The Builder Magazine
September 1924 - Volume X - Number
TABLE OF CONTENTS
FRONTISPIECE - THE RETURN OF JEPHTHAH
GENERAL ACCOUNT OF THE SWEDISH RITE - By Bro. A. B. C., Michigan
DEGREES OF THE SWEDISH RITE - By Bro. Burton E. Bennett, Washington
YOUR LOINS BE GIRDED ABOUT, AND YOUR LIGHTS BURNING" - By Bro. Paul R. Clark,
FREEMASONRY IN ONTARIO - PART II - By Bros. James B. Nixon and N.W.J. Haydon,
Associate Editor, Ontario
LODGE OF INSTRUCTION - By Bro. John J. Lanier, Virginia
GRAND LODGE OF NEW BRUNSWICK - By Bro. Osborne Sheppard, Ontario
FREEMASONRY IN SASKATCHEWAN - By Bro. Chas. A. Cooke, Saskatchewan
ADDRESS TO CANDIDATE ABOUT TO RECEIVE THE APPRENTICE DEGREE
MEN WHO WERE MASONS - DANIEL CARROLL - By Bro. G. W. Baird, P.G.M. District of
STUDY CLUB - Studies of Masonry in the United States - Part I, The Early
Traditions. - By Bro. H. L. Haywood
the Interpretation of Masonic Symbols
Lodge as a Community Center
the Same Everywhere
Masonry Clear From All Forms of Gambling
of the Egyptians
Master's Lectures: A Personal Review
Interplay of Government and Religion
QUESTION BOX AND CORRESPONDENCE
Lincoln, and Masonic Presidents
Benjamin Rush a Mason?
About the Crusades
Ahiman Rezon in America
Freemasonry and the Founding of the U. S. Government
Meaning of "Worshipful"
Jefferson Davis a Mason?
Edward Gibbon Was a Mason
Class Lodges Permitted?
Doctrine of Selectiveness
"Wives' and Daughters' Degrees" in Florida
Chinese Worshipful Masters
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Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
General Account of the Swedish Rite
Bro. A. B. C., Michigan
providential good fortune two studies of this important subject, so little
known on this side of the world, reached us at the same time, almost in the
same mail. Through permission of both authors, one of whom prefers to remain
incog, they are here published together for, though they contain some details
in common, they are quite different treatments of the theme, and thereby
readily supplement each other. So little is known about Swedish Masonry, and
so many requests for information are made, that any reader who can add to the
account here given something by way of additional fact or of criticism is
urged to do so.
history of Masonry in Scandinavia is of interest to American Masons, not so
much on account of the sources from which it springs, as on account of its
development under the influence of French and German philosophers in the
eighteenth century, mingled with influences from mystics, such as Swedenborg,
visionaries, such as von Hund, and plain imposters, such as Cagliostro and
Saint Germain. In developing, it followed its own lines which were apart from
those of the English-American Masonry, even if it was based on the same
sources, until it blossomed in what is called the Swedish system, which at
present dominates, with its more than 50,000 members, not only the three
Scandinavian countries, but also, through die Grosse Landesloge van
Dentschland, the greater part of Northern Germany.
is no doubt that Scandinavian Masonry has its origin in English Masonry, but
whether the customs of the existing Scandinavian Operative Mason gilds have
had any direct influence in the forming of the rites of the three first
degrees, is hard to tell even if it looks so. Always Masonry in Scandinavia
has been surrounded by the greatest secrecy not only as to the ceremonies, the
passwords and the rites, but even as to the traditions and the history.
Admittance to the archives of the Grand Lodge of Sweden has been given only to
a very insignificant extent and to those of the Danish Grand Lodge not at all.
Germany the question of opening up the archives of the Grosse Landesloge to
allow historians to examine its acts called forth a serious conflict which
caused its Grand Master, Crown Prince Friederich III., one of the noblest
princes who ever occupied the German throne, to resign from his office in
1874. In a speech given in June, 1870, at the Centenary Festival of the Lodge
he seriously advised it to open up the archives to an honest and unimpeded
examination, adding: "Our acts teach us that all Masonic knowledge is
contained in the working plan of the first degree. Well, let us work to make
this truth a reality." But later on Schiffman, a Provincial Grand Master and a
Protestant pastor, whom the Crown Prince had appointed for said investigation,
was excluded from his lodge, as having revealed its secrets.
in any way has Masonry in Denmark and Norway contributed to the development of
the Masonry of the world; it has not broken any independent road to the goal
but has followed lines which were laid out first by German, and later on by
first Danish Masonic lodge was founded in 1744, and received in 1745 its
charter from the Grand Lodge in London. Later on, through the years, several
lodges were founded in Denmark, mostly getting their charters from German
lodges and consequently following the rites and the rules of those, and some
even worked in the German language. The development does not show any clear
and firm lines as Danish Masonry for some time was leaning on German Masonry,
on "the Strict Observance," and later on for some time on the so-called
rectified system from Lyons; but in 1853 the Swedish system was introduced
into the Danish lodges, essentially through the influence of King Frederick
VII., who at that time was Grand Master and very interested in Masonry.
Denmark was then constituted as the eighth Masonic Province.
Norway the first lodge was founded in 1750 and as long. as Norway was united
with Denmark it followed the Danish lead; but after 1813, when it was united
with Sweden, quite naturally it accepted the Swedish Rite.
SWEDISH I,ODGE WAS FOUNDED IN 1731
Sweden the first Masonic lodge was founded in 1731. But the founder, Count
Wrede-Sparre, did not have any actual patent entitling him to found it,
although it looks as if he had been initiated as Master Mason at Paris. In
1737 a lodge was founded by Baron Scheffer and this lodge had a charter from
Lord Derwentwater, Grand Master of the English Grand Lodge at London. Some
other lodges were founded but Masonry did not find much sympathy until Count
Posse, in 1751, founded the lodge St. Jean Auxiliarie, which lodge in 1752 got
a patent from the Count of Clermont, the French Grand Master at Paris. The
then existing lodges united with this new lodge and the King of Sweden took
over the office as Grand Master thereof. The system embraced seven degrees:
three St. John's degrees, two Scotch fit. Andrew's degrees, one St. John's
confidential br:s degree, and as the seventh the elected br:s degree. The
system was French and the rites were French and in all it had no special or
Meanwhile from this time on Swedish Masonry was led into a quite peculiar
channel by K. F. Eckleff, a high Swedish official. He had tried to become
admitted as member of the Lodge St. Jean but in vain, why is unknown. In 1756
he founded in company with six others a Scotch lodge, "Innocente," and then in
1759 he arranged a "Grand Chapter." His title for doing so was based on a
patent, which meanwhile was undated, not giving any locality, nor signed, but
supplied with three seals and some symbolical figures, the meaning whereof not
being clear. This document was certified by F. Aescher, secretary, a person
about whom nothing is known. Nevertheless the legality of this document was
never contested. In 1761 this lodge was amalgamated with the existing Grand
Lodge and in 1770 the lawfulness of this new Swedish Grand Lodge was
acknowledged by the Grand Lodge of England in London. Baron Scheffer took over
the office of Grand Master and K. F. Eckleff was elected Deputy Grand Master.
Obscurity reigns as to the sources of Eckleff's system, but undoubtedly it is
based on the English book of Constitution and especially on that of 1738, but
these sources have been remodeled and added to. The actual development of this
revision it is not possible to follow. Modern historians assert that Eckleff's
patent and the rite of his chapter are based on the customs and the rites of
the Operative Mason Gilds; that the rites of the first to sixth degrees are
based on the tradition of a connection between the Masonic Order and the
Knights of St. John; and the rites of seventh to ninth degrees on the legend
of the Knights Templar.
1766 Eckleff sold a copy of his papers to a friend, a German doctor, named von
Zinnendorf, who made use thereof in founding the Grosse Landesloge von
Deutschland at Berlin; and later in 1776 he sold his position, his patent, and
his papers to Karl, Duke of Soedermannland. This Duke is a very interesting
personality. Addicted to mysticism and theosophic ideas he took over the
leadership of Swedish Masonry and did a great work in working together the
material, which he had got from Eckleff, with information and material which
he collected at Geneva, in Italy, and in Bohemia. As early as 1776 he had a
committee organized to revise the rites; and this work was done about the year
1800. Unhappily it is impossible to find the material from which the new rites
were formed. It is said that the Duke had it burned, but whether this is true
or not it is impossible to tell.
Duke Karl took over the leadership of Swedish Masonry the management rested in
the hands of a Grand Master an Over - , and an Under - , Architect, and nine
other officials. As early as 1775 he had a Steward lodge arranged in
accordance with the English pattern, to which lodge later on the Stuart legend
was linked, for which reason the name was changed from Steward to Stuart.
THE STUART LEGEND ORIGINATED
this connection it will be necessary to mention the origin of the Stuart
legend. A German nobleman, von Hund, who had been initiated in Masonry at
Paris, and who was highly impressed by the myths and legends connected with
the different knightly orders which took part in the crusades, had about the
year 1750 formed a Masonic system called "the Strict Observance," which
essentially was based on the legend of the Knights Templar, the escape of the
Count of Beaujeau, nephew of Jacques De Molay, to Scotland, etc.; and in this
system he put in the idea of a Grand Master, who had all the reins in his
hands and who one day was going to call the Knights Templar to action and to
lead them to splendid exploits. In the beginning this Grand Master was
unknown, but - how it happened nobody can tell, whether it was a fancy of von
Hund or an invention of one of his friends - suddenly the Stuart Pretender put
up his head in the system as this unknown Grand Master and consequently his
restoration to the throne of England became the goal of "the Strict
the death of von Hund, Duke Karl tried to be elected as Grand Master of all
the Orders which were following the "Rites of the Strict Observance" and he
succeeded therein, being elected as such in 1776. But this event called forth
a conflict among the different lodges which followed the system; several
lodges withdrew from it and refused to acknowledge his authority and at last
in 1781 he resigned from the office. But while the Duke was trying to get
elected as Grand Master of the German lodges at the same time he tried to get
in connection with the Pretender, Karl Edward, who was living at Florence.
First he sent a friend and confidential of his to him and later on, when he
was elected Grand Master, he wrote him a letter asking him to acknowledge the
Duke's newly acquired title as Grand Master, telling him that he, the Duke,
always should honor him as a father, to which letter the Pretender replied
that "inasmuch as he was in the darkness as to the mentioned mysteries," he
could not remark anything further. Some years later King Gustav III. of
Sweden, a brother of Duke Karl, paid the Pretender a visit at Florence and
moved the broken-down man to surrender his Masonic rights to Duke Karl in
return for a yearly pension.
1781 Sweden was constituted as the ninth Masonic and the Order was firmly
linked to the state power; and when Duke Karl ascended the Swedish throne as
king, the ties were made still stronger. The royal princes were considered
born Freemasons and the members of the Higher Degrees were considered as
belonging to the Swedish nobility.
SYSTEM WAS AN HIERARCHY
finally completed the system formed a real autocratic hierarchy. At the head
of it stands the Vicar of the Wisest Solomon with his council, called
Sanhedrin, consisting of nine secular and two ecclesiastical officials. Below
this are standing the two Land Grand Masters and twelve officials, who have
seats as chapter officials of the eleventh degree. The tenth degree is formed
by the members of the chapter and from among them the high officials, seven in
number, are taken. The members of the ninth degree are called St. Andrew's
elected br :s; members of the eighth degree, St. John's elected br:s; of the
seventh degree, Solomon's elected br:s; Stuart's br:s form the sixth degree;
St. Andrew's Masters the fifth degree; St. Andrew's Apprentices and
Fellowcrafts the fourth degree; and at last comes the three St. John's
above remarked, a German doctor, von Zinnendorf, bought from Eckleff a copy of
his papers and made use of them for founding in 1770 the Grosse Landesloge von
Deutschland. At first this lodge had many troubles, but at last in 1773 it was
acknowledged by the English Grand Lodge. As the system was built on Eckleff's
papers and as these were not complete, the system was not quite in accordance
with the Swedish system, and for this reason in 1819 a committee was sent from
Berlin to Stockholm to examine the matter and then the rites of the Grosse
Landesloge were made to conform with those of the Swedish system. A treaty of
friendship was concluded in which it was expressed "that one doctrine, one and
the same descent, on secrecy, one form and one system united with indelible
ties the br:s of the Grosse Landesloge with those of the Swedish lodge." The
German royal house protected the lodge and many of its members became
officials of it and at present the lodge has a very prominent position among
Swedish Masonic system forms an imposing structure. Its strength lies in this,
that it is an organic unit, as each degree is a logical consequence of the
previous one, with which it is standing in intimate connection, which hardly
may be said of the many High Degrees of the different other Masonic systems,
as mostly they spring from the many social High Degrees, which were formed in
France in the eighteenth century and are without any logical connection with
the three St. John's degrees. The Swedish system is like a ladder, reaching up
from the bottom of a deep well. The candidate steps from the bottom of the
well upon the first rung of the ladder to climb up it to the light, which
faintly he discerns at the orifice; but his climbing is slow, as he is not
allowed to pass from one rung of the ladder to the next until his masters have
examined his knowledge and learned whether he is worthy to reach the light.
Only some few reach the uppermost rung of the ladder.
is not the place to take up or to discuss the historical truth of the
different myths and legends upon which the system is built and which are
interwoven in its rites; at all events, when seen from a historical viewpoint
they are no worse or better than Anderson's picture of the developing of the
art of building in his Book of Constitutions, as in reality the principle "the
end hallows the means," a principle which unjustly has been abused as Jesuitic,
entitles any Masonic system to make use of what myths and legends it likes, if
only they contribute to the aims and ends of Masonry - to make man understand
the relationship of the self to the not-self, of the individual to the whole,
and of his adjustments to larger ends, going beyond his own personal ends, his
relationship to God and to his fellowman. It is the moral value, not the
historical truth of a legend, that counts.
system is hierarchic but not theological; it is based on the Christian faith
and it had to be as a consequence of the legends upon which it is built, but
it is tolerant, and practically it leaves to the members to form their own
faith according to their conscience. That Jews are not admitted to the Order
under the system is due to the historical fact that in the latter part of the
eighteenth century Jews were not allowed to enter or to stay in Scandinavian
system is autocratic, but also this is due to the conditions existing in the
Masonic world at the time when the system was formed. Strifes and conflicts
were raging everywhere in Europe among Masons, in England, in France and in
Germany, and the builders of the Swedish system saw that a system had to be
built on authority and discipline if it Were to last. Of course it might be
said that an autocratic system checks individualism; this is true, but on the
other hand an extreme individualism brings with it as a logical consequence
grave dangers and undoubtedly this is at present the case everywhere in the
world and also in this country. Masonry cannot exist without a certain
discipline and a certain restraint on individualism; our old book of the
questions teaches us this, when at the question, What is a Freemason? it gives
as answer, "A Freemason is a free man, who understands to master his passions
and to bend his will under the laws of reason."
New Age stands as yet
built, against the sky
to every threat
storms that clamor by.
Scaffolding veils the walls
dim dust floats and falls
moving to and fro, their
not expect easily to convince men of the truth or to lead them to think
aright. The subtle human intellect can weave its mists over even the clearest
Degrees of the Swedish Rite
Bro. BURTON E. BENNETT, Washington
Swedish Rite of Freemasonry dates from about 1775. The three first degrees is
Ancient Craft Masonry and to this is added some of the "high degrees." It
contains a strain from the Rite of Strict Observance in its Templarism and has
elements taken from Rosicrusianism.
Gustavus III., King of Sweden, formed the Rite and the King of Sweden has ever
since been the head of it. The Rite consists of twelve degrees. The King is
Grand Master of the Order and is the only one who takes the twelfth degree. It
is called the "Vicar of Solomon." Only high nobles take the eleventh degree,
called "Dignitary of the Chapter," and only persons of great prominence can
receive the tenth degree, called "Member of the Chapter." These three degrees
really form a class in themselves; this class is called the "Illuminated
Chapter" and the members of it "Brethren of the Red Cross."
really working part of the Swedish Rite consists substantially, it is seen, of
only nine degrees. The three Craft degrees are, of course, (1) Entered
Apprentice, (2) Fellowcraft, and (3) Master Mason. The fourth degree is called
the "Scottish Fellowcraft" and is preliminary to the fifth degree known as
"Master of St. Andrew." This is what is known in the Modern French Rite as
"Scotch Master," or Ecossais degree. The Ecossais system of degrees depicts
the losing and the finding of the true word; they are what is known to us as
Scottish degrees or, to be exact, "Scotts' " degrees - for they are not
Scottish at all. The degree of "Select Master" of the York Rite is an Ecossais
degree. It is also seen in the instruction of the Royal Arch degree. The fifth
degree entitles the recipient to official rank which shows how closely Masonry
in Sweden is bound up in the government.
sixth degree is "Knight of the East." The "Knight of the East," proper,
depicts the erection of the Second Temple by the Israelites at Jerusalem when
they were released from captivity at Babylon by Cyrus the Great, King of
Persia. This degree is the "Knight of the Red Cross," the tenth degree of the
York Rite. It is one of the degrees founded on the Revelations of St. John
depicting the New Jerusalem with its twelve gates. It is the fifteenth degree
of the Scottish Rite and the sixth degree of the French Rite.
seventh degree is called "Knight of the West," or "True Templar." Templarism
until very recently has been hard to understand because it is based wholly on
fiction. In the Templar system the origin of Freemasonry is attributed to the
Templars of the Crusades. After the Moslems had conquered the Holy Land they
profaned the holy places and the Crusaders that were left were at the mercy of
the Saracens and were cruelly persecuted by them. The Templars built up a
system of Masonry in the Temple of Solomon and through it concealed the
mysteries of the Christian religion. When the Templars were completely driven
out of the East some of them took refuge in Scotland where they established
Masonry and from there it was carried to England and to France. The moving
cause of all this fabricated nonsense was to give Masonry ("high degrees") a
most commanding rank in both the political and religious world and make those
who possessed these "high degrees" "high and mighty Masons" to whom the great
and noble, even, must look up.
eighth degree, "Knight of the South," is an Hermetic degree and comes from the
new Gold Rosicrusians, who flourished during the last quarter of the
eighteenth century, when they permeated Masonry. They claimed to be able to
make gold, to prolong life, and restore youth, to summon spirits from the
vasty deep and to partake of the power and knowledge of God. Outside of this
mesmeric, spiritualistic and witchcraftic society, only possible (to any great
extent) in a superstitious age, there was no other, or real Rosicrusian
society, no matter what some Masonic writers have claimed. There were only men
who believed along occult lines, and joined Masonry for the purpose of finding
ninth degree is called the "Favorite Brother of St. Andrew." This is another
one of the mythical crusading degrees and was formed in France, probably,
about the middle of the eighteenth century. This degree comes from one found
in the Rite of Perfection. The twenty-ninth degree of the Scottish Rite comes
from the same source.
all the Orders of Knighthood only one is confined exclusively to Freemasons.
the Duke of Sundermanland, a zealous Freemason, ascended the Swedish throne he
instituted the Order of Charles XIII., to which only Freemasons are admitted.
