The Builder Magazine

September 1916- Volume II - Number 9

 

THE STORY OF "OLD GLORY" -- THE OLDEST FLAG

BY BRO. JNO. W. BARRY, IOWA

PART III

Again Dec. 27, 1779, at Morristown, N. J., St. John, the Evangelist's Day is celebrated. This meeting held in Arnold Tavern pictured in Fig. 24 where the secretary records 104 present with "Bro." Washington's name (40) at the head of the "visitors" but unfortunately only the last name of each is given, which makes identification in a few cases uncertain, so instead of saying ALL were officers in Washington's Army, 'tis best to say "nearly all." From St. Andrew's Lodge to Lexington in 1775, working in unity and celebrating St. John's Day Dec. 27, 1779, in a meeting attended by Washington and nearly all his officers!--Truly, it is akin to the unobserved power in an electric generator, actuating every move to establish Old Glory in honor. In the usual history there are of course only distant references to Masonry at this time, but enough remains of lodge records to show the inner workings.

 

GENERAL GRAND MASTER PROPOSED

 

This meeting of Dec. 27, 1779, was the meeting that called the first Masonic convention Lodge in America to arrange for a "General Grand Master" in and over the said "Thirteen United States of America." The Convention Lodge met the first Monday in February following. Bro. Mordecai Gist was unanimously elected president. Such an ardent patriot was he, that he named one of his sons "Independence" and the other "States." Later he was G.M. of South Carolina.

 

Bro. Otho Holland Williams, a bright, brave and brawny Mason, was secretary. As to the Masonic Convention about the only result has been a series of like meetings from time to time down even unto our day--but there is no General Grand Master yet. But the meeting is itself a proof that the thought of those brothers was active in matters far beyond the scope of ordinary lodge meetings in time of peace. They had a vision of a great, free country--and by their effort the vision became the FACT.

 

AMERICAN UNION LODGE AND WASHINGTON LODGE NO. 10 JOINT HOSTS TO OVER 500

 

In October, 1779, Washington Lodge No. 10, another military lodge, was instituted with General John Patterson, Master; Col. Benjamin Tupper and Major William Hull, wardens. It met in Starkean's Hall at West Point. This curious lodge building is shown in No. 2541. On June 24, 1782, (42) a joint celebration of St. John's Day was given in honor of the birth of the dauphin of France. The event occurred at West Point in the "Colonnade," a peculiar structure erected by American Union and Washington Lodges for the purpose. It is shown in Fig. 26. (43) Here came Gov. Clinton and other leading men and women of New York and other states to this the only really international celebration of St. John's Day on record. Here over 500 dined and after 13 toasts had been drunk, each announced by 13 guns, "Bro. John Brooks," later governor of Massachusetts, made an able address (44) --and it wasn't devoted exclusively to Masonry either.

 

What a striking proof of Masonry's part in establishing Old Glory-- not theory--not assertion--but the record of a joint meeting of military lodges acting as hosts not alone to the military officers but to civil officers as well in Masonically honoring France-- all engaged in the same effort to establish the great symbol--Old Glory.

 

THE TEMPLE OF VIRTUE

 

In 1782, the military lodges were very active in Washington's Army at Newburgh, N. Y., and the need of a larger meeting place was apparent. On Christmas, 1782, Washington in public orders approved the plan of Israel Evans of American Union Lodge for a public building and Benjamin Trupper of Washington Lodge No. 10 was made superintendent of construction.

 

In No. 27 (45) is the picture of the "Public Building" as it was called in official papers but known to the soldiers as "The Temple of Virtue." The full record of "The Temple" is in newspapers of the time now on file in The Newburgh Historical Society at Newburgh, N. Y.

 

"The Temple of Virtue" was the meeting house of Washington's camp at Newburgh in 1782-3. The original drawing is 7 feet long and 18 inches wide, showing the Temple of Virtue surrounded by the huts of the soldiers. The original sketch, now owned by Luther Tarbell of Boston, was made by William Tarbell of the Seventh Massachusetts Regiment. The late Major E. C. Boynton of the Newburgh Historical Society had a copy made which is now in the Washington's Headquarters Building, Newburgh. The original is several sheets of foolscap pasted together and for ink, the juice of butternuts was used. "The Temple" is minutely described by Major General William Heath giving the capacity and other details. (46) In 1891 the Masons of Newburgh erected a monument there, shown in No. 28. It commemorates a Masonic service never exceeded. The Masons of Newburgh in 1891 joined with the Newburgh Revolutionary Association in erecting the above monument on the site of the "Temple of Virtue." The inscription on the granite tablet on the EAST side is as follows: "This tablet is inserted by the Masonic Fraternity of Newburgh in memory of Washington and his Masonic Compeers under whose direction and plan the "Temple" was constructed and in which communications of the Fraternity were held in 1783." On the "South" the tablet there reads:--

 

"On this ground was erected the "Temple" or new public building by the army of the Revolution 1782-83. The birthplace of the Republic." (47)

 

This monument marks the last meeting place of American Union Lodge as an Army Lodge, but as a regular lodge it is today No. 1 on the register of Ohio. After the Revolution John Heart then its Master with Rufus Putnam and others of the members settled at Marietta, Ohio, and later revived this famous lodge and Rufus Putnam "made" in it became first Grand Master of Ohio.

 

ANOTHER "WEST GATE" SCENE

 

Above all, this monument commemorates the very Keystone of Masonic service in making Old Glory possible. The war had cost $123 per capita, the exhausting effect of which will be better understood when compared with $96 the cost per capita of the late Civil War. (48) So in 1783, Congress found itself in so poor and penniless a situation that it was utterly unable to pay the soldiers even the small amounts long due them. A hat cost $400, a suit of clothes $1600 and a year's pay of a captain would not buy a pair of shoes. (49) Most of the soldiers were waiting and many were exceedingly anxious to receive that which was due them and some of them were determined to wait no longer. Someone in Gate's command circulated unsigned letters among the officers urging that as the war was over--if ever they were going to get their pay it should be "NOW" before they laid down their arms and called a meeting in the "Temple" for March 15, 1783. Here was the direct opportunity for a military dictator--a king--a czar. It was a test of Washington's sincerity of purpose in working eight years without pay for the principle of liberty. What did he do?

 

As soon as Gates called the meeting to order Washington arose and made what eminent historians agree is the most effective speech ever made in America. He well knew for more than seven years they had larbored, honestly toiling, encouraged and buoyed up by the promise that when the war was over they should receive that for which they wrought. And now he was asking them to wait longer and to have an abiding faith in the justice of the republic they had spent eight years to establish. There in the "Temple" where they had met as Masons this address was received as if from the Master of the Combined military lodges. Among many other things said, he made them this vow:--

 

"For myself, a recollection of the cheerful assistance and prompt obedience I have experienced from you under various vicissitudes of fortune, and the sincere affection I feel for the army I have so long had the honor to command will oblige me to declare in this public and solemn manner that for the attainment of complete justice for all your trials and danger, and the gratification of every wish, so far as may be done consistently with the great duty I owe my country and these powers we are bound to respect, you may fully command my services to the utmost extent of my ability." (50)

 

It was in the course of this address that he stopped to read a letter from Congress and excused himself for putting on his glasses--saying "I have grown old in your service and now find myself growing blind." (51) When he finished he withdrew to leave them free to act and behold there could not be found even the traditional three to persist in their murderous designs.

 

THE REAL WASHINGTON

 

This event showed the REAL Washington, and makes one desire to know how the real man looked. There have been so many pictures of him and so widely differing that it may be well to show the real appearance of the man. By order of the legislature of Virginia, Jean Antoine Houdon of Paris, France, the most noted sculptor of his time, came to Mt. Vernon in 1785 and made a plaster cast of Washington's face and head. This plaster cast is still preserved at Mt. Vernon and is considered by competent judges to be the true Washington. The statue itself is in the Capitol at Richmond. Lafayette pronounced it "a facsimile of Washington's person."

 

A nearer view of the face shows the real Brother Washington as he looked about the time he faced the "Roughians" in the "Temple," and made that supreme effort in behalf of American liberty now symbolized in Old Glory.

 

This must ever rank as the most important victory on American soil, namely the converting of those officers and armed men to a full belief in the proposition that

 

"Beneath the rule of men entirely great, The pen is mightier than the sword." From that day "Old Glory" became in very truth the symbol of liberty.

 

 THE FIRST FLAG CAPTURED TAKEN BY A BROTHER MASON

 

Masonry was not confined to Washington's immediate command. In Fig. 29 is shown a photograph of the first flag captured and that too by Bro. Montgomery October 18, 1775, who a little later lost his life that Old Glory might live. This flag is one of the most valued trophies in the United States and is preserved with care in the flag room at West Point.

 

THE GREATEST BAYONET CHARGE

 

In Fig. 30 is shown an event which brought Masonry conspicuously before the world. It is Old Glory's first bayonet charge. European commentators rank it as one of the greatest in the annals of war.

 

When Bro. Washington asked Mad Anthony Wayne if he thought he could storm Stony Point, Irving says Wayne replied that "he could storm hell if Washington would plan it." Washington did plan it and arranged for the attack to be made as soon after "low twelve" as possible. Here is Wayne's letter announcing the result:--

 

"Stony Point, 16th July, 1779, 2 o'clock A. M.  Dear General: The fort and garrison, with Colonel Johnson, are ours. OUR OFFICERS AND MEN BEHAVED LIKE MEN DETERMINED TO BE FREE."

 

MASONRY PERPETUATES THE MEMORY OF THAT FAMOUS CHARGE

 

Famous as was this charge, yet it gave rise to a Masonic event whose remembrance will be green even when the charge is forgotten, for in it the constitution and warrant of an English military lodge were captured. Wayne turned them over to Gen. Samuel Holden Parsons at the time S. W. of American Union Lodge. Bro. Parsons returned them under a flag of truce with the following letter:--

 

"West Jersey Highlands, July 23, 1779, (52)

 

"Brethren:--When the ambition of monarchs or jarring interests of States call forth their subjects to war, as Masons we are disarmed of that resentment which stimulates to undistinguished desolation; and however our political sentiments may impel us in the public dispute, we are still brethren and our professional duty apart ought to promote the happiness and advance the weal of each other.

 

"Accept, therefore at the hands of a brother the Constitution of the Lodge Unity No. 18, to be held in the Seventeenth British Regiment, which your late misfortunes have put in my power to return to you.

 

"I am. Your Brother and Obedient Servant. Samuel H. Parsons.

 

To Master and Wardens of Lodge Unity No. 18 upon the Registry of England." (52)

 

LOYAL, PENNSYLVANIA WARRANTS AN ENGLISH LODGE

 

The astounding thing is not that Brother Masons returned the warrant but the resulting discovery that the warrant of Unity Lodge 18 had been issued by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. It is only recently that such act could be explained as no record was ever made of it by the Grand Secretary. At the battle of Princeton Jan. 3, 1777, the warrant of this unity (169) 18 was captured and now and ever since has been in possession of Union Lodge No. 5 A. F. & A. M., Middletown, Delaware. (53) When the regiment occupied Philadelphia, the Provincial Grand Lodge fell under Tory dominion and a new warrant was issued to Unity Lodge, but changing from the original number of 169 to 18, under which it worked until 1786 when a warrant from Scotland was applied for, as evidenced by the long letter sent from Shelsburne Barracks, Nova Scotia, March 28, 1786, to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania from which the following extracts are made:--

 

"Right Worshipful Brethren: We the Worshipful Master & Wardens of Lodge Unity No. 18 held in this Brittanick Majesty's 17th Reg. of Foot, & under Your Register--having heard a Report which is spread through this Province of Our Warrant being by you Cancelled & that one of the same Number has been granted to a Lodge in Pennsylvania....

 

"We have taken this method of acquainting you that we have wrote to Our Mother Grand Lodge in Scotland, willing to obtain a Duplicate of Our Ancient Warrant No. 169 without as yet receiving any Answer, & we not Expecting that Our said Warrant No. 18 would have been Declared Void, till we might have Obtained the Duplicate of our said antient Warrant.....

 

"We have further to Request you should do us the honor of Communicating to our Worthy friend & Brother General Parsons, the high sense we have of His Unexampled Goodness, in restoring to us our Warrant which happy for us fell into his hands.... His Generous Sentiments shall ever be Remembered by every Brother of No. 18 with the Gratitude due to such benevolence of heart.

 

"Daniel Webb, Master."

 

"OLD GLORY" IN MASON'S CARE UPON THE SEA AS WELL AS ON THE LAND

 

When our brothers on Bunker Hill thrice repulsed the king's hardened regulars fresh from the campaigns of Clive in India the world stood on tiptoe asking what kind of men those Americans were. But when in 1775 our "Navy" of 8 ships with 114 guns was sent to cope with England's 112 battleships with 714 guns, the world was too dazed for utterance.

 

It was a saying of Jones who first raised "Old Glory" on a ship of war, that "Men mean more than guns in the rating of ships. (54) Nor was the proof long in coming. Our "Navy" sailed in December, and in March, 1776, 8 ships with 150 cannons and 130 barrels of powder were captured. During the war, in 18 sea engagements, 17 were won by Old Glory. The closing record stood thus: captured 785 British ships, 15 war ships, 12500 prisoners--all by a force of only 3000 men. (55)

 

The most famous was the Bon Homme Richard against the Seraphis--a victory of undying renown for Bro. John Paul Jones. In Fig. 31 (Color Plate) is shown the flag he then used, now revered as the only existing flag of Bro. Jones and that UNWHIPPED American navy.

 

When, in 1906 the body of Bro. Jones was brought from Paris to Annapolis for more decent interment, his Masonic petition was published as was also the action of his Paris Masonic Lodge, where he was so well known. This lodge after Jones' great victory had his bust made by Jean Antoine Houdon--the most famous sculptor of his time.

 

So when you read the entrancing story of our navy in the Revolution, remember Masonry's part in its planning and in its winning.

 

(40) Vide Grand Lodge Conn. V. 1, p. 37.

(41) Vide History of The Town of New Winsdor, p. 81.

(42) Vide Grand Lodge Conn. V. 1, p. 45 and 46.

(43) Vide Chas. A. Brockaway--American Union Lodge p. 14.

(44) Vide American Union Lodge, Grand Lodge Connecticut, V. 1, p. 46.

(45) Vide History of New Winsdor, p. 81. Also American Union Lodge Charles A. Brockaway, p. 12.

(46) Vide History of New Winsdor, p. 81.

(47) Vide New Age 1908 Charles A Brockaway's article. Also History of the Town of New Windsor, p. 81-3.

(48) Military Policy of the United States. Maj. Gen. Emory Upton, Senate Document No. 499, p. 66.

(49) Vide same, p. 51.

(50) Vide Irving's Washington, V. 4, p. 55.

(51) Vide Journal of American History.

(52) Vide Old Lodges of Pennsylvania, Julius F. Sachse, p. 362. Original letter and later correspondence now in possession of Pa. Grand Lodge

(53) Vide Old Lodges of Pa., Julius F. Sachse, p. 388.

(54) Vide Paul Jones Commemoration U. S. Gov. Print.

(55) Vide Hamilton L. Carson, p. 135 Sq., VI Modern Eloquence.

----o---

 

MASONIC LIGHT

 

Sometimes within the shadows of the night,

There slips from out the hollow of my hand.

A concept of the True, Eternal Light

I do not understand.

 

Yet I despair not, and will always strive;

Putting behind me, failures that are past,

With Purity, to Think, and Act, and Live

Till I can hold it fast.

 

----o----

 

MASONIC SOCIAL SERVICE: A HOSPITAL FOR CRIPPLED CHILDREN

BY BRO. JOSEPH C. GREENFIELD, GEORGIA

 

MASONRY is pre-eminently a constructive institution. Founded upon an operative art, claiming descent directly from a band of actual workmen, it is essentially a "building up" fraternity. But it has changed from an operative to a speculative art. Its members no longer roam over the country erecting cathedrals and monuments of public interest, and affixing their own peculiar marks to the hewn stones they used. They now appeal to the spiritual and philosophic part of man's nature, to the intellectual and not to the material side of his being. But the craft is still none the less a building one. It now builds character; it builds humanitarian impulses; it rounds out and completes the altruistic sentiment; it impels men to the recognition of their duty to distressed and unfortunate humanity.

 

The world today is full of eleemosynary institutions. Homes, Hospitals, Retreats of one kind or another, appeal to the hearts of men for aid and support. It would appear on the surface that almost every phase of human need had been provided for. And yet one of the most striking of these phases has been neglected, and that is the cure or benefit of helpless children, who through disease, poverty, heredity or neglect have become crippled and deformed, and who can only look forward to a life of pain, humiliation and dependence.

 

The number of institutions devoted to this class of sufferers is so small that they can almost be counted on the fingers of one hand. Many surgeons will not treat them at all; results are often slow, and when it is remembered that as a rule the majority of those afflicted are from that class of citizenship utterly unable to meet the heavy charges made by those competent to effect a cure, the outlook is almost hopeless.

