The Builder Magazine
November 1919 - Volume V - Number
ENCYCLICAL LETTER "HUMANUM GENUS" OF THE POPE LEO XIII
As a result of the
publication of "A Catholic Treatise on Masonry" from the Catholic
Encyclopedia, in the July, August, September and October issues of THE
BUILDER, we have been asked by a large number of our readers for further light
on some of the papal edicts against Freemasonry mentioned in the last
instalment of that article. For the enlightenment of these inquirers and the
Fraternity at large we here publish one of the most prominent of these
rescripts, the letter "Humanum Genus" of Pope Leo XIII, issued on April 20th,
Albert Pike, the then Grand
Commander of the Supreme Council 33d for the Southern Jurisdiction of the
Scottish Rite, called attention of the Craft to this encyclical letter in his
Allocution delivered before the Supreme Council in October of the same year
and then issued a reply to it. The extract from Brother Pike's Allocution and
his reply to the Bull will follow in early issues of THE BUILDER.
To all venerable Patriarchs,
Primates, Archbishops, and Bishops in the Catholic world who have grace and
communion with the Apostolic See: Venerable Brothers: Health and the Apostolic
THE HUMAN RACE, after, by the
malice of the devil, it had departed from God, the Creator and Giver of
heavenly gifts, divided itself into two different and opposing parties, one of
which assiduously combats for truth and virtue, the other for those things
which are opposed to virtue and to truth. The one is the Kingdom of God on
earth that is, the Church of Jesus Christ; those who desire to adhere to which
from their soul and conductively to salvation must serve God and His only
begotten Son with their whole mind and their whole will. The other is the
kingdom of Satan, in whose dominion and power are all who have followed his
sad example and that of our first parents. They refuse to obey divine and
eternal law, and strive for many things to the neglect of God and for many
against God. This twofold kingdom, like two states with contrary laws working
in contrary directions, Augustine clearly saw and described, and comprehended
the efficient cause of both with subtle brevity in these words: "Two loves
have made two states: the love of self to the contempt of God has made the
earthly, but the love of God to the contempt of self has made the heavenly."
(De Civ. Dei, lib. xiv., chap. 17.)
The one fights the other with
different kinds of weapons, and battles at all times, though not always with
the same ardor and fury. In our days, however, those who follow the evil one
seem to conspire and strive all together under the guidance and with the help
of that society of men spread all over, and solidly established, which they
call Free-Masons. Not dissimulating their intentions, they vie in attacking
the power of God; they openly and ostensibly strive to damage the Church, with
the purpose to deprive thoroughly if possible Christian people of the benefits
brought by the Saviour Jesus Christ.
Seeing these evils, we are
compelled by charity in our soul to say often to God: "For lo! Thy enemies
have made noise; and they that hate Thee have lifted up the head. They have
taken malicious counsel against Thy people, and have consulted against Thy
saints. They have said: Come and let us destroy them, so that they be not a
nation." (Ps. lxxxii., 24.)
In such an impending crisis,
in such a great and obstinate warfare upon Christianity, it is our duty to
point out the danger, exhibit the adversaries, resist as much as we can their
schemes and tricks, lest those whose salvation is in our hands should perish
eternally: and that the kingdom of Jesus Christ, which we have received in
trust, not only may stay and remain intact, but may continue to increase all
over the world by new additions.
The Roman Pontiffs, our
predecessors, watching constantly over the safety of the Christian people,
early recognized this capital enemy rushing forth out of the darkness of
hidden conspiracy, and, anticipating the future in their mind, gave the alarm
to princes and people, that they should not be caught by deceptions and
Clement XII. first signalized
the danger in 1738, and Benedict XIV. renewed and continued his Constitution.
Pius VII. followed them both; and Leo XII., by the Apostolic Constitution quo
graviora recapitulating the acts and decrees of the above Pontiffs about the
manner, validated and confirmed them forever. In the same way spoke Pius
VIII., Gregory XVI., and very often Pius IX.
The purpose and aim of the
Masonic sect having been discovered from plain evidence, from the cognition of
causes, its laws, Rites and commentaries having come to light and been made
known by the additional depositions of the associated members, this Apostolic
See denounced and openly declared that the sect of Masons is established
against law and honesty, and is equally a danger to Christianity as well as to
society; and, threatening those heavy punishments which the Church uses
against the guilty ones, she forbade the society, and ordered that none should
give his name to it. Therefore the angry Masons, thinking that they would
escape the sentence or partially destroy it by despising or calumniating,
accused the Pope who made those decrees of not having made a right decree or
of having overstepped moderation. They thus tried to evade the authority and
the importance of the Apostolic Constitutions of Clement XII., Benedict XIV.,
Pius VII., and Pius IX. But in the same society there were some who, even
against their own will, acknowledged that the Roman Pontiffs had acted wisely
and lawfully, according to the Catholic discipline. In this many princes and
rulers of States agreed with the Popes, and either denounced Masonry to the
Apostolic See or by appropriate laws condemned it as a bad thing in Holland,
Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Bavaria, Savoy, and other parts of Italy.
But the event justified the
prudence of our predecessors, and this is the most important. Nay, their
paternal care did not always and everywhere succeed, either because of the
simulation and shrewdness of the Masons themselves, or through the
inconsiderate levity of others whose duty required of them strict attention.
Hence, in a century and a half the sect of Masons grew beyond expectation;
and, creeping audaciously and deceitfully among the various classes of the
people, it grew to be so powerful that now it seems the only dominating power
in the States. From this rapid and dangerous growth have come into the Church
and into the State those evils which our predecessors had already foreseen. It
has indeed come to this, that we have serious fear, not for the Church, which
has a foundation too firm for men to upset it, but for those States in which
this society is so powerful or other societies of a like kind, and which show
themselves to be servants and companions of Masonry.
For these reasons, when we
first succeeded in the government of the Church, we saw and felt very clearly
the necessity of opposing so great an evil with the full weight of our
authority. On all favorable occasions we have attacked the principal doctrines
in which the Masonic perversity appeared. By our Encyclical Letter, quod
apostolic muneris, we attacked the errors of Socialists and Communists; by the
Letter, Arcanum, we tried to explain and defend the genuine notion of domestic
society, whose source and origin is in marriage; finally, by the letter which
begins Diuturnum, we proposed a form of civil power consonant with the
principles of Christian wisdom, responding to the very nature and to the
welfare of people and Princes. Now, after the example of our predecessors, we
intend to turn our attention to the Masonic society, to its whole doctrine, to
its intentions, acts, and feelings, in order to illustrate more and more this
wicked force and stop the spread of this contagious disease.
There are several sects of
men which, though different in name, customs, forms, and origin, are identical
in aim and sentiment with Masonry. It is the universal center from which they
all spring, and to which they all return. Although in our days these seem to
no longer care to hide in darkness, but hold their meetings in the full light
and under the eyes of their fellow-men and publish their journals openly, yet
they deliberate and preserve the habits and customs of secret societies. Nay,
there are in them many secrets which are by law carefully concealed not only
from the profane, but also from many associated, viz., the last and intimate
intentions, the hidden and unknown chiefs, the hidden and secret meetings, the
resolutions and methods and means by which they will be carried into
execution. Hence the difference of rights and of duties among the members;
hence the distinction of orders and grades and the severe discipline by which
they are ruled. The initiated must promise, nay, take an oath, that they will
never, at any way or at any time, disclose their fellow-members and the
emblems by which they are known, or expose their doctrines. So, by false
appearance, but with the same kind of simulation, the Masons chiefly strive,
as once did the Manichseans, to hide and to admit no witnesses but their own.
They seek skilfully hiding places, assuming the appearance of literary men or
philosophers, associated for the purpose of erudition; they have always ready
on their tongues the speech of cultivated urbanity, and proclaim their charity
toward the poor; they look for the improvement of the masses, to extend the
benefits of social comfort to as many of mankind as possible. Those purposes,
though they may be true, yet are not the only ones. Besides, those who are
chosen to join the society must promise and swear to obey the leaders and
teachers with great respect and trust; to be ready to do whatever is told
them, and accept death and the most horrible punishment if they disobey. In
fact, some who have betrayed the secrets or disobeyed an order are punished
with death so skilfully and so audaciously that the murder escaped the
investigations of the police. Therefore, reason and truth show that the
society of which we speak is contrary to honesty and natural justice.
There are other and clear
arguments to show this society is not in agreement with honesty. No matter how
great the skill with which men conceal, it is impossible that the cause should
not appear in its effects. "A good tree cannot yield bad fruits, nor a bad
tree good ones." (Matt. vii., 18.) Masonry generates bad fruits mixed with
great bitterness. From the evidence above mentioned we find its aim, which is
the desire of overthrowing all the religious and social orders introduced by
Christianity, and building a new one according to its taste, based on the
foundation and laws of naturalism.
What we have said or will say
must be understood of Masonry in general and of all like societies, not of the
individual members of the same. In their number there may be not a few who,
though they are wrong in giving their names to these societies, yet are
neither guilty of their crimes nor aware of the final goal which they strive
to reach. Among the associations also, perhaps, some do not approve the
extreme conclusions which, as emanating from common principles, it would be
necessary to embrace if their deformity and vileness would not be too
repulsive. Some of them are equally forced by the places and times not to go
so far as they would go or others go; and yet they are not to be considered
less Masonic for that, because the Masonic alliance has to be considered not
only from actions and deeds, but from general principles.
Now, it is the principle of
naturalists, as the name itself indicates, that human nature and human reason
in everything must be our teacher and guide. Having once settled this, they
are careless of duties toward God, or they pervert them with false opinions
and errors. They deny that anything has been revealed by God; they do not
admit any religious dogma and truth but what human intelligence can
comprehend; they do not allow any teacher to be believed on his official
authority. Now, it being the special duty of the Catholic Church, and her duty
only, to keep the doctrines received from God and the authority of teaching
with all the heavenly means necessary to salvation and preserve them
integrally incorrupt, hence the attacks and rage of the enemies are turned
Now, if one watches the
proceedings of the Masons, in respect of religion especially, where they are
more free to do what they like, it will appear that they carry faithfully into
execution the tenets of the naturalists. They work, indeed, obstinately to the
end that neither the teaching nor the authority of the Church may have any
influence; and therefore they preach and maintain the full separation of the
Church from the State. So law and government are wrested from the wholesome
and divine virtue of the Catholic Church, and they want, therefore, by all
means to rule States independent of the institutions and doctrines of the
To drive off the Church as a
sure guide is not enough; they add persecutions and insults. Full license is
given to attack with impunity, both by words and print and teaching, the very
foundations of the Catholic religion; the rights of the Church are violated;
her divine privileges are not respected. Her action is restricted as much as
possible; and that by virtue of laws apparently not too violent, but
substantially made on purpose to check her freedom. Laws odiously partial
against the clergy are passed so as to reduce its number and its means. The
ecclesiastical revenue is in a thousand ways tied up, and religious
associations abolished and dispersed.
But the war wages more
ardently against the Apostolic See and the Roman Pontiff. He was, under a
false pretext, deprived of the temporal power, the stronghold of his rights
and of his freedom; he was next reduced to an iniquitous condition, unbearable
for its numberless burdens until it has come to this, that the Sectarians say
openly what they had already in secret devised for a long time, viz., that the
very spiritual power of the Pope ought to be taken away, and the divine
institution of the Roman Pontificate ought to disappear from the world. If
other arguments were needed for this, it would be sufficiently demonstrated by
the testimony of many who often, in times bygone and even lately, declared it
to be the real supreme aim of the Free-Masons to persecute, with untamed
hatred, Christianity, and that they will never rest until they see cast to the
ground all religious institutions established by the Pope.
If the sect does not openly
require its members to throw away of Catholic faith, this tolerance, far from
injuring the Masonic schemes, is useful to them. Because this is, first, an
easy way to deceive the simple and unwise ones and it is contributing to
proselytize. By opening their gates to persons of every creed they promote, in
fact, the great modern error of religious indifference and of the parity of
all worships, the best way to annihilate every religion, especially the
Catholic, which, being the only true one, cannot be joined with others without
But naturalists go further.
Having entered, in things of greatest importance, on a way thoroughly false,
through the weakness of human nature or by the judgment of God, who punishes
pride, they run to extreme errors. Thus the very truths which are known by the
natural light of reason, as the existence of God, the spirituality and
immortality of the soul, have no more consistence and certitude for them.
Masonry breaks on the same
rocks by no different way. It is true, Free-Masons generally admit the
existence of God; but they admit themselves that this persuasion for them is
not firm, sure. They do not dissimulate that in the Masonic family the
question of God is a principle of great discord; it is even known how they
lately had on this point serious disputes. It is a fact that the sect leaves
to the members full liberty of thinking about God whatever they like,
affirming or denying His existence. Those who boldly deny His existence are
admitted as well as those, like the Pantheists, admit God but ruin the idea of
Him, retaining an absurd caricature of the divine nature, destroying its
reality. Now, as soon as this supreme foundation is pulled down and upset,
many natural truths must need go down, too, as the free creations of this
world, the universal government of Providence, immortality of soul, fixture,
and eternal life.
Once having dissipated these
natural principles, important practically and theoretically, it is easy to see
what will become of public and private morality. We will not speak of
supernatural virtues, which, without a special favor and gift of God, no one
can practice nor obtain, and of which it is impossible to find a vestige in
those who proudly ignore the redemption of mankind, heavenly grace, the
sacraments, and eternal happiness. We speak of duties which proceed from
natural honesty. Because the principles and sources of justice and morality
are these, a God, creator and provident ruler of the world, the eternal law
which commands respect and forbids the violation of natural order; the supreme
end of man settled a great deal above created things outside of this world.
These principles once taken away by the Free-Masons as by the naturalists,
immediately natural ethics has no more where to build or to rest. The only
morality which Free-Masons admit, and by which they would like to bring up
youth, is that which they call civil and independent, or the one which ignores
every religious idea. But how poor, uncertain, and variable at every breath of
passion is this morality, is demonstrated by the sorrowful fruits which
partially already appear. Nay, where it has been freely dominating, having
banished Christian education, probity and integrity of manners go down,
horrible and monstrous opinions raise their head, and crimes grow with fearful
audacity. This is deplored by everybody, and by those who are compelled by
evidence and yet would not like to speak so.
Besides, as human nature is
infected by original sin and more inclined to vice than to virtue, it is not
possible to lead an honest life without mortifying the passions and submitting
the appetites to reason. In this fight it is often necessary to despise
created good, and undergo the greatest pains and sacrifices in order to
preserve to conquering reason its own empire. But naturalists and Masons,
rejecting divine revelation, deny original sin, and do not acknowledge that
our free will is weakened and bent to evil. To the contrary, exaggerating the
strength and excellency of nature, and settling in her the principles and
unique rule of justice, they cannot even imagine how, in order to counteract
its motions and moderate its appetites, continuous efforts are needed and the
greatest constancy. This is the reason why we see so many enticements offered
to the passions, journals, and reviews without any shame, theatrical plays
thoroughly dishonest; the liberal arts cultivated according to the principles
of an impudent realism, effeminate and delicate living promoted by the most
refined inventions; in a word, all the enticements apt to seduce or weaken
virtue carefully practiced things highly to blame, yet becoming the theories
of those who take away from man heavenly goods, and put all happiness in
transitory things and bind it to earth.
What we have said may be
confirmed by things of which it is not easy to think or to speak. As these
shrewd and malicious men do not find more servility and docility than in souls
already broken and subdued by the tyranny of the passions, there have been in
the Masonic sect some who openly said and proposed that the multitudes should
be urged by all means and artifice into license, so that they should afterward
become an easy instrument for the most daring enterprise.
For domestic society the
doctrine of almost all naturalists is that marriage is only a civil contract,
and may be lawfully broken by the will of the contracting parties; the State
has power over the matrimonial bond. In the education of the children no
religion must be applied, and when grown up every one will select that which
Now Free-Masons accept these
principles without restriction; and not only do they accept them, but they
endeavor to act so as to bring them into moral and practical life. In many
countries which are professedly Catholic, marriages not celebrated in the
civil form are considered null; elsewhere laws allow divorce. In other places
everything is done in order to have it permitted. So the nature of marriage
will be soon changed and reduced to a temporary union, which can be done and
undone at pleasure.
The sect of the Masons aims
unanimously and steadily also at the possession of the education of children.
They understand that a tender age is easily bent, and that there is no more
useful way of preparing for the State such citizens as they wish. Hence, in
the instruction and education of children, they do not leave to the ministers
of the Church any part either in directing or watching them. In many places
they have gone so far that children's education is all in the hands of laymen:
and from moral teaching every idea is banished of those holy and great duties
which bind together man and God.
