The Builder Magazine
November 1923 - Volume IX - Number
TABLE OF CONTENTS
FRONTISPIECE - F.H. LITTLEFIELD
PRESENT DAY TENDENCIES AND DANGERS IN FREEMASONRY - By Bro. Louis Block, Iowa
STANDING FOR DEFINITE THINGS - By Bro. George H. Dern, Utah
STORY OF FREEMASONRY IN NEW JERSEY - By Bro. Ernest A. Reed, New Jersey
LOST WORD - By Bro. Arthur C. Parker, New York
GRAND MASTER OF ENGLAND - By Bro. Dudley Wright, England
MEN WHO WERE MASONS - LOUIS KOSSUTH - By Bro. Geo. W. Baird, Dist. of Columbia
CABLE TOW - By Bro. Henry Taylor, Missouri
STUDY CLUB - Chapters of Masonic History - Part VII, Freemasonry and the Gild
System - By Bro. H. L. Haywood
WHAT SENSE INFALLIBILITY IS CLAIMED FOR THE POPE
Introducing Bro. F. H. Littlefield
Temple of Light
Valuable Contribution to Masonic History
Book of Knowledge and Wisdom
Masonry's Oldest Recorded Date
Luther Burbank a Mason
Democracy of Death
Within the First Square or Angle of My Work"
Secrecy as Regards Lodge Business
Musical Setting for "Every Year"
Scottish Rite in the Hawaiian Islands
Magnus Johnson Not a Mason
Secretary for Fifty-two Years
Scottish Rite Fees in China
Present Day Tendencies and Dangers in Freemasonry
Bro. LOUIS BLOCK, P.G.M., Iowa
are living in an age when it takes but little urging to spur a man to follow
Paul's scriptural injunction to "Prove all things". In fact, there never was
a time when people were so ready to submit all things "the acid test" even
going so far as to jump at conclusions, and discard a thing before the test
is half done.
only are materials, machinery and methods being tried in rapid succession, but
the probe is being pushed into parties, governments, societies, institutions,
churches and fraternities. Nor can the Masonic institution hope to escape
trial along with the rest.
Masonry today any real excuse for its continued existence?
it any solution to offer of the trying problems that vex and harass not only
the individual soul, but the soul of the world as well, till one questions
whether the game is worth the candle, or life worth living at all?
Masonry can no more escape standing up to answer this question than can any of
the rest of human institutions that the modern world is putting on trial.
Nothing does us quite so much good as to now and then take stock of our
institutions, to find out what they mean, and what they really stand for.
that we must go back to first principles. We must dig down to the foundation
and find out upon what the thing is bottomed. The world just now is showing a
perfect passion for this sort of thing.
the field of religion a great controversy is raging between the "modernists"
and the "fundamentalists". The former are for a freer interpretation, for the
loosening; of creedal chains, while the latter claim that in going back to the
ancient creeds they have gone down to the foundation, although one is often
tempted to wonder whether the true Foundation does not lie far deeper than all
the clashing creeds in a Great Life and a Great Love that gave birth to a new
Commandment, requiring not so much that we have belief, but far more that we
love one another.
us now go down to the foundation of Masonry, and find, if we can, upon what
sort of footing our building is based. We have been taught from time
immemorial that the design of the Masonic Institution was to make its votaries
wiser and better and consequently happier, that we should receive none
knowingly into our ranks but such as were moral and upright before God and of
good repute before the world. This was on the theory that such men when
associated together would naturally seek each other's welfare and happiness
equally with their own. In order that they might not become weary in
well-doing it furnished them with a great common platform upon which they
might "meet upon the level, act by the plumb, and part upon the square." It
obliged them to that great "Religion in which all men agree, leaving their
particular opinions to themselves; that is, to be good men and true, or men of
Honour and Honesty, by whatever Denominations or Persuasions they may be
distinguished; whereby Masonry becomes the Center of Union, and the Means of
conciliating true Friendship among Persons that must have remain'd at a
we must all admit, is just about the broadest creed to be found in all
history, and it is upon the broad foundation of this "Ancient Charge" that our
beloved Institution is based. It is upon such a foundation and in the spirit
of Him, who said "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work" that we are taught
to labour incessantly, making a persistent and proper use of the Trowel, an
Instrument used for the "noble and glorious purpose of spreading the cement of
brotherly love and affection, that cement which unites us into one sacred band
or society of friends and brothers among whom no contention should ever exist,
but that noble contention, or rather emulation, of who best can work and best
question is whether an institution so conceived and so founded has any part to
play, any worthwhile function to perform amid the perplexities that pursue us
at this present day.
first let us take a look at modern life. What's the matter with it? Very,
the first place, we have allowed the plain and simple life of the pioneer days
to drift into a thing so infernally intricate, so infinitely involved, so
confoundedly complex, that the human mind stands appalled at the thought of
it. No longer are our wants few, and plain and simple, but many and
multiplex. We want so many things in such great variety and in such quick
succession that half the time we don't know what we want. Our houses, our
minds and our lives are so gorged with many things that we are able to digest
and assimilate scarcely any of them. From the cradle to the grave it is the
same. Our children have it put upon them early in life. Where once a little
sister cuddled a rag-doll to her heart, she must now perforce pet a Parisian
puppet festooned with fashionable furbelows. Little Bobbie must be denied his
hobby-horse and must get mixed up in a meccano set. Where once the little red
school house did the business we now have the kindergarten, the primary
school, the secondary school and the high school, and these with all sorts of
fads and frills fastened upon them. We must get into everything, and have
everything, and "put on" a whole kennel full of "dog", even if we have to
cheat our creditors and betray our friends to do it. A mortgage goes on the
home so we can grab a graphonola, an auto, or a radio. Corned beef and
cabbage have given away to camembert and caviar. Dad can no longer sit down
to "supper" in his shirt sleeves, but must climb into dress clothes before he
can be "served with dinner". We no longer dare to have a plain and simple
bellyache, but must get along with gastritis, or colitis, or appendicitis. We
dare not even go simply and: plainly crazy, but must be cursed by a
"complex". And when at last it comes to the matter of making an escape from
this mundane sphere we realize that the simple business of dying has become so
elaborate a piece of procedure, that it were far cheaper had we kept walking
around instead of trying to meet the "mortician's" bill. Once we might have
been simply and plainly planted by an under taker, but "them days is gone
LUST FOR SPEED
the midst of all this and making the muddle worse, we have been bitten by the
speed-bug, and have fallen a victim to the skidding-sickness. We have
developed a perfect passion for rapid motion. Nothing can go fast enough to
suit us. Express trains rush us from Chicago to New York, ocean greyhounds
scoot us from New York to London in a few short days, and high-speed cars hurl
us to hell in a jiffy. We can't be patient or deliberate about anything. We
are rabidly restless and can't bear to sit still. We must keep in motion.
"Where do we go from here?" is the common cry. "We don't know where we are
going, but we are on our way!" We want what we want when we want it.
Ready-built houses and ready-to-wear clothing are the rule. We are willing to
wait for nothing. Everyone is on the jump. We hurry here and there, chasing
first this thing, and then that, darting about like wild water-bugs at a
sewer's mouth. We are ready to "try anything once", and always crazy to try
something new. When jazz fails to give us joy, then our madness manifests
itself in the Marathon dance.
Realizing that something is wrong society tries to find a cure in new laws.
Then we have such perfect pestilence of law-making that humanity heaves a
great sigh of relief the moment Congress or the Legislature adjourns. We have
too much government in business and far too little business in government. We
have a cataclysm of class-legislation, each crowd crazy to hog things for its
particular class, and "to hell with the other fellow". We have a whole raft of
radical legislation, and less respect for law than ever before. Russia may
have her Soviet slaughters, but poor America, God pity the day! has her Mer
Rouge murders and her Herrin massacres. These things menace the land with
dissension and disunion, disruption and disaster, with everything that divides
what have we as Masons to do with all this? What can we do about it?
in the first place, we can awake to a realization that it is high time we no
longer rested content with a mere recitation of our ritual, rules and
regulations. That there is coming to us, now as never before, a clarion call
to promptly and persistently put our precepts into practice. To realize again
man of words and not of deeds,
like a garden full of weeds."
Masonry, from time immemorial, has been ever sternly and soberly and seriously
conservative and never riotously radical. Masonry has always had in her heart
a withering contempt for things frantic and foolish, and has ever firmly stood
for these things that make for stability and order, for strength and
DOES MASONRY STAND FOR
trouble with far too many of us is that we don't know what our Masonry really
many of us, I wonder, have ever truly realized that when the Master in the
East has charged us saying "In the State, you are to be a quiet and peaceful
subject, true to your government and just to your country. You are not to
countenance disloyalty or rebellion, but patiently submit to legal authority
and conform with cheerfulness to the government of the country in which you
live", there was then and there laid upon our shoulders the performance of a
duty as sacred, as solemn and as binding as anything contained in the
obligation taken at the altar?
cannot practice our Masonry until we have first learned to know it. Once we
have learned to know it we will clearly see that there is not one of our
modern perplexities but what can be solved by a faithful application of
Masonic principles and precepts.
there can be no salvation if the principles are merely preached and practised.
Yet if they are practised untold good will be done.
would simply transform the world, if, for a single year, each and every one of
us would simply live up to our ancient religion "to be good Men and true - Men
of Honour and Honesty."
are the sort of men we have prided ourselves upon being the sort who seek each
other's welfare and happiness equally with our own, we will help one another
to know what our Masonry means - do this by admonition, discussion, debates,
study and lectures. Here is where our study clubs, our research societies and
our service associations come in.
above all else we must help each other to live the life, in the shop and the
market-place, in the office and the factory, in the home and on the street, so
that the blessed influence of "good men and true" may be met with everywhere.
at the bottom the fault of the present state of things is not legal or
economical, but personal and individual. It is not the system that is wrong,
but the men who run it. It's high time we quit blaming a system for our own
fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
in ourselves, that we are underlings."
Republic is "one made of many" and if each one of the many does his duty then,
and only then, will the "Temple of our Liberties" endure. It will not do for
any one of us to wait for the other to do his duty. Each one must be up and
doing, acting of his own volition, sweeping before his own door, hosing his
own row. It is the old question of Hiram Abiff over again; the question of
individual moral responsibility, of individual fidelity, regardless of
personal loss or sacrifice.
is no need for new laws, new systems, new forms of government. There is a
crying need for plain old-fashioned individual performance of duty.
and Fame from no condition rise,
well your part - there all the honour lies!"
Otherwise all our preaching of precepts, all our ritualizing, will be as
thing full of sound and fury,
Masonry has a glorious gospel, as we her votaries well know, but glorious as
that gospel may be, there is another far more vitally important and that is
the gospel of the individual Mason as shown in his individual life.
GOSPEL ACCORDING TO YOU"
"There's a sweet old story translated for man,
writ in the long, long ago-
Gospel according to Mark, Luke and John-
Christ and His mission below.
read and admire the gospel of Christ,
its love so unfailing and true;
what do they say, and what do they think,
the gospel according to you?
a wonderful story, that gospel of love,
shines in the Christ-life divine;
oh, that its truth might be told again
the story of your life and mine!
Unselfishness mirrors in every scene;
blossoms on every sod;
back from its vision the heart comes to tell
wonderful goodness of God.
are writing each day a letter to men;
care that the writing is true;
the only gospel that some men will read-
gospel according to you."
a candidate seeks admission into our fraternity we compel him to sign a
petition in which he solemnly states that "he is prompted to solicit this
privilege by a sincere wish of being serviceable to his fellow citizens".
that pure "bunk", or does it really mean something?
are prompted to put this question by reason of the fact that there have arisen
in recent years a number of organizations pretending to be Masonic that are
anything but serviceable to mankind.
pretend to be "Masonic" by reason of the fact that they permit no one to join
them who is not a Master Mason because of the fact that their membership is
composed of Masons only, the thoughtless Mason and the uninformed non-Mason,
alike, conclude that these societies are Masonic, despite the fact that none
of them have been either recognized or ratified by any governing Masonic body.
are thus practically parading under false pretences and practising a fraud
upon the innocent and unwary, thereby putting Masonry in a false light before
say parading advisedly, for their votaries seem set upon strutting the streets
clad in gay, gaudy and garish garments, flaunting flaming banners, tearing the
public peace to tatters with the blare of the trombone and the boom of the
Seeing which the citizen on the sidewalk cries, "See, there go the Masons!"
The Masons, forsooth! These devotees of dazzle and din!
the newspapers, who hate things hidden, to whom nothing secret is sacred, who
persecute privacy and pray to the god of Publicity, help him to believe that
Masonry is just that!
my brethren, unless we are awake to the danger that threatens us, Masonry is
apt to degenerate into just that.
institutions are growing in number. The other day the writer counted up
fourteen of them. Grand Masters and Grand Lodge Correspondents have assailed
them in no uncertain terms, and not without reason, for they are a real menace
could gain no lasting foothold among men were it not for their pretended
holding of a Masonic certificate of good character. In the past, to say that
a thing was "Masonic" was to certify to its high standing. The story of
Masonry's devotion to the great doctrines of friendship, morality and
brotherly love, of the relief of the down-trodden and distressed, and her
dispelling of the darkness of ignorance by the light of truth, has placed her
upon the topmost pinnacle in the esteem and respect of men. These "side
organizations" well know this, and they seek to slip into places of power and
influence by means of their alleged Masonic passports. But unless this menace
is soon curbed, the day is not distant when a certificate of Masonic
membership will have lost all its meaning and value.
nefarious organizations are a menace to Masonry in many ways.
of the queer things about them is that the zealots who espouse the cause of
these side organizations seem to have so little respect or reverence for the
very institution, membership in whose ranks they make a prerequisite for
joining their own order. Their candidate chasers invade the sanctity of the
lodge room, interfere with the workers, make the candidate feel that the
degree work is but of passing importance, a matter of mere incident on the way
to the "real thing". Treating the Blue Lodge degrees as mere stepping stones,
they tread beneath ruthless feet the beautiful flowers of the ritual, in a mad
effort to rush the candidate into their fold. Before the apprentice is dry
behind the ears he is harangued and pestered, brow-beaten and bulldozed, into
joining their gang and "having a good time". The immemorial dignity and
decorum of the lodge is disturbed, its noble lessons and high doctrines are
discounted and disparaged, its high ideals are trailed in the dust, and the
bewildered candidate comes to think that the Order exists for frivolity and
not for service.
MASONRY IS SANE, STEADY, SOBER
Masonry has endured down the ages, solely because of its serious and earnest
character, because of the sane, steady and sober quality of its aims and
ideals. These "side-orders" strive to slur over all these and to substitute in
their place a silly seeking for pleasure and a light-headed lust for
excitement. Their rituals far too often savour of vulgarity and their
horse-play verges at times even upon the obscene.
upon this sort of thing that these side-orders seek to have set the stamp and
seal of Masonic approval, and we seem content to stand complacently by and let
them get it.
drag their "politics", their petty piques and quarrels, their disappointed
ambitions to have high-sounding titles, and wear resplendent robes, into the
sacred precincts of the lodge-room, disturb the work of the builders and
destroy the peace and harmony of the Craft.
sort of men who are won to the Order by this sort of thing do it no good, for
they are not worth having - are not fit material for the building "of the
house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens".
was when Masonry was known as "a system of morality veiled in allegory". If
this thing is not checked, how long will it be before it comes to be called a
frenzy of frivolity, fed by folly"?
"side-orders" scatter Masonry's force. They lower its aims and purposes,
destroy its ancient dignity and blur the vision of its lofty ideals. They
tend inevitably to wreck its power and influence by destroying its solidarity,
and threaten to take away wholly its power to serve mankind.
are coming to have far too many "play-grounds in Masonry", too much of a rush
for "refreshment" in an institution anciently dedicated to "labour". Masonry
is in a mighty poor business when it feeds modern society's already
overwrought passion for passing pleasures. If there ever was a day when men
needed to quit dallying with delights and attended to business, it is now.
