The Builder Magazine
June 1927 - Volume XIII - Number 6
The Most High of the Craft
BRO. JOHN W. HOUSE, Canada
the most promising signs of life within the Craft is the deepening interest of
the brethren in the basic principles of the Order. Like wise architects who
plan their superstructures in direct relation to the strength of their
foundations, Masons are estimating the value of the fundamental truths upon
which their moral edifice is to be built. Quite naturally, some of the vital
truths in our foundation are easy to estimate, others are obscure and covered
with such huge growths of fungus that they almost defy estimation to any but
the expert. The outstanding example of this latter class is the knowledge of
the Most High which stands at the corner.
this stone exists is, to a Mason, beyond doubt; but the nature of it is a
matter of much speculation. The fungus is so thick that nothing short of
indefatigable exertion will suffice to lay the stone bare. Indeed, most men
are so occupied with the philosophies of the ages under the name of Religion,
and modern popular vagaries, that they are unable to tell the difference
between stone and fungus. Of those who see the stone, few look at it from all
angles before passing an opinion with decision and finality. Still fewer, in
our age of presumption, born of a popular elementary education, will accept
the help of ancient Past Masters in their estimation of its strength and
stability. We Masons, by virtue of our initiation, take our stand with this
latter group, and look to our Alma Mater for nourishment with the celestial
Ambrosia prepared by the great minds of the past.
genius of symbolic teaching lies in the effort required to arrive at the
truth, and in this respect Masonry is unexcelled. One has literally to ascend
the winding stair in order to enter the sacred shrine of her deepest
mysteries. The search for a correct estimate of her Most High attains fruition
only after much wandering along the path of research, but we will take to the
very outset, we are hampered in our search by an ancient charge which forbids
every topic of religious or political discussion. On analysis, this soon
disappears. Religion, in the eighteenth century, was by no means the
comprehensive term it is today. It denoted then, what the word really means, a
system which binds men to a definite course of thought and action. It was
applied to what we now term denominationalism, and as such, I think, the
compilers of our ritual included it in this charge. In that they showed their
wisdom. Taken in the technical sense of the word, Speculative Masonry and
religion are synonymous terms, for both denote a system of teaching which
binds men to a definite course of action. If religion means, what most men
think it means, viz., anything pertaining to God, then by our own regulation
Masonry is an absurdity. Eliminate a conception of a Creator who is the
embodiment of life, and who takes, or gives to man as he will, and we cannot
explain our Sublime Degree. How foolish to solemnly declare that the Spirit
returns to God who gave it, if the mystery of death has not given us a
definite conception of God who is able to give ! Evidently then, the
regulation concerning religious discussion cannot have reference to all
discussion concerning religious things, but rather forbids that theology which
causes dissension among religious bodies.
WHAT IS IT?
order to understand nature one has need of both a microscope and a telescope.
With the former he sees the minute wonders of the world, and with the latter
he views the glory of the heavens. The use of one instrument alone reveals
only part of the Universe. So it with Masonry. Continual study of the history
of the Order tends to obscure the modern interpretation of our symbols, and on
the other hand, the continual necessity of learning and explaining our ritual
dwarfs the comprehension of the great truths of our system. We must endeavor
to use both instruments.
survey the vista of the ages, and linger awhile at each bright vision of our
ancestry, or as we penetrate the mysterious secrets of our modern Craft, we
become convinced that a common factor permeates all. The unsung Watcher of the
Nile and the historic High Priest of Amen, the Cathedral Craftsman and our
modern Master Mason, are all alike banded together by a bond of brotherhood in
the quest of something they call Truth. The significance and peculiarity of
this word demands our attention for a while.
the beginning of time philosophers have used the content of this word Truth as
a mental football, and have invariably ended by kicking it into the
metaphysical realm and losing it there. The Mysteries, however, clothe its
ethic with a body and make it denote the Creator, in whom is embodied the
Ideal of manhood and nature. As their God was, so was Truth, and in order to
find the real standard of verity and life they concentrated all their energies
in finding God. They succeeded in finding the moral nature of the Divine, and
appropriated it; but they were baffled in their endeavor to lay hold of the
very principle of life which was, and is, so sorely needed. Tradition informs
us that they once had even this in their possession, but it was lost. They
have spared nothing in their endeavor to regain this secret, lives have been
wholly given to its pursuit in every age, corporate endeavor has been
centralized in one grand effort to pierce the firmament and wrest the secret
from the Creator Himself, but the Tower of Babel fell, and the principle of
life is still a mystery.
Omniferous, the All-producing Word has ever been the symbol of this Secret,
and of necessity we find it looming large in all the Mysteries. The pathetic
story of Isis lamenting her inability to find the generative organs of her
lord Osiris, or the driving of Adam from the garden in Eden lest he should eat
of the Tree of Life, dramatically portray ancient conviction with regard to
this. The Hebrew Scriptures, nurtured at the bosom of Egyptian learning,
continually use the term Word to denote the source of life and wisdom. The
idea underlies that well-known phrase "God said, 'Let there be light,' and
light was." The Omniferous Word came into operation and light immediately was.
At the beginning of the Christian era this idea still prevailed, and we find
St. John describing Jesus, who to him was the "resurrection and the life," as
the Logos or the Word made flesh.
FUNCTION OF THE IDEAL
Ancients, this search for the Ideal in their God was vitally important to
their system of morality. To them, morality was not an entity per se, but
rather the natural result of a definite cause. They believed that as men
contemplated the Ideal, it became part of their being, and tended to change
them into a likeness of itself. It may be noticed here, that contemplation is
a dynamic with regard to morality. This idea underlies all moral teaching in
the Volume of the Sacred Law. A vision of God precedes every commission to
work, King Solomon places "the fear of the Lord" at the foundation of Wisdom,
the preacher in Ecclesiastes says, "Wisdom," which he describes as the
knowledge of the Lord, "maketh the face to shine." St. Paul, the philosopher
of the Christian dispensation, conveys this same idea when he says, "We all,
with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into
the same image from Glory to Glory." The Temple symbolism, at its beginning,
pointed nowhere to morality, but directed the mind to the glory of God and so
enjoined moral action.
Turning now to the Craft as it is today, we find a system which can be
definitely traced in its present form to about the year 1717. Whether that
date is correct or not, does not matter for our purpose, neither is the
question of its origin of any great importance. It is sufficient to
acknowledge that our brethren who gave us our system, gave it in such a way as
to most adequately reflect the clear light of Masonry. We today accept their
gift, and proudly declare it to be the genuine article. Our landmarks are the
test of genuine Masonry the world over, and therefore a close study of the
actual tenets of the system, as we have it, will reveal what our brethren of
1717 considered the fundamental faith of the Craft wherever found.
MORALITY IN FREEMASONRY
we look into our system, it is easy to see that our brethren considered that
Masonry still embraced the ancient ethic of morality. All our work leads us to
the feet of the Most High who is the embodiment of verity and life, and our
morality is the outcome of contemplating His nature. Nowhere is morality
enjoined until the candidate is supposed to have found that very quality in
the being of the Creator. Unfortunately, we moderns have become accustomed to
demand so little of a candidate that it is quite possible for a man to go
through all the degrees without really advancing one step in the actual
science of the Craft, and in consequence of this the average Mason gets things
a little out of proportion. Morality is gradually usurping the seat of the
Most High in the Center, and in doing so saps its own life blood. Masonry,
however, taking for granted a man's knowledge of nature and science, and only
enunciating the results of such knowledge, puts the root of human morality in
the nature of the Most High, and its dynamic in contemplation. A glance at our
Ritual will make this evident.
initiation a candidate is simply examined, bonded and prepared for his
education in the mysteries. At the commencement of light, he is directed to
that which is the written revelation of thy Divine nature, after surveying
which he dons his working attire, takes the appropriate tools and commences
labor. He penetrates the secrets of nature and science and discovers God at
the center of all and ruling in justice and equity. After this revelation, he
finds that he is needing the plumb and level to form his true square of
morality. As a perfect Craftsman, he enters the confines of death, emerging
with a holy confidence that the nature of the Most High is such that when time
and circumstance permit he will restore to man the principle of life. This
inspires the completion of his circle of morality in readiness for that day.
Everywhere we find morality the consequence and reflection of the Divine
the knowledge of this relationship between morality and the Divinity supplies
us with the key with which we can enter the secret recesses of the Divine
Nature. Since morality is a reflection of the Most High, it necessarily
follows that the God of Masonry can be correctly estimated by a study of the
consequent moral system. This holds good in a study of every faith in the
world, and a comparative study from sources, not opinions, leads to some
startling conclusions. We declare our faith to be "Universal," and, popularly,
that resolves itself into a belief that a Mason can accept any god as his God.
But is this true? Can a Mason, for instance, accept a divinity whose
consequent moral system enjoins cruelty and hate, and yet hold true to
universal brotherly love? If the morality of such faiths as Buddhism,
Confucianism, and so on, cannot be included in ours without contradiction, the
gods from which it emanates cannot be the same as our Most High. Again any
Volume of Sacred Law which contains moral directions in contradiction to our
system cannot find a place on our Altar. Because our brethren of 1813 called
the Bible by the vague name of Sacred Law does not do away with the fact that
that volume must contain our morality. If anything in it contradicts our
system, it ceases to be, for us, the "unerring standard of truth and justice."
Masonry is a super-religion, infinitely transcending all religious beliefs of
the world, which implies a special super-revelation of the Divine Ideal, our
system must come from one or all of the existing systems of the world. If it
is universal, it should be able to penetrate, without contradiction, all the
Faiths of mankind, but it cannot do this.
ETHICAL DEFICIENCIES IN VARIOUS RELIGIONS
truth, a part of our moral code is common to all religions and by the addition
of a little local color a much larger portion could be so synchronized.
Elastic conceptions like justice and uprightness are pillars of every great
faith, but when the content of these words is properly understood, one
realizes that they are not always used in the same sense. For instance,
Justice looms large in the Greek Mysteries, as it does in our Masonic system,
but when one hears Plato describe this virtue as "doing good to friends, and
evil to enemies," one must admit that it is not Masonic justice that the
Greeks embrace. Other moral precepts taught by Masonry not only will not fit
all religions, but actually contradict them. Our concept of chastity, or
temperance, would ruin the licentious orgies under the amiable patronage of
Isis, Venus, or Bacchus. Mercy, with which we are commanded to reprehend,
gives the lie to the venerable Confucius who, in spite of exhorting his
followers to "apply the rule of the square to their actions," commands
ruthless vengeance. "A man," he says, "should not live under the same heaven
with one who had done him deadly wrong." Our positive uprightness is the
direct antithesis of Hindu negative virtue, so is our universal benevolence to
Moslem fanatical cruelty. Charity denies the selfishness which pervades modern
materialism and pantheism. The greatest pillar of Masonic morality, viz.,
universal brotherhood, irrespective of "creed, rank or fortune," cannot fit
into any religion but Christianity, without doing violence to it. It is
sometimes believed that this was a belief of the ancient mysteries, but that
is not true. The level simply represented inanimate earth, and not living men.
It did not even symbolize the common lot of man in death. Christ alone, of all
the founders of religions, revealed the level of mankind as we understand it.
Adherents of other faiths, under the influence of modern education and
communication, are unconsciously allowing its inclusion in their faith, but in
doing so they do violence to their own system.
MASONIC MORALITY DERIVED FROM CHRISTIANITY
Without any doubt, our morality is Christian, and is only universal in the
sense of our belief that it could be universal. That does not mean that it
repudiates all other faiths, but on the contrary, it takes all that is good
and great from every faith even as Christ did, and infinitely transcends them
with Love. Then if we would know the complete nature of our Most High we
should search the mind of Jesus of the Gospels.
very clear that our brethren of 1717 were not at all in doubt about the
particular God whom Masons adore. They show this in four ways, first, by
accepting, or inventing, the drama of King Solomon's Temple, secondly, by the
specific signs they use for the Most High, thirdly, by the expression of their
prayers, and lastly, by the acceptance of a system of morality which will only
conform to the former ideas.
Ancient Mysteries provide many dramatical representations of the search for
truth. Most of them are much more vivid and awe-inspiring than ours, and yet
our brethren chose an obscure tradition of the Jewish Temple. Evidently they
considered that by so doing they were taking the system that most adequately
fitted their conception of Truth. At the center of everything, the point from
which a Master Mason cannot err, is placed a symbol of the divine name. This
is not the sign for Buddha, Ra, Osiris, Jupiter, or a universal principle, but
the technically correct symbol for the Jehovah of the Jews. The Yod or the
Divine Tetragrammaton was used to denote the complete nature of Jehovah as
distinct from the gods of Egypt and the East. That our brethren were aware of
this technical significance is very evident by the exactness of their details,
and yet the choice was made. The later inclusion of the doctrine of the Logos,
that bright and morning star, shows beyond doubt that it was not just a case
of fitting the right name into temple surroundings. The various prayers
infinitely transcend any that were the outcome of ancient mystic thought. Even
that masterpiece, the chant of Iknaton, lacks the very essence of our prayers,
the belief in the personality of God. Ours are ludicrous if addressed to mere
energy, and we who use them are foolish. They are evidently moulded by minds
with a definite conception of Jehovah. If there was any loophole through which
uncertainty could squeeze into our system, it was blocked by the choice of our
morality of love. No god, and certainly no mere abstraction or force, can
inspire such a system, except one the Father as revealed by Christ.
Anti-Cerneau Movement in the American Grand Bodies
BRO. CHARLES SUMNER LOBINGIER, Washington, D. C.
CERNEAUISM became a live issue in the Masonic circles of Nebraska as early as
1889. On May 1 of that year the Grand Commandery meeting at York adopted a
resolution (75) specifying the Grand bodies recognized by it and mentioning by
name and commander, the Northern and Southern Supreme Councils. An attempt was
made by a Past Commander to have consideration postponed, and after its
adoption he announced an appeal (76) which, apparently, was never carried out.
The Grand Lodge met on the 19th of the following month and Grand Master France
declared in his address:
laws of jurisdiction are universally recognized and adhered to by loyal Masons
of all rites:
That two Grand bodies of the same grade cannot lawfully exist in the same
state at the same time.
That the first lawfully constituted body established in a state and duly
recognized by corresponding bodies, thereby obtains exclusive jurisdiction in
such territory, and that any other body of the same grade or rite entering
later within such territory, is in itself unlawful.
axiomatic propositions have never, to my knowledge, been denied by any
intelligent jurist. It may be claimed that this Grand Lodge has no right to
take any action with reference to the higher degrees and higher orders of
Masonry. However this may be, many grand jurisdictions have established a
precedent by which it seems to me we can be safely guided (77).
Committee on Jurisprudence approved the two propositions quoted above but
expressly declines to enter upon any discussion of the history, use or
legitimacy of any bodies claiming to confer what is known as the Scottish Rite
degrees, or to be committed to the recognition of any such body, or to the
recognition of any body conferring any degrees over which this Grand Lodge has
no control (78)
report was adopted on June 20, 1889. Exactly one month later a new and more
aggressive Grand Master, who had meanwhile taken office, issued an edict
the only legitimate and lawfully constituted Masonic authority of the Ancient
and Accepted Scottish Rite within the State of Nebraska is that of the
Southern Jurisdiction for the United States, presided over by Bro. Albert
Pike; that all others not acknowledging allegiance to the said eouthern
Jurisdiction are UNLAWFUL AND CLANDESTINE, and their creation and maintenance
is a menace to the peace, tranquility and harmony of the Craft (79),
brethren within our Jurisdiction to refrain from joining any bodies of the
so-called "Cerneau Rite"; and if any have already become members thereof, to
withdraw from such membership and association (80).
Aug. 6, following, the members of Nebraska Lodge, No. 1, "the oldest landmark
of Freemasonry in the state," adopted a manifesto (81), in the form of
resolutions, to the other lodges, protesting against the edict and in effect
declaring it ultra vires. Two weeks later the Grand Master, to use his own
suspended the Master and Wardens thereof from the exercise of their official
functions, took possession of the charter, records and seal of said lodge, and
directed the Treasurer of said lodge to retain all moneys belonging thereto in
his possession, informing him that I would hold him personally and officially
responsible for the same until called for by proper authority (82).
truly was a challenge to the followers of Cerneau
had, some of them, been highly honored by the Craft of Nebraska by the
election to some of the highest offices and positions of honor in their gift,
and who justly prided themselves that they were prominent in Masonic circles
among us (83).
an issue could be settled only in the Grand Lodge itself, and it was there
settled at the ensuing session. The Grand Master devoted nearly twentythree
pages of his address to the subject, reviewing exhaustively the action thereon
of the various Grand Lodges. He also recommended
Alexander Atkinson, Master; Augustus C. Osterman, Senior Warden; and William
D. McHugL, Junior Warden, be proceeded against and disciplined in the manner
and to the extent that in your judgment the gravity of their offence merits,
all the circumstances of the case considered. (84)
address and the action preceding it evoked a long and acrimonious discussion,
as the following excerpt from the proceedings, relative to a resolution to
"unequivocally approve, sustain and endorse the Grand Master," will indicate:
Lininger, 3, moved that the resolution be referred to the committee on
jurisprudence. Bros. Chapman, 6, and Holmes, 55 addressed the brethren. Bro.
Holmes, 55, moved, as a substitute, that the resolution be referred to a
special committee whose members shall not be Scottish Rite Masons--ruled out
of order, the motion to refer to a standing committee having precedence. Bros.
Hastings 19, Warren, 2, Chapman, 6. Dunham, 3, Rayner, 75, Crites, i58, Furnas,
4, Coutant, 11, France, 56, Lowe, 95, Dinsmore, 49, Ehrhardt, 41, Davis, 21,
and Phelps 34, addressed the brethren. Bro. Lininger, 3, withdrew his motion.
Bro. Wooley, 97, moved reference of the resolution to a special committee of
five, none of whom should be Scottish Rite Masons, which motion was lost.
Bros. Owen, 19, Coutant, 11 Lininger, 3, Wheeler, 1, Lininger, 3, France, 56,
Martin, 46. Chapman, 6, Cleburne, 3, and Warren, 2. addressed the brethren.
Bro. Rayner. 75, offered an amendment to the pending resolution; Bro. Warren,
2, moved that all new matter therein be stricken out, and Bro. Rayner erased
it; Bro. Wheeler, 1, moved strike out the first preamble, which motion
amendment recalling the edict, censuring the lodge but restoring its charter,
was defeated by a vote of 336 to 151, and the original resolution of
unequivocal approval was thereupon adopted
three hundred and forty-five (345) yeas to one hundred and thirty-nine (139)
ended what was probably the most strenuous contest over Cerneauism of the many
which raged in the American Grand Lodges.
Indian Territory Grand Master closed that portion of his address devoted to
the subject before the Grand Lodge which held its sixteenth annual
communication at Muskogee on Nov. 4, 1890, with these words:
Cerneauism has thrown some of our sister Grand Lodges and the Craft within
their jurisdiction into a state of confusion which for a time seemed to
threaten their very existence. Let us profit by their experience, and so
legislate in advance that our Grand Lodge may never feel disturbance from this
clandestine enemy (87)
special committee to which this portion of the address was referred, and whose
report was unanimously adopted, recommended
the Grand Lodge of Indian Territory, A. F. and A. M., reaffirm the declaration
of Masonic principles set forth in the address of Grand Master Bennett,
touching Masonic occupancy of the territory controlled by it--Indian Territory
and Oklahoma --and hereby instructs its subordinates that it recognizes as
legal occupants of the Indian Territory * * * the A. and A. Scottish Rite
Supreme Council for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States of which
Albert Pike is the present Sovereign Grand Commander (88).
last Grand Master of the Indian Territory Grand Lodge, before its union with
that of Oklahoma, issued a circular (89), on Oct. 27, 1908, apropos of the
Bayliss pamphlet in reply to the Louisiana edicts, and characterized as
clandestine all bodies in the state claiming to be Scottish Rite and not owing
allegiance to the Mother Supreme Council. The Grand Lodge laws on the subject
were directed to be enforced against all Masons connected with such bodies.
Master Conklin, of California, in 1891, called the attention of the Grand
Lodge, in his address before it at San Francisco on Oct. 13, "to a spirit of
rebellion which has sprung up in the state of Ohio," and was, he said,
legitimate result of a clandestine and spurious organization of a so-called
branch of Scottish Rite Masonry known as "Cerneauism " Wherever these people
have acquired a foothold they have shown the seed of discord, and the harvest
of discontent and rebellion have not been reaped. Our expression of
condemnation cannot be too emphatic (90).
portion of the address was referred to the Committee on Jurisprudence which
expressed itself in agreement with the Grand Master's position but considered
it sufficiently covered by existing legislation (91). The report, however,
added the following:
Relative to a Lodge of the Scottish Rite reported to have been established in
Los Angeles under the jurisdiction of a so-called Supreme Council of New
being advised that such a lodge had been established in that city, the Grand
Master issued a circular cautioning our brethren against recognizing or
holding intercourse with any person connected with that clandestine and
spurious body. We approve the action of the Grand Master, and are of opinion
that no further action need be taken at this time (92).