The principles of social
science follow. Here naturalists teach that men have all the same rights, and
are perfectly equal in condition; that every man is naturally independent;
that no one has a right to command others; that it is tyranny to keep men
subject to any other authority than that which emanates from themselves. Hence
the people are sovereign; those who rule have no authority but by the
commission and concession of the people; so that they can be deposed, willing
or unwilling, according to the wishes of the people. The origin of all rights
and civil duties is in the people or in the State, which is ruled according to
the new principles of liberty. The State must be godless; no reason why one
religion ought to be preferred to another; all to be held in the same esteem.
Now it is well known that
Free-Masons approve these maxims, and that they wish to see governments shaped
on this pattern and model needs no demonstration. It is a long time, indeed,
that they have worked with all their strength and power openly for this,
making thus an easy way for those, not a few, more audacious and bold in evil,
who meditate the communion and equality of all goods after having swept away
from the world every distinction of social goods and conditions.
From these few hints it is
easy to understand what is the Masonic sect and what it wants. Its tenets
contradict so evidently human reason that nothing can be more perverted. The
desire of destroying the religion and Church established by God, with the
promise of immortal life, to try to revive, after eighteen centuries, the
manners and institutions of paganism, is great foolishness and bold impiety.
No less horrible or unbearable is it to repudiate the gifts granted through
His adversaries. In this foolish and ferocious attempt, one recognizes that
untamed hatred and rage of revenge kindled against Jesus Christ in the heart
The other attempt in which
the Masons work so much, viz., to pull down the foundations of morality, and
become co-operators of those who, like brutes, would see that become lawful
which they like, is nothing but to urge mankind into the most abject and
This evil is aggravated by
the dangers which threaten domestic and civil society. As we have at other
times explained, there is in marriage, through the unanimous consent of
nations and of ages, a sacred and religious character; and by divine law the
conjugal union is indissoluble. Now, if this union is dissolved, if divorce is
juridically permitted, confusion and discord must inevitably enter the
domestic sanctuary, and woman will lose her dignity and the children every
security of their own welfare.
That the State ought to
profess religious indifference and neglect God in ruling society, as if God
did not exist, is a foolishness unknown to the very heathen, who had so deeply
rooted in their mind and in their heart, not only the idea of God, but the
necessity also of public worship, that they supposed it to be easier to find a
city without any foundation than without any God. And really human society,
from which nature has made us, was instituted by God, the author of the same
nature, and from Him emanates, as from its source and principle, all this
everlasting abundance of numberless goods. As, then, the voice of nature tells
us to worship God with religious piety, because we have received from Him life
and the goods which accompany life, so, for the same reasons, people and
States must do the same. Therefore those who want to free society from any
religious duty are not only unjust but unwise and absurd.
Once grant that men through
God's will are born for civil society, and that sovereign power is so strictly
necessary to society that when this fails society necessarily collapses, it
follows that the right of command emanates from the same principle from which
society itself emanates; hence the reason why the minister of God is invested
with such authority. Therefore, so far as it is required from the end and
nature of human society, one must obey lawful authority as we would obey the
authority of God, supreme ruler of the universe; and it is a capital error to
grant to the people full power of shaking off at their own will the yoke of
Considering their common
origin and nature, the supreme end proposed to every one, and the right and
duties emanating from it, men no doubt are all equal. But as it is impossible
to find in them equal capacity, and as through bodily or intellectual strength
one differs from others, and the variety of customs, inclinations, and
personal qualities are so great, it is absurd to pretend to mix and unify all
this and bring in the order of civil life a rigorous and absolute equality. As
the perfect constitution of the human body results from the union and harmony
of different parts, which differ in form and uses, but united and each in his
own place form an organism beautiful, strong, useful, and necessary to life,
so in the State there is an infinite variety of individuals who compose it. If
these all equalized were to live each according to his own whim, it would
result in a city monstrous and ugly; whereas if distinct in harmony, in
degrees of offices, or inclinations, of arts, they co-operate together to the
common good, they will offer the image of a city well harmonized and conformed
The turbulent errors which we
have mentioned must inspire governments with fear; in fact, suppose the fear
of God in life and respect for divine laws to be despised, the authority of
the rulers allowed and authorized would be destroyed, rebellion would be left
free to popular passions, and universal revolution and subversion must
necessarily come. This subversive revolution is the deliberate aim and open
purpose of the numerous communistic and socialistic associations. The Masonic
sect has no reason to call itself foreign to their purpose, because Masons
promote their designs and have with them common capital principles. If the
extreme consequences are not everywhere reached in fact, it is not the merit
of the sect nor owing to the will of the members, but of that divine religion
which cannot be extinguished, and of the most select part of society, which,
refusing to obey secret societies, resists strenuously their immoderate
May Heaven grant that
universally from the fruits we may judge the root, and from impending evil and
threatening dangers we may know the bad seed ! We have to fight a shrewd
enemy, who, cajoling Peoples and Kings, deceives them all with false promises
and fine flattery.
themselves under pretence of friendship into the hearts of Princes, aim to
have them powerful aids and accomplices to overcome Christianity, and in order
to excite them more actively they calumniate the Church as the enemy of royal
privileges and power. Having thus become confident and sure, they get great
influence in the government of States, resolve yet to shake the foundations of
the thrones, and persecute, calumniate, or banish those sovereigns who refuse
to rule as they desire.
By these arts flattering the
people, they deceive them. Proclaiming all the time public prosperity and
liberty; making multitudes believe that the Church is the cause of the
iniquitous servitude and misery in which they are suffering, they deceive
people and urge on the masses craving for new things against both powers. It
is, however, true that the expectation of hoped-for advantages is greater than
the reality; and poor people, more and more oppressed, see in their misery
those comforts vanish which they might easily and abundantly found in
organized Christian society. But the punishment of the proud, who rebel
against the order established by the providence of God, is that they find
oppression and misery exactly where they expected prosperity according to
Now, if the Church commands
us to obey before all God, the Lord of everything, it would be an injurious
calumny to believe her the enemy of the power of Princes and a usurper of
their rights. She wishes, on the contrary, that what is due to civil power may
be given to it conscientiously. To recognize, as she does, the divine right of
command, concedes great dignity to civil power, and contributes to conciliate
the respect and love of subjects. A friend of peace and the mother of concord,
she embraces all with motherly love, intending only to do good to men. she
teaches that justice must be united with clemency, equality with command, law
with moderation, and to respect every tight, maintain order and public
tranquility, relieve as much as possible public and private miseries. "But,"
to use the words of St. Augustine, "they believe, or want to make believe,
that the doctrine of Gospel is not useful to society, because they wish that
the State shall rest not on the solid foundation of virtue, but on impunity of
It would, therefore, be more
according to civil wisdom and more necessary to universal welfare that Princes
and Peoples, instead of joining the Free-Masons against the Church, should
unite with the Church to resist the Free-Masons' attacks.
At all events, in the
presence of such a great evil, already too much spread, it is our duty,
venerable brethren, to find a remedy. And as we know that in the virtue of
divine religion, the more hated by Masons si as it is the more feared, chiefly
consists the best and most solid of efficient remedy, we think that against
the common enemy one must have recourse to this in wholesome strength. We, by
our authority, ratify and confirm all things which the Roman Pontiffs, our
predecessors, have ordered to check the purposes and stop the efforts of the
Masonic sect, and all these which they establish to keep off or withdraw the
faithful from such societies. And here, trusting greatly to the good will of
the faithful, we pray and entreat each of them, as they love of their own
salvation, to make it a duty of conscience not to depart from what has been on
this point prescribed by the Apostolic See.
We entreat and pray you,
venerable brethren, who co-operate with us, to root out this poison, which
spreads widely among the Nations. It is your duty to defend the glory of God
and the salvation of souls. Keeping before your eyes those two ends, you shall
lack neither in courage nor in fortitude. To judge which may be the more
efficacious means to overcome difficulties and obstacles belongs to your
prudence. Yet as we find it agreeable to our ministry to point out some of the
most useful means, the first thing to do is to strip from the Masonic sect its
mask and show it as it is, teaching orally and by pastoral letters the people
about the frauds used by these societies to flatter and entice, the perversity
of its doctrines, and the dishonesty of its works. As our predecessors have
many times declared, those who love the Catholic faith and their salvation
must be sure that they cannot give their names for any reason to the Masonic
sect without sin. Let no one believe a simulated honesty. It may seem to some
that Masons never impose anything openly contrary to faith or to morals, but
as the scope and nature is essentially bad in these sects, it is not allowed
to give one's name to them or to help them in any way.
It is also necessary with
assiduous sermons and exhortations to arouse in the people love and zeal for
religious instruction. We recommend, therefore, that by appropriate
declarations, orally and in writing, the fundamental principles of those
truths may be explained in which Christian wisdom is entertained. It is only
thus that minds can be cured by instruction, and warned against the various
forms of error and vice, and the various enticements especially in this great
freedom of writing and great desire of learning.
It is a laborious work,
indeed, in which you will have associated and companioned your clergy, if
properly trained and taught by your zeal. But such a beautiful and important
cause requires the co- operating industry of those laymen who unite doctrine
and probity with the love of religion and of their country. With the united
strength of these two orders endeavor, dear brethren, that men may know and
love the Church; because the more their love and knowledge of the Church grows
the more they will abhor and fly from secret societies.
Therefore, availing ourselves
of this present occasion, we remind you of the necessity of promoting and
protecting the Third Order of St. Francis, whose rules, with prudent
indulgence, we lately mitigated. According to the spirit of its institution it
intends only to draw men to imitate Jesus Christ, to love the Church, and to
practice all Christian virtues, and therefore it will prove useful to
extinguish the contagion of sects.
May it grow more and more,
this holy congregation, from which, among others, can be expected also this
precious fruit of bringing minds back to liberty, fraternity, and equality;
not those which are the dream of the Masonic sect, but which Jesus Christ
brought into this world and Francis revived. The liberty, we say, of the
children of God which frees from the servitude of Satan and from the passions,
the worst tyrants; the fraternity which emanates from God, the Father and
Creator of all; the equality established on justice and charity, which does
not destroy among men every difference, but which, from variety of life,
offices, and inclinations, makes that accord and harmony which is exacted by
nature for the utility and dignity of civil society.
Thirdly, there is an
institution wisely created by our forefathers, and by lapse of time abandoned,
which in our days can be used as a model and form for something like it. We
mean the colleges or corporations of arts and trades associated under the
guidance of religion to defend interests and manners, which colleges, in long
use and experience, were of great advantage to our fathers, and will be more
and more useful to our age, because they are suited to break the power of the
sects. Poor workingmen, for besides their condition, deserving charity and
relief, they are particularly exposed to the seductions of the fraudulent and
deceives. They must, therefore, be helped with the greatest generosity and
invited to good societies that they may not be dragged into bad ones. For this
reason we would like very much to see everywhere arise, fit for the new times,
under the auspices and patronage of the Bishops, these associations, for the
benefit of the people. It gives us a great pleasure to see them already
established in many places, together with the Catholic patronages; two
institutions which aim to help the honest class of workingmen, and to help and
protect their families, their children, and keep in them, with the integrity
of manners, love of piety and knowledge of religion.
Here we cannot keep silence
concerning the society of St. Vincent de Paul, celebrated for the spectacle
and example offered and so well deserving of the poor. The works and
intentions of that society are well known. It is all for the succor and help
of the suffering and poor, encouraging them with wonderful tact and that
modesty which the less showy the more is fit for the exercise of Christian
charity and the relief of human miseries.
Fourthly, in order more
easily to reach the end, we recommend to your faith and watchfulness the
youth, the hope of civil society. In the good education of the same place a
great part of your care. Never believe you have watched or done enough in
keeping youth from those masters from whom the contagious breath of the sect
is to be feared. Insist that parents and spiritual directors in teaching the
catechism may never cease to admonish appropriately children and pupils of the
wicked nature of these sects, that they may also learn in time the various
fraudulent arts which their propagators use to entice people. Those who
prepare children for first communion will do well if they will persuade them
to promise not to give their names to any society without asking their
parents' or their pastor's or their confessor's advice.
But we understand how our
common labor would not be sufficient to outroot this dangerous seed from the
field of the Lord, if the Heavenly Master of the vineyard is not to this
effect granting to us His generous help. We must, then, implore His powerful
aid with anxious fervor equal to the gravity of the danger and to the
greatness of the need. Inebriated by its prosperous success, Masonry is
insolent, and seems to have no more limits to its pertinacity. Its sectaries
bound by an iniquitious alliance and secret unity of purpose, they go on hand
in hand and encourage each other to dare more and more for evil. Such a strong
assault requires a strong defence. We mean that all the good must unite in a
great society of action and prayers. We ask, therefore, from them two things:
On one hand, that, unanimously and in thick ranks, they resist immovably the
growing impetus of the sects; on the other, that, raising their hands with
many sighs to God, they implore that Christianity may grow vigorous; that the
Church may recover her necessary liberty; that wanderers may come again to
salvation; that errors give place to truth and vice to virtue.
Let us invoke for this
purpose the mediation of Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, that against the
impious sects in which one sees clearly revived the contumacious pride, the
untamed perfidy, the simulating shrewdness of Satan, she may show her power,
she who triumphed over him since the first conception.
Let us pray also St. Michael,
the prince of the angelic army, conqueror of the infernal enemy; St. Joseph,
spouse of the most Saintly Virgin, heavenly and wholesome patron of the
Catholic Church; the great Apostles Peter and Paul, propagators and defenders
of the Christian faith. Through their patronage and the perseverance of common
prayers let us hope that God will condescend to piously help human society
threatened by so many dangers.
As a pledge of heavenly
graces and of our benevolence, we impart with great affection to you,
venerable brethren, to the clergy and people trusted to your care, the
Given at Rome, near St.
Peter, the 20th of April, 1884, the seventh year of our pontificate.
LEO, PP. XIII.
THE YOUNGER BROTHER
BY BRO. GERALD NANCARROW,
If we have some younger
Who is learning his new part,
Let us, as we prompt and
Teach him also from the
As he learns his new found
Let us teach to him the art.
Let us aid him in the shaping
And the smoothing of his
Let us spread the binder
And thus add a firmer mortar
To our structure; Make him
By the knowledge we unlock.
Show him more than words and
More than empty form and
Let him see the wealth of
In the lessons which we tell;
Help him move toward strength
And to meet his trials well.
AN OLD MASONIC HEADSTONE
BY BRO. CLARENCE E.
THIS quaint symbolic
gravestone of Brother Calvin Austin is located in the old graveyard on the
banks of the Mahoning River, within the city of Warren, Trumbull County, Ohio,
a part of the old land grant known as Western Reserve, a Connecticut school
grant. Many of the pioneers came from that State.
When Brother Austin came to
this section is not definitely known, but he was one of twenty-two petitioners
to the Grand Lodge of Connecticut, in the early part of the year 1803, for a
charter which was granted October 19, 1803.
Samuel Tylee, another
petitioner, was sent to Connecticut after the charter. He was appointed Deputy
Grand Master and directed to dedicate the lodge and install the officers.
These ceremonies took place March 15th, 1804, the following officers being
Master - Tuckland Kirtland.
Senior Warden - John Leavitt.
Junior Warden - William Rayen.
Treasurer - Calvin Austin.
Senior Deacon - Aaron
Junior Deacon - John
Stewards - Charles Dutton and
Tyler - Ezekiel Hover.
The lodge was chartered as
Erie Lodge No. 47, A. F. & A. M., and worked under that charter until 1814
when it was chartered as Erie Lodge No. 3, Marietta, Ohio, and Cincinnati,
Ohio, antedating it. This lodge is still working and known as Old Erie No. 3.
The gravestone is remarkably
well preserved, being quite smooth and of fine grain. The graven symbols are
finely cut, though shallow. The inscription on the stone reads:
Calvin Austin Esqr
Formerly of Suffield
Conn. Died Oct. 2, 1819
in the 57th year of his
C. Ferris. Engraver.
FREEMASONRY AND EDUCATION
BY BRO. JOSEPH BARNETT,
THE TRAINING of the
intelligence, the development of the ability to think and reason, is
Education. This factor, whether evolved in the schools or in the active
pursuits of commercial life, produced and sustains civilization; and
Freemasonry teaches that its direction is not only toward progress, but is
In ancient times, Science was
considered of Divine origin, and Art was held in singular esteem. Both were
taught by the priesthood; for the Temple included the School. In the most
ancient civilization with which we are familiar, men who had made some
progress in the arts and sciences were deemed worthy to be initiated into an
order of the priesthood of Egypt. In Greece, with which we are still more
familiar, the temple Mysteries included both science and religion; and
Divinity was symbolized by one of the sciences, Geometry. From the beginning,
knowledge dependent on the reasoning powers was associated with Omniscience.
