The Builder Magazine
July 1921 - Volume VII - Number 7
Memorials to Great Men Who Were Masons
GENERAL DAVID WOOSTER
BY BRO. GEO. W. BAIRD,P.G.M., District of Columbia
GENERAL WOOSTER was born in Stratford, Conn., March 2, 1710,
and died in Danbury, May 2, 1777, where the beautiful marble column,
surmounted by the American eagle has been erected to his memory.
David Wooster was graduated at Yale College in 1732. When war
broke out in 1739 between England and Spain he entered the provincial army as
a lieutenant, and was soon afterward promoted to the captaincy of a vessel
built and armed by the colony as a guarda costa, or coast-guard. At that time
piracy was not uncommon, and pirates and freebooters were taking advantage of
war conditions. In 1740 he married Miss Clapp, daughter of the President of
In 1745 we observe his first movements in military life as a
captain in Colonel Burr's Connecticut Regiment and he distinguished himself in
the expedition against Louisburg. From Cape Breton he went to Europe in
command of a cartel-ship but was not allowed to land in France, so he sailed
for England where he was received with great honors. He was presented to the
king, became a great favorite at court, and was made a captain in the regular
service under Sir William Pepperell. When the French and Indian war began he
was commissioned a Colonel of the Third Connecticut Regiment and was later
promoted to Brigadier General. He served to the end of the War in 1763, and
then became Collector of Customs in New Haven.
Wooster was 65 years of age when the Revolutionary War broke
out and though still holding rank and pension in the British Service, he
resigned them and entered the American Army. He was one of the originators of
the attack on Ticonderoga which was captured and destroyed in 1775. When the
Continental army was organized a few weeks later he received the appointment
of Brigadier-General, third in rank. He was in command in Canada in the spring
of 1776. In the same year he had a command in the unfortunate campaign of
Montgomery, shared in the defeat, and was subjected to a court of inquiry but
was acquitted. Shortly after he was appointed a Major‑General in the
Connecticut Militia. During the winter of 1776-77 he was employed in
protecting his State against the enemy and was in command at Danbury when
Governor Tryon made his attack. Near Ridgefield he led a body, of militia in
pursuit of the invader and in an engagement on Sunday, April 27, 1777, was
fatally wounded by musket-ball.
David Wooster was the first Master of a Mason lodge in
Connecticut, becoming Master of Hiram Lodge in 1750. He took a keen interest
in the Craft, and was regular in attendance to the end of his life. He was the
idol of the brethren of the good old nutmeg State.
ROMAN CATHOLICISM AND FREEMASONRY
BY BRO. DUDLEY WRIGHT, ENGLAND
IN THE YEAR following the release of Coustos - 1744 - the
Madrid Inquisition tribunal sentenced to abjuration de levi and banishment
from Spain, Don Francisco Aurion de Roscobel, Canon of Quintanar, for
membership of the Freemasons.
A Papal Bull to be operative in any country must be published
in that country, and this not having been done in Switzerland, the papal bulls
had no locus standi or authority there, but, in 1745, an astonishing edict was
promulgated by the Council of Berne. It was worded as follows:
"We, the Advoyer, the little and great council of the city and
republic of Berne, make known to all men by these presents: Having learnt that
a certain societys named Freemasons, spreads itself every day more and more
into all the cities and towns under our government, and that the persons who
have joined the said society are received under various solemn engagements,
and even by oath: Wherefore, having seriously reflected upon the consequences
thereof and considered that such meetings and associations are directly
contrary to the fundamental laws and constitutions of our country, and, in
particular, to the protection required on our part to discountenance any
assemblies under our government, without our knowledge and express permission:
Moreover, it has appeared to us, that if an effectual remedy was not
immediately taken, the consequence of that neglect might be dangerous to the
State; For these reasons, and through our paternal affection as much for the
public good and private advantage of all our citizens and subjects, we have
found it absolutely necessary to dissolve and totally abolish the said
society, which we do by these presents; and henceforth, for ever, we forbid,
annul, and abolish in all our territories and districts, to all persons that
now are or shall hereafter come under our dominions; and we do, in the first
place ordain and decree, that all those, our citizens and subjects, who are
actually known to be Freemasons, shall be obliged immediately to adjure by
oath the engagements they have taken in the said society, before the bailiff
or officer of the district where they live, without delay. And as to our
citizens and subjects who actually are Freemasons, and not publicly known to
be such, and who, nevertheless, at present reside in our dominions, or may
hereafter came under our obedience, our sovereign will and pleasure is, that
those who shall be found in our dominions, shall be bound to renounce their
obligation in the space of one month from the date hereof: and those who are
absent must submit to the same terms, to be reckoned from the date of their
return, not only to accuse themselves, but to adjure and renounce their
engagements, those who present themselves in our capital city, to the reigning
Advoyer and in other cities, and in the country, to the bailiff of the place;
and from them they shall receive assurance of safety to their persons, if they
abjure and renounce their obligations without delay, in the same form as all
other Masons are obliged to do.
"Upon failure in any part hereof, they shall all undergo the
punishment hereafter declared. But to the end that no person shall dare, for
the time to come, to entice, tempt, solicit, or be so enticed, tempted, or
solicited, to engage him or themselves, into this same society of Freemasons,
we have thought fit to ordain and decree as follows:
"That all those Masons who shall hold their assemblies in our
dominions, or entice, tempt, or solicit others into their associations, as
well as all our citizens and subjects in our dominions, and elsewhere, as also
those who have been set at liberty, shall for the future frequent such
assemblies, they shall all and every one of them be subjected to the fine of
one hundred crowns, without remission; and likewise be deprived of whatever
place, trust, benefit, or employment he shall now hold; and if they have no
present employment or office, shall be rendered incapable of holding such for
the time to come.
"And touching the place or lodge where these kind of assemblies
are held for the future, the person or persons who shall let or furnish them
with the house, room, or place, for the holding of such lodge, shall be
subjected to the same fine of one hundred crowns; one- third of which to the
informer, one-third to the bailiff of the place, and one-third to the
hospitals, or fund of the poor, where such assemblage shall be held. Let it
be well understood that all offenders who shall leave our dominions, in order
to avoid the payment of the said fine, shall be banished from our dominions
for ever, or till they shall have paid it, upon pain of death. We moreover
reserve at pleasure, to punish with more or less vigour, according to the case
of the person so rendering himself up to our sovereign pleasure, or those who,
notwithstanding their abjuration, shall have again entered into the society,
or frequent any of their assemblies.
"We do finally ordain and command, that all our bailiffs and
ministers of justice do cause these presents to be published in all churches,
and to be affixed up in the accustomed places, and see that these our commands
are strictly and faithfully executed.
"Given in our Great Council the 3rd of March, 1745."
In the same year the Town Council of Geneva renewed an edict
against the Craft which it had issued in the previous year, but of which no
one had taken any notice. The second edict appears also to have had little
effect, for lodges were continually being formed in Geneva though they do not
seem to have been permanent until 1768, when the Lodge of Hearts, the first in
Geneva to keep a Minute Book, was founded. Although there was in France, in
1748, a discussion among the Roman Catholic clergy as to whether a parishioner
who was a Freemason should be permitted to receive the Sacraments, when six
doctors of the Sorbonne passed some resolutions which declared Freemasonry to
be pernicious and bad, the Parlement of Paris refused to register the Bull of
Clement XII, and when, in 1750, the Jubilee attracted crowds of pilgrims to
Rome, so many had to seek that relief on 18th May, 1751, Benedict XIV was led
to revive the Masonic prohibition in his Bull Provides.
The wording of that Bull was as follows:
"Wherein some Societies or Conventicles of Liberi Muratori, or
Freemasons, or however else named, are again condemned and prohibited.
"Benedict, Bishop, Servant of the Servants of God. For the
permanent record of the matter.
"The prudent laws of our predecessors, the Roman Pontiffs, the
vigour of which we fear may either by lapse of time or neglect of man be
weakened or destroyed and that they may have fresh force and full strength,
and we think there is just and weighty cause for their need of strengthening
and confirming by the fresh fortification of our authority.
"It is true that our predecessor of happy memory, Pope Clement
XII, by his Apostolic Letter, dated 28th April, 1738, in the eighth year of
his Pontificate, inscribed to all the faithful in Christ, commencing with the
words In Eminenti, condemned in perpetuity and prohibited all such societies,
meetings, gatherings, clubs, conventicles, or clubs known as Liberi Muratori,
or Freemasons, then widely distributed in various parts, and growing in
strength daily, instructing the faithful in Christ, all and singly, under pain
of excommunication, from which no one could be absolved by any other than the
Roman Pontiff for the time being, except at the hour of death, and that none
should dare or presume to enter societies of this kind, or to propagate,
foster, admit, or conceal them, or be enroled in them, or take part in their
proceedings, and much more to the same effect as may be seen from the Letter
which was as follows."
Then followed in extenso the Bull of Clement XII, as given on
Roman Catholicism and Freemasonry part 2. After this recapitulation, Pope
Benedict XIV proceeded:
"Since, however, as we have heard, there have been some who
have not hesitated to assert and openly contend that the aforesaid penalty of
excommunication imposed by our predecessor, as set forth above, is no longer
effective because the preceding Constitution has not been confirmed by us, as
though the express confirmation of a pontifical successor is required for the
subsistence of Apostolic Constitutions issued by predecessors
"And since also it has been suggested to us some pious and
God-fearing men that with the object of doing away with all quibbling and
subterfuge of quibblers, that we should declare the agreement of our mind and
will with that of our predecessor, and they regard it as highly expedient to
add the support of our confirmation to the Constitution of our predecessor:
"We, although up to the present, whilst we have conceded
absolution to many faithful in Christ who were truly penitent and contrite at
having violated the terms of the same Constitution, and who sincerely promised
that they would wholly withdraw from the condemned Societies or Conventicles,
and never afterwards return to them, both before and especially in Jubilee
year which has just elapsed, and whilst we have granted faculties to
Penitentiaries deputed by us, enabling them in our name and authority to grant
the like absolution to penitents of the same class who applied to them; whilst
also with anxious zeal and vigilance we have not failed to urge that
proceedings should be taken in accordance with the measure their offence
against the violators of the same Constitution, by competent judges and
tribunals - a service, in fact, often rendered - although we have thus given
plain and unquestioned proofs of our sentiments, of our firm and deliberate
will as regards the force subsistence of the censure imposed by our said
predecessor, Pope Clement XII, from which our opinion ought quite plainly to
have been inferred: and if a contrary opinion of us were circulated we might
regard with indifference and contempt and leave our judgment in the hands of
Almighty God, making use of the words which, as is well known, were recited
formerly during sacred actions: 'Grant, Lord, we pray Thee, that we may not
regard the abuse of reprobate liars, but, trampling underfoot the same
wickedness, we implore Thee to suffer us not to be terrified by their abuse,
neither entangled by their treacherous flatteries.' Thus stands in our ancient
Missal, which is ascribed to St. Gelasius, our predecessor, and which was
published that Venerable Servant of God, Joseph Maria Cardinal Thomas, in the
Mass entitled: 'Against them who speak against us.' "Howsoever, lest
anything unwittingly omitted us might seem to have weight, and with the object
of doing away with such false calumny and stopping the same, after hearing the
counsel of some Venerable brethren of the Holy Roman Church, we have decided
on the confirmation by the present document of the same Constitution as our
predecessor, as above, inserting word for word, in the specific form held to
be the amplest and most effective. Accordingly, from certain knowledge, and
in the plentitude of our Apostolic authority, by the tenor of these presents,
in everything and throughout, exactly as if it had first been published in our
own motion and authority and name, we confirm, corroborate, and renew it and
will it to have perpetual force and efficacy, and do so decree.
"Furthermore, among the gravest causes of the before mentioned
prohibition and condemnation set forth in the Constitution inserted above, one
is that men of every religion and sect are associated together in the
societies and conventicles of this character; from which circumstance it is
obvious how great an injury may be inflicted on the purity of the (Roman)
Catholic Religion; a second is the close and impenetrable bond of secrecy
whereby the proceedings of such Conventicles are kept hidden, to which may
deservedly be applied the sentiment expressed by Caecilius Natalis in Minucius
Felix, in a very different cause: 'Things honourable always delight in
publicity: crimes are secret.' A third is the oath whereby the members bind
themselves to keep a secret of the kind inviolably; as though it where lawful
for anyone under pretext of any promise or oath, to protect himself from being
bound to confess, when questioned by legitimate authority, all that is
demanded for the purpose of ascertaining whether anything is done in
Conventicles of this character contrary to the existence of religion, the
state, and the laws. A fourth is that Societies of this description are known
to be in opposition to civil no less than canonical sanctions, for it is well
known that by Civil Law all Colleges and Sodalities are prohibited if formed
irrespective of public authority, as may be seen in the 47th Book of the
Pandects, Tit. 22: 'On Unlawful Colleges and Corporations,' and in the
well-known epistle of Caius Plinius Secundus, Book X, 87, in which he says
that, by his edict, in accordance with the mandate of the Emperor, the
formation of Heteriae was forbidden, that is to say, the formation and holding
of Societies and Conventicles without the authority of the Prince. A fifth is
that already in many quarters the said Societies and Meetings have been
banished and proscribed by the laws made by secular princes. Lastly, because
these same Societies were of ill repute among wise and virtuous men, and, in
their judgment, all who joined them incurred the brand of depravity and
"Our same predecessor, in concluding the above inserted
Constitution, calls on the Bishops, higher Prelates, and other local
Ordinaries not to omit, for its due execution, if need be the invocation of
the secular arm.
"These injunctions, all and singly, are not only approved and
confirmed by us and commended and enjoined on the same Ecclesiastical
Superiors, but we ourselves also in accordance with our duty of Apostolic
solicitude, by our present letters, invoke the aid of all secular powers and
their assistance in carrying into effect the measures above set forth, and we
most urgently demand it, since the Sovereign Princes and Powers have been
chosen by God to be Defenders of the Faith and Protectors of the Church; and
since it is their duty by all reasonable means to show the obedience due to
the Apostolic Constitutions, and the fullest observance of them; whereof they
have been reminded by the Fathers of the Council of Trent, Session xxv, cap.
20, long before in the excellent declaration of the Emperor Charlemagne in
Tit. 1, C. 2, of his Capitularies, where, after demanding from all his
subjects observance of Ecclesiastical Sanctions, he adds: 'For we can in no
way recognize how men can be faithful to us who have shewn themselves
disobedient to their own priests, and unfaithful to God.' Wherefore, enjoining
on all ministers and agents of government absolutely to enforce due obedience
to the laws of the Church, he announced the severest penalty against those who
neglected to grant it adding, amongst other things: 'But, whoever amongst them
(which God forbid) shall neglect and be disobedient to these laws, let them
know that they neither continue to hold office in our Empire, even though they
should be our own children, nor have place in the Palace, nor keep company nor
any communication with us and ours, but rather shall they undergo punishment
in solitude and wretchedness.'
"Further, we will that the same credit be given to copies of
these presents, under the subscription of some Public Notary and guaranteed by
the Seal of a Person of Ecclestical Dignity, exactly as would have been given
to the original letter if produced and exhibited.
"Let no man, therefore, regard it as lawful to infringe or with
rash daring contravene this document of our confirmation, renewal, approval,
charge, appeal, requisition, decree, and will. And if anyone presume to
attempt this, let him know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God, of
Saints Peter and Paul, and of the Apostles.
"Dated from Rome, St. Mary the Greater, A. D. 1751, 18th May,
in the 11th year of our Pontificate." (Signed)
"Registered in the Secretariat of the Briefs, A. D., 18th May,
in the 11th year of the Pontificate of the Most Holy in Christ, our Father and
Lord Benedict XIV, by Divine Providence Pope. Accordingly, the above mentioned
Constitution was affixed and published on the doors of the Lateran Basilica,
and of the Chief of the Apostles, and in other customary and usual places by
me, Francis Bartolotti, Apostolic Pursuivant."
The Bull was published in various dioceses, though not
throughout the Catholic world, and, therefore, was only partially operative,
and did not call for universal obedience among Roman Catholics, for, as
already stated, a Bull only becomes operative in its Provisions and demands
and obligations when and where published.
When the Bull was published in a diocese it was always
accompanied with a letter from the Archbishop or Bishop. The following copy
of the Ordinance issued by the Archbishop of Avignon may be taken as a sample
of these communications:
"Ordinance for the publication of the Bull of our Holy Father
Pope Benedict XIV, which condemns and forbids anew the Societies of so-called
Freemasons, invoking the arm and aid of Princes and secular Powers.
"JOSEPH DE GUYON DE CROCHANS, by the grace of God and of the
Apostolic See, Archbishop of Avignon.
"TO THE CLERGY, Secular and Regular, and to all the Faithful of
our diocese, Greeting and Benediction in our Lord Jesus Christ.
"We have long lamented, my very dear brethren, in the privacy
of our heart, the surprising blindness of some amongst you who allowing
themselves to be seduced by the artifices of the Devil, and giving way to the
deceptive zest for unhappy novelty, rashly engage in the Societies of
so-called Freemasons, and persist obstinately in so doing, in spite of the
prohibition which has been issued by the Apostolic See under the most terrible
of ecclesiastical penalties, Major Excommunication reserved for the Supreme
"The sacred Jubilee, which appears to have revived the faith
and religion nearly extinct in many among you, causing a cessation of secret
assemblies of these suspected associations, had raised the hope in us that we
had happily seen the end of them among our flock. The Constitution which our
Holy Father Pope Benedict XIV, happily reigning, has just published against
these same Societies will, as we hope, destroy them entirely and crown our
"We hasten, my very dear brethren, to acquaint you with this
Bull, so worthy of its author: you will see in it fresh marks of the zeal and
wisdom of this great Pontiff whom the Christian universe does not cease to
admire, you will see in it the solemn confirmation of the Bull which his
predecessor, Pope Clement XII, of happy memory, had promulgated in the year
1738 against the Societies of so-called Freemasons, and those among you who
may still be of that number, cannot avoid being seriously alarmed at having
merited the thunders of the Church.
"For this it is necessary to give you a precis of the contents
of the Bulls of these great Popes. They concur unanimously in overwhelming
you with the weight of their authority if you have the misfortune to continue
still in Societies solemnly condemned by the Vicar of Jesus Christ.
