The Builder Magazine
February 1925 - Volume XI - Number
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Making a Mason at Sight - A Symposium
New Temple at Davenport, Iowa - By BRO. ALBERT F. BLOCK, Iowa
LEGEND OF THE QUATUOR CORONATI - BY BRO. GILBERT W. DAYNES, Associate Editor,
Regius Poem Version of the Quatuor Coronati Legend
Way – By Bro. C.C. Hunt, Deputy Grand Secretary, Iowa
of Eastern Star’s Educational Campaign in Tennessee - BY THE CHAIRMAN OF THE
PUBLICITY COMMITTEE, GRAND CHAPTER, O. E. S., TENN.
Historical Sketch of Lodge Canongate Kilwinning, No. 2, Scotland
REMARKABLE ALTAR - By BRO. N. W. J. HAYDON, Asso. Ed., Canada
Men Who Were Masons - James Otis - By BRO. GEORGE W. BAIRD. P.G.M., District
STUDY CLUB - Studies of Masonry in the United States - By BRO. H. L. Haywood
Editor - PART VI - BEGINNINGS IN MASSACHUSETTS
GRAND MASTER THAT "PREROGATIVE"?
SPRIG OF ACACIA
NEWTON RAY PARVIN
CONCISE HISTORY OF CANADIAN MASONRY FREEMASONRY IN CANADA.
MARTYRDOM OF WINWOOD READE.
SHEAF OF SERMONS
SYMBOLISM OF THE THREE DEGREES
to Read in Masonry
QUESTION BOX AND CORRESPONDENCE
YORK OWNS COPY OF FRANKLIN CONSTITUTIONS
STARCKE IS A MASON
TO THIS BROTHER
FOR SALE AND EXCHANGE
SECONDHAND CATALOG WITH MASONIC APPEAL
REMEMBERS JEFFERSON DAVIS AS A MASON
PHYSICAL QUALIFICATIONS IN LEVITICUS
THE COMACINE THEORY
NOT A "WORLD MASONIC CONGRESS"?
VARIOUSLY GOVERNING CONFERRING DEGREES BY COURTESY
Making a Mason at Sight
addressed to a number of well informed brethren this question: "Do you
consider it legitimate, in view of ancient Masonic usages, laws and landmarks,
for a Grand Master to Make a Mason at Sight?" Below are printed a number of
the replies, along with two or three items added by Ye Editor. Other views and
reviews of this question will be welcomed, possibly for future publication; it
is a problem that cuts deeply into the principles of Masonic jurisprudence,
for it opens up the very much mooted question of a Grand Master's
prerogatives. A number of discussions of the theme will be found in back
numbers of this journal.
you have qualified your question, I answer, unhesitatingly, No! There is no
ancient Masonic usage, or law, or landmark of which I have any knowledge, that
either authorizes or justifies the Making of Masons at Sight.
so-called "prerogative" of the Grand Master, to Make Masons at Sight, is
certainly not a "landmark", for, as far as I am aware, it does not now belong
to Grand Masters (universally), and never has belonged to them, and besides,
the Grand Master is a "modern invention." S. H. GOODWIN, Grand Secretary,
may be legitimate, in view of usage or express Masonic law in certain Grand
Jurisdictions, for a Grand Master to Make a Mason at Sight--but it is of very
questionable propriety. Every candidate should pass through the portals of
Masonry as all have done who have gone this way before. The scrutiny of
investigation and ballot should not be relaxed for anyone. Acquaintance and
experiences with scores of Grand Masters convince me that they are not
sufficiently infallible to be permitted to exercise such a "prerogative."
framers of the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Iowa evidently realized that
some among its coming Grand Masters might be prone to err, and expressly
provides "a limitation upon any prerogative of the Grand Master to make Masons
otherwise than in the manner prescribed by law, and in a regularly constituted
Lodge." FRANK S. MOSES, P. G. M., Iowa.
when publishing the symposium, you would make it clear that this phrase really
means conferring upon some eminent citizen, who has signified his desire to
join us, an honorary membership in our Order generally, in "an occasional
lodge," called into being for that object alone, then I would say that it is a
legitimate privilege of the office of Grand Master--to be exercised with the
discretion we expect from such a trusted officer.
true that the conditions attendant upon this action in the eighteenth century
no longer exist. Our Order has become popular and honorable, so that we no
longer need to scramble for "some nobleman to act as Grand Master." But there
still are noble men, whose earlier years contained no opportunity--possibly no
inclination--to knock at our doors. Why should we not recognize their services
to humanity as do the universities; leaving to their own choice their honoring
some constituent lodge by affiliating with it?
J. HAYDON, Associate Editor, Toronto.
LEGITIMATE IF CORRECTLY INTERPRETED.
"to Make Masons at Sight" be understood as meaning that a Grand Master may
take a profane aside privately and make him a Mason, I should unhesitatingly
say it was against the general trend of opinion and tradition among Masons in
all countries and all times so far as we have record; although power to do so
has been claimed, and probably at times exercised, by holders of certain High
however, the phrase be taken in the sense that a Grand Master may summon a
sufficient number of Masons, and with them form a lodge, and in that lodge
initiate a candidate without the regular formalities of investigation, it is
within his right, as in so doing he only exercises in one case the general
dispensatory powers that inhere in his office, where not specifically limited
by constitution or statute.
Grand Master is the sole inheritor of the powers once common to all Master
Masons, and in an institution founded on antiquity such a traditional right
ought to be maintained, and exercised in special cases where the character and
position of the candidate, and the general circumstances, combine to make it
appropriate and beneficial to the Craft.
MEEKREN, Associate Editor, Quebec.
DOUBTS THE PROPRIETY.
Grand Lodge, undoubtedly, has power to make its own laws; if it sees fit to
delegate its authority to its Grand Master, then the acts of its Grand Master
are legal until disapproved by the Grand Lodge.
seems to be no question as to whether the Ancient Landmarks permitted such
power, provided each individual case met with the general approval of the
Craft; however, it must be remembered that the ceremony of today is much
different from that of two hundred years ago.
question does not involve the question of "propriety," which I think of even
more importance than "legitimacy." Personally, I do not favor the "Making of
Sight Masons," believe no particular good results therefrom, and that the
recipient of such honors later regrets the manner in which he received the
Degrees. If the "Making at Sight" consisted in the simple waiver of ballot by
the Grand Master, it might serve a useful purpose, but most Americans look on
special privileges and autocratic power as anything else than Masonic.
V. DENSLOW, Associate Editor, Missouri.
PRACTICE IS QUESTIONABLE.
Masters have no inherent rights and no prerogatives not expressly delegated to
them by Grand Lodges. To be made a Mason, one must go through the forms and
ceremonies and travel the road that all others have traveled before him. There
are no short cuts; equality demands that none receive special preference. If
Masons were ever Made at Sight, as we now understand the term, in the
eighteenth century, the practice certainly has no place in American Masonry
note that Pennsylvania is one of the states claiming Making at Sight as a
prerogative of the Grand Master. And yet a regulation provides that a Mason
Made at Sight does not become a member of the lodge he may be made in but must
apply by petition and be regularly elected. This is a curious situation.
one seeks to invest Grand Masters with romantic ideas as to the antiquity of
their office and to further invest them with prerogatives that the Grand
Masters of Orders of Knighthood and crowned heads once exercised, then one
would insist our Grand Masters had such power. But this is hardly the right
conception. Nor can we be sure that before Dermott's time the instances of
degrees being conferred in "occasional lodges" was identical with "Making at
Sight." Dermott, of course, had no more authority to incorporate his reference
to the matter than you or I, unless the practice had existed.
should say the practice is questionable and if it were not, present day
conditions would be better served by Grand Lodges forbidding--as many of them
do--the thing in their Jurisdictions. A. L. KRESS, Associate Editor,
look into the history of the Masonic organization we discover that the Grand
Master within the Masonic sphere had almost supreme power, being in a sense a
Masonic monarch. He had the undisputed right to act for the Craft and in the
name of the Craft in any affair not contrary to the ancient landmarks. A man
having the proper qualifications and recommendations might have become a Mason
at heart, but be so situated that passing through the Rites would be
burdensome. A man of great distinction might be so involved in public affairs
of particular interest to Masons that initiation would not be easy. A Grand
Master contemplating the case and desiring to honor the individual, whom he
knew was of Masonic mind and who had made a verbal or regular petition, might
assume the right to declare such a candidate "a Mason at Sight," providing the
candidate of his own free will had made some form of a petition and promised
the proper avowal of the candidate, the Grand Master possesses full authority
to convene seven or more brethren in an occasional lodge and to confer the
Degrees. He may then dissolve the lodge. All this would be within the bounds
of the ancient Landmarks. Cases of this kind demonstrate the right of the
Grand Master to himself do what he has the power to delegate by dispensation,
and the fact that a Grand Master can grant a dispensation or revoke it shows
that the power proceeds from the Grand Master. In this sense the Grand Master
is supreme in his power.
Making Masons at Sight has never been a common practice, nor should it be.
That the right has never been abused reflects great credit upon those who have
been chosen to preside over our Grand Bodies. Instances of Making Masons at
Sight by order of the Grand Master are akin to instances where universities
exercise the right to grant honorary degrees upon those found worthy and well
qualified, save for the fact that a Mason is always a full Mason, once so
declared (unless he lose his status by expulsion or otherwise), and that there
is no such thing as an honorary Mason. ARTHUR C. PARKER, Associate Editor, New
it is not inconsistent with ancient Masonic usages, laws and landmarks for a
Grand Master to Make a Mason "at Sight", yet it is poor policy to do so.
poor policy for a Grand Master to exercise this obsolescent prerogative since
it sets at naught the lessons of equality, which is supposed to be one of the
fundamental principles of Masonry, inculcated at the closing of every American
lodge by one of our great symbols, the Level.
an injury to the Mason so made as it deprives him of the experience and
knowledge which is his due and which comes to him only in passing through the
Degrees. Former President Taft, who was so made, is reported to have expressed
his regret that he did not receive his Degrees in the regular way.
ancient conditions, it is conceivable that an architect or sculptor arising to
eminence in an out of the way locality, where there was no lodge, might be
Made a Mason "at Sight" by a Grand Master; but the necessity no longer exists
in this age of rapid intercommunication.
Lodges should legislate on this matter and limit the exercise of this
prerogative except in the rarest of instances and only when, for some reason,
it is impossible for the recipient to follow the usual course. CYRUS FIELD
WILLARD, Editor The Master Mason, California.
Making a Mason at Sight seems to me to be a perfectly legitimate use of the
power and prerogative vested in the office of Grand Master. We must always
remember that there is such a thing as the Grand Master's prerogative clearly
implied, if not explicitly stated in the Old Constitutions. That is to say,
the powers of a Grand Master inhere in the office; they are not conferred and
cannot be limited by Grand Lodge. Grand Lodge chooses the incumbent of the
office, that is all.
is no question that a Grand Master has the right to create a lodge by
dispensation and to dissolve the same at his will and pleasure. There is no
question that a Grand Master has the right to summon a particular lodge at any
time and to preside therein. A Mason is Made "at Sight," or "in an occasional
lodge" (a phrase of equivalent meaning), in a specially summoned regular lodge
or in a lodge specially created for that purpose.
only debatable feature about it is the Grand Master's dispensation waiving the
usual formalities of the ballot. This I take to be within the dispensing
powers of the Grand Master. In my opinion the dispensing power of a Grand
Master is limited only by the Ancient Landmarks. I fail to see that the usages
concerning the ballot, though to a large extent the common law of Masonry, can
properly be called landmarks. So far as usage is concerned, the practice can
be traced in organized Masonry back to 1731.
only remains to be said that Making a Mason at Sight is an extraordinary use
of an extraordinary power, usually held in reserve and never to be used except
on extraordinary occasions. Should a sufficiently extraordinary occasion
arise, it seems to me to be perfectly legitimate for a Grand Master so to use
it. FREDERICK W. HAMILTON, Grand Secretary, Mass.
VIOLATES THE PRINCIPLE OF EQUALITY.
views held by the individual Mason on this question will be controlled by his
view of the general body of old statutes and customs of the Craft. The
practical question for present day Masonry is not so much what did the Craft
do three hundred years ago, as it is, What is the spirit and genius of
twentieth century American Masonry?
Personally, I am no stickler for the letter of the Masonic law. By this I
mean, that if we follow the letter of the original law, many practices in
modern Masonry are indefensible. Most Grand Jurisdictions in America have
accommodated the original statutes to their own conditions. This being true
this old practice, which had its practical purpose, ought to be approached in
the modern spirit. Our only defense of this practice of Making a Mason at
Sight is as an honorary measure. Now, this is a delicate matter, the
conferring of this unique honor on any living man.
often the temptation is to honor politicians and financial givers The honors
that have been conferred under this particular landmark fall almost entirely
under these two heads. Consequently the ancient intent has been replaced by a
totally different purpose.
Masonry prides itself that every member is traveling upon a highway along
which every other good and worthy brother has traveled before him. Yet this
practice violates that very assertion.
Masonry prides itself that it regards no man for his worldly wealth or honors,
and that it regards the internal and not the external characteristics of a
postulant. No man should obtain Masonic light along any other path than that
which bears the footsteps of the vast host of Craftsmen.
a prerogative that most Grand Masters rightly regard as obsolete and refrain
from using. Their common sense controls them and they decline to become
parties to a virtual relinquishment of the outstanding glory of the
Institution, namely, its fundamental principle that "we meet upon the level,
and we part upon the square."
CHARLES F. IRWIN, Associate Editor, Pennsylvania.
AN ANCIENT LANDMARK.
matter of the propriety and legality of Making a Mason at Sight appears to be
a perennial topic for Masonic discussion, and there have been many earnest
advocates upon both sides of the question.
consensus of opinion is that it is one of those procedures which are lawful,
but not expedient, except under extraordinary conditions. There can be no
doubt as to its legality within those Grand Jurisdictions whose constitutions
expressly include it among the "prerogatives of the Grand Master," and it
would also appear to be proper and legal in any other Grand Jurisdictions
whose Constitution does not expressly forbid it.
prerogative of the Grand Master to Make Masons at Sight is enumerated by
Mackey as the eighth of the Ancient Landmarks. The work "Landmark" indicates
something which is unchangeable, immutable. Neither this Landmark, nor any of
the others, can be repealed or considered as "obsolete". The injunction rests
upon us all to "carefully preserve in their integrity the Ancient Landmarks."
Dermott (True Ahiman Rezon) says: "The R. W. Grand Master has full power and
authority to make, or cause to be made in his presence, Free and Accepted
Masons, and such making is good."
Grand Lodge, however, possesses the inherent right to determine for itself
whether it is, or is not, expedient for the Grand Master to exercise this
ancient prerogative at this time, and many have decided in the negative.
Probably much of the criticism of the exercise of this prerogative by a Grand
Master has arisen through misunderstanding of the procedure followed by the
Grand Master on such occasions.
CEREMONY IS DESCRIBED.
were only a brief, almost instantaneous action, practically only the utterance
of a mere fiat of the Grand Master, similar to the creation of a knight in the
days of chivalry, where the King simply struck the soldier on the left
shoulder with a sword, saying: "I dub thee knight," then this procedure could
be very justly criticised and condemned. But it is not done in this
perfunctory and informal manner. On the contrary, the obligations are given,
the secret work fully explained, the working tools and the apron presented in
the usual manner, and the Charge delivered. The only feature lacking is that
the ballot may be omitted, but as such a Mason must become affiliated later,
he then must pass the "scrutiny of the ballot", thus completing all the usual
Mackey says: "The Making of a Mason at Sight is a technical term, meaning the
power to initiate, pass and raise candidates by the Grand Master in a 'Lodge
of Emergency,' or as it is called in Anderson's Book of Constitutions, an
'Occasional Lodge,' specially convened by him and consisting of such Master
Masons as he may call together for that purpose only, the Lodge ceasing to
exist as soon as the initiation, passing and raising has been accomplished,
and the brethren dismissed by the Grand Master."
right of the Grand Master to constitute new lodges "under dispensation" has
never been questioned, nor the right of such lodges to legally confer the
Degrees, and yet such lodges are the mere creatures of the Grand Master, for
it is within his power at any time to revoke the dispensation and dissolve the
lodge. It should follow that with such power to thus enable others to confer
the Degrees and make Masons by his authority, but out of his presence, the
Grand Master has also the right to congregate seven or more Masons with
himself and cause a Mason to be made in his presence, or in his sight,
dissolving such "Emergency Lodge" when the work for which it was convened is
accomplished. FRANK W. HENDLEY, P. G. M., Ohio.
IS THE LODGE'S RIGHT TO SELECT ITS OWN MATERIAL.
question of Making Masons at Sight has often been discussed and there still
remains difference of opinion as to whether it should be done, and even
whether a Grand Master is not exceeding his authority in so doing.
prerogative of Making Masons at Sight is given in the eighth landmark in
Mackey's list, and is so regarded by a very large percentage of Masonic
jurists. The opinion of the writer is that all the so-called prerogatives of a
Grand Master are not vital fundamental principles of Freemasonry, but are
usages and customs which ought not to be set aside without very careful
consideration and due deliberation, but that they are not of such vital
importance as to be considered as unalterable landmarks.
have been unable to find any reference to the Making of Masons at Sight
earlier than the mention made in Dermott's Ahiman Rezon. The third edition
contains the following regulation:
"Apprentices must be admitted fellow crafts and masters only here, unless by
dispensation from the grand master."
note to the above regulation reads:
is a very ancient regulation, but seldom put in practice; new masons being
generally made at private lodges; however the right worshipful grand master
has full power and authority to make, or cause to be made in his worship's
presence, free and accepted masons at sight, and such making is good. But they
cannot be made out of his worship's presence, without a written dispensation
for that purpose. Nor can his worship oblige any warranted lodge to receive
the persons so made if the members should declare against him or them; but, in
such case, the right worshipful grand master may grant them a warrant and form
them into a new lodge." (Page 109 Ahiman Rezon --American edition 1805; from
3rd London ed.)
evident that the custom has plenty of precedent to entitle it to be considered
an established usage, yet it has been productive of such severe criticism that
very few Grand Masters ever attempt to exercise it. The prerogatives which
Grand Masters may lawfully claim by virtue of long established usage are many
and in this particular case conflicting with other equally well established
usage. It is even a more definitely established custom which has been written
into the laws of most jurisdictions that no man can be made a Mason until
after due inquiry and the ordeal of the ballot. Making Masons at Sight is a
disregard of this very important law', and most Grand Masters are eager to see
all the laws enforced and would refrain from using a prerogative which would
conflict with so vital a usage as the right of a lodge to determine the
fitness of the material in its jurisdiction.
fact that very few Masons have ever been made at sight would indicate that
there is very little danger of its being used to any extent. One distinguished
brother who was so made a few years ago has publicly announced that if he had
known just what it meant at the time he would have insisted on taking the same
course as all others take.
II. SHEPHERD, Chairman Masonic Research Committee, Wisconsin.
[EDITOR'S NOTE]--In connection with Bro. Shepherd's reference to Mackey it
will be in place here to quote a paragraph from Mackey's disquisition on his
list of landmarks as published in Vol. II, The American Quarterly Review of
Freemasonry (1859) where, on page 235, he says:
prerogative of the Grand Master to Make Masons at Sight is a landmark which is
closely connected with the preceding one. There has been much misapprehension
in relation to this landmark, which misapprehension has sometimes led to a
denial of its existence in jurisdictions where the Grand Master was perhaps at
the very time substantially exercising the prerogative, without the slightest
remark or opposition. It is not to be supposed that the Grand Master can
retire with a profane into a private room, and there, without assistance,
confer the degrees of Freemasonry upon him. No such prerogative exists, and
yet many believe that this is the so much talked of right of "Making Masons at
Sight." The real mode and the only mode of exercising the prerogative is this:
Grand Master summons to his assistance not less than six other Masons,
convenes a lodge, and without any previous probation, but on sight of the
candidate. confers the degrees upon him, after which he dissolves the lodge,
and dismisses the brethren. Lodges thus convened for special purposes are
called "occasional lodges."
is the only way in which any Grand Master within the records of the
institution has ever been known to "Make a Mason at Sight." The prerogative is
dependent upon that of granting dispensations to open and hold lodges. If the
Grand Master has the power of granting to any other Mason the privilege of
presiding over lodges working by his dispensation, he may assume this
privilege of presiding to himself; and as no one can deny his right to revoke
his dispensation granted to a number of brethren at a distance, and to
dissolve the lodge at his pleasure it will scarcely be contended that he may
not revoke his dispensation for a lodge over which he himself has been
presiding within a day, and dissolve the lodge as soon as the business for
which he had assembled it is accomplished. The Making of Masons at Sight is
only the conferring of the degrees by the Grand Master, at once, in an
occasional lodge, constituted by his dispensing power for the purpose, and
over which he presides in person.
