The Builder Magazine
July 1924 - Volume X - Number 7
TABLE OF CONTENTS
FRONTISPIECE - S.R. CATHEDRAL, SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS
GRAND LODGE OF ENGLAND AND ITS WORK - By Bro. Sir Alfred Robbins, England
FUNDAMENTALS OF FREEMASONRY - By Bro. Robert P. McColloch, Kansas
LEGEND OF THE CANDLES - By Bro. F. E. Manson, Pennsylvania
FREEMASONRY IN MEXICO - By Bro. E. R. Turnbull, Illinois
OF RAINBOW FOR GIRLS - By Bro. W. Mark Sexson, Oklahoma
LAFAYETTE.- By Bro. George W. Baird, P.G.M., District of Columbia
MEN WHO WERE MASONS - JAMES MONROE - By Bro. George W. Baird, P. G. M.,
District of Columbia
SUGGESTIONS FOR SUBORDINATE LODGES - By Bro. James H. Price, P.G.M., Virginia
Trail of the Red Serpent
New York Masonic Outlook"
"Avoid All Semblance of Religious or Class Feeling"
of the Classics of the Craft"
Book on Italian Freemasonry
Helps for Lodge Orators
Scientist Turned Prophet
MYSTICISM OF MASONRY
DECLARATION AND THE CONSTITUTION - By Bro. Gilbert Patten Brown, New York
QUESTION BOX AND CORRESPONDENCE
"Restorations of Masonic Geometry and Symbolry"
New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Iowa Recognize South African Grand Lodges ?
Royal Arch Record
Apprentices Not Entitled to Masonic Burial
Religious Affiliation of President and Mrs. Coolidge
of Death of H.A., Etc
Scottish Rite in Canada, Thirty-third Degree, Etc
the Author of En Oriente Lux..
Grand Lodge of England and Its Work
Bro. R.W.Bro. Sir Alfred Robbins, P.G.W.,
President of the Board of General Purposes, W. M. Quatuor Coronati Lodge of
Research, etc., England
Alfred Robbins was born at Launceton, Aug. 1, 1856. He has been a journalist
and author since 1871, and has published a number of books and plays, among
the former of which are "Five Years of Tory Rule, 1879"; "The Marquis of
Salisbury, a Personal and Political Sketch"; "Practical Politics, or the
Liberalism of Today"; "The Early Public Life of William Ewart Gladstone,"
etc. From 1888 until a few months ago he was London correspondent of the
Birmingham Post. He has been President of the Board of General Purposes of
the Grand Lodge of England since 1913; was Grand Scribe of Supreme Grand
Chapter, 1918; Grand Master Overseer of Mark Grand Lodge, 1915, and is now
Worshipful Master of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Research. He has published
in THE BUILDER, "English and American Brotherhood," July, 1918; "Spurious,
Imitative, of Associated Freemasonry," January, 1924; and an interview on "The
Basis of Masonic Unity," June last. The essay published below was originally
prepared as a paper to be read before an English lodge of research, which will
account for its being addressed to English Masons. Bro. Robbins was first
minded to modify it for appearance here, but decided later to let it appear as
first written, thinking that his American brethren would enjoy listening in on
the discussion as it stands.
since I have taken an active part in Freemasonry, whether in my own lodge or
outside, I have felt that it would be well if Masonic study were extended in
practical, as well as theoretical, directions. I have wished that, in
addition to microscopically examining the myths of the past, systematic study
should be given to the mysteries of the present. It would surprise most
English Freemasons to learn that it is because of this decided desire that I
in this place draw attention to the subject of "Grand Lodge and Its Work.
English Mason will be apt to smile at it being assumed that there is any
mystery about either Grand Lodge itself, or the work it does, seeing that its
transactions are open to the Masonic world, and a full record published for
the information of every lodge within the English jurisdiction. But, with a
little reflection, the point will be seen. Let us take the term "Grand Lodge"
itself. In conversation among my brother Masons that term may be heard
applied in four different significations, certain of them erroneous. When a
brother says, "I am told at Grand Lodge," he indicates that he has applied for
information at Freemasons' Hall; when he proclaims, "I shall appeal to Grand
Lodge," he means that he will lay his case before the great body which holds
its regular meetings in that building; when he observes, "I have been to Grand
Lodge," he alludes to his having been present at one of those assemblies; and,
when he refers to a brother as "a member of Grand Lodge," he is apt to fall
into the very common error of using that term as equivalent to a Grand
necessary at the outset, therefore, to have a precise definition of what
"Grand Lodge" is. This is early supplied, and in very precise fashion, in the
draft of a proposed "Charter of Incorporation of Free and Accepted Masons," to
be found in an unauthorized edition of the Book of Constitutions, published in
London and Dublin in 1769, in furtherance of a movement for turning the Free
and Accepted Masons of England into a chartered body - a movement popular for
a short period, but doomed to oblivion.
preamble of the projected charter declared, in the name of King George III,
that the "Society of Free and Accepted Masons have for Ages held frequent
Meetings within this Realm, and have ever demeaned themselves with Duty and
Loyalty to Us, and our Predecessors; with Reverence and Obedience to the Laws,
and Kindness and Good-will to their Fellow-Subjects: and that the said Society
appears to have been originally instituted for humane and beneficent Purposes,
and have distributed from Time to Time to all without Distinction, who have
had the single Claim of Wretchedness, Sums to a great Amount, collected by
voluntary Contribution among themselves." It was then sought to set up by
royal charter "a Perpetual Society, which shall be called by the Name of THE
SOCIETY OF FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS OF ENGLAND"; and the Sovereign was
expected to go on to declare,, "That the said Society shall consist of a Grand
Master, Deputy Grand Master, Grand Wardens, Past Grand Officers, Provincial
Grand Master, Grand Treasurer, Grand Secretary, Grand Sword Bearer, Twelve
Steward, and of the Masters and Wardens of the several subordinate Lodges,
who, together with those already enumerated, compose the Grand Lodge."
present definition is supplied by the second Rule of the Book of Constitutions
in the following terms:
public interests of the Fraternity are managed by a general representation of
all private Lodges on record, together with the Grand Stewards of the year and
the present and Past Grand Officers, and the Grand Master at their head. This
collective body is styled THE UNITED GRAND LODGE OF ANTIENT FREE AND ACCEPTED
MASONS OF ENGLAND, and is hereinafter referred to as 'The Grand Lodge.'"
composition is determined by Rule 6, which, having placed in order of rank and
precedence sixty-one different classes of present and Past Grand Officers,
with the Grand Stewards of the year and such Past Grand Stewards as are
Masters or Past Masters of private lodges, concludes by embracing: within the
membership of Grand Lodge the Master, Past Masters, and Wardens of the Grand
Stewards' Lodge and of every other private lodge, together, by Rule 7, with
certain brethren of eminence and ability who have rendered service to the
Craft, and who may, in certain circumstances, be constituted members of Grand
Lodge - a privilege of Grand Lodge which has not been exercised for many
years. This present arrangement, except in one important particular, follows
closely the seventh of the Articles of Union which, in 1813 [printed in THE
BUILDER, April 1924, page 117], united the two Grand Lodges of English
Freemasons, this directing that the United Grand Lodge should be composed of
Grand officers and "the actual Masters and Wardens of all warranted Lodges,"
not more than one Past Master of a lodge being at that time allowed to attend,
with certain exceptions for pre-Union Lodges, unless he had been delegated to
do so by his lodge. The one particular now changed is as to the Past Masters,
each of whom, after service for a full year as Master, can attend Grand Lodge
so long as he continues a subscribing member of any private lodge.
WORK IS DESCRIBED
is how the United Grand Lodge of England is composed; and, when we come to
consider its work, we find that from it all laws affecting the Craft emanate,
and in every matter it has the final decision. These powers are very clearly
defined by Rules 4 and 5 of the Book of Constitutions, necessary to be invoked
whenever questions of Craft government or discipline are raised. The fourth
Grand Lodge possesses the supreme superintending authority, and also has the
inherent powers of enacting laws and regulations for the government of the
Craft, and of altering, repealing, and abrogating them, always taking care
that the antient Landmarks of the Order be preserved;"
the fifth Rule:
Grand lodge also has the power of investigating, regulating, and deciding all
matters relative to the Craft, or to particular Lodges, or to individual
Brothers, which it may exercise either of itself or by such delegated
authority as in its wisdom and discretion, it may appoint; but the Grand Lodge
alone has the power of erasing Lodges and expelling Brethren from the Craft, a
power which it does not delegate to any subordinate authority."
Lodge, which originally was organized in 1717 specifically to arrange for the
government of "the Lodges in and about London and Westminster", has grown into
a legislative, judicial, taxing, and administrative body directly controlling
the affairs of over 3,900 lodges in full working, and situated all over the
world. Of these lodges, just over 2,300 have their home in the Provinces of
England and Wales; nearly 700 in Districts and other overseas places; and more
than 900 in the Metropolitan area within a ten miles' radius of Freemasons'
Hall. Beyond all these, one of the most striking evidences of the
universality of English Freemasonry is furnished by the fact that sixty-nine
of our lodges are in such scattered and thinly populated parts of the earth as
to prevent their being grouped into Districts. Therefore, they remain under
the immediate direction of the central Masonic authority at Freemasons' Hall,
but subject, in specific conditions under Rule 147, to supervision by an
Inspector appointed by the Grand Master.
trace the growth of the United Grand Lodge of England, which today is
continuous and even enormous, is most interesting and instructive. In 1717,
four among the remaining old lodges in London joined together to constitute
the original Grand Lodge of England; and, within a very few years, that body
made rapid strides, although almost entirely, as, far as England was
concerned, confined in its earliest period to London and the regions round
about. The lodges at work under our jurisdiction, which at first were four,
are now, as stated, 3,900, though that great number does not cover all which
have existed under the Grand Master of England's warrant within the last sixty
years, as is shown by the fact that lodges are now being consecrated which
stand on the register of the United Grand Lodge of England bearing numbers
over 4,600. The discrepancy between the actual and recorded number of lodges
is accounted for in the main by the establishment, with the benison of the
parent Grand Lodge, of independent Jurisdictions in various of our great
Dominions, which, of their own free will, the overwhelming majority of the
local lodges have joined. These figures of wonderful vitality tell an
eloquent story of the spread of Masonry and the work of Grand Lodge. Without,
indeed, being a world-wide Jurisdiction, in the sense of covering by its
governance the whole universe, the United Grand Lodge of England is a
world-wide inspiration, it being recognized throughout the world as the
premier Grand Lodge, and entitled, as such, to the utmost respect.
POWERS OF GRAND LODGE ARE EXTENSIVE
powers of Grand Lodge, it must never be forgotten, are extremely extensive and
far-reaching, its decisions affecting even the uttermost ends of the earth.
Its definitions of principle, its declarations of policy, its judicial
pronouncements, are watched with extreme care not only by those directly
affected by them, but by Masons in every part of the globe. These last may
not understand all the difficulties which unavoidably occur in regard to a
Grand Lodge that governs men not of the same country, the same language, the
same race; but the premier Grand Lodge continues to be regarded by the Grand
Lodges of other sovereign Jurisdictions as the world's leading Grand Lodge not
only because of its age, but because of the steadiness of aim and sureness of
judgment which, in the main, have distinguished it throughout. A Grand Lodge
which has to direct the course of a great number lodges largely composed of
brethren of other races, various languages, and religious beliefs different
from those entertained by the great body of Freemasons in England, has special
difficulties with which to cope, not always appreciated by members of similar
bodies operating within a more restricted sphere. But there is compensation
in the fact that the brethren who assist in the direction of affairs in our
Grand Lodge are, for this very reason, impressed with a sense of more heavy
responsibility than if they had to deal with those of their own country alone.
in all this exists an element of danger which cannot be ignored by those
having the good of the Craft at heart. One of the difficulties with which the
administration of Freemasons' Hall is constantly faced is that the Masonic
Parliament - as in great degree Grand Lodge can be described - is composed of
an enormous number of members, the vast majority of whom never attend, some of
whom attend with great rarity, while (though this is a temporary circumstance
which will be removed when there has been completed the projected Central
Masonic Home, inspired by the Grand Master as a worthy Masonic Peace Memorial)
many of those who are qualified, and actually put in an appearance at
Freemasons' Hall, find it always difficult and often impossible to obtain
admission in the present cramped amount of room, hundreds being turned away
from the doors on frequent occasions after proving their title to attend. But
a serious trouble is that the administrators of the Craft can never depend for
two consecutive Quarterly Communications on having an audience similarly
composed to that of the immediately previous - or, indeed, any previous -
Communication, and, therefore, possessed of knowledge of what had passed.
Consequently, in a moment of passion or strong feeling, or influenced by a
moving appeal, a vote sometimes is taken, participated in by hundreds who have
never attended Grand Lodge before, and may never do so again. These do not
know the enormous importance attaching to the decision; but they give their
votes as readily and lightly as they would for or against a resolution at an
ordinary public meeting. They do not realize that the effect of their
decision may be felt in every part of the Masonic world, and that it may set a
lasting example for good or ill. That example is set not merely for each
lodge in our own Jurisdiction, but for every lodge which looks to the United
Grand Lodge of England as not only the Mother Grand Lodge of the world in
proven age, but as the premier Grand Lodge in length of experience and
ripeness of wisdom.
not only since I was given the privilege by the M.W. the Grand Master of
occupying my present office, or even since I became a Grand officer five years
previously, that I have felt the danger, and the increasing danger, of the
growing number of those qualified to attend Grand Lodge. Two years before I
had been given my earliest Grand Rank, and at a period when I had no reason to
anticipate ever to be so honoured, I contributed to a Masonic journal my
opinions on "Some Problems for Grand Lodge", and I placed in the forefront the
point now emphasized. I then said:
"Whether Grand Lodge, constituted in the present way, is not a growingly
unwieldy body, which cannot fairly be expected properly to fulfill all the
administrative, legislative, and judicial duties now cast upon it, is one of
the problems which English Freemasonry at a very early day will be called upon
frankly to face, and it will become an increasingly difficult one with every
additional lodge that is placed upon the roll. Attempts to meet it have been
made within the past few years (this was written in 1906), but these were so
crude - and notably that for depriving the Wardens of the privilege of
attending - that they had no result, except, perhaps, to suggest to the more
timid brethren that they were insoluble. But difficulties exist to be
overcome and this is one. Grand lodge, if it is to remain a living force,
must be made - what it was obviously at the outset intended to be - a body
truly representative of the active spirit as well as the acquired experience
of the Craft; and any plan which may be suggested for securing this should be
welcomed for full discussion."
chanced to be my fortune to provide opportunity for that full discussion
within a very short time after being appointed President of the Board of
General Purposes, but I can scarcely claim that the opportunity was welcomed.
In December, 1913, I laid before the brethren, on behalf of the Board over
which I presided - which had given long and careful consideration to the
problem - a detailed scheme for the reconstruction of Grand Lodge, the aim of
which was to make it a representative body of definite size for deliberation
and decision, and to afford to the Provinces, as well as to London, a fair
share in the government of the Craft. A storm arose which prevented any calm
decision on this great issue. A majority in London voted against the plan,
which, admittedly, would have reduced the overwhelming influence of the
Metropolitan lodges on the deliberations of Grand Lodge. The brethren of the
Provinces and Districts, by a decidedly larger majority, voted in support of
the scheme, which would have provided them an opportunity for effective
participation in Grand Lodge work. But, before any final decision could be
taken, the war broke out; and the plan passed into that "back of beyond" which
is apt to be the refuge of all reforms that arouse temper and exhaust energy
without securing immediate result. Yet it is certain that some Masonic
statesman, possessed of great experience of affairs, a special knowledge of
men, and a widely foreseeing outlook, and above all with the necessary courage
and persistence to withstand public tumult and personal attack, will have to
deal, and that before long, with this important problem.
ATTENDANCE HAS BECOME A PROBLEM
already has been said that the attendances of Grand Lodge have increased in
recent years, and to such an extent, indeed, that hundreds of brethren
qualified to be present are frequently turned from the doors for lack of
room. Because of this latter fact, available statistics do not convey the
whole truth. Let us take, as examples in proof, the figures of the two years
1913 and 1923. In 1913, the total attending the March Communication was 827;
the June, 1,277; the September, 617; and the December, 753; or a grand total
of 3,474; the number recorded in June being to a certain extent illusory,
because a great many brethren simply passed through the Temple to record their
votes in a contested election for the Board of General Purposes, and left
before the regular business was taken. The numbers in 1923 were, March, 835;
June, 1,353, but these in a larger and non-Masonic hall, specially engaged for
that meeting; September, 2,209; and December, 931, or a grand total of 5,328.
The very attendance in September - the largest at any Quarterly Communication
from the inception of the Craft - was because it was the first held outside
London; took place in so noble and extensive a building as George's Hall,
Liverpool. It might be said at first view that the difference shown at the
ordinary meetings between the two years, a decade apart, was not great; but
this is sufficiently explained by the extremely cramped accommodation at
Freemasons' Hall, which entails much discomfort on those who press their way
within the doors, shuts those doors on many more, and prevents hundreds
desiring to come from attempting to put in an appearance.
most useful to recall these facts because of the continuous and even startling
growth of both the amount and complexity of the work performed by Grand
Lodge. This can best be judged from a rapid glance at the manner in which it
again and again has had to try to accommodate itself to its ever-increasing
responsibilities. It discovered as early as 1735 that it could not effectively
do the Fraternity's business by attempting to settle all Masonic affairs at
the Quarterly Communication. Even ten years earlier it had been found
necessary to set up a Committee of Charity to relieve Grand Lodge of the
necessity for itself investigating petitions for assistance; and from that
grain, of mustard seed has sprung the main part of the detailed administration
of the Craft as we see it today.
