The Builder Magazine
April 1928 - Volume XIV - Number 4
The Shadow of the Vatican
DR. LEO CADIUS
(Concluded from March)
THIS series of articles is written by a member of the Roman Church.
is still a member of that Church and has no desire to leave it.
The articles do not touch on any matter of faith or doctrine, and while
severely critical of the administration are in no sense an attack upon the
is the author's opinion that the reforms he proposes would not only be to the
advantage of Roman Catholics but would largely remove the suspicions of so
many thoughtful non-Romanist American citizens.
NEEDLESS to say, only a non-Catholic Congressman could introduce the above
suggested bill - let us call it the anti- autocracy bill - into the House:
namely, that the federal government request the Vatican to re-organize the
hierarchy in conformance to the demands of modern democracy and international
justice and to retract such doctrinal tenets as are obnoxious to the freedom
of conscience. A Catholic Congressman sponsoring this bill would be promptly
advised by the Vatican to withdraw it, under penalty of excommunication. He
could, however, help the good cause by endorsing the bill. He would have to
act at once, though, before the pope had time to threaten with excommunication
any Catholic supporting this measure.
those American Masons who fraternize with the Knights of Columbus, approached
the local chapters of the Knights in this matter, they would most probably
meet with a sympathetic reception. It would be the mission of the Knights to
explain to the Catholic public, secretly of course, that the measure was not
intended against the Church, but was an act friendly to the Catholics. Its
object is to free them from the yoke of the absolutistic Italian Oligarchy.
Present conditions will inevitably lead to a clash, disastrous to the
Catholics and hurtful to the nation. Why not tackle the problem now in an
amicable, open above-board manner?
Let Congress and the state legislatures take the initiative and set the stone
rolling. Let the question be afterwards submitted to the voters in a
practicable and acceptable form.
Vox populi, vox Dei! "The voice of the people is the voice of God!" It was at
one time an honored maxim in the Catholic Church. But that was long, long ago.
The attitude of American citizens who accept titles of nobility from European
rulers has frequently been the butt of unfavorable criticism in the daily
press. The enactment and enforcement of a law prohibiting the acceptance of
such titles under penalty of forfeiture of American citizenship would no doubt
Such a law should certainly include His Eminence the Cardinal. The cardinalate
is not strictly a clerical dignity. Laymen have held it in days past,
frequently in exchange of political or financial considerations. A cardinal
belongs to the nobility. At European courts, he is assigned the rank of a
prince. The titles of Papal Count, Knight of St. Gregory and similar offices
in the papal court also might be proscribed as incompatible with the American
brand of democracy.
And what about the Monsignore? The American priests will laugh at this
question. The Monsignore is harmless. He is a priest who is permitted to wear
some of the insignia of a bishop; particularly a purple gown. But he has no
episcopal powers. He is in the same relation to a bishop as "near- beer" is to
beer. He looks like a bishop, talks like a bishop, walks like a bishop, but he
lacks the authority and power of a bishop. The "kick" is missing. "It is
exclusively a matter of millinery," to quote the late Archbishop Feehan of
Chicago, who refused his clergy permission to accept the honor. Formerly it
was awarded in recognition of merit. Of late it has been distributed so
promiscuously as to become the laughing stock of the rest of the clergy.
The Catholic clergy all over the world is getting tired of this ecclesiastical
peacockry. But the Vatican needs the not inconsiderable fees for issuing the
Monsignore diplomas since the Peter's Pence from impoverished Europe has
dwindled down to next to nothing. Thus a flood of purple millinery has been
released on money flushed America. It is one of the "horrors" of the world
war. The country will survive it.
Congress enacted a law proscribing, under penalty of the loss of American
citizenship, all titles of foreign nobility and near-nobility, including the
cardinalate, papal throne assistant, prothonotary apostolic, the plain
monsignore, papal count and all papal knighthoods, 95 per cent of the American
Catholic clergy would applaud. They would do the applauding with
mitten-covered hands, though, to muffle the sound, lest the Italian
taskmasters and their American overseers should hear it.
Needless to say, the ancient and strictly ecclesiastical titles, such as
archbishop, bishop, dean, and the academic degrees should not be affected by
such a law.
RELIGIOUS ORDERS AND CORPORATIONS
The Catholic religious orders, monks and nuns, have to their credit splendid
achievements in the dissemination of science and education, sound Christian
morality and civic virtues. In addition, their good and holy lives, lives of
continuous self-sacrifice and unremitting devotion to the highest Christian
ideals, are in themselves an inspiration and a source of edification.
Nevertheless, if the American Government should ever find it necessary, for
the protection of American ideals, to go on the warpath against the selfish
Italian Oligarchy, it may have to consider the advisability of closing all the
educational institutions conducted by these orders. The monks exercise a great
influence at the Vatican. A timely intimation to them that their schools are
imperiled will induce them to use pressure on the autocracy. The Jesuits alone
own in the United States over forty universities and colleges. Some of them
can boast of a very large attendance. For instance, Fordham University in New
York has an enrollment of over 6,000 students; Marquette University in
Milwaukee, 5,000 students. These religious orders would leave no stone
unturned to save their institutions.
would seem, also, to be high time that the legislatures of the American states
occupied themselves with the corporations sole of the Holy Roman Church. The
Catholic citizens ought to be afforded an opportunity of learning something
about the disposal of their church funds.
Such corporations ought to be abolished. They might be converted into
Directorates of Five, or Boards of Five Trustees, to consist of the bishop,
his vicar general and three lay members. These three lay members could be
appointed by a Diocesan Finance Committee of Fifteen, seven priests and eight
laymen, elected by the diocesan clergy and laity in secret ballot. To this
Committee of Fifteen the Directorate of Five could be accountable. If a
diocese should refuse, by order of the Vatican, to comply with such a state
law, the State should assume temporary control of the diocesan finances.
There is an immediate need of a campaign of education to enlighten the
American public on the papal peril, but such a campaign should beware of two
First. It should steer clear of all anti-Catholic bias. Barring a few
non-essential theological idiosyncrasies, there is nothing wrong with the
Catholic religion. Nor should such agitation attack the institution of the
papacy. It is an essential part of the Catholic religion.
Second. Though directed against the usurping Italian Autocracy, such a
campaign should be free from any aspersion on the Italian race. The latter is
in no way responsible for the selfishness of the Autocracy which is even at
this very day opposing the unity of the Italian people. Every cardinal, when
receiving the red hat, promises under oath to uphold the papal claim to
secular power. The secular power means the disruption of Italy.
NATIONALISM IN THE CHURCH
This propaganda against the Italian Oligarchy ought to be made international.
The immediate aim should be the temporary establishment of national churches.
These should unite then into a world church, elect a pope, a Bishop of Rome,
who would temporarily take up his residence in one of the smaller countries of
Europe, such as Switzerland or Belgium; or, if parts of Italy joined in the
secession, in some Italian city. That would give the Roman hotel-keepers and
merchants something to think about.
am fully aware that I am advocating a schism in the Church. We are living in
the midst of a world upheaval. National self determination is in the air.
Poland, Czecho- Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia and other nations, oppressed for
centuries, have become independent republics.
the reader may remember, Italy, the pope's own country, entered the world war
avowedly for its national aspirations. This was the very expression, and the
only pretext it used. His Holiness, Pope Pius XI, then known as Monsignore
Achille Ratti, is said to have been one of the most ardent of patriots. What
is sauce for the goose, ought to be sauce for the gander. Other people have
also national aspirations. They clamor for no territorial aggrandizement, as
did the Italian government in 1915, but they have a right to demand a just
share and representation in the government of the Catholic World Church.
This demand should be submitted to the Holy Father in the form of a petition.
If he sees fit to ignore it, the Catholics should emphasize it by withholding
the Peter's Pence.
This suggestion will, no doubt, shock the pious ears of ultra-Roman American
Catholics. If they will consult the pages of church history, they will find
that more than once the faithful had to exercise pressure on the
ecclesiastical authorities in the interest of religion. The conclave of
Viterbo, 1268-1271, furnishes an illustration. The fifteen cardinals who
convened upon the death of Clement IV, were divided into two camps, a French
and an Italian. The conclave had lasted already over two years and still there
was no agreement in sight. The people of Viterbo lost patience. They induced
the local authorities to shut the cardinals up in the episcopal palace. The
captain of the city, Ranieri Gatti, uncovered the roof of the palace to see,
if by chance, the inclemency of the weather would hasten the warring factions
to reach a decision. This drastic measure had the desired effect. Theobald
Visconti, Archdeacon of Liege (he was not a cardinal, not even a priest) was
elected to the papal chair. He took the name of Gregory X. The conclave had
lasted over two years and nine months. To prevent the recurrence of so
scandalous a delay, the new pope promulgated a new constitution governing the
papal elections. According to this, the cardinals were to be kept in close
confinement during the conclave. If after three days of balloting no decision
had been reached, they were to be given only one dish at dinner and supper for
the next five days. Thereafter, the menu was to be reduced to bread, wine and
water. This argumentum ad stomachum, or appeal to the stomach, proved a great
accelerator. For the next conclave, in January, 1278, lasted only one day.
the Catholics throughout the world want to obtain their just share in the
government of the Church, they will have to use coercion against the Italian
Autocracy. If the refusal of the Peter's Pence should not yield the desired
results, there will be but one alternative left: rebellion against the papacy.
The responsibility for such a step, which means a split in the Church, would
rest on the selfish Autocracy.
What the world wants today is peace. What the world is doing today is
preparing for another, more destructive war. Into the recent war the world was
plunged by surprise. Into the coming war, it is going with the eyes wide open.
Sane statesmen, like David Lloyd George and William Howard Taft, and other
thinking observers everywhere are unanimous that only a moral regeneration of
the human race based on religion can avert a world catastrophe. Justice,
social, economic and international justice, is the foremost need of the day.
The pope is recognized as the greatest potential moral force today. How can a
world peace founded on justice be expected, with Social and International
Injustice sitting in the very chair of St. Peter ?
The organization of the Roman Catholic hierarchy on principles of justice and
fair play is the key to world peace. It is the most important problem before
the world. It is everybody's business.
The Special Privilege that is still occupying the Chair of St. Peter, has no
desire to vacate. It has to be dislodged by force. The Catholics will have to
rise in rebellion. They will have to renounce allegiance to the Italian
Autocracy and elect a new pope in a fair international election.
This intimation is no doubt most offensive to pious Catholic ears. But, as a
French proverb has it, you cannot make an omelette without breaking the egg.
You cannot have world peace without a just pope, and you cannot seat a just
pope without deposing the Italian Autocracy.
The whole difficulty could be easily solved, if the pope of his own accord
reorganized the government of the Church along the principles of international
justice and of democracy - democracy, as far as the original constitution of
the Church permits. It permits a degree sufficient to satisfy the spirit of
our times. Mentally enslaved as our modern Catholics are - there prevailed
quite a different spirit in the Middle Ages, Dante is an illustration - they
are too timid to even petition the Holy Father for such a reorganization. As
long as they are willing to submit to his absolutism, he will not think of
making free citizens out of them.
Salvation can only come from the non-Catholics. Our Protestant brethren could
offer up public prayers that God in His infinite mercy may infuse into the
mind of the pope a sense of international justice, a gift so urgently needed
in the interest of world peace. Mentally emancipated Catholics - there are a
few of them - may utter for the same purpose private prayers in the secrecy of
the innermost recesses of their homes.
Uncle Sam is still a free enough man and a big enough man to safeguard his
ideals of democracy, freedom of conscience and national self-respect.
is still a free enough man for that. He will not be in a generation or two
hence, unless he builds his protecting wall now.
CATHOLICISM IN GERMANY
Let us assume now that a movement should be launched to emancipate the
American Catholics from the yoke of Italian Autocracy in the Vatican. It would
gain in momentum, if a similar movement was started also in other countries.
In Czecho-Slovakia the ground is well prepared for it. Immediately after the
world war a large organization of Czecho-Slovak priests was formed that
aspired to a certain amount of self-determination. It has been checked
temporarily, but it is far from being crushed.
France the nationalistic tendency known as Gallicanism has never been fully
eradicated. It needs but a spark to flare up again.
However, it is in Germany where the most important battles would be fought. Of
all the Catholics in the world, the Germans are intellectually the most
emancipated or, if you prefer, the least enthralled. That they are enthralled
to some extent by the Italian Autocracy must be admitted. All Catholics are,
German Catholicism, aroused to united action by the Bismarokian persecution
misnamed the kulturkampf, has, roughly speaking, held its own amid the
incessant and well- conducted onslaughts from rationalism, Protestantism,
kaiserism and most of all from socialism. It has succeeded in keeping about
ninety per cent of its adherents loyally attached to the Church. It has won
for itself an honored position in the German intelligentsia. It has acquired
valuable experience in social welfare work and in the advancement of
socio-economic justice; so much so, as to prompt Doctor Stoecker, the Kaiser's
court preacher, to exclaim: "The Catholic Church has solved the social problem
splendidly." He meant the Catholic Church in Germany. For in the Latin
countries she has been, until very recently, conspicuously inert.
matter from what point of view it is regarded, German Catholicism stands forth
as a practical, complete, eminently successful philosophy of life. After the
spectacular collapse of November, 1918, it was the one solid rock that saved
the Empire from chaos and utter ruin. German Protestants have gratefully
the German Catholics can be induced to take up the cudgels against papal
absolutism, it will mean the death knell of the Italian Autocracy. For by
their achievements they have secured for themselves a certain prestige among
their co-religionists the world over that has not been entirely obscured even
by the blind hatred of the world war. They have not only the intellectual
equipment for the task - as for that matter have many Catholics in other
countries - but I believe. a certain predisposition for it.
THE CHURCH AND POLITICS
the United States, the entire daily press and nearly all the large reviews,
magazines and other periodicals show the most profound respect for the power
of Zambo. They dare not print a word that would displease him.
the European continent, particularly in Germany, the vastly larger and more
influential portion of the press has been more or less outspokenly
anti-Vatican all along.
American Catholic who advocates the overthrow of Zambo's throne has to
consider himself fortunate if he can find a little Protestant weekly or a
socialistic publication that will publish his article. In Europe, with the
possible exception of Great Britain, he will have the pick of the large
publications at his disposal.
While the greater section of the German press may have been anti-Vatican
chiefly through religious prejudice, it cannot be denied that the Vatican has
been guilty of indiscretions that irritated even leading German Catholics of
the strictest and most orthodox type.
example is furnished by the septennate question. In 1887, Bismarck introduced
into the Reichstag a program of military appropriations to be extended over a
period of seven years (septennate). The Catholic or Centre party which held
the balance of power, opposed it. The crafty chancellor asked Pope Leo XIII to
use his influence with the obdurate Centrists. The Pope complied with his
request. In consequence, the appropriations were approved, despite the
protests of the great Centrist leader, Ludwig Windthorst, who opposed the
Pope's policy. Windthorst, in his despair, is said to have relieved himself in
the following strain: "There we are! we German Catholics have always
repudiated the accusation that we are being dictated to by the Vatican! And
now the Pope meddles in a purely internal affair of the empire that has
nothing to do with religious interests! He wants to prove that our adversaries
are right, that we are Ultramontanes! Is he out to destroy the Centre party?"
was one of the uncomplimentary epithets applied to the German Catholics,
because they were believed to receive their political instructions from across
the Alps, that is from the Vatican. The Centrists always indignantly denied
this allegation, declaring with Daniel O'Connell, the great Irish patriot: "We
take our religion from Rome, but not our politics."
The late English publicist, W.T. Stead, based on this one case of papal
interference in German affairs the rather extravagant claim that whenever the
Kaiser wanted an additional army, he had to obtain first the Pope's
this same Pope Leo XIII, whose wonderful diplomatic acumen was so highly
extolled by the Catholic press, is ascribed the remark: "As the Italian race
once ruled the world through the military might of ancient Rome, so it now
rules the world through the Catholic Church." He may have been falsely quoted,
but he might just as well have made that remark. His actions bore it out and
approved Catholic theologians accord the Roman Pontiff a divine right to world
THE GERMAN CATHOLlC PARTY
The German Catholics made a somewhat spectacular change of front at the end of
the world war. Let me quote from a well- written article by Doctor von
Boetzlaer in Der Fels, a Catholic monthly published in Frankfort-on-Main. In
No. 9, vol. XIV (1921), of Der Fels Doctor Boetzlaer reproduced the following
climax from a speech delivered by the Jesuit Cohauss at the National
Convention of the German Catholics at Aix-la-Chapelle, 1912:
Authority possesses something sublime, something enchanting. Where authority
appears adorned with purple and crown, a sacred tremor pervades the multitude;
all noise is muffled; reverentially everybody makes room. The faithful
Christian beholds in the legitimate Kings something of the divine splendor; he
recognizes the Anointed of the Lord. And because he fears the Majesty of God,
he also pays to God's representatives on earth the tribute of reverential
obedience. Where the fear of God reigns, there also the Kings reign; there
they stride with dignity through the masses of the people. And because we
Catholics hold dear the faith in God, for that reason we are also loyal to our
Kaiser. They have denounced us as second class patriots. When the opportunity
will arrive when the thrones will totter, it will be seen that we Catholics
are not second class, but first class patriots. We stand loyally by our
Imperial House, because we stand loyally by the House of God.
The patriotic effervescence of the good Jesuit was received with an explosion
of thundering applause. It will be remembered that in 1912 the Jesuits were
still exiles from Germany, exiles by order of the Kaiser's government. They
were forbidden to establish community houses, to teach, to do parish work.
They were tolerated as individual residents, but subject to expulsion at any
Doctor von Boetzlaer then recalls the joint pastoral letter of the Catholic
Bishops of Germany, dated Nov. 1, 1917:
True to its past, the Catholic people will discountenance any attack on our
reigning houses and our monarchic constitution. We shall always be ready to
defend the altars and the thrones against external and internal enemies;
against the revolutionary powers that want to erect a visionary future state
on the ruins of the existing order; against those secret societies that have
vowed the destruction of altar and throne.
June 30, 1918, the leaders of the Centre (Catholic) party issued a manifesto
containing the sentence:
"We believe in a strong monarchy."
That was when the Kaiser was still in power.
Less than five months later, in November, 1918, after the flight of the
Kaiser, when the Monarchy was abolished and the Republic proclaimed, Herr
Spahn, the leader of the Centre party, endorsed the new republican
constitution with the following declaration:
According to Kant, the Republic is the best form of Government. The German
Empire is a Republic in which the sovereignty is invested in the German
people. Our political conditions are the result of historical development. The
past and the present have been severed by the revolution. But the German
nation has remained undivided. As pillar of our constitution has remained
Rousseau's principle of the sovereignty of the people.
