The Builder Magazine
June 1918 - Volume IV - Number 6
BY BRO. H.L. HAYWOOD, IOWA
Text: Proverbs 8:27, "he set
a compass upon the face of the deep."
AFTER Euclid had shown
Ptolemy his treatise on geometry the king inquired, somewhat wistfully,
"Cannot the problems be made easier?" to which the geometer replied, "There is
no royal road to geometry." True enough, but geometry itself is a royal road,
and one that will lead us to Divine things if we will but follow it, as I now
ask you to do.
It is difficult, if not
impossible, for us to retrace our steps into the ancient day when men had not
yet learned the orderliness of nature. Before the calendar was discovered or
clocks invented the navigator steered his ship by the landmarks on the coast,
and the farmer planted his crops by chance, for it was not known that the
seasons repeat their regular ritual or that the heavens are ruled by order.
"They saw things come and saw them go, but whence or whither they could not
know." Everything changed or passed away and all things seemed to be in an
eternal flux. In the midst of that everlasting stream of circumstance, that
wildering maze of vicissitude, the early people felt helpless, if not mocked,
for it always seemed that Nature was making sport of them. Even Renan, so far
removed from them in time, recognized the pathos of this, for he said that
"Nothing is so painful as the universal flow of things," while Tennyson set
the mood to his music of accustomed sweetness:
The hills are shadows, and
From form to form, and
They melt like mist, the
Like clouds they shape
themselves, and go.
If the mutability of all
things was so oppressive to the recent thinkers, having at their hand
science's unveiling of the lucid order of the universe, how much more painful
must it have seemed to human minds before science came! "We are strangers
before thee," they cried in their prayers, "and sojourners, as all our fathers
were: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is no abiding."
Little wonder that the
discovery of the North Star, one fixed body among all the others that moved
perpetually, was an event of such importance that the simple folk worshipped
it as a god and hung its symbol above the altars of their temples ! Little
wonder that Heraclitus, the first thinker to state the fact with the
thoroughness and system of philosophy, was called "The Weeping Philosopher !"
Where there is no stability the mind hangs in the air and grows weary like a
land bird at sea that finds no solid ground for its feet.
It was for this reason that
the discovery of numbers, and especially of geometry, which is the application
of numbers to form, was hailed as a visitation from on high. This discovery
was not made in a day but came so gradually that men could hardly discern the
lifting of the changing mists. And it was after this wise it came, if we have
rightly pieced together the fragments of the story. The Egyptians lived along
the Nile, their fields lying adjacent to its current in order to profit from
the rich deposits of its overflow. But this very flood itself, source as it
was of all fertility, gave rise to great difficulties, for the rising waters
obliterated all landmarks each season and thus caused confusion among the
owners of the fields. It was in their efforts to discover some method of
fixing their boundaries that the Egyptians learned how to trace out the
regular motions of the heavens, the periodicity of the seasons, and the
properties of numbers. How much the race is indebted to those sun-browned
workers in the fluviatile valley nobody can compute !
Inasmuch as numbers had won
them order from chaos of their first impressions these early peoples exalted
mathematics to the level of divinity, seeing in it, and rightly we may
believe, a revelation, an uncovering, of the Creative Mind. Triangles and
squares were engraved on their monuments and hung in their temples. The
numbers three, five and seven were held especially sacred for in them were
many qualities not possessed by other numerals. The cult of numbers arose at
last and men formed secret societies for studying and teaching the properties
It was among these secret
societies that there came at a later day Pythagoras, one of the noblest of all
thinkers, and the first to raise mathematics to the level of an exact science.
From his hidden schools in Greece he taught his initiates the mystery of
arithmetic, calling God "the Great Geometrician" and telling his pupils that
"All things are in numbers; crystals are solid geometry."
Plato, also, the most opulent
thinker of antiquity, found in geometry a revelation of the Infinite Mind,
looking upon it as the very essence of religion, the knowledge of God. "What
does Deity do all the while?" one of his pupils asked him. "God is always
geometrizing," was the reply. "Geometry must ever tend to draw the soul
towards truth." Over the portal of his school he inscribed the legend: "Let no
one who is ignorant of geometry enter my doors."
What science is to all modern
thinking the one science of mathematics, "the sacred mathematics," was to
early thinking; and those first teachers felt it a sacred duty to transmit so
valuable a knowledge to their descendants. Therefore was it that, three
hundred years before Christ, Euclid wrote the treatise in which he embodied
all that was known of the science at that time. Indeed, the work of Euclid is
still the standard treatise on the subject, being used as the basis of every
textbook in our schools. Better methods for proving the problems have been
worked out, and new propositions have been discovered, but the fundamentals
stand like adamant, and always will stand.
After the breakup of the
ancient world and the general inundation of culture under the Barbarian
Invasion, geometry was lost. For hundreds of years the people of Europe
wandered among the mazes of chance and caprice, as primitive men had done
before them. Then at last along came Simon Grynaeus, a contemporary of Luther,
who rediscovered Euclid and gave his science to the new peoples. How much this
influenced the Reformation no historian has yet undertaken to estimate but it
is certain that it had far reaching consequences and paved the way for modern
science, which is itself a superstructure built on mathematics.
If the earlier peoples were
overjoyed to make their few discoveries of the hidden but fixed order of
Nature how delighted they would now be to learn that all the endeavors of
science have only served to make more clear and more universal the reign of
number and form throughout the universe. For through a prophetic inspiration
of the geometers we have had uncurtained to us a spectacle of mathematical
order throughout the universe which is as revealing as it is beautiful.
Matter itself, immobile as it
may appear to the eye, is in reality a composite of atoms that move through
the mazes of an everlasting dance, every evolution of which seems timed to
some exact pattern. Even the chemical elements, which so long baffled the
system makers, were proved by Newlands to lie in a regular order of
periodicity strangely grouped around the number seven. Order is the first law
of the elements. Crystallization is a solid geometry. If one observes ice
crystals forming across a window pane he will see them grouping themselves
together into symmetrical forms, intricate, involved, beautiful, as if some
unseen artist were at work depicting a scene from an arctic fairyland.
Even when life gathers matter
up about itself into its organisms the same rhythm is preserved. Vitality is
free and flowing, often apparently erratic, and moving by the law of its own,
yet it will always be found at last to keep step with the geometrical motions
of the world. If one would expect the eternal harmony absent from any field
surely it would be in that little known realm which the insects inhabit; yet
John Henri Fabre was so impressed by the reign of numbers among these
insignificant creatures that he was moved to write this magnificent paragraph:
"He will admire as much as we
do geometry the eternal balancer of space. There is a severe beauty, belonging
to the domain of reason, the same in every world, the same under every sun,
whether the suns be single or many, white or red, blue or yellow. This
universal beauty is order. Everything is done by weight and measure, a great
statement whose truth breaks upon us all the more vividly as we probe more
deeply into the mystery of things. Is this order, upon which the equilibrium
of the universe is based, the predestined result of a blind mechanism? Does it
enter into the plans of an eternal Geometer, as Plato had it? Is it the ideal
of a supreme lover of beauty, which would explain everything? Why all this
regularity in the curve of the petals of a flower, why all this elegance in
the chasings on a beetle's wing-cases? Is that infinite grace, even in the
tiniest details compatible with the brutality of uncontrolled forces? One
might as well attribute the artist's exquisite medallion to the steamhammer
which makes the slag sweat in the melting !"
The "regularity in the curve
of the petals of the flower" has attracted the attention of others as well as
Fabre. Maeterlinck, who learned so much from the veteran French naturalist,
made a prolonged study of the Mind that is at work in plants with what result
anyone can read in a book of lovely pages, "The Intelligence of the Flowers."
Why are leaves set around the stem in such mathematical regularity ? Why do
flowers seem to love numbers, as the trilium is partial to three, and the rose
to five ? Surely it must be because there is that in them which responds to
the universal order. Like Plato's deity they are always geometrizing.
An animal is a plant that has
taken to moving about, and just because it is so often apparently ungoverned
in its movements, we lose sight of the regular laws which rule among animals
as much as among plants and minerals. But those laws are there as many a
scientist has proved. In the Mid-nineteenth Century days, before the evolution
theory was so well understood, men fell to theorizing as if the universe had
happened into existence through chance. Life itself was defined as the result
of a "fortuitous concourse of atoms." The absurdity of this "thinking"--it was
really an abdication of thought--was never more clearly revealed than by the
Duke of Argyll, whose work on "The Reign of Law" is almost classical. The
learned Duke took the wing of a common bird and showed that the mechanism of
flight is so unimaginably complicated, so perfect, and solves so many
mathematical problems, many of them beyond the ken of a Lord Kelvin, that it
tasks our credulity too much to be asked to believe that this exquisite
machinery could possibly have come through "chance." In a more recent time,
Sir Oliver Lodge has made the same use of the human eye, an organ so intricate
and nice in its adjustments and functions, that a Swiss watch is simple by
What is true of the things we
find on the earth holds good in equal measure of the great bodies that sail
round us through the sky. The astronomer's charts are strangely like a page of
Euclid. He has found that order is the first law of the heavens as it is of
Heaven. The wildest comet, careening irresponsibly through space, moves in an
orbit as rigidly fixed as the passing of the hands about the clock. Surely it
must be that an Infinite Mind has set His compasses upon the face of the deeps
of space, else how explain the periodicity, the regularity, of the sidereal
universe, the movement of any one body of which may be predicted for thousands
of years in advance!
This law of geometric harmony
holds as true among the arts of man as in those realms which are the art of
God. Every building is geometric demonstration. As we may read in the pages of
a learned student of this: "The language (geometry) spoke in the sloping wall
and massive pillar and flat roof of Egypt, or in the mighty piles of Chaldea,
or in the Corinthian grace, or in Roman boldness; the heart was that of the
geometrician who spoke as he dreamed, in anger, in epic, in poetry of stone
and graceful curve--who planned by the plumb and the square, by the secret of
the arch and the balance of accurate measure."
Even painting, when lightly
understood, conforms to the ancient patterns, being based on the principle
described by one of its most magisterial exponents: "All nature is modelled
either like a cone, a sphere or a cylinder. Painting is a colored mathematics
of things." As for music, that is geometry that has taken to wings, its
freedom evermore being inbound in law. It is the child of rhythm which is the
purest manifestation of the law of numbers. From of old it has been dreamed
that the morning stars sang together, that the rafters and beams of creation
were laid deep in melody, that the spheres make music as they move, that all
"deep things are song." Of this truth every musician is the priest as every
poet is its apostle. As Dryden sings:
"From Harmony, from heavenly
This universal frame began;
When Nature underneath a
Of jarring atoms lay And
could not heave her head,
The tuneful voice was heard
Arise, ye more than dead!
Then cold, and hot, and
moist, and dry
In order to their stations
And music's power obey.
From Harmony, from heavenly
This universal frame began:
From harmony to harmony
Through all the compass of
the notes it ran,
The diapason closing full in
Yes, in Man, truly, for order
holds in the soul as much as in the heavens where the astronomer thinks God's
thoughts after Him. Character is no chance product but builds according to
laws as immutable and as ascertainable as any to be found in the builder's
art. For the freedom of the soul is not capriciousness, least of all
lawlessness, but voluntary co-operation with the fixed rules of the spirit. He
who will build according to that principle will erect a character as stable as
that house which the wise architect builded on the rock. Glorious will be the
day when men learn the geometry of the heart and square their actions to the
fixed rules of moral life.
The significance of this
geometry of the cosmos for our faith has been know ever since men discovered
it. At bottom there ale but two philosophies: that which holds that this
universe is a heap of dirt governed by chance; and that which finds in it a
reasoned reign of order resting in an Infinite Mind. As between dirt and deity
a man may make his choice, but surely the thinker who sees everywhere the
beautiful sweep of order will not for a moment believe that this mighty music
could have come to us out of the falling atoms of chance. One might as well
throw a handful of type into the air and expect them to write a poem in their
Twenty-five centuries ago
Socrates labored to show the little atheist, Aristodemus, that as a statue by
Polytectetus could not possibly have emerged from the quarries through mere
chance, so is it impossible to believe that the cosmos, infinitely greater in
complexity as well as in beauty, could ever have come into existence through
mere fortuitousness. In the same wise, Franklin, who may typify the modern
thinker, exposed the fallacy of an atheist astronomer friend of his. The
astronomer was showing him an orrery, which is a working model of the solar
system, when Franklin said, "It is strange that such a thing could build
itself by chance." "Chance !" exclaimed the astronomer, "I made that myself.
How could so complicated a device have come by chance?" "Then," said the
philosopher, turning upon him, "how can you believe that the solar system
itself, of which this is a mere model, could have come by chance ?"
Surely, when we have our
minds with us, it must be apparent that the everywhere present order of things
is the revelation of a Divine Orderer! Where there is so much intelligence
there must be an Intelligence! Where there is so much harmony there must stand
near a great Musician! The poetry of earth is the song of an Infinite Poet!
The beauty of all creation is the outshining, the splendor of an Eternal
Long ago a psalmist cried,
"Whither shall I flee from Thy presence?" We cannot flee from His presence.
While we dig in the dirt He is there, present in the dance of the atoms that
compose the soil: while we walk through the snow He draws His pictures about
us in the traceries of the crystals: the bird that wings above us is His
angel, making hieroglyphics in the air: the very tides move along the circle
which His compasses draw upon the deep. Everywhere He is. We live imbedded in
His mind. To escape from Him is as impossible as to climb out of the
Where there is so much order
all must be ordered. King Alphonso of Castile, looking out over the general
muddle of affairs into which Spain had fallen, doubted that a Mind ruled all.
"If God had called me to His councils," he sighed, "things would have been in
better order." In these days when it seems that the bottom has gone out of the
world and chaos has come again, we may fall into the mood of the old king. But
let us despair not. The plain is there; we have lost the perspective, or the
key. It is said that the frescoes on the ceiling of St. Peter's look like an
inartistic jumble to the man who climbs close to them; but from a station
three hundred feet below they spring up into a majestic beauty. They are
wrought on too large a plan for a close view. We humans, with our
near-sightedness, our myopic eyes, are standing too close to the program of
creation; it may appear all jumble to us now. Let us wait with patience. Some
morning, soon or late, will find us on a mountain of vision where we can see
things as they are and watch the Divine Geometer draw His circles across the
WHERE THE RAINBOW NEVER FADES
It can not be that the earth
is man's only abiding-place. It can not be that our life is a mere bubble cast
up by eternity to float a moment on its waves and then sink into nothingness.
Else why is it that the glorious aspirations which leap like angels from the
temple of our hearts are forever wandering unsatisfied ?
Why is it that all the stars
that hold their festival around the midnight throne are set above the grasp of
our limited faculties, forever mocking us with their unapproachable glory ?
And, finally, why is it that
bright forms of human beauty presented to our view are taken from us, leaving
the thousand streams of our affections to flow back in Alpine torrents upon
There is a realm where the
rainbow never fades; where the stars will be spread out before us like islands
that slumber in the ocean; and where the beautiful beings which now pass
before us like shadows will stay in our presence forever. --George D.
BOYHOOD HOME OF ALBERT PIKE
BY BRO. HAROLD L. BAILEY.
Having noticed in a back issue of THE BUILDER a
statement to the effect that you would like material relating to Albert Pike,
I am sending you a photograph of the house in which he spent his boyhood. I
made this photograph several years ago to illustrate a short write-up of the
subject for the Boston Globe.
A painted sign with its characters nearly effaced
by time proclaims a deserted, weatherbeaten house in the parish of Byfield,
Massachusetts, as the "Home of Gen. Albert Pike." Although not his birthplace
it stands for all those things generally connected with a man's first days and
years in the world.
General Pike was born in Boston, Dec. 29, 1809,
but was brought to this house when but a few days old. His boyhood days were
spent in Byfield, and a letter from which Mr. John Ewell quotes in his "Story
of Byfield," (George E. Littlefield, Boston, 1904, publisher) expresses
General Pike's affection for his boyhood home. He said:
"Many, many long years ago I gathered walnuts and
shot squirrels on Long Hill. It saddens me to look back along the procession
of departed years, and to remember how long the Future then seemed and how
short the Past is. I wish I could be a boy for one single day again and ramble
over Long Hill in the frosty air of October, and at night sleep the sound
sleep of youth. . ."
Byfield is the name of an old-time church parish,
the territory of which embraced several towns. General Pike's home was in a
section of the parish now included in the town of Georgetown, Essex County,
about thirty miles north of Boston.
It is best to take life
gladly as we strive,
And best to face toil bravely
day by day.
We are companioned in this
With other strugglers in this
No fate selects us solely for
And no misfortune that can
But what find other
strugglers in the dark,
For care is common unto one
BY BRO. JULIUS F. SACHSE,
GRAND LIBRARIAN, PENNSYLVANIA
Since the entry of America
into the World War there have come to us many requests for information
concerning that notable French ally of America during the War of the American
Revolution, Brother General Lafayette. We were unable to learn but little
concerning the Masonic connections of Brother Lafayette until we discovered,
in the report of the Committee on Library of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania
for 1916, notice of the proposed publication in pamphlet form of the following
article by Brother Sachse. By permission of this Committee we are enabled to
herewith present to our readers the result of Brother Sachse's researches.
It is very unfortunate that
the name of Brother Lafayette's, Mother Lodge is not known. Possibly some of
our members may be able to further enlighten us on this subject.
NO original documentary
evidence is known to be in existence which records the initiation of General
Lafayette in the Masonic Fraternity, nor in what Lodge or when this took
place. It has always been a tradition in Masonic circles that General
Lafayette was made a Mason in one of the Military Lodges at Morristown, New
Jersey, where a Festal Lodge was held December 27, 1779, for which occasion
the jewels and furniture and clothing of St. John's Lodge, No. 1, of Newark,
New Jersey, was borrowed. The meeting proved a great success, sixty eight
brethren being present, one of whom was General Washington.
There is another tradition
that General Lafayette was made a Mason in a Military Lodge, which met at
Valley Forge during the winter of 1777-78, hut no official records of such
action have thus far been discovered.
It was this uncertainty as to
the Masonic standing of General Lafayette, which led to the resolution of
September 6, 1824, in the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and the appointment of a
Committee to satisfy themselves that General Lafayette was an Ancient York
Mason. That the Committee was satisfied with their investigation is evinced
by their report and the subsequent action of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania,
which resulted in enrolling Brother General Lafayette an Honorary Member of
the R.W. Grand Lodge, F. & A. M. of Pennsylvania.
