with conscious pride review,
As long as there's lough Ashlal s there is work
for us to do.
We still must shape the Living Storie with
instrument of love,
For that eternal Mansion in the Paradise above.
Toil as we've toiled in ages past, to carry out
the plan -
'Tis this: The Fatherhood of God, the Brotherhood
When the dust of the workshop
The dust of the workman at
May some generous heart find
To seek and to treasure his
From the splendor of hopes
From the wonders he planned
From the glories so nearly
From dreams that so nearly
From his struggle to rise
On the pinions that could not
From his sorrows; oh, seek
for some worth
To remember the workman by.
If in vain; if Time sweeps
And no laurel from that dust
'Tis enough that a loyal
"He tried to make beautiful
LEGENDS OF KING SOLOMON
BY BRO. GEO. W. WARVELLE,
THROUGH all the degrees of
the American system of Freemasonry there runs a coherent and connected series
of legends concerning King Solomon. Indeed, it may properly be said that, he
is the central and commanding figure of the system: the pivot around which all
of its incidents revolve. In this paper, however, I shall confine myself to a
discussion of some of the legends as they are found in the Capitular degrees.
For all of our knowledge
concerning King Solomon we are dependent on the books of Kings and Chronicles.
There are no contemporary records, nor does he receive any mention in the
earlier books written after his time. The book of Kings, which is arbitrarily
divided in our English Bible into two books, was written about four hundred
years after Solomon's death and the work of the Chronicler was not performed
until more than six hundred years after that event. The account in Kings is
regarded by the biblical scholars as embodying a genuine Solomon legend, but
the later story as told in Chronicles is not considered as historical, except
as to matters borrowed directly from the earlier version.
Among other Masonic
traditions there is one which says, that after Solomon had reigned many years
over Israel he became very feeble and was obliged to receive assistance in a
peculiar manner. Without in any way denying the veracity of the tradition I am
yet inclined to inquire: By what authority is it supported? Certainly not by
scripture, for about all that is written with respect to his latter days is:
"And Solomon slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David his
father." I Kings xi-43; and see, II Chron. ix-35. When, where or how he died;
whether from accident, infirmity or old age, we do not know. Still, as he
reigned for forty years it is not unlikely, in view of his extensive domestic
establishment, that he may have become a trifle infirm with advancing years.
In II Chron. ix-29 it is
written: "Now the l est of the acts of Solomon, first and last, are they not
written in the book of Nathan the Prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the
Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer against Jeroboam the son of
But alas ! The book of Nathan
we have never seen and of the prophecy of Ahijah, the Shilonite, we are
equally ignorant. Of course, it is just possible that the framers of the P. M.
degree may have had access to these lost books, or, peradventure, they may
have obtained their information from the Inspectors General of the Rite of
Perfection, to whom all of the knowledge of the world was as an open book.
* * *
But, if the Scriptures
furnish us with little information relative to Solomon's latter days there is
yet a wealth of tradition upon which we may draw. From the Chronicle of
Abou-djafar Mohammed Tabari, it seems that Solomon attained only to the age of
fifty-five years and that the larger portion of his life was spent in the
building of the temple. In this work he was greatly assisted by the Jinns
(Genii) whom he pressed into his service. And, so the story runs, towards the
end of his life he often visited the temple, remaining there for a month or
more wholly absorbed in prayer, and while he was thus standing, with bowed
head, in an humble attitude before God, no one ventured to approach him.
Solomon knew that the temple
was not completed, and that if he died, and the Jinns knew of it, they would
at once desist from their work. Wherefore, being conscious of his approaching
end, he prayed Yahwe that in the event of his death the fact might be hidden
from the Jinns until the temple should be finished. And Yahwe heard the
prayer. So Solomon died in the temple, leaning upon his staff, with his head
bowed in adoration. And his soul was taken so gently from him by the Angel of
Death, that the body remained standing; and so it remained for a whole year,
and those who saw him thought he was but deeply engaged in prayer, and they
ventured not to approach him. Meanwhile the Jinns worked day and night until
the temple was finished. Then the body fell and they knew that Solomon was
* * *
The M. E. M. degree presents
King Solomon in one of the most pleasing phases of his many sided character.
The main incidents of the degree are but expansions of the Masonic legend,
and, notwithstanding the introduction of the biblical prayer of dedication,
are wholly unsupported by Scripture. Yet, as the prayer, and its resultant,
occupies a prominent place in the ceremony we may profitably pause a moment
and consider it.
The earlier scriptural
account of the dedication, as found in I Kings viii, is regarded by the
biblical scholars as a late composition. This, they say, is evident from the
fact that the entire narrative is saturated with the Deuteronomic spirit while
the prayer put in the mouth of the king, in style and ideas, is centuries
later than the building of the temple. Neither does it comport with the
character of Solomon as shown in the earlier traditions. From these latter it
would appear that the real Solomon was not a particularly devout person; that
his worship of Yahwe, as the tribal God, was perfunctory only; that he was
tolerant of the religious beliefs of those around him, and was easily
influenced by them to regard with favor the more sensuous worship of Moab and
Ammon. Particularly is this true when we view his relations with the "strange
women," who seem to have found him an easy mark.
The later account, as found
in II Chron. v-vii, and which is employed in the M. E. M. degree, is largely
copied from the book of Kings, but with many expansions of Levitical
ceremonies that had no existence until more than a century after the
captivity. The incident of the consuming fire from heaven is found only in
this narrative. It does not seem to have been known to the author of the
earlier account in the book of Kings.
* * *
The Solomon of the M. M.
degree is, of course, impossible. Indeed, it is generally conceded that the
incidents of the degree could not have occurred in the manner and form of the
ritual. And yet, this is very justly regarded as one of the most impressive as
well as one of the most instructive of all the lessons in the Masonic
curriculum. I am referring to the old degree as taught by Cross, Sheville and
Gould, and which for half a century was conferred in the Chapters of Illinois,
rather than to the emasculated lecture we now give under that name. The only
scriptural incident is the introduction of the Parable of the Householder in a
manner that sets at defiance all laws pertaining to time and space. This,
however, does not in any way militate against the degree as a symbol nor
impair the value of the lesson it imparts.
* * *
The name which we employ in
the Masonic legends is taken from the English version of the Scriptures. This
name follows the Greek form as found in the New Testament as well as that
employed by Josephus. The Latin Salomo follows one of several variant forms
found in the Greek version of the Old Testament known as the Septuagint. The
Hebrew form is Shelomo (for Shelomon) and means, "Man of peace."
His reign covered a period
extending from about 995 to 955 B. C. It was one of comparative peace and
stable government with much material development. At his death the kingdom
became disintegrated and fell to pieces but the fame of his wisdom and the
splendor of his court became all the greater in succeeding generations. As the
monarch under whom the throne of Israel reached its highest glory this,
perhaps, was but natural, and time only magnified in popular imagination the
proportions of so striking a figure. Thus he became and remained the type
alike of magnificence and wisdom. But the word usually translated "wisdom"
means more properly skill in government, although the Rabbinical legends of
later date greatly extended this original meaning. By false interpretations of
some passages of Scripture he was given sovereignty over demons (the Jinns) as
well as over beasts and birds, and the power of understanding their speech. It
is interesting to note, in this connection, that much of his wisdom as well as
his power over demons, command of the elements, etc., arose from the fact that
he was in possession of a seal (ring) on which was engraved the "great and
ineffable Name." Thus the Rabbinical tradition serves in a measure to support
the Masonic tradition.
BY BRO. CHAS N. MIKELS, P.G.M.
IS Masonry efficient? Well!
What is efficiency? Today it means to study things as they are and then make
them what they should be. It means to stop waste, to stop waste of mind and
soul and body, to stop waste of time, energy, money and opportunity. It means
to diagnose the illness, to find the cure and then to administer the cure.
It means the closest analysis
and investigation, personal, business, civic, religious, fraternal and
domestic; to inventory and appraise yourself and your institutions, on these
several lines of relationships, to cure all defects in these several lines as
completely as is thinkable, by the best methods possible, individual or
Webster would not know this
word if he came back to earth today. Not ten per cent. of the world's
population ever pay any attention to it and never did until recently.
There was such a word long
ago but it did not amount to much as a mover of men.- There was more
corn-fodder out in the snow this winter than ever before. There have been
other words such as "light," "truth," "progress," "faithfulness," "honor," but
none of these have really "pressed the button" hard enough to attract any very
considerable attention. They lack "punch," drive, somehow. There seems to be
no transmission gearing so these truths do not travel very rapidly. They have
not furnished any "Keeley Cure" for habits of carelessness, neglect and
indifference, for habits of dissipation of mind, soul and body.
Efficiency is a modern Hiram
Abiff. It is an architect which remodels imperfect structures; which builds
new structures properly and effectively; which plans fitness in all things. It
is an author of perfection in purpose, an improver of methods; a conserver of
time, energy, money and opportunity. Efficiency never causes confusion by
having no designs on the trestle board.
We forget that God, himself,
starts some things. He started "Truth" but we play marbles with it. He started
"Evolution" but we throw on the brakes. He started the "Future" but we live in
the past. He started our power to think but we are satisfied to turn the crank
of the phonograph, repeating the thoughts of dead men. God starts a lot of
things but we let them run down.
