The Builder Magazine
August 1923 - Volume IX - Number 8
TABLE OF CONTENTS
FRONTISPIECE – LIONEL VIBERT
ANDERSON'S CONSTITUTIONS OF 1723 - By Bro. Lionel Vibert, P. M., England
FREEMASONRY A RELIGION ?.- By Bro. H. L. Haywood
ROOSEVELT: A BOY BUILDER - By Bro. F. L. T., Illinois
NOTES ON THE MEANING OF THE WORD "FREEMASON" - By Bro. H. L. Haywood
STORY OF PHILIPPINE MASONRY - By Bro. G.J. Mariano, Philippine Islands
GREEN DRAGON TAVERN, OR FREEMASONS' ARMS - By Bro. Charles W. Moore,
German Masonic Bibliography
Concerning Theophrastus Bombastus Von Hohenheim
Builder's Attitude Toward Occultism, Etc.
Meaning of the Word "Mystery"
Concerning the Mark Master Degree
Easy Way to Get Masonic Books
Mathematics of the Bible
VOLUME IX – NUMBER 8
DOLLARS FIFTY CENTS THE YEAR
TWENTY-FIVE CENTS THE COPY
BUILDER – August 1923
Anderson's Constitutions of 1723
Bro. LIONEL VIBERT, Past Master Quator Coronati Lodge No. 2076, England
Lionel Vibert, of Marline, Lansdowne, Bath, England, is author of Freemasonry
Before the Existence of Grand Lodges and The Story of the Craft and is editor
of Miscellanea Latomorum. He has contributed papers to the Ars Quatuor
Coronatorum, notably one on "The French Compagnonnage," a critical and
exhaustive treatise that is bound to replace Gould's famous chapter among the
sources available to the rank and file of students of that important theme.
After having devoted his attention for several years to pre-Grand Lodge
Masonry, Bro. Vibert is now specializing on the Grand Lodge era the records of
which are still so confused or incomplete that, in spite of the great amount
of work accomplished by scholars in the past, a work "great as the Twelve
Labours of Hercules" remains yet to be done. The paper below is one of the
author's first published studies of the Grand Lodge era. To us American
Masons, who live under forty-nine Grand Jurisdictions and to whom Masonic
jurisprudence is an almost necessary preoccupation, any new light on that
formative and critical period, and especially on Dr. Anderson whose
Constitutions is the groundwork of our laws, is not only interesting but
GRAND LODGE THAT WAS brought into existence in 1717 did not find it necessary
to possess a Constitution of its own for some years. Exactly what went on
between 1717 and 1721 we do not know; almost our only authority being the
account given by Anderson in 1738 which is unreliable in many particulars.
Indeed it cannot be stated with certainty whether there were any more than the
original Four Old Lodges until 1721; it would appear from the Lists and other
records we possess that the first lodge to join them did not do so till July
of that year; the statements as to the number of new lodges in each year given
by Anderson are not capable of verification. It was also in the year 1721
that the Duke of Montagu was made Grand Master on 24th June, having probably
joined the Craft just previously. The effect of his becoming Grand Master, a
fact advertised in the dally press of the period, was that the Craft leapt
into popularity, its numbers increased, and new lodges were rapidly
constituted. Even now it was not anticipated that the Grand Lodge would
extend the scope of its activities beyond London and Westminster, but Grand
Master Payne, possibly anticipating the stimulus that would be provided by the
accession to the Craft of the Duke, had got ready a set of General
Regulations, and these were read over on the occasion of his installation.
Unfortunately we do not possess the original text of them but have only the
version as revised and expanded by Anderson. But we can understand that in a
very short time it would be found necessary for these regulations to be
printed and published to the Craft. Their publication was undertaken by
Anderson, who took the opportunity to write a history of the Craft as an
introduction, and to prepare a set of Charges; his intention clearly being to
give the new body a work which would in every respect replace the Old
Manuscript Constitutions. The work consists of a dedication written by
Desaguliers and addressed to Montagu as late Grand Master; a Historical
introduction; a set of six Charges; Payne's Regulations revised; the manner of
constituting a new lodge; and songs for the Master, Wardens, Fellow Craft and
Entered Apprentice, of which the last is well known in this country (England)
and is still sung today in many lodges. There is also an elaborate
frontispiece. The work was published by J. Senex and J. Hooke, on 28th
February, 1722-3, that is to say 1722 according to the official or civil
reckoning, but 1723 by the so-called New Style, the popular way of reckoning.
(It did not become the official style till the reform of the calender in
1752.) The title page bears the date 1723 simply.
Anderson was born in Aberdeen, and was a Master of Arts of the Marischal
College in that city. He was in London in 1710 and was minister of a
Presbyterian Chapel in Swallow Street, Piccaldilly, till 1734. He was also
chaplain to the Earl of Buchan, and as the Earl was a representative peer for
Scotland from 1714-1734, it was probably during these years that he maintained
a London establishment. We do not know that the Earl was a Mason, although
his sons were. When Anderson was initiated we do not know either; but it may
have been in the Aberdeen Lodge. There is a remarkable similarity between his
entry in the Constitutions of his name as "Master of a Lodge and Author of
this Book," and in entry in the Aberdeen Mark Book, of "James Anderson,
Glazier and Mason and Writer of this Book." This was in 1670 and this James
Anderson is no doubt another person. It just happens most unfortunately that
the minutes for the precise period during which we might expect to find our
author are missing. In any case he was familiar with the Scottish terminology
which he no doubt had some share in introducing into English Freemasonry.
can it be stated with confidence when he joined the Craft in London. He was
Master of a lodge in 1722, a lodge not as yet identified, but there is no
record of his having had anything to do with Grand Lodge prior to the Grand
Mastership of the Duke of Montagu. He was not even present at the Duke's
installation; at all events Stukeley does not name him as being there. He
himself, in his version of the minutes, introduces his own name for the first
time at the next meeting.
HE CAME TO WRITE THE WORK
own account of the work, as given in 1738, is that he was ordered to digest
the Old Gothic Constitutions in a new and better method by Montagu on 29th
September, 1721, that on 27th December, Montagu appointed fourteen learned
brothers to examine the MS., and that after they had approved it was ordered
to be printed on 25th March, 1722. He goes on to say that it was produced in
print for the approval of Grand Lodge on 17th January, 1722-3, when Grand
Master Wharton's manner of constituting a lodge was added. In the book itself
are printed a formal Approbation by Grand Lodge and the Masters and Wardens of
twenty lodges (with the exception of two Masters), which is undated, and also
a copy of a resolution of the Quarterly Communication of 17th January, 1722-3,
directing the publication and recommending it to the Craft.
regard to the committee of fourteen learned brethren and the three occasions
on which the book is alleged to have been considered in Grand Lodge, the
Approbation itself states that the author first submitted his text for the
perusal of the late and present Deputy Grand Master's and of other learned
brethren and also the Masters of lodges, and then delivered it to Grand Master
Montagu, who by the advice of several brethren ordered the same to be
handsomely printed, This is not quite the same thing.
it is to be noted that in 1735 Anderson appeared before Grand Lodge to protest
against the doings of one Smith who had pirated the Constitutions which were
his sole property. His account of this incident in the 1738 edition
suppresses this interesting circumstance. Further it is very clear from the
Grand Lodge minutes that the appearance of the book caused a good deal of
dissension in Grand Lodge itself, and it brought the Craft into ridicule from
outside; in particular Anderson's re-writing of Payne's Regulations was taken
exception to. Anderson himself did not appear again in Grand Lodge for nearly
true state of the case appears to be that Anderson undertook to write the work
as a private venture of his own and that this was sanctioned, since it was
desirable that the Regulations at least published, without any very careful
examination of his text, or of so much of it as was ready, and that when it
was published it was discovered, but too late, that he had taken what were
felt by many to be unwarrantable liberties not only with the traditional
Charges but also with Payne's Regulations.
BOOK IS ANALYZED
using the term Constitutions he was following the phraseology of several of
the versions of the Old Charges, and in fact the word occurs (in Latin) in the
Regius, though Anderson never saw that. It was apparently traditional in the
Craft. The contents of the work itself indicate that the various portions
were put together at different dates and Anderson tells us it was not all in
print during Montagu's term of office.
Taking the Approbation first, this is signed by officers of twenty lodges; the
Master and both Wardens have all signed in all but two. In those, numbers
eight and ten, the place for the Master's signature is blank. Mr. Mathew
Birkhead is shown as Master of number five; and he died on the 30th December,
1722. Accordingly the Approbation must be of an earlier date and of the
twenty lodges we know that number nineteen was constituted on 25th November,
1722, and number twenty if, as is probable, it is of later date, will have
been constituted possibly on the same day but more probably a few days later.
Thus we can date the Approbation within narrow limits. In his 1738 edition
Anderson gives a series of the numbers of lodges on the roll of Grand Lodge at
different dates which cannot be checked from any independent source, and he
suggests that on 25th March, 1722, there were already at least twenty-four
lodges in existence because he asserts that representatives of twenty-four
paid their homage to the Grand Master on that date; and that those of
twenty-five did so on 17th January, 1722-3. Because of Anderson's assertion as
to twenty-four lodges some writers have speculated as to the lodges the
officers of which omitted to sign or which were ignored by the author. But
the truth probably is that these lodges - if they existed at all - were simply
not represented at the meeting.
Approbation is signed by Wharton as Grand Master, Desaguliers as Deputy, and
Timson and Hawkins as Grand Wardens. According to the story as told by
Anderson in 1738 Wharton got himself elected Grand Master irregularly on 24th
June, 1722, when he appointed these brethren as his Wardens but omitted to
appoint a Deputy. On 17th January, 1722-3, the Duke of Montagu, "to heal the
breach," had Wharton proclaimed Grand Master and he then appointed Desaguliers
as his Deputy and Timson and Anderson, (not Hawkins,) Wardens and Anderson
adds that his appointment was made for Hawkins demitted as always out of
town. If this story could be accepted the Approbation was signed by three
officers who were never in office simultaneously, since when Desaguliers came
in Hawkins had already demitted. This by itself would throw no small doubt on
Anderson's later narrative, but in fact we know that his whole story as to
Wharton is a tissue of fabrication. The daily papers of the period prove that
the Duke of Wharton was in fact installed on 25th June, and he then appointed
Desaguliers as his Deput and Timson and Hawkins as his Wardens. It is
unfortunate that Anderson overlooked that his very date, 24th June, was
impossible as it was a Sunday, a day expressly prohibited by Payne's
Regulations for meetings of Grand Lodge. There are indications of some
disagreement; apparently some brethren wished Montagu to continue, but in fact
Wharton went in the regular course; the list of Grand Lodge officers in the
minute book of Grand Lodge shows him as Grand Master in 1722. And that
Hawkins demitted is merely Anderson's allegation. In this same list he
appears as Grand Warden, but Anderson himself has written the words (which he
is careful to reproduce in 1738): "Who demitted and James Anderson A.M. was
chosen in his place;" vide the photographic reproduction of the entry at page
196 of Quatuor, Coronatorum Antigrapha Vol. X; while in the very first
recorded minute of Grand Lodge, that of 24th June, 1723, the entry as to Grand
Wardens originally stood: Joshua Timson and the Reverend Mr. James Anderson
who officiated for Mr. William Hawkins. But these last six words have been
carefully erased, vide the photo reproduction at page 48 Quatuor Corontorum
Antigrapha VOL X, which brings them to light again. Hawkins then was still
the Grand Warden in June 1723, and on that occasion Anderson officiated for
him at the January meeting. The explanation of the whole business appears to
be that Anderson in 1738 was not anxious to emphasize his associated with
Wharton, who after his term of office as Grand Master proved a renegade and
Jacobite and an enemy to the Craft. He had died in Spain in 1731. For the
Book of Constitutions of 1738 there is a new Approbation altogether.
we have not yet done with this Approbation for the further question arises, At
what meeting of Grand Lodge was it drawn up? The license to publish refers to
a meeting of 17th January, 1722-23, and that there was such a meeting is
implied by the reference to this document in the official minutes of June,
when the accuracy of this part of it is not impugned. But this Approbation
was as we have seen drawn up between the end of November and the end of
December, 1722, and between these limits an earlier date, is more probable
than a later. No such meeting is mentioned by Anderson himself in 1738. But
the explanation of this no doubt is that he now has his tale of the
proclamation of Wharton at that meeting on 17th January, and any references to
a meeting of a month or so earlier presided over by that nobleman would
stultify the narrative. It is probable that a meeting was in fact held, and
that its occurrence was suppressed by Anderson when he came to publish his
narrative of the doings of Grand Lodge fifteen years later. The alternative
would be that the whole document was unauthorized, but so impudent an
imposture could never have escaped contemporary criticism. Truly the ways of
the deceiver are hard.
FRONTISPIECE IS DESCRIBED
Frontispiece to the Constitutions of 1723, which was used over again without
alteration in 1738, represents a classical arcade in the foreground of which
stand two noble personages, each attended by three others of whom one of those
on the spectator's left carries cloaks and pairs of gloves. The principal
personages can hardly be intended for any others than Montagu and Wharton; and
Montagu is wearing the robes of the Garter, and is handing his successor a
roll of the Constitutions, not a book. This may be intended for Anderson's as
yet unprinted manuscript, or, more likely it indicates that a version of the
Old Constitutions was regarded at the time as part of the Grand Master's
equipment, which would be a survival of Operative practice. Behind each Grand
Master stand their officers, Beal, Villeneau, and Morris on one side, and on
the other Desaguliers, Timson, and Hawkins, Desaguliers as a clergyman and the
other two in ordinary dress, and evidently an attempt has been made in each
case to give actual portraits. It is unnecessary to suppose, as we would have
to if we accepted Anderson's story, that this plate was designed, drawn, and
printed in the short interval between 17th January and 28th February. It
might obviously have been prepared at any time after June 25, 1722. By it
Anderson is once more contradicted, because here is Hawkins - or at all events
someone in ordinary clothes - as Grand Warden, and not the Reverend James
Anderson, as should be the case if Wharton was not Grand Master till January
and then replaced the absent Hawkins by the Doctor. The only other plate in
the book is an elaborate illustration of the arms of the Duke of Montagu which
stands at the head of the first page of the dedication.
can date the historical portion of the work from the circumstance that it ends
with the words: "our present worthy Grand Master, the most noble Prince John,
Duke of Montagu." We can be fairly certain that Anderson's emendations of
Payne's Regulations were in part made after the incidents of Wharton's
election because they contain elaborate provisions for the possible
continuance of the Grand Master and the nomination or election of his
successor and in the charges again, there is a reference to the Regulations
hereunto annexed. But beyond this internal evidence, (and that of the
Approbation and sanction to publish already referred to), the only guide we
have to the dates of printing the various sections of the work is the manner
in which the printers' catch words occur. The absence of a catch word is not
proof that the sections were printed at different times because it might be
omitted if, e. g., it would spoil the appearance of a tail-piece; but the
occurrence of a catch word is a very strong indication that the sections it
links were printed together. Now in the Constitution of 1723 they occur as
follows: from the dedication to the history, none; from the history to the
Charges, catch word; from the Charges to a Postscript 'put in here to fill a
page', catch word; from this to the Regulations, none; from the Regulations to
the method of constituting a New Lodge, catch word; from this to the
Approbation, none; from the Approbation to the final section, the songs, none;
and none from here to the license to publish on the last page.
Accordingly we may now date the several portions of the work with some degree
of certainty. The times are as follows:
plate; at any time after June 25th, 1722.
dedication, id., but probably written immediately before publication.
historical portion; prior to 25th June, 1722.
charges printed with the preceding section, but drafted conjointly with the
postscript; the same.
General Regulations, after Wharton's installation
method of constituting a new Lodge; printed with the preceding section.
Approbation; between 25th November and end of December, 1722.
songs and sanction to publish; after January 17th, 1722-3, and probably at the
these sections the plate and Approbation have already been dealt with. The
dedication calls for no special notice; it is an extravagant eulogy of the
accuracy and diligence of the author. The songs are of little interest except
the familiar Apprentice's Song, and this is now described as by our late
Brother Matthew Birkhead.
requires a somewhat extended notice. The legendary history, as it is perhaps
not necessary to remind my readers, brought Masonry or Geometry from the
children of Lamech to Solomon; then jumped to France and Charles Martel; and
then by St. Alban, Athelstan and Edwin, this worthy Craft was established in
England. In the Spencer family of MSS. an attempt has been made to fill in
the obvious gaps in this narrative by introducing the second and third
temples, those of Zerubbabel and Herod, and Auviragus king of Britain as a
link with Rome, France and Charles Martel being dropped, while a series of
monarchs has also been introduced between St. Alban's paynim king and
Atheistan. Anderson's design was wholly different. He was obsessed by the
idea of the perfection of the Roman architecture, what he called the Augustan
Style, and he took the attitude that the then recent introduction of
Renaissance architecture into England as a return to a model from which Gothic
had been merely a barbarous lapse. He traces the Art from Cain who built a
city, and who was instructed in Geometry by Adam. Here he is no doubt merely
bettering his originals which were content with the sons of Lamech. The
assertion shows a total want of any sense of humour, but then so do all his
contributions to history. But it is worth while pointing out that it suggests
more than this; it suggests that he had an entire lack of acquaintance with
the polite literature of the period. No well-read person of the day would be
unacquainted with the writings of Abraham Cowley, the poet and essayist of the
Restoration, and the opening sentence of his Essay of Agriculture is: "The
three first men in the world were a gardener, a ploughman and a grazier; and
if any man object that the second of these was a murderer, I desire he would
consider that as soon as he was so he quitted our profession, and turned
builder." It is difficult to imagine that Anderson would have claimed Cain as
the first Mason if he had been familiar with this passage.
this point he develops the history in his own fashion, but he incorporates
freely and with an entire disregard for textual accuracy any passages in the
Old Charges that suit him and he has actually used the Cooke Text, as also
some text closely allied to the William Watson. We know the Cooke was
available to him; we learn from Stukeley that it had been produced in Grand
Lodge on 24 June, 1721. Anderson, in 1738, omits all reference to this
incident, but asserts that in 1718 Payne desired the brethren to bring to
Grand Lodge any old writings and records, and that several copies of the
Gothic Constitutions (as he calls them) were produced and collated. He also
alleges that in 1720 several valuable manuscripts concerning the Craft were
too hastily burnt by some scrupulous brethren. The former of these statements
we should receive with caution; for the very reason that the 1723
Constitutions show no traces of such texts; the latter may be true and the
manuscripts may have been rituals, or they may have been versions of the Old
Charges, but there was nothing secret about those. The antiquary Plot had
already printed long extracts from them.