That was a rather sudden transition from the "divine splendor of the throne"
and "the strong monarchy" to the adoption of the French atheist Rousseau's
principle of the sovereignty of the people. LOYALTY TO ROME
Like their American co-religionists, the German Catholics at their conventions
and banquets never fail to assert their "unswerving loyalty and fidelity to
the Holy See." The American Catholics usually add a paean to the "Paternal
heart of our Holy Father that is ever afire with love and solicitude for his
children." This last effulgence is not in vogue in Europe. It is an American
specialty, a bouquet thrown in with the Peter's Pence.
bill, similar to the one suggested for our Congress, could be introduced into
the Reichstag to the effect that in the German elementary schools only such
religion may be taught as conforms to national self-respect.
The question then will be debated whether the Catholic religion conforms to
German national self-respect. Over two- thirds of the members of the Reichstag
are non-Catholics. Unlike their colleagues in the United States Congress, they
entertain not the slightest fear of the Vatican. One reason for this lies in
the entirely different alignment of political parties in Germany.
Let us suppose that the Reichstag passed a resolution suppressing the Catholic
religious instruction in the elementary schools unless the Vatican revised the
Constitution of the Catholic Church along the lines of international justice
and national self-respect. What would the German Catholics who form one-third
of the population of the Empire do? Would they persevere in their "unwavering
loyalty and fidelity to the Holy See" or would they qualify it to an
"Unswerving loyalty in all things that are just and reasonable?"
believe that they will choose the latter course. They will repeat the
performance of November, 1918. As they then suddenly discovered that the
Kaiser was not the Fatherland, they will also at once discover - what many of
them have known all along - that the selfish scarlet-robed Italian clique in
the Vatican is not the Roman Catholic Church, but rather an incubus on the
Church. They will petition the Holy Father to comply with the request of the
German government. If he should snub their petition, they will take steps
towards the establishment of a temporary German Catholic National Church that
would renounce its allegiance to the Pope until he condescends to recognize
the principle of national self-respect and international justice.
the government of the United States in the interest of the American ideals of
democracy and national self-respect forwarded a similar request to the Vatican
the Zambo Brotherhood would no doubt raise a tremendous howl. But I am
convinced that if the government stood firm, ninety-five per cent of the
American Catholics, after having recovered from their shock, would with a
sincere heart endorse the action of the government in its palpably just
demand, even to the extent of forming temporarily an American National Church.
The Zambo Brotherhood would submit with a Scowl, but it would submit. That
breed is not made of the stuff that is willing to become a martyr for any
cause, be it religion or country. It caters to the side that is in power.
That experiment could be repeated successfully throughout the world, leaving
the Italian Autocracy in the end isolated. It would probably not require an
extraordinary large sum of money to launch such a movement.
The Italian Autocracy could advance against it no other theological reason
than its unenunciated dogma, which it however regards as first and foremost:
"Jesus Christ has founded a world church to serve as an instrument for the
aspirations of the Italian race to world rule, and as a productive milk cow
for an absolutistic Italian clique."
a large work entitled Daniel and the Revelation the Adventist, Uriah Smith,
accuses, on page 161, the papacy of having put fifty millions of Christian
dissenters, such as Waldenses, Albigenses, Protestants, etc., to death. The
Catholic reader will smile at this "mild" exaggeration and, no doubt, the
average nonCatholic reader will also shake his head in wonderment at this
his book, Concerning the Stability and Progress of Dogma, the Jesuit Lepicier,
professor of theology at the College of the Propaganda in Rome, while
admitting that Catholic rulers have persecuted and slaughtered heretics,
asserts: "There is no example in history of the exercise of the right of the
sword by the Church herself." He means to say that no pope or papal commission
has ever ordered the execution of a heretic.
Uriah Smith and Father Lepicier represent two extremes. The first turns mole
hills of papal religious intolerance into mountains. The latter wants to
whitewash the papacy altogether. Lepicier seems to have overlooked a long list
of victims of papal intolerance; for instance, the ex-Dominican Giordano
Bruno, who in 1600 was sentenced to death, for heresy, by a papal tribunal and
burned at the stake in Rome by papal executioners. Nor can the Church be
absolved from complicity in the execution of Jan Hus and Girolamo Savonarola.
The latter, incidentally, was not a heretic, but merely an over-zealous
reformer, or rather, a too daring and too persistent critic of the abuses of
the papal court. The great historian, Dollinger, in his Prophesies and the
Prophetic Spirit, page 163, comments: On the 23rd of May (1498) he was
executed, according to the judgment of the Pope, as a heretic; according to
the opinion of his Order (Dominican) and of his numerous disciples, as a
witness to the truth. An office was dedicated to him as a sainted martyr and
persons who were themselves canonized at Rome, such as Catharine Ricci and
Philip Neri, have honored and invoked him as such.
About a quarter of a century ago the late Jesuit historian, Emil Michael,
declared in a lecture at Innsbruck, Austria: "Scandals among us Catholics must
not be minimized." He merely emphasized anew a principle followed by other
leading modern Catholic historians, such as Ludwig von Pastor and Johannes
Jansen, who in their monumental works laid bare with perfect candor the past
errors and misdeeds in the Catholic fold. They have not injured the Catholic
cause thereby. At any rate the Vatican has seen fit to bestow special honors
1900, the Calvinists erected in Geneva, Switzerland, a monument to Michael
Servetus, the Spanish Unitarian, who was by reason of his religious
convictions put to death in that same city by the order of John Calvin. In
thus honoring the martyred heretic, they intended to expiate a crime
perpetrated in a dark, bigoted age by their fanatical co- religionists.
This emphatic condemnation of a wrong committed in the name of their religion
has no doubt raised our modern Calvinists in the esteem of their fellow
Christians and of all right- minded people. It has strengthened the cause of
religious tolerance. It means a step closer to Christian unity.
Let us hope that some day the Vatican will consider it a good policy to follow
the edifying example of these Calvinists by rearing a monument in expiation of
acts of religious intolerance perpetrated by Catholics. It would decidedly
tend to allay the apprehension of future acts of Catholic intolerance, it
would promote good will among men, if the Pope erected on the square of St.
Peter in Rome a statue of St. John the Evangelist, the Apostle of Love, with
the inscription: "This monument has been erected by the Catholic Church in
memory of the unfortunate victims of Catholic religious intolerance."
Some time in the spring of 1926, the Rev. S. Parkes Cadman, President of the
Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America, was quoted by the daily
press to the effect that: "Before Christian Unity can be attained, there will
have to be many a prominent funeral."
The press did not inform us as to what funerals the distinguished gentleman
had in view. He might have appropriately mentioned Protestant Individualism
and Papal Absolutism. But while Protestant Individualism only hurts the
Protestants themselves by leading to endless divisions, Papal Absolutism
outrages the Catholic flock and at the same time menaces the freedom and
religious peace of the world. The government of the Roman Catholic Church
could stand a thorough overhauling in conformity with the demands of
international and social justice. This reorganization could be effected
without violating a single dogma of the Catholic faith. There is not the
slightest prospect of the Vatican renouncing any of its usurped rights. The
Italian clique that has now for over four centuries monopolized the government
of the Church has no intention whatsoever of relaxing its throttling hold on
the Church. It has recently stripped the American Catholics of the last
vestige of a representative form of government. It has only last year deprived
the Irish clergy of the right of nominating their bishops. The Italian
Autocracy is an insatiable glutton for power. It is ever tightening its
strangling grasp on the Church. It will crush any Catholic who dares to
protest against it.
regards the people of the United States, if they want to prevent their country
from becoming a papal satrapy, they will have to force their government to
take protective measures. In conclusion we may adopt the warning of the Elder
Cato, Ceterum censeo omnem autocrattam esse delendam, for the rest I hold that
every despotism should be destroyed.
on Two Franklin Medals
BRO. J. HUGO TATSCH, Associate Editor, Iowa
researches in American Craft history of Colonial times brought in their wake a
number of Franklin references which bear upon his Masonic activities in
France. Among the notes are several which warrant the title of this brief
Franklin, as is well known, represented the struggling Colonists at the court
of France, and left that country for America in September, 1785, after a
sojourn of eight and one-half years. He fraternized abroad with his Masonic
brethren to such an extent that he was elected Venerable Master of the Loge
les Neuf Soeurs of Paris, May 21, 1779, and was re-elected for another year.
R. W. Bro. Julius F. Sachsel is authority for the statement that "In the year
1782, Franklin served as Venerable (Worshipful Master) of the Lodge," which
may be correct as far as the word "served" is concerned; yet I doubt it. The
elected incumbent of the oriental chair for 1781-1783 was the Marquis de La
Salle, forty-six years of age when he took office and was very evidently
capable, physically and otherwise, of discharging the duties of his office. A
list of officers for 1783,, which carries his name as ex-Venerable, gives him
the title of Lieutenant Colonel, commanding a battalion of the garrison at
Vermandois. Franklin had, however, officiated as Senior Warden at a Lodge of
Sorrow, held Nov. 28, 1778, in honor of Voltaire, in whose initiation 2 he had
assisted the previous April 7, 1778. Voltaire had died May 30, 1778.
medal depicted herewith was not described by Ernst Zacharias in his Numotheca
Numismatica Latomorum, a work which appeared in 1840 as a series of eight
pamphlets; but it is mentioned as No. 36 in Theodore Merzdorf's Die
Denkmuenzen der Freimaurerbruederschaft (Oldenburg, Germany, 1851). The next
reference to it that I have been able to find is its inclusion as No. XII in a
list of thirty-nine "Medals of Franklin," in an article by this title in
Volume VII, "American Journal of Numismatics," January, 1873, by W. S.
Appleton. It is described as follows:
FRANKLIN; bust of Franklin, facing the left.] Rev.
MAC.’. FRANC.’. A FRANKLIN M DE LA L DES 9 SOEURS O.’. DE PARIS 5778. 5829
PINGRET F.; the masonic emblem of Jehovah in a triangle surrounded by rays,
with a serpent coiled in a circle, and around this a pair of compasses and a
square, entwined by olive branches; above, are seven stars; at the left, a
mallet, and at the right, a trowel. Bronze, size 26.
medal is also listed as No. LIX in William T. R. Marvin's The Medals of the
Masonic Fraternity Described and Illustrated (Boston, 1880). The statement is
made therein that the Provincial Grand Lodge at Rostock, Germany, has a
specimen of this medal in lead; also that "The obverse of this medal was muled
with another reverse, not Masonic, and published by Durand, 1819, in the
'Series Numismatica.' The die of the Masonic reverse cracked, and the Medal is
rare." This medal is XI in Appleton's list of Franklin medals.
goes on to say:
the abbreviation M, on this Medal, the Lodge is thought by some to have been
claimed the honor of having Franklin for its Master; but we know of no
authority for that supposition, and it is more probable that the letter is an
abbreviation for Member. He was a member of a Lodge in Philadelphia, when he
went abroad as Ambassador. Those interested in pursuing the subject further
will find a full statement of what is known in regard to it in the "American
Quarterly Review of Freemasonry," Vol. 1, page 217.
have seen, Franklin was Master in 1779 and 1780 of the Lodge of the Nine
Sisters of Paris, as shown through various sources, but most conveniently
through Louis Amiable's Une Loge MaVonnique d'Avant 1789: La R. L. Les Neuf
Soeurs (Paris, 1897). The account referred to by Marvin in Albert G. Mackey's
"American Quarterly Review," is an article by Rob Morris entitled "Two
Well-Known Masons," and treats of Washington and Franklin. It incidentally
gives an interesting account of Voltaire's initiation. Morris' article, let it
be said for our brethren in Germany who may chance upon this article, also
appeared in "Latomia" (Freimaurerische Vierteljahrschrift), Volume XVI, Part
I, page 20 (1859). Still further notes about the Franklin medal are to be
found in "Latomia," Volume XXV, pages 281-2.
in this last cited issue of "Latomia" that we find an interesting comment upon
the date "5829" which appears on the medal under discussion. Morand, in his
Catalog de livres manuscr. et imprim. sur la Fr. M. (Paris, 1856), page 22,
No. 367, gives the date as 1829, which when considering the cutter of the
dies, A. J. P. Pingret, who was born at Brussels in 1798, must be correct.
Another theory is that the medal is a reissue, otherwise, why would the
Masonic date 5829 appear upon the reverse of the medal? At least, such other
restrikes of various Masonic medals are known to exist.
Medaillenwerk, Band IV, of the Hamburgische Zirkel-Correspondenz (Hamburg,
1902) lists this medal as No. 470; it is from photogravure illustrations in
this volume that the present illustrations are taken. The notes call attention
to Merzdorf's error in attributing the date 1778 (5778) in the medal, and
state that this refers to the lodge, and not to the issue of the medal. It
should be said that the name of the die cutter, printed as "Firgret" in the
Hamburg publication, is incorrect; it should read "Pingret," as given in a
previous paragraph. A footnote to Vol. IV states that the orthography is
subject to probable corrections owing to existing uncertainty based upon
illegibility. The name has been verified by my personal examination of the
medal itself, of which the Iowa Masonic Library has a specimen, obtained with
the Bower Collection in 1882. Bro. Bower paid $6.02 for it at the sale of the
Marvin Collection in New York, June 21, 1881.
obverse of the medal described also appeared on one described as No. XI in
Appleton's list, previously cited. It is not Masonic, but is described as
BENJAMINUS FRANKLIN; bust of Franklin, facing the left. Rev. NATUS AN.
M.DCC.VI. BOSTONIAE IN AMERICA FOEDERATA OBIIT AN. M.DCC.XC. SERIES
NUMISMATICA UNIVERSALIS VIRORUM ILLUSTRIUM M.DCCC.XIX. DURAND EDITIT. Bronze,
SILVER MEDAL OF 1783
describes this medal as follows:
Obverse, Bust of Franklin, facing the left. (This medal is IV in Appleton's
List of Franklin Medals. See Journal of Numismatics, Vol. VIL, p. 49.) Below
in small letters, BERNIER. Legend, BENJ. FRANKLIN MINIST, PLENT. DES ETATS
UNIS DE L'AMERIQ. SEPT. MDCCLXXXIII. Reverse, On a rocky hill a circular
temple, within and near which are Nine Muses at work. At the right, F. B.
Legend, DE LEURS TRAVAUX NAITRA LEUR GLOIRE. [From their labor springs their
glory.) In exergue, DES NEUF SOEURS. Silver and bronze. Size 19. This Medal is
specimen is in the Library of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia.
not been able to find any illuminating references to this medal, but it is my
conjecture that it was struck about the time of the treaty of peace between
England and the Colonies, signed at Paris, Sept. 3, 1783. Franklin was one of
the signers. A medal commemorating the signing of the treaty was sold at
auction in New York, Oct. 13, 1884, and from a reproduction of it in the
Bangs' catalog of that date, it is apparent that Franklin is depicted thereon
with three other men.
illustration of the reverse of the Franklin medal issued by the Lodge of the
Nine Sisters, also appears on page 155 of the Amiable book cited. The obverse
depicts Nicolas-Christien de Thy, Count de Milly, who succeeded La Salle as
Master of the Lodge in 1783. De Milly died September, 1784.
Benjamin Franklin as a Freemanson, by Julius Friedrich Sachse, Litt. D.,
Librarian of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, 1906, page 107).
date of Voltaire's initiation is erroneously given in many instances as Feb.
7, 1778. This is due to a misinterpretation of the words "second month of the
year 1778." The Masonic year, in this particular instance, began March first,
not January first; consequently the second month was April of the vulgar
computation. My authority for this is Amiable (op. cit. p. 64), who says, in
speaking of a date: "The original should have said the second month, and not
the fourth, since the Masonic year begins March 1, conforming to a very
Compasses; Singular or Plural?
BRO. R. J. MEEKREN
THE question whether the mathematical instrument should be called "Compass" or
"Compasses" when referred to in the Masonic ritual, is one that rises
sporadically in the American Craft; usually to be answered "yea" or "nay" by
some severe ritualist with all the finality of a pontiff speaking en cathedra.
The question seems trivial to many of us, and it may be considered a waste of
time and space to discuss it. Yet when a triviality is thrust upon us by some
authority saying thus it is or is not, as the case may be even the most long
suffering may be stirred up to rebel, and to refuse the burden of the yoke our
own "doctors of the law" would fasten upon our necks.
bottom, it would appear, this question of whether an unaccented duplicate
sibillant syllable should or should not be pronounced rests upon the
widespread belief that there is, or was, or at least ought to be, an absolute
authentic and correct ritual, complete and unalterable in every word, period,
semi-colon and comma. There certainly has never been such a thing, and it is
impossible to believe that there ever will be.
his article in the January number of THE BUILDER, Bro. Pfrimmer exhaustively
and overwhelmingly demonstrated that the general usage of the English speaking
world at large, and of the Anglo-Saxon Masonic world in particular, is to say
"Compasses." But it is not at all likely that a mere counting of noses will
convince those who abide by "Compass." Nor can we condemn them for this. They
may be, like Athanasius contra mundum, in the right after all, and the
majority wrong. The question cannot be wholly determined by popular vote. It
has been said, slightingly, of the great Arian controversy in the early Church
that it was merely a question of a single iota, the letter "i." It is true
that the words homoousios and homoiousios are very like each other in form,
and differ only by one letter, yet there is a very real difference in meaning,
the difference between same and similar, between identity and likeness. In our
own hairsplitting contest however there is no difference of meaning, we are
all in perfect agreement about the thing referred to, the question is purely
grammatical. And the real question would seem to be is anyone in the wrong?
Excepting, perhaps, those who insist that others are.
Bro. Pfrimmer has given us the facts concerning present day usages. The
Committee on Ritual of the Grand Lodge of Montana, to whose report on the
question, Bro. Pfrimmer refers, based their conclusion on a survey of the
historical evidence. In this the present writer agrees with the committee. The
Masonic ritual contains many archaic expressions and obsolete verbal forms,
and we may well object to needless emendations made with the idea of
"correcting" the ritual. The committee says:
the final analysis, this Grand Lodge is not called upon to consider the
literary usage of the word. It is interested chiefly in Masonie usage. Our
ritual teems with words and expressions that have long since passed out of
every day speech.
With this every brother who has any feeling at all for the antiquity of the
institution will agree. It would be well if those authorities who have changed
"heal" into "hail" and have invented some modern phrase or other to take the
place of the perfectly correct (if obsolete) phrase, "an oblong square," will
take good heed to this and govern themselves accordingly.
must be said to begin with, that an absolutely exhaustive examination of all
Masonic references to the mathematical instrument the designation of which is
in question would be a task presenting very great difficulties, and no matter
how much time was spent upon it there would still remain uncertainty whether
every reference had been noticed. The following series of quotations is to be
taken as representative only, and not as a complete list. The earliest
reference of a Masonic character that I have been able to find is the well
known inscription at Melrose Abbey, which may be dated approximately about the
end of the 15th century. There are a number of different versions of it
current, due presumably to parts of it being defaced; the following is perhaps
the most correct:
Sa: gays: ye compas
evyn aboute truith & laute do: but: doute
halde: to: ye: hende qo
which may be modernized as
goes the compass even about
Truth and loyalty do but doubt
Behold to the end quoth John Morvo.
