The Builder Magazine
July 1927 - Volume XIII - Number 7
PROF. E. E. BOOTHROYD, Canada
Reformation would appear to be generally regarded as a purely religious
movement, a movement by which a great part of western Europe rejected the
ecclesiastical supremacy of the papacy and abandoned or modified the doctrines
and practices of the mediaeval church. This is very natural in view of the
fact that the religious questions which agitated men's minds in the 16th
century - as to the number and character of the sacraments, the organization
of the church, the invocation of the Virgin and the Saints, the wearing of
vestments, and the like - are still vital and controversial questions in the
20th. A close examination of the movement will, however, show that many
elements other than the religious dictated the character and course of the
Reformation, and may lead to a suspicion that religion, far from being the
only factor, was not even the most important.
first of the non-religious aspects of the Reformation to attract the student's
attention would probably be that of race. Protestantism seems to have
appealed, with comparatively few and unimportant exceptions, to the Teutonic
races alone. It spread with remarkable rapidity among the Germanic peoples of
England and southern Scotland, of Holland, north Germany and Scandinavia, but
appears to have had little attraction for the Celtic and Romance nations. It
is true that Calvin was a Frenchman and that his teachings had considerable
influence in his mother country; but the Huguenots never formed more than a
small minority of the French, and Huguenotism was largely eradicated by the
persecuting policy of Louis XIV; while the Celtic stocks of Ireland and the
Scottish Highlands and the Romance populations of Spain and Italy rejected
Protestantism and clung to the religious organization and beliefs of their
ancestors. This fact can hardly have been accidental, and gives to the
Reformation the appearance of a racial movement by which a cleavage was opened
between the Teutonic peoples and the other races of western Europe, Celtic and
Turning from the general character of the movement to a study of the course of
events in the various countries which adopted Protestantism, the student will
note that in nearly every case the Reformation assumes a national appearance.
It has been said that
Zwingli's first real collision with the papacy arose in 1521, when Leo X sent
to Switzerland to raise forces for the war against the French. He was unable
to prevent the levy of troops, but his PATRIOTIC feelings led him to make
bitter complaints against the Roman pontiff.
England the statute of Supremacy of 1559 is for the utter extinguishment and
putting away of all usurped and FOREIGN powers and authorities out of his
realm. And the national character of the English Reformation is also visible
in the penal laws against the Roman Catholics in the later years of Elizabeth.
Roman Catholic priests and emissaries were executed, not as heretics, but as
traitors; they were hanged, drawn and quartered, not burned. In Holland
Protestantism became the badge and symbol of Dutch independence from Spanish
rule. William the Silent was originally a convinced Roman Catholic, and it was
only as the struggle for freedom developed that he became a Protestant. Gustaf
Vasa, the champion of Swedish national liberty, adopted the Reformation and
forced it upon a reluctant country at the Diet of Westeras, in 1527, as a
means of establishing an independent Sweden, not from any religious motives.
Thus at every turn in its history the Reformation exhibits the influence of
nationality and national feeling.
were political ideas without their share in the movement. Protestantism
assumed three main forms in the 16th century, those of Anglicanism,
Lutheranism and Calvinism; and a study of the history of these three forms
will reveal the significant fact that Anglicanism. and Lutheranism were
adopted in countries where the political system was monarchial, Calvinism
where political ideas were republican and democratic. Anglicanism was, of
course, practically confined to England; Lutheranism was favored by the
majority of the German princes and in monarchical Denmark and Sweden, while
the republican Swiss and Dutch leaned towards Calvinism. Moreover the real
strength of that English Puritanism which established the Commonwealth of
England in 1649 and played no small part in the founding of the United States,
was supplied by the Calvinistic Independents. In the actual conflicts of the
16th century political and religious aims appear inextricably intertwined. The
religious wars in France have been described as being, in reality, the last
great armed struggle of the feudal nobility against the growing power and
absolutism of the Crown, while the same feudal tendency can be seen in the
rising of the Catholic earls of the North against Elizabeth in 1569. Thus the
character and course of the Reformation seem to have been profoundly affected
by political ideas and political movements.
Another salient characteristic is the important part played in the history of
the Reformation by finance. The actual cause of its outbreak was a matter of
papal finance. When Leo X found himself faced with the problem of providing
the necessary funds for his great building program and other extraordinary
expenses, he had recourse, as his predecessors had frequently done, to the
expedient of a lavish sale of Indulgences, and in so doing fired Luther to
nail his ninety-five theses to the cathedral door at Wittenberg and inaugurate
the Reformation. The English statutes which reject papal authority were
designed to disburden the country of
great and intolerable charges and exactions before that time unlawfully taken
Gustaf Vasa had freed Sweden from Danish control and was seeking to establish
a strong monarchical government to preserve that hard‑won independence and
maintain internal order, he found in the wealth of the church the only source
from which the necessary revenue to provide for the administrative expenditure
could be drawn; and it seems to have been his financial necessities which
dictated the determination to introduce the Reformation into Sweden. Perhaps
the most significant of the four articles issued by the Diet of Westeras was
the one which laid it down that
king is allowed the free disposal of clerical and monastic property.
Low Countries the Duke of Alva seemed likely to be successful in stamping out
the Reformation by the ruthless action of his Council of Blood, until his tax
on sales of 1569, which meant ruin for a commercial community, led to that
desperate resistance which founded the Protestant state of Holland.
Finally the student of the Reformation cannot fail to notice the fact that
there is a social aspect of the movement. In mediaeval times the clergy had
been a class apart. Distinguished from the laity by the physical mark of the
tonsure, prohibited by the law of the church, at least from the 11th century,
from sharing that married and family life which is the foundation of human
society, largely exempted, as the struggle between Henry II and Becket shows,
from the Jurisdiction of the state and secular law, the cleric stood outside,
the ordinary life of the time, directing and controlling it, but from without,
not from within. In Protestant countries this social and legal separation of
clergy and laity was ended by the Reformation, and a more unified social
system established, while that legal control over men's actions which had been
exerted by the church in the Middle Ages through the Canon Law and the Courts
Christian gradually ceased, not merely in Protestant countries but also to a
considerable extent in those countries which remained Catholic. The dominant
force in the social organism was thenceforward the state, not, as in former
days, the church. Nor was this all. In the Reformation there stands clearly
revealed that principle upon which modern society and social life and action
have been based - the principle of Individualism. Lord Acton, himself a Roman
Catholic, who held to his faith through the great storm precipitated by the
promulgation of the doctrine of papal infallibility, has described the
attitude of Luther at the Diet of Worms as "the most momentous and pregnant
fact in modern history." And the reason which the distinguished historian
gives for his statement is that as Luther faced the authorities of church and
state he stood for the individualistic against the corporate idea. Mediaeval
life had been corporate through and through. Agriculture had been carried on,
not according to the ideas of the individual agriculturalist, but in
accordance with the "custom" of the manor; the artizan had worked at his
craft, not as he himself thought best, but along the lines dictated by the
elaborate regulations of his guild; and in religion men had been bound, under
penalty, to accept the teaching of the corporate church. When Luther at Worms
rejected that corporate teaching because it conflicted with his personal views
and the feelings of his own individual soul, he stood forth as the incarnation
of that principle of individualism on which modern society came to be
organized, until in our own days the rise of trades-unionism, state-socialism
and kindred movements began to give evidence of a new swing of the social'
arises the conception of the Reformation, not as a purely religious movement,
but as a complex of movements, racial, national, political, financial and
social, as well as religious. Further, as has been indicated, the student of
Reformation times may well come to doubt whether the religious element was the
primary force. Religion was certainly not the original question at issue.
Abuses, not errors, were the evils which led the reformers to attack the
existing system. As Wyclif, in the 14th century, had first attacked the wealth
of the church and the wordliness of the prelates, and had only gone on after a
considerable time to a questioning of doctrine and a denial of
transubstantiation, so Luther, in the 16th, began his career as a reformer
with a simple attack on the practice of selling Indulgences, and would have
repudiated, in the initial stages of his career, any imputation of
unorthodoxy. In England the Reformation movement was inaugurated by Henry VIII
on legal and financial grounds - to vindicate the sovereign independence of
English courts, subject to no appellate jurisdiction on the papal curia as the
Constitution of Clarendon had declared as far back as 1164, and to fill the
royal coffers and the purses of his courtiers with the spoils of the
monasteries. In Sweden Vasa had attacked the existing system to secure a
revenue for his newly-established government, and in Switzerland Zwingli had
objected to the drafting off of Swiss youth to fight the political battles of
the papacy. In no case, apparently, was the Reformation originally due to
disagreement with religious doctrine, or discontent at purely religious
practices; although it is true, as the movement developed, religious questions
did begin to play a part, and the reformers went on from a mere attack on
abuses to a criticism, and frequently to a rejection, of fundamental dogmas
and long-established practices of the mediaeval church, and an attempt, in
many cases, to replace the church organization which had gradually been
evolved by the development of fifteen centuries by what they considered to be
a constitution more nearly resembling that of the primitive church, as
conjectured from New Testament narrative.
questions are naturally suggested by the foregoing considerations: how it was
that these racial, national, political, financial and social movements came to
be so closely associated with the question of religion, and how an attack on
certain abuses of the existing system, a reform movement pure and simple,
developed into an attack on fundamental doctrines and practices, a thorough
religious revolution. The answers to these questions are to be found in the
history of the mediaeval church, and will give us a true conception of the
real nature and meaning of the Reformation.
Historians tell us that the thousand years from the 6th to the 16th centuries
are the "Middle Age," the period of transition from ancient to modern
civilization and social organization. During the first five centuries of the
Christian era the civilized portion of Europe, nearer Asia, and north Africa
had been united in the world-state of the Roman Empire and gradually knit
together into the ecumenical organization of the Christian Church. The
histories of the secular and religious institutions during this period were,
however, diametrically opposite. The state, the Roman Empire, was gradually
weakening and decaying, the church steadily developing and organizing itself
in doctrine, practice and administrative system. One organism was dying, the
other gradually rising from infancy to maturity. Accordingly, when in the 5th
and 6th centuries the pressure of the Huns and growth of population drove the
Teutonic races of the north - Goth, and Frank, Vandal, Lombard and Saxon - in
upon the Roman Empire in the great folk-movement of the barbarian invasions,
the state-system of the Roman Empire, already perishing of internal decay, was
dashed to pieces, while the religious organization, the church, still in the
period of vigorous growth, not merely survived and retained its influence over
the old provincials but extended that influence over the conquering barbarians
and even over the German districts it had failed to penetrate in the time of
the early period of the Middle Ages, then, the political and social system of
civilized antiquity - developed by the races of southern Europe and extended
over the Celtic populations of Gaul and Britain - was replaced by the
'Primitive, barbaric institutions of the Teutonic conquerors, while the
religious system remained and was gradually adopted by the newcomers. Western
Europe entered upon the transition from ancient to modern life with the
anomaly of a civilized religious organization inherited from the Romance
nations established in the midst of the barbaric political and social
institutions of the Teutons; and mediaeval history is really the story of the
mutual influence of these widely different systems and views of life.
Gradually, as the thousand years rolled on, the church civilized the savage,
primitive, barbarians who had conquered the ancient state; but was itself
affected by the thought and organization of its rude environment, and by the
nature of the task upon which it was engaged.
effect of this development was that the church assumed the appearance and
began to perform many of the functions of a state. The different sides of
human life and activity, religious, political and social, may be separated for
philosophical examination, but are intimately related in actual fact -
religious views must necessarily dictate social customs, and social customs
determine the character of political life. The primitive political
institutions of the early Middle Ages were quite unable to provide that peace
and order which the civilized religious life of Christianity requires. Upon
the church, therefore, devolved the task of making good the deficiencies of
the contemporary state. But the state-system under which it had originated,
and which gave the church its conception of a civilized state, was that of the
Roman Empire; and, accordingly, the mediaeval church came to assume the
character of a world-state under the autocratic rule of the papacy, on the
model of its prototype. As a state, the church was forced to develop a legal
and financial system and so arose the wonderful organization of the Courts
Christian with a final court of appeal at Rome in the papal curia; and a
highly developed law, the Canon Law - codified in the Decretum of Gratian in
the 12th century, and dealing with many subjects which we now associate with
the state and secular law, wills and contracts the taking of interest, and the
like - while papal Lance was developed until an English parliament declared
that the papacy derived an annual revenue from England five times as great as
the royal revenue itself.
authority of the state depends, in the ultimate resort, on force; and as the
clergy, a minority of the population, could not depend upon physical force to
secure their authority, they were forced to rely upon moral. Thus religious
doctrine and practice were in turn affected. The clergy had to make themselves
regarded as superior beings with supernatural powers and authority if they
were to establish and retain their control over the savage, war-like
populations of the West. And accordingly the student of mediaeval history will
notice the development of the doctrine of transubstantiation, the miracle by
which the duly ordained priest, and he alone, can effect the change of
substance from bread and wine to flesh and blood, in virtue of which power he
is established as a personage distinct from and superior to the laymen; the
stress laid upon the control of the keys of heaven and hell inherited by the
popes as the successors of St. Peter; and the use of excommunication for
political purposes - to prevent the taxation of clerical revenues, to ensure
obedience to papal commands on the part of recalcitrant monarchs and nobles,
and so forth. Bearing in mind the primitive conditions of the early Middle
Ages, it is hardly too much to say that the power of the mediaeval priest was
similar to that of the witchdoctor of a savage tribe.
Throughout the greater part of the mediaeval period this political, social,
legal, and even financial activity of the church was extremely beneficial,
acting as a civilizing agency by which the Teutonic conquerors were raised to
a higher and more advanced level of thought and action. In England, for
example, in the sphere of politics, it was the existence of a single church
which supplied inspiration and a model for the development of a kingdom of
England, a single strong state in place of the many independent warring
kingdoms of the original heptarchy; and Stubbs has pointed out that
representation had been in practice in the Convocation of the Church long
before Edward I created the Model Parliament, the idea of which was, in all
probability, largely suggested by that fact. It would, indeed, be almost
impossible to overestimate the debt owed by western Europe to that "Mother
Church" which gave it the first lessons, not only in Christianity, but in
civilization, and under whose guidance it rose from utter barbarism to an
ordered and cultured life. But in proportion as the church accomplished its
civilizing mission, its secular activities, political, legal and financial,
ceased to be necessary and beneficial, and became actually harmful. No man can
owe allegiance to two states. And as the Teutons developed nation-states with
organized administrative and legal systems a clash between church and state
became inevitable. The financial system by which the church had obtained the
funds necessary for the maintenance of its elaborate and semi-secular
organization was felt to be especially irksome when the newly-created states
needed increasingly large revenues to enable them to carry on their work, and
found the resources on which they had to rely drained away by excessive papal
Moreover the church itself was suffering a moral and spiritual decline, partly
as a result of its great service to mediaeval Europe. Forced to embark on a
career of secular activity in consequence of the barbarism by which it was
confronted at the beginning of the mediaeval epoch, the church had inevitably
become secularized. Popes had ceased to be religious leaders and become
statesmen, "bishops," it has aptly been said, "had become barons in mitres."
And as a result innumerable abuses had crept into the ecclesiastical system.
Thoughtful men were alienated by the worldliness of the later mediaeval
church, and the flagrant abuses which flourished were unchecked, an often
abetted by its rulers. "Chaucer's gentle irony” played around the hunting monk
and the fashionabl prioress of the Prologue, and ceased to be quite so gentle
when he sketched the characters of the summoner and the pardoner; while his
imaginative genius allowed itself free play as he drew the contrasting
portrait of the ideal pastor in his poor parson; and Langland finds in Piers
Plowman that the official guides of the organized church do not know the road
to God, and the pilgrims who would seek His abode have to fall back upon the
guidance of the simple ploughman who has been "Truth's servant" many a year.
light of these facts, the true character of the Reformation, and the strange
intermixture of racial, national, financial and religious elements in the
movement become comprehensible. The Reformation appears as a great revolution
by which the nations of western Europe broke loose from that mediaeval
tutelage of the church which had raised them from initial barbarism to a level
of civilization comparable to that of antiquity in which their mentor, the
church, had originated, and entered on the fuller, freer life of modern times.
The racial quality of the movement shows the Teutonic stock freeing itself
completely from the Latin authority which had educated it in civilization, and
going forth to live its own life. The national aspect is seen to be due to the
fact that during the Middle Ages a new system of political organization had
been evolved, that of the autonomous nation-state, which was inherently
antagonistic to the idea of a world-state which the church had inherited from
the Roman Empire, and had restored in the pontificate of Innocent III.
prominence of financial questions was a natural effect of the change in
political and economic conditions which rendered the practical monopoly of
wealth by the church an insuperable bar to progress. Arid in like manner with
the other aspects of the Reformation. While the apparently strange fact that
all these movements should be associated with a religious development may be
attributed to the fact that the mediaeval church had based its secular
activities on a religious foundation, and had claimed power and authority over
non-religious spheres of life on the ground that its ministration in such
sacraments as those of the altar and holy matrimony rendered the clergy
superior to the laity, and that power of the keys inherited by the popes as
the successors of St. Peter constituted them a supreme authority in matters
secular as well as spiritual. It was natural that in rejecting the secular
authority and reforming the abuses of the church, men should go on to attack
the religious beliefs and organization out of which that secular authority and
those abuses had arisen; that Wyclif, for example, should proceed from an
attack on the wealth of the church to a rejection of that doctrine of
transubstantiation which had proved a regular mint to the clergy.
conclusion it should, perhaps, be pointed out that the real meaning and
importance of the Reformation will not be understood if attention is directed
solely to the rise of Protestantism. The effect of the movement was well-nigh
as great in those countries which retained their spiritual allegiance to the
See of Rome; since the Counter-Reformation in the Roman Catholic church which
was the direct result of the Protestant revolt did much to reform existing
abuses, to strip Catholicism of that secularity which had been the real cause
of the movement, and to confine the activities of the church to those
religious and spiritual spheres of action for which it had been created, and
to which, when an efficient state has been evolved, it should properly confine
God of the Mason
BRO. FERDINAND OUDIN, Illinois
since man aspired to something more than material life he has attempted to
define who and what God is. His success in this direction is probably
difficult to estimate as there are today as many definitions as there are
religions or sects, and this could be subdivided still further if personal
definitions of individuals are to be considered.
leaves the question, "What is the God of the Mason?" a peculiar one to answer.
The adherents of orthodox religions find no difficulty in this, they will give
their answer unhesitatingly, but do they not overlook the fact that the
interpretation they give is their own or that of the particular creed which
they profess? Also the self-styled liberal thinker is no better; he has no
patience with the orthodox views but insists that a more modern interpretation
be accepted regardless, on his part, whether such be generally acceptable.
Speculative Masonry has on its membership roll Christians of all degrees,
Universalists, Unitarians, Jews, Mohammedans, Brahmins, Theosophists and what
not. How then shall we approach this analysis so as not to offend any? It is
self-evident that personal interpretation must not enter in. Possibly the best
way will be to start with the beginning of Masonry so far as documentary
evidence will permit. Let us then examine some of the old documents, dating
from 1390 to 1714, of which nearly a hundred have come down to us. We find
that many of them begin with an invocation to the Trinity. "The might of the
Father of Heaven with the wisdom of his glorious Son, through the grace of the
goodness of the Holy Ghost, there be three persons in one Godhead, be with us
at our beginning and give us grace so as to govern us here in mortal life
living, that we may come to his kingdom that never shall have ending. Amen."