For the popular call nowadays seems to be for the man who will be "a good
fellow", who will forget his business, let it slide, and in the end make of
himself an object of Masonic charity.
are taking far too many men into the Order who do not know what an earnest
thought means, and who care less. Far too many who have neither the brains
nor the desire to seek back of the symbol to the great idea thereby
symbolized. These men lie within the belly of the Order like leaden lumps
that will not be digested, and they are not an asset, but a liability.
it is these very "side-orders" that lure these light-headed liabilities within
our fold-bad cess to them! and at a time when, God knows! we don't need them,
but do need earnest men.
any chance this mushroom growth of these Masonic side-shows results in any way
from a reaction against a humdrum and lifeless recital of the ritual by
mechanical Masons who have no idea of the meaning of the words that glide so
glibly from their lips, then the remedy is not far to seek.
as Brother Weston of Vermont has so clearly pointed out, all the lodges need
to do is to make the ritual interesting by means of lectures, readings,
discussions and debates, tending to make its meaning clear; for a man simply
cannot put life and force into the words he utters unless his soul is first
set all aglow with their meaning.
immortal meaning is there, hidden, buried, concealed within the ritual, and
our very salvation depends upon our working it out.
Perhaps if we will do this we will be pouring Paris-green upon these
if that doesn't work we may need a new set of Masonic police regulations that
will put these bums in the bastile where they belong.
Standing for Definite Things
Bro. GEORGE H. DERN, P. G. M., Utah
Dern, a Nebraskan by birth, was made a Mason at Salt Lake City, in Utah, in
1897, and received the high honour of the Grand Mastership in that
jurisdiction in 1913. Readers will recall a memorable article of his in THE
BUILDER, December, 1921, on "Monitorial Symbolism of the Third Degree and its
Application to Every Day Life"; a comparison of that fine piece of
interpretation with the discussion below will show how full-orbed is his
comprehension of Freemasonry. An explanation of why the Towner-Sterling Bill
did not pass was contributed to THE BUILDER, May, 1923, by Bro. Senator
Simeon D. Fess; in the same number appeared a report of the attitude of Grand
Lodges toward that bill. In connection with these studies the reader should
review the special Public School Number of August, 1922.
Doubtless it has occurred to many Masons as somewhat strange that Masonry
generally throughout the United States has until lately been advocating a
specific piece of legislation, namely the Towner-Sterling Bill. Perhaps some
good brethren may think this a violation of the section in most if not all
Masonic codes which provides that "the discussion of political, sectarian or
other subjects not strictly of a Masonic character is prohibited in every
lodge in this Grand Jurisdiction." In the hope of clearing up any such doubts
or misgivings the following observations are presented:
sometimes happens in the lives of men that they are in the midst of a great
change or evolution without realizing it. They are so engrossed with their
immediate personal affairs, so bound by custom and established routine, or
regard their old views and opinions as so obvious, that they do not see or
comprehend the big movements that are carrying mankind along with them. When
such tendencies become perceptible they may be deplored by persons of a
conservative cast of mind who venerate the past as the repository of all
wisdom and are shocked when "God lets loose a thinker in the world" who
proposes something new to meet new conditions. But progress is the law of all
nature, and the world moves forward, not backward, despite our puny efforts to
are signs of a change in the attitude of Freemasonry. Those of us who have
been Masons long enough to have become thoroughly indoctrinated know that it
has always been deemed improper to commit Masonry to any specific program
except the program of brotherly love. It has been the rule that in all public
matters Masons, though imbued with and guided by Masonic precepts and ideals,
should act as individuals, each according to his own judgment, and never as a
MASONRY SHOULD STAND FOR DEFINITE THINGS
During the past few years, however, many Masonic leaders have been laying
particular stress upon the necessity of Masonry standing for definite things,
and presenting a united front in advancing those things. Very many Masons who
do not pretend to be leaders in the Craft complain that it is hard for one who
is not an officer to keep up an active interest in Masonry because we do not
stand for anything concrete. They say that merely coming to lodge and seeing
the same old degrees conferred over and over and over again be comes tiresome
to a man with an active intellect; that for gathering in social functions to
reiterate what fine thing Masonry is and what fine fellows Masons are does not
result in any real accomplishment, and that we ought to be more than a mere
mutual admiration society; that Masonry is a great, big, clumsy animal that
does not know what to do with itself nor how to use its strength.
average Mason will readily agree with these sentiments; but as for having
Masonry stand for definite things, that is a delicate matter and must be
handled discreetly. The oldtimers who put in our codes the provision that
political, sectarian or other subjects not strictly of a Masonic character
should not be discussed in lodge were very wise, and assuredly it is not
proposed by anybody to abandon that time honoured policy, upon which our
fellowship rests, and which is our strength and support.
strictly Masonic principles there can be no difference of opinion among us,
and they may be safely discussed with the utmost freedom, as well as their
application to our every day problems. But when we get into public questions
we at once plunge into controversial matters, about which Masons will differ
as widely and as violently as outsiders. I cannot attack a man's pet opinions
without hurting his self-esteem, and when I do that I make him angry. If I
assail his political or religious beliefs he gets just as angry as he does
when I make slighting remarks about his children or his automobile. Our
opinions are our property, and the most natural thing in the world is to
defend what belongs to us, and to resent any attempt to destroy or belittle
it. For example, suppose someone in a Masonic meeting should undertake to
make a speech against the protective tariff, which many good Masons sincerely
consider as sacred as the holy Grail. Immediately peace and harmony would
beat a hasty retreat, and the meeting would blow up with a loud report.
Suppose we should declare against the right of working men to strike. Many
good, sincere Masons might think such a declaration right and proper, whilst
many other equally good and sincere Masons would regard it as a vital blow at
their fundamental human rights. And so our unanimity and concord would
vanish, and we should speedily be divided into wrangling, jangling cliques and
factions. Clearly we must be careful to do nothing that might destroy us from
DON'T WANT MASONRY TO RUN THE COUNTRY
the danger of disintegrating Masonry itself is not the only objection. We do
not want to see Masonry, as an organized body, undertake to run the whole
country, any more than we want to see the Roman Catholic Church or the Ku Klux
Klan run the country, because it would be unamerican. In a democracy all the
people should rule, not a select class or sect, even though that class be so
high-minded a body of men as the Masons. Furthermore, no organization whose
sessions and deliberations are secret, as ours are, has any right to try to
dominate public affairs, because "popular government moves in the light of
day, not in dark and secret places; it appeals to the whole mass of people for
support, not merely to the members of a particular society; and it values
power only for public ends, not for the aggrandizement and glorification of
any single institution." And so it would be a gross perversion of our lofty
pretensions as upright, liberty-loving Americans if we were to organize as a
national body for the purpose of dictating or controlling the affairs of the
nation, no matter how pure our intentions might be.
However, it is a proper function of Masonry to fight against other
organizations doing this very thing, and that is one of the reasons why Masons
are always interested in progressive educational legislation; but let us be
very careful about building up a powerful machine that would be certain sooner
or later to abuse its power.
so this suggestion of standing for something definite has its pitfalls, and we
cannot afford to be too definite. Or perhaps it would be better to say we
ought to be very definite in limiting the scope of our united action. But
there are plenty of things in the fundamental Masonic principles that have a
direct and broad public significance, and in the support of which all Masons
can afford to unite and battle side by side.
Masons we are seekers after Light-that is, knowledge, wisdom, enlightenment.
If Light is good for us it is good for everybody, and we can engage in no
greater work than the diffusion of Light amongst all the people - that is,
public education. So when Masonry interests itself in education it is
interesting itself in a subject that is not and should not be political in the
sense of being controversial; a subject that is not and should not be
sectarian, and never will be so long as Masons can prevent it; a subject
strictly of a Masonic character, since it is of the very essence of Masonry.
Moreover, one of the primary teachings of Freemasonry is good citizenship, and
we have not only a right but a duty to be interested in anything that promotes
good citizenship. What is the real purpose of our free public school system
but to train the children for citizenship? What other justification is there
for taxing me to educate my neighbor's children?
there you have the syllogism:
Masonry stands for good citizenship.
Education promotes good citizenship.
Therefore, Masonry stands for education.
would be a captious critic indeed who would deny a Masonic lodge the right to
discuss public education, or even a single concrete phase of it, as expressed
in a specific piece of legislation.
Story of Freemasonry in New Jersey
Bro. ERNEST A. REED, P. G. M., New Jersey
tell the story of Masonry in the State of New Jersey one must go back to the
beginning of duly constituted Masonry in the New World. All available records
seem to show that modern Freemasonry was formally introduced into the American
colonies by Daniel Cox, or Coxe, who on June 5, in the year 1730, received a
deputation from the Duke of Norfolk, Grand Master of the Free and Accepted
Masons of England, appointing him Provincial Grand Master of the Provinces of
New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania in America.
original deputation, which is on file in the archives of the Grand Lodge of
England, gives Brother Coxes residence as New Jersey; and of this there can be
no doubt for the histories and records of our state also bear witness of this
fact. Moreover, Provincial Grand Master Coxe was an important personage in
the province. He was the son of Dr. Coxe of London, one of the great
proprietors. He was a member of the old New Jersey assembly and at one time
its speaker. He served for many years as Chief Magistrate and upon his death
was buried at Burlington, New Jersey.
what steps Coxe took to establish lodges in America is not very clear. The
records of the Grand Lodge of England do not show the appointment of any
Deputy Grand Master or other officers of a Provincial Grand Lodge, nor the
congregating of Masons into lodges; but records were not very well kept in
those days, nor was it the custom to report all proceedings to the Grand
Lodge, and it is possible that some of the old lodges in Pennsylvania were
instituted by him. Perhaps his failure to establish lodges in the province of
New Jersey may have been due in a measure to the Provincial Governor, Lord
Cornbury, whose unpopularity in America led to his recall. Yet Coxe was known
throughout the province as an eminent lawyer and upon his return to England in
1731 he was received in the Grand Lodge of England as "The Right Worshipful
Grand Master of North America."
English records show in addition to Coxes appointment as Provincial Grand
Master in 1730, Richard Riggs appointed in 1737 and Francis Goelet in 1751.
There were other Grand Lodges in England at this time and other Provincial
Grand Masters were sent by them to America. In 1753 George Harrison became
Provincial Grand Master of New York and from him the first lodge in New Jersey
got its charter. In May, 1761, an application for a lodge was made to
Provincial Grand Master Harrison by a number of Masons residing in what was
then the town of Newark. William Tukey, Esq., was appointed the first
Worshipful Master and the lodge was to meet at the Rising Sun tavern, a tiny
inn near what is now the heart of a great city.
original minutes of this famous lodge for the years from its institution are
still in existence in the archives of St. John's Lodge, No. 1, of Newark.
From 1764 till 1768 the minutes were suspended. In 1769 they were reopened
again, continuing till 1772. During the darkness of the Revolution they
ceased altogether. When the Grand Lodge of New Jersey was formed St. John's
Lodge was represented and a warrant was given to it which was numbered 2 on
the New Jersey register, a lodge at Bedminster which had been warranted by the
Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania in 1767 being given No. 1. The lodge at Bedminster
became extinct, however, and St. John's Lodge was allowed to assume its
number. St. John's Lodge is still active and known throughout the length and
breadth of the land as the oldest lodge in New Jersey and one of the oldest in
America. In 1762 the Provincial Grand Lodge of Massachusetts gave a warrant
for a lodge in Elizabeth Towne, New Jersey (now Elizabeth) and in 1763 a
warrant was given by the same Grand Lodge for a lodge at Prince Towne (now
Princeton), but both of these lodges have become extinct and their records
MILITARY LODGES EXISTED
lodges were in existence in the armed forces of the Revolution. New Jersey
lying as it did between two greater fields of operation, New York and
Philadelphia, became a concourse across which the contending armies marched,
sometimes in victory, often in retreat. The Lecestershire Regiment, or the
British 17th Regiment of Foot, as it was commonly called, had a famous lodge
known as Unity Lodge. During Washington's hasty retreat across New Jersey
following the abandonment of Fort Lee on the Hudson River he was closely
followed by the British, and this regiment was a part of the pursuing force.
Washington's march led through Newark, Elizabeth, New Brunswick, Princeton to
Trenton, where he crossed the Delaware River into Pennsylvania. The British
17th Regiment stopped at Princeton, occupying the college town. The rest of
the British Army, including Rall's regiment of Hessians, marched on to
Washington's recrossing of the Delaware on Christmas night and his thrilling
victory over the Hessians at Trenton needs no recital here; nor does that
other exploit when, the British believing they had him cornered, rested for
the night, and awoke to the sound of cannon and musket fire at Princeton,
twelve miles away, and realized that Washington had escaped.
British had waited the arrival of reinforcements. These included in part the
17th Regiment of Foot, which had received orders to march from Princeton to
Trenton at dawn. As they filed out of town over a little bridge, they saw
Mercer's Division of Washington's army moving up the opposite bank of the
stream. Both forces tried to reach and hold the top of a small hill nearby,
which became the scene of the battle. The advance was led by General Hugh
Mercer, a member of Washington's own lodge, Fredericksburg Lodge, No. 4, of
Fredericksburg, Va. In the fighting General Mercer was knocked from his horse
by a blow from the butt of a British musket; but he defended himself until
mortally wounded. He died in a farm house near by.
the confusion of the fighting and British retreat an American soldier, one of
four men left of Major Haslett's command from Delaware, picked up on the
battlefield the warrant which had been granted to Unity Lodge in the British
176 Regiment of Foot by the Grand Lodge of Scotland. The warrant was carried
back to Delaware and reposes in the archives of Union Lodge of Middletown. In
this engagement the gallant captain of the 17th Regiment, Brother William
Leslie, was wounded. By order of Washington he was cared for by the American
surgeons and placed with the American wounded in the farm wagons which served
for ambulances in those days. As the little army after its victory wound its
way through the hills of western New Jersey, Leslie died and was buried with
military honours, and, as tradition tells us, with Masonic ceremonies in the
graveyard in the little town of Pluckamin.
warrant to replace the one lost in battle was later given the British regiment
by a Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, and this in turn fell into the hands of the
forces of General Wayne, "Mad Anthony," at the time of the surprise and
capture of Stony Point, New York, the British regiment at that time forming a
part of the garrison; but the warrant was courteously returned by General
Samuel H. Parsons, a member of American Union Lodge of the Connecticut Line.
were lodges among the American troops and three at least among the forces that
made up the New Jersey line. Perhaps the best known military lodge on the
American side was American Union Lodge of the Connecticut Line, as its name
indicates, a lodge formed among the troops from Connecticut. The warrant and
minutes of this lodge are preserved among the records of the Grand Lodge of
Connecticut; but at the time this lodge came into being there was no Grand
Lodge of Connecticut and the warrant was granted by Deputy Grand Master
Gridley of Massachusetts, the same Gridley who laid out the breastworks at
Bunker Hill and who was acting Grand Master on account of the death in battle
of Grand Master Joseph Warren. The minutes are well kept and show every
location of the Connecticut troops.
LAFAYETTE VISITS A LODGE
lodge is referred to here because of its famous session of Dec. 27, 1779,
while the American Army lay in winter quarters at Morristown, New Jersey. It
was a celebration of the old Masonic festival, the Feast of St. John the
Evangelist. The minutes of the lodge give every detail of this meeting. The
records show sixty-nine persons present, one of whom was Washington, the
Commander-in-Chief. There was a procession, banquet, addresses and a general
good time. Some of the lodge paraphernalia used on this occasion was borrowed
from St. John's Lodge of Newark, and the old minute book of St. John's Lodge,
No. 1, has a record of the fact that "Sundrie articles were taken out of the
lodge chest and lent to Brother Thomas Kinney and Brother Jerry Brewin to
carry as far as Morris Towne, etc." There has always been a tradition that
Lafayette was made a Mason on this occasion and a well-known history of New
Jersey as well as a recently published and popular work on Masonry state this
as a fact. There is no record to substantiate it, however, and the list of
those present, while including the names of many prominent persons in the
armed forces of the Revolution, does not include the name of the distinguished
Frenchman; moreover, the statement made by Lafayette himself on the occasion
of his visit to the Grand Lodge of Delaware as related in the memoirs of the
beloved Dr. Chaytor, who was present on that occasion, seems to prove beyond
question that Lafayette was made a Mason in a military lodge in the American
Army at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.
Unfortunately, many of the old lodge records have been lost, but those that
remain reveal interesting details of Colonial life. The old minute book of
Burlington Lodge shows that the Masons of Burlington paid the Grand Lodge of
Pennsylvania for the warrant of Burlington Lodge a fee of "2,160 Doll's Cn'l
Curr'y", which seems an enormous sum to pay for a warrant; but when we note it
is to be paid in Continental currency we realize that this is simply an
evidence of the extraordinary depreciation of the currency of the time. Later
on we find that the lodge reimbursed the members for the amount advanced to
the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and an appropriation of six pounds was
sufficient to meet the need.