1733, when it was found that the business usually brought before the Quarterly
Communication had increased to such an extent as to be almost impossible to be
got through in one night, it was resolved that all that portion which could
not be effectively despatched by the Quarterly Communication should be
referred to the Committee of Charity. That body therefore, had given over to
it not merely the details of Grand Lodge business, as well as it previously
assigned benevolent work, but such remaining part of Grand Lodge business as
had not been disposed of at the full meeting. It was allowed to deal as it
chose with disputed questions, and simply to report its decisions to Grand
Lodge. After having possessed that extension of power for not more than three
years, it recommended to Grand Lodge certain laws for the better regulation of
Quarterly Communications and public assemblies, and these were voted to be
necessary. Therein lay the germ of the present Rule 266 of the Book of
Constitutions, which empowers the Board of General Purposes - a creation of
much later date, coming into existence with the United Grand Lodge of England
- to recommend to Grand Lodge whatever it deems advantageous and necessary for
the benefit of the Craft. Thus the original Grand Lodge had only about come
of age before, in a manner not intended or foreseen, there had been
constituted by the Masonic authorities a body, wielding enormous
administrative powers, greater, indeed, than those possessed today by any
other body than Grand Lodge itself. Thus so soon, and with a very limited
number of lodges - attendance at Grand Lodge then being virtually limited
difficulties of travel to London lodges - it was found that the system of
having a huge assembly to deal with detailed questions was one which for
business purposes would not work, and delegation had to be begun.
system of referring all details of administration, and even some questions of
first importance, to the Committee of Charity continued until the Act of Union
1813; and the United Grand Lodge of England had no sooner come into existence
than it carried the process of devolution to what can now be considered an
extreme degree. It determined that the business previously dealt with by the
Committee of Charity should be divided between no fewer than seven Boards or
Committees. There were to be four Boards elected at each June Quarterly
Communication, those of General Purposes, Finance, Works, and Schools, in
addition to a Committee or Lodge of Benevolence, officially styled in much
later days the Board of Benevolence; a Committee of Grand Lodge, usually known
as the General Committee, and disappearing as lately as 1918; and an Audit
Committee, composed of Grand officers of the year and twenty-four Masters of
London Lodges, charged with auditing the Grand Treasurer's accounts. The Board
of Schools speedily disappeared; the duties of the Board of Works were in a
few years vested in the Board of General Purposes, as also, at later dates,
were those of the Board of Finance, the Audit Committee, and the General
Committee, while the Colonial Committee, a creation of later date, vanished
long ago. We now have in Masonry, Grand Lodge as the ruling power of the
Craft, the Board of General Purposes as the administrative and disciplinary
body, and the Board of Benevolence as the distributing agent of a Fund,
contributed to annually by every brother in England and Wales.
BOARDS HAVE MANY DUTIES
would not be easy to bring within a short space a full description of the
detailed work done by these two Boards. But, if we glance at the accounts for
the latest audited year, 1922, some information of the extent of their labours
can be gleaned. The income of the Fund of General Purposes - which is under
the direct administration of the body over which for eleven years I have had
the honour to preside - was just over 42,000 pounds; while that of the Fund of
Benevolence, controlled by the Board of that name, was just under. The manner
in which the revenue is raised throws a flood of light on the inner working of
the Craft. It is usually forgotten that, from the moment an incoming brother
has paid for his Master Mason's Certificate, he contributes for the remainder
of his Masonic life, even though it be of fifty years, not a single penny
towards the upkeep of the central administration, except in an extremely
slight and indirect way for the infrequent granting of dispensations issued in
specific circumstances by the Grand Master. Therefore, if it were not for the
great amount which comes from the registration fees paid by those who year
after year enter the Craft, and the lesser, but still tangible, amount paid
for the warranting of new lodges, Grand Lodge would not receive from the rents
of its property enough to pay even its wages bill. In the case of the Fund of
Benevolence, the contribution is a direct levy of quarterage on every member
of a lodge situated in England and Wales, the whole contribution of a London
brother going to the Central Fund, but only half that of a Provincial brother,
while the Mason overseas, though in many cases receiving benefit from the
Fund, does not contribute towards it. In addition to these Funds, there are
the Building Fund established by Grand Lodge some fifteen years since, derived
from a fee of -/6d per annum from every English brother; and the Masonic Peace
Memorial Fund, organized at the instance of the Grand Master and under the
authority of Grand Lodge, which is supported by voluntary contributions only.
will be observed from these facts how very wide is the ramification of the
central work, but even this far from exhausts the labour which has daily to be
undertaken. The Grand Secretary's staff at Freemasons' Hall deals today with
an income from all sources which is at the rate of a quarter of a million
annually; and having within its charge not only lodges but chapters, it is
concerned with the working of over 5,300 separate bodies. The record of each
is kept separately from its consecration, and preserved for all time,
entailing the employment of nearly twenty clerks in checking and entering the
lodge and chapter returns. Three clerks are engaged exclusively on writing
and registering certificates, while three are occupied from one and a half to
two hours every morning in opening and sorting the many communications
received by post; and five typists are constantly employed on Grand Lodge work
alone. The Board of Benevolence deals with 200 to 400 eligible petitioners
every year; and, in the same period under the direction of the Board of
General Purposes, nearly 30,000 copies of the Book of Constitutions are
printed and sold, as well as more than 3,000 of the "Masonic Year Book." One
other item of work constantly proceeding in the very busy central hive of
Masonic industry is to be noted, and this is, that in 1923 - our last
completed year - without counting the labour applied to the Masonic Peace
Memorial Fund, no fewer than eighty-three meetings of various Boards and
Committees were held at Freemasons' Hall.
LODGE CEREMONIAL WORK IS IMPORTANT
these activities very far from exhaust the work performed by or under the
auspices of Grand Lodge. At the Quarterly Communication, the duties to a
large extent are ceremonial, and that is the feature which attracts many
qualified Masons to see the pageant a least once in their lives. Grand Lodge,
however, as have emphasized, has to deal with the administration of the Craft,
as well as with what no huge assembly of varying size and composition should
have to do the judicial work of the Craft. The last point affects every
Mason, even to the most humble, as each brother among is, if he holds himself
aggrieved by any Masonic authority - whether it be the Master of his lodge,
the Provincial or District Grand Master under whom he is placed, or the Grand
Master himself - has the right to appeal to Grand Lodge against the decision
of any official, however high that official's Masonic standing may be. This
is a highly valuable privilege, for it is the rock on which the liberty of the
Freemason stands. It may be thought, from the comparatively rare instances of
such matters coming into court, that the privilege is not often exercised.
But that it is not more frequently used, while it is a tribute to the spirit
of Masonic fairness and goodwill that runs through the Craft from end to end,
is also a testimony to the great care exercised at Headquarters in dealing
with questions of grievance. There are singularly few complaints from
individual brethren of harshness on the part of those in authority; but, when
that complaint is, with rarity, brought to Freemasons' Hall, the Grand
Registrar, who, by the Book of Constitutions is the adviser of Grand Lodge,
has the whole case laid before him, whether from a Province, a District, or a
Private Lodge, or from the aggrieved person himself. It is examined from a
legal, as well as Masonic, point of view by the Grand Registrar, who has
always been a barrister of distinction, giving his services freely and
voluntarily for the work. On the facts laid before him by both sides, this
high official writes a judgment, which, however, is not accepted as such until
confirmed by Grand Lodge, that body having the power to reject the ruling, a
course that, naturally, has been taken only in extremely rare cases. The
Grand Registrar also gives his advice on questions of discipline submitted to
the Board of General Purposes concerning lodges or brethren within the
Metropolitan area, or referred to it specifically by Provincial or District
authorities; and of late years that body has solved a number of difficulties
and soothed many a temper by refraining from exercising its powers until it
has exhausted every effort of friendly enquiry and fraternal advice to bring
differing brethren into harmony once more.
activities of the Board of General Purposes furnish, indeed, the best example
of the continuous and heavy work of the administration of the Craft, demanded
by its daily increasing needs. It is a body composed of certain of the
leading officers of Grand Lodge, with eight members nominated by the Grand
Master, twelve elected by the London lodges, a twelve selected by the
Provincial Grand Masters representing the Provincial Grand Lodges. It meets
monthly, but its heaviest work is done by six committees, which sit with
frequency. These Committees deal respectively with Finance; Colonial, Indian,
a Foreign affairs; Procedure; Grand Lodge Premises; Officers and Clerks; and
the Library and Museum Freemasons' Hall, together with all questions of
publication. None but those in intimate touch with the Board can form any
estimate of the amount of patient and skilled work given to the Craft by the
brethren who compose these Committees; and the smooth working of the whole
administration very largely depends on the skill and assiduity with which the
Board, as whole, manages the Craft's concerns.
LODGE LIBRARY DOES A GREAT WORK
Incidentally, reference has been made to the Library and Museum of Grand
Lodge; and I wish there we space to describe in some detail the work of this
most admirable feature of Freemasons' Hall. It came in existence in the
opening months of the reign of Queen Victoria; and, by gifts and subscriptions
of many brethren - not aided much by any grant or allowance from Grand Lodge -
it has now a magnificent collection in both Library and Museum, concerning
which the one regret is that there is not sufficient room in the present
building to display our wonderful and varied treasures to the full. Within
recent years, the Board of General Purposes has arranged for such increase in
the accommodation and arrangements of the Library and Museum, to which
admission is free to every Master Mason, as to attract a greater number of
brethren; and the results have been most gratifying. The number of readers in
1921 was 252, which rose to 599 in 1922, and to 646 last year; while that of
visitors increased rapidly in the same three years from 1,322 to 2,339, and
ultimately to 2,679. The growing appreciation of the Library and Museum thus
displayed by the Craft is specially valued by the Board as an earnest of what
is hoped for in the future, when more space can be given for both development
and display. Excellent provision, I am assured, will be made for this in the
Central Masonic Home projected by our Grand Master, which will give us a
building worthy of the dignity and high importance of the Craft.
Sufficient has been said to enable you to judge with some precision not only
what Grand Lodge is, but how, and to what extent, it works. Too many of our
brethren seem to entertain the idea that Masonry is merely a matter of their
own lodge, or their own Province or their own particular friends. They must
always remember that the English Jurisdiction under the rule of the M.W. the
Grand Master is an organization world wide in its reach, and as powerful an
influence on Masonry outside as inside that vast domain. I have learned by
experience the high regard paid by Grand Lodges of every Jurisdiction to the
actions of the Grand Lodge of England. They watch our proceedings with
extreme care, and regard our decisions with every respect. Yet the most
striking evidence of the universality of English Freemasonry can best be
illustrated by an endeavour to visualize the immensity of our own direct
responsibilities. We have lodges at work in Bermuda and Bulawayo; Cape Coast
Castle and Coomassie; Cyprus and Grand Turk; Funchal and Fiji; Mashonaland and
Madeira; Melbourne and Montreal; New Providence and New Zealand; the Solomon
Islands and Zanzibar.
lodges in the outer parts of the world are homes not only of Freemasonry in
particular but of civilization in general. They are the rallying points of
Englishmen, the gathering grounds of those of our countrymen situated in
sparsely populated parts. In these lodges men of the same race and tongue are
afforded the opportunity - an opportunity which is eagerly embraced - for
coming together periodically for common converse, Masonic, social and
personal, fraternal and friendly alike. There is no organization which covers
so wide a field, or does so much to preserve touch between Englishmen in the
far parts of the world and their fellows, as Freemasonry. When dealing with
such lodges and brethren, there is always brought home to me the enormous
influence for good which is wielded by the Craft. We have granted the fullest
amount of self-government, compatible with a strong central administration, in
every part of the world wherein there are sufficient lodges to form a
District; and we give the greatest degree of fraternal attention to every
lodge which remains within our Jurisdiction because of being situated in so
vast a territory that there are no local lodges with which it could become
directly associated. In this work of devolution, Grand Lodge has not been
content to preach - it has practiced, and that in regard to its own Quarterly
Communications. In 1922, Grand Lodge resolved by an overwhelming majority
that, while the Quarterly Communications should continue in the main to be
held in London, that of September should be "in such place as from time to
time may be determined by the Grand Master." The first Province which had the
privilege conferred upon it of welcoming Grand Lodge at a Quarterly
Communication outside London was the numerically greatest of them all, that of
West Lancashire, and the meeting at Liverpool on Sept. 5, 1923, was an
unqualified success. This was not only because of the very large number
attending, but of the proof afforded that, if the Provincial brethren were
given the opportunity, they would appear more frequently in Grand Lodge. No
fewer than 1,964 Provincial Masters, Wardens and Past Masters were present in
the Liverpool St. George's Hall on that historic day, while several hundred
applications for admission could not be granted because of lack of room even
in that splendid building for all who wished to be present. And there is no
doubt that a like success in its degree would attend any similar meeting of
Grand Lodge whether held at York, Leeds, Birmingham, Manchester,
Newcastle-on-Tyne, or Bristol.
ARE ITS OPERATIONS GUIDED?
even when this is stated, all has not been said. The genesis of Grand Lodge
has been dealt with; its methods of government described; its widespread
ramifications detailed. There remains the crucial question, seldom
sufficiently considered, of how its operations are guided. Every Mason knows
that at the head of our affairs is the Grand Master, who invariably appoints a
Deputy Grand Master, and if he [the Grand Master] be a "Prince of the Blood, a
Pro Grand Master, ranking next himself. In highest command, therefore, is the
Grand Master, who appoints every Grand officer except the Grand Treasurer, he
being elected by the Craft as a whole. The Grand Master's range of choice for
these distinguished brethren is much wider than is generally supposed, as no
necessity exists for them to be even Masters or Past Masters of lodges, but
the selection of Master Masons is extremely rare. The Grand Master derives
his power from Grand Lodge, which elects him only for a single year. Hence
the vast and far-reaching power which he wields and exercises, largely derived
from that gradual growth of practice generally known as prerogative, is
checked by the necessity for his annual confirmation in office by the free
vote of Grand Lodge. In the very exercise of the Grand Master's power is seen
the essential difference existing between Grand Lodge and Provincial and
District Grand Lodges. Grand Lodge, according to Rule 4 of the Book of
Constitutions, "possesses the supreme superintending authority"; and one of
the chief manifestations of this is the election of the Grand Master. But
Provincial and District Grand Lodges, by Rules 77 and 94, "emanate from the
Provincial or District Grand Masters by Virtue of the authority vested in them
by the patents of appointment from the Grand Master." That commanding
authority appoints the Provincial and District Grand Masters, and by virtue of
his patent to them Provincial and District Grand Lodges are set up. But Grand
Lodge, by possessing the supreme superintending authority, which includes the
annual election of the Grand Master, is the greatest power of all. Old
writers on our national institutions were accustomed to dwell on the "checks
and balances" automatically at work in the English Constitution to preserve
the harmony of executive power with personal freedom; and they were specially
accustomed to emphasize that not one of the Three Estates of the Realm was
supreme, but that all must combine to ensure finality. In the end, however,
the result in the main is the same. Both the country and the Craft possess a
constitutional monarchy; central authority is enabled to control a widespread
organization, which, in the absence of such an authority, would be certain to
disintegrate. But all this would be of little or no avail unless there were
absolute loyalty from the rank in file to the commander-in- chief. In the
Craft this loyalty is freely given by lovers of freedom in its highest form.
Here as elsewhere it is true liberty that secures loyalty's finest fruit.
gratifying when we turn from what termed the personal composition of Grand
Lodge to its moral aspect, to find that its influence for good is in
proportion to its size. In 999 cases out of 1000 laid before the Masonic
authorities, their advice is accepted as given in a faithful and friendly
spirit; and many a grievance is settled by a communication from Freemasons'
Hall, which otherwise might rankle and tear a lodge asunder. The same is to be
said in greatly increased degree respecting the actions of Grand Lodge. But,
in this latter regard, it must always be remembered that a stone cast into the
Mason pool here spreads its ripples over the whole world; and that is why it
is ever to be borne in mind that a hasty decision, like a high explosive, may
miss a fortress and wreck a cathedral.
LODGE IS COMPARED WITH THE CIVIL GOVERNMENT
Looking on the organization and administration of the Craft as a whole, it is
apparent that, like the English people itself, Freemasonry has its Sovereign
and its Cabinet; its central legislative authority and its local
administrative assemblies; its self-governing dominions and its directly ruled
units. The President of the Board of General Purposes, as being the direct
choice of the M.W. the Grand Master, and as acting as Liaison Officer between
the Grand Master and the Board, stands in the position of Prime Minister a
Lord President of the Council in the Masonic Cabinet, and he exercises a
general supervision of all the departments. The Grand Secretary is our Lord
Privy Seal, and the Grand Registrar our Lord Chancellor, the latter dealing
with all questions of Masonic law at equity of procedure. The Chairman of the
Finance Committee can be considered our Chancellor of the Exchequer, carefully
watching both sides of the balance sheet, with the various items of income and
expenditure the duties of the annually-elected Grand Treasurer being in these
times quiescent or, at most acquiescent. The Chairman of the Colonial, Indian
and Foreign Committee stands in the place of the Foreign Secretary to the
extent that the Board, by Rule 267 of the Book of Constitutions, conduct
communications with sister Grand Lodges and brethren of eminence and
distinction throughout the world. It chances that, at the moment, our Foreign
Secretary is likewise our Lord Chamberlain, the Chairmanship of the Colonial,
Indian and Foreign Committee being filled by the Grand Director of Ceremonies;
and the delicately diplomatic touch, combined with authoritative suavity,
demanded by each position is well combined in the present holder of both. The
Chairman of the Procedure Committee - a body created within the past seven
years which already has done very great service to the Craft in settling many
disputed points, and formulating definite lines of practice - should resemble
the ideal Primate of All England - zealous to prevent illegal practices and to
stop the spread of false doctrine, but cautious in all things and
non-committal on details of ritual, recognizing that our lodge work is the
outcome of a compromise of the long-ago, and praying the extremists of both
sides to recognize it as such, and not for comparative trifles to trouble the
peace of Israel. The Chairman of the Library, Art and Publications Committee
is our First Commissioner of Works - at least to the extent of half that
Minister's office and power - with a touch of the Minister of Education thrown
in, as under his supervision is the artistic as well as the literary side of
the work at Freemasons' Hall. The Chairman of the Premises Committee takes
over the remaining half of the office and powers of the First Commissioner of
Works - to whose governmental title is added "and Buildings" - and the upkeep
of our central premises is no light task to oversee. And the Chairman of the
Officers and Clerks Committee is the only one among his fellows who has no
direct counterpart in the Cabinet or the hierarchy, to him being given the
suggestion of dealing with a staff for the whole body, instead of this task,
as in the Government, being relegated as a right to the heads of the several
departments. Added to all these is the President of the Board of Benevolence,
who, from his position and his duties, deserves the historic and most
honourable description of Grand Almoner.
have made it clear that English Freemasonry, as an organization, does not run
on its own wheels; that its administration has to be steadily, systematically,
and most carefully watched; and that discipline must be maintained if the
brotherhood is to continue on the high plane it has now reached, I shall have
succeeded in my task. Every English brother ought to be interested in the
work that is being done, and should assist in that work in the best way
afforded him. Masonry, after thirty-five years within it, I sincerely believe
to be the best of brotherhoods; it should be our constant endeavour to make it
a brotherhood of the best. This is only to be done by continuous cordiality
of work; and it is because Grand Lodge sets so excellent an example in that
direction, and should be made certain of doing so in the future, that I
commend the considerations I have submitted, and ask all my English brethren
to do the utmost in their power to strengthen the influence of those in
authority in order to secure the most efficient, effective and lasting
Fundamentals of Freemasonry
Bro. ROBERT P. McCOLLOCH, Kansas
following address, delivered before the Grand Lodge of Kansas, was so well
accepted that arrangements were made to have it given to all district meetings
and ultimately in every lodge. A reading of it will instantly make clear why
our Kansas brethren desired to broadcast it so widely, for it is philosophical
in its grasp of essentials, statesman like in the sweep of its vision, and
effective in the frank straightforward manner in which it is phrased.
some of us were schoolboys we wrote upon the pages of our copy-books this
saying of a wise man: "Knowledge is Power." And some of us wrote the copy
boldly; and others, timidly; and others wrote it with man a blot and blunder
and labored use of pen.
our schoolrooms we went out into the school life, there to translate our copy
into terms of action. And some of us have done this boldly; others, timidly;
and others with many a blot and blunder, just as in our school days we wrote
the copy on the pages of our books.
who are here assembled, either in youth, manhood, or age, were admitted to
Masonic light and admonished to make advancement in Masonic knowledge. There
was explanation of that elementary symbol, the Trestle Board, upon which the
Grand Architect of the Universe had drawn the designs for speculative Masons
to copy in the erection of their spiritual buildings. And, very like the
schoolboys wrote their copy, some have traced these designs boldly; others,
timidly; and others with hesitating hands, and careless use of the symbolic
tools - the gauge, gavel, square, plumb, level. It thus has happened that
there is much imperfect work. Now, Masonic knowledge is potential power. If
in our lives, we had used our Masonic tools with better knowledge and the
greater care we should have exercised such power for right thinking and right
living that the world would now be a far better world than it is.
is increasing desire that the great body of our Fraternity in the state
[Kansas] may become more familiar with the fundamentals of our beloved Order.
