The Builder Magazine
September 1922 - Volume VIII -
George W. Baird - A Tribute
SOMEWHERE in the back
of my mind there lives a little poem that a traveling-man recited to me more
than twenty years ago. I am afraid I shall stray far from the original of the
simple little lines; but as I recall them now they run something like this:
rose to the living is more
the suffering spirit has fled,
to the living is more
sumptuous wreaths to the dead."
It matters not that the
rendering may be far off the track, for the sentiment is preserved, which in
these connections is the principal thing, and it is this sentiment that has
inspired me to write a little memorial to Brother George W. Baird who has so
firmly established himself in THE BUILDER'S great family of readers by his
series on Memorials to Great Men Who Were Masons. This now famous series began
in the first volume of THE BUILDER with an article on Masonic Memorials, which
appeared in the July issue. It was followed by a second on Benjamin Franklin;
and so it all began.
The more discerning
readers have long ere this discovered the inner importance of this series of
articles. Oftentimes the greatest career transmits nothing of itself to
posterity save a gravestone; by that slender thread the living must keep hold
of the noble dead. But what if some group of persons, for reasons of their
own, begin to cut these threads? Confusion is introduced into history. It
becomes necessary to preserve memorials in books which are more enduring than
stones and brasses. There are mans in our land who would like to forget that
many of our forefathers were square-and-compass men; they would like the world
to forget it. Brother Baird has forestalled them. Gravestones in New England
graveyards may crumble into indistinguishable dust; the memorials preserved in
THE BUILDER will be consulted by historians generations hence. To Brother
Baird the Masonic Fraternity is heavily indebted for the toil he has bestowed,
and with no thought of reward, upon this task of preserving the memory of
George W. Baird (for
portrait see frontispiece) was born in Washington, D.C. on April
22, 1843, which
was a long while ago. John Tyler was president. It was the year in which
Daniel O'Connell was arrested. It was one year after rubber first came into
use. It was at the time when Dr. Long of Georgia first began to administer
ether as an ansesthetic. For those who enjoy a bit of sly humor in their
history it may be also said that it was one year before Ronge led his great
defection from the Roman Catholic church and founded in Germany his new brand
of it, the German Catholic Church. Those were stirring times, and he was a
wise baby who chose such a year for his advent into this exciting world.
His father was Matthew
Baird, a steamship engineer and machinist who, in
1829, fitted and
installed the machine work on the first passenger locomotive that ever turned
a wheel on this continent. His grandfather was also a Matthew Baird, born of
Scotch parents - be it noted - in Ulster, which is one of the counties of
Ireland. This grandfather helped to draw the plans for the Executive Mansion,
otherwise known as the White House; and he modelled the first composite column
of the Capitol; and also did the same for the City Hall at New York. It all
goes to prove that once in a while genius may be inherited. On the mother's
side the family came from Virginia where, for ten generations, they had taken
part in the important political, military and religious activities of the Old
After receiving his
elementary education in public and private schools at Washington, D.C.,
Brother Baird was apprenticed to a printer, and later to a machinist. At
nineteen he entered the Navy as an engineer. When the Civil War broke out he
was ready to take a man's part. He served on the Mississippi, Calhoun,
Kensington, and Pensacola, and was under fire more than twenty times but
escaped with a whole skin, thus disproving Wordsworth who said the good die
young. Having a genius for mechanical work he was detailed for duty under the
famous engineer B.F. Irishwood in the Bureau of Steam Engineering. He
accompanied Irishwood to California in 1869 and served at the Mare Island
Yard. While on the Pacific he also served on board the Saranac and the
Pensacola, visiting the while almost every port from Sitka to Talcahuna. For
three years he worked on the designs of new vessels and left behind him many a
now-familiar invention, as will be described later. He was serving on board
the Vandalia when General Grant made his famous cruise to Cairo, where he
lived in the Cal-al-noussa palace. If you wish to learn more about this
notable trip read the excellent account by John Russell Young.
After his return to the
United States Brother Baird was detailed to supervise the construction of the
deep-sea exploring ship, the Albatross, and designed most of the special
machinery on that vessel which made such a name for itself in marine science.
The Albatross brought out of the depths of the ocean more genera and species
of marine life during her first year than all previous deep-sea explorations
combined. She was the first government vessel of any nation to utilize the
Among inventions and
scientific achievements to his credit may be noted the following: the Baird
distilling apparatus; the pneumatic tell-tale; the evaporator; and
boiler-feeder. His experiments on the mechanical ventilation of ships began in
1864 and reports were published in the Journal of the Naval Institute; many of
these devices were adopted. He was a member of the board that powered the gun
shops at Washington. He has written much for magazines: see the Franklin
Institute for the absorption of gases by water; Science, on electric lighting,
etc. The French Academy gave him the credit for being the first to prove, by
mathematics, the actual flight of the flying fish, Exocetus Robustus. He
designed the first anchor engine used in the navy.
He was a charter member
of the American Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, and of the
Washington Society of Engineers. He is a member of the Biological Society; the
Washington Academy of Sciences; and the National Geographic Society. He is
Past President of the District of Columbia Society of the Sons of the American
Revolution, and Past Vice President of the general Society of the same: a
member of the St. Andrews Society, which is Scotch; the John Paul Jones Club;
the Cosmos Club, etc.
Brother Baird was made
a Mason in a French lodge at Lisbon, Portugal, in 1867; he affiliated with
Naval Lodge No. 87 in California, and later with Hope, in Washington, D.C., of
which he is a past master. He was made Grand Master in 1896; and in recent
years has been Chairman of the Committee on Correspondence, his reports of
which are full of information and unexpected turns, and are read with delight
by all the members of the Round Table of Reporters. He is past High Priest of
Washington Chapter; was knighted in Washington Commandery; is a member of all
the Scottish Rite bodies; and was made a 33rd degree man in Albert Pike
Consistory in 1893. He has been a member of the National Masonic Research
Society from the beginning, and was formerly a member of the Correspondence
Circle of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge of London, England. Needless to say, he
has also traversed the sands, which journey he made in Almas Temple.
Spanish-American War, when steam had succeeded sails as a propulsive power,
the "Line" of the Navy and the officers of the Engineer Corps were
"amalgamated" and Brother Baird was transferred to the Line as a commander but
much against his wishes. He served as commander and as captain, and when he
retired was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral, in honor of the services he
performed during the Civil War.
Brother Baird has the
habit of illustrating his letters, of which he writes the most refreshing
specimens, with original cartoons done in colored ink. Upon writing this
little sketch to express to him the appreciation felt by the members of The
National Masonic Research Society for his long continued services, I besought
him to furnish me with a page of these cartoons illustrating himself; but he
asked to be excused on the ground of advancing age, rheumatism, and a sick
wife. To the sick wife we send our sympathies; for the rheumatism we extend
our regrets; but as to the old age we all demur. Brother Baird, for all his 79
years, does not age, but, like his Masonic colleague, Chauncey Depew, refuses
to capitulate to Father Time. Active as ever, eager in all good causes, he
writes many little articles for the general press on Masonry and Patriotism,
the two of which are fused together in his mind as they should be in every
mind, and sows these about the country. May he keep at the good work for years
to come! Age cannot wither or custom stale his infinite variety l
If you wish to get on,
you must do so as you would get through a crowd to a gate all are equally
anxious to reach. Hold your ground and push hard. - Montague.
EGYPTIAN INFLUENCE ON OUR MASONIC CEREMONIAL AND RITUAL
BRO. THOMAS ROSS, P.G.M., NEW ZEALAND
centering on my subject I think it would be as well if I made it quite clear
that whatever antiquity may be urged for our ceremonies and ritual, our signs,
words and tokens, there can be no question that shortly after the formation of
the three Grand Lodges in the early part of the eighteenth century our ritual,
with all that is attached to it, was much as we have it today. When I
therefore enter on the object of endeavouring to prove that much of that
ritual has an Egyptian origin I want the brethren to know that it was not
until the year 1820, or quite 100 years after the formation of the three Grand
Lodges, before there was anything like an earnest attempt made to read the
hieroglyphics or sacred Writings of Egypt, while it was quite another fifty
years before the Book of the Dead was deciphered and given to the world by
Lepsius Wilkinson, Naville, Petrie, Wallace Budge and other enthusiastic
reading of the hieroglyphics or sacred writings was for centuries before the
Christian era confined to the priests of Egypt, and was called by themselves
the writing of the priests, so that when Christianity became the dominant
religion in Egypt the old worship became obsolete the priests died out, and
the knowledge and practice of the priestly writings went completely out of
use, was neglected, forgotten, and for a period of 1500 years utterly unknown
to the world.
Egyptology, or the science of studying the ancient language, history and
religion from the hieroglyphics, is a thing of almost yesterday, and may be
looked upon as one of the most romantic episodes in the domain of literature.
of you are conversant with the history of the finding of the Rosetta Stone by
a French officer of artillery in 1798 in Rosetta, on the coast of Egypt. This
stone is of black basalt, and is one of the most treasured relics in the
Egyptian galleries in the British Museum, being the key that unlocks the
mysteries of the Egyptian writings.
Rosetta Stone is a monumental slab or tablet set up as a record of the
benefactions of Ptolemy V, a king of Egypt about 195 B.C.; it contains
fourteen lines of hieroglyphics, thirty-two lines of Demotic, and fifty-four
of Greek, coming in that order from the top. The Greek text was easily read,
a translation being published in 1801-2. Since it stated that the monument
was a bilingual one (the writing of the priests and the writing of the books
being the Egyptian identical with the writing of the Greeks) men of letters
set themselves the task of trying to decipher the hieroglyphics.
years 1819 to 1822 Mr. Thomas Young, an Englishman, and M. Champollion, a
Frenchman, stated that these characters, which were generally looked upon as
picture-writing, were letters of an alphabetic or phonetic value. Certain
characters, as may be seen in the hieroglyphic part of the stone, were written
in cartouches or cartridge-shaped enclosures, and these cartouches recurred in
the Greek text under the name of Ptolemy. Eventually such names as Ptolemy,
Berenice and Cleopatra were spelt out, and thus a key was obtained, which
enabled them to unlock the secret of reading the records of the priests of
latter half of the last century Ernest Renan, the celebrated French water,
truly said: "Egypt remains a lighthouse in the profound darkness of
antiquity." One would almost think the compilers of our ritual had these words
in mind when we read in our lectures: "The usages and customs of Freemasonry,
our signs and symbols, our rites and ceremonies, correspond in a great degree
with the mysteries of ancient Egypt." An assertion such as this would
naturally lead one to expect in working the several degrees some reference or
some allusion to the religion and mysteries of Egypt as the origin of some
part at any rate of our ritual.
contrary however, nearly the whole of our ceremonial is attributed to episodes
in the life of some member of the Jewish race as narrated in the Holy
Scriptures, while almost all our words and passwords are given as being
derived from the same source. Not a single one of the signs, tokens or words
are pointed out as corresponding with those used in the religion or mysteries
of ancient Egypt. It will be my endeavour to show the brethren wherein much
of our ceremonies correspond with the religion of Egypt, and that we can
fairly claim the fundamentals of the Masonic ritual to have had an origin
hoary with antiquity compared with the religion of Israel.
RELIGION OF ANCIENT EGYPT
would be as well before going further to glance briefly at the religion of
Egypt, for each of the Egyptian mysteries, like those practised in Syria,
Greece and Rome, was based on some circumstance in the life of their gods and
religion of ancient Egypt is to be found in a vast collection of religious
texts, arranged in 190 chapters. They have been collected from the walls of
tombs and temples, from papyrus rolls enclosed in mummy cases along with their
occupants, and from writings upon the mummy cases and sarcophagi themselves.
fine example of this is the picture shown in Fig. 1, being The Alabaster
Sarcophagus of Seti I, who lived 1360 B. C. This very fine coffin has upon it
extracts from nearly all the texts, and, many of them being illustrated, the
illustrations make the text doubly interesting. The part presented to us
shows the divine bark of Ra, the Sun God, being conveyed through the fourth
hour of the mysteries. The bottom of the sarcophagus shows a beautiful
full-size painting of the Goddess of the Heavens (Fig. 2,) surrounded with
texts of the same religious litany.
name Book of the Dead has been given to these writings, and as far back as
Egyptian history and traditions can go the Book of the Dead appears to have
been an integral part of the religions of Egypt. No mere man was the author
of this remarkable collection. The texts were dictated by God Himself at the
creation of the world, to Thoth, the Scribe of the Gods, who is shown as
having the body of a man and the head of a bird, and is always depicted in the
act of writing the decrees of the deities. We might style Thoth the Divine
emanation of wisdom and learning, the inspiration of God to man, the first to
fill the place ascribed by Plato to the Divine Logos and by St. John to "The
Word." The picture in Fig. 3 represents Thoth in his different attributes,
"Lord of Writing," "Great God," "Scribe of the Gods," and "establisher of
millions of years."
Thousands of years before Moses wrote, "In the beginning God created the
heaven and the earth," the Egyptian story of the creation had been given to
Egypt as we have it here in Fig. 4, where the god Nu is rising out of the
primeval water bearing on his outstretched arms the boat of the sun god Ra;
this is being received by the goddess of the heavens Nut, who again stands on
the head of Osiris, whose body encloses the region of the underworld. In the
center of the picture we have the Sacred Scarabaeus, symbol of the Creator
raising himself out of the primeval void, and separating the firmament above
from the waters beneath.
Book of the Dead contains (as we see here) a history of the creation, the
attributes of God, the powers and functions of the attendant gods and
goddesses, as well as the ceremonies required to enable a to live such a life
on earth as shall prevent his soul from being cast into that pit of fire,
where the doomed one must not only suffer eternal torment, but, as can be seen
in Fig. 5, must undergo a species of penal servitude.
other hand, a man who lives a good life and acts up to the teachings of the
inspired writings, will obtain from Osiris, the "Lord of Everlastingness," as
his final reward, not only the crown of immortality, but a pleasant existence
in the Elysian fields. There he will live in the company of the gods, there
his crops will grow luxuriantly, his cattle be sleek and docile, and there he
can have the company and fellowship of those whom he loved and knew on earth.
We find this belief borne out in the prayer of Sepa, as shown in Fig. 6.
the exception of a few tales, the records of the wars, expeditions of their
rulers, detailed statements of the erection of their temples, tombs and
monuments, and some hymns to the gods and goddesses, the chief and almost only
literature of the Egyptians was the Book of the Dead. We can, therefore,
realize how inseparably these chapters, with their formula of rubrics,
litanies, ceremonies, passwords and signs must have entered into the minds and
lives of the people.
outsider the people of Egypt almost deserved the sneer of Juvenal: "Who knows
not what monsters mad Egypt can worship; whole towns worship a dog, nobody
Diana"; or that of Plutarch: "The Egyptians, by adoring the animals and
reverencing them as gods, have ruled their religious worship with many
ridiculous rites. To this Origin, one of the Christian fathers, very
pertinently replies, "Many, listening to accounts they do not understand,
relative to the sacred doctrines of the Egyptian philosophers, fancy that they
are acquainted with all the wisdom of Egypt, though they have never conversed
with any of their priests, nor received any information from persons initiated
into their mysteries."
although every province, city, town, and even household had its god or trinity
of gods, over and above all there reigned the Supreme Ruler of heaven and
earth - the great First Cause, Creator and Preserver of all, the Great
Architect of the Universe - Ra, the Sun God, called in Upper Egypt Amun Ra,
"the hidden one." As proof of this, we have, in the Book of the Dead, among
the many hymns to Ra, "Thou art the one God who didst come into being in the
beginning of time." "Thou didst create the earth; thou didst fashion man; thou
didst make the abyss of the sky; thou didst create the watery abyss; and thou
didst give life to all that therein is." "O Thou One, Thou mighty One, of
myriad forms and aspects." So when we contemplate the group of prominent
deities in Fig. 7 we see Ra, the Great Architect in some of his myriad forms
Amun Ra, and the triad of Osiris, Isis and Horus were worshipped throughout
the whole of Egypt from the earliest pre-dynastic times to the very end of its
civilization under its native rulers, a period of anything from 7,000 to
years. The worship of Isis and Horus and the ceremonial of Ra and Osiris have
survived to the present day, though under different names; the former in a
branch of the Christian Church, and the latter, as I hope to show, in our
set forth this general claim for the close connection between our ancient
moral system and that of Egypt, let me show briefly under separate headings
how some of our more familiar symbols, traditions and ceremonies may be
explained in the light of Egyptology.
POINT WITHIN A CIRCLE
God Ra is written phonetically with the hieroglyphs R. and A., i.e., a mouth
and an arm, followed by the two ideographs, a circle with a dot in the centre
and a seated god. But on most occasions the name of Ra, the Sun God, is
written with the ideograph of a point within a circle, as though the name was
of "too essential a nature to be fully comprehended by human wisdom or clearly
pronounced by the tongue of any individual."
sign of a point within a circle was used by the kings of Egypt for thousands
of years as their royal title to the throne, while they did not scruple to
style themselves (as we see in Fig. 8), sons of Ra. The same sign is even
today used by astronomers in writing of the sun as the centre of the heavenly
bodies, and is referred to in our Masonic ritual.
sun, being the visible emblem of the god Ra, had three names or aspects. In
the morning he was Kheper Ra, or Ra Harmachis, the opener of the day. The
Sphinx, the oldest monument in the world, was called Ra Harmachis, the rising
sun. This huge figure, with the face and head of a man and the body of a
lion, is 140 feet long and over 60 feet in height. As it sits there see (Fig.
9) facing "the east, to open and enliven the glorious day," it represents
wisdom and strength. For thousands of years also it represented beauty, for
in 1200 A. D. the learned Arab, Abd-el-Latif, described the face as being very
beautiful and the mouth as graceful and lovely.
midday, when the sun was at his meridian, he was Ra, the strong one: "When all
beasts and cattle reposed in their pastures and the trees and green herbs put
forth their leaves."
even he was Atmu, or Temu, the closer of the day: "When thou settest in the
western horizon the earth is in darkness and is like a being that is dead."
This last quotation is strikingly shown in the illustration to chap. xviii. of
the Book of the Dead. The Sun God, in shape of the Sacred Eagle with disc on
head and folded wings, is about to set in the mountains of the west. Isis and
Nepthys, sister goddesses, are adoring two lions, representing the sun of
yesterday and the sun of tomorrow - a fine allegory of past, present and
we see that Ra Harmachis, like our W.M. was placed in the east; Ra, like our
J. W., represented the sun at its meridian; and Temu, like our S. W., is
placed in the west to close the day, or, as the Egyptian ritual puts it: "I am
Ra Harmachis in the morning, Ra in his noontide, Temu in the evening."
