The Builder Magazine
June 1917 - Volume III - Number 6
THAT IS IN THEM---A FRATERNAL FORUM
Edited by BRO. GEO. E.
FRAZER, President, The Board of Stewards
Henry R. Evans, District of
Harold A. Kingsbury,
Dr. Wm. F. Kuhn, Missouri.
Geo. W. Baird, District of
H.D. Funk, Minnesota
Dr. John Lewin McLeish, Ohio.
Joseph W. Norwood, Kentucky.
Francis W. Shepardson,
M.M. Johnson, Massachusetts
Silas H. Shepherd, Wisconsin.
Oliver D. Street, Alabama.
S. W. Williams, Tennessee.
Joe L. Carson, Virginia
Contributions to this Monthly
Department of Personal Opinion are invited from each writer who has
contributed one or more articles to THE BUILDER. Subjects for discussion are
selected as being alive in the administration of Masonry today. Discussions of
politics, religious creeds or personal prejudices are avoided, the purpose of
the Department being to afford a vehicle for comparing the personal opinions
of leading Masonic students. The contributing editors assume responsibility
only for what each writes over his own signature. Comment from our Members on
the subjects discussed here will be welcomed in the Correspondence column.
QUESTION NO. 2
Shall Masonic Officers be
elected from the floor, irrespective of service as subordinate officer? If so,
shall nominations be made by committee appointed for that purpose? If not, at
what office shall the "line" begin in each body?
I can best reply to the
question by saying that at our Annual in February I introduced some
resolutions, to be published in the Proceedings (if they ever come out)
considered by the Lodges, and voted on at 1918 Communication. They provide
that in all elections of Grand Officers, there shall be no nominations and no
speaking in advocacy of candidates. If, on the first ballot no one shall be
found to have a majority, it shall be deemed a nominating ballot, and on the
next no votes for any one except the three having the greatest number on the
first, shall be counted. I further provide that canvassing for votes for
anyone shall be a Masonic offense.
Now for my reasons. Politics
rages at present and most delegates are more interested in the annual election
than in the important legislation. 2nd. As it is, we elect our G.J.D. and
promote so regularly that his reaching the Grand East is a certainty barring
his death. 3rd. We thus give honors to him annually for at least six years to
the exclusion of many worthy brethren equally deserving. 4th. On my plan we
could honor many a one who has no ambition to be Grand Master but would be
proud to become a Grand Officer. 5th. Our Grand Masters would be those the
delegates consider most suitable and not those who make the best political
fight for office. 6th. The plan is fair to all, and free from objection so far
as I can see. Very truly and fraternally, Jos. W. Eggleston, P.G.M.,
The Rotation Plan Has Failed.
The "rotation" plan has
failed. I believe it is largely if not mainly the cause of many inefficient
officers being elected not only in the subordinate lodges but in the grand
lodges. When such a one gets "in line" it is practically impossible and
exceedingly unpleasant to get rid of him and this humiliates an otherwise
perfectly lovable brother. If the rule of election from the floor in all
instances were observed it is my opinion the best men for the place would
usually be chosen. As it now is we elect a "good fellow," say Junior Warden,
hoping and expecting that he will fit himself for Master by the time he
reaches that station. After he has been "started through" we find that he
either will not or can not do so. We are then presented with the alternative
of "grinning and enduring it" or of "choking him off" to the injury of the
lodge in either case. I do not favor nominations and do not want a "line" to
begin anywhere. O. D. Street, Alabama.
* * *
Rotation is a Landmark, a
Answering your question for
this month I would say emphatically NO. One of the landmarks of our
institution--to me a beautiful feature of Masonry--is the unwritten law that
he who would lead must first serve. It is the knowledge that a Past Master, or
Past High Priest has labored for a lodge or chapter a stipulated term of years
that makes their jewel mean something in the aftertime. Quite too many
societies are led to thrust a man into the high places without having tried
him out, carried away maybe by a deep bass voice, an aptitude for platitude,
and hirsute appendage hiding a chinless face to later regret the caprice of a
moment. Masonry tests a man at every step. As to nomination by a committee
that too takes away somewhat from the peculiar prerogative of our institution
where each and every man is on the level, and each should have his voice in so
momentous a choice as that of Master. While many lodges commence their line
with the Junior Steward, at least in this jurisdiction, I favor making Junior
Deacon the inchoating officer. Trusting I have satisfactorily answered your
queries, I remain, Fraternally yours, John Lewin McLeish, M. D., Ohio.
* * *
Marshall, Franklin, Clay and
It is not disputed that the
American custom of promotion rigorously by seniority does not bring the
strongest men to the east nor strengthen the lodge. It cannot be claimed that
the average "prominent Mason" of today will compare favorably with the
prominent Mason of a century ago.
The grandest and greatest
Grand Master Virginia (the mother of Presidents) ever had was John Marshall,
Chief Justice of the United States; he was elected from the floor to be Deputy
Grand Master, and, the next year was Grand Master.
The grandest and greatest man
the Nation ever produced, George Washington, was Master of his lodge, and was
urged for general Grand Master. The first Minister to Great Britain was
Benjamin Franklin, who was Grand Master in Pennsylvania. The greatest Senator,
the greatest orator, Henry Clay, was Grand Master in Kentucky, and the
greatest soldier of the war of 1812, also President, Andrew Jackson, was Grand
Master in Tennessee. It would be easy to multiply these examples. Not one of
the above ever served in a subordinate capacity in a lodge. I might add that
there is a doubt that a prominent and nationally representative man could,
today, be elected from the floor to be Master, or even Warden of a blue lodge,
nor into the council of a Royal Arch Chapter.
In some States, as in
Maryland, the brethren have discovered their best man, and have the courage to
keep him as their Grand Master. The rest of us set up a new idol each and
every year, hurrah and applaud him, and promote along the line vigorously by
seniority, because it is their turn.
In our Reviews we have ever
combatted that, but, as a distinguished Mason in Massachusetts says, "who
reads them ?"
If these conditions should
appear in The Builder, which IS read, they might receive consideration. The
public schools were created to educate pupils enough to enable them to read
and reason. The Great Light of Masonry was placed in each, that the students
might benefit thereby; but with all the care given by our forbears, we have
drifted into the vagaries of the change of time.
There are many good and great
men in the order, but, do they attend their lodges ? Well, "hardly ever."
There must be a reason. Maybe the lodges are not interesting to them ? Maybe
they expect to have notice taken of them, or, "maybe" many reasons, but
certain it is that many great men of today, who are Masons, proud enough of it
to display a K. T. watch charm, or a 32 degree jewel studded with diamonds are
not sufficiently interested to attend, save when summoned.
Does the lodge need them ? If
so, why not induce their attendance? The writer has been importuned time after
time, yes more than a thousand times, to secure employment, or promotion or to
plead for the retention of a brother whose offices were in jeopardy. We have
so often asked the petitioner if he has already invoked the good offices of
the Master of his lodge, and so often the reply is "Oh, he has no influence."
In England, Germany, Norway,
France, etc., the Masters are almost invariably men of social and municipal
influence. In Sweden it is carried to excess, and the Order is composed mostly
of the Nobility. Now, my good brothers, there is a happy mean between the
extremes, which we should try to reconcile. Let us ask ourselves what is the
purpose of the Order ! To the writer it appears that the best interests of a
lodge may be served by electing to the East the men who will be of most
service to the members of the lodge, keeping in mind the efficiency of ritual
and strict obedience to the Landmarks and the Constitution. It is a matter in
which each and every one has an interest, and, what is more, a grave
It might be well for at least
one Grand Jurisdiction to adopt the plan of suffering elections from the
floor, and compare results with the present custom of electing rigorously by
This same question has been
alive in my mind for years, and, in my reviews of the Proceedings of "Sister"
Grand Lodges, printed year after year in the D. C. Grand Lodge Reports, will
be found my views on the subject of Lodge Officers. Geo. W. Baird, Washington,
* * *
Have We Changed the "Old
There should be no "line."
Let each office stand by itself. "Line promotion" is one of the curses of
Masonic elections; "line promotion" is the hope and comfort of the incompetent
and unqualified. Open nominations for every office is, in part, a panacea for
official incompetency in Grand and Subordinate Masonic bodies. Line promotion
and no open nomination is the father of incompetency and mediocrity,
especially in Grand and subordinate presiding office.
These statements may seem
radical to the conservative Mason, and I may lay myself open to Masonic
heterodoxy, and an iconoclast of that graven image known as Ancient Landmarks,
but nothing should be considered too sacred in Freemasonry that interferes
with its executive, intellectual and moral development.
The following from "The Old
Charges" adopted by the Grand Lodge of England, March 23, 1722, contains the
great central truth of official distinction: "All preferment among Masons is
grounded upon real worth and personal merit only; that, so the Lord may be
well served, the Brethren not put to shame, nor the Royal Craft despised.
Therefore no Master or Warden is chosen by seniority but for his merit. These
trenchant words contain the basis of official preferment. It is worth and
personal merit, not "Line promotion," and if these qualities were not found in
the "official line," then I opine the worth and personal merit were taken from
These same "Charges" also
state as follows: "No Brother can be a Warden until he has passed the degree
of Master Mason; nor Master until he has acted as Warden, nor Grand Warden
until he has been Master of a Lodge and served the office of Steward at a
great feast; nor Grand Master unless he has been a Master of a regular lodge
before his election, who is also to be noble born, or a gentleman of the best
fashion, or some eminent scholar, or some curious architect, or other artist,
descended of honest parents, and who is of singular great merit in the opinion
of the Lodge."
This quotation from "The
Ancient Charges" is the source of the law of today in reference to the
qualification of a Master by previous services, but it will be noted that very
few of the restrictions, especially that in reference to Grand Master as given
in the ancient law, is in force today. Freemasonry has advanced, not in a set
groove, but its laws have been changed to suit the time and age. Requirement
and traditions, when out of harmony, have become obsolete, and justly so.
To such charges as I have
outlined in my answer, the Masonic pull-back will quote the charge given to
the Master at his installation into office: "That it is not in the power of
any man or body of men to make any alterations or innovations in the Body of
Masonry," and then he will cry aloud, "Unmasonic."
purposely, the transcribers of the "Ancient Charges" left out the proviso
attached to the above citation, which is as follows: "without the consent
first obtained of the Grand Lodge."
The Grand Lodge of England on
St. John's Day in June, 1723, gave full authority to a Grand Lodge to make
"alterations" and "Innovations" in the body of Masonry, and I sincerely hope
that all Grand Lodges will not only adopt for themselves but will permit
Lodges to use open nominations in the election of officers. The Grand
Encampment, Knights Templar, enacted such a law last year.
If the "promotion in line"
method is destroyed, and open nominations permitted, it will mean the end,
ultimately, of the graphophone, the parrot and incompetency in office.
Fraternally, Wm. F. Kuhn, Missouri.
Promote in the Blue Lodge,
Select in the Grand Lodge.
A distinction should be drawn
in answering this question between officers of the Grand Lodge and officers of
In particular Lodges,
promotion is of considerable value. Original selection of the minor officers
in the line of promotion should be made by the Master. Charged with this duty,
if he be careful and conscientious in choosing subordinate officers who, in
his opinion, will develop into successful Masters, he is better equipped than
even a Nominating Committee to make selections. The responsibility should lead
him to be careful. As changes in the office of Master occur, new Masters with
new acquaintances introduce new blood. The Masters themselves, having served a
number of years in the line, have become rather intimately acquainted with the
Brethren who show a disposition to share in the labors and responsibilities of
the Lodge. They know more about them than any committee of apparently inactive
Past Masters can know. Taken at large, a selection of minor appointees by
Masters has shown the best results.
The line of promotion should
begin at least with the Junior Deacon, probably with the Junior Steward,
possibly with the Inside Sentinel. The position should remain appointive up to
and including Senior Deacon. By that time the officer has shown his ability
and character. If the Lodge then believes he is competent to be Master, he
should be elected Junior Warden; if not, he should be stopped there. The
holding of the position of Senior Deacon should be almost the equivalent of a
nomination for advancement, but it should not be regarded that the Senior
Deacon is entitled to the promotion. If he has once been elected Junior
Warden, however, he ought to be continued through the Chairs unless he
The automatic location in
office of Grand Lodge officers, however, is in my opinion one of the greatest
evils existing in the form of Masonic government in America. No man who is fit
to be Grand Master can accomplish the results which ought to be expected of
him in a service of one year. There have been instances, unfortunately too
frequent, of the election of a man as Grand Master who was totally unfit for
that great and responsible position. A Grand Master once said to the writer
that if a Past Master in his State could get appointed Junior Deacon of the
Grand Lodge and lived long enough and kept out of jail, he would be Grand
Master some day.
This practice belittles the
office of Grand Master. It belittles the reputation of the Craft. It puts men
in the highest Masonic office in the world merely out of compliment and
deprives the Fraternity of the services of the ablest men for time enough to
develop policies and give the office the respect which it ought to have.
The writer may perhaps be
accused of prejudice with regard to the Massachusetts idea but he,
nevertheless, believes it is the best one. Any Past Master in Massachusetts
may be elected Grand Master for one year. By custom he is usually re-elected
so as to serve three years. By constitutional provision, he is prevented from
serving more than three years.
The Deputy Grand Master in
Massachusetts is appointed. He is, accordingly, really a Deputy Grand Master;
that is to say, the personal representative of the Grand Master chosen by him
to carry out his policies. In most American jurisdictions the officer called
by that name is not really a Deputy at all. He is really a Vice Grand Master,
or pro Grand Master and if elected by the Craft should have that title.
The Grand Wardens in
Massachusetts are elected for one year. Installation gives them life
membership in the Grand Lodge. Thus two permanent members of the Grand Lodge
(other than the Grand Master and Deputy Grand Master) are created each year by
election. The result is that the Craft in many parts of the State is
represented in the permanent membership and this great honor is widely
distributed. Moreover, very many Brethren who have become members of the Grand
Lodge of Massachusetts in this way would themselves testify of the permanent
membership as a whole that it includes many Brethren who worthily have
attained the honor, whose services in the Grand Lodge are so valuable as to be
really necessary and yet who either could not or should not be made Grand
For Grand Master, choose the
very best Brother available whether or not he has held so-called "line"
offices. Not only is this to the advantage of the Craft as a whole, but it
opens the opportunity for many more brethren to hold Grand Lodge office. In my
term of three years as Grand Master, for instance, under the promotion system
I could have appointed one new line officer. Instead of that, six Brethren
were made permanent members by election and three by appointment; and
thirty-eight different Brethren had the opportunity of holding Grand Lodge
"line" offices, very few of whom would themselves ever be willing or able to
serve as Grand Master and almost none of whom would aspire to that office.
Fraternally yours, Melvin M. Johnson, P. G. M., Massachusetts.
* * *
More Brains, Fewer Titles.
My own personal opinion is
that by all means Masonic Officers should be elected from the floor
irrespective of service as subordinate officers when floor members are found
to be capable, qualified, efficient and sincere workers. In my own state our
law requires that a man must have served as warden before he can be elected
master. We have only to look around us in almost any jurisdiction and see the
disastrous effect of such limitation. Some of the best students, most
efficient ritualists, wisest leaders never become masters of lodges. If we
were able to take them from the floor upon merit alone, it would raise the
standard of Masonic education everywhere. We need more men of brains and fewer
titles. Fraternally, J. W. Norwood, Kentucky.
Experience in Ireland.
In a Lodge of which I was a
member over twenty years--891 I. C.--we had the unwritten law of ROTATION OF
OFFICE, always provided the Brethren qualified by good Masonic conduct,
skilled Masonic labor, and faithful Masonic attendance.
We felt when we selected a
candidate for INNER GUARD we were selecting a future W. M. and we "governed
ourselves accordingly." If our Junior Officers made good they were promoted.
If not, the officers lower down benefited in promotion by their dropping out.
We demanded such progress in the ritual, etc., that when a brother reached the
chair he was capable of "Ruling and Governing" his Lodge. The years of J. W.
and S. W. are the best preparation for the chair.
In my mother jurisdiction it
was a Grand Lodge Ruling that a W. M. must have served at least one year as S.
W. or J. W. in a Lodge under its jurisdiction.
I advocated this method of
promotion all my years as Prov. G. Inspector and have rarely seen it fail in
producing good officers, good work and goodwill. Fraternally yours, Joe L.
Carson, (P. P. S. G. W., Ireland), Virginia.
* * * He Favors a Nominating
In my judgment it is
expedient for every lodge to have a carefully selected nominating committee.
Wherever it seems prudent, officers of the lodge who have served faithfully
and efficiently should be promoted. In case some Brother has been appointed to
the office of Junior or Senior Steward but has not demonstrated conspicuous
talent for the higher offices, it appears to me to be a more graceful and
considerate thing to drop him then or after he has been tried as one of the
Deacons. It seems to me it is not so humiliating to be left off the list of
nominees as to be defeated in an election. Fraternally,
- H. D. Funk, Minnesota.
FOR FREEDOM AND FRATERNITY
BY BRO. LOUIS BLOCK, P. G.
Red is the sky; and crimson
Are the fields, with their
heaps of countless dead;
Red is the fringe of copse
Where the War-Dogs slake
their thirst for blood;
And redder yet has the sunset
From ruined Cities,
As the old World Nations
In a strife to the death with
But over the war-cloud,
And above the tide of tears
And through the blight of
His higher purpose shineth
For like the light of the
His hand shall sweep the
And over that hour supreme
Blest Peace, and the
Brotherhood of Man.
God grant it so. And grant we
Sooner usher in that gracious
When men shall turn to War no
And peace abide from shore to
When States be ruled by
And sword and spear be held
And evermore among us dwell,
The reign of Prince Immanuel.
Poet Laureate of Masonry.
THE TEACHINGS OF MASONRY
From time immemorial we have
been taught as Masons that in the State we are to be "quiet and peaceful
subjects, true to our government, and just to our country; not to countenance
disloyalty or rebellion, but patiently to submit to legal authority and
conform with cheerfulness to the government of the country in which we live."
But we are also taught to
believe in the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man and that it is our
duty persistently to wield the Trowel in spreading the cement of brotherly
love and affection- -that cement which shall in time unite not only our own
nation but all mankind "into one sacred band or society of friends and
brothers, among whom no contention should ever exist, save that noble
contention of who best can work and best agree."
THE WORLD ON FIRE
The teeming populations of
the earth have swelled the borders of the nations to the bursting point, they
are crowded close one upon another, and it has become no longer possible for a
nation to live unto itself alone. They have failed to work together or to
agree. Instead, each nation has rubbed hard against the other and the friction
has set the world on fire.
Somehow, somewhere, in the
coming together of the nations, some one or some thing has proved rough and
rude, harsh and hard, cruel and cold and sharp; peace has been banished from
the land and the whole world has been rent and torn with turmoil and strife.
Mankind seems to have gone
mad, the future looms dark and gloomy, as though the final cataclysm had come
and the end of all things was at hand.
OUR DUTY IN THE DARKNESS
In such a shroud of
shuddering darkness as this, it is small wonder that our duty seems no longer
clear before us, and that we grope for some great guiding Hand to lead us once
more to the light. As comrades in a great cause let us tonight come close
together in this darkness, and counselling one with another strive to see our
duty and pray for strength to do it faithfully and without faltering.
PEOPLE LIKE POWDER
Verily, we are living in
troublous times. The air is full of wild and crazy talk. The yellow journals,
bad enough at all times, have now become supremely sensational and are making
frantic efforts to whip the people into a fury and frenzy that is simply
awful. And the people are like powder ready to blow up and explode at the
touch of a glowing spark. Wild spy stories and tales of crews of secret
service men abound.
Twenty times in one day there
has come to me the story of the arrest of one of our prominent citizens as a
German spy. These stories have been so silly and t so foolish that even the
yellow newspapers scorned to publish them, and yet I have been compelled to
witness the spectacle of American citizens losing their heads over such silly
trash. I have some things to say to you and yet I hesitate to speak them. It
is a dangerous time to talk. Not that I mean I fear any danger to myself, but
because I am afraid that I may be misunderstood. I sometimes fear that the
people have quit thinking and that all they care about now is to get mad and
to smash and tear something.
MESSAGE OF LINCOLN
In Lincoln park in Chicago
there is a magnificent statue of Lincoln. Tall, serene, erect, calm, kindly,
genial, deeply thoughtful, there he stands as firm, as sane, as calm, as
collected as some mighty granite crag overlooking the storm tossed waves of a
raging sea; just so he stood for a full half hour facing a raging mob in the
old abolitionist days at Petersburg, until he forced them to listen to the
great message he had to give.
It seems to me that that is
the message we ought to take home to our hearts tonight; to pause and reflect,
to be calm and think, and to hang onto our sanity with all our might in the
midst of the turmoil that rages round about us. Men think; beasts don't. Let
us prove that we are men and not beasts. Let us follow the example of him of
whom Lowell said:
"He knew to bide his time,
And can his fame abide,
Still patient in his simple
Till the wise years decide.
Great captains, with their
guns and drums,
Disturb our judgment for the
But at last silence comes;
These all are gone, and,
standing like a tower,
Our children shall behold his
The kindly-earnest, brave,
Sagacious, patient, dreading
praise, not blame,
New birth of our new soil,
the first American."
NOTHING BUT JINGOISM
Let us ask ourselves, what is
patriotism, and let us bend all the energies of our minds to give a true
answer to that question. There are too many people who think that there can be
no patriotism unless there is a war, but that is jingoism and not patriotism,
for the truth is that the highest patriotism is sometimes shown by those who
keep a war from coming about, for patriotism in its last analysis means a
happy and a prosperous peace for the people.
War is an awful thing. Human
speech has failed to coin the words that are capable of telling all its
gruesome and awful horrors. This is the testimony of those who know. Our
greatest generals have condemned it beyond all possible question. It was
Sherman who told the story shortly and simply when he said, "War is hell." And
it was "Unconditional Surrender" Grant who prayed for peace with his whole
soul. There is only one excuse for war, and that is when it is waged as a last
resort, and then in defense of a righteous cause.
Perhaps I do not understand
him, but I have no patience with Stephen Decatur who declared, "Our Country !
In her intercourse with foreign nations, may she always be in the right; but
our country, right or wrong." Those are the words of a hot-head, a fireeater
who doesn't think.
Compare with these the calm,
collected utterance of Henry Clay, the great statesman, who said: "My Country,
right or wrong; to fight for her when she is right and when she is wrong to
set her right." As I conceive of it, Mr. Clay's is the better, truer, and the
nobler patriotism of the two.