Freemasonry asserts "the
importance of the study of the liberal arts and sciences." It impresses on men
the duty of applying them; the teaching is that "rational and intelligent
beings should ever be industrious ones." From their study comes understanding,
and from their application is developed skill. Reason is honored for its
guidance, and labor for its productiveness; in both we recognize the
intelligence that tends toward progress. Freemasonry admits no illiterates.
Every initiate must be able to read and write. Lack of this ability offers
evidence that the candidate is lacking in those basic qualities that go to the
making of Masons. Masonry holds all such unfit, because Masons are men who
have a "desire for knowledge"; and he who in this land has not learned to read
and write he who in this land has not learned to read and write has evinced no
such desire. It teaches that education, the development of the reasoning
powers, is the plain duty of every man; and it could offer no objection if our
government should make illiteracy a bar to citizenship.
Since the earliest
priesthoods were the first teachers, it might have been expected that modern
priesthoods would have been their natural heirs in all that tends toward
progress, and that they, too, would have been the intellectual leaders and
benefactors of mankind, especially since they have borrowed and adapted so
much from ancient priestcraft. But for two thousand years, ecclesiastics have
affected to despise the reasoning powers that developed civilization, and have
urged in place of them faith and obedience. Modern priestcraft has notoriously
opposed every advance in the natural sciences; its attitude recently toward
the theory of evolution is its attitude three hundred years ago toward the
theory of the rotation of the earth. Ancient priestcraft, as culminating in
the Mysteries, sought after knowledge of the natural world, and expressed the
forces of nature in terms of Divine beings. Astronomy, Geometry, and other
sciences, grew out of their "survey of nature." And with the book of nature as
their only revelation they found God. The forces of nature were His symbols,
and in them was seen the manifestation of His purposes toward man. Freemasonry
has kept the spirit that finds God in nature as in the written word, the
spirit that investigates the mystery of leaf and bud and blossom and fruitage,
and the return of springtime and harvest, and encourages men to contemplate
and understand "the glorious works of the creation." Our Fraternity has never
taught that all knowledge is equally important; but it does teach that the
useful application of all knowledge is equally to be admired and encouraged.
During the Dark Ages, when
priestcraft was cunningly building up a sinister power based on the negation
of human reason, there was some learning and a little art in the monasteries,
and here and there individuals were groping after the light of science.
Masonry had some teaching peculiar to itself; and recognizing in the monks a
respect for knowledge and an aspiration to usefulness similar to their own,
Masons for several centuries held their meetings in the monasteries. When the
monkish orders were robbed and dissolved, Masons suffered with them, and were
held in suspicion by both king and priest as possible sources of plots and
heresies. Statecraft for the most part abandoned this attitude long since, but
priestcraft has maintained it. Hierarchies never willingly tolerate anything
that cannot be made subservient to their interests.
King and Pope have both
claimed absolute power. They agreed, as autocrats have always agreed, that
much thinking was not good for the masses, and should be confined to the
classes; otherwise there would be constant discontent. They failed, or
pretended to fail, to realize that progress can only be attained when people
begin to think for themselves, and that progress can never he achieved by that
contentment that lets others do our thinking for us. Freemasonry states
explicitly that in youth "we ought industrially to occupy our minds in the
attainment of useful knowledge," and that in manhood "we should apply our
knowledge to the discharge of our respective duties." Both royalty and
hierarchy have claimed Divine Right; they have asserted their superiority to
other men. Freemasonry teaches that all men alike are sons of God, and that as
such all have equal claims. It allows no distinction among men on account of
the accidents of birth or fortune, or because of any boast of special
commission or mediumship between God and man; the teaching is not that all men
are equal in usefulness, but that all men have equal rights both human and
Divine. It teaches that the Divine Right of all men is associated with the
immortal soul of man, and that the manifestation of the living soul is the
intelligence developed by education, whether the education is of the schools
or of the trades. Freemasonry offers no lure to the faithful, presents no
cunning inducement, makes no promises, but in their place asks service
intended to develop "those talents wherewith God has blessed us," and points
out that these qualities are in origin Divine. In particular, Freemasonry
teaches that no man should be content with ignorance. It states emphatically
that "he who will not be endeavouring to add to the common stock of knowledge
and understanding . . . is a useless member of society."
As the church has its
ecclesiastical classics, so the Greek and Latin literatures are the classics
of the schools. Up to a couple of generations ago, it was the particular
ambition of college students to be able to read the classics in the original
tongues, and a great deal of their effort was to that end. Translating the
classics is now being given over more and more to specialists, and training
the student intellect is accomplished more and more by the sciences. This is
the method that Masonry has always urged; not that erudition is slighted, but
that science is more useful Learning by observation and experience is
important Learning by instruction and information is important But both of
these sources of knowledge are limited by opportunity. The knowledge we gain
by reasoning out the problems of life is not limited by opportunity; the more
we think for ourselves, the more we are able to think for ourselves. Other
knowledge increases be arithmetical progression, by addition. This knowledge
increases by geometrical progression, by multiplication It depends neither on
the senses nor the emotions, but on the intelligence. Its processes are called
education and it is what Masonry has always esteemed and encouraged.
The beginning of education,
the foundation of useful citizenship, is the Public School. It is the outcome
of the same influences that developed Freemasonry the desire for knowledge
that can be made useful. And the same agencies that with puerile anathemas
assail Freemasonry, also, by slyer methods, attack the Public School. So
notoriously has priestcraft, even when exercising autocratic power, never
attempted to establish a general educational system, that in countries where
the priesthood have maintained direct political influence, the people are the
most ignorant and backward among civilized nations. And in every country where
the people have established the Public School, priestcraft has constantly
endeavoured to obtain autocratic influence in the schools, so as to exploit
them for its own purposes. In this country, the mischievous, foreign-born
thing is called "The Parochial School"; its intent is to train children to
become sectarian partisans, instead of intelligent citizens. Freemasonry
teaches religious tolerance, and opposes priestly meddling. It is an
institution pledged to uphold the State; and it is particularly interested in
the schools which the State has established for the development of
intelligence in the young that makes for better citizenship.
Civilization tends to
specialization. It is the particular province of the church to consider the
relationship of man to God, of the schools to prepare youth for better
citizenship, of the arts to secure more material productiveness. Freemasonry
in its teachings associates all these interests together. It asserts that a
combination of all these factors makes the complete man; that every man should
be religious, intelligent and industrious. The priest, the pedagogue, the
laborer, are all too apt to magnify their own particular interests, too prone
to see life only from narrow viewpoints. Freemasonry's survey of life has ever
been broader; it asserts that, whatever his occupation, it is the development
of all his faculties that makes man capable f reaching, and shows that he is
worthy of reaching, ;hat high destiny which has been the hope and aspiration
of mankind through all the ages.
WITHIN THE SANCTUARY
BY BRO. N. W. J. HAYDON,
The shadows deepen round thy
The candles' golden plumes
grow tall and still,
The censer's fragrant echoes
fill thine aisles,
And clouds of prayer contrast
life's noisy mill.
Hither I turn my weary steps
One seat, familiar, holds a
Here I can kneel and, to our
With silent words and daily
The silent twilight grows
The sanctuary lamp swings
Without, the hurrying steps
of man and beast
Make dearer still this peace
wherein I'm led.
Unwilling, I must leave this
Far up there clangs a loud
Calm and austere beside me
"Resume thy life, my son,
with thee shall all be well."
Thanks be to God for thee, oh
Whose tinted windows veil the
From Him the thoughts
embodied in thy walls,
By Him thy pillars stand, thy
His, too, the stones that
rear thee heavenward,
His skill that planned thy
Praise be to Him who doeth
all things well,
Who maketh us His craftsmen
fit to be.
BY BRO C. A. SNODGRASS
In the beginning was the
Word. and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. - John 1:1.
I sought to learn the
And in life's cornerstone I
Those treasured archives of
In Faith and Hope and Love
I chose the solid rock of
To build upon, lest I should
And on the trestleboard of
I traced a man's
Upon this rock I saw,
The shafts of Wisdom and of
To guide me o'er life's
And guided thus, I stood, at
Where man may view in
The rude unfinished stones
Where he has striven to erect
A model of life's Masonry.
And though the broken ashlars
Betrayed a youthful,
Unused to gavel, plumb or
Or knowledge of the Artís
I, to the paths of knowledge
To learn anew life's
And meekly felt that I had
The wages of a Fellow Craft.
I sought the Masterís
And there discerned a
And vowed, henceforth, that I
In firmer faith with God and
And from the quarry-beds of
I fashioned each imposing
That I had pictured in my
Or modeled as a Fellow Craft.
But though I wrought with
And Master's knowledge of the
'Twas but the handiwork of
And of the man the
My choicest plans were set at
I saw my columns turned to
And found that ere the last
The first had fallen in
But lo! within the rubbish
Where the Omnific Word was
I found at last the Jewel
The missing stone I needed
That glorious Gift of God to
The Keystone of immortal
Whose loss had blighted every
And left me Master but in
O mortal man! if thou wouldst
A Master of the Builder's
First bow thyself at
And welcome Christ within thy
His wisdom molds each Master
His love inspires the Master
And only by His grace is
The Masonry of humankind.
His cross should be thy
His life indeed for thine was
Thy life in His should be
By God's own plan, most
He is the one "Great Light"
Whose wisdom, grace and love
Immortal strength to thee and
And crowns the Holy Roval
THE LEGENDARY ORIGIN OF
BY BRO. DUDLEY WRIGHT,
ASSISTANT EDITOR "THE FREEMASON," LONDON, ENGLAND
MANY writers assert that the
Craft is as old as, if not, indeed, older than Adam, some stating even that he
was the first Grand Master of the Craft. The Rev. Dr. Dodd, in his famous
Oration on Freemasonry, refers to the origin of the Craft in the following
"Though it might owe to the
wise and glorious King of Israel some of its many mystic forms and
hieroglyphic ceremonies, yet certainly the Art itself is coeval with Creation,
when the Sovereign Architect raised on Masonic principles this beauteous
globe; and commanded that master science Geometry to lay the rule to the
planetary world, and to regulate by its laws the whole stupendous system in
just, unerring proportion, rolling round the ventral sun."
One Masonic tradition states
that on the occasion of the transgression of our first parents a certain sign
or token was used, which has peen perpetuated in Royal Arch Masonry. This sign
was used by Moses when he came down from the mount. It was again brought into
requisition at the building of the second Temple; and when Alexander the
Great, with his victorious legions. approached the city of Jerusalem in order
to destroy it. he was met by the High Priest in his pontifical robes.
accompanied by the priests and Levites in solemn procession, who saluted him
with this significant sign. It is an historical fact that Alexander was so
much struck with the sight of this procession that he did homage to God's
viceregent; and it is said, on more questionable authority, that his reverence
proceeded from the mutual recognition of the Masonic Brotherhood.
Another Masonic tradition
asserts that it was the Sacred Word which expelled our erring first parents
from Paradise, which was uttered again at the universal deluge, and on several
occasions manifested itself to the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and
also to Moses at the burning bush; after which it assumed a material and
permanent form and dwelt in the cloudy pillar as the image of the glory of
God. This appearance, it is asserted, was no other than the Tetragrammaton,
which is commemorated in many of the higher degrees of Freemasonry. This is
the word which conversed with Adam in Paradise, and is referred to in Genesis
iii, 8: "And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the
cool of the day."
Dalcho suggests that the Word
is to be found in no language that ever was used. "It is," he says, "not a
word, but merely a jumble of letters, forming a sound without meaning." The
time and circumstances attending the loss of the Word are thus stated in one
of the degrees:
"The moment when the veil of
the Temple was rent: when darkness and consternation covered the earth; when
the stars disappeared and the lamp of day was darkened; when the implements of
Masonry were lost and the cubical stone sweated blood and water: that was the
moment when the great Masonic Word was lost."
Freemasonry contains a legend
of a cubical stone which was inscribed with a mystical diagram that
represented the Sacred Name and was possessed of many virtues. It informs us
that this stone was in the possession of Adam in Paradise, that he held it in
the highest estimation, because it bore the sacred characters, and reminded
him of that sublime and holy Being, who had been his friend, his companion,
and his guide in that delightful place. On this stone he made his offerings to
God, when the divine promise of a mediator who should bruise the head of the
reptile which had caused his defection from innocence, was formally revealed
to him that he might not entirely sink under the oppression and misery in
which a sense of deserving God's displeasure had involved him. On the same
holy altar he offered a sacrifice of praise of thanksgiving at the birth of
The Babel incident is
embodied in a degree known as the Noachites, or Prussian Cavaliers, of which
the following is the legend:
"The descendants of Noah,
notwithstanding that God had appointed the rainbow as a token of the covenant
that He would not again destroy the earth by a universal deluge, resolved to
erect an edifice, which, by its height, should place them beyond the reach of
divine vengeance. For this purpose they assembled together in the extended
plane of Shinar. They laid the foundation and carried on the building for ten
years; at which time, God seeing their pride, determined to interfere. He
confounded their language, and by that simple process, put an end to their
design. Hence the tower was called Babel, which signifies confusion. Some time
after this, Nimrod began to establish degrees of rank amongst his subjects
which had not existed before. He built the city of Babylon and arrogated to
himself the honours of divine worship. It was on the night of the full moon,
in the month of March, that God confounded their language. And, therefore, the
Noachites held their great meeting on that particular night; and their common
monthly meetings were only held when the moon was at full, and they used no
other light in their lodges. After the language was confounded, and the people
obliged to separate, each tribe pursued its own course. Peleg, who suggested
the plan of this tower, and had been the Great Architect during its
construction, being struck with the force of conscience, condemned himself to
a most rigorous penance. He migrated with his followers to the north of
Germany, after having suffered great miseries and encountered great dangers in
passing the mountains and plains on his way thither In that part of the
country which is Slow. called Prussia he took up his residence. Here he built
a triangular temple, where he enclosed himself, that he might be at leisure to
worship God and implore Him to pardon His transgression. In the course of
excavation in the salt mines of Prussia, A. D. 553, there was discovered, at
the depth of fifteen cubits, the foundations of a triangular edifice, in the
center of which was a small pillar of marble, on which the above history was
inscribed in Hebrew characters. A tomb was also found in which an agate stone
was encrusted, containing these words: 'Here were deposited the ashes of the
Great Architect of the Tower of Babel. God showed him mercy because he humbled
himself.' " These relics are said to be still in the royal archives at Berlin.
There is a Masonic tradition
descending from time immemorial involving certain facts unknown to the world,
that the sacred ark, together with the Book of the Law, was removed from the
most holy place, under Masonic direction, and so deposited as to escape that
overwhelming destruction which swept away the whole land of Judaea. From this
tradition we learn where, and under what circumstances the Book of the Law was
Masonic tradition claims that
the pure science of Masonry was practiced by Daniel and his associates in
opposition to the spurious system, which was celebrated in the old tower of
Belus, the lower apartments of which were used for the purpose of initiation.
Their steady adherence to the practice of primitive Freemasonry drew down upon
them the vengeance of the priests and princes of Babylon, and brought upon the
three principal brethren the punishment of fire, and upon Daniel that of being
sentenced to be torn in pieces by wild beasts.
From his knowledge of
Geometry, Euclid is supposed to have been enabled to restore to Masonry its
ancient systematic usages and customs, as well as to regulate the affairs of
Egyptian agriculture, and he became a general benefactor, "giving," says an
old record of the Craft, "to his system the name of Geometry, which is now
called Masonry." According to Masonic legend, Euclid was Senior Grand Warden
to Grand Master Ptolemy Soter, who founded at Alexandria a museum or college
of learned men, for the improving of philosophy and all other knowledge.
