The Builder Magazine
January 1918 - Volume IV - Number
FOR ME "
BY BRO. THOMAS RILEY
MARSHALL, 33D ACTIVE
VICE PRESIDENT, U.S.A.
ADDRESS BEFORE THE SUPREME
COUNCIL, A.A.S.R., N.M.J.
THESE are days when he who is
uncertain as to whether what he is about to say will help or harm his
country's cause would better remain silent. These are hours when the
ordinarily thoughtful man is looking backward, looking forward, looking
around, and looking within.
He wants to know the history
of his country; to diagnose present conditions; to determine, if possible, the
future, and his part in this world tragedy. He beholds in retrospect almost a
century and a half of unexampled progress and prosperity, and reverently
lifting his eyes to the God of Nations, exclaims with the Psalmist of old, "He
hath not dealt so with any nation."'
He searches his dictionary
for a word that will express the dominant feature of these glorious years. He
reaches the conclusion that America in all these decades has spelt, at home
and abroad, more clearly than any other the word "Opportunity."
He observes that America has
not been exclusively a land where only men thoroughly imbued with the
principles upon which it was founded might build for themselves homes.
Isolated from the beginning by countless leagues of sea, it was never dreamed
that it could become involved in the politics and policies of Europe. This
isolation led the rulers to throw its gates open to all who might care to
enter. These came in unnumbered thousands and for reasons, often times, remote
from those purely of government--some to advance their fortune and some their
social standing; others to divorce themselves from distressful conditions --
social, economic, political, or religious.
It was not thought necessary
to require the use of the official language in family and social life. We
rather discouraged than encouraged the use of English. In many States we
provided for the teaching of the home language in the public schools.
So thoughtless and
indifferent were we to the shrinking of the ocean by steam and electricity
that we rejoiced to observe everywhere business being conducted and social
energies evinced under the hyphenations of British-American, Irish-American,
German American, Franco-American, and Italio-American.
We took no trouble to protest
against dual citizenship. We permitted foreign-born citizens to vote, with
full knowledge of their right - which meant our consent - that whenever they
chose to do so they could repudiate their American citizenship by appearing
before a consul of their native land and become alien enemies.
All this and more because we
never dreamed of European complications. We had but few whom we were pleased
to denominate just plain, old-fashioned, American citizens. Within my
knowledge, learned and patriotic Senators have debated with zeal whether it
was American or Irish or German citizens who won for us our freedom in the
Now, no one ever doubted the
loyalty to the flag of all these people whether foreign-born or the sons of
foreign-born. Our isolation made it immaterial to us whether there was any
difference between loyalty and patriotism, and true to a thousand years of
tradition, we did not face the question until it became of moment. The years
drew us closer and closer to Europe in the ties of commerce and the friendly
relations of travel. More and more we became a part of the world; and suddenly
a mad monarch, drunk with military power and crazed with the idea that he was
divinely ordained to rule the world, plunged Europe into a war so awful that
all wars which had preceded it paled into insignificance.
Still we stood by our ancient
ideas of isolation, but in two years and a half we discovered that there was a
vast difference between loyalty and patriotism. The hearts of men flamed up
very largely in response to the blood that flowed in their veins. Patriotism
showed itself as dependent, not upon place of residence nor political ideas,
but rather upon heredity.
Patience at last was
exhausted, and there was nothing for a self-respecting people to do, if their
Republic was to be true to its traditions, save to engage in the war on the
side of democracy. I do not care to engage in any hair-splitting, although
there seems to be much discussion as to whether this war is being waged "to
make the world safe for democracy" or "to make democracy safe for the world."
Of course, it was meant by the President, when he spoke of making "the world
safe for democracy," of making it safe for real democracy.
We all know that liberty is
not license, nor democracy demagogy. We all know that the world can not be
made safe for murder and arson and pillage and anarchy and everything for
which the syndicalist and the I. W. W.'s may stand; and we also know that such
things as these can not be made safe for the world.
I do not stop to speak of the
tradition, the history, and the duties of our own fraternity. There are three
great forces, aside from arms and armament, which are molding the future as
they have shaped the past. These are the teachings of the Nazarene, the tenets
of our fraternity, and the tendency of democracy as disclosed in the ideas and
ideals of the Republic.
When rulers and people are
willing to do as they would be done by, when they are willing to meet upon the
level, act by the plumb, and part upon the square. and when governments derive
their just powers from the consent of the governed, then there will be a large
assurance of permanent peace. This can be brought about only by an appeal to
the conscience. To do so, discussion is needful. Free thought must never be
hampered. But because a man thinks a thing to be true, and has a right to
utter his belief under a democracy, he is not justified, if he believes in
God, in brotherhood, and in the Republic, in voicing his views under all
There are many of us who
should accept Paul's advice to the Corinthians: "All things are lawful unto
me, but all things are not expedient."
Democracy means the rule of
the people under whatever form of government they may choose to express it,
but when once the rule of the people has been expressed, through their chosen
representatives, then --and particularly in the hour of war-- however much any
of us may think that certain of the policies are mistaken policies, free
speech, free press, and liberty of conscience do not justify criticism, for
criticism, however unintentional, invariably gives aid and comfort to the
Conscription as a principle
may be a subject of debate, but not now. This Democracy has adopted it for the
purposes of this war, and discussion of it ought to be held in abeyance. This
Government, by its chosen Representatives, has declared this war. If there be
any who think it is not justified, let him not be of aid and comfort to the
enemy by voicing his sentiments. If laws are silent in the midst of arms, let
all discussion as to the rightfulness or wrongfulness of the war, and as to
the methods by which it is being prosecuted cease, unless by discussion the
cause of the Republic and of human liberty can be advanced.
Democracy is constructive,
not destructive; it is advisory, not critical. I would not have it understood
that it is our duty to walk over the dead bodies of out convictions even to
attain success. I admit that failure with honor is preferable to success with
disgrace; but, believing as I do in the justice and necessity of our cause, I
beg my brothers of this most loyal order when they speak, to speak
whole-heartedly for the cause in which we are engaged, and not to criticize
until mature thought and consideration have convinced them that by criticism
they can advance the cause of our country and of universal democracy.
I do not speak of your duty
to the Flag, nor of duty at all. I know duty is with us always; that it rises
with us in the morning, sits down with us at the breakfast table, goes with us
to shop and field and office; that it is the very shadow of ourselves, and the
governor which keeps the engine of life moving smoothly.
I would have all men with us
in this cause from a sense of duty, if for no other reason, but I would
preferably have all enter into it from a higher sense, that of living
sacrifice for generations yet unborn.
And now, in the wilderness of
thought and of words and in the darkness and desolation of this hour, eyes are
being turned to the sunlight of a new day, and we are asking ourselves, "What
of the morrow?" "Is America to continue to be the land of opportunity?" To
this we all answer fervently, "Yes," but to the question, "Is America to be
exclusively the land of opportunity?" many of us answer, "No." America must be
more than the land of opportunity. It must also be the land of obligation, for
if the sun break above the cloud tempest and the battle din of this war upon a
land exclusively of opportunity, then we shall have a people who may be loyal
to the material interests of the Republic, but whose inner sentiments may be
disloyal to its ideals.
Common gratitude to the
fathers and savers of the Republic demand that we pour out the last drop of
blood and expend the last dollar of money in the cause in which we have
engaged. This, loyalty demands; but objectives in crucial hours assume new
forms. Martin Luther thought he died a loyal Catholic; instead he died the
founder of a new church. Abraham Lincoln thought he was called to the
presidency to preserve the Union; instead he died the emancipator of the black
Whatever the original causes
of this war and whatever the motives in its earlier prosecution may have been,
they have now resolved themselves into a conflict between the two great
systems of government --autocracy and democracy.
If, therefore, America is to
remain just the land of opportunity, then nothing of any moment will have been
accomplished by this war, so far as we are concerned. What, therefore, is the
lesson of the hour to a body of men whose obligation is to the flag of their
country? I dare not speak for you. I speak only for myself, and yet I would
that it might be for you also. That lesson is, that this war shall furnish a
new definition of patriotism. The word shall no longer mean the land of a
man's birth, or the land of his adoption, the language he speaks, or the place
where those he loves reside. It shall have evolved into a different meaning.
It will demand of everyone who owes allegiance to any prince, or potentate, or
autocratic power on earth, that he renounce that allegiance, and renounce also
allegiance to every purely selfish pursuit and aim; that he subordinate the
material interests of this Government to its ideals; that he take an oath of
allegiance to an invisible government which believes, which teaches. which
holds that all men are born free and equal, that governments derive their just
powers from the consent of the governed, that none is fit to rule save of the
free and untrammeled consent of the majority of those over whom he rules, that
wealth is good and honor is better, but above all, that democracy is best.
Whoever believes these things is worthy to be an American; whoever does not,
The world around, a free
expression of opinion would show a majority of the people to be for the right
and not for the wrong; for justice, not for injustice; for honesty, not for
dishonesty; for peace, not for war, and that given the opportunity, the people
will speak for the arbitration of courts, rather than for the arbitrament of
To these old ideas, reborn in
the travail of war, I pledge my fealty. I want this war to end, but not to end
until the people in every land shall possess the right to make peace and
declare war, either directly or through their chosen representatives. I want
blood, and birth, and social standing, and educational qualifications, and
religious trend all to be forgotten in this new parliament of new men, this
federation of the world. I want those in this our land who do not thus believe
to become fewer and fewer as the days go by.
I do not want entangling
alliances with European nations. It is not necessary to have them. When we sit
at the council table of the world, I trust we may do so as the representative
of a newer and better isolation --an isolation of the spirit, free to say to
the Germanic people, "Have what Government you please, but let us know that it
is yours ;" free to say to the oldest of constitutional governments, the
British Empire, "We have made this fight with you as our ally in the cause of
democracy, but we are not willing to change our system. The Windsor tie does
not harmonize with the cut of our democracy."
In other words, I want to be
in the world to voice a view, to uphold a theory, but never to be compelled to
do a wrong unless unfortunately it be for my own country.
This seems to me but to
express lamely the view;. of the President of the United States. If this were
a Democratic war, I should keep silent; if it were a Republican war, I
probably should say unjustifiable things. It is neither. It is an American
war, for only a coward, a poltroon, a trickster, or a political charlatan,
seeking personal advantage, would have dared to evade it.
The flag can not wave with
terror to its enemies save in the hands of a standard bearer. What you and I
may think of the domestic views of the standard bearer can afford to wait.
Forgetting blood and business, there are now, as always, just two grades of
citizens in the Republic--the man who asks himself, "What can I do for my
country?" and the man who asks, "What can my country do for me?"
So long as America was simply
the land of opportunity I had much to say about these two classes and the
unjustifiable advantages which were afforded to the latter. But now that we
have become the land of obligation my voice is silent for the present. I await
the conduct of my fellowmen, as I trust they will await mine, if mine be of
any moment. So far as mere partisan debts are concerned, I have declared a
moratorium until the war ends.
Rich and poor, high and low,
labor and capital, protected and unprotected, all are forgotten. What they
have, what they do, is of no moment if they be willing to sacrifice for the
Republic and for democracy.
I am hoping to see revised
one of Macauley's lays of ancient Rome, in which it can truly be said that
none is for the party, but all for the state. I have already seen so much
splendid self-sacrifice upon the part of men whom I have freely criticised
heretofore that I stand dumb and speechless in the presence of mere partisan
politics, and dare to lift my voice only in the hope that there may be in it
one clear call of loyalty and devotion to the principles in which we pretend
to believe, and to the man who is our spokesman.
It was the custom, upon the
crowning of a Roman emperor, for the legions to pass in review before him. As
each-legion appeared it halted and the commander took a solemn obligation to
be loyal to the emperor and to the gods of Rome. As he concluded, each man in
the legion lifted his good right hand to Heaven, crying out "This for me,"
This solemn ceremonial was enacted alike at the crowning of Marcus Aurelius,
seeker after God, and of Nero, finder of the devil. The man was nothing, the
Democracy in its partisan
sense, Republicanism, Socialism, are just now in abeyance. The chosen
representatives of the American people, regardless of their partisan views
upon internal matters, have taken their oath of loyalty and devotion to the
principles of the Republic, and to the President of the United States. Is it
not possible to have until the conclusion of this war all hands in America
lifted to the God of our fathers, and all voices proclaiming, "Woodrow Wilson.
America, democracy, for me?"
THE GRAND ORIENT OF FRANCE
AND THE THREE GREAT LIGHTS
BY BRO. J. H. RAMSEY, IOWA
The grouping of England,
America and France as "Allies" in the present war has furnished civilization
with many peculiar situations, in which Masonry shares. Believing that our
Members will be deeply interested in knowing the facts surrounding the
non-intercourse of English-speaking branches of the Fraternity with the
French, we announce a series of articles, of which this is the first, dealing
with various aspects of the situation.
The first, distinctly
historical in its scope, is a paper which was prepared by Brother Ramsey in
response to a question proposed at a Study Club meeting of Anamosa Lodge No.
46, in which the sole effort was to present the reasons why the Grand Orient
took the position it did regarding the use of the Bible, and the subsequent
action of American Grand Lodges. At the Lodge discussion when this paper was
read, two ministers of the Gospel were present. One of them had travelled in
France, and was familiar with the subject, which caused him to take a most
sympathetic attitude toward the French viewpoint.
The second contribution on
this subject comes from the pen of Brother R.E. Kellett, Grand Master of
Manitoba, and though it bears the title "Internationalism and Freemasonry,"
its dominant theme is the position which the Grand Orient of France occupies
in the Masonic category. The essay was written before the entrance of America
into the war. It has been read before the Masters' and Past Masters' Lodge of
Christchurch, New Zealand, bringing out a discussion which we hope to be able
to digest for our readers in due time. This discussion, occurring in a Lodge
most intimately associated with the Mother Grand Lodge, revealed a wide
diversity of opinion on the subject, as it will undoubtedly do among our own
members. We mention this particularly, not only because it reveals the
broadmindedness and temperate spirit of our New Zealand brethren, but because
the very fact that a whole session of the Masters' and Past Masters' Lodge was
devoted to it is in itself significant of the scholarly qualities of the
The third essay, "Freemasonry
in France," has been written at our request by Brother Geo. W. Baird, 33d,
P.G.M., of the District of Columbia, whose name is already a familiar one to
our readers, and who was made a Mason in Portugal in a French Lodge. Through
his position as Fraternal Correspondent of his Grand Lodge, Brother Baird has
had an exceptional opportunity to keep himself in touch with world movements.
This article will appear in an early number of THE BUILDER.
All of these contributions
evidence an eagerness on the part of the writers that some way shall be found
by which the nonintercourse of nearly forty years shall be eliminated.
Justification for a careful research of the facts, if needed, may be found in
the recent action of the Grand Lodges of New York, California and Kentucky,
permitting their soldier members to visit Lodges in France.
The Question Box and
Correspondence columns of THE BUILDER are open to you, Brethren. We wish to
hear both sides, and know that there are many who will not be slow to take up
the cudgels in support of the historic position heretofore taken by our Grand
Lodges. If this discussion shall be the means of ultimately acquainting our
members with the facts, it may also give French members of the Society an
up-to-date expression of the American position--a result which may perhaps be
of influence to both sides, in the future. EDITOR
JUST forty years ago, or to
be exact, on September 14th, 1877, the Grand Orient of France voted to
eliminate from its ancient constitution the following article: "Freemasonry
has for its principles the existence of God, the immortality of the soul and
the solidarity of mankind." It adopted in lieu thereof, the following:
"Whereas Freemasonry is not a
religion and has therefore no doctrine or dogma to affirm in its constitution,
this Assembly has decided and decreed that the second paragraph of Article 1,
of the Constitution (above quoted) shall be erased, and that for the words of
the said article the following shall be substituted:
1. Being an Institution
essentially philanthropic, philosophic, and progressive, Freemasonry has for
its object, search after truth, study of universal morality, science and arts,
and the practice of benevolence. It has for its principles absolute liberty of
conscience and human solidarity. It excludes no person on account of his
belief, and its motto is 'Liberty, Equality and Fraternity."'
At the next annual session of
the Grand Body in 1878 a move was made to conform the ritual to the change of
the constitution and a committee directed to make report and recommendation
for consideration at the following session.
Accordingly in September,
1879, upon report of the committee, a new ritual was adopted wherein all
reference to the name and idea of God was eliminated, but liberty was given to
the Lodges to adopt the new or old rituals as they should see fit. We are
told, and can easily believe, that this action was taken in the Grand Lodge
session amidst great excitement and in spite of a vigorous and determined
opposition of the minority. Naturally, and as a matter of course, the change
in the Constitution and ritual permitted the removal of the Bible from the
It is not too much to say
that the Masonic world stood shocked and astounded at this radical departure
taken by the French Masons. Probably nothing in Masonic affairs with the
exception of the Morgan episode ever excited such widespread interest and
apprehension. The Masonic press in every country was filled with vigorous
discussion and many felt that it foreshadowed the division of the Craft into
two great sections--one believers in Deity and non-political, and the other
atheistic and democratic.
Grand Lodges especially in
all English-speaking countries lost no time in condemning in bitterest terms
the action of the Grand Orient and in severing fraternal relations. In our own
State (Iowa) in the Grand Lodge session of 1878, the Grand Master said:
"The Grand Orient of France
having obliterated from its constitution the paragraph which asserted a belief
in the existence of Deity, and by such action placed itself in antagonism to
the traditions, practice and feelings of all true and genuine Masons in this
jurisdiction and the world, deserves no longer a recognition as a Masonic body
from this Grand Lodge. Some years ago that Grand Orient persisted in an
invasion of the American doctrine of Grand Lodge sovereignty, to the extent of
organizing lodges in the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana and
other states. We then cut loose for a time from all fraternal intercourse with
French Masons rendering obedience to that Grand Orient. Having not only set at
naught the supreme authority of American Grand Lodges over their respective
jurisdictions, but that of God over men and Masons, we should wipe our hands
of all such bogus Masonry."
The deep concern with which
the Grand Lodge of Iowa viewed this matter was but an indication of the
sentiment prevailing in Grand Lodges of all English speaking countries at that
time and in order that we may realize something of this let us read the
resolution of our Grand Lodge in 1878:
To the M. W. Grand Lodge of
"The special committee to
whom the committee on the M. W. Grand Master's address referred so much of the
same as relates to the Grand Orient of France, submit the following report:
"While we cordially agree
with and endorse all of the views of our M.W. Grand Master and the Committee
on this subject, yet we consider that its importance requires more than a mere
resolution. If the course of the Grand Orient of France is allowed to go
unrebuked and become the recognized law, we may well say farewell to Masonry.
It is the glory of our Institution that we do not interfere with any man's
religious or political opinions. At the same time we discountenance atheism
and doubt, disloyalty and rebellion. No atheist can be made a Mason; and the
first inquiry made of a candidate, after entering the lodge is, in whom does
he put his trust? These are the essential requisites, and the cornerstone on
which our Masonic edifice is erected. Remove them, and the structure falls.
What is the course that the Grand Orient of France takes ? They have entirely
blotted out this necessary qualification, and leave it to the "ipse dixit" of
each initiate to decide as he prefers, thus entirely ignoring the imperative
belief in God and His attributes, as understood in all enlightened countries.
American Masons will not submit to such a monstrous proposition, and the mere
thought of it is well calculated to arouse our indignation and dissent. We
protest against such an innovation, and "wipe our hands" of it. Let such
sentiments prevail, and our enemies will desire no better argument with which
to destroy us. The Grand Lodges of Ireland and England have set noble examples
to the Masonic world, by remonstrating, and breaking off all intercourse with
these iconoclasts. Several of our Grand Lodges have followed their example,
and others will doubtless soon join their ranks. We feel that we speak the
sentiments of the Masons of Iowa when we say that we disapprove and condemn
the course of the Grand Orient of France, and we desire to express these
opinions still more emphatically by the resolution hereunto appended:
"RESOLVED, That the Grand
Lodge of Iowa, having learned with surprise and regret that the Grand Orient
of France has departed from the ancient landmarks, by blotting from the
constitution and ignoring the name of God, and not making a belief in Deity a
prerequisite for initiates, does hereby express its indignation at the course
she has taken, and herewith severs all relations heretofore existing between
"RESOLVED, That a copy of
this resolution be sent to the Grand Orient of France, and to each of the
Masonic jurisdictions with which we are in amicable relation."
With both friends and enemies
of Masonry unreservedly condemning the action of the French Brethren it would
seem that there must be little justification or defense. But as is usually the
case there were two sides to the issue. There were some peculiar circumstances
including such a radical departure, and the most interesting part of this
discussion will be to learn the motives and objects which actuated those
responsible for it. Do not forget, that if allowed to exist at all in Catholic
countries, as frequently they could not, Masonic Lodges necessarily had to he
much different in character than are ours in this "land of the free and home
of the brave." France and the French people had been under the dominion of the
Catholic Church from time immemorial and at that period a large majority of
the population were its members. The Church controlled all affairs of the
State. Of course Masons were struggling for liberty, justice and equality in
order to accomplish the separation of the Church and State and to loosen the
hold of the Church on the school system and public affairs, it was essential
that the reformers should be united and that none should be excluded by reason
of his belief. Thus the Grand Orient stood as the logical nucleus around which
an organization might be effected. They needed the support of all men of every
shade of religious belief, hence the declaration of absolute freedom of
thought and the elimination of all dogma, always,--as they expressed it--"the
starting point of narrowness and persecution." This was in 1877. In
1907--thirty years later--France accomplished the division of the Church and
State and Catholicism no longer remained "The Religion of France."
There was another factor in
the controversy-- The Scottish Rite body of Masonry, with which the Grand
Orient had been in continual controversy for many years over matters of
jurisdiction and the right to confer certain degrees. The Grand Orient Masons
have always resented the accusation that they promulgated unbelief and
atheism. In fact, and in support of an opposite contention, they cite the
circumstance, that when the amendment to change the constitution was proposed,
at a meeting of the Council, preliminary to the Grand Session, a Protestant
minister, M. Desmons, drew the report in support of the resolution in which he
argued that the disappearance of the original article of belief would not
imply a profession of atheism, but merely an admission into the Craft of men
of all opinions, and that Masonry should welcome men of all doctrines and
every shade of thought.
Here is the idea of a member
of the Grand Orient, expressed only a few weeks since:
"The Grand Orient of France,
while it respects all philosophical beliefs, insists upon absolute liberty of
belief. This does not mean that we banish from our lodges the belief in God.
The United Grand Lodge of England on the contrary desires to make a belief in
God in some manner compulsory. The Grand Orient of France is much more
liberal, since in proclaiming the absolute liberty of belief it permits to
each one of its members the liberty to believe or not to believe in God, and
by so doing desires to respect its members in their convictions, their
doctrines and their beliefs.
"This is the reason why
fraternal relations do not exist between the United Grand Lodge of England and
the Grand Orient of France. We regret this exceedingly. England has always
been considered, rightly in other respects, a country of liberty. It is
difficult to understand under the circumstances why the Freemasons of this
great and noble nation should want to deprive their brothers of France of this
Brother J. G. Findel, the
well known scholar, historian and journalist, in writing to the London
Freemason in 1878, ably stated the contentions of the French body in these
"But it is not my intention
to give such general declarations on the true meaning of the Royal Art, as it
seems more necessary to help to a right understanding of the resolution of the
Grand Orient of France. Our French brethren have not deserted the belief in
the existence of God and immortality of the human soul, in striking out the
discussed words of the first article of the constitutions, but they have only
declared that such a profession of faith does not belong to Masonic law. The
Grand Orient has only voted for liberty of conscience, not against any
religious faith. Therefore, the true meaning of the French constitution is now
only, that each brother Mason may believe in God or not, and that each French
Lodge may judge for itself which candidate shall be initiated or not. The
French vote is only an affirmative of liberty of conscience, and not a
negation of faith.