OF THE GRAND MASTER'S CHIEF PREROGATIVES.
you consider it legitimate, in view of ancient Masonic usages, laws and
landmarks, for a Grand Master to Make a Mason at Sight?"
above question which you submit to me could be answered in one word, but I
take it that what you want is, not only my opinion, but my reasons for holding
nearly half a century I have held the conception of the structure of Masonry
Masonry is the Brotherhood of man, under the Fatherhood of God. Its government
illustrates this by the Craft choosing from among there own number one to be
Grand Master. That one has absolute power, which power is freely given to
illustrate the absolute power of God. Thus our Grand Lodges are at one and the
same time, each a perfect democracy self-governed through an absolute
in ancient times, it was always considered a prerogative of a Grand Master to
Make a Mason at Sight, or to be more definite, to make a Mason by the exercise
of his own will, is not to be disputed.
hold that a Grand Master has prerogatives which no man or body of men can take
away. This is one of the chief of them.
sometimes argued in these modern times that as a Grand Lodge makes a man Grand
Master, it has the right to define his powers. Were it not that ours is a
peculiar institution with no parallel, this might be true, but to put this
idea into action would be to degrade ours, the oldest and most dignified of
organizations known among men, into the level of modern societies without
number. It would no longer be ancient Masonry. Virginia Masonry holds that,
once chosen and installed, a Grand Master has powers inherent in the office,
antedating the organization of Grand Lodges, which cannot be denied him.
Disputed as it sometimes is, the fact remains that Masonic organization
existed before 1717, else where did those "four old lodges" come from ?
previous to that time no records, save in Scotland, were kept, and we must
rely on tradition. Tradition always has some foundation in fact and is
frequently more reliable than written history.
Tradition sustains the statement that for ages it was customary for the Masons
to meet in General Assembly once a year for the express purpose of choosing a
Grand Master. In England this was done at York, from which fact the opposition
to the innovation of the organization of the Grand Lodge in London in 1717
that since Grand Masters have existed before Grand Lodges, the latter have no
right to abrogate any power inherent in the office.
Freely granting that Grand Masters have the prerogative under discussion,
which has frequently been exercised here without dispute, I, when Grand
Master, on being asked to Make a man a Mason at Sight, refused. My reason was
that under modern conditions it was not, nor perhaps would ever again, be
necessary. I made the man, an officer of the army then in Cuba, a Mason by the
being well known by a large part of the membership of one of our lodges, I
gave that lodge a special dispensation to entertain and act on his petition at
a special communication called for the purpose, of which meeting and its
purpose every member should have notice. I attended the communication and took
part in his regular initiation, passing and raising.
Paul said, "All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient."
The power does exist, but should not be exercised, unless occasionally for the
sole purpose of maintaining the prerogative. JOSEPH W. EGGLESTON, P. G. M.,
Grand Treasurer, Virginia.
PROPERLY A LANDMARK.
interesting "prerogative" does not occur often, and in the interval we are
likely to forget the details. It is wrongly named; it is not ephemeral as its
name intimates, but is, in reality, but an abbreviation of the service. The
postulant receives all the esoteric service, and is required to post up on the
monitorial part later. Many earnest, enthusiastic Masons have thought that the
process eliminates interesting, or important, parts of the work, and have been
much opposed to it. But, instead of it being in the class of miracles which
enabled Jesus to raise Lazarus from the dead, it is but a "prerogative" which
enables the Grand Master to abrogate the Constitution, by-laws and
installation services, which we are obliged to abide by.
first impressions are the most enduring; on our admission to an E. A. Lodge we
are led to believe that all good brothers and fellows have gone this way
before, and we believe that all who follow will follow the same way.
prerogative of the Grand Master has never been disputed, and time has
sanctioned it; but its adoption as a landmark is debatable. We are obliged to
bow in submission to Landmarks, but we are at liberty to question the
authority of a modern Mason to coin Landmarks. Bro. George Fleming Moore Past
Sov. Grand Commander of the A. A. S. R. S. J., records Lord Lovell's making a
Mason at Sight of the Duke of Lorraine and the Emperor of Germany as early as
1731; and in 1766 the Duke of Gloucester was made a Mason at Sight; and a year
later the Duke of Cumberland enjoyed the same honor; and, in this country, the
prerogative has been extended only to very distinguished personages. It would
be, we think, interesting to know the origin of the prerogative. In the
installation of the Master of a lodge, he is required to agree that no man,
nor body of men, are at liberty to make innovations in the body of Masonry.
The by-laws of every lodge provide that the character and eligibility of every
petitioner shall be examined by a committee, after which the lodge shall set
in judgment on the petitioner, and these by-laws are scrutinized and ratified
by the Grand Lodge; and yet, in his prerogative, the Grand Master is at
liberty to abrogate these very important points:
"Consistency, thou art a jewel."
IS ATTRIBUTED TO MACKEY
Landmark came into our Constitution from the writings of the very
distinguished Brother Mackey, who lived long after "the original plan of
Masonry" was formulated, and, in the mind of the writer, it is out of place. A
dictionary definition of the word will tell us that it comes from the two
words "land" and "mark," and is a mark to designate the boundary of land: a
fixed object, as a stone or a tree; a ditch; a heap of stones by which the
limits of a farm or town or other portions of territory may be known and
preserved; but a sailor's definition is "any elevated object on land which
will guide a seaman."
eighth Landmark of Mackey says:
"There has been much apprehension in relation to this Landmark, which
apprehension has led to a denial of its existence in jurisprudence where the
Grand Master was perhaps, at the very time substantially exercising the
prerogative, without the slightest remark or opposition.
is not to be supposed that the Grand Master can retire with a profane into a
private room and there, without assistance, confer the degrees of Freemasonry
upon him. No such prerogative exists, and yet many believe that this is the so
much talked of right of 'making a Mason at Sight.' The real mode, and the only
one, of exercising the prerogative is this:
Grand Master summons to his assistance six other masons, convenes a lodge,
and, without any previous probation but on sight of the candidate, confers the
degrees upon him, after which he dissolves the lodge and dismisses the
brethren . . . . "
trust we are not going too far when we say that the name of this ceremony, "on
sight," is wrong, or that it is not proper to call it a Landmark as it is so
evident an innovation.
nature has never changed. Our thoughts of today have been the thoughts of
countless thousands. What comes to us easy is, and ever has been, less
appreciated than what we earn by effort. The distinguished individual who is
made a Mason by this wonderful "sight" method realizes the compliment, but he
will not respect it so much as if he had been inducted into the Order in the
Cleveland said "a public office is a public trust," and we think the principle
applies as much to a Grand Master as to any municipal office bearer. That
Grand Master has made all the promises any Master has made, upon installation,
and has sat in judgment on the by-laws of lodges. GEORGE W. BAIRD, P. G. M.,
District of Columbia.
"MASONS OUGHT TO BE ON THE LEVEL"
symposium requests opinions regarding the Ancient prerogative of the Grand
Master to Make Masons at Sight. Is there really such a prerogative
sufficiently firmly established as to constitute a Landmark of the Order in
the American Rite? Ought there to be such a power resting in the office of
Grand Master, or any other man? If so, what limits ought to be set to it ?
Supposing such a power to exist at present, is it now limited at all or can
the Grand Master, if he so wills, invite in all his friends without regard to
their eligibility under the laws, such for instance, a cripple or a woman?
Must he have these parties initiated in the regular ritualistic manner or can
he simply communicate the secrets and give the party a certificate that he is
now a Freemason? Whatever may have been conditions in former times, we doubt
if there is now any necessity existing in the Order today to Make Masons at
is far more applicable to other Rites than the regular American, or what is
known as the York Rite. At one time there were several Rites which existed in
a great measure on paper. The Grand Master originated the Rite and bestowed
his official privileges on whom he pleased or thought worthy. He could make a
man an Inspector General with authority to establish working bodies and
communicate doctrines and secrets according to his own will. Or it was quite
possible for the grand council of an institution so formed to authorize men to
pass their authority on to others. Here the entire Order would consist of such
Masons made solely by certificate and seal and communication of passwords and
signs, its objects being purely political or educational.
our own Rite, at this period, and here in the United States, we can see no
necessity or use for such a prerogative, but to show off. In some ways such a
prerogative resembles the pardoning power of the Governor of the state. It is
a privilege on the part of the officer to set aside the laws of the
institution either governmental or fraternal and substitute in their place the
will and wisdom of the particular officer. In the case of the law of the land,
the legislatures create so many unjust and foolish laws that it is almost
necessary that there exist a power of some kind that can interpose and prevent
in a measure the harm and injustice they might work. The power placed in the
hands of the ordinary Governor makes a farce of the laws, in nearly every
case. He thinks it in his right to commute or annul every sentence that the
courts pronounce. It is a very expensive job to detect and arrest criminals; a
still more expensive and difficult job to indict and convict them; and after
this is done the Governor makes all this expense useless and waste.
LAWS NEED REVISION
are of the opinion that there ought to be somewhere in the Order a power that
could arrest and set aside some of our own foolish laws, and prevent their
harmful effect; but there does not seem to be any chance to vest such a power
save in the matter of annulling the laws made and provided for admitting and
instructing Masons. Of all these laws there is none more salutary than that
one requiring a month's delay or consideration of a petition; two months would
be better than one. This would not only be sufficient to prevent bad material,
but would enable men to avoid mistakes in identity which cause used so many
black balls and consequent injustice and ill feeling. In every case where this
prerogative has been exercised in recent years, it was prompted by vanity and
it implied that the initiatory ceremony in itself was of the nature of an
imposition-which the illustrious candidate was thereby enabled to
avoid-instead of an honor and something very desirable. The valuable thing is
thus made subservient to the financial consideration even though it be the
eleemosynary view of it. The illustrious gentleman thereby made a Mason is
expected to raise the Order in the estimation of the people in the city or
town, just as the Royal Family adds to the social importance of the Order in
England. We believe Masons ought to be on the Level as well as on the Square.
Grand Masters should hold Masons more honorable than any outside the Order.
The man who is led to think that he confers an honor on Masonry by coming into
it, should be at once undeceived and never encouraged in the notion. R. C.
WESTERN MASONRY OPPOSES.
doctrine that a Grand Master may Make a Mason at Sight has never been popular
in the Far Western lodges of the United states, where the level of all men
before the Masonic altar is insisted upon as an undeniable Landmark of the
Craft. It appears to be foreign to the genius of the Fraternity, as understood
by the Far Western mind, and arguments in support of the doctrine have always
been regarded as specious rather than convincing and as bearing all the marks
of having been composed after the fact, and as a defense of the act itself.
Civilized man knows almost intuitively what is right and what is wrong, even
if he cannot explain in so many words how he knows it. Similarly, the great
body of Masons in the Far Western states feel that for any Grand Master to set
aside the rules of the Fraternity to such an extent as to deprive members of a
lodge of their right to vote upon an application, and further to make a farce
of the examination as to proficiency before advancing a candidate from degree
to degree, is contrary to the traditions.
Craftsmen who are well acquainted with what Dermott wrote on this subject, who
know that the Duke of Lorraine, the Duke of Newcastle and several members of
the British Royal Family have been given all the degrees at once, and who are
told in Mackey's Encyclopedia that William Howard Taft, John Wanamaker,
Charles W. Fairbanks and Admiral Schley have been made "Masons at Sight," do
not change their opinions because of the noteworthy character and standing of
these men. When Mr. Taft, then President-Elect of the United states, was thus
dignified by a Grand Master, there are many Masons who recall the wave of what
was closely akin to resentment that was observable in the lodges throughout
the country, and in lodge discussions like criticisms were noted at the action
of a Grand Master last year in making a Protestant Episcopal Bishop a Mason in
a similar manner. As long ago as 1870, the Grand Lodge of Nevada, at the time
composed of leading men of all professions and students of Craft history and
jurisprudence, all of them raised in other jurisdictions and thus fairly
reflecting the views of American Masonry, felt called upon to adopt a
resolution on this question, in which it said:
is the sense and the opinion of this Grand Lodge that the Grand Master does
not possess and ought not to exercise the prerogative of making Masons at
sight, and that the only way in which any man should be allowed to approach
the sacred altar of Masonry is by regular petition to an organized lodge, a
report thereon after due inquiry, and a favorable ballot." (See Reports of the
Grand Lodge of Nevada, 1870, pages 159; 163.)
A "STRANGE DOCTRINE"
has not altered this opinion in the Grand Lodge of Nevada, nor has any
neighboring Masonic jurisdiction displayed leanings toward a contrary view.
However ingenious the arguments in favor of Making Masons at Sight may be,
most of the leaders of the Craft in this part of the country agree with Robert
Freke Gould when he terms it "strange doctrine" (History, Volume II, Page
MASTER PERCY IS QUOTED
Grand Master A.O. Percy, who ruled over the Craft in Nevada a quarter of a
century ago and represented then and now the views of Masonry in the West,
holds that the doctrine is wrong. "There should be no distinction between
candidates for Masonry," he said, in discussing the question. "If it were
otherwise and men of prominence could have the way smoothed for them, profanes
would soon consider that our order was seeking to shine, so to speak, by
reflected glory, and the dignity of Masonry would be lowered. I have never
believed that Grand Masters should make Masons at sight."
was," says Past Grand Master Henry W. Miles in a note to the writer, "when the
accolade was given upon the field of battle, but even then the probationary
period as page and esquire had been served. If the dignity of Masonry is to be
bestowed at sight, the privilege of investiture should only be exercised by
Grand Masters of supereminent attainments, men excelling in discriminative
powers and of distinctive achievement. Even then the power should be charily
used. Better to let all travel the rugged path to the coveted goal."
Brother Miles, it will be observed, questions the advisability of Making
Masons at Sight, rather than the authority of a Grand Master in the matter,
and Past Grand Master Walter E. Pratt takes a similar view. Says Brother
right of a Grand Master to Make Masons at Sight has been so long recognized as
to be beyond dispute, but it is a practice that by frequent use would become
offensive. A Grand Master has no rights excepting the rights of his own Grand
Lodge and a Grand Lodge may narrow its own boundaries of authority at any time
in conformity to the Ancient Landmarks."
SILAS E. ROSS OPPOSES
Grand Master Silas E. Ross, who has just closed a year of great distinction in
the Grand East, does not believe in the doctrine, aside from the specific
prohibition in the decisions of the Grand Lodge of Nevada. In discussing the
subject he said:
two points involved are first the question of 'Is this an act of your own free
will and accord?' and, second, the right of ballot. If an individual wants to
become a Mason, the solicitation must be upon his part. If he has not
initiative enough, he is not worthy of the honor to be conferred. If he is not
willing to submit to the same ordeal as his brethren, he is not good material
for a Masonic lodge. Making Masons at Sight deprives the individual member of
his Masonic right to choose his own associates. For these reasons I do not
believe that Making Masons at Sight would be of any benefit to the individual
concerned or to the membership of the Fraternity at large. Should this
practice become general, it would, in my opinion, tend to make the membership
less studious and there would be a lack of appreciation of the valuable tenets
of the order. Very often it would lead to internal friction in the subordinate
ORIGINATED WITH DERMOTT
in his History considers that what he calls "this strange doctrine" is founded
upon Dermott's assertion, but possibly Dermott may have copied it from some
other and older writer. However, as the matter stands the first assertion of
the right to waive for any person the tradition of applying and being
regularly reported and voted on in lodge is found in Dermott's statement. In
the operative lodges (see under "Making a Mason" in Clegg's Mackey's Revised
History) the applicant had to apply and be made in a lodge. But aside from the
traditions of the Craft, the by-laws of every lodge in the United States
distinctly specify the steps that a candidate must take. He must apply to a
lodge for the Degrees, his application must be reported on by a committee, and
then it must be voted upon at a stated communication of the lodge. It is true
that in the matter of dispensations a Grand Master has large latitude and in
Nevada he is empowered to permit balloting upon an application without
reference to a committee, but the laws of the Grand Lodge usually designate
the particular matters in which he may exercise the dispensatory power.
weight of opinion, in short, seems to be that the right of a Grand Master to
Make Masons at Sight is at least dubious, but that, even admitting he
possesses such right, it is injurious to the Craft to exercise it. DAVID E. W.
WILLIAMSON, Associate Editor, Nevada.
A JUST PREROGATIVE OF THE GRAND MASTER
ask if I consider it legitimate, in view of ancient Masonic usages, laws and
landmarks, for a Grand Master to Make a Mason at Sight.
reasons for the answer to this question cannot be given within a few words.
They involve an extensive historical study. Such a study has satisfied me that
the Making of Masons at Sight is the prerogative of the Grand Master of which
he cannot be deprived without his consent. This power practically is now
rapidly becoming obsolete. In Massachusetts it has not been exercised since
September, 1827. It is a prerogative, the existence of which should be
recognized. No Grand Master, however, who is fully appreciative of his
responsibilities ought to exercise this prerogative except under such very
extraordinary circumstances as amount practically to absolute necessity.
the responsibility for the exercise of this prerogative seemed to me less I
should, when Grand Master, have thus made a Mason of my honored father who,
though of unimpeachable character, dared not apply for the degrees at his
residence (and he scorned the subterfuge of applying elsewhere) because of
personal antagonisms arising out of politics and because of his uncomprising
and strenuous battles in behalf of moral and religious questions, such as, for
instance, total abstinence.
are a few Jurisdictions where through peaceful, though nevertheless
revolutionary action the Grand Master has been degraded to a constitutional
officer and has surrendered all of his prerogatives including this one. These
jurisdictions have failed to follow the maxim of Vaux that "Freemasonry is a
law unto itself." They have unwisely cast aside the advice of the great
leaders of the Craft, such as Drummond, who cautioned against regarding the
ideas of Masonic Government as derived from the principles of Civil
Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, in September, 1827, Made a Mason at
Sight in the Body of Columbian Lodge. It is referred to in the printed
Proceedings of our Grand Lodge for 1871, on page 58, where Judge Gardner, then
Grand Master, says that it was the only case in Massachusetts. He was wrong.
Jan. 31, 1757, the Grand Master called a special communication of the Grand
Lodge and the following is a part of the record:
Right Worshipful G. M. acquainted the Lodge that the occasion of this meeting
was for to make Capt. Harry Charters, Capt. Gilbert McAdams, aid de Camp
Doctor Richard Huch & Mr John Appy, Secy. to the Earl of Loudoun with Mr. John
Meivill, Masons, (who came to town from Marblehead with Bro. Lowell on purpose
to be made a Mason) which the lodge unanimously agreed to.
Right Worshipful G. M. appointed Bro. Richard Gridley to make the above Five
Gentlemen Masons, who were made enter'd Prentices & Pass'd Fellow Crafts."
Grand Master also exercised this prerogative again in 1758 as shown in our
first volume of printed Proceedings, page 55. In other words there have been
three occasions when it was done in Massachusetts.
page 138 of the printed Proceedings of our Grand Lodge for 1871 you will find
the report of the committee of our Grand Lodge on this very subject. MELVIN M.
JOHNSON, P. G. M., Massachusetts.