Returning to the narrative we are told that Noah and his sons were Masons,
which is a statement for which Anderson found no warrant in his originals; but
he seems to have had a peculiar fondness for Noah. In 1738 he speaks of Masons
as true Noachidae, alleging this to have been their first name according to
some old traditions, and it is interesting to observe that the Irish
Constitutions of 1858 preserve this fragment of scholarship and assert as a
fact that Noachidae was the first name of Masons. Anderson also speaks of the
three great articles of Noah, which are not however further elucidated, but it
is probable that the reference is to the familiar triad of Brotherly Love,
Relief and Truth. He omits Abraham and introduces Euclid in his proper
chronological sequence, so that he has corrected the old histories to that
extent; but after Solomon and the second Temple he goes to Greece, Sicily and
Rome, where was perfected the glorious Augustan Style. He introduces Charles
Martel - as King of France! - as helping England to recover the true art after
the Saxon invasion, but ignores Athelstan and Edwin.
however introduces most of the monarchs after the Conquest and makes a very
special reference to Scotland and the Stuarts. In the concluding passage he
used the phrase "the whole body resembles a well built Arch" and it has been
suggested, not very convincingly perhaps, that this is an allusion to the
Royal Arch Degree.
is an elaborate account of Zerubbabel's temple which may have some such
significance, and the Tabernacle of Moses, Aholiab and Bezaleel is also
mentioned at some length, Moses indeed being a Grand Master. He also inserts
for no apparent reason a long note on the words Hiram Abiff, and in this case
the suggestion that there is a motive for his doing so connected with ritual
is of more cogency. It is an obvious suggestion that the name was of
importance to the Craft at this date, that is to say early in 1722, and that
the correctness of treating Abiff as a surname instead of as equivalent to his
"father" was a matter the Craft were taking an interest in.
Charges, of which there are six, are alleged to be extracted from ancient
records of lodges beyond Sea, and of those in England, Scotland and Ireland.
In the Approbation the assertion is that he has examined several copies from
Italy and Scotland and sundry parts of England. Were it not that he now omits
Ireland altogether we might nave been disposed to attach some importance to
the former statement. As yet no Irish version of the Old Charges has come to
light but it is barely possible that there were records of Irish Freemasonry
at the time which have since passed out of sight, a Freemasonry no doubt
derived originally from England. But the discrepancy is fatal; we must
conclude that the worthy doctor never saw any Irish record. And we can safely
dismiss his lodges in Italy or beyond Sea as equally mythical.
the six Charges themselves the first caused trouble immediately on its
appearance. It replaced the old invocation of the Trinity and whatever else
there may have been of statements of religious and Christian belief in the
practice of the lodges by a vague statement that we are only to be obliged to
that religion in which all men agree. Complete religious tolerance has in
fact become the rule of our Craft, but the Grand Lodge of 1723 was not ready
for so sudden a change and it caused much ill feeling and possibly many
secessions. It was the basis of a series of attacks on the new Grand Lodge.
CONSTITUTING A NEW LODGE
manner of constituting a New Lodge is noteworthy for its reference to the
"Charges of a Master," and the question, familiar to us today: Do you submit
to these charges as Masters have done in all ages? It does not appear that
these are the six ancient Charges of a previous section; they were something
quite distinct. But not until 1777 are any Charges of the Master known to
have been printed. It is also worthy of notice that the officers to be
appointed Wardens of the new lodge are Fellow Crafts. There is also a
reference to the Charges to the Wardens which are to be given by a Grand
Warden. This section appeared in the Constitutions of the United Grand Lodge
as late as 1873.
Anderson in 1738 alleges that he was directed to add this section to the work
at the meeting of January 17 and he then speaks of it as the ancient manner of
constituting a lodge. This is also the title of the corresponding section in
the 1738 Constitutions, which is only this enlarged. But its title in 1723
is: Here follows the Manner of constituting a NEW LODGE, as practised by His
Grace the Duke of Wharton, the present Right Worshipful Grand Master,
according to the ancient Usages of Masons. We once more see Anderson
suppressing references to the Duke of Wharton where he can in 1738, and yet
obliged to assert that the section was added after January 17th in order to be
consistent in his story. It is not in the least likely that this is what was
done. It was to all appearance printed at one and the same time with the
Regulations, which he himself tells us were in print on 17th January, and
since Wharton constituted four lodges if not more in 1722 he will not have
waited six months to settle his method. We may be pretty certain that this
section was in print before the Approbation to which it is not linked by a
Regulations, as I have already mentioned, have come down to us only as
rewritten by Anderson. The official minutes of Grand Lodge throw considerable
light on the matter. The first of all relates to the appointment of the
Secretary, and the very next one is as follows:
Order of the 17th January 1722-3 printed at the end of the Constitutions page
91 for the publishing the said Constitutions as read purporting, that they had
been before approved in Manuscript by the Grand Lodge and were then (viz) 17th
January aforesaid produced in print and approved by the Society.
the Question was moved, that the said General Regulations be confirmed, so far
as they are consistent with the Ancient Rules of Masonry. The previous
question was moved and put, whether the words "so far as they are consistent
with the Ancient Rules of Masonry" be part of the Question. Resolved in the
affirmative, But the main Question was not put.
the Question was moved that it is not in the Power of any person, or Body of
men, to make any alteration, or Innovation in the Body of Masonry without the
consent first obtained of the Annual Grand Lodge. And the Question being put
accordingly Resolved in the Affirmative.
would record these proceedings today in somewhat different form, perhaps as
was proposed (and seconded) that the said General Regulations be confirmed so
far as they are consistent with the Ancient Rules of Masonry. An amendment to
omit the words "so far ... Masonry" was negatived. But in place of the
original proposition the following resolution was adopted by a majority: That
it is not, etc.
effect of this is that it indicates pretty clearly that there was a strong
feeling in Grand Lodge that Anderson's version of the Regulations had never
been confirmed; that there was a difference of opinion as to now confirming
them, even partially; and that in fact this was not done, but a resolution was
adopted instead condemning alterations made without the consent of Grand Lodge
at its annual meeting first obtained. I should perhaps say that the word
"purporting" does not here have the meaning we would today attach to it; it
has no sense of misrepresentation. Anderson was present at this meeting, but
naturally not a word of all this appears in the account he gives of it in
Regulation XIII, or one sentence in it rather, "Apprentices must be admitted
Masters and Fellow Craft only here, (i.e. in Grand Lodge) unless by a
Dispensation," was at one time the battle ground of the Two Degree versus
Three Degree schools; but it is generally admitted now, I believe, that only
two degrees are referred to, namely the admission and the Master's Part.
order of the words is significant. In the Regulation they read "Masters and
Fellow Craft." In the resolution of 27 November, 1725 by which the rule was
annulled, the wording is "Master" in the official minutes, which is a strong
indication that the original Regulation only referred to one degree. In 1738
Anderson deliberately alters what is set out as the original wording and makes
it read "Fellow Crafts and Masters," while in the new Regulation printed
alongside of it the alteration of 27 November, 1725, is quoted as "Masters and
Fellows" both being inaccurate; and he even gives the date wrongly.
second Regulation enacts that the Master of a particular lodge has the right
of congregating the members of his lodge into a chapter upon any emergency as
well as to appoint the time and place of their usual forming. But it would be
quite unsafe to assume that this is another reference to the Royal Arch; it
appears to deal with what we would now call an emergent meeting.
Payne's, or rather Anderson's, Regulations were the foundation on which the
law of the Craft was based, it being developed by a continual process of
emendation and addition, and their phraseology can still be traced in our
English Constitutions today.
America Franklin reprinted this work in 1734 apparently verbatim. In 1738
Anderson brought out a second addition which was intended to replace the
earlier one altogether, but it was a slovenly performance and the Regulations
were printed in so confused a manner, being all mixed up with notes and
amendments (many inaccurately stated), that it was difficult to make head or
tail of them and to ascertain what was the law of the Craft. He also re-wrote
the history entirely and greatly expanded it, introducing so many absurdities
that Gould has suggested that he was deliberately fooling the Grand Lodge, or
in the alternative that he was himself in his dotage. He died very shortly
after. But this same ridiculous history has done duty in all seriousness till
comparatively recent years, being brought up to date by Preston and others who
were apparently quite unconscious of its true value. Unfortunately that
portion of the history which professed to give an account of the proceedings
of Grand Lodge and for which the official minutes were at Anderson's disposal
is full of what one must consider wilful inaccuracies and misstatements.
the next edition of the Constitutions, 1754, the Regulations were rewritten by
Entick, but the history was preserved. Entick also reverted to the Charges as
drawn up in 1723 into which, especially the first, Anderson had introduced
various modifications in 1738, and those Charges are the basis of the Ancient
Charges to be found today in the Constitutions of the United Grand Lodge of
England, the only differences, except as regards the first Charge, not
amounting to more than verbal modifications.
DEBT TO ANDERSON
as students we are bound to receive any statement that Anderson makes with the
utmost caution unless it can be tested from other sources, we must not be too
ready to abuse the worthy Doctor on that account. Our standards of historical
and literary accuracy are higher than those of 1723, and his object was to
glorify Montagu and the Craft and the new style of architecture introduced by
Inigo Jones and others of his school; and this he did wholeheartedly, and if
in the process he twisted a text or two or supplied suitable events to fill
gaps in his narrative for which mere history as such had failed to record
facts, no one at the time would think any the worse of him for that. It was a
far more serious matter that he was instrumental in removing from the
literature of the Craft all definite religious allusions; but as we now see,
the Craft in fact owes its universality today to its wide undenominationalism
and in this respect he builded better than he knew. The Constitutions of 1723
remains one of our most important texts and only awaits publication in full
facsimile with suitable notes and introduction at the hands of some Society
with the requisite funds.
Freemasonry a Religion?
Bro. H.L. HAYWOOD
you believe that Freemasonry is a religion? If it is, can a Mason belong
consistently to his lodge and to a church? If it is not, why does it have so
much in its Ritual about the Bible, and why do some of the organized churches
oppose it as though it were a dangerous rival?"
seasons themselves do not recur with more certain regularity, than comes this
inquiry to Ye Editor's desk, nor is there any one subject that receives more
universal discussion in the Masonic press. And neither, one may continue, is
there any other inquiry that remains so unsatisfactorily answered, if one may
judge from the reactions of the rank and file of Masons. There is a
difference of opinion on the subject as universal as it appears to be lasting,
and it may well be that Freemasonry will go on until the last candidate is
raised in the last lodge without the question ever having received a plain and
reason for this lies very close at hand. Religion itself is the subject about
which men differ the most, both in theory and practice, and this confusion in
the general mind inevitably makes its way into every discussion of the
relation of Freemasonry to religion. Until men at large become agreed as to
what religion is, or what it should be, or how it is to be used and practised,
we must expect a wide difference of opinion as to what may be the religion or
lack of religion of our Craft.
a religion a man has in mind an organized church, with its official
priesthood, its authorized doctrines, and its sacraments, then Freemasonry is
not a religion, for it has none of these things; but if religion is made to
mean any form of teaching concerning the soul and its adventure through this
life, and concerning God, then it may well be that Freemasonry is a religion,
because it most plainly has something to say about these matters. But if,
further, the word religion is not to be given either one of these definitions,
but is made to stand for something special to an individual's view, then that
individual must make up his mind about Freemasonry to suit his own theories.
According to the view of the present writer Freemasonry may be described as
religious but not as a religion. The religiousness which lies in it is not
something that is to be set apart as a thing by itself to function as the
rival of some organized church but is to be interpreted as that groundwork of
faith which lies at the root of all the creeds together. Just as a man must
be a human being before he can become a citizen of the United States, so must
a man have certain religious principles in his soul before he can become a
Mason; and just as a citizen of the United States is free to live in any state
in the Union, or even to live abroad, so may a Mason unite himself with any
church he pleases. The religion that is in Freemasonry is not something that
can be made the rival of any religion but rather is what lies at the bottom of
all religion whatever (except of the savage variety) so that one finds Masons
consistently belonging to the Greek Orthodox Church, or to a Mohammedan
communion, or an Episcopalian church, or a Methodist, or to Christian Science,
or what not. The teachings of the Craft are not such as can come into
conflict with the doctrines peculiar to any one of these faiths but are such
as all their communicants share in common. When the framers of the good old
paragraph in Anderson's Constitutions said that the religion of Freemasonry is
that in which all good men agree, they probably came as close to a final
statement of the subject as we shall ever have.
Roosevelt: A Boy Builder
Bro. F. L. T., Illinois
is a beautiful account of how a Mason, Bro. F.L. Beals, Major, U.S.A., of
Chicago, Ill., learned to apply his Masonry in a practical and constructive
way. Like a true builder he has his eye to the future. He has taken to heart
the great admonition left by George Meredith:
the young generations in hail;
Bequeath to them no tumbled house."
fraternalism means sharing alike one's joys and woes, means "feeling" for our
brother man. Not in the detached sense which enables one man to say, "Oh, I'm
sorry," when he hears of the misfortune of a neighbor, and then goes on his
way to his party or dance, forgetting all about the misery in the heart of the
man next door, but that genuine sorrow which makes him give of himself, which
makes a man go out of his way to help his neighbor, which makes him dig in and
help - that is the true fraternalism of man and man. The man who, when his
brother advances in business, when high honors are bestowed upon him, can
rejoice with him and let no mean thoughts of jealousy or envy fill his mind,
has the truly fraternal spirit. But, while we speak of it on all sides, while
we use the word, do we use the meaning of the word - do we act?
Fraternalism, then, is but another name for "good citizenship," - that term
which has sprung up in recent years, and clamors more and more loudly to be
heard, until now it is on the lips of every public-spirited man and woman, and
every educator. The need for good citizenship is apparent. It is one of the
crying needs of the day, in line with modern advancement and progress. But,
educators contend, good citizenship cannot be a part of the man who has been
untrained in good citizenship, any more than can a man who has never learned
the French language speak it. It must be included in the training of the boy
and girl, so that when they are grown to young manhood and young womanhood,
they know whereof they speak when the subject comes up.
so, while they deliberate about it, while they make plans for making
"citizenship training" a part of the school program, the Chicago Board of
Education, more progressive, has evolved a system of its own for introducing
the subject in a manner which the past four years' trial has proven to be
highly successful. To revise the regular school program, to change it about
and cut it so as to include this big subject, would undoubtedly work havoc on
the present system of education. And so in order not to endanger the existing
plan, and. also, in order to utilize to better advantage the summer vacation
months which so often afford opportunity for boys to learn obnoxious habits,
the system of citizenship building evolved by the Chicago public school system
is tried out during the summer vacation months.
the shores of Silver Lake, Indiana, near LaPorte, sixty-five miles from
Chicago on the New York Central Lines, is the site of what was once a private
boarding school for boys. Here numerous buildings of log and frame
construction afford splendid facilities for work, recreation and joyful
out-door living for the hundreds of boys from all parts of the country who
gather here each summer to derive the benefits of their stay at Camp
Roosevelt, for so the camp is named. The War Department of the U. S.
Government, eager to aid in this movement, lends complete camping equipment,
and assigns officers and non-commissioned officers for purposes of
instruction. The American Red Cross, the Y.M.C.A., and the Chicago Dental
Society send their representatives and maintain their units at the camp. Here,
under expert guidance in the great outdoors, boys from ten to eighteen years
of age grow bronzed, robust, pleasing to the eye and agreeable to deal with -
strong boys are made out of weak ones, democratic boys out of juvenile snobs,
and studious, attentive boys of harum scarum scatterbrains.
best promote such a program, the camp is divided into three sections: the
summer schools division, which includes seventh and eighth grade and complete
high school subjects, and whose credits are recognized on the same basis as
those of other Chicago summer school credits; the R.O.T.C. or military
division, which is primarily physical drill and setting-up exercises for the
older lads, from 14 and up; and the Junior Camp. for the younger lads. Each
program, while distinct, blends in harmoniously with the other, and Very
afternoon program of athletics and recreation combines the three divisions.