"The excommunication of the
Grand Orient of France by the Masonic Grand Lodges, is therefore an intolerant
act of Popery, the negation of the true principles of the Craft, the beginning
of the end of cosmopolitan Freemasonry. The excommunication of the Grand
Orient of France only proves the sectarian mind of the excommunicating Grand
Lodges, which have forgotten that Masonry has for its purpose to unite all
good men of all denominations and professions: they profess the separating
element, and destroy the Craft, and waste the heritage of our more liberal and
more tolerant forefathers. The Masonic union will in future be a mere
illusion, if the AngloSaxon Masons condemn the French, German, Italian Masons,
&c., and vice versa."
The great questions of
recognition, invasion of jurisdiction, establishment of irregular lodges and
many other matters which grew out of this movement can hardly be followed
here. They are worthy of further discussion.
What we started to tell was
"Why the French Grand Orient removed the Bible from its altar." It has been
noted in a very brief way how they did it and under the exigency of the
situation "got by with it" with a good conscience. That they were actuated by
high purposes few will deny, but most Grand Lodges then held and still aver
that Masonry can not be Masonry without strict adherence to the requirement of
a belief in God. Few of the Grand Lodges severing relations have ever resumed
them. Such action is still within the range of future possibilities. Who can
OPINION AND ACTION ON
MILITARY LODGES BY GRAND MASTERS
In the December issue of THE
BUILDER we published, in an article of five pages, a number of replies from
Grand Masters of the United States and Canada concerning the action taken or
contemplated in regard to the issuance of Dispensations to Military Lodges in
their respective Grand Jurisdictions. The personal opinion of the Grand
Masters was given where no action had been taken. Many of these replies were
crowded out of that issue for lack of space and these are here presented.
ALBERTA REQUEST FOR
At our Annual Communication
in May, 1916, M.W. Brother S.Y. Taylor, Grand Master, in his annual address
stated that he had received requests from several brethren who were members of
the 56th Overseas Battalion, to grant a Dispensation to them to form a Masonic
Lodge. After careful investigation by him the request was not acceded to, and
the Grand Lodge approved of his decision. After discussing the matter in Grand
Lodge, the three principal objections brought forward were:
1. That as the Battalions
leaving Canada would doubtless be broken up and drafted into other Battalions
it would be difficult for the Lodge to hold its identity.
2. It was considered an
infringement of jurisdiction to grant a charter to hold Lodges outside
3. There were sufficient
Lodges in England, France and elsewhere to amply look after our Military
Without going further in the
matter, I personally am in complete accord with the decision of our Grand
Lodge. W.M. Connacher, Grand Master.
* * *
ARIZONA GRAND MASTER DOUBTS
PROPRIETY OF SUCH LODGES
I have given some
consideration to the question you present and, in my judgment, the
establishment of these Lodges would be of very unquestionable propriety, for
several obvious reasons. First, it would be extremely difficult to exercise
the same degree of care in the choice of materials, as well as in the actual
operation of the Lodges, in conformity with the principles and precepts of
Masonry. Second, it seems to me that, with the great responsibility now
resting on our Government and the Nation, it is the duty of us all to
eliminate to the least possible degree, every activity not calculated to
contribute directly to the energetic prosecution of the war. Our soldiers, and
many of them are Masons, will have an immense amount of work to perform that
they will have but little time, if any, to devote to outside interests. It
seems to me that the whole thought and energy, not only of our Army and Navy,
but to a very large degree of our whole people, should be devoted, for the
present at least, to this one great enterprise. Masons can serve not only
their country but our Institution better in this way than if their energies
are divided or in any way directed to the organization or maintenance of
anything not calculated to contribute directly to the successful prosecution
of the one enterprise.
Charles C. Woolf, Grand
FLORIDA GRAND MASTER NOT
INCLINED TO MILITARY LODGE IDEA BUT THINKS HIS GRAND LODGE READY TO ASSIST
OTHER GRAND LODGES IN ANY ADVANTAGEOUS ARRANGEMENT
In the main I do not approve
of the idea of Military Lodges for history shows there is great difficulty in
keeping records, etc., which to my mind is highly important.
However, I am sure it is the
desire of the Grand Lodge of Florida to assist the American Grand Lodges in
this matter as fully as circumstances will permit, and to make any arrangement
that will be advantageous to the American Forces in Europe which will enable
Army Lodges to confer degrees upon citizens of Florida who may be serving in
the Army at that time and place, taking it for granted that the fact of the
applicant being regularly in the service and on foreign soil, it would be
considered a waiver of jurisdiction sufficient to enable the soldier or sailor
to receive the degrees in a Lodge chartered by any of the American Grand
Lodges. Apelles S. York, Grand Master.
* * * KANSAS DEPUTY GRAND
MASTER STUART FOLLOWS PRECEDENT OF FORMER GRAND MASTERS AND DECLINES TO
AUTHORIZE FORMATION OF MILITARY LODGE
I was called upon to take
action on such matter, and the following is a copy of my decision. Wm. I.
Stuart, Deputy Grand Master.
(Copy) Colonel Frank L.
Travis, Ammunition Train, 117th Division, Garden City, Long Island, New
My dear Sir and Brother:
The petition of yourself and
other brethren addressed to the Most Worshipful Grand Master, Charles E.
Lobdell, asking for letter of Dispensation, to form a military Lodge U. D.,
under authority of the Grand Lodge of Kansas, has in the absence of Brother
Lobdell from the state, been referred to me. After giving the matter careful
and due consideration, I have come to the conclusion that it is neither
expedient or desirable to grant such a letter of Dispensation. To do so would
be to act contrary to the rulings already laid down on this subject by
previous Grand Masters. In the proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Kansas of
1866, page 15, it is said in relation to Military Lodges:
"Now when these lodges have
ceased to exist, truly, indeed, it is said that the 'questions raised' are of
the most grave and serious import. The Grand Lodge of Kansas has cause to
rejoice that she unhesitatingly refused to give the sanction of her Masonic
authority to a single military lodge, and may congratulate herself that none
of those Masonic Ishmaelites can trace their paternity to her indiscretion."
The history of military
lodges in other Grand Jurisdictions has proven most unsatisfactory. Most
Worshipful Thomas J. Turner, Grand Master of Illinois, in his address to the
Grand Lodge of Illinois in 1865, concerning military lodges, had this to say:
"Previous to my installation,
several dispensations had been granted by my predecessor to open military
lodges in the army then in the field. I have never been fully informed as to
the extent of the powers granted by these dispensations, but I suppose they
did not confer any authority to invade foreign jurisdictions and make Masons
from the citizen soldiery of other States. In all the dispensations for
military lodges granted by me, jurisdiction was limited to a single regiment
of Illinois troops to which the dispensation was granted. I am led to believe
that some of the military lodges working under dispensation from our
jurisdiction have greatly abused their privileges, and brought reproach upon
our Order. Instead of confining their operation to Illinois regiments and
troops exclusively, as they ought to have done, they made Masons
indiscriminately from soldiers and citizens of other States, with very little
regard for the kind of material used. Wisconsin, Minnesota Iowa, and Missouri,
have especial cause to complain in this respect.
"M.'. W.'. Brethren Geo. W.
Washburne, Grand Master of Wisconsin, A.T.C. Pierson, Grand Master of
Minnesota, and E. A. Guilbert, Grand Master of Iowa, in the most fraternal
manner, called my attention to the fact that these military lodges were in the
habit of making Masons of citizens belonging to their respective
jurisdictions, and that candidates had been admitted whose characters wholly
disqualified them from becoming Masons. As soon as these facts became known to
me, I at once addressed letters to the Masters of all the military lodges
working under dispensations from our jurisdiction, instructing them not to
receive or act upon the petition of any one who was not known to be a citizen
of the State of Illinois. About that time most of our military lodges
suspended work, and, the war being closed, they ceased to exist, having done
some good and much mischief. I would fraternally ask our sister Grand Lodges
to overlook errors which were not designed or sanctioned by the Grand Master
or the Grand Lodge of Illinois.
"There is one question
connected with our military lodges to which I invite your careful attention.
What is to be the status of Masons who were made in those lodges? The lodges
ceased to exist when the war closed. Some of them had been broken up through
the long marches and hard fighting which immediately preceded the cessation of
hostilities; the brethren have no dimits, and in many cases cannot procure
even certificates of having been made Masons; some have received only one and
others only two degrees. They are all Masons, and will naturally seek
affiliation with Masons when they return to their homes. How that affiliation
shall be accomplished, and how those who seek advancement shall be disposed
of, are questions of grave importance, and of sufficient magnitude to demand
your prompt attention.
"In behalf of the brethren
who have been made Masons in our military lodges from citizens of other States
than Illinois, I would fraternally ask that our sister Grand Lodges adopt some
plan by which they may, if found worthy, become affiliated with lodges in
their respective jurisdictions."
That part of his address
above quoted, was referred to a Committee on Grand Masters' addresses, who
submitted the following as their report thereon:
"Very grave and serious
questions are raised by so much of the address as relates to military lodges
and their action. Either by direct authority of the Grand Lodge in
dispensations conferred, or by usurpation of power in those to whom the
dispensations were committed, it is clear that the rights of sister Grand
Lodges have been repeatedly invaded. Masons have been made not only of citizen
soldiers of Illinois in the field, but also of known citizens both of loyal
and disloyal states, under apparent authority from this Grand Lodge. For those
who were thus made Masons, and who reside in this jurisdiction, this Grand
Lodge should provide by recognizing them as such, and a resolution to that
effect is appended. For those who have been made Masons, and who of right
belong to other jurisdictions, this Grand Lodge can do no more than to request
the appropriate Grand Bodies where they may permanently reside to adopt them
into the general Brotherhood, if in other respects found worthy, and thus to
heal the breach which has been made in the walls.
"It is to be hoped that this
experience will forever close the question of traveling lodges operating
within regular foreign jurisdictions."
I desire also, to call your
attention to an opinion of the Grand Lodge of California on this subject. It
"An army lodge is an anomaly
in Masonry. Its meetings are held at any place where the exigencies of the
military service may cause a temporary encampment. If held in our own country,
such meetings are necessarily an invasion of the jurisdiction of other
regularly constituted lodges. During the clash of battle in our late Civil
War, it sometimes happened that army lodges, with their charters and records,
were swept from existence, and the unfortunate members of such lodges were
thus deprived of membership, without dimits or other records to show that they
had received the degrees of Masonry in a regularly chartered Masonic Lodge."
There are many other
authorities holding to the same effect, but it would seem unnecessary to quote
them further. For the good of the Fraternity generally, throughout not only
the Grand Jurisdiction of Kansas, but throughout the world, I am constrained
to deny your petition for letter of Dispensation for such military Lodge.
(Signed) Wm. I. Stuart, Deputy Grand Master.
* * *
LOUISIANA OPPOSED TO MILITARY
LODGES--FAVORS RECOGNITION OF FRENCH MASONS
After giving the matter very
careful consideration I must state that personally I am opposed to the
establishment of Military Lodges in this country for various reasons.
First, I do not believe there
is any power vested in the Grand Master to issue Dispensations for so-called
Travelling Lodges. Second, I do not believe that one could avoid intrusion
upon the jurisdiction of other Grand Lodges.
Third, The proper safe-guards
could not be provided in the way of suitable Lodge rooms so that work could be
done by the Lodges in a creditable manner.
Fourth, A Travelling Lodge
cannot have the facilities of a Regular Lodge, as to tracing the genealogy of
the profane, and upon this score it would cause confusion upon the disbanding
of the Travelling Lodge and the members made therein might not be such as
would be acceptable in a Regular Lodge. And if such were the case, those who
had attained the Master Mason Degree in a Travelling Lodge and who would make
application for affiliation to a regular Lodge would be more or less
humiliated should they be unable to obtain membership in a Regular Lodge after
their Travelling Lodge had disbanded.
I take the stand that in this
country all cantonments are located near cities that have Masonic Lodges and
in my jurisdiction, where I find that there are not sufficient Lodges, I
recommend the establishment of another Regular Lodge.
I am also taking steps to
provide proper rest-rooms, reading-rooms, etc., under the supervision of the
Masonic Lodges located in cities near the cantonments. So far, we are
utilizing the lower floors of the Masonic Temples for the purpose and
committees are appointed to look after the welfare of visiting soldier-Masons.
I realize, however, that some
arrangement should be made to look after the American soldier-Masons while in
France, because of our not being in fraternal intercourse with the French
brethren, and I believe there should be a concerted action by all Grand Lodges
or Grand Masters.
I, for one, am strongly in
favor of putting into practice that which we teach--"The Universality of
Freemasonry," and stretching forth our-hands to our French brother and calling
him "Brother" in every sense of the word. And why not do it? John W.
Armstrong, Grand Master.
* * *
MAINE NO ACTION TAKEN--GRAND
MASTER UNFAVORABLE TO THE IDEA No action has been taken by the Grand Lodge of
Maine on the question of Military Lodges, neither have I taken any action in
the matter. Personally I am not in favor of granting such permission. Waldo
Pettengill, Grand Master.
* * *
CONDITIONS DO NOT WARRANT GRANTING SUCH DISPENSATIONS-- BECOMMENDS ARMY AND
NAVY MASONIC CLUBS Under existing conditions I do not feel that it would be
wiseto grant Dispensations for Army or Travelling Lodges during the period of
the war. Indeed there is perhaps some doubt as to whether or not, without an
amendment to the Grand Constitutions, the Grand Master has the right to grant
such privilege. It may be that conditions will change so that it will seem
best at some future time to authorize the forming of Army Lodges under the
jurisdiction of our Grand Lodge as was done during the period of the
Revolutionary and Civil Wars. I do not believe that such a time will come.
Masonic intercourse can be
sustained and encouraged through the forming and maintaining of Masonic Clubs
both in the Army and Naval branches of the service. With Masonic Lodges in
almost every village and hamlet in this country there will certainly be no
lack of opportunity to attend Lodge meetings so long as our military forces
remain in the country.
Should the war be long
continued and large numbers of our Massachusetts enlisted brethren be sent
abroad the question of Travelling Lodges may assume a different aspect. For
the present I do not think we should authorize such Lodges. Leon M. Abbott,
* * *
NEVADA GRAND MASTER OPPOSED
TO MILITARY LODGES BUT FAVORS MEETINGS OF BRETBREN FOR INSTRUCTION, EXCHANGE
OF FRATERNAL GREETINGS AND FOR MASONIC FUNERAL SERVICES On the subject of
Military Lodges our Grand Lodge has taken no action whatever. There are no
cantonments within this State, neither are there any Regiments or other
military organizations formed in, or coming from this State. Therefore my
opinion will be personal and from a Masonic standpoint only, and as follows:
The several Grand Lodges
should not issue Dispensations for Travelling Military Lodges during the
period of this war for the following reasons:
The jurisdiction of a Grand
Lodge of any State is confined entirely to the territory within the boundaries
of that State, and therefore a Lodge receiving its charter from one
jurisdiction could not hold its meetings in another State and do so without
there being an invasion of Masonic rights.
I believe it would be unwise,
irrespective of any legal barrier, to grant a Dispensation to a Lodge in a
training camp, with full power to perform Masonic work. It would have a
tendency to place our Institution on a plane beneath the one it has always
held and to which it rightfully belongs.
Proper investigation on the
part of committees on petitions might not be made, for reasons which must be
apparent and need no setting forth at this time. Even in stable communities we
all know the black ball is one of our pillars of protection and regret to
admit that perhaps it is not used as often as it should be.
In the event of removal to
France, let us say, of any Regiment holding a Dispensation from a certain
jurisdiction which does not recognize the Grand Orient of France, what then ?
These brethren would not have the right of visitation and again it would be
worse than an invasion on the rights of the French Masons; not recognizing
them, yet establishing a Lodge in their midst, or in other uords, "flaunting a
The real Mason or Builder of
the craft will not lose an opportunity to visit a nearby Lodge or to mingle
with the brethren as often as possible, even if he be confined to a military
camp. Nor will he forget his teachings, should he have a proper understanding
of what Masonry tries to impart to its votaries.
I feel that permission should
be given, on proper request and after due investigation, to our brethren to
assemble in safe places for instruction if necessary, for the exchange of
fraternal greetings and to hold Masonic services over a deceased brother.
Thomas Lindsay, Grand Master.
* * *
NORTH DAKOTA MATTER UNDER
CONSIDERATION--ANY REQUEST MADE WILL PROBABLY BE GRANTED We have had no
request for a dispensation for a Military Lodge. However, this matter has been
under consideration by us for some time and we are inclined to feel that
should such request come to this office that it will be granted. North Dakota
has gone squarely on record as backing the government and we wish ts show
every consideration to the members of the Masonic fraternity who have
responded to their country's call. William J. Reynolds, Grand Master.
NOVA SCOTIA GRAND MASTER
FAVORABLE TO TIIE IDEA BUT REFUSES TO GRANT DISPENSATION FOR MILITARY LODGE TO
BE COMPOSED ONLY OF OFFICERS Perhaps I can best convey my views on the
question of Military Lodges, by the following extract from my address to the
Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia, delivered at the last annual communication, held
in June, 1917:
"While the Brigade of Nova
Scotia Highlanders were encamped at Aldershot undergoing training, I received
a request from some fifty members of our Lodges who were officers praying for
permission to establish a Lodge in connection with the Brigade, which they
would take with them Overseas. Previously I had discussed the idea with some
of our Brethren in the service there and who were members of this Grand Lodge,
and had expressed myself as favourable to the idea. I believed that it would
not be establishing a precedent, that dispensations had been issued in other
Grand Jurisdictions for similar reasons, and I knew that we could not do too
much to brighten the time while absent from us of our many brothers in this
valiant Brigade. When the application, which was in perfect form, reached me,
there was an accompanying number of resolutions, which had been adopted by the
applicants at an informal meeting held some days previously. One of these
resolutions was in effect that the membership of the Lodge would be restricted
to the officers, of whom some eighty, I was told, were Masons. At the same
time I was aware that there were in the ranks, among the non-commissioned
officers and men also a large number of our Brethren. The reason advanced for
the restricted membership was largely fear that a Lodge open to all classes in
the Brigade would be unwieldy. While I had much sympathy with this view, the
petition was denied on the grounds that owing to the governing resolution it
might be construed as the establishment of a class Lodge."
The special committee
appointed to report on the address did not deal specifically with this
portion, but generally treated of the official acts in these terms:
"Regarding his official acts,
we feel assured that dispensations were not granted unless the Grand Master
was satisfied that it was in the best interest of the Craft that they should
be. Your Committee concurs in the decisions he has given anrl recommend they
receive your approval."
The report was unanimously
adopted by Grand Lodge.
A close perusal of the annals
of British history, especially with regard to naval and military adventure
will establish that Masonry closely followed the flag. An instance is recorded
in connection with the wresting of Canada from the French in 1759. The
expedition was under command of General Wolfe and captured the strongholds of
Louisburg and Quebec. A part of the "furniture" of the expedition was a
Masonic Lodge, which held meetings on board the ships of the squadron. Don F.
Fraser, Grand Master.
* * *
OHIO DISPENSATION GRANTED TO
OHIO BRETHREN IN ALABAMA--CAN CONFER DEGREES ONLY IN FRANCE ON OHIO MATERIAL
Answering yours of the 18th relative to Military Lodges will say that I made a
recommendation against such Lodges in my annual Address, but of course based
upon the hypothesis that these Lodges would be conferring degrees in various
Jurisdictions of this Country.
At the meeting of our Grand
Lodge a resolution was offered to grant a dispensation to a number of Ohio
Brethren at Camp Sheridan, Montgomery, Alabama, to organize an Army Lodge,
which, however, would not have power to confer any degrees anywhere in the
United States, but only in France, and then upon such applicants as would be
eligible to petition Ohio Lodges for the degrees. These and a number of other
safeguards were provided in the regulations. After this there was no
opposition whatever to the granting of the dispensation, and it was readily
and unanimously granted by the Grand Lodge.
The Grand Master, Brother
Henry M. Hagelbarger, of Akron, Ohio, has also been given power to grant
dispensations to other Army Lodges in Ohio under the same restrictions and
regulations. Joel C. Clore, Past Grand Master.
* * *
GRAND MASTER HAS ISSUED
DISPENSATIONS FOR CONFERRING DEGREES OUT OF TIME BUT IS OPPOSED TO
ORGANIZATION OF MILITARY LODGES
Personally I am not in favor
of chartering a lodge at any of the military or cantonment stations.
It is my opinion that the
lodges near are sufflcient to carry on the work of the fraternity in a
wholesome manner. I do not believe in too much fraternal agitation when we
have to make a display of it as the chartering of a lodge would certainly do.
Personally, as Grand Master,
I have given hundreds of special dispensations to confer the degrees out of
time on worthy young men whose petitions for the degrees had been regularly
received and had remained with the lodge a constitutional number of days for
ballot, and who have been duly elected.
In my judgment this is the
best way to handle the Masonic situation as far as military force is
concerned. Any man who desires to become a Mason has the opportunity of being
made one under such regulations as th;s and at the same time each individual
lodge has the constitutional length of time to study the character of each
applicant before he is elected.
If they petition for the
degrees and have to leave before they can be elected, a special dispensation,
together with a request, will give the applicant the work at whatever
cantonment or fort at which he happens to be located.
In my judgment this is not
the time to argue, or raise the question of the patriotic duty of the
President or those associated with him in granting or refusing secret orders
privileges on military grounds.
In other words, I am with the
Government of the United States and intend to sustain our President, at least
until the close of the war.
This battle is in the
interests of democracy and democracy is in the interests of Masonry.
Samuel W. Hogan, Grand
ONTARIO GRAND LODGE AND GRAND
MASTER OPPOSED TO GRANTING OF SUCH DISPENSATIONS--REFUSED TO DO SO IN 1914 AND
The question of granting
dispensations to Naval and Military Lodges was, in 1914 and 1915, suggested by
some of the members in our jurisdiction, but the weight of opinion was, and I
think still is, that it would be unwise to grant Military and Naval warrants
in these days when Grand Lodges are so evenly distributed in such numbers over
the civilized world. It was felt that there would be great difficulty in
regulating the powers of such lodges, controlling the conduct of the members
thereof and preventing encroachments in jurisdictions where sensitive brethren
might be offended by unwarranted trespassing on their rights. No matter how
praiseworthy our conduct might be and how pure our motives, we felt there was
too much to be lost and too little to be gained by warranting Military and
Naval Lodges. We, therefore, decided to take no action.
I do not intend this as any
reflection on any jurisdiction that has granted or intends to grant warrants
for Military and Naval Lodges. I wish these courageous brethren all success.
W. H. Wardrope, Grand Master.
* * *
PENNSYLVANIA MILITARY LODGES
WOULD DETRACT FROM THE BUILDING OF CHARACTER
No occasion has arisen for
the official action of this Grand Lodge upon the subject of Military Lodges.
As Grand Master I have
discouraged applications being made for warrants of "Regimental" or "Army
Lodges." As I view it, there are several objections to the granting of such
warrants--among them might be mentioned the difficulty and almost
impossibility of keeping proper records. Then, too, Freemasonry is a solemn
and serious business. One of its main objects is the building of character.
This requires deliberate and careful study of the genuine principles of our
Fraternity. The conditions which would warrant a peripatetic Lodge would be
unfavorable to this result. In all probability neither the character of our
work, nor the spirit of Freemasonry would be maintained to the high degree to
which it is entitled, by the establishing of Military Lodges.
Louis A. Watres, Grand
* * *
QUEBEC NO DEMAND FOR SUCH
ACTION IN THIS JURISDICTION IN MANY YEARS
I presume your inquiry has
been prompted by the prospective large number of soldiers going overseas but
so far as this jurisdiction is concerned neither myself nor this Grand Lodge
has taken any action in connection with the matter seeing that there has never
been any demand for same for many years.