 

Realizing this fact, recognizing that a wondrous field for a charity that would be constructive in its nature, and beneficial to the social fabric in general, was before them; and in acknowledgment of a duty owed to humanity; the Scottish Rite Bodies located in Atlanta, Georgia, in September, 1915, opened up, and put into successful operation, the Scottish Rite Convalescent Hospital for Crippled Children. This is not a Home, nor an Orphanage, nor a Retreat, - it is a Hospital for the cure of such afflictions. Operations are performed when necessary, and every attention known to modern medical skill is given the little patients.

 

The Institution is operated along the broadest possible lines. It is purely a Charity; there never has been, nor will there ever be, any pay wards. The most progressive and skillful faculty in the South serves every department. The question of religious affiliation, of State residence, of Masonic connection, is never asked. The urgency of the case, and its probability of cure governs the question of precedence in the admission of applicants. Already children from Florida, from Alabama, from both the Carolinas, as well as from Georgia, have been inmates. The only queries are: Can the child be benefited? and, Is the parent or guardian unable to pay for the service ?

 

Many of the cases are of surpassing interest. One little girl had curvature of the spine so aggravated that the left shoulder was only four inches from the hip. When placed in the plaster, and asked if she was in pain, she said: "Yes, but just think, I am going to be straight." Another, a bright boy of sixteen, who walked or rather crawled on his hands and knees, had his legs operated on. After the casts were taken off, he leaned upon a crutch, and said to a visitor: "This is the first time I ever stood erect." Still another in addition to deformed feet, had hands so twisted that he was unable to lift food to his mouth. His feet were corrected, his hands operated on, and he can now clasp yours, can minister to his own needs, and in time will be a normal man.

 

And thus the story goes, club feet, spinal curvature, infantile paralysis, Pott's disease and a dozen other kindred ailments have come to the institution. In connection with it a free clinic is operated, and local cases are cared for there, and in their homes; thus leaving the hospital proper for the use of those from a distance.

 

Although the hospital has only been in operation about six months, already one hundred and fifty‑two patients have received attention either at the institution itself, or at the clinic.

 

Every type of infantile deformity has come under our care. The processes of cure are oftimes tedious and long drawn out. Patients are sent home for a brief season and come back to have their bandages or casts removed or new operations performed. Starting with room for twenty constant patients, so carefully have the plans been worked out, that none stay longer than is absolutely necessary, and thus every human being that loves his fellows; that feels the facility is being worked at full pressure. Several perfect cures have already been effected, and all under treatment promise a return to normal childhood, or a close approach to it.

 

You should go out and see what is being done with the money of the Rite. The scene is sad, but uplifting and inspiring. You will come back a better man for your visit, and proud of the fact that you are a unit in a fraternity that is doing so much to make wealth producers instead of wealth consumers, and is opening up to hopeless and helpless children a future from which many of the clouds have been driven, and some portion of the happiness of living to which they are entitled, made possible for them.

 

Plans are now being perfected, looking to a great extension of the Institution and to placing it on a stable and permanent basis. It is the desire of the Board of Governors to erect fireproof concrete buildings, with operating rooms, nurses' homes, isolation wards and all the equipment of an up‑to‑date, progressive and effective organization. To do this, outside assistance must be secured. It was not intended at the outset that the Scottish Rite bodies should assume all the burden of its support. Their limit has almost been reached, and the need is so urgent that the great loving heart of humanity must be enlisted. It is intended that the Scottish Rite Masons of Atlanta and Georgia shall control its actions and direct its policy. It is their institution; it was originated by them; they are now fostering it; and it is a visible expression of their love for the distressed and afflicted.

 

But a charity of this kind is universal in its appeal. It appeals to Scottish Rite Masons because it was begun and is being carried on by them. It appeals to all Masons, because it epitomizes within itself that great fundamental doctrine of the Craft - the Brotherhood of Man.

 

It appeals to the business man, because it tends to relieve the community of those who may in the future become a charge on the public treasury.

 

It appeals to parents who rejoice in the fact that their own loved ones are perfectly formed and normal boys and girls.

 

It appeals to every human being that loves his fellows; that feels the tender touch of a little child's love and gratitude; that can feel sympathy for a baby bearing the  burden of neglect and disease; to every one that recognizes that he has been placed on earth for a purpose, and that a great part of that purpose is the radiation of hope and happiness among those with whom he comes in contact, or whose needs are brought before him.

 

To the end that our hopes may be brought to fruition, and that our opportunities for doing good may be made commensurate with the demands upon us, we invite the co‑operation of every one who abhors suffering and loves humanity.

 

----o----

 

TOLERATION

 

BY BRO. WM. F. KUHN, P.G.M. MISSOURI

 

The superficial thinker ascribes all intolerance in the world to religious creeds, and, ignorantly, thinks that the great day of universal toleration will be ushered in, when all creeds are torn down and destroyed. He fails to recognize the fact that it is not so much a question of creeds, but that intolerance is the natural product of a dwarfed and misshapen intellectuality, the adopted child of a sterile spirituality; that toleration is the offspring of a broad and comprehensive intellectual development and the legitimate heir of a virile, active and sympathetic spirituality.

 

Man is the only animal which has evolved the power of speech; speech implies words, or the sign of an idea; words are the precursors of thought. To think is to reason and to form a judgment; reason and judgment are the basis of a belief. Man is a believing being, because he thinks. Even a disbelief, however paradoxical it may seem, is, when reduced to its ultimate analysis, a belief.

 

A creed is but a systematized belief, whether such belief or beliefs refer to the physical, intellectual, or moral nature. It is impossible to conceive of a man, with his intellectual nature, without a belief, and it is equally impossible to conceive of a man with his spiritual nature, without a creed. If such a sentient being exists, he is either suffering from an intellectual, or a spiritual vacuity, or both. A man without an intellectual belief would be an intellectual monstrosity, and a man without a religious creed would be a spiritual idiot. It might be well to note the man, or any organization of men, who talk loud and long about dogmas and creeds, who rail at churches for their supposed intolerance, because, if you scratch such a man or such an organization, you will find under the epidermis a most intolerable bigot or bigots, and so full of creeds to bursting. An intellectual belief and a religious creed are a part of man; the two are so intimately interwoven in his two-fold nature that to divorce them would destroy the personality of the man. An intellectual or scientific belief is made up of the same material as a religious creed. If the science of Geology and Palaeontology can borrow millions of years, if the physical sciences demand an ion, if the science of evolution postulates a primordial cell, why should it be thought incredible or unscientific for our spiritual nature to postulate a God? No, it is neither incredible nor unscientific for the pilot-man to use his religious creed as the chart, his intellectual belief as the compass, that will enable him to guide his ship by treacherous shoals, through the narrows, through the darkness and storm, into the sunlit harbor of a well rounded and successful life.

 

A belief in God and immortality is a great and universal fact; a fact that science and philosophy must recognize. The underlying truth and force of all religions, is man's belief in a God and a hope of eternal life. Religion did not give birth to this faith and hope, but this creed of a belief in God and a hope of eternal life gave birth to religion. That man is a religious being, is a universal phenomenon. This religious sentiment is "Like the finger of God writing upon the soul, age by age a new and ever renewing destiny." It is ever reaching out and endeavoring to comprehend a Supreme Intelligence, an Infinite Creator, a just, holy and benevolent Father. This effort of our spiritual nature is not derived from any of our physical senses; for no physical sensation can be transformed into hope, love, or faith. Man knows that his spiritual nature and the phenomena of his spiritual nature can not be described in the terms of the physical universe. A thought can not be measured by a rule. Spiritual pain or joy can not be weighed in a balance. Hope and love can not be solved by the binomial theorem, nor can our soul's desire be revealed by mystical numbers.

 

This belief in God and hope in eternal life has its root deep in the heart of humanity. The wise sage and the untutored savage have alike pondered the question, "If a man die, shall he live again?" The cradle asks the question, "Whence came I," and the coffin asks, "Whither go I?" Man is conscious of his duality, although he may be unacquainted with the simplest philosophical or metaphysical speculation. Primitive and childlike man, in the early history of the race, grasped in his feeble way that there is a God and that he was immortal. Even the barbarian may cry:--

 

"Whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire

This longing after immortality ?

Or whence this secret dread

And inward horror of falling into naught?

Why shrinks the soul back on herself

And startles at destruction?

'Tis the Divinity that stirs within us,

'Tis Heaven itself that points an hereafter,

And intimates eternity to man."

 

Man, therefore, as he stands in the presence of his intellectual and spiritual nature, worships, and builds for himself a creed. Whether the creed that he erects is tolerant or intolerant depends, absolutely, on his conception of Deity. It might be said, as a man's God is, so is he. The early Hebraic creed considered God as a God of terror, of vengeance, and of wrath; that he was a tribal, racial, or national God only. About such a belief was built a self centered, intolerant creed. Intolerant because it was selfish, for selfishness is the mother of intolerance. But the belief as taught, especially, by the Prophet Isaiah, and which today shines with such an effulgent splendor in the life and teachings of Christ, is far different. It teaches that God is a God of love, a God of forgiveness; that the Kingdom of God is not an empty ceremonial or outward display, but it is in the hearts of men; that its fruits are justice, mercy and service; a kingdom not established by the sword and by race prejudice, but a kingdom of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood man. Such a creed is free of selfishness; it is altogether altruistic. It is tolerant, because it bears within the Gospel of Love.

 

"Teach me to feel each other's woes,

Each other's burdens bear."

 

The Gospel of Love is the world's panacea for intolerance. Freemasonry has such a creed. It is even dogmatic and unchangeable. It is, "I believe in God, the Father Almighty." This does not mean a belief in some notion of a God, some abstract formula, some metaphysical or geometrical demonstration, but it means the God as revealed in the sacred volume on our Altar, as taught in that "Inestimable gift of God to an."

 

Freemasonry in this short creed has no quarrel, or is it intolerant to Jew, Gentile, Mohammedan or Hindu for their faith and trust as revealed in their Sacred Books. Freemasonry has no quarrel with the an who has no conception of Deity and who has no sacred Book from which to draw his inspiration and hope; but Freemasonry believes in God, the Father, and he who can not accept this simple creed must remain outside of our portals.

 

This simple dogmatic creed is the very fundamental principle of Freemasonry. It is the cleavage between belief and unbelief; upon it we build our beautiful system of morals; upon it we base our belief in the brotherhood of man. Freemasonry without its belief in God, the Father, and its imperative corollary, the Brotherhood of man, would be a sham and a sacrilegious pretense. Upon this creed Freemasonry must stand. If we can not accept it, then let us take down our Charters, close the sacred Volume on our Altar, lock the doors of our halls and temples, and retire from the world's moral activities as a soulless and spiritless Fraternity.

 

Freemasonry is not a church. It does not design to establish a universal church, as some would foolishly believe, neither does it purpose to disestablish any church; it makes no war on church-creeds, but is tolerant toward every religious faith and belief; it respects and honors every genuine believer, whatever his individual or his church creed may be. No man who believes in the Fatherhood of God can be other than tolerant.

 

"There is a wideness in God's mercy

Like the wideness of the sea;

There's a kindness in his justice

Which is more than liberty.

For the love of God is broader

Than the measure of man's mind

And the heart of the Eternal

Is most wonderfully kind."

 

The most tolerant teacher that ever lived, was presaged by the Prophet when he said: "And his name shall be called Wonderful, the Prince of Peace." Why ? Because "He united love to God, with love to man; courage to caution, perfect freedom from form, and reverence for the substance in all forms, hatred for sin and love for the sinner." He turned duty into happiness, wrote the laws into the heart, helped us to walk in the spirit of love; for love begets toleration, and by it lifts the world to the highest plane of peace and good will. Listen to the great moral code that he gave to man :--

 

"Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye also unto

them."

 

Hear his dogmatic creed which amounts to a positive command:--

 

"Thou shalt love the Lord, thy God, with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy strength, and thy neighbor as thyself."

 

"This commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another."

 

The following are the graces that flow from obedience to this creed:--

 

"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy."

 

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend."

 

"But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith."

 

"Neither do I condemn you, go, sin no more."

 

"Father forgive them, for they know not what they do."

 

Are these intolerant words ? They are old and may even sound trite, but they are the very soul of toleration, welling up from a deep, profound spirituality, and are ringing clearer, stronger, deeper and fuller as years roll into thousands of centuries.

 

This self same spirit of toleration should be the crowning glory of Freemasonry. To the critics of Freemasonry, the religious zealot, on the one hand, who denounces Freemasonry as Godless, and, on the other hand, to the dwarfed intellectual and spiritual concept that declares Freemasonry is intolerant because it demands a belief in "The one living and true God," we can but quote the words of the peace-loving Whittier:

 

"Who fathoms the eternal thought ?

Who talks of schemes and plans ?

The Lord is God. He needeth not

The poor device of man

I walk with bare, hushed feet the ground

Ye tread with boldness shod,

I dare not fix with mete and bound

The love and power of God."

 

Toleration should be written deep in the soul of every member of our Fraternity. For Freemasonry is out of necessity an aid to every agency that has for its end the amelioration of the human family. While it is not a church, it draws its inspiration from the same source and walks hand in hand with the church in the broad field of humanity's need. It can not from its very inception antagonize religion, because it stands today as the proud champion of religion and religious liberty; the foe of irreligion and irreligious liberty; for freedom, but not license; for tolerance, but not anarchy; for civil liberty, but not tyranny; for purity, but not shame; for patriotism, but not treason; for sobriety, but not intemperance; for hope, but not despair; for love, but not hate. Freemasonry knows no nationality, but its kingdom is in the hearts of men. Its power lies not in the sword on the field of battle, but in the silent, yet potent, force of the individuality of its members. It has a foundation, tolerant, solid, eternal. Upon it we erect our moral temple and adorn it with the foliage and flowers of a life whose feet are swift to run on missions of love, whose knees are ever humble in the recognition of Divine favors, whose heart is expanding in charity, whose hand will raise the fallen, and whose lips will bring joy and gladness. It is altruistic, not egotistic. The spirit of Freemasonry is preeminently progressive, and while it not only inculcates moral truths, it also demands advancement along the line of scholastic development. It is the promoter and encourager of every art and science that has for its end the uplifting of man. It would appeal to the aesthetic, to the philosophic, and would surround the mind and heart with everything that can beautify and adorn man.

 

The spirit of Freemasonry is that which tuned the harp for the immortal strains of a Handel; a Haydn, and a Mendelssohn; that touched the deep and majestic tone of a Milton, the spiritual sweetness of a David, the genius of an Addison, a Whittier, a Longfellow, and a Tennyson; that sounded the depths of unlimited space and brought forth the music of countless worlds to the enchanted ear of a Kepler and a Newton; that descended into the earth and unfolded its pages, penned in the rocks of centuries, to a Gray and Agassiz; that touched the brush of a Raphael and the chisel of an Angelo and made canvas, fresco and rocks speak in living realities. That spirit that came like a gentle wind and dispersed the metaphysical fog of ancient philosophy, dethroned its selfishness and placed it upon the only sure foundation, that "I am my brother's keeper."

 

From such a creed will bloom into eternal freshness and renewing youth, that all prevading sweetness, that calm reliance, that loving toleration as expressed by Whittier:

 

"No offering of my own I have,

Nor works my faith to prove;

I can but give the gifts He gave,

And plead his love for love.

And so beside the silent sea

I wait the muffled oar,

No harm from Him can come to me,

On ocean or on shore.

I know not where His islands lift

Their fronded palms in air;

I only know I can not drift

Beyond his love and care."

 

----o----

ANOTHER YEAR

 

It is a great thing to have forty years behind you without any great catastrophe and shame. As time goes on, I think I feel more and more vividly a sense of relief when those I love are safely through another year: the sense of relief is still keener in relation to myself, for I suppose every man thinks his own perils the greatest. The ice cracks in such unexpected places - the ship is too apt to strike on rocks where the chart gave no warning of them - that mere safety seems to me a much greater reason for thankfulness than it used to be. To do some great thing is the ambition of youth; to do quiet duty honestly and without serious falls, satisfies the heart when youth disappears.

 

- R. W. Dale.

 

----o----

 

BROTHERHOOD

 

There shall rise from this confused sound of voices

A firmer faith than that our fathers knew,

A deep religion which alone rejoices

In worship of the Infinitely True,

Not built on rite or portent, but a finer

And purer reverence for a Lord diviner.

 

There shall come from out this noise of strife a groaning

A broader and a juster brotherhood,

A deep equality of aim, postponing

All selfish seeking to the general good.

There shall come a time when each shall to another

Be as Christ would have him - brother unto brother

 

There shall come a time when knowledge wide extend

Seeks each man's pleasure in the general health

And all shall hold irrevocably blended

The individual and the commonwealth;

When man and woman in an equal union

Shall merge, and marriage be a true communion.

