The Builder Magazine
May 1927 - Volume XIII - Number 5
Masonry and Religious Persecution in Mexico
BRO. JOSE D'ARIMATHEA, Mexico
article is not intended for the profane, nor for the fanatic Masons who
entertain the idea that Masonry is a sect whose motive power is blind
aggression towards everybody that differs from us in beliefs, ideas and
opinions. It is waste of time to talk to those whose ear is not attuned to the
rhythm of life in the same degree as that of a true Mason. In writing my
thoughts, I intend it exclusively for those sincere Masons who believe that
Masonry is the highest and noblest organization for the realization of the
brotherhood of man, who seem to be in a state of confusion on account of the
attitude that Masonry, Mexican as well as American, has assumed in the
religious conflict in Mexico, an attitude that appears to be in contradiction
to the principles that constitute the alma mater of Masonry and that has
disturbed their peace of mind: I am also addressing myself to Masons who have
learned from Masonry the secret of segregating themselves from the herd in
order to seek in the silence their own inspiration and guide, and who have
subdued their animal instincts so as to be able to stand by man, not against
man: I am also addressing myself to Masons who have already conquered the
peace of mind necessary to face with equanimity the realities of life, to have
their cooperation in order to dissipate the confusion of the present hour in
the Masonic field.
political and religious aspects of the conflict does not interest me at all:
it is none of my business to disapprove or to justify the proceedings of the
political power; neither to absolve, nor condemn the Catholics: just now, the
only phase of the problem that interests me is the Masonic one in relation to
the principle of religious liberty.
of ot' all, I must determine if there is religious persecution in Mexico (it
does not matter whether it is authorized or not by the laws of Mexico), for if
there is no persecution, there is no subject matter for this article: the fact
or facts that constitute religious persecution are those that violate liberty
of conscience, in the meaning that Masonry applies to this principle, and the
verification of those facts will furnish us with the elements to pass judgment
on those who have, in the name of Masonry, publicly approved of the
persecution, or on which is based the attitude that Masonry must assume in
accordance with the nature of the institution.
three essential elements of religion, it is the element of public worship
which closely and directly relates to liberty of conscience, in other words,
public worship is liberty of conscience in action, because divine worship is
the realization of the dogma or belief, it is the realization of the earthly
purpose of religion, viz.: the communion of the faithful with Divinity. Dogma
has not the same direct relation with religious liberty, because to believe or
not believe in the principles and in the doctrine of a relgion, are subjective
phenomena that only by means of an inquisitorial proceedings could be known by
the political power.
worship, according to the teachings of dogma, must be performed in consecrated
places by means of certain ceremonies described by the liturgy and under the
direction of the spiritual guides, the priests, who form an integral part of
the ceremonial and who are constituted into a hierarchy that the dogma
considers as an integral part of religion. Religion is one and indivisible;
its constitutional elements cannot be separated without disintegrating it; to
attack just one element or part of one element, is to attack the whole. To
interfere with public worship or with any of the circumstances which must
concur for the celebration of divine worship is to interfere with religion,
because religion is not only the dogma, the doctrine, the belief, it is an
indivisible whole composed of dogma, morality and divine worship.
act of compulsion of an authority foreign to the religious power, that under
fear of punishment forces the believer to modify the status of the dogma, or
to suppress or to change the essential parts of the liturgy in order to
practice his religion; and every act that tends to disintegrate or to
annihilate the ecclesiastical hierarchy, punishing those who belong to that
hierarchy with the loss of their rights of citizenry, muzzling them in order
to prevent them from expressing their opinions in regard to the laws of their
country, is to violate liberty of conscience as it is understood by Masonry,
and it constitutes religious persecution.
be honest with ourselves, and let us face the facts as they really are; let us
not fall into the temptation to transform those facts according to our desires
or our prejudices and to justify the passional impulse that urges us to
satisfy our appetite to persecute everybody who does not share with us our
ideas and beliefs.
Persecution in Mexico is a fact; the mental torture and the oppression of the
soul of the faithful is a real tragedy that we cannot ignore; it is the
tragedy of the denial of liberty of conscience, of which Masonry has been and
must continue to be the strongest champion.
must be the attitude of Masonry in this anachronistic conflict ? To be an
accomplice of another revocation of the Edict of Nantes to bring about the
extermination of the Huguenots of today? What would be the difference between
a Roman Catholic of 1685 and a Mason of 1926 ? None; both are co-authors or
accomplices in the revocation of the edict. Let us interrogate ourselves--is
Masonry compelled to assume a certain attitude in this conflict? If it be not
the attitude of silence, I do not see that there is any other attitude which
such an heterogeneous society of men who profess distinct religious beliefs
and distinct political opinions could properly assume.
Masonry stand by one or the other side of the conflict it would be out of
harmony with its nature and it would be transformed into a religious or
political sect. The opinion of our Illustrious Brother, Frederick W. Hamilton,
33d, of the Supreme Council for the Northern Jurisdiction of the United
states, would be justified:
. . .
and in those [Latin] countries, we see not a great comprehensive brotherhood
like the Masonry of the United states and the British Empire, but a small
sect, actively and avowedly pursuing religious and political ends, and not
even united in itself.
event, it would not be so bad if Masonry would act boldly as the champion of
liberty of conscience, for as to this principle there cannot be any difference
of opinion among Masons, notwithstanding their beliefs and political opinions;
but then Masonry would be confronted with the political power, a conflict
would arise within Masonry, because Masons in friendly relations with the
political power would protest, the Institution would be persecuted as
seditious and then would follow the bitter consequences of a violent fight. It
is impossible for Masonry to act directly in the political, social and
religious field. Masonry does not frankly display its power because it is not
a social factor, neither is it political or religious; its power is invisible
and for that very reason formidable; it is exercised by hundreds of thousands
of sons of the Light, who are not restrained from fighting for the principles
that they have learned to worship in their lodges, in accordance with their
own judgment. The institution is invisible, backing its sons by means of its
moral and spiritual force in their struggle for liberty in all the activities
Masonry educates: it strengthens the heart of the adept, causing him to feel
the Masonic love; it strengthens his mind, making him comprehend the laws of
life; it strengthens his soul by putting him in tune with the cosmic mind, and
in this way, with love in his heart, with the mind that guides and with the
soul that enlightens, the adept goes into the profane world, "corde gaudioque
potens," to crystallize the Masonic ideal "Universal Fraternity" into a fact.
individual, I am an opponent of the principle underlying all known religions
and I hold that it is a curse on humanity and prevents its progress; but I, as
an individual, have the right to form an opinion on religious matters, to
adopt any belief, to reject it, to fight against all religions, to annihilate
them; it is not the same with the institution called "Masonry"; Masonry is an
abstract entity, not tangible, not visible, it is the cosmic tie that unites
the adepts among themselves for the progressive development of humanity.
Mason, nor any group of Masons, has the right to act in the profane world as
the representative of Masonry; he must do it in his own name and under his own
Anti-Cerneau Movement in the American Grand Bodies
BRO. CHARLES SUMNER LOBINGIER, Washington, D. C.
article will form a chapter in the projected Official History of the Supreme
Council, A. & A. S. R. for the Southern Jurisdiction of the U.S.A., upon which
Bro. Lobingier is now at work. In this article he has recorded every instance
that he has been able to discover where a Grand Body has officially acted upon
the question. Should any readers of THE BUILDER know of any that are not
mentioned here, Bro. Lobingier would be very glad to obtain the references
needed to supply the omission.
Cerneau question came into the American Grand bodies against the wishes of
both parties. Albert Pike opposed it because he was not prepared to concede
that the Grand Lodges were the proper tribunals to decide the question of
legitimacy (1). The Cerneau followers opposed it because they were afraid to
submit the merits of their claims to any impartial body. But the Grand Lodges
were forced, in sheer self-preservation, to grapple with and dispose of the
question. The Cerneau adherents might speciously argue that a Grand Lodge
could no more fix the Scottish Rite affiliation of a Mason than it could
prescribe his church membership. But the Grand Lodges very soon found
themselves facing, not mere theories, but these conditions:
Cerneau bodies claimed, and in some instances actually exercised, the power to
confer the symbolic degrees, which was in open defiance of the Grand Lodge
doctrine of exclusive jurisdiction.
legitimate Supreme Council had established bodies in most, if not all, of the
states, and these had been recognized by the Grand bodies. The latter could
not consistently recognize a rival nor withdraw recognition without reason.
Cerneauism everywhere proved a potent cause of dissension in the symbolic
the Cerneau question entered the Grand Lodges, to remain until in one way or
another it should be effectually disposed of. Naturally the first clash came
in Louisiana, for there the Cerneau Supreme Council
1850 . . . by formal decree, assumed control of the Blue degrees and soon had
some Blue Lodges under it which conferred the Blue degrees . . . in defiance
and contempt of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana (2).
Foulhouze continued to assert this claim long after the original body had come
under the aegis of the Mother Superior Council.
1856 certain members of a subordinate lodge (Foyer Maconnique) defied the
Master's authority and refused to deliver its charter when demanded by the
Grand Master. The latter thereupon suspended the charter, notwithstanding
which the rebellious members met and went through the form of electing
officers. Failing to obtain recognition they withdrew from the Grand Lodge and
proceeded to organize
Lodge, under the auspices of some individuals who are attempting to revive the
Supreme Council for Louisiana 33d Degree, Scotch Rite; a body which has
already been declared extinct by the governing authorities of that Rite in the
United states, and by all the subordinate bodies in the Scotch Rite in this
Grand Lodge voted unanimously that the erring members be tried for un-Masonic
resolution (5) adopted Jan 3, 1868, at its ninth annual conclave the Wisconsin
Grand Command of Knights Templar declared that it acknowledged and recognized
degrees of Masonry or orders of Knighthood to be regular, except those
conferred by and under the authority of the following constituted authorities
in the United States of America, and those of corresponding rank in Foreign
Grand Encampment of the United States; the Grand Consistory; and the General
Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the United States, Grand Councils of the R. and S.
Masters; and the Grand Lodges of the several States. And any Knight holding to
or receiving, or having received any irregular degrees, under the assumed name
of Masonry or Knighthood, particularly those known by the name of the
"Egyptian Masonry Rite of Memphis," or the "Ancient Primitive Rite of Memphis
of thirty-three degrees," shall be required to withdraw therefrom under pain
of being expelled.
this was not directed specifically against Cerneauism, it afforded a valuable
precedent for a Grand body determining the legitimacy of a Rite outside its
own--something the Cerneau adherents were claiming should not be done.
Louisiana the question came into Kentucky, being forced upon the Grand Lodge
there by the Foulhouze Council's invasion of that state. In his address at the
communication of 1869 the Grand Master commented at length upon the latter's
illegitimacy and special committee to which the matter was referred, and whose
report was unanimously adopted, declared:
are in the United States, which is divided between the two legitimate Grand
Bodies of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, having under their
jurisdiction subordinate Masonic bodies working in that Rite, viz: The Supreme
Council of the Northern Jurisdiction, having its seat at Boston, in
Massachusetts, and the Supreme Council for the Southern Jurisdiction having
its seat at Charleston, in South Carolina (6).
special communication of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, on Jan. 4, 1882,
the Grand Master (S.C. Lawrence) uttered a "Caution against spurious Rites and
Degrees," and an amendment to the Grand Constitutions was proposed prohibiting
membership therein (7). This came on for consideration at the June
communication and, after a prolonged discussion, in the course of which
letters were read from various Masonic authorities--including Gould, Hughan
and Findel -the amendment was adopted by the decisive vote of 319 to 28 (8).
It enumerated the recognized bodies conferring degrees other than symbolic;
specified "the Supreme Councils of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite for
the Northern and Southern Jurisdictions of the United States, of which Henry
L. Palmer and Albert Pike, M.P.Sov. Grand Commanders, respectively," and
imposed the penalty of expulsion upon all who should join bodies under any
others (9). Pike was disposed to discount the results of this. In his
Allocution for 1886 he said:
action of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts does, in fact, treat as not Masonic
the Royal Order of Scotland, which is older than itself and the Order of the
Red Cross of Constantine, which is accepted as legitimate in England, and
firmly established in the United States. I pointed out this difficulty, of
excepting so many Orders as it would be necessary to except from the ban, when
I was consulted in regard to invoking the intervention of the Grand Lodge of
Massachusetts, and have thought much about the matter in all its aspects
since; and I think it due to our own self-respect that we should advise the
Brethren of our Obedience not to seek, anywhere in our Jurisdiction, to have
action taken by the Grand Lodges, in regard to spurious Organizations claiming
to be of our Rite (10).
the effect elsewhere was prompt and wide spread. In the very next year a
resolution of the same import was adopted by the Knights Templar Grand
Commandery (11) of Ohio, at its annual conclave in Sandusky, and in the
following year a similar one by the Connecticut Grand Commandery meeting at
Norwich (12). In that year also, the Grand Chapter, R.A.M., of California,
adopted such a resolution (13). Two years later an attempt to repeal it was
met by an elaborate and adverse report (14) from the same committee which was
"adopted with almost entire unanimity (15)." A decade afterward the original
resolution was upheld by a decision (16) of the state Supreme Court which
affirmed a judgment sustaining a demurrer to a complaint seeking to restrain
defendants, as a Royal Arch Chapter, from proceeding to try plaintiff for
soliciting material for the Cerneau degrees.
Meanwhile the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, following the precedent of a
generation earlier (17), adopted (18), on Feb. 11, 1885, a resolution
declaring that it
exercised the right, and claims that it is her duty, as well as that of every
other Grand Lodge, as the foundation and basis of all Freemasonry, to
ascertain and declare what institutions or bodies claiming to be Masonic or
calling themselves Masonic, are really Masonic, and of the true body of
Masonry, or fraudulent, spurious or clandestine, and warn the Craft of
Louisiana against such as are not legitimate and true, even by prohibitive
edicts, if necessary.
20 of the same year an extremely interesting report (19) was presented to the
Grand Lodge of New Hampshire by its Committee on Jurisprudence, containing
much valuable historical matter and recommending resolutions, which were
adopted, to the effect
this Grand Lodge declares its understanding of the law in relation to its
powers and authority over the craft within its jurisdiction to be--
That it is the supreme authority in Masonry. Second, That it has the power to
determine what Masonry is. Third, That it has the power to decide what Masonic
bodies are regular, wherein symbolic Masonry is used, shown, or made a part of
the ceremonies. Fourth, That it has the power and authority to prohibit the
Masons of its obedience from practicing as masonic any other rites than those
which it declares to be masonic; and from using any of its esoteric ceremonies
as masonic ceremonies in any other body than those it shall hold to be masonic
twenty-second annual communication of the Montana Grand Lodge at Helena, on
Oct. 7 of the following year (21), a report, "modified from the Louisiana
Resolutions," recommended by the Foreign Correspondence Committee and approved
by the Jurisprudence Committee, was adopted to the effect that the Grand Lodge
assume to pass upon the claims of any other organizations whether claiming to
be Masonic or otherwise, or dictate to the members of its lodges, what other
associations or organizations they may connect themselves with, so long as its
rightful and exclusive control of Blue Lodge Masonry is not infringed or
interfered with, or the allegiance of its members perverted.
within three years, the experiences of other jurisdictions convinced the
Foreign Correspondence Committee that something more was needed. Its report
for 1889 contained the following:
single bucket of water at the right time is enough to have extinguished the
largest conflagration. Prevention is better than cure. Masonry, no more than
the Turk, allows "a rival near the throne." Profiting by the experience of
others and to avoid demoralizing controversies in which they have been
involved, we would advise such action that Cerneau Masonry may never get a
foothold in our jurisdiction. If it comes, let it be as an open and mortal
the unanimous concurrence of the Jurisprudence Committee, it was accordingly
all members of lodges under its obedience be warned to have nothing whatever
to do with said Cerneau Rite in any way, shape or form whatever, to the end
that Montana may hereafter and forever be free from the bitter strife and
deplorable divisions that have rent other Masonic Jurisdictions (22).
1887 the Ohio Grand Master declared, in replying to inquiries from Cerneau
members as to their standing in symbolic lodges, that such members were
"irregular, illegal and un-Masonic and ought not to be countenanced or
recognized in any manner (23). A motion to recommit this decision to the
Committee on Jurisprudence "with instructions to report adversely," was lost
by a vote of 544 to 230 (24).
contest was now transferred from the Grand Lodge to certain subordinate
lodges, two of which issued "obnoxious circulars" protesting against the Grand
Lodge action. The charters of others were arrested but two of them refused to
surrender theirs to the representative of the Grand Master, who thereupon
issued an edict (25) forbidding all Masonic intercourse with the members of
said lodges and an instruction (26); that it would constitute a Masonic
offence to visit, or hold membership in, a Cerneau body. Charges of Cerneau
activities having been preferred against certain members of Goodale Lodge, No.
372, at Columbus, they instituted an action in the Court of Common Pleas of
Franklin county to enjoin the lodge officers from proceeding with the trial. A
demurrer to their petition was sustained (27). The same ruling was made in the
circuit Court to which the cause was thence taken (28), and it was affirmed by
the Supreme Court (29). Meanwhile, in 1891, representatives of the seceders
met at Worthington and formed what they styled the Grand Lodge of Free and
Accepted Masons, which for some years was fairly active, organizing
thirty-four lodges in the state and more outside through Grand Master's
proxies, but collapsing after the courts decided that the seceders were not
entitled to the original lodge property (30).
1887, the Grand Master of Pennsylvania revoked the commission of a District
Deputy who persisted in retaining his connection with Cerneau bodies at
Scranton (31). This action was referred to a committee of Past Grand Masters
whose report the next year, unanimously adopted, was to the following effect:
if, as alleged, the organization known as the Consistory of the Cerneau Rite
claims the power, or authority, or right to confer the three degrees of
Ancient Freemasonry, it is not consistent with the duty of members of Lodges
subordinate to this Grand Lodge to seek or retain membership in that
this Grand Lodge expressly declines to enter upon any discussion of the
history, use, or legitimacy of any body claiming to confer what is known as
the high degrees in Freemasonry, or to be committed to the recognition of any
such body as being Masonic, or as identified with or a part of Ancient Craft
succeeding Grand Master, on Jan. 21, 1889, issued an edict reciting:
Whereas, all bodies in the Masonic Jurisdiction of the Right Worshipful Grand
Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania, and Masonic Jurisdiction
thereunto belonging, appertaining to, or constituting, or derived from, the
so-called "Cerneau Rite," have been authoritatively ascertained and officially
declared to be clandestine, and we do hereby notify all Brethren, Free and
Accepted Masons, in our jurisdiction, who are connected with any body
appertaining to, or constituting, or derived from, the said so-called "Cerneau
Rite," to sever their connections therewith within ninety days from the 26th
day of January, A. D. 1889 (33).
Certain parties affected thereby, petitioned the Grand Master to "investigate
. . . whether or not the Rite to which we belonged does claim or has ever
claimed authority over the first three degrees (34). But that dignitary on May
a second Edict, directing the Worshipful Master of each of the subordinate
Lodges in this jurisdiction to transmit to the Right Worshipful Grand
Secretary, under the seal of the Lodge, the names of the members of the Lodge
(if any there should be) who had not conformed to the requirements of the
previous Edict, and also the names of those who had conformed (36).
Results of this action were announced by the Grand Master as follows:
Returns have already been received from the Worshipful Masters, and the action
of the Brethren who had been misled in connecting themselves with the
so-called Cerneau rite has been in the highest degree creditable to their
Masonic manhood and their loyalty to this Right Worshipful Grand Lodge. With
only four or five exceptions, they have all abandoned their allegiance to the
said rite; and as to the few who still adhere, proper Masonic action is being
taken. I may add, that nearly all the Grand Lodges in the United states,
within whose jurisdiction the so-called Cerneau rite had organized bodies,
have taken analogous action, with similar result. Thus has this cloud on the
Masonic horizon been dispelled (36).
Meanwhile, on Sept. 18, 1888, the Colorado Grand Lodge adopted, seemingly with
little opposition, a resolution (37) similar in import to that of
action of the Grand Lodge of Ohio was discussed and indorsed (38) by the Utah
Grand Master at the annual communication of his Grand Lodge on Jan. 15, 1889.