The evening entertainments are provided by the "Y." and afford a maximum of
clean, wholesome fun for all in camp.
"man on the job," the Commanding Officer, is Major F. L. Beals, U. S. A.,
Supervisor of Physical Education in the Chicago public high schools, who
founded the Camp Roosevelt Idea. Major Beals is a man who has devoted the best
years of his life to studying and working with boys. He has started hundreds
of boys on the road to successful manhood. To his forethought, his unselfish
devotion to the development of Camp Roosevelt, is due the measure of success
which it has attained. Major Beals has surrounded himself with a large group
of experts in boy training, who have aided and assisted him untiringly.
committee of influential Chicago business and professional men, under the
Chairmanship of Mr. Angus S. Hibbard, have formed the Camp Roosevelt
Association, for the purpose of securing contributions each year to carry on
the camping program. Thus Camp Roosevelt is maintained as a public
institution, not a profit making enterprise, but with its financial soundness
assured. Boys from all parts of the country who attend the camp are required
to pay but a fraction of the usual cost for attendance at camps which include
only a small part of the program so extensively carried on at Camp Roosevelt.
this reason, the introduction of this, the first public "citizenship builder"
in the country, may well be accounted a success, and its plan could with
profit be emulated by public school systems throughout the country. Those of
our readers who are looking ahead to the future of their growing sons would do
well to study thoroughly the Camp Roosevelt Plan, and, if possible, give to
their boys the opportunity of a period of training under such splendid
Notes on the Meaning of the Word "Freemason"
Bro. H. L. HAYWOOD
ORIGIN OF THE WORD "MASON" has supplied amateur etymologists with endless
opportunity for pursuing their favourite pastime of word catching, and with
what results one may learn in the article on the question published in
Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Volume II, page 471, where the most
ingenious accounts are recorded of how the word came into existence, and what
it meant when it did come into existence. Some of these are as fanciful as a
piece of embroidery, and about as substantial.
Murray's New English Dictionary, which is published by the English
Philological Society, the court of last appeal on the etymology of English
words, sets us all a good example by refusing to commit itself to any
derivation. "The ulterior etymology is obscure," it says, "possibly the word
is from the root of Latin 'maceria' (a wall)." The same authority gives the
every day modern use of the word "mason" as follows: "A builder and worker in
stone; a workman who dresses and lays stone in building." A quotation I given
of the date of 1205. It is doubtful if in this country, and at the present
time, very many persons think of a mason as a "builder in stone": most of them
think of him as one who cuts stone to shape and who fits it into place with
mortar, or who does the same thing with brick: the idea of a mason being a
builder has about gone out of the popular mind. The owner or architect is
spoken of as the "builder."
there was a time, it would appear from what meager records we possess, when a
"mason" was all this and very much more beside; he was (or might be) one who
could design a structure, superintend its erection, organize the workmen and
manage them in their labours, and also carve, engrave, etc., etc. In short, he
was a "builder," the very best possible definition of the word "mason," from
our own point of view. "Of the term 'architect,'" says Gould in his Concise
History (Revised) page 71, "there was apparently no use (in the Middle Ages)
and it seems to have been only introduced into English books about the end of
the reign of Queen Elizabeth."
"Builder" must be understood here in its most literal sense. In the Middle
Ages these men were doubtless organized into a fraternity, and had their
secrets, their initiations, and their symbology, but all that was more or less
secondary, and the principal thing was that churches, cathedrals, and similar
structures should be erected. All the symbolical, speculative, spiritualizing
uses of the term came later: "'Mason' may be German or Latin," writes Lionel
Vibert in his Freemasonry Before the Existence of Grand Lodge, page 12, "but
the ulterior etymology is obscure. At all events, when we first find it, it
is purely and simply a trade name, and has no esoteric meaning of a brother or
son of anything, or of anyone."
obscurity may be said to hang about the meaning of the word "mason" what shall
we say of the cloud-banks that conceal the origins of the word freemason"! Of
this term Gould writes, in his Essays on Freemasonry, page 180: "The earliest
use of the English word 'freemason' (at present known to us) is associated
with the freedom of a London Company (1376), and it is from a similar, (or in
part identical) class of persons, and not from the persons who worked free
stone, that I imagine the existing term freemason to have been inherited."
Findel, in his famous Geschichte der Freimaurerei, gives the word as used in
1212. Steinbrenner, in his origin, and Early History of Masonry, page 110,
says the word occurs for the first time in a statute passed in 1350, which was
in the twenty-fifth year of the reign of Edward I. Leader Scott (see her
Cathedral Builders) applies the term to the Magistri Comacini, but I haven't
noted where she makes them ever use the word itself. It is not safe to make
any definite assertions, as writers sometimes mistakingly do, about the
earliest uses of the word: for one thing, because at any time somebody may
discover a new manuscript or record; for another, because, as one follows back
the stream of etymological change toward the sources of the language, he can't
tell whether or not certain long dead words may or may not have meant
"freemason," and there is no telling when new light may be thrown on the
matter. Also, it is wise to be very careful about the "authorities" one makes
use of; a number of Masonic writers have made assertions about the word born
of nothing but a profound ignorance of philology.
the meaning, or meanings, which may be more or less justly attached to this
word there has been a vast deal of controversy and discussion. It is
difficult to find more than two or three writers to agree at any one time. I
shall give a list, in arbitrary order, of some five or six of the
interpretations which have proved more or less satisfactory.
LIST OF MEANINGS IS GIVEN
The Freemason was a superior kind of Mason.
we first meet with the word," writes Vibert in his Freemasonry Before the
Existence of Grand Lodges, page 13, "it clearly means a superior workman: and
he draws higher pay." On page 12 of the same work Vibert quotes Speth as
follows: "There is abundant evidence that in the course of time the Freemasons
came to be looked upon as a special class of men endowed with superior skill,
executing a well-defined class of work, and that this class of work became
known as Freemasonry." I don't know of any of the first-class writers who have
accepted this as a satisfactory account of the matter. The possible exception
would be Conder, the author of The Hole Craft and Fellowship of Masonry, one
of the source-books of very much modern Masonic literature, and a work that
gives a complete history of the Masons' Company of London. To this work he
added a brief chapter to show that the Masons came to be called "free" because
the most skilled among them worked without plans: they were so adept in their
art that they could dispense with mechanical aids, a "free-hand" artist does
not need a set of tools as the ordinary draughtsman does.
Freemasons were Masons who had been made "free" in the ordinary medieval sense
of that word.
was little liberty in the Middle Ages the individual or for corporations: most
of them were bound in some fashion or other to a lord or master, or a
community, or to the church; those who were relieved from such obligations
were "free." Stieglitz's History of Architecture is authority for the
statement that the Byzantine builders of about the seventh century formed
themselves into guilds and that on account of having received from the popes
bulls giving them the privileges of living according to their own laws and
ordinances they were called "free." Of the Magistri Comacini, Leader Scott
writes: "They were Freemasons because they were builders of a privileged class
absolved from; taxes and servitude, and free to travel about in times of
feudal bondage." For this view Gould believes there is no evidence: "In
Germany, as in England, a tradition prevailed from early times that the Masons
were granted very exceptional privileges by the Popes; but whether in either
instance it rested on any foundation of fact, must be left undecided." This is
from page 36 of the 1903 edition of his Concise History.
worker in "free stone."
stone was stone that had been brought from the quarry and made ready for the
skilled workman: according to the theory here given Freemasons came to be thus
called because they were skilled workmen who worked in free stone, in
contradistinction to the "rough masons," (in Scotland they were called "cowans")
who worked in the quarry. The statute of Edward I mentioned above, seems to
bear out this definition. It was once in almost universal acceptance. Dr
Begemann, one of the most erudite of all Masonic scholars, seems, unless I
mistake his meaning, to accept this interpretation. Another learned scholar,
Chetwode Crawley, says that, "The word 'Free' which we first meet with, [was]
employed to designate worker in freestone." He adds, however, that the term
gradually assumes the significance of "free of the guild." These references
are to the fifteenth century.
Free in the sense of being free OF the guild.
workman still under his indentures was not to go and come as he pleased: he
was compelled to and work under the closest restrictions, and do what was laid
before him, and when, and where he was told. After becoming a master,
however, he became free of the guild in the sense that he enjoyed in it all
its privileges. This definition accords well with the fact that among other
groups of workmen were those called "free"; in a fifteenth century document
certain tailors in Exeter are spoken of as "free tailors"; in a reference of
1666, carpenters are similarly designated; and there are many other records to
the same effect in the histories of other guilds. Also, this definition fits
in with the original meaning of the word "cowan." A member of the guild had to
be made free by formal action of the company; he who refused to recognize the
authority of the guild, and who set himself up to work as he chose, was called
a cowan, and bitter was the feeling of the regular Mason toward such a "scab."
EMANCIPATED WORKMAN CALLED "FREE"
The New English Dictionary seems to lend its authority to the theory that
"free" in freemason came into use to describe those workmen who were
emancipated and given liberty to go and come as they pleased, anywhere and at
any time. When skilled workmen were scarce, and there was not a man in the
town who could do a certain bit of work, it was necessary to import one from
an adjacent city. In the course of time more and more skilled workmen were
thus passed about until at last the custom arose of giving such men their
"freedom" that they might work wherever opportunity offered. This ingenious
theory has plausibility in its favour but no facts, and it is a singular thing
that all our Masonic scholars, after years of research, have never given
countenance to such a notion: it goes to prove what Gould was always
asserting, that speculation on things Masonic by men outside the craft are
almost always worthless, be they scholars or not. Here is the definition as
given in the Dictionary: "Perhaps the best hypothesis is that the term refers
to the medieval practice of emancipating skilled artisans in order that they
might be able to travel and render their services wherever any great building
was in process of construction."
Perhaps the most brilliant hypothesis of all is that presented by William
Speth in his now famous essay which was printed in Ars Quatuor Coronatorum,
Volume X, page 10. He contends that in medieval England there were two kinds
of masons' guilds - stationary and travelling. The former were circumscribed
by the limits of the city in which they were incorporated; they could do any
kind of architectural work inside those bounds, but none outside. They were
not free to go about, as a true trade union in our day would be free to do.
But alongside these were guilds of masons who made a speciality of cathedral
and similar building: owing to the difficulties of such work, to the special
skill and experience demanded by it, these guilds differed in very many ways
from the ordinary town guilds: their members were more expert, they had
traditions and customs of their own, and they were free to move about from
town to town as building needs might require. It was owing to the last named
circumstance, so Speth asserts, that they were called "free," and he argues
that modern Freemasonry descends from these itinerant guilds rather than from
the better known and more numerous stationary, or town guilds. Speth offered
this as "a tentative inquiry" and to date it remains as such, but many incline
toward it and believe that it perhaps comes nearer than most hypotheses to
solving the mystery. The reader who may care to go mole thoroughly into the
matter may be referred to Gould's careful examination published in his
Collected Essays on Freemasonry, page 171. The conclusion to which he arrived
is clearly indicated by the last sentence of his essay: "To those of my fellow
students, therefore, who are interested in the problem of 'Free' and
'Freemason,' let me conclude by saying - in the words of the Genius to the
Hermit of Bassora - 'If you wish for the solution, be patient, and wait.'"
MACKEY'S ARTICLE IS GIVEN
those who have not access to Mackey's Encyclopedia it may be a service to
reprint the article on the word "Mason" as contained on page 471, Volume II:-
search for the etymology or derivation of the word Mason has given rise to
numerous theories, some of them ingenious, but many of them very absurd.
Thus, a writer in the European Magazine for February, 1792, who signs his name
as 'George Drake,' lieutenant of marines, attempts to trace the Masons to the
Druids, and derives Mason from 'May's on,' 'May's' being in reference to
May-day, the great festival of the Druids, and 'on' meaning men, as in the
French 'on dit,' for 'Homme dit.' According to this, 'May's on' therefore
means the 'Men of May.' This idea is not original with Drake, since the same
derivation was urged in 1766 by Cleland, in his essay on 'The Way to Things in
Words, and on The Real Secret of Freemasons:
"Hutchinson, in his search for a derivation, seems to have been perplexed with
the variety of roots that presented themselves, and, being inclined to believe
that the name of Mason 'has its derivation from a language in which it implies
some strong indication or distinction of the nature of the society, and that
it has no relation to architects,' looks for the root in the Greek tongue.
Thus he thinks that Mason may come from 'Mao Soon,' 'I seek salvation,' or
from 'Mystes,' 'an omotoate'; and that Masonry is only a corruption of 'Mesouraneo,'
'I am in the midst of heaven'; or from 'Mazourouth,' a constellation mentioned
by Job, or from 'Mysterion,' 'a mystery.'
says, in his Ernst and Falk, that 'Masa' in the Anglo-Saxon, signifies a
table, and that Masonry, consequently, is a 'society of the table.'
thinks he finds the root in the Low Latin word of the Middle Ages 'Massonya,'
or 'Masonia,' which signifies an exclusive society or club, such as that of
the round table.
"Coming down to later times, we find Bro. C.W. Moore, in his Boston Magazine,
of May, 1844, deriving Mason from 'Lithotomos,' 'a Stone-cutter.' But although
fully aware of the elasticity of etymological rules, it surpasses our
ingenuity to get Mason etymologically out of Lithotomos.
Giles F. Yates sought for the derivation of Mason in the Greek word 'Mazones,'
a festival of Dionysus, and he thought that this was another proof of the
lineal descent of the Masonic order from the Dionysiae Artificers.
late William S. Rockwell, who was accustomed to find all his Masonry in the
Egyptian mysteries, and who was a thorough student of the Egyptian
hieroglyphic system, derives the word Mason from a combination of the two
phonetic signs, the one being MAI and signifying 'to love', and the other
being SON, which means 'a brother.' Hence, he says, 'this combination, MAISON,
expresses exactly in sound our word MASON, and signifies literally loving
brother, that is, philadelphus, brother of an association, and thus
corresponds also in sense:
all of these fanciful etymologies, which would have terrified Bopp, Grimm, or
Muller, or any other student of linguistic relations, forcibly remind us of
the French epigrammatist, who admitted that alphina came from equas, but that,
in so coming, it had very considerably changed its route.
"What, then, is the true derivation of the word Mason? Let us see what the
orthoepists, who had no Masonic theories, have said upon the subject.
"Webster, seeing that in Spanish 'Masa' means 'mortar,' is inclined to derive
Mason, as denoting one that works in mortar from the root of "mass,' which of
course gave birth to the Spanish word.
Low or Medieval Latin, Mason was 'machio' or 'macio,' and this Du Cangee
derives from the Latin maceria,' 'a long wall.' Others find a derivation in
'machines,' because the builders stood upon machines to raise their walls.
But Richardson takes a commonsense view of the subject. He says, It appears
to be obviously the same word as maison, a house or mansion, applied to the
person who builds, instead of the thing built. The French 'Maisoner' is to
build houses; 'Masonrier,' to build of stone. The word Mason is applied by
usage to a builder in stone, and Masonry to work in stone.'
"Carpenter gives 'Massom,' used in 1225, for a building of stone and 'Massonus,'
used in 1304 for a Mason; and the Benedictine editors of Du Cange define 'Massoneria'
'a building, the French Maconnene, and Massonerius,' as 'Latomus' or a Mason,
both words in manuscripts of 1385.
practical question, we are compelled to reject all those fanciful derivations
which connect the Masons etymologically and historically with the Greeks, the
Egyptians, or the Druids, and to take to word Mason in its ordinary
signification of a worker in stone, and thus indicate the origin of the order
from a society or association of practical and operative builders. We need no
better root than the Medieval Latin 'Macconer,' to build, or 'Maconetus,' 'a
GIVES A VERY FANCIFUL DEFINITION
all this may be added a paragraph from Stellar Theology, by Robert Brown:
"Masonic tradition is but one of the numerous ancient allegories of the yearly
passage of the personified sun among the twelve constellations of the zodiac,
being founded on a system of astronomical symbols and emblems, employed to
teach the great truths of omnipotent God and immortality." The writer goes on
to explain that the names of the Masonic degrees and officers all refer to the
sun or moon.
William Tyler Olcott offers the following in his Sun Lore of All Ages, an
interesting but uncritical book, where, on page 304, we may read: "The word
'Masonry is said to be derived from a Greek word which signifies 'I am in the
midst of heaven,' alluding to the sun. Others derive it from the ancient
Egyptian 'Phre,' the sun, and 'Mas,' a child, Phre-mas, i.e., children of the
sun, or sons of light. From this we get our word 'Freemason."'
excellent Cyclopedia of Fraternities, compiled and edited by Albert C.
Stevens, prefers to define the term by means of a description, a wise method.