The Dowland MS., 1500 A.D., differs slightly in that it uses the term "Father
of Kings" in place of "Father of Heaven." In the Halliwell Poem, in these
lines, under the title "Ars quatuor coronatorum" we find an invocation to God
and the Virgin. There are also found instructions regarding behavior when
attending church and at the celebration of Mass. The invocation appearing in
many of the MSS. of the German "Steinmetzen" read somewhat after the manner:
In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, in the name of the blessed
invocations leave no doubt as to the Christian character of early Masonry and
in the case of the Halliwell Poem and the German MSS. show the influence of
the undivided Western Church as it was before the Reformation.
also, many references to Old Testament characters and events are found in
these old MSS. Considerable stress is laid on Lamech and his three sons, to
whom is attributed the discovery of all sciences. Noah and the flood also, the
Tower of Babel, and of course King Solomon's Temple find their place. The
legends of the Craft are largely developed from Old Testament stories. Even
the Hiramic legend from beginning to the denouement presumes a knowledge of,
and belief in, statements made in the Old as well as New Testament.
MASONRY WAS CHRISTIAN
it is safe to assume that what religious thought permeated the Masonic mind
prior to the 18th century was that of orthodox Christianity, decidedly
influenced by what is now Roman Catholicism. These same views, slightly
modified, were evidently held by the founders of Speculative Masonry, more or
less directed by conservative Protestantism. These early Masons would, of
course, interpret the Bible in accordance with the views of the day, which
were very much what we now term Fundamentalists.
rituals, which were to a great extent formulated by such men, should be
interpreted from the same mental viewpoint as the compilers had. So let us
from that angle study our present proceedings.
very start we invoke the blessings of Deity. In our petitions we call upon him
as the "Supreme Ruler of the Universe" or "Most Holy and Glorious Lord God,
the great Architect of the Universe," or again in another form we petition the
"Almighty and All Wise Father, the Creator and Governor of Heaven and earth,
we would humbly ask thy blessing upon us thy children." Still again we say,
"Vouchsafe thine aid, almighty Father of the universe." These prayers are
petitions of the children of God to a personal God, the most holy and glorious
Lord God of the Old and the Almighty and All Wise Father of the New Testament.
invited to enter the lodge in the name of the Lord and are dedicated to God in
the following ". . . Almighty Father of the universe . . . grant that this
candidate . . . may dedicate and devote his life to thy service." We are
further assured that our trust being in God, our faith is well founded. We
take an obligation in the presence of Almighty God and promise to live up to
it with his help. We salute the Holy Bible, testifying by this act that we
believe it to be the rule and guide of our faith and signify that we subscribe
to the statements made therein.
BIBLE IN THE LODGE
three occasions we find the Bible open so as to bring before our eyes passages
of scripture. First at the 133rd Psalm, where we learn the lesson of
brotherhood and eternal life. Next we read, in the seventh chapter of Amos,
his prayer to a very personal God to divert the judgment of the grasshoppers,
the "Lord repented of this" and manifested himself to Amos standing on a wall
with a plumb line in his hand. Now a more personal God could hardly be
pictured, and our old ritualists surely did not pick this chapter for its
reference to the plumb line only. Lastly, we see the Bible opened at the
twelfth chapter of Ecclesiasties, where we read in the thirteenth verse, "Let
us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his
commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." This is said by the author
who until recent years has been thought to be King Solomon. There is no
controversy as to what kind of Deity his God was. Solomon was a monotheist who
believed in a God with whom he could converse and one who had manifested
himself to men. It does not seem likely that our early brethren would lay the
Bible open at this passage which commands us so forcefully to fear God and
obey his law did they not hold views concurrent with those of Solomon. While
there are many parts of the ritual that are based on the Bible, I shall
content myself with allusion to one more, this is the promise of "admission
into the celestial lodge above, where the Supreme Architect of the Universe
presides." This makes it incumbent on a Mason to believe in a future existence
where he will be as a knowing and thinking entity and where God possessing
similar attributes presides.
careful study of the ritual with a thought to the custom and philosophy of the
times when they were formulated cannot help but lead us to the conclusion that
the traditional God of the Mason is the "personal" God of "fundamental"
this summation leaves us in an embarrassing position. According to it many
men, it would appear, have gained admission under false pretenses. The
question is one that will sooner or later have to be settled in some way. That
is shall the God of the Mason be He as interpreted by Christian, Jew and other
monotheists, or can He be anything as defined by Pantheists, Deists, Theists,
France the Grand Orient has settled the matter, they have given active
expression to the oft-repeated fact that Masonry is not a religion but rather
a system of ethics and morals. We in the United States take exception to their
act going so far, in the case of most of our Grand Lodges, as to withhold
fraternal recognition for this reason. But do we not appear in a ridiculous
position, we have a ritual that is quite orthodox in that it demands a belief
in a God and a future life as pictured in the Bible, the Great Light of
Masonry, and then we admit to membership many whose views are the very
antithesis to this. Now if the bars are to be let down, then how far shall we
go? Let us for sake of argument disregard all scriptural reference direct or
indirect that may appear in the ritual, let us consider only the one question
and its answer, which if the latter is in the affirmative, allows a man to
become a Mason. The question is, Do you believe in the existence of God ? The
answer is, I do. The answer is given in all sincerity, but let us see what the
God is that this man believes in.
PERSONALITY OF THE DEITY
not believe it necessary to go deep into the question regarding the God of the
Christian. We know him to be a personal one, a being who directs the affairs
of the universe, who looks after man as a father watches his children. Whether
he is a severe and vengeful God as the Old Testament sometimes pictures him,
or the loving, forgiving one of the New Testament, is of little moment here,
in either case he is essentially the same.
with the God of the Jew, Mohammedan or Unitarian. Their creed differs from the
Christian's only in that theirs is monotheistic. Their God is the same as that
of the Christian omitting the Trinity. He is the one true God who has no other
gods besides him. He is "personal," having conversed with and revealed himself
to man. He guides the destinies of the individual as well as of nations.
Pantheist is the next to be considered. His creed is in direct antagonism to
the foregoing; it negates all personality of God, the creation of the world,
the immortality of man. His God is one and the same with the world, neither
God nor the world have a distinct and separate being. His God may assume
various forms according to the conception of divine nature, either a spirit or
a substance, resulting in idealistic pantheism in the former or materialism in
the latter. This theory of Deity became a factor in European thought through
the publication of Spinoza's great work, Ethica ordine geometrico demonstrata,
in the nineteenth century.
Deist is not quite so radical, he recognizes a God, a Creator, but one who
having accomplished his task of creating the universe now stands outside of
it, restraining from all interference with the laws he has established. This
God is a good God; he possesses self-conscious intelligence and will. This he
has applied to designs and their execution as is manifested in universal
nature. He is a benevolent being for all this has been done for man's
happiness. He is also very indulgent for man's sins are only forgivable errors
that do not influence his future life, which consists only of man's immortal
mind returning to and commingling with the divine mind. No need for either
adoration or supplication for this God does not bother himself; has he not
finished his work, and did it well, when he completed the universe?
Theist is only a modernization of the Deist. He merely attributes a bit more
warmth to God who is one with the world but whose activities are confined
within the course of nature. The whole tone of the Theist's creed possesses a
feeling of warmth and spirituality that compares favorably with any other
faith, but it denies the Bible's claim to be or to contain a divine
revelation, in it the Theist only recognizes the literary product of
inspiration limited to the writer.
then the Panthesists, Deists and Theists and many others whose creeds are
similar in character are admitted to Masonry. And why not? Have they not all
truthfully acknowledged a belief in God? Maybe not the God of the Mason, who
extenuation of the tendency for thinking men to depart from the strict
orthodox definition of God I need only refer to:
The acceptance of the doctrine of evolution in the world of science.
The preeminence of science and its claim of absolute and uniform operation of
the laws of nature, which calls in question any statement regarding divine
interference of these laws.
The modern reinterpretation of the Bible by scholars in accordance with the
principles of critical research as applied to other ancient literature.
realization, through the science of comparative religion, that the so-called
heathen religions are not so satanic as traditional theology interpreted them
discussion of the Syllabus of Pope Pius IX I have arrived at the, perhaps,
faulty conclusion that its promulgation was a mistake. It was, to my mind, in
itself an innocuous and timely document that respected the liberty of
conscience and the reasonable rights of the state. But being infelicitiously
worded, it has been misconstrued, has irritated millions of nonCatholics and,
all in all, done more harm than good.
in a fault-finding mood, I will call attention here to a few more papal
pronouncements that have unnecessarily stirred up bitter sentiment against the
Catholic Church and hence should have been omitted. These pronouncements are
not entirely a thing of the past. They are again and again being cited,
sometimes for the purpose of anti-Catholic propaganda. They are like
phonograph records: they may be turned on any moment. They should be destroyed
in the interest of religious peace. I know of but one way of destroying, or at
least weakening, them: Let the Vatican retract them, or apologize for them, in
a Syllabus of Papal Errors or of Papal Retractions that breathe a tone of
genuine tolerance and good will towards all mankind. The present Pope, Pius
XI, could do so with the best of grace and without any self-humiliation; for
he himself has so far abstained from any hasty, intolerant utterance.
entertaining the hope that this article of mine will be favored with the kind
attention of the American Catholic Episcopate. Maybe the dignitaries will be
inclined to suggest to the Vatican such a Syllabus of Retractions. If not,
they might at least succeed in persuading the Vatican to be guarded in its
purpose of this, my criticism, is not destructive, but constructive; to remedy
past mistakes and to prevent their repetition in the future.
ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS X ON THE REFORMATION
seems to have been inspired by two causes. One was the Los-von-Rom
(away-from-Rome) movement in German Austria. The other was the approach of the
fourth centenary of the Reformation.
was essentially of a nationalistic, political character. Religion practically
played no part in it. A few thousand German Austrian Catholics, who had
already discontinued the practice of their religion long before, formally
espoused Protestantism to emphasize their hatred of Rome. It is doubtful
whether most of them, after having abjured their faith, ever put a foot into a
Protestant church again. The well educated and perfectly organized German
Catholics were fully competent to cope with the situation and check the
movement. As regards the history of the Reformation, Catholic historians of
the first rank, like Johannes Jansen, Ludwig von Pastor, the Dominican Denifle,
the Jesuit Hartmann Grisar and others, had covered that field so well as to
evoke the uncomfortable admiration of their literary adversaries. The Pope
could shed no additional light upon it. He was a splendid, spiritual pontiff,
who introduced many important beneficent reforms. He was the best kind of a
pontiff, but no historian. Besides that, the political agitation in German
Austria (it can hardly be dignified with the name of a religious movement) had
fairly spent itself. In the rest of the world, there was nowhere among
Catholics a drift towards Protestantism. Religious indifferentism and
anti-Christian socialism was the chief menace confronting the Roman Church,
and the rest of Christianity as well.
papal encyclical may be devoid of great intrinsic value and significance.
Nevertheless, it always carries considerable weight and will attract
world-wide attention by reason of the exalted position of the pontiff. If our
encyclical was really aimed at that little provincial disturbance in Austria,
at a dying straw fire, then the Pope was shooting sparrows with a Big Bertha.
Moreover, this German Nationalistic agitation which often disgraced itself by
rowdyism and riots, rather aided the Catholic cause. It aroused and
consolidated the insulted Catholics and confirmed them in their loyalty to the
Holy See, particularly the non-German nationalities in the Austro-Hungarian
monarchy. Insults always have that effect.
FOURTH CENTENARY OF THE REFORMATION
fell in October, 1917, four hundred years after the bold Saxon Monk had hurled
the gauntlet at the feet of the papacy by affixing his ninety-five theses to
the door of the castle church in Wittenberg. The German Protestants were then
planning, rather appropriately, a giant demonstration, a Lutherfeier, for the
occasion. (It did not materialize on account of the world war.) Did the Pope
actually hope to succeed in throwing cold water on Protestant enthusiasm? He
was, by his very position, the last person on earth who could hope to
accomplish that ! And what benefit would have accrued from it to the Church?
The best he could expect was that his encyclical would fall flat. And unless
he used the utmost tact and caution, he was liable, by a single unguarded
remark, to pour oil into the flame and to foment Protestant enthusiasm into a
substantial, if only temporary, Protestant revival. He came very close to
was clearly a situation where silence would have been golden. Any effort to
the contrary was bound to be a case of love's labor lost. But the pontiff saw
fit to talk.
ill-fated document contained, among others, one passage that gave grave
offense. It referred to the Reformers as "men whose God was their belly."
Therewith the Holy Father had put his hand into a wasp's nest.
King of Saxony, himself a devout Roman Catholic, over ninety per cent of whose
subjects were Protestant, addressed a spirited letter to the Pope, protesting
against the encyclical. Other German Catholic leaders followed suit, with the
result that the papal letter was officially suppressed in Germany.
the mischief was done. The German Protestants took up the challenge. They
returned insult by insult. That was to be expected. They called the Pope an
"uncouth, churlish, peasant pope" (bauern-pabst) alluding to his humble
parentage. And as regards the Biblical quotation "whose God is their belly,"
they pointed with satirical glee to the well known propensity of the Catholic
prelate toward a conspicuous enbonpoint. That propensity is proverbial among
the German Catholics themselves. Among the Bavarians the expression is in
vogue: "to have a belly like a prelate." (Einen Bauch haben wie ein Praelat.)
They mean no disrespect. They do not begrudge the prelates their sleek,
abdominal rotundity, front and rear elevation.
sarcastic Rhinelanders, though very loyal sons of Holy Mother the Church, have
a song describing a church procession in which the passage occurs: "Here comes
the high clergy ! How they swing their wobbly bellies ! How they swing their
wobbly bellies !" (Hier kommt die hohe Klerisei! Die wackelt mit den Bauchen!
Die wackelt mit den Bauchen!)
the heyday of the excitement, in cities preponderantly Protestant, Catholic
clergymen who were burdened with an excessive avoirdupois were afraid to show
themselves on the street. They were liable to be mocked by being sneeringly
called "Reformers." Carlsbad, Marienbad, and other watering resorts became
overcrowded with distressed Catholic ecclesiastics who were hurrying thither
to reduce a more than normal tonnage and displacement. See what may happen
when the Pope talks !
practical outcome of the encyclical was: It fanned Protestant enthusiasm. It
brought humiliation on the Catholics. A serious internal crisis was narrowly
averted by the prompt action of the German Catholics in protesting against the
love of historical truth compels me to add another melancholy reflection. The
Holy Father, in characterizing the Reformers as "men whose God is their
belly," betrayed a rather awkward lack of familiarity with a very important,
outstanding phenomenon in ecclesiastical history: the forerunners and leaders
of the Reformation had no "bellies" to speak of ! This hapless oversight is
the more deplorable when you consider that His Holiness had any number of
scholarly consultors at his command who could have drawn his attention to that
Wycliff, John Huss, John Knox, John Calvin and the whole regiment of
trouble-making Johns were lean, austere churchmen. Had they devoted themselves
more assiduously to the joys of a well set table-as did the popes of that
period--and developed a complacent corpulence, they would never have embraced
the profession of a reformer. You could never think of a jovial, fat kidneyed
rascal like Sir John Falstaff turning uplifter and reformer !
Luther was a slender, ascetical Augustinian monk when he was stung by the
reforming bee and commenced to thunder away at the demoralized papal court.
Had he granted himself an indulgence in gastronomical delights, he would never
have concerned himself about the indulgence preached by John Tetzel--another
overzealous, troublesome lean John, by the way. It is the leanness of these
men, their lack of appreciation of the highly developed culinary art of those
days, that lies at the bottom of the whole tragedy. For a tragedy the
Reformation is, from my orthodox Roman Catholic point of view.
true, Martin Luther later became partial to good cheer, seasoned by
conviviality and appropriate table talk, and he accumulated a double chin. But
that was after the mischief was done, after he had upset the apple cart and
caused a rift in the Western Church. That double chin came too late. Had he
acquired it twenty years sooner, there would never have been a Reformation.
Erasmus, who had laid the egg that Luther hatched out, was another lean,
sour-faced, nervous dyspeptic. It was the lean, restless Cassiuses that
engineered the Reformation !
that tragic event, the most dangerous of all heresiarchs, or schismatics, was
John Ignace von Doellinger. He was the leading scholar in the Church at his
time. The distinguished Jesuit historian Emil Michael pays him, the outspoken
enemy of the Jesuits, the compliment of having been a walking library. He was
the pride of the University of Munich where he taught. He was another lean
John, though his colleagues, in affectionate admiration, spoke of him
familiarly as "our Natzy," from his middle name, Ignatz.
Doellinger's father was a noted surgeon who held the chair of anatomy at the
University of Munich. He was an aggressive materialist and atheist who denied
the existence of a spiritual soul. With more wantonness than good tact he
would occasionally, while dissecting a body in the lecture room, taunt his
hearers in his amusing dialect: "Go upstairs where my Natzy is expounding his
theology ! Tell him to come down here and show us where the soul is! I have
dissected hundreds of bodies, but I have not found a soul yet !" Though a
religious scoffer, the old man was very proud of his "Natzy," who already as a
young priest had acquired an international reputation as a scholar.
city where every man, woman and child drinks beer and every self-respecting
citizen cultivates a spacious ante-pendium, our "Natzy" quenched his thirst
with milk and lemonade, rarely, if ever, touching the more palatable and
exhilarating malt. This peculiarity of his was regarded as an eccentricity
that a scholar of his renown was entitled to. It was generously condoned. In
an ordinary mortal it would have been viewed with strong misgivings as to his
proper mental balance.
time of the Vatican Council Doellinger agitated against the dogma of papal
infallibility. After it was proclaimed, he refused to subscribe to it. He was
excommunicated. The event, though not unexpected, caused a great sensation
throughout all Europe, most of all in Munich. When the decree of
excommunication was read from the pulpits of the city on a certain Sunday, it
fell like a peal of thunder on the ears of the faithful. A hush hung, like a
pall, over the normally so gay community.
evening of the same Sunday a group of Doellinger's colleagues met as usually
at their accustomed stammtisch (round table) in the Hofbrau. They sat there in
deep reverie. At last, one of them, a florid, benevolent churchman of ample
dimensions and irreproachable orthodoxy, broke, after quaffing his eighth
stein, the gloomy silence: "I have always said it that our Natzy was headed
for trouble. Had he taken his twelve steins of Hofbrau every day, like a good
Bavarian, he would never have bolted the Vatican Council."
was more truth in that remark than one is inclined to believe. The Germans
have a saying:
Bayer ohne Bier
ein gefahrlich Tier.
Bavarian without his beer is a dangerous animal." He will be at the best an
intolerable crank. He may even go so far as to become a schismatic, heresiarch
and reformer. Doellinger is an illustration.
cite just one more instance of a reformer, of an ultra-modern one, one of the
most recent model, one whom we, the people of the United States, have
particular reason to be interested in. Of course, his name is John, and he is
lean. Your surmise is correct: it is John D. Rockefeller, the king of unsavory
oil. He is the financial angel, or archangel, or arch-fiend, of the iniquitous
Anti-saloon League, that aggregation of Uplifters and Reformers that is
universally dreaded and detested as the direst curse, plague and pestilence of
the human race today. He is the Super-Reformer. I assert without fear of
contradiction that if Lean John was blessed with a sound digestion and pushed
a comfortable "tank" along, as he could well afford, he would not be promoting
that nefarious League that has cast a wet blanket over our once happy nation.
Not contented with that, it is reaching out with fiendish malice to pour
wormwood into the cup of cheer of many another friendly nation with whom we
have never had a quarrel. Is there need of adducing any more examples of
Reformers? We let this suffice.