Dec 18, 1796, a convention was called at New Brunswick for the purpose of
establishing a Grand Lodge in the state of New Jersey. The officers selected
on that occasion included the following, whose names and titles are given as
they appear on the old record:
Hon. David Brearly, Esq., Chief Justice of New Jersey: Right Worshipful Grand
Hon. Robert Lettis Hooper, Vice-President of New Jersey: Deputy Grand Master.
"William Leedle, Esq., late High Sheriff of Morris: Senior Grand Warden.
"Daniel Marsh, Esq., Representative in the Assembly of New Jersey: Junior
Noble Cumming, Esq., late Colonel in the Army of the United States: Grand
Ewing, Jun., Esq., Clerk of the General Assembly of New Jersey: Deputy Grand
"Joshua Corshon, Esq., High Sheriff of Hunterdon: Grand Treasurer."
second session of this body convened at New Brunswick on Jan. 30, 1787, and at
this time the present Grand Lodge of New Jersey came into being. Hon. David
Brearly was elected Grand Master, an office to which he was re-elected for
three successive years. At the session of July, 1787, the Grand Master was
absent; but a letter from him was read which shows that he was at the time
representing New Jersey in the Federal Convention at Philadelphia. Brearly
had been a Lieutenant Colonel in the army of the Revolution and was a warm
personal friend of Washington. He was a member of the state and federal
conventions, and his signature appears on the Constitution of the United
States. For nine years he was Chief Justice of New Jersey.
history of Masonry in New Jersey under the Grand Lodge of New Jersey has been
devoid of events of unusual interest; peace and harmony have prevailed.
Masonry has grown numerically till the Grand Master of New Jersey presides
today over nearly 75,000 members of our Craft congregated into some 240
lodges. A number of years ago the Grand Lodge purchased a handsome estate
near Burlington for the purpose of providing a home for feeble and indigent
Masons and their wives, or their widows or orphans. The buildings have been
added to from time to time, and at present extensive alterations and additions
are in progress which will add greatly to the comfort and convenience of our
aged and youthful guests. Our present family consists of about 130 persons,
one-third of whom are boys and girls. Additional property has been purchased
from time to time and today the home includes a farm of 150 acres, all under
Masons in New Jersey are deeply interested in all activities of the Craft
throughout the land, and have entered wholeheartedly and substantially into
the great national Masonic movements; the George Washington Masonic National
Memorial Association, the National Masonic Research Society, and the Masonic
Bro. ARTHUR C. PARKER, New York
are many who can kindle the emotions, and more still who can arouse the
passions, but few who know how to set the mind aglow. Brother Parker, who
contributed a memorable article to THE BUILDER last May, is one of these. The
present article is one of a series of three bearing the general title "Secrets
of the Temple," and is here printed by permission of Brother George K.
Staples, 33 degree, Commander of Buffalo Consistory, who arranged to publish
the series in book form. The same series has been translated into Italian and
is now appearing under the imprint of the Grand Lodge of Italy. The two
companion studies will appear in these pages in due time, and will be followed
by a discussion of the Swastika, now being written especially for THE
BUILDER. The Scottish Rite, Northern Jurisdiction, has signalized its
appreciation of Brother Parker's services in leading his brethren to think
Masonically by electing him to receive the 33 degree next September. Brother
Parker is now an associate editor of THE BUILDER.
a clay tablet found amid the ruins of an ancient city upon the Euphrates was
found the words of a hymn - a hymn about a Word. The song is old, five
thousand years old, and perhaps twenty-five centuries older than any Hebrew
scripture, and, in any event, it antedates the final development of those
writings. Shall we pause to listen?
Word that causes the heavens on high to tremble,
Word that makes the world below to quake,
Word that bringeth destruction to the Annunakis,
Word is beyond the diviner, beyond the seer!
Word is a tempest without a rival.
Word of the Lord the heavens cannot endure,
Word of Enlil the earth cannot endure,
heavens cannot endure the stretching forth of His hand,
earth cannot endure the setting forth of His foot!
we have an ancient hymn of Babylon in which the wise priesthood of a great
religion sang praises to a word. But what this word is we are not told, yet
the word is mighty. The adjustment and the readjustment of the Babylonian
pantheon was nothing else than an effort to discover the key-word of the
world. Nor was the effort of Egypt with its grotesque procession of
zoomorphic deities anything less.
so religions have come and gone, through darkness, superstition and ignorance,
striving to find the great secret of welfare and the magical potence that once
possessed should be the secret that would unlock the doors of the invisible.
mystic's search for the great name that shall open all things is as old as
man. The mystic still believes that there is a divine mystery concealed in
some word, and all through the ages he has thought that he should discover
that name. The Hindoo sage pronounces the word AUM, and in it feels that he
has a key-word to paradise. Even when, by revelation, the gods tell their
names, man has believed that the real name was concealed either totally or
within the enigma of the name or in its numerical value. Thus within the name
Elohina (Elhim) the mystic finds the number 3.1415, and asserts that Elhim is
the master word by which the circle of eternity may be measured.
ancient names are studied by the Kabbalists for their esoteric numerical
value. The letters of the alphabet are also given values in other terms.
Thus the sacred word spelled Aleph-Vau-Mem (AUM) would mean: A = Man + Power;
U = Creation + Passage; M = Woman + Mother. This word is a mystic triad by
which creative energy is invoked, but in a spiritual sense.
mystic name makers, therefore, in making names sought to choose letters that
had certain values and certain numbers. Now the numbers of a name might be
added so as to produce another number, for example: Solomon would in Graeco-Egyptian
have the literal value of S-L-M-N. S=60; L=30; M=40; N=50. These numbers
added give 180. This reduced becomes a series of 20 nines. Nine is the
perfect number and is three times three. "The sound of the voice" - such is
the meaning of 180, but nine means "My shield and protection". Again let us
interpret each letter of this word S-L-M-N. S=60, means a circle commenced.
L=30, means the expansion of the circle. M=40, means an uninterrupted
continuation (feminine passivity). N-50, means a final extension, a
us still further examine this mystical name of Solomon. The word plainly
says, I am a circular line, extended, continued and concluded. It says,
moreover, that it consists of four parts, of the following measures: 60, 30,
40, 50. These total 180, or the number of degrees in a half circle.
Therefore, the circle is divided into the number of degrees indicated; i.e.,
60+30=90; 40+50=90. Whether this is geometrical or astronomical matters
little, for from a study of these angles we can work out, if we have the
taste, a whole scheme of Solomonic wisdom. The best interpretation is that
the word represents the rising of the sun in the east (Sol), that it passes
the morning of S and L and arrives at zenith between L and M (OM), and sets in
the west beyond M and N, or ON, and ON is the city or abode of the Sun, the
Egyptian name for Heliopolis.
example is not introduced to mystify or to create the idea that some
mysterious doctrine lies behind every name, for most names are so corrupted
from the original forms that they cannot easily be analyzed Kabbalistically
now. We merely introduce this name to emphasize that the ancients had meanings
back of names, and that these meanings might often be discovered. Yet, if a
mystical name of a god did conceal a secret, it was so devised that a key-name
was used before the real name could be discovered. Thus a man named Solomon
might have hidden his name under a substitute word and called himself
Davidson, Wiseman, or Jedidiah or some similar name, by which it might be
harder to divine the mystery of his "Word" or to "get his number".
Masons are given a new name at the beginning of their initiation into the
mysteries, but this name only suggests the real new name that they are to
have. The real name comes only to him who overcometh and who hath eaten of
the hidden manna. It is then that he receives a white stone and in the stone
a "new name" written. (Rev. ii, 17.) Nor must it be thought that there are not
those who have eaten of the "hidden manna" and who know their new names.
Veneration of names has not entirely ceased even in civilization. Each of us
desires to keep his name "good", for "a good name is rather chosen than fine
ointment", "but the name of the wicked shall rot".
men labour "to make their names known". Men are willing to expend millions of
dollars to spread their names over the face of the globe, as advertisers do,
while others by doing great deeds are pleased to see their names become
names are a art of our personality, and this extends even to our signatures.
This is true to such an extent that there are those who pretend to read the
character of a man by his handwriting.
how vain it is to strive for the immortality of our names to the neglect of
the immortality of our souls.
still the search for the unknown Word goes on, and man seeks to discover his
Deity by name. How easily the truth might be known if we would but interpret
aright the text: IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD, AND THE WORD WAS WITH GOD, AND
THE WORD WAS GOD. The nations of the earth since the first awakening of man's
religious instinct have turned their minds toward heaven and inquired, "Who is
it that has made the earth and all things thereon?" And likewise men have
inquired, "Who shall protect me and give me power, who shall deliver me, and
whom shall I call upon for favour?"
answer this men evolved names of spirits, of gods, of duads and triads, and
sought by means of these names to discover Deity. Thus it is that man's great
quest is to find God and to know Him. To depict this quest is a task that
tempts the author's pen, for it is a subject of thrilling interest.
Before going far afield, let us look toward the Hebrew Bible, to see how these
scriptures depict the search. Let us scan the first line of Genesis and read
from the Hebrew, itself, "In the beginning Gods created-". But let us be more
specific; the word translated here "gods" is the Hebrew plural word Elohim (Alohim).
Let us pause; why should the scriptures say "gods"? The answer is not afar
off; the ancient Hebrews had more than one god!
critical scholar admits this and seeks to enlighten us upon the ancient Hebrew
pantheon. But we need not go afar to see that even the scriptures as we have
them also admit this.
in this word El (o) him we have the root Al, El, Il, and in that word we have
the whole religious history of Babylon and Semitic Asia Minor of antiquity.
word al means "turning toward" and further elucidation, as suggested by
Professor Delitzch, shows that it means "that which a man, turns toward as a
ancient thought of their gods as dwelling up above in the place toward which
man turns his eyes in and above the sky. A Babylonian hymn calls the sun-god
"the goal toward which all the eyes of the inhabitants are turned". (Cf. Job
xxxvi, 25.) So, following this idea, the oldest of Semites gave to the God-one
who dwelt above and ruled the sky world the name il or el. It was He to whom
worship of Il or El by the early North Semitic tribes as well as to the south
was an established fact as early as 2500 B.C., 1300 years before the rise of
the religion of Yahwe [Jehovah].
later times these Els or Elohim were conceived as plural beings, duads and
triads and more. Suffice to relate that the names of the early Hebrew gods
were many and all of the local gods or baals, and particularly Ashtar and
Yerahme'el. These to the Hebrews were all Elohim, just as to the northern
Semites of Palestine they were Baalhim or baals. The word El, or Al, was a
far-spread name and from it the Arabians took the name of their Deities, and
later the Mohammedans used it in constructing their word for God - Allah.
Cheyne points out an interesting origin for the name El and ascribes it to the
Phoenician alm. This word was used as the title of the chief god of the
Phoenician trinity who was Yerahme'el. The title may have been thus applied
but as a word it was used far earlier than this special application of it.
the historical fragments that we have given we have only indicated the world
search, age-long, for the "lost word". In the new dispensation we are given a
clear vision of how we may discover that word and apply it. Lost? Why should
it ever have been lost? In all ages there have been those who possessed that
word, but these have been the few who had paid the price of learn. It was
folly, to think that this "word" could ever be communicated by word of mouth
or by outward sign, for it can be known only from one source and by one means.
ancient Freemasonry under the old operative system there were three masters
sitting in the west, "thereby better enabling them to observe the rising of
the sun in the east". Each master bore a rod as the symbol of his office.
Each rod was of different length, as follows: Solomon's rod was five units in
length, Hiram of Tyre's four units, and Hiram Abiff's three units.
According to Masonic tradition upon each rod was a name, just such sort of
names as Chapter Masons use, though not the same names by any means.
the use of the rods, placed end to end, a right angle triangle can be formed.
For example, rods of three inches, four inches and five inches placed end to
end in the form of a triangle will form a perfect right angle at the point
where rod 4 meets rod 3. Rod 5 makes the hypotenuse.
according to our ancient traditions upon the slain Hiram's rod was the full
name of Deity, or perhaps the first and most important syllable. His rod was
essential not only in forming the ineffable word but in completing the right
was Hiram Abiff's rod for which the Craftsmen were instructed to search, and
not a square. The early ritual makers have erred, I think, in making a square
the implement discovered.
is explained the calamity that is depicted in our third degree, but the ritual
as evolved since 1717 has obscured and even mutilated the secrets as well as
the meanings of more ancient rites.
actual word was lost and with it one of the three standards of Solomon's
system of mensuration. Little wonder that Andonairarn received a place of
honour succeeding Hiram, for only Adonairam could make another metal rod equal
to that which was lost, but oven he could not engrave upon it the lost
syllable Yah or word Yabweh.
the philosopher who points the way by which we may recover that word, for it
is the real word and not any substitute that makes men and Masons good men and
true. And when we have given ourselves as the price, the name enters our
hearts; and when it so enters it becomes an impulse that translates itself in
the expression of a life.
Grand Master of England
Bro. DUDLEY WRIGHT, England
Grand Master of England, reigning as he does over the United Grand Lodge and
all its dependencies, is the most widely known and influential individual, no
doubt, in the Masonic world, a brother of whom Masons everywhere delight to
hear and to honor, as much for his record as statesman and soldier as for the
high place he holds in the Craft. Thinking that readers of THE BUILDER would
be interested to see a biographical sketch of England's Grand Master, we asked
Bro. Wright to contribute the article given herewith.
in order in this same connection to say that Bro. Wright himself is becoming
more and more taxed to respond to the demands being made on his pen. His name
appears in journals here, there and everywhere over the English speaking world
with amazing frequency, and always in connection with a solid contribution to
Masonic literature. How he manages to do it all is a mystery to his fellow
scribes. May he be spared to keep at it for many a year to come!
ROYAL HIGHNESS, Prince Arthur William Patrick Albert, Duke of Connaught and
Strathearn, Earl of Sussex in the Peerage of the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Ireland, Duke of Saxony and Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, was
born at Buckingham Palace, London, on the 1st of May, 1850.
entered the Army in 1868, was promoted Captain in 1871, Major in 1875,
Lieutenant-Colonel in 1876, Colonel in 1880, Major-General in the same year,
Lieutenant-General in 1889, General in 1893, and Field-Marshal in 1902. He is
Colonel-in-Chief of the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons, the Highland Light
Infantry, the Rifle Brigade, the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, and the Supply and
Transport Corps. He is also Colonel of the Grenadier Guards and the Army
Service Corps, Honorary Colonel of the South Irish Horse, the Royal East Kent
Yeomanry, the Duke of Connaught's Own Sligo Royal Field Reserve Artillery, 6th
Battalion Hampshire Regiment, 3rd Battalion the Queen's Own Royal West Kent
Regiment, 3rd and 4th Battalions Highland Light Infantry, the 18th County of
London Battalion, and the London Regiment (London Irish Rifles). His Royal
Highness is also Colonel-in-Chief of the following regiments of the Indian
Army: The 13th Duke of Connaught's Lancers, the 31st Duke of Connaught's Own
Lancers, the 7th Duke of Connaught's Own Rajputs, and the 129th Duke of
Connaught's Own Baluchis. He was Brigade-Major at Aldershot in 1873-4;
Brigade-Major, Cavalry Brigade, Aldershot, 1875; Assistant Adjutant-General,
Gibraltar, 1875-6; Brigadier-General, Aldershot, 1883; Major-General Bengal,
1883 to 1886; Lieutenant-General, Bombay, 1886-1890; Lieutenant-General,
Southern District, 1890-1896; Lieutenant-General Commanding in Troops at
Aldershot, 1893-1896; General Commanding the Forces in Ireland, 1900-1904;
General Commanding the 3rd Army Corps, 1901-1904; Inspector General of the
Forces and President of the Selection Board, 1904-1907; Field-Marshal
Commanding-in-Chief and High Commissioner in the Mediterranean, 1907-1909, and
was appointed Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief of the Dominion of
Canada in 1911, which position he held until 1916.
Duke of Connaught saw service in Canada during the Fenian Raid in 1870 and
received the Medal and Clasp. He commanded the Brigade of Guards in the
Egyptian War of 1882, and was present at the battles of Mahuta and Tel-el-Kebir,
when he was mentioned in dispatches and was thanked by both Houses of
Parliament, receiving the Medal with Clasp, the Bronze Star, Second Class
Order and the Medjidie, and the C. B. He had the Royal Victorian Chain and is
a Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, of the Most Noble Order of the
Thistle, of the Most Illustrious Order of St. Patrick, Grand Master and
Principal Knight of the Grand Cross of the Most Honorable Order of the Bath,
Knight Grand Commander of the Most Exalted Order of the Star of India, Knight
Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George,
Knight Grand Commander of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire, and
Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order. He is also a Knight of the
Golden Fleece of Spain, Knight of Saint Andrew of Russia, of the Annunciata of
Italy, of the Elephant of Denmark, of the Legion of Honor of France, of the
Chrysanthemum of Japan, of the Seraphim of Sweden, of the Tower and Sword of
Portugal and of the Spanish Military Order of Merit.
