The Builder Magazine
February 1921 - Volume VII -
MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS
GEO. W. BAIRD, P.G.M., DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
LEWIS CASS, the first Grand Master of Masons in Michigan, was
born in New Hampshire in 1782 and died in Detroit in 1866. He was the son of a
General Officer in the Revolutionary Army. Early in life he took up the duties
of a schoolmaster - fortunately for him, for if there is anything which gives
to a man an understanding of a subject, it is the attempt to teach it. The
family moved to Ohio, where Lewis studied law, and in 1802 was admitted to the
bar. He married in 1806 and soon thereafter was elected to the legislature. He
drew up the address to Jefferson, embodying the views of the legislature on
Aaron Burr's expedition, and drafted the law under which Rurr's boats and
provisions, built and collected in Ohio, were seized.
In the War of 1812 Cass was a Colonel in the Ohio Volunteers
under General Hull. He was promoted to be a Brigadier General, and at the end
of the War was appointed Governor of what is now the State of Michigan, and in
that capacity was Superintendent of Indian Affairs. During his term of
eighteen years in this office he negotiated twenty-two treaties, securing, by
concession of the Indian tribes, immense tracts of land in the Northwest;
instituted surveys, constructed roads, built forts and organized counties and
In the year 1815 he purchased, for $12,000, a homestead tract
of five hundred acres in Detroit, which the subsequent growth of the city made
valuable. He explored the upper lakes and the headwaters of the Mississippi,
the report of his explorations having been published in the North American
Review for 1828-9.
Cass was Secretary of War under President Jackson in 1831, and
was Minister to France in 1836.
The most remarkable incident of his diplomatic career was his
attack on the quintuple treaty for the suppression of the slave trade, which
led to his resignation, in 1842.
He was elected United States Senator in 1845, an in 1846 was
Democratic nominee for President. He was reelected to the Senate in 1849, the
year of the “gold fever” in California. Though instructed by the legislature
of Michigan to vote for the “Wilmot proviso” he vigorously opposed it, which
shows his independence and fealty to the commonwealth in lieu of his State. In
1850 he was made a member of Clay's compromise treaty, but did not vote for
the fugitive slave bill. At the Baltimore Convention in 1852 he was
candidate for the Presidential nomination, but was not successful in securing
In 1854 he voted for the Douglas Kansas-Nebraska bill proposing
the repeal of the Missouri compromise, but which included a provision
embodying Cass's suggestion in the famous Nicholson letter to leave to the
inhabitants of the territories the power to regulate their own institutions,
subject only to the constitution. Subsequently he declined to obey the wish of
the State legislature as to his vote on the Kansas question.
Cass was Secretary of State in Buchanan's administration,
during the most trying period of the Nation.
Men thought that their first fealty was to their State, this
sentiment having come down from the time of the Colonies; the National
constitution was silent on the privilege of a State's secession. Cass was a
democrat, in the dictionary sense of the word: his fealty was to the
commonwealth, while most of the other of the cabinet officers, particularly
Mr. Davis and Mr. Cobb, thought differently. The writer was living in
Washington at the time and, while under age, was cognizant of much that
transpired in the executive departments. The President believed the war was a
flurry, or a bluff, and even after Fort Sumter was fired upon we all thought
the war would not last three months. Mr. Cass had urged upon the President to
reinforce Fort Sumter, but the latter could not conceive of the gravity of the
situation. He was naturally fond of Mr. Davis, the Secretary of War, over
whose desk such an order must pass, and in the President's hesitancy Mr. Cass
resigned. It was a pity. It was lack of vision on the part of the President.
He may have been misled by the unconcealed apathy of his secession
surroundings in breaking with the government, but he lacked experience.
When fighting begins personal friendships and old associations
are forgotten. The writer heard Mr. Capers (in Charleston) tell of that first
shot. It was aimed at the Star of the West, as she entered the Harbor of
Charleston to reinforce Sumter. Capers, who was a member of Colonel Stevens'
battery, says that Stevens, apparently choking with emotion, looking upon the
old flag at the peak of the Star of the West said: “Boys, it almost breaks my
heart, but, Number One, fire!” and that was the first shot of the war. Then
Senator Wigfall, of Texas, (who had never hear the screech of an angry shot),
said, on the floor of the Senate, “You sent the Star of the West into
Charleston Harbor; we fired on her, and you dare not resent it !”
The beautiful memorial to General Cass, shown in the
frontispiece, is an enduring tribute to one of the bravest, wisest, far-seeing
men the Nation ever produced. The monument is the pride of Detroit.
BUILDER FEBRUARY 1921
tell us that there never has been a woman Freemason. Perhaps that is true.
This question has been called to the attention of the able scholar and devoted
Mason who contributes this series of articles. Can Freemasonry enlarge its
borders to include women or must they forever remain outside the pale? If they
are to be made Masons in literal truth in what way can we reorganize the
ritual so as to eliminate certain features which might prove embarrassing to
them? If they cannot be admitted into full membership in what way can the
spirit and teachings of this ancient Fraternity be made available to them?
Since Freemasonry began to be this has been a moot question; it is still. It
will be for years to come. It is a theme of perennial interest. For this
reason we are very glad indeed to give to our readers the reasoned and mature
judgments of a scholar who has every right to speak on this interesting
the Antient Charges forbid the admission or initiation of women into the Order
of Free and Accepted Masons, there are known instances where as the result of
accident or sometimes design the rule has been broken and women have been duly
initiated. The most prominent instance is that of the Hon. Elizabeth St.
Leger, or, as she afterwards became, on marriage, the Hon. Mrs. Aldworth, who
is referred to sometimes, though erroneously, as the “only woman who over
obtained the honour of initiation into the sublime mysteries of Freemasonry.”
Elizabeth St. Leger was a daughter of the first Viscount Doneraile, a resident
of Cork. Her father was a very zealous Freemason and, as was the custom in
his time - the early part of the eighteenth century - held an occasional lodge
in his own house, when he was assisted by members of his own family and any
brethren in the immediate neighbourhood and visitors to Doneraile House. This
lodge was duly warranted and held the number 150 on the Register of the Grand
Lodge of Ireland.
runs that one evening previous to the initiation of a gentleman named
Coppinger, Miss St. Leger hid herself in the room adjoining the one used as a
lodgeroom. This room was at that time undergoing some alterations and Miss
St. Leger is said to have removed a brick from the partition with her scissors
and through the aperture thus created witnessed the ceremony of initiation.
What she saw appears to have disturbed her so thoroughly that she at once
determined upon making her escape, but failed to elude the vigilance of the
tyler, who, armed with a sword stood barring her exit. Her shrieks alarmed
the members of the lodge, who came rushing to the spot, when they learned that
she had witnessed the whole of the ceremony which had just been enacted.
After a considerable discussion and yielding to the entreaties of her brother
it was decided to admit her into the Order and she was duly initiated, and, in
course of time, became the Master of the lodge. According to Milliken, the
Irish Masonic historian, she was initiated in Lodge No. 95, which still meets
at Cork, but there is no record extant of her reception into the Order. It is,
however, on record that she was a subscriber to the Irish Book of
Constitutions, which appeared in 1744 and that she frequently attended,
wearing her Masonic regalia, entertainments that were given under Masonic
auspices for the benefit of the poor and distressed. She afterwards married
Mr. Richard Aldworth of Newmarket and when she died she was accorded the
honour of a Masonic burial. She was cousin to General Antony St. Leger, of
Park Hill, near Doncaster, who, in 1776, instituted the celebrated Doncaster
St. Leger races and stakes.
Countess Hadik Barkoczy, who was born in 1833, was the sole heiress of Count
Johann Barkoczy, and being the last of her race was permitted by the Hungarian
Courts to take the place of a son. She succeeded her father on his death in
1871, in the extensive Majorat of Barkoczy. In 1860 she married Count Bela
Hadik, aide-de-camp to the unfortunate Emperor Maximillian of Mexico. With her
inheritance she came into the possession of an extensive Masonic library. She
was a highly educated lady, and made the Masonic literature her earnest study;
and having mastered the statements concerning almost every degree in
Freemasonry, an ardent admiration for the Masonic idea was aroused in her. She
was well acquainted with some Freemasons, through whom she endeavoured to gain
admittance into the Craft. Her desire was granted and in 1875, she was duly
initiated in the Lodge Egyenloseg, in Unghvar, holding a warrant from the
Orient of Hungary. On hearing of this glaring on of the statutes the Grand
Orient of Hungary instituted proceedings against the brethren who had been
guilty of this “breach of the Masonic vow, unjustifiedly conferring Masonic
Degrees, doing that which degrades a Freemason and Freemasonry, and for
knowingly violating the statutes.” The judgment of the Council was given at
their meeting on January 5th, 1876, when all the accused were found guilty.
The Deputy Master of the lodge was condemned to the loss of all his Masonic
rights and expulsion from the Order forever; the officers to have their names
struck off the lists and the other members of the lodge to be suspended for a
space of three, six, or twelve months. But still the question remained as to
whether the duly initiated Countess could and ought to be looked upon as a
regular Freemason and whether she could claim all the rights of a member of
the Fraternity. On this point the Grand Orient of Hungary decided in their
meeting held on 10th March, 1876, as follows:
Grand Orient declares the admission of the Countess Hadik Barkoczy to be
contrary to the laws, and therefore null and void, forbids her admittance into
any lodge of their jurisdiction, under penalty of erasion of the lodge from
the rolls, and requests all Grand Lodges to do the same.
Countess is requested to return the invalid certificate which she holds within
ten days, in default of which measures will be taken to confiscate immediately
the certificate whenever produced at any of the lodges.
Beaton, a Norfolk lady, it is said, contrived to conceal herself behind the
wainscotting in a lodgeroom, where she learned the secret of the First degree,
before she was discovered, upon which she herself was initiated. There is,
however, no official record of this incident, which rests largely upon
Xaintrailles, the wife of General de Xaintrailles, was a member of an Adoptive
lodge, and it is said that she was afterwards initiated into Craft Masonry.
This event is said to have occurred at the close of the eighteenth century,
but this also rests largely upon tradition.
of Madame de Xaintrailles is told by Clavel in his Histoire Pittoresque de la
Franc-Maconnerie but neither date nor place is mentioned:
the rule which forbids women admission to lodges is absolute, yet it has once
been infringed under very remarkable circumstances. The Lodge of Les Freres
Artistes, presided over by Bro. Covelier de Trie was giving a Fete of
Adoption. Before the introduction of the ladies the brethren had begun their
ordinary work. Among the visitors who were waiting in the ante-chamber was a
young officer in the uniform of a major of cavalry. He was asked for his
certificate. After hesitating a few moments he handed a folded paper to the
Expert-Senior Deacon, who, without opening it, proceeded to take it to the
Orator. This paper was an aide-de-camp's commission issued to Madame de
Xaintrailles, wife of the General of that name, who, like the Demoiselles de
Fernig and other Republican heroines, had distinguished herself in the wars of
the revolution and had won her rank at the point of the sword. When the
Orator read to the lodge the contents of this Commission the astonishment was
general. They grew excited and it was spontaneously decided that the First
degree, not of Adoptive Masonry, but of real Freemasonry, should be conferred
there and then on the lady who so many times had displayed all the virtues of
a man and had deserved to be charged with important missions which required as
much courage as discretion and prudence. They at once proceeded to acquaint
Madame de Xaintrailles with the decision of the lodge and to ask her if she
would accept the hitherto unprecedented favour. Her reply was in the
affirmative. 'I am a man for my country,' she said, 'I will be a man for my
brethren.' The reception took place and from that time Madame de Xaintrailles
often assisted in the work of the Lodge.”
Palladian Lodge, No. 120 on the Roll of the English Constitution of Free and
Accepted Masons, is said once to have numbered a lady among its members. It
is a tradition of the lodge that, in 1770, Mrs. Havard was proposed as an
honourary member and was initiated therein, in order that she might have the
necessary qualification. There is, however, no record of such initiation.
The Palladian Lodge, it may be stated, was warranted in 1762 and celebrated
the centenary of its existence in 1862.
modern instance of a woman claiming to be a member of a recognized Masonic
lodge is that of Mrs. Catherine Babington, whose Biography was published by
her son, J. P. Babington, himself a member of Lee Lodge, No. 253,
Taylorsville, N. C., U.S.A., the third edition of which was issued in 1912.
Mrs. Babington was the only daughter of Charles and Margaret Sweet, and was
born at Princess Furnace, Kentucky, on 28th December, 1815. Near her
grandfather's house the Freemasons are said to have met in the upper story of
a building in a room designed for a church, in the corner of which an
old-fashioned pulpit had been erected and under which it is said she concealed
herself from time to time during a period of a year and a half, and where she
frequently saw and heard the various Masonic degrees conferred. Finally, the
story goes on, one of her uncles, named Ulen, who had left his rifle in the
ante-room, went back to get it, and saw Kate emerging from her place of
concealment. When they got home he and his brothers summoned her before them
to find out what she had learned about Freemasonry. Having ascertained the
extent of her information the question arose as to what was to be done. And
the story runs: “Accordingly a suitable uniform of red flannel was made and
she was taken to the lodge where she was obligated as a regular Mason, but not
admitted to membership.” The day she took the obligations was the first and
last time she was ever inside a Masonic lodge (where she could be seen) while
it was at work. She knew Masonry and kept herself posted up until a short
time before her death; but never attempted to visit a lodge. On one occasion,
it is related, while they were considering her case in the lodge, she was met
on the outside by a party of masked men who demanded that she tell them what
she knew about Masonry; and relating the incident to her uncle, she is
reported to have said: “They might kill me, but they could never make me tell
anything about Masonry.” Many incidents are told of her use of Masonic signs
and words in her travels through Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia,
Maryland, Tennessee, and other States; but most of them are seemingly
improbable, if not impossible. Mrs. Babington died in Shelby, N.C., where she
was buried, and the “Shelby Aurora,” which was owned and edited by a member of
the Craft, describing the funeral, stated: “At her death she was the only
female Mason in the United States and was well versed in the workings of the
following curious advertisement appeared in the “Newcastle Weekly Chronicle”
of January 6th, 1770:
to acquaint the public that on Monday, 1st inst. being the lodge or monthly
meeting-night of the Free and Accepted Masons of the 22nd Regiment, held at
the Crown, near Newgate, Mrs. Bell, the landlady of the house, broke open a
door with a poker, by which means she got into an adjacent room, made two
holes through the wall, and by that stratagem discovered the secrets of
Masonry, and knowing herself to be the first woman in the world that ever
found out the secret, is willing to make it known to all her sex. So that any
lady that is desirous of learning the secrets of Freemasonry, by applying to
that well-learned woman (Mrs. Bell) who has lived fifteen years in and about
Newgate, may be instructed in all secrets of Masonry.”
“Edinburgh Courant” of 2nd December, 1772, there appeared the following
nights ago a regular Lodge of Freemasons was held at the Star in Watergate
Street, in the city of Chester, when a woman who lodged in the house,
concealed herself in a press in the lodge room in order to satisfy a painful
curiosity she had a long time imbibed of discovering the reason of their
secret meetings; but the ever wary and careful fraternity, making a timely and
secret discovery of the place of her concealment, assembled themselves within
her hearing, and after repeating the punishment which they always inflict on
every person whom they detect prying into their secrets, opened the press and
took her out, almost dead with apprehension of what she was to suffer, which
had such an effect on the humanity of the brethren then present, that they
unanimously agreed to dismiss her, without doing her any other injury than
that of a severe reprimand for her folly.” The Masonic lodge held at this
particular house at this time was the principal lodge in the Chester Division
of what are known as the Operative Freemasons. This body has certain officers
known as “Searchers” and their duty is to search the lodgeroom, as well as all
other rooms which are either under, over, or adjoining the lodgeroom, and the
tradition is that the woman was discovered by the Searchers before the
Operative lodge was opened.
Morgan, in her Diary, published in 1859, claimed to have been initiated in a
lodge in Paris. Under date of January, 1819, she wrote:
here I am, a Free and Accepted Mason, according to the old Irish Masonic
song. When we drove to the solitudes of the Rue Vaugirard, Faubourg St.
