MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS
GEO. W. BAIRD. P.G.M., D!STRICT OF COLUMBIA
FIRST Secretary of the Treasury, the close friend of Washington, is
mentioned on page 45 of "The Old Masonic Lodges of Pennsylvania," and on
page 58, as subscribing a sum of money for the lodge, and on page 73 as
having been raised to the degree of Master Mason on the 16th of December,
1757, in the second lodge of Moderns.
has been so much written about this most interesting patriot that it might
seem out of place to dwell at length on his literary, military or diplomatic
descended from a Scotch father, a French Huguenot mother, and was born in
the West Indies. His opportunities for education were limited. He was at
first a clerk. He wrote a description of a hurricane at St. Kitts, which was
largely copied and which invited attention to him.
Hamilton possessed a splendid memory, a logical mind, and with them industry
and ambition. He was a man of splendid disposition, having consideration for
everybody, with a fixed determination to do right.
had one misfortune - he was handsome. A handsome fellow is usually envied by
the men and spoiled by the girls. He was born at Nevis in January 1757, and
was killed in a duel at Weehawken in July 1804, when only 47 years of age.
The modest memorial over his grave in Trinity Churchyard, New York City, is
visited by many.
his mother he learned French, but English was the language at Nevis, and
when he went to New York for his education he was well versed in both
Hamilton's newspaper work soon placed him in the class of the better
literatus of the day, his ability to speak in two languages, his charming
voice, handsome personality and his magnetism induced followers.
the war began he became an Artillery Captain. His military operations were
creditable. His replies in Holts Magazine to the attacks of Mr. Seabury upon
the Continental Congress brought Hamilton into the limelight. In 1777
Washington made him his aidede-camp with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. It
should no longer be repressed that there was much jealousy between the
colonies, and Washington availed himself of the grand ability of Hamilton to
smooth the Governors of the Colonies the right way and bring peace and
harmony among them, which he did admirably. His knowledge of French enabled
him to smooth out difficulties with our allies, though on one occasion he
was roped into being a second in a duel between Laurens and Lee. He was,
however, averse to dueling.
Hamilton was at West Point at the time Arnold deserted. He strongly urged a
compliance with the request of Andre, to be shot instead of hanged.
married the second daughter of Philip Schuyler, after which he resigned his
place on Washington's staff and became a commander of a New York Regiment,
but soon afterward was elected to Congress, taking his seat in November
1783. In Congress he soon became active in the matter of the settlement of
the public debt. The nation was without money, its credit as limited, its
expenses were reduced to a minimum, the Army and Navy were dismantled and
the officers and crews discharged, only one Navy officer remaining, John
Paul Jones, but as a Commissioner, however, to remain in France for the
purpose of settling our tangled relations. Ships were owned by each nation,
and sometimes jointly. Crews in French hulls were sometimes American, and
vice versa. Such were the problems Jones was obliged to reconcile, but he
died before his work was finished and though the Republic owed him $60,000
at the time of his death, he was buried by charity.
Hamilton became the first Secretary of the Treasury and was well qualified
for the position. His efforts went far toward establishing our credit; far
toward fostering our commerce and establishing schemes of economy which have
led to the wealth of the nation. It is a pity we ever departed from the ways
there has never lived a positive man - one who dared to do what he believed
was right, but that man made enemies. Jealousy is the cause of so much of
this world's trouble. If a man cannot be crushed; if his defense is
invulnerable; if his following is overwhelming, you have only to associate
his name with an attractive woman and make the most vague insinuation, and
the public will believe you.
are not quoting from the press, but from the gossips of the Capital who have
dwelt here for ages. The writer was born in Washington and, when not absent
on public service, has always lived at the Capital. More than that his
parents and grandparents married and lived in the Capital City. The gossips
give a story of interest. A very beautiful and attractive lady, greatly
pleased with the dimpled cheeks and rosy face of Hamilton, proceeded to make
him believe she was enamored of him. Let us drop the curtain here for a
was not long before an infuriated husband appeared at Hamilton's office,
asking $10,000 heart-balm. He did not talk shooting, but threatened
publication. The game was apparent and Hamilton was not the kind of man to
submit. He refused to pay the money, and at the appointed time the daily
papers printed the scandal, but with no mention of the demand that had been
made for money. The sensation, as might be imagined, came as a great shock.
Hamilton published a card acknowledging his guilt, offering no excuse and
begging the public pardon. He made no counter-accusation, nor did he invite
attention to the peerless charms of the lady. The public seemed to forgive,
and the incident was closed.
Hamilton had offended Aaron Burr, by opposing him in his candidacy for
Governor of New York. Burr challenged Hamilton and they fought with pistols
in Weehawken. Hamilton fell at the first fire. As a child I often heard the
story of Burr practicing for this duel. Walking in his garden with a book he
would suddenly draw and fire, and in this way became proficient in such
Hamilton's modest little memorial in Old Trinity Churchyard is thus
patriot of incorruptable integrity
soldier of approved valor
Statesman of consummate wisdom
talents and virtues will be remembered by
after this marble shall have mouldered
July 12th, 1804, Aged 47
REGINALD WRIGHT KAUFFMAN, PENNSYLVANIA
dinner given in honor of Bro. Col. H.H. Whitney, of Gen. Pershing’s staff,
as President of the Overseas Masonic Club, Paris, on June 20th, 1919, the
following address was delivered by Bro. Reginald Wright Kauffman, author of
the American war novel "Victorious," and the Secretary of the Club was
requested by Bro. Whitney and members of the Overseas Masonic Club and the
Masonic Overseas Mission, to send a copy of the manuscript to THE BUILDER
Unfortunately the copy retained by Brother Connaway, the Secretary, was
lost, but we have been able to obtain another from Brother Kauffman and we
believe it will have lost none of its interest through its delayed
THOSE who should know more of such matters than I do, it has been said that
the World War, differing from all preceding conflicts in the extent of its
operations, and involving more countries and more combatants than any other
struggle recorded in authentic history differed from every other conflict
also in this: that it produced no outstanding hero, no figure to claim the
admiration or devotion of mankind. These authorities aver that, just as the
war now ended has been vast beyond comprehension - just as it has evolved
theretofore undreamed - of engines of destruction and produced inventions
for wholesale slaughter by scientific means - so it has lessened individual
endeavor and robbed the soldier of his military acclaim.
novel "Victorious," to which you, Bro. Toastmaster, have so flatteringly
referred, was written to controvert such assertions. It was written to pay
what tribute I could to the sole heroic figure that, it seems to me, the
chaos of the past red months has flung upon our ensanguined horizon: I mean
the fellow in our ranks, the American Enlisted Man.
has been my fortune to see a deal of the fighting that began in 1914 and
that idealists still hope to end by their League of Nations and the Peace of
Versailles. I remember how, when I left Antwerp eight hours before the
Germans entered it, I got aboard a troop-train that, I was told, carried
what remained of the Belgian Army - and how I took up almost as much room on
that train as the Belgian Army did; I never expected to see it as a battling
force again. Time passed; the dripping shuttle of the war darted to and fro,
and I found myself in the first-line beyond La Panne. I was at that portion
of the long front which, of all others, was then the worst to police and the
hardest to maintain. Trenches could not be dug, because to dig two feet was
to reach water; the dead were buried above ground, and the enemy outnumbered
us ten-to-one. Yet there was the Belgian Army, ensconced behind perfect
ramparts, living in cleanly order, young, vigorous, calm, heroic. And the
Belgian enlisted-man, the Jasse as they call him, was the force that made
this possible. Nor can I ever forget the courage of the Tommy or any of his
British brothers-in-arms. During the Second Battle of Flanders I happened to
be with a unit of the English Army in which there had been many recent
replacements - Cockneys mostly - unused to war, of whose morale there was
considerable doubt. How would such fellows behave under fire ? Well, a shell
exploded in a trench in which were five veterans and a single newcomer. When
the smoke cleared a little, one of the veterans looked at the body of
another and cried to his comrades:
God, just see Bill: his heady blown off!"
followed a moment of silence, and then came the thin, complaining voice of
right, old top; but where is 'is 'is 'ead ? Carn't you find it for me? 'E
was smokin' my pipe !"
the stubborn heroism of the French poilu, moreover, we owe the maintenance
of three-fifths of the Allied line for three-fifths of the war. I know a
Breton widow who had three sons of whom one had gone to America and,
prospering, sent home money to support his mother. In 1915 she wrote him:
"Your two brothers have been killed in battle: come home anal die for
France" - and the boy came home and died before St. Quintin. When the cause
was at its blackest hour, I have sat in the fortress of Verdun and have seen
men come in from the trenches for a one-day rest - men that had been
fighting since the outbreak of hostilities. They were cold, they were wet,
the filth of the dugouts was still caked upon them; many were slightly
wounded, all were in a state of exhaustion; yet when one of their number
began to sing "You Shall Not Pass," their eyes glistened, their bodies
stiffened, they stood erect - they joined in the refrain, and they forgot
everything but that they were fighting for their country; they were glad to
go back and fight!
men of Belgium, France and England were heroes; they were heroes that the
world will do well to remember; that it will do ill ever to forget. But the
native-land of the Jasse had been devastated; the patrie of the poilu had
been invaded, the homes of the Tommies had been shelled from the air,
whereas, from across the wide Atlantic there came your countrymen and mine,
lads who had no reason to nourish personal revenge in their hearts, boys
brought up in the prospect of perpetual peace, young fellows whose
fatherland had summoned them to fight - for what? Not for reprisal, not for
conquest, not for anything - remember the public avowals of the President,
whatever has been the outcome - not for anything but the worldwide
propaganda of democracy. What, I ask you, of them?
have heard tonight of how, raised from the ranks by fiat of the War
Department that could not, or would not, help them to the insignia of the
grade to which it promoted them, hundreds of these enlistedmen borrowed from
the Masonic Overseas Mission the scant price of their shoulder-bars, and how
every one of them has paid his debt. We have heard of the difliculties that
this commission encountered at Washington before directed to go abroad as
Y.M.C.A. secretaries if it hoped to go at all, how Mr. Fosdick quoted the
American commanding-general in France as opposed to the commission's
presence here and that when it finally came, the doughboy welcomed it. I
think that you know how he welcomed it and why. He welcomed it because he is
of the stuff of which Free Masons are made, and it was as such that he
knew the American Camp in France from its earliest days, and I knew the
first American front. At the Camp, men were billeted, God knows why, in
reeking stables, with leaking roofs, the cattle housed beneath them. In the
trenches they found themselves, amid arctic surroundings, clothed in summer
uniforms, wrapped in newspapers instead of adequate overcoats, their
frost-bitten toes bursting from their imperfect boots. They found themselves
in the condition of the Continentals at Valley Forge, in the condition of
the Federal Ninth Army Corps when, after the Kentucky campaign, it
re-enlisted to a man "for the duration of the war." And these boys of
yesterday were the worthy sons of their fathers of the Civil War and of
their ancestors of the Revolution: they knew that they were not there to
complain, and they did not complain; they knew that they were there to fight
- and how they fought no tongue can ever justly tell.
Again, in the terrible Spring of 1918, I was in Brest. The enemy thundered
at the gates of Paris, and in our own lines there was nothing but disorder
and delay. At the American port I saw over three miles of docks that
resembled a house into which a vast family had just moved. From one end of
the place to the other ran almost uninterrupted ramparts, fifteen , to
twenty feet high, piled with material of war that somehow could not reach
the front. Mail-bags, motorcars and wagon-parts lay there, and had, some of
them, lain there for months. Food rotted before one's eyes. I have seldom
witnessed a more dispiriting spectacle.
a Y.M.C.A. secretary, a Mason, carried me to barracks to speak to soldiers
newly arrived abroad. I stood on a low stage at the end of a vast,
tunnel-like hut, and the secretary had the soldiers sing for me:
you are sleeping,
France is weeping:
from your dreams, Maid of France!"
sang slowly, giving full weight to every word and conferring a true dignity
on what they sang.
heart is bleeding:
with the flame in your glance !"
them as a sea of faces upraised to mine. The secretary had been telling them
that I, not as a Y.M.C.A. man, but as a correspondent, knew what real
fighting was and would tell them of the high battle in which they were now
so soon to bear arms.
"Through the gates of Heaven, with your sword in hand,
your legions to command!"
newly arrived from the horrors of the front; they fresh from their clean
homes: a sea of boys' faces, eager, earnest, faithful ! They were come as
conscripts, but as willing ones; they were come here to die - and they knew
it, and were ready. By God, I tell you, gentlemen, I never before realized
what a splendid thing it was to be an American!
might continue with sketches of the doughboy - and that word "Doughboy,"
coined to designate the infantryman, now stands for every private in our
Army - I might go on with sketches of him in seven different forms of
battle, but I content myself with only one more. It is a sight I caught of
men I knew going into action.
was a gray land on a gray day. The barren fields stretched eastward under a
bleak and humid sky. From out that way, fighting through the dense
atmosphere, came now the rumble of the distant battle's guns. Gun-carriages
crawled along, the steel tubes of the field artillery dull in the scanty
light, the wheels heavy with clogging masses of blue clay. The infantry, at
route-step, marched with feet mud-shod. There was no bragging, no rude
assurance: only a very certain, though very quiet, determination.
was a lad that had been working his way through Harvard, starving himself in
a garret, because he wanted to become a teacher: the brutal fist of Berlin
had descended, and the boy forever forewent his dreams, put aside his
ambitions, sacrificed what he had sacrificed so much to gain - and
volunteered. His frugal life, his years of self-denial, even his conscious
meannesses and skimpings - they seemed to me to form a veritable halo around
that youngster's head.
was an older man, the husband of a wife, the father of a family. He had
closed up, when drafted, business that he had just succeeded in clearing
from debt. "Of course, I don't like it," he confessed to me; "but of course
I wouldn't have stayed at home even if I could, because I know we're here to
stop the secret diplomacy that ends tyranny and to end autocracy, even in
ranks had come to rest, but now the darkness grew suddenly deeper. The
bugles sounded. I knem whither, through the faint twilight, the thoughts ox
these men had gone: they had gone to mothers, wiver and sweethearts in quiet
American towns, to Americas homesteads and American ways, to the great,
bungling busy, loving, erratic chaos that we cherish and will die for and
that we call the U.S.A.
the bugle shrilled into the dark.
were already there - the double lines of them, the long, narrow packs on
their backs, two lines of them rising out of the dull night and passing into
"Right dress - right dress - right dress!"
order passed along. The men shuffled in the mud, the lines straightened, the
soldiers stood still.
it had come to this. All their love and longing, all their business deals
and drudgery and economies - all their hopes and fears had come to this
night in France, to the wet and the cold and the now close-by trenches, to
the "arrow that flieth in darkness and the pestillence that destroyeth by
noonday" - and not a man of them all was visibly sorry.