Curiously enough the old MS. Constitutions have no references to any
implements but the "mould square" and rule. The only exceptions so far as I
can recall are the Dumfries-Kilwinning MS., No. 4, mentioned below, and the
Melrose MS., No. 2, of date 1674, which forbids letting "loses" ("cowans" or
"rough layers") know
.... ye privilege of ye compass, Square, levell and ye plum rule.
that group of documents of uncertain origin and date, which contains
catechisms, or lists of questions and answers, there are also some pertinent
references. The Mason's Examination, published in the Flying Post, 1723, tells
us that a lodge is composed of
Master, two Wardens, four Fellows, five Apprentices with Square, Compass and
The Mystery of Freemasons of 1730 repeats the last part of this verbatim. The
Chetwode Crawled MS. has the phrase.
..... by the Square Compass and Common Judge.
The Dumfries Kilwinning MS. No. 4, of about 1730 1740, has three references.
The first part of the MS. contains a version of the Old Charges and in the
legendary history it gives the curious detail that Prince Edwin endowed the
. . wt squares of go!d and compasses of silver tipt wt gold & perpedieular
plums to be pure gold yr trowals of silver wt all yr other instruments conform
The charges in this MS. are followed by a catechism and in this we are
informed of three pillars in the lodge which are
. . ye square, the compas & ye bible.
Later on we learn that the master is known by his "habit" of clothing which is
. . yellow and blew meaning the compass we is brass & Iron.....
Although perhaps not directly relevant to the question, the curious sheet of
memoranda headed Institution of Wrightship which was discovered with the MS.
catechism entitled the Institution of Freemasons may be mentioned. The Wrights
were a Scottish institution and had a fraternal organization remarkably like
that of the Masons. They included all the crafts connected with building other
than Masons. This MS. has the following cryptic item:
Practical or Government
Rule, Sqre, and compasses or
Sqre, Plumb and Rul etc.
the records of old Scottish lodges we find two entries of interest in the
present connection. In the minutes of the Lodge of Dunblane of 1720 and later
we are told that certain brothers were made fellows of the Craft and
. . passed from the squair to the Compass.
The phrase seems to have been used fairly regularly for a few years and then
dropped. (1) The other is from an inventory of the property of the Lodge of
Peebles in 1727 which included
.... square, tow and compass (2)
now come to those printed works that purported to give the Masonic ritual of
the time. Just what value they have in this connection is doubtful, but for
completeness sake some of them may be quoted. The earliest is Prichard's
Masonry Dissected, first published in 1730. The following are the references
A. Q. 23 . . . the compass extended to .
38 Bible, compass and square.
39 Bible to God, Compass to the Master . . .
71 In a yellow jacket and blue pair of breeches. N. B. The yellow jacket is
the compasses, and the blue breeches the steel points.
M. A. 5 From the square to the compass.
later editions of this work a long list of toasts was added among which appear
the two following:
all that live within Compass and Square.
May every brother learn to live within the Compasses and watch upon the
1753 the Mason's Confession appeared in the Scots Magazine. This is a confused
account of the usages of operative Masons in Scotland in the first part of the
18th century. In describing the form of taking the oath the "confessor" says
"he is made to kneel," a posture that he had come to regard as popish,
idolatrous and sinful, and that "the open compasses" were pointing to his
breast. There is one other reference which occurs in some questions and
answers later on.
What's a Mason's livery?
yellow cap and blue breeches (meaning the compasses).
1760 appeared The Three Distinct Knocks, an anonymous work purporting to give
the catechisms of the "Ancients." In 1762 another work, called Jachin and
Boaz, was published which claimed to give the ritual of both the "Ancients"
and "Moderns." Both these works, as Masonry Dissected seem to have been very
popular as they were reprinted again and again. Jachin and Boaz was really
nothing more than a reproduction of the catechisms in The Three Distinct
Knocks, with a description of the ceremonies of the "Moderns" prefixed to it.
In this there are ten references to the instrument in question. The first is
in a "Description of the Regalia" that follows an "Advertisement." It is
really an explanation of the frontispiece, an emblematic Masonic design. We
find the following:
The compass and square, to square our actions . . .
The plumb level. compass and plumb rule . . .
Then comes an account of the arrangement of a lodge and its officers
....to the Master's ribbon hangs a rule and compass . .
. . the other officers carry the compass alone; also that
. . the grand officers' aprons . . . carry the rule and compass. the emblems
of the order, and finally that the Bible is opened before the Master
. . with the compasses laid thereon, and the points of then covered with a . .
diagram is given representing the lodge and in thee explanation appears
Past-Master, with the sun and compasses, and a string o cords.
the account of the ceremony we are told, first that upon a stool
. . are placed the rule and compass:
and then that the candidate holds
. . a pair of compasses
regard to which we are told in a note that the "Ancients"
. . used a sword or spear, instead of a compass.
After this comes the Catechisms from The Three Distinct Knocks. In these are
three references only, as follows:
A. Bible, Square and Compass. ... the Compass to keep us within bounds with a
C. ... supported by the points of the compasses, forming a square . . .
M.... both points of a pair of compasses ...
And then in an appended account of the installation of officers there is the
following description of their jewels:
The Master . . . has the rule and compass, and square hanging to a ribbon
round his neck . . .
The Senior and Junior Deacons have each . . . the compass hanging round their
The Past Master has the compasses and sun, with a line of cords about his
These three works were all reprinted dozens of times. There were others of a
similar character but as copies have not been at hand they may be allowed to
pass, and we can go on to consider some books that have a real claim to
authority. The first is William Preston. We find, in his Illustrations of
Masonry, the form compasses three times, one in the Installation Ceremony,
where we are told that
. . the Sacred Law, with the square and compasses, the constitutions, the
minute book, the rule and line . . .
and the rest of the working tools are "separately presented to him." The other
two references are each in an order for processions, one for laying a
foundation stone, the other for dedicating a lodge. In almost identical phrase
we are told of the
Bible, Square, and Compasses on a crimson velvet cushion.
Preston's great antagonist Laurence Dermott chose the other form of the word.
one mention only has been discoverable, and that is in the clever skit on the
"Moderns" in Ahiman Rezon that he for some reason or other chose to call a "Philacteria."
In this he says:
. . some of the young brethren made it appear that a good knife and fork in
the hands of a dexterous brother, over proper materials would give greater
satisfaction, and add more to the rotundity of the Lodge, than the best scale
and compass in Europe.
Coming to America we find that Thomas Smith Webb in his Freemason's Monitor
consistently used the same form as Dermott, Compass, while Jeremy Cross,
Webb's pupil, in his Masonic Chart as consistently says Compasses.
There is one more work to be examined, and it is rather illuminating. This is
Browne's Master Key, a ritual in cipher published in 1802. In it we find the
following references. The figures refer to the number of the question and
A. 95 . . . a pair of compasses extended . . .
Why were the compasses extended . . . As the compasses were then . .
160 The bible compass and square . . .
161..... so is the compass and square when united. . . .
162..... the compasses to the Grand Master in particular
164 Why the compasses to the Grand Master . . . The compasses being the chief
instrument . . .
the answer to question 183 we find compasses twice, and in that to 217, the
singular form, compass, appears, as it also does in the M. M. 26. It is quite
possible that there are other references that have been overlooked, for it is
exceedingly easy to miss them. But certainly enough have been adduced to show
quite conclusively that Browne had not the faintest idea that one form was
right and the other wrong. And this is the impression produced by the whole
collection of references that have been here given. The shorter or singular
form of the word would seem to have been the favorite, but from the time the
Masonic Institution emerges into the light of historical record the plural
form has also been used apparently quite indifferently and with no sense that
it was incorrect.
would be possible to let the case rest at this point, and claim Masonic
freedom to use either form of the word at will by virtue of ancient and well
founded tradition. But it may be possible by going a little further to reach a
positive conclusion in the matter. Bro. Pfrimmer consulted most of the
standard dictionaries, which of course all say, what everyone knows, that it
is correct to say "Compasses" in ordinary speech. This does not, however,
touch the position of those who claim that "Compass" is the correct Masonic
usage. The editors of Webster's Dictionary seem to have a sneaking wish to
assert that common usage is wrong in this case. This attitude is more than
balanced by that of the New English Dictionary, whose editors consistently use
the common plural form in every reference they themselves make to the
mathematical instrument. Under the head of "Compass" there are five long
columns of close print in small type. The derivation of the word is first
discussed. Its origin is not certain, but is supposed to be from the Latin
cum, with, and passes, a stride or step. The prefix however may be only an
intensive and not the preposition. The root meaning seems to be that of
measurement, and if so, the instrument got its name from its use as a
measuring appliance. The Latin name for it, however, is not compassus, but
After this the different meanings of the word are taken in order under
numbered sub-heads. Thus I. Measure, proportion, regularity, etc. II.
Artifice, skillful device, etc. III. Mathematical Instrument. Under this
appear a long list of compounds, bow-, beam-, calliper-, hair-,
elliptic-compasses and the like. The instrument is then described, and it is
said that with this designation the word is "now general in the plural." No
preference is expressed for either form, though as has been noted the editors
consistently use the plural themselves.
There then follows a long list of quotations, the use of the singular form,
then of the plural and last of the phrase "a pair of compasses." The earliest
appearance of the word is in a MS. of date 1340:
tour faire of yuory . . . craftely casten with a compas.
The last quotation given with the singular form is from Emerson's Essays:
Defined by compass and measuring wand.
The first quotation with the plural form is from Eden, 1555;
took oure compases and began to measure the sea coastes.
The earliest use of the compound phrase is singular in more than one sense, it
is of date 1556.
Have a payre of compasse aptelye made for to draw the circles.
Now the brethren who argue this question seem generally to have forgotten that
it is not an isolated phenomenon in our language. There is no need to look for
such reasons as that suggested in the Montana report that the plural form of
compass came into use to distinguish the instrument from the mariner's
compass, when that became generally known in Western Europe, for there is a
small but well defined group of words which are also generally, or invariably,
used in the plural, while the object denoted is singular. These things can all
be preceded by the phrase "a pair of," such as pincers, tongs, scissors,
trousers, breeches, corsets and the like. Some of these words are very old,
others are of more recent origin. The older ones were originally used in the
singular form, the modern importations, such as pantaloons and trousers for
example, have taken the plural from the first, apparently to conform with the
One characteristic is common to the things designated by this group of names,
they consist of two parts identical or very similar in shape. An examination
of the history of some of these terms may afford some further light on our own
problem. It may be noted that this "pair of" business is especially an idiom
of the English language, though not entirely unknown in others. As for example
in French, Ciseaux, scissors, is a plural form, of which the singular means a
chisel. According to the dictionaries, ciseaux may be preceded by One paire
de, a pair of, though it is seldom met with in actual use. But other words,
which in English are plural, are always singular in French, as pantalon,
calecon, corset. Compas is also always singular. Why the English language
should have come to dwell on the duality of such objects is rather mysterious,
but the fact is patent, and its final development lay in the transition period
between Middle and Tudor English though it began a good deal earlier. We have
seen that the first appearance of the plural form "Compasses" was in the
sixteenth century. Let us now look at the history of some of the other words
of the same kind.
Both alphabetically and in point of time, bellows is one of the first. It goes
back to earliest Teutonic times. In Old English it was Blaest-bel, which is to
say "blastbag." In the eleventh century it was belg or bylg the last letter
not being our present "g" exactly, for it changed into beli and bely. Chaucer
about 1390 used it in both singular and plural. After 1400 it became belies
and bellis, and in 1500 belwes, belows. Some people still say "a pair of
bellows," and according to our usage it is not inappropriate for the fireside
Among the B's we find also breeches. This is another ancient Teutonic word,
bred brace, in Old English, in old Norse brok and braekr. In 1100 it is still
brek, Wicklif used breche in 1380, and Caxton as late as 1480 has breche. But
breches appeared as early as 1205, and Wicklif also had the plural brechis,
while in 1500 it had become breechys.
Corset is a much older word than might have been supposed. It is still
singular in 1299, but this perhaps is not so strange as it was equivalent to
corslet. In 1387 Trevisa has corsetts, Caxton has corsettys, although the
singular form, corset, continued to be used, like compass, right down to the
present time. Now, owing to the influence of Paris on the nomenclature of
feminine garments, it bids fair to supersede the plural form altogether.
Callipers need not be more than touched upon. Originally a distinguishing
epithet for a special kind of compass, they have become quite independent in
the speech of the men who use them. In 1588 we have calleper compasses, in
1627 we are told that "Compasse callipers" are "like a paire of compasses."
The bow-compasses of the draughtsman may be spoken of shortly as "bows." which
is a parallel development, though it has not got beyond the drawing office,
and is hardly an established usage.
Two more words only will we consider, both interesting as having taken the
plural form very early, and that the corresponding words are used in the
plural in some other languages. The first is the ill-omened gallows. In Old
English it is galga and galgan, singular and plural respectively. In middle
English the plural form prevailed and the singular became unusual; in the
thirteenth century it was galwes, Caxton has "gallows" and "a pair of
gallows," the latter form of course referring to the two upright posts.
Coverdale, in 1535, goes back to the singular form, "make a gallow of fiftye
cubites." Shakespeare has "gallowes," but Robertson in 1693 again goes back to
gallow. The German form of the word, der Galgen, is plural, the French gibet
is however singular.
The last word is tongs. This in German is die Zanye, a plural form, and in
French, les pinces, or tenailles, both also plural. The Old English is tang.
We have tong in 725, tang in 1000, tonge in 1250. Wicklif has toenge, but the
Venerable Bede, as far back as 800, has tangan, a plural form, and the Durham
roles, contemporary with Wicklif have
par de Tangs
and later we have 1412, tangos; 1500, taingis; 1660, tongues, and so late as
will be noticed that with the older words of this group the change in usage
from singular to plural comes roughly between the thirteenth and fifteenth
centuries, some earlier and some later. We cannot be certain that the records
always give us even the approximate date of the change, but it is probable
that they do so closer in respect to the words of every day use as tongs and
breeches for example, while on the other hand a specialized instrument like
the compasses would be less frequently mentioned. It may be noticed also that
"tongs" which appears to be perhaps the earliest to take the plural is also
found to take the plural in other languages also, or at least in French and
German. Words of this dual nature that were adopted after the period of
transition took the plural form from the first, of which pantaloons, and its
colloquial abbreviation pants, may be taken as an example.
There is nothing unusual in the use of two words, or two forms of a word, for
the same thing. It is a phenomenon of all languages. At the same time there is
usually some reason for the use of one form rather than another, though not at
all necessarily the same reason in every case. It may be no more than euphony
or economy of effort, or it may be to denote a distinction or contrast of
meaning or for the sake of variety. English is a strongly accented and highly
rhythmical language. Those to whom it is their mother tongue seldom realize
the fact unless they have given special attention to the subject, but it is
so. We all alter the length of the vowels and slide over unstressed syllables
according to the context in which words and phrases are put. We do it
instinctively and unconsciously. When a foreigner, or a child learning to
read, is told the pronunciation of the common demonstrative "the," with a long
vowel, and proceeds to use it thus in a sentence it sounds very funny. All of
our common words have many slightly different pronunciations according to
their place in the sentence, and this quite aside from the elisions, allowable
some, and others merely slovenly, that are in constant use. For example, the
comic pages of our newspapers make out that the average American says "lotta"
instead of "lot of." There is no doubt "lotta" is easier to say; one has only
to try it to see. It is good usage to say I'll for I will; don't for do not,
even shan't for shall not. But there are countless other incipient elisions
that we all make on occasion that are never represented in spelling. It would
be an endless and hopeless task to try to do so. If now we go to the passages
quoted earlier in which the compasses are mentioned in one or other form, it
will be found at least by those with an ear for rhythm and accent that to use
the other form in that place is often not so euphonious, would take a little
more effort to say or would not run so smoothly. In some cases this is not
apparent possibly the whole context might make a difference in these but there
are some definite enough to illustrate the point. "Square and Compass," or
"Bible, Compass and Square" are smoother and easier than the plural. But not
in "The Holy Bible, Square and Compasses." Here the rhythm demands the last
syllable. Browne's "Why were the compasses extended?" is smoother than the
singular form would be, though "The Compass extended" is better standing by
itself. It all depends on the rest of the context and where the stresses come.
Now the Masonic ritual in America, in spite of the revising, improving and
general tinkering it has undergone for a hundred years past at the hands of
committees and custodians of the work, Grand Lecturers, and like authorities,
is still in great part an oral tradition, or at least took its form as an oral
tradition. And it is precisely in oral transmission that this instinct for
quantity and accent will have most effect. Much of our ritual is of the nature
of free verse, it has an unmistakable swing and rhythm. The newer portions,
composed on paper, have not got this rhythm at all, and sound heavy and dull
by comparison. The suggestion that finally arises from all this is that when
we say "compass" (as most of us do on occasion) we are not using the singular
form of the word at all but an elided plural, and that if we spelled it with
accuracy we should write compass'.
Whatever may be thought of this suggestion, and it is nothing more, it does
seem that we are justified in drawing the conclusion that both forms of the
word have been used by Masons for the last two hundred years and more, and
that we may all continue to use both according to our own feeling for euphony
without shame or fear, as in all probability most of us have been doing
without realizing it.
(1) History of the Lodge of Edinburgh, Murray Lyon, page 416.
(2) 0p. cit., page 77.
Mission in Syria
BRO. JOHN W. SHUMAN, California
WESTERN Christian Missionary work has been going on out there in the land of
the Bible for over a century and although the educative features have been
working only for about fifty years, it is only in recent years that big
strides have taken place along this line. The pleasant and wholesome memories
of service as a physician with the troops in the American Expeditionary Forces
were still so fresh in mind that "the call" to Syria was happily and
wholeheartedly received. It seemed a grand and glorious opportunity to do more
good in medical work, for a greater number of needy people.
The call to serve mankind has always found willing listeners those willing to
hear, keen ts act and sticklers for performing the same "for the good of the
service." For this reason there are many preachers, teachers, doctors and
free-givers of the wherewithal (cash) in the service of Missionarying. It is
correctly estimated that "Missionary work is the most worthy of causes here on
earth." However, there are several types of Missionaries. Some are quite
sincere; some are only superficial; whilst others are "gold diggers." The
latter two classes cast discredit upon any service.
There are few venturesome souls who have not at some time been called crazy,
foolish, and other harsh words. When folks, friends and relatives (especially
the latter) were informed that we were "turning Missionaries" they objected
with spoken and written words of advice, scorn, and criticism few praised the
decision. Many of those offering discouragement didn't even know where Syria
was; some spelled it Assyria, others spoke of cannibals, heathens and pagans
as native residents of Asia Minor; some even wrote letters of reference for us
to carry to their "powerful and influential" friends at Moscow and Hong Kong,
in case we got into serious trouble. All of which goes to show that our
education is too often woefully "short" concerning the other fellow's country,
also concerning his religion and his customs.