This word Efficiency is a
God's-word. It is His try-square of purpose; His gauge of spirit; His plumb of
practice; His level of method. It is His common gavel with which to knock off
the rough corners of unenergized purpose and unpotent practice so that they
may fit and fit today.
There is no use to look in
the dictionaries for the modern definition of Efficiency because the
dictionaries did not understand the word. The world has changed the word of
late. Yesterday it had a general meaning. Today is has a specific use.
Yesterday it was theoretical. Today it is practical. Yesterday it slumbered.
Today it opens your eyes. Yesterday it applied to results alone. Today it does
not forget methods. Yesterday it was gentle. Today it is a, prod, a goad, a
Today this word is alive,
determined, searching, aggressive, progressive. No one has to burn midnight
oil or delve among dusty shelves or split hairs over the trails of tradition
to get its meaning. It means "get down to brass tacks" at once in every detail
of life for life is too short and too valuable to permit waste.
Ten years ago, Efficiency was
a shell of a word; now it is a compelling power. Today it is the mainspring of
action. It is dynamic. You cannot dodge it. It is after you and after every
move that you make. Your neighbors and competitors know the exact degree of
your inefficiency better than you do yourself.
Efficiency is the world's
best friend. It is turning shops upside down. It is uprooting erroneous
habits. It is casting pet theories into the scrap heap. It makes you look at
yourself and your work in a flawless mirror. It makes you step aside and see
yourself go by. It makes you define things closely. It upsets false landmarks.
It systematizes things. It makes you think, study, compare, observe, conclude,
will and act. It makes you think in the present tense rather than in the past
tense. It standardizes that which should survive and consumes peculiarities.
Efficiency is a perpetual
question mark. It takes nothing for granted. To it, nothing that is, is right
until it is proved over again. This is the right of every generation. It cares
nothing about the past except as it tests the wheels of today. It approves
that which fits. It is not sceptic yet it is "from Missouri" and demands to be
shown that alleged right is right. Every generation has demanded blind faith
in its errors. The children of today demand proof from the fathers of
Efficiency is not an
iconoclast smashing old men's mental idols with unconservative hammers. It is
not the banner of youth in the hands of untried judgment. It is a challenge to
a think-fest. It is not blinded by sentiment. It stops leaks. It plugs holes.
It puts bushing on the wabbling wheels of progress. It makes you get away from
copy-work. It is not satisfied with being a carbon-copy of yesterday, mistakes
along with Truth.
Efficiency is a middle aged
man's practical word of progress. It isn't the talisman of dreamers nor the
pet word of intellectual sleepers. It is the slogan of Life, not the epitaph
of Death. It has no time for bivouacs. It is the war-cry on the battle line of
happiness. It is the Beausant of evolution, of real prosperity. It is a motto
of character building.
It means conservation of
energy; directness of purpose; eternal vigilance against shiftlessness. It
shoots at the bull's eye of perfect ends. It fires with a rifle and does not
scatter like a shot gun. It puts a punch in power. It puts iron in the will.
It puts oil on the bearings of the brains. It puts forced draft on the
furnaces of the heart. It gets up steam.
It means repairs to systems;
modifications of methods. It means initiative instead of custom. It means
thought-force instead of repetition. It means a lot of changes. There is
nothing of "stand pat" about it until the verdict of "Absolutely right, proved
anew," is returned by the jury of modern hearts. It wants light, more light,
further light and uses a Mazda light instead of a tallow candle while it
Efficiency ascertains whether
things are outgrown and has the courage to discard them. It opens the tombs of
dead purposes and causes an ascension of resurrected intention. It finds a
choked truth and transplants it. It finds scattered fragments and articulates
them. It emancipates spirits from the chains of habit. It knows the difference
between a national head and a State ganglion.
Nothing can escape it. It
applies to Churches and factories, to fraternal orders and corn fields, to
transportation and schools, to preacher and pew, to Master and member, to men
and women, to you and me. Take due notice and govern yourselves accordingly.
Nothing is so obscure as to
miss its acid test. Nothing is so prominent as to escape its probe.
It is pushing men from places
of power in Church and State, in store and factory, in fraternal orders and
ships. It is taking of the withered wreath of prestige, of place. It is
cutting of unearned wages. This Goblin of Efficiency will "get you if you
don't watch out." It will "get" your pet hobbies, your cherished habits, your
sacred customs, your counterfeit landmarks.
One thing is sure. Masonry
has to stand the test of this word as if it were a soap factory. Is there any
high degree of Masonic efficiency? Get the spirit of this word and apply it
for yourself and to yourself. Do some thinking for yourself. You have the
evidence all around you to prove or disprove it one way or the other. Stop
shifting the responsibility for thinking onto somebody else. Have some nerve
and think and think out loud too.
There is not much close
thinking. There is a difference between a "leader" and an "official." It is
the apparent, at least customary province of an official to maintain and
administer things as they are. A reasonable amount of this is conservative but
too much of it is death. Enough strychnine is a stimulant and a medicine, but
too much of it is fatal. You cannot expect progress from officials in the very
nature of things.
There is both undue loyalty
and undue fear of officials. There is undue praise and undue criticism of
leaders. The average official has completely "buffaloed" the great majority of
members. The members are to blame because they do not assert their right to
think and desire.
There are two classes of
Masons, both lay and official. First, those who think that the word "Future"
means a repetition of Yesterday. Second, those who think that Yesterday is a
conservative teacher of change, evolution. Yesterday rightly consulted is a
most excellent servant of Efficiency, but Yesterday is neither the "Boss" nor
fetish of Efficiency. One class thinks that nothing is worth while which
cannot stand the test of vital fitness for today.
It seems to be beyond
question, that Masonic Truth is potentially efficient. Truth is eternal. It
has no yesterday, today or tomorrow. It is perpetually young. It never becomes
absolute. It has a long, firm stride. One foot rests on the safe soil of
Yesterday. One foot reaches for the safe soil of Tomorrow. But the Heart of
Truth is "plumb" over the human hearts of today.
There is no use in denying to
Efficiency the right to test out the question whether Masonic method and
practice is what it could be and therefore should be. You cannot prevent it.
Every empty chair in a lodge
room is returning a verdict of inefficiency of some sort. It cannot be as to
Truth. It must be in our method or our spirit.
You know just as well as I
do, that on a thousand walls of a thousand lodge rooms, appear the mysterious
words, "Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharson," "Thou art weighed in the balance and
found wanting." They cannot stand the test of efficiency. The officials of old
Babylon could not see it in time. They lost their importance under the new
regime. They slept in the lap of habit too long.
It will take many a modern
Daniel and you may be one, who is willing to be cast into the fiery furnace of
criticism and the lion's den of ridicule to translate this verdict of
inefficiency into modern progress. Have you the nerve of a great Masonic
purpose. We have plenty of little ones. Think up a great one. Are you loyal to
the Logic of Truth ? Follow it. Think.
Is Masonry, as applied,
LOVE NEVER FAILETH
(George Matheson, whose lines these are, went
slowly blind, and as the darkness deepened many doubts vexed his mind. He fell
into the depths of despair, and when he had let go of faith in God and
immortality, he felt the tug at his heart of Something that would not let him
go. Hence this sublime lyric of Love and Life everlasting. When he died,
beside the grave stood a huge floral emblem, a square of white in which the
last two lines of this hymn were spelled out in red rose buds. - The Editor).
O Love that wilt not let me
I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give Thee back the life I
That in Thine ocean depths
May richer, fuller be.
O Light that followest all my
I yield my flickering torch
My heart restores its
That in Thy sunshine's blaze
May brighter, fairer be.
O Joy that seekest me through
I cannot close my heart to
I trace the rainbow through
And feel the promise not in
That morn shall tearless be.
O Cross that liftest up my
I dare not ask to fly Mom
I lay in dust life's glory
And from the ground there
Life that shall endless be.
"The compensations of calamity are made apparent
after long intervals of time. The sure years reveal the deep remedial forces
that underlie all fact." - Emerson.
REMARKS ABOUT KINGS
(God said, "I am tired of
kings." - Emerson.)
God said, "I am tired of
But that was a long while ago;
And meantime man said, "No -
I like their looks in their
robes and rings,"
So he crowned a few more,
And they went on playing the
game as before,
Fighting and spoiling things.
Man said, "I am tired of
Sons of the robber chiefs of yore;
They make me pay for their lust and their wal;
I am the puppet, they pull the strings;
The blood of my heart is the wine they drink!
I will govern myself for a
while, I think,
And see what that brings."
Then God, who made the first remark, smiled in the
- Henry van Dyke.
G rander than the lines that
E ngraved on the hearts that
ever are true,
O nward and beyond the
science it ran, -
M asonry, the nature religion
E nter thy temple, sweet
spirit, and there
T ry us by compasses, level
R ightly interpreting our
Y ou can speculate on with
- L. B. M.