"Squads right - march!"
rifles went to their shoulders. They turned - by rows of four they turned -
and swung off eastward toward those distant growling guns - swung off on
their way to fight. They believed, and they were prepared to make sacrifice
for their beliefs, and so, even into the darker darkness of the grave, they
did not march without the company of the Immortal Friend. As truly as I
stand here tonight, I tell you that I believe God marched along with them.
brothers, I am not what most of you would call a religious man, but I have
always believed in the Supreme Architect, and that Architect has given me
the chance to believe in the American Enlisted Man In His wisdom, God has
given America this splendi heritage, the heritage of the men that fought and
came home, and the men that fought and fell. In the ideal of those fellows,
however hidden by a modesty that flung over itself a blushing coarseness, He
has indeed built up for us and for our country a mighty salvation. If we
save that, if we carry on the work that they magnificently began, if we end
autocracy at home as the tried to end it abroad, we shall indeed, and in the
only possible way, "make the world safe for democracy" but if we waste what
they have done, if we neglect the pure principles of Freemasonry in our
national life, i we tolerate ideals that militate against those of the
Fathers of the Constitution in the severe and immine days of reconstruction,
then, I assure you, we shall l committing the sin against the Holy Ghost and
leading our land to eternal damnation.
my part, I do not believe that we shall so err. I have a faith in American
manhood that cannot be shaken. Because I have seen the American Enlisted Man
in battle, I believe in America. It is the America Enlisted Man, in very
truth, that has given back the old America to Americans. He fought for you;
fight you now with him. Rise with me, I conjure you, and drink the health of
THE AMERICAN DOUGHBOY
labour health, from health contentment spring;
Contentment opes the source of every joy.
your eyes and ears open if you desire to get on in world.
GUSTAV A. EITEL, MARYLAND
inquiries have come to us for information concerning the origin and history
of the degrees of the Cryptic Rite, or the "Council" degrees. To Brother
Wm. F. Kuhn, of Missouri, was assigned the task at the last meeting of the
General Grand Council of compiling for that Body an official history of the
degrees. When this official history is completed Brother Kuhn has promised
it to us for publication in THE BUILDER. In the meantime we give to our
readers the following article prepared by a committee of the Maryland Grand
Council of which Brother Eitel was the chairman. The introductory remarks
of this committee are self-explanatory.
THE benefit of the Companions of our jurisdiction, few of whom have access
to what has been written about the degrees of the Cryptic Rite - their
origin, their introduction and dissemination in our country - we present,
without comment, what your Committee has been able to gather from the
writings of the several accepted authorities and searchers in this field.
not the Committee's intention to give an exhaustive history of the degrees,
but only sufficient data to enable our Companions to get a far understanding
of the history of the degrees, and of the claims made of their origin and
the later day Masonic writers have given this subject more research and
study than our late Companion Edward T. Schultz, and we present in full from
his "History of Freemasonry in Maryland," (1884,) Vol. I, pp. 335-344:
obscurity has existed regarding the origin of the Degrees of Royal and
Select Masters, and also as to the date where, and by whom they were
introduced into this country. It would appear that the Royal Master's
Degree was first known and worked in the Eastern States, while the Select
Degree was first known, and at a much earlier period, in the Southern and
all the early Masonic writers of the country concede that Philip P. Eckel
and Hezekiah Niles of Baltimore had, at an early period, the control of at
least the Select Degree, and that from them emanated the authority under
which it was introduced into many of the other jurisdictions of the country.
article in Cole's Ahiman Rezon (1817), written by Brother Hezekiah Niles on
the Select Degree, occurs the following: "Though this beautiful Degree is
known to some persons in many parts of the United States, we are not
informed that it is worked in anywhere but in Baltimore. We have been told
that a regular Chapter of Select was held at Charleston, S. C., many years
ago, but believe it has declined."
John Dove, of Virginia, speaking of the Select Degree, says: "This beautiful
Degree is comparatively of modern origin, having been with the Degree of
Royal Master, in the possession of a distinguished Chief in the State of
Maryland as a purely honourary Degree, elucidatory of and appendant to Royal
Arch Masonry, and by him conferred without fee; he delegated authority to
others to use them in the same way, until the year 1824, when the Grand
Chapter of Maryland, with his consent, took charge of the degrees and
ordered them to be given before the Most Excellent Master, where all
intelligent workers in the Royal Arch must at once perceive the propriety of
Mackey, in his History of Freemasonry in South Carolina, under the head of
Cryptic Masonry, says: "For many years there have been three distinct claims
urged for jurisdiction over these degrees in America - first by the Supreme
Council of the 33rd Degree; next by some of the Grand Chapters; and lastly
by the Grand Councils composed of the Subordinate Councils of each State."
"Connected with this question of jurisdiction is another in reference to the
historical origin of the Degrees, and as to the person or persons by whom
they were first introduced into America. The Masons of Maryland and
Virginia contend that the Royal and Select Degrees were introduced by Philip
P. Eckel, of Baltimore, one of the most distinguished and enlightened Masons
of his day, who in 1817, communicated them to Jeremy L. Cross, and gave him
authority to confer them in every Royal Arch Chapter which he might visit in
his official character."
following extracts are quoted from the history of Brother Robert B. Folger,
of New York: "The Masons of that day (1816) were divided in opinion
concerning the proper place to which these degrees (Royal and Select)
belonged. One party preferred that they should be kept separate and left
where they were - a separate system. At the meeting of the General Grand
Chapter in 1816, the whole matter then came up for discussion; Mr. Eckel, of
Maryland, taking a very prominent part in advocating the union of these two
degrees with the services of the Royal Arch Chapters. The discussion became
warm and lasted the better part of two days, when the motion to unite them
with the Chapter Degrees was rejected. Whereupon, immediately after
adjournment, the State Grand Council of Royal Masters was formed, and the
different Councils then came under that governing power, and continued so up
to 1828. It was this move on the part of the General Grand Chapter, in
refusing a recognition of those degrees, that determined Mr. Cross in his
Eckel, the Baltimore delegate, then went home; and when Cross, who at that
session of the General Grand Chapter had been appointed and confirmed as
General Grand Lecturer, started on his lecturing tour, he stopped at
Baltimore and purchased and received the privilege from Eckel and Niles to
erect and establish Councils of Royal and Select Masters throughout the
Southern and Western States. This privilege he carried out pretty
effectually, beginning with New Jersey; and all the Councils in existence in
those States mentioned in his narrative were established by himself, also
the Eastern States, except Rhode Island."
the above quotations it will be perceived that it was the general belief
that the control of the Royal and Select Degrees were vested in Eckel and
think Bros. Dove, Mackey, Folger, and others, make a great mistake in
coupling the Royal Master's Degree with the Select, in connection with the
names of Eckel and Niles; for there is no evidence whatever to show that
these brethren ever exercised or claimed control of the Royal Master's
Degree, or that they were even in Possession of that degree at the periods
named by them.
J.H. Drummond, of Maine, states on apparently good authority, that Eckel did
not receive the Royal Master's Degree until 1819; that in that year he and
Bro. Benj. Edes of Baltimore, received it from Ebenezer Wadsworth of New
York. This is probably true; for there is no mention of that degree being
worked in this jurisdiction in any document, or upon the records of the
Grand Chapter or of its subordinates earlier than 1850. Bro. Cole in 1817
speaks of it incidentally, but not as among the degrees conferred.
Select Degree is recognized by the Constitution of the Grand Chapter adopted
in 1824, but there is no mention of the Royal Master's Degree.
Furthermore, the Warrant granted to Cross by Eckel and Niles, a copy of
which, taken from a photograph copy of the original, in the possession of
Bro. Wm. R. Singleton of Washington, is here inserted, and from which it
will be seen that the Select Degree alone is mentioned:
WHOM IT MAY CONCERN.
with a perfect conviction that the knowledge of the mysteries of the degree
of Royal Arch are eminently promoted by a knowledge of those revealed in the
Council of Select Masons; and Whereas the said degree of Select is not so
extensively known as its wants and the good of the Craft require -
Therefore Know ye, That reposing especial confidence in my beloved and
trusty Companion Jeremy L. Cross I do hereby, by the high powers in me
vested, authorize and empower him to confer the said degree as follows,
(viz.) In any place where a regular Chapter of Royal Arch Masons is
established, the officers or members approving, he may confer said degree
according to its rules & regulations, but only on Royal Arch Masons who have
taken all the preceding degrees, as is required by the General Grand
Chapter. When a competent number of Select Masons are thus made, he may
grant them a Warrant to open a Council of Select and confer the degree and
do all other business appertaining thereto.
under my hand and seal at Baltimore the 27th day of May, A. D. 1817 and in
the year of the Dis. 2817. PHILIP P. ECKEL,
Illustrious & Grand Puissant in the Grand Council of Select at Baltimore &
approved as G. G. Scribe.
Approved & attested as Ill. in the G. Council. H. NILES.
first Warrants issued by Cross under this commission the Companions were
empowered "to form themselves into a regular Council of Select Masters," but
in the Warrants issued by him in 1819 and thereafter the "High Powers in him
vested by the Grand Council at Baltimore," were enlarged to include the
Royal Master's degree.
of the action taken subsequently by the Brethren of Baltimore, there is
every reason to believe that the "enlarged powers" under which Cross claimed
to act were not granted or authorized by Eckel and Niles.
Session of the Grand Chapter held in 1827, Jos. K. Stapleton, Grand High
Priest, submitted "documents upon the subject of the institution of the
Select Degree independent of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter," which were
referred to a committee, who recommended that a circular be sent to the
several Grand Chapters regarding the matter and which was adopted. A copy
of this circular is here inserted:
Sir and Companion:
instructed by the Grand Chapter over which I have the honour to preside, to
address you and through you your Grand Chapter, upon the unsettled state of
the Degree of Select Mason - a subject deemed by us of sufficient importance
to claim the particular attention of your Grand Chapter.
degree existed under the authority of a distinguished chief in the State of
Maryland, but without the recognizance of our Grand Chapter, for man years;
until, in the year 1824, upon the revision of our Constitution, it appearing
evident that the Select Degree not only has an intimate connection with, but
is in a measure necessary, as preparatory to and elucidatory of, that of the
Royal Arch; it was formally recognized by our Grand Chapter, and required to
be given by our subordinate Chapters, in its proper order, immediately
preceding that of the Royal Arch. Under this arrangement we have since
progressed, much to our satisfaction - but it is with regret that we have
learned that Councils or Chapters of Select Masons have been established in
some of our sister States, independent Royal Arch Masonry, avowedly in
pursuance of, but we are satisfied, through a great mistake or actual abuse
of any authority delegated, or meant to be delegated, in relation to the
Select Degree. We would therefore beg leave respectfully to recommend to
you Grand Chapter the consideration of this degree, and the circumstances
under which it exists, if it does exist, within your jurisdiction; with the
hope that you will see it to be for the general interests of the Craft take
the said degree under your recognizance and control, to whom of right it
belongs, and thereby do away what is felt to be a grievance by those
distinguished chiefs, whose authority, delegated to a limited extent and for
special reasons, has been perverted for sordid purposes, by the creation of
an independent order, never contemplated by them; and which we believe to be
inconsistent with the spirit and best interests of our institutions.
Respectfully and fraternally, JOS. K. STAPLETON Grand High Priest.
be seen that Bro. Cross is charged with having abused the "authority,
delegated or meant to be delegated" to him. It has been said by old Masons
in the presence of the writer that for his course of action in this matter,
he was expelled by the Grand Chapter; but there is nothing in the records to
warrant such an assertion.
virtue of the powers claimed to have been received from Eckel and Niles,
Cross established some thirty-three Councils in various parts of the United
States, he also delegated his powers to others, who in like manner issued
Warrants for Councils of Royal and Select Masters. It is said that as high
a sum as one hundred dollars was demanded for a Warrant. From all that has
been stated, it is evident not only that Eckel and Niles claimed to have had
the supreme control and authority over the Select Degree, but that this
claim was generally regarded valid, and it is equally as evident, we think,
that these Brethren never claimed the control of the Royal Master's Degree.
always been a question of much interest with Masonic writers to know the
source whence these Brethren received their authority and control of the
Select Degree. An old document that most unexpectedly came to the knowledge
of the writer about a year ago, settles that question beyond a doubt. It is
Whereas, In the year of the Temple, 2792, our thrice illustrious Brother,
Henry Wilmans, Grand Elect, Select, Perfect Sublime Mason, Grand Inspector
General, and Grand Master of Chapters of the Royal Arch, Grand Elect and
Perfect Masters' Lodges and Councils, Knight of the East, Prince of
Jerusalem, Patriarch Noachite, Knight of the Sun and Prince of the Royal
Secret, did by and in virtue of the powers in him legally vested, establish,
ordain, erect and support a Grand Council of Select Masons in the City of
Baltimore and wrought therein to the great benefit of the craft and to the
profitable extension and elucidation of the mysteries of Masonry - and
whereas, we the subscribers to these presents are by regular succession
possessor of all the rights, privileges and immunities and powers vested in
any way whatsoever in the said Grand Council of Select Masons, considering
the great Advantages that would accrue to the Craft in an extension of the
knowledge of the Royal Secret as introductory to, and necessary for the
better understanding of the Superior Degrees.
all, whom it may concern, that we do hereby authorize and empower our trusty
and beloved Companions, K.S. --- K.T. ---- H.A. ---- of the same, to open
and to hold a Chapter of Select Masons in the City of Baltimore, under such
By-Laws and regulations as may be enacted and established for the government
of the same, subject to the following general rules and regulations:
1st. The Degree of Select Mason shall not be conferred on any one that has
not past the Chair and received the Honourary degree of Mark Master Mason,
nor shall it be conferred for a less sum than Dollars.
2nd. The Officers and Members of the Chapter shall pay due obedience to any
regulations of the Grand Council which shall be consistent with the Rules of
the Order, and duly respect the Officers and Chiefs thereof, and the three
Chief Officers of said Chapter shall in virtue of said Officers constitute a
part and be Members of the Grand Council. The said Council shall not levy
or receive of any Chapter more than - Dollars per annum exclusive of the
Secretary's fees for Warrants, Dispensations, or other Official Writings,
which shall in no case exceed a reasonable compensation for the labour and
trouble of furnishing the same.