"It is, then, in virtue of holy obedience, that the successor
of the Apostle Peter lays strict commands on all and each of the Faithful, of
whatever age, rank, condition, order, dignity, and preeminence, be they laics,
be they clerics, be they seculars, be they regulars, though they might claim
to have express and individual mention made of them, that none of them under
any colour or pretext whatever, venture or presume to introduce, adhere to,
and maintain the Societies of so-called Freemasons, or by whatever name they
are called; or to receive and shelter them in their houses or elsewhere; or to
engage in them, associate in them, be present at them; or to give permission
or facility for assembling there; or to provide them with anything, or to give
them advice, help, or favour in any matter whatever, of oneself or through
another, directly or indirectly in public or in private; or to exhort, induce,
and encourage others to enrol themselves in these Societies, or to persuade
them to join them, be present at them, or to help and support them in any
manner; but that they shall be bound to keep wholly aloof from these
Societies, Aggregations, Companies, and Conventicies under pain of
Excommunication, incurred by the mere fact, without there being need of formal
notice; from which there can be no absolution, except on the point of death,
unless by the Supreme Pontiff.
"The reasons for a prohibition and condemnation so express,
which His Holiness is graciously pleased to state in his Bull are worthy of
his wisdom, and well fitted to induce you to renounce altogether practices the
improprieties and dangers of which they so earnestly set forth.
"The first of these reasons is that from men of every kind of
religion and sect uniting together, and binding one another in these Societies
and Assemblies, the purity of the (Roman) Catholic religion, the sole verity,
cannot but suffer, sooner or later, great injury.
"The second is the strict law of impenetrable secrecy under
which all that goes on in such assemblies is carefully concealed.
"The third is the oath by which one engages to keep the secret
inviolably, as though it were permitted under any pretext of promise or oath
whatever to shield oneself from making complete avowal when interrogated by
lawful authority in order to ascertain whether anything is done in their
assemblies that may be contrary to Religion or State.
"The fourth is that Societies of this kind are not less opposed
to Civil Laws than to the Canonical and Ecclesiastical Ordinances, the Civil
Law prohibiting Societies which are formed without public authority.
"The fifth is that these Societies and these Conventicles have
already been proscribed and banished from several states by the authority of
"Finally, the last of these reasons is that these same
Associations and Assemblies are thought ill of by the wise and virtuous, and
that in their judgment whoever connects himself with them, gives occasion to
suspect him of irregularity and disorder.
"Pope Clement XII, in his Constitution of 1738, had ordered
Bishops, Higher Prelates, and other local Ordinaries, as well as the
Inquisitors of the Faith, to seek out diligently violators of the
Constitution, to proceed against them, of whatever age, rank, condition,
order, dignity, and preeminence they were, and to punish them with suitable
penalties, as being strongly suspected of heresy, giving with that object free
power to invoke, if necessary, the aid of the secular arm. His Holiness renews
to us today the command of his predecessor and as a result of his Apostolic
solicitude, he urgently invokes the aid and support of Catholic Princes, for
the execution of his Bull in their dominions; he tells them they are set by
God to be defenders of the Faith, and Protectors of the Church, and to animate
their zeal to fulfil these glorious functions. His Holiness reminds them of
these beautiful words of the pious Emperor Charlemagne in the first Tit. of
his Capitularies, Ch. 2: 'We cannot possibly recognize as faithful to us those
who show themselves unfaithful to God and to their priests.'
"Such, my very dear brethren, is the ardent zeal which our Holy
Father the Pope exhibited for the destruction of the societies and Assemblies
"For these reasons, in pursuance of the intentions and orders
of His Holiness, and in execution of his Bull, we order that it be published
at the altar of each parish of this city, and that all, those who are engaged
in the Societies or Assemblies of these so- called Freemasons, or called by
whatever name, withdraw from them altogether, and for ever renounce them with
true repentance for having ever taken part in them, that for this purpose they
address themselves to Us or to the Reverend Father Inquisitor, or to one of
our Vicars General, that they furnish absolutely unequivocal marks of their
perfect obedience to the voice of the Vicar of Jesus Christ, and that they put
themselves in a state to profit by the grace of the Jubilee just expiring, to
receive absolution from the Excommunication reserved for the Holy See, which
they have unhappily incurred.
"And since we cannot be ignorant that there is in this city a
book in manuscript containing the rules of these Societies of so-called
Freemasons, as well as the signatures of those who have joined them, we
strictly command, under penalty of Excommunication, that it be given
unreservedly into our hands, or those of the Reverend Father Inquisitor; and
we likewise command under the same penalty those who know where the book is,
without delay, to inform us or the Reverend Father Inquisitor, or one of our
"If anyone, which God forbid, is so blind and hardened as to
continue still in these Societies of so-called Freemasons, or called by
another name, let him know that we will proceed against him with the utmost
rigor of the Law.
"And this our present Command shall be read and published at
the altars of the Parishes, and in all the Communities of men, Secular and
Regular, and affixed to the doors of the Metropolitan Church, and of the
"Given at Avignon in our Archiepiscopal Palace, July 22nd,
(Signed) Joseph, Archbishop of Avignon, "per Monseigneur
It may be explained that the term "Regular" is applied to a
cleric member of any of the Religious Orders or Congregations, and the term
"Secular" to one who is in holy orders, but not a member of any Religious
Order or Congregation.
It has been stated by some writers that the Pope was instigated
to issue this Bull by the solicitations of the King of Naples and others
because, being himself a Freemason, having been initiated into the Order some
years previously, he might, by such means, stifle suspicion and calm the minds
of the bigoted, ignorant, and weak.
Bower says that Benedict XIV was a man of untainted character,
of extraordinary parts, and in every respect worthy of and equal to so high a
station. He undertook in the very beginning the Herculean labour of cleansing
the Church as well as the court, and extirpating the many crying abuses that
had taken deep root in both. But his diminishing the number of festivals, his
abolishing some vain and senseless ceremonies, his dislike of the grosser
superstitions that prevailed in the Church, and his undisguised disapprobation
of the many pious, or rather, impious, frauds, countenanced or connived at by
his predecessors, gave great offence to sone bigoted Cardinals and procured
for him the odious denomination of the Protestant Pope from the deluded
multitude. He was a generous and munificent encourager of learning and himself
a most learned writer."
One immediate result of the publication of this Bull was that
the Order was reanimated in Naples and the members of the Fraternity became
more numerous and zealous than ever before. At first, however, Charles III of
Naples, influenced by the Bull, prohibited Freemasonry throughout his
dominions, but so soon changed his views that in the following year - 1752 -
he entrusted his son's education to a Freemason and priest, whom he also
appointed to be his own confessor.
The Bull of Benedict XIV gave fresh courage to the clergy
surrounding the Austrian throne, and renewed efforts to suppress Freemasonry
were made. The Empress, however, although she is said to have been bitterly
opposed to the Craft, held her hand and it is stated, with some show of
authority, that she visited a lodge in company with one of her ladies, both
disguised as men, in order to assure herself that none of the fair sex were
admitted to the Order. Having satisfied herself on this point she retired.
In Spain, Fernando VI, immediately on the publication of the
Bull, issued a pragmatica in which he forbade the formation of lodges under
pain of the royal indignation and punishment: all judges were required to
report delinquents and all commanders of armies and fleets to dismiss with
dishorror any culprits discovered in the service. One Tournon, a Frenchman,
resident in Spain, was convicted of practising the rites of Freemasonry and
after a tedious confinement in the dungeons of the Inquisition, was finally
banished from the kingdom. On the 2nd of July, 1751, Father Joseph Torrubia,
a member of the Inquisition, obtained from Ferdinand - VI a decree condemning
Freemasons to death without the benefits of a trial of any kind. It is stated
that he traitorously caused himself to be initiated into the Order so that he
might be in a position to betray the members of the Inquisition. There is a
report of his still extant which mentions that there were at that time no
fewer than ninety-seven lodges in Spain.
(To be continued)
When the Sun Runs Low
By Bro. L.B. Mitchell, Michigan
Every season shows its best and 'tis left for us to see,
What in special things they mean to the soul's mentality.
E'en the winter brings its gleam to the frosty, sparkling snow,
That is nature's brightest seen, when the sun runs low.
And 'tis then that 'neath the porch as the sun creeps to the
That a vision comes to me that the summer days deny;
For it through my window gleams in its kaleidoscopic glow
In its glory round the room, when the sun runs low.
And it really seems to me that when nature's heart so kind
Trusts all to us to be in our consciousness refined,
'Tis for us when the outdoors, changed from color to the snow
To respond to that which comes when the sun runs low.
And 'twould also seem that this, nature's compensating plan,
Holds the beautiful in trust for its consciouas creature, man.
For when comes his afternoon with its sunset's golden glow
It should bring the thought of rest when the sun rus low.
THE FIRST RECORDED INITIATION IN ENGLAND
BY BRO. DUDLEY WRIGHT, ENGLAND
"At Neucastell the 20 day off May, 1641. The quilk day ane
serten nomber off Mester and others being lafule conveined, doeth admit Mr the
Right Honerabell Mr Robert Moray, General quarter Mr to the Armie of Scotlan,
and the same bing aproven be the hell Mester off the Mesone of the Log off
Edenroth, quherto they heaue set to ther handes or markes. A. Hamilton, R.
Moray, Johne Mylln. James Hamilton."
THUS RUNS the entry of the first ascertained recorded Masonic
initiation on English soil into Speculative Freemasonry. It is the record of
the initiation of one of the most remarkable men of his time. His name, by
writers other than himself - for he always signed his name in bold characters
as "R. Moray" - is spelt variously as Moray, Murray, and Murrey, and a
singular mistake occurs in the standard edition of Evelyn's Diary, where the
entries occur as "Murray," while in the Correspondence, the only letter that
appears from Moray is, of course, signed in the correct manner, with the
result that both forms appear in the General Index. In Chester's Registers of
Westminster he is described as a son of Sir Robert Moray of Craigie, by a
daughter of George Halket, of Pitferran, but Burke's History of the Landed
Gentry and other authoritative works of reference state that he was a son of
Sir Mungo Murray, and this undoubtedly is correct.
Sir Robert Moray was a descendant of an ancient and noble
Highland family. He was educated partly at the University of St. Andrew's and
partly in France, in which country he secured military employment under Louis
XIII. He gained very high favour with Cardinal Richelieu, to such a degree
that French historians have remarked that few foreigners were so highly
esteemed by that great minister as was he. It was possibly through the
influence of the all-powerful Cardinal-statesman that Moray was raised to the
rank of Colonel in the French army. When, however, the difficulties of Charles
I increased, Moray returned to Scotland and was appointed General of Ordnance
when the Presbyterians first set up and maintained their government. He was
in charge of the Scottish army at Newcastle at the time of his initiation,
which took place two months before that city was evacuated by the soldiers.
Moray was knighted at Oxford on 10th of January, 1643, by Charles I.
Moray was also on good terms with Mazarin and fought with his
regiment in Germany, and, in 1645, he was made a prisoner of war in Bavaria.
About the same time he was appointed Colonel of the Scotch regiment in
succession to James Campbell, Earl of Irvine, and he was nominated by the
Scots as a secret envoy to negotiate a treaty between France and Scotland, by
which it was proposed to attempt the restoration of Charles I. His release in
Bavaria was therefore obtained and he returned to England. In December, 1646,
when Charles was with the Scottish army in Newcastle, Moray prepared a scheme
for the escape of the king. One, William Moray, afterwards Earl of Dysert,
provided a vessel at Tynemouth, onto which Sir Robert Moray was to conduct the
king, who was to assume a disguise. The king put on the disguise and even
went down the back stairs with Sir Robert, but fearing that it would scarcely
be possible successfully to pass all the guards without being discovered "and
judging it highly indecent," says Burnet, "to be taken in such a condition, he
changed his resolution and went back"
After the accession of Charles II to the throne of Scotland,
Moray, in May, 1651, was appointed Justice-clerk, an office which had been
vacant since the deprivation of Sir John Hamilton, in 1649. A few days
afterwards, he was sworn as a privy councillor, and, in the following month,
was nominated a lord of session, though he never officiated as a judge. His
various appointments were, however, merely nominal, in order to secure his
support to the government, particularly if it be true, as Wood asserts, that
"he was presbyterianly affected." His uncle, the Rev. John Moray, was a great
opponent of the bishops and suffered imprisonment for his opinions. However,
at the Restoration, Sir Robert Moray was re-appointed justice-clerk and a lord
of session, in addition to being made one of the lords auditors of the
The Royal Society may be said to have been founded by Moray: it
was certainly the outcome of suggestions made by him, and Bishop Burnet says
that "while he lived he was the life and soul of the Royal Society."
A quibble has frequently been raised over the statement made by
writers that Moray was the first president of the Royal Society, since the
name of Viscount Brouncker appears in that capacity on the Charter. Moray was
the sole president of the Society from its first formal meeting on 28th
November, 1660, until its incorporation on 15th July, 1662, with the exception
of one month from 14th May to 11th June, 1662, during which short period Dr.
Wilkins occupied that honourable position, though in a Latin letter addressed
to M. de Montmor, president of the Academy at Paris, dated 22 July, 1661, he
styled himself "Societatis ad Tempe Praeses." Nor is too much to say that it
was through his influence the charter of incorporation was obtained. He was
the bearer of the message from Charles II to the effect that his Majesty
Approved the objects of the Society and was willing to encourage it and,
generally he was the organ of communication between the king and the Society.
Moray was also the prime mover in the framing of the statutes and regulations.
Wood, the well-known Oxford historian, states that he was "a
single man and an abhorrer of woman," but here he is in error, for he married
the Hon. Sophia Lindsay, elder daughter of the first Earl of Balcarres, who
died, without issue, at Edinburgh, and was buried at Balcarres on 11th
January, 1653. If the daughter inherited the tastes and pursuits of her
father, the marriage must, indeed, have been a felicitous one, since it is
recorded that Sir David Lindsay, the first Earl of Balcarres, "chose a private
life without ambition, was learned, and had the best collection of books in
his time and was a laborious chymist. There is in the library of Balcarres
ten volumes written by his own hand upon the then fashionable subject of the
philosopher's stone." He was raised to the peerage when Charles I visited
Scotland in June, 1633.
After the death of his wife, which apparently affected him
greatly, Moray lived, apart from his philosophical meetings, a hermit-like
existence. In a letter dated 23rd February, 1658, he wrote to a friend who
had accused him of being in love:
"If you think no more of a mistress not take more pains to look
after one than I do, I know not why one may not think that you may lead apes
among your fellow virgins when you dy. You never maet with such a cold wooer
as I: since ever I came to this place I never visited male nor female but two
or three cousins, and they never three times. The truth is I never go out of
doors but to the church except I have some glasses to make, and then I go to
the glass house. Nor do I receive visits from anybody once in two months,
except it be the commander, so that I am here a very hermit."
In his correspondence with Kincardin during that year (1658),
he describes how he was making chemical experiments on a large scale. At one
period, when he was at Maestricht, he had two rooms with a kitchen and cellar.
One of the first he converted into a laboratory and there he spent his days in
perfect content. "You never saw such a shop as my laboratory," he wrote, "so
there's a braw name for you, though means matters." He constantly speaks of
his chemical labours in the language of an enthusiast. "It is somewhat
considerable that I afford you such volumes in the amount of my chemicall
operations. I have had seven stills going these two days with one fire, most
upon juniper berries, some with water, some with sack, and some dry."
Moray was naturally of a retiring disposition. During a
portion of his life he was called upon to take up a prominent position, but he
never cared to be "in the limelight" in politics and he did his best to keep
out of the political arena altogether. His books, his chemical furnaces and
retorts, his music, his medical and mechanical investigations, and his
philosophical friends were more to him than "such stuff," as he once
impatiently caged politics. He was happier, far more satisfied to be
President of the Royal Society than Deputy Secretary for Scotland, Lord of
Commission, or Privy Councillor. There are few characters in history,
particularly among those who have undertaken peculiarly difficult, and even
dangerous, diplomatic tasks, so generally revered as was Sir Robert Moray.
Birch, one of the historians of the Royal Society,describes him as being
"universally loved and esteemed and eminent for his piety, spending many hours
a day in devotion in the midst of armies and courts. He had an equality of
temper in him that nothing could alter, and was in practice a stoic, with a
tincture of one of the principles of that sect, the persuasion of absolute
decrees. He had a most diffused love to mankind and delighted in every
occasion of doing good, which he managed with great zeal and discretion. His
comprehension was superior to that of most men. He was considerably skilled
in mathematics and remarkably so in the history of nature."
Nor is Birch a solitary appreciator of his character. Bishop
Burnet, a historian of higher rank, styled him the "wisest and worthiest man
of his age"; and, on another occasion, he wrote: "I have every joy that next
to my father I owe more to him than to any other man." To Evelyn he was a "deare
and excellent friend"; Sheldon, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was absolutely
won by his charm of manner; Pepys speaks of him as "a most excellent man of
reason and learning, and understands the doctrine of music and everything else
I could discourse of very finely"; while his sovereign and personal friend,
King Charles II, tersely gave expression to his independence of character by
the statement that he (Moray) was "head of his own church." A writer in the
Scottish Review for January, 1885, said: "To the beautiful and remarkable
character of Robert Moray justice has yet to be done. Few men of so strong
and decided a personality have left behind them so little trace upon the
public documents of their time: except in a few Privy council letters his
signature does not appear at all." A writer in the Biographica Britannica says
that "his general character was excellent in the highest degree. He was
beloved and esteemed by men of every party and station."
But these expressions of opinion found some exception. Was
ever man placed in a position of responsibility and influence who did not
encounter enemies? From 1660 to 1670 the infifience of Moray affected the
whole course of the Scottish government, and he guided, controlled, and
supported Lauderdale against the cabals that were formed to oust him. Thus it
was that Sharp, Alexander Burnet, and other apostles of repression came to
look upon him as an enemy to be dreaded, and one, Lord Glencairn, made an
attempt to break and ruin him. A letter was pretended to be found at Antwerp,
as written by him to one William Murray, formerly whipping-boy to Charles I.