The famous Charter of Colne
"Our Brotherhood had its
origin in those times when a few of the initiated, filled with a desire of
true knowledge and a correct interpretation of the Mysteries of Christianity
separated themselves from the various sects who professed the Christian
religion; for in those times a few wise and enlightened men perceiving that
certain heathenish ceremonies had been introduced into Christianity, which
would destroy the principle of brotherly love, united themselves with an oath,
to preserve and maintain, in its original purity, the Christian religion, with
its benign influence on the hearts and consciences of mankind; to bring the
true light out of darkness, and to labour together in combatting ignorance,
intolerance, and superstition, and to establish peace and happiness amongst
mankind, by teaching and enforcing every human virtue. Thus the Masters of our
Order took the names of Initiated Brethren of St. John, following the
footsteps and imitating the conduct of St. John the Baptist, the forerunner of
the Light and the first martyr of the enlightened. The teachers and writers,
according to the customs of the times, were called Masters, and chosen from
the experienced and learned of their disciples, or fellow labourers, from
whence we derive the name of Fellow-Craft; while the remainder of the
Brotherhood, according to the custom of the Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans, were
TRANSPORTATION IN PALESTINE
Crossing the Dead Sea proved no easy task in a land where
commerce is at a standstill and transportation facilities are virtually nil. A
Red Crops engineer who
returned from Palestine tells how it was done.
"It was necessary to carry a boat from Jaffa, on
the seacoast, to Jerusalem in order to cross the Dead Sea to Jericho to get
grain to take back to Jaffa. This journey of something more than one hundred
and twenty miles was over an almost impassable terrain, some of it lowland,
hundreds of feet below sea level, and much of it rugged, mountainous country.
The Dead Sea itself is one thousand feet below sea level.
"This is typical of transport difficulties all
THE STEPPING STONE
BY BRO. L. B. MITCHELL,
There was built for man a home and to it a
By the nature forces true in the work, below,
For in coming he would know every human joy and
So the stepping stone was made of the pearl of
'Twas the granite tried and proved as the mighty
To the time and fire test that in ages was to
It was nature in her plan
ending in a world for man
That should mean, as such to
him, all that makes a home a home.
For this consciousness the world was with beauty
For its every real need there was rich provision
But with all its golden store it were mockery the
Worthless as such if not on love's redeeming altar
And the anchorage that holds all that
Is the power that moves the world in its sway by
Without it the race would be without e'en a
Not a flower would bloom to it and no star glint
And because this stepping stone to all that makes
earth a home
Is the royal way to all that with it to man is
There could be no other plan,
for the attributes of man
Would be worthless save as love qualifies for home
BY FINLEY PAUL CURTIS, JR.
A soft blanket of snow, vast
and crystal white
Under the cold limpid
radiance of pale Luna
O'er the earth sprawls like a
It is the absence of all
color: perfect white.
I look forth from the window,
and my tongue,
Manned by a Power invisible,
unconsciously and irresistably
Utters: "It is the Supreme.
It is God!"
Wonderment and thoughts
unutterable absorb me.
A lump of coal in the grate bursts into a thousand
Hissing and crackling as if in the agony of death.
Then from the window, aroused from my abstraction,
Fire-flames lept upward from the white-hot ashbed
Like long, blood-red, avid
Again my lips fashioned these
"Why! The Unseen is here,
too. God is everywhere
* * * * * *
Then I understood the
ineffable peace which enveloped my soul:
I was not afraid.
Before my soul was a cork
bouncing on the sea of life:
But now it was an immovable
BULLETIN No. 32
DEVOTED TO ORGANIZED MASONIC
Edited by Bro. H. L. Haywood
THE BULLETIN COURSE OF
MASONIC STUDY FOR MONTHLY LODGE MEETINGS AND
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 papers by Brother Haywood.
The Course is divided into
five principal divisions which are in turn subdivided, as is shown below:
Division I. Ceremonial
A. The Work of the Lodge.
B. The Lodge and the
C. First Steps.
D. Second Steps.
E. Third Steps.
Division II. Symbolical
B. Working Tools.
Division III. Philosophical
D. Religious Aspect.
E. The Quest.
G. The Secret Doctrine.
Division IV. Legislative
A. The Grand Lodge.
1. Ancient Constitutions.
2. Codes of Law.
3. Grand Lodge Practices.
4. Relationship to
5. Official Duties and
B. The Constituent Lodge.
2. Qualifications of
3. Initiation, Passing and
5. Change of Membership.
Division V. Historical
A. The Mysteries--Earliest
B. Studies of Rites--Masonry
in the Making.
C. Contributions to Lodge
D. National Masonry.
E. Parallel Peculiarities in
F. Feminine Masonry.
G. Masonic Alphabets.
H. Historical Manuscripts of
I. Biographical Masonry.
Masonry--Study of Significant Words.
THE MONTHLY INSTALLMENTS
Each month we are presenting
a paper written by Brother Haywood, 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 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
Haywood 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 Haywood'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 Haywood's
PROGRAM FOR STUDY MEETINGS
1. Reading of the first
section of Brother Haywood'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 Haywood'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 WINDING
I To what extent is the
origin of the symbolism of the Winding Stairs generally known ? Is it
essential that we discover the exact facts in order to intelligently pursue
our present study ?
Have there ever been advanced
Satisfactory answers concerning the Source of the symbolism ? To what extent
should discussion of the origin be considered of value?
Do you agree with the
contention of early scholars that there was actually a winding stair of three,
five and seven steps in Solomon's Temple? What can you offer in support of
such contention ? Could the semi-circular stairway at the Gate Nieanor where
the Levites chanted the "Psalms of Degrees" have been taken as the prototype
of our winding stairs? What is your opinion concerning this theory, What does
Sir Charles Warren say concerning the Staircase?
What is the "Theological
Ladder" ? When and by whom was it introduced into the ritual? What was the
symbolism of the "Theological Ladder" ? Have we anything similar to it in our
ritual of the present day ? What does Brother Haywood say about this
II What is the theory of the
Operative origin of the symbolism? Can this theory be depended upon? If not,
Since the origin of the
Winding Stair symbolism cannot be accurately traced, how should we view the
use of the stairs in our work?
III What does the use of the
mystical numbers suggest to you ? Of what is the Winding Stair as a whole a
What is Pike's theory
concerning the number "15"? What would happen should our present Symbolic
arrangement of the Winding Stairs be changed ? Would a change be of any
Is the use of numbers in
symbolism of modern origin ? Can you give a reason for even numbers being used
to denote earthly or human things and odd numbers to suggest divine or
heavenly truths? Has this always been the ease? What was "the number of the
beast" and its interpretation? How were ancient temples usually approached ?
Why should we feel gratified that the symbolism of odd numbers is retained in
What is the "triad" or
"ternary" ? How was it considered by philosophers?
How does Brother Haywood
explain the number "5"?
Of what is the number "7" the
symbol? How was knowledge divided in medieval times ? What does Gould say
about the seven sciences?
How can our ritual be made to
be of assistance to us in our everyday life ?
What is our most familiar
explanation of the "three steps" ? How does Masonry help the individual ?
Should a Mason feel that he is being left apart and alone in his endeavors to
improve his physical and spiritual condition ?
What great lesson is revealed
to us in the five steps?
How is the group of seven
steps interpreted? Is this teaching a necessity ? Does Masonry approve
ignorance ? Is the expression "I have no time to read or study" one of yours ?
How did Burritt, Franklin, Livingstone and others secure their education? What
grows out of ignorance?
V Do you believe that the
human race is still progressing ? What must we avoid in measuring progress ?
In what manner alone can the human race progress ? What are your answers to
Brother Haywood's closing questions?
Vol. II. The Winding
Stairway, p. 239.
Vol. IV. Symbolism of the
Three Degrees, p. 266.
Legend of the Winding Stairs,
p. 850; Middle Chamber, p. 483; Winding Stairs, p. 850.
Mackey's Symbolism of
Legend of the Winding Stairs,
pp 210, 217, 218, 219, 225.
Ars Quatuor Coronatorum:
Vol. I, pp. 42, 57; vol. IV,
p. 88; vol. XXIX, pp. 262, 299.
SECOND STEPS BY BRO. H.L.
PART VII THE WINDING STAIRS
I THE THREE, Five and Seven
Steps have long been a puzzle to the candidate and a problem to the Masonic
scholar; in the present connection there is no need that we go into the
erudite debates that have circled about the matter, for our main concern is
with that living and practical truth of which the stairs are a symbol.
Whence came this symbolism?
To that question many answers have been offered, some ingenious but none very
convincing. Any discussion of origin is valuable only as it throws light on
the symbol itself.
Some scholars have contended,
though not in recent years, that there was a winding stair of three, five and
seven steps in Solomon's temple itself. It is thought that at the Gate Nicanor
there was a semicircular stairway leading from one court to another, and that
it was on the successive steps of this stair that the Levites chanted the
fifteen "Psalms of Degrees," specimens of which remain in the Book of Psalms.
But the archaeologists who have learned most about the Temple as it actually
existed, are generally agreed that this stairway could not have been the
prototype of the three, five and seven steps as we find them in our Second
degree. Sir Charles Warren, as eminent in archeology as he was in Masonry,
writes that "there was a winding staircase, certainly, but this led to little
cells or chambers a few feet square in the thickness of the Temple walls, in
which the functionaries (Temple attendants) kept their stores for the votive
offerings." (A. Q. C. vol. 1, p. 42)
Other scholars have opined
that the steps were originally the same as the Theological Ladder, and had the
same historical origin. This Theological Ladder, which appears on our Tracing
Board, and represents by its seven rungs the three theological virtues of
Faith, Hope and Charity, and the four cardinal virtues of Temperance,
Fortitude, Prudence and Justice, was introduced into the ritual, it is
thought, by Martin Clare, in 1732. This ladder was made to stand for the
progress of the soul from the earthly to the heavenly and it was looked upon
as a Masonic type of a similar symbol used in several of the Ancient
Mysteries, (especially in Mithraism) in Brahminism, etc., and it was generally
held to be, in its strictly Masonic form, a suggestion of that ladder which
Jacob saw in his vision, up and down which the angels came and went. Inasmuch
as this Theological Ladder symbolized progress, just as does the Winding
Stair, some argued that the latter symbol must have come from the same sources
as the former. This interpretation of the matter may be plausible enough, and
it may help toward an interpretation of both symbols, but it suffers from an
almost utter lack of tangible evidence.
II Other scholars of more
modern views believe that the symbol may have been devised by Operative Masons
during the Saxon period in England. It seems that the numbers three, five and
seven were in the air, so to speak, at that time, as is proved by Gould, who
gives examples to show that these numbers were grouped together in laws,
religious doctrines, superstitions, etc., "with startling frequency,"
especially during the years 449-1066. But this latter date, it will be seen,
is some two centuries earlier than our oldest Masonic record, consequently
there can be no hope of tracing the Winding Stair symbol to that time with any
degree of accuracy.
Thus it is that we are thrown
back upon conjecture; accepting that alternative we may believe that the
stairway was first used simply because it was a necessary part of the symbolic
temple of the Second degree. Here were the pillars standing at the entrance on
the porch; yonder was the Middle Chamber, on a higher level; some means of
ascent was obviously needed to wet the candidate from one to another.
III But the difficulties in
the way of accounting for the origin of the symbol need not perplex us in
searching for an interpretation, for that is plain; the mystical use of
numbers in the ascent suggests to us that the climb itself is a divine task,
worthy of the noblest in man; the stair is as a whole a symbol of the progress
of a man from the low level of natural ignorance toward that high level of
spiritual power and insight symbolized by the Middle Chamber.
The number Fifteen itself can
not have much mystical significance because it is another one of those dreaded
"American innovations" which have given so much scandal to certain
interpreters. In some eighteenth century tracing boards the stair is composed
of only five steps, in others of seven. Preston divided them into 1, 3, 5, 7,
9 and 11, making 36 in all. The Hemming lectures, which replaced Preston's at
the time of the Union, struck out the group of 11 steps, thus reducing the
number to 25. The American ritual, in turn, further reduced the number to 15
by striking out the 1 and the 9. Albert Pike was of the opinion that the 9
should have been retained because he believed that the series 3, 5, 7 and 9
had a very ancient and very precious meaning. "As long ago as the time of
Zarathustra," he writes, "the Irano-Aryan Soldier and King of Bactria, 5,000
years or snore before our era, (this date is most certainly wrong. H. L. H.)
the Barecura, or bundle of twigs used in the sacrifices, were bound by 3, 5, 7
and 9 twigs, and even then the number 7 had a peculiar significance." I
consider it a fine thing that the architects of the House of The Temple at
Washington, which is a monument to Albert Pike quite as much as it is the
headquarters of the Scottish Rite of the Southern Jurisdiction, have divided
the steps that lead from the street to the entrance of that noble building
into groups of 3, 5, 7 and 9. But while it may possibly be true that the
original symbolism should have contained the group of 9, the Winding Stair as
it now exists in the Second degree can never be changed; to do so would
dislocate the entire structure of the ritualism of the Second degree and it is
doubtful if the additional group would give us any additional meanings.
From ancient times numbers
have been much employed in symbolism as is proved by the records of all the
ancient nations, philosophies, and religions. For one reason or another, too
complicated to explain here, the even numbers were usually made to denote
earthly or human things while the odd numbers were revered as expressions or
suggestions of divine or heavenly truths. This was not always the case for the
early Christians used 888 as the number of Jesus; but even they made 666 to
stand for the human or demonic and 777 to mean absolute perfection. It is now
believed that the "number of the beast" spoken of in the Book of Revelation,
and given as 666 in our Authorized version was really 616, which was the
numerical value of the words "Kaiser Theos," or "God Caesar," and referred to
the worship of the emperor. At any rate, with few exceptions, number symbolism
has always made the odd number to suggest that which is divine or very noble
and as such we may understand the use of the odd numbers, 3, 5 and 7. An old
Roman historian of architecture notes that ancient temples were nearly always
approached by an odd number of steps because they led to the divine precincts;
we may rejoice that the builders of our symbolic temple have also retained
this symbolism because it is certain that there is nothing more divine
accessible to human feet than that which is pictured for us in the Middle
The Three, or triad, or
ternery, is found scores of times throughout the ritual, and it is bodied
forth in the triangle, the symbol of Deity. It would be impossible in the
present space even to hint at the wealth of instances in which the triad
occurs in the various symbolic systems of the past; we must satisfy ourselves
with the following paragraph from Pierson's "Traditions of Freemasonry":
"The ternary is the first of
unequal numbers. The triad, mysterious number, which plays so great a part in
the traditions of Asia, the philosophy of Plato, the mysteries of all ages, an
image of the Supreme Being, includes in itself the properties of the two first
numbers. (that is, 1 plus 2, equals 3. H. L. H.) It was to philosophers the
most excellent and favorite number, a mysterious type, revered by all
antiquity and consecrated in the mysteries; wherefore there are but three
essential degrees among Masons, rho venerate in the triangle the most august
mystery that of the Sacred Triad, object of their homage and study."
Of the number 5 it is more
difficult to speak. If we combine the first even number, 2, and the first odd,
3, we have 5; if 2 represents the human, and 3 the divine, 5 would naturally
suggest a union of the two. It may also be that 5 won an early recognition
through being the number of the senses, even as our Monitor suggests.
The number 7 usually stands
for perfection, and it may not be without meaning that in the V. S. L. it
occurs, as one writer has said, "an incredible number of times." During the
medieval periods knowledge was usually divided among seven branches of
learning; first was a group of three, called the trivium, and composed of
grammar, rhetoric, and logic; secondly was the quadrivium, which comprised
arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy. It is interesting to observe how
our Monitorial interpretation of the third group of steps preserves this old
idea. Gould says that during the same period these seven "sciences" were
thought of as "a number of steps leading to virtue, and finally to heaven."
IV By this time you are
probably beginning to ask yourself, What has all this to do with Masonry? What
is there in this that I can use in my every day life? I hope you really have
been asking this question; if more Masons would always seek for the vital
contact between Masonry and the practical affairs and problems of existence,
the ritual would cease being the academic plaything which it too often is; and
I believe that in every symbol of the work, even as in the present case, there
is that which can be put into immediate use, with the greatest benefit to the
user; and furthermore I believe that one need not stretch his imagination or
twist the ritual in order to do this.
Let us glance first at the
group of three steps. The most familiar explanation of this is that these
represent the three degrees or the three principal officers of the lodge. In
either case the first three steps suggest to the candidate that he is being
helped on his way by an organized-fraternity, represented by the degrees or
the officers, whichever it may be. Does not that have much to tell us? Is not
this one of the prime functions of Masonry? Instead of leaving the individual
to climb on alone it surrounds him with its inspiration and its help just as
the organized school stands back of the child that begins the ascent to an
education. No individual Mason need fail in his attempt to lead the divine,
the kingly, life; a world-wide brotherhood, with its almost inexhaustible
resources, is at hand to help him. Have you ever kept that in mind during dark
days ? No Mason climbs alone, even from the start; the entire Order, sensitive
to his needs, and responsive to his call, is ever ready to help him on and up.