We have no right to say that
we are for America first unless we know and are sure that America is in the
right. A country that is wrong, is not worth fighting for. There is nothing
holy or sacred about a country that is dead wrong, for then we are simply
talking patriotism when we mean plunder and are exhibiting not loyalty but
bull-headed blindness. There never will come a time when loyalty to country
can be placed above loyalty to the right. Oftentimes the bravest and truest
patriot is the man who dares fearlessly to tell the people the truth about
things as they are.
In this connection let me
quote again from the gospel according to Abraham Lincoln. During the war a
certain pious Pharisee expressed to the president the hope that "the Lord is
on our side." And unto him Father Abraham, speaking made answer, saying: "I am
not at all concerned about that, for we know that the Lord is always on the
side of the right. But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that this nation
shall be on the Lord's side." He who dares to say that Stephen Decatur knew
more about patriotism than did Abraham Lincoln simply shows his own ignorance.
BUILD UP COUNTRY
After all, does not true
patriotism mean simply this, to use our best and constant effort to build up a
country that is clean and true, fair and honest, wise and free, and noble and
kind to every man and to every nation in the world, and to be ready to give
your life to such a cause as this and die for it if you must? As I see it,
that is true patriotism.
My brethren, unless we are
pledged to the truth that loyalty to humanity in the last analysis comes ahead
of loyalty to country, we have no business in this war.
The curse that is blighting
Europe today is largely due to a narrow nationalism that can see no good in
any other nation; that thinks that it alone can be right and that every one
else is wrong just because he lives beyond the border, in another country.
True patriotism is a thinking
patriotism. It is a sacred thing. No noise, however great, no shouts, however
thrilling, no hurrahs, however enthusiastic, no blare of brass bands, no
flaming of fire-works, no flaunting of flags, no strenuous stump speeches can
begin to tell what true and genuine patriotism really is, for it is a thing
that lies too deep for all of these. True patriotism is a great, calm,
altogether lovely and holy thing, that worships God and loves its fellow men.
True patriotism is a consecration to high ideals; it is the hallowing of a
man's whole soul in a holy cause. When our flag stands for a noble manhood and
for a lofty statehood, when it proclaims the brotherhood of man under the
fatherhood of God, then and then alone have we the right to say with the poet:
"This is my flag. For it I
All that I have, even as they
They who dyed those blood-red
Their lives that it might
This is my flag. I am
To answer now its first clear
And with Thy help, Oh God,
Strive that it may not fall.
This is my flag. Dark days
O Lord, let me not fail.
Always my flag has led the
O Lord, let it not fail."
THE IDOL OF WAR
Now, let us ask ourselves why
it is that we stand tonight face to face with this terrible crisis. At the
close of the Franco-Prussian war, the German government, carried away with the
intoxication of its success over the French armies, began to build slowly but
surely for itself and for its people the steel and stony idol itself a
Frankenstein which is now pursuing it with of militarism.
Realizing what they had
gained by the power of the sword, they came to think that the sword was
supreme. The worship of the soldier penetrated to the heart of the family
circle. The toys of the little children were soldiers. I remember well in my
own home how as little tots we played with these soldiers, half of them
clothed in Prussian blue and the other half dressed in the blue and scarlet of
The literature and
periodicals we read at the fireside were largely about soldiers and military
affairs. Even the jokes in the funny papers concerned themselves with the
thick-headedness of the recruit who was being drilled into a fighting machine.
Later on came the stories of those who are now our German-American friends and
citizens, who ran away from Germany to escape the hard ordeal of compulsory
THE SACRED SOLDIER
This was followed by the
tales of the smart-alec lieutenants who strutted the sidewalks of Berlin
shouldering the common people off into the gutters--war and soldiering came to
be idolized as a God. The military were the real people of the country and
common citizens were clay beneath the feet of the soldier.
One of my friends who refused
to allow a German officer to insult his sister was waited upon and challenged
to a duel. He whipped the soldier's sword from its scabbard, broke it in two
across his knee, tossed it out of a four-story window, and told the officer
that if he didn't leave the room he would be hurled after it, and my friend,
who was an American college athlete, would have made his word good.
Another acquaintance was
challenged to a duel under similar circumstances. He happened to be a pitcher
in an Eastern college nine. Said he, "Very well, if I am the party challenged,
according to the code I have the choice of weapons. I select the Spaulding
league ball, at 50 feet." And at that the duel was off.
The German people had the
theory and the doctrine of blind, unquestioning obedience pounded into them.
They were borne to the ground with a burden of taxation to boost the soldier.
And finally there was built up in the land such a magnificent and terrible war
machine that it was called upon to give an excuse for its existence and then
the war broke out.
It had been ready to break
for a long time and the pressure was so tremendous that it needed only a
pistol shot fired in southern Serbia to turn the raging conflagration loose.
It reminds me of the old story of Frankenstein, of the inventor who built a
man out of iron and steel; built him so scientifically that he sprang into
life and was to all intents and purposes a man, save only that he had neither
heart nor soul.
This iron beast pursued its
creator until it drove him to suicide in the Arctic seas and finally
disappeared within the clouds and mists of the great dark of the North. Even
so, did this German autocracy build for relentless fate.
GERMANS NOBLE PEOPLE
Now, with all this we must be
very careful not to commit the awful mistake of coming to think that it is
either a crime or even a disgrace to be a German. For in spite of what their
government has done, the German people are at bottom a truly noble people and
have done a great deal to serve and bless humanity. In the great fields of
music and medicine they are supreme.
When you take from the field
of music such great names as Mozart, Mendelssohn, Lizt, Bach, Schumann,
Wagner, Handel and many another, you have precious little left. It was a
German who saved the lives of our little children when by patient effort he
found a sure cure for diphtheria, and the horrible ravages of venereal
diseases are fast being banished from the land by means of the discovery of
another German scientist.
The Germans stand in the
foremost rank of the men who have done the world a blessed service in enabling
humanity to retain its health. For these and for many another noble quality,
for their economy, their untiring industry and their unimpeachable honesty,
they should be respected and loved. Let us not forget that even as our
president has said, this is not a war against the German people, but simply
and solely a battle against militarism and monarchy, and monarchy means
one-man-archy. Let us remember that it is a system; a terrible, awful,
man-murdering system, and not a great people that we are fighting.
APPEAL TO MIGHT
After all what is
"militarism?" It is the theory that mightism should prevail against rightism--the
insane belief that it is might which makes right, and that success can absolve
every sin. In its last analysis it is an appeal to force--to physical force
and perhaps to mental force, although I am not so sure as to that. But I do
know that it is an appeal to force, it may be a force that is refined, that is
organized to the minutest detail, that is scientific up to the last minute,
but none the less it is force, physical and material force.
It is based upon the doctrine
that men at bottom are supremely selfish; that the theory of the brotherhood
of man and the teachings of Christianity are after all nothing but beautiful
pipe-dreams, having no foundation in fact. In militarism it is force and not
love, that rules. Militarism has no faith in love, does not believe in
self-sacrifice, and has no patience with the love of one man for another. It
believes in none of these noble things and is therefore the great, if not the
only, atheism. Militarism is
"The heathen heart that puts
In reeking tube and iron
The valiant dust that builds
And guarding calls not God to
Militarism is the thing that
begins with the hymn of hate and urging its devotees on to madness ends with
the ruthless murder of helpless men, women and children.
WILD BEAST LOOSE
And now why are we going to
war? Simply and solely because there is a wild beast that has broken loose in
the neighborhood of nations, that must be caught and chained; because a crazy
man of might has begun to run amuck in the world, who must be restrained. The
fight we are going into I hope and trust is the last great fight we shall ever
be called upon to wage. I believe that it is the last stand that despotism and
autocracy will be able to make in the world. It is a contest in which the cap
of liberty contends with the crown of tyranny and when it is all over I am
sure that the sun of human brotherhood will rise serene and bright over the
fields now blackened and blasted by the darkness of despotism.
For, strange as it may sound,
this is a war against war,--it is a war waged to wipe the war-lords from off
the face of the earth. It is to be fought for no private cause, for no
particular people, for no one nation, but for humanity itself. For humanity
and for a great principle. The principle that a man the world over shall love
his neighbor and not lord it over him--that by this law alone shall he
continue to live, for all other roads lead but to sure and certain death. It
is "a great conflict between the old order of privilege and pride and the new
order of service and co-operation."
DEMOCRACY IS FRATERNITY
It is autocracy against
democracy. Autocracy means the rule of the Big I, of the Monarch, of the
oneman-power. It is rule from the top down. Democracy is the rule of the
people, of all the people, the great common people. It is rule from the bottom
up. In its final analysis it means fraternity; government by friendship and
brotherly love. It means the coming of the day so well pictured by Brother
"When man to man the world
Shall brithers be for a'
Humanity has declared that it
will no longer be ruled by right of blood and birth, but only by virtue of
worth and the will of the people, and that all over this broad earth national
barriers shall be broken down and freedom and fraternity shall reign one and
In going into the war then,
we are but rallying to the clarion call of Brother Edwin Markham who cried:
"Come, clear the way, then,
clear the way;
Blind creeds and kings have
had their day.
Break the dead branches from
Our hope is in the
Our hope is in heroic men,
Star-led to build the world
To this Event the ages ran:
Make way for
Brotherhood--make way for Man!"
MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD
Let us not fail to remember
that in the settling of world conflicts there are forces mightier by far than
those of arms. It is my profound conviction that the peaceful revolution that
took place in Russia the other day will prove mightier by far than many
marching hosts to put an end to the terrible tragedy raging in the world
There is another consolation.
We shall at last have an opportunity to pay the debt which we have for so many
years owed to the Republic of France. In my mind's eye I can see the spirit of
Washington saying to the spirit of LaFayette--both good brother Masons-- "At
last, Marquis, my people, my children, are ready to pay the debt they have
owed you for so many years."
THE PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE
The other day the President
of the United States delivered to the people his great war message--a great
state paper that will live in history as long as human souls reach upward to
the light and as long as human hearts hunger for freedom. Let us recall to
mind some of his significant sayings which shine like stars of hope in a great
"Our object is to vindicate
the principles of peace and justice in the life of the world as against
selfish and autocratic power and to set up amongst the really free and
self-governed peoples of the world such a concert of purpose and of action as
will henceforth insure the observance of those principles. * * * The peace of
the world is involved and the freedom of its peoples, and the menace to that
peace and freedom lies in the existence of autocratic governments backed by
organized force which is controlled wholly by their will--not by the will of
their people. * * * The world must be made safe for democracy. Its peace must
be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty. We have no
selfish ends to serve. We desire no conquest, no dominion. We seek no
indemnities for ourselves, no material compensation for the sacrifices we
shall freely make. We are but one of the champions of the rights of mankind.
We shall be satisfied when those rights have been made as secure as the faith
and the freedom of nations can make them.
"But the right is more
precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have always
carried nearest our hearts--for democracy, for the right of those who submit
to authority to have a voice in their own governments, for the rights and
liberties of small nations, for a universal dominion of right by such a
concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and
make the world itself at last free."
These are great words from
the leader of a great people. Let us render un'o them the tribute of respect
NO QUARREL WITH GERMAN PEOPLE
In that same great utterance
he declared: "We have no quarrel with the German people. We have no feeling
toward them but one of sympathy and friendship. It was not upon their impulse
that their government acted in entering this war. It was not with their
previous knowledge or approval." And right here let me say that there is not
now and never has been in any sober, thinking American mind any question
whatever about the absolute loyalty of our German-American citizens. Our
German-Americans have pledged their word in loyalty to this country and
whatever else may be said against the German, he always keeps his word.
We stand tonight at the
threshold of what may prove to be a massive and terrible Castle of Horrors.
There is nothing left for us to do but to march into this awful darkness and
slowly and surely fight our way through to the light at the other end. As we
begin this momentous enterprise we should prepare ourselves to face some of
the dangers which we shall most surely meet upon the way.
First, there is the great
danger of war graft. When a country carried away by a mighty flood of
patriotism votes and sets aside millions of money for the defense of its
institutions and the promotion of the great cause of humanity, that is the war
grafter's and the crooked war contractor's harvest; that is when he gets busy.
GRAFT IS TREASON
We should each and every one
of us here tonight pledge ourselves that in the trying days that are to come
we will not for a moment tolerate any such treason as that. History is full of
it. It was only the other day that the newspapers exposed a terrible case of
war graft in Austria. The crooked dealings of the war contractors of our civil
war and of those who sold to the government poisoned food to be fed to the
poor, weak, fever-ravaged boys in the typhoid camps in the Spanish-American
war are historical scandals that we would fain forget but are forced to
remember only too well.
Yet, even here there are some
bright and shining clouds on the otherwise dark horizon, for I read in the
paper this morning of the fact that a certain war manufacturer was told by our
government to furnish a large order of war supplies at prices fixed by the
government, far lower than the figures the manufacturer had submitted, and he
was told that if the government's order was not obeyed the plant would be
taken over and operated by the government.
ONE GREAT OFFER
But brighter still than all
this and standing out against the background of graft like a gleaming torch
comes the announcement that Bernard Baruch, commissioner for minerals of the
national defense council, on behalf of the copper trust, has made to this
government a voluntary offer of filling the government's brass requirements at
the cost of production and without any profit to itself.
This is certainly great and
glorious. It is really a genuine patriotism doing its perfect work. Yet in
spite of this bright promise we should not for a moment relax our watchfulness
for the presence of the burrowing rats of war graft. We must tear open their
nests and destroy them wherever they may appear. Let us not forget that
eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.
Then there is another thing
and that is the freedom of the press. I wish we might realize how hard, bitter
and long continued the struggle was, which won for each one of us the right to
freely and frankly speak out his opinion about the government and about
governmental affairs. If we saw this clearly we would fight all the more
jealously to guard the liberty of the press against invasion of its sacred
MAY LOSE LIBERTY
When the days come when
martial law is substituted for civil law there is always a great danger that
the hard won liberties of the people will be sacrificed to the requirements of
the war-god. There is always danger that when a vast military power is in
dominance, the liberties of the people will suffer. We, the people, have a
right to know what our government is doing, where it is doing it, and how it
is doing it, and to know that the government servants are serving the people
honestly, wisely and fearlessly.
We are willing to submit to a
certain amount of reasonable regulation, but we are ready to die rather than
to have our press put to silence. It was with a great joy that I read this
morning the declaration of independence of such a great newspaper as the
Chicago Tribune when speaking editorially upon this subject it said: "So far
as the 'Tribune' is concerned it welcomes a sensible censorship, but law or no
law, if the embalmed beef scandal is repeated in this war in which we are
about to engage; if typhoid camps are erected again, and if men willing to
sacrifice themselves for cause are sacrificed without cause, the facts will be
told and the responsible editors will accept the penalty."
KEEP THE MIND CLEAR
Let there be no clouds of
confusion; no mists of misunderstanding as to why we are at war. Let us not
forget that we never would have gone to war at all, had there been any clean,
honorable way to keep out of it. It was not of our choosing. It was a thing we
could neither help nor avoid. It has been thrust upon us. We have been forced
as a last resort to the use of force because Militarism being mad, recognizes
neither reason nor persuasion, knows nothing but force and will bow and yield
to force and to force alone. Just there lies the great difference between
Militarism and Democracy-- Militarism eagerly flies to force first, for force
is its god. But Democracy resorts to it last, and then only reluctantly, when
all else has failed. Then comes the time when submission becomes a sin and
non-resistance a crime, and we cannot endure to stand tamely by and see the
stars and stripes trampled in the dust by despotism.
We have our work cut out for
us, and dirty, disgusting work it may turn out to be. It is like some other
nasty things in life which need doing but which no one likes to have to do.
Yet we dare not shirk it-- but must do it, and the sooner it's over and done,
the better for us all.
Let us not forget that
war-times too often turn out to be tyrant-times. That war, calling for
absolute and unquestioning obedience, means the centralizing of tremendous
power in the hands of a few. War is a terrible instrument. Fire itself is not
more dangerous. So when this fire of war has done its awful work and the
carrion has been consumed, let us see to it that the flames be swiftly
smothered lest they spread to our own free institutions, and the temple of
human freedom becomes itself but a heap of smoking ashes.
The very moment our force has
done its fearful work we must curb it, choke it, chain it--turn quickly back
to the powers of kindness and persuasion once more. If we will but do this our
burden shall prove our blessing and the thanks and gratitude of coming
generations shall be ours.
DON'T BE HARDENED
Last but not least, there is
the dangerous effect which war may have upon our own individual characters.
Despite the horror and the carnage we may be compelled to pass through, let us
do our level best not to get hardened toward the high and noble things of
life. Let us be very careful that we do not let hate rage in our hearts and
drive from our souls that precious love of humanity which alone makes life
For God's sake, no matter
what comes let us not grow wild and savage and go back once more to the
beasts. Let us maintain the upward and onward march of humanity. Let us
control ourselves. Let us keep sane, keep sweet, keep great, and finally, when
the awful struggle is over, let us be ready to forgive and quick to heal and
bind up the wounds we may be compelled to inflict. Let us do our level best to
see that the world is set free, to bring in the great day
"When the war drums beat no
longer, And the battle-flags are furled In the parliament of man, The
federation of the world."
PRAYER OF PIKE
Then shall we realize the
prayer of our great prophet and leader, Albert Pike, soldier, statesman and
philosopher, who prayed for the coming of the day "when all mankind shall be
one great lodge of brethren and wars and persecutions shall be known no more
Then will appear that dawning
of the better day for which we have all hoped and worked and suffered and
longed and prayed--that day
"When the armies of earth are
And their trappings are
coated with dust;
When the musket forever is
And the cannon is cankered
When the sword and the helmet
'Mid the rubbish of pomp and
We shall wake to the glorious
Of the promised Fraternal
And that day shall bring joy
to the nations,
For the glow of its generous
Shall invade the morasses of
And dispel the miasmas of
Then the Empire of Right
shall be founded,
And the sway of his scepter
Till mankind shall stand
shoulder to shoulder
In the ranks--not of war, but
And the thrones of oppression
And the hearts of the tyrants
And the haughty shall learn
to be humble,
And the mighty their mockings
For the spirit of Truth shall
reign o'er us
And Humanity's banner float
Till Fraternity's message is
To the uttermost isles of the
MASONRY AND KING SOLOMON'S
BY THE LATE BRO. WM. A.
Did the daily intercourse
between the Jews as labourers, and the Tyrians as skilled architects bring
about a fraternal union, culminating in the origin of Speculative Freemasonry
? This is a pointed question, which may fairly be put; but I submit that the
reply can only be in the negative.
Some consider that during the
period of the erection of Solomon's Temple and Palaces, that as the Jewish
labourers were thrown into such close contact with the Tyrian stone-cutters,
and hewers of the cedars of Lebanon, and that these latter had their
association, or lodges so to speak, for the instruction of the workmen, and
perfecting of the plans, that many of the Jews became members thereof and were
thus made conversant with the Dionysian mysteries of initiation, and the
peculiar doctrines inculcated in those Architectural Schools or Lodges.
Such a theory is possible,
but I cannot agree with the theory that any such union as might thus have
existed between the Jews and Tyrians must necessarily be the origin of
speculative Masonry, on the ground that the purely heatheh skilled operative
workman, combined with the Jewish labourers, worshippers of the God of Israel.
For this to have been so, we must admit one of two things, either that all
agreed to believe in the Tyrian mysteries of Adonis, or in Jehovah. At that
period, no Universal Cosmopolitan School could have existed at Jerusalem and
its vicinity. The belief only in a Grand Architect could not have been the
compromise between Jew and Tyrian.
We learn that at a later
period, the Jews who had gradually been forgetting their God, carried their
apostacy to the extent of using Solomon's Temple for the worship of, and the
celebration of the rites to the Tyrian Deity, Adonis: for on perusal of
Ezekiel viii. chap., we find that Prophet, then a captive at Babylon with
Daniel, and only a few years before the destruction of the temple, describes
by way of a vision the practice at that time common at Jerusalem by those Jews
left there under Zedekiah, tributary to Nebuchadnezzar, viz., "The women
weeping for Thummez and the men with their faces to the East worshipping the
sun," thus putting into practice the religious ceremonial of the Tyrians,--the
women by their weeping for Thummez being indicative of their sorrow at the
aphanism of Adonis,--and although the description is cut short by the Prophet,
yet we know that to an aphanism, of necessity there must be the Heurisis, so
we can picture the same women rejoicing at the recovery of Thummez or Adonis.
All this is a beautiful allegory, but part and parcel of Tyrian worship of the
Passing over the period of
the captivity and their subsequent return and rebuilding of the Temple, and
again starting from the period of Judas Maecabeus, B.C. 164, who reinstated
the worship of the temple, we find reference made to the "Chasidim," a sect
existing at Jerusalem, whose duty it was specially to preserve the ancient
Jewish faith and worship intact from all innovations, to which sect is
supposed to have subsequently merged into the Essenes, existing at the advent
of Jesus Christ. Josephus first speaks of the Essenes as existing 166 years B.
C. about the time of Jonathan Maccabeus, and later on in his history he makes
mention of them as existing at subsequent periods.
The Essenes, as a sect, were
soon lost sight of, as soon as they become converts to Christianity. St. John
the Baptist is considered to have been a member. With their extinction ended
the only Secret Society amongst the Jews on which the supporters of a Jewish
origin have endeavoured to erect their theory.
Laurie, in his "History of
Freemasonry," has endeavoured, to trace our order from the Essenes, because in
some respects there may exist some similarity; but as at no period from the
building of the Temple to the advent of Christ can any trace be found of
Secret Associations amongst the Jews other than the Chasidim and Essenes
already referred to, and as neither were in any way connected with
architecture:--the one being a combination to preserve intact the Jewish
Ritual of the temple, and the other for the rearing of flocks and growing of
herbs for the mutual support of a Pastoral Secret Fraternity,--no other
satisfactory conclusion can be arrived at, but that Brother Laurie's theory is
untenable; for the similarity between the Essenes and Freemasonry is no more
than that of Speculative Freemasonry of the 19th century, were its history to
be written 1800 years hence, and then to be traced from, or as similar to the
Good Templars, Odd Fellows, and such like Secret Associations of the present
The legitimate and
intelligible origin of Freemasonry may safely be traced from the Ancient
Building Fraternities of Syria, Egypt, Tyre, &c., thence into Greece, from
which ancient Rome borrowed all the knowledge and wisdom of the East. We then
take up the early Roman Colleges, which, having become Christianized, spread
all over Europe, and having blended with the Germans on the one hand, and the
Bysantium Monks on the other, culminated in the Ecclesiastical Architectural
Associations of the middle ages, then into the German Building Gilds, whose
regulations we have discovered in the Raliston and Torgau Constitutions, with
which the English Constitutions agree very considerably. During the transition
period, gradually there was an admission of the non-operative element, which
revived the order from that state of almost total extinction brought about by
the Reformation, and the thirty years' Continental War. Inigo Jones, in the
early part, and Sir Christopher Wren, in the latter part of the seventeenth
century, by the building operations of their respective periods throughout
Great Britain, were the means of bringing to London and elsewhere architects
from all parts of the Continent and Great Britain, but just so soon as the
demand for the workmen ceased, so the operative lodges ceased also to meet,
until we arrive at the year 1717, when, on the old operative system of
Freemasonry, those great men and Masons, Desaguilers and Anderson, framed the
system which we now practice as Speculative Freemasonry.