LAST autumn we made note of the action of the
Grand Lodge of England by which Brethren of German birth were virtually
suspended from the fellowship of Lodges under its obedience. At that time we
expressed deep grief that such a thing should come to pass, attributing it to
the bitter feelings evoked by the war, creating an air so surcharged with
passion that the quieter, saner voices could not be heard. No doubt it was
inevitable that men should act so, albeit we recalled that during the blood
and fire and tears of our own Civil War, when States were divided and churches
were rent asunder, the Masonic tie remained unbroken. With mingled sorrow and
amazement we must now make record of proposals for still more drastic action,
as set forth in the following resolution passed, by a close vote, at the
recent session of the Grand Lodge:
That it be referred to the Board of General
Purposes to consider and to report upon the following proposals:-
1. That each Private Lodge under the jurisdiction
of the Grand Lodge of England be required to examine the cases of all members
who are of German birth, to call upon all such members whose retention of
membership is not approved by the unanimous vote of all the other members of
the Lodge to resign, and failing resignation, to forthwith exclude such
members from membership; or, in the alternative, -
2. That on the termination of the War each Private
Lodge under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of England be required to
examine the cases of all members who are of German birth, to refuse permission
to such members to resume attendance at Lodge unless the resumption of such
attendance is approved by the unanimous vote of all the other members of the
Lodge, to call upon all members of German birth the resumption of whose
attendance is not so approved to resign, and, failing resignation, to
forthwith exclude such members from membership.
3. The immediate withdrawal of this Grand Lodge's
recognition of the German Grand Lodges.
4. The prohibition of the reception in English
Lodges of alleged Masons belonging to a Lodge under any German jurisdiction,
and the prohibition of the entry of English Masons into any Lodge existing
under any German jurisdiction.
Surely that is going too far, involving as it does
a renunciation of those far-shining principles enshrined in the Constitution
of the Grand Lodge itself, which are the chief glory of modern Masonry. Of
course we are sure to be called pro-German for entering a protest. Nothing of
the kind; but we are pro-Masonry, and it is plain that these proposals, if
adopted, will be nothing short of a calamity to the Fraternity, not only in
England but everywhere. Let us pray that it may not be so. Dark and dreadful
is the day in which we live, dividing time into before and after, like a deep
red gash across the face of history, but must we fling everything to the
winds? "The rocks are not burning," and another and happier day will dawn when
such an action will rise up as a barrier to Brotherhood, showing that
Freemasonry forfeited its influence in behalf of peace and amity. Not all
English Masons are in favor of such proposals, as witness these grave and
weighty words by Canon J.W. Horsley in the London Freemason:
"I recognize that Temperance in speech becomes us,
even when the conduct, not of an enemy nation, but of enemies in that nation,
is in question. I recognize also that Fortitude is required by those who will
not meet a Hymn of Hate by what seems to me its English equivalent in prose.
My son, who was about to be ordained, entered the Army with my approbation,
was seriously wounded at Ypres, and has just gone out to France, but that will
not hinder my being called a pro-German if I plead for sanity and charity and
dignity of attitude and utterance.
I am seriously concerned in the name of Prudence
and Justice, for the spirit and reputation of the Craft. How often have I not
heard, and even uttered panegyrics on the intention and power of Masonry to
hasten tie day of Universal Brotherhood! Was this all humbug, to be exposed as
such directly a nation which contained some of our Brethren was arrayed
against us ? I have heard our Grand Master tell how, after the bitter Boer
War, he received a welcome from Boer as well as from English Lodges in South
Africa.... But now we are asked to render it possible that after peace, which
we desire to be honorable, and therefore not dishonorable to the vanquished,
vile shall be found deliberately, and without due cause on the part of those
who must remain our Brethren (until by some overt and definite breach of the
Landmarks they have forced upon us non-recognition) to have broken down the
bridge on which we might and should meet in happier days with open hands
instead of mailed fists. Much do I pray for our victory; more for peace; and
most for an extended and deeper brotherhood amongst all men after the fashion
which we contend the Craft can teach them.
But if, at the bidding of an indiscriminate
hatred, we are to belie our professions and embitter our temporary opponents
by excommunicating them, then I am not alone in saying that I shall have
little interest in what will have become a mere English Club, and have ceased
to be the exponent and animator of a Fraternity which should play so great a
part in the creation and promotion of peace and goodwill, irrespective of
nationality and unaffected by transitory variance, when the bluster and the
intoxication of warfare have passed away."
Darker will be the day when such wise words go
unheeded - our Fraternity will then be ready for the junk-heap and the
scrap-pile, having betrayed its spirit and failed of its mission. Such a time
asks for courage, self-restraint, magnanimity, fortitude and tolerance, and
above all faith in the fundamental principles of Masonry. We beg our English
Brethren to believe that we write these words in no spirit of partisanship,
but in deep sorrow, moved thereto by solicitude for the future of our
Fraternity. Nor do we forget the noble words in the Book of Constitutions of
our mother Grand Lodge: "No quarrels about nations, families, religion or
politics must by any means or under any color or pretense whatever be brought
within the door of the Lodge."
* * *
TAKING MASONRY SERIOUSLY
If we mistake not, there are signs to show that
men, especially young men, are more and more disposed to take Masonry
seriously, both as a principle to be held and a life to be lived. There are
exceptions, to be sure, as we learn from a letter before us, wherein a Brother
frankly confesses that his only interest in the Fraternity is in what he calls
“the big eats and the big meets." Surely a mistake was made when this Brother
was admitted to the Order at all. He is in the wrong pew, having no interest
in the intellectual aims of Masonry, much less with its opportunity for
practical human ministry, and our Lodges must have the courage of the old-time
Masons who sent such men back to the Guilds, as unworthy of the fellowship of
serious men. From another letter we read:
"With a leading and prominent Odd Fellow in the
East with a zealous Knight of Pythias in the West, and the Exalted Ruler of
the Elks and the high muck-a-muck of the Eagles in the South, and with the
average member of the Masonic body belonging to at least four or five other
orders, sometimes the thoughtful member must think that our Order looks and is
a little bit foolish. For the Jew to attend early mass, for the Catholic to be
superintendent of the Presbyterian Sunday School for a leading Methodist to
expound the Talmud to a Boy's Class in the Synagogue, might be highly
desirable, yet none the less inexplicable. Perhaps the time will again come
when Masonry will be a living, active force for good and greatness.
Frankly, I have looked upon most Masonic
literature as largely worthless, and oftentimes actually harmful. The childish
legends that pass for Masonic "History" seem little short of astonishing. In
looking over the June issue of The Builder however, I read the article
entitled "Our Thucydides," by Prof. Pound of Harvard University, and I thought
that if such articles are to appear, perhaps there is now active hope for the
great Order and a proper understanding of its history and aims. Therefore I
renew my membership in the Society, in the hope that the time of "hot air,"
idle legends and extraordinarily foolish "history" has none by."
Not gone by, Brother, but it is the work of this
Society to help hasten its exit from the earth, in behalf of clear seeing and
sane thinking in the fields of Masonic history, symbolism, philosophy and
practical endeavor. If the leaders of the Order are wise, they will see in
this thoughtful and forthright letter one reason for the falling off in Lodge
attendance and failing interest in Masonry. Thinking men want the truth, not
silly legends, fantastic history, and mathematical puzzles, and if they do not
find it they will reckon Masonry as only one of many such orders, having
little or nothing to set it apart from the rest.
Of course, if Masonry is only a dramatic Club,
whose performances prelude a banquet and a smoker, let us admit it, and not
keep up the hoax of having a noble history, a profound philosophy, and a
beautiful symbolism. If there is nothing in it, like the King of Hearts in
Alice in Wonderland, when the mysterious document was brought into his court,
"If there is nothing in it we are saved a lot of bother, as we need not try to
find it." But if Masonry has anything of value to teach men, has any real
purpose and definite mission, it surely behooves us to study it and rededicate
ourselves to its service.
Our friend, the distinguished editor of the Occult
Review, thinks that the December number of The Builder is the best we have so
far issued - that being the last copy he has had opportunity to read. "One
would say that it almost embraces the whole field of the subject-general which
brought the Society into being," he remarks, adding that it is a memorable
number, finishing a memorable year's labor; "and we look for greater things to
come." He makes particular note of the article by Brother Ball on the Hiramic
Legend and the Lost Word, and the brief essay by Brother Gage on Building
Designs. He is interested in the old Temple of Heaven in which the Scottish
Rite degrees were conferred, as Brother Lobingier related. He congratulates us
on the excellent index, and pronounces the work of the Year good from first to
* * *
Ye editor would thank the Scottish Rite bodies
throughout the country to let him see their Bulletins, not all of which reach
his office, and he will be especially grateful to Brethren of that Rite, or
any other, for details of plans and methods of procedure in their social
service undertakings - such as the magnificent work of the Masons of Duluth in
the Infant Welfare Department of their labors. He wishes to analyze and give
the Craft the results, both as to methods and achievements, of these benign
and practical endeavors. Take due notice, Brethren - please - and govern
ARTICLES OF INTEREST
Masonry as a Social Bond, by
Bishop D'Arcy. London Freemason.
The Orange Order, by J. L.
Carson, Virginia Masonic Journal.
Dedicating the Lodge, by F.
C. Higgins, Masonic Standard
Thomas Mason Harris, Grand
Chaplain, 1796. New England Craftsman.
A General Grand Lodge, by W.