My personal opinion is that
the necessity for such Lodges has long since passed away seeing that the
common practice existing from 75 to 150 years ago of sending regiments to far
off countries and keeping them there for long periods has to a large extent
ceased and the rapid growth of Masonry in those parts of the world has placed
within easy reach of Military forces Masonic communications which did not
This country has four hundred
thousand men on active service 3,000 miles from their homes, but no question
of this nature has arisen, indeed under present conditions of warfare such
Lodges would be of little service or benefit. At the present time a Mason may
easily be fighting at the front today and tomorrow night he may be in London
attending his Lodge meeting. What a change in conditions from the time the
battle of Waterloo, for instance, was fought! W. W. Williamson, Grand Master.
OBJECTIONS TO SUCH LODGES
OUTWEIGH RESULTANT GOOD SOUGHT FOR
The Grand Lodge of Rhode
Island has taken no action with reference to the establishment of Military
Lodges. The Semi-Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge will be held in
November, but so far as I am advised there is no intention to take favorable
action upon this question at that time. In my opinion the objections to the
advisability of granting permission for the organization of such Lodges far
outweigh the resultant good that is sought to be accomplished.
1. While there may be ample
precedents for the establishment of Military Lodges, such precedents are
founded more upon the old than the new conception of Masonic regularity.
2. It would be impossible to
exercise over Military Lodges that direct supervision and control which now
ensures harmony and uniformity among subordinate Lodges.
3. The nature of the
environment and the vicissitudes of military life would necessarily preclude
the exercise of such prudence as should always safeguard Masonic activities.
4. The inherent difficulty
and impossibility at times of complying with constitutional rules and
regulations and the consequent hasty, incomplete and ineffective
exemplification of the work resulting therefrom.
5. The temporary and
transitory character of the authorization of such Lodges, the inevitable
conflict of powers underdispensations from so many grand jurisdictions, and
the slight and imperfect connection and attachment to a supreme body.
6. The certainty of there
being such a large number of unaffiliated Masons throughout the country after
the termination of the war upon the revocation of the dispensations
authorizing such Lodges.
7. In general the
establishment of such Lodges would not tend toward the maintenance of the
present high standard of Masonic qualification that is now exacted, but would
tend to the impairment of the authority, regularity, conservative reputation
and future usefulness of the Fraternity. Herbert Ambrose Rice, Grand Master.
NO ACTION TAKEN--WOULD BE
UNWISE UNDER PRESENT CONDITIONS
I have your two letters
requesting me to give you my views as to the advisability of getting
permission for the organization of Military Lodges.
Our Grand Lodge has not taken
any action with reference to this matter and I do not personally favor any
such action at this time. So far as I know, all of the cantonments are located
near regularly constituted Lodges and the Masons in this State are extending
every privilege and courtesy to the brethren in camps. So long as this
condition exists, I do not think it would be wise to authorize the
organization of Military Lodges. In addition to this, it is very doubtful
whether the War Department would permit such organizations.
R. A. Cooper, Grand Master.
SOUTH DAKOTA MILITARY LODGES
FAVORED--PROSPECTIVE CANDIDATES SHOULD BE ELECTED BY THEIR SOME
LODGES--MILITARY LODGE TO CONFER DEGREES AND PROPERLY INSTRUCT CANDIDATES
The young manhood of our
country is called upon to pass through an experience the far-reaching
consequences of which they do not perhaps fully realize.
It is to be theirs to assist
in the determination of the future of nations: to change the course of
They are going out to unknown
perils--physical and moral.
Their physical welfare will
be provided for as far as is possible.
Can we, believing as we do in
the elevating influence of Masonry, do better than to make it easier for those
eligible to admission to obtain entrance into our Order and receive the
benefit of its infiuence as a moral balance-wheel ?
I believe Army Lodges should
be established; that they should not have power to receive and act on
petitions; that prospective candidates should apply to their home lodges and,
if elected, the lodge electing notify the army lodge, which should be
empowered to confer the degrees and properly instruct the candidate, who would
become a member of the electing lodge upon receiving the M. M. degree.
Fred H. Rugg, Grand Master.
NO PROVISION IN TEXAS LAW
AUTHORIZING MILITARY LODGES
Our Grand Lodge meets in
Annual Communication the first week in December, when this matter will
probably come up for action. At present, there is no provision under our law
for army lodges, and I do not believe that our Grand Lodge will establish
Frank C. Jones, Grand Master.
WOULD GRANT DISPENSATION TO
MILITARY LODGE FOR SOCIAL AND BENEVOLENT PURPOSES
Your letter addressed to
Brother Field has been passed on to me. Brother Field died on July 31st, and I
have succeeded to the position of Grand Master.
I am opposed to the
organizing of Military Lodges, at the present time. In 1864, Grand Master
Harmon, who was in the Confederate Army refused to grant dispensations for the
organization of Military Lodges in Virginia. When a soldier, who would of all
men know of the needs of such Lodges, refused to organize same, I am
constrained to believe that it would not be for the best interest of Masonry
in Virginia for me to issue dispensations at this time to organize Military
Lodges. I would strongly resent any Military Lodges coming into this Grand
Jurisdiction and conferring degrees either on a man from Virginia or not. The
facilities for obtaining the degrees are so great now that no worthy man need
be kept out. In addition to this, no Grand Master would refuse to grant
dispensations to those who are either in, or ready to go in, the Military
service of the Country, that would expedite the conferring of the degrees upon
them. I would, however, not object where there was a sufficient number of
Masons in a Company or a Regiment from this State to granting them a
dispensation to open a Masonic Lodge, provided that they would not be
permitted to receive the petitions of anyone or confer degrees. In other
words, if they wanted a Lodge for purely social and benevolent purposes, I
would not be adverse to granting dispensation for same. Earnest L.
Cunningham, Grand Master.
WISCONSIN GRAND LODGE HAS
TAKEN NO ACTION
The Grand Lodge has taken no
action on the matter and I have given it no consideration as yet. I will be
glad to write you at a later time concerning this. W. S. Griswold, Grand
WYOMING FIELD LODGES NOT
You have asked me what, if
any, action has been taken by the Grand Lodge, A. F. & A. M., of this
jurisdiction or myself as Grand Master, upon the question of Military Lodges
and in reply I beg to state that no action along this line has been taken
either by the Grand Lodge or by myself. The Annual Communication of the Grand
Lodge was held in September and the matter was not discussed; neither has any
request or suggestion along the line been made to me in my official capacity.
My first impressions, after
reading your letter were that Military Lodges might be considered somewhat in
the nature of a necessity under the present stress of circumstances and that
their creation would therefore be for the good of the craft. Upon more mature
reflection, however, I am about convinced that no permanent and lasting good
could come from this free and easy, and haphazard manner of dispensing Masonic
authority. In the first place, a Military Lodge could in no sense of the word
be stable or permanent; its officers and membership must necessarily be
continuously changing with the demands of military necessity. A Lodge cannot
give best results except under a Master and Wardens, as well as inferior
officers, who are in a sense, permanent for at least a period of time, working
for the welfare of the Lodge and the brethren. One of the Landmarks of the
Institution is that only men of character and of good report before the world
should be admitted to membership. The only method by which society may arrive
at its conclusion as to these characteristics in a man is by observation of
the deportment of an individual living in a community for a period of time. In
a Military Lodge this would be entirely dispensed with and while it might be
handled with sufficient care in the case of permanent Lodges in admitting
military men without the required length of residence to afford security, yet
where the entire membership is of this class, more or less slipshod methods
would necessarily obtain. The bar naturally created by military discipline
between officers and enlisted men would not serve to a good advantage in a
Lodge composed strictly of these classes, while the same bar would not have
effect in the ordinary civilian Lodge where officers and men mingle with
civilians. The naturally floating character of a Military Lodge, the
difficulty of keeping its records and keeping track of its membership,
together with the very near offense against Masonic tradition and law of a
Lodge under one Grand Jurisdiction sitting as a Lodge within a sister Grand
Jurisdiction, throws a realm of doubt around the proposition which leads me to
believe that it would not be the part of Masonic wisdom to constitute strictly
Military Lodges, unless, perhaps, it might be at permanent military posts
under the Grand Jurisdiction in which they are located.
The demand in our
jurisdiction has been taken care of to a considerable extent by special
dispensation to confer the degrees upon applicants who have been called to the
T. Blake Kennedy, Grand
THE RENASCENCE OF THE
BY BRO. FREDERICK W.
HAMILTON, 33d ACTIVE, GRAND SECY., MASS.
THIS momentous event was far
more than a union or reunion of bodies which had unfortunately fallen into
separation and discord. Had it been only that, it would well deserve our
rejoicings. Its inner significance, however, was so much greater that, so far
as the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States is concerned, the
title which I have chosen for this paper does not go beyond the facts.
Only the briefest historical
resume is desirable at this time. We all remember how two movements purporting
to be beginnings of the Scottish Rite were started in New York at nearly the
same time, one by Bideau, the other by Cerneau. Judged by modern standards the
Bideau movement was of doubtful regularity, the Cerneau movement undoubtedly
irregular. We know how any irregularities which may have attached to the
Bideau movement were healed by the action of the Southern Supreme Council, and
we know how the Cerneau movement, again and again dying and as often revived,
managed to maintain a precarious existence. We know the story of the
unfortunate break in the ranks of the body descending from Bideau when the
majority of the members of the Supreme Council repudiated the leadership of
Raymond and chose Van Rensellaer for their head. We know also how the Raymond
body combined with the Cerneau body and in turn reunited fifty years ago with
the followers of Van Rensellaer.
We can never fully understand
what occurred until we realize where the real root of the trouble is to be
found. It lay in the unregulated and sometimes reckless use of the
unquestionably great powers belonging to a Sovereign Grand Inspector General.
A man who had attained to this rank was and is a Masonic monarch. Excepting so
far as his powers were limited by the Constitutions of Frederick the Great, he
was a Masonic autocrat. Even the Constitutional limitations were not always
observed. The Sovereign Grand Inspectors General not only possessed these
great powers, but they possessed the right of conferring them upon others
without diminution. Unfortunately, these powers carried with them the
opportunity for personal emolument, as it was entirely within the right of a
Sovereign Grand Inspector General to take fees for degrees and deputations,
and to convert those fees to his own use. Theoretically, these powers still
belong to the office of a Sovereign Grand Inspector General. In practice, as I
need not remind you, they are generally held in abeyance, at least so far as
their exercise by individuals is concerned. In the earlier phase of the
Scottish Rite in America, however, the Sovereign Grand Inspectors General took
themselves and their powers very seriously indeed. We find them founding new
bodies by their own authority and without conference with other Masons of like
grade: We find them admitting others by patent to their own exalted rank, and
these others, in turn, extending the Rite and passing on their powers by
deputation. We find any Sovereign Grand Inspector General, without always
exercising much care as to the letter of his authority and jurisdiction,
conferring degrees on whomsoever-he chose.
The powers of a Sovereign
Grand Inspector General were ad vitam, and he could confer powers ad vitam
upon others by deputation. All the officers of Supreme Councils, whether
elected or appointed, served ad vitam. It is only necessary to recall these
conditions to see how practically inevitable it was that confusion should
occur, that acts of doubtful regularity should be done, that questions of
authority should arise practically impossible of solution, and that arbitrary
and improper use should be made of power.
Indeed under those
circumstances it would be very difficult to decide how far the powers of an
individual Sovereign Grand Inspector General or of a Sovereign Grand Commander
did really extend, or to pass authoritatively upon the regularity of many acts
which might be seriously questioned though committed with the best of
intentions. In fact the schism in the Northern Supreme Council arose out of
just such a condition.
Fortunately we are not called
upon to sit in judgment today upon the men of the period before 1867 or upon
their acts. We are concerned only with the facts and we are happily able to
say that the most important facts involve constitutional questions about which
equally good men might wisely differ, questions which, indeed, have not been
settled to this day. No one can question the absolute sincerity and entire
conscientiousness of Edward A. Raymond. His distinguished career as a Mason in
Massachusetts, leading through many honors and culminating in the great office
of Grand Master of that ancient jurisdiction, is sufficient testimony to the
quality of the man. Acting with a high sense of responsibility he interpreted
in the largest sense the powers which he held not only as a Sovereign Grand
Inspector General but as Sovereign Grand Commander. He undoubtedly felt that
this last position gave him a measure of authority over the other Sovereign
Grand Inspectors General which was in some respects even greater than the
prerogatives of a Grand Master. The majority of the other Sovereign Grand
Inspectors General, whom we should today consider as his peers, took a
different view. They were men whose sincerity and conscientiousness are no
more open to question than Raymond's. Among them were some of the wisest and
most accomplished Masons of their day. Moved by the same high sense of duty
and responsibility they not only refused to recognize the powers which Raymond
claimed and exercised, but they went farther and claimed the right to depose
him, a right which he in turn refused to recognize.
There was here an
irreconcilable difference of opinion upon a grave question of Constitutional
Law concerning which equally well intentioned men with equal knowledge of the
Constitutions and equal Masonic vision and experience might and did differ
irreconcilably. We are not called upon today to say that either party was
wrong or that either was right. As we shall presently see, the question was
removed from the region of practical importance by the conditions of the
The schism once created, the
inevitable evil consequences ensued. It is not necessary to go into the
details of mutual attack and defense, of competition and rivalry, or of
desperate plans laid to meet desperate conditions. It is enough to say that in
the storm and stress of the struggle between the rival councils, both were led
to do things which neither would have thought of doing under normal
conditions. It is significant that after the reunion the brethren were
unwilling to discuss those days which seemed like nightmares in their
Our Ill. Brother Gallagher
made earnest and repeated efforts to induce Ill. Brother Samuel C. Lawrence to
record his memory of those days, offering to send a stenographer to whom
General Lawrence could talk informally, and to do the work of editing these
informal notes, submitting them to General Lawrence for his final approval,
but in vain! Even to this day Ill. Brother Daniel W. Lawrence, the Nestor of
Massachusetts Freemasonry, is unwilling to go into these discussions.
But after all these
occurrences did not indicate the real nature of the brethren of those days.
Most, if not all, of the members of both Supreme Councils were clear of head
and sound of heart. Consider for a moment who and what they were. All men have
a right to have their words and deeds, real or alleged, judged in the light of
their personality and of their entire records. A certain man said, "I came not
to bring peace, but a sword." The words themselves might well have fallen from
the lips of the arch enemy of mankind. Their true value appears when we
consider them in the light of the life and character of the man who uttered
them, the man who has been called for nineteen centuries the Prince of Peace.
The members of the Rival
Supreme Councils were picked and chosen from the body of Masonry, that is to
say, from a body of men already selected with care. They had been tried and
tested by many years of experience and of service. They had won the love and
respect of their Brethren. Many of them stood very high in the esteem of their
fellow citizens generally. They were outstanding individuals in the splendid
body of American manhood and citizenship. Such men could not fail to perceive
and to deplore the conditions which existed, nor could they fail earnestly to
desire their amendment.
It was only necessary that
they should be brought together face to face and kept together long enough to
wear away the first antipathies and asperities and to bring their real natures
to the surface, to bring about an amicable adjustment. Fortunately there were
those among them who were ready to promote and assist such a conference, and
who had the tact, the persistency, and the sweet reasonableness which would
enable them to do away with surface difficulties and to keep at their task of
peacemaking until the heart of the matter was reached. These peacemakers set
about their task with a patience and a devotion worthy of their purpose.
Without a trace of selfish ambition or desire for personal aggrandizement they
set themselves wholeheartedly to the noble and glorious world of saving our
beloved Institution from the condition into which it had fallen and making
possible the realization of the splendid ideals of Scottish Rite Masonry. How
gloriously successful they were, we know. How they labored and what sacrifices
they made, we can never fully know. How full and free the mutual surrender and
renunciation was which actually took place we have many times been told. It is
no wonder that these men, not weaklings or callow youths, but strong men,
mature, distinguished, flung themselves into each other's arms with shouts of
joy, that they wept and sang, and danced and shouted like a group of school
boys. They did not rejoice with the calm satisfaction of the statesmen who
sees the fruition of plans long cherished. They rather rejoiced with the
exuberant satisfaction of those who throw off an intolerable burden, who
escape from thraldom and who feel that at last they can be themselves.
Had they stopped to think
about it as statesmen they could hardly have adequately estimated the
importance of what they had done. They had done more than bring together two
rival bodies. They had brought together into a harmonious and effective whole
two widely different temperaments and sets of ideals. The old Scottish Rite
Masonry was deeply imbued with the political and social ideals of Continental
Europe before the French Revolution, the age of the benevolent despots. It was
deeply tinctured with the philosophical universalism and independent free
thinking of a time when these intellectual qualities had to be cherished in
secret. In spirit it was thoroughly monarchical. All power was inherent in and
proceeded from the Sovereign Grand Inspectors General. Authority devolved
downward from the head. It was not derived from the members. It was no
accident that Frederick of Prussia was its great patron and organizer. The
complex character of Frederick, the most autocratic of monarchs who yet
considered himself the first functionary of the state, the military genius who
found his greatest pleasure in writing verses and playing the flute, the
widely read philosopher who regarded all religions with toleration not quite
free from disdain, and who spent his life in the service of his fellow men as
he understood it, but without ever learning to love them, finds many a
reflection in the temper and spirit of the older Scottish Rite Masonry.
Blue Lodge Masonry, however,
was of different origin and of a different spirit. In its organized form it
came from England and brought with it the traditions of English liberty and
democracy. Descended from a long line of organizations of intelligent
workingmen, it was full of sturdy independence, of democratic self-reliance,
of the wholesome scorn of artificial social distinction native to those who
have learned in the school of breadwinning that true aristocracy restores
efficiency and service.
While free from the narrow
limitations of sect or creed, it was in fact mainly Christian and not a little
disposed to be Puritan. In spirit it was thoroughly democratic. Its Grand
Masters possessed great inherent powers and prerogatives. They were monarchs,
it is true, but they were elected, Constitutional monarchs, serving for but a
short time and returning into the body of the Brethren by whom they had been
chosen and from whom they had derived their powers. The distinguishing
characteristic of Blue Lodge Masonry of British origin is that the seat of
power is not in a monarch or in a House of Peers; it is in the great body of
The happy blending of these
widely differing temperaments and methods gave the newly organized Supreme
Council union, stability, and power. The old lawless fashion of exercising the
great powers of the Sovereign Grand Inspector General without regulation and
without responsibility to his peers was distinctly ended. The introduction of
the system of the election and appointment of the officers of the Supreme
Council, including the Sovereign Grand Commander, for terms of short duration
settled the question of the responsibility of the Sovereign Grand Commander to
the Supreme Council. The question of the power of the Council to depose its
Commander is hardly more than an academic one when that officer is elected for
a term of only three years. He may well serve so long as health and strength
may permit, but his peers by their triennial exercise of the suffrage pass
judgment upon his stewardship.
The powers of a Sovereign
Grand Inspector General are today in no wise really diminished or impaired,
but his use of them is carefully regulated and remedies are provided for their
abuse. More important than all the Constitutional regulations is the new
spirit of solemn responsibility in the exercise of a great trust. The
Sovereign Grand Inspector General no longer considers himself a ruler over his
brethren, but a servant among them, recognizing in the high office to which he
has been called, not a personal honor, a gift of power, or an opportunity for
enrichment, but seeing in it only the call to a great service which his
Brethren deem him better fitted than another to render.
The powers of the Supreme
Council are unimpaired. It is still the source of all power and authority in
the Rite. There is neither power nor authority anywhere in the Rite which does
not devolve from it, but the Council as a body feels a solemn sense of
responsibility in the exercise of these powers. It does not work for itself or
for its members, it works for the good of the brethren.
The philosophy of the Rite is
as broad and inclusive as ever. It knows no distinction among men who strive
to find and serve God. It does not inquire into their philosophy or their
theology. It does not ask in what sacred book they find their instruction and
inspiration, it does not inquire into the form or substance of their prayers
or even ask the name by which they address the one God when offering to him
their petitions. It believes that God is God, no matter what men name Him, no
matter how they pray to Him, no matter how they think about Him, for, after
all, these matters depend largely on the accident of birth. The Christian
Bishop might well be a Brahmin, if he had been born in India, and the Jewish
Rabbi might well be a Protestant minister, if he were born in New England of
Mayflower ancestry, but the new sense of responsibility extends here as well
and the Scottish Rite Masonry of today, though not less tolerant, is more
It is to these inner
qualities more than to the external union that we owe the prosperity of the
present and the splendid prospects for the future. Union, stability, and power
have been realized. Like all of the finest things in the world, they are in
their essence spiritual and not material. We are not strong because divisions
have been banished from among us or because we are daily increasing in numbers
and wealth, although the Rite enjoys a growth of prosperity undreamed of,
indeed undesired, fifty years ago, but because we have learned better the
Royal Secret, because into the new body created by the union of 1867 there has
come a new soul. It is like the old stories which tell us how by some
experience a being strong, beautiful, but mortal, became endowed with
immortality through the infusion or the awakening of a soul. The future of our
beloved Rite through the long vista of the years is safe because it has found
OF MASONRY: AN ODE
BY JOHN BANCKS OF SUNNING
I. GENIUS of MASONRY !
In mystic Numbers while We
Enlarge Our Souls; the Craft
And hither all Thy Influence
With focial Thoughts Our
And give Thy Turn to ev'ry
While grofs BATAVIA, wall'd
Thy purer Joys delight no
And winding SEINE, a captive
Laments Thee wand'ring from
Here fpread Thy Wings, and
glad thefe Ifles,
Where ARTS refide, and
Behold the LODGE rife into
The Work of INDUSTRY and ART.
Tis grand, and regular, and
For fo is each good MASON'S
FRIENDSHIP cements it from
And SECRESY fhall fense it
A STATELY DOME o'erlooks Our
Like Orient PROEBUS in the
And TWO TALL PILLARS in the
At once fupport Us, and
Upholden thus, the Structure
Untouch'd by facrilegious
For Concord form's, Our Souls
Nor Fate this Union fhall
Our Toils and Sports alike
And all is Harmony and Joy.
So SALEM'S Temple rofe by
Without the Noife of noxious
As when AMPHION tun'd his
Ev'n rugged Rocks the Mufick
Smooth'd into Form they glide
And to a THEBES the Defert
So at the Sound of HIRAM'S
We rife, We join, and We
Then may Our Vows to Virtue
To VIRTUE, own'd in all her
Come CANDOUR, INNOCENCE, and
Come, and poffefs Our
MERCY, who feeds the hungry
And SILENCE, Guardian of the
And Thou ASTRAEA, (tho' from
When Men on Men began to
Thou fled'st, to claim
Down from OLYMPUS wing Thy
And, mindful of Thy antient
Be prefent ftill where MASONS
Immortal SCIENCE, too, be
(We own Thy Empire o'er the
Drefs'd in Thy radiant Robes
With all Thy beauteous Train
INVENTION, young and
Here GEOMETRY, with Rule and
In EGYPT'S Fabrick Learning
And ROMAN Breafts could
And VULCAN'S Rage the
And BRUTUS, last of ROMANS,
Since when, difperss the
Or fill paternal Thrones
But, loft to half the human
With Us the VIRTUES fhall
And, driv'n no more from
Place to Place,
Here SCIENCE fhall be kept
And MANLY TASTE, the Child of
Shall banifh VICE and DULNESS
United thus, and for thefe
Let SCORN deride, and ENVY
From Age to Age the CRAFT
And what We build fhall never
Nor fhall the World Our Works
But ev'ry BROTHER keens the
From the Miscellaneous Works
in Prose and Verse of John Bancks, (of Sunning, Berkshire, England), vol. 1,
pages 33-39. London, 1738.
BULLETIN -- NO. 14
DEVOTED TO ORGANIZED MASONIC
Edited by Bro. Robert I.
THE BULLETIN COURSE OF
MASONIC STUDY FOR MONTHLY LODGE MEETINGS AND STUDY CLUBS
FOUNDATION OF THE COURSE
THE Course of Study has or
its foundation two sources of Masonic information: THE BUILDER and Mackey's
Encyclopedia. In another paragraph is explained how the references to former
issues of THE BUILDER and to Mackey's Encyclopedia may be worked up as
supplemental papers to exactly fit into each installment of the Course with
the paper by Brother Clegg.