3rd. In case the G.R.A. Chapter of the State of Maryland and District of
Columbia, or the General Grand Chapter of the United States shall assume and
take charge of the Degree of Select Mason, then and in that case all power
and authority under these presents shall cease and determine forthwith,
provided a charter of recognition is granted to this Chapter.
4th. The three Chief Officers of the Chapter must, and always shall be Royal
5th. Select Masons made under the authority of a Royal Arch Chapter, and by
the High Priest thereof in the Jurisdiction of the State of Maryland and
District of Columbia, shall be acknowledged and received as such by said
Select Chapter, which Chapter shall be known by the name of - Chapter of
Select Masons, No. 1.
Testimony whereof, we have Signed our names and affixed the Seal of the
Grand Council, this
(1) ] PHILIP P. ECKEL, H. NILES,
be noticed that all that was needed to make this document effective was the
filling of dates, names of officers, and the price to be charged for
conferring the degree. From some cause the dispensation was not used, but
the fact is fully and emphatically stated by Eckel and Niles, under their
hand and seal, that they were, "by regular succession, possessors of all the
rights, privileges, and immunities and powers vested in any way whatsoever
in the said Grand Council of Select Masons" which had been instituted in the
City of Baltimore in the year 1792 by Henry Wilmans, "Grand Inspector
document, in connection with the Rules and Regulations of the Lodge of
Perfection which have been quoted, leaves no room for doubt that Wilmans was
an Inspector of the Rite of Perfection, and that he exercised in the City of
Baltimore in 1792 the powers claimed by such Inspectors. But from whom did
Wilmans acquire his powers of "Grand Inspector General," and the authority
"to establish, ordain, erect and support a Chapter of Select Masons?"
regret we cannot answer the question, nor could the Brethren in various
parts of the country, to whom we applied. The name of Wilmans does not
appear upon any register or document in the archives of the Supreme Council
of the Southern Jurisdiction, or upon any other known document or record
containing the names of the early Inspectors. From the fact that in both
the documents he is styled "Deputy Inspector" led to the supposition that he
might have derived his powers from Europe; acting upon which supposition,
letters were addressed to the Grand Lodges at Berlin and Bremen, while the
result of the correspondence which ensued, was of an interesting nature,
nothing in regard to his Masonic character could be learned.
been ascertained that Wilmans was a native of Bremen, and that he emigrated
to this country and settled in Baltimore, as early at least as the year
1790. The first mention of his name on the records of the Grand Lodge is in
connection with Concordia Lodge in 1793, of which he was appointed the first
or Charter Master. In the same year he was elected Deputy Grand Master, and
in the following year Grand Master of Masons in Maryland. The register of
the Old Zion Lutheran Church, of this City, shows that he died in 1795.
MSS. book of Moses Holbrook, of South Carolina, written in 1829, it is
stated that Joseph Myers, a deputy Inspector General, deposited in the year
1788, in the archives of the Grand Council of Princes of Jerusalem at
Charleston, "a certified copy of the Royal and Select Masters' Degrees,
received from Berlin."
evidently an error, so far as it relates to the Royal Master's Degree. As
initiated, the degree was first known in the Eastern States, and the
earliest reliable mention of it there is in the year 1809.
Holbrook wrote his book in 1829, a which time both degrees were conferred at
Charleston, and naturally he connected the two in his statement; making a
similar error that others do when stating that Eckel and Niles claimed the
control of the Royal Master's degree. The book referred to, contains also
the statement, that somewhere about the year 1788, Joseph Myers was for a
time located in Baltimore.
Wilmans receive the Select Degree from Myers, or did Myers receive it from
degree came from Berlin, it is quite probable that Wilmans brought it with
him, as he came from Germany about the time mentioned for the deposit, in
the MSS. of Holbrook.
is a tradition existing in the Eastern States, that Eckel received the
degrees from a Prussian temporarily sojourning in Baltimore. The period of
Wilman's residence in Baltimore was perhaps not over eight years, and with
some propriety, he might have been regarded as a sojourner, - and a
stated, but upon what authority we know not, that the Royal and Select
Degrees were conferred by Andrew Franken at Albany in 1769, and that he
conferred them upon Samuel Stringer who afterwards removed to Maryland; but
we have not been able to find this name upon any of the records of this
statements or traditions, it will be seen, all point to Maryland as the
source from whence the Select Degree or (as the writer will have it,) Royal
Master's Degree also was subsequently introduced into other parts of the
Folger says: Eckel at the Session of the General Grand Chapter advocated
"the union of the degrees with the services of the Royal Arch Chapter." This
has always been the opinion of the Companions of Maryland.
1824 to 1852, the Select alone was worked in the Chapter. After 1852, both
degrees were worked in Councils specially convened for the purpose, after
the Most Excellent and just before the conferring of the Royal Arch degree.
At one period, however, they were, as stated by Bro. Dove, conferred before
the Most Excellent.
Centennial Celebration of the Grand Chapter of Maryland in 1897, Companion
Edward T. Schultz delivered an Address on "Royal Arch Masonry in Maryland."
At the conclusion of this paper he augments and amplifies his previous
history of "The Cryptic Degree' by new and additional evidence and proofs.
Although in some parts the statements of his earlier history of the degrees
are repeated, yet to attempt to excerpt would destroy its value; and as
these historical facts have not been heretofore embodied, and, that they may
be preserved in our Grand Council proceedings, we print that part of the
Address in full:
degrees known as the Royal and Select Masters, termed Cryptic Masonry, have
been so closely allied to Royal Arch Masonry in our jurisdiction that a
history of the one is not complete without a reference to the other; one of
the degrees of this system, the Select, having been known and worked in our
jurisdiction before the formation of the Grand Chapter, and indeed, before
the organization of Chapters independent of lodge authority.
Although the earliest known date of the introduction of the Royal and Select
Degrees must be placed at least a half century later than that of the
introduction of the Royal Arch, their origin is equally as obscure as that
the degrees are undoubtedly, of European origin, the first mention of them
is found in this country, and the earliest authentic evidence of the
conferment of either of them is to be found in our own City of Baltimore.
one of the many writers upon the subject of these degrees has assigned a
prominent position to Maryland in connection therewith; but errors are so
blended with the facts, in their statements, that it would seem to be a duty
we owe to the memory of the fathers of Royal Arch and Cryptic Masonry in
this jurisdiction, that in this, our Centennial year, we should eradicate
Dove and Folger, as well as nearly all writers who have followed them, state
in general terms that in the early part of this century the Maryland
Companions claimed that Philip P. Eckel "a distinguished Chief" in their
State had the custody and control of the Royal and Select Degrees.
true so far only as regards the Select Degree; there being not a scintilia
of evidence to show that either Eckel, his coadjutors, or their descendants
in this State, ever claimed or exercised any control of, or authority over
the Royal Master's Degree. On the contrary neither of them was in
possession of that degree until some years later than the period of which
these writers speak.
Folger, in his history of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, says: "At
the meeting of the General Grand Chapter held at New York in 1816, the
subject of the Royal and Select Degrees came up for discussion; Mr. Eckel of
Baltimore, took a prominent part in advocating the union of these two
degrees with the services of the Royal Arch Chapters. The discussion was
warm and lasted the better part of two days, when the motion to unite them
with the Chapter degrees was lost."
not true, there being no reference to the subject in the printed
transactions of the General Grand Chapter. I wrote to Companion Christopher
G. Fox, General Grand Secretary, who kindly examined the original
proceedings in his custody, and he wrote me that there is no mention
whatever of these degrees in the transactions of that Convention.
Companion Eckel may have urged the members individually to agree with him to
a union of the Select with the Chapter degrees, for it is well known that he
greatly favoured such a union; but it is not at all probable that he could
have advocated a union with a degree of which he was not in possession, the
Royal Master's degree not being conferred upon him, and Companion Benjamin
Edes, until 1819 by Ebenezer Wadsworth of New York.
grave and misleading error into which these writers have fallen is, that in
the year 1817 Jeremy L. Cross, the celebrated Masonic Lecturer, received the
Royal and Select degrees from Philip P. Eckel and Hezekiah Niles, and that
he purchased from them the authority to confer said degrees upon Royal Arch
Masons and to establish independent Councils of the same.
facts are Eckel and Niles conferred the Select degree upon Cross on the
occasion of a visit by him to Baltimore in the year named, and these
Compassions gave him verbal permission to confer it upon such as he might
find worthy and qualified, but under the sanction of a Chapter Warrant and
was greatly "impressed" with the beauties of the degree and of its
importance and value to a full understanding of the Royal Arch. But to
confer it under the sanction of a Chapter Warrant and without fee did not
accord with "his sordid purposes." He therefore, conceived the idea of
establishing Councils independent of Chapters, and accordingly conferred the
degree upon a number of Companions at Windsor, Vermont, and on July 15th,
1817, organized at that place a Council of Select Masters. He then wrote to
Eckel under date of July 17th, 1817, requesting and urging him, as "Thrice
Illustrious and Puissant in the Grand Council of Select at Baltimore," to
confirm his action in the establishment of the Council at Windsor, and to
empower him to establish similar Councils elsewhere. (After Cross's death a
copy of a letter written to Eckel containing such a request was found among
not known what answer, if any, Eckel made to this request, but subsequent
developments made it quite sure that such an authority was not given to him.
It is true there was found among Cross's effects a document in his
handwriting, purporting to have been signed by Eckel and Niles, giving him
such authority; it is dated May 27th, 1817, nearly two months prior to the
time when he asked that such power might be given him.
Companion Josiah H. Drummond of Maine, who has more thoroughly examined the
origin and history of the Council degrees than anyone, especially Cross's
connection therewith, exhibited this document, in connection with undoubted
signatures of Eckel and Niles, to experts in handwriting. He also sent
photographic copies to Brethren in various parts of the country, all of
whom, except one, (and he has since reconsidered his opinion), pronounced
the signatures thereupon to be not genuine. (2)
submitted one of these photographic copies to experts in handwriting in our
city, four of whom were bank officers, and every one, by a comparison of
Eckel's and Niles's signatures in my possession, pronounced the signatures
on the document in question, simulated, not genuine.
If I am
asked, why refer to such matters at this late day?; why throw a shadow on
the reputation of a deceased Companion?; I reply, justice to the reputations
of Companions, also deceased, whose memories are dear to the heart of every
Maryland Mason, demands that the truth be told. For if this document be
genuine, then Philip P. Eckel, Hezekiah Niles, Henry S. Keatinge and Joseph
K. Stapleton basely slandered a worthy Companion Royal Arch Mason when they
stated repeatedly, that such authority was never given to Cross by Eckel and
Niles. Such a denial was incorporated in a circular letter issued by the
Grand Chapter of Maryland in 1827, copies of which were sent to all the
Grand Chapters of the country, including the one of which Cross was a
member. As Companion Drummond says, "Is it credible that if this document
had been genuine, he would not have produced it when so gravely accused?" He
made no special denial, expressed or implied, till more than twenty-five
years afterwards, and all that was done then was to say that he received a
Warrant from Eckel and Niles to confer the degrees and grant Warrants.
the authority falsely claimed to have been received from Eckel and Niles,
Cross organized many Councils in the North, South and West and deputized
others to do the same. At first these were for the conferring of the Select
Degree only, but in the year 1818 he received the Royal Master's Degree,
when he united that degree with the Select in Councils.
doubt these were the first Councils of Royal and Select Masters ever
organized anywhere, and whatever virtue there may be in the present Council
system, now so generally practised in this country, the credit of its
inception is wholly due to Jeremy L. Cross, in whatever light his
questionable methods to effectuate its establishment may be viewed.
see that in the early part of this century it was generally believed that
Philip P. Eckel had the custody and control of the Select Degree but neither
he nor any of his contemporaries has left us the slightest intimation as to
the source whence he received the degree and his power of control thereof.
document that most unexpectedly came into my possession some years ago,
settled that question beyond peradventure. It is a Dispensation or Warrant
for the, formation of a Chapter of Select Masons at Baltimore, signed by
Philip P. Eckel and H. Niles. In the preamble to this document, it is
recited, that in year of the Temple 2792 (1792) our Thrice Illustrious Henry
Wilmans, Grand Inspector General, etc., did, "by virtue of power in him
legally vested, establish, ordain and support, a Grand Council of Select
Masons in the City of Baltimore, and wrought therein to the great benefit of
the Craft, etc.," and that "the subscribers, (Eckel and Niles) are, by
regular succession, possessors of all the rights, privileges, immunities and
powers vested in any way, whatsoever, in said Grand Council of Select
to be regretted that this document is not dated and that the blanks for the
names of the officers are not filled in, as it shows that in all probability
the organization of the Body was not, at that time at least, consummated;
but as the signatures of Eckel and Niles, as well as the seal of the Body of
which they were officers, are undoubtedly genuine, and the document having
been found in the possession of a descendant of one of the signers, it must
be accepted as evidence of the facts therein stated; namely, Henry Wilmans
established a Grand Council of Select Masons in Baltimore in the year 1792,
and that Philip P. Eckel and H. Niles were, by, regular succession, the
possessors of the power heretofore residing in said Wilmans.
this, we boldly assert, is the earliest authentic evidence so far produced
of the conferment of the Select Degree; the earliest authentic evidence of
the conferment of the Royal Master's Degree being in a so- called Grand
Council of Royal Masters at New York in 1807.
word "Grand" used by these Bodies must not be construed as it is in our
day. The term was at that time assumed by all Masonic bodies which claimed
the power of constituting other bodies of like character.
however, been asserted that both the Royal and Select Degrees were conferred
in the Lodge of Perfection established at Albany, New York, in 1766 by
Andrew Franken, who received his power of Deputy Inspector General of the
Rite of Perfection from Stephen Morin at Jamaica, who had received his
powers to propagate that Rite in the New World from the Council of Emperors
of the East and West in France, but no evidence whatever has been produced
to substantiate this statement.
also claimed by the Grand Chapter of South Carolina and the Supreme Council
for the Southern jurisdiction, that both degrees were conferred in the Lodge
of Perfection established at Charleston in 1783.
been adverted to, in 1827 the Grand Chapter of Maryland addressed a circular
letter to the other Grand Chapters of the United States, in which, after
referring to the action of Cross and others in the formation of Councils
independent of Royal Arch Chapters, the Grand Chapters are urged to take the
Select Degree under their "recognizance where of right it belongs."