[EDITOR'S NOTE]--The Report in Massachusetts Grand Lodge
Proceedings for 1871 reads as follows:
next point in the order of our arrangement is that of Making Masons "at
sight." Your committee had supposed that this subject had long since been
disposed of and definitely settled to the satisfaction at least of the
Fraternity of this country, and they confess to some surprise that it should
have been reopened for discussion by any Grand Lodge in our Masonic
confederacy. That there was a time in the history of Masonry when such
"makings" were lawful and proper, is indisputable. But as early as 1663 a
regulation was adopted by our English Brethren, "that no person of what degree
soever, be made or accepted a Freemason unless in a regular Lodge," and at the
reorganization of the Fraternity, in 1717, a regular Lodge was declared to be
a Lodge "legally authorized to act by Warrant from the Grand Master for the
time being"; and still later, in 1753, it was ordered that "no Lodge shall
ever make a Mason without due inquiry into his character," or confer more than
one degree upon the same candidate at the same meeting, without a dispensation
from the Grand Master. And as due inquiry into the character of the candidate
could not be made before his name had been submitted to the Lodge, it was
subsequently decreed that "no person shall be made a Mason without a regular
proposition at one Lodge, and the ballot at the next regular stated Lodge,"
without a dispensation from a proper authority. This closed up the irregular
manner which had previously existed, of making Masons at haphazard, or without
the precautions and limitations essential to the prosperity and security of
the Institution. Lodges were deprived of the privilege which they undoubtedly
at one time possessed, of Making Masons at Sight, or without previous
proposition and due inquiry. This restriction, however, has been somewhat
modified by the modern practice of evading its severity through the
dispensation of the Grand Master, authorizing the calling of a special meeting
by summons bearing the name of the candidate to be balloted for at the
opening, and if admitted, to proceed at once with the making, giving the three
degrees on the same evening. This course is within our own experience, and
comes as near Making Masons at Sight as ingenuity can devise. It calls into
exercise the extreme power of the Grand Master, who undoubtedly may, by virtue
of the ancient prerogative of his office, make or order to be made in his
presence, and in a regular Lodge, regularly summoned, and for a special and
emergent purpose, a Mason at Sight, dispensing with the previous proposition
and due inquiry; he assuming the entire responsibility of the act. Cases of
this kind have from time to time occurred in various parts of Europe, and they
are not without precedents in our own country. One only has ever occurred
within the jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge, and that is so fully described in
the letter of the Grand Master to the Grand Lodge of Nevada, that your
committee need not recite the circumstances under which it occurred, nor do
they deem it necessary to pursue the subject further.
T. LAWRENCE IS QUOTED
[EDITOR'S NOTE]--One of the most succinct studies of the question in English
is found in Bro. John T. Lawrence's By-Ways of Freemasonry, published by A.
Lewis, London: On 18th February, 1909, Most Worshipful Brother Hoskinson,
Grand Master of Ohio, exercised an alleged prerogative of the Grand Master by
making Mr. W. H. Taft a Freemason "At Sight." What the exact course of
procedure was is immaterial to the somewhat important question that was
raised. It is sufficient to say that Mr. Taft escaped a good deal that
ordinary persons have to contend with, including the ballot, and it seems,
according to one American Masonic journal, he "climbed over the wall," leaving
a somewhat obvious inference to be made; and, according to another, he
"penetrated the holy of holies by means of a subterranean." It may be left to
the present writer to suggest that there is yet a third way of getting into
the Temple, and that is through the roof--when Brother Tyler is nodding.
the most part, however, the American Masonic press denounced the proceeding as
unconstitutional; and some journals, having regard to the exalted rank of the
gentleman selected for the exercise of the prerogative, employed terms much
of the writers of Masonic antiquities agree in conceding the right of the
Grand Master to Make Masons at Sight as a landmark. The present writer
(Masonic Jurisprudence, p. 8) refers to the alleged landmark, and the most
recent exercise of the prerogative he has been able to hear of in this country
was as far back as 1796. In England, therefore, the question has scarcely
excited any attention. In America it is different, and the incident referred
to was not the only occasion which had called for serious discussion, and a
few historical notes may therefore be desirable. The first four instances are
on the authority of Mackey.
1731 Lord Lovell, being Grand Master, "formed an occasional lodge at Houghton
Hall, Sir Robert Walpole's house in Norfolk," and there made the Duke of
Lorraine, afterwards Emperor of Germany, and the Duke of Newcastle, Master
Masons. In 1766 Lord Blaney, who was then Grand Master, convened "an
occasional lodge" and conferred three degrees on the Duke of Cumberland. In
1787 the Prince of Wales was made a Mason "at an occasional lodge," says
Preston, "for the purpose, at the Star and Garter, Pall Mall, over which the
Duke of Cumberland (Grand Master) presided in person." And in Ars Quatuor
Coronatorum, VIII, p. 41, there is an account of the usurpation of the alleged
prerogative by the Provincial Grand Master of Lincoln, but this case scarcely
goes so far as the one under discussion, for it amounted to an unauthorized
use of the dispensing power.
INSTANCES ARE GIVEN
the United States instances have been frequent. There are a number of cases of
Making Masons at Sight in the records of the Grand Lodge of New York, but the
power was not frequently exercised. The last time was by Grand Master Robert
D. Holmes, who reported to the Grand Lodge in 1867 that he had Made Hon. James
T. Brady a Mason at Sight, on account of his great personal merit. It has also
been pointed out that there is a recent precedent in Ohio for the Making of a
Mason at Sight, such a course having been pursued in 1892 in the case of the
late Governor Asa S. Bushnell, when Grand Master Levi C. Goodale conferred the
three degrees upon him in one day. Precedents in other states are not wanting.
In the year 1898 John Wanamaker was Made a Mason at Sight by Grand Master
Wagner of Pennsylvania. The making of Admiral Schley, by Grand Master Small of
the District of Columbia, in 1899, caused widespread discussion. It was
reported that all of the three degrees were conferred in full form on Admiral
Schley, and a similar course was pursued a few years later when Governor
Foster M. Voorhees was Made a Mason in the Opera House at Elizabeth, before an
assemblage of a thousand Masons, by the Grand Master of New Jersey. Still more
recently, Vice-President Fairbanks was similarly honored by the Grand Master
of Masons in Indiana. There are probably many more cases.
let us examine the legal question involved. The statement that it is an
unconstitutional practice and an illegal usurpation of prerogative, may be
dismissed. It is not pretended that the Constitutions have anything to do with
it. The Grand Master, himself a landmark, existed before Constitutions, and,
as far as this country is concerned, the Constitutions have left the Grand
Master's prerogative severely alone--in fact, Grand Lodge would itself have
been guilty of a usurpation if they had attempted to limit it, or even define
it. Public opinion is a far more effectual safeguard of the proprieties than
the whole statute book. In some jurisdictions, however, the Grand Master's
prerogative has been to some extent defined, and the following
extract--Article IX of the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Colorado,
adopted in 1861, which defined the powers of the Grand Master--contained the
is his prerogative to make Masons at sight, and for this purpose he may summon
to his assistance such Brethren as he may deem necessary."
continued as a part of the Constitution until the revision in 1875, a period
of some fourteen years, when Section I of Article IX was adopted as follows:
Most Worshipful Grand Master shall have and enjoy all the powers and
prerogatives conferred by the ancient Constitutions and the usages and
landmarks of Masonry."
next revision, adopted in 1903, retained the above as Section I of Article
VII. If this right be expressly reserved to the Grand Master by Constitution,
there is little more to be said, beyond the obvious corollary that the acts of
one Constitution do not concern any other. But even then the admission that a
Constitution could confer this power infers that it could also take it
away--in fact, disposes completely of any contention that it is a landmark.
writer contends that it is a landmark. A landmark, to quote from Jurisprudence
once more, is a claim or a practice that has never been seriously disputed,
that has existed from a period beyond living memory, that has never suffered
modification, that helps to define the Order and is part of its essence. This
may not be exhaustive, but it goes some way. And when the Grand Master, by
himself or by commission, selects some worthy person and admits him to the
Order, he is only doing what probably King Solomon did before him. As to the
innovation which has been read into the transaction, may it not be that the
machinery of the ballot and the superincumbent ritual are in reality
American press was much concerned at the thought of the possibilities involved
in all this, but we may point out that the person so distinguished is not
thereby a member of any lodge, nor could any lodge be compelled to receive him
as a joining member, and in such a case the only way in which he could acquire
any Masonic standing whatever would be by being made an officer of the Grand
Lodge. At least under the English Constitution, for Article II defines
membership of Grand Lodge in such wise that it would appear as if a Grand
Lodge officer, present or past, maintained his membership of Grand Lodge
irrespective of being a subscribing member of a private lodge.
were persons admitted to the Fraternity in ancient time? There was undoubtedly
a period when admission was simply by selection of a superior officer. As to
the wisdom or otherwise of an active use of the prerogative, the writer offers
no opinion. But undoubtedly, if it is a landmark, the Grand Master is quite
justified in such occasional exercise of it as may serve to keep it from
falling into desuetude.
HUGHAN IS QUOTED
substance of this chapter appeared in The Freemason of 10th July, 1909, and in
the issue of the following week Bro. William James Hughan, Past Grand Deacon,
the distinguished Masonic historian, forwarded his own views on the subject,
which, by his permission, we append:
should like to add to the remarks made by Brother the Rev. J. T. Lawrence, M.
A., as to 'Making Masons at Sight,' that the Grand Master of Ohio was fully
justified in the course he took in regard to the admission of President Taft.
As Bro. G. F. Moore (Editor of the New Age) was one of the first to point out,
Article X of the Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of Ohio reads as follows:
'It is the Grand Master's prerogative to make Masons at sight, and for this
purpose he may summon to his assistance such Brethren as he may deem
necessary.' Brother Moore also states that 'The outside criticisms and
objections are without merit so far as the particular case is concerned' (the
New Age, New York, March, 1909).
"Personally, I question if such an action would be tolerated on this side of
the Atlantic, because of the numerous facilities offered for initiation in the
ordinary way, and especially as our Rulers have so long refrained from
exercising such powers."
New Temple at Davenport, Iowa
BRO. ALBERT F. BLOCK, Iowa
the ordinary course of events the Masonic history of any community begins with
the establishment of the first Masonic lodge. If the town is one destined to
thrive, one or more of the various affiliated organizations eventually appear
and ultimately more Blue Lodges will be constituted. But before many of the
affiliated Orders are formed some room in the town has usually come to be
known as the "Masonic Hall." These Orders naturally come to be housed in the
same location and before long the affiliated bodies own their own home.
bodies are added as the years roll by and soon there commences to grow up in
one or more of the bodies a feeling that the work of that body is hampered by
lack of space in the old quarters. Either their floor space is too cramped by
reason of small rooms or meetings have to be held at extraordinary times in
order that all bodies can do their work.
is the critical period in the building history of the Masonic bodies of any
city. If at such a time one body, finding itself larger and consequently more
cramped in its hall space, and richer and consequently better able to build a
separate building for itself, is permitted to break away from the others and
do so, from that time no Masonic Temple will ever house all of the Masonic
Orders of that city.
Davenport, Iowa, the establishment of Masonic bodies was normal, with the
immaterial exception that one of the lodges established here is no longer in
existence, until the time came when one of the bodies, having twice the
membership of the next largest, owned two building lots near the center of the
city where it expected to build a separate building for its own private use.
matters were brought to the attention of this particular body. First, that it
would be selfish for them to separate from the rest of the bodies; I second,
that each of the bodies felt as much I cramped as the largest one did; and
third, that if all of the bodies combined in the erection of one | large
temple, in which they could be given facilities that no one of them could
afford singly, that temple would be at once a solution of all their troubles,
a pleasure to each member of the Craft, and a credit to the Order and to the
question naturally then presented itself whether the bodies could build such a
temple as could accommodate all of them. The difficulties being mainly
financial, it was first necessary to determine what such a temple would cost.
Architects refused to make any estimate without having a definite plan before
them and accordingly they were instructed to prepare the plans for such a
temple. Many plans were drawn and many were presented to the Temple Board
until finally one was found acceptable to all.
a general meeting of the Craft was called at which the proposed plans were
thrown on a screen and explained by the architect who was present in person
for that purpose and each member was requested to submit any suggestions in
writing. When the plans were re-drafted to comply with the valuable
suggestions thus procured, estimates were made as to the probable cost of
construction. When the figures were presented the plan of financing was still
to be worked out.
IT WAS FINANCED
this time attorneys were employed who communicated with members of the Craft
in other cities where new Masonic Temples had been lately erected, to ask for
their plans of financing; and when these had been received and compared and
the best parts of each selected, a corporation "not for pecuniary profit" was
organized under the same Iowa statute which gives corporate existence to most
church organizations in this state.
with the "not for pecuniary profit" feature there was combined the principal
feature of most business corporations - that of issuing stock. Two kinds of
stock were authorized: one, a voting stock; and the other having no right to
vote and being non-incomebearing, issued only as evidence of their
proportionate ownership, and retirable under certain conditions. Of ten
thousand shares authorized, with a par value of one hundred dollars each, only
seventy were voting shares. This was in order that seven of the local Masonic
Orders might have representation on the Board of Directors of the Building
Association, ten of such voting shares being purchased by and issued to each
of such bodies. Each body holding voting stock was to be entitled to elect a
Director to represent that particular body on the Temple Board.
other authorized shares were such that they might be owned and held by the
seven incorporating Masonic bodies and such other affiliated organizations as
might be located in Davenport; but no stock can be held except by a local
Masonic, or affiliated, body.
POSTERITY MUST HELP PAY
design of the Temple Board was not merely to build for the present, but for
the future as well, and therefore it was deemed just to build such an edifice
as would be greater than could be paid for at present in order that posterity
should pay its own share of the building expense. The plans were enlarged
accordingly and, by way of passing on to future members their share of the
expense of establishing such a temple, three provisions were made: first, that
the non-voting stock should be retirable after five years; second, for the
issuance of registered 4 per cent first mortgage bonds payable six months
after the death of the registered holder or in 1960 certainly; third, an issue
of 6 per cent bonds on which were bought by the Davenport Clearing House as a
temporary financing arrangement pending the sale of the "Old Masonic Temple
Building" and the completion of the subscription of the 4 per cent bonds. It
is contemplated that the 4 per cent bonds shall be retired as they mature;
that the 6 per cent bonds shall be retired when they have served their
purpose; and that the non-voting stock shall be retired when it becomes
possible to do so; so that ultimately there will be no obligation outstanding
except the seventy shares of voting stock.
plan was accepted when presented. Each body in the city invested its every
available dollar in stock. Every Mason who could afford to, and some who could
not, bought 4 per cent bonds. The Temple was built.
the bottom of its great concrete footings to the top of the highest Flagstaff,
it is thoroughly modern in every way. In the basement is a beautiful dining
room large enough to seat twelve hundred at once, adjoined by a kitchen having
the equipment of the most modern hotel; and large store rooms and pantries,
with facilities for direct delivery of foodstuffs. The dining room has a floor
suitable for dancing, so it can be converted into a ballroom, using the same
platform for the dance orchestra as is used for entertainers while the room is
being used as a dining room.
front of this dining room on the same level is a large billiard room,
containing ample space for ten billiard tables, flanked by a large card room
on one side and a ladies' rest room on the other.
FIRE ESCAPES NEEDED!
the next floor above, which is the grade level, is a beautifully decorated and
lighted lobby large enough to lay out a tennis court on its floor. On each end
of this lobby is a passenger elevator and a stairway leading to upper and
lower levels. On the street side of the lobby are five large doors, the
purpose being to build large enough stairways, elevators and exits to comply
with all requirements of building laws, so that the exterior of the building
need not be disfigured by fire escapes. On the other side of the lobby is the
Gothic room, decorated in the old Baronial style, and equipped with a pipe
organ and a modern stage with scenery hung vertically, all lighting of the
room being controlled by a switchboard in the wings of the stage. This room is
used by the local chapter R.A.M., the Knights Templar, the Eastern Star, and
the Grotto, and is designed to seat six hundred persons without extra chairs
on the floor.
Leading from the lobby, on either side of the Gothic room, is a corridor to
the rear of the building. A thoroughly adequate cloak room is the first
opening off of the west corridor; and south of that is the lounge, in which
Masonic and other periodicals are kept at all times. Further back of the
lounge we find the card room where skat and chess hold sway.
the east corridor, the first doorway opens into the offices of the building.
Here the Secretary of the Temple Board, the Recorder of the Scottish Rite
Bodies, and the Recorder of the Shrine have modern offices with large vaults
and a Directors’ room. All of the telephones in the building are controlled
through a switchboard in the office; and across the corridor are two telephone
booths for the use of who may need them.
Further south, along the east corridor, is a large ladies' parlor, with a
second ladies' rest room connected.
the offices on a mezzanine floor is a large committee room; and over the cloak
room on the opposite side of the building is a writing room.
FEATURE BOOM IS DESCRIBED
the next floor above is the floor of the main auditorium, which is the feature
room of the building. This great room is so constructed that although it will
seat twenty-five hundred or more in a semi-circular arrangement around an
arena large enough for Grotto or Shrine Patrols to drill on, nevertheless
there is in it no pillar or other obstacle to obstruct complete view of the
stage from any seat; and while Shumann-Heink's softest tones were audible in
all parts of the room, there was no echo from Sousa's Band at its greatest
projection booth at the rear is fully equipped to throw either moving or still
pictures on the silver screen which is hung from steel cables winding on a
drum in the attic.
the east side of the stage is the great electric pipe organ large enough to
give any desired effect; while on the west side is the choir loft.
stage is as well equipped as any in the country, having a large floor and all
scenery hung vertically and counterbalanced, a complete switchboard designed
to give all desired lighting effects, and which may be locked for the
protection of meddling fingers. There is also so complete a complement of
dressing rooms that Mme. Pavlowa's company was not cramped.
room was designed for De Molay, Grotto, Shrine and Scottish Rite ceremonials,
the main requirement being no pillars to obstruct the view from any seat of a
large auditorium. The pillars were avoided by the use of large cantilevers to
support the roof over this great room.
the rising tiers of seats on each side of the auditorium are the two Blue
Lodge rooms, the Doric on the west side and the Egyptian on the east. These
are also used for sessions of other bodies, whose membership is not so large
as to require the Gothic room. By setting the floors about six feet lower than
the level of the auditorium floor, good dignified ceiling heights have been
attained, and these two rooms are beautifully decorated and furnished.
connection with each is a suite of ten other rooms designed to give space for
everything necessary in connection with Blue Lodge work. From the corridor one
enters a cloak room off of which is a wash room and toilet, from the cloak
room one enters the Tyler's room, off of which are the preparation room and
the lodge room. The Tyler's room is only half as high as the lodge room, and
out of it a stairway leads to a floor over the rooms previously described on
which are a projection room and a music room, which is separated from the
lodge room only by a screen, and four committee rooms.
IS AN UNSEEN TEMPLE
foregoing description tells of only the visible parts of the building, but one
knows of the existence of large unseen rooms, where equipment and
paraphernalia are stored for all kinds of ceremonies; knows of a room full of
mysterious electric equipment, glittering switches, bubbling batteries,
buzzing motors, numerous dials unintelligible to the visitor and an elevator
switch with a startling way of suddenly announcing that it is on the job and
lifting great loads.
visitor sees no open windows, but still he doesn't ask for fresh air, because
it is always there, so he doesn't stop to wonder where in that building are
concealed twenty-six great fans that can make a complete change of atmosphere
in an hour; and he is always warm, so he doesn't consider the battery of three
smokeless boilers in the sub-basement, busily turning coal dumped through one
hole in the alley pavement into ashes to be lifted through another; and heat
to warm the fresh outdoor air distributed by the fans.
Outwardly the building is marvelous. The style of architecture is not one of
the classical five, but is nevertheless pleasing to the eyes. The Davenport
Masons have seen a vision and carved it in stone.
house of teaching by symbols, it is a symbol in itself. Uniting all of the
bodies under one roof, it symbolizes that the work was wrought with peace and
words "Let there be light," carved in the six-ton lintel over the main
entrance, offer the only possible cure for the unrest which has had such a
prominent place in the addresses of Grand Masters for the past five years.
building is nearly a perfect cube.