The King of Sweden is the perpetual Grand Master and the number of Knights in
it is limited to twenty-seven.
are only five Orders of Knighthood in Sweden and one of them was founded more
than six hundred years ago. They are as follows: (1) Order of the Seraphims,
founded in 1285; (2) Order of the Sword, founded by Gustave I. in 1522; (3)
Order of the Polar Star, created in 1748 by King Christian I.; (4) Order of
Wasa, founded in 1772 by King Gustave III., and (5) Order of Charles XIII.,
founded by King Charles XIII. in 181.
Your Loins Be Girded About, and Your Insights Burning"
Bro. PAUL R. CLARK, New York
does a modern business man, trained in the schools of action, and insistent on
results, think about Masonry? What could he have Masonry do? How would he
release and apply he forces latent in a lodge? One will find an answer to
these queries in language direct and unambiguous and now and then a bit
startling, in Brother Clark's paragraphs. Read and consider, and reply, too,
if you wish.
distinguishing characteristic found in most leaders and prophets is vision.
Keen students of Freemasonry recognize its great possibilities. Masonic
thinkers also admit quite freely its shortcomings. They also speak quite
frankly concerning the lack of imagination on the part of too many of the
Masters of the Craft who have not learned to discriminate between the shell
and the kernel.
People usually get what they want - at least the de-ire always precedes the
attainment. We must first have the vision of Freemasonry, as it might be if
the rank and file took Masonry seriously and were willing to consecrate a part
of their lives to it. If the desire were strong enough, the brothers on the
right and left could and could produce results which would surprise even a
most people a vocation is necessary but more and more big men are turning to
an avocation for an outlet for their inborn desire to do something worth while
for their fellowmen before they pass beyond. Why not try Masonry? Service in
the Blue Lodge is moulding character. If you can think of anything greater
than this - you will have to do some fast head-work.
we begin to attract men "for the line" because of their Masonic perfection
instead of because of their ability to excel in Masonic symbolism he shall
startle the world! How can we hope to reach port when our Craft is in the
hands of pilots who devote so much of their time to theoretical symbolism
instead of practical Freemasonry ?
is needed is a deep-seated conviction on the part of a few leaders in each
lodge that a change is necessary; then a willingness to apply what seems to be
a reasonable remedy, and the backbone and nerve to stick to it through thick
and thin even though the results do not at first seem to be worth the effort.
It is a long uphill pull, especially when there is precedent, prejudice and
tradition to overcome.
man can estimate with any degree of accuracy what this old world has lost by
the innate tendency in human nature to reject everything that is new. After
eliminating habit and prejudice, the greatest enemy of originality is fear of
ridicule and contempt which the world has for those who propose something that
is out of the ordinary. Past Masters frequently incarnate this resistance to
so-called innovations and novelties in Masonic activities. We shall make more
progress in bringing Freemasonry close to the hearts of its membership when
Masters of the lodge divest themselves of this tendency to "throw a
monkey-wrench into the machinery" when the proposed activity is being
discussed in our lodges. New blood, the younger element in our Craft, do not
continue to be interested in anything just because their fathers were. If
properly directed, their longing for something more vital than they are
getting can be utilized for the benefit of the Craft.
Masonic lodges, like plants, need trimming occasionally, and the trimming
should not be left in the hands of inexperienced Masons. But, if the
Worshipfuls and R. W's will not do the trimming the younger members of the
Craft will - they will "trim" themselves. That is what has been going on for
some time. Unable to get what they want in the lodge and realizing how
difficult it is to change the Craft they exercise their prerogative and stay
away from the meetings.
MASONIC INACTION AND RUTS
you attempt to sell a person anything and your sales talk fails to arouse
sufficient desire on the part of the prospective customer to ask questions,
you've failed nine times out of ten.
Masons must be "sold" on Freemasonry. If the desire can be created it must be
by different methods than we are now using. If we are so thin-skinned that we
can't stand a little constructive criticism we are in a bad way. Honest
criticism will never irritate a big man or a live lodge and if heeded it
usually leads to progress.
Masonic inaction like still water becomes stagnant with age. It is better to
be accused of Masonic indiscretion once in a while than be eternally guilty of
first great care of Masons when convened" is to get out of Masonic ruts of
doing nothing; and the second great care is to stay out. Masonic character,
like muscles, are either flabby or sturdy, depending upon whether they are
leaders should strive for Masonic perfection. Dogtrot be over concerned about
the possibility of failure. We shall have at least come nearer to the goal by
trying and our Craft will be better for the effort. Someone has said: "If you
think you are right, go ahead. If you happen to be wrong you may back down;
but if you have been right and haven't started, you are in a rut and the only
difference between a rut and a grave is the length and breadth of it."
MASONIC BOLL WEEVIL
Perhaps Freemasonry needs a little opposition to develop its latent powers!
Too much prosperity makes men and organizations indolent and self-satisfied.
The Mexican boll weevil was considered a calamity by the South a few years
ago. Recently the City of Enterprise, in Coffee County, Alabama, erected a
monument to this pest. Why? Because it proved to be a blessing! It taught the
South that it couldn't afford to "put all its eggs in one basket" - in other
words it visualized the necessity for diversified farming.
Societies, organizations, corporations and individuals are just as lazy as
they dare to be. A little opposition might help rather than hinder the Craft.
Anyone can drift along with the tide of "What-Was-Done-Before." It takes a
live fish to breast the current. The Master of a lodge who can buck the
current of prejudice, habit and local traditions, especially when coming from
the Past Masters who were willing to be "fair weather sailors", is worthy of
your support - even if he does make a few mistakes.
find one real satisfactory Masonic idea to arouse Freemasonry from its
"twilight sleep" you may have to try ten - don't be afraid to fail. As Edmund
Vance Cook says, "It isn't the fact that you were licked that counts; it's how
did you fight - and why ?"
LANDMARKS AND TRADITIONS
Precedent and tradition are all right in their places, but too much respect
for them means dry rot. It is surprising how many proposed activities which
Masons think tread on the ancient landmarks, can be done with propriety in a
Masons think we have inherited all the traits of the present order and they
blame traditions for their own lack of initiative. This is rank Masonic
ignorance. The truth of the matter is that we have acquired most of our
Masonic pessimist says, "It has always been like this." The optimist casually
remarks, "We are getting along all right." The Masonic factomist says, "What
are the facts ?" and then is willing to try out a reasonable solution even if
it is an innovation.
and figures are stubborn things. There may be some very illuminating
statistics available which might tell us very interesting things and from
which we might draw some startling conclusions.
remains always what it is today; o pinions change with what you ate for
dinner. The opinions of Masons who do not attend the lodge regularly and take
little or no interest in its labor are vital facts which we must face.
is a deplorable admission and often only too true which is made by some
parents and many Masters: "Raise a child or a Mason in the way they should go
and when they grow up they will do as they please."
Business experience teaches us this important lesson: it is frequently easier
to reach the top rounds of the ladder than it is to stay there. Students
recognize the application of this truth to Freemasonry. Master Masons need our
support most after they reach the top. The reason for this is "just as clear
as mud" to many Masons - but here it is anyway: the "top of the ladder" to
most Masons is acquiring a smattering of Masonic symbolism!
we fail most to realize is that every brother who is raised to the sublime
degree of Master Mason has just completed an air castle - it is up to the
leader of the Craft to build a foundation under it. Their dreams or air
castles may not be the right ones but if they are, the disappointment to some
of them must be staggering. When there is a wide margin in the hearts of
Masons between their anticipations and their realizations, they are
Masonically sick and need a doctor. When a brother is sick physically it is
the usual custom to visit him personally; when he is sick Masonically we give
him absent treatment and then wonder why he doesn't recover.
Lodges even donate money when a brother is financially in trouble, dues are
deferred and every assistance is given during the financial embarrassment.
There are thousands of Masons dead broke and insolvent Masonically and we
never lend a hand! We ought to borrow the Salvation Army Slogan: "A Mason may
be down but he is never out." But instead of getting out in the highways and
the byways to preach Masonic salvation and try to reach some of our brothers
who are Masonically in the gutter, "we tile the lodge" and put through a fresh
batch as fast as the Ritual will permit and then wonder what the trouble is.
Master Masons who are considered as such by their brethren are not working at
their trade. The chief reason for this is that what goes on in the lodge
doesn't hold their interest. Most of the ritualistic work is not unlike
whispering a message in a boiler shop.
Master Masons too frequently measure their progress by the degrees which they
receive rather than the degree with which they throw their influence into the
problem of diffusing more real light in Masonry and teaching the application
of Masonic teachings.
Divide the total membership of our lodges by the number of brothers present:
the result is a fairly accurate picture of whether we are alive or just think
profits in a Masonic lodge are its membership, but the thing that "makes the
mare go" are the net profits, which are the number that attend and how they
there is a germ of Masonic ideals in the hearts of Masons who attend lodge
infrequently, it is dormant and inactive. When we admit that they are beyond
recall, we admit failure. These ideals can be resuscitated. The pulmotor that
will start the pulsation must compete with the movies, the theatre, radio,
lectures, automobiles and card playing, to say nothing of the golf links.
Nine-tenths of the ritualistic work of the average lodge fails to get under
the skin of the brothers present: this is why they don’t come oftener.
is very little doubt that many lodges are having considerable trouble getting
out much more than a "baker's dozen" percentage of the total membership except
on the working of the Third Degree when "eats are served".
organizations, many of them purely social, are attracting a larger percentage
of their members than Masons. "The same old grind - nothing new vitalizing or
gripping," is the comment often given when the question is put to a Mason who
"hasn't time" to attend his lodge.
have all seen the brothers on the side lines slip out before the work is half
completed. That this is the rule rather than the exception doesn't seem to
awaken us to the necessity of looking for the cause.
SYMBOLISM AND RITUALISTIC MASONRY
Mason who has a high regard for the possibilities of the Craft, a man of
mature judgment, a public spirited citizen and who stands high in his
profession, recently made the statement that he thought more of Masonry before
he joined the Order than he did afterwards!
is the typical "cross section" of the staggering percentage of Masons who are
"lost" and who need Masonic salvation.
a well recognized fact that too many lodges devote too large a percentage of
the available time within the lodge to Symbolism and Ritualistic Masonry. Men
of vision, leaders in their chosen vocation and men who are considered
public-spirited, do not spend their time on forms and symbols.
Neither does the rank and file, those who do not consider themselves leaders
or students take an active interest in constant repetition of creeds, dogma,
symbols and prayers.
best Masonic idealism is expressed in its works, not in its beliefs and
symbolisms. Preaching Masonic service! Don't get the "cart before the horse"!
Give a newly-made brother something more gripping than symbolic light in
Freemasonry and you will take the "P" out of Preaching.
Symbols are something that stand for something else. Forget the thing the
symbol stands for and you have an empty shell - a mummery, a jargon of words,
signs and baubles. Intelligent men don't remain interested in titles,
platitudes and forms.
brother is entitled to be called a "Master Mason" after he has raised to the
degree of Master Mason. this doesn't make him a Master of Masonry any more
than putting long pants on a boy of fifteen makes him a man. Symbolically he
has reached the top round of the ladder: actually he hasn't begun to climb.
The tragedy of Masonry is that few have the ambition to climb.
Masonic vaccination "doesn't take" on the average brother when it is confined
to the exposure he received during the first three degrees. If it does take
then the toxin of greater or more potent forces quickly neutralize the Masonic
influence and the brother is not immune to the influences against which
wouldn't rather have laughter in the home than gold plate on the side board ?
"Gold plate" is a symbol of success as success is measured by some people.
When we spend too much time on the symbols we lose the true meaning of the
solution is less emphasis on "mass or group symbolism" in the lodge and more
individual work among those in the Craft who have a sincere desire for real
light in Masonry.
are as many different shades of Masonry in a lodge as there are members -
every Mason has a different conception of what it means to him - but too many
admit that it islet a vital part of their lives.
many Masons, Masonic illiteracy is a crime. To such as these, Masonic
education is possible through study clubs. Live men seldom become enthusiastic
about something they know little about. This is the reason we should
discriminate between "lip service" and real service.
brother who is Masonically educated has a good chance of becoming a real
"Master Mason", regardless of what you choose to tag him in the meantime.
you a Mason ? Symbolically, yes. You have received all the symbolic light that
the degrees call for in our Ritual. The average brother doesn't grasp
one-third of what he heard when he passed through the three degrees and has
forgotten 90 per cent of what he did grasp. To get real light in Masonry one
must be willing to study it. There is only one man in fifty who can study
anything alone; that is why the study club movement is necessary.
Memorizing symbolic words demands so much of our time that we have little time
left for getting an understanding of the meaning of the symbols. We haven't
scratched the surface in most of our lodges.
their works ye shall know them," is the message that came from the lips of the
greatest spiritual leader within the memory of man.
Craft will be just as vital in the affairs of men as the rank and file of the
brothers that compose it are, Masonically, "working at their trade."
Puget- Sound to Cape Cod and from the Canadian border to the Gulf are
community problems; and everywhere you place your finger on the map you will
probably find a Masonic craft at work, awaiting the call of some leader who
will start the leaven working. An opportunity for real service is given to
every Master Mason who can get the vision for this great possibility. The
solution is with you in your lodge.
woof and warp of the Masonic fabric are the brothers on the side lines.
Designs in the tapestry may be conceived by a few leaders in the Fraternity
but the weaving is in the hands of the rank and file of the Craft.
Masonic slacker is the brother who has confused `'opportunity for pleasure"
with "obligation for service", and then complains about devitalized Masonry!
FRIENDS AND MASONRY
Emerson says that "the only way to have a friend is to be one". We can learn
much from this. The only way to develop real, genuine Masonic friendship is to
be a Mason. "Being a Mason" starts with a desire and ends with Masonic
knowledge and its practical application in our very-day lives.
Unless we are willing to give something to the Craft we shall take very little
out of it that will be worth while. Too many are playing the "put and take"
game - with emphasis on the taking. The average lodge and an auto are alike
in at least one respect - there is always work to be done around both.
you want to have fresh milk on the table at 7 A. M. (Masonically speaking)
someone has to get up at five o'clock in the morning and milk the cow. Are you
willing to do your share of the lodge chores ?
the lodge but don't tile your mind and park your Masonic intelligence in the
ante-room. When Operative Masonry held full sway in England, Masons were known
by their works in the lodge, not what they believed in.
need something more than just routine labor - Masonry is starving for brain
work - and the pitiable fact is that we don't realize there are oodles of
brains and intelligence in the Craft. The problem is to get at it and use it.
The old two-cylinder Packard car was an efficient machine compared with its
latest twin-six sister when the latter is hitting on only four cylinders.
talk about our progress, the phenomenal increase in our membership, etc., but
the ratio of what we accomplish now with our increased possibilities is low.
problems have increased faster than our membership: if you are willing to
acknowledge this, then we must admit we are falling behind. The call for real
service through the dedication of our time and intelligence to our Craft is as
patent to our leaders as two and two equal four.
would rather be able to report to the Grand Master that every member of my
lodge voted (one way or the other) at last year's elections than that we
increased our membership umpty umpty per cent during the same period. The Star
Spangled Banner is a symbol and it is all right to cheer and doff our hats as
it passes down the avenue with the brass band playing the national anthem.
Next time you do this remember these words: "Little over 48 per cent of the
total votes are ever cast at a national election and the stability of our
Democracy depends upon whether we intelligently exercise our rights as
citizens." Let us of the Masonic Craft set the example and teach this gospel
far and wide.
is rampant in our Government, because you and I are indifferent. A Mason who
votes regularly and attends lodge occasionally is a better Mason than one who
attends lodge regularly and votes occasionally. Statistics prove few do
either. If Freemasonry doesn’t teach us our obligation to our citizenship it
isn't worthy of its traditions.
the Craft could be known only by the progress it has made in getting its
members to discharge their duty as citizens at the polls at election, it will
have accomplished something worth while.
public schools, a revision of our judiciary system, the proposed amendment to
the Federal Constitution relating to child labor are but a few of the problems
which confront us as citizens. Groping in the dark like poor blind candidates,
most of us are making no effort through our lodges to dispel this darkness and
help to mold public opinion.
US KEEP OUR EYE ON THE BALL"
you know anything about baseball or golf, you know what this means. It applies
equally to Freemasonry.
Freemasonry must "fish or cut bait". We can't stand still. We must keep up
with the procession or step out of the line.
your eye on the ball! The heart of Masonry is "The Fatherhood of God and the
Brotherhood of Man!" If the average Mason can grasp this in the first ten
years of his Masonic life he has a brilliant mind. This is not a slam at his
intelligence; it is criticism of the methods we use in our lodges.
don't give him a chance to find out what it is all about. Until we devote more
of our time and attention to watching the ball we shall miss it entirely.
the Masonic Craft can interpret its Masonic teachings in terms of real live
active Brotherhood of Man, there isn't a problem confronting us which it
BUT NOT LEAST
WARNING! One of the dangers of identifying yourself too boldly with a
progressive Masonic movement is that your friends may accuse you twenty years
from now of being a reactionary.
greatest thing any man can do in this world is to encourage another who has a
real message that the world should hear. Don't be afraid of ridicule.
Opposition to a new thought or a new idea has been and still is almost insane
in its obstinacy.
"standpatters" and the "reactionaries" in your lodge, in your club, in your
business and in every walk of human activity are here to stay and like the
"poor will always be with us". Don't under-estimate the resistance you will
encounter in trying to "divest Masonry of its legion of superfluities".
beauty and bigness of Masonic teachings will never perish as long as we keep
our ears close to the ground and our hand on the pulse and are willing to
maintain an open mind.