Freemasonry, so we read, "is a secret fraternity, founded upon man's religious
aspirations, which, by forms, ceremonies, and elaborate symbolism, seeks to
create a universal brotherhood, to relieve suffering, cultivate the virtues,
and join in the endless search for truth." (Page 17.)
manifest that we can never agree on a definition of "freemason" until we have
agreed on some theory as to the origin of the Craft, and it is this fact that
attaches so much importance to the word itself, and lifts the search for an
adequate definition above levels of a mere learned pedantry. In the article
on Freemasonry which appears in the opening pages of the Cyclopedia quoted
above we find this paragraph:
"Among various theories as to the origin of modern Freemasonry, the following
have had many advocates: (1) That which carries it back through the medieval
stone masons to the Ancient Mysteries, or to King Solomon's Temple; (2) not
satisfied with the foregoing, that which traces it to Noah, to Enoch, and to
Adam; (3) the theory that the cradle of Freemasonry is to be found in the
Roman Colleges or Artificers of the earlier centuries of the Christian era;
(4) that it was brought into Europe by the returning Crusaders; (5) that it
was an emanation from the Templars after the suppression of the Order in 1312;
(6) that it formed a virtual continuation of the Rosicrucians; (7) that it
grew out of the secret society creations of the partisans of the Stuarts in
their efforts to regain the throne of England; (8) that it was derived from
the Essenes, and (9) from the Culdees."
and alack! when the doctors so disagree what are we poor laymen to do!
Speaking for myself I may say that I am not a partisan of any one of these
theories because I do not believe that we now know, and I am in doubt if we
can ever know, the real facts about the origin of "freemasonry": know them,
that is, with such certainty and definiteness as will enable us to be sure of
a definition of the word. As things now stand I am more inclined towards
Speth's theory than any other, but I feel that it is very possible that some
two or three of the theories (among those that I have numbered) may be true at
the same time.
Story of Philippine Masonry
Bro. G.J. MARIANO, Philippine Islands
following story, for all its directness and simplicity, moves before a
background of dramatic struggle, of suffering, and passion. Our Filipino
brethren were always confronted by two great difficulties in their endeavors
to establish Masonry in the earlier days; the opposition of the authorities,
and their unfamiliarity with a Craft that had its inception in, and derived
its form from, English speaking people. One is grateful to Bro. Mariano for
so straight-forward a narrative.
CONSIDERING THAT the Filipinos were under the Spanish rule for more than
three hundred years and knowing that Spain was once and is still one of the
most Catholic nations and the strongest supporter of the Inquisition during
its life, the most natural and logical presumption would be that Freemasonry,
in the Philippines could not flourish very well. However, this is not the
case. In spite of the difficulties and sufferings encountered by Filipino
masons in spreading, the light of truth, these self-sacrificing pioneers went
ahead with the strongest determination towards the road of progress, slowly
and secretly at first, then openly and vigorously afterwards.
the Spanish liberals who were sent to these Islands were Admiral Malcampo and,
later, Admiral Mendez-Nunez, who showed their valour in fighting and stopping
the Moro piracy; they were the organizers of the first lodge in the
Philippines, established in Cavite in 1856 and called the "Primera Luz
Filipino," under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Portugal. This lodge,
however, was composed of Spaniards only. Later on, the foreigners in the
Islands other than Spaniards organized another lodge to which Filipinos were
admitted. The Spanish Masons soon discovered this and organized another lodge
under the jurisdiction of the Grande Oriente de Espanol to which Filipinos
were admitted in order to win their confidence and help. This may be called
the Spanish participation in Freemasonry in the Philippines.
foreign countries leading Filipinos, among whom were Dr. Jose Rizal, Marcelo
H. del Pilar, Graciano Lopez Jaena, Antonio Luna, Mariano Ponce, Dominador,
Juan Luna and others, were initiated in the Order.
first lodge which was composed wholly of Filipinos was organized in Madrid and
called "Solidaridad Lodge No. 53" under the jurisdiction of the Grande Oriente
Espanol. To Dr. Rizal and del Pilar belong the honor of conceiving the idea of
organizing Philippine Freemasonry. Through the efforts of del Pilar the
necessary authority was secured from the then Grand Master, Dr. Miguel Morayta,
of the Grande Oriente Espanol, to organize lodges in the Philippines. Antonio
Luna and Pedron Serrano were designated to come to the Philippines to organize
Philippine Freemasonry. However, Antonio Luna was unable to come to the
Philippines with Pedron Serrano.
FIRST FILIPINO LODGE IS ORGANIZED
was in January 16, 1891, that the first Filipino Lodge was organized in the
Philippines and was called Nilad Lodge No. 144, under the jurisdiction of the
Grande Oriente Espanol, but it was not constituted until March 12, 1892. Soon
after the constitution of the Nilad Lodge No. 144 applicants poured to her
doors incessantly and the initiates in the Order were rapidly increasing in
numbers. It was deemed advisable to take the necessary precautions in order
that its existence might not be discovered by the enemies of the Craft,
namely, the Roman Catholic Church supported by the Spanish Government. The
State and the Church were united and went hand in hand in running the affairs
of the Islands. The Church was considered as the safest foundation of the
Spanish Government in the Islands.
growth of the Craft was rapidly spreading to the four corners of the
Philippines. The soil was, then, fertile but circumstances were against the
open organization and labour in behalf of the ideals and principles of the
Craft, much less its rapid growth. It must be remembered that to be a Mason
in those days in the Philippines meant to be a traitor to his country, bad
Christian, heretic, and was punished with deportation to the distant parts of
the Islands or the facing of a firing squad. Torn from those nearest and
dearest to him, such was his punishment for daring to aspire to see the light,
to perform the duties he owed God, his country, his neighbour and himself, in
accordance with the dictates of his own conscience! To be caught at a meeting
clandestinely held meant a term of imprisonment, physical or mental torture,
and in endeavors to extort from him, by force or otherwise, the most excellent
tenets of Freemasonry, brotherly love, relief and truth.
AGUINALDO IS MADE A MASON
During the most trying and bloody last seven years of Spanish rule in the
Islands, when Freemasonry was very active, its discovery caused nearly all its
members to be executed or deported and very few escaped the wild methods of
Spanish repression of the then breeding Philippine Revolution. The lodges were
all temporarily shattered and the members persecuted like outlaws. At this
critical period of the Philippine history the Filipino patriots and heroes of
the Philippine Revolution, viz., Andras Bonifacio, Emilio Jacinto, Emilio
Aguinaldo, Apolinario Mabini, General Vicente Lukban, one of the two last
generals to surrender to the Americans, and others, were initiated in the
mysteries of the Craft.
the transfer of sovereignty circumstances also changed and a new era opened in
Philippine Freemasonry, because its work has been made open and protected,
where before it was kept hidden and was persecuted.
Brother Ambrosio Flores and others, soon after the downfall of the Spanish
rule, immediately started the movement of reorganizing the lodges shattered by
the destructive blows of tyranny. The first lodge to be organized was the
Modestia Lodge No. 119; it was followed by the Dalisay Lodge No. 117; Sinukuan
Lodge to. 272; Nilad Lodge No. 114; Walana Lodge No. 158; and Lusong Lodge No.
185. These lodges were under the jurisdiction of the Grande Oriente Espanol
Gran Logia Regional was organized and installed on September 14, 1907, as the
local supreme Masonic body over the lodges installed under the jurisdiction of
the Grande Oriente Espanol until February 13, 1917, when she automatically
ceased to exist as the twenty-seven lodges under her went to the Union of
Freemasonry in the Philippines.
first American lodge in the Islands began its work on August 21, 1898, and was
authorized by a letter of dispensation issued by Brother Robert M. Carother,
Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of North Dakota. However, this military lodge
existed only for a year because on the following year when the North Dakota
Regiment of Volunteers left the Islands for the United States the lodge with
its letter of dispensation was taken by them. The Manila Lodge No. 1
(formerly No. 342) is the first American permanent lodge in the Islands and
was organized in November 14, 1901, in the house of Brother H. E. Stafford,
who later on became the first Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the
LODGE OF PHILIPPINE ISLANDS IS ESTABLISHED
Eleven years afterwards December 18-19, 1912) the Grand Lodge of the
Philippine Islands was duly and properly established. The Grand Lodge of the
Philippine Islands was composed then by the Manila Lodge No. 342, Cavite Lodge
No. 350 and Corregidor Lodge No. 386, under the Jurisdiction of the Grand
Lodge of California.
the establishment of the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands two grand
Masonic Bodies were then established: the Gran Logia Regional de Filipinas,
under the Grande Oriente Espanol, made up by the Filipino lodges, with supreme
authority over its subordinate lodges; and the other was the Grand Lodge of
the Philippine Islands, made up by the three first American lodges, also with
supreme authority over the above mentioned American lodges. Each Grand Lodge
worked for its own progress and prosperity in spite of the existence of the
other in the same territory.
Undoubtedly the Gran Logia Regional de Filipinas truly represented Philippine
Freemasonry as it was composed wholly by Filipino lodges, was older in the
Philippines and its origin may be traced back to the glorious days of Rizal
and del Pilar in their fights in Spain for liberal reforms; and to the days of
Bonifacio, Jacinto, Aguinaldo, Mabini, Luna, and the heroes and martyr victims
of Spanish tyranny, in their fights for the freedom of Filipinos. But the
only thing lacking her and which she was working very hard for when the Grand
Lodge of the Philippine Islands was constituted, was sovereign, supreme and
exclusive territorial Jurisdiction in the Philippine Islands.
Lodges under the jurisdiction of other Supreme Councils were organized and
installed in the Philippines but they all disappeared by Joining the Gran
Logia Regional, except the La Perla de Oriente Lodge No. 1034, S.C., which is
PHILIPPINE MASONRY IS UNIFIED
greatest Masonic event during the American administration was the UNIFICATION
OF FREEMASONRY IN THE PHILIPPINES on February 14, 1917.
memorial event was reported by Brother Charles S. Lobingier, Deputy of the
Supreme Council, to the Sovereign Grand Commander and the Supreme Council, in
part as follows: "Within the past year a divided house has been joined
together. Where there was diversity there is now unity; where there was
weakness there is potential strength. In short, it is my privilege, to
announce the unification of our rite in the Philippines. Not that there has
ever been dissension among the bodies of our obedience here, but, as you will
note from previous reports of mine, Scottish Rite bodies, acknowledging
allegiance to other Supreme Councils, have continued to exist there alongside
our own. The reasons for this were mainly historical and call for brief
review. In the Philippines, Masonry considerably antedates American
occupation. As long ago as 1856 the Spanish Admiral Malcampo, later
Governor-General, organized a lodge at Cavite, under the Grand Oriente of
Brother Teodoro M. Kalaw, the last Grand Master of the Gran Regional Lodge, at
the inauguration of the Salomon Temple, Manila, ten days after the
unification, in the course of his address commented on the event in this wise:
"It is well to say it here that we, the Freemasons of the Old Grande Oriente
Espanol, did not go to the union without titles nor name. We brought to it our
heroic and historic past. We had our own glories, our own traditions, and a
beautiful and magnificent history full of heroism and blood. That is the
richness we brought .... We went to the union for this sole consideration,
only and exclusively, because we do not wish to see Freemasonry divided in the
Philippines .... We went decidedly to the union to save the most principle:
the UNITY OF FREEMASONRY."
the present writing there are seventy-seven chartered Lodges and one under
dispensation in the Philippine Islands under the jurisdiction of the Grand
lodge of the Philippine Islands, F. & A. M. and several are on the way of
formation. These lodges are located all over the Islands. In the farthest
north province of Cagayan there is located the Mabini Lodge No. 39 named in
honour of Brother Apolinario Mabini Filipino patriot and brain of the
Philippine Revolution in the farthest south province of Davac, there is
located the Sarangani Lodge No. 50 named after a mountain in the Island of
Mindanao; in the east there is located in the Province of Leyte the Makabugwas
Lodge No. 47, named after the morning star or "makabug- was" in Visayan
can be safely affirmed, without fear of contradiction, that any brethren can
go to any province in the Islands and surely meet other brethren. At present
there are approximately six thousand Master Masons in the Islands.
MASONRY FLOURISHES IN MANILA
are two concrete and one semi-permanent Masonic buildings in Manila, viz., the
Masonic Temple, located in the Escolta, the business center in the
Philippines; the Plaridel Temple named after the symbolic name of Brother
Marcelo H. del Pilar, is located at Calle San Marcelino; and the Salomon
Temple located at Calle Bilbao, Tondo, its main door facing the Manila Bay,
one of the biggest and finest in the Orient and part of its foundations is
being kissed by the rolling waves of the Manila Bay where the Spanish fleet,
representing the sceptre and power of Spanish oppression, was destroyed by the
American fleet under Admiral Dewey, representing democracy and the good-will
of America by helping the Filipinos to establish their own free and
independent government. In Cebu, the second largest city in the Philippines,
there is another concrete Masonic building. Most of the Philippine Lodges own
first book published about Freemasonry in the Philippines was printed in 1920
and written by Brother Teodoro M. Kalaw and this is the first attempt that
real Freemasonry was brought to light and exposed to the Filipino public. I
said real because the Freemasonry known to the majority of the people was the
Freemasonry described and made known to the people by the friars to suit their
purposes. The mere initiation to the mysteries of the Order involved the
greatest personal sacrifice and therefore it was very risky to expose, explain
and fight openly for the highest ideals and principles of the Craft. It meant
as if between fire and powder, or having and the other out. All possible and
imaginable means were exerted by the enemies of the Craft to discover the
members in order to deport or to destroy the lodges, and by these tyrannical
means the enemies of the Craft believed themselves to have succeeded in
eradicating from its roots, at least in the Philippine Island, the triple and
imperishable rights of men - Liberty, Fraternity, and Equality: Liberty to do
right within the bounds of the law under which the rights of the individual
and minority is protected as well as those of the majority; Fraternity, in the
sober sense which regards that men are children of a common Father; and
Equality in the eyes of the law, in political rights and in the rights of
are three Masonic publications now in the Philippines, viz., "Hojas Sueltas,"
a monthly publication; and the "Far Eastern Freemason," a monthly publication;
and the "Acacia," published fortnightly, Besides these, there are many
bulletins issued by the various lodges.
FILIPINO MASONS ACTIVE PATRIOTS
the fights of the Filipinos for their liberties the Filipino Freemasons have
taken a leading and active part.
Jose Rizal, called the father of the Philippines, attorney Marcelo H. del
Pilar, 33 degree, the founder and the first leader of Philippine Freemasonry,
Graciano Lopez Jaena, patriot and founder of the "La Solidaridad," a
fortnightly publication, were the leaders of the Filipino people in their
fights for liberal reforms during the Spanish rule. Andres Bonifacio, the
Father of the Katipunan, Emilio Jacinto, the brain of the Katipunan; Emilio
Aguinaldo, 32 degree, President of the erstwhile Philippine Republic,
Apolinario Mabini, the brain of the Philippine Revolution; Antonio Luna,
Commander-in-Chief of the army of the Philippine Republic, were the leaders in
the fight for freedom against Spain and afterwards against America. During the
present but peaceful fight for the final redemption of the Islands there
stands, conspicuous, Hon. Manuel L. Quezon, 32 degree, Past Grand Master of
the Grand Lodge of the Philippine Islands, President of the Senate, and
Ex-resident Filipino Commissioner in Washington and the Filipino who has done
more than any of his countrymen for the passage in the American Congress of
the Jones Law, the preamble of which in part, is as follows:
"WHEREAS it is, as it has always been, the purpose of the people of the United
States to withdraw their sovereignty over the Philippine Islands and to
recognize their independence as soon as a stable government can be established
Rafael Palma, 32 degree, Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the
Philippine Islands, Senator and Ex-Secretary of the Interior; Hon. Teodoro M.
Kalaw, 32 degree, Ex-Grand Master of the Regional Grand Lodge, Past Master of
the Nilad Lodge No. 12 and Secretary of the Interior; Hon. Isauro Gabaldon, 32
degree, Filipino Resident Commissioner; Hon. Teodoro P,. Yangoo, 32 degree,
Ex-resident Commissioner; Hon. Manuel Earnshaw, 32 degree, Ex-resident
Commissioner, and many other leading Filipinos, have played an active part in
“Masonry requires of Masons fraternal confidence, sympathy and love. Masons
are taught to confide in each other. And in this world, where there is so much
cold suspicion and jealously and distrust, is it not cheering to feel that
there are faithful hearts into which we can pour our sorrows and griefs and
wrongs, and be assured that they will be met by no sneering repulse, by no
frigid exhortation to take care of yourself, and to manage your own affairs
better; but rather by a warm brotherly sympathy, that is at once interested
fro you, ready to soothe and counsel and aid.” Burroughs.
Green Dragon Tavern, or Freemasons' Arms
Bro. CHARLES W. MOORE, Massachusetts
the Goose and Gridiron Tavern is in the ancient annals of London Freemasonry
The Green Dragon Tavern is to the memories of the Free-mason, of Boston and
New England. In it and about it revolved many of the most exciting activities
of the Boston Revolutionary times, not the least of which were the patriotic
caucuses and plottings of the brethren who in those days held their lodge in
that historic building. But there is no need here to expatiate upon that
subject: the whole story is told at length and in colourful detail in the
article printed below, which is an extract beginning on page 155 of "The Lodge
of St. Andrew, and the Massachusetts Grand Lodge," printed in Boston, 1870,
"by vote of the Lodge of St. Andrew."