Attaining strength and beauty by straight severe lines, it symbolizes the
power and beauty of the simple thoughts of Masonry.
outward appearance of the building creates an optical illusion such as to make
the building appear smaller than it really is. The visitor, upon entering,
marvels that all of its spacious halls can be enclosed within the building he
first viewed from without. In this the building symbolizes the revelations
that come to the student of Masonry.
“THERE IS LIGHT"
building has some just claims to distinction. It is the largest Masonic
building in Iowa. The chandelier in the main auditorium is the largest
indirect lighting chandelier on the continent, it having been said of this
great fixture by some descendant of Jonathan Swift that it should have been
labelled "40 hommes 8 chevaux." The rank and file of the Craft in Davenport
helped design the building and helped to finance its erection.
Craft in Davenport are proud of their new temple. When they decided to build
it was suggested that they build for posterity. From then on the question
never was, "How can we do it's" but "How shall we do it?” It was done by
Davenport Masons. Both the architects and the building contractors were born
and raised in Davenport.
selecting the architect, the Board sought a local man who was a member of all
the bodies, and fully capable of designing the temple desired. The architect
showed no hesitation in deciding which symbols should be used in decoration.
He simply used them all.
has been said above would be incomplete without a mention of the first
requirement - the money with which to build. There is an old recipe for
chicken pie which begins, "First get your chicken." The first indispensable
for a new Masonic Temple is a man ready, able and willing to induce the
individual members of the Order to subscribe. This brother is the authorized
salesman of Masonry.
cities call in an outside organization to raise funds. This may be necessary
in some rare cases. But most cities will desire to emulate the example of the
brethren of Burlington, our sister Iowa city, where, with only a few
exceptions, every member of the Order has a part of his or her estate invested
in the new temple, and where twenty-seven months after the temple was
dedicated, the last cent of indebtedness was paid off and a substantial amount
was on hand in the sinking fund to meet the retirements of stock due as the
holders might die. The Burlington brethren say this is the work of one man and
for that reason one sees on the wall in the lounge of their temple a bronze
plate bearing the name of George Joseph Holstein. Truly this man must have
heard and understood something of charcoal and clay, which must ever be the
principal elements in the construction of new Masonic Temples!
are building our home on eternity's shore
we dwell in our structure of clay
are shipping materials onward before,
the close of each hastening day.
are sending the thought that the spirit has wrought
the wonderful glow of the brain,
the timber is grown from the seeds we have sown
the shadow of sorrow and pain.
are building our home on a beautiful street,
we dwell in the by-way of fears
the roses that bloom there so pure and so sweet
be watered and nourished by tears.
the light that shall shine in a glory divine
be formed in the darkness and gloom
the foundation laid in the cloud and the shade
the path that leads down to the tomb.
are building our home in the valley of life
the side of eternity's sea,
the work that we do mid the scenes of earth's strife
decide what that home is to be.
thought leaves its trace on that wonderful place,
deed, be it evil or fair,
the structure will show all the life lived below,
the sinning and sorrow and care.
are building our home; may the angels of light
us wisdom where ever we stray
the Mansion Eternal be fashioned aright
the sunlight of truth be its day.
the rainbow of love form its arches above,
the river of peace murmur by,
the spirit be blest by the glimmer of rest
have sent to our home in the sky.
any reader tell us if this is an accurate copy and who may be the author?
LEGEND OF THE QUATUOR CORONATI
BRO. GILBERT W. DAYNES, Associate Editor, England
fame of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Research of England, so often referred
to in The Builder, has caused many brethren to inquire as to the significance
of that strange sounding name; such brethren will discover an abundant reply
to their inquiry in Bro. Daynes' essay, his first contribution to this
journal, but not to be his last, for he is now a permanent member of our
staff. Such brethren as are also interested in the subject of Masonry's Patron
Saints, and more particularly the Holy Saints John, will find here set forth
one important chapter in the history of that dedication.
the 28th November, 1884, the Most Worshipful the Grand Master of the Grand
Lodge of England, in response to a petition from nine brethren, all eminent in
the literature of Freemasonry, granted them a warrant of constitution. The
name selected for the lodge, thus constituted, was "The Quatuor Coronati
Lodge," a name which had never before been selected for a similar purpose. The
adoption of this name by a lodge, which has by its steadfast exertions become
the foremost lodge of research in the world, and, by means of its
Correspondence Circle, attained a universality which is only equalled by
Freemasonry itself, naturally creates in many a desire to know more concerning
the Legend and subsequent history of the Quatuor Coronati, Saints whom the
Masons in the days of Medieval Operative Masonry must have held in the utmost
Legend of the Quatuor Coronati in its inception was purely Italian, and it was
from that country that the knowledge of these Saints must have spread to
Germany, England and elsewhere in Europe. As Bro. A. F. A. Woodford has so
truly said, "With all Legends, as Time runs on, the story itself becomes
confused and hazy, and criticism has often a hard crux set it to make that
plain and consistent, which through the lapse of years has lost in correctness
what it has gained in picturesqueness." This certainly applies to the story of
the martyrdom of these Saints, which has appeared in various forms; and
considerable confusion has arisen because nearly all the accounts deal with
two sets of persons, as well as with two different places far apart from each
concerning the Legend may be gleaned from the Arundel MS., which is in Latin.
This valuable MS. has found a resting place in the British Museum, and dates
from the twelfth or, at the latest, thirteenth century. In addition to the
Arundel MS. there are two other MSS. which may be mentioned, viz., a Greek
version by Porphyrius, a philosopher, and another Latin version known as the
Petrus MS. This last-named MS., at its close, refers to the Greek version, and
all three MSS. belong to the same traditional family. The two latter MSS. were
selected by the Bollandist editor, when attempting to disentangle the Legend
of the Quatuor Coronati for that, still incomplete, magnum opus on the lives
of the saints, known as the "Acta Sanctorum," commenced by Father John Bolland,
a Flemish Jesuit, in January, 1643.
Legend, as set forth in these MSS., may be thus briefly summarized. During his
reign, Diocletian, Emperor of Rome, journeyed to Pannonia so as to be present
whilst the various metals were quarried from the rocks in the mountains in
those parts. Having assembled the workmen in metals, the Emperor Diocletian
discovered amongst them four artificers possessing wonderful skill in the art
of carving, or--more literally-stone squaring. Their names were Claudius,
Castorius, simphorianus (Sempronianus, according to Porphyrius and Petrus
MSS.), and Nicostratus. These craftsmen were secretly Christians, and invoked
the aid of the Lord Jesus Christ in all the work they undertook as sculptors.
They proved most skilful in the art of carving, and gave much delight to the
Emperor by the manner in which they carved an image of the sun, with his
chariot, chariot horses, and everything appertaining thereto, from one
enormous stone from the metal of Thasos. As a consequence the Emperor received
these four craftsmen, and Simplicius--an artisan who worked with them--with
great joy, and gave them orders to hew certain columns, or capitals of the
columns, from the porphyry. Now Simplicius, who was a Gentile, was not
successful in his work, and kept breaking his carving tools. Claudius,
however, took all these carving tools and said, "In the name of the Lord Jesus
Christ let this iron be strong, and fit to work with"; and after this
Simplicius carved well and properly with his tools. On account of this,
Simplicius, after receiving instruction from Claudius in the elementary truths
of Christianity, became converted. The five then visited Bishop Quirillus, who
was in prison at the time, and Simplicius was duly baptized by him.
returned to their work, and, as a result of the skill displayed by these
craftsmen, Diocletian offered to give them riches and presents provided they
would first cut out from the mountain of porphyry images of Victory, Cupids
and other statuettes, but especially an image of Aesculapius. The craftsmen
did all that was required of them with the exception of the image of
Aesculapius, and submitted their work to the Emperor Diocletian, who noticed
their omission to carve the image of the God of Health. He then told them to
go and make this image and also fashion lions pouring water, and eagles and
stags and other likenesses. Again they completed everything commanded of them
except the image of Aesculapius.
Desiring to see the work done by the various workmen, Diocletian ordered
everything to be brought into a public place. The image of Aesculapius is
noticed by the Emperor to be missing. Diocletian is then informed by the
philosophers, who were apparently instructors of the workmen, master sculptors
or builders, and who were very jealous of the five craftsmen, that the favored
craftsmen were Christians, and that they were not obedient to his commands,
having declined to carve the image of the god Aesculapius. The Emperor ordered
the culprits to be brought before him, and demanded the reason for their
refusal. Claudius, acting as spokesman, answered that an image of that most
wretched man they would never make, for it was written, "they that make them
are like unto them, and so are all those who put their trust in them." At
first Diocletian looked leniently upon the sculptors, who had thus disobeyed
him, but after the philosophers had obtained other sculptors to carve an image
of Aesculapius to the entire satisfaction of the Emperor, the five craftsmen
were again accused by the philosophers of being heretic Christians.
WORKMEN ARE ORDERED TO BE TRIED
Diocletian, incensed at their disobedience rather than at the fact of their
being Christians, ordered a certain Tribune, Lampadius, to try them. The
Tribunal having been prepared in the same place before the Temple of the Sun,
Claudius, Castorius, Simphorianus, Nicostratus and Simplicius were brought
before Lampadius with their accusers. The Tribune ordered them to worship the
sun god, but they steadily flatly refused, saying, "We do never worship the
work of our own hands, but we worship the God of Heaven and Earth, who is the
everlasting Ruler and Eternal God, the Lord Jesus Christ." Lampadius thereupon
ordered them to be put into the common prison. After a few days they were
again brought before Lampadius, who tried in vain to persuade them to
sacrifice to the sun god. They, however, remained firm and constant in their
faith, and after a third hearing, after having been shown various kinds of
tortures, Claudius said, "We fear not terrors, nor is our purpose broken by
soft words, but we fear everlasting torments. For let Diocletian Augustus know
that we are Christians, and will never depart from his worship."
Lampadius ordered them to be stripped and beaten with scorpions, but, whilst
still in the judgment seat, was seized by an evil spirit, and tearing himself,
expired. The news enraged the Emperor, and he ordered coffins of lead to be
made, and the five were ordered to be shut up alive therein, and cast into the
river. The order was duly carried out on the sixth day of the Ides of November
(the 8th November, according to our present reckoning), by a certain citizen
named Nicetius, who sat by Lampadius as an assessor. The Bishop Quirillus
heard of it in his prison, and, being deeply grieved, died the same day. The
year is a little doubtful, and the authorities vary between A. D. 298 and 302.
Shortly after this, the Emperor journeyed from thence, that is, Pannonia, to
Syrme, and after forty-two days a Christian named Nichodemus raised the
coffins containing the bodies of the five craftsmen and placed them in his own
house. FOUR SOLDIERS WERE EXECUTED
being in Syrme eleven months the Emperor Diocletian entered Rome. He at once
commanded that a temple to Aesculapius should be built in the Baths of Trajan,
and an image made from the squared stone. Upon the completion of the work he
ordered that all the soldiers, and particularly the militia of the city,
should offer incense with sacrifices whenever they came to the image of
Aesculapius. There were, however, four wing officers (cornicularii) of the
city militia, who resisted the order, being Christians. Upon their
disobedience being reported to the Emperor, he ordered them to be put to death
in front of the very image they refused to worship, with strokes of the
plumbata, a scourge with thongs weighted with leaden balls. The death of these
four soldiers occurred exactly two years after the death of the five
craftsmen. The bodies of the four soldiers were ordered by Diocletian to be
cast into the streets to the dogs. After lying there five days, Sebastian with
the Bishop Melchiades, collected the bodies by night, and buried them in a
cemetery on the road to Lavica, about three miles from the City of Rome, where
many other holy men were already buried. Subsequently, in A. D. 310, upon
becoming Pope, Melchiades ordered that the anniversary of the death of the
four soldiers should be observed under the names; of the holy martyrs,
Claudius, Castorius, Simphorianus, Nicostratus and Simplicius, as the names of
the soldiers were unknown, and their deaths had occurred upon the same day of
the year, viz., 8th November, but two years later. Also, the Pope bestowed
upon these four soldiers, or milites, the title of Quatuor Coronati, or Four
Crowned Ones. The names of these four martyrs appear to have been unknown
until the ninth century, when, it is said, by the grace of God they were
revealed as being Severus, Severinus, Carpophorus, and Victorinus.
indicated at the commencement of these notes, the whole matter has been
complicated by the fact that to the details of the martyrdom of the sculptors
have been added those of a second set of martyrs. The five sculptors, or
stone-squarers, and the four milites have, in consequence, frequently been
mixed up and confusion thus created; but as Bro. R. F. Gould has rightly said,
"the 4 Officers instead of the 5 masons have become the patron saints of the
building trades, while the occupation of the 5 has survived under the name of
DOES "CORONATI MEAN?"
precise meaning of the term coronati has been the subject of considerable
speculation on the part of Masonic students. Some authorities think that the
word coronati is a corrupted form of the military term cornicularii. Others
suggest, however, that the four unknown cornicularii received a posthumous
honour or promotion at the hands of the chronicler, and became known as
coronati, the higher class of decorated soldier in the Roman army, and
immediately above that of the cornicularii. This latter is a very feasible
suggestion, when one remembers that by the use of the word coronati the crown
of martyrdom is also implied.
martyrdom of these two sets of saints is referred to, in many early
martyrologies, from A.D. 400 onwards; and also in various breviaries down to
and including the authorized version published by Pope Pius V by a Bull dated
July, 1568. The accounts in these MSS. vary considerably, and add to the
uncertainty of the real facts. It has been suggested that the almost immediate
acceptance of the Quatuor Coronati as duly recognized canonical saints may be
due to the fact that they were members of a trade organization, but
satisfactory proof of this has still to be furnished.
the Isabella Missal (circa 1497) although the five sculptors are mentioned in
the commendation prayer, yet only four appear in the illumination on that MS.
These four represent the original four, Claudius, Castorius, Simphorianus, and
Nicostratus, and they are depicted with the emblems of masonry, viz., square,
plumb rule, trowel, and gavel. The missing one is undoubtedly Simplicius, who
joined the other four on becoming a Christian, and was martyred with them.
Besides, the illuminator could not well have put more than four figures into
his picture, which was to commemorate those saints, who were collectively
known by the name of "Quatuor Coronati."
the time of Pope Honorius I (A. D. 625-638) there was in existence at Rome, on
the Caelian Hill where the Temple of Diana had formerly stood, a noble church,
in the form of a basilica, bearing the name of the Quatuor Coronati. Some say
that the Pope built it and dedicated it to these saints. During the
Pontificate of Leo IV (A. D. 847-855) the remains of the five sculptors and
the four milites are said to have been removed from a cemetery on the Lavican
Way in which they had long reposed to an oratory beneath the altar of the
church on the Caelian Hill just referred to. The four milites were placed in
two marble sarcophagi, and on either side in two other sarcophagi were
deposited the remains of the five sculptors. This is recorded on the
inscription of Leo IV, in the church over the left stairs leading to the
oratory. The church was destroyed in the great fire of Robert Guiscard in A.
D. 1084, but restored by Pope Paschal II in A. D. 1111. The church was again
restored by Pope Urban VIII in A. D. 1624 and exists to this day. being known
as the Church of the Quattro Incorronati. The change in name is accounted for
by the fact that the word coronati of classical and Medieval Latin, and the
word incorronati of the modern Italian mean precisely the same, viz., "Crowned
WERE THE SCULPTORS BURIED?
MSS. previously quoted from describe the burial of the four cornicularii in
the cemetery on the Lavican Way outside Rome; but how the five Pannonian
sculptors, martyred in that country, and retrieved from their watery grave by
Nichodemus, came to be reinterred near Rome, and in the same cemetery as the
four cornicularii with whom they have been confused, has never been explained
satisfactorily. It may also be mentioned that the site of this cemetery is
still unknown, notwithstanding the persistent searches of antiquarians and
those early times when associations of workmen in different trades were
formed, the Quatuor Coronati have been the patron saints of the building
fraternity in Italy and elsewhere. In Florence the gild of smiths, carpenters,
and masons, during the fifteenth century decorated with a group of statues
representing the Quatuor Coronati, one of the niches on the exterior of the
northern wall of the Church of Or San Michele, the church of the trade gilds
of that city.
REGIUS POEM VERSION OF THE QUATUOR CORONATI LEGEND
is a transliteration of the Regius Poem version of the Quatuor Coronati
legend, or the "Four Crowned Martyrs." The version begins at line 497 and
extends to line 532. The poem was written, so it is believed, in England,
about 1390 A. D., and is the oldest Masonic document in existence.
we now to God almyght,
to hys moder Mary bryght
we mowe keepe these artyculus here,
these poynts wel al y-fere,
dede these holy martyres fowre
yn thys craft were of gret honoure;
were as gode masonus as on erthe schul go,
Gravers and ymage-makers they were also.
they were werkemen of the beste.
emperour hade to hem gret luste;
wylned of hem a ymage to make,
mowgh be worscheped for his sake;
mawmetys he hade yn hys dawe
turne the pepul from Crystus lawe.
they were stedefast yn Crystes lay,
to here craft, withouten nay;
loved wel God and alle hys lore
weren yn hys serves ever more.
men they were yn that dawe,
Iyved wel y Goddus lawe;
thoght no mawmetys for to make,
no good that they mygth take
levyn on that mawmetys for here God,
nolde do so, thawg he were wod,
they nolde not forsake here trw fay,
byleve on hys falsse lay.
emperour let take hem sone anone,
putte hem ynto a dep presone;
sarre he penest hem yn that plase,
more yoye wes to hem of Cristus grace.
Thenne when he sye no nother won,
dethe he lette hem thenne gon;
wol of here lyf get mor knowe,
the bok he may hyt schowe,
the legent of scanctorum
names of quatuor coronatorum.
BRO. C. C. HUNT, Deputy Grand Secretary, Iowa
HAVE just taken my examination in the lecture of the Third Degree and am now
ready to go on.
way had I better take ?" asked a young Mason recently.
do you mean by 'which way'?" he was asked.
I don't know. I understood I had the choice of two ways to go on, after taking
the Third Degree."
on where? Where do you want to go? By the 'choice of two ways' you must mean
that you have a goal and that either way will take you there. What is the goal
I hadn't thought of that particularly, but I suppose it must be the Shrine.
Isn't that the top in Masonry ?"
my Brother, it is not. The top in Masonry is an accomplishment and not a
degree. But even if some Masonic degrees could be considered higher than
others, the Shrine has no claim to any such distinction. It is not a Masonic
degree in any sense of the term and does not pretend to be. It has been called
'the playground' for Masons, giving as it does opportunity for recreation and
play, after the serious work of the Masonic degrees. It doubtless has a
function to fulfill, but it is by no means a goal, and it is a great mistake
to consider the Masonic degrees a means to reach such a goal.
if we grant all that has been claimed for the Shrine, it is no more to be
considered a goal of Masonry than is the school playground a goal of the
classes therein. What would you think of a boy who thought of his class room
work as merely a means to the playground? All pupils of the same school are
entitled to use the playground at proper times and under proper restrictions
without regard to the books or subjects studied in the school, and the
question of whether he shall take arithmetic or geography, reading or
spelling, history or literature, is determined without reference to the
playground. Possibly it might be well to take all these subjects in order to
obtain a well grounded education.
it is with the York and the Scottish Rites of Masonry. Neither is to be
considered a way to the Shrine. Each is to be considered on its own merits;
and many Masons take both. They are no more to be considered as furnishing a
choice of two ways to the same goal than would be the subjects of history or
philosophy in a course of study. Neither is antagonistic to the other, but on
the contrary, each supplements the other. Remember, however, that the degrees
you have already received are of the York Rite, and it may be well for you to
become thoroughly grounded in the work of this Rite before taking the other. A
jack-of-all-trades never becomes prominent in anything, and it is better to
have well grounded knowledge of one subject than a superficial knowledge of
"While eventually you may find it desirable to seek additional degrees, you
should remember that you can never outgrow the degrees of the lodge. The
additional degrees will be found useful only as they enable you to obtain a
better understanding of those you have already received. If they cause you to
forget your lodge it would be better had they never been taken.”
of the Eastern Star's Educational Campaign In Tennessee
THE CHAIRMAN OF THE PUBLICITY COMMITTEE, GRAND CHAPTER, O. E. S., TENN.