Syrians and Missionaries were seen and studied from the time we stepped on
board the S. S. Bragga until we stepped off the Madona a year later; for on
the Bragga there were old and new workers en route to their respective
stations in Syria, Palestine, Turkey, Persia and Cypress. Missionaries were
not exactly strangers to us, but we had never witnessed them in action on
their own stamping ground; we had heard their talks and read their letters,
concerning "the handicaps, drawbacks, need of clothes, food, money, etc.,
etc.," to the home-folks. But here began opportunities to see to the bottom
of things, to see below the superficial. The reader must already realize that
it is impossible for anyone to see Syria without seeing the Missionaries,
for they are an important part of the population of that country.
AMERICAN SYRIANS AND SYRIAN AMERICANS
the same boat there were many Syrians (Moslems, Druz, Jews and Christians)
going back for either a visit, a wife, or on other business. One Syrian Durzi,
who had been an American property owner for twentyfive years, he owned
practically the entire Virginian town in which he lived, had made the trip
back to Syria six times, for his wife and five children had never been to
America. From the start our little group mingled with all firstclass
passengers and some of the others playing games, singing and talking as most
healthy sea-voyaging people do. The Missionaries stayed on the upper deck
aloof, stiff, and reserved. This segregation of themselves was just a
repetition of the old mistake of sectarianism and congregationalism.
The first Saturday night on the boat the Bulletin Board carried nothing
referable to the morrow; this seemed odd, for there were three full-fledged
Christian Protestant Missionary ministers aboard. With the consent of the
captain, who was delighted, "Sunday services at 9 a. m. in the dining room
collection for the French seamen's widows and orphans" was billed. A quartet
was rounded up and one parson was persuaded to "work." The church was crowded
and the captain's and purser's caps were filled with shekels. The ice was
broken and the services on the next three Sundays were well worth while.
THE PORT OF JOPPA
saw the Orient for the first time when the anchor was dropped, on a Saturday,
at Jaffa (Joppa), the old Phoenician city which is now a part of Palestine,
ruled by Great Britain. There is no harbor there, so the Oriental boatmen came
out to sea to take off the cargo. There was a wind and the sea was choppy.
Their style of boat has not changed much since Jonah's accident with the whale
in that same end of the Mediterranean Sea. The boats were and oar and
sail-propelled and manned for the most part by Mohammedans. The wind blew hard
and threatened to blow off their scant clothing, viz., white banded caps (fezes)
and knee-length shirts; a few of the boatmen, evidently chiefs, wore the baggy
trousers, such as you see on our Shriners during parades, only not nearly so
clean; all were barefooted. Some passengers amused themselves by tossing coins
into the sea and watching the boy divers recover them. English pennies were in
demand but a United States quarter of a dollar was discarded, after it
scrutinized and bitten, as being "counterfeit," fort it was explained, "The
bank would not pay on it." It was different with a silver dollar, it seems to
be well-known in Asia Minor.
reference to the baggy trousers, they don't quite reach to the ankle; the
crotch extends to below the knees; the upper legs and girth have yards of
material; a draw-string pulls them together and holds them up when properly
tied; a wide and many colored sash, for a belt, hides the knots, loose ends,
wrinkles, etc.; then there is an immense pocket at each side of size
sufficient to carry a big family wash in. The reason I know so much about
these garments is because I borrowed a pair from a servant of the Yankee
Consul to wear at a masquerade one night a few months later; during that party
someone asked me the question "Doctor, why are the Moslem's trousers so
large?" All my guesses did not come close, for the answer was, "There is a
belief that when Mohammed comes the second time he is to be born of man, hence
While the men were taking off cargo that day a boxed-up touring car slid into
the sea and sank; but on Sunday, the day following, naked divers with ropes
and an old hand windlass reclaimed it from its watery grave, in plain sight of
all. As they yanked in union they shouted in tune, "Y Allah ! Y Allah !" ("Oh,
God!" so the Missionaries said, but the Syrians "It is the same as 'Heavho!'
or 'Come on!'")
Sunday night sailing slowly, because we were not to arrive before daylight, up
along the coast the lights from light-houses were plainly visible; especially
was this true of that on Carmel; that historic mountain where Elijah, to the
disgust of King Ahab, showed up his, and Baal's, false prophets. After Mount
Carmel came Tyre and Sidon and after them Beirut, the capital of Syria. The
morning was clear, and the lofty Lebanon Mountains, where Solomon got the
cedars from King Hiram to build the first Temple, dominated the landscape. To
the new-comers it was a never-to-be forgotten sight that beautiful panorama
was indescribable no one can blame Missionaries for enjoying life there. There
were no docks or big-ship-wharfs there so the anchor was dropped and boatmen
came to the ship's "side stair," or ladder, and there took off the passengers
and their possessions.
ARRIVAL AT BEIRUT
Meeting the newcomers is quite a jolly occasion everywhere; it seemed to be an
especially joyous affair in Beirut that morning, judging by the number of
representatives from the mission fields, Near East Relief Organization,
mercantile game and populace who were on hand to welcome those from "the home
landed bag and baggage, a little wet on account of being splashed by
struggling boatmen. The boatmen, like cab drivers, were out for "fares," and
like taxi drivers they worked by "fare and foul" means. The boatman sent out
for us didn't get us but another one did. The story came out later that he had
"listenedin" when the boatman who was to get us received our description.
That's an example of how cute and industrious the native is he is not at all
dumb. When he had landed us and got our luggage and group into cabs (arabias)
and was asked "How much?" his answer, then new to me but later I found quite
characteristic, was, "Whatever you think, Effendi." The amount offered was
less than half he then demanded, stating that he had broken his back lifting
and carrying one of our wardrobe trunks. Finally the matter was left to a
third party, the treasurer of the A.U.B., who, by the way, was paying all
expenses. He simply told the man, "Here is your fee." He took what he gave
him, salaamed, thanked him profusely and departed. It was our first lesson in
economics in Syria.
That night we slept under bed-mosquito netting, in one of the A.U.B. college
dormitories, for the first time in our lives; but gladly missed the rocking of
the boat! Without the netting mosquitoes and sand flies would literally have
eaten us up. As it was our hands were badly bitten, because we were careless
with them, letting them lie against the net so that all the insects had to do
was to stick their suckers through and take their fill they sure did like
foreign blood by the way they went to it!
HOUSE AND HOME IN SYRIA
The house assigned us by the University was the twenty-four-room house in
which Dr. H. Graham had lived and held his medical office for many years. The
"tram" station, just in front of the door, was called "Graham." The house
faced the beautiful blue Mediterranean Sea. It was difficult to keep our
children seated at the table during meal times for the dining room overlooked
the street and the sea and if they weren't stretching their necks to see a
camel-train go by on the street it was, O looky, there comes a French
battleship!" Syria, since the World War, is mandated by France.
The door-bell, like all the rest of its kind in Syria, was rung by a long wire
or rope with handle hanging down alongside the door the bell jingle-jangling
away off somewhere in the middle or back part of the house, and the door was
opened from upstairs by a rope or wire.
The largest room of the house was sixty by twenty-five feet, which made a nice
place for the children to play and their elders to dance in. Am not sure that
it was ever used for the latter prior to our occupancy, but all of Madam's
parties were well attended by the community. Some came, "only to look on," but
they could not keep their feet quiet when the music got under way.
had arrived in Beirut at the tail end of "the five dry summer months," during
which time not a drop of rain falls and at the time when insect life is most
abundant, especially fleas, moths and mosquitoes; the latter hatch out in the
garden pools (Berikehs) used for irrigation, in the damp soil, and the pools
by the sea. They attack night and day and all the year necessitating the
mosquito netting for beds:
Madam called our house "the Ark" for, she said, "it contained a pair of nearly
every creature that Noah took aboard his ship, viz., fleas, mice, mosquitoes,
rats, flies, moths, bugs, cockroaches (some two inches long; we caught them
in mouse traps!), cats (not pets), scorpions, lizards, dogs, centipedes,
spiders (as big as mice), and other animals too numerous to mention."
The first morning she would not leave her bed until two ten-inch lizards had
been chased from under her bed; and just when they had climbed well up on the
wall where they would be good insect catchers (no one should kill these
friendly reptiles) Grandma screamed for "Help !" and was found standing guard,
just in front of her chamber door, over a six inch centipede, which became a
total wreck after a number twelve shoe was Stamped on it. We never put on our
shoes thereafter without first examining their interiors for spiders or
The cleaning, unpacking, buying additional furniture, employing and breaking
in servants, etc., were all problems mostly for the wife. And servants should
be trained; for example, when she found the "Femme de chambre" using the
dishrag to wash the bedroom crockery, she made her stop it. When a U. S. lady
first goes out there the native ways are not to her liking, so she goes at
things "lickety-split" to make them American-like; which is quite right, for
if sanitation was 100 per cent in Syria there would be far less sickness with
its complicants and end results.
THE ORIENTAL SERVANT
The servant problem is not any nearer solution in Syria than in any other
land; although the wages are not so much, the upkeep bill is; for one thing
each servant has many cousins who visit and must be fed. Dicron, an Armenian
lad, whose father (a Christian minister) and mother were killed in Turkey, was
Madam's house boy; he did all her marketing, interpreting and errands.
Dicron was Armenian it was quite natural that all the other servants were
Armenians. We tried to have a Syrian table-maid, and did have one for two
weeks, but the Armenian odds were against her so she resigned. But not until
she taught us a few of the Arabic names for the table utensils and most of the
foods. We enjoyed many of the native dishes but the cook's attempt at pie
brought peals of laughter from the whole family and made for indigestion. The
crust was almost an inch thick and mighty tough.
Our house had one of the few "modern" bathrooms; few people had American tubs;
almost all baths were wash tubs. Ours consisted of a tub and a large copper
kettle, like the ones in which our grandmothers used to make plum jam and
apple butter, set so that half was in the bathroom and the other half in the
kitchen. One Saturday afternoon the cook made a fire under said kettle,
heating the water to desired hotness. Then, through a faucet, it was run into
the bath tub. The maid and cook washed our two lads the first Saturday their
mother not knowing anything about it until afterwards but never again! Those
young men had "Never suffered such indecencies as a stranger giving us baths,"
and "If we got to stand for such stuff we are going home."
Charcoal was the fuel for cooking and is toted from door to door by the
charcoal peddler on his little ass, or wee donkey, some of them not much
larger than a St. Bernard dog.
Among the servants was the laundress, the cook's mother, who came on Mondays
and got through on Tuesdays maybe. She sat on the floor of the wash house with
a high copper tub three feet across by ten inches deep in front of her. The
water was heated in another big kettle over a wood fire, the clothes were
wrung by hand. The natives did most of their own washings in the sea, also
their bathing. After our wash-lady had finished, she heated up the bath tub
water and "cleaned up." The native irons for ironing clothes have a lid which
can be lifted and the hollow part filled with red hot charcoal, which will
retain heat for hours. They preferred these to the electric irons which Madam
took to Syria.
THE FAUNA OF THE COUNTRY
the rear of the house was a big garden in which there were beautiful flowers
and delicious fruit. There was also a spacious yard for hanging out the wash,
and for the kids' baseball games, also a chicken-run at the back. Chickens
recall the fact that Madam and her servants did not do well with them. When
visiting the Druz they gave us a dozen hens and roosters Dicron brought her
some more, and she went into the business as they do in Southern California
and was just as fortunate. She got excitement, but was out money and chickens.
Possibly it was the "pip" that carried them off, if that's the disease that
"takes them during the night and leaves no dead chickens behind."
to other live stock, the two rabbits died. They were gifts from the cook's
brother, a junior medical student wanting, quite naturally, to get on the
good side of the doctor. The mother rabbit died in child-birth, the father
presumably from a broken heart. Jeanne's dog "passed on" one night in spasms
due to too much strychnine in his meat diet. It came in over the garden wall
he was a noisy pup at night. A cat enveloped Grandma's canary, a gift from my
The blood-sucking bugs, however, thrived well. They seemed to prefer foreign (Frangi)
blood rather than the home brew; and whoever says bugs don't have
individuality doesn't know what he is talking about, for in the matter of
appetite fleas and bedbugs rush madly from me to my wife and literally chew
her up, whilst flies and mosquitoes don't care much for her, but dearly love
me; and she can pet spiders, while a poor picture of one looks real enough to
me; and if one toddles across the floor I can arise from chair to table
without being conscious of how I got there.
There was electricity only part of the time, so candles had to be kept on
hand. Street cars (trams) and automobiles were becoming numerous, but the
streets were so narrow that one could not break the speed limit without
"breaking a leg" or something else.
The ill smells, the dirt and filth in the cities and villages, which shock the
newcomer, are not noticed by the one who has become oriented. In America my
wife could never eat butter that was not fresh, but eight months after she was
in Syria she smacked her lips after taking a bite of butter that was so strong
it could have thrown strangler Lewis. Today, looking back, she says, "I sort
of miss the Syrian smells."
Missionary of North Syria just wrote, "There have been changes here in the
past thirty years but the young ones don't see them, and it is impossible to
make radical changes, so we must go slow and gradually then we forget to keep
Hardships of life are soon forgotten and only the pleasant memories stick; so
it was in no time at all that we were relishing goat and garlic scented
Armenian-Arabic food, with some of the American kind mixed in; sleeping
scratchfully with ideas and other night biters; and talking Arabic with plenty
of American accent. As Syria is mandated by France everyone tries to speak
French, but Arabic is the language of the country. It should be remembered
that the teaching, in all departments, in the American University of Beirut is
THE STUDY OF LANGUAGES
tutor was furnished who taught me Arabic from six to seven p. m. each day,
with the result that in four months I could conduct a medical consultation
and write prescriptions in Arabic. Necessity forces one to do many things and
it is the first requisite in learning a language. Arabic is certainly
different from any language I ever attempted. It is full of strange gutturals,
has a novel syntax and there is a big difference between the written language
and the speech of ordinary conversation, the latter being the "Common," the
former the "High Arabic." One should speak the language of the country in
which he expects to live or carry on.
Few Americans speak Arabic really well. As stated, it is important to be well
acquainted with the native language, for example, the Arabic words for dog and
heart sound quite alike to the foreigner. An American Missionary praying in
Arabic, before a group made up for the most part of Moslems, prayed that "God
would turn the dogs (he meant hearts) of these folk to God." Dog is a favorite
term of the Moslems for the "unbeliever."
is said, "Exactness is not in the Syrian vocabulary." One evening while making
hospital ward rounds with Adjunct Professor Yennikomshion he promised to
remove the fluid from a man's chest "before the students the next morning."
Imagine my chagrin when the next day I found that he had withdrawn the fluid
"before the students had arrived." He had been speaking English for twelve
years but interpreted the remark to mean "before their arrival," instead of to
"demonstrate in front of the students."
The natives are worse than the Irish with the use of blarney. Several tried to
"kid me" into believing that I spoke Arabic very well after I had been there
but a month; which gives one an idea how easily one may be misled if he is
willing! The native is kind and politie some are to be admired; others well,
it is the same the world over.
During the first week there were quite a number of social functions for the
"new Professor," which taxed one's memory for faces and names, especially the
latter. For example, there were Faiz Abd-ul Malak and Yakub Abd-ul Masih, the
first two names on the senior class roll in medicine. The fact that the first
name meant "Slave of the King" and the other "Slave of Christ" helped to
differentiate a little, but it took usage to get correctness.
The social festivities were taken on by Madam, the one naturally best fitted
to handle them. She said, "You will need every ounce of steam to put over your
work," and I did. During the first week she had over one hundred callers; and
they are more jealous about visiting and returning calls over there in that
community life than on a United States Army Post. For a long time she was in
disgrace because she had failed to make a "call" on a certain lady upon her
(the lady's) regular receiving day. Madam had called on another day but that
did not count.
During our first week there the Missionaries of Beirut were returning to the
city from their summer mountain (Lebanon) homes, fifteen to twenty miles
distant. During the summer this is the practice, the college is closed so
there are no duties for the teachers. Many enjoy a jaunt to and through
Europe. The hospital is closed down, all but one pavilion, which liberates
four-fifths of the nurses and doctors to vacations. Sickness, however, takes
Report Presented to the Grand Lodge of New Mexico
President of the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association, I submit
herewith an account of our stewardship together with some observations upon
the history, development and the present status of Masonic tubercular relief
and the efforts to effect a national Masonic organization for the relief of
Masonic brethren and members of their families who are afflicted with
Mexico is one of the few states of the West and Southwest upon which is
imposed a great and increasing burden incident to the relief and care of
tuberculars, who come from every part of the United States seeking climatic
more than a generation, and in fact for over one hundred years, consumptives
have been migrating to the Southwest, seeking alleviation of their suffering
and a longer lease on life. Because of this migration there has developed one
of the greatest and most tragic problems of relief, calling for united and
concerted action, similar to that which was carried out for the relief of war
sufferers in Europe when all of America joined in contributing for the relief
of the homeless, sick and destitute.
realize the magnitude of the problem of relief for tuberculars sojourning in
the Southwest. Although the subject has been investigated by the United States
Public Health Service and the National Tuberculosis Association, and the
results of the surveys published by the Federal Government as "Public Health
Reports," nothing has been accomplished, and no concerted plan has been
adopted for the relief of these unfortunates.
SURVEYING THE CONDITIONS
1913 and 1914 the first survey of the Southwest was made by the Public Health
Service, as the result of an incomplete survey of the situation by the
"Southwestern Conference on Tuberculosis." It was estimated that there were
probably 30,000 consumptives in West Texas, 27,000 in New Mexico, and 20,000
in Southern California. No estimate was made for Arizona and Colorado. Shortly
before this, the National Tuberculosis Association officially stated:
probable that not less than 10 per cent of the people in this territory have
tuberculosis themselves, or have come to the West because some member of their
family has had it.
present population of the "Tuberculosis Triangle" is estimated to be three
million people, and if the aforesaid percentage applies today it enables us to
realize that the Southwest is called upon to solve a tremendous problem in the
care of those who are indigent.
Public Health Service Survey also revealed that migration was apparently
increasing at the time of the survey.
1920 the National Tuberculosis Association sent investigator to six cities of
the Southwest-Denver, Colorado Springs, Phoenix, Los Angeles, El Paso and San
Antonio. In these six cities it was found that within a period of one year
some assistance had been given, through some charitable agency, to 7,319
tubercular indigents. With those sick there were 9,315 others, members of
their families, who were also objects of charity, making a total of indigent,
or partial indigents, of 16,734, supported wholly or in part by public
charity. Included in the group there were 5,347, under sixteen years of age,
living under conditions most conductive to infection because of their tender
years, when danger of infection is greatest. That this danger is real is shown
by the fact that one-tenth of the sick were children under four years of age.
