The Builder Magazine

January 1917 - Volume III - Number 1

 

TRAVEL SKETCHES -- THE LAND OF ROBERT BURNS

BY BRO. JOSEPH FORT NEWTON

"O come awa', O come awa'

Strang brither o' the West-lan',

Altho' we hinna meikle gear,

Yer welcome tae our best, man.

Auld Scotias bens an' glens cry oot

A greetin' tae the West-man,

An' honest herts an' frien'ly han's

But wish ye wad them test, man:

O come awa', syne come awa'

An' be our luckie guest, man."

 

THESE lines, written by an honored and beloved Mason, came floating down to London-town from the Land of Robert Burns. How could any one resist such an invitation; how could one ever forget such a welcome? And so I went to Scotland, by the Midland route, up through rural farming England by way of Bedford, the city of Bunyan; then over "the peak country" into Yorkshire, with a glimpse of Lancashire; across the wide moorland district to Cumberland, and the beautiful Eden Valley of "Merrie Carlyle" with its cathedral and castles, of which Scott sang in The Lay of the Last Minstrel. Ten miles further on we crossed the border at Gretna, now a great munition center, and another twenty miles brought us to Dumfries and the Burns country.

 

Our first stop was at Glasgow on the Clyde, the commercial and industrial capital of Scotland, the rival of Liverpool in shipping-trade and of Manchester in its manufactures, and perhaps the foremost city in the world in its solution of the problem of public utilities. Standing on the site of an episcopal see founded by St. Mungo in 560 A. D., Glasgow has a long and thrilling history, much of which is enshrined in its noble cathedral, which more than any other building I saw in Briton gave me a sense of gray antiquity. But my mission to Glasgow was Masonic, and for Masonic students its chief claim to fame is that it is the home of Progress Lodge, and its distinguished guide, philosopher and teacher, Brother A. S. MacBride, of whom all may read elsewhere in this issue. He it was who wrote those lines of greeting and welcome, and all that the poet predicted was more than fulfilled in fact.

 

Such a reception! Never in all his life has ye humble editor enjoyed a hospitality more hearty and more happy, or a brotherly courtesy more complete in its appointments or more exquisitely canny in its delicate details. Truly, that was "The End of a Perfect Day," dross-drained and lovely, and set like a gem in my heart forever. As I was led into Progress Lodge to be introduced, a Brother stepped forward and took from beneath the Bible an American flag, which he spread over the Altar, as the entire Lodge rose and cheered. It was one of many such acts of thoughtful courtesy which marked the evening, like so many stars. The Lodge was then opened in form, and I was permitted, by the kindness of the Worshipful Master, to respond to the greetings of the Brethren, to express appreciation of the work of Brother MacBride, and to tell of the fame of Progress Lodge on this side of the sea. They were much interested in my brief sketch of present tendencies in American Masonry, and of the interest in Masonic Research among us.

 

Next day I was shown the city of Glasgow, its lovely homes, its churches, its schools and university, its neat and well-kept branch-libraries and its great central Library--where, in the safety vault, I had a peep at old editions of the poems of Burns which made it hard ) obey the law which commands us not to covet our neighbors goods. Then we visited the homes in which Glasgow houses some fourteen thousand Belgian refugees, and found them well-arranged and carefully kept, all under the management of a Past Master of Progress Lodge. As we entered a home for children, whose parents are either lost or killed, their little faces lighted up with greetings, each giving us a fine military salute, saying "Good morning, and thank you." Some of those faces haunt me still, with their curly locks and bright eyes--tiny waifs sent adrift by the horror of war, and finding home and food and care in the lovely land of Scotland.

 

In Glasgow, as everywhere in England and Scotland, the squares and parks are adorned with statues and memorials of great men of war and state, of science and religion, poets and prophets and soldiers standing side by side. It is so in George Square, the finest open pace in the city, surrounded by the spacious Municipal buildings-- in which there is a lovely staircase of marble and alabaster--the Post Office, the Bank of Scotland, the Merchant's House, and so forth. Walter Scott, Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, Sir John Moore, Campbell, Clyde, Watt, Peel, Robert Burns, Livingstone and Gladstone, all look down upon the passerby, reminding him of the fine issues to which human life ascends. Great men grow where great men are honored, and the sons of old Scotland go all over the earth, everywhere taking the lead in whatever field they enter.

 

High Street, leading to the Cathedral, was the chief thoroughfare in the old city of St. Mungo, and at "Bell o' the Brae," where it sweeps to the right and begins to ascend, Wallace won a victory in 1300. The Cathedral, as I have said, is truly a noble monument, its chief glory, perhaps, being its Crypt, a finely proportioned structure, with a fine vaulting. Some of its sixty-five pillars are crowned by exquisitely carved captals, and for a Mason who has an eye for angles and arches it is a pure delight. What workmen they were in those days of old! On the north side is the tomb of Edward Irving, of whom a portrait appears, as St. John the Baptist, in the window above. The Cathedral is frequently referred to in "Rob Roy," by Walter Scott, but the classical description of it is, undoubtedly, that of Andrew Fairservice.

 

After lunch at the Liberal Club, we were off for a pin about the city and down to Loch Lomond. It was crisp, clear, ideal day--even the Weather Man, who does not always behave well in Scotland, seemed to have been tipped or otherwise induced to be at his best. We had a glimpse of the Clyde along the way, thronged with boats, bordered by vast ship-yards full of boats in he building. At Renton we paused to see the monument to Smollet, and better still for a visit to the Lodge Room of the Lodge Leven St. John, in which some of the visions of Brother MacBride in respect of Lodge decorations and arrangements have been worked out. Then there was a real and happy surprise. Entering a quaint little shop, and climbing a winding stair, we found ourselves in the presence of a stately old Highland gentlemen, clad in the garb of his clan, waiting to receive us with all the eats and drinks of the olden days. It was a peep back into the past, picturesque and unforgetable, for which I was deeply grateful.

 

Down the valley we went, on one side the wooded hills, rich in waving ferns, and on the other, presently, Loch Lomond--the while Brother MacBride told the history and legend of the places we passed in suchwise that one hardly knew where one ended and the other began. Loch Lomond is in some respects the loveliest of the Scottish lakes. Seen on such a clear day, with the majestic form of Ben Lomond towering beyond, having a crown of cloud upon his head-- looking like Mount Sinai--it is a picture that can never fade. Returning by Loch Long and Loch Gare, we hasten back to Glasgow to catch the train for Edinburgh, where, for the first time in my life, I was arrested. But as Kipling would say, "that is another story."

 

----o----

 

A PRAYER IN PROSPECT OF DEATH

 

BY ROBERT BURNS

 

“A prayer when fainting fits, and other alarming symptoms of a pleurisy or some other dangerous disorder, which indeed still threathen me, first put nature on the alarm.” (First Common-Place Book, under date August, 1784)

 

A manuscript in the Burns Monument, Edinburgh, has the heading, “A Prayer when dangerously threatened with pleuritic attacks.”

 

There seems to be an uncertainty about the date ofthis poem, for though assigned to 1784, the entry in the “Common-Place Book” above noted proves it earlier than the August of that year. The poem was probably written during the poet’s residence in Irvine, when, as would appear in a letter written to his father, 27th December, 1781, he had the prospect of “perhaps very soon” bidding “adieu to all th epains and uneasiness and disquietudes of this weary life.” (Burns Poems, Cambridge edition.)

 

O thou unknown, Almighty cause

Of all my hope and fear!

In whose dread presence, ere an hour,

Perhaps I must appear!

If I have wandered in those paths

Of life I ought to shun-

As something, loudly, in my breast,

Remonstrates I have done-

Thou know’st that Thou hast formed me

With passions wild and strong;

And list’ning to their witching voice

Has often led me wrong.

Where human weakness has come short,

Or frailty stept aside,

Do Thou, All-good - for suuch Thou art-

In shades of darkness hide.

Where with intention I have erred,

No other plea I have

But, thou art good; and Goodness still

Delighteth to forgive.

 

----o----

 

MASONIC EDUCATION IN CALIFORNIA

 

BY THE GRAND LODGE COMMITTEE

 

TO the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of California:

 

Your Committee on Masonic Education, continued from last year to formulate plans for research and study, beg to report as follows:

 

We feel it to be not only a duty, but a pleasure, to do our full part in furthering the cause which should and will be of more and more importance as the years roll by, notwithstanding the action of the Grand Lodge last year in refusing to adopt our then proposed plan of lectures.

 

We are especially anxious that the Grand Lodge should give its active and unqualified support to the cause of Masonic Education. Last year, as indicated above, the essential portions of our report and recommendations were referred to the Finance Committee and not reported back, thus leaving the balance of little effect.

 

If ever there was a time in the history of our fraternity when men need enlightenment and understanding, that time is now. They need the understanding which shall help them to understand themselves. They need the understanding which shall deepen their sympathies for their fellows. They need the understanding which shall broaden their outlook in life. They need the understanding which shall make them more kind and tolerant of all men, particularly of those they call their brethren. The trend of events the past year or so will verify all this.

 

In our Masonic Lodge rooms the great principles of human brotherhood should be so sanely voiced that our members will see in them real beauty, and understand that they can endure only when harmony prevails.

 

The basic principles for which we stand should be so earnestly and eloquently impressed both on our candidates and our members that all will be aroused by a mighty inspiration.

 

In our work, we should depend less on formalism and more on enlightenment. We owe more to the candidates who knock at our doors than we sometimes give them after they have crossed the portals. Mere ritualism alone will not suffice--it is appealing so far as it goes--but it does not go far enough; not every man is prepared to grasp its hidden meaning.

 

At the very outset of his Masonic career, the candidate should be thrilled with the vital principles and purposes of the Fraternity, and these should be made known to him as clearly as pure English can define them. Nor should that interest be allowed to wane and become inactive through any fault of ours.

 

We have among our members many men of ability who can aid materially in accomplishing this work. How shall we go about it? Let us only reiterate what we asked for last year, and with the hope that this time we will receive the hearty co-operation of the Grand Lodge.

 

We therefore sum up this report by submitting the following points for consideration, being the same four paragraphs that appeared in our report last year, and as found on page 508 of the printed proceedings of 1915, as follows:

 

First: That a Committee on Masonic Education, consisting of three members, be appointed by the M. W. Grand Master to serve for the ensuing year. That it shall be the duty of this Committee to exercise a helpful influence toward all Lodges who desire their counsel and advice. That this Committee shall foster and encourage throughout this jurisdiction the study and research of Masonic tradition, history, literature, law, philosophy, and dominant purposes of this Institution.

 

Second: That a series of lectures to be read in our Lodges at stated periods, shall be prepared under the direction of such Committee; such lectures to be submitted to the M. W. Grand Master for his approval, and afterward printed; one lecture to be mailed each month to every Lodge in this jurisdiction, but only on request.

 

Third: That a series of three lectures be prepared under the direction of the Committee on Masonic Education, along exoteric lines, appropriate respectively to the E.A., F.C., and M.M. degrees; such lectures to be first approved by the M.W. Grand Master and afterwards printed. These lectures to be placed in the candidate's hands after he has received each degree. The lectures to be sold to the Lodges desiring them, at cost.

 

Fourth: That the formation of Study Clubs be encouraged, and that this feature of the work follow a systematic and carefully conceived plan.

 

Irving J. Mitchell,  Alfred W. Bush, John Whicher, Committee.

 

The report was adopted.

 

(This is an exceedingly wise and able report, and its adoption by the Grand Lodge of California is a significant omen. Seldom have we seen the need for Masonic education stated with more force and aptness, both from the point of view of the efficiency of the Order and its influence upon society, and the recommendations cover about all the methods so far tried albeit keeping the whole program, and rightly so, immediately under the supervision of the Grand Master and the Committee. The suggestion about the three lectures on the first three degrees is most timely, for that it takes advantage of the fresh impression in the minds of newly admitted Brethren, making use of an enthusiasm and interest too often neglected and wasted. We note with deep interest the encouragement given to the formation of study clubs, which promises to be so important and delightful a feature of Masonry in the years to come.

 

Howbeit, we are minded to call special attention to the suggestion to induce able and well-informed men of the jurisdiction to prepare themselves for service as Masonic lecturers or instructors. There are any number of such men in every jurisdiction, and we have the feeling that this will be the final solution of the vexed problem of securing competent and reliable Masonic lecturers. Why not have a Board of such lecturers, as we have in many jurisdictions for the teaching of the ritual--what could be more delightful, interesting and worth while both for the lecturers and for the young men whom they inspire and instruct in Masonry? This is not meant to depreciate, in the least, the services of professional Masonic lecturers, some of whom have done most valuable work--although others are very disappointing and unsatisfactory, often setting forth strange, fantastic eccentric notions in the name of Masonry. All this is avoided by the recommendation of the California Committee, whose suggestion is worthy of thoughtful pondering by every jurisdiction awake to the necessity of Masonic education.-- Editor.)

 

----o----

 

A GREAT MASONIC TEACHER

 

BY BRO. JOSEPH FORT NEWTON

 

A. S. MACBRIDE

 

MASONRY had many great teachers in times past, men of the first order of intellect who devoted their fine powers to the exposition of its simple, wise and beautiful truth. Pike, Parvin, Mackey, Fort, Gould, Speth, Crawley, Findel, Hughan, it is an honor to recall the names of such men, into whose labors we have entered, and whose legacy of inspiration and instruction is a priceless inheritance. Noble men, great Masons, tireless students, wise teachers--our debt to them is beyond calculation. But reverence for the work of men of other days should not make us forget our leaders today who are doing so much to interpret Masonry and make it eloquent and effective for its high purposes.

 

Masonry has great teachers today, many of them, but no one more worthy of the honor of his Brethren of every land and rank than Brother A. S. MacBride, of Lodge Progress, Glasgow. More than once we have said that his lectures on "Speculative Masonry" is one of the best Masonic books ever written, and we are ready any time to give a reason for the faith that is in us. First of all, its style is the native speech of Masonry--simple, lucid, and aglow with poetic light and beauty. There are passages that haunt you like noble music when the book has been laid aside. Second, it is a book of vision, in which Masonry is shown to be a wise, clear-seeing, practical Moral Idealism, touched with spiritual meanings and taught in symbols, parables, emblems, and dramas. Third, it is a book of careful, painstaking, reliable scholarship--three things which make it one of the real classics of the Order, and we sincerely hope that it is a fore-runner of other books of like spirit and quality.

 

As will be seen from the accompanying sketch, Brother MacBride was trained in the tradition and lore of the Craft by wise teachers of the olden time, whose method was as thorough as their knowledge was profound. For twenty-five years, or more, he has been a teacher of Masonry in the land of Robert Burns instructing young men in the symbolism and ceremonial of the Craft, and he has left a permanent impress upon the Masonry of his native land. His artist-eye exquisite sense of the fitness of things, together with his rich learning and sound common sense, make him an ideal instructor, and with these are joined a fine enthusiasm. Whether in public printed lecture, or in the more private teaching of the Order--examples of which lie before us in the form of rituals of the first three degrees--his work has the same sagacious insight, the same fine sanity, and the same delicate touch of poetry which mark him as a truly great teacher of Masonry.

 

Such men are rare, and we wish the work of Brother to be more widely known on this side of the waters, we present the following brief sketch of his Masonic career, by one of the Past Masters of Lodge Progress, with illustrations showing the new home of Lodge Leven St. John for which he did so much and where he is so beloved. It is such a sketch as the too great modesty of its subject would permit, interesting and valuable for its data, but conveying but a very slight impression of a man of unmistakable distinction of character of singular personal and intellectual charm, brotherly withal and winning; a gracious gentleman of Scotland, to know whom is to have something to remember of the finest tradition of his country and his race--a Mason to whom the world is a temple, a poet to whom the world is a song.

 

Brother A. S. MacBride was initiated in Lodge Leven St. John on the 13th July, 1866. On November the 19th, of the same year, he was elected Secretary; and on November 22nd, 1867, he was elected Master. The Lodge Leven St. John was constituted on April 9th, 1788, by several members of the craft residing in and about the towns of Leven in Dumbartonshire. As stated in the Charter, it was granted "for holding a Lodge in the said towns of Leven." That is, it was a movable Charter, and the old minute books which are preserved in fairly good order and which go back to the 6th November, 1788, show that meetings were held in various places from the river Fruin on Loch Lomond side, to the bridge over the river Leven at Dumbarton. These old minutes seem to indicate the existence of an unchartered Lodge, previous to the existing Charter from the Grand Lodge in Edinburgh.

 

It has been a practice from 1788 at least, as shown by the Minutes of the Lodge, to appoint instructors to every newly initiated member; and Brother MacBride in this respect had the good fortune to have as his instructors two of the very oldest Masons in the Lodge. It is to the instruction he then received that he attributes the enthusiastic interest with which he has for fifty years studied the history and symbolism of Masonry. It was at one time the universal custom in all Scottish Lodges to appoint these instructors (or "intenders" as they were called) to newly entered brethren, and it is to be regretted that this good old custom has been abandoned generally. It is still, however faithfully observed in Lodge Leven St. John.

 

In the second year of his accession to the chair, Brother MacBride introduced his system of lectures and instruction. He began, first oś all, with the office-bearers, and in a year or two with the members of the Lodge. After seven years he retired from the chair, but still maintained a close connection with the Lodge. In 1879, with some reluctance and only at the unanimous and strong desire of the members, he once more accepted the position of Master. He continued in office until 1884, and as Past Master continued taking an active interest in the Lodge affairs. He was recalled again to the chair in 1887, and was in harness until 1896.

 

During this period of nearly thirty years the Lodge established a reputation for a high standard of "work," discipline and enterprise, and its members became celebrated for their knowledge of Masonry. The Lodges in Scotland generally, at that time, met in licensed premises; and Leven St. John met in the Black Bull Inn, in the village of Renton. The higher ideals of the craft, however, began to dominate the minds of the members, and the incongruity of having solemn and sacred ceremonies in a hall devoted to the worship of Bacchus determined them in 1891 to have a building of their own. Although a country Lodge, whose membership was small in number and practically composed of workmen, yet such was its vital energy and enthusiasm that, despite many difficulties, a commodious Lodge Room was erected. In a few years the Lodge building was not only completed free from debt but a new building fund was formed of upwards oś three-hundred pounds for extensions. These extensions have now been completed and the building stands a monument to the enthusiasm and loyal devotion of the members, for, with the exception of three brethren belonging to other Lodges who unsolicited sent donations, all the expense amounting to about three thousand pounds has been defrayed by them. The Lodge Room presents some unique features which the accompanying photographs will partly show, in its pillars, winding stair of three, five and seven steps, and its middle chamber.

 

Sixteen years ago Brother MacBride removed to Glasgow and there threw in his lot with Lodge "Progress," which had been established two years previous. This Lodge is founded on temperance principles, a part of its constitution being, "No intoxicating or spirituous liquors shall be permitted at any meeting or communication of the Lodge, or held under the auspices of the Lodge." This was in Brother MacBride's opinion a movement that deserved the encouragement of every well wisher of the craft. Personally, he was not a total abstainer, but the drinking customs in connection with many lodges had become such a serious evil that some counterweight was greatly needed, and he therefore joined Lodge Progress. His long experience gave him an early opportunity of being of service to that Lodge; its members, while full of enthusiasm, being practically inexperienced in the work of Masonry.

 

In November, 1900, he was elected Master, and during that year he applied himself to the training of office-bearers in a knowledge of their duties and of the "work" in connection with the various degrees. In the succeeding year, and for fully ten years as a Past Master, he applied himself to the work of instruction. Enthusiastic instructive Lodge meetings were carried on for three or four months every winter. At these meetings lectures were delivered by him which have been revised and printed in a work entitled "Speculative Masonry." Besides this, various symbols and ceremonies were explained in detail and the students attending were also given an opportunity of "working." The result has been this: Lodge Progress stands out, not only as the strongest Lodge in Scotland, but also as representing the highest ideal in its method of "working." It is no boast, but a plain fact that these two Lodges, Leven St. John and Lodge Progress, are models in the manner in which they "work" the ceremonies of the various degrees, and in the knowledge possessed by their members of the symbolism and principles of Masonry.

 

When residing in the province of Dumbarton Brother MacBride took an interest in the proceedings of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Dumbarton. He was Secretary for a number of years and filled the offices successively of Provincial Grand Junior Warden, Provincial Grand Senior Warden, and Deputy Provincial Grand Master. On removing to Glasgow he was asked to allow himself to be nominated for office in the Provincial Grand Lodge of Glasgow but refused, considering that his energies could be directed to better purpose in the Lodge of Instruction connected with Lodge Progress. He, however, gave his services as a member of Provincial Grand Committee for a number of years.

 

Brother MacBride has been a member of the "Quatuor Coronati Lodge," London, since May, 1893, and has found the transactions of that Lodge of immense value to him in the course of his Masonic studies He has always been an advocate for reform in Lodge "working," and his criticisms of the coarse, vulgar methods adopted in some lodges brought on him occasionally the condemnation of his brethren, who, not having studied the symbolism of the craft, had very little conception of its real beauty and significance. These controversies, however, are all now things of the past, and he has been able to overcome, or modify, the news adverse to his mode of "working," and to gain generally the respect and esteem of those who at one time were his opponents.