 

There shall come a time when brotherhood shows stronger

Than the narrow bounds which now distract the world;

When the cannons roar and trumpets blare no longer,

And the ironclad rusts, and battle flags are furled;

When the bars of creed and speech and race, which sever,

Shall be fused in one humanity forever.

 

- Lewis Morris.

 

----o----

 

SHAKESPEARE

 

Others abide our question. Thou art free.

We ask and ask - thou smilest and art still,

Out topping knowledge. For the loftiest hill,

Who to the stars uncrowns his majesty,

Planting his steadfast footsteps in the sea,

Making the heaven of heavens his dwelling‑place,

Spares but the cloudy border of his base

To the foiled searching of mortality;

And thou, who didst the stars and sunbeams know,

Self‑schooled, self‑scanned, self‑honored, self‑secure,

Didst tread on earth unguessed at - Better so!

All pains the immortal spirit must endure,

All weakness which impairs, all griefs which bow,

Find their sole speech in that victorious brow.

 

- Matthew Arnold.

 

----o----

 

HAPPINESS

 

It's not in titles nor in rank,

It's not in wealth like Lon'on bank,

To purchase peace and rest.

If happiness hae not her seat

And center in the breast,

We may be wise, or rich, or great,

But never can be blest.

 

- Robert Burns.

 

----o----

 

THE DOCTRINE OF THE BALANCE

 

BY JOSEPH FORT NEWTON

 

READERS of Albert Pike will recall the stately pages with which Morals and Dogma closes, setting forth, in a manner unforgetable, the Doctrine of the Balance. Many had taught this truth before time out of mind, no one more impressively than the man whom Pike was richly indebted, (1) but his exposition is none the less his own. With vast labor he brings together his findings, showing that to this result the wisdom of the ages runs, what the sages have thought equally with what the mystics have dreamed. Always it is a triad, suggested by the ancient idea of the number Three, the singular, the dual and the plural, the odd and even added, and the great emblem of the Triangle--symbol of perfection. It is seen in all Masonic symbolism, from end to end and at every step of the Mystic quest for the secret which every Mason is seeking.

 

Eloquently, and with every variation of emphasis and illustration, he lays the matter before us, carrying it into all the fields of human activity and aspiration. Sympathy and Antipathy, Attraction and Repulsion, Fate and Freedom, each a fact of life and a force of nature, are contraries alike in the universe and in the soul of man, wherein we see eternity in miniature. As the earth is held in its orbit by the action of opposing forces, so truth is made up of two opposite propositions, as peace lies in the union of motion and rest, and harmony is the fruit of seeming war. Here he finds the solution of the problem of the One and the Many, of the Infinite and the Finite, of Unity amidst Manifoldness: the principle of the Balance, the secret of the universal equilibrium:

 

"Of that Equilibrium in the Deity, between the Infinite Divine Wisdom and the Infinite Divine Power; from which result the Stability of the Universe, the unchangeableness of the Divine Law, and the Principles of Truth, Justice, and Right which are a part of it; . . Of that Equilibrium also, between the Infinite Divine Justice and the Infinite Divine Mercy, the result of which is the Infinite Divine Equity, and the Moral Harmony or Beauty of the Universe. By it the endurance of created and imperfect natures in the presence of a Perfect Deity is made possible; . .

 

Of that Equilibrium between Necessity and Liberty, between the action of the Divine Omnipotence and the Free-will of man, by which vices and base actions, and ungenerous thoughts and words are crimes and wrongs, justly punished by the law of cause and consequence, though nothing in the universe can happen or be done contrary to the will of God; and without which co-existence of Liberty and Necessity, of Free-will in the creature and Omnipotence in the Creator, there could be no religion, nor any law of right and wrong, or merit or demerit, nor any justice in human punishments or penal laws.

 

And, finally, of that Equilibrium, possible in ourselves, and which Masonry incessantly labors to accomplish in its Initiates, and demands of its Adepts and Princes (else unworthy of their titles between the Spiritual and Divine and the Material and human in man; between the Intellect, Reason, and Moral Sense on one side, and the Appetites and Passions on the other, from which result the Harmony and Beauty of a well-regulated life." (2)  And so on, through a passage of singular elevation both of language and of thought, we are led by an ancient truth which becomes a vision in the mind of a nobler thinker. My design is not to add to his exposition, but to apply it with emphasis and illustration, if so that it may be brought home to our "business and bosom" and be of real service to us in the life which we live together, and in the life which each must live alone. For it is the high service of Masonry that it puts a man in the straight path which the wisest of the race have walked, leading him midway between the falsehood of extremes, and bringing the highest teaching of the past to the uses of the present. After all, how to live is the one matter; and he is wise who joins the goodly Shakespeare gospel of Courage, Sanity and Pity with that other Gospel of Faith, Hope, and Love. Every man will need all the aid he can get, unless he be content, as no real man can be, to live in the world as a mere looker-on at a drama in which others are actors,

 

"In God's vast house a curious guest,  Seeing how all works take their flight."

 

From bottom to top life is a contradiction and a paradox, and the beginning of wisdom is to know that fact and adjust ourselves to it. Light and darkness, heat and cold, mind and matter, fate and free-will, asceticism and indulgence, socialism and anarchy, dogmatism and doubt, reason and authority--no man may ever hope to live long enough, much less to think deeply enough, to harmonize these paradoxes. The way of wisdom is to accept both facts in each case, as the Two Pillars of a Temple of Truth, and walk between them into the hush of the holy place. Either one, without the other, is only a half-truth which ends in perversion, if not in insanity, turning the hearty, wholesome, clear seeing spirit of manhood into the pitiful narrowness and hardness of a bigot or a fanatic.

 

For example: "All is free- that is false: all is fate--that is false. All things are free and fated-- that is true." (3) It is possible to make an argument in behalf of fatalism so freezing that one is left with the feeling that he is no more responsible for his thoughts and acts, than he is for the shape of his head and the color of his eyes. Having listened to such an argument, each of us may say, as Dr. Johnson did, (4) "I know I am free, and that's the end on it." On the other side, one can present a thesis in proof of the freedom of man so convincing that fate seems a fiction. Both are true, and the great truth consists of two opposites which are not contradictory--that it is the Fate of man to be Free if he fights for it, approves himself worthy of it, uniting his will with the Will of the Master of the World! Otherwise, we men are slaves journeying downward "to the dust of graves," slaves of greed and passion and a fatal folly.

 

Asceticism is one extreme, indulgence another. One would repress every natural instinct in behalf of a pale, wan purity; the other would follow every fancy, driven hither and yon by every gust of passion, at the mercy of every caprice. Between the two lies temperance, keeping the balance between two absurdities, making a right use of everything, and abusing nothing; its motto the wise words of the old Greeks, "In nothing too much." Socialism seems to hold that the State is everything, the Individual nothing--or at best only a cog in a vast machine, an atom in an indistinguishable blur. Anarchy makes the State nothing, and the Individual everything--each a law unto himself, and chaos at the end. Between the two lies the way of wise government in which "Freedom slowly broadens down from precedent to precedent," or grows gladly up from the life of a just and intelligent people. There are certain things which every man must surrender in behalf of the common good, and other things which it were a sin to abdicate, the while a shifting, zig-zag line runs between dividing the man from the mass.

 

By the same token, in religion Dogmatism affirms everything, makes a map of the Infinite, and an atlas of Eternity, so certain is it of things whereof no man knoweth. It talks of God as if He were a man in the next room. It knows the origin of all things, and the final destiny of humanity. Doubt denies everything, questions the competence of the human mind to know Divine things, leaving us with the assurance that nothing is certain but uncertainty; nothing secure but insecurity. Again it is the doctrine of the balance, as in the natural world peace is found amid the poise of powers. Between dogmatism and doubt is a wise and reverent Faith, which dares to say, "Now we know in part--a tiny part, no doubt--but knowledge is real as far as it goes, and what we know gives us confidence in the vast Unknown. And so we make bold to trust the ultimate decency of things and the veiled kindness of the Father of men, assured that He who has brought us to where we are will lead us to where we ought to be !"

 

Of this fundamental paradox of life the Cross is the symbol. Older than Christianity, as old, almost, as human life, it is the supreme symbol of the race. When man first emerged from the "old dark backward and abysm of time," he had a cross in his hand. Where he got it, what he meant by it, many may conjecture but no one knows. The Cross, like life itself, is also a collision and a contradiction--its four arms pointing every whither, making it the great guide-post of free thought. As long as a man keeps his poise, never forgetting the profound paradox at the heart of all high thought, he may think as far and as fast as his mind can go. For many of us, of course, the Cross is hallowed anew and forever by the name of One whose life was a tragedy, whose love was heroic in its gentleness, who wins by "that strange power called weakness," whose character is the sovereign wonder of the world, and whose spirit is the holiest tradition of humanity.

 

Since this is so, since the way of sanity, if not of salvation, lies in keeping our balance, why is it that men lose their poise ? No man of us, when he thinks of the days agone, but recalls acts which he not only regrets, but which puzzle him by their strange stupidity. He would give almost as much to be able to understand them as he would to forget them. Why is this so? Shakespeare has much to teach us here, much of abiding profit to remember, if so that we may understand the past and make a better use of the future. He everywhere shows that tragedy is the fruit of treachery, and that treachery has its roots in obsession (5) -- some one thing that gets so close to the mind that it can see nothing else, blinds it, preys upon it, making a man first a fanatic, and then, it may be, a criminal. Macbeth was a man of noble nature; his wife was a lovely lady. They became obsessed with ambition for place and power, and to what dark depths of sin and shame that mad blindness led them that terrible tragedy tells us. This lesson, taught so often by our supreme poet, is for each of us, teaching us to keep our poise, and to flee an obsession as a plague. Whatever fastens itself upon the mind, shutting out the light, marring the proportions and perspectives of things, forebodes disaster.

 

Perhaps it is physical passion. If so, it will turn love into lust and make the world a bawdy-house. It may be political ambition, and a man throws everything to the winds in order to win, forgetting that no office on earth is worth the sacrifice of integrity--and, also, if he wins by trickery he is unfit to hold it. It may be religion. Think of the crimes unspeakable, the brutalities unbelievable, which have been committed by men in a frenzy of fanatical bigotry--dipping their hands in blood and thinking they were doing the will of God ! They were madmen. Plato said that all men are more or less insane, and that the man whom we put in a straight-jacket is only a little more emphatically out of his mind than the rest of us. The more reason, then, why we should keep our poise and walk the quiet way of sanity and charity, in love of God and man.

 

After this manner we expound the Doctrine of the Balance, as taught by Pike, reminding our Brethren, as we remind ourselves, that the wisdom of life lies in freedom, serenity, and forgiveness, in victory by selfsurrender to the highest laws of life, and that we dare not turn either to the right or the left. By such teaching men become happy and free; in this way we may grow old without being sad, and wise without being cynical; and learn, at last, that everlasting gentleness which is the highest wisdom man may win from the hard facts and the often strange medley of his days. Let us also lay to heart the prayer quoted by Pike:

 

"Let Him, the ever-living God, be always present in thy mind; for thy mind itself is His likeness, for it, too, is invisible and impalpable, and without form. As He exists forever, so thou also, when thou shalt put off this which is visible and corruptible, shalt stand before Him forever, living and endowed with knowledge."

 

(1) Eliphas Levi. Digest of his Writings. translated by A.E. Waite, especially pp. 79-83.

(2) Morals and Dogma, pp. 859-60.

(3) Life of F.W. Robertson, p. 32, note.

(4) Life of Johnson, by Boswell.

(5) Shakespeare, by John Masefield.

 

THE USE AND SYMBOLISM OF COLOR IN MASONRY

 

BY BRO. FRANK C. HIGGINS, NEW YORK

 

The subject of color in connection with Masonry is one which has received very little attention from students, in the past, but it is nevertheless one which is susceptible to some extremely fascinating speculations and, to the writer's notion, deserves greater attention than has hitherto been accorded it.

 

In Symbolic Masonry we encounter reference to but three, the alternating black and white of the Mosaic pavement denoting the "dual principle"; the pure white of the Lily and the Blue color attributed to the Lodge and the Heavens which it is said to imitate in certain particulars. From the latter consideration we derive various notes of blue in lodge regalia and decorations. The Green of the Acacia, though not dwelt upon, supplies the final note on Immortality.

 

In Capitular Masonry, the prevailing color is Red and much weight is given to the colors of the four Veils, respectively Scarlet, Blue, Purple and White, which are self-evidently representations of those employed in the Tabernacle and subsequent Temples of Israel. Red is the color of Vulcan, god of Fire, whom the Jews called Tubal-Cain and whose number is 9, or 3 times 3.

 

If we are willing to accept the theory that in the original intention of the sequence of Masonic degrees, "Symbolic" Masonry was to represent the birth, education or development and final test of the perfected soul, and "Capitular" Masonry to symbolize the return of the liberated soul to the source of its being, we shall have no difficulty, whatsoever, in assimilating the presence of these colors in Lodge and Chapter, as indicated, with the ancient Semitic philosophy, in which Old Testament Theology and, consequently, Masonry, had its rise.

 

The old Chaldean cosmogony, which impressed the Egyptian, Phoenician and Hebrew cults alike, regarded the Soul as a spark of the Divinity, precipitated to Earth, through the spheres of the Seven planets and the Zones of the Four Elements, gathering in the course of its journey, its mental, moral and spiritual attributes from the first group and its physical elements from the second.

 

The original King Solomon's Temples were the Zigurrats of Salmannu Sar* (Shalmanesar) of which the seven stepped or staged Temple of Bel at Borsippa, the trans-Euphratean suburb of Babylon, was, perhaps, the leading example. They were square edifices, like a nest of seven boxes, one above the other, on a diminishing scale and joined by outer staircases. Beginning with Saturn the most distant and slowest of the planets to make a complete circuit of the ecliptic, they responded to the correct sequence of the heavenly bodies in question, as known to the ancients, and had attributed to them the colors of the spectrum, in the order of their refrangibility.

 

The lowermost or Saturn stage was, however, colored black, the next or Jupiter stage was Orange colored, the Mars stage Red, the Sun stage gold, the Venus stage pale yellow, that of Mercury blue, and that of the Moon silver. Blue is therefore the color universally symbolic of Hermes and the Hermetic philosophy on which Freemasonry is based.

 

Each of these stories was a temple to the presiding god of the Planet it represented and a school of the science attributed to it. Thus the final stage in the education of the neophyte was in the "Blue" edifice, prior to his admission to the uppermost or, by reason of the peculiar construction of the Temple, middle chamber, which was the observatory of the Priest Astronomers and Astrologers, who were the interpreters of the will of the gods to mankind and the direct servitors of their divine messenger Nebo, Mercury or Hermes.

 

The Hebrews in their re-fashioning of the Chaldean cult, substituted the imagery of Jacob's seven stepped ladder, which figure the Egyptians were also familiar with, as evidenced by the numerous little seven stepped ladder amulets found in their sarcophagi and, later, in Roman graves.  The Veils of the Temples were clearly symbolical of the elemental Zones. Water, Fire, Air and Earth, in Hebrew respectively Iammim, Nour, Rouach and Iebeschah, the initials of which words, "I. N. R. I.," having the numerical value of 10, 50, 200, 10, or 270, gave the cabalistic number of incarnation, founded upon the nine months, of thirty days each, of human gestation and which was also the number of the identified Osiris and Horus, among the Egyptians; the hypothenuse of a right-angle of 162 by 216.

 

Red stood for the element Fire, Blue for Air, White for Earth, and Purple for Water, the latter, presumably, because purple color was derived from a shell fish, the murex Purpurea of the Tyrians. Their signs were the Lion, Eagle, Bull and Man of Masonic heraldry. The Egyptians, who manufactured colored glass and must have made experiments with light, observing that red and green produced black, made these three colors representative of the J, V. and H. of their secret Supreme Being, HUHI, who was none other than our mighty Jehovah. Alternating stripes of Red, Black, Green, Black, standing for the Tetragrammaton, being the chief characteristic of the Apron worn by the celebrating Hierophants of the Mysteries of Isis. In their requisitions for Architects to construct their sacred edifices the Hebrews always specified that they be workers in the four symbolic colors and the symbolic metals which also belong to the planetary septenary quoted.

 

Bezaleel and Aholiab, builders of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, were "filled with wisdom of heart to execute all manner of work of the engraver, and of the designing weaver and of the embroiderer in blue, and in purple and in scarlet yarn and in linen thread."

 

The gold, silver and copper employed were respectively sacred to the Sun, Moon and Planet Venus, while the Onyx stone and Shittim or Acacia wood, so lavishly employed, were symbols of the planet Mercury, which, to them, became the "Angel of the Lord," Raphael.

 

The celebrated Tyrian Architect, builder of King Solomon's Temple, is likewise described as skillful to work in gold, in silver, in copper and in iron, in stone, in wood, in purple, in blue, in fine linen and in crimson, and also to execute any manner of engraving-- again a list of symbolic materials embracing the metals of the Sun, Moon, Venus and Mars, the last two indicative of the physical qualities of Attraction and Repulsion, which engender Vibration and which Science is even now identifying as the great cosmic energy.