TWO GREAT PILLARS
in importance to the worship of Ra, the Sun God, was the cult of Osiris and
Isis and of Isis and Horus. The adoration of these gods and this goddess was
not only the dominant religion in Egypt from the very earliest until the
latest times, but during nearly a thousand years it had spread into Phoenicia,
Greece, Rome, and throughout the whole of the Roman Empire. In many cases
Osiris is identified with Ra, the Sun God, while Isis is most frequently shown
wearing the disc of the moon or the crescent moon on her head.
texts Isis is the divine consort of Ra Osiris. She is the moon who rules the
night as the sun rules the day; and every month at Now Moon she gathered the
sun into her lap to be impregnated anew. "That I may behold the face of the
sun and that I may behold the moon for ever and ever," was the great wish of
the pious Egyptian (Book of the Dead, chap. xviii).
and Isis are often pictured as the two eyes of Ra, and in that capacity enter
largely into the mysteries of Ra. Now, when we consider how much the sun and
moon bulked in the worship of the Egyptians and surrounding nations, let us
see what effect this would be likely to have on those two great pillars placed
by King Solomon at the porchway or entrance to his temple at Jerusalem.
Before the temple of the sun at Heliopolis (the On of Genesis), Osertsen the
First (of the twelfth dynasty B. C. 2435) set up two obelisks. One of them
remains there today, the only trace left of that gorgeous building where
Joseph's father-in-law served as priest to the Sun God, where Moses, as the
adopted son of Pharaoh, must have worshipped and conducted the mysteries of
the temple; and where, two thousand years later, learned Grecians like
Herodotus came to study. These two obelisks would undoubtedly represent the
two most important objects in the worship of the heavenly bodies, the sun and
the moon, Osiris Ra and Isis.
1000 years later, or, to be exact, B.C. 1566, Queen Hatasoo, of the eighteenth
dynasty, set up two obelisks in front of the Temple of the Sun at Karnak.
They are there today, the one standing, the other fallen down, a memorial to
the worship of the two heavenly bodies. Fig. 10 gives us this obelisk as it
a work published in 1757, "Travels in Egypt, by Frederick Lewis Norden, Capt
Danish Navy." Captain Norden visited Karnak on 11th December, 1737. In his
book he has plates in the old copper engraving, and among them he has this
view (Fig. 11), which I have copied from his book. Speaking of this plate, he
says: "I drew magnificent antiquities in all the situations is was possible
for me and as they offered themselves to my sight."
see by Captain Norden's drawing that obelisks were standing at the entrance to
the temple less than two hundred years ago. So that the artist who made for
us the drawing of Karnak restored (which we have here in Fig. 12), placed the
obelisks in the position they originally stood when set up by Queen Hatasoo
nearly 3600 years ago. The queen, in an inscription on the walls of her
temple, describes them as "two great obelisks of granite of the south, and the
summit of each is covered with copper and gold, the very best which can be
obtained; they shall be seen from untold distances, and they shall flood the
land with their rays of light. I have done these things because of the loving
heart I possess towards my father, Amun Ra, the Sun God."
centuries later at Medinet Abu was placed a very fine pair of pillars at the
porchway or entrance to the temple. We see by this that the obelisk has given
place to a pillar with an ornamental capital. These pillars (Fig. 13) were
set up by Rameses III about 1200 B.C., or quite 200 years before King Solomon
built the Holy Temple at Jerusalem.
pillar seems to have been largely used in the religious thinking of the
Egyptians, either as an emblem of the Deity or a thank-offering from the
worshippers. In many of the temples to-day there are beautiful lotus and
papyrus pillars, while in numerous vignettes in the Book of the Dead we have
Osiris seated in a shrine upheld by two graceful pillars. Now, when we see
that not only in Egypt, but in the surrounding countries, the worship of the
sun and the moon was not only the prevailing but the popular religion of the
people, there is little to be wondered at that when the Israelites left Egypt
they not only carried away with them a very strong bias in favour of this
worship, but had that propensity considerably strengthened when they settled
down among the sun and moon worshippers of Palestine. So rampant was this
prejudice in favour of sun and moon worship, that we find Moses denouncing it
in no unmeasured terms, and threatening death on the "man or woman that hath
brought wickedness in the sight of the Lord thy God in transgressing His
covenant, and hath gone and served other gods and worshipped them, either the
sun or the moon" (Deut. xvii. 2, 3). In spite of these warnings, however we
find years afterwards "Josiah put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings
of Judah had ordained to burn incense to the sun and to the moon" (2 Kings
xxiii. 5). Again we read, "At that time, saith the lord, they shall bring out
the bones of the brings of Judah, and the bones of his Princes, and the bones
of the inhabitants of Jerusalem out of their graves, and they shall spread
them before the sun and the moon whom they have loved and whom they have
worshipped" (Jer. viii. 1, 2).
Ezekiel saw "five and twenty men with their backs towards the temple of the
Lord and their faces towards the east, and they worshipped the sun towards the
east" (Ezek. viii. 16). The Jewish women told Jeremiah: "But we will
certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth to burn incense
unto the Queen of Heaven (the moon or Isis) and to pour out drink unto her as
we have done, we and our fathers and our kings and our princes in the cities
of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem" (Jer. xlix. 17). One more
quotation, this time from the sorely afflicted Man of Uz: "If I beheld the sun
when it shines or the moon walking in brightness, and my heart hath been
secretly enticed or my mouth hath kissed my hand" (Job xxxi. 26, 27).
we thus see the influence that sun and moon worship had upon the children of
the Exodus, and when we consider that though settled in Palestine they were
surrounded by nations who paid homage to the sun and moon under the names of
Osiris Ra and Isis, Baal and Astarte, Milcom and Ashtoreth, and Adonis and
Cybele, and when we read that Solomon took to himself wives from Egypt, Moab,
Ammon, Edmon and Phoenicia we are quite prepared for the information given in
I Kings xi. 5 that "Solomon went after Ashtoreth, the Goddess of the Zidonians
(the moon), and after Milcom, the abomination of the Ammonites (the sun)."
brings us to still another consideration that, in view of these telling
quotations from Scripture, are we not justified in assuming when Solomon put
up those two great pillars at the porchway or entrance to the temple (as
portrayed by R.'. W.'. Bro. Haweridge in Fig. 14) they had an esoteric meaning
entirely different from that ascribed to them in holy writ and that only by
adopting the view I shall now put before you as to the signification of those
pillars can we bring in the meaning given to them in our ritual.
told that the pillar on the left denoted strength, while that on the right
signified to establish. Let us suppose that these two pillars, no matter by
what names they were called, had also a hidden meaning, what more appropriate
conception for signifying strength could be selected than the Sun God. The
sun was all powerful, all beneficent, daily observing all that transpired on
earth, while the pillar on the right, if we put it down as representing the
moon goddess, would answer as the Establisher. The phases of the moon marked
out the weeks, each moon was a lunar month, and with unfailing regularity she
indicated the Jewish festivals, marking them to stand firm forever, and when
conjoined with the strength of the sun what better designation could be
applied than stability?
consider the question carefully and reflect on all that the sun and the moon
stood for to these people at this particular time, we can see that strength
and stability would be a more apt interpretation for those bodies than could
be deduced from the great-grandfather of David and the assistant high priest
at the dedication of the temple. Reading certain passages of the Psalms helps
to confirm us in this. "They shall fear Thee as long as the sun and moon
endure throughout all generations." (Ps. lxxii. 5.) "It shall be established
forever as the moon." (Ps.lxxxix. 37). "He appointed the moon for seasons,
the sun knoweth his going down." (Ps. civ. 19).
Another shown (Fig. 15) is from an ancient Cyprian coin depicting the old
temple of Aphrodite, at Paphos, built about 100 years before the temple at
Jerusalem. In addition to the pillars at each side of the entrance to the
temple, the sun and moon are also represented as adorning the top of the
building. Let us bear in mind that Solomon's intimate friend and adviser was
Hiram, King of Tyre, that his Chief Master Mason was Hiram Abif, that his
principal architect was Adoniram, all Phoenicians; that this temple of Paphos,
which was at the time the glory of the Mediterranean Coast and lay only a
short distance from Tyre, would powerfully influence the minds of these in the
immediate vicinity. Nor is it improbable that the architecture of this
temple, with its pillars, would appeal to the Phoenician craftsmen and would
largely guide them in suggesting to Solomon a similar style of sanctuary in
the house he was about to build for the Lord God of Israel. There is yet
another motive that may have influenced Solomon in dedicating these pillars to
solar deities. Professor Sayee says that Hadad was the Supreme Baal or sun
god of Babylonia and that his worship was widespread in Palestine and Syria,
also that the abbreviated form of the name of Hadad was Dad, Dadu, and the
biblical David. If therefore David was the Palestinian name for Baal, the sun
god, what more likely than that Solomon would be ready to take this
opportunity of perpetuating the memory of his illustrious father. Fig. 16
shows Hadad, the Syrian sun god, in the form of a pillar, with solar emblems,
a solar crown and grasping a fiery sword symbolic of the thunderbolt.
Encyclopedia Biblica, in treating of the two pillars, suggests that the names
given are enigmatical and that they must have a religious significance. That
not improbably the full name of the pillar on the left hand is Baal-zebul
(dwelling of the sun), and in later times probably the name of the second
pillar was literately mutilated because of the new and inauspicious
associations which had gathered round it. Solomon, to have been consistent
with the teachings of Moses, should have erected only one pillar as a symbol
of that unity of the Divine Being, which was so integral a part of the worship
of the Israelites.
setting up two pillars he was conforming to the belief of every one of the
surrounding nations, i.e., A duality in the divine, the sun and moon
representing the active and passive principle in nature, the male and female
element. Coming down to later times we find these two pillars prominent in
Druidic enclosures used for the rites of sun worship, while the two steeples
or towers at the front of our Christian cathedrals and churches look as if
they were an unconscious survival of the votive obelisks or pillars erected to
the sun or moon before the temples of Egypt.
AMERICAN MASONIC FEDERATION CASE
BRO. CHARLES C. HUNT, DEPUTY GRAND SECRETARY, IOWA
the first two weeks of last May a trial was held in the Federal Court at Salt
Lake City, Utah, that attracted the attention of Masons in many lands. Mathew
McBlain Thomson, Thomas Perrot and Dominic Bergera were haled into court as
heads of the so-called American Masonic Federation, Inc., and indicted for
fraudulent use of the mails. The hearings showed that these men were crooks
and robbers who had seduced men into spurious lodges for no other purpose than
to mulct them out of their money. They were convicted and each one fined
$5,000.00 and sentenced to Fort Leavenworth for two years, Judge Martin J.
Wade saying that he would have given them the limit of the law had it not been
for Thomson's advanced age. In the article which follows, Brother C.C. Hunt,
who was present throughout the trial as an expert witness, has given a
synopsis of Thomson's claims so far as the Craft degrees are concerned: in a
succeeding article he will deal with Thomson's Scottish Rite claims.
ABOUT fifteen years there has been a clandestine Masonic organization at work
in this country headed by one Mathew McBlain Thompson with headquarters at
Salt Lake City, Utah. This man was born in Ayr, Scotland, in 1853 or 1854 and
claims to have been made a Mason in 1874 or 1875, in Glasgow, Melrose Sts.
John Lodge, a pendicle of the Ancient Lodge of St. John of Melrose, Scotland.
One of his own papers says that he went "into Newton-on-Ayr St. James No. 125,
on the registry of the Grand Lodge of Scotland and Patna Bonnie Doon No. 565
on the same registry. Of the latter, Brother Thomson was Right Worshipful
Master for several years. He was also Grand First Principal of the Early
Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland; Grand Master of the Grand Encampment of
the Temple and Malta in Scotland; Sovereign Grand Commander of the Scottish
Grand Council of Rites, and later Grand Recorder of the same. Brother Thomson
demitted from his Scottish membership in 1896, affiliating with King Solomon
lodge No. 27, of the Locals [Thomson called regular Masonic lodges by this
name] at Montpelier, Idaho, in 1998 (there being no Scottish Rite lodges
there), in which he held office, and represented the lodge in the Grand Lodge
of the State of Idaho for several terms. During the last term he sawed as
November 1, 1906, Thomson demitted from King Solomon Lodge. He organized the
so-called Grand Lodge Inter-Montana, January 9, 1907.
he claimed to have ten thousand members in this country and that his
organization had been recognized in practically every country in the world.
His Federation was organized on the basis of a stock promotion scheme, with
paid organizers armed with plausible arguments which only those thoroughly
posted in Masonic history and jurisprudence could refute. He claimed that
with the exception of Louisiana the United States was unoccupied territory
Masonically and that not a single one of the Grand Lodges in this country had
a charter authorizing it to work; that each of the thirteen colonies organized
a Grand Lodge of its own, without the lodges therein first obtaining consent
of the Grand Lodge from which their charters had originally been issued; that
the lodges in the colonies, by thus breaking away from the home Grand Lodges
of Great Britain without first obtaining consent, became irregular and
clandestine organizations, and that therefore, the field in this country was
open to any regular organization that chose to occupy it; that later
recognition by the Grand Lodges of Great Britain did not make these
self-formed Grand Lodges legitimate. In support of this argument he quotes as
302, Volume IV, Gould's History of Freemasonry:
the year 1777 application for charters of erection and constitution having
been made by a number of Masons to the Ancient Grand Lodge, of which the late
Joseph Warren, Esq, had been G. M., as many of the officers of that Grand
Lodge as could be assembled, met in form of a Grand Lodge, the Deputy Grand
Master then in the chair. And after carefully attending to the constitutions
and usages of Masons in all ages and the principles upon which that Grand
Lodge existed, they were unanimously of opinion that they could not legally
grant charters, because the late G.M., Dr. Joseph Warren, held his authority
by virtue of a commission given to him only as Provincial Grand Master, and to
be revoked at the pleasure of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. Now the principal
being dead, the commission was of consequence vacated. They then assumed the
powers of a Grand Lodge.
the foregoing, the principles then adopted by this Grand Lodge, upon which
they have practised and from which they have never seen occasion to recede,
may readily be collected."'
517, Volume IV, Gould's History of Freemasonry:
"'Since the beginning of the year 1850, seventeen Grand Lodges have been
formed in the United States. In every case it has been assumed or expressly
declared, that the proceeding was a matter OF INHERENT RIGHT, and in no case,
so far as the printed record discloses, has the consent of the parent Grand
Lodges been sought."'
332, Hughan and Stillson's History of Freemasonry and Concordant Orders:
Grand Lodge of Tennessee is the only Independent Grand Lodge in the United
States that was organized by authority of a warrant; for the instrument issued
by the Grand Lodge of North Carolina does not simply permit the lodges to
withdraw their allegiance from it, but it prescribed conditions; in fact, it
was almost identical in phraseology with the warrants of deputations issued by
the Grand Lodges of England for Provincial Grand Lodges in the Colonies and
SPECIMEN OF THOMSON'S ARGUMENTS
illustration of Thomson's method of describing the organization of the state
Grand Lodges, note the following:
let us see where Pennsylvania got its authority."
the 24th day of September, 1786, the Provincial Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania
closed its labours forever and renounced whatever authority it may have
previously had, whether regular or irregular, and by that act its members
became clandestine or irregular Masons. On the following day September 25,
1786, they assembled and formed a self-constituted Grand Lodge, from and by no
Masonic authority whatever. This is historically the origin of Pennsylvania
unbiased and full investigation into the methods in which these so-called
Grand Lodges were formed will readily disclose to the reader just how
irregularly they have been formed, and withal, they one and all prate
considerably about regularity, and claim an other organizations of Craft
Masonry to be irregular, when, as a matter of fact and of history, the shoe is
on the other foot."
Gould's Concise History, p. 338, gives the following note which has been
quoted by Thomson as his authority for claiming the regular Grand Lodges of
the United States illegitimate:
death of Joseph Warren raised a constitutional question of much complexity.
What was the status of the Grand Lodge after the death of the Grand Master? It
was disposed of by the election of Joseph Webb to the position of 'Grand
Master of Antient Masonrys in the State of Massachusetts. This, if we
leave,out of consideration the Lodge (and Grand Lodge) of Pennsylvania in
1731, was the first sovereign and independent Grand Lodge in America, and the
second was the Grand Lodge of Virginia, which was established in the following
matter of fact, these quotations prove the very opposite of Thomson's
contentions. They are given by Gould and his co-labourers as showing the
growth of a principle of Masonic law that has now become established, namely,
that a Grand Lodge cannot form another Grand Lodge; or in other words, that no
Grand Lodge derives its authority from a charter granted by another Masonic
Grand Body, but that such power or authority is derived from the lodges which
compose the Grand Lodge itself.
entering upon the discussion of this question, we must remember that a very
large part of the law of Masonry is similar to the common law of a country: in
other words, it is unwritten law which is the result of customs and usages
that have gradually grown up and become generally recognized as law. Masonic
laws may be divided into three classes: first, written law; second, unwritten
law; third, regulations; and they rank in the order named. The unwritten laws
consist of time-honoured customs and usages of general recognition, adapted to
the conditions and time in which they live, and not repugnant to the written
laws. In general, the rules governing the legitimacy of lodges and Grand
Lodges are determined by the unwritten laws of Masonry. When we study Masonic
authorities we find two general theories as to legitimacy: first, that a
lodge, to be legitimate, must be able to trace its descent through at least
one of the Grand Lodges of Great Britain; second, that it may either trace its
origin to Great Britain or to a Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted
above remarks apply to the legitimacy of subordinate lodges. When one
considers the legitimacy of Grand Lodges other principles are in effect.
There are certain general requirements such as that the Grand Lodge must be,
first, organized by legitimate lodges; second, organized in a governmental
unit with a political government of its own; third, it must be supreme in its
authority over its own members in matters Masonic, - that is, it must be
subject to the laws of no other Masonic organization nor derive its powers
from any other; fourth, it must be Masonic in its character. A lodge to be
legitimate must have a charter from a legitimate Grand Lodge authorizing and
empowering it to work. A Grand Lodge working under such a charter would not
be legitimate, since it must derive its authority from the legitimate lodges
of its territory and not from any other power, Masonic or otherwise. Charles
T. Granger, P.G.M., and at one time a judge of the Supreme Court of Iowa, in a
report to the Grand Lodge of Iowa in 1911, said:
may state, as an axiom of Symbolic Masonic law, that Symbolic Masonry, in its
organizations and workings, is a law unto itself, in that it looks to no
higher or foreign fraternal source for authority, sanction or guidance, but is
the creative power within itself of all needful agencies, and to this end the
subordinate lodge is the primal source of authority and the only source from
which can spring a legitimate Grand Lodge, and hence the legitimacy of a Grand
Lodge depends, in the first instance, on the legitimacy of the lodges that
gave it birth, and, of course, in addition thereto, it must meet the
limitations and requirements of the ancient landmarks of the order."