 

Everywhere in the west of Scotland there has been of late years a marked improvement in the "work" of Masonry. The atmosphere of the lodges has been purified and elevated to a very considerable extent, and a larger and closer knowledge of its symbolism has been diffused amongst its members; and Brother MacBride rejoices at having been able in some degree to have contributed to this beneficial result.

 

All of which is true as to facts and dates, but not all of the truth, being a bare statement and far too conservative in its restrained recital, needing an added touch of appreciation and estimate of a distinguished service to the Fraternity. The work of Brother MacBride in behalf of Masonry may be divided into three parts, as things Masonic are so often divided: First, his genius as an expositor of the history, philosophy and symbolism of the Craft, proof of which may be known and read by all in the book to which we have referred. Second, his mastery of the ritual, and his poetic insight and literary skill in making it not only more luminous, but more perfect as a medium through which the spirit and truth of Masonry may be conveyed to the initiate. Of this aspect of his work we may not write in detail, except to say that the ritual prepared by him comes nearer to our ideal of what a Masonic ritual should be, alike in accuracy, dignity and beauty of form, and depth and suggestiveness of meaning, than any we have ever seen. It is an unalloyed delight to eye and ear and heart--Masonry wearing a robe woven by a poet-hand, and worthy of its spirit and truth.

 

And the third part of his labor is equally important --the manner in which he uses the ritual, thus wrought out, not only to evoke the Spirit of Masonry and to promote its fellowship, but to teach the truth it was meant to teach. He is a teacher who trains teachers--following the teachers who trained him--using the ritual, keeping close to the ritual, and through it leading his pupils to the wider questions that grow out of it and are suggested by it. Herein his method is sound, both Masonically and pedagogically, and it is a hint to put those who would teach Masonry on the right track. Moreover, his first care is to train the officers of the Lodge, making them leaders and teachers of the Craft as they should be. Take, for example, the following "Hints to Masters," which serve as a preface to the ritual of Lodge Progress:

 

1. The Master should not be Craftsman, laborer, and everything. He should superintend and direct the work.

 

2. Have a meeting of the Office-bearers, as soon after the election as possible, to arrange your work, and to encourage them to study and enter upon their duties with an enthusiastic spirit.

 

3. Get each Office-bearer to learn the duties of the Office immediately above his, so that he may, when required, be able to perform them.

 

4. Always remember it is the Master's work to plan, and to draw out the plan of work. Treat your Office-bearers confidentially and show them your plan, and then you may rightly expect them to work to it.

 

5. Give every encouragement to any one who wishes to work, and get your Officers to do the same; but bear in mind that your own members have the first claim on your assistance and encouragement.

 

6. Don't parade your authority, but prove yourself worthy of the power placed in your hands, by using it as seldom as possible.

 

7. Remember the best Master is he who best serves the Craft. 'Tis no wonder that such a method, used in a spirit of Masonic idealism made effective by a fine practical capacity, has attested its worth and wisdom in rich results. It was the rare pleasure of a lifetime to visit Lodge Progress--of which we offer a brief account elsewhere in this issue to meet its members, and to join with them in paying homage to one of the wisest Masonic teachers of our generation whose work has won, and will continue to win increasingly, the lasting and grateful honor of the Craft in all lands where its gentle labors are known.

 

----o----

 

ON PRESENTING THE LAMB-SKIN APRON

 

By Fay Hempstead

Poet Laureate of Freemasonry

 

Light and white are its leathern folds;

And a priceless lesson its texture holds.

Symbol it is, as the years increases,

Of the paths that lead through the fileds of Peace.

Type it is of the higher sphere,

Where the deeds of the body, ended here,

Shall one by one the by-way be.

To pass the gates of Eternity.

 

Emblem itis of life intense,

Held allof from the world of sense;

Of the upright walk and the lofty mind,

Far from the dross of Earth inclinded.

Sign it is that he who wears

Its sweep unsullied, about him bears

That which should be to mind and heart

A set reminder of his art.

 

So may it ever bring to thee

The high resolves of Purity.

Its spotless filed of shining white,

Serve to guide thy steps aright;

Thy daily life, in scope and plan,

Be that of the strong and upright man.

And signal shall the honor be.

Unto those who wear it worthily

 

Receive it thus to symbolize

Its drift, in the life that before thee lies.

Badge as it is of a great degree,

Be it chart and compass unto thee.

 

----o----

 

JURISPRUDENCE STUDIES

 

BY BRO. WILDEY E. ATCHISON. A.S.S'T RR.n.'Y

 

I. AFFILIATION

 

THERE are many roads of Masonic Research. And while perhaps the most logical beginning for Study groups would be along the pathways bordered by the stories of the past, where here and there might be found a memorial of some prehistoric "Men's House," yet to many of us, a browse among the modern Masonic pastures is of equal interest. And so, while Brother Clegg leads us far afield in the land of folklore and mediaeval events which have a bearing upon the earlier aspects of this Institution we call Freemasonry, let those who are interested in the present, sit down in the ante-room for awhile, and consider the many-sided questions of Jurisprudence, as they are exhibited for us in the Codes and Judicial Decisions of our American Grand Lodges.

 

Let it be understood at the outset that this is intended as no exhaustive treatise upon Masonic Law. Nor will we attempt to codify the Statutes of our Grand Jurisdictions. Manifestly, a Masonic Journal, even the Journal of a Society devoted exclusively to Masonic Research, is no place for that. But just as many a man studies the Law, not with the expectation of practicing it as a profession, but simply that he may ask intelligent questions and thereby keep out of legal tangles, so will we, as a matter of common information, make a careful, though somewhat limited investigation into the books of Masonic law as they are. And all this to the end that we may acquaint the Members of our Society with the fundamentals of our American Masonic Jurisprudence.

 

We all study Civil Government, that we may know something of our duties as a citizen in the State. Our present purpose is to take up a few of the more important points of Masonic citizenship, if you please. Let me repeat that I aim at no formal codification. This effort is simply to portray, through the means of a brief tabulation, a comparative statement of the legal machinery of Masonry, but comprehensive enough so that the fundamentals will be easily understood.

 

There is ample excuse for such a series as this will be, if excuse were needed, in the embarrassing situations created among Brethren whose vocation keeps them traveling through different States. It has been stated with cause, that many a Mason loses interest, and becomes indifferent, if not a non-affiliate, because of his own unfamiliarity with the common requirements regarding visitation. And again, Brethren who contemplate a change of residence to another State, hesitate a long time before affiliating with the Fraternity in their new homes, simply because they do not know anything about the formal steps which must be taken. They feel that to attend Lodge regularly in their newfound homes is an imposition upon the very men who would be glad to greet them as Brethren; they feel that to attend the banquets and functions of the Lodge without joining in the expense incurred (as they would be doing if they paid dues) is demanding too much of Courtesy. The constraint remains, often for a long period, before some good Brother of the Lodge discovers the fact of membership, and brings the lonesome one into the fold in the proper manner.

 

The present study concerns "Affiliation." It will be followed, from time to time, by others. So far as each table goes, it will embody the Codified Law and the Judicial Decisions affecting the points considered, and we shall in every case endeavor to have our brief statement of the proposition checked up by the Grand Secretary of each Jurisdiction, that it may be accurate. If errors are found, we shall welcome correction. And if, after reading the present table, the Brethren of the Society believe that it will be worth while to reprint them (for we expect to cover at least twenty or more of the important subjects), we shall be glad to do so at the close of the series.

 

Necessarily these tables will overlap one another at many points - that is inevitable. But we shall do our best to keep the lines as clearly drawn between them as possible, and shall welcome your suggestions which will make the presentation more practical, more timely, or better calculated to fill the need.

 

The February subject will be "Advancement." Other topics on the way are "Demits," "Visitation," "Qualifications," etc. Occasionally we hope to be able to vary this program with discussions of these questions from the viewpoint of Grand Lodges outside of America.

 

It was found necessary to restrict the subdivisions of the subject to the number given in the chart, not only for conservation of space in THE BUILDER, but to avoid digression, as the subject of Affiliation is intimately connected with others such as Balloting, the Masonic standing of unaffiliated Masons, etc. Neither has it been practical to quote the exact wording of the various Codes in the narrow space allotted to the different headings. But the attitude of each Grand Lodge has been stated in as few words as possible, and in a uniform manner where possible, ignoring certain peculiar linguistic forms which, while officially adopted in the various Grand Jurisdictions, are immaterial from the point of view of this study. But we believe our members will have no difficulty in grasping the important features of the problems involved.

 

**********

 

----o----

 

A CENTRAL AFRICAN MYSTERY

 

BY H. RIDER HAGGARD

 

IF any reader will take the trouble to consult a modern map of central South Africa, he may see a vast block of territory bounded, roughly speaking, by the Zambesi on the north and the Transvaal on the south, by Barotseland and Bechuanaland on the west, and by Portuguese East Africa on the east, measuring perhaps six hundred miles square.

 

Scattered over this huge expanse are found ancient ruins, whereof about five hundred are known to exist, while doubtless many more remain to be discovered. These ruins, in spite of certain late theories to the contrary, it would seem almost certain--or so, at least, my late friend, Theodore Bent, and other learned persons have concluded--were built by people of Semitic race, perhaps Phoenicians, or, to be more accurate, South Arabian Himyarites, a people rendered somewhat obscure by age. At any rate, they worshiped the sun, the moon, the planets, and other forces of nature, and took observations of the more distant stars. Also, in the intervals of these pious occupations, they were exceedingly keen business men. Business took them to South Africa, where they were not native, and business kept them there, until at last, while still engaged on business, or so it seems most probable, they were all of them slain.

 

Their occupation was gold-mining, perhaps with a little trading in "ivory, almug-trees, apes and peacocks" --or ostriches--thrown in. They opened up hundreds of gold reefs, from which it is estimated that they extracted at least seventy-five million pounds' worth of gold, and probably a great deal more. They built scores of forts to protect their line of communication with the coast. They erected vast stronghold temples, of which the Great Zimbabwe, that is situated practically in the center of the block of territory delimited above, is the largest yet discovered. They worshipped the sun and the moon, as I have said. They enslaved the local population by tens of thousands to labor in the mines and other public works, for gold-seeking was evidently their state monopoly.

 

A VANISHED PEOPLE

 

They came, they dwelt, they vanished. That is all we know about them. What they were like, what their domestic habits, what land they took ship from, to what land returned, how they spent their leisure, in what dwellings they abode, whither they carried their dead for burial--of all these things and many others we are utterly ignorant.

 

But Mr. Andrew Lang, with that fine touch of his, has put the problem in a little poem that once he wrote at my request for a paper in which I was interested at the time, so much better than I can do, that I will quote a couple of his verses:

 

Into the darkness whence they came,

They passed; their country knoweth none.

They and their gods without a name

Partake the same oblivion.

Their work they did, their work is done,

Whose gold, it may be, shone like fire,

About the brows of Solomon,

And in the House of God's Desire.

 

The pestilence, the desert spear,

Smote them; they passed, with none to tell

The names of them that labored there;

Stark walls and crumbling crucible,

Strait gates and graves, and ruined well,

Abide, dumb monuments of old;

We know but that men fought and fell,

Like us, like us for love of gold.

 

The thing is strange, almost terrifying to think of. We modern folk are very vain of ourselves. We can hardly conceive a state of affairs on this little planet in which we shall not fill a large part; when for practical purposes, except for some obscure traces of blood, our particular race, the Anglo-Saxon, the Teutonic, the Gallic, whatever it may be, has passed away and been forgotten. Imagine London, Paris, Berlin, Chicago, and those who built them, forgotten ! Yet such things may well come about; indeed, there are forces at work in the world, although few folk give a thought to them, which seem likely to bring them about a great deal sooner than we anticipate.

 

As we think today, so doubtless these Phoenicians, or Himyarites, or whoever they may have been, thought in their day. Remember, it must have been a great people that without the aid of steam or firearms could have penetrated, not peacefully, we may be sure, into the dark heart of Africa, and there have established their dominion over its teeming millions of population.

 

UNDER THE CONQUERORS

 

Probably the struggle was long and fierce--how fierce their fortifications show, for evidently they lived the overlords, the taskmasters of hostile multitudes; yes, multitudes and multitudes, for there are great districts in Rhodesia where, for league after league, even the mountainsides are terraced by the patient, laborious toil of man, that every inch of soil might be made available for the growth of food. Yet these fierce Semitic traders broke their spirit and brought them under the yoke; forced them to dig in the dark mines for gold, to pound the quartz with stone hammers and bake it in crucibles; forced them to quarry the hard granite and ironstone to the shape and size of the bricks whereto they were accustomed in their land of origin, and, generation by generation, to build up the mighty, immemorial mass of temple fortresses.

 

When did they do it? No one knows, but from the orientation of the ruins to the winter or the summer solstice, or to northern stars, scholars think that the earliest of them were built somewhere about two thousand years before Christ. And when did they cease from their labors, leaving nothing behind them but these dry-built walls--for, although they were proficient in the manufacture of cement, they used no mortar--and the hollow pits whence they had dug the gold, and the instruments with which they treated it ? That no scholar can tell us, although many scholars have theories on the matter. They vanished, that is all. Probably the subject tribes, having learned their masters' wisdom, rose up and massacred them to the last man; and in those days there was no historian to record it and no novelist to make a story of the thing.

 

Solemn, awe-inspiring, the great elliptical building of Zimbabwe still stands beneath the moon, which once doubtless was worshipped from its courts. In it are the altars and the sacred cone where once the priests made prayer, or perchance offered sacrifice of children to Baal and to Ashtaroth.

 

THE PEOPLE OF THE SUN

 

On the hill above, amidst the granite boulders, frowns the fortress, and all round stretch the foundation blocks of a dead city. Here the Makalanga, that is, the People of the Sun, descendants without doubt of the Semitic conquerors and the native races, still make offerings of black oxen to the spirits of their ancestors - or did so till within a few years gone. The temple, too, or so they hold, is still haunted by those spirits; none will enter it at night. But of the beginning of it all these folk know nothing. If questioned, they say only that the place was built by white men "when stones were soft"; that is, countless ages ago.

 

What a place it must have been when the monoliths and the carven vultures, each upon its soapstone pillar, stood in their places upon the broad, flat tops of the walls, when the goldsmiths were at work and the merchants trafficked in the courts, when the processions wound their way through the narrow passages, and the white-robed, tall-capped priests did sacrifice in the shrines !

 

Where did they bury their dead, one wonders. For of these, as yet, no cemetery has been found. Perhaps they cremated them and cast their ashes to the winds. Perhaps they embalmed them, if they were individuals of consequence, and sent them back to Arabia or to Tyre, as the Chinese send home their dead today, while humbler folk were cast out to the beasts and birds. Or perhaps they still lie in deep and hidden kloofs among the mountains.

 

----o----

 

THE FINE SOULS

 

We have a debt to every great heart, to every fine genius; to those who have put life and fortune on the cast of an act of justice; to those who have added new  sciences; to those who have refined life by elegant pursuits. 'Tis the fine souls who serve us, and not what is called fine society.--Emerson.

 

----o----

 

THE BOSTON TEA PARTY

Dec. 18-19, 1773

 

In seventeen hundred seventy three

Three ships left Albion's docks with tea.

 

They little dreamed of what destiny planned

As they sailed away to the western land,

For to Boston harbor they were bound

Where the proud old world got turned around.

 

Now the Colonist loved his tea to sip

'Twas the stamp thereon made him "bite his lip."

 

And he vowed that there would trouble be

If the King sent on the stamp taxed tea.

 

So the local Masonic Lodge, you see,

Planned to have a "party" when came the tea.

 

And the secret they kept till it came in,--

Now soon the festivities would begin.

 

The communication to order came

And outlined the details of the "game."

 

The Junior Warden from labor, then

Called to refreshments the waiting men.

 

And soon they went out as Indians red,

And the chief, the Junior Warden, led.

 

And the whoops that rang in the streets that night

Were the signals that started the Colonies right.

 

And on and on to the wharf they flew,

And no sentry or watchman their errand knew.

 

Their torches flared that December night,

And their hatchets gleamed in the sombre light.

 

And they brushed the sailors aghast aside

And consigned the tea to the ocean's tide.

 

And as o'er the railings the chests were flung

They were smashed with the hatchets deftly swung.

 

And those "reds" ceased not till the cargoes three

Were "brewing" away in the "salted sea."

 

And back to the Lodge they swiftly sped

As Revere, the Junior Warden, led.

 

And SOME things were said that had the ring

Of eternal defiance to the King!

 

No tax, not agreed, will we ever pay

On the goods of the realm sent to Boston Bay!

 

And the Lodge was closed in its due form

As the gray in the east foretold the morn.

 

* * *

 

So it was that this way of "serving the tea"

Set the fires that made the Colonies free.

 

And from this time on till victory came

The Masonic Colonist was "in the game."

 

And the Nation should ever its tribute pay

To the "party" that night in Boston Bay.

--L. B. Mitchell, Mich.

 

----o----

 

THE EMPTY BOATS

 

Why do I see these empty boats, sailing on airy seas ?

One haunted me the whole night long, swaying with every breeze,

Returning always near the eaves, or by the skylight glass:

There it will wait me many weeks, and then, at last, will pass.

Each soul is haunted by a ship in which that soul might ride

And climb the glorious mysteries of Heaven's silent tide

In voyages that change the very metes and bounds of fate--

O, empty boats, we all refuse, that by our windows wait!

-Vachel Lindsay.

 

----o----

 

CORRESPONDENCE CIRCLE BULLETIN---No. 4

 

Edited by Bro. Robert I. Clegg, Caxton Building, Cleveland Ohio

 

FREEMASONRY AND MONASTICISM IN THE MIDDLE AGES

 

BY R.I. CLEGG

 

THERE are some old documents known to us, as the Ancient Charges. These show that the Freemasons of the middle ages possessed a curious tradition peculiar to themselves. This tradition dealt with the origin of Masonry and the invention of geometry, that branch of the liberal arts and sciences that enters so largely into the practice of the craft whether operative or speculative. Conder, in his book. "The Hole Craft and Fellowship of Masons," says that "this tradition was without doubt largely due to the clerical influence exercised over their calling."

 

Not only is this very probable but there is internal evidence to indicate that the oldest of these Ancient Charges was written by one holding office in the Church.

 

This contact of the Lodge and the Church is not surprising. From the most remote antiquity Masons have built structures to house the worshipers of the Deity. At all stages of the work they have been associated with the priesthood. They were also intimately allied with those religious orders affiliated with the Church.

 

This fact is of itself sufficient to account for the semi-religious body that the Masons became. It explains the moral teaching and the curious traditions found embedded so intimately within the Masonic organization which has so freely drawn upon the sacred books of the Church and from legendary history.

 

Brother Conder says further: "Undoubtedly such was the fact. It is therefore without surprise that about the end of the fourteenth or early in the fifteenth century we find a document, evidently founded on a much earlier one (or on remote oral traditions) which recites the supposed history of the Fellowship of Masons, and lays down rules for the guidance of its members; at the same time inculcating a behavior and conduct, which if not a gratuitous insertion is as regards ordinary workmen greatly in advance of the spirit of the time, and far beyond that practiced by the other trades. No doubt this was to support the craft in maintaining its ancient worthy position, and in order that its members might continue to hold their ancient and honorable station."

 

"As the beauty of the so-called Gothic architecture advanced under the wing of the Church, schools of Masonry, wherein the elements of Euclid were taught to the higher classes of operative masons, became attached to certain religious houses and from time to time efficient workmen left these schools for work further afield."

 

Not only in their structural designs but in the decoration of their buildings the old craftsmen made liberal employment of the principles set forth by the great geometrician, Euclid. In the construction of the equilateral triangle entering into the very first proposition of Euclid's famous "Elements" there was shown to the Master Mason a new form for the arch, a suggestion for the familiar trifoil representative of the Trinity, and by the intersection of the circles he was symbolically shown "the Deity ever present where the eternity of the past overlapped the eternity of the future, who was, and is, and is to be."

 

"If we follow the details of Gothic architecture, we shall see that the triangle and the circle form the keystone to that ornamental tracery for which this style is noted. This symbolical language of Masonry, together with the use of the Mason's square and compasses, would doubtless be used by the ecclesiastics as an object lesson to the workmen engaged on the sacred edifice and so become incorporated in the traditions of their gild. The Masons at the cathedrals and other large ecclesiastical buildings were attached to the monastery, and often a technical school of Masonry was founded by the monks who in teaching the craft would not forget the higher or symbolical meaning to be derived from the geometrical figures used in tracing sections, etc." Thus far I quote Brother Conder.

 

How far is this vision borne out by the facts ? To my mind it has a very reasonable foundation. Let us take but one of the old monastic orders and compare it with Freemasonry. I will not now take the time or space to go carefully into a comparison of the Ancient Charges or any part of them with the rules and regulations laid down by any order of monks. Such a comparison while interesting is largely unnecessary because for all practical purposes the monitorial charges of today are similar to those given in the old charges. You may therefore compare for yourselves what I may say of any monastic institution and determine how far it resembles the Freemasonry that is known to you by its distinctive charges and ceremonies, by our authorized and familiar monitor and ritual.