Romans had an adage: omnis pinguis bonus, "every fat man is good." They were
keen observers. Fat men have rarely caused any more serious trouble than
displacing too much room in a crowded car. Of course, a fat man is not
necessarily a bonvivant. Saint Thomas of Aquinas, the profound scholar, was
exceedingly abstemious and exceedingly corpulent. Nor was His Holiness, Pope
Pius X, himself a feather-weight, though a strict practitioner of the simple
life. Nevertheless, as a general rule, fat men are known to be remarkably
regular and punctual in making their appearance at meal time.
make a long story short: Pope Pius X was a good, kind, saintly pontiff. But,
be it said with due reverence to his august person, his exalted position and
to his prerogative of infallibility: he was beating the air when he attacked
the "bellies" of the Reformers. They had no "bellies" deserving that name,
"bellies" in the full, comprehensive sense of the word. It was the absence of
a regular "belly" that made them Reformers.
ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII ON FREEMASONRY
known, by its opening words, as the encyclical Humanum genus, "the human
race." It is dated 20th of April, 1884.
is an anthology from it:
[the Masons] vie in attacking the power of God.
sect of Masons is established against law and honesty, and is equally a danger
to Christianity as well as to society.
tenets contradict so evidently human reason that nothing can be more
Inebriated by its prosperous success, Masonry is insolent, and seems to have
no more limits to its pertinacity. Its sectaries bound by an iniquitous
alliance and secret unity of purpose, they go on hand in hand and encourage
each other to dare more and more for evil.
Impious [Masonic] sects in which one sees clearly revived the contumacious
pride, the untamed perfidy, the simulating shrewdness of Satan.
believe that most of the American Catholics who should happen to read the
above florilegium will disapprove of the severe language in which the Pontiff
condemns a fraternal organization to which 85 per cent of our national Senate
and our national House of Representatives and a very large section of our
other leading citizens belong. From the days of George Washington and Bishop
Carroll of Baltimore--and prior to that--down to the present day, the American
Catholics and Freemasons have lived together on the best of terms. They have
cooperated harmoniously in building up the nation. They have shared the common
sacrifices and dangers in war and common prosperity in peace. Quite commonly
we hear an American Mason say that some of his best friends are Roman
Catholics; and vice versa.
Literary Digest, of Dec. 1, 1923, quotes Father Francis P. Duffy, the chaplain
of the famous sixty ninth regiment, and friend of Governor Smith of New York,
must take a stand against the narrow-minded within our own fold. Take, for
instance, the matter of Freemasonry. I am bitterly opposed to the attempt made
by some Catholics to create a state of friction between the Catholic Church
and the Masonic Order. It is true that a Catholic cannot be a Mason neither
can he be an Episcopalian. The Masons we know, and particularly the leaders of
Masonry, are not anti-Catholic. There is no feeling of antagonism between the
priest and the Mason. We have inherited our views of Masons from other
countries and from other times. There is no reason why we should go out of our
way to start a fight with the Masons. There are Catholics who are hindering
the work of men like Justice Tompkins who are doing all in their power to keep
their ancient and honorable Order from going over to the dark ways of bigotry,
as some of its wily members would have it.
Anglo-Saxon Freemasonry vastly outnumbers the Latin or Continental Masonry. A
Masonic friend advises me that the bulk of Anglo-Saxon Masonry frowns on the
political activities of the Latin brotherhood and has formally repudiated any
connection with it. It cannot sever its affiliation with it because it has no
told that American Masonry has no national organization. The members in each
state form a unit that is completely independent of the forty-eight other
units. Much less is the whole of Anglo-Saxon Masonry an international
organization. There is no such thing as a central Masonic headquarters or
central government on the plan of the Superior-General of the Jesuits and
other Catholic Orders. In that respect it resembles, in a way, our Benedictine
order in which each archabbey with its dependencies constitutes a separate
group or congregation independent from the other groups. Over these groups,
united only by the common rule and common ideals, the Abbot-Primate in Italy
has practically no jurisdictional or administrative powers.
Whatever the faults and delinquencies of Latin Masonry may have been,
Anglo-Saxon Masonry--and, be it remembered, that means the by all odds larger
part of the Masonry of the whole world--has not conspired against the Roman
Church. The Catholics have been, and still are, a hopeless minority in the
English speaking world. In these same countries Masonry has all along been a
great force; perhaps not as strong as we Catholics imagine it to be, but a
sufficiently strong power to persecute and disfranchise us Catholics, if it
wished to do so. It has abstained from persecuting us. There is no indication
that it ever aimed at harming us. Religious tolerance is a cardinal principle
of Anglo-Saxon Masonry. It seems to have been faithfully practiced. Individual
Masons, and even whole lodges, may have manifested some hostility to the Roman
Church, but not because they were Masons, but rather despite the fact of being
if today Anglo-Saxon Masons organized and united to declare war on Roman
Catholicism, could we blame them after all the insults that have been hurled
at them by the Vatican and a large section of the Catholic press? Does it not
place us American Catholics in an embarrassing position, if the supreme head
of our Church, a foreign ecclesiastic in whose election not a single American
citizen had a vote, refers to a fraternal order to which George Washington
belonged, to which today the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United
States belongs, to which a most imposing galaxy of our most distinguished
citizens and patriots has belonged or belongs-if the supreme head of our
Church, a foreign autocrat, refers to that fraternal order as an agency of
basic tenets of Roman Catholicism and Freemasonry may be irreconcilable;
though I know of Catholic bishops, of a rather conservative type at that, who
fail to see in Masonry anything but a fraternal order with humanitarian
ideals. But let those basic principles be irreconcilable, could that
difference between Romanism and Masonry not have been expressed in moderate,
Pope Leo XIII, whose "smooth diplomacy" our loyal Catholic press loved to
extol, released that unfortunate encyclical Humanum genus, replete with
insults to Masonry, our American Catholics should have done what the German
Catholics did with the encyclical of Pius X on the Reformation: they should
have protested against it.
somewhat late to take action now, but the damage inflicted on American
Catholicism could still be partly repaired. Could not an organization of
representative American Catholic laymen like the Knights of Columbus choose a
Commission of priests and laymen--men like Father Duffy, Dr. John A. Ryan of
the Catholic University in Washington, Col. P. H. Callahan --to study
Anglo-Saxon Masonry, its chief tenets and its history?
Commission finds that said Masonry is not irreconcilable with Catholicism,
then let the Knights of Columbus petition the Vatican that it lift the ban
from such units of Anglo-Saxon Masonry as formally repudiate all affiliation,
or community of interests, with Latin Masonry.
the other hand, the Commission should report that Masonry and Catholicism are
irreconcilable, either dogmatically, or in practice, or both, then let the
Knights petition the Pope that he at least issue a new Apostolic Letter
dealing exclusively with Anglo-Saxon Masonry. In this Letter he could in
moderate language and in a conciliatory tone state the reasons why membership
in the Masonic Order is incompatible with membership in the Roman Church. He
could explain that certain charges raised against Masonry in the Encyclical of
Leo XIII do not apply to Anglo-Saxon Masonry. He could give the latter credit
for its merits in the promotion of religious tolerance, of humanitarianism, of
material progress and prosperity, of pacificism and the ideal of the
fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. If it be found that British
Masons have helped to liberate the English Catholics from the obnoxious
disability laws, that fact should also be mentioned. The Vatican claims to be
empowered to speak authoritatively for Catholicism. The Vatican should not be
too proud to express its gratitude to non-Catholics who have conferred a favor
word is never wasted. We want religious peace and tolerance. Vatican
theologians have in the past rushed in where angels feared to tread.
Knights of Columbus should ever seriously consider taking up this issue, they
might include in their petition to the Vatican a list of more grievances we
American Catholics would like to see disposed of. I shall take the liberty, in
future articles in this magazine, of submitting a few items to their kind
Freemasonry and the Essenes
BRO. L.F. STRAUSS, Massachusetts
is the second of two articles by Bro. Strauss on the subject of the Essenes
and their connection with Speculative Freemasonry. The first was published in
the May number of THE BUILDER. The author is strongly impressed by the very
great influence that Hebrew words and ideas have had on the Masonic ritual. He
does not, as we understand it, attempt to prove that Freemasonry is a survival
of the Essenic Order, but only to point out the very curious parallels, which
are too numerous to be due to chance. How they are to be explained is another
already stated the scholar, the philologist, the epistemologist and the
theologian expended so much energy in the search for the epistemology, the
derivation, the etymology of the word Essaioi, or Essenoi, of which Essenes is
an anglicization, that their intellect became exhausted and their imagination
led them astray. We are here reminded of the labor in an antique theologian's
meditation over the question as to why the term "beginning" was the third and
"heaven" the seventh word in his Bible. That his Bible was only a translation,
and that this order or sequence might be different in the original, never
entered his mind.
situation is also analogous to the troubles of our Egyptologists. All our
knowledge of Egyptian life, culture and history is based upon the works of the
ancient Greeks. These Greeks were a peculiar and marvelously clever and
ingenious people. They had, also, a strange, a good modern trait: a very great
admiration for themselves and their nationality. All other nations or peoples
were barbaroi, anglicized into "barbarian." These Greeks had most elaborate
spectacles; each Greek had one of its own particular make.
result, a great transformation took place. The description of the ancient
world became Hellenized, even the names of ancient Gods, places and persons. A
Zarathustra became Zoroaster, Messiah became Christos (hence our own name
Christian), a Ramses became Sesostris, a cause of much trouble and confusion
to our Egyptologist.
Philo and Josephus, our chief, in a way our only informants about the order or
Brotherhood of "Essenes," were writing in the Greek language and as was but
natural adopted Greek habits, that is, they Hellenized; and so out of the word
Hasidim, the popular Jewish name of this brotherhood, they coined the Greek
words, Essaioi, or Essenoi, which, after all, was not as radical as the change
of Sesostris from Ramses.
New Testament we find one definite reference to our Brotherhood by the Apostle
Paul, who had been initiated into the sixth degree of the Society; in his
letter to the Corinthians, Chapter XVI, we find logias tes is tous hagious
translated by "collection for the saints."
theologians are puzzled over the term Logias translated with collection. This
translation is altere pede claude, lame on the other foot, but not as
glaringly false as the rendering in the next verse of the word Sabbatton with
Sunday, or the first day of the week. Even Martin Luther showed himself here a
better man and a more truthful translator.
this diversion, we will ask again: what was the real name of these Essenes,
that is, what was the name, the designation of the Essenes by themselves, of
themselves, for themselves ?
name is of special significance, of particular interest to the members of the
Society of the Ancient Order of Free and Accepted Masons. This real name was
Banaim, which translated into English means Builders or Masons.
word Banaim has also been translated Carpenter, and there are some who here
see a reference to Jesus the carpenter and Jesus the carpenter's son.
additional information we will state that the word Bannaim, with two n's,
signifies, in English, bather, or baptizer, and as these Essenes bathed daily
"before breakfast," used immersion as a symbol of repentance and as a part of
ceremony for initiation of a novice into first "degree," the word spelled with
two n's became another popular designation. This fact throws a luminous ray
over the figure and name of John the Baptist.
FREEMASONRY AND THE ESSENES
visible, historical threads of the order of "modern" Freemasonry lead us to
the Middle Ages, into the British Isles, there to vanish like unto a stream
that sinks into a subterranean channel. What strikes the student at first
sight as odd indeed is the Hebrew nomenclature, the Jewish garment in which
the Order of Free and Accepted Masons presents itself to the outside world.
Why is it that Hebrew words, Jewish names and symbols are used in which to
shroud the most important ceremonial functions, the most ingenious symbolism
the world has even seen?
give a much abbreviated list of names, words and symbols of Jewish origin used
used by the Jews in place of Jehovah, the name of God.
Hiram--Adoniram--The Lord is exalted.
Aheman--Rezon. Derived from a very old and obsolete Hebrew word and used as
title to a book of instruction in the Grand Lodge of York.
Balgulkal--obsolete Hebrew Giblim
Bendekar Hiram Abif
Breastplate Jacob's Ladder
of Lebanon Jah
Shield of David
Signet of Zerubbabel
Tomb of Adoniram
Pentalpha--Solomon's Seal Tubalcain
Rabboni Twelve Lettered Name
Sabbaoth Two Lettered Name
of Solomon Zadok
uninitiated it must appear strange that so many traces of what might be called
prehistoric Freemasonry lead us to the north of England, thence to the
Highlands of Scotland (some very learned "higher critics" attempted with great
erudition to infer from this a connection between Freemasonry and the ancient
Druids). Another remarkable thing is the strange phenomenon consisting in the
fact that in the Scottish Rite the dates of all official documents are given
according to the Hebrew months and Jewish era, and more remarkable still, use
is made of the old form of the Hebrew alphabet. Strange, very strange symbols
(for the uninitiated or the uninformed) are seen in the Rite of Misraim, but
for him who sees or knows, a lucid light is shed indeed on the "travails" of
man. Freemasonry has been remarkably successful in shrouding its origin, its
history and its philosophy on religion. The veil was undoubtedly necessary and
to some extent is still. I will lift it but a very little, just enough to give
a glimpse. The seeming mystery in the apple grown on the tree of good and evil
was the thing that first attracted, then enticed our good mother Eve. In like
manner has the mystery enshrined in the symbols of Freemasonry puzzled, in the
last fifteen hundred years, the heads of the learned and set in motion their
hands and pens. What learned books have been written on the meaning and origin
of the symbols and what scholarly controversies have been raised !
INTERPRETATION OF HIEROGLYPHS
thousands of years the learned scholars of Europe and Asia gazed at the
strange hieroglyphics engraved on the sacred and profane monuments of ancient
Egypt. How ingenious and abstruse were the scholarly treatises on, and
explanations of, these strange figures. But in the fullness of time an old,
dilapidated and half-broken stone was found in a place called Rosetti, and
through the markings on this half broken stone the strange and mysterious
figures were explained, the history, the mysteries of ancient Egypt stood
what this stone, the Rosetti stone, was, or rather has become, to the
hieroglyphics and mysteries of ancient Egypt, that the teachings and the
doctrines of the "Essenes" are to the symbols employed by the Order of the
Free and Accepted Masons.
article is but introductory and so we will confine ourselves to hints
sufficient for the wise.
the first instructions the Masonic neophyte receives is a hint as to the
importance, the significance of the lambskin, the twenty-four-inch gauge and
the common gavel (the gavel stands in a certain relation to but is by no means
identical with the Master's mallet or hammer).
or mallet is the English rendering of the Hebrew word makkab, from which we
get Maccabees, the name for the last dynasty of the Jews.
lion of Judah in Christology stands for the Lord Jesus but it is also the "Essenic"
appellation of Judas Maccabeus, a member and noted figure in its history.
following stanza from a Masonic song:
the emblems that we shower,
us there's a mighty power
the strength of death and hell
Judah's Lion shall prevail.
lambskin is an Essenic figure standing for sacrifice and purity indicated by
its white color.
number twenty-four is a favorite occult "Essenic" number as it equals 23x3.
Masonic lore we meet very often the heroic figures of St. John the Baptist and
John the Evangelist. The first is universally recognized as a member of the "Essenes."
The second is not thus recognized but his relation to the order stands
revealed in his doctrines propounded.
INDEBTEDNESS TO HEBREW DOCTRINE
student finds in Masonic literature the doctrine of the triune triad
encompassed by the Shekinah and he recognizes here the "Essenic" doctrine of
did the founders of Freemasonry obtain their knowledge of the meaning of the
twelve-lettered name, only revealed to the Essenic initiates of the order of
Zenuim or Chaste Ones ? There is also a forty-two lettered name which, if
found in Masonic symbols, would be of deep significance.
special interest also are the names of Enoch and Melchizedek, so often met
with in Masonic literature. These names, so conspicuous in the doctrines of
the "Essenes" and in apocalyptic literature, have ever been a puzzle to the
learned but uninitiated theologians.
cannot help sympathizing with the Apostle Paul when he throws out such vague
but significant hints about the personality of Melchizedek, of whom, as he
says, "I have much to tell you but you are babes and cannot stand strong
meat." But our sympathy goes out still more to Christian theologians when they
attempt to explain or explain away the words of the apostle.
fact, and the way in which Freemasonry has incorporated these two names in its
doctrines and its symbols, is one of the strongest evidential factors of
Masonic cognizance of Jewish concealed knowledge and of the inner connection
between the Society of Free and Accepted Masons and the ancient order of "Essenes."
Strange indeed is human ingenuity ! That Enoch lived three hundred and
sixty-five years, exactly as many years as the year has days, has no special
significance to the ordinary Bible student. "And Enoch walked with God and he
was not, for God took him." That he should have ascended seems indeed
extraordinary, but that the number three hundred and sixty five and the
ascension into heaven should have any connection with the sun or zodiac is
never suspected by the innocent reader of the Bible.
the renaissance of the society of Free and Accepted Masons begins in the
British Isles in the year 1717 and thence starts its triumphal march over the
entire face of our globe, is nothing specially remarkable. Is there no
significance in the year 1717 nor is any special meaning to be attached to
Hebrew nomenclature? Is it not significant that at a period when the Jews were
persecuted and despised everywhere a reverential recognition of Hebrew symbols
of Hebrew nomenclature should take place and this in the year 1717 ? It may be
a little help for some to obtain an additional glimpse of that strange figure
17. See Gospel of John, chapter xxi. Here we find the number 153. We hear, or
rather read, of a great catch, a catch of 153 great fishes. Now why not 152 or
154 fishes ? What special significance is there in the number of 17 ? Is it
because ten plus seven is seventeen ? Is it the fact that 153 equals 32
multiplied by seventeen? Is it the fact that one plus five plus three equals
nine ? A special significance was recognized by the initiates, the so-called
Church Fathers, Origenes was informed. He gave hints sufficient for the wise
or the initiated; St. Augustine had not been initiated or only partially. He
was puzzled. As his explanation, he gives us the fact that 153 equals a
binominal co-efficient, that it is the sum of the natural numbers up to
seventeen, that one plus two plus three plus four, etc., up to seventeen
equals 153. In addition, Augustine gives us this reason for seventeen: the
number ten for commandments plus the number seven as of the "spirits."
ask Augustine why count up to number seventeen, and not to eighteen or
come nearer the solution of the riddle when we look at II Chronicles, chapter
ii :16, where we find Salomon numbered all the strangers that were in the land
of Israel, and found their number 153 thousand and six hundred.
the most conspicuous symbols with the most definite meaning for our brethren,
our predecessors the Banaim, is the letter "G." How many modern Freemasons
know today the significance of this letter "G"?
"explanation" by the term "geometry" may fulfill a useful purpose. We are here
reminded of Bacon Shakespeare's "A little scratched will serve." But that this
letter "G" should have as its main significance the word "God" the idea of the
absolute cannot possibly be accepted.