 

In the book of Kings the Tyrian Architect is called "Hirm" and in the book of Chronicles "Churam," but there is no doubt of them being the same individual. It will be recollected that Uri, the father of Bezaleel, is described as a "Son of Chur," which was Chr-Mse, "Son of Horus," the origin of the name "Hermes." The name Churam is the Egyptian Horus-Ammon, the name of the Month of the Ram, in which the Hebrews celebrated their Passover but which the Jews called Abib. (Now called Nisan.)

 

It is no stretch of imagination whatever to attach the surname Abib to the Hirm of "Kings" as a substitute for the Churam Abi of "Chronicles," when we are again confronted with 5, 10, 200, 40, 1, 2, 10, 2, or 270, the very number of Osiris-Horus we have already referred to.

 

Many Egyptian sculptures show the figures of Priests holding before the Monarch or the gods, purifying offerings of Fire and Water, the elements of which it was said the Earth had been created and by which it would be destroyed. If, finally, a most delightful theory may be advanced, we would (in our recognition of the advancement of the ancient Seers in many branches of Art and Science which we have only tardily come to justly credit them with), like to presume that part of the universal adoration of Light as the dwelling place of the Deity and the primordial source of substance employed in material creation, consisted in an appreciation of color, as a property of light.

 

We are perfectly satisfied, that the seven prismatic colors were recognized in the earliest ages of the civilized World. We know that the ancients were acquainted with the manufacture of glass and that in possession of this latter substance, they could scarcely avoid something which is constantly occurring to the astonishment of children, handling glass or crystal in the sunlight, the production of the colors of the rainbow. Why, then, were four colors only selected for the symbols of Matter and the Veils, representing the Elements, by our ancient Brethren ? All scientists have heard of Wollaston's celebrated experiment, performed in 1801 for the purpose of discovering the ultimate composition of light. We quote the language of his paper in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of Great Britain in 1802. He says:

 

"I cannot conclude my observations on the dispersion of light without remarking that the colours, into which a beam of white light is separable by refraction, appear to me to be neither seven, as they are usually seen in the Rainbow, nor reducible by any means, that I can find to three, as some persons have conceived, but that by employing a very narrow pencil of light four primary divisions of the prismatic spectrum may be seen with a degree of distinctness, that I believe has not been described or observed before."

 

"If a beam of daylight be admitted into a dark room by a crevice, 1-20 of an inch broad, and received by the eye at a distance of ten or twelve feet through a prism of flint glass, free from veins, held near the eye, the beam is seen separated into the four following colors only: Red, a yellowish Green (which might pass as a muddy White), Blue and Violet." The very diagram employed by Wollaston to illustrate this experiment, a human eye viewing the four ultimate colors through a triangular prism, suggests above all things the notion of the all-seeing eye, in the Triangle, viewing His Creation as a compound of the four elements, as those only known to and symbolized by ancient Science. The student desirous of pursuing this subject farther will find extensive notes on the Biblical and Classical employment of the seven prismatic colors, in Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, which detail various ancient conceptions in an interesting manner.

 

*Literally, "King Solomon," also paraphrased by the Hebrews, Sar Salom, "Prince of Peace."

 

----o----

 

EVERY NATION

 

No theory of neutrality, be it never so just, and experience of national isolation, be it never so remunerative, can secure for the United States of America immunity from the pains and penalties of Europe's agony, or can make the struggle of other nations only a harvest time for American manufacturers of munitions of war. When humanity goes up to its Golgotha, it means the blood-sweat of Gethsemane for every nation.

 

--J. A. Macdonald. Democracy and the Nation.

 

----o----

 

WHAT IS RELIGION?

 

"Religion is now seen to be the spirit of all thought, the inmost soul of all our music, our art, and our great literature. What the church calls salvation, the outer world calls the civilization of man. What the church calls Heaven, science designates as the triumph of the human spirit. What is best for man here is best for man forever, for eternity is but the lengthening of our human night or day. The greatest missionary movement on earth is the pity of man for man."

 

--Dand Swing.

 

THE VEHMGERICHTE

 

BY BRO. E. J. WITTENBERG, CAL.

 

(In answer to a number of enquiries as to the possible influence of The Vehmgerichte on Masonry, we reproduce from the Bulletin of the Los Angeles Consistory the following brief essay by Brother E. J. Wittenberg, read--as we think very happily and appropriately--at the conclusion of the presentation of the Twenty-first Degree of the Scottish Rite. Brother Gould, in his History of Masonry, takes up the question of the supposed influence of this old German court on blue Masonry, and does not think much of it. There are resemblances and some analogies, but nothing more. Still, further light may reveal other things, and further light is what we want from every possible source. If this little essay serves to provoke further study, it will do what it was meant to do.)

 

The founder of the German Vehmgerichte, according to Westphalian tradition, was Charles I., Emperor of Germany (Charlemagne), A. D. 742-814. This tradition, however, could only apply to the Frohngerichte, or Free Field Court of Saxony, instituted by Charlemagne for the purpose of coercing Saxons, who were ever ready to relapse into the idolatory from which they had been reclaimed, not by persuasion, but by the sword. The first authentic mention of the Vehmgerichte, and documentary evidence, is found during the reign of Frederick I., Emperor of Germany (Barbarossa), A. D. 1152.

 

Westphalia was the home of these courts, and only upon the "Red Earth," as the confines of this old Duchy were called, could their members be initiated. The place of session, known as the Freistuhl (Free Seat), held on some hill or other well-known accessible spot and was presided over by the Emperor, called Oberstuhlherr" (Over-Lord), or his representative appointed by him, usually a noble or churchman of great prominence, in the general chapter, and by a Freigraf (Free Count), called "Stuhlherr" (Presiding Judge), in the subordinate courts, with fifteen Freischoeffen as associates, the youngest of which acted as summoner. Before the Stuhlherr on a table lay the emblems of his authority, the sword and the cord.

 

The Freischoeffen were divided into two classes, "Offenbare" (uninitiated) and the "Wissende" (initiated). This latter, Stillgericht (Sacred Tribunal), was closed to all but the initiated; any one in attendance not a member on being discovered was immediately put to death.

 

The applicant for initiation as a Freischoeffe, among the Wissende, appeared before the dread tribunal blindfolded, bareheaded and ungirt, where he was interrogated as to his qualifications, good repute, ether he was a Teuton, freeborn and clear of any accusation punishable by the tribunal of which he desired to become a member. If his answers and sponsors were satisfactory, he then took the following oath:

 

"I hereby swear by the Holy Law that I will conceal the secrets of the Holy Vehme from wife and child, from father and mother, from sister and brother, from fire and water, from every creature upon which the sun shines, or upon which the rain falls, from every being between earth and heaven. I furthermore swear that I will communicate to the tribunal all crimes or offenses which fall beneath the secret ban of the Emperor or this tribunal, knowing them to be true or imparted to me by a trustworthy person or persons, and I will not forbear to do so--for love nor for loathing, for gold nor for silver, nor precious stones, and may I suddenly be seized, my eyes bound, my body cast down on the soil, my tongue torn out the back of my neck and hanged seven times higher than any other criminal, should I violate this my solemn oath."

 

He then received the password, by which he was to know his fellows, and grip and sign by which they recognized each other in silence.

 

The General Chapter of the initiated, or Heimliche Acht (Secret Tribunal) was held once a year, and all the members were liable to be called to account for their acts; reports were made by the Stuhlherren (Presiding Judges) of all proceedings which had taken place within their various jurisdictions during the year; unworthy members expelled or punished; regulations were enacted for new and unforseen cases for which the existing laws did not provide a remedy.

 

In the early history of the organization, the accused could be absolved by taking the oath of purification upon the handle of the judge's sword, but when it was found that criminals did not hesitate to perjure themselves, the accuser, always a Freischoeffe, could substantiate his charge even against the oath of the accused by three or more witnesses. If the accused could discredit these by a number of one-half more, he was still discharged, otherwise he was condemned, and sentence was passed upon him and he was forthwith hanged on the nearest tree. If a thief, murderer, or perpetrator of any other heinous crime was apprehended in the very act, or if he himself confessed the deed, he was immediately hung, providing at least three Freischoeffen were present when apprehended. If an individual was strongly suspected of a crime, but without any certain accuser, he was sometimes allowed to run the risk of the ordeal by fire, bier-right, or combat. In the first ordeal, a fire was kindled and the person about to undergo the ordeal was placed in front of the fire, surrounded by all who were in any way interested in the result of the trial. Upon a table near the fire, the plough-share over which he was to walk, the bar of iron he was to carry, or if he was a knight, the steel gloves which, after they had been made red hot, he was to put on his hands, were placed in view of all.

 

While the iron was placed on the fire and heating, the following prayer was said:

 

 "We pray unto Thee, O God, that it may please Thee to absolve this Thy servant and to clear him from his sins. Purify him, O Heavenly Father, from all the stains of the flesh, and enable him, by Thy all-covering and atoning grace to pass through this fire--Thy creature--triumphantly. O God, Thou that through fire hath shown forth so many signs of Thy almighty power; Thou that didst cause the bush to burn before the eyes of Moses and yet not be consumed, God that didst safely conduct the three children through the flame of the Babylonians; God that didst waste Sodom with fire from heaven, and preserve Lot, Thy servant, as a sign and token of Thy mercy; O God show forth once again the visible power of Thy majesty or Thy unerring judgment; that truth may be made manifest and falsehood avenged, make Thou this fire Thy minister before us, powerless be it where the power of purity, but sorely burning, even to flesh and the sinews, the hand that had done evil, and that had not feared to be lifted up in false swearing. O God, from whose eye nothing can be concealed, make Thou this fire Thy voice to us Thy servants, that it may reveal innocence, or cover iniquity with shame."

 

The accused then approached the fire, lifted the iron and carried it nine feet from the fire. The moment he laid it down, his hands were wrapped in linen cloths and sealed. These were removed on the third day, when he was declared innocent or guilty, according to the condition in which his hands were found.

 

In the ordeal of bier-right, the remains of the murdered man were placed on a bier before the Stuhlherr, his arms folded on his breast, palms joined together with the fingers pointed upward; the face, breast and arms bare, and the rest of the corpse shrouded in a winding sheet of fine linen, so that if blood should flow from any place which was covered, it could not fail to be instantly seen, it being the belief at that time that the corpse of a murdered person would bleed on the touch or at the approach of the murderer. At the head of the bier stood the challenger, and at the foot, the defender.

 

The suspected person then approached the bier, taking the following oath.

 

"By all that was created in seven days and seven nights, by heaven, by hell, by my part of paradise and by the God and Author of all, I am free and sackless of the bloody deed done upon the corpse before which I stand and on whose breast I make the sign of the cross, an evidence of my appeal and innocence."

 

Summons to the accused was not generally served personally on him, but secretly nailed to his door or some other neighboring place; the citation allowed him six weeks and three days grace, and was thrice repeated.

 

If the accused appeared, judgment was given according to the evidence; if he did not appear, he was declared outlawed (Vogel-frei). This declaration was quickly made known to the whole body, and the Freischoeffe who was the first to meet the condemned was bound to put him to death by hanging. A dagger marked with the secret letters "S. S. G. G." of the Heimliche Acht, signifying Stock, Stein, Gras, Grein (stick, stone, grass and grain), was laid by the corpse as a sign that judgment had been executed by the Secret Tribunal.

 

A power so formidable, from which the most powerful princes were not exempt, soon raised the hostility of those who feared becoming its victims, as well as those who saw in it an engine of terrible oppression, and in the fifteenth century an association was formed among the free cities and princes of Germany to resist the free judges, and to require that the trial of accused persons should take place in the open. Maximilian I., A. D. 1495, established a new criminal code, which materially weakened the Vehmgerichte. In the sixteenth century they were brought under the jurisdiction of ordinary courts, and although robbed of all its old impressive forms, it still survived into the beginning of the nineteenth century, when finally abolished in 1811 by order of Jerome Bonaparte, King of Westphalia. The last Freischoeffe, Graf Engelhard, died in 1835 at Worl, in Westphalia.

 

In 1874, when the judiciary system of Germany was reformed, a branch of this system, before which minor civil cases are tried, was named a Schoeffengericht, consisting of one presiding judge and two Schoeflen, and so far as I know these courts are still in existence.

 

----o----

 

THE GREAT LIGHT SYMBOLISM

 

1. This sacred symbol you must hold

In high esteem as your delight;

Since to our craft throughout the world,

It is the Great Masonic Light.

 

2. Though we may differ in belief,

And fail in doctrine to agree;

The men of this, and every age

Accept its pure morality.

 

3. Within its pages you can find

Those living principles of right;

Which can your daily walk adorn

With deeds of clear fraternal light.

 

4. I charge you to revere this book,

And heed its teachings night and day;

Since on our altar it is found

To guide us in the better way.

 

5. We cannot dictate as to faith,

Nor here discuss the many creeds

Which earnest, thoughtful minds have framed,

To meet the world's religious needs.

 

6. But we are taught within our Lodge

To take each brother by the hand;

And urge him with a solemn vow,

By this great light to always stand.

 

7. If from our sacred altar here

The infidel or libertine,

Could wrest this Book of Sacred laws

The grandest code the race has seen:

 

8. That light that has for ages shone

To guide Freemasons on their way:--

Then we no longer could maintain

The freedom which we claim today.

 

9. But just as long as we can keep

Its golden rays of truth and love;

The Craft thereby may hope to rise

To yonder Lodge in heaven above.

 

10. Guard then this great Masonic light,

The guiding symbol of our Band;

Defend it as you would the flag,

That now enfolds your native land.

 

11. Live by its teachings till you go

To that bright home beyond the sea:

Where you shall evermore enjoy

A blessed immortality.

--N. A. McAulay.

 

PREROGATIVES

 

BY BRO. LEWIS A. McCONNELL, INDIANA

 

THE making of Masons "at sight" is held up by a number of writers to be the prerogative of Grand Masters, a special right which they enjoy which is not enjoyed by the other members of the fraternity; a right which was granted to them, either ancient legislation, or exists by reason of the toleration of a custom, or by means of a combination of both; if such right exists, then it is not only the right, but also the duty of a Mason to inquire as to its source, since all rights enjoyed by certain specially selected individuals which are not granted to others, must have been granted to the possessor by a power superior to himself.

 

It is most logically and undisputedly set forth by Thomas Paine in that inimitable treatise upon human liberties, entitled "The Rights of Man," that there are certain rights which belong to each individual of which there exists no power to deprive him, and that such rights are possessed by every other individual without distinction; that such rights are not inherited or handed down from one generation to another by legislation of a past generation which the present generation has not the right to repeal; but that the descendents of each generation possess the right to legislate for themselves regardless of the acts of past generations, even though such past enactments may be framed so as to bind themselves "and their heirs forever," language which has often been used for the purpose of binding upon an unwilling future generation, the force of its provisions.

 

It cannot be a question which admits of any doubt that a Grand Master gets his rights as such, whatever they may be, not from the same source from which each individual secures those rights which are admitted to belong to all men, but from a special authority, and one which is superior to himself; for it is impossible to imagine a right granted from an inferior power to a superior one, or for an individual without such authority, to invest himself with rights which other individuals may not also assume.

 

He then secures such rights from the general body of Masonry which had the power and right to promulgate and adopt the constitutions and regulations under which his power exists, the power of such body necessarily including the power to alter or amend any enactment which it originally had the power to promulgate.

 

It therefore had the right to require an adherence to ancient customs and usages, and to point out and declare what were the ancient landmarks to which such requirements refer; and any future Grand Lodge, being no less a power than any preceding one, has the power to enact that its members shall adhere to such regulations, or to any other regulations which it may see fit to set forth; but unless this later Grand Lodge sanctions the enactments of a preceding one they cannot be binding upon the present body of Masonry, unless it be true that one generation has the right to legislate for a future one, which is plainly demonstrated not to be true; and inasmuch as "truth is a divine attribute and the foundation of every virtue" which Masonry professes to believe and sustain, we cannot admit the principle of inherited rights or inherited powers.

 

Masonry very properly aims to keep in sight the ancient landmarks of the fraternity, and yet, by some means or other a number of customs have been introduced into the order which are by no means ancient although some of them date back to a considerable length of time, and which have been attempted to be set up as ancient landmarks; yet whether or not they are such, it is the right of the present generation to adopt them if it chooses, or to discard them, such customs possessing no "hereditary" right to exist.

 

Great care being deemed necessary in the selection of material from which to make Masons, enactments have been universally made as to the requirements of the candidate, the methods of his application for membership, the length of time necessary for committees to examine as to his fitness, the necessity for the unanimous consent of the particular lodge to which the application is made, the length of time necessary to be allowed between his taking one degree and his eligibility for the next, in order that he may become proficient before being allowed to advance further.