RECOGNIZING that public education is perhaps the most important national
Interest today, the Worthy Grand Matron of the Order in the State of
Tennessee, Mrs. Felix G. Ewing, has initiated a vigorous campaign to raise the
educational standard, particularly in rural communities:
Tennessee stands forty-fourth in the fourty-eight commonwealths of the United
States. T h e coordination and cooperation of the forces of the Grand Lodge,
F. & A. M., the Royal Arch Masons, the Knights Templar, the subordinate lodges
of the F. & A. M., with the subordinate chapters of the O. E. S., will
eventually win the battle against illiteracy.
following suggestions were made to the subordinate chapters as a first step in
- Each chapter to devote the time of one of its early stated meetings to a
general discussion of the subject of education, the Worthy Matron in advance
of the meeting to appoint one or two speakers who can deal with it.
- At the meeting, a special committee on education to be appointed, the duties
of this committee to be:
To ascertain the number of schools within the jurisdiction of the chapter,
with the number of pupils attending each school, the number of teachers, the
number of annual days school time, and if possible, ascertain the number of
children not attending any school.
To confer with the superintendent of education having these particular schools
in charge, to ascertain in what direction in his opinion, the influence of the
chapter can best be directed.
The apportionment of the schools within the chapter's jurisdiction among a
sufficient number of sub-committees to insure a personal visit to every
school, at least once in each two months.
These sub-committees to report at each stated meeting as a regular order of
business the condition of the schools in their charge, with any suggestion for
their improvement which may be apparent.
To seek a conference with the Worshipful Master and Wardens of the Masonic
lodges in their immediate jurisdiction offering their assistance in such
educational work as the lodge may have in hand, and to endeavor to coordinate
The same offer of assistance to be made to any chapter of Royal Arch Masons
which may be within their territorial limits.
The sub-committee to cooperate with any Parent-Teacher's Association which may
be in existence, or, if none, to attempt an organization of that sort.
The Worthy Matrons to write the Worthy Grand Matron at the end of each three
months what has been done, what progress - made
MEMBERS ASKED TO KEEP IN TOUCH
the chapters and all the members of the chapters are asked to keep in touch
with the schools. In this way, we believe, the work will develop and avenues
of usefulness suggest themselves. It is our present ignorance of the
conditions of the schools, their need and their insufficiency, which is at the
root of our troubles.
enable the Order to act intelligently the school superintendents of each
county in the state were asked to give the following information:
number, name and location of all one teacher schools, and the name and address
of the teacher.
number, name and location of all two teacher schools, and the names and
addresses of the teachers.
number, name and location of all three teacher schools, and the renames and
addresses of the teachers.
number, name and location of all high schools, and the name and address of the
principal of each high school, and the names and addresses of all teachers in
names and addresses of your county board of education, designating the
chairman of such board.
name and address of your county supervisor of schools.
you can do so, will you please furnish with this data, the number of pupils
enrolled and attending each school in your county' This is also of great
importance in our proposed work. We are also anxious to find out, if it be
possible, how many children there are in the different counties, who are of
school age, and yet who are not, and probably never have been, attending any
school. Will you give us your hearty cooperation in this effort to help the
educational work in Tennessee, and will you make the first step in that
cooperation, the sending to me, this much desired and important data, within
the next ten days - so our work can begin immediately?"
Different localities are arranging different methods and mans for work. Almost
every subordinate chapter has appointed an educational committee. These
committees have familiarized themselves with the measures of the Sterling-Reed
Bill and are undertaking this work with great earnestness of purpose
Order of the Eastern Star stands for the following:
Federal Department of Education with a Secretary in the President's Cabinet.
More generous support, through appropriations and improved legislation.
minimum school term of eight months for each county, well trained teachers for
each school, and living salaries for all teachers.
Thorough investigation of all unsatisfactory conditions in regard to the
illiteracy of each county.
For a fuller understanding and hearty cooperation at all times with county
superintendents of education, teachers and Parent-Teacher's Associations.
For frank statements, just demands, and offers of helpfulness to county boards
of education and county courts.
For the active participation of each subordinate chapter of the O. E. S. in
our state in such plans as are adapted to their localities.
Worthy Grand Matron, Mrs. Felix G. Ewing, and the Worthy Grand Ruth, Mrs.
Frances Haun, have made a round of official visits to a large number of
chapters in the state, and the Worthy Grand Matron is planning to visit every
chapter in the interests of the educational movement before the close of the
HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED
Enthusiasm and interest are displayed everywhere. Much practical work has been
accomplished. The compulsory attendance law is being enforced more thoroughly
than ever; funds have been raised to replace a burned schoolhouse; a domestic
science department has been fully equipped; books for libraries have been
given; teachers' salaries have been supplemented; one chapter has pledged a
thousand dollars towards the building of a new schoolhouse; clothing, books
and shoes have been supplied for needy children; and other social service work
undertaken which will make possible the attendance of children at school. Two
chapters have been largely instrumental in raising a school from a two-year to
a four-year high school; and the whole movement has engendered a community
school spirit that speaks well for the accomplishment of the purpose of the
to house canvasses are being made in some centers in order to find out if any
children of school age are not attending school, and for what reason. This has
done much to establish a cordial relationship between the parents and those
means for publicity an educational program will shortly be broadcasted from
Nashville; and it is hoped that the moving picture shows may be made a medium
for extending the appeal for intelligent interest in this important subject.
County superintendents are showing the greatest cooperation on the ground that
no better service can be rendered the Southland than the blotting out of her
illiteracy. This also applies to the principals and teachers in the schools,
together with clergy and ministers in all communities.
campaign has been instrumental in making large additions to the ranks of the
Order and the cordiality and enthusiasm with which it has been received are
most encouraging to the state officers.
STATISTICS OF THE ORDER AT END OF 1924
Compiled by BRO. C. C. WOODS, Missouri
District of Columbia
FOREIGN GRAND LODGES
New South Wales
Prince Edward Island
York Grand Lodge of Mexico
Historical Sketch of Lodge Canongate Kilwinning, No. 2, Scotland
an account published by the lodge itself)
a half dozen lodges in the world can vie with Canongate Kilwinning, No. 2, in
historical interest. Ancient it is, and venerable, like some ivied cathedral,
and revered by Masons the world over as one of the fountainheads of the Craft.
Robert Burns and Rudyard Kipling have been among its poets laureate, also
James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, friend of Christopher North, and author of
lyrics as sweet as the heather. Among other illustrious names affiliated with
this lodge may be mentioned Lord Roberts, Lord Kitchener and Lord Haig.
her ranks has come such a phalanx of the great and good in every field of
human activity, as might well make her the envy of the proudest sister in the
land. Her brightest names are not hers alone, but Scotland's, and among them
are many that posterity will not willingly let die."
JOHN'S CHAPEL is of unique antiquarian interest from the traditions associated
with Lodge Canongate Kilwinning and with the site of the Chapel.
lodge is one of the very few which holds its Annual Festival on St. John the
Baptist's Day corresponding with the Summer Solstice, and its bright red
clothing and apt motto both pointedly refer to the dawn of the day in the East
and ancient sun worship. As the sun never sets but to rise again, so,
according to the oldest forms at every communication, the work is closed, but
the lodge is never closed--only adjourned. The Chapel is probably the oldest
Masonic lodge Chapel in the world.
lodge preserves the ancient Scottish arrangement of the interior, having the
Master's and Warden's chairs at the three points of a triangle, the Master's
chair forming the apex. This is the correct and most ancient form of
arrangement of a Scottish lodge, corresponding with the so called Higher
Degrees, and also with the Continental Masonic systems, but differing both
from the English and the American systems.
traditions of Canongate Kilwinning, as an operative body, begin with the
building of Holyrood Abbey and Palace, when, by royal warrant, skilled
builders and Craftsmen were brought from all parts of the country to assist in
the work. The Abbey was founded by King David I. in 1128 for the Canons
Regular of St. Augustine, and dedicated to the Holy Rood or Cross brought to
Scotland by his mother, the pious Margaret. The Cross was called the Black
Rood of Scotland. The lodge was practically identified with the religious
foundation of the Abbey, till the growing Burgh of Canongate outside the walls
of Edinburgh became of sufficient importance, amid the religious struggles of
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, to confer rights of freedom of trade
apart from the protection of the Church. The trade societies of the Burgh
never owed any allegiance to Edinburgh, and the somewhat arrogant attempts
made by the trades of the latter occasionally to exercise control in the
Canongate invariably led to indignant repudiation.
Canongate Masons, however, while dating their corporate privileges from King
David's charter to the Canons of Holyrood, and the constitution of the Burgh
of Canongate, and being entirely separate from and independent of Edinburgh,
identified themselves with the general body of Freemasons in Scotland in 1677,
five years after the Parish Church was transferred from the Abbey. In that
year they accepted a warrant from Mother Kilwinning, which was at the time
--as the Head, though in influence only the second, lodge in the
Kingdom--exercising the functions of Grand Lodge. Mother Kilwinning had a
traditional connection, similar to that of Canongate, with the skilled
ecclesiastical builders and architects of the time.
several other lodges in England and Scotland, and owing to the incompleteness
or absence of documentary evidence of earlier existence, our precedence thus
runs conventionally from a much later date, 1677, than the real inception of
the lodge warrants. In respect of its constitution at so early a date as a
purely speculative lodge, independent of and uncontrolled by any trade
organization or incorporation, it takes rank as one of the very oldest
existing lodges. It is one of the few which cannot, and does not, produce to
candidates or anyone else any "charter or warrant of constitution from the
Grand Lodge of Scotland." Grand Lodge, indeed, was formed under its hospitable
roof, and one of its members, William St. Clair of Rosslyn, became first Grand
Master Mason of Scotland.
During recent years the lodge premises have been greatly enlarged and
improved, providing new cloakroom and lavatory accommodation, increasing the
size of the Refectory, as well as adding a large museum between the Chapel
itself and the new St. John street frontage, designed to harmonize with the
older part of the building.
1916 the lodge acquired an adjoining building, hitherto used as a wood
turner's factory, and entering off Old Playhouse Close; and during the present
year (1924) they have procured a building to the south of the lodge, which
will be available for extension of the present premises at an early date.
old entrance to the lodge by St. John's Close can now be used at any time. It
gives access to a storeroom or scullery and to an arched vault in the
basement. There is a caretaker's house of room and kitchen, etc., on the top
flat, while on the middle flat, to which access is obtained by a turreted
staircase, is the old kitchen of the Tenandries restored. The pillars on
either side of the door between the old kitchen and the Secretary's room are
from the old council chambers in Leith. The fireplace now disclosed was
formerly covered up by masonry and partitions.
lodge possesses an interesting museum, containing many unique articles
connected with the Craft, and in the lodge room there is an organ built in the
year 1754, probably the oldest organ in Scotland, and the only existing organ
on which the songs of Robert Burns were played in his presence.
roll of members includes the names of men famous in history, literature, law,
medicine, and other spheres--men who have helped to make our country and
POETS LAUREATE OF THE LODGE
Robert Burns (Caledonia's Bard)
James Hogg (The Ettrick Shepheid.)
William Hay (The Lintie o' Moray).
E.W. Lane, M.D.
N. J. Mansabuis.
Anthony O'Neal Haye (Author of "Poemata." Editor of the "Scottish Freemason
Captain Lawrence Archer.
Bryan Charles Waller, M. D., of Masongill.
Andrew Stevenson, M. A. (Author of "The Laureate Wreath," etc.).
Charles H. Mackay.
Wallace Bruce (Author of "The Old Organ," etc.)
Charles Martin Hardie, R. S. A.
Alexander Anderson (Surfaceman).
T. N. Hepburn (Gabriel Setoun).
Joseph Inglis, W. S., P. M.
T. S. Muir. M. A.. P. M.
Allan McNeil, P. M.
John B. Peden, P. M.
of the most interesting features about the lodge is the list of its Poets
Laureate, and more especially its connection, when the office was instituted,
with Robert Burns.
was entered Apprentice on 4th of July, 1781, in Lodge St. David's, Tarbolton,
Ayrshire (about a month after the two lodges, St. David's and St. James, in
that town had been united). He was then in his twenty-third year, and from
that date until his death he was a most enthusiastic member of the Craft,
paying regular attendance at, and identifying himself with, the lodges in
every place where he happened to be for the time.
the reconstruction of Lodge St. James, about a year after his initiation, he
identified himself with that section, and in 1784 was elected Depute Master of
St. James. The meetings were, at the time, held in a public house, which is
now in ruins, scarcely anything but the bare walls standing.
often presided over the lodge, a fact to which he refers in his poems.
was an affiliated member of Lodge St. Andrews, Dumfries, No. 179. The mallet
and an apron of that lodge used in his time are in possession of Grand Lodge.
It is not Burns' own private apron.
was affiliated in Lodge Canongate Kilwinning on 1st of February, 1787, and was
elected and installed Poet Laureate of that lodge on 1st of March, 1787. The
lodge, containing, as it did, the elite of the bright and learned of Edinburgh
society and some of the foremost spirits in Scottish life of the time,
welcomed Burns with whole-hearted enthusiasm, and the enthusiasm found
tangible expression, not only at meetings, but also in supporting and
assisting the preparation of the first Edinburgh edition of his works.
fact of the inauguration of Burns as Poet Laureate was, some time ago, finally
and judicially established after an elaborate and exhaustive inquiry by the
Grand Lodge of Scotland, which possesses the well-known historic painting
representing the scene, painted by Bro. Stewart Watson, and presented to Grand
Lodge by Dr. James Burness, the distinguished Indian traveler and
administrator, and a distant relative of Burns through his ancestry in
Kincardineshire, from which Burns' father migrated to Ayrshire.
lodge possesses an actual Master Mason's apron of Burns' Mother Lodge, used at
the time when he was initiated, and presented by Bro. McGavin, Past Substitute
Master, the descendant of one who was present.
Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, succeeded Robert Burns as Poet Laureate in 1835. A
special meeting of the lodge was held at the Cleikum Inn, St. Ronan's,
Innerleithen, when he was initiated into the Craft, and sang to the assembled
brethren his own song--"When the Kye Come Hame." The names of Alexander
Anderson (Surfaceman), Wallace Bruce, T. N. Hepburn (Gabriel Setoun), and
Rudyard Kipling appear in later years.
BRO. N. W. J. HAYDON, Asso. Ed., Canada
CONNAUGHT Lodge, Mimico, owns as unusual a piece of furniture as is to be
seen, probably, in Ontario. This is an altar, designed and partly built by the
skillful hands of Bro. Joseph Nevin, who is also a brother of the Operative
Art, being an "Honors Man" of the City and Guilds Institute, of London,
altar is built on the design of a tower and porch to a cathedral. It is made
of oak, and is entirely symbolical in its detail and finish, being twenty-four
inches square at its base and thirty-three inches high. At each corner is a
diminishing buttressed pier, set at an angle of 45d; these reach up to about
half its height and, above them, the corners are cut in blocks like maple and
the leather of bird's-eye maple, inlaid with three rosettes of oak, each
carved with an eight-petalled rose, the buttons being silver coins smoothed
and engraved with the square and compasses. On the edge, outside the apron,
are five seven-sided, tapering spires, one at each corner and one in the
center of the eastern side, which has at its apex the cardinal points and a
weathercock pointing towards the east for "a favorable wind."
the east, south, and north sides are set three-light windows of gothic design,
inlaid with colored glass. The reveals of the windows are in ashlared
blockstone design, with gothic arches containing the correct number of stones,
the keystones being carved in the shape of a coffin. Around each arch is a
moulded label course, surmounted at its center with a carved square, plumbrule
the west side appears a doorway, with three steps as an approach to a door in
gothic style, whose hinges are of the fleur-de-lis pattern. It bears a
"Sanctuary Knocker" of brass in the shape of a demon's head, with horns,
serpent's tongue, a ring in its mouth and eyes that, by some peculiarity of
the maker's art, appear to look right at you, whether you stand in front or on
either side. This doorway is recessed and, in the angles, appear the staves -
emblems of authority, while around the opening appear block-finished ashlars.
The upper half is a gothic arch of twelve stones and a keystone carved with a
this door is a window of five lights of lances design, inlaid with colored
glass, and so arranged that each arch has one-half struck from a common center
and all are within the bounds and touching one common circle. This is
surmounted by an arch containing fifteen stones and a keystone inlaid with
pearl and carved with the usual lettered circle.
altar is lighted electrically from within which makes a very pleasing effect.
There is also in this lodge a choir rail, built of oak by the same brother,
and designed as a colonnade with gothic arches. It is supported by twelve
columns, one of which is peculiarly twisted in the turning. This rail is
fitted with special electric lamps, of a color suitable for the Master Mason
ceremony and displays much original thought, skill and ingenuity in the
making, so as to meet the service required of it.
(Written for the Dedication of Masonic Temple in Moncton, N. B., Aug. Z5,
Eternal God, mighty in power, of majesty incomprehensible, look graciously on
Thy servants who lift up their hearts unto Thee. Thou who madest the earth and
gayest man understanding; suffer us by Thine help to build to Thine honour. In
Thine infinite WISDOM have patience with our imperfections. In our pitiable
weakness make perfect Thy STBENGTH; and O. ineffable BEAUTY, leave us not
ashamed. Instruct our tongues to frame Thy Word aright. Make attentive the
ears that would catch Thy voice and in faithful breasts do Thou find for
Thyself repose. Encourage those who walk in darkness here to lean upon Thine
Arm. By Thine Own Hand raise us out of all disaster that, in the Middle
Chamber of Thy Sacred Presence we may rejoice to behold Thy Face. O, Thou
Master of Workmen, Thou Builder of Mansions, Thou Giver of Life. Amen.
Channing Gordon Lawrence,
Chaplain, New Brunswick.
Men Who Were Masons
BRO. GEORGE W. BAIRD. P.G.M., District of Columbia
are few men, few Masons, in our history who have figured so prominently and
yet so modestly as James Otis. We learn that he was a Mason from The
Freemasons' Monthly Magazine published by that brilliant Massachusetts Grand
Secretary and editor, Charles W. Moore; in his Volume XIX for 1860, page 133,
"James Otis, of Revolutionary renown, the distinguished lawyer and orator, was
a frequent visitor to the Grand Lodge. At the quarterly communication of
October 12, 1753, he appeared as the Senior Warden of the 'second lodge.'
Afterwards, his name is enrolled among those of visitors, in 1753, 1754, 1758,
1759, 1760, 1761, 1765, 1767, 1768, 1769, 1773, and 1774. He was a pall-bearer
at the funeral of Grand Master Gridley, and served on a committee of the Grand
Lodge on that occasion."
Otis was born on what was called Great Marshes, now West Barnstable,
Massachusetts, Feb. 5, 1725; and died at Andover, May 23, 1783. He was
graduated at Harvard in 1743, having taken the College Course, studied law in
Boston, and was admitted to the bar in Plymouth, where he began practice.
Later he moved to Boston to take advantage of the better opportunities there.
was a thinking man with a habit of tireless industry. As early as 1760 he
published his famous essay The Rudiments of Latin Prosody with a Dissertation
of Letters and the Principle Harmony in Poetic and Prosaic Composition. This
title indicates his classical and philological tastes. It was his knowledge of
languages that enabled him to find the exact word for his idea; though he
became famous as an orator he was never in the least theatrical.
Judge Advocate General in 1761 he delivered a masterly argument on "Whether
the Persons Employed in Enforcing the Acts of Trade Should Have the Power to
Invoke Generally the Assistance of All the Executive Officers of the Colony."