Oxford has conferred upon him the Doctorate of Civil Law, while Cambridge and
the Cape Universities gave him the degree of Doctor of Laws, and the Punjab
University gave him the Doctorate of Literature.
MARRIAGE AND FAMILY
the 13th of March, 1879, His Royal Highness married Princess Louise Margaret
Alexandra Victoria Agnes of Prussia, third daughter of the late Prince
Frederick Charles of Prussia, and brethren will remember his grief at her
death on 14th March, 1917. There were three children of the marriage, the
eldest, Brother Prince Arthur Frederick Patrick Albert, K.G., K.T., P.C., who
was appointed Past Grand Warden in 1914, was born on the 13th of January,
1883. He married the Princess Alexandra Victoria Alberta Edwina Louise,
Duchess of Fife, on 15th October, 1913. The elder of the two
daughters, Princess Margaret Victoria Augusta Charlotte Norah, married in 1905
H. R. H. Prince Gustavus Adolphus, Crown Prince of Sweden, and her sudden
death, on the seventieth anniversary of her father's birth, came as a terrible
blow to the Grand Master. The marriage of the younger daughter to Commander
Ramsay, in the spring of 1919, when, of her own free will, she abandoned the
rank and title of Princess, preferring to be known as Lady Patricia Ramsay, is
well within the memory of all.
occurrence of the seventieth anniversary of the birth of the Duke of Connaught
gave an opportunity for a display on the part of the press, all over the
world, as the representative of public opinion, to bear testimony, not only to
his popularity, but also to the eminent services he had rendered to the nation
throughout the whole of this public career. A writer in The Times said:
Duke of Connaught was born on May Day, 1850, seventy years ago. Not only in
the United Kingdom, but in many distant parts of the Empire, large numbers of
the King's subjects will join this morning with real sincerity in the good
wishes of his family and near kinsmen. For longer than most of us can
remember, during the reigns of his mother, his brother and his nephew, the
Duke has been a well-known and most popular figure in the life of the country,
and both as a man and a soldier has won for himself an abiding place in its
great interest of his life has always been the Army. From its guns to its
gaiter-buttons, from the standpoint of a Woolwich cadet to that of a
Field-Marshal, he knows it through and through. He has served in turn as
engineer, gunner, rifleman, Dragoon and Hussar. At Tel-el-Kebir he commanded
the Brigade of Guards, and during the campaign was three times mentioned in
despatches; in 1886 he was appointed to the post of Commander-in-Chief at
Bombay, and afterwards commanded the troops at Aldershot, in Ireland, and in
the Mediterranean, where he was also High Commissioner; from 1904 to 1907 he
held the post of Inspector-General of the Forces, and during the war was
appointed Colonel-in-Chief of the Volunteers and Inspector of Oversea Troops.
He would certainly have succeeded the Duke of Cambridge as Commander-in-Chief
if that dignified office had not been abolished. As it is, he remains a
Field-Marshal, a real friend to the Army, and a practical and devoted soldier
who for fifty-two years has worthily upheld the military - but never
militarist - traditions of his godfather, the great Duke of Wellington.
“That, however, is only one side of his life and character. He is deeply
interested in the social welfare of the! people, as well as of the Army, and
is a generous supporter of charitable and benevolent schemes for the benefit
of his fellow citizens in the Home Country. As for the Empire, he has always
shown himself its loyal and hard-working servant, more especially in South
Africa and Canada. His work in Canada as Governor-General was of particular
value, and the fruits of it were plainly visible during the Prince of Wales'
tour in the Dominion. When he went there, fears were expressed in certain
quarters as to the wisdom of the appointment of a Royal Duke. It was felt that
some independent spirits might regard the establishment of a reign of Court
etiquette as an unwelcome innovation. But when the Royal Duke was found to be
human, Canada took him and his family to her heart, and his unfailing tact and
tireless interest in all the problems and activities of the Dominion soon made
him a general favorite. In consenting to an extension of his term of office
during the war, when his experience as a soldier was of so much service to
those who were engaged in the enrollment and training of the Canadian
Expeditionary Force, he put his own feelings in the background, in spite of
his consideration for the delicate health of the Duchess, and so added to the
debt which the Dominion as well as the Mother Country already owed him.
is, above all, a man of unfailing energy, who always must be doing something.
No sooner has one appointment or one journey come to an end than he has
embarked on another. Not only during the war, when, like the whole of the
Royal Family, from King and Queen downwards, he set a fine example of
unswerving and unselfish devotion to duty, but throughout his life he has
constantly been at the disposal of his country. He has still, we may hope, in
all human probability, many years of happy and useful life in front of him,
and he is today what he has always been, a fine pattern of an upright and
honourable English gentleman, who has well earned the feelings of respect and
affection with which his fellow-countrymen regard him."
the same day many other tributes appeared in the daily press all over the
world. The Westminster Gazette wrote:
good wishes will go with the Duke of Connaught today on the attainment of his
seventieth birthday. In the Army, in public life, as Commander-in-Chief in the
Mediterranean, and still more in his later period as Governor-General of
Canada, the Duke has done whatever duty has fallen to him with a zeal and
thoroughness that have won him a place in the affection of the people of the
Empire. Quietly and efficiently he has illustrated the real service that can
be given to the State by a member of the Royal Family not in the direct line
of succession who brings brains and good will to his tasks. His career in the
Army was fruitful of much good, but we think today less of the soldier than of
the great gentleman whose whole life has been one of devoted service. It was a
happy chance that the Duke of Connaught was Governor-General of Canada when
war broke out. The Dominion required no stimulus to exertion, but was much in
need of the expert guidance that the Duke could give from his long experience
in the Army, and that he placed at the disposition of the Canadian Government
INTEREST IN FREEMASONRY
who have been privileged to attend any of the many Masonic gatherings at which
the Grand Master was present can bear willing witness to his deep interest in
all Craft doings, over whose affairs in England he has presided with such
distinction for so many years, but the Grand Master was at his best, perhaps,
when presiding over one of the lodges of which he was the permanent Master. An
incident of a very homely character took place a few years since, on the
occasion of the installation of the Duke of Connaught as Worshipful Master of
the Royal Colonial Institute Lodge, No. 3556, at Freemasons' Hall. He not only
invested his Deputy Master, to whom it was thought he would delegate the
investiture of the other officers, but insisted on his right to invest all his
officers, Tyler included, to their great pride and delight.
from the time of his initiation the Duke of Connaught has taker the keenest
interest in all matters appertaining to the Craft. His initiation took place
in the Prince of Wales Lodge, No. 259, on 24th March, 1874, the ceremony being
performed by his royal brother, H. R. H. the Prince of Wales, then Worshipful
Master of the lodge, afterwards King Edward VII. He passed on to the next
degree on 22nd June, 1874, and completed the steps of his admission into the
Craft on 27th April of the following year, the day immediately preceding that
on which the Prince of Wales was installed as Grand Master of the United Grand
Lodge of England, at which ceremony the Duke of Connaught had the honor and
privilege of being present. He became an active member of other lodges,
notably the Royal Alpha Lodge, No. 16, of which he was Master in 1881; the
Aldershot Army and Navy Lodge, No. 1971; the Navy Lodge, No. 2612; the Jubilee
Masters' Lodge, No. 2712; the Nil Sine Labore Lodge, No. 2736; the Old
Wellingtonian Lodge, No. 3404, and the Royal Colonial Institute Lodge, already
mentioned, of most of which he is the permanent Master.
1877 the Duke was invested Senior Grand Warden of England, and his younger
brother, the late Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, was at the same time
appointed Junior Grand Warden, but the only occasion on which the three royal
brothers were present at the same time at a communication of the Grand Lodge
was at an Emergency Meeting held on 15th March, 1882, to congratulate H. M.
Queen Victoria on her escape from the hands of the assassin. The next
important- event in the Duke's career was his appointment, in 1878, to the
office - which he still holds - of Great Prior of the Order of the Temple in
Ireland, and then, after the lapse of a few years, he was, in 1886, appointed
and installed Provincial Grand Master of Sussex. The installation ceremony
took place on 22nd June of that year, in the Dome of the Royal Pavilion,
Brighton, in the presence of one of the largest gatherings of Freemasons ever
held in Sussex. The Installing Master was again the Prince of Wales, who was
assisted by the late Lords Herschell and Beresford.
LEAVES FOR INDIA
long afterwards the Duke of Connaught left England for India, where he had
previously been in command of the Meerut District, to take over the command of
the forces in the Presidency of Bombay, but he was fortunately able to return
to England to take part in the state functions connected with the celebration
of the Jubilee of Queen Victoria as Sovereign of the British Dominions. He was
among the Masonic dignitaries of the Order who attended the memorable meeting
in the Royal Albert Hall, under the auspices of his brother, the Prince of
Wales, Grand Master, on 13th June, 1887, when an Address of Congratulation was
voted to Queen Victoria. Meanwhile the Duke of Connaught had been appointed to
the vacant position of District Grand Master of Bombay, and had graciously
taken charge of the dutiful Address of Congratulation to the Queen on the
attainment of her Jubilee, voted by the Bombay District Grand Lodge, and he
personally presented it to Her Majesty, it being the only Address, save that
voted by Grand Lodge, which was thus honored.
1901 the Duke of Connaught has held the appointment of First Grand Principal
of Royal Arch Masonry and Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master
Masons of England and Wales and the Colonies and Dependencies of the British
Crown. He is Permanent Soverign of the Connaught Chapter of the Antient and
Accepted Rite, meeting at Aldershot, as well as a member of the 33rd degree of
that body, of which he is also the Grand Patron. In Knight Templary he was
installed in the Duke of Connaught and Strathern Preceptory, No. 153, in the
United Provinces, India, and in 1901 he became affiliated with the Connaught
Preceptory, No. 172, meeting at the Officers' Club House, Aldershot, of which
he is the permanent Preceptor. He is also Grand Master of the United Orders of
the Temple and Hospital.
interest in the various Masonic Institutions is no less keen. In 1878 he
presided at the eighteenth anniversary Festival of the Royal Masonic
Institution for Boys; in 1892 he acted in the same capacity for the Royal
Masonic Institution for Girls at the 104th anniversary Festival, while in 1897
he was pleased to preside at the annual Festival of the Royal Masonic
Benevolent Institution. He is Patron of all three Institutions. He has taken a
very deep interest in the formation of the Freemasons' War Hospital, and when
this Institution reverted to its original purpose of a Masonic Hospital and
Nursing Home, in 1920, he was the first to welcome the patients and to express
a hope and desire for their well-being.
first and only personal appeal to the Craft as Grand Master was on the
occasion of the memorable Masonic Peace Celebration, in the Royal Albert Hall,
in 1919, when he originated the appeal for funds to raise a Central Home for
Freemasonry in the metropolis, which should be worthy not only of the Craft in
England, as the Mother Grand Lodge, but be a fitting memorial to the many
hundreds of brethren who gave their lives as a sacrifice in the Great War.
1920 the Duke of Connaught took the place of his nephew, Bro. H. R. H. the
Prince of Wales, and went to India as the representative of his King and
country. While there he found time to grant audience to the brethren of the
several District Grand Lodges in India, and thus cemented bonds in the
world-wide fraternity. On his return to England he lost no time in paying a
visit to they communication of the United Grand Lodge of England, when he gave
an exceedingly interesting account of his travels. In the course of his
remarks he said:
had the very greatest pleasure in visiting the District Grand Lodge of Madras,
of Bengal, of the Punjab and of Bombay and I am sure you would all have felt
very proud and very much touched with the splendid welcome they gave me in
each of those cities. The Masons there were very keen and alert. They were
doing their duty, and were following the great precepts of our Craft. Besides
that, they were steadily increasing in numbers. I know of no part of the
British Empire where Masonry can be of greater use in cementing these good
feelings which should exist among the different nationalities, castes and
creeds than the great Empire of India. I am certain, from all I saw, and you
may be gratified to learn it, that everything was in good working order, and
everywhere I found zealousness and keenness. I found that charity was ever
thought of, and that the great precepts of Freemasonry were understood and
carried out in the best possible manner. It was a great satisfaction to me as
Grand Master, to meet the brethren of India again. You will remember that I
was District Grand Master of Bombay for five years, and I found that they had
never forgotten me. They had remembered the different occasions on which I had
been with them, and I can assure you that I was very much touched by the
warmth of their reception. Each lodge insisted on presenting me with a highly
valued memento of my visit to their respective District Grand Lodges.”
Men Who Were Masons
Bro. GEO. W. BAIRD, P.G.M., District of Columbia
or Louis, Kossuth, the celebrated Hungarian patriot and liberator, was born in
Monok, Hungary, in 1802, being Slavic in decent and Lutheran in religion.
Through his father, a lawyer, he obtained a good education, including classic
instruction in the Piarists school at Ujhely, followed by a course at Eperies,
completing with a legal and philosophical training at the college of Patak, in
the last named of which he was fostered in a spirit of hatred for Austria.
Kossuth became well read in history and also in language, knowing the various
Magyar dialects well, and Slovak, German, French and Latin; in later life he
became very proficient in English. After leaving college he rose from one
position to another, early becoming noted as a liberal, was popular with the
middle class and was, for a period, manager of the large estates of the
Countess Szapary in Zemplein. In the diet of 1832-6 he was proxy for a member
in the upper house, possessing in that capacity a voice but no vote. This
experience was of some importance in his career because the diet ranked among
the more important assemblies of modern Hungary; and its debates, following
close upon the Polish tragedy of 1831, were watched with great interest by the
populace, especially by patriots, although any publication of them was
hindered by severe restrictions. The liberals, the party in opposition, were
persuaded by Kossuth to resort to the extraordinary means of a lithographed
newspaper which they called Orszaggyalesi tudosositasoz, meaning Parliamentary
Communications. Extracts and communications were dictated by Kossuth to a
number of copyists who lithographed the same, and this crude sheet obtained no
little circulation. Kossuth later became connected with another organ, but
this venture fell through when the government prohibited its publication,
whereupon he had it placed under the protection of the County of Pesth; but
even so the government again prohibited it. On May 2, 1837, Kossuth was tried
for treason and sentenced to four years in prison. On account of this move,
great agitation developed among the populace so that the liberals carried the
elections for the next diet of 1839-40. Because of this rise in power they
were able to secure the release of Kossuth and some of his fellow prisoners, a
victory for liberal principles which met with many popular demonstrations and
Kossuth was invited to use the columns of the Pesth-Hirlap (Pesth Journal), a
liberal venture started in January, 1841, with fewer than one hundred
subscribers. Within a very short time he had made this paper so popular that
its circulation increased by thousands and that in spite of the opposition of
the aristocracy and the clergy.
Stephen Szechenyi, of an old and aristocratic family, denounced Kossuth as a
dangerous agrarian and demagogue, in a book called Relet Nepe (The Prople of
the East). This Count, who was a kind of half liberal, wished to give the
people their liberty as a gift from above; Kossuth demanded it as an inherent
right and threatened to extort it by force if necessary. With public opinion
behind him, and encouragement from some powerful newspapers, Kossuth was able
to swing the election of 1843; but trouble developed in connection with his
own paper, the result of which was his removal from the editor's chair, and
the paper was transformed into an organ of the opposition. The affair was what
we would now call a "double cross."
Hungary was exhausted by a tariff cunningly devised to keep it dependent on
various German provinces; this was one of the principal grievances of the mass
of the people. Assisted by some of the nobility who for family or other
reasons were opposed to the Germans, Kossuth formed the Vedegylet (a
protective union) the members of which (both men and women) bound themselves
to use only home-made products when possible. Other societies took a hand in
it, and soon a general boycott was declared against German goods.
the influences set loose by the French Revolution of 1848 were at their
height, Kossuth proposed an address to the Emperor Ferdinand of Austria urging
the restoration of Hungary to its former independence. The move was at last
successful and Kossuth was received in the capital with the honors of a
liberator. Ferdinand entrusted Louis Batthyanyi with the forming of an
independent Hungarian Ministry in which Kossuth was made minister of finance.