W. Clark. Illinois Masonic Review.
Two Hundred Years of
Templarism, by D. O. Scott. American Tyler-Keystone.
Music and its Relation to
Masonry, by R. Hawridge. The Trestle Board.
Negroes and Freemasonry, by
H. A. Williams. American Freemason.
The Pilgrim's Way, by H. J.
Strutton. Occult Review.
* * *
The Way of Divine Union, by
A. E. Waite. Wm. Rider & Son, London. $1.75.
The Meaning and Value of
Mysticism, by E. Herman. The Pilgrim Press, Boston. $1.75.
The Ethics of Confucius, by
M. M. Dawson. G. P. Putnam's Co, New York. $1.50
Songs for the New Age, by
James Oppenheim. Century
The Appeal of Masonry by H.
G. Smith, Glencoe Ill
Solomon and the Temple, by C.
P. Benedict, Indiianapotis, Ind.
The Religion of Freemasonry,
by G. R. Van De Water, New York.
There is not anything amongst civil affairs more
subject to error than the right valuation and true judgment concerning the
power and forces of the State. Walled towns, stored arsenals and armories,
goodly races of horses, chariots of war, ordinance artillery, and the like:
all this is but a sheep in a lion's skin except the breed and disposition of
the people be stout. Nay, number itself in armies importeth not much, where
the people is of weak courage; for as Virgil saith, It never troubles the
wolf, how many the sheep be. - Lord Bacon.
SOCRATES, MASTER OF LIFE
FLAUBERT was wont to say that the man is nothing;
the work everything. With this we do not agree, least of all after reading the
story of that Sage whom Shelley called "the Christ of ancient Greece," in that
so brilliant little book, 'Socrates, Master of Life," by W. E. Leonard. There
is no exaltation in reading such a story, there is only prostrating humility.
And there is sadness, too, such sadness as falls upon one in the presence of a
Master of the fears, passions and vicissitudes which befall us here below.
Thinking of that truly great and noble man and the life he lived, one feels
that the words of the poet can be much better applied to him than to David, of
whom they were written:
"Great, valiant, pious, good and clean,
Strong, constant, pleasant,
Withal he was very human, this son of Sophroniscus,
the stone-cutter, as the author shows him to us in the too brief sketch. The
materials, of course, are scant. Naturally, his friends, who knew his life,
left record only of his thought, and he himself, being a wise man, never wrote
a book. He was ugly and dressed shabbily, and seldom washed himself. He went
barefoot, even in the winter snows, and was strong and tough as well as brave
- did he not make a good soldier ? He married Xanthippe, the shrew, and left
two children, albeit nothing was ever heard of them. She used to pour
slop-water on him when he came home late at night. When asked why he married
such a vixen, he said that if he could endure Xanthippe he could learn to
endure anything. He loved folks, and was one of the greatest talkers the race
If there is pensiveness in the memory of him,
there was no sadness in his life. How could there be ? Fortified by his
philosophy, he knew that melancholy is folly, the trick of an evil imp. He was
a merry old man, ready to take a joke or to pass one back, always asking
questions and professing to know nothing. He taught the youth of Athens that
the soul of all improvement is the improvement of the soul. Do every deed,
think every thought in accordance with the simple principle of virtue, he
said, and you will then be fortified against all the fears of life and death -
since no real harm can come to a good man in this life or after death. That
was what he taught and that was how he lived; so that it was no wonder that
Xenophon could write of him: "No one within the memory of men ever bowed his
head more beautifully to Death."
Our author compares Socrates to Christ, as did
Shelley, seeking the while to make clear the place of the philosopher in "this
multitudinous business of salvation." For such as are interested in the
teaching of the barefoot sage there is a chapter full of meat. Self-control,
balance, poise was the cardinal virtue with Socrates. He thought less than we
do, apparently, of doing duty against the grain. For, if we have the right
idea of our duty, there is no grain to go against, the doing is effortless.
For us, the fascination of Socrates is in his personality, his brave, calm,
cheerful and playfully wise mastery of life. No wonder Erasmus was for giving
him a place among the Saints, and could scarce refrain from saying, "St.
Socrates, pray for us !"
* * *
From Greece to China is a long journey, yet
Socrates and Confucius were not far apart in time, and one feels that they
would have understood each other had they met. Confucius died in his
seventy-third year, 479 B. C., died unhonored, feeling in the flickering beats
of his failing heart that his pleas for justice, truth, industry, self-denial,
moderation and peace were unheeded. What he taught is admirably summed up in
"The Ethics of Confucius," by M. M. Dawson, with a foreword by Wu Ting Fang,
and it is a goodly body of wise and fruitful truth showing "how to get through
life like a courteous gentleman." His central idea is that every normal man
cherishes the aspiration to become a Superior Man - superior to his fellows,
if possible, but first of all superior to his own past and his present self.
Confucius has also been compared to Christ, for
that he taught the Great Principle of reciprocity: "What you do not want done
to yourself, do not unto others," - which is very far from the positive form
in which Jesus stated it. Lao Tsze was nearer to the Teacher of Gallilee when
he taught, "Love thine enemies." Inquiry was made of Confucius concerning this
saying, resulting in the following dialogue: "What do you say concerning the
principle that injury should be recompensed with kindness ?" And Confucius
replied: "With what, then, will you recompense kindness ? No, recompense
injury with justice and recompense kindness with kindness." Lao Tsze has much
the larger following in China, which this difference in their teachings no
doubt in part explains - the followers of Confucius being among the elite and
Confucius was a sage, not a seer. So long as he
talks of the art of living, of mental morality, of selfculture, of human
relations in the family and the state, his insight is clear and wise. When he
comes to the higher relations of the soul his vision is vague, indefinite and
uncertain. Yet he was a noble teacher, sincerely seeking to guide his fellow
men aright along the simple, but far from easy, path which mortals should
walk: "I seek unity, all pervading."
THE RELIGION OF FREEMASONRY
"The world is big, but not too big to be blessed,
were men only good. The worst war this world ever knew is still raging, but
the smallest child knows that war continues solely for the want of love.
Opinions are many and diverse, yet on one subject, all good men who are wise,
are agreed. This is that the betterment of world conditions ultimately depends
upon the universal recognition, both in belief and conduct, of the Fatherhood
of God and the Brotherhood of man. One of the oldest institutions in this
world, the largest, most influential, and beneficent, which professes and
practices these principles is Freemasonry. This contribution to its work and
its worth is dedicated to those Grand Lodges, which, loyal to ancient
landmarks, keep the Bible on their altars, worship God, and uplift the
brethren. Amen. So mote it be."
After this manner Brother George R. Van De Water,
Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of New York. dedicates his sermon on "The
Religion of Freemasonry," delivered on Sunday, Nov. 28th, 1915, in St.
Andrew's Church, New York. It is one of the best Masonic sermons we have read
in many a day, nobly phrased, straight to the point, aglow with the fire of a
passionate faith, fearless and free of spirit, and intensely practical. If you
doubt it, listen:
"Going to Lodge is insufficient for Masonic
progress. One may take degrees and make no advance. You can learn all the work
and exhibit nothing of the worth. A man in the church as well as in the lodge
may become a magnificent ritualist, and remain a sodden sensualist. Esthetics
are no better in themselves than gymnastics to elevate and uplift the human
soul. Nobody who tries fails, but unless a man tries himself, all God can do
for him amounts to nothing, so far as personal character counts. Everything in
Masonry tends toward goodness. A good Mason is a good man, a helper in time of
need, upright, and a cordial good fellow in joy. A bad Mason defies
definition. He betrays his trust, injures his cause, blackens the fame of the
order, and brings obloquy to an institution that deserves both sympathy and
THE WISDOM OF SWING
More things are overdone in the parlor than in the
Human nature has not much changed since man became
acquainted with it.
The sermon is the poppy of literature.
Time has shaken the bottle of knowledge, and we
are all of nearly one color of ignorance and wisdom.
Each heart should read its own mass over its own
To be too near any one thing - that is fanaticism.
Deer run, bin ds fly, serpents crawl, but man
talks himself forward.
If there is anything sweeter than honey it is the
study of the bee.
Egotism is the nomination, election and coronation
Many repetitions and much time do not make a thing
A materialist is a soul domesticated out of its
Zululand is full of conservatives.
- David Swing: Poet Preacher.
KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM
Knowledge and wisdom, far
from being one,
Have ofttimes no connection:
In heads replete with
thoughts of other men;
Wisdom in minds attentive to
Knowledge - a rude
The mere materials with which
wisdom builds -
Till smoothed and squared,
and fitted to its place,
Does but encumber when it
Knowledge is proud that he
has learned so much;
Wisdom is humble that he
knows no more."
- William Cowper.
THE RUFFIAN, DEATH
At last life's powers fail;
The silver cord is loosed,
Of life, and golden bowl are
The sunny days return no
There comes through every
avenue, the token
That Death is knocking at the
The grinders cease; the eyes
Gray hairs are blossoming
The ear no more receives the
The heart no more is kindled
up with love;
The ruffian, Death, his work
The mourners go about the
Our souls with sympathy to
Beneath the green springs we
Him, the delight of the
Mason's home !