Germaine, we found the court of the Hotel la Vilette and all the premises full
of carriages: Belle et Bonne magnificently dressed in white satin and
diamonds, with Voltaire's picture round her neck, set in brilliants, received
us in the salon with a sort of solemn grace, very unlike her usual joyous
address. Madame la Generale Foy, the wife of the popular militaire, stood
beside her; his Royal Highness Prince Paul of Wurtemberg, the Bishop of
Jerusalem, Talma, Count de la Rochefoucault, in full dress, looking very like
his illustrious ancestor of Les Maximes; Denon, the Count de Cazes, pair de
France (brother to the premier, the Duc de Cazes), General Favier, and many
others whom we knew, were assembled, and muttered their conversation in little
groups. At half past eight they all proceeded to hold the Chapter for the
installation of the Dames Ecossaises du Temple, according to the programme,
we, les dames postulantes, remaining behind till we were called for. I really
began to feel some trepidation, and the stories that I had heard from my
childhood upwards, of the horrors of the trial of a free Masonic probation,
rose to my mind, red hot poker included. At nine o'clock we were summoned to
attend the 'Overture de la Cour des Grands Commandeurs.' When the battants
were thrown open, a spectacle of great magnificence presented itself. A
profusion of crimson and gold, marble busts, a decorated throne and altar, a
profusion of flowers, incense of the finest odour filling the air, and, in
fact, a spectacle of the most scenic and dramatic effect ever presented
itself. Such of the forms as are permitted to reach the ears profane are
detailed in the programme. We took the vows, but as to the Secret, it shall
never pass these lips, in holy silence sealed.”
clear that this was one of the many Adoptive lodges then in existence.
to the records of the Lodge Sincerite held at Klattau, Bohemia, the charter of
which was recalled in September, 1780, a women's lodge was formed as an
auxiliary, the membership of which was confined to the wives of the members of
the parent lodge. An exception to this rule was made in favour of the
Baroness Chanowsky de Langendorf, who is described as “the most honest.
virtuos, and fairest lady.” This female lodge worked under the name “The Three
Crowned Hearts”; but, with the exception of its by-laws, no records of any
kind concerning the activity of the lodge have been left. A Master Mason
managed the lodge as its Master, the office of Treasurer being also occupied
by a Master Mason, but, with these options, all the other officers were
women. The by-laws stipulated that the members should be “God-fearing,
humble, discreet, modest, honest, of righteous heart, obliging as well as
charitably inclined toward the poor.” The initiation could not take place when
the candidate was in delicate health. The petitions were passed upon by the
Master as far as proposition fees were concerned in accordance with the
petitioner's circumstances or means, while the amount of dues was fixed by the
underlying purpose of the lodge was purely moral and virtuous. Besides
impressing upon its members the observation of secrecy, they were strictly
admished to observe peace, harmony, union, and unblemished behaviour, with the
exclusion of haughtiness and arrogance. They were also strictly given in
charge to utter words of slander or commit defamatory acts nor were they
allowed in any circumstances to indulge in illicit love affairs. The special
task of strengthening the members in the observance of a virtuous life was in
the hands of the Master and the Woman Orator. The funds were used to assist a
sick sister or brother in the event of misfortune or unemployment. The
Constitution and By-laws of this lodge are in the archives of the National
Museum in Prague, Bohemia. The creation of the lodge contributed in no small
degree to the difficulties which afterwards befell the parent Lodge Sincerite,
the members of which, in the main, army officers belonging to the Dragoon
Regiment Prince Coburg.
Charles Purton Cooper, F.R.S., a well-known Freemason of his day, addressed
the following communication to the editor of The Freemasons Magazine, which
appeared in that journal of April 4th, 1863:
autumn of 1831, whilst on a visit of importance to the 'domaine' of La Favee,
near the village of St. Eusebe des Pois, in Burgundy, then belonging to
myself, but now belonging to my grandson, Arthur, Viscount Delagueriviere, I
became acquainted with an octogenarian lady, the Countess de G----, owner of
another 'domaine' in the neighbourhood. The Countess, finding I was a Mason,
spoke with singular delight of her 'reception au grade d'apprenti' in a Paris
lodge about 1780 and regretted that a sudden and lasting change of residence -
France to Italy - had prevented her proceeding to a higher degree. Her early
days had been spent with her mother and grandmother at Dijon, both of whom had
been members of lodges there - one of the Loge La Concorde and the other of
the Loge Les Arts Reunis.”
“Constitutions of the Freemasons,” bearing date 1693 have occasionally been
quoted in support of the contention that at one time women were admitted into
the Masonic guilds. One of the clauses runs:
of the elders taking the Booke, and that he or shee that is to bee made a
MAson shall lay their hands thereon, and the charge shall be given.”
same manuscript there is more than one reference to the “Dame” as well as the
records of the Lodge of Operative Masons held at Mary's Chapel, Edinburgh, it
is evident that the widows of Master Masons could, to a limited extent, occupy
the position of “Dame” or “Mistress” in a Masonic sense,
of Apryle, 1683. The whilk day, in presence of Thomas Hamiltone deakone and
John Harvy warden, and remnant masters of the masone craft, in corroborations
of the former practise quhich was of use and wont amongst them, it is statute
and ordained that it shall be in tyme or in no wayes leithsome for a widow to
undertake workes or to imploy jurneymen in any manner or way, but if such work
as ancient customers of the deceased husbands or any other ouner who may out
of kyndnesse offer the benefite of their work to the sd widoes be ofered unto
them, than and that caice it shall be leithsome to them to have the benefite
of the work, providing alwayes that they bespeake some freeman by whose advyse
and concurrance the worke shall be undertaken and the jurneymen agreed with,
quhich freeman is hereby charged to be altogether inhibited to participate of
the benefite arriessing from the sd work, under the paine of douhling the
soume reaped and arriessing to them by the sd work unjustly and to the
prejudice of the sd widoues, and contrare to the intent of the masters mette
for this tyme; and lykewise to underly the censure of the deakon and masters
in all tyme coming, if they shall think it expedient to punish them for their
malversatione and circumventione of the said widoues. Written and subscribed
by order and with consent of the deakon, warden, and masters by Ar. Smith,
connection mention must be made of the famous Chevalier D'Eon. Deon de
Beaument was born at Tonnerre in Burgundy on 5th October, 1728, and, in 1755,
received an appointment at the Court of Louis XV. After a successful career in
the diplomatic world, in 1764, doubts began to be expressed very freely as to
his sex. So notorious did the matter become that between 1769 and 1777 a
scheme of “Insurance on the sex of M. le Chevalier (or Mlle. la Chevaliere)
D'Eon” resulted in policies to the amount of 120,000 pounds being effected.
discussion was at its height, the Chevalier was initiated as a Freemason in La
loge de l'Immortalite, a French lodge under the English Constitution, bearing
the number 376 on the roll of the Grand Lodge of England. The lodge was
formed in 1766 and its headquarters were at the Crown and Anchor in the
Strand. He proceeded to the Third degree in January, 1769, and in the same
year was appointed Junior Warden of the lodge. Fearing that an attempt to
kidnap him might be made by those who had effected policies on the issue he
was sheltered by Earl Ferrers at Staunton Harold, near Ashby-de-la-Zouch.
Earl Ferrers in 1762 and 1763 held the position of Grand Master of England.
an action was brought by a policy-holder against an insurance broker to
recover the sum secured by the policy, when two witnesses swore in Court that,
of their own personal knowledge, the Chevalier was a woman. All doubt was,
however, set at rest by D'Eon's own admission that “he” was a woman. The King
of France commanded that the Chevalier should “resume the garments of her sex”
and the command was obeyed. To her credit, let it be said that she never again
attempted to enter a Masonic lodge, but after her death, there was found the
manuscript of an essay on “Freemasonry and Quakerism,” in which she said:
say here about Masonry is not meant to win the Gold or Silver Medal,
advertised in the London 'Courier Francais,' but only to win, in my heart, a
prize graven on the Masonic Compass and Triangles, each point of which, like
the Trinity, rests on Truth, Virtue, and Benevolence, Common foundations of
Equality and Justice between brothers by birth and by Christianity, as between
Brethren by Masonry, enlightened by the Sun of Truth, inasmuch as this is the
Truth held by the primitive Christians of Jerusalem and Antioch. But since
the Greek, Latin, Gallican, and Anglican Churches have organised themselves
into formidable bodies, they deride, individually and collectively, the sombre
Society of good Quakers, who are good only at whining, snivelling, and having
no power among them; while the Freemasons have established themselves in
Worshipful Lodges, in order to laugh, drink, sing at their ease, and display
benevolence towards their Brethren and Fellows dispersed over the Earth,
without infringing the Laws of Moses or of the Covenant. They spread
sunshine, God's consolation, and true happiness in the heart of all human
beings capable of appreciating simple Virtue. The happiness of Mankind and
the well-being of the Material World are to be found in Nature, Reason, Truth,
Justice, and Simplicity, and not in huge bodies compiled by Philosophy and
following advertisement appeared in the Publick Advertiser, of 7th March,
the mystery of Freemasonry has been kept a profound secret for several ages,
till at length some men assembled themselves at the Dover Castle, in the
Parish of Lambeth, under pretence of knowing the secret, and likewise in
opposition to some gentlemen that are real Freemasons, and hold a Lodge at the
same house; therefore to prove that they are no more than pretenders, and as
the ladies have sometimes been desirous of gaining knowledge of the noble art,
several regular made Masons (both ancient and modern) members of constituted
Lodges in this metropolis have thought proper to unite in a select body at
Beau Silvester's, the sign of the Angel, Bull Stairs, Southwark, and style
themselves Unions, think it highly expedient, and in justice to the fair sex,
to initiate them therein, provided they are women of undeniable character; for
though no Lodge as yet (except the Free Union Masons) have thought proper to
admit women into the fraternity, we, well knowing they have as much right to
attain to the secrets as those Castle humbugs have thought proper so to do,
not doubting but they will prove an honour to the Craft; and as we have had
the honour to inculcate several worthy sisters therein, those that we desirous
and think themselves capable of having the secret conferred on them, by proper
application, will be admitted, and the charges will not exceed the expenses of
following advertisement appeared in various English newspapers in the early
part of 1762:
“Advertissement aux dames, etc., - Pour vencre que les Francs Massons ne sont
par telles que le public les a representees en particulier la sexe feminine,
cet loge juge a propos de recevoir des femmes aussi bien que des hommes.
Des dames seront introduits dans la loge avec la ceremonie accountemee ou le
serment ordinaire et le real secret leur seront administrees. On commencera a
recevoir des Dames, Jeudy, 11 de Mars, 1762, at Mrs. Maynard's, next door to
the Lying Inn Hospital, Brownlow-street, Long Acre. La porte sera ouverte a 6
heures du Soir. Les Dames at Messieurs sont priees de ne pas venir apres
Sept. Le prix est 1 pound 1s.”
OF MORMONISM AND ITS CONNECTION WITH MASONRY IN THE EARLY FORTIES
S. H. GOODWIN. P. G. M., UTAH
of this paper contemplates a consideration of the introduction of Masonry
among the Mormons at Nauvoo, and a brief study of some of the outstanding
conditions in the midst of which Masonic work was done in that community up to
the time when - and shortly after - it was disowned by the Grand Lodge of
latter part of April, 1839, the first steps were taken toward the
establishment, in Illinois, of a semi-theocratic community under the
leadership of Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet. Similar attempts had been
made by this teacher of a new faith at Kirtland, Ohio, and at several points
in the state of Missouri - all of which had come to a disastrous conclusion.
The “why” of these failures does not lie within the province of this paper.
date named certain of the Mormon leaders came up from Quincy, some fifty miles
down the Mississippi river - whither they had fled from their troubles in
Missouri - and definitely fixed upon a location for a new settlement. The
site of this new Zion included the straggling village of Commerce.
first of May, the initial purchase of land was made by a committee headed by
Joseph Smith. Soon other extensive holdings were secured and a year later,
when a postoffice was established there, the Post-master General re-christened
the place “Nauvoo,” in deference to the wishes of the settlers. (1)
place the Saints gathered in large numbers, coming especially from Missouri,
where multiplied troubles had beset them. In consequence of this movement
Nauvoo experienced a phenomenal growth, for those times. Within two years
from the time the first land was secured by Joseph Smith, the population had
grown from almost nothing to more than three thousand, and when Grand Master
Jonas instituted Nauvoo Lodge, March 15th, 1842, between eight and ten
thousand people made their homes there. (2) Three years later Nauvoo enjoyed
the distinction of being the largest city in the state of Illinois and, with
the exception of St. Louis, it had no rival in the Northwest.
people came originally from the older sections of the country and from foreign
lands, more particularly from England, and were largely the fruits of the
aggressive missionary policy which has distinguished this church from its
those who were attracted by the proclamation of this new evangel were a number
who were, or had been, members of the Masonic fraternity. Prominent among
these were Dr. John C. Bennett, an Ohio Mason, Heber C. Kimball - one of the
first apostles and a trusted friend of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young - who
had received the degrees in Victor, New York, and Hyrum Smith, the prophet's
brother, who was also a New York Mason. (3)
the summer of 1841 these Masons addressed a communication to Bodley Lodge No.
1, located at Quincy, in which they asked for the usual recommendation in
order that they might establish a new lodge at Nauvoo. This request was
denied, the reason assigned by Bodley Lodge being that “.... as these persons
are unknown to this lodge as Masons, it was thought prudent not to do so. (4)
A recent writer informs us that not only was the recommendation withheld, but
also that Bodley Lodge protested against the granting of a dispensation to the
Nauvoo brethren. (5) However that may be, on October 15th, 1841 - ten days
after the close of Grand Lodge - Grand Master Jonas issued his dispensation
authorizing a lodge at Nauvoo, and five months later, March 15th, 1842, he
paid an official visit to that place and set the lodge to work.
connection it may not be amiss to note the fact in passing, that the Grand
Lodge of Illinois was barely one year old when the Nauvoo dispensation was
issued, and that there were few, if any, over one hundred members in the
constituent lodges of the state. The natural desire for increase of numbers
may have had something to do in determining the action of Grand Master Jonas
in this case.
very first, the movement to establish a Masonic lodge in Nauvoo appears to
have been regarded with suspicion and distrust by Masons elsewhere in the
state, more particularly by the members of Bodley Lodge No. 1, at Quincy. (6)
This attitude may have been due, in part, at least, to the tales and rumours
of misdoings which had followed the Mormons from Ohio and Missouri. But there
were other factors. The history of the period now under review points
unmistakably to certain political, religious, social and personal forces and
considerations which were not without a positive, and very great, influence on
the character and fortunes of the Mormon lodges, and which did much to shape
Masonic opinion concerning those lodges and their membership. At the risk of
a seeming digression, space must be given here to a consideration of some of
these elements of the situation, for otherwise we shall find ourselves without
either clue or background.
sinister forces of the time which reacted unfavourably, politics played no
inconspicuous part. With the rapid increase of population at the Morman
centre came a realization, on the part of the politicians of the state, that
the Mormon vote was a factor that must be reckoned with. And the concern of
the leaders of the two political parties was in way lessened when they
discovered the fact, that, for all practical purposes, the leaders of the
church could turn the Mormon vote to the one party or the other, as their
plans or needs might dictate. If there lingered any doubt on this score in
the minds of any, must have been set at rest when the prophet unequivocally
declared that he and his people would support the men and party who were
friendly to their interests. (7) As a result, both Whigs and Democrats sought
by acts of kindness and promises of help, to win this support. Nor were the
leaders of these religions slow in making use of their power.
general conference of the church held in October, 1840, it was decided to
petition the St. Legislature to incorporate the town of Nauvoo, and committee
of three, including Joseph Smith and Dr. John C. Bennett, was selected to
draft the necessary petition and bill. These documents were taken to
Springfield by Bennett, who appears to have been a shrewd lobbyist, in
December of that year. When presented, the bill seems to have met no
opposition. It passed the lower house with only one or two dissenting votes,
and the Senate with none at all. (8) Indeed, we are informed by a recent wrier
that in the House of Representatives the bill was not even read, except by
title. Yet there were in the Assembly at the time such men of later national
prominence as John A. Logan, Lyman Trumbull and Abraham Lincoln. (9) And
Stephen A. Douglass, then Secretary of State, of Illinois, and leader of the
Democratic party, used his influence to expedite the passage of the bill. The
act granting the charts to Nauvoo was signed by Governor Carlin, December
charter, which “included charters for the Nauvoo Legion and the University of
the City of Nauvoo,” was of a most extraordinary character. The only
restrictions placed on the city council was that no law should be passed which
was repugnant to the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of
the State. Among other unusual powers granted by this remarkable instrument
was that of issuing writs habeas corpus by the municipal court. (10) This
feature as the sequel shows, was a dangerous provision: it was so liable to
abuse. And it was abused. It was the misuse of such writs that brought the
city and state authorities into conflict, fed the fires of hatred an
opposition and furnished a pretext for mob action.
time that the Nauvoo Masons were taking the initial steps in the organization
of a lodge Judge Stephen A. Douglass, then one of the Justice of the State
Supreme Court and located at Quincy, visited Nauvoo, addressed the people, was
entertained by Joseph Smith, and while there appointed Dr. John C. Bennett
Master in Chancery. As noted above, Douglass had aided in securing the
passage of the act of incorporation for Nauvoo, and had thereby won the
gratitude of the Saints. His action in the present instance increased the
favour with which he was regarded by Joseph Smith and the people. But it
brought upon him the unsparing criticism of his political opponents and from
this the people whom he had so signally favoured did not entirely escape.