You who hear me are doubtless well grounded in these fundamentals, being
exponents of the work, students of Masonic history and traditions, well
acquainted with the Ancient Landmarks, Charges and Regulations. But it is a
fact that too large a percentage of our members have but faint and imperfect
conception of the truths which Masonry teaches by symbolism. Many, indeed,
there are word and letter perfect in the work and lectures of the degrees,
faithful in attendance, deeply concerned in all that affects our interests,
who are either wholly uninformed or poorly informed as to the true
significance of the things which they symbolically present to candidates, and
to the younger of the brethren. These have not given the study to the history
and traditions which would lead to a knowledge that the beautiful and
impressive symbols are but caskets in which the verities of Freemasonry are
encased. This condition furnishes occasion for my address. I entertain the
hope that something may be said which will appeal to you, leaders as you are
in your lodges; representative men and Masons of your several communities; and
that will arouse you to the urgent need of a better understanding of Masonry,
fundamentally. If this can be done you will, in your lodges, counsel your
less informed brethren to make careful and comprehensive study of the Masonic
truths as these are expressed in Masonic symbolism.
something can be said touching basic principles of Freemasonry, others will
occur to you, and out of this discussion there may come material, important
and interesting, for your own use on similar occasions in your several lodges.
ARE TWO SCHOOLS OF MASONIC THOUGHT
are two recognized schools of Masonic thought: the historical and the
traditional. The former conceives of Freemasonry as it is set down in the
annals of time. The latter adds to this view that which has come down through
the traditions of the human race. The historical school holds Freemasonry to
be of comparatively recent origin, measured by authentic history, while the
traditional school assigns it so far back even as the beginning of time, and
man. There is, however, no serious conflict between the schools. Indeed, in
many particulars, they blend. With the advance in knowledge, the discoveries
made by archaeologists, the ability now possessed by scholars to decipher
inscriptions written upon the walls of ancient temples and tombs, there is
found such proof of the claims made by the traditionalists as give them
Mason should advance in knowledge of the Craft. To this end he should make
thorough study of the Ancient Landmarks, Charges and Regulations, Anderson's
Constitution, and such other documents and books as set forth the known facts
of the beginnings of Freemasonry which have, by authority, been approved as
authentic history. To this knowledge he should add the vast amount of
information to be gathered from the numerous books written by distinguished
and reliable members of the Order, who have traveled in all lands,
investigated the "Mysteries of the Ancients," the symbolism found in every
country, studied the history and traditions of peoples and tribes, examined
ancient shrines, temples and monuments, deciphered the curious inscriptions,
symbols and signs found in every part of the known world. These students have
made this exhaustive investigation and research for the purpose of proving
that Freemasonry originated in the religious rites of prehistoric man. To
such as these, equally with those who have given us the undisputed history,
Masons are deeply indebted. It is to be hoped that some books of both schools
are in your personal or lodge libraries. If not, then make use of that
unrivaled collection of Masonic literature to be found in the library of the
Grand Lodge of Kansas, accessible to every brother within this jurisdiction.
of Freemasonry centers in a word. That word, in our language, is God. The
equivalent of this word is found in every known tongue and in the vocabulary
of every people of the most ancient time. And, coupled with this word, as it
is found written upon the monuments of antiquity, are many of the signs and
symbols which we, as Masons, know in relation to the word. These facts
evidence a universal and age-old belief in a Supreme Being, the Grand
Architect of the Universe, and its Supreme Ruler.
then, is a sound basis for the deduction that Freemasonry is an institution
having origin in antiquity, and a belief having universal acceptance. This
conception of God is the only dogma of Ancient Craft Masonry. In the galaxy
of our Ancient Landmarks it holds chief place. Everything in Masonic
philosophy proceeds from it, returns to it. Truly, then, since these things
are so, we may well claim for our Fraternity the designation of "Ancient."
a requirement of belief in one God such as I have mentioned is an unalterable
Landmark of Freemasonry, it is one of striking elasticity. Every Mason has
the right to make such interpretation of the dogma as is agreeable to his
conscience and not in conflict with the original statement of Masonic faith.
For myself, as for many of you, the interpretation is in terms of the
Christian religion. But the right of interpretation which is yours, and mine,
is equally the right of our brethren of other religious beliefs. It cannot be
too often stated, nor too clearly put, that Masons of the Jewish faith,
followers of Mohammed, disciples of Confucius, devotees of Buddha, adherents
of any religion in which the idea of one God is fundamental are just as truly
Masons as we ourselves. The time is past when Masons must be of the religion
of the country where they have residence. Today, Masons are everywhere
privileged to worship God according to the dictates of their consciences. It
was always the rule that a Mason must be a free man. In the sweep of the
centuries it has become true that he is free not only in body, but in his
religious convictions. Thus, a Mason is indeed "captain of his own soul."
BOOK OF THE LAW" IS A LANDMARK
this connection a word as to that Landmark which makes "The Book of the Law"
an indispensable part of the furniture of a lodge. It has been held at some
times, in some places, that by the term "Book of the Law" is meant the
Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Such a construction strikes at the
universality of Symbolic Masonry. For, since belief in God as Grand Architect
of the Universe is the essence of our philosophy, and, since the individual
Mason is free to make interpretation of that dogma in the light of his own
reason and conscience, it follows that to the Jew the Pentateuch is the "Book
of the Law," as is the Koran to the Moslem, the Sutras to the Buddhist, the
Vedas to the Hindu, the "Books of Kings" to the Chinese. For these, our
Masonic brethren, their sacred books are "Books of the Law," even as is the
Bible to the Mason of Christian faith. In the lodges of these brethren their
sacred writings must, by the Landmark, be always present, and upon the
writings they assume Masonic obligations.
Closely linked with these Landmarks are two others! Resurrection to the future
life, and the Equality of Masons. These are obvious corollaries. It is
impossible to separate belief in God from that of the soul's immortality.
And, concerning equality, it is a Masonic doctrine that we are children of one
great Father. Upon these four cornerstones rests the whole of Masonic
upon such Landmarks this philosophy could not fail of leaving its impress upon
mankind, and of being an important factor in shaping individual and national
life. In all the world movements towards the development of a broader,
better, higher civilization it has been, as it now is, the common ground on
which those may stand who desire God to be supreme in the lives of men, and
who recognize unselfish service as the measure of genuine success.
these ideals have from the beginning been present in Freemasonry, believed in
and lived by Masons of every age and clime, there is need of giving them
special emphasis and serious consideration. Today they are essential as
powerful forces for the remaking of the world. Such they were in times past
operating to lead peoples into larger life, greater happiness, fuller freedom;
to establish governments upon the principle of equality; to declare the right
of the people to rule; to secure religious and civil liberty. It is a
fascinating story - the part played by Freemasonry in the development of free
I ask you, was there ever greater danger than now that the things coming so
largely out of Masonic Idealism might be lost? World conditions are alarming,
and Masons everywhere should take note of the trend of events, the possibility
of the destruction of all that Masonry has wrought. We need not look beyond
the limits of our own country for disturbing signs. Here, as elsewhere, two
ideals, the one spiritual, the other material, are in conflict for supremacy.
The one gives expression to faith in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood
of man. The other proclaims there is no God; that man is wholly material;
that human society is based on racial, caste, class, social conditons by
economic interests; that there is no spiritual bond uniting man to man. In
the philosophy, of the materialist there is no love for country, no regard for
existing government, no recognition of nor gratitude for a legacy resulting
from the suffering and sacrifice of patriotic sires. His philosophy denies
the sacredness of marriage, the sanctity of the home, and bodly declares women
and children to be the property of the state. The system wars on private
property and individual rights. Its ultimate aim is the utter destruction of
a government where there is liberty under law and the establishment of a
social order in which unbridled license shall be the central idea of a
a philosophy is no part of our own glorious heritage. It had its rise in
lands of autocratic rule and age-long ignorance and oppression. It may be the
extreme rebound from such conditions. It is spreading in many lands. It is
firmly established in Russia, gaining ground in Germany, France, Italy, and
now is threatening the very foundations of the British Empire. To us
Americans, who are feeling the impact of its assaults upon our spiritual
ideal, there is call to battle for what is most precious to us in our
traditions, our standards of government, our national life.
MATERIALISM BEARS BITTER FRUITS
fruits of this destructive theory of a social order are becoming more and more
apparent here. Witness the waves of crime sweeping the country; the disregard
for law, contempt of courts and all authority, lax enforcement of the laws;
the growth of the divorce evil; the lack of reverence for home, parents,
sacred ties and obligations; the clash of warring classes; the conflict of
interests; the appalling increase in the use of drugs and narcotics; the
tendency towards parentalism in government; the lowering of moral standards in
business and public affairs.
Masons who remember and cherish the thought that the principles we teach and
seek to live are woven into our Bill of Rights and our organic law, the
program of the Materialist must be abhorrent. When we reflect it was our
illustrious brothers, Washington, Hamilton, Franklin, Marshall, who had a
large part in formulating our system of government, and giving it judicial
interpretation, and contemplate the possibility of the wreck of their ideals
upon the rocks of materialism, we are struck with horror. Conspiracy against
our government is conspiracy against Freemasonry. The wreck of one would be
the wreck of the other.
Masons often give too narrow a meaning to the word, "Work." We are apt to
limit its scope to labors in lodges, the conferring of degrees, the things
distinctively Masonic. We should give the word the broader and higher
meaning. There is much more work for us outside lodges than within them. It
is our mission to disseminate Masonic ideas, to diffuse Masonic light. These
things are vastly more important than is the ceremonial by which we make a man
a Mason. Out yonder where humanity is distraught; where strife, selfishness,
suffering, are controlling affairs and lives; where God is being forgotten and
man is losing faith in man; there lies our work. Humanity is in a vast
melting pot out of which it must come, purified and chastened, or as dross,
base, gross, savage. The peoples of the world are singing hymns of hate and
chanting war cries. There is unrest, discouragement, dismay. Every man's
hand is raised against his brother as he exclaims: "Down Eros, Up Mars." All
civilization is in a fluid state; a seething mass, lacking cohesion. Passion
rules where love should reign.
dire condition demands action. The world must have a leader. And one will
come. It may be a statesman with world vision, a Man on Horseback, or a
prophet with an ennobling message. May we not hope and work that it shall be
the prophet who will come, a Masonic Prophet, who can give the world a Masonic
environment, Masonic light! Our Fraternity stands for Justice, Truth,
Equality, Mercy, Temperance, Relief, Friendship, Love, Harmony. If a Masonic
leadership be offered and accepted at this fateful hour of world destiny, if
Masonic principles are made the base of world character, there will be the
transformation and transfiguration of the individual and the mass.
have spoken of the growth of materialism. It has its leaders, advocates and
preachers, everywhere. Listen now to a recent utterance of the high priest of
the Material creed: "Let us sit tight until the red world revolution breaks
out." "All we ask is that our foreign comrades give us five years more to
prove the advantage of socialism over capitalism."
is the ultimate purpose of materialism. Heed it; meet it; defeat it! Joining
itself to all other spiritual forces, assuming leadership, if need be, let
Freemasonry prove itself the effective force and stabilizing agency for the
preservation of the social order and the concert of the world in working out
the problems of our civilization. Freemasonry is a force which, if energized,
will broadcast Law, Liberty, Love until these shall become the basis of human
"FREEMASONRY AND THE ANCIENT GODS" IS QUOTED
book' recently published, entitled, Freemasonry and the Ancient Gods, is of
absorbing interest. It should be in every Masonic library. The author, J.S.M.
Ward, an English Mason of high degree, is a notable traveler and student of
the title indicates the book deals with ancient religious rites and
ceremonies, and with signs, symbols, frescoes, tablets, inscriptions found on
the walls of tombs and temples of antiquity. The similarity of all these with
those of modern Masonic practices and symbols are strikingly presented and
furnishes strong evidence for the argument of the author that "Freemasonry is
the root of all ancient mysteries and all modern religious systems."
Whether the reader agrees with the author or not he will be amazed at the
amount of material gathered, sifted and logically arranged. He will admit
that the conclusions drawn by the author are well supported by the facts
shown, and that in this book there is a valuable contribution to Masonic
of the mass of facts presented the author brings one conclusion which should
challenge the attention of every thinking Mason. Briefly, it is this:
age is the Age of Mars, the Destroyer. The world is to enter a new age-that
of the Perfected Man. There will be a great awakening of the spiritual in
man. A new type of religious outlook will appear. The gross materialism now
disfiguring human society will pass away.
while we are moving towards a better world there are yet dangers,
difficulties, it may be even the "Valley of the Shadow of Death." Mars has yet
several years in which to trouble men and nations.
the new world, now in the travail of its birth, Freemasonry will be present,
surviving any wrecks of empires, and even of our boasted civilization.
Freemasonry will lay the broad foundations upon which the government,
religion, social order will be built. In Freemasonry all humanity will be
bound by the ties of fraternal love.
affirm that the best citizenship to be found in any community, in any land, is
Masonic citizenship. This is not said to arouse pride, but rather to
stimulate humility. If we are such a citizenship what inspiring
opportunities, what tremendous obligations are ours! What more exalted purpose
could be conceived by us than that of leading the world from material to
spiritual ideals, and rebuilding it upon our Landmarks of the Farberhood of
God, the Brotherhood of Man!
Freemasonry and democracy are interchangeable terms. Democracy is the child
of Freemasonry. But the democracy as thus originated is not that which is too
often observed in our day. False teachers and leaders have cheapened the
meaning of democracy so that its expression is often quite different from the
Masonic idea. We need exercise caution because of this fact. It may happen
in our zeal for increase in membership that we will lower the tests of fitness
for membership. It is not my province to discuss our standards of physical
fitness, but may I not urge the study of these standards as laid down by the
recognized authorities? While maintaining, as I do, that Masonic citizenship
is everywhere the best, I venture to say entrance to Masonic life and light
should be accorded to men who meet the physical, intellectual and moral
requirements prescribed for all who become members of a democracy, as it is
interpreted by Freemasonry.
out of a love I bear Symbolic Masonry that I set out these matters in this
order. In the conditions presented there is no reason for pessimism. The
times and conditions call for "good and true men". Masonic lodges the world
over are made up of such men. By all the sacred traditions, by all the
splendid achievements, by all the glorious history, it must not be that
Freemasonry shall now fail to keep alive faith in God, faith in man! The
Spiritual will yet triumph over the Material. God shall reign and men shall
be brethren. Dedicating ourselves to a sublime purpose we will hold high the
blazing torch of Masonry as we march to conflict with the forces of evil. And
the majestic lines of Kipling shall be our battle cry:
of our fathers, known of old.
of our far-flung battle line-
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine-
God of Hosts, be with us yet,
we forget - Lest we forget!
drunk with sight of power, we loose
tongues that have not Thee in awe -
boastings as the Gentiles use,
lesser breeds without the Law-
God of Hosts, be with us yet,
we forget - Lest we forget!"
LEGEND OF THE CANDLES
BRO. F.E. MANSON, Pennsylvania
ruler of an ancient kingdom of the East, desiring to leave his domains in the
hands of a worthy successor, placed in the rooms of each of his sons seven
candles. One candle represented Truthfulness, another Consideration, still
others Charitableness, Patience, Thoughtfulness, Fortitude and Self-Control.
He explained to his sons carefully and repeatedly exactly what, these virtues
were and how they combined to form character that would warrant his
confidence. Furthermore, he told them that the candies would be kept burning
so long as they displayed the virtues each represented, but would be
extinguished when, they failed to do so, to be relighted, if ever, only when
the virtues designated were possessed beyond the possibility of doubt.
time all seven candles in each room were kept burning, but as the sons grew
older, one or two were extinguished in each room. As years went on others
were extinguished but always after the king had fully explained wherein there
had been failure. At last only a single candle burned in the room of the
youngest son who, fearing that the king would choose a successor from among
the people, resolved that more candles should burn. It so happened, too, that
the toll of wars included the lives of all his brothers, leaving him the only
son, a fact that caused him to redouble his efforts to have all the candles
more than a year of effort to secure Self-Control he was delighted one day to
find its candle relighted. He had concentrated all his effort to gain
Self-Control, for he reasoned: "If I can but control myself I can be truthful,
considerate, charitable, patient, thoughtful and strong. Self-Control is the
key to the whole situation, not only as it concerns myself but also the people
whom I would rule." Still, the other candles were not lighted and he asked the
king why they were not. He answered: "I have relighted the candle of
Self-Control, but you must relight the others as you conscientiously believe
you attain to those virtues. If you relight any one of them before I am
convinced you should, I shall extinguish it."
first the prince was inclined to despair but thinking hard he reasoned that
despair would be evidence of lack of Self-Control. He thought the matter over
and studied himself until he ventured to relight the candle of Patience.