The Course is divided into
five principal divisions which are in turn subdivided, as is shown below:
Division I. Ceremonial
Masonry. A. The Work of a Lodge. B. The Lodge and the Candidate. C. First
Steps. D. Second Steps. E. Third Steps.
Division II. Symbolical
Masonry. A. Clothing. B. Working Tools. C. Furniture. D. Architecture. E.
Geometry. F. Signs. G. Words. H. Grips. Division III. Philosophical
Masonry. A. Foundations. B. Virtues. C. Ethics. D. Religious Aspect. E.
The Quest. F. Mysticism. G. The Secret Doctrine. Division IV. Legislative
Masonry. A. The Grand Lodge. 1. Ancient Constitutions. 2. Codes of Law. 3.
Grand Lodge Practices. 4. Relationship to Constituent Lodges. 5. Official
Duties and Prerogatives. B. The Constituent Lodge. 1. Organization. 2.
Qualifications of Candidates. 3. Initiation, Passing and Raising 4.
Visitation. 5. Change of Membership. Division V. Historical Masonry. A. The
Mysteries--Earliest Masonic Light. B. Study of Rites--Masonry in the Making.
C. Contributions to Lodge Characteristics. D. National Masonry. E. Parallel
Peculiarities in Lodge Study. F. Feminine Masonry. G. Masonic Alphabets. H.
Historical Manuscripts of the Craft. I. Biographical Masonry. J. Philological
Masonry--Study of Significant Words.
THE MONTHLY INSTALLMENTS Each
month we are presenting a paper written by Brother Clegg who is following the
foregoing outline. We are now in "First Steps" of Ceremonial Masonry. There
will be twelve monthly papers under this particular subdivision. At the head
of each installment will be given a number of "Helpful Hints" consisting of
questions to be used by the chairman of the Committee during the study period
which will bring out every point touched upon in the paper.
Whenever possible we shall
reprint in the Correspondence Circle Bulletin articles from other sources
which have a direct bearing upon the particular subject covered by Brother
Clegg in his monthly paper. These articles should be used as supplemental
papers in addition to those prepared by the members from the monthly list of
references. Much valuable material that would otherwise possibly never come to
the attention of many of our members will thus be presented.
The monthly installments of
the Course appearing in the Correspondence Circle Bulletin should be used one
month later than their appearance. If this is done the Committees will have
opportunity to arrange their programs several weeks in advance of the meetings
and the Brethren who are members of the National Masonic Research Society will
be better enabled to enter into the discussions after they have read over and
studied the installment in THE BUILDER.
REFERENCES FOR SUPPLEMENTAL
PAPERS Immediately following each of Brother Clegg's monthly papers in the
Correspondence Circle Bulletin will be found a list of references to THE
BUILDER and Mackey's Encyclopedia. These references are pertinent to the paper
and will either enlarge upon many of the points touched upon or bring out new
points for reading and discussion. They should be assigned by the Committee to
different Brethren who may compile papers of their own from the material thus
to be found, or in many instances the articles themselves or extracts
therefrom may be read directly from the originals. The latter method may be
followed when the members may not feel able to compile original papers, or
when the original may be deemed appropriate without any alterations or
HOW TO ORGANIZE FOR AND
CONDUCT THE STUDY MEETINGS
The Lodge should select a
"Research Committee" preferably of three "live" members. The study meetings
should be held once a month, either at a special meeting of the Lodge called
for the purpose, or at a regular meeting at which no business (except the
Lodge routine) should be transacted--all possible time to be given to the
After the Lodge has been
opened and all routine business disposed of, the Master should turn the Lodge
over to the Chairman of the Research Committee. This Committee should be fully
prepared in advance on the subject for the evening. All members to whom
references for supplemental papers have been assigned should be prepared with
their papers and should also have a comprehensive grasp of Brother Clegg's
PROGRAM FOR STUDY MEETINGS
1. Reading of the first
section of Brother Clegg's paper and the supplemental papers thereto.
(Suggestion: While these
papers are being read the members of the Lodge should make notes of any points
they may wish to discuss or inquire into when the discussion is opened. Tabs
or slips of paper similar to those used in elections should be distributed
among the members for this purpose at the opening of the study period.)
2. Discussion of the above.
3. The subsequent sections of
Brother Clegg's paper and the supplemental papers should then be taken up, one
at a time, and disposed of in the same manner.
4. Question Box.
Invite questions from any and
all Brethren present. Let them understand that these meetings are for their
particular benefit and get them into the habit of asking all the questions
they may think of. Every one of the papers read will suggest questions as to
facts and meanings which may not perhaps be actually covered at all in the
paper. If at the time these questions are propounded no one can answer them,
SEND THEM IN TO US. All the reference material we have will be gone through in
an endeavor to supply a satisfactory answer. In fact we are prepared to make
special research when called upon, and will usually be able to give answers
within a day or two. Please remember, too, that the great Library of the Grand
Lodge of Iowa is only a few miles away, and, by order of the Trustees of the
Grand Lodge, the Grand Secretary places it at our disposal on any query raised
by any member of the Society.
The foregoing information
should enable local Committees to conduct their Lodge study meetings with
success. However, we shall welcome all inquiries and communications from
interested Brethren concerning any phase of the plan that is not entirely
clear to them, and the services of our Study Club Department are at the
command of our members, Lodge and Study Club Committees at all times.
HELPFUL HINTS TO STUDY CLUB
From the following questions
the Committee should select, some time prior to the evening of the study
meeting, the particular questions that they may wish to use at their meeting
which will bring out the points in the following paper which they desire to
discuss. Even were but five minutes devoted to the discussion of each of the
questions given it will be seen that it would be impossible to discuss all of
them in ten or twelve hours. The wide variety of questions here given will
afford individual Committees an opportunity to arrange their program to suit
their own fancies and also furnish additional material for a second study
meeting each month if desired by the members.
In conducting the study
periods the Chairman should endeavor to hold the discussions closely to the
text and not permit the members to speak too long at one time or to stray onto
another subject. Whenever it becomes evident that the discussion is turning
from the original subject the Chairman should request the speaker to make a
note of the particular point or phase of the matter he wishes to discuss or
inquire into, and bring it up when the Question Box period is opened.
QUESTIONS ON "ENTRANCE AND
1. How many phases of
initiation does Brother Clegg speak of? What are they?
2. What is the Lodge's part
in granting admission to a candidate? What is the candidate's part?
3. Can a man become a Mason
who does not declare his motives for seeking admission ? What were your
4. Do you have to be vouched
for in order to get a job? Why? How could the Senior Steward vouch for you
when he was, perhaps, a stranger to you ? Has your Masonic career justified
his confidence in you? Can you give a history of the word vouch?
5. Why did you await
permission to enter? Why did you not walk right in ? Is Masonry a right or a
privilege ? Do you treat it as such ? Who granted you permission to enter? Why
could not another officer have granted that privilege ? Are you able to "wait
with patience" until you are promoted in your business or your trade ? Did the
laws governing your entrance into Masonry signify or symbolize to you the laws
governing entrance into all the great experiences and achievements of life?
How do you gain entrance into business knowledge, trade skill, success or
fame? Into art, knowledge, character?
6. Can you give a definition
of Masonry in your own language? Do you find it difficult to do so? Can you
define the following: Home, religion, politics, love, happiness ? Do you know
Albert Pike's definition of Masonry?
7. Did the brethren "meet you
half way" when you sought admission? Why were they glad to receive you ? Has
your Masonic career disappointed them ? Are you equally willing to admit a
brother Mason to your friendship ?
8. What do the pillars
symbolize to you ?
9. What are the real
penalties of Masonry ? Are they similar to the penalties of dishonor and
disloyalty in other fields? Does friendship die when you are false to it? Does
your body grow ill when you abuse it? Does truth die in the liar ? How many
kinds of death are there ? Does manhood die in the man who breaks its laws?
Does patriotism die in the traitor ? Are the worst penalties physical and
material ? Have you ever felt as if an instrument of torture had been plunged
into your body?
10. Do you think that
Entrance and Reception symbolize re-birth ? Why ? How were you born into
education ? Into citizenship ? Into mastery of your trade ? Is a man born into
religion ? What is meant by "new birth" ? Does Masonry ever help a man to be
born again? Can you give instances?
BY BRO. ROBERT I. CLEGG
PART II--ENTRANCE AND
TWO PHASES OF INITIATION LET
us consider the two-fold aspect of initiation. It is sought by the candidate,
and if he is found worthy, it is granted by the Lodge. He personally
demonstrates his needs, the Lodge grants him relief. When he grasps the latch
of the door, the Lodge releases the bolts.
RELATIVE POSITION OF LODGE
AND CANDIDATE It will be seen at once that the relative positions of the Lodge
and the candidate are quite different though closely related. In fact the
common phrase from the Scriptures is deeply significant to the thinking Mason.
The seventh chapter of St. Matthew says: Ask, and it shall be given you; seek,
and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that
asketh, seeketh; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh it
shall be opened. The Lodge does not seek the candidate. He himself must seek
entrance into the Lodge and this must be of his own initiative.
DECLARATION OF MOTIVES None
may be received into our midst who does not first give satisfactory reasons as
to why he is applying for admission. Note the coincidence of the initial
letters of the three important words in the Scripture passage, Ask, Seek,
Knock--the word ask being suggestive of the voluntary act of the candidate in
speech. His will power is shown in the search, his quest for the promised
reward, and his earnestness is evidenced by an alarm. The tidings of the
applicant's desire and his devotion are made known to others by his speech and
MUST BE VOUCHED FOR Yet not
of himself can the candidate advance to the inner mysteries. Prepared as he is
in mind, body and reputation, one thing more is essential--competent Masonic
witnesses must vouch for him at any and all stages of his progress. We stand
not alone in Masonry. None are apart from their fellows. Neither as lonely
monument nor as solitary rock stands any Mason. Rather he is perfected for a
place among the many others, supporting his share of the common load and
bearing his part in upholding the social and moral structure erected by men
upright and true.
AWAITS PERMISSION TO ENTER
Asking for acceptance, seeking for enlightenment, signalizing his readiness,
the applicant awaits the pleasure of the one in authority.
RECEIVED BY THE LODGE Let us
now turn to the part played by the Lodge in the reception of the candidate. He
is not received as are the visiting initiates. His admission is by other doors
and by different paths than theirs; there is nothing similar at any stage.
The candidate is analyzed,
the visiting brother is recognized. The Lodge meets the one with welcome while
the other is temporarily put on probation. The Lodge is represented at all
points by an officer whose duty it is to make the proper investigations that
all present may be fully informed. So thorough are the inquiries that none in
attendance may doubt the qualifications possessed by the applicant. Consider
for yourself the nature of the examination, the manner of its administration
and its aptness to the occasion. The measure of its completeness and accuracy
is the standard of official competency in the Lodge.
MASONRY DEFINED TO THE
CANDIDATE Granted that the candidate has satisfied the Lodge of his
worthiness, he is then in turn enlightened as to what a Mason should be, what
he should know and what he should do. These are the essence of Masonic
Freemasonry is a system of
moral knowledge in action. Other definitions are to be found but the one that
is most easily memorized and workable will receive preference.
With this word of suggestion
the student of Masonry may not unprofitably employ a few moments in defining
Masonry for himself. He will gain much thereby. For a definite statement of
what it means to him will give him a better grip on the foundation of the
institution and what it means to him in personal value will enable him to take
a Masonic inventory of his fraternity relations and rewards, his duties and
Let us not forget at this
stage the good old definition which runs as follows:
"Freemasonry is a peculiar
system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols."
Mackey deemed it more
comprehensive and exact to define Freemasonry as a science engaged in the
search after Divine Truth, and which employs symbolism as its method of
But still keeping in mind the
attitude of the Lodge toward the candidate and in the light of the definition
that we first submitted, let us briefly suggest the means employed for the
communication of Masonic truths.
Masonry is rehearsed to the
candidate by the rendition of ritual, imparted to his mind by story, and
impressed upon the memory by symbols. By drama, story and symbol in
combination, the eye and the ear and the recollection co-operate and
continually tend to enrich and train the mind and quicken the consciousness
and conscience of the reflecting members of the Craft.
THE CANDIDATE AMONG FRIENDS
That friendliness is of the very salt of the earth when it is true and trusty.
Life's sweetness is in the friends of proven quality. To walk with such as
these is security indeed. Dangers and difficulties fade away in their presence
and we go forward fearlessly in that goodly company.
MASONRY AN ESTABLISHMENT OF
STRENGTH He that enters the Temple of the faithful walks between landmarks at
right and left, the supporting symbols of strength and stability. Such is our
institution to the initiate, a structure of permanence and of power made up of
persons buttressed by benevolent principles and cemented by faith.
FRIENDLY REMINDERS It is well
for this building of ours that at the very entrance the candidate be reminded
of where he stands and what is to be expected. Reminders may be acute or weak,
strong or slight, gentle or vigorous, temporary or permanent, yet friendly.
Truly it is the act of a friend that the lesson should be long of life. To
chastise the body may be but to chasten the character; rather bodily anguish
than starvation of soul.
PREPARATION, ENTRANCE AND
RECEPTION SYMBOLIC OF RE-BIRTH
Three steps we have now taken
in our study, Preparation, Entrance and Reception. Have we truly grasped their
significance? To have done so we must have first realized what we have left
behind. We have been divested of much which the outside world has to offer us,
of power, wealth and honors. We have been reminded of the necessity of
disrobing our minds of the ignorance and prejudice of every-day life. We have
been taught the necessity for new ties and new restraints which remind us of
the days of the school-room. "Preparation" has assumed a new meaning to us,
yet a meaning which can be demonstrated in daily life as sane and wholesome.
"Entrance" likewise, has for
us hidden meanings. The period of preparation ended, we advance toward new and
unknown experiences. Not by our strength alone may we enter there. Aided and
assisted by those who may as yet have no vital, personal interest in our
progress, but who are moved by impulses born of a fellowship and a mission
which they know and would share with us, we make this first Masonic venture.
For us it is in fact a birth into a new world--a birth more clearly symbolized
by the steps we take than we may have realized.
Are we to be "accepted" into
this new world ? Will we be received? Will those who have received Light and
yet further Light be willing to take us into the bosom of their fellowship,
bear with our misunderstandings, our awkward conformity to their customs, our
worldly standards but partly cast off?
Not until we have been tried
and tested. Not until we have shown our disposition to learn as they have
learned. Not until our steps have grown steady, our ability to hold ourselves
upright is proven. Not until we shall have proven ourselves worthy of the
Yet withal we are met by a
love very much like the love of a mother for her child, by an understanding of
our weaknesses and frailties; the while Masonry tenders us, in a spirit of
fraternity and forbearance, that wholesome nourishment for the mind and soul
which for us means growth, development and stature.
So are the pangs of birth. In
travail and in labor are brought forth great good. Education is discipline.
Character as a word shows its origin in that it means something cut or carved
as by chisel or graver. The rod of the school-master is a symbol of the
training of life. Fear is relieved by experience, and cast out by love made
perfect. The glowing years of youth with every added light increases the
vision, the steps of Masonry likewise broaden the outlook, enlarge the
sympathies, illumine the understanding, and strengthen the convictions of the
REFERENCES FOR SUPPLEMENTAL
PAPERS The following references to Mackey's Encyclopedia and THE BUILDER all
have a bearing upon the subject treated in the foregoing paper by Brother
Clegg. Lodge and Study Club Committees should decide upon those which they may
wish to use and then assign to some of their interested members the task of
preparing and presenting them as supplemental papers at the same meeting at
which Brother Clegg's paper is used.
The article, "What An Entered
Apprentice Ought to Know," by Brother Hal Riviere, which appeared in the
April, 1917, Correspondence Circle Bulletin, will be found particularly
appropriate in connection with the current installment of the Course.
Mackey's Encyclopedia: Alarm;
Deacons; Declaration of Candidates; Door; Knocks; Sharp Instrument. THE
BUILDER: Birth, vol. II, p. 205. Candidate's Motives for Making Application,
vol. II, p. 377; vol. III, p. 311; Oct. 1917 C. C. B. p. 5 Definitions of
Masonry, vol. I, pp. 9, 54, 74, 263, Lib. 27, Q.B. 93 Cor. 245: vol. III, pp.
17, 44, 102, Apr. 1917 C.C.B. p. 5 Definition of Masonry by Ball, J. O., vol.
I, p. 285. Kuhn, Wm. F., vol. I, p. 87. Mackey, Albert G., vol. I, p. 67.
Pike, Albert, vol. I, p. 37. Penalty, vol. III, Apr. 1917 C. C. B. p. 1. What
An Entered Apprentice Ought to Know, vol. III, Apr. 1917 C. C. B. p. 5.
(NOTE--In order to give our
readers who do not have access to a copy of Mackey's Encyclopedia an idea of
the wealth of suggestive material to be found in those volumes, and-to show
them why we have adopted this work in connection with our own previous
Volumes, as a basis for the Bulletin Course of Masonic Study, we shall from
time to time publish a few pertinent references, instead of merely citing
them. This will give Study Club leaders a better opportunity, perhaps, to
appreciate the manner in which we believe the study hour can be made more
interesting and more profitable.)
The verb "to alarm"
signifies, in Freemasonry, "to give notice of the approach of some one
desiring admission." Thus, "to alarm the Lodge" is to inform the Lodge that
there is some one without who is seeking entrance. As a noun, the word "alarm"
has two significations. 1. An alarm is a warning given by the Tiler, or other
appropriate officer, by which he seeks to communicate with the interior of the
Lodge or Chapter. In this sense the expression so often used, "an alarm at the
door, simply signifies that the officer outside has given notice of his desire
to communicate with the Lodge. 2. An alarm is also the peculiar mode in which
this notice is to be given. In modern Masonic works, the number of knocks
given in an alarm is generally expressed by musical notes. The word comes from
the French "alarme," which in turn comes from the Italian "all arme,"
literally a cry "to arms," uttered by sentinels surprised by the enemy. The
legal meaning of to alarm is not to frighten, but to make one aware of the
necessity of defense or protection.
And this is precisely the
Masonic signification of the word.
In every Symbolic Lodge,
there are two officers who are called the Senior and Junior Deacons. In
America the former is appointed by the Master and the latter by the Senior
Warden; in England both are appointed by the Master. It is to the Deacons that
the introduction of visitors should be properly entrusted. Their duties
comprehend, also, a general surveillance over the security of the Lodge, and
they are the proxies of the officers by whom they are appointed. Hence their
jewel, in allusion to the necessity of circumspection and justice is a square
and compasses. In the center, the Senior Deacon wears a sun, and the Junior
Deacon a moon, which serve to distinguish their respective ranks. In the
English system, the jewel of the Deacons is a dove, in allusion to the dove
sent forth by Noah. In the Rite of Mizraim the Deacons are called acolytes.
The office of Deacons in
Masonry appears to have been derived from the usages of the primitive church.
In the Greek church, the Deacons were always the pylori or doorkeepers, and in
the Apostolical Constitutions the Deacon was ordered to stand at the men's
door, and the Subdeacon at the women's, to see that none came in or went out
during the oblation.
In the earliest rituals of
the last century, there is no mention of Deacons, and the duties of those
officers were discharged partly by the Junior Warden and partly by the Senior
and Junior Entered Apprentices, and they were not generally adopted in England
until the Union of 1813.
The emblematic use of a
"sharp instrument" as indicated in the ritual of the First Degree, is intended
to be represented by a warlike weapon (the old rituals call it "a warlike
instrument"), such as a dagger or sword. The use of the point of a pair of
compasses, as is sometimes improperly done, is an erroneous application of the
symbol, which should not be tolerated in a properly conducted Lodge. The
compasses are, besides, a symbol peculiar to Third Degree.
DECLARATION OF CANDIDATES
Every candidate for
initiation is required to make, "upon honor," the following declaration before
an appropriate officer or committee. That, unbiased by the improper
solicitation of friends and uninfluenced by mercenary motives, he freely and
voluntarily offers himself as a candidate for the Mysteries of Masonry; that
he is prompted to solicit the privileges of Masonry by a favorable opinion
conceived of the Institution and a desire of knowledge; and that he will
cheerfully conform to all the ancient usages and established customs of the
Fraternity. This form is very old. It is to be found in precisely the same
words in the earliest edition of Preston. It is required by the English
Constitution, that the candidate should subscribe his name to this
declaration. But in America the declaration is made orally, and usually before
the Senior Deacon.
SECRETARY OF WAR RESCINDS
ORDER BARRING FRATERNITIES FROM ARMY CAMPS
Through the courtesy of
Brother James W. Witten, Grand Master of the District of Columbia, we are
furnished a complete report of the meeting of representatives of various
fraternal organizations called in conference on October 29 last, by the
Secretary of War, "to take up the matter of a constructive program that will
secure co-operation in the work that is being done by the committee on
training camp activities." The minutes of this meeting, made by E. St. Clair
Thompson, Special Deputy of Edward W. Wellington, G.G.M. of the General Grand
Council, R. & S. M. of the United States, are so complete and well written
that we reproduce them here in full.
It is a matter of sincere
congratulation to the Craft that Masonry was so ably represented, and that
throughout the deliberations the spirit of tolerance was uppermost. We cannot
refrain from expressing our own gratification that this conference has
eliminated an apparent attitude of friction which has occasionally been
present in the Masonic Press, as we read the text of the splendid Resolutions
presented by Sovereign Grand Commander Moore and his confreres of the
Committee. They breathe a spirit of loyalty of which Masonry may well be
proud. They form a platform upon which every Branch of Freemasonry may stand
shoulder to shoulder with every other Branch. It remains but to carry into
effect the letter and spirit of the Resolutions--as has been pledged by the
Brethren present at the conference - a task which should command the united
effort and unselfish co-operation of every one of us, no matter what his
degree or rank or title.
Brother Witten's letter to
the Grand Masters of the Grand Jurisdictions of America, in which he briefly
explains the conditions leading up to this conference, inviting their
co-operation in a spirit as broadminded and sympathetic as his own, follows:
To the Grand Masters of
Masons of the Several Grand Jurisdictions of the United States. M. W. and
Soon after the Secretary of
War excluded Freemasons and other fraternities and associations from engaging
in welfare work within military camps and accorded that privilege exclusively
to the Young Men's Christian Association and the Knights of Columbus, I
requested our Grand Chaplain, Rev. Hugh T. Stevenson, of this City, who is
experienced and deeply interested in work of that kind, and who, as I well
knew, was otherwise especially qualified and particularly available for that
purpose, to undertake to secure a modification of the Secretary's order.
Through his able, earnest and indefatigable efforts, supplemented and greatly
aided by Brother George Fleming Moore, Sovereign Grand Commander of the
Supreme Council of the Thirty-third and Last Degree of the Ancient and
Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry for the Southern Jurisdiction of the
United States of America, the Secretary's original action was modified by an
order, a copy of which is herewith enclosed, under which our Craft, either
individually or in conjunction with other fraternities, will be permitted to
engage in welfare work within cantonments where local conditions will permit
its doing so.
I was satisfied from the
beginning that the Secretary did not either desire or intend to make any
invidious distinction between the Knights of Columbus and Freemasonry or other
fraternities, and that that organization was admitted only as the
representative of one branch of the Christian Church whose adherents were not
admitted to all the privileges and prerogatives accorded by the Young Men's
Christian Association to the followers of the Protestant Churches. It was for
that reason that I refrained from criticising or censuring his actions,
believing as I did that far more harm than good would result from doing so,
and that the de sired results could be much more easily secured by other
methods. I am, with assurances of my highest esteem, Yours fraternally, JAS.
W. WITTEN, Grand Master of Masons for the District of Columbia. * * *
Pursuant to request of the
Secretary of War, a conference was held between the Secretary and a number of
gentlemen representing various fraternal organizations, in the office of the
Secretary, War Department, Washington, D.C., at 3 P.M., Monday, October 29,
A.D. 1917, for the purpose above stated.