Freemasonry is first of all a universal, an international organization or
it should be borne in mind that the word "God," for the Supreme or Absolute,
is confined to the German or Teutonic languages. The letter in Hebrew we do
not wish to give, but it is not "G." In the Greek language the first letter
for the word "God" is Theta. In the Latin, French and Italian, in fact in all
the socalled Roman languages, the initial of the name of the Most High is "D,"
and as this letter "G" was used as a symbol by the "Banaim" thousands of years
before a letter in the German-Teutonic language was written or printed, this
symbol "G" cannot possibly have stood as a first letter of the Teuton word for
subsequent article we may give--in a veiled form--the significance of this "G"
as a symbol in the lore of the "Brotherhood" named "Banaim"--the pre-Christian
"Banaim" were, primarily, what in modern parlance would be called
"Theologians." Theos, God and Logos, Knowledge or Science. But these "Banaim"
were also philosophers and even scientists, and as such they had found a
solution to problems puzzling to the philosophers and scientists of our own
ANCIENT DOCTRINE AND MODERN SCIENCE
Ignorant people think that the so-called doctrine of evolution, just as they
think of the so-called heliocentric doctrine, is a modern discovery or, as
some hold, an invention and delusion. Here it might be of interest to learn
that the Banaim-Builders came nearer to actuality in their doctrines than we
find today in the doctrines or theories given in the text-books of our
ignorant people think that the problem of evolution has been solved. That the
theories have been scientifically established. For the benefit of our readers
we will present the opinion of William James, recognized not only in America,
but also in Europe, as America's greatest and only original thinker and
pioneer in the world of thought. We will here present an extract from a
lecture delivered a few years only before the change called death:
plain truth is that the philosophy of evolution, as distinguished from our
special information about particular changes, is a metaphysical creed and
nothing else. It is a mood of contemplation, an emotional attitude, rather
than a system of thought--a mood which is as old as the world and which no
refutation of any one incarnation of it (such as the Spencerian philosophy)
will dispel; the mood or fatalistic pantheism with its intuition of the One
and All, which is, which was and ever shall be and from which womb every
single thing proceeds. Far be it from us to speak slightingly here of so holy
and mighty a style of looking at the world as this. What we at present call
scientific discoveries had nothing to do with bringing it to birth. Nor can
one conceive that they should ever give it its burial, no matter how logically
incompatible the ultimate phenomenal distinctions which science accumulates,
should turn out to be. It can laugh at the phenomenal distinctions on which
science is based for it draws its vital breath from a region which--whether
above or below--is at least altogether different from that in which science
dwells. A critic however, who cannot disprove the truth of the scientific
creed can, at least, raise his voice in protest against its disguising itself
in scientific plumes.
reader should here bear in mind that William James accepts the idea, the
principle of evolution. He only calls attention to the fact that this idea,
these principles are today not scientifically established, that our scientists
are still in search and thus far, in vain, for the "modus" and still more the
members of the Brotherhood of Free and Accepted Masons will be pleased to
learn that their preChristian ancestors, the Banaim-Builders-Essenes, just as
they had received the heliocentric doctrine, had also received, by divine
revelations, or as some would call it, inner illumination, or using the most
modern scientific expression, a vision into "cosmic consciousness," not only
the mere theory of evolution but also the "modus and opus operandi" of "mother
nature" in what is called today the doctrine of evolution.
Neither the doctrine of evolution nor what is called today the heliocentric
doctrine, could be given out to the general public. These doctrines would
necessarily have seemed strange and absurd to the uninitiated.
we are reminded of the Master's words, "To you it is given to know the
'secrets' of the Kingdom of Heaven, to them I speak in parables.
not give that which is Holy unto dogs, do not cast pearls before swine lest
they turn and rend you, and their second state is worse than their first."
just as the mental progress of the human race, the advance of science made
possible and expedient the publication and ensured the acceptance of the
heliocentric doctrine, and the doctrine of evolution, so in the opinion of
some the discoveries made through psychic research, some features imbedded in
the doctrine of relativity have made it possible and expedient to proclaim
aloud some of the secret doctrines given under a most solemn oath of secrecy
after a lengthy period of probation on the banks of the Nile and the river
Jordan by our spiritual ancestors the "Banaim."
already stated, we will here lift the veil a little, very little. Just enough
to give a glimpse of the wisdom of our predecessors, the founders, or using a
term more modest, the propagandists or "missionaries" (another translation of
the Apostle Paul's hagioi) of Christianity.
illustration of the truth of the words of Solomon, "There is nothing new under
the sun," I will quote a passage from a book that has furnished to Freemasonry
most of its symbols and rites:
book of Hammuna the Elder we learn through some extended explanation that the
earth turns upon itself in the form of a circle; that some are on top, the
others below; that all creatures change in aspect, following the manner of
each place, but keeping the same position. But there are some countries on the
earth which are lighted while others are in darkness and there are countries
in which there is constantly day or in which the night continues only some
instants. These secrets were made known to the men of the "secret science,"
but not to the geographers.
words, a graphic description of the modern heliocentric theory, are found in a
book compiled more than 2000 years before Kepler, Galileo or Newton.
Addenda--Dialogue Between Teacher and Pupil
Teacher: The sun is the begetter of all good, the ruler of all order,
movement, and the governor of the seven worlds. All things change and are in
Do you say, Father, that the earth is motionless ?
Father-Teacher: No, my son! Not even the earth!
"Breaths" of the nature of creeping things change into things which dwell in
the water. "Breaths" which dwell in the water change into beasts which dwell
on land; "Breaths" which dwell on land change-"Breaths" change into man.
Translation of words for which dashes are substituted is not considered
expedient. This presentation of evolution is an extract of a translated
translation of the traditional teaching given thousands of years before
Darwin, Wallace or Spencer.
"Extract" No. 2
word 'space' is unmeaning when it stands alone; for it is only by regarding
something which is in space that we come to see what 'space' is; and apart
from the meaning to which it belongs, the meaning of the term 'space' is
incomplete. Thus we may rightly speak of the space occupied by water and fire,
and so on (but not of space alone). FOR AS THERE CANNOT BE A VOID, so it is
impossible to determine what space is if you regard it by itself. For if you
assume a space apart from something which is in it, it will follow that there
is a void space, and I TEACH you that there is no such thing as a void space
in the universe. If 'void' has no existence then it is impossible to find any
REAL thing answering to the word 'space' taken by itself."
Translation of a translation of knowledge delivered traditionally given orally
only under the seal of secrecy by our friends the Banaim thousands of years
before our brother Einstein presented the "new" doctrine of relativity.
"Extract" No. 3
is no death. The word 'death' is a mere name without any corresponding fact.
Death means destruction, and nothing in the cosmos is or can be destroyed."
Translation of a translation from the traditional teaching given orally only
by our brethren the "Banaim" thousands of years before Maeterlink wrote his
"Extract" No. 4
is pre-existent and ever existent. He and He alone made all things, created
all things by His will. Who then can speak of Thee or to Thee and tell Thy
Power ? Whither shall I look when I praise Thee ? Upward or downward, inward
or outward? For Thou art the place in which all things are contained; there is
no other place besides Thee and all things are in Thee."
what offerings shall I bring Thee, for all things are from Thee? Thou givest
all and receivest nothing; for Thou hast all things and there is nothing that
Thou hast not."
Translation of a translation of the lore of our brethren the "Banaim."
"Extract" No. 5
at what time shall I sing hymns to Thee ? For it is impossible to find a
season or a space of time that is apart from Thee. And for what shall I praise
Thee, for the things Thou hast made or for the things Thou hast not made; for
the things Thou hast made manifest or for the things Thou hast concealed, and
wherewith shall I sing to Thee? Am I my own or have I anything of my own? Am I
other than Thou? Thou art whatsoever I am; Thou art whatsoever I do and
whatsoever I say. Thou art all things and there is nothing beside thee,
nothing that Thou art Not. Thou art all that has come into Being and all that
has not come into being. Thou art mind so that Thou thinkest and Father in
that Thou createst, and God in that Thou workest, and God in that Thou makest
Translation of a translation of the lore of our ancestors the "Banaim" given
orally under the seal and solemn oath of secrecy hundreds of years before
Plato and thousands of years before Kant, Emerson, Bacon Shakespeare, Royce,
Pope, Tennyson or Walt Whitman.
"Extract" No. 6
"Holy is God the Father who is before the First beginning;
Holy is God Whose purpose is accomplished by His several powers;
Holy is God Who wills to be known and is known by them that are His own;
Holy are Thou Who by Thy Word hast constructed all that is;
Holy are Thou whose brightness nature has not darkened;
Holy art Thou of Whom all nature is an image;
Holy art Thou Who are stronger than all domination;
Holy art Thou who art greater than all preeminence;
Holy art Thou Who surpasseth all praises.
Therefore with all my strength will I give praise to God the Father.
pray, O Lord, accept pure offering of speech from a soul and heart uplifted to
Thee, Thou of Whom no words can tell, no tongue can speak, Whom silence alone
that I may never fall away from that knowledge of Thee, Which makes our Being;
grant Thou this my prayer and put power into me, that so having obtained this
boon, I may enlighten those of my race who are in ignorance, my brothers, Thy
extract from a prayer taught as a secret lore, orally only, by our brethren,
our predecessors the Banaim Builders Masons, thousands of years before this
two years ago a story was going the rounds of the Masonic press that would
have been very significant if true. It was said that an ancient Indian carving
had been discovered in Arizona representing the Square and Compasses in the
familiar arrangement that become known to all the world as the peculiar emblem
of the Craft. The statement has once again made its appearance, and may again
go the rounds as a convenient and interesting item to help fill up a spare
column, and serve to cause wonderment to the brethren at large.
time THE BUILDEB made inquiries about the find, but without much result. The
object was cut out of shell, it was turned up in the course of archeological
excavations near the Casa Grande National Monument, it was in a deposit of
undoubtedly ancient Indian remains, and the experts of the Smithsonian
institution were quite sure on general principles (as indeed was THE BUILDER)
that, whatever it was intended to represent, it was not the Square and
Through the kindness of Bro. Frank Pinckley, the Curator of the Casa Grande
National Monument, a photograph of the relic has now become available, a
reproduction of which is here given. It must be admitted that the general
resemblance to the Masonic device is quite striking, and that there was really
some excuse on the part of Masons without antiquarian knowledge for so
interpreting it. Nevertheless such an identification is really impossible.
cliff dwellers of the Southwest, though undoubtedly in possession of a
comparatively high barbaric culture, did not practice any arts or manufactures
that would require more than the most primitive and elementary forms of
measurement, any more than do their present representatives and probable
descendants, the Pueblo Indians. It is true they built houses, walls and
stairways in stone, and that their buildings were rectangular, but it was
uncoursed rubble work without use of any cement or mortar. And judging from
photographs, it would appear that the building was done entirely by eye and
without any of the refined testing appliances of more advanced workmen.
very possible that historically this culture was an offshoot at an earlier
stage of the advanced and complex civilizations of Mexico and Central America.
In these regions the Indians did build massive structures with (in part, at
least) squared and carved stone; and though, so far as it has been possible to
learn, there is no record or representation anywhere (as in Egypt and
Mesopotamia) of the tools and technique of their masons and sculptors, it can
nevertheless be safely deduced from the character of what remains of their
work that they must have used methods of some very considerable refinement in
planning and testing their work as it proceeded. At least the use of the line,
the plumb and the straightedge can be postulated, and probably some form of
level and square also. There is nothing in their architecture, however, to
show the use of any such instrument as the compasses. The lines of their
buildings are all straight, and the curves in their carving are all obviously
suppose that the cliff dwellers, none of whose work would require any more
measuring than could be done with a marked stick or a piece of string, could
have used in a symbolic, or mystical or magical sense, implements the use of
which was unknown in their culture is really absurd. Symbols of any kind
derive their significance from some analogy, which is always in the first
place quite obvious. Symbols derived from artificial objects such as tools and
implements derive their symbolic meaning from their practical use. If their
practical use is unknown the root is cut, and they tend to die out, unless, as
not infrequently has happened, they are gradually transformed and given a new
only theory on which a knowledge of the square and compasses could be supposed
among the cliff dwellers is on that of transmission and survival from some
higher civilization. The object in question is presumably too old to have been
due to European influence in modern times, and we should have to fall back on
some earlier contact. For those who are able to believe (and there are such
among us) that Freemasonry as we know it existed in ancient Egypt or fabled
Atlantis, this would very probably seem plausible enough. Still, even granting
some old world influence, either from Europe or Asia, or both (which is of
course not at all impossible and perhaps even probable), there remains other
objections based on the character of the pictorial and plastic representations
of the Indians of North America. We find on examining a collection of these
that artificial objects almost never enter into them. It is true that in
picture writing tepees are found, and men holding spears, bows and arrows and
the like. But these are never, or at least most rarely, represented by
themselves, nor any other objects, implements or artifacts made by man. Indian
art, like that of the cave men, was concerned almost exclusively with natural
objects, and preeminently with beasts, birds and other animals.
true that certain motifs appear in decoration--the cross, spirals, circles,
chevrons, and so on; but these do not represent artifacts, manufactured
articles, and in many cases they are demonstrably conventional representations
of animals. In so many cases indeed that it raises a suspicion that all might
have had such an ultimate origin.
is another consideration. It has been pointed out that Indian symbolism and
representations tended to change as the tribes changed their location, and
that in time became adapted to the nature of the environment. That is coast
tribes represented in art forms, and took as totems, marine creatures. The
forest tribes used the animals they knew, and not those, such as the bison for
example, whose habitat was on the plains. Dr. G. H. Dauherty, Jr., has pointed
out quite recently that among the Ojibways a sea shell figured as a very
sacred object, never taken from its wrappings except on certain annual
ceremonies, in the precincts of the medicine lodge. The same object was sacred
among the Omahas also. Now the use of a marine shell in such a way by inland
tribes has naturally been interpreted as indicating that in the past they
migrated from near the seashore. But now comes the interesting feature. In
later legends the shell was being replaced by the otter. The old symbol was a
survival, it was no longer part of their environment, and it was replaced by
an animal that was, the transition being made more easily as both symbols were
connected with water. In the face of such evidence, even were it granted for
argument's sake that in the unknown past such implements of a highly
specialized occupation had been introduced from a higher level of
civilization, it does not seem at all probable they would be preserved merely
as symbols. The principle of survival accounts for the continued existence of
many relics of bygone ages, but tenacious as tradition is in clinging to
vestiges of the past, it holds only to those things which find a place in
later conditions. In this case no such adaptation seems possible.
examination of the illustration of the object which has given rise to these
speculations will in itself lead to the same conclusion, when taken as a
whole. It is as we have noted carved out of shell, whether marine or fresh
water does not appear. In view of the Ojibway and Omaha tradition mentioned
above, it is interesting that a great many ornaments have been found, of
engraved or pierced shells. Too much stress must not, however, be put on this,
for the material is a beautiful one in itself, and is used in civilized art as
well as that of savages. What is more to the purpose is that these shell
ornaments seem to form a class into which the object we are discussing should
naturally be included. A great many of them are circular in outline and
pierced for suspension. It must always be remembered that primitive ornaments
are almost always amulets or charms as well as decorative, the objects
represented by or on them being of a sacred character. Among the Indians, as
we have said, such objects were generally, almost invariably in fact, birds or
animals of one kind or another. As illustration several cuts of such objects
are here reproduced. Figure 7, which is a shell engraving found in Tennessee,
represents a human figure. To civilized eyes the resemblance is not clear, but
the work in this case does not seem to have been finished. Other engravings
have been found showing similar designs make it clear that this is what was
intended. The figure is represented as kneeling, the arms curiously contorted,
the hands spread out on each side, and some sort of mask apparently on the
head. This particular specimen was selected because it was apparently the
intention to finish the work by cutting out part of the background, or so the
holes drilled apparently at random would seem to indicate. In Figure 3 this
process has been very skillfully and effectively carried out. This is one of a
series engraved with spiders. The spider, it will be remembered, plays a very
important part in certain Indian creation myths. In some of these spider
shells the representation is much more realistic than in this instance and
shows very close observation and much the supposed Square and Compasses are
the body and artistic ability.
Figure 2 we have an elaborate combination of cross, star, rectangle and four
woodpecker heads arranged in a swastika-like pattern.
coming to a consideration of the Arizona find, it may be as well to consider
two other designs here reproduced, Figures 4 and 5. These also have a strong
superficial resemblance to the Square and Compasses, especially Figure 5,
which has been printed upside down to bring this out more clearly. These
designs are taken from ancient vases of Cyprian ware, of which a great many
specimens have been recovered. This design can be shown conclusively to be a
conventional representation of a lotus blossom, a series of stages from a
realistic outline of the flower to the geometrical pattern in Figure 5, can be
made out, which leaves no possible doubt as to its origin. These have of
course no direct connection with the subject of the discussion, but they do
show that apparent resemblance is no guide to accurate interpretation.
Returning now to Figure 1, it is obvious on inspection that the
crescent-shaped base is due not to intention but to accident, for both
extremities show the marks of a broken surface. Taken in conjunction with the
other shell ornaments we have a strong presumption that this object was
originally circular or oval. The straight edge above the central drill hole
looks also as if it had been broken, but only an examination of the object
itself would verify this. But it is practically certain that the central part
of the design touched the encircling band in several points. These objects
were made to be worn, not to be preserved in museums, and are always made as
strongly as the material permits. Pierced designs of civilized artists are
practically always thus tied together.
suggested reconstruction in Figure 6 is only intended to show how such a
design might have been arranged. Such duplication is not typical of Indian
art, and more probably some other feature filled up the space, possibly some
kind of crest as is shown on the woodpecker heads in Figure 2 - for looked at
without preconception, the intention of the maker seems to have been to
represent conventionally some kind of bird. The head and the beak are clear
enough - the two rectangular extensions are the wings, while the supposed
Square and Compasses are the body and feet.
eyes the conventions of primitive artists are very strange - though we have
our own - and the more so when we find them now and then showing realistic
touches. But a design repeated tends to become conventional inevitably, and
curves frequently become straight lines or angles, and proportions utterly
distorted. The believers in the Masonic interpretation will probably not be
convinced but we believe that at least two out of every three children, if
asked what they thought this was intended to represent, would reply at once
that it was a bird.
Figure 2 we have exceedingly realistic representation of a the ivory-billed
woodpecker. The salient features of the bird’s appearance are drawn in with a
sure hand and with an eye quick to distinguish characteristic points, but in
other engravings of this series the representation is cruder and more
conventional. In some the strong bill and the crested head and neck are still
well marked, but in others all one could confidently say is that they are just
birds' heads. They are, however, interpreted as woodpeckers because of their
place in the series and on grounds connected with archeology and Indian legend
same variation is to be seen in the "spider" ornaments, as we have already
remarked. The specimens ranging from highly realistic treatment to bare
conventional representation. The object that we are discussing is,
unfortunately, so far without a parallel, but judging it by the experience
gained from familiarity with the designs on the various series of shell
engravings, where a sufficient number of examples have been found to make
these out, we might guess that some bird with a marked and noticeable crest,
as well as a strong beak, was intended. The crest having been broken off. In
this case the crest may have been much exaggerated, to balance the
insignificance of the wings and body.
grotesque representations of both animals and men are to be found in Indian
art, from places as widely separate as Alaska and Peru. In such paintings and
carving of natural objects we must seek for the interpretation of this Arizona
relic, even if it does disappoint those who like to imagine an indefinite
antiquity for Speculative Masonry.
Memorials to Great Men, Who Were Masons
William Jenkins Worth
BRO. GEORGE W. BAIRD, P. G. M., District of Columbia
junction of Broadway and Fifth Avenue, in New York City, there is a modest
memorial, a monument somewhat effaced by time and the dust of that great city,
which marks the resting place of a soldier and a Mason, William Jenkins Worth.
It is passed, daily, by the thousands who go through Madison Square. Bro.
Worth was born in Hudson, N. Y., in 1794, and died in San Antonio in 1849. He
entered the U. S. Army as a private in 1812 and was promoted to lieutenant a
year later, and made aide to General Morgan Lewis, and, in 1814, was aide to
General Scott. In the battle of Chippewa he distinguished himself and was
brevetted captain, and, at Lundy's Lane, where he was badly wounded, he was
promoted to be a major. In 1815 he was made instructor of cadets at West
'Point. He was Major of Ordnance in 1832 and Colonel of Infantry in 1838. Two
years later he was sent to Florida and, in 1841, took the chief command
against the Seminoles, bringing the war to a close in 1842, at which time he
was brevetted brigadier general.
war with Mexico he distinguished himself in the battle of Monterey; in the
capture of Vera Cruz; in the engagements of Cerro Gordo, Puebla, and Molino
del Rey and in the storming of the City of Mexico. For these services he was
brevetted major general and was presented with a sword by Congress, and also
by the State of New York; his native county in the state, Columbia, and by the
State of Louisiana. After the war he served in command of the Department of
the Southwest, where he remained until his death.