Still studying he reasoned that it required courage to do so and relighted the
candle of Fortitude. These three candles still burning argued that he had
been honest with himself, his father and the people, so he ventured to relight
the candle of Truthfulness. The candle of Charitableness had always burned,
so he ventured to relight the candle of Consideration, but to his dismay found
it extinguished, and lying beneath:
"Charitableness is forgiveness but in the experience of a ruler there are
times when forgiveness would be error, for without Consideration the throne,
the kingdom and the welfare of the people might be endangered. Justice may be
tempered with mercy, but justice must be done."
did the prince study this distinction, finally resolving to sit in the
councils of the king and the courts of the people. As he sat he learned, and
learning understood. One day in the absence of his father because of sickness
be sat in his place and decided a question complex but vital, to the joy of
the councillors who conveyed the news to the king. As the prince later passed
the king's chamber he noticed the king was gone, and sounded the alarm.
After search the king was found in the prince's chamber. He had lighted the
seventh and last candle and expired beneath it. The prince reigned in his
legend conveys a truth that all men may ponder. Whatever estimate we may place
on our own character there will always be a difference of opinion between us
and even our friends until we give emphasis to some virtue that to them wholly
completes the man. Especially is this true if in public or prominent position
we endeavour to serve others who naturally measure the quality of service by
the completeness of character behind it. As Masons we are character molders
or should be, and the legend to us should have intimate significance.
Freemasonry in Mexico
Bro. E.R. TURNBULL, P.G.H.P., Illinois
making this study of an exceedingly difficult subject, Bro. Turnbull has used
every possible caution against errors, but even so (he asks us to say) it may
be that some slips in fact have crept in; in that event he will be only too
happy to be apprised of the same. Bro. Turnbull has had a rich experience in
the Craft, as his record will show:
Master, Mt. Nebo Lodge, A.F. and A.M., No. 76; Past High Priest, Macoupin
Chapter, R.A.M., No. 187; Past T.I.Master, Staunton Council, R. and S. M., No.
99; Past M.W. Master, Springfield Chapter, Rose Croix; First Lieut. Commander,
Springfield Consistory, S.P.R.S.; member Knight Templar and Shrine; Past
Patron, Carlinville Chapter, O.E.S., No. 802; Past Grand High Priest of
Illinois; Committee on Fraternal Relations, Grand Chapter of Illinois.
Freemasonry in Mexico has had a long and turbulant existence. Numerous
organizations, Masonic and quasi-Masonic, have sprung up, flourished for a
brief period, and disappeared. The first reference to any organized Masonic
activity is in 1806, when "Arquitectura Moral" (1) held its meetings in a
little house in Mexico City, Calle de las Ratas No. 4. Its members were
prominent Mexicans whose plans were to arrange for the day when the Spanish
should be driven from the land. These meetings were soon brought to the
attention of the Inquisition, the building raided, and the members vigorously
another source we learn that about 1810 (2) Masonry was introduced from Spain
by civil and military officials of the Empire. The membership in these
societies was confined almost entirely to persons of Spanish descent; very
rarely were Mexicans admitted to membership. The ritual was that of the
Again, men of Anglo-Saxon descent together with the more educated class of
Mexicans, not satisfied with the Spanish brand of Masonry, petitioned Grand
Lodges in the United States for charters. The earliest record is that of
Louisiana. (3) Two charters were issued, the first in 1816 to "Los Amigos
Reunidos," No. 8, at Vera Cruz; the other in 1817 to "Reunion de la Vertud,"
No. 9, at Campeachy, Yucatan. Both soon became extinct. Further record of
the first is unknown but the latter charter was forfeited Aug. 11, 1821.
Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania granted a charter, March 1, 1824 (4) to "Hermanos
legitimor de la luz del Papaloapan" to be located at Alvarado, with Bro.
Francisco Paula Lopez, as first Master; Bro. Jose Mari Guisasota, first Senior
Warden; Bro. Jose Lucas de Aguibra, first Junior Warden. This lodge was
constituted July 15, 1824, with eight members. On Sept. 4, 1826 the Grand
Secretary reported that no return had ever been made by this lodge and on Feb.
6, 1837 the Grand Lodge declared the charter vacated. Nothing was ever heard
from this lodge after it was constituted. However, these three lodges
evidently maintained some sort of existence for several years, as we have a
report that reads:
must be borne in mind that the French Lodge Los Amigos Reunados, the English
speaking Reunion de la Virtue and the Pennsylvania Dutch Lodge did not enter
into the Confederation." (5)
Confederation" alluded to was the National Grand Lodge organized in the City
of Mexico in 1825.
Another statement by the same writer, in speaking of the introduction of the
Scottish Rite Supreme Council in 1859 reads:
must ever be borne in mind that the National Lodge yet existed as also the
three lodges which had not confederated with it. One French, one Dutch or
German, an one conglomerated, composed mostly of foreigners. In or about the
year 1850 the three lodges consolidated into one."
possible that the ancient Louisiana and Pennsylvania charters were still in
existence and being used unlawfully? Here is an interesting problem for some
one with access to the Mexican archives. However the numerous warring faction
probably preserved these as carefully as the Spanish preserved the Aztec
RECORDS G.L. OF NEW YORK ARE QUOTED
records of the Grand Lodge of New York (6) show that on Sept. 3, 1823,
following petitions for new warrants were severally presented and read and the
prayer of the petitioners granted, viz - From F. de Paula Lopez and others to
hold a Lodge in the city of Vera Cruz, Republic of Mexico, by the name of
Triunfo de la Livertad, recommended by Bro. Joseph Cerneau."
Sept. 17 the Grand Lodge granted the necessary authority and named Bro. F. de
Paula Lopez, Master Domingo Dufo, Senior Warden, and Pedro Landero Junior
Warden; the number assigned this lodge was 363. Continuing the record of
Sept. 3 we find:
John Barry and others to hold a Lodge in the City of La Guayra, in the
Republic of Colombia by the name of La Guayra Lodge, recommended by Bro.
Joseph Cerneau and others."
endorsement on this charter read "Mexico" but that was erased and "Colombia"
addition to these a third was granted
the 27th of December A. L. 5823 to Marie Radonieck, Master, Ramon Vallarine,
Senior Warden, and Jose Marie Barrientos, Junior Warden, to hold a Lodge in
the city of Panama in the Republic of Colombia, by the name of La Mejor Union
Paula Lopez is named as Master of both the New York lodge at Vera Cruz in 1823
and that of Pennsylvania at Campeachy in 1824. Is it possible that this was
the same man serving as Master in both lodges?
versions of the origin of the York Grand Lodge of Mexico are given, each being
from parties who should have been in possession of the facts. The first is by
Bro. George Fisher, (7) who gives the lodges as La Libertado, No. 1, La
Federation, No., 2, and La Independencia, No. 3. Bro. Fisher stated that he
was a member of No. 3 and its officers were Lorenzo de Xavala, W. M. (Senator
from Yucatan); Gen. Vicente Fifisola (Native Italian), S. W.; and Juan de Dios
Maygorga (Guatamalian Minister to Mexico), J. W., and that:
Jose Ignacio Estava was elected first Grand Master of Masons of Mexico; being
the W.M. of Lodge La Federation, No. 2"
other version is taken from the report on Foreign Grand Lodges made by Bro.
Pinner to the Grand Lodge of New York in 1869. (8)
knowledge of the condition of Masonry in that country is very limited. It is
stated that, prior to the formation of the Republic of Mexico, a Lodge existed
in that country, which worked according to the Scottish Rite. Early in the
year 1826, the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New York, M. W. Stephen Van
Rensselaer, received five applications for warrants for Lodges in the City of
Mexico, through the United States Ambassador to Mexico, R.W. Bro. Poinsett.
The Grand Lodge acted upon these petitions on the 10th of February, 1826, and
warrants were granted for the following named Lodges: Tolerancia, No. 450;
Luxe Mexicana, No. 451; Rosa Mexicana, No. 452; Federalista, No. 453;
Independencia, No. 454. These charters were forwarded 'with government
dispatches' in May, 1826. A number of Lodges soon sprung into existence, not
only in the City of Mexico, but also in the country, and the number of members
was then estimated at about 700, working both in the Spanish and English
languages. Dissensions soon arose, one side adopted the Scotch Rite and the
other the York Rite. In 1833 the lodges ceased to work altogether."
Stephen Van Rensselaer was Grand Master 1825-29, inclusive.
ANOTHER DATE IS GIVEN
same lodges are named in a letter by the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of
New York, but the date of the charters appears to be two years earlier:
M.W. Fredrick E. Young, Grand Master, Valle de Mexico, (9) P.O.B. 322 City of
Mexico, Mex. Dear Sir and Brother:
Replying to your letter of the 11th inst. permit me to say I find from the
Records of the Grand Lodge, that on March 3, 1824, 'The Grand Secretary
communicated that since the Quarterly Communication in June last the following
new warrants have been issued.'
Included in the list of those is the following:
the 17th of September, A.L. 5823, to Francisco D.P. Lopez, Master, Domingos
Dufoo, Senior Warden; Pedro Landero, Junior Warden; to hold a Lodge in the
City of Veracruz, in the Republic of Mexico, by the name and style of Triunfo
de la Libertad Lodge, No. 363.'
Subsequently the following other lodges were chartered:
Rosa Mexicana Mexico
further investigation of the same minutes of Grand Lodge I find that on June
8th, 1832, a statement was made of Lodges in arrears for dues, with a
recommendation that the charters be forfeited, and as an appendix to that
report the Lodge at Veracruz and the five lodges at the city of Mexico were
named, and the following resolution was adopted:
'Resolved, That the jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge over Lodges in Michigan,
Mexico and Columbia, be and is hereby transferred to the respective Grand
Lodges within whose bounds they are situated.'
credit for starting these lodges in the City of Mexico is generally conceded
to Bro. J.R. Poinsett, U.S. Minister of Mexico, but this is undoubtedly an
Roberts Poinsett was a native of Charleston, S.C. He was Deputy Grand Master
of the Grand Lodge in 1821; (10) also a member of the State Legislature and of
the U. S. Congress 1821-25. He was appointed U.S. Minister of Mexico by John
Quincy Adams in June, 1825. On his arrival in Mexico it is said that "he (11)
aided in establishing lodges which were political centers." From the same
authority we further learn that
after arriving in Mexico, the Minister tells us, he found that five York
lodges were in a formative state but had no regular standing, and, as he was a
Mason of that Rite, a number of leading public men interested in them invoked
his advice and aid."
However, it is not reasonable to suppose that he would ignore his own Grand
Lodge in which he had taken such a prominent part and appeal to that of New
York for authority to establish lodges in Mexico.
RECORDS OF G.L. OF SOUTH CAROLINA ARE QUOTED
records of the Grand Lodge of South Carolina do not bear out this
supposition. At the quarterly communication of Dec. 15, 1826, a letter from
Poinsett was read but, unfortunately, not preserved. In response to
suggestions evidently contained in this letter the Grand Lodge adopted the
following resoluton: (12)
the Grand Lodge do constitute our worthy brother, Joel R. Poinsett, the
Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States near the Republic of Mexico, the
Agent and Representative of the Grand Lodge, for the purpose of establishing
friendly relations with the Lodges of the Republic. That our said
Representative be authorized, in the name of the Grand Lodge, to visit and
inspect the working of said Lodges, and, if deemed expedient, to grant
dispensation for the constituting and working of Lodges according to the
ancient landmarks, as fixed by this Grand Lodge; with a request that he will
communicate to the Grand Lodge such information and advice as will enable it
to promote the cause of Masonry in that country."
the communication of the Grand Lodge in March, 1827, a letter, delayed in
transit, from Bro. Poinsett was read: "Mexico, 2d, June, 1826.
the Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Freemasons of
Worshipful Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of
the 10 February, in which you informed me of the resolution of the Grand Lodge
of South Carolina to present to the Grand Lodge of Mexico, through me, six
copies of the Ahiman Rezon, in the name of the Grand Lodge South Carolina.
Although I have not yet received the books, know that they are at Vera Cruz,
and have communicated the intention of the Grand Lodge of South Carolina to
this Grand Lodge.
Grand Lodge of Mexico has, in consequence, requested to convey to you their
grateful acknowledgments for this mark of your attention, and their earnest
desire to cultivate the most friendly relations with the Grand Lodge of South
Carolina. You will, I am sure, be pleased to learn that Masonry making rapid
progress in this new country. The Grand Lodge of Mexico counts thirteen
subordinate Lodges under its jurisdiction.
have the honor to be, Most Worshipful Sir, Yours, most fraternally, J.R.
Poinsett." Bro. Pinner said the charters were forwarded in May, 1826. All
communication with Mexico at that time was by sea and letters from New York
would require several weeks to reach that country. Poinsett's letter of June
2 showed a Grand Lodge with thirteen subordinates already in existence. The
letter of the Grand Secretary fixed the date of the charters in 1824, over a
year before Poinsett was appointed Minister to Mexico.
third date is given for these charters. The following statement is taken from
a well-known history but the author does not give his authority: (13)
"During the year 1825 certain political clubs were organized under the name
and forms of Masonic lodges of the York Rite, their founder being rector of a
parish in Tabasco, and senator of that state. In opposition to them were the
Scottish Rite lodges, organized between 1813 and 1826, and among their members
were Negrete, Echavarri, Guerrero, and many prominent leaders, this party
being in favor of restoring the monarchy."
the Grand Lodge of Mexico was in active operation for some time and well known
is shown by the proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Texas for 1877 from which
the following petition is copied: (14)
meeting of Ancient York Masons, held in the town of San Felipe de Austin, on
the 11th day of February, 1828, for the purpose of taking into consideration
the expediency of petitioning the York Grand Lodge of Mexico for granting a
charter or dispensation for organizing a subordinate Lodge at this place, the
following brethren were present: Bros. H.H. League, Stephen F. Austin, Ira
Ingram, Eli Mitchell, Joseph White, G. B. Ball, and Thos. M. Duke.
motion of Bro. Ingram, and seconded, Bro. H.H. League was appointed chairman,
and Thos. M. Duke, secretary.
motion of Bro. Stephen F. Austin, and seconded, it was unanimously agreed that
we petition the Grand York Lodge of Mexico for a charter or dispensation to
organize a Lodge at this place to be called the Lodge of Union.
balloting for officers of the Lodge, the following brothers were duly elected:
Bros. S.F. Austin, Master; Bro. Ira Ingram, Senior Warden; Bro. H.H. League,
Junior Warden. Signed, H.H. League, Chairman. Attest: Thomas M. Duke,
petition was never forwarded because civil war had broken out and the rival
Scottish (Escoseses) and York (Yorkinos) bodies soon lost all power and
influence and Masonry degenerated into a political feud. To show the depths
into which Masonry fell the following description is given:
"After the Iodges had been established, crowds ran to initiate themselves into
the mysteries of Freemasonry; persons of all conditions, from the opulent
magnates down to the humblest artisans.
the Scotch Lodges were the Spaniards who were disaffected towards the
independent Mexicans who had taken up arms against the original insurgents
through error or ignorance; those who obstinately declared themselves in favor
of calling the Spanish Bourbons to the Imperial Throne of Mexico; those who
disliked the Federal system; the partisans of the ancient regime; the enemies
of all reform, even when reforms were necessary as the consequence of
independence. To this party belonged the partisans of Iturbide, (15) those
who were passionately devoted to monarchy and the privileged classes.
the assemblage of the Yorkinos were united all who were republicans from
conviction, and those who followed the popular current - the mass of the
people having devoted themselves to this organization. It is enough to say,
in order to mark the position of both parties, that among the Yorkinos
figured, in great numbers, those who believed the name REPUBLICAN was not a
individuals of both associations had the same object and the same identical
end, and only differed in the modes of making their principles triumphant."
ANOTHER ACCOUNT IS GIVEN
Another account reads: (16)
this date the principal party factions were, therefore, the Yorkinos, liberals
or democrats, consisting of the revolutionists, the creoles, and mestizos,
with but little education, and without administrative ability, as against the
Escosesea - this being the name given to members of Scottish Lodges -
including the clergy, the royalists, and all who believed in the government of
the many by the few. At the elections held toward the end of 1826, the York
lodges were victorious in the federal districts, though in Vera Cruz and a few
of the less influential states the vote was against them."
Mexico suffered a very serious financial reverse in 1827 which caused the
ministry (Escoseses) to become unpopular. A strenuous effort was made to
regain the lost prestage by proclaiming the "plan of Montana" (named after a
Lieut.-Col.), though its real leader was Nicolas Bravo, the Grand Master.
Bravo attempted to carry out his plan by force of arms but was soon captured
after a feeble resistance. (17)
disaster not only left the Escoseses powerless, but eventually overthrew the
Yorkino party. The latter faction, which now held the control of power, might
have done good service to the republic by correcting abuses, introducing
improvements, and securing peace and tranquility; but it consisted mainly of
ambitious and unscrupulous men, by whom the national welfare was held in no
consideration. Dissensions broke out among them, and soon paved the way for
the downfall and extinction of the party."
it will be seen that Masonry became popular only as a means of conducting
political activity in secret. The principles of Masonry, as we understand
them, were not then, and never have been, popular with the masses in Mexico.
Soon after its introduction gorgeous forms and ceremonies in imitation of, and
opposition to, those of the church of Rome were established. I again quote
from Bro. Fisher: (18)
Mexicans did not realize the Spirit of Masonry, although they were captivated
with the forms, ceremonies, and the ritual, as the imposing and costly
paraphernalia of the Lodges (that of the Grand Lodge cost over $3,000) and the
Grand Lodge bore much similarity with that of the Roman Catholic Church,
especially that of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Mexico, typifying the
Pontifical and Levitical Orders of Priesthood, but these curiosities soon
became an every-day occurrence, and hence obsolete; same as the religious
festivities in Spanish America.
became of the records, jewels, furniture, and other paraphernalia of the Grand
Lodge and Grand Chapter is generally not known but it is supposed that they
are kept in trust by some of the brethren who occupied high positions in the
NATIONAL RITE OF MEXICO" IS ORGANIZED
1825 when civil war was well under way, nine prominent representatives of both
Rites assembled in the City of Mexico and organized the "National Rite of
Mexico." Membership was limited to members of lodges of either Rite and six
additional degrees were fabricated. This organization contained innovations
and principles different from any other claiming to be Masonic and cannot be
considered a member of the Masonic family.
years that followed were filled with revolution and disorder and, "as Masonry
hath been always injured by war, bloodshed, and confusion," it is not
surprising that all trace of these early lodges has been lost.