 

We will, if you please, consider then the order of St. Benedict. That great lawgiver, dying in the year 542, saw one night in a vision the whole world gathered together under one beam of the sun. So states Gregory in the following century and the tale has come down the long years. In the light of this very suggestive illumination his followers had great breadth in religious convictions.

 

Said the Venerable Bede: "You know, my brother, the custom of the Roman Church in which you remember you were bred up. But it pleases me that if you have found anything either in the Roman or the Gallican, or any other Church, which may be more acceptable to Almighty God, you carefully make choice of the same, and sedulously teach the Church of the English, which as yet is new in the Faith, whatsoever you can gather from the several Churches. For things are not to be loved for the sake of places, but places for the sake of good things. Choose therefore from every Church those things that are pious, religious, and upright, and when you have, as it were, made them up into one body, let the minds of the English be accustomed thereto." Such were the instructions of Gregory to Augustine.

 

Newman has given us in the Mission of St. Benedict to Europe an estimate so richly colored by his affectionate regard for the brethren that it reads with extravagant force.

 

"Silent men were observed about the country, or discovered in the forest digging, cleaning, and building; and other silent men, not seen, were sitting in the cold cloister tiring their eyes and keeping their attention on the stretch, while they painfully deciphered, then copied and recopied, the manuscripts which they had saved. There was no one that contended or cried out, or drew attention to what was going on; but by degrees the woody swamp became a hermitage, a religious house, a farm, an abbey, a village, a seminary, a school of learning, and a city. Roads and villages connected it with other abbeys and cities which had similarly grown up; and what the haughty Alaric or fierce Attila had broken to pieces these patient meditative men have brought together and made to live again. And then, when they had in the course of many years gained their peaceful victories, perhaps some new invaders came, and with fire and sword undid their slow and persevering toil in an hour. Down in the dust lay the labor and civilization of centuries- -churches, colleges, cloisters, libraries --and nothing was left to them but to begin all over again; but this they did without grudging, so promptly, cheerfully, and tranquilly, as if it were by some law of nature that the restoration came; and they were like the flowers and shrubs and great trees which they reared, and which when ill-treated do not take vengeance or remember evil, but give forth fresh branches, leaves and blossoms, perhaps in greater profusion or with richer quality, for the very reason that the old were rudely broken off."

 

Of Dunstan, whose work in the restoration after the ravages of war was notable, Newman recites: "As a religious he showed himself in the simple character of a benedictine. He had a taste for the arts generally, especially music. He painted and embroidered; his skill in smith's work is recorded in the well-known legend of his combat with the evil one. And, as the monks of Hilarion joined gardening with psalmody, and Bernard and his cistercians joined field work with meditation, so did St. Dunstan use music and painting as directly expressive or suggestive of devotion. 'He excelled in writing, painting, moulding in wax, carving in wood and bone, and in work in gold, silver, iron, and brass,' says the author of his life in Surius, 'and he used his skill in musical instruments to charm away from himself and others their secular annoyances, and to raise them to the theme of heavenly harmony, both by the sweet words with which he accompanied his airs and by the concord of the airs themselves.'"

 

We are told that when a young man desired to enter the monastery of St. Augustine he had to remain for some time in the guest house as a postulant. When the day was fixed for the admission, or as it was called, the "rastura," the shaving of his head, the prior gave him notice that three days before he was to dine with the abbat. The abbat would then call the prior and two of the seniors, and they appointed the novice-master who was charged to instruct him in all that was necessary for his state, and to supply all his wants. The abbat, then, after some kind words, left the youth in the hands of the master, who examined him and found out if he had everything he wanted for the time of his probation.

 

The postulant was then warned to cleanse his soul by confession if necessary, and was then instructed in the rudiments of monastic ceremonial. These instructions were spread over the intervening days on one of which the postulant dined with the prior.

 

On the day appointed the postulant attended divine service and made an offering after the reading of the Gospel. His master then took him to the chapel and there prepared him diligently for the ceremony.

 

When the hour arrived he went with his master into the chapter house where the brethren were assembled and prostrated himself before the abbat.

 

He was then asked what he desired and he replied in the usual form. He was then bidden to arise, and was told by the abbat how hard and trying was the life that he desired.

 

Then he was asked if he was freeborn. Was he in good health and free from any incurable disease ? Was he ready to accept hardships as well as pleasant things, to obey and bear ignominy for the love of Christ? To these questions he replied "Yes, by the grace of God."

 

Continuing the examination the abbat asked if the postulant had ever been professed in any other stricter order; whether he was bound by any promise of marriage, and was he free from debt and irregularity.

 

On receiving an answer in the negative the abbat granted his prayer; and he was forthwith taken by the novice-master to have his head shaved and be invested with the monastic habit.

 

Gould gives us the essentials of the initiation into the order of St. Benedict as "The vow was to be made with all possible solemnity, in the chapel, before the relics in the shrine, with the abbat and all the brethren standing by, and once made it was to be irrevocable."

 

He further points out the relation of the ritual to darkness as connected with death and initiation. Upon the matter of the ceremonial he had the advantage of quoting directly from a communication sent to him by an eyewitness, and which was given in the following terms:

 

"St. Pauls without the walls of Rome is a basilica church, and in the apse behind the high altar another altar had been fitted up. The head of the Benedictines is a mitered abbat. On this morning the abbat was sitting as I entered the church, with his miter on his head and crozier in hand. Soon after our entrance a young man was led up to the abbat who placed a black cowl on his head. The young man then descended the steps, went upon his knees, put his hands as in the act of prayer, when each of the monks present came up and, also on their knees, kissed him in turn. When they had finished, a velvet cloth, with gold or silver embroidery on it, was spread in front of the altar; on this the young man lay down and a black silk pall was laid over him. Thus, under semblance of a state of death he lay while mass was celebrated by the abbat. When this was finished, one of the deacons of the mass approached where the young man lay, and muttered a few words from a book he held in his hand. I understood that the words used were from the Psalms, and were to this effect: 'Oh thou that sleepest, arise to everlasting life.' The man then arose, was led to the altar, where I think he received the sacrament, and then took his place among the Brotherhood."

 

The significant numbers three, five and seven are curiously found to be employed by the Benedictines. There were "three voices" to be recognized among the brethren in the chapter. These were the ones of the accuser, the answerer, and the judge.

 

Another "five voices" were those of him who presided, the guardians of the order; the precentor and succentor; the brothers charged with keeping the silence, "because silence is called the key of the whole order"; and then the almoner and sub-almoner. These five in their order were the first to proclaim any one who through their respective offices they knew had infringed the rules. The monk so proclaimed had to go out into the center of the chapter and prostrating made confession of his fault, and saying "Mea culpa" (I have done wrong) and promising amendment then received penance and rebuke.

 

Every one who had ceased to be under ward had a right to speak in the chapter on "three points"; defects in the public worship, the breaking of silence, and the distribution of alms. On all other subjects he must ask leave to speak.

 

In processions there was to be preserved a distance of "seven" feet between each of the monks.

 

But sufficient has been pointed out to serve our purpose. These extracts will be found highly suggestive to the thoughtful Mason and will recall much that is bound up in his own experience.

 

HINTS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH

 

The two preceding issues of the Bulletin have had a number of references for the study of Freemasonry in the middle ages. To these I may add the two volumes entitled "The Black Monks of St. Benedict," by E. L. Taunton, and published by John C. Nimmo of London, and Longmans, Green and Co., New York. Free use of this work has been made for presenting the above facts.

 

KEYSTONE KRAFTSMEN KLUB

 

In response to your "Get Together" letter of September, let me present "Keystone Kraftsmen Klub" as a new member of the Correspondence Circle.

 

This is the beginning of an earnest, active society of Craftsmen who desire to know why and how they are known as Masons.

 

The announced purposes are given as "the attainment of greater efficiency in degree work, a practical knowledge of the various lectures and a better understanding of the tenets and philosophy of Masonry."

 

An invitation was extended to all Master Masons residing in this vicinity as well as to the members of Keystone Lodge No. 153, F. & A. M., upon the regular monthly Lodge notice.

 

Permanent organization was perfected on Tuesday evening November 7, the brethren present including the Master, Junior Warden, Senior Deacon and a Past Master. At this meeting it was decided to follow Masonic usage rather than an elaborate code of by-laws for the government of the sessions.

 

The presiding officer is to be the Master of Keystone Lodge if he be a member of the Klub. If he is not a member, a vice president will take the chair. The purpose of this is many sided as you will see. In the first place, we are sure of the "brightest" Mason being in the chair, that we shall have him handy for information as to what he desires in the Lodge during his administration, that he can see that his staff of officers is efficient in their work, and also see that nothing but good Masonic subjects are studied. He is not expected to take an active part in the preparation of papers unless he so desires.

 

The Chairman of the Program Committee, who chooses one assistant, will assign all topics for papers, by and with the advice of the President. He will assist the members in the preparation of papers, advise them as to where to find the information desired, if possible, and act as Librarian of the Klub.

 

The Treasurer will also be the Chairman of the Membership Committee. He and his assistant will pass upon all applications for membership, collect the dues, issue membership cards, which are to be signed by the President, and keep the funds, paying them out by check.

 

The Secretary, then, has but his minutes and correspondence to handle

 

For the present our dues are $2.00 per year, payable in advance.

 

Meetings will be held on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month, except during June, July and August. The second meeting in June is to be used as a "Pilgrimage" to some place of Masonic interest.

 

It is proposed to secure speakers on special topics from time to time, and issue special invitations therefor.

 

One of the first benefits to be secured is a standard course of instruction for candidates, and an established school of instruction for the officers, in floorwork as well as the lectures. The floorwork to be exemplified in the Lodge room.

 

We shall be pleased to be put in touch with other clubs through the "clearing house" you have established, and to receive suggestions at any time.

 

The Keystone Kraftsmen Klub will thoroughly enjoy the articles published in "The Builder," and Keystone Lodge will receive as much benefit from this club as it will agree to hear.

 

With best wishes for success in your great work, T. George Middleton, P. M., Chairman Programme Committee.

 

This excellent plan should fully fill that long-felt want of which I am hearing so much. A skilfully planned administration it is, hinging as it should upon close contact with Lodge authority and making excellent progress. An ideal arrangement truly from many points of view and cannot but be richly successful. Say, Brother Middleton, when you arrange that "Pilgrimage" in June, please do not fail to let me know of it. If within easy reach of the possibilities I shall gladly join you. And in the meantime kindly continue to keep me in touch with your doings.

 

NEW WORK FOR THE FELLOWCRAFTS

 

I was a little surprised to see a portion of my letter some time since printed in THE BUILDER of November. Your offer to help start me off is timely and good.

 

There is connected with Adelphi Lodge an organization called the Fellow-craft Club whose primary aim is to keep the Brothers in line so that we may have a full, well-drilled floor team. It appealed to me that I could put the proposition of a Study Club up to the F. C. club and if they took it up it would help me in getting the study idea going in New Haven.

 

I met with them last evening and the idea was taken up more enthusiastically than I dared hope. I told them briefly what I hoped to do and asked them to think it over until next meeting one month hence--my idea being that I would rather drop the whole thing than have to be and make all the enthusiasm myself. They voted to subscribe for THE BUILDER and next month I am to address them on the modest subject of "Masonic Law" and at that time present a modus operandi.

 

This is where you come in. I have my organization place and time of meeting. Our idea is to use perhaps an hour of the club's meeting time in this way. I should like some advice as to program and methods of conduct. For the good of the Craft in general and Adelphi Lodge in particular I want to make a success of it. Our club has 72 members on the list and there was an attendance of 13 besides myself last evening and this was normal for no one but the secretary-treasurer knew what I was about to propose.

 

I apologize for writing so long a letter but I wished to show my proposition from all sides thinking also that it might help some other Brother to know of the F. C. Club and perhaps organize one which would combine study with actual Lodge service as ours will if we succeed.

 

Julius H. McCollum, Sec'y Adelphi Lodge No. 63, New Haven, Conn.

 

Suppose you try out the Keystone Kraftsmen Klub as explained by Brother Middleton in this issue. When you run out of papers prepared by any of your members, try one of mine. In every issue of THE BUILDER I aim to publish a paper on some question of interest to my Brother Masons. If I don't happen to take such lines of study as in your judgment may seem most desirable, kindly let me know. But your situation is so closely akin to that of Brother Middleton's that I wish you would put into practice as far as possible and let us know the results. too, have something to do with a Masonic Club, being President of a Masonic Temple Association of considerable size. To many of us your experience will be of the greatest interest and consequence.

 

LODGE IS A SCHOOL

 

In late issue of THE BUILDER many writers are stressing the importance of making the Lodge a Study Club. Really if we had taken second thought, that is what a Lodge is, and always has been, a place where "Masons meet," where the "Worshipful Master gives good and wholesome instruction," etc. It is a hopeless task to try to get up anything new in Masonry. All that is best for man physically and spiritually, and the sanest, simplest way of doing it, has been culled from the wisdom of ages, so that all that remains for him to do is to put in practice the beautiful system, to the end that life on earth may be sane, normal, easy to live and full of intense enjoyment. By all means revive the ancient practice and make the Lodge a study club. A. K. Bradley, Tioga, Texas.

 

True enough ! A Lodge is the place for work and for study. Just as a diamond reflects all rays of light with added glory in color and in brilliance so has the Lodge, to the seeing eye, to the informed intellect, to the awakened mind, a message of grouped facts and instruction borrowed from the near and the remote past. Converging in that geometrical crystal of history that we call the Lodge, our priceless heritage should there be turned into glowing radiance of service, a truly perfect reflection in new uses of old tenets, the ancient made modern. You do well to remind us that the Lodge is a School. Would that our hearts are ever open to its teaching.

 

PUTTING IT UP TO GEORGE

 

We had a meeting for the starting of a Study Club on Wednesday last, in the Scottish Rite Club Rooms of our Temple. There were but five men present--discouragement enough for any five men. However, we have come back like Antaios, doubly determined that by our own endeavors and your assistance we shall receive further light in Masonry.

 

Accordingly we have set a second meeting for Thursday November 23, at the same place and for the same purpose. We have set it far enough into the future that we can have opportunity to communicate with all Brethren possible. Fraternal Lodge No. 37 has nobly come to our assistance and instructed its Secretary to send a postal card notice of this meeting to all its members. Our own lodge, Trinity No. 208, has a notice of it published in its monthly Bulletin. We further intend to have it noticed on all bulletin boards, and in the City papers.

 

We are especially interested in the closing paragraph of your letter in which you offer your valued assistance in preparing by-laws and organizing. Will you kindly send me what you have on this so that I can present a plan of organization at the meeting ? Albert Block, 310 City Hall, Davenport, Iowa.

 

In response to your letter of recent date I am enclosing you herewith a copy of the by-laws adopted by the Boone, Iowa, Study Club. You will note that their code is a model of simplicity and, it would seem to me, could be adopted by other Clubs with very little modification. They have provided for three officers: a President, Vice-President and a Secretary-Treasurer which are practically all that should be required.

 

Some Study Clubs are asking us for a cut-and-dried program of study to cover a period of six months or a year. Others are using Brother Clegg's articles which appear each month in the "Correspondence Circle Bulletin." Personally I consider the latter course more preferable.

 

Brother Clegg is making a series of the articles, connecting them up one with the other, and they are going to prove fascinating as well as instructive. This, to my mind, is what the Brethren want, the majority of them will not care to be loaded up with dry facts and specific data which they cannot remember. That all the Brethren will agree in the opinions expressed by Brother Clegg is not to be expected. In fact the articles are written with a view of inviting expressions of diverse opinions of the members of the Study Clubs.

 

We want them to prepare papers on the subjects to be read and discussed at the same meetings at which Brother Clegg's articles are used, and to send copies of their papers to us so that we may forward them to the other Clubs.

 

For this reason we shall ask the Clubs to use Brother Clegg's articles at their meetings a month later than their appearance in THE BUILDER in order to enable the Study Club members to prepare their papers on the subject and mail copies of them to us not later than the fifteenth of the following month so that we may have time to copy them here and send them out to the other Clubs in advance of their meetings.

 

We also hope that the Study Club Secretaries will mail us each month a report of their proceedings so that we at Anamosa may be kept in close touch with each individual Club.

 

I shall anxiously await the result of your meeting and wish you every success in the organization of your Club. Geo. L. Schoonover, Secretary.

 

Brother Schoonover's answering letter fills the bill in so many directions that I could not refrain from publishing it. Explaining as it does so clearly the desire we all have for a frank and thorough discussion of the papers published in the Bulletin, I sincerely trust its suggestions will be followed with zest and with all practicable regularity. Of many minds are Masons. Differences of opinion are common to us upon various branches of Masonic study. No one, least of all myself, should fail to welcome every effort at a better understanding of Masonry. To bring about a wholesome regard for study and for students among Masons, to set a still larger section than ever of the Craft to work, to do this acceptably in a cheering spirit and systematic style, is indeed a task. But already there's great encouragement. And many thanks for that compliment, G. L. S.

 

DEVELOPING INDIVIDUAL EFFORT IN THE STUDY CLUB

 

A word about our Study Club may be of interest. We have a membership of fifteen with an attendance of about twelve, and at this time are taking up the study of Brother Newton's book, "The Builders." We assign two questions to each member for each semi-monthly meeting, we first gave a greater number of questions, and confined the answers to the book answers but found this not satisfactory, as we frequently departed from the book for other information, and found that the study lasted longer than we believed best for a continued interest in the work. So we decided to limit it to two questions and allow the members to depart from the book answers and give a review of the question assigned from any research they desired to follow.

 

Our dues are one dollar per year. We frequently have a luncheon or dinner prior to the study, and on occasion, we gave an evening to the consideration of Masonic poetry to which we invited the ladies, assigning to the guests selections to read or recite.

 

We are pleased with the interest in the club work and observe that the members dislike to miss a single meeting, and frequently forego other important functions in order to be present.

 

The by-laws of the Boone, Iowa, club are of interest, but we do not think they are as well adapted to a club having in mind individual effort, as those adopted by our club.

 

Our purpose is to make every member a student and in turn an instructor, to require individual study and effort, and in order to accomplish this object, we have limited the membership to fifteen, believing that if a greater number desire to become members, that a second club would be a greater advantage than to have so many members that the individual effort might be overlooked.

 

In the notes of the Study Club Department we believe the plan suggested of a larger membership, would require instruction more in the nature of a lecture, this we believe would be instructive for the hour, but it is not the kind of effort that will stay with the student.

 

We shall be pleased to have any suggestions from time to time, and will be glad to submit special papers as we have opportunity. Clark Cooper, President Masonic Study Club, Canon City, Colo.

 

Whether a Study Club shall be large or small is not offhand an easy question for me to answer. Your point, Brother Cooper, is decidedly worth pondering. It is not quite the same question as to the preference between large lodges and small ones, as I see your position. Do we not all agree that there should be more complete circulation of Masonic knowledge among the Brethren? How far then shall we restrict Study Club membership ? Of course there may be a distinct advantage in independent meetings, and even of an organization separately, of the leaders, the "instructors," to use Brother Cooper's term. But in some way the work of the Study Club ought to get before the brethren at large. You recognized this social impulse in most commendable style, Brother Cooper, when you enlarged your audience to include the ladies. Why should we not oftener plan for papers attractive to that sex ? The idea seems eminently deserving of imitation. Here are the rules of the Boone Club:

 

BOONE MASONIC STUDY CLUB

 

Constitution and By-Laws

 

PREAMBLE--The Masons of Boone, Iowa, being desirous of obtaining for themselves "Further Light in Masonry," and of promoting to the best of their ability the Cause of Masonic Research, for the good of the Order, hereby associate themselves into an organization for Masonic Study and Research.

 

ARTICLE I--The name of this organization shall be the Boone Masonic Study Club.

 

ARTICLE II--The object of this organization shall be the improvement of its membership in Masonic knowledge

 

ARTICLE III--The Club shall be composed of such Master Masons as, having expressed a desire for "Further Light in Masonry," shall make application for membership and be elected thereto by a majority vote of the members present.

 

ARTICLE IV--The officers of this Club shall be a President, Vice-President and Secretary-Treasurer, elected by a majority vote of the members present at the December meeting of each year. The duties of these officers shall be such as usually appertain to their respective positions, and the absence of one or more of them shall automatically place the responsibilities of presiding over the meetings of the Club upon the officer next in order as above mentioned. The newly elected officers are to assume their duties at the January meeting next following their election.

 

ARTICLE V--The meetings of the Club shall be monthly, on the third Wednesday evening of each month, and the hour shall correspond to the hours of meeting of Mt. Olive Lodge No. 79. Special meetings may be held when deemed necessary for the good of the Club.

 

ARTICLE VI--Dues in the Club shall be Twenty-five cents annually, payable in advance. These dues shall be applied to the running expenses of the Club, subject to the decision of the three principal officers.

 

ARTICLE VII--There shall be only one standing committee, the Program Committee, which shall be composed of the three principal officers. The President shall have power to appoint any other committees he may deem desirable or necessary.