He soon resigned his office as Judge Advocate General because he considered
the "Writs of Assistance" to be illegal and refused to argue them further. He
was then employed on the other side and produced a profound impression; the
judges evaded giving decisions and the Writs, though secretly granted at the
next term, were never executed.
was elected to the Legislature, where his eloquence soon placed him at the
head of his party and won for him the title of "The Great Incendiary of New
1765 he moved that a congress of delegates be called from the several
Colonies. The adoption of this proposal resulted in a congress held at New
York in October of that year, with Otis as a member. He was authorized to
prepare an address to the House of Commons. In the following May he was
elected Speaker of the Provincial House. When Charles Townsend’s plan of
taxation had passed in the British Parliament, the Massachusetts House sent,
in 1768, another circular letter requesting the Colonies to unite on some
suitable measure of redress. When Governor Bernard required this letter to be
rescinded Otis made a speech which was pronounced by the friends of the
British Government to be "the most violent, insolent, abusive, and treasonable
declaration that perhaps ever was delivered." The House refused to rescind by
a vote of 92 to 17.
the summer of 1769 Otis discovered that the Commissioners of Customs had sent
accusations against him to England to charge him with treason; immediately he
inserted an advertisement in the Boston Gazette denouncing them. The next
evening he met Mr. Robinson, one of the Commissioners, in a coffee house; an
altercation occurred in which Mr. Otis was struck on the head with a blunt
instrument, leaving a gash; this is thought to have been the cause of his
dementure later on. In the action instituted against Mr. Robinson he was
awarded damages of 2000 pounds, but declined to receive the money since Mr.
Robinson had made an "humble written apology."
Otis retired, on account of his health, but was again chosen a Representative.
But he was forced to retire permanently because of mental derangement. His
death was brought on by a stroke of lightning which struck his house at
During his derangement he had destroyed nearly all his papers. He had
published a pamphlet on The Vindication of the Conduct of the House of
Representatives, 1762; The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted, 1764; and
Considerations on Behalf of the Colonists, 1765.
American Craft stands just now in need of a new vocabulary. With the official
adoption of the principle of Masonic Education by so many Grand Lodges,
brethren so engaged are hard put to discover a means of describing what they
are aiming at. "Research" is used, but it suggests something scientific, or
antiquarian, something very heavy and dull. "Study" is unpleasantly
reminiscent of school and college. "Education" itself suggests study, classes,
teachers, text-books and other high brow paraphernalia. Of course there are
very few Masons who desire to make a scientific study of Masonry, or who would
care to go to school again; nevertheless they may desire to learn what Masonry
is, how to practice it, or manage it, how to enjoy it. He will lay us all
under obligation who makes us the Rift of a new vocabulary by which to
describe such desires and such needs.
Studies of Masonry in the United States
BRO. H. L. Haywood Editor
VI BEGINNINGS IN MASSACHUSETTS
READING of the various books in which some discussion is made of the
beginnings of Masonry in Massachusetts will show that for many years the
subject has lain in much confusion, due partly to a lack of data, partly to
the average writer's habit of accepting without critical examination things
said by a predecessor. If this confusion has to a large extent been cleared
up, so that the subject now stands forth with comparatively clear outlines it
is principally due to a remarkable book, already frequently quoted in these
studies: The Beginnings of Freemasonry in America, by Bro. Melvin M. Johnson,
P. G. M., Massachusetts. As already stated by the present writer in a review
published in THE BUILDER, October, 1924, page 316, the chief value of this
work is that it is based on original records, and that these records have been
subjected to a critical scrutiny, by virtue of which fact it may be accurately
described as a new departure in writing the history of the Craft in America.
Johnson's work covers the period from the traditional beginnings up to and
including 1750. During that period Boston was the cultural and commercial
capital of New England, and one of the two or three most important cities on
the continent. A reader will find a detailed history of the city from 1630 to
1880 in a magnificent work in four volumes: The Memorial History of Boston,
edited by Justin Winsor; Boston; 1882. The period during which Freemasonry was
organized in Massachusetts is covered in Volume II, in which, on page 439, is
the following succinct description of the population and general
characteristics of the Boston of that time:
appearance which Boston in the middle of the eighteenth century presented to a
visitor was one of thrift and substantial prosperity. It had much the air of
some of the best country towns in England. The marginal lines had not
materially changed, as Price's plan of 1743 shows, and the territory of the
little peninsula sufficed, with but slight changes, until the new movement in
life began early in the present century. The population had increased chiefly
by process of natural laws, unaided by any extensive immigration or influx
from the country. When the small-pox broke out in 1722, it was estimated that
the town contained about twelve thousand inhabitants. Twenty years later, in
1742, there were about eighteen thousand and the number scarcely exceeded
twenty thousand in 1760. This stationary character of the population aided no
doubt in the preservation of local characteristics. In the valuation of 1742
there were reported to be one thousand seven hundred and nineteen houses, and
one hundred and sixty-six warehouses twelve hundred of the population were
widows, a thousand of them being set down as poor; and there were one thousand
five hundred and fourteen negroes in town. Peter Faneuil had just presented
Faneuil Hall to the town; and there were standing, besides the Town House and
Province House, ten meetinghouses of the prevailing faith, three edifices of
the Church of England, a French, a Quaker, and one Irish or Presbyterian
meeting-house. There was a work-house and an alms-house, a granary and four
CALENDAR, OLD STYLE AND NEW
was in such an environment that Massachusetts Masonry made its beginnings some
time during the first quarter of the eighteenth century, and in order to
understand its course of development that environment will need to be kept
constantly in mind. Also the reader needs to remember that prior to 1752 the
Old Style calendar was still in use. The general oversight of this fact has
caused so much confusion in Masonic, histories it will be useful here to quote
Bro. Johnson's explanation of Old and New Style calendars:
confusion has arisen over dates from January 1 to March 24, inclusive, prior
to 1753, because to and including the year 1752 the first day of the new year
was March 25 instead of January 1. Consequently old style March 24, 1750, for
instance, was the day before March 25, 1751; and January 1, 1750, was the day
after December 31, 1750, and not the day after December 31, 1749. In many
commentaries on early Masonic matters as well as upon matters of general
history this distinction has been overlooked, with resultant confusion.
Accuracy of dates has been attempted herein, and for clearness both old and
new style have been indicated. For instance, March 24, 1750/51, means the day
before March 25, 1751. At the time that day was officially known as March 24,
going back to the origins of American Masonry Bro. Johnson made use of eight
various sources of information:
Official Lists of Lodges.
lists, often engraved, were issued at various times by the English and Irish
Grand Lodges. The two best books on these lists were written by Bro. John
Lane: Handy Book to the Study of the Engraved. Printed and Manuscript Lists of
Lodges of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of England (Moderns and Ancients)
from 1723 to 1814 with an Appendix and Valuable Statistical Tables; and
Masonic Records, 1717-1886; the former was first printed, London, 1889; the
latter, London, 1886. A second edition of the Records was published in London,
this head are included all the Old Manuscripts, but more especially the
edition prepared by Dr. James Anderson, first published in London, 1723. It
was this book that Benjamin Franklin brought out in Philadelphia, 1734.
Records and Account Books.
Under this head come the record books of the Grand Lodge at London beginning
under date of June 24, 1723; Liber B, Philadelphia, beginning June 24, 1731;
original records of the First Lodge in Boston, evidently begun in 1738; the
original records of the Masters' Lodge in Boston, with the first record under
date of Dec. 22, 1738; records of St. John's Lodge at Portsmouth, N. H., begun
Oct. 31, 1739; minute book of Tun Tavern Lodge of Philadelphia, with the first
entry dated June 28, 1749; a journal written by Benjamin Franklin July 4,
1730; and the record of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Boston beginning April
Manuscripts of the Period.
this classification are included the original petition for the constitution of
the First Lodge in Boston; the original petition for the constitution of the
First Lodge in New Hampshire; the Beteilhe Manuscript; the Baron's Letter; and
The Pelham List. The Beteilhe Manuscript is so called because it was written
by Francis Beteilhe. He was made a Mason in the First Lodge of Boston, July
24, 1734, was made its secretary some time prior to June 23, 1736, and was
"appointed or reappointed Grand Secretary by Provincial Grand Master Tomlinson
on June 24, 1737." Also he was evidently secretary of the Masters' Lodge, for
its records from Jan. 2, 1738/9, to and including Aug. 7, 1739, are in his
handwriting. The Manuscript named for him opens with a copy of the petition
for the constitution of the First Lodge under date of July 30, 1733. Peter
Pelham was made a Mason Nov. 8, 1738, in the First Lodge, of which he became
secretary Dec. 26, 1739, and so remained until Sept. 26, 1744, when his son,
Charles, made a Mason in the First Lodge, Sept. 12, 1744, succeeded him.
Charles Pelham remained secretary until July 24, 1754, or afterwards. It is
from these two brethren that the Pelham List takes its name.
Newspapers of the Period.
Boston News-Letter, first published April 17, 1704; The Boston Gazette,
launched Dec. 14, 1719; The New England Courant, first published Aug. 17,
1721; and The New England Weekly Journal, March 20, 1727, are among the
important Massachusetts sources. Benjamin Franklin and his brother had much to
do with these early journalistic adventures.
The Pocket Companion.
first Pocket Companion was printed in London by E. Rider in 1735. In its first
and subsequent editions it was used as a kind of popular textbook of
Freemasonry, and so remained until it was superseded to a large extent by
Preston's Illustrations of Masonry.
Preston's Illustrations of Masonry.
first edition of this famous book was published in London, 1772. For nearly a
century it was easily the most popular Masonic book in existence. Many
portions of its historical chapters stand in need of careful revision, but for
all that it is one of the necessary sources of Masonic history. The Masonic
bibliophile will find it useful to possess himself of Bro. Silas H. Shepherd's
complete bibliography of Preston.
EARLIEST LODGES WERE "ACCORDING TO ANCIENT CUSTOM"
to 1721 it was "legal" or "regular" for a group of Masons, working by
"inherent right", to form themselves into a lodge, without charter or other
official instrument. Such lodges were known as "time immemorial",
"spontaneous", sometimes as "occasional", and frequently as "St. John's
Lodges." After the Grand Lodge at London adopted its new regulation in 1721,
covering the forming of a lodge, these independent Masonic bodies had to
become regularized. All the extant evidence justifies us in believing that
there were such independent lodges in the American Colonies prior to 1733, a
fact already adverted to in a previous chapter on the beginnings of Masonry in
lodges, as well as those that later came into existence, "duly and regularly
constituted" met under conditions very different from those now obtaining.
They were more or less migratory, meeting from place to place, sometimes in
private residences; summons for a lodge meeting were carried from house to
house by the tiler; and records were usually left with the secretary, who kept
them at his own home. Because of this free and easy way of managing their
affairs, lodges oftentimes kept few or no records of their activities; and
frequently such records as were kept became destroyed or were lost.
Lodges were in the same case. The Mother Grand Lodge at London was organized
in 1717, but its contemporaneous records were not kept until on and after June
24, 1723. The first Grand Lodge in Massachusetts was organized in 1733, but
the still existing contemporaneous records begin of date July 13, 1750. An
excellent description of this state of affairs is found in the Proceedings of
the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, for 1871, page 338:
society conducts its affairs very differently now from what it did formerly.
Prior to 1776 the Grand Lodge of England had no apartments of its own. Its
meetings were held in taverns and halls, while the Grand Secretary's office
followed the calling of that officer, and the papers, archives and records
intrusted to him were liable to loss, decay and mutilation. They were
undoubtedly preserved as well as possible, considering the fact that they
followed the person of the Grand Secretary, and were subject to such care and
supervision as he bestowed upon his own papers and documents, in his own
same was true of the Grand Secretary's office here. It was at the house of
that officer, or at his place of business, as was most convenient, and the
papers and archives were packed away in a box or trunk, rarely opened. The
Provincial Grand Lodge met at the Bunch of Grapes Tavern, the Royal Exchange,
at Concert Hall, or at such other place as was most convenient, and had no
hall or home to resort to. Under these circumstances, we are indeed fortunate
in finding any of our original papers preserved.
the inquiry we are making, it is necessary to keep in mind the great
difference between the systematic manner in which our affairs are now
conducted, and the loose, unmethodical way in which Masonry was carried on
during the last century, especially between 1733 and 1770."
majority of lodge meetings, as suggested above, were held in taverns, which
were not then what they afterwards became, but were social, intellectual,
political and literary centers to which members of the best classes were
accustomed to repair. A chapter could be written, if space permitted, on the
influence of tavern life in early Massachusetts Masonry. Some hint of this,
along with valuable information concerning the more prominent taverns of the
period between 1733 and 1750, was given by Bro. Charles W. Moore in his The
Freemasons' Monthly Magazine, 1860, page 131:
"During the period anterior to 1750, it is probable that the Grand Lodge met
about thirty times, sometimes at the Bunch of Grapes Tavern, and sometimes at
the Royal Exchange Tavern. In 1735, 'The First Lodge' (the present Saint
John's) was removed to the Royal Exchange by leave of the Grand Master; and on
the 15th February, 1750, a 'second Lodge' was constituted, to be held at the
same place. On the 7th of March following, the 'third Lodge' was formed, its
meetings to be holden at the White Horse Tavern; but afterwards, during that
year, it was removed to the Bunch of Grapes.
Bunch of Grapes Tavern was 'in King Street, just below the Town House, 1724'.
Its site was that now occupied by the New England Bank, on the corner of State
and Kilby Streets. It was kept by William Coffin in 1731, and by Col. Joseph
Ingersoll in 1764-9. King Street became known as State Street in 1784.
Royal Exchange Tavern stood on the late site of the Columbian Bank, on the
corner of State and Exchange Streets-now occupied by the Merchants' Bank
building. The quarrel between Benjamin Woodbridge and Henry Phillips, 1727,
resulting in a duel and the death of the former, occurred here. The event
caused a good deal of excitement at the time. The tavern was then kept by Luke
Vardy. "The White Horse Tavern, 'at the South End, 1724,' was nearly opposite
to where Hayward Place now is. Its landlord in 1760-4 was Joseph Morton.
'Fryday, April ye 13th, 1750', a quarterly communication of the Grand Lodge
was held at the Royal Exchange Tavern, R. W. Thomas Oxnard presiding. From
this date to that of January 27, 1775, inclusively, one hundred and fifty-one
meetings--regular, special and festive--took place. The records designate the
places where eighty-five of them were held. Until the summer of 1767, the
quarterly and other business sessions were generally held at the Royal
Exchange; and afterwards, until the breaking out of the revolutionary war, at
the Bunch of Grapes."
BRETHREN MADE MUCH OF FEASTS
consonance with the sociable tavern atmosphere in which they worked was the
great importance attached by our early brethren to their annual and semiannual
feasts, and to their public processions. Feasts were held on either or both of
the St. John's Days, all plans for the festivities being in the hands of the
stewards. When the great day arrived the brethren, each in his liveliest
costume, gathered at the lodge room or at the home of the Grand Master or
Worshipful Master. The whole day and most of the night was devoted to the
festivities, except for the few hours necessary for lodge or Grand Lodge
business. The public procession attracted the attention of the entire town,
for the brethren went forth in all the variety of their regalia, preceded by
"French horns", and followed by the dignitaries in carriages.
the same essay from which quotations were made just above, Bro. Charles W.
Moore gives us a little glimpse into these activities and at the same time
furnishes a record of the feasts celebrated by Grand Lodge on St. John the
Baptist Day and on St. John the Evangelist Day:
1751, on the 12th of April, 'it was Voted, That the next St. John's Day should
be celebrated out of Town; upon which our Rt. Wors. Bro. Price made an offer
of the use of his House at Manotomy, [now West Cambridge,] which was
accepted.' The record states further that 'Monday, June ye 24th, 1751, the
Brethren went in Regular Procession to the House of Mr. Richardson in
Cambridge, 'Bro. Price's House at Manotomy being Incumber'd by sickness,'
where a Grand Lodge was held for celebrating the day.'
"Within the period now under notice, embracing twenty-four years, the festival
of Saint John the Baptist was celebrated at the Grey Hound Tavern in Roxbury,
in 1752, 1753, 1754, 1755, 1756, 1757, 1758, 1759, 1761, 1764, 1767, 1768 and
1770; at the British Coffee House in King Street in 1762; at 'The George
Tavern on Boston Neck,' afterwards called 'The King's Arms Tavern,' in 1763,
1769, 1771, 1772 and 1773; and 'at the house of Bro. Gardner at Roxbury,' in
feast of St. John the Evangelist, during the twenty-four years, was observed
at the Royal Exchange Tavern in 1751, 1758 and 1759at the Bunch of Grapes
Tavern in 1752, 1753, 1762, 1764, 1765, 1767, 1768, 1769, 1770, 1771, 1772 and
1773; at Concert Hall in 1756, and at the British Coffee House in 1760 and
"These festivals might have been celebrated, also, in the years here omitted;
but if so, the fact is not recorded."
the general period covered by the present chapter see the bibliography
appended to the Study Club for last October, page 314. For a description of
the Boston of 1700-1750 see The Memorial History of Boston, Including Suffolk
County Massachusetts, edited by Justin Winsor; Boston, 1882; Vol. II. On the
calendar see Beginnings of Freemasonry in America, Johnson; New York, 1924;
page 42. On original sources see Ibid, page 28 flf. On Francis Beteilhe and
the Beteilhe Manuscript see Ibid, page 36, and various references in index;
also Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts for 1871, page 288. On
Charles and Peter Pelham and the Pelham List see Beginnings of Freemasonry in
America, pages 290, 293; also consult index. On Boston newspapers see The
Memorial History of Boston; VoI. II, page 387 flf. On "occasional" or "time
immemorial" lodges see Johnson, page 47; The Freemasons' Magazine, 1844, page
163. On lodge records see Massachusetts Proceedings, 1871, page 338; Johnson,
page 372; The History of Freemasonry, Robert Freke Gould; Philadelphia, 1889,
Vol. IV, page 242. On taverns see The Freemasons' Magazine, Charles W. Moore;
1856, page 162; 1860, page 132. On feasts and processions see Ibid, page 132;
Johnson, pages 137, 187, 223.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
is it so difficult to ascertain the exact facts concerning the origins of
American Masonry? What sets Bro. Johnson's book apart from most of the studies
of that field? Give a description of social conditions in Boston during the
early half of the eighteenth century. In what way do you suppose, did this
environment influence Freemasonry What is meant by the Old Style calendar?
When was the New Style begun?
are the various sources for a history of American Masonry? Do Grand Lodges now
publish official lists? If so, where? What is meant by "the constitutions"?
What part do they now play in Freemasonry? What record and account books does
your own lodge keep? How are these preserved? Is your lodge keeping a history?
is meant by Masonic Manuscripts? What was the Beteilhe Manuscript? The Pelham
List? Name some early Boston newspapers. What use have they as sources of
Masonic history? What was the Pocket Companion? Who was William Preston? What
book did he write? When was it published? Have you ever read it?
did lodges come into existence prior to 1721? What were such lodges called?
How does a lodge now come into existence?
did early lodges keep their records? Where did they meet? How did the early
Grand Lodges keep their records? Describe one of the early taverns. What is
meant by St. John's Day? What is the date of St. John the Baptist Day? St.
John the Evangelist Day? Why are the two Saints John the Patrons of
Freemasonry? Does your own lodge hold feasts on either of these days? Do you
believe that Freemasons should indulge in public processions? Who had charge
of the social festivities of early American lodges? How are the social
festivities managed in your own lodge? Do you believe that all such
festivities should be in the hands of the lodge stewards?