1843 another attempt was made to establish a lodge at Vera Cruz when the
Supreme Council of France chartered "St. John d'Ulloa"; and again in 1845 when
the Grand Orient of France chartered "Les Ecossais des Deux Mondes" in the
City of Mexico.
1847 the Grand Lodge of Mississippi (19), issued a dispensation to Quitman
Lodge, No. 96, at Vera Cruz and the charter was granted in 1849. This lodge
was unable to survive as the charter was taken up the same year it was issued.
feeble organizations claiming to be Masonic maintained a fitful existence
until 1859, when James Lohse formed Lodge Union Fraternal, No. 1. Soon after,
Lohse tells us, was formed (20)
"Lodge Emules de Hiram to work in French. Later, as I had a great many German
friends, I got together a number of them and formed the Lodge Eintracht.
These all got charters from the Grand Lodge Neo Granadino, of Cartagena,
Republic of Colombia.
three years later, in 1862, these three lodges joined and formed the Grand
Lodge Valle de Mexico, with myself as the first Grand Master, a position I
held until 1872."
authorities claim that Lohse divided Union Fraternal into three lodges and
from these parts organized the Grand Lodge.
this time a Scottish Rite Supreme Council was organized in Vera Cruz. The
proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, 1884, state that:
the year 1858, or 1859, Bro. Lafon de Ladebat went to Mexico with authority
from Albert Pike (Of Washington, D. C.) to organize and establish Masonry on a
sound basis in that country. Unfortunately Bro. Ladebat did not organize a
Grand Lodge of Smbolic Masonry first, as instructed, but constituted the
Supreme Council, with jurisdiction over the three degrees of Entered
Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason."
the same proceedings in 1897, the words of Bro. J.Q.A. Fellows, Committee on
Correspondence, are authority, Bro. Fellows at the time being the Inspector
General 33rd degree, Southern Jurisdiction, Scottish Rite:
chairman of this committee well knows that, Bro. Charles Laffon, of New
Orleans, then a member Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction, went to
to establish Masonry and a Supreme Council in that country. We have yet to
learn that there was a single lodge in existence in Mexico at that time. I
know that he made a number of Sovereign Grand Inspectors General (Thirty-third
Degree Masons), established the Supreme Council, and there being no affiliated
Masons in the country - so I understand from his return - he made Masons, and
created them Thirty-thirds. If there were lodges or Masons in Mexico at that
time, he did not so report (and there may have been), I would like some proof
of the fact."
have now reached the limit of the subject and beginnings of a new era. The
progress of Masonr through the Grand Logia Valle de Mexico and various
Scottish Rite bodies to the present time is other story and cannot be told
"Mexican Masonry and the Men Who Made it." Light. June 15, 1916; Dr. John
Lewin McLeish, Mas. Lib. Ass'n., Cincinnati, O.
Gould's History; Vol. IV; Edition, 1889; page 174. T.S. Parvin, Report to
Grand Lodge, Iowa, 1896.
Letter from G. Sec'y., La., Nov. 8, 1923.
Letter from G. Sec'y., Pa., Nov. 23, 1923.
Notes on History G. L. Valle de Mexico, Freston, P. G. M., York G. L.
Learn from G. Sec'y., N. Y., Nov. 1, 1923; also G.Hist., Nov., 1923.
George Fisher, P.M. Temple Lodge, No. 4, Houston, Texas; G. Sec'y., G. L.
Pro. G.L. Ill., 1869, Appp.; page 259
Pro. York G.L., 1907; page 140
Letter from G.Sec'y., S.Car, Nov. 21, 1923.
Amer. Antiquarian Soc., New Series, Vol. XXIV; Poinsett's career in Mex.
Mackey's History of Freemasonry in S. Car.; page 209.
History of Mexico; H.H. Bancroft, Edition 1914; page 405.
Pro. G.L. Illinois, 1878: age CLXIX, appendix.
Don Augustin de Iturbide, Emperor of Mexico, 1822-23.
See note 13.
See note 13.
Masonic Review, Oct., 1858. Letter of Geo. Fisher to Rob. Morris, D. G. M.,
Letter from G. Sec'y., Miss, Nov., 15, 1923.
Pro. Alabama 1922; app.; page 324. Letter of Lohse.
of Rainbow for Girls
Bro. W. MARK SEXSON, Oklahoma
the article below the organizer of this new movement composed of girls from
Masonic and Eastern Star families and their friends sets forth his reasons for
founding the organization, and defines its field of action. Bro. W. Mark
Sexson was born at Armica Springs, Missouri, on the 8th day of July, 1877. He
was initiated, passed and raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason in
Bloomfield Lodge, No. 80, at Bloomfield, Indiana, in 1902. He was made Master
of the Royal Secret, 32 degree, in Oklahoma Consistory, No. 1, at Guthrie, May
30, 1907, and was made a 33 degree Mason and coroneted an Honourary Inspector
General of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite for the Southern
Jurisdiction of the United States of America, by its Supreme Council, at
Washington, D. C., on Oct. 24, 1913. Bro. Sexson is also a Royal Arch Mason
of Indian Chapter, No. 1, North McAlester; a Noble of the Mystic Shrine,
holding active membership with India Temple at Oklahoma City, and honourary
membership in Bedouin Temple, at Muskogee, and Akdar Temple, at Tulsa; a
member of Ft. Smith, Arkansas, Grotto; and also a Past Master of South
McAlester Lodge, No. 96, and Past Patron of South McAlester Chapter, No. 149,
O.E.S. He is the present Associate Grand Patron of the Grand Chapter, O.E.S.,
and Grand Orator of the Grand Lodge, A. F. & A. M., Oklahoma.
SLOWLY rising out of age old planning, a new structure appears, proclaiming a
new material out of which we may build enduring architecture. No doubt many
have thought of it before, but few have expressed their thoughts in words.
Today among those whose plans and dreams are wrought out a the hope of a new
endurance, we find many timely and interesting words. President Coolidge
speaking n "The Miracle of Life" said:
build monuments above the graves of their heroes to mark the end of a great
life, but women seek out the birthplace and build a shrine, not where a great
life had its ending, but where it had its beginning, seeking with a truer
instinct the common source of things."
call your attention in our first paragraph to a new consecration, involving
the use of a material that the old world doomed to the slave block, but which
we gradually discover to be one-half of our civilization. We refer to the
girlhood of the nation, the wives and mothers of men tomorrow.
is just enough of the human in every creature, even though endowed with a
sense of the spiritual and the immortal, to build out of stone and mortar some
local shrine around which he would perpetuate his thoughts in his kinsmen and
his friends. Out of this innate desire to perpetuate himself has grown man's
temples of religion and his schools of learning.
engaged in building these, he struggles against a local power which appeals to
his ambitions and sometimes hides the soul of his task so that as the ages
pass the real purpose of his temple building is lost in the rubbish; but as we
come to understand his purpose, why he thus toiled and wrought, it was in the
hope of an immortality that might ever endure on the earth.
the rejoicing and the gladness that comes to a generation that is permitted to
leave its monuments of stone and marble, proclaiming its victory by some
outward manifestation, it forgets that averse winds and storms may come and
that while it rejoices in the handiwork of the hour, an enemy plants the seed
of discord in the heart of childhood that plays around its foundation stone,
and the proudest work of their hands falls before the sword and fire of the
avenger; and great building periods are many times followed by social storms,
in which civilization declines.
might be called in America, among the Masons, the Age of the Builder. From
one Coast to the other, and from Canada to the Gulf, we have found Masonic
fraternities, and the Order of the Eastern Star, as well as other bodies
identified with them, actively engaged in wonderful building enterprises. It
is even beyond the average member to grasp the amount of time, money and
energy that is being placed in these cathedrals, temples and lodges. We are
all proud of the fact that we have been privileged to live in the Age of the
Builder, when his dream has actually come true, and from every source the
architect returns the builder's working tools back into the hands of the
Master, for the work is almost done.
WE FORGOTTEN THE CHILDREN?
are we mindful of the fact that while these magnificent cathedrals and temples
have been slowly growing out of the years past, which now in our own
generation we see bursting forth in their completed glory, that in the sand
and mortar, and the materials and the rubbish out of which they sprang, there
has been playing, carelessly and freely, a generation of children? Of what
avail shall it be to us to build if we do not teach the children who play
about the foundation of the building to love the structure? Shall the child
not know to love and honour the work of his father's hands? Or must he be
compelled to go to some other place than the Temple itself, to find the part
that his father has had in the making of a civilization which made his
building possible? These are not idle questions, neither can they be dismissed
by a single wave of the hand, or by throwing this article in the waste basket;
for if we attempt to dismiss them in that way, they will become ghosts to
haunt us in the night of despair and darkness.
years ago in McAlester, Okla., we organized the Order of the Rainbow for
Girls. We did this because we wanted to take the girls of our own homes and
their close friends and associates and chaperon them and direct their girlish
activities. In asking the Order of the Eastern Star and the Masonic lodge to
sponsor this movement, we did not feel that we were placing ourselves in the
attitude of disturbing a landmark; we were only asking them to take the
children, the natural growth and fruitage of their homes, under their
protecting care during the most impressionable period of their lives.
Sometimes a task is thrust upon us - as truly this seems to have been - and we
do many things that come about as a result of awakened activities and deeper
interest in our general welfare. Just where these awakening periods have
their beginning, we are not able to say. They are like the moral awakenings
that come to the individual many times during his life. It is true that for
centuries these two great Fraternities made rapid progress, without attempting
to extend the program of their activities into junior work, and if other
organizations had not emphasized the importance of child activities, we could
have gone on indefinitely without turning our hand to the task.
SEEK LIFE IN THE EVERYDAY WORLD
tendencies of the time in which we are living are those of discovering, if
possible, a practical solution. Men and women are apparently tired of
beautiful theories of human life; they do not want dogma and creed; they want
to see the result of their teaching manifesting itself in practical every day
things. They turned their attention to, not a new, but another,
interpretation of the world's Greatest Character. They found Him seated
around the table with His disciples, at the lunch hour, and out of that grew
the noon-day clubs; the fraternal spirit of business men; that business and
government has a soul; that both are the children of fraternal effort seeking
expression in the natural lives of men. They found that the Greatest Teacher
spoke of His Kingdom as a marvellous affair of Peace, Harmony and Unity, one
that the gates of hell itself could not prevail against. It was a
fraternalism that embraced the nations of the earth, a forecast and prophecy
of every great international league or movement that the world might make
toward universal brotherhood. It was an exalted ideal - a world converted
into a great family and its foundation was in childhood.
task of extending our fraternal activities into our homes is one that the age
has thrust upon us and we can no more withstand it than we could withstand any
other movement of progress.
some sources it has been suggested that Masonry and the Order of the Eastern
Star should begin to use the pruning knife and cut off these various
organizations. We doubt not the sincerity of those who offer these
suggestions, but we doubt their vision. For to do as they suggest would be to
destroy the fertility of the field which we have been preparing, and to
withhold our hand from it while an enemy sowed the tares out of which would
spring up a growth and fruit that would be unfriendly to American prosperity
few short years Masonry has unconsciously entered the field of education; it
could not remain on the outside of the great movements that were so vital to
the life of our people. From the very beginning of our civilization, wherever
opportunity presented itself, her voice was lifted in behalf of Liberty,
Freedom and Equality. Her very life blood has been spent in proclaiming
doctrines and teachings that were calculated to make men free to think and
plan and build for themselves. Now that there has appeared here and there in
our country growing tendencies to overlook and destroy American institutions,
and especially unfriendly to free public schools, it was a most natural thing
that this great Fraternity should lift its voice in protest against these evil
tendencies and openly declare herself the friend of education; throwing aside
that reserve which for centuries had been one of her characteristics, she
enters boldly into the arena, publicly proclaiming herself the friend of every
man and every institution that stands for the education of all of our
cannot talk of education and the possibilities of education, unless you
include in your conversation the children of all of our homes. It has been a
difficult matter to create enthusiasm over the possibilities that lay wrapped
up in boys, the value of which would make the gold and silver of centuries as
worthless as pewter; and we must learn that this is only one-half of our
civilization, and if civilization is to save itself from many pitfalls, its
conscience must be awakened to the fact that we must have a great and heroic
girlhood. In our saner moments, when we are willing to sweep aside all things
else, save the bare facts, face our problems as a great Fraternity should face
them, we shall have an awakened conscience for we believe that the time is not
far distant when a brother or sister of any fraternity shall absolutely know
that the time, the talent, and the money spent at the altar of any institution
that does not co-ordinate its interests with the girl, who will be the guiding
hand of tomorrow, is eventually spent in vain.
OF THE RAINBOW HAS A GREAT IDEAL
the Order of the Rainbow for Girls, now organized in twenty-four states in the
Union, having over two hundred thirty sponsorships, which in less than two
years offers a membership of twelve thousand throughout the United States, we
propose at every opportunity possible to place in the hands of our girls a
record of the activities of these great Fraternities; we propose that they
shall know who has had part in the making and moulding of American
civilization; that they shall love the buildings that have been erected by
their father's hands, and that wherever there is a temple or cathedral,
exemplifying the story of some ancient ceremony, beautifully proclaimed in its
rituals, that its most significant and outstanding work shall be, not its
ability to proclaim the past, or necessarily prophesy the future, but touch
with its own hands the living, breathing present.
are many valuable agencies in the Masonic Fraternity and in the Order of the
Eastern Star which have grown up in the last few years, and which offer to the
membership new opportunities, which will bring new vision.
Twenty years ago these movements would have been looked upon with a degree of
suspicion; but today, almost every Grand Jurisdiction is emphasizing the
necessity of lodge libraries and educational programs; national organizations
have sprung up with no other thought in mind than to emphasize the literary
and historical side of the institution in order to make it more attractive to
a thinking age; and in this period when more young men and young women are
entering colleges and universities than we really have room to accommodate it
appears that our Fraternities are conscious of this new generation that will
be thrust upon them, and they are setting forth in their program to be able to
rise with the tide, not forgetting that those who are responsible for creating
our first lectures were not unmindful of the possibilities of the work we are
engaged upon and, therefore, defined it as a progressive science. Having
associated with us in our organization some of the very brightest minds of the
Fraternities, we shall take the intellectual drippings from this new
sanctuary, the Masonic literature, art and architecture that shall certainly
be claimed and designated as a result of these agencies, and through or own
junior program present them to the girlhood of America.
OUTLINE PROGRAM OF WORK
suggested in our own ritual, under the head, "To Create Interest in Better
Things," we are calling attention to our program covering a period of time
from June 1 to Sept. 1. It is designed to take care of the vacational period
and, therefore, not to conflict with the school girl's activities. At the same
time it is so planned as to fit into her vacation and really furnish her an
result of the interest in their possibilities, we hope to create a desire on
the part of the sponsoring bodies, with our assistance, to provide for
regional meetings where girls may have an opportunity of spending some of
their vacation in the out of doors, chaperoned by Masonic and Eastern Star
members and teachers. Not unlike other out-of-door camp life, save its method
of teaching, it enters a field which has not been offered to girls and which
will show the relationship that should really be sustained between them and
the fraternity life back of them. This program is only designed as a
beginning, being really the first ever opened under such auspices, and while
it may be in many ways incomplete, we will be able to lay the foundation out
of which will come, in years, a real Masonic education, the result of which
will be a well defined Masonic life.
Beginning of American civilization.
History of Freemasonry and the Order of the Eastern Star.
Local history of the Orders in the Grand Jurisdiction in which the Assembly is
Study of Literature and Architecture.
Masonic literature and architecture as related to junior life.
Masonic literature and architecture as related to character building.
Masonic literature and architecture as related to local history of the Grand
Jurisdiction in which the Assembly is located.
Presentation of Masonic and Eastern Star heroes and heroines. (Designed to
create a study in reverence and respect for superiors and those who have
charge of affairs over us.)
The Home and Religious life.
The beauty and sanctity of the home as related to its surroundings; interior
decorations; yard landscaping, etc.
Primary lessons in woman's relationship to school and political life.
Origin of free public schools. Designed to put the girl life back of the
educational program provided by Masonic interests in the Grand Jurisdiction
where the Assembly is located.
Hospitals. Fraternal relationship to the sick.
Therefore, as we build, let us think that we build forever. Let it not be for
present delight, or for present use alone; let it be such work as our
descendants will thank us for, and let us think, as we lay stone on stone,
that a time is to come when these stones will be held sacred because our hands
have touched them, and that men will say as they look upon the labor and
wrought substance of them: “See! This is our fathers did for us!” – Ruskin.
BRO. GEORGE W. BAIRD, P. G. M., District of Columbia
EMINENT authorities, such as Gould, have named the place where Lafayette was
initiated. These statements have been repeated but never verified. The writer
just received a letter from Bro. Stith M. Cain, Grand Secretary of Tennessee,
in which that well informed Masonic authority writes:
inquiry concerning what Lafayette said in his speech to the Grand Lodge in
1825, has been received.
proceedings do not give his speech in full, but it is said that Lafayette made
a feeling and appropriate reply in substance, as follows. In the synopsis of
his speech the following appears: 'He had,' he said, 'been long a member of
the Order, having been initiated, young as he was, even before entering the
service of our country, in the Revolutionary War.'"