Grand Secretary in New York (R. W. Bro. Kenworthy) made an exhaustive search
for his lodge membership, but was unable to find any record. Bro. Milligan,
however, found, in the New York Masonic History, that on Nov. 25, 1857, "in
the chill breath of autumn, within the heart-throbs of the great city of New
York, and in the midst of a mighty throng, the Masonic Brethren, in white
gloves and aprons, were seen paying the last tribute of patriotism and
fraternal affection to the military achievements and skill of departed
GENERAL WILLIAM J. WORTH.
Grand Master, John L. Lewis, Jr., took charge of the services in person.
Fitting words were spoken, becoming fitting deeds; and as the night looked
down upon the dissolving pageant many a heart breathed its fresh blessings
upon the Mystic Band which enrolled in its ranks such a patriot and hero as
William J. Worth."
address, on this occasion, was delivered by brother the Honorable Fernando
Wood, Mayor of New York City. From this scholarly work it may be interesting
to quote the following details:
William Jenkins Worth was born, 1794, in Hudson, N.Y. When 18 years of age he
entered the military family of Morgan Lewis as private secretary. This country
was on the eve of another war with England. Young Worth accompanied General
Lewis, in the spring of 1813, to the frontier of Canada, having received the
commission of lieutenant in the U. S. Army. He was present and took part in
the attack on Fort George with such distinguished bravery and ability that he
was appointed aide de camp to his patron, the General. He won fresh honors at
the battle of Chrystler's Field, on the St. Lawrence. Shortly thereafter Gen.
Lewis was placed in Command at New York City, and he wrote to Young Worth to
join him, but remarked in his letter "if laurels are your object you have a
better chance of being gratified where you are than here." Notwithstanding the
strong attachment entertained for the General, Worth remained in the field,
and wrote: "The enemy being within striking distance, separated only by the
Niagara which we cross on the morrow, and the battle field in view will, I
trust, excuse my choice."
1814 he became an aide to General Winfield Scott and was with him in the
battles of Chippewa, where he was brevetted a captain for his gallant conduct.
fact that the Grand Lodge dedicated the Memorial is sufficient proof of Gen.
Worth's membership in the Order, and it is supported by the presence and
participation of the Mayor, Bro. Fernando Wood, who must have had positive
proof of that membership or they never would have participated. The records of
the many military lodges of that day were lost or destroyed, and it is more
than likely Worth was a member of one of these.
Personally Gen. Worth was a modest, abstemious man, kindly in disposition,
easily approached, and intensely loyal.
AND THE MASONIC SERVICE ASSOCIATION
Grand Lodge of Iowa, at its annual communication on June 15, at Council
Bluffs, voted unanimously to withdraw from the Masonic Service Association of
the United States, having previously, by a vote of 1,000 to 10, approved the
action of the Grand Master in giving notice to the Masonic Service Association
of the United States of intention to withdraw.
is the sixteenth state to withdraw from the Masonic Service Association, whose
membership is now twenty-one states with approximately 20 per cent of the
total Masonic membership of the United States within their jurisdiction. Iowa
was the sponsor state for the organization of the Masonic Service Association,
the meeting at which it was created having been held at the call of that
through its Grand Lodge, was also the sponsor of the National Masonic Research
Society, organized for educational work among the Craft.
is this difference, however, between the two organizations, in that the
Masonic Service Association is supported by a per capita tax of 5c per member
from each of the member jurisdictions, while the National Masonic Research
Society is supported solely by the dues of its own membership, with its
surplus earnings, whenever there are any, devoted to the extension of its
MEEKREN, Editor in Charge
Thiemeyer, Research Editor
I. CLEGG, Illinois
GILBERT W. DAYNES, England
H. DERN, Utah
CHARLES F. IRWIN, Pennsylvania
E. MORCOMBE, California
C. PARKER, New York
HUGO TATSCH, Iowa
M. WHITED, California
E. W WILLIAMSON Nevada
been usual in the past to omit the Study Club articles during the summer
months. Last year the series dealing with The Form of the Lodge ran on until
August, as it seemed better to conclude them and begin a new series in the
autumn. This latter, on the Precious Jewels, was concluded last month.
whole question of this department has been under consideration for some time.
It has been felt that it ought rather to contain matter relating to the work
of such groups, with hints and suggestions to learners and organizers, rather
than the providing of advanced material, as in recent years it has come to be.
however, has been a natural development; in the first years of THE BUILDER the
Study Club Bulletin was of this more elementary character. But when this
ground had been covered, it seemed useless to go on and repeat it, and so the
character and contents of the articles gradually changed. Now, however, those
earlier articles are twelve years old, and not very easily obtained.
Repetition might be of advantage to our newer members.
even so, the problem would once more rise, and it is not altogether easy to
decide on what lines it could be best carried on so as to be most useful for
the purpose in view. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions we should be very
glad to receive them.
* * *
Editor of the Masonic Journal of South Africa viewing the United States and
the British Isles from a vantage point of several thousands of miles from
each, has recently compared the prevailing tendencies in these two important
parts of the Masonic world in regard to the housing of lodges. As the subject
seems of interest we are moved to add something to the discussion.
much that he says we are in full agreement, especially where he deals with
conditions that appear to exist in places in his own country. It does not seem
quite appropriate that lodge rooms, or at least rooms where lodges regularly
meet, should be also used promiscuously for all kinds of profane gatherings as
well, balls, concerts and other like entertainments.
contrast with this he praises the tendency everywhere in the United States for
Masons to spend effort and money to build temples for the accommodation of
their lodges, and likens it to the building of churches and cathedrals by our
operative predecessors "to the Glory of God." With this he compares
unfavorably the persistence in England of the habit of holding lodges in rooms
in the modern equivalents of the oldtime taverns, the larger hotels and
However, we think that he here somewhat misapprehends the situation. In most
cases these "tavern" rooms are fitted up as lodge rooms in such a way that
they could not well be used for any other purpose, nor are they so used in the
majority of cases. So long as a lodge does not actually own its hall or
meeting place, there does not seem any real difference in principle between
paying rent to a hotel or restaurant proprietor and paying rent to a Masonic
Temple Corporation or Board of Trustees; though there is undoubtedly the
question of sentiment and the feeling of appropriateness to consider.
ideal is of course for a lodge to possess its own meeting place, but such
lodges, even in America are in the minority, while in the country and the
smaller towns in England many halls are owned by the local lodge.
Masonry, while retaining essential features, inevitably takes on different
characteristics in different countries, and in this particular matter we find
one of these differences due to local habit, traditions and circumstances.
undoubtedly a marked feature of present-day American Masonry to erect huge and
elaborate buildings devoted exclusively to Masonic purposes, and to spend on
them enormous sums of money. The question may be asked why this should be so?
Are American lodges richer than the English ones? They are certainly very much
larger, and therefore presumably their incomes are greater. Nevertheless we
believe that the average dues are higher in England than in the United States.
What then do they do with the money? They perhaps spend more in entertainment,
but this more often does not come from lodge funds as each member pays for his
own dinner and that of his guests. What then is the answer? It would seem to
be this - English Masons are pre-occupied with their charities, they are
continually trying to outdo their past records in their contributions to these
purposes, which are made both from lodge funds and individual collections. The
collection plate is as regular a feature in English lodges as in most
churches, and money so collected is never included in the ordinary lodge
funds. Our English brethren pay a high price for their Masonry in order that
they may extend the influence of their benevolence - and they do not seem to
have enough left over to spend much in the way of bricks and mortar, or
concrete and cut stone.
somewhat reminded of that ancient Christian legend of St. Thomas, who it is
said was sold as a slave into India; and how a king in that country hearing he
was a skilled craftsman set him to build a palace. The king provided money
without stint which St. Thomas gave to the poor and needy, and when the day of
reckoning came he told the king he had built him a palace in heaven. The king
was furious and condemned him to death. But that night his brother died, and
when they were going to bury him, he suddenly revived; and he asked the king
to sell him the palace he owned in heaven, as he had been there and seen it,
and it was the most wonderful that could be imagined. Whereat the king was
converted, and all the great and wealthy brought money to St. Thomas for him
to build them palaces that would never decay or be destroyed. Masonry is a
Fraternity of Speculative Builders, it is well enough to build houses here and
now for our own use, but better to build spiritual mansions that will never
* * *
view of the unmistakable wave of opposition to the proposals of the National
Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association that hag developed in the past few
months, the letter that appears on another page should be carefully
considered. Bro. Behrens is one of the foremost physicians of St. Louis. The
case so movingly described by him from his own experience is typical of many
others, so also is his attitude typical of the great, we believe the
overwhelming, majority of Masons whenever they individually come to realize
the facts. Why then, and how, can any effort to relieve the sufferings of our
distressed and dying brethren be opposed?
frankly we have taken sides in this matter, as is probably sufficiently
evident, but for this very reason we will welcome any criticism that anyone
may have to offer. Indeed more, we earnestly desire those who oppose the
suggested project for relieving the situation to set forth their reasons for
doing so. We would devote all the space necessary in the columns of THE
BUILDER for this purpose.
Criticism and opposition, so far as we can discover, is almost entirely from
what may be called official circles. This may be a mistaken estimate of the
situation, and if so we hope to be corrected. It seems to be based, again so
far as we can discover, and again if we are wrong we will welcome correction,
on two main objections. One that there is really no problem, that the whole
thing is grossly exaggerated. Two, that Masonry can only function properly
through Grand Lodges. In other words that each jurisdiction should make its
own arrangements within its borders, and conversely that it has no
responsibility outside of them.
admit that in putting thus baldly what seems to us the essence of these
objections it may seem an unfair presentation to those who hold them, which is
one reason why we invite them to state their own case. But, supposing that
this analysis is correct we must say that the first objection is simply a
matter of fact. We believe that in the last year or so we have presented
sufficient evidence to establish a strong prima facie case at least, and one
that requires more than mere assertion to overturn. With regard to the second,
why should this particularity only affect the tuberculosis problem? The Craft
generally has been appealed to for aid to the sufferers from the recent
floods. And the appeal has been nobly responded to. There has been no standing
on precedents and constitutional machinery; Grand Masters in the states
affected have appealed to the Craft in other jurisdictions; funds have been
contributed not only for Masonic sufferers but for general relief, and they
have been disbursed not only by Masonic but also by outside agencies. This is
entirely as it should be. We have said nothing about this emergency in THE
BUILDER because it was obviously unnecessary. Everyone in the country was
fully and constantly apprised of the facts through every possible channel of
communication, including the radio. Masons everywhere were appealed to both
through the lodges and through the Red Cross and relief committees. There was
nothing that we could do to further the matter.
gives rise to serious reflections. Can Masonry only function in the presence
of the cataclysmic and spectacular disaster? We recall that exactly the same
thing happened last year when Florida was devastated by a tornado. The
continuing emergency, that affects those whom we are all under obligation to
aid, is ignored. Why?
one thing, it has not a good press. The Craft at large knows little or nothing
about it. There is nothing spectacular about it. We will all go to immediate
trouble, and perhaps incur personal risk, to assist a man trapped in a burning
building. His need is obvious and pressing to the most obtuse and
unimaginative. But a man slowly starving to death is another matter. If he
appeals to us we very likely suspect him to be a professional beggar, and we
have no time to investigate. It is all very natural, but should we be content
with leaving things so?
must remember the situation is one of long standing. Those in contact with the
facts have been trying to get some action - some action beyond what their own
efforts could accomplish - for years. When last year the Masons of New Mexico
formed the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association it was in
desperation. They had found that no existing organization could or would
function in the matter, and they therefore created another for this purpose.
This action, this organization has been criticised, which is legitimate. We
can state positively that the Masons of the Southwest will be glad to wreck
the Association if anything else will take its place and meet the need. Any
criticism of detail, of machinery, will be welcomed, and all objections of
this score will be met. The only thing these brethren are interested in is
that the destitute tubercular Masons who are actually now in the Southwest
should in some way be relieved and given all possible chance for their lives.
Bulletin of the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association
Incorporated by Authority of the Grand Lodge of New Mexico, A.F.&A.M.
MASONIC TEMPLE, ALBUQUERQUE, N. M.
OFFICERS AND BOARD OF GOVERNORS
HERBERT B. HOLT, Past Grand Master, President
RICHARD H. HANNA, Vice-President
FRANCIS E. LESTER, Vice-President
L. ELSER, Executive Secretary
ALPHEUS A. KEEN, Secretary
W. BOWMAN, Treasurer
J. NEWTON, Editor. Manager N. M. T. S. A.. Las Cruces, New Mexico
Does Masonry Function?
FREEMASONS who believe that Masonry has always taken care of its own.
Freemasons who are willing to aid and assist their unfortunate brethren.
Freemasons who agree that Masonry should provide for the relief and
hospitalization of sick and suffering tuberculous brethren, consider these few
cases in each of which Freemasonry has failed to do, what you and we believe
to be its duty.
HELP T. B. WIDOW OF T. B. MASON
M. An inmate of a tuberculosis sanatorium in an eastern state wrote the
Sanatoria Association, that she would be discharged from the hospital in July,
but would not be cured and would need additional hospital care. She is a
patient in a State hospital and patients are only allowed to stay a certain
length of time during which period they are supposed to learn how to care for
themselves and to protect others from infection. In a sense it is an
educational institution and not curative and patients are given treatment for
a certain period of months and are then dismissed without regard to their
physical and financial condition.
lady is a widow of a Master Mason who died of tuberculosis and who had
belonged to a lodge in a neighboring state. She wrote to the Sanatoria
Association asking for hospitalization in the Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatorium
which is still non-existent but which she believed, or hoped, had been
provided by American Freemasonry for the care of its T. B. brethren. Perhaps
had it been in operation she might not be a widow and might not be suffering
from tuberculosis, contracted from her tuberculous husband.
Sanatoria Association wrote to the secretary of her deceased husband's lodge
and AFTER two months received a reply, reading in part as follows:
had this matter up with Mr ….. president of the Masonic Relief organization
of ……… Inc., who advises me that in as much as the lady is not a resident of
the State of …….. she is NOT QUALIFIED for assistance through the said
regret very much to advise that there is NOTHING we can do in her behalf.
lodge to which her husband belonged, or the Grand Lodge of that state, or its
relief organization cannot, or will not, help her and disclaims responsibility
solely because she is not now a resident of the state where her dead husband's
lodge is located, who is responsible and who will help her?
does this tuberculous widow of a Master Mason think of the Masonic Fraternity
as she lies in her hospital bed, looking forward to the day when she will be
dismissed and perhaps lose her chance for life?
NOT ADVANCE ANY FUNDS TO OUR BROTHER"
W. is a member of a lodge in one of the great central states, which state has
a large Masonic population and a wealthy Grand Lodge. He is now living in
Phoenix, Arizona, to secure the benefit of the climate for his wife and
daughter, both of whom are afflicted with tuberculosis. He has been assisted
by the Sanatoria Association and by Arizona Lodge, of Phoenix.
secretary of Arizona Lodge wired to the brother's lodge stating his situation;
that because of irregular employment he was behind with house rent, doctor's
bills, etc., and needed relief to the amount of $50. No attention was paid to
the telegram and a letter was sent giving more details. A reply was received
by the Arizona Lodge secretary reading as follows:
authorized by the W. M. to advise you NOT to advance ............ any funds to
the credit of this lodge.
brother's lodge secretary gave no reason for such a decision, and did not
disclaim responsibility, or claim that the brother was not in good standing.
Neither did he plead lack of lodge funds.
should Arizona Lodge do in this case where the need for help is real and
urgent and the home lodge refuses aid with no explanation of its reasons for
should Southwestern Masonic Lodges do in the case of sick brethren when home
lodges fail to reply to appeals for help for their own sick brethren, or
present alibis for not giving such help, or refuse assistance ?
THIS GRAND MASTER HELP FLOOD SUFFERERS?
S. is a patient in a tuberculous sanatorium in a Southwestern city and the
Sanatoria Association pays $18.75 weekly for hospital care. Her brother, who
is also reported to be tuberculous, is a member of a Masonic Lodge in a great
and wealthy northern state where the Masonic population exceeds two hundred
thousand and the Grand Lodge has assets of more than a quarter million.
report of Miss S's physical and financial condition was sent the Grand Master
and to her brother's lodge. To date not one cent has come from the Grand or
subordinate lodge to relieve her present distress. The Grand Master writes
that he has no funds upon which he can draw for her relief.
the Sanatoria Association continue to help pay hospital bills for treatment
which is necessary if she is to have any chance of recovery, out of the funds
contributed by the Freemasons of states other than the state responsible for
the Sanatoria Association use some of the $1 per capita contributed by New
Mexico Masons, for the care of this unfortunate sister of a Freemason who
comes from a state where Freemasons are far greater in numbers and wealth than
are the Masons of New Mexico ?
ARIZONA MASONRY ON THE JOB
following letter was written by the secretary of an Arizona Lodge to the Grand
Master of a great Masonic state and needs no comment. This is but one of many
similar cases that are met with in the experience of Southwestern Masons in
their efforts to help tuberculous brethren from other states. If such help was
not given by them sick brethren would die from lack of food, shelter and care
while waiting for their brethren back home to answer the call for aid.
a month ago you informed me that the Board had called a meeting for the first
week in May and at that time would take up the matter of relief for Bro …..
To this date I have not had any word from anyone regarding this case.
cannot understand the negligence and delay in arriving at some conclusion
whereby the bills for this brother Mason can be met. The correspondence in the
files regarding this case certainly show that this neglect has not been from
this end, for I have been writing letters every few weeks for the last ten
months either to his lodge or to the Grand Lodge endeavoring to procure
financial relief for Bro . .............
wrote and wired you about a month ago, I advised that his bills were then
considerably over $400, and now that another month has passed it is still
climbing up at the rate of $15 per week. Can you not rush action through so
that this man's bills can be paid and that he can be taken home to his family
if they are not going to give him support?
….. who runs the sanatorium, is very much in need of her money and has again
requested me to see if something cannot be done. It certainly is taking a lot
of my time and attention, all of which we will gladly give, but still we
expect your lodge to appreciate the importance and necessity of furnishing
whatever financial assistance is required in caring for your unfortunate
QUESTION OF CLIMATE
two letters which follow, were written by the Grand Master of a Northern
state. The first would appear to give his personal viewpoint of the proper
handling of a tuberculous patient, that is to give her the benefit of climate,
if possible. The second letter would seem to give his official viewpoint on
the care of Masonic T. B. cases.
a young woman friend here who has tuberculosis and needs to get out of this
advise me if your sanatorium is operating, and what the expense per week or
month. If she can go there it would mean for her to stay through the winter at
not know how well her people are fixed financially, or much about the family,
only her, but I do know that she should have her chance to stay in the world.
a member of the O.E.S. and has held some office in her Chapter.
Master, you are right, she should have her chance in the world and if you had
given the Sanatoria Association your support she and the tuberculous
Freemasons of your state might now be getting their chance to recover health
and strength. In the light of the above your second letter will explain to the
sick why there is no Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatorium, because it is typical of
the attitude of many leaders of the Craft, like yourself.
not feel that I can offer you any encouragement that the Masons of ….. will
cooperate in the buying and maintaining of a Sanatorium for Tubercular Masons.
However this matter will be submitted to our Grand Lodge and it is entirely in
the hands of these brethren for decision.
believe that we are in better shape with the facilities that we have at …… to
take care of Tubercular brethren and their dependents than would be possible
at a distance. While I am aware that one of the peculiarities of this disease
are unrest and the desire to travel from one place to another and can see your
viewpoint that you have many itinerants to look after, we would sincerely
thank the brethren in the Southwest to report any case from …… and they will
be properly taken care of.