Masonry isn't thin-skinned; it can stand a little criticism and it might be
necessary to clear the ground a little here and there in order to make way for
a larger building so vital in the affairs of men that we can truthfully say,
"A structure not made with hands eternal in the heavens.”
Freemasonry in Ontario
Bro. JAMES B. NIXON, President Toronto Society for Masonic Research, and Bro.
N. W. J. HAYDON, Associate Editor, Canada
May, 1824, the Provincial Grand Lodge assembled at Kingston to lay a
cornerstone with Masonic honors, this being the first time that ceremony was
performed in this I ~ Province, and in the autumn of that year the new
warrants at last arrived from England. But the clouds had begun to gather
again, for R. W. Bro. Fitzgibbon and V. W. Bro. Turquand both found their
Masonic duties too onerous and desired to resign. The former had appointed W.
Bro. Rev. Wm. Smart of Brockville to act for him in the Eastern District, but
withdrew his warrant, being advised that he had no power to issue it.
was, therefore, with considerable hope that responsible brethren awaited the
return of R. W. Bro. McGillivray to again straighten out the tangles and the
annual session of the Provincial Grand Lodge in August was adjourned to suit
his arrival. However, a beginning was made towards the organization of a
Masonic Home and school for the children and orphans of brethren.
Bro. McGillivray did not arrive at York until September 16, by which time all
the visiting delegates had returned to their homes.
consultation he accepted the resignation of R. W. Bro. Fitzgibbon and
appointed Bro. John Beikie in his place. To meet the growing needs of the
Provincial Grand Lodge he ordered that the annual meetings should alternate
between Kingston and York, and approved the appointment of a Grand Visitor who
should travel among the lodges solely for the purpose of Masonic instruction
and as an auxiliary to the Worshipful Masters; not, as was proposed, as a
censor, or as a delegate to the Provincial Grand Lodge for the lodges. A very
important step forward was made by joining with the Provincial Grand Master
for Lower Canada in sending a petition to the Grand Master in England praying
that in the event of the death, resignation, or suspension or removal of the
Provincial Grand Master the work of the Provincial Grand Lodge should not be
interrupted until his successor be appointed, as was then the rule, but that
the special conditions "in the Canadas" be recognized by allowing the Deputy
Provincial Grand Master and other officers to carry on until a new Provincial
Grand Master be regularly installed.
Another very necessary step was the formation of a register for the Provincial
Grand Lodge, as it was found that lodges were using numbers given by both the
first and the second Provincial Grand Lodges as well as those given by the
Grand Lodge of England, while some working under dispensations granted by R.
W. Bro. Fitzgibbons had not been reported and were without proper authority.
Bro. McGillivray returned to England in February, 1826, so much disappointed
at the poor success of his efforts to instill regularity into the Masonic
affairs of Upper Canada, that he threatened to resign. Although he did not do
so, his business took him to Mexico between 1829-36, and he did not return to
Canada until 1838.
year 1826 saw three meetings of the Provincial Grand Lodge at the first of
which R. W. Bro. Beikie was installed as Deputy Provincial Grand Master and it
was made known that the Provincial Grand Lodge was indebted to R. W. Bro.
McGillivray for some hundreds of pounds advanced by him to carry various
lodges over their financial depression. This was gradually repaid, and their
first Constitutions were printed at a cost of 75 pounds. At the third meeting
the idea of the first strictly Masonic Temple was discussed and the office of
Grand Architect was created to keep it before them, there being "no funds then
visible" for the project.
October of that year R. W. Bro. Beikie wrote to R. W. Bro. McGillivray asking
to be relieved of his office as the expenses connected therewith were too
heavy for him. At this time the lodges at Amherstburgh and Cornwall, the
extreme points of the Provincial Grand Jurisdiction, were 500 miles apart so
that proper superintendence was most difficult and expensive under the
conditions of the times. Sussex Lodge, Brockville, was this year the first on
record to take up Masonic study, as they engaged Bro. Abraham Kingsley to
deliver a series of lectures to them.
ANTI-MASONRY IS FELT IN CANADA
mention might be made here of the Morgan trouble, which so greatly affected
the Craft in the United States that anti-Masonry became part of the platform
of a presidential candidate and rendered many lodges in New England dormant
for years. This man had lived at York between 1820-22, but returned to
Rochester, N. Y., in 1823, and visited a lodge in Batavia, claiming to have
been made in Canada, for which there is no evidence. On the same basis he was
admitted to a chapter at LeRoy, N.Y., and was accepted as a charter member of
another at Batavia. But his known character was the cause of so much objection
that a new charter list was drawn up without his signature. This offended him
sorely and he contracted with David Miller, of Batavia, to publish the
so-called Illustrations of Masonry. Miller had been regularly initial but
refused advancement of his bad reputation. The costs of publication were too
much for the pair and Morgan was arrested for debts. One of these was paid and
he was taken away, being very willing to leave his creditors and family at
Batavia, and imprisoned at the fort at Niagara where he was visited by several
Masons who were attending the installation there of Col. King as a Knight
Templar. The story that at this installation two brethren were chosen by lot
to cross the river with a parcel, which they started to do, but having "lost
it overboard" returned, has never been supported; nor has the other story that
he was ferried across and handed over to two Canadian Masons by whom he was
taken to Hamilton to make a new start ever been proved. It is simply in
keeping with his known character that he disappeared and it is equally true
that the body buried as his at Batavia was identified by its clothing as that
of another man, a fisherman, who had also disappeared.
1826 to 1834 it appears as though the indifference of the Grand Lodge of
England towards its lodges in Upper Canada was only equalled by the neglect of
the Provincial Grand Lodge officers of their duties, but it should be added in
extenuation that such were chosen more for their social standing and their
ability to carry the financial burdens of office, than for any special
interest in the welfare of the Craft. The Provincial Grand Secretary, V. W.
Bro. Turquand, complained bitterly of the tax on his resources; which was
brought by the duties of his office, and although the Provincial Grand Lodge
voted him various sums, these were never adequate. It is not surprising, then,
to find in a few years an agitation for the formation of a Grand Lodge for
1834 the town of York became incorporated as the city of Toronto and its
strength as a Masonic center was such that the local brethren were desirous of
its becoming the permanent seat of Masonic government, as well as of political
power. It is recorded that a resolution was passed in St. Andrew's Lodge
forming a committee to correspond with the Grand Lodge of England to that end.
Apparently the results were unsatisfactory, and in November, 1835, a
convention was held at Oxford, now Ingersol, to discuss local action, and in
February, 1836, we read in the minutes of Mt. Moriah Lodge, London, that a
Grand Lodge was formed with Bro. Wm. Putnam elected as Grand Master, and a
full complement of officers. This effort did not endure, and in 1837 Bro.
Auldjo, a friend of R. W. Bro. McGillivray and an officer of the United Grand
Lodge of England, being about to leave for Canada, was appointed by the latter
as his Deputy, to appoint such Provincial Grand officers as might be necessary
and to report to him on conditions as he found them.
is no record of such report having been made and from 1829 to 1845 the
Provincial Grand Lodge appears to have been dormant; at all events it
published no reports. Letters from W. Bro. W. J. Kerr, of Toronto, and W. Bro.
T. M. Jones, of Goderich, both officers of the Provincial Grand Lodge,
referring to a proposed Grand Lodge have been preserved. but it seems evident
that the political troubles of the times were to engrossing, accompanied as
they were by military action.
Between 1838-39 R. W. Bro. McGillivray again visited Upper Canada, and in
November of the latter year reported to the Grand Master outlining a plan for
another reorganization. His death, in 1840, seems to have extinguished
whatever interest had been aroused in England by his work in Canada. It is
impossible to account for the apathy of the Grand Lodge of England in relation
to Canada. As in 1795-1800, and 1817-22, so between 1840-44, moneys sent were
not acknowledged and urgent letters were left unanswered. Finally, in 1842, R.
W. Bro. Ziba M. Phillips, who had been Deputy Provincial Grand Master in 1822,
and was the only officer of that rank living in Upper Canada, sent out
circulars from Brockville calling for a new Masonic Convention at Kingston.
Four lodges only were represented, as those west of Kingston did not respond.
A strong desire for independence was shown, and Bro. the Hon. R. B. Sullivan
was recommended for Provincial Grand Master in "Canada West" under the Grand
Lodge of England.
ANOTHER GRAND LODGE IS ORGANIZED
answer was received to this, nor to a similar appeal sent after the next
convention in 1843. A better attended convention was held the next year at
Smith's Falls, R. W. Bro. Phillips presiding, at which those present
constituted themselves into a Grand Lodge though still acknowledging the
authority of the Grand Lodge of England. This body also was short-lived, but
it had the effect of stirring the dissentient brethren in the Western
District, especially those of St. Andrew's Lodge, which still held the
original Provincial warrant issued by R. W. Bro. McGillivray. As a result,
Bro. T. G. Ridout, Worshipful Master of this lodge, having to visit England in
1845, was authorized to see what he could effect towards reviving their
warrant and connection as a Provincial Grand Lodge and requesting that he be
appointed as Deputy Provincial Grand Master.
this time is recorded another of the extraordinary features that marked our
connections with the Mother Grand Lodge. In December, 1841, Sir Allan MacNab
was initiated in St. Andrew's Lodge; in January next he was passed in Barton
Lodge, Hamilton, but he was not raised until December, 1842. While still a
Fellowcraft he visited Scotland, and at Edinburgh in August received from the
Grand Lodge of Scotland a patent as Provincial Grand Master for Canada
generally! Just why, or how, is not known, but as he was a prominent man it
must have been due to social pressure. This appointment was not announced to
the brethren concerned, either by him or otherwise, but it would have had
little weight as such allegiance as they owned was to the Grand Lodge of
England. Then, in 1844, while on a visit to England, he received by similar
methods the appointment of Provincial Grand Master for Canada West, and again,
no announcement of this step was made either by him or the Grand Lodge!
May, 1845, Barton Lodge assembled to consider the proposal to send W. Bro.
Ridout to England and not until then did Sir Allan announce his appointments
and produce his warrants, to the very great surprise and dissatisfaction of
his Masonic subordinates, who could not but then admit that he held the reins
August, 1845, the third Provincial Grand Lodge was organized at Hamilton, with
the new chief presiding and twenty-seven delegates in attendance from the
seven most important lodges. W. Bro. Ridout had departed on his journey, but
the Provincial Grand Master recognized his value to the Craft by appointing
him Deputy Provincial Grand Master as well as other necessary officers. On his
return Bro. Ridout not only accepted the position and met its duties, but
carried also those of his chief, for Sir Allan did not attend again until
June, 1848, nor did he issue any warrants under his Scotch patent in Upper
Canada. Between his appointment in 1844 and the final meeting of the
Provincial Grand Lodge in 1857 it is recorded that out of thirty-three
meetings he attended only five!
Meantime the Provincial Grand Lodge at Brockville, headed by R. W. Bro.
Phillips, continued to issue warrants and act in other ways as the Provincial
Grand Master believed it had authority to, so correspondence followed in which
he frankly offered to unite with the brethren at Toronto "if a union could
take place on fair and just Masonic principles."
June, 1847, the Provincial Grand Lodge at Toronto, having grown wealthy,
applied to Parliament for an Act of Incorporation so that its lodges could
hold property, and in August the first Board of General Purposes was formed,
with W. Bro. Sir John Bonnycastle, of St. John's Lodge, of Kingston, as
president. At their annual convention in this year their lodges gained
permission to bring with them to Grand Lodge each its own symbolic banner,
none of which were to be larger "than one yard square."
IMPORTANT DECISIONS WERE MADE
June, 1848, two decisions of importance were reached, the first, necessitated
by greatly increased membership under unsettled conditions, being that "no
brother can resign while under charges for unMasonic conduct." The second
authorized the unification of the work, which was at this time a medley of
English, Irish, Scotch and American (Webb), depending on where the officers
had been taught.
1850 the Grand Lodge of England was petitioned to grant larger powers to the
Provincial Grand Lodge as the great difficulties attendant on each lodge
making its own returns direct to England resulted in their not doing so at
all, whereas if these were made through the Provincial Grand Secretary, the
necessary supervision could be exercised.
was followed in 1852 by a resolution that the formation of an independent
Grand Lodge in full control of its own affairs was the only way out of the
many annoyances to which Canadian Masons were subjected. At this time, too,
the first steps were taken towards establishing the system of benevolence now
in 1853 this request was repeated, with the reminder that drafts sent and duly
paid by the banks in London had never been acknowledged. It is recorded that
the lodges in Toronto were so annoyed by the neglect of the Grand Secretary to
send receipts or other documents, that money was no longer sent him except by
brethren going to London, who were instructed to hold the funds until the
certificates or warrants were prepared and handed over.
1854 the second step was taken towards the erection of a temple in Toronto by
the granting of an annual sum from the Provincial Grand Lodge to that end, to
be invested until sufficient was obtained to complete the project. Notice had
to be taken, too, of the growing activities of lodges warranted by the Grand
Lodge of Ireland. A convention of these lodges, called by King Solomon's Lodge
at Toronto in November, 1853, had memoralized their Grand Lodge for power to
form an independent Grand Lodge for Canada West. The reply offered them a
Provincial Grand Lodge and asked them to name a Provincial Grand Master. But
at their convention in May, 1855, it was decided to send delegates to the
convention of the English lodges at Niagara Falls, with a view to united
action, and their influence had a decisive effect.
1855, saw the Provincial Grand Lodge at Niagara Falls and it was decided in
view of the inattention to their requests on the part of the English
authorities to send Bro. R. H. Townsend, of London, as a "special agent of
this Provincial Grand Lodge" with full power to act and, further, to employ a
"working brother in London, England, to act as agent of this Provincial Grand
Lodge in London." One can only wonder at and admire the long-suffering loyalty
to a callous parent exhibited by our Masonic ancestors.
September, 1855, a committee of the Grand Lodge of England reported,
acknowledging and regretting the causes for complaint on the part of the
Provincial Grand Lodge of Canada West and recommending that the Constitution
of the Grand Lodge of England be: amended to permit the request of the
petition concerning remittances and returns. But this was only locking the
stable after the horse was gone for, at the convention at Niagara Falls, a
motion was put by V. W. Bro. Wm. Mercer Wilson, G.S.W., W.M., of Norfolk
Lodge, Simcoe, that "delegation from all the lodges in the Province, under all
jurisdictions, be invited to meet at an early date, to take the necessary
steps . . . for the purpose of forming an Independent Grand Lodge." This
motion was lost, because of the report from England, but the strong influence
of Norfolk Lodge, where independence had long been favored, coupled with the
weight of the Irish delegates, resulted in an impromptu meeting of the
Independent party at Niagra Falls, the day following the convention, when it
was decided to meet at Hamilton in October and "proceed with such matters as
may be deemed desirable for the benefit of Masonry in this province."
Accordingly the representatives of forty-one lodges assembled at Hamilton in
October with R.W.Bro. Chas. Magill, of Barton Lodge, P.G.J.W., in the chair,
and a resolution was passed detailing in courteous but unmistakable language
the many grievances under which the Craft had suffered at the hands of the
authorities in England, and finally that "in order to apply a remedy to the
evils . . . it is expedient, right and our bounder duty to form a Grand Lodge
of Canada." This passed after some discussion, with but one dissentient, who -
strange to say - was R. W. Bro. Kivas Tully, representing King Solomon's
Lodge, Toronto, the rallying point of the Irish section, who felt he could not
act without instructions from his lodge though, personally, he heartily
concurred. A constitution was adopted and the first Grand Master was Colonel
Wm. M. Wilson, with R. W. Bro. G. Bernard, of St. George's Lodge, Montreal, as
his Deputy, and R. W. Bros. W. C. Stephens, of Acacia Lodge, Hamilton, W. B.
Simpson, of Sussex Lodge, Brockville, and W. Eadan, as the first District
Deputies for the Western, Central and Eastern Districts of the newly formed
Nov. 2, the convention met again at Hamilton and the new Grand Lodge officers
were installed by M. W. Bro. the Hon. H. T. Backus, P. G. M. of the Grand
Lodge of Michigan, after which an address and statement of the event and the
causes antecedent was sent to all Masonic jurisdictions with a request for
stated above, forty-one lodges organized themselves into a sovereign Grand
Lodge for Canada, but there were nineteen lodges which chose to retain their
allegiance to England through their Provincial Grand Lodge, and these held a
convention in Toronto in October, 1855, at which twelve lodges were
represented. with R. W. Bro. T. G. Ridout presiding. Despite their past
experience, they decided to again Demoralize the authorities at home,
expressing their loyalty and asking for suitable action. They also severed
relations with the independent lodges. No reply was received and at the
convention in May, next year, the loss of seven lodges was recorded. Against
this they drew some comfort from a report of Bro. Townsend, their special
agent to England, from which it appeared that the Mother Grand Lodge had been
forced to notice at last the delinquency of its executive officers. He had
appeared at the quarterly meeting in March, 1866 with the result that a
resolution was passed granting practical independence, reserving only the
right to appoint Provincial Grand Masters from names sub misted by the
Provincial Grand Lodges and extending similar privileges to all other
Provincial Grand Lodge: when request should be made. This would, probably have
been satisfactory, but the Earl of Zetland, Grand Master, spoiled the good
effect by making a statement of excuse for his neglect in which he voiced a
pride of office which was thoroughly offensive to his Canadian brethren, as
well as to many of his own Grand Lodge members, so that the matter was a cause
for heated discussion at their next quarterly communications in June and
September, as well as in Canada when the reports arrived there. Even the Grand
Master of the Grand Lodge of New York, who had been first asked to install M.
W. Bro. Wilson and his officers, and had refused, was unwise enough to
publicly criticise them for doing exactly what his own Grand Lodge had done
some seventy-five years before as a result of similar treatment.
Lodge of Instruction
Bro. JOHN J. LANIER, Virginia
JOHN J. LANIER, Fredericksburg, Virginia, has devised a unique method of
Masonic education that may be used in a lodge itself, in a Study Club, or in
an informal gathering of Masonic students. The Lodge of Instruction, properly
so called, deals only with the Ritual; Masonic lectures deal with all manner
of subjects; Bro. Lanier has combined the two in a ritual that is entirely
apart front the regular work, but at the same time interprets its deeper
meanings, and is so devised that, with the addition of a few characters, it
may be exemplified by the officers of a regular lodge, albeit in unofficial
session. A small section of this drama of instruction is given here, with the
author's permission, the whole of it being too long for inclusion. Readers
interested in this new plan of Masonic education may address the author. Bro.