Indeed, so caustic was the criticism levelled at Douglass by one paper - the
Warsaw Signal - that Joseph Smith, in a vitriolic communication addressed to
the editor of that paper, ordered his subscription cancelled. (11) On another
occasion, not long after the Nauvoo lodge had been set to work, Douglass
adjourned court in order that he might visit Nauvoo and witness the review of
the Nauvoo Legion. (12) In connection with the elections of that fall Joseph
Smith published an article in which he declared that the Mormon people did not
care a fig for Whig or Democrat; that they all looked alike, and that he would
support those who had shown themselves to be friends of the Mormons, adding,
“Douglass is a master spirit, and his friends are our friends. We are willing
to cast our banners on the air and fight by his side.” (13) In the
gubernatorial election, which resulted in the choice of Thomas Ford for
Governor, the situation had become so tense that the opposing candidate,
Joseph Duncan, felt justified in making opposition to the Mormons one of the
chief planks of his platform. (14) The curious who may be desirous of seeing
to what lengths politicians were willing to go in those days to secure the
support of the prophet and his followers, are referred to some of the speeches
made before political conventions in Illinois during the early forties. (15)
has been said above to indicate somewhat of the methods employed by the
politicians of those days and the sacrifices they were willing to make for
party advantage. The effort to win the Saints to the support of one political
party or the other continued to be a factor in their affairs as long is they
remained in Nauvoo, and it was this rivalry to secure their political
adherence that made it possible for them to secure such unusual favours and to
wield the influence they did in political affairs. And it was this rivalry
that made them alternately courted and hated by those who would use them. (16)
factor which at first blush might seem to be rather remote from the subject,
but which none the less militated against the Masonry of Nauvoo, developed in
the county to the south of that in which the city of the Saints was located.
previous to the date upon which Grand Master Jonas issued his dispensation to
the Nauvoo brethren, a campaign was begun to secure the removal of the
county-seat from Quincy to Columbus. Quincy was the home of Bodley Lodge,
while Grand Master Jonas lived at Columbus. Naturally, the Grand Master was
in favour of the proposed change, while quite as naturally the prospect of
losing the county seat did not commend itself to the people of Quincy and the
membership of the Masonic lodge there. A good deal of bitterness was
engendered as a result, and feeling ran so high that when the Grand Master
sent communications to the nine papers in advocacy of the change, those
reflectors of public feeling and opinion refused to print them. (17) Not to be
baffled in his purpose to carry on the fight, Grand Master Jonas and some of
his friends went to St. Louis, purchasing the necessary printing outfit,
shipped it to Columbus and began the publication of the Columbus Advocate, the
very name of which indicated the purpose for which it was established. While
this furnished the Grand Master with a medium through which he might express
his views, it did not tend to mollify the feelings of the people of Quincy.
One result was, apparently, that the members of Bodley Lodge lost no
opportunity to embarrass the Grand Master, and the lodge minutes and the
proceedings of Grand Lodge show how this situation reacted unfavourably on the
Nauvoo lodges. (18) But, while the machinations of slanderous politicians, and
the venom and ill-feeling engendered in an extraneous squabble over a county
seat were each influential in the affairs of Nauvoo and its Masonry, neither
was as baleful in its effects or as portentous of evil for all concerned as
were certain events which even then were taking place within the community
one month previous to the visit of Judge Douglass to Nauvoo, when he appointed
John C. Bennett Master in Chancery, viz., April 5, 1841, Joseph Smith took his
first plural wife. (19)
this, so far as the available records show, was the first instance of the
practice of polygamy, or “the great and glorious principle of plural
marriage,” (20) the doctrine had been taught by Smith to certain of his
followers fully ten years earlier. (21) According to the records, the
principle was first impressed upon the mind of the prophet in 1831, and from
the same sources we learn that immediately he made it known to a few of his
close personal friends, and that they in turn passed it on to certain others.
(22) Although the revelation on plural marriage, as it appears in Doctrine and
Covenants, was committed to writing July 12, 1843 - at which time Joseph Smith
had not less than twelve plural wives, and other leaders of the church had
followed the prophet in this practice - it was not officially proclaimed as a
doctrine of the church until some years subsequent to the settlement in Utah.
moment's digression at this point may be justified by the interesting fact
that as late as 1865 Brigham Young - in conversation with a prominent visitor,
who was a political figure of national importance at the time - gave the
impression that he was responsible for the revelation on plural marriage. As
reported in the Journal of Schuyler Colfax, the president of the church
declared, “. . . that the revelations of the Doctrine and Covenants declared
for monogamy, but that polygamy was a later revelation commanded by God to him
and a few others, and permitted and advised to the rest of the church.” (24)
It is a
matter of record that Joseph Smith began teaching this principle actively,
though with great caution, in the year following the settlement at Nauvoo.
(25) At first he confided it only to his closest friends, and those in whom he
had absolute confidence, and not to them until he had exacted the most solemn
promises of secrecy, for it was not yet “lawful” to utter this teaching in the
hearing of the multitude. (26) He did, however, venture to test the feelings
of the people concerning this doctrine, some time prior to the return of
apostles from Europe, viz., before July 1, 1841. On the occasion named he
preached a sermon on the “Restoration of All Things,” in which he strongly
hinted that the “patriarchal, or plural order of marriage, practised by the
ancients, would again be established.” We learn that this statement created
great excitement and consternation among those who heard the discourse -
delivered at a morning service - so much so, in fact, that the prophet “deemed
it wisdom, the afternoon, to modify his statement by saying it possibly the
spirit had made the time seem nearer in it really was, when such things would
be restored.” (27)
evidence at hand it appears that while this time, i.e., during the first half
of the year 1841, knowledge and acceptance of the doctrine of a plurality of
wives were confined to the leaders and principal men the church - and that not
all of them had been enlightened on the subject - within two years information
on the subject had been quite generally disseminated among the people. (28)
believe that such a revolutionary practice could be taught and indulged in for
any, considerable length time and have a knowledge of the, fact limited to
those for whom it was intended, would place too great a tax upon our credulity
and would flatly contradict the teaching of experience concerning human
nature. The presence of “apostates”' in the community, and in adjoining
settlements, some of whom had stood high in the councils of the church, would
preclude the possibility of maintaining secrecy. Gradually, knowledge what was
going on in respect to plurality of wives percolated throughout the community,
and was taken up and given trumpet-voice by the enemies of the church.
too, the fact should be noted, that while it appears to have been a matter of
common belief that the leaders of the church were practising polygamy, those
same leaders did not hesitate to deny, directly and by implication, that such
was the case. This conflict between the teaching and practices of Joseph
Smith and others was used with effect by those who, one reason or other, had
entered the lists against the Mormons. When referring to this feature, a
present-day historian, and member of the church, declared that, “wicked men
took advantage of the situation and brought sorrow to the hearts of the
innocent and reproach upon the church.” (29)
incident that occurred but a few months before the prophet's death must
suffice to illustrate what, not unfairly, might be characterized as
double-dealing. It seems that an elder of the church who had been instructed
in the doctrine of a plurality of wives, had been sent up into Lapeer county,
Michigan. Whatever the directions he may have received from the church
authorities as to the use to be made of this teaching, his zeal appears to
have outrun his wisdom. He publicly proclaimed the principle with the result
that the greatest excitement ensued. Upon learning the facts, Joseph and Hyrum
Smith prepared and published the following, in the church paper:
have lately been credibly informed, that an elder of the Church of Jesus
Christ, of Latter Day Saints by the name of Hiram Brown, has been preaching
Polygamy, and other false and corrupt doctrines, in the county of Lapeer,
state of Michigan.
to notify him and the church in general, that he has been cut off from the
Church, for his iniquity; and he is further notified to appear at the Special
Conference on the, 6th of April next, to answer to these charges.
Smith Hyrum Smith
Presidents of said Church. (30)
the time when this “notice” was published, the prophet was the husband of not
less than twenty plural wives. (31) It might be noted in passing that the
matter of Elder Brown's delinquencies was only remotely hinted at by Joseph
Smith at the April Conference, and the people were told that if they expected
that matters of a petty, trivial character were to be considered they were
doomed to disappointment. (32)
of denial that polygamy was either taught or practised at Nauvoo or elsewhere
occur not infrequently in the literature of the church, even some years after
the death of the Prophet. (33) It appears, however, that such statements, and
even the paragraphs in Doctrine and Covenants which deal with monogamy are not
to be regarded as denials of the principle by church authorities, but rather
as an “evasion to satisfy the popular clamour.” (34)
Undoubtedly the disaffection of Dr. John C. Bennett, which occurred early in
May, 1842, had more to do with focusing attention upon the practice of
polygamy by Joseph Smith and others, than any other one event. It is
immaterial, for our purpose, how this man is to be regarded. He appears to
have been a very devil, or a gentleman and a scholar, according to the point
of view of the writer. (35) This much is beyond dispute: he told the truth,
and not “wicked lies about Joseph” when he declared that the prophet “taught
doctrines in secret which he dare not make public,” and that he “preached one
thing in public and practised another in private.” (36) And further, that he
stated facts when he declared in his book - “The History of the Saints” - that
Joseph Smith at that time, 1842, had plural wives, including Louisa Beman.
(37) It is equally beyond controversy that Bennett was in a position to
greatly injure the prophet, and no less true that he used this power to the
utmost. In fact, it has been asserted by a recent writer that more than any
other influence or person, he was responsible for the downfall of the Mormon
church in Illinois. (38) For something like a year and a half Bennett had
been in a position to know the inner counsels of the leaders of the church,
for he was in fact one of those leaders. When he became a member of the
church he was Quartermaster General of the State of Illinois. He helped to
draft the famous charters and the bill for the incorporation of Nauvoo, and
himself carried them up to Springfield and urged the passage of the act. He
had been the first Mayor of Nauvoo under the new charter, was second in
command of the Nauvoo Legion, was made Master in Chancery by Judge Stephen A.
Douglass, and for a time occupied Sidney Rigdon's place as a member of the
first presidency of the church. When the break came between Bennett and the
prophet, the latter, fully appreciating the power of Bennett to do harm,
immediately proceeded to forestall the use of that power as far as possible,
and this in ways which must have been humiliating to Bennett, almost beyond
endurance. (39) In return, Bennett used voice and pen most persistently and
effectively against Joseph Smith and all the interests with which he was
identified. That Smith was fully alive to the danger from this quarter, and
that it was not imaginary, appears from the fact that at his suggestion a
special conference assembled at Nauvoo in August, 1842, “for the purpose of
calling a number of elders to go out in different directions and by their
preaching deluge the states with a flood of truth, to allay the excitement
which had been raised by the falsehoods put in circulation by John C. Bennett
and others.” (40) Nearly four hundred men volunteered to undertake this work.
(41) The prophet himself had been in hiding for three weeks immediately
preceding this conference - his whereabouts being unknown to his people (42) -
on account of Bennett's activities. From Smith's journal we learn that he had
been in Nauvoo during the entire period. (43)
foregoing statement of facts will aid to an understanding of some of the
conditions which existed in Nauvoo at the time of the planting of Masonry in
that place, and suggests at least, that perhaps the soil there was not the
very best for the development of the principles of our art. And further, this
recital leaves little room for doubt that the irregularities permitted in the
lodge room and the “contumacious” treatment of the edicts and messengers of
the Grand Master were not the only considerations - although they were quite
sufficient in themselves - that had weight in determining the status of
Freemasonry among the Latter Day Saints. We may now proceed with the story of
the Nauvoo lodges.
above, Grand Master Abraham Jonas instituted Nauvoo Lodge, U.D., and set it to
work, March 15, 1842. The circumstances attending this function, so far as
they are matters of record, are most interesting.
return home the Grand Master wrote quite an extended account of the occasion
under the caption, “Nauvoo and the Mormons,” which was published in his paper,
the Columbus Advocate. Among other things he said:
Nauvoo I had a fine opportunity of seeing the people in a body. There was a
Masonic celebration, and the Grand Master of the State was present for the
purpose of publicly installing the officers of a new lodge. An immense number
of persons assembled on the occasion, variously estimated from five to ten
thousand persons, and never in my life did I witness a better-dressed or a
more orderly and well behaved assemblage; not a drunken or disorderly person
to be seen, and the display of taste and beauty among the females could not
well be surpassed anywhere.
my stay of three days, I became well acquainted with their principal men, and
more particularly with their prophet, the celebrated 'Old Joe Smith.' I found
them hospitable, polite, well-informed and liberal. With Joseph Smith, the
hospitality of whose house I kindly received, I was well pleased.” (44)
journal of Joseph Smith himself, we get a little more intimate view of what
actually took place. Unlike the Grand Master, he was not writing for the
purpose of confounding his critics. Under date of “Tuesday, March 15,” he
officiated as Grand Chaplain at the installation of the Nauvoo lodge of
Freemasons, at the Grove near the Temple. Grand Master Jonas, of Columbus,
being present, a large number of people assembled on the occasion. The day
was exceedingly fine; all things were done in order. In the evening I
received the First degree in Freemasonry in Nauvoo Lodge, assembled in my
general business office.” (45)
day following, March 16, he wrote: “I was with the Masonic lodge and rose to
the sublime degree.” (46)
other source comes a little indirect light upon the events connected with the
institution of Nauvoo Lodge.
after this lodge had been set to work, rumours became current of unusual
proceedings therein which seemed to set at defiance well known and established
Masonic law and usage. These tales finally crystallized into assertions, and
on the 16th of July, following, Bodley Lodge, at Quincy, held a special
meeting, called for the purpose of considering the matter and taking such
action as the facts might seem to warrant. After discussion, the sentiment of
the meeting took the form of resolutions. One of these called upon Grand
Master Jonas to suspend the dispensation of Nauvoo Lodge until the annual
communication of Grand Lodge. Another throws a little light back upon the
events connected with the institution of that lodge. This resolution reads:
“Resolved, That Bodley Lodge No. 1, of Quincy, request of the Grand Lodge of
the State of Illinois, that a committee be appointed at the next annual
meeting of said lodge, to make inquiry into the manner the officers of the
Nauvoo Lodge, U.D., were installed, and by what authority the Grand Master
initiated, passed and raised Messrs. Smith and Sidney Rigdon to the degrees of
Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason, at one and the same time,
and that the proceedings of the committee be reported for the benefit of this
lodge.” (47) This resolution seems to show that Bodley Lodge was not pleased
with the public “installation” of the officers of Nauvoo Lodge - “at the Grove
near the Temple,” in the presence of a vast throng and during which the Mormon
prophet served as Grand Chaplain, though he was not at the time even a member
of the Blue Lodge - and further, that Sidney Rigdon, as well as Joseph Smith,
was made a Mason “at sight.”
might be noted in passing that presumably it was this unusual action of the
Grand Master in behalf of the two church leaders, that was in the mind of one
of the present-day apostles of the Mormon church when he wrote that, “Great
Masonic honours were conferred upon Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon.” (48) Be
this as it may, the action taken by Bodley Lodge had the desired effect, and
on August 11th, less than six months after its institution, the Grand Master
issued his order, suspending the dispensation of Nauvoo Lodge until the annual
communication of Grand Lodge. In this short period, the lodge had initiated
candidates, of which number 256 had been raised. When the matter came before
Grand Lodge, October 3, 1842, the Grand Master explained his action in
connection with Nauvoo Lodge and submitted the correspondence in relation
thereto. (49) To the keen regret of the student of those events, no word
appears of record which throws any light on the character of the explanation
made. The matter was placed in the hands of the Committee on Returns and Work
of the lodges consideration and recommendation.
evening of the second day's session of and Lodge this committee presented a
divided report. The majority regretted that the lodge had disregarded the
instructions of the Grand Master - to send up the records of the lodge - but
expressed the belief that probably the work done conformed to the requirements
of Grand Lodge. However, evidence submitted seemed to show that the
“intention and ancient landmarks of our institution have been departed from,
an inexcusable extent,” but that the actual situation could be ascertained
only by an investigation of the proceedings and an inspection of the original
records the lodge. The committee therefore recommended at the dispensation be
suspended till the next annual communication of Grand Lodge, and that a
committee be appointed to visit Nauvoo, make a thorough examination and report
its findings to Grand Lodge at its next annual communication.
minority report partook somewhat of the character of a “Scotch verdict.” The
evidence submitted had failed to establish any irregularities, but fearing
that such irregularities could be shown, the third member of the committee
joined his colleagues in the recommendation made. (50)
substitute motion prevailed which provided for the appointment of a special
committee whose duty it should be to proceed at once to Nauvoo, make the
investigation contemplated and report results to the Grand Master. He in turn
was authorized to remove the injunction suspending labour, or to continue it,
as the facts presented by the committee might warrant. (51) This committee
entered at once upon the task assigned and in due time reported its findings
to the Grand Master. Investigation showed that grave irregularities had
obtained in the work of the lodge, and that these were of such character as to
“strike at once at the vital principles of our Order.” Among others, the
committee specified the practice of balloting for several candidates at one
and the same time, and a tendency to make a reformatory of the lodge. In
review of the whole situation, while the committee found much to regret and
much to deplore, it was of the opinion that the case did not demand that the
injunction suspending labour be made perpetual, and therefore recommended that
the lodge be permitted to resume its work, till the next annual communication
of Grand Lodge, and that some member of the Craft should be appointed to visit
Nauvoo for the purpose of reminding the brethren of the irregularities
complained of and admonish them to avoid the same in the future. In
accordance with this recommendation, Grand Master Helm, on November 2, 1842,
issued his order which permitted the lodge to resume labour. (52) From such
evidence as is at hand it appears that the Nauvoo brethren lost no time in
getting to work, and the results of their efforts were certainly remarkable.
During the eleven months immediately following the restoration of their
dispensation, they were so successful in the work of increasing their numbers,
that dispensations for two additional lodges in Nauvoo were granted, and the
Grand Master in his address to Grand Lodge recommended that before the charter
requested should issue to Nauvoo Lodge, its membership should be divided into
four or more distinct lodges. (53)
Historical Record,” Volume VIII, 1889, p. 751.
Historical Record,” Volume VIII, 1889, p. 757. Cf. McMaster's Hist. of the
People of the U.S., Volume V, p. 210.
of Heber C. Kimball,” Whitney, 1888, p. 26.
“Reynolds' History of Freemasonry in Illinois,” 1869, p. 152.