 

Can a candidate who has been given the three degrees "at sight" be said to have made suitable proficiency in the preceding degrees? Has he complied with the requirements as to the time given for an examination as to his qualification so that his being worthy and well qualified may not be a matter of doubt ? Has he been given the time necessary in which to post himself in one degree before being admitted to another, as required ? Has he passed a clear ballot in the lodge in which he is to be introduced after thirty days notice? If all these cannot be answered in the affirmative, in what degree of consistency can any one uphold the practice on the ground of ancient landmark, since the custom violates some of the most important landmarks which are known to the order?

 

If there are any landmarks seriously necessary for the good government of the order, these, which are universal and unquestioned, should be considered as such, while the making of a Mason "at sight" denies their importance and violates that divine attribute, truth, which is one of the tenets of our profession which regards all men as being equal, entitled to equal rights only, and for the support of which we so particularly specialize as to the requirements of a candidate, and which we recklessly violate when we make a Mason "at sight." And if for our authority we claim an inherited right to do so regardless of the consent of the present governing power, we then also violate the principles of truth, for we have demonstrated that it is not true that such rights as inherited ones exist.

 

We therefore, with the excuse of the permission of a shadowy landmark, by no means well defined nor universally admitted, violate several prominent landmarks of the order of which there is no question whatever !

 

Let us take a brief review of the list of eleven persons made Masons "at sight" at various times, shown in the article in the February number. Two are princes, three are Dukes, one of whom was afterward Emperor of Germany, one a President of the United States, two are Governors of States, one a British Captain at sea and the position of the other three not given.

 

Now the principal excuse for making Masons "at sight" is that it is an "emergency" measure, although in but two of the cases above is an "emergency" shown, and those not vital to the carrying out of the usual custom of Freemasonry in the regular manner.

 

In no less than three of the cases it is plainly admitted that no emergency existed, as the Grand Master of Pennsylvania claimed as a reason for the act, that he did not wish the custom to become obsolete; while the Grand Master of Maryland explains that he has done it "as much for the purpose of not having the custom become dormant as for any other reason."

 

This sounds very much like a reason which might be advanced by a tyrannical monarch who claimed an inherited right of some kind not given him by divine law, as a "prerogative" of which he was in fear that his subjects would see the folly of and deprive him, unless he exercised it occasionally so as to accustom them to submission to his claim!

 

When future generations of Masons look over such lists, it might be that they would occasionally see a case where plain John Jones or William Smith, a poor but worthy man, supporting a large family and unable to spare the time from his daily toil without loss to them, was for this reason made a Mason "at sight"; not by virtue of an imaginary inherited right, but by the exercise of a virtue warranted by the exercise of Masonic charity which might explain the irregularity. But when they find only that such violations of Masonic principles have never yet been done as an act of Masonic grace, and that the Duke of Flubdub, the Marquis Folde-rol or the Maharajah of Singapore, have been singled out as recipients of such special favor, they may well be led to doubt the sincerity of the craft in its professions of making no distinctions between the exalted and the lowly.

 

But if it should so be that the prerogative of making Masons "at sight" should be generally regarded as an ancient landmark, which it is doubtful that the majority of Masonic scholars will admit, then such landmark, if such it be, should be placed side by side with another noted landmark which was boldly set aside by the Grand Lodge of England in 1723, because it restricted religious liberty and was, in the opinions of writers of today, "a violation of the fundamental farshining principles of Freemasonry." (I quote from Joseph Fort Newton). And the same is certainly true of the custom, claimed by a few as a "prerogative right," sustained by virtue of a dim, shadowy and questionable authority, exercised at times, not for expediency, but for the purpose of permanently foisting its practice upon the fraternity, and then chiefly upon those who have been raised to affluence in the world's affairs.

 

Does a "prerogative" allow me to change the meaning of words, so as to conform with somebody's imaginary special right? What is the meaning of the term "regular" ? Am I allowed to recognize as a Mason one who has not, after all, been regularly initiated, or is making a Mason "at sight" the "regular" method of initiating Masons?

 

It may be claimed that in certain cases, unless this prerogative had been exercised, Masonry would have been deprived of the influence and services of a number of worthy, well qualified and gracious persons who would have been a benefit and ornament to Masonry, thus incurring a loss to the fraternity. My answer is that nothing can be lost that has not been previously possessed. How much did Masonry lose by the fact that Abraham Lincoln never joined it? His life was such as to exalt the very principles advocated and sustained by the teachings of the craft, and thus was positive benefit to it, perhaps, to just as great an extent as if he had been a Mason; because he furthered the exercise, by his example, of those virtues which we encourage and revere. If a man believes in the principles of a certain political party, enters into its work and furthers its objects, the party has sustained no loss by reason of his never joining its political clubs and organizations and placing his name on their records; but has been an actual gainer by his encouragement and vote. Thus Masonry, by the exercise of its principles by the immortal Lincoln, has been a gainer, and therefore all we lack from his not being a member, is the pride we might have had, but have not now, of being able to boast of our connections, of being able to say "See that great man! He is one of us. Are we not proud?"

 

On the other hand, if the Masons who joined the order "at sight" became Masons of their own free will and accord, each one, in all probability, would have done so in the regular manner; and if his zeal and respect for the order were not sufficient for this, it is easy to see how little would have been the loss if he had never joined the order at all.

 

Considering the whole question in any light in which I have been able to view it, the so-called right of a Grand Master to confer degrees in any other than the regular manner, is not only useless, unauthorized and contradictory, but it is an actual injury to the good name and well being of the fraternity, and if any regulation exists which permits this practice, it should be abolished.

 

----o----

 

FREEDOM

 

Think not, O man, that thou art free,

Because no prison walls detain

The freedom of thy will,

Nor armed sentry stands on guard

To curb thy liberty.

For thee the palace doors fly wide,

The gilded porter takes thy cloak

And menial servants bow their pride;

Thy wealth commands the church,

And heaven's high‑sent priests are dumb,

Nor dare to lift God's light

To show thee who thou art, nor speak

The sting thou feelest in thy heart.

Thou art not free, though armies at thy will

Compass the earth and sow red hate,

While kings and princes call thee great.

For thee the Nameless Terror walks,

And God's strong justice locks thee in

While outraged conscience talks.

Thou art not free till God's great love is thine,

And then - no prison walls detain

Though armed guards surround,

Though sparkling bayonets gleam - 

Thy risen soul is free,

For thou hast Seen.

 

- Henry Victor Morgan.

 

----o----

 

AT FINAL PARTING

 

(The last poem Joaquin Miller wrote was composed by hims on Friday after he knew that death was near. "This is my last message to the world," he told his wife to whom he gave the paper on which he had laboriously penciled these lines.)

 

Could I but teach man to believe,

Could I but make small men to grow,

To break the frail webs that weave

About their thews and bind them low;

Could I but sing one song and lay

Grim Doubt, I then could go my way

In tranquil silence, glad, serene

And satisfied from off the scene;

But, ah! this disbelief, this doubt,

This doubt of God, this doubt of good,

The damned spot will not out.

 

Would'st learn to know one little flower,

It's perfume, perfect form and hue ?

Yea, would'st thou have one perfect hour

Of all years that come to you?

Then grow as God hath planned, grow

A lordly oak or daisy low,

As He hath set his garden; be

Just what thou are, or grass or tree.

Thy treasures up in heaven laid,

Await thy sure ascending soul,

Life after life - be not afraid.

 

- Joaquin Miller.

 

----o----

 

THE STONE THAT THE BUILDERS REJECTED

 

Wisely they toiled, the builders, fitting well

The granite blocks of equal shape and size

Cleft from one quarry, that to heaven should rise

A matchless temple where their god might dwell,

Worshiped above all gods of heaven or hell.

 

And as they wrought in that long‑vanished day,

Building with even blocks, a curious stone

Came to their hands, for which no use was known;

Not like the ones they used, nor shaped as they,

Uncouth it seemed, and so was flung away.

 

No instrument had touched it, but from glow

Of earth's primeval fires 'twas flaming cast;

And, cooling into rugged form, at last

'Twas washed by many waters to and fro,

Shaped as the tide swings and the tempests blow.

 

No human hands its symmetry had wrought;

And they, earth blind, saw not how passing fair

This corner stone unlike all others there!

Saw not that all life's secrets it had caught,

And typified the thing for which they sought.

 

But when at length the pyramid had grown

In terrace upon terrace to the sky,

Lo, naught could fill the summit's vacancy

Till there was placed, majestic and alone,

Head of the corner, the rejected stone!

 

- New York Sun.

 

----o----

 

THE ALTAR

 

By Bro. A.B. Leamer, IOWA

 

THE Altar has always had a conspicuous place in the religious life of the peoples of all ages. The Ark was the Altar that the Children of Israel carried with them on their nomadic wanderings. Heathen, Hebrew and Christian alike have made much of the Altars erected to their gods and it has ever been the shrine toward which religious people have turned their faces and offered their prayers when in the act of worship; and upon it they have offered up their oblation of praise and sacrifice.

 

The earliest altars were built of unhewn stone, the idea prevailing that to use a hammer upon them would pollute them; therefore in building their altars to Deity the ancients threw up an altar of crude stone and upon this they placed their offerings of incense and sacrifice.

 

The Altar was also a place of refuge. Upon each corner of the altar was a horn and any one fleeing from the wrath of his enemies would run and lay hold on one of these horns knowing that he would be saved from destruction at the hands of the pursuers, and would receive justice at the hands of those whose duty it was to deal out justice. In early religious services it was the custom of the priests and the people to move about the Altar as the sun passes about in his orbit, rising in the East, passing to the South by way of the West, and as they passed they sang their songs of praise, chanted their psalms and poured forth their peons of thanksgiving to the deity that they worshipped; thus it is with Masonry, we pass from youth to our meridian glory into the mellowing twilight to meet our God at His Altar.

 

The center of all our religious life and thought, and of all our ceremonial life and thought, is the altar. In all of these rites, whether they be religious, ceremonial or fraternal, the altar has ever held the central place; thus it becomes the place where Jehovah dwells, from beneath which flow the waters of life for the strengthening of the nations and the comfort of men. It is, then, more than simply a table upon which we place the sacred writings, or the Holy Bible; it is a sacred place, about which is gathered all the life and teachings contained in the ceremonies.

 

Thus should the Altar impress us with its sacredness and cause our minds to dwell upon the Creator of the universe, and it should also lead the contemplative Mason to view the ceremonies in which he engages with seriousness and reverence.

 

The old altar was one for the burning of incense and the offering of sacrifice. The new altar is one of devotion and sacrifice upon which we place the living sacrifice of our lives, not to be burned, but to be consumed by service to God and man. Hereon the candidate should lay his passions and his vices as an oblation to Deity, while he offers up the thoughts and devotions of a pure heart as a fitting incense to the Grand Architect of the soul.

 

The Altar is the holy place in our great Masonic institution. We should therefore look upon it in its true meaning, and when we see it standing in the center of the Lodge, with the Holy Bible thereon bearing our great jewels, our minds ought instinctively turn to a contemplation of God and His mercy, and we should be truer and better men and Masons, and more loyal Sons of God.

 

 

WATCH-CHARM MASONS

 

BY BRO. HAROLD A. KINGSBURY, CONN,

 

THE CAUSE; THE MENACE; THE CURE

 

We have in the Craft many brethren who have been termed "Watch-Charm Masons." That is, brethren to whom Masonry means but little more than the privilege of wearing a charm, button or jewel- -men who have but little or no understanding of what Masonry really is, for what it really stands, and what it really teaches.

 

This class of Masons may be divided into two groups or types:--(1) Those who joined merely out of a desire to wear a Masonic charm, and (2) those who affiliated out of a real desire to become true Masons but, since affiliation, have never had the opportunity of being started with understanding on the search for Masonic Light.

 

The first type owes its existence to the fact that the members of a lodge cannot always accurately gauge the motives which actuate an applicant for the degrees. The menace of this type is that the brethren of it, not understandingly observing that in the square and compass the triangle of the Spiritual dominates the square of the Material, that the double-headed eagle bears the Delta upon its heads, and that the Templars' charm carries the Passion Cross, are prone to make little or no effort to live the symbolism that they wear, and in-so-far as they fail to live that symbolism, then in-so-far do they fail to uphold and advance the Craft. The partial cure--there probably is no complete cure--is to endeavor to gauge yet more carefully than is now done, the motives of applicants.

 

We are not, here, primarily concerned with this type and so let us dismiss it and hereafter consider the second type, i. e., those who have the desire to become true Masons but need to be started upon their way with understanding.

 

The existence of this second group, or type, is due to several causes. The primary cause, and the only one here considered, is this:--Very few, either of the officers or of the lay brethren of our lodges, think so far as to instruct new members--or old ones either-- in the veiled and underlying meaning of Masonry and Masonic Symbolism. That is, few of the brethren who are--or at least ought to be--informed bethink themselves to make an effort to conduct their less well informed brethren "behind the scenes" of the lodge work and the monitorial instructions. Of those to whom the idea does occur many answer their promptings to instruct with, "Well I know so little I guess Brother A won't miss much if he doesn't hear from me." Yet most of us can remember that, in our early Masonic life, even a hint of the underlying meaning of the work or a suggestion of a book to read would have been good for us and, in most cases, very welcome.

 

The menace of this state of affairs is that this primary cause has become self-perpetuating and, unless counteracted, will undermine the foundations of the Craft. That is, it is raising up a large body of brethren who are mere ritualists. For example:--How --many Worshipful Masters today are moved to give a course of lectures similar to, say, Oliver's "Signs and Symbols" ? To be sure it might be replied "How many were there in Oliver's day?" But the point is this;-- many lectures along the line of Oliver's are now available to any Master and why shouldn't each Master be moved to at least read the printed page to his Lodge ?

 

These well-meaning, and often-times ardent, non-understanding Masons of this "Type II" are just the brethren who, simply because of their enthusiasm for Masonry, very frequently become officers of our lodges and so become those to whom the new brother naturally looks for instruction--which he does not, and cannot, get from that source. The harmful results of such a condition are many. Any thinking Mason can find many incidents in his own experience. For example:--

 

I once asked a recently made Master Mason if any part of the work seemed, to him, to teach immortality of the soul. He answered "No." And he is a well educated, quick-thinking young man too--one who needed but a hint and a suggestion to start him right. He is an enthusiastic reader of "The Builder" now. But--and here lies the trouble--no member of the lodge to which he belonged had ever asked him that question.

 

Again, I have frequently been asked by young Masons--and older ones too--"Why can't a Jew be a Mason ?" And in more than one case, after I had carefully explained that whether an applicant were a Jew or not had absolutely nothing to do with the question of his admission, I would get the reply "Well I don't understand, for So-and-So Lodge won't let them in." Now clearly such a condition comes from a failure of certain brethren to grasp the true scope of Masonry and those who asked the questions were just the ones who, unless faced understandingly in the right direction, and directed to proper Masonic literature or the like, would have helped to make, all unwittingly, another unmasonic lodge.

 

These two incidents are given merely to show (1) a case in which a brother failed to understand what Masonry ought to mean to him, and (2) a case in which a brother failed to understand what Masonry ought to mean to others. And now as to the cure.

 

It would seem that every brother having information ought to impart it. Not information as to whether, in the lecture, "the" should be "the" and "a" should be "a," but real information, such as books to read; courses of study to pursue; the meaning of the work; the symbolism, particularly that which is obscure, and similar matters. There is plenty of room for all kinds of teachings and teachers. Elementary and incomplete teaching is better than no teaching at all, provided that it arouses the learner and induces him to take up the study of Masonry.

 

Particularly does it behoove every member of this Society, so far as his abilities and opportunities permit, to teach, teach, and teach again. It gives pleasure to a member to read, say, an article in "The Builder," but that article has done but a small part of its work-- and the member has done none of his--if the member does not impart his newly acquired, or refreshed, knowledge to some brother not so well informed.

 

Let us, then, do each his best to educate the "Watch-Charm Masons."

 

----o----

 

MAKER AND BUILDER

 

Therefore to whom turn I but to Thee the ineffable name,

Builder and maker Thou of houses not made with hands ?

What have fear of change from Thee who art ever the same,

Doubt that Thy power can fill the heart that Thy power expands ?

There shall never be one lost good, what was, shall live as before.

The evil is null, is naught, is silence implying sound;

What was good shall be good, with for evil so much more good.

On earth the broken arcs, in heaven the broken round.

--Robert Browning.

 

----o----

 

QUESTIONS ON "THE STORY OF FREEMASONRY"

BY THE CINCINNATI MASONIC STUDY SCHOOL.

 

127. What is the opinion of certain writers, relative to the five books of Moses and how do they uphold their position ? 54‑1.

 

128. What was found in the foundation steps to the pedestal of the Egyptian obelisk at Alexandria, known as Cleopatra's Needle? Where is it now located ? 55‑1.

 

129. When did a London Lodge adopt regulations extending its privileges to other professions and what religions were admitted? 56.

 

130. Who may participate in the society of Freemasons ? 56.

 

131. What is the meeting of a lodge called and what do the three principal officers represent? Page 58.

 

132. What Masonic Laws are unique among secret Societies ? 58‑1.

 

133. What is an inviolable law of Masonry ? 59‑1.

 

134. What does Charles Whitlock Moore of Massachusetts say in regard to the study of Freemasonry same as any other science? Page 100.