Brother General Marie Jean
Paul Joseph Roche Yves Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, revisited
America in the year 1784, arriving at New York August 5 of that year. After
remaining a short time in New York he hastened forward to visit General
Washington at Mount Vernon, reaching Philadelphia on August 10, where he was
presented with an address by Brothers A. St. Clair, William Irving and General
Anthony Wayne. It is not known whether General Lafayette visited any Masonic
Lodges in Philadelphia during this visit, nor whether there was any
communication with the Grand Lodge. One of the chief objects of this visit
with General Washington was to present him with a beautiful white satin apron
bearing the national colors, red, white and blue and embroidered elaborately
with Masonic emblems, the whole being the handiwork of Madam the Marquise de
This apron was enclosed in a
handsome rosewood box when presented to Washington. This apron was worn by
Washington, September 18, 1793, when he laid the corner stone of the capitol
at the Federal City (Washington, D. C.), and is now in the Museum of the Grand
Lodge, F. & A. M., of Pennsylvania. After the death of Washington this Masonic
relic was presented by the legatees to the Washington Benevolent Society, who
received it October 26, 1816. They in turn presented it July 3, 1829, to the
Right Worshipful Grand Lodge, F. & A. M. of Pennsylvania, and bears the
"The Legatees of Gen.
Washington, impressed with the most profound Sentiments of respect for the
Institution which they have the honor to address, beg leave to present to them
the enclosed relic of the revered & lamented 'Father of His Country.' They are
persuaded that the Apron, which was once possessed by the man, whom the
Philadelphians always delighted to honor, will be considered most precious to
the Society distinguished by his name, and by the benevolent, and grateful
feelings to which it owes its foundations. That this perishable memento of a
Hero whose Fame is 'more durable than Brass' may confer as much pleasure upon
those to whom it is presented, as is experienced by the Donors.
"October 26th, 1816, "Is
the sincere wish of the "Legatees." Forty years later Brother Lafayette
revisited the United States, landing at New York as the nation's guest, August
15, 1824. He was accompanied by his son George Washington Lafayette, and M. La
Vasseur, his secretary, both members of the fraternity. Tuesday, September 29,
the party reached Philadelphia.
At the Grand Quarterly
Communication of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania held September 6, 1824, just
ninety-four years ago, the following motion was made, seconded, and adopted:
"Resolved, that a Committee
consisting of the Grand Officers and Past Grand Masters be appointed to
enquire whether General La Fayette be an Ancient York Master Mason, and if he
be, to adopt such measures, as in their opinion will best evince the affection
and gratitude of his Masonic Brethren, to this friend and benefactor of the
At an adjourned Quarterly
Grand Communication held Monday, September 26, 1824, the committee made the
"The Committee appointed on
the 6 Septr. to enquire whether Gen. La Fayette be an Antient York Mason
presented the following Report and Resolution which as amended were severally
"The Committee appointed by
the Grand Lodge to ascertain and Report whether General La Fayette be an
Antient York Mason, and if so to report such measures it would be proper for
the Grand Lodge to adopt in relation to this Brother, respectfully Report,
"That they have been led to
believe that this distinguished man, for whose attachment and services to this
Country our fellow Citizens have evinced the warmest feelings of affection and
gratitude has long been an Antient York Master Mason and has honored the
institution by his patronage and added to its usefulness and respectability by
a devoted attention to its interests. When all classes are zealous to display
their good feelings upon his arrival amongst us, it would seem to your
Committee that in a City where the Masonic institutions deservedly stand high,
some testimony of respect is due from them to so worthy a brother.
"They have been anxious to
avoid unnecessary ostentation and expense, but at the same time to treat this
guest as becomes the Institution, and his character.
"The Committee recommended
for adoption the following Resolutions:- "Resolved, that a Committee of seven
be appointed whose duty it shall be as soon as they have received Masonic
information that Gen. La Fayette is an Antient York Master Mason, to invite
him to partake with his Masonic Brethren of a Dinner to be prepared for the
"Resolved, that the same
Committee shall be authorized to procure the Dinner, receive Subscriptions and
make all necessary arrangements for the same at the price of five dollars for
"Resolved, that the use of
the Grand Salon shall be appropriated on the evening on which the Dinner is to
take place to the subscribers to the same.
"Resolved, that the Grand
Lodge Room shall also be appropriated to the use of the subscribers on that
day, with the consent of the Lodge whose day of meeting it may be and that an
address suitable to the occasion be delivered.
J. K. Kane, Committee."
The R.W.D.G.M. was pleased to
appoint Brothers J. Randall, J. S. Lewis, J. M. Pettit, D. E. Wilson, Robt.
Toland, D. F. Gordon and Jas. McAlpin on said committee.
On motion made and seconded,
"Resolved, that the Grand
Secretary transmit a copy of the Report and Resolutions to the R. W. Grand
Master (Bro. John B. Gibson being absent from the City on official Duties as
Judge of the Supreme Court), and respectfully invite his attendance in the
City on the day when the Dinner to Gen. La Fayette shall take place."
Saturday, October 2, 1824,
Brother Lafayette visited the navy yard, then on the Delaware River at the
foot of Federal Street, attended by the governor and citizens of the first
distinction, escorted by the United States Marines, a regiment of militia,
several independent companies, and a long civic procession.
After leaving the
Philadelphia navy yard in the afternoon, Brother Lafayette was escorted by a
committee of the Grand Lodge from his Lodgings at the house of Mrs. Nicholas
Biddle, to the Masonic Hall on Chestnut Street, north side between Seventh and
Eighth Streets, where he attended an Extra Grand Communication of the Grand
Lodge of Pennsylvania, as stated in the minutes, viz.:
"Philadelphia, Saturday, 2
Oct., A. D. 1824, A. L. 5824.
"Extra Grand Communication.
"This being the day appointed
for a Dinner to our Distinguished Brother General La Fayette, in pursuance of
a Resolution of the Grand Lodge adopted on the 20 September ulto., about three
hundred of the Craft, including a large proportion of the resident members of
the Grand Lodge, assembled in the Hall at an early hour in the afternoon.
"The R. W. Deputy Grand
Master and Grand Officers and members, being seated in the Grand Lodge Room,
the door was tyled, the Grand Lodge opened in form at four o'clock P. M.
"Bro. James Harper, R. W.
Deputy G. M., in the Chair.
"Bro. Thomas Kittera, R. W.
Senior G. Warden.
"Bro. Saml. Badger, R. W.
"Bro. John K. Kane, Acting
"Bro. Joseph S. Lewis, Grand
"Saml. A. Thomas, Depy.
Acting Grand Secy.
"Bro. Randall Hutchinson,
Senior Grand Deacon.
"Bro. George C. Potts, Grand
"Bro. Jas. McAlpin, Grand
"Bro. William Wray, Grand
"Bro. S. F. Bradford, R. W.
Past Grand Master.
"Bro. Walter Kerr, R. W. Past
"Bro. Bayse Newcomb, R. W.
Past Grand Master.
"Bro. Josiah Randall, R. W.
Past Grand Master."
Representatives and Past
Masters from nearly all of the Lodges in the City and County of Philadelphia,
and a large number of visiting brethren among whom were the following: by
special invitation-- Brothers George Washington La Fayette; M. La Vasseur and
Colonel Victor Dupont, of Delaware, former aid to Brother La Fayette.
Bro. Jones, P. G. M., Grand
Lodge of Georgia.
" E. Hicks, R. W. Grand Secy.
Gd. Lodge N. York.
" Geo. B. Porter, Lodge No.
" M. C. Rogers, " " "
" Charles Stewart, Bro. Wm.
" I. M. Gamble, " T.
On motion made and seconded,
the following resolution was unanimously adopted:
"The Grand Lodge of
Pennsylvania glorying in the honour thus conferred on her by the visit of
Brother Gilbert Motier de la Fayette, and anxious to enrol among her members
an individual so much distinguished by all the Virtues which ennoble the
Masonic Character, has Resolved, that all the rights, dignities and privileges
of a member of this Grand Lodge be, and the same are hereby conferred on Bro.
Gilbert Motier de la Fayette."
A committee was appointed to
wait upon La Fayette at his lodgings and conduct him to the Hall. Here he was
met at the door by the Grand Marshal and Grand Sword Bearer and received into
the Grand Lodge with the highest honours.
The R. W. Depy. Grand Master
then rose and addressed Bro. La Fayette as follows:
"Bro. La Fayette.
"The Freemasons of
Pennsylvania welcome you to their home with sincere and universal pleasure.
"Warmly participating in the
sentiments which have every where spontaneously burst from our fellow citizens
in the lively gratitude for the services you have rendered our Country, in
admiration of your high and various virtues, and in cordially reciprocating
the attachment you have uniformly evinced for our liberties and for our
happiness, we owe in addition the pride and sympathy of Masonic Brotherhood.
Your meritorious life has, indeed, justly illustrated our principles; and
those who now surround you, feel that like Washington, and Warren and
Franklin, you have won their most affectionate veneration, by shedding honour
on their beloved fraternity. Always contending General, in the great cause of
human rights, your success has equalled the disinterestedness and perseverance
of your devotion. In America, as the companion and friend of the wisest and
best of mankind, you will ever be regarded as one of the founders of the
greatest, purest and happiest of republics; while, in your native land it
cannot he forgotten, that amidst the storms of political revolution, and
through every vicissitude of personal fortune, you have stood an inflexible
example of consistency, moderation and firmness. These impressions common to
the people of the United States, but most dear to us, are now indelibly
inscribed upon the records of history and will pass to our latest posterity
with the sanction of national unanimity. Receive then most valued Brother, the
most heartfelt benedictions of our sacred institution; receive the homage of
free and upright men, who love you as an early benefactor and whose affection
must remain as secure as your own virtues and as permanent as your own glory.
"I have also the honour of
presenting you with a Resolution passed unanimously by the Grand Lodge during
its present session constituting you one of its members: I hope you will
accept this as an additional evidence of the high sense they entertain of your
virtues and of the services you have rendered to mankind in general and to
Masonry in particular."
To which Bro. La Fayette made
the following reply:
"Right Worshipful Grand
Master and Brethren:--
"I have often thought that we
owe as much to our enemies as to our friends, and if this observation is true,
it is most true, when applied to us as Masons. It is to the enmity and the
persecutions of a Francis the 2d and Ferdinand the 7th that the Masons of
Europe in Modern times have been indebted for opportunities of proving through
much suffering and peril, that our principles are pure, and that their
devotion to them is unchangeable. The Lodges of Spain in particular have been
the victims of Royal fears but though dispersed, their members still are
Masons, and though much oppressed, their light has not been extinguished.
"You R. W. Sir, and Brethren,
reposing under the cover of your own peaceful institutions, hear of these
things only by the report of those who come to admire your prosperity and to
share by your hospitality, the fruit of your labours.
"I thank you for the honour
you have just conferred on me, and assure you that I shall never forget this
mark of your kind distinction, by which I am made the member of a body of
which Franklin was the father and Washington the associate."
The Brethren were now
severally presented to Bro. La Fayette, when Grand Lodge closed in harmony at
half past five o'clock.
A sumptuous banquet prepared
by Bro. Daniel Rubicam being ready in the grand salon and adjoining banqueting
room, the brethren entered in tlle follow;ng order:
"The following report was
received from the Committee appointed on the claim of William Christie for
furn;ture supplied to the Committee of arrangement
Grand Secretary, Grand
Brother La Fayette, supported
by the R. W. Acting G.M. and D.G.M.P.T.
The decorations of the room
were prepared under the direction of Bro. Haviland, to whose refined taste and
superior skill the fraternity were under great obligation; the beautiful salon
and banqueting room never appeared to so great an advantage.
The brethren sat down at six
o'clock in the afternoon; feelings of hilarity, mirth and Masonic hrotherhood
prevailed at the festive board. After the removal of the cloth a number of
excellent toasts were given, followed by appropliate music from the Marine
Band attached to the navy yard, for whose services the fraternity were
indebted to the politeness of Bro. I. M. Gamble, commanding the marine corps
on this station.
The company adjourned at a
proper hour, much gratified with the events of the day.
The session of the Grand
Lodge was held in the Grand Lodge Room on the second floor; the dinner was
given in the large room or salon on the east side of the lower floor; this
room was not used for Masonic purposes, but was rented out for social
functions and exhibition purposes. Considerable difflculty was experienced by
the committee to get the use of this room for the banquet, as appears from the
final report of the committee presented to the Grand Lodge at the Grand
Quarterly Communication held Monday, March 5, 1827, viz.:
for the dinner to Bro. Genl.
La Fayette-in 1824, and on all similar demands.
"On motion and seconded, the
same was adopted. "To the Grand Lodge of Penna.
"The Comme. to which was
referred the accounts Or William Christie and others, against the Committee of
arrangements appointed by the Grand Lodge on the occasion of General La
"That it appears to the
Committee that the following bills contracted by the Committee of arrangements
remain unpaid, viz.:--
"William Christie for
Clark, for Carpentry $155.34
Myers and Jones, for
Russell, Oil $4.87
Porterage and Advertising
Total $354 91
That there remains in the
hands of said Committee an unexpended balance of $88.86
Leaving a deficit of monies
to amot of $266.09
which deficit this committee
is of opinion is justly and equitably chargeable upon the Grand Lodge."
To elucidate the opinion of
the committee, it is proper to recur to some of the circumstances which
preceded, as well as those which attended the reception of Genl. La Fayette.
As soon as it was understood that this illustlious Mason intended to visit the
Grand Lodge a committee was directed to devise measules worthy of the occasion
and among the resolutions reported by them was one for the arrangement of a
festival of welcome. It was proposed that the task of carrying this part of
the arrangement into effect should be confided to a special committee and that
the members of the fraternity should be generally invited; they further
proposed that the price of tickets should be fixed at seven dollars. The Grand
Lodge approved of the plan which its committee submitted, but probably not
aware of the increased expenses attendannt on all entertainments which were
given at that season of general festivity, it reduced the price of tickets to
the sum of five dollars, and in part compensation for this reduction, it
determined that the grand salon should he appropriated to the purposes of the
It was not until the special
committee, which was afterwards appointed, had made the more expensive part of
their arrangements, that it was discovered that the Grand Lodge had no right
to the salon without the consent of the tenant in possession. To obtain that
consent it was necessary to pay fifty dollars to dislodge an Italian artist
from the banqueting room, and a further sum of $67.75 to procure another room
for a concert which had been announced for the evening at the salon. The sum
of $117.75 was thus required to procure accommodations which the Grand Lodge
had stipulated it would furnish gratuitously. The obligation of the Grand
Lodge to reimburse this sum, if necessary, has not been at any time questioned
and needs no remarks.
The great number of the
brethren who came forward as subscribers, gratifying as the fact was to the
committee, had the effect of increasing disproportionately the expenses of the
banquet. The furniture and decorations belonging to the Grand Lodge were found
altogether insufficient for the suite of apartments which it became necessary
to open. New furniture and additional decorations were purchased by the
committee and these have since been sold by the Grand Lodge and the proceeds
carried into its treasury, or they still remain in its possession.
The committee of
arrangements, while mindful that it was their duty to welcome their
patriarchal guest in a style which might become the Lodge of which "Franklin
was the founder and Washington a member," yet anxiously avoided every
application of the sinking fund to purposes not strictly within its specified
All their proceedings were
characterized by as much economy as was consistent with the occasion. All the
expenses of making preliminary arrangements were borne by themselves
individually and when the moneys which they had received were found to be
inadequate, they at once, with the aid of a few friends, applied a
considerable sum of their own to meet the deficiency.
The state of their accounts,
strictly audited, stands thus:
"They receive from
subscribers in all $1,358.
and appropriated from the
private funds exclusive of the amt.
expended in preliminary
They paid bill amounting to
They yet owe $354.94
Balance due from committee
"On a full view of the
circumstances which have occasioned this balance against the committee of
arrangements, first, that no discretion was permitted them in fixing the terms
of subscription, the grand Lodge itself having defined the price on views of
the subject which the result has proved to be incorrect; second, that a large
portion of the balance was applied to procure rooms, which the Grand Lodge
had, from an erroneous idea of its rights, declared should be given without
cost; third, that the Grand Lodge has received a full equivalent for the
residue in the property which it has sold or still retains, and fourth, that
the doings of the committee were wisely and satisfactorily ordered and that
the deficiency has been entirely occasioned by causes over which they had no
possible control, the committee to which the accounts were referred have
agreed to present the following resolution.
"Resolved, that the R. W. G.
M. be requested to draw his order on the grand treasurer for the sum of
$266.09 in favour of Br. James McAlpin, treasurer of the La Fayette Comme. of
"All of which is respectfully
"Philad., 5th, March,
"Saml. F. Bradford,
John K. Kane,
Saml. H. Thomas."
Among other relics of Brother
Lafayette, we have in our Archives the "Golden Book of The Supreme Council for
the Western Hemisphere." This contains a copy of the patent conferring the 33d
degree upon Brother Lafayette by this Supreme Council; it also contains the
following note written and signed by Brother Lafayette, May 10, 1834, just ten
days before his death,
"It is the extreme indulgence
of the Supreme Council of the United States, that elevated to the 33d degree
in spite of the superiority in knowledge and in services of many of my
brothers, I owe to-day the favors, of which I am not worthy, with which the
great Council of the Occidental Hemisphere has deigned to overwhelm me, I
accept them with a deep gratitude and will seek to merit them by my zeal. "May
our ancient institution propagate everywhere the Liberty, the Equality, the
Philanthrophy, and contribute to the great movement of social civilization
which ought to emancipate the two Hemispheres.
" (signed) Lafayette."
Brother Lafayette died in
Paris May 20, 1834. At an Extra Grand Communication of the Grand Lodge held
Tuesday, June 24, 1834, his decease was announced to the Grand Lodge
"On Motion made and seconded,
The following Preamble and Resolutions were unanimously adopted:
"Whereas, the Grand Lodge of
Pennsylvania have learned with the deepest emotions of sorrow, the decease of
their illustrious Brother and Member, General Lafayette, 'an individual so
much distinguished by all the virtues which ennoble the Masonic character,'
Whereas the Grand Lodge of
Pennsylvania feel it a mournful duty to pay the last tribute of their respect
to the memory of a Brother, the last Major General of the Revolutionary Army,
the disciple of Washington, the companion of Franklin, and the steadfast
friend of civil and religious liberty.
"Therefore Resolved, That the
Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania deeply deplore the loss of their revered and
beloved Brother and Member, General Lafayette, whose labours in the cause of
American Independence and of rational liberty and ardent devotion to the
Fraternity, have endeared his memory to every Member of this venerable order.