“Mormonism and Its Connection with Freemasonry, 1842-34, Nauvoo, Ill,” Smith.
“The American Tyler,” Feb. 1, 1905.
“Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Illinois,” 1842, pp. 52-8.
and Seasons,” Volume III, 1841, p. 651.
“Masonic Voice-Review,” (new series), Volume X, 1908, p.261.
“Historical Record,” Volume VIII, 1889, p. 754; “Masonic Voice-Review,” Volume
X (new series), pp. 261-2. See also “Times and Seasons,” Volume II, pp.
“Masonic Voice-Review,” Volume X (new series), 1908, p. 262. This letter,
addressed to the editor, reads: “You will please discontinue my paper; its
contents are calculated to pollute me. And to patronize that filthy sheet,
that tissue of lies, that sink of iniquity, is disgraceful to any moral man.
Yours with contempt, Joseph Smith. P. S. Please publish the above in your
contemptible paper.” For Smith's account of this visit of Douglass and Walker
- leaders of the Democratic and Whig parties, respectively - see “Times and
Seasons,” May 15, 1841. In the issue of the same publication, for June 1,
1841, is an editorial which deals with the strictures of the Warsaw Signal.
“Historical Record,” Volume VII, 1888, p. 764.
“Times and Seasons,” Volume III, 1841, p. 651.
“Historical Record,” Volume VII, 1888, p. 530.
“Times and Seasons,” Volume V, p. 549; “Millennial Star,” Volume XII, 1850, p.
“History of the Church, Period 1, Joseph Smith,” B. H. Roberts, Volume IV,
1908, Introduction, p. 21.
“Masonic Voice-Review,” Volume X (new series), 1908, p. 294.
“Reynolds History of Freemasonry in Illinois,” 1869, pp. 174-75; “Proceedings
Grand Lodge of Illinois,” 1842, pp. 52-3.
“Historical Record,” Volume VI, 1887, pp. 232-33.
“Deseret News,” May 20, 1886. Article by Apostle Joseph F. Smith, afterwards,
and until his death, recently, President of the Mormon church; “Historical
Record,” Volume VI, 1887, p. 219.
and Fall of Nauvoo,” B. H. Roberts, 1900, p. 115; “Historical Record,” Volume
VI, 1887, p. 230; Cf. “History of the Church, Period 1, Joseph Smith,” B. H.
Roberts, Volume V, 1909, Introduction, pp. 29-46.
“Deseret News Extra,” September 14 1852; “Historical Record,” Volume VI,
1887, p. 227; “Life of Heber C. Kimball,” O.F.Whitney, 1888, p. 335.
“Western Galaxy,” Volume I, 1888, p. 247. This is a quotation from the Journal
of Schuyler Colfax, 1865.
“Historical Record,” Volume VI, 1887, p. 221; “Life of Heber C. Kimball,”
Whitney, 1888, pp. 331-32; “History of the Church, Period I, Joseph Smith,”
B.H. Roberts, Volume V, 1, 1909, Introduction, p. 34.
of Heber C. Kimball,” O.F. Whitney, 1888, pp. 333, 335; “One Hundred Years of
Mormonism,” Evans, p. 474; “Succession in the Presidency of the Church,” B.H.
Roberts, 1900, p. 120; Cf. “Biography of Lorenzo Snow,” by his sister, E.R.
Snow, 1884, p.68.
of Heber C. Kimball,” O.F. Whitney, 1888, p.338. The words quoted in the text
are those of Helen Mar Kimball, a daughter of H.C. Kimball, who was afterwards
(May, 1843) married to Joseph Smith.
“Millennial Star,” Volume 45, 1885, p.436; “Historical Record,” Volume VI,
1887, pp. 220, 227.
and Fall of Nauvoo,” B. H. Roberts, 1900, p. 118.
“Times and Seasons,” Volume V. Feb. 1, 1844, p.423; Cf. “Historical Record,”
Volume VI, 1887, p. 220.
“Historical Record,” Volume VI, 1887, pp. 233-34.
“Times and Seasons,” Volume V, 1844, p. 522.
“Millennial Star,” Volume 12, 1850, pp. 29-30; same, Volume 45, 1885, p.
“Millennial Star,” Volume 45, 1885, p. 435. It is only fair to state that
later, a different explanation of these denials was given, and that the latter
appears to be the position held by church leaders today. Thus, B.H. Roberts
tells us that the leaders were obliged to make these denials because “...
over-zealous advocates and illinformed denunciators never truly represented
the doctrine of the revelation on marriage,” and so, “the denials of these
misstatements of the doctrine and its practice was not regarded by the leading
elders of the church as a denial of the doctrine of the revelation; and while
this may be considered a refinement in presentation that the world will not
allow, it nevertheless represents a distinction that was real to those who
were struggling with a difficult proposition, and accounts for the seeming
denials made by John Taylor, in public discussion with three ministers at
Boulogne-sur-mer, France, 1850.” “History of the Mormon Church,” B.H. Roberts,
Americana, Volume VI, 1911, P. 297. To those who do not have access to any
early and conclusive evidence in support of this position, this later
explanation may seem, as it does to the writer of these lines, as an
afterthought made use of to meet it rather difficult and disagreeable
situation. Other instances of these “denials” are to be found in Hyrum Smith's
letter in “Times and Seasons,” Volume V, p. 474, and in Joseph Smith's
journal, under date of Oct. 5, 1843, where he writes: “Gave instructions to
try those persons who were preaching, teaching, or practising the doctrine of
plurality of wives.” “History of the Church, Period 1, Joseph Smith,” Volume
VI, 1912, p. 46. 35.”Historical Record,” Volume VII, 1888, p. 495; Bennett's
book, “History of the Saints,” 1842, pp. 10-35; “History of the Church, Period
1, Joseph Smith,” Volume V, 1909, pp. 67-83.
History of the Saints,” John C. Bennett, 1842, pp. 287; “Historical Record,”
Volume VII, 1888, p. 495; with this ef. “Historical Record,” Volume VI, 1887,
“History of the Saints,” John C. Bennett, 1842, p.256; “Historical Record,”
Volume VI, 1887, pp. 221 and 233.
“Masonic Voice-Review,” (new series), Volume X, 1908, p.334.
“Times and Seasons,” Volume III, 1842, pp. 870, 874; “History of the
Church, Period 1, Joseph Smith,” B.H.Roberts, Volume V, 1909, pp. 71-82.
“Historical Record,” Volume VII, 1888, p.500; “History of the Church, Period
1, Joseph Smith,” B.H. Roberts, Volume V, 1909, p. 136.
“History of the Church, Period 1, Joseph Smith,” B.H.Roberts, Volume V, 1909,
p. 137; Cf. “Succession in the Presidency,” B.H. Roberts, 1900, p.118
“History of the Church, Period 1, Joseph Smith,” B.H. Roberts, Volume V, 1909,
“Times and Seasons,” Volume III, 1842, pp. 749-750; “History of the Church,
Period 1, Joseph Smith,” B.H. Roberts, Volume IV, 1908, pp. 565-566.
“History of the Church, Period 1, Joseph Smith,” B.H.Roberts, Volume IV, 1908,
“Reynolds' History of Freemasonry in Illinois,” 1869, pp.174-175.
“Deseret News,” Editorial, July 16, 1906.
“Proceedings, Grand Lodge of Illinois,” 1842, p. 52.
“Proceedings, Grand Lodge of Illinois,” 1843, p. 85.
HOUSE WITH GO1)
BY BRO. L
B. MITCHELL, MICHIGAN
consciousness of nature,
very heart of life,
wonder creature venture
centers care and strife;
who in coming, going,
'neath the chast'ning rod
own, and read their sowing,
been keeping house with God.
the ages we've been striving
we have deemed the right,
failure of arriving
ourselves in direst plight;
wipe from off the sod
dared to make pretention
keeping house with God.
through sacrifice of millions
flower of the race,
treasure into billions
earned sweet freedom's place;
seem e'en more than ever
strange, abnormal plod,
unrest the wide world over
keeping house with God.
we're trusted with the keeping
house by nature given,
abnormally are seeking
super-way, our heaven,-
tarning to the visions
race of early plod,
creeds that cause divisions
keeping house with God.
now should learn as mortals,-
on the strands of time,
while striving in its portals
part is the sublime,-
be the joy or plod
keeping house with God.
rise to clearer vision
brotherhood of man,
come to the decision
heart leads in the plan,
love gives all the value
else above the sod,
to it we must square to
keeping house with God.
great man ever thought himselt so. - Hazlitt.
MONTHLY LODGE MEETING
CORRESPONDENCE CIRCLE BULLETIN NO. 45
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:
I. Ceremonial Masonry.
Work of the Lodge.
Lodge and the Candidate.
II. Symbolical Masonry.
III. Philosophical Masonry.
IV. Legislative Masonry.
Relationship to Constituent Lodges.
Official Duties and Prerogatives.
Qualifications of Candidates.
Initiation, Passing and Raising.
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.
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
monthly installments of the Course appearing in the Correspondence Circle
Bulletin should be used one month later than their appearance. If this is done
the Committee will have opportunity to arrange their programs several weeks in
advance of the meetings and the brethren who are members of the National
Masonic Research Society will be better enabled to enter into the discussions
after they have read over and studied the installment in THE BUILDER.
REFERENCES FOR SUPPLEMENTAL 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
ORGANIZE FOR AND CONDUCT THE STUDY MEETINGS
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.
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 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
ON “THE EMBLEMS”
the monitorial lecture on “The Book of Constitutions guarded by the Tyler's
written constitutions known to Operative Freemasons in the eleventh to
fifteenth centuries? How were the traditions and charges communicated to the
candidate in those times? What is supposed to have been the gradual evolution
of these traditions and charges?
the oldest manuscript of the Old Charges? In what form was it written? What is
the next oldest copy? To whom are we indebted for our present collection of
these old documents? How many copies of these have been collected and
happened to a number of the Old Charges that were in the hands of Masons at
the beginning of the eighteenth century? When was one of the first attempts
made to collate them?
the first digest of these old manuscript constitutions shortly after the
formation of the Grand Lodge of England? In what light is Dr. Anderson's work
looked upon at the present day?
symbolical interpretation may be placed upon the Book of Constitutions?
the symbolical significance of “the Book of Constitutions guarded by the
Tyler's Sword?” What is the origination of the word “tyler”, and when was that
office first created? What is one theory of the derivation of the word? What
is another theory? Of what should the Tiler be a reminder?
was the word “cowan” derived? What is supposed to have been the original
meaning of the word? In what other sense was the word used?
the term introduced into English Masonry? By whom was it supposed to have been
introduced? What is its present-day literal meaning? Is it the Tiler's duty
alone to “keep off cowans”?
POINTING TO A NAKED HEART
the monitorial lecture on “The Sword Pointing to a Naked Heart.”
Mackey's theory of the origin of the symbol of the “Sword Pointing to a Naked
Heart” ? How is it presumed to have come into our ritual?
is the heart a symbol in this instance? the sword?
one of the early beliefs concerning God? What did the term “morality” mean in
the “moral law” interpreted by Masons of the present day?
“The Charles Martel Legend in Freemasonry,” by Bro. Oliver D. Street, p. 223.
“Antiquities,” p. 181; “Cowan,” June C.C.B. p.4; “Freemasonry and Monasticism
in the Middle Ages,” by Bro. Robert I. Clegg, Jan. C.C.B. p. 1.
“Cowan,” Q.B. 165.
James, p.57; Book of Constitutions Guarded by the Tyler's Sword, p. 113;
Cowan, p. 183; Sword Pointing to the Naked Heart, p. 750; Tyler, p. 786.
H.L. HAYWOOD, IOWA
PART IX -
THE EMBLEMS - CONTINUED
the period lying, say, between 1000 and 1400, when Operative Freemasonry was
enjoyings its plentitude of power, it is probable that no written
Constitutions were in use. According to such meagre evidence as we possess it
is probable that the candidate, at the time of his initiation, was given oral
account of the traditional history of the Craft that the Master gave him the
charges of instruction and duty in such language as he might choose to employ
at the time. As would inevitably happen under such circumstances these
traditions and charges gradually assumed a more or less stereotyped form until
at last, to make uniformity more certain, they were committed to writing.
oldest manuscript form of the Old Charges now in existence, as I have already
noted, is that which was written by some unknown cleric somewhere near the
year 1390; it is known as the Regius, or Halliwell Manuscript, and is written
in the form of doggerel verse. Our next oldest copy is the Cooke, which was
written early in the next century. Many copies were made from these from time
to time, and other versions of the Craft's story were composed; through the
labours of Brother W. J. Hughan, the great pioneer in this field, and through
the efforts of his successors, we now possess close on to a hundred copies of
these old documents.
copies of the Old Charges were in the hands brethren in the beginning of the
eighteenth century. When the Revival came, and outsiders began to probe into
the secrets of the Order, certain of these brethren, to guard against their
falling into strange hands, burned several of their manuscripts. Not all,
however, were destroyed, and it appears that an attempt to collate the Ancient
Constitutions was made as early as 1719.
after the formation of Grand Lodge some members expressed dissatisfaction with
the existing Constitutions and Grand Master Montagu ordered Dr. James Anderson
to make a digest of all available manuscripts in order to draw up a better set
of regulations - the governance of the body. It is thought by some that it
was Dr. Anderson himself who first urged this on Montagu. A committee of
fourteen “learned brethren” examined Anderson's work and approved of it,
except for a few amendments, and it was accordingly published in the latter
part of 1723. This Book of Constitutions “is still the groundwork of Masonry”
and stands to our jurisdictions very much as the Constitution of the United
States does to our nation.
such a position it is fitting that the Book of Constitutions serve as a symbol
in the Third degree. Being, as it were, the title deed of our Fraternity it
is much more than a mere instrument of law, and links us on to the great past
and binds us in an organic unity to the generations of old builders who, in
departing this life, left behind them so shining a monument. As a symbol,
therefore, the Book of Constitutions reminds us of our debt to the past, of
our solidarity with the vanished generations of kindly workmen, and of the
necessity of law and of seemly order if the Craft is to hold itself together
in a world where everything is always falling to pieces.
Tyler is set to guard the Book it is to remind us that secrecy and
watchfulness must ever be at hand to guard us against our enemies, for the
Tyler is here introduced as a symbol, rather than as an officer of the lodge.
When the Craft first began to employ such a sentinel we know not, nor can we
be sure how the word itself originated. Some believe that the first tyler was
in reality a tyler, a brother employed to make roofs, himself a member of one
branch of the old travelling builders. Others think that, as the sentinel is
to protect the secrecy of the lodge, he was called tyler in a figurative sense
since it is the roof which conceals the interior of a building. Accepting
such views for what they are worth, and acknowledging the practical necessity
for such a guardian, we may also see in the Tyler, in the present connection,
a reminder that each and every one of us must become a watchman seeing to it
that no influence shall undermine our organic law, and that no enemies shall
be permitted admittance to our fellowship. Every loyal Mason must be a Tyler,
watchful lest he recommend an unfit candidate, and careful lest in his own
person he admit such influences into the lodge as make for disunion and
disharmony. To keep off cowans and eavesdroppers, figurative and actual, is
one great duty of membership.
a Scotch term. It was used in early Scotch Masonry in more than one sense but
seems originally to mean “a man who uses round unsquared stones for building
purposes, whether walls or huts”; in other words, the Cowan was originally an
unskilled Mason. Oftentimes a Cowan was loosely affiliated with the Craft but
never given its secrets for which reason he was often known as a “Mason
without the word.” The term was also employed to describe a non-affiliated
skilled Mason, one who had unlawfully obtained the secrets of the Craft.
was employed by English Masonry in the Grand Lodge period; Brother J.T. Thorp
believes it was, Dr. Desaguliers who first used it after his visit to Scotland
in 1721; Brother Vibert believes it was imported by Dr. Anderson in 1723 or
later. Be that as it may the word found a permanent place in our vocabulary
albeit with gradual changes of meaning. Literally speaking, as the word is
now employed, a Cowan is a man with unlawful Masonic knowledge; an Intruder is
one with neither knowledge or secrets who makes himself otherwise obnoxious; a
Clandestine is one who has been initiated by unlawful means; an Irregular is
one who has been initiated by a lodge working without authorization. In all
these senses a man is designated who makes use of the Fraternity in an illegal
or obnoxious manner, who uses Masonry for unMasonic purposes. Manifestly such
men can not be kept out by the Tiler alone; every member must assist in this
work of the guardianship of the Order.
POINTING TO THE NAKED HEART
notes that in old initiation ceremonies, still preserved in some places, the
candidate found himself “surrounded by swords pointing at his heart, to
indicate that punishment would duly follow his violation of his obligation”;
he suggests that in this old ceremony we may find the origin of the present
symbol which has been undoubtedly introduced into our system by some modern
ritualist, Thomas Smith Webb, perhaps. This is a reasonable account of the
matter and may be allowed to stand until further light is available.
is here the symbol of conscience, the seat of man's responsibility for his own
acts; the Sword is the symbol of justice. The device therefore tells us that
justice will at last find its way to our inmost motives, to the most hidden
recesses of our being. This may sound trite enough but the triteness must not
blind us to the profound truth of the teaching.
centuries men believed that God, the moral lawgiver, lived above the skies and
dealt with His children wholly through external instruments; agents of the
law, calamities, and physical punishments, these were considered the divine
methods of justice. Holding such a view of the matter it is of little wonder
that men held themselves innocent until punishment would come, or that justice
could be avoided simply by staying clear of the instruments of justice. In
this wise morality came to be an external mechanical thing, operating like a
court of law.
we have a better understanding of the matter. The moral law, so we have
learned, is in our very hearts, and it is self-executing. Sin and punishment,
as Emerson says in his great essay on Compensation, a profoundly original and
stimulating study of the subject, sin and punishment grow from the same stem.