The Committee on Jurisprudence, in a report (39) which was adopted, expressed
"hearty sympathy with the action. A letter (40) from the Grand Master of
Alabama dated Feb. 2, 1889, contained the following:
informed that there are regular Bodies of Scottish Rite Masons in Alabama,
owing allegiance to the Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction presided
over by Gen'l Albert Pike. This Supreme Council is recognized as the only
legitimate Power of that Rite in Alabama, and I concur with the ruling of the
Grand Lodge (of Ky.) mentioned above in holding the Cerneau Bodies to be
illegal and unmasonic, and no brother under the obedience of the Grand Lodge
of Alabama should join them, or countenance them, or recognize them in any
address to the Grand Lodge of Iowa on June 4, 1889, Grand Master Blackmar
touched at some length on the "Cerneau question" and recommended action (41).
The committee to which this portion of the address was referred, reported a
series of resolutions (42) declaring the Mother Supreme Council "entitled to
exclusive jurisdiction in this state," refusing to recognize the Cerneau
Council, prohibiting it from working within the state, and requiring the
severance therefrom of all Grand Lodge members. A substitute resolution for a
neutral position was defeated (43) by a vote of 633 to 334 and the original
resolutions were thereupon adopted (44) by a vote of 587 to 343.
fifteenth and final communication of the Grand Lodge of Dakota (45) on June
11, 1889, a special committee on Cerneau Masonry reported (46) that the latter
"has and can have no legal status or standing in this jurisdiction." The
report was adopted a also a resolution excluding Cerneau bodies from the
jurisdiction and prohibiting Masons from receiving their degrees (47).
following day the Grand Lodge of Oregon opened its thirty-ninth annual
communication and the Grand Master devoted a portion of his address to "Cerneau
Masonry" closing with the "request that this matter be referred to the
Committee on Jurisprudence. (48) Instead, a special committee (49) was
appointed and presented a report (50), which was adopted, declaring that "this
Cerneau (so-called) Masonry is clandestine and they (the brethren) are hereby
warned not to embrace it under the penalties that must follow a violation of
the edicts touching clandestine Masons."
same day (June 12) the Vermont Grant Master, in his address before the
ninety-sixth annual communication of his Grand Lodge at Burlington, gave a
half page to the "Cerneau Rite" and, while deprecating a definition of "the
simon pure higher degrees" declared
is true as charged upon seemingly good authority, that the Cerneau Rite claims
to have and has exercised authority over the degrees of ancient craft masonry,
then it is not a question of whether it is a legitimate body so far as the
higher degrees are concerned, but a question of self-protection. It is a
recognized law throughout this country and in many others that the degrees of
ancient craft masonry can only be conferred under authority granted by a
sovereign Grand Lodge. Any claim of right over said degrees, by any other
body, is an unwarranted usurpation, and an offense against well established
law and Masonic usage. While the Grand Lodge of Vermont will be slow to
determine which of the higher bodies is legitimate, it will not permit an
infringement of its inherent rights or those of any other grand jurisdiction,
and, if the charge is fully sustained, will take decided action. (51)
date of July 25, 1889, the Grand Master of Masons in the District of Columbia
issued a drastic edict declaring
it is not consistent with the duty of any brother under the Grand Lodge of the
District of Columbia, to seek or retain membership in the said Gorgas-Cerneau
organization, and any brother of this jurisdiction continuing his membership
in any said Gorgas-Cerneau body after the reading of this Edict in the Masonic
lodge of which he may be a member, renders himself liable to suspension from
all the rights and privileges of Masonry...
do also prohibit any of the lodges of this jurisdiction granting the use of
their place of meeting for the practice of the said Gorgas-Cerneau Rite, or
for holding any communication in any room or rooms occupied by any body known
as the Gorgas Cerneau Rite of Scottish Masonry. (See decision in the case of
Hiram Lodge, No. 10, herewith.)
do further direct all Masters of lodges under our authority not to admit as a
visitor to their lodges any person claiming to be a Free and Accepted Mason
who is a member of any body of the said Gorgas-Cerneau Rite, either in this or
any other Masonic jurisdiction. (52)
edict was formally brought to the attention of the Grand Lodge at its annual
communication in November following but no action was taken to disturb it.
Oct. 19, 1889, the Florida Grand Master, following a report of his Committee
on Foreign Correspondence, which in turn was based on the Pennsylvania
precedent, issued an edict (53) forbidding all connection with "Cerneauism."
His action was reviewed at the ensuing Grand Lodge session by the Committee on
Jurisprudence which presented a majority report recommending "no further
action (54)." This was rejected and a minority report approving and confirming
the edict adopted. (55)
Georgia Grand Master discussed (56) "Cerneau Masonry" in his address before
the Grand Lodge on Oct. 29, 1889, and recommended a reference to the Committee
on Jurisprudence. Instead, the matter was referred to a special committee
which filed an elaborate report (57), unanimously adopted, similar to that of
Massachusetts, recognizing only the regular Supreme Councils.
Grand Lodges meeting in the year 1889 which took no action regarding
Cerneauism, that of Illinois, which met Oct. 1, was the most notable. Its
Grand Master (John Corson Smith) did "not care to enter into a discussion of
this subject" and criticised the Committee on Correspondence for expressing
views thereon (58). At the eighth annual communication of the Grand Lodge of
Arizona, which opened on Nov. 12 at Tucson, the Grand Master recommended "that
a special committee be appointed to consider the subject and report at the
next session (59)," but no action appears to have been taken.
early as 1886, the Minnesota Grand Master had sought Pike's advice as to
presenting the Cerneau question to his Grand Lodge and had been dissuaded
therefrom (60). Nevertheless the question would not down there, for Cerneau
followers were at work in the state. By 1890, the situation had become acute
and when the, Grand Lodge met on Jan. 15 of that year, for its thirty-seventh
annual communication, the Grand Master devoted nearly six printed pages of his
address to "Cerneauism (61)." A special committee appointed to consider the
subject made a lengthy report (62) recommending a sweeping prohibitory
resolution which was adopted by a vote of 262 to 110, after a substitute,
limiting recognition to the symbolic degrees had been rejected (63).
27th of the same month, the Grand Lodge of New Mexico opened its twelfth
annual communication at Las Cruces. The Grand Master devoted nearly two pages
of his address (64) to the "Cerneau Rite", stating that he had advised a
brother who had inquired if it be proper to organize a lodge thereunder, "to
let it alone." The committee to which the address was referred, commended that
passage and recommended a resolution (65) similar to that of Massachusetts.
But "after much discussion" that portion of the report "was referred to the
Committee on Foreign Correspondence for full report at the next annual
communication. (66)" That committee at that communication made an elaborate
report on foreign correspondence but no attempt seems to have been made to
dispose of the Cerneau question.
one hundred and third annual communication of the New Jersey Grand Lodge
opened at Trenton, Jan. 29, 1890. The Grand Master discussed the "Cerneau
Rite" at some length in his address (67), pointing out
bodies of this "Rite" have been established in Jersey city and Newark, and
that an unsuccessful effort had been made to institute a "Consistory" in
Notwithstanding such invasions the Committee on Jurisprudence, to which the
matter was referred, failed to make a precise disposition thereof. Its report
(68), which was adopted, recited:
Grand Lodge of New Jersey, having never formally recognized as Masonic what is
commonly known as "Scottish Rite Masonry", cannot, therefore, enter into a
discussion relative to the regularity or irregularity of the said Cerneau
Rite, or take any part in the determining of the questions in controversy
between what is known as the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite and that known
as the Cerneau Rite; but, in justice to this Grand Lodge, and those of the
members of its obedience who hold membership in and who are in allegiance to
any body claiming to be Masonic, which has entered into and continues in
fraternal relations with the Grand Orient of France, such members are thereby
in violation of their obligation to this Grand Lodge, and are thus making
themselves liable to Masonic discipline.
Feb. 10, 1890, the seventy-eighth annual communication of the Louisiana Grand
Lodge began at New Orleans. The Grand Master was Charles F. Buck, afterward an
active member of the Supreme Council, who in his address, condemned "Cereneauism"
and recommended a report on that subject from the Committee on Masonic Law and
Jurisprudence. Such a report (69) was presented and adopted, reaffirming the
historic position (70) of the Louisiana Grand Lodge, asserting its right to
"determine the legitimacy of any body pretending to be Masonic and claiming
recognition" and declaring the Cerneau bodies illegitimate. Notwithstanding
this action, Bayliss emissaries entered the state and about 1908 attempted to
establish bodies in New Orleans. During that year the Grand Master of Masons
issued several edicts (71) warning members of the Craft against any connection
with such bodies under penalty of expulsion. Bayliss thereupon brought an
action for libel against the Louisiana Grand Lodge basing his petition (72)
mainly upon statements in the edicts to the effect that Cerneau Masonry was
"bogus, spurious and clandestine" and characterizing plaintiff as a "peddler
of degrees", "a clandestine Mason", "pretender" and "interloper". The trial
court found for defendant and its judgment was affirmed by the Supreme Court,
which held that the Grand Master was justified in issuing the edicts and that
the language complained of was not libellous (73).
Trans., Sup. Coun., 1884, App. 25; 1886, App. 12; Correspondence with
Minnesota Grand Master of Masons, Off. Bull. Sup. Coun., VIII, 61-63.
Pike, Beauties of Cerneauism, No. 6, p. 37.
Grand Master's Address, La. Grand Lodge Proc., 1857, p. 13.
Ibid. pp. 87-89.
Proceedings (Milwaukee, 1868), pp. 23, 24, 28.
Ky. Grand Lodge Proc., 1869, p. 81. This position was reaffirmed nineteen
years later when the real Cerneau question arose. See Proc., 1888, pp. 11, 12,
Mass. Grand Lodge Proc. (1882), pp. 16 et seq.
Ibid. p. 127.
Mass. Grand Constitutions, Part V, Sec. 24
Trans., Sup. Coun., 1886, App. 26.
Proceedings (Dayton, 1883), 101, 106.
Proceedings (Hartford, 1884), 142.
Proceedings (San Francisco, 1884), pp. 396, 490, the Committee on
Jurisprudence reporting "that we desire this Grand Chapter to speak in no
uncertain terms "
Ibid. (1886), p. 526.
Ibid. p. 531
Lawson v. Hewell, 118 Cal. 613, 50 Pac. 763 (1897).
Ante note 35
La. Grand Lodge Proc., 1885, pp. 66, 88.
N. H. Grand Lodge Proc., 1885, pp. 118-139.
Ibid. p. 138. The same volume contained (pp. 139-174) an "Historical Sketch of
the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite." In 1895 the same Grand Lodge
supplemented the resolutions reproduced in the text by recognizing the
Northern Supreme Council's jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite degrees as
exclusive within the state. See Grand Lodge Proc., 1895, pp. 261-269.
Montana Grand Lodge Proc., 1886, p. 33.
Ibid. 1889, p. 49. This became one of the Standing Resolutions included in the
Masonic Code, adopted Sept. 20, 1899, and which had been framed by a Committee
of which Past Grand Master Day, now Grand Minister of State in the Supreme
Council, was Chairman. See also 1899, pp. 55-59.
Ohio Grand Lodge Proceedings (1887), p. 76.
Ohio Grand Lodge Proc., 1889, p. 19.
Ibid. p. 44.
Hershiser v. Williams (Pamphlet Op.), 4. The leading plaintiff was the head of
the Cerneau Supreme Council. New Age, XVI.
Hershiser v. Williams, 6 Ohio Cir. Ct. 147 (1892). A pamphlet entitled "Cerneau
Masonry Legal in Ohio" was issued apropos of this decision, in which the
author (F. W. Chandler) calmly ignored the effect of the ruling and emphasized
obiter dicta in the brief opinion.
53 Ohio St. 666 (1895).
New Age, XVII, 525, 526.
Pa. Grand Lodge Proc., 1887, p. 72.
Ibid. 1888, p. 25.
Ibid. 1889, p. 20, Cf. p. 116.
Ibid. p. 21.
Ibid. p. 117.
Colorado Grand Lodge Proc., 1888, pp. 25, 27.
Utah Grand Lodge Proc., 1889, p. 20.
Ibid. p. 43.
Occasional Bulletin, Sup. Coun. No. 9, p. 43.
Iowa Grand Lodge Proc., 1889, pp. 193, 194. He had been urged by Grand
Secretary Parvin. See Morcombe, Parvin s Life and Labors, 275.
Ibid. p. 329.
Ibid. p. 333.
Ibid. p. 334.
It continued, however, as the Grand Lodge of South Dakota.
Dakota Grand Lodge Proc., 1889, p. 26.
Ibid. p. 36.
Oregon Grand Lodge Proc., 1889, pp. 46, 47.
Ibid. p. 69.
Ibid . p. 97.
Vt. Grand Lodge Proceedings, 1889, p. 21.
D.C. Grand Lodge Proc., 1889, p. 33.
Fla. Grand Lodge Proc., 1890, p. 34, Ex. "C".
Ibid. p. 66.
Ibid. p. 67.
Ga. Grand Lodge Proc., 1889, pp. 28, 29.
Ibid pp. 56-72. See Proc., 1894, pp. 101-105, as to mode of renouncing
Cerneauism. (58) Ill. Grand Lodge Proc., 1889, pp. 50, 51
"Ariz. Grand Lodge Proc., 1889, pp. 19; 20.
See Off. Bull. Sup. Coun., 61-63.
Minn. Grand Lodge Proc., 1890, pp. 31-36.
Ibid. pp. 69-73.
Ibid. p. 74.
N. M. Grand Lodge Proc., 1890, pp. 23-25.
Ibid. p. 47.
Ibid. p. 54.
N.J. Grand Lodge Proc., 1890, pp. 36-38.
Ibid. p. 64.
La. Grand Lodge Proc., 1890, pp. 96-97.
La. Grand Lodge Proc., 1909, pp. 17, 80. The edict of March 24, 1908, is
reprinted on the New Age, X, 556.
Reprinted, New Age, X, 271-273.
Bayliss v. Grand Lodge of Louisiana, 131 La. 579, 59 So 996 (1912).
Neb. Grand Com. Proc., 1889, pp. 1051, 1052.
Development of Papal Power in the Catholic Church
BRO. FERDINAND OUDIN, Illinois
as in the great Masonic Schism in England the "Antients" took the fullest
advantage in pressing all the implications of the term "Moderns" by which
their opponents were known, a term which they even seem to have originated
themselves, so has the Roman Church taken advantage of the willingness of
Protestants to leave to them the exclusive use of the term Catholic, or
Universal. The present article may help to make it clear that Romanism or
Papalism is historically only a part of the Catholic Church which in fact
includes all baptized Christians. The distinction is by no means an
was the Reformation ? In the average mind it was the 15th century revolt
against the Roman Church which led to the establishment of Protestantism.
This, to some extent, is correct if we assume that the Reformation was due to
forces from outside of the Church and of a spontaneous nature. But historical
research leads us to accept the view that the Reformation is really distinct
from Protestantism as it bears all the marks of a regeneration of the human
race not only religiously but socially as well. It was not so much a revolt as
it was a re-establishment of the principles of primitive Christianity and
therefore addresses itself to all mankind.
Reformation was the culmination of constant attacks within the Church itself,
first against the formation of an Hierarchy and then against the intolerable
and odious acts of this Hierarchy. For this reason we will have to go back in
history to the very beginning of the domination of the Roman over the Catholic
Church. In this study I think we should be careful to distinguish between
Catholicism and Popery, the latter, in my opinion, is the fundamental cause
that engendered all other evils leading up to the Reformation. What important
services Catholicism rendered to Europe at the time of the formation of the
various states was during that period when the Church was still impregnated
with the customs of primitive Christianity and when Popery was only a shadow.
Of course, there were many among the hundreds of Popes who were good and
sincere men who did much for religion and mankind, but even these were forced
to observe the rules of the papal system that more unscrupulous Popes had
CHRISTIAN CHURCH ESTABLISHED AT ROME
of Tarsus, the Apostle, came to Rome, the capital of the empire, one may say
of the world. Here he lived for two years preaching the Gospel and
establishing the primitive Christian Church. Pastors or bishops were elected
by the congregations. These employed themselves with converting neighboring
cities and towns, where in turn other congregations or churches were
established with bishops to supervise them, and it was but natural that these
supervisors should consult the bishop of Rome on important questions. The
spiritual supremacy of the bishop of Rome was at this time limited to the
superintendency of the churches within the jurisdiction of the Prefect of
this homage, voluntary and meant as a mark of respect to Rome, the seat of
learning and greatness as well as of its bishops, was in time considered by
the latter as their right. The ecclesiasts could not resist the intoxication
which impelled them toward the assumption of power; in this they obeyed the
general law of human nature.
respect and relative influence enjoyed by the various Christian bishops in the
second century being proportional to the rank of the city where they
officiated, then, Rome being the most important, the queen city, why should
not the bishop of Rome be the king of bishops? If Rome was the military ruler
of the world, why should not its bishop's authority be the law of all nations?
It was very easy for such ambitious men as the bishops of Rome to reason so in
time went on, the bishops of different parts of the empire willingly yielded
to the bishop of Rome some portion of that honor which was due to the queen
city, but there was no dependence implied in this honor thus paid. The Roman
pastor was treated as on equal level with them; admonitions from him were at
first fraternal, but these soon became commands from a pontiff, and a place of
honor among equals became in his eyes a throne.
idea which held out such promise of power and wealth was assiduously
cultivated by the various bishops or popes of Rome ("pope" was, until the 6th
century, a common title of bishops, and is still the ordinary term for a
priest in the Eastern Church), but not until the year 189 did one of them,
victor, assert his self-assumed authority, and peremptorily excommunicate the
Eastern Church because it would not celebrate Easter on the same day as he
did. With the exception of this show of authority we know very little of
CALLISTUS THE FIRST POPE
next important incumbent of the office of Roman bishop and the one we may
accept as the first Pope in the modern sense is Callistus. Hippolytus, a
contemporary bishop of Rome, a scholar and saint, tells us that Callistus was
the slave of a Christian named Carpophorus who entrusted him with sums of
money which he evidently misappropriated, for his master had him banished to
the mines in Sardinia, the Siberia of the Empire. Shortly afterward when all
Christians imprisoned for their faith were released, he gained his freedom
with them and was sent to live at Antirium on a pension provided by the
Church. Having been sentenced to servitude in an imperial penal institutio he
ceased to be a slave and his former master now had further authority over him.
Callistus probably possessed an able and persuasive character for we find that
in the year 217 he was chosen bishop or pope of Rome, but not without
considerable opposition led by Hippolytus, who continued to denounce the
newly-elected bishop, claiming the bishopric for himself. Finally for the sake
of peace Hippolytus was transferred to the Port of Rome, twelve miles from the
Callistus was of a rather liberal and astute mind. He evidently placed himself
on friendly terms with the secular power, the Prefect, and he also made it
much easier for Romans of the better families, who were inclined toward moral
lapses, to become Christians; for as Tertullian, referring to Callistus,
rather jocosely says: "I hear that an edict has been issued. The supreme
Pontiff, the Bishop of Bishops, says: 'I will absolve even those who are
guilty of adultery and fornication, if they do penance'." Callistus also
decreed that a bishop having committed a mortal sin, that is, one convicted of
a major wrong, need not necessarily be deposed. This was likely enough for
self-protection considering his earlier life.
the next eighty years or so the Church suffered so much from the persecutions
of Diocletian and Galerius that the Popes of this period were in the very
nature of things of an austere and saintly character, no man having ambitions
for personal aggrandizement would seek the office. After the abdication of
Diocletian, however, the political situation of the Empire changed. There was
internal strife between opposing secular factions and the persecution of
Christians slackened. Galerius also, now old and sick, repented somewhat of
his early savagery and issued an edict giving the Christians some relief from
CHRISTIAN CHURCH OFFICIALLY ESTABLISHED
Galerius' death, Constantine's assumption of power in 323 and his conversion
to Christianity became the turning point which changed pagan Rome to the
capital of Christendom. During his reign the papacy received an impetus and
the Pope of Rome became a power, but not without first having to compromise
with the Emperor as future development will show. This development was aided
by the removal of the political capital of the Empire from Rome to Byzantium,
the City of Constantine, otherwise Constantinople. With the Emperor gone the
Pope became the principal personage in what necessarily remained by tradition
and in fact the chief city of the west.
this time a controversy was going on between the bishop of Carthage, who
headed the Donatists, a sect or rather schism in Africa, and the bishop of the
Church of Rome. Although the controversy was of a purely ecclesiastical
nature, this did not keep the bishop of Rome from appealing to the Emperor,
now a Christian, to induce him to punish the recalcitrant Donatists through
the use of civil power; in this he was successful and their exile and
confiscation followed. From now on a closer union between the clergy and the
civic authorities came into being and with it the first move to control
education; a ruling being procured from the Emperor that scholars educated at
the expense of the public were to bring credentials from their bishop as a
proof of membership of the Christian Church. Imperial edicts were also issued
in favor of the clergy, who thereby became a privileged order.