 

ARTICLE VIII--This Constitution and By-Laws may be amended at any regular meeting of the Club, such amendment having been proposed in writing at the next previous meeting, by a two-thirds vote of the members present.

 

A MASONIC STUDY CLUB IN SESSION

 

As my last endeavor to inform you of our endeavors met so favorable response, I am going to try again and hope you will be able to see our weakness and help us strengthen it.

 

Meeting of four brethren; two interested brethren unavoidably absent.

 

Preface of Mackey's "Symbolism" read and attention directed to explanation of the ritual of Wisconsin given the candidate, in which he is informed that the lessons of Masonry are taught by types, emblems and allegorical figures. A full comprehension of this work would undoubtedly clear many brethren's mind of the confusion which appears to prevail.

 

We then read Speth's "What is Freemasonry," each taking turns reading and others taking notes oś points to be raised. A discussion followed.

 

A brief description of Anderson's "Book of Constitutions" (1723) was given and attention particularly directed to regulation 39 and its significance. The question was also brought out that among Masonic students there are several schools of thought and that Bro. G.W. Speth belonged to what might be called a critical or exact school and furthermore, that, while Speth, Gould, Hughan and others of their rank were critical in their method and did not wish to give as history anything which was doubtful, they freely admitted that much lay outside the scope of their knowledge and they were not dogmatic in their views of the origin of Masonry.

 

The following questions were also asked all of which were not fully answered:

 

1. How far does Masonry antedate Christ's time? 2. Does the Bible conflict with the teachings of Masonry ? 3. Who were the ancient Magi ? 4. Are the Magi the same as spoken of in the Bible as bringing their book to the Apostles and burning them? (Acts 19:19-) 5. Who were the great world characters who were Masons ? 6. What is the meaning of cowan ?

 

As exhibit we had:  Reprint of "H. F. Beaumont Mss."  Reprint of "York rolls."  Fac simile of "Regius Ms."  Reprint of "Anderson's Book of Constitutions" (1723).

 

Questions discussed at previous meeting were enlarged upon and meeting was closed with everybody pleased and happy.

 

In answer to Question 1, the different schools of thought were mentioned and it was considered one of those problems which we, in the primary class, must not try to solve but leave open for our best efforts when we proved ourselves proficient in the elementary work.

 

Question No. 2 was unanimously decided in the negative.

 

For the information of the Brother asking Questions 3 and 4, I am loaning him "Arcane Schools" (page 79 contains reference), "History of Initiation" (lecture IV has some light), "Rollins Ancient History" (Book 4, Art. 4, has reference), and references in Gould's History, and will look up such others as I can.

 

Question No. 5 is one none of us were qualified to fully answer but we will be on the lookout and note them as much as possible. I have a fairly good idea of our most noted American Masons.

 

Question No. 6 was answered by Mackey's Encyclopedia.

 

Hoping this may be of use to you and that by constructive criticism you may help us, I am, Yours to find the key to the door of knowledge, Silas H. Shepherd, Hartland, Wis.

 

Just the thing I want. To tell me of what you are trying to do and how you are going about it and what you have to do with is the sort of story that whets my Masonic interest to the acme of keenness. There's little I can tell you of any way to better what you have in hand. Anything from me may sound presumptuous. But I'll risk it if only to show my desire to lend a hand.

 

What a wealth of material you possess! Is there not just a little danger that the very amount of it may oppress and deter the average inquirer from going ahead on his own more limited course of research ? Please let me have your advice on this matter. You have doubtless noticed that I try to give references in my own articles and I do like to lay hands on sources of information readily available for everybody. We must make it easy for the average Mason to start his studies.

 

I'm not concerned with accelerating the progress of brethren of the Hartland quality. They are speeded up in great style. But I do worry over what we can do to enthuse those whose opportunities and capacities are much less auspicious. I rely upon your help in this work. Please continue to give me the active benefit of your goodwill and of your valued criticism.

 

Regulation 39, to which you refer, will be interesting to many:

 

"Every Annual Grand Lodge has an inherent Power and Authority to make new Regulations, or to alter these, for the real Benefit of this ancient Fraternity: Provided always that the old Landmarks be carefully preserv'd, and that such Alterations and new Regulations be proposed and agreed to at the third Quarterly Communication preceding the Annual Grand Feast; and that they be offered also to the Perusal of all the Brethren before Dinner, in writing, even of the Youngest Apprentice; the Approbation and Consent of the Majority present being absolutely necessary to make the same binding and obligatory; which must, after Dinner, and after the new Grand Master is install'd be solemnly desir'd; as it was desir'd and obtain'd for these REGULATIONS, when propos'd by the GRAND LODGE, to about 150 Brethren, on St. John Baptist's Day, 1721."

 

Your Question 5 reminds me of the long list given in the Annual of the International Bureau for Masonic Affairs. It includes Lincoln though I am not aware of any evidence to prove his membership. However, Brother la-Tente's lists of Masons Illustres and of Dates importantes de l'Histoire de la Maconnerie were undertaken with all sincerity by that enthusiastic Freemason and it is to be hoped that they may be corrected wherever amendment is found necessary. Is there any record connecting Lincoln with the Craft as an initiate ?

 

THE ORGANIZATION OF STUDY CLUBS

 

I find that there exists in many sections a pronounced desire for some more formal scheme of organization than has so far been outlined by me. From the National Masonic Research Society's headquarters at Anamosa, Iowa, there is sent to every inquirer a list of the fellow members in his locality so that he can make a very convenient start at the organization of Study Club. If steps to this end have already been made then the inquirer gets the addresses of those already active, and every effort is made to set him at work under the best possible auspices. So far so good.

 

But more is asked. Too often there is a tendency to "stick on the way" and the launching of the enterprise does not then advance rapidly enough to suit a very natural and common desire for results.

 

EXPERT ASSISTANCE AT THE START

 

If we could but send on a competent brother to begin the work, offer advice, instruct the officers, lay out a preliminary course of work, we could leave the members busy, pleased, ambitious, and resultful. Sometime somehow we shall do something after this style. Some task! Yes, but there is a plan even now under consideration whereby such an effort may be practically put into operation. But it is far too remote to count upon for the present.

 

How then shall we bring about that happy condition of affairs which will satisfy the demand for a formal organization? Not by any complicated system of control at long range or by any unwieldy method of local management will the best results be obtained. Just enough to hold all hands together in unity is plenty. Not too formal lest peradventure "the letter killeth." A just mean, an even balance, a happy medium is eminently desirable.

 

DISTRIBUTE THE STUDY CLUB DUTIES

 

First of all we must distribute the duties among as many members as is possible. On the other hand keep the duties themselves down to a minimum. Thus each member will probably have something to do but will not be burdened to discouragement. Many hands make light work.

 

There will be a President to perform the usual functions of that office. There will be a Vice-President or two to take charge in the absence of the President. A Secretary will attend to preparing and sending notices and the general correspondence but he should not clutter up his own wheels by lengthy minutes of the proceedings. The Treasurer will handle the funds and collect and disburse them. Many times the two offices, Treasurer and Secretary, may profitably be combined. The Librarian will take charge of such books and magazines and manuscripts as may come into the possession of the Club and will distribute them to the members and preserve them as required. There will be a Master Builder to prepare the program for each meeting. There will be a Critic to see that the subject is properly discussed and that definite progress is accomplished. And there will be a Reporter to keep the headquarters of our Society at Anamosa regularly informed as to the work that is being done.

 

BETTER A FEW FAITHFUL THAN AN IDLE MANY

 

Inasmuch as I see no good reason why a Study Club with say but two or three really loyal and active members cannot do effective work my readers will at once understand that I do not deem it necessary to have every one of the foregoing positions filled by a separate and distinct brother. But the titles and the synopsis of their duties will furnish an idea of the work that in my opinion should be accomplished by the officers to maintain satisfactory progress in research.

 

MAINTAINING AN INTEREST

 

Programmes depend so much upon individual taste that suggestions can only be made very roughly. Of course the BULLETIN will be coming along regularly with its notes for various courses of Masonic study so there will be no lack of matters for consideration. In the absence of any other plan tackle a copy of Mackey's revised Encyclopedia or "THE BUILDERS" and read any section that strikes you as especially favorable, the one most to your liking. Follow the reading with a discussion. Prior to the meeting have the Secretary state the subject in his announcements, and also have the Critic line up two or more members to study the same section or chapter in advance and be prepared to discuss some angle of it. Any Masonic essay or topic may be examined in the same style.

 

SLEEPY OR WIDE-AWAKE STUDY CLUBS

 

Unless the meetings are of interest, and exciting a strong desire for attendance, we must expect a dormant Club. Much rests upon the ability of everybody to do his part. Here is indeed the purpose of my suggestion that many hands be actively employed. No one to do very much and yet all to do a fair share. Visitors should be invited, but not allowed admission at successive meetings unless they are accepted as members. No one should be proposed for membership unless agreeable to all and willing on his part to be active in doing whatever shall be assigned him to do. Continued absence may be challenged and the offender warned. If he improves not, then a fine may fit his case if the limit of expulsion be not chosen. But the regular meetings of congenial brethren in agreeable surroundings for the instructive examination of matters Masonic would surely be alluring. Remember always that different duties fit different men; one of the very best of presiding officers known to me would be the poorest of Secretaries; one delighted in listening to the results of Masonic research is, as I have often found, indisposed to individual digging.

 

TOPICS TO BE TABOOED

 

Whether the members of a Study Club are all affiliated with the same Masonic bodies or not, there will be matters that in the discussions it is the part of wisdom to avoid. Questions of Lodge policy, for example, might be embarrassing if ventilated thoughtlessly in a research organization. Yet there are occasions when the consideration of Lodge practices is as harmless and unobjectionable as any other topic of Masonic importance. Right here is the benefit of the Master Builder and the President. The one sees that the proper subject is selected, and the other is charged with the duty of allowing none but appropriate presentation and seemly argument upon it.

 

LAYING OUT THE RULES

 

Having gone thus far in a general way let me now lay out a set of regulations following the foregoing lines. Fill in the various blanks to suit your collective. judgment when organizing.

 

RULE I.--The name of this Study Club shall be ..................

 

RULE II.--The purpose shall be the promotion of Masonic study and discussion.

 

RULE III.--The Officers shall be a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Librarian, Master Builder, Critic, Reporter, and Guard.

 

RULE IV.--The President shall perform the usual duties of a Chairman.

 

RULE V.--The Vice-President shall in the absence of the President assume the chair and perform all the duties of that position.

 

RULE VI.--The Secretary shall keep a record of the proceedings, send out notices of the meetings, prepare and forward to the National Masonic Research Society on the date of institution, and regularly every half year thereafter on the first day of January and July, a statement of membership and a copy of his semi-annual report of receipts and disbursements. He will also forward to the headquarters of the National Masonic Research Society results of elections and appointments of officers and the names and addresses and Lodge affiliations of all new members when they are admitted to membership.

 

RULE VII.--The Treasurer shall collect and hold the funds. He shall pay them out only upon orders prepared by the Secretary and countersigned by the President.

 

RULE VIII.--The Librarian shall take charge of all books and magazines and MSS in the possession of this Study Club.

 

RULE IX.--The Master Builder shall prepare the programme for each meeting and assist the President in its most effective presentation.

 

RULE X.--The Critic shall see that proper discussion takes place at all meetings.

 

RULE XI.--The Reporter will keep the National Masonic Research Society informed regularly and frequently of the activities of this Study Club.

 

RULE XII.--The Guard will attend to the door, act as messenger, and also introduce new members and visitors.

 

RULE XIII.--The President, Secretary and the Treasurer shall be elected semi-annually by written ballots without any other previous nominations. The remaining officers shall be appointed by the President. Any officer may be removed from office by a two-thirds vote of those present at any meeting called to consider such vote, all the members having been notified.

 

RULE XIV.--Meetings shall be held at. . (place) . . monthly upon . . (date) . . and punctually at the following time....... Meetings falling upon St. John's Days, the twenty-fourth of June and the twenty-seventh of December, or in default of this coincidence of time, the meetings immediately following these dates shall be designated as Election Days.

 

RULE XV.--Dues shall be payable in advance on the admission of an applicant for membership, and are again due and payable on Election Days. The semiannual dues of each member shall be $......Members in arrears cannot vote nor hold office and are subject to expulsion.

 

RULE XVI.--Applications for membership shall be on a prescribed form and the action thereon shall be by ballot, two blackballs rejecting the applicant. Any application may be renewed after an interval of six months.

 

RULE XVII.--Special meetings may be called by the President at any time, or by any three members in good standing.

 

RULE XVIII.--A quorum for the transaction of business shall consist of not less than..members.

 

RULE XIX.--Rules may be amended by a two-thirds vote at any meeting of which usual notice he been given.

 

AND, FINALLY AND MOREOVER

 

Say, brother, don't you just ache to start something of this sort? Well, then, don't wait for large numbers. Get two or three good fellows like yourself together. Read this story of mine over, to them. Ask, nay, tell them to vote "Aye." Then write to the Secretary, George L. Schoonover, at Anamosa, Iowa. He will help. Topics will be suggested to you. Pointers on programmes offered freely to you whenever you want them.

 

Start something. When you get the data all in hand, bring together your best studious Masonic friends. Talk it over. The cost can be as little as you choose. My notion would be for the pleasantest of Masonic meetings. Let there be frequent occasions when refreshments as well as research will be temperately relished and good cheer be abundant. Of such was Freemasonry of old.

 

Handled with prudence, temperance, and zeal, and with a goodly assortment of fortitude, these Study Clubs may be sturdy Foundations, helpful and enjoyable associations of truly Masonic builders.

 

ORGANIZATION

 

MASONIC STUDY IN THE LODGE

 

In the smaller cities, where Lodges are not too crowded with degree work, it is recommended that the Lodge take up the study of Masonry as a body. The ideal plan would be to set aside one meeting each month for this purpose. This could be either a regular or a special meeting. If a regular meeting is decided upon, let the Lodge be prompt in opening at the stated time and dispose of the routine business as quickly as possible. Then turn the Lodge over to the Chairman of the Program Committee and proceed with the reading and discussion of the articles and papers which have been made ready for presentation. The degree work, under this plan, would be confined to special meetings. If on the other hand special meetings are deemed more practical for the purpose, let them be approximately thirty days apart, selecting if possible a definite meeting night of each month. This meeting night to be exclusive for study programs.

 

HOW TO PRESENT THE PROPOSITION TO YOUR LODGE

 

The Worshipful Master should be interested, first of all. With his sincere co-operation, very much can be accomplished. Then take two weeks or a month to advertise the preliminary meeting at which the proposition is to be considered. Have your Secretary emphasize the date and purpose of the meeting in all his notices that are sent out in the meantime. Some Lodges are inserting notices in their home newspapers. The day before the meeting send out the last notices, and urge every member to be present.

 

At your preliminary meeting the Brother having the responsibility of introducing the subject should have all the necessary data for presentation:

 

Some copies of the "Correspondence Circle Bulletin."

 

Our regular Study Club Bulletin.

 

The special Bound Volume Offer of the N. M. R. S.

 

Some N. M. R. S. Membership Circulars for distribution.

 

This will enable him to outline what the purpose of organizing is, how the papers are to be brought before the members, what the National Masonic Research Society is and how it can be of help to your group.

 

After all the facts are presented and discussed, a "Research Committee" should be appointed to take charge of programs, assist the Brethren in preparing papers, lead the discussions, etc. The same Committee, or the group as a whole, should also then and there determine how far it wishes to go in purchasing books of reference, etc.

 

The meetings may be called whatever you wish-- "Research Meetings" and "Research Communications" have been suggested for Lodge use--of course if you organize a Study Club, simply a meeting of it called will give notice to all.

 

These suggestions are by no means complete, but they emphasize the lengths to which we are willing to go in order to make this work a success. If you have other suggestions to offer, or if there is any particular phase of organization which you feel like taking up with us, "let it be known, and quickly."

 

USE OF BROTHER CLEGG'S ARTICLES

 

We have thought out the problem of everybody working together along this same outline, and it seems to us that if all Lodges and Study Clubs will use these articles at their meeting night the month following their appearance in the Correspondence Circle Bulletin, we shall all work to better advantage. And for this reason: it will enable you to get to us copies of additional papers prepared for presentation at your next meeting, and then we can pass them on to other Study Clubs, who, in their turn, will send us material which we can pass on to you. For example, if these copies of your additional papers get to us not later than the fifteenth of the month--that is two weeks after THE BUILDER reaches you--then we can review them, gather together all the good points and make a general distribution prior to the first of the next month--in other words, in time for your meetings. Such a plan, consistently worked to and systematically carried out, will give us all the maximum of benefit--almost as good as having a joint meeting. Send your communications direct to

 

NATIONAL MASONIC RESEARCH SOCIETY, Anamosa Iowa.

 

----o----

 

NOTICE TO OUR MEMBERS

 

If our members will send us a list of the newly elected officers in their respective Lodges, we will be very glad to take up with them ways and means by which we can be of service to them. It looks very much as if 1917 were to be a year of study for many thousands of American Masons, and it is fitting that it should be so. We are prepared to be of material assistance to groups desiring to have a share in this movement. The foregoing discussion of method will be followed, next Month, by an installment, at least, of our Course of Study, which is now practically completed. Comprehensive, but based upon books which are easily accessible to the student, we believe that any Lodge will be able to follow it through. The measure of advantage derived, as always, will depend upon the use that is made of it. And so, from every point of view, we are anxious that the Brethren should know about it--and particularly the Masters and Wardens for 1917.

 

----o----

 

DEMOCRACY

 

Democracy is not a mere phrase. It is a spirit, a religion. It is that faith in the excellence of human beings which makes life worth living. It finds that excellence in inclusiveness. It is different from any other and all other religions. It has its root in a kind relation to God because it has a kind relation to man. It is more than liberty, equality and fraternity. It is the thing Lincoln had. It is the thing Whitman had.-- Francis Hackett.

 

----o----

 

 CRYPTIC MASONRY AND THE COMMANDERY

 

BY BRO. J. ANGUS GILLIS, OKLA

 

In the beginning I wish to say that in this article there is nothing original. In some instances I have used quotation marks and at times give full credit when I have copied verbatim what I have read if at the time I remember who made the original remarks, but the assembling of facts and arrangement of arguments may be of some value to the Craft.

 

The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, claims to have conferred both the Royal and Select Master's degrees at Charleston, S.C., in 1783, which was certified from Berlin, Prussia; but Josiah H. Drummond investigated and found that the ritual was not authentic, for while they claimed the Supreme Council as the governing body, the Supreme Council did not exist until 1801. The records show that in 1802 to 1807 the Inspectors General conferred fifty-five different degrees, but the Council degrees were not named among them.

 

The Supreme Council, Northern Jurisdiction, claimed that the Royal and Select Master's degrees were conferred in the lodge of Perfection in New York by Andrew Franken who received his authority from Stephen Morin, of Jamaica, Deputy Inspector General, and that Morin was empowered to propagate the rite in the new world by the Emperors of the East and the West in France; but there is no evidence to substantiate the claim.

 

Philip P. Eckles and Hezekiah Niles received the degree of Select Master in 1792, at Baltimore, from Henry Wiemans, Grand Inspector General; but there is no record of when, where, or from whom Wiemans received it. Eckles and Niles conferred it on Jeremy L. Cross in 1807, and Cross conferred it on a great many Royal Arch Masons in the North, South and Western parts of the then United States; and in 1818 he received the Select Master's degree and united it with the Select Mason's of 27, now the Select Master's degree. To Jeremy L. Cross, therefore, are we indebted for uniting these two degrees and forming the Cryptic Rite; and even if it was from a mercenary motive for disseminating them more assiduously than any one else, until they became independent in their governmental relations to the other branches of the American system, it was a real service to the Order.

 

The origin of all Masonic degrees is unknown; in fact, the Holy Bible, the Great Light of Freemasonry, gives an account of everything that we know. Our knowledge otherwise ;s limited, mystic, unauthentic, denied by some and averred by others. No one can go back with steady steps through the dark, winding, and sometimes obliterated pathways of the past, to the time or birthplace of Masonry.

 

In discussing the origin of the different Masonic degrees, Frederick Speed said: "One myth after another has vanished into thin air, until we do not hesitate to aver in writing, that, with scarcely an exception, the ritual of every Masonic degree now produced in these United States, originated, or was elaborated, since the American revolution, and by Americans; but that the admission of this fact does not in the least degree detract from the dignity, high character, or claim to an ancient origin of the institution itself."

 

All Masonic students admit that the origin of the Cryptic degrees are in doubt, just as are the origin of the Symbolic and Capitular degrees; and while there seems to be no doubt but what the Scottish Rite first conferred them as detached or side degrees, there is the same proof that the Royal Arch degree was conferred by the Inspectors General the same way, and under the same conditions, until each branch became self supporting, or expressed a desire to be controlled or under the jurisdiction of State Grand Chapters and Councils. While in each branch or rite in the American system there is an interdependency for application for membership, both by affiliation and by receiving the degrees, the system lacks one link of being complete, because of its numerical place (except in the Virginias), as the Commandery organization does not protect the Council as is done in all the other branches of the system.