Master, we have had that promise from many states that all cases reported will
be properly cared for, but sad experience has shown the Masons of the
Southwest that it takes much time, work and the expenditure of money to induce
the Grand Lodges and constituent lodges of other states to keep that promise.
is no Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatorium in the Southwest, or elsewhere in the
United States, because the leaders of the Fraternity lack the vision of united
fraternal service, or because they fear that a union of the forty-nine Grand
Jurisdictions in a national humanitarian work might lead to union for other
Masonic activities, which union might, in time, deprive them of some authority
and to some extent diminish their honor and glory.
rank and file of American Freemasonry ever wakes up to the need and the
opportunity for service they will demand and secure action. As it appears now
the only interested workers are those to whom tuberculosis is, or was at one
time, a personal enemy, having invaded their homes, and those who, because of
their being true Masons at heart, desire to practice the teachings of the
"Faith, without works, is dead."
* * *
"WOODMEN HOSPITALIZE SICK MASON"
Brother No. 100. Grand Lodge of Texas. Brother, his mother, both tuberculous,
and father palsied. All of family unable to do for themselves and in need of
entire support. Home lodge constantly informed of condition and help given
from time to time without any regularity and only after demands made by El
Paso Relief Bureau. Senior Warden of home lodge, who was also county judge,
visited patient and fully informed of facts, yet it required work on part of
Bureau to get relief from home lodge. Patient finally sent to Woodmen Hospital
at San Antonio, there being no Masonic hospital, and parents sent back home.
Both mother and son died some few months later.
MEXICO HELPED - FLORIDA REFUNDED"
Brother No. 115. Grand Lodge of Florida. Brother health-seeker in Las Cruces,
New Mexico, and was assisted by Aztec Lodge, No. 3, to the total amount of
$532.70, which was refunded by his home lodge. Patient died in Las Cruces and
body was shipped home at request of home lodge.
books reviewed in these pages can be procured through the Book Department of
the N.M.R.S. at the prices given, which always include postage. These prices
are subject (as a matter of precaution) to change without notice; though
occasion for this will very seldom arise. Occasionally it may happen, where
books are privately printed, that there is no supply available, but some
indication of this will be given in the review. The Book Department is
equipped to procure any books in print on any subject, and will make inquiries
for second-hand works and books out of print.
RECORDS OF THE LODGE ORIGINAL, No. 1. Now the Lodge of Antiquity, No. 2, of
the Free and Accepted. Masons of England, acting by Immemorial Constitution.
Vol. II. By Capt. C. W. Firebrace, P.M. Privately printed. Cloth, table of
contents, illustrated, appendices index 340 pages.
importance of the Lodge at the Goose and Gridiron in the history of
Freemasonry since its revival and transformation into a purely Speculative
Society is obvious to every Mason with even the most superficial acquaintance
with the subject. Though a number of old lodges in Scotland have records going
back a great deal further, yet it was in England, or rather in London, that
the crucial step was taken. Undoubtedly preceded and prepared for by events of
which no direct record remains, yet still a step which in a real sense
involved all the later changes and developments. Four lodges met at the Goose
and Gridiron Alehouse in St. Paul's Churchyard, apparently as what we should
call a Convention, and proceeded to form themselves into a Grand Lodge. At
least this is the impression given by Dr. Anderson's account of the affair,
the only one we have. It is evident on reflection, however, that it was not a
Grand Lodge in our present meaning of the term, and it was probably not till
several years later that the organization then inaugurated - or revived -
developed into a representative body such as we know. The point is that this
"Assembly," to use Anderson's own term, was held at the place of meeting of
the lodge that is now named Antiquity, number two on the roll of the United
Grand Lodge of England. It might possibly be surmised from this that this
lodge had some sort of preeminence. However, a preliminary meeting the year
before had been held at the Apple Tree Tavern in Covent Garden, the third of
the four lodges named by Anderson, and of this the first Grand or General
Master chosen, Anthony Sayer, was a member, while those who followed him in
the position, Payne and Desaguliers, were members of the lodge in Westminster.
Gould points out that this last lodge, which met originally at the Rummer and
Grapes, and later at the Horn Tavern, had a membership drawn from a much
higher social level than the other three, and it has been supposed in
consequence that it probably took the lead. This depends a good deal on our
idea of what actually took place in the years between 1716 and 1723. If it was
deliberate reconstruction then we might expect such men as were members of the
Westminster Lodge to have had the initiative. If, however, it was really a
revival followed by a rapid evolution this does not necessarily follow. The
social status and occupations of the earlier Grand Wardens, for instance,
would seem to show considerable deference to such operative elements as still
existed in the other three lodges, and it is quite possible the original
impetus came from them. The four lodges were distributed, as to their places
of meeting, in a curve roughly parallel to the river, between the city and
Westminster, the Rummer and Grapes being at one end and the Goose and Gridiron
at the other. Convenience of location for a general assembly would naturally
have led to the choice of one of the two intermediate lodges, as in the first
meeting in 1716. Why then were the succeeding ones held in the City?
tradition cherished by the Lodge of Antiquity is that it was formed during the
rebuilding of London after the Great Fire, and that it was composed especially
of the Masons at work on the Cathedral. Anderson seems to give support to
this, but on the other hand the tradition itself may be based on Anderson's
account. There is no direct evidence to enable us to determine. Or again, the
proximity of the lodge to the Cathedral may have helped to give rise to this
belief, a belief not at all improbable in itself. In some notes on the old
Tavern in Vol. VII of A.Q.C. there is a reference made to a description of the
"attractions" of the house in a book, by one Ned Ward, published in 1713,
"celebrated" apparently in verse, and from which the following couplet is
Carvers from St. Paul's adjacent dome
to wet their whistles daily come.
very likely that the Masons came also, and if they had a lodge that it was
kept in this convenient hostelry. Be this as it may the lodge believes that it
was so and that Sir Christopher Wren was Master at least.
this belief we can sympathize even if it have no better foundation than a
tradition of uncertain origin, and certain inferences with which its
possibility may be supported; but in other ways Masonic scholars may feel some
reserve. The lodge is very exclusive, and has always considered (it must be
admitted quite in the best tradition of the eighteenth century) that its own
affairs were strictly private, including its ancient records. It was only in
1911 that a project to publish these came to fruition in the publication of
the first volume of the present work by the late Bro. W. Harry Rylands. Bro.
Rylands was also a member of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, and his name, is well
known to all Masonic students. The first volume was issued in a very limited
edition, and distributed only to members of Antiquity Lodge with the exception
of a few libraries. The only review it received was in A.Q.C. This first
volume covered the period down to the momentous split in the lodge in the time
of William Preston, and is to the student probably the most interesting part
of its history.
the war the project of completing the work was revived and placed in the hands
of Capt. C. W. Firebrace, who like RyIands, is a Past Master of the lodge. But
the second volume' though still a limited edition, is available to brethren
other than members of the lodge, and it is hoped to obtain sufficient funds
through its sale to reprint the first volume and thus make it more accessible.
This plan will meet with the approval and sympathy of every Mason at all
interested in the history of the Craft.
Firebrace takes up the tale where Rylands left off, with a brief
recapitulation of the circumstances that led up to the painful dispute that
resulted in fifteen members following the lead of Preston and asserting their
independence, while ten claimed to be the real lodge and remained in obedience
to Grand Lodge. There had been forty-one members, and of the remainder some
"wobbled" and others withdrew altogether.
cause of the quarrel was largely personal, due to jealousies and differences
between Preston, the author of the famous Illustrations of Masonry, and two
other brothers, Northouck, known especially to Masonic students as editor of
the fifth edition of the Book of Constitutions, and one Bottomley who was
Master of the lodge when Preston joined it and under whose rule it had got
into a very low state. These two were, however, warmly supported by James
Heseltine then Grand Secretary. The story has been told frequently enough,
based chiefly on the accounts of the participators in the quarrel, which are
naturally ex parte, and the records of Grand Lodge. Both Gould and Mackey are
severe on Preston's party, which they call schismatic, but one cannot help
feeling that they are judging events by law and precedents that the quarrel
itself (and other like incidents) has helped to make. Aside from the personal
enmities that provided the motive power, the real question at issue was the
status of an unconstituted lodge that was itself one of the founders of the
Grand Lodge. There is a good deal to be said for Preston's contentions. Mother
Kilwinning did much the same thing in Scotland, with rather more success;
probably because at unity with itself.
story is told in the present volume from the inside, from the minute books of
the two rival lodges into which the original lodge was split. The one standing
for independence of any higher authority, the other admitting the sovereignty
of the Grand Lodge in terms almost abject. The impression given by most
accounts is that eventually Preston and his Lodge of Antiquity made a complete
surrender. A reading of the documents now published makes it clear that while
the Grand Lodge pretended to take the statements as submission and repentance,
that in doing so they had to ignore reservations that at an earlier stage in
the dispute would not have been accepted, or so one would judge. In fact it
was a compromise, and the two lodges were reunited with almost as much care to
save the face of both sides, as later was employed in the Union of the Modern
and Ancient Grand Lodges. In fact the means adopted may well have formed a
precedent and model for the more important reconciliation.
episode takes nearly a third of the book, and is perhaps the most important
part of it, or at least the most interesting for the general reader; there
are, however, many other things of importance if space permitted to touch upon
them. There is some account of the Chapter of Harodim, which seems to have
been a kind of side degree, that required as a preliminary the opening of a
lodge. On page 123 "a very beautiful Masonic Device . . . representing a lodge
properly displayed" is mentioned. It was made of mosaic work in marble and was
a gift to the lodge. The donor, Bro. George Brown, gave an explanation of it,
which "has been recently provided" as a result of research in old minute books
and MS. lectures. This is a little obscure, but it seems to mean that this
explanation has been pieced together from various sources. It could be wished
that this design had been reproduced as one of the illustrations with which
the work is embellished, though the late date, 1798, makes it perhaps not of
very great importance for the study of the history of the ritual.
seems no doubt that Preston had a very great influence on the ritual used in
the lodge during the years of his connection with it, and further that this
ritual was quite different in many respects from that of the other lodges
under the "Modern" Grand Lodge. From what Bro. Firebrace says it would appear
that this old ritual has now been all recovered, a task on which the late Bro.
Wonnacott was working a few years ago. Bro. Firebrace is also inclined to take
the difference between the Antiquity or Preston ritual and that arranged by
the Lodge of Promulgation after the Union (which is presumably more or less
the basis of that now taught by the Stability and Emulation lodges of
instruction) as confirming the very generally held opinion that the present
English ritual is based on that of the Ancients. This does not follow, for the
Preston arrangement was sui generis. We know quite well what the modern ritual
was like from several sources, and the present day English workings follow it
very closely, while the ritual of the Ancients was quite different both in
arrangement and phraseology. The compromise between the two systems seems to
have really been that the arrangement and formulas used were "Modern" or based
on the "Modern," while the “secrets" were those that the "Ancients" contended
for, except that in the third degree they were combined with those of the
account of the Preston letters is also given, though curiously nothing is
offered in explanation of its disuse for so many years. There were for years,
both in this country as well as in England, inquiries published in Masonic
periodicals, as to its disuse, and what had become of the fund. Which were all
met by Grand Lodge officials with masterly and overwhelming silence. One is
rather curious to know what was at the bottom of it. Preston undoubtedly
wished to perpetuate a knowledge of his ritual as he had arranged it. Was the
lectureship suppressed so that it should not be perpetuated? Bro. Firebrace,
very appropriately as a Past Master of Preston's lodge, was the first lecturer
appointed on its recent revival, and we learn from this account that he did
give Preston's lecture in the first degree. But the more recent lecturers have
launched out into the broader fields of general Masonic scholarship.
book is beautifully printed and handsomely bound, the proof reading has been
most carefully done, and though the price is high, it is in every way worth
it, and could not have been produced for less under present conditions. Every
Masonic library should have a copy, and all lodges contemplating establishing
a library should purchase it. For it is like the sibylline books, if not
purchased now the opportunity will pass forever.
* * *
STEPS IN FREEMASONRY. Compiled by the Toronto Society for Masonic Research,
for the Good of the Order. Privately printed. Paper, table of contents, 53
pages. Price, 25 cents. Special prices for quantities.
is the third edition of a very useful little booklet intended for the use of
the newly made Mason. It does not attempt to be so systematic and
comprehensive as some works intended for the same purpose, and thereby gains
on the whole, for anything like completeness is of course impossible on such a
small scale. The sketch of the history of Freemasonry in Canada is excellent,
and wherever we have been able to test it, very accurate. One might perhaps
object to the scheme of Masonic organization presented on the second page.
Surely "Districts" form no essential part of the Grand Lodge system of
government. The lodges and the Grand Lodge are the fundamental elements. This
is perhaps rather trifling, yet it might well give the uninstructed a false
lead. It sounds rather as if the Districts formed the Grand Lodge, instead of
being merely conveniences for administration through Deputies of the Grand
account of the Craft in the British Isles also seems open to criticism in some
account of the rise of the "Ancients," for example, is open to several
objections. Dermott did not lead the disaffected brethren (whether they were
Irish or English) in forming their Grand Lodge, for it was organized before he
left Ireland. Neither did he dub their opponents "Moderns," for they seem to
have been the first to use the term to describe themselves. He did see the
controversial value it had and was quick to use it, but he did not invent it.
remark that the Old Lodge at York, in its capacity as a Grand Lodge, did not
recognize the "Ancients" is also a little misleading - it recognized the
"Moderns" no more, and in its last spasm of life authorized Preston's lodge,
now Antiquity No. 2, to act as a Grand Lodge for the south of England. The
term "York Rite" is truly a misleading one, but there was no attempt at
deception in its origin. The "Ancients" claimed to work pure Ancient York
Masonry, not meaning thereby what was being worked by the Old Lodge at York in
1750, but the Masonry of the time of Prince Edwin and the legendary Assembly
at that city in the misty past. It was an uncritical claim of course, but made
in full good faith.
criticism of these few references has taken an undue amount of space. The rest
of the account is excellent and should stimulate the intelligent reader to
wish to learn more.
chapters on Masonic teaching are also excellent and should be very useful.
With the last, however, one feels rather inclined to quarrel. Purporting to
explain why Freemasonry became popular it gives a rapid and unsympathetic
sketch of English history. Had this been written by an American writer with
the republican viewpoint, it would have been more understandable. But
everything seems to be put in the worst possible light. The feudal barons were
much more than a lot of parasites. The pure parasitic type did not last long.
They did a great deal more than make love, hunt and fight, though they did all
three. Through the feudal period, properly so-called, the common people, even
the serfs, were not entirely without a voice in the management of the affairs
that interested them - that is, of their own community, for the minor courts
and folk motes were real living institutions, and in not a few cases still
survive, though now shorn of all their original functions.
very difficult in such an abbreviated account to avoid misleading statements.
The author of this seems to have very strong prepossessions, and to have
selected his material accordingly. As however histories of England are readily
accessible in all public libraries this is perhaps of no great moment. The
purpose of the sketch is to show in very black colors the deplorable results
of tyranny and religious intolerance, and to contrast with it the ideals of
Masonry, freedom, equality and fraternity. There is no doubt much truth in
this presentation, though it does not seem that it was altogether necessary to
go back much further than the Stuart period to bring out the contrast. One
point that might have been made in this connection is the practical value that
affiliation to a widespread fraternity might have had to prominent men in such
troubled times as those of the Great Rebellion and thereafter, and perhaps
also earlier in Tudor times, too. The same risk that led to the construction
of secret hiding places, and bolt holes and passages, of which almost every
old house in England has one or more, might well have also led men to join the
fraternity of Freemasons. If at any time obliged to fly for their lives it
gave a possibility of finding assistance in places where otherwise it could
not have been found.
However in spite of the things which it has seemed necessary to question, the
little work is a very creditable performance, and we congratulate the Toronto
Research Society on its production, and hope that they may be encouraged to
persevere in the good work.
* * *
LOST KEY, AND EXPLANATION AND APPLICATION OF THE MASONIC SYMBOLS. By Prentiss
Tucker. Published by Harry M. Welliver, Seattle, Wash. Table of Questions,
index, 191 pages. Price, $2.50.
is really a very remarkable book and so far as the present reviewer is aware,
and his acquaintance with this department of Masonic literature is fairly
extensive, no one has ever before attempted anything at all like it. There
have been books in plenty on Masonic symbolism, and on the symbols of Masonry,
and from many points of view. It is perhaps not very easy to characterize the
difference, but possibly it might be put in some such way as this: other
expositions are of the nature of dictionaries, this is a grammar. Other
writers taught the alphabet, Bro. Tucker has undertaken the ambitious task of
teaching us to read.
Perhaps the majority of writers on the subject have had some leaning toward
the occult. There is also generally an attempt to find the derivation of the
symbols, to compare them with those found elsewhere, leaving the uninstructed
reader too often with a confused impression of varied and often times not at
all consistent interpretations. There are three or four books available to the
American Craft which are excellent, and which would be a useful complement to
the present work. But none of them has attempted explanation on the same scale
of comprehensiveness and detail.
newly made Mason is confronted with a lot of strange ritual observances, and
has presented to his notice a number of objects to which emblematic and moral
interpretations are attached. All ritual observance is in one respect like
poetry, it can easily be parodied, and the highest emotion turned to derision.
It depends entirely on the atmosphere, the preparation, the state of mind.
What many a candidate has taken at the first to be intended for some kind of
practical joke, he has found later to be quite otherwise on account of the
solemnity of the procedure and the gravity of those assisting. In this
atmosphere he has been greatly impressed, partly by the admonitions,
explanations and exhortations addressed to him, but also to a very great
extent by the demeanor of those present. On reflection he finds it hard to
give just credit to the contributing causes and strike a true balance between
them. The teachings that is the formal explanations - of Freemasonry are good,
but they are not new. Also they are obvious. In fact the brother who goes on
thinking about it comes to the conclusion that these explanations are
purposely obvious, and perhaps rather trite, when critically analysed apart
from the influence and glamor of the "work." The conclusion follows quite
naturally, and has been expressed scores of times, that the explanations
conceal more than they reveal, or that they merely indicate what each must
seek for himself.
though many have said this and doubtless thousands more have thought it, at
this point the ways diverge. Most interpreters following a most natural
impulse seek to make out that their explanation is the one intended by the
original devisers and founders of Masonry - who seem usually to be taken as
some group of men who deliberately put together in cold blood a set of
ceremonies and symbols to teach a secret philosophy. This idea of the founders
of Masonry is of course pure myth. The founders of Masonry were Masons much
like ourselves, good men and not so good, intelligent men, and less
intelligent, who had received a tradition, who used it awhile and passed it on
a little changed. Here and there in the last two hundred years a noted
ritualist has had rather more influence than the average, but not at all to
the extent that is popularly supposed. The ritual and the symbols have grown
in a living organism, and they must be interpreted as living and growing and
not as dead and artificial.
Reflection, then, upon our symbols has brought many a Mason to dimly see a
close inter-connection in the parts of the system, as complex and vital as the
parts of a living organism. Its very complexity has probably discouraged
investigation along these lines. Possibly too it has been more often seen or
felt by brethren less favored with educational and social advantages, who, in
the place of research and analysis, have followed the older road to truth,
contemplation and meditation.
Tucker brings out one point very forcibly in his introductory chapter, and
that is the mnemonic function of a symbol. The cross to a Christian reminds
him not only of the death of Jesus Christ, but of all that goes with it and
follows from it, so that whenever he sees a cross, this or some part of it is
recalled, he is reminded of things he believes vital, it repeats them to him
by way of stimulating trains of association. And so it is with all symbols,
including those employed by Masons.