Oct. 17, 1891, the Washington Grand Master issued a warning to "all Masons who
love, cherish and wish to preserve, our ancient landmarks and the purity of
our Institution" to the effect
one Oliver F. Briggs, and seven others, are within our Grand Jurisdiction
organizing Lodges, purporting to be of Masonic origin, of the so-called "Cerneau
Rite," a rite which has not been recognized by the laws of our Grand
Jurisdiction, nor as I am reliably informed, is it recognized by the laws of
any regularly constituted Grand Lodge of Ancient Craft Masonry in the United
States, but, on the contrary, I find that it is alleged to be clandestine
ensuing session of the Grand Lodge, on June 14, 1892, the Grand Master quoted
this letter in his address and added:
Believing that this matter has nothing to do with Ancient Craft Masonry, I do
not deem it expedient that any action be taken by the Grand Lodge (94).
committee to which the address was referred recommended however
the position taken by the Grand Master on the Cerneau Rite be concurred in,
this was adopted (95). It was in the same year (1892) that the North Carolina
Grand Master was able to say
Cerneauism has not yet made its appearance in this Grand jurisdiction, though
I have reason to suspect that efforts will be made to introduce it.
absence of Grand Lodge action, have determined to interdict it. Now that the
Grand Lodge is in session, I present the question to you for consideration. In
my judgment this Grand Lodge should emphatically condemn it (96).
special committee to which this was referred reported a resolution which was
lodge in this Grand Jurisdiction shall recognize or hold communication with
the Cerneau bodv or its members, and shall discountenance the establishment of
any of its branches in this jurisdiction (97).
thirty-fourth annual communication of the Idaho Grand Lodge, opened at Boise
on Sept. 10, 1901, a resolution was adopted after being reported favorably,
with one member dissenting, by the Committee on Jurisprudence, specifying what
bodies were recognized, including
Supreme Councils of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite for the Northern
and Southern Jurisdictions of the United States, and the various bodies under
any Mason who is hereafter admitted in this Jurisdiction into any other
orders, as Masonic, whether called the Rite of Memphis, or by any other name,
is acting un-Masonically, and against the advice and consent of this Grand
a year later the Wyoming Grand Lodge adopted resolutions (99) recognizing the
same Scottish Rite bodies and providing
any Master Mason of this jurisdiction who has joined or who shall hereafter
join or in any way affiliate with or recognize any so-called or pretended
Masonic body of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, or any other body,
commonly known as spurious, other than those specified in this resolution,
shall be expelled from the lodge of which he may be a member; that any Master
Mason belonging to a lodge of any other jurisdiction who has joined, or
hereafter shall join, or in any way affiliate with or recognize any of said
so-called pretended and spurious Masonic bodies, shall not be entitled to
receive Masonic courtesies from or be allowed to visit any lodge in this
jurisdiction nor to receive a Masonic burial.
1903, at the twenty-ninth session of the Imperial Council, Nobles of the
Mystic Shrine, a committee was appointed, consisting of William B. Melish,
Harrison Dingman and Philip C. Shaffer, to codify the lawsl (100). Their work,
which was completed and adopted two years later (101), provided for the first
time that Scottish Rite applicants for membership therein must show
standing in a Consistory * * * of the obedience of either of the Supreme
Councils for the Northern or for the Southern Masonic Jurisdiction of such
Rite in the United States and those Councils which are in amity with, and
recognized by, them (102).
Jan. 18, 1905, at the annual communication of the Grand Lodge of Connecticut,
the Grand Master, in an address, called for ampler protection against
"Clandestine Masonry," which, he said,
rearing its serpent head in our midst as never before, and clandestine lodges
are springing up in almost every Grand Jurisdiction (103).
by the opening years of the twentieth century, nearly one-half of the American
Grand Lodges, not to mention a number of other Grand bodies, had passed upon
and rejected Cerneauism. On the other hand, as the Iowa Grand Lodge committee
not find that any Grand Lodge of the United States or elsewhere, or any Grand
Master, has ever recognized the Cerneau body of the Scottish Rite as
legitimate or duly constituted nor do we find that any such Grand Lodge or
Grand Master has taken any action to prohibit or prevent the conferring of the
Scottish Rite degrees by the Supreme Councils of either the Southern or
Northern Jurisdictions of the United States (104).
Cerneauism seemed, therefore, at the end of its trail. But there were still
sufficient adherents to make trouble and they were rallied for a desperate and
final struggle by one, M. W. Bayliss, a Canadian by origin, having been born
Nov. 8, 1848, at Picton, Nova Scotia (105). He removed to Providence, R. I.,
where, in 1869, he claimed (106) to have obtained the symbolic degrees in
Mount Vernon Lodge, No. 4, and whence, in 1881, he was appointed a clerk in
the Surgeon-General's office at Washington with a salary of $900 per annum.
His name appears first on the roster of the Peckham Cerneau Council's
Washington Consistory in the list (107) of spurious bodies within the southern
jurisdiction issued by Pike in 1884. In the following year we find Bayliss
writing letters (108) to parties in the south, signing himself "33d Deputy
Inspector General at Large," assailing the Mother Supreme Council and its
officers and seeking to advance the interests of the Cerneau body presided
over by Dr. J. F. S. Gorgas, of Baltimorel (109). But he soon fell out with it
and a bulletin which it issued about 1889, recites:
December, 1888, charges were preferred against M. W. Bayliss, 33d, for a
violation of his several oaths taken in his official position and as a
Thirty-second and Thirty-third in the Cerneau Rite, and for Masonic treason.
He was at once suspended and a copy of the charges with specifications was
served upon him. He was duly summoned before impartial judges duly appointed
to try him, but he did not appear, or make defense. And upon these, his own
written letters to the enemy (which were allowed inspection), he was, on June
15th, properly found guilty and expelled from all offices, rights and
privileges in the Rite. A copy of the facts found, and the judgment of
expulsion was personally served upon him on June 18th, 1889.
expelled was for a short time a member of the Council. In June, '87, he failed
of a re-election and it is now apparent that hatred and treason toward the
Rite (he has so often sworn to cherish and support) has ever since lurked in
his heart (110).
Bayliss appears to have signalized his break with the Gorgas body by issuing a
circular (111) in which he sets forth its connection with the repudiated Grand
Orient of France; as a result of which, he declares, "this Sov. Gd. Consistory
died Masonically," for
cannot confer Scottish Rite degrees upon any except Master Masons in good and
regular standing, and it follows that we cannot recognize as Scottish Rite
Masons any whom we know to be clandestine Master Masons.
Grand Lodges to which we severally owe allegiance have determined whom we
shall or shall not recognize as Master Masons, and no one who is not a
legitimate Master Mason can be a legitimate Scottish Rite Mason (112).
was precisely the position he found himself combatting subsequently in the
time of his greatest activity; for the burden of his and his followers'
contentions was that the Grand Lodges had nothing to do with the Scottish Rite
and that there was no propriety in their attempting to decide between its
Bayliss closed his manifesto with an appeal for
action as would be necessary to place us before the Masonic World as Masons
loyal and true to Ancient Craft Masonry, the foundation and mother of all
Masonic Rites. Should such action not be taken, no alternative will be left
me. I must remain loyal and true to Ancient Craft Masonry and sever my
connection with the Rite (113).
"such action" was ever taken but Bayliss did not sever his connection with
Cerneauism; he merely changed from one clandestine body to another. For he
tells us (114) that in 1896 (while still a clerk in the Surgeon-General's
office, now receiving $1,800 a year) he became the head of a body styling
itself "the Supreme Council of the United States and its territories and
dependencies (115), succeeding in that capacity William H. Hershiser, who had
taken the controversy into the courts of Ohio and had been expelled from
symbolic Masonry there. For that body, Bayliss not only asserted (116) direct
descent from Cerneau but put forth the modest claim that "all Scottish Rite
Masons in this country are wrong except the body I have the honor of
representing (117). He continued to find his favorite hunting ground in the
south, for he testified at the trial of his action against the Grand Lodge of
been doing business in Arkansas; I have been doing business in Mississippi; I
have done business in Maryland; I have done business in the District of
Columbia. * * * I have done business in New York; I have done business in
Rhode Island, and in numerous other places (118).
reference to Arkansas recalls the anomalous fact that the Grand Lodge in which
Albert Pike was once an active worker was among the last and least positive to
declare itself upon this important question. As early as 1889, indeed, the
Arkansas Grand Master, discussing Cerneauism in his annual address, held
this Grand Lodge, in its legislative and executive power, is supreme over the
symbolic degrees of Masonry in this State, and therefore has exclusive right,
not only to warn its members against dangerous association, but full power to
promptly and forcibly discipline her disobedient children.
careful review of Masonic history will unmistakably disclose the clandestine
character of this pernicious growth. They have not only sought to occupy
territory already in the peaceful possession of others, but they did once, if
indeed they do not secretly now, claim authority to charter Blue Lodges (119).
portion of the address was referred to a special committee of Past Grand
Masters (120), but no action seems to have been taken at that session.
sixty-fifth annual communication of the Grand Lodge, held at Little Rock on
Nov. 19, 1907, Grand Master Trieber reported the existence of a Cerneau body
at Pine Bluff in that state claiming to be a Scottish Rite Consistory and
asked that the matter, together with a letter from Bayliss, be referred to the
Committee on Masonic Law and Usage (121). Such reference was made (122) but
the committee pleaded insufficient time and asked leave to sit during the
recess, which was granted (123). It met again at Little Rock on Feb. 25, 1908,
and heard Mr. Bayliss as the Cerneau representative and George F. Moore and
John Brodie in behalf of the Mother Supreme Council; after which it went into
executive session (124). The results of its deliberations were the following
resolutions which were reported to the Grand Lodge at its ensuing session and
Resolved, That it is not expedient for this Committee or for the Grand Lodge
of Arkansas, to take any action affecting the status, or attempting to
determine the authenticity of any organization of which Masons may become
members, unless it should appear in point of fact that such other organization
is immoral in its tendencies or subsersive of the principles of Masonry. * * *
Resolved, Further, that inasmuch as the southern jurisdiction of the Scottish
Rite Masons has been in active operation in Arkansas for fifty years to the
exclusion of all other branches of the Scottish Rite, it is the sense of this
Committee that it will be conducive to harmony if those Masons under the
jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Arkansas desiring the Scottish Rite degree
should affiliate with the southern jurisdiction. (125)
Bayliss appears (125) to have claimed this as a victory; but he was then
making his last stand and anything short of complete rout was welcome.
Moreover in the same year, 1908, the Bayliss body suffered the loss, by
renunciation, of two of its most prominent members --James H. Curtin, who had
been Secretary-General (127), and Joseph Cristosi, Grand Seneschal and member
of the Committee on Foreign Relations (128). To offset such defections, heroic
measures were necessary, and they were not, of course, confined to Arkansas.
About the same time he was offering to confer degrees in North Carolina, and
there he seems to have changed front; for the Grand Master who was appealed to
by prospective candidates and referred the matter to the Grand Lodge,
understand the claim of the Supreme Council of the United States of America,
its territories and dependencies, to be that it is not a Cerneau body (129).
special committee of the Grand Lodge which considered the matter reported
adversely to the claims of the Bayliss Council (130), and certain passages in
the report were made the basis of a libel action by the Bayliss Council
against the North Carolina Grand Lodge in 1914 in the Forsyth County Superior
Court (131). Evidence and argument were heard for several days before Judge C.
C. Lyon and a jury and the former then dismissed the proceeding on the ground
that the matter complained of was of qualified privilege and that no malice
had been shown (132).
the same time Bayliss commenced another action for libel in the District of
Columbia Supreme Court, this time against the Mother Supreme Council, on
account of an article on "Recent Cerneauism" (133), which its official organ
had published. To its plea of justification, plaintiff presented a demurrer
thus challenging its legal sufficiency. The demurrer was overruled, and after
being set for hearing upon the merits the cause was finally dismissed in 1915
on motion of plaintiff's counsel.
Texas Grand Master devoted something less than a page to "Clandestine and
Spurious Organizations" in his address at the seventy-fourth annual Grand
Lodge communication in that state, on Dec. 7, 1909, at Waco, observing that,
while as yet no effort had been made by such organizations to establish bodies
there, he was led to believe that one would be, and believed "that this Grand
Lodge should go on record in the most emphatic manner as to what Masonic
organizations and bodies are legitimate (134). The Committee on Jurisprudence,
to which this portion of the address was referred, presented a report which
as Blue Lodge Masons we have no knowledge of Scottish Rite Masonry beyond the
Master's degree, and as a Grand Lodge we are not called upon at this time to
decide upon questions of regularity arising between different bodies of
another rite, nor claiming jurisdiction over the Craft degrees. Like the Grand
Master, we, as individuals, have a decided opinion upon the question, and
regard so-called Cerneauism as spurious and clandestine, but we advise the
Grand Lodge to keep out of this controversy until the concrete question is
forced upon us by an attempt to establish this rite within our jurisdiction.
We do not apprehend that any member of our Fraternity in Texas will be imposed
upon by this illegitimate scheme, masquerading under the name of Freemasonry
Meanwhile, Bayliss emissaries had been active in Mississippi (136) and the
Grand Master there caused the issuance of a circular warning the lodges that
the branch of Masonry represented by the former was clandestine (137). That
action was approved by the Grand Lodge (138) but it proved unready to follow
the ruling to its logical consequences. For when a member who defied it, by
not only retaining membership in that branch but attempting to organize
bodies, was tried and expelled by his lodge, the Grand Lodge, adopting the
report (139) of its Committee on Complaints and Appeals, set aside the action
and assumed to restore the offender. The succeeding Grand Master, hovvever,
issued an emphatic and elaborate edict (140) reiterating even more strongly
the pronouncement of clandestinism and declaring that the Grand Lodge had
acted "very unwisely" and that the purported restoration gave the offender no
other status than "that of a non-affiliate." This time the Grand Lodge
reversed itself and approved the edict (141). More than that it adopted an
illuminating report (142) of its Committee on Law and Jurisprudence to which
the whole question had been referred at the preceding session (143), and which
included a series of resolutions which in effect proscribed Cerneauism and
provided the ceremony of expulsion for those who should hold any connection
annual communication of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee, opened at Nashville on
Jan. 28, 1914, Grand Master Comstock in his address (145) called attention to
the invasion of Bayliss representatives, reviewed the action of other Grand
Lodges, and recommended specific recognition of legitimate higher bodies and
legislation against all others. The report (146) of the Committee on
Jurisprudence, to which the subject had been referred, embodied resolutions
defining the bodies entitled to recognition, among which was "the Supreme
Council * * for the Southern Jurisdiction," declaring all others to be
"mischievous intruders, menacing Masonic peace and harmony" and announcing
that "any member * * aiding or abetting" them "thereby subjects himself to
appears to have been the last effort of Bayliss. He died on Feb. 15, 1919, and
with him the organization which he represented and in fact largely
constituted. Cerneauism in the United States had run its course. On few
controverted subjects have the American Grand bodies gone on record so
generally and so positively. The case was well summed up by Grand Commander
Richardson when he declared:
is nothing plainer than that the verdict of Masonic mankind is against
Cerneauism, and no human power can alter or change that verdict (147).
Neb. Grand Com. Proc., 1889, pp. 1052, 1053.
Neb. Grand Lodge Proc., 1889, p. 13.
Ibid. p. 57
Ibid. 1890, p. 163.
Ibid. pp. 164-166
Ibid. p. 167.
Grand Master's Address, Ibid., 1890, p. 161.
Ibid. p. 167.
Proc. Ind. Ter. Grand Lodge, 1890, p. 15.
Reprinted, New Age, Ix, 549.
Cal. Grand Lodge Proc., 1891, p. 11.
Ibid. p. 219.
Wash. Grand Lodge Proc., 1892, p. 32. See this warning quoted in the Manifesto
of the Washington Bodies, Oct. 22, 1891. Off. Bull. Sup. Coun. X, 563-566;
also in N. Y. Council of Deliberation Proc., 1908, pp. 73, 74.
Wash. Grand Lodge Proc., 1892, p. 33.
N. C. Grand Lodge Proc., 1892, p. 13.
Ibid. p. 47.
Idaho Grand Lodge Proc., 1901, pp. 50, 54, 55.
Wyoming Grand Lodge Proc., 1902, pp. 66, 67.
Proceedings, 1903, p. 90.
Ibid. 1905, p. 115
Shrine Code, July 1, 1905, Const. Art. X.
Conn. Grand Lodge Proc., 1905, p. 37.
Ia. Grand Lodge Proc., 1889 pp. 327, 328.
These and other biographicai data are taken from the War Department records
through the courtesy of Surgeon General Ireland.
New Age, XVI, 93.
Off. Bull. Sup. Coun., VI, 588.
Reprinted, Ibid. VII 601-607.
New Age, XI, 280.
Ibid 285, 286.
Testimony in Bayliss v. La. Grand Lodge, New Age, XVI, 609.
Ibid. XVII, 103.
Ibid XVI, 411.
New Age, XVI 89
Ark Grand Lodge Proc., 1889, p. li.
Ibid. 1907, pp. 19-21.
Ibid. 1908, p. 48.
Ibid. 48 49.
Testimony. New Age, XVI, 61d.
New Age, IX, 76.
N. C. Grand Lodge Proc., 1909, p. 41.
Ibid. pp. 148-150.
New Age, XXI, 225.
See Letter of A. B. Andrews representing defendant, Ibid. 218, A transcript of
the proceediings is in the Library of the Supreme Council.
New Age, VIII, 464.
Texas Grand Lodge Proc., 1909, pp. 41 42.
Ibid. 152, 153.
New Age, XVI, 486
Miss. Grand Lodge Proc., 1911, p. 15.
Ibid. 1912, pp. 33, 34.
Ibid. pp. 160, 161.
Ibid. 1911, pp. 126, 127.
The outcome was materially aided by addresses (New Age XVI, 492, 598) in
behalf of the report by Melville R. Grant, 33d then recently elected Sovereign
Grand Commander in Mississippi, and Charles F. Buck, 33d, Sovereign Grand
Inspector General in Louisiana Tenn.
Grand Lodge Proc., 1914, pp. 84-87.
Allocution, Trans., Sup. Coun., 1909, p. 66.
Development of Papal Power in the Catholic Church
BRO. FERDINAND OUDIN, Illinois
STUDY of the Middle Ages becomes in the very nature of things a combined study
of the Papal system and of the Holy Roman Empire, for the two are inseparable.
During this period the Pope and Emperor were either at war with one another,
or else conspiring together to overthrow some other ruler of church or state.
Gregory I (the Great) is usually considered as the first medieval Pope, he was
a man peculiarly suited to impress the world at this transition period. He was
the son of Gordianus, a wealthy patrician, possessed vigor and administrative
ability, and was reared in a time when little culture was left in Rome.
Gregory served as Prefect of Rome, this was at the time when the Lombards
over-ran Italy and all but captured Rome. Desolation was everywhere, and no
doubt these conditions were what finally convinced him that the end of the
world was near; a belief that, in his sermons and writings, repeatedly comes
to the surface.
Gregory was sent by Pope Pelagius II to Constantinople, to ask the Emperor for
troops to defend the Roman See. During the eight years there he was still
further strengthened in his belief of the coming desolation by the general
corruption of the clerics and the fierce dogmatic discussions among them. His
return to Rome in 586 was without troops, but he brought back with him an arm
of St. Andrews and the head of St. Luke, which according to the belief of the
Church was a far greater treasure. His austerity may be judged from an
anecdote, told by himself, according to which one of his monks appropriated a
small sum, violating his vow of poverty. Gregory refused the dying man the
consolation of the sacraments, and had him buried in a dunghill.