- From History Occidental
A MASON'S GREETING
To all who hope for life
beyond this living,
To all who reverence one holy
Whose liberal hand will not
be stayed from giving,
Who count all human
fellowship the same;
Whose lives ascend in wisdom,
strength, and beauty,
Stone upon stone, square-hewn
and founded well,
Who love the light - who
tread the path of duty:
Greet you well, brethren !
Brethren, greet you well!
- John Edmund Barss.
LET US PRAY
"Do you feel something in you
deeper far than mind, grander than enthusiasm, of greater energy than will?
Are you not conscious of emotions whose interpretation is no longer in us? Do
you not feel your pinions? Let us Pray." - Balzac. Seraphitus.
THE QUESTION BOX
What territory comprises the
Northern jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite in the United States ? - R.J.M.
The territory east of the
Mississippi and north of the Ohio rivers.
* * *
Can you give me a suggestion as to the best book
dealing with journalism, giving a thorough working knowledge of the business
of newspaper reporting and general writing? J. B. D.
Perhaps "The Newspaper Worker," by James McCarthy,
published by the Press Guild, New York, is as good a book of the kind as you
can find, though "Practical Journalism," by E. L. Shuman, (Appleton Co., New
York) is very good indeed. Ye editor prefers the second book, no doubt because
it was written by one of his dear friends. However, where there is a choice
between two good things - take both, if you can.
* * *
Was Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, a
Mason ! I have heard it stated both ways, and would like to know the fact. -
Smith seems to have been made a "Mason at sight"
by the Grand Master of Illinois, but the events showed that it was a bad day's
work, because of the abuse of Masonry by the Mormons. For an account of the
trouble caused in the Grand Lodge of Illinois by the Mormons, see the "History
of Masonry in Illinois," by Reynolds, also the "History of the Grand Lodge of
Iowa," Vol. I, Chap. 5.
* * *
In the article on Irish Masonry, by Brother J. L.
Carson, the writer refers to Daniel O'Connell as a Mason. I am wondering where
he gets his authority, and to what Lodge he belonged. The article on O'Connell
in the Encyclopedia Brittanica states that he was a faithful Catholic. If this
is so, it would be quite interesting to know that he was also a Mason. - R.R.E.
Little is known of the Masonic history of
O'Connell beyond the fact that he was made a Mason in old Lodge No. 189 then
held in Dublin - the Lodge now meets in Ballymena - in 1797, and was
Worshipful Master of the Lodge the following year. Owing to the attitude of
the clergy of the Roman Church toward Masonry, however, O'Connell finally
broke his connection with the Craft, and died as he was born - a Catholic.
(See Finders "History of Masonry.") Brother Wm. Ross, Past Grand Master of
Nova Scotia, can no doubt give further information, if it is desired.
* * *
Is it unMasonic to play billiards or cards in a
room adjacent to a regular Masonic temple or Lodge room, if the room in which
such amusements are conducted is in no sense used for Masonic purposes, but is
maintained only as a Club room for Masons and the sons of Masons, or others
for whom some Mason will stand sponsor? - C.S.M.
Certainly not. The arrangement described is
admirable, as safe-guarding such amusements from abuse, as well as in bringing
the sons of Masons into the fellowship - which is far better than to have them
play games elsewhere under less fortunate influences. Of course there are
communities where amusements of this kind under any auspices are regarded as
sinful, but they are not many. Even churches are adding play-rooms to their
edifices in these days. The old-time Masons vvere much freer in these matters
than we are, often using their Lodge-rooms as places of frolic.
* * *
Can you give me the definition of Masonry as given
by the Master in the Kentucky Lodges? I heard it once but did not memorize it,
and I think it the best I have heard. - F.G.B.
We presume that the folloxving is what our Brother
has in mind, taken from the Masonic Monitor of Kentucky, by Brother J. N.
Saunders: - "Masonry is a system of ethics founded upon a belief in God, and
in resurrection to a future life, inculcating strict adherence to the duties
we owe to each other, demanding patriotic obedience to the laws of the land in
which we live, and inspiring a veneration for the Creator of our being."
* * *
"THE DEW-DROP LECTURE"
I have often heard of a lecture used in the ritual
of the Grand Jurisdiction of Mississippi called "The Dew-drop Lecture," said
to have been written by Albert Pike. Can you give me any information with
regard to it? - H.L.N.
In sending us a copy of an old obsolete Monitor of
Mississippi, which contains the famous Dew-drop Lecture, Grand Secretary F. G.
Speed has this to say about the lecture: - "This lecture was not written by
Albert Pike, but was handed down a hundred years before Gen. Pike was born. My
father and grandfather were intimate with Brother Pike, and my father made the
above statement about the lecture. The lecture is used in our Lodges quite
frequently, but it is not a part of the adopted work now." We propose to
publish this lecture in an early number of The Builder, and we believe our
readers will agree that it deserved to be handed down for a hundred years.
* * *
THE COLORS IN THE FLAG
I had just dispatched a letter to you regarding
two of the articles in the first volume of The Builder, and had scarcely
mailed it when another, one of your own editorials, attracted my attention. It
was your account of the origin of the colors entering into the composition of
the American flag, in the issue of Feb. 1915. Your reference to the classic
application of those same colors particularly interested me, and I am tempted
to ask you to go more minutely into the discussion. The "loci classici" for
the Roman use of the red and white would be greatly appreciated, for you have
touched upon a topic not generally known to College and High School
instructors in the classics. - F.S.D.
We insist that Brother Dunn, who is the head of
the department of Latin in the University of Oregon, is just the man to
discuss this question, and we are sure that a letter from him touching the use
of red and white among the Romans would be interesting to many of our Members.
Moreover, we deem it bad policy to attempt to do a thing which another can do
in a better manner. Also, it is about time that some one gave us an article on
the use and symbolism of color in Masonry, a most interesting and suggestive
* * *
MASONRY AND POLITICS
If it is not out of order I would like very much
if you would give us light on the following question: What is the relation of
Masonry to politics? - O.K.M.
The article in the Book of Constitutions, adopted by the Grand
Lodge of England in 1723, is very strong on this point; doubly strong in the
edition of 1738. For example: "No quarrels about nations, families, religion
or politics must by any means or under any color or pretense whatever be
brought within the door of the Lodge; Masons being of all nations upon the
square, level and plumb, and like our predecessors in all ages we are resolved
against political disputes." (Alas ! the Grand Lodge of England seemed to
forget this injunction at its last meeting.) While Masonry thus abjures
political questions equally with religious disputes, in its Lodges, it is all
the while training men to be good citizens, and through the quality of its men
it influences public life - as Washington,
F ranklin and
Marshall carried the spirit and principles of Masonry into the organic law of
this Republic. By building men up in moral character spiritual faith and
public-mindedness, Masonry is helping to build up a state that will endure the
Shocks of times nobler structure than ever was wrought of marble or of mortar.
(See "The Principles of Freemasonry in the Life of Nations," by Findel.) Of
course, men trained in the great principles of Masonry will stand for these
principles, stand together in their behalf - fight for them, if need be - when
they are involved in the issues of political strife; but Masonic Lodges, as
such, have no place or part in politics - save, as we have said, to train men
for usefulness righteousness and goodwill in all the relations of life.
* * *
THE JUSTINIAN OATH
A Brother from Kansas asks for information concerning the
Justinian Oath, but from the fact that he tells us that he has heard it used
in connection with some High School fraternity we are quite sure that he is
not thinking of the procedural or rather evidential oath which seems to have
been introduced by Justinian in cases of alleged informal trust bequests (See
Institutes of Justinian, II., 23, 12; Cod. VI.,
42, 32; also Brittanica article on "Oaths.") Doubtless it is the Oath of the
Athenian Youth that our Brother is seeking. If so, it runs as follows:
"We will never bring disgrace upon this, our city,
by any act of dishonor or cowardice, nor ever desert our suffering comrades in
the ranks; We will fight for the ideals and sacred things of the city, both
alone and with many; We will revere and obey the city's laws and do our best
to incite a like respect and reverence in those above us who are prone to
annul or to set them at naught; We will strive unceasingly to quicken the
public's sense of civic duty; thus in all these ways, we will transmit this
city not only not less, but greater, better, more beautiful than it was
transmitted to us."
* * *
THE MYSTERIES OF MITHRA
Can you give me any light on the mystic rites of
the Mithraic initiations practiced in Persia, and their relation, if any, to
Masonry? - H.E.M.
Less is known about the details of the Mithraic
initiations than about the other orders of the Mysteries - than the Mysteries
of Isis, for example, because we have the testimonies of Plutarch and Apuleius
who were initiates in that order. We know, however, that as regards the drama
of life and death and immortality the Mithraic rites differed only in details
from the other orders of the Mysteries - albeit it had a greater vogue in the
Roman empire, perhaps because of its emphasis on the military spirit. It may
almost be said to have been the religion of the Roman army, which carried it
to the ends of the earth - as, later, the English army spread Masonry over the
world. Like other similar orders of antiquity, the Mysteries of Mithra are
related to Masonry, not so much historically, as spiritually - in the fact
that the Drama of Faith, of which we wrote in The Builders, was somehow
transmitted from those ancient fraternities to modern Masonry. Franz Cumont is
the great authority on the Mithra and his "Mysteries of Mithra" and his
"Oriental Religions" trace the origin and influence of the cult with learning
and insight. For a briefer account, however, Brother Maness is referred to a
little book, just published, called "Mithraism," by W. J. PhythianAdams. (Open
Court Publishing Co., Chicago.)