Present: Newton D. Baker,
Secretary of War, Raymond B. Fosdick, in charge of training camp activities,
and the following:
John J. Brown, Supreme
Chancellor, Knights of Pythias; Joseph A. Burkhart, representing the Grand
Exalted Ruler, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. Col. P.H. Callahan,
representative of the Supreme Knight, Knights of Columbus; George E. Corson,
General Grand High Priest of the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of
the United States; Joseph A. Flaherty, Supreme Knight, Knights of Columbus; J.
W. Ford, Supreme Dictator, Loyal Order of Moose; L. S. Gottleib, representing
the B'rith Abraham Order; Frank C. Goudy, Grand Sire, Independent Order of Odd
Fellows, accompanied by E. W. Bradford, representative of the Grand Sire;
Adolph Kraus, president of the Independent Order of B'nai B'rith; Max L.
Hollander, grand secretary, B'nai Abraham; W. W. Mansfield, representing the
Supreme Councillor, Order of United Commercial Travelers of America; Hon. Jos.
McLaughlin, president of the Ancient Order of Hibernians of America; Hon.
George Fleming Moore, Sovereign Grand Commander, Supreme Council 33d, of the
A. & A. S. R., Southern Jurisdiction, U. S. A.; Charles E. Ovenshire, Imperial
Potentate, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine; Dr. J. G. Pace,
representing the Society of Modern Woodmen of America; Wm. S. Parks,
representing Lee S. Smith, Grand Master of Knights Templar of the United
States; Solomon Schelinsky, Grand Master of Independent Order of B'rith
Abraham; Edwin S. Schmid, Grand Monarch, Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of
the Enchanted Realm; Hon. Morris Sheppard, representing the Sovereign
Commander, Modern Woodmen of the World; Lewis E. Sisler, representing the
Supreme Commander of the Maccabees; Hon. Barton Smith, Sovereign Grand
Commander, Supreme Council 33d, A. & A. S. R., Northern Jurisdiction, U. S.
A.; E. St. Clair Thompson, representing Edward W. Wellington, General Thrice
Illustrious Master of the Royal and Select Masters of the United States.
The meeting was called to
order by the Secretary of War.
The Secretary called
attention to the fact that the Government is in the business of raising and
training a large army made up of young men taken from time to time from the
usual environment of young men with regard to church, social and fraternal
affiliations; that these men are being congregated in camps of unusual size,
which are in fact cities of 40,000 or more inhabitants; that both because of
the different method of selection as well as the large and more unique
organizations of troops and the problems to be met and solved in connection
with their handling, we are face to face with questions never before presented
The Secretary alluded to the
statutory provision made for caring for the religious side of camp life, in
the legal provision for army chaplains, but said it was found that this did
not meet the situation in all its social, fraternal and moral aspects.
After commenting on a large
number of developments along this line since the mobilization began, the
Secretary stated that the matter had shaped itself in his thought under two
First: What shall we do for
the soldier in camp?
Second: What can we do for
the soldier in communities adjacent to the camp?
Nearly all the men have some
traditional religious affiliation. The law provides for that in the
appointment of chaplains. The function of a chaplain is entirely religious. In
addition to that, is what we know as the social side. The Knights of Columbus
and the Y.M.C.A. are built around that idea. We now have chaplains, the
Y.M.C.A. and the Knights of Columbus, and lately the Y.W.C.A. has undertaken
to help in the communities on the girls' side in providing suitable meeting
places and surroundings where the men may meet women.
The committee on training
camp activities has been at work on these problems and in considering what had
been accomplished, the revelations made in the course of the work and the
suggestions which come from these sources, the Secretary stated he felt if
there could be a way in which members of the same society could meet in camp,
he felt sure it would be a helpful thing but that considering the necessities
of discipline and the various questions involved, he was also of the opinion
that the major help to be rendered by fraternal societies is in the
communities outside rather than in the camp itself, from which the soldier
wants to go whenever he has an opportunity.
The Secretary declared
himself as being without prejudice and that what he sought was the best way:
the way which will produce the most efficient use of co-operation.
The Secretary alluded to the
fact that some of the camps are temporary; that the purpose of training these
men is to send them to France; that it would be a serious financial burden to
encourage the erection of buildings in the camps, if there were no other
objections; that the Government has had to purchase or rent most of the land
on which these camps are located and that the demand for more land is
constantly increasing. He therefore suggested that the men present in the
meeting work out some plan by which a single building could be erected which
would be available for all the societies so that by a committee they could
manage access to the building and have these places as central points for
distribution of literature, etc.
The thought of the Secretary,
as developed, seemed to be to leave intact, matters so far as they now exist
in connection with training camp activities but that the societies represented
in the meeting should get together in some additional campaign.
He was asked if that was his
thought, and if it was, that he give some suggestions of how a movement
independent of the committee on training camp activities could result in
co-operation in the work Or that committee, in which the various societies
represented in the meeting would have no part.
This led to the development
of the thought that the Y.M.C.A. does not represent all the Protestant
affiliations or social activities or view points and that the Knights of
Columbus is wholly sectarian; that none of the societies represented desire
the establishment of units of their particular organizations for the purpose
of conferring degrees, etc., having Lodge meetings or the like, but that they
felt that neither the Y.M.C.A. or the Knights of Columbus nor the Jewish
Welfare Society adequately covered the field and that so long as the present
order continues, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to secure
whole-hearted enlistment, in the work to be done, on the part of those social
and fraternal organizations which are now barred from privileges such as are
accorded the Y.M.C.A. and the Knights of Columbus; that what is demanded is
that all be treated alike and all be subordinated to the exigencies of
necessary discipline of the camps; that they were perfectly willing to work
outside of the camps and were doing so but that they thought they should have
a "look-in" on the inside as well as those now particularly favored; that the
motive and desire of every society was to be of service to the country. It
seemed to be a consensus of opinion that no lodge work of any kind should be
permitted in the camps or any other practice allowed which would interfere
with discipline or arouse controversy among the men in the camps or those
outside of the camps who might be interested. The Secretary was again told
that there had been much dissatisfaction because of the order that no
organization except the Y.M.C.A. and the Knights of Columbus would be allowed
inside of camps but the Secretary was assured that if he would outline a plan
which would meet with the approbation of the representatives there assembled,
they would put it through.
A vote was then taken
expressing the sentiment of those present that it would be unwise to have
buildings erected in the camps for holding meetings of lodges of fraternal
organizations, for conferring degrees, etc.
The Secretary then said:
Every society or order which desires to erect a building for social use in a
camp is free to apply to the commanding officer and he is free to grant
permission if the land is available but it is understood that they must, of
course, take and abide by the judgment of the commanding officer as to that
and that the Secretary of War would be available for consideration of any
injustice which might arise or be thought to have arisen so far as such action
on the part of the Secretary would not be an overruling of the discretion of
the commanding officer.
The Secretary stated that the
Government cannot undertake to erect buildings for common use of
The Secretary here called Mr.
Raymond B. Fosdick to the chair and retired for consultation with Mr. Thomas
A. Edison. A pleasant diversion was the entrance of Mr. Edison into the room
where he was greeted with much applause and then retired.
Mr. Fosdick took the chair
and the discussion proceeded.
Various attempts were made to
frame a resolution which would meet the voice of those present and finally a
motion was adopted that the chair appoint a committee of seven from this
meeting to draft a set of resolutions concerning the participation of
fraternal organizations in social work and helpful endeavor in the various
camps and cantonments; that this committee report to the conference at 9 A.M.
tomorrow, the 30th of October, in the War Department; that the resolution so
drafted by the committee may be considered by the conference for adoption and
that the conference meet with the Secretary of War at 10 A. M. for
presentation of the action of the conference on these resolutions. The chair
named: George Fleming Moore, Sovereign Grand Commander, S. R. S. J., Chairman.
Frank C. Goudy, Grand Sire, Odd Fellows. John J. Brown, Supreme Chancellor, K.
P. Morris Sheppard, Banker, W. O. W. Dr. J. G. Pace, M. W. A. Col. P. H.
Callahan, Knights of Columbus. Adolf Kraus, President, B'nai B'rith.
The discussion was
participated in by Messrs. Thompson, Brown, Smith, Moore, Pace, Sheppard,
Goudy, Kraus, Hollander, Callahan and Flaherty. * * *
Tuesday, October 30, 1917, 9
The conference of
representatives of fraternal societies on training camp activities of the
United States army reassembled in the War Department at this office for the
purpose of hearing and acting on report of the committee appointed on the 29th
instant by a meeting of these representatives to draft resolutions expressive
of its desire in this behalf.
Present: E. W. Bradford, John
J. Brown, Joseph A. Burkhart, P. H. Callahan, George E. Corson, Raymond B.
Fosdick, Frank C. Goudy, Adolf Kraus, Dr. J. G. Pace, W. W. Mansfield, Joseph
McLaughlin, George F. Moore, W. S. Parks, Morris Sheppard, Rev. Hugh T.
Stevenson, E. St. Clair Thompson.
The meeting was called to
order by Judge George F. Moore, E. St. Clair Thompson acting as Secretary.
The resolutions as prepared
by the committee were presented by the Chairman of the Committee, Judge George
F. Moore. Upon consideration and after general discussion the resolutions were
perfected and unanimously adopted as follows:
Your Committee appointed to
consider and report our conclusions, suggest the adoption of the following
Resolved, That we earnestly
thank the Secretary of War for his clear, frank and able statement of the
reasons on which the former action of the War Department was based, relating
to the erection of buildings within the camps and cantonments of the armies of
the United States: we thank him for the patient and courteous hearing which he
has accorded us and we especially thank him for his wise, patriotic and timely
announcement that hereafter all the camps and cantonments of the armies will
be open for the erection, occupation or use of buildings within them or for
other desirable activities in such camps and cantonments by any fraternal,
benevolent or similar society of recognized and well established character,
having members in such camps or cantonments, which shall have first obtained
permission from the General of the Army or other officer commanding the
particular camp or cantonment, under rules prescribed by the Secretary of War,
and that after the erection or arrangement for use of a building or buildings
within the camps and cantonments, or the beginning of desirable activities
therein by such fraternities or groups of fraternities, all of them would be
accorded equal facilities and privileges for doing social, fraternal and
benevolent work and service.
Resolved further, That since
it is necessary to provide the means to erect or arrange for use of buildings
and carry on the work which these orders desire to undertake and to determine
the modes in which our services may be rendered effective to secure the
voluntary support of the orders which we directly represent, as well as the
constituent and associated Bodies, we request that time be given each order to
formulate and report to the War Department the scope and details of the work
or service in which each society or combination of societies desires to
Resolved further, That it is
the opinion of this Conference that no order or society should be permitted to
confer degrees or engage in any of its secret work within the camps or
Resolved further, That we
pledge to the Secretary of War and our Government our best efforts to help and
assist in the work and service of securing and maintaining the comfort,
entertainment and well-being, moral as well as physical, of our soldiers
without the camps and cantonments, as well as within them. (Signed) George F.
Moore, Chairman. Morris Sheppard. John J. Brown. J. G. Pace. Frank C.
Goudy. P. H. Callahazl. Adolf Kraus.
During the discussion of the
resolutions it appeared that fraternal societies represented in this
Conference but not included in the previous order of the War Department have
already taken steps and have collected large sums of money for the erection
and equipment on the outside of camps and cantonments of gymnasiums, clubs and
other means of caring for the needs, comfort and entertainment of soldiers in
camps and cantonments in various parts of the country, particular mention
being made of Camp Devon, Mass., Battle Creek, Mich., Yaphank, N. Y., Des
At this point Mr. Fosdick was
requested to retire and advise the Secretary of War that the meeting was ready
to present resolutions it had adopted.
The Secretary of War entered
the meeting and assumed the chair. The resolutions as adopted by the meeting
were presented by Judge Moore as the unanimous voice of those assembled.
THE SECRETARY OF WAR: Except
as to the first three paragraphs which thank the Secretary of War, the
resolution seems most happily conceived. This means then, as I understand it,
that the several societies here represented, or with such affiliated bodies as
are in their judgment more or less cognate, will work out plans according to
their own theory as to how they can best be satisfied and those plans will
come to me and my end of it is to draw orders to make those plans effective
within the limits of possibility and opportunity. It is understood that all
this effort is to be along helpful, social and fraternal lines making for
clean lives, good health and effective service to the Government and that in
carrying on these lines of activities no secret work of any organization is to
be conducted inside of the camps or cantonments and that is not desired.
Second: To the extent of
available ground at any camp, authority is to be given, in the discretion of
the commanding officer, for the erection of any building or buildings of any
fraternal society or group of societies.
Third: To the extent that
there exist available buildings in a camp or cantonment the commanding officer
is to lend his assistance in securing their use for social and fellowship
purposes of these societies.
* * * Attention was called to
the fact that much work has already been done by these societies on the
outside of camps and that it was desired that duly accredited representatives
of these societies having members within the camps should be accorded the
privilege of going into the camps and cantonments, greeting the boys and
inviting them to places of provision for then without the camps. This was
assented to by the Secretary of War who stated that this would be a matter of
detail within the discretion of the commanding officer.
The meeting adjourned with
the understanding that the Secretary of War would be furnished a complete copy
of the Minutes of the Conference including the Resolutions adopted at this
session; that the Secretary of War would issue orders in conformity with the
determination had at this Conference and that the various representatives in
the Conference would be furnished copies of this order.
ROSICRUCIANS AND FREEMASONS
BY BRO. JOHN G. KEPLINGER,
THERE is, perhaps, no more
interesting theory of the origin of Freemasonry than that given by DeQuincey,
in his essay on "Rosicrucians and Freemasons." This account is an expansion of
a Latin dissertation prepared by Prof. J. G. Buhle, logic professor in a great
German university and read by him before the Gottingen Philosophical Society
in the year 1803.
In this paper Prof. Buhle
endeavors to do two things: First--to show that the Rosicrucian cult was the
miscarriage of a projected secret society by means of which a young Lutheran
theologian hoped to correct the flagrant evils of his time, and--
Second--that Freemasonry was
an outgrowth of Rosicrucianism. I will briefly review the essay and leave it
for you to decide whether or not DeQuincey and the professor establish their
Towards the close of the
sixteenth century the evils of Germany were said to be enormous and the
necessity for some great reform was universally admitted. That the desire to
institute such a reform was in the mind of at least one writer of the period
is evident from three books of fiction which he produced and published in or
about the year 1610.
The first of these books is
worthy of notice because it serves as an introduction to the others. This
book, entitled "Universal Reformation of the Whole Wide World," is a tale of
no inconsiderable wit and humor. According to it the Seven Wise Men of Greece,
together with M. Cato and Seneca, were summoned to Delphi by Apollo to
deliberate on the best way of redressing human misery.
All sorts of strange schemes
were proposed by these wise men. Thales advised that a hole be cut in every
man's breast, and a little window placed in it so that vice and hypocrisy in
the heart could be detected and extinguished. Solon proposed an equal
partition of all possessions and wealth. Chilo thought the best way to the end
in view was to banish from the world those two infamous and rascally
metals--gold and silver.
Kleobulus came forward as the
apologist of gold and silver. He thought that if the use of iron was
prohibited wars would be discontinued among men. Pittacus insisted on the
passing of more rigorous laws which would make virtue and merit the sole
passports to honor. Periander objected to the suggestion of Pittacus because
he thought there never had been a scarcity of such laws, nor of princes to
execute them, but scarcity enough of subjects conformable to good laws.
Bias thought that the nations
should be kept apart. To confine each to its own territory he advocated that
bridges be demolished, mountains rendered insurmountable and navigation
Cato, said to be the wisest
of the party, wished that God, in his mercy, would wash all women from the
earth by another deluge and at the same time introduce a new arrangement for
the continuance of the excellent male sex without female help.
The whole assembly, however,
deemed this proposal so abominable that they unanimously prostrated themselves
on the ground and besought God that he would graciously vouchsafe to preserve
the lovely race of women and save the world from a second deluge.
After a long debate the
counsel of Seneca prevailed. His proposal was "that out of all ranks a society
should be composed which would have for its object the general welfare of
mankind and that this object should be pursued in secret."
In the second book the writer
took advantage of the fact that Cabbalism, Theosophy and Alchemy had
overspread the whole of Western Europe and hinged his plot on the tenets of
these cults. The title of this book was "Fama Fraternitatis of the meritorius
order of the Rosy Cross, addressed to the learned in general, and the
governors of Europe." Its object was to correct the evils of the time by
giving an account of a society such as Seneca proposed as if it were already
established. By the publication of this book the author hoped to draw about
him a body of enlightened and forward looking men who would co-operate with
him in his plans to elevate the moral order of mankind.
According to this book,
Christian Rosycross, a man of noble descent, and living two centuries before
this time, had traveled extensively in the East and Africa. There he had
learned great mysteries from the Arabians and Chaldeans. Upon his return to
Germany he founded a secret society whose headquarters were in a building
called the House of The Holy Ghost.
This building was erected by
Rosycross but its location was a mystery to all but members of the order.
Here, under a vow of secrecy, Rosycross communicated his mysteries to his
followers and then sent them forth into the world.
Their mission can be gathered
from a few rules of the order: The members were to cure the sick without fee
or reward. None was to wear a peculiar habit but was to dress after the
fashion of the country in which he lived or traveled. On a certain day in
every year all the brethren were to assemble in the House of The Holy Ghost or
to account for their absence. The word "Rosycross" was to be their seal,
watchword and characteristic mark. The association was to be kept unrevealed
for a hundred years. To perpetuate it during this time each member, at his
death, was to select some individual with proper qualifications to be his
successor in the order.
Christian Rosycross died at
the age of one hundred and six years and, while his death was known to the
society, the location of his grave was unknown to the members. One hundred and
twenty years after the death-of Rosycross the brethren discovered a secret
door in the House of The Holy Ghost upon which was this inscription: "One
hundred and twenty years hence I shall open." Opening the door they found it
to be the entrance to a sepulchral vault which was illuminated by an
artificial sun. This vault was in the shape of a heptagon and every side was
five feet broad and eight feet high. In the center was a circular altar on
which was an engraved brass plate with this inscription: "This grave, an
abstract of the whole world, I made for myself while yet living." About the
margin of the plate an inscription read, "To me Jesus is all in all." In the
center of the altar were four figures enclosed in a circle by this revolving
legend: "The empty yoke of the law is made void. The liberty of the gospel.
The unsullied glory of God."
Having observed these things
with wonder the brethren next discovered that each of the seven sides of the
vault had a door opening into a chest. In this chest they found secret books
of the order and, chief among them, the Vocabularium of Paracelsus. In
addition they found an assortment of mirrors, lamps, little bells and
marvelous musical mechanisms, all so arranged that even after the lapse of
many centuries the whole order could be re-established even though all the
members had perished.
Under the altar the brethren
found the body of Rosycross. It was without taint or corruption. In the right
hand he held a vellum book inscribed with letters of gold. This book the
brethren called T, and after the Bible it became the most precious jewel of
the society. In two separate circles near the end of the book were found the
names of the eight initiates who had been the immediate followers of Rosycross.
Then follows a declaration of the principles of the order which was addressed
to the society of the whole world. According to this declaration the followers
of Rosycross professed to be of the Protestant faith--that they honored the
emperor and observed the laws of the empire--and that the art of gold making
was but a slight object with them. The whole declaration ended with these
words: "Our House of The Holy Ghost, though a hundred thousand men should have
looked upon it, is yet destined to remain untouched, imperturbable, out of
sight and unrevealed to the godless world forever."
The third book appeared in
Latin and contained general explanations upon the object and spirit of the
order of Rosycross. It explained that the order had different degrees; that
not only princes, men of rank, rich men and learned men, but also mean and
inconsiderable persons were admitted to its communion provided they had pure
and disinterested motives and were able and willing to exert themselves for
the ends of the institution. It was claimed that the order had a peculiar
language; that it possessed more gold and silver than the whole world but that
it was not this but rather true philosophy which was the object of their
Who was the author of these
Although there has been
considerable discussion pro and con on this subject, both DeQuincey and Prof.
Buhle maintain that he was none other than John Valentine Andrea, a celebrated
theologian of Wutemberg and known as a satirist and a poet. Andrea was born at
Herrenberg in 1586. His grandfather was the Chancellor Jacob Andrea who was
celebrated for his services to the church of Wurtemberg. Andrea's father was
the Abbot of Konigsbronn and from him he received an excellent education.
Besides, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, French, Italian and Spanish, Andrea was well
versed in mathematics, natural and civil history, geography and historical
genealogy without in the least neglecting his professional study of divinity.
Very early in life he seems
to have had a deep sense of the evils and abuses of his time--not so much in
the realm of politics as in the realms of philosophy, morals and religion.
These, we learn from manuscripts found among his papers, he sought to correct
by means of societies acting in secret.
DeQuincey made a close review
of his life and opinions of Andrea and as a result of it writes: "I am not
only satisfied that Andrea wrote the three works which laid the foundation of
Rosicrucianism, but I clearly see why he wrote them." This he ascribes to the
great evils existing in Germany and to Andrea's overwhelming desire to redress
As a young man without
experience Andrea imagined that this would be easy of accomplishment. Had he
not the example of Luther before him and was not a similar effort necessary in
the existing generation? It was to the mind of Andrea and to organize these
efforts and direct them to the proper object he projected a society composed
of the noble, the intellectual, the enlightened and the learned--which he
hoped to see moving as under the influence of one soul towards the end he had
in view. Young as he was, Andrea knew that men of various tempers and
characters could be brought to co-operate steadily for an object so purely
disinterested as the elevation of human nature. In an age, then, of Theosophy,
Cabbalism and Alchemy he knew the popular ear would be quickly caught by an
account, issuing nobody knew whence, of a secret society which professed to be
a depositary of Oriental mysteries and to have lasted two centuries. Many,
naturally, would seek to connect themselves with such a society and from these
he hoped he might gradually select the members of the real society which he
had in mind. The pretensions of the society as projected were indeed
illusions; but, he hoped that before these were detected as such by the
proselytes, they would become connected with himself and be moulded to his
nobler aspirations. On this view of Andrea's real intentions, we understand
his contradictory statements regarding astrology and the transmutation of
From his satirical works we
see that he looked through the follies of his age with a penetrating eye--that
he tolerated these follies as an exoteric concession to the age in which he
lived while he condemned them in his own esoteric character of a religious
philosopher. Wishing to conciliate prejudices he does not forbear to bait his
scheme with these delusions; but in doing so he was careful to let us know
that they were mere collateral pursuits with his society--the direct and main
one being true philosophy and religion.
That Andrea was the
formulator of the foregoing ideas and the producer of the three books,
DeQuincey conclusively proves to himself by the further fact that, "The
armorial bearings of Andrea's family were a St. Andrew's cross and four roses.
By the order of Rosy Cross, Andrea therefore, means an order founded by
DeQuincey, in a foot-note,
refers to Bishop Myles Coverdale's translation of the third "boke of the
Kynges," the eighth chapter, part of section C and all of D, which I quote in
"And Kynge Salomon sent to
fetch one Hiram of Tyre a wedowes sonne, of the trybe of Nephtali, and his
father had bene a man of Tyre, which was a connynge man in metall, full of
wyszdome, vnderstondinge and knowledge to worke all manner of metall worke.
When he came to Kynge Salomon, he made all his worke, and made two brasen
pilers, ether of them eightene cubites hye; and a threde of xij cubites was
the measure aboute both of ye pilers; and he made two knoppes of brasse
molten, to set above vpon the pilers: and every knoppe was fyve cubytes hye;
and on every knoppe above vpon ye pilers seue wrythen ropes like cheynes. And
vpon every knoppe he made two rowes of pomgranates rounde aboute on one rope,
wherwith ye knoppe was covered. And the knoppes were like roses before ye
porche foure cubites greate. And the pomgranates in the rowes rounde aboute
were two hudreth aboue and beneth vpon the rope, which wete rounde aboute the
thickness of the knoppe, on euery knoppe vpon both the pilers. And set vp the
pilers before the porche of the temple. And that which he set on the right
hande, called he Iachin: and that which he set on the lefte hande, called he
Boos. And so stode it aboue vpon the pilers euen like roses. Thus was the
worke of ye pilers fynished."