As Christianity is the direct
descendant from Judaism, and it in turn from Patriarchal dispensation, so
speculative Freemasonry is the direct descendant from the Operative Building
Associations of the past, through all the varied changes to which they had
been subject, but retaining from the time converted from Paganism these
peculiar doctrines as to a future state, which we gather from the Great Light
in Freemasonry --the Volume of the Sacred Law. Without entering on any
detailed analysis of the several Mysteries of the past ages, suffice for us to
recognize the mysteries of Syria, Egypt, Greece, Persia, Samathrace,
Scandinavia and Rome, as all inculcating the doctrine of the immortality of
the soul, and in some a debasing idea of a future body.
Originating in Egypt with the
rites of Osiris-- that God, slain by Typhon, and his remains searched for by
Isis; throughout Greece, by the rites of Dyonisus or Bacchus--He slain by the
Titans, and searched for by Rhea: at Bybles, by rites of Adonis--He slain by
the wild boar of Lebanon, and searched for by Venus: at Samathrace, as the
Cabiric Mysteries--Cadmullus the youngest of the Cabiri, slain by his three
brethren: in Persia, by the Sun God Mithras slaying a Bull, whose blood is
licked up by a dog; and lastly, the Scandinavian in the legend of Balder's
death, in their Triune system, taught as Odin, Thor and Balder.
The peculiarity of each and
every one of the foregoing, was the Aphanism of the slain body of the Hero
God, and the subsequent heurisis or resurrection of the same. Let it be
granted, that in many, if not in all, the Legend was a symbolism, allegorical
of the sun, in its Winter and Summer Solstices, yet those who have considered
the subject, have always admitted that throughout all these Mysteries the
Priests had in view, and so taught what they themselves believed in--The
Immortality of the Soul.
"If, for example, we take up
the Mysteries of Mithras we find that the candidate was made to personate a
corpse, whose restoration to life dramatically represented the resurrection;
these Persian Mysteries passed into Europe and were introduced at Rome, in the
time of Pompey--where they flourished, until A. D. 378, when prohibited, the
Sacred Cave was destroyed by the Pretorian Prefect." Commodus the Roman
Emperor had been initiated into these Mysteries, and we learn from Lampridius,
in his lives of the Emperors --"that during the Mithraic ceremonies, Commodus,
in one of his mad freaks--where a certain thing was being done to inspire
terror, polluted the rites by a real murder, from which expression, it is very
clear, that part of the ceremonial of initiation formed a scenic
representation of a fictitious death."
All these ancient Legends are
of great interest to the Masonic Student, and cannot fail to educate him to a
proper comprehension of the Mystery of the Master Degree. We have so far
briefly considered the Eastern and Southern European Legends; and if we turn
to the Gothic or Scandinavian, we find a similar Legend known as Balder's
Death: and the great object of these Northern nations in their Mysteries, was
to teach something exactly similar to that of the Egyptians, Greeks, Tyrians.
During the period that the
religion of the Roman Empire was that of Paganism, these several Mysteries
flourished, and were each practiced in Rome; but, as Paganism yielded to
Christianity, so the ancient Builders or members of the Pagan Architectural
Societies, who were chiefly Priests being Christianized, attached themselves
to the Christian places of worship, as they had done to the Pagan.
Christianity and its doctrines were openly taught, and the Mysteries then
polluted and finally abolished. As these Christian Building Associations
extended into Northern Europe, and as the several Germans and other Northern
nations and tribes became incorporated into--first, the German and then the
Carlovingian Empires; so the Germans, when Christianized, brought with them
certain of their religious ceremonials which the Architectural Societies
availed of--in addition to what they already possessed. Fort has most
exhaustively and conclusively shown, that from the ancient German religious
ceremonials, the Freemasons took much of that which today forms part of our
These Christian Building
Associations bent on promulgating the Christian doctrine of the resurrection
of the body, with, on the one hand, the Southern, and, on the other, the
Northern Legend, both having the same end in view, worked on the lines of the
ancient institutions, as practiced in the Mysteries, by making a dramatical
representation of the Heurisis succeeding to the Aphanism, form a principal
part in Operative Freemasonry. The Benedictine Monks were principally the
inhabitants of Northern Europe, and their ceremonial which ultimately formed
the principal working of the German Stone Masons, is as like that of
Freemasonry of today as it is possible for anything to be. If no other proof
existed, this alone is enough to trace the connection and direct descent.
I will now read you the
Constitution of the Roman Collegia Fabrorum, which became incorporated into
the Monastic building associations, and if we now look at the ceremonial of
the Benedictines, we cannot fail clearly to be satisfied as to the true origin
of Freemasonry, and thus perceive how unreliable is the alleged Jewish or
There is what is known as the
Legend of the Craft. Thanks to the researches and careful compiling by Brother
Hughan and others, we have had brought prominently before us several very old
Masonic Mss. which profess to be the history of the craft from early ages, the
principal are the Edwin, Halliwell, Alnwick, Harlem, Sloane, Kilwining,
Lansdowne, York, and Dowland, of dates ranging between 926, 1390 and 1714.
They are in essentials and in phraseology so very similar, although discovered
at different periods and in various parts of England and Scotland, that it is
very evident they are copies of an original, or have been committed to writing
and printing by the Masons of the middle ages and by others just prior to the
transition period. That the clergy originally framed these Mss. is evident
from the fact that they all commenced with an invocation to the Holy Trinity.
They all refer to the seven liberal arts and sciences, attributing their
origin to Lamech's children, five of them refer to Abraham and his son as
having visited Egypt, and that Abraham taught the seven sciences to Euclid,
seven of them state that Solomon, son of David, sent after Masons of divers
land and gathered them together, and was assisted by the King of another
region named Hiram, and that he had a son who was chief master of all the
works, his name is given differently, as Agnon, Dyan, Aynon, Amon, but never
as Hiram Abiff, and in none of them is it said that he was slain, nor are
Solomon and Hiram of Tyre stated to have been Masons, but in seven of them we
do find this statement, "a certain Mason named Maynus Grecus, who had been at
the making of King Solomon's temple came into France, and taught the craft of
Masonry to men of France and to their King Charles Martel who gave them a
charter," this King's name is given as Charles Marshall, Charles Martelle,
Charles Martle, and the Masons name as Minus Grecus, Namus Grecus, Nymas
Charles Martell, whose name
thus appears in all the Mss., was evidently held in great esteem by the
clerical builders, for he laid those foundations on which his grandson
Charlemagne built so successfully in extending Christianity and civilization
through Saxony. We note the gross error in chronology in making Maynus Gracus
contemporary with Solomon, but these old manuscripts supply us with the origin
of the introduction of Solomon's name and the temple into the system of
Freemasonry, and we see clearly that to the Christian clerical builders, those
of the Romish Church are to be indebted for so important a symbol. The
individual Maynus Groccus means Minus the Grecian, a skilled architect who had
been induced to leave Bysantium for France; and, if the statement that Maynus
the Grecian, was present at the building of King Solomon's temple be taken
only as an allegorical expression, it becomes intelligible, and we have the
application as follows. The Building Associations had introduced the
dramatical representation of death and resurrection founded on the ancient
mystical legends already referred to; the clergy were answerable for and are
to be credited with, having availed of Solomon's Temple and of Hiram the
builder; the latter to take the place of Osiris, Adonis, Balder, and this
Minus Grecus who is stated to have been at the building of Solomon's Temple,
(the symbolical temple, which even at that early period formed part of the
system of Freemasonry,) was a master in the peculiar system of morality veiled
in allegory, illustrated by symbols, and in search after Divine truth as
practiced by and taught in the Building Associations. The seven liberal arts
and sciences. metaphysically considered the paths of learning and divided into
Trivium and Quadrivium were also known to, and extensively practiced by the
Saracens in Spain; and therefore when the Architectural Associations
controlled by the clergy made them part of the curriculum of the apprentices,
and that the doctrines to be held by the entire craft should be those of
Christianity, we find the Saracenic Seminaries of Learning, with the
irreligious creed of Mahomet and his repulsive dogmas as to the future state,
pitted against the Christian Building Associations and their doctrine of the
Resurrection as taught by them. Charles Martell's victory at Poictiers over
the Saracens, brings forcibly before us the moment when, in Europe,
Christianity fought for mere existence with the creed of Mahomet; and as
Masons, we of today, when carefully studying those ancient manuscripts, with
the aid of contemporary events, can reconcile the veneration in which Charles
Martell was held by our ancient clerical Brethren.
We have observed that it was
the clergy who originally introduced the temple and King Solomon's name into
the symbolism of Freemasonry, and we can with safety fix the earliest period
as that of Charles Martell's rule. Owing to the action of Leo, the Isanrian,
and many of his successors of the Bysantium or Eastern throne, contemporary
with Charles Martell, Pepin and Charlemagne of the Western Empire, the
controversy as to image worship was carried to such an extent, that at first,
France and the Italian States were overrun with the Monks from Constantinople
and elsewhere, who would not yield to the views of the Iconoclasts, and I
submit this is the period when the Scriptural Hiramic legend may fairly be
considered to have been first introduced into the Clerical Architectural
But at a later period of the
history of our Order it was found necessary from force of circumstances to
revive and bring most prominently into the lodge ceremonials, the dramatic
Heurisis and Aphanism. "When the Orthodox Church was at the very height of its
glory, and Papacy in the very plentitude of its power, and the Corporation of
Architects in their very fullest splendour, their ranks were considerably
increased by the entry into Europe from the Island of Ceos of the descendants
of those Dyonisiac builders, whom B.C. 800 the Kings of Pergamos had
incorporated there, specially to preserve and perpetuate certain mysteries
connected with their art." These architects entered Europe as Pagans, for if
we except the short period when Julian the apostate re-established Paganism,
we find Ceos as the only stronghold of the ancient mysteries in Southern
Europe, when for centuries Paganism had yielded to Christianity. These Pagan
builders brought with them their rites of initiation after the mysteries of
Bacchus, for them to be of substantial service to the church in the erection
of cathedrals and churches, it was necessary that they should become
Christians, and this brings us face to face with a state of affairs in
Medieval Masonic History, as follows:-- The dramatic representation teaching
the resurrection of the body had fallen, it is supposed into disuse; the
church in her services was able alone to propagate such a dogma, all the
builders being Christians; but as soon as the Pagan Element presented itself,
the Ecclesiastics, so as to meet the prejudices and the customs of these
Dyonisiac builders, as far as could be reconcilable with Christianity restored
again the dramatic ceremonial, availed again of the scriptural structure,
Solomon's Temple, the Biblical Artist, Hiram Abiff, and thus the clerics once
more brought prominently forward the Legend of Hiram's death and the
restoration of his body; when we consider that the clerical builders about the
time of Charles Martell with the Legend of Osiris, Adonis, etc., from the
South, and the Scandinavian legend of Balder's death from the North, had used
the same as the basis on which to teach the Christian doctrine of the
resurrection of the body, we must not forget that at this medieval period
there was the second adaption of the same ceremonial by the same Romish Church
through its handmaid Freemasonry; but as time rolled on, and those who
originally had come from Ceos died, and individual prejudices had no longer to
be consulted, the dramatic ceremonial again fell in disuse. We find nothing of
it as time advanced and Architectural Seminaries declined, until the
Transition Period, the 17th century, paved the way for that Grand Revival of
1717. Our masters' degree, as we have it, and its sublime ceremonial, belongs
to the 18th and 19th centuries, and demands separate consideration.
That the Hiramic Legend is
neither as ancient as King Solomon's Temple, nor as modern as the Revival
period of 1717, has, I think, been clearly established. We have ascertained
the intermediate period; but this not in a dogmatic manner; but supported by
very creditable circumstantial evidence, in the absence of direct ritual
knowledge. The legend hangs on the central and important point, death and
resurrection. The Mithraic Monuments and Medallions, still extant in the
European Museums, bring to our view such a scenic representation. Woodford
tells us "that the Legend of the 3rd degree was of very ancient usage amongst
the Operative Masons, and that years ago he saw an old operative lodge token
or seal of the 14th century, which referred to Hiram Abiff, in an unmistakable
way, and he never could and could not now understand why there should be any
question as to the possibility or probability of the preservation of such a
special and distinct legend." Let us fix its introduction at the very
earliest--A. D. 730 in Charles Martell's time; here we have after 600 years,
its preservation amongst the operatives by means of a lodge token. That
Solomon's Temple and King Solomon, as connected with Freemasonry, is neither
as ancient as the Temple Period, nor as modern as the 18th century, is proven
to us by the medieval reference thereto, by a secret society which flourished
in France during the middle ages, and which borrowed then much from the
operative, as today the Good Templars, Odd Fellows, Foresters etc., borrow
from Speculative Freemasonry.
During the 13th century,
there existed a large number of Lay Master Builders, who having been trained
by the clerics and possessed of the arcane secrets of architecture, separated
from the Monasteries, bound themselves closely together as members of an
Universal Architectural Association retaining the Legend, Symbols, Doctrines
and Ritual which the clerics had used and taught. This separation caused the
first blow to the Monastic Association of Architects. The Lay Builders,
although thus independent, were still protected by the Romish Church.
The fraternity thus
unfettered, some members peculiarly qualified for that special style of
architecture, combined under the name of Polites and devoted themselves
exclusively to the construction of bridges and fortresses. They retained their
decided religious character and symbolic mode of instruction.
During the 12th century,
there sprang up into existence, only in France--and remained only as an
institution of that country, a combination of all the gilds or trades for
mutual protection, and known as "The Compagnions de LaTour"; to this
association belonged individual Masons of the separate lay and clerical
fraternities: and as such individuals carried with them the Legend: &c., known
by them as Freemasons--we can, thus readily, trace the introduction of the
same, amongst the Compagnions de LaTour and, although we do not possess
legitimate Masonic documentary evidence of that period--we have the direct
information afforded by the Compagnions de LaTour, as to the application of
Solomon's Temple. At first this Society made use of the Temple Legend, and its
members styled themselves, Children of Solomon. Owing to internal dissensions
and jealousies, they became split up into two more Societies--each taking a
name from its separate leader. Becoming in time irreconcilable enemies, and
having lost the membership of the Freemasons of the lay and clerical
divisions, for discord and hatred was then, as now, contrary to the principles
inculcated by the ancient Masonic charges which they retained: these two
societies lost the support of the church, whilst, at the same time, the church
extended its protection as heretofore, to the Freemasons. "Francis I., by a
decree, interdicted them from binding themselves by an oath, or of assembling
in a greater number than five. And in the next century, the faculty of
Theology in Paris, condemned their mystical practices as most impious."
Thus, when it is asserted
that Freemasonry of the Middle Ages was opposed both by Church and State, we
know such to be false, and caused by its calumniators not having taken the
care to discriminate between Freemasonry and associations, such as the
Compagnions de LaTour.
Mackey, in his researches,
has brought to light the protection afforded the Freemasons by the Romish
Church. He tells us--"That in one of the Papal decrees, the Supreme Pontiff
stated that these regulations have been made after the example of Hiram, King
of Tyre, when he sent artisans to King Solomon for the purpose of building the
temple at Jerusalem."
We have considered the
Ancient Mysteries to as late as the period of their Abolition. We have not
lost sight of the German Mysteries. We have glanced at that period when the
Clerical Builders introduced the Temple Symbolism, and if we recollect that
Freemasonry of the 19th century inculcates the two-fold doctrine. the
Resurrection of the Body and the Immortality of the Soul, we must admit that
between the one extreme and the other, after a lapse of 3000 years from their
institution and 1400 years from the time Theodosius prohibited the Mysteries
throughout the Roman Empire, (A. D. 438), there does exist a close affinity as
to the doctrine to be taught--the lesson inculcated by the like symbolism-
-and substantially the same scenic representations--not because necessarily,
Freemasonry is a lineally descendant of the Ancient Mysteries, but as a great
Masonic writer (Mackey) aptly puts it-- "Because at all times there has been a
proneness in the human heart, to nourish the belief in a future state, and to
clothe that belief in a symbolic dress."
I submit this Paper for your
consideration, and 1 have endeavoured from Scriptural, Masonic, and Secular
History, to point out the true Source of the Temple Symbolism; and I hope I
have succeeded in clearly showing that our Jewish Brethren cannot in any way
accord the origin of Freemasonry to their ancestors of any period, either in
Masonic or Scriptural History.
THE SKEPTIC AND THE TWO
From out of the part to the
mystery of the whole,
Whence to whither cries the
An anguish pleads--A goal! A
From out of the silence
before the womb,
Aye, out of the silence to
the gloomy tomb--
An anguish asks--My doom ! My
From out of pigmy thought of
a pigmy brain,
Out of the silence doth the
mind writhe and strain--
An anguish says--Refrain !
From out of the silence of a
Vain, faulty man doth plead
An anguish cries--Hope, only
Enfinale,--Mind when stripped
of the coward's dower,
Falls prone to fact--to
nature's grandest flower--
Man's purpose is Will, end is
--W. Wilkinson Wait.
DEVOTED TO THE "STUDY SIDE OF
Edited by Bro. Robert I.
(Note: The following article
is one of a series prepared by Brother Robert I. Clegg for reading and
discussion in Lodges and Study Clubs. This series is based upon the N. M. R.
S. "Bulletin Course of Masonic Study" and consists of a leading article each
month by Brother Clegg to which is appended a list of references pertaining to
the same subject from which the members of the Lodges and Study Clubs adopting
our Course of Study may prepare additional papers for reading and discussion
at the same meeting at which Brother Clegg's paper is used.
We recommend that the Lodges
and Study Clubs use the current paper at their study meeting one month later
than its appearance in the CORRESPONDENCE CIRCLE BULLETIN to give their
members time for the preparation of additional papers.
Members of the N. M. R. S.
living in communities where the "Systematic Study of Masonry" has not been
taken up either in their Lodge or in a Study Club are earnestly invited to
correspond with the Secretary's office and learn how easily the plan may be
put into operation in their own community.
The plan may be taken up at
any stage of the Course. It is not necessary to start with the first
installment of the series. The course is based upon a few books--Mackey's
Encyclopedia and the Bound Volumes of THE BUILDER--in order that Lodges and
Study Clubs may enter upon the work systematically, and at the least possible
Interested Masons are
requested to write us for information. Our "STUDY CLUB DEPARTMENT" is
organized for the purpose of assisting in the organization and conduct of the
study of Masonry in Study Clubs or as a long-neglected but necessary feature
in monthly Lodge meetings.)
THE WORK OF A LODGE --
RECOGNITION AND INSTRUCTION By Bro. R.I. Clegg
It is a common saying that
some person or another is on the "inside." We mean that he is informed of
whatever is going on. Whatever the business may be it is known by the one on
the "inside." If on the other hand we say of any person that he is on the
"outs" with anybody we mean at least the very opposite of what is understood
by being on the "inside."
ESOTERIC AND EXOTERIC MASONRY
There is just about the same
degree of difference between being on the "inside" and being on the "outs" as
there is between Esoteric and Exoteric Masonry. In fact the two words are
derived from the Greek language and mean nothing more than "Internal" and
"External" Masonry, and are related to each other as the flesh and the rind of
any fruit, the combination making up what is known to us under the general
name of Masonry.
We are told that the early
teachers of philosophy divided their courses of instruction into what was
taught to the few and what was imparted to the many. Their followers were
divided therefore into two classes according to the degree of initiation they
had reached. In the primary stages they received what was practically public
knowledge but later on they got an advanced education.
Of such was said to be the
system of Pythagoras and he in turn is asserted to have taken it from the
practice of the priests of Egypt whose instruction was twofold, the one given
to the people in general and the other limited to the inner circle of the
priesthood and those persons holding royal office or in line for such
positions. The ancient teachers of Greece used the same method, a popular
discussion for the people in general and a thorough and intimate explanation
for the enlightened few who were esteemed worthy of more than elementary
From these old customs we
Masons have inherited two channels of instruction, the esoteric and the
exoteric. The one relates to such of our ceremonies as are of necessity
withheld from the public, the other pertains to such matters as may be
disclosed. For instance the method of initiating, passing and raising, is
esoteric but the laying of a cornerstone is exoteric. Instructions to the
initiates whereby they may become known to Masons as Masons are for obvious
reasons esoteric, but the general code of laws is exoteric. Much that is
taught is transmitted from mouth to ear only and this part of the "ritual" or
"work" is esoteric, but there is considerable printed information also and
this is of course exoteric.
Masons are familiar with the
way the details of the work are given and received. Word by word the secrets
are handed on from the expert to the candidate. Given in this way they make a
deep and lasting imprint upon the memory. Nay more, they make an evident
impression upon the speakers themselves that is not always fully understood.
Have you not often seen a brother read a thing many and many a time but seldom
does he do it twice alike ? Now and again he stumbles over a word that never
before had troubled him. In fact he must read carefully with his eyes closely
attached to the book or he goes astray. But note the "work" which he has got
from an able instructor or from intimate study of the way the ritual is
rendered. This has sunk into the mind and is a part of the brother.
The true Mason needs no
changing passwords to protect his lodge door, his knowledge is as himself. Not
a garment easily dropped from the wearer's body but indeed it is as his own
flesh and blood, his very bone and sinew. So near truly is Masonry to the
Mason when taught orally and well, from the mouth of the well-informed to the
listening ear of the receptive and intelligent.
We are also reminded by the
oral method of communication of that early time when books were few if not
indeed unknown. Then the memory was charged with holding the tenets of faith
and the foundations of philosophy. Here we see the real necessity for a
thorough symbolism if only as a means of helping the memory. A symbol properly
understood was as a page in a book, full of wisdom for those holding the key
and fully informed.