This letter gave an account of a bargain alleged to have been made by Moray
with another man for murdering the king, the plan to be put into execution by
William Murray. Sir Robert was questioned and put under arrest, and the
rumour got abroad that he had intended to kill the king, but, says Burnet, the
historian, "upon this occasion Sir Robert practised in a very eminent manner
his true Christian philosophy without showing so much as a cloud in his whole
It was in the society of such men as Andrew Marvell, John
Evelyn, and Robert Moray that Charles II loved to linger; his delight was not,
as some have asserted, in consorting with less noble types of humanity. Wood
is of opinion that the degree of intimacy existing between Charles II and Sir
Robert Moray was probably more upon a philosophical than a political basis
"for he was employed by Charles II in his chemical processes and was indeed
the conductor of his laboratory." Birch says that it was Moray who first
interested the sovereign in philosophical pursuits. Charles II was a frequent
visitor to the laboratory in Whitehall, which, though nominally Moray's
workshop, is said to have been conducted by him for and on behalf of the king,
and there may be truth in the opinion more than once expressed that Charles II
was also a royal initiate of the ancient and honourable order known as
Freemasons. In any case, assuming, which is very unlikely and improbable,
that Sir Robert Moray was the first non- operative to be initiated into the
mysteries of the Craft in England, Freemasonry has no reason to be ashamed
when it looks to the rock whence it was hewn.
Moray was the friend and benefactor of the well-known mystic,
Thomas Vaughan, who, says Wood, settled in "London under the protection and
patronage of that noted chymist, Sir Robert Murray, or Moray, Knight,
Secretary of State for the kingdom of Scotland." At the time of the plague,
Vaughan accompanied Moray to Oxford and the latter was with Vaughan when he
died there. Vaughan was buried in the church of Aldbury, or Oldbury, about
eight miles from the university city, "by care and charge of the said Sir
Robert Moray." This was in 1673, shortly before Moray's own death and but a
few hours after he had informed Wood of the passing of Vaughan.
Moray's life came to an end in a very sudden manner. It
occurred on 4th July, 1673, and Burnet, recording the event, wrote: "How much
I lost in so critical a conjuncture, being bereft of the truest and
faithfullest friend I had ever known: and so I say I was in danger of
committing great errors for want of so kind a monitor."
Under date of 6th July, 1673, Evelyn wrote in his Diary: "This
evening I went to the funeral of my dear and excellent friend, that good man
and accomplished gentleman, Sir Robert Murray, Secretary of Scotland. He was
buried by order of his Majesty in Westminster Abbey," and then he added in a
footnote: "He delighted in every occasion of doing good. He had a superiority
of genius and comprehension." Moray was not only buried in the Abbey by the
King's express command, but also at the King's personal expense. His grave is
by the Vestry, door, close to the grave of Sir William Davenant, sometime
laureate to Charles II; the name appearing in the register as "Sir Robert
His memory remained green with John Evelyn, for six years
afterwards - on 11th July, 1679 - writing to Dr. Beale, he said, referring to
the Royal Society: "You know what pillars we have lost, Palmer [Dudley Palmer,
d. 1666, one of the first council, with Moray, of the Royal Society], Moray,
Chester [Dr. John Wilkins, Bishop of Chester], Oldenburg, etc."
Evelyn made frequent mention of Moray in his Diary, as will be
seen from the following excerpts:
"9th March, 1661. I went with that excellent person and
philosopher, Sir Robert Murray, to visit Mr. Boyle at Chelsea, and saw divers
effects of the coliple for weighing air."
"9th May, 1661. At Sir Robert Murray's, where I met Dr.
Wallis, Professor of Geometry at Oxford, where was discourse of several
"22nd August, 1662 (the day after Evelyn was sworn one of the
Council of the Royal Society), I dined with my Lord Brouncker and Sir Robert
"25th January, 1665. This night being at Whitehall his Majesty
came to me standing in the withdrawing room, and gave me thanks for publishing
The Mystery of Jesuitism, which he said he had carried two days in his pocket,
read it, and encouraged me; at which I did not a little wonder; I suppose Sir
Robert Murray had given it to him."
"19th July, 1670. I accompanied my worthy friend, that
excellent man, Sir Robert Murray, with Mr. Slingsby, Master of the Mint, to
see the latter's seat and estate at Barrow-Green in Cambridgeshire."
Wood, recording the demise of Moray, wrote: "He had the king's
ear as much as any other person and was indefatigable in his undertakings. . .
. He was most renowned chymist, a great patron of the Rosi-Crucians, and an
excellent mathematician. His several relations and matters of experiment,
which are in the Philosophical Transactions (of the Royal Society, many of
which referred to the phenomena of the tides) show him to be a man well vers'd
in experimental philosophy."
After his initiation into the Craft there is only one other
record of his attendance at a meeting of the Lodge of Edinburgh, which was on
27th July, 1647, on the occasion of the admission of "William Maxwell, doctor
off Fisick ordinate to his Maj'stie hines," when he signed the minute of the
meeting. ln his correspondence, however, he frequently made use of his Masonic
mark (a five-pointed star), particularly in his correspondence with
Lauderdale, and this has been reproduced in the Lauderdale Papers without
comment, beyond the mere statement that Moray frequently made use of his Mason
mark when he referred to himself or had anything of importance to
communicate. If this had been an unusual occurrence in correspondence at that
day one would think that more notice would have been taken of such an
An interesting story might be woven around "Moray and his
Circle," for the men who composed that circle bore names which are familiar to
every student of the history of the Craft. Such men as Wren, Ashmole,
Brouncker, and others, all of whom are accredited with having been initiated
into Freemasonry. Moray's name, together with that of Christopher Wren, is to
be met with on almost every page of the early volumes of the Journal of the
It is also of interest - may it not even be said, of
significance - to compare the constitutions of the Royal Society with those of
the Masonic Order. Sprat, the earliest historian of the Royal Society, says
that they freely admitted men of different religions, countries, and
professions. "This they were obliged to do, or else they would come far short
of the largeness of their own declarations. For they openly profess not to lay
the foundation of an English, Scotch, Irish, Popish, or Protestant Philosophy,
but a Philosophy of Mankind." Members were elected by ballot, being proposed
at one meeting and balloted for at another. The duties of the President were
to call and dissolve the meetings, to propose the subjects for discussion or
experiment, to regulate the proceedings, to change the enquiry from one thing
to another, to admit the members elected. The President, on his installation,
took an oath as follows: "I . . . do promise to deal faithfully and honestly
in all things belonging to the Trust committed to me, as President of the
Royal Society of London for improving Natural Knowledge. So help me God."
Whatever, however, may be the deductions on this ground, it will
unhesitatingly be admitted that none could more have sought the study of the
liberal arts and sciences that came within the compass of his attainment than
did Brother Sir Robert Moray, the first known initiate into the Craft of
Freemasonry on English soil.
MASONRY IN GREECE
BY BRO. B.T. CANACARI ROUFO, GREECE
IT WILL be difficult for our American brethren, citizens of
such a progressive nation as the U.S.A., to understand the feeling of
antipathy and hate - caused by ignorance and superstition - with which
Freemasonry is viewed by all classes in Greece. Unfortunately the Turkish
rule, extending over a period of more than five hundred years, made education
amongst the Hellenes almost impossible. What little education was given, was
through the devotion of the priests who taught their pupils at night, in
lonely caves or cellars, so as to escape the vigilant eye of the Turkish
soldiery, ever ready to massacre and destroy the "unbelieving Giaour." The
priests themselves were often fairly illiterate, but were fired with such
patriotic enthusiasm as to keep the feelings of this enslaved people in a
state of constant revulsion against the barbarous Turkish yoke.
We all know that ignorance is the mother of superstition and,
unfortunately, Freemasonry in Greece has much to fight against in that line.
As an example I will mention the idea an old servant of ours has concerning
Freemasons; she came to me one day very shocked, almost terrified, to ask me
if it were true that I was a Mason, as she had been told that the Masons
commit sacrilege by putting the church ikons in a row and then kicking them
with their right leg! Why precisely the right leg, I could not find out, but
that remained her unshakable belief, despite all my attempts to prove the
Some years ago there was a flourishing lodge in the town of
Patras which worked secretly owing to the feeling against Masonry. However,
one evening whilst the lodge was sitting, the alarm was given just in time for
the members to escape, some of them being obliged to jump frown the windows,
owing to their place of meeting having been discovered and the house set on
fire and burned down.
Freemasonry was first introduced into Greece by Brother
Dimitrius Rhodcanaki, who had lived many years in London and who was a
personal friend of the then Prince of Wales, afterwards King Edward VII. He
was initiated there and was promoted later to the highest degrees. Later on,
before returning to settle in his native country, he obtained the permission
to found a Supreme Council of 33d of A.'. and A.'. Scottish Rite in Athens,
which Supreme Council he did indeed found in 1872, after having first founded
the Grand Orient of Greece in 1868, and which was recognized by the principal
Masonic powers of the world. Unfortunately petty quarrels and
misunderstandings later on brought dissension into the fraternity and for many
years Freemasonry labored not only under external warfare, but also under
internal misunderstandings, which discord, despite repeated attempts at
reconciliation, finally brought about the closing down of all the lodges and
the complete ceasing of all Masonic work in 1906.
However, the true Masonic spirit was too strong in a great
number of the brethren to allow for the total eclipse of Masonry in Greece,
and within the same year (1906) a committee of the Worshipful Masters of the
former lodges was convoked to insist upon the reorganization of the Grand
Orient and Supreme Council, and of the reopening of the lodges. The committee
consisted of the following:
Brother Th. Zacharopoulos, W.M., Lodge Marathon.
Brother G. Cephalas, W.M., Lodge Panhellenic.
Brother S. Nagos, W.M., Lodge Promethus.
Brother Ar. Schortzanitis, W.M., Lodge Rigas Ferraios.
Brother Const. Angelopoulos, W.M., Lodge Skenderbeys.
The Grand Orient of Greece, which is dogmatically under the
Confederate Supreme Hellenic Council, 33d, was greeted and recognized by the
Masonic world. It opened its works in a new house, properly and suitably
furnished (always allowing for great lack of means) on September 15, 1907.
Since that time Freemasonry has made great strides in the
promulgation of the Masonic idea. Especially since the World War was at its
height, the demand for initiation has been so great as to make it almost
impossible to keep up with the rush. There are five lodges working in Athens,
besides the Lodges of Perfection and the Chapters "Heredom," two of which "The
Phoenix," with Brother Dr. Y. Margaritis, Grand Secretary, a most learned and
industrious Mason, as W.'. M.'., who, despite the strenuous calling of a
physician, manages by working late into the night to give interesting and
instructive addresses very often in his lodge, and also in the Lodge
Skenderbeys, under Brother N. Noe, who is also an indefatigable W.'. M.'., is
working at high pressure. The Lodge Miaoutis is also making excellent progress
at Piraeus, where there is a Chapter as well.
In Salonica the Masonic movement is exceptionally good, owing
to the amount of European commerce which passes through the port. Also the
Municipal Council has voted the gift of a central and exceptionally
well-placed plot of ground as a site for a Masonic Hall.
In Athens we are unfortunately laboring under the great
difficulties of the housing problem, as our means do not yet allow us to buy a
house in a sufficiently central portion, or to build a Masonic Hall of our
own. However, we are able to help our brethren in urgent cases of want, etc.,
and are always only too glad to welcome any brother who may come to us from
over the seas or from any foreign land.
Our former Excellent Supreme Commander, Brother Y. Cephalas, a
learned and honored member of our Order, who unfortunately was obliged by
family reasons to resign his post, was so fortunate, through his great
devotion to Masonry and his remarkable knowledge of Masonic law and history,
to be able during his command to make our Hellenic Supreme Council the founder
and godfather, as it were, of the Servian Supreme Council by the consent and
approval of the international confederation of Supreme Councils.
We are now working under Brother C. Angelopoulos, M.'.W.'.
Grand Master, and Brother P. Calogeropoulos, Excellent Supreme Commander of
the Supreme Council, both Masons of long standing, much beloved in the Craft
for their truly Masonic characters, moulded in the furnace of discord and war
into true, honorable, sweet‑tempered and withal dignified men, they being
among the first initiated into the Craft in Greece, and despite all the
tribulations of the Order have ever kept to their posts and encouraged the
younger brethren with their great knowledge and patience.
The Grand Orient has lately adopted the practice of giving
receptions to the women relatives of our members as a means to make Masonry
Two or three brethren, a few months after their religious
marriage, have consented to the Masonic recognition of their marriage; also we
frequently have fetes for the adoption of Masons' sons, which can only take
place when the boys have reached the age of eleven or twelve years. By these
means we have been able to do excellent work and have gained many renowned
lawyers and men of high standing and integrity. I believe Freemasonry in other
nations does not have the recognition of marriage as we do, so that perhaps it
might interest readers of THE BUILDER to have a description of the ceremony
and a translation of the ritual, which is most impressive. (We have asked
Brother Raufo to give us an article on this subject. - Editor.)
Recently the Grand Orient of Greece has been able to open
lodges in Constantinople, Alexandria, Smyrna Cyprus, and in many of the towns
of the Near East. As in ancient times the light of learning came out of the
East and spread over the face of the earth, so let us hope that the day has
come when the true light of freedom and knowledge will once more shine forth
in all its splendor in the Near East, where there are at millions of shackled
souls waiting for the refreshing and warming rays of the Eternal Truth.
I should like my closing words to express the gratitude which
Greek brethren feel toward the United States of America which has always stood
up for Freedom - not only as an ideal, but as a reality - and which has helped
so much to the end that justice should at last be done to our long-suffering
people after three and a half years of physical as well as moral tyranny.
Greece always looks to America as a truly unbiased judge who is willing in a
just cause to lend a helping hand to the weak.
WHATE'ER MY TASK
BY BRO. GEORGE U. FREE, IOWA
It may not be my task to build
The taper spire, of giddy height;
It may not be my part to gild
The dome which throws back Heaven's light;
Another hand, more skilled than mine,
Must shape the keystone's perfect wedge,
Some other trace the fair design,
The copestone set on topmost ledge:-
But I am given strength and skill
To do the work assigned to me;
Whate'er my task, it is God's will
That I perform it worthily,
A living stone make fit to grace
The Temple's walls, and help them rise-
Although it fill but humble place-
A little nearer to the skies
I may not be inspired to draw
On trestleboard a noble plan,
Nor hew the column void of flaw,
Nor raise the arch of graceful span;
I may not grave the cherubim,
Nor mold the candlestick, or sea;
To shape the wing of seraphim
May be a task too great for me:-
But if my hands, by patient care,
Some simple stone may fashion true,
So it shall pass The Builder's square,
Though in the wall deep hid from view
'Twill be enough. Be this my prize;
No recompense beside I'll ask,
If I may help the Temple rise
To grander heights, whate'er my task.
There are three words that sweetly blend,
That on the heart are graven,
A precious, soothing balm they lend,
They're Mother, Home and Heaven.
- Mary J. Mackle.
TRAVELING IN FOREIGN PARTS
IN ONE of the Masonic degrees the desire to "travel in foreign
parts" is accompanied with the confession that a Master's wages could be
obtained only through the possession of a certain secret.
The Master Mason's "secret" is essential to the full enjoyment
of a Mason's travels in foreign parts. Undoubtedly many of the Fraternity
spent months overseas and returned to America unaware of the abundance of
Masonic evidences that had surrounded them on every hand. Many of these
brethren were denied the opportunities of Masonic research through military
restrictions on liberty of movement. This does not explain the full count,
however. Occasionally in my embarkation work I met homeward-bound Masons who
had had great latitude of action. Soldiers who had been stationed in Paris for
months scarcely knew of the existence of the excellent Masonic Clubs there.
Hundreds of Masons visited Paris yet never thought of making a
pilgrimage to the grave of Lafayette. They cannot tell you the name or
location of the Cathedral in that city over whose large doors are carved the
Square and Compasses. So, they have returned from foreign countries and did
not receive Master's wages.
The leaders who were active in forming Masonic Clubs in the
A.E.F. may be grouped into three general classes: those who sought the
benefits of social intercourse only, those who desired to continue
intellectual fellowship on Masonic themes, and those who combined the social
and intellectual into a well-balanced Club.
The former were purely dancing and banqueting organizations.
They did much good in attracting the brethren like-minded into associations
where the American atmosphere was dominant. The second class served a great
purpose because the papers on Masonic themes, and the addresses by skilled
brothers, developed a zeal in younger and more unskilled Masons to take up a
study of the Fraternity. Their activities also in creating funds for
benevolent purposes brought good results in their train.
The ideal clubs combined the two ideas above stated. Amid
scenes and customs so different from American life the significance of the
clean, American social life made its irresistible appeal. Also, the messages
that every building, hillside, and landscape were telling, awakened an
appreciation of the labors of Craftsmen long since departed.
In the early Fall of 1918 I had the privilege of visiting the
dungeons beneath the Castle in Brest. These excavations dated back to Roman
days. Our party was led by an ancient French peasant who delivered in singsong
voice and with an execrable patois, a lecture on the marvels of this Castle
and its dungeons. He pointed dramatically to the cave, or cistern, down which
condemned wretches were hurled upon upturned spears. At the very climax of his
blood-curdling periods, one of our party exclaimed in low voice, "Oo la! la!"
The rage of the guide is beyond my powers of description. But it demonstrated
the first shock of young America rubbing elbows with old Europe.
To develop weekly programs that would hold and please the Craft
taxed the powers of the club leaders. One of the best ways to create
enthusiasm was employed by many of our clubs. We called it "The roll by
States." Native sons were expected to respond with some information as to
Masonic activity within the bounds of their jurisdiction. In this way the
divergences in ritual and otherwise came to the surface and young Masons began
to ask questions as to the whys and wherefores. Incidents of interest were
recounted, and the general effect was a broadening of the Masonic horizon of
the brethren present.
In our Port Masonic Clubs we constantly invited homeward-bound
Masons to recount their experiences in Europe from a Masonic standpoint. Thus
we secured many interesting stories. The Major of a certain Battalion that saw
service in Italy told us one evening of his presence in Rome, at a Convocation
of the Italian Scottish Rite. The King and many of his ministers and military
leaders were present, as well as a representative body of Americans. One of
the Italian courtiers gave a concise and significant explanation of the sudden
and uncalled for collapse of the Italian line in northern Italy, in the Spring
of 1918. This break is what caused American and other allied re-enforcements
to be hurriedly sent to Italy. Treachery on the part of certain elements of
Italian life had entered into secret understanding with Austria to overthrow
the Italian government and set up a new form of government in Rome. Emissaries
from Rome disseminated propaganda among the Italian troops that destroyed
their morale. This nefarious conspiracy was detected by the government,
counter-action started, the Austrians checked and the fond dreams for a
new-old Empire shattered.