A comparison of this
translation with part of our Fellow Craft lecture should prove interesting.
The sensation which was
produced throughout Germany by the works in question is not only evidenced by
the repeated editions of them which appeared between 1614 and 1617, but still
more by the prodigious commotion which followed in the literary world. In the
library at Gottingen there is a collection of letters written between these
dates and addressed to the imaginary order of Father Rosycross by persons
offering themselves as members. These letters are filled with complimentary
expressions of the highest respect and are all printed--the writers alleging
that, being unacquainted with the address of the society, they could not send
them through any other than the public channel.
Other literary persons
forebore to write letters to the society but threw out small pamphlets
containing their opinions of the order and its place of residence. Each
successive writer pretended to be better informed on that point than all his
predecessors. Quarrels arose; partisans started up on all sides; the uproar
and confusion became indescribable; cries of heresy and atheism resounded from
every side; some were calling for the secular power; and the more coyly the
invisible society retreated from the public advances, so much the more eager
and amorous were its admirers--and so much the more bloodthirsty its
Meantime there were some who,
from the beginning, had escaped the general delusion, and there were many who
had gradually recovered from it. It was also generally observed, that of the
many printed letters to the society, none had been answered, and all attempts
to penetrate the darkness in which the order was shrouded by its unknown
memorialist were successfully baffled. Naturally a suspicion arose that some
bad designs lurked under the ostensible purposes of these mysterious
publications. These suspicions were strengthened by the many impostors who
arose and advertised themselves as Rosicrucians.
Upon the credit which they
obtained by their pretended knowledge of Alchemy they cheated great numbers of
their money and others of their health by panaceas. Three, in particular, made
a great noise at Wetzlar, at Nuremberg and at Augsburg. All were punished by
the magistracy, one lost his ears in running the gantlet and one was hanged.
At this crisis a powerful
writer came forward and attacked the supposed order with much scorn and homely
good sense. This man was Andrew Libau. He exposed the impracticability of the
meditated reformation, the incredibility of the legend of Father Rosycross,
and the hollowness of the pretended science which they professed. These
writings might have led to the suppression of the Rosicrucian books and
pretensions; but this termination of the mania was defeated by two
circumstances: The first was the conduct of the Paracelsists who, after vainly
trying to press into the order, proclaimed themselves the Rosicrucians. This
distracted the public and the uproar became greater than ever. The other
circumstance was the conduct of Andrea and his friends.
It is clear that Andrea
enjoyed the confusion until he became sensible that he had called up an
apparition he could not lay. Well knowing that in all the great crowd of
aspirants, who were clamorously knocking for admittance into the airy college
of Father Rosycross-- though one and all pretended to be enamoured of that -
mystic wisdom he had promised, yet by far the majority were enamoured of that
gold he had hinted at-- it is evident that his satirical propensities were
violently tickled. He, therefore, kept up the hubbub of delusion by flinging
out a couple of pamphlets amongst the hungry crowd, which he thought ten(led
to amuse them.
But in a few years Andrea was
shocked to find that the further delusion had taken root in the public mind.
There were other writers,
too, who wrote with a sincere design to countenance the notion of a pretended
Rosicrucian society. Of these there were four notables, namely: Julianas a
Campis, Julius Sperber, Radlich Brotoffer and most important of all--Michael
Maier. It was Maier who first transplanted Rosicrucianism into England, where
its effects were more lasting than in Germany. This man was an extensive
traveler and on his return to Germany became acquainted with the fierce
controversy on the Rosicrucian sect. Unable to introduce himself into the
society he set himself to establish such an order by his own efforts and to do
so published a work in which DeQuincey claims to find the first traces of
Freemasonry. In the same year Maier published another book written by Robert
Fludd, a friend living in England. These books convinced Andrea that his
romance had succeeded in a way which he had never designed. The public had
accredited the charlatanerie of his books, but gave no welcome to that for the
sake of which the charlatanerie was adopted as a vehicle. The alchemy had been
approved, the moral and religious scheme slighted. And societies were forming
even amongst the learned upon the basis of all that was false in the system to
the exclusion of all that was true. This was a spectacle which he could no
longer view in the light of a joke. The folly was becoming too serious and
Andrea set himself to counteract it with all his powers.
For this purpose he published
his Chemical Nuptials of Christian Rosycross. This was a comic romance of
extraordinary talent in which the Paracelsists were invested with cap and
bells. Unfortunately for the purpose of Andrea this romance, too, was
swallowed by the public as a true and serious history. Upon this he published
a series of satirical dialogues in which he more openly unveiled his true
design. In this his efforts were seconded by those of his friends, especially
Irenaeus, Agnostus and John Val. Alberti under the name of Menapius.
Soon after this a learned
foreigner placed the Rosicrucians in a still more ludicrous light by showing
that the first of the Rosicrucian books (the Universal Reformation) was
nothing more than a literal translation, word for word, of the Parnasso of
Boccalini. As a result of this ridicule and satire, no regular lodge of
Rosicrucians was ever believed to have been established in Germany. Thus
DeQuincey claims to have traced Rosicrucianism from its birth in Germany and
then undertakes to prove that it was transplanted to England where, in a
modified form, it has since flourished under the name of Freemasonry.
At the beginning of the
seventeenth century many learned heads in England were occupied with
Theosophy, Cabbalism and Alchemy. Among these was Robert Fludd. It was he, no
doubt, who in 1629 wrote "Summum Bonum" and must be considered as the
immediate father of Freemasonry as Andrea was its remote father.
It is not recorded how Fludd
secured his first acquaintance with Rosicrucianism but it is probable that he
acquired it from his friend Maier with whom he corresponded after the latter
left England. At all events he must have been interested in Rosicrucianism at
an early period for he published an apology for it in 1617.
The first question which
naturally arises is why Fludd dropped the name of Rosicrucian. The reason in
brief was this. His apology for the Rosicrucians was attacked by the
celebrated Father Mersenne. To this Fludd replied in two witty but coarse
books entitled "Summum Bonum" and "Sophiae cum Moria certamen." In answer to
the question, "Where the Rosicrucians resided," Fludd replied: "In the house
of God, where Christ is the corner stone." Then he explained the symbols of
the Rose and the Cross in a new sense, as meaning the cross sprinkled with the
rosy blood of Christ.
Mersenne, being no match for
Fludd, Gassendi, in 1630, published a rejoinder in which he analyzed and
ridiculed Fludd's principles in general and in particular reproached him for
his belief in the highly romantic legend of the Rosicrucians.
Fludd was hard pressed under
his conscious inability to assign their place of abode and in 1633, in his
answer to Gassendi, evaded the question by formally withdrawing the name
Here, then, we have the
negative question answered--why and when they ceased to be called Rosicrucians.
But now comes the second of affirmative question--why and when did they become
known as Freemasons? We have seen how in 1633 the old name was abolished, but
as yet no new name was substituted. In default of such a name they were known
under the general term of wise men. This, however, was too vague and the
immediate hint for the name "Masons" was derived from the legend contained in
the Fama Fraternitatis, of the House of The Holy Ghost.
"Where and what was that
house?" This had been a subject of much speculation in Germany; and many had
been simple enough to understand the expression to mean a literal house and
had inquired of it up and down the empire. Andrea, however, had made it
impossible to understand it in any other than an allegorical sense by
describing it as a building which would remain invisible to the godless world
forever. This building, in fact, represented the purpose or object of the
Rosicrucians. And what was that ?
To know the secret wisdom,
or, in their language, magic--that is: first, Philosophy of nature or occult
knowledge of the works of God; second, Theology, or the occult knowledge of
God himself; third, Religion, or God's occult intercourse with the spirit of
man, which they imagined to have been handed down from Adam through the
Cabbalists to themselves. The Rosicrucians distinguished between a carnal and
a spiritual knowledge of this magic. The spiritual knowledge was the business
of Christianity and was symbolized by Christ himself as a rock and as a
building of which he is the head and foundation.
What rock and what building
?" says Fludd.
"A spiritual rock, and a
building of human nature in which men are the stones and Christ the corner
"But how shall stones move
and arrange themselves into a building?"
"They must become living
stones," says Fludd.
"But what is a living stone
"A living stone is a Mason
who builds himself up into the wall as a part of the temple of human nature."
In these passages we see the
rise of the allegorical name of Masons. The society was, therefore, a Masonic
society in order to represent typically that temple of the Holy Ghost which it
was their business to erect in the spirit of man.
This temple was the abstract
of the doctrine of Christ, who was the Grand Master--hence the light from the
East, of which so much is said in Rosicrucian and Masonic books. St. John was
the beloved disciple of Christ--hence the solemn celebration of his festival.
Having, moreover, adopted the
attributes of Masonry as the figurative expression of their objects the
Freemasons were led to attend more minutely to the legends and history of the
building art. In these again they found an occult analogy with their own
relations to the Christian wisdom.
The first great event in the
art of Masonry was the building of the Tower of Babel. This figuratively
expressed the attempt of some unknown Mason to build the temple of the Holy
Ghost in anticipation of Christianity. This attempt, however, had been
confounded by the vanity of the builders.
The building of King
Solomon's Temple was the second great incident in the art and this had an
obvious meaning as a prefiguration of Christianity.
Hiram--which name was
understood by the elder Freemasons as an anagram: H.I.R.A.M., meant Homo Jesus
Redemptor Animarum--was simply the architect of this building to the real
professors of the art of building. To the English Rosicrucians or Freemasons
he was a type of Christ, and the legend of the Masons, which represented this
Hiram as having been murdered by his fellow workmen, made the type still more
The two pillars, Jachin and
Boaz (strength and power) also, which were among the memorable singularities
of Solomon's temple, had a symbolic interest to the English Rosicrucians in
the attributes, incidents and legends of the art exercised by the literal
Masons and enabled them to realize the symbols of their own allegories. Then,
too, the same building which accommodated the gild of builders in their
professional meetings, offered a desirable means for holding the secret
assemblies of the early Freemasons. An assortment of implements and utensils
such as were presented in the fabulous sepulchre of Father Rosycross were here
actually brought together.
Accordingly it is upon record
that the first formal and solemn lodge of Freemasons on occasion of which the
name of Freemasons was first publicly made known, was held in Mason's Hall,
Mason's Alley, Basinghall Street in London in the year 1646. Into this lodge
it was that Ashmole, the antiquary, was admitted, and Ashmole, from his
writings, appears to have been a zealous Rosicrucian.
DeQuincey then sums up the
results of his inquiry into the origin and nature of Freemasonry, as follows:
First: The original
Freemasons were a society that arose out of the Rosicrucian mania, certainly
within the thirteen years from 1633 to 1646 and probably between 1633 and
1640. Their object was magic in the cabbalistic sense--that is--the occult
wisdom transmitted from the beginning of the world and matured in Christ; to
communicate this when they had it--to search for it when they had it not; and
both under an oath of secrecy.
Second: This object of
Freemasonry was represented under the form of Solomon's Temple--as a type of
the true church whose cornerstone was Christ.
This temple was to be built
of men, or living stones, and the true method and art of building with men it
is the province of magic to teach.
Hence it is that all the
Masonic symbols either refer to Solomon's Temple, or are figurative modes of
expressing the ideas and doctrines of magic in the sense of the Rosicrucians
and their mystical predecessors in general.
Third: The Freemasons having
once adopted symbols, etc., from the art of masonry, to which they were led by
the language of Scripture, went on to connect themselves in a certain degree
with the order of handicraft masons and adopted their distribution of members
into apprentices, journeymen and masters. Christ, to them, was the Grand
Master who was put to death whilst laying the foundation of the temple of
IF ALL THE WORLD WERE SMILING
If all the world were
smiling, wouldn't everything be fine?
Wouldn't you and I just drop
that frown and try to get in line ?
Hate, envy, fear and trouble
would have to go away,
Because if everyone were
smiling, they simply couldn't stay.
The next time you walk down
the street, just simply wear a smile,
For frowns are bad, they make
And smiles are good, they
make you glad,
The only thing worth while.
Whenever you have a thing to
do, do it with a smile,
For after all we're only here
for just a little while.
And while we're here let's
make the world just look at us and say:
"If everyone would work that
way, wouldn't this old world be gay,
And everyone be satisfied,
and trouble pass away?"
If all the world were
smiling, and trying to be gay,
It would get to be a fashion,
and a fashion that would stay.
When you whistle and smile
trouble moves along,
For it simply can't remain
where everything's a song.
So everything you have to do,
just do it with a smile.
Just make this world a
pleasure park, a place to live worthwhile.
CAPITULAR MASONRY IN SHANGHAI
BY BRO. CHARLES SUMNER
A MEMORABLE CONVOCATlON OF
KEYSTONE CHAPTER NO. 1
PROBABLY the most unique situation existing
anywhere, as regards Capitular Masonry, is found at Shanghai, China, where
three Chapters, each of a distinct grand jurisdiction, differing not only in
the ritual followed but in the degrees worked, meet in the same building and
labor side by side, in fraternal harmony. Zion Chapter, chartered by the Grand
Chapter of England, works only the Royal Arch degree, the Mark being
conferred, as in England, in a separate body which, in Shanghai, is Orient
Mark Masters' Lodge. Rising Sun Chapter under the Grand Chapter of Scotland
works the Mark, Most Excellent and Royal Arch degrees, while Keystone Chapter
No. 1, organized in 1871 under the General Grand Chapter of the United States
(and still its farthest eastern - or western - outpost) confers the usual four
degrees of American Capitular Masonry. Two lodges chartered by the Grand Lodge
of Scotland, also meet in the same building and work the Mark degree in
connection with the Fellow Craft which appears to have been the original as it
is the normal arrangement.
The unusual opportunities thus presented for a comparison of
the different forms of Capitular Masonry led the High Priest of this year to
plan a comparative exemplification at which different bodies, each working the
same degree in its own way, should meet on the same night
in the same hall.
The degree selected was the Mark which it was
planned to have worked on the evening of May 28, successively by Keystone
Chapter, Saltoun Lodge and Orient Mark Master's Lodge. Unfortunately the
Master of the last named body was absent for so long that the arrangement
could not be perfected in time.
The next meeting of Keystone Chapter fell,
however, on June 14 - Flag Day - and it was decided, in lieu of the former
project, to observe the occasion by conferring the Royal Arch degree followed
by a dinner to which members of other bodies would be invited. The High
Priest, accompanied by M..E.. Com. Springer of Luzon Chapter, Manila,
visited Zion Chapter on the evening of May 25 and extended the invitation
there and special invitations were sent to others. Besides the presence of
those who responded to these invitations other features combined to make the
occasion a memorable one. It was the last regular convocation before autumn
and as the High Priest was planning a trip to the States during the summer,
the meeting was, in a sense, a farewell to him. Moreover his predecessor, Past
High Priest Darrah, had just returned from a similar visit and the occasion
was made a welcome home to him.
Commencing at 6 P.M. the R..A.. degree was
conferred on a team consisting of Bros. Thomas Sammons (American Consul
General at Shanghai), G. J. Petrocelli and Thomas J. Broderick. The following
officers, all in full costume and regalia, exemplifed the work:
Charles S. Lobingier, M.E.H.P.
John M. Darrah, as E.K.
W. C. Woodfleld, E. S.
George A. Derby, Secretary.
John Kavanaugh, C.H.
Wm. Whiting, P.S.
E. Lindquist, R.A.C.
Companions Swettenham Street and others as Masters
of the Veils.
H. Schultze, Tyler.
The ceremonies were completed by 8 P. M. and the
companions then repaired to the refectory where a substantial repast was
served, upon conclusion of which the High Priest presented to M..E..
Companion Darrah, in behalf of the Chapter, a handsome Past High Priest's
Jewel, at the time expressing verbally the Chapter's fraternal regard for the
recipient and the general recognition of his faithfulness, reliability and
Continuing, the High Priest said that there was
another of his predecessors present who deserved special mention for his long
and devoted service to the Chapter. He recounted how, in September, 1904, when
enroute for the first time to the Philippines, he, the present High Priest,
had stopped overnight at Shanghai, called at the old Masonic building which
occupied the site of the present more imposing structure, and, finding that
the American Chapter was at work that evening, proceeded to visit. There he
met and was welcomed by M.E. Companion Derby, then, as now, Secretary of
Keystone Chapter. The friendship then formed had continued ever since and,
though he little dreamed then that he should ever be a member, and much less
an officer, of the Chapter, the High Priest had always remembered the occasion
with pleasure, particularly as it was his first visit to a Chapter outside of
his home jurisdiction of Nebraska. M..E.. Companion Derby and himself were
the only ones present who were there on the previous occasion and in view of
this among other evidences of the former's faithful attachment to the cause of
Capitular Masonry in Shanghai he proposed the health of M..E.. Companion
The latter responded feelingly stating that, in
over twenty years of residence in Shanghai, he had never missed a meeting of
the Chapter when in town and that he cared more for Capitular than for any
other form of York Masonry.
The High Priest next proposed a toast to the team
and called for a response from Companion Sammons who, he said, was reputed to
be a hard worker but had never so much resembled a workingman as he had that
evening and who, though endowed with the grace of humility in a reasonable
degree, had probably never so humbled himself before.
Companion Sammons expressed himself as greatly
impressed by the work he had just witnessed. He liked the term "Companion,"
enjoyed the good fellowship of the occasion and hoped to be able to attend the
meetings in the future.
The High Priest then remarked that, among the
visiting Companions present was one who had taken an active part in the
formation of the Grand Chapter of Western Australia and he felt sure that all
would like to learn first hand something of that interesting process. He,
therefore, proposed a toast to said Grand Chapter and called upon M..E..
Comp. H. B. Joseph to respond.
The Companion referred to, who is a barrister by
profession, proved to be a most interesting speaker. He told how the Chapters
in Westem Australia were once divided between those of Scotland and those of
England and how, after the achievement of Australian unity in 1901 the idea of
home grand bodies took form and was finally realized in that State by the
formation of the Grand Chapter of Western Australia. Of this body the speaker
was the first Grand Secretary and one of the most interesting features of his
work as such was the receipt and perusal of Proceedings of other Grand
Chapters especially those of America which were prepared with such great care
and elaborateness of detail.
Companion Charles Kliene who, though a Danish
subject, appeared to have received most of his Masonry in Scotland, was called
upon for some remarks and told how he had entered the Craft just twenty years
ago and was therefore one of the group known as "Jubilee Masons" being those
who joined in the year of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. The speaker
mentioned various Masonic organizations which he had joined, including the
Glasgow Conclave of the Knights of the Red Cross of Constantine. He hoped that
the High Priest, as Intendant General in the Far East would some day grant a
dispensation for a Conclave in China.
THE SIGN OF THE COMPASS AND
BY BRO. DENMAN S. WAGSTAFF,
IN European countries there is a fashion followed
almost universally, of having a Sign upon a business place, nearly always
quite contrary in its symbolic meaning to the character of the trade carried
on within. For example - an Ale House in old England is called "the Hen and
Chickens," another "The Gray Goose," another "The White Horse," etc. There are
many curious signs displayed, which in our day, mean something quite the
reverse of the apparent ancient understanding of titles. This would be the
conclusion of the casual observer. Yet these signs did have some reason for
existence. They told a story, often forgotten, in the turning of this old
world upon its axis; yet today they simply stand as evidence of the
"peculiarities" of a past generation. There is one Sign, however, which has
never changed its meaning and symbolic significance anywhere in the civilized
world - The Compass and The Square. A sign of the Union of the Body and Soul.
A Sign, that though the World may change its garb, from spring and summer to
winter endlessly, yet still will live to mark the milestones that civilization
shall leave along the roads of progress. This Compass and Square! You may find
it above a door, even in the very Catholic city of Quebec, in a little narrow
passageway, next to the well known "Military Club." One may not see it from
the street, yet it is there for the Mason to feast his eyes upon! If the
profane chance to see it, they may look upon it as the equivalent of "Le Chat
Noir" on lower Government street. It stands, however, for the same "something"
it stood for hundreds of years ago. The characters of its keepers are branded
with the same sign of endeavor the world has always known Masons by; and the
same dignity of purpose guides their march from East to West and back again
toward the Light that rises out of the bed of the Sun. In all countries and
under all conditions, it stands for the same gospel. It has never failed to
fulfill its purpose in a greater measure, than any SIGN man ever put upon an
edifice of his own raising. I saw a Compass and Square upon a barren wall in
an abandoned mining camp in Wyoming one day in the 70's. The place had been
known as South Pass City. It had been the home of Wyoming Lodge No. 2. I
learned afterward that dispensation was given it to move to Landers, when the
"Camp" "petered." I learned this from Brother John Ramsay who was a member
there. Where he may be now I would like to be able to say, as he was to my
knowledge a good man and fit to be a Mason.
As I entered the deserted sanctuary, with its
uneven dusty floor the memories of a life time of years almost crowded one by
one about me. I realized that there in that vacant place, a Masonic Lodge had
held conclave. Not a soul remained to tell me the story. There upon the wall,
in all the silent grandeur of its stately living loneliness, The Sign looked
down upon me, with the great eyes of a world's righteousness. It meant what it
said to me. Where were its guardians? They had left it alone upon the sands of
time. Thus I thought on for a minute or two. Then as I raised my broad brimmed
hat before its majesty, I realized that it needed no guardian but myself - it
needed no guardian but each other wanderer as he might come this way to look
up at it and silently pray to the Great Architect who had willed that man
should place it there. It was indeed not alone. It was a Universe by itself
and of itself, surrounded by the pledges of the souls of men and guarded by
the Spirit of The Great Creator.
Afterward, as I came to know that the Lodge still
lived and prospered, I realized that the knowledge detracted not a whit from
the lesson its sign upon the wall had lent to me. It had fulfilled its
mission, as far as one soul was concerned; and just for me at least, it had
been left upon that wall, that I might treasure in my heart the pass word its
symbolism portrayed. The sign surely meant just what it said.
Now let those of us who go about with a Compass
and Square upon our coats, be worthy of the sign, that we may bear out the
splendid traditions of its significance. Let us have the inward strength and
power it outwardly points to. The strength and power to square our actions by
the square of virtue; and so to circumscribe our lives, that within the circle
there may be found the sublime secret of Life.
The time is never lost that is devoted to work.
Youth looks forward and age backward.
BY BRO. JOSEPH FORT NEWTON,
PERHAPS I owe an apology to the readers of THE
BUILDER, in that I may seem to have been remiss in making my usual reports as
Ambassador. But that is only seeming. If I have fallen behind with my reports,
it is because I have been too busy, and too much on the wing, to write them.
Returning to America, I spent all the time and power I had in trying to tell
my countrymen what the war is like after my trip along the British Front and
to Paris. Now that I am back in London, I shall take up the thread of my
reports and keep THE BUILDER in touch with things Masonic and otherwise on
this side of the great waters.
No mention has been made in America, so far as I
am aware, of the new Lodge consecrated in May last, composed of Grand
Secretaries and Secretaries of Lodges - called the Fratres Calami Lodge, No.
3791. As the name indicates, it is a Fraternity of the Pen, the object of
which is really to promote Masonic research and information. They are issuing
a journal, three numbers of which have appeared, known as the Masonic
Secretaries' Journal, and it promises to be of unusual interest and value. The
second issue is before me, and it contains, among other things, a very
gracious review of my little book, "The Builders," by the Secretary. An
article on "The Future of Freemasonry," by Brother Dudley Wright, is of
special interest to American Masons, because he thinks that the new
undertakings of the Craft should be in the way of Social Service - as is more
and more the tendency among American Masons. Indeed, he says that America has
already led the way in this regard, and that in his opinion it is the next
step before us.