To this office he directed all his energies, created a treasury, organized a
militia, formed many new battalions of-national soldiery, established armories
and generally aroused the spirit of the nation by proclamations, speeches and
articles, many of which he published in a new organ called Kossuth Hirlapja.
But dangers lay ahead. The south of Hungary was torn by racial struggles, also
by religious. As a result of these internal dissensions, the nation became
engaged in a quarrel with Italy, and Jellachich, with a large army, crossed
the River Drave with intent to subdue the country. Many members of the
Hungarian ministry resigned and others fled as the enemy approached the
Russia and Austria joined in so that their combined forces swept all
resistance before them, although Kossuth created an army, raised money and
called upon the people to rally to the defense of their homes. On August 11,
1849, Kossuth resigned his powers in favor of Gorgey, who surrendered to
Russia two days afterward. Kossuth sought refuge in Turkey from which Austria
and Russia sought to capture him by means of extradition. Turkey, however,
encouraged by England and France, resisted the Russian and Italian threats.
After his wife and children had managed to join Kossuth he was able to get
aboard the U. S. Frigate Mississippi at Trieste Sept. 1, 1851, a vessel sent
there by the United States to bring him to this country. He visited
Washington, D. C., in 1852, where he was introduced on the floor of the
Senate. He gave speeches in many cities, including Philadelphia, New York,
Baltimore, Cincinnati and Cleveland. He was made a Mason in Cincinnati Lodge,
No. 133, Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1852. His admirers have raised a beautiful
monument to his memory in Cleveland, Ohio, and this has become a shrine for a
large number of Hungarians and their descendants and also for patriotic
Americans who know his story and love him for hip principles.
Bro. HENRY TAYLOR, Missouri
the far off days before what we call civilization began to be man had to
combat the forces of nature with a slender outfit of tools, instruments, and
weapons. Each and every one of the few things he had wherewith to work meant
more to him, far more, than any tool or implement can possibly mean to us.
That may be one of the reasons for the symbolical meaning which came to be
attached to so many of the familiar every-day things used by primitive man.
It may be the explanation of the fact that the fibre or leather rope which was
used for countless purposes came to have so great a significance. Some
anthropologists believe that in the long period during which man was gradually
learning to domesticate animals the rope was almost the only means whereby he
was able to control them; accordingly that rope became for him the very symbol
of his mastery of brute nature, and often it stood between him and
starvation. Be this as it may - the theory is reasonable enough - the rope,
or cable, or thong, very early came to have symbolic and mystical meanings,
proving that men could use it with their imagination as well as with their
Ropes, cords, halters, etc., meant many things in ancient religions and secret
cults. In several of the religious cults of Nearer Asia, the region from
which radiated so many of the religious forces that profoundly influenced our
own religion, the center of the cult was a god, usually the sun under a thin
disguise, who was once a year hanged to a tree, there to die for the sake of
his people; for that reason the hanging rope became a sacred thing. When a
candidate was initiated in several of the mystery secret cults he was led into
the temple, often a dark cave, with a rope, and, in case he fainted away from
fright, as frequently happened, was dragged out by it. Druid priests often
wore a chain about the neck. Among some Brahmin cults members wore a cord,
either about the waist or the neck, to symbolize their spiritual rebirth. In
some of the medieval courts it was the custom to place a rope about the neck
or middle of an accused person to make him realize that he was at the mercy of
probable, judging from the very slender array of facts available, that in
nearly all the secret religions and fraternities of the ancient and medieval
world the rope was used for a more or less practical purpose, though that
practical use inevitably came to be associated with symbolical meanings.
Initiation has always been an ordeal, and must be, and consequently it has
usually been necessary to keep the candidate under absolute control.
has been much dispute among our scholars as to the origin of the word "Cable
Tow." Some trace it to a German root, others to Dutch, a few to French and a
few to a Hebrew term. Thus far there has been no general agreement among them
except that the term means some kind of a rope that is used for drawing
something, as when a scow is drawn along behind a tug, or a canal boat is
dragged by a horse. It is a cable by which a thing is towed along.
has been an equal division of opinion as to the meaning and use of the Cable
Tow in Freemasonry. (It never appeared in any dictionary until the Standard
was issued, where it is given as a Masonic term, and even so is erroneously
described.) Albert Pike saw in it nothing but a physical device for managing
the candidate. Dr. Mackey seems to have agreed with Pike. Lawrence saw in it
a symbol of the Mystic Tie. Rowbottom made it to mean Masonic duty, which is
the moral tie. Others give it a quite geometrical meaning and there are
others still, as one would guess, who find in it a thousand occult meanings.
safest way to work one's self into the meaning of a Masonic symbol is to trace
the history of its use by the fraternity. I believe it is a safe canon of
Masonic interpretation that every symbol is interpreted by its use. In
English Masonry of two hundred years ago the Cable Tow appeared only in the
First Degree and then with no symbolical meaning at all. This would indicate
that in the older system of Operative Masonry it had nothing more than a
physical use. This surmise is strengthened by the fact that in English
Speculative Masonry of today the rope appears only in the Entered Apprentice
Degree, and is there explained as being a means for controlling the body of
we pass over to our American system we discover a significant fact. In the
First Degree the Cable Tow is described in the same way as in the
corresponding section of that degree as worked by our English brethren; but,
and this is the significant matter, it also appears in the Second and Third
Degrees, in both of which it is given a quite symbolical meaning. This
appears to prove that the symbolical use of the Cable Tow grew up among
American lodges. Why it grew up there it is probably impossible to discover,
seeing that no records are made of such things, but we may guess that our
brethren added the Cable Tow to the two latter degrees in order to make the
work more symmetrical; that they gave to it such a symbolical meaning as most
naturally occurred to them, and that they let it remain in the First Degree as
it had been in order not to change things more than necessary.
our brethren had in mind when they gave the Cable Tow a place in our system of
symbols is made perfectly clear, it seems to me, by the few words of
interpretation which are given in each of the two latter degrees. The Cable
Tow is the symbol of all those forces and compulsions which regulate a man's
conduct from without; it is not removed until the man is able to control and
govern himself from within. As a physical thing it is set over in opposition
to that Mystic Tie which isn't a physical thing at all, but inward disposition
of the mind and heart. This, if we will consider it aright, is a summons to
examine into certain truths which it is of the utmost importance to us that we
self-evident that men, being as they are, cannot be held together in an
orderly society without the systematic use of force, understanding by force
those secular methods whereby the law enforces itself - police, courts,
penitentiaries, fines and the military system. It is an unfortunate thing
that this should be so, for it is the most barbarous side of social life, but
it seems unavoidable, for there are so many men and women of an unsocial
nature who, without the restraint of force, would soon throw the whole social
system into anarchy.
Tolstoy held this to be a fallacy. He believed that if we would do away with
policemen, constables, marshals, courts, armies and navies there might ensue,
a period of disorder but that after a while the normal commonsense of the
majority would reassert itself to restore peace and order. Force degrades our
nature. The law's methods make more criminals than they cure. Armies lead to
war. Not to fight the devil with fire, not to return blow for blow, but to
practice non-resistance, that, so it seemed to him, would lead us all after a
time to live a more neighbourly existence. Many agree with Tolstoy, and more
agree with him up to a point, the pacifists for example; and there is no
question but that force does, in a certain way, degrade our nature, but it
must be remembered that social force exists not only to punish crime but also
to regulate the actions of men in a world which is so complicated that no
individual can find his way about in it undirected. Tax laws, for example,
are not penal in their nature but they are necessary, and the great majority
would pay no taxes were they not compelled; and as much may be said of many
other matters. Furthermore, if laws were laid aside, and policemen dismissed,
it would not be long before men, women and children would be kept in control
by some other similar social force so that in the long run little would be
must wear the Cable Tow.
it is all-important in this connection to note that the uses of external
force, though necessary, are very limited, and that because it has no method
whatever for penetrating into the hidden springs of human conduct. It can't
get at our motives. It has no way of controlling our private characters, or
of moving the heart. A man may keep the public laws, at least he may very
successfully escape all punishments by law and yet know nothing of those other
laws which wield a different kind of compulsion and have no power of
inflicting punishment of a physical character - the law of kindliness, of
brotherliness, of forgiveness, of love, of purity and righteousness. The
whole system of social force is at best a cumbersome thing which touches life
at few points. It is easily evaded and avoided, and there are whole regions
of life where it cannot come at all.
man who knows no other law of conduct than that which backs the policeman and
the penitentiary is an inferior man. In the eyes of Freemasonry he is a
profane, one who has never been initiated into the secrets of manhood. Those
secrets are in the heart. They belong to thoughts, ideals, feelings, motives,
impulses, aspirations, hopes and all that world which is hidden away in the
soul from which a man's walk and character are determined. If a man is
controlled from without, and doesn't steal from us merely because the law
watches, how are we to know that he will not break into the house when he
thinks the law does not see him? If he tells the truth only to escape losing
his business or his reputation, how are we to believe him when these things
are absent? If his conduct is regulated by forces outside himself, will he be
or do, how are we to know what he will be or do, when he chances to come into
some place, those external forces are not operative? Such a man is one who is
led about by a Cable Tow. But the Master Man, as Freemasonry depicts him, is
one whose conduct is regulated from within. He has the law in his heart.
There is a court in his conscience, a government in his soul. Wherever he is,
and under what ever circumstances, he will remain an upright man because his
rectitude is a thing of his nature. The Cable Tow which binds him to the
social and moral order, and which holds him to his duty, has passed inward and
become a mystical thing of the spirit.
also with his love. Many there are who know how to be very brotherly and
sociable when they find themselves in a brotherly atmosphere, but whose
kindliness withers up outside that air; he who is truly a Master Mason will
have love in his heart, and from his heart it will flow to his brethren
wherever and whatever they may be. A Cable Tow of affection reaches to them,
nothing can break it, nothing can loosen its, hold.
is the length of this Cable Tow? It is as long as the arm that stretches out a
helping hand. It reaches as far as a brother's cheering voice. It goes as
far as charity's dollar can go. It can travel as far as good will can
travel. Wherever the mails can carry a letter it can be carried. The length
of a Master Mason's Cable Tow is precisely equal to the extent of his
Chapters of Masonic History
Bro. H.L. HAYWOOD, Editor THE BUILDER
VII. FREEMASONRY AND THE GILD SYSTEM
THE GILD SYSTEM IN GENERAL
the Angles and Saxons settled in ancient England (Britain it was then called)
they at first maintained their military form of organization, so that each
settlement was a kind of camp; but as time went on and villages became
permanent, a civil form of social order began slowly to evolve. The first step
in this was the institution of the kin-bond, wherein blood relatives stood
together for support and protection, the individual and his family being
mutually responsible. This gave way in the course of time to voluntary
associations founded not on blood relationship but on community ties, existing
to protect the individual against the group, to preserve order in the
settlement, and for a variety of similar purposes. These associations,
described as "artificial" in contrast to the "natural" bond of blood, were the
first gilds in England, in virtue of which fact it cannot be said that anybody
ever "discovered" or "invented" gilds; they grew out of natural conditions in
response to social necessity, just as they had come into existence among the
Greeks and Romans centuries before, the former calling them "thiassoi", etc.,
the latter, "collegia". It is generally believed by the more dependable
authorities that it is very possible that there may have been some historical
continuity between the gilds of early England and the Roman collegia, but the
historical remains of the period are too scanty to enable us to make sure on
that point. If such a continuity ever existed it was more probable in Italy,
where the collegia longest endured, and which, like most other European
countries, had a gild system of its own.
word "gild" (sometimes spelled "guild") continues to be a puzzle so far as
its etymology is concerned. The North Germans had "geld", meaning money; the
Danish, "gilde", a religious feast in honour of the god Odin; the
Anglo-Saxons, "gild", from same root as "yield", and meaning a fixed payment
of money; the Bretons "gouil", a feast or holiday; the Welsh "gmylad", a
festival. In later times, when gilds became everywhere common, the North
Germans used the word "gild"; the South Germans, "zunft"; the French, "metier";
and the Italians, "arte". In the sixteenth century England the word was
generally superseded by "company", "corporation" or "mystery", the last name
derived from the Latin "ministerium", or trade, and having no reference to
anything mysterious, being preserved in our usage to this day, as when we
speak of the arts, parts and mysteries of Freemasonry.
first gilds, as it is believed, were organized in Italy. In France they were
very common before Charlemagne, and are first mentioned in the Carolingian
Capitularies of 779 and 789. Commercial and craft gilds began to become
common in France, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark and Sweden in the eleventh
century. The oldest known ordinances, as the written laws for the government
of a gild were called, occur in England in the eleventh century. The gild
principle proved so successful and was applied to so many uses that by the
twelfth and thirteenth centuries it became the outstanding feature of the
social and economic life of Europe.
of the commonest early uses of that principle was in the "frith", or peace,
gilds, which became very popular in North Europe in the sixth century - the
Vikings organized then to suppress piracy - and in England the century later,
where they were referred to in the Laws of Ine. These were voluntary
associations of men organized for mutual defense, to supplement defective
laws, and to police the community in a period when national governments were
not known and when the authority of the town was very weak. We saw this
system at work in our own land under pioneer conditions, as in the case of the
Vigilantes, and even today, in spite of our elaborate machinery for the
enforcement of law and the protection of citizens, impatient men in some
communities strive to make or enforce law by similar methods.
the course of time gilds multiplied until they came to be used for every
conceivable purpose, for good-fellowship, for drinking, for insuring a decent
burial, for worship, for hunting, travel, art and for banking; priests and
friars organized, sailors, travelers, woodsmen and shepherds; there were gilds
for men, women, children, for rich and for poor, in the country and in the
town. Functions now performed by government, armies, schools, stores,
factories, hospitals, trade unions, and most of the other innumerable forms
into which social organization has differentiated itself, were then held in
keeping by gilds.
typical gild had prayers for the dead; a common chest for incidental upkeep
and for the relief of the widows and orphans of deceased members; periodical
meetings, with banquets; admitted members on an oath, sometimes two;
administered fines; adopted ordinances for the regulation of its own
activities; punished members for improper conduct, and co-operated in many
ways with the town or national governments. Most of these societies were
small, the largest on record being the Corpus Christi gild at York, which once
boasted of 15,000 members. Sometimes many gilds in a community consolidated,
but there was never a country-wide merger. Of the city of London there is
record of one gild in 1130; of eighteen in 1180, and of 110 in 1422. In the
time of Edward III there were listed more than 40,000 religious and trade
gilds in England; the census of 1389 showed 909 in Norfolk alone. This
proliferation received its first serious set-back during the Reformation when
Henry VIII despoiled all religious gilds; it died down rapidly with the advent
of the capitalist system, and came to a dead stop, except in a few unimportant
instances, in the last century. France prohibited them in 1789-91; Spain and
Portugal, 1833-40; Austria and Germany, 1859-60; Italy, 1864; Scotland, where
the development had followed Continental lines, in 1846, and England in 1835.
its heyday the gild system was very closely connected with the church, so
closely that some writers credit the church with its origin; almost every gild
had its patron saint, before whose image it kept a candle burning, and many
set aside sums of money for the sustenation of a priest, the maintenance of a
chapel and for masses, chantries, church charities and church schools.
Oftentimes a gild had its own chaplain, and a very large number, as already
noted, were devoted exclusively to religious purposes; these religious
fraternities were suppressed in England in 1547, and other gilds were at the
same time forbidden to give money to churches. A number of the Roman Catholic
fraternities now existing are lineal descendants of the old religious gilds.
Partly as a result of their alliance with the church many gilds, otherwise
devoted to purely secular pursuits, participated in pageants and in mystery,
morality and miracle plays, the forerunners of our modern drama. These plays
were staged on wagons drawn in a "procession" from one exhibition point to
another across the town, and always it was a day of excitement when they were
shown, and vast crowds gathered. Expenses were divided among the gilds and
parts allotted, as at Norwich, where the mercers, drapers and haberdashers
presented the creation of the world; the grocers, Paradise; the smiths, the
fight between David and Goliath; or as at Hereford, the glovers gave Adam and
Eve; the carpenters, Noah's ship; the tailors, the three kings, etc. It is of
record that on a few instances parts were taken by gilds of Masons. I am of
the opinion that the drama of our Third Degree may very probably have been
originally an old mystery play, which may have found its way to us through
some Masons' gild that participated in it.
used to be the fashion to say that the gild corporation and the town
corporation were identical, or that the former gradually metamorphosed into
the latter, a view given a very wide circulation by Brentano; this idea has
been abandoned. There was always a close connection between town government
and gild government, but the two were always distinct, except possibly in two
or three negligible instances. In many cases a man had to be a gild member
before he could become a citizen, but the gild ordinances were always
subordinate to the town authority. The manner in which the gilds governed
themselves will be described later.
a remarkable fact, and one worthy of especial remark to us Masons, that many
gilds accepted men not at all engaged in the craft as patrons or as a means of
bestowing an honour or some special privilege. "Indeed," writes one of the
best authorities, E. Lipson, "the members of many London companies frequently
came to have only a very faint connection with the business of the company to
which they were attached," a fact that makes it easier for us to understand
how non-operatives came to be admitted into the old Masonic gilds, or lodges.