"Resolved, That the Grand
Lodge of Pennsylvania sympathize most sincerely with the amiable family of
their deceased Brother, in the irreparable bereavement they have sustained, in
the death of their excellent father.
"Resolved, That as an humble
testimonial of our respect for the memory of our deceased Brother, the Jewels,
Hangings, and other Furniture of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, be placed in
mourning for the space of twelve months.
"Resolved, That a correct
Portrait of our deceased brother be procured, and placed in a conspicuous part
of the Grand Lodge Room.
"Resolved, That Brothers
George M. Dallas, Thomas Kittera, Robert Toland, Cornelius Stevenson, and John
M. Read, be a Committee to communicate the foregoing Resolutions to the family
of Brother General Lafayette.
"Resolved, That the foregoing
Preamble and Resolutions be published in the public journals of the day." The
Grand Lodge having closed, the Fraternity proceeded to the salon where they
were gratified by hearing a very beautiful and instructive Masonic address
from Bro. George M. Dallas, R. W. Dep. Grand Master.
The Grand Lodge was again
opened, when upon motion made and seconded it was unanimously resolved:
"That the thanks of this
Grand Lodge be presented to Bro. Dallas for his truly Masonic and admirable
address delivered this day and that he be requested to furnish a copy of it
The following is an extract
from the very eloquent address delivered before the Fraternity, on this day,
by Brother Geol ge M. Dallas, R. W. Deputy Grand Master.
"I would close here, did I
not feel that the commemorative purpose of the day may for a moment, be with
propriety interrupted by a reference to the recent departure of our
illustrious friend and brother, Gilbert Motier De Lafayette. This truly good
and eminently great man died suddenly, at the Capital of his European Country,
and in the bosom of his family, on the morning of the 20th of May last, and in
the seventyseventh year of his age.
"It will be recollected by
some whom I address, that on the 2d of October, 1824, General Lafayette, then
the Guest of a Nation to whose service he had dedicated his early enthusiasm,
fortune and blood, was, in that chamber, invested with all the rights,
dignities and privileges of a member of this Grand Lodge 'a body,' to use his
own emphatic words, 'of which Franklin was the father and Washington the
"Both hemispheres were alike
the theatre of the virtues and exploits of this exalted Mason. In both he
passed, unscathed in honour, through the ordeal of sanguinary revolution, in
both he shone the firm, faithful and fearless champion of human liberties and
rights, in both he riveted himself, by the loftiest and the gentlest
qualities, in universal respect and affection, and in both his death is now
sincerely mourned as a common calamity. In the memory, as in the life of their
joint citizen and soldier, America and France have a lasting bond of sympathy
and union. In this respect, as the moral link to connect two distant and
powerful nations in mutual good will, his position on the records of
immortality is without parallel.
"While we join in the sad and
solemn rites every where performing by our countrymen, in melancholy
attestation of their deep veneration and undying gratitude for an early and
indefatigable public benefactor, we cannot but own one added pang, though
accompanied by one peculiar pride as kindling memory suggests that he also was
On July 21, 1834,
commemorative exercises were held at Zion Lutheran Church, southeast corner of
Fourth and Cherry Streets, in which the Grand Lodge participated.
Other mementos of Brother
Lafayette in the Museum of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, beside the
Washington Apron, are the two relics of Brother Lafayette's visit to
Philadelphia in 1824.
1. A piece of candle and
holder used to illuminate one of the window panes of Independence Hall during
the procession, September 28,-1824.
2. A memorial cotton
handkerchief upon which is printed his portrait, scene of his arrival at New
York on the ship Cadmus, and the memorial arcll erected in front of
Independence Hall, through which General Lafayette and the procession passed
at his reception, September 28, 1824.
3. A largefull length oil
portrait of Brother General Lafayette in the upper corridor.
4. A study in oil said to be
from life in the library.
5. Copy of Houdan's marble
bust of Brother General Lafayette in the Library.
6. Two silk badges worn at
the funeral procession and commemorative service of Zion Lutheran Church July
7. Two engraved French
portraits in Washington alcove in museum.
8. A number of Lafayette
medals in the museum collection.
9. A Lafayette Silver Dollar
coined by the United States in the year 1900. 10. Four Masonic Lodges in
Pennsylvania are named after this distinguished brother, viz.:
No. 71, Philadelphia,
No. 194, Selinsgrove,
No. 199, Lock Haven,
No. 652, Carnegie.
In conclusion to illustrate
how the memory of Brother Lafavette is honored in both Masonic and civil life
in the United States, as a matter of fact, there are no less than thirty
Masonic Lodges named after Brother Lafayette in twenty-six states in the
In the United States, there
are fourteen villages, eleven towns, five counties, one parish and one city
which bear the name of our honored brother, the Marquis General Lafayette.
As above stated, it was
resolved at the Extra Grand Communication held June 24, 1834, that a correct
portrait of Brother Lafayette should be procured and placed in a conspicuous
part of the Lodge room.
It appears that after this
resolution was adopted, the sum of eighty dollars ($80) was collected towards
obtaining this portrait.
At the Annual Grand
Communication held Monday, December 28, 1835, when Washington Hall in South
Third Street above Spruce Street was dedicated and consecrated to Masonic
uses, on motion of Brother F. Cooper and seconded, it was resolved that a
committee of five be appointed to receive the amount collected June 24, 1834,
with further authority to solicit donations from Lodges and members within
this Masonic jurisdiction, and as soon as a sufficient sum shall have been
collected, to have a likeness of Lafayette painted by an eminent artist, and
to have the same put up in a conspicuous place in the Grand Lodge Room.
The R. W. Grand Master was
pleased to appoint on said committee Bros. F. Cooper, Geo. Fox, W. Mayweg, S.
Wonderly and A. Quniton. Nothing appeared to have been done in this matter
until four months later, when the following amendment was offered at an
adjourned Extra Grand Lodge held April 18, 1836.
"On motion of Bro. Geo. Fox
and seconded, the Resolution adopted on the 28th December last, relative to a
Painting of Bro. Lafayette was reconsidered and the following offered as an
Amendment thereof and adopted, viz.:--
"Resolved, that the Committee
appointed on the 28th Decr. 1835, be authorized to solicit donations from
Lodges and members within the jurisdiction and when a sufficient sum shall
have been Collected to procure a full length painting of Benjamin Franklin,
and a portrait of Lafayette, and have said paintings placed in a conspicuous
situation in the Grand Lodge Room."
After this the matter
slumbered for six years, wllen it was revived at the Quarterly Grand
Communication held Monday, March 7, 1842, by the following minute:
"On motion duly made and
seconded, the Grand Secretary was directed to endeavour to procure information
respecting collections made for Likeness of Benjm. Franklin and Lafayette and
report at next quarterly Communication."
No action was taken in
reference to the portrait for the next six years, when the matter was again
brought to the notice of the Grand Lodge at the Grand Quarterly Communication
held Monday, March 6, 1848, by a comrmunication on the subject from Phoenix
Lodge, No. 130, viz.:
"The following was received
and referred to Past Grand Masters Bros. Newcomb, Barger and Page.
Phil., Feby. 21, 1848. To Wm.
Rt.W.G.Secy. of G.L. of Pa.
Dr. Sir & Bro.
"The following Resolution was
on motion & seconded unanimously Adopted at a meeting of Phoenix Lodge No.
130, held at Masonic Hall South 3rd St., Wednesday evening, February 16th, A.
"Resolved, That the
representatives of this Lodge be directed to call the attention of the Grand
Lodge to the fact that there has been for a number of Years in the hands of
Past Grand Master Bro. Jno. M. Read, a sum of money, raised by Subscription
for the purpose of procuring a portrait of Bros. Franklin & Lafayette, that
the said Portrait has never been purc1lased and request the Grand Lodge to
appoint a Committee to examine into the matter and ask P. G. Mastel Jno. M.
Read to account for the same.
"Extract from the Minutes.
"Signed. Wm. S. Schultz, "Secy. Lodge No. 130."
This was referred to Past
Grand Masters Bro. Newcomb, Barger and Page, wllo at the Quarterly
Communication September 4, 1848, made the following report, which was received
and the resolution adopted, viz.:
"To the R.W. Grand Lodge of
"The Committee appointed in
relation to the money subscribed and paid for the purpose of procuring a
portrait of Lafayette and Franklin.
"Respectfully report, That a
Sum of money for that purpose subscribed was paid into the hands of Bro. John
M. Read who cannot at present find the subscription paper containing the
precise amount, but believes it to be about Eighty Dollars which Sum he is
ready to pay over as the Grand Lodge may direct and when the amt. can be
ascertained to correct the same.
"Your Committee respectfully
offer the following Resolution. Resolved, that the Grand Treasurer call upon
Bro. Read & receive from him the above mentioned Sum of Eighty Dollars.
"Phil., Sept. 4, 1848.
"Signed. B. Newcomb,
Jas. Page, Committee."
At the Grand Quarterly
Communication held March 5, 1849, the
following was offered by
Brother John Thomson, R. W. G. Treasurer,
and adopted, viz.:
"Whereas, there is in the
hands of the Grand Treasurer the sum of Eighty dollars contributed some years
since by certain members of the Grand Lodge for the purpose of a likeness of
Bro. La Fayette and as said sum is insufficient to accomplish the object
intended therefore Resolved, That the Grand Treasurer be instructed to add
from the funds of the Grand Lodge $20 to the $80 contributed and with the sum
purchase one share Masonic loan for the purpose of furthering the object
It appears that the portrait
of Lafayette which was formerly in the Grand Lodge room and now in the second
story corridor of the New Temple was not procured until after the New Chestnut
Street Hall was dedicated in 1855.
No record has been found as
to who the artist was or what was the amount paid for same.
THE NEW PATRIOTISM
Fly the flag at half-mast
For the life that has been
For the wealth that has been
On the bones of men;
Fly the flag at half-mast
Till the day breaks again.
Fly the flag at half-mast
For the greed that would not
For the hate that scorched
With envenenomed fire;
Fly the flag at half-mast
For the deeds of men’s ire.
Fly the flag at half-mast
For the love that has been
For the conflict’s bloody
On the hopes of men;
Fly the flag at half-mast
Till the day breaks again.
- T.C. Clark
Science is the great antidote
to the poison of enthusiasm and superstitution - Adam Smith.
GEORGE FRANKLIN FORT, MASONIC
BY JOHN HENRY FORT, NEW
The following biographical
sketch of Brother George Franklin Fort, author of "The Early History and
Antiquities of Freemasonry," written at our request by his brother, Mr. John
Henry Fort of New Jersey, is intended as an introduction to an article to
appear in the next issue of THE BUILDER, The Masonic Writings of George
Franklin Fort, by Brother Oliver D. Street of Alabama.
GEORGE FRANKLIN FORT was born
at Absecon, Atlantic County, New Jersey, on November 20th, 1843. His father
was Rev. John Fort, a member of the New Jersey Methodist Episcopal Conference,
who entered the ministry in the old days of the itinerancy and whose father
was one of the founders of the faith in New Jersey. George Flanklin Fort was
named after his uncle, Dr. George Franklin Fort, who was Governor of New
Jersey from 1851 to 1855. In later years the State historian accredited the
uncle with the authorship of the work by confusing the names. George F. Fort
was descended from an old Norman French-Anglo-Saxon ancestry. The original
Fort, or "Le Fort," was the Captain of the Body Guard of William the Conqueror
at Hastings in 1066 and his descendents remained in England till 1695, when
Roger Fort settled at Hampton-Hanover, afterwards New Mills and now Pemberton,
Burlington County, New Jersey, upon a plantation which has remained in the
family for generations. His family settled in New Jersey when the population
was probably not over five thousand, as against nearly two million now. The
period was an epochal one in the State and the Fort family were distinctly
active in the development of the State. His great-great grandfather on his
mother's side, William Emley, was a surveyor to the Crown and acted as
Colonial Governor of New Jersey and helped to survey the lines dividing East
and West Jersey. He was quite a linguist and of Scotch-English descent, coming
George F. Fort's family were
not only very prominent in New Jersey, in having contributed two governors to
the State, both born in the old homestead at Pemberton, but also were honored
by having two Assemblymen and one State Senator in the Legislature, and one
Judge of the Supreme Court, and two of the Court of Errors and Appeals. The
family had several ministers and physicians, all prominent, and in the
Revolutionary days contributed ten members to the Continental Army, both the
Line and Militia. With an ancestry dating back to the Vikings and in which
several languages had been spoken, it is not surprising that George F. Fort
easily acquired a knowledge of and mastered seventeen languages and dialects.
He read Latin, French, Spanish and Italian with as much ease as English, and
amused himself with reading the works of noted writers in these languages. He
read and spoke German as fluently as English and his several trips to Europe
widened his knowledge and perfection. He attended lectures at Heidleburg
University and studied Anglo-Saxon and several dialects for historical
purposes. The acquiring of a language with him was a sort of heredity and if
no glossary was available he would dig out certain roots from dictionaries and
in a short time would construct a grammar and glossary and soon be reading the
language as readily as English. It was a gift.
Mr. Fort studied law with
Abraham Browning of Camden, then the leading attorney of the State and at one
time Attorney General, when family prestige and ability made the appointment
instead of political influence as in modern times. While he was successful in
his practice his tastes were of a literary character and he regularly pursued
a literary course. There is no question but that he was one of the most
learned men of the century and his knowledge was not confined to archaic
research and antiquities, but was universal. Science, belles-letters,
literature, mathematics, astronomy and ancient history, all alike claimed his
attention. He was a modest and retiring man and any attempt to draw him out or
into a discussion was fruitless, but if something happened whereby he
expressed an opinion, his erudition was apparent at once and in a few moments
extemporaneously a magnificent oration was delivered upon any subject he spoke
upon. It was like a prophet speaking and when finished evidenced the depth of
learning and greatness of thought.
In early life he became
prominent in Masonic circles and with several friends and an older brother
established Trimble Lodge No. 117, A. F. & A. M., at Camden, New Jersey, his
residence. The new lodge aimed at a higher personality than the other lodges
and did not meet with immediate success. Mr. Fort in order to infuse life into
the lodge of which he was first Senior Warden and had then become Worshipful
Master, inaugurated a series of lectures and while others spoke, his great
knowledge upon the antiquities of Freemasonry attracted so much attention and
comment that he was urged to pursue his researches and write a work upon the
subject, which he afterwards did, first visiting the Libraries of Europe and
many of the old Cathedrals, the British Museum, Library at the Vatican and the
Bodlein at Oxford. This work was named the Early History and Antiquities of
Freemasonry. It was immediately recognized by the literally world as the
authority, and the Encyclopedia Britannica in all succeeding editions
recognized it as authoritive and quoted it on the subject of Freemasonry.
Immediately the literary men of the world began to write him for opinions upon
other Masonic subjects and this caused him to write "A Historical Treatise on
Early Builders' Marks," and a monograph entitled "Medieval Builders." Later he
wrote the Medical Economy of the Middle Ages. The latter was written after, as
associate editor of his brother's newspaper, he criticised the statement of a
prominent physician at the 100th Anniversary of the New Jersey Medical Society
"that medicine had no history beyond Galen and Hippocrates," and a committee
from the Association requested him to write a history of the ancient cult.
Mr. Fort was a regular
contributor to the several newspapers owned by his youngest brother, John H.
Fort, upon Masonic subjects. Some of them were fugitive and others in series.
They were copied in the Masonic Journals of France, England, Australia, and
the leading magazines, and often created a learned controversy, but his
knowledge of languages always enabled him to give authoritive data. Some of
the critics thought he should literally translate his authorities, as but few
could read the original. This he always refrained from doing as he claimed the
quotation was the authority. Among his correspondents were such men as Hughan,
Gould, Woodford and other Masonic writers and antiquarians. His books were
reviewed by all the great newspapers of the world such as the New York Herald,
Sun, Times, World, the London Times, Globe, Blackwoods Magazine and Masonic
Journals, the Chaine d'Union of Paris, the Melbourne Australian, all the
Philadelphia papers, especially the Ledger, Press, Record, Bulletin, Telegraph
and the Keystone. Gould, the Masonic writer, said of him "Fort has succeeded
where all others failed in making the study of our antiquities an interesting
task." Other writers said "his history of Freemasonry is as interesting as a
Romance of the Middle Ages." The Golden Age of New York characterizes it as "a
work of which members of the craft may well be proud." The Encyclopedia
Britannica says of it, "the book is instructive as throwing light on certain
phases of Middle Age life." In fact the newspaper criticisms are all highly
eulogistic and place the History as the highest contribution to Masonic
literature. All his other works were just as favorably received by the press
of the world. The criticisms are in many languages and would fill a volume in
themselves. In a scrap book of Mr. Fort's are not only the notices of the
press but letters in many languages from the literatti of the world and most
of his fugitive articles which are well worth publishing collectively in book
form. All his other works were equally as well received. Mr. Fort has been
compared to such writers as Hallam, Draper, Lecky, Macauley, and other
archaic, historic and antiquarian writers, and all refer to his writings as
showing vast erudition and research.
George F. Fort was primarily
educated in the Public Schools of New Jersey in the various towns his father
was stationed at as a pastor, and afterwards graduated from Pennington
Seminary, a Methodist Institution of learning, under the direction of the New
Jersey Annual Conference. His after studies of the various languages and
literature were by his own effort and attendance of lectures abroad and by
visits to European Institutions of Learning. Mr. Fort has given to America the
credit of being the standard writer upon Masonic and Medical histories.
Mr. Fort was a member of
Trimble Lodge No. 117, A. F. & A. M., of which he was practically the founder.
He was the first Senior Warden and Second Worshipful Master. He lived to see
the lodge become the largest in membership in New Jersey. He was a Knight
Templar, belonging to Cyrene Commandery Vale (No. 7) of Camden, Vanhook
Council No. 8, Royal and Select Masters, Siloam Chapter Royal Arch Masons,
Excelsior Consistory 32nd Degree, and all the intermediate Ancient Accepted
Scottish Rite degrees. It has been stated that he was also a 33rd Degree
Mason, it having been conferred upon him in Europe.
In December, 1877, York Lodge
of England in recognition of his great services to Freemasonry, conferred upon
him Honorary Life Membership and sent him a specially engraved certificate
bearing a picture of the crypt in York Minster where the lodge anciently met.
The original certificate from York Lodge is now in possession of Trimble Lodge
No. 117 of Camden.