Constantius, the son of Constantine, came to Italy he had espoused the
theological views of the important sect of the Christian Church at Alexandria
known as the Arian heresy, and desired for political reasons to enforce its
acceptance everywhere. These views Liberius, then Pope of Rome, refused to
accept, for which refusal he was banished to inhospitable Thrace. One Damasus,
a deacon, who as time will show was destined to become one of the important
Popes, took oath, with others, to stand by Liberius, and accompanied him into
exile. However, he soon after returned to Rome, moved by private ambitions.
Felix, another ecclesiastic, chief deacon of Rome, who also swore to uphold
Liberius, but who was not adverse to personal aggrandizement, soon disregarded
his oath of fealty to Liberius, and ingratiated himself with the Emperor by
subscribing to the Arian doctrine and was made Pope of Rome--the first
anti-Pope, and was supported by Damasus and most of the Roman clergy. The
masses, however, and some of the clergy remained true to the orthodox faith
and Liberius, who overcome with the weariness of exile and wishing to regain
the papal power, returned to Rome after having assented to some form of semi-Arianism,
in return for which the Emperor reinstated him as bishop of Rome, having it
announced that Liberius and Felix would govern their respective congregations
side by side. This rule of two Popes did not last long, for in the ensuing
strife Felix and his adherents were driven out of Rome. In 365 Felix died;
Liberius now sole Pope, ruled only one year, for he followed Felix in 366.
must be admitted that the history of these episodes is very obscure. Roman
Catholic historians gave a different version of the facts, but they are
naturally subject to a strong bias in favor of upholding the orthodoxy of
Liberius. In a brief sketch such as this it is impossible to do more than note
the difference of opinion.
POPES INCREASE THEIR POWER AND WEALTH
the worldly state of the Popes must have improved greatly, during even the few
years of alliance with the Emperor, may be judged from the writings of
Ammianus Marcellinus, a contemporary pagan, who tells us that "the bishop of
Rome drove through the city in a gorgeous chariot, and gave sumptuous banquets
rivalling those of the Emperor."
pomp and wealth now having become part of the Papacy undoubtedly helped to
enflame the ambitions of Damasus and his rival Ursicinus, also a deacon of
Rome, to occupy the seat now vacated by the death of Liberius. After a number
of riotous fights between the followers of the two deacons. Damasus had
himself consecrated at the Lateran Basilica. This, however, did not end the
bloody conflicts, which continued for months. But Damasus formed a coalition
with the wealthy and pagan officials of Rome, and Praetextatus, the Prefect of
Rome, put an end to the rioting. This act, which was out of accord with the
imperial policy, shows in what high esteem the Pope was held even at that
time. This is further brought out, according to St. Jerome, by Praetextatus'
answer, upon the occasion when Damasus wished to convert him, which was, "Make
me bishop of Rome and I will become a Christian."
Damasus' ability in statesmanship is further demonstrated by his success in
obtaining from the Emperor a concession which decreed that:
Roman bishop should have power to inquire into the conduct of the other
priests of the churches, and that affairs of religion should be judged by the
to have seven colleagues with him in these inquiries. By this decree the Pope
gained complete control over the clergy and he availed himself of this on many
occasions, but evidently not for their moral improvement, as may be gathered
from reading the imperial rescript issued in the year 372 which prohibited
priests and monks from visiting the homes of widows and orphans, and
invalidated legacies made in their favor. Later this law was extended to nuns
and bishops. Damasus died in 384 after occupying the papal chair for eighteen
the next fifty years nothing of great importance occurred. Then in the year
440, Leo the Great upon the death of Sixtus III was elected to the papacy. Leo
was a capable and sincere man, but was fully convinced in his own mind of the
validity of the dogmatic papal conception first advanced by Damasus, according
to which the Pope was the successor of Peter and as such the supreme pontiff.
That Leo and the Emperor were on amiable terms may be gathered from the fact
that the Emperor sent him to reconcile the Generals Actius and Albinus, who
fought each other while the Empire suffered. We know that the supreme pontiff
was not adverse to forcing his will upon those that would not obey him by
having the Emperor issue rescripts. A case in point is that of Hilary,
metropolitan of Arles. It appears that one, Calidonius, a bishop under the
jurisdiction of the saintly Hilary, appeared before the Pope complaining of
the harshness of his metropolitan. Hilary followed this bishop to Rome to
defend his position but to no avail. There is a peculiar coincidence in papal
history, that the appellant usually received the favorable verdict. Later Leo
wrote to the bishops of Vienne that they no longer owed obedience to Hilary,
to which the latter, it seems, paid but little attention. So in the same year
the Emperor is prevailed upon to issue an imperial rescript confirming Leo's
action and to this was added:
this down for ever, that neither bishops of Gaul nor those of other provinces
shall do anything contrary to ancient usage, without the authority of the Pope
of the Eternal City.
takes no stretch of imagination to see the far reaching authority this gave
the popes. During Leo's reign we also come upon the first case where a pope
gave approval for the execution of a heretic; it was that of Priscillian, who
was convicted of the errors of professing Manichean and Gnostic tenets.
Regarding executions for heresy, Pope Leo says:
Although ecclesiastical mildness shrinks from blood punishments, yet it is
aided by the severe decrees of Christian princes since they who fear corporal
sufferings will have recourse to spiritual remedies.
this it is seen that the Church looks toward the secular rulers to enforce its
decrees on those not in agreement with the ecclesiastics.
true that Leo was not ambitious, he sought neither wealth nor honor; he was a
deeply religious man, fully convinced that what he did was for the good of
Christianity, but unfortunately his edicts and decisions became precedents for
more unscrupulous ecclesiastics. Leo died in the year 461, leaving a fairly
well established Hierarchy willing to submit to the Pope of Rome as its head.
the next 130 years seventeen pontiffs ruled from the Lateran Palace with
varying success but with steadily increasing temporal power; the first seven
were worthy successors of Leo, but the latter ten were of much smaller
caliber, who allowed the Roman See to become dependent on the whims of the
Byzantine Emperor. The last of these Popes, Pelagius II, died in 590, which
closed that period of early church and papal history which may be termed
ancient. With the assumption of control by Gregory I, we will commence a study
of the Middle Age, which will be covered in another article.
Coming Men of America
BRO. J. HUGO TATSCH, Associate Editor, Iowa
this caption is read, I am sure it will revive memories in many who now wear
the Square and Compass in lieu of a six-pointed star, with the initials C. M.
A., at the points, and a large letter F in the center. C.M.A. stood for
"Coming Men of America," and O.T.N. for "Our Turn Next." And who is there who
will deny that the neophytes without the gates did not faithfully learn that F
was the initial of Friendship, Fidelity and Fealty ?
spite of the fact that this secret society for boys, founded in the nineties,
had more than one hundred thousand members when it collapsed about 1907 (my
certificate is No. 53,475, dated October 1, 1902), very few know of it today.
It was founded by a Mason, and partook of the gentle spirit of Freemasonry in
a most marked degree. I learned, to my sorrow, when visiting my youthful home
in the Far West last summer, that the box below the attic eaves, containing
boyhood treasures, had become food for the flames but a short time before;
hence I shall have to rely upon my memory for such facts as may be recalled
about the society's early history. Fortunately, my certificates, secret work
and lodge ritual were preserved with other papers in a safe deposit box and
are used in part to illustrate this article.
ORIGIN OF THE ORGANIZATION
Society was founded, if memory serves me correctly, by one William Hunter of
Oak Park, Illinois. At the time I first heard of it, Jos. R. Hunter, whom it
was my pleasure to meet a few years later in Chicago, was the Grand Secretary.
C.R. Philip appears as President upon the various documents. The membership
fee was the nominal price of fifty cents, and also covered a year's
subscription to The Star Monthly, a juvenile publication which contained
interesting material. From the vantage point of more mature years, I now
suspect that the Society played an important part in keeping the periodical
alive; but be that as it may, the membership received full value for their
money, and even to this day a quarter of a century later, I can recall
articles, comments and names which appeared in the publication. A vivid
illustration of youthful impressibility !
object of the C. M. A. was to unite clean and moral young men into closer ties
of friendship and fellowship. It appealed to the age-old ideal of secrecy--a
sharing in something which others perhaps did not possess. I cannot do better
than to quote from the manual given to every new member, and in which was
published monitorial instruction, the key to the secret cipher, known as "Bestography,"
and the signs, grips and words of the Order. The book opens with these words:
your own desire, fully endorsed and recommended, we deem you worthy of
membership, and under the seal of your sacred promise of secrecy (the word of
honor) now for the first time hail you as friend and brother in the bond,
imparting to you herein the sacred secrets, signs, tests and signals, whereby
members of the Coming Men of America may know and be known to each other in
all parts of the world and in all circumstances. Ponder well the teachings of
the C. M. A. As you are a true brother in the bond, try to live up to the
precepts of the fraternity, so that no word, act or deed of yours shall ever
besmirch its fair escutcheon, or bring discredit on our noble order.
brother, what an honor it is to be a Coming Man of America; remember also the
responsibilities connected with your privileges as a future American citizen.
Remember that you have a sacred trust to take up when your turn does come, the
duties of manhood and citizenship. See to it that you are prepared for that
trust, so you will not fall below the high standard set by our forefathers.
The remaining mystic symbols on the badge are secret, are known to members
only, and ever kept sacred and inviolate.
M. A. inspired lofty principles of patriotism. Too young to participate in the
Spanish-American War, I nevertheless was stirred by the patriotic sentiments
which were printed in the book, and which partially covered the explanation of
the colors used in the membership badge:
three colors again, we recognize our country's flag, the glorious stars and
stripes, which you may some day be called upon to defend. When War's alarm
rang throughout the land, many brothers of the C. M. A. risked their strong
young manhood for the flag whose colors they wore on the badge. Many a brother
was sacrificed on the altar of his patriotism in the war with Spain, but he
did not consider any sacrifice too great to make for his country, nor did the
fond mother who now cherishes a "badge with a single star" in remembrance of
the boy she gave to defend her country's honor and principles. Today the
country boasts no braver defenders than the boys in blue, who likewise owe
allegiance to their order, the C. M. A. On the breasts of sturdy patriots the
emblem of our order has penetrated the remote fastnesses of the Philippines,
has scaled the walls of Pekin, has charged up San Juan Hill, has sailed into
Havana, Manila and Santiago, under Dewey, Sampson and Schley, and today on
battlefield, in camp, in barracks and afloat with the White Squadrons in many
and far distant seas, it adorns the breasts of soldier and sailor lads who
learned their first lessons of patriotism in the lodges of the Coming Men of
the most potent lesson of the Order was that of Honor. Let me quote again:
means this word of honor ? It is Young America's most sacred pledge. Back of
it lies strength of purpose and a conviction that a broken word of honor
renders one unfit for friendship and trust of any kind. Even thieves and
outcasts have their word of honor that is a safe and certain seal of secrecy.
True manhood and success depends upon the first principle of keeping a
word of honor is as binding as an oath," was a slogan used very effectively.
CEREMONIAL AND DEGREES
six or more members lived in a community, application could be made for a
charter to found a lodge. One such was Juneau Lodge, No. 3643, of Milwaukee,
Wisconsin, chartered Sept. 13, 1903. Of the six "brethren" mentioned
therein--J. H. Tatsch, Harry Schlafer, George Meulendyk, James Bal, Roy L.
Dodd and Edward L. Klein--I have lost track of all but one, and he, an old
schoolmate and my first intimate friend, is now a brother of the Craft
residing in Minneapolis. The fraternal ties established in youthful days have
been strengthened as we grew to manhood and became members of our great
Masonic Fraternity--a logical outcome. It was also my privilege to organize a
lodge in Spokane, Washington, chartered as Lewis and Clark Lodge, No. 4551,
July 26, 1905. By that time a "uniform rank" had been developed in the Order.
Of the eight charter members, I know of only one other who became a Mason.
Members who joined the Order through lodges were passed through solemn and
impressive initiatory ceremonies. I shall never forget the thrill I
experienced, when, as Junior Deacon of Oriental Lodge, No. 74, Spokane, I
welcomed a Mason whose name I recognized also as a C. M. A. member. It had
been given to me in 1904 by the Grand Secretary of the C. M. A., but I did not
meet the youth when I went West; yet five years later, when he was introduced
by a Masonic examining committee at my lodge, I recognized his name at once.
He was Bro. C. Homer Boydston, and as a result of our meeting shortly
afterward became a fellow employee of the bank in which I worked. Service for
the Order was recognized by the conferring of three higher degrees, the fifth,
tenth and fifteenth. The badge of each degree was basically that of the
ordinary membership but enlarged by a narrow band of color. Among mementoes of
boyhood days, I cherish a Fifth Degree certificate awarded Nov. 5, 1903, for
organizing the Milwaukee lodge, and another of the Tenth Degree, dated April
16, 1906, for activities in Spokane. The Fifteenth Degree was not attained by
me. The only Fifteenth Degree member I can recall is Otis A. McKelvey, an
energetic young man of very pleasing personality, last a resident of San
would be interesting to know how many readers of THE BUILDER were members of
the C. M. A. I am sure that a few letters regarding such membership will be
granted space in the Correspondence column. Speaking for the Iowa Masonic
Library of Cedar Rapids, to which I shall give my own papers, rituals, etc.,
it will welcome a few issues of the old Star Monthly and some of the booklets
of the Society, if such have escaped the ravages of time. They would be a
welcome contribution to the history of secret societies, especially those for
boys, in the United states. In my opinion, it was the forerunner of the
influential boys' societies now flourishing in our midst, and if my own
experience be any criterion, it exerted a most beneficent influence in the
life of a boy when the principles of the Order were most timely.
Freemason's Vision of God
BRO. W. W. COVEY-CRUMP, M. A.
very pleased to present an article by a well-known English writer and student
on the subject of the implications of the Masonic requirement of a belief in
God which is being discussed from different points of view in the pages of The
Builder. W. Bro. Covey-Crump is a clergyman of the Church of England and is
also the present Master of Quatuor Coronati Lodge. His article, however, will
speak for itself; one explanatory comment however, may be made for the benefit
of American readers. In the English ritual the Supreme Being is referred to by
a different title in the different degrees, and in these titles there is a
certain progression of meaning appropriate to the special character of the
grade. I HAVE been asked to express the general idea which English Freemasons
as such have concerning the nature of the Deity, and of the relationship which
He has graciously permitted the world of humanity to have towards Himself.
Like many (perhaps most) other brethren who will read these words, I hold
certain personal convictions distinctive of a definitely religious
denomination. With those convictions this article has no concern. But when, in
our lodges, we invoke or refer to the Deity, some communal conception of Him
is assumed as a basic landmark of the Order. Of every candidate for admission
thereto we demand that he believes in the Great and (I think I may say) the
Only Architect of the Universe. Our question here is "what do we all believe
as to His essential nature?" Can we say that, after having been advanced to
the more perfect knowledge claimed by the Master Masons, we have assimilated a
fundamental notion of the Deity as held in common by the Craft?
degrees He is successively presented to our minds as the Great Architect, the
Grand Geometrician, and the Most High. As Apprentices we regarded Him as the
Great Architect--"Great" when compared with His physical agents--the sole
Source and Sustainer of all material things which comprise the universe. This
is the first concept; and it involves a conviction that both the universe and
its Architect have a true and real existence quite apart from any human
consciousness of them. This aspect of the Deity may be fairly expressed as a
dominant Personality, eternal and ubiquitous like the spatial ether which He
pervades. Pending a conclusive proof of Einstein's theory our notion of the
ether must be hypothetical; and it my differ from the reality as much as
ordinary notions of color and density differ from those held by Larmor and
Lodge, and similar scientific savants; nevertheless it will serve our present
purpose as an illustration.
GRAND GEOMETRICIAN OF THE UNIVERSE
Fellowcrafts we were enjoined to contemplate our intellectual faculties, and
the Deity as Grand Geometrician of them--therefore the Source and Centre of
all human consciousness of ourselves and of our environment. The two great
pillars so prominently associated with that Masonic Degree symbolically
correspond to the two primary mental concepts-Space and Time--even if they do
not actually represent those concepts. The winding staircase denoting arts and
sciences--the path of our intellectual ascent-is flanked on its threshold by
those same two conventional notions of magnitude and duration. Psychologically
they are a priori perceptions, axiomatic phenomena to our intellectual
faculties, underlying every presentment of objectivity possible in our present
consciousness. Possibly they may be illusions (vide Klein in A. Q. C. xi,
155), merely relative modes by which our senses correlate our surroundings.
Nevertheless we must posit a permanent noumenon behind them, for otherwise we
should have (with the Academics of old ) to despair of Truth as an enigma
without a solution. What we now apprehend is Truth--though it be Truth "in
part"; and what we look for is that "part" to be (under more perfect
conditions) absorbed in the whole, not to be "done away" as a baseless
hallucination for which the Truth may be substituted. Masonically speaking,
Space and Time may be regarded as paper and ideograms whereby the Grand
Geometrician materializes His design for the guidance of His workmen. Here
again we seem to be brought back to the spatial ether which (as sir Oliver
Lodge has said) "may also have mental and spiritual functions to subserve in
some other order of existence" [Continuity, p. 60].
any case consciousness itself is a reality, and a permanent reality. Our
awareness is persistent though our thoughts are in fluxion. In individual
persons poverty of intelligence is induced by cerebral derangement or
debility, and mental decay ofttimes accompanies senility; disease or narcotics
will suspend its activity even as sleep periodically interrupts its intensity;
nevertheless mental consciousness is as undiminishably persistent in humanity
as the physical germ-plasm which reproduces the species. Consequently no idea
regarding God can be satisfying unless it postulates that the Deity is
incessantly conscious, that He is indeed the Source and Centre of all grades
of consciousness however sublime or however rudimentary. In consciousness,
intelligence and wisdom, He must be perfect--His omniscience being en rapport
with all the modes and grades of intelligence with which He has endowed His
various creatures. A universal but irrational Force, manifesting itself by
gravitation, cohesion, electricity and chemical affinity, is too obviously
inferior to human intelligence for it to constitute an inspiring conception of
the Deity. Nor would the alternative notion--that the Deity is an impersonal
aggregate of all the various orders of consciousness possessed by individual
units--be a whit more satisfying. We can no more suppose the Deity to be
pantheistic than we can suppose our own personalities to be an aggregation of
such consciousness as are possessed by the physical atoms which constitute our
bodies. Thus our primary concept of the Great Architect merges into that of
the Grand Geometrician --by whose inscrutable wisdom the cosmos was
preconceived ere it began to be materialized and transformed by agents
continuously and systematically acting according to His will.
THE MOST HIGH
raised to the Degree of Master Mason we were led on to regard the Deity as
"the Most High," an expression which I take to mean God as He Himself
is-independently of every relation to the universe and of every extraneous
idea concerning Him. That He exceeds the finite apprehension of human beings
is by all acknowledged; but people are rather prone to imagine that the part
of God's essentia which transcends their cognition resembles and is
homogeneous with the part revealed. There is, however, no reason why such
should be the case. The term "Most High," when rightly understood, implies
that in all probability the unknowable aspect of the Divine Nature is entirely
different from any notion which human mentality is capable of formulating. The
invisible side of the moon is probably much the same in general features as
that disk which is familiar to our astronomers. But we have absolutely no
ground for supposing a like correspondence in the essentia of the Deity.