Master Masons have a genius for practical works of "brotherly
love, relief and truth." Consequently war orphans were adopted; money sent to
war orphan funds; worthy distressed Masons were relieved of their
embarassments; sympathetic messages were sent to bereaved homes in America.
One form of relief was, in my judgment, unique in the annals of the war. The
casualties of officers in combat organizations were so great that the
government began to examine and commission many non-commissioned officers as
second lieutenants. These soldiers were gathered in St. Aignan Camp, a
concentration center which was properly dubbed "Saint Agony." As soldiers,
these men had had everything provided for them by the army. As officers, they
must buy everything and also pay their own mess bill. Being unprepared for
this emergency, it produced great embarrassment and actual distress with no
governmental relief. To outfit himself even modestly meant for each lieutenant
an outlay of at least 300 to 500 francs. In this predicament, Bro. Sergeant
Starkey secured permission to visit Masonic Headquarters in Paris where he
laid before our Overseas Mission the distresses of his fellow officers and
prayed relief. The Mission gave assurances of help and immediately sent one of
their number to St. Aignan. He interviewed the Commanding Officer who
confirmed the fact. As a result, our Masonic Mission deposited 25,000 francs
with Col. O.S. Perry, Maj. McCatharan, and Sgt. Sharkey to be loaned to
deserving Masons on their personal notes. In this way 74 candidates for
commissions, and already commissioned second lieutenants, received 300 francs
each, and were able to assume their new rank in a manner befitting them. The
effect of this Masonic service was deep and lasting on those of our forces who
learned the story.
Our clubs were keenly alive to observe our stated American
special days. Throughout the A.E.F. Easter Sunday received special attention
by the Craft. I give a characteristic program which reflects the general
observance of the dav wherever we had clubs.
BREST MASONIC CLUB
IN THE FEDERES THEATRE
APRIL 20, 1919
Band from Camp Pontanezen
Onward Christian Soldiers Audience
Invocation E. C. Perrington
Vocal Solo Miss R. Beatty
Band from Camp Pontanezen
Duet Lawry and Beatty
Introductory W.R. Holland
Sermon C.F. Irwin
Vocal Solo J. D. Lawry
Band from Camp Pontanezen
On Memorial Day the Clubs were zealous to visit the cemeteries
and place wreaths on Masonic graves. In Base No. 1 the united clubs sent a
large delegation to the Base Cemetery where flowers were deposited and an
oration delivered by one of the brethren. Square and Compasses Club at
Pruniers decorated Masonic graves and held memorial services. Trowel Club at
Gievres gathered 100 Masons who marched to the American Cemetery, decorated
six Masonic graves and took photographs which were sent home. Square and
Compass Club at Romorantin banqueted with 175 Masons present. Trowel Club held
a Masonic Memorial Service that evening in the main "Y" auditorium with 800
men present, with Red Cross and Y.W.C.A. women as special guests.
The clubs exhibited much originality in preparing special
banquets. Their favors were artistic and showed good taste. One club secured
miniature lambskin aprons of correct design and distributed them to their
guests. Another club had a bronze pocket‑piece struck. Several had silver
pocket-pieces. The St. Nazaire Clubs had brass match‑box holders for Masons
and napkin-rings for our lady guests, each with Masonic emblems. One club had
silk tri-color flags about ten by eight inches, with clasped hands and the
names of the local French Lodge and the American Club stamped in gold.
At its last elaborate banquet held on June 4, 1919 the Montoir
Masonic Club prepared a menu that is interesting. It was a "Homeward Bound"
"HOMEWARD BOUND" BANQUET
OF THE MONTOIR MASONIC CLUB
Camps Montoir and Guthrie - Base Section 1, A.E.F.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 4th. 1919
Brethren called from Labor to Refreshment at 8:00 P.M.
Cream of Tomato a la Hiram
Roast Pork a la King Solomon with Acacia Sauce
New Tyre Potatoes
Le Trait d'Union Asparagus
Gavel Cake and Ice Cream on the Square
Joppa Coffee Seafaring Punch
Nuts Raisins Cigars Cigarettes
The Montoir Masonic Club was organized on March 20th, 1919,
with 150 charter members. Officers: Hon. Pres., Col. O.R. Cole, C.O. Camp
Guthrie; President, Chaplain C.F. Irwin, Camp Guthrie; Vice Pres., Sec'y C.W.
Harris, Y.M.C.A., Montoir; Secretary, Private C.J. Novac, Montoir; Treasurer,
Lt. W.W. Weyler, Guthrie. The Montoir Masonic Club did its bit for Masonry in
On the occasion of giving a banquet at its headquarters in
Paris, June 20th, 1919, the Masonic Overseas Mission sent a formal invitation
to General John Pershing. General Pershing replied, courteously regretting his
inability to be present due to military duties. In his letter he takes
occasion to speak thus, "I wish to express my extreme regret as nothing would
have given me greater pleasure. I have heard nothing but the highest praise of
the results of your generous efforts in the American Expeditionary Forces, and
desire to express to you personally my hearty thanks for the constantly
helpful attitude you have assumed."
BY BRO. L. B. MITCHELL, MICHIGAN
Do what we may, do we find as life unfolds its parts
That those things that are priceless here are locked in human
Though we may seek to prizes win, though we may strive for
Yet, in our nature's there is that which hearts alone can hold,
And that the priceless, after all, made so by nature's art
Are things which in this world of ours repose within the hear
And he who would the priceless find in super‑nature ways
Or worldly things, or both, but stays the measure of his days.
GOD IN PRISON
BY BRO. JOSEPH FORT NEWTON, IOWA
From time immemorial sermons, even the best of them, have been
dry reading: but there is an exception to every rule, the which in this case
is illustrated by the sermon published below. Dr. Newton's sermons, a few of
them, are now published each month in a little pamphlet called "The
Ambassador," and printed by The Murray Press, 359 Boylston Street, Boston,
Massachusetts, and sells for fifty cents a year. To those who have read the
many volumes of his sermons published hitherto this will be welcome news,
especially to Masons, for it is not often that Bro. Newton speaks except on
the themes beloved of the Fraternity.
"He delivered his strength into captivity, and his glory into
the hands of the enemy." Psalm 78:61.
THESE WORDS form a stanza in a patriotic Psalm in which the
singer reviews the history of his nation and how God dealt with it in days of
old. The text brings us to the time of the old priest Eli and his two wicked
sons, Hophni and Phineas, under whom the national faith suffered decline.
There was war - always it was war in that antique world - and the army of
Israel was in sore straits, having been driven back by the enemy. So it was
decided to go to Shiloh and fetch into camp the Ark of the Covenant - an
oblong box made by Moses to be a symbol of the presence of God, who dwelt
between the sculptured cherubim upon the lid - in the hope of reviving the
courage of the people by enlisting the honour of God on the side of their
victory. The Ark was brought, and the battle took place, but the result was
utter disaster in which the Ark was captured by the enemy. Hophni and Phineas
were slain, and when the news was brought to Eli the old man fell back dead.
Hence the words of the text, in which, as so often in the Bible, the writer
struck a flash of insight which revealed far more than he himself discerned.
Let this scene from a battle long gone be a parable, if nothing
more, of the process by which men are groping their way toward an
interpretation of God in the experience of our time; a process brought to a
crisis by the war, but not created by it. Only those who have kept pace with
the deeper movements of the modern mind can realize how radical and profound
has been the revolution wrought in its conception of God. For more than a
decade our ideas of God have been in confusion, and when the fountain springs
of faith are muddy the stream of life is troubled and uncertain. For our
thought of God is fundamental. It is the fact by which we interpret all other
facts. It decides our standard of ethics; it determines our view of man; it
discloses the meaning of history. When for any reason our thought of God
suffers defeat or eclipse we are left to fight a dim battle in a doubtful
land, having nothing to supply an ultimate sanction to our ethic or to exert a
modifying influence upon the ideas and policies round which the life of
society revolves. Some final reference the human must have if "the three
terms of thought" - the World, Self, God - are not to fall asunder and plunge
us into pessimism.
Back of the war, beneath the tragic unrest of our day, one
detects a haunting uncertainty not as to the reality of God, but as to His
nature, His purpose, and His method of dealing with man. Slowly, in the midst
of tumult and agitation of spirit, we are arriving at a more satisfying
thought of God with which to confront the facts of sin, pain, and death. The
most significant fact in the faith of our time is the discovery of "the
weakness of God," to use the phrase of St. Paul, a conception which, if
rightly interpreted, is not only new but true. For years it has been
increasingly difficult for men to conceive of God as self-centred,
self-involved, dwelling in static bliss, still less to interpret Omnipotence
in terms "of the tawdry happenings of regal pomp and physical force," or as
arbitrary, irresponsible power. Indeed, the vision of a God who can do
anything, regardless of man, has disappeared, giving way to a profounder
thought of God which not only makes Him more real, but brings Him nearer to
us. Today God is thought of as finite as well as infinite, limited not only
by His own character, but also by His purpose in the human enterprise, His
action, in the human world, being conditioned by the character and development
of man. If Tennyson could say, speaking of prayer,
"For so the whole round earth is every way Bound by chains of
gold about the feet of God,"
we have learned that it is just as true to say that God is
bound by gold chains about the wayward, wandering feet of man.
When a deeper word of truth is won from the mystery of the
world it is the poets, the artists, the free and adventurous minds, who are
the first to hear and proclaim it. The theologians arrive later, their
function being not so much to discover truth as to relate it to other truth
and set it forth in an order of ideas. Thus everywhere in the poetry and
fiction of recent years we have been hearing of a finite, limited, struggling
God - notably in "Jean Christopher" by Romain Rolland, the greatest novel of
our generation - with much talk about "an unfinished God still in the making,"
whom we somehow, by heroic moral enterprise, help to liberate, if not to
create. For example, in the last thrilling chapter of "The Great Hunger," by
Boier, we read: "Therefore I went out and sowed corn in my enemy's field, that
God might exist . . . So marvellous art thou, O spirit of man. Thou dost reap
death, and in return thou sowest the dream of everlasting life. In revenge for
thine evil fate thou dost fill the universe with an all-loving God ... The
stricken mother had risen from the ocean of her suffering that here, in the
daybreak, she might take her share in the creating of God." There is a sense,
as we shall see, in which we may speak of the growth, or at least the
increase, of God; but here the story-teller leaves us with the feeling that it
is man who makes God rather than God who makes man.
Always it is so; when truth is seen anew it takes shapes
fantastic, and often inverted, but it is still the truth if we have eyes to
see it. Shaw and Wells, the two men who more than any others have won the ear
of the world in our time, both see the truth of the finiteness of God out of
its context, the deep difference between them being that Shaw holds the
triumph of God in the world to be questionable, while Wells sees it to be
inevitable. Shaw, who loves to shock us with his cleverness, talks glibly of
a God who undertook to make a world but, not knowing His own mind, got
muddled, and needs the help of man to save Him from defeat. In "God, the
Invisible King," Wells tells us how he discovered a gracious Comrade God who
is love, joy, courage, generosity, beauty, fighting for us and with us against
the evil within and the confusion without - he was surprised when I told him
that he had found what the Bible means by the Holy Spirit. But alas, above
this happy God of the heart there hovers a veiled Being, dim, aloof, unknown -
whether good, evil, or indifferent, we can not learn - to which God and man
must alike bow. At first it seems to be only a camouflaged atheism, as if the
universe were a Frankenstein monster which God did not create and is unable to
control. But that is only seeming. It is in reality a protest of the human
heart against a God who lives remote from human struggle, what William James
meant when he said that God is not a gentleman with gloved hands disdaining
the dust and dirt of the world, but is involved in our agony no less than our
aspiration - history being His story as well as ours.
Yet in the human world God is, limited, not by any unknown
awful Fate to which He must bow, but by the fact no less than by the purpose
of creation. He limits Himself to make room for man, giving man a little
province within His eternal providence that he may have a real life of his
own, fetters Himself that man may be free. It is this seeming weakness and
withdrawal of God that makes the glory and pathos of human life. Nor could it
be otherwise if, as Keats said, this world is a vale not of tears but of soul-
making. As we can only lead our sons so far - much as we should love to go
with them all the way - so God must hide Himself from us that we may live our
own life, and in seeking Him find ourselves. Else man would have no real
moral character, no authentic spiritual achievement. Thus, alike by His
nature and His eternal purpose, God has made Himself a prisoner in the House
of Man. Once men thought of God as able any moment to withdraw from an
obstinate nation or an inhospitable heart, but Hosea taught a deeper truth -
"How shall I give thee up, Ephraim?" He could not do it without denying His
nature and defeating His own ends. Involved not only in our origin, but
equally in our development and destiny, God can not cast off, can not let us
go. What love can not do God can not do. Love beareth all things, believeth
all things, hopeth all things, finding its perfection in losing its life to
save others, in dying to live. Because God is love He is bound to us, as we
are bound to Him, forever, and in the long last He will see the travail of His
soul and be satisfied.
While, as I have said, this mighty truth was forming in the
minds of men before the war, it was the world-tragedy that made it first
terrifying and the illuminating. Early in the conflict many were asking why
God should allow such a calamity to befall humanity, and why, having allowed
it, He did not stop it; but those questions were soon hushed. Slowly it
dawned upon men that God could not prevent or stop the war, and that it would
do no good if He did. No problem would be solved, no root of war removed. It
was better for man to learn by tragedy, if in no other way - by his hide, if
not by his head - that he was made for fraternity, and that God cares more for
a brother than for His own glory. Not only did men see that the war was due
to human improvidence and stupidity, but perhaps its most deeply felt
religious truth was that God, instead of standing outside and looking on,
actually revealed Himself anew in the struggle - in the courage of men, in the
loyalty of women, in the pity of little children on both sides - Himself more
wounded than any man or nation. Said a wounded British officer in a hospital:
"What I want to know, Padre, is, what is God like? I never
thought much about it before the war. But now all seems different. When I am
transferred to a new battalion I want to know what the Colonel is like. He
bosses the show, and it makes a lot of difference to me what sort he is. I
realize now that I am in the battalion of humanity, and I want to know what
the Colonel of the world is like. That is your business, Padre; you ought to
For answer the Padre pointed to an image of Jesus on the cross
which hung on the wall, and both were silent, looking at that battered,
wounded, bleeding Figure, nailed to a cross, helpless, defeated by the world,
broken in all but spirit. After a while the officer said:
"God like that, Padre? No, no; God is almighty, Ruler of the
world, King of kings. Jesus is splendid - he is like my friends at the front
- sublime in his courage, his patience, his unbroken spirit. But tell me what
God is like."
"Yes, God is like that," the Padre said, pointing again to the
great Sufferer. "Jesus was weary, hungry, tortured, crucified, and he said,
'He that hath seen me hath seen the Father!' We have made an awful mistake
about God, my friend. He is not off up in the sky. He is here. He suffers
in and with the suffering of humanity. 'This is my body which is broken for
If we turn now to the Bible, and especially to the New
Testament, we find that the symbol of God is not a throne of power, but a
cross of sorrow, His emblem a Lamb slain on an altar. All through the
teaching of Jesus one traces the truth that God is limited, hindered, often
delayed, but always trying to redeem man. Take the parables. The Sower is
successful in only one of four a cases. In spite of good soil and good seed
the Tares make havoc of the wheat, and can not be got rid of until the
harvest. The man with one Talent failed to make use of his powers, and God is
helpless to do anything with him. The foolishly fond old father - whose
sorrow and joy alike break our hearts - is as powerless to bring the Prodigal
back as he is to detain him from going away. All he can do is to wait for one
far-wandering and lost, hoping that he will return, or soon or late, humble
and hungry of heart. The Ten Virgins, the Great Supper, all the parables, in
fact, have the same underlying idea. So also the Beatitudes, the ideal of
which, as some one has said, is the capacity to suffer and endure and yet
retain the will for good, to keep a clean, hopeful, forgiving heart.
Not only in the teaching of Jesus, but also in his experience,
we find everywhere the suggestion of limitation in God Himself. His own
knowledge, he said, was limited. Some things he could not do, because of
unbelief. In his practice of prayer Jesus was aware that the will of God may
be conditioned by things of which we have no knowledge. Indeed, a deeper
analysis of the Gethsemane prayer, "If it be possible, let this cup pass,"
suggests that though God might be willing to let it pass He might not be able
to do so. Anyway, the prayer was not answered, and Jesus drank the cup to its
dregs without losing faith - a fact for us to remember when, in a bitter hour,
we pour out our hearts for some one beloved and our request is not granted.
Suppose the prayer of Jesus had been answered. There would have been no
Cross, no Empty Tomb, no revelation of that incredible power which men mistake
for weakness - the only power equal to the hard, stupid, cunning thing called
sin. They speak to a pitiless force who try to reason with the self-induced
irrationality of sin. Because sin is below reason only that which is
ineffably above reason can melt it away. Jesus is the Redeemer of men because
he set God free in his life, revealing an awful yet gentle power which alone
can break the spell of evil in us and in the world.
It is astonishing, as an English novelist has said, how we come
through blood and fire and tears to learn what deep truths are hidden in the
familiar ideas of Christian faith. The very idea of Incarnation implies a God
who identifies Himself with our finitude, shares our pain and struggle, our
joys and sorrows, who is touched with a feeling of our infirmities, tempted,
despised, rejected, facing the worst to unveil the best. Since God is love,
His self- limitation, like His self-impartation, was necessitated as much by
His nature as by the need of man. It was not an isolated act in time, but an
eternal process - "the climax of immanence in the world," as Illingworth used
to say; not a belated device of God to put straight things that had gone
wrong, but the fulfilment of an age-long dream. From all eternity God must
have been planning to reveal Himself and by such revelation help man to
achieve a personality in essence like His own. His delay was due to His
limitation, since He must needs wait for the developing capacity of man. At
last, in the fullness of time, there grew a Man through whom God could fully
manifest Himself One who, by his purity and valour, his patience, and pity,
became the human voice of the Eternal Love:
"He walked here, the shadow of him Love, The speech of his soft
music, and his step A Benediction."