Mr. Fort spent a long time in
Europe on different trips and was well acquainted there in Masonic circles. He
was made the Grand Representative of the Grand Lodge of England to the Grand
Lodge of New Jersey by the then Prince of Wales, Grand Master of Masons of
England, who afterwards became the King of England as Edward VII.
George F. Fort died at the
home of his nephew while on a visit at Atlantic City, a few miles from where
he was born, on March 30th, 1909. Mr. Fort was practically a recluse the
latter years of his life. His health was poor and his literary tastes
naturally caused him to avoid society. For years he was editor of the
Keystone, a Masonic Journal published in Philadelphia, and a contributor to
the America Notes and Queries and several newspapers published by his brother
John H. Fort. Some time before his death he told a friend he had finished a
History of Norse Mythology and claimed he had in the destruction of the God
Baldur by the other Mythological Norse Gods discovered the origin of the story
of Hiram Abif. He stated the work was ready for the printer but he was holding
it back as he had been unable to secure a font of Norse type and was afraid he
would have to have it cast to give the data exact. Since his death no trace
has so far been found of the manuscript. In all probability this valuable
history may be lost and the researches of a master mind for nearly a half
century gone to waste. His scrap book would be a most interesting publication
if edited by someone skilled in Masonic lore. There are many articles of rare
interest that never got beyond local readers.
Mr. Fort's works are on the
shelves of most all the prominent libraries of the world, such as the East
India Library, British Museum, Congressional Library at Washington, and
Institutions of learning everywhere, and thousands of private libraries. His
own library was entirely filled with works in foreign languages and were upon
historic, antiquarian and archaic subjects. He was at one time Judge Advocate
of the Sixth Regiment National Guard of New Jersey with rank of Captain.
FOR THE MONTHLY LODGE MEETING
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 for
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
A. Clothing. B. Working
Tools. C. Furniture. D. Architecture. E. Geometry. F. Signs. G. Words.
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. Studies 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. On page two, preceding each
installment, will be given a number of "Helpful Hints" and a list 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 Committee 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
Immediately preceding 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 additions.
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.
MAKE THE "QUESTION BOX" THE
FEATURE OF YOUR MEETINGS
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.
QUESTIONS ON "THE OBLIGATION"
I Define the word "obligation." Have oaths and obligations been in universal
practice ? Why ? Can you name oaths administered outside the Fraternity with
which the Masonic obligation may be compared? Are the marriage oath, the
President's oath, etc., such forms ? Why is a religious sanction thrown about
an oath ? Does the taking of an obligation imply that the candidate cannot be
trusted? Does it make his obligation or does it define it? What does Tyler say
about the universality of oaths ? How do Philo and Cicero define an oath ? Can
you give a better definition of an obligation than any herewith offered? If
so, will you send it in to the Society ?
II What does Gould believe to
have been the original of the Masonic oath ? Why was the oath taken by the
freemen adopted into the forms of the Masonic lodge? Do we see today any
institutions copying the forms of oaths employed by some other institution ?
Name them. Were the earliest Masonic obligations short or long? How did the
obligation evolve into such length? Is this legitimate? Have any other parts
of the ceremonies evolved similarly? Are Masonic ceremonies still changing and
growing? If so, why? If not, why not? What was the substance of the earliest
obligations? Why were the building secrets so jealously guarded? How did these
secrets come to be public property ? What effect did such publicity have upon
III What is the whole point
of the present obligation? Have we any trade secrets ? If you believe that a
simpler, more effective obligation might be written, will you offer one? Why
should Masonic secrets be still so jealously guarded? What is the function of
secrecy in Masonry? Does friendship have its secrets? Business? Diplomacy?
What would happen to the Fraternity if it should abandon its policy of secrecy
? Does secrecy attract men to it? Why?
IV What is the meaning of
"due form"? Whence came the term ? What is the difference between form and
formality ? When two friends meet do they shake hands in "due form"? Does the
form in which the obligation is given add to its dignity and impressiveness ?
Do you permit any flippancy in your own lodge's ceremony of initiation ? Why
V Why are the penalties kept
so secret? How much can you talk about Masonry without violating your
obligation to secrecy? Did the earliest obligations have any penalties
attached ? If not why not? What is the "Harleian Manuscript" ? What is meant
by "Old Charges"? Why did the Semites fear drowning so? What do Old Testament
writers seem to feel concerning the sea ? When the sailors cast Jonah
overboard did they suppose they were putting him out of reach of the God he
had offended ? Would you as soon be buried in the sea as on the land? What is
meant by "consecrated ground" ? What churches still bury their dead in
consecrated ground? Why? Does the custom of setting apart a special tract of
ground for burial add dignity to the thought of death? Would you as soon think
yourself dead as lying in the sea as lying in a grave ? Who added the present
penalties to our obligations? When? What hint do you get from Brother Clegg's
suggestions? Why have anti-Masons so rabidly attacked the obligation? Is a man
scared by penalties which he knows will never be inflicted? Who was John
Quincy Adams ? Why did he fight the Fraternity? Do you agree with what Brother
MacBride says about the obligation? If not, why not ? If you do, why ? Is
there any way in which the obligation could be recast ? Who would have the
authority to do so ? Would it be of any advantage to have a General Grand
Lodge of America to take care of such matters ?
VI Why is the cable tow
removed when it is? What does it signify ? Is the obligation an appeal to a
man's sense of honor ? Or is it a slam against his sense of honor? Does the
wedding oath add to or detract from the stability and dignity of marriage? If
marriages were left to private wills could the law have any control over them
? How could Masonic law be brought to bear upon a man who had never taken an
obligation ? What is the real "Masonic Tie" ? Does that tie draw you to other
Masons ? Does it ever restrain you from doing a wrong to a brother Mason ? Why
Mackey's Encyclopedia: Oath,
p. 622; Oath, Corporal, p. 524; Oath of the Gild, p. 624. Obligation, p. 525.
THE BUILDER: Vol. I.--Oath, The Freeman's, p. 237. Obligations not political,
p. 88. Vol. II.--Oaths, p. 272; Dec. C. C. B. 2; Cor. 190; Q. B. 94, 348
Obligations, Q. B. 348. Vol. III.--Oaths, p. 345; Jan. C. C. B. 2; Apr. C. C.
B. 1; June C. C. B. 2- Penalty of Violation, p. 36. Obligations, p. 334; Dec.
C. C. B. 4 Vol. IV.--A Hint as to Penalties, p. 178; this issue.
FIRST STEPS BRO. H.L.
PART VII--THE OBLIGATION I
THE word "obligation" means, according to its derivation, a "binding to." It
is more than an oath and more than a vow, for it combines both, and it has
been used, in one form or another, ever since the earliest times. Cicero
defined it as "an affirmation under the sanction of religion," while Philo
called it "the most sure symbol of good faith." Some obligations have had
penalties attached, others have not. Obligations have been in such universal
practice that J.E. Tyler was justified in saying that "through all the
diversified stages of society--from the lowest barbarism to the highest
cultivation of civilized life--where the true religion has been professed, no
less than where paganism has retained its hold, recourse has been had to oaths
as affording the nearest approximation to certainty in evidence, and the
surest pledge of the performance of a promise." This last phrase furnishes us
with a good working definition of an obligation; it is the solemn pledge to
perform a promise.
II In old England, when
Masonry was still purely operative, obligations were in use in all sections of
society, but the most solemn of all was the obligation which a free man took
to remain faithful to the king; that oath ran as follows: "You shall be true
and faithful to our Sovereign Lord the King." Brother R. F. Gould is of the
opinion that this oath was the original of the Masonic obligation because the
earliest obligations found in the Old Charges are very similar to it.
However that may be, we are
certain that the first obligations were short and simple for this is proved
from the written records. This does not mean that later forms have any less
validity, because, as the Institution grew in numbers and power, new duties
would arise, new conditions would have to be met, and the candidate would be
required to obligate himself accordingly. If the Fraternity were now to be
called upon to perform some new duty to the world it could lawfully require of
each candidate a pledge to do his share therein. The Masonic obligation has
evolved in the past; it may continue to evolve in the future.
There has been much
controversy among our authorities as to the substance of the earliest Masonic
obligations; they have not yet arrived at unanimity but it is safe to say that
a majority of them agree that they had to do chiefly with building secrets. At
a time when architectural methods were the chief stock in trade of the
Institution, when it made its living by the practice of them, and before
handbooks of architecture were dreamed of, it seems reasonable to suppose that
the candidate would have been chiefly called upon to keep these invaluable
secrets to himself.
III But when the Institution
was transformed from a craft of Masons doing operative work into a Fraternity
of Masons banded together for speculative work, it was necessary to change the
substance of the obligation. Trade secrets had become public property; any man
could find them in printed manuals. Moreover, building came to be done by men
outside the Fraternity, and it was no longer a matter of life and death to
preserve building secrets. Accordingly, the obligation has changed in
substance. At the present time it has no other purpose than to bind the
candidate to absolute secrecy as to what goes on inside the lodge and what is
done during the ceremonies of initiation. Some Masonic leaders believe that if
the obligations were recast so as to oblige the candidate to nothing except
the vow of secrecy that the ceremony would gain in reality and impressiveness.
On that every Mason is entitled to hold his own opinion.
IV How much importance the
Fraternity attaches to the obligation itself is shown by the elaborate
precautions which are thrown about it and by the careful method whereby the
candidate is put in position to take it. "Due form" simply means that he is in
a posture which is a fitting form in which to make such a vow; the term itself
is of comparatively recent American origin but the ceremony represented by it
is probably as old as the Craft itself. One touch of flippancy or carelessness
in giving or in taking the obligation would rob it of much of its
V Veils must be thrown about
the penalties of the obligation for there is nothing in all the ceremonies
more secret than these; nevertheless it may be possible to say a word or two
concerning them without violation of our own oath of secrecy.
It is certain that the
earliest obligations had no penalties attached to them at all, as is evidenced
by the following specimen, which has been taken from the Harleian Manuscript
No. 2054, dating from the seventeenth century:
"There are several words and
signs of a Freemason to be revealed to you which as you will answer before God
at the great and terrible day of Judgment, you keep secret and not reveal the
same to any in the hearing of any person but to the Masters and Fellows of the
said society of Freemasons. So help me God." (Spelling modernized.)
There is in possession of the
Grand Lodge Library of Iowa a very old ritual in which the obligation has no
penalties at all.
Among many ancient peoples
(more especially the Semites) it was believed that death in the sea was a fate
too terrible to be contemplated because it was supposed that those lying on
the floor of the sea would never rise on the Resurrection Day. The land
belonged to God; the sea to some alien deity; it was feared that this alien
deity would refuse to surrender up his dead. To perish in the sea was the most
awful of fates.
During medieval times it was
universally believed that only those would be raised to a happy future life
who had been buried in consecrated ground. The criminal burned at the stake,
the felon drowned in the sea, the suicide buried at the cross-roads with a
stake through his breast--it was feared that these would have no part in the
When and by whom the present
penalties were attached to the Masonic obligation remains a mystery, albeit
many suggestions have been offered which throw some light on the matter. One
of the most valuable of these hints is that offered by Brother Robert I.
Clegg, who says:
"Death by slow drowning was
once by legal authority established as a proper punishment. . . Consider the
following: In the curious ordinances of Henry VI for the proper conduct of the
Court of Admiralty of the Humber, are enumerated various offenses of a
maritime connection and their due punishment. To adhere closely to the
character of the Court, and be within proper jurisdiction of the Admiralty,
the punishments were generally inflicted at low water-mark." This court, he
continues, being composed of "Masters, merchants and marines, with all others
that do enjoy the King's stream with hook, net or any engine," was addressed,
when assembled, as follows:
"'You, Masters of the Quest,
if you or any of you discover or disclose anything of the King's secret
counsel or of the counsel of your fellows (for the present you are admitted to
be the King's counsellors) you are to be, and shall be, had down to the low
water-mark, where must be made three times, 'O Yes !' for the King, and then
and there this punishment, by the law prescribed, shall be inflicted upon
them; that is, their hands and feet bound, their throats cut, their tongues
pulled out and their bodies thrown into the sea.' "
The penalties, it need not be
said, have ever been one of the chief points attacked by the enemies of the
Fraternity. Thus, while leading the rabid attack on Freemasonry which
disfigured the early half of the last century, John Quincy Adams said that
"the whole case between Masonry and anti-Masonry, now on trial before the
tribunal of public opinion, is consecrated in a single act," and that act, he
goes on to explain, is the obligation, more especially its penalties.
Masons have no need to feel
ashamed of any part of their ceremonies, least of all the obligations; yet it
may be said, within certain reserves, that if the present penalties, with
their obsolete language and their impossible punishments, were to be revised,
and brought into harmony with modern ideas and usages, the initiatory ceremony
would gain in simplicity and convincingness. Brother MacBride has said a
weighty word on this matter which I am glad to re-publish, especially since
the utterance of such a scholar and authority would have much more weight than
any word of ours:
"It seems to us, with these
obligations before us, there is only one course open to all Masons desiring
the welfare of our ancient Institution, and that is to insist that a simpler,
more sensible, and consequently, more solemn and binding form shall be
substituted, wherever the corrupt form now prevails. The latter has neither
the sanction of age, or law, nor of good taste."
IV The removal of the cable
tow after the administering of the obligation is a most significant act; it
means that heretofore the candidate has been bound to the lodge by means of
physical force and that hereafter he is bound by the invisible cord of his own
honor. The removal of the cable tow, therefore, does not mean that he is less
bound; it means that his tie henceforth is one that can never be removed or
broken because it is in the heart. Before the obligation the candidate is held
by compulsion; afterwards it is the Mystic Tie which binds him to his fellows
with bonds unbreakable.
NOTICE TO STUDY COMMITTEES
Owing to the fact that
Masonic work of all kinds is generally dispensed with during the months of
July and August we are discontinuing the Correspondence Circle Bulletin
section of THE BUILDER after this issue and shall resume its publication with
the issue for September. By so doing we shall not get ahead of the lodges and
study clubs using these installments.
THE DREAMLAND OF YOUTH
BY BRO. A. W. ARMSTRONG
Our days are passing by;
Their sandaled tread falls
heedless on the ear,
Yet here and there some
landmarks do appear
To catch the casual eye.
Life looks so bright and fair
To young hearts in its
A summer day with birds and
bees and flowers,
And sunshine everywhere.
The streamlet in the vale,
Whose dewey lips caress the
Seems in soft cadences to
Soothing the wind's low wail.
The pale white cloud that
Along its pathway in the
Is but a fairie barque within
Some queen of heavenly isles.
Night holds her grand levee,
And sends us messages upon
The stars that glisten in the
vault of blue,
Sweet angel-eyes may be.
O! brilliant youthful dreams!
O! world of beauty to
Thou art more lovely than the
With all their silvery beams.
Let Hope still linger bright
Amidst the tempest on life's
Our boat shall weigh its
anchor soon, and we
Bid last adieu to Night.
MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO
BY BRO. FREDERICK W. EIART,
JAMES A. GARFIELD
OUR late Brother and President, James A. Garfield,
was a man whom the Masonic Fraternity ever held in profound esteem and regard
- for he was ever a worthy and loyal member and seriously accepted the
suggestion that he, as a "just and upright" Craftsman, should "ever walk and
act as such." His history and record is as an open book and needs no
repetition here, except as to his record as a Mason which will he of special
interest to the Craft.
James A. Garfield was in training as a soldier of
the Union Army in Camp Chase, just west of Columbus, Ohio, when he first
crossed the tiled threshold. On November 29th, 1861, his thirtieth birthday,
he was initiated an Entered Apprentice and on December 3rd was passed to the
degree of a Fellowcraft, in Magnolia Lodge No. 20, at Columbus, Ohio. He
immediately left for the front and went through the Civil War as a Fellowcraft.
This Fellowcraft had wrought so valiantly in the
military service that he returned as a Major General of Volunteers, and with a
splendid record as a soldier. General Garfield was raised to the Master's
degree on Nov. 22nd, 1864, in Columbus Lodge No. 30, Columbus, Ohio, at the
request of Magnolia Lodge.
In 1865 Brother Garfield dimitted from his mother
lodge and affiliated with Garrettsville Lodge No. 246, at Garrettsville, Ohio,
which was near his home and work at Hiram College, four miles distant. In
1868-69 he served as Chaplain of this lodge. On May 4, 1869, he became a
charter member of Pentalpha Lodge No. 23, at Washington, D.C., of which lodge
he remained a member until his death.
During the year 1866 Garfield received the
Capitular and Chivalric degrees in Washington, becoming a member of Columbia
Chapter No. 15, R.A.M., (now No. 7), and of Columbia Commandery No. 2, K. T.,
in the Capital City. In 1871 he received the degrees of Select Architect and
Most Excellent Architect and received the fourth and fifth degrees of the
Scottish Rite in Mithras Lodge of Perfection, and the fourteenth degree on
January 2nd, 1872, the intervening degrees having been communicated to him
during the year 1871 by a no less distinguished and competent instructor than
Brother Albert Pike, then Sovereign Grand Commander of the Southern Masonic
Jurisdiction, A. and A. S. R., at Washington.
Brother Garfield was buried in September, 1881,
with Masonic honors, with an escort of Knights Templar. The Craft laid the
cornerstone of his memorial at Cleveland and contributed largely to its
construction and maintenance. Soon after his death steps were taken to erect a
suitable memorial which should also be his tomb, and a Memorial Association
was appointed consisting of the following distinguished citizens: Governor
Foster, ex-President Hayes, Hon. J. H. Wade, Senator H. B. Payne, Joseph
Perkins, T. P. Handy, Daniel P. Eels, W. S. Streator, J. H. Devereaux, Selah
Chamberlain, John D. Rockefeller, H. B. Perkins, Hon. John Hay and J. H.
Rhodes. This Association finally chose the design for the memorial, after a
competitive contest of designs, selecting the design submitted by Mr. George
Keller, of Hartford, Connecticut. Excavation for the foundation was begun in
1885 and the structure was dedicated with much ceremony on Decoration Day, May
30,1890. Knights Templars were much in evidence on that occasion, as the
writer well remembers, and the paraders were drenched with rain on their
return from the dedication exercises.
The memorial to Garfield, when completed, cost
approximately $225,000, and stands on a high terrace in Lake View Cemetery,
Cleveland, Ohio, a city where many of Garfield's interests settled and near to
his birthplace and his Mentor home. The memorial is of stone, rising 180 feet
above the ground and its base is 200 feet above the level of Lake Erie. From
its tower there may be obtained a beautiful panoramic view of the city, and of
the lake which it faces.