DESCENT FROM BRITISH MASONRY
Therefore, the most general theory is that to be legitimate descent must be
traced in some form from the Grand Lodge of Great Britain. Here I am speaking
of the Craft degrees only. Some Grand Lodges will, in addition to this,
recognize a lodge that has been organized by a Supreme Council of the Ancient
and Accepted Scottish Rite in territory not occupied by a regular Grand Lodge,
but they will not recognize a Grand Lodge formed by such a Supreme Council.
If the lodges formed by a Supreme Council in unoccupied territory declare
their independence and organize themselves into a Grand Lodge for that
territory, some legitimate Grand jurisdictions will recognize them. Others
will not, unless the lodges themselves can trace their origin from Great
were formed in the first place by charter from one or more of the three Grand
Lodges of Great Britain. After this country became independent of Great
Britain, the lodges in each colony organized a Grand Lodge for themselves.
This method of procedure has been recognized as legitimate by the Grand Lodges
of England, Scotland and Ireland, and this is shown by the fact that in every
case a Grand Lodge thus formed has been recognized as legitimate by the lodges
of the mother country.
authority to form a Grand Lodge was inherent in the nature of the institution
under the principle in the Old Charges that "Every Mason should be true to the
government of the country in which he lives." From this charge it became
recognized that each country should have a Grand Lodge of its own which would
be supreme over its own members. Otherwise, Masons in different countries
owing Masonic allegiance to a foreign power might find themselves in a
position where their obligations to their Grand Lodge and to their country
would be antagonistic to each other. This principle was recognized in this
country before the formation of the Federal government, and even after its
formation the principle was adhered to; and it was recognized that the several
lodges of each state had a right to form themselves into an independent Grand
Lodge. All attempts to form a general Masonic government for the United
States failed. Hence, we have no General Grand Lodge. All legitimate Grand
Lodges of England, Scotland, Ireland, and France as well as the colonies of
Great Britain and states of the United States, have been self-constituted, and
no question of legitimacy has ever been raised, except by Thomson, because of
LODGE OF PENNSYLVANIA AN EXAMPLE
reference to the formation of Grand Lodges in the United States, no better
illustration can be given of the recognition of the right of the lodges in a
country to form an independent Grand Lodge than in the case of the formation
of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania in 1786, and its prompt recognition by the
Grand Lodge of England. The proceedings of this occasion are set out very
fully in the "Memorial Volume" issued by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania in
1912. In page 57 of this volume we find the declaration of independence which
was passed unanimously on Monday, September 25, 1786. It is as follows:
"Resolved that this Grand Lodge is and ought to be a Grand Lodge Independent
of Great Britain or any other authority whatever, and that they are not under
any ties to any other Grand Lodge, except those of Brotherly Love and
Affection, which they will always be happy to cultivate and preserve with all
Lodges throughout the Globe."
same day, at a Grand Convention of thirteen different lodges
was unanimously resolved that the Lodges; under the Jurisdiction of the Grand
Lodge of Pennsylvania lately held under the authority of the Grand Lodge of
England will and now do form themselves into a Grand Lodge to be called the
Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and Masonic Jurisdiction thereunto belonging to be
held in Philadelphia and that the late Grand Officers continue to be the Grand
Officers of Pennsylvania invested with all the Powers, Jurisdictions,
prominence and authority thereunto belonging 'till the usual time for the next
election, and that the Grand Lodge and the particular Lodges govern themselves
by the Rules and Regulations heretofore established 'till other Rules and
Regulations shall be adopted."
letter was then written to the Grand lodge of England announcing the action
taken and the reasons therefor. The reply of the Grand Lodge of England was
We reflect with pleasure that the Grand Lodge of England has given birth to a
Grand Lodge in the western world, whose strict adherence to the ancient and
immutable landmarks of our order reflects honour on its original founders.
Here we must beg leave to state that we conceive that in constituting your
Grand Lodge we necessarily communicated to it the same independent sovereign
Masonic authority within your jurisdiction which we ourselves possessed within
ours, amenable to no superior jurisdiction under Heaven, and subject only to
the immutable landmarks of the craft. All Grand Lodges in Masonry being
necessarily Free, Independent and Equipollent within their respective
jurisdictions, which consequently excludes the idea of subjection to a foreign
authority of the establishment of an Imperium in Imperio."
should be noted that in declaring their independence from the Grand Lodges of
Great Britain, the prevailing motive was loyalty to the government of the land
in which they lived. Inasmuch as loyalty to the state is one of the cardinal
principles of Freemasonry, this action has met with universal Masonic
matter of fact all that the statement of Gould with reference to Massachusetts
(quoted above) was intended to mean is that a Grand Lodge could not
legitimately be formed from a Provincial Grand Lodge. The death of the Grand
Master of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Massachusetts left that Grand Lodge
with no executive officer until another could be appointed by the home Grand
Lodge, but this difficulty was solved by the formation of an independent Grand
Lodge and the election of Joseph Webb to the position of "Grand Master of
Antient Masonry." Gould nowhere states, either directly or indirectly that
this election or the action of the lodges of Massachusetts and other states in
thus forming a Grand Lodge was illegal. In fact, he expressly states:
"Within seven years after the close of the War of the Revolution, the system
of Grand Lodges with Territorial Jurisdiction was firmly established. It
became an accepted doctrine that the Lodges in an independent State had a
right to organize a Grand Lodge; that a Lodge so created possessed exclusive
jurisdiction within the State; and that it might constitute Lodges in another
State in which no Grand Lodge existed and maintain them until a Grand Lodge
should be established in such State." (Gould's Concise History, p. 339.)
this Gould recognized the principle that the authority to form a Grand Lodge
rests in the lodges themselves and does not come from some outside power.
THOMSON'S FALSE THEORY
Thomson claimed for himself and his so-called American Masonic Federation that
the theory of territorial exclusiveness is unmasonic and peculiar to America,
in this he was wrong: it is also generally recognized in Great Britain, Canada
and Australia. The basis of this theory is the same as the principle that
accords to political governments the right of having exclusive jurisdiction
over their own territory. Its existence is established by the fact that our
right to exclusive jurisdiction is generally recognized by the Masonic world,
and the fact that when a recognized Grand Lodge is established in any of the
British Colonies, no other Grand Lodge will issue a charter for a new lodge in
proceedings of the Grand Lodge of England relative to the formation of the
Grand Lodge of Canada the fact of recognition by the Grand Lodge of England
was expressed in the statement of the Grand Master of England that he would
issue no more charters for new lodges in the territory covered by the Grand
Lodge of Canada.
Thomson also claimed that American Grand Lodges are clandestine because of the
alleged fact that they are not universal, and refuse to recognize Masonry in
other countries, because of religion, race, or some other assumed reason which
is contrary to the principles of universality. When at his trial he was asked
to define Universal Masonry, as used by him to distinguish himself from other
Masons, he replied:
"Masonry that knows no creed save the one belief in
all Father who as we express it, is the Great Architect
Universe, the Creator, and leaving to every man his
opinion after that; that takes no stock in what country
may be born, what language he may speak, or his
politics and things like that, or anything except that he be
man and a true one."
think no one will object to Thomson's definition of universality, but we must
remember that it is an ideal to be striven for rather than a goal that has
been attained. There is nothing in the law of Masonry that bars a man from
being made a Mason because of race, polities or religion, providing that he is
a "good man and a true one" who will exemplify in his life the teachings of
Masonry; but if a man's religion, polities or race causes him to act contrary
to the principles of universal brotherhood he is not a "good man and true" and
should not be admitted to a fraternity with whose principles he is not in
accord. In such a case it is his character which bars him and not the beliefs
he may hold or the race to which he belongs.
must also remember that so long as man is fallible there will be men who will
permit personal prejudices to influence their decisions when they cast their
ballots, but this is no more an argument against Masonry and its teachings
than are the sins of Christians an argument against the teachings of Christ.
THOMSON'S OWN CHAIN OF TITLES
his own organization, Thomson alleged, with reference to the Craft, or
Symbolic Degrees, as follows:
"Mother Kilwinning, being one of the thirty-three lodges forming the Grand
Lodge of Scotland, still retained her ancient rights to charter craft and high
"Mother Kilwinning, becoming dissatisfied with the Grand Lodge of Scotland,
withdrew therefrom and continued in accordance with her ancient custom to
charter lodges until the 14th day of October, 1807, when she surrendered all
her ancient privileges and took her present position under the Grand Lodge of
Scotland as Mother Kilwinning No. 0
"Chevalier Michael Andrew Ramsay, who was initiated in Ayr-Kilwinning St.
John's Lodge (a pendicle or daughter lodge of Mother Kilwinning), with other
political refugees, reintroduced Scotch Masonry into France about the years
the year 1743, the Farl of Kilmarnock, who was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge
of Scotland and also of Mother Kilwinning, by virtue of the authority in him
vested, chartered three Mother Lodges in France, one of which was the Grand
Mother Lodge of St. John at Marseilles, France.
the year 1794, the Mother Lodge at Marseilles, France, granted a charter to
Polar Star Lodge in New Orleans, Louisiana, and at a later period other Scotch
lodges were formed and chartered."
Star Lodge here mentioned was, according to Thomson, later merged with the
Supreme Council of Louisiana, referred to below:
the 19th day of June, 1813, the Scotch Rite in New Orleans, Louisiana, applied
for and received a charter for a Grand Consistory from the Supreme Council
located at New York, which was established by authority of the Supreme Council
of France, which also derived its origin through Chevalier Michael Andrew
Ramsay, commencing in Scotland.
the 27th day of October, 1839 (the New York Supreme Council having become
dormant), the Marquis O. de San Angelo, by virtue of the authority in him
vested, established and chartered a Supreme Council in New Orleans, Louisiana,
which became heir to all the rights and dignities of the New York Supreme
Council, and, in fact, was inaugurated into life as the Supreme Council for
the Western Hemisphere, and the charter was fully recognized and de San
Angelo's acts were ratified.
September 14, 1906, Joseph N. Cheri Supreme Grand Commander of the Supreme
Council of the Western Hemisphere, located at New Orleans, Louisiana, granted
a Charter of authority to M. McB. Thomson (himself being a member of the
Supreme Council and also Grand Representative of the Grand Council of Rites of
Scotland) to form Craft or Symbolic Grand and subordinate lodges of Masons,
and by virtue of that charter and also as a representative of the Supreme
Council of Louisiana, he (Thomson) granted a charter to the Grand Lodge of
on the 9th day of January, 1907, the Grand Lodge 'Inter-Montana' received its
the 30th day of March, 1907, the Grand Lodge of Illinois, A.F. and A. M.,
Incorporated, applied for and was admitted to membership in the A. A. S. Rite
by taking the oath de fideli, and again on April 5, 1907, five lodges in
Boston, Massachusetts, applied for admission and were accepted and afterwards
they obtained a Grand Lodge charter from the American Masonic Federation of
the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
the 31st day of August, 1907, the Supreme Lodge in the American Masonic
Federation was formed and received its Charter from the Grand Lodge
the 21st day of September, 1907, the American Masonic Federation was
incorporated. The incorporation papers are on file in the State of Idaho. This
is our Chain of Title."
Thomson frequently refers to this Chain of Title as showing that, to quote
himself, "the American Masonic Federation traces its descent back to the
oldest Masonic Lodge in the known world, Mother Kilwinning of Scotland, coming
to Louisiana by way of France, coming by truly lawful and Masonic charters.
Can any other rite of Masonry show as clear a title?"
claims were put forth with reference to the so-called higher degrees, but in
this paper I shall confine my attention to the three Symbolic degrees of
CHAIN FALLS TO PIECES
reference to the above statements, let us see how many are true and how many
false, or at least, not proven. Mother Kilwinning Lodge has a strong claim to
being considered the oldest lodge in the world. She first united in forming
the Grand Lodge of Scotland and later withdrew, until 1807, when she re-united
with that Grand Body and surrendered all rights she might have had to charter
other lodges, but she never had or claimed to have a right to charter lodges
to confer any but the Craft degrees of Masonry, and she never granted to her
daughter lodges the power to charter other lodges. In fact, Mother Kilwinning
Lodge was the only lodge in Scotland that ever had the chartering power, and
she never transferred this power to any other lodge. She never chartered a
lodge in France, and, therefore, could not have chartered Sts. John's Lodge,
Chevalier Ramsay, so far as known, never introduced Masonry anywhere. He is
principally known to Masonry because of an oration he delivered before the
Grand Lodge of France in 1847, in which he traced the origin of Masonry to the
Crusaders. This theory of Ramsay's, though supported by no proof, was readily
accepted at that time, and was probably responsible for the fact that many
high degrees to which the name "Scottish" was given suddenly sprang up in
France about this time. Ramsay himself did not invent these degrees, nor did
they come from Scotland, but the fact that he was a Scotchman probably had
something to do with the name given to them. Ramsay was not a member of Mother
Kilwinning Lodge, nor is it known when or where he received the Masonic
in his "Secret Tradition in Freemasonry" vol. 1, p. 117, says that the Mother
Lodge of Marseilles was established in 1750, "though there is little means of
ascertaining the circumstances under which it was initiated." Clavel says it
was established in 1751 by a travelling Scotchman. Be that as it may, it soon
ceased, to exist, and it did not charter Polar Star Lodge, in New Orleans.
Perfect Sincerity Lodge, of Marseilles, France, was organized in 1767 by the
Grand Lodge of France. It is now, and has been since 1806, a subordinate of
the Grand Orient of France. It was this lodge, and not Sts. John Lodge of
Marseilles, which in 1796 (not 1794) chartered Polar Star Lodge of New
Orleans, an action which was later reported by that lodge to the Grand Orient
of France and approved by that Grand Body.
However, the brethren who organized Polar Star Lodge first petitioned the
Grand Orient of France for a charter (this was in 1794), but on account of the
troublous times incident to the French Revolution, the officers of the Grand
Orient were so scattered that it could not then be acted upon. Therefore, the
brethren applied to Perfect Sincerity Lodge, at Marseilles, and received a
charter in 1798. In 1804 the Grand Orient of France acted upon the first
petition, granted a charter, and the lodge was constituted under the charter
from that Grand Body as Polar Star Lodge No. 4263. (See History of Freemasonry
in Louisiana, by James B. Scott, pp. 14 and 15.)
OF POLAR STAR LODGE
Shortly before the organization of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, on account of
some question having been raised as to their regularity, Polar Star Lodge
applied to and received a charter from the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, and
was by that Grand Lodge constituted as Polar Star Lodge No. 129, and as such
it joined with the other lodges in organizing the Grand Lodge of Louisiana.
Prior to the reception of the charter from Pennsylvania, this lodge had worked
the French Rite. After receiving the charter from Pennsylvania it worked
according to the York Rite only, until November 20, 1820, when Polar Star
Lodge began working three rites, but keeping each distinct. As Polar Star
Lodge No. 5 under the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, it worked the York Rite; as
No. 4263 under the Grand Orient of France, the French Rite; and later it
received a charter from the Grand Orient of France as Polar Star Lodge No.
7474, authorizing it to work according to the Scottish Rite. (See History of
Freemasonry in Louisiana, Scott, pp. 5, 11, 13, 28 and 29.)
1836 the Grand Orient of France demanded of Polar Star Lodge the surrender of
its charter from that body, and the lodge petitioned the Grand Lodge of
Louisiana to cumulate the French and Scottish Rites. This request was not
granted at that time. It then
surrendered its York Rite and French Rite charters and worked according to
the Scottish Rite, as Polar Star Lodge No. 1 under the Grand Lodge of
Louisiana. Later, (August 15, 1840) the Grand Lodge of Louisiana permitted it
to work according to either the French, Scottish, or York Rite by endorsing on
the Scottish Rite charter permission so to work the other two rites. (See
Scott's History, P. 49.) This lodge divided in 1857, part of its members
voting to withdraw from the Grand Lodge of Louisiana and affiliate with
Foulhouze's clandestine Supreme Council, and the others voting to remain under
the Grand Lodge. Foulhouze's clandestine lodge then laid claim to the property
and records of Polar Star Lodge but was overruled in favour of the regular
lodge by the Supreme Court of Louisiana in 1861. (16 La. Ann. Rep. 53.) The
records of Polar Star Lodge, when brought into court, proved fatal to the
claims of the Foulhouze lodge. Thus, it will be seen that Thomson could derive
no title through Polar Star Lodge.
Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite in Louisiana laid no claim to control
over the Craft degrees until 1850, when the Grand Lodge of Louisiana abolished
its symbolic chambers. These chambers were a device adopted in 1833 by means
of which there were three chambers or committees in that Grand Lodge, each
having jurisdiction over one of the three rites; but charters in each case
were granted by Grand Lodge and not by a symbolic chamber. The reason for
abolishing these symbolic chambers in 1850 was to avoid the confusion incident
to having three kinds of charters, but the Grand Lodge of Louisiana did then,
and still does now, permit its lodges to work according to the rite they
not until 1850 that letters purporting to establish a so-called concordat
between the Grand Lodge of Louisiana and the Grand Consistory in 1833 were
brought to light. As a matter of fact, no such concordat was ever adopted by
the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, and the so-called concordat was later proved to
be a fraud. (See Scott's History, pp. 47 and 48.) Thus no title to the Craft
degrees could be derived from this Supreme Council even had it been a regular
Masonic body. These degrees in Louisiana were controlled by the Grand Lodge
and by that body only.
the Grand Lodge of Louisiana had always claimed jurisdiction over the Craft
degrees is shown in Scott's History, pp. 23 and 24, taken from the records of
that Grand Lodge. That the Scottish Rite bodies recognized the right of Grand
Lodges to control the Craft degrees is shown in Folger's History, appendix, p.
125. The Supreme Council of Louisiana, however, after Foulhouze and his
adherents had withdrawn therefrom, made overtures to and was united with the
Southern Supreme Council of Charleston, South Carolina (Scott's History, p.