Rich and revealing are the practical meanings the truth of my
theme, if we have ears to hear and hearts to heed. God is imprisoned in our
human world a captive struggling to be free, forever seeking His liberty which
is also our redemption. He is imprisoned in our unjust social order, in our
organized selfishness, in the neglected child, in the unsympathetic parent, in
the church that has a name to live but is dead. Often it is said that
improvements in social environment are valueless, because all good depends on
character. No doubt; but it is also true that by helping to make a nobler
communal life we may help to roll the stone from the grave of Lazarus. Many
handicaps exist, handicaps of foolish fashions, formal religion, and foul
iniquity; but God bears them too. What unused strength lies hidden in the
weak, what undiscovered heroism in the defeated, what hopes of salvation in
the lost, if by some art or skill we can find the key to unlock the prison.
Who labours in behalf of the weary and world-broken, for the little ones that
carry the future in their hearts - for juster, wiser, more merciful laws - is
helping to liberate God in the world, as the springtime sets free the
snowbound streamlets and sends them singing into the valleys. All noble
reform, all social engineering, all wise and forwardlooking enterprise, finds
here its motive, its power and its consecration.
Nay, more; God is imprisoned in each of us - even in you and me
- a seed that sleepeth until we water the ground on which it lies, a voice we
can one day no longer deny. It is his work in which we are hindered, and He
is hindered in us, hindered from bringing to flower and fruit in us that
beautiful thing which we were made to be, and meant to be, hindered by our
fear, our stupidity, our ignorance, our unbelief, our irrelevant worries, our
past sins, our present mistakes, our persistent faults. Every fault overcome,
every bad habit cast away, every sin repented of, strikes off the chains that
set God free, and adds to that increase of God which is the richness of man -
helps to the attainment of that release of personality which is the finest art
and strategy of life. Such a victory is not won all at once, nor once for
all, and it is much easier for some than for others. Emerson had his moral
mining done for him before he was born; Burns had to dig his own ore. No
matter; by as much as pain, sorrow, hard trial, and bitter struggle set God
free in us, by so much do we learn why we are here, what life means, and to
what high end it moves.
As no two leaves on a tree are alike, so in each human soul
there is something unique, something not to be found anywhere else, a beauty
peculiar, particular, precious. It is for each of us to learn so to live that
the hidden beauty within us may be brought to bloom; that the star which
shines for us alone - "My Star," as Browning called it - may glow in the sky
which over-arches our common life. Each must live out his own life, his best
life, walking with reverent feet in the Road of the Loving Heart, knowing that
He who made us hath need of that shy and lonely thing in us which is most our
own, because it is most akin to Him. "God is not a looker-on At the life of
any one; But a bearer of all grief, And a sharer in relief. "God can never
stand aloof In reproach, denial, reproof; God is under every ban, God is part
of every man."
THREE GOOD BOOKS ON THE GULD QUllSTION
BY BRO. REVERDY BAIN, CALIFORNIA
AFTER having waded through a number of verbose and
loose-jointed books on English guilds it was a genuine piece of good fortune
to light upon the little treatise entitled "Two Chapters on the Medieval
Guilds of England," which was written by Professor Edwin R.A. Seligman, of
Columbia University, and printed in November, 1887, by the American Economic
Association, of which Professor Seligman was at that time secretary. The work
was originally the doctor's dissertation by which Professor Seligman won his
Ph. D., (I guess it must have been his Ph. D.), and it is consequently marked
by a certain enthusiasm which too often has evaporated from the technical
pages of mature scholars. I mean enthusiasm of the better sort, not an
outburst of sentimentality, for the treatise is characterized by its refusal
to accept any sentimental interpretation of the guild system, and Brentano,
who was guilty of such an interpretation, is one of the pet aversions of the
book. Professor Seligman's whole point is that the guilds were born of purely
economic conditions, and that their chief functions were to serve as the
structure for the distribution and manufacture of goods, and that for the
profit of all concerned. That is, they were economic by nature, and whatever
fraternal and religious features they contained, were incidental.
Professor Seligman has few pages to spare to the evolution of
the earlier guild life of England, when the guilds were associations of men
for the sake of mutual protection, or for mutual benefits in sickness and
death, or what not, and when municipal life was so ill-organized that men had
to form free associations to do that which the police and fire systems do for
us moderns. The most interesting point to a Mason in those few pages is that
Professor Seligman emphatically denies any possibility of tracing the early
guilds back to the Roman Collegia, which were transported to Rome when the
Romans first settled England. The Saxon period, he says, was such a welter of
anarchy that it was impossible for the Collegia to have survived: moreover the
later guilds differed so radically from the Collegia, and can be so easily
traced to independent causes, that any theory of connection with the Collegia
In the first of his "Two Chapters" the author makes a vigorous
analysis of the nature and functions of the Guilds Merchant, as the
associations of merchants who controlled the retail trade of an English town
were called. In the second chapter he discusses the Craft guilds, which were
composed of men belonging to the trades. He shows that men often belonged to
both types of guilds, Craft and Merchant, and that there never was much
conflict between the two, as many writers have asserted. Neither Craft nor
Merchant guilds ever governed cities and made laws therefor, as others have
believed, nor were they ever fraternal organizations based on charity and
mutual goodwill. The whole guild system was just the way the economic life of
England was organized in the twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth
THE BUILDER, so one of the editors has informed me, is now
trying for permission to reprint both these "Chapters" by Professor Seligman.
So mote it be !
Since the publication of Professor Seligman's book a vast deal
of work has been done by way of discovering new materials for an economic
history of England; Town Rolls, Town Records, private diaries, local
histories, and what not, have been brought to light, with the consequence that
workers in the field have been compelled to change many of their old opinions
about certain details of guild history.
One of the best modern books on the subject, and one that
incorporates much of this new material, is the first volume of "The Economic
History of England," which deals with the Middle Ages, and is published by A.
& C. Black, Soho Square, London, England, and which may be published in this
country through the Macmillan Company of New York. The work was written by
Professor E. Lipson, of Trinity College, Cambridge.
Of the eleven chapters of the book two deal with the guilds.
Chapter VII gives an exhaustive account of "The Gild (thus he spells this word
so variously spelled) Merchant"; and Chapter VII otters the best account of
the Craft guilds that I have yet seen, insofar as it has to do with matters of
fact, for it would be impossible to cram into 111 pages more material than
Professor Lipson has done. The Masonic reader would be especially interested
in those portions of this chapter which describe the old system of
Apprenticeship, and with the religious character of the Craft guilds. Also,
the pages on the old custom of compelling the guild member to take oaths are
peculiarly interesting, especially to one who has tried to unravel the history
of the Masonic obligations.
But the book has a larger use for the Masonic student than
that. Our fraternity has sprung from the old English guild system; whether
from the Craft guilds as generally organized in English towns, or from a
peculiar type of guild, is still under debate: but from some type of the guild
system it has come, and whatever facts throw light on the history of the guild
system are bound to throw light on the origins of Masonry.
In a mechanical way Professor Lipson's book is exceptionally
well done. The paper is rugged, the print is clear, the volume is well bound;
but the glory of the book, from that point of view, is found in the
bibliographies and in the index. The latter is very well done indeed, which is
more than one can say of many books: and as to the former, one grows
enthusiastic in praise of it, for it is all that a first-class bibliography
should be. No fewer than five hundred various authorities are given. Mr.
Masonic Student, here is a chance for you to get the inexhaustible list of
books on your subject!
The third book, which is a more human and appealing volume, is
"The Guilds of Florence," by Edgcumbe Staley, and published by Methuen &
Company, 36 Essex Street, London, W. C., England, in 1906. This thick book of
some six hundred pages is very evidently a labor of love, for it bears few of
the dry traces of the professional scholar. The enthusiasm of the amateur is
not to be held against the book, save that here and there one must be on his
guard against statements not sufficiently substantiated.
The history of Florence for a number of centuries is largely a
history of its guilds which in number and influence outranked those of any
other European city. Mr. Staley begins with a chapter on the general economic
history of the wonderful town, and then gives a rapid account of the guilds as
a whole. Thereafter his work is divided into these various parts: "The Seven
Greater Guilds," "The Five Intermediate Guilds," "The Nine Minor Guilds," the
whole consisting of twenty chapters. At the end there is a very lengthy
bibliography comprising both books and manuscripts, mostly in Italian, which
touch the subject at any point. Then comes a Chronology beginning with 200
B.C., and concluding with 1597, at which time the guilds ceased to function
largely in Florentine life. The index is very complete. One feature of the
book sets it apart from the bulk of volumes of the same kind; it is profusely
illustrated with reproductions of old time Florentine drawings, and with a
large number of exceptionally fine modern photographs.
To me as a Mason it was a matter of keen interest to discover
Mr. Staley quoting freely and approvingly from "The Cathedral Builders" by
Leader Scott. He accepts her position and approves of the Comacine theory. He
has much to tell about Freemasons and agrees with Speth that they were
originally of the nature of a traveling guild of church and cathedral
builders, hence their name FREEmasons. His chapter on the Florentine Masons is
All three of these books are exceedingly worth while. They
should be in every Masonic student's library, especially the first and the
last. I should like ever so much to see THE BUILDER reprint two or three of
the chapters "for the good of the Order" in general, and of THE BUILDER'S own
group of readers in particular.
TOLERATION AND FREETHINKING
BY BRO. H.L. HAYWOOD, IOWA
A CERTAIN amount of ambiguity attaches to these two terms
because they are so often used as if one meant the same thing as the other, a
notion that is very erroneous, as it is the purpose of my brief study to
show. This subject is, not merely an academic one, as a few experiences of
the recent war period have reminded us. At the present moment there are
hundreds of persons in our penitentiaries who exercised what was, as they
supposed, the constitutional right to think and express themselves according
to their own convictions. And there are some groups, such as the Pacifists,
who, during the war, plead hard for tolerance, which to them was the right to
exist. These, and many kindred matters, have aroused much interest among
Masons, for there is no doctrine in the teachings of the Craft that has been
more prominently advocated than the doctrine of toleration. "Thou shalt not
persecute a man for differing from thee in opinion," has been a foremost
Masonic commandment for these two hundred years. When Albert Pike rebuilt the
ritual of the Scottish Rite he gave the doctrine such prominence that to some
members of that body it is chief among their teachings. Accordingly there is
such a coincidence between the interest that the war period has aroused in the
subject and the interest that all Masons have ever felt in it, that an
attempt, such as the present, to examine even briefly and informally, the
meaning of these ideas, is not altogether an office of vain endeavor.
Toleration is at best a negative thing. It means that if you
differ from me I shall not molest you, though I may at the same time have no
respect for your thoughts and little desire to permit you to go on thinking.
Oftentimes I will not molest you, not because I believe you to have a right to
think, but because I may fear my inability to worst you, or may believe a
conflict not worth its cost. Toleration can go along with the denial of the
right of free thought where an organization or where society feels itself too
powerful to be made subject to danger by what anybody thinks. In Hyde Park
London, men are permitted to utter their wildest ideas, often of a most
anarchistic character, while policemen stand by to preserve order for them,
and the government takes no notice, because it is too secure to be endangered
by the cries of a few demagogues.
It is not uncommon to find men who believe that during the
medieval period the church denied to each and all the right to do their own
thinking about religion. This is an error, for there was a vast amount of
differing opinions in that time, but the church did not often persecute
individuals because it was too confident of its own powers to worry about
them. There was then a great deal of toleration practiced, but it did not
therefore justify the doctrine of freethinking, for that is an entirely
different doctrine. Those who are familiar with the history of Scholasticism,
and more particularly with certain leaders thereof, such as Aquinas, Duns
Scotus, Abelard, etc., know how wide a latitude such thinkers enjoyed, and how
free they were in the expression of many opinions at variance with the
official creed of the church. But it was toleration these men enjoyed, not
the true rights of freethinking. In the period of the Renaissance even the
popes began to speculate in a very unorthodox manner, and as for cardinals,
bishops, and theologians, they set loose a veritable anarchy of new
speculation. All this was tolerated, but it was not freethinking, for at that
very time the church was claiming its own infallibility, and the principles of
Jesuitism were fast becoming orthodox. In all these cases the church was too
confident of its own powers to much fear the innovators, and it accordingly
left them to talk and think at will, as a mother will not interfere with the
children playing about her knee, so long as they do not go too far.
From the point of view of those who receive it, toleration is
merely the right to exist, which is not much of a right. The Waldenses, for
example, were tolerated for a long time. This does not mean that the
authorities admitted for one moment that the Waldenses enjoyed the same right
of determining religious rites and theories as that enjoyed by the church; it
only means that until the Waldenses grew to such dimensions as threatened to
disturb the authority and integrity of the church they were permitted to
Toleration, as I said above, is negative in its very nature; it
only means that I shall not persecute you for disagreeing with me. It is a
condescension made by a superior power and it is therefore often felt to be a
disgrace, even though the inferior power gladly avails itself of such
privileges as it confers. When we talk about toleraton in Masonry, it is not
such a thing that we have in mind. That kind of thing is not something to be
proud of; it is not a thing for which men gladly fight; it is not in itself a
fruitful principle out of which culture, manhood, and power can grow.
In toleration the right of free thought is merely penmitted.
In freethinking the right of free thought is encouraged.
This is the difference between the two, and it is because of
this difference that I said a while ago that flee thought is a positive
thing. I use my own mind in searching for truth: I encourage you to use your
mind in the same way: the two of us encourage others to think for themselves.
In such a situation this there is no dominant power, no controlling
institution, no commanding creed, which is so sure of its own ability to
control the field that it grants privileges to minority that it does not
fear. Free thought and toleration are not two sides of the same idea, they
are two essentially different ideas, and even, to some extent, opposed to each
It is necessary here to guard our minds agains confusing the
doctrine of free thought with that group of men who during the middle of the
last century, over threw the doctrines of Christianity and set up a set of
their own doctrines instead, and who carried in a well defined propaganda with
courses of lectures, a publishing house, headquarters, etc. In their case
"Free-thinker" was a party name, and carried with it the obligations of a kind
of creed. Freethinking here use carries no reference to that group of men: it
does not mean that if we become freethinkers we must straight- way begin to
buy the publications of the Rationalist Press Association. One may enjoy the
prerogatives of free thought without agreeing at all with Leslie Stephen, J.
R. Robertson, Thomas Huxley, Ernest Haeckel et aL (I speak not disparagingly
of these men, however: I have a great regard for them all.)
In the doctrine of freethinking (as here interpreted, at any
rate) there are two well-defined ideas. One of these is that there is not
anywhere any institution or book, or creed, or set of men who have the
absolute truth, and who may grant or withold to others rights to differ. No
such custodian of truth exists anywhere in any church, or book, or creed, or
group. There can be no private property or vested interest in the truth To
search for the truth, to define the truth, to promulgate the truth, is a task
for us all; and every one of us, be he the humblest of the lot, has the same
inherent right in the premises as the greatest of all.
The point here made may be well illustrated by two episodes out
of the history of science. When the Italian anatomist, Vesalius, undertook
his pioneer work in dissecting the human body, the ecclesiastical authorities
opposed him with the authority of Aristotle and of Galen. Vesalius was told
that these two wise masters had settled all matters of anatomy and that he was
a trespasser on a field belonging to others: if he would devote himself to the
service of these masters, and would remain content, as was true of other
so-called anatomists of the period, to be an expositor of the theories of
Aristotle and Galen, he would be permitted to work on unmolested. The
authorities wished to grant him tolerance; what he claimed was the right of
free investigation. To get that right he was obliged to leave Italy.
Another episode to point the same moral is found in the
experience of Copernicus and of Galileo. When these two astronomers appeared
upon the scene it was everywhere taken for granted that Aristotle (Aristotle
was an intellectual god during the Middle Ages) and Ptolemy had said the last
word in astronomy; their teachings had been accepted into the authoritative
creed of the church. Copernicus was cried down as a vain fool; Galileo was
forced into prison and made to recant. Both men, under certain conditions,
were granted a certain tolerance: neither was given the right of free
thought. The rights of free thought were impossible so long as it was
supposed that astronomical truth reposed in the keeping of Ptolemy and
The other of the two ideas implied in the doctrine of
freethinking is that truth itself can never be found except as a trophy won by
the action of all men's minds. It is the very nature of truth that it cannot
be granted to us by any specific revelation; or that it can be discovered and
possessed by any one man or group of men; be that man prophet, scientist, or
priest; be that gruop academy, university, church, or lodge. Truth is found
after many searchings; it is arrived at through many discoveries; it must be
approached from every corner of the compass: all must cooperate in the search
for it or it cannot be found. When men are denied the right to think for
themselves the doors that lead to the truth automatically close themselves.
And insofar as we desire to find the truth should we not alone permit, but
encourage, and that in all ways, every man to think his best, to keep his own
eyes open, to speak what he thinks, and to act as wisdom and experience
dictate? For any man, or set of men, to climb to a platform above all the rest
of us, and from that eminence to look down upon us, to direct our goings, and
to dictate our thinking, is not only an injustice, it is a folly: for such a
procedure always sets back civilization.
If all this be true, why did a democratic government like our
own throw Eugene Debs into prison, and make war on Victor Berger? In their
thinking about the war, we may suppose, those men disagreed with the United
States Congress: should they not have been entitled to differ? Have we not
free thought in America? Why was it that so many Masons opposed the activities
of the Socialist Party and believed that Debs received that which he deserved?
The answer to this lies in the fact that there is a necessary
distinction between speech that serves as an expxessiua of ideas, and speech
that is a form of action. Debs, Berger, and their fellows might have talked
and thought until now without interference; inherent justice as well as the
Constitution granted them that right: they might also have tried to persuade
others to think as they were thinking. But that is not what they did. What
they did was, by means of speeches, to obstruct the draft. Their speeches
were made, not as expressions of opinion, but as forms of action, and such
actions necesarrily were bound by the laws governing the actions of us all. If
I stand on a street corner to persuade a crowd of bystanders that your
opinions are erroneous and that my opinions are better, I am enjoying the
privilege of free speech; my talking comes under that head, and is to be dealt
with accordingly. But if I stand on that same street corner to incite that
crowd to go down with me to burn your house over your head, that speech is not
properly speech but action, fo it has all the consequences of action. It is
for lack of making this obvious and necessary distinction that so many have
grown confused about the rights of free speech, free thought, and free action.
THE COUNTRY LODGE
BY BRO. G. A. NANCARROW, INDIANA
Mornin' Sam, I want to tell you
'Bout the lodge I saw in town.
Y'see I'd never been to one
So one evenin' I went down.
I had a mighty tryin' time
Provin' I should pass the door
Answered 'bout a hundred questions
I had never heard before.
Inside - My, but it was pretty
And as light as it could be,
But the lights they hid the glowin'
Of the hearts, it seemed to me.