Grand Chapter of South Carolina referred this circular to a special
committee, who made a report in 1829, which was substantially as follows:
three brethren then living received the Royal and select Degrees in the
Sublime Lodge of Perfection at Charleston in 1783, and that the Grand
Officers and Inspectors have been steadily conferring said degrees under
their authority in the South and West. That the committee has seen and
perused the first copy of these degrees that ever came to America and old
copies of Charters that have been returned by Councils in States where Grand
Councils had been formed. Furthermore, that in 1788 Joseph Myers, a Deputy
Grand Inspector, deposited in the Council of Princes of Jerusalem at
Charleston, certified copies of said degrees from Berlin, Prussia."
Companion Drummond who saw what purports to be a certified copy of the
rituals deposited by Joseph Myers, says:
ritual annexed is certainly not a copy of the one deposited, for the ritual
of the Select Degree refers to the Royal degree, and moreover both of them
recognize the Supreme Council as the governing authority, and that body did
not exist until 1801." (3)
been stated, there is no mention of the Royal Master's Degree found
anywhere, other than in this report, earlier than 1807. It does not appear
in either the 1802 or 1807 published list of the many degrees, some
fifty-five, conferred by the Inspectors.
is no evidence that these Inspectors or Supreme Council ever issued Warrants
for the formation of Council or Grand Council earlier than 1860; the
returned Charters that the committee "saw and perused" were those issued by
John Barker subsequent to 1818. This Companion claimed to act as the agent
of the Supreme Council, but Companion Drummond is of the opinion that he
never received any authority to do so from that body. It is believed he
received the degrees from Cross.
Berlin theory of the origin of the degrees must of course be classed with
the Frederick the Great theory of the origin of the so-called high degrees;
no one at this day gives to it any credence whatever.
would not for a single moment question the veracity of the distinguished
Companions composing the committee of the Grand Chapter of South Carolina,
it really seems, in view of the facts stated, that their entire report must
be received with considerable misgiving. The evidence adduced does not, in
my opinion, warrant the conclusions reached by the Companions of South
Carolina and the Supreme Council.
impression upon the seal is too indistinct to be read. (2) See History of
the Cryptic Rite, by J. Ross Robertson. (3) See History of the Cryptic Rite,
by J. Ross Robertson.
AMERICANISM VERSUS SOCIALISM
FRANK ALLABEN, PRESIDENT NATIONAL HISTORICAL SOCIETY
the many efforts being made these days to define Americanism it is
refreshing to find one that is crystal clear. Masons have an unfailing
desire to uphold the Constitution of the United States, because they believe
that that document is the bulwark of Americanism. This article, from the pen
of one who is not a Mason, gives us in simple form concrete examples of how
some of the theories now being advanced as cure-alls for our civic ailments
are opposed to the most vital principles contained in our Constitution. The
author is President of the National Historical Society, an organization very
similar to that of this Society in its general plan. We publish this article
with the author's consent, granted because he feels that Freemasonry is
devoted to the advancement of American citizenship. Delivered originally as
an address before the Bergen Reformed Church Men's Club, we feel that it is
entitled to the closest study of the members of this Society.
SUBJECT is Americanism; and I hope we may gain new inspiration and renewed
courage by contrasting the principles which constitute Americanism with two
other sets of principles which just nom threaten our national peace and the
welfare of the world.
of these hostile sets of principles is today at work underground, plotting,
as secretly as possible, to throw our social order into sudden confusion by
great labor strikes, in order that under cover of these a small fraction of
our population, the elements of revolution and anarchy, may overthrow the
principles of Americanism, seize the machinery of American government and
convert the powers we have ordained for justice into a weapon of violence to
confiscate private property and dominate the economic means of life. This is
the plot of an unscrupulous minority to crush our governmental safeguards
under a reign of terror in order to rob and ruin the great majority of
law-abiding Americans as the Russian people have lately been robbed and
ruined. You need no argument from me to convince you that this conspiracy of
destruction must be fought to its death. I seek, therefore, only to make the
inherent wickedness of socialistic absolutism more apparent by showing that
its fundamental principles are totally subversive of and utterly
irreconcilable with Americanism; while I also wish to point out how these
doctrines of destruction may be overcome without violation of the personal
liberty guaranteed to all by Americanism.
another evil now challenges and imperils Americanism. I refer to the abuse
of power by organized labor and organized capital, by some even claimed as
an unalienable right, in declaring and carrying on private economic war
against one another in our peaceful communities by means of the strike and
the lockout, with their attendant evils of riots, bullyings, assaults,
murders, arson, theft, and economic destruction. Fortunately, these
activities are simply abuses of usurped power, developed under years of
toleration, and, unlike the conspiracies of socialistic absolutism, are not
aimed against our Government nor intended to subvert our institutions and
manner of life. But, in the light of the historic principles of Americanism,
these practices belong to license and not to liberty. They are not rights,
but tolerated wrongs. All other Americans have given up the barbarism of
private war, and resort only to their law-courts to compel justice; and
organized labor and capital have no inalienable rights which do not belong
to all of us. Their violences we have simply suffered for a time, with the
optimistic hope of Americans that they would solve their problems and reach
a stable equilibrium.
today the labor strike has become a great peril; for it is behind organized
labor that the "red" conspiracy against our governmental safe-guards lurks
and hides, gathering energy to spring out upon us suddenly, camouflaged
under the confusion of some great labor strike. All the European assaults of
bolshevism, successful or abortive, have leaped out of the whirlwinds of
labor strikes; while in America today revolutionary radicalism secretly
struggles to seize the machinery of organized labor as a tool for the
destruction of organized government.
the labor-strike has become a great problem for the American people. It
should be solved, and solved speedily. I believe it can be solved by a
simple application of American principles. Therefore let us turn now to a
brief examination of these.
Americanism is defined by the Declaration of Independence, which, basing its
doctrine upon "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God," asserts the rights
of man in one immortal sentence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident;
that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with
certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the
pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are
instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the
governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these
ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to
institute new government, laying its foundations on such principles and
organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to
effect their safety and happiness."
declaration was received with acclaim by our colonial forefathers, who also
expressed their boundless joy in bonfires, torch-light processions, the
firing of guns, and the ringing of bells. Samuel Adams bears witness that
the people received this statement of their rights "as though it were a
decree promulgated from heaven."
out of heaven it came - an assertion in proof of which I cite the great fact
that in little more than one hundred and forty years these principles have
covered the earth and have been received as self-evident by practically all
mankind, Christian and pagan. To me this is conclusive evidence of two
things: first, that the Divine Intelligence Who rules this world, in Whose
existence and beneficent guidance I firmly believe, must be greatly
interested in opening to all peoples the door of liberty first opened to our
fathers; and, second, that our fathers' statement of the principles of
liberty and righteous government, since it carries instant conviction to the
universal conscience, must have gathered the fundamentals of just human
government out of "the laws of nature and of nature's God."
this be true we should cherish these principles of Americanism as a sacred
trust, held by us as trustees, for ourselves, for our posterity, and for the
world; and we should reject with jealous zeal any doctrine or practice which
transgresses these principles.
the light of these principles let us test two doctrines made in Germany, the
doctrine of autocratic government promulgated and practised by Prussian
royalty and nobility, and the doctrine of socialistic government proclaimed
by Karl Marx. Let us apply the four great tests of Americanism.
Firstly, the appeal of our Declaration of Indepen dence to "the laws of
nature and of nature's God" is the acknowledgement that eternal principles
of right and wrong exist and can be deduced by man from the laws of God and
nature. But German autocracy and German socialism both deny this great
truth. The German ruling class held that human government is above all
standards of right and wrong, doing what il pleases to accomplish its
selfish ends; and under this doctrine Germany set out to conquer the world
with shocking atrocities. This autocratic anarchy, this monstrous
repudiation of all our normal standards of righteousness, is what we fought
and conquered in the late war, thus reasserting the American doctrine that
the laws of nature and of nature's God establish standarde of right to which
individuals, peoples, and governmente are all alike amenable. But the
doctrine of socialistic absolutism, even more than the doctrine of
autocratic absolutism, declares war against all the standards or right
acquired by man through painful centuries, proposing to overthrow
governments like ours, wreck man's social order and industries, confiscate
private property, deny religious and political liberty, and even invade the
sanctity of marriage and the rights of the family circle. Before our eyes,
in Russia, we see these happy gains of human progress trampled into the
slime of socialistic anarchy; and the war for Americanism will not be won
until, with the idol of autocratic absolutism, the idol of socialistic
absolutism is broken and cast out.
Secondly, in stating that all men are created equal, that they are endowed
by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty,
and the pursuit of happiness, and that governments are instituted among men
to secure these rights, the Declaration of Independence simply asserts man's
relationships in nature, the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man,
with the obvious truth that just government must recognize and protect the
equal rights and privileges of all the members of man's one race and family.
But autocrats and socialists alike oppose this doctrine. Both preach
class-hatred and class-war, each holding that government must be class-rule,
either by the upper crust or by the proletariat. In other words, autocracy
and socialism beat the world with the same stick of class-rule, and only
quarrel as to which end of the stick shall do the beating. Autocrats believe
in government of autocrats, by autocrats, for autocrats. Socialists believe
in government of the proletariat, by the proletariat, for the proletariat.
But Americans believe in government of the people, by the people, for the
people; and by this we mean government of all the people, by all the people,
for all the people.
add that the right to pursue happiness is the right of private ownership -
the right of each individual to pursue and to possess property and all the
things of life which can be enjoyed without invading another's right to
pursue them. Yet their denial of this right of the individual, to pursue and
possess as his own the things which make men happy, is the cardinal error of
all forms of socialism.
Thirdly, the statement of the Declaration of Independence, that governments
derive "their just powers from the consent of the governed," is necessarily
the assertion that the will of the majority must prevail in all cases where
a people differ in judgment. This principle underlies our Constitution, and
was sealed by our fathers' blood in our Civil War. Yet autocracy and
socialism alike attack this fundamental of government by seeking to impose
the tyrannies of minorities upon the great majorities of the earth.
fourthly, while Americanism gives to the majority the right of decision in
all questions open to debate; it is its glory first of all to secure the
rights of the minority by guaranteeing individual liberties which are not
open to debate. Thus while autocracy and socialism trample the rights of
great majorities, Americanism protects the rights of a minority as small as
Constitution of the United States is simply a wonderfully successful plan of
government to carry out the principles and secure the rights proclaimed in
the Declaration of Independence. It provides a representative organization
through which the people may exercise their executive, legislative, and
judicial powers on the principle of majority rule; yet in the very document
by which they ordain this, the people have prohibited their representatives
from invading certain fundamental rights guaranteed to each individual.
personal rights, which no executive power, nor legislature, nor law-court
may abridge, include the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, except when
rebellion or invasion requires its suspension; include immunity from bills
of attainder, ex post facto laws, and unequal taxation; include religious
freedom; freedom of speech; freedom of the press; the right to assemble
peaceably; to petition Government for redress of grievances; to keep and
bear arms; and to be secure, in person, house, papers and effects, against
unreasonable search and seizure; include the right of trial by jury, even in
civil suits, involving more than twenty dollars; with exemption from bearing
witness against one's self; and include the right never to be deprived of
life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; with the full right
of private ownership of property, which may not be taken, even for public
use, without just compensation.
rights, privileges, and exemptions, the Magna Charta of personal liberty,
are assailed alike by autocracy and socialism. In denying the right of
private ownership of property, socialism attacks what man most prizes, next
to life and liberty; and in Russia today the curse of socialism has robbed
the people of religious freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of the press,
the right to assemble peaceably, and the right to petition government for
redress of grievances, robbing them of these as completely as any crowned
tyrant could rob them.
not the four tests we have made identify Germen autocracy and German
socialism as twin deformities, the two halves of one evil, a monstrous
double birth out of the perverted womb of class-hatred ? But this brings us
again to our necessity of self-defense. We have conquered German autocracy
on the battlefield; but German socialism conspires in our midst. Can we
conquer this ruthless propoganda without violation of freedom of speech?
the first place we should support our Government in prosecuting all citizens
and deporting all foreigners who can be convicted of instigating violence;
and we should encourage our legislators to enact strict laws covering such
crimes; for there is no principle of Americanism that teaches us to tolerate
illegal assaults upon our liberties.
the second place the carrying on of secret and anonymous propaganda against
our principles of government should be made a criminal offense; for our
constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the
right of peaceable assembly, and of petition for redress of grievances, are
only intended to afford upright conscience and honest conviction full
opportunity of expression in open publicity where all men can hear and
the third place we must overcome evil with good, defeat error with truth,
drive out the darkness by bringing in the light. For years we have let
socialistic books and pamphlets multiply and spread without any serious
attempt to answer them, and tens of thousands of Americans have been
deceived. "Where no vision is, the people perish." We may win a temporary
skirmish by policies of repression; but if we would win our children and
posterity, we must arm every American with the light of knowledge. We should
place in the hands of every man, woman, and schoolchild an understandable
exposure of the sophistries of socialism, with a record of its deeds in
Russia, and of its plottings here, contrasted with the justice and blessings
of Americanism, the envy and the admiration of the whole world. This is the
way to destroy false doctrine. The triumphs of Americanism are triumphs of
conclusion I return to the problem of the laborstrike and lock-out. These
violences should cease, for they are acts of private war, and in a day when
all nations seek a league to substitute law for wars between peoples, it
certainly is incongruous for Americans to continue to license private war in
the bosom of their own family. Moreover, these violences must cease, for
they now conceal threats against the existence of our Government and
Henceforth, like the rest of us, labor and capital must take their cases to
the law-court. But they are entitled to the best safeguards of American
justice, and labor, at least, will feel itself defrauded if it must take
justice from some Federal commission, or central court of judges, far
removed from the locality where the case arises. Labor and capital are
entitled to trial of their causes by jury, and to trial in the communities
where the troubles start, and where the facts can be established by
Organized labor, like organized capital, is now equipped with expert
leaders, and in important labor trials, where decisions are far-reaching,
these experts on either side can assist with their extensive knowledge. In
all such trials the American people are an interested party, equally with
labor and capital. For if labor receives higher wages, or capital receives
larger dividends, the American people must pay them out of the higher prices
charged them. Thus in important labor trials the people should be
represented by Government experts who are able to present statistics and
bring out significant facts.
problem so immense as labor violence can be barely touched in its most
fundamental parts at the end of a brief address. But if a true solution
appears in a discussion so short, it bears testimony to the power of
American doctrines as universal solvents of political difficulties.
us trust Americanism, applying it to our problems with constantly increasing
confidence; for all our difficulties grow, not out of our national
principles, but out of our departures from them.
we need most is not so much to realize the ideal as to idealize the real.