87). Two years later or thereabouts, Foulhouze and two of his adherents formed
a new Supreme Council which they claimed was a continuation of the one which
had united with the Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction. For this
unmasonic act Foulhouze was expelled from Masonry by the Grand Orient of
France, of which he was a member (Scott's History, p. 87). His Supreme Council
soon became dormant, but in the early part of 1867 an attempt was made to
revive it. Foulhouze had abdicated, and was succeeded by Eugene Chassaignac,
who created several clandestine lodges, and by opening their doors to all
comers, regardless of previous condition, obtained recognition by the Grand
Orient of France (see Scott's History, p. 87). This caused the white members
to drift away, and that body is now composed almost entirely of creoles and
colored men. Thus it will be seen that each link in Thomson's so-called "Chain
of Title" is defective. Each contains some element of truth, but the truth is
so expressed that to one who does not know, it seems to lend color to the
false statements with which the true are mingled. Also, the truths which are
stated are but partial, and should be supplemented by other facts which
Thomson did not state.
SCHOOLS SHOULD BE ADVERTISED
"Education must be
'sold,' to use an advertising expression, just as automobiles, clothes, movies
and the endless list of necessities and luxuries are 'sold.' That is to say,
before a community or an individual will spend time, effort and money on
education the community or individual must be convinced that education is
worth having and must want to possess it.
"Such a comparison is
fully justified by the facts. A public school system is a form of public
service co-operation. The owners of the schools are the tax-payers; the
directors are the members of the board of education, elected by the people.
The profits from the business of public education are represented in the
learning power of the tens of thousands whose knowledge, training and
preparation for the work and duties of life are supplied by the public
" 'Use must be made of
what the schools have to offer, however, if the community and individuals are
to get any good out of them. A public school system, the educatonal machinery
and facilities of which are not being utilized by the people, is like a
telephone company without subscribers or a department store without customers.
" 'If publicity or
advertising is good business for a corporation privately owned, the profits of
which go to a few, why shouldn't it be good business for a corporation
publicly owned, the profits of which go to all the people of the city?
Specifically, why shouldn't the public school system of a city utilize
publicity to bring about the largest possible use of the system's educational
facilities? . . .
everybody in America doesn't believe in education....
" 'As only a small part
of the people of the city have time to visit the schools, the majority of
parents, if they are to keep in touch with the activities and policies of the
system, must get this information in other ways. Children carry home to their
parents much information, to be sure, but too often this is given as the
child-mind and not as the adult-mind sees the situation. It is the daily
newspapers, after all, that are depended upon for information of what is going
on - for school news as well as other news. The newspapers, it might be said,
visit the schools for the parents and tell them what is happening there.
Therefore, every newspaper reporter, it is the conviction of the division of
publications, should have every opportunity to see what the schools are doing.
This conviction is shared by the board of education and the superintendents of
schools." - Clyde R. Miller, director of the Department of Publicity,
Cleveland Board of
Education. - M.S.A. Bulletin No. 8.
MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS - GENERAL JOHN PETER GABRIEL MUHLENBERG
BRO. GEO. W. BAIRD. P.G.M.. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
friend of Thomas Jefferson and of James Monroe, came of a great family, five
of whom are known to history, and two of whom are listed among the great
religious leaders of America. General Muhlenberg's father, Henry Melchior
Muhlenberg, was a German, born in 1711, who, after his university career at
Gottingen and Halle, and pastoral experiences at Franckesche Stiftung, came to
this land in 1742 in response to the call from a group of Lutherans at
Philadelphia. Dr. Muhlenberg accepted charge of three Lutheran congregations
and almost immediately stepped into the lead of Lutheranism in this nation. It
is he, more than any other man, that may rightly be called the founder of
Lutheranism as an organized body in the United States, and it was he who, in
1748, organized the first Lutheran synod. He died at Trappe, formerly known as
New Providence, a village in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
It was at this town
that John Peter Gabriel, his oldest son, was born in 1746. After an education
in Germany he entered the Lutheran ministry in New Jersey and later,1772, in
Virginia. In 1775, while at Woodstock, Virginia, he raised the 8th Virginia
(German) regiment. He was made a Colonel by General Washington, to whom, so it
is said, he bore a close personal resemblance. Colonel Muhlenberg assisted in
the relief of Charleston, took part in the battle of Sullivan's Island, and
was with Washington at Brandywine, Monmouth, Stony Point and Yorktown. He was
promoted first to Brigadier and then to Major General for meritorious conduct.
"He was a member of the Virginia convention of 1776, was vice-president of the
supreme-executive council in Pennsylvania in 1787-1788, and was a
representative in Congress in 1789-1791, in 1793-1795, and in 1799-1801. In
1801 he was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the United States Senate,
but immediately resigned to become supervisor of revenue for the district of
Pennsylvania." He died in 1807.
The beautiful memorial
to General Muhlenberg which stands in Philadelphia was erected by the state of
Pennsylvania. On the pedestal of the statue, which bears a striking
resemblance to a figure of Washington, is a record of some of the battles in
which he was engaged. Washington was not more an idol to the people of
Virginia than was Muhlenberg to the sturdy folk of Pennsylvania. Like
Washington he was a man without a vice: he was one of those Christian soldiers
whose faith in God was so well founded that he never feared danger, and he
believed that God's providence protected him through every danger.
In our school days we
all learned by rote a thrilling poem about a minister in the early days of the
Revolution who, after an impassioned plea to his parishioners to rebel against
Great Britain, suddenly threw aside his clerical robes, stepped forth in the
uniform of a Virginia colonel, and recruited almost three hundred men on the
spot. That man was General Muhlenberg. He used as a text the Scriptural phrase
"there is time for all things" and added, with a voice like a trumpet, "there
is a time to fight and that time has come now !" upon which he had drummers
stationed at the church door, and a full recruiting outfit unlimbered. This
spectacular but sincere deed sent a thrill through the community which was
felt in every part of Pennsylvania, and made a hero of the martial preacher.
Once in active service he more than fulfilled the expectations of his admirers
by his skill and bravery as a fighter, and by his sagacity as a commanding
The engagement in which
General Muhlenberg most distinguished himself perhaps was the battle of Stony
Point in the Hudson Highlands. The attack on this position, the reader will
recall, was led by General Anthony Wayne, one of the boldest soldiers of the
war. When this enterprise was first planned Washington inquired of him, "Can
you do it?" "I'll storm hell, if you'll only plan it, General," replied Wayne.
Storming hell, it proved to be, and Wayne himself was struck in the head by a
musket ball, and believed himself mortally wounded. "March on!" he shouted to
his men. "Carry me into the fort, for I will die at the head of my column."
But he did not die.
At two o'clock in the
morning he sent to Washington this message: "The fort and garrison with
General Johnson are ours. Our officers and men behaved like men determined to
be free." During this spectacular engagement General Muhlenberg was in charge
of the rear defenses, and proved himself quite as resourceful and daring as
Of such stuff were the
Masons of Revolutionary days. General Muhlenberg was a member of Lodge No. 3,
of Philadelphia. He was quite as earnest in lodge work as in church
activities, and though one of the most amiable of men he earnestly and
vigorously combatted every fad, fancy, fiction and peck-sniffery
that invaded the Craft.
TEACHINGS OF MASONRY
The following paper is
one of a series of articles on "Philosophical Masonry," or "The Teachings of
Masonry," by Brother Haywood, to be used for reading and discussion in lodges
and study clubs. From the questions following each section of the paper the
study club leader should select such as he may desire to use in bringing out
particular points for discussion. To go into a lengthy discussion on each
individual question presented might possibly consume more time than the lodge
or study club may be able to devote to the study club meeting.
In conducting the study
club meetings the leader should endeavor to hold the discussions closely to
the text of the paper and not permit the members to speak too long at one time
or to stray onto another subject. Whenever it becomes evident that the
discussion is turning from the original subject the leader should request the
members to make notes of the particular points or phases of the matter they
may wish to discuss or inquire into and bring them up after the last section
of the paper is disposed of.
The meetings should be
closed with a "Question Box" period, when such questions as may have come up
during the meeting and laid over until this time should be entered into and
discussed. Should any questions arise that cannot be answered by the study
club leader or some other brother present, these questions may be submitted to
us and we will endeavor to answer them for you in time for your next meeting.
on the subjects treated in this paper will be found at the end of the article.
BRO. H.L. HAYWOOD, IOWA
XIII-FREEMASONRY AND RELIGION
EARLY operative builders of the Middle Ages were churchmen, if we may trust
the many histories of architecture which deal with the subject. This was
especially true after the Gothic, or pointed arch, superseded the old
Romanesque style with its round arch and its gloomy interiors, for the advent
of the Gothic coincided with a revival of interest in church architecture.
This revival reached such proportions of zeal and devotion that bishops
themselves studied to become architects (that word was not in use then, but
the function was) and raised such great sums of money for the purpose that
many little towns erected cathedral structures that would now be pointed to
with pride by our great rich modern cities. Needless to say, these builders,
the bishop directors and overseers along with the men who did the toil, were
true and loyal sons of the Roman Catholic Church as it then existed.
a while, and through the inevitable operation of architectural evolution -
there is no need to narrate the story of all the changes in this connection -
the superintendency and direction of building operations (I am still referring
to church and cathedral and similar structures) passed gradually into the
hands of laymen. Of these great lay architects, especially those who worked
in France where Gothic reached its utmost pinnacle of glory, we have many
memorials and remains; in a large number of cases we have rather complete
biographical sketches and even portraits. From all these records we know that
the builders of this particular period were also loyal sons of the Mother
so in England as well as in France, for we find in the Old Charges that the
mason, when he came to unite with the Fraternity, was required to swear to be
faithful and true to the Holy Church as well as to the King. But after the
Reformation had established itself in England - which was quite a while after
the death of Henry VIII - these operative masons, along with the rank and file
of men in all other walks of life, became Protestants, - that is, they became
members of the Church of England.
does the story of Operative Masons begin? Give the dates of the "Middle Ages."
What was the outstanding feature, or characteristic, of Romanesque
architecture? Of Gothic? Who were the first architects of Gothic? What, do you
suppose, led the bishops to take such an interest in building? To what church
did masons then belong? Did they all have to belong to that church? If so,
why? Why did laymen come to take the place of bishops as architects, or
masters of the work? Where, do you suppose, may one find the records of these
oldtime master builders? Where did Gothic architecture reach its highest
development? What religion was enjoined by the Old Charges? What is meant by
"Old Charges"? What was the Reformation? When did it occur? What did Luther
have to do with it? Henry VIII? What was the difference between a Protestant
church, as we now know it, and the "Church of England"? What effect did
Protestantism have on the religion of masons ?
many histories of Freemasonry the account of the religious beginnings of the
Craft stops off short at this place, but that is an error, a very misleading
error, and one that should be carefully avoided by the Masonic student.
Freemasonry as it became organized in 1717, and as we now know it, owed much,
very much, to the operative builders of the Middle Ages, but it also owed,
much, perhaps quite as much, to other sources, which had nothing whatever to
do with operative building. I refer to occult societies and associations, and
to scattered sources out of which many streams of influence gradually made
their way into the main currents of Speculative Freemasonry.
time of Pope Innocent III (approximately in the year 1200) there began the
great Albigensian Crusades. The purpose of this immense military advance into
southern France was to stamp out flourishing communities of men and women who
had come to believe in a Christianity very different from that represented by
the pope. These men have been described as "Protestants before the
Reformation." In a strict sense they were not Protestant, and their ideas were
very far away from those made familiar to us by our own great Protestant
denominations, but these men cherished independence of mind, purity of
conduct, and demanded for themselves liberty of worship. They were the
"heretics." I am myself convinced - though there is not here room to furnish
the data on which my conviction rests - that these "heretics" set loose in
Europe a powerful stream of influence, some of which finally found its way
into Freemasonry. (See "New Light on the Renaissance," by Harold Bayley, among
scores of other books.)
our historians, at least nearly all of them, agree that Freemasonry owes very
much to certain occult societies or groups that flourished - often in secret -
during the late Middle Ages, and even into the after-Reformation times. Chief
among these were the Rosicrucians and the Knights Templar. The Knights Templar
had been in the East; they had come into contact with Jewish, Greek, and
Arabic lore, and they had imbibed strange new ideas from far-away types of
Christianity. The authorities of the Roman Catholic Church attacked these
knightly orders on the ground that they had become heretics - "Gnostics" was
the exact word used. Those who have most carefully examined the evidence
(some Henry Charles Lea's great works on the period) are inclined to believe
that the charges were more or less well grounded. The Knights Templar had
become infected with heresy.
the Rosicrucians, not much is known about them and it is doubtful if much ever
will be known about them, but it is certain that during the seventeenth
century there were many powerful and original thinkers in Europe, especially
in Germany, the Low Countries, and in England, who called themselves "Rosicrucians"
and who made wide use of a (now) strange system of symbols and esoteric means
of communication. It is believed by some that Francis Bacon was a
Rosicrucian. I said that not much is known with certainty about them; of this
one thing, however, we can be certain: they were Protestants, when they were
not altogether outside the bounds of Christianity.
the Kabbalists more is known. The literature called the Kabbala came into
existence in Spain during the thirteenth century, or thereabouts, and won its
way among the Jews who had grown weary of the sterile rationalism of
Maimonides and his school. The Kabbalistical literature was dramatically
brought to the attention of the intellectual circles of Europe by Reuchlin
when, in or about 1500, he caught it up as a means of preventing a terrible
slaughter of Jews by the papists. The Kabbala is a work of Jewish mysticism.
From it there came into Freemasonry, so there is good reason to believe, the
Legend of the Lost Word, the Tradition of Solomon's Temple, the Tradition of
the Substitute Word, the Great Pillars, etc.
you name three Masonic histories? Which one is supposed to be the best? What
is meant by "occult"? Can you tell anything about Pope Innocent III? What is
meant by the word "heretic"? Can you tell anything about the Albigensian
Crusades? Do you believe that Freemasonry connects in any way with the Knights
Templar? Are the Masonic Knights Templar identical with the Order spoken of
above? Why was the Order suppressed? Who was the last Grand Master of the
Knights? Have you ever heard of Jacques de Molay? What can you tell about the
Rosicrucians? Where were the Rosicrucians strongest? Describe the Kabbalists?
Where did Kabbalism originate? When did Reuchlin live? What did he do? What
does Freemasonry owe to Kabbalism? Was the Kabbala Jewish or Christian? If
Freemasonry descended from the Kabbalists, and the other sources named above,
as well as from Operative Masons of the Middle Ages, what, would you say, was
the first religion of Freemasonry?
should be further noted that during the century immediately preceding the
famous Revival (1717) many men came into the Fraternity who where - to a
certain extent - what would now be called Free Thinkers. This is not to say
that they were atheists or anti-religious; it means that they chose to think
for themselves, and were not able to accept many things officially taught by
the churches. Quite a number of the founders and early champions of the Royal
Society (this fact is overlooked so often) were active Freemasons, and so were
many other learned men in different quarters who, in that period of
rationalism, did not adhere to any religion at all, albeit, like Voltaire and
the Deists, they believed in a Supreme Being. It is certain that many of
these men found their way into the Fraternity at a period before the Revival
and I have no doubt that they had something to do at the time with the
complete releasing of Freemasonry from adhesion to any one religion
whatsoever. The great paragraph "Concerning God and Religion" which Anderson
(or whoever it was) incorporated in the first Grand Lodge Constitutions, is a
frank statement to the effect that whereas in ancient times Freemasons had
been obliged to be of the religion of the country in which they lived, that
now no religious demands would be made of them save that they were not to be
stupid atheists or irreligious libertines. The adoption of the paragraph marks
an epoch in the evolution of religion in the English-speaking world. It was a
great magna charta of spiritual liberty proclaimed at a time when religious
bigotry was more bigoted than ever, and when men were suffering all manner of
persecution for daring to disagree with the official dogmas of the churches.
The Masonic student should make the most careful study of this period of
Masonic history because it was at this time that the constitutions and
landmarks were adopted (many of them, anyhow) that are still in force, and it
is to that period that Grand Lodges almost always turn when seeking for
precedents whereon to establish new laws or regulations or interpretations.
Unless one clearly grasps the principles built into Speculative Freemasonry at
that time, he will ever remain hopelessly in the dark about the underlying
principles of Freemasonry as it now exists.
is meant by a Free Thinker? Is he anti-religious? Who are some typical Free
Thinkers now? What was the Royal Society? When and by whom was it founded? Who
were the Deists? What did they believe? What was the substance of the famous
paragraph "Concerning God and Religion"? Who wrote the Constitutions? Who was
Anderson? In what sense was that aforementioned paragraph a great religious
magna charta? Why do Grand Lodges seek precedents in the period of the
Revival? When and what was this Revival?
time went on it came to pass that Freemasonry began to grow at a great rate,
and it was inevitable, owing to the serious and religious character of the
ritual, that many of the men drawn to it should be churchmen, or otherwise
devout. A trend toward Christianization of the Order set in. In 1760 the Holy
Bible was made a Great Light. In 1813, at the time of the famous Union of the
two Grand Lodges, the Antient and the Modern, Freemasonry was specifically
declared to be consecrated to the glory of God. After this the tide toward
Christianization set in with new power until it at last culminated in the work
of Dr. George Oliver, whose name should be held in everlasting remembrance
among Masons. To Oliver the whole Masonic system was essentially biblical and
wholly Christian. He was so fruitful in influence, his books were so many, and
his followers so numberless, that for decades men entirely lost sight of the
original principles of Speculative Masonry - that Masonry, I mean, that is
usually referred back for its origin to 1717. Indeed, that impulse has not yet
by any means spent itself; many brethren, misled by the predominantly
Scriptural cast of the Work, and misunderstanding a few scattered references
here and there, assume that in some sense Freemasonry is specifically a
Christian institution, and forget, the while, the presence of a great number
of Jews in the Order, not to mention many who adhere to no one religion
whatsoever. So late as 1887 Brother H.J. Whymper published a book since become
standard, "The Religion of Freemasonry," in which he boldly upheld the thesis
that Freemasonry is a specifically Christian institution. The work was
introduced by W.J. Hughan, and edited by G. W. Speth.
probable that Brother Whymper (I join with all in honouring a name so
illustrious in our annals) forgot the great and epoch-making Proclamation
issued by H.R.H. the Duke of Sussex, M.W. Grand Master of the United Grand
Lodge of England, published from Kensington Palace, July 2, 1842, which
Proclamation plainly declared that Freemasonry is not the property of any one
religion, and that those subjects of the Crown in India who were otherwise
eligible and who could make a sincere profession of faith in one living God,
be they Hindus or Mohammedans, might petition for membership in Freemasonry.