 

For example, the pre-requisite to apply for the E. A. degree is to be a man of lawful age, etc.; for the F. C. is to have been an E.A. for a proper length of time; for a M. M. is to have been a F. C. a proper length of time. As a member of a Symbolic lodge, he may apply for the Capitular degrees, and as a member of a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons he may apply for the Cryptic degrees; or he may skip this link in the series of allegories of Ancient Craft Masonry and apply to the Commandery for the Chivalric Orders--the summit of teaching in the American system of Freemasonry.

 

Thus, each degree is a pre-requisite to the succeeding degree, and each branch is a pre-requisite to the succeeding branch. Each is supported from below and protected from above, (except the Council), and if the amendment to Sec. 113 of the Constitution of the Grand Encampment is adopted, the accepted scheme of Masonic support and protection will be carried out in full.

 

Masonry is a progressive science consisting of a series of degrees, and as practiced in the American system is divided into branches, or rites, which, when taken together, form the complete American system of Freemasonry.

 

Albert Gallatin Mackey said: "I learned from the experience of my early Masonic life, that the character of the institution was elevated in every one's opinion, just in proportion to the amount of knowledge that he had acquired of its symbolism, philosophy and history." This is why Masonry means something different to each individual. Some think it is simply a "club of good fellows," while to others it is a "system of morals, or even pure religion," according to their foundation of character, educational and intellectual attainments, previous instructions, etc.; as is evidenced by the superficial and selfish views of some who see only the part that suits their narrow purposes, or the deep reverence and wide humanitarian outlook of others; and the difference becomes greater the more difference there is in their preliminary Masonic instructions.

 

It is a pleasure to gather together the scattered legends of Freemasonry, each different, but deftly built together so that their symmetry as a whole develops the great TRUTH. The Cryptic degrees are so closely connected with the degrees of the other branches of the American system, their beauty and utility is unquestioned; their logical necessity is recognized by all Masonic students. They are thoroughly established and organizations are maintained in almost every Jurisdiction in the United States; and no one will claim to have completed the studies of Ancient Craft Masonry who has not received the Cryptic degrees. This being so, we do not treat the applicant for further Masonic light justly when we allow him to skip these links that are explanatory of the 3rd and 7th degrees.

 

This logically brings to mind the question of prerequisition of the Council degrees for the Commandery Orders, which has been before the Grand Encampment for the last three years, and which is to be adopted or rejected at the Triennial Conclave in Philadelphia in October, 1919.

 

There is no good reason why this legislation should not be adopted; for if Cryptic Masonry is good--and it is or organizations would not be maintained--it should have the same protection that is accorded the other branches of Masonry. This argument of one's own free will and accord will not stand against the acid test of enlightened reason, and the fact of compulsion practiced in all other degrees and branches comprising the American system of Freemasonry. The Cryptic rite is universally recognized and accepted as a component part of the American system, and a legitimate and necessary branch to complete Ancient Craft Masonry; herefore the Commandery should willingly require knowledge of all preceding degrees, Symbolic, Capitular and Cryptic, in order to maintain with dignity and impartial justice its position at the head of the system.

 

Cryptic Masonry is the top of Ancient Craft Masonry; Templary is the top of the American system of Freemasonry; and it is beyond dispute that it was the intention of the original organizers of Templary in America to make all Masonic degrees pre-requisite to the Commandery Orders, for each degree known at that time was specifically mentioned. The accepted scheme of Masonic support and protection should be carried out full. A Templar should receive all the information contained in the system; not be a half or two-thirds, but a complete Mason.

 

If a brother is satisfied with his Masonic knowledge and fraternal associations after taking the Symbolic degrees, well and good; if a Companion is satisfied after taking the Capitular degrees, it is also well; but if he then desires to take the Chivalric Orders for the satisfaction of being a Templar, or in order to be eligible to take the Shrine, he should also be required to take the Cryptic degrees. Each applicant should have the same Masonic preliminary teaching, receive the same lessons, learn the same allegories, and miss none of the links; for if so, it will be a handicap in accomplishment in proportion to the educational attainments along other lines. For, "He who has the key to any science will interpret the whole according to the light he possesses," and the efficiency of the membership will be marred according to the number missing a part of the legends.

 

The claim that this legislation, if adopted, would be the death knell of Templary in some Jurisdictions, is proven not to be a fact from the rule and practice in Connecticut, New Hampshire and Ohio, and in many of the large subordinate Commanderies; and as the law in some Jurisdictions compels an applicant for the Capitular degrees to apply and pay for the Cryptic degrees at the same time, experience wholly disproves that the additional fee, time required, or association as Cryptic Masons, deleteriously affects Templary; e. g. investigate conditions in Texas and South Carolina.

 

In every walk and vocation and in every effort of life we must advance or retrograde. Accomplishment is effected by individual or collective effort, and socalled Independent Jurisdictions must decide whether they can accomplish the most independently or collectively. We must all admit that visits and fraternal exchange of idea is an aid to accomplishment, and having this end in view the National Masonic bodies have been organized. The General Grand Chapter, General Grand Council, and the Grand Encampment Knights Templar of the United States of America are working (in a broad sense) harmoniously together towards the hope of accomplishing many great things which are in the heart of every true Mason; and the question of affiliation of the so-called Independent Jurisdictions with the National bodies is whether more good can be accomplished alone or by working in concert with a large majority of the other Jurisdictions of the United States.

 

This last phase of the question some may say has nothing to do with pre-requisition, but I think it has, for--"in union there is strength" and every division means a less concerted effort which is a detriment to accomplishment.

 

----o----

 

THE POWER OF VIRTUE

 

I think there is some reason for questioning whether the body and mind are not so proportioned, that the one can bear all which can be inflicted on the other; whether virtue cannot stand its ground as long as life, and whether a soul well principled will not sooner die than be subdued.    

 

--Samuel Johnson.

 

----o----

 

THE LAMBSKIN APRON

 

Arranged by Bro. C. G. Emrich, Past Deputy Grand  Lecturer of Ohio.

 

Brother, I am about to present you with the lambskin, which is an emblem of innocence and the badge of a Mason, more ancient than the Golden Fleece or Roman Eagle, more honorable than the Star and Garter, or any other order. And from a time whence the memory of man runneth not to the contrary, this emblem, plain and unadorned; has been the peculiar clothing of all Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons. The citizen toiling in humble poverty and the prince commanding the resources of empires, have alike worn it in the consciousness that it has lightened the labor of the one and added dignity to the power of the other. It may be that you are or yet will be so firmly intrenched in the confidence of your fellow men, or so deserve their gratitude, that they will elevate you to the highest position of honor, trust and emolument and cause your name to be inscribed high upon the pillar of worldly fame. But never before have you had, and never again, my brother, will you have a higher mark of favor and confidence bestowed upon you than this, which I, as the representative of these brothers and of the craft throughout the world, am now about to bestow--this emblem which King Solomon wore when arrayed in all his glory; which invested with additional dignity other kings, princes, and rulers, and which has been eagerly sought and worthily worn by the best men of your generation, I now with pleasure present to you. Its spotless white is emblematic of that purity of heart and uprightness of personal manhood which we expect and sincerely hope will hereafter distinguish the conduct of all your worldly affairs. This emblem is yours to wear, we hope, with pleasure to yourself and honor to the fraternity. If you disgrace it, the disgrace will be augmented by the consciousness that you have, in this lodge, been taught the principles of a correct and moral life. It is yours to wear as a Mason, so long as the "vital spark" shall animate your mortal frame; and when at last, whether in manhood or old age, your spirit shall have winged its flight to that "house not made with hands"; when amid the tears and sorrow of surviving relatives and friends, and by the hands of sympathizing brother Masons your body shall be lowered to the confines of that narrow house appointed for all living, it will still be yours--to be placed with the evergreen upon the coffin that shall inclose your remains, and with them laid in the windowless palace of rest. My brother, may you so wear this emblem of spotless white that no act of yours shall ever stain its purity or cast reflection upon this ancient and honorable institution, which has outlived the dynasties of kings and the mutations of empires. May you so wear it and "so live that when your summons comes to join the innumerable caravan which moves to that mysterious realm where each shall take his chamber in the silent halls of death," that you may "go, not like the quarry slave at night, scourged to his dungeon, but soothed and sustained by an unalterable trust, approach thy grave like one who wraps the drapery of his couch about him and lies down to pleasant dreams."

 

----o----

 

THE WHITE LEATHER APRON

 

The white leather apron is more ancient by far

Than the eagles of Rome, a symbol of war,

Or the fleece of pure gold, by emperors given,

A rich decoration for which many have striven.

The Garter of England, an Order most rare,

Although highly prized, can not with it compare;

It is an emblem of innocence, symboled in white,

And purity ever brings the greatest delight;

With pure thoughts and actions, how happy the life,

How care-free the conscience, unclouded by strife!

 

No Potentate ever can upon us bestow

An honor so great as this apron doth show;

No king on his throne in his highest estate

Can give us an emblem so cherished or great;

'Tis the Badge of a Mason, more noble to wear

Than the gold of the mine, or the diamond most rare.

So here's to the lambskin, the apron of white,

That lifts up all equals and all doth unite,

In the Order so ancient that man can not say

When its teachings began or name its birthday.

 

Since its birth, nations young have gone to their tomb,

And cities once great turned to ashes and gloom;

Earth's greatest achievements have long passed away,

And peoples have risen and gone to decay.

Outliving all these, never changing with time,

Are the principles taught in our Order sublime.

And now, my good brother, this apron's for you,

May you worthily wear it and ever be true

To the vows you have made, to the lessons most grand;

For these, home and country, we ever will stand.

--D. W. Clements.

 

----o----

 

A PRAYER

 

God, though this life is but a wraith,

Although we know not what we use,

Although we grope with little faith

Give me the heart to fight and lose.

Ever insurgent let me be.

Make me more daring than devout,

From sleek contentment keep me free,

And fill me with a buoyant doubt.

Open my eyes to visions girt

With Beauty, and with wonder lit--

But let me always see the dirt

And all that spawn and die in it.

Open my ears to music; let

Me thrill with Spring's first flutes and drums,--

But never let me dare forget

The bitter ballads of the slums.

From compromise and things half done

Keep me with stern and stubborn pride

And when, at last, the fight is won,

God, keep me still unsatisfied.

 

--Louis Untermeyer.

 

----o----

 

BUILDING THE TEMPLE NOT MADE WITH HANDS

 

BY BRO. H. L. HAYWOOD, IOWA

 

IT is the mission of our fraternity to make sweet reason and brotherhood prevail. But Brotherhood! It is a world in itself as wide as it is ancient which breaks through our definitions and overflows our best ideals. Never was it more talked about than now when it seems like an angel troubling our Bethesda pools to a new sense of its inevitability and never has it haunted us so much as in this hour, though war seems to make a red mockery of it.

 

Until two years ago the signs of the time seemed to indicate that at last after all the weary ages of waiting the Kingdom of Brotherhood was at hand. Industry was busy plaiting a web about the earth: throwing out its thrumming wires, sending its ships like bobbins to and fro, catching up trains and caravans as shuttles to its hands, weaving the whole world of men into a web of mutual interest and trust. Science toiled quietly at the same task and enticed the hidden forces in ray and wave to serve the wants of men, the while its sister, literature, carefully built its republic of letters in which was neither free nor bond, Jew nor Gentile; Democracy went about to cast its leaven under the throne of kings, and Socialists dreamed their dream of a United States of the World. Meanwhile the church's missionary enterprise went out to bind up the ends of the world into the kingdoms of our God in which the race's littlest people might find a place in the everlasting sun.

 

Then, on a fateful day, a young Servian high school student fired a shot the echoes of which are still heard round the world.

 

It was as if some shaggy creature from Dante's pit had crawled out and swept all this fine work away with one sweep of its paw. The instruments of fraternity underwent a change like the transformation in some horrible dream phantasm when the most familiar objects suddenly loom in terrifying aspect. Clouds of battle smoke drifted over the lands like hell's mirages making our nearest neighbors to look like demons. Industry was impressed into the service of shot and shell. Science went over to the side of Satan. Socialists shot each other down from opposing trenches. Philosophers and poets mobilized for the warfare of hate. Rival churches prayed from the one God the boons of victory. The whole fair web of amity was rent in twain from top to bottom and our hearts turned sick within us to the realization that John Ball spoke the sober truth when he said, "Brotherhood is heaven; the lack of brotherhood is hell."

 

But, after all, is not the lack of brotherhood an old, old thing? The war has not created a new problem but has only served to cast an ancient problem into bolder relief. Human charity under the sun was as rare when Abraham tended his flocks as now, and rarer. Who cannot testify to the shock of disillusionment when he discovered the gray character of men to be so different from the generous estimates of early enthusiasm? When the appearances of fraternity were so much more favorable it was still true that deep weariness and sated lust made human life something like a hell, and that men were too much given to retaliation and distrust.

 

Has not this always been the problem of the lodge room? What the war has brought us a white focus has always existed there, though not always clamant. In that sacred rectangle with the light from the East across it men have been subjected to influences constantly appealing to the better angels of their nature. Ancient ritualisms have played upon them with the soft insistence of a prayer and appealed to them as only the truth can when throbbing with the submerged rhythms of a divine poetry. The very atmosphere, as we have all felt, has been drained of all save these fine appeals and silence, which is finer than all; and a vigilant watchman has been at the gate guarding us against the enemies of love.

 

But one thing has ever slipped past the tyler,-- our scarred and twisted human nature. The heart of man is desperately wicked and full of deceit, and never more unmasked in its wickedness than in the circle of which the Great Light of Masonry is the center. Slander, envy, pride, vanity, self ambition, cunning, gossip and silent, vicious innuendos have crept in and always will creep in while man is man. The lair of anti-brotherhood lies not in outward things but in the heart; it is the shadow cast by our unredeemed nature. Armaments do not create it, they merely give it vent. We have learned war for so many ages, national war and personal war, it has become a part of our very substance, so that our minds are warped permanently into the ways of strife.

 

All this is but to say that brotherhood itself is a problem. If we hold our hopes in check and do not let our wishes create illusions, we shall all see that fraternity cannot come by any easy incantation. We want that men shall deal with each other as if the whole race were one family, as indeed it is, albeit so many of us have not yet made the discovery. This is the temple we would build. But what imperfect ashlars we men are! To use William Hawley Smith's vivid phrase, each of us is in some vital direction "born short." We are twisted and gnarled, selfish and vain, conceited and stubborn, determined to have our own way and jealous of our comfort, ready on slight provocation to say or do the thing that will wound a brother's heart.

 

Is this an overstatement of the case? While this war thunders about the world one could hardly exaggerate this matter. I have stated the matter as vigorously as possible in order that we may all the more be led to realize the divine potency of that power which, in spite of wars and rumors and wars and the opposition of human perversity, will yet prove itself able to send up the shining spires of the temple not made with hands.

 

Whence can come an illumination able to dispel such darkness? I believe it can come from no other place than from that Great Light which lies unfolded on the altar at the center of the lodge. Two brief sentences, like twin suns, lie close upon its pages. Let me recall them and then let me endeavor to show how in them lies the principle which alone is capable of coping with the enemies of brotherhood.

 

"Return good for evil." "Love your enemies."

 

Each of these utterances, on which hang all the law and the prophets, is a wholesale condemnation of the method of retaliation. The one great condemnation of retaliation is not that it violates some abstract theory of morals, but that it will not work. And that is what amazes me about so many hard headed men who pride themselves on being "practical," and who have so much undoubted vigor and good sense! In business these men have submitted every detail to the acid test of workability, creating thereby the new science of efficiency, yet in so obvious a transaction as returning evil for evil their sense of the practical seems to forsake them. They go on returning evil for evil all the days of their life, as if in obedience to some hard and fast law of nature entirely oblivious to the results; indeed seeming never to examine results at all.

 

What these results are every child can discover if he will. When one returns evil for evil, the world is so made that the only result possible is the increase of evil. If I return a lie for a lie, I add one more liar to the world. If I return slander for slander, two serpent's tongues are hissing where only one hissed before. If I cheat the man who cheated me, the world contains one more thief. The spirit of evil is as much in the other man as before; perhaps, as a result of my own opposition, resentment has been aroused and he grows worse instead of better. The net result of my retaliation is simply this, the amount of evil in the world has been increased by it.

 

Is that success? Does that work? Is such a method, by any conceivable jugglery of words, to be described as practicable? If the object in our dealing with evil is to destroy evil, retaliation manifestly is not practicable, because it defeats its own object. If one cares to see this visually demonstrated, let him step into one of the old-fashioned penitentiaries where the prisoner is exposed to the vengeance of society. Society returns evil for evil, with the result that the criminal is made more of a criminal than before, so that retaliation transforms the very means of reformation into a school of crime.

 

If the condemnation of the method of retaliation is that it does not work, the glory of the method of returning good for evil is that it does work. If a man supposes it a piece of moral moonshine fit only for an impossible utopia, he simply confesses that he has not tried it, or at least has not tried it observingly and thoroughly. Even if it does not wholly succeed, it has as an advantage over retaliation the fact that evil is not increased, and that is more than can be said for the opposite method.

 

But, returning good for evil most certainly does more than merely refuse to increase the amount of evil; it has a positive and constructive result, which springs from the fact that usually evil will wither up in the presence of love. For love is not a mere matter of reciprocity; it is a constructive force, creating its own ends and conditions, as Henry Demarest Lloyd taught us in a glorious book, making something exist where before nothing existed. Love is like the sunlight which not only chases away the dark, but brings in the light.

 

This is the idea, as I can understand it, in the Book. By "love" it does not mean admiration, affection, or fondness. These things are instinctive and cannot be commanded. Any teaching which demanded that we feel fondness for a brute cannot possibly be binding upon us, because it flys in the face of the very constitution of our souls. This, however, is not anywhere demanded by the Bible, a fact that is overlooked by George Bernard Shaw and those others who condemn the teachings of non-resistance and love, and who understand "love" in the divine pages as if it were the equivalent of "admiration." Love is not a matter of the mere sentiments; it springs from the will and may be described as the habitual willingness that the object of love shall be permitted and assisted to live the completest possible life.

 

This heavenly wisdom of love, this spiritual greatness which is the ultimate cleverness, was exhibited by Warden Allen of Joliet who, if ever a man was, was justified in seeking retaliation on the men who had so fiendishly violated his confidence and betrayed his confidence. But that great heart did not go back like a fire brand to wreak vengeance; he went back with redoubled determination to love his "boys" the more. That is not to say that he can feel affection for the men who murdered his wife; it is simply to say that he willed that these men should be encouraged to live a completer and more human life.

 

Love as thus defined is a creative, a generative power and justifies itself by creating its own objects. If a man is too twisted and bent to fit into the machinery of brotherhood, treating him in an unbrotherly fashion won't better him any, but treating him in a brotherly fashion will. By loving him, he will be made more lovable. Men may be brothered into brotherliness.

 

Brotherhood is most certainly nowhere an established fact. We must all agree with the cynic on this charge, but that is not to surrender the case for it, because the very principle in the Book on which our lodge is erected is that brotherhood is a task. And it is the first great task of the Fraternity to organize all men of good will, "mobilize" them, if you prefer, for the purpose of making brotherhood prevail. We enter the Craft as rough-hewn stones drawn from the crude quarries of human nature; in our hands is placed the sacred trowel; from ritualism, teaching and example is supplied the mystic cement; by forbearance, tolerance, faith, and prayer, we are called to engage in that heavenly task of raising the house not made with hands.

 

What man soe'er I chance to see--

Amazing thought--is kin to me;

And if a man, my brother.

What though his hand be hard with toil

And labor his worn garments soil;

He is a man, my brother.

What though ashamed, with drooping head

He beg a morsel of my bread;

He is a man, my brother.

What though he grovel at my feet,

Spurned by the rabble of the street;

He is a man, my brother.

What though his hand with crime be red,

His heart a stone, his conscience dead;

He is a man, my brother;

The soul which this frail clay enfolds

The image of its Maker holds;

That makes this man my brother.

 

----o----

 

THE ORIGIN OF DRUIDISM

 

BY BRO. DUDLEY WRIGHT, ED. LONDON FREEMASON

 

IT is doubtful whether the question, so often asked, as to what period in the history of man witnessed the origin of Druidism will ever be answered. Some writers maintain that it was a development or offshoot - of the Egyptian religion, and, along with Freemasonry, originated in the sublime teachings of Ptah, which are said to have been brought out of Egypt by Moses.

 

Philology does not render much assistance, although few modern scholars would consider seriously the suggestion once very frequently made that the word "Druid" is derived from the Greek word drus, meaning "an oak" or the argument that the original Druids sprang from the oaks of Mamre, mentioned in the Book of Genesis. One explanation given is that derwydd means "the body of an oak," formed from derw, oak, and ydd, a substantive termination; that Ovydd (Ovate) implies the sapling or unformed plant, from ov, "raw," "pure," and ydd; and that bardd signifies the branching, derived from bar, "a branch" or "the top." Others give the derivation as from the Hebrew word derussim or drussim, the meaning of which is given as "contemplators." Another explanation is that it is an old Celtic word, druis, formed from trowis or truwis, meaning "a doctor of the faith." The Persian duru means "a good and holy man"; the Arabic deri, "a wise man"; and the Welsh drud, "an absolver or remitter of sins." In Scotland the Druids were called Dercergli; in Spain, Turduli or Turdutan. The Oriental Dervishes are thought by some to derive their name from the same source as the Druids. Mr. D. Delta Evans, who may be regarded as an authority, says that according to the best informed Celtic scholars it would appear almost beyond doubt that the word derwydd is derived from dar, meaning "above" and gwydd meaning "understanding," "learning," "knowledge." Cynwal, an eminent Welsh poet of the sixteenth century, so employs the term and thus apostrophises an ancient Bard:

 

Dywed weithian dad ieithydd Dy feddwl ym, do foddawl wydd ! Declare thou then, thou father of languages,  Thy mind, if of well-cultured knowledge.