Lafayette was induced to come to the United States by Silas Dean, our
Commissioner in France. Unlike Von Steuben, De Kalb, Pulaski, or Kosciusko,
all of whom came without condition, Marquis de La Fayette required a contract,
the original of which is now in the library at Hartford. Dean's own letter
concerning the matter reads as follows:
"Contract signed Get. 7, 1776, by Marquis de La Fayette under which he came
'to aid the United States of North America' because of the justice of their
wish shown by the Marquis de La Fayette to serve in the troops of the United
States of North America, and the interest he takes in the justice of their
cause, causing him to long for occasion to distinguish himself in the war and
make himself as useful as lies in his power, but is unable to rely on
obtaining his family's consent to his service in foreign countries beyond the
seas, unless he should go with the rank of a General.
thought I could do my country and my constituents no greater service than by
awarding to him, in the name of the Right Honorable Congress, the grade of
Major General, which I beg the States to confirm and ratify and to issue his
commission for him to hold and take his rank from this date with the Generals
of the same grade.
high birth, connections, the high offices held by his family at this court,
his large estates in the Kingdom; his personal merits; reputation;
disinterestedness and, above all, his zeal for the freedom of our provinces
alone could induce me to promise him the aforesaid grade of Major General in
the name of the United States. In faith whereof I have signed the presents,
made in Paris this seventh day of December, one thousand seven hundred and
Men Who Were Masons
Bro. GEORGE W. BAIRD, P. G. M., District of Columbia
MONROE, the fifth President of the United States, was a Mason. For many years
no evidence was available to show his membership, but it happens that some
time ago I had the good fortune to discover that he was at one time a member
of Kilwinning-Crosse Lodge, No. 2, in Virginia, a fact shown by the lodge
records. At about the same time, and independently of myself, Bro. William L.
Boyden, Librarian of the Supreme Council, A. & A. S. R., Washington, D. C.,
discovered proofs to show that Monroe had been a member of Williamsburg Lodge,
No. 6, Williamsburg, Va. This apparently contradictory fact may probably be
explained by Monroe's having been a member of both lodges at different periods
of his career.
Monroe was born in West Walden County, Virginia, in 1758, of English
ancestors, the first of the name having been an army officer under Charles I,
who emigrated with other cavaliers to Virginia in 1657. James was educated in
William and Mary College. After entering the army in 1776 he soon rose to a
lieutenancy and was active in the campaigns of Hudson River and Trenton, where
he captured one of the enemy's batteries and was wounded in the shoulder. In
1777 he was made aide-de-camp with the rank of major. It seems that his army
experience terminated with the battles of Brandywine, Germantown and Monmouth.
returning to Virginia he studied law under the supervision of Thomas
Jefferson, then governor of the state. He was elected to the Virginia Assembly
when but twenty-three years of age. He was sent to Congress in 1783, where he
advocated an extension of the powers of Congress such as would invest that
body with authority to regulate trade between states; this led to the
Annapolis Convention and the subsequent adoption of the Federal Constitution.
1785 Monroe married Miss Kortright, a great beauty in New York, noted for many
accomplishments. He was a delegate to the Virginia Convention to decide upon
the adoption of the Federal Constitution; and in 1790 was elected a senator,
having taken the anti-Federal side in politics. He was sent as Minister to
France in 1794, and was there received with enthusiasm; but his marked
sympathy with the French was not altogether pleasing to the State Department
the year that Washington died Monroe was elected governor of Virginia. At the
termination of his term, he was sent again to France to join with the
Minister, Livingston, in carrying on negotiations for the Louisiana Purchase,
a bit of difficult diplomacy handled with great cleverness and which enabled
this nation to come into possession of an enormous and fertile territory for
the sum of $15,000,000. Later on Monroe was sent as Minister to England; and
later still as Minister to Spain; in the latter case he was entrusted with the
task of adjusting the differences with Spain in relation to the Louisiana
boundaries, but he was not very successful in this and returned to England.
1811 he was again elected Governor of Virginia. In Madison's administration he
was made Secretary of State. After the capture of Washington in 1814 Monroe
was placed in charge of the War Department and seems to have conducted a
1817 he was elected President of the United States on what was then called the
Democratic-Republican ticket. It was during his administration that the Navy
Department was created by Congress, the War of 1812 having shown that the Army
and Navy could not be managed well under one head.
During his administration a great deal of trouble arose among the Spanish
Colonies in South America. South American buccaneers, under pretense of having
commissions from their various governments, began to molest our commerce. They
seized Amelia Island off the harbor of St. Augustine, and soon began to
smuggle merchandise and slaves into the United States. The United States Navy
soon broke up these depredations.
condition of the South American republics excited much sympathy in the United
States; many advocated giving them aid, and many others wished to extend them
friction between old Spain and her South American Colonies was critical;
smuggling, piracy and slave-trading were increasing. At about this same time
General Jackson made war on the Indians in the Indian Territory and hanged
many of the hostile chiefs on the grounds that they had been making war on
this nation. Jackson seized the only Spanish fort in the disturbed part of
Florida, giving as excuse that the officers were aiding the Indians in their
hostility to the United States. Spain's Minister at Washington complained of
Jackson's arbitrary acts. The final upshot of all these disturbances was that
Florida was ceded to the United States on the consideration that the United
States assume a debt of $5,000,000.
1822 Henry Clay advocated recognition of the South American republics, but
without success; afterwards, however, a bill was passed, and in the next year
President Monroe incorporated in his message to Congress the famous sentence
reading, "As a principle the American continents by the free and independent
position which they have assumed and maintained are henceforth not to be
considered the subjects for future colonization by any European powers." This
came to be called the Monroe Doctrine.
last year of Monroe's administration was signalized by the visit of Lafayette
as the nation's guest. Out of office Monroe retired to his home at Oak Hill,
Va. After his wife's death, in 1830, he moved to New York City, where he died
in 1831. In 1850 his remains were moved to Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond,
Va., where a beautiful memorial was erected.
* * *
SUGGESTIONS FOR SUBORDINATE LODGES
BRO. JAMES H. PRICE, P.G.M., Virginia
his Grand Master's Address, delivered to the last Annual Communication of the
Grand Lodge of Virginia, Bro. James H. Price gave utterance to some
suggestions for subordinate lodges of such pertinency and value that we asked
his consent to republish them here.
GREATER attention should be paid to the condition of lodge rooms. Our meeting
places should be comfortable, well ventilated and lighted, attractive and
neatly kept. The most modest lodge room can be made homelike and restful at
small expense. Walls may be simply decorated or papered; floors neatly
carpeted; broken glass replaced and windows cleaned without seriously
depleting the treasury. I have observed that in our attractive, neatly kept
lodge rooms, and we have some beautiful ones in Virginia, there is a dignity
and impressiveness about ';he work that has a wonderful appeal. Someone has
very aptly expressed the thought in these words: "Make and keep your lodge
rooms and precincts worthy of the 'House Beautiful.' Ventilate well both ideas
Greater care should be observed in the preservation of our records. These
become more valuable as the years accumulate. It may not be possible in all
eases to secure safes, or even fire resisting cabinets, but other means of
protection are frequently available at little or no inconvenience. In one
ease, a Master informed me that the records of his lodge were made up of
several unfinished minute books; that when a new secretary was elected he
always provided himself with a new record book. Another lodge about to
celebrate its fiftieth anniversary finds two years of its existence not
covered in its available records, and the suggested explanation is that a
beloved and faithful secretary, some time since called to his reward, had the
misfortune to lose his dwelling by fire during his incumbency of the office
and it is presumed that these records were destroyed at the same time.
Secretaries might add a great deal of historical interest to their records in
not confining themselves so closely to the printed forms, which, of course,
cover the essentials, but we have no inhibition in our laws against a proper
elaboration of lodge events of interest and importance.
the present day, when sectional bookcases are so easily obtainable, each lodge
should have at least the nucleus of a library. This Grand Lodge provides each
lodge with four copies of its printed proceedings each year. Care should be
taken to preserve in the lodge an unbroken set of proceedings covering the
period of the lodge's existence. To these may be added at small cost certain
standard books on Masonry, to which ambitious brethren may have access under
proper rules and regulations. I have been unable to locate a copy of our
latest proceedings even in some lodges.
many cases, no insurance is carried on lodge property; in others, the
protection is insufficient. A lodge through its officers should exercise the
same prudence in the management of its affairs that the careful business man
employs in his business.
of our lodges, particularly in the cities, have grown large and unwieldly. The
personal touch with the membership is lost, and opportunities for good
fellowship greatly lessened. It is not my purpose to suggest any standard, but
my mind harks back to the "good old days" when you and I knew personally every
member of the lodge; when his sorrows were ours, and when our hearts and
tongues joined in promoting each other's welfare, and rejoiced in each other's
of our officers represent commercial enterprises which deal with Masons only.
I am convinced that this is a bad practiee, though it may be good business
from the commercial viewpoint. It is a most difficult matter "to render unto
Caesar the things that are Caesar's," and to Masonry the service and loyalty
that is properly the right of the Fraternity.
Master's duties include more than conferring degrees, and he should not
confine himself exclusively to his sacred precincts in the East. Wardens
should be encouraged to do more degree work, and the Master permitted to give
more time to the supervision and direction of the lodge's activities. No
brother, however humble, should fail to receive a word of greeting from the
Master; and Senior Deacons should put a proper emphasis on the importance of
the introduction and accommodation of visiting brethren. Opportunities for
social intercourse should be given a place in the life of the lodge, and a
roster of the widows and the orphans of our deceased brethren kept so that
they may not be overlooked.
lastly, all degree work should be done with dignity and decorum, and made as
impressive as possible. Candidates should be courteously treated, and not
subjected to embarrassment or ridicule, or their minds filled with disturbing
apprehensions. Our lodges, as a rule, are particularly free of levity, I am
happy to say, and our work is splendidly rendered.
Trail of the Red Serpent
great American cities these days are writing diaries of crime. The increase of
murders, robberies, burglaries, assaults, rapes, defalcations, official
malfeasance, of betrayals of public trust, and of sex atrocities is so
appalling as to shock the stoutest nature and give rise to the profoundest
misgivings. What is to become of all this, this witch carnival, this Brocken
of lesbianism, Sadism, atrocities, and so general contempt for the safeties
and decencies of life? Must it gather power and volume like an overflowing
muddy river, or can it be held up and curbed, so that once again in the great
centers it will become safe for a citizen to walk alone on the streets at
New York City - it is not mentioned as a horrible example, for other cities
are as bad - 82 persons were indicted for murder in 1922 in Manhattan Borough
alone; by another year this jumped to 126. In the latter year 702 were
indicted for assault; 519 for burglary; 439 for robbery; 1,894 for grand
larceny; 214 for forgery, and 76 for rape. In the whole city 350 homicides
were recorded in 1922, an increase of 78 over 1918, and among these there were
only four convictions of murder in the first degree. This number of homicides
would be bad enough for the whole country, if we were well governed.
picture grows darker still when to the volume of crime is added its increasing
heinousness and daring. A little while ago the nation was shocked when two
Chicago university students, one of them a disciple of Cellini and both of
them devil worshipers, murdered a fellow-student merely for the fun of it, and
then laughed in the face of the public; but that crime, diabolical as it was,
could be matched by scores more, equally revolting. In several cities criminal
gangs have their own Tammany-like organizations, their own lawyers, and their
own political representation. In one city last Christmas - the fact was played
up as a bit of interesting news in the dailies - several gangs collected a
Christmas purse to divide among their members then in penitentiaries.
the bottom of all this, and as making it possible, is an increasing general
indifference to the duties of citizenship, because of which the machinery of
government and politics becomes weak and political cynicism spreads
everywhere. Rising from this, stratum above stratum, are secondary causes,
almost too numerous to be mentioned.
sick sentimentalism that feels more pity for the criminal than for his
victims, more concern for his welfare than for the welfare of the public.
demoralizing power of great wealth in weak hands.
slackening or loosening of moral bonds.
yellow press which, by its display of all the details of crime, fix ideas in
Sex-mad theatres, movies, red magazines and popular novels. Failure of courts
to punish. -
Criminal lawyers who uproot justice at the roots to save known criminals.
of the parole system.
coddling of criminals.
Spreading of the gang spirit among non-criminals, so that unofficial citizens
try to take the law into their own hands.
dope habit, bootleg liquor.
Concentrated poverty in populous centers.
break-up of the family.
general decay of religion, with its "reverence," to quote the beautiful
language of the De Molay ritual, "for sacred things."
all this there is no panacea, no patent medicine, no rapid cure, no reform
scheme to work automatically but only a retrenchment in each individual of the
old homely virtues, such as are enjoined on a Mason at the door of the lodge,
such as have been taught in all the churches, in schools, and by the good and
wise of every generation. There is no substitute for morality.
should not the Fourth of July, which has so long kept its face turned backward
toward 1776, be transformed into a festival of patriotism with its face to the
future? For the next few years it would be well if leaders in every community
were to issue on that day a solemn call to every citizen to dedicate himself
anew to his public duties; brass bands, fireworks, and picnics might be shoved
into the background as not altogether appropriate just now, and in their place
might be set a solemn altar of public duty before which we could all kneel in
reaffirmation of the ancient pieties of the land, to the end that our dead of
many wars, and our heroes of a hundred achievements of peace, shall not have
died in vain.
* * *
NEW YORK MASONIC OUTLOOK"
his address delivered before the Grand Lodge of New York, May, 1923, Bro.
Arthur S. Tompkins urged upon his Grand Lodge that it launch an official
Masonic journal of its own, and described the need for it in this fashion:
subject of an official Grand Lodge periodical has engaged the attention of
Grand Lodge for some time. There has been a well grounded feeling that an
organization of our size, strength and character, the oldest and largest in
the world should have a publication that would authoritatively present to the
Craft in attractive form Masonic news and activities and reflect our attitude
on the vital questions of the day. There are many so-called Masonic
publications that do not correctly interpret Masonic thought and sometimes
place our Fraternity in a false light before the world. Some of them fan the
flame of intolerance, while true Masonry seeks to allay that spirit. Some of
these publications represent Masonry as the foe of this class or this creed,
when as a matter of fact Masonry is opposed to no creed or class, so long as
there is nothing un-American or immoral in its teaching or activity, and to
keep our Fraternity right before the world and to make known its true doctrine
and to refute those things published in the name of Masonry that are not
Masonic, as well as to keep our brethren informed on Masonic subjects, I
believe that we should have official Grand Lodge publication."
the same Annual Communication a Special Committee reported in favor of a
periodical. The report was adopted, and a standing committee was appointed,
with Bro. Harold J. Richardson as chairman. Since that time this standing
committee has distributed gratuitously to all New York Masons three copies of
a “Bulletin of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of New York," funds
being supplied by Grand Lodge Trustees; and in the meantime has been preparing
the way for the new official periodical. In the last “Bulletin" announcement
is made of readiness to issue the first number of the new monthly, under the
title of "The New York Masonic Outlook," an appropriate and happy name for
such a journal.
BUILDER extends to this new co-worker Godspeed and all good fortune, endless
years of prosperity, and an overgrowing influence among the army of New York
Masons; to Bro. Richardson and his committee it sends its congratulations upon
a great and constructive piece of work well done, with every promise of
greater work for the future; and to Bro. Tompkins the hope that this project
will come in time to signalize his Grand Mastership and prove monumental aere
survey of recent Grand Lodge proceedings shows that the old debate over the
physical qualifications question will not down. It is a lucky Grand Lodge that
does not have to argue this at least every other year; a fortunate Grand
Master who does not have to pass on it in making decisions.
reading the discussions as reported it strikes one that in the majority of
cases it is not physical qualifications that are discussed, but
disqualifications. Can a man with one eye be made a Mason? with a wooden leg?
with a finger missing? with a stiff joint?
"Liberals" hold that the old rule requiring physical perfection is a holdover
from Operative Masonry, and not at all necessary under a Speculative regime,
and that if a man is physically equipped to take the work, nothing more should
be required, seeing that the loss of a finger has nothing to do with
character. The "Conservatives" stick for "the perfect youth doctrine" as a
Landmark and contend that already the bars have been too much let down.
might help a little toward the solution of this vexing problem if the whole
basis for discussion were shifted to positive grounds, and the question
raised, What are the physical qualifications required for Freemasonry? It is
difficult to see how the negative question as to disqualifications can ever be
answered until general agreement is reached on the positive side of the case.
duties and obligations of a Mason make it rather clear what is demanded of a
member in a physical way. He must be bodily able to perform his part of the
initiation ceremonies. He must have at least sufficient health to fulfill his
duties by way of lodge attendance, and possibly in filling office. He should
not be suffering from a malady that may sooner or later make him a charge on
last point, strange to say, usually is overlooked, even by the physical
perfectionists who would exclude a man for the loss of a finger. Freemasonry
is not a charitable organization in its nature, nor an insurance society;
neither its fees nor its dues are arranged with any such thing in mind. In its
scheme of things charity is arranged to care for the victims of misfortune -
those brethren who meet up with an accident, or fall a victim of some acute
disease, or through no fault of their own become thrown out of employment. A
candidate for admittance to lodge membership should be in fairly good health
and offer promise of being able to care for his family, physically and
this contention be sound the "physical perfectionists" should shift the focus
of argument and enlarge the scope of their inquiries in order to reach a
positive and inclusive agreement as to what is required of a candidate all the
way round. Once that is done, the minor question as to what properly excludes
a petitioner will be more easily adjusted.
this is ever accomplished it will be found that, as in nearly all debates,
both sides are right, at least in principle. From the point of view of the
symbolical principles of Freemasonry and of the larger purposes of the Craft,
the "Conservatives" are right, because according to the ground plan of the
Order, our Brotherhood is to be composed of picked men, morally and
physically; from the point of view of expediency and practical considerations,
the "Liberals" are right, seeing that a missing finger need not at all
incapacitate a man from carrying out all the obligations and duties of
membership. As for the Landmarks, any reference to them for decision of the
debate must be postponed until there is more general agreement as to what they
* * *
"AVOID ALL SEMBLANCE OF RELIGIOUS OR CLASS FEELING."
his address delivered before the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of
Connecticut, Jan. 7, 1923, the then Grand Master, Bro. Frank L. Wilder, gave
expression to a noble conception of Freemasonry in words as beautiful as they
company with other Masonic organizations, we have tried to arouse among the
membership a greater feeling of loyalty to Masonry, its history, lessons and
traditions, to avoid all semblance of religious or class feeling and to keep
constantly before them that our country was founded by Masons and that upon us
rests a greater duty as the successors of the founders to keep alive American
institutions and the American form of Government giving to every man without
regard to race, creed or religious belief, his due as a man for an equality of
opportunity in all things, and by setting the example for fairness, toleration
and moderation. Then and then only will we be doing our full duty as Masons
and for the community in which we live. It is because we are Masons that so
great a duty of leadership is laid upon us. Are we equal to it or has the
Institution passed into the things that were rather than something which is
and will be? The answer is found in the record of the next few years.”
of the Classics of the Craft"
"Speculative Masonry, Its Mission, Its Evolution and Its Landmarks," by A. S.