Pelagius II died in 590 and the Romans rushed into the monastery where Gregory
stayed and brought the news that Gregory was to be his successor. He felt
himself unequal to the task and fled, but being the ablest man in Italy he was
brought back to Rome and made Pope. He was a strict disciplinarian and did
much to correct the evils of his clergy, and on occasions would direct the
movement of troops that he sent out against the Lombards. Much of his time and
ability was needed to control the vast Papal incomes and expenditures, for
there were now immense estates and patrimonies scattered all over Italy, Gaul,
Dalmatia and Africa; some of these were brought to the Papal See by himself,
for, as mentioned before, he came of a wealthy family. An estimate of these
holdings sets them at anywhere from 1400 to 1800 square miles. Gregory,
however, deserves his title, "the Great," for his enormous wealth was used by
him for the furtherance of the Church through charity and justice.
picture of the corruptness of the Church, however, may be seen through some of
his letters; in one of them he says: "I hear that no one can obtain orders in
your provinces without paying for them." This refers to the practice of simony
which even at so early a period was prevalent among the higher clergy, many of
whom had been ambitious laymen who had purchased a bishopric and then lived a
vicious and luxurious life by extorting illegal fees. In 599 he issued a
letter to all the clergy, forbidding bishops to have women in their houses and
ordering priests, deacons and subdeacons to separate from their wives.
Information came to him that the clergy of Sardinia and Corsica were very
corrupt and that Januarius, Metropolitan at Cagliari, was intemperate and
avaricious, so Gregory gave orders for the latter to appear in Rome and stand
Conditions in Italy were anything but suitable for the development of a
spiritual Pope and so Gregory found that if he wished to succeed in some
measure to reform the world, and especially his clergy, he would have to
resort to force. He appointed military governors, and a considerable part of
his correspondence was with military men, stirring them to action and
outlining campaigns. His almost fanatical desire to convert everyone is
illustrated by his instructions to the Archbishops, to raise the rents and
taxes of those pagans who would not renounce their gods, and when this did not
suffice, he enjoined physical persecution; slaves were to be punished with
"blows and tortures" while free tenants were to be imprisoned, "In order that
they who disdain to hear the saving words of health may at least be brought to
the desired sanity of mind by torture of the body." Here he legislated for the
medieval age. While he denounced simony he did not deem it inexpedient to
grant the pallium to Bishop Syagrius of Autun when requested to do so by the
willful Brunechildis, Queen of Austrasia, and withhold it from the learned and
devout Bishop of Desiderius of Vienne who had gained her dislike for having
upbraided her improper actions. Gregory, usually so well informed, could not
help knowing the character of the woman whose influence he attempted to win,
and it is not surprising that simony, drunkenness and vice continued among the
Frankish priests and monks.
was not only the Pope who meddled in secular affairs, as often as not the King
or Emperor would interfere with those of the Church. The Archbishop of Salona,
a very lax prelate, died and the Pope tried to fill the vacancy by having the
archdeacon, a vigorous priest, elected. But neither the clergy nor laity
desired a change of morals in the episcopal palace and procured an order from
the Emperor permitting them to elect their own favorite. Gregory charged
bribery and excommunicated the new Archbishop. In another casethe Emperor
wanted to replace an invalid bishop with a more vigorous man, to which Gregory
refused his consent.
GREGORY'S MISSIONARY ZEAL
Gregory's zeal for the extension of the Christian faith led him to establish
the first Hierarchy in England. It is said that in his early days he saw a
number of very fair complexioned youths among some slaves that were brought to
Rome. They looked so angelic that he decided to convert the land,
"Angel-Land," from which they came. He purchased a number of these youths and
trained them as missionaries to return to their home land and preach the
Gospel. He also, through the friendly relations established with Gaul, gained
entrance to the court of Ethelbert, King of Britain. To this court he sent a
mission of monks under St. Augustine, who in a few years converted the King,
changed the temples into churches and had the King's subjects driven into them
to attend Mass.
March 12, 604, Gregory died, having striven hard during his life to correct
the evils of the clergy and laity but with little success. He did, however,
greatly strengthen the Papacy, making it a power that under proper leadership
might have done great good in the world.
centuries pass by without much change, then Zachary, a most genial and
diplomatic Pope, changed the Papal policy. At this time the strife between the
Lombards and the various Dukes of Italy raged especially strong; the Pope
stood to gain nothing by aiding the Dukes, the rightful Lords of Italy, so
made overtures to Liutprand, the King of the Lombards, and loaned him his
small army to aid him in suppressing the obstinate Dukes, and received in
return four towns as patrimony, enriching the Papacy thereby.
INTERVENTION IN GAUL
little later came the notorious intervention of the Pope in the secular
affairs of the Franks. Pippin, the mayor of the palace, turned to the Pope for
moral council regarding his designs on the throne of Childeric III. Zachary
was not slow to see his advantage, and so went much farther than the request
called for and ordered the Franks to elect Pippin their King. This act
established Rome's claim that she conferred the kingdom on the father of
Charlemagne. Zachary's act was further strengthened by his successor, Stephen
II, who in 753 went to France and induced Pippin to "take up the cause of the
Blessed Peter and the Republic of the Romans" and annointed Pippin and his
sons, pronouncing an anathema on all who would displace the family of Pippin
from the throne. The grateful Pippin swore to secure for the Popes the Roman
Duchy, "divers cities and territories," and the exarchate of Ravenna. This act
is historically known as the "Donation of Pippin," and a latter renewal of the
same as the "Quiercey Donation."
now pass directly to the Pontificate of Hadrian I, who diplomatically gained
further patrimonies for the Papacy. In 773 Charlemagne came to Rome to
celebrate Easter. Hadrian made hurried though elaborate arrangements for the
reception and entertainment of his illustrious guest. In the Libei
Pontificalis is a detailed description of this visit, in which we are told of
the great piety of the Emperor; the writer further tells us that on the
Wednesday the Pope and King met in the presence of the body of St. Peter and
that there Charlemagne assigned to St. Peter and his successors forever the
larger part of Italy, as we know it today. On this is based the Papal claims
to the temporal power in Italy.
POPE AS A TEMPORAL RULER
remainder of Hadrian's rule was so taken up with looking after the temporal
rights of his See, that little time was left for spiritual duties. He was
really more King than Pope. In the meantime the other prelates were not all in
accord with the Pope's plans. We hear that shortly after Charlemagne's return
to France, Leo, Archbishop of Ravenna, had seized the cities of the Archate,
turned out the offlcials appointed by the Pope and by the use of troops took
over the rule of the district. Hadrian did a good deal for art and charity,
but this mostly in the confines of Rome. On the whole, his vast resources were
used in laying the foundation for the future material grandeur of the papacy,
and in supporting armies in the field to protect it against his rivals. He
also is one of the first to establish nepotism, appointing his nephew
Paschalis, a desolute and brutal man, to one of the chief papal offices. It
was this Paschal who soon after Hadrian's death attempted, on the floor of a
church, to cut out the eyes of Pope Leo III, Hadrian's successor.
Stephen V, successor to Leo III, occupied the papal throne for only one year.
His short rule, however, was such that Charlemagne came to Rome to judge him
on serious charges. He acquitted the Pope, who shortly after, on Christmas
morning in the year 800, surprised Charlemagne by placing an imperial crown on
his head. So now the Popes could also claim that they made Emperors.
POPE AS OVERLORD OF KINGS
next seven Popes were men of more or less mediocrity, showing alternate
flashes of spirituality and violence, but in general they indicated a papal
degeneracy until 858, when Nicholas I became the wearer of the tiara. He was
the son of a Roman notary, and fairly well educated according to the standards
of his day. His was a gradual rise from the lowest rank in the church. His
service had been such as to make him well liked, and so upon the death of
Benedict III he was unanimously chosen to succeed him. On Sunday, April 24,
858, he was consecrated in the presence of Emperor Louis II. Soon after his
ascension to the papal chair he showed that a different type of Pope had come
to rule the church. He took his office very seriously, and sincerely believed
himself God's representative on earth. To him all creatures were equal, be
they beggar or king, bishop or monk, and he felt himself to be responsible to
God for every wrong committed on earth. He gave kings their right to rule and
considered them his subjects; and leading bishops, no matter how powerful,
were expected to obey him or be deposed. No council or diet must be held
without his approval. He left to the Emperor the rule of men's bodies, but he
controlled their souls. To his credit be it said that he regulated his own
life as well as that of those immediately near him with the same moral
strictness. Then also the conditions were such as to require the rule of such
a master. The prelates were many of them court favorites, members of princely
families, arrogant and avaricious, who set up a sort of feudal aristocracy in
the church, and oppressed priest, monk and people, even putting themselves
against the very prince whose vassals they were. Nicholas I was the right man
for the times, who did much to improve the morals of the world. But no matter
how beneficial the centralization of spiritual power or how religious his
purpose may have been, it cannot be gainsaid that at times he resorted to
principles that set a dangerous precedent for more unscrupulous successors. He
died in 867, having administered stern justice according to his light for nine
and one-half years.
shall pass over the next century giving our attention to the tenth, that
Baronius has forever branded "the iron century." It may be considered as
opening with Pope Sergius III, who reigned from 904 to 911. Many causes united
toward the decadent conditions of this century. It was an age of violent
characters, uncontrolled; a constantly growing number of small principalities,
the heads of which were in bloody rivalry. The Papacy's nominal independence
from worldly princes, with its inability to protect itself without their aid,
caused the Popes to dangle the imperial crown before the eyes of the rulers of
Italy, France and Germany, trying to find a monarch who would protect the
Church but not govern it. All this of course led to political intrigue and
revolting practices. The morals were at their lowest. It is recorded that a
nephew of Bishop Arsenius abducted the daughter of Pope Hadrian II and being
pursued, murdered her and the Pope's wife. On one occasion the Pope had one of
his officials blinded and caused the widow of another offlcial to be driven
with whips, naked, through the streets of Rome.
the iron century these corrupt families came more into light and the
domination of the Papacy by the immoral Theodora and Marozia are just one of
the many instances of corruption. Liutprand, Bishop of Cremona and an attache
of the court of Otto I, a frequent visitor at Rome during the time of Pope
John XI, says that Theodora was all-powerful, that she was "a shameless whore"
and mistress of John X, in whose promotion to the See of Ravenna and later to
that of Rome she was instrumental. That her daughters, Marozia and Theodora,
were more shameless than she, and that Pope John XI was the son of Marozia and
Sergius III, an unscrupulous man who resigned from a bishopric, returning to
the rank of deacon, thereby bettering his chances of receiving the Papacy. He
ruled as Anti-Pope in 898, was driven from Ror.e being charged with
responsibility of the death of his two predecessors.
immoral condition did not obtain only in high places, but judging from what
Bishop Ratherius of Verona says, existed along among the lesser luminaries.
Writing of the prelates he tells us, that they dress gorgeously, ride out to
hunt on richly caparisoned horses, returning at night to sumptuous banquets,
with dancing girls for company, with whom later they retire to beds inlaid
with gold and silver.
whatever vices John X may have had, he was not neglectful of his duty to the
Papacy, for when he heard that the Saracens were still devastating Italy he
formed a great league to combat them, and marshaling his own Roman militia, he
rode at their head, besides Alberic of Camerino. There had been many fighting
Popes, but John X was the first to take the field in person.
John's later years there was considerable strife between the Papacy and the
laity. John called his brother Peter to Rome and gave him so much power that
it infuriated the nobles and former supporters. In 928 the Pope was taken from
the palace and cast into prison, where he died the following year, whether of
natural causes is not known.
INCONSISTENCY OF FAITH AND PRACTICE
read the history of the Middle Ages we are continuously confronted by seeming
absurdities; men, stained with vice, proclaim full and sincere devotion to a
religion that never departed from the purity of its moral teachings. This
leads us to the conclusion that such persons have been either fools or
hypocrites. Yet so to conclude would be erroneous, for we know that a man's
action little conforms to the general maxims laid down for his guidance, and
that he can hold to a belief without applying its doctrines. So though his
thoughts are influenced his actions are not governed by them. This condition
of mind was of course more apparent during the Middle Ages; men were more
impulsive, more violent and reckless. Then also the moral code was of low
order, so that what today would be a heinous crime, was then overlooked if not
Therefore, though all believed in the rights of the Empire, none would yield
to those rights if they ran counter to their own passions or interests; but
resistance to the Pope, the Vicar of God, was considered a mortal sin that few
would care to commit. So in order to strengthen the imperial prerogative and
give it a practical efficiency it became imperative to prop it up with the
authority of feudalism, with a king at its head who with the support of feudal
lords might combat the Popes. The Pope, however, considered himself above
earthly rulers so it became imperative that Pope and Emperor be in accord.
This condition led to continuous strife; sometimes the Pope being the stronger
would select and crown an Emperor, at other times the Emperor holding the
upper hand would place a Pope on the throne.
account of the turbulent reign of Pope John XII will illustrate this
condition. Otto I, Emperor and King of a feudal monarchy, could not enforce
his regal authority in his capital, Rome; he could only rule it as Emperor.
Here he never was safe from insult or revolt, so when after his coronation he
returned to North Italy to subdue Berengar and his son Adalbert, Pope John
XII, a restless youth of 25, renounced his allegiance, negotiated with
Berengar and even sent envoys to induce the pagan Magyars to invade Christian
Germany. Of his action the Emperor was soon informed, but affected to despise
them. On his return to Rome he found the city gates shut and defended by a
party that was furious against him, for John was not only Pope but the heir of
Alberic and as such the head of a strong faction of nobles and a temporal
prince of Rome. They, however, could not withstand a siege, and John fled into
the Campagna to join Adalbert.
JOHN XII TRIED AND DEPOSED
convoked a synod in St. Peters and elected himself temporal head of the
Church. He made inquiries into the character of the Pope and the assembled
clergy brought in a tempest of accusations. Bishop Liutprand, who acted as
interpreter for the Emperor, enumerated these in his writings, most of the
accusations having to do with breaches of canon law, but he tells us also that
John, of Narmia and John, cardinal deacon declared-that he had defiled by
shameless acts of vice the pontifical palace; that he had openly diverted
himself with hunting; had put out the eyes of his spiritual father Benedict;
had set fire to houses. . . . All present, laymen as well as priests cried out
that he had drunk to the devil's health.
being solemnly assured by the clergy and people that Pope John XII had
committed all these crimes and even greater ones, the Emperor had a letter
despatched to him, recounting the charges, and asking him to appear at Rome to
clear himself by his own oath. But John refused; so then at a later
deliberation over which Otto presided the Pope was deposed by the assembly
because of his reprobate life, and with the Emperor's consent Leo, the chief
secretary and a layman, was raised to the apostolic chair. After several
revolts John XII returned to Rome but his career was soon ended by what was
said to be a blow on the head given him by the devil.
people now chose a new Pope, Stephen IV, in defiance of the Emperor. Otto
thereupon suppressed the republican form of government and entrusted the
governing of the city to his nominee, Pope Leo III, to act as viceroy, and who
was not presumed to set up any claims to independence. Leo also confirmed the
Emperor's veto on Papal elections which the citizens had yielded in 963.
Popes and Anti-Popes followed each other during the next 30 years and saw the
people sink lower and lower into corruption from which Pope Gregory VII,
better known as Hildebrand, endeavored to lift them. That feudalism which was
encouraged by the Papal See, and which saved Europe from the barbarians, began
now to inject itself into the Church. The spiritual offices became inheritable
property of the ruling houses, and disassociated from religious duties.
Bishops practically became barons in cope and mitre, and kings looked upon
them as officials bound to serve them. Fortunately for the Church, at this
time a strong reformatory movement developed, usually referred to as the "Cluniac
Reformation"; it had foundits beginning in the Monastery at Cluny, Burgundy,
and rapidly spread through the Benedictine monasteries throughout the empire.
These various monasteries, through their abbots, who were responsible to the
arch-abbot of Cluny, formed a unity of organization that exercised a control
over a large portion of the religious world. This organization under the
jurisdiction of Rome began teaching a doctrine of the high power of the
Apostolic See. Their ideal was the separation of the Church from the State,
the Pope to be the ultimate source of jurisdiction, the universal bishop, no
cleric was to have any rights of his own that were not derivative from the
authority of the chair of Peter. With this reformation Hildebrand was closely
associated and from it sprung two centuries of conflict between Pope and
Emperor. Then also the Pope's decree of celibacy for the clergy caused another
SUPREMACY OF THE POPE
what heights of power the Papacy had risen during Gregory's VII Pontificate
may be gleaned from contemplating the abjectness of Henry IV who opposed the
decrees of 1075 against simony and lay investitures, writing an accusatory
letter to the Pope in which he demanded his abdication from the Papal throne.
This letter was delivered at the great synod held at Rome in 1076. It caused a
tumult. Henry was excommunicated and deposed in turn. The war thus declared
between Pope and king waged for some time, but gradually the simoniacs
deserted the king's cause and he finally had to plead for the Pope's pardon.
Henry had to humiliate himself; for three days he waited, barefoot and fasting
in the snow, outside the castle gate, in the dress of a penitent. The Pope
admitted him on the fourth day, and the king threw himself at his feet with
the cry, "Holy father, spare me !" The ensuing peace, however, settled
spirit of religion, originally mild and loving, was now gradually assuming a
character of extravagant and fervid devotion. The zealots sought the
establishment of a heaven on earth, where the Pope acted as the Vicar of God,
the immaculate priesthood being the angelic hosts and the Church heaven
itself. The layman from the Emperor down was thus subordinated to this Papal
system. The Empire, the Church, the whole world was to be governed by this
great theocracy of which the Pope was the head. The "Sacksenspiegel," the
ancient code of the Empire, says:
sent two swords on earth for the protection of Christendom and gave one to the
Pope, the spiritual; to the Emperor, the temporal one
was compiled at a later date, to fit in with the Papal scheme and to replace
the earlier law, the sense of which was completely charged; thus
now the Prince of Peace, left two swords here on earth on his ascension into
heaven, for the protection of Christendom both of which he consigned to St.
Peter, one for temporal, and the other for spiritual rule. The temporal sword
is lent by the Pope to the Emperor. The spiritual sword is held by the Pope
subordination of all the rulers of earth to a supreme Pontiff and the
combining into one vast community all nations, was a grand and sublime idea;
but as Henzel said,
unfortunately for its realization, the ecclesiastical shepherds allowed too
much of earthly passion and of sordid interest to cling to them in their
elevated and almost superhuman positions.
zenith of Papal power was reached during the Pontificate of Innocent III. The
eighteen Popes who occupied the chair of St. Peter between the death of
Gregory VII (Hildebrand) and the election of Innocent were for most part men
of high character who depended upon false Decretals, letters, canons and
charters, that were accepted throughout the Church, to enforce their claims of
the right to dispose of earthly kingdoms as well as to control the entrance
RULE OF INNOCENT III
struggle between the Popes and the Romans had now lost its ardor, the nobles
looking toward the Popes with greater respect. Then also Peter's chair was
occupied mostly by men of illustrious Roman families. From one of these came
Lothario de' Conti di Segui, whose mother belonged to a family which included
several cardinals. He was well educated in liberal arts, theology and canon
law. On January, 1198, he ascended the Papal throne, taking the name of
Innocent III. During his eighteen years' rule he supervised the affairs of the
world, nothing of importance occurred that he did not intervene in. During
this time there was hardly a secular ruler from prince down to baron that he
did not excommunicate, and most of the countries were at one time or other
placed by him under an interdict. His work as he saw it was the ruling of the
world, and his prodigious energy and high ability brought the Papacy t o its
highest pinnacle. He had a strong dislike, almost hatred, for the Germans who
would not bend under his yoke. He sent men and money to cities located in
Papal fiefs, under the rule of the German Emperor, to be used in their fight
against him. He also followed precedent in adding to his realm by inducing
Constance, widow of Henry, to make Sicily a fief of the Roman See, and
compelled this country to pay annual tribute to the Pope and give feudal
service when called upon. Innocent encouraged the French adventurer Walter de
Brienne, who had married a daughter of Tancred of Sicily, and who claimed
Lecce and Tarentum as his wife's legacy, to bring French troops and help wage
war more effectively against the Germans. During Innocent's pontificate the
struggle for the imperial crown was waged by the followers of Phillip of
Swabia and the supporters of Otto of Brunswick. Into this struggle the Pontiff
entered seeing a possibility of eliminating the Hohenstaufens who he regarded
as foes to the Papacy; while Otto professed loyalty to Rome. When the various
parties finally came to settle their differences at the point of the sword,
the Pope complained, and declared that only he could be the judge as to who
should be Emperor. He sent warning to the German prelates not to choose an
Emperor that was not his choice. In the meantime Otto had himself proclaimed
Emperor at Cologne in 1198 and swore that he would defend the Papal
possessions and in 1201 he was proclaimed by the Papal Legate.
gigantic power that the Papacy built up was attainable only by undermining the
German Empire, and the success of the Roman Pontiff in this can be traced to
the treasonable defection of the great vassals of the crown, who being unable
to assert their independence under the Empire, confederated with the Pope,
whose power as Italy's temporal head might serve to counteract that of the
Emperor. Had the unity and power of the Empire been maintained under the
Emperor, civil and mental liberty would probably have reached a much higher
plane sooner than was obtained under the Papal system. And so, as Menzel says:
destruction of the Hohenstaufen, the Popes at the head of the Italians gained
a complete victory over the emperors who until now had been at the head of the
nations of Germany but the means of which they made use in the pursuance of
their schemes were exactly contrary to the tents of the religion they
professed to teach, nor was their vocation as vicegerents of Christ upon earth
at all compatible with the policy by means of which, leagued with France, they
pursued their plans in Italy, and continually injured, harassed and degraded
the Germans as a nation. For this purely political and national purpose, means
were continually made use of so glaringly unjust and criminal that the measure
of offense was at length complete and called forth that fearful reaction of
German nationality known as the Reformation.