 

According to Caesar, who, of course, had to depend upon other people for his information, the Gauls boasted that they were descended from Dis as their father, a tradition handed down to them by the Druids. Dis, or Dives, according to mythology, was one of three brothers, of whom Jupiter and Neptune were the two others. They had Saturn for their father and Minerva for their mother. Dives is the same word as the Hebrew "Japheth," and this is probably the foundation for the tradition that Japheth was the progenitor of the Celts, who are believed to be the earliest colonists of Western Europe. Whatever the origin, however, few would venture to quarrel with Theodore Watts-Dunton's statement that, compared with Druidism--that mysterious poetic religion which more than any other religion expresses the very voice of nature-- all other religions have a sort of commonplace and modern ring, even those which preceded it by centuries.

 

Let it be at once admitted that nothing precise is known with regard to the origin of Druidism, that the statements made even with regard to its religious tenets are, in many instances, deductive only; that even where there is anything approaching definite statements, the source is in every instance outside Britain.

 

There is, however, no conflict in the testimony regarding their rites and ceremonies and it is difficult to explain the many points of strong resemblance between the rites and institutions of the Druids of Britain and Gaul, the Magi of Persia, the Chaldeans of Babylonia, the Brahmins of India, and the priests of Egypt except upon the hypothesis that the rites and institutions of these various religions were derived from one common source, which would be of a date anterior to the time when the Greeks and Romans produced those "elegant mythologies."

 

O'Curry, in his "Manners and Customs of the Ancient Irish," says: "It must occur to everyone who has read of Zoroaster, of the Magi of Persia, and of the sorcerers of Egypt mentioned in the seventh chapter of Exodus, that Druids and Druidism did not originate in Britain any more than in Gaul or Erin. It is indeed probable that notwithstanding Pliny's high opinion of the power of the British Druids, the European Druidical system was but the offspring of the Eastern augury, somewhat less complete, perhaps, when transplanted to a new soil than in its ancient home." Pliny was of the opinion that the Druids were the Gaulish Magi, and, according to Porphyry, "the name Magi in the East was most august and venerable: they alone were skilled in divine matters and were the ministers of Deity." Higgins believed them to be Pythagoreans, and, therefore, akin to the Essenes, while Madame Blavatsky held the opinion (one which, of course, cannot be substantiated) that the Druids were the descendants of the lost Atlanteans! Alexander Bertrand maintained that Druidism was not an isolated institution, without analogy, but that its parallel is to be looked for in the lamaseries which still survive in Tartary and Thibet.

 

Dr. Churchward, in "Signs and Symbols of Primordial Man," holds that the ancient Druids "were undoubtedly descendants of the ancient Egyptian priests, who came over and landed in Ireland and the west of England, and who brought with them their religious doctrines and taught and practiced them there. The Tuatha-de-Danann who came to Ireland were of the same race and spoke the same language as the FirBolgs or the Formarians, possessed ships, knew the art of navigation, had a compass or magnetic-needle, worked in metals, had a large army thoroughly organized, a body of surgeons, and a Bardic or Druid class of priests. These Druids brought all their learning with them, believed and practiced the Eschatology of the solar doctrines, and came from Egypt. That their temples are older than those found in Uxmah, in Yucatan, in Mexico (which are stated to be 11,500 years old), those amongst the Incas in South America, and some of the Zimbabwe in South Africa, is clearly proved by their want of knowledge in building an arch, although we find in the oldest remains amongst the Zimbabwe lintels at Umnukwana and no doubt there are others in South African ruins, but successive immigrants have obliterated most of the original, which was the old Egyptian, as can be proved by other facts."

 

Concerning the arrival of the Tuatha-de-Danann in Ireland, Keating in his "History of Ireland," says that they journeyed to Erin after seven months sojourn in the north of Scotland. They landed on the north coast of Ireland, but, in order that they should not be seen by any of the Fir Bolg, they, by means of the magical powers with which nearly all ancient writers invest them, raised a mist around their vessels until they reached Sliabh-an-iarainn (Slieve-an-ierin), the iron mountains in County Leitrim. Once landed they made their departure impossible by burning their boats.

 

With regard to Druidism in Ireland we are treading upon more certain ground than when dealing with Druidism in Britain, inasmuch as the sole source of information of Irish Druids comes from Irish writers, whereas all our knowledge of Gaulish and British Druidism is derived from Latin and Greek writers. According to the Irish ancient writings, Parthalon made his advent into Erin about three hundred years after the date assigned to the Deluge. He came from Middle Greece and brought with him three Druids: Fios, Eolus and Fochmare, names which mean Intelligence, Knowledge and Inquiry. Three hundred and thirty years later there came another colony of immigrants, led by Nemid and his sons, who entered into a conflict with the Druidical forces they found established in the island. From that time there is a practically unbroken record or chronicle of the acts of the Druids in Ireland. In ancient Irish writings they were referred to frequently as "men of science" and extraordinary powers were attributed to them. They were credited with the power to raise storms and atmospheric disturbances as well as with the ability to quell such disturbances. The following translation of an incantation used by them is taken from the "Book of the Invasions of the O'Clery's" in the Royal Irish Academy:

 

I pray that they reach the land of Erinn, those who are riding upon the great, productive, vast sea.

 

That they may be distributed upon her plains, her mountains, and her valleys; upon her forests that shed showers of nuts and all other fruits; upon her rivers and her cataracts; upon her lakes and her great waters; upon her spring-abounding hills.

 

That we may hold our fairs and equestrian sports upon her territories.

 

That there may be a king for us in Tara and that it (Tara) may be the territory of our many kings.

 

That the sons of Milesius may be manifestly seen upon her territories.

 

That noble Erinn may be the home of the ships and boats of the sons of Milesius.

 

Erinn which is now in darkness, it is for her that this oration is pronounced.

 

Let the learned wives of Breas and Buagne pray that we may reach the noble woman, Great Erinn.

 

Let Eremon pray and let Ir and Eber implore that we may reach Erinn.

 

The tempest is said to have ceased and the survivors enabled to land immediately after this oration had been pronounced by the Druids.

 

It would certainly appear from an examination of the evidence that the Druids settled in Ireland at a much earlier date than they did in England. The Druidical faith also survived in Ireland to a much later period than it did in Britain. Long after the advent of St. Patrick in Ireland the chief monarchs adhered to Druidism. Two of the daughters of King Laogorius, in whose reign St. Patrick preached the doctrines of the Christian faith, were educated by the Druids and maintained their ground in a dispute against the new religion. Laogorius and all the provincial kings of Ireland, however, granted to every man free liberty of professing and preaching the Christian religion. Rowlands gives it as his opinion that when the Druids were expelled from Anglesea they sought refuge in Ireland, the north of Scotland and the Scottish Isles. Certainly when Druidism was inhibited in Gaul and the active persecution of the Druids began they appear to have retired to Caledonia, there to practice and teach their religion. According to Spotswood's "History of the Church of Scotland" they were in force in Scotland in the latter part of the third century. He writes: "Cratylinth, king of Scotland, coming to the throne in the year 277, made it one of his first works to purge the kingdom of heathenish superstition, and to expel the Druids, a sort of people held in those days in great reputation. They ruled their affairs very politely; for, being governed by a president who kept his residence in the Isle of Man, which was then under the dominion of the Scots, they did once every year meet in that place to take counsel together for the ordering of affairs, and carried things so politely and with such discretion that Cratylinth found it difficult enough to expel them, because of the favour they had amongst the people."

 

Although, in Britain, the Romans issued stringent laws ordering the suppression of the Druidical groves and altars, there is strong reason for believing that Druidism was not eradicated. It was too deeply rooted not to spring up again after the Romans had taken their departure. In many parts of the island the Romans permitted the natives to retain many of their laws and usages and to be governed by their own princes, and here, undoubtedly, they would continue the performance of their ancient and sacred mystical rites. It may also be inferred from some of the ancient poems that a seminary for the training of Druidical priests was maintained after the Roman invasion somewhere in the north of Britain and there are not wanting writers who assert that Druidism was not suppressed completely until the end of the sixth century. A rescript of Augustus forbade Roman citizens to practice Druidical rites, but in Strabo we find the Druids still acting as arbiters in public and private matters, though they do not appear to deal then with charges of murder as formerly they did. Celtic and Gaulish Druids and Druidesses are mentioned in the third century as connected with events in the lives of Aurelian and Diocletian. They are mentioned by Ammianus Marcellinus and Ausonius in the fourth century and their practices are noticed in the sixth century by Procopius. Gibbon epitomises the history of the Druids in the Christian era in the following words: "Under the specious pretext of abolishing human sacrifices, the Emperors Tiberius and Claudius suppressed the dangerous power of the Druids; but the priests themselves, their gods and their altars, subsisted in peaceful obscurity till the final destruction of paganism."

 

Like Mithraism, however, Druidism was eventually swept off the face of the earth. But it must not be forgotten when speaking of the supplanting by Christianity of Druidism, that the Druids held many of the tenets inculcated by Christianity. The doctrine of the immortality of the soul, the belief in miracles, and other beliefs of the Christian faith had already been taught them by their own priests and they were no strangers to the rite of Baptism, which every Christian neophyte had to undergo.

 

----o----

 

Life is what we make it, boys,

Be it paradise or hell.

When things go wrong, just sing a song

As if it all was well.

Life is what we make it, boys,

You can't get away from that.

Make life worth while, and wear a smile

When your castles all fall flat.

Life is what we make it, boys,

You can bet your bottom dollar.

When you hit a snag, don't stop and lag,

But brace right up and holler.

Life is what we make it, boys,

Be it cloudy, fair or bright.

If you have hard luck, revive your pluck,

Roll up your sleeves and fight.

Life is what we make it, boys,

So let's cheer up and sing--

"We're here today to make it pay,

We thank thee God, for everything."

 

--O. A. Fick, Jan. 19,1916.

 

----o----

EDITORIAL

 

THE FEET OF TIME

 

DEAR old Rabbi Duncan, who was no Rabbi at all, but a quaint teacher of Hebrew in New College, when his students assembled after the holidays, met them with these words: "Gentlemen, many will be wishing you a happy New Year; I wish you a happy Eternity." Truly it was a wise wish, made by a man who had found out the trick which Time plays upon us whereby we are deluded into the feeling that we live under the despotism of days and years. Clear thinking had set him free from that old tyranny, teaching him that what we call time is only a measured portion of that eternity in which we live now and always. He knew that our quarrel with Time is a case of "much ado about nothing," since Time is fiction and an illusion.

 

One of the greatest thinkers of the world proved that once for all in his desperate, bewildered, longing to grasp a moment, analyze it, and make it real. But when he opened his hand it was empty. There is no past,that is dead; there is no future that is unborn and may never come; nor can your swiftest touch put a finger on the present. And yet we perceive, or think we perceive, intervals of time, we compare them and find joy or sorrow in the illusion. Indeed, it is hard to see how we could ever have gotten along without the idea of time, its convenience is so obvious. No past, no future? But how should we regulate our lives, how make plans, how profit by our days? What should we do with our mistakes, and where should we place our hopes?

 

If there is no such thing as time, what is it that gives us the sense of duration, what is it that seems like the passing of time which makes us happy or sad ? It is simply movement, the putting forth of energy. The hands of the clock go round because the spring is wound up, or because the weights are doing their duty. With the great starclock in the sky it is the same - just so much motor force. When we speak of our age, and of the feeling of being borne along from youth to middle life and beyond, it is the same. Again it is movement, growth, development, decay, the onflowing of life like the winding of an invisible stream.

 

Here we come upon one of the great secrets of life, often overlooked, but of far‑reaching meaning. Our earth goes round the sun at a high speed but we are not conscious of it, because we move with it. Unfortunately, we cannot stand and see ourselves go by. But there is something in man that can, somehow, stand aside and be aware of the movement of life which we call time. "Time flies, not we," ran an old proverb, and it is the timeless within us that makes us aware of the passing of time; and this fact, when we ponder it, opens many gates of thought and hope. Read his 146th Sonnet, and see how Shakespeare found in this fact the key whereby we became Masters of Time and Death be obeying the eternal within us !

 

Once we learn this profound and simple secret, we are set free from the tyranny of days and know the fellowship of that life in which Time is only a shadow! and where a thousand years are as a day. This is the great emancipation, open to every man, and to win it is the finest of all ventures and victories. There is no such thing as a future life. Life is one, here and here after, now and forever. God is here; eternity is now The sky begins at the top of the ground, and if we are immortal at all we are immortal now. Therefore, to become aware of this truth is the one great human experience, the truth that makes us free indeed. If this be not the deep lesson of the Master Degree of Masonry, then we have misread its meaning utterly.

 

The First Degree asks us, whence we came and what we are here on earth to do? Receiving our answer, it instructs us in that fundamental morality which must be the ground-plan of every noble human life. It is profound. It is beautiful. Nothing can take its place. Without it life is a house built upon the sand. The Second Degree asks us what we are, and without waiting for our answer it seeks to make us aware of our mental powers, and how to use them. It points to the arts and sciences, and leads us up the winding stairway to a larger outlook, showing the dignity of the intellectual life, its ascent toward the highest, and its rich rewards.

 

The Third Degree reveals to us who we are, unveiling, if only for a moment, the august and awful fact that we are citizens of eternity. It does not bid us cherish a hope of immortality to be realized hereafter. Not so. Immortality is a reality into which the candidate is initiated, symbolically, here and now, teaching him in a parable and a drama the greatest truth man may learn in the midst of the years! He that hath ears to hear, let him hear and give heed, if so that he learn to outrun the Feet of Time !

 

* * *

 

THE MASONIC APRON

 

Horace Greeley used to say that he would not give a cent for a man who could not spell a word in more than one way - it showed a lack of versatility and inventive genius. Much the same may be said of Masonic symbolism, which is as flexible as it is suggestive, and may be interpreted in many ways, by each initiate or student according to his light. "Each sees what he carries in his heart," as we read in the Prologue of Faust. All of which is brought to mind by a passage in the valuable book, "True Principles of Masonry," noted elsewhere in this issue, in which the author tells us, out of a rich and thoughtful mind, what the Apron means to him. It symbolizes that plan for the redemptive making of personality, which Masonry has sought to promulgate from the remotest ages. As we may read:

 

"This apron is composed of a square, surmounted by a triangle, or of seven lines, four in the square and three in the triangle. The lower line in the square, to me, represents selfishness, the lowest and most degrading of all human passions. It has been the common saying, from time immemorial, that 'The love of money is the root of all evil.' But I say to you that selfishness is the root of all evil, because selfishness, in its very worst form, may be entirely free from love of money; that selfishness of Creed and Dogma, that is not willing to concede to another the same freedom of thought, speech and conscience that we demand for ourselves. Selfishness is tie progenitor of all the base passions of the human heart,vanity, deceit, cruelty, envy, jealousy, intolerance, greed, malevolence, lust, unhumanity, and brutality.

 

Rising from this low plane of selfishness, we have two perpendicular lines; the one I call Intellectuality, and the other Spirituality. The one might possibly be termed an attribute of the mind, the other of the soul; and each of them capable of development, independent of, or to the exclusion of the other. For example, a man may have reached the summit of all human knowledge. He may have the intellectual ability of a Euclid or a Sir Isaac Newton, but at the same time be wholly lacking in spirituality, or that faculty of his nature may be wholly dormant. In that case, endowed with the most brilliant intellect that can be conceived of, he may be a moral degenerate.

 

On the other hand, another man's spirituality may be abnormally developed, to the utter exclusion of intellectuality; in such case you find the religious fanatic or a religious monomaniac. So we are forced to the conclusion that in order to secure good work, true work and square work - ,just such work as is needed in the construction of a well-proportioned temple, the development must proceed along both lines of intellectuality and spirituality, in due proportion and harmony with each other. The top line of the Apron's square represents faith - a logical, reasoning faith that has grown up out of, and been projected from, the two lives of intellectuality and Spirituality. A faith that satisfies the longings of my spiritual nature, and at the same time meets with the approval of my reasoning faculties.

 

Parallel with the top line of the Apron's square, and in close proximity to it, is the line at the base of the triangle. To me it represents unselfishness and self-sacrifice. Rising from this line are the two converging lines of the triangle; the one love of God, and the other love of my fellow man; and their intersection at the apex of the triangle generates the great undying light of Freemasonry."

 

Whether or not all will accept that interpretation of the symbolism of the Apron, all will agree that it is wise and good and inspiring teaching, which every man of us ought to lay to heart as the years come and go, like hooded figures, each bringing its quota of joy and sorrow, and also its opportunity for advancement toward that coronation of character which is the crown of life and the defeat of death. So mote it be.

 

* * *

 

AN AMBASSADOR

 

Ye Editor has accepted the pastorate of the City Temple, in London, at once the most famous and the most responsible pulpit in the world, but this will in nowise alter his relation to the Society or his labors in its behalf. Indeed, it should extend its influence and following, enlisting the interest and co-operation of Brethren in England and Scotland, making it international in a way hardly possible otherwise. He will remain an editor of The Builder, as deeply concerned as ever for its welfare, bringing to its service the best Masonic scholars of Europe; a Masonic Ambassador in behalf of a closer fellowship and a happier intercourse of the Craft the world over. In fact, it will be easily possible for him to do as much, if not more, for the Society in England as he has been able to do at home. As he will not be going before spring, he will go on with his work as before, taking this opportunity offered to thank the Members of the Society for their loyalty and support, made known in so many ways, the while he wishes most sincerely that the New Year may be the best of all years for each of his Brethren.

 

Truly we stand at the end of an epoch, and we must learn to see things in the large, to think in world-terms, the better to make Masonry - which is a world-Order of international meaning - effective for its part in that vast readjustment of values and relations following the world-war. Whoso does even a tiny bit in that behalf, has wrought a benign and permanent labor equally for his country, his race and his Craft, looking for the dawn of that day when Peace will be the lasting inheritance of mankind.

 

----o----

 

THE LIBRARY

 

PRINCIPLES OF MASONRY

 

NOW it is in Iowa, now in Arkansas, now in Mississippi, and still the Hand-books of Masonry multiply, in obedience to a deeply felt need that the history, principles and symbolism of the Order be set forth in simple and understandable form for the instruction of its younger Brethren. The latest addition to the list, "True Principles of Freemasonry," by Brother Melville R. Grant, Sovereign Grand Inspector General in Mississippi, had its beginnings in an address delivered to a joint meeting of Blue Lodges in Meridian on Masonic Symbolism. At the request of Grand Master Carson, the author made a tour of the jurisdiction, delivering a series of addresses to joint meetings of Lodges throughout the State. Everywhere he found the men of the Craft eager to know more about Masonry, and his volume now published is in answer to that  interest and need. Frankly a compilation, it is none  the less a useful book and will no doubt win the wide reading it deserves, albeit we could wish that the author had been a little more careful in accepting as facts certain things about which Masonic students are less certain than they used to be.

 

Beginning with a chapter of Historical Briefs, the author traces the genealogy of Masonry in Mississippi, then proceeds to the origin of Masonry in America, and so on back into antiquity - a very readable sketch indeed. Two chapters are given up to Old Charters, Charges and Regulations in England, Scotland, and Germany, some of them of doubtful authenticity, but useful as giving a glimpse of the laws and organization of old Craft Masonry. Lectures on the definition of Masonry, its Symbolism and its Teachings follow, and a chapter on each of the first three degrees. The Letter of Pope Leo against Masonry and the famous reply of Albert Pike are included, in full, with a brief survey of the history and principles of the Scottish Rite. The concluding essay is one of the best in the book, informed by a fine idealistic spirit and a passion for the noblest achievements of faith and character. The ultimate purpose and spirit of Masonry are well interpreted in the following typical passage:

 

"It takes the low ideals and renovates and changes them into high and noble concepts of beauty; making them over into laws of conduct. The man who has come into full fellowship in this Institution, finds his feebleness overlaid with strength, his purposeless instincts transmuted into moral direction, with the upward goal ever in view. Emerson tells us that the influx of the Divine into the finite is always accompanied by a consciousness, an enthusiasm of the soul, as it is welcomes this guest who comes to dwell therein. What greater glory can there be in all the universe than a man whose life is enthused by and harmonized in accord with the Divine. He enters into a compact with his spiritual powers and resolves henceforth to be God's man. He finds life presenting a new aspect. He sees in trifles. unheeded before, beauty and power. He finds that, as Maeterlink says, "there is nothing puerile in nature! He finds that in all men God is there incarnated, through goodness, beauty, truth, mercy and justice."