If we glance at the next
group of five steps we find another teaching, equally valuable and quite as
practicable, a teaching that takes my breath away by its very boldness
whenever I think of it. Let us agree with the Monitor, that this group of
steps now represents to us (whatever it may have originally meant) the five
senses; in other words, our physical body with its organs, functions and
faculties. What does this mean ? Is it not this, that the very body itself,
when kept in control by thorough discipline and when trained by education, may
be a stepping stone toward the highest life? This was an exceedingly bold
teaching when first promulgated, for it was at a time when religious teachers
and moralists were telling people that the body was evil in itself and must be
put under foot. Masonry does not despise the physical but urges us to prepare
it so as to serve as a stair-way toward the noblest life.
The third group of seven
steps is interpreted as referring to the liberal arts and sciences; in other
words, we are told that right learning and culture of the mind will lead us up
and on. This is a teaching as badly needed now as ever because so many men
tend to make light of knowledge, or to excuse themselves for not having it.
But Masonry condemns this attitude, teaching us as it does in this connection
that ignorance is a sin. If we lay our prejudices aside here and are brave
enough to face the facts, I believe that we must agree with Masonry. We may
say that we have no time to read, or to learn; the fallacy of this is proved
by the number of men about us who are as busy as we, yet manage to get an
education in odd moments. We may say that we have not the opportunities for
securing an education, that we can not go to school, or that we can not buy
books. We do not need to go to school; we can turn our bedroom into a school
and be our own teacher, like Elihu Burritt, or Benjamin Franklin, or David
Livingstone. Nor do we need to buy books; they can always be borrowed from
public libraries or from our friends. When we remember how superstition,
crime, fanaticism, disease, poverty and kindred evils grow out of ignorance,
we can well afford to study again the lessons of the Winding Stairs.
V The Winding Stairs, as a
whole, is a symbol of progress. When is a man progressing? Let Ruskin answer:
"He alone is advancing in life whose heart is getting softer, whose blood
warmer, whose brain quicker, whose spirit is entering into living peace." In
spite of the Great War, which recently dragged its bloody coils across the
world, we may still believe that the race progresses, that
"Step by step since time
began We see the steady gain of man."
But we must not fall into the
error of measuring progress by merely mechanical achievements as the custom
is; the race as a race goes forward only as mankind as a whole becomes
possessed of those qualities described by Ruskin. Do you not believe that
Masonry has a leading role to play in this real progress of mans Can you think
of a better recipe for advancement than Masonry's to unite with others for
co-operation, to control the passions and discipline the faculties, to
enlighten the mind, and to keep ever before one a great ideal, as is suggested
by the Holy of Holies? Are you giving your private share to Masonry's
contribution to world Progress?
THE TOMB OF HIRAM, KING OF
BY BRO. CHARLES B. SINDEN,
ANCIENT PHOENICIA or Tyre has
bequeathed to the world many interesting relics of a civilization long buried
beneath the dust of the ages, many of which are of special interest to our
Masonic Fraternity. Tyre and Joppa; two of her ancient cities, are names well
known, while her tombs, architecture, metal castings and pillars hold for us
more than a passing interest. The purpose of this writing is to call attention
to the tomb in the vicinity of Tyre, which the natives call "Kabir-Hiram" or
the Tomb of Hiram.
Hiram, King of Tyre, is a
character familiar to all Masons. His identity is clearly established in
Sacred History as also by the corroborative evidence of Josephus the Hebrew
historian. Unlike some stories of the other Hiram, knowledge of him is placed
beyond tradition. The son of Abibal, he was contemporary with, and a friend
of, both David and Solomon, Israelitish kings; the latter a very important
figure in Masonic lore. Early in David's reign he supplied "cedar trees and
carpenters and masons and they built David a house." 2 Sam. 5:11. Forty years
later Solomon applied to his father's old friend and received an equally
courteous response for "Hiram sent to Solomon saying, I have considered the
things which thou sentest to me for: and I will do all thy desire concerning
timber of cedar and concerning timber of fir . . . and they two made a league
together." 1 Kings 5. Josephus tells us that the correspondence regarding
these matters was in his day, preserved in the archives of the Kingdom of Tyre.
The ancient Phoenicians seem
to have been contented with tombs of a quiet character ordinarily constructed
beneath the surface in a series of vaults without elaboration. They did,
however, during some periods probably remote, erect monuments to stand as
permanent memorials and at the same time to be attractive to the eye. Well
acquainted with Egypt they would be aware of her obelisks, pyramids and lofty
tombs; of the tomb of Mausolus at Halicarnassus the famous Greek city of Asia
Minor with its Ionic columns and pyramid, then one of the seven wonders of the
world; and of the tomb of the Maccabees in Modin where "Simon also built a
monument upon the sepulchre of his father and his brethren and raised it aloft
to the sight, with hewn stone behind and before. Moreover he set up seven
pyramids, one against another, for his father and his mother and his four
brethren. And in these he made cunning devices, about the which he set great
pillars." 1 Macc. 13. It is not strange then, that we find such a tomb as
Renan describes in his "Mission de Phenicie," viz., the Burdj-el-Bezzak, which
was evidently constructed to resemble the pyramids. It is situated near to
Amrith the ancient Marathus, and is an edifice built of large blocks of stone
and rising to a height of thirty-two feet above the plain. Wit is thought that
originally the cubic mass was surmounted by a pyramidical roof, many stones
from which were found scattered around. The height of the monument would thus
be increased to about sixty-five feet.
The tomb, however, of most
interest to Masons is that already mentioned and which Robinson in "Researches
in Palestine" names as the "Tomb of Hiram." Renan says that the name is modern
and no great importance can be attached to it, but Prof. Rawlinson in his
"History of Phoenicia" declares the monument to be undoubtedly ancient,
perhaps as ancient as any in Phoenicia, whilst Perrot and Chipiez in "Hist. de
l'Art" conclude that "if the tomb does not actually belong to the time of
Solomon's contemporary and ally, at any rate it is anterior to the Greco-Roman
period." The tomb itself according to Renan, is composed of eight courses or
layers of huge stones superimposed one upon another, some being twelve feet
long and seven broad and three deep. The four lower courses are almost
regularly one on top of the other while the fifth projects considerably beyond
the fourth, and the three remaining courses slightly retreat as they rise
after the style of a pyramid. The effect is that of a stele or pillar, more
than the usual type of pyramid, the width at the top being only a trifle
smaller than at the base. The monument is a solid mass and a rectangular
oblong or "oblong square" fourteen feet long by eight and a half feet wide. A
flight of steps cut in the rock which forms part of the base in the two lowest
courses leads down to a sepulchral niche where possibly once reposed the body
of our Grand Master. This monument has no inscription or figure of any kind
engraved upon it which is of course no evidence that it is not the tomb of the
one to whom tradition assigns it.
There may not be any especial
advantage in seeking to prove this tomb to be the identical last resting place
of Hiram but at the same time there is considerable interest and for a number
of reasons tradition may be correct. First, because tradition is usually,
possibly correct. Eastern people preserved a great deal of history in this way
which cannot be ignored because not written or printed as our modern records.
Then its situation near to Tyre suggests unmistakably that it was erected to
an important personage of that city. Taking that together with its undoubted
age we have a substantial link in the chain of evidence. The lack of figures
of gods or goddesses on its surface supplied us with another point. Hiram
coming into contact with Solomon and learning of the True God for whose Temple
his workman and materials were furnished, would probably have become a
worshipper of Jehovah and thus no figures of heathen deities would appear on
his tomb as have been found on some others. The "oblong square" may or may not
be admitted as evidence but it is of distinct Masonic interest. The rugged
grandeur of the tomb seems fitting to the character of this early king. Taking
these things together they form a piece of cumulative circumstantial evidence
in favor of assuming that the monument described is in reality that of Hiram,
King of Tyre.
WHAT CAN MASONRY DO FOR
BY BRO GARY C. BURKE, J.G.W.,
Democracy stands for the idea
of rule by the many, by the people. Autocracy, the opposite idea, stands for
rule by one man. These two ideas are as opposite as the poles; as opposite as
light and darkness; as opposite as black and white. They can no more be
reconciled than darkness can exist beneath the mid-day sun; and when once the
idea of democracy was implanted in the heart of man it could no more be
removed than could an universe of darkness extinguish a candle light. Hear
what Abraham Lincoln has said of this: "Two principles have stood face to face
from the beginning of time and will ever continue to struggle. The one is the
common right of humanity and the other the divine right of kings."
How many of the problems,
great and small, confronting our government could be so much better settled,
and how many misunderstandings in doing so could be avoided, if we would
endeavor to exercise temperance in our attitude toward the other man's
viewpoint; if we would endeavor to give him credit for the same honesty of
purpose that we think we possess. How many more good men and true could be
enlisted in the ranks of those who manage the affairs of our government if we
would have the fortitude to endure the annoyance and even the financial loss
incident to a more active participation in the affairs of government. What
nobler work can Masonry do than to teach its members that they should not
pussyfoot when men are needed to lead some great movement which wilt make our
country a better place to live in?
It has become the fashion to
sneer at the "politician." I will not enlarge upon this. you all know that it
is true, and you all know why. But let us have the justice to recognize the
fact that the man who aspires to office and who is elected to it, is just as
good or just as bad as the man who elects him. The American politician, the
American officeholder, is the reflection of the American people. This may not
be a pleasant thing to think about sometimes, but let us be just and honest
about ,it and set ourselves to remedy it. In doing so we will be good Masons.
In short, I would have Masonry seek, in a practical way, to apply its
teachings towards making good citizens.
He who prophesies in this day
is foolhardy. But I will say this: Great changes are coming as a result of the
war. Changes in the map of the world, changes in men's views concerning
government sin places where no one dreamed a few years ago that any was
possible. Changes in men's views as to personal responsibility in government.
Many things that men have come to look upon as established forever will stand
in a different light in the future. I firmly believe that all things must
hereafter stand in the rays of the great searchlight of Truth to determine
their utility for aiding in man's progress. And those things which do not bear
well its scrutiny will be discarded Masonry among them, if it does not measure
up. Men in future will be too much occupied with real, big things, to bother
with mere talk and theories. Keep this in mind democracy must have men on
fall. Masonry can make them, and it must, or fail.
MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO
BY BRO. GEO. W. BAIRD, P.G.M.,
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
ROBERT TREAT PAINE
ROBERT TREAT PAINE, a signer of the Declaration of
Independence, was born in Boston in 1737, and died there in 1814. He was a
member of a Massachusetts Lodge, record of which is in the Proceedings of the
Grand Lodge, Volume I, page 64. He entered Harvard Unversity at the age of 14
years, and supported himself by teaching; engaged in the study of law, and in
1755 was a Chaplain of Provincial troops. He was a member of the Convention
which met upon the dissolution of the General Court by the Governor for
refusing to rescind the circular letter to the other colonies, calling for
certain action against the infringement of their chartered rights.
Paine was employed by the Bostonians for the
prosecution of the perpetrators of the "Boston Massacre." He was a member of
the General Assembly, and assisted in the impeachment of the Chief Justice of
the Province. He was a delegate to the First Continental Congress. He was
active in promoting the manufacture of saltpeter, as well as of larger guns.
With Jefferson and Rutlege he reported rules for
procedure and debate in Congress, and on July 4, 1776, he signed the
Declaration of Independence. At one tlme Same was Spearer ot the House of
Representatives in Massachusetts; at another time he was Attorney General of
the State, and he served on a committee to regulate the price of labor,
provisions and manufactures.
A staunch friend of the Constitution, he gave
Washington hearty support. He was a founder of the American Academy in 1780
and received the Honorary Degree of LL. D. at Cambridge.
As a Puritan and a patriot, he was devoted to
civil and religious liberty.
Paine died on the 11th of May, 1814, and was
buried in the Granary Burying Ground, near Boston. His grave is in a tomb,
shown in the engraving - a modest memorial for so great and good a man.
Whether his countrymen should erect a memorial fitting to this great man, or
suffer the present primitive memorial to stand, is debatable. The simple,
almost rude structure is an emblem of the simple, modest life of the man,
which a great monument could not amplify.
But on the day set apart for the decoration of the
graves of soldiers, May 30th, some brother Mason might drop a rose on the tomb
of Brother Robert Treat Paine.
MASONIC CUSTOMS IN
In case the Grand Master is a Prince of royal
blood, he appoints a "Pro" Grand Master, only seldom presiding in person.
The Grand Lodge of England meets in March, July,
September, and December, the annual festival taking place on the last
Wednesday in April. The Grand Lodge of Ireland meets in Dublin in March, June,
October and December, and the annual festival takes place at noon on St.
John's Day, December 27th. The Grand Lodge of Scotland meets in Edinburgh in
February, May, August and November, and the Grand Festival is held on November
30th, St. Andrew's Day.
To the American Mason the United Grand Lodge seems to be a
complicated organization, as all present and Past Grand Officers, all Past
Masters of lodges, and all Wardens, during ther terms of office, have the
right of admission. The Grand Honors of Nine are given in England only to the
three present officers. The Grand Treasurer, the President of the Board of
General Purposes, the Grand Chaplain, and the Grand Wardens receive seven,
while all others receive only five. The office of Grand Treasurer is the only
elective office other than that of Grand Master, and it is an unwritten law
that the Grand Master shall be of
royal blood whenever possible. He
appoints all officers excepting the Grand Treasurer, and the only chance for a
"commoner" to wear the royal purple of the lodge is to be elected Grand
Treasurer, and by an unwritten rule no person of "title" has been elected to
that office for many years. - Silas B. Wright, Florida.
THE QUATUOR CORONATI, OR THE
FOUR PATRON SAINTS OF THE ORDER OF MASONS
BY BRO. C. PURDON CLARKE,
We are indebted to Brother D.
D. Berolzheimer, a member of Johnkeer Lodge No. 865, Yonkers, N. Y., for the
manuscript of the following address delivered before that lodge by Brother
Clarke, a Past Master of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, while he was director of the
Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
IT would be superfluous to
enter into the details of the evidence in favor of the history of the four
sculptors who, with their recently received apprentice or associate, suffered
for their faith a year before the commencement of the last great persecution
of the Christians under the Emperor Diocletian.
Bro. Gould's magnificent
research in his History of Freemasonry establishes the general acceptance of
the story at a period within a few years of their martyrdom and, moreover,
shows that in an age when the Christian Church was becoming a dominant power
and able to honor openly those who had fallen in her cause, very marked
distinction was, for some peculiar reason, bestowed upon the memory of those
four humble craftsmen, although their trials and sufferings do not appear to
justify their elevation over many of their comrades in the noble army of
martyrs, who had equally been faithful unto death during the many persecutions
of the preceding two hundred and forty years.
The solution of this problem
which formed itself in my mind was that the popularity of the craftsmen
martyrs was due, in some measure, to a democratic undercurrent which had from
its commencement been furthering the cause of the Christian religion. Any one
who glances, however slightly, at the records of the social and political
condition of Rome after the death of Julius Caesar and the break-up of the
Commonwealth cannot but realize how welcome the new faith was to the great
industrial classes, who found in it a creed representing everything that the
better part of their natures felt was good, and a priesthood free from the
obviously corrupt practices of the spiritual and temporal upholders of their
time-serving and decayed religion.
Romeos first period under
martial kings lasted two hundred and fifty years; then a Consular Government
was established which, however, was but an oligarchy and involved a constant
struggle between the military patricians and the commercial plebians which
latter only succeeded after one hundred and twenty years agitation and several
civil wars in obtaining a representative from their own ranks. During this
second period Rome became a colonizing power and wars for defense became wars
of aggression, and, although these are generally attributed to the ambition of
popular leaders or the national desire for glory and plunder, it is more
probable that they were but the inevitable results of extended commerce.
returning from time to time in triumph brought back to the Capital the wealth
of the then known world, and became in the eyes of the masses heroes who were
more to be trusted than the politicians of whose wrangling they were heartily
tired. Rome was, therefore, ripe for a change when the Imperial purple was
offered to Julius Caesar and afterwards secured by Augustus, but the
succeeding three hundred years of military despotism caused a reaction, which
paved the way for the introduction of the new cult.
It is to be regretted that
Roman history does not record sufficiently the succession of events from the
point of view of the burgher or craftsman. The historians either belonged to
the patrician casts and did not care to chronicle other events than those in
which their class played an important part, or, when the writers were plebians,
"the histories of their times were falsified through fear," or written to
please the powers who could regard flattering services.
With such scanty materials to
help us we can only assume that as Christianity had permeated none but the
artisan classes to any great extent, their ecclesiastics would naturally
glorify the martyrs belonging to the industrial plebeian class, who were
moreover bound to them by co-fellowship of the Collegium Fabrorum.