This Lodge of Secretaries recalls another very old
gild of London, the Fraternity of the Scriveners - or Mystery of the Writers -
of the Court Letter of the City of London. It has been in existence "time out
of mind," or to be exact since 1374, and it played an important part in the
City life. The Scrivener discharged many of the duties which now devolve upon
lawyers; he made charters and deeds concerning land, tenements, and
inheritances, and all other writings which, by the custom of the realm,
required to be sealed. The Company of Scriveners had an ancient book called
the "Common Paper," which contains much valuable information. It is of the
nature of a minute book, in which we may read the oath of a Scrivener,
recorded in a set of ordinances drawn up in 1390 - the date of the oldest
document of Freemasonry now in existence - as follows:
"I, N......., of my own
proper will, do swear upon the holy evangelist to be true to my office and
mystery and to do by
diligence, that all the feats that I shall make to be sealed shall be well and
lawfully made after my learning and cunning.
Like the Masons, they had their feast days and
festivals, and there is a curious entry on the Common Paper under the year
1497. It was felt that many of the apprentices had not "their proper congruity
of grammar which is the thing most necessary and expedient to every person
exercising the science and faculty of the mystery. So it was ordered that
apprentices should be examined by the wardens, and if found deficient, sent to
the grammar school until they "be erudite in the boks of gender, declensions,
preterits and supines, equivox and sinonimes." Truly, those old scribes had to
be very learned.
Such a Lodge, editing such a Journal, should have
a great and far-reaching influence on the Craft, stimulating the study of
Masonry as the practice of its virtues. I am sure that thousands of
secretaries in America will wish to come in touch with this new Lodge of
Writers, whose Secretary is Brother I. Cohen, 22 St. George's Square, London,
S.W.1, England. I bespeak for the Fratres Calami long life, great prosperity,
and the wide influence which it deserves.
My readers, especially the ministers among them,
will be glad to know that my predecessor at the City Temple, Rev. R. J.
Campbell, has recently become a member of the Craft, largely through the
influence of the Bishop of Birmingham, who is Grand Chaplain of the Grand
Lodge of England. I find, to my amazement, a certain indifference - and
occasionally, hostility - to our gentle Craft among men of the Free Churches.
Of late, however, Lodges have been organized among Free Churchmen, and this
will do much to melt such a prejudge away. I think I can do something to that
end myself, and I have in mind a great Masonic service in the City Temple in
the not distant future - of which more anon.
City Temple, London.
"THE SEVEN FOLD COMPASS OF
SYMPATHY is the needle of the heart and should
always point to the good.
CONVICTION is the needle of the intellect and
should always point to the truth.
VOLITION is the needle of the will and should
always point to the useful.
ADMIRATION is the needle of the imagination and
should always point to the beautiful.
OBLIGATION is the needle of the conscience and
should always point to the right.
ASPIRATION is the needle of the soul and should
always point to the free.
DEVOTION is the needle of the personality and
should always point to God.
- Rev. Bro. William
HE would be a bold man and Mason, who would
attempt to give expression to all of the cross currents which are coursing
through the veins of Masonry these days. Each of the extreme types of mind is
having its say. The War is viewed through as many different pairs of
spectacles as there are pairs of Masonic eyes, and the angles of the conflict
twist this way and that way in an endless variety of pictures. With our good
American (and good Masonic, too) habit of being sure that we are absolutely
right, we agree on this point and disagree upon that,the discussion's length
being limited only by the lack of sleep. It would be distinctly pleasant if
all could be right in their opinion of what Masonry's Duty is, right now. Then
we could all make a New Year Resolution, and everybody would be satisfied.
Let us "try on" a few of these various pairs of
spectacles. The first one that comes to hand is the property of one of those
"I move that a Committee of three be appointed, with power to act" Brethren.
He's a busy sort of chap. He wants to see all the good things in the world
done, and done quickly. He knows just who could do the job, and he is sure
that the right Committee could carry the whole thing through. Probably he has
thought of Masonry's duty in this War, only as a matter for his Lodge, or at
moat, his Grand Lodge. There should be a fund collected, and a Committee
appointed to disburse it. He's no grafter, he doesn't want to be appointed on
the Committee because he wants to make anything out of it at all, he just
naturally believes in Committees. Personally, in fact, he is too busy to do
anything about it. Contribute? Oh, yes, gladly.
To him the War is a thing apart, an ugly Thing,
but a Committee to deal with Masonry's part in it would be exactly the right
thing to counteract its influence.
Then here is the good brother whose spectacles
make a Lodge donation almost the parting with some of his own personal
property. "We bought $500.00 worth of Liberty Bonds last night" and "we" are
taking a lot of satisfaction in it.
Take up another pair and all you can see is Red
Crosses. Masonry should help.
The next pair shows Red Triangles. Masonry should
This pair was worn by a Brother who went "over the
top" in the recent Y.M.C.A. campaign. He was full of enthusiasm, and the 20 or
40 per cent. excess that his Committee got spells SUCCESS in capital letters.
We should do likewise, says he.
Here is a dark pair. For the wearer they
counteract the actinic rays of the sun. To him, however, the glory is all
gone. He's not exactly a pacifist, but no good can possibly come out of it
all, and Masonry has no rightful part in it, anyway. For Masonry is an
Institution of Peace, for Peace, and lives by Peace. In war it is out of
place. And since the war has involved all the earth, Masonry's title to a
"place in the sun" as a constructive Human Institution is very small - almost
The Brother who wore these saw clearly that
Masonry should put its club houses into the Cantonments, and minister to the
needs of the good Brethren of the Army.
And right beside them is another pair which made
that plan look absolutely impractical. Donations to the established agencies
recognized by the Government would fulfill every obligation, without imposing
any such financial burden as any other plan would involve.
* * *
Not a word of the above is written with any
thought of malice. Every single one of these ideas has been voiced, thousands
upon thousands of times, in these United States, and yet not a single
constructive, comprehensive plan of unified ACTION has been advanced to our
knowledge. It is a self-evident fact that if we look through all of those
spectacles at once, there wil be nothing ahead of us except a blur. And yet
every one of these Brothers is absolutely sincere, and reall and truly wants
to see Masonry assert itself in this War, along constructive lines, which
shall be of real value to the Brethren who are offering up their lives upon
the Altar of their Country, and at the same time convince the world that
Masonry has the strength and power to meet even a world-wide WAR in a
dignified practical and efficient manner.
* * *
Can we not analyze this dilemma, and make it
little clearer? Let us endeavor to state a few self evident facts that are
fundamental, and then see if the logic of events will not bring us to a real
basis for united action, along lines that shall not depart from the
traditional conservatism of the Fraternity, and yet give us a guide for real
What Is Masonry? For the sake of cool judgment let
us take the definition given to us in the German Handbuch: "Masonry is the
activity of closely unites men who, employing symbolical forms borrowed
principally from the mason's trade and from architecture work for the welfare
of mankind, striving morally to ennoble themselves and others, and thereby to
bring about a universal league of mankind, which they aspire to exhibit even
now on a small scale." This definition may not be acceptable to many, either
in form or substance, but because it contains that clause "work for the
welfare of mankind" it will do for the present discussion.
Is This War Masonry's War? Can our answer be
anything but "YES" ? Is Prussian Autocracy working for the welfare of mankind?
Does Kultur strive morally to ennoble its votaries and others ? Surely
"bringing about a league of mankind" does not mean that we must all be
subjects of an autocratic Kaiser! The Brotherhood of Man - an Anglo-Saxon
phrase as we understand it - has been tabooed and called weak and unmanly by
Prussianism. And in these days when the military idea has crowded all else off
the highways of Germany, the heel of that Despotism has ground down the head
of Freemasonry wherever possible. Masonry's War it is, my Brethren, by every
token of Fellowship and Fraternity and Freedom which we have been taught to
How Does Masonry "Work for the Welfare of Mankind"? "Through
the individual" would be the time-tried answer. By instilling into him,
through the medium of an oft-repeated ritual, the principles upon which our
whole conception of human development is based. By illustrating typical
lessons which teach these truths, by explaining its symbols, each calculated
to impress upon the mind a vital measure of conduct, or an inspiration for
self-improvement, or a recognition of and an obedience to the God that is
What Has Masonry Ever Done in War Time? Spread
itself around the civilized globe. Installed itself in the hearts and lives of
Americans, through army Lodges, travelling under warrants issued by what we
call the "Mother Grand Lodges." Ministered to soidiers wounded in battle;
given decent burial to those who fought and died that Freedom and Democracy
might live; built rainbow bridges between the lines of opposing forces that
humanity might for the moment have its way; mitigated the horrors and
prevented the worst atrocities of war; insured fair trial to those who were
courtmartialled; kept soldiers and sailors clean, by giving them clean
associations and the indescribable delights of calm, dispassionate "work,"
when otherwise idle moments would have been less profitably spent.
* * *
There is but one more obvious question. "WHAT IS
TO PREVENT MASONRY FROM DOING THE THINGS THAT NEED TO BE DONE, NOW?"
And there is an answer equally obvious, "NOTHING!"
All that Masonry in the United States has to do is to forget
that it is composed of 49 Grand Lodges, a General Grand Chapter, a General
Grand Council, a General Grand Encampment, a Northern Jurisdiction of the
Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, a Southern Jurisdiction of the Ancient and
Accepted Scottish Rite, an Ancient, Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine,
a Grotto and whatnot, and show itself TO BE ONE great, big, grand old MASONIC
FRATERNITY! AN INSTITUTION, composed of nearly 2,000,000 MEN, AMERICANS, BIG -
HEARTED, RED - BLOODED, without distention, without jealousy, without
self-seeking motives, ready to work and to sacrifice, looking not
for Glory but for an OPPORTUNITY OF SERVICE, and
willing, for once, to stand up and be counted AS A WHOLE !
"UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE
FALL!" is as true now, as it ever was !
With some strong,
centralized organization, a
"Masonic Council of Defense" if you please, composed of the men
in American Masonry who know how to do things and to take advice before
treading paths they do not know, backed by the 1,800,000 Masons of these
United States and the $5,000,000.00 or the $10,000,000.00 which these men
would be glad to give in such a Cause, Masonry could do anything that She
willed to do. She could build Masonic Club Houses in Cantonments and Cities
nearby. She could tie soldier to soldier as of old whether silver or gold
insignia decorated shoulder straps or not. She could be a GREAT MOTHER, my
Brethren, and carry her gentle, human influence whither she would. She could
have her children in France or in Italy or even in Russia betimes, ready to
add her "bit" to the welfare of her votaries wherever dispersed, in a way that
would be efficient wherever the Stars and Stripes may fly.
"SO LET IT BE DONE. TOGETHER, BRETHREN!"
CONSERVE - BUT WHERE?
The things we need we pay for whether we buy them
or not. Economy must be practiced in times like these - but where shall we
We need an adding machine in our business but
delay buying it "on account of the war." Have we saved anything? No. The extra
hours of labor required and the inefficiency experienced because of not having
the machine we need exceeded in best the purchase price of the machine.
BUSINESS - Shall we cease to develop our business because
of the war? No. Not if we are patriotic business
CHURCH - Shall we stop our subscription to the
church on account of the war? No. Not if we value the necessity of the
CHARITY - Shall we withdraw our support from the
children's Orphanages and other deserving charities on account of the war? No.
Not if we love humanity more than dollars.
Y.M.C.A. - Shall we refuse to support the Y.M.C.A.
activities on account of the war? No. Because the moral and physical
development of this and the coming generations are the most valuable assets a
nation can possess.
NATIONAL DEFENSE - Shall we refuse to subscribe to
the Red Cross, Liberty Bonds, and other means of national support on account
of the war? No. Not if we are worthy the name "American Citizen."
LODGE - Shall we dimit from all our Masonic affiliations on
account of the war? No. Unless our spirit of fraternalism
is and has
been a deception and for selfish gain only.
BUILDER - Shall we stop indulging in many of our
unnecessary pleasures and support the National Masonic Research Society ? YES.
Because the development of the fraternal spirit is so closely related to the
development of the American Spirit that they must BOTH be enthusiastically
DECISION - This economic necessity must not
interfere with those fundamental activities which develop a nation to its
Neither our Business, our Church, our Charity, our Y.M.C.
A. support, our National Spirit nor our Fraternal Spirit can he effected by
the economic effort without serious loss to our
DON'T PUT MASONRY IN THE DISCARD - but notify us
by return mail that you are full of the spirit "Don't give up the ship." For
the things we need we pay for whether we buy them or not.
EDITED BY BRO. H.L. HAYWOOD
(The object of this Department
is to acquaint our readers with
time-tried Masonic books not always familiar; wnth the best Masonic literature
now being published; and with such non-Masonic books as may especially appeal
to Masons. The Library editor will be very glad to render any possible
assistance to studious individuals or to study clubs and lodges, either
through this Department or by personal correspondence; if you wish to learn
something concerning any book - what is its nature, what is its value or how
it may be obtained - be free to ask him. If you have read a book which you
think is worth a renew write us about it; if you desire to purchase a book -
any book - we will help you get it, with no charge for the service. Make this
your Department of Literary Consultation.)
MASONRY IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA
TO a Masonic student living amid the prairies of
the Middle West of the United States it seems good to read a "History of
Masonry in South Australia," for it serves to make more vivid, if that were
possible, his sense of the universality and the solidarity of the Order.
Brother Charles R. Glover, P.D.G.M., the author of this "History of the First
Fifty Years of Freemasonry in South Australia," modestly states in his brief
Introduction that he does not "pretend that this work will add materially to
the literature of Masonic History; it must be regarded as a compilation of the
records of the various Lodges in this State." This disclaimer to the contrary
notwithstanding, the volume does add very materially to the "literature of
Masonic History" for it acquaints us as few histories can with the story of a
heroic band of Brothers who established Masonry in a State even before its
official colonization. Would that Masonic writers of the early 18th Century
had taken it into their heads to preserve, as is here done, the early records
of Masonic activity! How much idle speculation it would have saved us who come
after! For history, Masonic or otherwise, must first begin as a "compilation
of records" (so is it that Brother Glover describes his volume) else all that
is written thereafter be mere guesswork.
Brother Eustace B. Grundy, G.M., contributes a
Foreword to the book written in simple and unaffected but effective style.
This is followed by the author's own "concise history" of the State of South
Australia itself, the better to set his narrative in the framework of the
past. Thereafter follow the "records" themselves, Lodge minutes, dedication
ceremonies, speeches, and what not, furnishing us with the essential data of
the unfolding of the Craft down to 1884. A second volume, to bring the story
down to date, is also promised. Seeing that there are now more than 6,000
members in the State, the second, as well as the first, of the volumes will
attract attention in lands far removed from Australia.
Freemasonry was first established in Australasia
in 1803, seventy-five years after it had set foot in the United States. But
the first Lodge established "under a regular warrant" from the Grand Lodge of
England was a military body which began its work in 1816. Four years
afterwards a non-military Lodge was erected. The first Lodge to be established
in South Australia was consecrated in London October 22, 1834, just two years,
strange to say, before the Colony was formally opened. Naturally, these first
organizations operated under warrants from England, albeit some were
established under Irish Constitutions. But during the decade between 1844 and
1854 the fraternity had grown to such dimensions that a Provincial Grand Lodge
This bare hint cannot even suggest the full human
interest of the story, the heroism, the self-sacrifices, the overcoming of
apparently insuperable obstacles, through which our brethren of that remote
continent toiled toward the consummation of their Masonic endeavors. May the
Grand Architect of Masons speed them on their future way!
Brother Glover has informed us that a limited
number of copies are yet to be had; the half morocco selling at $4.00 and the
cloth at $3.50. Any orders sent to the headquarters of this Society will be
promptly forwarded to South Australia.
* * *
RELIGION AND EXPERIENCE
Freemasonry is not a religion but it is religious,
its fundamental landmarks being Faith in God, Belief in Immortality, and the
Brotherhod of Man. Holding such tenets in its heart of hearts it cannot remain
indifferent to the changing winds of doctrine that blow across the theological
world. Here are two books, therefore, which many craftsmen will care to
purchase for their private libraries:
"The Religion of Experience" by Horace J. Bridges,
published by Macmillan's at $1.50.
"The Validity of the Religious Experience" by
George A. Barrow, published by Sherman, French & Company at $1.50.
Both of these volumes bear witness to the changing
center of gravity in religious discussions. Once was when all writers assumed
that a body of doctrine had been delivered once and for all in a book. Holding
such a view it was natural that theology should consist of the interpretation
and defense of this divinely donated creed. Therefore was it that in the old
days a doctrine was based on some authority external to the human soul.
But now our point of view has shifted. The modern
mind cannot tolerate the idea that any set of doctrines was ever delivered to
us, ready-made, from without, to be supinely accepted, however much they might
conflict with reason and observation; nor does it ask for any authentication
of religious truths by any authority, for religious truth is its own
authority, manifesting itself by its own self-shining.
In consequence of this the center of gravity has
shifted from authority to experience, as may be so clearly seen in any of the
great modern works in theology; such, for instance, as August Sabatier's
epochmarking book, "Religions of Authority and of the Spirit"; or in a volume
of popular essays such as Jonathan Brierley's "Religion and Experience."
The two volumes now under review are both designed
to interpret the religious life from the point of view of experience.
Professor Barrow delivered a course of lectures on the subject before the
Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University, thereby receiving such
favorable comment that he was requested to publish his studies in a volume "as
an approach to the awakening of modern theology." Mr. Horace J. Bridges, an
ethical culturist, has undertaken the same task from a slightly different
point of view in his "Religion of Experience," a volume adequately described
by itself, as witness the following:
"The 19th Century, the author maintains, was
characterized by a bitter and long continued conflict between religion and
science. The 20th Century will, he thinks, be distinguished by a
reconciliation between the two. All the great issues have been fought out and
the combatants have learned to understand and respect each other. It is now
time for terms of peace to be drawn up. This book is an attempt in that
If a reader is at all dissatisfied with these two
volumes it is that both share in that which is the fundamental defect of so
much "religious" literature in our day: they are books ABOUT religion instead
of books OF religion; that is to say, their authors have told us what other
men have experienced of the life of God; they have not told us of their own
experiences. There are many of us who long for the return of the day when
prophets will arise among us who can speak out of their own hearts of the
Great Life; then will books become studies of vision and power, possessing in
themselves the appeal which can alone enable us to discover that divine Lost
Word within us which we, as Masons, believe to slumber in the depths of every
"THE GARDEN OF NUTS"
"I know that the mystical life is the great light
of literature and the other arts. God is the sum of the arts, and all their
grace is from Him. The well-spring of pure inspiration flows from the search
after Him, and of Him are all the books of life. Thou art the Pierian fount, O
Lord. I have come to Thee as a poet; I have desired to drink deeply. I have
looked for thy revelation in the night and in the day I have waited on thy
inbreathing. Thou hast sent the gifts of literature into the world as a voice
of direction for those who would return to Thee." Thus writes a great seer of
the present day who loves a secrecy that will here be thrown about his name.
Not often are books written in this spirit, which
is only another way of saying that not many books compose that "gift of
literature" herein mentioned; but when such a volume comes to hand one is
placed under bounden obligations to make known the tidings.
"The Garden of Nuts" by W. Robertson Nicoll,
editor of the British Weekly, is not a new volume, except in the sense that it
cannot grow old, but it has not received the circulation of which it is so
richly deserving; therefore is it that we mention it as a service to those
brethren who love real literature. "Real" is here used advisedly, and
"literature" also, for, though we have received many volumes from the gifted
pen of this author, this little volume on the mystical life surpasses them
all. Those who have read "The Letters of a Book-Man" and the "Life of Christ"
will be familiar with his virtuosity of style; and they will appreciate our
tribute when we say that in this present study Nicoll's style surpasses
itself, rising into a region from which few men have ever spoken to this
The purpose of "The Garden of Nuts" (it borrows
its title from a verse in the Song of Songs) is to set before the reader the
truth about mysticism, and more especially, Christian mysticism. Therefore is
it that we recommend it to our readers, for, as everybody knows, Masonry has
affinities not a few with the life mystical.
Always is it needful to keep in mind the
deep-going distinction between mysticism and occultism. The latter seeks for
power; the former aims at character. The occultist believes in a universal
force, or what not, which will yield itself to the adept for good or evil, as
is abundantly explained in Eliphas Levi's "History of Magic." The mystic
yearns evermore for the Presence of God and seeks only to reordain his
character to the Divine Will. Thus it is that they are worlds apart; and thus
it is that every Masonic student must beware lest he confuse the two in his
Many are the books now being put forth to explain
mysticism to the neophytes; some of them are good and not a few are bad, for
of nothing is it easier to write nonsense. But to him who seeks a BRIEF
introduction to the study we would almost sooner recommend The Garden of Nuts
than any other book we know. It leaves a reader wistful and reverent, his mind
filled with musings that are half poetry and half music, his memory enriched
with sentences that cling about the mind like silken tapestries.
Religion should be the rule of life, not a casual
incident of it. - Disraeli
Trust your heart, especially when it has been
proved. Never deny it a hearing. - Gracian.
No indulgence of passion destroys the spiritual
nature so much as respectable selfishness. - George Macdonald.
However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do
not shun it and call it hard names. - Thoreau.
It were endless to dispute upon everything that
were disputable. - William Penn.
THE QUESTION BOX
(The Builder is an open forum
for free and fraternal discussion. Each of its contributors writes under his
own name, and is responsible for his own opinions. Believing that a unity of
spirit is better than a uniformity of opinion, the Research Society, as such,
does not champion any one school of Masonic thought as over against another;
but offers to all alike a medium for fellowship and instruction, leaving each
to stand or fall by its own merits.)
Who were the Giblimites and
where were they from? J.W.K., Illinois.
We shall let Brother Robert
Morris answer your question by citing an account of his visit to Gebal, which
first appeared in "The Evergreen," a Masonic journal published at Dubuque,
Iowa, in 1868. Dr. Morris' description of his visit follows:
The town of Gebal lies about
twenty-four miles up the coast from Beyrout. It stands upon an easy and
regular slope from the sea, eastward, the slope extending about two miles
along the coast, and from one to two miles back. All this space and more, was
once thronged with Temples, palaces and other splendid erections, the remains
of which in granite, marble and Liboman limestone are visible in every stone
fence, upon the surface, and appear in excavations at distances varying from
ten to thirty feet. But now Gebal is a poor and forlorn little village of five
hundred inhabitants. There is not one edifice standing that has the least
attraction, unless it be the old Maronite Church, and that does not date much
beyond the Crusaders. The soldiers constitute a force of about one hundred and
fifty red-legged Turkish Zouaves, who live in some new buildings, the remnants
of more costly structures; while the grand old Castle next the sea, is
suffered to fall into irreparable decay. Desolation and neglect are written
upon all the remains of Gebal.
Gebal derived its name
originally from the hill on which it stood. The Greeks changed the name to
Byblos, but in this case, as in many others, the title imposed by the
conquerors fell into oblivion, while the original name was retained. Gebal
gave its name to the country around it, which in Joshua XIII, 5, is termed
"the land of the Giblites;" this, it will be remembered, was more than
fourteen centuries before Christ, or 3,300 years ago. In the days of Solomon
the people of Gebal were the most skillful sailors and artists under the
dominion of King Hiram. So eminent were they in architecture that the word "Giblites"
in Hebrew is translated "Stone-squarers" a most remarkable circumstance. (Read
I Kings, v. 18). In the tremendous denunciations by Ezekiel against all
Phoenicia, he says, concerning the city of Tyre "the ancients of Gebal and the
wise men thereof were in thee, thy calkers." (Read Ezekiel XXVII, 9). This was
written about four hundred years after the building of Solomon's Temple, and
refers to the city I am now describing.