MONTHLY LODGE MEETING
CORRESPONDENCE CIRCLE BULLETIN NO. 34
by Bro. H. L. Haywood
BULLETIN COURSE OF MASONIC STUDY FOR MONTHLY LODGE MEETINGS AND STUDY CLUBS
FOUNDATION OF THE COURSE
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.
Course is divided into five principal divisions which are in turn
subdivided, as is shown below:
Division I. Ceremonial Masonry.
Work of the Lodge.
Lodge and the Candidate.
Division II. Symbolical Masonry.
Division III. Philosophical Masonry.
Division IV. Legislative Masonry.
Codes of Law.
Grand Lodge Practices.
Relationship to Constituent Lodges.
Official Duties and Prerogatives.
Qualifications of Candidates.
Initiation, Passing and Raising.
Change of Membership.
Division V. Historical Masonry.
Mysteries--Earliest Masonic Light.
Studies of Rites--Masonry in the Making.
Contributions to Lodge Characteristics.
Parallel Peculiarities in Lodge Study.
Historical Manuscripts of the Craft.
Philological Masonry--Study of Significant Words.
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.
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
REFERENCES FOR SUPPLEMENTAL PAPERS
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.
ORGANIZE FOR AND CONDUCT THE STUDY MEETINGS
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 study period.
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 paper.
FOR STUDY MEETINGS
Reading of the first section of Brother Haywood's paper and the supplemental
(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.)
Discussion of the above.
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.
THE "QUESTION BOX" THE FEATURE OF YOUR MEETINGS
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.
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 "INTRODUCTION TO THIRD STEPS"
study of Third Steps shall we expect to find architectural symbolism as in
our preceding studies? In what terms were the teachings in First and Second
Steps given to us? Of what will our new studies treat?
originated our Third degree? and when? Have these questions ever been
many degrees were there at the beginning of the Grand Lodge period? What
were they? Why was the old Apprentice degree divided into two parts? When
was this division made?
this change meet with unanimous approval? Was the new degree universally
worked immediately after the division?
the new degree so slow to meet with universal approval? Was it welcomed by
Masons outside of London?
believed to have been responsible for the introduction of this new material?
was the new material introduced between 1723 and 1738? Why does Brother
Haywood not believe that it was the Hiram Abiff legend? What is Brother
Haywood's theory concerning the substance of this legend? His answer to the
question, Who imported the new material? Was the Third degree as elaborate
from the first as it is now? Is it worked uniformly in all countries? In all
Grand Jurisdictions in the United States?
received the degree in another State than the one in which you now reside,
state for the benefit of the other members of your Study Club some of the
details in which the work as you received it differs from that of the
Jurisdiction where you now live.
the possibility of our learning the full details concerning the origin and
early working of the degree in the very near future? Do we have record of
similar legends in existence before our present Masonic system was
established? Can you cite some of them?
the purpose of this degree? What is its secret?
II. - Differences of Ritual, p. 381; Some Deeper Aspects of Masonic
Symbolism - The Third Degree, p. 109; Uniform Work, pp. 348, 382; York Rite,
III. - Causes of Divergence in Ritual, Nov. C.C.B., p. 4; The Lodge and The
Candidate - The Degrees, Nov. C.C.B., p. 1.
- The Degrees Problem, April C.C.B., p. 6.
Mackey's Encyclopedia: Degrees, p. 203
STEPS PART I - INTRODUCTION TO THIRD STEPS
MOMENT one enters into a study of the Third Steps he finds himself in an
atmosphere very different from that of the First and Second: the opening and
closing ceremonies are similar to theirs but the architectural symbolism
which was in them the predominant feature is here crowded into the
background by a symbolism of a very different order; for whereas the first
two degrees deliver their message in the terms of building, the Third speaks
of a living and a dying and a using again. Its language is that of life and
death. And so compact is it of profound meanings that it furnishes the
suggestions, as many scholars have noted, from which the highest grades have
developed their magnificent teachings.
men the degree was made, or when, are questions on which our authorities
differ so widely that one student - Brother Robert I. Clegg - has collected
no fewer than twenty different theories, while another - Brother Hextall -
has found fourteen different interpretations. Where so many scholars have
failed to discover a satisfactory hypothesis it would ill become me to offer
a theory of my own, and I must content myself to state, as nearly as I can,
such positions is the majority have agreed on.
seems that in the beginning of the Grand Lodge period there were at most but
two degrees, these being known as the Apprentice and Fellow Craft or Master
Mason parts, the latter being convertible terms. But during this same
period as much new material - new at least, to the ritual of initiation -
was introduced that it became necessary to break up the old Apprentice
degree into two parts leaving the old Second to become the new Third. This
was done for the sake of convenience, as the ceremonies had grown too long
for only two evenings. This division was made some time between 1723 and
arrangement was a long time in gaining a foothold among the brethren. At
first only a few were made Masters and then only in Grand Lodge; in fact so
few knew how to "put on" the degree that for some time special "Masters'
Lodges" were organized for the purpose. The progress of the tri-gradal
system was even slower in countries other than England; Gould notes that the
Third did not become common in Scottish Lodges until after 1770.
the Third so slow in "taking on" if it was the old Second degree? The
explanation of the problem seems to be that so much new material had been
added to it that it had become practically a new ceremony. There is even
some reason to believe that it was this new material which gave offense to
many old Masons living at a distance from London, who were thereby led to
form the rival Grand Lodge of "the Ancients."
was this new material introduced? Some attribute the innovations to Preston,
others to Dr. Desaguliers; others, of whom Pike was one, held to the theory
that at the time of the Revival certain groups of Speculatives seized the
opportunity to embody some of their own ideas in the ritual. Another
theory, more reasonable than these, it seems to me, will be brought out when
we seek to answer the next question.
was the new material introduced between 1723 - 1738? Many of our scholars,
perhaps a majority, would answer, "The Hiram Abiff legend." As we are to
devote a section to this we can not go into that matter here except to say
that it seems unreasonable, on the face of it that so elaborate a drama,
occupying the greater part of one whole degree, could not have been bodily
imported into the ritual as a wholly new thing; the conservative "old
Mason," of whom many were surviving during the Revival period, would not
have tolerated so huge an innovation. The more reasonable theory is that
the substance of the legend, and materials appertaining thereto, had long
been a part of the floating tradition of the Craft if indeed, as there is
some evidence to show, it was not a part of the old operative ritual. This
would answer the question, Who imported the new material? No one man or
group of men imported it; "the Third Degree was no made, it grew - like the
great cathedrals, no one of which can be ascribed to a single artist, but to
an order of men working in unity of enterprise and aspiration." To this it
may be added that the degree has not ceased to grow, in America at least,
for it is more elaborate here than in England, even as it is more elaborate
there than in other countries - more elaborate, and different.
the degree was made, and when, will furnish material for many debates in
years to come and in the lap of that future must the problem be laid but of
one thing we can be very sure, the idea shined in the ceremony is so old
that we find it serving as the motif of initiatory dramas long before the
dawn of history. In every one of the Ancient Mysteries, so far as we have
any memorials of them, the action centred in the violent death of some just
person and his being raised again. In various guises was this idea
presented but always did it convey the same truth - that in men there is
something that can not die, that this "something" is akin to the divine,
that it can be given the rule of a man during his earth pilgrimage, and that
it is the purpose of initiation to discover and to crown this divine element
in human life. This is nothing other than Regeneration; it is nothing other
than Eternal Life, the life of God in the soul of man lived in the bounds of
time and space and under human conditions. Such, I take it, is the secret
of our Third degree. To elicit that secret, and to expound it, will be the
task of the remaining sections of our study.
NEED FOR MASONIC STUDY CLUBS
should be impressed upon the minds of our members that there is in our
institution something to help them in their every-day living, which the
seeker who is willing to devote a small portion of his time to the quest may
easily obtain. The reward of his endeavors will appear in the higher
development of the individual with vision of practical service to humanity.
Many of our lodges in Minnesota have taken hold of this matter with a will,
but there must be follow-up work that these beginnings may not be lost.
appeals to lodges I have attempted to show the meanings of the degrees, and
the call they make to each Mason. I am confident that if fostered
intelligently Masonry may be made to become dynamic, awakened out of its
apparently dormant or static condition.
is more, I am satisfied that Masons are eager to receive whatever can be
given them in the way of Masonic knowledge, information or assistance to
study. It might be well to urge that greater emphasis be placed upon the
monitorial readings to the candidate in the preparation room and so make
real the fact that study must be devoted to every phase of Masonry, and if
the candidate is unwilling to devote at least a part of his time to such
study he should be informed that it would be better for him to proceed no
ceremonies, symbolism and philosophy are set forth in beautiful language,
but they must be interpreted by the individual in terms of his own need.
Many of our phrases are archaic, testifying to the antiquity of the
institution - these should be carefully analyzed to be understood and
applied. Herein lies the opportunity of the older and better informed
brethren, and at the same time the responsibility of the lodge to the
candidate is pointed out. If this responsibility is accepted and the
opportunity for a systematic study of Masonry is offered, Masonry will
flourish, not in numbers only, but in the quality of its members as well.
Masonry must accept the challenge for a citizenship that will stabilize free
government and secure an enlightened democracy, thus making the world safe
for democracy. It must teach its votaries to think in terms of civic duty,
common interest and world-wide brotherhood. The true Mason has always been
ready for service, kindly in his dealings, practicing the tenets of his
profession, brotherly love, relief and truth. There are many such among us
today and we know them by "the perfect points of their entrance."
Masons are for more light, willing to receive information and may be
interested in the study of Masonry if they can be induced to read some
Masonic literature, journals like those published in our own and other
jurisdictions which put the facts and claims of the institution in a simple
and straightforward manner.
the officers of our lodges are anxious to help the membership to a fuller
and better understanding of the teachings and principles of the institution
great interest is being awakened.
should be a departure from the formal notices of lodge meetings. In other
words, more attention should be devoted to modern advertising of their
During the past several months I have visited fifty or more of our lodges in
the interest of the Study Club movement and without exception all of these
lodges have expressed a desire for more visitations of this character - they
want help and will welcome whatever will bring light.
time is ripe and crucial in Minnesota for a real awakening among Masons in
order that they may march together, shoulder to shoulder, to the drumbeats
of high and noble principles which will sound the death knell of the slavery
of ignorance, superstition, passion and low motives.
the founders of our liberties marched and fought, so let us, Masons of
Minnesota, march and fight for true manhood, home and country, until we can
say that we have achieved a civilization as lasting in its grandeur as those
mighty monuments that dot the banks of the historic Nile.
E. Denfeld, Chairman,
Committee on Masonic Study and Research Grand Lodge of Minnesota.
FROM ASHES HERE
L. B. MITCHELL, MICHIGAN
from ashes, - if so be the soul
forging on towards its glory goal,-
must first within the life repose
ashes lie upon its trail of woes,
heart may pluck its flowers by the way
though the green of years be turned to gray.
for it, though skies but slowly clear
qualify e'en through the ashes here.
it is and has must now appear
hopes deferred may start the flowing tear,
for it to brave each searching test
may be that it was for the best.
may 'mong the ashes scattered round
harvests find upon life's sacred ground!
may hold so much to bless and cheer
beauty rare may spring from ashes here.
while upon the pathway that we tread
ashes lie, 'tis there our hopes are spread
fairest flowers may bloom for us today
they grew in sorrow's yesterday.
ashes there may new creations spring,
price is paid for each new offering
strew the path whereon we forward go
all the best that mortals here may know.
ENUMERATE TO TEN
U.R. PARTLOW, ARKANSAS
following article by Brother Partlow, while containing no particular
reference to Masonry will, appreciated by many readers of THE BUILDER who
have a liking for curious facts.
arrangement of ten dots in a triangular form of four rows, called the "tetractys,"
was emblematic of the Tetragammaton, or sacred name of four letters, and
this figure was held in high veneration by the Pythagoreans who are said to
have taken their most solemn oaths, especially that of initiation, upon it.
In the symbols of Masonry the sacred delta bears the nearest analogy to the
tetractys of the Pythagoreans.
ARISTOTLE is attributed with asking the question, "Why do all men,
barbarians is well as Greeks, numerate up to ten and not any other number?"
Aristotle, even at that time, had made a very wise and true observation for
with but one exception the statement of Aristotle is true.
is co-eval with spoken language and probably antedates even symbolism.
Primitive man must have had some way of recording results of his fishing and
hunting expeditions, the number of warriors in opposing camps as well as of
the friendly strength. History records many methods of keeping this record
and with one exception all reckoning was done in terms of ten.
of this is to be found in the mode of reckoning by the Paloni Indians of
California. Dr. Hoffman reports that each year these Indians chose from
their number certain representatives to visit the San Gabriel settlement to
sell native blankets. Every Indian sending blankets provided the salesman
with two cords of twisted hair or wool, one of which was used for the
purpose of keeping a record of values received and the other cord for
keeping record of the blankets sold. For every real received a knot was
tied in the cord and when the sum reached ten reals a double knot was used.
ancient Peruvians used a method similar. Edward Clodd says: "The quipu has
a long history, and is with us in the rosary upon which prayers are counted,
in the knot tied in the handkerchief to help a weak memory, and in the
sailor's log line." The quipu consisted of a main cord to which were
attached at given distances other cords of different colours to represent
different objects, such as cattle, corn, sheep, and etc., and for every ten
of anything a single knot was tied in the cord and for twenty, two knots,
for thirty, three knots and so on, thereby proving the method of reckoning
Conant gives an interesting example regarding the number concept. He says:
"More than a century ago travellers in Madagascar observed a curious but
simple mode of ascertaining the number of soldiers in the army. Each
soldier was made to go through a passage in the presence of the principal
chiefs; and as he went through a pebble was dropped on the ground. This
continued until a heap of ten was obtained, when one was set aside and a new
heap begun. Upon the completion of ten heaps, a pebble was set aside to
indicate one hundred, and so on until the entire army had been numbered."
