The Builder Magazine
January 1917 - Volume III - Number
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,
Auld Scotias bens an' glens
A greetin' tae the West-man,
An' honest herts an' frien'ly
But wish ye wad them test,
O come awa', syne come awa'
An' be our luckie guest,
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
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
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
Of all my hope and fear!
In whose dread presence, ere
Perhaps I must appear!
If I have wandered in those
Of life I ought to shun-
As something, loudly, in my
Remonstrates I have done-
Thou know’st that Thou hast
With passions wild and
And list’ning to their
Has often led me wrong.
Where human weakness has come
Or frailty stept aside,
Do Thou, All-good - for suuch
In shades of darkness hide.
Where with intention I have
No other plea I have
But, thou art good; and
Delighteth to forgive.
MASONIC EDUCATION IN
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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.
ON PRESENTING THE LAMB-SKIN
By Fay Hempstead
Poet Laureate of Freemasonry
Light and white are its
And a priceless lesson its
Symbol it is, as the years
Of the paths that lead
through the fileds of Peace.
Type it is of the higher
Where the deeds of the body,
Shall one by one the by-way
To pass the gates of
Emblem itis of life intense,
Held allof from the world of
Of the upright walk and the
Far from the dross of Earth
Sign it is that he who wears
Its sweep unsullied, about
That which should be to mind
A set reminder of his art.
So may it ever bring to thee
The high resolves of Purity.
Its spotless filed of shining
Serve to guide thy steps
Thy daily life, in scope and
Be that of the strong and
And signal shall the honor
Unto those who wear it
Receive it thus to symbolize
Its drift, in the life that
before thee lies.
Badge as it is of a great
Be it chart and compass unto
BY BRO. WILDEY E. ATCHISON.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
They passed; their country
They and their gods without a
Partake the same oblivion.
Their work they did, their
work is done,
Whose gold, it may be, shone
About the brows of Solomon,
And in the House of God's
The pestilence, the desert
Smote them; they passed, with
none to tell
The names of them that
Stark walls and crumbling
Strait gates and graves, and
Abide, dumb monuments of old;
We know but that men fought
Like us, like us for love of
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.
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.
THE BOSTON TEA PARTY
Dec. 18-19, 1773
In seventeen hundred seventy
Three ships left Albion's
docks with tea.
They little dreamed of what
As they sailed away to the
For to Boston harbor they
Where the proud old world got
Now the Colonist loved his
tea to sip
'Twas the stamp thereon made
him "bite his lip."
And he vowed that there would
If the King sent on the stamp
So the local Masonic Lodge,
Planned to have a "party"
when came the tea.
And the secret they kept till
it came in,--
Now soon the festivities
The communication to order
And outlined the details of
The Junior Warden from labor,
Called to refreshments the
And soon they went out as
And the chief, the Junior
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
And no sentry or watchman
their errand knew.
Their torches flared that
And their hatchets gleamed in
the sombre light.
And they brushed the sailors
And consigned the tea to the
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
And back to the Lodge they
As Revere, the Junior Warden,
And SOME things were said
that had the ring
Of eternal defiance to the
No tax, not agreed, will we
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
And from this time on till
The Masonic Colonist was "in
And the Nation should ever
its tribute pay
To the "party" that night in
--L. B. Mitchell, Mich.
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!
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
EXPERT ASSISTANCE AT THE
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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.
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
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.
CRYPTIC MASONRY AND THE
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 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
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
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.
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.
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."
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
With pure thoughts and
actions, how happy the life,
How care-free the conscience,
unclouded by strife!
No Potentate ever can upon us
An honor so great as this
apron doth show;
No king on his throne in his
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.
God, though this life is but
Although we know not what we
Although we grope with little
Give me the heart to fight
Ever insurgent let me be.