Another point that does not seem to have been so fully made out is their
suggestiveness. Symbols, at least those that are not merely arbitrary, are
patient of many interpretations, and therefore mean always what they mean to
us; that is, our own thought and reflection is the chief element in their
significance, outside of the broad outlines laid down by their nature and the
the history of symbols is quite another thing from their interpretation.
Closely connected of course, but symbols change their meaning as organs in a
living animal may change to some extent their function. It is on the
historical side that the present work seems weakest. But as an honest, sincere
and most illuminating attempt to bring out a real meaning in every detail of
the American ritual, a meaning connected with and having its part in a
complete system it deserves the highest praise, and the book should be not
only read but re-read and thought about by every Mason who desires more light
on this elusive subject than he has yet been able to obtain.
* * *
TIMBERS: GIANTS IN CONTRAST. By Chesla C. Sherlock. Published by The Stratford
Company, Boston, Mass. Cloth, table of contents, illustrated, 330 pages.
Price, postpaid $3.15.
such a work as Tall Timbers it might be expected that one of the chief
fascinations of biography, namely, living in the period of the person whose
life is portrayed, would be lost. Fortunately there is nothing of the sort in
the present case. It would seem almost impossible to carry one back to the
turbulent period of the American Revolution in a series of short biographical
or rather character sketches, but in some miraculous manner the reader is
transported and feels himself breathing the atmosphere of a century and a half
ago. This in itself is an accomplishment of which Mr. Sherlock can well be
however, only one of the delightful features of the book. Another is the human
character of his tales. It is only in recent years that Americans have begun
to realize that the great men of a past age may have been national heroes and
giants without being saints or angels. Mr. Sherlock has fallen in with the
trend of modern thought in this respect, and the idealized and idolized
Washington and Lincoln become real men who except for their attainments might
well have been neighbors of any modern American. Americans generally delight
in reading stories of the outstanding characters of Revolutionary times, and
it may be safely said that they will get as much, if not more, enjoyment from
the human documents contained in this work than from such works as they may
have read hitherto. There is a distinct difference. At the moment, the thought
of Phillips Russell's Benjamin Franklin intrudes itself and for no other
reason than that this, too, was one of those human documents which has done
much to destroy the hero cult in American history.
one first peruses the list of characters Mr. Sherlock has selected he wonders
at the choice. Naturally Washington, Franklin and Lincoln would appear.
Jefferson, Jackson, and Hamilton might well be included, but there is just a
little surprise at finding George Mason and James Madison among those present.
On second thought and actual reading of the work surprise gives way to
complete concurrence with the plan and I dare say no one would doubt the
wisdom of the choice.
man from Gunston Hall, of whom probably the great majority of Americans have
never heard, towers head and shoulders above many whose names are on the tip
of every American tongue. George Mason was a giant, but he knew little about
advertising and as a result of this lack is, perhaps, not so well known as
others who accomplished less. 'Twas ever thus; those who do most say the least
as a general rule. At any rate Mason loved his home and because of this
domestic affinity preferred private to public life. He was the man who said
"Liberty cannot flourish where there is no security" and he entered the
Constitutional Congress, doubtless with the idea that he was doing his duty
because he was helping to make this government secure. His nature is perhaps
best expressed by this excerpt from a letter to his son written not more than
ten days after his arrival in Philadelphia:
begin to grow heartily tired of the etiquette and nonsense so fashionable in
this city. It would take me some months to make myself master of them, and
that it should require months to learn what is not worth remembering as many
minutes, is to me so discouraging a circumstance as determines me to give
myself no manner of trouble about them.
he had an overpowering sense of civic responsibility we know for it was in
another letter to the younger George that he said:
eyes of the United States are turned upon this assembly, and their
expectations raised to a very anxious degree.
God grant, we may be able to gratify them, by establishing a wise and just
government. For my own part I would not, upon pecuniary motives, serve in this
convention for a thousand pounds a day. The revolt from Great Britain and the
foundation of our new government at that time, were nothing compared to the
great business before us now; there was then a certain degree of enthusiasm,
which inspired and supported the mind; but to view, through the calm, sedate
medium of reason the influence which the establishment now proposed may have
upon the happiness or misery of millions yet unborn, is an object of such
magnitude, as absorbs, and in a manner suspends the operation of the human
a man with such lofty conceptions of public service deserves to be classed
with the "tall timbers." The philosophical view he takes of these duties, and
the problems confronting the infant nation naturally lead to the contrasting
of George Mason with Benjamin Franklin. Their personalities were totally
different though their thoughts on matters of government often ran in the same
channels. It would be most difficult, for example to imagine Franklin yearning
for the companionship of his wife. He spent some twenty years abroad, away
from home and family, but that seemed to affect him not in the least. Mason
felt deeply the loss of his wife and mourned her until his death.
these practical philosophers comes a pair of soldiers, Jackson and Washington.
The principal contrast here lies in a variation of method and a conquering of
impetuosity. Washington was doubtless as impulsive as Jackson, but felt this
was a fault and tried to overcome it. Jackson never made the attempt to do so.
Madison and Hamilton form an interesting contrast in statesmanship. and the
book closes with the leaders of the people, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham
book is entertainingly written and is the work of a student who has the happy
faculty of tempering scholarship with readability in his writings. There are
some minor faults, one has, for instance, a fleeting feeling that on occasion
the author has allowed his own emotions to run away with him. This feeling is,
however, overbalanced by the interest of the subject. and the facility of
expression with which Mr. Sherlock is endowed.
especial interest to members of the Craft is the fact that four of the eight
"Tall Timbers" were Masons. Two more, Madison and Jefferson may have been,
there are some indications that they were, but these have not been supported
by confirmatory evidence. One certainly was not, though in thought and
principle be might well have been. Abraham Lincoln is said to have expressed
regret that he had never joined the Craft. Of George Mason there is nothing to
say. He was a close friend of Washington which might indicate something or
nothing. So far as records are concerned we have been able to find nothing to
support or deny his connections with the Fraternity. Interesting, indeed, is
the fact that one only of these "giants" was certainly not a Mason, and that
half of them certainly were.
* * *
EXPERIMENT WITH TIME. By J. W. Dunne. Published by Macmillan Company, New
York. Cloth, diagrams, 208 pages. Price, $2.65.
is truly a startling work, breath taking one might almost say. We are quite
used to occultists and spiritualists, and psychic researchers no longer give
us the thrill that a past generation felt when an attempt was seriously made
to dispassionately consider the claims for super-normal recurrences, but to
have someone come along to tell us what in effect and result amounts to the
same kind of thing, in the language of the new geometries of
multiple-dimensioned space, yea. and relativity also, is something to make the
most blase reader "sit up and take notice." It set the reviewer at least to
recording his own dreams once more (as he did years ago when Freud first
broached his doctrine of dream interpretation) but also, so far with quite
author begins by telling us how he became aware that he was occasionally
dreaming of things that later on actually happened, sometimes in a day or two,
once many years afterwards. How not being "psychic," and distrusting occultist
explanations as a good physicist should, he was much perturbed by all this.
How he got other people to try recording their dreams and noting if anything
dreamed of happened shortly after, which led to the discovery that his
volunteer observers were even more frequently than himself living in their
sleep through some part of their future waking life. A further set of
experiments showed that under the right conditions the future was in part
foreseeable, in stray glimpses as it were, even when awake. All which
phenomena would usually be taken as supporting the old beliefs in
clairvoyance, second sight, scrying, and so on. But these theories did not at
all commend themselves to the author, with his scientific training - training
in the exact sciences, physics, mathematics, mechanics - and so he sought some
Probably everyone who reads anything more than the daily newspapers is aware
of the new theories of space propounded in comparatively recent years, which
are said to transcend our common every day notions. Einstein is well known by
name, even to newspaper readers, the fourth dimension has become almost a
household phrase, even if few have any idea of what it may be. It may be
thought that a book that deals with such matters is not for the ordinary
reader. Nevertheless the author is not only a mathematician, he is also
something of a humorist, and after explaining a thing in simple and concise
mathematical language (simple to another mathematician, that is) he descends
quite freely to common inexact English and tells it all over again at length
with homely illustrations and metaphors so that the non-mathematical but
moderately intelligent reader can get the draft of the argument.
However the author is not the first to employ the conception of a fourth
dimension for this purpose. Prof. Zollner, who held the chair of Astro-Physics
in the University of Leipsig in the middle of last century, also employed a
somewhat similar explanation of the "spiritualistic" phenomena then much
exercising the Occidental world. He incurred, by the way, much unjust obloquy
for accepting such phenomena as real, and not as pure imposture. He was one of
the first to use the illustration of a supposed "flat earth" inhabited by
intelligent creatures of two dimensions only, to show how we, existing in
three dimensional space, would cause disturbing and miraculous phenomena in
such a world, quite normally and simply, and then by analogy showing that if
there were a four dimensional world, inhabited by appropriately endowed
beings, they could without special effort produce all the marvels of the
spiritualistic seance - such as reading sealed letters, entering closed rooms,
cabinets and so on, or, which was one of his crucial experiments, tie knots in
an endless cord or string without breaking it anywhere.
Zollner's discussion ignored time - he supposed the fourth dimension to be
spatial. Since Einstein, the world at large has come to see in time this
fourth dimension. According to this way of conceiving the world we can never
return to the same thing or the same place, for everything has moved along in
time. The paper on which this is being written is not the same paper, strictly
speaking, as that on which the review was begun, it and the reviewer, and
everything and everybody else are all so much older, and age changes
everything, and a thing that is changed is not exactly the same thing that it
will be as well here to quote the passage in full where the crucial conception
is broached of a series of dimensions, not spatial but temporal. The author
begins with the common everyday ideas about time:
the man-in-the-street is, all said and done, Homo sapiens and the original
discoverer of Time. It was from him, and from him alone, that science obtained
that view of existence. . .
idea was that temporal happenings involved motion in a fourth dimension.
course he did not call it a fourth dimension‑bis vocabulary hardly admitted of
that‑but he was entirely convinced:
That Time had length, divisible into "past" and "future."
That this length was not extended in any Space that he knew of. It stretched
neither north-and-south, nor east-and-west, nor up-and-down, but in a
direction different to any of those three-that is to say, in a fourth
That neither the past nor the future were observable. All observable phenomena
lay in a field situated at a unique "instant" in the Time length - an instant
dividing the past from the future - which instant he called "the present."
That this "present" field of observation moved in some queer fashion along the
Time length; so that events which were at first in the future became present
and then past. The past was thus constantly growing. This motion he called the
"passage" of Time.
then says that part of what had been postulated in the paragraphs just quoted
referred to another Time, and not the one supposedly alone under
consideration. This is the important conception on which the rest of the book
is based. We quote again:
employment of these references to a sort of Time behind Time is the legitimate
consequence of having started with the hypothesis of a movement through Time's
length. For motion in Time must be timeable. If the moving element is
everywhere along the Time length at once, it is not moving. But the Time which
times that movement is another Time. And the "passage" of that Time must be
timeable by a third Time. And so on ad infinitum. It is Pretty certain that it
was because he a vague glimpse of this endless array of Times, one, so to say
embracing the other, that our discoverer abandoned fur analysis.
we can move in two directions, as backwards and forwards and right and left,
we have no longer a simple length but a surface, any point in which can be
reached. Two time dimensions establish a sort of time plane, on which we would
be no longer confined to the inexorable movement in one direction only. Past
and present can be visited as it were while the normal faculties are engaged
in the present. Stated thus baldly it sounds utterly fantastic, but developed
step by step it sets one wondering.
the author does not stop even here, he goes on to show how the conception - a
purely mathematical one in a sense - would support the reality of the soul, of
its immortality, of free will, of the reason for sleep and death, and of God
as the super observer "at infinity," super conscious and absolutely free.
These results are only hinted at, but they show the importance of the theory
if it be accepted.
several places the author makes it fairly plain that he does not fancy the
"occult" - even so much of it as is taken as subject matter by Psychical
Research. He says in one place, for example, dealing with the problem of
dreams, that clairvoyance is no explanation. Which is true, but neither is the
term "sight" an explanation of the function of the visual organs, or hearing
of those of audition. No name is in itself an explanation. But the terms such
as clairvoyance, telepathy and so on are only names for classes of phenomena
not perhaps wholly abnormal, but at least uncertain and unusual. In this new
theory we have an endless succession of time dimensions - and that one which
is "at infinity," or the whole class of them perhaps, seems to correspond with
the older concept of eternity. It may be that the complexity is due to the
mode of expression, as for example in simple arithmetic one-third is a simple
clear cut fraction, but when we try to express it in decimal notation we have
an endless regress of threes - three recurring to infinity - never really
attaining one-third exactly but approaching it indefinitely. Perhaps after all
God, and the soul and eternity are the simpler and more satisfying names for
the realities lying behind the world of our everyday lives.
* * *
LODGE IN FRIENDSHIP VILLAGE. By, P. W. George. Published by the John Day Co.,
New York. Cloth, table of contents, illustrated, 256 pages. Price, $2.15.
lay brother the work of a Worshipful Master does not seem to be particularly
important. He has to preside over the lodge and supervise its activities, and,
in large cities, a certain amount of fraternal visiting falls to his lot.
These duties of the office seem, at times, to be particularly onerous and one
often wonders whether the W. M. does not grow weary of the continual rounds of
formal duty which come before him. Doubtless he does become bored at the
queries brought to him from time to time by those whose actions must receive
his authority, but there are other times when routine gives way to problems of
a different nature. It is these problems which make up the chief source of
worry in a Master's life, and they are the root from which sprouts the tree of
satisfaction when the term of office is over. The rank and file generally has
no conception of this side of a Master's existence, and if it did have it
would doubtless lead to a more consuming ambition upon the part of Masons
generally to occupy Solomon's chair.
P. W. George has given us a delightful picture of some of the problems which
arise, and purely fictitious as they are, give one the opportunity to learn
that Brotherly Love and Relief do not necessarily mean Charity in the usually
accepted sense of the term. I mean by this that Charity has more than one way
in which to make itself manifest. When we speak in common parlance of Charity
we mean donations of money to those less fortunate than ourselves. This is not
Masonic Charity except where money is the only way to solve a given problem.
Pride often stands in the way of a request for assistance, because the
supplicant. feels that he does not want to accept money and thus become a
subject of Charity. Better to let the unfortunate one think he is making his
own way and be a help to him without letting him know how he is being assisted
than to destroy his independence, his self-respect, and his character
generally by making him a charity patient in the usual sense. The Master of
The Lodge in Friendship Village has a way of doing just this and many Masters
of lodges could learn something from this country gentleman if only they
word as to the book itself. Bro. George's style is very readable and most
entertaining. There is no real fault to find in any of the stories unless it
be that occasionally it seems as though the Masonic element was being dragged
into the plot by its cars. This is the most difficult of all faults to avoid,
and one that is perhaps most easily pardoned. There is an object lesson in
every story and it is the kind of a lesson we delight to learn.
* * *
By K. P. Went. Published by Wm. Reeves, London. Cloth, illustrated, 117 pages.
initial letters stand for the words, Freemason's Own Ritual, but what kind of
Freemason it is intended for is not clear. There is a considerable class of
works, usually wretchedly printed on the poorest paper, purporting to reveal
all the secrets of Masonry to all and sundry who have the (usually inflated)
price. In spite of its title and its comparatively attractive binding and get
up, it seems that the present work must be put in this class.
are some brethren who make collections of this kind of Masonic curiosa and to
them it will be of interest. They will not need to be told that it is
absolutely without authority and strictly speaking spurious.
of course well known to all instructed Masons, that certain parts of our
ceremonies, or rather of the verbal forms employed in them, are not secret.
The parts, that is, that in the United States are very generally called
"monitorial," and that are to be found in the various standard monitors which
are freely published and sold; many indeed being authorized by different Grand
Lodges. Since the days of Preston and Webb such publications have been made
use of by Masons, and are also accessible to non-Masons. There are, however,
rather curious differences in such works. Passages that are relegated to the
obscurity of asterisks and initial letters in some of them are in others found
in extenso in plain print. But it is safe to say that nothing to be found in
Preston's Illustrations or Webb's Monitor or the various Books of
Constitutions, or anything of like nature can by any stretch of imagination be
regarded as part of the secrets of Masonry.
work under consideration gives all of such verbal forms with reasonable
accuracy, so far as we can judge, as usually employed in England. Coupled with
these passages is matter of the strictly expose type which may afford
entertainment for Masons possessing a certain sense of humor. We cannot
recommend it to anyone else.
* * *
CENTENNIAL HISTORY OF FRIENDSHIP LODGE, No. 84, A. F. & A. M., Hagerstown,
Maryland. By J. Lloyd Harshman. Privately printed. Cloth, table of contents,
appendix, 90 pages.
creditable little work. The chief deficiency noted is the lack of an index,
which is to some extent made up for by a useful table of contents.
histories are naturally intended primarily for the members of the lodge, and
for them and their use of such a work, an index may not seem an adjunct worth
the time and trouble of making. But such lodge histories in bulk, on the
shelves of Grand Lodge libraries (when the latter are properly organized)
become material for further and later researches, and then the unindexed book
becomes at the least a constant source of irritation to the seeker for
information, and at the worst may lead to important facts being overlooked.
The staff of the N.M.R.S. is always available to give any advice and
assistance in this way to those who have such work in hand.
Friendship Lodge, at Hagerstown, is not yet ancient, but it is old, having
passed the century mark, if its identity with the lodge existing before the
anti-Masonic excitement be allowed. This question of identity in lodges is
rather difficult to decide. A lodge may change its name, may work under
different jurisdictions, may change its place of meeting, may even become
dormant, and yet with reason be considered the same lodge. One lodge is known
to the reviewer that has passed through all these phases, and even changed its
nationality to boot, yet it is allowed to be the same lodge.
Friendship Lodge was an offshoot, or daughter of the lodge originally meeting
at what is now Hagerstown. Some of the members found a distance of six miles a
serious handicap to attending meetings. Doubtless in those days it was as
great a handicap as fifty miles would be in these days of cars and concrete
roads. To its credit the daughter lodge managed to survive the fanatical
opposition of anti-Masonry where its mother succumbed. Under the circumstances
it might almost be credited with the seniority of the original lodge at
Hagerstown, though as some of the petitioners were members of another lodge at
Boonsboro, twelve miles away, this might not after all be quite logical. But
the principles of identity in a lodge, as was indicated above, are by no means
settled or clear.
old lodges have seen ups and downs, periods of prosperity, periods of lethargy
and decay. Friendship Lodge is no exception, but it has come through them with
flying colors and we hope it may continue to flourish for another hundred
* * *
A LOST ROMANCE OF THE TIME OF CHRIST. By Irving Bacheller. Published by The
Macmillan Company, New York. Cloth, Price, $2.65.
attempt a definition of Masonic fiction is a task more difficult than it seems
at first glance. Shall we confine the field to those books or stories which
make definite mention of the Craft? Or shall we say that any literary effort
which has for its object the promulgation of the principles for which the
Craft is known to stand comes within the meaning of the term? So far as the
present writer is concerned the latter, or broader, classification is the one
which should be adopted.
more restricted sense Dawn is not Masonic fiction. It deals neither with the
Craft in general nor with any particular set of brethren. It is a story for
all the world (as for that matter so is all Masonic fiction) and takes its
inspiration from a source which has been a guiding light through almost two
thousand years. On the other hand the spirit of fraternity in the highest and
noblest sense fills every page. The Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of
Man, the greatest fraternity the world has ever known, is the Craft of which
Bro. Bacheller speaks. Any Mason who reads his latest work will feel, perhaps
subconsciously, that the author is one who has traveled in the course of the
sun. It is not through what is said that this feeling arises, but from the way
in which it is said, from the background of spirit, which, perhaps,
intentionally submerged, nevertheless insists upon being heard. The present
writer had not read the book, only accounts of it, and still there was a
persistent feeling that the author had sought the light. It was not surprising
that upon inquiry he was informed by the publishers that Bro. Bacheller was a
life member of Kane Lodge in New York. It may well be said that, in a
different way, he is as great an explorer as the man for whom his lodge is
named, Flisha Kent Kane. His explorations were to the outposts of
civilization; his spirit finds many of its kindred in the lodge which bears
his name, but where Kane explored in the flesh, Bacheller treads in the
spirit. He seeks the little known and explores his own vivid imagination for
the details to fill in the story.
partial biography of Doris shows most clearly what can be done by one with a
deep insight into human character and an incident, fragmentary in itself, to
add to the common stock of knowledge and understanding. "Let him who is
without sin among you cast the first stone," and "Go, and sin no more," are
the texts about which this vital story are woven. To attempt a discussion of
the story and its style is to detract from the beauty of the original. No more
need be said to the members of the Craft than that through reading this book
they will learn more about Cardinal Virtues in a few short and extremely
pleasant hours than the ordinary lecturer on these subjects could teach in a
lifetime of formal repetition.