* * *
MASONRY IN FICTION
I would like to know, if convenient for you to
ascertain, what book by Sylvanus Cobb, Jr., brings out - or I might say brings
in - some of the work of the Royal Arch and Council degrees in the story. -
We do not happen to be familiar with the stories
of Sylvanus Cobb, but we are sure that some of our Members can answer this
question, and we take the liberty of referring it to them. Usually Masonry
does not come off well in fiction - except in the stories of Kipling - and
there is room for a really good Masonic story such as Brother Charles Rann
Kennedy could write
* * *
Some weeks ago, while rummaging among old books in
a second-hand book store, I found a little volume entitled "The Ancient Order
of Essenes." What was this order, and has it any relation to Masonry? - M.W.R.
The sect of the Essenes - as we remarked
editorially in the February issue - was a tiny cult of monastic Pharisees
whose headquarters seem to have been in the wild region in southeastern Judea,
near the Dead Sea. They carried the separatist idea of the Pharisees to its
ultimate extreme, and are interesting, not for any marked resemblance, much
less relation, to Masonry, but because they were apparently the only cult of
the kind among the Jews. Da Costa, in his "Sketch of the Dionysian
Artificers," was the first to try to associate them with the order of the
builders, his theory, as we recall it, being that they were a Hebrew branch of
the Dionysian fraternity; but we hardly think he made out his case. Masonic
writers of the imaginative school, of which Dr. Oliver may be said to stand as
a leader, taking their cue from such hints and theories, straightway bridged
all gulfs and hailed the Essenes as the ancestors of Freemasons. Recent
researches do not justify such claims. Some Jewish writers, to be sure, have
claimed that the Essenes, or a division of them, bore the name of Bannaim,
which is explained to signify Builders, but this is held to be doubtful. It
probably only meant that each of the brotherhood built his own house, or that
their mission was to build up, to edify, mankind - as the word is used by St.
Paul. (See the discussion following the essay by Brother Westcott in the last
issue of the transaction of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge. )
* * *
Dear Editor: - I noticed in your Aug. number an
inquiry regarding Clarence M. Boutelle, author of "The Man of Mount Moriah."
Your reply was correct as far as it went. I knew Bro. Boutelle at Marshall,
Minn., where he died, and will give the party a little information regarding
Clarence Miles Boutelle, L. L. D. was born in New
Hampshire in 1851. He came to Minnesota in 1859 with his parents and settled
on a farm in Wabasha County near Lake City. He led the usual farm life of a
country boy until 19 years of age when he supplemented his summer farm work
for two years by teaching a district school two winters. He then entered the
Winona normal school, where he early took a distinguished position in
scholarship and was graduated in 1872. He then spent two years in the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology and returned to the Winona normal school
as a member of the faculty, teaching in mathematics, chemistry, psychology and
other scientific studies, remaining with the faculty for nine years. His next
teaching was in Rochester, Minnesota, and in 1885 was elected superintendent
of the public schools at Decorah, Iowa. Here he remained for seven years with
constantly increasing salary. He next taught a brief period in the state
normal school at East Stroudsburg, Pa., and from there he came to the
Marshall, Minn., schools in the fall of 1895 and remained there until his
passing away. Prof. Boutelle kept in active association with the university,
normal and state departments, each year being called to the University summer
school as an instructor. On July 22, 1880, Prof. Boutelle was married to Miss
Fannie C. Kimber, who was a native of New York and a graduate of the famous
Oswego state normal school. She was of the Winona normal school faculty, in
charge of Methods and Practice Teaching and had won the distinction of being
at the front of normal school teachers of the state. They had two daughters,
Anna and Louise, both of whom were students in the University of Minnesota at
the time of his death.
Prof. Boutelle was a devoted student of Masonic
history and usages, and as an author of Masonic literature he won a broad
reputation, his work being of a standard character. He was made a Mason in
Rochester Lodge No. 21, in 1885, and was admitted to Great Lights Lodge, No.
181, at Decorah, Iowa, a year later, and in succession was its Junior and
Senior Warden, and Worshipful Master. In 1886 he became a Royal Arch Mason in
King Solomon chapter, No. 35, of Decorah, and for two years filled the exalted
position of High Priest. In 1887 he was knighted in Beauseant Commandery, No.
12, of Knights Templa at Decorah, and served two years as Generalissimo. He
was also a charter member of Decorah Chapter No. 73, O.E.S., of which society
Mrs. Boutelle was a member. He was also a member of Winneshiek Lodge, No. 58,
Odd Fellows, at Decorah, and was a charter member and the first Senior Warden
of Decorah Encampment of Odd Fellows, No. 133, and subsequently its Chief
Patriarch. Prof. Boutelle retained his membership in all these orders at
Boutelle was for many years among the most prominent contributors to the
"Voice of Masonry and Family Magazine." He was also a contributor to Leslie's
Illustrated Weekly Leslie's Popular Monthly, Peterson's Magazine, Godey's
Lady's Book, Arthur's Home Magazine, The Chicago Times, Chicago Tribune, and
The Current. His most extensive novel was entitled "The Man of Mount Moriah,"
which was published as a
serial, running two or three years in Voice of Masonry and now published in
book form. Another extensive novel entitled "The Man Outside" was published in
Leslie's Popular Monthly, and this is also published in book form, and has
been dramatized for the stage.
Brother Boutelle was stricken down suddenly in his
home in the evening after he had attended a Masonic funeral that afternoon for
a Brother Harrington, who was as suddenly stricken down a few days before.
Brother Boutelle died Sept. 16, 1903 at Marshall, Minn. and his body was taken
by an escort of Masons and Odd Fellows to Lake City, Minn., where the Masonic
Lodge of Lake City buried him in the family lot.
Very truly yours,
E. E. Smith, Minn.
(We are grateful to Brother Smith for this sketch
of Brother Boutelle, the first ever published, so far as we are aware, not
only because it answers a number of inquiries with regard to him, but also
because it recalls an able and useful man. His Masonic poems and stories -
especially "The Man of Mount Moriah" - had a wide reading among the Craft, and
are still read. They are aglow with the spirit of a man to whom Masonry meant
very much, equally for its fraternal tenderness and its spiritual beauty, and
this beautiful fellowship he exhibited in his life. Incidentally, we have here
another example of the value of such a society as ours, bringing men far apart
into closer touch. Without it the story of Brother Boutelle, even in this
brief form, would have remained untold.)
* * *
A SONG OF DEGREES
I said to the Rocks; I wish to know,
How did your greatness come to grow?
How formed you yourselves from the ooze of the
They said, Little by Little, by Degrees.
l said to the Earth; I would understand
How you became the fertile land?
How torn from the Rocks, by thaw and freeze?
It said, Little by Little, by Degrees.
I said to the Plant, I would comprehend
How the life of the Earth to your leaves you send?
How you change the dead soil into flowers and
It said, Little by Little, by Degrees.
I said to a Beast, can you explain
How your flesh and your bones are made from the
How you grew from the Rocks, the Earth and the
It said, Little by Little, by Degrees.
I said to a Man, I would fainly know
How you know what is Right, and what is not so ?
How a man came to know the Good that he sees?
He said, Little by Little, by Degrees.
I said to a Spirit, shining, bright,
How did you gain your robe of light?
How learned the Omnipotent Will, to please?
It sang, Little by Little, by Degrees.
(Will the Brother who sent us these lines be kind
enough to let us know his name ? If he wrote them, we are all the more anxious
to know his name. If he did not write the poem, perhaps he will tell us who
did. Howbeit, we thank him for sending it, and if he has any more of like kind
humming in his heart - well, the latch-string is on the outside.)
* * *
One of our lady readers objects to a sentence in
the article by Brother Brown on "The Secret of Washington's Power," as being
unfair, if not unjust, to the memory of Thomas Paine. The sentence reads:
"Paine wrote and talked; Washington prayed and fought." Perhaps Brother Brown
did not intend any reflection on the author of "Common Sense," yet we can see
that she sentence might be so interpreted. Our lady friend, while not a
partisan of Paine theologically, insists that "Common Sense" did almost as
much for American independence as Washington's sword. Paine himself thought of
it as his great life work, for at his grave there is a little plain slab on
which is inscribed, "Thomas Paine, author of Common Sense." It is true,
furthermore, that to Paine was due the first daring use of the word
"Independence" in those struggles; and it may be added that he was the first
to speak the words "United States." In justice to Paine his lady defender asks
that we give our readers a passage from Blanchard's Life of Paine, which she
encloses in her letter. The passage is as follows:
"At the close of the year 1775," says Calvin
Blanchard in his Life of Paine, "when the American Revolution had progressed
as far as the Battles of Lexington and Bunker Hill, John Adams, Benjamin Rush,
Benjamin Franklin, and George Washington had met together to read the terrible
dispatches they had received. Having done which, they pause in gloom and
silence. Presently Franklin speaks: 'What;' he asks, 'is to be the end of all
this ? Is it to obtain justice of Great Britain, to change the ministry, to
soften a tax? Or is it for' - he paused; the word independence yet choked the
bravest throat that sought to utter it.