That Proclamation established a precedent of vast influence, so that today the
Fraternity flourishes in the Far East to an undreamed of extent, and it is
quite impossible, in view of the fact of Masonic universality, to claim for
any one religion, as against all others, the adhesion of this Order.
was the Holy Bible made a great Light? Why is it called The Volume of the
Sacred Law? Are there other Volumes of the Sacred Law? What book is so used by
Jews? By Mohammedans? By Hindus? When was the lodge formally declared
consecrated to God? Why do Masons speak of Him as T.S.G.A.O.T.U.? What was the
"Antient" Grand Lodge? The "Modern"? What is the Grand Lodge of England now
called? What position did Dr. Oliver take? Do you agree with him? What book
did Whymper publish? When? What was his position? When did H.R.H. the Duke of
Sussex publish his Proclamation? And where? What was the significance of it?
What does that proclamation mean for us? Does the Grand Lodge of England
recognize lodges that accept men other than Christian?
Bible is the sacred book of Christians; the ritual of Freemasonry is steeped
in the Bible: therefore Freemasonry must be considered a Christian
institution; this is the logic, expressed or implied, by which men have been
led to hold that the Craft adheres to that one religion as against all others.
These brethren should be made to understand the facts in the case. It is true
that the Holy Bible was the ultimate source of much in the ritual but one
needs only try to test the ritual by biblical references to find that after
all the ritual is not built on the text of the Bible, for the great major
incidents in the ritual - and this applies to all the grades - are not found
in the Book at all. To cite but one example; the tragedy of Hiram Abiff which
is so central to all the mysteries of Masonry, is not met with in any of the
sacred books. The explanation of this lies ready to hand. Traditions and
legends, suggested long ago by incidents in the Bible, were taken up here and
there by different groups and worked over into new shapes and to new purposes.
A luxuriant undergrowth of legend and myth sprang up about the feet of the old
Bible stories, of which fact the rich old tales of Arthur and his Table and of
the Search for the Grail, woven by Tennyson into the deeply -coloured and
mystical poems of The Idylls of the King, may serve as a familiar example.
Medieval religion, art, and architecture, as everybody knows, are all steeped
in these old traditions, many of which had undergone an evolution that led
them to become completely cut away from their original sources in the Sacred
biblical traditions in Freemasonry did not come into it directly from the
Bible, but from these other and secondary sources, and in long round-about
paths, so that, by the time they had come to be incorporated into the ritual,
they had undergone many profound transformations, so that it is no longer
possible to call them biblical, save as such traditions as the above mentioned
Holy Grail may also be called biblical. The Legend of the Lost Word, of the
Substitute Word, of the great Temple of which Hiram Abiff was Grand Master,
etc., etc., all had, no doubt, their first inspiration in the biblical
narratives, but they have since travelled so far away from their sources that
they may be thought of, like the old myths of the Greeks, as belonging to the
whole world, and to men of all religions.
while it is true that Freemasonry cannot be claimed by any one religion - no
intelligent Freemason will make such a claim, however devout he may be in his
own faith - it has a religious foundation that is all its own. Believing that
there is under all the creeds one universal religion, which may be described
as a belief in one God as the Father of all, in the immortality of the soul,
and in the brotherhood of man, it demands of all its initiates adhesion to
these root truths. What other things they may choose to believe, and how they
may interpret or elaborate these fundamentals, is left wholly to their own
private judgment. It is as if the Fraternity said to its children, "Here is
the great substructure, the mother rock under your feet, on which you must
each one build your own house of religion; what manner of temples you build,
and in what style, and where, and how high, that I shall leave to you
individually; but on the substructure of belief in God, in brotherhood, and in
immortality, you must build, else you do not belong to me.
examples of biblical references in the Work. Recite portions of it that are
drawn directly from the Bible. Have you ever sought for the origin of the
Hiram Abiff tragedy in the Old Testament? What did you find? Does our account
of Solomon's Temple agree with the account in the Book of Kings? How have you
explained this to yourself ? What do you think of the explanations as given
above? Have you ever read Tennyson's Idylls of the King? Who was Tennyson?
When did he live? Can you give the story of the Holy Graal (sometimes spelled
"Grail"? Retell in your own words the account of how traditions, originally
from the Bible, reached us by circuitous paths, and after they had become
worked over and changed. What is the religion of Freemasonry? There will be
men of several different religions in a Study Club; it would be interesting to
have them tell you how they have found their own beliefs not to conflict with
Freemasonry and its teachings.
- The Two Paths, p. 37; The Spirit of Easter, p. 92; A Twentieth Century
Masonic Philosophy, p. 106; Prayer in Masonry, p. 186; The Bible in Masonry,
p. 254; The Spiritual Side of Masonry, p. 256; Masonic Meditation, p. 298.
II. - The Religion of Robert Burns, p. 3; Masonry and Religion, p. 50; Some
Deeper Aspects of Masonic Symbolism, 107, 144, 175; Sectarianism and
Freemasonry, p. 109; St. Johns Day, p. 185; The Church and the Craft, p. 191;
Toleration, p. 265; Non-Christian Candidates, p. 302; The Church and
Freemasonry, p. 318.
III. - The Fellowship of Masonry, p. 41; Religion and Philosophy, p. 234;
Masonry's Great Book, p. 347.
IV. - Prayer, Feb. C.C.B., p. 7; The Divine Geometry, p. 159; Symbolism of the
Master Mason Degree, p. 291.
V. - The Catholic Treatise on Masonry, pp. 180, 210, 247, 272.
VI. - The Letter G, Feb. C.C.B., p. 3; The Lost Wod, May C.C.B., p. 3; Sacred
Symbol, p. 288.
VII. - The Religious Teachings of Freemasonry, p. 82; Emblematic Freemasonry,
Building Guilds and Hermetic Schools, p. 160; T.G.A.O.T.U., p. 169; Toleration
and Free Thinking, p.196; Masonic Prayers, p. 206; Material for Masonic
Sermons, p. 271.
VIII. - Religious Beliefs, p. 62; The Roman Catholic Articles, p. 94; Masonic
Toleration, p. 137; Toleration and Freemasonry, p. 150; The Holy Sts. John,
pp. 170, 202; Religion and the Grand Orient of France, P. 189; Hughan's
Introduction to "The Religion of Freemasonry," p. 282.
Mackey's Encyclopedia-(Revised Edition):
Antient, p. 55; Bacon, Francis, p. 89; Bible, p. 104; Builder, p. 123;
Christianization of Freemasonry, p. 148; Church, Freemasons of the, p. 150;
Consecration, p. 175; Craft, p. 184; Craftsman, p. 184; Creed, A Mason's, p.
184; Deism, p. 204; Gnostics, P. 300; God, p. 301; Gothic Architecture, p.
304; Hiram Abiff, p. 329; Hughan, William James, p. 338; Kabbala, p. 375;
Knights Templar, p. 404; Knights Templar, Masonic, p. 410; Lost Word, p. 453;
Modern, p. 488; Oath, p. 521; Oath, Corporal, p. 524; Oath of the Guild, p.
524; Oath, Tyler's, p. 524; Objections to Freemasonry, p. 525; Obligation, p.
525; Old Charges or Old Manuscripts, p. 527; Oliver, George, p. 527; Religion
of Masonry, p. 617; Resurrection, p. 621; Revival, p. 622; Roman Colleges of
Artificers, p 630; Rosicrucianism, p 639; Scriptures, Belief in the, p. 672;
Scriptures, Reading of the, p. 672; Stone Masons of the Middle Ages, p. 718;
Substitute Word, p. 734; Travelling Freemason, p. 792.
STUDY CLUB PLAN
"The Bulletin Course of
Masonic Study," of which the foregoing paper by Brother Haywood is a part, was
begun in THE BUILDER early in 1917. Previous to the beginning of the present
series on "Philosophical Masonry," or "The Teachings of Masonry," as we have
titled it, were published some forty-three papers covering in detail
"Ceremonial Masonry" and "Symbolical Masonry" under the following several
divisions: "The Work of a Lodge," "The Lodge and the Candidate," "First
Steps," "Second Steps," and "Third Steps." A complete set of these papers up
to January 1st, 1922, are obtainable in the bound volumes of THE BUILDER for
1917, 1918, 1919, 1920 and 1921.
Following is an outline
of the subjects covered by the current series of study club papers by Brother
TEACHINGS OF MASONRY
The Masonic Conception of Human Nature.
The Idea of Truth in Freemasonry.
The Masonic Conception of Education.
Ritualism and Symbolism.
Initiation and Secrecy.
10. - Democracy.
11. - Masonry and
12. - The Brotherhood
13. - Freemasonry and
15. - The Fatherhood of
16. - Endless Life.
17. - Brotherly Aid.
18. - Schools of
This systematic course
of Masonic study
has been taken up and carried out in monthly and semi-monthly meetings of
lodges and study clubs all over the United States and Canada, and in several
instances in lodges overseas.
The course of study has
for its foundation two sources of Masonic information, THE BUILDER and
ORGANIZE AND CONDUCT STUDY CLUB MEETINGS
Study clubs may be
organized separate from the lodge, or as a part of the work of the lodge. In
the latter case the lodge should select a committee, preferably of three
"live" members who shall have charge of the study club meetings. The study
club meetings should be held at least once a month (excepting during July and
August, when the study club papers are discontinued in THE BUILDER), either at
a special communication of the lodge called for the purpose, or at a regular
communication at which no business (except the lodge routine) should be
transacted,all possible time to be devoted to study club purposes.
After the lodge has
been opened and all routine business disposed of, the Master should turn the
lodge over to the chairman of the study club committee. The committee should
be fully prepared in advance on the subject to be discussed at the meeting.
All members to whom references for supplemental papers have been assigned
should be prepared with their material, and should also have a comprehensive
grasp of Brother Haywood's paper by a previous reading and study of it.
PROGRAM FOR STUDY CLUB MEETINGS
1. Reading of any
supplemental papers on the subject for the evening which may have been
prepared by brethren assigned such duties by the chairman of the study club
2. Reading of the first
section of Brother Haywood's paper.
3. Discussion of this
section, using the questions following this section to bring out points for
4. The subsequent
sections of the paper should then be taken up and disposed of in the same
5. Question Box. Invite
questions on any subject in Masonry, from any and all brethren present. Let
the brethren understand that these meetings are for their particular benefit
and enlightenment and get them into the habit of asking all the questions they
may be able to think of. If at the time these questions are propounded no one
can answer them, send them in to us and we will endeavor to supply answers to
them in time for your next study club meetmg.
information should enable study club committees to conduct their meetings
without difficulty. However, if we can be of assistance to such committees, or
any individual member of lodges and study clubs at any time such brethren are
invited to feel
communicate with us.
SCHOOLS AND PUBLIC LIBRARIES SHOULD WORK TOGETHER
"The measure of success
of a school or of a school system is the extent to which it brings about the
true life success of the pupils. There is, therefore, no matter of greater
importance to the public than the success of the schools.
"It has been found by
careful investigation that it has been impressed on those who visit many
schools that schools are least successful in the upper grades. This is
especially shown by the large number who drop out of these grades and by the
relatively large proportion who must repeat them before passing on. The
failure of schools in the adolescent or uppergrade period has recently been
stressed by Edison in his criticism of present educational methods. Since the
pupils in the upper grades are in the most critical period of life, it follows
that schools are least successful for the very years when success is of the
"One of the principal
reasons for this condition is not far to seek. As children pass from the lower
to the upper grades they need more and more ability to help themselves in
their school work. The one most important source of self help in this
connection is the ability and opportunity to use books and libraries,
including magazines and newspapers. Children will not learn how to use books
and libraries effectively without a definite and carefully graded course of
lessons on the subject, any more than they would learn arithmetic without such
a course in arithmetic.
"Since schools do not
yet offer a course in the use of books and libraries, we need not be surprised
that there is so much failure in the upper grades and high school. Since the
use of books and libraries is of vital concern for life purposes, we have here
a matter of fundamental importance to true success in education. We need to
prepare pupils for the wise use of leisure as well as for the active duties of
"The school library
cause presents to normal schools a duty and an opportunity which are exceeded
in importance by none other of their functions. In their model schools they
should give a definite, properly graded and comprehensive course in the use of
books and libraries. They should exemplify in the model schools a well devised
plan for pleasure reading which will produce a lasting taste for good reading.
They should provide a course, required of all prospective teachers, in which
this vital feature of education is given adequate attention, including
observation and practice teaching in the model school." - O.S. Rice, in
address to Normal School Librarians, American Library Association, Chicago. -
M.S.A. Bulletin No. 8.
BRO. GERALD NANCARROW, INDIANA
Brother whom death has translated
this known to that mystical shore;
Soul you have won your awaited -
realm only victors explore.
Brother, the life that you mastered
you life on that Glorified Plane
the Truths that you tested and fostered
ring as your labor's refrain.
there you shall raise a new building
firmer foundation than earth;
in adorning and gilding
sphere you attained by your worth
Master of all life's servers, -
passed on your efforts below
filled you with patriot fervors, -
keep your bright beacons aglow.
lettered in Heavenly glory
all mortals who follow may read,
written your immortal story -
Brother, in heart and in deed.
HUGHAN'S INTRODUCTION TO "THE RELIGION OF FREEMASONRY"
the most famous pronouncements on the subject - a delicate one, and
susceptible of many misunderstandings - about which I have endeavoured to
write in this month's Study Club was that contributed by Brother William James
Hughan as an Introduction to a book written by his friend and colleague,
Brother Henry Josiah Whymper, and entitled "The Religion of Freemasonry." In
that now famous volume Brother Whymper undertook to prove that Freemasonry
should confine its membership entirely to the adherents of one religion. In
taking friendly issue with this thesis Brother Hughan gave expression to his
own view of the subject in a statement of the case which I am fain to
reproduce here, not only because it brings the weight of his great authority
to the support of my own position but because it is in itself of such
intrinsic value, as deserves a much wider reading than is ever accorded to the
Introduction to a book. I may add to this the further fact that Brother
Whymper's book was edited by Brother George William Speth, the brilliant and
beloved first secretary of the Quatuor Coronate Lodge of Research, whose
attainments in Masonic scholarship gave him a place not far behind that of
Hughan himself. In a "Note by the Editor" Brother Speth frankly expresses
himself concerning Brother Whymper's thesis as not being "in complete accord
with him." It is good for us to study carefully the opinions of all our
leaders in Masonic thought on this subject because, though it is probable that
ninety per cent of competent Masonic opinion is in agreement with Hughan's
position rather than with Whymper's, the subject is still so acrimoniously
debated in some quarters that it behaves a sober-minded student to see to it
that his own opinions are of light rather than heat. The whole subject is one
about which we must learn to disagree without being disagreeable. Brother
Hughan's Introduction follows.
AGREEING to write a short introduction to Brother Whymper's work, I had no
idea the latter was to be of such an extensive character. As it is, however,
nothing appears to be needed to ensure its careful perusal, for the volume
tells its own tale in unmistakable language, and requires no sponsor. This is
fortunate, as it is rather awkward for my part to be done when not quite in
full sympathy with the author on the general question.
quite clear that my friend has every confidence in the stand he has taken and
fears no opposition, so that my task is certainly the easier under such happy
circumstances, and the more so, when it is noted how thoroughly Brother
Whymper has treated this confessedly difficult subject. His industry and
perseverance have been enbounded, and no researches or enquiries appear to
have been spared to make the work thoroughly comprehensive and authentic. The
result is an invaluable repertory of facts, which constitute an excellent and
trustworthy foundation on which to build our theories and opinions, whether
favourable or otherwise to the views prepounded by the enthusiastic and
distinguished author, besides furnishing us with the matured observations and
convictions of a zealous Masonic student.
the chief objects of the work is to illustrate "the circumstance that the
original principles of Freemasonry were based on Christian Catholicity," as
evidenced by the premier "Constitutions" of 1723, and more distinctly by the
2nd edition of 1738; several portions of which, submitted for that purpose,
are given in parallel columns, with some later variations, to 1884. To my
mind, however, they all tend in the direction of cosmopolitanism and religious
universality, save the copy of 1722 (which is scarcely suitable for comparison
with the Modern Speculative Regulations), that of 1723 particularly, being
indicative of the altered conditions of the Society of that period.
English Freemasonry was Christian prior to the organization of the premier
Grand Lodge cannot be doubted by those who are familiar with the "Old Charges"
used by the Craft during the preceding centuries. In this respect, as in
several others, I entirely concur with Brother Whymper, and am, moreover,
bound to admit that no record exists of any express agreement to change the
Fraternity from an exclusively Christian to a religious or theistic
ORIGINAL MASONRY WAS TRINITARIAN
the original Christian basis of the Society should be continued, because never
expressly altered by the "Revivalists," it appears to me that logically such a
condition could not be observed by favouring the platform of Catholicity,
inasmuch as Freemasonry until the era of Grand Lodge was distinctly
Trinitarian, and hence Unitarians were but little more suitable as members
under the old system than Jews or men of other faiths. Precisely when other
candidates than Jews were admitted into the Brotherhood with professed
Christians it is not easy to determine, but as respects our Israelitish
members, we shall not be far wrong if we date their first welcome into the
Fraternity as far back as one hundred and fifty years, or even more.