Histoire de la reformation by D'Aubignes.
Romanism in the Light of History by R. H. McKim.
in the History of the Papacy by J. McCabe.
Church and the Roman Empire by A. Carr.
Papacy and Modern Times by W. J. Barry.
Holy Roman Empire by James Bryce.
History of Germany by Wolfgang Menzel.
and Papacy in the Middle Ages by Greenwood.
by J.S.C. Abbott
April, 1927, number of THE BUILDER I find on page 126 a review of Ian
Ferguson's book The Philosophy of Witchcraft. The following observation of the
author on the stifling of thought by the Church is quoted:
dim stirring of the intellect was evident in the speculative fields of
astrology, a subject with heretical boundaries and for which Galileo was to
this passage the reviewer comments:
Galileo of course did not die of anything but of a "slow fever" in old age,
many years after his condemnation by the Inquisition, not for speculative
astronomical theories, but for venturing into the realms of theology and
attempting to prove his scientific doctrines by Scripture. He was indeed most
leniently treated, and the imprisonment to which he was condemned amounted to
no more than residence in the household of a Cardinal who was his warm friend.
Catholic Encyclopaedia (under Galilei) the English Jesuit, John Gerard, is not
quite so lenient with the Roman Inquisition. Says Father Gerard:
. . .
Then followed a decree of the Congregation of the Index dated 5th March, 1616,
prohibiting various heretical works to which were added any advocating the
Copernican system. In this decree no mention is made of Galileo, or of any of
his works, neither is the name of the pope introduced, though there is no
doubt that he fully approved the decision, having presided at the session of
the Inquisition, wherein the matter was discussed and decided. In thus acting,
it is undeniable that the ecclesiastical authorities committed a grave and
deplorable error, and sanctioned an altogether false principle as to the
proper use of Scripture.
when a Jesuit condemns the action of the Roman Inquisition, while a Protestant
Freemason minimizes its culpability, it would seem that broad-mindedness,
religious tolerance and good will are fairly progressing. One feels encouraged
to hope that a few more sharp angles in religious controversy that have caused
friction and strife may be cleared away, or at least be rounded off and
smoothed down. I shall discuss here several pronunciamentos by recent popes
that have aroused great animosity against the Roman Catholic Church. They will
continue to engender distrust and hatred of her until the Vatican, in a
Syllabus of Papal Errors, expresses its official regrets for them.
SYLLABUS OF POPE PIUS IX
is a collection of errors condemned by this Pope and issued on the 8th of
December, 1864. It had been prepared during the twelve preceding years by
three successive commissions of theologians. These errors had been dealt with
and proscribed sing]y by the Pope in his various Encyclicals, Consistorial
Allocutions and Apostolic Letters. The Syllabus is a resume, in skeleton form,
of these objectionable theses. As the then papal secretary of state, Cardinal
Antonelli, explained in his concomitant letter, it was published chiefly for
the guidance of the Catholic bishops some of whom, by chance, may never have
read above Encyclicals and other papal documents.
Denzinger, in his Enchiridion, warns that in order to obtain the true sense of
the Syllabus, it is necessary to consult the respective papal documents from
which each condemned proposition is taken. Interpreted apart from the context,
the Syllabus is bound to be misunderstood. As a matter of fact, countless
readers have misunderstood it Gladstone and other discerning minds among them.
be a propos to suggest here that non-Catholics who are not theologians are
venturing on slippery ground when they enter the field of Catholic theology
and Canon law. Even Protestant theologians will do well to watch their step.
Our Catholic theologians may often be lacking in ordinary common sense, and
also in the ability to grasp the larger aspects of a problem. But they are
trained dialecticians and thoroughly at home on the wide field of theology. A
scholar who is not familiar with those grounds, nor trained in Aristotelian
philosophy, takes his chances in engaging in a theological controversy with
fully agree with Hillaire Belloc, the distinguished English Catholic
literateur, that there is bound to be a conflict between the Vatican and the
Washington government. When it comes, the Federal Government will make a bad
mistake if it neglect to enlist the services of a few Catholic theologians.
(No, I am not offering my services. I disclaim being a theologian!) Without
them, it is almost certain to muddle the issue, aggravate unnecessarily a
situation precarious enough, and probably arrive at an impasse. While, if the
subject is broached cautiously, with the assistance of Catholic theologians,
the Government may count on the support of the American Catholics and the
Vatican will have to yield.
OBSCURITY OF THE SYLLABUS
common error in regard to the Syllabus is the following: the Pope condemns
this thesis; therefore, it would seem, he holds that the opposite is the
truth. This is not the case. A man who disclaims being a pro-German, does
thereby not declare himself to be the opposite, that is, an anti-German. He
may be a neutral.
Pope proscribes proposition 55: "the church and state should be separated."
From this many have inferred that he insists on the union of state and Church.
This is a hasty conclusion. He merely maintains that Church and state do not
necessarily have to be separated. The Lutherans in Germany and in the
Scandinavian countries, the Anglicans in England, the adherents of the
Reformed Church in Holland and Switzerland, will cordially agree with him. For
these denominations are supported by the state.
of Church and state has invariably hampered the free development of the
Church. Very frequently it meant the servitude of the Church under the state.
The Roman Church is possessed of a perfect organization, of an extraordinary
vitality, of an inexhaustible spiritual fecundity. She has a genius for
creating, by her symbolism, ceremonial, ecclesiastical seasons, and external
practices, a religious atmosphere in which religious interests tower over all
other considerations and gradually permeate every phase of national life. A
free Church in a free state has always ended in the triumph of the (Roman)
Church and her ascendancy over the state. American patriotic zealots who fear
that the papacy is aiming at the union of state and Church in this country,
are haunted by an imaginary spectre. They will soon be wishing that the state
find some means of checking the rapidly growing power and prestige of the
true, hoary theologians of the old school are still hugging the dream of an
ideal Church married to an ideal Catholic state. But their bubble has burst.
Archbishop Dowling of St. Paul has happily expressed it in declaring that this
dream has been relegated to the limbo of defunct controversies.
first three centuries of the Christian era, the time of the persecutions, the
Church, figuratively speaking, lived under ground in the catacombs. After
that, beginning with Constantine, came the period of union of state and
Church. The emperors, kings and other Christian rulers usurped all sorts of
rights and prerogatives in the government and affairs of the Church. She had
to submit under duress.
United States, she is completely free from interference by the state. She
flourishes in this splendid isolation. The Vatican may look calmly forward to
an unprecedented triumph in this country, to the richest pasture in its entire
history. If some people fail to see it, it may be due to the fact that nobody
is so blind as he who does not want to see.
papacy is opposed to the separation of state and Church in some countries, as
for instance in Austria, it is because there the state has confiscated the
najor portion of the vast possessions of the Church, accrued mostly from the
offerings and pious legacies of the faithful in the course of many centuries.
From this confiscated property the state is doling out a pittance for the
support of the Church. A separation of state and Church would imply a
discontinuance even of that scanty allowance, a complete spoliation of the
Church. Naturally she objects to that.
such a state, like Austria, the Church also quite reasonably objects to the
state according equality to the Protestant denominations, that is, by
subsidizing them from her own confiscated funds.
regrettable intolerance, however, it is that in Catholic Spain Protestant
houses of worship are prohibited from having steeples, a disability the
Catholics are also subjected to in the German Protestant state of Mecklenburg.
the rest, be it readily admitted that the Vatican has claimed unwarranted
prerogatives for itself that are prejudicial to the freedom of conscience and
to the just rights of the state. However, as it happens, the Syllabus advances
no such claims. For the correct interpretation of the Syllabus it is necessary
that before each condemned proposition be supplied its contradictory, namely:
"it is not true that . . . ," for instance, that Church and state should be
LIGHT OF REASON PROSCRIBED
stumbling block to many has been the proscription of proposition 14:
Everybody is free to adopt and profess that religion which he, guided by the
light of reason, holds to be true.
condemnation of this thesis not clearly tantamount to a denial of the
principle of the freedom of conscience? It would seem so. In reality, however,
it has nothing to do with a person's civic right of choosing his own religion.
It is as purely a matter of speculative theology, as is the controversy
between Presbyterian fundamentalists and modernists.
thesis had been advanced, in 1848, by a Peruvian priest, Vigil, a rationalist,
in his Defensa. He held that human reason, uninfluenced by what Christian
positivists call the light and facts of Divine Revelation, is a sure and safe
guide to religious truth. Vigil's theory had been dwelt upon by Pope Pius IX
in his Apostolic Letter Multiplices inter of June 10, 1851; also in his
Allocution Singulari quadam of Dec. 9, 1854. In the latter, the Pope advises
that in the search for religious truth we must, besides using our reason, also
pray to God for light. Mere reasoning, unaided by prayer, may not lead us to
the right goal. The Syllabus, therefore, merely condemns Vigil's theory anew.
Every Protestant fundamentalist will subscribe to the Pope's condemnation of
it. It has absolutely nothing to do with the individual's civic right to
select whatever religion he prefers.
SYLLABUS A BLUNDER
we see where the fatal blunder of the Syllabus lies: it should not have
proscribed certain propositions in their bald, naked form. A safer way would
have been to dispose of them in a more elucidated form which indicated their
objectionable features or fallacies. For instance, the thesis of Vigil might
have been condemned by the following counter proposition: "It is an error to
hold that human reason, unaided by prayer, and disregarding the facts, and
light of Divine Revelation, is a safe guide to religious truth." Vigil's
thesis could then have been appended to this declaration. It would have been
clear then that its proscription did not touch the question of the freedom of
Brevity may be the soul of wit, but it may also lead to confusion and
still remember the famous remark of the German Chancellor Bethmann-Holweg, in
August, 1914, that the treaty of 1839, guaranteeing the neutrality of Belgium,
was "a scrap of paper." What the Chancellor meant to say, according to the
German version, was this:
treaty of 1839 the Belgian government pledged itself to strict neutrality. But
by entering a secret alliance with France, it has violated its pledge and
rendered the treaty of 1839 a scrap of paper.
Accepted in its ordinary sense, the thesis of Vigil: "Everybody is free to
adopt and profess that religion which he, guided by the light of reason, holds
to be true," states a true enough principle. What the Syllabus objects to is
the meaning Vigil had injected into the expression "the light of reason."
is exactly because the thesis on its face value enunciates a true enough
principle, that the Syllabus blunders in proscribing it in this bald form.
ILLUSTRATION OF THE METHOD
offer an analogy. Three plus one is four. From this plain truth a Mr. Wag
draws the conclusion that three apples and one pear make four apples. He is
stating a fallacy. But it would assuredly be an odd procedure on my part, if I
went to disprove that fallacy by starting out: "It is not true that three plus
one is four," even if I then appended a paraphrase explaining in what sense it
is not true, namely, that three articles of one kind plus one article of
another kind do not make four articles of one kind. This is what the Syllabus
has done in several cases.
regard to the question of the freedom of conscience, let us assume, for the
sake of argument, that the Pope, in proscribing the thesis of Vigil, meant to
deny a person's civic right to choose whatever religion he preferred. Could an
American citizen consistently criticize the Pope in that? Let us see. The
Mormons adopted and professed, in the light of their reason, a religion that
encouraged the practice of polygamy. Uncle Sam soon induced them to see that
practice in a different light.
However, as we have seen, the thesis of Vigil does not bear on the question of
the freedom of conscience.
condemnation of proposition 55, regarding the separation of state and Church,
might have been worded as follows:
an error to hold that Chruch and state must necessarily be separated.
one word "necessarily" would have implied that the Vatican does not always
insist on a union of state and Church.
Equally liable to be misunderstood is proposition 80:
an error to hold that the pope may and must reconcile himself with, and adapt
himself to, Progress, Liberalism, and Modern Civilization.
Catholic Encyclopaedia, under Syllabus, the Jesuit, A. Haag, defines the
thesis] is to be explained with the help of the allocution Jam dudum cernimus
of 18th March, 1861. In this allocution the pope expressly distinguishes
between true and false civilization, and declares that history witnesses to
the fact that the Holy See has always been the protector and patron of all
genuine civilization, and he affirms that, if a system designed to
de-Christianize the world be called a system of progress and civilizabion, he
can never hold out the hand of peace to such a system. According to the words
of this allocution, then, it is evident that the eightieth thesis applies to
false progress and false liberalism and not to honest pioneer work seeking to
open out new fields to human activity.
AND CANON LAW
Another proscription that has been objected to is that of the following
case of conflicting laws enacted by the Two Powers [the state and the Church]
the civil law prevails.
press reports are true, the Calles government in Mexico has expressed its
willingness to permit the Catholic clergy the exercise of its pastoral
functions under certain conditions, one of them being that the clergy get
Bavaria, two-thirds Catholic, has a union of state and Church. Both the
Catholic and Protestant Churches are supported by the state. Let us suppose
now that the Catholic majority in the Bavarian diet passed a law demanding
that the Protestant clergy observe celibacy, under penalty of being prohibited
from the exercise of the functions of the ministry. Would that law rightfully
prevail over the law of the Protestant Church permitting her clergy to be
married? May the state enact any law it sees fit? Or is there a limit to the
authority of the state?
SEPARATION OF NATIONAL CHURCHES
an error to hold that national churchs, withdrawn from the authority of the
Roman Pontiff and altogether separated, can be established.
Roman Catholic Church is an international organization, a world Church. A
strong faction in the Protestant Episcopal Church favors a union (fusion) with
the Roman Church. How can the latter continue as a world Church, if each
nationality is ( dogmatically) free to separate itself completely from the
main body and its central government?
Syllabus does not advocate the use of external force, say a league of Catholic
powers, to compel a nation, for instance Poland, to remain within the Roman
communion. Catholic theologians may have, in theory, claimed for the papacy
the right to employ external force to compel submission to the Holy See.
However, as it happens, no such foolish claim is advanced by the Syllabus.
Dogmatic insistence on a one and undivided world Church in union with the
Roman Pontiff contains no challenge to religious freedom. Unjust, obviously,
is the system by which the Italians have for over four centuries monopolized
the supreme government of the world Church. Unjust also is the
over-centralization of power by which the Vatican arrogates to itself the
right of nominating the bishops in the United States. But as long as the
American Catholics, who are more Roman than the Pope himself, are pleased to
make a door mat out of themselves, the Pope naturally wipes his feet on them.
the Syllabus asserts:
an error to hold that the Sacrament of Matrimony is only something accessory
to the contract and separate from it.
this many have seen a challenge to the sovereignty of the state. The issue,
however, is purely theological. It does not touch the right of the state to
enact marriage laws nor does it question the validity of civil marriage.
Roman catechism teaches that the marriage contract, or exchange of conjugal
vows, constitutes the essence of the Sacrament of Matrimony. The officiating
priest acts as the official witness of the Church and as the minister
delegated by her to impart her blessing to the couple. He does not confer the
Sacrament on the couple. The man and woman, by exchanging the marriage vows,
confer the Sacrament on each other. This marital contract is the Sacrament of
Matrimony, and the Sacrament of Matrimony is the contract, and not a mere
accessory to the contract. The blessing of the Church is the accessory.
ROMAN VIEW OF PROTESTANT MARRIAGES
would require a long dissertation to cover the practical aspects of that
doctrine in reference to the spiritual life of the faithful. The Roman Church
holds that a Protestant couple, that is when not disqualified by a divorce or
any other impediment, receives a Sacrament, be the marriage contracted before
a minister or a civil officer.
recent cause celebre, fully reported in the newspapers, is a case in point. It
is supposed that the annulment of the Marlborough marriage by the Sacred Rota
implied a discourtesy to the Anglican Church and an affront to the sovereignty
of the state.
Protestant denominations have made their marriage regulations without
consulting the Roman Church. The latter cannot be expected to consult the
three hundred Protestant denominations in passing and enforcing her marriage
regulations. At the time of the Reformation the Pope refused King Henry VIII
of England an annulment of his marriage to Queen Catherine. The Anglican
Church granted that annulment. The Vatican has no special reason to view with
favor the findings of an Anglican matrimonial court. The Vatican has a long
regards the injured sovereignty of the state, it must be remembered that the
Duke and Duchess of Marlborough had obtained a divorce from the state. Each
contracted a second marriage under the laws of the state. These two (second)
marriages the Anglican Church rejects, she declares them invalid. But the
parties are no longer under her jurisdiction, having become members of the
Roman Church, which for a certain reason--be that reason solid or not does not
matter here--recognizes them as valid. How can a member of the Anglican Church
that rejects these two marriages contracted under the laws of the state,
accuse the Roman Church, that recognizes these two marriages, of putting up an
affront to the sovereignty of the state? I am unable to follow the argument.
the rest, though it is not to the point, most of the American Catholics who
have followed the Marlborough case seem to be under the impression that the
Sacred Rota in Rome has sadly blundered in granting the annulment. They fail
to see how the Duchess could for more than twenty years have remained under
duress and force in keeping up marital relations. They do not grasp certain
fine distinctions drawn by the Roman lawyers. Vatican prestige has been
SECULAR POWER OF THE POPE
Syllabus, then, does not encroach on the reasonable rights of the state, nor
on the freedom of conscience of the non-Catholics. There is one proposition,
however, the insertion of which tends to restrict unjustly the freedom of
conscience of the Catholics themselves. This is the condemnation of
abrogation of the civil authority (secular power) which the Pope possesses
would be very conducive towards the freedom and prosperity of the Church.
1870, the Pope lost his civil authority. Who will deny that the Church since
then has gained immensely in power and prestige? Not necessarily because the
Pope is deprived of the secular power, but somehow or other the Church has
gained, in leaps and bounds. Maybe Dollinger was right, after all, in calling
the secular power the Achilles heel, the weak spot, of the Church.
late Jesuit, Hugo Hurter, in the eighth edition of his Compendium Theologiae
Dogmaticae [Textbook of Dogmatic Theology, Vol. I, No. 153]--it is extensively
used in American seminaries-maintains that the Pope in promulgating the
Syllabus spoke ex cathedra. Hence the Syllabus is endowed with dogmatic force.
A Catholic, therefore, who holds that the papacy is vastly better off without
the secular power, commits a sin against faith. This is a rather sharply
peppered morsel to force down the patient throat of the faithful. It is one of
the many instances of the tendency of our ruling theologians to multiply
infallibility is supposed to confine itself to matters of faith and morals.
Even on that field it is narrowly circumscribed. What has bhe civil authority,
the possession of Central Italy, to do with the teachings of Christ? It is
interesting to note here that in the opinion of Cardinal Newman, as quoted by
Governor Smith, the Syllabus has no dogmatic force.
IX is said to have been a kind, guileless soul, an unassuming aristocrat, a
poor judge of character, but gifted with a sense of humor and ready wit, as is
well illustrated by the following little pleasantry. During a conference with
the French ambassador, the Pope, taking snuff, offered it to the distinguished
diplomat. "Holy Father, this is a vice I have not got," the Frenchman declined
with a mischievous smile.
was a vice, you would have it all right," the Pontiff retorted.
Pope's sense of humor seems to have been asleep when he inserted proposition
75 into the Syllabus. For he surely was sufficiently familiar with Church
history to know that the administration of secular power has been the occasion
of an almost uninterrupted carnival of graft, corruption and scandal.
Unscrupulous ecclesiastics and certain privileged noble families had fattened
on it all along. It is one of the most unedifying chapters in the long history
of the Church.
secular power continued to be a source of graft and scandal to its very last
day. The man to whom Pius IX entrusted its administration was his secretary of
state, Cardinal Antonelli. The Cardinal, who was descended from an
impoverished family, left at his death a fortune of about eight million
dollars, an immense sum for those days. Nobody knows how many more millions he
may have quietly disposed of before his death. There hardly existed any doubt
that the great "statesman" in administering the secular power did not forget
his own pocketbook. The Jesuits have been severely criticized for antagonizing
this financial genius who in his policies was an absolutistic reactionary.