Conscience, like the physical body, is under a universal reign of law that
swerves not by a hair's breadth. A man may cherish an evil thought in some
chamber of his soul almost outside the boundaries of his own
self-consciousness but such secrecy is of no avail; the law is in the secret
places as well as in the open, and always does the point of the sword rest
against the walls of the heart. The penalties of justice are unescapable
because justice and conscience are of the same root. And it is such a result
of evil, we may again remind ourselves, that constitutes almost the sole
penalty for the violation of Masonic obligations.
(Discovered in the ruins of Uxmal, Yucatan, Mexico)
FRIENCH SIMPSON, TEXAS
roll on, empires rise, empires fall;
of the centuries covers them all.
who have preceded you, where are they?
are the worshippers of you and your day?
gone to their long rest of light or of gloom,
ashes commingled with the ash of the tomb;
forgotten and their temples today
buried from sight, to the jungle a prey,
from your crumbling pedestal overthrown,
nod have lapsed back to a simple carved stone.
seen peoples pass in life's rapid race;
precursor fall as you rose to his place.
sitting there now with no look of concern,
Indifferent to joy or to pain, cold and stern;
to do reverence, none to claim for your own;
for the curious, a god without throne,
ambiguous features seem striving to say:
themselves are but mortal and mortals are clay.
old beliefs passed so will pass by the new,
truths of the Present the Future undo.
does one know, can one say: This is Truth?
Controverted each day are the dogmas of youth;
change but so prone is the throng to obey,
craft of the priest stands a bar to the way,
allegiance to the doctrine he pleads,
the time-worn old graft-slime taints the new creeds;
millions bow now as millions knelt heretofore
a-weary cry out and for blessings implore.
look askant, - the gods make no reply,
as You see their votaries die,
dreamer upbuilds and the devotee yearns
faith for an anchor incense freely burns.
theory fails beneath the analyst's test,
demonstrated fact leaves a heart in unrest.
as I look on that calm, cold, hard face,
Unruffled, impervious, of pity no trace;
feel that Thought moves and that such gods as you
die as you died, - hat the good and the true
and grow better as the Ages sweep by;
bright light of reason falsehoods finally die.
the sunlight dispels the fogs of the sea,
triumphant at last shall make all mankind free.
thou existence doth depend upon time ?
but actions are our epochs; mine
my days and nights imperishable,
and all alike.
great man ever thought himself so.
GREATNESS OF GEORGE WASHINGTON*
CHARLES S. LOBINGIER, CHINA
* For leading articles concerning Washington's religion and his
Masonic connections the reader is referred to the following:
“Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22,” THE BUILDER, Vol. II, p. 35;
“Washington, The Man and Mason,” Vol. II, p. 40; “The Religion of George
Washington,” Vol. IV, p. 35; “Washington's Masonic Connections,” Vol. V, p.
ALWAYS an advantage to begin with a proposition which no one disputes; and in
restricting my theme to “the greatness of Washington” I am hot unconscious of
that advantage. For upon few themes is there such an unanimity of oninion.
I have, indeed, found no writer who questions his greatness;
but the tributes of those who were not of his people are so lofty that I need
quote no others.
“How fares your countrymen, the great Washington?” Napoleon is
said to have inquired of some young Americans in France, about 1798.
On being told that he was well, Bonaparte continued:
gentlemen ! Washington can never be otherwise than well. The measure of his
fame is full. Posterity will talk of him with reverence as the founder of a
great empire, when my name shall be lost in the vortex of Revolutions!” (1)
Several of Britain's foremost poets were Washington's
contemporaries and at the same time his ardent eulogists. Burns preceded him
to the tomb by only three years, and two years before the poet's death he
wrote to his friend, Mrs. Dunlop, enclosing an ode written especially for
Washington's birthday, containing these lines:
that eye which shot immortal hate,
usurpation's boldest daring;
which, nerved with thundering fate,
the despot's proudest bearing;
quenched in darkness like the sinking star,
the palsied arm of tottering powerless age.” (2)
Southey in 1814, during the now generally regretted second war
between America and Britain, wrote:
may this unnatural strife endure,
the Atlantic deep!
may men, with vain Ambition drunk,
insolent in wrong
with their misrule the indignant land
Washington hath left
for after times.” (3)
But the most ardent poet panegyrist was Lord Byron. He was a
boy of eleven when Washington died and doubtless expresses the best English
opinion of his day. And Byron's works abound in references, of which I shall
cite only a few, to our national hero. In Childe Harold, after discoursing on
Cromwell, whom he calls the “immortal rebel,” the poet asks:
tyrants but by tyrants conquer'd be,
Freedom find no champion and no child
Columbia saw arise when she
forth a Pallas, arm'd and undefiled?
such minds be nourish'd in the wild,
the unpruned forest, 'midst the roar
cataracts, where nursing Nature smiled
Juan, Byron writes, in words quite applicable to the present hour:
can only take things in the gross;
we know them in detail, perchance
balancing the profit and the loss,
merit it by no means might enhance,
so much gold for a little dross,
been done, mere conquest to advance.
drying up a single tear has more
fame, than shedding seas of gore.
* * * * *
they are - and such they will be found:
Leonidas and Washington,
every battle-field is holy ground,
breathes of nations saved, not worlds undone.
sweetly on the ear such echoes sound!
mere victor's may appal or stun
servile and the vain, such names will be
watchword till the future shall be free.” (5)
again, from the same poem:
men have always scorn'd great recompenses:
Epaminondas saved his Thebes, and died,
leaving even his funeral expenses:
Washington had thanks and nought beside,
the all-cloudless glory (which few men's is)
his country.” (6)
close this brief anthology of British Washingtonian verse by quoting the
exquisite tribute of Canon Richard Wilton of York cathedral, which he sent
with a wreath for our hero's tomb on December 14, 1899, the centenary of his
English wreath we fain would lay
mighty tomb today,
laurel, ivy, oak, and yew,
drank the English sun and dew
far-off Yorkshire's grassy sod,
once we boast his fathers trod
and West unite to praise,
with never-fading bays.
Washington, thy symbol be
for strength and constancy:
grandeur and for grace of form,
calmness in the stress and storm
monarch of the forest thou.
the generations bow,
thy great shadow rest,
free, forever blest.
thine the laurel, for the fame
Illustrious of a conqueror's name-
to wait and prompt to strike,
fiery, mild alike;
the greatness of the foe
fell by thy repeated blow;
thy country's greatness, won
her most beloved son.
the ivy twines around
and tower, thy heart was found
to home and church and wife,
sweeter for the finished strife;
thy memory, like the yew,
still be green to mortal view-
greatness of good men' confest
and of great men the best.”
Turning to prose writers, we find Edward A. Freeman, the great
English Constitutional historian, devoting one of his illuminating lectures
(7) to “George Washington, the Expander of England,” while Lecky, the Tacitus
of eighteenth century England, says:
“Of all the great men in history he was the most invariably
judicious, and there is scarcely a rash word or action or judgment recorded of
him.... It was always known by his friends, and it was soon acknowledged by
the whole nation and by the English themselves, that in Washington America had
found a leader who could be induced by no earthly motive to tell a falsehood,
or to break an engagement, or to commit any dishonorable act. Men of this
moral type are happily not rare, and we have all met them in our experience;
but there is scarcely another instance in history of such a man having reached
and maintained the highest position in the convulsions of civil war and of a
great popular agitation.'' (8)
But perhaps the loftiest eulogy in prose is this by John
Richard Green, the beloved historian of the English people:
“No nobler figure ever stood in the forefront of a nation's
life.... It was almost unconsciously that men learnt to cling to Washington
with a trust and faith such as few others have won, and to regard him with a
reverence which still hushes us in the presence of his memory. Even America
hardly recognized his real grandeur till death set its seal on 'the man first
in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.'
But it is not sufficient for us to know that our hero was
great; we should inquire into the elements and particulars of his greatness.
We naturally think of him as a military leader and there are those who place
him high in that role. Probably the fairest and fullest account of the
American Revolution is that of Sir George 0. Trevalyan, the nephew of Lord
Macaulay, - a book which merits careful reading on both sides of the Atlantic
- where we learn
“From Trenton onwards, Washington was recognized as a
far-sighted and skillful general all Europe over, - by the great military
nobles in the Empress Catherine's court, by French Marshals and Ministers, in
the King's cabinet at Potsdam, at Madrid, at Vienna, and in London. He had
shown himself (said Horace Walpole) both a Fabius and a Camillus; and his
march through the British lines was allowed to be a prodigy of leadership.”
Indeed Frederick the Great is said to have pronounced this “one
of the most brilliant achievements recorded in military annals.”
Nevertheless the stage was too small, the numbers engaged too
few, and the opportunities for grand strategy too limited, for the American
Revolution to have produced a world military genius. Had Washington's fame
rested on that alone it could hardly have survived the Napoleonic era.
Next we are apt to think of him in the role of a statesman - as
President of the Federal Constitutional Convention and later as the first
Chief Magistrate of our republic. Washington unquestionably did much to cement
that union of the American colonies which his foresight showed him was the
great need of his day. But the instrument which perfected that union was, both
in conception and adoption, so largely the work of Hamilton that his fame has
eclipsed all others as the commanding genius of that mighty achievement.
As to the intellectual attainments of Washington we might even
admit with Dean Vance (11) that they were less than those of some of his
contemporaries. George Washington never strove to be learned or brilliant and
he would have been the first to disclaim such traits. The more we study him
the clearer it becomes that the qualities which distinguished him and brought
fsme were moral rather than intellectual!
That the intuition of our people has already sensed this
appears from the tales which they love to associate with Washington's boyhood.
We are all familiar with the cherry tree story and the youthful hero's
unwillingness to lie out of the consequences of cutting it down. Iconoclastic
research has pronounced that story apocryphal (12) but some still think of his
“Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior” as original with him. They were really
taken by his tutor, the Rev. James Marye, from “a curious old French book” and
dictated to the youthful Washington who wrote them down in his exercise book.
(13) Still, though not his own composition in the true sense, they must have
produced a real impression on the mind of a boy of thirteen - perhaps the age
when the influence of suggestion is greatest. The child is father of the man,
and it is not without significance that the keynote of George Washington's
career is found in this closing injunction of those “Rules”:
keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called
But the halo which history has placed around him has, to some
extent, obscured the real worth of the man. When we read these “Rules of
Civility,” follow his great deeds in after life and look upon his calm, placid
countenance as portrayed by Gilbert Stuart, we almost unconsciously think of
him as a man who could do no wrong. But had he been such he would not have
deserved the homage of posterity. As a great analyst (14) of human character
strong who resist allurement and the tyranny of sense and passion which the
gods have given to men as to animals are less deserving than the weak who
struggle to overcome. To fall and rise again is more heroic than by greater
strength never to fall. To sin and repent - to do wrong and make amends - are
parts of a noble nature.”
Mark Twain's comment on the cherry tree legend embodies a
serious truth. The youthful Washington is represented as having told his irate
sire when confronted with the fallen tree: “Father, I cannot lie; I did it
with my hatchet.” Mark claimed superiority for
declared “I can lie, but I won't,” and that attitude is far more
characteristic of the real Washington.
No, our first President was neither faultless nor free from
temptation and it was precisely as he overcame the latter, and thus avoided
dangers which might have wrecked a noble career, that his greatness developed.
Like most great characters he was a man of deep and strong
emotions and one of his congenital defects was a fiery temper. The subjection
of that unruly member was a task to which he seems to have set himself early
in life and he could hardly have failed to receive aid from certain of his
“Rules of Civility” such as the following:
“In reproving show no
choler, but do it with sweetness and mildness. (18)
Use no reproachful language against any one, neither curse nor
Think before you speak.” (40)
That he gradually succeeded in making these maxims a part of
his own character is evident from the type of man as revealed by his
contemporaries. But now and then throughout his life, incidents occur amid
sore trial, which deserve to be recorded because, if for no other reason, they
disclose that the once violent temper, though curbed, was not extinguished,
and that eternal vigilance was his only safeguard.
During the retreat from Long Island at the end of August, 1776,
Washington had spent several days and nights largely in the saddle and without
sleep. Inexcusable delays and blunders by his men had nearly frustrated the
masterly maneuver by which he transferred across the East River, under cover
of a foggy night, an entire army from its camp within hearing distance of the
enemy. And as he stood on the heights of the Manhattan side, and the last
ragged continental scrambled leisurely and grumblingly up the steep, the tired
soul of the Commander-in-Chief could no longer contain itself and burst forth
in a torrent of anguish and exasperation which astonished those who had known
him as a model of equanimity. (15)
Again at the battle of Monmouth on that memorable June 28,
1778, when one of his generals, Charles Lee, had recklessly ordered an
unnecessary retreat from a strategic position, Washington rode swiftly to the
scene and sent the offender from the field with a tongue lashing which is said
(16) to have “fairly frightened” the spectators even amid the din of battle.
Once more after he was President a catastrophe occurred which
stirred the deeps of that volcanic nature. General Arthur St. Clair, who had
been given command of an expedition against the Indians of the northwest in
1791, was surprised and defeated on November 4 of that year, losing nearly
half his army on the banks of the Miami. Washington, who knew well from
experience the ways of Indian warfare, had especially enjoined him to “beware
of a surprise,” and when the disgraced general returned, his reprimand from
the President was hardly less severe than that given Lee thirteen years
But in none of these instances was it questioned that the
provocation was great and the chastisement merited. The sole occasion for
surprise was the sudden exhibition of an unsuspected phase of Washington’s
character. And that this was in the main well under control is evident from
his calm and dignified bearing under the continued strain of ingratitude,
injustice and even calumny.
It is difficult for us of this generation to conceive of any
American being unjust or ungrateful to “the father of his country.” But we are
too prone to judge his contemporaries by a few great names which have come
down to us. There were little men also - scheming self-seekers whose motives
were too base, or whose vision was too narrow, to permit them to appreciate
the lofty merits of their leader. We have only to cite the wretched “Conway
cabal,” hatched while Washington and his army were in the throes of that
terrible winter at Valley Forge, and whose object was to supplant the
commander-in-chief with the intriguing Gates. (17) Bancroft expresses the well
nigh universal conviction in declaring that “but for him the country could not
have achieved its independence.” One would have supposed that at least after
it had been achieved the hostile tongues would cease. But such a view ignores
the nature of that venomous reptile - the character assassin.
Like all of our second term Presidents, Washington became in
the later years of his administration, the target of partisan rancour and when
he signed the Jay treaty with Great Britain, in 1794, the opposition raised a
storm of criticism and abuse (18) that, for a time, seemed to obliterate the
memories of his magnificent services to the nation.
But through it all he was outwardly calm and imperturbable. No
public utterance escaped him of the indignation he felt at the imputations of
those petty partisans; although he confessed privately that “he would rather
be in his grave than suffer the treatment he received at the hands of those he
was doing his best to serve.” He sufficiently appreciated the dignity of his
great office never to stoop to a reply. And in his bearing during those times
of trial he gave the best demonstration that he had practically conquered his
unruly temper and earned the scriptural encomium: “He that ruleth his own
spirit is greater than he that taketh a city.”
And out of the years of discipline which thus produced self
mastery came other and kindred virtues. The fierce opposition to the Jay
treaty did not result in changing his attitude. He maintained it courageously
and firmly even to the extent of refusing the request of the lower House of
Congress for the correspondence and other papers relating to the treaty. (19)
In the end the House, by a majority of three, sustained him, the treaty went
into effect and time has vindicated
his position. (20)
The same consistency and devotion to principle were observed in
less important matters. During the operations around New York Lord Howe sent,
under a flag of truce, a letter addressed to “George Washington, Esquire.” It
was returned unopened, not from any sense of pique or vanity, but because he
considered that he could negotiate only as Generalissimo of the Continental
forces and, as he reported to Congress, he “deemed it his duty towards his
country to insist upon a mark of respect which, as an individual, he would
willingly have waived.'' (21)
Shortly after he was inaugurated as President he made an
official tour of New England and while in Massachusetts was invited to dine
with the Governor, John Hancock, who, however had failed first to call on the
President. Hancock had presided over the first Continental Congress and as
such became the original signer of the Declaration of Independence. But
Washington realized that the delicate question of the new Federal government's
supremacy was involved and that precedents were being established. He
therefore declined the invitation, courteously but firmly, and in the end the
Governor yielded and paid the first call. (22)
But probably the supreme mark of Washington's greatness was the
entire absence, throughout his career, of self-seeking. Had he consulted his
personal interests he would hardly have espoused the Revolution at all. He was
a well to do country gentleman, of aristocratic birth, with thousands of broad
acres in Virginia and twenty thousand more along the Ohio. (23) His natural
sympathies were thus clearly with the existing order; why should he seek to
overthrow it? Certainly not to escape an insignificant stamp tax.
As in other questions he made the decision upon principle.