A volume could be written describing the many
features of the beautiful memorial. It is composed of a pointed tower, 180
feet high fronted by a square "porch," very much resembling a triumphal arch
of ancient Rome. The break between the porch and the main tower is neutralized
by the presence of two smaller, shorter towers which contain stairways. The
porch is decorated with a series of five friezes in high relief representing
events in the life of the man. One of these friezes contains that which
probably no other national memorial contains, a Masonic picture - a Knight
Templar in uniform.
The first frieze at the left in the view shows
Garfield as a country school-teacher; the second shows him bearing dispatches
under fire, to General Thomas at Chickamaugua; the third, the central one over
the entrance, shows him as an orator addressing a crowd of his
fellow-citizens, while the fourth pictures him as taking the oath of office as
President of the Republic and contains, besides the President, a number of
portraits that are now historic but strangely omits the beloved mother of
Garfield, who sat near and received his kiss after he had "kissed the book."
The fifth frieze is an ideal representation of the dead President lying in
state and is of peculiar interest. The photograph herewith shown indicates the
stream of men and women, boys and girls, who viewed the remains of the
martyred President and the very styles of men's and women's dress are
preserved for our study. The stream of hushed people passes on, a young boy
with his mother looks back at the bier, a sailor looks down into the face of
his late Commander-in-Chief, and the mother lifts her babe to see the dead
President. Then come an aged man and a young man, others tarry in front of the
bier, and in the line is a colored man - perhaps a former slave. A girl adds
another wreath to the heap beside the bier, and two soldiers in the full dress
uniform of the Eighties, with spiked helmets and fixed, angular bayonets,
stand guard over the remains. At the left of one soldier stands a Knight
Templar at parade rest, in chapeau, baldric and gauntlets - a tribute to the
Masonic character of the dead President. The Sir Knight is a sturdy specimen
with features like that of General John A. Logan, and the artist's idea of a
Capitular Mason is worthy of study. There is no mean style of man delineated
This is probably the only monument or memorial of
national character in all America that bears a Masonic figure or picture, and
yet none can doubt the fitness and appropriateness of it, for the man here
entombed and commemorated was a lover of Masonry and it had a large part in
his life - a worthy part. And KnightsTemplar guarded his remains.
Within the memorial is a gorgeous "shrine" inlaid
with stucco-mosaic work in gold and colors, with another line of symbolic
friezes, and memorial windows or panels for fourteen States, (the original
thirteen, and Ohio), as well as panels representing "War" and "Peace," in both
of which Garfield was distinguished. The rotunda is brilliant with mosaics and
in the center of the shrine stands a life-size marble statue of the President
rising from his chair to make an address. Alexander Doyle, a native of Ohio,
was the sculptor of this meritorius marble portrait.
Beneath the statue, in a crypt, is the casket of
Garfield, and visitors may approach and view it. Here lie the remains of our
Brother, stricken down in the discharge of his duty - and here many people
visit and silently learn the lesson of memento mori, "remembering our dead."
Large and small amounts for the erection of the
memorial were contributed from citizens all over our land. About $89,000 of
the total amount was given by Ohioans and $75,000 of this was contributed by
citizens of Cleveland. The Ohio Knights Templar contributed $4,328.91.
Cleveland people have contributed much more than is shown by the figures, in
care and landscape effects, and probably in many contributions that were never
listed; for Cleveland loved and loves Garfield. He was their friend and
neighbor and loved the city as if it were his home town. Banks, parks and
streets are named for him in this city.
No attempt has been made in this article to do
justice to the many beautiful details of the Garfield memorial in stone,
mosaic, stained glass and surrounding landscape. Such details would fill a
volume and would make memorable a personal visit.
The relatives of Garfield have no knowledge of any
existing Masonic relics and there are no relics of any sort exhibited in the
memorial. Acknowledgment for valuable data in connection with Brother Garfield
and the memorial are due Mr. A. N. Stowell, the genial custodian of the
memorial, and also Brothers R. I. Clegg, of Cleveland, and George N. Cole, of
New York, the latter a personal friend of our late Brother Garfield.
IN THE GOOD OLD TOWN
Now and then we walk old
In the good old town -
Footbeats - heartbeats -
Passing up and down.
Though we wander far away
We go making merry play,
We go making holiday,
In the good old town.
Now and then we meet old
In the good old town -
Old friends - good friends -
Walking up and down.
Tho those friends are
Time has turned them with his
Still we meet them anyhow
In the good old town.
There are many memories
In the good old town -
Night thoughts - long
Passing up and down.
In our wider world concerns
Nothing new the spirit
Every hour of freedom turns
To the good old town.
Take me back when I am done
To the good old town -
Life done - work done -
Let me settle down;
And I know when you are free,
Then, I know, wherever you
You will come and walk with
In the good old town.
- Douglas Mallock.
WHAT A FELLOW CRAFT OUGHT TO
BY BRO. HAL RIVIERE, GEORGIA
AS we look about this world
in which we live and consider the various forms of life with which we are
familiar, we find a sameness in the general plan that would be monotonous if
it were not so beautiful in the infinite variety of the details. The life of a
world, the life of a race, of a nation, a man, an animal, a flower, an
insect--each of these goes through the same relative processes, a progress
from beginning to end and as they pass beyond it seems likely that those
processes are repeated. First there is the period of preparation, then the
birth, the growth, the fruiting time, the decline and finally the dissolution.
For countless ages a fragment
clings to its sun--a world in preparation; eventually it is thrown whirling
into space to begin a separate existence--the birth of a world; the gases
solidify, land and water appear--the period of development; vegetable and
animal life are brought forth, the period of fruitfulness; then come the
decline and dissolution.
A tiny seed lies in the
ground; it bursts and the sprout makes its way to the top of the soil and a
plant is born; it grows and flowering, sheds a sweetness abroad and perhaps
gives useful fruit; but its work done, it too, fades and dies. Whence came the
plant and whither has it gone ? It knows not, nor cares.
From a tiny egg in the waxen
cell within the hive a larva is hatched, passes through the various stages of
development until eventually the bee comes forth to perform its amazing,
complicated series of duties; finally, with flayed wings worn out in gathering
the nectar from a myriad of blossoms, it crawls away to die alone. Whence came
the bee and whither has it gone? It knows not, nor cares.
After a suitable period of
preparation a babe is born, grows to manhood, does his work whether of good or
ill, declines and dies. Whence came the man and whither has he gone? Man knows
not, but cares and the question that he has ever asked himself from the time
when the first gleams of intelligence were developed in him is, "whence come
you ?" and later, "whither are you traveling?" Perhaps the first question a
child will ask upon seeing a new born infant is, "where did he come from?"
Later, as he comes to realize the meaning of death he will ask, "where do the
dead go?" For there is in mankind a feeling that death does not end it all and
he has ever refused to concede to death the victory, feeling rather that human
life is a preparation for a greater life to come beyond the grave.
Two stages of human life have
ever been awe inspiring, Infancy and Old Age; the infant, a candidate for the
mysteries of this world, and the old man, a candidate for the mysteries beyond
the grave. Whence comes the infant, from the everywhere, or nowhere? Who can
stand beside the cradle of a babe only a few days old and see it smile in its
sleep, without feeling that it has had an experience? It has no consciousness
of the present world; then whence its smile? Can there be still memories of
the everywhere it has left before the experience of this world crowd them out?
What possibilities lie before it during the few years it is to spend in this
life! Who knows the consequences that may hang upon the use it makes of the
opportunities of human existence! And so it is that Old Age also, facing the
end of human existence, facing a journey into undiscovered countries, fills
the contemplative mind with serious thoughts. If there be sleeping and
dreaming in that undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveler returns,
will the dreams that shall come to him newly born to the heavenly life, cause
sweet smiles to play across his radiant face and bear witness to the beauty
and happiness of a useful mortal life ?
It is only by realizing that
human life is a preparation for a greater life beyond, that he has lived
before and shall live again after death ends mortal existence, it is only by
so realizing that one can understand the significance of Freemasonry because
it is an epitome of human life and each degree teaches the duties of certain
stages of life using the customs of the Ancient Operative Masons as a
foundation and teaching great moral and intellectual lessons by means of
allegories and symbols.
When we speak of our Ancient
Operative brethren we allude to those men who composed the lodges of stone
masons who built the cathedrals, abbeys, temples and national and civic
edifices prior to the seventeenth century. But those men were not merely stone
masons; their leaders were architects and master builders and possessed that
secret knowledge of the building arts which they guarded among themselves and
taught only to those proven worthy.
Operative Masons have plied
their art in the building of many famous structures from the dawn of
civilization in Egypt and we have records of many distinguished Master
builders; The first architect to erect a building of stone was Imhotep the
Wise, who completed his initial work about the year 3000 B.C. A few years
later, in 2900 B.C., the architects of King Khufu built the Great Pyramid of
Gizeh, an undertaking which demonstrates upon the part of those men, a
knowledge of arithmetic, geometry and astronomy marvelous to contemplate.
Egypt became the fountain
head of knowledge and as the secrets of the builders' arts were jealously
guarded by those learned in architecture and the correlated arts and sciences,
men of other nations journeyed thither to be initiated into the mysteries.
Those found worthy were so initiated, spread abroad to ply their trade and
became the teachers and builders of other nations. Babylonia, Assyria,
Phoenicia, Crete and later Greece and Rome, felt the influence of Egyptian
Next to the Pyramids, the
most famous structure of ancient times was the Temple of Solomon at Jerusalem.
This was built by men of Phoenicia headed by Hiram the Architect whom Hiram,
King of Tyre, sent to supervise the work for his friend and ally, Solomon,
King of Israel.
It is comparatively easy to
trace the progress of the Art of Architecture from that day until modern
times. In company with that progress went oathbound secret societies guarding
the knowledge of the builders' arts and today we find Speculative Masonry as
the direct descendant of those old secret societies of builders. The knowledge
of Architecture once so closely guarded in oath-bound fraternities has become
the common property of all who care to learn it. Lodges of Operative Masons
have ceased to exist but Speculative Masonry has attached a symbolic meaning
to the various working tools and to many words, terms and expressions used by
the Ancient brethren.
As the lessons of Speculative
Masonry are taught so largely in terms of the practices of the Ancient
Operative Masons a few words as to their customs will make it easier to draw a
parallel between those practices and the ceremonies of this degree.
In ancient times, when a
person desired to become a Mason he made application to some Master who, if he
was pleased with the applicant's appearance, took him on trial. The trial
satisfactory, he was formally Entered as an Apprentice, that being his Masonic
birth. Entered Apprentices were required to serve for seven years, that being
a period of growth or development and during that time they learned the
fundamental principles of the Craft; obedience, sobriety, truthfulness,
industry and consideration for and charity toward the brethren; they learned
to adjust themselves to their surroundings and to work in harmony with those
about them, meanwhile catching a vision of the seriousness of life and the
beauty and dignity of their calling. Each was expected to become fixed in the
habits of right living, skillful in the handling of his tools, familiar with
the labors of a stone mason and ambitious to advance. The time of
apprenticeship drawing to a close he worked upon and perfected a masterpiece
as an evidence of his skill, which he carried before the Annual Assembly where
he was required to stand an examination to demonstrate to his superiors his
ability and his worth; upon the result of the examination depended his
In our time, my brother, Free
and Accepted Masons carry out many of the ancient customs. You were initiated
as an Entered Apprentice, served a suitable time as such, passed a
satisfactory examination before the lodge, were elected to advance and have
been passed to the degree of Fellow Craft. But I wonder if during the days of
your apprenticeship, you became proficient in the use of the working tools of
an Entered Apprentice. You remember that they are the twenty four inch gauge,
or rule, and the gavel, or mallet.
Our Ancient Operative
brethren used the gauge to measure or lay out their work. You, my brother,
should use your mind or reason to measure your work as you labor in the
building of a beautiful character. During your apprenticeship have you used
your reason to measure yourself, your conduct, your usefulness, your capacity
for service? Do you measure up to the high standard of upright moral and
Masonic manhood? We are not enough in the habit of so measuring ourselves but
it is only by so doing that we can keep our characters straight.
But it is not enough for one
to measure himself; a man may measure and measure yet accomplish nothing.
Shakespeare says "Sure, he
that made us with such large discourse, looking before and after, gave us not
that capability and Godlike reason to fust in us unused." That is the great
point--to use our faculties. As our Ancient Operative brethren used the gavel
to knock off the corners of rough stones, so we are to use our will power to
divest ourselves of the vices and imperfections of our characters. Have you so
used your will power? Is there any fault, any imperfection, any vice that you
have resolved to forsake since you became a laborer among us? Remember,
"You will be what you will to
be; Let failure find its false content In that poor word environment, But
spirit scorns it and is free.
"It masters time, it conquers
space, It cowes that boastful trickster, chance, And bids the tyrant
circumstance Uncrown and fill a servant's place.
"The human will, that force
unseen, The offspring of a deathless soul, Can hew a way to any goal Though
walls of granite intervene.
"Be not impatient at delay
But wait as one who understands, When spirit rises and commands, The gods are
ready to obey."
My brother, it is a
deplorable fact that this beautiful Fellow Craft degree is neither understood
nor appreciated by the vast majority of Masons. Its purpose is not discerned
and there seems to be no connection between it and the other two degrees of
the Blue Lodge. In reality, the three degrees of Freemasonry form a beautiful
system and the Fellow Craft is the only logical connecting link between the
other two; but it is only when a view of the whole is taken that one comes to
see the necessary place in the scheme that each degree occupies. We must bear
in mind that Masonic Light is the object of a Mason's search and that Masonic
Light is a symbol for Truth; we must know that in trying to answer the
question of his origin and destiny man has come to realize that there are
certain laws that govern him. These he has specified as Divine Truth and it is
to know and to bring himself into conscious harmony with them that he labors.
One of our beautiful charges
opens with these words: "The ways of Virtue are beautiful; Knowledge is
attained by degrees; Wisdom dwells with contemplation; there must we seek
her." In those words we have expressed the degree plan of Freemasonry. Man has
found that in striving to attain Divine Truth a foundation of good habits is
necessary--a training in the ways of virtue; these good habits are used in the
acquisition of knowledge or the development of the intellect; a combination of
good habits and high intellectual development produces a lofty train of
thought whence result keen judgment, foresight, prudence- all those qualities
which go to make a wise man.
"Wisdom," said Solomon, "is
the principal thing; therefore get wisdom." Wisdom might be defined as Virtue
plus Knowledge multiplied by Contemplation. Its attainment is a slow process,
a matter of growth. Wisdom is the border-land from whose heights a man beholds
Truth while Truth is the land of Canaan which a Moses may behold yet never
The foundation of Wisdom is
Character. It is in the building of character that every Fellow Craft is
employed and this degree deals particularly with the training of the body in
right habits and the cultivation of the mind. The legend of this degree
presents the matter in beautiful, logical form and should leave no doubt in
the mind of the candidate that the ways of virtue are beautiful and that
knowledge is attained by degrees.
Let us ever remember that it
is not the purpose of Freemasonry to enter into scientific dissertations upon
Hearing, Seeing, Feeling, Smelling and Tasting; by entering such a maze the
lessons of the degree are lost. Only architects and delvers into antiquity
care to enter minutely into the history of the various Orders of Architecture
or to learn with mathematical exactitude the proportion of the several
columns. Nor is it the purpose of the Order to define Grammar, Rhetoric,
Logic, Arithmetic, Geometry, Music and Astronomy. Such learned disquisitions
upon the Senses, Orders of Architecture and the Liberal Arts and Sciences are
a relic of the bygone days of Operative Masonry when the lodge was workshop,
home and school--in fact, the whole life of the brethren; such practices were
then advisable and necessary but in our time the object in view is to learn
practical lessons from a symbolical presentation of those subjects.
The proper development and
use of the five human senses enables us to support and protect ourselves, to
enjoy the blessings and comforts of life that surround us and to contribute to
the happiness of others. Their improper use may lead to animalism on the one
hand or asceticism on the other; in either case it will tend to limit the
capabilities. Overindulgence and excesses tend to blunt and asceticism to
dwarf the bodily powers while the reward for moderation and simplicity in the
employment of the senses is certain and sure.
From the Orders of
Architecture we should learn that an absolute mastery of the details
pertaining to his particular line of work is necessary for a man's success;
and as these orders are used to beautify and adorn as well as to be of
service, we should not be satisfied with building merely an upright character
but should cultivate those graces that are so pleasing when naturally and
sincerely displayed. As the Ionic column, emblematic of Wisdom, bears a mean
proportion between the ornamental and solid orders, so our characters should
preserve the mean between a sordid, mechanical existence and artistic
The acquisition of knowledge
and the training of the mind into habits of logical thought is no less a part
of character building than the training of the body. The study of the Seven
Liberal Arts and Sciences is typical of that intellectual development that is
necessary before wisdom can be attained and the blending of the beautiful and
pleasing arts with the useful sciences teaches us that something more than
utility is required in the well rounded character. One may reason logically in
ungrammatical language but if his speech be polished by the use of correct
grammatical constructions and adorned by the use of rhetorical figures, his
reasoning and personality are given an added force. While the training of the
mind to a high degree in the mathematical sciences is desirable it is not
sufficient in a well developed character for one so trained may become coldly
precise unless a love for the beautiful enters in to temper his exactitude. If
in studying astronomy, a man becomes so engrossed with the lines, angles,
circles and distances of the heavenly bodies that he perceives none of the
beauty of the handiwork of the Great Architect nor hears the "music of the
stars," he is one of those who having eyes to see, see not and having ears to
hear, hear not.
One of the purposes of this
degree is to teach perfection in practice and accuracy in information. Science
is systematic thought; it is organized knowledge, while art is skill in the
employment of the principles of a science. One should cultivate a due regard
for all phases of intellectual activity, remembering that perfection in any
art or calling will come in the degree that knowledge of it is systematic and
orderly. A Fellow Craft should not be content to perform his duty in a
mechanical way but should learn the underlying scientific principles upon
which it is based, thus becoming an artist instead of a laborer; his daily
toil a joy instead of a task and his life a blessing and inspiration to those
who come in contact with him.