Indeed all psychology negatives such a supposition. This distinction, between
the Absolute Nature of the Deity and those aspects of His character which are
capable of being made manifest to human (and conceivably to other superior
intelligent) beings, was well-known to Jewish thinkers in medieval times. In
the Old Testament Scriptures the latter was denoted by the expression "Name of
the Lord," whilst in the Zohar the former is denominated "Ain Soph"--the
eternally secret Majesty of the Deity beyond all that His creatures in their
sublimest range of intelligence can imagine Him to be.
same distinction was subsequently brought into Freemasonry; and, to those who
study its profound implicits, is still presented as the main difference
between the Sacred Symbol in the Second Degree and the Glory of the Lord in
the Third. As the Middle Chamber and the Sanctum Sanctorum are not synonymous
terms, so too the glory of the one is not the glory of the other. The one
glory is thinkable but the other is transcendental.
doctrinal point of view the foregoing reflections perhaps do not carry us far;
but I venture to say they accord with the comprehensiveness of our
institution, and they furnish a safe and substantial site upon which each
brother can (and should) erect a superstructure of religious belief and
practice, according to his own individual conscience and temperament.
Smoking Customs of the Craft
BRO. WILLIAM L. BOYDEN, Washington, D. C.
histories and records of some of the old lodges disclose many interesting and
amusing references to the old smoking habit within their tyled halls, now
practically obsolete throughout the fraternal world.
the middle of the eighteenth century we begin to find references to the use of
tobacco in the lodge records, and from that time until its decline, it is
evident from these records that the subject of smoking in the lodge room was
the source of much argument and difference of opinion.
Naturally the convival habits of the time led to the use of tobacco, and these
twin members of sociability were not only popular in such assemblages, but
practically at all other functions where men of the period gathered for
recreation and discussion, and while the use of the "soothing weed" spread
enormously, its elimination in the lodge room for various reasons has
Ashley, in his history of the Royal Cumberland Lodge, Bath, England, says:
would be strange in these times to see charges for wine and tobacco on our
Minutes; but it used to be so, though we might not object to the good old days
when port wine was two shillings a bottle, and that it took several bottles to
audit the Treasurer's Account, and when that was done, and the balance struck
and carried out, to add a postscript of "one bottle more" and deduct that from
the balance. We may mention that wine and tobacco were always supplied in the
Lodge Room to our Ancient Brethren, and there discussed, with much solemnity,
during the transaction of business, and for many years after the time now
referred to, this custom was invariably adhered to, and strict account kept
every night of the score.
items of expenditure were duly chronicled, and the zeal with which this was
pursued by our Ancient Brethren occasioned complaints of the late hours they
kept, as well as running up a long bill for candles, the consideration of
which they postponed from time to time, and eventually with much difficulty
Godding, in his history of Westminster and Keystone Lodge, London, makes this
Refreshments, especially punch, and even tobacco, were often supplied in the
Lodge Room, and the particular duty which our ritual claims for the J. W. was
more frequently exercised than it is nowadays, it being a general custom to
call off for refreshment and to resume again for closing after supper.
had not come into general use at this time and the popular smoking medium was
a long-stemmed clay pipe, usually termed a churchwarden. An example of the
cost of these pipes, pipe lights and tobacco is furnished in the history of
Old Dundee Lodge, London, by Heiron:
Pd. Mr. Greenland for 7 Gross Pipes, 17/6.
Pd. for Pipe Lights, 8d.
Pd. Mr. Greenland for 18 Gross Pipes, 2/14/0.
Pd. Mr. Greenland for Pipes, 4/10/0.
Pd. for Tobacco and Nutmegs, 1/18/4.
Pd. for 1 lb. Tobacco, 4/8.
Pd. Mr. Russell for Pipes, 2/0/0.
find the following entries on the records of St. Paul's Lodge, London:
January 19, 1765. Canister of Tobacco 1/6. March 3, 1767. 2 lbs. of Tobacco
1/8. April 17, 1767. By British Herb Tobacco 1/4. 1 lb. 1/3. December 27,
1767. Brother Huston's bill for Candles and Tobacco 3/7/0.
John's Lodge, of Boston, Mass., was evidently quite particular as to the
tobacco they used, for we had the following early entry on the minutes, Peter
Pelham apparently being in the tobacco business:
Wednesday, December 26th, 1750, being Lodge night, Voted that Bro. stone (the
Landlord) do supply this Lodge with Bro. Pelham's tobacco, which shall have
the Mason's Arms on it.
DIFFERENCES OF OPINION
16, 1769, in a lodge in West Cornwall, England, the Apprentice lecture was
given by the Master when By-Law No. 23, "that no smoking be permitted," was
again violated during the lecture. Bro. Lane brought forward a motion "to
repeal the said Bye-Law, and a ballot having been taken, it was repealed."
brethren of St. James Lodge, Middlesex, England, were probably divided on the
subject of smoking in the lodge, as the record of a meeting in 1796 states
motion was made by Brother Haycock that no smoaking of tobacco be admitted
during the Lodge, which motion was duly seconded and carried nem com.
again in December, 1798:
Brother Rayner proposed that smoaking of tobacco be admitted for the ensuing
quarter, which motion was seconded by Brother Hodgson, subject to a ballot,
which ballot immediately took place, and smoaking of Tobacco was carried by a
Lancashire Lodge, Colme, Lancashire, England, records:
February 4, 1796. Put it around whether we shou'd find everyone his own
Tobacco or not, it was agreed (only by one dissenting voice) that it should be
paid for out of the Stock of Masonry.
history of Fidelity Lodge, Leeds, England, the minutes of Sept. 28, 1798,
disclose that an important discussion took place on Bro. Thornton moving "That
Tobacco may be smoked during the time of Refreshment," which was seconded by
Bro. Bulmer, and "caused a long and unpleasant debate," when it is recorded
that the lodge closed that evening "uncomfortably." On Oct. 26 the discussion
was continued, when it was ultimately decided by ballot "that pipes and
tobacco should in future be used at pleasure during Refreshment," and it is
stated that this lodge closed "in peculiar harmony and peace." It was quite
evident therefore that the "pipe of peace" had its proverbial tranquilizing
PROHIBITED WHILE AT LABOR
early as 1765 the by-laws of St. Ives Lodge, Cornwall, England, provided "that
no smoking be permitted during the Lecture."
Philanthropic Lodge, Leeds, England, has this record:
It was agreed by a majority of the members, that whatever Brother choosing to
smook tobacco during Lodge hours must withdraw themselves into another room.
the by-laws of the Lodge of Brotherly Love, Yeovil, England, 1810, provided as
The Stewards are to attend the duties of the table to see that nothing is
wanting, to see the bill of expenses delivered to the Master every night at
ten o'clock to introduce visitors see them properly accommodated and collect
five shillings from every visitor. No pipes or tobacco to be introduced before
the Lodge is closed.
is a curious by-law of a lodge in Bottoms, England, in 1818:
member of the Society shall be allowed to smoke during a song being sung, or a
sentiment delivered, and that after a song hath been sung or a sentiment
delivered, that silence be observed at the discretion of the Master, and the
Discussion or Argument to be resumed by his permission or each offender to
CONSIDERATE OF OTHERS
the brethren, early in the history of smoking in the lodge, were considerate
of the feelings of others, appears in the by-laws of the Lodge of Antiquity,
London, in 1760, which provide that
Brother shall offer to smoak at any Time during LodgeHours, when this Lodge is
honoured with a visit of a Brother who wears a Blue Apron, without Leave first
obtained from the Master; unless such visitor smokes a Pipe himself; otherwise
the offending Brother shall immediately pay One Shilling, and be obliged to
leave off smoaking, which if he refuses to comply with, the 1st of these
Bye-Laws shall be immediately put in force against him, in the same manner as
if he had actually committed an Offense which that Law forbids, and neither
the Master or Majority of the Members of the Lodge shall ever have the Power
to hinder, or in the least retard, the due and immediate execution of either
of these Bye-Laws, while unrepealed, under the Penalty of each offending
Brother's immediately paying Three 'Shillings, besides letting the said Laws
have their due Course.
Lodge, No. 11, Orange, N. J., records, April 2, 1811:
Simeon Baldwin made a motion which was duly seconded that no person while in
this Lodge shall be permitted to smoke a pipe or segar, as it is offensive to
a number of brethren, and also considered improper at such a place.
Vernon, in his history of Freemasonry in Roxburgh, Scotland, referring to one
of the lodges, says:
the year 1862, the R.W.M., a P.M., and the S.W. each gave a lecture on
Masonry, and in the course of a discussion raised in reference to one of these
lectures, we find that the brethren were in the habit of smoking in the Lodge.
One Brother said "that although he was not a smoker himself he would not like
to debar any member from taking his smoke as he did not feel it in the least
disagreeable to him, but he was told by strangers visiting the Lodge, that the
same was not carried on in any other Lodge, and thought as we had been the
first to introduce smoking into our Lodge that we should try if possible and
give it up, more especially when strangers were amongst us." Another Brother
said "that they had attempted before now to get the practice done away with
but found that they could not raise members to constitute a Lodge unless
smoking was allowed." After a round of remarks from nearly all the Brethren
present "It was recommended that as few members as possible smoke at one time,
more especially when Brethren from other Lodges are amongst us."
the Grand Lodge of England early abolished smoking at its meetings, namely, in
1755, its example was not followed generally by the subordinate lodges until
much later, this notable period being practically coincident with the
elimination of wine and spirits from the lodge room, that is toward the close
of the eighteenth century and the early part of the nineteenth.
Lodge of Emulation, London, Nov. 15, 1802,
proposed by Bro. Pugh that in future no Brother shall be permitted to smoak
tobacco either in the Lodge or in the Supper Room when the Brethren have
retired to Refreshment, and that this shall be entered in the Book of
Bye-Laws, which was seconded by Brother Whitford, and, one the Question being
put, was carried with only one dissenting vote.
Similar instances and experiences of other lodges might be cited to show the
prevalence of the smoking custom--its rise, the vicissitudes of its career and
its final downfall, but the example enumerated above are deemed sufficient to
give us an intelligent conception of the subject.
BRO. L.F. STRAUSS, MASSACHUSETTS
attempt to make out a connection of the Essenes with Freemasonry was a
favorite one with the older writers on the origins of the Craft. The majority
of students have, however, now abandoned it. A peculiar interest attaches to
the present article, in that it was written before Prof. Strauss became a
Mason. It will be followed by another written after that event. The fact that
this hypothesis occurred to him while still in ignorance that it had ever been
advanced before, shows at least its plausibility; and he develops certain
arguments that so far as we know have scarcely been mentioned hitherto, so
that even to those who have made up their minds on the subject his
presentation will not be without interest.
were the Essenes? The Encyclopedia Britannica gives us quite a learned
disquisition on the subject. We find here stated that the Essenes were a
monastic order among the Jews prior to Christianity, that the first reference
to them in history is in the time of Jonathan the Maccabee, that how much
older they were, we have no means of knowing and that authorities agree in
assigning to them a dateless antiquity.
very surprising that the Essenes, whose exemplary virtues elicited the
admiration of even the Greeks and Romans and whose doctrines contributed so
materially to the spirit of Christianity, should be so little known to
intelligent Christians and still less to modern Jews, although in more
respects than one the Essenic community constituted the choicest fruit grown
on the pre-Christian tree of Judaism.
current information upon this remarkable sect, or order of Judaism, is derived
from the short notices of Philo, Josephus, Pliny, Solinus, Porphyry, Eusebius,
Epiphanius. But the combined testimony of these seven witnesses is utterly
inadequate, confusing and misleading. Their testimonies are too much tainted
with the predilections of the respective witnesses to correspond to reality.
Even the testimonies of Philo and Josephus upon whose testimonies those of the
others are based, are misleading to those who fail to recognize the peculiar
position in which these two witnesses were placed.
SOURCES OF INFORMATION
Josephus wanted to please Roman ears, Philo the Greek mind. The account of the
Essenes given by Philo supplemented by his work De vita Contemplativa was used
by some church historians to claim Philo as a Christian, while some Jewish
historians throw out the book as spurious, as a Christian interpolation to
make Philo appear as one of them.
descriptions, dissertations and conclusions found in church histories and
encyclopedias are confusing indeed. The writers are either afraid of, or
specially pleased with the marked resemblance between Christian and Essenic
doctrines and practices. The rationalists' tendency is to magnify the
resemblance in order to make Christianity an offshoot of Essenism. The
Christian writers, afraid of this very thing, are anxious to make the
resemblance appear as insignificant as possible. There was even a very learned
Englishman, De Quincy, who wrote on this subject and maintained with logic
unsurpassed that the Essenes were never anything else but Christian
Encyclopedia Britannica arrives at this conclusion:
Christianity was to some extent a popularization of Essenism, but there is
little reason for believing that Jesus Himself was an Essene.
the final conclusion of the Catholic Encyclopedia is that our present
knowledge of the Essenes is slight and not all of it trustworthy, its sources
being scanty, colored and unreliable.
other hand, as might be expected, Freemasonry has shown a predilection for
Essenic forms and culture and if the archives of the beginning of Freemasonry
could be searched, some highly interesting things would come to view.
Jewish Encyclopedia gives us glimpses of the inside, intelligible and valuable
to him who has some previous knowledge of this inside, and concludes thus:
similarity in many respects between Christianity and Essenism is striking.
There were the same communions (Acts 60: 34, 35), the same belief in baptism
or bathing and in the power of prophecy, the same aversion to marriage
enhanced by firmer belief in the Messianic advent, the same system of
organization and the same rules for the traveling brethren delegated to
charity work and above all the same love feasts or brotherly meals; also
between the ethical and apocalyptical teachings of the Essenes of the time as
given in Philo, in Hypolytus and in the Ethiopic and Slavonic Book of Enoch as
well as in the rabbinical literature, the resemblance is such that the
influence of the latter upon the former cannot be denied. Nevertheless the
attitude of Jesus and his disciples is altogether anti-Essene, a denunciation
and disavowal of Essene rigor and asceticism: but singularly enough while the
Roman war appealed to men of action such as the Zealots, men of a more
powerful and visionary nature who had previously become Essenes were more and
more attracted by Christianity and thereby gave the church its other-worldly
character, while Judaism took a more practical and worldly view of things and
allowed Essenes to live only in tradition and secret lore.
history of the Essenes should be of deep interest to every thoughtful
Christian, for it gives him a glimpse of the forces operating before and
during the so-called Apostolic period, and as this order of Essenes represents
that section of Judaism from which were drawn a large number of propagandists
of the New-Jewish or Christian faith, it furnished thousands of heroes who
gave their lives in spreading the message of the Messiah. It is to be hoped
that the memory of their glorious deeds may help to kindle a new fire in the
hearts of the Jews of today and bring a realization of the fact that in
accepting Joshua ben Joseph as their Messiah they follow no strange gods, that
they adopt no alien religion. Our intention here is to give an impartial
account and show something of the inner life of the most marvelous
organizations that ever existed upon this our planet.
ORGANIZATION OF THE ESSENES
outward appearance the Essenic community closely resembled a Christian
monastic order. An applicant for membership had to pass through a novitiate of
three years. He had to put his belongings into a common stock (he received his
belongings back, if either he or those in charge considered his enrollment as
a member inexpedient). He then was given a book in which were the rules and
regulations of the community. Before becoming a full-fledged member, he had to
bind himself by an oath or rather solemn pledge to three things, love of God
and man, charity and humility. The community was divided into three sections
and each of these three sections was again subdivided into four distinct
orders. There also was an inner or spiritual division of eight degrees or
stages or spiritual unfoldment.
Stage :--Practice of celibacy.
Stage :--Spiritual purity, freedom from carnal desires.
stage :--Communion with Shekinah, or Holy Spirit
stage :--The gift of prophecy.
Seventh stage:--Healing the sick, performing miracles raising the dead.
stage:--Eliahship, which meant to become the forerunner of the Messiah.
constituted the final and highest aspiration of every member of the Essenic
Order. This hope of becoming the forerunner of the Messiah was the magnet
which had drawn the novice to the entrance gate and remained ever after his
star of hope. What a luminous ray is here shed on some seemingly so mysterious
statements in the New Testament. Now we understand why Jesus speaks of John
the Baptist as Elias or an Elias. We are here given to understand that the
highest expectations of the Essenic Order had been realized, that one of its
members had reached the eighth stage of spirituality and holiness and had been
found worthy to become the forerunner of the promised Messiah, of introducing
him to a waiting world. The traditional law of the Chasidim--rabbinical and
popular name for the Essenic Order--had the figure of Elias as a symbol
connected with its Messianic expectations, whence it entered traditional lore.
It may be of interest here to Christian readers and to the "modern" American
Jew that on the first and second night of the Passover a special invitation is
given to the prophet Elias, that according to custom the door is opened for
his entrance and that a glass of wine is set aside and left over night for the
delection of "Elia Nabi."
EXPECTATIONS OF THE MESSIAH
is another very important point of deep significance in connection with the
Essenic Order. Most Christians are under the impression that all the Jews
expected the coming Messiah to be a great king, who was to free them from the
dominion of Rome and establish the political and religious supremacy of the
Jewish nation. A large majority of the Jews undoubtedly held this view. It is
so natural to identify the hope and aspirations of our own nationality with
the good of humanity and even with the honor and glory of God. The recent war
is a vivid illustration of this fact. Here, as in many things, the Chasidim or
Essenes were an exception. They expected a suffering Messiah. Whence came that
knowledge? From the same source or power which had revealed to them the
heliocentric theory. The utter defeat, the ignominious death, the cross, such
a stumbling block to the great majority of the Jewish people, was a luminous
magnet to those initiated into the Essenic mysteries.
amusing indeed to read some of the "learned" controversies of the "higher
critics" on the subject of the Essenes. Most of the erudite linguists,
philosophers and the theologians expend so much of their energies over the
etymology of the name Essene that they seem to have exhausted their mental
acumen when they arrive at the work and mission of the Essenic Brotherhood.
Some Christian writers, seemingly in fear of a something which they themselves
could not explain, exhibit a good deal of ingenuity in their efforts to prove
the Essenes were in reality nothing but Christians, and that the Therapeutae
(next to the highest and best known section of the Essenic Order) were nothing
else than a Christian community. Some Jewish writers on the other hand,
wishing to free the Essenes from blame and to rescue them from any
responsibility for Christian doctrines and ideals, deny all connections
between Essenism and Christianity. There was especially a theologian and
critic, Bishop Lightfoot, a recognized authority whose mental acumen is
marvelous indeed, but he reminds us of a man in a dense wood looking for a
forest. Listen to his words:
history of the infant church for the first quarter of a century, Essenism is
as though it was not, but the time came when this was all changed. Even as
early as the year fifty eight, when St. Paul wrote to the Romans, we detect
practices in the Christian community of the metropolis which may possibly have
been due to Essenic influence. Four or six years later, the heretical
teachings which threatened the integrity of the Gospel at Collossa shows that
this type of Judaism was already strong enough within the church to exert a
dangerous influence on its doctrinal purity.
Lightfoot was indeed a great scholar and theologian. He was good in
deciphering and describing the outside, but the spiritual aspect of life was
to him a terra incognita.
THE APOSTLE AN ESSENE
oldest document of the Christian church is the Epistle of James, brother of
Jesus--a remarkable document and from a psychological and historical
standpoint, the most instructive. Some very strange controversies have arisen
in connection with this epistle. It may be of interest to Christian readers
that this Epistle of James is claimed by high Jewish authorities as a Hebrew
document, as a letter written by a Jew to fellow Jews, as an admonition of an
"Essenic abbot" or superintendent to Essenic associations and that references
in this epistle to Jesus or Christ are a Christian interpolation. Says the
Jewish Encyclopedia [Vol. 7, page 68]:
writer is supposed to be James, the brother of Jesus, on which account the
epistle was accorded the first place among the general epistles of the New
Testament. As a matter of fact, aside from the reference to Jesus Christ as
quoted above and in II-I where the word Jesus Christ are obviously an
interpolation, the epistle contains nothing to indicate a Christian origin. It
comprises loosely joined together, a number of moral sayings which have their
parallels in contemporary Jewish writings and there is no reason for holding
that the brethren addressed may not have been Jews of a particular frame of
mind, pious and humble as were the Essenes, who formed a strong Brotherhood in
writer then goes on to take great pains to show parallel points in Jewish
rabbinical or rather Essenic literature.
most significant feature in this epistle from the historical and psychological
standpoint is the use of the word sunagogo in place of the later ekklesia, and
the figures of Job and Elias quoted as patterns. These figures are the main
two models of the Essenic Brotherhood. Another point is here of interest: the
word sunagogo, quite often met with in the Acts, is always translated
synagogue, which term is supposed to mean a Jewish "Meetinghouse." In this
epistle the "Meetinghouse" of the brethren is called sunagogo but most
translators reject the usual rendering and use the term assembly. This holds
good in all German and French Bibles I could find. What is the objection in
the mind of the translator to the word synagogue ? The significant feature
here is this, that the time when the Epistle of James was written, the term
for a Jewish and Christian meeting-house was still the same.