As the example of a loving
mother lives in the child whose eyes follow her in early training so does the
sound of the instructive tongue beget habits for good when Masonically heard.
How important it is that all Masonic work be well done, with all the effort of
goodwill energized by devotion. Prayerful is all Masonic labor.
MODES OF RECOGNITION
One of the oldest forms of
recognition is that common between soldiers where there is the exchange of a
sign and a countersign, the latter answering the former and thereupon the two
persons, the one the challenger and the other the challenged, satisfy each
other of their identities and standing. Signs to confirm the understanding and
to satisfy the doubtful are old as Holy Writ. Back in the Old Testament is the
rainbow of promise; that the Lord was with Israel is shown by the calamities
that befell the Egyptians; Gideon asked and received a sign, and to confirm
the message of Samuel signs were afforded Saul. Profane history likewise
abounds with customs and incidents that by sign or word show how from the one
person to another there can be an open expression conveying a message as if by
Here and there in what
remains to us of the ancient mysteries, the primitive Freemasonry, there are
glints of light telling plainly of the sign language. One of the old writers
tells in fact that if there be anyone present who has been initiated as was
he, and will give the sign, he would be told what had been kept as a secret.
And in another place he told of one who walked with a hesitating step whereby
those who knew the sign could recognize him.
Of such indeed are born the
ages-old signs that lock in secrecy the doings of Masonry and the meetings of
TEST AND TEST OATHS
Visitors to Masonic lodges
must be prepared to undergo a thorough examination of their claims. Some Grand
Lodges require that at the examination the visitor shall produce some evidence
that the lodge from which he hails is in good and regular standing as well as
himself. Such evidence is usually documentary in the form of a Grand Lodge
certificate signed by the Grand Secretary to the effect that such and such a
lodge has been duly constituted and so remains upon the roster of regular
lodges. A certificate that the visitor himself has been properly initiated,
passed and raised, is often attached to the former document though it is
sometimes found detached. A receipt for the current dues is also to be
expected if it is intended to ascertain whether the visitor can show on paper
at least whether he remains free of all debts and claims up to date.
Before going further, and it
may be before going quite so far, a test oath is administered to the visitor
in which he asserts that he is all that he ought to be. A series of questions
are then asked of him and upon the degree of satisfaction given the examining
committee depends the visitor's admission or exclusion from that lodge.
Some curious instances are
easily recalled as to the practice followed in various lodges. A Past Master
visiting one lodge was long and critically examined in each and every detail
of the "work." So long and searching was the test that he inwardly chafed over
what seemed clearly to him a very grave doubt of his good faith and his
regular standing. But at length one other member of the committee interfered
with the assertion that he was satisfied and he could see no reason for this
minute probing into every petty peculiarity known to the visiting brother.
"But," said the examiner, "I never before had the chance to find out all about
the work of the State from which he comes!" In this case he was not finding
out whether the visitor was a Mason. That was not his main object. He was
curious but not courteous.
Another equally unpardonable
error was the case of a visitor who reported that his examination was so
delayed before it begun and so slow before it concluded that it actually
overtook the closing of the lodge, the committee and the visitor being
surprised at their labors by the retiring brethren. Cases are not rare where
brethren have actually been timid at undergoing what is sometimes an ordeal
far from comfortable. One traveling man for years visited no lodges because
owing to his information that all lodges were very strict, and owing too to
the fact that he left his home town immediately after receiving his degrees,
he fully realized his shortcomings, and therefore had not the temerity to
venture upon an examination. In one town he met an old friend who invited him
to go to lodge with him. He protested his ignorance but was persuaded to go.
He actually showed up well at his examination and was encouraged to make a
confidant of the investigating committee, one of whom spent an hour or so in
further instructing him. He was very grateful and left with happy
anticipations of many future evenings with the brethren in the towns along his
The committee have every
right to thoroughly satisfy themselves that the visitor is fully qualified
from all Masonic points of view. He is not entitled to the benefit of any
doubt. It is indeed far better that ten good Masons are forbidden to enter
than that one unworthy applicant is allowed admittance.
But the visitor is entitled
to a kindly examination, a patient hearing at the very least. He should
receive no help in the essentials a Mason should know but it is well for the
Committee to remember that the best of men do err and the wisest go astray. He
who has lost a tight rein upon Masonic memories for phrase and word accuracy
may yet be keen enough in his recollections of what took place. Facts stick
closer than mere phrases. When the visitor fails on phrases he should be
thoroughly tried otherwise before rejection.
The Monitor is a book of
instruction for the Mason. As usually printed it contains such ceremonies as
these approved for the conduct of funerals. Sometimes the work also contains
regulations of one kind and another and there may further be brief historical
data. From the eighteenth century to the present time very many of these
useful guides for the craft have been prepared. They have a very close family
resemblance and are familiar to all Masons.
The authors of these books
have had the difficult task of preparing material to be readily memorized and
at the same time complete. Thus on the one side beset by the necessity for
brevity and on the other side anxious for thoroughness, the choice has been
troublesome. A comparison of the various monitors shows that the "charges" for
each of the three degrees are nearest akin, there being little or no variation
among those examined. The funeral service is an easy second to the charges. In
general it may be said that the changes are in the way of additions. Many of
these are bracketed where the improving hand of the compiler had inserted here
and there some extension of the original thought. Perhaps the greatest
latitude is in what is known as the "Apron Lecture." Of these there are many
in prose and verse. Few if any of the latter find their way into the standard
monitors though not without much merit in several instances.
"Healing" is a Masonic word
meaning to legalize. If for any reason a person has irregularly received a
degree then he must be healed in some way approved by competent authority. Of
course a person receiving a part in some ceremony performed in a body without
due authority, as in a spurious or clandestine organization claiming to be a
lodge, is much worse off than he who has by some mere technical blunder fallen
short of full legal requirements in getting a degree. In the latter case the
trouble might be perhaps easily enough corrected by giving the candidate an
obligation to cover the point in question, a pledge of faithfulness being
perhaps all that would be necessary. But in the other case the ceremony is
surely void and worthless, the only likely course would be to formally
renounce the condition set up by the ceremony and then in a regular lodge
receive the degree in due form. This would be done under the direction of the
authorized persons designated for that purpose by the Grand Lodge. While it is
true that the candidate may have been innocent enough in his intentions such
cases are always to be handled carefully and no step should be taken that will
not in every way meet the scrutiny of the Masonic authorities. It is better to
be sure than sorry.
Long ago there were two
methods of giving the Grand Honors, one being reserved for the lodge room and
the other for use in public. Both of these are of recent years seen at public
ceremonies, in fact the old public sign seems to be gradually edged out of the
way by the one so long given privately.
Of the one form of Grand
Honors common to the lodge room nothing need be said. It is too well known for
description. Of the other it is enough to remind the reader that it closely
resembles the sign given in the funeral ceremony. The arms are crossed on the
breast, the left uppermost, and the open palms of the hands sharply striking
the shoulders. The hands are then raised above the head and the palms strike
each other. Then the arms are brought quickly down and the hands strike the
thighs. This is done three times. It will be recalled that the difference
between this "three times three" and that of the funeral ceremony is that the
hands in the latter instance are not brought together noisily. Grand Honors
will be found to differ in the various Jurisdictions. These of course refer to
my own home State of Ohio.
Here it may be said that
while with us the common expression of applause is the clapping of the hands,
yet there are Masonic bodies elsewhere where we are told the usual sound of
approval is the striking of the hand on the knee.
And here too may be mentioned
the curious Masonic drinking customs that to our English brethren are
esoteric. The glass is held while certain familiar Masonic signs of the first
degree are made as well as they can be under the circumstances and there is
also the inevitable three times three.
What has been said of the
tests of Masonry apply to the treatment of imposture. From the earliest time
the brethren have been warned of impostors and as the old Constitutions tell
us "You are cautiously to examine a strange brother in such a method as
prudence shall direct you, that you may not be imposed upon by an ignorant,
false pretender, whom you are to reject with contempt and derision, and beware
of giving him any hints of knowledge." Such was the practice in 1723 and it is
a wise rule to follow at the present day.
Impostors may be those who
never received the work regularly. This class of pretenders is as a rule
handled easiest. Another and more dangerous fraud is the expelled person who
was once in good standing. He is the one who has forgotten his papers or he
has some to which he has no valid claim or right. Several of the larger cities
have been victimized to the extent that this practice is no longer profitable
but the old game is still heard of from time to time and the pests persist.
These parasites should not be encouraged by silent submission.
The dictionaries fail us at
this word. All sorts of sources and meanings have been applied to it. It is
purely Masonic and of an age overlapping several centuries. Probably the most
pertinent of meanings is that of an "intruder." It certainly alludes to one
outside the pale of the craft, one classed with eavesdroppers and spies,
unauthorized and unwelcome. Mackey has collected many promising allusions but
the probability is that like many other evidences of age to be found in our
ceremonies this oldtime word has been retained by the Craft when it has ceased
to possess its grip upon popular use. It is one more link that binds us to the
far remote past.
Encyclopedia: Look up subjects under same title as sub-titles in above
article. The Builder: Masonic Signs, Vol. II, p. 253. Method of Instruction in
Ireland, Vol. II, p. 8. Oaths, Vol. II, Dec. C. C. B. p. 2 and pps. 94, 190
and 348. Cowan. (See following article.)
The craft was divided into
several ranks or divisions in the old Trade Incorporations. There were several
classes of members. The distinctions thus made appear hitherto to have been
only partially understood, and the light thrown upon them by the Minutes
before us is both interesting and important. The building trade permits of
specialization--indeed, good workmanship almost demands it,--and the
classification in olden times is still to a large extent the classification
adopted by the division of labour of the present day.
In respect of the work itself
there were the quarrier, the waller or rough mason, the hewer, and the
builder, and any workman might devote himself to one or other of these as
divisions of the trade of construction in stone. Theoretically it was possible
to have a guild or fraternity for each, but practically the quarrier and rough
mason were looked upon as the labouring class, while the builder and
especially the hewer were looked upon as the skilled artisans, and in more
intimate relation to the designer or architect, whose sphere they frequently
trenched upon and occupied.
The hewer and builder were
both masons par excellence, though the hewer was specially the freemason "lathomos
vocatos ffre maceons" in contrast to "lathomos vocatos ligiers" (1396 vide
Bro. Rylands in Masonic Magazine, 1882). The English statute of 1459, II.
Henry VIII., C. XXII., shews that the rough mason or waller or builder with
unhewn stone and without lime, i. e., the Scottish cowan, was a lower class
tradesman according to the wages then fixed. This is borne out by the English
statutes 7 Henry VIII. C, V. 1515, and 2 and 3 Ed. VI. 1548.
It is abundantly evident * *
* that this word cowan, or cowaner, like most of the operative terms in
masonry, is of Scottish origin. Scotland is naturally a land of stone
building, and it need not be a matter of surprise that the employment of
cowans was more frequent in the Burgh of Canongate than the Burgh of
Edinburgh. The latter was a walled city. The former was a suburban community.
The latter delighted in closely huddled together houses and tenements. The
former was a wide area of houses with gardens and cultivated ground attached.
It was evidently in the former that the drystone dyker and rough stone mason
would be most in demand. The earliest use of the word cowan in English
masonry, operative or speculative, appears to be in the Second Edition, 1738,
of the Book of Constitutions. It is possible that the equivalent in the MS.
Constitutions or elsewhere was layer or lowen, but this line of enquiry has
not been pursued.
The truth is that the word is
an exact parallel in use and an antithesis in meaning to "square." Square is
an adjective, verb and noun, and the person who makes a thing square can be
called a squarer. Cowan means round or hollow as an adjective, a hollow or
something hollow as a noun, and a cowaner is the hollow builder or the man who
uses round unsquared stones for building purposes, whether walls or huts. In
the west of Scotland the word has received a collateral meaning colloquially
in being applied to large hollow fishing boats. Thus:--"When the Earl (Argyll)
came to Allangreg in this critical juncture he resolved to man out four prizes
he had got to sea and thirty cowans or fisher boats" etc. (Woodrow's Hist. ii.
I have Professor Mackinnon's
authority for saying that "The word caban, later caban, is a well established
word in Gaelic literature with the meaning hollow, crevice, etc. In dialect
the sound easily becomes cobhan, co'an, the first a being short. In Gaelic
'air,' like the English 'er,' indicates a personal agent, so that cowaner is
thus a very natural phrase for a hollow builder or drystone diker." In Welsh
the word takes the form of cwm, a combe or dingle. There are several places in
Dumfriesshire and Galloway called cowan, caven and cavens. In Ireland there is
County Cavan. The original stem is Ku, to contain, whence come the Latin cavea,
and the English cave, Cam referring to a curved wheel, Camber a curved
surface, cameo, camera, and a whole host of words relating to curvature or
hollowness.--Bro. Alfred A. Arbuthnot Murray in Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Vol
"Cowan was used in Scottish
masonry at a very early epoch to signify a mason without the word, and it was
imported to English masonry apparently by Dr. Anderson in 1723 or later." --Vibert,
NOTICE TO ALL STUDY GROUPS
As it is the custom with
nearly all Lodges throughout the United States and Canada to "call off" during
the months of July and August, it has been deemed advisable for this reason to
discontinue the "Correspondence Circle Bulletin" in the July and August issues
of THE BUILDER. By so doing we shall not run ahead of the Lodges and Study
Clubs who are using the "Bulletin Course of Masonic Study" and they will be
enabled to take up their studies in September just where they now leave them
MODERN MASONRY: 1717 AND
1917 BY BRO. JOHN LEWIN MCLEISH, OHIO
Sunday, June 24, 1917, St.
John Baptist's Day, is the two hundredth anniversary of Speculative or Modern
Masonry. Then was established the Mother of all Grand Lodges inchoating an
invisible empire which today girdles the globe. It was the consummation of an
evolution in the greatest of the world's brotherhoods which had had genesis
long before. The Speculative or Scholar Masons then relegated to the
background the old Operative or Practical Masons, who for generations had
transmitted among themselves by word of mouth, under pledge of secrecy, the
quaint, complex and curious philosophy and secret doctrine of Freemasonry
inherited from the Cathedral Builders of medieval days, who themselves had it
from the Comacines, the lineal descendants of the old Collegia Romana, and so
on back into the dim dead past of Hittite predominance, if we may believe the
claims of Masonic Archaeologists and Historians-- Gould, Hughan, Ravenscroft,
Findel, Rylands, Belzoni and others.
Since England gave birth to
the Mother of all Grand Lodges, it is there we must turn for the history of a
transition which in the passing of the centuries has made Masonry a World
In England, during the last
years of the seventeenth century, there was upon the part of the Clergy both
Protestant and Roman Catholic, a marked tendency to play politics. Rather
reluctantly the dominant hierarchy, which was the Anglican (Episcopalian), had
acquiesced in the accession of James II to the throne. Their hesitancy seemed
justified, when in 1687 James issued a Religious Edict affording ample
opportunities for Catholic activities throughout his kingdom. In consequence,
the Anglicans declared against the House of Stuart successfully.
Protestant William of Orange,
the successor of James, contributed another shock to the Anglicans. Instead of
rewarding them by making their denomination the official Religion of State, he
proclaimed universal religious tolerance. Under his new edict, it became
possible for a new element to enter--the Dutch Presbyterians,--so forming a
hypotenuse for a Clerical Triangle of Dissension-- Anglicans, Roman Catholics
and Dutch Presbyterians. Each wished the National Supremacy in England. All
contributed to a verbal warfare and indulged in intrigues of a most unchurchly
Now while these Churchmen
quarreled among themselves, the plain people who made up the backbone of the
Nation were thinking. Quite disgusted with the unreasonable assumptions of
Clergy of all Creeds, reluctantly concluding that their ghostly advisers were
all dogma-bound, narrow, selfish and top-heavy with pride, these plain people
needed only King William's Edict of 1695 permitting freedom of the press, to
loose their tongues and give the Intellectuals free play.
A seed had been sown. The
English people began to find themselves. National life assumed a more moral
tone. Superficiality and shams gave way to an actual practice of moral and
social virtues. The plain people exerted themselves to relegate into fitting
oblivion the memory of the licentiousness which had characterized national
life under Charles II and James II, the predecessors of their new monarch. An
Age of Frivolity was supplanted by an Age of Self-Respect.
The Spirit of the Times found
ready expression through the journalists and pamphleteers and those convivial
conversationalists who met men of all classes in the London Taverns, "the busy
man's recreation, the idle man's business, the melancholy man's sanctuary, and
the stranger's welcome; the broachers of more news than hogsheads, more jests
Masonic thought of the day
found its outlet through Richard Steele's "Tatler," Jonathan Swift's Satires,
and Dr. Desaguilier's Natural Philosophy. Perhaps Joseph Addison crystallized
conditions then existent in his famous sentence: "We have just enough religion
to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another."
It was as though to answer
that very need that the "Gentle Philosophie of Masonry," whose animating
spirit is brotherly love, took on a sudden impetus and was reincarnated as a
Living Force in National Life through the Great Revival of 1717. In the
Masonic Lodges of 1700 were to be found men of all Creeds and all Religious
Sects. Says Findel, a German Masonic historian,
"Originating from the
Fraternity of Operative Masons, the Craft has borrowed its emblems and symbols
from the Building Corporations to impart to its members moral truths and the
rules of the Royal Art. . . Freemasonry as it is understood at the present
day, dawned into existence. Retaining the spirit of the Ancient Brotherhood,
their fundamental laws and their traditional customs, yet all were united in
relegating Architecture and Operative Masonry to the station to which they
belonged, the customary technical expressions which are excellently well
suited to the Symbolic Architecture of the Temple, were retained but
figuratively withal, bearing a higher significance."
The Report of the Proceedings
of the First Grand Lodge of England does not occupy much space. An official
account written by Dr. James Anderson says:
"1717--King George I. entered
London most magnificently on Sept. 20, 1714, and after the rebellion was over,
A. D. 1716, the few Lodges at London, finding themselves neglected by Sir
Christopher Wren, thought fit to cement under a Grand Master as the Center of
Union and Harmony, viz. the Lodges that met,
"1. At the Goose and Gridiron
Ale-House, in St. Paul's Churchyard.
"2. At the Crown Ale-House in
Parker's Lane, near Drury Lane.
"3. At the Apple Tree Tavern
in Charles St., Covent Garden.
"4. At the Rummer and Grapes
Tavern in Channel Row, Westminster.
"They and some old Brothers
met at the said Apple-Tree and having put into the Chair the Oldest Master
(now the Master of a Lodge) they constituted themselves a Grand Lodge pro
"On St. John Baptist's Day,
in the third year of King George, A. D. 1717, the Assembly and Feast of the
Free and Accepted Masons was held at the foresaid Goose and Gridiron
"Before dinner, the Oldest
Master Mason (now the Master of a Lodge), in the Chair, proposed a list of
proper candidates: and the Brethren by a Majority of Hands elected,
Mr. Anthony Sayre, Gentleman,
Grand Master of Masons,
Mr. Jacob Lamball, Carpenter,
Capt. Joseph Elliot, Grand
Wardens, who being invested with the Badges of Office, and Power, by the said
Oldest Master, and installed, was duly congratulated by the Assembly, who
pay'd him the Homage."
While rather meagre in
detail, this account is sufficient to give us a mental concept of an event of
unusual importance to Masons, inasmuch as it paved the way for changes
destined intimately to affect the nature of the most influential of the
World's Secret Societies for years to come.
We can conjure up an
imaginative picture of the scene, dominated by such forceful personalities as
Edward Strong, Anthony Sayer, George Payne, John, Duke of Montagu, Dr.
Desaguiliers, Thomas Morrice and other prominent men of that period, some
destined to become Grand Masters. We can conceive in imagination the solemn
procession of those four old Lodges through the streets of London, the rich
and elegant attire of the Speculative Masons showing no more resplendently
than the plainer, simpler garb of the old Operatives, because of the long,
white Aprons then affected by the Craft. Nor must we forget the Feast, some
idea of which we may gather from a Masonic Menu recorded by the historian
Conder. Doubtless there were
"9 dishes of fowls, three in
a dish. "2 roasted and 1 boyled with oyster sauce. "3 Yorkshire Hams. "6
Geese, two in a dish. "3 Turkeys. "3 Chines. "3 Dishes of Tongues and Udders.
"6 Dishes of Tarts. "Wine:--12 Gallons of Red Port. 4 Gallons of White Port."
And need we add the
self-satisfied testimony of one who attended one of these early Grand Lodge
"We had a good dinner, and to
their eternal honour, the brotherhood laid about them very valiantly."
It is known that a caucus had
previously prepared the several transactions requisite to afford the
Speculative element complete control of this and succeeding Grand Lodges. It
was realized by the deeper thinkers like Payne, Desaguiliers and Anderson,
that many changes must be wrought to modernize the machinery of a very potent
force in national life. Through them it was arranged for a complete
overhauling of the Old Constitutions which had governed the Operative Lodges
of Freemasons for centuries. This was accordingly done at the next session.
Dr. Anderson was ordered "to
digest the Old Charges in a new and better manner," a task in which he
received valuable assistance from both Payne and Desaguiliers. At the same
time, many "scrupulous Old Brothers" burned their ancient mss., and copies of
the Gothic Constitutions of old Operative Masonry, through excess of zeal.
Their idea was that the Secrets of Freemasonry might not fall into the hands
of the Profane, as all were and still are styled who are not Masons.
When Dr. Anderson reported
back to Grand Lodge the fruits of his labors, fourteen brethren audited and
approved them. His handiwork known as the Constitution of 1723, in so far as
it materially widened the horizon of Freemasonry, can be considered as the
most important result of the Great Revival of 1717. It was the dividing line
between Ancient and Modern Masonry --the Operative and the Speculative. Its
most striking feature was to forevermore make Masonry and Religious Tolerance
synonymous. In consequence, since 1717 Masonry has had no quarrel with any
religion of the world. In the old Operative Charges there was a specific
mandate to every Mason "in every country to be of the Religion of that country
wherever it was." In this New Constitution, all Masons were admonished "to
keep the Religion in which all men agree, leaving their particular opinions to
It is more than probable that
the Speculative membership upon securing control of the Order, wished to
disarm once and forever all opposition from any Church or Hierarchy. They
aimed to promote that Harmony, which is the strength and support of all
institutions, especially Masonry.