1920 there were 1,635 tubercular recipients of aid in the city of Denver, one
to every 156 inhabitants. A total of $129,000.00 was expended for relief,
equivalent to a per capita tax of over fifty cents on each inhabitant of the
that year, in Colorado Springs, there was one indigent tubercular to every 78
of the population, and the cost for their care represented a per capita tax of
Conditions were similar in the other cities mentioned, with Phoenix bearing
the heaviest burden, having one indigent to every 58 of the population, and
spending $1.75 per capita for their care.
no other part of the country bears a similar burden for the care of sick who
are non-residents, nontaxpayers and who have not previously contributed to the
upbuilding of the community which now cares for them.
fair or just to the communities of the Southwest to impose this burden upon
them without aid from other states, or the Federal Government?
1925 the same investigator was again sent by the National Tuberculosis
Association to several of the cities mentioned, to check up the findings of
the 1920 survey. The result of the second study revealed that migration had
increased during the four or five intervening years. In the 1920 report, the
following statement appears:
of these cities has anything like adequate provision - medical, relief or
institutional - for caring for the tuberculous persons, whether resident or
non-resident. From what can be learned from the records it would seem that
there is no attempt at a coordinated policy or program of rehabilitation of
the tuberculous anywhere.
1925 the investigator said, "After four years, that statement is still true."
MASONIC ASPECT OF THE SITUATION
1926 Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of New Mexico there was adopted
an amendment to the by-laws providing for the creation of a standing
"Committee on Masonic Boards of Relief" charged with the duty, among other
things, of corresponding with the Masonic Relief Association, and with other
similar associations, with a view to evolving the best methods for dispensing
subject of Masonic Tubercular Relief, upon a broad national scale, has been
given intensive study by the New Mexico Grand Lodge for a number of years.
first considered by the Grand Lodge of Texas, at the December, 1921, Annual
Communication, when a committee of three was appointed to study the subject,
in cooperation with suggested, similar committees to be appointed by the Grand
Lodges of New Mexico and Arizona, with a view to evolving a comprehensive
program, upon a national scale, for the relief and hospitalization of Masons
and members of their families, afflicted with tuberculosis.
February, 1922, Communications of the Grand Lodges of Arizona and New Mexico
such committees were appointed, and the three committees thus named organized
as the "Tuberculosis Sanatoria Commission" of the three Grand Lodges.
report, with recommendations, was submitted to the three Grand Lodges involved
at their next Annual Communications in 1922 and 1923. The basis of the report
was an estimate made by the National Tuberculosis Association, that at that
time, with an estimated Masonic population of 2,500,000, there were probably
4,700 deaths from tuberculosis annually, and approximately 42,300 living
1926 it was estimated by the same Association that any group of 3,250,000
American males, over twenty years of age, will sustain an approximate annual
loss of 4,309 lives from tuberculosis, and the approved ratio of nine living
cases, for each death, shows approximately 38,681 living cases among adult
males alone. There are approximately 3,250,000 Masons in the United States.
Applying the multiple of 5 indicates a total Masonic population, or family, of
over 16,000,000 persons.
Texas Grand Lodge Committee was discontinued after the 1924 meeting. Another
committee appointed at the 1926 Annual Communication submitted a report in
December, 1927, recommending that Texas take care of its own in existing
hospitals, and in their homes. Twenty-five cents per capita was levied, to
provide a fund for relief. Although San Antonio, El Paso and some of the other
communities of the state have many sojourning sick Masons from other states,
Texas has no plan for aiding them.
Arizona has a Convalescent Camp at Oracle, about forty miles from the
railroad, where it has cared for a very limited number of ambulatory cases,
but does not always have a resident physician or nurse. The Grand Lodge of
Arizona deserves great credit for doing its utmost to care for both its own
afflicted members and for sojourners.
ORGANIZATION IS INITIATED
Profoundly impressed with the solemn obligation devolving upon American
Freemasons to provide organized relief for its tuberculars, and realizing the
imperative necessity for action, in 1925 the New Mexico Grand Lodge took the
initiative, and through a duly authorized committee chartered the National
Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association and inaugurated an intensive
publicity campaign to acquaint American Grand Lodges and American Freemasonry
with the purposes of the organization and the needs, with a view to securing
cooperation and financial assistance from all Masonic organizations and
Masons, regardless of jurisdictional lines.
addition to the publicity campaign a survey was instituted to ascertain, if
possible, the number of Freemasons and members of Masons' families afflicted
with tuberculosis who were sojourning in the Southwest.
report submitted at the Chicago meeting of the Sanatoria Association, in
November, 1926, disclosed a record of 1,693 Freemasons and 321 members of
their families in the Southwest; and, in addition, there were found 532 Masons
and 493 relatives of Masons sick in hospitals in other states, a total of
2,225 Masons and 814 relatives of Masons, or a grand total of 3,039.
certain that those figures would not begin to represent the real total number
of cases, either in the Southwest or in the remainder of the country. What
percentage of those cases were indigent is unknown.
Association has received many letters from all parts of the country seeking
admission to our "Masonic Sanatorium," which is still non-existent. Assistance
has been extended to a limited number. The primary object, believed to have
been based on sound business principles, was first to acquaint the Fraternity
with the facts and convince them of the necessity for cooperative organized
effort, in order most effectually to deal with the great problem and thereby
secure the measure of financial assistance requisite for consummation of a
comprehensive program for home relief and education and hospitalization in
existing local sanatoria and the ultimate building of Masonic Sanatoria.
MEXICO PAYS FOR PUBLICITY CAMPAIGN
Grand Lodge of New Mexico is proud of the fact that with the total of its
annual $1.00 per capita assessment for tuberculosis relief paid in, in 1928,
the financial report submitted at this Annual Communication shows that the
Masons of New Mexico have paid practically all of the overhead expense of the
Association and of the effort to induce American Freemasons to join in this
movement. Surely no one can justly criticize New Mexico Masons for spending
their own money in the effort to perfect the organization of the Sanatoria
Association by inducing other Masonic bodies to cooperate in the
accomplishment of the great humanitarian objects contemplated by the Grand
Mexico thus took the leadership and the initiative in Masonic tubercular work,
actuated by a sincere belief in the ideals and teachings of the Order,
confident that the Craft would rise to the great opportunity for real service
and a practical application of Masonic principles. The writer of the Missouri
Review of the "Proceedings of Grand Lodges" appropriately summarized the
situation in the following words appearing upon page 149 of the Appendix of
the 1926 Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Missouri, to-wit:
Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association of New Mexico is, perhaps, the most
significant movement before the Masonic public, and unless we are very much
mistaken this enterprise will soon capture the imagination of the entire
Fraternity. If it succeeds in doing this we may look for the largest outburst
of philanthropy the world has ever known in this or any other country.
we initiated the movement, which has been largely financed by the New Mexico
first year of operation twenty-six Grand Masters were persuaded that the
obligation existed and that the efficient handling of the problem demanded
comprehensive organization of effort, and they evinced their interest and
approval by accepting service on the Board of Governors, or by appointing some
interested brother for such service. At the Annual Meeting in Chicago,
November, 1926, the Association had reached the high-tide or peak of the
organization work designed to create an Association, to be governed by leading
Masons from each and every Grand Jurisdiction, the scope of the activities of
which would be national in fact as well as in name.
QUESTION OF CONTROL
Masonic leaders have criticized the plan for the government of the
Association, claiming that its affairs would not be under direct Masonic
control. It is difficult to understand how the enterprise could be more
directly or effectually under Masonic control than through the medium of a
Board of Governors consisting of one duly appointed and authorized
representative from each and every Grand Jurisdiction. Others have decried the
magnitude of the enterprise and expressed the fear that it could not be
problem, the solution of which is involved, is of such vast magnitude, both
from the humanitarian and economic standpoints, as to call for and demand an
organization of the magnitude and scope provided for by the plans of the
Association. If the leaders of Masonic thought and action in the various Grand
Jurisdictions would forget jurisdictional lines, if the scales would fall from
before their eyes and enable them to envision the project, and if they would
permit the rank and file of Masonry to be circularized in their respective
jurisdictions, the financial aspects of the problem would speedily be solved.
Annual Address, as Grand Master, to the Grand Lodge of New Mexico in February,
1927, in discussing this movement I made the following observations:
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 the 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
quote the words of the poet, Goldsmith, in his beautiful "Deserted Village":
fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
wealth accumulates, and men decay."
Following the 1926 Chicago Meeting, acting under authority there conferred, an
appeal was made for contributions, upon the basis of fifteen cents per capita
of Masonic membership. Before Masonic bodies had time to act upon the appeal,
we had an opportunity to purchase a Sanatorium in El Paso, Texas, in
first-class condition, for about fifty cents on the dollar of its real value.
cost, including furniture and equipment, would have been $75,000.00. Our first
appeal was shortly supplemented with a full statement concerning the
opportunity to acquire a "going hospital," wherein immediately to commence our
work of relief.
appeals were made to every Masonic Grand body, including the York Rite bodies,
the Scottish Rite, the Shrine, the Grotto, and the General Grand Chapter of
the Order of Eastern Star. The response was negligible, because shortly
thereafter the great Mississippi flood became a menace, and the brethren of
the states directly affected were compelled to make plans for the relief of
those who were, or would be, in distress. More than $500,000.00 was
contributed to flood relief, and the cause of Masonic tubercular relief was
lost sight of in this dramatic disaster. Freemasons contributed liberally to
aid flood sufferers and to replace property losses, but would not, or could
not, visualize the necessity and duty and obligation to respond to an appeal
for aid in the effort to save Masonic lives, Masonic families and Masonic
address as Grand Master in 1927 to the Grand Lodge of New Mexico, the
following observations were made, in discussing our first appeal:
economic phase of our problem affords an interesting study, and provides
convincing and conclusive evidence of the importance and value of salvaging
the health, the lives and homes of our tubercular brethren; but the
controlling and actuating motive is and should be our obligation.
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. 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; 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.
remarks upon this subject concluded as follows:
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 trestleboard, 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 Masons.
great true heart of American Freemasonry is to be found the answer to our
and varied have been the reasons assigned by the various Grand Jurisdictions
which have declined or failed to join the organization or to respond to the
appeals for cooperation and financial assistance.
PREJUDICES AGAINST NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
been demonstrated that numerous Masonic leaders are fundamentally opposed to a
national organization of this or any other character, and believe in zealously
safeguarding the sovereignty of each Grand Jurisdiction, and limiting Masonic
relief work of every and any character strictly within the confines of their
several jurisdictions, coupled with the assertion that they will take care of
their own tuberculars within their own borders, if they will stay at home, and
that they will even take care of their own, thus afflicted, who may migrate to
more favorable climates in the hope of obtaining relief; but as to the latter
assertion, our experience has demonstrated that its complete fulfillment is
the exception rather than the rule, and I am confident that this statement can
be corroborated by the experience of other Grand Jurisdictions within the
confines of the great "Tuberculosis Triangle." It is contended by some
opponents of the Sanatoria Association that the admittedly superior climatic
advantages of the arid and semi-arid Southwest are not essential to the
treatment and cure of tuberculosis, but it is a noteworthy fact that
statistics have revealed that more than half of the tuberculars who have
migrated to those regions were advised so to do by their local physicians.
not my purpose to discuss or argue with reference to the two schools of
thought upon this subject. Suffice it to say that the basic and primary
purpose and object of the Association was not the establishment of sanatoria
in any particular section of the country, but to arouse the Fraternity to a
realization of the impelling obligation and imperative necessity to organize
upon a broad national scale to deal with the great problem. It should be
remembered that tuberculosis is an infectious and communicable disease wherein
it differs from certain other diseases to which the human flesh is heir and
the death toll from which is great; and it should also be remembered that
tuberculosis is a great menace to the children of the brethren or parents who
may be afflicted with the disease and that it is highly important to educate
the public as to the best means not only of prevention but for cure.
opponents of the project urge that the movement is a departure from the
fundamental teachings of the Order, chief among which is training the
individual Mason to practice individual charity, apparently outside of the
seems to me that one of the fundamental teachings is Service; and that the
character of the service demanded by the magnitude of the tuberculosis problem
is such as to render it imperatively necessary to organize upon a basis and
scale commensurate with the magnitude of the situation now confronting the
the greatest difficulties encountered has been that incident to the succession
in the leadership of the various Grand Jurisdictions. Grand Master Charles F.
Roberts of the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia, aptly said:
change and men change with them. Grand Masters come and go, with varying
ideas, of the relative values of matters in which our Fraternity is concerned.
What seems important to me may not be so regarded by my successors, but we
have the comforting assurance that the policies, and ultimate purposes of
Freemasonry are fixed, and that necessarily the efforts of all are directed
towards the same worthy end.
not my purpose here to challenge the sincerity of any brethren whose opinions
differ from mine or from those entertained by my intimate associates in the
conduct of the affairs of the Association. For them as men and Masons I
entertain the highest respect and fraternal regard, but from my viewpoint it
seems deplorable that American Freemasonry cannot unite in this great cause;
and contemplation of the apparent apathy and indifference, and inability or
unwillingness to envision the cause from a broad national standpoint, "maketh
the heart sick."
Sanatorium which we had an opportunity to purchase in El Paso and which should
now be in operation as the "First National Masonic Sanatorium," was purchased
by a Catholic Sisterhood, and is now rendering service as a Catholic
been said that the establishment of a Masonic Sanatorium in the Southwest
would constitute a standing invitation for migratory consumptives. The answer
is: Suppose this were true; are we not organized for the great fundamental
purpose of contributing as largely and expeditiously as Possible to the relief
of our tubercular brethren and members of their families afflicted with the
dread disease, in the effort to salvage and restore them to health, activity
and economic production at the earliest possible date? Time will not permit an
elaboration of the economic features of the problem. Suffice it to say that
upon the basis of statistics of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company of New
York the total economic loss from the death of 4,309 American Freemasons who
die each year is over $93,000,000.00.
foregoing observations indicate the impossibility of an immediate successful
consummation of our work of organization along the lines originally planned
and as embodied in our charter; but "Rome was not built in a day," and it may
well be that several years must elapse before our hopes are fully realized.
However, as a result of the campaign of education there has been stimulated in
many jurisdictions a marked degree of activity in the line of tubercular
is not recognized or admitted. The facts are thus laid before the Grand Lodge
and your advice and counsel are solicited as to the best method for attaining
the great objective.
PROSPECTS OF THE FUTURE
complete abandonment of the movement would be tantamount to admitting that
Freemasonry cannot function outside of jurisdictional lines, or upon a
national scale; that its protestations are as "sounding brass and tinkling
cymbal"; that it does not practice what it preaches; that it has been "weighed
in the balances" and found wanting, and that it is incapable of that degree of
cohesion and co-ordination essential efficiently and effectively to deal with
the existing situation. American Freemasonry is on trial, and will stand or
fall according to the final answer to our sick brethren, standing in the
"Northeast Corner," pleading for help, which has been so long withheld and
failure to render which has resulted in the death of so large a number while
we have debated among ourselves.
many more Masonic lives will be sacrificed, how many more Masonic homes will
be destroyed before the sleeping giant of American Freemasonry arouses to meet
the need and to fulfill our sacred obligations?
is your answer, what do you advise and what will you do?
calling upon you to answer this question, I should like to state that there is
a real and insistent demand, on the part of Masons and Masonic magazines and
newspapers, that New Mexico should continue the effort to secure action for
relief of our suffering brethren. Foremost in the ranks of our supporters, who
counsel us not to abandon the fight, stands THE BUILDER of St. Louis. For
several years these friends of our cause have devoted two or more pages each
month to articles telling the story of our efforts and the need, and in
addition they have always given us powerful editorial support. The nation-wide
interest in the movement is due, in no small measure, to their splendid
efforts, which it is our pleasure and duty to here acknowledge, with heartfelt
F. H. Littlefield, Executive Secretary of the National Masonic Research
Society, publishers of THE BUILDER, and the editor of THE BUILDER, Bro. R. J.
Meekren, urge us to "Hold the Fort," and continue this work, adapting our
plans, as far as possible, without the sacrifice of principles, to meet the
objections made to methods.
Walter L. Stockwell, former President of the Masonic Relief Association of the
United States and Canada, and Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of North
Dakota, and incumbent of many other Masonic positions of trust and influence,
writes as follows:
I do not want to urge the, New Mexico brethren to take on any proposition
which they cannot handle, I do hope that you will not give up without making
one last earnest effort to get the attention of the Craft in this country.
Masonic Chronicler, a Masonic newspaper of Chicago, recently published a long
editorial, in which it mistakenly announced that the National Masonic
Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association would be dissolved. It reviewed the
situation in the Southwest, the need for cooperative action to meet the
situation and our efforts to meet that need, and concluded with the following
a sorry task to have to record so ignomious a failure for Masonic charity. It
is humiliating to have to contemplate a situation in which cooperation in so
worthy a work as that of saving to Masonry a large number of afflicted
brethren apparently is so completely lacking. It grieves one to know that the
Fraternity the country over is content to see the brethren of these three
states struggling with their excessive burden and not off er a helping band;
all the more so as part of the burden justly belongs to almost everyone of the
Grand Jurisdictions of the United States. It is no wonder that the National
Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association throws up its hands in defeat and
intends next February to ask the Grand Lodge of New Mexico for its
dissolution. Would that some miracle might happen between now and then to save
the project and insure support for its grand and glorious work.
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE
last number of THE BUILDER we gave the recommendations presented to the Grand
Lodge of New Mexico by Bro. H. B. Holt on behalf of the N.M.T.S.A. which
embodied certain amendments to the charter of the Association. These
recommendations were referred in the regular course to the Committee on
Jurisprudence, which made certain changes and additions. The recommendations
as adopted by the Grand Lodge of New Mexico are as follows:
WHEREAS, The President of the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria
Association has reported to this Grand Lodge inability to complete
organization of the Association along the lines prescribed in the original
Charter, and has suggested that the Charter 'be so amended as to change the
name, method of government, and plan of organization;
Therefore, Be It Resolved, That this Grand Lodge recommends that steps be
taken to amend the Charter of said Association, as follows, to-wit:
That the name of the Association, wherever same appears in the original
Articles of Incorporation, or Charter, shall be changed so as to read "Masonic
SECOND. That sub-paragraph (1) of Article IV be amended so as to read as
act as an agent or trustee for and in behalf of the Grand Lodge of Ancient,
Free and Accepted Masons of New Mexico, to receive and administer funds
contributed, or acquired, for the relief of Freemasons, and members of their
families, or others, suffering from tuberculosis, or who may be in distress
from other causes; and, generally, for any and all of the objects and purposes
That Article VI be amended so as to read as follows:
the affairs and business of this corporation shall be under the control and
management of a Board of Governors chosen by the Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free
and Accepted Masons of New Mexico, at its next Annual Communication, and
annually thereafter; and in the interim between Annual Communications the
Grand Master shall have authority to fill vacancies in such board, and to
appoint additional members thereof.