 

135. What of Masonry and Masons prior to 1000 B. C.? 106.

 

136. Give the date of the reorganization of the Craft and the establishment of the Grand Lodge of England? What did it then become and what was its aim ? 108.

 

137. What discovery was made, when removing the Egyptian obelisk from Alexander to Central Park, New York City? 55‑1. How is this strong evidence accepted by many?; 55. What disposition was made of the stones and emblems showing Masonic signs ? 55.

 

138. What is the author's purpose in publishing this book? 55‑2 56.

 

139. What distinguished original historical Masonry from the traditional? 56‑1 On whom was it conferred ? 56‑1. Why ? 56‑1.

 

140. When and where was adopted a regulation extending its privileges to men of different professions ? 56. Under what conditions? 55. With what result? 56.

 

141. What is known of Sir Albert Pike as Grand Commander of the Southern Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite? 32‑1.

 

142. Who had informed the Pope as to the falsity of the stories about Albert Pike ? 36‑2.

 

143. What has been the purpose of the author in presenting "The Story of Freemasonry?" 113‑114.

 

144. What is the fourth specification? 83‑1.

 

145. Has diplomacy a place in the Council of Rome ? 40‑2.

 

146. What is said of the race prejudice in Germany? What is said of the true spirit of Freemasonry, in relation to Race Prejudice? 74‑1‑2.

 

147. What is the meeting of a lodge called? 58. What requirement is absolutely necessary for every candidate for its degrees? 58. How accepted? 59 What other law goes with this requirement and with what result? 59. What is said of a Mason's religion? 79‑2.

 

148. What is required of candidate for Freemasonry before admittance? 86‑1.

 

149. In what spirit and by whom were the several Papal edicts, epistles and allocutions issued against Freemasons ? 23‑1.

 

150. How does the Papacy regard Freemasonry? 23. What has been the effect on Masons of these sweeping and bitter attacks upon the character and influence of Freemasonry by the Roman Catholic Churc 26.

 

151. What movement originated among American Catholic Churches ? 38. What decision was announced by the Holy See in January, 1895? 38. Name the Societies condemned. 39. Why? 39.

 

152. What course for the further study of Masonry remains for those who are not content with the Primary methods adopted in "The Story of Freemasonry?" 114.

 

153. What tribute did Cunningham give Masonry ? 86‑3.

 

154. What does Benjamin Franklin say of Freemasonry ? 88.

 

155. Of what grades is the Scottish Rite composed ? 69‑1 70‑1‑2‑3 71‑1.

 

 

156. Name the ineffable Grades of the Lodges of Perfection. 69.

 

157. What is necessary for the eligibility of every applicant for the Scottish Rite ? 69‑1.

 

158. What is the status of Scottish Rite Masonry at the present time? 69‑1.

 

159. When and where was the Supreme Council of the 33d degree of Scottish Rite Masonry opened in America? What number of degrees are conferred under its jurisdiction ? 68‑1.

 

160. Who founded the Knights of Labor and the Grand Army of the Republic and what caused the abandonment of the Pope's attempt to restrain Catholics from joining same? 40‑1.

 

161. What is said of the origin of Scottish Rite Masonry and who became its patron ? 67‑2 68‑1.

 

162. Who was Leo Taxil and why did he write Anti‑Masonic Books? 28‑29.

 

163. What damaging admissions did Leo Taxil make, relative to "Diana Vaughn" in his so‑called revelations of Freemasonry and his false stories about Albert Pike ? 36‑1.

 

164. In what did Leo Taxil see a field of revenue and the humiliation of the Roman Catholic Church and how did he obtain that result ? 99‑1.

 

165. What is said of Leo Taxil's Masonic career and how did he represent the crafts 29‑1.

 

166. What did Leo Taxil write on Female Masons ? 29‑1.

 

167. What charge did Leo Taxil make in another publication and by whom denied? 30‑1 31‑1.

 

168. What inspired Leo Taxil to add Spiritualism to his schedule of Masonic practices and beliefs, and how did the Pope Leo XII reward him? 31‑2.

 

169. What falsifications did Leo Taxil publish of high grade Masonry ?

 

170. State Leo Taxil's proposition in the Anti-Masonic Congress at Trent in 1896? What was he required to do? 34‑2.

 

171. How did Leo Taxil explain his actions ? 37‑1

 

172. What effect did Leo Taxil's admissions have upon his audience as well as the church authorities? 36‑2.

 

173. What was the result of the publication of Leo Taxil's voluminous works, false as they were ? 34‑2.

 

174. What did Leo Taxil say the public made him and what did he say about the crimes he laid at the door of Freemasonry? 37.

 

175. What was the nature of the movement which originated among American Catholics a short time prior to the Leo Taxil episode, and what resulted therefrom ? 38‑1.

 

176. What does the Society of Freemasonry teach ? 18‑1.

 

177. When and where was the Anti‑Masonic Congress called and did their commission succeed in establishing proof of the existence of Diana Vaughn ? 34‑2.

 

178. What do you know of the story of Diana Vaughn ? 32.

 

179. How many women were received into Freemasonry ? 83‑1.

 

180. Why are women not admitted into Freemasonry ? 82‑1.

 

----o----

 

THE VISION

 

Into what far, dim mystery withdrawn

The Holy Graal long since was caught away;

No man there breathes so hardy as to say

He knoweth, or to tell when day shall dawn

With heavenly radiance upon lea and lawn,

Again the long lost Hallow to display.

That Vision blest for which the hermits pray,

And kings might give their very life in pawn.

 

Yet in dark thickets of the heart of man,

Peopled with forms and phantoms of the night,

A sudden glory of eternity

Smites into stone those beings under ban;

And through the wilderness amid that light

The wondrous pageant of the Graal goes by.

 

- C. L. Ryley.

 

----o----

 

THE BOOR OF BOOKS

 

Time is a river - books are the boats,

Volumes are wrecked and lost from the floats,

Only a few - the testings endure,

The Bible and Shakespeare, these I am sure

Will live on in all ages and lands,

Not lost on the shore, nor hid in the sands.

 

 

II

This book has come to us from the dark past,

Shedding light in its pathway first and last,

A message it brings to you and me,

Spirit of the world's fraternity;

The inestimable gift of God to man, -

Guide of our faith in the Great I Am.

 

III

 

On this Book of books our faith relies,

A help to those who open their eyes

To its pages of truth, and not despair,

Nor pause to weep in the silence there,

But with hearts uplifted - souls rejoice

In songs of praise by an Angel voice.

 

IV

Time is a river - books are the rafts

That float its currents like arrow shafts.

Among the volumes, great and small

The Holy Bible is above them all.

From the beginning the word was truth,

The Alpha and Omega in age or youth.

 

V

The long Gulf Stream of Brotherhood,

Warming hearts in northern latitude,

The pilot of the ship that sails,

His chart - the Bible which never fails;

His compass and his star shall be

This headlight on the trackless sea.

 

VI

When the waters faileth from the sea,

When floods decayeth and dry land shall be,

When the sound of the grinding is low,

And man to his long, long home shall go,

The Bible then shall lift the darkened pall,

And faith and hope shall triumph over all.

 

- Odillan R. Slane

 

----o----

 

DEMOCRACY

 

Democracy is not unlike other human institutions: it will not stand merely by its own virtue. If it lacks the loyalty, courage, and strength to defend itself when attacked, it must perish as certainly as if it possessed no virtue whatsoever. Without acceptance of this principle Democracy is merely an imposture.

 

Ordeal by Battle. F. S. Oliver.

 

 

----o----

 

THE BUILDER

 

EDITORIAL

 

NOTE. - As stated in the July issue of The Builder, Brother Robert I. Clegg of Cleveland, Ohio, has accepted Brother Newton's invitation to write the editorials and take charge of the questions and correspondence incidental to this number. Brother Clegg's rare knowledge of and insight into things Masonic have had ample demonstration in the past, to our Members, and it is a pleasure to welcome his genial personality into this column. Geo. L. Schoonover, Secretary.

 

 

WILLIAM JOHN CHETWODE CRAWLEY, LL. D., DC. L.

 

NO more captivating personality ever rose in the firmament of Freemasonry than Brother Crawley. He was Grand Treasurer of Ireland, a member of the Supreme Council, Dean of the University of Dublin, and many other honors were his.

 

A frequent contributor to the Ars Quatuor Coronatorum he was known all over this world of ours as a Masonic scholar of high degree. Thousands of miles from home there were Grand Lodges proud to do him honor and to confer upon him such merited distinction as was within their power to grant.

 

As a correspondent he was at the call of any one of us, no matter the official prominence of him who wrote. Full of keen wit, brimming with information from his abundant store of facts, brilliant with a literary style that adorned all it touched, his letters were cherished in all lands. With what courtesy he dignified argument and with what genial fellowship he corrected the erring!

 

In directness of utterance he was a modern Mackey. He was not content with the plain statement as was Hughan but weaved the graces of rhetoric freely into the fabric of his recorded research. Few can follow continuously for long distance reading the cool mathematical precision of Gould but Crawley was ever an enchanter and in his lively company the path of progress was appealing with pleasure and profit.

 

Age curbed his eyes but never dimmed his mental vision. His hands grew feeble but his grip no less friendly. As an ideal examplar of the Man Masonic he blazed a way, even unto the last, abounding in good works.

 

He is dead. His glorious sun has set. On March the thirteenth of this year Masonic students everywhere lost the brightest of their number. Eternal Peace be his!

 

* * *

 

ANCIENT ARABIC ORDER NOBLES MYSTIC SHRINE

 

One of our correspondents tells us that the name of the "Shrine" was by no means selected in any haphazard method. Take the initials A.A.O.N.M.S. Transposed, these letters are capable of being arranged into "A Mason."

 

"This is not the result of accident for the Shrine founders were not limited to any certain words or to any particular title in choosing a name for the new organization. I am assured that they evolved the cabalistic initials after considerable deliberation."

 

The idea of the brother appeals to us. We sincerely trust the facts are as our informant declares. That all "Shriners" are Masons is patent to all and we like to believe that the several degrees received on the road to the Shrine have further impressed the lessons of the first three.

 

It would indeed be a pleasing conviction to be assured beyond all possible doubt that the founders selected the name with the avowed purpose of emphasizing the term "A Mason."

 

But if that was the case how comes it that the fact is not better known? If it had that impressive significance at the start why was it so soon forgotten? Granted, for the sake of argument, that the words are intended to teach an important lesson in themselves and it seems strange that the matter should so soon fade from general recollection.

 

While we are discussing the "Shrine" we are reminded that recently there came to our desk a circular advertising a "History of the Shrine, giving the origin and history of the Order from the year of the Hegira 25 (A.D. 644), at Mecca in Arabia." On the contrary we had a letter about the same time from an Orientalist of repute and a devoted Mason who stated that in his travels abroad he had made careful study and that the Shrine was in his opinion the work wholly of Brothers Florence, Fleming and their associates with some assistance perhaps gained from a reading of the Koran.

 

When brethren probably equally well informed have so little in common in their rendering of the points at issue there is ample opportunity for some of our members to unravel the truth from this uncertainty. Did the Shrine result from the labor of recent or remote years? Was it born of the devotion of a few whole-souled Masons less than fifty years ago or did they merely give it a further lease of life ?

 

* * *

 

CERTIFICATES AND RECEIPTS

 

Perhaps some research may be tried on the batch of certificates and of receipts that a Mason is supposed to have within easy reach. At present there is no uniformity to them. They are of all sizes and kinds.

 

If all the receipts were alike in dimensions and if they carried such certification as would meet the requirements of all Masonic bodies, then it would be an easy thing to put them all into the one holder for safe keeping. That would be convenient though bulky if the brother was a member of most of the bodies and had a complete collection of documents.

 

Within sight of the writer of these lines are some of his Masonic certificates that were evidently designee for framing. By no possibility could they be put into small compass. One is about two feet long, and a second is but little less. The various traveling certificates are usually too large for comfort in the pocket though excellent for framing as wall decorations. Life membership certificates are rarely of small measurements and therefore do not seem to be designed for pocket purposes of any sort.

 

One lodge has a neat receipt for dues that has on one side a miniature reproduction of its charter and a concise certificate of the bearer's standing and of the lodge's legitimacy. The whole thing is folded once in a final total area of not more than two inches in any direction.

 

As the "Shrine" has adopted a card of uniform size there might be an advantage as already stated if this size were more generally duplicated by other organizations.

 

A still more radical plan has occured to us and that is to use a single piece of say parchment or Japanese vellum or any tough thin paper. On this would be such a compact certificate as would be acceptable in Lodges working under Grand Lodges requiring these documents to be shown by visitors.

 

On the same sheet there would be a space in which there could be printed some similar line of notification as "The Bearer is also a member of the following Masonic bodies and his dues are paid to the dates as witnessed by these seals." In the spaces left for the seals so mentioned there would be affixed adhesive stamps each bearing the date of the dues paid, the name and address of the Secretary, the seal, and location of the Masonic body to which it referred.

 

At the beginning of the year the member on paying his dues to the Lodge would receive the above described receipt. On paying his dues to the other bodies he would be furnished with the stamps and these placed in the prescribed location where they belonged would be neat and in very small compass, no larger anyway than the seal impressed upon them.

 

A plan of this description would reduce the difficulties already discussed and would avoid the trouble of handling the individual receipts. Loss of any one certificate or receipt is always an annoyance but once the stamps are securely attached there would be but the single document to handle.

 

This comprehensive document might be fitted to the card case and be constantly within reach. How many times has a Mason away from home, and perhaps while he was in his home city, failed to go to a Masonic meeting because he could not lay his hand on some missing piece of paper.

 

* * *

 

THE PREPARATION ROOM

 

Years ago there came to the preparation room of a Lodge in a leading city, a Lodge of prominence in all particulars save one, a candidate for the Degrees of Masonry. Many of his friends were zealous Craftsmen. Several relatives had held office in the mystic circle. He himself had long had a most favorable impression of the fraternity and nothing but circumstances beyond his control had hitherto prevented his application being acted upon. Now he was able to go ahead.

 

With much satisfaction and with very great seriousness he presented himself for initiation. From his boyhood onward there flashed across his mind all that he had heard and imagined of the secret ceremonials. Its undoubted age set the "work" in a unique category.

 

Beyond all question Freemasonry must be the inheritor of ancient customs well calculated to permanently impress important truths. What a fund of philosophy was in store! What magic of psychological application was in prospect !

 

Thus he reasoned. His outlook was not without foundation. Each of us knows the facts. And the Lodge had high repute. Its Master had twice occupied the East. Of mature experience he was a workman of renown. Years previously he had been presiding officer of that very Lodge, recently a sudden death in the line of Wardens had brought him again into the chair of authority. In other branches of Masonic activity he was also a ritualistic expert. His surroundings in the immediate personnel of co‑workers, and in the beautiful accessories of the Temple itself, were all calculated to reaffirm and to deepen the labor of the controlling genius, the Worshipful Master.

 

But one defect was there. As the candidate influenced by his preliminary training came unto the preparation room his mind was as plastic wax, ready for the thorough and prompt retention of whatever impression might be applied. To him came the Stewards, "Good Fellows" in all that the term implies.

 

The Constitutional Questions, solemn inherently were nevertheless made almost perfunctory by careless reading, if not indeed rendered nugatory by complete forgetfulness of the main object - preparation of the candidate's mind, something beyond and above all other preparation.

 

The candidate listened to a conversation about goats and gridirons, pokers and other piffle. Some mock sympathy was extended to him. There was general mirth. Dignified as were the subsequent ceremonies, they had a big handicap.

 

Years slipped away. The candidate in turn became an officer. As a Steward he attempted to profit by the example once set before him and to improve upon it. As Master he caused the position of Steward to be filled only by those whose diligence and dignity were ever under constant dicipline.

 

Knowing what had happened to himself he took no chances.

 

Upon Committees of Investigation he also placed earnest, watchful and impressive brethren.

 

Confident that the after ceremonies gain their greatest efficiency when there is most complete suitability of the raw material he insisted that preparation must begin long before the candidate reached the preparation room. In none other manner may the labor of the officers accomplish maximum good.

 

----o----

 

THE LIBRARY

 

THE CHOICE OF A WORKING LIBRARY FOR A LODGE

 

TONIGHT is the close of a torrid day. Record breaking temperatures have prevailed. Driven from offices by the fierce heat as soon as the labor of business is relieved we enjoy the out‑of‑doors. At last we are free of the four walls, floors and ceilings. Here we breathe a purer air. Gone is the grind. Our four walls are the very horizon. Sheltered are we by the sturdy trunk, the spreading branches, and the luxuriant foliage of a splendid tree. Planted in an easy chair we scan lazily the evening newspaper and then drowsily watch the setting sun descend in a bronzypurplish gold of glorious hue.