From recent bitter experience
in England, they had witnessed the destructive influence upon a Nation of a
Quarrel of Creeds. They had seen Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Presbyterian at
swords' points, to the great peril of Civil Government, the toppling of a
Dynasty and the unstable seat of its successor. They hoped that by playing up
to no particular Creed, that they might perpetually disarm the antagonism of
all. Another incentive impelling the founders of Modern Masonry to substitute
Monotheism for Christianity as a requirement for admission behind the
exclusive doors of the Order, was to make eligible as brothers men of all
nations, a Universal Belief in the Supreme Being, the sine qua non of Modern
Masonry, per se eliminating Atheists and Irreligious.
Unfortunately, if the Old
Landmarks or essence of Masonry were to be retained, it was not then, and is
not now possible to make sufficient eliminations, to make our Institution
persona grata to one of the most powerful of the World Religions. That great
cardinal landmark of Masonry--SECRECY--sets up an insurmountable barrier to a
cardinal landmark of the Catholic Church--the CONFESSIONAL. No true Mason can
kneel at the Altar of Masonry, and take the most solemn and binding
obligations evolved by man, and even pretend to answer the possible questions
of the priest at the Confessional.
Bro. Count Goblet D'Alviella
adds three other reasons why Masonry is unavoidably condemned by the Catholic
Church, viz: "(1) in its origin: the discarding of the obedience to the
Church; (2) in its purpose: the promotion of benevolence and morality
independent of religious differences; (3) in its pantheism and naturalism."
This probably best explains the early formal excommunications of Masonry by
the Bulls of Clement XVI in 1738, and Benoit XIV in 1751.
Of course, all well-informed
Catholics know and admit that Masonry in the United States, Great Britain and
Germany at least, is made up of tolerant, representative, law-abiding
citizens, "picked men," quarreling with no religion, nor discussing
Catholicism in their lodges, much less seeking its overthrow. As is but
natural, Masons are staunch supporters of one particular institution essential
to that patriotism which is part of their philosophy--the Public School. Aside
from this little hobby, all their energies are given to foster a spirit of
brotherhood among men, peace among the nations, and, greatest of all, Sweet
Charity. The doors of Masonry are as open to a worthy Catholic, as to a good
Mohammedan, nor is it the fault of Masonry that the priest says "Nay !"
Our Latin brethren of various
countries, like France, Italy, South America and Mexico, are often held up to
us as fomentors of revolution, and active participants in politics. There is a
reason. Let D'Alviella explain it. "It must not be forgotten that wherever the
Roman Church predominates, Freemasonry has to fight for its very life, and
Masons as such, have to protect themselves against persecutions which threaten
their private no less than their public life. This ought to be kept in sight,
when one sits in judgment upon the anti-clerical dealings of Masons in Roman
Reverting to the New
Constitution of 1723. The Old Brothers did not take at all kindly to the
elimination of Christianity as a requirement for admission into Masonry. Nor
did they like to see their time honored old Gothic Constitutions set aside for
Dr. Anderson's more modern creation. As Rylands says: "To them it would be a
severance from one, perhaps the most treasured of their ancient usages, in the
use of the Roll of the Old Charges at the making of a Mason."
There was ground for their
dissatisfaction, for as Hughan says: "The Charges are our title deeds and
prove the continuity of the Society through a very long period." However, the
Speculatives had their way: the Grand Lodge grew rapidly in authority and
numbers. The quality of the Masons of those early days was of the highest.
Just one attempt was made to
manipulate the potential influence of the Masonic Order for political purposes
in England. The adherents of the House of Stuart had never abandoned ah hope
of ultimate restoration. They scorned no means to undermine established
government in the country where they had once been dominant. Their agents were
at every Court of Europe. Liberal support was accorded them by Catholic France
and the Papal See, for upon the Stuart success depended the future of English
Catholicism as the religion of the nation.
A most remarkable personality
of this early eighteenth century period was Philip, the young Duke of Wharton.
Possessing a superior education, a fascinating and debonair manner, and
unusual originality coupled with recklessness, with utter contempt for public
opinion and conventionality, this wealthy young rake and profligate made
friends wherever he went. He was guilty of many a mad prank which would have
been severely frowned upon if perpetrated by one of lesser degree and
influence. Having set Dublin agog with his rakish performances, the Duke came
to London, at once taking Society by storm. Indeed for a time he was the most
talked of Lordling of His Majesty's domain. Being an astute politician, he
regarded with interest the growing power and popularity of Freemasonry. At
heart a sympathizer with the Pretender, he was doubtless planning the future
treachery which wrecked an otherwise promising career.
An English authority, Rylands,
advances what seems the most probable explanation of the Duke's erratic
conduct. "It appears to me likely that Wharton imagined at a slightly later
time, that it would be possible to gain over the strong body of Freemasons,
for the Stuart cause, by his extraordinary power of fascinating all he knew.
For this purpose he became a Freemason and was ultimately elected Grand Master
It was on a St. John's Day
when this youngest of Grand Masters presided as toastmaster at a banquet, that
he determined to sound the brethren out by ordering the musicians to play that
Stuart slogan, "Let the King enjoy his own again!" only to hear the orchestra
abruptly silenced by the vociferous shouts of disapproving Masons who were
horrified at so flagrant an attempt to inject politics into one of their
Another Masonic Faux Pas of
the madcap Master was the spirited defense he made of a Stuart adherent,
Atterbury, Bishop of Rochester, on trial for high treason. Wharton spoke long
and brilliantly in the House of Lords. At the next meeting of the Grand Lodge
he was roundly denounced. Philip, Duke of Wharton, never again appeared before
the august assembly of his Masonic brethren.
Filled with bitter
resentment, the young Duke surreptitiously inaugurated a new Jacobite movement
intended to weaken and if possible destroy Freemasonry by the greatest of all
weapons, ridicule. His fertile brain it was which conceived and founded, the
"Ancient Order of Gormogans" claiming Chinese antecedents and a pedigree far
antedating the Building of King Solomon's Temple. Nor did he blush to borrow
boldly many of the Masonic Symbols and Emblems. Dominated by his peculiar
personality this society started in jest, waxed strong and was the forerunner
of an even more determined attempt by the Jacobites and Jesuits, in the nature
of another widely exploited society which flourished in 1741-2--the "Scald
Miserable Masons." Considerable money was expended by both societies for
magnificent pageants the tour de force of which was burlesqueing the solemn
processionals of the Freemasons. This led to a custom which has never been
abandoned. Masons except under dispensation of the Grand Master, parade
publicly only at funerals. The Gormogans perished simultaneously with their
creator, Wharton, in 1731. Two great artists, Benoit and Hogarth, have
immortalized these anti-masonic organizations in their engravings.
The subsequent career of
Philip, Duke of Wharton, was what one might anticipate from so eccentric an
individual. He vanished from London. Trace of him was lost until Lord Mahon
wrote from the continent: "Lord North and the Duke of Wharton had lately gone
abroad and openly attached themselves to the Pretender's Party, and now each
separately renounced the Protestant and embraced the Roman Catholic Faith."
The good-natured Stuart exile
put up with Wharton's wildness until patience ceased longer to be a virtue,
when he sent him "upon a mission to Spain." This was a polite and convenient
way of exiling him.
In his new environment, the
Duke found a second wife. For a time peace and quietude was his. Eventually
his wanderlust again asserted itself. He asked for and received from the
Pretender a liberal allowance, alleging that his open espousal of the Stuart
Cause had cost him wealth and standing in England. As this was true, he
received a liberal douceur of many thousand pounds. Upon this he lived like a
wastrel Prince in Belgium until so reduced that he had to practice an unworthy
subterfuge upon a Portuguese friend to secure decent raiment. Broken in spirit
and means, the Duke hastened back to Spain to accept a commission in the
Spanish line. At the siege of Gibralter he sought to throw away his life by
exposing himself recklessly before the English defenses. Doubtless the gallant
gentlemen behind those ramparts recognized a former Grand Master of the Grand
Lodge of England; doubtless they remembered their most solemn oath; not a shot
In 1731 Philip, Duke of
Wharton, died of hasty consumption, alone, abandoned by friends and foes
alike. Of him the poet, Pope has written:
"Wharton, the scorn and
wonder of our days,
Whose ruling Passion was the
Lust of Praise:
Born with whate'er could win
it from the Wise,
Women and fools must like him
or he dies.
A rebel to the very King he
He dies, sad outcast of each
Church and State,
And harder still, flagitious
yet not great:
Ask you why Wharton broke
through every rule ?
'Twas all for fear the knaves
should call him fool."
Gould attributes to Walpole
this epitaph: "It is difficult to give an account of the works of so mercurial
a man, whose library was a tavern, and women of pleasure his muses."
THE GREAT REVIVAL
It is to the Great Revival of
1717 that Modern Masonry owes its unprecedented growth to almost unbelievable
proportions. Today behold the Invisible Empire. In the United States are
nearly two million Masons under forty-nine sovereign Grand Lodges. The Grand
Lodge of England controls 2578 subordinate lodges. In Canada eight Grand
Lodges control 100,000 Masons. In Germany are eight sovereign Grand Lodges; in
South America are six; in Australia six; in India five; in the West Indies
three; in Mexico five; in Liberia, Egypt, Central America, Hungary, Servia and
Italy, one each. The Craft is potentially influential in Switzerland, Holland,
Spain, Portugal and Belgium. Out of the little movement of 1717 sprang the
Grand Lodge system which developed a universal force of vast possibilities,
once the sleeping giant awakens, once the Masonic Fellowship of the Sons of
Men is more firmly welded as an aftermath of the World War.
"More ancient than any of the
world's living religions," Masonry today retains jealously many of its ancient
landmarks which have been handed down by word of mouth from time immemorial.
As one of our Masonic Philosophers has written, and as Masters still instruct
those who knock at the portals of the Lodge:
"Our ancient landmarks you
are carefully to preserve, and never to suffer any infringement of them or on
any pretense to countenance deviations from the established usage and customs
of the Order.... If our secrets and peculiar forms constituted the essence of
the Art, it might with some degree of propriety be alleged that our amusements
were trifling and our ceremonies absurd. But this, the skillful, well-informed
Mason knows to be false."
Today Masonry is awaiting the
ultimate call of Humanity, eager to minister to the widows and orphans of
those overseas brethren who so bravely responded to the call of country;
Masonry has already wrought wonders in an eleemosynary way. Much Masonry can
and will achieve.
The brethren of the Invisible
Empire are awakening to a fuller realization that in a measure they are indeed
responsible for their fellow man's well-or-ill being.
Legions of true men, square
men, men worthy and well qualified, men duly and truly prepared, men
humanitarian in their ideals, moral in their code of life, tolerant of All
Religions, are carrying into actual daily performance that Brotherly Love,
Relief and Truth which makes Masonry a Very Vital Force, cemented by unfailing
belief in that religion in which all men do agree--The Fatherhood of God, the
Brotherhood of Man.
When the inevitable moment
comes, and may it come soon, that the Warring Nations cast aside their
weapons, broken, spiritless, crushed, yet not wholly despairing, the millions
of the Invisible Empire of Freemasonry will be found laboring side by side
with Other Great World Forces, to again promote Peace on Earth, Good Will
Towards Men, to help build up instead of to destroy, since Masonry is a
Constructive and not a Destructive Potentiality.
So Mote It Be.
THE PILLARS OF THE PORCH
BY BRO. JOHN W. BARRY, P. S.
G. W., IOWA
One of the characteristics of
worthy Masons everywhere is their fidelity to the "old landmarks," by which is
meant those things that are at the foundation of Masonry, and, therefore,
inherent in every lodge. The height of the pillars Jachin and Boaz, being
given in the Bible in four separate books, is an architectural fact in sacred
history, and, therefore, could in no proper, or even remote, sense be classed
with the revered landmarks. Yet out of respect for any one that might at first
think otherwise, but more particularly to learn the height given in other
jurisdictions, the question was submitted to the Grand Secretary of each Grand
Lodge of the United States and Canada. The Secretaries replied as follows:
Alabama ............18 cubits
Arizona ............No reply
Arkansas ..........18 cubits
California .........35 "
Connecticut: 18, or 35
for the united length.
Colorado ...........35 cubits
Delaware ...........18 "
Dist. of Columbia...18 "
Florida ............35 "
Georgia ............35 "
Idaho ..............35 "
Indiana: "Not regulated by
Indian Territory ...18 cubits
Iowa ...............35 "
Kansas .............35 "
Kentucky ...........18 "
Louisiana ..........No reply
Maine ..............35 cubits
Manitoba ...........18 "
Maryland: "Matter we do not
Massachusetts ......35 cubits
Michigan ...........35 "
Minnesota ..........35 "
Mississippi ........18 "
Missouri ...........35 "
Montana ............35 "
Nebraska ...........35 cubits
Nevada .............No reply
New Hampshire ......35 cubits
New- Jersey ........18 "
New Mexico .........35 "
New York ...........35 "
North Carolina .....35 "
North Dakota.....No reply
Ohio ...............18 cubits
Oklahoma ...........35 "
Pennsylvania: "Height of
Jachin and Boaz not given."
Rhode Island .......35 cubits
South Carolina..... 18 "
South Dakota .......35 "
Tennessee ..........18 "
Texas ..............35 "
Utah ...............30 "
Vermont ............35 "
Virginia: "It is not proper
to print or write any esoteric work."
Washington .........18 cubits
West Virginia: "Height not
mentioned in West Virginia work."
Wisconsin ..........35 cubits
Wyoming ............35 "
Summarizing the foregoing, of
the forty-four jurisdictions replying, in three the height of Jachin and Boaz
is not given; in fourteen, the height is eighteen cubits, and in twenty-seven
it is thirty-five cubits, while in one the height is given as thirty cubits.
Here is a very wide variation, and among Masons, too, who, above all others,
are supposed to have correct information regarding Solomon's Temple. Now, the
simple question: What was the correct height of Jachin and Boaz? is the task
assigned your committee, and were it not for the fact that the resolution
requires the compiling of the best evidence in support of the answer, this
paper would have been very short, because eighteen cubits is the only height
for which there is any warrant of any kind in either sacred or profane
SOLOMON'S TEMPLE WAS LIKE
That Solomon's Temple
corresponded with the architecture of his time is a self-evident proposition,
but just what that architecture was is not so easily determined. The evidence
of what it was will be covered by what may be classed as direct and
circumstantial The circumstantial evidence consists of:
First. The influence of other
countries and architecture on Solomon's Temple.
Second. The influence of
Solomon's Temple on succeeding buildings.
Third. Opinions of Masonic
investigators, Bible students, and architects.
While the direct evidence
consists of Josephus and the Bible.
FIRST AS TO INFLUENCE OF
Palestine, Phoenicia, Egypt,
and Greece are all on the eastern end of the Mediterranean sea, and a cruise
of their various ports might be likened to a cruise on Lake Michigan. The
people of those countries had intimate commercial relations in time of peace,
and in time of war invasions and counter invasions were the rule. So that each
country was familiar. with the architecture of the other countries. Indeed,
one cannot read the history of Solomon's time without being convinced that
together Solomon, King of Israel, and Hiram, King of Tyre, stood in much the
same relation to the then known world as do the United States and England to
the world of our day. In every port of every sea were the ships of Solomon and
Hiram. Together they organized a fleet at the head of the Red sea to sail to
the land of Ophir for gold, ivory, and precious stones. Together their crews
traversed the Nile valley, where in the days of Joseph the Jews had attained
eminence and power. The Jews and Phoenicians were the merchants, sailors, and
artizans of the world in the time of Hiram, and it was they who built
Solomon's Temple. What then are some of the evidences of--
In every Egyptian temple was
a sacred room, or holy of holies, in which was deposited a miniature
tabernacle containing the image of the deity in whose honor the temple was
erected. In the smaller temples this article was made of wood, and but few of
them have been preserved. There is one of very great age in the Museum at
Turin, Italy, shown in cut No. 1. In the larger temples, the material used was
granite. In the temple at Edfou a little granite tabernacle of this kind is
still in place, but generally those little tabernacles have been carried away,
and may now be seen in the various museums of Europe. A most perfect one is in
the museum of the Louvre, and bears the name Amasis, who founded the
eighteenth dynasty, 1700 B. C. See cut No.2. They are described by Herodotus,
Volume II., page 175, who traveled in and wrote of Egypt 450 B.C. Now, compare
the central idea of Solomon's Temple with this of the Egyptian. The holy of
holies in Solomon's Temple was the sacred chamber to contain the Ark of the
Covenant, just as the sacred chambers in Egyptian temples were devoted to a
very similar purpose.
Again, Egyptian temples were
surrounded by walled-in courts, providing open air meeting places for the
people, the priests alone being admitted to the temple itself. To this general
rule Solomon's Temple corresponded in every particular, including the small
rooms for the priests. Inasmuch as Solomon's Temple corresponded in purpose
and in form with the Egyptian, is it not reasonable to conclude that it
corresponded in elevation also ? There is much direct and indirect evidence
that it did. The excavations made by the Palestine Exploration Fund have
demonstrated intimate relations between Palestine and Egypt, and there are
numerous records to show that the builders of Solomon's Temple were familiar
with the temples on the Nile. Indeed there are existing architectural remains,
which though of a later time, yet confirm beyond a doubt the proposition that
the Jews and Phoenicians constructed with full knowledge of what had gone
before on the banks of the Nile. Let the tombs at Beni Hassan and at Jerusalem
illustrate. Figure 3 shows the tombs cut into the rocky cliffs of the Nile as
they appear now, dating from 3000 years B. C. There are forty such tombs at
Beni Hassan alone, entered by a porch-like structure. The pillars are not set
in, but cut out of the rock, or rather the rock is all cut away, leaving only
so much of it as is now seen in the pillars.
Cut No. 4 is a near view of
Ameni's tomb, made about 2500 years B.C. The modern iron grating shows that it
is now carefully cared for, for the reason that it contains a record of the
famine in the time of Joseph, 1700 B. C.
When the Egyptian died he
began to live, and so long as his mummified body, or a stone image, or painted
likeness thereof existed he continued to live. He took an active part in the
hunting, fishing, racing, sowing, harvesting, and other scenes depicted on the
walls of his tomb. The familiar salutation: "O, King, live forever," here
finds its true meaning, for should the body or its image be destroyed, then,
and then only, did life end. From Beni Hassan down, every rock-cut tomb and
every temple is a memorial to the belief of man that he shall live beyond the
grave, or rather that he shall never, no never die.
These pillars, cut from the
living rock, are almost true Doric, with sixteen flutes or sides. They are
sixteen feet eight inches in height. The distance between the pillars is about
seven feet, and the diameter of the pillars is three feet eight inches, making
the porch nearly the exact length of Solomon's. Cut No. 5 is an interior view
of the audience room, which is forty feet square and about eighteen feet high.
Every inch of its walls and ceiling is covered by Egyptian writing or
Go now with me to Jerusalem,
which is but a comparatively short distance. A map of the city is shown in cut
No. 6. The square portion to the right is the top of Mt. Moriah, now known as
the Temple area, and contains about thirty five acres. The Tyropoean valley is
on the west, and the Kedron, or Valley of the Jehoshaphat, is on the east,
forming a deep gulch between the Mt. of Olives and the Temple area. Cut No. 6a
is a view from the Mt. of Olives. The dome-like building is the Dome of Rock
on the site of the Temple. On the eastern side of the Kedron, facing the
Temple, are ancient rockcut tombs, duplicates of those at Beni Hassan, on the
Nile. Their position is shown by plat No. 7, the center group being opposite
the Temple altar. Two of them are shown in cut No. 8. The one with the pyramid
roof is the Tomb of Zachariah, and corresponds with that of Absalom, about
equally distant to the left. In the center is the Tomb of St. James, the
duplicate of Ameni, at Beni Hassan on the Nile.
These tombs, together with
the tombs of the Kings of Juda, are held by Canina and other archaeologists t
o prove to a demonstration that those who cut the tombs about Jerusalem knew
of the corresponding tombs at Beni Hassan and that Jewish architecture in
general and the architecture of Solomon's Temple in particular are based upon
the architecture of Egypt. Certain it is that Beni Hassan was the model for
temple porches on the Nile and elsewhere.
Using the short cubit of
eighteen inches, Solomon's Temple was thirty feet wide, ninety feet long, and
forty-five feet high. If the pillars of the porch were forty cubits, or sixty
feet high, then they projected above the roof of the Temple fifteen feet, and
the porch was relatively higher than the Temple itself.
Now in none of the remains of
temples on the Nile is there the remotest suggestion of a building so
constructed. Numerous examples might be given, but, as they are all to the
same effect, a few will answer.
Cut No. 9 is a front view of
the porch of the Temple of Amenhotep IIl, at Luxor, as it now appears.
Previous to 1885 this temple was buried to the depth of forty feet, and upon
this debris stood a modern village, the "House of the Mission Defrance"
standing above the part here shown. In January, Maspero, with a force of one
hundred and fifty men, began to dig, and finally unearthed this, the most
beautiful porch of Egypt. The pillars represent a bundle of lotus plants,
stalks, and buds; the stalks bound together at the top by a ligature, and the
cluster of buds forming the capital. Twelve of them remain standing, six in
each row. The pillars support the architrave, and, therefore, are not higher
than the temple itself. Though the completed temple was eight hundred feet
long and many times the width of that of Solomon's, its pillars did not reach
sixty feet, the erroneous height now assigned to Jachin and Boaz.
In cut No. 10 is a view
through the porch of the Temple of Kurneh, Thebes, showing the five remaining
pillars. Here, as in all, the pillars support the facade, and, therefore, the
porch is relatively lower than the temple. Both these temples date from 1500
Cut No.11 is a porch of a
Nubian Temple looking from within. This cut was used by Past Grand Master
George C. Connor, Grand Custodian of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee, of which he
wrote as follows: - "I am fully persuaded in my own mind that the front or
eastern side of the porch was open, and that the pillars Jachin and Boaz
supported the wall of the facade. The picture gives, in a general way, our
idea of the eastern side of Solomon's Temple - its porch." In cut No. 11a is
another Egyptian temple erected after Solomon's 320 B.C. It is the Temple of
It will be noticed that the
porches are relatively lower than the main building, in that the pillars
support the roof or ceilings. Note this also in cut No. 12, in which the two
round pillars represent Jachin and Boaz.
This temple was built by
Amenhotep III., 1500 B. C., and its remains endured until 1822 A. D., when it
was totally destroyed by the Turkish Governor of Assoun. It was located at
Elephantine, in which immediate section temples of this kind were numerous.
They were usually small, the one shown being 31 x 40 and 21 feet 6 inches
(To be continued.)