LANDMARKS, which call to mind associations with the early history of a nation,
always possess a peculiar interest to all lovers of their country, and the
story belonging to them is awakening, as well as instructive. Among the
famous places of Boston, in past days, was a widely known and celebrated
building called The Green Dragon Tavern, situated on the border of a mill
pond, in what is now Union street, and near the corner of Hanover street; "in
its day," it was the best hostelry, of the town. The celebrity of the "Green
Dragon" however, is not now due to any remembered excellence of hospitable
entertainment, but for the social and political public and private gatherings
of the people, - with other interesting local incident, - for three fourths of
a century, antecedent to the American Revolution; and above all, for the
stirring, patriotic, no less than timely consequential measures determined
under its roof by the historic men of '76, who brought to pass that memorable
Epoch. It was indeed the cradle of "Rebellion"; the chosen asylum, where the
Revolutionary master spirits, -who organized successful resistance to British
aggression on the liberties of the colonies, - took grave counsel together.
the Masonic Fraternity of Massachusetts, the old "Green Dragon," - which, a
century ago, began to be called also "Freemasons' Arms," - presents
associations of especial significance. It was here within its walls, that the
Freemasonry of this commonwealth was preserved in Grand Lodge jurisdiction,
bright and vigorous; where its charities, its hospitalities, and its good
tidings were kept up between the years 1775 and 1792, a period which witnessed
the disruption, by reason of the war for Independence, of important branches
of the Order in Massachusetts. Still further, this was the scene of Warren's
most intimate political and Masonic associations, with the patriots and Masons
of his time.
the members of the Lodge of St. Andrew, this estate, - their own magnificent
possession for more than a hundred years, - is endeared by ties which run over
a still longer period.
picture of the Green Dragon Tavern of any description, is known to be in
existence save the on now presented in this "Memorial." This was engraved
recently for the Lodge of St. Andrew, from a model which the Hon. N.B.
Shurtleff prepared some years since, with his usual accurate and thorough
knowledge of ancient noted Boston houses. From this model in wood, with much
painstaking on the part of the "Lodge," in the way of exhibiting it for
criticism to old inhabitants who were familiar with the look and details of
this ancient structure - which was removed forty-two years ago, - the present
picture has been made. It is believed to be a faithful representation and it
may also be affirmed that it is unanimously recognized as such by every one
who is competent to judge.
THE RECORDS OF THE LODGE
Quarterly Communication, March 24, 1864 the Worshipful Master, Edward Stearns,
called the attention of the Lodge to the fact that the Green Dragon Tavern was
purchased by this Lodge, March 31, 1764, and that Thursday next, the 31st
instant, would complete a period of one hundred years from the date of the
deed of that estate. Whereupon, on motion of Brother Wellington, it was
Voted, That a committee of five be appointed, with full power to make
arrangements for celebrating the Centennial Anniversary of the purchase of the
Green Dragon Tavern.
following brethren were appointed: A. A. Wellington, Charles W. Moore, J.R.
Bradford, Samuel P.Oliver, and Isaac Cary.
motion of Brother Palmer, it was
Voted, That the above committee be increased to eight, that being the number
of the original committee appointed January 12, 1764, "to purchase a house for
the benefit of the Lodge of St. Andrew."
Worshipful Master, Brother Wm. F. Davis, Senior Warden, and Brother John P.
Ober, were thereupon added to the committee.
FOLLOWING IS THE LODGE RECORD OF THE CELEBRATION
special meeting of the Lodge of St. Andrew was held in the new building on the
"Green Dragon" estate, Union street, on Thursday evening, March 31, 1864, at 6
1/2 o'clock, for the purpose of celebrating the Centennial Anniversary of the
purchase of the Green Dragon Tavern.
apartment in the building was suitably decorated for the festival, and a
bountiful dinner provided.
Worshipful Master presided, and in a dignified, appropriate address, invoked
the attention of the brethren to the ceremonies of the evening, and to the
remarks of members whom he should call upon to speak upon the pleasant Masonic
memories suggested by the spot whereon the Lodge was then assembled, and to
the historical incidents connected with the "ancient Inn." After a proper
allusion to the distinguished men who had held Masonic intercourse together in
times past in the hall of the "Green Dragon," the Worshipful Master called up
M.W.Brother Wm. Parkman:
stated that on the 12th day of January, 1764, the Lodge resolved by vote to
purchase a house; accordingly Thomas Milliken, Samuel Barrett, Edward Foster,
Caleb Hopkins, Moses Deshon, William Haskins, Joseph Webb, and John Jenkins
were chosen a committee for that purpose. On the succeeding 31st of March,
Catherine Kerr, by her deed of that date, conveyed in fee the premises known
as the Green Dragon Tavern, unto the above named committee. The estate was
managed by committees of the Lodge until 1832, when the estate was conveyed to
Brothers Benjamin Smith, Henry Purkett, Zephaniah Sampson, David Parker,
Thomas W. Phillips, John Suter, and Ezekiel Bates, to be held by them as
trustees for the use and benefit of the Lodge of St. Andrew. In January 1852,
Brothers Smith, Purkett, and Suter being deceased, a new board of trustees,
consisting of Brothers David Parker, E. Bates, T. W. Phillips, Z. Sampson,
J.P. Ober, Thomas Resteaux, and Wm. Parkman were chosen, to whom the premises
were conveyed for the use and benefit of the Lodge. Brother David Parker was
chosen chairman, Brother T. W. Phillips, treasurer, and Brother Wm. Parkman,
secretary. In 1855 Brother Parker having removed from the city, resigned as
chairman, and Brother John P. Ober was elected to fill the vacancy. In 1859
Brother Phillips died, and Brother Restieaux was elected treasurer.
Most Worshipful Winslow Lewis then addressed the lodge, and said that:
the dispensation of the Supreme Grand "Master, a severe domestic affliction
has deprived us all of the presence of Brother Charles W. Moore, from whom we
should have received the fullest information of those memorials of the past,
which are so hallowed to the memories of every member of the Lodge of St.
Andrew, who are now assembled to commemorate, on this spot, the associations
connected with a locality dear to every Masonic heart, to every patriot's
breast! But, Worshipful Master, our Brother Moore, though absent, and stricken
by bereavement, was not willing to let this Centennial occasion pass by,
without communicating such interesting facts relating to the Green Dragon
Tavern as he had from time to time preserved. And I therefore shall, with your
permission sir, read a communication on this subject, which my Brother Moore
has handed me, to be presented to the Lodge at this festival.
REMINISCENCES OF THE GREEN DRAGON TAVERN
perhaps the single exception of Faneuil Hall, there was no public building in
Boston at the close of the last century, which had acquired a more extensive
notoriety or filled a larger place in the local history of the town, than the
old "Green Dragon Tavern." I need not trouble you with any particular
description of it, for that will be given by one who is pre-eminently
distinguished for his extensive and accurate knowledge of all the interesting
historical localities of the city.
have no record or other authentic evidence of the fact, but there can be
little doubt that St. Andrew's Lodge, which was, in its incipiency, composed
largely of North-End men, originated and was informally organized in the "Long
Room," so-called, in the northerly end of this Tavern, in the year 1752. It
is nevertheless proper to say, that this inference is predicated on the known
fact, that it was in this Hall that in 1756 it was re-organized and commenced
work under a Charter from the Grand Lodge of Scotland, - a circumstance that
would not have probably occurred, had not the Hall been previously occupied by
it, and was then in a condition suited to its purposes. And this hypothesis
is strengthened by the additional fact, that it continued to hold its regular
monthly meetings here until the year 1818, when it was removed to the Exchange
was in this "Long Room," also, where so much of our Revolutionary history was
made, that the Massachusetts Grand Lodge - an offshoot of St. Andrew's Lodge -
with Joseph Warren for its Grand Master, was organized on the 27th of
December, 1769, and continued to hold its meetings until its union with the
St. John's Grand lodge in 1792.
1697 the tavern was kept by John Cary, and was at that early day, and perhaps
earlier, known as the Green Dragon Tavern.
1764 the property was purchased by St. Andrew's Lodge, when it took the name
of "Freemasons' Arms," - the new proprietors having placed a large Square and
Compass on the front of the building. It however soon after dropped this
title, and was more popularly known as "Masons' Hall"; by which name it
continued to be masonically designated until the removal of the Lodge, when it
resumed its ancient title of "Green Dragon Tavern."
the 24th of June, 1772, the festival of St. John the Baptist, was celebrated
by the Massachusetts Grand Lodge, by a public procession, formed at Concert
Hall, the brethren marching in full regalia to Christ Church in Salem street,
where "a very suitable and pertinent discourse was preached by the Rev. Samuel
Fayerweather, of Narragansett"; after which they returned to Masons' Hall, and
"dined together in the Garden, under a long Tent erected for that purpose; and
the remainder of the day was dedicated to mirth and social festivity."
garden here spoken of, was in the rear of the house, and extended northerly to
the water, covering the ground now occupied by Mr. Riddle as a salesroom. Our
late Brother Sampson has said to me that he was accustomed in his boyhood
days, to fish for flounders at the lower end of this garden; which, in early
times, extended to what was then known as the "Mill Pond." -a large basin of
salt water, cut off from Charles river by dykes, and used for mill and other
purposes. It was here that in the winter-time the "North-End Boys" and the
"West Enders" used to fight their mimic, and not always bloodless, sectional
battles, until, after the occurrence of several serious mishaps, they were
interfered with and their sports forbidden by the Selectmen of the town. It
is hardly necessary to say that the area formerly occupied by this pond is now
an extensive business section of the city.
were present at the above celebration, M.W. Joseph Warren, Grand Master; R. W.
Joseph Webb, D.G.M.; Paul Revere, S.G.W., pro tem.; Thomas Crafts, J.G.W. pro
tem.; Samuel Barrett, G. Treasurer; Wm. Palfrey, G. Secretary; and the
Masters, Wardens, and brethren of St. Andrew's Tyrian, Massachusetts, and St.
Peter's Lodges, together with a sufficient number of visitors to make a
company of ninety-seven brethren, which at that early day was a very large and
Public Masonic Processions were at this time of rare occurrence. One of the
earliest of which we have any record, took place on St. John's Day, Dec. 27,
1749, and was the occasion of unusual curiosity and interest in the
community. It called forth from a learned wit a short poem, in which the
circumstance is treated with much satirical humour and ridicule. The author
of this poem was Joseph Green, a merchant of town, and undoubtedly an
Anti-Mason, though it would be difficult to tell from what motive, unless it
was that he had failed to obtain admission into "the Lodge." But whatever the
motive may have been, the poem is so well done and so keen in its satire, that
I do not hesitate to quote a few passages for your amusement. The marching of
the Procession is thus described:
Buck before the apron'd throng,
Marches with sword and book along;
stately ram, with courage bold,
stalks before the fleecy fold,
so the gander, on the brink
river, leads his geese to drink."
keeper of the Royal Exchange Tavern, where Masonic meetings were at one time
held, is taken notice of in this wise:
"Where's honest Luke? that cook from London;
without Luke the Lodge is undone.
he who oft dispell'd their sadness,
filled the Brethren's heart with gladness
in return is made a Brother,
good and true as any other,
still, though broke with age and wine,
Preserves the token and the sign."
another place Luke comes in with less credit
high, the low, the great and small,
Perkins short, and Aston tall;
Johnson as bulky as a house,
Wethered smaller than a louse.
all agree, both wet and dry,
drunken Luke to sober I."
poet designates Lewis Turner as "Pump Turner," probably from his occupation.
Dr. Thomas Aston figures as "Aston tall." Francis Johonnet is called "laughing
Frank," and is thus nicely introduced:
still I see a numerous train:
they, alas! unsung remain?
Hallowell, of public soul,
laughing Frank, friend to the bowl;
Rea, half smother'd in the crowd,
Rowe, who sings at church so loud."
was an apothecary and grocer; Hallow here referred to, was probably Captain
Benjamin Hallowell an active and influential Mason; John Rea was a
ship-chandler, and kept in Butler's Row; John Rowe afterwards Grand Master,
was a distinguished merchant and importer, and lived in Essex street, and the
owner of Rowe's pasture, through which Rowe street now runs; Buck, probably
means Buckley member of the First Lodge, as were also Henry Whethered and
brethren, in these early days of the Institution in the colonies, were more
particular in the observance of the winter and summer festivals of the Order
(Dec. 27th and June 24th) than their successors have been. These celebrations,
however were not always public. On the contrary, I believe that of the 24th
of June, 1772, was an exceptional case in the history of the Massachusetts
Grand Lodge; and, consequently, in that of our own Lodge; for the two bodies,
on all occasions, moved as a unit, and held their festivals together at the
Green Dragon. I will not occupy your time by referring to them in the order
in which they took place, but that of 1773, being the last with which General
Warren's name is connected as being present, I deem it worthy of special
notice in this connection; and this cannot be done more satisfactory than in
the words of the record. The annual communication of the Grand Lodge was held
this year, on the 3d of December, and after the ordinary business had been
disposed of, the record says:
Most Worshipful Grand Master (Warren) then desired the opinion of the Grand
Officers present, with respect to Celebrating the Feast of St. John the
Evangelist, 27th Instant.
"Motioned and Seconded, The Feast be Celebrated the 27th Instant, at Masons'
Hall (at the Green Dragon).
"Voted, The Stewards of the Grand Lodge of St. Andrew's, and the Massachusetts
Lodges, agree for and provide the dinner, and that three Brethren be desired
to joyn the Stewards.
"Voted, Brothers Bruce, Proctor [and] Love.
"Voted, The Festival be advertised in the Public Prints."
accordingly find in the "Boston Evening Post," of December 20, 1773, the
Brethren of the Honourable Society of Free and Accepted MASONS, are hereby
notified, That the Most Worshipful JOSEPH WARREN, Esq., Grand Master of the
Continent of America; intends to Celebrate the Feast of St. JOHN the
Evangelist, on Monday the 27th of December Inst. at Free Masons' Hall (at the
Green Dragon), Boston, where the Brethren are requested to attend the
Order of the Most Worshipful Grand Master. Wm. Hoskiss, G. Sec'y.
Tickets may be had of Mess. Nathaniel Coffin, junr., William Mollineaux, junr.,
and Mr. Daniel Bell.
Table will be furnished at Two o'clock."
"Feast" was held in the Long Room of the Green Dragon on the 27th, and the
record names as being present, "M.W. Joseph Warren, Esq., Grand Master; Hon.
Wm. Brattle, Esq.; Rev. Dr. Samuel Mather; Worshipful Joseph Webb, Esq.; and
thirty-eight others including the Grand Officers."
had formerly been some degree of coldness between the two Grand Lodges in the
Province; as was natural enough in view of the causes which led to the
organization of the younger body. It is therefore the more gratifying to find
on the record such unmistakable evidence of the fraternal feeling existing
between them at this time, as the following:
Most Worshipful Grand Master was pleased to direct three Brethren, viz: Jona.
Williams, Elisha Thatcher, and H. Hatell, to wait upon The Most Worshipful
John Rowe, Esq., Gd. Master, the Grand Officers and Brethren at Their Feast,
at Col. Ingersoll (Bunch of Graves Tavern), to acquaint them, the Healths
would be drank at half after 4 o'clock. The committee returned for answer,
that Grand Master Rowe and the Brethren concerned would return the Compliment
at that period."
give the following summary of the "Reckoning on this occasion as a matter of
dinners a 3 s ---------------7. 10 0
dbtle. Bowles Punch ----------1. 14 8
Bottles Port a 3 s -----------1. 16 0
do. Medaira, a 4 s -----------3. 8 0
Advertising---------------------- 8 0
14. 16 8
Collected-40 Tickets a 6 s 12. 0 0
Collection --------------- 2. 16 0
14. 16 8
"Punch" was a favourite Beverage in the days which we are speaking, and very
large "double Punch Bowles" were a fashionable, if not a necessary appendage
to the dinner table on all public occasions; nor we they dispensed with until
a much later date.
late Brother John J. Loring was initiated in Masonry at the Green Dragon, and
used to describe with quiet humour, the appearance of Brother Eben'r Oliver, -
one of the old-school North-End mechanics, and the Closet Steward of the
Lodge, - while in the discharge of what the brethren then doubtless held be
one of the most important of his official function. He was a large portly man,
and without exaggeration, might exclaim with Falstaff,
in the waist two yards about." He was ............."fat, Sleek-headed, and
such as sleep o'nights.................. "In fair, round belly, with good
withal a most excellent, amiable, and faithful brother.
Lodge having reached a convenient resting place in its "work," the brethren
were called from labour to refreshment, - and refreshments in those days was
what the word in its common acceptation implies. At this interesting period of
the proceedings, Brother Oliver never failed promptly to present himself at
the door, in his best, "bib and tucker," bearing a huge Punch Bowl! - one half
resting on his correspondingly huge abdominal protuberance, the other
supported his brawny arms. Thus prepared for the encounter, the brethren being
seated "in order," with their glass in hand, - he, with dignified solemnity,
and fully impressed with the magnitude of the business before him slowly
commenced his tour of duty, - paying his respects first to the Master in the
"East," and then passing regularly around the hall, until the members were all
supplied, or in the technical language of the day, "all charged," and waiting
the order of the Master. He then slowly retired, with the benedictions of his
brethren, and a consciousness of having faithfully performed his share in the
"work" of the evening!
a scene would not commend itself to favour at the present time; but it was one
of a class common, only in the Lodges, but with modifications, in the social,
civil, literary and religious societies of that early day, when .... The
funeral baked meats
coldly furnish forth the marriage tables."
was in the "Long Room" of the Green Dragon that on the 28th of August, 1769,
the present St. Andrew's Chapter was organized as a Royal Arch Lodge, under
the authority of the Charter of St. Andrew's Lodge. This degree was anciently
given in Masters' Lodges; which arrangement was subsequently changed, and it
was conferred in Royal Arch Lodges, attached to and working under the
authority of the Charters of Craft lodges. The present Constitutions of the
Grand Lodge of Ireland still retain a nearly analogous provision in the
following words: "Every Warrant to hold Councils or Encampments, shall be
granted to some warranted or acknowledged Lodge to which a Royal Arch Chapter
is attached; and shall not only bear the same number, but shall be held in
the same place in which the Lodge and Chapter usually hold their meetings."