Provided, until the first meeting of the Board of Governors, for the creation
of which provision is herein and hereby made, and thereafter, if so authorized
by such board, the Executive Committee hereinafter named, or the duly
appointed and designated successors of the members of such committee, shall
have and exercise all of the powers conferred upon the Board of Governors by
this Certificate of Incorporation, the Laws of New Mexico and/or the By-Laws
of this corporation when said Board of Governors is not in session, subject to
such restrictions, limits and regulations as may be imposed by such Board.
It Further Resolved, That this Grand Lodge reaffirms its recognition of the
obligation devolving upon the Masonic Fraternity to make adequate provision
for the relief of worthy brethren and members of their families who are
victims of tuberculosis; and its firm conviction that adequate relief can be
afforded only through the medium of an efficient organization; and that the
burdens incident to providing adequate relief for indigent brethren and
members of their families, victims of tuberculosis, who migrate to the
Southwest in search of climatic advantages in the hope of regaining their
health-should be assumed and borne by the Fraternity at large, through the
medium of an agency such as that which is here involved, through which only
can the problem be efficiently and economically handled.
this Grand Lodge therefore suggests the foregoing proposed amendments to the
Articles of Incorporation, or Charter. of the existing corporation, and when
such amendments shall have been adopted-favors a continuance of the effort
heretofore so earnestly made to arrest the attention and arouse the interest
of American Freemasonry and to enlist the financial aid and assistance of
individual Masons and of Masonic bodies throughout the United States; and
pledges a continuance of its financial support to the further efforts and work
of the Association, and its active cooperation in the renewed and continued
effort to secure requisite financial assistance from other Grand Jurisdictions
and Masonic bodies.
It Further Resolved, That the Most Worshipful Grand Master of this Grand Lodge
shall be, and he hereby is, authorized and directed, in the name of this Grand
Lodge to make such appeals for contributions as from time to time may be
required or deemed necessary for the accomplishment of the objects and
purposes of the aforesaid Association, receive such contributions, and
disburse the same through the aforesaid Association for the furtherance of its
objects and purposes, and shall report his acts and doings relative thereto to
this Grand Lodge at each Annual Communication.
It Further Resolved, That when the aforesaid proposed amendments shall become
effective, any and all funds which have heretofore accrued, or which may
hereafter accrue to this Grand Lodge, to and for the use and benefit of the
National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association, shall be paid over to, or
covered into, the treasury of said Association under its new name, as
designated in the amendments to such Articles of Incorporation, and
thereafter, until otherwise ordered, the annual assessment now levied for said
National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association shall be levied for said
Association under such new name.
Committee unanimously recommends the adoption of said report and all the
aforesaid Resolutions as hereinabove amended and set forth.
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
MASONIC TUBERCULOSIS ASSOCIATION
another page will be found the report of the President of the National Masonic
Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association to the Grand Lodge of New Mexico. We
received this before the March number of THE BUILDER went to press but too
late to do more than insert the recommendations made. This report in a sense
must be regarded as the swan song of the N.M.T.S.A., in the passing away of
which the Masonic Tuberculosis Association is to be born. Let us hope, to
change the metaphor to another fabled bird, to enter like the Phoenix upon a
renewed life in which more definite results will be achieved.
N.M.T.S.A. however has not been without achievement. There can be no doubt
that the local interest in the tuberculosis problem that is showing itself in
various jurisdictions throughout the country owes a great deal to the campaign
of the organization founded by New Mexico, and for which the Masons of that
Grand Lodge have paid out of their own contributions to the cause. For it may
as well be repeated again, in case anyone has failed to note the fact, that
New Mexico contributed to the, funds of the N.M.T.S.A. practically the whole
amount that was expended for organization and educational purposes, leaving
the funds contributed from elsewhere to be devoted to the purpose of temporary
seems to be at the present moment, however, a distinct reaction everywhere
against the idea of combined action. This is, we believe, unfortunate. The
Grand Lodges of the United States, sovereign and independent as they are, have
necessarily many problems in common, problems that could be most efficiently
solved by combined action. But such things observe the law of the pendulum. At
the close of the war, the impotence of the Craft in its divided state was so
impressed on the leaders of the Craft that everywhere there was a desire to
find some way to coordinate the work of Grand Lodges and to concentrate the
latent power of the Fraternity. But now the ideals of independence are having
their turn, and there is some danger of their being allowed to run to seed.
suggested last month in our summing up of the situation that in view of the
fact that it seemed at present out of the question to secure official
cooperation in the tuberculosis cause that it might be well to try to secure
individual support, by making the new organization a body of Master Masons,
and not a group of Grand Lodges. We were greatly gratified, when we received
the advance copy of the recommendations made by Bro. Holt, that this plan had
occurred to others, and that the executive of the N.M.T.S.A. proposed that the
amended constitution should provide for this. We want to make it quite clear
that we in no way wish to blame the brethren of New Mexico, but a comparison
of the amended recommendations as passed by the Grand Lodge with those
presented by Bro. Holt will show that the reaction has set in with them also.
No one familiar with all the circumstances can possibly blame them for
deciding to withdraw within their own boundaries; but we cannot help feeling
it is unfortunate and much to be regretted. Bro. Holt's proposals made it
clear that any Mason could contribute to the fund of the new M.T.A. and
thereby become a member of it. It is true that the amendments proposed and
adopted do not bar this, but they do seem to stress the fact that the M.T.A.
is to be an organization especially of the Masons of New Mexico; that its
control will be entirely in the hands of the Grand Lodge of New Mexico, in
that its executive will not be elected by its members, but appointed by the
Practically this may make little difference at the moment, but it does seem to
bar out a line of possible advance, one that at least has not yet been tried.
We believe, from such information that has come to us, that there are many
Masons who would be glad to support the movement. As long as it has moved in
the superior cycles of Grand Lodge orbits, the individual has felt that it was
not his place to intrude. The stress in the past has all been laid upon the
membership of Grand Bodies as such, although the Constitution of the
Association distinctly, though not prominently, provides for individual
memberships. Article VIII provides for the membership of all Master Masons of
New Mexico, in virtue of their contributions to the Association's funds, paid
through the Grand Lodge, but the final clause adds with those specifically
mentioned are also included.
. . .
such persons as may contribute money, services or anything of value to further
the work of the Association.
does not say so, but we presume that such persons are eligible for membership,
not that it is automatically conferred upon them. Article VII also provides
for the establishment of branches, local societies or committees, which the
Association has power to recognize or regularize by charters or warrants.
These two articles remain unchanged, so in spite of the control of the
Association now being vested solely in the Grand Lodge through its appointive
power; there is nothing to prevent the admission to membership of Masons
generally, nor the establishment of committees, branches and chapters in other
states. We trust, therefore, that the natural discouragement of the brethren
in New Mexico will not lead them to neglect the possibilities that here exist,
possibilities that as yet there has been no very definite attempt to realize.
the original difficulty still stands in the way must be admitted - the refusal
of many Grand Masters to permit the lodges in their jurisdictions to be
circularized; which would be the obvious and easiest way to bring the matter
to the attention of the whole Craft in the U. S. A. But there are other ways
of obtaining the result, which though less direct and slower in operation
might in the long run prove as successful, and that is to work through those
individuals who have expressed their interest and made contributions.
the benefit of those who would like to compare the original and amended
recommendations with the Charter of the N.M.T.S.A., we remind our readers that
the latter was published in full in THE BUILDER for September, 1926. The
original recommendations appeared last month, and the amended ones will be
found on another page in the present issue.
view of the changes thus made the Northeast Corner department is to be
discontinued. Bro. R. J. Newton, who has done so much for the cause, and who
was editor of and entirely responsible for what appeared in the pages devoted
to the work of the N.M.T.S.A., has ceased to be actively engaged therein. In
plain language his task has come to an end with the change of plan. He was
engaged largely as publicity manager, and as the reorganized Association does
not intend to continue the "propaganda," there is nothing further for him to
do. But his interest in the cause remains, and though no longer an official of
the organization we know that he does not intend to cease his efforts to
further this great work.
THE BUILDER, while the regular appearance of the Northeast Corner thus comes
to an end, our pages will always be available for any articles or
communications upon the general subject. We know that a great many of our
members are keenly interested in the problem, and feel as we do that it is
nothing to be proud of that the Craft as a whole has proved so im potent in
meeting this need, and for this reason, if for no other, we shall keep them
informed of all developments in the situation as they occur.
* * *
RECENTLY the daily press of Philadelphia has published accounts of the making
of Governor John S. Fisher a Mason "at sight" by the Grand Master, assisted by
most of the Grand officers of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. The natural
result has been to raise once more the questions, what, how, why and by what
right is this done? A number of our correspondents have written about it, and
one or two 1have asked us to say something more on the subject. It was
discussed from all points of view in THE BUILDER for February, 1925, and at
page 204 of the same volume was a communication from Bro. Sir Alfred Robbins,
Chairman of the Board of General Purposes of the United Grand Lodge of
England, in which it was shown that English Masonry is even more democratic
than our own, in that not one letter of the law is ever relaxed even for the
most exalted persons. There was a later communication in the following volume
(page 177) from. Bro. Haydon, which affords a ray of light in the obscurity,
in that it gives some tangible evidence as to the time and place of the first
appearance of the doctrine that this power pertained of right to the office of
Grand Master of Masons.
there is much misunderstanding as to what is implied by making Masons "at
sight" is only to be expected. Naturally the newspapers get it all wrong. One
report says about it:
ritual procedure is impressive and the act is to permit the candidate, to be
received into the Order without passing through the usual form of passing from
one degree to another.
is excusable enough in a non-Mason, but what shall we say of the good brethren
who seem to think that the Grand Master takes a profane into a retired corner
and says, "by the power invested in me I make you a Mason" and proceeds to
administer an oath and communicate secrets? This is really not at all
exaggerated, absurd as it sounds. In actual fact the making a Mason at sight,
as it is carried out today, is precisely the same ritually as the normal
procedure, the difference lying in the quite external features that all the
usual time intervals are dispensed with, the one between petition and ballot,
and those between the degrees. Perhaps too the ballot is also omitted - as to
this we have no information. Even so, we presume, though it would be very
embarrassing, that any brother present could object if he thought fit. The
only other difference is that the lodge in which the work is done is formed
occasionally, or temporarily, for the purpose, and ceases to exist as soon as
its special task is done. The candidate thus being left in the position of an
unaffiliated Mason, or rather of a Mason whose lodge has returned its charter.
Robbins has shown that this is now impossible under the Grand Lodge of
England, because there the Grand Master is shorn of the powers of dispensation
that certainly appear to have been generally allowed to inhere in his office
at the first in England, and still do in most American jurisdictions, even
where the making at sight privilege is expressly denied. Bro. Haydon pointed
out that the first appearance of the power in formal terms was in Dermott's
Ahiman Rezon, in which he probably made explicit what was implicit in Irish
usage. American Masonry undoubtedly received the idea from this source.
privilege of the Grand Master, where it still survives, is a complex one. It
is made up of a number of different powers, most of which are normally
exercised separately by American Grand Masters. The first is the power to
grant a dispensation for the formation of a lodge, and to recall it when
granted. If he can grant such a dispensation to others, he can grant it to a
group associated with himself. So in respect to the dispensing with the
constitutional intervals of time. A hundred years ago, and less, such
dispensations were very frequently granted, sometimes for very slight reasons.
Applications were acted upon, the candidate ballotted for and initiated all at
the same meeting. Earlier still, in the eighteenth century, lodges constantly
dispensed with these intervals at their own discretion. At first without any
objection at all. It was only when the risk of such proceedings became evident
that it was forbidden. Thus the Grand Master is only doing on very special
occasions what every lodge did once whenever it so pleased.
the history of the privilege seems to reach back further still, to the days
when it was the inherent right of any Master to gather a group of brethren and
form a lodge for the purpose of making someone a Mason. So it would seem that
this much discussed privilege is a case of survival and gradual restriction,
till one Master Mason only, in any given jurisdiction, is allowed to exercise
the right once possessed by all. However, one change has been made, doubtless
through lask of clear understanding of the antecedents of the privilege. The
"making a Mason" properly means no more than initiation, while now passing and
raising seem always to be included. These additions really make the old phrase
distinctly a misnomer. In the old lodges of Scotland it was very usual for
five or seven members to make a Mason by themselves, but he had later to be
received and passed a fellow at a regular meeting of the lodge. In fact, in
one or two lodges this procedure would seem almost to have been the normal
it appears that this right is a picturesque survival of the long distant past,
and it would seem to be a great pity to demolish it where it still exists. It
can do no harm. But naturally great care should be exercised in choosing the
candidate where it is exercised, and to us it appears that no one actively
engaged in political life should be chosen; at least not until he has entered
the elder statesman class and has won the respect and admiration of his
opponents as well as of his friends.
pamphlet on "How to Organize and Maintain a Study Club" will be sent free on
request, in quantities to fifty
Internal Organization of a Study Club
has been said from time to time about various methods of forming Study Clubs.
One of the difficulties which arises early in the career of any Club is the
matter of internal organization. What officers should we have, what
committees, and dozens of questions of similar character find their way into
the office of the National Masonic Research Society.
think for a few moments, it will be easy to see that a Study Club should be
burdened with as little machinery as is possible. The machinery should be
simple and at the same time elastic. There are two reasons for expressing such
a view. In the first place, the risk of meetings running to interminable
length due to a great amount of time being occupied with routine affairs is
lessened materially. The second reason is much more important, however. Study
Club meetings are intended primarily for the study of Masonry. If too many
formalities are injected into the meetings, there will not be that feeling of
freedom to speak which it is essential should exist in all such gatherings.
The new members will feel backward about expressing their views on the subject
under discussion. There are others who do not feel at ease when on their feet
before any sizable gathering. Such men will sit by and say nothing unless some
effort is made to draw them out. It should be an ambition with every Study
Club to encourage these members to speak, to make them feel at ease, and thus
to place them in a position to assume their rightful station in the lodge.
Informality will do a great deal to help this situation.
should be as little routine business brought before the meetings as is
possible. Just as soon as Study Club meetings begin to last until the late
hours of the night you will notice a considerable falling off in members. If
the meetings are held not too frequently and are so managed that only
interesting programs are prepared there will always be a good attendance and a
thoroughly interested membership.
Usually there is recommended a corps of officers composed of a President, a
Vice-President, a Secretary-Treasurer, a Study Director, a Librarian when
necessary. The officers might well form an Executive Committee, with enough
lay members, to avoid the danger of a deadlock in Committees. Other than this
no officers should be necessary.
duties of the President and Study Director might be combined, but that plan
has some objections. If the President has no more to do than preside at the
meetings of the Club as a whole and the Executive Committee when in session,
there is the advantage that be has his mind free to watch the progress of the
meetings and to observe the members who have or have not spoken. He can
judiciously encourage those who lag behind to say a few words, and gradually
bring them into the regular discussions. This should be his sole duty aside
from the formal ones which are naturally associated with the office.
Vice-President really needs no special mention. He should assume the duties of
the President in the absence of the latter, and should cooperate by being of
any assistance which seems necessary. It would be well if he could assume all
duties which might be delegated to him by the President. In other words he
should be thoroughly cooperative and the right-hand assistant to the presiding
formal duties of the Secretary-Treasurer are too well known to make an
elaborate discussion necessary. It would be as well for us to consider the
advantages of combining the two offices in Study Club work. The funds handled
are usually so small that there is no need to burden a separate individual
with their care. It often happens that the Treasurer is not needed at all
since the lodge from which the Study Club draws its members pays all expenses.
In such cases there is absolutely no need for a Treasurer. In any group,
however, which is self supporting there must be dues, no matter how nominal.
There should be some officer to care for the funds, and since they are usually
very small the Secretary can conveniently fill both offices. He has the
greatest need for funds, for his notices, stationery and other incidentals.
Practice has shown that it is best to combine these two offices.
Study Director will probably be the hardest worked member of the organization.
Upon him devolves the duty of planning the programs, of seeing that interest
is maintained, and of securing or assigning the topics for discussion. The
members of the Club should be willing to cooperate with him in every possible
way. He, on the other hand, should see that he does not usurp too much of the
time of any one member.
Club as a whole, when first organized, should arrange to adopt a definite
program for study. They should consult with some competent authority and
ascertain the best procedure to follow. Clubs generally are most interested in
symbolism, and this is usually the starting point. The National Masonic
Research Society has prepared a course of study covering this phase of Masonic
research. It is arranged in convenient outline form with topical references.
Each group of references should furnish enough material for one evening's
discussion. We are always glad to furnish full details. Whatever subject is
adopted the Society stands ready to prepare outline courses for Study Club
Knowing, then, that there is one source from which such information can be
obtained, there is nothing to do but decide the course to be pursued. With
this information available the job of the Study Director is very much
simplified. All that is necessary is for him to assign the topics in rotation,
seeing that every member has his turn. That is the routine work.
is more to the office than just that, however. There will be questions raised
which need investigation. The Study Director should assign these questions to
various members to report at the next meeting. Some of them may be
sufficiently ,important to warrant a whole meeting being given to their
consideration. Decision in such matters should be left with the Director.
Where special investigation is required and the references are not readily
obtainable the National Masonic Research Society may be consulted.
very important that the Study Director be left a wide latitude in all matters
as soon as the Club has adopted a definite program. Unless he is given a free
hand his work is likely to be hampered and the results less noticeable. It is
usually important for the members of the Club to offer all cooperation
possible and to accept cheerfully all tasks that may be assigned to them. Even
more important is the necessity for each member doing his particular task
promptly and to the best of his ability.
Executive Committee should be permitted to handle all business affairs of the
Club. They should endeavor to work out all details and to make the necessary
recommendations to the Club in such a way that a minimum of time will be
occupied in the regular meetings.
these suggestions are followed out the Club will function efficiently and
effectively. There will be no occasion for friction and the maximum of results
should be accomplished with a minimum expenditure of effort.
The Ark of the Covenant
BRO. CHARLES H. MERZ, Ohio
THE ark of the covenant is a legitimate appendage to the Third Degree,
although it is also mentioned in many of the higher Orders. The Helvetian
Ceremonies provide that "In the middle of the procession is carried the ark of
the covenant, covered over with a veil of blue, purple and crimson silk. It is
carried by four of the oldest Masons that can be found in the whole company.
The age of the Masons and not of the lodge is here to be observed. The
furniture of the ark is the Old Testament, salt, clay, a pair of compasses,
The ark was a kind of chest or coffer, placed in the Sanctum Sanctorum, with
the two tables of stone containing the decalogue, written with the finger of
God, and containing the most sacred monument of the Jewish, or any other
religion. Along with the ark were deposited the rod of Aaron, and the pot of
manna. At the east end of every synagogue the modern Jews have a chest which
they call "aron," or ark, in which is locked up the Pentateuch, written on
vellum in square characters.
The descriptions of the ark are somewhat meager. We learn that it was made of
shittim wood. It is supposed to have been the wood of the burning bush, which
was once held in veneration in Royal Arch Chapters. The shittim wood had a
very close grain and was capable of receiving a very high polish. From its
aromatic qualities it was exempt from the attacks of worms and decay. We are
told that it was made by Aholiab abd Bezaleel, under the direction of Moses.