Before the use of writing paper the British exchequer used a system of
reckoning and accounting at was interesting as well as curious. The method
as by use of tally sticks on which notches were cut, a deep notch for a
pound, a shallow one for a shilling. The stick was then sawed half in two
near one end and split down to the cut, each half bearing a record the
notches. One piece was given to the depositor, the other half was kept. A
great mass of these sticks was deposited in the basement of the Parliament
building and in 1834 a bonfire was made of them. So great as the
accumulation of these sticks that from the great bonfire and heat that on
Thursday, October 16, 1834, a furnace became overheated and set fire to the
building and in a few hours the House of Commons and House of Lords were in
Hawaiian tax-gatherers kept account of the assessable property by means of
cords in which knots were tied and they carried one for every ten.
be seen that calculating by tens was a method in general use among ancient
peoples. W.R.R. Ball in his Short History of Mathematics, page 127, says
'The only tribes of whom I have read who did not count in terms of either
five or some multiple of five are the Bolans of West Africa who are said to
have counted by multiples of seven, and the Maories who are said have
counted by multiples of eleven." These exceptions are hard to explain in
terms of other methods.
races have shown the same aptitude in representing numbers by means of tens,
and various inventions have been devised to expedite these; namely pebbles
arranged in groups of tens, and from these developed the abacus. Ball, in
his History of Mathematics, says: "This instrument (abacus) was in use among
nations so widely separated as the Etruscans, Greeks, Egyptians, Hindoos,
Chinese, and Mexicans; and was, it is believed, invented independently at
several different centres. It is still in common use in Russia, China and
Japan." It is rather interesting to see the similarity in calculating and
reckoning among primitive people especially where they are isolated from
each other by impassable barriers, such as oceans, seas and mountains. One
is led to look for this cause in some natural means common to all races.
Aristotle in commenting upon the matter of peoples enumerating by tens and
not by other numbers, remarks that manifestly it is not by chance. He says:
"The truth is, what men do upon all occasions and always they do not from
chance but from some law of nature. Whether is it, because ten is a perfect
number? For it contains all the species of number, the even, the odd, the
square, the cube, the linear, the plane, the prime, the composite, or is
because the number ten is a principle? For the numbers one, two, three and
four when added together produce the number ten. Or is because the bodies
which are in constant motion are nine? . . . Or is it because all men from
the first have ten fingers? As therefore men have counters of their own by
nature, by this set, they numerate all other things." Prof. Ball, of Trinity
College, Cambridge, in commenting on this same subject, says: "Up to ten it
is comparatively easy to count, but primitive people find great difficulty
in counting higher numbers; apparently at first this difficulty was overcome
by the method (still in use in South Africa) of getting two men, one to
count the units up to ten on his fingers, and the other to count the number
of groups of ten so formed." "The number five is generally represented by
the open hand, and it is said in almost all languages the word five and hand
are derived from the same root word. It is possible that in early times men
did not readily count beyond five, and things if more numerous were counted
by multiples of five." Prof. Ball goes further and says: "That some tribes
seem to have gone further and by making use of their toes were accustomed to
count by multiples of twenty. The Aztecs, for example, are said to have done
so. It may be noticed that we still count some things (for instance sheep)
by scores, the word score signifying a notch or scratch made on the
completion of the twenty."
be seen that man carries with him a natural counting machine, - that is the
fingers of his hands, and from all authority it appears that the counting on
the fingers was the beginning of the number concept, for with exceptions
named above all reckoning has been in multiples of five, and that in all
instances nearly have been ten.
Chinese have an interesting kind of digital signs and the same was
interestingly told in Leslie's and well illustrated in that magazine a few
years ago. Since each finger has three joints, the thumb nail of one hand
touch the joints in succession, passing up one side of the finger, down the
middle, and again up the other side, thereby giving nine applicable to the
decimal notation. On the little finger these signify units, on the next
tens, on the next hundreds, etc. I relate this incident to show various
methods of calculating, and are based upon the "ten system."
years of struggle primitive man learned the use of making some definite
account of the reckoning with his hands in order that a definite record
might be kept. This led us to consider the origin of numbers with especial
reference to how they are made. One, of course, is made by one mark, and in
fact all other of the numerals were made by the number of marks it
represented. Ultimately the straight lines were discarded, the corners
becoming rounded and the numerals are rounded as we have them today.
of the alphabet as numerals probably dates from about 500 B.C. The Greeks
used the letters of their alphabet as symbols for numerals, the first nine
letters of the alphabet being used for the first nine numbers, the next nine
numbers for the numbers ten, twenty, thirty, etc. As the Greek alphabet
consisted of but twenty-four letters, three obsolete letters were introduced
or interpolated. The Greek mode of writing fractions was simple, the
denominator simply being written under the numerator.
Hebrews used their alphabet in the same way, each letter having a numerical
signification as well as representing certain sounds in the formation of
words and ideas.
Babylonians had a strange system inasmuch as sixty was the base. It is
presumed as the year was at that time reckoned as 360 days, thus dividing
the circle into 360 equal parts, and that the perimeter of the circle was
divided into six equal parts by stepping off the length of the radius upon
the circumference. Further the Babylonians had a basal number of
12,960,000, and if you raise 60 to its fourth power your product will be
this famous number. Prof. Hilprecht thinks that 12,960,000 is the famous
number of Plato. It is said that the number 12,960,000 is constructed from
216, the minimal number of days of gestation in the human kind, and if the
216 be interpreted as day, together with 12,960,000 the latter number gives
36,000 years, the "great Platonic year," which was the Babylonian cycle.
most famous system was that of the Hindus which assigned a symbol to each of
the nine numbers. In the Hindu notation each number has in addition to its
intrinsic value an acquired value by reason of position. Thus 3 standing in
the second place would have a value of thirty, while in the first place it
would have its intrinsic value only. The best we can say is that the origin
of the Hindu's system of notation is shrouded in mystery as many other
Oriental customs are; for the reason the Orientals attribute all great
inventions or discoveries to a direct revelation of God. The history of
Oannes, the Babylonian god of mathematics and learning, is an example of
primeval belief that all human knowledge goes to divine revelation.
Hamurabi, the great Babylonian law giver, claimed to have received his
legend information from the sun god. Moses, the Hebrew law giver, claimed
to have received his laws directly from God, yet much of the law of Moses is
identical to the law of Hamurabi, indicating that Moses had some
acquaintance with the laws of his famous predecessor.
searching into the origin of the numeral system, as in all other knowledge
of great antiquity, we are confronted with the fact that knowledge was from
remote antiquity up to the period almost of public education, concealed from
the masses and was sacredly held in the breast and the hearts of the
priestdom. Also, no method of perpetuity then existed except by tradition,
symbols, legends and written hieroglyphic on papyrus and other destructible
"TOGETHER, BRETHREN, LET IT BE DONE."
CAN American Masons make our new-found unity to mean? To ask the question in
this way implies limitations. "WHAT CAN IT NOT BE MADE TO MEAN?" would be
the better way of putting it. The possibilities of cooperation among the
brothers of our Craft are without limit. l Recognition of our common aims is
almost at hand. In every Jurisdiction the rank and file of our Fraternity
are coming to believe that Freemasonry has a mission to perform in the world
today. The history of every organization which grows to the maturity implied
in the word "institution" is that it lives if it performs the functions for
which God intended it. If it dies, it does so for one of two reasons, either
it has FAILED to meet the responsibilities imposed upon it, or it dies after
having accomplished its mission.
most egotistical Mason in America would not say that we have accomplished
our mission - especially when he ponders the five years of world history
just closed. He who would admit that Freemasonry is doomed to fail in its
mission would be a coward.
sane Mason, the optimistic Mason, the brother who has glimpsed the true
meaning of "Brotherhood," believes that Masonry is ordained to work in the
present generation for the fulfilment of its time-honored prophecies. Talk
to him and see if this is not true. Come to my desk and read the letters he
is writing, and you will believe. "Hope" is written there. "Determination"
is written there. "God prosper the vision of the Masonic Service
Association" is written there. "Let us work together, after a common plan,
for the fruition of brotherhood," is the battle cry of the thinking Mason of
today, who sees the foundation of the world crumbling because the cement of
brotherly love is being dissolved.
Executive Commission of the Masonic Service Association, after two months of
careful consideration of the task imposed upon it, has tried to define
"Service." It has determined to create a practical machinery capable of
carrying into effect the objects of the Association. Foundations only have
been laid. But the general plan for the superstructure has been drafted. It
will be found in the center of this issue of THE BUILDER, and has been
furnished by the Commission to every other Masonic magazine with which we
are in touch.
plan claims to be only a method of cooperation. The immediate tasks before
us are succinctly stated in terms the spirit of which cannot be
misinterpreted. The method of approaching those tasks is indicated. The
Commission is able to promise more than the cooperation of its own members,
for it has the assurance of many of our ablest men throughout the country
that they will help us to the limit of their abilities in carrying out this
remains? One thing, and one thing only. The active and enthusiastic
cooperation of our several Jurisdictions themselves. If each of our Grand
Lodges, through its responsible officers, will use its best efforts to adapt
this program to the use of the Craft within its boundaries, Masonry will
begin to move forward, unitedly.
no small thing that the Executive Commission, drawn from eleven different
parts of the United States, each member having his own individual viewpoint,
should hold a three-day session devoted exclusively to this problem of
cooperation and, BY UNANIMOUS AGREEMENT, build a program of cooperation and
state it in words! Yet that is exactly what did happen. They came together
wondering whether so tremendous a problem as faces the Masonic Fraternity
could be expressed in terms upon which they could all agree. They faced the
problem together, as brethren. They did agree.
our Grand Bodies cooperate to make the administration of the Association
succeed, by considering the proposed plan with the determination to make it
succeed? Each will use that part of the machinery of organization which
meets its individual need. Each must carry out the proposed plans as the
judgment of its leaders shall dictate. The way is provided. It is a
thinking Mason should put his shoulder to the wheel. Together we can insure
* * * *
* * * * * * *
CONFESSION - AND A CHALLENGE
am I? I am one of the more than 100,000 young men who, during the year 1919
knocked at the doors of your Masonry. I was accepted, and initiated. I was
passed and raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason. I took my first
degree on a beautiful bright morning, the lodge having favored my
convenience. For nearly nine hours I watched other young men receive the
degree. It impressed me to the very depths of my soul. I had found what I
wanted - fellowship, earnestness, reverence for higher things. With relief I
missed dogma. I subscribed to no creed. Yet I was told that the new path
which I had commenced to tread led to heights still to be climbed. I was
took your lessons seriously. I worked hard to learn your catechism. I was
determined that no idle curiosity should be impugned to me. I had come to
learn, and I was learning. In like spirit I was passed. Again I studied. I
was raised, in more senses than one. I was raised above myself. You men who
performed the ceremonies upon me will never know how great your impression
was. I caught something of your inspiration. I took the Masonic lesson home
to myself. If in making application for membership there had been anything
of unworthy motive, or if I had expected to find "horseplay" I was ashamed.
You illumined my path. You placed a star before me to guide me. I tried to
learn all that you had to teach me. Dimly I realized its vastness. I was
humble in your presence. I was determined that you should never be as
ashamed of me as I was of my own ignorance.
Months passed. I have been a regular attendant. I have not sought to obtain
an office I am not yet worthy of honors. I only want to learn.
have become "proficient." I am able to "travel in foreign countries." I know
my tests. I can prove that I have received the degrees.
have been "traveling" a little, here and there, as my duties in life have
permitted. I have visited other lodges. I have seen the three degrees
exemplified four or five times a month. I know the rote. I have even learned
all the parts in the Entered Apprentice degree, though I never expect to
have a chance to confer it. My lodge has several hundred members, and there
is no use in my aspiring to hold an office.
have even learned the chal ge of the first degree. It is "great stuffy" and
I love it. I should like to give it, some day. Wonder if I'll ever have a
* * * *
* * * * * * * * *
six months since I wrote the above. We had our election last night. The
Senior Warden of our lodge was elected Master. The Senior Deacon was elected
Junior Warden. A brother whom I do not know and have never seen was
appointed Junior Deacon. He will go "up the line" as they describe it to me.
The new Junior Deacon has been a Mason six years, they say, and has never
held an office until now.
wish our lodge wasn't so large! A young fellow would have a chance, then.
But I suppose that is all right.
brother shoved a "Chapter" petition under my nose tonight. Said if I wanted
to "get it all," I ought to belong to the "higher bodies." Wonder what they
are? I was told I would be a Mason when I received the third degree.
* * * *
* * * * * * * * * * * *
been elected in the Chapter, now. As soon as I get that, I'll take the
Commandery, too - Brother Jones, whom I met coming out of the church last
Sunday told me that the "Black Cross" degree was the "ne plus ultra" of
Masonry. There was a "Consistory" meeting in town last week, too. It lasted
four days. And then on Friday night there was a "Shrine" meeting. I met some
of the "Shriners" in the temple parlors. They surely were a bunch of good
fellows! It looks as if I was going to spend at least $250.00 in getting
Masonry, before I'm through! It certainly is a luxury. I cannot really
afford it, but I want to know what Masonry really is. There is much that I
do nor understand. They told me it would all be explained is the Chapter.
But it wasn't. I want all they have to give me!
* * * *
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
had it all. It is exactly twelve months sines I took my first degree, and
I'm an "R.A.M.", "K.T.", "32d," - yes, and a "Noble of the Mystic Shrine,"
too. Everything but the 33d and they say I shall have to wait fifteen or
twenty or thirty or forty years for that, if I ever get it.
go to all the "bodies" it will take me three or four nights a week, and to
get the benefit of the Scottish Rite and the Shrine I'll have to lay off at
least two weeks a year. But it is all grand! It is worth it! My wife doesn't
think so. She wonders what it must be, to attract me so much.
* * * *
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
haven't been to lodge for three weeks. It is the first week I've missed
going to at least one session of some kind, since I was first initiated. But
I've been thinking a lot, these three weeks. I was talking to Brothers J.
and K. last Wednesday night. I met them down at the American Legion meeting.