Must have been about two hundred
In the lodge room there that night,
Though they didn't show much friendship
Still they didn't seem to fight.
Kinda cold is how I saw it-
Some who never spoke at all
To the brothers sittin' nigh 'em,-
Chilly - sorta like the fall.
Just a few said: "Howdy, Brother,"
Though not one could help but see
I was strange and huntin' friendship,
And as lonesome as could be.
Don't suppose though they could help it-
That's the way folks live in towns-
They don't radiate their kindness,
Sorta hide it under frowns.
Sure, I know they love each other,
But it's allus queer to me
Why some brothers never carry
Friendship where the world can see.
It wan't like our home lodge, no sir,
When us brothers round the door
Swap our smokes and smiles and sunshine
On our old and bumpy floor.
City lodges have soft carpets
And an organ sweet and fine,
But I'd rather, friend and brother,
Have the country lodge for mine.
Here we grasp a hand and press it
With a meanin' all our own;
When a stranger sits among us
We won't let him feel alone.
We ain't got no fancy fixin's
And no music loft or such,
But to buy a widow flour
They don't pay the grocer much.
When it comes to chill and coldness
All us brothers here would say,
We take ours in a snowstorm
When some brother's laid away.
And our hearts are kept ahummin'
Just to know some widow's joys
When we help her feed her babies
Or we help her raise her boys.
* * * * * *
Sam, a lodge is just the brothers-
Not a room all fine and light-
'Taint the costly chairs or carpets
But the hearts that makes it bright.
POLITICIANS, MASONIC AND PSEUDO‑MASONIC
NO MACHINE can run itself, least of all a machine composed of
men. Such an organization must, by virtue of its very nature, be managed, have
rules, leaders, officers, and so forth. It has a presiding officer to call it
to order, a secretary to make and preserve its records, a treasurer to account
for its funds. The selecting of men for such offices, and the management of
these offices by the incumbents after selection, may in a strict sense be
described as politics. Every organization whatsoever, from a card club to the
United States of America, must have a certain amount of politics as thus
There is a larger sense of the word. An organization must make
plans for its own future: it must shape its course of action to conform to
circumstances as new conditions arise; it must somehow adjust itself to the
growing and changing life of its own membership. All such matters, when shaped
as questions and problems, are matters of "policy," and the real meaning of
politics is that it has to do with the shaping, defining, and enforcing of an
In both these senses of the word there must always be Masonic
politics, and Masonic politicians. For consider. Every lodge has a number of
offices which must be filled else the lodge ceases to exist; so also with
every Grand Lodge, and every auxiliary body. Men must be found to fill these
offices, and the selection of these men, along with their carrying on the
duties of their othees, is an inevitable and necessary form of Masonic
politics. Such politics is a good, and every Mason is honor-bound to
So also with politics when understood as the selection and
enforcement of policies. Every subordinate lodge meets situations which compel
it to shape some kind of policy else disaster comes. As for the Grand Lodges,
the one thing that absorbs the attention of delegates is just the advocacy of
policies of action. Shall the Grand Lodge permit its subordinate lodge to
increase membership fees? shall it permit members to be received with wooden
legs and arms? shall the Grand Orient of France receive recognition? shall the
Grand Master be permitted to grant special dispensations to soldiers? These
are all matters of policy. They must be discussed pro and con. Men must take
sides. It is right and proper for them to work for the policies in which they
sincerely believe. The more Masonic politics and Masonic politicians of this
type the better for all concerned.
There is, however, and unfortunately, another variety of the
Masonic politician, if that be an accurate way to describe him. He is in
public politics as a business. He makes his living (and whatever else he can
make out of it) by his office. Usually he is the follower of some professional
leader who, by hook and by crook, retains the management of public affairs.
This man, ever on the lookout for opportunities to make himself solid with
every influential group of citizens, sees plainly that it would be of
considerable advantage to him to become a Mason. So he asks some friend to
secure for him an application blank. When he fills it out he lies about his
motives for so doing; when, later on, he is received at the door of the lodge
for initiation, he again deceives his future brethren in the same way; and
while he is on his knees assuming a solemn obligation before God he once more
deliberately tells a lie. For no man can become a Mason on such motives as
above described, except he lie his way in.
Once in, this man seizes every opportunity to make speeches
before the brethren. He goes about among them soliciting votes on the strength
of his Masonic affiliations. When election time comes he buys pages of Masonic
journals for election ads, and these ads are usually couched in the following
terms: "Brother Blue Lodge man, vote for Bro. So-and-so, a member of
such-and-such a Lodge."
The Fraternity can be thankful that there are as few such
pseudo-Masonic politicians as there are, but, though their numbers be
relatively few, they are a disgrace nevertheless, and every lodge infested
with such politics, or such politicians, should oust them at the earliest
* * *
MASONIC RESEARCH AND FANATICISM
The editor of a local Masonic paper exclaimed to the present
writer during a recent conversation, "No antiquarian stuff for me! The boys
don't care a whoop for it! What the Masonic reader-wants is live, up-to-date
stuff about his own town and his own lodge. We're getting swamped with
highbrow stuff, but it won't last long." He turned back to his desk to finish
the account of a recent picnic, the story of which was to be rounded out by a
complete list of members in attendance, their wives, children, and
This brother is doing a good work for his lodge and there is no
purpose here to pillory either him or his little paper with editorial scorn:
but he is typical of all those members, of which there is still an inordinate
number, who continue to look upon Masonic Research as "antiquarian stuff."
Antiquarian lore has its place in Masonic Research, that is true, as the pages
of every issue of THE BUILDER testify, but that is only a matter by the way:
between Masonic Antiquarianism and Masonic Research there is, and ever will
be, a great gulf fixed.
Masonic Research is the systematic study of all things having
to do with Freemasonry. This being the case much of it has to do with matters
of today. The story of what Masons did in France during the late War, and
continue to do; of what Masons are accomplishing and seeking to accomplish in
the Latin countries, such as Mexico, Central America, etc.; of what Masons are
thinking and doing about the League of Nations; of what Grand Lodges are doing
in order to work more harmoniously and effectually together; of significant
steps forward being made by local lodges here and there; the story of all
these, and numberless other matters, is Masonic Research, and such Research is
far more vital, far more interesting, far more "up‑todate" than the little
picnic chronicled by the brother above mentioned.
But what about the other matters, the things that happened a
thousand years ago? What about Solomon's Temple, and the Medieval Guilds ?
These things also belong to Masonic Research but not at all in the same way
that they belong to Antiquarianism. The Antiquarian is moved by curiosity to
learn something about the past in just the same way that some man is moved by
curiosity to learn something about Chicago. The man may have no more use for
his knowledge of Chicago than the Antiquarian has for his knowledge of what
kind of an apron was worn by Anthony Sayer; but he has a curiosity about
Chicago, and the satisfying of that curiosity is to him a good.
The Masonic Researcher may care to know what kind of an apron
Anthony Sayer wore but not out of a motive of objectless curiosity. He seeks
to know the Masonic past in behalf of the Masonic present. What sort of apron
the first Grand Master wore may help to explain the meaning and use of the
apron worn by living Masons. The story of Solomon's Temple helps Masons the
better to use their own temples. The history of Medieval Guilds lets in a
flood of light on the meaning of Masonry for this day, and for the future. The
Researcher is one sent to inquire of history such lessons as she may have for
the present, and there can be nothing "dusty," or "mouldy," or out‑of‑date
about that. If Masonic Researchers do not sometimes know how to write
interestingly and informingly about the past that is their fault, and not the
fault of Masonic Research.
Freemasonry is centuries old; it has evolved out of the
experiences of nobody knows how many generations of earnest men. It has come
out of the past with a nature and a mission of its own. The momentum of that
past continues to live in the Masonry of today, and he who would rightly
interpret Masonry and Masonic movements now, must know the story of what
Masonry has been. Its Past and its Present are all one movement, and both
Present and Past will be carried forward into the Future along the grooves
which the Institution has long ago carved for itself.
A little more knowledge of the past would preserve the Order
against its fanatics, of which there are a great number, most of them
pestiferously active. These cranks are able to make their impression on Masons
only because so many Masons know so little of Masonic history, even in
broadest outline. In a Middle Western city, for example, there lives a Mason
who has gone wild over old‑fashioned Craft Masonry; if he had his way he would
throw overboard all the accumulations of the past two centuries in order that
all Masons should become once again Operative Masons, engaged in the old
Operative tasks, and using Operative tools. The trouble with this man is that
he doesn't know enough of Masonic history to see the exaggeration into which
he has fallen; and the brethren whom he has made restless and dissatisfied by
his zealous advocacy of a few poor ideas, have been unprotected just because
of their own ignorance of the Masonic past, their own utter lack of the things
that go to make up Masonic Research. To know the past for the sake of the
present: to plot out the curves of the Order's past movement in order to keep
step with it now; to bring all the light of the past to bear upon the problems
of the hour; in all that much knowledge of antiquarian matters may be
necessary, but it is as far from mere Antiquarianism as the east is from the
THE MASTER MASON'S CREED
BY BRO.AUGUSTINE W. ARMSTRONG, IOWA
I believe in right doing,
And steadfastly pursuing
The pathway of duty
In life's checkered career;
Asking light from above
That my actions may prove
By the test of the square
I am truly sincere,
I believe the protecting care
Each Mason should share
For the widow and orphan
In sorrow's dark days;
With charity for a cover
The frailties of a brother
Who may have wandered
Into forbidden ways.
And I firmly believe
That each day I receive
The proof that I have
An immortal soul;
And should walk in the light
Shunning error's dark night,
With my face toward heaven
Life's ultimate goal.
A sacred burden is this life we bear:
Look on it, lift it, bear it solemnly,
Stand up and walk beneath it steadfastly.
Fail not for sorrow, falter not for sin,
But onward, upward, till the goal ye win.
- Frances Anne Kemble.
"There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries "
EDITED BY BRO. ROBERT TIPTON
H.G. WELLS' "OUTLINE OF HISTORY"
WELLS' OUTLINE OF HISTORY holds a fascinating interest for
those interested in history and the world trend of affairs. The preponderance
of criticism is one of commendable approval, though here and there a
dissenting voice is heard regarding Wells' conclusions and interpretations.
Notably of course, as would be expected regarding one who treats without
special deference the institution known as the Roman Catholic Church, the
Roman Hierarchy lost little time in placing the book under the ban, in the
famous "Index Expurgatorious."
An interest is always aroused on learning that a certain man or
book has merited the official ban of Rome, and thinking people always desire
to learn of the grounds on which the ban has been found warrantable. The
amazing attempt to render, in two such volumes as the Outline of History, an
account of the trend of civilization from its beginning up to the present day
would naturally leave many things unsaid, but impartial judgment ultimately
will accord to Mr. Wells, that so far as a description of those salient forces
that have determined the course of affairs upon this planet is concerned, he
has done a remarkable piece of work.
The rise and wane of nations, empires and republics are
generally conceded to be admirably traced and it has not been noted as yet
that any marked objection has been taken to his historical sketching, with the
probable exception of the rise and development of the Roman Catholic Church.
It would, no doubt, be a matter of interest to many readers interested in the
policy and aspiration of the Roman Catholic Church, to note some of the
trenchant sayings of Mr. Wells as they are found in the Outline. He traces the
development of Christianity succintly from the Apostolic period with its
primitive simplicity to the coming of Charlemagne, when the traditions of the
Roman Caesar were revived in Europe. Mr. Wells' words fittingly synthetize the
state of affairs that witnessed the transforming of power from imperial Rome
to ecclesiastical Rome, and from the following quotation one may obtain a fair
conception of the political aspiration of the Roman Church, since the days of
Charlemagne, until the recent acquisition of the byway to the sea, which is to
some the greatest of recent efforts to regain temporal power. "The Roman
Empire," says Mr. Wells, speaking of the time of Charlemagne, "was dead and
decaying; the Byzantine Empire was far gone in decay; but the education and
mentality of Europe had sunken to a level at which new creative political
ideas were probably impossible. In all Europe there survived not a tithe of
the speculative vigor that we find in the Athenian literature of the fifth
century B.C. There was no pow to postulate a new occasion or to conceive and
organize a novel political method. Official Christianity had long overlaid and
accustomed itself to ignore those strange teachings of Jesus of Nazareth from
which it had arisen. The Roman Catholic Church, clinging tenaciously to its
possession of the title of pontifex maximus, had long since abandoned its
appointed task of achieving the Kingdom of Heaven. It was preoccupied with the
revival of Roman ascendancy on earth, which it conceived of as its
inheritance. It had become a political body, using the faith and needs of
simple men to forward its schemes."
That Mr. Wells is neither fanatical nor without generosity in
his treatments of the subject may well be seen through the acute analysis that
he makes of the leadership of medieval Rome. The realization of the City of
God as it was visualized by St. Augustine was not infrequently the work of
good and great men who had acquired leadership, but the decline of the
motivating ideal of realization of the Kingdom of God on earth, together with
the supplanting of the politico-ecclesiastical organization in its stead,
naturally provided alluring temptations to men whose overweening lust of power
made them subvert the noble purpose of the church to their own cupidity and
selfish ambitions. On this score Mr. Wells is again interesting. "The life of
the Lateran," says he, "changed in its quality with every occupant of the
chair of St. Peter; sometime papal Rome was a den of corruption and
uncleanliness, as it had been in the days of John XII; sometimes it was
pervaded by the influence of widely thinking and nobly thinking men. But
behind the Pope was the assembly of the cardinals, priests, and a great number
of highly educated officials, who never, even in the darkest and wildest days,
lost sight altogether of the very grand idea of a divine world dominion, of a
peace of Christ throughout the earth that St. Augustine had expressed. Through
all the Middle Ages that idea was the guiding influence in Rome. For a time,
perhaps, mean minds would prevail there, and in the affairs of the world Rome
would play the part of a greedy, treacherous, and insanely cunning old woman;
followed a phase of masculine and quite worldly astuteness perhaps, or a phase
of exaltation. Then came an interlude of fanaticism or pedantry, when all the
pressure was upon exact doctrines. Or there was a moral collapse, and the
Lateran became the throne of some sensuous or aesthetic autocrat, ready to
sell every hope or honor the Church could give for money to spend upon
pleasure or display. Yet, on the whole, the papal ship kept its course, and
came presently into the wind again.
One might be prompted to say in reading the foregoing that
where there is recited so much that is derogatory in the history of the papacy
that Mr. Wells is biased and not quite so free from fanaticism as he is
claimed to be. Be that as it may, no doubt can remain of Mr. Wells'
sympathetic as well as critical understanding of his subject when we discover
him singling out those of the clergy and the monastic institutions that were
anxious to preserve Apostolic practices and pass on, in their humble services,
the teachings of the Gospel. There is yet room for the future historian to
present accurately and exhaustively the true services of Monasticism
throughout that long period of the Middle Ages.
In or out of institutions that professedly stand for progress,
culture and the salvation of the race, no matter how sadly it may become
deteriorated, there have always been found those who deserve to be classed as
of the "Remnant," that are seemingly the divine instruments for the
rejuvenation of life. It is not altogether an anomaly that those who see much
wrong within an institution should stand by it even though it appears to all
the world as corrupt and worthy of dissolution. In their minds at least it is
not the institution that is bad but the unscrupulous men who control it, and
to wrest it from their power would probably become the crowning passion, were
it not that those who share such feelings were always in such a hopeless
minority. And thus it seems that the course providential for them to follow is
one of quiet authoritative obedience, as far as it is compatible with
conscience, while working out their own serviceable ideas for humanity. "The
bishops, priests, and the monastic institutions of Latin Christendom,"
continues our novelist historian, "before the days of Gregory VII had been
perhaps rather loosely linked together and very variable in quality; but it is
clear that they were, as a rule, intensely intimate with the people among whom
they found themselves, and with much of the spirit of Jesus still alive in
them; they were trusted, and they had enormous power within the conscience of
The inadequacy of dogmatic institutions that arbitrarily strive
to rule human interests is rarely better portrayed than by Mr. Wells. The
growing alienation of state and church may well be concluded when we read that
the priests and bishops were becoming more and more men "that were molded to
creeds, dogmas and set procedures." The instability of any institution is
indelibly set forth when it seeks to maintain superiority by fear and the
infliction of human punishment. No matter what the ambitions of those striving
for power might have been, there came a time that the habitual striving had
become such a part of them that the purpose for which they sought the station
of authority was lost entirely, and the prerogatives of authority so claiming
them left room for anything else. "By the time," says Wells, "they became
cardinals or popes they were usually oldish men, habituated to a politic
struggle for immediate ends and no longer capable of world‑wide views. They no
longer wanted to see the Kingdom of God established in the hearts of men -
they had forgotten about that; they wanted to see the power of the church,
which was their own power, dominating men. They were prepared to bargain even
with the hates and fears and lusts in men's hearts to insure that power. And
it was just because many of them probably doubted secretly of the entire
soundness of their vast and elaborate doctrinal fabric, that they would brook
no discussion of it. They were intolerant of questions or dissent, not because
they were sure of their faith, but because they were not. They wanted
conformity for reasons of policy. By the thirteenth century the church was
evidently already morbidly anxious about the gnawing doubts that might
presently lay the whole structure of its pretensions in ruins. It had no
serenity of soul. It was hunting everywhere for heretics as timid old ladies
are said to look under beds and in cupboards for burglars before retiring for
Once an institution seeks to retain its power by arbitrary
authority, rapaciousness and cruelty are called into action. No darker tales
are to be found in the annals of human history than those tales of cruel crime
enacted in the name of religion. Rivers of blood have flowed and martyrs have
been sacrificed without number through the ugly policy of those who used
religion as a garb to cover their political machinations and aspirations after
world power. After reciting the policy of the Roman church toward the great
eastern section of Christendom, Wells has this to say of Rome's methods: "Many
of the tools and expedients she used were abominable. In her treatment of her
own people a streak of real cynicism is visible. She destroyed her prestige by
disregarding her own teaching of righteousness. Of dispensations we have
already spoken. Her crowning folly in the sixteenth century was the sale of
indulgences, whereby the sufferings of the soul in purgatory could be commuted
for a money payment. But the spirit that led at last to this shameless and, as
it proved, disastrous proceeding, was already very evident in the twelfth and
Of those who remained in the church and stands in the
estimation of the world as one of the preeminent exemplars of Christian
teaching was St. Francis of Assissi. Contra-distinguished to the Saint is the
great founder of the Waldensians, one of those rare martyrs who are of the
seed of the church. Waldo rebelled against the ecclesiastical authority and
sacerdotal tyranny but "St. Francis did his best to be a good child of the
church, and his comment on the spirit of official Christianity was only
implicit. But both were instances of an outbreak of conscience against
authority and the ordinary procedure of the church. And it is plain that in
the second instance, as in the first, the church scented rebellion."