SALVATION OUTSIDE THE CHURCH
select one more example to show what a misleading document the Syllabus really
is. It proscribes proposition 17:
at least hope for the eternal salvation of those who live outside the true
true Church, of course, is meant the Roman Catholic Church. Does the
condemnation of this thesis not clearly imply that only Catholics can go to
heaven ? It would seem so. In reality, however, it does not mean to assert any
such thing. It does not at all intend to state that all non-Catholics are
excluded from heaven. This is evident from the context of the above mentioned
allocution Singulari quadam.
According to Catholic doctrine, anybody may save his soul who lives up to his
sincere religious convictions. God will judge everyone by the light that has
been given him. A Protestant ruler who, misguided by an erroneous conscience,
puts 50,000 Catholics to death for the sake of their religion, honestly
believing that he is doing a service to God, may go to heaven, provided that
in everything else he obeys the dictates of his conscience.
English language labors under one great defect: it has no fixed consistent
rule of pronunciation. For example, the "oo" is pronounced differently in
food, in flood, and in floor. This inconsistency has elicited from a Frenchman
the bon mot: the Englishman writes "ass" and pronounces it "donkey." Of the
Syllabus of Pope Pius IX it may be said that it says "pepper" and means
"salt." It represents the result of twelve years of arduous labor by three
successive commissions of theologians. It is true, the (third) commission that
drew it up in its final form, appended to each proposition the true meaning of
it and referred to the respective papal document dealing with the subject. But
it should have been foreseen that the Syllabus might some day be broadcasted
in its naked form--with or without evil intent--and be misconstrued and create
prejudice against the Church. As a matter of fact, even the average priest has
difficulty in arriving at the true sense of it. For the explanatory
paraphrases and the respective papal documents are difficult to obtain. An
explanation of the Syllabus appeared serially about two years ago in the
Catholic periodical Our Sunday Visitor. I do not know whether it has been
reprinted in booklet form.
EFFECTS OF THE SYLLABUS
not know whether the Syllabus can boast of any noticeable success in crushing
the errors of pantheism, rationalism, communism and other anti-Christian
doctrines. But we do know that in its inevitably misleading form it has
confused millions of minds. Well meaning, intelligent people could not help
waxing wroth at what seemed to them the flaunting intolerance and defiant
arrogance of the papacy.
years of conscientious toil our Vatican theologians spent on equipping an
arsenal of weapons for the use of the enemies of the Church. One wonders
whether things could not have been managed differently. If not, would it not
have been the lesser of two evils to consign the Syllabus to the fire instead
of promulgating it?
Syllabus has stirred up a considerable amount of hatred of the Catholic
religion. Such hatred often leads to discrimination against Catholics in
business, in the appointment to lucrative positions, in the political and
academic career. God alone knows the number of innocent Catholics whose
prospects of prosperity and advancement have been blighted by this unfortunate
document which even today is still extensively cited.
theory, and by intention, the Syllabus is an inoffensive document that
respects the freedom of conscience and the just rights of the state. In
practice, it has proven itself to be a glaring misrepresentation of the
Catholic faith. It is called the Syllabus of Errors. It is--de facto, not de
jure--a colossal error itself.
a wise custom of the Middle Ages to assign to the rulers a court jester. This
privileged character opened their eyes to many a salutary truth that nobody
else dared to make them acquainted with. It might have proved a great benefit
to the Church, if the popes had employed such a mentor. The right kind of a
court jester might have prevented a great harm to the Church if, on the even
of Dec. 8, 1864, he had stepped up to His Holiness and said: "Holy Father, let
me promulgate that Syllabus."
terms "Reformation" and "Protestantism" are inherited by the modern historian;
they are not of his devising and come to him laden with reminiscences of all
the exalted enthusiasm and bitter antipathies engendered by a period of fervid
religious dissension. The unmeasured invective of Luther and Aleander has not
ceased to re-echo, and the old issues are by no means dead.
heat of controversy is, however, abating, and during the past thirty or forty
years both Catholic and Protestant investigators have been vying with one
another in adding to our knowledge and in rectifying old mistakes; while an
ever-increasing number of writers pledged to neither party are aiding in
developing an idea of the scope and nature of the Reformation which differs
radically from the traditional one. We now appreciate too thoroughly the
intricacy of the medieval Church; its vast range of activity, secular as well
as religious, the inextricable interweaving of the civil and ecclesiastical
governments, the slow and painful process of their divorce as the old ideas of
the proper functions of the two institutions have changed in both Protestant
and Catholic lands, we perceive all too clearly the limitations of the
reformers, their distrust of reason and criticism--in short, we know too much
about medieval institutions and the process of their disintegration longer to
see in the Reformation an abrupt break in the general history of Europe. No
one will, of course, question the importance of the schism which created the
distinction between Protestants and Catholics, but it must always be
remembered that the religious questions at issue comprised a relatively small
part of the whole compass of human aspirations and conduct, even to those to
whom religion was especially vital, while a large majority of the leaders in
literature, art, science and public affairs went their way seemingly almost
wholly unaffected by theological problems.
--[James Harvey Robinson.]
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
VATICAN AND ITS DISCIPLINE
article by Dr. Leo Cadius (which we need hardly say is an assumed name) will
be read we believe with a great deal of interest. The author informs us that
he would have preferred to have published it in a Roman Catholic journal, but
that he knows of none in America that would dare to present so frank a
criticism of the policies and methods of the Vatican, and that it is for this
reason he has "invoked the courtesy of a Masonic periodical to give it
subject matter fits in so well with the series of articles that we have
planned, that it was felt advisable to make room for it, and we trust that the
authors of the articles it has temporarily displaced will accept our apologies
for the delay thereby involved.
point arises in the statement made by Dr. Cadius which seems worthy of
consideration, which is that apparently free criticism is impossible in the
Roman Church. The difference between free and unfree institutions and
countries is always marked by the presence or absence of free speech and free
criticism of rulers and their policies.
* * *
SIN OF FREEMASONRY
CORRESPONDENT, whose letter we reproduce in this issue, has broached an aspect
of the "Serious Question" that we raised last month which in the article was
taken for granted. The subject is complex, and so much obscured by prejudices
and confusion of thought that it is obvious that it can only be treated in
broad outline, leaving details for further discussion. We therefore make no
apology for having made this particular assumption, even if in the event it be
judged a mistaken one.
point raised is really one of fact, and yet unfortunately not on that account
at all easy to determine, at least in such wise that all will be satisfied.
The question is this, is it, or is it not a fact that, according to the rules
and regulations governing the Confessional, a Roman priest has no right to
demand the revelation of any secrets known to a penitent as a condition of
giving absolution? It seems as if it should be comparatively simple to find
out what the answer is, yet there are all sorts of difficulties in the way of
establishing it. For one thing there is the cloud of distrust and suspicion
with which most Protestants regard the whole subject, for another the general
non-accessibility of authoritative evidence on the subject. Roman Catholics
when questioned tell us that they are bound only to confess their sins, not to
reveal secrets, whether their own or those of other people. But most
Protestants believe quite simply that this is not the truth.
people, normal people at least, do not tell lies merely for the sake of doing
so. The underlying assumption, then, must be that the Romanists not only wish
to put the matter in as favorable a light as possible for external
consumption, but have something to conceal. All witnesses being thus
suspected, it follows that the only resource remaining, apparently, is to go
to the works of Roman Canonists, Theologians and Casuists; to the various
manuals and the rules and regulations governing the matter. Here, however, we
again meet obstacles, for most people insurmountable. Aside from the fact that
these are all written in a language unknown to a great majority of people,
most of them are difficult of access. They are not as a rule to be found in
public libraries nor to be obtained of booksellers. And besides all this they
are very technical, as hard indeed to understand, for those not trained in
scholastic forms of presentation, as a work on advanced chemistry or the
higher mathematics would be to the ordinary intelligent reader. To what source
then are we to seek?
considerable proportion of the Fraternity are personally acquainted with some
priest of the Roman Church, perhaps with more than one, and it may be have at
some time raised this very question in conversation. The answer has probably
been that to insist on the revelation of a secret belonging to others would be
to cause the penitent to commit another sin, providing that such secret was
not in itself sinful. This sounds plausible enough, but suspicion once aroused
knows no bounds. The proviso may cover a good deal. Freemasonry is a condemned
institution, its secrets are sinful, and hence must be confessed. The reply
that the sin consists in becoming a member of We forbidden society and not in
having knowledge of its formal and ceremonial mysteries will not be convincing
at all. Most Masons who read, perhaps some who do not, know of John Coustos,
who in 1743 was imprisoned by the Inquisition at Lisbon and repeatedly
tortured in an attempt to force him to reveal these secrets. He was told that
such revelation was required as evidence of good faith. Would not a similar
demand be made today of a Mason seeking reconciliation with the Roman Church?
The fact that this is strenuously denied will probably do no more (for so
suspicion works) than confirm the belief that it would be.
Suppose then that the enquirer consults such means as are readily available as
to the practice of Confession; as for example the various encyclopedias. These
tell us that though the penitent is encouraged to confess all faults, the only
ones for which Confession is obligatory are those classed as "Mortal sins."
But again rises the question, would not Freemasonry be regarded as a mortal
sin? Naturally it is not found in the formal list, Pride, Avarice, Anger,
Gluttony, Unchastity, and so on, but it might be included under Indifference
spiritual apathy - or deliberate disobedience. It has been stated, apparently
on good authority, that the sin of being a Freemason is one reserved to the
bishop, that it is too serious to be reconciled by a priest, except of course
in articulo mortis, at the death bed of the penitent. An offense so reserved
must surely be as deadly as anger or gluttony – or so it would seem in the
it seems that we arrive at an impasse. We cannot believe the only people who
can tell us about it, and thus we either believe the opposite of what they
say, or remain in a state of suspicious doubt. Perhaps the only thing to do is
to try and get a fresh point of view. We are all familiar with wholesale
denunciations of the Roman Church, its doctrines, organization, methods and
objects. Most people discount this sort of thing quite heavily, yet, it has
some effect on them. A little logical analysis may help. If we take such
denunciation as entirely true then the Roman Church is but a "Synagogue of
Satan," an organization of evil men working purely for evil ends - there is no
good in it at all. But common sense simply recoils from this. Our Roman
Catholic neighbors are on the whole as decent people as those who are
Protestant; it is impossible to include them in such a sweeping condemnation.
Our fathers had a better method, they admitted the virtues of "Papists" but
they held that these very virtues became sin in view of the "idolatry" and
"error" of the Roman Church. The argument sounds strange to us, but was quite
consistent once the premises were granted. We, however, do not grant them, and
so we have no right to the conclusion. We, rightly let us hope, hold that life
and actions are of greater weight than using the proper formulas to express
our beliefs and so must allow our antagonists the merit of their personal good
actions and virtuous lives. Neither have we the logical right to judge them by
their black sheep - if at least we would not have them judge us by ours.
does this lead to? Perhaps our thoroughgoing suspicions may have taken us too
far; perhaps after all we should give some credit to what Roman Catholics tell
us of their own institution. Let us remember how consistently, and
ludicrously, they suspect us. How they imagine a great world-wide machine
constantly seeking to overthrow all religion, or to replace it by some false
"liberal" theistic creed worse than no religion at all. They refuse to believe
what we say; every statement we make becomes, under the influence of their
suspicions, merely added proof of what they believe of us. Is not the parallel
consider the circumstances under which the question we began with would arise.
There are two quite distinct cases. The Romanist, who in disobedience to the
rule of his Church, becomes a Mason, and the Mason who becomes a convert to
the Roman Church. The latter is comparatively simple. Freemasonry in his case
is merely a part of the life of general sinfulness from which he has turned,
and which is all removed by baptism. The first case is more complex. In his
defection and disobedience the penitent has committed a very grave, that is,
mortal sin, which he must confess in order to obtain absolution and
reconciliation. How does one confess the sin of Freemasonry? How would one
confess the sin of anger, or of gluttony? We are told that it is not necessary
for the penitent to say who he was angry with, or when he ate too much, or
what he gorged himself on. Would not admission of the fact that he had been a
member of the forbidden Fraternity, and was sorry for it and had left it, be
sufficient ? Or would he have to tell all the secrets as evidence of good
faith? In sins of a sexual nature we are told that the priest is forbidden to
ask even the names of the parties concerned - even as evidence of real
contrition. On what grounds should there be any difference in the two cases?
we trace the history of the Papal ban on Freemasonry, the circumstances
strongly point to the probability that it was in the first instance due to
quite other than religious grounds. It was occasioned by the formation of a
lodge in Rome when the Pope was a temporal sovereign. His government of the
Papal states was autocratic and despotic in the highest degree, and his
objection to the Masonic lodge was the objection that all despots have to any
kind of oath-bound secret society. Being a spiritual ruler as well as a
temporal one, he backed the political act of suppression by spiritual
anathema. And the despotic rulers of Roman Catholic countries availed
themselves of the latter to supplement their own political prohibition of
Masonry. It was most probably for political reasons that the attempt was made
on different occasions to force individual Masons to tell all they knew about
their Society - the Inquisition where it existed was always as much political
as religious, if not more so. In fact, as articles to be published in THE
BUILDER Will show, though camouflaged under the appearance of religious and
doctrinal controversy, the opposition to Rome has always received its driving
power from political, national and economic motives. None of which could
possibly have had any effect but for the constant tendency of a worldwide
international organization, with the traditions of Imperial Rome behind it, to
mix politics with religion, and to use the latter to further ends inspired by
after all our question remains unanswered, and we can only say that our
readers must come to their own conclusions as best they can, though we hope
this discussion may in some sort assist them. Our own conclusion, whatever it
may be worth, is this: that a confessor would really have no right to, demand
the revelation of Masonic secrets as the condition of reconciling a penitent
Roman Catholic guilty of this sin; but that possibly some individual priest
might seek to satisfy his curiosity by insisting upon it. What would happen in
such a case would depend probably on the character and intelligence of his
penitent - his knowledge of his rights under the Canon law of the Church.
* * *
month a small, but we believe, very important meeting was held at Detroit. It
was called by the brethren entrusted with the direction of Masonic education
in Michigan, actively aided and abetted by those concerned with the same task
in New York, among whom of course was Bro. H. L. Haywood, former editor of THE
meeting was absolutely informal and unofficial, and nothing in the way of
organization was contemplated, no arrangements even being made to call another
one, though everyone present felt that it had been so helpful that other like
meetings should be called in the future if at all possible.
the circumstances no resolutions could be passed, and no formal conclusions
were arrived at. The results were largely intangible, but not for that less
valuable. It is really almost a general rule that the greatest values are
intangible. There was an interchange of ideas, and experiences, discussion of
methods and objects, and the inspiration of personal contact with others
engaged in the same work. It made us wish that some means might be evolved
whereby members of the N.M.R.S. could be brought together periodically, if not
nationally at least in local or regional meetings. There is no doubt that
enthusiasm would be increased and much good result therefrom. This is one of
the things that must be kept in mind and perhaps the future may bring it to
* * *
MATTER FOR RESEARCH
respected brother, and one who has been a faithful member of the Society from
its beginning, recently expressed his opinion in conversation that THE BUILDER
in taking up the T.B. campaign was exceeding the proper limits of a research
editorial article as long ago as March, 1926, we touched upon this point,
admitting that such advocacy was not specifically a matter for the Research
Society to deal with. But we said, and repeat, that such advocacy requires no
apology, as we are all Masons before we are students, and that the problem is
one that all American Masons are of obligation bound to consider, including
members of the Society and readers of THE BUILDER.
however, we feel inclined to go further and to insist that it is a subject
proper for Masonic research. In the nature of things the larger part of the
field of such research is quite closely connected with some aspect of the
history of the Fraternity. History is of course a much wider subject than
lists of dates and bare recapitulations of the order of events and succession
of persons. Still though the historical bulks so largely, there are other
things open to and needing investigation, in order that we may know what to
do, and how to do it, in respect to present day problems.
T.B. problem is one that needs such investigation. First it has to be
established that there is a real need. Though we do not take responsibility
for the North East Corner, we believe that the facts that have been presented
there have established at least a prima facie case for the existence of the
this be so, there is next the question how it is to be met. In such a complex
question opinions naturally vary, and it is only by open discussion that these
opinions, and the respective arguments in their favor, can be constructively
criticised. THE BUILDER is not committed to any mode of approach. We are
satisfied, however, that a problem exists, and that the Craft must find a
solution or be stultified. We have lent such assistance as we have been able
to the N.M.T.S.A., because the need seemed urgent, and this was the only
definite move to meet it.
However, there is no doubt that in the minds of a number of brethren, many of
them in positions of great influence, there exists a feeling of opposition.
Let us say to these that we would be most glad to offer our pages to any
expression of such opposition. If it can be shown that there is really no
problem, that the number of tuberculous Masons is negligible, that there is no
call for special assistance in the Southwest, that the problem is local and
not national, or if there are any other arguments or statements of facts which
would present the matter from another viewpoint, or throw new light upon it,
we certainly hope that some presentation of this side of the case will be
made. Then in the light of what has been said pro and contra those without
first-hand information may come to their own conclusions.
* * *
MANKIND AND THE DEITY
(Communicated by Bro. N.W.J. Haydon, Canada.)
view of the discussion that has been proceeding in THE BUILDER on the subject
of the Conception of God, initiated by the article of a "Lay Brother," the
following extracts from an address by Bro. Rabbi Isserman of the Holy Blossom
Synagogue, Toronto, Canada, may be interesting:
Liberal Judaism teaches that revelation was, and is, limited to no one people;
that God did not reveal Himself to Israel only - that He did not speak only to
the sacred men of the Jews. That is a narrow notion of God, which makes Him
partial to any of His children, which makes Him reveal Himself to one and not
not niggardly and miserly. To all peoples does He reveal Himself. In all lands
has He made Himself known. To all men has He sent prophets - to the Chinese,
Confucius and Laotse; to the Hindoos, Buddha and Krishna; to the Persians,
Zoroaster; to the Mohammedans, Mahomet; to the Jews, Moses; and to the
the property of all mankind. His Spirit is found in the Bible, but it is found
in the sacred literatures of other peoples in the psalms of the Babylonians,
in the texts of the Egyptians, in the Vedas of the Hindoos, in the Gathas of
the Persians, and in the Holy Law of the Buddhists. All peoples have Bibles -
all people knew God - to all people revelation came.
should be recognized, the beauty of all faiths. We should know that God
strives to make Himself articulate among all peoples. We should be ready to
welcome to Jewish pulpits fine Mohammedans, Buddhists and Hindoos as we should
Government is a contrivance of human wisdom to provide for human wants. Men
have a right that these wants should be provided for by this wisdom. - Burke.
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, Grand Master, President
RICHARD H. HANNA, Vice-President
ALPHEUS A. KEEN, Secretary
W. TURNER, Treasurer
FRANCIS E. LESTER, Vice-President
L. ELSOR, Executive Secretary, Mesilla Park, N.M.
ARIZONA - Lloyd C. Henning, Holbrook.
ARKANSAS - Claude L. Hill, Grand Master, Booneville.
FLORIDA - Cary B. Fish, Grand Master, Sarasota.
GEORGIA - Dr. J. P. Bowdoin, Past Grand Master.
- Will H. Gibson, Grand Master, Boise.
KENTUCKY - G. Allison Holland, Grand Master, Lexington.
MINNESOTA - Albert F. Pray, Grand Master, Minneapolis.
Mississippi - John R. Tally, Grand Master, Hattiesburg.
Missouri - Wm. W. Martin, Grand Master, Doniphan.
MONTANA - Dr. W. J. Marshall, Missoula.
JERSEY - Benjamin F. Havens, Junior Grand Warden, Trenton.
MEXICO - Herbert B. Holt, Grand Master, Las Cruces.
CAROLINA - Dr. J. C. Braswell, Past Grand Master, Whitakers.
DAKOTA - Dr. J. S. Lamont, Dunseith.
OKLAHOMA - Gilbert B. Bristow, Past Grand Master, Roosevelt.
ISLAND - Howard Knight, Past Grand Master, Providence.
CAROLINA - Charlton DuRant, Grand Master, Manning.
DAKOTA - L. M. Simons, Grand Master, Bellefourche.
TENNESSEE - Andrew E. McCullagh, Grand Master, Maryville.
- Dr. Felix P. Miller, El Paso.
Fred M. Nye, Ogden.
WASHINGTON - Morton Gregory, Grand Master, Tacoma.
- Fred L. Wright, Past Senior Grand Warden, Milwaukee.
WYOMING - Frank S. Knittle, Grand Master, Casper.