Through years of reflection the conviction had been forced upon him that a
colonial regime as then administered was inimical to the progress and welfare
of his country. (How different might have been the sequel could he have been
assured of a status like that of Canada today!) With his colleagues he tried
other means of securing a change and accepted the gage of battle only as a
The post of Commander-in-Chief was also forced upon him and in
accepting it he set a new standard of public duty in these words:
“I beg leave to assure the Congress that as no pecuniary
compensation could have tempted me to accept this arduous employment, I do not
wish to make any profit from it. I will keep an exact account of my expenses.
I doubt not, they
discharge, and that is all I desire.” (24)
As time went on and public funds became scarcer he is said to
have drawn on his own purse to meet the needs of the army and even to have
mortgaged his property for that purpose.
“In choosing men to serve his country,” an early biographer
informs us, “Washington knew no recommendation but merit - had no favorite but
worth. No relations, however near - no friends, however dear - stood any
chance for places under him, provided he knew men better qualified. Respecting
such men, he never troubled himself to inquire whether they were foreigners or
natives, federalists or democrats. . . . Indeed, his great soul was so truly
during the whole of his administration, he was never known to
advance an individual of his own name and family.” (25)
The same author bears testimony to the high character of
Washington's military selections by quoting the complaint of certain young
officers (who had failed to receive promotion as they expected because they
were from the chief's native state), that “it was a misfortune to be a
It is in the adoption of such lofty standards, “proving his
country's good his only end,” that George Washington occupies a plane far
above so many of the world's famous military and political leaders who were
not great enough to rise above self.
* * *
Washington was great and his was essentially a moral greatness. He was
not like Caesar stained with blood
great as he was good.”
And so we
may close with Byron again:
shall the wearied eye repose
gazing on the great?
neither guilty glory glows
* * * * *
first, the last, the best
Cincinnatus of the West.
man blush there was but one
Bequeathed the name of Washington.”
Life of Washington (Mt. Vernon ed.), 9.
Burns' Works, Chambers' Ed., IV, 83.
Southey's Works (London, 1838), III, 221.
IV, stanza XCVI.
VIII, stanzas III, IV, V.
IX, stanza VIII.
Oxford, Feb. 22, 1886; reprinted in his “Greater Greece and Greater Britain.”
History of England in the Eighteenth Century, Ch. XI.
History of the English People, 754, 755.
American Revolution (1903), Pt. II, Vol. II, 155.
Address at Minnesota University Law School, Feb. 22, 1913.
first appeared in the Weems biography long after Washington's death and when
the usual time had elapsed for myths to grow. The Nation, XCIV, 436; also for
March 21, 1912.
Hill, On the Trail of Washington (1912), 15. The original is among the
archives in the State Department at Washington.
Goodrich, History of the United States, 212.
Chill, On the Trail of Washington (1912), 188, 189. Lee was afterwards court
martialled for his offense and suspended. Marshall, Life of Washington (1850),
Elson, History of the United States (1904), 263, 284.
358; Marshall, Life of Washington (1850), II, 370 et seq.
Trevelyan, The American Revolution, Part II, Vol. I, 278.
Hill, On the Trail of Washington (1912), 260, 261.
Elson, History of the United States (1904), 375.
Hill, On the Trail of Washington (1912), 99.
Weems, Life of Washington (Mt. Vernon ed.), 274, 275.
man a thinking being is defined,
the grand prerogative of mind.
think justly of the thinking few!
never think, who think they do.
OBLIGATIONS AND OATHS
H.R. PARTLOW, ARKANSAS
MASONIC obligation has always been to the writer a subject of considerable
interest, especially on account of the various positions assumed by the
obliger at the time of taking the obligation, and the formalities incident to
it which, in my opinion, bespeak for the obligation a greater antiquity than
usually accorded it by historians and writers.
cursory view of the subject of entering into a contractual relation from
ancient times shows that the obligations assumed to be binding were entered
into in accordance to the ceremonial form of that age, and if entered into in
that way were considered by the ancients inviolate. History abounds with many
instances evidencing this, but for numerous cases we have only to go into the
field of religious and legal literature. Biblical and judicial records are
the deposits left by the receding waters of time and an examination of the
laws and customs of these remote ages shows a general unfolding and
development of civilization. True it is that the data found are not separately
and clearly set forth, but may be compared to the residue of the seashore,
scattered and wholly without order, some buried in sand and foreign matter,
while others are entirely concealed except to the keen vision of the delving
student who by patience and skill will exhume them, thereby revealing them to
the superficial observer.
writer is fully aware that the average Mason has but little interest in such
matters, but a close study of the customs of the ancients will shed much light
upon certain customs now used in our ritual or floor work in conferring
degrees. If by any means we can determine the inception of these early
formalities, the basal ideas leading up to them, and the possible
psychological functioning which produced them they will, in my opinion, be
invaluable. These rudimentary ideas are to the Masonic student what the
primary crusts of the earth are to the geologist. They contain all the forms
which society has subsequently exhibited.
matter of ascertaining the fountain head of the jural conception of an oath,
obligation, or contract, one may become lost in the impenetrable night of
antiquity. Mr. Holmes, in his admirable work on Common Law, says: "To explain
how mankind first learned to promise, we must go to metaphysics and find out
how it came to frame a future tense." Law, like religion, is co-eval with
intelligence and so soon as man was capable of continuity of thought, so soon
as he found intelligible speech, he questioned himself concerning his
relationship to other sentient beings. Therefore, by way of a premise, it may
be said that whenever and wherever we have found man we find exhibition of
certain characteristics which are common to other peoples in the same stage of
and effect of an oath or obligation in ancient days was much greater than it
is today, for the reason that the Higher Power was presumed to be present and
to participate in the transaction as a third party. This was especially so in
making of covenants which were accompanied by a sacrifice and other solemn
formalities in addition to the oath calling upon the ever present Deity to
procedure of entering into obligations or of taking oaths one is impressed
first with the universal use of the light hand. It is a singular coincidence
that so many people are right handed, and we shall now consider the use of the
right hand in entering into various obligations and draw some conclusions
regarding its almost universal use.
hand has been held forever sacred. The origin of such belief is a profound
mystery. Much importance was attached to it in worship as well as in entering
into various contractual relations.
of the formal contract in early English law rewards the student for the pains
of his investigation; and for the purpose of giving to the reader the benefit
of this we quote at some length from Pollock and Maitland's History of English
countries of Western Europe and in this part of the world also, we find the
mutual grasp of the hand as a form which binds a bargain. It is possible to
regard this as a relic of a more elaborate ceremony by which some material was
passed from hand to hand; but the mutuality of the hand grip seems to make
against this explanation. We think it more likely that the promisor proffered
his name of himself and for the purpose of devoting himself to the god or
goddess, if he broke faith. Expanded in words, the underlying idea would be of
this kind, 'As I here deliver myself to you by my right hand, so I deliver
myself to the wrath of Fides, or Jupiter acting by the ministry of Fides, if I
break faith in this thing.'
the Germans have borrowed this symbolic act from the Roman provincials and
have thus taken over a Roman practice along with Fides, or whether it has an
independent root in their own heathen religion we will not dare to decide.
However, the grasp of the hand appears among them at an early date as a mode
of contracting solemn, if not legally binding, obligations."
Code of Justinian the formality of raising the right hand was necessary in
taking an oath. Then we find from the two great sources of law, Roman and
English, that more importance is attached to the right hand than to the left.
primitive races, such as the Dacotah, the Winebagoes and other Western tribes,
the right hand as a symbol has been observed by more than one person. As a
symbol of fidelity and virtue the right hand is repeatedly referred to in
said to the King of Salem: "I have lifted up my hand unto the Lord, the most
High God, the possessor of heaven and earth, that I will not take anything
that is thine." The expression, "lifted up my hand unto the Lord," doubtless
proves the custom of the ancient Hebrews in placing the right hand upon the
object of veneration in entering into a contract or binding obligations, and
if such object could not be touched, the right hand was extended toward the
thing of reverence with hand open and fingers extended. The right hand of
fellowship is spoken of by St. Paul in Gallatioans (Gallatian 2, chap. 9). In
Psalms, 94th chapter, the right hand is spoken of as "the right hand of
manner of using the right hand is a symbol of fidelity, imposed in primitive
times the loss of that member in cases of breaches of faith. Pollack and
Maitland, in their work on English Law, in speaking of the German people say,
"Germanic law is fond of characteristic punishment. It likes to take the
tongue of the false accuser and the perjurer's right hand."
his Early History and Antiquities of Freemasonry, says:
were also attested by water, fountains and streams, by rocks, cliffs and
stones - the latter sometimes white, but the most sacred and binding
obligations were made upon a blue stone altar. Ancient Norsemen swore upon
Thor's hammer. It was no unusual thing for a person to formerly attest an oath
by the beard, hair, and eyes, or with the hand upon vestments. A judicial
obligation was administered by touching the judge's staff of office, and by
some reason warriors swore by the sword; also, other people, in less exciting
spheres of domestic life, used household furniture. For examples travellers
grasped the wagon wheel, and horsemen their stirrups; sailors rested the hand
upon the ship's railing. Operative Masons, or stonecutters of the Middle Ages
perpetuated the Scandinavian custom of swearing upon common utensils and used
their tools in the solemn formality of an obligation - a usage adhered to by
the modern craft.
right hand was considered indispensable in medieval oaths, to seize or to
touch the consecrated objects. Frequently the hand was upraised in order to
bring it in contact with the material object sworn by, and at the same time
kneeling, divested of hat and weapon, was an essential element in the ceremony
of assuming an oath."
it necessary to touch or to be in contact with some sacred object? This is a
pertinent question. The possible explanation may be found in the doctrine of
deodands in ancient English Common Law. This doctrine generally recognized
that in case of an injury inflicted by an inanimate object, such as a wagon
wheel, tree or other object of similar kind, a portion of the punishment or
damage was to award the injured with the object, the cause of the injury. Man
from the remotest times has attributed life, spirit or being to inanimate
objects, therefore, swearing upon these inanimate objects is doubtless for no
other purpose than to call upon some object to be a witness to this
obligation. From the fact that man has attributed life to inanimate objects,
creating and vesting them with certain characteristics common to mankind,
naturally thought about the necessity of giving them sex. Hence it is
probable that this is the explanation why in most languages we find masculine
and feminine gender indiscriminately applied to inanimate objects. The
explanation is to be found in the doctrine of animism and not in poetic
license as is often given by grammarians.
frequent use of the right hand - and one can cite instance after instance of
its use of entering into obligations, such as in marriage contracts, uplifted
right hand in the taking of an oath - naturally arouses one's enthusiasm to
investigate the probable cause. Brother Mackey cites instance after instance
of its use in worship, such as keeping the right side to the altar in going
around the altar. Sir Walter Scott gives an instance in his novel, The
Pirate, of the young people who assembled in far off Norseland and joined
right hands through a circular aperture at the base of an upright rock and
plighted their faiths to the god Odin. G. Stanley Hall makes some interesting
remarks when he says:
are many facts which seem to suggest that in adolescence the right hand
precedes the left, and is not usually quite overtaken, so that the
predominance is greater after puberty. If this be so the relation of the two
hands in man is somewhat analogous to the relation between the male and female
body in muscular development."
Scientists say the grip of the right hand exceeds in strength by one-sixth to
one-eighth that of the left hand. Smedley has observed that there is an
analogy between unidexterity and the development of the voice.
us pause and ask two questions: First, Are we right-handed because of the long
continued use of the right hand in worship and in assuming obligations thereby
creating a physiological condition or anatomical condition as a result of
constant exercise or precedence of the right hand? Second, Is the preference
given to the right hand due to the disparity in development between the two
hands as is pointed out by the scientist in the preceding paragraphs?
delivery of possession of a piece of land was performed, says Digby, in the
generally it must be the delivery of something, such as a clod, earth or twig
on the land in the name of whole. Great importance was attached to the
notoriety of the transaction. That all the neighbours might know that A was
tenant to B from the fact that open livery of seisen had been made to him.
This would enable him to assert his rights in case of disputes to the title of
instance may be cited from Littleton Coke's translation:
freeholder does fealty to his lord he shall hold his right hand on a book and
shall say this: 'Know ye this, my lord, that I shall be faithful and true unto
you and faith to you shall bear for the lands which I claim to hold of you and
that I shall lawfully do to you the custom and service while I ought to do, at
the terms assigned, so help me God and his Saints. And he shall kiss the
further substantiation of formalities in assuming obligations we wish here to
refer to some peculiar marriage customs. One of the most peculiar of these
customs was known as "Smock-marriages" or "Marriage in Shift." Under the
common law the husband became at marriage liable for the antenuptial debts of
his wife as well as the successor to her property rights. One counteracted
the other. Now the theory that the husband could escape the liability of the
antenuptial debts of his wife possibly created or brought about
smock-marriage was one where the debtor bride came to the wedding dressed in a
smock or shift, which was a public declaration to her creditors that she took
no property to her husband as a basis of charging him with her debts. A
number of instances are reported in the New England States where the bride was
secluded in a closet and joined right hands, through an aperture of the door
with the bridegroom until the ceremony was said, and later appeared well
dressed. Alice Morse Earle, in her Customs of Old New England, refers
frequently to this unique custom.
ancient days trial by battle was attended by the usual formality of joining
right hands before the trial of strength, a custom still preserved in the
examples might be cited from the Bible but this is not deemed necessary here
as it would simply expand this article and add nothing to its value or proof.
Prince of Wales in taking his coronation oath lays his right hand upon the
Bible, for it is the object of veneration or sacredness.
formality of removing the shoes is one of the oldest customs and doubtless had
its origin among the people of the Far East, especially the Hebrews. We find
Moses upon his approach to the burning bush removed his shoes for the reason
that the ground on which he stood was sacred. It is a custom of the people of
the East upon approaching a sacred place to remove the shoes or to uncover the
feet, but among the Western people the head is uncovered. The fact of
discalceation proves beyond doubt that the person taking the oath regards the
Deity as present and participating as a third party to the ceremony. Among
the Jewish people it was considered a sign of renunciation of dominion or
authority to remove the shoes.
Mosaic law the brother of a childless man was bound to marry his widow and
until he renounced his right, she could not marry another. If refused the
woman was obliged to loose his shoes from off his feet and spit before his
face as an assertion of complete her complete independence.
White in his Legal Antiquities says:
this custom was later used by the early Christians would seem to be confirmed
by the story connected with the proposal of the Emperor Vladimir to the
daughter of Raguald, for when asked if she would not marry the Emperor she
replied: 'I will not take off my shoes to the son of a slave."'
early Saxon days when marriage was completed the father of the bride took off
her shoes and handed them to the bridegroom. Wood's Wedding Day in All Ages
says that Martin Luther, the great reformer, used the shoe in his ceremony.
the knee has in all ages of the world's history been considered as an act of
humility and reverence. Pliny, the Roman naturalist, observes that a certain
degree of religious reverence is attributed to the knee of man. Solomon
prayed upon bended knee at the consecration of the temple.
customs show beyond doubt that in taking the obligation the candidate is
assumed to be in the presence of the Deity and that his obligation is entered
into with that ever present Being.
point we desire to make is that an obligation once assumed was by ancient
peoples considered inviolable, and could not be set aside or held for naught.
One reason for this was because every act of the promisor contemplated the
presence of the Deity and according to the customs of that age due
preparations had been made looking to the entering into of the obligations.
be a great blessing in this modern age if more of the initiates in entering
into the obligation could or would consider it more as the ancients did, a
solemn and binding obligation, - one taken in the presence of Him who can
search the inner recesses of the heart and knows our purposes and designs. If
that were true we would have better Masons.
It is a
matter of regret to every man practising law how easily men extend their right
hand toward their Creator and perjure themselves. This is done because many
of them regard an oath as an empty string of words with no binding effect
whatsoever. Let us as Masons make more of our obligations and try to impress
upon the initiate the fact that a broken pledge with the brethren is attended
with serious consequences and is looked upon with displeasure by Him who takes
notice of the falling of the sparrow.
FRANK C. HICKMAN, MICHIGAN
dark the way, So forward look ye not
not fear. Nor yet behind;
cannot go astray But rather look ye out
is near. At passing time.
thee every day, Be porter at the door
where, Of present thought,
watches all the way Want in one day not more
it clear. Than has been brought.
thee in the morn For God serves well His own
awake, And that thou art
He soon made warm And when the truth is known,
dear sake. Fear will depart.
thee strength to do Remember thou art free
lot, If thou but knew
need meets too, No error can agree
forgot. With love that's true.
day's needs are met No loneliness can live
appears, Within thine heart,
morrow is not yet If freely thou wilt give
arrears. What is thy part.
the yesterday For then thou serve the love
Put in a
claim, That is thy life,
it was “today” And blessings from above
fullest came. Dissolve all strife.
happiness and peace
and love ne'er cease
the man, and happy he alone,
can call today his own:
secure within, can say,
do thy worst, for I have liv'd today.
IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL
OLIVER LODGE has written a little book dealing with the immortality of the
soul. It is a grand, definite pronouncement of the belief of a man of
science. Not long ago we heard a noted Christian Scientist discourse upon the
subject of cremation. Quite frequently did he allude to the "mortal body."