J. took the work two weeks before
I did; K. was "passed" the same night I was. Both of them finished up about
the same time I did. They asked me whether I thought, after taking the other
degrees, that it would be worth while for them to "go on up" - as one of
them expressed it.
were surprised. But I told them - they're good friends and splendid fellows,
and we "went over the top" together just before the Armistice - my whole
story about Freemasonry.
told them I was disappointed. I expected so much - perhaps too much, when I
joined Masonry. I liked it at first, and I love it still. But I've stopped
learning about it, and really know less now than I did when I was studying
the first three degrees. There's some mystery about it. I don't understand,
yet, what it's all about. I've rushed through. I've seen it all. But I
haven't digested it. Now, I've got a high school education. I can read, I
think, as intelligently as the average. I follow the "Literary Digest," as
well as read several other magazines. I've tried to find a real Masonic
magazine. Hunted high and low, until Brother L. (who has never filled an
office, though he's been a Mason thirty years) told me about "THE BUILDER."
like it, but some of it is over my head.
talked to older brethren. They cannot give me what I'm after. I have read
something about where Masonry came from. I'm glad to know that. But,
honestly, fellows, I want to know what Masonry is doing, today. Maybe I
don't understand it as I should, and that is the reason why I chafe about
it. But I want to know what it is that Masonry really tries to teach!
up to lodge once in awhile, now," replied J. "I've been asking the Master
and Wardens until I'm ashamed to ask them any more. Besides, they cannot
questions. They say they're too busy conferring degrees. But, honestly, I
believe they do not know themselves!”
* * * *
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
foregoing is not a literal experience of one doughboy. It is the combined
story of three or four to whom ye scribe has had the privilege of talking
during the past three months. Is it not time for us to stop and think of
what we are doing? Is it not time that a program of Masonic education be
announced, and carried into every lodge in the United States? Dare we be
slow in answering honest questions like these, and justifying the hopes of
the young men who are flocking to our doors ?
the lesson home and your lodge and my lodge, your Grand Master and my Grand
Master, will vie with one another to see which can arrange programs that
will prevent the inevitable slump if we keep taking young men in at the rate
of 100,000 a year and do not teach them that which they need to know.
challenge is to us, my brethren. We accept these young men - but we are not
treating them fairly.
to meet conditions such as are pictured in this article that thinking Masons
are coming to feel that every Jurisdiction should join with each other to
try to answer the inquiry (sometimes spoken, often unuttered,) of these
sincere young men who have learned the meaning of "efficiency" and want to
do the work
which their conscience tells them they ought to do in making Masonry a real
part of our civilization. G.L.S.
COIN OF GOD
L. B. MITCHELL, MICHIGAN
mere existence counts for worth,
came, we're here as parts of earth,-
parts of its all-nature plan
and act the part of man;
higher values there must be
those of mere nativity.
there's value we must pay
price beyond the right to stay,-
price above the normal need
privilege that we may plead,-
price that pays for something worth
than can be derived from earth.
must duly share in things
what just mere living brings;
entries on life's balance sheet
for the higher realm be meet,
thereon there's credits made
show that we in kind, have paid.
just as we invest in gold,-
soulful things of worth untold,-
we pay the price of life
its elemental strife,-
much then will worth appear,-
coin of God, so precious here.
BY BRO. ROBERT TIPTON
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
SPEAKING OF BOOKS
GREAT MAN once told us that we should not read any book that was not at
least a year old. The tendency today, apparently, is to read as many books
as possible that are not a year old. Booksellers, publishers and newspapers
everywhere seem to vie with each other in announcing the enormous sales of
the best sellers. Reading occasionally a best seller is fast convincing us
that enormity in sales of best sellers is far from indicating a heightening
of the taste for real literature among the American people. We have often
heard it said by a dear friend that the many people love the photo play, as
it spares them the necessity of exercising their brains - an observation of
course in which opinion may differ. Our opinion is that there is a sort of
sensuous intoxication bordering too frequently on the sensual that lends
attractiveness both to the best seller and the photo play that keeps them
first among the things in the affections of the mass of the people. However
that may be, the monotonous similarity in what sells for a book, and that
which is dramatized on the screen, is criterion enough for us stating that
our interest in things bookish is very much along one track. Let us as
Masons solemnly ponder this fact that those immoral agencies that are
undermining society are intensely aggravated by the realism of the so-called
books that are so vociferously handled as best sellers. Divorce, crime,
anarchy and the other malignant ills are not going to be mitigated by our
present book method of portraying ugly realism.
this land of ours exists for aught under the starry blue, it stands for
homes where the hearth is a sanctuary, it stands for clean men, women and
children. It stands for the things of beauty and goodness, justice and
benevolent government. "To your knees, O Israel," was a cry among our
ancient brethren when the world was out of joint. To our knees must we come
too, that arising from them, we might catch a vision of the finer things. We
need respite from. best sellers and sensational films with their leprous
taint. As Masons let us be sure that our shelves are richly stored with
those books that have stood the test of time. As Masons and Americans we
have yet in our literature those of an older day whose eyes were freer than
to behold iniquity, or if they did see it they did not place a halo about
it. Hawthorne, Irving and Howells, to read them today, is as partaking of
rich draughts that come from deep wells in Elysian fields. We have aped in
literature those mad sensualists of lands abroad, and the day of emulation
of their great ones seems to have passed. The other day we read George
McDonald's "Robert Falconer," a wise and good work. We confess to having
found it in some measure laborious, but we arose feeling the stronger for
having read it. We read Silas Lapham, too, and came away with a sorrow
because so few books of fiction in this land were of its noble quality. In
this day of revaluation and adjustment we need as Lincoln needed, in his
trying hours, the ministry of books that are as a gift of the gods, and not
those cheap effusions of maudlin sentimentalists that delight in naught save
those things of dark moral phases.
* * *
Blood in America," by Lucian Fosdick. Price $2.50. Published by The Gorham
Press, 7-11 West 45th St., New York, N. Y.
book that has stirred our blood recently has been Lucian Fosdick's "French
Blood in America." The heroic qualities of the Huguenot ancestors of those
of French blood among us is set forth in admirable fashion. Not a few
surprises are in store for the reader as the author essays to set us right
about the nationality of the Pilgrims. Many of them were of French
extraction we are told, who having sought refuge in England found in due
process of time their names to be Anglicized. John Alden and Priscilla, many
will be shocked in discovering, were really French Huguenots. For the proof
of the pudding of course there is but one avenue, and that in this case, is
to read the book.
nearer interest and greater importance is the history of those connected
with the founding of this great Republic. And of especial interest to Masons
will be the fact that many of these were active members of the Craft. The
author indeed has been compelled to set aside a chapter under the caption of
the French in Freemasonry - a chapter indeed that is wondrous with its names
of patriots and suggestions of their prodigious efforts in the Revolutionary
period. We would urge its reading by the Craft, if for no other reason - and
there are many - than that it is one of the most powerful books that we have
been privileged to read of late, that will resolve Masons to be as heroic as
those godly Huguenot exemplars, whose tales Fosdick has so powerfully retold
in their fight against religious tyranny and oppression.
* * *
BIOGRAPHY OF GENERAL GRANT'S MILITARY SECRETARY - THE LAST GRAND SACHEM
of Ely S. Parker," by A.C. Parker. Published by the Buffalo Historical
Society, Buffalo, N. Y.
Through the thoughtfulness of the author, we are
in receipt of a splendid
biography of General Ely S.
Parker, the last Grand Sachem of the Iroquois, and General
Grant's Military Secretary.
work is valuable from a number of angles. Its able setting forth of Indian
customs and life, its vivid description of the rise of the General from a
position of affluence among his own people to one of great power among the
whites; and its brilliant elucidation from an Indian standpoint of the
wrongs suffered by the redmen at the hands of the whites, gives it a
pertinent historical significance. That both the author and the subject of
the book were Masons is amply assured by the frequent allusions to Masonic
is a chapter devoted to the General's Masonic career, and an extract from an
oration indicates his tender solicitation for the order. "I feel assured,"
says he, "that when my glass is run out and I shall follow the footsteps of
my departed race, Masonic sympathies will cluster around my coffin, and drop
in my grave the ever green acacia, sweet emblem of a better meeting.” Of
vivid interest is the General's effort to get into the army in the early
sixties and his refusal by Secretary Seward. He was disqualified on account
of his being an Indian, but later he was commissioned and ultimately
attached to General Grant's staff. He had known Grant years before, and as
our author suggests, rendered him some signal service, when Grant was an
obscure Captain in the West.
Tender and touching are the pictures of the General's friendships with
prominent whites, and his patriarchal mindfulness for the betterment of his
own people has assured the preservation of the name of the last Grand Sachem
in the historical annals of our country.
* * *
OF PROMISE AND HOPE
Hill of Vision," by Frederick Bligh Bond, F.R.I. B.A. Published by Marshall
Jones Company, 212 Summer St., Boston, Mass. Price $1.50.
this time of writing we are entertaining in this
country Maurice Materlinck
and Sir Oliver Lodge. A contemporary has referred to the one as having an
interesting message, and the other as being probably the most popularly
known advocate of a belief in Spiritualism. After commenting further on the
notables he cites that the solid men of England are interested in
concludes that the movement is not likely to gain much foothold in America.
However that may be, solid men in America are from time to time surprising
us with declarations in regard to it, and those frequently come from
unlooked for quarters. Notably of late, espousing the belief in
Spiritualistic phenomena and enhancing the interest in Spiritualism is Dr.
Russel H. Conwell, of Philadelphia, the eminent Baptist Divine.
interest in the subject has not been generated by any psychic experience -
we keep the open mind and we plead as our sole interest the desire to draw
the attention of the Craft to such books as are the statements of the
conviction of men who will ever merit our respect of their opinions, even
though we do not agree with them. Ralph Adams Cram has written the
introduction to the Hill of Vision. In it he sets forth his association with
the author and the author's effort in resorting to automatic writings to
locate the Edgar Chapel among the ruins of Glastonbury. His search, we are
told, is successful as a result of the information revealed. Their spirit
communicators, it is of interest to know, are scholastic and prophetic.
Especially is this demonstrated in the Scripts that pertain to the great
war. An admirable case is made out showing that a prediction of the end of
the great war did actually transpire at the stated date. The book further
contains a powerful analysis of the world forces that clashed, and its
suggestions regarding the aftermath are extremely pertinent, and many things
prophecied are indeed coming to pass under our very eyes. It is a book of
promise and of hope whether arising out of the subliminal consciousness of
its author or the communications of those who are among the Cloud of
Witnesses. The scholastic and philosophic dissertations will afford a feast
for those appreciative ones, into whose hands this little book chances to
"CONCISE HISTORY OF FREEMASONRY"
Concise History of Freemasonry," by Robert Freke Gould. Published by Gale &
Polden, Ltd., London, England. Copies may be had through the National
Masonic Research Society, Anamosa, Iowa. Price $4.50, postpaid.
the great names in Freemasonry ever to be counted with, is that of Robert
Freke Gould. His name is always a synonym for Masonic Research. His
prodigious labours so nobly embodied in his works are a priceless heritage
to the Masonic Craft. Could he but speak to us he probably would say of his
works that "this was the best of me for the rest, I have lived just as other
men." It is needless for us to dwell further upon the character of his gifts
of research as our business here is but to urge upon Masons the
indispensibility of having some of his works in their libraries. We often
hear it said that not to have read such and such a book is not to be a well
read man, and in view of this we could say that not to have read certain
Masonic works that are standard, is to find one's self frequently in the
class of the limited in Masonic knowledge. To read many books is not the
privilege of the many, but to the many a liberal education, we are told, is
afforded if they but sit fifteen minutes a day at a five-foot bookshelf,
where the best of the world's literature is available. The basic fault today
as it pertains to growing wiser through the good use of books, is not our
little reading, but the character of the reading that we do.
so among us Masons. Our Masonic information has oftentimes been derived from
sources that are chimerical or highly speculative. Masonry probably has
suffered more from nonsensical, fanciful literature, loaded to bursting with
impossibilities, as much as any movement since the dawn of time. We would
submit Gould's Concise History as one of the great necessary corrective
books of Masonry. As a brief compendium of the forces that in the aggregate
make our antecedents, it is in a field by itself. It is not a book that will
read like a best seller, it is rather like a profitable mine to which one
can go again and again and bring forth treasures. It disillusions us by
setting forth to us in dispassionate manner those movements of the past in
which something of the Spirit of Freemasonry is seen, but only by a
prodigious stretch of the imagination can be identified with the Freemasonry
that we know. Cyclopedic in nature it is the admirable handbook necessary to
the new initiate coming from the hands of one of the greatest Masonic
scholars that will give an estimable appreciation of the greatness of the
order to which he belongs. It is a story of the development of the Craft,
and its trials and expansion affords it being eminently useful on any
Masonic library shelf.
PUBLICATIONS ISSUED BY THE SOCIETY
bound volume of THE BUILDER $ 3.75
bound volume of THE BUILDER 3.75
bound volume of THE BUILDER 3.75
bound volume of THE: BUILDER 3.75
bound volume of THE BUILDER 3.75
Constitutions ( reproduced by photographic plates from an original copy in
the archives of the Iowa Masonic Library, Cedar Rapids). Edition
Philosophy of Masonry, Roscoe Pound 1.25
Story of Old Glory, The Oldest Flag," Bro. J. W. Barry, P. G. M., Iowa, red
buffing binding, gilt lettering, illustrated. A story of the Flag and
Story of Old Glory, The Oldest Flag," paper covers .50
"Further Notes on the Comacine Masters," W. Ravenscroft, England. A sequel
to "The Comacines, Their Predecessors and Their Successors," a Masonic
digest of Leader Scott's book "The Cathedral Builders" and containing the
latest researches of Brother Ravenscroft which present a very logical
argument for the connection of Freemasonry of the present day with the Roman
Collegia and traveling Masons of the early times, paper covers,
Symbolism of the First Degree, Gage, pamphlet .15
Symbolism of the Third Degree, Ball, pamphlet .15
Symbolism of the Three Degrees, Street, 68 pages, paper covers. The lessons
and symbols of each degree traced to their origin, in every instance that it
has been possible to so trace them. Brother Street gives many explanations
of our symbols in this little book on which our monitors but vaguely
Aspects of Masonic Symbolism, Waite, pamphlet .15
* * *
PUBLICATIONS FROM OTHER SOURCES IN IN STOCK AT ANAMOSA
Builders," a Story and Study of Masonry, by Brother Joseph Fort Newton,
formerly Editor-in-Chief of THE BUILDER $ 1.50
Mackey's Encyclopaedia, 1919 edition, in two volumes, Black Fabrikoid
Symbolism of Freemasonry, A. G. Mackey 3.15
Jurisprudence, A. G. Mackey 3.15
Parliamentary Law, A. G. Mackey 2.15
Freemasonry in America Prior to 1750, Melvin M. Johnson, P.G.M.,
History of Freemasonry, Robert Freke Gould 4.50
foregoing prices include postage and insurance or registration fee on all
items except pamphlets. The latter will be sent by regular mail not insured
* * *
foregoing prices include postage and insurance or registration fee on all
items except pamphlets. The latter will be sent by regular mail not insured
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
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.