CHRISTIANITY AND JUDAISM NOT INCOMPATIBLE
writer of the Jewish Encyclopedia is correct in pointing out the distinctly
Jewish-Essenic character of the Epistle of James, but has absolutely no
foundation and he gives no reason for making the references to Jesus or Christ
a Christian interpolation. What could have been the purpose, the end sought by
such a forgery? Again, why so much erudition and keen analysis in proving that
the Epistle of James, the brother of Jesus, shows Jewish characteristics? No
one ever denied that James the brother of Jesus was a Jew. The writer,
however, in the Jewish Encyclopedia shows this much, that here was no
irreconcilable difference in the first century of the Christian era between
the aspirations of a pious Jew and those of a Christian teacher. He shows
furthermore that a Jew could then and can now accept Joshua ben Joseph as the
Messiah and preserve the Jewish imprint of his personality. It is also correct
when it points out the Essenic strain in this epistle. But does this indicate
anything else than that the Essenic Order which according to the Jewish
Encyclopedia represented the highest type of Judaism had become a vehicle, an
agency for New Jewish, that is Christian propaganda (Christians of the first
century were called New Jews by Greek and Roman writers) ?
EARLIEST CHRISTIAN DOCUMENTS
second oldest Christian document is a book usually called Didache. This book
is extensively quoted by the patristic writers or church fathers. From it the
so-called Apostolic Constitution, the Didascalia and the entire so-called
Clementine literature was constructed. This book, the Didache, had been lost
and was rediscovered in Constantinople in 1873. The re-discovery created quite
a sensation among Christian theologians and made the pens of the "higher
critics" very busy. Professor Harnack, the great German theologian, in the
year 1883 wrote a very learned dissertation and employed a wonderful logical
acumen--"and still the wonder grew that one small head could contain all he
knew"--and proved conclusively that the Didache had a Christian origin. In the
year 1895, he wrote again; he gave to the world another dissertation, a most
wonderful erudite analysis of the composition and the psychological aspects
involved in the new discovery. He showed again with logic unsurpassed that the
Didache had a Jewish origin. The great Harnack, without knowing it, was
correct in both cases. He was right when he said the Didache had a Christian
origin. He was right again when he said it had a Jewish origin; the writers of
the Didache were Essenes, Jews, who had accepted Joshua ben Joseph as their
Jewish Encyclopedia on the other hand sees one side only. Here we find,
speaking of the Didache,
manual of instruction for proselytes adopted from the synagogue by early
Christianity and transformed by alterations into a church manual.
writer lays great emphasis on the admission by Harnack, Charles Taylor and
other theological lights of the "higher critics" fraternity that this Didache,
the oldest and most important Christian document, had a distinctly Jewish
origin, and was later converted into a Christian manual and ascribed to Jesus
and the Apostles.
characteristic feature of this manual is as a matter of course Essenic. One
fact stands out clear and distinct that when and wherever Jewish influence
makes itself felt in the establishment of Christianity in the foundations of
its doctrines, we see the hands and the minds of the brethren of the Order of
ESSENES--an order, the highest aim of whose members from its beginning was to
reach the stage of Eliaship, that is, to become the forerunner of the Messiah.
years ago a French naturalist brought to Paris from the forests of Brazil, for
examination by the Academy, an Indian man and woman of the tribe of Bolecudos.
Mr. Porte, the naturalist, was desirous of being admitted into Masonry. I
called on Mr. P. and saw the Indian at his house, and thought that if we could
admit him also, it might perhaps be the means of affording protection to some
adventurous naturalist or lost traveller in the wild woods of Brazil. The
savage could not speak French, but Mr. Porte was able to converse with him and
make him understand the importance of his obligations and duties. I
accordingly introduced the subject to Bro. Delandi, who was then Master of the
lodge. He at once approved of the suggestion, and Manuel Makerkonik--such was
the name of the Indian--was initiated in the Clemente Amitie on the 21st
January, 1845, and successively received the two degrees with Mr. Porte, his
interpreter. He was subsequently present at a banquet where he behaved with
great propriety. Before leaving us we presented him with a gilt copper-plate,
upon which were engraved his name, that of the lodge and the date of his
Indian understood very well, not our mysteries, but the essentials of our
principles and requirements and obligations. As an illustration of this, he
made signs to be silent when, to test him, we made some improper advances in
the presence of his wife. And in order to impress upon his mind the importance
of some of the lessons he had received, and with a view to ascertain how far
he understood their import, we projected a mimic war. One of us played the
part of an enemy. A tomahawk was put into the hands of the Indian. At the
moment he was about to strike, the signal was given and the tomahawk fell to
the floor. Makerkonik then raised his fallen enemy, gave him the kiss of peace
and took him under his protection. The whole scene was one of the deepest
interest, and excited the liveliest and most pleasurable emotions in all who
were fortunate enough to be present. Soon after this the Indian returned to
his native woods accompanied by Bro. Porte, from whom I have recently learned
the melancholy but interesting conclusion of his history.
again mingling with his countrymen, and imparting to them a description of the
new and wonderful things he had seen, and heard, and learned in the strange
and beautiful land he had visited, he seemed to take special pleasure in
exhibiting to them the brightly polished plate which bore the mystic emblems
of his new relation to his more civilized friends, and in informing them of
his admission as a member of a society which had spread itself over every
land, and whose cardinal principles were the cultivation of Brotherly Love,
Relief and Truth. In Brazil he met with many Masons to whom he became warmly
attached and who took a deep interest in him. But he was not long permitted to
wear his new honors nor to enjoy the new light that had been let in upon his
understanding. The Great Architect of the Universe, to whose decrees all must
bow in humble submission, had ordained otherwise. In the commencement of the
past year he was taken sick, information of which being communicated to Bro.
Porte, he immediately hastened to his relief, traveling several hundred
leagues for the purpose. He found Makerkonik stretched out upon his death-bed,
having at his side a brother from Brazil as his physician. He held in his hand
the plate given him by the Lodge Clemente Amitie, which he desired to take
with him on his departure for the world of spirits, which occurred soon after,
having each of his hands placed in those of his faithful and sympathizing
brethren. He was buried with Masonic honors, the ritual being read by Bro.
Porte and the Brazilian physician. The plate was placed in his coffin,
agreeably to his request.
Freemasons' Monthly Magazine (1847).
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
GRAND MASTER SPEAKS
REPETITION is naturally uninteresting, no one cares to be told again what they
already know. Unfortunately it is often necessary. It happens so often as to
be almost normal that after a thing has been explained in detail that many who
have not given attention will ask questions or raise difficulties that have
been discussed in detail and there is nothing to do but go all over it again.
Those of our readers who have followed the N.M.T.S.A. Campaign closely need
not read the Northeast Corner in this issue, but those who have not done so
should read it carefully and consider it. It is the utterance of a Grand
Master of Masons to his Grand Lodge, a Grand Lodge which has charged itself
with a per capita tax of one dollar for this cause and is ready if need be to
do more. A per capita of fifteen cents is all that is asked at present of
others in order to finance the first Sanatorium. It must be borne in mind that
the present and most pressing task of the N.M.T.S.A. is to obtain the
cooperation of the Masonic bodies of the country. The Masons of the Southwest
are attending, to the utmost of their power and resources, to the matter of
temporary relief to the destitute migratory tuberculous brethren.
* * *
now and then we hear of a case like this, sometimes it only circulates
locally, sometimes it gets into the Masonic Press. A man is a Mason, he
perhaps has been one for many years, he may have been active in his lodge,
passed through the chairs, become a member of various orders and rites
concordant with and appendant to Craft Masonry. Finally he dies, and his
brethren learn that during his last illness he has become a convert to the
Roman Church, or perhaps that having belonged to it originally, he has
repented and returned to the fold and received absolution for the sin of
becoming a Mason. Sometimes there is doubt as to the genuineness of this
change, sometimes it may be accepted as a responsible act on the part of the
dying man; the point is not of any importance, as it is only the reaction such
an event causes in the minds of many Masons that we wish to consider.
though such cases as these are infrequent, they yet recur sufficiently often
to make it probable that almost every Mason has at some time known of, heard
of, or read about one. And in the minds of the great majority of them effect
is very much the same. There is a certain resentment, a sense almost of
betrayal, a feeling that the Craft has suffered an indignity, and the question
arises why this should be so.
what may be called the legal or formal aspect of such a case there is nothing
for protest or complaint. It is a Mason's right to withdraw from the
Fraternity at any time he may choose, providing he has fulfilled any
responsibilities that he may have voluntarily assumed, paid his just dues and
so on. It is in his power so to withdraw without doing this if he pleases, all
that can happen is that the Institution will endorse his action by suspending
or expelling him; which merely operates to make it impossible for him to
change his mind and return at will. Furthermore Freemasonry makes no
distinction or discrimination between religions, churches, creeds or dogmas.
It is not interested in them and has nothing to say about them. This is, as is
well known, a fundamental principle of the Fraternity. So long as a man
believes in God, he is generally and broadly eligible to be made a Mason in
the United states. Other qualifications are necessary, too, some formal, some
moral, some social, but none religious. As, therefore, no question of religion
enters into the matter, there is no reason whatever, so far as Freemasonry is
concerned, why a Roman Catholic should not be a member. The formal and legal
barriers are all on the other side-and so far we are speaking only of the
formal and legal.
being the case, we repeat the question, why should the defection of a brother
to the Roman Church inspire this sense of injury and indignation, when on our
own strongly emphasized principles--if taken as meaning what they say--it is
his right to do so ? Why should there be any other emotion than natural regret
at losing a brother?
probable that this interpretation of our rules will be called in question by
many Masons; but again of what grounds ? Certainly not on any article or
regulation in our many Constitutions and Codes, not even in any responsible
ruling thereon. The feeling or opinion must be based not on these but on some
unacknowledged motive, some unwritten, unpronounced hut widely accepted
limitation of our written laws and the universal judgments of our juristic
authorities. It is well in the interests of clear thinking, if not of truth
and justice, to examine the matter further.
mental reaction that we speak of seems to be a natural one, it certainly is
spontaneous, and probably the first reason offered for it would be the bitter
hostility of the Roman Church to everything Masonic. It does not follow, of
course, that all Romanists, even of the clergy, are hostile to all Masons
individually --that has never been so, anywhere; but still it has had and does
have an effect in this direction, and there is always a natural and human
reaction to strongly expressed antagonism, both as between man and man and
between group and group; and this may perhaps be the actual reason that many
Masons feel hostility in return against Romanism. It is natural enough.
Nevertheless, as the old proverb says, "It takes two to make a quarrel," and
the plain and strongly expressed principles of Freemasonry are that it has no
quarrel with any religion--it is against no party, sect, creed or opinion, it
is inimical only to vice, immorality, injustice and the like. Furthermore, it
refuses to defend itself; considering that its standpoint is morally
impregnable. One of the first lessons impressed upon the initiate is that he
is never to answer any attack upon the Craft, and to meet anything of the sort
by silence. It would seem, however, that some have never grasped it.
enmity breeds enmity, and there is no further reason than this for the
undoubted antagonism felt by many American Masons towards the Roman Church,
how does it happen that the equally emphatic denunciations of certain
Protestant denominations rouse no feeling at all? Certain of these, there is
no need to mention names, refuse also to receive any Mason to full membership
who will not repudiate the Fraternity. Should any such member become a Mason
he will be cast off as reprobate upon its becoming known. When the families of
brethren attached to such denominations refuse to permit a lodge to conduct
funeral ceremonies no one is interested, no one ever hears of it outside those
immediately concerned. Why should not enmity breed enmity here as well?
answer again would be obvious, such sects as these have no international
centralized organization. In point of numbers, too, and the crude weight that
mere numbers give, they are weak, relatively at least. So that the difference
would be, it seems, the same as that with which we regard the violent barking
of a puppy on the other side of a fence, and the growling of a large and
savage dog standing right in our path. Is this really the explanation? If so,
it seems to be a high, if unintentional, compliment to the Roman Church.
Apparently we ignore the hostility of the one as beneath even the feeling of
contempt, while we regard the other with the respect bred by fear. The answer
may not be palatable, but if it be not the right one what is?
however, is a word with many meanings, ranging all the way from panic terror
to a wise and prudent prevision that bids us prepare to meet some difficulty
or ward off some approaching danger. Aside from reasons of self-esteem, it
would seem that it is in the latter sense the word--if applicable--should be
taken. But what is the danger foreseen? No matter in what terror and
apprehension Masons may have lived in some countries in times past-or even
today--we in America are in no danger of imprisonment or death through the
delation of some ecclesiastical spy. We are subject to no social or economical
disabilities through membership in the Craft--and there seems no immediate
prospect of any change in the situation. Of what then are we afraid--if that
be it? Why is it that every time the family of a deceased Roman Catholic
member of the Fraternity has the funeral conducted with the rites of their
Church and not by those of the lodge that certain of the more rash and
uninstructed brethren talk, and sometimes write, as if it would be well to
change our traditional rules and class the Romanists with the Atheist, the
irreligious libertine and the fool? Nay even more, that every man whose wife
or near relative are Roman Catholics shall also be classed with the
ineligible? In the minds of brethren thus willing to remove landmarks to meet
a temporary difficulty, or what is essentially the same thing, to make them of
no effect, the reason seems to be that any member of the Roman Church admitted
into the Order is a potential spy or traitor. Do they then think that we have
any reason to fear spies and traitors? Conspirators have, of course, so have
armies in the field; if Freemasonry were engaged in some kind of war again
Romanism, or Clericalism, or Papalism, then it would certainly be foolish to
accept members of the enemy organization. But what are the facts? What have we
to conceal? What is there in all the secrets and mysteries of Masonry that
might not be published to the whole world? Our secrecy is really privacy-the
privacy of intimate friends, of a family. Let these unthinking brethren stop
and consider what goes on in their own lodges. What is there aside from
certain "official secrets long since betrayed," to quote a phrase of the
well-known scholar and poet, Bro. A. E. Waite? There is indeed a certain
spirit or feeling as well-but that being incommunicable no one could reveal
it. Thus examined this reason seems so inadequate that we must perforce
believe that the impelling motive lies elsewhere. What it is, however, may not
be easy to say, but it seems probable that it is due to an unconscious
conveyance into Masonry of external opinions and possibly prejudices. For
example, a number of Americans in a foreign country may be associated in some
kind of business organization. This exists merely for the specific purposes
expressed in its rules and bylaws. Nevertheless, and especially under
circumstances that can easily be imagined, it may act naturally enough in a
patriotic or national sense. In just the same way a group of Protestants
united in a Masonic lodge can very easily import a Protestant antagonism to
the Roman Church into their Masonic life--because, all feeling alike, there is
no counter influence to check them and make them realize what they are doing.
As, owing to the action of the Roman Church itself in forbidding its members
from joining, Freemasonry in America is recruited entirely from non-Romanists,
the exceptions being quite negligible, the conditions are obviously
appropriate for such an unconscious infiltration of ideas. In this case,
however, it is an illicit process, as it is contrary to the fundamental
principles of the Craft which require absolute religious and political
quite aware that this has never been fully realized by many good brethren, at
least that not all its consequences have been appreciated, and therefore we
quite expect that this statement will meet dissent. It is for this reason that
it seems that the matter should be very fully discussed from all possible
angles. Such discussion cannot be permitted in our lodges, and some may think
that the same rule should bar it from the pages of a Masonic periodical. With
such a judgment we cannot agree, for aside from the general consideration that
the Masonic press is open to all the world and in a sense profane, we are
faced with a special condition which it will do no good to gloss over or deny.
That is, that large numbers of Masons in this country think and take for
granted that Freemasonry is an anti-Roman Catholic institution, and this is
certainly a state of affairs that needs light thrown upon it, that needs
discussion as a safety valve. For allowed to continue it may result in action
being taken in lodges, perhaps in Grand Lodges eventually, motivated by ideas
that are contrary to Masonic principles. It may lead, in fact, to our
professing one thing and doing another.
one must think that what has been here said is either a full or a final
statement. We do believe that any Mason who considers it fairly will see that
at least there is something in it and that the subject is one that needs
investigation. This is merely an introduction. The only practical way to
arrive at a sound conclusion is by having all sides of the question presented,
and then even if complete agreement be unattainable the nature of the problem
at least will be clarified. We have suggested that perhaps outside
antagonisms, and possibly prejudices have entered into Masonry under cover as
it were. It may seem a long way round, but the first step is to recall the
origins of Protestant fears and apprehensions. They are quite frankly
historical, they have been inherited from the past, and at the present day the
circumstances in which they took their rise are very largely forgotten.
History in a general way does repeat itself, and though never exactly yet from
it we can find guidance in our approach to present and future problems. We
present therefore in this number the first part of a brief outline of the
development of the papacy in the Catholic Church, for strictly understood the
two things are quite different and distinct things. This will be continued to
deal with the condition of affairs immediately preceding the Reformation.
While many have some knowledge of the course of events in that critical and
revolutionary period of the history of the Western World, few appreciate fully
that the real driving power behind the movement was not dogmatic or credal,
but primarily social and economic. With this as a background we are arranging
for further articles that will present certain parallels which seem to exist
between the past and what may be imminent in the future. It is hoped that thus
our members and other readers will be put in a position to judge intelligently
for themselves whether as citizens there is any cause of uneasiness, and what
attitude they as Masons should take in regard to the matter.
IS A MASON?
the scattered relics of the forms and usages of the Operative Freemasons
remains this enigmatic catch question and its answer:
Mason that's a Mason born, a Mason sworn and a mason trade.
what it meant would be hard, or rather impossible, to say dogmatically, but it
is very probable that the meaning was not very recondite or deeply symbolical;
it may be that it was not much more than appears on the surface. A mason by
trade is obviously a mason, a Mason sworn is so also, as that evidently refers
to the admission to the ancient Fraternity of Masons. A Mason born is a little
more ambiguous, but two possible interpretations occur at once, which might
also be looked for very frequently in the same subject--one that the
individual thus described had a natural aptitude for the Craft, the other that
he was the son of a Mason.
what has been called the transition period in the evolution of a Speculative
Fraternity from an Operative Society much of the older forms and phraseology
was discarded, not deliberately, or all at once, but gradually by a process of
disease of those things which did not seem amenable to the process of
allegorizing and symbolical interpretation. In this way a large part of the
original "body" of Masonry has been irrecoverably lost. Here and there,
however, by pure chance, some relic has been left, such as the jingle quoted
the process of allegorizing is quite legitimate, and just as legitimate now as
two hundred years ago. There is no possible harm in it so long as we do not
mythologize as well, and in doing so suppose that because we, draw a symbolic
meaning from this or that venerable formula, those who first used it also had
the same meaning in mind. This illegitimate deduction has been too frequently
made in the past by those who have sought to erect systems of interpretation
of Freemasonry. With this warning we proceed to take this old Operative
formula and in the manner of a text apply it to our own purposes.
still true that he is a Mason who is a Mason born and a Mason sworn. The
question is occasionally asked, what is it that attracts men in Masonry ? More
definitely, what first attracts them from the outside, what keeps them after
they have been entered? The motives of men's actions are almost always
mixed-seldom is one single purpose without any admixture to be found outside
the hypnotized or the insane. A single motive is apt I be overwhelming, a
dangerous and ruthless force. There are three things that normally play a part
in the attraction Masonry exerts on the prospective candidate: curiosity, a
desire to penetrate its mysteries; fraternity, a desire to belong and be a
part of a world wide brotherhood; and self-interest, the sense of security
afforded by being able to demand assistance should it be required as a result
of the "changes and chances of this mortal life."
last motive is seldom openly expressed, and certainly should always be
subordinate, but in itself it is not illegitimate. Friendship and brotherhood
is a mutual relationship; though more blessed to give than to receive, it is
yet a very great blessing to receive in the hour of need. This motive becomes
reprehensible and improper only when it usurps the chief place in a man's
mind. Such a one can never become a Mason in fact, he is never more than a
drone in the hive, an impostor, a parasite. Masonry would be useless to him
were all Masons like him.
hope indeed that the proportion of such, whom we may well call "Masons by
trade," is as small as care in investigating the claims of applicants can make
it. A Mason by trade alone has no place in the Craft if he be not also, and
first, a Mason sworn; and such we understand to be those who take upon
themselves the obligations of the Fraternity whole-heartedly and without any
conscious of subconscious reservation.
there are many men of the highest character and the noblest ideals who are not
Masons, even though some of them have entered our portals. Not all of the
great army of the unattached and suspended N.P.D. are to be blamed, for they
joined under a misapprehension. Though worthy in every sense, they lacked one
thing--they were not Masons born. To them the ritualistic forms are
meaningless mummery. They are of the Puritan mind, to whom all ceremonial is
vain, and symbolism merely puerile mystification. Fortunately the curiosity
about mysteries is generally complemented by a continuing interest in them
"Mason born" usually shows himself to be such long before he is of "lawful
age." A book might easily be written about the secret societies of boys. The
impulse is doubtless largely imitative--a father, uncle or elder brother
belongs to a lodge--and tells nothing about it. But even without such example
some boys will build up elaborate mysteries for themselves, gathering material
where they can. It is only within comparatively quite recent years that this
primitive instinct has been recognized and utilized by adults, and one of the
very first of such organizations was the C.M.A. about which Bro. J. H. Tatsch
has written on a preceding page. There is little doubt it was to a very
considerable extent a commercial enterprise. The boy members had no part or
lot in the control of their "Order" and those who did control it, controlled
also, and applied, the fees and dues. Nevertheless there was nothing really to
be condemned. The magazine published in connection with the society was worth
the money; as boys' magazines go it was on a comparatively high level. For the
rest they had a perfectly good "lodge" thrown in ready-made, which was
doubtless much in advance of anything they could have invented for themselves.