Lanier has published a number of books, among them being The Master Mason;
Masonry and Citizenship; Washington, the Great American Mason; The Daughter of
Hiram Abif; Masonry and Protestantism, etc. - Editor.
alarm is heard at the door)
JUNIOR DEACON - Worshipful Master, I hear someone knocking for admission.
MASTER - See who presumes to disturb our solemn assembly.
JUNIOR DEACON (Goes out, returns and says) - Nine Master Masons are waiting
without - a Christian Bishop, a Rabbi, a Buddhist, a Mohammedan, a Parsee, a
Confucian, a Philosopher, a Scientist, and an Agnostic.
MASTER - Brother Junior Deacon, you say that among the Brethren there is an
Agnostic. An Agnostic is one who neither denies nor asserts there is a God and
does not see how anyone can. He must be a member of a lodge with whom we are
not in communion. Return and make further investigation.
JUNIOR DEACON - I have made further investigation, and find that I was not as
careful as I should have been in making my first report. The Brother is a
member of this lodge, and is not an Agnostic in the sense of one who is
doubtful of the existence of God, but is agnostic about Masonry.
says that Masonry is not worth while; that it has no light he cannot get
elsewhere; that it has no philosophy; is nothing but a poor kind of social
club whose obligations are not taken seriously.
comes only at the earnest request of the Bishop who believes that our Lodge of
Instruction will remove his agnosticism.
MASTER - Brother Junior Deacon, your explanation is satisfactory. Admit the
are admitted, approach the altar and make the proper signs, after which the
THE GREAT ARCHITECT OF THE UNIVERSE, THE ONLY GOD, IN WHOM WE LIVE AND MOVE
AND HAVE OUR BEING, BE ASCRIBED ALL POWER, DOMINION, AND GLORY, NOW AND
So may it be.
remain standing before the altar)
MASTER - Our Lodge of Instruction will continue with a short catechism of the
fundamentals of Masonry.
does our Masonic Lodge represent?
ANSWER - The universe.
MASTER - What do you see before you?
ANSWER - The holy altar of Masonry.
MASTER - What do you see on it?
ANSWER - The Great Lights of Masonry.
MASTER - What enables you to see these?
ANSWER - The Lesser Lights of Masonry.
MASTER - What do they represent?
MASTER - What does this teach you ?
ANSWER - Through nature to God.
MASTER - Why ?
ANSWER - Because without the Lesser Lights we could not see the Greater
MASTER - In ancient times men erected altars on "high places" and offered
burnt sacrifices on them. Why did they do this?
ANSWER - For two reasons. They erected their altars on high places because
they thought that their gods dwelt there, with whom they came into communion
by sharing with them a real meal. The worshippers ate the gross forms of food,
while the gods ate finer forms which went off in the gases and odors.
MASTER - You said altars were erected for two purposes to God in ancient
times. You have told me only one. What is the other reason?
ANSWER - To propitiate the wrath of their gods.
MASTER - What does the altar which is placed in the center of every Masonic
ANSWER - It is the symbol of sacrifice.
MASTER - What is that sacrifice ?
ANSWER - We must sacrifice our lives for our families, our country, and our
God, should it be necessary.
MASTER - You are right, my Brother; the altar of Masonry is the symbol of
Love's sacrifice, the Brotherhood of Man.
said that the First Great Light in Masonry is the Holy Bible. Beginning with
the Rabbi, and proceeding down the line, each of you will tell me what the
Holy Bible of Masonry is.
- The Old Testament.
BISHOP - The Old and New Testaments.
PARSEE - The Zend Avesta.
BUDDHIST - The Vedas.
CONFUCIAN - The writings of Confucius.
PHILOSOPHER - The Holy Bible of Masonry is written in the soul of mankind,
which the greatest sages and thinkers have transcribed into the sacred books
of all great civilizations. I can therefore take my obligation on any of the
books the brethren have named.
SCIENTIST - I agree with the Philosopher, but in addition will add that the
revelation of God is written in the constitution of the universe as well as in
the souls of men; in the rocks, in every dewdrop; "in the meanest flower that
grows," as Wordsworth says; and as Paul says, "The invisible things of Him are
clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made. even His eternal
power and Godhead."
AGNOSTIC - My reason is my guide to Deity, as the Scientist has said, for
when I dive into my soul I find there the name of God written on His last and
greatest creation, the soul of man. I find this is taught in the sacred books
of all nations.
MASTER - You are all right, and your answers show the universality of Masonry,
which means that God has not left Himself without witness in any nation.
will ask you all to answer this question together. Whom does the Great Light
of Masonry teach that God is ?
TOGETHER - The Father of spirits.
PHILOSOPHER - I assent to that, for as Anaxogoras ;aid: "If an ox could think,
his god would be an infinite ox," which means that the First Great Cause can
certainly be no less than man is. I am a person, and no less than I am can be
the Author of my existence and being. Therefore I believe in the personality
MASTER - Where do you find the Fatherhood of God taught ?
In the sacred books of all nations.
MASTER - Will our good Bishop give us the words in which his sacred book
BISHOP - "God is the Father of spirits, and they that worship Him must worship
Him in spirit and in truth."
MASTER - Will the Rabbi tell us where his sacred book teaches the same truth ?
- In many passages, such for instance as these: "I will be a father to thee;
Israel is my son; thou, O Jehovah, art our father ;" and in Genesis where it
is said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness."
MASTER - What is the Second Corner Stone of Masonry ?
The Brotherhood of man.
MASTER - The Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of man are two Corner
Stones of Masonry. What are the other Corner Stones?
The immortality of Man and Prayer.
MASTER - Where is the immortality of man taught?
In the sublime degree of a Master Mason.
AGNOSTIC - We are getting some light in this Lodge of Instruction.
BISHOP - I told you, my Brother, that your agnosticism was not well founded.
AGNOSTIC - My good Bishop, as I have often told you, I am glad to be rid of
Let the good work go on.
PARSEE - We have been worshipping God under the symbol of light for thousands
BISHOP AND RABBI - Yes; when our Scriptures speak of God as light we borrowed
that from you.
MASTER - This is certainly interesting. We are getting more light than we
expected. But we must conclude our catechism with the Fourth Corner Stone of
Masonry, which is Prayer. What is Prayer?
PARSEE - Prayer is communion of spirit with spirit, the finite with the
MASTER - Have you not left out of your definition of Prayer the ideas of
petition and changing the will either of God or man?
PARSEE - The communion of spirit with spirit contains the idea of petition,
and changing the will of man to conform to the will of God. We leave that to
the individual need of the one who prays.
HINDOO - Should the Brethren desire it, we shall be glad to give them our
highest idea of prayer, which your own poet Wordsworth has so beautifully and
MASTER - We shall be glad to hear it.
HINDOO - Prayer is communion of spirit, when spirit with spirit meets face to
face, which Wordsworth describes in these beautiful lines:
such high hour
visitation from the living God
Thought is not, in enjoyment expires.
thanks we breathe, we proffer no request;
into still communion that transcends
imperfect offices of prayer and praise,
mind is a thanksgiving to the power
makes us. It is blessedness and love,
first virgin passion of the soul
communion with the glorious universe."
offer it to you, Worshipful Master, for what it may be worth to the Brethren.
MASTER - Thank you, my Brother; we are sure that many will find it helpful. We
highly value the great contribution the sages of India have made to our Craft,
and not only to the sages of India, but the sages of all the nations here
Lord, give me the power every day
voice some word of hope, some sign of cheer
happy line to buoy again a heart
That's weighted down by hopelessness and fear.
me to show, in flaming words of Truth
way to some weak Brother on the road,
Return to him the manliness of youth
stand erect beneath his heavy load.
would not take from him his right to show
world that he can rise again and walk
conquer all his burdens and his care
all his tempting devils gaily mock.
let me say some heartening word to him
strength his back and call to life his Will;
story of Our Brother's rugged Cross
how He bore Himself upon the hill.
Grand Lodge of New Brunswick
Copied by permission from ``Freemasonry in Canada";
compiled by Bro. OSBORNE SHEPPARD, Hamilton, Ontario
history of Freemasonry in New Brunswick may be said to have commenced the 7th
of November, 1783, when Jared Betts wrote from St. Ann's, N. S., now
Fredericton, the capital of New Brunswick, to Joseph Peters, Secretary of the
Master's Lodge, No. 211, Halifax, to know if he could proceed under a warrant
which he held, granted by Dermott, who is described as the Grand Master of
Ireland. The authority to this warrant was denied and a dispensation was
actually issued from the two warranted lodges, Nos. 155 and 211, then existing
at Halifax. On August 22, 1792, a warrant was granted by the Provincial Grand
Lodge at Halifax to Ephraim Betts and others, at St. Ann's, for Solomon's
Lodges, No. 22 - now No. 6 - registry of New Brunswick. New Brunswick was made
a separate Province in 1784, and the first lodge instituted there September 7,
1784, was Hiram Lodge. The second lodge instituted was St. George Lodge,
Maugerville, 1788. The third lodge, New Brunswick, was instituted at
Fredericton in 1789.
1795 Hiram Lodge "rebelled" against the authority of the Provincial Grand
Lodge at Halifax by which it had been warranted as No. 17. On September 7,
1796, its warrant was withdrawn by the Provincial Grand Lodge, and all its
members, twenty-two in number, were "expelled for apostacy," etc. There were,
so far as can be ascertained, five lodges in New Brunswick contemporary with
Hiram Lodge, viz.: New Brunswick, No. 541, at Fredericton; St. George, No. 19,
at Maugerville, 1788; Zion, No. 29, at Kingston, Kings County New Brunswick,
1792; Solomon's, No. 22, at Fredericton, 1792; Hiram York, No. 23, at
Fredericton, 1793. The first of these lodges was chartered by the Grand Lodge
of England, and the others by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia. All
of these ceased to exist many years ago. Of the lodges existing at present in
New Brunswick, St. John's Lodge, No. 2, is the oldest, and was constituted
April 5, 1802, under al warrant issued by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Nova
Scotia. The ceremony was performed by the R. W. Bro. William Campbell, Deputy
Grand Master at St. John.
it is undoubtedly a fact that steps were taken toward the formation of a Grand
Lodge as early as the year 1829, and the Rev. Benjamin Gerrish Gray, D. D.,
Rector of Trinity Church, was actually elected as Grand Master, no further
proceedings were taken, and the Grand Lodge so attempted to be formed
apparently died a natural death,
the year 1867, however, after the confederation of the various Provinces of
Canada. there was a meeting of the Masters and Past Masters of lodges held in
the city of St. John on August 16, 1867, looking to the formation of a Grand
Lodge. There were present representatives from Albion Lodge, St. John's Lodge,
Carleton Union Lodge of Portland, New Brunswick Lodge, Hibernia Lodge and
Leinster Lodge. It was resolved at this meeting to address a circular to all
the lodges in New Brunswick under the jurisdiction of England, Ireland and
Scotland, stating that this meeting deemed it desirable that a convention be
held to consider the present position of Masonic affairs in the Province, and
to take such action thereon as may be deemed necessary, the lodges so
addressed to be requested to authorize their Masters, Past Masters and Wardens
to meet in such convention. Pursuant to this resolution a meeting was held in
the city of St. John on the 9th and 10th of October, 1867. There were present
representatives from Albion Lodge, St. John's Lodge, Solomon's Lodge, Carleton
Union Lodge, Midian Lodge, Union Lodge of Portland, Woodstock Lodge, St.
George Lodge, Alley Lodge, Howard Lodge, Northumberland Lodge, Miramichi
Lodge, Zetland Lodge, New Brunswick Lodge, Hibernia Lodge, Sussex Lodge,
Leinster Lodge, St. Andrew's Lodge, and Lodge St. Andrew.
GRAND LODGE IS FORMED
Bro. B. Lester Peters, P. M., of Albion Lodge, was called to the chair and W.
Bro. Wedderburn, P. M., of St. John's Lodge, was requested to act as
Secretary. At this meeting it was resolved to form a Grand Lodge of New
Brunswick. The delegates from St. Andrew's Lodge asked and obtained permission
to retire from the convention, and the delegates from Howard and Zetland
Lodges stated that, though personally in favor of the resolution, they had no
authority to record a vote for their respective lodges. The remainder of the
lodges unanimously voted in favor of forming a Grand Lodge of New Brunswick.
R. W. Bro. Robert T. Clinch was unanimously, and by acclamation, elected Most
Worthy Grand Master. Bro. Clinch, however, while appreciating the compliment
paid him, declined to accept the office on account of the official position he
held as District Grand Master under the Most-Worthy Grand Master of the Grand
Lodge of England, and which he had not resigned. In consequence thereof, W.
Bro. B. Lester Peters was unanimously elected in his place as the first Most
Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New Brunswick, together with the
following: William Wedderburn, Deputy Grand Master; Hon. William Flewelling,
Senior Grand Warden; David Brown Junior Grand Warden Rev William Donald, D.
D., Grand Chaplain, and William H. A. Keans, Grand Treasurer; William F.
Bunting, Grand Secretary.
January 22, 1868, the Grand Master-elect and the other Grand Officers were
duly installed "in the presence of a large and influential gathering of the
Craft," of the Registries of England, Ireland and Scotland, "from all parts of
the Province," by W. Bro. John Willis, Past Master of Hibernia Lodge, and the
Senior Past Master of the jurisdiction. The Grand Lodge was thereupon
"consecrated and dedicated."
resolution was adopted proffering equal privileges to all outstanding lodges
in the Province, which should adhere to the Grand Lodge of New Brunswick, on
or before the 31st of March, following; and that any lodge not of allegiance
to Grand Lodge, on or before the 31st of May, succeeding, should be dealt with
by the Grand Master as he in his wisdom and discretion determine, until the
next communication of Grand Lodge. Ultimately all the lodges in New Brunswick
came under the authority of the Grand Lodge and received new warrants.
Centennial of the Introduction of Freemasonry into New Brunswick was
celebrated July 1, 1884, and consisted of an imposing procession formed by
different Masonic bodies in the city of St. John and the Province of New
Brunswick. About 500 Freemasons, accompanied by seven bands of music, appeared
in the ranks. The procession marched through the principal streets and passed
the location of the first lodge in the city, which was in Britain, near
Charlotte, thence to the Mechanics' Institute where interesting services were
held, consisting of an address by the M.W.G.M. John Valentine Ellis, in which
he detailed the history of the Craft in the Province of New Brunswick up to
behalf of and of and in the name of the Centennial Committee the Grand Master
invested both visitors with the medal which had been struck in commemoration
of the Centennial.
Brunswick is divided into five Masonic districts, with a District Deputy Grand
Master over each, viz.: No. 1, City and County of St. John and Counties of
Kings and Queens; No. 2, Counties of Westmoreland and Albert; No. 3, Counties
of Kent, Northumberland, Gloucester and Restigouche; No. 4, Counties of York
(except the town of McAdam), Carleton, Victoria, Madawaska and Sunbury; No. 5,
County of Charlotte and the town of McAdam.
Freemasonry in Saskatchewan
Bro. CHAS. A. COOKE, P. G. D. of C., Saskatchewan
things stand out in high relief in the history of Masonry in the Province of
Saskatchewan. Of necessity, the first of these was the launching of the then
baby Grand Lodge of the Dominion, this . auspicious event, fraught with high
hopes that have since been amply realized, taking place on the ninth day of
decision of the brethren resident in the newly organized Province - the
territory which is now Saskatchewan having been given provincial status by the
Dominion Government in 1905 - to spread their wings, was reached early in
1906, and on the eventful August day mentioned an enthusiastic and zealous
band of brethren assembled in the city of Regina, there to erect another Grand
Jurisdiction to be known henceforth as the Grand Lodge of Saskatchewan. Grand
Lodge officers of the Grand Jurisdiction of Manitoba, hitherto holding sway
over this territory, were present in numbers to assist in the institution of
the new Grand Lodge, and to demonstrate by their presence their good wishes
for its future.
this time there were comprised in the new jurisdiction some twenty-four
constitutent lodges, with an enrollment of approximately 700 Masons. These
lodges, in order of antiquity, were: No. 1, Kinistino (Prince Albert). 2.
Wascana (Regina). 3. Moose Jaw. 4. Qu'Appelle Valley (Fort Qu'Appelle). 5.
Indian Head. 6. Qu’Appelle. 7. Moosomin. 8. Ashlar (Whitewood). 9. Maple Leaf
(Maple Creek). 10. Evening Star (Grenfell). 11. Northwest Mounted Police
(Regina). 12. Yorkton. 13. Duck Lake. 14. Sintaluta. 15. Amity (Carnduff ) .
16. Saskatchewan (Saskatoon). 17. Carlyle. 18. Melfort. 19. Battle (Battleford).
20. Weyburn. 21. Arcola. 22. Rosthern. 23. Britannia (Lloydminster). 24.
Wolseley. There were also three lodges working under dispensation.
the time of writing, the number of lodges on the Grand Register total 177 with
a combined membership of over 12,500.
of the brethren who played a prominent part in the organization of the new
Grand Lodge are still with us.
Wor. Bro. W. B. Tate, Grand Master of Saskatchewan in 1910, and for the past
nine years Grand Secretary of this jurisdiction, was, at the time of formation
of the Grand Lodge, D. D. G. M. for District No. 8 under the Grand Lodge of
Manitoba, a territory comprising the whole of the southern portion of
Saskatchewan. He was among those most prominently identified with the birth of
the new jurisdiction.
Wor. Bro. Alex. Shepphard, Grand Master in 1922, was the first Grand Treasurer
of Saskatchewan, holding that office for a period of fourteen years, vacating
it only when elected to the Grand West.
Wor. Bro. C. O. Davidson, the first Deputy Grand Master, is still an active
and enthusiastic worker in the jurisdiction, as is M. Wor. Bro. H. Jagger, who
was the first occupant of the Grand Senior Warden's chair.
Others who took an active part in the formation of Grand Lodge and are still
adding lustre to the ranks of Masonry are: M. Wor. Bro. L. T. McDonald, Grand
Master in 1914; M. Wor. Bro. W. M. Thompson (1915); M. Wor. Bro. R. Young
(1918); Rt. Wor. Bro. J. N. Bayne, P. D. D. G. M., and Wor. Bro. W. M. Martin,
a former premier of this Province, who was Master of Wascana Lodge, No. 2,
when Grand Lodge was organized.
of the most persistent advocates of the new jurisdiction was the late M. Wor.