Editor‑in‑Chief - H.L. HAYWOOD
ROBERT L. CLEGG, Ohio
GILBERT W. DAYNES, England
V. DENSLOW, Missouri
GEORGE H. DERN, Utah
N.W.J. HAYDON, Canada
CHARLES F. IRWIN. Ohio
JOSEPH E. MORCOMBE, California
JOSEPH FORT NEWTON, New York
ARTHUR C. PARKER, New York
M. WHITED, California
E. W. WILLIAMSON, Nevada
GRAND MASTER THAT "PREROGATIVE"?
plain Mason who has read the symposium on "Making a Mason at Sight" printed on
the first page of this issue will probably feel that the whole subject is
something of a mystery - just as he feels about medicine when doctors
disagree. If we offer our own interpretation of that mystery it is not to
complete or perfect what is so well said by the competent brethren who have
contributed to the symposium, but rather to suggest a clue by which a reader
may find the basis of agreement underlying their various opinions, among which
there is apparently so much disagreement.
Masters existed before the Fraternity adopted laws to declare or define their
powers. The purpose of such laws is necessarily to guide Grand Masters in the
exercise of their authority and the performance of their duties; in other
words, those laws are rules, rules to define the actions of Grand Masters.
conceivable that a Grand Master might be called upon to perform an almost
innumerable variety of acts. If the laws are too general, too abstract, do not
define a sufficient number of possible acts, if they leave too much to the
discretion of a Grand Master, the Grand Master necessarily becomes a despot.
In such a system Grand Lodge would become a shadow, or cease to be. The Grand
Master - like the too ambitious French king who said "I am the state" - would
say, "I am the Grand Lodge! I am Freemasonry!" In the nature of things such a
state of affairs would be impossible because Freemasonry is not the kind of
organization that could be so governed.
the other hand, if nothing is left to the discretion of the Grand Master, if
every possible act, or occasion, or emergency, or contingency, or decision, or
problem, or eventuality is dealt with by our laws, or so attempted, then
Masonic law will break down of its own weight, too cumbersome to be applied,
like the ancient Rabbinical laws that tried to tell a man how many yards he
could walk on the Sabbath, how to dress himself, how to trim his beard, how
many pins he could stick in his coat.
the most detailed and elaborate set of rules some cases are certain to arise
not contemplated by the makers of the rules. How can such emergencies be met ?
Clearly, only by leaving to the constituted authorities just the amount of
discretionary power necessary to meet them.
this principle that underlies a number of the "prerogatives of the Grand
Master." Those "prerogatives" presuppose that no number of laws can possibly
be framed to meet every possible contingency, and therefore power is left with
a Grand Master to act according to his own best wisdom. Not otherwise can the
Craft equip itself to meet emergencies.
"prerogative" (the term is not happy) to "Make a Mason at Sight" is one case
in point. Under normal conditions the rules and regulations covering the
conferring of degrees are perfectly satisfactory; but it may be that in some
special and peculiar case those rules would be found wanting; it might be that
a qualified petitioner would be so situated as to make it impossible for him
to "travel the usual path." If so, the Grand Master very properly exercises
that authority inherently belonging to him for just such a case.
authority to Make a Mason at Sight inheres in the office of Grand Master, just
as does the authority to meet any other kind of emergency. Whether any given
case is such as constitutes an emergency, and justifies a Grand Master in the
exercise of his authority, that is a separate question, necessary to be
decided according to the merits of the case in question. The fact that of all
the hundreds of Grand Masters who have governed the forty-nine American Grand
Lodges during these many years so few have exercised this prerogative would
indicate that such emergencies almost never occur. Such being the case it is
incumbent upon a Grand Master who does venture to exercise his authority to
Make a Mason at Sight to make plain to the brethren of his jurisdiction how
that one particular case was just such an emergency as could not be met except
by the exercise of the prerogative.
* * *
SPRIG OF ACACIA
Grand Lodge of New York adopted a new funeral service for Masons at its last
Annual Communication, a ceremony to meet the present mood concerning death,
and one in which the time hallowed words of the older formularies are mingled
with phrases of living speech. In so doing it entered a path that other Grand
Jurisdictions are also preparing to find for themselves, each in its own
fashion, and by way of response to a quiet demand. The New York brethren
succeeded in making a revision without iconoclasm, retaining the spirit of the
old in language of the new, and that is wise for it is a subject about which
every man has tender feelings.
time back Winnifred Kirkland wrote an essay on "The New Death" to show that
with a changed outlook on life and the world we approach our departure from it
with other hopes and fears than those experienced by our fathers. It may be.
It is certain that we have won freedom from many needless superstitions. But
even so death remains, a bittersweet adventure, a letting go of the land for a
voyage to one knows not what "passage to India."
beloved friend, Cassius Keyser, who has himself of late been drawn perilously
near to the everlasting farewells, published a while ago a meditation on the
great theme to make us all see that what is most precious in life receives
much of its preciousness from the fact that it will have an end; that life has
its richer meanings by virtue of the limits eternally set about it.
same thought, with more pathos in it, and less hope, clung to William Morris
all his life long. The urge of vitality within his tireless body, and all the
pressure of the great dreams and hopes clamoring within him for expression,
made death for him all the more regrettable, and touched with an unutterable
pathos every joy he knew. In all his labors, he felt like those
strive to build a shadowy isle of bliss
Midmost the beating of the steely sea,"
the sense of how fleeting all things are as men toil their way across the
earth made him
"Grudge every minute as it passes by,
the more mindful that the sweet days die."
flowers are fair but they are frail. The song of the birds at dawn has a
poignancy in it. Nevertheless flowers and birds are all the dearer for the
shortness of spring and the fleetness of summer.
"Folks say, a wizard to a northern king
Christmas-tide such wondrous things did show
through one window men beheld the spring,
through another saw the summer glow,
through a third the fruited vines a-row,
still, unheard, but in its wonted way,
the drear wind of that December day."
is beautiful enough but there is no need that men grow sad because December
pipes its wind. December has its own proper place among the months; there
would be no wheat in summer without its snows; it belongs to the universe as
much as June, and is equally beneficent.
itself is not an interloper in the scheme of things, or an accident, or a
supernatural calamity, but as natural as birth, and as much to be welcomed. We
do not know what it leads to, or what unexpected world may lie beyond it, but
we have every reason to believe that after it we shall find ourselves in the
same universe as now, with sunrises every morning, and stars in the sky. The
processes that lead us at last to our transition are at work in our blood from
the moment we are born, woven with our breathing and our sleep, all of a piece
with birth and growth, and as natural; it is as much a part of the everlasting
scheme of things as existence, and therefore not to be feared.
knows! perhaps our life as we now live it may also not be an accident or a
provisional experiment in the eternal scheme of things! It may be – one is
privileged to his own dreams - that the final exodus will be no transition to
a totally different existence but merely one great moment in an existence that
will continue indefinitely very much as we now know it! It may be that all the
dead, great and small, the countless millions of them, are even now living
somewhere in a world like our own, men and women, sleeping at night and
arising in the morning, working and playing, visited, perhaps, by the ancient
pains and sorrows. If such were indeed the fact it would. at once lift from
our present days the mists of transciency; soil and waters, streets, houses,
fields, mountains, suns, stars, working, planning, loving, neighbors, friends,
family, all these would emerge into our ken transformed and made doubly dear,
were it a fact that they and we together are now living in eternity.
the mysteries of our Craft death is no stranger. It appears at the center of
them as a bitter haggard tragedy and as an irreparable Loss, bringing
confusion among the Workmen, leaving the Column broken, the Temple
incompleted. But so also appears the life that shall endless be; a great
Secret is recovered, a Discovery is made in the rubbish, an Altar is erected,
a Temple is completed after many failures. It is the hid, profound, immortal
teaching of Masonry, this Rising Again, this miracle symbolized by the Acacia.
all true and real, and not a series of gestures for rhetorical effect; and it
is this that should give its shape and color to the rites at the grave of a
Mason, rites wherein is expressed the agony of Loss to them that remain
behind, but at the same time a Faith that calls them back again to the labors
of the day in the conviction that death cancels none of the values of life,
and that the Lord of Life walks amidst the gardens of death:
waited: He is come. Oh, I have dreamed
Him and doubted, now, I understand -
all the day it was His glory gleamed,
all the darkness I have touched His hand.
the new life beginning; now I see
cell is grown too small to hold me: I
driven out by joy's necessity,
if I were to linger, joy must die.
must out and on. Fling the door wide.
Porter, whether thou be life or death!
narrow walls are not for me, outside
whole world breathes the wonder of His breath."
NEWTON RAY PARVIN
NEWTON RAY PARVIN, Grand Secretary, Grand Lodge of Iowa, and Vice-President of
the National Masonic Research Society, passed to the Grand East above, Friday
evening, Jan. 16, 1925. Funeral services were held at Cedar Rapids, Iowa,
Tuesday, Jan. 20, they being in charge of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, of which
Bro. Ernest R. Moore is Grand Master; interment was made at Oakland Cemetery,
Iowa City, where lies buried Bro. Parvin's father, Theodore Suttin Parvin, a
name illustrious in the annals of American Masonry. A sketch of Bro. N. R.
Parvin's Masonic career will be published in these pages next month.
doesn’t somebody prepare a map to show the geographical location of lodges,
and the coincidence of membership with the general population?
CONCISE HISTORY OF CANADIAN MASONRY FREEMASONRY IN CANADA. Compiled and
published by Osborne Sheppard. May be purchased through National Masonic
Research Society Book Department, 1950 Railway Exchange, St. Louis, Mo. Three
hundred eight pages in loose-leaf binder. Price, postpaid, cloth, ';4.25;
flexible fabrikoid, $6.00.
work first published in 1912 (2nd edition, 1915) has recently been issued in a
loose-leaf edition. It aims to be "an authoritative account of supreme Bodies
in the Dominion" and consists of some twenty-nine articles contributed by
various writers to such works as "The Library of Freemasonry" or compiled by
Bro. Sheppard from various sources.
former editions many historical errors occurred; unfortunately very few of
these have been corrected, nor has any attempt been made to set before the
reader any of the many important discoveries made respecting early Canadian
Freemasonry during the past ten years by research students on both sides of
first two articles deal with "The Mother Grand Lodge of England" and "Old
British Lodges" by the late M. W. Bro. A. T. Freed and W. Bro. W. J. Hughan,
respectively. These articles, somewhat in need of revision, are doubtless
intended as indicating the English and Scottish sources of Canadian Masonry.
There is, however, no article on Irish Freemasonry, from which source at least
twenty-one Canadian lodges received their charters, and from which source also
Canadian Masonry, through the dozens of Military lodges of Irish origin in
Canada, derived tremendous impetus in earlier days (to a far greater extent
than from Scotland) and to which Freemasons in Canada and the United States
are indebted for many of the Higher Degrees.
Geo. J. Bennett's article on "The Grand Lodge of Canada in Ontario" would have
been better confined to that subject, which he deals with interestingly and
concisely; the portion relating to early Masonry in Nova Scotia and Quebec
should have been left to writers on those subjects, thereby avoiding
considerable conflict of statement.
articles on "Freemasonry in Quebec," by the late Will H. Whyte, "Early Quebec
Lodges," by E. T. D. Chambers, and "St. Paul's Lodge, No. 374, E. R.,
Montreal," by Dr. D. D. MacTaggart, are full of information of more than
Canadian interest, though claims on behalf of the antiquity of several lodges
in that Province are made which, in the light of later-day research, are
untenable, to say the least.
"Freemasonry in Nova Scotia" compiled from the writings of the late Senator
Wm. Ross is hopelessly out of date. It should be entirely re-written.
Freemasonry in the Dominion began in Nova Scotia at least twenty years before
the rest of Canada passed to the British Crown. That Province has more than a
good half dozen lodges whose histories outpoint the historical sketches of the
Ontario and Quebec lodges, of which fact not even a hint is given.
articles on Freemasonry in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Manitoba,
Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia are of recent compilation and most
illuminating, interesting, complete and concise.
Following these chapters comes a list of lodges under the Grand Lodge of
Canada in Ontario, with their officers, etc., for 1924; the other Grand Lodges
of the Dominion are ignored. The same may be said respecting the chapter
entitled "Rulings of Grand Masters of the Grand Lodge of Canada in Ontario" -
useful and excellent for Ontario, but of little value elsewhere; the other
Grand Lodges are ignored.
Arch Masonry is dealt with - inadequately we think - in four articles:
"Masons' Marks," compiled by Bro. Sheppard; "The Origin of the Royal Arch
Degree." by C. A. Conover. Gen. Grand Secretary, both very good; “The
Introduction of the Royal Arch Degree into the United States" (interesting but
in need of considerable revision); and "The Grand Chapter of Canada," by Henry
T. Smith. This last article, apparently complete and accurate as far as it
goes, gives the impression that Royal Arch Masonry began in Ontario in 1787;
where a Chapter undoubtedly existed in Quebec from 1760, and the degree was
conferred even earlier in Nova Scotia. Nothing is said respecting the origin
of Royal Arch Masonry in the Dominion, nor of its long and splendid history in
Quebec and, the Maritime Provinces.
articles on "Knight Templarism in Canada," by the late Will H. Whyte, and
W.H.A. Eckhardt, the present Grand Chancellor, give a comprehensive and
interesting account of this branch of Masonry in the Dominion, although some
revision is necessary in the first article by reason of recent research. The
article on "The A. & A. Scottish Rite in Canada," by W.H Ballard, is all that
could be desired, and gives an excelled account of the growth of the Rite. We
cannot, however, say the same respecting the chapters on the "Royal Order of
Scotland" and "The Cryptic Rite". Those deal with the legendary history and
traditions of these organizations, but not a word to show that these orders
have any history of Canada. The article on the "Shrine," by W. B. Melish,
deals with the history of the Order in the U.S.A. with a list of 155 Temples
in the American Republic and the Dominion.
Supplements are promised twice a year and should prove a means of rectifying
errors as well as adding to the information given in the volume. If a good
index were supplied, it should prove most useful in finding one's way through
a work which should interest every lover of the history of our Order. A
concise history of the Fraternity in Canada is much needed an should fill a
Reginald V. Harris.
* * *
MARTYRDOM OF WINWOOD READE.
MARTYRDOM OF MAN. By Winwood Reade. Published by Peter Eckler. For sale by
National Masonic Research Society Book Department, 1950 Railway Exchange, St.
Louis, .Mo. Cloth. Price, postpaid, $2.15.
own experience with this book would in itself be a almost sufficient review. I
chanced to take it along on an all day trip on a summer excursion train across
Ohio - that blessed old state! There was a superabundance of crowds,
confusion, racket, dust, baggage, cinders and heat, but there were no seats,
not at least for me. So I stood up all day; an all day long, thus standing, I
read; and the book was so irresistibly fascinating that by the time I reached
Sandusky I had read it through. There is something to a book that can put one
under a spell like that!
what that something is one is hard put to describe, but it is there, and many
a man (as Elbert Hubbard said, "It is not a book for mollycoddles") has felt
it as deeply as did I. George Routledge, of London, has announced a
twenty-fourth edition. Even in this land where men do not have much of a
stomach for strong books, it is beginning to take hold. Second-hand dealers
tell me it is in ever-growing demand, and that, for some reason or other,
difficult to guess, it seems to make a peculiar appeal to Masons.
The Martyrdom of Man Cecil Rhodes said to Princess Catherine Radziwill: "I
know the book. It is a creepy book. I read it the first year I was in
Kimberley, fresh from my father's parsonage, and you may imagine the
impression which it produced upon me in such a place as a mining camp." After
a moment's pause he exclaimed: "That book has made me what I am!" H. G. Wells
bears a similar testimony in the Introduction to his The Outline of History:
“One book that has influenced me strongly is Winwood Reade's Martrydom of Man.
This 'dates,' as people say nowadays, and it has a fine gloom of its own."
Also there is the word in W. Robertson Nicoll's The Garden of Nuts, that work
of exquisite beauty, but now, alas, out of print: "Winwood Reade, we have been
told, has first designed to call his book The Duties and Responsibilities of
Creators. It is in its most impressive part an arraignment of the Divine
justice. As such it has few books that stand beside it in English literature."
Further down the page the famous editor registers his judgment: "But for the
most part, happily, English writers have refrained from calling God to the
tiny bar of their presumption."
(a nephew of the novelist, Charles Reade) was an African explorer, and fell
early under the enchantment of Africa, so that he came to look at the whole
world, past, present, and to come, from the point of view of that exotic
continent, where human life has always taken a strange turn, and where it
comes easy to believe in spells, wizards, demons, occultisms, and all manner
of supernaturalisms. Today as much as always, Africa fascinates the
imagination because it is the home of primitive peoples, the like of which
disappeared from other parts of the world ages ago. Reade was a cultivated
Englishman; finding himself in the midst of Africa's neolithic life his mind
was disturbed by the shock of the contrast, and became filled, as Wells said,
it was not a "fine gloom!" Far from it! There is nothing fine about it. Nor
need one, like Nicoll, accuse the author of the presumptuous pride of Lucifer.
Reade's mind was darkened into atheism and despair by its inability to see
facts; it is this, rather than any pride or presumption, that transforms his
book, intended to be a history of the world as viewed from Africa, into a
crepuscular romance such as our own equally benighted Edgar Allan Poe might
some ways Reade reminds one of another brilliant literary talent who also fell
a victim to an irremediable pessimism: the author of Madame Bovary. Flaubert
was far more painstaking and "scientific" in accumulating facts than was
Reader and he had an almost maniacal passion to use words in their most
accurate senses. But all of his mountains of information, accumulated at the
cost of numberless sick headaches, added no wisdom to his mind. In his
Salammbo he gives us a picture of a military rout in old Carthage: in one all
enclosing panic kings, queens, soldiers, peasants, children, horses,
elephants, lions, serpents, and vermin plunged helplessly together into a
terrible death among mud holes. It was Flaubert's picture of human life.
also is the picture presented in The Martyrdom of Man, where the whole of the
race's life is envisaged as a frightened plunge out of the heart of darkness
into the heartless dark. This means that Reade literally did not know what he
was talking about. For if human life were such a pitilessly cruel thing the
human race would have perished off this unhappy earth thousands of years ago.
His central blunder was not in his gloom or in his satanic pride but in his
inability to see facts as they are or report them as he found them. Such a
book, where this is true of it, may be filled with a "fine gloom" and all
that, but it is not HISTORY; and what it gives us is not "the martyrdom of
man" but the unhappy martydrom of Winwood Reade! - H. L. H.
* * *
SHEAF OF SERMONS
SERMONS, 1924. Edited With Introduction and Biographical Notes by Joseph Fort
Newton. Published by Harcourt, Brace & Co., New York. May be purchased through
National Masonic Research Society. Blue cloth, 852 pages. Price $2.65.
ancient art of preaching is not likely to be abandoned in this or any other
age, not as long as men hunger in spirit and need guidance through the tangled
adventure of life. The preacher is his own medium: his gestures, intonations
and facial expression, along with the subtle nuances of his personality, are
as much a part of his sermon as his words, for which reason not many sermons
can be captured in print. There are, however, happy exceptions where one who
knows the divine power to use words in a pulpit enjoys equal talent for
setting them down on paper. The present volume is a sheaf from sermons by such
men, collected and edited by one who is himself one of the pulpit's most
eloquent voices in this age.
Newton explains the motive behind this anthology in his preface:
several years past we have had each season books of the best poems, the best
short stories, the best moving pictures to which it seems worth while to add
an annual book of the Best Sermons. Such a venture is not only timely, but is
justified by the new interest in the issues of religious faith created by the
appalling experiences of the last ten years, as well as by the debates which
have recently agitated the churches, and still more by the ancient wistfulness
of the human heart and its need for guidance in a time of unrest and
Further down he reveals his own ideal of the great art while describing the
sermons he has selected for 1924:
sermons in this book, selected from a profusion of riches, show us a goodly,
gracious company of preachers, very unlike one another in outlook, in method,
and in gifts; young men of dawning genius, men in the full flight of
mid-career and veterans with ripe and serene vision. Hardly an echo of recent
debates is heard in these pages. One would not find it easy to tell to what
churches the preachers belong, if the labels were left off. They are not
concerned with dogmas that divide, but with the issues and perplexities of
life as men live it today; and above all with the problem of redemption in its
tragic and gigantic modern setting. In every sermon there is the same loyalty
to the personality and principles of Jesus who, in spite of all our energy and
invention - radium, radio and the rest - has in His keeping the one secret the
world needs to know. About Him these preachers gather; in His name they speak,
each with his own insight and eloquence, in behalf of a common faith which
underlies all creeds and over-arches all sects."