"At this critical moment Paine enters. Franklin
introduces him and he takes his seat. He well knows the cause of the
prevailing gloom and breaks the deep silence thus: 'These States of America
must be independent of England. That is the only solution of this question!'
They all rise to their feet at this political blasphemy. But, nothing daunted,
he goes on; his eye lights up with patriotic fire as he paints the glorious
destiny which America, considering her vast resources, ought to achieve and
adjures them to lend their influence to rescue the Western Continent from the
absurd, unnatural, and unprogressive predicament of being governed by a small
island 3,000 miles off. Washington leaped forward, and taking both his hands,
besought him to publish these views in a book.
"Paine went to his room, seized his pen, lost
sight of every other object, toiled incessantly and in December, 1775, the
words, entitled 'Common Sense,' which caused the Declaration of Independence
and brought both people and their leaders face to face with the work they had
to accomplish, was sent forth on its mission. 'That book,' says, Dr. Rush,
'burst forth from the press with an effect that has been rarely produced by
types and paper in any age or country.' "
* * *
MASONRY IN PUBLIC
Dear Brother Newton: - l have just finished
reading your book "The Builders," and am very well pleased with it. It is just
the book I wanted when I was made a Mason, and it seems to me that every Lodge
would be anxious to enlighten its young members by giving them The Builders.
To every man's mind when he is made a Mason, come the questions, what is
Masonry when and where did it originate, and what is its purpose ? And unless
he is started off on the right track, he is very liable to regard it as merely
an order of which he is a member. In the chapter on Universal Masonry I find
"On St. John's Day, December 27th, 1777, the
Antiquity Lodge of London, of which Preston was Master - one of the four
original Lodges forming the Grand Lodge - attended church in a body, to hear a
sermon by its Chaplain. They robed in the vestry, and then marched into the
church, but after the service they walked back to the Hall wearing their
Masonic clothing. Difference of opinion arose as to the regularity of the act,
Preston holding it to be valid, if for no other reason, by virtue of the
inherent right of Antiquity Lodge itself. Three members objected to his ruling
and appealed to the Grand Lodge, he foolishly striking their names off the
Lodge roll for so doing. Eventually the Grand Lodge took the matter up,
decided against Preston and ordered the reinstatement of the three protesting
Do I understand by this that it was not the
custom, at that time, for Lodges to attend, in a body, public services or
gatherings of any kind? Is there no record of earlier gatherings of Masons in
a body, in public?
Sincerely and fraternally
H. W. Hutchings, Montana.
(Public processions of the Fraternity were
frequent in the early days, and have the warrant of long usage, the first
procession, after the "revival," of which we have record, taking place on June
24th, 1721. Of that gathering Anderson says, "Payne, the Grand Master, with
his Wardens and former Grand officers, and the Masters and Wardens of twelve
Lodges, met the Grand Master elect in a Grand Lodge at the liing's Arms
Tavern, St. Paul's Churchyard in the morning, . . and from thence they marched
on foot to the Hall in proper clothing and due form." Anderson continued to
record the annual processions of the Grand Lodge and the Craft on the feast
day, with a few exceptions, for the next twenty-five years; after which time
the processions seem to have journeyed in carriages. This subjected the Grand
Lodge to ridicule, by a mock procession in 1747, whereupon the Grand Lodge
unanimously resolved to discontinue them - nor were they renewed. Such was the
state of things at the time of the difficulty in Antiquity Lodge in 1777; but
that particular instance, as it came to the Grand Lodge, was complicated by
the arbitrary act of Preston in erasing from the roll of the Lodge the names
of the Brethren who objected to his ruling. Perhaps the Grand Lodge,
remembering its own experience and the ridicule heaped upon it, wished to
protect the order from such embarrassments. At any rate, it ruled against
Preston's doctrine of the inherent right of Antiquity Lodge; but the custom of
public Masonic processions was later revived both in England and in this
country. (See article on "Processions" in Mackey's Encyclopedia of
* * *
"AN UNFAIR DEAL"
My Dear Brother and Editor: - I have read with
great interest your very interesting articles in The Builder and would like to
ask your views on the following: Is it not an unfair deal to our unfortunate
fellow men who have lost an arm or even one hand to deny them the privilege of
receiving the degrees ?
Is not their heart just as responsive as ours and
are not they as able to conform to the rules and regulations of the fraternity
as we who have been more fortunate ?
We have had a case come up in our lodge where a
very worthy fellow asked for the degrees which we put up to Grand Lodge asking
for a Special Dispensation allowing us to confer the degrees but on account of
his misfortune of losing his right arm we were denied the Special
Another case which has come to my personal view
was only a short time ago one of our good citizens asked me if it was possible
that on account of his misfortune of losing his hand when eighteen years of
age that he would be denied the degrees to which I was obliged to say that he
would. He answered that he had always said when a boy that as soon as he was
of age he would join the Masons but when he did try he was informed that he
could not on account of his misfortune. He has since raised two boys both of
whom are members of the Craft and it is a very peculiar thing that with a
heart like that, and everything else favorable, there could not be some
arrangement for such a case.
Please let me hear from
others on this subject and oblige.
John L Stafford, Kansas.
* * *
THE MASTER'S HAT AND THE
I have read two explanations of why the Master
wears his hat and is addressed as "Worshipful," neither of which seems as
reasonable as the one I have from some forgotten source years ago. As I have
it, there was a time in the history of the order in England when the
fraternity was quite unpopular and to avoid undue publicity the brothers were
allowed to hold their meetings in monasteries. At that time many churchmen
were members of the order and as a common courtesy the abbots, when members,
were generally elected Masters of Lodges and while presiding wore their mitres
as was their custom. They were entitled to be addressed as "worshipful," so
that the qualifying title and the custom of wearing a hat have had an
honorable origin and have quite a historical significance. The hat gives
dignity and the title ought to carry with it a guaranty of uprightness.
R. F. Kerr, South Dakota.
"What was his name? I do not
know his name;
I only know he heard God's
voice and came.
Brought all he loved across
To live and work for God -
Felled the ungracious oak,
Dragged from the soil
With torrid toil
Thrice-gnarled roots and
With plenty piled the haggard
And at the end, without
No blaring trumpet sounded
out his fame,
He lived, he died; I do not
know his name.
"No form of bronze and no
Show me the place where lie
his moldering bones.
Only a cheerful city stands,
Built by his hardened hands;
Only ten thousand homes,
Where every day
The cheerful play
Of love and hope and courage
These are his monuments and
There is no form of bronze
and no memorial stone."
- Edward Everett Hale
Bishop Burnet, in his "History of His Own Time,"
writes of Sir Harry Vane, that he belonged "to the sect called Seekers, as
being satisfied with no form of opinion yet extant, but waiting for further
"It is an intolerable thought that man and all
other sentient beings are doomed to be completely annihilated. after such long
continued slow progress." - Darwin.
I HAVE HEARD
It is often that I have heard
In the evening of the day.
Often have I seen her shadow
Down the westering way,
Down my road to the westward
Down the road by which I
Yonder, where the sun lies
At the end of time.
It is often that I have heard
"Will you not come back to me
Far have I been straying,
long, long delaying;
But wherever I might be,
Hers are all the bells I hear
All streams which wander
All flowers upon earth
In her heart grow.
It is often that I have
As a lad sighs deep for home,
"How shall one, the many
To the one sure refuge come?
One is one, and there be many
As a blind man toward the
But the most for all their
See her face no more."
- Goeffrey Faber.
THE UNCONQUERED DEAD
Conquered, we shall conquer!
They have not hurt the soul.
For there is another Captain
Whose legions round us roll,
Battling across the wastes of
Till all be healed and whole.
Till, members of one Body,
Our agony shall cease;
Till, like a song thro'
His marching worlds increase;
Till the souls that sit in
Behold the Prince of Peace;
Till the dead Cross break in
Till the God we sacrificed,
With that same love He gave
Stretch out His arms to save
Yea, till God save the
And heals the wounds of
- Alfred Noyes.
ON THE SQUARE
At Limerick, Ireland, an old
bridge was being pulled down which had stood since the days of Queen
Elizabeth, and an old brass Square was found under the foundation stone
bearing date of 1517, and this inscription:
Strive to live with Love and
On the level by the Square."
BY BRO. ASAHEL W. GAGE,
WE often heal that Masonry
enables those who understand it to travel in foreign countries. It is
certainly true that an intelligent study of Masonry draws the individual out
of his own small sphere and, by giving him a broader view, enables him to
travel in those distance realms of thought, where no discordant voices mar the
harmony of eternal law. In every man's mind there exists a universe so grand
that it is in reality a reflection of the great plans of the Grand Architect
of the Universe. Masonry leads the way and unfolds the wondrous mysteries. It
is in this higher psychological sense that Masonry enables those who follow
its precepts to travel in foreign countries.