 

* * *

 

A STUDENT'S REVERIE

 

A student sits in meditation before a skeleton he has been studying. Falling into a train of reflection upon the human form, he is led to ponder the undeveloped powers of man, the reason for his existence, so brief at its longest, so broken at its best,and thence to solemn thoughts of destiny. Not only his own destiny, and of the shadow of a man before him, but of all humanity in its endless procession passing across the earth, as one generation vanishes and another generation appears. Their life is woven of joy and woe, of tragedy and comedy. To not a few it is a thing to be endured, not enjoyed. Some move cheerily, recking not of the future; others trudge heavily, stooping under burdens of sorrow and care. For all it ends in the grave. Whence do they come, and why? Where do they go ? We can follow them no farther. What does it all mean? Has it a meaning? Or did the Great Spirit when He took clay and made man, simply play with it?

 

Such is the scene, and such the problem of "Christus Victor: A Student's Reverie," by Henry N. Dodge; and since science offers no solution, the student listens while the Master of Galilee tells, in a majestic, plaintive monody, of His passion and hope for humanity. No matter to what school of religious thought a man may belong, he will find much to exalt and touch him to finer faith in this little book. Scattered through it are lyrics, some of them of exquisite delicacy and beauty, singing of life and love, of the coming of spring and the birth of the flowers, and of the love that should bind man to man. For example:

 

What man soe'er I chance to see -

Amazing thought - is kin to me,

And if a man, my brother !

What though in silken raiment fine

His form be clad, while naked mine;

He is a man, my brother.

What though of strange and alien race,

Of unfamiliar form and face;

He is a man, my brother.

What though his hand be hard with toil

And labor his worn garment soil;

He is a man, my brother.

What though ashamed, with drooping head,

He beg a morsel of my bread;

He is a man, my brother.

What though his hand with crime be red,

His heart a stone, his conscience dead;

He is a man, my brother.

Though low his life, and black his heart,

There is a nobler, deathless part

Within this man, my brother.

The soul which this frail clay enfolds

The image of its Maker holds -

That makes this man my brother.

 

* * *

 

WAS JESUS AN ESSENE?

 

Several Brethren have taken pains to call our attention to "The Brook Kerith," by George Moore, as proof that Jesus was a member of the Essene monastic sect, which, because it was in some sort a secret order, is supposed to be one of the ancestors of Masonry. In token of gratitude we beg our Brethren to read the sketch of Moore, by Frank Harris, in Pearson's Magazine, for December, after which they will not have much confidence in his alleged learning. Personally we have no prejudice against the idea that Jesus was a member of the Essene community - if it can be proved. But so far only a thin wisp of frail probabilities has been brought forward in its behalf. Even Brother Wright in his little book, "Was Jesus An Essene," adds no new guess to the rest. But when George Moore is brought to the witness box, it is too much. An apostate Romanist who now seeks to portray the Master of Galilee as a poor deluded, if not imbecile, fanatic, staining that great story with the dirty smear that one finds in all his work - well, if any Brother likes that sort of thing, he is easily pleased. Try it again, Brethren.

 

* * *

 

BOOKS RECEIVED

 

The True Principles of Freemasonry, by M. R. Grant. Truth Publishing Co., 3010 Ninth St., Meridian, Miss. $2.00.

 

The House of Solomon, by C. H. Merz, Sandusky, Ohio

 

History of King David and King Solomon, by H. Shamieth New York, N. Y. 50 cents.

 

Christus Victor: A Student's Reverie, by H. N. Dodge. Putnam's Sons, New York. $1.00

 

"Mr. Britling Sees It Through," by H. G. Wells. Macmillan Co., New York. $1.50.

 

Raydmond: Or Life After Death, by Sir Oliver Lodge Methuen, London. $2.75

 

The Mysterious Stranger, by Mark Twain. Harper Brothers, New York. $2.00.

 

I sat in Lodge With You, by Wilbur D. Nezbet. P. F. Volland Co., Chicago. 50 cents.

 

An Ambassador, City Temple Sermons, by Joseph Fort Newton. F. H. Revell Co., N. Y. $1.00

 

----o----

 

THE QUESTION BOX

 

LINCOLN'S BIRTH

 

Dear Brother Newton: - Knowing that you have long been a student of Lincoln, I was surprised to see you recommend the Life of Lincoln, by Lord Charnwood, which, according to a letter which I read today in the New York Times, states that Lincoln was of illegitimate birth. I thought I ought to call your attention to the matter. - H.L.F.

 

Thank you; but the man who wrote the letter in the Times is wrong. Lord Charnwood makes no such statement - had he done so ye editor would have poured carbolic acid all over him from head to foot. It would have been an unforgivable blunder on his part to even mention that old lie, long since exploded. Lincoln died believing that he was born out of wedlock. Herndon, his partner, held that to be a fact, and was indiscreet enough to intimate as much in the first edition of his biography. After both had passed away, the facts were brought to light - they may be found in ye editor's volume entitled "Lincoln and Herndon," pp. 319-321.

 

* * *

 

THE LETTER G

 

I am asked to prepare a paper for our study-club on "The Letter G in the East." Can you tell me where I can get any information on this point? - R.O.

 

Among oldtime Masons the Letter G stood, undoubtedly, first of all, for Geometry, which they held to be the chief of sciences and the basis of Masonry. Perhaps you have not seen ye editor's little sermon on "The Geometry of God," discussing this very question, showing how in the Bible, and in ancient literature generally - especially in Pythagoras and Plato - Geometry, or the science of measurement, was of fundamental importance. Nor is the reason hard to know. Few realize the service of the science of numbers to the human mind in the morning of thought, it being almost the first hint of law and order in the world, and a key to the mighty mace of things. With Plato, as with Pythagoras, geometry was a basis of belief in God. So, naturally, in time, the Letter G came to stand for Him in whom Geometry had led men to believe. You will find interesting chapters on the Letter G in Preston's "Illustrations of Masonry" and in "The Spirit of Masonry," by Hutchinson, to name no others. You have a beautiful subject, and we hope you will go into it thoroughly. If you care to take up the relation of mathematics to moral and spiritual truth, as it is interpreted today, get the little book referred to in these pages, (Vol. 1, p. 309) entitled "The New Infinite and the Old Theology," by Prof. Keyser of Columbia University.

 

* * *

 

"WORTHY AND WELL QUALIFIED"

 

A brother writes to say that, taking note of the article in The Builder, (Vol. 1, p. 77) telling of the custom of Arcana Lodge No. 87, of Seattle, Washington, of sending a letter to petitioners, its intent being to discover, as far as possible. their internal qualifications, his Lodge adopted the custom. For so doing the Lodge was called to account, or at least criticized, by the Grand Master and Grand Secretary of the jurisdiction. The basis of the criticisms was that it was soliciting, both high officials having gotten the erroneous idea that the letter was sent before the candidate has petitioned. Had that been the case, it would have been soliciting. But neither in Arcana Lodge nor in the Lodge criticized was the letter sent until after the man had actually petitioned. Well, even Homer nods, and the lectures which the two grand officers saw fit to deliver, while wise enough after their kind, were wide of the mark. We are glad to have the matter called to our attention, lest perchance others may have received the same wrong impression. This Society does not endorse soliciting - far from it - but it does insist that Lodges should take every care in selecting material out of which to make Masons, inquiring as to their internal qualifications, which after all, are of chief importance. Too many men enter the order for reasons other than the best and highest, caring little for the real reasons why a man should wish to be a Mason - and for such we have no room.

 

* * *

 

"THE SECRETS OF A MASTER MASON"

 

My Dear Newton: - I notice your information on ciphers and rituals in the November number, and am moved to ask a question or two to get a basis for an argument. (1) Does Masonry intend to perpetuate any method which wastes time and results in inaccuracy? (2) Is thee phrase "secrets of a Master Mason," or an equivalent, a technical phrase, with a meaning which goes back over the whole of the last two hundred years or more? (3) Are the "secrets of Masonry" uniform throughout regular Masonry? (4) Does the phrase, "secrets of Masonry," antedate the days of formulated rituals, oral or printed?

 

If you had asked us in Indiana back in 1891 whether we used rituals, ciphers, &c., we would have answered you, officially, "No," because we had as severe an edict or law against their use as could be formulated; and yet in 1891, when asked whether Lodges and individuals were using them, 98 per cent of our Lodges reported that our law had been abolished by user, so we abolished the law formally as it had been abolished in practice but our ritual satisfies our conception of an obligation which is often supposed to bear upon the subject.

 

One jurisdiction passed a resolution threatening to sever fraternal relations with all jurisdictions which used rituals in any form and sent me a copy while I was Grand Master. Two or three practical questions are involved:-

 

1. The oral method of teaching the ritual is a double waste of time over the ritual method.

 

2. Inaccuracy results through the oral method.

 

3. The oral method develops some contempt for law in the user of a ritual in secret.

 

4. The oral method of instruction inevitably must develop an office-holding machine to some extent.

 

5. The oral method causes men to take time from their usual vocations while the ritual method permits them to use their spare, odd moments, which is an example of efficiency.

 

You are adhering admirably to your original purpose and analysis in the conduct of The Builder. Certainly, for its purpose, it has eclipsed all Masonic Magazines and has passed the expectation of its most sanguine friends, I should think, when it secures 14,000 subscribers so early.

 

Yours fraternally,

 

Chas. Mikels, Indiana.

 

P. S. I am not desirous of being in print and vet I want YOUR views, and not of anybody else, through The Builder.

 

Here is that picturesque and delightful Hoosier at it again, trying to prod us with all kinds of questions and smoke us out of a hole. Well, a more lovable man does not live anywhere, even in Riley-land, and our private opinion is that when the Lord made him he did not do anything else that whole day. But this is not answering the questions which he trots out single-file, double-file, and four-abreast. The first list has to do with a fact of history, the second with a matter of policy, and both together bring forward a question well worth discussion. All will agree, we take it, that Masonry does not intend to perpetuate anv method which wastes time and results in inaccuracy and inefficiency. Well, now we are down to business. (1) The phrase "secrets of a Master Mason," or its equivalent, does have a distinct meaning running back at least to the founding of the Mother Grand Lodge of England, and those secrets are quite uniform throughout regular Masonry. Indeed, we may trace them further back still - for in the Old Charges of Craft Masonry the initiate was obligated to keep the secrets of the Craft, by his honor as a man on the "contents of this Holy Book." What were those secrets in the olden time ? They included the technical secrets of his art - which have become symbolical secrets to us - and the signs and tokens by which he made himself known as a Master Mason when he went a-journeying. Those secrets protected both the artist and his art. What are the secrets of a Master Mason now? Not the wise and noble truth which the Order teaches. Our fundamental principles are the common possession of thinking men and are the foundations of the higher human life everywhere. No, what is secret in Masonry is not the truth which it teaches, but the method by which it teaches it - its ceremonial and symbolism, and the signs and token by which it protects the privacy of its Lodge room that it may teach more impressively. Also, those signs and tokens serve as a cover under which charity brotherliness. and the busy heart of love can work without ostentation - enabling us to serve a brother in perplexity or need without wounding a heart already sore. Therefore, if those secrets were surrendered, something beautiful and fine would be lost.

 

(2) The second list of questions form a telling indictment of the system of oral teaching in Masonry, and it is about as strong as it can be made. Why, he even intimates that it results in "an office-holding machine to some extent." Think of that! And he a Past Grand Master, too! What is this world coming to, anyway ? Well, for sake of argument let us admit every item of the indictment, what then ? Is there no other side ? We think there is. What is efficiency in the teaching of Masonry? Surely it is something more than accuracy of the letter, valuable as that is. It is also the communication of a spirit, and we submit that this highest and most precious result is better achieved by oral instruction. It goes deeper, it stays longer, it touches parts of our nature which are not reached by decoding a cipher. For example, we were instructed in Masonry by a noble and gracious man to whom Masonry meant very much - long since gone to join the white and silent people we call the dead - but the impress of his spirit lingers still. He gave us something which no book can give, because the finest truth is communicated only through personality - it passes silently, mystically, from soul to soul. It is so in all education. The best thing a lad gets at college is not from books, but from his contact with strong men - as when Garfield said that the best university would be to sit on one end of a log with Horace Mann on the other end. Inaccuracies may be corrected, but we cannot think that the hours which we spent in fellowship with the gracious man who instructed us in the days that come not back, were wasted. Never! Perhaps we are sentimental. If so, we are glad of it. But we do feel, Brother Mikels, that to abandon the oral teaching of Masonry would mean the loss of something unique, particular and fine, and we know of nothing to take its place. In other days it required some courage to be a Mason, and those old pioneers who faced obloquy for their Masonic faith and fellowship, knew what they were about when they took no risks of having their sacred secrets violated, but kept them warm and tender and true, passing them from mouth to ear adown the years! After all, it is only a question of the best way of doing what we all want to do in the best way, and no one is more eager, more earnest or more intelligent in our common quest of the wisest and best way of making Masonry effective for its high ends, than Brother Mikels himself.

 

----o----

 

CORRESPONDENCE

 

"TIDINGS FROM THE WEST"

 

By the kindness of a Brother who omits his name, we have the following brief sketch of pioneer Masonry in California, as it appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle; showing how, when the star of empire took a due westerly course, Masonry followed it helping to lay the foundations of society and the state in the land of the Golden Gate. It is an interesting glimpse of days gone by, worthy of reading and preserving:

 

The history of Masonry in California dates ' back to "the days of old, the days of gold, the days of '49." To one uninitiated, the study of this history reveals facts of considerable interest. The archives of the Free and Accepted Masons show that Peter Lassen, a doughty pioneer, from whom Lassen peak and Lassen county derive their names, was the man who brought the charter (overland from Missouri) for the first Masonic lodge to be established in California. Lassen was born in Copenhagen Denmark, August 7, 1800, and he was one of a small party of argonauts who crossed the plains to Oregon in 1839. By occupation he was a blacksmith.

 

In company with a number of his immigrant friends, including Wilham Wiggins, David Dutton, John Stevens and John Wright, he took a small vessel to Bodega, where Vallejo attempted to prevent their landing. They landed, however, and wrote to the American Consul for passports, stating that if they did not receive them they would take up arms in their own defense. This attitude preserved the day for them. Lassen settled at the foot of the Sierra, in the northern part of the Sacramento valley.

 

He become owner of what was known as "Lassen's ranch." It is not asserted that Peter Lassen was the first Mason who journeyed into California, but undoubtedly he was one of the first of the disciples of the Widow's Son who set foot upon California soil. It is quite probable that among the first party of white men who entered the Golden State there were Masons, but to identify them has been a wellnigh impossible task.

 

In the Reed-Donner party, many of which perished upon the lonely summits of the Sierra, there were Masons. This was in the winter of 1846-47. The record seems to fix the date of the arrival of Lassen in the State of California some time during the year 1840. He applied for citizenship in 1841. From time to time brethren of the Masonic craft met at Lassen's ranch The nearest Grand Lodge of the order at that time was situated in Missouri.

 

For the special purpose of obtaining from this body a charter for a lodge in California, the sturdy Dane journeyed overland eastward in 1847. On May 10, 1848, the Grand Lodge of Missouri issued a charter to Saschel Woods, worshipful master; L. E. Stewart, senior warden; Peter Lassen, junior warden; and other brethren, to form a lodge to be known as Western Star Lodge, No. 98, at Benton City (Lassen's ranch), California.

 

Later in the same year a charter was granted by the grand master of Washington, D. C., for the organization of California Lodge, No 13 (California Lodge, No. 1, of today), in San Francisco. This authorization was issued to Samuel York Atlee, worshipful master; William Van Voorheis, senior warden; Badney F. McDonald, junior warden, and their associates. Van Voorheis failed to qualify, as he decided not to journey to California as he had planned, and Levi Stowell was appointed in his stead.

 

Forty-four Masons were present at the organization of Calfornia Lodge, No. 13, November 17, 1849. In April, 1850, the grand lodge of California was organized in Sacramento by representatives of the three lodges then existing in the state - California, No. 13, San Francisco; Western Star, No. 98, Bento City, and Connecticut, No. 75, Sacramento. Two lodges under dispensation were also represented - New Jersey of Sacrament and Benicia Lodge of Benicia.

 

The first grand lodge officers were: John D. Stevenson, grand master; John A. Tutt, deputy grand master; Caleb Fenner, senior grand warden; Saschel Woods, junior grand warden; John H. Gihon, grand secretary.

 

From all accounts it seems that Pioneer Lassen was an individual who possessed an enterprising and energetic spirit. A history of the early days relates that in 1856 Lassen was at the head of a movement organized in the Honey Lake section of the country, east of the Sierra Nevada, to form a new territory to be called Nataqua, a name which, as they said, meant "Woman.“ Lassen was elected president. His strong ally was Isaac Roop. Their scheme fell through, however, and gallant as they were, they never were able to put "Nataqua" on the map.

 

Lassen's death was sudden and violent. He was murdered by Indians out in the wilderness near Honey lake in the year 1858. The first Masonic hall in San Francisco was situated above an auction shop at 247 Montgomery street. In 1849 the influx of pioneers brought many hundreds of Masons into the city. New lodges were formed and some years later plans for a splendid temple were prepared.

 

* * *

 

A PROGRAM OF STUDY

 

(Several Brethren have sent us copies of a three-year course of Masonic study, prepared and recommended by the Librarians of the School of Instruction, of Germantown, Pennsylvania, asking our opinion of it. For ourselves we think it very suggestive albeit we are puzzled to know why our little book, "The Builders," is placed in the second year of the course, and in the list of poetry and romance! No matter; our Brethren "meant well," which is the meanest thing we can think to say to get even with them at present. Seriously, we feel sure that for young men making their first start in Masonic study, the course as recommended is rather heavy and ill-arranged - more suitable, in fact for Brethren who have made more than a beginning in such studies. We think it better to begin with books of a simpler sort, advancing as interest and inclination direct to the weightier problems and more difficult discussions. However, we are glad to reproduce the course suggested by our Pennsylvania Brethren, at the same time granting them all due forgiveness for the way in which they treated our modest little book. - The Editor.)

 

Every Masonic student should have the Holy Bible, Mackey's Encyclopedia and an up-to-date dictionary, and be a regular subscriber to one or more Masonic Magazines, The Ahiman Rezon Digest of Decisions and the By-Laws of your Lodge. The Grand Lodge Report should be referred to for all decisions since the Digest was issued in 1913.

 

FIRST YEAR-

 

HISTORY.

Gould's Concise History of Freemasonry

Armitage's Short History of Freemasonry.

Pennsylvania Freemasonry.

Vol. 1 - G.L. Reprints.

By Judges Arnold, Orlady, Barrett and Williams.

SYMBOLISM.

Mackey's Masonic Symbolism.

Stewart's Symbolic Teachings.

MYSTERIES.

Buck's Mystic Masonry.

Morgan's Lessons Taught in Freemasonry.

JURISPRUDENCE.

Mackey's Text Book of Masonic Jurisprudence.

 

SECOND YEAR-

 

HISTORY.

Stillson and Hughan's History of Freemasonry and Concordant Orders.

SYMBOLISM.

Oliver's Signs and Symbols.

MYSTERIES.

Fellow's The Mysteries of Freemasonry.

MacBride's Speculative Masonry.

JURISPRUDENCE.

Look's Masonic Trials.

GENERAL READING.

Pike's Poems.

Boutelle's Man of Mt. Moriah.

The Builders - Newton.

 

THIRD YEAR-

 

HISTORY.

Gould's Larger History (4 volumes.)

Mackey's Larger History (7 volumes.)

SYMBOLISM.

Bromwell's Masonic Restorations.

Pike's Lectures on Symbolism.

MYSTERIES.

Adam's House of Hidden Places.

Buck's Genius of Freemasonry.

Pike's Morals and Dogma.

JURISPRUDENCE.

Lockwood's Masonic Law and Practice.

Lawrence's Masonic Jurisprudence.

GENERAL.

Morris' Poetry of Freemasonry.

Jewels of Masonic Oratory.

Lights and Shadows of the Mystic Tie.

SPECIAL STUDIES.

Hughan - English Rite of Masonry.

Robertson - The Cryptic Rite.

Addison - Knights Templar.

Sherman - Brief History of the A.A.S.R.

Upton - Negro Masonry.

Ars Quatuor Coronatorum.

(See indices for Lectures.)

Wright - Indian Masonry.

Skinner - The Great Pyramid.

The Great Work. (Chap. 4.)

 

 

UNIFORM WORK

 

Dear Sir and Brother: Apropos of article on Uniform Work in November, 1916, number, you state that in Pennsylvania the work is uniform and communicated by District Deputy Grand Masters and that cipher keys are prohibited. You are correct in that the work is uniform and cipher key is prohibited, but although Section 11 of Article XII of the Ahimon Rezon of 1915, covering powers and duties of the District Deputy Grand Masters states: "It shall be the duty of each District Deputy Grand Master to visit the Lodges in his district; inspect their labors, and inquire into their condition and proceedings; give them Masonic advice and instruction; and report annually to the Grand Master the state of the Lodges in his district, and all that he shall have done therein," much of the instruction is done in Schools of Instruction of which there were sixteen listed in Manning's Masonic Register of F. and A. M. for the State of Pennsylvania for 1916, published by W. A. McCalla, 237-9 Dock St., Philadelphia, by permission of the R. W. Grand Master, under Article XVII, Section 25, page 56, of the Ahimon Rezon, 1915. The principals of these schools are directly appointed or approved by the Grand Master and are answerable only to him for the instruction imparted. My own school, Germantown School of Instruction in Symbolic Masonry, has been so organized since 1891, was reorganized in accordance with the system of the Temple School (Philadelphia Masonic Temple) in January, 1898. We have members from 20 or 30 Lodges within ten or fifteen miles of the school.