When Protestantism begins to feel that there is an encroachment
upon their liberties by the Roman Church, through political intrigue, there
arises up before them visions of the Holy Inquisition, which, to general
understanding, was anything but a holy method of making men believe with their
hearts what they could not understand with their heads. The vision of Roman
supremacy ecclesiastically and politically over all the world has never been
separate from the purposes of the hierarchy. And a legitimate apprehension is
felt when the political tentacles of Rome are at work that such a thing as the
Inquisition as was generated in the fertile mind of Saint Dominic might come
back for certain dire and doleful purposes. Wells' summing up of St. Dominic
is interesting. A "very different character of St. Francis was the Spaniard
St. Dominic (1170-1221), who was, of all things, orthodox. He had a passion
for the argumentative conversion of heretics, and he was commissioned by Pope
Innocent III to go and preach to the Albigenses. His work went on side by side
with the fighting and massacres of the crusade; whom Dominic could not
convert, Innocent's crusader slew; yet his very activities and the recognition
and encouragement of his order by the Pope witness to the rising tide of
discussion, and to the persuasion even of the papacy that force was no remedy.
The last disc ourse of St. Dominic to the heretics he had sought to convert is
preserved to us. It is a sign-post in history. It betrays the fatal
exasperation of a man who has lost his faith in the power of truth because his
truth has not prevailed. "For many years," he said, "I have exhorted you in
vain with gentleness, preaching, praying and weeping. But according to the
proverb of my country, 'where blessing can accomplish nothing, blows may
avail.' We shall rouse against you princes and prelates, who, alas! will arm
nations and kingdoms and against this land . . . and thus blows will avail
where blessings and gentleness have been powerless."
If there is any bias in Wells' chronicling of the history of
the church of Rome it may be seen in connection with Wycliffe. It would be
totally unfair to sense any provincial pride in a man of such world vision,
and yet, here is the spot probably that indicates the delight one takes in the
achievements of his own kith and kin. Wycliffe is cited as one of those
critical and disobedient forces that successfully rebelled against the
authority of Rome. "He was a learned doctor at Oxford," says Wells; "for a
time he was Master of Balliol; and he held various livings in the church.
Quite late in his life he began to spread his ideas throughout England; and in
order that people should judge between the Church and himself, he translated
the Bible into English. He has supporters in high places and a great following
among the people; and though Rome raged against him, and ordered his
imprisonment, he died a free man, still administering the Sacraments as parish
priest of Lutterworth. But the black and ancient spirit that was leading the
Catholic Church to its destruction would not let his bones rest in his grave.
By a decree of the Council of Constance in 1415, his remains were ordered to
be dug up and burnt, an order which was carried out at the command of Pope
Martin V by Bishop Fleming in 1428. This desecration was not the act of some
isolated fanatic; it was the official act of the church."
It is hard in choosing what one feels to be the high spots in
Wells' Outline dealing with this vital issue, to omit anything that is a
salient portion of Rome's history. One wonders at the versatility of such a
man as wrote this work. The thesis on the church indeed may well have been
written by a critical church historian who was desirous of epitomizing in a
few paragraphs the achievements and failures of the Church of Rome. Let the
conclusion of the matter be heard again in the author's own words "Such,
briefly, is the story of the great centuries of papal ascendancy and papal
decline. It is the story of the failure to achieve the very noble and splendid
idea of a unified and religious world. We have pointed out in the previous
section how greatly the inheritance of a complex dogmatic theology encumbered
the church in this its ambitious adventure. It had too much theology, and not
enough religion. But it may not be idle to point out here how much the
individual insufficiency of the Popes also contributed to the collapse of its
scheme and dignity. There was no such level of education in the world as to
provide a succession of cardinals and popes with the breadth of knowledge and
outlook needed for the task they had undertaken; they were not sufficiently
educated for their task, and only a few, by sheer force of genius, transcended
that defect. And, as we have already pointed out, they were, when at last they
got to power, too old to use it. Before they could grasp the situation they
had to control, most of them were dead. It would be interesting to speculate
how far it would have tilted the balance in favor of the church if the
cardinals had retired at fifty, and if no one could have been elected Pope
after fifty-five. This would have lengthened the average reign of each Pope,
and enormously increased the continuity of the policy of the church. And it is
perhaps possible that a more perfect system of selecting the cardinals, who
were the electors and counsellors of the Pope, might have been devised. The
rules and ways by which men reach power are of very great importance in human
affairs. The psychology of the ruler is a science that has still to be
properly studied. We have seen the Roman Republic wrecked, and here we see the
church failing in its world mission very largely through ineffective electoral
PUBLICATIONS WANTED, FOR SALE, AND EXCHANGE
We are constantly receiving inquiries from members of the
Society and others as to where they might obtain books on Masonry and kindred
subjects, other than those listed each month on the inside back cover of THE
BUILDER. Most of the publications wanted have been out of print for years.
Believing that many such books might be in the hands of other members of the
Society willing to dispose of them we are setting apart this column each month
for the use of our members. Communieations from those having old Masonic
publications will also be welcomed.
Postoffice addresses are here given that those interested may
communicate direct with each other, no responsibility of any nature to be
attached to the Society.
It is requested that all brethren whose wants may be filled
through this medium communicate with the Secretary so that the notices may
then be discontinued.
By Bro. George D. Macdougall, Grand Master, New Glasgow, Nova
Scotia, Canada: "History and Cyclopedia," by Oliver and Macoy; "A Concise
Cyclopedia of Freemasonry," by E. L. Hawkins; "Masonic Facts for Masons," by
W. H. Russell; "Genius of Freemasonry," by J.D. Buck; "The Traditions, Origin
and Early History of Freemasonry," by A.T.C. Pierson; "Illustrations of
Freemasonry," by Wm. Preston; "The Spirit of Freemasonry," by Wm. Hutchinson.
By Bro. Avery P. Lord, 537 Champlain St., Berlin, N. H., a copy
of "The Universal Masonic Directory," published in 1912 by the Fraternal
Directory Company, of Cleveland, Ohio.
By Bro. N. W. J. Haydon, G64 Pape Ave., Toronto, Ontario,
Canada, a copy of Da Costa's "Dionysian Artificers." Brother Haydon has been
trying for years to find a copy of this work, but without success, and will
gladly enter into an arrangement with some more fortunate brother for the
temporary loan of a copy.
By Bro. E. A. Russell, 761 Linwood Place, St. Paul, Minn.,
"Symbolism East and West," Aynsley; "The Gods of Egypt," Budge; "Dionysian
Artificers," Da Costa; "Secret Tradition in Masonry," and "Studies in
Mysticism," Waite; "The Cathedral Builders," Scott; "Freemasonry and the Great
Pyramid," Holland, and "Egypt the Cradle of Freemasonry," De Clifford.
By N.M.R.S., Anamosa, Iowa, "Leaflets of Masonic Biography, or
Sketches of Eminent Masons," by Cornelius Moore, published at Cincinnati in
By Bro. Silas E. Shepherd, Hartland, Wisconsin, "Catalogue of
the Masonic Library of Samuel Lawrence," "Mystic Masonry," by J. D. Buck,
"Second Edition of Preston's Illustrations of Masonry."
FOR SALE OR EXCHANGE
By Bro. Silas H. Shepherd, Hartland, Wisconsin, "Stray Leaves
from a Freemason's Note Book," by George Oliver. This volume also contains
"Some Account of the Schism showing the presumed origin of the Royal Arch
Degree." Univ. Mas. Lib. edition. Price $3.00. "Lights and Shadows of
Freemasonry," by Robert Morris. (Fiction and anecdotes.) Price $3.60.
By Nelson L. Finch, Broadalbin, N. Y.:
"The History of Freemasonry," by Robert Freke Gould. The London
edition, six volumes, 4to cloth, full gilt, 1884. Price $16.60.
"Discourse on Masonry," by Thaddeus Mason Harris, D. D. 1801.
"Tales of Masonic Life," by Robert Morris, 1860. Price $3.00
"Digest of Masonic Law," George W. Chase, 1869. Priff $1.60.
"Practical Masonic Lectures," by Samuel Lawrence, 1874 Price
THE QUESTION BOX
THE BUILDER is an open forum for free and fraternal discussion.
Each of its contributors writes under his own name, and is responsible for his
own opinions. Believing that a unity of spirit is better than a uniformity of
opinion, the Research Society, as such, does not champion any one school of
Masonic thought as over against another, but offers to all alike a medium for
fellowship and instruction, leaving each to stand or fall by its own merits.
The Question Box and Correspondence Column are open to all
members of the Society at all times. Questions of any nature on Masonic
subjects are earnestly invited from our members, particularly those connected
with lodges or study clubs which are following our "Bulletin Course of Masonic
Study." When requested, questions will be answered promptly by mail before
publication in this department.
"MOON DATES" NOT A LANDMARK
I have been very much interested in the various articles which
have appeared in all departments of the magazine, but more especially with the
"Question Box" department.
At a recent meeting of our lodge the proposition of changing
the time of our meetings from "moon time" to some fixed date, was brought up.
Some of the older members objected very strenuously to the change for a number
of reasons, so we younger members kept still. The one who spoke most
critically against any change did so largely on the ground that we are charged
to "stand by the ancient landmarks." In conversation with a well-informed
brother he mentioned a number of changes that have been made and to which
these same objectors have not dissented. The question arises as to what really
are the "ancient landmarks" as mentioned in the charge and as interpreted by
the better informed members of our Craft. Any information you can give me on
the subject will be appreciated.
The subject of "Landmarks" was discussed briefly by Brother
Haywood in the May, 1918, number of THE BUILDER. Answering for Iowa we can
quote Brother Joseph Fort Newton who names four: Universality; a Mason's
organized fellowship and right to that fellowship anywhere; qualifications,
and secrecy. Our brother T. S. Parvin, however, would not risk one! There has
never been any legislation on the question, to our knowledge, by the Grand
Lodge of Iowa. Certain it is that there is no authority for "Moon Dates" as a
In the January, 1921, issue of "The Quarterly Bulletin"
published by the Grand Lodge of Iowa we find the following short article on
the subject, which gives some very good reasons why the lodge to which our
brother belongs should break away from this obsolete custom:
"About half the lodges of Iowa still hold their regular
meetings on some date governed by the moon. The result is that every year some
lodges find that their December regular falls on or after December 24th, but
this discovery is not made until after the November regular and too late to
hold their election of officers without dispensation from the Grand Master.
The law provides that whenever the election is not held before December 24th
the Master‑elect shall not be entitled to the honors of a Past Master. This
penalty could have been avoided if the meeting had been on some definite week
day not governed by the moon. Let it be, say the first, second or third Monday
(or any other day of the week desired) in the month, and the Brethren will
know what it is without having to hunt an almanac. Also the election will not
be changing from December to November and back again, so that the Brethren do
not know when their election should be held. In the days when it was necessary
for Brethren to drive across country in order to attend lodge, it was very
convenient to have the regular lodge meeting come at a time when they could
drive by the light of the moon, but in the present day and age there is no
reason for Moon Dates. Lodges should so amend their by‑laws that their regular
meeting will fall on a definite week day of the calendar month."
* * *
BOOKS ON THE BIBLE
Is there any court of final appeal on questions about the
Bible? F.N.O., Utah.
There is not. Books written about the Bible, even by accredited
scholars, during the past hundred years would fill a large building. All these
volumes represent the views of various churches and schools of thought, and
what one man would consider authoritative another would consider valueless.
The nearest to a court of final appeal is the International Critical
Commentary, published by Scribners. This series is not yet complete but it is
nearly so, and it has already made a place for itself in its own field similar
to that occupied by the Britannica in the field of encyclpedias. On matters of
general religious import Hasting's Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, also
published by Scribners, is everywhere in the forefront. The best general
Introduction (best, that is, in the general opinion of scholars) to the
literature of the Old Testament, is Driver's; to the New Testament, is
Moffat's. For matters of information concerning the matters of fact scattered
here and there through the Bible, consult Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible,
or The Encyclopedia Biblica, edited by the late Canon Cheyne.
* * *
THOREAU NOT A MASON
Was Henry D. Thoreau a Mason?
No. The secretary of the lodge at Concord, Massachusetts, has
kindly furnished THE BUILDER with a complete roster of members during
Thoreau's lifetime, and the name of the great naturalist is not there. His
biographer (Sanborn) once remarks that Thoreau delivered a lecture in the
Concord Masonic Hall, but that of course does not mean that Thoreau was a
Mason because Masonic Halls were then very frequently used (as at present) for
* * *
MEANlNG OF THE WORD "ABIFF"
What is the meaning of the word "Abiff" ?
"His father." Hiram Abiff literally meant, "Hiram, his father";
that is to say, "Hiram, the father of Hiram." Hiram and Hiram Abiff are both
spoken of in the Old Testament history of the Temple. Some writers believe
that the first Hiram died, and that his son took his place as Grand Master. If
you have access to the Transactions of the Author's Lodge, read the article on
"The Third Degree" in Volume I.
* * *
DISCUSSIONS IN LODGES
A group of us in my own lodge started one night to discuss a
local political matter of some consequence under the head of the Good of the
Order but the Master peremptorily forbade it. He said that politics could
never be discussed in lodge. What is your opinion of that? H.J.L., Iowa.
It depends on what you mean by politics. If it has reference to
party, or to politicians, if it is partisan in character in any way, then
politics cannot and should not be discussed in lodge. It is everywhere
forbidden. Not to discuss politics in lodge is almost a landmark. If you start
discussing politics where will you stop? Why not discuss religion, or
business, or local social affairs? In anything in which personalities are
involved you would soon be discussing something in which your members would be
involved, and you would have a fight on your hand. Masons must avoid all
strife and dissension.
But there is no law against discussing abstract politics. A
brother could give a speech under the Good of the Order on the American
Constitution, or the Declaration of Independence, or what not, and no harm
could be done, and no rule broken.
Your Master acted in strict accordance with the law of your
Grand Lodge when he stopped you, if you were discussing partisan politics: he
was wrong if you were discussing merely abstract principles.
If you wish to discuss local politics, you can ask permission
to use the lodge room at some other time, and then meet informally, and not as
You could secure the use of some other room, and there meet
informally, and only with invited persons, thus keeping the gathering purely
Masonic in its personnel.
There are a dozen ways in which a group of Masons may "get
together" on any political measure without violating any law or rule, either
in letter or spirit. But such meetings would not be "Masonic" in any sense,
except that only Masons were present, and they should never be spoken of as
"Masonic meetings" because that would convey an erroneous impression to
* * *
A MASONIC DESERTER
A neighbor of mine is not very friendly to us; he said one
night that one of our early Grand Masters had deserted the Fraternity and had
gone over to its enemies. Is there any truth in this ? He couldn't remember
where he had read or heard of this. P.J.,Maine.
Your neighbor doubtless refers to the Duke of Wharton, who was
Grand Master, not very regularly elected, for the year 1722-1723. He was the
heir of a vast estate, a brilliant, erratic, dissipated youth, who never tired
of seeking out new sensations, and who gained his Masonic position through
pressure of his family's great prestige. To him is accredited the very old
"Ritual for Constituting a Lodge." Afterwards he deserted Masonry and went
over to The Gorgomons (some authorities attribute the existence of that body
to his lordship), which was a "high jinks" society at that time existing for
the very germane purposes of encouraging drunkenness and of opposing and
ridiculing the Society of Masons. Later on the Duke became the president of a
drinking association known as the "Hell Fire Club." He spent his latter years
on the continent where he constantly plotted schemes against his own
government, and there passed away in misery and disgrace at the early age of
thirty-three. He died a Roman Catholic.
* * *
BOOKS ON THE MYSTERIES OF ISIS, MITHRAS AND ELEUSIS
Will you kindly tell me what are the best works on the
Mysteries of Isis, Mithras, and of Eleusis?
The articles on these various subjects in the Encyclopedia
Brittanica and Hasting's Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics are very
valuable, and include long bibliographies. Good books in English are scarce,
but you will probably find all the information you need in the following:
On the Eleusinian Mysteries see "Cults of the Greek States," by
Farnell, volume III; "Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion," by J. E.
Harrison, published by the Cambridge University Press; "A Handbook of Greek
Religion," by Arthur Fairbanks, published by the American Book Company.
On the Isis worship the chapters in Sir Samuel Dill's "Roman
Life" are quite interesting. Perhaps the best treatment will be found in Sir
J. G. Frazer's "Adonis, Attis, and Osiris," which is volume five of his
extended work, "The Golden Bough," and is published by Macmillan & Company.
The best works on Mithras in any language are those written by
Franz Cumont, and published by the Open Court Company, Chicago.
* * *
"FROM WHOSE BOURNE NO TRAVELER RETURNS
Please explain this phrase, "To that undiscovered country from
whose bourne no traveler returns." W.S.H., Iowa.
The phrase is taken from Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act III, Scene
1, lines 79 and 80. The word Mourner is usually supposed to refer to "stream,"
as in the Scottish use "burn," but this, as you will learn if you refer to
Murray's English Dictionary, or to any good etymological dictionary, is an
error. The two words are not related in any way, so that the phrase has no
reference to "the river of death." "Bourn" (such seems to be the proper
spelling) is from a word meaning "boundary." The picture in the phrase is that
of a traveller who, if he crosses over into the country of death, will never
come back again across its bounds. Shakespeare did not mean that the man's
"spirit" might not return, else the ghost of Hamlet's father would have been
omitted from the play: he means that after one has moved over to abide in the
"undiscovered" country of death he can never again come back to live here as
he did before his departure. If you will study the phrase in its context in
Hamlet's famous soliloquy you will find it grow luminous with meaning, and
* * *
MAY WOMEN WEAR MASONIC EMBLEMS?
When my daughter went off to school last fall I gave her my
Masonic pin to wear, thinking it might prove a matter of protection to her.
She has been censured by some of her friends for wearing it; they claim that
she has no right to do so.