 

Over on the fence hangs a coat. Out of the pocket peep a letter or two. Forthwith these missives are taken. A few sentences stick out of them beyond all the other paragraphs.

 

"Don't forget the 'Library.' " Too hot for libraries.

 

What else does he say? "Did Brother Newton send you any books to review?" No indeed! And "I think that was very kind of Brother Newton," say we.

 

Another letter is here from headquarters. "Advises that he has written you concerning the 'Library' column." Um, oh well, there seems no help for it. Something must be done about that column "copy."

 

Ah, here's a find! This is truly some letter. "I wish you would discuss the questions arising out of the development, as well as the beginning, of the ordinary Lodge Library."

 

Now that is sure some inquiry and some job.

 

Mind you, he does not ask for a suitable Library for an individual but one for many. There is a difference. A brother picks out his own collection of books fol the home, his individuality is shown to some extent in the selection. But in the choice of a Lodge Library the circumstances are not quite the same, the books are chosen for various persons of quite unlike tastes and requirements - that is, if any plan is adopted at all.

 

How many lodges have a "working" Library ? Only the other day in the course of an inventory, a Lodge Library was disclosed. There it was, back at the far end of a property room. From the dust on the glass you would assume that the contents of the case had not been touched for months or perhaps longer. How shall such a Library be galvanized into life, given at least the semblance of vitality ?

 

Let us take a look at the books of the ordinary Lodge Library. Mainly reports are they. Seldom do you get beyond a collection of the doings of Grand Lodge Communications and the other books or pamphlets coming from the same source. These are most valuable for their purpose but they are limited, too much so for the general infolmation of the brethren.

 

Supplement them with the best of encyclopedias written for Masons. The finest of Masonic histories are none too good for the Lodge Library. If you are in doubt as to which is the best to buy of these books for the Library, then resolve the doubt by buying all whose merits arouse any conflict in your estimation.

 

Much depends upon the amount of money you have decided to devote to the Library. Already in the columns of The Builder lists have been submitted for the most economical of Lodge Libraries as well as for the more expensive. If you are in doubt then tell us your individual desires, the expenditures you prefer to make, and The Builder has a department that will cheerfully meet your requirements in every possible particular.

 

There are several books not to be obtained in quantity as yet. In this class we need sundry additions to the fiction of Kipling, Cobb, Burrill, Ellis, Kennedy, Lloyd, and others. In this section, the Masonic Library books of relaxation, we ought to have some music. Wesley, Sullivan, Mozart, the last in particular deserves cultivation. Few indeed, altogether too few, are the musicians who know that Brother Mozart wrote very fine compositions for Masonic uses. These ought to be reproduced and cultivated.

 

Of course you will have in your Lodge Library the first volume of The Builder and Brother Pound's "Philosophy." You must not neglect these essential sources of data arranged primarily for we Masons of America.

 

More than the collecting of literature is the absorption thereof. How shall the encyclopedia be analyzed? How shall we proceed with the synthesis of historical essays?

 

Truly it is one thing to collect‑books, and quite another to make studious uses of them.

 

Browse around in the "Table of Contents." Get acquainted with the "Index." Here and there you will find mention of something that excites your interest. Go after that reference. Probably that first passage or chapter suggests another matter closely correlated and which on again referring to the index you will see has further treatment elsewhere in that book, or maybe you will run across the subject in some other volume of the Library.

 

This is one way to unearth the material in the books. An easy way it is, but not the most satisfactory from sundry angles.

 

Let us look at this matter fron another standpoint. Suppose we ask ourselves a few questions. "What, for example, is a most important feature, not the most important feature, mind you, of Freemasonry?" Among them you will probably reply "Age." In this opinion you are absolutely correct. How is this view to be confirmed or amended?

 

You can pry this information out of the encyclopedia by a search along the following lines: Adonis, Mysteries of; Cavern; Cabyric Mysteries; Chaldeans; Crusades; Cologne, Charter of; Comacines; Culdees; Druidical Mysteries; Druses; Egyptian Mysteries; Essenes; Guilds; Mysteries, Ancient; Osiris, Mysteries of; Orphic Mysteries; etc.

 

Only the most complete of Masonic encyclopedias will contain such profuse references. Take a few notes of every one of these little essays. Put your extracts on cards. When you have collected the set of references assemble them in the order of the dates, that is chronologically. Now you have an assortment of facts giving you the best of foundations when you allude to the antiquity of the Craft.

 

Bring up your information to the inception of the Grand Lodge system. Consider the circumstances attendant upon that departure. Investigate conflicting sources of Masonic authority, particularly in this connection look up Lawrence Dermott and his Grand Lodge, and of the steps whereby the United Grand Lodge of England came into being. Meantime you will not overlook the history of your own Grand Lodge nor the course of the stream down which its authority from start to finish has flowed even unto your own Lodge.

 

The foregoing is but one of the many alluring paths of Masonic research. Other delightful directions are waiting. Pursue any of them.

 

Another thought is this: The degree to which Freemasons are informed determines Masonic influence. Initiation points the way but only the studious walk therein.

 

Whew, how warm it is! Long since the sun sank out of sight. Darkness has fallen upon us. Alone these rambling comments are jotted down under the lamp with the air still sultry. Around are books galore. Many of them just ache to be reviewed. Let them wait. Truest of friends are books. Neglect annoys them not. Bedtime approaches and no opportunity is left for even a parting dip into any of them. A regretful glance is all that now their covers may receive from us. Good night.

 

----o----

 

THE GREAT HOPE

 

Think it all through from end to end, visit every altar that man has uplifted in the midst of the years, fathom every philosophy and every faith, and the solitary hope of man in life and death rests upon his kinship with the Eternal - rests in the truth that "the spirit of man is the candle of the Lord." - J.F.N.

 

----o----

 

TRUE FOR ALL MEN

 

To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart, is true for all men; that is genius. Speak your latent conviction, and it shall be the universal sense; for always the inmost becomes the outmost, and our first thought is rendered back to us by the trumpets of the Last Judgment. - Emerson

 

----o----

 

BILL JONES, FREEMASON

 

For two‑score years, or maybe more,

Bill Jones had run a country store.

His shrewd kind face, bewhiskered 'round,

From morn to night there always found.

Save at his meals, and short they were,

'Cause Bill believed all food's savor

Should second be to business scent;

That, if neglected, custom went

Where stores were run more pleasingly,

And storemen worked unceasingly.

The business creed of Jones was such;

No better, and perhaps not much

To brag about. And yet old Bill

Had other traits his life to fill.

Of this I'll tell you, for behold

When evening came, the last sale sold

And the doors were locked, Bill set

Out brisk for home, and soon to get

Ready for Lodge. A Mason he,

Although I must confess it be

No more than right to say out loud

Jones was not an expert overproud.

He had his failings, poor old Bill.

You'd sure have laughed, well nigh to kill,

Had you been there when long agone

We elected Bill a Deacon.

He tried so hard to fill the place,

You could not keep a straightened face,

Such tricks his memory played him.

His chances were so very slim

That he soon tumbled and resigned

In favor of another whose mind

Had fewer kinks than Brother Bill

And fewer troubles with his will.

Did Bill get mad and quit ? Why, no!

I guess he felt a little raw,

But never enough to show it.

Stout‑hearted he, there was no quit

In good old Bill's Masonic way.

Just where he stood, he stood to stay.

There was no office then for Bill;

Grand Lodges somehow fail to fill

In an office for such as these

Whose rhetoric is not to please.

But Bill he waited not for long.

His heart was in the work. Among

The visitors his welcome hand

Was as the glimpse of Promised Land.

His beaming face, his cheery nod

Old‑fashioned manners - maybe odd

Were gracious at the outer door.

And in the work done on the floor

They lent a help of potent force.

As you'll admit, and quite of course,

Bill found a bigger job his place

Than that he left. By saving grace

A general rule it is, you bet

We often find the work we get

Is not our kind, and then it's easy

For any man of brains to see

He'd better stop but not unkind

With Providence nor sore in mind.

Just fill your place as does old Bill,

Repining not. His feet don't chill!

Honors official ? Oh, I say,

Within that heart of Jones' there's light.

Many a day has he a sight

Of the vision that sometimes comes

In palaces or dirty slums,

To brighten hope and dry a tear,

To quicken faith and banish fear.

Live on, good Bill! Thy joyous smile

Shall sweeten us when here awhile

And bring us happier to that bourne

From whence no traveler may return.

 

- R.I. Clegg.

 

----o----

 

SHAKESPEARE

 

Magical, myriad‑minded!

Thy mighty pen

Hath conquered all men,

Even to the remotest bounds

Of our wide earth - Gonnoske Komai.

 

----o----

 

THE QUESTION BOX

 

THE RITUAL OF ANCIENT EGYPT

 

What is the Ritual of Ancient Egypt, and is it in convenient book form? What does "V. S. L." stand for? - G.R.D.

 

The Book of the Dead, that Elder Brother among books, has been deemed a ritual. We do not think that the researches of the various Egyptologists have exhausted the possibilities in this direction and from time to time we hear of further attempts to unlock the old mysteries. Some months ago our good Brother W. John Songhurst, Secretary of the famous Quatuor Coronati Lodge at London sent us a circular announcing a book on the ritual of ancient Egypt but we did not preserve the slip. It may be that he can supply another if our correspondent will send on his address to Brother Songhurst, 27 Great Queen Street, London, W. C., England.

 

What is known as the "Egyptian Rite" was mentioned by Brother Waite as having its ritual printed in the columns of L'Initiation, a French publication. However, he did not give the date.

 

The Ancient and Primitive Rite of Memphis claims to be derived from Egypt. One of its leaders, J.E. Marconis, has written a couple of treatises upon it in French, and Gottlieb has a brief history of it in English. No complete exposition of its many degrees has appeared to our knowledge.

 

"V.S.L." means the Bible, the Volume of the Sacred Law.

 

* * *

 

THE ORDERS OF ARCHITECTURE

 

Please enlighten me regarding the Five Orders of Architecture, the Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, Tuscan and Composite. I would like to know if any actual organization exists and also the name and address of the Secretary. - J.P.K.

 

By Order in architecture is meant a system of all the members, proportions and ornaments of columns and pilasters, or the arrangement of the projecting and visible parts of a building, so united as to form an ideal and complete whole. The word "order," it is true, is sometimes applied (as with fraternal organizations) to a class or body of persons united in some common bond but we are not aware of the existence of such an organization as our correspondent has in mind, so far as we are able to understand the questions.

 

* * *

 

COLORED LODGE CHARTERED BY WHITE GRAND LODGE

 

I have been informed that a colored lodge has a charter from a white Grand Lodge in the State of New Jersey. Please give me what information you can on that subject. - H. S. B.

 

A number of years ago one of the lodges in that State admitted to membership several applicants not of the white race. They were few in number and it would not be strictly accurate to call that lodge by any designation that implies the majority of the membership was colored. The complete facts are discussed in a pamphlet printed by the Grand Lodge of New Jersey and which can doubtless be obtained by communicating with the Grand Secretary, Bro. Benjamin F. Wakefield, Masonic Temple, corner of State and Warren streets, Trenton, N. J.

 

While lodges in the United States are usually sharply divided on the color line, foreign jurisdictions are seldom so limited. Under such conditions abroad it would not be at all surprising to find a colored lodge chartered by a white Grand Lodge.

 

* * *

 

TEMPLARISM IN ACTION

 

I am looking for something on Knight Templarism, something along the line of a clear exposition of the teachings and principles of the Institution. I do not care for the history of the Institution but more for an elucidation of principles and their application in daily life, something which will help us to educate our members more clearly as to its true purpose, aside from the instructions in the ritualistic work. - M.P.O.

 

Please pardon us if we say that of all books of instruction that seem most pertinent to such a need there is none that appeals to us as does the Bible itself. Almost any of the epistles of Paul suggest the very material you seek. Read the second chapter of the epistle to the Ephesians and right up to its very climax in the twenty‑second verse it will surely appeal to the Knight Templar. Or go on to the sixth chapter of the same epistle with its symbolism of the whole armor of God and note its applicability to every soldier of the cross. So convenient is the Book of Books and so inexhaustible are its riches for the purpose named that we need offer none other source of instruction for the Templar's first choice.

 

* * *

 

THE WAGES OF A MASTER MASON

 

Will you kindly answer the following question through The Builder: What are a Master Mason's wages? -J.N.H.

 

The wages of a Fellow Craft deal with the material satisfactions of life, the things of the present. The wages of a Master Mason are to enjoy the happy reflections of a well‑spent life and to die in the expectation of immortality, the hope of a blessed hereafter. Ah, my brother, when you and I rehearse the ritualistic work do we not read the lessons aright, to teach the initiate how to plan his future conduct, how to order his work through a lifetime, and how to die. These are the duties of him who gives the brethren good and wholesome instruction.

 

* * *

 

THE PLACE OF BURIAL

 

In our lecture this statement is made "Buried as near the S. of S. or H. of H. as Jewish law would permit." What Jewish law affected the burial of bodies, and what distance did it prescribe? - J.W.

 

Contact with the dead body was deemed a cause of uncleanness among the Jews, something to be avoided as much as possible. Obviously it was out of the question to bury the dead in a place reserved for the entrance of the officiating High Priest and he only at an annual visit. But on the other hand it was an indication of great respect for the dead that a body be interred as close to the sacred precincts as could be done without giving arise to the contamination already mentioned. That this distance was specified in exact terms we do not discover. The Biblical word "nigh" is a fair specimen of distance designation under such circumstances.

 

***

 

THE SYMBOLISM OF THE APRON

 

I have had the privilege of visiting in a few jurisdictions and apparently all agree on the E.A. method although not fully explained to the candidate why. In the F.C. it would seem to me that as workmen, the ancient apron being a garment of utility, the fullest extension of the lower part would be most consistent, and that the triangle shape is consistent for a Master or Overseer who is not obliged to consider it a garment of utility necessarily. I have seen these two methods reversed and would like to know a little more about the "whys" than my present meagre facilities allow to me. - J.C.K.

 

The triangular folding may signify either of two things: First, that state of relief from the rough labor of the common workman that comes after the heat and burden of the day, when, contented with his service, he seeks refreshment, or it may mean that thenceforth he that so wears it is qualified for more advanced work than when it was worn as a protection against uncleanliness or attrition. Secondly, it reminds one of the shape of that tool of unity, the peculiar implement of a Master Mason for harmony. Elsewhere than in the United States this working tool is not so commonly employed and therefore we are likely to find some variations in the manner in which it is here symbolized and discussed. To this cause is it probable that the discrepancy may be ascribed.

 

* * *

 

THE FUNERAL OF BURNS

 

Burns as you know was given a military funeral. Why it was not Masonic is a question which I have asked several of my friends without satisfactory replies. One of them was of the opinion that our present service was of later origin than the death of Burns. Brother Brown, in your January issue, says: "While a youth he (Burns) had witnessed a funeral conducted by the Institution of Masonry. That sight he never forgot." Presumably Brother Brown knows how it was then conducted and he may also have the information for which I am in search. One other Question: - To what did Burns refer in the lines:

 

When Masons' mystic word an' gri'

In storms an' tempests raise you up,

Some cock or cat your rage maun stop,

Or, strange to tell,

The youngest Brother you wad whip

Aff straught to hell - C.M.S.

 

The suggestion of the friend that the death of Burns antedated our Masonic funeral ceremony does not seem to fit the facts. Burns died in 1796 while the Constitutions of 1754 give instructions as to the conduct of funeral processions and presumably other parts of the ceremonies were settled and practiced long before the passing of Burns. That he should not have had a Masonic funeral was probably due to the rule of the 1792 Constitutions which provided that "No Mason can be interred with the formalities of the Order unless it be by his own special request communicated to the Master of the Lodge of which he died a member." How few of us arrange these things today, and how likely it is that Burns overlooked then, as we might now overlook, that provision of the Constitutions. The second question is much more recondite. One immediately thinks of the relation of cock and cat to necromancy and so forth. But we will submit the verse to our readers for their criticism.

 

* * *

 

THE TALMUD AND THE VEDAS

 

What is the "Talmud" and the "Vedas" and do you know if they can be purchased? Also is the "Septuagint" the old Testament as we have it today ? - J.A.K.

 

The Talmud is the great Rabbinical literature which grew up in the first four or say perhaps six centuries of the Christian era This immense store with the old Testament jointly became the "Bible" of the Jews. Editions, condensed or elaborate, are to be obtained in one or many volumes from dealers in theological treatises. The Vedas are the literary productions of the Sanscrit, that far eastern branch of the Aryan people. These form the foundation of the Brahmanical system of belief and on them, too, such philologists as Prof. Max Muller have expended tremendous toil. Numerous translations of verse, etc., are to be obtained of this extensive product of the past. The "Septuagint" is an Alexandrian version of the Old Testament but the Bible has experienced many revisions since the Greek translation of 200 years B.C.