General Warren was a member of this Lodge, and being present in 1770, the year
after its organization, the record says he "gave his opinion in favour of
holding (continuing) the Royal Arch Lodge until he should receive instructions
from Scotland. If then so directed, he will grant them a Charter therefor."
There is no evidence that such a charter was required or issued, and the Lodge
continued to hold its meetings at the same place, and under its original
authority, until the 25th of November, 1790, at which date we find in the
records the following vote:
Voted, That Brother Matthew Groves be a committee to return the thanks of this
Lodge to St. Andrew's Lodge for their politeness in granting us the use of
General Warren, as before stated, was a member of the Royal Arch Lodge, as
were also Col. Joseph Webb, Col. Paul Revere, and other prominent members of
St. Andrew's Lodge. Indeed, of the twenty-one members who composed the Royal
Arch Lodge in 1769, fourteen of them were members of St. Andrew's Lodge. In
1794 this Lodge assumed the name of a "Royal Arch Chapter," and in 1798 it
united with King Cyrus Chapter of Newburyport, and at Masons' Hall, in the
"Green Dragon Tavern," organized the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of
the 17th of May, 1770, the petitioners for "the Massachusetts Lodge," which
was a scion of St. Andrew's Lodge, met at "Masons' Arms," in the "Green Dragon
Tavern," and organized that body. It held its second meeting at the same place
on the following 4th of June, and was then removed to "Concert Hall." And on
the 10th of November, 1795, Columbian Lodge also held a meeting at the "Green
Dragon." These were the only occasions when the "Long Room" was ever occupied
by any other private Masonic Lodge than our own. Columbian Lodge was at this
date located at Concert Hall, and its occupancy of the room on the occasion
referred to, was probably a matter of accommodation to the proprietors of that
establishment, which was then the popular resort for dancing parties and other
it is perhaps to the political associations which cluster around its name,
that the Green Dragon Tavern is more particularly indebted for its historic
celebrity. It was here that many of the most important and eventful of the
political transactions preceding the Revolution were, if not positively
inaugurated, discussed, matured and put into execution. That this was so, is
undoubtedly in some measure to be accounted for by the fact, that the Hall in
the building was the only room in the Northern section of the town, excepting
Deblois's Hall, on the corner of Queen and Hanover streets, which at that time
was adapted to popular assemblies; and by the additional and perhaps more
significant fact, that the principal leaders of the Revolution in Boston, were
members of the Masonic Fraternity, and many of them of the Lodge which held
its communications there, - a circumstance which would very naturally
influence them in the selection of the place for their private consultations.
It is not however, to be inferred from this, that they either met as Masons or
used Masonry as a cover to their purposes; for others than Masons were
associated with them. But be this as it may, it will not be irrelevant nor
perhaps wholly uninteresting to the members of the lodge, to refer briefly to
some of the more popular purposes to which the Hall, in the early days of its
history, was appropriated.
of the largest, and perhaps one of the most efficient of the political clubs
which sprung into existence during the troublous times of 1768, and onward,
was that known as "The North-End Caucus." This body was composed almost
exclusively of North-End mechanics, - distinguished for their daring and
activity, - and held its meetings in the Hall of the "Green Dragon Tavern."
Warren who, Frothingham says, was idolized by the North-Enders," was an
influential member of it, as were Revere and others of his personal friends.
Hall was also used as a central and safe place for the meetings of private
committees and rallying clubs, with which Warren, as chairman of the
"Committee of Safety," was in frequent consultation, and directed their
movements. Barry, in his History of Massachusetts, says: "The town (Boston)
was full of clubs and caucuses, which were used with effect to secure unity of
action; and the hardy mechanics who had done so much to promote the industrial
prosperity of the metropolis, and who now acted as patrols, were the steady
supporters of the patriot cause. In vain were the artifices of loyalists
employed to seduce them to compliance with the wishes of his excellency; and
when their services were required at the barracks, 'all the carpenters of the
town and country' left off work; and British gold was powerless to tempt them,
though 'hundreds were ruined, and thousands were half starved,' nay, they went
further, and obstructed the works of the governor. His supplies of straw were
set on fire; his boats conveying bricks were sunk; and his wagons laden with
timbers were overturned."
character and services of these important Clubs are well illustrated by our
Brother Paul Revere, in his narrative of the events of 1775, when he says,
about thirty persons, chiefly North-End mechanics, had agreed to watch the
movements of the British soldiers and the Tories, in anticipation of their
descent on Concord. These patriots met at the Green Dragon Tavern. "We were
so careful," he says, "that our meetings should be kept secret, that every
time we met, every person swore upon the Bible that they (he) would not
discover any of our transactions, but to Messrs. Hancock, Drs. Warren and
Church, and one or two more leaders. They took turns to watch the soldiers,
two by two, by patrolling the streets all night."
reference to this club, Elliott, in his history of New England, has the
following: "Among the most active of the Sons of Liberty was Paul Revere. In
the Fall and Winter of 1774-5, some of the best Boston mechanics formed
themselves into a club, to watch the doings of the British soldiers. They
were 'High Sons of Liberty,' and men of action, who met at the Green Dragon
Tavern; and every man swore on the Bible that nothing should be revealed
except to Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Dr. Warren, and Dr. Church" (the latter
a traitor). Revere was a leading man in this club, and was sent by Warren on
the night of the 18th of April to notify Hancock and Adams of the movement of
the British troops on Lexington and Concord, at the former of which places
these two patriots were concealed.
Another of these Clubs which held their meetings at the Green Dragon Tavern,
was the "Caucus-Pro Bono Publico," of which Warren was the leading spirit, and
in which, says Elliott, "the plans of the Sons of Liberty were matured."
to be regretted that no authentic record of the names of the persons who
composed the Boston Tea Party in 1774, has come down to us. "But," says
Frothingham, "as Warren was presented to the Privy Council as one of the
prominent actors in these proceedings, and was held up by his political
opponents at home, as one of the Mohawks," and as "he was not one to shrink
from any post of duty, it is not more improbable that he was one of the band
who threw the tea overboard, than that his friend John Hancock (captain of the
Cadets) should have been one of the guard to protect the actors."
tradition of the Lodge is, that all the preliminary measures in this affair
were matured at the Green Dragon, and that the execution of them was committed
mainly to the members of the North-End Caucus, - that stalwart and fearless
band of North-End mechanics, whose directing genius was Warren, - having the
cooperation of the more daring of the "Sons of Liberty." That Warren was
present as a leader in the affair, does not admit of any serious doubt; nor is
there any question that his personal friends Samuel Adams, John Hancock,
Joseph Webb, Paul Revere, Thomas Melville, Adam Collson, Henry Purkett (who
used modestly to say he was present only as a spectator, and in disobedience
to the orders of his Master, who was actively present), and other patriots of
the day, were cognizant of it, - and some of whom at least are known to have
participated in its final consummation. It was the first act in the great
drama, the conclusion of which was the independence of the country.
"Master" referred to above, with whom our late Brother Purkett served his
apprenticeship, was Samuel Peck, a cooper by trade, and one of the leading and
influential members of the "North-End Caucus." He was also an active member of
St. Andrew's Lodge, - a connection which strengthens the tradition of the
Lodge, that the table for the famous Tea Party was first spread in its "Long
Room." Among the members of the Lodge, who are known to have taken an active
part in the affair, were Adam Collson, Thomas Chase, Samuel Gore, Daniel
Ingollson, Samuel Peck, Edward Proctor, Henry Purkitt, and Thomas Urann.
have looked in vain for a copy of an old revolutionary song said to have been
written and sung as a "rallying song" by the "tea party" at the Green Dragon.
The following fragment, though probably not in all respects an exact
transcript of the original, will indicate its general character:
Rally, Mohawks! - bring out your axes!
tell King George we'll pay no taxes
his Foreign tea!
threats are vain - and vain to think
force our girls and wives to drink
rally boys, and hasten on
meet our Chiefs at the Green Dragon.
Warren's there, and bold Revere,
hands to do and words to cheer
Liberty and Laws!
country's "Braves" and firm defenders,
neer be left by true North-Enders,
Fighting Freedom's cause!
rally boys, and hasten on
meet our Chiefs at the Green Dragon.
regret not being able to give the balance of this song, but perhaps some
curious antiquary may hereafter discover it, if it ever appeared in print. I
am inclined to think, however, that it was a doggerel made for the occasion,
and passed away when it ceased to be of use, or appropriate. The two stanzas
I have reproduced, are given as nearly as my memory serves, as they were often
recited more than a third of a century ago, by the late Brother Benjamin
Gleason, who, born near the time, was curious in gathering up interesting
reminiscences of the revolutionary period of our history.
January 1788, a meeting of the mechanics and artisans of Boston was held at
the Green Dragon Tavern, and there passed a series of resolutions urging the
importance of adopting the Federal Constitution, then pending before a
Convention of delegates from different parts of the State. Hon. Daniel
Webster, in a speech delivered by him at Andover, in the autumn of 1843,
referring to this meeting and these resolutions, holds the following language:
"There was a particular set of resolutions, founded on this very idea of
favouring home productions, full of energy and decision, passed by the
mechanics of Boston. And where did the mechanics of Boston meet to pass them?
Full of the influence of these feelings, they congregated at the Head-Quarters
of the Revolution. I see, waving among the banners before me, that of the old
Green Dragon. It was there, in Union street, that John Gray, Paul Revere," -
both members of the Lodge,- "and others of their class, met for consultation.
There, with earnestness and enthusiasm, they passed their resolutions. A
committee carried them to the Boston delegation in the Convention," then in
session. Paul Revere, whom Mr. Webster in a previous address, delivered on
another occasion, says, was, "a man of sense and character, and of high public
spirit, whom the mechanics of Boston ought never to forget," was chairman of
this committee. He placed them in the hands of Samuel Adams. "How many
mechanics," said Mr. Adams, "Were at the Green Dragon when these resolutions
were passed?" "More, sir," was the reply, "than the Green Dragon could hold."
"And where were the rest, Mr. Revere?" "In the streets, sir." "And how many
were in the streets?" "More, sir, than there are stars in the sky."
late Hon. Edward Everett, in an address on the Battle of Lexington, delivered
at Lexington on the 19th of April, 1835, speaking of the patriot Samuel Adams,
was among the earliest and ablest writers on the patriotic side. He caught
the plain, downright style of the Commonwealth in Great Britain. More than
most of his associates, he understood the efficacy of personal intercourse
with the people. It was Samuel Adams, more than any other individual, who
brought the question home to their bosoms and firesides, not by profound
disquisitions and elaborate reports, - though these in their place were not
spared, - but in the caucuses, the club rooms, at the Green Dragon, in the
ship-yards, in actual conference, man to man and heart to heart."
Old South Church was, in these stirring times, called by the patriots, the
Sanctuary of Freedom; while, on the other hand, the Green Dragon Tavern was
denounced by the Tories as a Nest of Traitors! The distinction in these
appellations is more obvious than the difference! The enemies of the
tyrannical and oppressive measures of the government, were all either patriots
or traitors, according to the standard by which they were tried.
give these anecdotes as striking and forcible illustrations of the popular
character of the Green Dragon, and of the important part which the mechanics
of the North-End played in public affairs, at that day. It is not however, to
be inferred that the mechanics residing in other sections of the town were
inactive. That the former appear more prominently than other of their class,
is probably owing to the circumstance that the North-End was then the business
part of the town, and where most of the mechanical trades were carried on.
man I think, be safely assumed, that from the year 1767, when the Townshend
Revenue Acts were passed, imposing a Tax on Tea, creating a Board of Customs,
and legalizing Writs of Assistance, to the close of the War of Independence,
there was not a other public house in the whole country, and assuredly not in
Massachusetts, where so much of the "secret history" of the Revolutionary
period was made, as at the old Green Dragon Tavern; and it is to be deeply
regretted that the subject was not attended to when that history could have
been intelligently and reliably written. It is now too late. The patriotic
men who alone could have furnished the material have passed away, - and they
have taken their "secret" with them.
Mr. Webster, who was perhaps better read in the early local history and events
of the Revolutionary period than any other public man of his time, described
the Green Dragon Tavern as the "Head-Quarters of the Revolution," he wrote the
title page, and opened a volume, which, if written as he alone could have
written it, would have been an addition to the early political annals of the
Commonwealth of surpassing interest and importance.
the article on "An Early Masonic Document of South Carolina," by Samuel
Oppenheim, in our July number, our attension has been called by the author to
a misreading in our printing of some of the names in the facsimile petition
and in giving the names of the signers on behalf of the various lodges. The
name in the petition printed as E. W. Weyman should, according to Mackey's
History of Freemasonry In South Carolina, be Cav: Weyman, and that printed as
G. McArthur, Jr. Grand Warden should be Geo. Aertsen, Junr. Grand Warden. In
the list of lodge signers, Sam Campbell, of Lodge No. 4, should read Law.
Campbell; Lodge No. 5, Alex. Roff should be Alex. Ross; Lodge No. 8, T. Reid
should be S. Reid; Lodge No. 10, E. W. Weyman again should be Cav: Weyman;
Lodge No. 11, Samuel Pilbury should be Samuel Pilsbury; Lodge No. 16, Touber
Borten should be Jabez Borten; Lodge No. 17, J. N. Mitchell should be Jno.
the account of the signers the reference to E. W. Weyman, Lodge No. 10 should
be Cav: Weyman; and the reference to Simon Magwood should read: Simon Magwood,
of Lodge No. 14, was Grand Master in 1802. In 1828 he wrote to the Grand Lodge
asking to be excused from further attendance because of age, saying he had
attended meetings for forty years. He then presented his apron to the Grand
Lodge, of which he was thereupon made an honorary member.
first thought of a Mason should be, as his duty is, to trust in God. This
thought leads the true Mason to desire His aid and guidance. From this comes
Faith: and then follows Hope, inciting to action. Trust and Hope inspire
confidence in government and respect for law.” H.G. Reynolds.
GERMAN MASONIC BIBLIOGRAPHY
BIBLIOGRAPHIE DER FREIMAURERISCHEN LITERATUR; by August Wolfstieg. Published
1911-13 by the Verein Deutscher Freimaurer, Germany. Vol. I, 1990 pp.; Vol.
II, 1041 pp.; Vol. III (Register), 536 pp. Octavo, paper covers, weight twelve
pounds. Anastatic reprint, Leipzig, 1923. Price $18.00, carriage extra.
Obtainable through the National Masonic Research Society, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
MAKING MANY BOOKS THERE IS NO END; and much study is a weariness to the
flesh." The preacher who thus admonished his readers may not have been a
member of our ancient and Honorable Fraternity - I seriously doubt it - yet
his words are decidedly applicable to the voluminous literature of the Craft.
One little suspects how many books have been written about Freemasonry until
he turns the pages of the three large volumes of Wolfstieg's masterpiece named
above. His name is familiar to Masonic students conversant with the German
language, for he ranks among the foremost Continental Masons of the present
day; but for all his other writings his fame will be preserved to Masonic
posterity through this stupendous bibliography of Craft literature.
earliest Masonic bibliography known is the four page list included in the
Almanach des FrancMacons for 1757. Other compilations were made in later
years, of which Deutsche Buecherkunde der Freimaurerei by Karl Christoph
Stiller, published in 1830, was by far the most pretentious. It described 1052
Brother Stiller, however, was not the first European of his period to consider
the publication of an extensive Masonic bibliography. His efforts were
preceded by those of Friedrich Mossdorf (1757-1843) and Johann Christian
Gaedicke (1763- ?) who had each compiled lists, but which were never published
in book form. Mossdorf, however, did publish (1826) his Handbuch der Mysterien
and Geheime Verbindungen, which was part of the proposed bibliography, but
unfortunately, never printed.
German Masonic literature of the first half of the last century clearly
indicates an active interest in the Fraternity. Only sixteen years elapsed
after the publication of Stiller's bibliography when the foremost volume of
its kind for that century appeared, the Bibliographie der Freimaurerei, by Dr.