Bro. G. B. Murphy, who was already a P. G. M. of Manitoba, and who was made an
honorary P. G. M. of Saskatchewan. He passed to the Grand Lodge above last
SPLENDID RECORD OF BENEVOLENCE
Second, perhaps, among the notable milestones in the history of the
jurisdiction, is the splendid record of Benevolence. At the institution of the
Grand Lodge of Saskatchewan the nucleus of a Benevolent Fund was established
as the result of a grant of $1,000 from the Grand Jurisdiction of Manitoba. In
1910 M. Wor. Bro. Tate, Grand Master, advocated the formation of a governing
body of trustees to take in hand all matters pertaining to Benevolence, and
this was done, when, in 1913, a special convocation of Grand Lodge assembled
to compile and adopt a revised constitution.
Little progress was made until the prospective heavy demands on the fund,
resultant on the great war, inspired an appeal from M. Wor. Bro. J. McCauley,
sitting Grand Master, for assistance. Contributions on a basis of $10 per
member have built up the fund until today it stands at over $150,000 invested
in Government bonds and other approved securities. The principle of the fund
must forever remain intact, only the interest accruing therefrom, together
with an annual per capita assessment of forty cents being applied to relieve
cases of need. The growth and administration of the Grand Lodge Benevolent
Fund makes a thrilling story of which every member in the jurisdiction is
Another notable achievement that marks the growth of this Grand Lodge in
recent years was the Masonic Scholarship Scheme evolved and brought to a
successful issue by M. Wor. Bro. G. M. Weir in 1921. Upwards of $20,000 was
contributed to this scheme by the brethren of the jurisdiction to be used for
purposes of Scholarship Endowment for teachers. The cost of Normal School
training in the case of approved candidates was defrayed by the fund,
conditional on the candidates undertaking to teach for a period of not less
than one year at schools, selected by the governing committee, in outlying
rural districts. In all, fifty scholarships have been awarded.
DISTRICT MEETINGS ARE A MARKED SUCCESS
but, as has been proven in actual practice, by no means least effulgent of the
high lights of Saskatchewan Masonry, is the system of annual district meetings
inaugurated in 1916 by M. Wor. Bro. W. M. Thompson. For purposes of efficient
administration the jurisdiction is divided into sixteen districts, in each of
which once a year a joint assembly of the constitutent lodges is called
together. The meetings are presided over by the D.D.G.M. for the respective
districts and are honored by the presence of the Grand Master, the Grand
Secretary and such other officers of Grand Lodge as can conveniently attend.
Degree work is exemplified under the direction of the Grand Secretary, with a
view to complete uniformity throughout the jurisdiction, and invariably
several excellent addresses on the symbolic teachings of the work are
contributed by brethren of the district in addition to the messages brought by
the Grand Lodge officers.. Having been privileged to be present at many of
these gatherings in various parts of the jurisdiction, I can testify to their
extreme value and importance to the Craft. Nothing, thus far, has approached
the district meeting in educative potentiality, and we know of no more
effective or powerful means of developing the true spirit of Masonry.
Recently Grand Lodge has set up a permanent committee on Masonic Education and
Research, whose function it is to initiate and direct constituent lodges in
matters relating to the study of Masonic subjects. Much is expected of this
committee. Already it is at work and we look for an increasing breadth of
vision coupled with a fuller and more virile conception of Masonry to develop
throughout the jurisdiction as time goes on.
Grand Lodge of Saskatchewan is full of vigor and hope, animated by a lofty
vision and filled with true optimism for the future. Though now only in its
eighteenth year, it has set up a record of which every Craftsman in the
jurisdiction is justly proud, and to the maintenance of which each one of us
is cheerfully yet sacredly pledged.
SCOTTISH RITE RINGS
Please tell me what is the law about the wearing of Scottish Rite rings for
whole law on the subject of wearing rings in the Southern Jurisdiction is
contained in Article XIII, 1923 Statutes of the Supreme Council:
13. The ring of the Thirty-third Degree, for all Inspectors General, Active,
Emeriti or Honorary, is a triple one of gold, like three small rings side by
side, having on it no advertisement by any device, figure or mark whatever,
and should be worn on the little finger of the left hand.
14. Perfect Elus of this Jurisdiction should wear the ring of the Degree on
the third finger of the left hand (not counting the thumb); it should be a
flat gold band without any mark or device on It.
has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has
gained the trust of pure women and the love of children, who has filled his
niche and accomplished his task; who has left the world better than he found
it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem or a rescued soul; who has
never lacked appreciation of earth's beauty or failed to express it, who has
always looked for the best in others and given the best he had, whose life was
an inspiration; whose memory a benediction.”
ADDRESS TO CANDIDATE ABOUT TO RECEIVE THE APPRENTICE DEGREE
Feeling that no man should seek admittance into the membership of a Masonic
lodge without first being made acquainted with its general spirit and
purposes, the Study Club of the correspondents of the Masonic News, Detroit,
Mich., prepared at one of their sessions the address printed below, and here
published by permission. Any Masonic lodge may feel free to use it.
essential that you have a proper conception of Freemasonry. You may have
assumed or been informed that it is a purely social or benevolent institution
or a religious order all of which would be wrong and misleading. It cannot be
made too plain that Masonry is not in any sense a religion, nor in any sense
allied to, or opposed to any church, although it teaches the service of God
and Brotherhood of man. If you have any bitterness, hatred or intolerance
towards any faith you are making a grave mistake in seeking admission to
Masonry, and you should stop now and postpone your initiation until your mind
is free from all prejudice and passion.
then is Freemasonry? Shortly defined it is essentially a Society of men
co-operating as brothers in the work of building. Prior to the year 1717 -
when the first Grand Lodge was formed in England, the work of the Order was
largely operative. Since that time the work has been called speculative
meaning-philosophical - watchful - contemplative, but the work of modern
speculative Masonry is more beneficial to humanity and requires more
individual loyalty and sacrifice than the work of our ancient operative
brethren, important as it was at that time.
its citadel of Brotherhood modern Masonry looks out on a world, torn and
bleeding from continuous conflict with the destructive forces of greed and
lust and crime. Although the world is big enough and rich enough to house and
feed and clothe all mankind, it sees nations preying on nations and man on man
like the beasts of the jungle.
work of Masonry is to better these unhappy conditions of life, by establishing
in the midst of life an organization of faithful men pledged and trained to
the principles of Brotherhood, justice and toleration, whose first duty is to
broadcast the influence of the Order and press forward to the ultimate goal of
universal Brotherhood, and to that end build and develop the character of its
members, so that by precept and example they will radiate and reflect these
benign and constructive virtues.
Surely here is work, and enough, for every right-thinking man who seeks
enrollment in the cause of human service.
Turning now to your Petition for initiation.
of you declared in your Petition, not only that you were unbiased by the
solicitation of friends and uninfluenced by mercenary motives, but were
prompted to solicit the privilege by
favorable opinion of the institution,
desire for knowledge, and
sincere wish to be serviceable to your fellowmen.
sincerity of this declaration is your first qualification for admission.
acquit you of any intentional falsehood or equivocation in making these
statements, but in case you signed the Petition hurriedly, or with an
imperfect understanding of its meaning and significance, it is expedient that
it be explained to you and that you be given an opportunity of withdrawing
before assuming the serious obligations of Masonry.
such lofty aims and purposes, you will readily understand that Masonry must
have only earnest workmen in its ranks. The solicitation of friends and
mercenary motives might undermine its undertaking, and hinder its advancement
by the enlistment of the weak and selfish, who would be unfit as workers in a
world campaign against force and greed.
may be assumed that you have a favorable opinion of the institution, otherwise
it would be foolish and useless to seek admission.
desire for knowledge means the knowledge obtained from Masonic reading and
contemplation and for instruction in Masonic philosophy, history and teaching,
as well as from the practice of its precepts.
most important statement in your Petition, however, is your avowed wish to be
serviceable to your fellowmen. By this declaration you have expressed a desire
to personally cooperate with your brothers in the speculative work of the
Order. To be of service you must work diligently. This does not mean lip
service. Masonry demands sacrifice and genuine co-operation. It means you must
control your passions and avoid all dissensions that may be subversive of
harmony. That you refrain from lewd conversation and blasphemous language
which are a reproach to the Craft. That you practice morality, for brotherly
love can only be founded on respect and affection. That you conform to the
Masonic virtues of truth, temperance, fortitude, prudence and justice, for
they cement Brotherhood and support society. That you will always be willing
to help a deserving brother in distress, and preserve the honor and reputation
of Masonry unsullied. Unless you are equipped with the armor of character, you
will be a listless and indifferent soldier in the ranks.
first degree in Masonry may be said to be the dividing line between the
thoughtlessness of youth and the obligations of manhood.
hearing this explanation and admonition are you individually willing to
proceed with your initiation?
the answer is affirmative.).
indeed glad to hear you say so.
only necessary to point out that these lessons will be impressed upon you in
the first degree by a series of instructive symbols, and that you should give
strict attention to all that will be said to you within.
all things, my friends, put away all fear and nervousness. There is no jesting
or horseplay in the Lodge Room, and nothing to fear or anticipate in the
degree work, no matter what any of your Masonic friends may have thoughtlessly
hinted to the contrary.
will now answer the constitutional questions that will be put to you, and
submit to your preparation by the Stewards.
who move about much in the Fraternity, or are familiar with the Masonic press
and with the Fraternal Correspondence Reports of Grand Lodges, know how
persistent has grown the cry, "We are making Masons too rapidly! Let us apply
the brakes, or put up the bars, and learn to go slow." But alas! the
degree-mill evil is an old one, and dates back, if one may trust reports made
at the time, to the days of good old Dr. Stukeley, who, as compared with
ourselves, was almost an ancient. In the 1850's, even, and long after Dr.
Stukeley, when the anti-Mason propaganda had by no means as yet subsided, men
thronged the doors of Masonry as now, appealing for entrance, and they were
admitted in too large numbers to suit the judicious. In 1858 the writer of the
Fraternal Correspondence Report of the Grand Lodge of Illinois voiced his
fears lest the Order overthrow itself and break down of its own weight, like
Fulton's famous steamboat. To this the author of the Fraternal Correspondence
Report of the Grand Lodge of Texas gave echo in vigorous language. The Masonic
philosophers of today will find the paragraphs, one of which follows, worthy
evil of opening the doors of the temple too wide is a manifest one. We have
often thought that many of our Grand Lodges, by fixing the initiation fee too
low, as for instance in Illinois, at $15, were doing themselves a fearful
injury. The prosperity of Masonry is not to be measured by the number of its
initiates, nor by the amount of the increase of its lodges. Oftentimes the
profane, looking with curiosity upon the Fraternity, have an itching to know
its secrets and are willing to invest a trifling amount to satisfy their
curiosity, when they might be deterred if the cost were greater. Lodges, too,
when as numerous as are those in Illinois, often cherish too strong a desire
to increase their membership for the pecuniary prosperity such increase
promises, and are not sufficiently guarded in their investigations into
character. We confess we are of those who believe that the Institution would
grow more rapidly in prosperity in one year if no new lodges were created, nor
any applicant admitted, than it now does in five, with the hundreds of shingle
palaces that are erected, and the tens of thousands of half-baked bricks that
are worked, or rather chucked, into its walls. We can but think that the
admitting of 'inchoates' into the footing of regular lodges, which had showed
so great a want of circumspection as did those referred to by the above
committee, was also opening the door too wide to them. Yet we are glad to see
that the attention of the leading Masons of that jurisdiction, like Grand
Master Dills, is being turned to the matter, and hope that not the least of
the benefits that will result from it will be the making of Masons there, who
can prove themselves such after they get outside the home range - a thing
which two out of every five your committee have met within 'private practice'
hailing from that jurisdiction have not been able to do. Hedge up the way,
brethren, and let no man come in whom you can find any reasonable excuse to
keep out, and when you take a man in, work him up so that ever after he will
not know himself, except as a Mason."
flatter yourself that friendship authorizes you to say disagreeable things to
your intimates. The nearer you come into relation with a person the more
necessary do tact and courtesy become.
Except in cases of necessity, which are rare, leave your friend to learn
unpleasant things from his enemies; they are ready enough to tell them. -
Men Who Were Masons
Bro. GEO. W. BAIRD, P.G.M., District of Columbia
DANIEL CARROLL was a member of Maryland Lodge, No. 16, being initiated May 9,
1780, passed July 11 of the same year, and raised to the Sublime Degree of
Master Mason May 8, 1781.
lodge was chartered September 21, 1770, with Thomas Russell as its first W. M.
From its roster of members, between 1773 and 1781, it is evident that General
Mordecai Gist, William Pinkney, General Smallwood, O. H. Williams, Archie
Anderson, Captain James Nicholson and a number of other revolutionary notables
were in its membership.
Daniel Carroll was born in Prince George County, Maryland, in 1756, and died
in Paris in 1846. His remains were brought home and interred in the Georgetown
University burying ground in 1849, in the Carroll lot, and a memorial was
erected; but in 1858, when Mount Olivet Cemetery was opened, the Carrolls were
removed to it. The memorial illustrated on this page gives the year of
Carroll's death as 1849, but an inscription on a slab alongside correctly
gives the date as 1846, confirmed by church records.
Daniel, who was a cousin of Charles Carroll of Carrolltown, received a classic
education, but his taste led him to agriculture, and he was probably one of
the first scientific farmers in the Republic. His estate was very large, with
hundreds of acres, and that part of Maryland which became the District of
Columbia included much of Carroll's land. It was called Duddington, and a few
acres which he reserved in the city of Washington retained that name. That
which he used as a residence covered a "square" of ground and was surrounded
by a high brick wall; his trees were part of the original forest, and the
great spring in it was preserved just as the Indians had left it. This estate,
though dismal and forbidding in aspect, was, nevertheless, one of the show
places of early Washington. The triangular lot on the hill, immediately in
front of Duddington, was known as Carroll's Hill, and it was said after his
death that he had bequeathed it to the Government
site for the United States Mint, but it was made into Garfield Park instead.
Carroll was elected to Congress from Maryland in 1781, and served until 1784,
during which time he presented to Congress the Act of the Legislature of his
state assenting to the Articles of Confederation. He was also one of the five
Maryland delegates to the Convention which framed the Federal Constitution, a
great governmental instrument that he very strongly advocated. He was again
elected to Congress in 1789, and served during both sessions.
was appointed by Washington, along with Thomas Johnson and Dr.David Stuart, as
a commissioner to lay out the District of Columbia; this commission also gave
the city its name. As a commissioner, Carroll participated in the ceremony of
fixing the first cornerstone, with Masonic ceremonies, of the Federal District
on April 21, 1791. Carroll was also one of the commissioners to superintend
the building of the Capitol at Washington, and was present at the laying of
the cornerstone in September, 1793, by the Grand Lodge of Maryland. President
Washington participated in this ceremony.
Daniel Carroll died when the present writer was three years of age, but the
writer's father (who was a member of Naval Lodge) knew Daniel Carroll
personally and often talked to him about Freemasonry, in which Carroll was
always interested. Carroll was born of Roman Catholic parents and also buried
in Mount Olivet, a Roman Catholic cemetery.
portrait, which hung in the hall at Duddington, showed him as a heavy-set man,
with handsome smooth face, an abundance of hair and kindly expression. He was
dignified but easily approached, and was fond of talking about his experiments
with plants and the wonderful results obtained. Though possessing a university
education, he was simple in his speech, was not at all eloquent, and always
was very industrious. It was said that his popularity and integrity rather
than his tastes led him into politics. He was a near relative of Bishon
Carroll who inaugurated the Jesuit College, now known as the Georgetown
Studies of Masonry in the United States
Bro. H. L. HAYWOOD, Editor
I. THE EARLY TRADITIONS
Study Club Series
this present article begins a new series of Study Club installments, the
general subject for which is the history of Freemasonry in America. The
limitations of space forbid making this a detailed or exhaustive account, the
purpose rather is to present such of the more important events and
developments of the American Craft as the average Mason is most interested to
know. Although the narrative will be carried forward month by month each
article will be complete in itself. Corrections, criticisms, or suggestions
will always be thankfully received. A booklet on "How to Organize and Maintain
a Study Club" will be furnished free upon request.
goode old dates Masonic scribes vied with each other in an attempt to give
Freemasonry the greatest possible antiquity; some made it to begin, full
formed and completely panoplied, with King Solomon; others, more ambitious,
gave credit for inventing it to Euclid, "that good clerk," or to Noah (one of
Dr. Oliver's favorite characters), or even to Adam, the father of us all;
while one theorist, with whom be eternal peace, declared that Freemasonry had
existed throughout the "empyrean" before the creation of this unhappy earth!
enthusiasm was not monopolized by brethren across the sea; American idealists
became drunken with the same heady wine until their debauched imaginations
threw out theories of Masonic origins on this continent as wild as any that
ever originated in the caverns of European fancy. Witness the case of Augustus
Le Plongeon. In 1886 he published to the startled American public his Sacred
Mysteries Among the Mayas and the Quiches, 11,500 Years Ago: Their Relation to
the Sacred Mysteries of Egypt, Greece, Chaldea, and India: Freemasonry in
Times Anterior to the Temple of Solomon, in which he declared:
will endeavor to show you that the ancient sacred mysteries, the origin of
Freemasonry consequently date back from a period far more remote than the most
sangmne students of its history ever imagined. I will try to trace their
origin, step by step, to this continent which we inhabit - to America - from
where Maya colonists transported their ancient religious rites and ceremonies,
not only to the banks of the Nile, but to those of the Euphrates, and the
shores of the Indian Ocean, not less than 11,500 years ago."