 

* * *

 

CORRESPONDENCE

 

 

FLORENCE WAS A MASON

 

Surely you are mistaken as to "Billy" Florence, founder of the Shrine not having been a Mason. Here is an extract from "One Hundred Years of Aurora Grata, 1808‑1908," published by Aurora Grata Consistory, N.M.J., (Brooklyn, N. Y.) 1908:

 

"On Sunday the 21st of April, 1867, the Lodge of Perfection held a special meeting at the Metropolitan Hotel at two o'clock in the afternoon for the purpose of conferring the Ineffable degrees by Communication upon Bro. William J. Florence, who was 'about to depart for Europe,' as the minutes say. There were present Ill. Bro. McClenachan and one other member of the Supreme Council for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, two from the Southern, and a number of members of Aurora Grata. The degrees of the Council, Chapter and Consistory were conferred upon Bro Florence before his departure. This was the trip made by him to the Old World preceding the establishment of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine in the United States. Bro. Florence brought back monitorial, historical and explanatory manuscripts and communicated the secrets of the Order to Dr. Walter M. Fleming of Aurora Grata Consistory, who was empowered to introduce and establish the Order in America. It was determined to confer the Order only on Freemasons, and on the 16th of June, 1871, four Knights Templar and seven members of Aurora Grata Consistory, 32d, were made acquainted with the secrets of the Order by Dr. Fleming and Bro. Florence. It was decided to engage in the establishment of the Order, and on the 26th of September, 1872, the organization was effected and officers elected. Nine of the thirteen founders of the Mystic Shrine in the United States were members of the Aurora Grata bodies."

 

If this book is not in your library it should be. Only last night I talked with a veteran Mason who was active in those days. He says William J. Florence was a stepbrother of Peter Conlin, police captain in New York City, and was brought up as Conlin, changing the name or reverting to his father's name when he reached years of discretion. Curious that today The Builder should come to hand with a query as to Florence, and that the statement should be so positively made: "He was not a Mason, but a Roman Catholic." Fie on the "but" Brother!

 

Henry D. Somerville. New York.

 

* * *

 

CHURCH INITIATION

 

Speaking of your answer in the Question Box, headed "Church Initiations," here is an extract from Gobbet d'Alviella's "Eleusinia," (French edition), p. 126:

 

"It has sometimes been pretended that Jesus had a double teaching: One, exoteric, for the body of the faithful, the other esoteric, for the Apostles, who were especially charged with assuring the transmission of the mysterious doctrine, against the day when the latter might be safely made public. This thesis, which, formerly maintamed by Valentin and other Gnostics, had still found in the 19th century, ingenious defenders, is today completely abandoned. If there be a single evident historic truth, it is that the Christian cult, in its beginnings, had nothing hidden. It was accessible to all who accepted the Christ as a Messiah. . ."

 

Personally, I think the body of evidence is against the Count's contentions, and I am not ready to abandon the older theory; but his position in the world of letters is such as to entitle his opinions to respect.

 

R.J. Lemert. Montana.

 

* * *

 

LIQUOR LAWS IN ALABAMA

 

I wish to call your attention to a slight error, if some one has not already done so, made by Rt. Worshipful Bro. Parvin in his answer to the question of "A.J.H." regarding the percentage of Grand Lodges of the American Union who have taken a definite stand pertaining to the application of one engaged in the Liquor Traffic.

 

Bro. Parvin quotes from "Recollection" regarding the Alabama law.

 

"In the Code of the Grand Lodge of Alabama, we find the law to be that petitions from such parties are accepted and no legislation made against receiving them into membership."

 

When as a matter of fact the Edicts of the brand Lodge of Alabama, are very strong in their mandates against such parties being accepted.

 

I quote here this Edict under the head of Membership, viz:

 

No. 277 - "Membership - Liquor Dealers Ineligible - one who is engaged in the business of selling spirituous, vinous or malt liquors is ineligible for membership."

 

No. 278. "Same - This disqualification applies to a bookkeeper and traveling salesman in the wholesale liquor house; also to a stockholder in a corporation engaged in the business of selling liquor."

 

No. 279. "Drug Clerk Eligible - A prescription clerk in a drug store where liquor is sold by wholesale, is not engaged in the business of selling liquors, and therefore not ineligible."

 

No. 280. "Same - A traveling salesman for a wholesale drug house which also sells liquor is ineligible for the degrees unless he confines himself exclusively to the sale of drugs." Joseph E. Patterson, Alabama.

 

* * *

 

 

MASONRY'S SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE

 

For many years I have been striving to find a spiritual basis for Freemasonry. I belong to that "frenzied" minority, who holds that every symbol in Freemasonry has its spiritual significance. I am one of those "dreamers" in Freemasonry, who holds that the mission of Freemasonry is to spiritualize, through a spiritual interpretation of its symbols, the consciousness of man, that he may be free - free from consequences of sin. "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." I am one of those Masonic "hallucinists" who sees in the raising of Hiram Abif, the salvation of man, and his at‑one‑ment with God; who sees his return to that perfect spiritual consciousness from which he fell.

 

Now, my dear brother, if you have any contributors to "The Builder" who can see beyond the moral plane of Freemasonry, or its historicity, let's hear from them, remembering that, "He who sticketh to the letter sticketh to the bark."

 

Willis H. Leavitt, Missouri.

 

* * *

 

IS AN E.A. A MASON?

 

Have taken an interest in the Question Box of The Builder, particularly in regards the question of J.H.H. - "is an E.A. a Mason?"

 

Take the Question, Where were you made a Mason? and, What makes you a Mason? Are the answers not conclusive that an E.A. is a Mason?

 

I was made a Mason in Grand River Lodge No. 151, and that Lodge, like all Lodges in the Grand Lodge of Canada, transacts all of its business in the E.A. Degree, and E.A's. are allowed the privilege of voting and make motions. F.C. and M.M. Lodges are only held for conferring degrees or business extraordinary.

 

The only privilege that an E.A. has not is that after death he is denied Masonic burial.

 

There is a phrase in our Idaho work which I wish you would give me light on. "If within the first square or angle of my work." What does it mean or convey?

 

C. T. Laschinger, Idaho.

 

* * *

 

THE ETHICS OF THE BALLOT

 

I read with interest the letter from Bro. G. Middleton on "The Ethics of the Ballot." This is a point that has been much discussed by various brethren here and one that has caused our Lodge some trouble. To my mind I consider it the DUTY (not privilege) of any brother who knows anything detrimental about a proposed candidate to report it at once to the Investigating Committee. I always feel if I am a member of an Investigating Committee and if we bring in a favorable report on a candidate who is rejected on ballot, the Lodge has passed a vote of censure on myself and other members of the Committee. I would be glad to hear what other Brethren have to say on this important matter.

 

A.G. Rawlinson, Saskatchewan.

 

* * *

 

THE DIONYSIACS

 

In "The Question Box" for July you say of the Dionysiacs, "They are the first order of architects, or which we have record, who were a secret order practicing the rites of the Mysteries." You also quote Prof. Robinson as saying, "We know that the Dionysiacs of Ionia were a great corporation of architects and engineers who undertook, and even monopolized, the building of temples and stadia. . ."

 

From my knowledge of the classics I am aware that the Dionysiacs were "a secret order practicing the rites of the mysteries" and that they "built temples," at least in the sense that a Masonic lodge "builds" its temples or that a manufacturing company "builds" a factory. Of the other statements I have never seen any proof although such second hand statements as that you give here are common.

 

I would be very glad if you could refer me to proof of these other alleged facts. I don't mean references to some other encyclopedia but actual quotations from writers contemporary with the Dionysiacs or at least earlier than the second century A. D.

 

The statements about which I feel rather doubtful are:

 

I The Dionysiacs were an "order of architects" or a "corporation of architects and engineers."

 

II. They "built temples" in the sense that a carpenter or an architect builds a house, not in the sense that the architect's employer may be said to build it.

 

III. They "build stadia."

 

IV They "even monopolized the building of temples and stadit." In connection with No. I., I might suggest the question, were any but "architects and engineers" admitted to membership ?

 

A. Barnett Jones, Michigan.

 

* * *

 

THE BALTIMORE CONVENTION

 

In a recent number of The Builder there was a statement in which the writer stated that the Baltimore Convention was held in 1843 in which 16 Grand Lodges were represented. I was made a Mason in June, 1856 - was a student of Anthony O'Sullivan, who was then Grand Secretary and Grand Lecturer of the State of Missouri and was a member of that Convention.

 

O'Sullivan taught me, that the Baltimore Convention was held in June, 1842, in which all the then existing Grand Lodges in the United States were represented excepting New Jersey and Pennsylvania, they being York Rite Masons did not participate or affiliate in any way in the proceedings of that Memorable Convention. That Convention was composed of three delegates from each State Grand Lodge, Grand Master, Grand Secretary and Grand Lecturer. Missouri was represented by Joseph Foster, Grand Master, and Anthony O'Sullivan, who held the dual position of Grand Secretary and Grand Lecturer. John Dove, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Virginia, was the Secretary of that Convention. Everything pertaining to English feudalism was eliminated and a purely American system was adopted covering the first, second and third degrees. And from the Thomas Smith Webb Monitor and Cross Masonic Chart, a monitorial lecture was adopted for each degree.

 

John Dove, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Virginia, was the Secretary of the Convention. John Dove of Virginia, C.C. Moore, Editor of the Cincinnati Gazette, a Masonic magazine, and Anthony O'Sullivan of Missouri, were appointed as a Committee with power to act, to collate what had been agreed upon and publish a monitor for the use of all the Grand and subordinate Grand Lodges in the United States.

 

The Convention adjourned sine die. The delegates returned to their several homes.

 

Soon thereafter this Committee undertook the work. Moore of Cincinnati insisted on injecting into the book a lot of stuff which had not been adopted by the Convention. To this, Dove and O'Sullivan objected; soon thereafter Brother Dove died.

 

O'Sullivan and Moore could not agree as to the matter to be so published and while dragging along in this way Moore died, leaving O'Sullivan as the sole survivor of the Committee. Hence no National Monitor was ever published, leaving each Grand Lodge jurisdiction the right to continue its own choice as to Lodge Monitor.

 

I am now over eighty‑two years young, and have been a Mason over sixty years, was taught esoteric Masonry by O'Sullivan, who died of cholera in St. Louis in September, 1866. What little I know about Masonic history, I have learned by reading good books, and along with other reading matter, I enjoy reading the many good articles as published in The Builder. And at my advanced age, I am still a student, a charter Member and Secretary of the Fresno, California, Masonic Library Association. In this we boast of having the most complete Masonic Library on the Pacific Coast.

 

J. G. Anderson, California.

 

* * *

 

JACHIN AND BOAZ

 

Brother C.W.: - If you will turn to II Samuel, 7th Ch., 12th and 13th verses, and I Chronicles, 17th Ch., 10th, 11th and 12th verses, or to the end of the last chapter I think you will find the satisfactory answer to your question.

 

A. L. Howerton.

 

* * *

 

ATLANTIS AND LEMURIA

 

Referring to the question asked by E.P.H. in your June issue, a great deal of scientific and other interesting data on the first of these can be obtained from the book "Atlantis" by Ignatius Donnelly, published by Harpers. He presents an immense amount of evidence on the subject drawn from a wide variety of natural sources, and, to my mind, removes almost entirely from the realms of reasonable doubt, the question as to whether Atlantis existed or not. There are also two books by Dr. Le Plongeon, who with his wife, spent several years in the interior of Central America and Yucatan, examining the ruins of the ancient Mayax cities. He came to the conclusion that there was not only a great empire, whose history has survived in the fragment stories about Atlantis, but that the classic Greek alphabet is really a compilation, somewhat after the style of the Norse Sagas, for memnonic purposes of the events which led up to and accompanied the great cataclysms under which that empire disappeared.

 

As regards Lemuria, there is a small but concentrated book on the subject, known as "The Lost Lemuria," by Scott‑Elliott. It contains certain maps and gives such details as could then be obtained. But his authorities are not yet of a kind generally recognized. Still as a contribution to a solution of this problem it is worthy of consideration.

 

As to the existence of the continent now named Hyperborea we have only that of geology. That is indisputable as far as it goes, but it has yet to be collated and set forth, even as a scientific hypothesis, so that it is still far from the field of a layman's reading.

 

I must agree with you as to the writings of Edouard Schure; on trying to get any information from him, as distinguished from his own speculations, I feel as though I had become lost in a cloud of feathers, and was badly in need of a parachute

 

Dr. Rudolf Steiner, of Vienna, (I think) has also written a book on Atlantis but it is mostly occupied with the question of the mental development of our ancesters at that time, and has nothing to say as to geography or other physical conditions. N. W. J. Haydon, Toronto, Canada.

 

----o----

 

RED‑HOT DAYS

 

On red‑hot summer days

What comfort it would be -

To have at hand always

An Educated Tree -

To follow us around the town, no matter where we strayed,

And furnish us with shade,

Or if it were a lemon‑tree, with lemonade !

 

- John Kendrick Bangs.

 

----o----

 

A PRAYER FOR MAGNANIMITY

 

O God, I ask for a larger soul, one that can feel Thy magnanimity. I would not only deal justly with all men: I would pity those who deal unjustly. I would be without bitterness toward those who wrong me. I would love my enemies and pray for those who despitefully use me.

 

It is not that I have personal foes, but that I feel the anguish that burdens the world. The family peace is broken up. The waters we all must drink are muddled.

 

Ambition, selfishness and greed, always savage, have slipped their leash and are running wild through holy places, spoiling that which is beautiful and mocking at love. And wherever their sinister trail has gone the sanctities of life are forgotten. Lecherous hands reach out for the fair and pure. New perils are laid for unsteady feet. The woes of the poor are multiplied.

 

My unwilling brothers and sisters have been impressed for hateful work, and there are heaps of fresh earth and wan, tortured faces watching over some of them. And thousands of those who sleep and millions of those who watch had done no violence, neither was any deceit in their mouths.

 

Surely they did not merit this ! Surely those who loosed the leash did not consider! Something blinded them! Lord, open their eyes that they may see the fruit of their sin, and, in the hour of their conscious shame, in Thy magnanimity, forgive them.

 

And grant to all who suffer the spirit of One who, deserving the best, received the worst - and forgave. Amen.

- Sheridan Watson Bell.

 

----o----

 

ONCE AND FOREVER

 

Our own are our own forever, God taketh not back His gift;

They may pass beyond our vision, but our souls shall find them out

When the waiting is all accomplished, and the deathly shadows lift,

 

And glory is given for grieving, and the surety of God for doubt.

We may find the waiting bitter, and count the silence long;

God knoweth we are dust, and He pitieth our pain;

And when faith has grown to fulness and the silence changed to song,

We shall eat the fruit of patience and shall hunger not again.

So, sorrowing hearts, who humbly in darkness and all alone

Sit, missing a dear lost presence and the joy of a vanished day,

Be comforted with this message, that our own are forever our own,

And God, who gave the gracious gift, He takes it never away.

- Susan Coolidge.

 

----o----

 

HOUSE OF THE GOLDEN WINDOWS

 

A hard‑working farm boy was accustomed, when his chores were done in early evening, to climb up a nearby hill and gaze in rapture at a castle in the far distance, which, reflecting the setting sun, looked for all the world like a House with Golden Windows, which name this reflective boy bestowed upon it.

 

One day his father gave him a holiday, and he started of in high spirits to find and gaze upon his House with Golden Windows at close hand. Long was the road, and it was near sunset when he arrived at the place. To his utter dismay the castle of his dreams was an old, tumbledown building, with every sign of decay and abandonment. Ready to burst into tears with disappointment, he was disconsolately dragging himself off, when a little girl came round the corner and inquired about his trouble.

 

"I came to find the House with Golden Windows - and it's gone!" he sobbed.

 

"Why, no, it isn't," said the girl. "Come and I'll show it to you," and she led him to a hill back of the hut.

 

There, to be sure, was a House with Golden Windows, gleaming wonderfully in the brilliant amber of the declining sun; but it was far back along the road the boy had trod so hopefully.

 

The latter gazed in amazement: it was his own home!

 

-W.W. Giles

 

----o----

 

MY CREED

 

I do not fear to tread the path that those I love have long since trod;

I do not fear to pass the gates and stand before the living God.

In this world's fight I've done my part; if God be God He knows it well;

He will not turn His back on me and send me down to blackest hell

Because I have not prayed aloud and shouted in the market‑place.

'Tis what we do, not what we say, that makes us worthy of His grace.

 

- Jeanette Gilder.

 

----o----

 

FEAR NOT

 

At old Thermopylae's storied pass,

A trembling warrior to Leonidas

Brought word, "My captain we are lost:

The mailed enemy draws near."

"Courage," cried out the chief. "Be theirs the cost:

Are we not near them, too? Then let them fear.

When on life's field your own heart shakes,

Remember that the foeman's also quakes.

 

- Edwin Markham.

 

 

         

Museum Home Page     Phoenixmasonry Home Page

Copyrighted 1999 - 2014   Phoenixmasonry, Inc.      The Fine Print