Realizing that man is a
builder engaged in the erection of a temple of character fit for the
indwelling of the living God, Freemasonry uses the Temple of Solomon as a type
to visualize the processes of building and to illustrate the end in view. Now
that you have been passed to the degree of Fellow Craft, the account of the
building of this Temple as recorded in the Bible will be of peculiar interest
to you. Many traditions in regard to the Temple have been handed down to us,
one of the most beautiful being the legend of the Fellow Craft degree. This
legend is founded upon a verse in the sixth chapter of I Kings, which is in
these words: "The door for the Middle Chamber was in the right side of the
house and they went up by winding stairs into the Middle Chamber and out of
the Middle into the Third." We must not confuse history and tradition. Eighty
thousand men would find it impossible to ascend to the second story of a
building in one afternoon and receive their wages nor would the room contain
the wages due them. This incident is of value to us as Masons only insofar as
we see the lessons designed to be taught and make practical use of them in the
development of our characters.
After faithfully performing
his duty the ancient Fellow Craft was invested with certain words, signs and
tokens that secured his admission into the Middle Chamber where he received
the wages due him. A shirker or an impostor might ascend the stairs but only
he who was duly prepared by being in possession of these words, signs and
tokens could gain admission.
So in life. Every man is
invested with certain words, signs and tokens that determine the circle to
which he shall be admitted. Every honest effort put forth and every faithful
performance of duty bring their reward. A man may enter any circle or attain
any desired height if he shall work until his labor brings as a reward the
words, signs and tokens necessary to gain an entrance into the coveted place.
The passwords must be unequivocal and no impostor by dissimulation can escape
the vigilance that eternally rewards a man according to his deserts. There
must be evidence in plenty that the preparation is not superficial nor assumed
as a cloak to gain unworthy ends. It is not until a sign or token is given
that the required qualities have become established as part and parcel of his
very being that a man is accepted with confidence into the innermost circle of
his desire. He cannot hope to enter the circle of those who have labored and
earned the wages due who displays no token that by earnest effort he has
earned his reward. Man must give equal value for what he receives. He must pay
So also, the laborer is
worthy of his hire. Solomon gave the workers upon the Temple a wage of Corn,
Wine and Oil. These, being emblematic of nourishment, refreshment and joy,
indicate that the honest, earnest effort receives not only a material wage but
that there should be a wage of satisfaction and joy in the performance of duty
without which a man labors in vain and spends his strength for naught. He who
finds no joy in his work has not received the full wages of a Fellow Craft.
There are three things that a
Fellow Craft should value highly and treasure as precious jewels; an attentive
ear, an instructive tongue and a faithful breast. The attentive ear symbolizes
that earnest desire for knowledge, that openness of mind, that willingness to
learn that keeps a man young in spite of his years. No quality is more
valuable than that of finding the instructive tongue in all the experiences of
life, hearing its message and treasuring that message within the repository of
a faithful breast. He who earnestly seeks knowledge will value every source of
information and if the instructive tongue be sharp and wound the pride or tear
the heart yet will he receive its message humbly, gladly. "Man, know thyself,"
is a goal gained sooner through experience in the ways of adversity than by
resting on flowery beds of ease or through the lying tongue of flattery.
And now, my brother, that you
have attained the Middle Chamber and stand in the strength of manhood to
receive the reward of a faithful workman, remember that it is not by your own
strength alone that you have attained this position but by the assistance and
guidance of the Great Architect of the Universe. "Not by might, nor by power,
but by my spirit, saith the Lord." All the labor you have expended and all the
efforts you have put forth in the development of your character have been to
the end that you might attain the Wisdom to know the will of God concerning
you and to make of yourself a temple fit for the indwelling of the Most High.
The true Mason is essentially
a religious man, fearing God and keeping his laws and reverence for his name
should be a distinguishing characteristic of all who have gone this way. Let
no profanity or irreverance for his Holy Name bring discredit upon your
profession as a Mason.
A HINT AS TO PENALTIES BY
BRO. H. L. HAYWOOD, IOWA
Shakespeare borrowed many of
his plots from other authors and from old books, but the materials wherewith
he filled in the frame-work was taken, almost all of it, from observation and
experience. The dramatist was a man with wide-opened eyes who was quick to
catch up contemporaneous ideas, facts and customs in order to establish a
basis of contact with his hearers and readers. It is this that gives some
value to the reference made in The Tempest to a method of execution that is
not without a mite of interest to students of the origins of our ritual. The
Tempest was written, according to a consensus of expert opinion, somewhere
near 1611. At this time, as the reader will know, the ritual had not yet been
cast into its present form; the inference may be made that the method of
execution referred to by Shakespeare was well known in the beginnings of the
seventeenth century, and that the men who wrote the penalties may have
borrowed a hint from it. This is a reasonable conjecture not to be lightly
thrown aside when research is being made for light on such a foggy problem as
the origin of the penalties.
The reference above mentioned
occurs in the famous description of the ship-wreck in the first scene of the
first act of The Tempest. The boatswain, who has been laboring breathlessly to
make his ship storm-safe and to keep his men toiling toward safety, has been
interrupted by the nobles who have come up on deck. He upbraids them for their
interference, whereupon Antonio, the Duke of Milan, exclaims:
"We're merely cheated out of
our lives by drunkards. This wide-chopped (wide-mouthed) rascal-- wouldst thou
might lie drowning the washing of ten tides !"
On this Professor Hudson
makes the following comment: "Pirates were hanged on the shore at low
water-mark, and left till three tides had overwashed them. 'Ten' is
substituted for 'three,' either for the sake of alliteration or to intensify
the guilt of 'the widechopped rascal.' "
UNIFICATION IN THE
BY BRO. CHARLES S. LOBINGIER,
March 15, 1917.
To the Sovereign Grand
Commander and the Supreme Council:
Illustrious and Very Dear
IN closing his memorable
Allocution (1) of 1915 the Grand Commander said: "Let us above all else be
united! Discord and dissension are destructive forces engendered by causes
which should not be tolerated among Masons. It is only when 'unified' that our
Scottish Freemasonry can truly exercise that influence in the World which its
power should enable it to do."
It is with a gratification
second only to that which I know you will all feel as a result of it, that I
am able to report for my jurisdiction a practical observance of this
admonition, and a complete realization of the ideal. Within the past year a
divided house has been joined together. Where there was diversity there is now
unity; where there was weakness there is potential strength. In short it is my
privilege to announce the unification of our rite in the Philippines. Not that
there has ever been dissension among the bodies of our obedience here; but, as
you will note from previous reports of mine, Scottish Rite bodies,
acknowledging allegiance to other Supreme Councils, have continued to exist
there alongside our own. The reasons for this were mainly historical and call
for a brief review.
In the Philippines, Masonry
considerably antedates the American occupation. As long ago as 1856 the
Spanish Admiral Malcampo, later Governor General, organized a lodge at Cavite
under the Grand Orient of Portugal. (2) For some years, however, Masonic
membership in the Philippines was restricted to Spaniards. Finally in the
later eighties a movement was inaugurated in Spain itself (3) by Miguel
Morayta, recently deceased, and then head of the Spanish Grand Orient, and
Marcelo H. del Pilar, a Filipino residing in Spain, which resulted in
admitting some leading natives of the Philippines into the ranks of Masonry;
and then it began to exert a real influence upon the affairs of the
archipelago. It was the ideas of the Scottish Rite which largely furnished the
inspiration for the uprising against the Spanish government in 1896. All
Masons were then under suspicion; many suffered and others died for their
allegiance to the craft and its principles. Then, too, the Spanish Masons were
practically the only Spaniards who sympathized with the Filipinos in their
struggles for a more liberal form of government. It was not strange,
therefore, that, in the hearts of the latter, Spanish Freemasonry won a high
place and that those who had allied themselves therewith were loth to leave it
notwithstanding changed conditions. Indeed I sometimes wonder if we,
ourselves, have rated sufficiently high the character and achievements of our
Spanish Brethren and if we have not been too prone to judge them by
adventurers, parading under their name, in our own country. We must remember
that to be a Mason in Spain involves a great personal sacrifice and that few
but the tried and true are found in their ranks. Perhaps for that reason they
are extremely careful whom they receive and require a long period of probation
(4) such as formerly prevailed in our own jurisdiction. (5)
American Masonry, coming into
the Philippines with the army, followed for a time the course of its
predecessor in admitting only Americans, just as the Spanish lodges at first
received only Europeans, but in establishing the Scottish Rite there I
insisted that there should be no invidious distinctions of nationality and the
first class upon which I conferred the 320, in 1911, included a well known
Filipino, now a Judge, who has been very helpful to us ever since. Other
Filipinos, not inconsiderable in number, have joined the Manila bodies from
time to time, and, so far as I have been able to prevent it, there has been no
deviation from the principle upon which those bodies were started. Meanwhile,
not unnaturally, some of the lodges and other bodies claiming authority from
the Grand Orient of Spain continued to work. The transfer of sovereignty had
severed that authority as completely as it had the political tie (6) but it
was difficult to make this clear to Masons who knew little of the Anglo-Saxon
doctrine of exclusive territorial jurisdiction; who felt a sentimental
attachment to the Spanish Grand Orient for the reasons already mentioned; and
who, as yet, saw little manifestation of a similar attitude among American
Masons. It seemed like asking much of our Filipino brethren to require them to
surrender an affiliation which had cost them so dear while nothing was offered
in its place, and when they were not responsible for the grounds on which the
requirement was based. While, therefore, our Scottish Rite bodies in the
Philippines could hold no official intercourse with those claiming authority
from Spain, it was quite possible to get their viewpoint and to prepare the
ground for a solution of the most important problem which confronted us--the
union under one head of all Scottish Rite Masons in the Archipelago. If you
will refer to my previous reports upon our status here you will note that
while I have repeatedly called attention to the existence of a Scottish Rite
Chapter of Rose Croix, claiming authority from Spain, I have never recommended
drastic action toward it, believing that a solution of the difficulty could be
found which would be just and honorable to both parties. Fortunately my belief
has proven to have been well founded.
The Grand Commander will
recall that, during a conference with him in October, 1915, I brought up the
question of establishing a new group of bodies in the Philippines and he
stated that the granting of Letters Temporary was entirely within my
discretion. Among the purposes which I had in view in this project was
unification and the placing of the Rite on a basis which would render it a
real force in the country.
Upon my return I took the
matter up with two of our members, Bros. Austin Craig, 32d, and Manuel Camus,
32d, who were in close touch with Masons of Spanish allegiance, and by
February of 1916 conditions were ripe for opening a new Lodge of Perfection.
The petitioners for Letters Temporary were all members of the Manila bodies
but the new lodge was soon exercising its express authority to receive new
members by initiating and affiliation.
On August 14, 1916, I opened
under Letters Temporary, Burgos Chapter of Rose Croix; on December 22,
Malcampo Preceptory was opened and finally on February 14, 1917, I enjoyed the
extreme satisfaction of completing the group at an occasion marked by imposing
ceremonies, including the presentation of Letters Temporary to Rizal
Meanwhile the work of winning
over our brethren of Spanish allegiance had been actively proceeding and in
this Brothers Craig and Camus had found an active ally in Bro. Manuel L.
Quezon, 32d, then of the Spanish bodies. Toward the close of prolonged
negotiations and innumerable conferences with members of the last named bodies
I addressed to them the following letter:
Manila, P.I., Feb. 5, 1917.
To the Scottish Rite Masons
residing in the Philippines, but belonging to Bodies Chartered by Other
Recognized Supreme Councils:
Very Dear Brethren:
In the name of Universal
Masonry, for whose realization we all hope and strive, and in behalf of the
Mother Supreme Council of the World, whose Deputy I have the honor to be, I
take pleasure in extending to you a cordial and fraternal invitation to
present applications for affiliation with the Bodies of the Rite now working
in this Valley under the authority of said last named Supreme Council.
It is of the utmost
importance to the interests of the Craft in these Islands that Masonry in all
its forms be united. In union there is strength; in division weakness.
The growth of the Bodies
referred to has been gratifying and rapid, but the Mother Council long to
bring under its protecting aegis all Scottish Rite Masons residing within its
territorial jurisdiction, and to enlist them under a common banner.
Come with us Brethren, and
make the union complete. Fraternally yours, Charles S. Lobingier, 33d
Hon., Deputy of the Supreme Council.
The members of the Spanish
Bodies finally decided to dissolve their organizations, return their charters
and petition for affiliation with the new Philippine bodies. They did this
without exacting any concessions in return. They surrendered a status which
was to them cherished and valuable; they even paid the fees of "newly created"
members under Statutes, Art. VI, Sec. 6, and they did not reserve the small
privilege of continuing their former bodies under new charters.
Their petitions were acted
upon favorably by such of the bodies addressed as were then organized and they
were ready for affiliation in the highest degree which they had received in
the Spanish bodies. Not many of them, however, had passed beyond the 30d; for
in Spain, as elsewhere in Europe, the 31d and 32d are not conferred generally
but are confined to a limited number, much like our 33d Honorary; and, as I
have already shown, the Regulations of the Spanish Supreme Council require a
much longer interval to elapse between the reception of degrees than do our
To complete the affiliation
of the petitioners it was necessary that each "take all the pledges and vows
of all the Degrees of the Body with which he affiliates." (7) For this purpose
they were assembled in large numbers on the evenings of February 12 and 14.
Our obligations had all been translated into Spanish by Bro. Leo Fischer, 32d,
Secretary of the Philippine Bodies, for the benefit of those petitioners who
understand that language better than English, and were administered in full
after the body to which they corresponded had been duly opened. The new
Philippine bodies will need to work in Spanish as well as English and it will
save them a tremendous and unnecessary burden if they can have the benefit of
what has been done in Porto Rico.
Thus, through the
organization of the new Philippine bodies, the unification of the Scottish
Rite in the Archipelago has been accomplished. I trust that the Charters for
these new bodies will be issued in due course. For I cannot but regard this
result as one of the most important and far reaching achievements which has
yet been consummated within the jurisdiction of our Supreme Council.
(1) Transactions, (1915) 148.
(2) This was known as Logia
Primera Luz Filipina. See The Far Eastern Freemason, II, 103.
(3) See Derbyshire,
Introduction to Translation of Rizal's "Noli Me Tangere" XXXIX.
(4) Bro. C. A. Tansilll,
K.C.C.H., of the Manila Bodies has been investigating this interesting topic
and reports as follows: "The minimum time for progression in the Ancient and
Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry as practiced by the Spanish Grand Orient
requires that an Entered Apprentice must serve to the satisfaction of his
brethren, not less than five months before being passed to the degree of
Fellow Craft, and the Fellow Craft must serve to the satisfaction of his
brethren, not less than seven months before being raised to the sublime degree
of Master Mason. Thus, an Entered Apprentice is under the careful scrutiny of
his brethren for at least one year before being raised to the sublime degree
of Master Mason.
"Subjoined is the minimum
time for progression and advancement in the Supreme Council of Spain, under
which Supreme Council the 4th, 9th, 13th, 18th, 24th, 30th, 31st, 32nd and
33rd degrees are considered essentially necessary to be conferred in full
"Master Mason--1 year to
receive the 4d
4d " --1 year to receive the
9d " --1 year to receive the
13d Mason--1 year to receive
18d " --2 years to receive
24d " --2 years to receive
30d " --1 year to receive the
31d " --1 year to receive the
32d " --1 year to receive the
"It will be noticed that an
Entered Apprentice may not attain the 32d until after at least eleven years'
service, and that it requires ten years' service as a Master Mason before
receiving the 32d."
(5) See the observations of
Ill. Bro. Hugo in the New Age (XXV 40 et seq.) showing that eighty-one months
were once required for taking twenty-five degrees.
(6) Allocution, 1905, p. 47;
Cf. Id. 1903, p. 45.
(7) Statutes, sec. 32, Art.
BY BRO. JOSEPH FORT NEWTON,
LINKING ENGLAND AND AMERICA
PRESIDENT WILSON'S desire is to make the world
"secure for democracy," to abolish the nightmare fear of sudden war, and with
it the necessity for maintaining huge armies and navies. It is no selfish
motive, for he wishes for the people whom he rules what they would eagerly and
whole-heartedly share with all mankind.
At present that high purpose is not only
unaccomplished, but actually menaced with final disappointment. So far from
hard-won democratic institutions being safe they are at this moment in dire
peril. They are in peril so great and urgent that a peace-loving people,
separated from Europe by a thousand leagues of ocean, still cherishing a
tradition inherited from Washington and Franklin of non-intervention in the
quarrels of the Old World, feel that duty, religion, honour, and humanity bid
them take up arms and wage war with all their might against a soulless
autocracy which threatens to enslave the world.
This seems to me the greatest event of modern
times, because, if it be crowned with success, as we believe it will be, it
may well inaugurate a new era, the Era of Settled Peace. And not only or
chiefly because the "men that delight in war" have been subdued, but because
the association of Britain and America in this great and holy cause is likely
to eradicate, to uproot the last vestige of remembrance of the quarrel which
That quarrel has long ago been virtually forgotten
in Britain. But American history begins not with Julius Csesar, but with
George Washington, not with the Battle of Hastings, but with a revolution,
which resulted in thirteen British colonies, hitherto passionately loyal,
taking the style and title of the United States of America; not with Magna
Charta, but with that Declaration of Independence the signing of which is the
chief landmark in the American citizen's historical landscape.
The boys and girls read of these things in the
earliest pages of their school-books. Bunker Hill and Lexington become magical
names to them. First impressions being lasting, grown-up Americans have been
apt to forget it was a German king, George the Third, opposed by the best and
noblest of his advisers, and contrary to the wishes of the people of Britain,
whose blind obstinacy and congenital insanity drove the American colonies into
Yes, and they are also apt to forget, whilst
knowing speeches of Franklin, Webster and Lincoln by heart, the words
thundered by Pitt in the British House of Commons: "I rejoice that America has
resisted. Three millions of people so dead to all the feelings of liberty as
voluntarily to submit to be slaves, would have been fit instruments to make
slaves of the rest."
Today those three millions have become one hundred
millions. Yet, mark the miracle, America is still but a larger Britain across
the ocean. From Atlantic to Pacific she speaks the tongue of Shakespeare and
Bunyan; her public and private life is based on English custom; her traditions
and literature are one with the Motherland; her ideals of civilisation those
of the isle from which her Pilgrim Fathers sailed.
Furthermore, America's greatest church was founded
by Wesley, an Oxford clergyman; her two leading universities, Yale and
Harvard, by Englishmen; every president she has elected, except two, has borne
a British surname. Her laws are confessedly founded on English law, and the
usages and precedents of the courts in the two countries are almost identical.
Her ideas of liberty, justice, and freedom, for conscience, for the
individual, for the Press, are the ideas promulgated by the great Puritans,
Cromwell, Hampden, Milton, and Bunyan.