My visit to Gebal as it was
the first of my more extended Masonic explorations, has impressed itself more
deeply upon my mind than any other visit can be expected to do. Here I find
upon the monstrous ashlars of Phoenician ages (hewn stones eighteen feet long
and upwards), the distinguishing mark, the "rebate" or "bevel" of which I have
so much read, but now for the first time in my life seen. This is the "Mason's
mark" of ancient Craft Masonry. Our fathers wrought them and set them up in
useful places in great edifices and we, their lineal descendants in the
mystical line, have not forfeited our inheritance therein. The stones
themselves strike an American, unused to such architectural prodigies, as
enormous. They are twice as heavy as any wrought ashlar I had ever seen.
Gebal is full of the days of
Hiram. Hundreds and thousands of granite columns are here, both of the red and
white varieties, taken from the quarries of Egypt, with all the enormous labor
which the working of that primitive stone requires; brought a thousand miles
down the Nile, shipped thence on Phoenician vessels or rafts to this coast,
landed here, drawn up this steep hill by human hands, and reared up,
doubtless, with shoutings and rejoicings; thousands of them I say are here
from twelve to thirty inches in surface as smooth and unaffected by the
weather as on the day they left Egypt, two, three or four thousand years ago.
They prop up the stalls in the bazaars; they sustain the filthy roofs of
stables; they are built into the military castle and other public buildings in
numbers; they are worked into stone walls; in short they are used with a
profuseness that shows the inexhaustible number of them that lie among the
It is but a brief seven miles
east of this place that Aphaca, the principal seat of the worship of Adonis or
Tammuz, existed for an indefinite period. This was the original Freemasonry of
the heathen and that upon which King Solomon engrafted the revealed precepts
given to his fathers upon Sinai. As the wild stock into which the inspired
Word was engrafted, these Rites of Tammuz deserve the attention of Masonic
writers. This is not the place to enlarge upon the theme but I must be
permitted to say that a system which had the favor and support of the wisest
and best cultivated o the human race for two thousand years, that led to the
cultivation of the fine Arts as they have never been cultivated since, and
that was thought worthy by so far-reaching a mind as King Solomon's, of
adoption and incorporation into the true theology, cannot have been altogether
vile. That by the age of Constantine it may have become so corrupt that
zealous reformer thought it necessary to uproot the last traces of it, is
quite likely; but the same thing may be said of the prevailing system of
Christianity a few centuries later. By the age of Constantine, the Rites of
Adonis had probably accomplished whatever good was involved in them, but they
must have presented many innocent and pure traits to attract the admiration of
a Solomon. It was then, doubtless, that this wide spread system of worship
gave to the poet his idea of the Age of Gold.
I reserve to this place,
however, to justify Freemasons in selecting Gebal as one of their seven
prominent Masonic Localities. It is, that here was the Seven Liberal Arts and
Sciences. Here in the days of Hiram, the Widow's Son, was a congregation of
earth's wisest (let us believe earth's best also), to whom a seeker of
knowledge like himself could come for instruction and where such a genius
could be fitly schooled. From this center of learning went the men who planned
that unparalled Temple, across the hills eastward, that crowns the plateau of
Boalbec; just as from here went southward down the coast, to build a matchless
Fane on Mount Moriah at Jerusalem. The Paphian Temple on the Island of Cyprus,
yonder, which was thought in its day unapproachable for beauty, doubtless
received its inspiration from those men, as many a temple, palace and
stronghold did during a succession of ages. I stood within the tombs of some
of these Giblites--excavations painfully chiseled in the hard, blue limestone
of yonder hills; I saw a row of their stone coffins (Sarcophagi) opened. I
purchased many of their funeral lamps, scarabaei, and other tokens of their
faith, and coming back to my house-top, I walk and muse upon the hopes
embodied in these emblems. Hopes of some kind (the resurrection and the soul's
immortality) we know these old Masons had; the rites handed down through so
many generations from them to us clearly prove that. But a resurrection to
what? an l an immortality for what ? what secret was so heled within these
emblems of theirs, what made them so anxious to express it in outward marks
but to conceal it, even at the risk of its being forever lost, as to its
Did he who prepared the
rituals of the Select Master's Degree have in mind that exquisite passage from
an English poet ?
Silence and darkness, solemn
sisters, twins, From ancient night, who mark the tender thought To reason,
and on reason build resolve, That column of true majesty in man.
The "twenty-two from Gebal"
who constituted so large a portion of the mystic number "twenty-seven" in a
Lodge of Select Masters, were of course drawn from this city, and each of them
must have seen, as I see today, this enormous ashlar that forms the base of
the old castle wall. It is nearly twenty feet long and broad and deep in
proportion. To whom can I dedicate it with so great propriety as to King
Solomon himself, who ordered a number of stones cut upon this model, bevelled
as this is, and built into the foundation of the Temple wall on Mount Moriah,
as may be seen to this day.
Before leaving Gebal I sought
out the entrance to one of the great Phoenician tombs, carved out of the face
of the cliffs, high above the town, and there cut deeply with my chisel the
Square and Compass, dedicating it to a number of active, working and renowned
members of the Craft.
* * *
GRAND LODGE RECOGNITION AND
THE RIGHT OF VISITATION
The article on Grand Lodge Recognition and The
Right of Visitation in the September "Question Box" has brought again to my
mind a question for which I have long sought an answer and as I will probably
soon be "travelling in foreign countries," I submit it to you for explanation.
I have read many very interesting anecdotes by
different brethren in which they told of visiting bodies closely resembling
our order. It occurs to me at present that I read one such in the February,
1917, issue of THE BUILDER where a brother visited a Chinese Lodge on the
Coast and observed many signs and symbols easily recognized by him. In fact,
if my memory fails not, he was vouched for by a brother who had himself worked
his way into this Lodge through his Masonic knowledge. From the tenor of the
article I gathered that the place mentioned was not "regularly recognized."
Other similar stories by army officers in the
Philippine Islands and travellers in the Far East tell of brethren gaining
admission by means of Masonic knowledge to secret places not "regularly
recognized." For my own part I cannot see how these brethren reconcile their
actions. Can you give me some light? - J.F.W. Jr., Texas.
Never having visited any of these places ourself,
Brother W., we cannot satisfactorily answer your query as to how these
brethren reconciled their actions.
But as to the particular matter of the Masons of
some United States jurisdictions visiting Lodges under the jurisdiction of the
Grand Orient of France, we quote a resolution adopted by the Grand Lodge of
Kentucky at its Annual Communication held in Louisville, October 16-18, as
"Whereas, In the year 1869 the Grand Lodge of
Kentucky issued an edict of non-intercourse against the Grand Orient of
"Whereas, The reason for such edict of
non-intercourse has long since ceased to exist; and
"Whereas, Said edict of non-intercourse is selfish
and embodied in Regulation No. 155,
"Resolved, That said edict of non-intercourse
against the Grand Orient of France be, and the same is, hereby revoked,
repealed and held for naught; and,
"Resolved, That said Regulation No. 155 be, and
the same is, hereby repealed."
In another resolution also adopted by the Kentucky
Grand Lodge the above was interpreted to mean that any regular Kentucky Mason
may visit any Lodge under the Jurisdiction of a Grand Lodge against which no
edict of non-intercourse has been issued by the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, or
vice versa, and Masons of such Jurisdictions may visit Kentucky Lodges. This
holds good whether the foreign Grand Lodge has ever been "officially
recognized" by the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, or not.
Similar action was taken by the Grand Lodge of New
York at its last Annual Communication.
From the tenor of the Kentucky resolutions it
would appear that, for instance, should a Kentucky Mason (and by the way, the
article mentioned as appearing in the February, 1917, issue of THE BUILDER was
written by a Kentucky Mason, Brother J. W. Norwood) visit the so-called
Chinese Lodge on the Coast he would be within his rights as granted by the
Kentucky Grand Lodge, so long as no interdict exists against the so-called
Chinese Lodge by the Kentucky Grand Lodge. But, on the other hand, this
particular Chinese organization does not claim to be a Masonic organization
but a Chinese Tong, the Bing Kong Leong. Why should there be any more
objection to a Mason visiting a meeting of this Tong, provided he could gain
admission without revealing any of his Masonic secrets or signs, than to his
visiting a Lodge of the Senussiyuh in Africa under the same circumstances?
* * *
NAMES OF CANDIDATES IN LODGE
In some jurisdictions all communications from the
Lodge are mailed in sealed envelopes. It is a good rule.
A candidate's name appears in the Lodge notice
"To ballot for, and if approved, to initiate Mr.
John Doe, proposed by Brother John Black, seconded by Brother John White," or,
"To pass Brother John Doe," or, "To raise Brother John Doe."
In the jurisdiction in which I am now domiciled a
post-card notice states briefly "Work on the 1d, or 2d or 3d as the case may
be. Had the under-cover rule been compulsory here I would have known what to
I am growing old, and live in the country a long
distance from the Lodge, therefore am irregular in attendance. The other
night, however, I attended Lodge, there was work on the 3rd degree, I was a
bit late, the work had commented.
To my dismay the Brother receiving the 3rd degree
was a man whom I knew to be a thief.
What would you have done?
L. J., Virginia.
If you "knew the brother to be a thief," you were
certainly under a strong obligation to prevent his advancement. Just how you
should proceed would depend upon the law of your Jurisdiction. In some States
a candidate may be stopped up to the time that he is obligated; while others
make the time of formal reception the end of the use of an objection,
thereafter requiring preferment of charges. (See THE BUILDER, February, 1917).
Now, if the time for making objection, and thereby
stopping his progress had passed, there would be but one thing which you could
do, in justice to yourself and to the Lodge: present the facts to the Lodge by
means of charges, in the regular manner, and let the Lodge then pass upon him
* * *
A FEW "LIVE" SUBJECTS FOR
The following are a few thoughts gathered while
perusing the October issue of THE BUILDER and I should like to have the
questions answered in THE BUILDER. If I have raised any points worthy of
discussion I shall be pleased to hear from others on them.
1. The question of balloting for a candidate is
indeed a serious matter. However well a committee may know a man there is
still a chance that someone may know something of his character that would
make him undesirable. Supposing such a case, would there be anything wrong if
that man, having knowledge of something not generally known, should write
anonymously to the committee, fully stating the case and asking that it be
2. In the article on "Freemasonry in the Far
East," in the next to last paragraph on page 307, do you imply that though the
Islamite takes his obligation on the Koran it is necessary to also have the
Holy Bible in the Lodge room?
3. Has France both particular and clandestine
4. How may one know a clandestine Lodge in the
United States, save by color ?
5. On page 309 it is stated that the Institution
is "keeping strict tab on the social and political encroachments of Rome.
Where and how is the Institution doing this?.
6. The question of physical qualifications of candidates in the
days of Anderson (1723) in Operative Masonry, necessarily would exclude a
maimed man. Doubtless he would refuse to employ a carpenter with a peg leg,
but do you think if Brother Anderson were with us today he would refuse a good
man who could prove that he could climb a ladder and shingle a roof?
Conditions are vastly different today and we should not hew too
close to the line. If a candidate is well-qualified and
competent in all
other requirements let us not refuse him if he has met his misfortune
honestly. Think of the many noble, self-sacrificing men who may return to us
maimed and halt, from the present world conflagration, true noblemen; mayhap
your son, your brother, who has met misfortune that we may be safe. Exclude
them? No! a thousand times No!
"Who would think of putting a broken stone in a
fine edifice?" My friend, that would depend on how badly broken; if not so
badly broken but that it would fill its purpose, use it - otherwise refuse it.
It was my pleasure during the erection of our
great Temple in Philadelphia, to watch the workmen some part of nearly every
day. I recall how well the faces of the massive blocks of granite were
protected by wooden coverings, the other five sides being practically bare. Is
it not quite probable that in knocking the coverings off of these stones, some
of the inside edges may have been chipped? Suppose an inside corner had, by
accident, been broken off, would the builders have refused it? Doubtless many
rough, misshapen ashlars were used to fill in interstices in the foundation
and walls; they had their places and served the purpose well. When the Temple
was dedicated were they not one with the perfect ashlar? - B.F.B., Florida.
It is quite apparent that you read THE BUILDER,
Brother B. We wish that all the rest of our members would realize that just
such letters are invited monthly from every one of them. If we can not get all
of them in the present number of pages alloted to the monthly issues, we will
enlarge THE BUILDER to get them in. Such thoughts as are here presented are,
we know, of absorbing interest to all members of the Craft. Therefore,
brethren, take due notice and govern yourselves accordingly. This particular
department of THE BUILDER is your own department and we wish you to make use
We shall endeavor to reply to the foregoing
queries in their order:
1. BALLOTING FOR CANDIDATES
We think the brother would be fully justified in
notifying the committee as you suggest. Presumably you state the case just as
you do in view of the fact that a near friend of the candidate might be one of
the committee and you fear that it might lead him to think that you were
prejudiced against the candidate were you to convey the information to the
committee in person. This brother himself might know the same facts and yet,
believing that the particular acts would never be repeated and that the
candidate having already made amends for them they should not be held against
him, he might possibly withhold them from the remainder of the committee.
A much better plan would be to report the facts to
the Master of your Lodge in confidence and secure his opinion in the matter.
One might be just a little prejudiced against a person and be unconscious of
the fact. A very good rule to follow in cases of this kind is "Judge others as
you would be judged."
2. PRESENCE OF THE HOLY BIBLE
NECESSARY WHEN CANDIDATE OBLIGATED ON THE KORAN
It should be understood that Brother Johnson, in
his article on "Freemasonry in the Far East," is speaking of Lodges under the
registry of some duly recognized Grand Lodge which recognizes the Holy Bible
as a necessary part of the furniture of such Lodges. In this instance the
presence of the Holy Bible in the Lodge room would be necessary to the
regularity of the proceedings. However note what Mackey has to say about
Lodges in Mohammedan Countries in the second paragraph preceding the one you
3. FRENCH MASONRY
The Grand Orient has been, and is yet, considered
a clandestine body by many Grand Lodges. See reply to B.F.B., Florida, in this
issue concerning the recent action of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky in regard to
the Grand Orient of France and the right of visitation. Also the article in
this issue by Brother Ramsey.
4. CLANDESTINE LODGES IN THE
A complete list of all the regular Grand Lodges of
the world with the name, number and location of each subordinate Lodge is
published by the Masonic Relief Association of the United States and Canada.
Copies may be obtained by writing Brother Willis D. Engle, Secretary, Masonic
Temple, Indianapolis, Indiana.
5. LOYAL ORANGE INSTITUTlON
The "Institution" here referred to is not the
Masonic Institution but the "Loyal Orange Institution," a purely political
society to which only Protestants are admitted by ballot, as is stated in the
last paragraph of Brother Carson's article, on page 307.
6. PHYSICAL QUALIFICATIONS
"Respectfully referred" to Brother O. D. Street, of Alauama. He
started it. W.E.A.
I notice a discussion of the desirability of
establishing Military Lodges, with the authority to confer the three degrees
upon candidates taken from the military command to which each Lodge would be
As a soldier of the Regular Army, who has been
stationed in two camps of the Regulars and one of the National Army, I state
most positively that I have found a need for such Army Lodges, and heartily
endorse the plan.
have found one comrade who was ordered away from home a week after receiving
the First Degree, and has since been kept so constantly on the move that his
only chance of Masonic advancement is through a Lodge in his military
organization; another, who was ordered away just after preparing his
application for the First Degree in his home town; and several similar cases.
A Lodge should not be chartered in any particular
military unit, however, until it seems reasonably probable that the personnel
of that unit, and hence the membership of that Lodge, has fair prospects of
permanency for half a year.
Rogers H. Galt,
Med. Dept. 347th Field
Artillery, U. S. A., Washington.
* * *
I wish to thank you especially for your assistance in the
search after the lost "Swedenborgian Rite." So far the same has not been
recovered, and we are left at the mercy of those who know. The
received are, however, sufficient to show that there is yet a large field to
be explored by Masonic students.
"SAYS THE YOUNG MASTER MASON"
There is an appeal in the September number of THE
BUILDER, "Says the Young Master Mason," which should be answered. I would be
glad to read what the elder brethren have to answer to this heart-gripping,
heart-searching question: "Why then stand ye here idle?" As a young Master
Mason I share his fate and join in his willingness to learn.
Joseph Hollrigl, New
(The opportunity is within your grasp, brother.
Take your October BUILDER to the next regular meeting of your Lodge and read
to the members the article on page 7 of the Correspondence Circle Bulletin,
"Organized Masonic Study in Monthly Lodge Meetings," and get the Lodge to
appoint a "Research Committee" and advise us of the members of this committee.
We will help them to get the plan started in your Lodge. There is no need to
"stand idle." - W.E.A.)
* * *
GRAND LODGE OF ILLINOIS
REFUSES RECOGNITION TO THE GRAND LODGE OF PANAMA
The following report of the Committee on Foreign
Correspondence of the Grand Lodge of Ilinois adopted by that Grand Body at its
Annual Communication in Chicago the second week in October of this year, is
herewith presented to our members through the courtesy of Brother Charles H.
Martin, Chairman of the Committee. It presents another side of the question in
contradistinction to the views held by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts as
given in the article published in the November issue of THE BUILDER, "Masonry
in Panama," by Brother Melvin M. Johnson, Past brand Master of Massachusetts.
To the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge, Ancient, Free
and Accepted Masons of the State of Illinois:
Your Committee on Foreign Correspondence, to whom
was referred the application of the Grand Lodge of Panama for fraternal
recognition and an exchange of representatives, would fraternally and
respectfully report that there is nothing in or accompanying said application
tending to show that the said Grand Lodge of Panama possesses the
qualifications essential to a Sovereign Grand Lodge of Ancient Craft Masons,
as heretofore set forth and defined, and uniformly insisted upon by this Grand
Lodge, in order to obtain such recognition. Elsewhere it is learned, however,
that the first essential in order to regularity of formation is entirely
wanting, to-wit: "Legitimacy of origin of constituent Lodges uniting to form a
In a showing made by this soi disant Grand Lodge
of Panama, to the Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of
Massachusetts, and by him (the latter) reported to the Grand Lodge of
Massachusetts, it is said: "In the year 1913, Panama having six Lodges, and
believing that the claim to territorial occupancy was theirs, conceived the
idea that the time was opportune for establishing both a Supreme Council and
Grand Lodge, and believing the claim was a just one, approached Venezuela with
"The subject was favorably received, and a Special
Deputy was sent to Caracas, fully empowered to place the application before
the Supreme Council of Venezuela: in due time and form a meeting was convened,
and the application was placed before the Supreme Council, that Body approved
the application and appointed a Special Commissioned Deputy, who accompanied
the Commissioners of Panama to Panama, and without any delay, with legal
authority and in due ceremony established the Supreme Council of Panama,
conferring the 33d on certain selected members. In the same year Declaration
of a Grand Lodge was made by the six Lodges above mentioned, and with the
ceremony suitable to the occasion, the Grand Lodge was instituted and its
officers elected and installed. This Grand Lodge believing in good faith that
the establishment was legally formed, continued its work and granted a charter
for the establishment of a lodge under its immediate jurisdiction; a lodge to
conduct and carry on the work in the English tongue. This lodge was
established in December, 1913, and is known as "Unity" Lodge No. 7. The six
Lodges above mentioned, which had been chartered by Venezuela, were
transferred to the jurisdiction of Panama, and their respective numbers were
changed to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 - Panama now having seven Lodges.
"The question of the world's official recognition
was taken up, correspondence was sent out detailing all the information, and
with the exception of a few of the South American Republics, San Salvador and
Santo Domingo, the requests did not meet with success.
"That being the case, the best means of settling
the question was most carefully considered, and it was agreed upon by the
Panama Supreme Council to approach the Colombia Supreme Council on the
subject; the approach was met in the most brotherly spirit, resulting in a
happy amalgamation." - Proceedings of Mass., 1916, page 711.
The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts has published a
"Treaty" or "Protocol," in which the high contracting parties are the Grand
Lodge of Massachusetts and the Grand Lodge of Panama. In the history therein
given, antecedent to the "Protocol" proper, appears the following:
"When Panama, in 1903, definitely severed itself
from Colombia, its territory was regarded as open to the Masonic World.
Consequently the Supreme Councils of Colombia and Venezuela (the latter
founded in 1875) both established Symbolic Lodges within the Republic.
"On the 16th of April, 1916, there existed in the
Republic of Panama the following Blue Lodges:
"Rosa de America, formerly No. 65 of Venezuela,
now No. 1 of Panama; Pro Mundi Beneficio, formerly No. 67 of Venezuela, now
No. 2 of Panama; Orion, formerly No. 68 of Venezuela, now No. 3 of Panama;
Aurora del Istmo, formerly No. 69 of Venezuela, now No. 4 of Panama;
Restauracion, formerly No. 70 of Venezuela, now No. 5 of Panama; Jose Bernito
Alivizua, formerly No. 71 of Venezuela, now No. 6 of Panama; Unity,
constituted December, 1913, by a Grand Lodge of Panama which was under the
auspices of the Supreme Council, now No. 7 of Panama; Cosmopolita, formerly
No. 55 under the jurisdiction of Colombia, constituted 1910, now No. 8 of
Panama. Spanish, the language of the country, is used by all except Unity
Lodge, which is permitted to work in English.
"On the 16th day of April, 1916, these Lodges met
in convention and executed a formal declaration of the establishment of a
Grand Lodge of Symbolic Masonry for the Republic of Panama. At a meeting held
August 19, 1916, they adopted Grand Constitutions by the unanimous vote of
delegates from all of said eight lodges and elected Grand Officers. The
organization of La Gran Logia de Panama was consummated on October 12, 1916,
when the Most Worshipful Grand Master and other Grand Officers were publicly
installed and proclaimed. This organization of a Sovereign Grand Lodge having
exclusive jurisdiction over the three degrees of Symbolic Masonry has been
approved, and accorded recognition by the Supreme Councils of Panama,
Venezuela and Colombia, etc."
Taking the two accounts above quoted at their face
value, and waiving the discrepancies therein appearing, it is altogether fair
to conclude that every one of the lodges uniting to form the present and last
Grand Lodge of Panama was planted by a Supreme Council; that failing to obtain
recognition of the Grand Lodge formed in 1913, the expedient was resorted to
by the Supreme Councils concerned, and above named, of procuring charters from
the Grand Lodge of Venezuela for the same lodges. In other words the Grand
Lodge of Venezuela was induced to pull down the curtain and hide the shame of
this aggregation of lodges from the Masonic world.
To all those who take seriously the landmarks of
Masonry, and the principles and rules elucidated in the fifteen points of the
Masters' installation vows, this specious expedient cannot avail. The Grand
Lodge of Venezuela has never been recognized by the Grand Lodge of Illinois,
nor by any considerable number of regular grand lodges as a sovereign,
The above recital of facts tend to indicate that
it is not such, but that its action in issuing charters was on the initiative
and at the instance of, if not dictated by, the so-called Supreme Council.
The lodges originally contributing to form the
Grand Lodge of Venezuela were warranted by the Grand Orient of Spain, which is
also a body which the Grand Lodge of Illinois has never recognized as a grand
lodge. As a controlling reason why it can never be recognized as such, it is
sufficient to suggest that it was formed of lodges created and established by
a Supreme Council. This Grand Lodge has time and again approved the doctrine
that no tribunal or power on earth is competent to form or warrant a lodge of
the original plan except a regular sovereign grand lodge.
In one report expressly approved by this Grand
Lodge the following language was used: "We utterly deny that any body save a
representative Grand Lodge can by warrant or charter create a Lodge that has
any claim whatever to the name of Masonry, or that can administer its rites."
Neither the Supreme Council, the Grand Orient of
Spain nor the Grand Lodge of Venezuela is, or ever was, competent to form or
bring into being a Lodge of the original plan, and hence not a single Lodge
contributing to form the present Grand Lodge of Panama can be regarded as a
regular Lodge of Ancient Craft Masons.
Your committee therefore recommends that the
request of the Grand Lodge of Panama for recognition and an exchange of
representatives be declined.
Committee on Correspondence.