 

In the Grand Lodge address of R. W. Grand Master Bro. J. Henry Williams in 1913, he said: "The value of the Schools of Instruction can hardly be estimated in the work of teaching the ritualistic part of our work. Capable and efficient instructors may be had for the asking, without money and without price. . . Ritualistic teaching is very important with us, in that we have not, nor do we recognize or permit the use of printed or written lectures, monitors, or keys. Our work is communicated from one to the other, and its purity is a striking proof of the correctness of our system. None may plead ignorance when so many are willing to help others to acquire the work of this Jurisdiction.'

 

The Germantown School membership is entirely of Master Masons. Initiation, or entrance fee $2.00; annual dues $2.00, payable semi-annually. The Secretary and Tyler alone are paid for their services, many others are made life-members or honorary members, which life-membership as per Article VI of Section 3 of the Rules, is either $12.00 or $6.00 (see also Sec. 5 of Article V. as to honorary membership). Note that these rules, copy of which is enclosed, were approved by the R. W. Grand Master and the amendments, etc., by the R. W. District Deputy Grand Master.

 

Fraternally, Arthur H. Vail, 125 West Chelton Ave.,

Germantown, Philadelphia, Penna.

 

P. S. I find the following in the Digest of Decisions of the Grand Lodge and Grand Masters, A. D. 1912, corrected to January, 1916:

 

No. 369. Instruction. In the matter of giving Masonic instruction, two things are of primary importance; first, that the instructor is in possession of the authorized work of the Craft and imparts instruction by the authorization of either the Grand Master or District Deputy Grand Master; and, second, that such instruction is given, if possible, in a Lodge room, or if it be a number of miles distant, then in some secure place, retired from observation, every precaution being taken to exclude eavesdroppers from proximity to the place. - McCalla, Feb., 1890, L.B. 12, p. 321.

 

No. 830. School of Instruction. There can be no lawful "School of Instruction" in Masonry unless it be expressly authorized by the Grand Master. - Mitchell, Mar. 10, 1885, L.B. 9, p. 706. Mitchell Feb. 2, 1886, L.B. 10, p. 53.

 

No. 882. Work. None but the authorized work as taught in the Temple School of Instruction, is permitted in this Jurisdiction. - Brown, Pro. 1904, p. 220.

 

No. 899. See that your Lodge is at all times kept tyled while rehearsing the work, and allow no one to enter or retire during the progress of the work. - Day, Feb. 25, 1884, L.B. 9, p. 263.

 

No. 905.... Meetings for instruction may be held in the Lodge room, or a room adjacent, where entire secrecy can be maintained, but such meetings should not be held on Sunday. - Orlady, Pro. 1908, p. 172.

 

* * *

 

DETROIT LODGE, 1799

 

(By the kindness of a Member of the Society, we have the following correspondence showing that a Masonic Lodge existed in Detroit, Michigan, as early as 1799, and probably as early as 1760. It was no doubt organized by the officers of the English troops which came to Detroit. Further facts about that Lodge, if they are to be had, would be of interest to the Society.)

 

Quebec, 30th May, 1799.

 

Worshipful Sir:

 

By the Winter Express I acknowledge Receipt of your Correspondence up to the 27th of Decemr. last and then promised to forward you as early as possible the Determination of the Grand Lodge on the Differences existing between your Body and several of its members.

 

Soon after your papers arrived they were referred to the Stewards Lodge: this consists of the Grand Warden, Treasurer and Secretary and the Masters of the respective Lodges in Town. Their Business is to revise and digest all matters relative to the Craft prior to their being laid before the Grand Lodge where they again have a Hearing, but in a more numerous assembly.

 

At our last Quarterly Communication the 2d of March the Matter was finally decided and herewith you have Extracts of the Minutes which I hope will satisfy all parties; from your representation of Mr. Curry's extraordinary Behaviour, it was impossible to do less than expel him - Brothers Eberts and May appearing in another Light - it was thought proper to give them an Opportunity of rejoining - the latter under the Restriction of the Resolves as from your own Account he has been a worthy Brother and has repented himself of his Errors.

 

Upon the whole should the Grand Lodge have not met the Opinion in every respect of No. 10 they must make Allowances for the Difficulties attending upon Decissions where the Evidence is exparte.

 

I remain Worshipf

Yr. Obedt. & very Hble. Servt.

(Signed) Wm. Lindsay

Gr. Sy. of L.C.

 

The Worshipful Br. James Donaldson

Master of Zion Lodge No. 10

Detroit.

 

Grand Lodge of Lower Canada

In Quarterly Communication

Quebec 2d March, 1799.

 

The Grand Secretary having delivered the Report of the Stewards Lodge on a Reference relating to the Expulsion of several Brethren of Lion Lodge No. 10 and this Grand Lodge having maturely considered the same and having again revised the papers transmitted by that Body - finally -

 

RESOLVED - That Peter Curry late a Member of No. 10 be expelled from the Society and his Expulsion be reported to all Lodges in Correspondence with this Grand Lodge.

 

That Brother Herman Eberts was free to quit the Lodge when he pleased, but as it appears he withdrew at a time when the Harmony of it was Distracted - The Grand Lodge recommend his being readmitted -

 

That in Consequence of Lodge No. 10 having attested the former examplary and Masonic Conduct of Brother James May - this Grand Lodge recommend that he be readmitted but he shall prior to his readmission make such apollogy to No. 10 as the Members thereof shall deem sufficient for having wrote his letter of the 10th last to Brother James Donaldson Master of that Body, Certain parts of which Letter contains Unhandsome and improper Language, tending to throw an Odium on their proceedings.

 

A true Extract

(Signed) Wm. Lindsay

Grand Secretary of

Lower Canada

 

Minutes of Examination of Facts mentioned in Brother May's Letter of the 29th of May, '99. to Brother Donaldson - Ordered by the Body to be examined by us as a Committee.

 

Q. Who gave the Information or exposed that one of the Body had reported your expulsion?"

 

A. Brother Eberts, and that it was Bro. McNiff who had reported it.

 

Q. Who the persons were who have defam'd your reputation ?

 

A. Brothers Powers, Freeman and McNiff.

 

Q. Why, and on what good grounds you have reflected on Brother Donaldson Master tor appointing Bro. McNiff on the Committee of Emergency the 25th of Augt. 1798, and on Brother Wheaton for his Incapacity in that Business.

 

A. That in the imputation to Bro. Wheaton I was mistaken and unjust but to Bro. Donaldson not so.

 

Report of the Committee That from the matter contained in the above imputations against Bro. McNiff in our opinion require that he should be specially summond to attend the Body to answer to the facts which Bro. May has promised to Evince by sufficient proof and that copy of those Minutes and Reports should be sent to Brothers May & McNiff in order that they may attend and give the satisfaction due to the Body, That Brother May be ready to make the acknowledgements to the Body which the Sentence of the Grand Lodge requires.

 

(Signed) Hugh Heward P. Master.

Lewis Bond Treasurer.

James M. Downall

 

D.Etroit 7th Augt. 1799.

 

DAVID VINTON

 

Dear Brother Newton: In your March, 1915, number of The Builder you had a very interesting article entitled "Solemn Strikes the Fun'ral Chime," in which reference was had to the author, David Vinton. I, and I fancy many Masons, would like to know more of Brother Vinton, and it is probable that some of your readers may be able to finish out some of his history not given in the inclosed excerpts from the Proceedings of the Grand Lodges of North Carolina and Rhode Island, and the minutes of Mount Vernon Lodge No. 4 of Providence, Rhode Island, of which he was a member. He appears to have been the victim of unjust aspersions on his character, and it may be the story of his having died a drunkard and buried without the benefit of Masonic service, is untrue.

 

Fraternally yours,

 

John Whicher, Grand Sec'y, California.

 

(Proceedings Grand Lodge of North Carolina, December 9, 1820)

 

The M. W. Grand Master read a letter from the Grand High Priest of the Grand R. A. Chapter of the State of Virginia, respecting the character and conduct of Mr. David Vinton.

 

(Same body, December 1, 1821)

 

The Grand Master called the attention of the Grand Lodge to a letter of enquiry, from Mount Vernon Lodge, of Providence, Rhode Island, respecting the denunciation of David Vinton, a member of that Lodge, by this Grand Lodge, which, on motion of Brother Smith, was referred to a committee, consisting of Brothers Jas. S. Smith, William Boylan, Thomas Henderson, Jesse A. Dawson, and M. W. Campbell.

 

(December 4, 1821)

 

The committee to whom was referred the communication from Mount Vernon Lodge, Providence, Rhode Island, relative to the un-Masonic conduct of David Vinton, by their chairman, James S. Smith, submitted a report, with the Lodge concurred, and ordered that the Secretary send a copy thereof to Mount Vernon Lodge.

 

(Proc. Grand Lodge of Rhode Island, May 28, 1821)

 

Resolved, the Grand Secretary communicate the proceedings of the Worshipful Grand Lodge of the State of North Carolina, respecting the expulsion of David Vinton for un-Masonic conduct by their Grand Lodge, to the Master of Mount Vernon Lodge (the said Vinton being a member of his Lodge) and that he lay the proceedings before his Lodge at their next meeting, and inquire into the proceedings and make a report of their doings to this Grand Lodge.

 

(June 25, 1821)

 

A report of the proceedings of Mount Vernon Lodge respecting David Vinton received and the consideration postponed until the next Quarterly Communication in August next.

 

(February 26, 1822)

 

The W. Master of Mount Vernon Lodge made a report that said Lodge had investigated into the conduct of David Vinton.

 

On motion made and seconded, Voted Said report be received and a copy of the proceedings ordered on file.

 

(June 24, 1823)

 

The W. Master of Mount Vernon Lodge informed the Grand Lodge he noticed by the report of expelled Masons by the Grand Lodge of New York, it was stated David Vinton is expelled by Mount Vernon Lodge No. 4, in this State, which being an error, offered the following resolution:

 

Resolved, that the Grand Secretary be instructed to inform the Grand Lodge of the State of New York that Brother Vinton is not expelled from Mount Vernon Lodge aforesaid and that this resolution be communicated to the several Grand Lodges in the United States.

 

Mount Vernon Lodge No. 4, F. & A. M.

 

Providence R. I., July 9,1916.

 

John Whicher,

Grand Secretary.

Dear Sir and W. Brother:

 

Owing to the illness of our Secretary, R. W. Bro. Chas. B. Manchester, I am answering your inquiry of June 13th regarding one of our old members, David Vinton, and I trust from the copies of our records herewith inclosed you will get the information sought.

 

Respt. and Fraternally yours,

William S. Greene,

W. M. Mt. Vernon No. 4,

358 Potter ave., Prov., R. I.

 

(Copy of the minutes of Mt. Vernon Lodge No. 4, F. & A. M., Prov., R. I.)

 

June 5th, A. L. 5821. Resolved, that the Grand Secretary communicate the proceedings of the W. Grand Lodge of the State of No. Carolina respecting the expulsion of David Vinton for un-Masonic conduct by their Grand Lodge, to the Master of Mount Vernon Lodge No. 4 (said Vinton being a member of his Lodge) and that he lay the proceedings betore his Lodge at their next meeting and inquire into the proceedings of their doings to this Grand Lodge. (Above is a true copy of a communication rec'd from G. L. by Mt. V.) The charges against David Vinton as communicated by the Grand Lodge are selling manuscripts of the Masonic lectures, and conferring the Mark and Past Master's degrees without any authority to do so, and pocketing the fees, and stating to subordinate Lodges that he had authority from the Grand Lodge which he had not.

 

Voted, that a committee be appointed to investigate the conduct of Bro. David Vinton relative to the charges made against him.

 

Committee, W. Joseph S. Cooke, W. Master Henry Martin, Bro. John Holroyd.

 

July 25, A. L. 5821. Voted, that the committee appointed to investigate the character of Bro. David Vinton be instructed to write to Franklin Chapter and the Grand Lodge of No. Carolina requesting them to furnish this Lodge with those charges upon which they expelled said Vinton from their Lodges.

 

Feb. 22, A. L. 5822. The committee to whom were referred the charges exhibited by the Grand Lodge of No. Carolina against Bro. David Vinton, a member of this Lodge, and submitted to you by the Grand Lodge of this State, and who were also instructed to inform Bro. Vinton of the charges against him and also to communicate with Franklin Chapter No. 4, Norwich, Connecticut, from which body Bro. Vinton was said to be expelled, beg leave to report that on the 13th of June last they addressed a letter to Bro. Vinton, but owing to misdirection, or some other cause, it did not reach him until the 25th of December last, as appears by his letter dated the 26th of the same month; that on the 31st of July they made a communication to Franklin Chapter to which they received an answer the 7th of November following. In the month of January of the present year, your committee received through the postoffice two packets covering a lengthy but highly interesting communication of seventy-three close written pages from Bro. Vinton, accompanied by several letters and documents in defense of his character. Your committee are aware that the nature of their appointment does not require an expression of their sentiments upon the charges exhibited. They do not wish to be thought assuming in this respect. But upon an attentive perusal of the documents forwarded by Bro. Vinton, they cannot forbear expressing it as their decided opinion that the charges made against our brother by the Grand Lodge of No. Carolina and Franklin Chapter, Norwich, are wholly unsupported by evidence. Among the reports circulated to the injury of Bro. Vinton is one that he had left his family and that they were being supported by the Lodge. Brethren, you all know that this report is entirely destitute of truth.

 

( Signed)

Jos. S. Cooke,

Henry Martin,

John Holroyd

Committee.

 

Voted, that a special Lodge be called tomorrow afternoon, the 23d inst. at 2 o'clock, for the purpose of further considering the charges against Bro. Vinton, and his defense.

 

Feb. 23d. The object of the meeting being stated, proceeded to the reading of the report of the committee . . . the correspondence and the documents . . . which being accomplished, and after due consideration, it was

 

Voted, that this Lodge do disapprove of the proceedings of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina in relation to our Bro. David Vinton, and that we do concur with our committee in opinion that the charges exhibited against him by said Grand Lodge are totally groundless, and that the proceedings of said Grand Lodge are wholly unwarranted.

 

(Brother Greene adds in a note: "Postage on all correspondence in relation to this investigation was $4.25.)

 

* * *

 

"FREEMASON'S MARCH"

 

Dear Sir and Brother: The "Freemason's March" printed in your October issue is known throughout England as the "Entered Apprentice's Song." In some Lodges under the English Constitution it is invariably sung by the Brethren after an initiation ceremony when the Lodge has been closed.

 

In the first edition of the Constitution Book (1723) this song is ascribed by Dr. Anderson to "our late Brother, Mr. Matthew Birkhead, deceased. To be sung where all grave business is over, and with the Master's leave."

 

Since the time of Dr. Anderson another verse has been added as follows:

 

We're true and sincere,

And just to the Fair;

They'll trust us on any occasion:

No mortal can more

The Ladies adore

Than a Free and an Accepted Mason.

Yours fraternally

 

C. C. Adams, England.

 

* * *

 

"THE HONOR ROLE"

 

Dear Sir and Brother: I was interested to note in a recent issue of The Builder that among the Signers of the Declaration of Independence known or supposed to be Freemasons, was included the name of Francis Hopkinson. I would be greatly interested in obtaining confirmation of this if possible. It is known that Francis Hopkinson's father, Thomas, was Grand Master of Masons in Pennsylvania in 1736, but I am informed by Grand Lodge Librarian Bro. Julius Sachse, of Philadelphia, that there is no record of Francis Hopkinson's affiliation with the Craft.

 

Fraternally yours

Francis Hopkinson Coffin, Scranton, Penn.

 

* * *

 

ROSICRUCIANA

 

Dear Brother Newton: - In an editorial of the October, 1916, Builder Magazine, mention is made of your desire to write a Life and Study of Albert Pike, the great Scottish Rite Freemason. I own a copy of Morals and Dogma and have often wondered why this book was published without an index; a separate index however is on the market which I have incorporated in my copy, thus making the same complete.

 

Your desire to write this contemplated and much desired book, should meet with the hearty approval, and especially support, of all the members of the Society, interested in the life of Albert Pike.

 

Acting on my own suggestion, I am enclosing a descriptive circular of a publication which perhaps you may have overlooked, dealing with Albert Pike's diplomatic work for the Southern Confederacy, also, the following item which I have taken from my copy of BIBLIOTHECA ROSICRUCIANA by F. Leigh Gardner, 14 Marlborough Road, (his present address) Gunnersbury, London, W. Either Mr. Gardner or Mr. Arthur E. Waite could give you information relative to this item.

 

Page 46. Item No. 317. Pike (Albert), The Symbolism of the Blue Degrees of Freemasonry, a thick folio MSS. in the private library of the "Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia." Its date is about 1875. (Footnote,This MMS. has never been published. It contains, in addition to its Masonic work, a great deal of Rosicrucian matter not to be found elsewhere.)

 

Trusting that these two items may be of some use to you and that you will soon get this very important book on the market, I am

 

Cordially and fraternally yours,

 

H. L. S., Ohio.

 

(Many thanks. The volume dealing with Albert Pike's diplomatic work for the Southern Confederacy was noted in these pages at the time of its publication. (Vol. 1, p. 279.) As to the Ms volume by Pike on the Symbolism of the Blue Degrees said to exist in England, we have our doubts. There is such a volume in the vault of the House of the Temple, in Washington -  which we have read with joy and profit - but we are quite sure that no copy of it was ever made. There was a volume of lectures, two of them in fact, on Symbolism, so printed as to resemble Ms - this may be the volume a copy of which found its way across the waters. Still, some such volume may exist, for Pike was amazingly prolific and journeyed into many fields of research. We shall welcome any further information about it which any Member of the Society may possess. Unfortunately, we were not able to learn anything about it while in England.)

 

* * *

 

A TOKEN OF MEMORY

 

Dear Brother: - Referring to that note, "A Token of Memory," on page 348 of the Nov. Builder, you may be interested to know that just such a practice has been followed in Barton Lodge, Hamilton, Canada, for some four or five years past. This is one of the oldest lodges in the Dominion, and recently gelebrated its, I believe, 120th birthday.

 

The same idea had been advocated in Wilson Lodge of this city, also for some time by the present W. M., Wor. Bro. W. H. Black, and it so happened that a P. M. from Barton Lodge was present in Wilson Lodge on one of these occasions and told those present of the custom prevailing in his own lodge. The seed was dropped in fruitful ground, for one of the brethren, now V. W. Bro. R. F. Segsworth, offered to supply the bibles, with a suitable book plate, at his own expense, and has done so for two years.

 

Enclosed is a copy of the bookplate, and you will note that the inscription is embossed, as well as the decorative heading, not printed merely, so that the gift is not a cheap one. The bible used is bound in flexible leather, and is worthy a place on any reading table.

 

Wilson Lodge was instituted in 1857 and its present membership is 375, of whom some 29 have gone overseas. To each one of these was given by the Lodge a military wrist watch and a parchment setting forth in the three languages the fact of his Masonic standing, which is enclosed in a water proof envelope.

 

There is one respect in which, I understand, that Wilson Lodge differs from Barton Lodge with regard to the presentation bibles. With the latter, the Lodge keeps the bibles until the candidate has been raised therein, but in the former he gets his copy when he is initiated, so that in case he has to be passed or raised elsewhere he can still use his bible and have it properly filled in at the time.

 

P. T. O., Canada.

WILSON LODGE, A.F. & A.M., NO. 86, G.R.C.

 

This Volume of The Sacred Law was used at the inception into Masonry of Bro.........................................

 

Initiated .... Day of .... 19 .... by Wor. Bro

Passed ....  Day of .... 19 .... by Wor. Bro

Raised ...... Day of .... 19 .... by Wor. Bro

 

and it was presented to our Brother on his attaining the Master Mason Degree.

 

..............................

Secretary.

 

..............................

Worshipful Master.

 

----o----

 

NOTES

 

We would thank Brethren who contribute to The Builder henceforth, if they will be kind enough to send with their articles a brief personal sketch, giving date and place of birth, schools attended, if any - the University of Hard Knocks, if no other-books written, business or profession, and Masonic affiliations. We wish to include such a brief notice with articles hereafter, as we did in the case of Prof. Bingham, for the interest of our readers. Take notice, Brethren, and govern yourselves accordingly.

 

The Library of the Grand Lodge of Iowa wishes to make a collection of articles, books, pictures, relics of Robert Burns, and the Grand Librarian would appreciate the co-operation of the members of the Society. Communications should be addressed to Brother Newton R. Parvin, Masonic Library, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

 

 

         

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