Unfortunately for the good Le Plongeon subsequent archeologists (real
scientists, and not enthusiastic amateurs) learned that his relics were not
11,500 years old, but something less than 1,000, so that his grandiose dream
has evaporated into the thin air from which he drew it.
solider head but equally imaginative was our brother Charles W. Moore, one
time Grand Secretary of Massachusetts, authority on jurisprudence, and editor
of The Freemason’s Magazine, the first journal ever published in this land
exclusively devoted to affairs of the Craft, to own a complete set of which is
now a privilege coveted by every student. In his issue No. 10, Vol. II, under
date of Aug. 1, 1843, Bro. Moore presented a learned disquisition to show that
perhaps America had been originally populated by settlers from "the
Carthagenian Empire," or else from the lost Ten Tribes of Israel, and that
from either 0or both of these sources came the initiatory mysteries which, so
he alleged, were everywhere practiced in the Western Hemisphere, the
forerunner and perhaps progenitor of American Masonry. "From all these
circumstances," he wrote, "it has been conjectured that Freemasonry existed on
this continent prior to its discovery by Columbus." After making such hints he
concludes with a word of sanity: "These speculations will probably be regarded
by a majority of our readers as rather matters of curiosity than of real
importance." In this last he proved himself a prophet, save that one might add
that his conjectures have even ceased to be matters of curiosity; nevertheless
his essay has value here as indicating the currents of theory which ran strong
in the Craft of this nation in its formative periods.
NOVA SCOTIA STONE
more modest but less intangible character is the case of the Nova Scotia stone
of 1606. In a letter to Mr. J. W. Thornton the discoverer of this decayed
relic gives an account of how he came upon it, his communication being in part
sir: When Francis Alger and myself made a mineralogical survey of Nova Scotia
in 1827, we discovered upon the shore of Goat Island, in Annapolis Basin, a
gravestone, partly covered with sand and lying on the shore. It bore the
Masonic emblems, square and compass, and had the figures 1606 cut in it. The
rock was a flat slab of trap rock, common in the vicinity.
slab, bearing the date 1606, I had brought over by the ferryman to Annapolis,
and ordered it to be packed up in a box, to be sent to the O. C. Pilgrim Soc'y
(of Plymouth, Mass.) but Judge Haliburton, then Thomas Haliburton, Esq.,
prevailed on me to abandon it to him, and he now has it carefully preserved.
On a late visit to Nova Scotia I found that the Judge had forgotten how he
came by it, and so I told him all about it.
about 1887 Judge Haliburton's son, Robert Grand Haliburton, gave this stone to
the Canadian Institute of Toronto for insertion in one of the walls of a
building then being erected, the inscription to face the interior of one of
the rooms; but unfortunately a plasterer stupidly covered it over with
plaster, so that all trace of it has ever since been lost.
this stone indicate that Freemasonry was known in Nova Scotia in 1606 ? Bro.
Reginald V. Harris, Grand Historian, Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia, disposes of
any such theory: "The theory that the stone might commemorate the
establishment of a Lodge of Freemasons has virtually nothing to support it."
After examining various explanations he concludes:
us summarize our theories: First, the stone was a grave stone; Secondly, it
marked the last resting place of a French settler who died in 1606; Thirdly,
this settler was probably a workman and may have been an operative mason or
stone cutter; Fourthly, speculative Masonry unknown in France in 1606 was not
practiced by the French colonists, Lastly, the emblem of square and compasses,
would seem to be a trade mark or emblem undoubtedly used by operative masons
as their emblem, and possibly by carpenters as well. In a word the stone
marked the grave of either a mason or stone cutter or possibly a carpenter who
died Nov. 14,1606, and not that of a speculative Mason."
Scotia has yet another connection with the prehistoric period of American
Masonry. In 1621 King James of Scotland made a grant of that whole territory
(formerly occupied by the, French), under the title of Nova Scotia, or New
Scotland, to Sir William Alexander, later on entitled Earl Stirling and
Viscount Canada. His son, also named Sir William, but afterwards known by the
courtesy title of Lord Alexander, resided in the colony four years and then
returned to Scotland, where, on July 3, 1634, he was made a member of Mary's
Chapel Lodge, at Edinburgh. Since the records showed that Lord Alexander was
"admitted a Fellow of the Craft" (spelling modernized) Sereno Nickerson
assumed that he must have been initiated an Apprentice while in Nova Scotia,
in which case Freemasonry would have been in existence in that territory
three-quarters of a century before the organization of the first Grand Lodge
in London. This is so improbable that John Ross Robertson, the historian of
Canadian Masonry, dismisses it as "mythical."
MASONRY IN RHODE ISLAND IN 1658?
Equally mythical, one may judge, is the story of how certain Jews brought
Masonry with them to Newport, Rhode Island, in 1656 or 1658. Weefen's Economic
and Social History of New England (as quoted by John Ross Robertson) states,
while speaking of the year 1658, that, "It is said that fifteen families came
in from Holland this year, bringing with their goods and mercantile skill the
first three degrees of Freemasonry." Weefen does not stop to explain how this
could have been possible seventy-five years before the Craft had three
color was lent to this fable by the Reverend F. Peterson's now discredited
History of Rhode Island and Newport in the Past. On page 101 of the 1853
edition that gentleman says:
the spring of 1658, Mordecai Campannall, Moses Packeckoe, Levi and others, in
all fifteen families, arrived at Newport from Holland. They brought with them
the three first degrees of Masonry and worked them in the house of Campannall,
and continued to do so they and their successors to the year 1742."
Peterson stated that this was "Taken from documents now in possession of N.H.
Gould, Esq." This aroused the curiosity of Bro. William S. Gardner, Grand
Master of Massachusetts in 1870, who in that year asked of Bro. Gould, a W. M.
of Newport at one time, for some details. Gould replied that the document in
question contained the following:
ye [day and month obliterated] 1656 or 8 [not certain` which, as the place was
stained and broken, the first three figures were plain] Wee mett att y House
off Mordecai Campunnall and affter Synagog Wee gave Abm Moses the degrees of
then stated that while he had nicely tucked the document away in an envelope
he could not at the time lay his hand on it.
Gould's letter to Gardner was sent to Bro. Thomas A. Doyle, Grand Master of
Rhode Island from 1865 to 1871, inclusive, he replied that he had "made many
enquiries about these documents of brethren ill Newport, members of Grand
Lodge and others, and do not find that any one has ever seen them." He gives
no credence to the story. Bro. Henry Rugg, author of History of Freemasonry in
Rhode Island (1895), agreed with Bro. Doyle. "Evidently no great reliance
could be given," he wrote, page 33, "to such a scrap of paper even were its
genuineness assured. It lacks the support of corroborative evidence."
Samuel Oppenheim (not a Mason) made issue with this conclusion, after an
exhaustive examination of all the facts, and took the ground in his The Jews
and Masonry in the United States before 1810, originally printed in the
Publications of the American Jewish Historical Society, later in book form,
that there may have been something in the Gould contention. He was able to
locate the name "Campannall" in the archives of Rhode Island of the latter
part of the seventeenth century, and believed that Gould (a tailor by
profession) was a credible witness. Subsequently, however. and in a private
conversation with the present writer. he has expressed himself as being more
than dubious about the whole matter.
Dubiousness is what every man must feel after examining the case. There were
no three degrees ill 1658; nobody, except Gould, saw the alleged document;
according to his own report it was almost illegible, with the date mutilated;
and the story that he had misplaced the document is more than hard to believe,
because it is difficult to understand how any man, with such a find, would not
immediately have turned it over, to experts or to some historical association.
Nobody in his right mind is in the habit of tucking such precious discoveries
away and then forgetting where. Another item of tradition, similarly difficult
to verify and of equally uncertain authenticity so far as its Masonic
connections are concerned, may be here mentioned as belonging substantially to
the same period of time. According to the records of the Plymouth Colony that
colony at New Haven received from Cooper's Hall, London, in 1654, a package of
goods (sent separately from others in the same consignment). It was consigned
to John Eliot, the famous "Apostle to the Indians", and was accompanied by a
letter to John Eliot to which was appended a peculiar hieroglyphic, an
integral part of which was the square and compasses, or at least what appeared
to be such. Whether it was the Masonic emblem it is impossible to know.
the next item of tradition of substance enough to attract attention but of no
authenticity, the scene shifts to Philadelphia, upon which spot our attention
will be many times focused in succeeding chapters. Bro. Charles E. Meyer,
writing in History of Freemasonry and Concordant Orders, by Hughan and
Stillson, page 219, states:
1680 there came to South Carolina one John Moore, a native of New England, who
before the close of the century removed to Philadelphia, and in 1703 was
commissioned by the king as Collector of the Port. In a letter written by him
in 1715, he mentions having 'spent a few evenings in festivity with my Masonic
brethren.' This is the earliest mention we have of there being members of the
Craft residing in Pennsylvania or elsewhere."
added in a footnote: "This letter is in the possession of Horace W. Smith, of
for Mr. Smith! if ever he possessed such a document he was not able to show it
to anybody. When Bro. Robert I. Clegg asked of Bro. Julius F. Sachse what
evidence might be obtained for this tale the scholarly historian of
Pennsylvania replied: "There is no proof whatever of this statement. I have
never been able to get on the track of any such letter." (In Mackey's Revised
History of Freemasonry.)
the Sachse dictum Bro. Melvin M. Johnson, in his Beginnings of Freemasonry in
America (published this year), to which writers in this field must be indebted
for all time to come, expresses emphatic agreement:
letter was for a time exploited as evidence of meetings of the Fraternity in
Philadelphia during the year. This letter, however, never existed. Careful
inquiry discloses repeated but unsuccessful attempts by the acquaintances of
Mr. Smith to see the letter. If he ever had such a letter he could have
produced it or accounted for its absence, but he never did so. No one among
his contemporaries or among those having had the best opportunity to talk with
him and to see the document if it existed can be found who believes there ever
was such a letter."
KING'S CHAPEL TRADITION
somewhat more definite character but yet lacking proof, and therefore
belonging to the prehistoric period, is the tradition of a lodge held in
King's Chapel, Boston, 1720, based on a statement by Charles W. Moore. On page
163, Vol. III, of his The Freemason's Monthly Magazine (already referred to),
“Dispensations and charters were, therefore, issued by the Grand Lodge at
London, for the holding of lodges in all parts of the world. The first, for
this country, was received about the year 1720. It was a Dispensation
authorizing the opening of a Lodge in this city "Boston]. We have the fact
from a clergyman of the Church of England, Rev. Mr. Montague, once of Dedham
who found it stated in an old document in the archives of King's Chapel
[Boston]. The Lodge was regularly organized, but was soon after discontinued."
was under date of April 1, 1844, that Moore wrote this; in the Masonic Mirror
and Mechanics' Intelligencer, of which he had previously been editor, and
under date of Jan. 27, 1827, he had made a similar statement, to wit:
year or two since, a clergyman of the Church of England, who is probably more
conversant with the church in America than any other individual living,
politely furnished us with a document wherein it appeared that the first
regular Lodge of Freemasons in America was holden in King's Chapel, Boston, by
a Dispensation from the Grand Lodge of England, somewhere about the year 1720.
It produced great excitement at the time [i.e., the creation of this lodge],
and the Brethren considered it prudent to discontinue these meetings."
Inasmuch as there are no existing minutes of the Grand Lodge of England prior
to Nov. 25, 1723, and no list of lodges prior to that date, it is impossible
to verify this statement from records, so that it rests entirely on the
statement made by Moore. He was a man of integrity, and familiar with Masonry,
but there is no telling into what errors either he or his informant may have
fallen. The status of this story has been succinctly set forth by Bro. Melvin
M. Johnson, in his Beginnings of Freemasonry in America: "The evidence,
therefore, neither rises to the grade of unquestioned proof nor falls to the
level of tradition."
are other hints and rumors of the Craft prior to 1730 (such as the coming to
Boston of a ship Free Mason), but none others of sufficient importance to be
noted here; and such as have already received attention have been mentioned
more as matters for curiosity than as having had any influence on the
development of American Masonry. Any one of them, or all of them together,
might be dropped out of sight without affecting the picture of the American
Craft as it developed from 1730 on, after which date evidences accumulated
with an ever increasing crescendo, both as to number and importance, the more
important of which, as well as such as have the most enduring and vital
interest, will appear for study in future issues of this department.
the Le Plongeon "theory" see his book as quoted, also THE BUILDER, Jan. 1924,
the Nova Scotia Stone. Bro. R.V. Harris' study of this relic will be published
in THE BUILDER in full, next month or the month after. See also The Beginnings
of Freemasonry in America, Melvin M. Johnson, New York: 1924, page 43. The
History of Freemasonry in Canada, J. Ross Robertson: Toronto: 1900: Vol. I,
page 136. History of Freemasonry in Rhode Island, Henry W. Rugg: Providence:
1895: page 17. Mackey's Revised History of Freemasonry, R. I. Clegg: Chicago:
1921: Vol. IV, Page 1314. Transactions Nova Scotia Lodge of Research, Vol. I,
No. 2, pp. 20-39. Historical and Statistical Account of Nova Scotia: 1829:
Vol. II, pp. 155-157.
Lord Alexander. Robertson, I: 138. Rugg, 19. The History of Freemasonry, R. F.
Gould: Yorston Edition: 1889: Vol. IV: p. 229 (contains slight error). Clegg,
Jews at Newport. Johnson, 44. History of the Ancient and Honorable Fraternity
of Free and Accepted Masons, and Concordant Orders, Stillson and Hughan:
Boston and New York: 1891: page 250. Robertson, I, 138. Rugg, 31. Clegg, 1320,
1606. The Jew and Masonry in the United States Before 1810, Samuel Oppenheim:
published in Publications of the Jewish Historical Society; also in book form
by Bloch Publishing Company: New York. Proceedings Grand Lodge of
Massachusetts: 1870: page 357; 1891: page 32. THE BUILDER, May, 1915, page
Hieroglyph on Eliot package. Robertson, I, 139. Clegg, 1318. Johnson, 47.
the John Moore letter. Johnson, 60. The Builders, Joseph Fort Newton: New
York: 1924: page 206. Clegg, 1518. Stillson and Hughan, 218.
King's Chapel. Johnson, 61. History of Freemasonry in the State of New York,
Ossian Lang: New York: 1922: p. 9. Stillson and Hughan, 239. Robertson, I,
140. Rugg, 21. Clegg, 1565. Gould IV, 229. Proceedings Grand Lodge of
Massachusetts: 1883: p. 155. Quatuor Coronatorum Antigrapha Vol. X: W. J.
Songhurst, editor: London: 1913: p. 3.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
is the difference between legend and tradition ? Between tradition and
history? What is meant by "historical proof " ?
some of the unhistorical theories concerning the origin of Freemasonry. Who
was Le Plongeon? What book did he publish? What was his theory about the
beginnings of American Masonry? Who was Charles W. Moore? What magazine did he
edit? What was his conjecture concerning the antiquity of American Masonry?
and by whom was the Nova Scotia Stone discovered? Describe this stone. Why has
it been supposed that it had some relation to Freemasonry? What is Bro.
Reginald V. Harris' theory concerning it? What is your own theory?
was Lord Alexander? When and where was he made a Mason?
in your own words the story of the Jews at Newport, Rhode Island? Why was it
impossible for them to have the "three degrees of Freemasonry" at that time?
Why cannot historians accept this tradition? What was Samuel Oppenheim's
opinion of this tradition? Who was John Eliot? Was there any Freemasonry in
England in 1654? If so, what kind was it?
was John Moore? What did he say in his letter in 1715? Would you accept as
historical his story about his letter? What is Bro. Johnson's estimate of it?
what you know about King's Chapel of Boston. What is the tradition about
Masonry in that chapel? When was the Grand Lodge of England organized? At what
date do its records begin? When does the historical period of Freemasonry
is the practical advantage to an American Mason of a knowledge of the history
of American Masonry? In what way is the Masonry of today governed by the
Masonry of yesterday?
plainest print can not be read through a gold eagle. - Speech at Springfield,
Ill., June 26, 1857.
Wanting to work is so rare an event that it should be encouraged. - Note to
Major Ramsey, Oct. 17, 1861.
are not flattered by being shown that there has been a difference of purpose
between the Almighty and them. - Letter to Thurlow Weed, March 16, 1865.
better part of one's life consists of his friendships. - Letter to Joseph
Gillespie, July 13, 1849.
want in all cases to do right and most particularly so in al] cases with
women. - Letter to Miss Mary Owens, Aug. 16, 1837
is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law. - Lyceum address,
Jan. 27, 1837.
severest justice may not always be the best policy. - Message to Congress,
July 17, 1862.
your own judgment you can not be an honest lawyer resolve to be honest without
being a lawyer. - Notes for a law lecture, July 1, 1850.
have said nothing but what I am willing to live by and if it be the pleasure
of Almighty God, to die by, - Address in Independence Hall, Philadelphia, Feb.
the Interpretation of Masonic Symbols
Albert Pike was right in saying that "it seems to me that the symbolism of
Masonry is the soul of it, and constitutes its highest title to our
veneration," the beginning student of this symbolism always encounters a great
difficulty in arriving at Masonry's soul. Upon his first step toward a study
and understanding of symbols he is immediately confronted by a babel-like
discord, so that the house of the interpreter, where he goes to hear what
Masonic expounders and teachers have to say, seems filled with the confusion
of tongues. In countless cases he loses courage, abandons any hope of learning
what it is all about, and relapses into indifference, or else grows cynical,
and takes the familiar position that Masonry's symbols are a mystery, and that
nobody knows anything about them. In such instances the individual himself
misses the opportunity to become possessed of a great wealth of wisdom, and
the Craft loses the living support of one of its own members, at least so far
as such things are concerned.
there a way out? There is, and it is exceedingly simple in principle, even if
a thoroughgoing application of it may be a task as arduous as it is necessary.
The way out may be stated in few and simple words: - Every symbol in Masonry
should receive a Masonic interpretation.
this may be meant any one of at least three things. First, it may mean that a
symbol is to be explained in the light of the history of the Craft; if for
centuries the Craft has made use of it for certain purposes then that is its
Masonic meaning. Secondly, it may be that in the Ritual the Craft has already
given the symbol an authoritative explanation; if so, that settles the matter.
Thirdly, it may mean that a symbol is to be interpreted in the light of the
teachings of Masonry. If therefore any given symbol is used, or has been used,
outside of Freemasonry, as has been the case with so many of them, and if it
has thereby come to have a hundred meanings, the one Masonic meaning out of
the hundred is that which conforms to the above tests. How is the symbol to be
interpreted in relation to our history, ritual, and teachings, that is the
question; how it has been explained in other circles is not our affair, except
as general students.
thoroughgoing scientifically accurate working out of Masonic symbolism by
means of this canon of interpretation is the work of hundreds of men and many
generations, and has never been completed, so that it is impossible to show in
any one example just what the results would be, but it may be possible to cite
one case for the purposes of illustration.