We are today ruled and
governed by laws made in the past.
It is indeed the dead that
govern; the living only obey.
Our lot is but to work. The
effort is the virtue. In the perspective of eternity distinctions between the
humblest and the most exalted vanish and all is judged according to merit.
Our judgment of our
contemporaries is practically worthless, unless we are better judges than the
ancient Brethren whom we follow.
Consider the errors of the
Toward the close of the 18th
century the Grand Lodge of England expelled William Preston. He was the
Masonic intellectual giant of his time and to his untiring efforts are very
largely due our lectures in their present form. But he was relentlessly
crushed by the brethren because he differed with them.
In the early part of the 19th
century Krause. whose intense legal mind contributed the basis for our present
system of Masonic Jurisprudence, was expelled from his lodge. He had sought
the light, the truth itself.
Even as late as the middle of
the 19th century, Oliver, that sweet charitable preacher of the south of
England, whose prolific writings on Masonic subjects have formed the basis for
so much of the symbolic writings of later years, was divested of his office of
Provincial Deputy Grand Master. He, too, had sought the real purpose of
Masonry and an understanding of its teachings.
In view of the treatment
which the fraternity has accorded to its illustrious dead, we must recognize
how unjust we always are. Let us therefore leave the issues with God and
extend our helping and sympathetic hand to all our brethren and to all their
dear ones. To help and to labor remains for us.
The lives of our departed
brethren contain many experiences from which we might learn most valuable
--A. W. Gage, Illinois.
To live a simple, sincere,
serene life; to repel anger, envy and anxiety; to cultivate gentleness, self
control and gratitude; to practice kindness, cheerfulness and helpfulness; to
fill the days, from dawn till dusk, with the joy of pure thoughts, kind words
and noble deeds--what more is asked of us? --J. F. N.
(A REPRINT FROM THE HARRIS
(The following article is
made up of excerpts from a quaint and lare old book, entitled, "Constitutions
of the Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons," compiled
by Rev. Thaddeus Mason Harris, A. M. dated 1798. It is something more than a
glimpse into an Old Curiosity Shop, showing how Masonic history was written in
that day, which is interesting as a warning, if nothing else; and at the same
time furnishing some facts of real value. Such compilers are useful workers,
and if some of the rubbish of the Temple gets into their records, it is for us
to remove it, preserving, now and then, a stone of unique design--as did a
certain young artist, once on a day, while digging in the quarry.)
An old Manuscript which was
destroyed, with many others in 1720, said to have been in the possession of
NICHOLAS STONE, a curious Sculptor under INIGO JONES, contains the following
"St. Alban loved Masons well,
and cherished them much, and made their pay right good; for he gave them ii s.
per weeke and iii d. to their cheer; whereas, before that time, in all the
land, a Mason had but a penny a day, and his meat, until St. Alban mended itt.
And he gott them a charter from the king and his counsell for to hold a
general counsell, and gave itt to name Assemblie. Thereat he was himselfe and
did helpe to make Ma.sons, and gave them good charges."
A RECORD OF THE SOCIETY,
written in the reign of Edward IV, formerly in the possession of the famous
ELIAS ASHMOLE, founder of the Museum at Oxford, and unfortunately destroyed,
with other papers on the-subject of Masonry, at the revolution, gives the
following account of the State of Masonry at that period: ..
"Though the ancient records
of the Brotherhood in England were many of them destroyed or lost in wars of
the Saxons and Danes, yet King Athelstane (the grandson of King Alfrede the
great, a mighty architect) the first anointed king of England, and who
translated the Holy Bible into the Saxon tongue (A. D. 930) when he had
brought the land into rest and peace, built many great works, and encouraged
many Masons from France, who were appointed overseers thereof, and brought
with them the charges and regulations of the Lodges, preserved since the Roman
times; who also prevailed with the king to improve the constitution of the
English Lodges according to the foreign model, and to increase the wages of
"The said King's brother,
Prince Edwin, being taught Masonry, and taking upon him the charges of a
Master Mason, for the love he had to the said craft, and the honourable
principles whereon it is grounded, purchased a free charter of King Athelstane,
for the Masons having a correction among themselves (as it was anciently
expressed) or a freedom and power to regulate themselves, to amend what might
happen amiss, and to hold a yearly communication and general assembly:
"Accordingly Prince Edwin
summoned all the Masons in the realm to meet him in a congregation at York,
who came and composed a general Lodge, of which he was Grand Master; and
having brought with them all the writings and records extant, some in Greek,
some in Latin, some in French, and other languages, from the contents thereof
that assembly did frame the constitution and charges of an English Lodge, made
a law to preserve and observe the same in all time coming, and ordained good
pay for working Masons, &c." And he made a book thereof how the craft was
founded: And he himself ordered and commanded that it should be read and tolde
when any Mason should be made, and for to give him his charges. And from that
day until this time manners of Masons have been kept in that forme, as well as
menne might govern.
"Furthermore, however, at
divers assemblies certain charges have been made and ordained by the best
advice of Masters and Fellowes, as the exigencies of the craft made necessarie."
"In the glorious reign of
King Edward III, when Lodges were more frequent, the Right Worshipful the
Master and Fellows, with consent of the Lords of the realm (for most great men
were then Masons) ordained,
"That for the future, at the
making or admission of a Brother, the constitution and the ancient charges
should be read by the Master or Warden.
"That such as were to be
admitted Master Masons, or Masters of the work, should be examined whether
they be able of cunning to serve their respective Lords, as well the lowest as
the highest, to the honor and worship of the aforesaid art, and to the profit
of their Lords; for they be their Lords that employ and pay them for-their
service and travel."
The following particulars are
also contained in a very Old Manuscript, of which a copy was in the possession
of the late GEORGE PAYNE, Esq., Grand Master in 1718.
"That when the Master and
Wardens meet in a Lodge, if need be, the Sheriff of the county, or the Mayor
of the city, or Alderman of the town, in which the congregation is held,
should be made fellow and sociate to the Master, in help of him against
rebels, and for upbearing the rights of the realm.
"That entered prentices, at
their making, were charged not to be thieves, or thieves maintainers; that
they should travel honestly for their pay, and love their fellows as
themselves, and be true to the King of England, and to the realm, and to the
"That at such congregations
it shall be inquired, whether any Master or Fellow has broke any of the
articles agreed to; and if the offender, being duly cited to appear, prove
rebel, and will not attend, then the Lodge shall determine against him, that
he shall forswear (or renounce) his Masonry, and shall no more use this Craft,
the which if he presume for to do, the Sheriff of the county shall prison him,
and take all his goods into the King's hands, until his grace be granted him
and issued. For this Cause principally have these congregations been ordained,
that as well the lowest as the highest should be well and truly served in this
art aforesaid, throughout all the kingdom of England. Amen, so mote it be."
The Latin Register of William
Molart, Prior of CANTERBURY, in Manuscript, (pp. 88), entitled, "Liberatio
generalis Domini Gulielmi Prioris Ecclesiae Christi Cantuariensis, erga Fastum
Natalis Domini 1429," informs us, that, in the year 1429, during the minority
of Henry VI, a respectable Lodge was held at Canterbury, under the patronage
of Henry Chicheley, the Archbishop: At which were present Thomas Stapylton,
the Master; John Morris, the custos de la Lodge lathomorum, or Warden of the
Lodge of Masons; with fifteen fellow crafts and three entered apprentices, all
of whom are particularly named.
A record of that time says
"The company of Masons, being
otherwise termed Free Masons, of auntient staunding and gude reckoning, by
means of affable and kind meetings dyverse tymes, and as a loving brotherhood
use to do, did frequent this mutual assembly in the time of Henry VI, in the
12th year of his reign, A. D. 1434."
See also Stowe's Survey, Ch.
V, p. 215.
The same record says farther,
"That the charges and laws of
the Free Masons have been seen and perused by our late Soveraign King Henry VI
and by the Lords of his most honourable council, who have allowed them, and
declared, That they be right good and reasonable to be holden, as they have
been drawn out and collected from the records of ancient tymes" &c.
Ye shall be true to the King,
and the Master ye serve, and to the fellowship whereof ye are admitted. Ye
shall be true to and love eidher odher. Ye shall call eider odher Brother or
Fellow, not slave, nor any unkind name.
Ye shall ordain the wisest to
be Master of the work; and neither for love nor lineage, riches nor favor, set
one over the work who hath but little knowledge; whereby the Master would be
evil served, and ye ashamed. And also ye shall call the governour of the work
Master in the time of working with him; And ye shall truly deserve the reward
of the Masters ye serve.
All the Freres shall treat
the peculiarities of eidber odher with the gentleness, decencie, and
forbearance he thinks due to his own. Ye shall have a reasonable pay, and live
Once a year ye are to come
and assemble together, to consult how ye may best work to serve the Craft, and
to your own profit and credit.
A MANUSCRIPT copy of an
examination of some of the Brotherhood, taken before King Henry VI, was found
by the learned John Locke, Esq. in the Bodleian library. This dialogue
possesses a double claim to our regard; first for its antiquity, and next for
the ingenious notes and conjectures of Mr. Locke upon it, some of which we
have retained. The approbation of a Philosopher of as great merit and
penetration as the English nation ever produced, added to the real value of
the piece itself, must give it a sanction, and render it deserving a serious
and candid examination.
The ancient Manuscript is as
Certayne Questyons, with
answeres to the same, concernynge the Mystery of maconrye; wryitenne by the
hande of Kynge Henrye the Sixthe of the Name, and faythfullye copyed by me
*Johan Leylande Antiquarius, by the commaunde of his Highnesse.**
*Note--"John Leylande was
appointed by King Henry the eighth, at the dissolution of Monasteries, to
search for, and save such books and records as were valuable among them. He
was a man of great labor and industry."
**His Highness, meaning the
said King Henry the eighth. Our Kings had not then the title of Majesty."
They be as Followethe:
Quest. What mote ytt be?
Answ. Ytt beeth the Skylle of
nature, the understondynge of the myghte that is hereynne, and its sondrye
werckynges; sonderlyche, the Skylle of rectenyngs, of waightes, and metynges,
and the treu manere of faconnynge al thynges for mannes use, headlye,
dwellynges, and buyldynges of alle kindes, and al odher thynges that make
gudde to manne.
Quest. Where dyd ytt begyne ?
Answ. Ytt dyd begynne with
the fyrste menne yn the este, whych were before the ffyrste manne of the weste,
and comynge westlye, ytt hath broughte herwyth alle comfortes to the wylde and
Quest. Who dyd brynge ytt
Answ. The Venetians *, whoo
beynge grate merchaundes, comed ffyrste ffromme the este ynn Venetia, ffor the
commodytye of merchaundysynge beithe este and weste, bey the Redde and
*Note--"The Venetians." In
times of monkish ignorance, it is no wonder that the Phenicians should be
mistaken for Venetians. Or perhaps, if the people were not taken one for the
other, similitude of sound might deceive the clerk who first took down the
examination. The Phenicians were the greatest voyagers among the ancients, and
were in Europe thought to be the inventors of letters, which perhaps they
brought from the east with other arts.
Quest. Howe comede ytt yn
Answ. Peter Gower,* a
Grecian, journyedde ffor kunnynge yn Egypte, and Syria, and yn everyche londe
whereas the Venetians hadde plauntedde Maconrye, and wynnynge entraunce yn al
Lodges of Maconnes, he lerned muche, and retournedde, and woned yn Grecia
Magna** wachsynge, and becommynge a myghtye wyseacre, and gratelyche renowned,
and her he framed a grate Lodge at Groton and maked many Maconnes, some
whereoffe dyd journey yn Fraunce, and maked manye Maconnes, wherefromme, yn
processe of tyme, the arte passed in Engelonde.
*Note--PETER GOWER. "This
must be another mistake of the writer. I was puzzled at first to guess who
Peter Gower should be, the name beillg perfectly English, or how a Greek
should come by such a name; but as soon as I thought of Pythagoras, I could
scarce forebare smiling, to find that philosopher had undergone a
metempsychosis he never dreamt of. We need only consider the French
pronunciation of this name Pythagore that is petegore, to concieve how easily
such a mistake might be made by an unlearned clerk. That Pythagoras travelled
for knowledge into Egypt, is known to all the learned and that he was
initiated into several different orders of Priests, who in those kept all
their learning secret from the vulgar, is as well known. Pythagoras also, made
every geometrical theorem a secret, and admitted only such to the knowledge of
them, as had first undergone a five years silence. He is supposed to be the
inventor of the xlviith of the first book of Euclid, for which in the joy of
his heart, it is said he sacrificed a hecatomb. He also knew the true system
of the world lately revived by Copernicus and was certainly a most wonderful
**GRECIA MAGNA. "A part of
Italy formerly so-called in which the Greeks had settled a large colony."
Quest. Do the Maconnes
discover here arts unto others ?
Answ. Peter Gower whenne he
journeyedde to lernne, was ffyrste made, and anonne techedde; evenne soe
shulde all odhers be yn recht. Natheless* Maconnes hauethe alweys yn everyche
tyme from tyme to tyme communycatedde to mannkynde soche of her secrettes as
generallyche myghte be usefulle; they haueth keped backe soche allein as
shulde be harmefulle yff they commed yn euylle haundes, oder soche as ne
myghte be holpynge wythouten the techynges to be joynedde herwythe in the
Lodge, oder soche as do bynde the Freres more strongelyche togeder, bey the
proffytte, and commodytye comynge to the Confrerie herfromme.
COMMUNYCATEDDE &c. This paragraph hath something remarkable in it. It contains
a justification of the secrecy so much boasted of by Masons and so much blamed
by others; asserting that they have in ali ages discovered such things as
might be useful, and that they conceal such only as would be hurtful either to
the world or themselves. What these secrets are, we see afterwards."
Quest. Whatte artes haueth
the Maconnes techedde mankynde ?
Answ. The artes Agricultura,
Architechura, Astlonomia, Geometria, Numeres, Musica, Poesie, Kymistrye,
Governmente, and Relygyonne.
Quest. Howe commethe Maconnes
more teachers than odher menne ?
Answ. They hemselfe haueth
allein the arte of fyndynge neue artes, whyche art the ffyrste Maconnes
receaued from Godde; by the whyche they fyndethe whatte artes hem plesethe,
and the treu way of techynge the same. Whatt odher menne doethe ffynde out, ys
onelyche bey chaunce, and therfore but Iytel I tro.
Quest. Whatt dothe the
Maconnes concele, and hyde ?
Answ. They concelethe the
arte of ffyndynge neue artes, and thattys for there owne proffytte, and preise:
They concelethe the arte of kepynge secrettes, thatt soe the worlde mayeth
nothinge concele from them. They concelethe the arte of wunderwerckynge, and
of fore sayinge thynges to comme, thatt so thay same artes may not be usedde
of the wyckedde to an euylle ende; they also conceethe the arte of chaunges
(Note, The transmutation of metals) the wey of wynnynge the facultye of Abrac
(Note, This word "Abracadabra" had a magical signification the explanation of
which is now lost) the skylle of becommynge gude and parfyghte wythouten the
holpynges of fere, and hope; and the universelle longage of Maconnes.
Quest. Wylle he teche me thay
Answ. Ye shalle be techedde
yff ye be werthye, and able to lerne.
Quest. Dothe alle Maconnes
kunne more than odher menne ?
Answ. Not so. Thay onlyche
haueth recht, and occasyonne more then odher menne to kunne, butt many doeth
fale yn capacity, and manye more doth want industrye, that ys pernecessarye
for the gaynynge all kunnynge.
Quest. Are Maconnes gudder
menne then odhers ?
Answ. Some Maconnes are nott
so vertuous as some odher menne; but yn the moste parte, thay be more gude
then thay woulde be yf thay war not Maconnes.
Quest. Doth Maconnes love
eidther odher myghtylye as beeth sayde ? Answ. Yea verylyche, and yt may not
odherwyse be; for gude menne, and true, kennynge eidher odher to be soche,
doeth always love the more as thay be more gude.
Here endethe the Questyonnes
A letter from Mr. Locke to
the Right Honorable Thomas Earl of Pembroke, to whom he sent this ancient
manuscript, concludes as follows, viz. "I know not what effect the sight of
this old paper may have upon your Lordship; but for my own part I cannot deny,
that it has so much raised my curiosity, as to induce me to enter myself into
the Fraternity; which I am determined to do (if I may be admitted) the next
time I go to London (and that will be shortly). I am, my Lord, your Lordship's
most obedient, and most humble servant. JOHN LOCKE."
Fore saying, prophesying.
Hem plesethe, they please.
Her, there, their
Herwyth, with it.
Make gudde, are beneficial.
VII Ancient Charges at the
Constituting of a Lodge; Extracted from a Manuscript in the possession of the
Lodge of Antiquity in London, written in the time of James the second.
"And furthermore, at diverse
assemblies have been put and ordained diverse crafties by the best advise of
magistrates and fellows. Tunc unus ex senioribus tenet, librum, et illi ponent
manum suam super librum.
"Every man that is a Mason
take good heed to these charges (we Pray) that if any may find himselfe guilty
of any of these charges, that he may amend himselfe, or principally for dread
of God, you that be charged to take good heed that you keepe all these charges
well, for it is a great evill for a man to forswear himselfe upon a book.
"The first charge is, That
yee shall be true men to God and the holy church, and to use no error or
heresie by your understanding and by wise mens teachings. Allso
"Secondly, That yee shall be
true liege men to the king of England, without treason or any falsehood, and
that ye know no treason or treachery but yee shall give knowledge thereof to
the King or his counseil; also yee shall be true one to another, that is to
say, every Mason of the Craft that is Mason allowed, yee shall doe to him as
yee would be done unto yourselfe.
"Thirdly, And yee shall keepe
truly all the counsell that ought to be kept in the way of Masonhood, and all
the counsell of the Lodge or of the chamber. Also, that yee shall be no thiefe
nor thieves to your knowledge free. That yee shall be true to the King, Lord
or Master that yee serve, and truly to see and worke for his advantage.
"Fourthly, Yee shall call all
Masons your fellows, or your brethren, and no other names.
"Fifthly, Yee shall not take
your Fellows wife in villany nor deflower his daughter or servant, nor put him
"Sixthly, Yee shall truely
pay for your meat or drinke wheresoever yee goe, to table or bord. Also, Yee
shall doe no villany there, whereby the Craft or Science may be slandered.
"These be the charges general
- to every true Mason, both Masters and Fellowes.
"Now will I rehearse other
charges single for Masons allowed or accepted.
"First, That no Mason take on
him no Lord's worke, nor any other man's, unless he know himself well able to
perform the worke, so that the Craft shall have no Slander.
"Secondly, Allso, that that
no Master take worke but that he take reasonable pay for itt; so that the Lord
may be truly served, and the Master to live honestly and to pay his fellows
truely. And that no Master or fellow supplant others of their worke; that is
to say, that if he hath taken a worke, or else stand Master of any worke, that
he shall not put him out, unless he be unable of cunning to make an end of his
worke. And no Master nor Fellow shall take no apprintice for less than seven
years. And that the apprintice be free born, and of limbs whole as a man ought
to be, and no bastard. And that no Master or Fellow take no allowance to be
made Mason without the assent of his fellows, at the least six or seaven.
"Thirdly, That he that be
made be able in all degrees; that is, free born, of good kindred, true, and no
bondsman, and that he have his right limbs, as a man ought to have.
"Fourthly, That a Master take
no apprintice without occupation to occupy two or three Fellows at the least.
"Fifthly, That no Master or
Fellow put away any Lord's worke to taske that ought to be journey worke.
"Sixthly, That every Master
give pay to his Fellows and servants as they may deserve, soe that he be not
defamed with false workeing; And that none slander another behind his back, to
make loose his good name.
"Seventhly, That no Fellow in
the house or abroad answear another ungodly or reproveably without a cause.
"Eighthly, That every Master
Mason doe reverance his elder; and that a Mason be no common plaier at cards,
dice or hazzard nor at any other unlawfull plaies, through the which the
science and Craft may be dishonoured or slandered.
"Ninthly, That no Felllow goe
into town by night, except he hath a Fellow with him, who may beare him record
that he was in an honest place.
"Tenthly, That every Master
and Fellow shall come to the assemblie, if itt be eithin fifty miles of him,
if he have any warning. And if he have trespassed against the Craft, to abide
the award of Masters and Fellows.
"Eleventhly, That every
Master Mason and Fellow that hath trespassed against the Craft shall stand to
the correction of other Masters and Fellows to make him accord, and if they
cannot accord, to go to the common law.
"Twelvethly, That a Master or
Fellow make not a mould stone, square, nor rule, to no lowen, nor let no lowen
worke within their Lodge, nor without to mould stone.
"Thirteenthly, That every
Mason receive and cherish strange Fellows when they come over the countrie,
and set them on worke if they will worke, as the manner is; that is to say, if
the Mason have any mould stone in his place, he shall give him a mould stone,
and sett him on worke; and if he have none, the Mason shall refresh him with
money unto the next Lodge.
"Fourteenthly, That every
Mason shall truely serve his Master for his pay.
"Fifteenthly, That every
Master shall truely make an end of his worke, taske or journey whethersoe it
"These be all the charges and
covenants that ought to be read at the installment of Master, or makeing of a
Free Mason or Free Masons. The Almighty God of Jacob who ever have you and me
in his keeping, bless us now and ever, Amen."
Extract from the Diary of
ELIAS ASHMOLE, a learned Antiquary.
"I was made a Free Mason at
Warrington, Lancashire, with Colonel Henry Mainwaring, of Kerthingham, in
Cheshire, by Mr. Richard Penket the Warden, and the Fellow Crafts (all of whom
are specified) on the 16th October, 1646."
In another place of his diary
"On March the 10th,1682,
about 5 hor. post merid. I received a summons to appear at a Lodge to be held
the next day at Masons Hall in London. March 11, accordingly I went, and about
noon were admitted into the fellowship of Free Masons Sir William Wilson, Knt.
Capt. Richard Borthwick, Mr. Wiiliam Woodman, Mr. William Gray, Mr. Samuel
Taylour, and Mr. William Wise. I was the senior Fellow among them, it being
thirty five years since I was admitted. There were present, beside myself, the
Fellows after named: Mr. Thomas Wise, Master of the Masons' Company this
present year, Mr. Thomas Shorthose, and seven more old Free Masons. We all
dined at the HaLf Moon Tavern, Cheapside, at a noble dinner prepared at the
charge of the new accepted Masons."