It is probable that there are many American Masons of middle age today whose
first essay along the path of initiation gave them the right to wear the red
and white button and to know the mystic meaning, not very occult, of the
letters, O.T.N. Bro. Tatsch's article may rouse many half forgotten
memories--as it did in the mind of the Editor.
TO AN APPEAL
short article that appeared in THE BUILDER last month by "Hugh Manity" has
roused a good deal of interest, and one very prompt and practical response. A
brother resident in St. Louis has informed the Secretary of the National
Masonic Research Society that he will pledge himself to give one hundred
dollars a year for the purpose of maintaining such a bureau as was projected
in the article, for the purpose of assisting priests, and other ministers of
the gospel, who have come to feel that their usefulness is at an end, to find
secular employment. The condition attached to this pledge is that a sufficient
number of other subscribers should be found to guarantee the estimated sum
required, namely ten thousand dollars a year. We hope that other members of
the Craft able to do so will take a like practical interest in the proposal,
for from every point of view the work of a pastor can only be done by those
with a real vocation. As soon as that is gone, from the religious and
spiritual point of view the value of their work must decrease, even to the
point where more harm is done than good.
* * *
LIBRARIAN ON LIBRARIES
BRO. T. S. SOUTHWICK, California
many men, a library is merely a collection of books; to others, a library may
mean a few well-thumbed beloved books. It was this latter type that helped to
build the character of such men as Abraham Lincoln. Thousands of dollars may
be expended in making a collection of books, which as a library may have no
moral value or spiritual influence unless its patrons really use it for their
intellectual development. The majority of men lack time, inclination or
capacity to use books; they are satisfied with newspaper items. Then, what is
the use of developing an expensive library if so few use it? Masonic libraries
are not for all who have taken the degrees of the lodge, but are for those who
appreciate the privileges offered by the library; for those who seek more
light; for those who wish to improve their intelligence and enlarge their
capacity for temple building. Unfortunately, only a minority are interested.
Herein lies one of the problems of the librarian, in his efforts to educate
his patrons. After the finances are arranged, the librarian often finds his
most difficult task is to secure the cooperation of those for whom the library
do not need the library ourselves it surely is a Masonic privilege to help
others to use it. In the Los Angeles Masonic Library we aim to interest the
newly-mades. It does not seem right to conduct a candidate through our
beautiful symbolical ceremonies without showing him how to interpret them. If
all Masters of lodges were acquainted with the library, they could advise
their new brethren in regard to Masonic reading and thus raise the standard of
Masonry in every respect. The writer makes a point of telling the candidates
whom he sees waiting in the library rooms for their degrees that upon becoming
a Master Mason the library is for his use, and if he does not avail himself of
further light through the reading of the books, he alone is to blame. A book
is frequently given to some brother with the request that he read it and write
a short review of it for his lodge bulletin. By these methods many have been
started in the reading of Masonic literature. We try to help them in their
first readings by giving them a card of suggested books. The books most
frequently wanted are "The Builders," "The Men's House," "Great Teachings of
Masonry," "Meaning of Masonry," "Speculative Masonry." Especially are books on
symbolism wanted by the new brothers, and they are the chief patrons of the
library; gradually they progress to books on history, jurisprudence and
philosophy and ultimately reach the point of development where they are
receptive to the occult truths of our teaching. This should be his ambition,
for when a Mason reaches this stage of illumination he is apt to translate his
Masonic principles into practical humanitarian service. Books on ancient
religions, as also on Americanism, are in constant demand.
one in charge of the library should be able to advise the new brethren and
give suitable books. This is very important, for at first he may not be able
to use discriminating selection in his own reading matter; he is too apt to
take heavy, difficult subjects before he is ready for them.
large and active library should be maintained in every community. It is the
greatest Masonic asset. It builds fine ideals as no agency can. One never
knows when the use of the library may develop the latent powers of some future
great Masonic historian or writer. Perhaps an Albert Pike may be reincarnated.
The main purpose of a Masonic library is not merely to make it a business
success, but to be constructive and to develop the best that is in the minds
of the patrons.
are the ever-burning lamps of accumulated wisdom. [G. W. Curtis]
loveth a book will never want a faithful friend, a wholesome counsellor, a
cheerful companion or an effectual comforter. [Isaac Barrow]
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, Executive Secretary, Las Cruces, New Mexico
ARIZONA - Lloyd C. Henning, Holbrook.
ARKANSAS - Claude L. Hill, Grand Master, Booneville.
CONNECTICUT - Fred A. Verplanck, Past Grand Master, South Manchester.
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.
VERMONT - Christie B. Crowell, Past Grand Master, Brattleboro.
WASHINGTON - Morton Gregory, Grand Master, Tacoma.
- Fred L. Wright, Past Senior Grand Warden, Milwaukee.
WYOMING - Frank S. Knittle, Grand Master, Casper.
OF THE EASTERN STAR, GENERAL GRAND CHAPTER Mrs. Clara Henrich, Most Worthy
Grand Matron, Newport, Ky.
J. NEWTON, Editor, Publicity Director N. M. T. S. A., Las Cruces, New Mexico
excerpts from the Address of HERBERT B. HOLT, Grand Master to the Grand Lodge
of New Mexico
IMMEDIATELY after assuming the duties of Grand Master, the members of our
Grand Lodge Committee on Masonic Tubercular Relief urged upon me the
acceptance of the Presidency of the National Tuberculosis Sanatoria
Association, which had been incorporated by that Committee, pursuant to a
Resolution of our Grand Lodge adopted at the Annual Communication of 1925.
hesitated to accede to the request, fearing that there might be some
misunderstanding in other Grand Jurisdictions, and that the impression might
arise that it was the purpose of the Grand Lodge of New Mexico that the Grand
Master, elected each year, should succeed to the Presidency of the
Association, a precedent the establishment of which appeared to be unwise, in
view of the importance and contemplated magnitude of the undertaking. Finally,
however, I agreed to accept the office, with the understanding that diligent
effort would be made to discover an outstanding, nationally known Mason,
preferably from some Northern or Eastern Grand Jurisdiction, of exceptional
business qualifications and executive ability, to accept this important
position, which involves a great and increasing amount of work. In a sense, I
was "drafted" for this Masonic service, as it was the opinion of the Grand
Lodge Committee that it was absolutely necessary for the Grand Master of New
Mexico to assume direction, during this crucial first year, of the work of
organization and of the educational and publicity campaign required to "sell"
to the Freemasons of America, our fundamental idea of a National organization
for tuberculosis relief. Intensive study of the problem speedily convinced me
that a sacred duty devolves upon American Freemasonry, which can be discharged
only through the medium of a National organization such as now exists, and the
cooperation of the entire Fraternity, without regard to Jurisdictional lines;
and, being so convinced, the arduous duties of the position soon became a
labor of love; and during the past year a most intensive publicity campaign
has been conducted for the purpose of enlisting the aid of all Masonic Grand
Unfortunately, we have not yet found the Mason, sufficiently interested and
properly qualified to assume national leadership; and at the annual meeting of
the Association, held in Chicago, on Nov. 19, last, there was issued to me a
mandate to "carry on" until our "Grand Master" can be found to supervise the
building of this modern Temple of Healing for our Tuberculous Brethren.
very happy to report that during the year twenty-six Grand Masters became
sufficiently interested in our project to accept service upon our Board of
Governors, or to appoint a representative to serve upon same. Following is a
list of the Grand Jurisdictions whose Grand Masters thus gave approval to the
enterprise, fostered by this Grand Lodge:
Arizona Missouri South Dakota
Arkansas Montana Tennessee
Connecticut New Jersey Texas
Florida New Mexico Utah
Georgia North Dakota Vermont
North Carolina Washington
Kentucky Oklahoma Wisconsin
Minnesota Rhode Island Wyoming
Mississippi South Carolina
addition to the above Grand Jurisdictions, the Most Worthy Grand Matron of the
General Grand Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star also consented to serve
upon the Board of Governors, and to lend her aid and counsel in the conduct of
the work. It is with great sorrow that I report to you that she has recently
been called to rest from her labors, having died in the performance of her
duties as Grand Matron,, while visiting Grand Chapters of the Order of the
Eastern Star in the Orient.
ADOPTION OF PLANS
first, or organization, meeting of the Board of Governors was held, as stated,
at Chicago, Illinois, on Nov. 10, 1926. More than seventy-five Masons were in
attendance, although for many of them it was the fourth day of Masonic
meetings. The Annual Conference of Grand Masters and the Annual Meeting of the
Masonic Service Association preceded our meeting.
to emphasize the fact that up to the time of the holding of this meeting no
definite plan of work had been adopted, as we of New Mexico, who had initiated
the movement, felt that it would be presumptuous upon our part to adopt a plan
of action or a program of work for an organization, designed to be National in
scope, and to ask other Grand Jurisdictions to accept or approve such a
program of work, in the formulating of which they had not participated, or
concerning which they had not been consulted. Prior to the Chicago meeting we
felt that it was our duty to inform the Freemasons of America of the need, and
to appeal to them to join with us in determining the remedy; and, as far as
possible, to complete organization of the Sanatoria Association. Hence, our
work had theretofore been largely limited to an educational and publicity
campaign, designed to arouse interest and to secure action; coupled with
emergency relief work to the extent permitted by our limited funds.
a full day's discussion, the Chicago meeting adopted the following resolution:
RESOLVED: That this Association begin the work of relief and hospitalization
at the earliest possible moment;
it continue its educational and publicity campaign in an effort to secure
definite action by all Grand Lodges and other Masonic Bodies for Masonic
Tuberculosis Relief in every state;
the Executive officers of this Association be directed to have prepared, as
soon as possible, definite data for the construction of a Masonic Tuberculosis
Sanatorium to be erected by this Association, the same to be submitted to its
Governing Board at a later meeting.
obedience to the very definite instructions embodied in those Resolutions, an
appeal has been sent to all Grand Lodges, and to all Masonic Bodies, of all
Rites and Degrees, and to all organizations affiliated with, or whose
membership is based upon, Freemasonry, asking for a contribution equivalent to
at least fifteen cents per capita of their membership, for financing our work.
last Annual Communication, we set the example of what should be done by
levying an assessment of $1.00 per capita of our membership. The following of
this precedent by other Grand Jurisdictions would speedily solve the financial
aspects of this great problem.
faith in our Fraternity is strong enough to cause me to believe that if given
the opportunity, through the sanction and cooperation of the Masonic leaders
of the several Grand Jurisdictions and the officers of all other Masonic
Bodies, every American Freemason will gladly contribute at least $1.00 per
year for the relief and hospitalization of our Brethren and the members of
their families who are afflicted with tuberculosis.
responsibility for the financing of this work and for salvaging Masonic lives
and homes in such manner, rests primarily upon the Grand Officers and leaders
of American Grand Jurisdictions, and upon the officers of all Masonic Bodies.
name of our sacred and binding obligations, and in the name of our afflicted
Brethren from whom is emanating the Grand Hailing Sign of Distress, I implore
the Masonic leaders of thought and action to extend to our Brethren this
opportunity to practice the great teachings of our Fraternity and to aid in
financing this humanitarian movement.
Millions of dollars are garnered in the treasuries of Grand Lodges and
constituent Lodges; and more millions in the treasuries of other Masonic
Bodies, and in those of organizations affiliated with or claiming some
connection with Freemasonry. These millions are growing into more millions.
Why this great accumulation of wealth? For what useful purpose is it designed?
Is it for the construction of costly Temples, or to enable the Craft
adequately to finance some great work for the relief of, and genuine material
service to, the Fraternity and humanity?
we continue to levy assessments for the erection of great Masonic edifices and
Memorials, while closing our purses and shutting our eyes to the distress of
our sorely afflicted Brethren and turning a deaf ear to appeals for funds in
aid of a relief program designed upon a National scale, the financing of which
would require the contribution of but the insignificant sum of $1.00 per annum
by each American Freemason? Shall not a comparatively small portion of the
accumulated and hoarded wealth of the Fraternity be annually contributed to a
general fund to be administered as a sacred trust by the Sanatoria
Association, organized by Masons and controlled and directed by
representatives of each Masonic Grand Jurisdiction, for the benefit and relief
of our afflicted Brethren and their families? Are not the lives of Freemasons,
and those of their wives and children, more valuable to the Fraternity and to
America, than mere wealth alone? Aye, are they not wealth itself?
appeal for funds with which to finance the work will demonstrate, during the
present year, whether or not American Freemasonry has a soul. It will
demonstrate whether or not we observe the letter or the spirit of the law;
for: "Faith without works is dead."
first appeal for funds, upon the basis of fifteen cents per capita, calls upon
each American Freemason to contribute at least the price of one good cigar,
for the assistance and relief of his sick Brethren. The cost of attempting to
collect this sum from each individual would be prohibitive. Hence we ask that
each Masonic Body contribute that amount from its treasury, in which event
there will be no expense of collection. If there are no available funds in the
treasury, we ask that each Masonic Body circularize its membership, either
Constituent Lodges or individual members, asking for voluntary contributions.
We believe that such action will produce average contributions far in excess
of fifteen cents per capita.
during the ensuing year, contributions from all Grand Lodges average fifteen
cents per capita, the total sum contributed will equal $487,500.00. With this
amount it is proposed to construct an initial or first hospital unit of one
hundred bed capacity, at an estimated cost of $250,000.00; to set aside
$100,000 for the first year's operating expense; and an equal amount for home
relief work, and hospitalization in existing sanatoria, pending completion of
the Masonic Sanatorium; to continue the educational and publicity campaign and
to carry on the administrative work.
contribution has been asked from all other Masonic Bodies. Therefore, it is
possible that the total of contributions may exceed $487,500.00. In that
event, the first proposed Masonic Sanatorium may be constructed on a larger
scale, whereby a greater number of beds would be provided.
been suggested to all Masonic Bodies, and to individual Freemasons, that they
finance the construction of a hospital building, or some part of same, such as
service units, and patients' wards and bed rooms. Should this suggestion be
adopted, the building, or parts of buildings, or the wards or rooms so
financed, will be named for the donor, or in memory of some departed Brother,
or loved one, as a memorial.
Assuming that a Mason belongs to the York Rite Bodies, the Scottish Rite
Bodies, the Shrine and Grotto, a total of seven organizations, and that each
of these seven bodies contributes fifteen cents per capita, the total of
contributions for this one individual Freemason would equal $1.05. Any Brother
who can afford to belong to all of these organizations certainly would not
object to a contribution of $1.05 to help a consumptive Mason.
MATTER OF OBLIGATION
this time the Grand Lodge of New Mexico has borne the burden. The
responsibility for the future of this movement, for its growth and development
as an agency for service, and for the saving of Masonic lives and Masonic
homes, now devolves upon our sister Grand Jurisdictions, and upon all other
take care of, and have taken care of, our New Mexico sick Brethren, who
fortunately are few in number. In addition, New Mexico has aided in the care
of tuberculous Freemasons from nearly every state in the Union, who have come
to the Southwest in search of health or a longer lease of life, because of the
healing qualities of the climate. We make no appeal for our own. Because of
the situation created by migratory cases, and in recognition of the ravages
and devastating results of the disease throughout the country, we initiated
this movement. We have no thought that it is to begin and to end in the
Southwest. It is, and it must be, national in scope. While we have more than
our share of these unfortunates in the Southwest because of migration, they
are found, alas! in every other state.
Grand Jurisdictions are wealthier than others and are financially able to care
for their own members, whether they do or not. According to our conception of
Masonic obligations, they are binding upon us, no matter where a needy Brother
may be found; our obligations are not limited by state lines or by any other
boundaries. We are, or we should be, one common Brotherhood. Shall we continue
as forty-nine separate organizations, not interested in each other's problems,
and not interested in our own Brethren if they wander from their homes? Or
shall we unite as one family to care for those who have fallen by the wayside,
who are down and out through no fault of their own?
national organization has been perfected and a plan outlined, a Design has
been placed upon the Trestle Board, whereby succor and relief may be afforded
to our tuberculous Brethren. If they are longer neglected, their blood will be
upon our hands.
fallen to our lot to speak for these Brethren of our "Grand Lodge of Sorrow."
They are a great, inarticulate mass, scattered in thousands of homes
throughout this great, free and wealthy land of ours. They cannot personally
make their plea to the Fraternity. Therefore, in their name we have made a
plea to the Masons of America to stretch forth their hands to aid our fallen
Brethren and to assist in raising them again, to stand among us as men and
great true heart of American Freemasonry is to be found the answer to our
* * *
beginning of our work, Masonic officials of El Paso made an estimate that
there were 600 sick Masons and relatives from other points resident in El
Paso, and that 125 members of local lodges were tuberculous, many of whom had
come to the city seeking health. During the year we compiled a list of 152
sick Masons and relatives of Masons in that city.
Recently we undertook to make an intensive survey of El Paso to locate
tuberculous Masons and relatives, and to secure facts about their condition
and needs. Our investigators first visited all those on our records. Of the
152 sick Masons and relatives, 92 Masons and 41 relatives could not be found.
They had removed from hospitals, had removed from the houses they occupied,
had gone to other cities in the Southwest, had gone home, or had died.
Including the few survivors of the original list, 83 sick Mason and 68 sick
relatives of Masons (total, 151) were found in the few weeks devoted to this
work; 61 of these relatives were females.
Eighty-eight of these sick are now in hospitals or convalescent homes; 63 are
in homes, hotels, furnished rooms, etc.; 39 sick Masons are accompanied by
wives; 16 of them left wives back home; only two sick women are accompanied by
husbands, and 20 of them left husbands back home; 42 children are living in El
Paso with sick Masons, and seven children with sick relatives of Masons; 26
children of sick Masons and 12 children of sick relatives were left back home
figures are given to show how tuberculosis destroys Masonic homes.
Eighty-five of the 151 cases came to the Southwest on the definite advice of a
physician. This is more than half of these cases, and corresponds with the
percentage of cases found in six cities by the National Tuberculosis
Association who were advised by doctors to come West.