The four sculptors must of
necessity have been members of the trade society established in the city in
which they worked. How far this Collegium was in connection with, or
affiliated to, similar Collegia in other towns I cannot say, but of one thing
I am sure, and that is, that at the period to which they belonged, where was a
dead uniformity of style and ornamentation in building work executed by the
Fabri, at places so remote from each other that the only explanation which
could be offered is that of a central controlling body, or even more, a
central school in which a single style was taught complete in all its parts,
whether technical or artistic.
As an illustration I offer
mosaic floors, one from Sussex, the second from Carthage, on the north coast
of Africa, the other from Balkeish on the Tigris above Baghdad. All might have
been designed and executed by the same hand. Wherever the Romans colonized and
built in their enduring method, the remains of their walls present the same
features and show how little local styles interfered with their established
Therefore it may be assumed
that our four craftsmen belonged to an important trade organization which at
that time extended from Persia to Great Britain, in which latter country alone
there were fifty-three important cities each with its Collegium Fabrorum. This
connection with a powerful society probably accounts for the extreme leniency
and patience with which these sculptors were treated by Diocletian, who only
ordered their destruction after their commission of "lese-majeste" by refusing
to make the statue of the Assculapius when ordered by their Emperor.
The barbarous execution of
four members of a corporate body, which was connected, at least by the bond of
common interests, with the other trade societies, must have at that peculiar
period made a deep impression on the minds of their fellows, and, as it was
but eighteen years later that the Emperor Constantine openly favored the
Christian religion, the memory of the martyrs was then still preserved by men
who had known them and they became the favorite saints of the solid industrial
classes whose wholesale conversion to Christianity had alone made it possible
for the Emperor to forsake the old religion and, within another ten years,
order the destruction of all the heathen temples.
The connection between these
Roman Collegia which we know to have existed in all the countries between
England, Spain and Persia and the trade gilds of medieval Europe, may never be
satisfactorily proved. Similarities in organization would naturally arise from
the requirements of similar circumstances, but it is certain that in all
portions of the great Roman Empire, however completely the tidal wave of
barbarian removed the traces of that marvelous, complex civilization, the
impress of Roman customs and Roman laws remained deeply and securely rooted in
many centres, to spring up into life, little by little, through the dark ages,
until culminating in the great period of the Renaissance, which commenced the
history of modern civilization.
Nothing could throw more
light on the connection between the Roman Collegia and the medieval Gilds, so
far as England is concerned, than the discovery of some earlier history of the
Church of the Four Crowned Martyrs at Canterbury, and the mention by Bede of
its existence in A. D. 619, at the time of the great fire which nearly
destroyed the city and only stopped when this church was reached.
I cannot pass over the
inference that this church withstood the fire better than the other buildings
and churches owing to its having been built in Roman times in either brick or
stone, whereas the rest more probably belonged to the period of wholesale
building of churches and monasteries which followed the conversion of the
Saxons in A. D. 597, and were principally constructed in wood.
If this supposition be
correct, the Church of the Quatuor Coronati at Canterbury had survived the
destruction of everything Roman- British, after the defeat of Vortimer by
Hengist at Crecanford, in Kent, in 457. Such an escape is possible and can
well be accounted for when we consider that after the Saxons landed in Thanet
in A. D. 449 they dwelt on friendly terms with the Britons for five or six
years, during which time they would naturally avail themselves of the services
of craftsmen, and probably prefer to spare them for their usefulness at the
time of the general massacre of the Britons a few years later. Such an
incident is not uncommon in the histories of barbarous invasions.
It must also be conceded to
the Saxons that they possessed a sufficient amount of civilization to
appreciate the value of the workers in iron, brass and wood, the potters,
weavers and others who inhabited these polytechnic cities. In their own
countries they had already become acquainted with the productions of the Roman
craftsmen, who were attached to the military colonies and actually formed part
of each legion. The cruel devastation of the country after their first great
success against the British was, in their eyes, justified by necessity, as
they, the great founders of the AngloSaxon race, had not as yet acquired the
patience which is so necessary in dealing with Celtic races.
It is also beyond doubt that
members of the Collegia Fabrorum in the British towns had, for a hundred years
before the Saxon invasion, become Christians and that, therefore, the Church
of the Quatuor Coronati, the popular Saints of several trades, was more likely
to have been built at the time when Canterbury possessed a large community of
Christian craftsmen than to have been founded by St. Augustine immediately
after his arrival, in 597, although the church may have been desecrated during
the one hundred and forty years which had elapsed since the destruction of the
British rule in Kent.
From the date of Bede's
record of the existence of this church in Canterbury in A. D. 619 until the
foundation of a fraternity of sculptors and masons in Rome in 1406, we find,
at various intervals of time, references to the history of the original
Basilica, founded in memory of the Quatuor Coronati by Pope Melchiades within
twelve years of the date of their martyrdom. About the same time as the fire
at Canterbury the Roman Basilica was rebuilt by Honorius I (in A. D. 622) and
in A. D. 847 the Cardinal titular of the Basilica, who had become Pope,
rebuilt it with greater magnificence. In the year 1116 it was again rebuilt by
Paschal II, who added a palatial residence to it, and when the Lateran Palace
was destroyed in A. D. 1308, the Popes for some time made it their residence.
Then in the 15th century we find that in "the very ancient Oratory of St.
Sylvester, in the portico of the Basilica, was the Chapel of the Confraternity
of Sculptors and Masons founded in the time of Innocent VII, 1506 A. D. 'under
the invocation of the Holy Quatuor Coronati and the other five Holy Martyrs
who had followed the profession of sculptors:' The members of the
Confraternity wore a dress of red with blue sashes."
Here we arrive at the
foundation of a medieval gild with the nine martyrs as their patron saints
and, moreover, a mention of their livery or distinctive clothing.
A few years later, the Gild
of Smiths, Carpenters and Masons (l'Arti dei Fabbri e Legnaioli) in Florence
instructed Nanni di Banco, an amateur sculptor, to execute a memorial niche
for or San Michele, the Church of the Trade Gilds of that city. This building
had been constructed in the previous century as the Gildhall, and, in 1339,
two years after the laying of its foundation stone, the Gild of Silk Merchants
were allowed to undertake the decoration of one of the niches with the statues
of their patron saint, St. John the Evangelist.
Other gilds followed, and the
fourteen niches which were evenly spaced around its external walls, were
allotted to the Companies representing the Professions, Merchants and Artizans
The Company became so wealthy
after the plague of 1338, owing to legacies and rich gifts, that they resolved
to convert the Loggia, or Gildhall, into a Church, which was finished in 1359,
but the filling of the niches was not completed for two centuries later. That
of the Smiths, Carpenters and Masons, was finished about the middle of the
fifteenth century. This niche does not occupy a symbolical position, but is
the second of four, counting from the west on the north front. Two excellent
photographs, by Alinari Brothers, of Florence, show the whole niche with the
statues of the Four Martyrs in a group in ancient Roman costume, with an under
panel representing three of them working as medieval sculptors, whilst a
fourth is constructing a wall; in the background, conspicuously placed, are
the plumb rule, level, compass and square. A cast from this panel is in the
South Kensington Museum in London.
From Italy the fashion for
adopting the Quatuor Coronati as patron saints spread to Germany and France,
but in the latter country a single individual of the four became a popular
saint in a manner to the exclusion of the others.
The "Martyrology" of Du
Saussay stated that the bodies of the five Martyrs Claudius, Nicostratus,
Simphorianus, Castorius and Simplicius "were afterwards brought from Rome to
Toulouse and placed in a chapel which was erected in their honor in the Church
of St. Sernin. Subsequently the greater part of the relics of St. Claudius
were taken from Toulouse to the FranceComte. In 1049 these relics were honored
in the Church of Maynal, one of the oldest in the Jura. When Pope Leo IX came
to the Council of Rheims in 1049, he confirmed the Archbishop of Becancon,
Hugh the First, in possession of this domain. Also in his Bull, dated 14th of
November, he mentions the Church of Maynal 'where reposes the body of St.
Claudius. . .' The most ancient traditions of Maynal attest that St. Claudius
was always honored there as a martyr. He is represented on the parochial
banner in the attitude of a man invoking heaven, with his face brightened with
a ray of light; he holds a chisel in one hand and in the other a hammer, and
by his side is shown a bust of which the white color imitates marble. It is
evident that the painter intended thus to represent one of the five sculptors
who, according to the old legend, worked with great perfection, invoking the
name of Jesus Christ." "This martyr Saint was generally named St. Clod, or
Cloud which is the name under which he is generally designated in various
documents relating to the Parish of Maynal."
Du Saussay further states
that "a chapel was also built in honor of St. Claudius by the monks of Ilay
upon the summit of a rock near the village of Denezieres where some portion of
his relics was placed, having been taken from the Church of Maynal. The
surrounding territory from this time was named 'Terre. de St. Cloud' and it is
under this title that it is designated in several charters of the 12th
century." The Palace of St. Cloud, near Paris, does not owe its name to St.
Claudius the Martyr, but to St. Cloud the grandson of Clovis.
It should be noted that in
DuSaussay's account no mention whatever is made of any connection between St.
Claudius and the other martyrs with any Craft Gilds, nor does he mention that
they were in any way patron saints of the Crafts. This strengthens Bro.
Gould's statement that there is no authority for any connection between the
Quatuor Coronati and the European Trade Gilds until the 15th Century.
I have nothing to add to the
list of German Cathedrals, Churches and Breviaries which are mentioned by Bro.
Gould in connection with shrines and other memorials of the Martyrs, but
during a visit to Brussels I found a very interesting representation of these
martyr sculptors in a large picture belonging to the Municipal Museum, in
which they are depicted as masons rather than sculptors. This picture is of
great interest to those studying the manner of operative work amongst medieval
craftsmen; and I noticed a peculiarity of dress which distinguished the
sculptors from the burgesses and others shown in the picture. They are dressed
in very short tunics and tight hose whereas the other people are in long
I must give a few details of
the Societies of Builders which exist in some parts of the East and probably
throw some light upon the inner working of the Roman Collegia and the craft
gilds of medieval Europe.
In various forms craft gilds
are to be found in all the principal cities of Asia, and there is evidence
that the various trades have been accustomed to form themselves into societies
for mutual protection and for the proper regulation of their commerce. These
gilds vary considerably in their organization and powers and, generally, do
not openly take any part in municipal government for the very good reason that
in the East countries are ruled by officials, created by the Sultans or the
Padishas, who again appoint subordinate officers, generally men who have been
able to buy from them the position and right to get as much as they possibly
can out of the people, in the same manner that they, the upper officials, pay
the Sultan for the privilege of retaining their posts. There is, therefore,
little similarity between the trade gilds of the East and the free Roman
Collegia, and less so with the medieval gilds of Europe of the period when
municipalities obtained great political powers.
The present condition of the
builders' gild in Persia. has beep enquired into by General A. H. Schindler,
who has spent nearly thirty years in the country and is the best living
authority in all matters concerning it. He informs us that a trade gild is
called "Senf," and possesses a Chief, or "Syndic" named the Ra'is, who
represents the gild in matters concerning municipal regulations, payment of
taxes, etc. It is not necessary that the Ra'is should be a master of the craft
of his gild. The ordinary term for a master craftsman is "Ustad"; for an
apprentice, or pupil, "Shagird." In the building trades the names "Ma'mar" and
"Bana" stand indiscriminately for architect, builder and mason, but a superior
Bana a master builder is called a Ma'mar, and a superior Ma'mar affects the
title of "Ma'mar-Bashi," the latter being a Turkish title denominating a Chief
or Head. The title "Ustad" has not the same value as master in Europe, but is
applied to the master- builder in charge of the building of a palace, as well
as to a man who cannot correctly put half a dozen bricks in a line. As far as
can be ascertained at present, no ceremonies are used in accepting a new comer
into a craft. Any boy may become a "Shagird," but good builders will only
accept him upon the condition of his agreeing to remain a certain number of
years. Other "Shagirds" do not bind themselves, but receive daily wages from
the beginning. When the Ustad starts on his own account he becomes a "Bana,"
or builder, but as there is nothing to prevent anyone calling himself a master
builder you may meet with men who are known as Ustad, Bana, who cannot do more
than construct a mud hut. These, however, are not recognized as members of the
gild, and are seldom seen in towns. Sometimes masters of the craft are
restricted to certain quarters of a town and are not allowed to work outside
of the quarter in which they reside.
In the winter of 1894 I
showed General Schindler a large collection of Persian architectural drawings,
which I had purchased from the State Architect in Teheran; on his return to
Persia in 1895 he made many efforts to obtain some but without success. When
asking for some technical terms and their explanation, he found the men
exceedingly reticent respecting them and he concluded that they regarded these
matters as secrets which they were obliged to keep to themselves.
In a recent paper read by
Yoshitaro Yamashita, Chancellor to the Imperial Japanese Consulate in London,
before the Japan Society, he mentions the "Hiden" (secret tradition), the "Hijutsu"
(secret art), and the "Okugi" (inner mysteries) as terms in common use and
applied to nearly every undertaking, and he goes on to explain that there is
nothing absolutely mysterious or supernatural about them, and that these terms
are used with respect to valuable secrets which are carefully guarded by
Professors on account of the peculiar benefit they receive for imparting them
to their pupils.
Here we have arrived at the
key note of the bond of fellowship in operative gilds in all periods. Their
secrets have always been valuable possessions requiring every protection to
prevent them becoming common property. Then, to prevent undue competition, the
interest of the community of a gild was placed before that of its individuals,
and lastly, in its relations with the Government, the gild was better able,
especially when supported by the gilds of other crafts, to secure an equitable
adjustment of taxation as a strong united body.
It is on these grounds that I
form the conclusion respecting the origin of the popularity of the Quatuor
Coronati as the patron Saints of the Masons and Sculptors. The early Christian
Church consisted principally of members of the industrial classes, all of whom
were of necessity "magistri" or "operarii" of their respective trade Collegia.
The four sculptors and their associate were not only martyrs to the new faith,
which by that time was professed either openly or in secret by the bulk of
their fellow-craftsmen, but were regarded as victims of tyrannical
interference with the privileges of the Collegia which most probably possessed
powers to deal with all matters relating to the due execution of the work of
Either from jealousy or fear,
several of the Roman Emperors had already attempted to suppress the Collegia
both in Rome and in her colonies, and even the just and broad-minded Trajan
objected to the trade gilds and charitable benefit societies upon the ground
that they became turbulent and factious. Christianity was first brought to his
notice as still another of these societies forming in a distant colony, and
was duly reported upon by Pliny in the same manner as when he was requesting
direction from the Emperor in dealing with a volunteer fire brigade and a
society for old age pensions.
The gilds of medieval Europe
were similarly disliked by arbitrary rulers of all kinds, whether Popes,
Emperors, Kings or Republican Governments, and in our own times the greatest
gilds in the world, those of the City of London, have not been free from
molestation from the would-be tyrants of the hour.
But these attempts to destroy
Institutions which form the backbone of civic liberty, like the war waged on
Freemasonry by the Roman Church, could but end in the discomfiture of the
attacking powers. These societies are the outcome of the practical side of
human nature, in its hard-headed and sober desire to do its best to obtain
freedom to work for due reward, to live in peace and harmony with its
neighbors and to combine for mutual protection when the necessity arises.
MAN SHALL PREVAIL
BY BRO. GERALD A. NANCARROW,
Beneath the jewel studded
Of God's Celestial Sphere,
His greatest handiwork, a
Doth small indeed appear.
But Man, the tiny being,
With part of God's great
Ever grasping parent power
Shall compass yet the whole.
We do not count a man's
years, until he has nothing else to count.
THE EDUCATION OF THE CRAFT
THE EDUCATION of Freemasons in the principles of
Freemasonry imposes upon leaders in the Craft serious and weighty obligations.
The very necessity of urging this duty today constitutes a serious indictment
against leaders in the Craft for gross negligence in the matter of instructing
the new initiates. The instruction of the lodge room in the precepts of wise
morality and the interpretation of the drama of human life having the
pre-eminent place has caused to be relegated to a very insignificant place the
sort of instruction that reveals the genius of Freemasonry in history and the
all-important part it has played in securing for free peoples that to which
they are inherently entitled.
Let us readily confess, it will be a sorry day for
us when we fail in those functions of instruction in wise morality and
displaying the significance of human life through the work of the Third
degree. But let us take note also that the greater function of Masonry becomes
a negligible quantity and Masonry will cease to exist if Masons do not receive
the historical light that reveals what Masonry has stood for in the past and
what it must stand for in the present and the future. Hence the necessity
devolving upon all leaders in the Craft today to state the purpose and methods
employed by Masonry in the establishment in the world of that wider
brotherhood that has for its foundation stones Justice, Equality and Freedom.