Make me more daring than
From sleek contentment keep
And fill me with a buoyant
Open my eyes to visions girt
With Beauty, and with wonder
But let me always see the
And all that spawn and die in
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
From compromise and things
Keep me with stern and
And when, at last, the fight
God, keep me still
BUILDING THE TEMPLE NOT MADE
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
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
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
"Return good for evil." "Love
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
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
Amazing thought--is kin to
And if a man, my brother.
What though his hand be hard
And labor his worn garments
He is a man, my brother.
What though ashamed, with
He beg a morsel of my bread;
He is a man, my brother.
What though he grovel at my
Spurned by the rabble of the
He is a man, my brother.
What though his hand with
crime be red,
His heart a stone, his
He is a man, my brother;
The soul which this frail
The image of its Maker holds;
That makes this man my
THE ORIGIN OF DRUIDISM
BY BRO. DUDLEY WRIGHT, ED.
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
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
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
Life is what we make it,
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,
You can't get away from that.
Make life worth while, and
wear a smile
When your castles all fall
Life is what we make it,
You can bet your bottom
When you hit a snag, don't
stop and lag,
But brace right up and
Life is what we make it,
Be it cloudy, fair or bright.
If you have hard luck, revive
Roll up your sleeves and
Life is what we make it,
So let's cheer up and sing--
"We're here today to make it
We thank thee God, for
--O. A. Fick, Jan. 19,1916.
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
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,
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
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
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.
* * *
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.
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
His form be clad, while naked
He is a man, my brother.
What though of strange and
Of unfamiliar form and face;
He is a man, my brother.
What though his hand be hard
And labor his worn garment
He is a man, my brother.
What though ashamed, with
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
He is a man, my brother.
Though low his life, and
black his heart,
There is a nobler, deathless
Within this man, my brother.
The soul which this frail
The image of its Maker holds
That makes this man my
* * *
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,
* * *
The True Principles of
Freemasonry, by M. R. Grant. Truth Publishing Co., 3010 Ninth St., Meridian,
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
THE QUESTION BOX
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
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.
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.
"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
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,
98, Bento City, and Connecticut, No. 75, Sacramento. Two lodges under
dispensation were also represented - New Jersey of Sacrament and Benicia Lodge
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
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
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.
Gould's Concise History of
Armitage's Short History of
Vol. 1 - G.L. Reprints.
By Judges Arnold, Orlady,
Barrett and Williams.
Mackey's Masonic Symbolism.
Stewart's Symbolic Teachings.
Buck's Mystic Masonry.
Morgan's Lessons Taught in
Mackey's Text Book of Masonic
Stillson and Hughan's History
of Freemasonry and Concordant Orders.
Oliver's Signs and Symbols.
Fellow's The Mysteries of
Look's Masonic Trials.
Boutelle's Man of Mt. Moriah.
The Builders - Newton.
Gould's Larger History (4
Mackey's Larger History (7
Pike's Lectures on Symbolism.
Adam's House of Hidden
Buck's Genius of Freemasonry.
Pike's Morals and Dogma.
Lockwood's Masonic Law and
Morris' Poetry of
Jewels of Masonic Oratory.
Lights and Shadows of the
Hughan - English Rite of
Robertson - The Cryptic Rite.
Addison - Knights Templar.
Sherman - Brief History of
Upton - Negro Masonry.
Ars Quatuor Coronatorum.
(See indices for Lectures.)
Wright - Indian Masonry.
Skinner - The Great Pyramid.
The Great Work. (Chap. 4.)
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.,
P. S. I find the following in the Digest of
Decisions of the Grand Lodge and Grand Masters, A. D. 1912, corrected to
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
Quebec, 30th May, 1799.
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
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
Master of Zion Lodge No. 10
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 -
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
A true Extract
(Signed) Wm. Lindsay
Grand Secretary of
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
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.
Lewis Bond Treasurer.
James M. Downall
D.Etroit 7th Augt. 1799.
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.
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)
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
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
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.
Jos. S. Cooke,
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.)
* * *
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
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
No mortal can more
The Ladies adore
Than a Free and an Accepted
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.
Francis Hopkinson Coffin,
* * *
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
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
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.
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
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.