Eighteen Masons and seven relatives received some assistance to come West; 14
Masons and six relatives admitted their need for help, or such need was
apparent; 25 Masons and 17 relatives admitted that they were receiving help
from some source.
impossible to make a house-to-house canvass to find additional cases, but from
the figures secured we believe the original estimate of 600 sick from out of
town and 125 sick members of local lodges is conservative.
people usually go into a hospital or convalescent home for a time after
arrival, if they have any money to pay the bill, and remain until their funds
run low, or until they find cheaper quarters. After leaving such institutions
it is hard to locate them, unless they appeal for help.
three instances both husbands and wife are tuberculous, and in El Paso. In one
instance there are two sick brothers and another one coming to El Paso.
quote from a few of the reports of these cases:
Patient entirely without funds. His condition is such that it is difficult to
talk to him or to understand what he says.
Father supports her. Husband (a Mason) refuses to support her. Father making
Girl, 24 years old, father deceased Mason. Destitute. Placed in convalescent
Just over expensive operation. Pressed for money.. Not asking for same.
survey work should be continued in El Paso and carried on in other
BROS. A. L. KRESS AND R. J. MEEKREN (Continued)
previous articles we have discussed the tradition that the Jewels of the Lodge
were the Rough Ashlar, Broached Thurnel or Dornal and Trestle Board, and we
saw reason to believe that this was very close to genuine Operative usages.
But this being accepted how are we to interpret the other tradition, so much
more fully represented, which speaks of a Square Ashlar, a Diamond and a
Square. Not only, as we have seen, do the larger number of the documents
concur in this--there are only two that give the other list-but there are
additional references that give evidence of its existence. Prichard in his
third part inserts a bit of doggerel verse which runs as follows:
R. An enter'd 'Prentice I presume you have been
Jachin and Boaz I have seen
Master Mason I was made most rare
Diamond, Ashler and the Square.
Another version of this appears in the preparatory matter of the Examination,
which thus parallels the accounts of the jewels in this catechism:
enter'd Mason I have been
and Jachin I have seen
Fellow I was sworn most rare
know the Astler, Diamond and Square
the Master's part full well
Honest Maughbin will you tell.
another variant was brought to light by the Procession of Scald Miserable
Masons, at least it was recorded in the letter-press accompanying the
engraving that professed to picture this elaborate mockery of the Craft:
and Boaz I have seen
enter'd 'Prentice I have seen
Fellow Craft I am most rare
Perpentashler and the Square.
term Perpentashler at once recalls the Chetwode Crawley MS.
12th. Are there any Jewells in yor Lodge?
Three, Perpendester, Square Pavement and an Brobed Mall.
"Ester" is undoubtedly a form of "ashlar," a word with a remarkable number of
variant forms; no less than sixteen are given in the New English Dictionary.
This form exactly is not included among them, but the very similar one "estler"
is, of which it is possibly a corruption. Other forms are "aselar" and "aislar"
which are much closer to the original French form "aisselle." This shows that
the dental sound or aspirate that English dialect was inclined to insert did
not always appear. This will be referred to again later.
last quotation may be compared with Prichard and the Confession. We have here
a Square Pavement, an ashlar with a new qualification, perpend, and finally
another mysterious object, the Brobed Mall. Bro. Dring gives it as Brohed
Mall, and it will strengthen the following argument if he be right in this. In
making a copy from a photograph of the MS. the fourth letter appeared to be
intended for a "b." At the time of writing this there is no opportunity to
make sure which reading is correct, that is whether it be "brobed" or "brohed."
again recalls another passage in the Confession:
Where lies the cappell-tow?
Eighteen or nineteen feet and a half from the lodge door and at the end of it
lies the cavell-mell to dress the stones with.
word gavel occurs in the dialect forms of Kevel or cavel, described as "an axe
hammer, or stone mason's hammer," and we could possibly accept this phrase
cavell-mell as equivalent to gavel-mall, or gavel mallet. Mallet, though now
restricted to a percussion tool made of wood, is from the Latin malleus, a
hammer; so that this instrument is undoubtedly the "common gavel," as the
description of its use would by itself imply.
are we justified in explaining "brobed" or "brobed mall" as the same thing as
the gavel ? It seems plausible, but the fact that the other two items with
which it is associated correspond to two of the jewels as given by Prichard
and the Confession prompts a closer consideration. If, as we have thought,
"Broached dornal" appears in the "Porch, Dormer, and Square Pavement" listed
among the Master's jewels [in printed works later than Prichard they are
called the "Ornaments" of a Master's Lodge] it does not seem impossible that
the first syllable of "dornal" has suffered elision following the similar
sound in the termination of "broached," just as "an apron" is really derived
by mispronunciation from "a napron," and this of course would bring it back to
something like the original "ornal." The change would be very easy if the
accent had come to be placed on the last syllable of the word. If we suppose
(which in view of the manifold mispronunciations of these phrases is quite
possible) that there was a form "dormal" it would account both for "mall" and
"dormer" as variations, as the sounds of "I" and "r" are easily taken one for
the other. The transformations of broached into "brobed" or "brohed" is harder
to account for; but the latter form might well have been written at some time
as an abbreviation. Some of these corruptions seem best explained as due to
oral transmission and some as due to copyist's errors. The two explanations
are by no means incompatible if we assume, as is inherently very probable,
that the various traditions were passed along in both ways, with constant
reactions on each other.
the doggerel verses just quoted are all so very similar in content that it
seems justifiable to assume that they come from a common tradition, if not
from a common original. Taking first the connection of the last one with the
list in the Chetwode Crawley MS., we are inclined to conclude that the
"Square" coupled with "Perpentashlar" is to be equated with the "Square
Pavement" that follows the "Perpendester," and that it is not the tool that is
intended. This is obviously a perfectly possible meaning even according to
present day usage. The word square is ultimately derived from the Latin
quadrus through the form exquadere, to make square or four sided, and the old
French esquierre. Its use as a name for the implement would thus seem really
to be in origin a secondary one. Incidentally it may be remarked that the
usage is quite modern which limits the word when applied to a figure to one
that is equal sided as well as rectangular; so that the phrase a "long
square," or what is more familiar, an "oblong square," is perfectly correct.
Indeed the term "oblong," as meaning a rectangle longer than wide, is really
only an abbreviation of the older and more definite phrase still retained in
Masonic formularies, where, that is, these have not been marred by corrections
and emendations, such as "regular parallelepipedon !"
conclusion that "square" in this connection is the same thing as the "square
pavement" is strengthened somewhat by the fact that in several cases the
implement is also quite definitely mentioned elsewhere in the same document as
part of the necessary "furniture" of a lodge; though this latter term itself,
it must be remembered, does not appear before Prichard. The Mystery and the
Examination both have the following question:
makes a just and perfect lodge?
which the second gives the answer:
Master, two Wardens and four Fellows with Square, Compass and Common Gudge
first adding "five Apprentices" to the list.
group to which the Grand Mystery belongs all have, with some slight and
unessential variations, the following:
were you made a Mason?
just and perfect lodge.
many makes a lodge?
and the Square with Five or Seven right and perfect Masons on the highest
mountains or the lowest valleys in the world.
reminds us of the phrase from the Confession quoted previously in another
Square our Master under God.
the Dumfries Kilwinning MS. No. 4 has this:
many pillars in your lodge?
What are these?
square, the compass and ye Bible.
recalls at once Prichard's second list of "furniture."
What is the other Furniture of a lodge?
Bible, Compass and Square.
do they properly belong to?
Bible to God, Compass to the Master, and Square to the Fellow Craft.
finally the Sloane MS. No. 3329, which contains two catechisms, has in the
What were you sworn by?
God and the square
many lights in your lodge?
Three, the sun, the mast'r and the square.
these quotations in spite of their great divergence in nomenclature or
classification evidently speak of essentially the same thing, that is of the
requirements necessary to make a lodge "just and perfect." Spoken of variously
as lights or pillars or furniture, or merely included in a general definition,
they all tend to indicate a substantial unity of actual practice; which in
effect seems to be that when a lodge was formed to "enter" or "make" Masons
the chief working tools of the Craft were necessary requirements, presumably
because used in some way in the ceremonies. The Bible, which is mentioned only
twice, does not appear to be really an innovation, however, as all the Old
Charges imply that the oath was sworn on a "Book," undoubtedly in earlier days
the Book of the Gospel; but the discussion of this question will be more
appropriate in another connection. The special point to note here is that in
all these places the square, meaning certainly the implement, is emphatically
referred to as necessary in a lodge. It is not of course a conclusive argument
considering the many parallels and overlappings we have already noted, but it
does help to strengthen the supposition that the square referred to as one of
the jewels is the same thing as the square pavement.
TABULATION OF RESULTS
results that we have arrived at in the course of this necessarily lengthy
discussion can perhaps be best recapitulated in the form of a table. We can
divide the different references into five groups according to their similarity
in phraseology, thus:
Confession Square Pavement Dinted Ashlar Broached
Prichard (A) Trestle Board Rough Ashlar Broached
Version Tracing Board Brute stone Pointed Stone
Prichard (D) Square Pavement Porch Dormer
Chetwode Crawley MS. Square Pavement Perpendester
Miserables Square Perpentashlar
Mystery Group Square Square Asher Diamond
Examination Group Square Astler Diamond
Prichard (C) Square Ashler Diamond
MS. Square Pavement Danty Tassley Blazing star
Prichard (B) Mosaic Pavement Indented Tessel
Version Mosaic Pavement Dentelated Tassel Blazing
four groups represent fifteen different references, or sixteen if we allow the
reconstruction of the missing answer in the Catechism of the Mystery. In three
of these it may be noted, there is no classification; in one the term
furniture, in another ornaments, is used as a description, while in the
remaining eleven they are definitely called jewels, so that there is in favor
of this last appellation a considerable consensus of the evidence.
now possible to condense these groups somewhat. Taking them in succession,
Group I has been reduced to the form Square Pavement, Dinted Ashlar and
Broached Dornal. Group II we are fairly justified in representing by Square
Pavement, Perpendester and Broached Dornal. But as has been pointed out
"ester" is only a form of ashlar, and in the Scald Miserables version it
actually is Perpentashlar. Group III is Square, Square Ashlar and Diamond. But
we have found reason for assuming that Square here means the same thing as the
Square Pavement or Flooring which may thus be substituted for it. Finally the
prototype of Group IV we take to be Square Pavement, Danty Tassley and Blazing
star, as we have supposed that Indented Tessel and such variants are only
attempts to rationalize this obscure and presumably corrupt phrase. We may now
retabulate as follows:
Square Pavement Dinted Ashlar Broached Dornal
" " Square Ashlar Broached Dornal
" " Perpend Ashlar Diamond
" " Danty Tassley Blazing star
this it certainly begins to seem as if all versions, if not originally the
same in form, were at least equivalent. But it may be possible to bring them
into still closer accord. We have interpreted the "dinted" ashlar as a worked
or finished stone, which is equivalent to a square, or squared, ashlar, so
that I and II may be taken as really amounting to the same thing.
we have instead of this a "perpend" ashlar and this seems connected in sound
with a later description, i. e. Perfect Ashlar. Now "perfect" as applied to a
stone, though it might seem appropriate enough to the layman (apparently it
has so seemed from all that has been written about it) would be a rather
meaningless term to an operative craftsman. A "square," or "finished" stone
would be significant to him, but "perfect" is altogether too vague and general
a term for technical use. "Perpend," "perpent," or "parpent," is actually such
a technical term and may even yet be in common use. It is a bonding stone, one
that goes all through a wall and has an exterior face at each end. We presume
that whoever first employed the term "perfect," also used the light of
imagination to interpret a term he did not understand instead of consulting a
Perpend Ashlar is therefore a stone finished with some extra care, at least in
one particular, its length. It is in other respects a square stone, and also
finished or "dinted." It would probably be longer in proportion to height and
breadth in comparison with other stones cut for the same wall, and just such a
stone set up on end would appear to be the most suitable for the purpose of a
testing block. This therefore falls into line with Groups I and II.
Diamond however remains unexplained. It is possible to suppose that it might
have been intended for a diamond-shaped paving block or tile. However, though
such tiles were frequently set diagonally, or diamond-wise, they were
generally square and not true rhombs. But church pavements very frequently had
borders, which when the tiles were placed diamond fashion would be "indented."
Also there were often enough center patterns which were quite frequently based
on the triangle as a motif. Two triangles base to base would make a diamond,
interlaced they form a star. Such an idea certainly seems to have underlain
the later versions, represented as ornaments in the French catechism we have
quoted, which give us mosaic or chequered pavement, indented or tessellated
border and central ornamental (or flaming) star. The diamond might then have
been regarded as a variant of this last, depending only on a slightly
different arrangement of the two basic triangles.
However this may be there are sundry scraps of evidence outside of the
Catechisms which point to some recognition of a diamond as having something to
do with the primitive Masonic system. For example in illustration on page 136,
which is part of the design on a late 18th century "tracing board," we see,
among the other emblems a distinct diamond in white against the black
background. In the old French design that was shown on page 87 of THE BUILDER
for March will be noticed a rhomboid figure marked (6). In the letter-press
accompanying the original wood cut this is said to be the Planche a tracer,
pour les Maitres. In later French designs, such as that given on page 120 last
month, it is shown as a drawing board, in a truer perspective and with some
odds and ends of curves depicted upon it. In the earlier form it is actually a
diamond, and calling it a planche a tracer may have been in the first place an
attempt to give it some interpretation. It may be noted also in passing that
the square and compasses when combined into the well known figure that has
come to be so closely connected with the Craft form interiorly a
diamond-shaped space, though it is not at all probable that this has anything
to do with the matter. There is, however, one other echo of the diamond in
relation to Masonry that may be mentioned. In old monitors that include the
Mark Master's Degree are found two paragraphs about the working tools that
from their verbiage are obviously inheritances from the 18th century. In the
first of these we are told that:
mind like the diamond in its original state is rude and unpolished; but as the
effect of the chisel on the external coat soon presents to view the latent
beauties of the diamond, so education discovers the latent virtues of the mind
. . .
on and so forth. We should, by the way, like to see a lapidary undertaking to
cut a diamond with a chisel. Nevertheless there does seem, under the pure
absurdity, a faint trace of some tradition that what was called a "diamond,"
or whatever the original term may have been for which diamond here stands, was
something that was worked with a chisel. Presumably, therefore, it was a
stone, though most certainly not a gem. There is another ridiculous phrase
connected with the Mark Degree still extant and though entirely aside from the
subject we cannot resist pointing out its nonsensical character; it runs:
. . .
the point of the chisel, under pressure of the mallet.
is like the famous definition of a crab; it is a very good description,
excellent indeed, with the exception only that a chisel has an edge not a
point, and a mallet is an implement of percussion not of pressure. "On the
edge of the chisel under impact of the mallet" would at least be sense. This
phrase, by the way, has no great antiquity; it was originated at the earliest
when this side degree was organized in the latter part of the eighteenth
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.
HISTORY OF THE GRAND LODGE OF FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS OF IRELAND. VOL. 1. By
John Heron Lepper and Philip Crossle. Published by the Dublin Lodge of
Research. Cloth, table of contents, plates, illustrations, appendix, index,
etc. 543 pages. Price $10.50.
is a very notable work and it would be difficult to overestimate its
importance as a contribution to Masonic scholarship. The authors would give us
to understand in their preface that little or nothing of the credit is due to
them, that Bro. Burne, Secretary of the Lodge of Research, originated the
idea, and that other Masonic scholars provided all the materials; this
subterfuge, however, will not for a moment deceive the discriminating reader,
and the credit will be assigned where it properly belongs, to the authors
history of Masonry in Ireland was certainly greatly needed. This Grand Lodge
not only was the second to be organized, but it may even be said to have a
fair claim to be actually the oldest existing Grand Lodge in the world, for
its senior, the London Grand Lodge of 1717, was merged in the present United
Grand Lodge of England, and though very naturally that body claims all the
prerogatives of each of the two Grand Lodges of which it was composed, yet in
its present form it dates only from 1813, whereas the Grand Lodge of Ireland
has had an uninterrupted existence without any revolutionary change from 1725
at least, and very probably, as the authors show from 1724 or even 1723; and
it is barely possible earlier still. In the matter of definite records,
however, it is in a much more unfortunate position than the Grand Lodge of
England, as all minutes and books of account before the year 1760 have been
great many of the peculiarities of American Masonry seem to be derived
directly or indirectly from Ireland, and among these resemblances must be
noted that all Grand Lodge officers, with the one exception of the Deputy
Grand Master, were from the first elected and not appointed. The exceptions
was a natural one, for the Deputy was not, as he now is in this country, the
brother chosen to be the Grand Master's successor, but was actually a deputy,
an agent. It is true that in 1749 a Grand Master's Lodge was formed which was
given or allowed the right of making recommendations or nominations, but these
were not mandatory and Grand Lodge on occasion disregarded them. It had no
such privileges as the Grand Stewards Lodge in England.
Chair Degree, or Past Master, as an esoteric ceremony worked at Installation,
and regarded as a qualification to the office of Master of the lodge has
always been, it would seem, an essential feature of Irish Masonry. At least
there is no more record of its introduction than there is of the expansion of
the present three symbolic degrees from the one (or two) grades of the
pre-Grand Lodge era. This, unfortunately, has in America been very commonly
abandoned by the symbolic lodges to the Capitular bodies, with the result that
in many Jurisdictions, perhaps the majority, it is no longer regarded as a
necessary qualification, but at the most an ornamental appendage; and in many
places it is quite ignored.
forgive the authors for their opinion that Ireland has the most venerable
ritual. Pennsylvania makes the same claim. We fear, however, that for neither
one nor the other can the claim be made good in the sense that it remains
today as it was a century or a century and a half ago. And in essentials all
rituals can claim an equal antiquity. Nearly all have retained some things
that others have dropped, and all have made modifications and additions.
thing may seem curious, the original Grand Master's Jewel in Ireland was a
golden trowel, suspended from a collar of black ribbon. The corresponding
English emblem is, as is well known, a gold compass partly opened on a
quadrant. Dr. Oliver stated in one of his works, without (as usual) giving any
authority, that the original jewel had been a silver fish. In America there
seems to be no tradition at all, and every jurisdiction has some form of its
own, many of them, one would judge, being the result of the Masonic
furnisher's unfettered fancy. But the Irish jewel is interesting in that there
is considerable evidence to show that at one time it was proper, if not
absolutely required, that every member of the lodge should wear a trowel
attached to a collar of ribbon. This usage we believe still persists in
various places in Europe, and it may have been known in England and America.
It probably in the first place distinguished the Master Mason, and may be
still reflected in the presentation of the trowel to the newIy-raised Master,
which is peculiar to American Masonry.
another feature in which a strong resemblance may be seen is the custom of
public parades and processions. This certainly seems to have been a genuine
ancient tradition, as the Grand Lodge of England itself for the first few
years of its existence indulged in such appearances, and they were also known
in Scotland. But Irish Masons clung to their annual public fetes, including an
attendance at Church, and often a march of many miles to a rendezvous, and
ending up with liberal refreshments of a liquid variety. With this custom goes
naturally that of Masonic funerals. Preston in his Illustrations gives the
order and ceremonies for such occasions, but one gathers that this was rather
an academic effort on his part so far as England was concerned. But his form
is the basis of those since adopted in America, with modifications that in
most cases are not improvements. Traces of an esoteric ceremony still remain
in the traditional usages of a few old lodges at the grave of a brother,
though the passion for uniformity - dull and dead - possessed by Grand
Lecturers, Custodians and others of that ilk, will probably succeed in finally
England, as is well known, the four lodges that formed the original Grand
Lodge did not receive Warrants, they considering they did not need them, as
Grand Lodge drew its authority originally from them. However, other old lodges
did not receive, and apparently did not demand the same privilege, though
logically their inherent right was just as good. In Ireland all lodges
received confirmatory charters though the definite attempt, we gather, to get
the lodges to accept them was not made till about 1731. One recognized lodge
only held out till 1761 when "for the sake of harmony" it, too, accepted a
Warrant. The authors speak in this connection of "the peculiar reverence paid
to the Warrant in Ireland," but this does not seem, however, to be manifestly
greater than elsewhere,
peculiarity of the early period is that a new lodge was apparently instituted
by some other existing lodge, and not by the Grand Lodge especially convened
for the purpose. It would seem that by the rules of the "Ancients" in England
a petition for a Warrant for a new lodge had to be made by the lodge
self-constituted, and asking to be put on the roll and recognized as such. So
far as the present work tells us there are no traces of any such procedure in
Ireland, and it may have been due to the peculiar circumstances in which the
Grand Lodge of the Ancients was organized. But the point is interesting as
being a survival of the inherent right of Masons to assemble and form
themselves into a lodge on their own account.
feature in respect to Warrants is very singular, and that is the custom of
exchanging them in order to get a lower number. The motive of the lodge seems
to have been to gain precedence in the local St. John's Day public festivals,
but the custom arose, it seems, not from any deliberate policy on the part of
the Grand Lodge, but through the sharp practice of a self-seeking, not to say
dishonest, assistant Grand Secretary, Alexander Seton, who for years was a
thorn in the flesh to the Irish Craft, and who was the chief instigator of the
one split in Irish Masonry, which culminated in the formation of a schismatic
Grand Lodge. He also is responsible for the loss or destruction of all the
early records of the Grand Lodge. This official, for the sake of the fees,
which he pocketed, would exchange Warrants that had been returned from lodges
that had become defunct, reissuing the Warrant given in exchange to the next
new lodge constituted, or exchanging it again with some lodge that had a still
higher number. In this way it came about that the number of an Irish lodge had
no necessary relation to its age, new lodges taking precedence of those senior
to them in reality.