The only apology permissible today for the
existence of an institution of the magnitude of the Masonic Fraternity is,
first, it must exist because of its being an indispensable factor in the
preservation of a humane civilization and form of government, or it must exist
because of the invaluable service it can render in the transformation of an
erstwhile chaotic social condition, so that civilization will be humane and
its government desirable from the points of justice and equity. And to secure
this end we must in no wise in the future admit into our ranks those who have
not an appreciable understanding of this purpose as it is written in our
history and is discovered to be fundamental in our present program.
Those within the Fraternity who have but a limited
conception of the world mission of Masonry we must at once intelligently
convince what Masonry can do in this great land of ours, at this moment of
chaotic national condition, toward setting ourselves solid again on the
bedrock of democracy, as we have hitherto understood it and have endeavored to
Freemasonry, let it be understood by every
Freemason in these United States, is an institution that is vital in its
relationship to American destiny. A just and necessary understanding of this
in all its phases will involve only such study as will enable any Mason to
intelligibly state the analogy between Masonry and Americanism. His life and
example should evince the fact that to be a good Mason is to be a good
American. For Americanism, we are emboldened to say, is the latter day effort
to incarnate our age old Masonic idealism in law for the governing of an
entire nation. That such teaching might become part and parcel of every future
American we are ready to declare ourselves as favoring the acquiring at no
distant date a number of institutions of learning throughout the country to
work under strict Masonic patronage with sufficient endowment that will give
instruction to Masons so desiring that instruction free from sectarian or
ecclesiastical bias, which will afford a future leadership in the Craft and
nation that can be depended upon always to state in language easily understood
the identity of principles of Americanism and Freemasonry.
Americanism conceived upon a lofty basis is the
laudable effort to practice the religion of the Hebrew prophets and of the
sages and saints of every clime in which humility, justice and mercy were the
shining virtues, and for the social establishment of which in the world Jesus
of Nazareth and every other God-conscious, human loving martyr laid down his
We are compelled to state further that we are of
the firm opinion that the American social problems can be solved only in an
American way. If we will carry into the larger field of our social activities
that which we practice among ourselves we can meet as man to man, and, stating
our differences in the atmosphere of reasonable discussion, we can arrive at
the middle ground where justice for the contending parties is invariably alone
possible. Prolonged study of the great problems confronting us at the present
moment, however, is impossible the times are too critical and investigations
of commissions are proving quite costly, and such procrastination of their
settlement as thorough analysis would demand might find us soon in the throes
of civil war. Something must be done immediately to avert the possible
disaster. Let us then throw the flashlight on the main issues that, as Masons,
we may choose without hesitation that platform on which to act in order that
what we have hitherto apprehended as Americanism might in no wise be
compromised or set aside.
We are convinced on both historical and economic
grounds fully and fairly that whatever just grounds there were for the Russian
revolution that has since culminated in a conglomerate mass of one hundred
millions of people experimenting with industrial democracy no such conditions
as they experienced in Russia have existed here that for one moment warrant
the present national indiscriminate Bolshevic tendencies in our midst.
No one will deny but that we must insist that
whatever problems exist shall be solved on the basis of American political
democracy before we take up such a panacea as is spelling mad ruin for all
peoples who are undertaking it. Let us firmly and strenuously resist foreign
interpretation and imputation of our economic evolution and conditions. We
have different valuations, standards and basis of life. We breathe in a
different atmosphere. What further proof do we need of this than is furnished
by groups of foreign born protesting against enforced naturalization, or other
groups insistently declaiming upon their right to speak and cultivate in their
children the habit of speaking the language of their parents' nativity. Truly
they are with us, but not of us.
Recently a gentleman traveling in this country,
and incidentally, through the prosperous State of Iowa, referred to its
inhabitants as people of "the State of hogs and corn." That would probably
suit us were it not that he added, "They have no ideals." This man of the
supercillious air, mind you, never deigned to talk with the farmers of the
State of Iowa to discover whether or not they had ideals, and his stupidity
prevented him from discerning the ideals reflected in our homes and barns and
well-tilled fields. We fear that the conferring of a title upon him, about
which he unremittingly reminded his audiences, had spoiled him. Verily our
offer of liberty to those who sought our shores for various noble reasons has
come to spell license.
For more than a hundred years we have been at work
in making practical a league of nations in these United States. Here we
believe God Almighty intended should be evolved that creature born of many
nations; a creature that should be free from slavishness to caste, clan,
prejudice, monarchial or ecclesiastical tyranny, or the murderous fanaticism
of mob rule. And that this might yet be every Mason is pledged by the
traditions, example and sacrifices of all the good men - including the Father
of his Country, who had the same hope and the same vision.
As a people we have attained a character that is
distinct from Russian, British or German. Our body politic, our aspirations
nationally, our social sympathies are not always alike. Neither king rule nor
mob rule will find a place in our economy. The only ground of common
perspective generally is on the plane of certain national and international
relationships where commensurate courtesies and obligations are involved. But
labor and social problems in America must be solved in America and not by
Russians in or out of America, or Germans who still harbor a conviction that
self-determining free peoples are an impossibility.
The Monroe doctrine must be extended so as to
protect our soul as well as our body. We must therefore resist all invasion of
our America whether it be garbed in ecclesiastical raiment or in the blood-red
form of anarchy. We can do so if we will but draw the line that will speedily
reveal the thing that is American and the thing that is un-American without
laying ourselves open to the charge of opposing the League of Nations. We are
all concerned here, let us state frankly, with the vital issues that confront
the American people which are daily threatening in more deadly fashion our
We are not concerned in bolstering up what might
be sneered at as petty nationalism. We are concerned rather with the
preservation of the sort of nationalist that Masonry has always stood for -
the nationalism of a free people working out their destiny under a democratic
form of government that assures to rich and poor, high and low, learned or
ignorant, absolute equality before the law and equality of opportunity for
each and all.
As a nation we have shown the stuff of which we
are made. We stood by England and France against the mad onslaught on the
liberties of the world by a power-obsessed nation. And whether there be aught
realized in the near future that will bind us either morally or legally, let
the liberties of free peoples be ever endangered and America's millions would
again stand willing to bleed for sake of Freedom. But America's present duty
predominant is the preservation of American institutions and to that end must
Masonry with her tremendous power respond. Robert Tipton.
* * *
In these busy days, when we wonder how long our
nervous energy can last, and whether, after the closing of our war work, we
can meet the drains of the strenuous days to come, how many of us appreciate
what "Lodge Night" can be made to mean to us? We have given so much of
ourselves to the great cause, during the war - and this may almost be said to
apply to us in inverse ratio to the demands upon our time - that there is an
unrest in our souls, which not even a prolonged vacation can overcome. Perhaps
it is the strain which is pervading those who call themselves our "working
classes" and makes them oversensitive to the so-called enticements of
bolshevism and other "isms." Who knows? Is the whole atmosphere of unrest
which pervades the world nothing but this? Has our sense of fairness been so
internationalized that we cannot reduce its horizon? Has the reawakening of
the instinct of brute force done for us that which we intended it to do for
our late enemy? Has the determination to win focused our mental eyes on
Ask these things of yourself, my brother. Then
consider what "lodge night" meant to your father. To him it was a time of
relaxation, characterized by an exchange of confidences, a haven of rest. He
mixed up with the ritualistic consideration of higher things a few hours of
that close, intimate, warmly-personal fellowship which in these modern days we
sometimes call gossip. Those things which affected the welfare of his brother
were of moment to him. At least half of the enjoyment of the meeting was the
ante-room talk and the almost hilarious accompaniment of the session -
sandwiches and coffee. Nowadays the lodge meeting begins just before or just
after the dinner hour - or as often in the afternoon, so that the degree mill
can complete its work. And by the time the lodge closes, everyone is so tired
that there is a rush home for bed, unless there is to be a banquet, with long,
barren, boresome talks. Of real fellowship there is little. We say there is
not time. WHY is there not time?
Dare you take your lodge's temperature? Is there
not evidence that in Masonry, as in nearly all things else, we are feverish?
Do we ever sit around a steam radiator, as our fathers sat around the red hot
stove, and talk and talk and talk, settling all the great problems of the
universe? We don't! We think of such discussions, with an occasional story
that would not pass muster in a drawing room, as "a waste of time." Was it
that? Or did it serve a purpose?
A salesman who traveled by an overland route
called one day on an Arkansas farmer. An exchange of "howdydos" was followed
by an elaborate presentation to the farmer of the merits of some stock-food.
The farmer was not interested. More argument on the part of the salesman.
Still no evidence of interest. "This food, mixed with the regular grain diet
which you now feed, will increase your production." "Yaas." "Don't you see, if
you will buy five hundred pounds of this food, and mix it with the corn and
oats you now feed, you will save time?" "Mebby so, yes." "Won't you try it ?"
"Nope." "Now, you don't seem to understand what I'm saying. If you will mix
this food, about one bushel to five of your regular grain rations, the hog
will fatten in two months as much as he would fatten without this food in
three months. Don't you see how much time will be saved?" "Yaas, but what's
time to a hog?" Ye Scribe would cast no aspersions at ritualism - he is a
ritualist himself - but if we remain ritual worshippers only we are no more
progressive than the farmer. Our Fraternity may well spend time in serious
consideration of an exchange of much of our ritual for a sane and up-to-date
interpretation of it.
Whether our descent be from gilds, companies or
colleges of artificers means little unless we apply the principle of education
which was the foundation of them all. "Apprentice, Fellow Craft, Master" -
even the words denote progress. The lodge was a school in practical things. He
who presided was a skilled artisan, all the more so if he were in fact an
architect. The teaching was an application of a great heritage of principles
to the work in hand, the labor of the day or year.
The lesson is obvious, and absurdly simple.
The crying need of our Fraternity today is for a
leadership which will grasp the meaning of these fundamental truths. What
possible excuse can we offer to posterity for an arrested development? We can
boast of our numbers, our wealth and the character of our membership. Each of
these elements is potentially virile and upstanding. Why are 2,000,000 of us,
individually so strong, so impotent as a group? America - the World - craves
most, without knowing it, that which is our priceless heritage. True
brotherhood, put into action, will heal the misunderstandings, direct the
latent energies and palsy the hand of hate. It is written in our fundamental
documents, both as a nation and as a Fraternity. Time was when our Masonic
forbears were writing those documents, and upholding our Government -
challenging all who would break it down. The Government and the Fraternity
were both weak in numbers, in those days. Today there is an increasing number
of those who point to that Government as a monument of failure. In essence
they claim that the brotherhood has all oozed out of it.
Ought not every Mason to be a missionary in behalf
of this great governmental experiment - if, in fact, it remains an experiment
any longer? Missionaries have to be taught, if they would be efficient
exponents of their doctrine.
Who is going to teach them?
Is not the task a worthy one? Will it not make
"Lodge Night" worth while? G.L.S.
BY BRO. L. B. MITCHELL,
Masonry, to be its best in
the "better by and by"
When the "safety first" of men is the peace that's
Must have its one real objective to a point
beneath the sky
It must all its millions use
for a purpose, noble, pure;
It must wield its splendid strength for the
highest concept known,
It must keep its heart of hearts on the altar all
But we find the wide world
o'er that for common needs of men
Institutions ever rise as the
servants of the race
And that more and more is dreamed of the time a
Each may have his right in right, each his wage in
But all these should have their care, they are
mainly things that lie
Where the practical begins in
the world's economy.
So the mystic Art of ours
seems to stand out quite alone
Clear of every interest where
mere policies are met
On a plane where those of
heart are distinctively its own
Where the limit for the race
in its upper trend is set.
So whate'er may come to this
ever troubled world again
Masonry's objective still
must be that of making men.
This has been its one objective with relief, which
goes with heart
And its lessons to the Craft prompt to Love and
Fundamental things that go to make it the gracious
Reaching to the things supreme by which man may
win the prize.
Then let Masonry make men for
the callings of the earth,
'Tis the highest world objective, giving to all
A man may be outwardly successful all his life long, and die
hollow and worthless as a puff-ball; and he may be externally defeated all his
life long, and die in the royalty of a kingdom established within him. A man's
true estate of power and riches, is to be himself; not in his dwelling; or
position, or external relations, but in his own essential character. That is
the realm in
which he is to live if he is to live as a Christian man. - H.W. Beecher
Rightly viewed no meanest object is insignificant.
All objects are as windows through which the philosophic eye looks into
Infinitude itself. - Thomas Carlyle.
The cautious seldom err. - Confucius.
EDITED BY BRO. ROBERT TIPTON
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 review write us about it; if you desire to purchase a
book - any book - we will help you get it, with no charge for the service.
Make this YOUR Department of Literary Consultation.
FOR THE YOUNG MASTER MASON -
"A Primer of Masonic History," by Bro. Henry Falls
Evans. Published by Square and Compass, 4412 Beach
Court, Denver, Colorado. Price 25 cents
THERE recently came to our desk a small
paper-covered book to which we desire to draw the attention of all lodges. We
feel that it fills a long felt need among the Craft. Written under the title
of "A Primer of Masonic History" it gives ample satisfaction through reading
and proves to fulfill its mission. Its notation of authorities readily points
out the breadth of the author's Masonic reading. His topical arrangement
leaves little wanting and gives the new initiate the things that he should
become acquainted with.
Lodges could well indeed afford to possess
themselves of this little work, which sells for 25 cents, and present it to
their newly made Master Masons. We feel it would satisfy that interest which
invariably is shown by the newly made Mason and which is so frequently left to
go unministered to.
* * *
CAPABLE DISCUSSIONS ON VITAL
QUESTIONS OF THE HOUR
"The Annals of the American
Academy of Political and Social Science," published by the American Academy of
Political and Social Science, Station B. Philadelphia, Pa. Single copies of
monthly issues, $1.00.
In the July issue of the above-named publication,
International Reconstruction in Europe and Asia is ably dealt with by a score
or more capable specialists. The Turkish and Russian situations are
dispassionately viewed and discussed by such men as Abram T. Elkus, Morris
Jastrow, Raymond Robbins and Baron Rosen, while the Peace question is aptly
handled by such men as Vice President Marshall, John Hays Hammond, Senator
Hitchcock and former Governor McCall of Massachusetts.
The unprejudiced, scientific inquiry of eminent
men upon topics of international import cannot but minister toward an
intelligible appreciation of the world problem and consequently lend the
invaluable aid to those who by their leadership and position are trusted with
the equitable adjustment of affairs after the war. We could wish that the
Annals were in the hands of every influential man in every community. It would
serve to temper the demagogue spirit and would assure a reasonable discussion
of the vital issues of the hour that would be void of senseless passion,
distrust and fanaticism.
* * *
AN INTERPRETATION OF ANATOLE
"Anatole France," by Lewis
Paget Shanks. The Open Court Publishing Company, 122 South Michigan Ave.,
Chicago, Ill. $1.50.
Those desiring an epitome of the life and works of
Anatole France will find their desire gratified in this volume by Lewis Paget
Shanks. This appreciative interpretation of the great Frenchman ought to
arouse wider interest for the perusal of his works. It contains vivid pictures
of the transformation of the French dean of letters which displays the
evolution of the healthy human who is ever awake to the new movements and
things that are happening in the world. In France is displayed that
commingling of pessimism and idealism which has so often characterized those
who ultimately were revealed as great benefactors of human kind.
* * *
AN INTERESTING BIOGRAPHY OF
AN ENGLISH MAN OF AFFAIRS
"The Story of My Life," by
Sir Edward Clarke, K. C. Published by E. P. Dutton and Company, 681 Fifth
Avenue. New York. N Y
In this biographical volume a distinguished
Englishman and Freemason has given us a splendid picture of the English man of
affairs. The charming candor with which the book has been written leaves no
doubt as to its worth. From beginning to end a real life is presented. Sorrow
tinges it here and there, touching for one moment a folly of childhood, the
next concerned with the irreparable loss of loved ones.
But foremost of impressions perhaps is left after perusing Sir
Edward's political ambitions. From this angle the book would have
inspirational value for many of our budding statesmen in the Craft. In tenor
it is strictly English in its atmosphere, even as Sir Edward's interests are
strictly English. He is of the noble type of conventional Englishman who takes
it for granted that England, and London in particular, is
the hub of the universe. He builds a church, addresses workingmen's
clubs, is of unquestionable loyalty toward his party leaders, thanks God for
his wealth, health and strength, and is a lover and worthy representative of
our brethren of the tight little Island.