R.'. W.'. Brother McIntyre, Q.C., P.G.W. (as Grand Registrar), declared in
Grand Lodge (5th Dec., 1877) that "up to 1813, the two Grand Lodges of England
were Christian Grand Lodges. In 1813 we became a Universal Grand Lodge, and
Jews were admitted amongst us." I am not aware of any facts to corroborate
such an assertion, the simple truth being that they are all in the opposite
direction, the less exclusive Constitution having been in force before the
lamented Lord Tenterden, K.C.B. (Prov. G.W. Essex), declared at the same
Communication that "when Freemasonry was introduced into Germany last century,
it was constituted on the Christian system of St. John.... The Three Globes
Lodge was constituted in 1740 as a Christian lodge." According to Brother
Gould, P.G.D. (and there is no better guide), this lodge was started by the
sole authority of Frederick the Great, so that we are not much concerned with
what was done under those circumstances; but in reference to the introduction
of Freemasonry into that country we may be assured that, so far as England was
concerned, there was no departure from the ordinary usage of that period, and
that no Warrants of Constitution were granted of a different character to
those authorized for other countries by the premier Grand Lodge.
must be conceded that even now Freemasonry is "simply and purely Christian"
under some Grand Lodges, but so long as such organizations are willing to
admit visitors from England and other countries, where the Craft is
established on broader lines, it is not for us to object to their narrower
system. The late Earl of Zetland, as Grand Master, obtained all necessary
concessions from such Grand Lodges during the fifth decade of this century by
securing the recognition of all regular brethren as visitors, without regard
to their religious faith and creed. More than this we cannot fairly require;
though it leaves much to be desired.
distinctly announced by authority of the M.'. W.'. Grand Master in 1865 that
there was nothing to prevent anyone "who believes in the Omnipotent,
Omniscient, and Omnipresent God, and who in private life practices the sacred
duties of morality, from being initiated into the secrets and mysteries of our
Order." This decision was officially communicated, because the then District
Grand Master of Bengal objected to Hindoos being proposed as candidates for
initiation, notwithstanding one of that number had offered to make a
declaration that "he was not a Pantheist or Polytheest, and did not identify
the Creator with any of his creatures, but believed in T.G.A.O.T.U."
Zetland but followed in the steps of his illustrious predecessor, H.R.H. the
Duke. of Sussex, M.'. W.'. Grand Master, who aided in the arrangements for the
initiation of a Mohammedan in 1836, and was in full sympathy with those who
desired to extend rather than curtail the foundation on which Freemasonry
clear, however that such authoritative decisions presuppose that candidates
cherish or have adopted some particular form of religious faith, and are not
simply Deists, because the obligation to secrecy and fidelity is to be taken
on those "Sacred Writings" which to them are binding on their consciences.
CHRISTIAN FLAVOUR REMAINS
with all the predilections for a comprehensive and cosmopolitan basis, nothing
can obliterate the evidences of the Christian origin of our Fraternity, and
hence, whilst prepared to the fullest extent possible to accept worthy
neophytes without respect to their creed, colour, or clime, one cannot but
feel that those brethren who are neither professed Christens, nor Jews, will
meet with numerous references in our ceremonies founded on the Old and New
Testament Scriptures, which will not favour their own notions of theology.
Bible should always be "the Great Light of the Craft," and never be closed in
open lodge, whatever volumes else may be at times essential for the purposes
of reception. I have never heard of any objections to such a rule, and trust
that none will ever be urged, for unless other religionists are prepared to
practice as well as expect toleration by thus maintaining the actual and
obligatory foundations of the Society, the continuity and identity of the
Institution cannot be permanently and uniformly preserved.
Brother Whymper evidently favours separate Jewish, Parsee, Hindoo, and
Mahommedan lodges, but would such a plan really meet his objections to the
present regime? He emphatically states that "It is impossible for any man, no
matter what his former religion may have been, to become a Fellow Craft Mason
in English Masonry and refuse to accept both the Old and the New Testaments."
How, then, would those distinctive combinations provide for such a
contingency? If we cannot do with these religionists in our lodges, I do not
see how we can do without them - i.e., in separate lodges. We meet on the
Level or not at all, and therefore, if we cannot as votaries of various faiths
become members together in lodge, and thus illustrate the "Brotherhood of
Man," better far to refrain from all attempts at universality, and revert to
an exclusively Christian Constitution, as in the olden time.
anxious to look at the question in all its aspects, and do not mention
difficulties because of any fondness for them, but simply to suggest that if a
return to the old system is to be recommended, and primarily because it
prevailed prior to the inauguration of Grand Lodges, it is well we should
understand what is involved in such a course.
events, it seems to me that we are at the present time observing the old rule
of 1723, in promoting the "Religion in which all men agree, leaving their
particular opinions to themselves," as well as respecting some of the usages
and customs of our Grand Lodge. Besides which, by thus extending the scope of
our Ancient and Honourable Society, we are adding immensely to its beneficial
influence and practical usefulness, especially abroad.
Holding this view, and bearing in mind the esteemed brethren who hold and
advocate otherwise, I am prepared to accept the opinion and advice of the
revered Brother, the Rev. A.F.A. Woodford, M.A., P.G. Chap., who maintained
that "the Christian School and the Universal School can coexist in
Freemasonry. Though their views are necessarily antagonistic, yet they need
not be made the subject of contention; they can be held in peace and
consideration, and all fraternal goodwill. Indeed, we think, upon the whole,
that Freemasonry has, curiously enough, a two-fold teaching in this respect"
According to Brother Whymper's convictions, the spread of the Craft in India
amongst Parsees, Hindoos, and Mahommedans calls for serious consideration, and
increasingly so when brethren of each of those faiths become sufficiently
numerous to support lodges composed mainly of members of their own persuasion.
difficulties arise in consequence, we may yet have to try the ingenious
suggestion of chartering lodges for each particular faith, subject to the
rights of mutual visitation; but I confess to the feeling that, should ever
such be deemed requisite, an element of religious distinction and
classification will be of necessity introduced, which will considerably modify
or weaken the unsectarian character of the Institution.
Clearly, then, this important subject deserves - fact, demands - our earnest
attention and careful consideration, and our hearty thanks are due to Brother
Whymper for having so fraternally introduced the matter to our notice in the
RECOGNITION AND COOPERATION
IF THERE is anything
dear to the mind of a Freemason it is the ideal of a great world-wide
Fraternity, a deep-based, all inclusive Order of lofty purposes and unselfish
aims, that might house under its one roof picked men from all the peoples of
the world. Freemasonry itself, in its ritual, its landmarks, and its laws,
holds this mighty ideal evermore before itself and its children, and inspires
them to strive to bring it some day to fulfillment.
But alas, those same
children, many of them, find themselves in an impasse, so far as the
universality of the Masonic Order is concerned. For if there is anything
certain about the laws of Freemasonry it is that one Grand Lodge cannot extend
formal recognition to another Grand Lodge the Masonry of which it deems to
have departed from the landmarks. And if there is anything certain about Grand
Lodges as they now exist, it is that there are several which cannot therefore
recognize each other, because in their technical definitions of Freemasonry
they are widely sundered.
On the other hand, and
to the contrary, it is also a certainty that members of two Grand Lodges that
cannot recognize each other may be at the same time members of the great
Brotherhood as a whole, and in a large sense fellow Masons, in that they
believe in the same noble beliefs, and work for the same high ends. And if the
universality of Freemasonry is ever to be anything more than a tantalizing
phantom of the brain, the members of all Grand Lodges must somehow find a way
to get together.
Here is the impasse in
which a Mason finds himself. He desires a world-wide Fraternity, with all the
bodies of Freemasonry acting together. But he knows it to be impossible for
his own Grand Lodge to extend formal recognition to certain other Grand
Lodges. It is a painful dilemma!
Is there a way out of
There is, and it
consists in fashioning in ourselves a new understanding of what is implied in
recognition. To refuse recognition to a Grand Body asking for it may mean to
read that body out of the Order, but it doesn't often mean that. Usually it
means that one Grand Lodge refuses to place its stamp of approval upon some
one action taken by another Grand Lodge, as when certain states withdrew
recognition from the Grand Lodge of Washington on account of Negro Masonry.
But the refusal on the part of those Grand Lodges to recognize Washington did
not imply that all Washington Masons had ceased to be Masons! Far from it!
Recogrution belongs to
the technical side of Masonry, and that is a most important side; but after
all there are other and equally important sides.
A Grand Lodge might
very well take the position that in a case where, for technical reasons, it is
unable to extend formal recognition to another Grand Lodge, it nevertheless
knows that other Grand Lodge to be a par of the great family of Masonry, and
stands willing to cooperate with it in whatever way remains possible. In this
wise the landmarks would be duly preserved as each Grand Body understands
those landmarks, and a due regard would be had for all technical matters, but
at the same time the larger unity of the Fraternity would be preserved.
Cooperation is often possible where recognition is impossible.
This principle, so it
would appear, might very well be put into practice by American Grand Lodges
now in their dealings with Grand Lodges in Europe. European Freemasonry has
had much to contend with that has never seriously troubled us. Freemasonry in
America came into existence already formed, like Athena from the temple of
Zeus; but in Europe it came to birth after many throes and passions, and on
the original soil many of those passions and divisions have naturally a long
while persisted. But more important still is the fact that in Europe
Freemasonry has been at grips with an enemy which has sought to divide it and
to keep it divided in order to control it; whereas in this more favored land
that enemy has been far less powerful. Owing to these two causes of the
divisions that inevitably have existed from within, and the divisions that
were caused by enemies from without, European Masonic organizations are, as
compared with the rigidly defined Grand Lodges of this land, in a state of
chaos. It is almost impossible to apply to them the straight test of the
landmarks which are (comparitively) so easy to apply to our own Grand Lodges.
But at the same time
Europeans are Masons after all, and are recognized as such by us whenever we
speak of them unofficially, even at the very time that our Grand Lodgeg (it
may be) do not recognize them as such officially. And these brothers of ours
across the sea, who are children of the same great mother as ourselves, were
never so badly in need of our help and sympathetic encouragement as now, when
the world in which they exist is a
wrecked world, and when their enemies are enjoying such an opportunity as
never before, and when they are confronted by obstacles almost insuperable,
and must carry burdens almost impossible to bear.
that we cannot recognize many of them! grant that it is as much for their good
as for ours that Freemasonry be kept pure!
Cannot we at the same time hail them as brethren of the Mystic Tie, who, by
virtue of having assumed that Tie, are members of our Fraternity, and
deserving of all the relief, aid and succor that we can give them? Cannot we
learn to co-operate with them, even when we cannot recognize them?
"A New Encyclopedia of
Freemasonry" by A.E. Waite. Published in two volumes by William Rider,
Cathedral House, Paternoster Row, London, England, 1921; price $15.00.
IT WILL conduce to a
clearer understanding of this work of 977 pages if I give the title in all its
"A New Encyclopedia of
Freemasonry (Ars Magna Latomorum), And of Cognate Instituted Mysteries: Their
Rites, Literature, and History."
The two volumes are
well made; bound in blue cloth; lettered and decorated in gold; and the print
and paper are alike excellent.
The key to a proper
understanding of this work is to be found in the fact that the author begins
and ends with a well-defined thesis of his own, about which he is careful to
see that we have no misunderstandings. The preface to every book deserves
reading; in the present case it is absolutely necessary that it be read,
unless one is to blunder about through the dark for endless pages. After a
brief description of the plan and scope of the undertaking Brother Waite goes
on to write, on page six, this most significant paragraph:
"One thing remains to
be said, for - although it lies within the region of personal explanation - it
is a matter of justice alike to readers and myself - to readers, that they may
be under no misapprehension as to the motives by which I am actuated in my
several contributions to Masonic subjects; to myself, that I may bear witness
at need to the knowledge that has reached me from various cardinal quarters of
intellectual life and experience. I have undertaken this work, a very large
part of which has involved anxious research, with its concomitants of
reference and cross-reference, the sifting of authorities and the search after
some kind of mean between counterviews, not because I am drawn naturally into
archeological paths but because they offer an opportunity to put forward what
I am very certain is the true view of Freemasonry. Were it [Freemasonry]
merely - as so many believe - an ethical and benevolent society, the only
issue concerning it would be whether it fulfills that role in the living
present: origin and past history could be matters of no moment, or at least
none which - from my point of view - would warrant such a book as this. BUT
MASONRY IN MY OWN UNDERSTANDING, IS PART OF A DIVINE QUEST; IT COMMUNICATES
KNOWLEDGE OF THAT QUEST AND ITS TERM IN SYMBOLISM; WHILE THOSE WHO ARE WILLING
TO TAKE THAT SYMBOLISM INTO THEIR HEART - THEIR INMOST HEART - OR IN OTHER
WORDS TO TRANSLATE IT INTO LIFE, MAY FIND THAT IT BECOMES AN OPEN GATE INTO A
REAL WORLD OF KNOWLEDGE, WHERE THE DIVINE QUEST ENDS IN DIVINE ATTAINMENT."
There can be no
possibility of misunderstanding about these words, especially about those that
I have capitalized; Brother Waite believes that the heart of Freemasonry is a
system or way of life, which if a man follow, will lead him to a frst-hand
knowledge of God. It is - behind all its veils - a life of religion. Nay,
more! he makes it plain, here and there throughout the two volumes, that for
him it is a path toward the Christian religion, as "Catholic Mystics" have
understood that faith. He developed the same idea several years ago in his
"Studies in Mysticism" wherein, on page 346, we may read to this end.
"Though I have
described Masonry as the mirror of instituted initiation, it has been with no
idea of transcendence, to which it is indeed without a title. It is the most
proximate and available of the illustrations, and its reflection is fairly
complete, as of great things by little. In its development it has never
succeeded in completing the house which it set out to build, and it is only as
something very far away that it recalls - in part by antithesis - that which
is the mystery of all in exaltation, the nearest indeed of all, but the least
comprehended. I suppose it is unnecessary to say that I speak of the one
Master who was neither Hiram nor another; those who enter into the
comprehension of this mystery and, in fine, of all that which is veiled by the
symbolic resurrection of the first Easter morning, will have no need of
Masonry or the other instituted systems...." (Hodder and Stoughton, 1906).
Brother Waite is a
Christian in the manner in which any Mystic can be a Christian; and he
believes that the Soul of Masonry is just that in it which, in its own manner,
leads a man into the path of the Christian Mystic, or does in him and for him
that which Christian Mysticism does. This is the thesis of the New
It is a most difficult
thesis to understand and to follow, especially if a reader has not already
made himself somewhat at home with mysticism in general and Christian
mysticism in particular; and the language in which it is expressed will
confuse a man altogether unless he has mastered its patois. I recommend that
before the uninitiated reader undertakes these two volumes he first try a
course in reading Waite. He can begin with the articles that have appeared in
THE BUILDER, especially those that have been published in pamphlet form and
are now in our Monthly Book List. Thereafter he can undertake "Studies in
Mysticism," the latter chapters of which present in connected form that which
is the main contention sustained through the various articles of the
Encyclopaedia Next might come "The Hidden Church of the Holy Graal," and after
that the two thick volumes of "The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry." At the
last one should read and retread "The Way of Divine Union," which is the
author's greatest work, and his original contribution to the rapidly growing
literature on Mysticism. Having become thus accoutered with Brother Waite's
ideas and with some understanding of his vocabulary - which is of an extremely
symbolical character - one may approach the Encyclopaedia prepared to read and
to understand it and its thesis. Who is equal to these things? not many: and
this fact is the principal handicap under which the Encyclopaedia will have to
make its way. It is an encyclopaedia for the few, which is almost a
contradiction in terms.
When one, thus
equipped, reads through the interesting pages of these two volumes, he will
discover the Encyclopaedia to be a controversial treatise designed to uphold a
thesis by means of a series of articles arranged alphabetically. To my own way
of thinking the thesis is not proved, and in the nature of things cannot be,
but that is neither here nor there; the thesis is the key to the compilations
and the articles, and it must be kept firmly in hand lest one misconstrue the
Brother Waite believes
that Freemasonry, save in its more external and less important sense, did not
originate with medieval building guilds. Under the influence of Christianity
in the West there became established a Secret Tradition, which consisted of a
knowledge of the Way of Union with God held in custody by certain groups who
transmitted to others from time to time and from generation to generation
their living secrets. This was the "Church behind the Church," the power of
the spirit that gave life to all churchly forms and ordinances, and preserved
alive in a hostile world the clue of Christian living, and Christian knowledge
of things Divine and Ineffable. At one place in its development this Tradition
gathered into itself that form of Mysticism which had first developed among
the Spanish Jews, known as Kabbalism. Some group or groups, or perhaps
outstanding personalities, caught up the Masonic operative lodges and
transformed them into vehicles whereby the Secret Tradition might be preserved
“I know that the Secret
Tradition in Israel has its vital side, that it came into the hands of
Christian scholars, who adopted it to their Christian Purpose; and I believe
that round about the year 1725 it was from the records of this scholarship
that some one, other or several of Masonic literati drew material for ritual
developments. They have been even in touch with one or two, who knew more than
they on the traditional subject.... If ever we can take the Craft Legend
behind the year 1717, it is my hope that we can reach a fuller light on Secret
Doctrine in Masonry and its connection with that of Israel reviewed in the
Light of Christ." (Vol. II, page 487.)
In dealing with the
Third Degree he remarks (Vol. I, page 383): "As it stands before us and is
worked now among us, after many processes of editing, it bears the seals of
Christianity." On page 33 of the same volume he writes on a cognate theme, and
to the same effect: "The Catholic scheme of Masonry in its root-understanding
and in its upward growth from that root, as this will unfold in the
Brotherhood with the help of those forces which are now at work in the world,
is one at the root with the Church behind the Church, and will yet - as I hold
- enter into one consciousness therewith." In other words, Masonry is
essentially a system of Christian Mysticism, as understood in the sense of a
Secret Tradition, and it consequently must be understood as having been
created by such mystics in the beginning, who, for reasons of their own,
concealed their identity; or else, having left records, these were lost, and
This thesis serves as a
criterion whereby the author evaluated subjects and persons, and it explains
why many things have been omitted, or quickly passed over, while others, less
familiar to the Masonic student, are dwelt on at great length. One is
surprised to find no articles on Gould, Speth, Crawley, Sadler, et al, whereas
pages and pages are devoted to St. Martin and to Martinism, a subject not at
all within the province of important Masonic research, as that term is usually
understood. The explanation is simple; St. Martin has a high value from the
point of view of the development of the thesis; the other literati - those
usually considered among the masters - are deemed of little value. In Volume I
(on page 279 ff.) there is an article on "First and Third Degrees"; when one
inquires the reason for the very singular omission of the Fellow Craft rite
the answer is forthcoming, and stands square with the all-dominating thesis:
"I have headed this note with a reference to the First and Third Degrees,
because the Second is after all nothing and leads of itself nowhere, neither
to the Mysteries of Nature and Science nor yet to the Master Grade, as by any
natural path or in virtue of any evidential development."
Many subjects are
omitted on which one naturally expects light in a Masonic Encyclopedia. The
apron is lacking altogether: it is not even mentioned in the Index: neither
will one find anything about the square or the compasses. On Anti-Masonry -
one of the themes of major importance to an American reader - there is
nothing, except here and there a brief reference to such matters as the Leo
Taxil fiasco. There is no article on the Ashlars. If one is looking for light
on the interesting history of Cerneau or Cerneauism he must seek elsewhere. On
Albert Pike there is a page: on Krause there is a paragraph: on Albert G.