We also learn that Masonry
enables the traveler to work and receive master's wages and he thereby the
better enabled to support himself and family and contribute to the relief of
the worthy distressed. By wages, however, is meant not alone returns of a
purely financial nature. By studying the Masonic system of symbolism, the
Mason learns to read the laws of Nature and apply them for his betterment. It
makes him of more value to the world and his fellowmen and being of more
value, he receives more for his services. The unfailing law of compensation,
the All Seeing Eye, prevades the innermost recesses of the human heart and
rewards according to merit. It is in this way that the Master Mason works and
receives Master's wages.
A MASTER MASON?
The teachings of Masonry are
not disclosed, its secrets cannot be extorted, no man can receive them until
he is prepared for them. The taking of the Master Mason's obligations does not
make a Master Mason. Masonry points to the Bible as the Great Light for
guidance and to the Arts and Sciences as of value in themselves and in their
suggestions of the great force that is back of them. A conception of this
force, an ability to study by symbol, to prove the unknown by the known, with
the same exact conclusiveness that the geometrician proves the unknown problem
by the axiom and the proven proposition makes the individual a Master Mason.
The admonition to travel in
foreign countries, work and receive Master's wages is an admonition limited
only by the industry and ability of the individual.
SUPPLEMENTAL WORK AFTER TAKING FIRST DEGREE I. KINGS
2. And Solomon sent to Hiram,
5. And behold, I purpose to
build an house unto the name of the Lord my God, as the Lord spake unto David
my father, saying, Thy son, whom I will set upon thy throne in thy room, he
shall build an house unto my name.
6. Now therefore command thou
that they hew me cedar trees out of Lebanon, and my servants shall be with thy
servants; and unto thee will I give hire for thy servants, according to all
that thou shall appoint for thou knowest that there is not among us any that
can skill to hew timber like unto the Sidonians.
8. And Hiram sent to Solomon,
saying, I have considered the things which thou sentest to me for, and I will
do all thy desire concerning timber of cedar and concerning timber of fir.
9. My servants shall bring
them down from Lebanon unto the sea; and I will convey them by sea in floats
unto the place that thou shall appoint me, and will cause them to be
discharged there, and thou shall receive them, and thou shalt accomplish my
desire in giving good for my household.
15. And Solomon had
threescore and ten thousand that bare burdens, and fourscore thousand hewers
in the mountains.
16. Besides the chief of
Solomon's officers which were over the work, three thousand and three hundred,
which ruled over the people that wrought in the work.
2. And the house which King
Solomon built for the Lord the length thereof was threescore cubits, and the
breadth thereof twenty cubits, and the height thereof thirty cubits.
7. And the house, when it was
in building, was build of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so
that there was neither hammer, nor axe, nor any tool of iron heard in the
house while it was in building.
8. The door for the middle
chamber was in the right side of the house; and they went up with winding
stairs into the middle chamber, and out of the middle into the third.
19. And the oracle he
prepared in the house within, to set there the ark of the covenant of the
20. And within the oracle was
a space of twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty
cubits in the height; and he overlaid it with pure gold; and so covered the
altar which was of cedar.
38. And in the eleventh year,
in the month Bul, (which is the eighth month) was the house finished
throughout all the parts thereof, and according to all the fashion of it. So
was he seven years in building it.
SUPPLEMENTAL WORK AFTER TAKING SECOND DEGREE
13. And king Solomon sent and
fetched Hiram out of Tyre
14. He was a widow's son of
the tribe of Naphtali and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in brass, and
he was filled with wisdom and understanding, and cunning to work all works in
brass. And he came to King Solomon, and wrought all his work.
15. For he cast two pillars
of brass, of eighteen cubits high apiece; and a line of twelve cubits did
compass either of them about.
16. And he made two chapiters
of molton brass, to set upon the tops of the pillars; the height of the one
chapiter was five cubits, and the height of the other chapiter was five
17. There were nets of
checker work, and wreaths of chain work, for the chapiters which were upon the
top of the pillars; seven for the one chapiter, and seven for the other
18. So he made the pillars,
and there were two rows round about upon the one net work, to cover the
chapiters that were upon the top of the pillars; and so did he for the other
19. And the chapiters that
were upon the top of the pillars in the porch were of lily work, four cubits
20. And the chapiters upon
the two pillars had pomegranates also above, over against the belly which was
by the net work; and the pomegranates were two hundred in rows round about
upon the other chapiter.
21. And he set up the pillars
in the porch of the temple; and he set up the right pillar, and called the
name thereof Jachin; and he set up the left pillar, and called the name
22. And upon the top of the
pillars was lily work; so was the work of the pillars finished.
46. In the plain of Jordan
did the king cast them, in the clay ground between Succoth and Zarthan.
SUPPLEMENTAL WORK AFTER TAKING THIRD DEGREE
1. And Solomon determined to
build an house for the name of the Lord, and an house for his kingdom.
3. And Solomon sent to Huram,
the King of Tyre, saying, As thou didst deal with David my father, and didst
send him cedars to build him an house to dwell therein, even so deal with me.
4. Behold, I build an house
to the name of the Lord my God, to dedicate it to Him, and to burn before Him
sweet incense, and for the continual shew bread, and for the burnt offerings
morning and evening, on the Sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn
feasts of the Lord our God. This is an ordinance for ever to Israel.
5. And the house which I
build is great; for great is our God above all gods.
6. But who is able to build
Him an house, seeing the heaven, and heaven of heavens, cannot contain Him ?
who am I then, that should build Him an house, save only to burn sacrifices
7. Send me now therefore a
man cunning to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in iron, and in
purple, and crimson, and blue, and that can skill to grave with the cunning
men that are with me in Judah and in Jerusalem, whom David, my father did
8. Send me also cedar trees,
fir trees, and algum trees, out of Lebanon, (for I know that thy servants can
skill to cut timber in Lebanon) and behold, my servants shall be with thy
10. And behold, I will give
thy servants, the hewers that cut timber, twenty thousand measures of beaten
wheat, and twenty thousand measures of barley, and twenty thousand baths of
wine, and twenty thousand baths of oil.
11. Then Huram, the King of
Tyre, answered in writing, which he sent to Solomon, because the Lord hath
loved his people, he hath made king over them.
12. Huram said moreover,
Bessed be the Lord God of Israel, that made heaven and earth, who hath given
to David the king a wise son, endued with prudence and understanding, that
might build an house for the Lord, and an house for His kingdom.
16. And we will cut wood from
Lebanon, as much as thou shalt need, and we will bring it to thee in floats by
sea to Joppa, and thou shall carry it up to Jerusalem.
1. Then Solomon began to
build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem in Mount Moriah, where the Lord
appeared unto David, his father, in the place that David had prepared in the
threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.
3. Now these are the things
wherein Solomon was instructed for the building of the house of God: The
length by cubits after the first measure was three score cubits, and the
breadth twenty cubits.
8. And he made the most holy
house, the length whereof was according to the breadth of the house, twenty
cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty cubits, and he overlaid it with fine
gold, amounting to six hundred talents.
15. Also he made before the
house two pillars of thirty and five cubits high, and the chapiter that was on
the top of each of them was five cubits.
16. And he made chains, as in
the oracle, and put them on the heads of the pillars; and he made an hundred
pomegranates, and put them on the chains.
17. And he reared up the
pillars before the temple, one on the right hand, and the other on the left,
and he called the one on the right hand Jachin, and the name of that on the
BEECHER ON BURNS
(An unknown friend who signs
only his initials writes to say that several years ago he read in the Brooklyn
Eagle the report of an address on "Beecher as a Lecturer," by Dr. Hillis, in
which was quoted an extract from a little known, unpublished lecture by Mr.
Beecher on Robert Burns. He is kind enough to send us the excerpt, and we can
only say that if the whole lecture was of a piece with this passage, it is a
great pity that it was never published in full. The passage, which we believe
our readers will very much appreciate, is as follows:)
His one nature carried enough
for twenty common men of force and of feeling. He never trickled drop by drop
prudentially; he gushed. He never ran a slender thread of silver water; he
came down booming like one of his own streams, which, when a shower has
fallen, rushes down the mountain. All parts of his nature were subject to this
same, sudden overflow. He thought as dragons charge, he felt love as prairies
feel autumnal fires. No man can form an estimate either of the good or bad
that was in him who has not studied Burns' heart, whose tides were deep as the
oceans and sometimes as tempestuous. There was more put into the making of
Burns than any man of his age. That which he had given forth by no means
expressed the whole of what he was. A great deal of his nature lay like undug
treasure and like unpolished gold. His letters were as wonderful as his poems,
and his conversation richer than either. While that half idiot Boswell was
picking up every stray acorn that fell from that rough, rugged oak, old Doctor
Johnson, how much better would it have been if some Ariel had hung upon the
lips of Burns, and recorded the flowers of his inspired eloquence! Now his
spirit walks crowned with praises and wreathed with loving sympathies all over
the habitable globe. And if every man within these twenty four hours the world
around, who should speak the word of Burns with fond admiration were ranked as
his subject, no king on earth would have such a realm; and if such an one
should change a feeling into a flower and cast it down to memory, a mountain
would rise, and he should sit upon a throne of blossoms, now at length without
Just to be good: to keep life
pure from degrading elements, to make it constantly helpful in little ways to
those who are touched by it, to keep one's spirit always sweet, and avoid all
manner of petty anger and irritability--that is an ideal as noble as it is
-- Edward Howard Griggs.