Masons will be interested to find among the preachers represented the names of
four that are active in the Craft: Bros. Gaius Glenn Atkins, Lynn Harold
Hough, Ernest E. Tittle and Robert Norwood.
* * *
EDITION OF STREETS "SYMBOLISM"
SYMBOLISM OF THE THREE DEGREES. By Oliver Dan Street. Second Edition,
Rewritten and Enlarged. Vol. III National Masonic Library. Published by
Masonic Service Association, Washington, D. C. May be purchased through
National Masonic Research Society Book Department, 1950 Railway Exchange, St.
Louis, Mo. Blue cloth, questions for discussion, index, 195 pages. Price,
STREET'S Symbolism is so familiar to readers of THE BUILDER that it does not
stand in need of review except to say that the author has added to it so much
new material and has rewritten so many pages that it is substantially a new
book, and as such is richly deserving its place in the National Masonic
Library, published by the Masonic Service Association. Furthermore, Bro.
Street has also included ten pages of Questions for Discussion, thereby the
better fitting it for use by Study Clubs; no better text for that purpose is
list of the topics not covered in previous editions will show at a glance how
much the book has been enlarged: Name of the Fraternity; Definition of
Masonry; Secrecy; The Twenty-four Inch Gauge; The Common Gavel; The Chisel;
The Key; Solomon's Temple; Hale; Tile, Tiler, Tyler; Due Guard; Approaching
the East; The Dignity of Man; White; Black; Blue; Gloves; Valley of
Jehoshaphat; Untempered Mortar; Nature; Brotherly Love; Relief of the
Distressed; Truth; Light; Jewels of a Lodge; Perfect Youth; The Square; The
Level; The Plumb; Point Within a Circle; Parallel Lines; "What Came We Here to
Do?"; Royal Tradition; Officers of a Lodge; Letter G; Circumambulation: The
Working Tools: Broached Thurnel; Death; The Resurrection; Immortality.
to Read in Masonry
OF WORKING TOOLS
reading lists embodied in this series do not show what books are available as
new and what are to be had only secondhand; there is never any telling when a
title will go out of print, or when an old work will be reissued. Such
information on any of the books referred to will be given on request.)
make dictionaries is dull work," bemoaned Samuel Johnson, the patron saint of
all good lexicographers. Perhaps! but using them is not. O. Henry, who read
them for fun, called dictionaries the most exciting books in existence; "they
are so full of surprises and variety."
possible that the studious Craftsman will not find Masonic dictionaries and
encyclopaedias very exciting - it is difficult to write an exciting Masonic
book - but one thing is certain, he will find them necessary, dictionaries,
encyclopaedias, and similar reference works, whatever his own favorite field
may be. He will need such a kit of working tools.
is collecting a library of his own he will probably wish to classify it
properly; Bro. William L. Boyden's Classification of the Literature of
Freemasonry and Related Societies, will be useful for that purpose; and
Selected List of Masonic Literature, by the Wisconsin Grand Lodge Committee on
Masonic Research, of which Bro. Silas H. Shepherd is chairman, will show how
to apply the Boyden system to a list of titles. The catalogs issued by various
Masonic libraries will assist to the same end. In the selection of the best
books he can consult the various published Masonic bibliographies such as
Masonic Historical and Bibliographical Memoranda, by J. H. Drummond; Masonic
Bibliography, Enoch T. Carson; Early Masonic Literature, E. H. Dring; Negro in
Masonic Literature, Harry A. Williamson, etc. In addition to these are such
special bibliographies as Shepherd's Bibliography of Preston's Illustrations
and numberless others. One of the best ways to keep abreast of new books as
they appear is to subscribe for the cards issued at intervals by the Library
of Congress at Washington, D. C.; the cost is nominal.
lists of old lodges the best works are Masonic Records, and Handy Book, etc.,
both by John Lane; and Pocket Companion for Freemasons, 1735, and Pocket
Companion and History of Freemasons, 1764, both anonymous. The List of Regular
Lodges, published annually at Bloomington, Ill., gives all lodges now in
existence in America and a few other countries; the Masonic Year Book,
published annually under authority of the Grand Lodge of England, gives
complete data concerning names, location, officers, etc., of all Masonic
bodies in any way connected with that Obedience. Their quarterly or yearly
Transactions will keep a student in touch with the work of all research
lodges, most of which are in England; and he will find it necessary to have a
copy of the Annual Proceedings of his own Grand Lodge, especially for the sake
of the Fraternal Correspondence Report, in which is a bird's-eye view of
important Craft happenings.
come general Masonic reference works, more especially the encyclopaedias. The
Cyclopaedia of Fraternities, Stevens, is out of date in statistics, but
otherwise essential. Concise Cyclopaedia of Freemasonry, or Handbook of
Masonic Reference, E. L. Hawkins; History and Cyclopaedia of Freemasonry,
Oliver and Macoy; Royal Masonic Cyclopaedia of History, Rites, Symbolism and
Biography, K. R. H. MacKenzie; Kenning's Masonic Cyclopaedia, A. F. Woodford;
and Dictionary of Symbolical Masonry, George Oliver, are composed of concise
articles on Masonic subjects, all in English. The more comprehensive works are
New Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry, A. E. Waite; and An Encyclopaedia of
Freemasonry, principally by A. G. Mackey, the latter of which is widely used
in America. The Bound Volumes of THE BUILDER, of which a ten-year consolidated
index is now being prepared, is also good to be used for encyclopaedia
the many handbooks with reference value, these are representative: The
Master's Assistant, D. D. Darrah; The Worshipful Master's Assistant, Macoy;
Things a Freemason Should Know, Crower The Master Mason's Handbook, Crowe,
GENERAL REFERENCE WORKS
non-Masonic reference works, necessary for auxiliary purposes, there are
legion, but some call for special mention: the New English Dictionary;
Encyclopaedia Britannica; Dictionary of the Bible, Smith; Dictionary of
Religion and Ethics, Mathews and Smith; Encyclopaedia Biblica, Cheyne and
Black; Encyclopaedia of Occultism, Spencer Manual of Church History, Newman;
Encyclopaedia of Social Reform, Bliss; Cyclopaedia of Education, Monroe; and
Encyclopaedia of Religions, Canney. The greatest of all such works in the
general field of religion and morality is the Encyclopaedia of Religion and
Ethics, Hastings; a list of its articles of interest to Masons was published
in THE BUILDER, July, 1922, page 215. Of reference works on Roman Catholicism,
two will be sufficient, both bearing the official imprimatur: Question Box,
Conway; and The Catholic Encyclopaedia. For all matters in the fields of
primitive culture, folklore, early religions, and myths, Frazer's Golden Bough
is as rich as a gold mine.
only work in the Masonic field comparable to the Encyclopaedia Britannica and
other great general reference works is a set of the famous Transactions of the
Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Research, London, known as Ars Quatuor Coronatorum.
From the publication of the now very scarce first volume in 1888 until the
present a new volume has been issued each year, filled with the most scholarly
treatises on Freemasonry thus far produced in any land.
student is wise he will not trust his memory to preserve all he learns, but
will establish a reference work of his own in the shape of a filing system,
which can be simple and of small cost. One of the most effective of these may
be organized as follows:
Procure a quantity of ordinary manila letter folders, 11 3/4 inches wide, with
a depth of 9 inches when folded, and of such a quality as will permit writing
in ink. On the inside - you can draw off three columns with a pencil - write
down your data, references to books, quotations, and such of your own ideas as
you wish not to forget. On the back paste your magazine and newspaper
clippings. When the back is filled start a Card No. 2 on the same subject.
This card when folded will serve as a container for clippings too large to
paste, booklets, pictures, and other loose matter. The folders may be kept in
a homemade box. With the folders costing only $1.50 or $2.00 per hundred, and
an alphabetical guide costing only a dollar or so. the entire outfit for 1,000
subjects can be established for a total cost of only ten or fifteen dollars.
to his collection of Masonic and general reference works and to his filing
system the student adds two or three good standard dictionaries his kit of
working tools will near completion. There is a great difference among
dictionaries, especially on Masonic words, and they are not all to be trusted.
(Did not the great Dr. Johnson himself admit guessing now and then?) It is
safest to use some good unabridged edition showing derivations and furnishing
examples of usage; it is safest of all, if one is lucky enough to be near a
good public library - the cost is prohibitive - to use The New English
Dictionary, sometimes called the Oxford. Nearly all our specifically Masonic
terms will be found in it, in some form or another, and it is as near being
“final” as anything of the kind can be.
QUESTION BOX AND CORRESPONDENCE
YORK OWNS COPY OF FRANKLIN CONSTITUTIONS
connection with your Franklin article in the December BUILDER, page 372, you
can add the Library of the Grand Lodge of New York as possessing a copy of the
original Franklin reprint. It likewise has a copy of the Pennsylvania Grand
Lodge reproduction of the reprint, and a copy of the reprint of the reprint
issued by the New York Masonic Historical Society.
Berolzheimer, New York.
* * *
STARCKE IS A MASON
the November issue of THE BUILDER, on page 352, the anonymous Brother A. B. C.
says that Professor C. N. Starcke is not a Mason. He mistakes. Brother Starcke
is Worshipful Master of the St. John's Lodge De Gamle Pligter ("The Old
Charges") in Copenhagen under the Grand Lodge of Hamburg; and he is an
honorary member of several European lodges.
* * *
TO THIS BROTHER
sending you my renewal for membership in our Society. It seems to me that THE
BUILDER is so much better than it used to be. I have been quite sick for some
time. I will be eighty-six next week if I live until the 26th; my wife is two
and a half years younger; we will be married sixty-five years if spared until
the 26th of February. I have been a Mason over fifty years. I have not been
able to walk a block for over fifteen months. I wish brethren would drop me a
Sterling, Annandale, Minnesota.
* * *
FOR SALE AND EXCHANGE
have for sale a number of desirable books on Masonry that would be a welcome
addition to any library. At the same time I desire to procure a few of the
volumes of Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Proceedings of the Lodge of Research, No.
2129, Leicester, England, and Proceedings of the Manchester Association of
Masonic Research. If any brother has some of the latter works for sale we may
possibly arrange for an exchange. Address Bro. V. L. P., c/o THE BUILDER, St.
* * *
SECONDHAND CATALOG WITH MASONIC APPEAL
Sotheran and Co., 43, Piccadilly, London, W. 1, England, have recently issued
their Catalog No. 82 of secondhand books on the Fine Arts. Their list includes
so many titles of especial appeal to Masonic students that such brethren will
find it worth their while to possess themselves of a copy. The catalog is in
itself a work of art, containing a large number of very rare illustrations.
The lists on Archaeology, Architecture, Bookplates, Costume, Heraldry, Mosaic,
and Ornament are especially valuable from the Masonic point of view.
* * *
REMEMBERS JEFFERSON DAVIS AS A MASON
Warren Foskett, of St. Louis, was one of two who attended the Knight Templar
Triennial at New Orleans in 1874 and again in 1922. He tells me that the
Commandery from St. Louis went to the Triennial in 1874 on the Mississippi
River boat Grand Republic, and that at some point down the river, Jefferson
Davis, much worn and aged, was brought on board and introduced around among
the brethren as a Mason. I recommend this clue to Bro. Nathaniel H. Walker,
Gulfport, Miss., who made an inquiry through THE BUILDER September last, page
V. Denslow, Missouri
* * *
THE BUILDER for May, 1924, page 160, we have noticed an inquiry from one of
your members concerning a lodge which might be described as the highest in the
world. We may tell your readers that here in Simla, at an elevation above sea
level of 7,200-odd feet, we have five Craft lodges, three of them English
Constitution, one Irish and one Scotch. The above figure, I think, puts the
one your correspondent specified in the shade.
Masonic Journal of Northern India,
* * *
PHYSICAL QUALIFICATIONS IN LEVITICUS
once in a while the question of physical requirements of the candidate for
Freemasonry comes up. In this connection I have never seen reference made to
the requirements as given in the Book of Leviticus, Chapter XXII:
Jehovah spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto Aaron saying, Whosoever he be of
thy seed throughout their generations that hath a blemish, let him not
approach to offer the bread of his God. For whatsoever man he be that hath a
blemish, he shall not approach; a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat
nose, or anything superfluous, or a man that is broken-footed, or
broken-handed, or crook-backed, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye,
or is scurvy, or scabbed, or bath his stones broken no man of the seed of
Aaron the priest that hath a blemish, shall come nigh to offer the offerings
of Jehovah made by fire: he bath a blemish, he shall not come nigh to offer
the bread of his God."
Gillis, Peking, China.
* * *
THE COMACINE THEORY
have been reading for the second time Bro. Haywood's Study Club article on the
Comacines of October, 1923, and Bro. Ravenscroft's reply in January of 1924,
but am still somewhat in the dark about one point. Bro. Haywood appears not to
accept the Comacine Theory, is not that generally accepted? Do not all Masonic
historians believe that Masonry came down from the builders of cathedrals?
majority of Masonic historians accept the theory that Masonry has come down
from the cathedral builders, but that is not the same as accepting the
Comacine Theory. The latter theory holds that among the cathedral builders was
a great secret society, compactly organized, under a governing head, and that
it was from this secret society that Freemasonry derived. One can believe in
the theory that Freemasonry developed from among the cathedral builders (I
believe it myself) without accepting the narrower theory that those cathedral
builders were ever a secret society. I do not "reject" the "Comacine Theory";
I am unconvinced and still on the fence. Some historians have accepted that
theory but I do not believe that it could be described as "generally
accepted," at least my own notes do not indicate as much. H. L. H.
* * *
NOT A "WORLD MASONIC CONGRESS"?
know that since the World War there have been a great many "World Conferences"
of different sorts, all with the idea of coming to some mutual agreement to
end war for all time, all of which have not seemed to make very much progress.
I have been wondering if a "World Masonic Congress" would not be a good idea.
It could be held for the purpose of "lessening the probabilities of war," and
it would serve a twofold purpose in that it would tend to strengthen the idea
of friendship and brotherly love amongst the Craft over the world.
Thomas M. Parsons, Wisconsin.
Brother Parsons' proposal is as excellent in idea as it is Masonic. It has
been long discussed and debated by Masonic statesmen. The International
Masonic Association was brought into existence as a step toward world Masonic
unity. Thus far it has encountered many difficulties, owing to the differences
of constitution and landmarks among Grand Lodges and other Grand Bodies.
Perhaps the most successful attempt at Masonic World Congresses have been the
General Conferences of regular Supreme Councils of the Scottish Rite. The
subject is one that merits discussion.
* * *
like to learn something about the origin of the Sextant and its Masonic
application. Can it be given to other than a P. M.?
B., New York.
not understand that, Masonically speaking, there is an instrument called the
Sextant. Masonically the word refers to a pair of compasses opened at an angle
of 60 degrees. In the United States the Jewel of a Past Master is a pair of
compasses opened at an angle of 60 degrees and lying over a fourth part of a
circle with a Sun in the center. Of course, no one but an actual Past Master
would be entitled to wear this jewel.
Sextant or angle of 60 degrees is the angle in which the cord of a circle
equals the radius. It is also the angle of an equilateral triangle. Six of
these make a complete circle and therefore it was anciently a unit of
astronomical measurements. Each of these units was divided into 60 degrees,
each degree into 60 minutes, and each minute into 60 seconds. As such we still
use it as the unit of circular measurement, but instead of dividing the circle
into six Sextants we consider it as having 360 degrees, but the division of
degrees into minutes and seconds still continues.
applied to a Past Master's Jewel the Sextant over the quadrant implies that
the spiritual has superseded the material, that the standard of earthly
measurements has given place to that of the heavenly, and that the wearer is a
Past Master in the Spiritual Builders' Art.
* * *
VARIOUSLY GOVERNING CONFERRING DEGREES BY COURTESY
the Question Box of the August issue, page 256, appeared an item dealing with
the above subject. Through the good offices of the Iowa Masonic Library we are
able to follow that up with valuable information concerning the regulations in
employment by all American Grand Lodges, except for Arizona, Delaware,
Mississippi and Oklahoma. Brethren from those Grand Jurisdictions will help to
make the present record complete if they will give us their own Grand Lodge
regulation. The following Grand Lodges confer all three degrees by courtesy
and grant waivers of jurisdiction: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, District of
Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts,
Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York,
North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South
Dakota (some lodges charge a fee, others do not), Texas, Utah, Vermont,
Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin, the latter allowing the
same at the discretion of the local lodge. Grand Lodges doing the same except
for the E. A. Degree are: California, Colorado, Indiana, Nevada and Wyoming.
Those conferring all degrees but not granting waivers: Minnesota, Missouri and
Tennessee. Florida confers all degrees and waives jurisdiction except where a
candidate has been previously rejected. Kansas confers all degrees; waives
jurisdiction; where a petitioner has been a non-resident for two years cannot
request courtesy degrees and must waive jurisdiction. Louisiana confers all
degrees and waives jurisdiction only over those permanently removed from
state, so also Maine. Pennsylvania confers no courtesy degrees at all.
Requests for courtesy work must be made to the Grand Master in Arkansas,
Illinois, Maryland, Nebraska and Oregon; in other cases may be made through
Grand Secretary’s office. Notice of any errors that may have crept into this
listing will be appreciated.
* * *
learn from the Scottish Rite News Bureau that a London book dealer has offered
for sale the second known copy of The Old Constitutions Belonging to the
Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons. Taken from a
manuscript wrote about five hundred years since. London, Printed and Sold by
J. Roberts in Warwick Lane, 1722 (Price Six pence). Something like $7,600 is
asked for this very rare Masonic book. The first known copy is in the
possession of the Grand Lodge of Iowa. The National Masonic Research Society
published this manuscript in fac-simile some years ago.
Committee on Lectures of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania has very kindly given
us for free distribution fifty copies each of their three bulletins: "Lecture
Plans," "Freemasonry in Pennsylvania Before the Grand Lodge of 1786," and
"Freemasonry in Pennsylvania - Organization, Organic Law, Ritual." First come,
first served. Send a postage stamp and your name and address clearly written.
* * *
congratulations to Bro. George Washington on his 193rd birthday.
* * *
George H. Dern, one of Ye Associate Editors, is now Governor of the State of
Utah. It is where he belongs. Sincerest congratulations to Bro. Dern.
* * *
advancing the Table of Contents to the outside cover, by lengthening the page
two lines, and by setting the Library Department in smaller type we have been
enabled to add 3,000 words of reading to each issue of THE BUlLDER without
increasing the cost.
* * *
are 554 titles in our new book catalog.
* * *
Cavite Lodge, No. 2, Cavite, Philippine Islands, had the misfortune to lose
everything by fire. The lodge requests that every member in any part of the
world send in his name and address at once to the lodge secretary. A large
part of Cavite's membership is composed of service men.
* * *
Masonic Home Journal, that esteemed contemporary, is hard on editors - or is
it on editees! Witness this:
editor of a profane paper, who was a believer in 'yellow journalism,' ran the
following as an editorial: 'The business man of this city who is in the habit
of hugging his stenographer had better quit or we will publish his name.' The
next day thirty-seven business men called at the office, paid their
subscriptions a year in advance, left thirty-seven columns of advertising, to
run indefinitely, and told the editor not to pay any attention to fool
* * *
feature of next month's BUILDER will be an article by Grand Master Wm. A.
Rowan, of | New York, on the International Masonic Association. It is worth
going twenty miles to read, and then some.
* * *
the left is Bro. William Hogarth's notion of married life. It is very
symbolical, one would say! Bro. Hogarth was Grand Steward, Grand Lodge of
England, in 1735.