It was appropriated to such a sublime office, that all persons were forbidden
to look upon it or touch it under penalty of death a penalty which fifty
thousand men of Bethshemesh suffered for this offense only.
The ark was overlaid within and without with pure gold. In size it is
described as being about three feet nine inches long, two feet three inches
wide and of the same extent in depth. On the side it had two rings of gold,
through which were placed staves of shittim wood, by which, when necessary, it
was borne by the Levites. The entire covering was of pure gold. The covering
was called "kaphiret," from "kaphar," "to forgive sin," hence the English name
of "mercy seat," as being the place where the intercession for sin was made.
Sacred chests, bearing much resemblance in principle to this ark, have been
found in different ancient and modern nations.
The ark is described as being surrounded with a golden rim or cornice, which
was denominated a crown, is reference to the ornament that was worn by
monarchs as a symbol of their dignity. This fillet of gold served also to
support the mercy seat, which constituted the lid or cover of the ark. The
propitiatory was not made of shittim wood overlaid with gold, like the ark,
but consisted of one plate of pure beaten gold, surmounted by two cherubim,
formed out of the same mass, and was so constructed as to fit exactly the
inside of the crown, that no interstice might be perceived.
view of this rather indefinite description of the ark, it is interesting to
learn that two London artists, George Dennison and Frank Ingerson, have
designed a reproduction of the "Ark of the Covenant" for Temple Emanuel in San
Francisco. The design which appeared in the New York World some months ago is
here reproduced. Bronze, gold, old cedar and exquisite jewel colored enameling
makes up this remarkable piece of craftsmanship. Recent research has thrown
much light upon Solomon's Temple and its furnishings, and our cherished ideas
on many subject are undergoing radical changes. Correspondence with the Rabbi
of Temple Emanuel discloses the fact that this ark has been reconstructed
according to accurate descriptions, and it is therefore of particular interest
to the Masonic student. The ensigns of the twelve tribes of Israel are found
on front and two sides of the ark, and the double triangle or Seal of Solomon
is depicted on the front. The design is so different from all ordinary ideas
of the ark that it is singularly striking and beautiful.
LIBRARY ACTIVITIES IN LOS ANGELES
some years past a number of the lodges in Los Angeles have been building a
Masonic Library in that city. Bro. Thomas S. Southwick, a member of Pentalpha
Lodge, No. 212, is librarian and has long been actively associated with the
work. The following description of what has been accomplished during the past
calendar year has been condensed from the report of the librarian which has
just come to our notice, and which was previously published in The Masonic
report goes to show what a very important function a library has in raising
the general level of Masonic knowledge. In fact no sustained effort along
these lines can be carried on without one. Lodges elsewhere might profit by
Grand Lodge Committee on Education, under the direction of Bro. Reynold
Blight, has greatly stimulated the interest in study clubs and individual
reading. As a result, there has been such a demand for books on special
subjects that it has been necessary to purchase many extra copies of the same
title. During the past year, we have purchased 160 books in this way. Many
volumes have been donated to us.
brethren have shown an interest in the Library as never before, and every day
there are requests from bibliographers on Masonic topics, not only from our
local students, but from those of other counties. Special clubs have come to
us from San Francisco, Tulare, Santa Barbara and Riverside. Many brethren have
expressed their appreciation of the assistance the Library has given them, and
several letters from other states have been received commending the work we
are trying to accomplish. One of our students stated that he had received more
benefit from the Library in three months than he had in twenty years of lodge
unfortunately, the lodges do not appreciate the Library sufficiently to give
the necessary financial and moral support as they should, but as time passes
and the brethren become better acquainted with Masonic books, we believe the
value of our collection and its influence for good will be adequately
recognized by all.
quantity of literature on hand requires more space. Our present shelf room is
limited. We should have larger quarters or possibly a building of our own. We
hope in time to add more books on travel, general history, poetry, the arts
and sciences, which make for civilization, and miscellaneous matters to our
Symbolism seems to be the most popular study. Esoteric Masonry has an
attraction for many and it is always interesting to the earnest student.
Frequently all of our titles on symbolism are in use outside the Library. We
recommend on this subject the works of Mackey, Finlayson, Lawrence, Buck,
Haywood, Stewart and Ward.
Builders and The Religion of Freemasonry, both by the Rev. Joseph Fort Newton,
are read and re-read by very many of our borrowers. There are few, even among
the students of Masonry that have caught more than a glimpse of the real
meanings of our philosophy, and these two books, the most popular of all
Masonic titles, present Masonry as a dynamic, vital spiritual force, uplifting
humanity throughout the world, and suggesting to our inner consciousness the
desirability of building up a temple that is eternal in the heavens.
Masonic library was organized in June, 1926, by Los Angeles Lodge, No. 42,
Pentalpha Lodge, No. 212, and Southern California Lodge, No. 278, which lodges
have since contributed to its financial support to the present date.
an equipment of tables, chairs, book-cases, pictures, etc., and has over one
thousand feet of filled book shelves. The books are classified as follows:
Masonic History, 200 volumes; Masonic Research, 125 volumes; Masonic
Magazines, bound, 150 volumes; Masonic Miscellanea, 650 volumes; Foreign,
mostly Masonic, 120 volumes; Old books (100 years or more), 50 volumes;
Religious and Philosophical, 280 volumes; Sacred Books of the East, 14
volumes; Education, 44 volumes; California, old, 59 volumes; all others,
mixed, 1280 volumes. Also 11,385 reports of Proceedings of Masonic Grand
bodies, bound into 2088 volumes.
collection of Proceedings, one of the largest and most valuable in the
country, has been made possible by the kindly cooperation of many of the Grand
Secretaries, is short only about 2600 annuals of all those issued in the U. S.
A. since 1733. Some of these 2600 annuals were never printed, owing to the
Civil War and anti-Masonic agitation. The value of this collection cannot be
estimated; one hundred thousand dollars could not duplicate them.
proceedings of foreign jurisdictions, 144 bound volumes and many unbound.
make them durable and more useful to students, we bind them as soon as we have
sufficient to make up a volume.
the convenience of many brethren we have several hundred books in our branch
libraries in some of the lodges.
Members of every lodge in the city and vicinity borrow our books, and
occasionally by those of outside counties.
loan daily 25 or more for students' use, and many others for general reading.
privileges of the Library, at present, are offered without cost to any Master
directors are planning to incorporate under the name of "The Masonic Library
of Southern California," and a proposition is being thought out for an
Library is now supported by forty-four Masonic bodies, who extend an
invitation to the other forty-four lodges to join them in the support of this
educational boon to the brethren.
have suggested the affiliation fee of one cent per member per month as a
minimum, until it reaches the maximum of five dollars per month.
should be recognized as the Masonic educational center of the Southwest. Most
of us are only in the kindergarten class of Masonic philosophy and need more
knowledge. We have before us in our Library the source whereby we may graduate
into a satisfying perfection of our Masonic life, if we will only take the
trouble to seek for it.
Library is used chiefly by the younger members of the Fraternity and this
interest on the part of young Masons will produce intelligent and better
Masons. If all the study clubs, which have been the means of bringing so many
to the Library, were to cease, there would still be a large number of
interested patrons, desiring to make themselves better acquainted with our
principles, to warrant its fullest development. It is to be hoped that
everyone will use their influence to this end.
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.
PILGRIMAGE TO PALESTINE. By Harry Emerson Fosdick. Published by, the Macmillan
Company, New York. Cloth, table of contents, bibliography, indices, colored
frontispiece, 294 pages. Price $2.15.
purchase Dr. Fosdick's book in the hope that you will find another book of
travel of the usual type you are doomed to disappointment. The book is a
travelogue, but of a very different sort from those usually met. The author
has departed from the general run of such works in that his book is not the
log of a trip, but rather a historical sketch of Jerusalem with comments on
the present condition of the locations upon which history was made. It is
arranged chronologically, from a historical rather than a travel viewpoint.
The plan adopted is something of a relief from the routine, and contributes
largely in making this work one of the most interesting books on Palestine it
has been my pleasure to read.
is certainly an advantage in this systematic treatment. It gives an
opportunity to present a picture of Palestine from the dawn of civilization to
the present time in concise, form and in a manner which makes one believe he
is reading of events which might happen today instead of centuries ago. The
descriptions of the land in its present state, with Dr. Fosdick's gift for
picturing Biblical history, has a strong tendency to unconsciously roll back
the curtain of time and help one to live in the days of Nebuchadnezzar, the
Philistines and even of Christ.
that all of the vividness of this book is due solely to the plan is to be
mistaken. Dr. Fosdick is an entertaining writer, though he occasionally shows
the influence of his profession and is inclined to become oratorical in spots.
The lapses are not numerous enough to be bothersome to the reader, in fact, to
some extent, they add to the charm of the book. This is particularly true when
he enters into a glowing description of some locality, impressive of itself
and teeming with history. He reflects the enthusiasm of a talented speaker
living again in a spot which has endeared itself to him. It makes one feel
almost as though he were listening to the learned Doctor expound the history
with which he is so familiar upon the very spot. From the technical side the
book is a scholarly and thoroughly masterful presentation of the subject.
many people have a smattering of Palestinian history that to discuss any of
the places mentioned by Dr. Fosdick would be useless repetition. Even so the
present work will give these readers an opportunity to piece their knowledge
into a systematic pattern and give the proper prospective to the whole.
it comes to the Palestine of today there are few equipped to discuss the
subject authoritatively. We hear much of Zionism and of what the Jews are
doing in Palestine today, but we know little of the situation as it relates to
the Arabs and Moslems in the Holy Land. Dr. Fosdick devotes a chapter of
perhaps a little more than average length to this question. It is one on which
he has, first-hand information and he speaks as one who has seen the
situation. The dangers which lie ahead of this movement are discussed in cold
impartiality as well as the benefits to be derived from its success. The book
would be valuable if all other material were omitted. Certainly all Jews
should read it, all Christians should be acquainted with the facts, as for the
Moslems who may read this, they too should be acquainted with the truth. The
question of the future of the Holy Land is interesting to all adherents to
these three faiths. Britain has avowed its support to the Zionites, it has
also guaranteed the security of existing religions in the Holy Land. There is
a problem entailed that should be interesting in its solution. It is a
question of methods to be followed - certain practices will doubtless lead to
the downfall of Zionism unless they are stopped. This is true in spite of the
well known vim, vigor and vitality of the Hebrew race. T.
* * *
GRUNDGEDANKEN DER FREIMAUREREI IM LICHTE DER PHILOSOPHIE. By Otto Heinichen.
Published by Alfred Unger, Berlin. Third enlarged edition. Paper, 138 pages.
Price, paper, $1.00; cloth, $2.35.
Basic Principles of Freemasonry in the Light of Philosophy is the title of
this meritorious little volume. And that means, gentlemen, that we are going
to have metaphysics for luncheon. We trust that your stomach is sound and
logical. The menu is written not in French, but in German. For the convenience
of those who are not familiar with the "Schoenste Lengwidsh" we shall
Appetizer: Faust Cocktail (Cauda Gallorum Mephistophelis is the botanical
Creme of Transcendentalism a la Fichte.
Soul realism boiled in parapsychic research. Driesch sauce. Goethe chips,
German fried. Puree of mental values.
Criticism of Pure Reason en casserole. Nietzsche kohl in Zarathustra sauce.
Chopped nature realism. Badische tripes a la Windelband.
Pudding: Categorical Imperative mit whipped Indeterminism cream.
Beverages: Primitive Phenomena. Nontotalism. Permissorial Liberty.
Sollgesetzlichkeit on draft.
by the Schopenhaner Glee Club
is plenty of good substantial food at this luncheon. It is well cooked and
nicely served. But the drinks are, despite their suggestive alluring names,
soft. No kick in them. The banquet is dry, bone-dry.
a good many years since metaphysics, transcendentalism and similar delicacies
were fed to us on the school benches. We have not tasted them since. It is
therefore with a decided awkwardness that we follow the author of the
Grundgedanken into the realm of the abstract. In the darkness of our mental
obtuseness we walk slowly; inch by inch we grope our way down into the caverns
of subconsciousness and up to the dizzy heights of Nietzsche's Superman, of
whom, incidentally, only a mouldy skeleton remains. Often we pause to wipe the
beads of perspiration from our brow as one weighty deduction after another is
stuffed into our bag of fresh philosophical knowledge "All Gaul is divided
into three parts," said Julius of old. So are the Grundgedanken. And as in the
case of ancient Gaul these three parts differ very much in size.
first, and very short chapter, we learn that Freemasonry stands on two legs:
the one is the liberty of conscience, the other is symbolism. Liberty of
conscience is not to be understood here in the common acceptance; civic
freedom to choose your own religion. It means here the absence of dogmatism
or, to be more exact, the reduction of dogmatism to a minimum; for it cannot
be avoided altogether, neither in religion, nor in science nor in philosophy,
not even in agnosticism.
these two very short but powerful legs rests the body or trunk, the second
chapter; this comprises three-fourths of the book. It consists of three
sections with numerous subdivisions.
Masonry and Science.
Masonry and Ethics.
Masonry and Religion.
last section ends in a disagreement with the Apostle St. Paul who in his
Letter to the Hebrews speaks of Faith as an unwavering expectation of what we
hope, an expectation that does not doubt what it does not see. Heinichen
frankly declares that he sees therein a double error. To quote: "To suppress
doubt and to dictate to faith: these are the two greatest sins against the
holy Spirit of Reason."
author thereby enters the field of theological controversies. Anglo-Saxon
Masonry is not interested in them. It neither endorses the Letter to the
Hebrews nor does it reject it, or any part of it. It is neutral about it.
viewed the legs and the trunk of the Grundgedanken, we come now to the brief
third chapter, which represents the head that sits on the torso: it is a
resume of the whole.
Heinichen cites Goethe and Kant extensively. With them he asserts the
existence of God and the immortality of the soul. He also believes in the
supernatural. He is on the whole a clear, cautious reasoner who skillfully
substantiates his contentions. The book contains multum in parvo. It is
intended chiefly for non-Masons. If they are not afraid of making an excursion
into the field of metaphysical speculation, they will find themselves rewarded
by an excellent exposition of the aims of Freemasonry - of continental
* * *
MORAL STANDARDS OF DEMOCRACY. By Henry Wilkes Wright. Published by Appleton &
Co. Cloth. Table of Contents, 300 pages. Price, $2.15.
book before us is written by a professor of philosophy and social ethics in
the University of Manitoba. It is probably intended rather for students than
for the lay reader, requiring close attention to get the author's meaning. His
English is a model for a work of this class; he is quite accurate and
discriminating in setting forth his views; and his vocabulary is amply
adequate. At times he rises almost to poetic flights of imagination which are
very fine indeed.
preface he admits a threefold complexity in man that renders generalization
difficult in all efforts to discover the natural laws by which his social
relations are governed. The human organism is a three-in-one complex - a
system of physical energy, an individual life, and a self-conscious person. To
unfold and determine accurately the extent to which these three phases
interact upon each other and upon the external world, and their reactions from
reciprocal forces and external stimuli is necessarily a stupendous
undertaking. But despite the magnitude of the task, he ventures into the field
with confidence by positing two axioms: First, that rational human
intelligence and will inherently possess a general uniformity of perceptions
and logical processes which enables every normal person of mature years to
apprehend and arrive at similar conclusions respecting the main fundamentals
of life; or, in simpler but less scientific language, "to see things alike."
Second, that this normal intelligence and will always expresses itself in
bodily movement in a manner somewhat similar to the motor responses of
distinct to external stimuli. By this he explains, is not meant that the
conceptions and judgments of intelligence in the finality leads to conscious
action, which is admitted as a matter of course, but that, after intelligence
has freed itself by the processes of experience and thought from direct
dependence upon external stimuli, it still expresses itself in incipient
movements of the larger muscles, or still other slighter movements more or
less imperceptible of special mechanisms like that of the speech organs.
first chapter he treats of the meaning of democracy and defines it,
preliminarily to further discussion, as "the fullest and freest and most
comprehensive type of human association made possible by the intelligence and
will which is common to all men." Again, it means the opportunity for all
persons to participate in a common good. It means equality, not in a
mathematical distribution of physical comforts and pleasures, but in the
enjoyment of those goods which are common and indivisible. He admits that the
proposed conception of democracy is rather normative than realistic. But as
the motor responses of human individuals are originally determined by instinct
and reflex, while intelligence acts independently of external stimuli, and yet
is closely related in its operations to unconscious instincts, he devotes the
second chapter to instinct and intelligence.
although the author does not say so, he evidently regards intelligence and
instinct as intimately related, notwithstanding that at first blush they seem
to belong to different worlds. Advancing psychological science however has
brought them into the same category through the study of mind in response to
stimulus, the method of study called behaviorism. While denying its conclusion
that it can dispense with consciousness in the psychological sense, and
vigorously opposing this conclusion with more or less extended argument, he
credits behavioristic psychology with the discovery of the fact that
intelligence expresses itself through mute and mostly invisible movements of
the organs of oral and written speech, gestures, changes of facial expression
and slight movements of the larger muscles, all of which movements have come
to symbolize the meanings previously expressed and understood through verbal
language. Instinct, therefore, being after a brief existence accompanied by
consciousness, is guided by perception of the stimulating cause, and as
experience gathers around the motor response, intelligence reorganizes the
scheme of reaction to the stimulus in accord with the probable conditions of
the future as well as the present, instead of meeting it impulsively for the
moment only. Hence the author's first conclusion is, that the functions of
instinct and intelligence are reciprocal. Instincts are inborn patterns of
action common to men and many animal species for making adjustments to
environment necessary for the continuance or promotion of life. Intelligence
directs instinctive responses so that they may subserve and promote the
welfare of the individual during the whole of his life including the future as
well as the present.
intelligence is not confined in its operations to the simple direction of
instinctive responses. It correlates and classifies instincts, bunching them
together in logical order with the power of enlisting them in the
accomplishment of its own purposes through the instrumentality of a sentiment
called the selfregarding sentiment - as we understand it, a sentiment which
shapes our movements not only and alone with reference to our own choice or
convenience, but also with reference to our being a unit in a larger class, i.
e., the association in which we live. Intelligence thus rises from the
position of servant in the beginning to that of master and controller of
instinctive action. As a second step in the discussion the author therefore
concludes that intelligence, by virtue of its capacity to generalize and
classify instincts and responses, is able to evoke, organize and direct a
number of instincts.