An old record of the Society
describes a coat of arms much the same with that of the London company of
Freemen Masons; whence it is generally believed that this company is a branch
of that ancient Fraternity; and in former times, no man, it also appears, was
made free of that company, until he was initiated in land among the operative
The writer of Mr. Ashmole's
life, who was not a Mason, before his History of Berkshire, p. 6, gives the
following account of Masonry.
"He (Mr. Ashmole) was elected
a Brother of the company of Free Masons; a favour esteemed so singular by the
members that Kings themselves have not disdained to enter themselves of this
Society. From these are derived the adopted Masons, accepted Masons, or Free
Masons, who are known to one another all over the world by certain ,signals
and watch words known to them alone. They have several Lodges in different
countries for their reception; and when any of them fall into decay, the
Brotherhood is to relieve them. The manner of their adoption or admission is
very formal and solemn, and with the administration of an oath of secrecy,
which has had better fate than all other oaths, and has ever been most
religiously observed; nor has the world been yet able, by the inadvertency,
surprise, or folly of any of its members, to dive into this mystery or make
the least discovery."
(The above extract of Masonic
antiquities is taken from the CONSTITUTIONS of the ANCIENT and HONORABLE
FRATERNITY of FREE and ACCEPTED MASONS, published by the GRAND LODGE of
MASSACHUSETTS, 25th June, 1798, Compiled by the Rev. Thaddeus Mason Harris, A.
M. Grand Chaplain.)
THY MYSTERIOUS PRESENCE
Father in thy mysterious
Fain would our souls feel all
thy kindling love;
For we are weak, and need
some deep revealing
Of trust and strength and
calmness from above.
Lord, we have wandered forth
through doubt and sorrow,
And thou hast made each step
an onward one;
And we will ever trust each
Thou wilt sustain us till its
work is done.
In the heart's depths a peace
serene and holy
Abides; and, when pain seems
to have its will
Or we despair, oh, may that
peace rise slowly,
Stronger than agony, and we
Now, Father, now, in thy dear
Our spirits yearn to feel thy
Now make us strong, we need
thy deep revealing
Of trust and strength and
calmness from above.
THE WONDERFUL BOOK
BY JOHN HENDERSON MILLER
1. O, the Book, the wonderful
The Book of law and of love;
The Book for all on earth
To lead to Heaven above.
Chorus. Wonderful Book; With
it we're rich;
Wonderful Book ! Without it
Wonderful Book ! Without it
But with it our salvation's
2. O, the Book, the wonderful
Written with letters of fire,
That burn their way into the
With warnings of dangers
Chorus. Wonderful Book, etc.
3. O, the Book, the wonderful
Bright with flames of love
That light the way to peace
And the lives of men refine.
Chorus. Wonderful Book, etc.
4. O, the Book, the wonderful
Than which there is none
It cheers the heart and feeds
And makes each man our
Chorus. Wonderful Book, etc.
"EVERY MAN DO HIS BIT"
THE United States is at war! After enduring
repeated insult with unequalled patience, after submitting to ruthless
aggression, after trying every art of persuasion and appeal in behalf of peace
- the United States is at war! She could do no other without betraying the
humanity of the nation and the humanity of the world. Reluctantly, sadly, yet
resolutely she goes into the war to the limit and to the finish, and those who
imagine that the weight of this nation does not count will find out to their
sorrow in the final issue. Ultimately it will be a war of resources, and with
the vast resources of this Republic thrown into the balance the outcome is not
Not yet do our people realize the solemn and awful
fact that we are at war. Slowly or by terrible shock the awakening will come,
and every one of us, man, woman, and child, will have to face the fact. Grim
war will exact its price and each must pay his part. All must stand together
and each must do his bit, whether large or small,each for all and all for each
one. Today all must know that the Republic exists not for what we can get out
of it, but for what we can put into it, even to the "last full measure of
devotion.' It means sacrifice, discipline of mind and body, industry, economy,
a sense of common responsibility and a common destiny. Those who are fit for
the first line must not falter, and behind them in the second line, and third
line, must stand a nation cemented as one man, with one aim, one faith.
There is something that every one can do. In war
food is as essential as shells, and the hoe is as powerful as the sword. Those
who help to produce more food relieve the common burden by so much. Most of us
can do without something, forego some luxury, some extravagance, and thus help
build up the national resources. To that extent, at least, every one of us can
aid in the national service, and if each one does a little the sum of our
doing is very great. Such sacrifices will do away with things tawdry and
artificial, and bring us into a new sense of unity, and a new joy of
comradeship in the service of the common welfare. Even the man who cannot, for
reasons of conscience, be a soldier, can find a work to do - as Whitman did in
the Civil War. And it is also a matter of conscience whether a man has a moral
right to enjoy the protection of a Flag which he is unwilling to support and
What can Masonry do? Much, very much, in keeping
our hearts kind and our minds clear, the while it seeks to soften the horrors
of war as it has always done in the past. Its temple has ever been a shrine of
patriotic faith and loyalty. Its altar keeps the signal lights of liberty
aglow. If Masonry cannot fight, Masons can. Like Warren, like Washington, like
Paul Jones, every Mason under our Flag will do his bit up to the hilt for the
faith of nations, for the freedom of the world, for the rights of humanity and
a better day to be. Let every man do his bit and stick it.
"For He that worketh high and
Nor pauses in His plan,
Will take the sun out of the
Ere freedom out of man."
* * *
THE MOTHER GRAND LODGE
With right do we
celebrate the bicentennial of the founding of the Mother Grand Lodge of
England, in June, 1917. That St. John the Baptist's day was a
date forever memorable in
the history of Freemasonry. No doubt it will be observed with appropriate and
impressive exercises in all jurisdictions, except perhaps those of Germany.
From that Grand Lodge organized on that June day in the Goose and Gridiron
Ale-house, all regular Masonic Lodges of Master Masons are descended, and that
fact alone gives the date a unique place in our annals.
Oddly enough, not much is known of the details of
the transactions of that historic day. Unfortunately the minutes of Grand
Lodge only commence on June 24th, 1723, and our only history of the event is
that found in the New Book of Constitutions, by James Anderson, in 1738.
However, if not an actor in the scene, he was in a position to know the facts
from eyewitnesses, and his book was approved by the Grand Lodge itself. Just
why so little care was taken to make record of that day and its doings, which
divide the story of Masonry into before and after, is not easy to know. The
record of Anderson is meager indeed, and Preston added very little
information. Who were present, beyond the names of a few officers mentioned,
has so far eluded research, and the only variation in the accounts is found in
a rare old book called Multa Paucis, which asserts that six Lodges, not four,
Apparently it was in no sense a revolution, but a
revival of the old quarterly Assembly, born of a felt need of community of
action for the welfare of the Craft. Nor was it an innovation, but, as
Anderson said, "it should meet according to ancient usage," tradition having
become authoritative. Hints of what the old usages were are given in the
observance of St. John's Day as a feast, in the democracy of the order and its
manner of voting by show of hands, in its deference to the older Brethren, its
use of badges of office, its ceremony of installation, all in a Lodge duly
tyled. Apparently, too, it was intended only for Lodges in London, as is
intimated in the Constitutions of 1723, with no thought of imposing its
authority upon the country in general, much less upon the world. Perhaps no
one dreamed that the chain welded that day would grow link by link until "it
put a girdle around the earth." Of the four Lodges known to have taken part,
only one had a majority of Accepted Masons in its membership, the other three
being Operative Lodges, or largely so. Obviously, then, the movement had its
origin within Masonry, and was not, as has so often been claimed, the design
of men who simply made use of operative Masonry the better to exploit some
From whatever point of view that day and date are
profoundly significant, not only for Masonry, but for the world. For Masonry
it was more than a transition; it was a transformation, as may be seen by
comparing the earlier Constitutions or Charges with that adopted in 1717; and
especially the article concerning religion. If that article had been written
yesterday, it would be remarkable enough. But when we read it in the light of
that time, when sectarian rancor was so bitter, it rises up as one of the
great prophetic documents of the race! The temper of the times was all for
relentless partisanship, both in religion and politics. How eloquent then that
pronouncement of men who felt cramped alike by narrowness of ritual and
narrowness of creed, and who cried out for room and air, for liberty and
charity, for friendship and fraternity ! Unsectarian in religion, they were
also pleading for a basis of fellowship large enough for all parties, one
principle being its foundation - love of country, respect for law and order,
and the desire for human welfare.
Two hundred years have only justified the insight
and wisdom of the founders of the mother Grand Lodge, and it will be ill with
our order if ever we depart from its principle and spirit. Our celebration of
that event should also be a rededication of ourselves and our fraternity to
those far-shining truths which time has approved and experience vindicated.
Let us also make it an inspiration to more heroic service of a Fraternity
whose spirit was never more needed than today when the world is torn with war
and stained with blood - to assert the fact, to spread the spirit, and to
promote the practice of Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth. In the awful
apocalypse of war the Mission of Masonry stands out like a star of hope, by
which to take our bearings in an angry storm of passion and hate, and find our
way toward a better day - a Morning Star for brave men to follow with morning
faces, seeking the Light of the Eternal.
* * *
Brethren of the Society will
please keep in mind that from now on all Communications should be sent to this
office. If it is desired that any such shall receive personal answers from
Brother Newton, we will forward them to him. Questions will be referred from
this office to Brethren who have kindly volunteered to answer, if within the
purview of their particular line of research. The Correspondence Column will
be open to Members desiring to discuss the questions raised in the Department
of Personal Opinion.
Geo. L. Schoonover,
* * *
As this is the last issue of The Builder over which ye Editor
will preside, he wishes to thank his Brethren one and all for their kindness,
their co-operation, and their brotherly regard; and to wish them good speed in
their quest of that which was lost, in the finding of which we find ourselves.
If any word of his has wounded the heart of any Brother, he humbly begs
forgiveness, the more so because it was not so intended. Workmen come and go,
but the Great Work of spreading the light of wise and good and beautiful truth
goes on, others taking up the torch when we let it fall. Other foundation can
no man lay than the great, eternal truths, and happy is he who adds a single
stone to that Temple "building and built upon" which humanity is building in
the midst of the years. What though his name vanish, and his Mark be worn away
by the winds and weathers of times to come, it does not matter if he has
wrought wisely and faithfully. The Building rises slowly to bless and shelter
the pilgrim host, even if the builder crosses the sea now so full of peril -
or the other Sea whose waves are years and whose depth is
There should be no need to urge our Brethren to be
loyal to the Society and its ideal, which means so much for the future of the
Fraternity. Our connection with it will be as close as possible, as earnest as
ever in days agone, and as active as time and many labors will allow. Most
earnestly we request all our contributors to continue that generous aid,
without which The Builder would have been impossible: its pages are open to
their best and noblest thought. Our service here-after, as an Ambassador, will
bring other students and writers to join the company, and thus enrich the
fellowship of brotherly men in search of the truth. Right heartily, albeit
with a sad heart, we wave not a farewell, but an Au Revoir; and if any Member
of this Society is a visitor in England after the war, we trust he will find
his way to the City Temple in old London town and give us the honor and the
joy of knowing him.
WHY NOT TRY?
Scowling and growling will
make a man old;
Money and fame at the best
Don't be suspicious and
selfish and cold -
Happiness stands like a maid
at your gate;
Why should you think you
could find her by roving?
Never was greater mistake
than to hate, -
- John Esten Cooke.
"VOICES FROM GERMAN MASONRY"
A RECENT issue of the Open Court, edited by
Brother Paul Carus, reproduces excerpts from an article by Ernst Schultze
which appeared originally in the Mitteilungen aus dem Verein deutscher
Friemaurer, which gives us the point of view of German Masons during the war -
and their inability to see the point of view of any other people, which has
had more to do with causing the war, and continuing it, than anything else. It
is the quality of the German mind -its tragic defect, as some of us think -
that it does not possess that little mirror which enables those who own it to
see how other people think and feel; and this fatal defect shows itself in
this article concerning Masonry. Here we learn that only German Masonry is
right and sound, French and Latin Masonry being too nearly atheistic, and
English Masonry too dogmatically Christian.
Masonry is defined as a Society which does not
plead for any patriotism, but stands for the ideal of humanity; and yet most
of the article is taken up with an apology - no, a justification - for German
nationalism and a defense of the atrocities of which the German army has been
guilty! It does, however, admit that the German conscience has been troubled
by the "merciless necessity" of the invasion and ruin of Belgium; but insists
that "while we fight for our German homes against half the world, while we
conquer and kill and die, we are preserving our interests and at the same time
the truest interests of our enemies. For it is - however strange it may sound
- in the highest and truest interest of our enemy to be conquered and subdued
by the German people. Whoever cannot believe this has certainly allowed his
humanitarian ideal to come to grief."
Not simply half the world, but since this article
was written practically the whole of it, including the American Republic, has
allowed its "humanitarian ideal" to come to grief, stupidly declining to have
the "superior" German Kultur - a word that now stinks to the skies - imposed
upon it, shot into it, for its own good. It is this insufferable arrogance,
with its moral obtuseness, and its union of pious idealism with inhuman
barbarism, that has dumbfounded the world, and then disgusted it, evoking that
tempest of world-opinion in rebuke of it. What hope is there, upon such a
basis and in such a spirit, that the words of the poet which the writer quotes
will be fulfilled -
"That the human race become
One united brotherhood,
Sharing truth and light and right," -
which means, manifestly, German truth, German
light, German right? Sharing it, moreover, at the behest of the bayonet, to an
accompaniment of rape, loot, the murder and mutilation of little children on
land and systematic assassination on the sea ! Never before or this earth have
such ideas been announced outside of an insane asylum !
Truly, if this is the Voice of German Masonry, it
may be the voice of Jacob, but its hands are the hands of Esau - the outlaw !
It is idle to prate about an idea of humanity, if by that is meant the brutal
conquest of the world by one tribe whose vanity is only equalled by its
inhumanity. Either we must learn to live on this earth with mutual regard
between men and nations each people developing its peculiar genius - that
which is unique and precious in its soil, for the enrichment of all - or all
die together in the struggle. How dreadful it all is, confounding our hearts,
and making the very soul turn sick within us. No, no, if German Masonry, like
everything else German, has thus bowed down to Moloch, it behooves the Masonry
of the world to rekindle the Light of liberty, justice and mercy on earth!
* * *
At last the long-expected book by Brother Dr.
William Hammond, Librarian of the Grand Lodge of England, has arrived on this
side of the water. It is entitled "Masonic Emblems and Jewels, Treasures at
Freemason's Hall, London," and is published by George Philip & Son, 32 Fleet
Street. If we confess that it is rather disappointing, it is our own fault,
and clearly due to a misunderstanding on our part as to the full nature of the
contents. Our thought was that it would not confine itself to emblems and
jewels, but would be a story of the Library of the Grand Lodge, and its
treasures of manuscript, old documents, editions, and resources. We regret
that our own misunderstanding has led others to expect more from the book that
the plan of the author justified. Unfortunately, on this side of the sea
Brethren attach less importance to Masonic Emblems and Jewels, decorated
aprons and Masonic china, than in England, and this fact, we fear will greatly
limit interest in a book which, within its limits and for its purpose, is an
admirable piece of work. The author gives us a hint, in his introductory note,
that the work may be carried further, and "that a continuation of this book
may at some near date be issued, dealing perhaps more strictly and fully, with
a closely defined study of pictures, books, manuscript and medals." Such a
study has more than an antiquarian interest, in that not a little light is
thrown upon the use, if not the meaning, of certain emblems as employed by the
Brethren who went before us, giving us glimpses betimes of the inner life of
former centuries. In a brief introduction the author sketches the origin and
growth of Masonry, going in quest of its ancestry as far back as the Lost
Atlantis of which Plato and Plutarch wrote - in order to account for the
similarity of symbolism and building between Egypt and Central America. It is
an interesting theory, worth what it is worth, opening a long vista of
speculation. The book contains eighteen colored plates and forty-two half-tone
plates, covering a wide range of emblems, aprons, certificates, medals, and
Masonic treasures, with descriptions and discussions of each. We congratulate
the author, both for his work and for the promise of a second volume revealing
the wealth of lore and relic in Freemason's Hall.
* * *
AMERICANS ALL !
Timely and to the point were the ringing words of
Grand Master Arthur J. Weir, of Oklahoma, in his annual address, in reference
to the present situation of the nation and the world. Foreign born, he is
typical of the vast majority of those good men and true who who sought a
nobler fatherland in America, whose ideals he loves and whose principles are a
part of his very life. His words are so good that we would keep them going:
"In this great American Republic, do we appreciate
the great heritage the Founders of this nation have left us, in which each
individual is a sovereign, with a voice in all the activities and policies of
the commonwealth in which he lives and in the Nation at large; the liberty of
speech and conscience, and the freedom of the press, such as few other
countries enjoy. As Masons, let us not fall short of our full duty to God, our
country, and ourselves, and guard well such splendid privileges, and stand by
the greatest Flag of all.' We, the children of many lands, salute thee, symbol
of beauty and glory, emblem of what we aim to be, and what we have done. My
Brethren, it may seem strange to you that a foreign-born citizen should give
expression to such sentiments, but did you ever stop to think that it is an
historical fact that the first salute to our flag from a foreign power was
demanded and received by a thoroughbred Scotchman, Admiral John Paul Jones?
Our George Washington was of English descent. LaFayette was French, and at a
more recent period of our history a sturdy American patriot, Carl Schurz,
banished from his native land by despotic rule, was a German. At this crucial
moment of our history let us not be too critical of our foreign citizenship.
They are entitled to revere the country in which they were born. In my opinion
the man who does not cherish his mother country is no man at all. But should
the time come I believe you will find the foreign-born citizens marching
shoulder to shoulder with native-born Americans to the defense of the Flag."
* * *
Masonic Emblems and Jewels,
by William Hammond. George Philip & Son, London. $1.50.
The Strange Ways of God, by
C. R. Brown. Pilgrim Press, Boston. 75 cents.
Fruit Gathering, by R. Tagore.
Macmillan Co. $1.00.
The Singing Man, by J. P.
Peabody. Houghton, Mifflin Co., Boston. $1.00.
The Practice of Immortality,
by W. Gladden. Pilgrim Press. 25 cents.
We have installed another chair in The Library. It
will be occupied by Brother H. L. Haywood, one of our Iowa confreres. He
purposes first to link up The Library with the Study Club Department, by
reviewing for us a dozen or more of the Masonic Classics, telling the neophyte
what he may expect to find in them.
Brother Haywood brings to this task a mind and
scholarship peculiarly adapted to the work, with which, in other fields, he is
thoroughly familiar. Experienced both as a teacher and a book-reviewer, he has
during the past year made a great success in the conduct of one of the finest
Study Clubs with which it has been our pleasure to come in touch - that at
Waterloo, Iowa. With this fund of practical knowledge and a discriminating and
careful reading of the best in Masonic literature already completed, we may
reasonably expect that this Department will continue to be a delightful guide
to the sojourner in the Library.
Lay thy soft hand upon my
brow and cheek,
O peaceful sleep ! until from
I breathe again uninterrupted breath !
Ah, with what subtle meaning
did the Greek
Class thee the lesser mystery
at the feast
Whereof the greater mystely is death.
AS WE MAKE IT
Every day that is born into
the world comes like a burst of music, and rings itself all day through; and
thou shall make of it a dance, a dirge, or a life march as thou wilt. -
THE SQUARE AND COMPASS
Both points beneath the
Darkness, doubts, dungeons of
Yet trusting in God who
Follow your guide - nor fear
Light will come with
One point above the square,
As yet but partially there
Is light; for more light
As you ascend the winding
Both points above the square
Friendship and Morality share
With Brotherly Love, tenets
Masons kneel, and vow, and
- Odillon B. Slang
THE QUESTION BOX
THE LOST WORD
Brother Editor: - Will you be kind enough to tell
me where I can find the poem by Henry Van Dyke called The Lost Word ? I have
heard about it, but have never seen it. So far I have been unable to find it.
It is not a poem but a short story, and may be
found in a collection of stories by Van Dyke, entitled "The Blue Flower,"
(Scribner's Sons, New York, $1.50), in which all the stories have a parabolic
or symbolical significance. It is a very striking story indeed, albeit
Christian in atmosphere, but it has a wider meaning than perhaps its author
realized,as is often true of stories of that kind. With a few paragraphs
omitted it would make an excellent reading for a Masonic gathering.
* * *
Brother Editor: - I do not know whether I ought to
ask it or not, but I have often wondered why preachers limit Brotherhood by
the phrase "in Christ." To me a brother is a brother, regardless of his creed.
Perhaps you can explain. - T.J.D.
Steady now. How should we know the answer?
Instead, let us listen to Charles Kingsley, one of the great preachers, who
puts these words into the mouth of one of his characters in "Alton Lock," a
story little read in these days, perhaps, but which was full of the prophetic
spirit that will yet reshape the world. Listen:
"Ask the preachers. Gin they meant brothers,
they'd say brothers, be sure; but because they don't mean brothers at all,
they say brethren - ye'll mind, brethren - to sound antiquate and
professional, and profunctorylike, for fear it should be over real, and
practical, and startling, and all that, and then they just limit it down with
an 'in Christ,' for fear of over wide application." Is that it? Ask the
* * *
Dear Brother: - I or some months the Chicago
Tribune has carried at the top of its editorial column the saying of Stephen
Decatur, "Our Country! In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always
be in the right; but our country, right or wrong." To me that seems not only
unsound, but almost stupid. But perhaps I do not read it right. I am loyal to
my country, if I know my heart, but is not that going too far? Shall I support
my country when I believe it to be in the wrong - support the wrong? Does
patriotism obliterate moral distinction? I am speaking in the general, not in
reference to the war, but as to the principle involved. - S.H.M.
For our part, we believe the principle involved in
the saying of Decatur is sound, and for the following reasons. Patriotism does
not obliterate moral distinctions - far from it. Nor does the majority make a
thing right, necessarily. Not at all. Often the few have been right as against
the many. But the larger, profounder allegiance is more important and binding
than the temporary difference. For example, apply it to the family, and the
nation is but an extension of the family, and grew out of it. Suppose your son
does something with which you cannot agree, which you think wrong. You may
rebuke it, condemn it - but he is still your son. You may not indorse or
condone what he does, but you will stand by him if you have the heart of a man
and a father. Not on account of a temporary difference would you forsake him
in trouble - never! Just so, no citizen can always agree with the policy of
his country, but it is his country none the less, and his agreement with it is
deeper than the difference. Otherwise, chaos would come. Some of our people
were opposed to our Republic going into the war, some from policy, some from
principle, some from prejudice.