MacBride, J. P. Published by George H. Doran for M. S. A. National Masonic
Library. Blue cloth index, 254 pages, and Introduction by Joseph Fort Newton.
Craft has enjoyed in late years the leadership of a number of wise and learned
teachers some of whom have ranked high as scholars and others have been famous
for their eloquence; among these Bro. A. S. MacBride has a place all his own,
unique and distinctive, for he possessed learning without being a professional
scholar, wrote a style of grace and attractiveness without being a literary
man, and became a great speculative teacher at the same time that he devoted
the larger part of his available energies to active work as an officer in
lodge. It is the blend of experience, knowledge and practical experience that
sets its mark upon his wise and quiet book, Speculative Masonry, a long time
out of print, but now restored to circulation by the Masonic Service
Association as a new title in the National Masonic Library. For this the
Association deserves the thanks of Masons everywhere, because there are few
Masonic books in our language better to read, or more to be recommended,
especially to the newly made Mason, who too frequently runs afoul of books
bizarre as to theory and lacking in literary appeal.
Lodge Leven St. John (Scotland), of which Bro. MacBride was made Master in
1867, was constituted in 1788 on a movable charter that enabled it to hold
meetings in various towns in its neighborhood. Almost from the beginning it
employed the practice, now unfortunately almost everywhere abandoned, of
appointing instructors, or "intenders," to every newly raised brother to the
end that he might learn something about the Craft of which he had become a
member. Bro. MacBride himself attributed his own zeal for Masonry to the two
old brothers by whom he was taught the meaning of the mystery hidden away in
our history, rituals and symbols, and that zeal did not abate in more than
fifty years. During the second year of his Mastership he began a system of
lectures by way of instruction, starting first with his officers, and later
extending the course to all members of the lodge. After seven years in the
chair he resigned, only to reassume the office for a period of five years
beginning with 1879. He was called to the chair a third time in 1887 and
continued until 1896.
removing to Glasgow, Bro. MacBride became active with Lodge Progress of that
city, a temperance body, of which he was made Master in 1900, and which he
faithfully served as Past Master for ten succeeding years. In addition he was
active in the Provincial Grand Lodge of Dumbarton, and in the lodge Quatuor
Coronati as well, having joined that research body in 1893.
lectures delivered during this long term of years were embodied in Speculative
Masonry. The volume is divided into three general parts, beside an Appendix in
two parts. Part I covers "The Mission of Speculative Masonry," in five
chapters on "The Mission Generally Considered"; "The Law of the Square": "The
Quarries, or the Selection of the Material"; "The Lodge, or the Preparation of
the Material," and "The Temple, or the Consummation of the Mission." Parl II
contains a condensed resume of Masonic histor>under the general title of "The
Evolution of Speculative Masonry," in seven chapters: "Origins Ascribed to
Masonry"; "Ancient Symbolism and Mysteries"; "The Roman Collegia and Medieval
Guilds"; "The French Companionage"; "The German Stein-Metzen": "The Old
British Lodges"; and a "Summary." In Part III the "Landmarks of Speculative
Masonry" are passed in rapid review, attention being paid to the substance
more than to the formal details of that vexing theme, and according to the
following scheme of chapters: "The Nature and Divisions of the Landmarks";
"Misconceptions Regarding the Landmarks," and "The Landmarks and Progress." In
the Appendix he returns to a reconsideration of a few points in "The Mission
of Speculative Masonry," and "The Evolution of Speculative Masonry."
the topics treated in these seventeen chapters that are of general interest
are "The Law of the Square," "Antiquity of Masonic Symbolism," what modern
Freemasonry has in common with older fraternities, "The Qualifications of a
Candidate," the powers and duties of lodge officers, "The Principal Points in
'Entering,' 'Passing' and 'Raising,'" etc.
Throughout all these pages Bro. MacBride has managed to weave into one unified
whole the history, symbols and teachings of the Order, so that a reader is
left, as is too often not the case in other books, with ` philosophical
comprehension of Freemasonry in which past, present and future fall into just
proportions anti perspectives. It is in this philosophical comprehension, one
may believe, that the book finds its focus: other volumes furnish more facts,
or go at greater length into an interpretation of the ritual, or engage more
space in arguing details, but the volumes err few indeed in which all these
elements are better fused together or more wisely adjusted one to another.
this, and of the character of the man behind the book, Bro. Newton writes (in
his Introduction) with his accustomed eloquence:
wonder such a method, used in a true Masonic spirit of mutual good will, and
made effective by a fine practical capacity, attested its worth and wisdom in
rich results. It was the rare pleasure of a lifetime to visit Lodge Progress -
which, in 1917, conferred upon me the honour of Honorary Membership - to meet
its members, and to join with them in paying homage to one of the wisest
Masonic teachers of our generation, whose work had won, and will win
increasingly, the lasting gratitude of the Craft. The genius of Masonry had
wrought itself into his very nature, and when I saw him there was in him a
ripe, mellow, old-gold beauty of character such as Carlyle felt in Chalmers,
'as of the on-coming evening and the star-crowned night.' Today, among things
for which to be thankful, I am grateful that I was permitted to know him, sit
in lodge with him, and tell him in the presence of his brethren how much his
fellow-workers on both sides of the sea honoured his life and valued his
labour in behalf of our gentle Craft."
* * *
BOOK ON ITALIAN FREEMASONRY
LIBRO DEL MASSONE ITALIANO, by Ulisse Bacci. Seconda Edizione; Editrice Vita
Nova, Roma, 1923. Not translated in English. May be obtained from Enrico
Schioppo, Vicolo Benemilli, in Via G. Verdi, Torino, Italy. Price, in Italian
currency, 37 fire, or about $2.
Italy, where there is a real need for members of the Craft to assimilate the
inner doctrines and true history of their great brotherhood, there is only one
book in the language of that country which presents a trustworthy account of
Masonic history. The work to which we refer is II Libro del Massone Italtano,
by the incomparable veteran of the Craft, the Illustrious Bro. Ulisse Bacci,
than whom there are few - if any - living Freemasons equally competent to
write on the history of Masonry in Italy. But his great work spreads far
beyond the borders of his country; it embraces the entire history of the
Craft, from its origins, so far as they are known, hence through the long
stages of its development and subsequent transformation into the speculative
fraternity it is today. The author has devoted the greater part of his long
life to the service of Italian Masonry, having been for many years "behind the
scene" in high official positions and in closest touch with all that took
place in public or private for over half a century. During most of that time
he has been Grand Secretary and now, for many years, Secretary-General, of the
Grand Orient of Italy, the parent body of Freemasonry in Italy. An
indefatigable defender of the Craft, he has been a source of inspiration to
thousands of its members. This book was originally issued in two volumes; the
second edition, recently published, has been carefully revised, brought up to
later date and compressed into a single volume of about a thousand pages with
some interesting illustrations.
intimate knowledge of the best authorities, the writer treats of the origin of
Masonry and its relation - if any - to the analogous fraternities of
antiquity and of the Middle Ages. He passes in review a large number of
extinct cults, philosophies, rituals, sects and "mysteries" whose names and
esoteric doctrines have come down to us through the ages, down to the latest
apparent connecting link - the stonemasons' gilds or "Operative Masons." He
shows that from - or in imitation of - these societies there arose the
so-called "Free and Accepted" or "Speculative Masons" which date only from the
foundation of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717. Passing to more recent
times, the book tells of the "landmarks" of Anderson and Desaguliers and the
famous Carta of Colonial The interesting legend of King Solomon's Temple has
not been overlooked; the constitution of the modern lodge, Masonic secrets and
the various ceremonials, are (with, of course, the necessary reticence)
portrayed by a master hand. From this stage he traces the gradual extension of
the Order over the world.
second part reviews the growth of Freemasonry and particularly the origin,
life and accomplishment of the Craft in Italy, from 1733 to the election of
the present Grand Master, Domizio Torrigiani. A number of interesting,
historic documents are reproduced; there are sections relative to the
Carbonari and other sects in the old Italian States; to Mazzini, Garibaldi and
the Giovane Italia. Important is the history of the schism of 1908 in the
Supreme Council, which led to the formation of the National Grand Lodge of
Italy - an offshoot of the Grand Orient. The inner facts of the breach are
brought out. The patriotic stand of Italian Freemasonry during the World War
also receives due notice.
only is this book the only general history of Masonry in the Italian language,
but it is the only source from which reliable information concerning Masonic
activities in Italy can be gathered. It is scrupulously fair, judicial in
style, and altogether a work that will compare favorably with more ambitious
efforts published in other languages. The reader cannot fail to be deeply
impressed with the wealth of instruction which he will gain from a perusal of
* * *
HELPS FOR LODGE ORATORS
World's Best Epigrams," by J. Gilchrist Lawson. Red cloth, 231 pages. $2.15
World's Best Humorous Anecdotes," by J. Gilchrist Lawson. Red cloth, 275
pages. $2.15 postpaid.
"Stories and Poems for Public Addresses," by Rev. A. Bernard Weber. Green
cloth, 215 pages. $1.60 postpaid
three are published by George H. Doran. May be purchased through the National
Masonic Research Society, 1950 Railway Exchange, St. Louis.
the making of speeches there is no end. (That is the trouble with many of
them.) Since such things must be it is meet that orators be given all the help
possible, for the sake of their audiences as well as themselves, therefore Mr.
Lawson has bent his efforts in that direction, with a view to furnishing first
aid. One may judge that he has succeeded fairly well, especially with his
collection of epigrams which, unlike many such collections, is not a
republication of matter in old books, about wornout topics but a file of
sparks from present day wit, and on subjects this side of senility. One may
gain a rapid impression of the range he has covered from his Table of
Contents: Abbreviations, Advertising, Advice, Aeroplanes, Ambition, Ancestors,
Art, Astronomy, Automobiles, Baldness, Baseball, Bible, Birds, Birth Control,
Blue Laws, Books, Borrowing, Buncombe, Business, and so on to Wages, War,
Waste, Weather, Women, Work, Worry, Writers.
each such head are grouped epigrams drawn from periodicals, numbering from one
to 200 or so, in such fashion as this:
frequently rich parents make poor parents. - Greenville News.
are the posterity our forefathers worried about. Can you blame 'em? - Detroit
father-and-son banquets are a great improvement on the conferences the two
used to have in the woodshed. - St. Joseph Gazette.
Lawson's The World's Best Humorous Anecdotes is built on the same plan, and
according to the same specifications. The anecdotes may be judged by a
specimen or two:
said the editor, "we cannot use your poem."
"Why," asked the poet, "is it too long?"
"Yes," hissed the editor, "it's too long, and too wide, and too thick!" - St.
Office Boy - "A man called while you were out, sir. He said he wanted to
Editor - "And what did you say to him?"
Office Boy - "I said I was sorry you were out, sir."
Ben B. Lindsey was lunching one very hot day, when a politician paused beside
his table. "Judge," said he, "I see you're drinking coffee. That's a heating
drink. Did you ever try gin and ginger ale?" "No." said the Judge, smiling,
"but I have tried several fellows who did." - Selected.
rose with great alacrity
offer her my seat;
a question whether she or I
Should stand upon my feet.
are about a thousand of them, all of this type, and very few old timers. Mr.
Webber's book was very evidently prepared for use by preachers, and therefore
is more serious in tone, albeit he has filled up the last forty pages of his
book with some fairly good humor, suitable for general purposes. His stories
and poems are distributed under such heads as Anger, Assurance, Bible, Bible
School, Cheerfulness, Children, Christ, Christian, Christmas, Church,
Communion, Confession, etc.
* * *
SCIENTIST TURNED PROPHET
New Decalogue of Science," by Albert Edward Wiggam. Published by The
Bobbs-Merrill Company, Indianapolis. May be purchased through National Masonic
Research Society. Cloth, 288 pages. $2.15 postpaid.
Wiggam is a new John the Baptist come out of the scientist's laboratory, the
last place in the world from which such an apparition might be expected to
emerge. Fed on a diet of modern scientific theories, infinitely more
stimulating than locusts and wild honey, he thunders a host of warnings at the
President of the United States, representative of the people of the land, and
of all other civilized peoples beside.
book was not written for morons, sentimentalists, mollycoddles, honeyfuglers,
or any other of the thin-skinned gentry who dread an intellectual cold plunge.
Let them avoid it as they would the plague! But if one is tough-minded and
likes to have face hurled in his face, Mr. Wiggam's book will keep him awake
at night, it is so thrilling, so hard hitting, so challenging. One can search
up and down all the library shelves in the world for a really scientific wore
written in such a style. It is science with boxing gloves on.
central idea in the volume, out of which all the other ideas pour like lava
from a volcano, is that science has proved up a host of important facts about
human nature which are one and all calmly ignored be politicians and
statesmen. Mr. Wiggam sets out to awaken these rulers of men to their
oversight, and to the perils that await them if they continue to live in a
fool's paradise of ignorance.
book suffers from over-emphasis, and from other faults more serious,
especially in the chapters devoted to philosophy, in which field, one may
guess, the author is not completely at home; but such faults do little to
insulate the reader from the flow of electricity which steadily pours out from
Mason the most interesting chapter is that entitled "The Duty of Humanizing
Industry," because it is a fearless and trenchant examination of many of the
ideas on which our own doctrine of brotherhood rests; its point is that man is
not a docile peace-loving being, to be coddled into being good, but a rather
untamed wild creature, full of unorganized passions and atavistic impulses, so
that no tame milk-and-waterish method is ever going to make him behave. If he
is to be captured and civilized other methods must be found, more forceful in
character, and more rich in content than sentimental appeals and moral
suasion. In this, as in all his other arguments, Mr. Wiggam believes that
science is able to point us "to a more excellent way.” One of the most
arresting characteristics of the whole volume is its fervent religiousness, a
thing that will give pause to those who assume that science must necessarily
do away with faith and worship.
* * *
greet you as members of a Fraternity whose efforts to teach morality and
practice charity, in its broadest sense, has made it one of the most potent
factors in the advancement of Christian civilization that has existed in any
age. Its mission is peace and good will. In the most remote parts of the
earth, where-ever civilization has penetrated, our lodges have been organized,
and today are engaged in the noble work of teaching freedom: and truth and
love and morality and benevolence, by our beautiful system of Symbolism so
clear to us all. For the accomplishment of these purposes mystic chains bind
together peoples of all nations in one common brotherhood. – Leslie H. Swan,
MYSTICISM OF MASONRY
feeling that there is far more in Masonry than lies on the surface, and that
it has in its keeping something mystic and possibly occult, is so deeply
rooted in multitudes of Masonic minds that no amount of rationalism appears
able to dislodge it. Those who have that feeling in its richest form, who are
most certain of its validity, and who endeavor the most to give expression to
it, can find no agreement among themselves as to definition and dogma, and
possibly never will, until the end of all things Masonic has come; but not for
that reason will the conviction be abated or Masons cease to feel something
unutterable in our rituals, something, like the Lost Word, that is found and
at the same time lost. The mere fact that Masonic teachers, often the most
intelligent, return again and again to the attempt to give expression in words
to something they are never able to express is itself a kind of proof of the
essential soundness of their faith.
thing will evermore remain certain. All the Masonic rituals in existence, the
whole great train of them, are shot through and through, like a cloud dyed
with the colors of sunset, with spirituality and religiousness. The lodge
itself is a symbolical representation of the world, its floor the earth and
the seas, its covering the cloudy canopy of heaven; and all that stands in the
lodge, along with all that is done in it, represents the great experiences and
facts of human existence, so that it is literally true, as Goethe said long
ago, that a Mason's ways are a type of existence.
in Masonry man's existence is not merely reproduced, as though in a
photograph; everything belonging to us is surrounded by the tokens of the
Eternal Presence, and set in the light of Immortality, and suffused with
spiritual meanings to the end that all things human be caught up and
transfigured and transformed, so that the most humdrum experience of the most
humble human being is given its link with Everlastingness and with God, and a
man's daily life is set to the music of the Unseen, its shadows filled with
stars, its prose translated into the Poetry of the Soul.
Consider the testimony of a little boy, and how he taught his father the
central truth of our Mysteries:
crimson was fading into cold October gray as I came upon him - twelve years
old, his garden fork under the hill of potatoes he had started to dig, his
face upturned, his eyes following far off the flight of the wild duck across
who from zone to zone,' I began, more to myself than to him. 'Guides through
the boundless sky thy certain flight,' he went on, as much to himself as to
"'Father,' he added reflectively as the bird disappeared down the dusky slope
of the sky, 'I'm glad I know that piece.' 'Why?' I asked. 'I see so much more
when the wild ducks fly over.' 'How much more do you see?' 'I see the wild
ducks and God flying over together.' "
Hypocrisy is the homage that vice and wrong pay to virtue and justice.
DECLARATION AND THE CONSTITUTION
Two Greatest State Papers
BRO. GILBERT PATTEN BROWN, New York
all time properly founded nations and institutions have had constituted
authority for their existence. Never in the history of man has there been a
greater or more unique document drawn as a governing charter for the guidance
of the children of men than the Declaration of Independence. The next greatest
document in human history for man's welfare is the United States Constitution.
These two great state papers have at last found a resting place for all time
to come. To quite an extent they are outcomes of the Mayflower compact of
1620, in that the Pilgrim Fathers were forerunners of our great system of free
Continental Congress of 1776, when the Declaration was written and signed, was
presided over by a Massachusetts Mason, John Hancock, who had been a member of
the Craft sixteen years. Several other veterans of the Fraternity there
assembled were the following: Dr. Matthew Thornton, had been a member of the
Craft thirty-one years; Benjamin Franklin, had been a Mason forty-six years;
and William Whipple, had worn the lambskin for twenty-four years. So we might
go on enumerating the Masonic status of many of the signers. The
Constitutional Convention of 1789 was presided over by a Virginia Mason,
George Washington, who had been a member of the Craft thirty-six years. Many
well-known Masons also took part in the framing of the Constitution, including
Rufus King, Roger Sherman, Alexander Hamilton, David Brearley, Benjamin
Franklin, and George Clymer.
Constitution has not been much of a rambler, but the Declaration of
Independence has been quite a wanderer. It has moved about in five different
states, visiting ten different towns and cities. Early in the spring of 1777
it was brought back to Philadelphia from York, Pa., where it had been hidden
for fear the British might destroy it. During the War of 1812, the then
Secretary of State, James Monroe, ordered it taken from the city and Mrs.