the function of intelligence is expanded still farther. It engages effectively
and continuously in the reorganization of the activities, whether instinctive
or habitual, by which the ultimate ends are realized; in common parlance, in
pursuit as well as in the final possession of the ends sought. In doing this
it endows the stimulating object with certain qualities which give it a
distinct character and location in the world of objects. These qualities
reflect the permanent interests of the individual as a unitary center of
activity which seeks to maintain its own existence and to obtain its own
third chapter considers the possibility of realizing the social ideal in the
attainment of the highest communal satisfaction, and asks: Does humanity
constitute a community organized upon a different and higher plane than that
of natural existence? The author believes that his basic axioms of community
of human intelligence and will, and intelligent motor responses and reactions,
open up possibilities of enlarged social life and an enriched social
intercourse. But he admits that these desiderata are for the most part
academic and unrealized; that in the present condition of society they have
not even developed into a generally recognized ideal, but remain only a more
or less casual idea which, as Mark Twain said of the weather, is much talked
of but nothing done about it. And he "reaches the heart" of the inquiry to
which he has devoted himself in the present volume in propounding this
question: Are there any motor activities arising out of these two basic
premises that, either single-handed or in any measure of combination, are
capable of bringing home to the individual the infinitely varied content of
unrivaled experience? Translating this technical statement into every-day
vernacular, is it possible by human effort directed by human intelligence to
establish the kingdom of heaven here on earth? And he thinks it is possible.
different forms of human association through which the perfect society is
ultimately to develop are then considered, of which there are three - exchange
of ideas (discussion), laboring together for a common purpose (cooperation),
and the mutual and reciprocal enjoyment of the esthetic (imaginative sympathy)
in contemplating the true, the beautiful and the powerful, thus covering the
fields of science, art and industry. From these premises and all that has
preceded in the general discussion, the objective of human association being
the greatest good to the race as a whole - or, better, the objective being to
enable every member of the community to participate equally in those community
benefits which are not susceptible of division and distribution separately to
individuals, but whose enjoyment is enhanced by the fact that they are the
subject of common enjoyment to all, the moral character of the definition
itself extends the province of human association entirely beyond the doctrine
of laissez faire, and the purely material or utilitarian view. The ideal of
the "perfect society" is therefore the ideal of democracy, for no less
comprehensive union and cooperation than that of all persons on terms of
strict equality will afford to all its members that full and free
participation in a common good which democracy demands; and the author
therefore believes that there is no reason for deriding the efforts to realize
it as Utopian and hopeless.
laying the foundations for moral standards in democracy the author naturally
and appropriately emphasizes education as the principal factor, and this must
take place in three different directions; toward intellectual alertness and
intellectual honesty, practical competence and loyalty, and imaginative
sympathy. These three are considered in separate chapters in detail, and
interestingly treated; but after all, they mean simply that we have heard long
ago about the threefold education of the head, the heart and the hand. No
doubt the author's analysis and definitions are more accurately and
psychologically scientific than the familiar slogan and therefore more
acceptable to specialists in sociological studies, but the lay mind apprehends
the simple statement much more easily. The book concludes with a chapter on
Democracy and Social Life, in which he arrives at a conclusion that will meet
with universal approval from humanity at large, and that is, that the family
circle and the domestic hearthstone are, after all, the foundation upon which
the realization of the democratic social ideal depends, for the simple and
obvious reason that the individual gets his initial outlook upon the social
world and his primary experience of personal association from the family life
into which he is born, and therefore that the family must remain the
foundation of civilized society and the cornerstone of democracy.
present reviewer finds much to commend and agree with in the book. Granted the
unexpressed premises upon which all such works are founded - namely, that the
principles of sociology can be reduced to an accurate science through a
biological process of reasoning - it seems to us that the author has made out
a strong case in proving his thesis. Every reader will, of course, determine
this for himself. Moreover, whatever may be the solidity of his logical
foundations or the lack of it, his exposition of individual morality and
standards of conduct is in line with the foremost idealism of modern thought.
It would be impossible if attempted, to give an adequate idea of his
discussions in detail, or to note many minor points upon which we would
differ, and we have no hesitancy in pronouncing it a masterly exposition of
the principles of social morality from the psycho-biological viewpoint.
However, we have arrived at conclusions generally similar regarding the
supremacy of society over the individual through a cosmological, rather than a
biological premise. There is an infinite and eternal energy operating
throughout all time and space, so far as we can see or judge, which manifests
itself to our senses in cosmotic processes that appeal to that common
intelligence of humanity which the author takes for one of his premises. This
energy displays a supreme perfection of intelligence such as man can never
hope to attain. This supreme intelligence must be purposive, because the human
mind cannot conceive of intelligence without purposiveness; the concept is
apriori in the human babe as soon as it begins to ask questions. To ask what a
thing is, is to ask an explanation of what it is for. Keeping this in mind,
and beholding life everywhere in countless forms, we find always the will to
live and to reach out for more life, for enhanced satisfaction, and observing
the life processes, we see that this will to live not only aspires to higher
life for the individual, but for the offspring, and in most forms of animated
life and even in many forms of vegetation - the individual will freely
sacrifice its own life for that of future generations. There is a purpose of
some kind underlying every life; and in all the gregarious types of animals,
the flocking together even though it be instinctive and social, serves the
purpose and is so used, of protecting the life of the herd, and especially
that of the young. Man, with his superior intelligence, never could have
perpetuated his species except through some form of association, beginning, of
course, with the family, but families must have been associated very early
after man's appearance upon earth for mutual protection as well as from the
social instinct. The distinguishing feature, biologically considered, which
sets man apart from the lower animals is his ability to recall past events and
organize his experiences for the guidance of his future actions. But he made
very slow progress until he had devised some means of perpetuating the memory
of his experiences and handing it down to future generations; and this was
finally accomplished through the visible signs which we call writing.
whether the perfect society will ever at any time be realized is with this
reviewer a matter of serious doubt. But he believes that wonderful progress
has been made during the millenniums of man's existence, and will continue to
be made in the future; not so much through the development of sociological
science by the learned, but by and through a kind of intuitive intelligence -
broader in its nature than mere instinct, and yet largely lacking in that
self-conscious thought which lies at the basis of scientific inquiry. Each
generation has made, and each generation of the future will, in a general way,
make more or less progress in solving the problems of life for the future.
Much more could be said along this line, but the limits have been already
reached, merely stating our basis for standards of morality is, that whatever
promotes more life, higher life, more exquisite life in the race is right; and
whatever hinders, retards or operates unfavorably to such enlargement of life
for the race is wrong; and that the trend of society is more and more in the
direction of recognizing its truth with each succeeding generation.
* * *
BOLSHEVISM, FASCISM AND DEMOCRACY. By Francesco Nitti, Translated by Margaret
M. Green. Published by The Macmillan Company, New York. Cloth, Table of
Contents, Frontispiece, Index, 224 pages. Price $2.90.
title conveys something of the intent and content of the book. It is a
scholarly discussion of the comparative merits of the various forms of
government predominant in world affairs at the present time.
DESTINY. By Walter Lippman. Published by the Macmillan Company, New York.
Cloth, Table of Contents, Illustrated, 244 pages. Price $2.65.
accounts of the men of destiny who are taking part in the affairs of modern
government. It is limited to Americans of the present day and does not include
any who are not now living.
WARREN AND GEN. REED
you any definite information in regard to the Masonic affiliations of Generals
Joseph Warren and Joseph Reed?
Frederick Hooker, N. Y.
Unfortunately we are unable to find any reference to General Joseph Reed as a
Mason. This is not, of course, conclusive evidence that he was not a member of
the Fraternity, but this field has been so thoroughly covered that it is
hardly likely that a man of General Reed's prominence has escaped
General Warren was a Mason, a member of the Lodge of St. Andrew in Boston. The
records show him to have been received as an Entered Apprentice on Sept. 10,
1761, passed to the degree of Fellowcraft on Nov. 2, and admitted to
membership on Nov. 26. On Nov. 30, 1768, Joseph Warren was chosen Master. The
records on May 30, 1769, say that Joseph Warren, Master of St. Andrew's, was
made Grand Master of Masonry in Boston. See also the article by Bro. Baird in
THE BUILDER, Vol. VIII, page 372; also Vol. X, pages 78 and 110.
* * *
PROBLEM OF RECOGNITION
following letter was received from Bro. Hunt, Grand Secretary of the Grand
Lodge of Iowa, and deals with the attitude taken by that jurisdiction in this
Replying to your letter I take leave to quote from our Grand Lodge
Proceedings. In the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Iowa for 1911, page 381,
I find that the following report was adopted by Grand Lodge. I quote from the
report only that portion which relates to the question you raise: "As your
Committee is informed, this Grand Jurisdiction is in fraternal accord with all
legitimately organized Masonic Grand Bodies of the world, with, perhaps, two
or three exceptions, as to which there may be room for doubt as to legitimacy,
and as to one or more of which there may be other objections. In making this
statement, as to so general a recognition of Grand Bodies, we must not he
understood as saying that this Grand Lodge has taken affirmative action as to
such recognition, but it is in active fraternal accord with such bodies, and
to as great an extent as if there had been in each case an express
recognition. Your Committee, in this connection, chance the statement that as
to all legitimately constituted Grand Lodges recognition is presumed until in
some manner brought in question, when the facts essential to legitimacy must
be made to appear.
"Having said that recognition is presumed in particular cases it seems
important to place some defined meaning on the word ‘recognition,' so as to
know how much is comprehended in its presumption. So far as we know no
specific meaning has been applied to the term as employed in Masonic parlance,
and we are left to state our own conclusion, which is that a simple
recognition is an acknowledgment, and, as applied to Grand Lodge recognition,
it is an acknowledgment of the conditions or facts essential to a legal
recognition, as, that it is a properly constituted Grand Lodge. If not
properly constituted, it cannot legally be recognized. If properly
constituted, it may or it may not be recognized, depending upon the will and
wishes of the lodge taking the action, for recognition of a legally
constituted lodge is not obligatory, and other facts than those pertaining to
its legitimacy may be considered."
last paragraph quoted indicates that in the case of undoubtedly clandestine
bodies, such as the Thomson Organization, such recognition is not presumed.
the following from a report adopted by Grand Lodge in 1922. See Proceedings of
that year, page 154: "Your Committee on Recognition of Masonic Bodies
recognizes the fact that Masonry is or should be universal. While we do not
deem it best to endeavor to name every Grand Lodge that we would consider as
regular and legitimate, we believe that when there is only one Masonic
governing body in a country or territory that such Masonic body should be
recognized and its members permitted to visit in Iowa lodges, unless for good
and sufficient reason we refuse recognition, or unless the legitimacy is
questioned or denied. When there is more than one Masonic body claiming
jurisdiction we would suggest that recognition be withheld until such time as
the Masonic standing shall become unquestionable."
the following from a report adopted by the Grand Lodge of Iowa in 1925. See
Proceedings of that year, page 163: "Our Grand Lodge is in fraternal accord
with all legitimately organized Masonic Grand Bodies of the world with but few
exceptions. In the report on Fraternal Correspondence you will find the Grand
Lodges in the United States and other English speaking Grand Bodies which we
feel we are recognizing as legitimate Grand Bodies through the active
fraternal accord with such Grand Bodies. It has been our theory and doctrine
that to all legitimately constituted Grand Lodges, recognition is presumed
until challenged in some way."
of these reports, there is an indication, or rather, statement, that a
legitimate Grand Lodge should be able to trace its descent from the Grand
Lodges of Great Britain. However, we have never gone to the extent of saying
that we, would not recognize a Grand Lodge whose lodges could not so trace
their descent. We have in the past recognized Grand Lodges whose lodges were
organized by Scottish Rite bodies. We do claim, however, that a Grand Lodge to
be entitled to recognition must have supreme authority over the Masonic
degrees in their own jurisdiction.
may be interested to know that the M.S.A. has a committee working on this
subject. The Conference of Grand Masters recently held in Washington,
recognizing the importance of this subject, also ordered a committee to make
investigation and report at a subsequent conference.
* * *
MASONS AT SIGHT
enclosing a clipping from a Pittsburgh paper, which states that Governor
Fisher of this state was made a Mason at sight, March 7, 1928. Would like to
have you publish same in THE BUILDER as well as anything you wish to add on
the subject. For instance, it has not been long since I read several articles
in THE BUILDER on the subject of Making Masons at Sight.
writer spoke about William Howard Taft having been made a Mason at sight; he
said that it was like coming down through the roof when the Tyler was asleep.
As most of us think that everyone should pass the ballot as well as travel the
road, whether he be Governor or a common workman, would like to see you give a
good article on the subject.
clipping says in a sub-head that this was a "rare honor" conferred on the
Governor. It states that:
special dispensation of the Grand Master of the lodge of Pennsylvania, the
chief executive was made a "Mason at sight," an honor said to be but rarely
conferred. This ceremony waives formalities in the awarding of the first three
account is vague and it is evidently written by a nonMason. "Making a Mason"
does not by itself imply more than Initiation, so it is not clear if Bro.
Fisher is an E. A. or a M. M. "Waiving formalities" may be properly understood
as those of petition and investigation, but the phrase seems in the mind of
the writer to imply omission of part of the ceremonies.
articles Bro. R.P.M. refers to were a series of briefly expressed opinions on
the subject by brethren of more or less prominence in the Craft. They appeared
in the February number of THE BUILDER for 1925. A wide difference appeared in
these opinions, which are probably irreconcilable as they depend more on
feeling and point of view than on pure reasoning.
might add that wherever a Grand Master has the power to grant a dispensation
for the formation of a lodge, to dispense with the statutory interval between
petition and ballot, and between ballot and initiation, he obviously has the
power, by exercising all three rights at one time in his own presence, to
congregate a number of Masons and form them into a lodge and proceed to
initiate the candidate selected for this honor. It seems that it can be
properly called an honor, and for that reason should never he exercised except
where no question as to the fitness of the recipient could possibly arise.
* * *
WEARING A RING
Master or Past Master of a lodge will wear his ring with the square open
towards his body and others wear theirs with the compasses open towards
theirs, then their hands will be in the same relative position as they were in
giving and taking the obligation. At least it is so in this jurisdiction.
suppose the brother - who neglected to give either his name or address - has
reference to what was said on this subject in the February number on page 64.
So far as we know what our unknown correspondent says is true for most
jurisdictions, but we must confess that we fail to see the point exactly.
three following queries were on the same sheet, but we have answered them
separately for convenience of indexing:
* * *
what jurisdiction (if any) are the lesser lights displayed in all three
the Grand Lodges of the British Empire the custom is, we believe, invariable,
not only to display them in the Second and Third Degrees, but to light them
before the opening of the lodge, and to keep them burning till it is closed.
The lesser lights are always candles, electric and other imitations being
severely frowned upon. In the United States, on the other hand, it is quite
general to light them only during the work of the First Degree, and often only
for the few moments while they are being explained to the candidate. But we
have very little definite information at hand upon this particular point and
would be glad to have any readers send us the usage in their own lodges, and
also any variations with which they may be acquainted.
* * *
other Grand Jurisdictions, if any, besides Missouri, have refused to recognize
French Masonry because they have removed the Holy Bible from their altar?
question can be more easily answered by saying that practically all the
English speaking Grand Lodges, both of America and the British Empire, refuse
recognition to French Freemasonry. There are a few exceptions. It must be
remembered that there are three "obediences" in France besides the Co-Masonic
Droite Humaine, these are the Grand Orient, the Grand Loge and the Grand Loge
National. The latter is recognized by the Grand Lodge of England. The Grand
Loge is recognized by Alabama, California and in Canada by Manitoba. There
are, we believe, one or two others besides these.
is much ignorance regarding French Freemasonry, the Grand Loge and the Grand
Orient are not to be judged together. The former has made no essential changes
in its rituals. So far as the Bible is concerned it is not correct to say it
was removed from the altar as from the first it never formed part of the
furniture of French Lodges. It must be remembered that the Bible is not
regarded in the same way in France as in Protestant countries, and its
presence or absence would never have meant the same thing to French Masons as
it does to us.
* * *
of Wearing the Apron
understand that in the various jurisdictions there are different ways of
wearing the apron, especially in the Second and Third Degrees. Why is this so,
and what do these different methods signify?
is one of those minor points upon which there is no general agreement. In
other countries the rank to which a brother has attained is designated by the
apron itself-in the First Degree it is plain, while in the Second there are
two rosettes placed in the lower corners. The Master Mason has a third rosette
on the flap or bib, and the Past Master replaces the rosettes by three
"levels" or inverted T's. This is hardly symbolism, though perhaps there might
have been some significance in the last mentioned device. But there is a real
difference between a designation or mark of distinction and a symbol - or if
the former be called a symbol it is one of the very lowest denomination, and
would be in the same category as letters and numbers when used as
However the earliest method of distinguishing the rank of Masons was in a
different mode of wearing the apron. This first appears definitely about 1760,
when in one work (of rather doubtful authority it must be confessed) we are
told that the Apprentice had to wear his apron wrong side out so that the bib
was concealed. The Fellowcraft wore his with the bib turned up and fastened to
a button on the vest. The earliest aprons were provided with a buttonhole for
are reasons for thinking that in France members of those higher degrees that
claimed special privileges in Craft lodges (which, it would seem, were often
allowed) also turned up a corner of their aprons if they did not happen to
have with them the jewels and other insignia of their exalted rank. It is
barely possible that this was the origin of the triangular aprons used in so
many of the so-called "Scottish" or Ecossais degrees.
original form of apron used by operative Masons, whether of linen or leather,
was large enough to really cover all the parts of the clothing likely to come
in contact with the work. Such aprons are still worn by both masons and
carpenters in Europe. It is quite common when a man is moving about for a
corner of the apron to be tucked up into the string in order to get it out of
the way and leave more freedom to the legs. It does not of course signify
anything as to status, it is simply a matter of individual convenience. Thus
on an early occasion of the laying of a foundation stone by the Grand Lodge of
Scotland it was recorded that the procession returned "in due form, with the
right corner of their aprons tucked up." As the procession was composed of all
grades of Masons there was no question of distinction in this. It may have
been done as following operative custom, but this would merely lead us to the
earliest American usage there is no doubt that rosettes and other adornments
were employed. Later the custom seems to have been that the Master Mason
turned up one corner of his apron, and the apprentice the flap. Some
jurisdictions still retain this in their instructions but qualify it by saying
the Master does not actually do so, as a general practice, either for
convenience or uniformity or some like reason. This leaves in practice no
distinction between the Fellowcraft and Master. Other jurisdictions have
therefore modified their ritual by transposing the method of the Second or
Third Degrees, or else by making the Fellowcraft turn up both corner and flap.
a good deal has been written on this subject at one time and another, it does
not seem that all the information bearing on the subject has yet been
collected. It would be well if brethren in a position to do so, looked for any
evidence of a variation or change in their own jurisdictions. If we knew what
actually has been the history of the usage in different States we would be in
a better position to determine why changes were made.
* * *
Book Department has had an inquiry for Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid,
by Piazzi Smith. If any of our reader have a copy they wish to dispose of, we
would like to hear from them.
* * *
trying to complete a set of the American Freemason founded and edited by Bro.
Morcombe. If any readers of THE BUILDER have in their possession copies of
this periodical that they would be willing to dispose of, I should be very
glad to hear from them.
Barr, Muscatine, Iowa.