Consider in this light and as the case in point, the Apron. Aprons have been
used symbolically from time immemorial, by Egyptian priests, Maya sages,
shamans among savages, and by nobody knows how many besides; when thus used it
has been made to symbolize all manner of things, priestly authority, magical
powers, celibacy, what not, and it has been employed in every manner of shape,
size, color, sometimes covered with emblems, sometimes not, and made of a
great variety of materials.
is it that interpretations of the Masonic apron have been so confused and so
confusing? Largely because men have brought to its interpretation ideas
borrowed from all these sources just referred to, and have assumed that
because an Apron meant a certain thing to a Brahman priest therefore it means
the same in Freemasonry; and because such interpreters have each arbitrarily
chosen his own non-Masonic source of interpretation there has been little
agreement among them.
apply to this problem the canon described in the second paragraph of this
editorial. Immediately it will be seen that we Masons are interested in the
Apron as it is used in Freemasonry; and that our task as interpreters of it is
to answer the questions, What does Masonic history show to have been the use
and meaning of the Apron? What does the Ritual have to say about it ? What
teaching or principle of the Craft does it represent? If when these questions
are answered it is found that in Masonry the Apron has a meaning different to
that employed in other quarters, that is neither here nor there, for as
MASONIC interpreters we are concerned only with its Masonic meanings.
this it follows that the explanation of Masonic symbols (what has been said of
the Apron may be said of all others) can be neither private nor arbitrary but
must rest on facts - the facts of Masonic history, Ritual and teachings, a
thing which bears out the great dictum of Gould, that the study of Masonic
history and of Masonic symbolism must be proceeded with conjointly; which will
enable us, if we apply the canon rigorously, to avoid meriting the rebuke of
Rylands, when he- said that "on very few questions has more rubbish been
written than that of symbols and symbolism ;" and it will also enable us to
fulfill the requirements laid down by Pike, who is always so well worth
quoting on this subject: "The first requisite of a symbol is that it shall
really mean something; and the second is that this something shall be worth
knowing and remembering.”
LODGE AS A COMMUNITY CENTER
Scribe was walking down Main Street (now become a famous American institution,
thanks to Sinclair Lewis) with a friend of the cloth. It was in a village of
some five hundred souls, somewhere in the Middle West - just where it is not
necessary to state, seeing that it might have happened in any one of thousands
of villages in this broad land. "Do you people here have any place for a
get-together ? any community center?" asked Ye Scribe. Before Friend Pastor
had opportunity to reply another clergyman was met, immediately upon which
Friend Pastor sharply turned his head, to stare in the opposite direction, the
while his passing colleague did the same. "There is no need now that you
reply," said Ye Scribe, "it is plain that you have not. Let us hurry on to the
funeral." (Appropriately enough, such was the destination.)
which, Ye Scribe has many times pondered this matter. Why should the two
pastors of a small town not speak to each other? Why should its two banks
fight each other? Why should its school board be split into factions ? Why
should its two Sunday Schools be unable to hold a picnic together? Why should
the proprietors of its two general stores glower at each other across the
street? Why should the life of such a quiet community be made uneasy by
quarrels and feuds, so that neighbors will not greet each other of a morning
across the lawn ?
answer to the "Why" is contained in the remedy for such a situation. What such
a town needs is a Social Center, a place where the community can act as a
unit, and as a community. Unfortunately most small towns have no such thing,
and under existing circumstances cannot have it, for the churches, which
usually possess the only public buildings suitable for such purposes, are too
often divided by differences of creed and dogma, so that what one undertakes
the other will oppose.
not such a condition an opportunity for the Masonic Lodge ? It is by its
nature non-sectarian, nonpolitical, and non-racial, upholding the ideals of
brotherhood, and striving to spread among men the cement of friendly
affection, and therefore is ideally fitted to serve as a rallying point for
the community spirit. It could not bring any kind of local public activity
into its own sessions, or under official auspices, but that would not hinder
it from serving unofficially, and by way of community service. Why should it
not make its own auditorium available for general public purposes? plan
lecture and entertainment courses through the winter? install in one of its
rooms a little public library? equip a room which, under certain rules and
conditions, might be generally used as a club by local men and boys? And why
could not its membership, acting as citizens rather than officially as Masons,
plan among themselves such other enterprises as would help unify the life and
spirit of the village?
of record that a few lodges have already carried through some such program;
there is no reason why others could not follow suit, especially since the
lodge itself would receive in return the great reward of stimulated interest
in its own proper activities, increased attendance, and a deeper appreciation
of the value of Masonry in human life. To say that such a service would not
work would condemn Masonry itself as impracticable, for it would be useless to
expect great things from the Craft in the world at large if its ideal of life
cannot be carried out in a small community.
THE SAME EVERYWHERE
our way," said the veteran from the Ozarks (this was at a Grand Lodge
session), "we folks take our Masonry what you might call seriously. It ain't
nothin' 'tall to see fellers ride a horse-back fer miles to 'tend lodge and
then ride back to home after dark, at two in the mornin'. 'Nd we ain't got no
what you might call fancy lodges, neither, for we've got morels one lodge thet
meets in log cabins."
our way," replied the brother from Kansas City. "we folks also take our
Masonry seriously. I work all day in an office almost as high in the air as
one of your hills. Everyone of us there is screwed up to a tension every
minute of the day. After five o'clock I drive my car for one hour and fifteen
minutes to get home, swallow my dinner in a hurry, change to my tuxedo, and
then drive back down town again to attend lodge. My lodge meets about twice a
week and I an1 always there, for I am in the line. That isn't all of it,
either, for I am in three other bodies, and they also meet more than once a
month. I guess it is about the same everywhere, isn't it?"
MASONRY CLEAR FROM ALL FORMS OF GAMBLING
is a matter of which I feel constrained to speak in no uncertain tones. I
refer to the practice of raising money for Masonic purposes by means of
lotteries, raffling, or games of chance, which practice, I am sorry to say,
has been called tie my attention as having come into vogue somewhat in this
practices are improper, unworthy of the dignity of a Mason, and in the main
are a direct violation of the laws of this commonwealth, which every Mason has
sworn to obey. A! the best they constitute a studied attempt to evade the law,
and no Mason should put himself in the position of seeking a way to evade the
law of his state and thus bring reproach upon himself and the great Order to
which he belongs.
Masonry has ever stood for the highest standard of moral ethics and if it is
to continue the real moral force which it has been throughout the ages it must
not at any time, anywhere. place the stamp of its approval upon anything that
is even questionable.
know that the tendency of the present day is to look lightly upon the
practices of which I speak. "Everybody is doing its is ofttimes the excuse
offered when a brother thoughtlessly has allowed himself to be led into the
sanction of that which in his own heart he knows to be wrong. Masonry should
stand firm against the present day tendency to drift away from oldfashioned
standards of right and honesty. My brothers, we cannot afford to raise funds
for Masonic purposes by selling to him who will buy the chance to obtain
something of value for a sum much less than that something is worth, or by am
other gambling pretense or device. All such is inherently dishonest. Let us as
a Grand Lodge place the seal of our disapproval upon it. – Arthur M. Brown
his Grand Master’s Address, February 6, 1924)
of the Egyptians
EGYPTIAN ART: INTRODUCTORY STUDIES, by Professor Jean Capart, translated from
the French by Warren R. Dawson. Published by Frederick A. Stokes; may be
purchased through National Masonic Research Society, 1950 Railway Exchange,
St. Louis, Mo. Dark red cloth, index, extensive bibliographies, 179 pages.
deathless spell of Egypt is due to its art. Except for the light it throws on
the evolution of Judaism, Egyptian history carries little interest to most
readers; its theology and philosophy did not enter, except indirectly and in a
remote way, into the main current of European thought; its forms and practices
in government did little to shape law in the Western world; and its religion,
while it played a part in the Greco-Roman world, and therefore left traces of
itself in the cult life of early Western peoples, left no deep impress on the
theologies with which we Occidentals are familiar. It is the art of Egypt, its
pyramids, its temples, its mighty pillars, its strangely conventionalized
pictures, and its mysterious hieroglyphics, that has always appealed to the
instinct for the exotic every one of us feels in some degree or other. And it
is this same art, especially its symbols and emblems, that has interested
Masons for many years, especially those who believe in the Egyptian origin of
some parts of the ritual; therefore Professor Capart's magnificent book will
probably enjoy a wider hearing among Masonic students than books dealing more
largely with Egyptian history.
present volume is a translation of the introductory chapters of Capart's
Lepons sur l'Art egyptien, published at Liege, Belgium, 1920. Its materials
originally formed the basis of a course of lectures delivered by the author,
beginning with 1903, when he was made professor of Ancient Art and Archeology
at Brussels and at the University of Liege, his long established reputation as
an Orientalist being responsible for his appointment at both places. The
uniqueness of his method of treatment as compared with other attempts in the
same field is best described by his translator, who, on page 6, says:
studying the Lepons I was immediately struck by a conspicuous difference in
plan between them and the existing works on Egyptian art. The latter, many of
them excellent books, are really little more than catalogues of known works of
art arranged in chronological order, or disconnected studies of special
points. No other work known to me has ever probed so deeply into the question
of origins and of motives, or has been based upon such evolutional lines as
Monsieur Capart's book."
word "evolutional" deserves emphasis, not as having anything to do with the
Theory of Evolution but as indicating one of the prime services rendered by
the book. Among many popular writers, including a few Masonic scribes, things
Egyptian are often explained by reference to THE Egyptian religion, or
theology, or philosophy, or what not, as if all through its history Egypt
clung to one set of dogmas about such matters; whereas the fact is that among
the Egyptians, as among all other peoples, everything changed from place to
place and from century to century, so that there were many Egyptian religions,
many theologies, many sciences. This fact, so abundantly set forth in
Professor Capart's work, destroys at one stroke a deal of theorizing among
Masonic writers, and especially such as essay the tremendously difficult task
of explaining Egyptian symbols.
Egyptian Art should be read by those undertaking that task. It sets in a new
and revealing light many things often dealt with by symbologists, such as
pillars, columns, arches, amulets, emblems and the like, and in a manner easy
Egyptian builders usually, like ourselves, dedicated a new public structure
texts and bas-reliefs afford numerous details as to foundation ceremonies of
the Ancient Egyptians. The king, accompanied by priests and priestesses who
impersonated divinities laid the first stone, made an offering to the gods of
specimens of the building materials, and consecrated under the angles
foundation deposits consisting of pottery, model tools, amulets, and tablets
bearing commemorative inscriptions."
Students of our own Great Pillars will be interested in this passage
"Obelisks are not mere ornaments; they were considered as divinities 'of flesh
and bone' who needed food offerings which the religious texts meticulously
prescribed The erection of an obelisk constituted a cult ceremony of which
representations may be found in the bas-reliefs of the temples."
Readers who have sought for the origin of the lily work on the chapiters of
our Masonic pillars among the Egyptians will be interested to learn that
Egyptian architects made use of a number of plants for decorative and
symbolical purposes: the lotus, of which two species were widely used, and
which gives its name to the lotiform column; the papyrus (from which we have
"paper"), used in two fundamentally different manners, giving its name to the
papyriform column; the palm, used without many changes throughout all Egyptian
history, giving its name to the palmiform column; the lily, sometimes
identified as a variation of the palm, used on the liliform column; and a
number of combinations and other varieties of these, some of which are
observable in the accompanying illustration of the Temple of Isis at Philae.
Egyptians were as human as we are. They had in their blood a genius all their
own, a racial genius, which set them apart from other peoples; but aside from
that there is nothing strange or occult in their architecture, their
symbolism, or their art in general. The things that strike us as strange and
often as weird were natural to them, and usually due to the peculiarities of
their geography and climate; to the desert that stretched in a vast purple
mystery under their lonely stars; to the Nile that wound through their midst,
a liquid avenue into the unknown outer world, and to the overhanging cliffs
under the shadow of which they built so many of their cities, and out of which
carved so many of their temples and their monuments. Once the mind has become
familiarized with these external influences it finds under the Egyptian skin
the same human flesh out of which we are all molded. It is even refreshing, at
times, to find them up to our modern tricks of manufacture and trade, as when
their workmen learned to make columns of wood camouflaged as marble, or as
when their cabinet workers turned out pieces of furniture very carefully
veneered and dyed in imitation of costly woods.
MASTER'S LECTURES: A PERSONAL REVIEW
MASTER'S LECTURES, AS DELIVERED IN EVANS LODGE, No. 524, ANCIENT FREE AND
ACCEPTED MASONS, EVANSTON, ILLINOIS, U. S. A., by the W. M. of Evans Lodge. De
Luxe fabrikoid binding, 96 pages, edition limited to 461 copies: privately
printed. May be purchased through National Masonic Research Society. $5.15
only quarrel with this book is that it does not reveal the name of its author;
and the author himself, though he has been importuned without stint, refuses
to acknowledge his paternity; therefore one of the most Masonic of all Masonic
books must go out into the world without a pilot. But that will not matter so
far as the book is concerned; it is quite able to go it alone.
say this much about the author. I once gave him the soundest beating at
billiards anyone ever heard of. Nevertheless (I say it with all modesty) he
can play billiards, and that is the surprising thing about it, for before I
met him I had pictured him as a man of many years, with a bald pate, a pair of
horn-rimmed spectacles, and helplessly absent-minded. What else should one
expect of a man who has read everything, quotes Greek and Latin, and writes
like a philosopher! These are strange times!
So-and-So is a business man, full of Rotary Club and pep, and is not bald, or
disgracefully aged, or dyspeptic, or scholarly behaved, or bookwormish in his
talk. He uses the most amazing line of slang ever heard outside of Chicago.
is point to all this. Next to a book itself the most important thing is the
man behind the book. Any man of grammar school education can read a list of
volumes on Masonry and then re-write what he has read, feeding out to a
bookworm audience a lot of stuff at second-hand; but it is different if one is
out in the world, helping operate the machinery of business, subjected to the
wear and tear of competition, busy day and night, and then grow so interested
in Masonry that he must write a book about it, a book out of his own soul,
inspired by a vision of Masonry's great contribution to daily life, and based
on a first-hand experience of its unsearchable riches.
"Freemasonry has no place for the little selfish side of man. Its secrets are
as the dead to him who looks at life in that way It looks for the man with the
bigger soul, with the more universal spirit; it stops and stays with him only
who sees man's mission in the betterment of the human race who can take by the
hand the fellow who is down and out, and put him on his feet, and send him on
his way a better man. Its teachings are wonderfully practical and godlike when
once we recognize them."
he writes. The Master's Lectures is a volume of twelve chapters, one for each
month of the year, each one prefaced by a bit of lore about the month itself,
and garnished with many quotations from hither and yon. The subjects are as
old as the world, and as new - Initiation, Fraternity, Toleration, Faith,
Truth, Charity, Morality, Patriotism [published in THE BUILDER, December,
1923], Symbolism, Philosophy, Happiness, Immortality. The writer is like one
apart, withdrawn from the racket about him, soliloquizing on life, his eyes
turned toward the faces of wisdom and truth; now and then a passage becomes
poetical with a falling cadence, a note of musing melancholy, as if the author
sees that for many men the Word has been lost as they rush about, smitten with
the superstition of toeing. In this transfigurating atmosphere Masonry becomes
a thing of beauty, timeless, eternal, the everlasting philosophy of life for
them that have eyes to see, hearts to feel, minds to know. The book is a
revelation of the inner heart of the modern business man who, behind his
boy-like activity and all his rushing about in the marts, knows an inner
secret and is sustained and upheld thereby. That secret is his own real
religion, innocent of dogma and creed, the hidden life of his life, the
Masonry of his soul.
lectures were delivered once a month by the Worshipful Master to his lodge,
and each was printed in pamphlet form for such as could not attend; at the end
of the year the lodge's educational committee gathered them into book form,
beautifully printed and bound, for use by brothers elsewhere. Whatever profit
may accrue is returned to the lodge, for further work of the same character. A
highly Masonic procedure, and one to be recommended to lodges everywhere! -
H. L. H.
INTERPLAY OF GOVERNMENT AND RELIGION
CHRlSTIANITY AND THE STATE, by S. Parkes Cadman. Published by The Macmillan
company. May be purchased through the National Masonic Research society.
Cloth. index. exhaustive bibliographies; 370 pages. $2.65 postpaid.
many readers who enjoyed Bro. Dr. Cadman's "Freemasonry and the Demands of the
Times," in the May issue of THE BUILDER, will be happy to know that he has
added another new book to the ever growing list of volumes that have given him
a name as author equal to that he has long enjoyed as a preacher. He is an
amazing phenomenon, Bro. Cadman is; how he manages to speak night after night
to great audiences in all parts of the land, look after the interests of
Central Congregational Church in Brooklyn, and then on top of it all do so
much reading and writing is a mystery. But the mystery is a fact, and one line
of endeavor does not seem to interfere with the others.
Although Christianity and the. State is saturated with erudition and filled
with history it is not an academic treatise for closest scholars alone but a
tract of the times, having as its motive and purpose the answering of a
question that is today bothering every man who tries to hold to the ethics and
principles of the religion of the Western World: How can a Christian man
adjust his religious loyalties to the often conflicting political loyalties
demanded of him by modern states and governments? May such a man become a
political opportunist, or must he become a political revolutionary ? This is
the present day form of the old, old problem as to the relation between
religion and politics. Bro. Cadman arrives at his solution of this enigma
through history, and by an examination of the interplay between Christianity
and political governments from the beginnings of that Faith until now. What
that solution is one must learn from the book; it cannot be stated in a few
book does not deal specifically with Freemasonry at any point, yet there are
some chapters in it that Masons will find peculiarly interesting, especially
such as deal with the Holy Roman Empire and its collapse. That Empire no
longer exists as a political or ecclesiastical entity, but its spirit and
ideals are imbedded in the imperialism of some governments and in the world
plans of the Roman Catholic Church; and it is through such instrumentalities
that medievalism lives on, seeking to shape the world to itself. Dr. Cadman's
manner of taking hold of this thorny problem might serve as a model. Instead
of attacking it as a partisan, bent on defending or destroying, he appraises
medievalism from the standpoint of world religion; and instead of lumping all
things medieval together as belonging in that general discard known as "The
Dark Ages," he releases from it those things that have timeless and universal
validity and insists that such things be preserved. This is a sound attitude.