Your daughter has no right to wear such a pin in any merely
technical sense of the words but worldwide usage for generations gives her the
moral right. It is perfectly proper for women to wear such emblems, under the
above circumstances. Everybody knows that a woman cannot be a Freemason;
everybody knows that a woman would not wear a Masonic emblem to indicate as
much: therefore no deception is practiced, and no harm done.
The following are three Prayers in the Rawlinson Collection of
MSS. in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, alternate forms of a Prayer supposed
to be used at the Introduction of a New Member into the Society of Free
Masons, "found among the Papers of a Brother deceas'd."
"Most Glorious God, who art the Chief Architect of the
Universe, Grant unto us thy Servants, who have already enter'd ourselves into
this most Noble and Antient Fraternity, that we may be solid and Thoughtful,
and always have a Remembrance of those Sacred Things we have taken upon us,
and endeavour to instruct and inform each other in secrecy that nothing may be
unlawfully or illegally obtain'd, and that this thy Servant, who is now going
to be a Mason, may be a worthy member. Grant, O God, that he and all of us may
live as men, Considering the Great End for which we were Created, and do thou
give us Wisdom to contrive and Guide us in all our doings, strength to Support
in all Difficulties, and beauty to adorn those Heavenly mansions where thine
Honour dwells. Grant, O Lord, that we may agree together in Brotherly Love and
Charity towards one another, and in all our dealings do justice to all men,
Love Mercy and walk Humbly with thee, our God, so that at last, we may be made
Members of an Heavenly Jerusalem. Now unto the King Eternal, Immortal,
Invisible, the only wise God, be rendered and ascrib'd all Honour, Glory,
Might, Majesty, and Dominion, Thanksgiving, and Praise, world without end.
"Most Glorious Architect of the Universe, whom we adore in all
thy wonderful works of Creation, Grant unto us thy Servants already admitted
into this most noble and antient Fraternity, that we may behave ourselves in
such a manner, and always so faithfully preserve in our memories those sacred
engagements we have laid ourselves under, and Endeavor to instruct each other
in so secret a manner, that nothing may be unlawfully discover'd, and Grant
that this thy servant, who is now becoming a member of our Society may be
truly worthy of it. Grant, O Almighty Architect that he and all of us may lead
lives like Persons considering the sole End for which we were all Created, and
inspire into us Wisdom to contrive to thy Glory and our own Benefit, to Guide
us in all our Actions. Give us strength to support us under all Difficulties,
and bestow on us all those Beautiful Virtues, which are the peculiar ornaments
of the Members of those thy Heavenly Mansions, where thine Honour dwells.
Grant O thou that art the sole cause and spring of Harmony, peace, and order
that we may be cemented together as brethren and Exercise a Mutual Charity and
benevolence towards each other, in all our dealings so to do justice to all,
so love Mercy and thus walk Humbly with thee, our God, the Original of all
things, that at last we may become Members of that Heavenly Jerusalem, which
is thy work alone, built without hands. Now to the Almighty, Eternal,
Immortal, and Invisible Architect, the only wise God, be ascrib'd all Honour,
Glory, Might, Majesty and Dominion from this time forth for Evermore. Amen."
The following Prayer is said to have been composed by William
"O Most Glorious and Eternal God, who art the Chief Architect
of the created Universe! Grant unto us, thy Servants, who have already enter'd
our selves into this most noble, antient, and honourable Fraternity, that we
may be solid and thoughtful, and always have a Remembrance of those sacred and
holy Things we have taken on us, and endeavour to instruct and inform each
other in Secrecy; and that this Person, who is now about to be made a Mason,
may be a worthy Member; and may all of us live as Men, considering the great
End for which thy goodness has created us; and grant O Lord, that we may agree
in brotherly Love and Charity one towards another; and in all our dealings in
the World, do Justice to all Men, love Mercy, and walk humbly with God; and,
at last, may an abundant Entrance be ministred unto us, into a new and
heavenly Jerusalem, where we shall be crown'd with glory, honour, and
immortality, and behold those heavenly Mansions of Bliss where the Almighty
dwells and reigns for evermore. World without End. Now unto the King Eternal,
Immortal, Invisible, the only wise God, be Kingdom, Power, and Glory, for ever
and ever, Amen."
These prayers should be of interest to readers of THE BUILDER
as showing the practice in England in the early eighteenth century. Dudley
* * *
OVERSEAS MASONIC CLUBS, SECRETARIES AND HISTORIANS TAKE NOTICE
I would like to get in touch with the secretaries or historians
of Masonic Clubs and Overseas Lodges that were in the War area. I am trying to
compile an accurate history of what these clubs did over there for our boys.
Alexander P. Anderson,
R.F.D. 5, Moorestown, N. J.
* * *
FREEMASONS AND ROMAN CATHOLICS
(See article "Masonry" reproduced from "The Catholic
Encyclopedia" in the July, August, September and October, 1919, issues of THE
BUILDER; also "The Encyclical Letter 'Humanum Genus' of the Pope Leo XIII" in
the November, 19 issue of THE BUILDER; Brother Pike's reference to this Letter
in his Allocution to the Supreme Council in 1884, in the December, 1919, issue
of THE BUILDER, with his reply to the Pope’s letter in a later issue).
We may be without warrant of law for excluding Roman Catholics
from Freemasonry, but we have ample warrant in Masonic ideals and practices
for refusing all applications from members of the Roman Catholic Church. The
psychic gateway to a Masonic lodge is, I submit, too narrow to admit Roman
Catholics. We ought to refuse admission to all such applicants for the sake of
the Fraternity, for the sake of the Applicant, for the sake of our principles
1. For the sake of the Fraternity. A Roman Catholic can only
become a Freemason by forsaking his Church. He must either be a bad Mason or a
bad Roman Catholic. He cannot be a good Mason and a good Roman Catholic. A man
who leer his Church for the sake of Freemasonry may easily be tempted in
different circumstances to leave Freemasonry for the sake of his Church. There
exists for this reason a justifiable doubt as to whether such applicants are
ever fit and proper persons to be made Masons.
Further, if we admit a Roman Catholic we confirm him in the
idea that Freemasonry will supply him with what he fans is lacking in his
Church. This encourages the applicant to hold exaggerated opinions concerning
Freemasonry, with undoubted undesirable reactions which cannot but be
injurious to the Fraternity.
2. For the sake of the Applicant. A Roman Catholic who knocks
at the door of a Masonic lodge either renounces his past professions of
religion or practices a species of unworthy casuistry, for he knows that his
action will exclude him from absolution and communion. While, as Masons we
hold no opinions concerning these peculiar religious rites, as Masons we
cannot knowingly assist another to exclude himself from the benefits of his
religion, no matter what opinions we may hold as private individuals regarding
A Roman Catholic may apply for admission to the Fraternity
averring that he no longer conforms to the rules of his Church, and that he
does not consider them binding upon him. To such the answer should be that
while Masonry regards all forms of religion with equal friendly goodwill it
offers no substitute for any, nor does it welcome applicants who, in order to
qualify for admission have to acknowledge that they have only a formal
connection with the religion they profess.
3. For the sake of Neutrality. A Roman Catholic again may seek
admission to the Fraternity as a protest against Rome's ecclesiastical
tyranny. He should be told that Freemasonry will not open its doors for any
such purpose, that the Fraternity exercises perfect neutrality in regard to
all forms of religion and will not break such neutrality by knowingly
encouraging any member of any organized religion to do anything which runs
counter to the rulings or teachings of that religion. On the other hand, and
by the same rule, we should equally be infringing neutrality were we to refuse
a candidate, suitable in every other respect, solely on the ground that he was
a known opponent of the Roman Catholic Church.
We should unhesitatingly reject an application from a Sinhalese
Buddhist because Buddhism in Ceylon is atheistic, and no Sinhalese can profess
belief in Deity without denying his faith. A Roman Catholic believes in God,
but he also believes in an infallible Church, and that infallible Church
specifically forbids him to be a Mason. We deny the privilege of our Orders
equally to the Sinhalese and the Catholics and on the same grounds, viz., that
Masonry cannot under any circumstance officially countenance religious
I am aware that some Roman Catholics are Freemasons, but I do
not understand how or why. It would be unmasonic to suggest, without proof,
that they are unworthy brethren. I accept them without question as prima facie
what their obligations have made them, but in consonance with the three
explanations already given I should never vote for the admission of a Roman
Catholic applicant unless there were some very extraordinary reasons why he
should be received. Freemasons do not exclude Roman Catholics, Roman Catholics
in rerum natura exclude themselves. If a Jew or a member of any branch of the
Christian Church other than the Roman Catholic Church should apply for
admission to Freemasonry no questions would be asked concerning either his
creed, his standing or relation with his Church. In the case of Roman
Catholics such queries unfortunately become inevitable.
C. Spurgeon Medhurst. China.
* * *
PRESIDENTS AND GOVERNORS OF TEXAS WHO WERE MASONS
While Masonry, as an organization, does not meddle with
politics, nor with political parties, nor with policies of government, yet it
is a historical fact that during the past two hundred years Masons have been
prominent among the leaders in every movement for reform in government, for
the liberty of the people, and for the betterment of social conditions.
The leaders of the gallant armies which won the independence of
Texas and established the Republic of Texas were Masons, and were also the men
who organized the Grand Lodge of Texas.
Sam Houston, who was the first President of the Republic of
Texas, presided at the convention at which the Grand Lodge of Texas was
organized, and Anson Jones, the first governor of the State of Texas, was
secretary of that convention.
Three of the four Presidents of the Republic of Texas were
Masons, and twenty-one of the twenty-five Governors of Texas were Masons.
Following is a list of the Presidents of the Republic of Texas
and the Governors of the State of Texas who were Masons, with their lodge
Sam Houston, President 1836 and Governor 1869. Holland Lodge
No. 1, Houston.
David Burnett, President 1842. Holland Lodge No. 1, Houston.
Anson Jones, President 1844. Holland Lodge No. 1, Houston.
J. Pinkney Henderson, Governor 1846. Red Land Lodge No. 3, San
George Tyler Wood, Governor 1847. Forest Lodge No. 19,
Elisha M. Pease, Governor 1849. St. Johns Lodge No. 6, Brazoria.
H. R. Runnels, Governor, 1859. Austin Lodge No. 12, Austin.
Edward Clark, Governor 1861. Austin Lodge No. 12, Austin.
Francis R. Lubbock, Governor 1862. Holland Lodge No. 1,
A. J. Hamilton, Governor 1865. Palestine Lodge No. 31
James W. Throckmorton, Governor 1866. St. Johns Lodge No. 51,
Edmond J. Davis, Governor 1870. Rio Grande Lodge No. 81,
Richard Coke, Governor 1874. Waco Lodge No. 92, Waco.
Richard B. Hubbard, Governor 1876. St. Johns Lodge No. 53,
Oran M. Roberts, Governor 1879. Red Land Lodge No. 3, San
John Ireland, Governor 1883. Guadalupe Lodge No. 109,
Lawrence Sullivan Ross, Governor 1887. Waco Lodge No. 92, Waco.
Charles A. Culberson, Governor 1896. Jefferson Lodge No. 38,
Joseph D. Sayers, Governor, 1899.Gamble Lodge No. 224, Bastrop.
S. W. T. Lanham, Governor 1903Phoenix Lodge No. 275,
James E. Ferguson, Governor 1915. Knob Creek Lodge No. 401,
Wm. P. Hobby, Governor 1917. Beaumont Lodge No. 286, Beaumont.
Patt M. Neff, Governor 1921. Waco Lodge No. 92, Waco.
S. M. Bradley, Texas.
* * *
A HINT TO CANADIAN MASONIC STUDENTS
Since coming to this town, I with some other brethren, have
succeeded in forming a lodge, our charter membership being nine and I am more
than pleased to state that our hopes are being realized in a manner far beyond
expectations, we now having an enrollment of thirty-three members, with the
prospects of considerable more first-class material.
So far we have been so busy with degree work, that we have not
been able to take up research work as I would like, especially so as I have
the honor of being their first Worshipful Master and we will have our charter
presented to us this coming summer; still, however, we have a considerable
number of good members who will find this branch most interesting and we hope
to get started with a proper course of study within the next six months. I
feel that THE BUILDER affords us the greatest amount of information on many
interesting subjects. I would like to suggest that it might be of added
interest if you could get from some well-skilled Canadian brother, historical
sketches on the "work" in Canada, and as your Question Box department applies
to both branches, we obtain very useful information covering many points not
fully known to many officers, but frequently the hardships, hopes and
ambitions of lodges in your motherland, put forth in a pleasing style, would
be of help to younger lodges who often have disappointments to pass through.
R. M. Watson, Canada
* * *
ON THE ORIGIN OF THE WORD "HELE"
Some time ago you published a short paragraph explaining the
word "Hele," and in this connection I hope you will find space for the
following quotation from the last received Transaction of the Quatuor Coronati
Lodge, of London, England. In the discussion on Rt. Wor. Bro. T. J. Salwey's
paper on "Some Trade Guilds at Ludlow," Canon Horseley supplied this note:
"In the Ludlow Indenture of 1575 the Brotherhood of Smiths
contained many trades, some of them very remote in aim and operation from
Smiths. These are grouped in the list to a certain extent, and so Tylers,
Slaters and Helyers come together. Houses were, and are, covered with tiles,
or slates, or thatch; hence the three cognate trades. Nowadays we might write
Tilers, Slaters, and Thatchers; but the old Saxon word 'Helyer' is still in
"I asked my church warden who thatched his ricks. 'A helyer
from Bearsted,' (the next village), he said. The helyer heles or covers the
ricks. A gardener heles the potato plants he earths up. And so Hell in the
Apostles' Creed is the covered place, the unseen world, the ancient conception
of the world being that of a flat plate with the river of ocean running round
it, while above there was a hemisphere heaved up and hence called Heaven, and
correspondingly beneath there was the heled or covered place. Men could look
up and understand something of the star-spangled arch of blue, but the
reversed arch or crypt beneath was to the eyes a flesh 'heled, concealed, and
never revealed,' or, as some would, I suppose, say, 'hailed, concealed, and
The above very interesting contribution from a learned brother
is evidence of how much we still use in common with our Saxon forefathers.
N. W. J. Haydon, Canada.
PRACTICAL EDUCATION AIMED AT
Washington, D.C. - (Capital News Service). - The coupling of
efficiency with education, or at least with educational processes, seems to be
an evolvement of the not too far distant future, judging by expressions by
those both in and out of organizations and institutions having to do with the
promotion of learning. Also, the solving of many problems now of a most
vexatious character, it is being asserted, will be brought about if education
is made a practical proposition. Another constructive thought being advanced
is the judicious advertising of educational facilities.
It has been pointed out by the author of the house bill
creating a department of education, Representative Towner of Iowa, that one
entirely new section of the measure introduced by him in the new Congress
creates an advisory council made up in part of twenty-five citizens not
professionally connected with educational institutions, each State qualifying
under the federal law for participation in government funds to have such a
council. The other members of this council would be the chief school
authorities of the State and twenty-five educators representing different
interests in education.
Principal J. I. Burton of the Morton, Va., high school, in an
address at a conference of principals, pointed out that education throughout
the country is doing a billion dollar business annually, and that it should be
advertised in the same way as a commercial enterprise. Mr. A. I. Smith, the
master of Balliol, in an address at Oxford, his audience being a gathering of
works directors, managers, foremen and forewomen, made the point that
education of the future would be a factor in industry, that "all our
industrial problems, the shop steward, the class war, the need of greater
output and dilution, the possibilities of profit sharing and bonuses, of
guilds, of industrial democracy and the use of 'direct action' all turn on the
intelligence of the worker." Continuing, he stressed the practicality of
education of the future, if these results are to be attained.
It is the making of educational processes practical, in the
right sense, that the congressional and other prominent backers of the
Department of Education bill are seeking, and it is this feature, according to
these leaders, which, coupled with the democracy of the measure, is bringing
to it support from men high in business and financial life, as well as in the
ranks of organized labor.
MASONIC CLUBS INDORSE TOWNER-STERLING BILL
Action Taken Following Address by House Author; House of Temple
Scene of Reception at Which Grand Commander Moore Made Plea for
Americanization and Educational Measure.
Washington, D.C. - (Capital News Service). - In the grand
council room of the Supreme Council, thirty-third and last degree of the
Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry for the southern
jurisdiction of the United States, Sovereign Grand Commander George Fleming
Moore welcomed delegates to the National League of Masonic Clubs to the
magnificent House of the Temple, Sixteenth and S streets northwest. This
feature of the convention was one of the most interesting of the gathering.
The grand council chamber was thrown open on this occasion for
the first time to visitors. In his address to the guests, the grand commander
made a plea for Americanization, and indorsed the Towner-Sterling bill now
before the Congress. It was suggested during the reception that the temple
building, which was inspected throughout, could not be replaced today for less
One of the developments of the convention program of national
interest was a proposal to erect in Washington a building to be the national
headquarters of the League of Masonic Clubs, and to cost around $1,000,000.
This proposition was presented formally in a resolution by Chairman Roe
Fulkerson of the resolutions committee. In reports by President Joseph T.
Slingsby of Rutherford, N. J., Secretary-Treasurer Edward A. McKinnon, and
other officers, the year's history of the organization was reviewed and great
Following an address by Representative Towner, the League
indorsed the Towner-Sterling department of education bill.
COMMITTEE OF INTERNATIONAL SUNDAY SCHOOL ASSOCIATION INDORSES
Washington, D.C. - (Capital News Service). - The committee on
education of the International Sunday School Association, representing 33
Protestant religious denominations and 65 state and provincial Sunday School
associations, with a Sunday School constituency of more than 20,000,000
pupils, in session at Buffalo, went on record in statements issued as
approving "the SmithTowner bill and the stronger organization and support
which it insures to the public school system." The association also in a
statement expressed its surprise at opposition of a sectarian character to the
measure, and expressed its strong opposition to the substitution of a Public
Welfare Department or any other department for the proposed Department of
The Board of Temperance, Prohibition, and Public Morals of the
Methodist Episcopal Church, in a statement in which an appeal is made to "save
our schools," points to the following national organizations, besides numerous
local organizations, which are supporting the Smith-Towner bill: National
Educational Association, American Federation of Labor, American Federation of
Teachers, General Federation of Women's Clubs, National Congress of Mothers
and Parent-Teachers' Association, American Library Association, National
Council of Jewish Women, Association of Collegiate Alumnae, Patriotic Order
Sons of America, National League of Women Voters, National Society Daughters
of the American Revolution.