In short, the influence upon the fundamental life
of America of all other nations combined is negligible compared with the
profound and ineradicable influence of Britain.
Then how greatly desirable is a sympathetic and
intelligent understanding between these two kindred peoples. Neither nation
has taken sufficient pains to understand the other. Superficial differences
have been able to obscure fundamental unities.
But in the furnace of this world war, upon the anvil of a
common and noble purpose, under the hammer,
kindred peoples will be rewelded, and then in their keeping chiefly will be
the future of mankind.
And who can doubt that the
heart-union of the British Empire and the United States of America means for
the world an era of unbroken Peace in which service and not enslavement,
enlightenment and not exploitation, arts - ay, hearts - and not arms will be
the watchword of statesmen and rulers? Certainly all whe help forward this
great friendship are thereby labouring for the better future of humanity.
FRATERNIZING IN FRANCE
FRATERNIZING with the French Masons progresses
apace, one Grand Lodge after another having stepped in that direction. It is
curious to note that while we are showing such a tendency to cross the
frontier of our own creation against the Freemasonry of France, the British
whom we first followed away from the land of Lafayette are not nearly so ready
to return though their regard for that nation has been proven by the greatest
sacrifices and the utmost tests of loyalty and devotion.
While British are formally far from the
Freemasonry of France they are close to the French Freemasons. There has been
neither submission nor subjection. The one and the other retain their
individual dogmas, their peculiar doctrines endure, yet their entwining
friendliness calls a truce to the acidities of the past.
Frigidity between French and British is melted
into fraternity by the sunlight of a common cause. Righteousness enriches
recollection with the warmer treasures of a joint purpose for humanity. Each
with parallel aims proves to the other how adequate indeed to the end is their
resource for good, that perhaps the difference after all is rather in name and
phrases than in principles.
We shall sympathetically watch the fine old
traditional Masonry of Greater Britain - of the United Kingdom and its
overseas empire, the mother country and her colonies - and that stalwart
French Freemasonry with her sociological and philosophic excellencies, as the
two go forward in the brunt of gigantic battles. Out from all these gory
struggles there will be a rebirth of the ancient faiths, not throwing them
upon the scrap heap, but the old less cold, the renewed less raw.
Our hearts are with them. When dawns the sun of
victory there will be many a tale told of the place Freemasonry has filled for
brethren united in the family of fraternity though having their birthrights
from quite different Grand Lodges. R.I.C.
* * *
Perhaps the Committee on History will this year
make a final report to the Imperial Council at Atlantic City. Maybe this is
not to be expected.
Death has been busy with the older members whose
memories held the facts of the Shrine's origin. Every year this reservoir
recedes. Whatever we can do to get the particulars into perfect consonance and
into complete records should be done while our pioneer brethren remain
available for checking up the information advanced by others, and being
themselves in turn subjected to the same sort of checks against any and every
Not unlikely there has also been an inclination to
preserve the true story of the Shrine from what some may deem excessive
publicity. Why blaze with bright sunlight what has thrived without it? Where
there was no evil, there are no regrets remaining. And what a joke will endure
while there is an element of surprise about it is one thing. Turning the light
upon it brings about an entirely different outcome.
But have we not arrived at the stage when the true
story of the Shrine's origin may be disclosed? Has the old account of its
Eastern source any life? How muck is worth repetition as fact or as joke?
Writing as one who dearly loves the Shrine for its
charity and cheer, who richly enjoys both its boys and noise, sympathy and
cymbals, I beg of the historians candor. For to me the Shrine will be as
attractive if its first ritual were fashioned by Fleming, flourished with
Florence, and practically elaborated by Briggs, these noblest of the nobility.
Lower Broadway, or the Knickerbocker Club, or Moquin's old quarters, suit me
just as well for a place of origin as a fellaheen's hut near the pyramids. All
may not think so. Tradition dies hard among Masons. For those there will ever
be jewels such as the sad passing of our late Brother (?) the Khedive of Egypt
as reported and adorned by a whimsically diverting correspondent at Malta! But
the truth will out, even in an affidavit. R.I.C.
It always rains when I go out
And clears when I come in,
Until I very often doubt
The theory of sin.
They tell me that it rains
The unjust and the just;
It doesn't rain on ev'ryone
The way they say it must.
Some sinners never get a bath
When they go out to stroll;
The weather always pours its
On me, unlucky soul.
There is no justice in the
Of living, that is plain;
I've had to take, all thru my
Somebody else's rain.
- Douglas Mallock.
EDITED BY BRO. H.L. HAYWOOD
The object of this Department is to acquaint our
readers with time-tried Masonic books not always familiar; with 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 null help you get it, with no charge for the service. Make
this your Department of Literary Consultation.
HALF the charm of Burns lies in the fact that one
can dare to call him "Bobbie!" Mark Twain once attempted to call Emerson
"Ralph," and Longfellow "Henry" (or was it "Hen!"), but he met such a rebuff
that the memory of it smarted all his life. Browning bore the same christian
name as Burns, but who has ever dreamed of speaking of "Bob" Browning ? Or who
would ever refer to Browning's great colleague as "Alf" Tennyson? The very
mention of such familiarities makes us shiver! But it seems far more fitting
to speak of "Bobbie" Burns than it would of "Robert" Burns.
This, I say, is half the charm of the Scottish
singer; he comes so close home to us, he seems so like a personal friend, that
we instinctively think of him as one of our intimate chums. So was it with
those who knew him in the flesh; to them also he was just "Bobbie," and to
Scotchmen he ever will be nothing else. Burns was one of the most democratic
of men. It is easy to be democratic in theory; it is often difficult to play
the part; Burns played the part. He was himself that which he sang, and never
did a man sing so much of the joy of friendship, the glow of fellowship, or of
the appeal of average, undistinguished human nature. Many of his love affairs
were with peasant girls and many of his friendships were with peasant men.
Yet, in spite of this, it has become somewhat
difficult for a twentieth century American to know Burns, and this for at
least two reasons. For one thing, most of his poetry sprang up out of actual
experiences, and it is often necessary to know the story of those experiences
in order to have a clew to the poetry. For another thing, he wrote his best
songs and poems in the Scotch dialect and this is now almost as hard to read
as Chaucer's English. How many, for instance, would know offhand that "ilka
green shaw" means "a wooded dell," or that a "laverock" is a "thrush" ? Burns'
poems are strewn with these Scotticisms, most of which are as so much Greek to
the majority of us.
It is for these reasons that one may take pleasure
in recommending to one's friends - all of whom may be presumed to be lovers of
Burns' poetry - such a work as W. A. Neilson's "Burns: How to Know Him"
(published by Bobbs-Merrill of Indianapolis, at $1.50). Mr. Neilson tells the
story of the poet's life in such manner as to cast in relief the biographical
experiences which throw most light on his work; and he also writes into the
margin the English equivalent of all the Scotch expressions. Furthermore, he
quotes nearly all the old favorites from the poems in such order as to place
each one in its appropriate biographical context.
This biographical context is of great importance
in understanding most of the songs, for Burns was truly one who "wrote from
the heart." Some poets are deliberate artists; they sit down cold-bloodedly to
build up a burnished column of verse, as Gray did in his "Elegy"; others are
children of inspiration; they can never write anything worth while except when
the mood is upon them; Burns was such an one. The poems which he wrote for
special occasions, or because he chanced to consider it his duty to write
something, are almost invariably artificial and lifeless, as one may learn
from the various specimens of the same displayed by Mr. Neilson; but when it
was a genuine passion that caused him to take his pen in hand he could compose
such songs as never a poet could before him. Carlyle declared "My Nannie, O"
to be the greatest song ever written. Carlyle was Scotch himself, and may
therefore have had his bias, but others not Scotch have agreed with him.
Many of the finest flowers of Burns' song grew up,
it may be confessed, from a rather rank soil. The poet was possessed of a
dangerous nature. His blood was usually at the boiling point, and all too
frequently it boiled over. Even in his own circles he was called "a wild one,"
and the Burns worshipper is never permitted to forget that his idol had feet
of clay. But the poet himself surpassed everybody in regret for his wildness
and never have lines of truer penitence been penned than are certain of his
verses; he had a hard row to hoe both domestically and financially and
allowances must be made accordingly even by the most puritan.
But it may be said without exaggeration, and
without making light of any of the great moral sanctions, that the very
darkness of much of the background of Burns' poetry only serves to bring out
in stronger relief the amazing qualities of his genius. Shakespeare would take
over an old bloodthirsty play and transfigure it; in his genius an Italian
tale or an old Danish drama would suffer a sea change into something rich and
strange. The genius of Burns had the same magical power when dealing with his
own raw experiences or misadventures. Take, as an example, that song entitled
"Ae Fond Kiss" which contains the haunting lines,
"Had we never loved sae
Had we never loved sae
Never met - or never parted,
We had ne'er been
This song, and the companion song, entitled "My
Nannie's Awa," sprang from a love affair of which Burns himself came to feel
very much ashamed; nevertheless, his genius transformed it into a melody which
will sing itself around the world while men continue to love poetry.
No other singer can ever have quite the same place
in the affection of Masons because Burns was the first great poet laureate of
our Fraternity; every lodge should keep a volume of his poems at hand to serve
as a poetical commentary on the teachings of the Fraternity. Those lodges
which desire to build up a Burns library will receive a full list of Burnsiana
from the Grand Lodge Library of Iowa, situated at Cedar Rapids; this library
now possesses one of the largest collections of books on Burns and by Burns
that can be found anywhere.
* * *
"THE INTERPRETATION OF
Dreams unroll their evanescent dramas within those
houses of sleep which are nearer to us than breathing and closer than hands
and feet, yet are they often so eerie, so fantastic, that we wonder whether
they may not belong to an order of being very remote from our own. They are
ours, they are not ours; they borrow such substance as they have from our
waking hours, their language is our language, their colors are such as we have
seen, yet their figures and their motions are so fantastic that when we awaken
from them into the actual world we feel that we have returned from some aerial
voyage into a land that lies over the abysses of the inane. Is it any cause
for wonder that men who dream every night of their lives are quick to forget
the insubstantial phantoms? that ancient peoples attributed them to gods or
demons? that credulous medieval folk feigned to accept them as prophecies from
the unseen? or that the more pragmatic men of today dismiss them as having no
significance at all ?
This indifference with which most of us are wont
to consider our dreams is not shared, however, by the men of science; how
could they be, when it is the dearest dogma of science that every slightest
thing, the atom of dust, the faintest nuance of feeling, has its value, its
ray of light to throw on the ineluctable mystery of existence ? Dreams are
normal functions of the human mind; as much a part of ourselves as our own
brains; how can we continue to imagine that they play no part in the real
business of our lives ?
Of the scores of men of science who have
undertaken to translate the rosetta stone of dreams, Professor Sigmund Freud
is easily chief. Assisted by a band of workers he has analyzed thousands of
dreams, and the sleepers whose visions he has studied have come from both
sexes, from all ages, and from many walks of life. After years of such
research he and his colleagues have something to tell us about the least
understood of all our common experiences, and it must be worth our while to
listen to these savants, though we cannot always understand them nor always
agree with them. The story of these explorations into the shadowy lands will
be found, unhampered by many of the technicalities of the specialist, in
Professor Freud's "Interpretation of Dreams," (Macmillan Co., New York,
Professor Freud tells us that our dreams are
composed of our own experiences albeit these are usually, and for a good
reason, disguised beyond recognition. The larger part of these materials are
borrowed from the day immediately preceding; next in order come the
recollections of childhood, many of which have seldomly lifted themselves into
the waking consciousness; and lastly are those memories which drift, like
flotsam and jetsam, over the intervening years. These may be memories of
thoughts, of feelings, or of events.
Oftentimes the dream will make use of some
physical sensation arising from the body during the very moment of the
fantasy. The purpose of this, so it seems, is to protect us against awakening.
If, for instance, a member of the body is exposed to the cold the unpleasant
sensation would arouse the sleeper did not the genius of the dream dress it up
in some exciting drama to hold the attention and to prevent it returning to
the actual surroundings. "In a certain sense," writes our author, “all dreams
are dreams of convenience: they serve the purpose of continuing sleep instead
of awakening. The dream is the guardian of sleep, not the disturber of it."
But this guardianship of sleep is not, so
Professor Freud believes, the principal function of the dream; he believes
that in a majority of cases the dream "may be recognized as the fulfillment of
a wish." In this simple statement the savant has presented an hypothesis which
has revolutionized the whole subject and has caused many psychologists to
recast their theories. As his own exposition of this idea runs through almost
500 pages I cannot hope to explain it in as many words, but I may be able, if
due caution is employed, to furnish some slight hint of the matter. It is the
nature of the mind to be incessantly desiring; it is the nature of our
surroundings to thwart the larger number of these wishes; when a desire is
thwarted it creates a tension in the mind which causes a feeling of uneasiness
or pain; these thwarted desires, always pressing toward fulfillment, resort to
the device of dreaming and therein find the satisfaction denied them in the
actual world. Were our unfulfilled wishes always accumulating their tension
the nervous system would at last be shattered by the strain; dreaming is
nothing other than the mechanism whereby the mind finds relief, illusory but
sufficient, and thereby frees itself of its otherwise intolerable tension.
Some may object to this by saying that their
dreams are the last things that they would wish, so terrible are they,
oftentimes. Professor Freud's explanation of this is one of the most ingenius
features of his argument. He says that many of our wishes are such as we would
not even acknowledge to ourselves and that therefore to present themselves
before the mind they must disguise themselves. When John of Patmos wrote his
Revelation, the last book in our bible, he had a few simple things to say, but
these things were distasteful to the Roman authorities; to get his book past
the censors he composed it in allegorical fashion; the quickest-witted Roman
could not discern behind the phantasmagoria of the book the message which it
carried to the initiated. Professor Freud contends that a similar process goes
on in our dreaming, and the mental process which throws its strange disguises
about a dream he calls "the censor complexes," thereby using the very
phraseology of our illustration. A very terrible dream may thus prove after
all to be the disguised fulfillment of a wish.
In its habits of disguise the dream faculty uses
certain symbolisms and these are employed many times over, by all persons,
just as writers repeat the same figures of speech; by studying and comparing
thousands of dreams Professor Freud and his helpers have placed in our hands a
key to the language of our visions. Equipped with this, and with a modicum of
patience and curiosity, we can learn to interpret our own dreams. He who
undertakes this will be surprised to learn how simple are many of the most
gigantic grotesqueries; he will learn nothing of any world outside the real
world; he will receive no messages from gods or ghosts; but he will learn many
things about himself which may prove a surprise. Did space permit I might
describe such instances of self-revelation, and I might indicate certain
practical uses of dream analysis, especially in way of the diagnosis and the
cure of a few diseases; as it is I must refer the reader to the fascinating
pages of Sigmund Freud's "Interpretation of Dreams."
This book is of considerable interest to Masons
because it tends to throw light on the origin of ancient and universal
symbols. Freud holds that, as the sex impulse is one of the strongest in human
nature, a great many dreams are disguised sex wishes or resumes of secret sex
experiences. Also, he has discovered that the dream faculty makes uses of the
same sex symbols over and over again, and these symbols, so he holds, are
identical with many of the symbols used by secret societies and religions from
the dawn of history. Many of our Masonic scholars, and they the sanest, have
always held that certain of our emblems and symbols, the pillars for example,
originally had a sex origin; to those who care to pursue such studies
Professor Freud's work will be most illuminating.
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.
The Question Box and Correspondence Column are
open to all members of the Society at all times. Questions of any nature on
Masonic subjects are earnestly invited from our members, particularly those
connected with Lodges or Study Clubs which are following our "Bulletin Course
of Masonic Study." When requested, questions will be answered promptly by mail
before publication in this department.
"REMEMBER NOW THY CREATOR"
Can you put me on the track of some reliable
exposition of Ecclesiasties 12:1-7? It sounds beautiful in recitation, but
largely meaningless. As chaplain of Norwood Lodge, No. 119, in the Grand
Registry of Manitoba I am especially interested as it falls to me to recite
the passage in "raising." "Let there be light." L.F., Manitoba.
Good for you, Brother Fraser! The bane of Masonry
is the constant repetition of the ritual by men who never make an attempt to
discover the meaning of what they are saying.
The sacred sentences which fall on the ears of the candidate as
he makes his mystic round are so heavy with poignant beauty that one hesitates
to intrude the harsh language of prose upon such strains of poetry, solemn
sweet. We may well believe that the men who introduced the reading here had no
other thought than that the words might the better create an atmosphere in
which the coming drama of hate and doom might all the more impressively come
home to the heart of the participants. If such was their purpose neither
Shakespeare nor Dante could have found words or sentiments more appropriate to
the hour. There is a music and majesty in the twelfth chapter of Ecclesiastes
us dumb with awe and wonder and our hearts open to the impressions of a
tragedy alongside which the doom of Lear seems insignificant and vain.
For generations the commentators of Holy Writ have
seen in the allegory of this chapter a reference to the decay of the body and
the coming of death; to them, the golden bowl was the skull, the silver cord
was the spinal nerve, "the keepers of the house" were the hands, the "strong
men" the limbs; the whole picture is made to symbolize the body's falling into
ruin and the approach of death. * One hesitates to differ from an
interpretation so true in its application and so dignified by its
associations. But it must be doubted whether the sad and disillusioned man who
penned the lines possessed either the knowledge of human anatomy implied by
the old interpretation or the intention to make his poem into a medical
description of senility. A more thorough scholarship has come to see in the
allegory a picture of the horror of death set forth by metaphors drawn from an
It had been a day of wind and cloud and rain; but
the clouds did not, as was usual, disperse after the shower. They returned
again and covered the heavens with their blackness. Thunderstorms were so
uncommon in Palestine that they always inspired fear and dread, as many a
paragraph in the Scriptures will testify. As the storm broke the strong men
guarding the gates of rich men's houses began to tremble; the hum of the
little mills where the women were always grinding at even time suddenly
* For this version see the article by Bro. Wm. F.
Kuhn, "When the Almond Tree Blossoms," THE BUILDER, vol. I, p. 138.
ceased because the grinders were frightened from
their toil; the women, imprisoned in the harems, who had been gazing out of
the lattice to watch the activities of the streets, drew back into their dark
rooms; even the revelers, who had been sitting about their tables through the
afternoon, eating dainties and sipping wine, lost their appetites, and many
were made so nervous that the sudden twitting of a bird would cause them to
start with anxious surprise.