These references recalled to our mind the book by Lodge wherein the human body
is likened unto a house whose tenant is the soul. As a minister it has often
been our duty to officiate at the burial of those who had been loved dearly
and who were keenly mourned. We, too, have lost friends and dear ones whom we
loved. Gazing upon that which has come to be in our minds the tenement of
clay, we could never persuade outself that the one stricken and cold before us
was he whom we had loved. It was to us a house sadly bereft of a tenant.
ago there came to our attention a very helpful little volume containing a
vivid picture of a house by the side of the road, which had for a very long
time been untenanted. It was in a most dilapidated condition. Its windows
were broken, its fences decayed and its doors sagged on their hinges. Then
came a day when a man of beautiful spirit made it his home, and it became
suddenly transformed. Its paths were well-kept, the fences repaired, new
paint and new windows added to its splendor. Roses bloomed around it, birds
sang and joy abounded.
the paradoxical reflection of human life. There is beauty, joy - all things
that bespeak life - when the body is the tenement of the soul. But the soul
having vanished, and the ruthless hand of time having begun its disintegrating
work, no art of the embalmer can make us to feel that the body that was once
warm with human life is anything more than a house of clay.
eternal theme agitating the eternally curious in man is, "If a man die, shall
he live again?" In a little work by the late Dr. Momerie we may read that "the
greatest thinkers in all ages - men like Plato, Hagel, Goethe - have
invariably believed in immortality. Many others, not so great, but great
enough to overawe multitudes - men like Haeckel, Clifford and Huxley - have
denied, or at any rite, doubted it. Whither has flown that which animated the
have been good men, no doubt, who have lived good lives without hope of
immortality - that hope which seems to be in the lives of most men, which has
been there since ever man began to think - the thing to which he instinctively
recnt issue of "The Chrisitan Century" there appeared an article under the
caption, Can a Scientist be a Christian? A Frenchman seems to have made an
analysis of the religious belief of some four hundred and thirty-two men of
science. "Of this number there were thirty-four concerning whose religious
position he had been unable to secure any information. Fifteen confessed
themselves indifferent or agnostic, sixteen were atheists, while the remaining
three hundred and sixty-seven made a profession of religious belief."
among the very men who have hitherto been regarded as the bulwarks of unbelief
we discover that the great majority are believers in religion - and religion
as it is conceived of in the mind of the Freemason admits of but one dogma and
proclaims but one hope. That hope is the belief in immortality.
If we are
to attach any symbolical significance to the great drama of the Third degree,
it must be attached as the setting forth of an imperishable idea that there is
immortality for the soul. It would, indeed, be no misnomer to say that
Freemasonry conceives of the soul as immortal. The Christian Apostle
conceived of man as being most miserable were he devoid of immortality. Who
cannot share in the feelings of Emerson, when inconsolable over the loss of
his son he gave utterance to the beautiful lines of his Threnody. It is a
visitant from God from a world beyond.
Joseph Fort Newton, probably our wisest and best Masonic seer in this country
today, is forever impressing upon our minds the fact that we are citizens of
long been persuaded that men had their particular province in which they
labored, and of which they seemed to be the authoritative spokesman. For one
to learn the things of the material universe he should seek out those who have
specialized in learning its nature. The biologist, the physicist and the
chemist can answer certain things almost conclusively for us this day, and
perhaps it would be wise for us to reaffirm that our greatest knowledge of
things spiritual - God and immortality - may best be derived from those who
have lived in consciousness of them.
mystic, the philosopher, the scientist - each his his field of labor, and we
may best learn the lesson that each has to tell of his discoveries, from him
who is best qualified to speak. Freemasonry has apprehended the wisdom of
this course from time immemorial.
that there are races of men who have no conception of immortality, but these
are very remote cases. The more enlightened the races the more reliable do we
find a man's feeling, opinion or judgment to be.
conception of immortality is born of something more than merely the dreams of
man, yet were the intensification of this conception but the result of the
dream of primitive man, in which the Indian saw for himself a paradise of
bliss, hunting with dogs; the Norseman his Valhalla; the ancient Hebrew his
abode of gold, this would in no wise invalidate the belief that such dreams
were but instruments, providentially intended to enlighten man as to his
ultimate immortal destiny.
to man such immortality as is allied to our general conception of the
indestructibility of the primal element that goes to make up life would be to
offer him something for which we would find him generally unwilling to thank
our Masonic conception, as embodied in ritual in its beautiful simplicity,
hope and faith, satisfies the instinctive craving. Bryant, in his Water Fowl,
is a surer guide - and certainly more helpful - than those whose pantheism
simply admits man at last to that all-pervading potency where his own identity
is lost forever.
brilliant writer of some years ago pictured a primitive man standing shivering
before a foe. Death was staring him in the face. "Then it was that his
thoughts turned to those wolf children of the cave whom he had left with the
mother behind, and the hope of immortality was there born." We must confess
that it is attaching greater rationalizing qualities to apply such to a
primitive cave man, unless we admit the possible projection of instinct at
that moment, to assure him that in dying he was not losing them forever. But
something akin to this belief must agitate the thoughts of every human being
who has loved, and who has clasped to his bosom those whom he loved, and who
has wept and hoped as earth earth receded for them and their spirits took
flight to the realm beyond.
then, in its comfort, is the teaching of our Masonic ritual, for it bespeaks
the assuring word when wild grief distracts and the earth is blackened,
through its imperishable pronouncement, "And so, trusting in the infinite love
and tender mercy of Him, without whose knowledge not even a sparrow falls, let
us prepare to meet them where there is no parting, and where, with them, we
shall enjoy eternal rest."
BRO. ROBERT TIPTON
WHEN WE are told that our times are degenerate, and find so
much to warrant such a conclusion - though we would not subscribe to a thought
that there were no ameliorating features - we are provoked to pronounce such a
story as “Tom Brown's School Days” one of breed, blood, and spirit.
The other evening we took down the “Memoir of a Brother,” by
the same author, Thomas Hughes. A more charming picture, depicting the strong
man of power, the type of fine English gentleman, we have rarely read. We
wondered, during our reading, whether the idealism of our times - granting
that we have an idealism, despite the unideal way of the great majority's
living - was not inferior to the idealism of that early Victorian period when
the Hughes boys went to the celebrated school of Rugby. No finer relationship
could possibly be than that described as existing between the fine country
squire, the father, and his son George, as it is revealed in their letters. We
sense in their reading, too, what must have been the letters of the great
schoolmaster, Arnold, and throughout theil perusal we are conscious of moving
on a high plane where conduct is eternally actuated by the noblest and truest
Our heartiest expression in regard to this father's dealings
with his sons would be that we feel if any father ever dealt wisely with his
sons, the father of the Hughes boys did so. Dr. Arnold on one occasion had
written Hughes, senior, regarding the failure of George Hughes to do his duty
as praeposter. Some unfortunate peddler had brought his wares within the Rugby
grounds and the mischievous element had proceeded to rob him of them and set
up some images he sold, for to shy at. It was, of course, a flagrant breach of
disciplinary requirements and young Hughes should have reported the affair.
Howsoever, this was not done. This failure of duty caused him to be restrained
from attendance at Rugby the last half of his last year there. As a result of
correspondence which passed between Dr. Arnold and Mr. Hughes, senior, we
sense how the lad endeavored to vindicate himself, and the rejoinder of Mr.
Hughes to his son contains the following:
“Now, it is impossible for me to enter into the exact merits of
the case at a distance; and possibly I may not be inclined to see it in all
its details with the eye of a zealous schoolmaster; but, as you are now of a
thinking age, I will treat the matter candidly to you, as a man of the world
and a man of business, in which capacities I hope to see you efficient and
respected in the course of a few years. Your own conduct seems to be
gentlemanly and correct. Very good; this is satisfactory as far as it goes.
But clearly, by the regulations of the school, you have certain duties to
perform, the strict execution of which may in some cases be annoying to your
own feelings, and to that esprit de corps which always exists among boys.
Nevertheless they must be performed. whose young men who have a reai regard
for the character of their school, which all of you are ready enough to
stickle for when you get outside its walls, must not allow it to become a mere
blackguard bear-garden, and to stink in the nostrils of other public schools,
by tolerating, in those they are expected to govern, such things as they would
not do themselves. When you grow a little older you will soon perceive that
there is no situation in life worth having, and implying any respect, where
more firmness is not continually required, and unpleasant duties are to be
Such, indeed, indicates to us the marvelous cooperativeness of
an older generation with school authorities, in the subject of discipline of
their pupils and students.
Another feature of this remarkable Memoir indicates the great
business of the school as interpretated by great, patriotic schoolmasters.
Speaking of the great schoolmaster's political proclivities, the author of the
Memoir goes on to say:
“I am not conscious, indeed I do not believe, that Arnold's
influence was ever brought to bear directly on English politics, in the case
even of those boys who (like my brother and myself) came specially under it,
in his own house, and in the sixth form. What he did for us was, to make us
think on the politics of Israel, and Rome, and Greece, leaving us free to
apply the lessons he taught us in these, as best we could, to our own
And in compliment to this we sense the real essence of Arnold's
teaching in the following:
“Again, though Arnold's life influenced him quite as powerfully
as it did me, it was in quite a different direction, strengthening specially
in him the reverence for national life, and for the laws, traditions, and
customs with which it is interwoven, and ot which it is the expression.
Somehow, his natural dislike to change, and preference for the old ways,
seemed to gain as much strength and nourishment from the teaching and example
of our old master, as the desire and hope for radical reforms did in me.”
The Memoir, indeed, makes stimulating reading; it causes a deep
hunger for a reconsecration to the older idealism. It sensed in the great
institution for the training of youth, not a place where preparation for life,
interpreted in terms of what future pursuit one may desire to follow, but in
vital relationship to the maintenance of national ideals, customs and
traditions. It is the sort of nationalism that enables men to grow strong,
manly, and righteous; it is the education in which the secular and religious
are complimentary, and in which the church exists as a dynamic, influencing
men in right living. The Memoir of a brother is worthy of resurrection for
quiet perusal during long winter evenings. It will give a sense of the
necessity of solidity during these transitory times.
* * *
During a recent trip to New York we chanced to visit the region
known as Chinatown. Our visit was not the first, but this time was occasioned
by a desire to see just what Chinatown looked like after the passing of the
eighteenth amendment. Our observation distinguished but little difference,
save that the barrooms were not running as in days of yore.
On our visit to the joss house which was through a dark and
odorous hallway, we passed a door with the inscription, “Freemasons,” upon it.
If we had been obedient to the curious instinct, we would at once have sought
admission, but those restraining mandates pertaining to association with
clandestines made us keep within our bounds. Thus it came about that we began
to glean in our library for those things which would enlighten us; not so much
about their Freemasonry after all, as about the Chinese people themselves, who
comprise almost a third of the human race. We would not like to confess to an
absolute ignorance of their customs and way of living, for we were in some
degree acquainted with them, but it was a gratifying task to us to make a more
thorough perusal of the information relative to those people.
Our reading to this end served, in no inconsiderable measure,
to enhance our respect for them, and as a Mason, aware of the sublime
principle of toleration inculcated in our Order, it was likewise pleasing to
learn that there were certain things about the Chinese which we perhaps had
once observed, but in our busy rush had forgotten, and which we would do well
to both emulate and imitate. Of their practice of Religious Toleration we read
in the volume on Ancient China in the Sacred Books and Early Literature of the
“The general tolerance, and even welcoming, of new religious
ideas has been such that, when China was opened to the world less than a
century ago, we found that Christian sects had persisted there through all the
Dark Ages of Europe, and that Jewish communities were still existing, the date
of whose coming into the land was lost in a remote antiquity. Mohammedanism is
also established in China, as is many another less known creed.”
That Freemasonry, as we know it, may not be discovered in
China, has been quite conclusively shown by such a work as “Freemasonry in
China,” by Herbert A. Giles, but as a manifestation of the life of the Spirit
as Brother Giles well indicates, it no doubt has revealed itself there. “The
Masonry, not of form and ceremonies, but of the heart.”
We were not at all amazed to find their manner of living almost
antipodal to ours. James Freeman Clark, in his work on “The Ten Great
Religions,” illustrating this oppositional view, describes China and the
Chinese in the following manner:
“The first aspect of China produces that impression on the mind
which we call the grotesque. This is merely because the customs of this
singular nation are so opposite to our own. They seem morally, no less than
physically, our antipodes. We stand feet to feet in everything. In boxing the
compass they say 'westnorth' instead of northwest, 'eastsouth' instead of
southeast, and their compass-needle points south instead of north.”
Referring to customs prior to the days of the Republic with its
revolution, the same writer says:
“Their soldiers wear quilted petticoats, satin boots, and bead
necklaces, carry umbrellas and fans, and go to a night attack with lanterns in
their hands, being more afraid of the dark than of exposing themselves to the
enemy. The people are fond of fireworks, but prefer to have them in the day
time. Ladies ride in wheelbarrows, and cows are driven in carriages. In China
the family name comes first, and the personal name afterward. Instead of
saying Benjamin Franklin or Walter Scott they would say Franklin Benjamin and
Scott Walter. In getting on a horse, the Chinese mount on the right side.
Their old men fly kites, while the little boys look on. The left hand is the
seat of honor, and to keep on your hat is a sign of respect. Visiting cards
are painted red, and are four feet long. In the opinion of the Chinese, the
seat of understanding is the stomach.”
We remember in connection with this that in our reading of a
book under the caption, “Brain and Personality,” by Dr. W. Hanna Thompson - a
book by the way which indicates a logical ground for the belief in the
Immortality of the Soul, from a physical basis - that the stomach was quoted
as but one of the many localities of the body that had been cited by the
ancients as the seat of the soul. In our judgment, as well the stomach, as the
heart, or any other organ for that matter.
Of course, this lecture of Dr. Clark's was delivered many years
ago, and since then the general revolution has transformed things not a
little. But a people - accurately so described for the time that the lecture
was written, and who had been following the same practices and observing the
same customs and habits for thousands of years - will retain for yet some time
to come, many of the characteristics suggested here.
We noted in connection with the general customs which have
prevailed since the time of Confucius, that in the matter of those holding
public offices, it was required that they be able to pass certain literary
tests. In brief, the literary man held the public office.
To this end, as far as their political and social life was
concerned, it was fundamentally necessary that aspirants for position of
responsibility should be thoroughly versed in the law that guaranteed unto
them their constitutional well-being. The maxims, codes and laws, as
promulgated and interpreted by Confucius, was the basic for the Chinese to
live and be governed by.
In view of this let us for the moment indulge in some
comparative reflections. In these United States there are certain documents of
fundamental importance that, we believe, alone guarantee for us the maximum
degree of life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The Declaration of
Independence, the Constitution of the United States, certain inaugural
addresses - those articles that bespeak the soul of America, its aspirations,
its conservatism and its glory, should be known by all aspirants to public
office, and not only known, but their life and conduct should square with
them, and no one should be suffered to be a recipient of any gift within the
power of the American people, who would not heartily endorse and subscribe and
pledge his maintenance; neither should anyone of whom the slightest suspicion
might be held be suffered to enter office, that he would despoil the purpose
or mar the beauty and moral value by any alien innovation.
The laws of the fathers was, and is, a cardinal virtue in
Chinese character. That the laws of the fathers in China had their
limitations, China's backward condition is the most forcible testimony.
Happily the documents so sacred to all Americans worthy of the
name, in no wise are conducive to stagnation or inhibitive to progress, but
the experience of men, since the beginning of government, is epitomized for us
by them, and liberty and freedom and every guarantee that will permit of
rightful initiative conducive to human happiness, is assured by them.
A re-reading of the Constitution and of these documents ought
to be obligatory upon every office holder. Nay, more ! Upon every American
able to read, so that in these trying times the proper perspective might again
be obtained, which would reveal to us the folly of departure from the wise
course enjoined upon us by the founders of the Republic.
Let them read, mark, and inwardly digest the following:
“Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long
established should not be changed for light and transient causes.”
We confess that, to us, there is something fascinating about
men of erudition occupying positions of power. It seems to restrain us from
continuation of the practice of giving unto men public office on the strength
of their popularity, as we are so wont to do in America.
* * *
We are in receipt of a book published by the Flame Press, New
York City, under the caption of “Rosicrucian Fundamentals.” We are informed it
is published under the authority of the High Council of the Societas
Rosicruciana in America.
That it is a book of profundity and scholarship, any who may
chance to read it will soon discover. Quoting from a letter received in
connection with the book we may read as follows:
“The contents will speak for themselves and need no
explanation: But for the benefit of those who are unacquainted with the work
of the Societas Rosicruciana in America, of which organization this book is
the initial text book, I deem it but proper to state that all who join
Colleges of this Order are placed in the Neophyte's Degree, which is
preliminary and probationary in its nature. During their stay in this Degree
their work is a full and complete study of this book, and their passing to the
next Degree, which is that of Zelator, is contingent both on their percentage
of attendance on the Convocations of the College and on their passing a
satisfactory examination on the contents of this book of Fundamentals. Thus
you will see how necessary is a Proficiency in the Preceding Degree.”
We are glad to give our readers this introductory note to this
text-book of the Rosicrucian Society.
* * *
Sir Edward Gray is no mean successor of Isaac Walton as an
Angler Philosopher. We feel that it is not out of season to draw attention to
his volume on “Fly Fishing,” from the pen of the famous British statesman. His
philosophic observations in the introduction are highly pertinent and may
serve in their quiet way to influence those fishermen who are prone to fish
for numbers, to a more humane view of the sport itself.