Warrant, in the sense of a Charter, would appear to have been an Irish
innovation, or invention, let us say. It was the result of a considered plan
apparently of the Grand Lodge, and the first step in carrying it out was an
advertisement published in 1731. It must be remembered that though the term
"Warrant" was used from the first by the London Grand Lodge, it meant not a
document but the formal assent of the Grand Master, given in person or through
his Deputy, at the constituting of the new lodge. The next stage was the
issuing of Deputations, that is documents authorizing some brother to act as
the Grand Master's deputy in constituting the lodge, which was usually
returned with an endorsement certifying the constitution. The charter form of
Warrant, a document to be kept by the lodge, and required at its meetings, did
not apparently, according to Bro. Daynes in his recent work, The Birth and
Growth of the Grand Lodge of England, come into use till about 1750 or later,
and we must suppose the change was due to the influence of Irish practice. The
Grand Lodge of the Ancients seems to have issued charters from the first.
touch on everything contained in this most interesting volume would really
require another one, but a few more points must be mentioned that are of
18th century it was the custom, sometimes provided for in lodge by-laws, to
fine a brother who refused any office to which he was elected, and in Ireland
he was sometimes even expelled. A lodge also could expel an E. A. or F. C.
without reference to the Grand Lodge, which took "no cognizance of any Bro.
under the degree of Master."
Another curious thing is, mentioned incidentally by the authors, that in early
days "the majority of Freemasons in Ireland were Catholics." A fact which is
all the more remarkable in that both political and religious intolerance and
hatred were very virulent at the time. Among other famous Irishmen of the time
Daniel O'Connell was not only a Mason, but an enthusiastic one, and had a
great reputation as a Masonic Lecturer.
this we must leave the subject. The book is one that every Masonic student
should possess. The plates and other illustrations and the reproductions of
old documents would alone make it worth while. It is well printed and the
proof-reading very carefully done. A word to the wise may be added. The work
has been published by subscription, and the number of copies over and above
those subscribed for is very limited.
* * *
REALITY. By Burnett Hillman Streeter. Published by Macmillan and Company.
Appendices, indices, 350 pages. Price, $2.65.
ALTHOUGH winning his chief fame in the field of New Testament Criticism, Dr.
Streeter has not in this book plunged into a mare ignotum. His scholarly
research has not dwarfed his interest in matters purely theological and
philbsophical. Side by side with critical studies there have issued from the
press Foundations (in collaboration with other scholars) Concerning Prayer;
Immortality; God and the Struggle for Existence. It is probable, however, that
the present volume will finally establish his reputation as a constructive
theological thinker of the first rank. To apply a favorite term of the author
in dealing with the present theme, his work has quality.
spite of the author's opinion, flattering to those of modest mental equipment,
that his book will prove easy reading to the average man, I fear it will in
large part be "out of the depth" of the man without special knowledge. This,
not because the language of Dr. Streeter is obscure but the subjects dwelt
upon are outside the scope of the average man's thought, at least in America.
More's the pity! However, it will do the average man good to attempt
assimilation if only to engender humility, which is the basis of all true
wisdom. Yet there is one chapter entitled "The Christ," of peculiar beauty and
ease of diction making its appeal to the simplest as to the most profound.
Expressed less crudely, and with a deeper and wider background of cultured
devotional feeling, it represents the attitude of that recent popular work,
reviewed in THE BUILDER last December, The Man Nobody Knows. The book ought to
be bought by the ordinary business man for this chapter alone, and the same
may be said for chapter three, "An Ancient Story" (iii., pp. 50-70).
Reality - the Ultimate Reality - a mere mechanism? Is it an impersonal Force?
Or is it what religion - not only the Christian religion but all religion
postulates it to be, a Personal Being - God? These are the questions Dr.
Streeter examines. His work is not apologetic though it has apologetic value -
immense value; it is rather an investigation.
Science can teach something of this Reality but only in terms of quantity. Art
in its widest sense reveals truth, as Science cannot in terms of quality.
Religion, which has affinity with Science as well as Art, reveals quality as
well as quantity with the emphasis upon the former. Here are three avenues of
knowledge approaching Ultimate Truth, Reality. Furthermore the process of the
acquisition of knowledge is always by representations, by pictures. And in
this, Science shares guilt, if guilt there be, with Art and Religion. It uses
signs, symbols, pictures, of what is beyond its reach. Man, as is inevitable,
must express himself anthropomorphically. It is the condition of his being.
might have expected something suggestive regarding the implications of
Relativity, because Dr. Streeter is full sensible of the latest fashions of
current thought. Possibly he awaits a more thorough testing of this latest
theory. What he does do, however, is to give towards the end of his book a
thoughtful study of the relation of Religion and the New Psychology (Chap.
ix). In the reviewer's mind this is the most valuable contribution to the
subject he has yet seen.
appendices contain much useful matter and the indices are adequate.
misprints have been noted, a rather serious one (p. 39) where the word Reality
should obviously be Religion.
* * *
Integrity in Education, by George Norlin, published by The Macmillan Company,
New York. Price $2.15.
Pope of the Sea, by Vicente Blasco Ibanez, published by E. P. Dutton & Co.,
New York. Price $2.65.
by Leonie Aminoff, published by E. P. Dutton & Co., New York. Price $2.65.
Idea of Social Justice, by Chas. W. Pipkin, published by The Macmillan
Company, New York. Price $5.25.
Making of the Modern Mind, by John H. Randall, Jr., published by Houghton
Mifflin Co., Boston. Price $5.25.
Christ Means to Me, by Wilfred T. Grenfell, published by Houghton Mufflin Co.,
Boston. Price $1.25.
Reporter for Lincoln, by Ida Tarbell, published by the Macmillan Co.. New
York. Price $1.60.
Hung Society (vol. 1), by J. S. M. Ward, published by the Baskerville Press,
London. Price $16.00 per volume.
Story of the City Companies, by P. H. Ditchfield, published by Houghton
Mifflin Company, Boston. Price $5.25.
Harvest of the Years, by Burbank and Hall, published by Houghton Mifflin
Company, Boston. Price $4.25.
SITUATION IN MEXICO
Mason, as much as a busy life allows, I find myself greatly interested in the
imbroglio in Mexico, though unable to get at the true story beyond a few
salient points, and in some of those I may have arrived at the wrong
The contest now being fought to a finish in Mexico is the culmination of a war
of three-quarters of a century's standing between Masonry and the Catholic
The Mexican Constitution of 1857, providing for the separation of the Church
(which, till then, had been dominant) from the State, was adopted under the
guiding hand of Benito Pablo Juarez - a Mason, of full Indian blood.
The great Dictator Diaz - a rigid Catholic - came into power, after the
execution of Maximilian, and the death of Juarez, and ruled Mexico with an
iron hand, through the Catholic Church, and by playing into the hands of the
wealthy land owners, who, with the Church, owned most of Mexico. Thus the
common people of Mexico were left (as they had always been) helpless and
hopeless. During the long rule of Diaz no attempt was made to enforce the
separation of Church and State as provided for in the Constitution of 1857.
Diaz was finally deposed and there followed a succession of revolutions,
alternating in motive between the uplifting ideals of Juarez and the debasing
policies of Diaz. Whether the influences of Masonry can be traced through
these successive contests or not, I do not know.
1917, a new constitution was adopted reaffirming the separation of Church and
State. At that time Caranza (at least seemingly) was in power. Was Caranza a
Mason? If not, can Masonic influence be found to have had a hand in framing
this new constitution?
Now, after a few more years of turmoil, Calles (a 33rd Degree Mason) has come
into power, and an honest attempt is being made to separate, permanently,
finally, and in accordance with the constitution, Church from State.
Ownership of such property as is now claimed by the Catholic Church
(accumulated during all the years when Church and State were virtually one)
cannot be definitely determined, as between the two, when they are separated.
So the vast property, now claimed by the Catholic Church in Mexico, is as much
State property as Church property.
far as I can learn Calles has not ordered the Church to give up the property
claimed by it, but has simply ordered a listing of such property.
The Church, foreseeing the storm, has been industriously preaching against the
enforcement of the Constitution of 1917. Incidentally the same constitution
inveighed against foreign ownership and control of property of certain kinds,
principally that going with the land - such as mines and oil - which class of
property has much occupied the minds of such socialistic lights as Henry
George, Karl Marz and Lenin, for a long, long time. With the rights and wrongs
of this issue I am not now dealing, but simply wish to trace the contest
between the Catholic Church and Masonry. Masonry has always had at heart the
uplifting of the down-trodden. A large section of the foreign Clergy (Catholic
principally) saw the chance to enlist the capitalistic class in their home
countries against the enforcement of the Constitution of 1917, that class
being against the provision dealing with alien control of property, while the
Church was against the provisions intended to end its domination of Mexico.
This brought the foreign Clergy - particularly the Catholic - in Mexico, under
the ban. This team - foreign capital abroad and foreign Clergy at home, backed
by the full power of the Catholic Church - could not be broken up and the only
means of eradication left to Calles was to expel the foreign Clergy - its
powerful mouthpiece. He did not specify any particular sect-treated all alike.
Calles has not ordered the closing of the Churches. As soon as it was seen
that Calles meant business, the order was given by the Holy See to close all
Catholic Churches in Mexico, in protest against Calles' policy, and now
propaganda has gone all over the world, spread by the Catholic Church - no
Catholic ever thinks of questioning anything from that source that Calles has
closed and robbed the Churches of Mexico.
see nothing in Calles' attitude except determination to enforce the
Constitution of 1917, which he has sworn to do and which is his plain duty as
President; I see no suppression of any Church - simply a determination to
separate Church from State, and in this he was forced to expel the foreign
Clergy, as one essential step; and in these efforts, we, as brother Masons,
should all be with him. The Mexican peon needs the uplifting force of Masonry
as much as any individual with whom I have ever come in contact.
think an article along these lines, if investigation shows my "high points" to
be sustained, would be very interesting.
hoping to secure such an article as is here suggested, but circumstances have
unfortunately hindered the collection of exact data. On an earlier page will
be found a short article on the opposite side of the question, the author of
which is a Mexican Mason. It would seem that we have not got all the facts at
hand on which to come to a reasoned conclusion and the only thing to do it
would seem is to hold judgment in suspense.
* * *
WITH THE SANATORIUM
myself, I am a booster, having spent a year in that wonderful "Hope Station"
of The Modern Woodmen of America, located 7200 feet up in the heart of the
scenic old Rockies, at Woodmen, Colorado. I had been sick nearly three years
when I finally got a diagnosis of my trouble, that caused me to quit my work
and hasten out there. Since I arrived home last October, at the beginning of a
severe winter in this latitude, I have not lost a day because of sickness. At
one time last summer we had thirty Masons there, and we all signed a paper
endorsing the plan to build a Masonic tuberculosis sanatorium. Considering the
trifling cost per member, and the great good accomplished at such places, I do
not see how any member of our great brotherhood in Masonry could put anything
in the way of the maturity of these plans at the earliest date. I would be
pleased to know more about this proposition, what stage the plans are in at
present and the outlook for consummation. Am ready to help in any way I can to
boost things along, but owing to my years' absence from my work, and decreased
earning capacity, can not help much financially. I have been in Texas, New
Mexico and Colorado, and while Colorado is wonderful in scenic effects, I met
many brothers there who complained of the altitude. Since the Woodmen
Sanatorium was established in 1909, mortality from the Great White Plague has
been reduced in our order, The Modern Woodmen of America, from first to fifth
place. I only hope the Masons can soon point with pride to a record even
better than this. If our membership could only be aroused to the great
economic, as well as the humanitarian need, this thing would go over big, and
quickly. But - few have had opportunity to see the wonderful results of
sanatoria or know what a hospital of this kind is doing. Thousands of visitors
though pass through Woodmen each year, as well at the other places of this
kind, and the idea, I think, is growing rapidly. I sincerely hope I may never
need to take advantage of the help that is offered so freely at a place like
this again, but if I could be assured of immunity, I would only be more glad
to help what I could to lighten my brothers' burden.
M. Steward, Indiana.
* * *
new address of THE BUILDER is more appropriate as it savors of the antique and
mystical; not so modern and material as the Railway building you have
exchanged! Now if we only had some code name for the Society, as it is very
hard to get it all on the envelop when written by hand!
modest way I parallel St. John, as I have both locusts and wild honey on my
place but alas, the locust trees have thorns and the bees stings. Such is
B., South Carolina.
* * *
you furnish the writer with any information as to the tradition of the
position of the Senior Warden's and Junior Warden's columns when at labor or
refreshment? I have searched in the available encyclopaedias and other works
of reference but found nothing other than the statement as to what the columns
represent and their proper position when at labor or refreshment. This, of
course, is known to any Master Mason.
am interested in is what the respective positions themselves signify, and if
the use of said positions is of fairly recent origin, and when this custom was
question you raise is one of those simple looking ones that are very difficult
to answer and that is probably one reason why so little is to be found on the
subject in Masonic works of reference.
earliest positive mention of actual columns pertaining to the Wardens dates
back about the middle of the 18th century, and seem to be especially connected
with the "Ancients" so-called. The "Moderns" so far as our definite knowledge
goes seem to have contented themselves with depicting two columns or pillars
on their floor diagram. The diagram used by the "Ancients" was much simpler,
being little more than a bare outline apparently.
number of indications, very slight in themselves but collectively of
considerable weight, seem to point to a tendency in the "Ancient" and Irish
forms of Freemasonry of using actual objects wherever possible, while the
"Moderns" were inclined to be content with pictorial representations. This
assertion, however, must be taken as only a general approximation as probably
there were many exceptions on both sides. Nevertheless it seems probable that
the two pillars drawn in old charts were originally the same thing as the
Wardens' columns and were all intended to represent the pillars of King
Solomon's Temple. With the later movement towards uniformity in usage and
ceremonies both of these were retained and given different significations. The
model pillars became marks or insignia of the Wardens' office.
use does not really seem to have any deep symbolic interpretation, though if
any such interpretation can be devised it is so much to the good. But what is
actually done in calling off and calling on is a simple and natural indication
of the state of the lodge, and needs no more explanation than does the
motorist holding out his hand when he is going to stop or turn.
* * *
reading an article by Donn Byrne on Ireland, in the March number of The
National Geographic Magazine, I came upon a statement which interested me
considerably, which was this: "Masons and Artificers once had a separate
language," and thinking this might be of interest to some who, like me, are
interested in a statement of this kind, I thought I would call the attention
of THE BUILDER to it. I quote the entire statement below. It is on page 279 of
the March number:
AND ARTIFICERS ONCE HAD A SEPARATE LANGUAGE
Besides Gaelic, there flourished in Ireland a Cryptic speech used by Masons,
Berla eagair nan Saor, the difficult speech of the artificers. Only very old
Masons remember it in Ireland and will disclose it to you, mumbling in their
white beards and looking suspiciously at you out of red‑rimmed, faded eyes. In
it were words which you recognize as Latin, but mainly the vocabulary
consisted of Irish words [presume he means Gaelic when he says this] reversed.
above quoted statement follows after he had devoted some time to the Gaelic,
or Irish language, and the statement has a subhead in capital letters as
believe that this curious fact has been mentioned elsewhere but are unable to
find any references. We are, however, making inquiries which we hope will
result in further and more definite information.
* * *
MASONIC STUDY SOCIETY
society established at London has now District Circles or branches in
Yorkshire, England; Nyasaland, South Africa, and at Sydney, New South Wales,
Australia. Four volumes of the Transactions have appeared to date. Sir John
Cockburn is the President of the society, which by the following of the
wholesome rule of English bodies generally of this kind is associated with the
Royal Colonial Institute Lodge. The avowed and faithfully followed purpose of
the society is to study the symbolism of Freemasonry in its various degrees
and to investigate its origin and meaning on anthropological lines and the
society aims at avoiding those aspects of Masonic research already dealt with
by existing studious bodies and will endeavor to study the Craft in the light
of similar systems past and present and on the lines of comparative religions,
anthropology and folklore; in short, the society plans to study Freemasonry as
a living organism, as well as on the basis of documents. The society points
out in its publication that it devotes special attention to the symbolic and
mystical meaning of the degrees and purposes to build up an adequate library
and museum. Papers during the period under review, presented to the society
and appearing in volume iv now at hand, are these: "The Fundamental
Philosophic Secrets Within Masonry," by Brother Wilmshurst; "Greater Lights in
the Eighteenth Century, With Some Sidelights on Early Working," by Sir
Frederick Pollock; "Paper Marks, Book Marks and Masonic Emblems," by Brother
John Cockburn; "The Ancient Mysteries With Special Reference to the Third
Degree," by Brother F. G. Harmer; "The Masonic Charges and Some Facts to Be
Derived From Their Study," by Brother H. G. Rosedale, and two by Brother J. S.
Ward, "Spring From the Same Stock," a thoughtful discussion of the equality of
opportunity for advancement mentally in Masonic understanding, and the other
entitled "Let Us All Endeavor to Learn the Necessary Signs," an introduction
to the signals sent by gesture or grip from one person to another, significant
signs often disclosed by prints and paintings of all eras when these arts were
practiced and which convey mental meanings by way of symbols. By means of this
universal language much was made known, the respective minds being atuned and
working in harmony because of this fellowship. Brother Ward briefly but
suggestively submits a number of instances to support and lend strength to his
showing of signs. The Transactions of this society are all of a superior merit
and from personal acquaintance with the organization and its progressive
members the writer especially welcomes this instructive series of essays and
finds the substance thereof worthy of high praise. Copies of the Transactions
may be obtained from the Secretary of the society, Brother R. W. Sloley,
"Instow," Amersham, Bucks, England.
* * *
OF "THE BRIDGE BUILDER"
April issue of THE BUILDER you ask the name of the author of "Building the
Bridge at Twilight." I find that I have the same poem in an old Scrap Book
under the title of "The Bridge Builder," and the author's name is given as
Arthur S. Brent
C.M.Davidson Bellingham, Washington.
* * *
are two unfortunate errors in the setting up of my paper "Is Freemasonry
Neglecting Opportunities?" in THE BUILDER last month. On the first page,
second column and sixth line from the top "recognized" should be
"reorganized." As both words have quite definite Masonic uses I should like to
draw attention to the change.
on the second page, first column and fourteenth line from the top, I wrote
"might was right" and not "might and right." The latter, however, makes no
sense and I hope that readers will have guessed what was intended.
J. Haydon, Canada.
* * *
APPOINTMENT OF GRAND LIBRARIAN IN ENGLAND
understand that Bro. Gordon P. G. Hills, P. M. of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, has
recently been appointed to the important post of Grand Librarian of the United
Grand Lodge of England as successor to the late Bro. Wonnacott, whose much
regretted death occurred last year.
Naturally Bro. Hills' name is not very widely known in this country except
among what we may call the inner circle of Masonic students, but his past work
makes his appointment a most fitting one; and there is not the least doubt in
the minds of those who know him, and know of him, that he will carry on the
work of his predecessor in a way that will reflect credit both upon himself
and those responsible for making this happy choice.