Georg Klosz, published in Frankfort in 1844. Klosz compiled a list of over
5400 titles, and added greatly to the value of his book by means of
explanatory notes. This volume completely overshadowed all previous
bibliographies, which are of value now only as curiosities of Masonic
next noteworthy contribution to Masonic lbibliography was the supplement to
Klosz’s book, compiled by Reinhold Taute, Maurerische Buecherkunde: Ein
Wegweiser durch die Literatur der Freimaurerei, published in 1886. Early books
not known to Klosz were added, and the list is especially complete in hooks
published between 1844 and 1885. It has copious notes, and is an improvement
on Klosz inasmuch as a more detailed classification of subjects is made.
phenomenal growth of the Masonic Fraternity in the years following 1886 made
it very advisable to prepare a new bibliography of Masonic books. As early as
1903 the Verein Deutscher Freimaurer considered the subject, and after careful
deliberation, a special committee was appointed to devise ways and means of
undertaking the colossal task. Prof. Dr. August Wolfstieg was appointed
chairman of the committee which was finally authorized to carry cut the
assignment, an appropriation of approximately $6500 was made, and under
Wolfstieg's leadership, five ladies, experienced in library work, spent ten
months in visiting Continental libraries and gathering necessary data. The
classification of material was begun in October 1910, and in the following
year the first volume of Wolfstieg's Bibliographie der Freimaurerischen
Literatur appeared. Volume II was published in 1912, and the Register (index)
followed in 1913.
essential to examine the books carefully in order to fully appreciate the
value. They are not specifically designed for reading or study - for such
close application to the volumes is indeed "a weariness to the flesh." Yet to
the critical student of Masonry, and to librarians especially, the work is a
43,000 titles which the first two volumes contain are divided into two large
classifications - general and historical. The first of these is subdivided
into nineteen general heads, of which the following are a few: bibliography,
catalogs, journals, pocket-companions, collections and serial works,
anthologies and songs, addresses and sermons, encyclopadias, essays, etc. One
hundred and eighty-seven pages, comprising 3771 items, are devoted to this
second division treats of Masonic history under fifty-four heads. The first
nine include books and articles on introduction to Masonic history, secret
societies and their history, the history of Freemasonry in general, early
history, the mysteries and building art of ancient times, medieval period, the
Renaissance and the Reformation, the classical period, and the general history
of Freemasonry after the establishment of the Grand Lodge of England.
Thirty-four heads treat of Masonic history in various parts of the world by
geographical classification. The remaining divisions itemize books on military
lodges, biographies, catalogues of Masonic antiquities, coins, medals, seals,
heraldry, hieroglyphics, topography and chronology.
original plan was to include only German publications, but after the work was
begun, it was wisely decided not to entirely omit foreign language
publications. A list of library catalogs consulted clearly indicates, with the
exception of one American, three English, two French and three Dutch lists,
that very little attention was given to anything but German indexes. It is to
be regretted that the many existing English and American catalogs were not
consulted, among them those of the Iowa Masonic Library, Cedar Rapids, Iowa;
the Supreme council, A. & A. S. R., Washington, D. C.; Library of Enoch T.
Carson, valuable because of comprehensive and illuminating notes; the Masonic
Library of General Samuel C. Lawrence, now in the possession of the Grand
Lodges of Massachusetts; Library of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania; and
others which might be mentioned. These could have been obtained without
it is possible that the absence of many English and American publications in
this bibliography par excellence may stimulate an energetic American Masonic
association or an individual brother to prepare a bibliography of Masonic
books and noteworthy magazine articles which have appeared in the English
language. Such an enterprise would, of necessity, be a labor of love; but to
any one familiar with the literature of the Craft, the assignment would not be
a difficult task. I confess that I should like to undertake it myself. J. H.
* * *
CONCERNING THEOPHRASTUS BOMBASTUS VON HOHENHEIM, OTHERWISE CALLED PARACELSUS
PARACELSUS; HIS PERSONALITY AND INFLUENCE AS PHYSICIAN, CHEMIST AND REFORMER,
by John Maxson Stillman, Professor of Chemistry Emeritus, Stanford University,
Published by The Open Court Publishing Co., Chicago. Order from National
Masonic Research Society, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Cloth, 184 pages, bibliography,
illustrated. Price $2.10.
the Barbarians had smashed up Roman civilization there ensued a period of
restlessness during which tribes and nations ran about like grasshoppers in a
field; governments came and went like smoke; and the chief business of man was
to rant about over the earth making war. In the course of time this vast and
bloody confusion settled down, and the Barbarians themselves learned how to
behave as civilized people: cities were built; highways were laid; morals were
adopted; and the tribes came under the steady influence of civil law. Slowly
there uprose upon this foundation a system of thought which culminated after
several centuries in what we call Scholasticism. This Great System (it may be
so called) rested ("rested" is an accurate word here, because the system had a
rigidity about it like crystals) upon two vast dogmas: the ultimate authority
of the Pope in morals and religion; and the authority of Aristotle in science.
Men did not begin by asking, What are the facts ? but, What say the
authorities? The naturalist said. What did Pliny write? The physicain was more
anxious to learn the text of Galen, or Avicenna, than to know the patient's
temperature. If the dicta of the authorities did not coincide with facts, so
much the worse for facts! Such was the spirit of the time.
our eyes this Great System was a house of cloud hanging suspended in the
heaven, having in it no substance of fact, and under it no solid foundation:
but to the men of the time it was anything but cloud like, for it was built
solidly into the human scheme of things; the force of armies was behind it;
laws upheld it; superstition confirmed it; and there were countless vested
interests to protect it. The individual who set himself up in opposition
dashed his head against a wall of brass.
break-up of the Great System was one of the most exciting periods in all of
human history; at any rate, the story of it is exciting to read, for it was a
season of alarms and excursions, a huge confusion, a tremendous anarchy. A
world broke into pieces, and time was divided into before and after. Nature,
reason, and the logic of facts made war upon authority, and great was the
battle, like some dim struggle in the night between Gog and Magog. The
principal leaders in the warfare were almost all tragic figures, who went
about with blood running down their faces, striving mightily. Few of them
stand out of the scene with any distinctness, for they labored in smoke and
dust and darkness, and what glimpses we can get of them are like vivid
pictures seen in lightning flashes. Luther, Erasmus, Leonardo, Copernicus,
Columbus, Rabelais, Machiavelli, Vesalius, Lorenzo, and the phoenix-like
Savonarola, these and their companions in the struggle, where is there a one
about whom we have clear and adequate knowledge ? They are one and all
children of storm, and the objects of endless debate and controversy.
is a sense in which the most typical of all these protagonists is Theophrastus
Bombastus von Mohenheim, better known by his own invented cognomen of
Paracelsus, which name itself is a symbol of the are. for it was chosen for
controversial purposes. This Swiss-German, born two years before Columbus
arrived on these western shores, was a kind of monstrosity, half giant and
half dwarf, with medieval superstition rampant in one hemisphere of his brain,
and modern thought bursting in the other. He fought, bled and suffered, made
war on the Pope and on Luther, set up one school of medicine and overthrew
another, engaged in countless controversies, and spent years rushing over
Europe in search of knowledge like a man in a fever. His whole career is a
kind of tortured hieroglyph of his period, which every man should be familiar
a strange life he led! His grandfather was a Grand Master of the Teutonic
Order. His father was a physician, and his mother a nurse, so that he came by
his predilection for medicine quite naturally. Early in his life he turned
away in disgust from the quaint and useless "knowledge" then taught in the
"schools" and started out to learn about things at first hand. Instead of
wearing his eyes out on the old manuscripts he sought knowledge where it can
alone be found, in nature, in facts, through direct observation of things as
they are. While his chums were learning by rote the impossible theories of
Pliny and Galen, he went into the mines and there learned chemistry and
physics, insofar as that was then possible. For a time he served as town
physician of Basel but soon the wise old owls scented his heresies and drove
him out. For years he travelled about experimenting, discovering, everywhere
prying for facts. He died in 1541 in poor circumstances.
Paracelsus's most immediate achievement was to ally medicine with chemistry, a
thing which, though it is a commonplace with us, appeared to be a wild
innovation to his contemporaries. But his greatest and most enduring
achievement was that he helped so mightily to knock the foundations from under
the old authoritativeness of the schools in order to persuade physicians and
scientists to go direct to nature for their knowledge. To learn by observation
and experiment, that was his battle cry, and with it he made his impression on
his age, and helped to bring in the modern world.
* * *
BROWNING, HOW TO KNOW HIM, by William Lyon Phelps; published by the
Bobbs-Merrill Company, at $1.25.
is a happy day for those scribblers who like to write "How to" books - "How
to" plant your own garden; "How to" take care of your own automobile; "How to"
learn French in twenty lessons; and all that, ad infinitum. Most of these
books are wearisome to the flesh, the mind, and the spirit, as is everything
that lacks originality, verve, imagination, and that puts you in the attitude
of a school boy conning his a b c's. The present volume is one of a series of
"How to" books, namely, "How to Know Authors"; and the series is edited by
Will D. Howe; and published by Bobbs-Merrill who know "how to" run a
publishing business at Indianapolis, which is a city where James Whitcomb
Riley once lived.
undertook to read this series by way of the How to Know Dante, by Alfred M.
Brooks; and, with all sincere apologies to Mr. Brooks, found the volume as
dull as a time table. It was the kind of a book that a machine might write.
But with Robert Browning, How to Know Him I had better luck, as one might
expect in a volume done by so sprightly and clever a litterateur as William
Lyon Phelps, who is, for those that care to know it, Lampson Professor of
English Literature at Yale University. No better description of the book could
be written than that furnished us by the author himself in his wee bit of a
this volume I have attempted to give an account of Browning's life and an
estimation of his character: to set forth, with sufficient illustration from
his poems, his theory of poetry, his aim and method: to make clear some of the
leading ideas of his work: to show his fondness for paradox: to exhibit the
nature and basis of his optimism. I have given in complete form over fifty o
fhis peoms, each one preceded by my interpretation of its meaning and
promises are one and all carried out to a "T", and with flash, too, and not at
all like things done by most professors of literature when they try their own
hands at the craft.
Browning is terra incognita to many, especially to men, who ask for poetry
that is not only simple and sensuous, as Milton ordained that it should be,
but also rapid, and dramatic, as Brother Rudyard Kipling showed them how it
could be made. Browning is not simple, he is not rapid, and he is not to be
understood save by a certain amount of work, which is a thing that men disdain
to devote to poetry, as a usual thing. This is a shame, and to these same men
a great loss, for Browning is pre-eminently a man's poet, and was a real man
in his own proper person, and has something worth while for men, far more
worth while than the sentimental tin panning that many more easy and popular
rhymesters give a man in return for his time.
Professor Phelps' volume Browning is no longer a prickly cactus, full of
metaphysical subtleties calling for the interpretative functionings of a
Browning Society, but is a singer thoroughly Burbanked, thoroughly introduced,
made acquainted, and easily understood.
more need be said about the book than this, for, being on a non-Masonic theme,
it is not properly a fit subject for the Library Department of a strictly
Masonic journal; but I shall quote a rather extensive page from Professor
Phelps' book, and that for a sly reason of my own, which a Mason may
understand. This quotation has to do with the poem known as "The Soliloquy of
the Spanish Cloister." Read it with care - and with amusement:
Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister' differs from most of the Dramatic
Monologues in not being addressed to a listener; but the difference is more
apparent than real; for the other person is in plain view all the time, and
the Soliloquy would have no point were it not for the peaceful activities of
Friar Lawrence. This poem, while it deals ostensibly with the lives of only
two monks, gives us a glimpse into the whole monastic system. When a number of
men retired into a monastery and shut out the world forever, certain sins and
ambitions were annihilated, while others were enormously magnified. All
outside interests vanished; but sin remained, for it circulates in the human
heart as naturally as blood in the body. The cloister was simply a little
world, with the nobleness and meanness of human nature exceedingly
conspicuous. When the men were once enclosed in the cloister walls, they knew
that they must live in that circumscribed spot till the separation of death.
Naturally therefore political ambitions, affections, envies, jealousies, would
be writ large; human nature would display itself in a manner most interesting
to a student, if only he could live there in a detached way. This is just what
Browning tries to do; he tries to live imaginatively with the monks, and to
practice his profession as the Chronicler of Life.
only way to realize what the monastic life really meant would be to image a
small modern college situated in the country, and the passage of a decree that
not a single student should leave the college grounds until his body was
committed to the tomb. The outside interests of the world would quickly grow
dim and eventually vanish; and everything would be concentrated within the
community. I suppose that the passions of friendship, hatred, and jealousy
would be prodigiously magnified. There must have been friendships among the
monks of the middle ages compared to which our boasted college friendships are
thin and pale; and there must have been frightful hatreds and jealousies. In
all communities there are certain persons that get on the nerves of certain
others; the only way to avoid this acute suffering is to avoid meeting the
person who causes it. But imagine a cloister where dwells a man you simply can
not endure: every word he says, every motion he makes, every single mannerism
of walk and speech is intolerable. Now you must live with this man until one
of you dies: you must sit opposite to him at meals, you cannot escape constant
contact. Your only resource is profane soliloquies: but if you have a
sufficiently ugly disposition, you can revenge yourself upon him in a thousand
"Friar Lawrence unconsciously and innocently fans the flames of hatred in our
speaker's heart, simply because he does not dream of the effect he produces.
Every time he talks at table about the weather, the cork crop, Latin names,
and other trivialities, the man sitting opposite to him would like to dash his
plate in his face: every time Friar Lawrence potters around among his roses,
the other looking down from his window, with a face distorted with hate, would
like to kill him with a glance. Poor Lawrence drives our soliloquist mad with
his deliberate table manners, with his deliberate method of speech, with his
care about his own goblet and spoon. And all the time Lawrence believes this
enemy loves him!
another point of view, this poem resembles 'My Last Duchess' in that it is a
revelation of the speaker's heart. We know nothing about Friar Lawrence except
what his deadly enemy tells us; but it is quite clear that Lawrence is a dear
old man, innocent as a child; while the speaker, simply in giving his
testimony against him, reveals a heart jealous, malicious, lustful; he is like
a thoroughly bad boy at school, with a pornographic book carefully concealed.
Just at the moment when his rage and hatred reach a climax, the vesper bell
sounds, and the speaker, who is an intensely strict formalist and ritualist,
presents to us an amusing spectacle; for out of the same mouth proceed
blessing and cursing."
* * *
SOLILOQUY OF THE SPANISH CLOISTER
Gr-r-r - therego, my heart's abhorrence!
your damned flower-pots, do!
hate killed men, Brother Lawrence,
blood, would not mine kill you!
your myrtle-bush wants trimming?
that rose has prior claims -
its leaden vase filled brimming?
dry you up its flames!
the meal we sit together:
tibi! I must hear
talk of the kind of weather,
of season, time of year:
plenteous cork-crop: scarcely
we hope oak-galls, I doubt:
What's the Latin name for "parseley"?
What's the Greek name for Swine's Snout?
We'll have our platter burnished,
with care on our own shelf!
a fire-new spoon we're furnished,
goblet for ourself,
Rinsed like something sacrificial
'tis fit to touch our chaps -
Marked with L. for our initial!
(He-he! There his lily snaps!)
Saint, forsooth! While brown Dolores
Squats outside the Convent bank
Sanchicha, telling stories,
Steeping tresses in the tank,
Blue-black, lustrous, thick like horsehairs,
I see his dead eye glow,
Bright as 'twere a Barbary corsair's?
is, if he'd let it show!)
he finishes reflection,
and fork he never lays
Cross-wise, to my recollection,
I, in Jesu's praise.
Drinking watered orange-pulp -
three sips the Arian frustrate;
he drains his at one gulp.
those melons? If he's able
to have a feast! so nice!
goes to the Abbot's table,
of us get each a slice.
go on your flowers ? None double
one fruit-sort can you spy?
Strange! - And I, too, at such trouble,
them close-nipped on the sly!
There's a great text in Galatians,
you trip on it, entails
Twenty-nine distinct damnations,
sure, if another fails:
trip him just a-dying,
of heaven as sure can be,
him round and send him flying
to hell, a Manichee?
my scrofulous French novel,
grey paper with blunt type!
Simply glance at it, you grovel
and foot in Belial's gripe:
double down its pages
the woeful sixteenth print,
he gathers his greengages,
sieve and slip it in's?
there's Satan! - one might venture
Pledge one's soul to him, yet leave
a flaw in the indenture
he'd miss till, past retrieve,
Blasted lay that rose-acacia
so proud of! Hy, Zy, Hine….
there’s Vespers! Plena gratia
Virgo! Gr-r-r – you swine!
BUILDER'S ATTITUDE TOWARD OCCULTISM, ETC
have been a steady reader of THE BUILDER since its second year, and never fail
to go through it every month, every page. It often seems to me that THE
BUILDER is opposed to occultism. It doesn't publish many articles from that
angle. Don't you believe that there is occultism in Masonry, in view of
Albert Pike's Morals and Dogma, and other such official books? I should like
to know what you think about this subject. M.T.B., California.