Mackey there is nothing. In a work of comprehensive reference the many
omissions of which the few named are typical would be a distinct loss, and
hard to explain: in the present work one may suppose that they have no value
to the central purpose. The same explanation, perhaps, accounts for the
editorial character of the articles, and the abeyance of facts where one most
confidently expects them.
I have hinted above
that Brother Waite is often hard to read. He himself has made a similar
complaint in his "Studies in Mysticism," where, on page 337, one may find this
sentence: "The gift of speaking or writing in unknown tongues used to be
regarded as exceptional, but it seems rather common with the specialist, and
he has a luckless habit of lapsing into it unawares." Alas and alack ! the
prophecy has come back to plague the prophet! The style of writing in The New
Encyclopedia should be imitated by nobody, not even by Brother Waite himself.
It is an involved cryptic manner with scores of obsolete words trailing after
it: it stumbles into elliptical constructions; and it lends itself very easily
If a reader has a love
for American Masonry and an admiration for the great names of its history he
will often wince while reading these two volumes. "The unholy rubbish which is
met with from time to time in Masonic periodicals - those of America
especially - is only a degree less stultifying than the Anti-Masonic
gutter-press of the Continent until it was swamped by the War. I do not wish
to be invidious, but the illiterate vaporings and ravings of writers like J.D.
Buck - who has the plaudits of the Southern Jurisdiction per saeculas et
aionas - is one case in point." Those sentences - they occur on page 37, of
volume I, - are a little rougher than the paragraphs in which we (American
Masons) are otherwise dealt with, but they may represent in a large way the
general tone adopted by the author toward us and our heroes. We admit our
shortcomings - Dr. Buck, perhaps, used to be one of them, though his is a
rapidly fading name - but this is too summary a manner of disposing of them!
I may be permitted to
state in this connection, and without interruption to a review that holds such
matters as a part of its business, that we American Masonic students have a
deeply-rooted reverence for the great men of English Masonic scholarship
living and dead: but I submit - and this is informally addressed to those now
living, among whom are personal friends who will read the words in the spirit
in which they are written - that little, very little indeed, is known across
the waters about the Masonic institutions on this side, or ever has been
Of all the Masonic
institutions here flourishing the least understood among these trans-marine
friends is, I believe, the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. Why do they so
often shy away from it as if it were something dangerous? I believe that
Brother Waite himself would appraise it in an altogether different manner were
he to live in the Rite for a year or two as we know it over here. The rituals
revised by Albert Pike are one thing on paper: they are another thing in
breathing and acting men, and flashing about the ears and eyes of a candidate;
and he who has thus known them will experience a start of painful surprise to
read on page 278, of volume II, these words: "No man had a greater opportunity
and no one a freer hand when he (Pike) undertook to revise the rituals of the
Scottish Rite, and he scored only failure. It would be hard and unnecessary to
say that he never improved the originals: the case against him is that he
reconstructed and did not change.... [He] lacked the spirit and the fire, the
informing fire and the shaping spirit: the result is therefore that he has
bequeathed us Pike's revision.
The New Encyclopedia,
as I said in the beginning, is a controversial work to be read from first to
last like any other treatise: there are references back and forth to weave the
separate articles together, and there are hints and directions here and there
to indicate that the author has expected the volumes to be thus read. But
there are also a number of features of great value for reference purposes that
reflect only credit on the author, whose immense erudition is everywhere in
evidence. There are sixteen full page plates, and thirty illustrations in the
text, all of fresh interest, an uncommon quality in Masonic illustrations, and
all of these are carefully explained by the author, after the fashion employed
in his "Secret Tradition in Freemasonry." There is a Technology of Rites and
Grades, very useful to the novice; a very complete Masonic chronology; and an
Index that borrows much value from the fact that the articles are neither
titled nor arranged in a familiar manner.
This is a magnum opus
to have been performed by one man, and reflects great credit on a name already
illustrious, whatever may be chalked against it by way of shortcomings, and
however groundless may prove the thesis that binds it all together: the core
of the book is sound, and its spirit is salutary. Brother Waite has no more
reverence for the fables of Freemasonry than for any other fables, and
shouldn't have: he is militantly impatient with the mummeries of the Masonic
pedantry that moves a mountain to prove the date of a manuscript, but stands
helpless to breathe one breath of life into men, and he should be. Masonry is
that which goes on in a man's soul under the influence of Masonic rites and
practices: if the man have not a soul, or if nothing go on therein, all the
rest is a mere fritinancy, signifying absolutely nothing, save self-deception
and fraud. H.L. Haywood.
PUBLICATIONS WANTED, FOR SALE, AND EXCHANGE
We are constantly
receiving inquiries from readers as to to where they may obtain publications
on Freemasonry and kindred subjects not offered in our Monthly Book List. Most
of the books thus sought are out of print, but it may happen that other
readers, owning copies, may be willing to dispose of the same. Therefore this
column is set aside each month for such a service. And it is also hoped - and
expected - that readers possessing very old or rare Masonic works will
communicate the fact to TUE BUILDER in behalf of general information.
are here given in order that those buying and selling may communicate directly
with each other. Brethren are asked to cancel notices as soon as their wants
In no case does TUE
BUILDER assume any responsibility whatsoever for publications thus bought,
sold, exchanged or borrowed.
By Bro. D. D.
Berolzheimer, I Madison Ave., New York,
N Y ! "Realities
of Masonry." Blake, 1879; "Records of the Hole Craft and Fellowship of
Masons," Condor, 1894; "Masonic Bibliography," Carson, 1873; "Origin of
Freemasonry," Paine, 1811.
By Bro. G. Alfred
Lawrenees 142 West 86th St., New York, N. Y.: Proceedings of the Scottish Rite
Body founded by Joseph Cerneau in New York City in 1808, of which De Witt
Clinton was the first Grand Commander, and which body became united, in 1867,
with the Supreme Council of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, A. & A. S. R.
Also Proceedings of the Supreme Council founded in New York by De La Motta, in
1813, by authority of the Southern Supreme Council, of which he was Grand
Treasurer-General, these Proceedings from 1813 to 1860.
By Bro. Frank R.
Johnson. 306 East 10th St., Kansas City, Mo.: "The Year Book," published by
the Masonic Constellations, containing the History of the Grand Council, R. &
S. M., of Missouri.
By Brother Silas H.
Shepherd, Hartland, Wisconsin: "Catalogue of the Masonic Library of Samuel
Lawrence"; "Second Edition of Preston's Illustrations of Masonry"; "The Source
of Measures," by J. Ralston Skinner 1875, or second edition 1894; "Ars Quatuor
Coronatorum," volumes I to XI, inclusive; "Masonic Facts and Fictions," by
Henry Sadler; "The Kabbalah Unveiled," by S. L. MacGregor Mathers.
By Bro. Ernest E. Ford,
305 South Wilson Avenue, Alhambra, California: "Ars Quatuor Coronatorum,"
volumes 3, 6 and 7, with St. John's Cards, also St. John's Cards for volumes 4
and 5; "Masonic Review," early volumes; "Voice of Masonry," early volumes;
Transactions Supreme Council Southern Jurisdiction for the years 1882 and
1886; Original Proceedings of The General Grand Encampment Knights Templar for
the years 1826 and 1836.
By Bro. George A.
Lanzarotti, Casilla 126, Rancagua, Chile: All kinds of Masonic literature in
Spanish. Write first quoting prices.
By Brother L. Rask, 14
Alvey St., Schenectady, N. Y.: "Remarks upon Alchemy and the Alchemists," by
E. A. Hitchcock, Janesville, N. Y., about 1865; "The Secret Societies of all
Ages and Countries," by C. W. Heckethorn; "Lost Language of Symbolism," by
Harold Bayley, published by Lippincott; "Sacred Hermeneutics," by Davidson,
Edinburgh, 1843; "Solar System of the Ancients Discovered," by J. Wilson,
published by Longmans Co., London, 1856; "The Alphabet," by Isaac Taylor,
Kegan, Paul, Trench & Co., 1883, or the edition of 1899 published by Scribners,
New York; "Anacalypsis," by Godfrey Higgins, 1836, published by Longmans,
Green & Co., London; "Ars Quatuor Coronatorum," any volume or volumes.
By Bro. J. H. Tatsch,
Union Bank & Trust Co., Los Angeles, Calif.: Fascilus 2, "Caementaria
Hibernica," by Chetwode Crawley; Volumes 1, 2, 5 and 8, Quatuor Coronati
Antigrapha; "Some Memorials of Globe Lodge No. 23," Eenry Sadler;
"Constitutions of the Freemasons," Hughan, 1869; "Numerical and Medallic
Register of Lodges," Hughan, 1878; "History of the Apollo Lodge and the R. A.,
York," Hughan, 1894; any items on Anti-Masonry, especially tracts, handbills,
posters, old newspapers, almanacs, etc., relating to Morgan incident,
1826-1840, and recurrence of same from 1870 to 1885.
By Bro. J. H. Tatsch,
Union Bank & Trust Co., Los Angeles, Calif.: "Ars Quatuor Coronatorum,"
volumes 6 to 26, in parts as issued, with St. John Cards; "Masonic Reprints
and Revelations," Sadler; "The Natural History of Staffordshire," Dr. Robert
Plot, 1686, folio; "The History of Freemasonry," Robert Freke Gould, Yorston
edition, 4 volumes; "History of Freemasonry in Europe," Emmanuel Rebold, 1867;
"Bibliographie der Freimaurerischen Literatur," August Wolfstieg, 1911-13, two
volumes and register, paper, as issued; "History of Freemasonry," Mackey, 7
volumes; "History of Freemasonry and Concordant Orders," Hughan and Stillson;
fascimile engraving Picard's "Les Franemassons," 1735, fine copy.
By Brother A. A.
Burnand, 690 South Bronson Ave., Los Angeles, California: Various Masonic
publications including such as a complete set of "Ars Quatuor Coronatorum";
"History of Freemasonry in Scotland," by D. Murray Lyon, (original edition);
Thomas Dunckerley, Laurence Dermott, etc.
By Brother Frank R.
Johnson, 306 East 10th St., Kansas City, Mo.. "History of Freemasonry,"
Mitchell, 2 volumes, sheep; "History of Freemasonry," Robert Freke Gould, 4
volumes, cloth, in good condition; "History of Freemasonry," Albert G. Mackey,
7 volumes, linen cloth, new; Addison's "Knights Templar," Macoy, 1 volume,
cloth; "Museum of Antiquity," Yaggy, 1 volume, morocco; "History and
Cyclopedia of Freemasonry," Macoy and Oliver, new, full morocco. Also
CAN WE BRING BACK THE MAN TEACHER?
" 'There are other
reasons why men shy at any suggestions that tend to influence them to become
" 'One reason for the
laek of response in this matter is due to the popular conception of the
teacher's job. Business men, particularly, seem to think that any fairly well
educated man can teach. Many of these gentlemen go back to earlier years and
remember that they earned money for college expenses by teaching. They were
fortunate to get away with it. If those whom they taught learned much they
were fortunate too. Of course some of these men were fairly good teachers.
"'But the mere fact
that the opinion does prevail - that anyone can teach - belittles the
profession. What real live man wants to tackle as a life job something that
anyone can do ? We are, unfortunately, inclined to accept such general
opinions as representative. Men must be made to realize that teaching is a man
size business. Popular opinion expressed broadcast is the only way to bring
" 'A business man would
resent having a public school teacher come into his office to tell him how to
run his business. Teaching is a skilled profession. A teacher also resents
incompetent suggestions from those who advise and comment merely as their
opinion dictates. Men are needed as teachers who know their job and who know
it well enough to protest against interference from those who have not taught.
Men won't come back until they know they can be let alone to work out their
own plans and ideas. They do not care to be obliged to follow the dictates of
boys and girls and their parents....
" 'Teaching must be
generally regarded as a high-class and honorable profession if men are to be
attracted by it....
" 'Boys and girls of
high school age and beyond, need contact with real men. This can be obtained
only as public opinion desires. Public opinion can accomplish that which
often, before its accomplishment, seems impossible. Public opinion can bring
men back into the teaching profession.’ “ - A Massachusetts Educator - M.S.A.
Bulletin No. 8.
are they - but they are God's dreams,
we decry them and scorn them ?
men shall love another,
white shall call black man brother,
greed shall pass from the market place,
lust shall yield to love for the race
man shall meet with God face to face -
are they all;
shall we despise them - God’s dreams?
are they - to become man's dreams;
say nay as they claim us?
men shall cease from their hating
war shall soon be abating,
the glory of kings and lords shall pale,
pride of dominion and power shall fail,
love of humanity shall prevail -
are they all;
shall we despise them - God's dreams?
Thomas Curttis Clark.
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 Study Club course. When requested, questions will be answered
promptly by mail before publication in this department.
I had an old uncle from
Scotland who told me that he could remember that in Scotch taverns they sold a
drink called "freemason's-drink." Perhaps somebody can inform me through your
columns about this curious old beverage.
M.K.T., New Jersey.
Alas, such matters now
belong to a vanishing time and all ye editors have been canvassed in vain for
any information about what must have been a very appetizing - and apparently
hypnotizing - concoction. To judge from one of our dictionaries, the proper
name for your uncle's drink was "freemason's-cup": what it was like you can
judge yourself from the prescription as given in the aforesaid dictionary. "A
drink made of ale, especially Scotch ale, and sherry in equal parts, with the
addition of some brandy, sugar and nutmeg."
* * *
A POPULAR USE OF THE
I am inclosing a
clipping from the "Cincinnati Enquirer" which gives a description of an
organization of London crooks in which you will note the following sentence:
"The secret of their appearance is the freemasonry which exists among the
regular crooks of London." The question has arisen, are these crooks Masons or
does the writer of the article wish to impress the reader of the mysterious
manner in which a crook secures aid ? F.A.T., Indiana.
In the "Literary
Digest" for April 1,1922, page 36, you will find an article on "The Papacy's
Program" in which occurs this sentence: "Pius XI belongs to the freemasonry of
scholars and that is always a band of union." Is the present Pope a regular
Mason? if so, in what lodge? A.B., Kansas.
In both of the above
quotations, the word "freemasonry" is used in a sense that has no reference
whatsoever to our fraternity. The Century Dictionary gives as one of its
definitions of the word, "secret or tacit brotherhood"; and in illustration of
this use of the word gives the following quotation from a book by A. Rhodes:
"There is a freemasonry extending through all branches of society in the quick
comprehension of significant words." In connection with this, one is reminded
of the famous couplet from Alexanders Pope's Dunciad," IV, 671:
"Some, deep freemasons,
join the silent race,
to fill Pythagoras's place."
Pius XI is not a Mason.
* * *
WHY IS JEPHTHAH’S
DAUGHTER NAMED ADAH?
Where do you find
authority for giving the name "Adah" to Jephthah's Daughter? T.E. McM.,
Kenaston's "History of
the Order of the Eastern Star," published by The Torch Press, 1917, has this
to say on page 47: "The portion of the Bible upon which the theory of the
first degree is founded points to Judges XI: 29-40. The impressive history of
that excellent woman instructs us in obedience, the virtue of which is
particularly cultivated in this degree, it being the degree of obedience or
Jephthah's Daughter - called for want of any special name, Adah." So far as we
are able to learn this is a true account of the matter. The name "Adah" was
arbitrarily chosen for Jephthah's daughter, and has no special significance at
* * *
INFORMATION WANTED ABOUT CABLE TOW, TEMPLE RUBBISH, ETC.
I am very much
interested in Masonic symbolism and would appreciate receiving from learned
brethren and through your columns some instructions regarding the meaning of
Cable Tow, the Seafaring Man, The Embargo, Burial in Rubbish of Temple, Burial
on Mt. Moriah, and of the reason for the dimensions of a certain grave.
Answers to the above will be of interest to young Masonic students of which I
Will such readers as
have thought about these matters come forth with their ideas? THE BUILDER has
published a number of articles about the Cable Tow, as follows: Vol 1, Cor.
Dept., page 276, Q. B. Dept., pages 215, 278; Vol. 2, Library Dept., page 155;
Vol. 3, page 341, April CCB., page 6, December CCB., pages 4 and 5; Vol. 4,
pages 238, 354, June CCB., page 4, Cor. Dept., page 310, Q. B. Dept., page 62.
* * *
Is it possible to
secure a copy of The Dionysian Artificers by Da Costa? I see so many
references to the work that I am curious to read it. F. P., Washington.
The book itself is rare
and next to impossible to buy. Fortunately for the Craft the book has been
republished in monthly sections by The Montana Mason, of which Brother R. J.
Lemert is editor. The series began with the issue of last November. Address
The Montana Mason. Box 1572. Great Falls. Montana.
* * *
ON ANCIENT MYSTERIES
Will you please give me
a list of modern books in English on the Ancient Mysteries? I should like such
titles as one may easily find in any fairly complete public library.
The list here given is
not at all complete but it is representative and reliable. Any volume not in
your public library can be obtained for you by your librarian from the
Congressional Library at Washington, D. C.
Saint Paul and the
Mystery-Religions, H.A.A. Kennedy; Kings and Gods, Moret; Mysteries, Moret;
Paul and His Interpreters, A. Schweitzer; Religious Development Between the
Old and New Testaments, R. H. Charles; The Conflict of Religions in the Early
Roman Empire, T. R. Glover; Religious Experience of the Roman People, W. W.
Fowler; Roman Society from Nero to Marcus Aurelius, Sir Samuel Dill; The
Mysteries of Mithraism, Franz Cumont; Prolegomena to the Study of Greek
Religion, E. Jane Harrison; Oriental Religions, Franz Cumont; The Mysteries,
Pagan and Christian, Cheetham; Cults of the Greek States, Farnell, vols. III
and V; The Great Mother of the Gods, Showerman; Adonis, Attis, Osiris, J. G.
Frazer; Isis and Osiris, Plutarch; The Burden of Isis, Dennis; The Realms of
Egyptian Dead, Wiedemann; Light from the Ancient East, Deissmann; Thrice
Greatest Hermes, Mead; Introduction to the Study of Religion, Jevons; Psyche,
Rohde; The Gods of Greece, Dyer; Myth, Ritual and Religion, Andrew Lang; The
Mystery Religions and the New Testament, Henry C. Sheldon; Astrology and
Religion Among the Greeks and Romans, Cumont; The Forerunners and Rivals of
Christianity, F. Legge; The Mission and Expansion of Christianity in the First
Three Centuries, Harnack; Studies in Mysticism, A. E. Waite; Christian
Mysticism, Inge; Mithraism, Adams; Eleusinian and Bacchic Mysteries, Thomas
Taylor; Eleusinian Mysteries and Rites, Dudley Wright; Morals and Dogma,
* * *
HAMMER WAS HEARD IN THE BUILDING OF THE TEMPLE
Why was not the sound
of a hammer, ax, or anything of iron heard during the building of King
Solomon's Temple? H.D.A., Michigan.