They had a right to express their dissent, and did
so. But our country went into the war. As to the application of the Decatur
principle, there can be no question now in any right-thinking mind. If a man
feels, on conscience, that he cannot be a soldier, he can help in some
capacity - as Walt Whitman did in the Civil War. No man has a moral right - on
conscience - to live under a flag and enjoy its protection if he is unwilling
to support and defend it. Just now the words of Emerson ring true for some of
"United States ! the ages
Present and past in
Go put your creed into your
Nor speak with double tongue.
Be just at home; then write
Of honor o'er the sea,
And bid the broad Atlantic
A ferry of the free!"
* * *
WOMEN AND MASONRY
Dear Brother:--May I take the
liberty of asking a question which I have no doubt will seem foolish to you,
but for which I have no answer? My wife asked me why women cannot become
Masons. Can you give. me an answer ?--D. J. T.
(1) It is no reflection on
women that they are not admitted into Masonic lodges. Their character, their
spirituality, their fidelity in all great fellowships are in nowise
questioned, much less their intelligence. In some countries and rites they are
admitted, as they were in the ancient Mysteries--albeit in not many lands were
women admitted into the Greater Mysteries. (2) It is no discredit to Masonry
that women are not members of its lodges. There is nothing in any rite, or in
any degree, which the noblest woman might not hear or see to her profit. The
grandeur of its truth, the dignity and solemnity of its ceremonies, the beauty
of its spirit would appeal to women as they do to men. (3) Yet the presence of
women in Masonic lodges would alter the character of the Order, and turn it
aside from its original purpose and mission. The Masonic lodge perpetuates
among us the Men's House of ancient society, and as such has a definite and
distinctive aim which would be greatly modified, if not defeated, by the
presence of women. (4) Psychologically, as every man and woman knows, the
atmosphere of a mixed assembly is unlike that of a gathering of either sex
alone. It may be impalpable and hard to define, but it is none the less real.
There is more restraint, both as to good and ill. Men and women are equal but
unlike, and when they are brought together the mental climate is changed. At
any rate, a man gets something from fellowship with men alone which he does
not and cannot get, in the same degree, in a mixed company. (5) Women were
never builders of great temples; that is the work of men. The symbolism of
Masonry, and all its suggestions, being derived from the art of
architecture--which is peculiarly the art of man--would not appeal to women as
it does to man. Moreover, the tradition and habit of the Order have kept it
true to the purposes of the Men's House, and it would be unwise to change it.
No benefit, so far as we can see-- and instead much harm--would come of
admitting women into the Masonic Order.
* * *
KIPLING AND MASONRY
Brother Editor: - Can you not give us the
references in the poems and stories of Kipling to Masonry and things Masonic?
I know some of them, but not all. - G.W.H.
(1) Well, as to the
poems, the allusions to things Masonic
are so well- known as to
hardly need pointing out. The Mother Lodge, The Palace, The Widow of Windsor -
Queen Victoria - the Rough Ashlar, are familiar to all. The refrain of The
Mother Lodge is well worth noting, it being an expression of what happens in
Military Lodges, as corroborated by Gould in his work on "Military Lodges."
(2) The allusions in the stories are many indeed,
some of them veiled, and others not veiled as much as they should be, at least
they are so obvious to a Mason that he may think them sky-clear to everybody
else. There is, to begin with, the famous story of "The Man Who Would be King"
- one of the finest short-stories in the language - which is a masterpiece. It
contains so much Masonic lore, and deep knowledge of the history and origin of
the degrees, that the author almost abuses his knowledge, or else his
imagination is uncanny. It tells of two Masons who sought to establish a
kingdom of their own among the tribes of North-west India, and they find that
the natives are well acquainted with the first two degrees. What befalls them
the story relates. "With the Main Guard" is another story in which Masonic
phrases and ideas are interwoven so skilfully that only a Master Mason can
grasp their significance; so also such stories as On the Great Wall, The
Winged Hat, and Hal o' the Draft. The references are not specifically Masonic
- that is, they do not quote the ritual point-blank - yet they are
unmistakable. There is a rather unhappy allusion, also, in "The City Walls."
Perhaps "Kim" is Kipling's masterpiece, and there is a vein of Freemasonry
connected with the youthful days of the hero. Kim, a young Irish orphan,
living freely among the natives, almost becomes one of them in thought,
manner, and appearance. One night, approaching a regiment on a route march, he
is taken prisoner, and is brought before the Church of England clergyman.
Around his neck was found his father's Masonic certificate which the
clergyman, being a Mason, recognized. When asked where he got it, Kim
answered: "My father, he got these papers from Jadoo Gher - what do you call
that, because he was in good standing." Then follows much which is of Masonic
interest. In "Traffics and Discoveries" there is a scene where the writer is
distributing papers amongst the Boer prisoners at Simon's Bay, and he gomes
across Zeigler, a nervy American gun-inventor, who is a prisoner. He seizes
eagerly the papers, and says suddenly, "Oh, The American Tyler, by all that's
good," and tore off rapidly the covering, saying to the writer, "Do you happen
to know?" and they shook hands expertly. This, with other Masonic episodes and
sayings, are tucked in so neatly that the outside world can never see, or
understand them. Of course this list is not complete, but mayhap it may make
the Kipling stories more interesting, if that is possible, to Masonic readers.
* * *
YORK AND SCOTTISH RITES
Brother Editor: - As I am practically a beginner
in the vast study of Masonry, having been initiated into the third Degree only
last October, I am going to ask you if you will be so kind as to explain to me
either through letter or in The Builder the difference between the York Rite
and the Scottish Rite of Masonry, or, if this is too great a task for your
time, could you refer me to some book which would give me the information? -
(1) In respect to the first three degrees they are
the same, the Scottish Rite having given up those degrees to the York Rite, as
we call it. The first three degrees as presented by the Scottish Rite were in
some ways different from what they are in our Blue Lodges, following more
closely the French Rite. This led to misunderstanding, and so in behalf of
harmony the Scottish Rite abandoned its right to confer them - and wisely so.
In general the differences - beyond the first three degrees - is that the York
Rite adheres more closely to old Craft Masonry, both in its legends and
symbols; at least until it arrives at the Templar Degrees. The higher degrees
of the York Rite are thus only elaborations and expositions of the central
theme and motif of the first three degrees - the whole woven about the
building, destruction, and re-building of the Temple. Whereas the Scottish
Rite ranges into many fields untouched by the York Rite; it is more elaborate,
more philosophical - a kind of Masonic University, so to speak, if we think of
the York Rite as a College. Besides, the Scottish Rite, in our Northern
jurisdiction, is more tinged with Christianity than Craft Masonry - albeit not
so in the Southern jurisdiction. If the York Rite assumes tolerance of
different religious opinions, drawing men together upon a common basis by a
common bond, the Scottish Rite emphasizes not only toleration, but champions
freedom of thought, training men to be advocates of it. (2) Therefore, in
reach and range of truth, in variety and richness, as in splendor of
presentation and eloquence of appeal, the two Rites differ - yet it is ever
the same essential spirit, the same far-shining principle, that they teach
"each in its own tongue." One builds the temple, the other shows us the temple
built, with its elaborate and stately ritual - revealing the eternal religion
without superstition, and making plea for government without tyranny. The
Scottish Rite is for the man who is not afraid to think, who is willing
fearlessly to confront the great problems of faith and philosophy and the
fundamental issues of life. Not abstractly, not in a dry-as-dust fashion, but
with every variety of emphasis and appeal, bringing art to the service of the
truth, it leads us through a chamber of imagery and teaches us wise and good
and beautiful truth - the truths that make us men and set us free from fear of
life, fear of death, and from "those blind thoughts we know not nor can name."
MASONIC CAMP AND FIELD LODGES
Dear Editor: - What are the American Boys that are
Masons to do when in Camp? Ought there not to be some concerted action taken
this year when the Grand Masters get in session to provide for the
establishment of Camp and Field Lodges ? It seems to me that this ought to be
worked out and after the war to let those who are initiated in such Lodges
affiliate with their home Lodge and it ought to be done "without objection." A
brother who has served his country and is in good standing with his Field or
Camp Lodge ought not to have to run the gauntlet of the Black Ball in order to
affiliate with the Lodge at his home.
I should like to have the opinion of some of the
brethren on this point. I feel that much good could be accomplished, and that
much interest in Masonry would be shown by something of this sort, and that
the cause of Brotherhood, Relief and TRUTH could be materially advanced by
Sincerely and fraternally
S. W. Williams, Tenn.
* * *
In his splendid article on
The Perfect Ashlar, Brother Kingsbury states that, although this symbol is
dismissed with two or three brief sentences in our monitorial lectures, it is
in reality of considerable importance and interest.
This fact is easily
demonstrated by quotations from several writers.
The first is Frank C.
Higgins, who in a series of forty papers brought together in a volume entitled
"The Beginning of Masonry," makes a number of interesting references to this
Among others we find:
"The cube itself was an
age-old symbol of the spiritual man and therefore we find the cube present in
all the ancient mythologies, which were but racial cloaks for one and the same
wisdom religion, understood by the priests of all countries as a symbol of the
sixth sign of the zodiac, the characters portraying the great Mother of Wisdom
and her divine son Man."
"As a cube possesses six
sides, each of which is a perfect square, a number of remarkable mathematical
and geometrical symbols were established upon the fact that all the numbers"--
of the edges-- "from one to 12 added together produce 78. This number is also
the sum of 3 times '26,' the numerical value of the great and sacred name of
To understand this paragraph
it is necessary to be acquainted with the Gematria, the number-letter system
of the Greeks and Hebrews which Brother Higgins explains in one of the
chapters of his book. In this system the numerical value of J is 10; that of
H, 5; that of V, 6; and of H, 5 as before. Added together they total 26.
"David, having been a warlike
monarch, was not permitted to achieve that which he had begun and so
bequeathed the cubical stone to his son Solomon, who made use of it as the
corner stone of the Temple. The imagery of this is plain enough in the fact
that, not in the written or engraved inscription, but in the mathematical
proportions of the cube itself, was to be found that wonderful Name, which is,
as it were, the foundation of the universe, of which man is a fleshly epitome
and the Temple on Mt. Moriah a symbolic one."
"The grand mystery name of
our Creator, called the Tetragrammaton (Greek for "four letter name"), has as
its root the three letters JHV which, as numbers were 10, 5 and 6, or 21, the
sum of the added numbers 1 to 6 represented a single cube. This was the form
of the "Holy of Holies," in the great Temple of Solomon, and the pious Jew, to
this day, employs the two symbolic cubes, in the form of the Phylacteries."
Leaving Higgins, whom we by
no means exhaust, let us note the vertical cross section of the "Holy of
Holies" as given in McCarty's valuable book entitled "The Great Pyramid Jeezeh,"
as well as his explanation of the kabbalistic matters connected with the
"The astronomical features
about the temple were plain. The entrance was toward the rising sun, or the
vernal equinox. The "holy of holies" was in the west of the structure, toward
the place of the setting sun, the autumnal equinox. The great quadrangular was
oriented and faced to the four winds, or N., E., S., and W. The brazen sea had
on its ledges the ox, the cherub or man, and the lion. The lion was the sign
of the summer, the man of the winter and the ox of the spring. The sign of
Autumn, or Dan, was left out- -that worm all devouring, never dying, the
scorpion. This has an architectural parallel. Nork relates that the temple of
Notre Dame, in Paris, was formerly a temple of the goddess Isis, or the sign
Virgo. On this temple was sculptured the zodiac with its signs; that of Virgo
(Isis) was left out, because the whole temple was dedicated to her. So with
the temple of Solomon. The whole religious cultus of the Israelites was
located in the sign Dan, or Scorpio, for it was here that 'I have waited for
thy salvation, O Lord (Jehovah).' Take the two squares of the zodiac,
representing two quarters, or quadrants, of the year; one lorded over by Leo,
the lion, next to the summer solstice, and then going west and downward, the
second quadrant is reached, extending to the winter solstice, and lorded over
by Dan, the scorpion, who holds the entrance. This upper square, or cube, is
golden, the male, full of the fructifying power of the sun; the lower one is
the female, and black, the womb, the brazen part. Now it will be seen that
Solomon, the son of David, of the tribe of Judah, whose sign was the lion,
made all the gold work. But it was Huram that made the brazen sea and all the
brass work. Who was Huram? The son of a widow, a woman of dark or black weeds,
of the tribe of Dan, whose sign was the Scorpion. He made the work pertaining
to his portion of the zodiac- -that is the place of Typhon, of winter, of
darkness, of woman. So, here is represented the western half, and the summer
and winter quarters of the celestial sphere, squared or cubed."
Here we note that McCarty
claims that Hiram was the son of a widow belonging to the tribe of Dan.
Opposed to this we have Higgin's statement "that the widow of Osiris and the
mother of Horus, was of the tribe of Naphtali." He is borne out in this by
Pike--Morals and Dogma, page 461--where he states that "Virgo, the domicile of
Mercury, is borne on the flag of Naphtali, whose eloquence and agility Jacob
magnifies, both of which are attributes of the Courier of the Gods."
These conflicting statements
may have their explanation in this note by Stewart in his index to Morals and
Dogma: "Originally only ten signs were exoteric; two were secret. Libra
conceals one, and Virgo-Scorpio are now separated, but even this is a blind."
We do not yet exhaust McCarty
on the subject of the cube, for in his discussion of the Quadrature of the
Circle, by Parker, he writes: "The cube unfolded, becomes, in superficial
display, a cross proper, or of the tau form, and the attachment of the circle
to the last gives the ansated cross of the Egyptians, with its obvious meaning
of the origin of measures. Because, also, this kind of measure was made to
co-ordinate with the origin of human life, it was secondarily made to assume
the type of the pudenda hermaphrodite, and, in fact, it is placed by
representation to cover this part of the human person in the Hindu form. It is
very observable that, while there are but six faces to a cube, the
representation of the cross as the cube unfolded, as to the cross bars,
displays one face of the cube as common to two bars, counted as belonging to
either; then while the faces originally represented are but six, the use of
the two bars counts the square as four for the upright and three for the
cross-bar, making seven in all. Here we have the famous 4 and 3 and 7. But
what is very much to the purpose here, is that the golden candlestick in the
temple was so composed that, counting on either side, there are four
candle-sockets; while, at the apex, there being one in common to both sides,
there were in fact three to be counted on one side and four on the other,
making in all the number seven, upon the self same idea of one in common with
the cross display. . . . The same idea is conveyed in the six days of the week
in Genesis, crowned by the seventh, which was used by itself as a base of
"The ansated cross, being
surmounted by the circle, roughly represents the figure of a man, with arms
extended. The attachment of a man to the cross symbolizes the welding of
astronomical and circular values. In fact, this is a plainer and more perfect
symbolism of the ancient use than any other. It was one made use of in this
form of display by the Hindus. In fact, the Old Testament is rabbinically and
kabbalistically familiar with the expression of crucifying a man, or men
before the Lord and the sun. In symbol, the nails of the cross have for the
shape of the heads thereof a solid pyramid, and a tapering square obeliscal
shaft, for the nail. Taking the position of the three nails in the man's
extremities, and on the cross, they form or mark a triangle in shape, one nail
being at each corner of the triangle. The wounds, or stigmata, in the
extremities are necessarily four, distinctive of the square; and, as in the
candlestick, there have been two used as one, or rather one used as two, in
the connection of the three nails with the four extremities. The three nails
with the three wounds are in number 6, which denotes the six faces of the cube
unfolded, on which the man is placed; and this in turn points to the circular
measure transferred on to the edges of the cube. The one wound of the feet
separates into two when the feet are separated, making three together for all,
and four when separated, or seven in all-- another and most holy feminine base
Now let us turn to the 16th
verse of the 21st chapter of Revelations. There we read "and the city lieth
foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth; and he measured the
city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and
the height of it are equal."
Here we have a description of
a cube. But let us quote Pryse's translation and his explanation of the figure
as given in the introduction to his volume, "The Initiation of Ioannes."
"The deathless solar vesture
of the Conqueror is symbolized as a city which comes down out of the sky,
enveloped in the radiance of the God, and it is portrayed with poetic imagery
of exquisite beauty. The description, with its wealth of detail, should be
enough to show clearly what the city really is; but Ioannes has supplied
conclusive proof of the true meaning by inserting in the description a puzzle
which reads as follows:
"The Divinity who was talking
with me had for a measure a golden reed, to measure the city, its gateways,
and its wall. The city lies foursquare, and its length is as great as the
width. He measured the city with the reed, by stadia, twelve thousand; its
length, width and height are equal. And he measured its wall, one hundred and
forty-four cubits, (including) the measure of a man, that is, of a Divinity.
"As the expression "by stadia"
(epi stadion) shows that the measurement should not be taken in stadia, it
naturally follows that it should be reduced to miles. Therefore, dividing
12,000 by 7 1/2, the number of stadia to the Jewish mile, the quotient is
1,600, and this is the numerical value of the words to heliakon soma, "the
solar body." (The number 1,600 is found also in chapter xiv:20, where it has
the same significance). In the authorized version the preposition epi, "by,"
is not translated, being omitted as redundant--which merely shows the
untrustworthiness of an empirical translation. That version also reads, "a
hundred and forty and four cubits, (according to) the measure of a man, that
is, of an angel," the inserted words making the passage meaningless. The
"wall" of the solar body is its aura, or "radiance," he doxa; but the letters
of that name amount to only 143. As a puzzle, that number would be too
transparent, nor would it harmonize with the other numbers given in relation
to the city as the twelve thousand stadia, twelve gateways, twelve
foundations, etc., all of which have a real or an apparent reference to the
zodiac. Therefore Ionnes increased it to 144, the square of twelve, by adding
another alpha, (a) which he calls "the measure of a man, that is, of a
Divinity." In the formula, "I am the Alpha and the O (mega), the first and the
last," alpha is the symbol of the divine man, or Divinity, before his fall
into matter; and O mega is the symbol of the perfected man, who has passed
through the cycle of reincarnation and regained the spiritual consciousness.
"The city is described as
having the form of a cube. To solve this element of the puzzle it is only
necessary to unfold the cube, thereby disclosing a cross, which represents the
human form--a man with outstretched arms."
Thus we find the symbolism of
the cube in connection with the religious systems of antiquity as well as in
our great Masonic Light and monitorial lectures. It is, indeed, a symbol of
considerable importance and interest.
John G. Keplinger,
* * *
ARE LODGES DEGREE MILLS?
Editor Builder: - In a recent letter you note the
extreme difficulty of introducing to the notice of Masons the study side, or
the heart side of Masonry. The plain truth is that Masonry is very popular and
prosperous, a condition that existed with variations in the '20s during the
anti-Masonic excitement incident to the Morgan disappearance, during which
period of persecution, proscription and ostracism about 75 per cent of the
Craft fell away. Why did they fall away? The answer is found in the view taken
that Masonry is not of Divine origin, that it perhaps dates from the building
of Solomon's temple, or from the gilds of the Romans or Germans; that Masonry
was once operative and later was speculative, a failure to recognize the
Duality of Masonry; that there is a "Spirit of Masonry"; that Masonry has to
do with the pscychic, or soul part of man, as well as the physical, the heart
part, no matter in what age of the world he lived, had first to be touched
before he was a Mason. This is known as the religious part of man, and is
primitive; it was known before and recognized by Christ when he answered
Nicodemus who wanted to know how he could be born again, when He said, "And
thou Nicodemus, a master in Israel and knoweth not these things." Nicodemus'
view was purely physical. The "Spirit of Masonry is the life of Masonry,"
which is a self-evident fact, for all things physical die. Masonry has not
died, nor will it ever die. The spiritual is recognized as the immortal part
of man - the part that takes him out of the animal kingdom.
That a man must first be a Mason at heart is too often lightly
passed over, with the result that Masonic Lodges are filled largely with
physical Masons only. They know nothing about the spiritual or heart side, or
the philosophical. Masonry teaches a perfect system for earthly life, and in
the end will assist the true Mason to climb the ladder which Jacob saw in his
vision. Well, what has all this to do with interesting the brethren in the
study side? Perhaps to 75 per cent of Lodge membership it means nothing;
doesn't appeal to them for the above reasons. "As a man thinketh so is he."
Thoughtful Masons everywhere note the tendency of Lodges to degenerate into
degree mills. The best Lodge is the one that does the most work," and the
"brightest" Mason is the proficient degree worker. The brethren attend lodge
when there is "work" to
do or a "feed" spread. In the
absence of these attractions, one-third or perhaps one-fourth of the
membership attends. This age is material, physical, and mechanical. The
cardinal virtues must be invoked to correct it. Masonry is the leaven that has
brought the world out of chaos to its present condition; and if its present
condition is not good, does it mean that the leaven is not
the "salt has lost its savor?"
A. K. Bradley, Texas.
ANOTHER PIKE LETTER
Gentlemen: - Noting request in the April number of
"The Builder" I follow with copy of letter from Albert Pike, now in my
Or. of Washington,
24 July, 1881.
Dear Sir & Bro:
The statement which you copy is wholly apocryphal.
There never was any such rite in 33 Degrees. No Masonic Power ever pretended
to work such a Rite.
I thank you for your kind words and as my whole
purpose has been to make of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite an
instrument for good in the world, whereby men might be made wiser and better,
I think that I may without impropriety confess that it gratifies and
encourages me when intelligent men see somewhat of good in my work.
As I am now nearing the end of my 72d year I shall
soon have completed my life work and must leave it to others to take up the
work where I leave it. Perhaps what I have written may be even more effective
after I am dead, for "it is the dead who govern, the living only obey."
Very truly yours,
Bro. A. C. Peters, M. D.,
Nelson L. Finch.
Dear Brother Editor:,Owing to a clerical error,
the Aztec war chief "Ahuitzotl" appears in my article published in the May
number of THE BUILDER, as being the one responsible for the destruction of the
picture writings. This should have read "Itzcoatl," who was war chief from
1424 to 1440.
Trusting that you will find room for this
correction in the June number, I am,
Eber Cole Byam.
MASONRY AND POLITICS
As soon as Freemasonry begins to meddle with
politics, it is doomed. it loses its special significance, and it will incur
all the odium of a powerful secret society, and will rouse enmity and hatred
where now it has only goodwill - or, at any rate, tolerance - from those who
know nothing of its principles and teachings. What Freemasons do in politics
they must do as citizens, not as Freemasons. - Oliver C. Cockren.