We cannot help but quote from the introductory chapter what Sir
Edward Gray has to say about the explaining of one's pleasures to another. “It
would be delightful,” says he, “to write about pleasures, if by doing so, one
could impart them to others.” ''Nothing is more difficult,” he continues,
“than to convey any strong impression of pleasure which has been felt within
He indicates that interest is the ground for mutual sympathy in
the discussion of any sport. His reflections continue, “When a man has a
hobby, it is to be hoped that he will learn reticence, that he will never go
into the world at large, resolved not to talk what he cares for most.”
We learn in a later chapter that of the famous
schools of England, Winchester
was probably the only school at which the most scientific and highly developed
form of angling could be learned. It is a treat to accompany Sir Edward Gray
in his musings as he learnedly discusses the intricacies and enjoyments of Fly
we note, was published by an English firm, J. M. Dent & Co.
THE BUILDER is an open forum for free and fraternal discussion.
Each of its contributors writes under his own name, and is responsible for his
own opinions. Believing that a unity of spirit is better than a uniformity of
opinion, the Research Society, as such, does not champion any one school of
Masonic thought as over against another, but offers to all alike a medium for
fellowship and instruction, leaving each to stand or fall by its own merits.
The Question Box and Correspondence Column are open to
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.
BUSBY CHRISTIAN, JR., SECRETARY TO PRESIDENT-ELECT HARDING
In my travels throughout the State I have been asked numerous
times for information concerning Mr. Christian, Secrctary to President-elect
Harding. Can you tell me whether or not he is a Mason ? F. W. DeK.,
George Busby Christian, Jr., is a member in good standing of
Marion Lodge No. 70, F. & A. M.; Marion Chapter No. 62, R. A. M.; Marion
Council No. 22, R. & S. M., and Marion Comrnandery No. 36, K. T., all located
in Marion, Ohio. He is also a membel of Aladdin Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., of
He and his people are Presbyterians and his wife is a member of
St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Marion, Ohio.
* * *
SCRIPTURAL PASSAGES IN THE SEVERAL DEGREES
Where should the Holy Bible be opened in the Entered
Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason degrees ?
F. A. G.,
Entered Apprentice degree - Psalms, chapter 133, verses 1-3.
Fellow Craft degree - Amos, chapter 7, verses 7-8.
Master Mason degree - Ecclesiastes, chapter 12, verses 1-7.
* * *
Whence was the “Parian” marble said to have been used in the
columns of Solomon's Temple obtained?
C. O. N.,
Parian marble was, and still is, obtained from Paros (or Paro),
an island in the Aegean Sea, one of the largest groups of the Cyclades. It
lies to the west of Naxos, from which it is separated by a channel about six
miles broad, and which it is nova grouped together, in popular language, under
the common name of Paronaxia.
The island is formed of a single mountain about 2,500 feet in
height, sloping evenly down on all sides to a maritime plain. The island is
composed of marble, though gneiss and mica-schist are to be found in a few
places. The capital, Paroekia or Parikia (Italian, Parechia), situated on a
bay on the north-west side of the island, occupies the site of the ancient
capital Paros. Here on a rock beside the sea are the remains of a medieval
castle built almost entirely of ancient marble remains.
The island now belongs to the kingdom of Greece.
MASON BURIED AT SEA
More than two years ago, Robert Weems, who lived in the village
of Hempstead, L. I., and who was a member of Anglo-Saxon Lodge No. 137, F. &
A. M., of Brooklyn, N. Y., died, leaving a will in which he directed that his
body be cremated and the ashes scattered either to the winds, or upon the
surface of the ocean.
On November 7th, 1920, the Master of Anglo-Saxon lodge, Brother
Henry Turner, accompanied by Arthur H. Meyers, Charles H. Engstrom and Howard
Brood, Past Masters, boarded the yacht of D. Baldwin Sanneman at Jones Inlet
and put out to sea, carrying the ashes of their dead brother with them.
A heavy sea was running, but late in the afternoon, when out
beyond the line of the breakers, and while the cold, fitful wind blew the rain
into the faces of the party, the Master of the lodge lowered Brother Deems'
ashes overboard, reciting the Masonic funeral services for committal to the
Audett, New York.
* * *
RAISED BY FATHERS
recent meeting of Trimble Lodge No. 117, of Camden, N. J., five fathers each
raised a son. The youngest of the candidates was twenty-one on the night his
petition was presented to the lodge. The names of the fathers and sons follow:
Garman Franklin S. Garman
Kennedy Wm. R. Kennedy
Johnston Albert Johnston
Jacoby Ehrlen Jacoby
Knisell Harry P. Knisell
Forty-three fathers and fifty-eight sons (including the candidates) were in
attendance at the meeting, which was designated as “Fathers' and Sons' Night.”
addresses were delivered at the meeting, the principal speaker being M.’. W.’.
Brother Cooper H. Prickitt, Grand Master of Masons in New Jersey.
believed that this is the first occurrence of the kind in the history of
Masonry in the United States.
Johnson, New Jersey.
* * *
AT THE RAISING OF A SOLDIER
I now have a pleasant duty to perform, which is not
particularly a part of this degree, but concerns you personally.
Parents are always pleased when their boy becomes a member of
the Masonic Order for they realize that it encircles him with many influences
which must of necessity have a tendency to sustain him in a clean and moral
They know that he comes into contact with as fine a body of men
as society affords, and that the environment will have a strong influence to
hold him in the path of rectitude.
They understand that Masonry's teachings are ennobling, its
ideals lofty; that it restrains the baser qualities of human nature; that it
is uplifting and tends to place a man upon a high plane of activity where he
may rapturously enjoy a life replete with words of cheerfulness, deeds of
greatness and kindness, thus preparing him to become a greater force for the
upbuilding of the community in which he may reside.
My brother, it is with both pleasure and pride that we have
conferred upon you this evening the Sublime Degree of Master Mason; upon you,
who went three thousand miles from home to battle for the rights of the people
against the greedy, unscrupulous, murderous Emperor of Prussia who was
determined to conquer and enslave the world.
You should be proud of the fact that you aided in maintaining
the freedom and independence of France - that country which so generously and
unselfishly aided and assisted our forefathers in winning our independence
more than one hundred years ago, and the country where democracy first
blossomed and bore fruition in Europe. France, where that holy trinity of
Liberty, Fraternity and Equality hurled emperors, princes and nobles from
their despotic thrones and placed the wreath of nobility upon the brows of all
honest men, though to accomplish this end her soil had many times to be
drenched with the blood of her patriotic sons. France, the land where the
great and illustrious Napoleon rose, flourished and fell. We now feel that our
debt to that country has been paid in full, and that you, in offering your
life as a sacrifice on the altars of that country at Verdun, the Marne, and in
Flanders fields, assisted in delivering a clean balance sheet, and fortunately
for yourself and your fliends, you have returned unharmed. We congratulate
My brother, we all are interested in you and your welfare, but
yonder sit two brothers who are more interested than we; they have watched
your progress through the several degrees and now have smiles of satisfaction
on their faces as they behold you having been raised to the Sublime Degree of
a Master Mason.
But, my young brother, in a pleasant home this evening there
sits one who is more keenly, more vitally interested in you and your future
achievements than any other living person. Perhaps she is wondering at this
moment if her boy has yet become a Master Mason, and we might see her face
lighted with a halo of joy as she whispers to herself, “My boy is now entitled
to wear the insignia of that noble Order,” and it is for her, your mother,
that I am addressing these few words to you.
I am told that you are very fond of your mother; that you
anticipate her every wish and administer to her every
I am glad to know this, for in such a young man there are the elements and
qualities that go to the making of a good and worthy Mason.
You may have now, or may win in the future, the esteem and
affection of the noblest of womankind, but she can never bestow upon you the
undying love and devotion of your mother. Often the wife flings a man from her
as she would a reptile, when he becomes guilty of abuse and neglect, but the
mother, never. Even though he sink to the depths of depravity and crime, she
will not desert him; should he become so vile as to fill a felon's cell,
through her tears and sobs she tries to comfort and console him. And should he
be so unfortunate as to have the executioner's rope about his neck, her love
is but stronger, her confidence unshaken, her faith unfaltering - her trust
does not waver, for she sees before her but the innocent face of him to whom
she has sung in happier hours sweet lullabies.
If a mother's love is undaunted in adversity, what must it be
in prosperity? As you climb round after round of success in business or
profession, she is ever at your side to cheer you on. And if, perchance, you
reach the dizzy heights of fame and glory, and receive the plaudits of your
fellow men, she is happier than you as she entwines around your heart the holy
trinity of love, unselfishness and purity.
And now, my brother, on behalf of her whom you love, and who
loves you, I present to you this beautiful emblem. Take it and wear it
throughout a life unstained and unsullied by any ignoble deed but devoted to
the principles of our Order. If ever during your travels from the home
fireside you are tempted to step aside from the path of virtue, look upon this
emblem and remember her who gave it to you. Let it be your guiding star
through life, and a shield from temptation. If you do this, when at last you
shall have reached the end of life's uneven, weary journey and are about to
cross to the shores of eternity, the lights will be white.
P. O. Hopkins, Ohio.
* * *
UPTON'S “NEGRO MASONRY”
Numerous requests for copies of William Henry Upton's “Negro
Masonry” - or as it was first known, “Light on a Dark Subject” - prompt me to
inform the brethren through the columns of THE BUILDER that this is readily
accessible in the 1899 Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Washington. In lieu
of the customary correspondence report, Grand Master Upton's request that his
report on Negro Masonry be published was granted by the Grand Lodge, and this
report is the basis of the book which appeared later. The first edition of
this work was printed from the same plates used in preparing the 1899
Proceedings. A second edition was issued by an eastern printer, and it is this
edition that is best known, as it was issued in larger quantities. I did not
know of the original first edition myself until I picked up an unbound and
untrimmed copy a few years ago.
Brethren interested in the subject should carefully read the
1898, 1899 and 1900 Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Washington. A
regrettable amount of misunderstanding took place when the subject was first
broached, and the fair-minded and discriminating student should not confine
himself to any one issue of these various Proceedings.
Students desiring to know more of Brother Upton should read the
obituary prepared by Past Grand Master John Arthur of this Grand Jurisdiction,
which appeared in the 1907 Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Washington, page
287. Brother Arthur was at one time a law partner of Brother Upton.
Tatsch, Librarian Spokane Masonic Library,
* * *
ADMITTED TO MEMBERSHIP BY THE GRAND LODGE OR GRAND ORIENT OF FRANCE
“A newspaper story of September 28, dated from Paris, contains
the information that French Lodges at a convention voted to receive women into
membership.” This paragraph headed “Women Masons in Paris,” is printed in the
monthly Masonic Bulletin (Cleveland) for November, 1920. It had been given
wide publicity in the newspapers as well as other journals. Usually the
reference is to the Grand Lodge of France.
A copy of the statement so widely circulated in this country
was sent to the Grand Lodge of France as well as to the Grand Orient. Both
replied promptly. The former says under date of November 9:
“We have received your favor of the 29th. We hasten to respond
and would inform you that the National Assembly of the Grand Lodge of France
has not made any such formal decision concerning the admission of women into
Freemasonry, and consequently the rumors now circulating, tending to create a
belief that women are admitted to our lodges, are absolutely devoid of
The Grand Orient of France, under date of November 19, writes
“In reply to your communication of October 29, I have the favor
of informing you that it is incorrect that the admission of women into
Freemasonry has been so voted. That question is yet a matter for study.”
We American Freemasons cannot be too wary in accepting any
statements coming from France or other countries relative to the fraternity.
There is now in France an administration very friendly to many things favored
by most Freemasons and therefore we shall expect to encounter various attacks
upon the good name of the French government as well as upon French Masonry.
Let the reader note for himself how little has appeared in the public press of
late to encourage a better relationship between us and the French. Then if he
also reflects on this one instance that the head of the present government of
France has been active in what over in Europe is called Masonic education,
namely a centralized control by government of all education whatsoever, he
will soon grasp the fact that any agency opposing that object in the United
States is equally sure to fight it in France, and one strong means to do this
is to arouse international prejudice. We must be wary in believing anything
said about foreign Freemasonry and we may wisely be very cautious in accepting
information not received by us from undoubtedly reliable Masonic sources.
Meantime it is well to consider that the paragraph I am considering here has
oft been repeated an it is wholly false. How did it first get into print and
why ? We may be sure that for no good purpose was it given publicity.
Robert I. Clegg, Illinois.
Bagongbuhay. Araw. Silanzanan.
Malinaw. Pin a gsabit an. Ralintawak.
Manila- Named after the city of Manila. Origin: May nilad, a
Tagaglog phrase meaning “place where the nilad plant is to be found.”
Cavite - From kawit, meaning “hook” in Tagalog.
Corregidor - Title of a Spanish magistrate and name of island
at entrance of Manila Bay, the “Gibraltar of the Philippines.”
Bagumbayan - In Tagalog, “New nation,” “New people,” “New
Town.” Name of a place near the Luneta where a number of Filipino Masons were
shot by the Spanish Government in 1896, among them Dr. Jose Rizal.
Island - Name of lodge at Fort Mills, on Corregidor Island.
Biak-na-bato - In Tagalog, “Cleft Rock.” Name of the place
where a treaty between the Spanish Government and the Filipino Insurgents was
signed in 1897.
Cosmos - The conception of Order and Harmony in Masonry.
Iioilo - From “ylog-ylog,” Visayan for “creek.” Name of a city.
Nilad - A plant. (See Manila.)
Walana - “That which has been lost.” (Tagalog.)
Dalisay - “Purity.” (Tagalog.)
Pilar - In Spanish, “Pillar.” This lodge was named after
Marcelo H. del Pilar, an eminent Filipino Mason, patriot, and writer.
Sinukuan - “The ruler or victor.” This is the Tagalog name of
Bagongbuhay - A Tagalog phrase meaning “New Life.”
Araw - The Tagalog word for “Sun” or “Day.”
Silanganan - The Tagalog word for “East,” “Orient,” “Sunrise.”
Rizal (Lopez) - Named after Dr. Jose Rizal, the Filipino Mason,
patriot, and author, executed on the Luneta on Dec. 30, 1896, by instigation
of the Friars.
Dapitan - Name of a place in Mindanao, meaning “Chalky land.”
Here Rizal spent some time in exile.
Solidaridad - Spanish for “Solidarity.”
Banahaw - Name of a mountain in Laguna Province, Luzon.
Milinaw - Tagalog for “Pure, clear, transparent.”
Pinagsabitan - Tagalog for “Place of the hanging.”
Balintawak - This is the place where the Insurrection of 1896
against the Spanish Government, was started.
Zapote - Name of a fruit tree (the “chico”) imported from
Mexico. Lodge was named after the Zapote river, near Bacoor, where several
battles were fought in 1896 and 1899.
Mactan - Name of the Island near Cebu where Magellan, the
discoverer of the Philippines, was killed.
Magdalo - Tagalog for “Deliverer.” This is the name which the
Filipino revolutionaries gave to the municipality of Kawit, Cavite.
Martires del 96 - Spanish for “Martyrs of '96.” Lodge so named
in commemoration of the Filipino patriots who fell in 1896.
Isarog - Name of a mountain in Camarines; means “the only
beloved” (Isa sa irog.)
Linoln - Named after Abraham Lincoln.
Batangas - Name of a town and a province. In Tagalog
La Regeneracium - Spanish for “Regeneration.”
Kalilayan - This is the ancient name of Tayabas provmce.
Bulusan - Name of a mountain in Sorsogon Province.
Maguindanaw - The old name of Mindanao.
Minerva - The Greek goddess of wisdom.
Mabini - Name of a famous Filipino patriot.
Noli Me Tangere - Latin for “Do not touch me.” This is the
title of Rizal's famous novel.
Tayabas - Name of a town and province on Luzon.
Charleston - Named after the U. S. S. Charleston, which took
the surrender of the Spanish garrison of the island of Guam in 1898.
Mount Apo - Name of the highest mountain in Mindanao “Apo”
means “Master,” “Chief,” or “Lord.”
Malolos - Capital of Bulacan province. This town was the
capital of the late Filipino Republic.
Makabugwas - Visayan for “Sunrise,” “East,” “Orient.”
Pampanga - Name of a province in Luzon.
Mainam - ”Fairmount.” (Fair mountain.)
- The name of a high mountain on the Island of Mindanao. A place where the
swallow birds stay and deposit their nests, commonly known “Bird's Nest.”
Pintong-Bato - ”Stone gate.”
- Name of a province on Luzon. Means “Salt place.”
- ”That which was engendered or planted.”
APOSTROPHE TO A SKULL
GERALD A. NANCARROW, INDIANA
that once within this skull held sway;
hands to move, and voice to sing,
to love, and soul to pray,
spirit and a message bring
unknown and mystic way.
magic word or potent thing,
my gaze on greatest need
service now and future meed.
which once from out these sockets saw
nature's proud majestic march,
seeing viewed the whole with awe;
passing, looked through evolution's arch
to fathom nature's law:
O tell if
poplar or if larch
stand along my later way;
point me high or low that day.
that from this mouth did issue clear;
love and anger, faith and doubt;
spoke in courage and in fear,
speaking and to me give out,
tones that I may hear,
to still my spirit's rout.
some line to me be said
conquer my untrusting dread.