"They included in their membership," writes another authority, "most of the
wealthy men of the nation, and the great [gild] halls now standing in the city
of London testify to the proud names with which they are so generously
decorated that the men who made England what she was, the men who built her
commerce, won her wealth and risked their lives and fortunes in extending
England's commercial supremacy, were mighty in the gilds." Henry IV, Henry VI
and Henry VIII were gild members, so also Edward III, who belonged to a gild
of armourers. There is therefore nothing extraordinary in the fact that Elias
Ashmole and other worthies of his time sought membership among the operative
THE MERCHANT GILDS
gild system in general had two grand periods of development, the first of
which culminated in the merchant gilds, as were called those associations
formed in all the towns (save a few, among which was London) for the purpose
of managing and controlling trading and commerce. Such a gild included all
engaged in a given kind of commerce, including wage-earners as well as
proprietors, and the object was to enable the merchants to maintain a monopoly
of, and an efficient organization of, all the merchandising in a given
community. These organizations grew apace and waxed powerful and became in
time the foster parents of English commerce; more than 100 towns in England
and seventy in Ireland and Wales had them. They reached their zenith in the
twelfth century, began to disappear in the fourteenth century and were almost
completely superseded by craft gilds in the fifteenth century.
Merchant gilds engaged in so many activities, some private, some public, that
it is impossible to describe them in full; among the most important of their
functions was the control of import and export of wares; the limiting of the
number permitted in any trade; the regulation of wages and prices, and the
inspection and standardization of goods. Every member had to pay "scot" and
"lot", as the general taxes were called, and take oath to obey the rulers and
ordinances, as well as contribute his annual dues. As a reward for his
membership he was privileged to share in business transactions and in
bargains, and was given a "status" in the community very much coveted. If he
fell ill he was cared for; his family was looked after in case of his death;
in unemployment he was helped to find a position, and he was protected against
quarrels and unjust dealings. The gild was governed by an alderman ("elder
man") and his associates, two or four in number; it had its own treasury;
passed its own ordinances; could fine or otherwise punish its members; and in
some instances had its own court. At periodical meetings - called "morning
speeches" - the brethren passed or revised ordinances, admitted new members,
feasted and elected officers.
industry developed in scope and complexity it became increasingly difficult
for these gilds merchant to retain their monopolies; gradually there grew up a
new system to supersede the old, known as craft gilds, in which not commerce
but a handicraft was the unit; there was a struggle between the new system and
the old, but the old at last gave way and in the fifteenth century ceased to
be. Craft gilds were not, as has often been alleged, the offspring of the
merchant gilds, for there was no organic connection between them; they were
variously two similar but quite distinct and separate developments of the gild
principle due to economic changes.
primary purpose of the craft gild was to establish a complete system of
industrial control over all who were associated together in the pursuit of a
common calling." The merchant gild, working usually in the smaller towns,
organized a whole industry; the craft gilds, springing up everywhere, from
London to almost every hamlet, organized each separate part of every industry,
or vocation, as an independent entity. For example, where the merchant gild
had organized the leather business as a whole, craft gilds broke it up into
specialties, so that tanners, saddle makers, harness makers, bridle makers,
shoe makers, slipper makers, boot makers, etc., had each their own
fraternity. This high degree of specialization was extended to the arts, to
social interests, amusements and education; it was even extended to religion,
so that in one church might be a gild of priests, of musicians, of singers, of
actors in the mystery play, and a gild to look after the altar besides to see
that it was properly dressed with rich cloths and its candles always burning.
gilds devoted wholly to some one handicraft performed an astonishing number of
functions and became a little family world to each member in which he found
his social fellowship, his school, his business, his hospital, his sick,
health and life insurance, protection against enemies, employment bureau, a
court to which to be responsible for his conduct and laws and ordinances for
controlling his conduct. The old debate among Masonic writers as to whether
the medieval operative Masonic gilds possessed any "speculative" elements
would seem to be singularly beside the point; every gild was full of
"speculative" elements, even the pig drivers and sheep herders, who, like the
rest had their patron saints, their religious festivals and burned a candle at
free grammar schools were founded and maintained by the gilds," writes Lipson,
in his excellent Economic History, "which formed one of the main sources of
education in the Middle Ages; and one gild, that of Corpus Christi, Cambridge,
perpetuated its memory by founding the famous college that still bears its
name. In this way the gilds contributed to the spread of learning, and the
voluntary efforts of artisans helped to keep burning the lamp of knowledge."
He could have added many more examples. Dean Colet turned over to a gild the
management of his St. Paul's school. William Shakespeare secured his "little
Latin and less Greek" at a gild school in Stratford-on-Avon.
writers have described craft gilds as "the trade unions of the Middle Ages",
but this is most inaccurate. As Sidney and Beatrice Webb have stated so
clearly in their magnificent History of Trade Unions there was no connection
whatever between the two, and only a superficial resemblance. The craft gild
was a quasi-public body, often so interwoven with municipal government that
learned writers have confused the two; it controlled trade not in the
interests of workmen merely but of all, the public included; membership in it
was compulsory, and so recognized by local and national laws; its ranks
included employers as well as employed, and these two groups did not come into
conflict until later, with the rise of journeymen's gilds; it accepted into
membership only trained men, all others, servants, etc., being left outside
and considered as "cowans"; it was a purely local institution, with a
territory limited by the community boundaries; and in addition to the
regulation of wages, hours and general trade conditions, it was also engaged,
as described above, in many activities of a purely social character, and
unrelated to the trade itself.
the head of the typical gild were the wardens, two or four, usually elected by
the assembly but sometimes appointed by the mayor, holding office for one
year, whose duty it was to supervise the work turned out by the craft and to
see that certain standards were maintained. The assembly usually met once a
year, but sometimes four times, and at stated intervals. The gild often had
its own court and members were admitted on oath. The general membership was
divided into the three grades of masters, journeymen (fellow crafts) and
apprentices, but any journeyman might become a master so that, so far as skill
was concerned, there were only two classes. Women were admitted into many
gilds and were permitted to take apprentices and to hire journeymen.
most admirable feature in the whole gild system was the institution called
apprenticeship, which was a method for training youths in their vocation never
since surpassed and not often equalled. A boy was "indentured", or
contracted, to some master for a term of years, which in earlier times might
last from one to ten years, but in 1563 was everywhere (in England) fixed at
seven years. The master furnished bed and board, technical training,
sometimes a small salary, sometimes schooling, supervised his conduct, and
generally stood to the boy in loco parentis; the boy in his turn was obliged
to be no bondsman, of good physique, a faithful workman and alive to his
master's welfare. The beginnings of this system have been traced to 1260; it
became a vital part of the whole economic system in the thirteenth century.
Apprentices were usually registered with the town authorities and otherwise
given a recognized status in the community. The terms and experiences of his
position passed into popular speech, remaining in use until the present day,
coloured all social thinking, and often was celebrated in literature, as in
Goethe's Wilhelm Maister.
apprentice custom, as the reader will already have discerned, remains imbedded
in our own Masonic system to remind us that a candidate for our "mystery"
stands as much in need of training as the youth of old times who knocked at
the door of a gild; if our statesmen and rulers ever come to understand
Masonry as they should, and its possibilities in the world, the reconstitution
of the apprentice system in our Fraternity, and a more thorough and
intelligent use of it, will be one of their first concerns. To expect a man
to be able to understand or practice Freemasonry without adequate preparation
is a ridiculous now as it was when Masonic gilds were devoted to architecture
and the building crafts. We are not called on to raise fabrics of wood and
stone into the sky, but ours is an even more difficult task, for it is our
duty to build manhood and to reorganize the whole world into the forms of
brotherhood, surely a high calling, and demanding skilled workmen!
time of his indenture completed, the apprentice graduated into the ranks of
the journeymen, becoming thereby a fellow of the craft, i.e., entitled to its
liberties and privileges on equal terms with all others. This passing to a
higher grade was signalized by some proof of his skill a "masterpiece" in many
cases or an examination before the wardens. (Wardens were known as "deacons"
in Scotland, whence some of our Masonic nomenclature was derived.) In Europe
the young journeyman went out on a "wander tour" in order to see something of
the world and of the practices of his craft in other places, but this custom
never secured a foothold in England; usually (in some cases compulsorily) a
journeyman (sometimes called yoeman, "young man") hired himself out to some
master for two or three years at wages and then, with a little money of his
own, set up in his own shop, hired journeymen, indentured apprentices and
became a master.
the course of time the masters, being the moneyed class, tended to arrogate to
themselves more and more power and to adopt legislation in their own
interests, and the journeymen, as their numbers increased, learned to combine
to secure their own interests, especially after a permanently wage earning
class was developed. Upon this journeymen began to form gilds of their own,
often in despite of the authorities, a thing that became quite common by the
fifteenth century. On the continent, especially in the industrial centers and
in Germany, this conflict between masters and men often broke out into pitched
battles with much shedding of blood (the Medici family emerged from such a
welter to the control of Florence), but in England the struggle was more
quiet. By the sixteen seventeenth century journeymen gilds were quite subdued
and content to remain subordinate to the masters who grew more and more
oligarchical. In many of the large cities the masters secured all control in
their own hands, and gradually, with the coming of modern capitalism and
manufacturing and the whole gild system gradually rise of nationalism the
whole gild system broke up and quietly passed away. Some of the craft
societies still survived so late as the latter half of the eighteenth century,
but their privileges were formally and finally abolished by parliament in
study of the medieval Masonic gilds from which Freemasonry evolved, or at
least with which it has at least a certain amount of historical continuity,
must be reserved for another chapter, as demanding more space reserved than is
here available. In the present connection it is not necessary to call a
Masonic reader's attention to the fact that whatever that historical
connection may have been and to what extent our modern craft is indebted to
the old gild system, Freemasonry was in its beginning of a piece with that
system and inherited many things from it, so that it is quite impossible to
understand our Fraternity today apart from the craft gilds of old in which
apprentices, fellow crafts and masters united in the one hand, toiled and
lived together in brotherhood to the end that the word might be served and
themselves enabled to earn masters' wages and to perfect themselves in their
CONSULTED IN PREPARING THIS ARTICLE
Abram, English Life and Manners in Later Middle Ages. J. DeW. Addison. Arts
and Crafts in Middle Ages. Ars. Quatuor Coronatorum, II, 159; II, 165; V, 125;
IX, 28; XV, 153; XV, 197. F. Armitage, The Guilds of England. W. J. Ashley,
An Introduction to English Economic History. E. Bain, Merchant and Craft
Gilds. L. Brentano On the History and Development of Gilds. H.M. Chadwick,
Studies of Anglo-Saxon Institutions. E.K. Chambers. The Medieval Stage. Jas.
Coiston, Incorporated Trades of Edinburgh. H.C. Coote, The Romance of Britain.
W. Cunningham, Growth of English Industry and Commerce. W.Denton, England in
the Fifteenth Century. O.J. Dunlap, English Apprenticeship and Child Labour.
Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol XII, 14. E.A. Freeman, History of the Norman
Conquest of Freemasonry; R.F.Gould, Concise History of Freemasonry; History of
Freemasonry. N.S.B. Gras, Introduction to Economic History. A.S. Green, Town
Life in the Fifteenth Century J.R. Green, Short History of the English People.
C. Gross, Bibliography of British Municipal History; Gild Merchant. J.L. and
B. Hammond, The Village Laborer. M.D. Harris, Story of Coventry. James
Hasting, Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, Vol. VI. W.C. Hazlitt, Livery
Companies of City of London. K. Hegel, Stadte und Gilden. F.A. Hibbert,
Influence and Development of English Gilds. A. Jessop, Coming of the Friars.
J.J. Jugseiand, English Wayfaring Life in the Middle Ages. S. Kramer, English
Craft Gilds and the Government. J.M. Lambert, Two Thousand Years of Gild
Life. Lethaby, Medieval Art. E. Lipson, Economic History of England. A.S.
McBride, Speculative Masonry. Machiavelli. Florentine History. Mackey,
Revised History of Freemasonry. A.L. Miller, Notes on the Early History and
Records of the Lodge, Aberdeen 1 ter. H.B. Morse, Gilds of China. A.W.
Pollard, English Miracle Plays. M.B. Reekitt, Meaning of National Guilds.
George Renard, Guilds in the Middle Ages. J.E.T. Rogers, Economic
Interpretation of History. H.G. Selfridge, Romance of Commerce. L.T. Smith,
York Mystery Plays. T. Smith, English Gilds. Edgcumb Staley, The Guilds of
Florence, J. Thomson, An Essay on English Municipal History. G. Unwin, Gilds
and Companies of England. L.Vibert, Story of the Craft. P. Vinagradoff, Edtr.,
Oxford Studies in Social and Legal History. A.E. Waite, New Encyclopedia of
Freemasonry. Ward, Freemasonry and the Ancient Gods. S. and B. Webb, History
of Trade Unionism. H. Zimmern, The Hansa Towns.
FREEMASONRY AND THE GILD SYSTEM
Mackey's Encyclopedia (Revised Edition)
Adoptive Masonry, 24-30; Apprentice, 70-72; Architecture, 75; Assembly, 83;
Cowans, 183; Craft, 184; Craftsman, 184; Deacon, 197-198; Fellow Crafts,
261-262; Female Masons, 262; Foreign Country, 269; Gilds,. 296-297; Journey,
373; Journeyman, 373; Master, 473-476; Mysteries, 497-500; Roman Colleges of
Artificers, 630-634; Wages, 834.
NOTE ON THE COMACINES
have recently encountered a note on the Comacine Masters which should be
included with the chapter on that subject published in this department last
month. It was contributed by A. L. Frothingham to "Dictionary of
Architecture and Building", edited by Russell Sturgis; the article is headed
"Guilds" and is, so far as I could discover, the solitary reference in that
work to Freemasonry. Having no competence in etymology I am unable to pass
judgment on Mr. Frothingham's theory, but am under the impression that
etymologists in general would not agree with him. Further light on the point
will be appreciated. Students will do well to read the article in its
entirety; in the present connection there is space for only one paragraph:
great deal of grave nonsense has been written by grave authorities on these
magistri commacini; chapters and even volumes have been based on the
supposition that Commacine means 'a native of Como,' and that this region was
so specifically the center of the revival of architecture under the Lombards
as to give its name to the profession of architect; master from Como =
architect. Such a fact would be without a parallel and is, besides, an
etymological blunder. The word com-macinus is from the same stem as macio,
the common Latin word for stonemason, with the addition of the collective
prefix, and may also be connected with the current Byzantine word for
practical architect, mechanicos." - H.L.H.
WHAT SENSE INFALLIBILITY IS CLAIMED
have often wondered if Roman Catholics have the same idea about the
infallibility of the pope that outsiders have. Where can one find the Roman
Church's own official definition of papal infallibility ?
dogma of papal infallibility was defined by the Vatican Council held in Rome
1869-1870, and reads in this fashion: "Therefore faithfully adhering to the
traditions of the Christian faith, which has come down to us from the
beginning …. we teach and define it to be a doctrine divinely revealed, that
the Roman Pontiff when he speaks ex cathedra - that is, when he in the
exercise of the office of pastor and doctor of all Christians' by virtue of
his supreme Apostolic authority, defines a doctrine regarding faith and morals
to be held by the Universal Church, by the divine assistance promised him in
Blessed Peter, possesses that infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer
willed His Church to be endowed in the definition of a doctrine regarding
faith or morals."
means that he is infallible only when he speaks as pope, and not as a private
individual when as pope he gives the official definition of a doctrine; when
he treats of faith and morals or matters vitally related thereto; and when he
makes it clearly understood that he is promulgating a decision binding "on the
universal church." What this amounts to is that he acts as the register or
mouth-piece of the church, in its official capacity, and that, according to
the idea, the church itself is infallible. The infallibility of the pope
developed out of the infallibility of the church, the former dogma was not
officially accepted until 1870, the latter has been held in Roman communion
for many centuries.