The text on which your
query is based is found in I Kings 6:7. "And the house, when it was in
building, was built of stone made ready at the quarry and there was neither
hammer nor ax nor any tool of iron heard in the house while it was in
building." The usual explanation is taken to be the statement in the early
part of the verse to the effect that the Temple was built of stones "made
ready at the quarry." The Hebrew itself reads instead of quarry, "when it was
brought away"; that is, at the place where the workmen were assembled, and
consequently could apply to woodwork as well as to stone. Like every other
statement concerning the building of the Temple this has been fertile in
producing legends and myths, some of them of singular and great
suggestiveness. Examples of such may be found on page 44 of Brother Dudley
Wright's "Masonic Legends and Traditions," a book that may be heartily
recommended to the student.
"The stones for the
Temple were hewn in the quarry, and there carved, marked, and numbered. The
timber was felled and prepared in the forests of Lebanon, and conveyed by
floats from Tyre to Joppa. The metals were fused and cast in the clay ground
between Succoth and Zeredatha. The whole was then conveyed to Jerusalem; and
when put together on Mount Moriah each part fitted with such perfect exactness
as to make it appear like a work of the Supreme, rather than an exertion of
"One tradition says
that the stones had been prepared with such perfect accuracy that when fitted
together the joints could not be discovered:-
the outside I do cast my eye,
stones are joined so artificially,
That if the mason had
not chequered fine
Tyre's alabaster with
hundred marbles no less fair than firm,
The whole, a whole quar
one might rightly term.
"There is a Jewish
tradition that the stones were not so framed and polished by human art and
industry, but by a worm called Samir, which God created for the purpose. They
also state that the stones came to the Temple of their own accord, and were
put together by angels. The word Samir (known in Masonic lore as the insect
Sharmah) signifies a very hard stone that can be cut and polished to great
"It is asserted by the
Rabbins that King Solomon received a secret from Asmodeus, an evil spirit,
mentioned in the Book of Tobit, who had usurped his throne and afterwards
became his prisoner. By the utilization of this he was enabled to finish the
Temple without the use of axe, hammer, or metal tool; for the stone schamir,
which had been presented to him by a demon, possessed the property of cutting
any other substance as a diamond cuts glass."
* * *
FREEMASONRY IN RUSSIA
Has Freemasonry ever
had a foothold in Russia? If so, will it be possible for you to give me a
little history of it? I am often wondering if Masonry will not grow there
after the present unsettled conditions have passed away. My brother went to
Russia as a Y worker and remained there in business. He thinks the country has
a wonderful future. D.R.C., Indiana.
Freemasonry existed in
Russia early in the eighteenth century,
Christopher Wren, according to a groundless tradition,
having been one of its founders when he
initiated Peter the Great into the Craft. It was in 1777, however, that
Russian Masonry made its first great advance, for it was in that year that the
Great Duke of Sudermania, who had accompanied Gustavus III, his brother, on a
mission to Petrograd, lent his powerful influence to the movement. The English
Grand Lodge chartered lodges in Russia early in the same century, only a few
years after the Revival. In 1721 a Provincial Grand Lodge of Russia was
founded, under the English Constitutions, and Captain John Phillips was made
Provincial Grand Master. In 1776 the National Grand Lodge of Russia was
formed, and in 1779 a rival grand body, propagating Swedish Masonry, also made
its advent. When the anti-secret-society law was passed in 1782 Freemasonry
was exempted, but in 1797 this same law was revised, and Paul I closed up all
Masonic lodges. However, after the accession of Alexander in 1801 legal rigors
were relaxed and many lodges resumed operations. But in 1822 the Czar issued a
ukase forbidding all lodges to open at any time or anywhere. According to
recent advices the ban has not get been removed, but such a step appears
MASONIC FURNISHINGS BORROWED FOR A ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH SERVICE
I am translating a
truly remarkable letter that is due to the researches of our good friend,
Oswald Wirth, editor of "Symbolisme" of Paris. I do not doubt that the mention
of the word "church" to a Frenchman has necessarily a more Roman Catholic
implication than it has to us and in that attitude I suggest it be read. The
letter is unearthed from La Legitimite, No. 11, page 216, of November 1907,
but the original is dated January 16, 1816, and was addressed by the Mayor of
Marseilles, the Marquis de Montgraud, to Mr. John, the keeper of a restaurant
on Vacon street, and in English runs about as follows:
"I am informed, Sir,
that you have obtained some black tapestries or hangings which formed a part
of the ornaments or equipment of the Scottish Lodge of this city.
"I shall be obliged to
you for the loan to the city of these hangings that they may serve for the
decoration of the Church of St. Martin, the twentieth of this month, the day
fixed for the ceremony of the funeral service in commemoration of the death of
"If, as I hope, you
agree to my request, I beg of you to entrust these objects to Mr. Dufey,
bearer of the present communication.
"Accept, Sir, my thanks
in advance for your compliance."
One cannot, as a
Scottish Rite Freemason, but be interested in this appropriation of the
symbolical draperies of a Lodge of Perfection for use in a Roman Catholic
Church during a Service of Sorrow. What a curious mixture from our present
point of view is there of the apt and the inept of this certainly very
peculiar instance! Robt. I. Clegg, Illinois.
* * *
PERSECUTED IN IRELAND
I think it would only
be in justice to our brothers in Ireland for you through THE BUILDER to give
some publicity to conditions as they exist over there at the present time, and
also the cause of the trouble. A large number of the Masons in America do not
know how conditions are in Ireland, neither do they know the real cause back
of it all, and I think they should know. George A. Anderson, Pennsylvania.
The above was
accompanied by a letter from a personal friend of Brother Anderson now
residing in Belfast. Except for the omission of two or three personal items it
is here painted in full:
The condition of things
over here has not improved very much of late, except that there are not so
many shootings in our own city. The last new order issued which renders anyone
liable to arrest who is not staying in his own home has done a great deal of
good. All the shootings in Belfast are carried out by "gunmen" from the South
and West. The difficulty was that the authorities would not put their hands on
these men. When a raid was made on a house that was suspected and strangers
found there, these strangers posed as friends or relatives up from the country
on a visit. Now they can be arrested for identification. Genuine visitors can
always avoid trouble by notifying the police beforehand. The result has been
that most of the gunmen have left for fear of arrest.
But they have only
changed their locality and still carry on in the South where Protestants are
being murdered every day in one place or another. The Masonic Halls are being
raided, and in many cases destroyed. The Grand Lodge premises in Dublin are at
present in the occupation of the I. R. A. There was a curious result of that
the other day. We were starting a new preceptory in Belfast in connection with
our lodge and had applied for a warrant. Before the warrant could be issued
the premises in Dublin had been seized, and all the forms were kept there. The
Masonic authorities had to get a copy of the latest warrant issued, and from
this they made a fresh copy all in the writing of the Grand officer. This
warrant was used last Saturday and is in the possession of our Registrar.
The Masonic authorities
here, for some reason or other, do not want to appeal to Freemasons outside or
to make "political capital" of the seizure, but I think that it would be well
if the Freemasons of America were freely told of the campaign that is going on
against the Order in Ireland. Perhaps you could help a little in this in a
quiet way among your own associates. There was one man, whom I know
personally, who had a narrow escape in the recent murders in County Cork. He
is a Methodist clergyman, and was in one of the houses that were visited. He
escaped from bed in his night shirt and got away into the fields. It was the
middle of April and the weather was very cold at the time. Three or four
others were shot dead the same night. His brother is a member of my lodge, is
Registrar of my chapter, and first Preceptor of the new preceptory. He is a
past Provincial Senior Grand Warden of the Province of Antrim. That is the
Masonic province of course, which is practically the same as the ordinary
County of Antrim.
enclosed a clipping from a Belfast paper of May 18th. It contains the
description of a deplorable condition:
Recently one of the
South of Ireland gun clubs issued a statement boasting that they were going to
compel all Freemasons and Unionists in the "Free State" to supply food,
clothing, and housing accommodation to Roman Catholic unemployed. Their fellow
ruffians had for a long time been burning down Masonic and Orange Halls and
persecuting Freemasons, along with other Protestants.
The continuance of
these outrages, which there is no evidence to show the Free State forces now
responsible for law and order ever tried to stop, has caused the Earl of
Donoughmore, Most Worshipful Grand Master of Irish Freemasonry, to issue an
order suspending all meetings of Masonic lodges in Southern Ireland.
Extensive cattle drives
have taken place on lands held by Protestants in parts of Counties Kildare and
Mayo, and threatening notices have been posted.
Heathfield, a large
property in Ballyeastle, County Mayo, has been seized by a number of the
Southern unemployable. The owner is a Protestant lady. She was given
forty-eight hours to clear out.
Other gunmen have
seized business premises and land at Belmullet, also in County Mayo. The owner
in this case is a Protestant, too.
* * *
Irish brthren and
members of the National Masonic Research Society have sent to THE BUILDER many
newspaper clippings and letters similar to the above. Owing to limitations of
space it is impossible to publish many of these communications, but our thanks
go to these thoughtful brothers nevertheless. Meanwhile, there are other
angles of the story, one of the most authentic of which is the following, and
which explains itself. It was published in the LONDON FREEMASON, June 3rd,
To the Editor of The
Dear Sir and Brother -
I am glad to be able to inform you that Freemasons' Hall, Dublin, was
yesterday handed back to me by the section of the Irish Republican Army, which
has been in occupation since 24th April. I am also glad to say that the damage
done has been very much less than we anticipated. The structural damage is
very slight, and our lodge and chapter rooms, with their contents, have been
respected. For instance, the magnificent Grand Lodge Room, with its splendid
furniture and historic portraits, seems practically intact. Of course you will
understand that it will be some time before the whole extent of the damage can
It is only right that I
should say that during the whole period of the negotiations leading up to the
evacuation I was treated with the greatest courtesy and sympathy by the
Provisional Government, especially by Mr. Michael Collins, who was always
ready to see me and do all in his power to help. I believe that if the
existing Government were only firmly established, Irish Freemasons have
nothing to fear in the future. The outrages have, in my opinion, been entirely
the work of those criminal bodies which always spring into existence when a
disturbed state of affairs exists in any country.
I do not believe there
is any general hostility to the Order in Southern Ireland, nor do I believe
that any feeling of the sort is encouraged by the Roman Catholic Church, which
fully appreciates the difference between Irish Freemasonry and that carried on
by the so-called Continental Grand Lodges, which reject our first and
principal great Landmark, and consequently are not recognized by us. I must
also say that the officers who were charged with the duty of handling over to
me, treated me and my staff most courteously. Yours fraternally,
Grand Master of Ireland.
Grand Lodge of
Freemasons of Ireland,
Dublin, 30th May, 1922.
* * *
GREEK CHURCH AND THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND
There is a statement on
page 187 of the June BUILDER which is not quite correct: "3. There is as much
difference between the Church of England and the Greek Church as between the
latter and the Roman Church." I have seen an Episcopal minister assist in the
service of the Russian Church and the Russian priest assist in the Episcopal
service. When the last Bishop of New York was consecrated the Russian
Patriarch and several other clergy formed in the procession in their official
robes. Such an interchange between the Roman and the Anglican churches would
I am enclosing a letter
from the Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire on this
C. Taylor, New Hampshire.
The letter referred to
in the above is from Edward M. Parker, Concord, New Hampshire, Bishop of New
Hampshire. It is in full as follows:
dear Mr. Taylor:
It is not true to say
that we are in full communion with the Orthodox Churches, for as yet nothing
official has developed to make the statement entirely correct, but between the
Anglican and Orthodox Churchs there is the most cordial feeling of sympathy
and fellowship, and there have been many acts of courtesy and recognition on
both sides, and the move towards unity is growing on both sides. In many
places in this country, where there are Orthodox Christians with none of their
own clergy at
hand, the people have been told by their Church authorities
to look to the
Episcopal Church for such ministrations as they need and cannot obtain from
their own clergy. We have an occasional wedding or funeral, or even baptism
performed by one of our clergy for some of the Greek or Russian Christians.
The matter of full intercommunion, that is, freely receiving Orthodox
Christians at our altars or the reception of the Blessed Sacrament by
Anglicans at an Orthodox altar is a different matter. Until both Churches have
made official proclamation of some sort, this cannot come. The recently
elected Patriarch of Constantinople, Meletius, left this country to assume his
high position full of the thought that it might be within his new power to
promote full union between Anglican and Orthodox.
The Church of Rome has
set herself like adamant against any thought of unity with the Eastern
Churches and it unless they would accept in their fullness the papal claims.
This the East will not do and we cannot do.
M. Parker, Bishop of New Hampshire.
The statement made in
paragraph numbered three on page 187 of THE BUILDER of last June is based on
the very best authorities, and was carefully considered. By "difference" was
meant unlikeness, not that the two communions are in a feud.
* * *
S. WISE NOT A GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA
In the June issue, page
186, you speak of John S. Wise, author of "Recollections of Thirteen
Presidents," to the effect that "unless you are off the track," he was one
time governor of Virginia. It was Henry A. Wise, the father of the author, who
was governor of Virginia, to which office he was elected in 1855 on an
"anti-Know Nothing" platform. If you will turn to page 56 of the above work
you will find an account of the bitter juvenile warfare that waged in Richmond
between John and the young Whig and Know Nothing hopefuls during his father's
term as governor. Governor Wise was, like his son, a writer of some ability
and published in 1872 a volume of reminiscences under the title "Seven Decades
of the Union." This volume also is of some Masonic interest in that it gives
some interesting side lights on the life and character of Brother Andrew
Jackson, although Masonry is not mentioned. I wonder if Brother Baird can tell
us if either of the Wises was a Mason?
Brother Baird, it is
your turn. To the above items of information may be added the facts that it
was during Governor Wise's term in office that John Brown made his raid, and
that the Governors refused to reprieve the old enthusiast, though a vast deal
of pressure was brought to bear upon him. Governor Wise was opposed to
secession but nevertheless voted in favor of making Virginia a part of the
Confederacy. He was made a brigadier-general in the Confederate army and was
in more or less active service throughout the Civil War.
* * *
IRISH MASONIC MEDALLION
I was very much
interested in the cuts of a Masonic Medallion found in Ireland, described by
Brother Carson in the April number of THE BUILDER.
The reverse side of the
medallion has the symbols of the Rose Croix and Royal Arch. As both these
orders did not form part of organized Freemasonry till along about 1747, how
can the medallion possibly be of the sixteenth century?
If the figures on the
obverse are really 1516, with which I do not agree, they are either a date or
the number of a lodge. I have shown that they cannot possibly be the date the
medallion was carved. If they are a lodge number they must represent lodge
1516 of the English Constitution. But lodge 1516 of England was warranted in
1874 and removed from the roster in 1878, so bang goes the sixteenth century
If you will examine the
print in your issue thru a magnifying glass you will come to the conclusion
that the figure 1 before the contended figure 6 is not carved but is a
this 1516 idea for a moment and examine
it again having in mind that the two columns are represented and I think you
will come nearer the truth and agree that what is intended are the letters B
and J carved in a fancy style, the name of which I do not know. We know what
those letters mean.
figure above the sun and moon is doubtless intended for the all-seeing eye.
shaped figure at the immediate left of the sun is very possibly a rough
attempt at a representation of two skirrets which are the working tools of a
Master Mason in English working.
object at the foot of the steps is undoubtedly intended to represent a coffin
with a sprig of acacia at the head which is to be found on all tracing boards
of the English working.
five steps ? Those who know the English working recognize this as pertaining
to the second degree. Maybe it is evidence that at that time the lodge to
which the Masonic sculptor of the medallion belonged worked but two degrees,
or more likely there is no particular significance to the five steps.
Turning to the reverse side we have in the triangle all the symbols of the
Rose Croix. The winged figure is a rude attempt at a pelican. At the apex of
the triangle we have an attempt at portraying a rose. Then there is the
ladder, spear-head and chalice, all significant in English Rose Croix work
which, unlike that of the A. & A. S. R., is decidedly orthodox Christianity.
The "H" at the right hand corner I take to stand for Heredom. What the "I"
stands for I cannot guess.
the triangle we have the letter "Z" within a square which we can guess stands
for Zerubbabel. At the left is a defective attempt at the triple tau. To the
right the "W" is possibly not a W at all but two triangles. The arch is the
old one of the early days of the Royal Arch and is more like the arches of
Enoch than the Royal Arch of Solomon.
Chevalier Ramsey is credited with introducing the Royal Arch degree, which
many dispute, obtaining the idea from France where he became acquainted with
the degree which is now the thirteenth of the A. & A. S. R. This depiction may
be taken by some as evidence in that direction.
the letters round the triangle I guess these to be the name and title of the
owner written in Latin. It matters little anyway.
stated the medallion is made of petrified oak. I would hazard a guess without
seeing it that it is made of black bog oak, which is very hard, almost like
ebony. It has probably lost much of its color through being buried.
other facts, tool lengthy to go into here I would put the age of the medallion
as having been made around 1820.
(Brother Murray later sent a postscript to the above, which is given
be that the figures are 156, representing a lodge number. Lodge 156 in the
English Constitution is holden at Plymouth and was warranted in 1778. It has a
Royal Arch Chapter attached to it. If this is the lodge, my guess as to the
date the medallion was made would not be far out.
Lodge No. 156 in the Irish Constitution my records show it was stricken off
the list a good many years ago, while such a number appears in recent list of
lodges as being held at Belfast. Maybe a new lodge has been given a vacant
number some time. Ernest E. Murray, Montana.
* * *
LOCATE THIS MAN
been advised to write you by the Grand Secretary of Montana, and by Brother
Bell, Secretary of Lodge No. 29, Billings, Montana. I am trying to locate my
father, Patrick Collins. He was made a Mason in Fall River, Kansas, in 1886.
Soon afterwards he demitted to Oklahoma. If any brother knows of his
whereabouts please notify me. Matt Collins, 607 North 26th Street, Billings,
Ability is of little account without opportunity. - Napoleon I.