J. NEWTON, Editor, Manager N. M. T. S. A., Las Cruces, New Mexico
Property Versus Lives
been reported that $115,000 was collected for the relief of Masons who were in
distress because of the great Florida hurricane.
appeal is now being made for help for Masons who are in distress because of
the Mississippi flood.
yet in neither disaster has it been claimed that the lives of any Masons, or
relatives of Masons, were lost.
National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association has called the attention
of the Craft to the fact that it is estimated by the National Tuberculosis
Association, the outstanding authority on the subject in America, that
approximately 4,309 Masonic lives are lost each year from tuberculosis.
additional and larger number of relatives of Freemasons die every year of
Tuberculosis Association estimates that there are nine living cases for every
Sanatoria Association has compiled a list of 2,225 tuberculous Masons and 814
sick relatives of Masons, of which number 1,693 Masons and 321 relatives were
in the Southwest seeking health.
National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association has made an appeal for
$65,000 with which to buy a Tuberculosis Sanatorium located in the city of El
Paso and for additional funds with which to operate the hospital.
appeal was sent to every Grand Master, every State York Rite body, to all
Scottish Rite bodies, to all Shrine Temples, Grottoes and to State Eastern
answer to this appeal, which was for immediate action, has not been
encouraging. Apparently the officers of these bodies will wait to submit it to
their respective meetings.
brings out the strange fact that Freemasonry can function promptly to relieve
distress due to property loss caused by flood and hurricane and yet cannot
function to relieve distress caused by sickness which endangers life itself.
It cannot function to render aid to Masonic families, whose homes will be
broken up by long-drawn-out illness. It cannot act to save a brother, who for
lack of such action will lose his life.
average contribution of only five cents per capita of American Freemasonry
would buy the El Paso Sanatorium and pay operating costs for one year. This
institution will care for about one hundred patients. It will furnish a
practical working example of the plan for hospitalization of Masonry's
unfortunates. Men and women suffering from tuberculosis, and cared for in a
Masonic hospital, will have their disease arrested and will return to their
families. In a very short time it will be demonstrated if there exists a need
for additional beds. If so, plans can then be made for meeting that need, in
the Southwest and in other parts of the country. Freemasons, like Missourians,
need only to be shown. If they find that the expenditure of some few thousands
of dollars will save Masonic lives, will restore fathers to their families,
and will save the Fraternity from assuming the support of children who would
otherwise be orphaned by tuberculosis, then American Freemasonry will
contribute all necessary funds to provide for hospital care for all of
Freemasonry's unfortunate sick.
Freemasons, everywhere, will urge upon the officers of Masonic bodies a prompt
and generous response to the appeal for funds with which to buy and operate
the El Paso Sanatorium, it may yet be possible to carry this plan of the
National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association into effect.
* * *
IS YOUR LIFE WORTH?
has been said about the loss of lives due to tuberculosis, that ancient enemy
of the human race. The number of those who die and of those living who are
suffering with the dread disease has been told and retold. But such figures
make little impression. One dead child run down by an automobile before our
eyes makes a deeper impression upon us than the tale of a thousand slain by
some gruesome epidemic, if that thousand are dead in some remote place, or if
they are scattered over a wide territory and in many cities and towns.
is another angle to the loss from tuberculosis which may make a greater appeal
to some minds. That is the money loss. Just what is the economic loss to
America from a death caused by tuberculosis?
Metropolitan Life Insurance Company has recently carried some national
advertising in which an average American family is pictured, a father, mother,
two boys and a girl. The caption reads, "Broke - but Worth $79,100." The
advertisement reads, in part, as follows:
useful American, Dad, at 30, can figure himself as actually worth $31,000
today - for that is the present value of his future earnings less his personal
expenses. Dad is one of thousands who are earning $50.00 a week - an average
Dad with average health and average expectation of life. If Dad is frequently
sick or if he dies young, he will be worth less than $31,000. With
better-than-average health and longer life, he should be worth a great deal
more. His family will be better protected, better nourished and given a
greater chance for future success if Dad keeps well.
Mother's contribution to the family wealth - her time and energy, to say
nothing of her love and devotion, her care of the home and the children and
her work in molding their characters - can never be measured in money. But at
a very conservative estimate, the money value of her services must be at least
half that of Dad's - $15,500.
rosy-cheeked, four-months-old baby boy is worth $9,500 this minute, while big
Brother, seven, and little Sister, five, are worth $16,000 and $7,100 each as
future productive citizens.
National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association asked the statisticians of
the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company to make an estimate of the economic
loss to America caused by the death of a tuberculous Freemason and of the
total loss caused by the deaths of four thousand three hundred and nine
Freemasons, which is the estimated annual loss to the Fraternity from this one
reply to this request gave the figure of $21,600 as the average economic value
of each life lost by tuberculosis and the total economic loss as over
Following is a letter written by Alfred J. Lotka, Supervisor of Mathematical
Research of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, in which he sets forth
the method used in arriving at these estimates:
figure of $21,600 for the average value of the lives lost by tuberculosis in
the United States is based on two sets of data. First, the deaths actually
reported in five-year age groups from birth to the end of life, according to
the United States Census Bureau. As a matter of fact, the 1924 figures were
used at the time, as the 1925 figures were not yet available. They have since
become available but their use in place of the 1924 figures would have no
appreciable influence on the result.
Second, a scale of values of a man at several ages of life developed in this
Bureau was computed on the basis of the case of a man who at his maximum
earning capacity earns $2,500 a year. The value of such a man to his family
was computed as the present worth of his future net earnings, that is to say,
total earnings minus expenditure on his own personal maintenance. A series of
articles was published in our Bulletin on this subject, and you will receive a
set of the Bulletins in question together with this letter. Applying the
values thus computed to the deaths from tuberculosis at the several ages of
life, the figure $21,600 is obtained as the average value of a person thus
dying. The figure was given to Mr. Drolet on the express understanding that it
was a tentative estimate and on page fourteen of his address the figure is, in
point of fact, expressly stated to be a tentative estimate.
Perhaps it will be proper to draw to your attention that the value of a man
thus computed is the value of his dependents, wife and children, who benefit
from his net earnings. The term, "value of a man," is vague unless it is
stated in regard to whom that value is considered; his value to his employers,
or to his employees, or to his competitors, are all distinctly different
concepts and would have distinctly different quantitative measure. You will
find reference made to this point in the opening article of the series in the
Bulletin of November, 1926.
* * *
TUBERCULOSIS HOSPITALIZATION IN THE UNITED STATES INSUFFICIENT
discussion of the subject of Masonic relief and hospitalization of tubercular
Freemasons, the suggestion has been advanced that sick Masons should be cared
for in existing hospitals. If there were a sufficient number of tuberculosis
hospital beds in the United States this plan might be worthy of adoption. In a
paper read before the meeting of the National Tuberculosis Association, at
Washington, on Oct. 5, 1926, Godias J. Drolet, Statistician of the New York
Tuberculosis and Public Health Association, presented a statement showing a
great shortage of hospital beds in this country. The following is quoted from
considering, as far as known, the extent of the tuberculosis situation in the
United States, we can now study more usefully the record of the present
facilities and of remaining obvious needs.
According to the latest list of sanatoria and hospitals made by the National
Tuberculosis Association, we see that in the 48 states and the District of
Columbia there is now a grand total of 73,715 tuberculosis beds available;
53,510 being for civilians; 5,479 for the insane in state institutions; 1,325
for prisoners in various penal institutions, and 13,401 for those under the
care of the Federal government through the Veterans' Bureau and the Army and
Navy Departments, or for Indians.
number of beds available in each state is shown on table 4, where they have
been contrasted at the same time with the number of tuberculosis deaths. We
have also figured there, on the basis of a bed for each death, the shortage
remaining or the excess of beds in certain older communities as well as in
health resorts. From this comparison we find that there is still a shortage in
the United States of more than 25,000 beds. In only 11 states are there
sufficient tuberculosis beds, according to this rule.
are several states where more than 1,000 beds are still needed. Among these
should be mentioned Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky,
Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina,
Tennessee and Virginia - most of them, as may be noticed, in the South.
Furthermore, in many states the shortage existing would be considerably higher
were we to remove, as not available for local residents, several important
Federal institutions, which figure in this study.
again, in certain communities where they might well afford more and find it an
investment in saving lives, we should not wish to have it accented too
complacently that only one bed is needed for each death. For instance, there
are sections of the country where morbidity is higher than elsewhere or where
cases run a more acute course and are in greater need of institutional
facilities. Again, the figuring of beds on the basis of mortality ignores the
fact that nowadays we ought to be able to find cases in the earlier stages of
the disease and that sanatorium treatment in the country, instead of hospital
care in the city, is in continued and increasing demand. We may, therefore,
well need yet a still greater number of sanatorium beds for the more timely
treatment of favorable cases.
* * *
WORDS OF A PROPHET
writer of the Report of the Committee on Foreign Correspondence of the Grand
Lodge of Missouri has this to say about the national movement for relief and
hospitalization of Masonry's T.B's:
Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association is, perhaps, the most significant movement
before the Masonic public, and unless we are very much mistaken, this
enterprise will soon capture the imagination of the entire Fraternity. If it
succeeds in doing this, we may look for the largest outburst of Masonic
philanthropy that has ever been witnessed in this or any other country.
* * *
Husband, bank clerk, out of work. Been sick two years.
Husband just lost one eye. Now out of work. Been sick five years.
Landlady says patient told her did not know where his next money is coming
BROS. A. L. KRESS AND R. J. MEEKREN
month we had arrived at the problem of what was the origin and explanation of
the Diamond which in the three Catechisms we have named the Grand Mystery
Group, and the Examination, is named as one of the jewels of the lodge, which
all, with variations already discussed, agree that they are
Square Ashlar, Diamond and Square.
are again referred to in the Examination and also by Prichard in the passages
quoted at length last month [page 153]. It will be noted that the Examination
in this verse retains the same order as in the catechetical answers, while
Prichard, apparently for the sake of the rhythm, puts the Diamond first. It
may be of some importance to note this: the consensus of the evidence is that
the Ashlar was named first. The bearing that this point has on the final
argument will appear later.
previous article we gave several possible explanations of the term Diamond (or
Diadem according to the Institution MS.) none of which seem at all
satisfactory. The suggestion now to be made is little more than a conjecture,
and we only offer it tentatively. On reference to the tables on page 165 it
will be seen that the square ashlar takes the place of the Dinted Ashlar of
Group I and the Perpendashlar of Group III, and the Square we interpreted as
equivalent to the Square Pavement of the other groups. Diamond therefore comes
in the place occupied by the Broached Dornal of the other two. We, therefore,
for lack of any better derivation, suggest that Diamond is another corrupt
form of Dornal in spite of the fact that it is a very considerable jump to
take and that intermediate forms are not very obvious. It has already been
suggested that the "Porch, Dormer," mentioned by Prichard (and others) is
derived from this expression and Brobed (or Brohed) Mall, but each of these is
much closer to the conjectured common original than Diamond. We must suppose
that the adjective "broached" was first dropped by forgetfulness in oral
transmission, or perhaps by carelessness of some copyist, if (as may be
possible) a link in this particular tradition was a written document, and that
then "Dornal" standing by itself was subject to further changes. It would be
most likely quite incomprehensible to non-operatives, and probably to working
masons too by that time; so that its final rationalization into a diamond is
not incredible. The fact that a diamond is actually a precious stone would
naturally have an effect, as it would fit in with the tradition that it was a
stone that was spoken of, and also agree with its being called a jewel. It is
always easy to substitute a known word for one that is strange or even
unfamiliar. Uneducated people in England are still to be found who say
"sparrow grass" for "asparagus," and in the old Catechisms themselves we have
an example of this sort of thing. The unknown word "Maughbin" which is
mentioned twice in the Examination and appears again in the Essex MS. (where
it is called the "Universal Word") reappears in the Trinity-College MS. as
"Match-pin." Under all the circumstances the suggestion then that the Broached
Thurnel here reappears in the disguise of a Diamond does not seem altogether
unworthy of consideration.
Another suggestion however has been made by Bro. E. H. Dring which it seems
necessary to discuss (1). This is that "dinted," or "dented," as a descriptive
of the ashlar, and the "diamond" are all corruptions of "perpend." The
argument is as follows:
accented syllable or dominating sound in perpent or perpend is the second,
pent or pend, and it is this sound that has always caught the ear of brethren.
The word itself being unfamiliar and the unaccented first syllable being
slurred over the scribe wrote down indented or dinted. . .
regard to diamond the same writer thinks it is
. . .
entirely due to an editorial attempt to correct a corrupt form of "perpend,"
quotes the doggrel verse from Prichard
diamond, ashler and the square
he thinks "clinches the question ."
regard to "dented" or "dinted" ashlar as derived from an elided form 'pend
ashlar, there seems on the face of it a good deal to be said; and furthermore
it would make no difference to our tentative classification, for we have been
led by another path to equate the dinted and perpend ashlars, each being the
worked and finished stone. But we fear we must question the whole argument.
The dictionaries seem to agree that the first and not the second syllable is
the accented one, and we submit further, which anyone may test for himself by
varying the stress, that in the phrase "perpend ashlar" it would be very
unnatural, and contrary to the genius of English speech, to accent the second
syllable. From which it results that the slurring or elision, if it occurred,
would be in the second syllable, and lead to such forms as "perp'n ashlar" or
possibly even "perp' ashlar." Such a form as this last could well have been
the basis of an attempted correction making it read "perfect ashlar," as p and
f are very easily interchanged (2).
case for deriving diamond from the suggested corruption 'dend ashlar, is
weaker still, although we must admit that the transition in itself from 'dend
to diamond is no greater jump than from dornal, perhaps even less. But this
conjecture has to meet the objection that all lists spoke of a rough stone and
a worked stone; if diamond is the perpend stone, then in the lists where it
appears we would have two worked stones. The quotation which clinches the
matter for Bro. Dring is really quite inconclusive, for as we have seen the
consensus of the documents which speak of a diamond puts the square ashlar
first, and as we have already noted the different arrangement in Prichard has
no weight as it seems entirely due to the rhythmic requirements of the attempt
at versification. Besides p is not easily or naturally taken for d, as it may
be for f or v.
Assuming that so far our argument has been accepted, we have now left
unexplained only the "Danty Tassley" and the "Blazing Star," to which Group IV
was reduced (3). The former certainly does look like a corruption of Indented
Tessel, and might well be taken to mean such an indented ornamental border to
a pavement as was spoken of in the Study Club last month. If so, then Group IV
of the first table would have to be interpreted as referring to something
quite different from the three preceding ones; it would, that is, be a
description of the floor as a whole, the square pavement with its indented
tesselated border and the ornamental pattern in the centre, diamond or star
shaped. This is so plausible that it has long been accepted, officially one
might say; and as we have seen, in Prichard it appears as the "furniture" (in
later works the "ornaments") of the lodge. But another explanation is also in
the field, advanced by no less authority than Albert Mackey (4). Prichard's
"Indented Tarsel" is supposed to have really been a tassel, and explained by a
reference to the looped and knotted cord with tassels at the two ends which
appears at the top of the old French charts, and which later became the four
tassels at the corners of the English Tracing Boards.
term dented, or indented, does not, however, seem a particularly appropriate
designation for the rounded bends and loops of a cord, though Mackey accepts
it. The printed works that appeared much later in England, and which are
obviously translations from the French, speak of a "lacy" or "laced tuft."
This seems very puzzling at first, though a tuft might be the same thing as a
tassel. Only what had operative Masons to do with tassels, or lace ?
however, we go to the French works we find, corresponding to what Prichard
says relative to the "furniture" of the lodge, the following question and
answer; the substance of which was included as the last item in Group IV of
Combien y-a-til d'ornements dans la Loge?
Quels sont-ils ?
Pave mosaique, l'Etoile flamboyant, et la Houpe dentele'e,
translated would be:
many ornaments in the Lodge?
What are they?
mosaic pavement, the flaming (or blazing) star and the laced (or indented)
tuft (or tassel).
Solomon in All His Glory, a work published in England in the year 1766, which
is obviously little more than a translation from French works later than the
one above quoted, does actually have
Mosaic Pavement, the indented tuft and the flaming star
ornaments of the lodge, and another work published in the same year has
Pavement, Blazing Star and Indented Tuft,
listing them, however, as "furniture," as Prichard does. In the answer to the
following question, however, blazing is changed to flaming star as in the
quotation from the previous work.
Dentelee in 18th Century French might possibly have meant laced, in the sense
of adorned or trimmed with lace, or more likely indented or toothed. As
indented seems even more inappropriate when applied to a tassel than to a
cord, the translator, we presume, chose the other meaning in spite of its
utter lack of significance. Those inclined to accept Mackey's view, as we
suppose his revisers do at least, seeing that the article stands in recent
editions without change or comment, may be asked where did the cord and its
two tassels come from originally? Of course it has in these places probably
been equated with some recollection of the "cable tow," "cable rope," or "tow
line," through a series of growing misapprehensions. The French forms, as we
have seen, came originally from England, and as the Broached Thurnel was
turned into a Pointed Cubical Stone, so the Indented Tarsel became the houppe
dentelee (5). We are really back at the beginning and can discard the tassels
entirely, as well as the lace !
attempted explanation has all been along the line that Danty Tassley was a
corruption of Indented Tessel or Tassel. Let us suppose instead that this was
itself an attempt to rationalize the more meaningless form; that is, let us
assume that danty tassly is the original and see what can be made of it. In
the tabulation it would seem as if it ought to correspond to the squared
stone. Let us write it a little differently, as dantyt assly. It begins now to
look like our old friend the dinted ashlar. As the derivation of the English
word in its many forms is from the French aisselle, assly is really nearer the
original than asher, astler or ester, all of which variants we have already
come across. Dinted in Scotch dialect would be "dintit" or "dentit," as the
English inflexion, "ed," marking the past tense, is represented in North
Britain by "it," or in older spelling "yt." An example of this use of "y" in
place of "i" is found in the quotation from Trevisa, cited in a previous
article (6), where the very word is spelled "dentynge." The change from the "i"
or "e" of the first syllable into "a" is a very easy one to make, especially
in a case such as this where obsolete and unintelligible phrases were passed
along by word of mouth (7).
excepting for the third item the last of our groups falls into line with the
others. But it must be confessed that the Blazing Star is, so to speak, a very
hard nut to crack.
earliest designs and charts intended to depict Masonic symbols a five-pointed
star is to be found, in a few cases it is represented as having seven points,
and in some others, eight. The French design already referred to, which is one
of the earliest if not actually the first known to us, shows a five-point star
with flames issuing from the re-entering angles, and the letter G in the
center. (The last feature is quite common in later designs.) Mackey describes
it as a straight pointed star superposed on one with wavy points. Other
examples show a circle of rays all about it. It sometimes appears in the form
of a pentagram, but is probably in such cases not so much intended as the
"Blazing Star" but as a mnemonic for the number five, or an allusion to the F.
P. of F.
the Star appears in more modern designs it is very frequently a six-point star
formed of two triangles, or based on the hexagon; sometimes it has seven
points. In spite of all this profusion of pictorial evidence there is nothing
to lead us to suppose it is older as a concrete symbol than the allusions to
it in Prichard and the Sloane MS. Like the diamond among the emblems on the
coffin lid shown on page 136 last month, it is simply putting an oral
tradition into pictorial form.
long as Danty Tassley was supposed to be an indented border to a square
pavement, the star could be accepted as an ornamental design for the center.
But since it turns out that the former may in reality be the squared ashlar,
this explanation of the star begins to look very dubious; and in any case what
has a star, blazing or flaming or whatever else it may be, in common with a
pavement and an ashlar? And when we come to think of it "blazing" is a very
curious epithet to apply to a thing with which the lodge had to be furnished.