As the terror of the storm, the poet goes on to
say, so is the coming of death, when man "goes to his home of everlasting and
mourners go about the streets." Whatever men may have been, good or bad, death
brings equal terror to all. A man may have been rich, like the golden lamp
hung on a silver chain in the palace of a king; he may have been as poor as
the earthen pitcher in which maidens carried water from the public well, or
even as crude as the heavy wooden wheel wherewith they drew the water; what
his state was matters not, death is as dread a calamity to the one as to the
other. When that dark adventure comes the fine possessions in which men had
sought security will be vain to stay the awful passing into night. "Vanity of
vanities; all is vanity." The one bulwark against the common calamity, the
Preacher urges, is to remember the Creator, yea, to remember Him from youth to
old age; to believe that one goes to stand before Him is the one and only
solace in an hour when everything falls to ruin and the very desire to live
has been quenched by the ravages of age and the coming of death.
* * *
SOLOMON'S TEMPLE AND EARLY
HISTORY OF MASONRY
Will you kindly enlighten me on the following
1. Is there any Masonic history before the
establishment of the first Grand Lodge in England on June 24, 1717 ?
2. If there is not, whom is the Widow's Son
supposed to represent ?
What connection is there between Masonry as we know it today, and the building
of King Solomon's Temple ? In other words, was the Temple built by the
4. Is the Temple of Solomon described in Jewish
history as a very common building, 124 feet long by 65 feet wide, and 52 feet
high, built of square blocks of stone, supposed to be the same as the one
described in the lecture of the Entered Apprentice degree? If so, why such a
1. Yes, June 24, 1717, is not the beginning of
Masonic history; it is hard to tell where the legend ceases and history
begins. We have no means of knowing how old Masonry is, but we do know that it
existed long before the formation of the Grand Lodge in 1717. For instance,
Elias Ashmole in his diary, under date of October 16, 1646, says that he was
made a Freemason at Warrington. He also gives the names of those "who were at
the lodge," and his mention of the institution is in the casual manner in
which you would speak of it at the present date, as though it were so well
known that it was not necessary to explain what the Society of Freemasons is.
In a churchyard in London an old tombstone bears
the inscription: "Here lieth the body of Wm. Kerwin, of this city of London, a
Freemason who departed this life the 26th day of December Ano 1594."
There are lodge records and also other evidence to
prove that Freemasonry existed prior to 1717. These are but samples of several
records similar in nature which indicate that Masonry existed long before
2. All the history we have in regard to Hiram is
found in the Bible (see I Kings 7:13-14) and the works of Josephus. Most of
what we are told about him means that we have no way of proving that it is
3. Whether or not Solomon's Temple was built by
Freemasons we have no way of determining. We know that there were societies of
architects at Tyre, and that Hiram, King of Tyre, sent workmen to King
Solomon. There is no doubt that the Society of Dionysiac Architects resembled
the Society of Freemasons very closely, but we have no positive proof of an
identity between them.
4. Yes, the Temple of King Solomon is the one on
which our Masonic symbolism is based, but I must remind you that neither
biblical nor secular history speaks of King Solomon's Temple as a common
building. It is always referred to as a very magnificent structure. In calling
it a very common building we presume that you refer only to the size, and that
you are contrasting that with the reference to its stupendous magnitude in the
Entered Apprentice lecture. The same size applies only to the main body of the
Temple. The outer court had enormous and magnificent terraces, spacious
courts, and the whole structure was at least one-half mile in circumference.
The Temple itself was but a very small part of the entire edifice.
* * *
WHO WILL HELP THIS LODGE TO
BUILD UP A LIBRARY?
As we are starting a library in connection with
our lodge and study club, I have been wondering whether some of our American
brothers have any Masonic literature to spare. If so, it would be very
gratefully received by the brethren in these distant parts. I would personally
acknowledge anything that may be sent. - Robert W. Stiles, Sec'y Victory Lodge
No. 40, Nelson, New Zealand.
This is the kind of query we like to receive; it
shows that the New Zealand brethren are alive; when a lodge has both a library
and study club that lodge is in good health. We are leaving our readers to
answer this question; if you have any volumes or papers or journals that
aren't doing business with you. send them over to Brother Stiles.
* * *
AID AND ASSISTANCE FROM ENEMY
MASONS IN THE WAR
Can you give or refer me to any incidents in the
present war where enemy Masons have aided each other when found in difficult
places? Or (and I hesitate to ask the question) have you heard of instances
where enemy Masons have forgotten their obligations? The term "enemy" is used
to imply that Masons are in opposing armies. C.V.H., California.
We cannot refer to any such instances though there
have doubtless been many such cases, as was true of the Civil War, when the
Blue and the Gray sometimes forgot their enmities and met fraternally beneath
the square and compass. Can any reader cite such instances from his
observation, hearsay, or reading?
Your second question doesn't quite "get across to
us"; do you mean their Masonic obligations, using the word in its general
sense; or do you mean the obligation taken at the altar; or do you mean a
Mason's obligations to society at large ? It is a temptation to charge the
German Masons with violation of their obligations in all senses, especially in
breaking relations with the English Grand Lodge at a time when the latter was
willing, and even eager, to maintain relations, and in the invasion of Belgium
- one of the most un-Masonic acts in history - but it must be remembered that
the German overlords maintain control of everything in their empire, lodges as
well as all else, and that the Masons have been as much robbed of their rights
of "self direction" as any other group in Germany. If German autocracy were to
turn out victorious in this struggle, Masons the world over would be placed
under a system of espionage as they have been in the Fatherland: how would
Masons enjoy that? Yet there are Masons here and there who say that Masonry
has no stake in the war and that we are not under obligations, as Masons, to
help whip the Kaiser! Water and fire are not more opposite than Masonry and
* * *
NO PROOF OF THE EXISTENCE OF
MASONRY IN RHODE ISLAND IN THE 17th CENTURY
The following is the first paragraph of an article
entitled "The Jew in Masonry," appearing in the December number of the
"Masonic Journal of South Africa," and there quoted as taken from the "Masonic
"Mr. Madison C. Peters, of New York, quotes from
the Rev. Edward Peterson's History of Rhode Island to show that in 1658 some
Jews from Holland established a Masonic lodge in Newport which continued to
meet in the house of Brother Campanall until 1842.
"Peterson quotes Past Grand Master Gould, of
Massachusetts, who asserted that in 1839 certain papers found among the
effects of a deceased relative who was a great-great-grand-daughter of Gov.
John Wanton of Rhode Island, 1734-1740, one of which contained this item:
" 'That ye (day and month obliterated) 165 -
(either 6 or 8) wee (sic) met at y house of Mordecai Campunall and after
Synagog we gave Abm Moses the degree of Maconrie.' "
The remainder of the article goes on to later
dates, which give rise to no question, but the last three lines quoted prompt
a query as to whether you or any of your readers can say whether any
investigation has been made concerning a seventeenth century meeting in
America, founded on previous meetings in Holland, where Masonry has hitherto
been supposed to have made its first appearance some years after the
foundation of the Grand Lodge of England. O.H.B., England.
We asked Brother Melvin M. Johnson, Past Grand
Master of Massachusetts, if he could throw any light on the foregoing subject
and received the following reply:
I can throw all the light on the subject that
there is to throw on it. The fact is that the assertions made with regard to
the Rhode Island document in question will not bear having any light thrown on
On page 111 of THE BUILDER for May, 1915, you will
find a comment on this same subject matter and you will find the evidence
carefully reviewed in the Printed Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of
Massachusetts for 1870, pages 357 to 361, inclusive. See also my "Freemasonry
in America Prior to 1750," published by the National Masonic Research Society,
The fairy tale that certain Hebrews were given the
degrees of Masonry at Newport, Rhode Island, in 1656 and 1658, grew out of a
statement published in 1853 by Rev. Edward Peterson, on page 101 of his
"History of Rhode Island and Newport in the Past," and quoted by J. L. Gould,
of Connecticut, in 1868 in a manual entitled "Guide to the Chapter." Mr.
Peterson says that his statement was "taken from documents now in possession
of N.H. Gould, Esq."
Brother N. H. Gould was a 33d Mason. In 1870 he
wrote a letter in which he says that in January, 1839, Hannah Hull, a distant
relative of his, died leaving some papers. She was a
great-great-grand-daughter of Governor John Wanton who was Governor of the
Colony from 1734 to 1740. Brother N.H. Gould says that his father settled her
estate and in looking over her effects they found in an old trunk some
letters. Among them, he says, was a memorandum which read:
(day and month obliterated) 1656 or 8 (not certain which, as the place was
stained and broken: the first three figures were plain) wee mett att y House
off Mordecai Campunnall and affter Synagog wee gave Abm Moses the degree of
Brother Gould added that the document was "nicely
enveloped and packed away, with some of my papers in my house, securely, but
not where I can at present put my hand upon it."
The document has never been seen since, although
Bro. Gould, while he lived, was applied to time and time again by historians
including M.W. William Sewall Gardner, Grand Master of Massachusetts, and Wor.
Brother William James Hughan, but he never produced it or permitted any one to
see it if he ever had such a document at all.
Unless and until the document is produced or
accounted for, no credit whatever can be given it. Indeed, no credit is given
it in Rhode Island.
M.W. Thomas A. Doyle, who was then Grand Master of
Masons in Rhode Island, in December, 1870, wrote to the Grand Master of Masons
in Massachusetts a letter reading as follows:
"Providence, December, 1870.
"Dear Sir and M. W. Brother:
"As to the statement, in Peterson's History of
Rhode Island, that Masonry was worked in this State from 1658 to 1742, I can
only say that, from the best information I can obtain in regard to that
history, the statement is not to be taken as a fact, unless supported by other
reliable testimony. What he has said about Masonry is, I understand, asserted
upon the authority of documents in the possession of W. Br. N.H. Gould. I have
made many enquiries about these documents of brethren in Newport, members of
the Grand Lodge and others, and do not find that any one has ever seen them;
neither do the brethren believe that any proof exists of the truth of
"From Brother Gould's letter to you, it would seem
that the only authority in his possession, for the assertion of Peterson, is a
document showing that, in 1656 or 1658, somebody met some other persons at
some house in Newport, and gave 'Abm. Moses the degrees of Maconrie.'
"This may have occurred * then and there just as
it is stated; but, if so, it is no authority for the statement that a lodge of
Masons existed then in Newport, or that there was any legal Masonic authority
for the work done, or that any other person was ever legally made a Mason in
Newport, between 1658 and 1742.
"My own opinion is, that the first lawful lodge of
Masons ever convened in this jurisdiction, was the one which met in Newport,
in 1749, under the authority of R. W. Thomas Oxnard, Provincial Grand Master
of Massachusetts, which lodge has existed since that time, and is now known as
Saint John's Lodge.
"Yours truly and fraternally,
Thomas A. Doyle,
Grand Master of Masons in Rhode Island.
"M.W. William S. Gardner,
Grand Master of Masons in
One of the hardest animals to kill is a snake. It
is even harder to kill a false statement which is made as real historical
fact. This canard with regard to 1656 has been copied by one writer after
another. Most of those who have given it any credit whatever have been the
kind of historians who are doing the Masonry the most harm - historians who
are willing to give the credit of their names to wild and unreliable
statements so long as they have the flavor of antiquity.
The late Brother Robert Freke Gould founded a new
era in the writing of Masonic history and it will be much to our advantage if
we follow his lead and do not assert facts as historical until the evidence
therefor has been examined and found worthy of approval.
* Impossible. There were no degrees in Masonry
until 1719. Whoever concocted the story about this document forgot that. -
EXPLORATION OF THE HOLY LAND
I want to make a suggestion, but perhaps the
matter has already had consideration. Doubtless when the present war is over
there will be some geographical changes made in the earth's surface; possibly
we all have ideas of what they should be. I should like to see Armenia given
to the Armenians, and Jerusalem given to the Jews. There is much to be found
out concerning the Holy Land and Jerusalem of historic value to the world. The
exploring and examination of ancient and venerable places should be done by
our Research Society, possibly combined with the National Geographic Society
and institutions of like kind in England and France, but under license of a
Jewish government. There are many Jews in both of our Societies, and no doubt
a happy combination could easily be formed.
There are at present in the world sufficient
miracle-working bones, parts of the true cross, and what not, without any more
being unearthed. It is my opinion that whatever may be found in that land
should be found by honest people, and if put anywhere for exhibition, should
be placed in public museums and on exhibition at all times and not to be
worshipped and expected to work miracles.
B. F. Bache, Florida.
* * *
NAMES OF CANDIDATES lN LODGE
Permit me this attempt to answer Brother C.H.S. of
Connecticut. For several years my own lodge has followed the practice of
reporting to our membership the names and addresses of all applicants for the
degrees and for affiliation, there being no prohibition in this Grand
We do it because it adds nothing to the expense of
the notices which are sent out for each meeting and because it is manifestly
impossible for every resident member to attend every meeting, much as we
should like to have them do so, and we believe they are entitled to the
protection afforded by such notice. It is not possible for one man, or two, to
know all there is to be known about another. Even our investigating committees
of three, newly appointed for each applicant, do not get all the facts the
lodge should have upon which to base a judgment as to the qualifications of
the applicant to be made a Mason. Instances are very numerous of favorable
reports by such committees following the favorable recommendation of two
brothers, which comes with the application, and all followed by a ballot which
In his address before the last Annual
Communication of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota, our Grand Master cited one
instance which I commend to Brother C.H.S. for his careful perusal and if he
declares it an exceptional case and not to be relied on for a rule, I would
remind him that he also has cited but a single case and it is even less of a
"precedent" or reason for a rule barring the giving of these notices than the
one which our Grand Master used to point out his plea for still more care in
the investigating of applicants. In our Grand Master's case the facts were
within the knowledge of only one man, and if he had been unavoidably absent,
and so unable to stop the applicant, what a dreadful situation would have
I think there are therefore twosreasons why these
names should be published in advance to all the members. First, that if any
doubt exists it must be resolved in favor of the lodge, and not the applicant,
and second, that every brother now in the lodge must be made to feel that he
is to be protected against the possibility of having to assume Masonic
responsibility for one he knows to be unworthy.
Doubt does exist as to every applicant. If not,
why investigate? And if we do investigate, why not be thorough and use every
possible channel of investigation? No man goes about spreading his knowledge
of another's character, but if that other is to be made his Masonic brother he
must be made acquainted with that fact. If not, then we have failed in our
responsibility to him.
It is unfortunately true that one may not safely
rely upon the fact that another is a Mason. It is needless to say that this
should not be so. The reason is in the lack of thorough investigation, it will
be said, but I reply that none can read the mind of another if he choose to
hide it, and I know at least one instance where three investigations (two of
which followed the first rejection) failed to disclose any reason and yet some
one knew, because two other rejections followed.
If the applicant is worthy, he will be admitted.
If he is not, within the knowledge of even one unknown brother, the lodge
should not want him so badly as to prefer that one unknown brother shall not
have every possible chance to express his opinion at the ballot-box, and
I insist upon assuming the good faith of the
brother who is "in" rather than relying upon the qualifications of the
applicant whom I may not know.
William Burrows, Minnesota.
* * *
ORIGIN OF THE GRAND LODGE OF
May I obtain from you the insertion in THE BUILDER
of the following correction to Brother Johnson's and Odell's article on the
recognition of the Grand Lodge of Panama? I have corresponded with M. W.
Brother Johnson and he accepts my correction and indicated that it could be
published. I cannot but still congratulate the Society for the excellence of
the article. The correction follows:
It is said in the article that the Grand Lodge of
Cuba was started by the Supreme Council, A. and A.S.R. This is an error, as it
was constituted on the fifth of December, 1859, and the Supreme Council was
constituted on the twenty-seventh of the same month. The Grand Lodge was
composed of three lodges, two of them holding original charters from
Pennsylvania and one from South Carolina, purposely chartered for that end.
It is true that sometime afterward some relations
existed between the Grand Lodge and the Supreme Council, but these relations
had no restraint upon the independence of the Grand Lodge, and lasted but a
F. de P. Rodriguez,
Chairman Committee on Foreign
of the Grand Lodge of Cuba.
* * *
VIRGINIA MILITARY MASONIC
Brother C. F. Bushman, Virginia, sends us the
following item written for the Virginia Masonic Journal which should prove
interesting to the readers of THE BUILDER:
At a meeting composed of officers and enlisted men
of the 315th Field Artillery, National Army, at Camp Lee, Va., February 6th,
1918, all of whom were Master Masons, it was suggester by Lieutenant Colonel
Russell P. Reeder, the Commander of the Regiment, that we form a Masonic Club,
and that we attend the Grand Lodge the following week at Richmond, Va., for
the purpose of gaining recognition from that august body.
On February 12th, the Master Masons of this
Regiment attended in a body the Grand Lodge of Virginia, then in session at
Richmond, where we were welcomed with much feeling and pleasure, and were
granted permission to organize a Masonic Club, for social purposes only.
This having been accomplished, the Club was organized and
the following officers elected:
Sergeant Major C. F. Bushman
Sergeant B. F. Hatton
Sergeant R. A. Lampton
R. H. Counts
Sergeant James H. Petty
Private H. J. Lilly
William E. Kirk
The Club, at present, has a membership of fifty
At a meeting held on March 6th, the Club was honored by the
presence of Dr. Joseph W. Eggleston, Past Grand Master
of Virginia, and Major W. McK.
Evans, both of whom served as
artillerymen in the Civil War, and who were elected Honorary members. During
his visit, Dr. Eggleston delivered a very strong and interesting talk,
choosing as his subject "Masonry and the War," which proved very beneficial to
us and was much appreciated by all.
The name of our club was selected in honor of our
Regimental Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Russell P. Reeder, and Dr. Joseph W.
Eggleston, but for whose kind interest and co-operation it would have been
impossible for the club to have attained its present well established
The club was organized for social and benevolent
purposes only, and as a means whereby the Masons of this, as well as other
Regiments in the cantonment, may assemble together and get better acquainted.
At the present time it is the only organization of its kind in the Division.
* * *
DEPUTY FOR CHINA - A
In the March issue we gave the title of Brother
Charles S. Lobingier, who wrote the interesting article "Freemasons in the
American Revolution," as "Deputy for China." While Brother Lobingier is a
resident of Shanghai, China, he is not the Supreme Council Deputy for that
country but for the Philippines. The Deputy for China is Brother John R. Hykes.
Always and ever I cherish
My home and the land of my
Each mountain, valley, river
Rises to view, the fairest on
I ever will serve and support
Country whose name, by the
letters you see
Are first in each line, the
home of the free.
- W.S. Vawter. Texas.