INTRODUCING BROTHER F. H. LITTLEFIELD
annual meeting of the National Masonic Re. search Society held at Cedar
Rapids, Iowa, Oct. 4, 1923, the Board of Stewards, after a minute and
comprehensive canvass of all our activities, decided that it would be wise to
so reorganize our machinery of management as to make for increased efficiency
and economy, as well as to guarantee t h a t the future of the Society be
absolutely secure. To that end it was arranged that the general offices of the
Society be retained at Cedar Rapids, with Brother C. C. Hunt as General
Secretary, and that the publication office of THE BUILDER, membership offices,
financial offices, and all other activities appertaining to the business
management of the Society's affairs be removed to St. Louis to be under the
care of Brother F. H. Littlefield, who at that meeting was chosen executive
duties devolving on the executive head of this Society require that he possess
a combination of qualifications not often found. He must have managerial and
business ability, experience with publishing, a first‑hand knowledge of
Masonry in its many aspects, and a heartfelt dedication to a task that entails
a considerable amount of financial and moral responsibility, without hope of
fee or reward. In Brother F. H. Littlefield, our Board of Stewards found these
qualifications very fully developed, and were fortunate in being able to
secure his services. As president of the STANDARD MASONIC PUBLISHING COMPANY,
editor and proprietor of THE MISSOURI FREEMASON, and for many years intensely
active in all the Masonic bodies in Missouri, as well as several important
business concerns. he possesses the ideal experience and equipment for the
managing head of this Society. It is an honor to introduce him to our members
and readers, a pleasure to be associated with him, and it is safe to predict
for him a successful outcome of his labors, now already begun, in the
development and expansion of our work.
* * *
Having been commissioned by the National Masonic Research Society to assume a
large portion of the practical executive duties in connection with this
Society and in the publication of THE BUILDER, I feel that a brief statement
of our present plans and hopes for the future should be given to our
National Masonic Research Society is a corporate body (not for pecuniary
profit) existing solely for the purpose of fostering Masonic education,
research, thought and expression. We desire that each member and reader should
be fully informed as to the democratic character of its organization, and in a
succeeding number we propose to publish its Articles of Incorporation and
By-Laws for your information.
its inception, nearly nine years ago, one of its principal operations has been
the editing and publishing of THE BUILDER as the official journal of the
Society. It has made a splendid reputation in the world of Masonic thought and
literature, attracting contributions from the ablest Masonic thinkers and
writers of the time.
BUILDER, and the business offices of the Society, are now removed from Cedar
Rapids to St. Louis, with all the collected manuscripts, library and equipment
intact. Ample provision is made for its valuable reference library and its
editorial and research departments. Its new offices are in the Railway
Exchange, the largest office building in the world. The material resources and
conveniences are in no way impaired, and we expect them to develop improvement
in the future.
important is the continuation of the high standard of Masonic journalism that
THE BUILDER has established. To this we pledge our most sincere efforts.
Everything will carry on as before. There will be no diminution in our various
services to the Craft. Brother H. L. Haywood is here with us as
Editor-in-chief and will enlarge the staff of our associate editors with
talent from all parts of the Masonic world.
BUILDER will continue to function as the official journal of the Society. It
will not enter the field of competitive or commercial journalism, or lend
itself to any personal or political propaganda. It can exist on our present
membership through an indefinite future, and as that membership increases it
will augment its services to the Craft and improve its editorial, artistic and
typographical qualities in every way possible.
removing our headquarters to St. Louis the Society will not lose its contact
with the many faithful brethren of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, the parent of
Masonic research in the United States. Brothers Parvin, Hunt, Block and Moses
continue their connection with our Society and THE BUILDER, and through their
kind co-operation we are assured full use of the matchless resources of that
very valuable institution, the Iowa Masonic Library.
frank to say, and I say it with all sincerity, that though I had long been a
member and somewhat familiar with its activities, I have been agreeably
surprised to discover just how extensive the work of the Society is, how far
its influence reaches, how many brethren are engaged in special work under its
direction; this, coupled with the fact that the membership is so loyal,
inspires me to believe that we have a great future before us. There is a
family feeling among us all, a feeling that THE BUILDER belongs to each and
every one, and that each member is in a sense an editor and contributor; I
shall hope to see that spirit continue, deepen and grow.
* * *
TEMPLE OF LIGHT
the time these words are in print the cornerstone of the George Washington
National Memorial will have been laid, surely, if one will consider it all
around, the most notable cornerstone laying since American Masonry began to
be, and the most impressive, both for the brilliancy of the assembly of Masons
in attendance and for the abiding significance of the structure itself. Like
one of the great towers that stood at the harbors of old Greece and Rome to
guide the sea-weary ships to their goal, it will lift its galleries far above
Alexandria, where Washington lived, and above the proud capital also called
after his name, a striking testimony before millions of eyes to the presence
of Freemasonry in the nation’s midst, itself a house of memory, a temple of
Inside the memorial will be rooms for lodges, chapters, commanderies and
consistories, offices for the Memorial Association, libraries, museums, an art
gallery, an auditorium, and a replica of the Alexandria lodge room of 1802 to
contain the Masonic mementoes of Washington, as precious as they are
priceless. The exterior will express the spirit of these activities, and the
whole together will stand a monument of national unity in memory of him who
made the nation.
the same token it will visibly embody Masonic unity also, a proof that if the
Craft is divided by its jurisdictional machinery into forty-nine Grand Lodges,
it is united into one jurisdiction by the indivisibility of its spirit,
everywhere the same, and growing more and more self-conscious. There is no
need for a national Grand Lodge; we are already a national Grand Lodge,
albeit, like the Grand Lodge above, "it has to be seen in a certain way, under
certain conditions. Some people never see it at all. You must understand, this
is no dead pile of stones and unmeaning timber. It is a living thing"; living
Everywhere in the land, on every night, Masons meet, of all creeds and
classes, from the youngest Entered Apprentice, talking about the Shrine, to
the whitest veteran discussing Morals and Dogma; in little brick buildings, on
the coast of Maine; in the rocky valleys of Massachusetts; on the sand
stretches of Florida; along the maple shaded streets of Indiana villages; in
windy towns on the wheat lands of the Dakotas; in sparse little settlements of
the intermountain countries; in the new cities and old villages of California;
in adobe towns on the red deserts of the Southwest; in the old cities of
Louisiana; here, there, everywhere, up and down a great land, these companies
of chosen men are building a brotherhood on the mother rock far underneath the
jealousies that make war on the surface. What a quiet, unobtrusive, gentle
brotherhood it is, silently weaving the nation together, helping to create the
American soul! Its moral idealism filters into every nook and corner, softens
men's hearts even when they are least aware, and helps to hold the world
together. It is this spirit brooding in the heart of the Craft that is
uttering itself in the great Memorial now building, and makes it a shaft of
unity, a temple of light, more than any mere pile of steel and marble could
VALUABLE CONTRIBUTION TO MASONIC HISTORY
ON EARLY HISTORY AND RECORDS OF THE LODGE, ABERDEEN, by A. L. Miller, P. M.
May be purchased through the publisher, Aberdeen University Press, Ltd. 6
Upperkirkgate, Aberdeen, Scotland. Price, 5/.
THOUGH it contains only 74 pages, this little book, printed beautifully on
fine paper and bound in Quaker gray cloth, is more justly entitled to a place
on the Masonic student's five-foot shelf of books than many a more ambitious
volume that is often found there, and that because it is solid substance all
through, which is more than can be said of so many Masonic volumes, often
built on hearsay and padded out with windy rhetoric. R. F. Gould said of the
records of Aberdeen Lodge that "some are unsurpassed by any others of a
similar character in interest and value." The first known record of any kind
of Mason in the old Scotch city is of date 1264. It is said that St. John's
Masonry was introduced in 1357. The old memorials of the burgh, beginning in
1398, refer to many Masons. "Lodge" (spelled "loge") is first mentioned in
1483, the earliest record of the word in the Scottish Craft.
magistrates of the town issued to the lodge a Seal of Cause, or charter, in
1521, thus incorporating it. There is a record of a warden being appointed
with jurisdiction over three counties in 1590. From 1587 on the other crafts
federated and worked under one set of officers with a convener’s court, but
the "Mason Lodge" remained apart and maintained a jurisdiction over its own
affairs. This fact is worthy of note as being one of many similar instances
where the Operative Masons maintained a stubborn independence as regards other
gilds and sometimes, it appeared, as regards town authorities; in some cases
there seems to have been some friction engendered and town authorities forbade
the organization of a Mason gild. The Aberdeen Lodge had active enemies,
certain clergy among them, a fact, it is possible, that explains why it two or
three times lost its own building by fire.
Aberdeen Masons had a building of their own, other than their temporary work
huts, as early as 1483 and it is believed by some authorities that the lodge
of that date never ceased to exist so that Aberdeen Lodge of today may boast
of a great antiquity. W. J. Hughan, the most cautious of Masonic historians,
held it to be of a date not later than 1570 at least.
present lodge's most precious possession is the old Mark Book, begun in 1670,
and containing a list of members with their marks, laws and statutes, and a
version of the Old Charges, given in full in an Appendix, which was published
by Hughan and listed by him as No. 22 among extant copies of the Old Charges.
the records contained in the old Mark Book one learns some interesting things.
It proves that in the old days Fellowcraft and Master Mason were one and the
same as far as rank is concerned, so that there were only two grades of
membership, Entered Apprentice and Fellow, or Master. The apprentice took an
oath and had the Old Charges read to him, comprising his initiation ceremony,
but there is nothing to show that any ceremony attended his passing to the
higher rank, save that he was usually required to produce a masterpiece. In
1670, forty-seven years before the founding of the first Grand Lodge (London),
non-operatives outnumbered operatives in the lodge membership four to ones and
contained in their list many notable and some aristocratic names, including
four noblemen, a professor of mathematics, three ministers, two surgeons, four
carpenters and several men of other trades. It will be seen that the lodge was
a real society, not a mere trade union, keeping its feasts on St. John in
December, looking after its poor, and once a month holding its regular
meetings at which time there was much good fellowship but no disorder. Nearly
all the Scotch lodges of the time admitted "speculative" members, many of whom
were very active and held office.. This is one of a thousand similar facts to
prove that our modern Freemasonry was a gradual evolution out of medieval
Operative Masonry. The minutes of Aberdeen Lodge are the oldest known to have
been preserved; for some strange reason no minutes of an English lodge prior
to 1717 are in existence.
has been much speculation, most of it worthless, about the mysterious "Mason
word" often encountered in the records of Scotch Masonry. Brother Miller,
basing his statement on the memorials of his own ancient lodge, has something
interesting to say on the subject:
term was common in the Scottish lodges in the early days, but what the old
Scottish Mason Word was remains unknown. The conclusion has been come to that
this formed the only degree in the early Masonry of Scotland, and consisted in
the reading to the candidate for apprenticeship the legend of the Craft and
the communication of the Mason Word. In the Aberdeen rules reference is also
made to 'the oaths we received at our entry to the benefit of the Mason Word.'
So far as is known, there was no ceremony in connection with advancement to
the rank of Fellowcraft, or Master."
Worshipful Master was chosen each year, but the Warden held office
indefinitely; besides these were a Clerk, an Officer (his functions are not
described): and a Boxmaster.
Boxmaster was chosen annually. He was selected 'only from among the company
because the Master keeps one key and the Warden another.' At that time,
accordingly, the Keymasters appear to have been the Master, Warden and
Boxmaster. but in 1696. which is the date of the first minute recording an
election, two Keymasters were appointed, in addition to the ordinary
office-bearers, to act along with the Boxmaster. In the Mason Box were kept
the Mark Book and the money of the lodge. The box had three locks, one of the
keys being in the custody of each Keymaster. Their presence was therefore
obligatory at any meeting at which it was necessary to open the Mason Box; we
have seen from a previously quoted regulation that the clerk was not to write
in the Mark Book unless the three Keymasters were present."
rules governing dues payable by non-operatives opens a little window into the
life of the lodge. Says one author:
following are the provisions for the dues payable by the non-operative, or, as
they are termed in the rules, the gentlemen Masons. The apprentice contributed
four rix dollars of composition, a lion apron and a pair of good gloves to
every person concerned in the lodge, 'or if the entering Prentice have not
whereupon to furnish aprons and gloves, he must pay two rix dollars for them,
which makes up six in all, with one dinner, one speaking pint and his
contribution to the Box, as we have paid before him, with one merk piece for
his Mason mark, one merk piece to our officer for calling a lodge; this is the
least we take for Entered Prentices.' Of the entry money of apprentices,
one-half was paid into the Mason Box, and the other half spent as the will of
the company thought fit. When advanced to Fellowcraft, the new member of the
lodge had to provide a dinner and a pint of wine, or what the will of the
company pleased. There is also provision for making strangers who had been
entered in another lodge, Master Masons of the Lodge of Aberdeen."
of the most interesting pages in the book, and recommended as throwing light
on certain obscure passages in our present ritual, is this:
"Probably the most important provision in the Laws and Statutes, from the
Masonic point of view, is in the third rule, which ordains that 'no lodge be
holden within a dwelling house where there is people living in it but in the
open fields, except it be ill weather, and then let there be a house chosen
that no person shall hear nor see us.' Compare with this the words of the
fifth rule: 'We ordain likewise that all entering Prentices be entered in our
ancient outfield lodge in the Mearns in the parish of Nigg at the scounces at
the point of the Ness.' Gould makes the following reference to these entries
in the rules: 'We meet with, in the Laws and Statutes of the Aberdeen Lodge in
1'670, the only allusion - antedating the era of Grand Lodges - to the
practice of lodges being held and apprentices entered in the open fields.'
These two regulations seem to indicate that it had long been the practice of
the members of the lodge to hold their meetings in the open air in some
secluded spot which would ensure privacy for their proceedings; they also seem
to infer a greater regard for secrecy in their initiations than would have
been necessary for the mere reading over of the Mason Charter and the
communication of the Mason Word. They accord with the Masonic tradition that,
in the old days, lodges were enjoined to assemble on the highest hills or in
the lowest valleys. According to a tradition of the lodge, the Masons were
accustomed to hold their meetings at Carden's Haugh, Rubislaw, and in the
hollow at Cunningar Hill."
Operative Masons were called "domatic," non-operatives were known as
"gentlemen," or "geomatic." In 1781 the Operatives seceded and formed a lodge
of their own, still existing as Operative Lodge, No. 150. The Grand Lodge of
Scotland was organized in 1736, but it was long in enforcing its authority
over Scotch lodges. Many "irregular" lodges flourished in or about Aberdeen in
1752. The "New Constitutions" enforced by Grand Lodge wrought many changes.
constitution of the lodge remained much the same until 1736 when the effect of
the foundation of the Grand Lodge of Scotland began to show itself. In that
year the minutes first refer to candidates being entered, passed and raised,
and the members appear then to have given their simple ceremony of admission
and adopted the three degrees of modern Masonry. In 1737 a Senior and Junior
Warden were appointed. In 1739 the Master was first styled Right Worshipful
Master. In 1740 two Deacons, and in 1754 three Stewards were added. In 1757 a
Depute Master was appointed. In 1776 a clergyman was admitted a member and
made Chaplain to the lodge. In respect of his being a clergyman he was
admitted free of all dues, a custom known in other Scottish lodges of the
time. The use of the interesting word Keymaster was maintained until 1756,
after which year no further appointments to that office were made."
of the most interesting pages in this book is that which refers to Dr. James
Anderson, author, or at least compiler, of the Book of Constitutions of 1723,
almost universally employed as the foundation of Masonic laws. Dr. Anderson
was an alumnus of Marischal College, Aberdeen, and it is considered most
probable that he was a member of the Aberdeen Lodge, though the minutes of the
period are unfortunately lost. Gould was of the opinion that Anderson very
probably introduced into English Masonry some of the terms then used in Scotch
will be profitable to read in conjunction with Bro. Miller's substantial
little book other writings on the subject, all available: Notes on the History
of Masonry In Aberdeen, A. M. Murero; Merchant and Craft Guilds (of Aberdeen),
E. Bain; Collected Essays and Papers Relating to Freemasonry, p. 105, R. F.
Gould; Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Vol. II, pp. 159, 165. These studies, if read
together, will furnish one with a more accurate and vivid conception of what
Masonry was like before 1717 than many long histories.