It is barely possible that it was not blazing in the sense of burning, but the
other word which remains in modern English as a pioneer's term for marking a
new path or trail. To blazon is to publish or describe. The same Flemish gilds
which spoke of their testival dramatic performances as land-jewels (lantjuweelen
(8)) also called their banners "blazons." It is hardly probable, however, that
this had anything to do with it, it is thrown out merely as a passing
is required to make Group IV fit in with the rest, as it seems it should, is
to interpret this phrase in the sense of some kind of stone--which to fall
into its right place should be a rough or partly worked stone. It seems rather
a hopeless thing to attempt. Had only the Trinity College MS. survived no one
could possibly have reconstructed "Maughbin," an utterly unknown word in
derivation and meaning, from Matchpin, which, though equally meaningless in
fact, is actually a compound of two perfectly good English words. In fact, the
Blazing Star presents even greater difficulty, for it lent itself quite easily
to symbolic interpretation as Matchpin emphatically did not. All we can
suppose is that it may be another rationalization of some corrupt technical
term; and this leaves us quite helpless, unless by chance the suppositious
original phrase, or some intermediate form, should turn up somewhere in
order to exhaust all possibilities it may, however, be noted that if the
Diamond in Group III be a corrupt form of Dornal then all the lists except
those in this last group mention the Broached Thurnel. Supposing that Group IV
did actually come from the same source as the others, and boldly assuming that
Blazing Star is derived ultimately from this phrase, is it possible to imagine
any feasible intermediate stages through which it may have passed ? It is not
impossible for one thing that "Br" should be turned into "Bl"--some races and
many children find difficulty in properly pronouncing "r" after a consonant
and substitute "l" in its place. One corruption of "broached" is "boasted" in
which the liquid sound has been dropped altogether. If then Thurnel could have
taken some such form as Tarnel there might conceivably have arisen some such
phrase as Boasted tarnel, which would in repetition be very apt to lose the
"ed" by elision and become perhaps Boast' arnel. Final syllables, when not
stressed, are also very easily dropped, and this would bring us to Boast' arn,
which is near enough to our unexplained term to be its origin under the
circumstances of transmission by oral tradition. However, this is all no more
than the purest and most unmitigated speculation, and probably worth as much,
and no more, as such speculations usually are--that is, nothing.
have stated that Prichard's catechisms were compilations. The result of the
present investigation certainly emphasizes this. Under the names of jewels and
furniture we have found no less than three variant forms, and yet another that
is unclassified; all of which are related to forms found elsewhere. In the
whole group of documents these objects go variously under the names of jewels,
furniture and ornaments. The last term probably arose from an interpretation
of the fourth group which explained them as the parts of an ornamental
flooring, it is to forms of this group that the term ornament has always been
restricted. Furniture would arise naturally as a description from the
requirement that the lodge had to be furnished with them. Jewels seem to be
their original and proper appellation. We must confess, though, that we are
far from being fully satisfied with the result of the discussion at the outset
as to the original interpretation of this term, or what the ideas may have
been that were in the minds of those who first employed it in this connection.
is one more point to be considered before taking leave of the subject. We
stated earlier, and those of our readers who have the advantage of being able
to refer to the text of the documents can easily verify it, that in most
cases, almost without exception in the more archaic forms, the jewels are
mentioned in close connection with certain lights. These last require
consideration on their own account, but there is one more quotation, which,
obscure as it is, seems to give us a sidelight on this juxtaposition, and
perhaps to point to its not being altogether fortuitous. In the Sloane MS. we
W'ch is the Mast'rs place in the lodge?
east place is the Master's place in the lodge and the jewell resteth on him
first and he setteth men to work; w't the m'rs have in the forenoon the
wardens reap in the afternoon.
follows a statement that the lodge stood East and West. It seems probable from
the general connection that the "jewell" here spoken of is the sun. Especially
as elsewhere the Master is placed in the East "waiting at the rising of the
sun to set his men at work." This opens up an entirely new vista, the
exploration of which must be reserved for a later occasion.
will be remembered that in a preceding series of articles on "The Form of the
Lodge" we saw reason to believe that the earliest times lodges were held in or
about a specially marked enclosure out of doors, and that this marked-out
space was a "long square," and oriented "due east and west." As a result of
the present discussion it emerges that there were three things of sufficient
importance or value to be regarded as necessary furnishing for a "just and
perfect lodge," and the first of these is a square floor or pavement, the
others being two stones. Is there more in this than appears ? The importance
of a standard test block can be seen, but why mate it with an unwrought stone?
Was the whole thing a last faint echo of the immemorial consecrated area and
the two sacred pillar stones? It is a curious coincidence at least.
H. Dring Evolution and Development of the Tracing or Lodge Board. A.Q.C. xxix,
page 259 and 325, note 1. On page 307 a letter from Prof. Craigie, editor of
the New English Dictionary, is quoted. Craigie would take the "dinted" ashlar
as equivalent to broached ashlar, which supports the conclusion drawn from our
tabulation of results in the last article.
According to the New English Dictionary the modern technical term is "parpen,"
perpend being noted as obsolete. The present Scots dialect form is pairpal,
representing an older parpal. In the numerous variations of the word given it
would seem that the dental ending is not original, and may have been
introduced for euphony when commonly combined with a word beginning with a
vowel, such as ashlar. The following are instances of some of the forms:
Pro xxxii ped' de perpoynt, xvijs.
lxxxij et di' fott of perpendaschler vyd.
Yone perpall wall....
. .to big (build) within the said church parpall walls of stone.
. .they were squared parpine, as thick as long.
Perpin are less than the size of ashlars.
1712...making a parpin.
The ashler . . . is parpin ashler.
1781...is sawed out . . . into . . . perpen-ashlar.
regrettable error was allowed to pass the proof reading in the last article.
Prichard gives the form "Indented Tarsel", not "Indented Tessel," as appears
in the table at page 155. We must ask our readers to make the correction.
Mackey's Encyclopedia, vide Tarsel and Tessellated Border.
the 1745 edition of the L'Ordre des Franc-Masons Trahi. As the spelling varies
in the different editions it may be as well to give the exact reference. The
later editions of this work do not, except for such minor variations, differ
materially from the first.
THE BUILDER, April, 1927, page 120.
the investigation embodied in these articles the authors desire to acknowledge
their indebtedness to Bro. Dring. In the article above cited he makes the
equation of Dinted Ashlar and Danty Tassley. We have previously given him
credit for having first arrived at the true origin of the word Thurnel, and he
is also entitled to that of first pointing out that the perfect ashlar was
properly a perpend. This last point, however, came to us first indirectly
through Bro. W. L. Songhurst in the form of a bare statement, which led us to
look up the word in various dictionaries. We also had interpreted Danty
Tassley as Dentyt Assly before having any opportunity to consult Bro. Dring's
important, and in truth epoch making, paper. We have differed with him in some
matters, in most of which we believe he has directly or indirectly been
misled, in company, it is to be feared with other Masonic scholars, by the
supposition that the later editions of Prichard's work were amplified with
matter taken from French workswhereas in reality, if there was any influencing
at all it was the other way about. For as we have pointed out [THE BUILDER,
March, 1927, Page 90], the second edition, published a few weeks after the
first, in the same year, 1730, contained all the matter that these brethren
suppose to have been borrowed or assimilated after 1770. As the earliest
French works extant are later than 1740 Prichard could not well, in 1730, have
been influenced by them. For the rest we feel that our independent
interpretation of Danty Tassley as the same thing as the Dinted Ashlar is an
additional argument for its soundness, even if we have not the honor of being
first to propose it.
Q. C. xiii, page 79.
following brief account was written for THE BUILDER by a Russian Mason now
living in Paris with many others of his countrymen. For very good reasons it
is not expedient that his name should appear. It has been generally supposed
that Masonry was non-existent in Russia, and it is very interesting to learn
that it survived in some form through a century of prohibition and
well-established tradition claims that the first Russian Free Mason was Peter
the Great. He was initiated by Sir Christopher Wren in one of the English
Lodges in Amsterdam. There are, however, no documents to prove it.
history of Russian Freemasonry can be divided into three periods.
I.--1731-1771. Membership is confined to foreigners residing in Russia, a few
officers of the Guard and a few Statesmen. The tendency is mystic, the
II.--1772-1794. There are Three Mason's bodies.
Yolaguine's group--St. Petersburg--work: selfperfection, moral uplift,
struggle against the ideas of Voltaire. Disappears about 1780.
Swedish Rite--St. Petersburg--Prince Gagarine, Grand Master-joins on to
preceding and shares its fate.
Grand National L.--Moscow--led by Novikoff and Schwarz working under a strong
influence of the Moscow Rosy Cross. Fraternity and of the Order of the
Martinists. This group exercised a very strong influence of its period and of
the future in Russian Freemasonry and was a potent intellectual factor in
contemporary society. It chiefly attached itself to educational and charitable
work and carried these on a vast scale until it fell under the general ban on
Freemasonry imposed by Catherine II in 1794.
III.--1801-1822. Irregular Russian G. L. "Wladimir to Order" in 1810 fell
under the Swedish Jurisdiction. This G. L. as such had little influence, but
counted many influential people among its members.
reaction against the influence of Higher Degrees there was founded in 1814 in
Paris, under the auspices of the Grand Orient of France and out of the
federation of 5 military L. L. a new Grand Lodge, "Astree."
end of Napoleonic wars and with the return of the army to Russia this M. body
grew to the extent of having 40 Lodges under its jurisdiction.
French influence these Lodges turned their attention to politics and ended
their career in the turmoil of the attempted revolution in December, 1825.
the whole of the XIX century Russian Freemasonry remains if not completely
dormant at least entirely hidden and entirely negligible
revival of interest in spiritual matter which coincided with the beginning of
the XX century brought about a revival of interest in Freemasonry.
prominent Russian intellectuals joined French Lodge. Professor Bajenoff joined
in 1884 in Paris the L. of the S. R. "Les Amis Reunis".
Iablotchkoff--the world famous electrician was the founder of the Lodge
"Cosmos" A. A. S. R., in Paris.
1906, in Paris, about fifteen rising Russian politicians joined French L. L.
their return to Russia these Bro. of whom the greater part had joined L. L.
under the G. O. of France, formed two L. L.--one in St. Petersburg, "The Polar
Star," and one in Moscow. These L. L. were installed with great ceremony in
May, 1908, by two representatives of the G. O. of France.
1906 six L. L. were founded.
an interval in their activity occasioned by police restrictions these L. L.
were reopened in 1911. They worked under the G. O. of France, had practically
no Ritual and had an avowedly political aim in view, namely that of the
overthrow of Autocracy. There was a "Supreme Council" (?)--an exclusively
administrative body whose members were elected for three years.
Masonic organization had no regularity and enjoyed no recognition abroad.
1913-1914 it had about 42 Lodges, chiefly composed of members of the "Cadet"
first revolution in March, 1917, was doubtlessly inspired and manipulated from
the members of Kerensky's Government belonged to the Masonry.
the Bolshevik revolution the greater part of the members of these Lodges
a long spell of inactivity they at length succeeded in forming again under the
auspices of the G. O. of France a new "Polar Star" Lodge in Paris. This up to
now claims but few members and enjoys no recognition outside of the G. O. of
France. Its President is Bro. W. Avksentieff, who is also the President of the
Russian Socialist-Revolutionary Party and a former Minister of the Kerensky
also existed in Russia English, Italian and German Lodges as well as an
organization of the Martinists.
past month is marked by the appearance of the second number of The Mountaineer
Mason, published by the Masonic Research Society of West Virginia. There is
and doubtless always will be a field for Masonic periodicals of high standards
and no greater compliment could be paid to the editors of this new publication
than to state that they are to be congratuIated upon the quality of their
magazine. It helps to fill a gap that is at the present time altogether too
wide. THE BUILDER is pleased to welcome The Mountaineer Mason into the Masonic
publications' field and extends wishes for its continued success.
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.
STORY OF THE CITY COMPANIES. By P. H. Ditchfield. Published by Houghton
Mifflin Company, Boston. Cloth, table of contents index illustrated, 325
pages. Price, $5.25.
Masons we are inclined to speak with reverential awe concerning the Landmarks
of the Fraternity. Strange as it may seem, present day Freemasonry is inclined
to supplant the most ancient of these traditions with modern innovations.
There is apparently a growing tendency on the part of Freemasons generally to
lose sight of the fact that as an institution the Fraternity has an existence
which antedates the union of the Four Old Lodges. Innovations brought into
being by the founders of the present governmental system and by their
successors are now hallowed with two centuries and more of age - nevertheless
they were at one time "innovations in the body of Masonry."
therefore, with the utmost interest that we read of the Great City Companies
of London which today are found to occupy positions in a way analogous to
Freemasonry, in that they are no longer trade gilds in the Medieval sense, but
which, nevertheless, are carrying on as they did centuries ago. In the work
under review the Mason's Company receives but a scanty notice, naturally
enough. In the first place it was one of the minor companies, and in the
second its records are very incomplete. It may, however, be assumed with
comparative safety that its aims and ideals were not very different from those
of the other companies. The migratory character of the work of its members
would doubtless account in large measure for its lack of prestige.
vital interest to present day members of the Craft is the fact that Charity
was a most important feature of their work. Further that education formed
then, as it does still, a feature of their work second only to the relief of
distressed members of the Company. In actual expenditures of money the
educational institutions endowed by the Great Companies were more important
even than the relief of distress. Perhaps in the earliest days the interest in
education was confined solely to efforts to teach the apprentices of
individual companies the secrets of their trade and that the branching into
general fields came later. It seems, at any rate, that one of the principal
duties which these Companies assumed was the enlightenment of their members,
first in trade secrets and then in general knowledge. In America, and the
present day in other countries as well, general education finds abundant
expression in the public schools and privately endowed institutions. That
phase is now almost beyond the active interest of any company or fraternity
although the City Companies of London still have a great interest in this kind
of work and some of England's most notable schools are Company institutions.
On the other hand education within our Speculative Craft has been sadly
neglected. Here one of our most ancient landmarks has been shunted to a side
track and is handled in much the same way as one would pick up a hot iron.
Reading the Story of the City Companies one becomes convinced that Freemasonry
does not hold in as high regard as some of our oratorical brethren would have
us believe the Ancient Landmarks of the Order.
points of similarity would be ample recommendation of the present work to
modern Freemasons. There are other features which add to its importance,
however. The histories of the Companies give us a new perspective into the
life of our ancestors. There is pictured a London utterly different from that
of today and the insight into old customs which, like our "Landmarks," have in
most cases been continued to the present day, forms a feature worth more than
book is splendidly printed on heavy paper and in a type reminiscent of the
18th century printers. The style is readable and the book not too long. Dr.
Ditchfield is to be congratulated on his work and to the publishers is due the
credit for the attractiveness of the volume.
* * *
ANTIQUITY OF THE HOLY ROYAL ARCH, THE SUPREME DEGREE IN FREEMASONRY. By F. DeP.
Castells. Published by A. Lewis & Co., London. 291 pages.
reading this book, the reviewer looked twice to see if by chance the title
page bore the name of Dr. Oliver. For the dear Doctor at his worst never wrote
more exasperating history than that which Bro. Castells inflicts on us in his
latest book. The reader emerges from it dazed, bewildered and in this case
with a distrust of his whole hypothesis. For bow can anyone put any dependence
in anything a Masonic writer may say when that writer in three separate places
cites the shopworn, exploded tale of some Jews in Rhode Island holding a lodge
in 1658? Not content with the citations only he says: (p. 100.)
American Mason wanted to ignore the record at Rhode Island because he could
not conceive Masonry prior to 1717. But the original document was traced and
neither its age nor its style could be questioned. It had every characteristic
of truth; it was written with no ulterior purpose; it harmonised with all the
facts of the case; while incidentally, and quite undesignedly it accounted for
the evident Hebrew influence in Freemasonry.
Bro. Castells has any information to prove what he says he will do American
Masons a great favor by letting us in on his secret.
Castells' theory is that the Royal Arch is derived from Kabalistic sources;
that Freemasonry is largely a Hebrew product (p. 112); that as early as the
15th century the Royal Arch was part of the Third Degree (p. 169); that
because we [i. e., English Masons] call it the Holy Royal Arch of Jerusalem it
proves ipso facto its Jewish origin; that the three degrees are the outgrowth
of the Royal Arch and beside it are comparatively modern. He says, "This we
fear will come as a shock to many of the accredited exponents of the Craft." I
doubt if Bro. Castells realizes just what a shock it is to some of us. Still
we could manage to stand it if only his position were substantiated.
Castells assures us that "all along we have refrained from theorizing. We have
eschewed fables and romance; we have scrupulously avoided building on mere
conjecture. We simply bold up to the brethren the Mirror of History that they
may judge for themselves" (p. 8-9), and yet he makes statements like the above
and like this one:
the suspicions of many writers centre on Chevalier Ramsay, whom they consider
the inventor of the Royal Arch. . . . Ramsay himself seems to have been a
strong believer in the French Royale Arche as the non [sic] plus ultra of
Masonry; but alas! for Gould and others, he has nothing to say in support of
the Modern theory that our Supreme Degree originated in France; he simply does
not know whence it has come, although if anyone could have thrown any light on
the problem it was Ramsay.
did Ramsay ever say he was a believer in the French Royal Arch or that he had
even heard of it? How could he know anything about it when it was probably not
in existence, in France at least, when he died?
said Bro. Castells' style was exasperating. Nothing else describes it. His
sentences open with "presumably," "probably," "far more likely," "or at
least." His conclusions are loosely drawn and usually unwarranted by his
evidence. As an example:
for instance the Mason Word. Whatever it may be the mere fact that the Masons
of the eighteenth century said that it was as old as the Tower of Babel, or at
least the time of Solomon implies that it was Hebrew.
Historically, the book is of no value, since one cannot depend on the author's
critical faculties. Some of his symbolic interpretations are however
ingenious, and from this point of view his work may merit some consideration.
* * *
WERDANDI UND FREIMAUEREREI. By Alfred Abendroth. Published by Alfred Unger,
Berlin. Paper, table of contents, 215 pages.
is a valuable contribution to human knowledge. The book presents to the reader
a recapitulation of the salient features in human history and the unfolding of
philosophy and history; a scholarly interpretation of mental, moral and
spiritual aspects in the evolution of Man in his ascent to the realm of the
there are two sides to all things, even in the moral, mental and spiritual
realms. The large, large majority can see one side only and the student of
life sympathizes with Ralph Waldo Emerson, who when speaking of his teacher
Plato, exclaims joyfully: "A man was born who could see both sides."
author belongs not to the class of Plato. Some features in our book are of
interest to the psychologist demonstrating ad oculos the force of predilection
and prejudice; how love and bate can and do shape the opinion and sway the
judgment of an earnest and well-meaning scholar. Our author is an Aryan, a
Teuton, a German. He endows this Aryan, Teuton, German with highest attributes
and potentialities, not only in the human but also the cosmic realm. As an
illustration, the following literal translation will serve:
latest investigation of race and language derives the Greek Aristos (Best), as
also the word Aryan, from Alder (Sun, God). This establishes the inherent
right to rule over all other peoples and races and finally to become the link
to a new race, to the Super-man, to Super-humanity.
Scientific research has established the fact that the figure of Christ is a
symbol of the rising and setting of the September 25th newly-born Sun, the
common property of the "Aryan" race, and that the Lamb of God which carries
the sins of the world from the beginning of time is a personification of the
ideally constituted "Aryan" whose test or mission is the salvation of the
human race, etc. In the conscientious and laborious performance of this, his
Divine Mission, he has received and is receiving nothing but ingratitude as
writer has a fine religious sense, but his Teutonic Philosophy makes him an
outsider of the various religious creeds as established today. He recognizes,
however, the figure, the personality of Jesus of Nazareth, as the highest, the
noblest representative of "Beauty, Wisdom and Strength." One of the features
here is disagreeable: "Jesus of Nazareth is thought by some to have been or
rather to be a Jew, a Hebrew, an Israelite, in short a Semite," and our author
first followers of Christianity and Jesus himself were colonists of the
Northern part of Palestine, of the heathen province of Galilee, whose
inhabitants belonged to the great Phoenician and other Non-Jewish,
Indo-Germanic, Aryan stock. Galilee always remains foreign and strange to the
real genuine Jew.
most noble Aryan Hellenism and pure Christianity constitute the two poles of
Humanity and of Civilization.
author presents in glowing language (too lengthy for translation) the
spiritual heights disclosed in the teachings of Jesus and concludes, "We see
that these doctrines are filled with the most beautiful, the most humane
principles, etc.," and
latest scientific investigation has established the fact that these doctrines
were the property of the Setret Order of Essenes, and these Essenes occupy the
same religious position as the Pythagoreans, Eleusyan Mysteries and the
were these Essenes?
Mirabillissime visu! Most wonderful to behold, to the mind of an Aryan author,
a German scholar, trying to draw a truthful picture of human life and history,
and of the influence of Freemasonry upon human destiny, there appears the
Secret Order of Essenes. Of additional interest to every Freemason should be
this fact: The real name of these Essenes, that is, the appellation by
themselves, for themselves, of themselves was Banaim, which term in English
means "Builders." The Roman Pliny calls these Essenes, or rather "Banaim",
"The Most Wonderful People on Earth."
author next gives us a wonderful exhibition, a brief recapitulation of the
Evolution of Science, Philosophy and Religion, a brief outline and scholarly
interpretation of the leading doctrines of Descartes, Leibnitz, Newton, Kant,
Schoppenhauer, Nietzsche, and the contributions in these realms by men who
belonged to the Order of Freemasonry. While the eyes of our author are German,
these eyes have pity but never hate or contempt for anything that is
ending of the book presents another surprise to the psychologist. Our author,
such a strong nationalist, would naturally be expected to be, if not a
royalist at least a conservative. But no, our author advocates a new
arrangement of society and arrangement known by the name of Socialism. He
presents the reader with the most beautiful picture of the future: The
Socialistic Cooperative Commonwealth. He proclaims his endorsement of the
ideals presented by Thomas More, William Morris, Edward Bellamy and of the
doctrines and principles enunciated in the works of St. Simon, Karl Marx and
work is certainly of interest and should be translated, for while in the
opinion of this critic our author did not enter the inner shrine of either
Religion or Freemasonry, yet he presents valuable hints which might enable
some to find and enter this inner shrine.