BUILDER has never been opposed to occultism; on the contrary, it has published
a number of articles from that point of view; like-wise from the point of view
of mysticism, which has many points of contact with it. Ye Editor himself is
not an occultist, but that is neither here nor there, because THE BUILDER does
not exist to promulgate the views of any individual. We are quite happy to
publish studies of the occult interpretation of Masonry providing (please note
the providing) they are otherwise up to par, a thing that doesn't often
happen, because, for some reason or other, such contributions are very often
impossible in form or sadly lacking in scholarship. This is in no sense set
down here as a reflection on occultism itself but as a report of the facts, so
far as we are concerned. Some of the most effective interpretations of
Masonry thus far granted to us Masons have been from the occult point of view,
as witness Wilmshurst's The Meaning of Masonry, which is a wise and beautiful
book, published not long since. Pike's Morals and Dogma may possibly be a
case in point, but there are many to disagree with you on that, because they
conceive Pike's position to be grounded in metaphysics rather than in
occultism, and that is a distinction with a difference, very much of a
all that as it may, the great difficulty in discussing this subject springs
from the inability of various writers to agree on what occultism really
means. Some time ago Ye Editor wrote to a number of representative Masonic
occultists to ask them to explain to him, freely and in confidence, what they
might understand occultism to mean. One brother, representing the extreme
position at one end of the scale, frankly identified it with astrology,
alchemy, magic and all such interests; from the opposite end of the scale
another brother defined it as belief in any reality - such as the soul, God,
or a future life - not susceptible of tangible proof; and between the two were
six or seven others to offer other explanations almost equally diverse. So
long as there is so little agreement among those who use the word it is going
to be difficult for any of the others of us to know whether we are occultists
appears that the word originally derived from the Latin occultus, which was
compounded from ob, meaning "over," or "before," and calere, meaning "to
hide," or "to conceal." The word "hell," which formerly had the meaning of "a
hidden place," has sometimes been similarly traced, but on that there is no
agreement among etymologists. The Century Dictionary defines occult as, (1)
"Not apparent upon mere inspection, nor deducible from what is so apparent,
but discoverable only by experimentation; opposed to manifest. (2) Mysterious,
transcendental; beyond the bounds of natural knowledge." Philosophers of the
Middle Ages, who were first responsible for the general use of the term, meant
by it any science based on observed proof, or experimentation, and had in mind
that such sciences bring to the surface qualities that had hitherto remained
concealed. Since that time the work has turned a complete somersault and now
stands not for the things that are revealed but for the things that are
concealed, or at any rate are concealed to all except to a select few.
view of the general inability to agree on the precise meaning of occultism, at
any rate in Masonry, it seems wise not to be in haste to tag any given book or
essay as occult, and thus to praise or to condemn it, but to adjudge it on its
own merits, and leave it to men to label it whatever they choose.
* * *
MEANING OF THE WORD "MYSTERY"
you tell me what is the meaning of the word "mystery" ? In reading THE BUILDER
I get confused about it. I see it used with regard to the Ancient "Mysteries,"
and then in the work Masonry itself is spoken of as a "Mystery."
has been a deal of controversy among scholars as to the accurate meaning of
"Mystery" when used of the so-called "Ancient Mysteries": for this reason I
shall let an expert speak in the person of Miss Jane Harrison. On page 153 of
her great work, Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion, (it is a book
worth going twenty miles to read) she says:
"Purification, it is clear, was an essential feature of the mysteries, and
this brings us to the consideration of the meaning of the word 'mystery.' The
usual derivation of the word is from 'muo,' I close the apertures whether of
eyes or mouth. The 'mystes,' it is supposed, is the person vowed to secrecy
who has not seen and will not speak of the things revealed. As such he is
distinguished from the 'epoptes' who has seen, but equally may not speak; the
two words indicate successive grades of initiation. It will later be seen
[that is, in her book] that in the Orphic Mysteries [of which she makes Avery
profound and detailed examination] the word 'mystes' is applied, without any
reference to seeing or not seeing, to a person who has fulfilled the rite of
eating the raw flesh of a bull. It will be seen that in Crete, which is
probably the home of the mysteries, the mysteries were open to all, they were
not mysterious. The derivation of mystery from 'moo,' though possible, is not
satisfactory. I would suggest another and a simple origin.
ancients themselves were not quite comfortable about the connection with
'muo.' They knew and felt that 'mystery,' secrecy, was not the main gist of 'a
mystery': the essence of it all was purification in order that you might eat
and handle certain 'sacra' [that is, roughly speaking, sacred things: tokens].
There was no revelation, no secret to be kept, only a mysterious 'taboo' to be
prepared for and finally overcome. it might be a 'taboo' on eating
first-fruits, it might be a taboo on handling magical 'sacra.' In the
Thesmophoria [an ancient rite practiced by women] the women fast before they
touch the 'sacra'; in the Eleusinian mysteries you sacrifice a pig before you
offer and partake of the first-fruits. The gist of it all is purification.
Clement [one of the first of the great Fathers of early Christianity] says
significantly, 'Not unreasonably among the Greeks in their mysteries do
ceremonies of purification hold the initial place, as with barbarians the
bath.' Merely as an insulting conjecture Clement in his irresponsible abusive
fashion throws out what I believe to be the real origin of the word 'mystery.'
'I think,' he says, 'that these orgies and mysteries of yours may be derived,
the one from the wrath of Demeter against Zeus, the other from the pollution
relating to Dionysus.' Of course Clement is formally quite incorrect, but he
hits on what seems a possible origin of the word 'mystery,' that it is the
doing of what relates to a 'muses,' a pollution, it is primarily a rite of
purification. I,ydus makes the same suggestion. 'Mysteries,' he says, 'are
from the separating away of a pollution ('muses') as equivalent to
Sanctification."' (Page 153.)
Harrison's interpretation appears to be re-inforced and, in a way illuminated,
in the early books of Plato's Republic. This masterpiece of the Athenian
philosopher should be carefully studied by those who seek to learn something
about the Ancient Mysteries; it records for us what impression they made on
keen and clear minded men living at the time.
word "mystery" was used in the sense as above described long into the Middle
Ages, and indeed, with certain modifications, is still used, as by Masons when
referring to their own rites which, whether the word mean either "secrecy" or
"purification," are in truth a mystery.
there is quite a different use of the word which, strangely enough, has come
into the current of Masonic phraseology, and therefore has been the cause of
much confusion. When the Normans conquered England they brought with them
their word 'metier,' which is the root of words meaning "to minister, to work
for, to help, to assist," etc. Oftentimes workmen, in the early fourteenth
century, were called "ministers." The stork which such a man did was his
"ministry." Through long usage by quite illiterate and very ignorant men this
word gradually became corrupted (see A New English Dictionary on this) into
Accordingly, the old Craft Guilds were often called "mysteries," that is,
"ministries." Freemasonry also in that sense; it is a craft, a cleft of
workmen, doing a certain skilled labor.
a third use has had influence on Masonic phraseology. In the Middle Ages plays
were given not in theatres but on movable vans or wagons, each scene on a
wagon; these moved in a "procession" from one street corner to another; and
these plays were always produced by the "mysteries" or guilds. Now it happens
that many of these plays were called "mystery plays." It used to be supposed,
even by such authorities as Skeat, that they were called "mystery" plays
because they were played by the "mysteries"; later investigations have proved,
however, that the word comes from quite a different source when applied to the
plays. But that is too large a matter to be entered into here.
use it "mystery" never means "that which is mysterious," but rather that which
is concealed from the profane; or a rite of purification; or a work done by
those especially skilled and organized therefor.
* * *
CONCERNING THE MARK MASTER DEGREE
would like very much to get some information with reference to the origin and
history of the Mark Master Degree, and it has occurred to me that you could
supply me with this information. Can you give me the date of the organization
of the first Mark Masters Lodge in England and the date of the organization of
the Grand Lodge of Mark Masters in England? In this Grand Lodge of Mark
Masters still in existence? When was the Mark Master Degree included in the
Chapter Degrees? Were the other three degrees in the Chapter ever conferred
without the Mark Master Degree? Was there ever a Mark Masters Lodge in the
United States? When and where were the Chapter Degrees first introduced into
the United States and by whom? When and where was the General Grand Chapter
you will do me the kindness to me this information same will be most highly
O. Miller, P.G.H.P., Georgia.
far as I know the Mark Master Degree as distinct bodies were not organized
until the formation of the Grand Lodge of Mark Masters in England in 1856.
Prior to that time the Mark Master Degree was given in a Craft lodge as an
extra or side degree. In England the Mark Master Degree is not worked in a
Royal Arch chapter but in a Mark Masters lodge chartered by the Grand Lodge of
Mark Masters. This Grand lodge is still in existence.
Mark Master Degree has never been included in the Chapter Degrees in England.
In the United States it was included at the time the General Grand Chapter was
organized in 1797 or thereabouts. In Scotland this took place, about 1800
when the Grand Lodge of Scotland cut it off from the Craft lodges.
there have been several Mark Lodges in the United States. Some of them
derived authority from Craft lodges, others from chapters. The General Grand
Chapter at one time granted warrants to hold Mark Master lodges apart from the
chapter, but this practice was discontinued in 1856. I do not know when and
where the chapter degrees were first introduced into the United States. It
has been claimed that the Most Excellent Master Degree was invented by Webb.
It is not practised outside of the United States. The Past Master Degree grew
out of the rule that the Royal Arch Degree could only be conferred on Past
Masters. This rule is no longer in force for the Royal Arch Degree in
England. In Pennsylvania the Past Master Degree is only conferred in a Craft
lodge and the applicant for the degree, if he be not an actual Past Master,
must pay $10.00 to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania for a dispensation to
permit his lodge to confer the degree upon him, and he cannot petition a
chapter for the Royal Arch Degree until his lodge has made him a Past Master,
either by election to the office of Master or by dispensation from the Grand
first record of the conferring of the Royal Arch Degree, strange as it may
seem, is in this country although we have reason to believe that the degree
was first worked in England. However, the first record is in the minutes of
Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4, of Virginia, the lodge in which George Washington
received his Masonic degrees. Under date of December 22, 1753, this degree
was conferred in Fredericksburg Lodge.
General Grand Chapter of the United States was organized October 24, 1797, at
Boston, Mass., or rather, the convention out of which it grew met at that time
and place. This convention adjourned to meet at Hartford the following
January, and at that time and place the General Grand Chapter was organized
under the name of the Grand Chapter of North America. The following January
the name was changed to the General Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons of the
Northern States of America, and on January 9, 1806, the name was changed to
the present title "The General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of the
United States of America."
HUNT, P.G.H.P., Iowa.
* * *
EASY WAY TO GET MASONIC BOOKS
live in a little village "a thousand miles from nowhere," no library, public
or private, and not a Masonic book in sight so far as I know. Can you suggest
how two or three brethren and myself might get hold of some Masonic books to
M., North Dakota.
not start a book club ? Get five other brethren to join with you, each to
pledge himself to purchase one book and then to be willing to lend it to each
of the others of the group in turn. In this way each of you can have the use
of six books at the price of one. Count on it costing you about two dollars
each. If you purchase standard works you can sell the six volumes at second
hand for about one-half price and thus have a start toward another lot. One of
you could act as purchasing agent and manager in general. Books have a way of
getting misplaced or forgotten if somebody doesn't make himself responsible.
Eternal vigilance is the price of a library.
Grand Lodge of North Dakota has, at Fargo, one of the best Masonic libraries
in the country. It is not a mere collection of books, gathering dust, but is
an institution alive in every sense of the term. The librarian in charge is
Miss Clara Richards, to whom unstinted praise is due for her capable work in
diffusing the light of Masonic knowledge, and for her efforts in placing
literature in communities where no libraries exist. Write to Miss Richards,
asking about the "traveling libraries" she has established.
MATHEMATICS OF THE BIBLE
following communication came to us through the kindness of Bro. N. W. J.
Hayden, Toronto, who rightly believed it would be interesting to read in THE
Shakespeare, in one of his plays, makes one of his characters propound a
problem which absolutely stagers another character and we find it amounts to
no more than a sum in simple long division, we know at once that the play must
have been written some time before the seventeenth century, seeing the
introduction of the rule for long division is due to Briggs (1561-1631). The
authorship of the works attributed to Shakespeare may be a disputed point, but
this fact alone precludes our placing the date in the nineteenth century. Such
a higher critic would be laughed out at court. Conversely, when Dante says:
"As cloth the expert geometer appear who seeks to square the circle," we do
not say that at once places him and his work in the twentieth century, for the
quadrature of the circle is a problem only now given up; the attempts were
made thousands of years B. C.
us apply the same tests to the Bible after having a few salient facts firmly
fixed in our minds: 1. The division between what a person knows and does not
know in mathematics is very sharp. The highly gifted musician often leaves far
in the rear the theorist with the greatest knowledge. There are no Schuberts
amongst the mathematicians whose work ends with their knowledge. 2. Few books
supply us with so much data as the Bible. Next, let us note the outstanding
facts in the History of Mathematics. 1. The branches developed in order were
geometry, arithmetic and algebra. If, however, we take the modern science of
arithmetic, that subject comes last, a most important point to remember.
to 60 B. C. things were at a dead level, so to speak.
the fall of Alexandria, A. D. 641, to the fall of Constantinople, A. D. 1453,
is another period of almost dead level.
period of greatest advance lies between the foundation of the Ionian School by
Thales, circa 600 B. C., and Hero the Elder, circa 120 B. C. During this
period no two centuries were alike. Any mathematical allusions to actual facts
would Lear the greatest diversity even if but two centuries intervened.
the light of these facts, judging the Bible by its OWI' context, where would a
mathematician place the date of the Pentateuch, before or after the Ionian
let us consider the state of learning.
first mathematical subject the world ever knew was geometry and it had its
source in Egypt, not Babylon, nor even Greece, but the country where the
Hebrews were oppressed for four centuries. From the Egyptians, consequently,
they picked up their scanty knowledge of mathematics. Moreover, Joseph moved
in the best society, knew intimately the leading mathematicians (or
geometricians, rather), and married a priest's daughter. So did Moses. This is
important, for the priests of Egypt had all the learning. Now for the name of
another Egyptian priest, just as celebrated though it does not appear in the
Holy Writ, Ahmes, the mathematician. People may dispute about the age of the
Pentateuch, but no one will deny the great antiquity of the hieratic papyrus
which forms part of the Rhind collection in the British Museum, and which is
the work of Ahmes. Its date is given as about 2000 B. C. (Authorities,
Eisenlor, Cantor, etc.). He and Joseph might easily have been on friendly
Lastly, it is believed by the same authorities to be a copy of a work one
thousand years earlier. Next, as to its contents (I restrict myself to the
geometrical portion): First, Ahmes gives us rules for finding the contents of
barns, and the expression is "A into B into (C plus C by 2)." These were just
the kind of barns into which Joseph gathered the corn, and probably he and
Ahmes, by putting their heads together, managed to calculate the amount stored
up. Next he tries to find the area of a circle whose diameter is D, and gives
it as the square of D diminished by one-ninth. Notice he does not say
eight-ninths. This is important. Thus the value at "pi" is given as almost 22
by 7, as in our modern books on mensuration. Lastly, he uses a little
trigonometry for measuring the Pyramids.
the ordinary Egyptians only knew a few principles of mensuration, and that a
triangle whose sides are in the ratio of 3:4:5 is right angled. These numbers,
or their multiple, continually appear in Egyptian geometry. Now compare the
Bible: Dimensions of the Ark: two cubits and a half, a cubit and a half, a
cubit and a half, or the ratio 5:3:3 (Ex. 26:10); Mercy Seat, two and a half a
cubit and a half, or ratio 5:3 (height not given in verse 17); table, two,
one, one and a half, or 4:2:3 (v. 23); Altar, 5:5:3 (27:1); Court, 100:50:5,
or 20:10:1 (v. 18), etc. Special instructions were given that Altar was to be
four-square - that is, containing right angles. Was this beyond their skill?
No, they knew how to draw a perpendicular, as would form a right angle long
before he or any other Jew had seen the fact of any Babylonian. Turn to Ex.
31:2, where God specially called Bezaleel, whom He graciously filled "with the
Spirit of God" - that is, endowed him with geometrical skill. Note how God
never asks anyone to do the impossible, yet expects him to do his best. Had
the work been done during the Babylonian period, probably conies and cycloids
would have been employed. Had the books been written then, the authors would
have used more advanced mathematics.
at the passage of the Jordan. Why did not the Israelites at least try and find
the width of the river? God would have told them to do so had it been
possible, for He never lets us allow our brains to run to waste. Why was it
impossible? Because the first one to measure the distance of an object without
going up to it was Thales, whose discovery Euclid made use of in Book K.,
proposition 26. Dates for comparison: Joseph, B. C. 1700; Ahmes, B. C. 2000;
Moses, 1400; Thales (I. 5), 640; Captivity, 700; Pythagoras (I. 47), 500;
Ezra, 450; Plato, 429. Compare carefully these dates, and in the light of the
geometry of the Bible as compared with that of Ahmes, Thales, Pythagoras or
Plato see where is the most reasonable date for the Pentateuch. If permitted,
I should like to write upon the arithmetic and algebra of the Bible.
Alfred W. Hinton.
* * *
have heard of a poem called "When Pa Joined the Lodge." Can you furnish me
with a copy or inform me where I can procure it?" H. F. M., Mississippi.
Dog days are upon us!
* * *
ill and in bed about six weeks a little while ago, and therefore fell wofully
behind with my correspondence. Brethren who may still be awaiting my belated
reply are asked to continue to have patience. The many kindly letters received
made me realize more than ever how much like a family we all are.
* * *
the best Chinese poems there is a lovely sorrowfulness that comes through,
even in translation. Witness this poem as translated by L. Cranmer-Byng
(author of Odes of Confucius and A Lute of Jade).
KING OF TANG
looms a lordly pleasure-tower o'er yon dim shore,
Raised by some King of Tang.
pendants at his girdle clashed, and golden bells
Around his chariot rang.
Strange guests through sounding halls at dawn go trailing by -
mists and mocking winds;
sullen brooding twilights break in rain on rain
lash the ragged blinds.
slow sun-dappled clouds lean down o'er waters blue,
mirrored one by one.
drift as all the world shall drift. The very stars
timeless courses run.
many autumn moons have steeped those palace walls!
paled the shattered beams!
is their royal builder now! A lord of dust?
emperor of dreams?