* * *
BOOK OF KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM
LODGE AND THE CRAFT, A PRACTICAL EXPI,ANATION OF THE WORK OF FREEMASONRY, by
Rollin C. Blackmer, C. M., M. D., LLD., Past Master, Past High Priest, Past
Commander. Published by The Standard Masonic Publishing Company, St. Louis,
Me. May be purchased through the National Masonic Research Society, 1950
Railway Exchange, St. Louis, Mo. Black cloth, 297 pages, with portrait. Price,
George Washington was initiated at Fredericksburg, Va., there stood in the
anteroom two demijohns of rum, facetiously called J and B. The thing was
typical of the customs of the day, which was a time of hard living and much
drinking everywhere. The festive board was the center of attraction in many
lodges and the fraternity itself, though there were many good men and great in
its membership, was usually looked upon as a kind of social order, an
institution devoted to good fellowship, rare sport and hilarity.
change came over the fraternity during the Revolution. Bro. George Washington
himself had much to do with it for he was an active Mason and through his
devotion to the Order led many of the outstanding patriots to unite with the
Craft, so that gradually it increased in responsibility and dignity until at
last, owing to the pressure of the times and the solemn, serious crises of the
war, it was welded and unified into a solid brotherhood filled with a new
national consciousness and a devout sense of the leadership of God.
period was followed, as by a kind of reaction, by the anti-Masonic crusade.
The fury and devastation it suffered from its enemies left the Craft dazed and
prostrated, so weakened in influence and decimated in numbers that Jeremiahs
everywhere predicted its speedy extinction. In one way that terrible grilling
wrought good for Freemasonry; it proved how unwise a thing it is for lodges to
meddle in party politics, and how wicked a thing it is for Masonic leaders to
use the name of Masonry to ballast their political kites. After the bitter
lessons learned between 1820 and 1840, he would be a foolish counsellor indeed
who would recommend that Freemasonry employ itself in such affairs.
Before the fraternity had recovered from this prostration the Civil War came
upon it so that once again it found itself passing through a furnace of fire.
The record of the Craft during that time of fraternal strife is a glorious one
and somebody should embody it in a history, lest the men of future generations
forget how at one time Masonry proved itself strong in the ordeal of battle.
During the period of slow growth which lasted from about 1870 until 1900 or
thereabouts, solemnized by that four-year period which had cast a dark gloom
over the entire country, the Masonic membership was filled with a serious
religious consciousness and a very sensitive fear lest the Order become too
popular or its secrets be made too easy of access.
the beginning of the present century a new mood came over the Order
coincidentally with the beginning of the era of expansion which continues even
now. Freemasonry has grown to the largest fraternity in the world, an
organization in this land of nearly three million brethren, solidified by an
acute national consciousness, and dedicated to all manner of public service.
Everywhere is activity, growth, enlargement, ramification and an almost
nervous zeal; lodges increase with an amazing rapidity. The Order has grown
Wore complicated and its problems have been multiplied and intensified. The
time has arrived when the individual Mason is so bewildered in trying to find
his way about among the Rites and auxiliary organizations that some kind of
guidance for him in the shape of Masonic literature and education is a
necessity, while those carrying the responsibility of managing such a huge
institution would soon find themselves helpless to handle the situation
without the help of Masonic literature. Books and journals, once looked upon
with a certain degree of suspicion as being in danger of revealing the
"secrets" of the Craft, are now encouraged and sought after as being a
Blackmer's The Lodge and the Craft is one of a score of volumes that have come
into existence during the past few years as a result of the evolution above
described; it is intended to assist the brethren in their understanding of
their work and of the institutional mechanism through which it is necessary
that Freemasonry carry on its activities. It is a volume in which masses of
solid information are closely crowded together and so organized and arranged
that a newly made brother can follow it through with understanding. It covers
the work of the three degrees, explains the forms of Masonic organization,
deals with the ancient landmarks, symbols and emblems, and in its last
chapters contains some excellently wise advice concerning the management of
the lodge and the practice of Masonic jurisprudence. Brother Blackmer has for
many years been an active worker in several of the Rites, thereby discovering
what it is that Masons most need to know; this experience of practical affairs
has enabled him to make a judicious selection out of a store of knowledge that
is often astonishing in its extent. The book is especially valuable to
beginning students and to Study Clubs. It was originally composed with an eye
to the needs of the Grand Jurisdiction of Missouri, but such local references
as it contains are of so slight a character as not to affect its use by
members of the Craft in all jurisdictions.
BUILDER is an open forum for free and fraternal discussion. Each of its
contributors writes over his own name, and is responsible for his own
opinions. Believing that a unity of spirit is better than a uniformity of
opinion, the Research Society, as such, does not champion any one school of
Masonic thought as over against another, but offers to all alike a medium for
fellowship and instruction, leaving each to stand or fall by its own merits.
Question Box and Correspondence Column are open to all members of the Society
at all times. Questions of any nature on Masonic subjects are earnestly
invited from our members, particularly those connected with lodges or study
clubs which are following our Study Club course. The Society is now receiving
from fifty to one hundred inquiries each week; it is manifestly impossible to
publish many of them in this Department.
MASONRY'S OLDEST RECORDED DATE
listening to a Masonic orator who claimed f or our fraternity a very great
antiquity it occurred to me to learn what is the oldest recorded date actually
connected with our institution. Can you tell me, please? The orator could not
but he kindly referred me to you.
oldest Masonic MS., the Regius, is usually dated at 1390 A. D. but it is
evident from a study of this aged document that the Craft was of hoar age even
then. There is a yet older memorial in the form of an entry in the Corporation
Records at Guildhall, London, which proves that as early as 1356 rules for the
regulation of the Masons of London were passed before the Mayor, Aldermen and
Sheriffs of the city. No other fraternity in existence can prove by written
records such an antiquity.
* * *
LUTHER BURBANK A MASON
write to inquire if Luther Burbank, the great plant wizard of California, is a
Mason. He is one of my heroes whom I should like to think of as a brother in
our ancient mystical science.
M., North Carolina.
Luther Burbank was raised in Santa Rosa Lodge, California, Aug. 13, 1921. It
was a memorable event which the then Grand Master George F. Rodden, a gracious
and eloquent leader who will live long in the memories of the Craft of
California, afterwards described in a paragraph of beautiful prose: "Because
the roster of Masonry is replete with the names of famous men, it might be
assumed, logically, that to add another would occasion but little comment.
Familiarity often engenders indifference. But try as we will to hold steadfast
to the principle of democracy and to the landmark that in Masonry all men are
upon a level plane, we cannot avoid being a bit jubilant and proud when a man,
who, by his virtues and ability, has won for himself universal respect,
admiration and international fame, evidences his faith in us by desiring
affiliation. On Saturday evening, Aug. 13, a great body of Masons (many coming
from distant places) assembled at Santa Rosa, there to witness or participate
in the raising of Luther Burbank. Seer and wizard, with a life of achievement,
foremost of his craft in all the world, he that night gave us a lesson in
those qualities of modesty and humility which distinguish the truly great, and
which should be of much splendid value to all who profit thereby. The Grand
Master was honored with an invitation which he was more than pleased to
* * *
understand that Masonic membership in United States now runs to more than
three million. Can you give me the exact figures ?
information is somewhat in error, but not far off. According to a compilation
made by Bro. C. C. Hunt on July 1, 1923, our national membership totals
2,850,910. Arranged alphabetically Grand Lodges run as follows:
District of Columbia
these figures may be compared the findings for foreign Grand Lodges as
prepared by Bro. C. C. Woods, Fraternal Correspondent, Grand Lodge of
New South Wales
Prince Edward Island
* * *
DEMOCRACY OF DEATH
ago I read a beautiful piece of eloquence about death. Some lines keep running
through my head, like these:
"Death is a democracy in which all men lie at last on an equality. There is no
rank or honor in the grave." Do you chance to recognize the lines? If so, who
was the author?
A., North Carolina.
passage is doubtless J. J. Ingall's apostrophe to the grave. It is worth
the democracy of the dead, all men at last are equal. There is neither rank
nor station nor prerogative in the republic of the grave. At this fatal
threshold the philosopher ceases to be wise, and the song of the poet is
silent. Dives relinquishes his millions, and Lazarus his rags. The poor man is
as rich as the richest and the rich man is as poor as the pauper. The creditor
loses his usury and the debtor is acquitted of his obligation. There the proud
man surrenders his dignities, the politician his honors, the worldling his
pleasures, the invalid needs no physician and the laborer rests from
at last is nature's final decree in equity. The wrongs of time are redressed,
injustice is expiated, the irony of fate is refuted, the unequal distribution
of wealth, honor, capacity, pleasure and opportunity which makes life so cruel
and inexplicable ceases in the realm of death. The mightiest captain succumbs
to that invincible adversary, who disarms alike the victor and vanquished."
* * *
WITHIN THE FIRST SQUARE OR ANGLE OF MY WORK"
Study Club committee has been asked the following question: what is the
meaning of "If within the first square or angle of my work?" We should greatly
appreciate any light you may be able to shed upon the subject.
expression, "If within the first square or angle of my work," is found in a
certain part of the work of some states. Back in the early days of the
society, a brother from Idaho requested an explanation of this phrase, I noted
as I was reading over some of the old files of THE BUILDER; apparently, no one
could then shed any light on it. I hope he will see this also.
the oldest American ritual known to me, which I believe to date back to 1805
or 1808, I find the following notation which sets forth the explanation that
was offered by whoever inserted the phrase in the ritual:
the building of King Solomon's Temple, the Fellowcrafts had certain angles or
squares marked out for them to work in and they were under no obligation to
attend any sign or token given them beyond that angle or square."
other words, they were assigned certain sections of the work and had no
responsibilities outside of these sections. You will see that the phrase
corresponds to the other one, "if within the length of my cabletow." It has
that same significance.
would hesitate to even guess as to how this phrase came to be included. It
might be simply a fanciful invention and then again, the idea might be found
in Josephus or some other early Jewish writer. The most interesting feature is
how this phrase came to be handed down from perhaps 1808 and included in the
work in some of the Western States while generally discarded in the East.
* * *
SECRECY AS REGARDS LODGE BUSINESS
Mason obligated to keep the business and financial affairs of his lodge locked
up in a faithful breast or is secrecy binding only on the ritualistic part?
Some things have leaked out of our own lodge recently that have brought the
subject to the fore, so that your opinion will be appreciated.
Grand Master for 1921, Bro. John R. Flotron, expressed an opinion on that
subject that is to be recommended to brethren everywhere. Read and consider it
as good gospel. "I find a general laxity throughout this Grand Jurisdiction in
the matter of the business concerns of the lodge. A large portion of our
members do not seem to be aware of the fact that the buisness of a lodge is
just as secret as ritualistic work, especially so with reference to the
ballot, which is one of its most sacred institutions It is not given to all
men to be honored by becoming members, but Masonry does not contemplate
placing upon such men a mark of character in the community in which they live.
MUSICAL SETTING FOR "EVERY YEAR"
the September BUILDER you refer to the poem "Every Year" by Albert Pike and
how he came to rewrite it.
this connection it may be interesting to know that there are those now alive
who recite the fact that General Pike visited San Diego some time after the
Civil War. My informant is Arthur M. Ellis, of Los Angeles, authority on early
Masonry in California.
the fact I desired to call to your attention is that the organist of the San
Diego Lodge of Perfection has and plays the music to which this poem was set,
by Col. E. T. Blackmer, who was the Venerable Master of this Lodge of
Perfection for years and the one mainly responsible for the vigorous Scottish
Rite Consistory now existing in this city.
was a very dear friend of mine and shortly after he composed the music to
accompany "Every Year" he played it on the piano to me and sang the song
softly over to it.
is not generally known that the poem has been set to music by Col. Blackmer
(after whom Blackmer Lodge is named) and the music can probably be obtained by
writing the organist of the Lodge of Perfection I thought it best to advise
you of these facts.
Willard, San Diego, Calif.
* * *
SCOTTISH RITE IN THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS
writer was born in Bedford, Iowa, and was "raised" in that town by Taylor
Lodge, No. 156, immediately after returning from the Philippines with his
regiment, the 51st Iowa Vol.
have been active in Masonic work in this territory since that time, more
particularly in Scottish Rite; and for some years have been compiling data for
the archives of our bodies.
oldest original letter we have is dated Nov. 20, 1873, from Pitkin C. Wright,
of DeWitt, Iowa, addressed to Governor John Owen Dominis (the Consort of Queen
Liliuokalani) in which he writes that "he has been commissioned by Or. Comd.
Albert Pike as General Deputy of the Supreme Council and to organize,
establish and install bodies in the Sandwich Islands." Wright signs his name
as P. Gr. Com. Kt. T. of Iowa.
Further records show that Wright did come to the Islands in 1874 and installed
the bodies up to and including the 18th in that year.
are most fortunate in having twenty-two original letters from Albert Pike
himself addressed to either Governor Dominis or King David Kalakaua, both of
whom were-crowned thirty-thirds for their active work in Masonry. We have had
eleven thirty-thirds in these Islands and our present membership is now over
Walter R. Coombs, Honolulu.
* * *
MAGNUS JOHNSON NOT A MASON
have had some inquiry as to whether or not Magnus Johnson, the newly elected
Senator of Minnesota, is a Mason.
order to assure myself, I talked with him about it and will say he is not. Nor
does he belong to any other fraternal society.
did at one time bung to The Court of Honor but dropped it a few years ago.
not opposed to secret fraternal orders and in his talk with me said he knew
that they were for and accomplish a great deal of good.
write this thinking that you also may have inquiries regarding him. I have
known him for about sixteen years and he lives within the Jurisdiction of
Plumb Line Lodge. A. F. & A.M., No. 173, Kimball, Minn.
Douglass, Kimball, Minn.
* * *
SECRETARY FOR FIFTY-TWO YEARS
looking over THE BUILDER for March, 1923, I came across "Forty-fifth Term as
can beat that record in South Carolina. Bro. Tillman Faulkner was elected
Secretary of Star Lodge, No. 99, of Graniteville, S. C., on Dec. 3, 1868, and
served continuously till his death in 1920. In all that long period he missed
only four communications of his lodge, and those were missed during the last
two or three years of his life through sickness.
April 10, 1916, Comp. Charles Frank Jackson was called Home after serving our
Grand Royal Arch Chapter as Grand Treasurer for fifty-eight years. Perhaps the
foregoing will interest your readers.
Michie, South Carolina.
* * *
SCOTTISH RITE FEES IN CHINA
THE BUILDER last December appeared a letter from Bro. William Moister in which
he relates how certain brothers had to pay in the neighborhood of $500.00 for
the Scottish Rite Degrees taken somewhere in the East, probably in China. I
wonder if it will be too late for me to offer a suggestion to explain these
probably exorbitant prices ? It is possible that the brethren in question were
talking in terms of local money which, in our case, is the Mexican dollar. The
fees here in Shanghai for the Scottish Rite are $340.00 Mexican. If to this
was added the cost of a journey from Japan and return it is probable that it
did cost these brethren about $500.00 to get the Rite. If they had to stay a
week here the total cost to them would probably have been not less than
$600.00 Mexican. Bro. Moister does not mention the time when these degrees
were taken. If it was two years ago the Mexican dollar was then worth $1.11 in
United States currency. The brethren therefore were not so far out after all
in what they told Bro. Moister.
Hudson, District Grand Secretary,
District Grand Lodge of China,
Szechneu, Shanghai, China.
better to surpass one's self than one's fellows.
* * *
said that Roy Chapman Andrews has discovered a nest of petrified dinosaur eggs
somewhere in Mongolia. Amateur symbologists, please copy. Doesn't this prove
that Freemasonry existed among the dinosaurs? Referred to the shade of Le
* * *
late Sir John Robertson Ross, historian of the Craft in Canada, bequeathed his
fine Masonic library to the Grand Lodge of Canada. It has been housed in the
Yonge Street Temple, Toronto.
* * *
Dr. Joseph Fort Newton has recently accepted the post of Educational Director
in the Masonic Service Association; he will have his office in New York where
he is pastor of the Church of the Divine Paternity.
* * *
every American, every lover of liberty, every well-wisher to his posterity,
swear by the blood of the Revolution never to violate in the least particular
the laws of the country and never to tolerate their violation by others. As
the patriots of Seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of
Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and laws let every
American pledge his life, his property and his sacred honor.
every man remember that to violate the law is to trample on the blood of his
father and to tear the charter of his own and his children's liberty. Let
reverence for the law be breathed by every American mother to the lisping babe
that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in the schools, the seminaries and
in the colleges, let it be written in primers, in spelling books and almanacs,
let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in the legislative halls of
justice. In short, let it become the political religion of the nation.