* * *
ERLAUTERUNG DER KATECHISMEN DER JOHANNISFREIMAUREREI. Vol. IV. By Robert
Fischer. Edited by Ernst Paul Kretschmer. Published by the Verlag des Vereins
deutscher Freimaurer. Cloth, 12 mo., table of contents, index, 157 pages.
little book, the last volume of Bro. Fischer's "Explanations of the Catechisms
of St. John's Freemasonry," presents us with a most scholarly position of
Freemasonry, of its principles and contributions to civilization, and with
sketches of leading Masonic personalities. It gives us the period, in some
instances the exact date, of the founding of various lodges in different parts
of Europe, England, Scotland, France, Sweden and Germany. Strange as it may
seem, the United States are not mentioned.
author takes what seems to this critic a strange and false attitude towards
the Order of Knights Templar and the Essenes. He writes, page 70:
acts of the higher grades were based upon the tradition that Freemasonry is
the Spiritual continuation of the Order of Templars and that in the Order of
the Templars there existed a secret doctrine which contained a free and
liberal interpretation of Christianity. . . .
the tradition that the doctrines of Freemasonry are connected with the Order
of Essenes there exists today no proof. . . .
position of the author is negative; he has no proof!
conception of Relativity in some respects is a modern discovery, but some
aspects of Relativity have existed since the beginning of time. Proof has no
reality; proof necessarily belongs to the realm of subjectivity. What
constitutes conclusive proof to the mind of one man is not even evidence to
the mind of another. The force of physical evidence, the cogency of a logical
argument depends upon the degree and the kind of understanding of the
Academic Francaise, the highest authority of science at the time, in the year
1830 decreed that for the theory of evolution there was no proof, decided in
favor of the negative furnished by Cuvier and against the positive evidence
presented by Godfroi St. Hilaire.
mathematics we have the axiom: If A equals B and B equals C then A equals C.
Some kinds of human mind may ask and in the experience of the present writer
have asked, "Why?"
William James in this connection calls attention to the fact that two tunes
not distinguishable from one another may be definitely distinguished from a
opinion of the reviewer there is a most intimate, a most far and deep reaching
connection between Essenism, the Knights Templar and the Order of Freemasonry.
* * *
ADMIRAL AND OTHERS. By Peggy Temple. Published by E. P. Dutton & Co.
Illustrated, 138 pages. Price, $1.60.
inconsequential story by twelve-year-old Peggy Temple, comes as a refreshing
breeze to the average reader, tired of the sameness of much present day
fiction. The youthful author writes with a gay abandon no seasoned writer
would dare give himself up to, and her very original little tale is enlivened
and enriched throughout by her quaint humor and her delightfully absurd,
though wonderfully alive, characters.
Podds family, consisting of Jack and Mary (the parents), Milly and Tim (the
children), are entertaining an odd assortment of guests at their home -
Sunflower Cottage, Cornham. There are the Admiral and Mrs. Derbertson, the
Honorable Mrs. Paperie Arnolds, and George Hazelham, an old friend of Jack.
arrogant, blustering sort of person, the Admiral, and meddlesome to an
alarming degree. Tim develops a mild case of chickenpox, and the family is
trying to keep the news from their guests. The Admiral is suspicious, however,
and in trying to locate Tim's room, to see for himself, bursts in upon Mrs.
Paperie Arnolds, who, thinking herself secure in the privacy of her bedroom,
has tossed her wig upon the floor and is "lying inelegantly on her bed." Poor
little Mrs. Derbertson sees her husband retreating hastily from the irate
lady's room and reproaches him gently: "I don't like it my dear . . . it's not
what I hoped of you, Henry," and watches him scuttle away with a "rather
curious little smile on her rather obstinate little face."
could go on quoting delicious bits endlessly. The Admiral no sooner finds out
that Tim has chickenpox than he insists it must be smallpox, and sends for the
sanitary inspector, the medical officer, and a skin specialist. He is so
unpopular with these dignitaries when they find they have come on a fool's
errand, that he thinks it best to run away until the affair blows over, and he
has to be searched for like a runaway boy. Despite the ignominy of hiding in
boot-cupboards and dodging his pursuers, the Admiral maintains his arrogance
to the end of the chapter, and his closing speeches are every bit as
aggressive as his opening ones.
delightful little story. Not the work of a prodigy, yet the subtle humor and
satiric touches make it an extraordinary bit of writing for one so young, and
perhaps it is safe to prophesy there will be other tales from the pen of this
* * *
POPE OF THE SEA. By Vincente Blasco Ibanez. Published by E. P. Dutton & Co.,
New York. Cloth, table of contents, 362 pages. Price, $2.65.
modern writers perhaps none can lay greater claim to distinction than Ibanez
who beyond question is the foremost exponent of Spanish literature. His works
nearly always approach the "best seller" class in popularity though they are
on a much higher plane than the books usually belonging to this class.
latest effort from his pen is one of the most enjoyable bits of modern fiction
it has been my pleasure to read. There is an indefinable charm in the style,
perhaps due in no small measure to the capability of the translator. Too
frequently a work of fiction loses the characteristics of the author when it
passes from one tongue to another. To one who has read Ibanez in the original
there is immediately apparent a feeling that the same masterful expression has
been instilled upon the translator of this present volume and that the
subtlety of expression which characterizes the Spaniard has come over to the
story is very simple and could be told perhaps in a quarter of the space
occupied by the present work. The plot is only an incident, a distraction from
the biography of Pedro de Luna, the Pope of the Sea. It is the means by which
the plot is brought to a climax and one of those rare instances where an
incident so far as plot is concerned forms the major interest of the novel.
life of this Medieval Pope, the last to be elected during the Babylonian
Captivity of the Church of Rome, is as fascinating as a melodrama. It is
interwoven with the lives of two very modern young people in a most intriguing
manner. The difficulties to be encountered in writing such a tale are
enormous. To carry us from the France and Spain of the present century back to
Avignon and the Medieval period, vacillating constantly between the two, and
maintaining the interest of the reader, is a task that should be set before
none but a master. How well Ibanez; has fulfilled his task can not be told.
The book must be read to appreciate it. Suffice it to say that the author has
proven his reputation and added another masterpiece to an already long list.
Perhaps the highest recommendation that can be given to the present work is
that it is equal, if not superior, in every respect to The Four Horsemen of
* * *
FOR THE WORKING OF THE CEREMONIES OF THE CRAFT DEGREES OF FREEMASONRY.
Compiled by Samuel Smith, P.M., P.D.G.W. Published under the auspices of the
District Grand Lodges of Scottish, Freemasonry' in Natal, South Africa. Limp
cloth, 29 pages.
is a severely practical little book and should be very useful to lodge
organists. It has appropriate selections for every part of the ceremonies
where music can be used with effect, including those of installation, which
selections, it may be added, have been made with great taste and judgment. A
very useful feature is the addition of blank ruled pages for writing down
other tunes. Though inexpensively bound it has one great virtue that many
music books do not possess - it will stay open at the place required. It is a
very praiseworthy production, and both Bro. Smith and the Scottish Craft in
Natal are to be congratulated on its production. The proceeds of the sale of
the work are to be devoted to Masonic charities of Natal.
* * *
SHORT HISTORY OF ORIENT CHAPTER, ROYAL ARCH MASONS, No. 79, G. R. C., TORONTO.
pamphlet adds another link to the constantly lengthening chain of histories of
individual bodies. It is entertainingly written and there is much that will be
of value to future historians of the Royal Arch in Canada. Had we been
supplied with documents of this character relating to the history of early
lodges both in England and America doubtless the work of modern historians
would be much simplified. It is gratifying to know that so many lodges,
chapters, etc., are printing short histories of their organizations.
* * *
Saltacres, by Leslie Reed, published by E. P. Dutton & Co., New York. Price
Translation of the Holy Bible, by James Moffatt, published by Geo. H. Doran
and Company, New York. Price $5.25.
Freedom of the Mind in History, by Henry Osborn Taylor, published by The
Macmillan Company, New York. Price $2.40.
Spanish Alta California, by Alberta J. Denis, published by The Macmillan
Company, New York. Price $3.75.
IOWA MASONIC LIBRARY
writer of this is librarian of the Scottish Rite Bodies of this city.
you have any objection to informing me as to who is the owner of the 35,000
volume Masonic library mentioned in your circular; where it is located; if any
printed catalog of it exists which can be procured?
library referred to is that at Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is now in course of
being re-cataloged, and it is, we understand, the intention to print the
catalog when the work is completed. You will find the Curator, Bro. J. Hugo
Tatsch, ever ready to assist in any way possible with information should you
care to write to him
* * *
RED CROSS OF CONSTANTINE
page 31, of the January, 1927, issue of THE BUILDER, is an inquiry from E. E.
G. of Pennsylvania about the Red Cross of Constantine. I suggest that the
proper person to whom he should be referred is Philip C. Shaffer, 1337 Spring
Garden St., Philadelphia, Pa., who is Grand Recorder of the Grand Imperial
Council of Pennsylvania.
could give more data, but Bro. Shaffer by virtue of his office is the proper
one to supply it. I may add that Bro. Geo. W. Warvelle of Chicago, Ill., is
now National Recorder of the Order. Hiram E. Deats, N. J.
* * *
SITUATION IN MEXICO
read with interest the two articles in the May issue of THE BUILDER, and
having lived a good part of the last thirty years on or near the Mexican
border my impressions might be interesting to some of your readers.
begin with we cannot compare Mexican Masonry with that in the United States,
there is about as much difference as there is between the average American and
the average Mexican. Our Masonry is supposed to be and usually is strictly
non-political while in Mexico it is in practice usually political.
regards the condition of Mexico under the Dictator, Diaz, that country as a
whole probably enjoyed a greater measure of peace and prosperity, security,
development and general progress under his iron rule than during any other
period of her existence.
leopard cannot change his spots and it really does not seem to make much
difference whether your Mexican is a Mason or a Catholic so far as his
political activities and policies are concerned. They usually exploit rather
than build. If you wish to get anywhere or accomplish anything, you generally
have to see someone or use some influence.
Foreign capital and energy built Mexico's railroads but do not own them now.
Foreign capital and brains developed her mines but they found a way to take
them too; her oil fields were developed in the same way and you see what is
happening to them.
so-called Constitutions of 1917 were not the crystallization of the ideals of
the whole Mexican people. Probably not more than a half dozen interested
individuals had anything to do with the drafting of that document; it may mean
nothing or everything. It probably depends on the expediency of the occasion.
Judging the future by the past, why not suppose that the wealth, lands and
property of the Church has attracted the interested attention of those in
power? Religious freedom or intolerance probably does not enter into it except
indirectly, as means to an end.
President Calles has undertaken a pretty big job and it remains to be seen how
far he gets with it. It appears that the wisest and most successful rulers of
past ages did not interfere with the religion of the people. The British
Empire the most successful of modern colonizers, probably owes its success to
this policy. While we cannot, of course, accuse President Calles of doing
this, it does to all intents and purposes work out that way in practice.
has always been a certain amount of intolerance, if not fanaticism, in all
churches. Any of them given absolute power would no doubt use it. Religious
tolerance in this country as far as it goes is probably due to the fact that
no church or sect dominates.
is no question but that policy of the Church in Mexico has been mercenary and
has not worked toward the education or enlightenment of the masses; but to be
constructive we must have something better to offer in its place. Has its
influence been all bad? What would the average Mexican be without any
religious or Church influence? The human heart craves spiritual solace, but
can you imagine the average Mexican sitting down and reading his Bible and
getting any spiritual comfort? Will it not have to be prepared for him in a
different way? I will say that I have no solution, but feel that Masonically
we should keep out of the quarrel.
* * *
LANGUAGE OF STONEMASONS
reference to the communication on this subject in THE BUILDER for last month
we give the following letter from a well known Irish Masonic student:
have never heard of the separate language mentioned by Donn Byrne, nor have I
ever met with any representative of the white-bearded, red-eyed fraternity who
appeared to be full of suspicion toward an inquiring stranger.
the statement has any foundation, and I suppose it is bound to have or the
author would not have made it and backed it up with exemplifications as be
does in the next paragraph after the quotation given by Bro. Dyer (pity Bro.
Dyer stopped short of it, but in case you have not seen it I give it, it
helps), I do not believe the reference is to Freemasons.
"However you may inform Bro. Dyer that I have cast a very wide net in the
Ulster Press, and if I catch anything I will gladly pass it on."
the benefit of those who have not seen it we give the further quotation from
the National Geographic Magazine referred to above:
interesting part of this is: that in England, besides the 9vpsies, there are
tribes of itinerant tinkers who use many of these reversed Irish words in
their jargon, which is not Romany. "Lapac" for a horse is the Irish "capall";
"rohob" for road is the Irish "bohor"; "ees" is the Irish Saoi, a magistrate.
This dialect is called bv themselves "Shelta," which I suppose is "Celtic."
These English have otherwise nothing Irish about them.
hope that Bro. Simpson may be able to discover further information on this
very interesting survival.
* * *
SERIOUS SIDE OF THE QUESTION
subject matter of your recent editorial entitled "A Serious Question" is
indeed worthy of discussion and investigation. If someone is at work on it, I
have a suggestion to make as to a phase of the problem that seems to have been
completely overlooked in your first presentation. Whether or not my point has
any bearing on the main question, it is a point that I am sure will be
prominent in the minds of many who hear of Masons converted or returned to the
is a widespread belief that the requirements of the Roman Church include a
confessional of very great thoroughness - that the priest asks what he will
and the convert must answer truthfully and fully in order to receive the
absolution for which he seeks. However much this may be evaded by the writers
in the Roman Church, the belief prevails throughout the country that the
priests thus learn not only the private affairs of their flock but also the
secrets of any society to which the Catholic brother may have belonged.
these, as you say, may be mostly "official secrets long since betrayed," and
their revelation may be nothing to cause alarm. Nevertheless every Mason knows
there is good reason why he should not go to Confession to a Roman priest.
Your remark that any brother may withdraw from the Fraternity legally and
formally, has no relation to this matter. It is a matter of grave concern
should a brother Mason reveal the secrets he has obligated himself to keep, no
matter if it has been done by others before him. Regardless of other men's
actions he violates his vows. It is not legal. You write "On what may be
called the legal . . . aspect of the case there is nothing for protest." In
case of a Confession, I think there is reason to protest. It is an indignity,
it is a betrayal. No suggestion of baseless fears or the infiltration of
religious or political antagonism is going to relieve our hearts of the shock
of such a betrayal. It should not be treated lightly nor evaded.
forward with considerable interest to your future discussions.
letter raises an issue that was only touched on in the editorial referred to.
It certainly does need further elucidation, and this we hope to be able to
give later on. We have also given the point more extended notice on an earlier
* * *
MATTER OF OBLIGATION
BUILDER and the Grand Lodge of New Mexico have been active for some time in
urging the members of the Masonic Fraternity to finance the erection of a
hospital in the State of New Mexico for tuberculosis patients among the
members of the Fraternity. Their invocation of the different Grand Lodges in
this matter has thus far not shown any results that make this noble deed a
possibility. Being myself a Freemason and having taken the matter up with many
brethren who without exception approved the enterprise, I take the opportunity
to manifest in this article my Masonic opinion on this matter.
Masons of this country are morally obliged to assist our suffering brethren.
It is, furthermore, our honest duty to erect a hospital where these poor
unfortunate brethren, or members of their families, can be taken care of and
cured. It is not a temporal law that forces us to help these unfortunate
humans, it is a moral law, the law upon which our Order has been erected, that
obliges us to erect a hospital in order to manifest our Masonic ability. It is
the duty of the Grand Lodges to take this matter up and secure the necessary
funds right now in order to uphold the moral standard of the Order. Charity is
the first virtue of a Freemason, and the building of a tuberculosis hospital
is nothing else but an act of Charity and Virtue. I congratulate both THE
BUILDER and the Grand Lodge of Now Mexico, for asking the Masonic Fraternity
for financial assistance in their noble work. Whom should they ask? Who is
morally bound to respond to their call? Nobody but we Freemasons of this great
and noble country, the United States of America. Why are the Grand Lodges so
unresponsive? We have been building Masonic Temples that have cost millions of
dollars. Are we not able to build a hospital for tuberculosis patients?
the general belief among Masons that the brother who obtains the Third Degree
is a Master Mason. I doubt it. My opinion is this: when a brother has obtained
the Third Degree he has only the foundation whereupon he, the newly raised
brother, must build a moral Masonic building. This moral Masonic building is
called CHARITY. By doing charitable work a brother becomes a Master Mason, he
then has done his Masonic duty as a Master Mason. Now you Freemasons of this
great country are you real Master Masons? Show the world that the Masonic
Order is a true Brotherhood, by helping these our brethren who suffer with one
of the most fatal diseases known to medical science.
is another point which must not be overlooked: We Masons believe in God, the
Architect of the Universe. We thank Him for everything He has given us. In
this country there is a spot of God's earth created by this God we believe in,
to cure tuberculosis patients, owing to its climate. This spot of ground I am
speaking of cannot be used by tuberculosis patients unless we Masons who
believe in God erect a hospital there which these unfortunate humans can make
use of, in order to treat them in conformity with the discoveries of medical
science. Now then, brethren of the Masonic Order in the United States of
America, is our belief in God merely verbal, or is it both in word and in
deed? If we believe in God in deed, we are enforced by obligation to act right
now, and show the world that Masons believe in God in deed, and not alone in
words. Of course a hospital cannot be erected or purchased without funds. If
we, however, bear in mind that we have in this country over three millions of
Masons, and that if every Mason donates only twenty‑five cents, we would have
$750,000. This sum would be enough to erect a hospital and there would be
enough money left, the interest of which would take care of the upkeep of the
hospital. The individual lodges could advance the money to be paid by their
members and collect it later from them. This is, however, not possible unless
the different Grand Masters take this matter up immediately. Will they do it?
does it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not
works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of
daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and
filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the
body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it had not works, is dead, being
alone. Yea a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: Shew me thy faith
without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest
that there is one God; thou doest well; the devils also believe, and tremble.
But wilt thou know, 0 vain man, that faith without works is dead?
to hear in THE BUILDER from Grand Masters and Grand Lodges answers in favor of
this noble enterprise.
Freemason from Missouri.
* * *
FLORIDA AND THE 1842 CONVENTION
read with great interest Bro. Eriksson's article on "The Effects of
Anti-Masonry on the Masonic Fraternity." It is the most thorough and
comprehensive that I have ever seen. I would not have missed it for a great
deal. I am much interested in the subject as my grandfather was Deputy Grand
Master of Vermont during this time and was elected to the Grand Mastership of
that state in January, 1847. My father being one of the first candidates
raised to Masonic light in his lodge at its resumption of labor after enforced
suspension for a period of ten years from this cause. Both bearing the same
name as myself, who am third to wear it.
notice one minor fact that Bro. Eriksson omitted, not that it is of much
consequence (except for historical accuracy), that is, that the Grand Lodge of
Florida was not in attendance at the Convention of 1842. Bro. J. P. Duval, P.
G. M., and J. G. Jones were delegates from this lodge, and in 1843 Bro. Thomas
Hayward, Grand Lecturer, attended as a delegate.
C. Tucker, Florida.
* * *
view of the numerous - and to the critical student, preposterous - claims that
are being advanced in current books and Craft magazines about the origins and
antiquity of Freemasonry, it is refreshing to read W. Bro. Lionel Vibert's
paper. "Freemasonry Before Grand Lodges," which appeared in the Transactions
of the Lodge of Research, Leicester, England, in the volume for 1923-4. (This
should not be confused with his able little book, Freemasonry Before the
Existence of Grand Lodges, published some years earlier.) I recommend it to
you for republication in THE BUILDER, as I doubt if many American Masons will
have access to it otherwise.
Hugo Tatsch, Iowa.
suggestion of Bro. Tatsch is certainly a very good one. The paper is one
deserving the widest publicity.