James Madison eared for it herself. Monroe at the time had been a Mason
thirty-eight years. On Feb. 28 last, the Shrine in the Library of Congress was
officially dedicated as a fitting place for these two great state papers, the
Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. One year ago Congress
appropriated $12,000 to make a safe place to preserve the Declaration of
Independence. Here between two pillars on the second floor of this beautiful
building there is a niche cut in the wall about 6 ft. x 4 ft., where behind
glass rest these documents. Mr. Herbert Putnam, the Librarian, of that old New
England family which gave to the Revolution two distinguished Masons, Generals
Israel and Rufus Putnam, had the matter in charge. Here the tourists may see
at any season in the year the Declaration and the Constitution of these United
States of America.
democracy means that we have no privileged class, no class that is exempt from
the duties or deprived of the privileges that are implied in the words
"American citizenship." The law of American life . . . must be the law of
work, not the law of idleness, not the law of self-indulgence or pleasure,
merely the law of work . . . It is a disgrace for any American not to do his
duty; it is a double, a triple disgrace for a man of means or a man of
education not to do his duty. – Theodore Roosevelt.
"RESTORATIONS OF MASONIC GEOMETRY AND SYMBOLRY"
can I obtain a copy of Restorations of Masonic Geometry and Symbolry, by H. P.
Bromwell? I am informed that his daughter has copies for sale but I do not
have her address.
Bromwell's book was originally published by the Grand Lodge of Colorado;
later, it was turned over to his daughter, Miss Henrietta Bromwell, 646
Williams street, Denver, Colo. Letters to Miss Bromwell have elicited no
reply. Can any reader give further information about this much sought for
* * *
NEW JERSEY, DELAWARE, MARYLAND AND IOWA RECOGNIZE SOUTH AFRICAN GRAND LODGES ?
New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Iowa recognize South Africa Masonically?
Jersey and Delaware do not recognize any South African Grand Lodge. Iowa has
not extended formal recognition to any, but the Iowa principle is that unless
recognition has been refused it is presumed to exist, except in cases where
very few Grand Lodges have granted recognition, so that in a given case an
issue would have to be raised. Maryland recognizes South African Grand Lodges
of English origin.
* * *
ROYAL ARCH RECORD
Rapids Chapter, No. 7, Royal Arch Masons, Michigan, during the year 1923 made
a record which, I believe, is not to be equalled anywhere in the country as a
thing of its kind. Under the able direction of the High Priest, with the
assistance of his officers, and with the loyal support of the Companions the
Chapter exalted six teams of three brothers each and one team of a father and
twin sons. Five of these teams are members of Malta Lodge, No. 465. I would
like to know, and so would the officers of Grand Rapids Chapter, No. 7, if
this record can be squalled anywhere in the United States. Correspond with the
High Priest, Lewis A. Mack, 213 Grand Rapids National Bank Building, Grand
George W. Leedle,
Lecturer of Michigan, R. A. M., Marshall, Mich.
* * *
APPRENTICES NOT ENTITLED TO MASONIC BURIAL
question has recently arisen in our lodge whether an E. A. is entitled to
Masonic funeral services, and the question has been answered Yes and No,
therefore I am appealing to your valued "Question Box" for an answer to the
following questions: Is an E. A. entitled to Masonic funeral services? If not,
does this not conflict with the Apron Lecture, also with what is said to the
candidate in the N. E. Corner?
first question is answered by your own Grand Lodge Code, Section 214 reads in
man shall be buried with Masonic honors unless he was at the time of his death
a Master Mason in good standing."
is the general law of the Order. Mackey refers to a passage in Preston's
Mason can be interred with the formalities of the Order unless it be by his
own special request communicated to the Master of the lodge of which he was a
member, foreigners and sojourners excepted; nor unless he has been advanced to
the Third Degree of Masonry, from which restriction there can be no execution.
Fellowcrafts or Apprentices are not entitled to the funeral obsequies."
might wish to know how a deceased brother is to communicate with the W.M., but
that is neither here nor there; the rule, as stated by Preston, holds. As to
whether this conflicts with the Ritual, that must be a matter of private
opinion, but it would appear not to do so. In the nature of things the Ritual
cannot express rules on such matter, seeing that its substance deals with the
symbolical side of Masonry; such institutional practices as burial are more
properly defined in Codes and by-laws.
* * *
RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION OF PRESIDENT AND MRS. COOLIDGE
page 328 of THE BUILDER, December 1923, is an item concerning the religious
affiliations of President and Mrs. Coolidge that were correct at the time but
now stands in need of revision. To that end permit me to quote a paragraph
from “The Continent," a Presbyterian organ, under date of Nov. 1923:
"Specific information as to President Coolidge's church relations was
forthcoming when the Congregational National Council at Springfield elected
Mr. Coolidge its honorary moderator. As The Continent noted recently, the
President, though reported by his newspaper biographers not to be a member of
church, did partake of holy communion in the First Congregational church at
Washington the Sunday morning next following his accession to the presidency.
Dr. Jason Noble Pierce, pastor of that church, now states that his open
acknowledgment of a Christian allegiance on the President's part was indeed a
new act and ensued upon a special personal invitation from Dr. Pierce himself
to participate thus in the service. Mr. Coolidge was assured that under the
Congregational conception of the sacrament this was a specially appropriate
way to confess the Christian faith. When, however, the Congregational CounciI
recognized the President as openly identified with the church, Dr. Pierce
asked him to unite directly as a church member, and Mr. Coolidge agreed. He
thus becomes integrally joined to the visible body of Christ."
J. Tyler, M. D., Ohio.
* * *
OF DEATH OF H. A., ETC.
was the date of the death of H. A., and what date do Masons celebrate the
death of H. A.? What means, "You are now permitted to extend your researches
into the hidden my series of nature and science?"
question you ask, "What was the date of the death of H. A., and what date do
Masons celebrate the death of H. A.?” is an interesting one which I do not
recall ever having been brought up. In fact, I have never heard of our
Fraternity celebrating or officially recognizing any date whatever in memory
of that occasion, though we might well do so.
Unfortunately there are several complications which prevent our determining a
satisfactory answer. I expect you have in mind some specific day of the year.
First of all, authorities are not agreed as to the chronological records of
that period secondly, the Hebrew months were lunar months instead of solar and
so do not correspond with ours, and transposition in terms of our months must
be more or less inaccurate; and lastly we have conflicting traditions as to
when H.A. was slain. So you see how involved the answer is. I offer the
following as an approximation:
Bible furnishes us the only account of H.A. we have, aside from our
traditions. According to the Ussher chronology, Solomon began the Temple in
1012 B. C. and completed it in 1004 B. C. Some modern scholars, relying on the
Assyrian records, place these dates as 966 B. C. and 957 B. C. Using the
former, H. A. would have come up to Jerusalem in the year 1012 B. C. The
Temple was begun on the second day of the second month of the Hebrew sacred
year, which has been computed to correspond with April 21, the Biblical or
Hebrew running from March to March. It was completed and dedicayed to the Most
High God in the year 1004 B. C., which, according to Hebrew chronology, was
the Year of the World 3000. This date appears on the coffin plate in the
Tracing Board used in the Third Degree in English lodges.
Turning now to I Kings, Chap. 6, Verse 38, we read the house was finished in
the month Bul, or eighth month of the Hebrew year. But in I Kings, Chap. 8,
Verse 2 it tells us the Ark was brought in in the month of Ethanim, the
would use the latter for the time of completion. Our traditions tell us the
Temple was completed on the eighth day of the seventh month, when the Ark was
brought in. The computation, then, would be something like this:
B. C. 7th month 8th day.
B. C. 2nd month 8th day.
months 6 days elapsed over 7 years.
would be roughly about 154 days according to the Hebrew lunar months. Adding
154 days to April 21, the day of beginning, would give Sept. 21 for the day of
completion. Perhaps there was some significance to its being ended on an
have one tradition that tells us H. A. was slain on the very day set for
celebrating the cope-stone, which I should consider the day of completion of
the Temple, and this, as near as we can compute, was Sept. 21. So I should say
he was slain on Sept. 21, then.
Leicester group of Operative Masons, organized by the later Clemont E.
Stretton, who style themselves "The Worshipful Society of Paviors, etc.,"
observe Oct. 2 as the date of H. A's death, though I do not know how they
computed this date. You should not confuse this body with our own Society,
their claims being as yet unproved.
your second query regarding the meaning of "You are now permitted to extend
your researches into the hidden mysteries of nature and science," to be quite
candid it is meaningless. It is one of the ponderous, high-sounding sentences
which found their way into the Ritual towards the close of the 18th century
probably due to the labors of William Preston. He and others sought to make
the lectures more "scientific." I can give you no practical, helpful
interpretation of it. Probably those who incorporated it had nothing definite
in mind. It was a generality which sounded well. There are some who would tell
you it referred to a search for Truth or Light, or Knowledge or the Lost Word,
but all these depend on your own personal conception of Freemasonry.
* * *
SCOTTISH RITE IN CANADA, THIRTY-THIRD DEGREE, ETC.
is the A. & A. Scottish Rite governed in Canada? Is there a Supreme Council
for the Dominion, or are the degrees of the Rite governed by the Supreme
Councils of England Scotland and Ireland, and if so, which of the three
Supreme Councils is in preponderance approximately ? What are the rules
governing admittance of candidates to the higher degrees of the A. & A. S. R.?
Are there any special requirements or qualifications for admittance to the
14d, 18d, 30d and 32d ? Furthermore, what rules govern elevation to the 33d ?
These questions also refer to the Dominion of Canada.
P. J., Washington.
inquiry was referred to the Secretary General of the Supreme Council, S. J.,
and received the following reply:
first question is, "How is the A. & A. Scottish Rite governed in Canada? Is
there a Supreme Council for the Dominion, or are the degrees of the Rite
governed by the Supreme Councils of England, Scotland and Ireland; if so,
which of the three Supreme Councils is in preponderance, approximately ? " In
answer wish to say that there is a separate Supreme Council of the Ancient and
Accepted Scottish Rite for the Dominion of Canada.
other question is, "What are the rules governing admission of candidates to
the higher degrees of the A. & A. S. R.? Are there any special requirements or
qualifications for admission to the 14d, 18d 30d and 32d; furthermore, what
rules govern elevation to the 33d ? These questions also refer to the Dominion
of Canada." In answer wish to say that we are unable to give information
referring to Canada or other Supreme Councils, but in our Jurisdiction (
Southern Jurisdiction of the United States of America) the only Masonic
requirement for admission to the Degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish
Rite is that the applicant must be and remain an affiliated Master Mason in a
regular Symbolic Lodge. There are no special requirements or qualifications
for admission to the 14d, 18d, 30d and 32d other than the possession of the
preceding degrees. The rules governing elevation to the 33d in our
Jurisdiction may be outlined as follows:
the regular odd-year sessions of our Supreme Council, each Sovereign Grand
Inspector General (Active Member) may nominate to receive the 33d, with the
rank and dignity of Inspector General Honorary, 32d brethren of the
Jurisdiction who have attained the age of thirty-five years and who have had
conferred upon them the rank and decoration of Knight Commander of the Court
of Honor at least four years prior, in the proportion of one for the first one
hundred and one for each additional two hundred and fifty 32nds made in his
Jurisdiction since the preceding regular odd-year session of the Supreme
Council; and election of the brethren thus nominated is by unanimous vote of
the Supreme Council. Election of Sovereign Grand Inspectors General, Active
33rds, that is, Active Members of the Supreme Council (of whom in our
Jurisdiction there cannot be more than one in each state) occurs only when
there is such a vacancy in a particular Jurisdiction (state). Such election is
after nomination in executive session of the Supreme Council and by unanimous
vote; is from the Inspectors General Honorary resident and affiliated within
the particular Jurisdiction (state), and is for life.
* * *
THE AUTHOR OF "EX ORIENTE LUX"
critical comment on my new book, Ex Oriente Lux, which appeared in the May
number of THE BUILDER, was evidently dictated by a spirit of kindliness and
sincerity, and I thank you for it.
seems to me, however, that whoever wrote it failed to take into consideration
the declared aim and purpose of the book.
Oriente Lux is not an attempt to dogmatize as to the origin or history of the
great Institution, Freemasonry; nor is it an attempt to define points of
authorized Masonic or Rosicrucian belief, because, of course, there is no such
thing; nor to urge the acceptance of certain philosophical or metaphysical
theories, Rosicrucian or otherwise. Its aim was to present to the reader
certain "Provocations to Thought."
thinker and student of the Western World is habituated to the so-called
"scientific" method of teaching, and he is distrustful of everything which
cannot be concreted for him into definite form and outline. Teaching by
symbols is teaching by provocation. It makes its appeal to intuition and is
characteristic of the methods of the East.
a bringing together of complementary concepts is like reviving the "letter" of
man's thinking by an infusion of the "spirit which giveth life." This I have
attempted to do in Ex Oriente Lux.
Masonry, the East and West come together. The universality of Masonry is no
mere figure of speech, nor is it an idle boast.
the language, ceremonial and symbolism of the Operative Builders' Art, which
was perfected in the West (and which grew and developed along with the growth
and development of a civilization which was largely material in its aim and
achievements), there was brought the concept of a far-reaching Purpose, a
Divine Program, a Holy Doctrine, which men must learn to interpret and execute
if they are to fulfill the designs of the great Source and Author of life.
Clothed in the poetic language of the East. this concept seems to us vague and
mystical; the “scientific” mind has misunderstood it, preverted it and
rejected it; but, when embodied, as it has been in Masonry, in the symbols of
the Builders' Art, it can be apprehended as a great inspiration, and used as a
guide and corrective of man's labors.
Ritual says: "Tools and implements of architecture and symbolic emblems most
expressive were selected by the Fraternity to imprint on the mind wise and
serious truths, and thus through the succession of ages have been transmitted
unimpaired the most excellent tenets of our Institution."
does not mean that the "Fraternity" grew up around a collection of tools,
implements and symbols, which came to have a fanciful speculative meaning as
many generations of men thought about them. It asserts purpose on the part of
the Fraternity which selected them; purpose before the symbols and tools were
adopted, and purpose in their adoption.
this purpose was really a Divine purpose, made known as such to men, and
apprehended and accepted by them as such, is the claim of Masonry. Our Ritual
begins the formal setting forth of the symbology - intended to be conveyed
under the figure of the Building of the Temple of Solomon - in these words:
read in the holy writings that it was decreed in the wisdom and council of
Deity aforetime, that a House should be built, erected to God and dedicated to
His Holy Name."
impressiveness and magnitude of this projected program is seen when we examine
it in the light of the words of Isaiah:
it shall come to pass in the last days that the mountain of the Lord's House
shall be established in the top of the mountain - and all nations shall flow
into it, and they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears
into pruning hooks; neither shall they learn war any more."
"House" is here meant by those - whoever they may have been - who first taught
the Operative Masons to make use of such language in setting forth the
symbolism of the building of King Solomon's Temple?
to be a "Spiritual House"; "a House not made with hands eternal in the
Heavens"; a House in the walls of which the "mind" of each individual initiate
(divested of all vice and superfluity and "perfected for the builder's use"),
shall be "a living stone." This is the language of mysticism.
the language and symbolism of the East, and not of the West. It undoubtedly
alludes to that plan for the future of Humanity, which exists as "A Hidden
House" in the thought and purpose of Deity, and which can take concrete form,
as a perfected social system, or civilization, only when man, the workman,
learns to interpret it aright and to build accordingly.
so-called scientific, non-intuitive thought of the West cannot easily grasp
the significance of such symbolic language as this. Only its poets and
transcendentalists (Goethe, Whitman, Emerson, Browning, etc. ) can approach
the concept of Humanity coming to be one great Temple of the Living God (where
each individual is a "Living Stone"); or of Humanity as constituting a "social
body for the Soul of God," when at last it shall reach the maturity of the
West needs the East, as the East needs the West, for a full vision of Truth;
just as analysis needs intuition, and intuition needs analysis, for a correct
interpretation and wise application of the Truth after it is seen.
believe that the concept (afforded in En Oriente Lux) of Man as "a unit of
consciousness" will prove to be a key for the understanding of the symbolism
of Masonry, and that the discussion of Hermetic principles, which I there
make, ought to lead to a closer and more thorough examination of the language
and symbols we have inherited, and also to the question as to how and why the
ceremonies of Masonry came to be so loaded with meaning that only the most
exalted and far-reaching interpretation can satisfy them or relieve them of
the charge of absurdity and inconsistency.
Alfred H. Henry, Yakima, Wash.
you for this clear explanation of the purpose of your book, Bro. Henry, and
for the gracious manner of meeting the criticism embodied in the review of Ex
Oriente Lux (May 1924, page 156). But after all, why should you designate
belief in God as peculiar to the East ? Have we not had the Christian religion
in this Western World for nearly two thousand years, and does it not
everywhere teach the doctrine of the All Father? Why is it necessary to
connect Freemasonry with the Orient merely to explain the religiousness in it?
Is not religion as native to the Occident as to the Orient? And as for
parables, symbols, and all that, are they not as widely spread in the Western
Hemisphere as in the other side of the globe? Furthermore, your letter does
not meet the principal point of the review, which is that you give no proofs
to back up your theory that Freemasonry has been somehow derived from
Rosicrucianism. In one of your early pages you quote with apparent approval a
far-reaching sentence from "Mercury": "Freemasonry did not 'spring' from
Rosicrucianism. Yet, in a perfectly legitimate manner, the Rosicrucian
Fraternity was the parent of genuine Freemasonry." (Italics ours.) As said in
the review such a theory stands in violent opposition to the whole structure
of Masonic history, as that has been worked out by our historians, and it is
therefore necessary to furnish proof of it.
* * *
W. J. Songhurst, Secretary Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Research, London, has
kindly called my attention to two errors in my Study Club article of March,
1924, page 83, in the last sentence of the paragraph at the top of the page,
right side. He points out that inasmuch as the rank of lodges under th`` Union
was determined by lot there was no "injustice" in giving the Lodge of
Antiquity second place, he is quite right. Also he called an attention to an
error difficult to explain in my saying that the lodge given rank of first
place had been chartered by an "Ancient" warrant of 1735. Of course there
could not have been such a thing seeing that the Ancient G. L. was not then in
Ed. makes way for the cartoonist this month. Who say there is no such thing as
Masonic humor? The punchful pictures displayed herewith are reproduced -
without permission from Masonic News of Detroit, a monthly work of art, wit,
and wisdom, one of the very best Masonic journals published anywhere