INFORMATION DESIRED ON SCANDINAVIAN MASONRY
making a special study of Scandinavian Masonry and would particularly like
The present status of Norwegian Masonry.
The exact degrees worked.
The requirements of candidates as regards religious belief.
Would a Master Mason from the United States be able to gain admission with
the knowledge and means of recognition at his command?
The influence of Rosicrucianism and Swedenborgianism, and also of the old
Druids and Drottars on Norwegian Masonry.
Ingmar Oleson, North Dakota.
have sent such material to Brother Oleson as we have been able to dig out of
our Clipping Bureau and library, but this has been somewhat meagre so far as
present day conditions in the Scandinavian countries is concerned.
should like to hear from such members of the Society as may have made late
investigations on the foregoing subjects.
* * * *
* * * * * * * * * * *
ATTITUDE OF GERMAN GRAND LODGES TOWARD THE MASONRY OF OTHER COUNTRIES
should like to know on what grounds German Masons severed relations with the
Grand Lodges of other nations during the late war.
E. Mielke, California.
we have no method of ascertaining the present attitude of the German Grand
Lodges toward the Masonry of America and other countries allied against
Germany during the war we are publishing a report of a "Special Committee on
Fraternal Relations with the Grand Lodges of the German Empire" of the Grand
Lodge of Colorado which, we believe, will throw practically as much light on
the question as is at this time obtainable. This report follows:
many years the published Proceedings of this Grand Lodge have set forth
lists of Grand Representatives of Grand Lodges with which this Grand Lodge
was in fraternal correspondence. These lists include the Grand Lodges of the
United States, which exchange representatives; the Grand Lodges of England,
Scotland, Ireland and the colonies of the British Empire; Egypt, Cuba, the
Philippine Islands, Porto Rico and Valle de Mexico.
lists included a list of seven lodges under the subs title "Confederation of
German Grand Lodges."
last mentioned list does not appear in the published Proceedings for 1918,
for what reason we are not advised, as no action was taken by this Grand
Lodge at the Annual Communication of 1918, touching the matter here
involved, except the appointment of this committee.
will be noticed that the German Grand Lodges with which we were in fraternal
correspondence are under the jurisdiction of the "Confederation of German
investigation leads to the conclusion that there is a "German Grand Lodge
Diet," and a "Grand Lodge League of Germany" in addition to the
"Confederation of German Grand Lodges."
are not concerned at this time with the number of so-called Grand Lodges in
Germany, for the reason that our fraternal correspondence was limited to
those Grand Lodges which are listed as members of the "Confederation of
German Grand Lodges."
has been very difficult to secure authentic information as to what action,
if any, has been taken by Grand Lodges of the German Empire, or their
constituents, upon the matter here under consideration.
following extracts taken from the March, 1917, Bulletin of the
"International Bureau for Masonic Affairs" are presented as showing the
state of mind of some German Masons and Masonic writers:
COILING SERPENT OF HATRED"
!'The Masonry of Germany alone," writes a German newspaper, "deserves esteem
war," says a German writer, "has taught us that the Masonry of our country
must become exclusively national. It must wear a German dress, and have a
German character. It must renounce every connection with the World's
War," says another German journalist, "has destroyed all ideas of Masonic
Internationalism. International Masonry has become bankrupt. This opinion is
general in all German lodges. Masonic Cosmopalitanism is, therefore, a
fiction. German Freemasonry has no need for the 'International,' which has
nothing to offer it."
so-called English Masonry, which made such a boisterous entrance into the
world in 1717, notwithstanding its unimportance, was very different from
what we German Masons represent to ourselves as models of virtue. It was a
very narrow - and very English - organization which had absolutely no
thought of a union of humanity.
great extension of the idea to the whole of mankind is the work of
International 'Deutschtum'; it is only the German brain and the German heart
that can carry the enterprise to a successful end, together with the current
of the World's Union. Let us be frank; for us Germans, our ideal dream of
Internationalism has come to naught. Instead of being figurants we have
become actors. In future we shall also continue to practice the model of
Masonic virtues, but we shall not carry them out into the vast world."
"Latin Masonry does not possess a single spark of the Masonic spirit. Our
Masonic ideal is truly German. or, in a wider sense - Germanic. English
Masonry is nothing but vanity and sport: in it there is no trace of our
spiritual comprehension. In France, Masonry works in politics, to which it
sacrifices the great part of its activity. International Masonry is dead,
and notwithstanding all efforts to the contrary, will remain dead. Let us,
therefore, be German Freemasons, and work in our own way."
lastly, here is the concluson arrived at by a brother: "We German Freemasons
will have nothing more to do with international relations, and above all we
will have no official relations. Long live German Freemasonry! Down with
international fanaticism! It has deceived the world long enough and now
deserves to be struck down!" Here, as elsewhere, it is "Germany above all."
views above expressed may be the extreme views of individual German Masons
and German writers, and not fairly presentative of the mental attitude of
the great body of the Craft of the German Empire. We sincerely hope that
this is the case.
appears from the best information which we have that during the years 1914,
1915 and 1916, the Grand Lodges of Gernany with which we were in fraternal
correspondence, i.e., the Grand Lodges of the "Confederation of German Grand
Lodges," passed and promulgated edicts severing fraternal relations with all
Grand Lodges of enemy countries.
declaration of war by the United States, April 6, 1917, against the German
Empire, automatically placed the Grand Lodges of the United States under the
edicts of the Grand Lodges of the "Confederation of German Grand Lodges,"
passed and promulgated in 1914, 1915 and 1916.
other words, fraternal relations between the Grand Lodges of the
"Confederation of German Grand Lodges" and the Grand Lodge of Colorado are
interdicted by the action of said German Grand Lodges above set forth.
are of the opinion that fraternal relations were thus severed with the
German Grand Lodges without the necessity of any retaliatory action on our
part, and we recommend that they be so considered and that all necessary
proceedings as to the withdrawal of commissions, etc., be taken by the
proper officers of this Grand Lodge.
fifty-four landmarks of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, published in the
January issue of THE BUILDER, opens up a new phase of Masonic penalizing in
The only penalties known to Masonry are FINES, reprimand, suspension for a
definite period. and expulsion."
have been a Mason for thirty years, and never before even heard of such a
penalty as a fine warranted by Masonic law.
there any authentic record of any lodge, or Grand Lodge, having fined a
Mason? If so, for what offense? and to what purpose was the fine applied?
Landmark, to me, is as curious as are some of the allegations contained in
the "old Constitutions," and I am interested
to learn further of "Masonic fines."
some of our Kentucky brethren give us a few concrete examples ? - Editor.)
* * *
WOULD BE THE STATUS OF FREEMASONRY UNDER "SINN FEIN" GOVERNMENT IN IRELAND?
this community, and I presume where conditions are thought to be favorable
all over the country, we are about to witness the beginning of a "drive" to
place the bonds of the "Irish Republic." There is a phase of this situation
to which I have as yet seen no reference made, and which I believe is of
vital concern to American Masons. What would be the status of the Grand
Lodge of Ireland under such a government as is proposed for Ireland by Mr.
de Valera and his followers? I have seen no contradictions to the statements
that the Sinn Fein movement has the hearty approval and assistance of the
Roman Catholic hierarchy in Ireland (and for that matter, in this country
also) and on the other hand there is considerable evidence to support such
statements. This being so, is there any reason to suppose that the Grand
Lodge of Ireland would meet with any more favorable treatment than has been
received by Freemasons in Austria, Portugal, and in some of the South
American countries where clerical influence has controlled the government?
not see how American Freemasons can remain indifferent to the possible fate
of a Grand Lodge of such ancient and honorable traditions, and one which has
been bound by close ties of affiliation to the Grand Lodges of the United
States. I would be glad to have your comment on this matter.
H. Coffin, Pennsylvania.
(This communication was received after the February number of THE BUILDER
containing the article by Brother Trimble on "The Effect of Home Rule on
Freemasonry in Ireland" had gone to press. - Editor.)
* * *
OPPORTUNITY FOR A BETTER KNOWLEDGE OF MASONRY
field of Masonic research is so vast that there is abundant room for many
more prospectors than are at present engaged in exploring the rich veins of
history, legend and tradition.
Furthermore we are fortunate in having THE BUILDER to act as both promoter
and superintendent of this work, furnishing moreover a storehouse for
whatever material of value is obtained from the same. The quest is alluring
and the assured return to the seeker is well worth the labor involved.
example, in studying the religion of the ancient Egyptians, one learns of
their extensive use of amulets and further search reveals the fact that
among these talismans against evil are found
Square, which because of its phonetic value NEH, (protection,)
divine protection to the soul. Also interpreted as an admonition 'to act
rightly to act justly.'
level, SEKHEKH, emblematical of the moderation and justice which were hoped
for on behalf of the dead."
symbols and signs are met with in the temples and ruins of buildings
excavated in Yucatan, Mexico, among the Incas of Peru, and in the Caroline
sources are unlimited. The opportunity is here. Not to take advantage of it
is to miss a great deal in Masonry.
G. Culin, New Jersey.
* * *
Readers of THE BUILDER and the editors were indeed fortunate in their
opportunity to recently enjoy the articles by Brother Dudley Wright on the
above subject. Through his scholarship we received a comprehensive outline
of a once powerful fraternity, which seems to have been resurrected, or
reincarnated, in the Freemasonry of today.
few gleanings may perhaps be permitted to one who has always been attracted
by Eleusis and all the name connotes, and I offer them in the hope that
others may find them useful.
name itself means "the Place of the Coming," as it marked the spot on the
Attic coast where the distracted mother first landed when she had started on
her long search for the stolen Prosperine. The Triptolemus mentioned in the
earlier part of the story appears to have been rather a method of
cultivation than a person, although he is used to represent mankind as a
recipient of instruction in agriculture from Ceres.
local inhabitants marked the anniversary of this event by a festival and
ceremony, which naturally grew more elaborate as time passed. When they were
finally conquered by-the Athenians in one of the fratricidal wars which so
long disturbed ancient Hellas, the festival was taken over with other loot
by the victors and adopted into their own system of rites, as has happened
into so many other customs related to man's spiritual necessities.
Otherwise Eleusis was an obscure little town, having no other reason for its
importance in classical history, even as Oberammergau in Bavaria has a
world-wide fame for the Passion
Play conducted decennially by its pious townsfolk, but that very respect
giving valuable evidence of the strong religious instinct inherent in all
sorts and conditions of men, which forces them to raise objects of worship
and build revered legends wherever they are gathered together.
regards the nature of these observances, it is not wise to take the
statements of the Church Fathers without a few grains of salt, for they
were, almost all of them, notoriously partisan in matters of system; and
there is enough other evidence without going to that which is so clearly
prejudiced. There is also the analogy of our own lodges today, for those who
visit much know that some delight in being "noise factories," others are not
particular as to any perfection of word rendering in their work so long as
the sense is adequately conveyed, and others believe in a due decorum and
dignity both ceremonial and social. So too must the ancient hierophants and
their subordinates have differed during the long centuries in which Eleusis
prospered, and all we have today is the scattered impressions of those whose
accounts have survived the tooth of time and the torch of the invader.
while it is true that Sophocles in his "Antigone ' speaks of Bacchus as
"Thou who reignest in the arms of the goddess of Eleusis" (Ceres), yet we
are justified in believing that the two modes of celebration were widely
different in their general character. The Bacchanals sought liberation from
the flesh and union with their God by exhausting sense impressions of the
most violent type. We have borrowed a word from them to convey just such an
idea in "orgies," but this is only another form of an older Greek word
"ergo" or "ergon" which Homer uses to indicate both the hard labors of war
and the equal toil of peace.
rites of Eleusis, on the contrary, sought to lead their votaries by an
inward path to the same goal. Certainly they had a spectacular element, for
like our Freemasonry of today they appealed to and received almost all
classes of citizens, those who take their obligations seriously and those
who regard them as only a fanciful trimming to the social privileges and
prestige of membership. Still, barriers existed so that homicides and
others, and those whom we would call "mediums" were not admitted; even the
autocratic Nero being unable to force his way in, as Suetonius tells us.
apart from all this, the chief value for us lies, I think, in the picture of
our ancient brethren trying to find their way to the Great Architect in His
Temple hidden so securely from the flippant, yet right next to every honest
portrayed the drama of a great experience in the evolution of every human
soul. For over eighteen hundred years they directed the minds of their
participants to almost all that is good in modern Christianity, such as the
life after death, the due rewards of virtue and iniquity, and the immanence
of Divinity; only the vicarious atonement was lacking, and that idea - which
had not then been taught - is more a concession to human frailty than a
stirring of the will to meet bravely the trials of life, to stand as victor
by resolution of the Warrior fighting
within each one of us.
end of the fourth century A.D. the Mysteries of Eleusis had run their race
and ended their usefulness. Their physical death may be said to date from
the invasion of Alaric and his Goths in A.D. 396 but they had been solemnly
renounced by the emperor Theodosius some two years earlier. Unlike the
Collegia Fabrorum they had no Comacine Masters to lift the torch of
knowledge from their failing hands and preserve it through the Dark Ages of
mediaeval ignorance which eclipsed the glories of Greece, Rome, and
Byzantium while retaining their cruelties. The shrines of Eleusis are now a
pasture for goats and its sunny hillsides see only the perennial mystery of
wooing as conducted by a humble peasantry. Legends remain in plenty embodied
in the local folklore, even as the heroic figures of forgotten years
reappear in the twilight tales of many another fallen race. But of outer
physical relics there are now none save the timeworn statue of Ceres, alone
and unworshipped, a mark for curious eyes, in the quiet hall of the Library
of Cambridge University. Thus has history again written "Ichabod.”
any reader of THE BUILDER would like to follow up this avenue of research, I
append some sources of information that should be useful:
History of Greece, Vol. 1.
Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol. 73, 1853.
Contemporary Review, Vols. 37 and 38, 1880.
contain Lenormant's encyclopedic articles on the Eleusinian Mysteries.
American Catholic Quarterly Review, Vol. 26, 1901, an article by Daniel
of the Eleusinian Mysteries in modern Greek folklore," by G. F. Abbott in
"The 19th Century," Vol. 63,1908.
Mysteries and the Gospel Narrative," by Slade Butler, in "The 19th Century,"
Vols. 57 and 60, 1905-6.