It is the attitude of Freemasonry which holds evermore to an ideal of
universality in time as well as of place, and "seeks the truth wherever found,
on Christian or on heathen ground."
PROCEEDINGS FOR SALE
Oregon, 1852-63, and all through the "eighties"; Louisiana, 1883; Indiana,
1888; Kentucky, 1889; Illinois, 1887-8; Vermont. 1884-5-6-8; Missouri, 1887-8,
etc.; History of Maryland, A. F. & A. M.; Grand Chapter, Oregon, 1868-75, etc.
Address inquiries to National Masonic Research Society, 1950 Railway Exchange,
* * *
LINCOLN, AND MASONIC PRESIDENTS
you please give me the following information: Was Abraham Lincoln a Mason? And
also the names of the Presidents who have been Masons.
is no evidence whatever to show that Lincoln was in any manner connected with
the Craft, though he might well have been, seeing that no other institution in
existence more nearly-embodies his views, at least of his later life. It is of
record that the following Presidents have been Masons: Washington, Monroe,
Polk, Jackson, Buchanan, Johnson, Garfield, McKinley, Roosevelt, Taft and
Harding. This comprises eleven names. an addition of one to the list as
* * *
BENJAMIN RUSH A MASON ?
Dr. Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, a
member of our Order?
"Memorial" published in TEJE BUILDER, October, 1918, page 296, Bro. George W.
Baird listed him as a member, but since that writing Bro. Baird has found
reason to believe himself in error on the point. Dr. Julius Sachse, who made
diligent search, came to the conclusion that Rush was never a Mason; others
believe that he may have been once a member but later recanted. In any event
it is a point that needs to be cleared up.
* * *
ABOUT THE CRUSADES
whole family enjoyed looking at the interesting pictures of the Crusades you
printed in the June BUILDER. We should like to read something on the subject.
Won't you name a few books?
Crusades, by M. M. C. Calthrop, a title in The People's Books series, is a
good brief introduction; so also is the older book, The Crusades, by Sir
George W. Cox, though it is more technical, and devotes more space to names
and dates. The illustrations to which you refer were taken from an edition of
Michaud's History of the Crusades, published in the middle of the past
century, the most popular and readable of all the larger general works. See
also The Crusaders, by Archer and Kingsford; and The Crusaders in the East, by
W. B. Stevenson, one of the few works in English giving an account of the
great movements from the point of view of Moslem. Consult the article in
Encyclopedia Britannica (11th edition); and the Publications of the Palestine
Pilgrims' Text Society, 14 volumes, 1887-1897: in the former you will find a
complete bibliography, and in the latter the best modern authorities
concerning the Holy Places, which were the objectives of the Crusaders. For
the Masonic point of view see Mackey's Revised History of Freemasonry, by
Robert Ingham Clegg; and The Knights Templar History, by C. G. Addison. Good
luck to you in your reading. You will find yourself in a realm of endless
wonder and all primed, once you have negotiated the difficult curves of a vast
subject, to turn for increased enjoyment to the tales of Bro. Sir Walter
Scott. to whose high genius for romance the spirit of modern Knight Templarism
may be more indebted than has often been realized.
* * *
desirous of getting light on the following item, clipped from the Idaho
Statesman of about two months ago: Mrs. Caroline Eliza Gray died at the home
of her daughter in this city last Thursday at the age of 91 years. She had the
distinction of being the last member of the original party which was the
forerunner of the Eastern Star. In the summer of 1863 the Masons of Knox
county, Missouri, took their wives and daughters over 16 years old to the
lodge room at Edina, Missouri, and conferred the First Degree of the Masons
upon them, for protection. Mrs. Gray was one of the girls who received this
degree, and was the last remaining member of the original party. This act was
the forerunner of the Eastern Star which was organized in 1869, and was for
the same purpose, protection.
clipping was referred to Bros. Ray V. Denslow, C. H. Briggs and R. J.
Johnston, the last named the present Secretary of Edina Lodge, No. 291. Bros.
Denslow and Briggs report no information obtainable; Bro. Johnston writes that
his lodge has no records of the period, and says that their present charter
dates from Oct. 15, 1886, though there had been granted a previous charter
shortly after the Civil War, now lost. The story is no doubt a fairy tale,
like so many other marvels attributed to early Masonry of the Middle West, but
it is possible that some reader may throw light on the subject; if so a word
from him will be appreciated.
* * *
AHIMAN REZON IN AMERICA
you give me some information on the Ahiman Rezon as it is used in this
country? South Carolina uses it, of course modified to suit our needs, and
does this signify that our work is modeled more after the Ancients than the
Moderns as the two once existed in England? I have been thinking along this
line and I would like to have a little light on the matter as to whether my
own Grand Lodge's work is derived more from the Ancients than the Moderns. Is
Dermott's work, or rather his influence as author of the Ahiman Rezon,
observed in many of the Grand Lodges of our country?
F., South Carolina.
must not confuse the Ritual with the Constitution and Regulations of a Grand
Lodge. They are two distinct matters. There is no relation between the Ritual
a Grand Lodge might adopt and the Constitution it may use. If you will turn to
THE BUILDER for October, 1923, and read my article on "The Masonic Ritual in
the U. S." it will help you to get a better understanding of where we got the
Ritual in this country. In the fall will appear three more articles developing
this in further detail.
answer your questions: "Can you give me some information on the Ahiman Rezon
as it is used in this country?" I may say that in the ease of South Carolina
you have preserved nothing but the title. All matter found in Dermott's
original copy has been expurgated. There really is no reason why your state
should perpetuate the title. At one time Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia,
North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and New York either officially or
unofficially put out a book of constitutions called "Ahiman Rezon." Some
followed Dermott and some did not. I believe Pennsylvania, South Carolina and
possibly Maryland are the only states today preserving this title I am not
sure about Maryland. Pennsylvania is the only state which seems entitled to
call its Constitutions by that name.
this signify our work is modeled more after the Ancients than the Moderns as
the two once existed in England?
necessarily, though it happens that our Ritual does follow that of the
Ancients in every state in the United States. As I said, a Grand Lodge might
adopt either Anderson's or Dermott's Constitutions regardless of Ritual. Most
states based their jurisprudence on Anderson and used the Ritual of the
Dermott's work or rather his influence as author of the Ahiman Rezon observed
in many of the Grand Lodges in this country ?"
should say, no. Just what effect the Ahiman Rezon has had on our jurisprudence
is a special study in itself, which a brother is now working on. If you have
in mind the Ritual I would still say no, as there is no reason to presume
Dermott invented the Ritual of the Antients. Undoubtedly it existed long
before he was made a Mason.
the South Carolina Ritual derived more from the Ancients than the Moderns?"
as in every Grand Lodge in the United States. The only portions taken from the
Moderns consist of slight additions made by Thomas Smith Webb in 1802-1805,
which were generally adopted over here by every state but Pennsylvania.
* * *
FREEMASONRY AND THE FOUNDING OF THE U. S. GOVERNMENT
can one go about it to make a study of the influence Freemasonry had in
organizing our government? It is a subject I like to study. My chief interest
in reading for several years has been our history, and I am trying to learn
what part our Order has had in it all.
special research group is now working under the auspices of this Society on
that subject. Why not join it? It will give you the best opportunity possible
in your chosen field. Address a letter to THE BUILDER. TWO paragraphs from the
last pages of Bro. Melvin M. Johnson's The Beginnings of Freemasonry in
America will suggest how large a field it is, and how much we Masons can
expect to gain from its study:
have now learned how the seeds were sown in America for the birth and growth
of Freemasonry. Its influence upon the establishment and development of the
institutions of the United States does not so powerfully appear during the
period treated by this book as it will when the Masonic history of the last
half of the 18th century is adequately presented. A study of the tremendous
influence which Freemasonry had in the pre-Revolutionary days, in the years of
that war, and throughout the formative period of American institutions, will
demonstrate that Freemasonry has exercised a greater influence upon the
establishment and development of American civilization and the fundamentals of
this Government than any other single institution.
"Neither general historians nor the members of the Fraternity since the days
of the first Constitutional Conventions have ever realized how much the United
States of America 'owes to Freemasonry, and how great a part it played in the
birth of the nation and the establishment of the Landmarks of that
civilization which has given to the citizens of this great land the liberty
which they enjoy, and by indirection has guided the development of all
civilization of the world in those countries where the accomplishments of war
are not the ultima thule of human endeavour."
* * *
MEANING OF "WORSHIPFUL"
you explain through the Question Box the meaning of "worshipful" as used by us
in "Worshipful Master"?
W.Y.T., New York.
word comes from the Anglo-Saxon weordh, meaning worthy, honorable. Shakespeare
speaks of "That good man of worship, Anthony Woodville." (Richard Ill., I,
1.). As originally used, "worshipful" meant that a thing was worthy of being
honored because of its character or nature; it came in time to be especially
applied to magistrates and incorporated bodies, and was sometimes used as a
term of ironical respect. Skeats (Etymological Dictionary) defines
"worshipful" as coming from "worship," and says that "worship" stands for
"worthship." The "th" was not dropped until the fourteenth century. The idea
at the bottom of "worship" is "worth," which derived from an ancient root wer,
meaning to guard, or keep. Our word "ware" is from the same root. "Worshipful"
as used by us is a term of respect, and means in a general way "worthy."
* * *
JEFFERSON DAVIS A MASON?
member of your Society, I am writing to ask you to supply some information to
Polar Star Lodge, No. 154, of Handsboro, Miss., regarding Jefferson Davis.
Some of the older Masons claim that Davis at least attended it, but there is
some doubt in their minds about his being a member. The Secretary informs me
that he has searched all the records in his possession but does not find any
light on this subject. Polar Star Lodge No. 154, was chartered in 1854.
Nathaniel H. Walker, Gulfport, Miss.
have no records in our own files to show that Mr. Davis was ever a member of
the Fraternity. Bro. E. L. Faucette, Grand Secretary, Grand Lodge of
Mississippi, writes: "We have never been able to find in our records that Mr.
Jefferson Davis was a Mason. Of course, if he visited Polar Star Lodge, No.
154, at Handsboro, he must have been, but we have not been able to ascertain
from our own records that he was." Can any reader furnish additional
* * *
EDWARD GIBBON WAS A MASON
have just read for the second time Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman
Empire. It is one of my favorite works. It has occurred to me to ask if Edward
Gibbon was a Mason; in view of the feet that he was something of a skeptic I
should suppose he was not, but I am curious to make sure.
Gibbon was an earnest Mason. In the British Museum (Add. MSS. 34887) are two
certificates, one issued by the Grand Lodge of England (Modern), the other by
his lodge; both were printed in full in Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, XVII., page
22. The G. L. document certified that Edward Gibbon was a Mason in good
standing, as appeared on the Register of the Lodge of Friendship, No. 3, then
held at the Star and Garter Tavern, New Bond street, London, and bore date of
December 19, 1774. The lodge document, certified to the same effect, was dated
March 8, 1775, and was described as having been "given in open lodge." A.Q.C.
gives another Gibbon item on page 162, Vol. X., over signature of E. J.
Barron, in which that writer quotes from Historic Studies in Vaud, Berne, and
Savoy, From Roman Times to Voltaire, Rousseau and Gibbon, by General Meredith
Read, "for many years United States Minister at Athens, and Consul-General at
Paris during the Franco-German War, who died shortly after the publication of
de Boehat was a fervent Freemason, and I found in la Grotte [the house in
which Gibbon lived at Lausanne] a fragment of a discourse by him in defence of
that body. George Deyverdun and Gibbon followed in the footsteps of their
illustrious predecessor, both being earnest Masons. The Masonic body in
Switzerland was then under the direction of the English Masonic authorities,
and had no political affiliations." Vol. 2, page 297.
Gibbon manuscripts at Sheffield Place are preserved in a large tin box, on the
under side of the lid of which are two black silhouettes of Gibbon engaged in
taking snuff and in taking tea. The first document which I noticed lying on
the top of the others was Gibbon's diploma as a Master Mason." - Vol. 2, page
* * *
CLASS LODGES PERMITTED ?
is meant by "class lodges" ? Are they permitted in this country? If so, will
you give me a few examples?
"class lodge" is one that limits its membership to men of some one type, or
profession, or race, and does so deliberately, with by-laws to that effect..
In this strict sense there are no class lodges in this country, at least we
have no records of such and have heard of none, except in one solitary
instance. But in England class lodges are more or less common, though they
were not regarded with much favor in early days, for it was believed that in
Masonry all should meet upon the level, regardless of class or professional
distinctions. There are army Iodges, navy lodges, lodges composed of lawyers,
journalists, and in some instances lodges of members of some one church, or
graduates from some school. While, as said above, lodges thus strictly and
formally limited in membership are not permitted under American Grand Lodges
here, there are in eject class lodges, for their members tacitly agree among
themselves to exclude members of some race, or to include within themselves
members of only one race; or else their fees and expenses are such as
automatically to exclude men of certain financial (or lack of financial)
standing. The present scribe has given addresses in lodges composed wholly of
Jews, or that admitted to membership no Jews; lodges that were made up
entirely of professional men, or laborers; and in one instance, a lodge wholly
composed of Bohemians. In all these instances exclusiveness was based on a
"gentleman's agreement." Of a similar character are lodges connected colleges
and universities. The idea behind the class lodge is the same as that behind a
club, and the theory is that social life will be more agreeable among men of
the same walk of life, or of the same race. Whether this idea will ever take
general root in American Masonry, and ultimately secure official sanction,
remains for the future to decide; there are some developments to indicate that
this may become one of the burning questions of the future, along with the
move toward plural membership. What do you think about it?
* * *
DOCTRINE OF SELECTIVENESS
Freemasonry is intended to be universal, as all of us Masons boast, why do we
persist in drawing the color line, and the race line, and the poverty line,
and the line at the physically unfit, and all the rest of these lines and
fences? Why shouldn't our Order be as broad as the race, big as the world? We
should be absolutely democratic, it seems to me.
there! You are going pretty fast! Why shouldn't you go on to ask why we have
any Fraternity at all, seeing that we already have a human race to which every
human being belongs? You make altogether too long a jump from your premise to
your conclusion. Who has ever claimed for Freemasonry that it is universal in
the physical sense that you have in mind? It is its principles that are
universal, not its membership. Brotherly love, relief, and truth are as sound
and necessary among the Hottentots as in New York, but that does not imply
that every Hottentot would enjoy membership in a lodge. Such membership
carries with itself certain obligations, duties, and privileges, and all these
predicate a member capable of meeting and understanding them. One of the evils
of the present day is that we have let down the bars too easily, so that
thousands have accepted membership who do not possess the necessary
qualifications, and become a burden on the Order, complicating its problems
without adding to its strength. In principle, Masonry must be kept universal,
yes; but in actual membership, no; like every other organized society it must
carefully select its members. You may call this the Doctrine of Selectiveness,
if you wish. It is a doctrine that should be brought to the front, expounded,
applied, and enforced; and that because, through a peculiar paradox inherent
in the facts of the ease, the true and possible and desirable universality of
Freemasonry can never become possible without the rigid enforcement of a
carefully defined principle of selection in its membership.
* * *
"WIVES' AND DAUGHTERS' DEGREES" IN FLORIDA
item has been going the rounds of the Masonic press of late to the effect that
a so-called "Wives and Daughters' Degree" was being conferred in open lodge in
the state of Florida; somewhat exercised by this a number of readers have
written to ask if such a thing is possible. The ensuing reply to a letter sent
to the Grand Master of Florida shows that, of course, it is not:
ago, before the Eastern Star was instituted in Florida, some of our lodges
made a gala day of December 27, especially in the rural districts where they
met early in the day and after disposing of regular business called the lodge
from labor to refreshment, invited the members of their families into the
lodge room where speeches were delivered and various methods of entertainment
employed, luncheon served and a general good time enjoyed.
was during this interim that the "degree" known as the "Wives' and Daughters'
Degree" was conferred, but it was not done while the lodge was opened but as
part of the entertainment for the families of the members and probably there
was no more harm in it than there would have been in a regular chapter of
Eastern Stars. M. W. Bro. Long was one of the old school who was ever watchful
lest our established rules and customs be infringed, so that any brother may
calm himself of any uneasiness he may have felt regarding any un-Masonic
practice supposed to have been committed or sanctioned by this venerable old
Todd, G. M., Florida.
* * *
CHINESE WORSHIPFUL MASTERS
interested in a note in the latest number of THE BUILDER (June) to the effect
that a Chinese brother had been installed Worshipful Master of one of the
lodges of California constitution in the Territory of Hawaii. I am very glad
to know that our California brethren are taking this ground. It may interest
your readers to know that a Chinese gentleman, Bro. Paonan Miensang Whang, was
Worshipful Master of International Lodge in Peking, Massachusetts
constitution, in 1917 and 1918; and that another, Dr. Ssu Pang Chen, is the
present presiding Master of that lodge.
Frederick W. Hamilton, G. S., Boston, Mass.
planning a trip through St. Louis arrange to stop off for a visit with us. We
are easy to find. The Railway Exchange stands up out of the center of the city
like a monument. It is said to be one of the largest office buildings in the
* * *
have for free distribution a limited number of copies of "Secrets of the
Temple," a booklet by Bro. Arthur C. Parker "Symbols of Masonry," by Bro.
George H. Imbrie; and two issues of the Missouri Grand Lodge Bulletin, one of
which is largely devoted to Kit Carson as a Mason, the other to Mark Twain,
ditto. First come, first served.
* * *
happy to pass on a request being sent out by the librarian of the Supreme
Council, S. J.:
build up this great Masonic Library at the Capital of the Nation, we want
Masonic books, pamphlets, proceedings - Lodge, Chapter Council, Commandery,
Scottish Rite, etc., histories, by-laws, circulars, etc. - Masonic magazines -
Masonic medals and souvenirs - Masonic relies of all kinds.
you help us by sending anything along these lines? We will be glad to pay the
expense of shipment when necessary.
L. Boyden, 33d, Hon.,
* * *
Break, break, break
'phone connections - See ?
would that my tongue could utter
thoughts that arise in me.
well for the telephone girl
she's only in reach of my shout!
well for the manager, too
his lies cannot be found out.
the horrible breaks go on,
the ruin of business hopes;
for a chance to revenue myself
the telephone central dopes!
Break, break, break
rave most bootlesslee!
the tender grace of a placid mind
never come back to me.