* * *
Brother, by Charles H. Merz, published by the Macoy Publishing and Masonic
Supply Co., New York. Price $1.75.
Documents Illustrating the History of Civilization in Medieval England
(1066-1500), by R. Trevor Davies, published by Methuen & Company, London.
Masonic Jurisprudence, by A. G. Mackey, revised by R. I. Clegg, published by
The Masonic History Company, Chicago. Price $3.65.
Serfdom to Bolshevism, by Baron N. Wrangel, published by J. B. Lippincott Co.,
Philadelphia. Price $4.20.
Masonic Library, published by Commission on Masonic Education, Detroit,
Michigan, and Bureau of Social and Educational Service, New York. Price $1.15.
* * *
LETTER FROM A WELL-KNOWN PHYSICIAN
view of the present discussion as to the advisability of building a
tuberculosis hospital in every state for the care of tuberculous Masons or of
building one or more National institutions, the first of which would be
established in the Southwest, the following letter written by Dr. S. Adolphus
Knopf, New York City, for more than twenty-five years a recognized authority
on tuberculosis and the writer of many books and articles on this disease,
will be of interest:
Although intensely interested in any movement for the relief and care of
tuberculous Masons and their families, and also nonMasons, since I started to
plead for the establishment of Masonic sanatoria more than 25 years ago and,
considering my financial situation, contributed largely to a fund which was
created for that purpose, I do not feel justified to participate in
subscribing for your institution unless you can interest the New York Grand
Lodge to share in your movement.
Grand Lodge of New York has at its disposal a large tract of land and a
considerable fund for the establishment of a tuberculosis sanatorium.
Personally I would very much like to see an institution for the especial use
for Masons and their families at last established in the great State of New
York, but I hope you can persuade the Grand Lodge of New York to help you by
turning over its funds collected for a local institution, to be used for the
enclosed clipping represents part of the Grand Master's address, as it
appeared in the New York Masonic Outlook of September, 1924. Perhaps you can
persuade the Masonic authorities of New York State to create a little
tuberculosis reception hospital where patients desiring to go to the New
Mexico institution will be temporarily received.
Wishing you all success in your enterprise, I am, Fraternally yours,
* * *
CHISEL AND DIAMOND
sarcastic manner in which Bros. Kress and Meekren refer to certain portions of
the ritual of the Mark Degree cannot go unchallenged, and although probably
not the keen Masonic student or research worker that either of these brothers
is, still, I take exception to some of their remarks in their recent article.
reference to the diamond, there is no doubt in my mind that the quotation
given from the ritual is absolutely correct. I believe it to be a diamond that
is referred to, and not a stone as suggested by these brothers. In the ritual
there is no reference to a lapidary cutting a diamond, although in the olden
days, before the introduction of scientific machinery, the chisel would, in my
opinion, be the logical tool for the purpose. However, in this particular case
the chisel is only claimed to have the effect of removing the external coat or
incrustations which conceal the latent beauties of the diamond.
the authors' remarks regarding the point of a chisel under pressure of a
mallet, I wonder how many operative masons our brothers interviewed; how many
operative masons' tool chests they examined; how much work done by operative
masons they carefully inspected; or how many operative masons they have
actually seen at work before they committed the gross error of likening this
expression to the famous definition of a crab! Of course as we are not
operative but speculative Masons, we may not know bow many different kinds of
chisels there are; what a mallet is or how it is used; but before we put our
thoughts in writing and broadcast them it would be well to be sure of points
such as these.
the information of other possibly unenlightened brethren, and as a M.E.M., I
feel it my duty to "dispense light and knowledge," I may say that an operative
mason, in finishing stone or carving certain characters upon it, uses a chisel
with a point, under pressure of a mallet. He at first strikes the chisel with
the mallet and then, as the work nears completion, he presses or pushes the
sharp-pointed chisel with his mallet.
mallet is not a gavel. An operative mason never strikes a stone with a mallet,
nor does he strike a chisel with a gavel. The gavel comes in contact with the
stone, the mallet comes in contact with the chisel.
* * *
MASONRY FOUNDED IN NATURE
Whatever is founded in nature is permanent; and although it may frequently be
blended with transcient combinations, it still remains a part of creation. The
plant may be cut down by the frosts of winter, or by the ruthless hand of the
destroyer; but the root still lives in all its inherent strength and natural
energies. It waits but to receive the warmth of a genial sun, to put forth
anew its stalks and branches, and its fruit and flowers.
need not say, how many times FREEMASONRY has been conquered and disgraced -
for such has been asserted of it in every civilized country, and still, it
lives. In common parlance - it dares to live. Whatever is founded in nature,
cannot but live. Its chief principle is life - and whatever constitutes life,
is morally good - and whatever is evil, is essentially death. Therefore, it is
not optional with men, whether good things shall be permitted to exist; for it
is not within the power of human agency to destroy them. Such is the wise
provision of nature, that though the evils of this world appear many, the
blessings are more. The balance of moral power is on the side of goodness, and
the cause of right and justice does not depend upon conventional decisions.
decreed in France, that "death was an eternal sleep!" - and what was the
effect of such a vote upon the glorious doctrines of the immortality of the
Politicians of every age and country have denounced the Institution of
Masonry, as fraught with evils unnumbered and unlimited! But time has cut down
these prophets and their prophecies as transitory and unnatural. Excitement is
incident to party movements; and party measures are seldom dictated by that
judgment which is guided by reason. Passion results in confusion, and
confusion leads to error. Party discipline is never based upon the immutable
principles of justice; and, therefore, no party succeeds in all its views and
measures. There may have been many errors in the conduct of Masons, and in the
administrations of Masonry; but the principles of the Institution are
permanently good, and will forever remain so. Nations may rise and
fall-parties organize, re-organize, and disorganize - great minds re-act upon
one another, till the last hour of mortal strength - injustice and cruelty may
reign during the common period of human life - still, the elements of all the
fundamental laws of our moral nature remain unchanged. Institutions based upon
these laws may be opposed and even suspended in their operations. But never
Masonry has been tried, judged and proved. She has risen superior to her
enemies, in every age, and it is because her inherent energies are truth, love
justice and mercy. All parties, powers, circumstances and events, in
opposition to these, are but the poisonous vapors of evil passions, which flit
in momentary glory, and then sink back to unsubstantial confusion. Masonry is
adapted to human nature; and so long as nature is true to herself, so long
will Masonry prove true to man. - Freemason's Magazine, December, 1841.
a great hesitation in again writing regarding the Masonic Tuberculosis
Sanatorium to which you often and so rightly refer editorially and forcefully.
I feel as you do. Masonry should mean good deeds done daily, not alone for
Masons but everyone possible. I may interpret ritualistic Masonry wrongly, but
as I understand it our teachings are to regard the whole human family as one,
and the broadness should begin in our own family. How can we reach out to help
others, if we do not make an effort to aid our own?
not know of greater humanitarian help than putting a tubercular brother on his
feet again, and giving him back to his family a helpful man, and this is
possible, if we can get him at the right time and place him under the right
so-called schooling and hospitalization. When such is accomplished, the
refrain will so often be heard that Masonry will be glorified by the profane,
and it will make us feel a greater pride, as Masons, because we are doing
actual deeds, and not talking about doing them.
are over three million Masons in the United States. Suppose each state should
assess, or recommend, one dollar, or let's say two dollars, per capita for our
tubercular sanatoria. I doubt if any Mason would hesitate, if he but knew the
great brotherly act of relief be was doing.
yet to hear a Shriner object to his two dollars per year assessment for those
crippled children in their twelve hospitals, and their work is daily and daily
becoming more blessed - it is wonderful.
as a rule are liberal and far seeing, but we must be shown the way. We kick,
and a little pushing of us into line makes us act petulantly, but we quickly
learn to like doing good.
prompted to write this letter by one received from a splendid little woman in
the past few days, whose husband is at Koch's Hospital. He is a Mason. They
were married but ten months when, like a thunderclap out of a clear sky, he
had a hemorrhage of the lung. His employment had to be stopped; his salary
also, and his savings were soon gone. Fortunately our city has in Koch's
Hospital a splendid humane institution, and gives most expert and excellent
care. It is now eight months that this splendid young brother has been at
Koch's. His case is arrested, and he needs climate change and hospitalization
for a period to put him on his feet. His means gone, this is denied him, and
he will surely slip back again and die. All cases do not need climate change,
but his does. What a truly Masonic act if we could say, go to the Masonic
Tubercular Sanatorium now and get well, putting our hand to a lung-diseased
brother's back and helping him back to life, so to speak. His life is precious
to him and his splendid little wife, who is working and sharing her small
salary now with him. He looks beaten, as a few months before he was the wage
earner and proud and honorable.
up the good work, for it is good; it is a burning need. Keep your eyes open
and in time we will see the need and Masons will not regret the doing.
* * *
ROMANISM AND MASONRY IN ENGLAND
accept my sincere thanks for your last letter which interested me very much
and in connection with which I feel impelled to send you a few lines.
Roman Catholic difficulty with us here is, I imagine, less than with you but
probably in character the same. It seems to me there can be no real fellowship
between our Craft and the Roman Church. Apart from whatever may be more or
less true, that Masonic bodies in France, Italy, etc., have been involved in
political intrigues and plots in the past, and even apart from such
associations in the present day as is alleged, the whole attitude, to my way
of thinking, is such that any hope of getting along together is doomed to
experience of the attitude of the Roman Church is this: First, the true Roman
Catholic must have renounced all reason if he is a loyal adherent. He may
have, as the result of some reasoning process, preferred that church and
joined it, but there his reason must end.
of an eminent King's Counsel some years ago whose power of reason and deep
thinking was notorious, and when the question was asked how could he (an
Englishman) have seen his way to join the Roman Communion, the answer was: "My
profession takes all my thoughts and reason. I have none to spare for
religious inquiry, hence I join a church which takes over that for me."
can an intelligent Freemason with his outlook of brotherhood and breadth of
creed for a moment accept that attitude?
ago I was in Antwerp, and the master of our hotel was a Freemason. He took me
over a Creche which the Masonic lodge in Antwerp was running. (Ninety babies
in one room asleep while their mothers were at work.) And he told me the whole
thing was at the first thwarted by the Church and threatened with failure.
Nurse after nurse came, and soon left. At last they got hold of the Queen, put
up a board "Under Royal Patronage" and succeeded at once. But I said, "How
does the Church act towards you?" "Oh," said he, "we are anathema but we go to
church all the same, but not to communion, which we are refused." Here you see
is the religious instinct asserting itself, but in reality discounted by the
other instance is that of a man near me, a member of an active lodge, and a
Roman Catholic. He still calls himself such, but never I believe goes to
church knowing he is barred. Personally I think he would be acting more wisely
if he joined one of our English Communions.
there comes the question of Confession. I knew an eminent Roman Catholic
priest who when Masonry was denounced in Ireland heard the confession of those
who gave up the Fraternity. Some were men of standing and influence. This
priest (not a Mason of course) knew much more than he would have done
otherwise of Masonic matters, but the curious thing he told me was that in
Ireland Societies disbanded, sent their members to Confession saying they
belonged to no society, and after absolution reformed their society. That's
attitude of all our principal religious bodies in England towards our
Fraternity (except Roman Catholics) is kindly and genial, and we have members
of most of them, especially of the Church of England.
doubt part of Rome's strength is her uncompromising firmness with regard to
her main beliefs, but she has no room for appreciation of any religious life
outside her community, and but for a saving clause which permits a possible
Heaven to outsiders who have failed to obtain the earnestly sought for light
which would have led them to Rome, viz., their "invincible ignorance," would
in order to be logical be bound to damn all outside her pale.
already said I see no hope of any possibility for a man to be a true Mason and
a true Roman Catholic, a shuffling compromise is weakness and had better be
also wish to admit that the Roman Church, insofar as her fundamental doctrines
are concerned, does base her position on the same foundation as Christians
generally. It is when as is now (as for ages) she has denied as well as
asserted, has put forth claims which overlie and weaken her fundamental faith,
and acted in a quite wrong way with others, that the position to thoughtful
and broad-minded folk becomes impossible. One is prepared to say to our Roman
Catholic friends, believe if your conscience so directs all that you are asked
to do, but for Heaven's sake don't curse me or anybody else if my conscience
leads me otherwise.
there is anything in this that will help your dealing with the difficult
question to which you refer, you are welcome to make such use of it as you
* * *
SITUATION IN MEXICO: A REPLY
C. L. P., Missouri, has been badly misinformed about "The Situation in
The actual religious conflict in Mexico is not the culmination of a war of
three-quarters of a century's standing between Freemasonry and the Catholic
Church. The Catholic Church, as a political power, was buried in Queretaro,
Mexico, by the Liberal Party and it remains buried, not even the Pope dreaming
to resuscitate that political corpse. Masonry has had no war with the Church
since the Liberal Party took into its hands the leadership of the Mexican
nation. There could not be any war with a vanquished enemy.
General Porfirio Diaz was not a Catholic; on the contrary, he was a liberal
and a great leader of the Liberal Party. He was a Sovereign Grand Commander
ad-vitam of the Supreme Council of Mexico. He always controlled the Church
without interfering with religion.
separation of the Church and State was an accomplished fact since 1857; since
then nobody has attempted to restore the political power of the Church.
Calles is not a 33rd Degree Mason. If he is a Mason at all, he does not show
it in any way and he is not affiliated with any lodge; furthermore, he thinks
of Freemasonry with contempt, he has not even refrained from expressing
himself against Freemasonry, although now he wants to use Masonry for his
political ambitions. He has abstained from becoming a member of the
Fraternity, notwithstanding several friendly indications insinuated to him by
some of his followers, thus clearly demonstrating his regard for things
Masonic. It is certainly quite unfortunate to have had the inspiration of
exhibiting Calles before the American Fraternity as a Mason; the irony of this
presupposition is rather too strong to let it pass without comment.
The Church is not defending any political rights and does not preach against
the enforcement of the Constitution of 1917; the leaders of the Church in
Mexico are too intelligent and too shrewd to commit themselves to such a
stupidity; they have been trying to influence public opinion in order to
compel Congress to amend the Constitution on the points of "free schools and
free worship." The Church in Mexico takes the same standing that it does in
the United States. Of course, it is obvious to the good observer that the
Church has been slowly strangled by the State, therefore, the Church is the
one party that craves for the separation of the Church and State.
real issue between the Church and the State is: "Freedom of primary education
and freedom of worship" vs. "Absolute and exclusive control of primary
education and supervision and control of worship by the State."
* * *
MANKIND AND THE DEITY
Jewish Rabbi quoted by Bro. N.W.J. Haydon of Canada in the June BUILDER
reminds one of the famous western river “one mile wide and one inch deep." If
anyone wished to found a universal brotherhood on the belief that a revelation
of God was given to Confucius and Laotse, to Buddha and Krishua, to Zoroaster
and Mahomet such as was given to Moses and the Hebrew prophets (to say nothing
of Jesus and His Apostles), probably he can get some Freemasons to join him,
but American Freemasonry is not going to broaden out in that fashion.
any criticism to pass upon the Scottish Rite it would be on its efforts to
extract good ore from the residuum of Oriental Philosophies and Religions. In
my opinion the "tailings" are not worth working over. Neither Confucius nor
Buddha claimed to know anything about God. In a recent number of The Ladies'
Home Journal a writer tells us that 85 per cent of the inhabitants of Burmah
are Buddhists. He says that if as many as five men are partners in a store
there will be five different padlocks on the door and the store cannot be
opened in the morning until the last man of the five gets there to unlock his
outstanding feature of nearly all Oriental religion is the deification of
lust. In the last few weeks I have seen the statement in print that British
law in India against the display of the nude expressly exempts Hindoo temples.
That were the law to be enforced without such exemptions one-third of temples
of India would be destroyed. This confirms what a friend told me of his
observations in India fifty years ago. "The pathetic story of Isis" on her
vain search referred to by Bro. John W. House of Canada in the June BUILDER
reflects light upon ancient Egyptian religion. Had Cleopatria Iived two
thousand years earlier she would have made an ideal Egyptian goddess. Josephus
tells us that Liberius had the Temple of Isis in Rome destroyed and its
priests crucified because they used religion to victimize a noble Roman
Mahomet was one of the most lustful of men. While he limited others to four
wives he had special exemptions in his own favor. He prescribed death as the
penalty for adultery, but required the testimony of four witnesses to prove
the crime. The law was made a roaring farce by the Caliph Omar's celebrated
ruling which Gibbon gives in its Latin form that I will not quote. Mommsen
speaking of the Phoenicians says: "It seemed as if their worship was meant to
foster rather than restrain lust and cruelty."
American Freemasonry never will become "liberal" enough to go back of our
Bible for any basis for morals and true, Fraternity.
that Dr. Briggs here says may be true, and indeed very much more of the same
kind of thing might be adduced. But there are several considerations to take
into account before coming to a conclusion. If we judge others by their worst
they will be justified in judging us, too, by our worst. Obscene carvings are
not unknown in old churches for one thing, and the tale of lust and cruelty
that a Hindoo or Chinese can compile against Christians and Christianity (as
represented in the acts of churches and denominations) may well make us blush
- because it also would be true. We know it is not the whole truth; and we
should judge them by their best - not by the stage attained but the advance
they have made. We have Scripture warrant that God left himself not without
witness among the nations; and to see nothing but evil in non-Christian
religions is, with all deference to our reverend brother, not a little unfair.
* * *
ORIGIN OF THE TEUTONIC CROSS
you give me information on the origin and history of the Teutonic Cross used
in the Scottish Rite, or tell me where I can find such information? I have
consulted a number of works but learned very little regarding the matter.
you read the article on the cross and crucifixion in the Encyclopaedia
Britannica? There is quite a lot of information compressed there in short
space. Churchward, Yarker and Higgins all deal with the cross as a symbol, but
not in our opinion very helpfully. Baring-Gould in his Curious Myths of the
Middle Ages gives a great deal of interesting material on the subject, and
though his work is now some forty years old it is still of considerable value.
origin of the cross as a symbol has never been agreed upon by scholars. It is
probably derived from a number of roots, each of which assisted in
strengthening the sanctity with which it was regarded. As representing the
four quarters of the earth, as a sexual symbol, as an astronomical or at least
a celestial phenomenon, and finally as possibly an element of primitive
Tyack in The Cross n Ritual and Architecture says: "Every crusader of whatever
rank had a cross of some material stitched on his tunic. It was only natural
that some differentiated form should be adopted as distinguishing marks by the
crusading orders. There are over thirty named forms of cross used in heraldry,
and it is hard to believe that the differences involved implied any symbolic