* * *
AN INTERESTING LITTLE BOOK ON
NEW THOUGHT WRITTEN IN AN UNUSUAL VEIN
"The Law of Mind in Action,"
by Fenwicke L. Holmes. Published by Robert M. McBride, 31 Union Square, N.,
New York City. Price $1.25.
A little volume of interest written on a
metaphysical basis. It is unusual in that it does not follow the well-worn
paths of the average New Thought book. Its lessons find a psychological
warrant and its atmosphere is redolent with devotional idealism.
To those interested in New Thought we recommend
the addition of this volume to their collection.
NOVEMBER BOOK LIST
Publications Issued by the
1915 bound volume of THE
BUILDER $ 3.00
1916 bound volume of THE
1917 bound volume of THE
1918 bound volume of THE
Philosophy of Masonry, by
Bro. Roscoe Pound, Dean of the Harvard Law School 1.25
(reproduced by photographic plates from an original copy in the archives
of the Iowa Masonic Library, Cedar
Rapids.) Edition limited to 1,000 copies 2.00
"The Story of Old
Glory, The Oldest Flag," by P.G.M. Barry, Iowa, red buffing binding,
Same paper covers .50
Symbolism of the First
Degree, Gage, (pamphlet) .15
Symbolism of the Third
Degree, Ball, (pamphlet) .15
Symbolism of the Three
Degrees, Street, paper covers .35
Deeper Aspects of Masonic
Symbolism, Waite, (pamphlet) .15
* * *
Publications from other
sources, kept in stock at Anamosa
The Builders, a story and
study of Masonry, by Brother Joseph Fort Newton. formlerly Editor-in-Chief of
THE BUILDER 1.50
Mackey's Encyclopaedia, 1918
edition, two volumes, black Fabrikoid binding 15.00
Symbolism of Freemasonry,
True Principles of
Freemasonry, Grant 2.00
"The Comacines, Their
Predecessors and Their Successors," last remaining copies of the original
English edition, cloth covers, sold only in combination with the Society
reprint of "Further Notes on the Comacine Masters.Ē Both by W. Ravenscroft,
England. Combination price 1.50
Concise History of
Freemasonry, Robert Freke Gould, English Edition 4.50
* * *
The above prices include
postage and insurance or registeration fee on all items except pamphlets. The
latter will be sent by regular mail, not insured or registered.
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.
DEMIT OR DIMIT
We have been asked which form
of this word is correct and why. Some Masons use one form and some another,
while still others use either form without distinction. The leading
dictionaries of the English language are not in all respects uniform in their
definitions of these words, nor are they necessarily in conflict except as to
some unimportant details. These dictionaries are the Oxford in England, and
the Standard and Webster's New International in this country. To these we
might also add the Century and Worcester, though the last named is now
considered out of date. In order to avoid a one- sided view of the subject we
will consider what all these dictionaries have to say about these words and
their derivatives, insofar as they have an application to Masonry. Therefore,
consulting these dictionaries we find that the verb "digit" is given by the
Century and Standard with the meaning, to dismiss, to permit to go, to send
away. It is given as obsolete but with the same definition by the Oxford and
Worcester, and it is not given at all by Webster. The verb "demit" is given as
obsolete by Worcester, but all the others give it as a living word with the
meaning to resign, to give up, to lay down, (as an office, etc.).
The noun "dimit" is given by
the Century as meaning a dimissory letter, written permission to leave a
lodge. The Standard gives it with the same meaning, but marks it obsolete.
None of the others give it at all. The noun "demit" is given by the Standard
and Webster as meaning a letter of recommendation given a person removing from
one Masonic lodge to another; a letter, certificate, or the like, certifying
that a person has (honorably) demitted, as from a Masonic lodge. The other
dictionaries do not give it at all.
The noun "dimission" is given
as obsolete by all the dictionaries here quoted, but they all give the noun
"demission" with the meaning, a relinquishment, a resignation, etc.
definitions and assuming for the present that we should recognize as valid a
definition given as such by any one of these dictionaries, we find that:
The verb "dimit" means to
dismiss, to permit to go, etc.
The verb "demit" means to
resign, to relinquish, etc.
Thus it would be incorrect to
say "a brother dimits from a lodge" since he does not dismiss or grant
permission to go. The correct word is "demit" in this case, since he resigns
or relinquishes membership. If the lodge had the right to accept or reject his
resignation, to grant or refuse him permission to go it might be correct to
say the lodge dimitted the brother. If, however, the lodge has no option, but
must grant the request of the brother, if he is in good standing, it cannot be
said that they permit him to go. They cannot permit what they cannot refuse.
The power to permit implies also the power to refuse. A man cannot prevent the
sun from rising or setting and therefore cannot permit it. The sun does not
rise by reason of any such permission nor is a brother's right to demit
dependent on a permission granted by his lodge. In most jurisdictions the only
eases in which the lodge has an option in the dismissal of a member is when he
has been found guilty of unmasonic conduct, and such dismissal is called
The noun "dimit" is a written
permission to leave a lodge and if valid at all can apply only in cases where
the lodge has the right to grant or refuse such permission at its option. The
noun "demit" is "a letter, certificate or the like certifying that a person
has (honorably) demitted, as from a Masonic lodge." This correctly describes
the fact and should therefore be the proper word to use. The definition given
by the Standard also includes the definition given by the Century for the word
"dimit" and implies that under either definition the word should be spelled
The fact that the word
"dimission" is given as obsolete by all these dictionaries and the word
"demission" is given as valid by all is further evidence that the best and
most consistent usage is to use the correlative verb and noun "demit" rather
When we consult Masonic
authorities we find more diversity of opinion and practice, but here also the
weight of authority is in favor of "demit" rather than "dimit." In England the
word "dimit" has never been used at all. Anderson's Constitutions, where the
word is used at all, gives it "demit." Dr. Oliver uses "demit" in his
Dictionary. The Proceedings of the Ars Quatuor Coronati Lodge gives it
"demit." The same thing is true of other English Masonic writers. I have never
seen the word "dimit" used by English writers and even "demit" is now obsolete
among English Masons. They use the word "resign" and "resignation" instead. In
this country the word "demit" has been constantly used though not universally
as in England. In the English editions of Dermott's Ahiman Rezon as published
in 1756 and subsequently, the word is given "demit." The same is true of the
American editions, though in some the word ' resignation" takes its place.
According to Mackey the word "dimit" was not used in America prior to 1860,
and he calls its use "a modern, American, and wholly indefensible corruption
of the technical word 'demit."' He also says "A Mason demits from his lodge:
he resigns. He takes out his demit; he asks for and receives an acceptance of
The American authorities
usually cited to establish the validity of word "dimit" are Lockwood's
"Masonic Law and Practice," Chase's "Digest of Masonic Law," Drummond's "Maine
Masonic Text Book" and Macoy's "Cyclopedia." On investigating the references
to these works, I find that Lockwood defines a "dimit" as the effect of a
majority vote granting the "dimission." This is certainly something entirely
different from the present idea of a demit and would not apply to a ease where
the lodge had no vote. It also loses sight of the fact that all the
dictionaries now give "dimission" as obsolete. Drummond also makes the demit
depend upon a vote of the lodge granting it. Chase uses "demit" instead of
"dimit" and I cannot understand why he should have been cited as giving
"dimit." Macoy defines "dimit" as a withdrawal from membership, which is
contrary to the universally accepted definition of this form of the word. He
also says that the word "dimit" is from the Latin "dimitto" meaning "I permit
to go." This is true, and the word "dimit" derived from it, if valid at all is
"a permission to go" not "a withdrawal."
Much confusion has been
caused by a misconception of the derivation of these words. It has been
generally stated by Masonic writers that "dimit" comes from the Latin word
"dimitto" and "demit" from the word "demitto." The latter word means I let
down, I lower, I sink, I stoop, etc., and there are English words derived from
it which have the same or similar meanings. This, however, is not the word
used in Masonry. The prefix "di" in Latin means away from, and so does the
prefix "de," but "di" means on the same level, while "de" carries the idea of
downward and a lower position. Many words in passing from the Classical Latin
into English changed their forms, and so words in "di" frequently change to
"de." That is the ease with this word. The Century, the Standard, Webster's
New International, and the Oxford dictionaries are agreed that the word
"dimitto" in passing into English took both the form "dimission" and
"demission" and that the form "dimission" is now obsolete. When we turn to the
Latin dictionary we find that the word "dimitto" has two meanings, (1) "I send
away," "I dismiss," etc. (2) "I voluntarily let go, give up, abandon."
Coming into the English by
way of the late Latin or French, words in "di" frequently change to "de" and
thus it happens that both "dimitto" and "demitto" came into English as
"demission" instead of "dimission." The dictionaries give the following:
Demission, from dimitto,
obsolete. A lowering; degradation; depression.
Demission, from demitto,
living. A relinquishment; resignation; transference.
Dimission, from dimitto,
obsolete. Leave to depart.
Demit, verb, from demitto,
obsolete. To lower; depress; submit; humble.
Demit, verb, from dimitto,
living. To lay down formally, as an office; resign, relinquish; transfer. (Not
given by Worcester.)
Dimit, verb, from dimitto,
living according to Century and Standard; obsolete according to Oxford,
Worcester and Webster. To dismiss; permit to go.
Demit, noun, from demitto.
Living according to Standard. Not given by Webster, Oxford, Century or
Worcester. A letter of dismissal; specifically, a recommendation given to a
person removing from one Masonic lodge to another.
Demit, noun, from dimitto.
Not given by Standard, Century, Oxford or Worcester. Living according to
Webster. Act of demitting; also, a letter, certificate or the like, certifying
that a person has (honorably) demitted, as from a Masonic lodge.
Dimit, noun, from dimitto.
Not given by Oxford, Standard, Webster or Worcester. Living according to
Century. A dimissory letter; written permission to leave a lodge, implying
good standing in the lodge left, and thus no disability to affiliate with
As Worcester does not
recognize either "demit" or "dimit" in the form of either a verb or a noun, we
shall confine our summary to the other four dictionaries.
Of the living verbs, all four
give "demit," and two, the Century and Standard, also give "dimit," but with a
different meaning from "demit."
Of the living nouns the
Oxford gives neither "demit" nor "dimit"; the Century gives only "dimit," and
two, the Standard and Webster, give "demit" with similar meanings though they
derive it from different Latin words.
C. C. Hunt, Iowa.
(A study of the forty-nine Codes of the Grand
Lodges of the United States reveals the fact that forty-one use the word
"dimit" while but eight use "demit." - Editor.)
* * *
SHRINE HISTORY AND MAGAZINE
Can you inform me if there are any books or
histories published on the A.A.O.N.M.S. (Shrine) ?
If so, how and where may I obtain them !
About three years ago there was announced the
prospective publication of a "History of the Mystic Shrine" written by William
Ross, historian of Lulu Temple, Philadelphia, Pa. As to the scope and value of
this work we cannot speak, there being no copy of it in the Society's library.
Neither have we the address of Brother Ross but this can doubtless be obtained
by writing Brother John Bolard, Masonic Temple, Philadelphia.
To any one in search of a newsy little Shrine
magazine we would recommend "The Crescent," published by The Crescent
Publishing Company, St. Paul, Minn., as the best of its kind coming to our
Brother Master, and Brother Secretary, do you send
out lodge notices week after week on the usual postal card form, with
substantially the same wording every time: "A Special Communication of Blank
Lodge No. Blank will be held on Wednesday, November 5th, at 8 p. m. Work in
the Blank degree. Come"? And then after acquiring a quorum about 8:30 or 8:45
p. m. are you compelled to press into service several Past Masters (if any
such happen to be present) or others who may only have a superficial knowledge
of the part they are asked to take, to enable you to initiate, pass or raise
some young brother who is expecting a great deal more than he sometimes gets?
And, after the work is over, are you compelled to apologize to the visitor
from another lodge who has dropped in, and sometimes to the candidate, for the
poor degree work and small attendance? And do you then sit around a while in
the anteroom before going home and ask each other "why Brother So-and-So never
comes out to the meetings any more" and wonder "if the attendance will ever
pick up" ?
Change your advertising system!
Dig up a publicity man out of your membership. Get
him to write "copy" for your lodge notices, insert a few chatty personals,
take a few ideas from some of the articles you have read in a recent issue of
THE BUILDER and write a few paragraphs on them, tell how many were present at
your last meeting and about the good time you had. After you have had a little
experience with the first two or three notices you will find it easier to get
up the next ones. New items will continually suggest themselves and you will
soon be piled up with stuff that you will have to hold over for the next
If yours is a small lodge with a resident
membership of around one hundred, more or less, you can get your bulletin out
on a typewriter, using thin paper and making carbon copies. Or you cart get
some business man who is a member of the lodge to run them off on his
duplicating machine for you. The expense would be almost nothing, and if a
duplicating machine were used you could mail the notices in unsealed envelopes
for one-cent postage. But it would be better to spend another cent and send
them out in sealed envelopes.
Ye scribe personally knows of a lodge that started
this scheme several years ago and the average attendance has since been over
seventy-five per cent. of the resident membership and at many meetings it is
practically one hundred per cent. Continual weekly, bimonthly or monthly
bulletins each containing a few interesting items on Masonic subjects and
stressing the gains in attendance at each meeting will wake up the majority of
the neglectful ones and bring them out to the meetings. Get a bunch of
boosters to form the habit of speaking to those of irregular attendance every
time they meet them on the street and get them to promise to come out to the
next meeting. If the bulletins are sent out to these brethren regularly they
cannot offer the excuse that they are not informed as to what is going on at
If you want to try out this scheme here is a
specimen of a bulletin issued by Hatheway Lodge No. 869. at Rome. N. Y.:
THE HATHEWAY HANDBILL
Vol. 1, No. 3 Friday, Sept.
this week Friday. On your toes now and make it a
whale of a meeting. Give your officers encouragement. They will give you a
snappy degree. By the way we worked the Third in full form last Friday and
closed at 10:30. That's moving some! The Hatheway gavel falls at the stroke of
says Harry Buck, our R.W.D.D. in the enclosed
circular. Don't forget it's this week Saturday the 20th. Meet at OUR Temple
not later than 12:30. We will try to get under way at 1:00. Bring your auto.
If you haven't one we will find you a seat.
The six Utica lodges have re-adjusted their
initiation fees on a uniform basis of $75. Utica Masons are vigorously pushing
a movement to erect a new Temple.
The enforcement of the Grand Master's Edict,
requiring all lodges in this jurisdiction to work in the English language has
been postponed to January 1st, next.
2,000,000 Masons in the U.S., 200,000 in N. Y. State, 660 in
Rome. 500,000 R. A. and 250,000 K.T. Masons in the
"The conclusion drawn by your mission (our
overseas mission - Ed.) is that the Masonic fraternity's efforts to engage
independently in overseas vicar relief work were secretly opposed and thwarted
by influences hostile to us." Interested? Then phone. We have a number of
copies of this amazing report for circulation among our members.
Grand Lodge recently sent a check in the sum of
$5,000 for the use of our overseas mission. Hats off to Mass.
"The ways of virtue are beautiful. Knowledge is
gained by degrees. Wisdom dwells with contemplation; there we must seek her."
First and third Fridays each month. First degree this week.
of Wales, now on this side of the pond, was
recently Raised in Household Brigade Lodge. His great-uncle, the Duke of
Connaught, is Grand Master of England.
The divine essence itself is
love and wisdom.
until Friday night. Grab your
boot-straps and pull.
Frank S. Baker, Master-Ed.
Kenneth M. Bow, Sec'y-Pub.
Jas. F. Maclaughlin, Printer.
* * *
An unusual event in Masonic history occurred at
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, when the longest Communication ever held by any
Masonic lodge in the world was held by Oklahoma City Lodge No. 36, A. F. & A.
M., beginning at High Twelve, Wednesdey, August 27th, and remaining in
continuous session until Low Twelve, Saturday, August 30th, 1919. This
Communication was held for the purpose of conferring the Master Mason degree
upon a class of sixty-nine candidates.
The work was done under the direction of C. M.
March, Worshipful Master, A. G. Hoge, Senior Warden, E. C. Stentz, Junior
Warden, G. W. Spencer, Secretary. The degree work was done by four teams,
working shifts of six hours each. The degrees were put on in full form, with
but one candidate and one team working at a time. The candidates were not
railroaded through, but given the work, one hour being taken for each
candidate. It was concluded with the twelve Fellow Craft movement and full
Refreshments were served continually to a large number of
workers and visitors, the exercises being concluded with a banquet
and ball. William Noble, Oklahoma.