The Builder Magazine

February 1928 - Volume XIV - Number 2

 

The Shadow of the Vatican

By DR. LEO CADIUS (Continued from January)

THIS series of articles is written by a member of the Roman Church.

He 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 church itself.

It 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.

 

AMONG the Catholic common clergy and the educated laity there exists a deep-rooted dissatisfaction with the present organization of the hierarchy. And, no doubt, there are even some bishops who secretly resent the selfishness of the Italian clique that has for centuries been monopolizing the government of the Church and is ever reaching out for new power.

 

Then why do they not lift up their voice in protest? Why do they not start an agitation to break the chain ?

 

There is nothing to prevent the Catholic laity from launching such a movement, provided it is not aimed at the foundation, at the basic principles, of church government. But the laity is not accustomed to have a voice in ecclesiastical matters. It feels unfamiliar and insecure on such ground. It has been taught to pay and to obey, to hang on to the apron strings of the clergy.

 

Also America is a young expanding nation, barely emerged from the pioneer state and engrossed with the development of the immense material resources of this vast territory. This is a materialistic age. The atmosphere of our country is distinctly commercial. We cannot reasonably expect the young American church to be able to boast of proportionately as great a number of educated laymen, of scholars, thinkers and idealists, as we find in France, Germany or Great Britain. And only well-educated men would muster sufficient self- confidence to consider the gigantic task of reorganizing an unwilling and almost all-powerful hierarchy. It would be tackling not a national, but a world problem.

 

As regards the Catholic episcopate, most members of this august body are presumably well pleased with the present hierarchic system. They got there under the systerm They attained under it their high ecclesiastical dignity, their position of power and prestige and (often) of wealth, either by their own efforts, or through the kind, and unsolicited, recommendations of some friend and patron. How many of our bishops would be wearing a mitre, if the nomination lay in the hands of the common clergy and the laity?

 

Every American bishop proclaims it on his official documents that he is bishop "by the grace of God and favor of the Apostolic See." By Apostolic See is meant the ltalian Autocracy. In presuming to criticize that governmental system, he would appear to be guilty of ingratitude, of attacking the benefactors that have raised him to his exalted dignity, of, so to speak, biting the hand that has fed him. And not only would he by such criticism irretrievably ruin his chances of further promotion, but he would, if he persisted in it, sson face "demotion" and other disciplinary procedure. Rome would impose silence on him under penalty of removal from office and of serving sentence behind monastery walls.

 

THE RIGHT OF FREE SPEECH

 

And what about the lower or "common" clergy, the plain priests who have no such prelatical handles to their names as Right Reverend, Most Reverend, His Lordship, His Grace, His Eminence? Is there no such thing as freedom of speech among them?

 

Theoretically there is.

 

Practically, there is just as much as there was at a certain meeting of the Amalgamated Brass Beaters Union in Chicago. Its purpose was to elect officers. Mike Dugan had been the president and autocrat of the Union. It was his intention to remain at the helm. His faithful lieutenant, the redoubtable Terry Killduff, presided over the meeting. Several speakers had been heard, all advocating the reselection of Mike and his ticket. "Now, before we proceed to ballot," said the chairman, "I want everybody to have a chance to speak out his mind. We believe in free discussion. Has anybody got something to say?" A man known to be an anti-Duganite arose. "Mr. Chairman, I do not quite agree to - " Before he had finished his sentence he was knocked down from behind. There ensued a prolonged pause. "Does anybody else want the floor?" suavely inquired the herculean Terry. More silence. "Well, then, if everybody seems to agree to the reselection of Mr. Michael Dugan, I do not see the need of a ballot. Mister Secretary, please put it on record that this meeting of the Amalgamated Brass Beaters Union reselects unanimously, by acclamation, Mr. Michael Dugan for president."

 

There exists as much freedom of speech in the Catholic Church today as the peace advocates enjoyed in Italy, Bulgaria, Turkey, Rumania and the United States after the small, but resourceful, war factions in those countries had prevailed on their respective governments to take the plunge into the world war.

 

There is this one difference, however: the suspension of free speech in the war-stricken countries was temporary; in the Catholic Church, it has lasted for centuries. It is not so much due to repressive legislation on the part of the Vatican as to a subtle intellectual penetration in virtue of which the Catholic masses are kept in peaceful submission. An oligarchy of cardinals, backed by the heads of a few powerful religious orders, has been perpetuating itself in power. It styles itself the divinely constituted government of the Church, and it is accepted as such by the Catholic people for whom it is no less than the mouthpiece of the Holy Ghost. To criticize this government means to attack the Church, to rebel, to sin against the Holy Ghost. Not only will the oligarchy, or its agents, frown on the wretch of a critic, and (if worth while) take action against him, but practically the entire Catholic press, in its pious loyalty, will empty the vials of its wrath or derision on the miscreant.

 

A bishop, priest or layman may submit opinions or advice to the Vatican. He will be given courteous hearing. But the opinions must not be of an uncongenial nature. A suggestion, for instance, that the Holy Father internationalize or democratize the government of the Church would decidedly not be countenanced.

 

REASONS FOR SUBMISSION

 

There is another reason why the American clergy submits without protest to the aggressions of the Italian autocracy. The average American priest is a builder. He is engaged in material construction, in the erection of churches, schools, convents, rectories. From the first day of his pastorate to the last, he is beset with cares and worries about financing his enterprises. He has to tax his brain to the limit to raise the necessary funds. Add to it the burden of his spiritual ministration. He has not the time nor the inclination, nor has he sufficient familiarity with theology and church history, to concern himself with hopeless theories of a new constitution for the Church. He is a pragmatist, not a dreamer. He will not bump his head against a massive stone wall, he will not assail an impregnable fortress. He will not borrow trouble, invite derision, or persecution. He has the American gift of caution and adaptability. He will rather endure oppression than burn his fingers by resisting it. Submission to authority is a trait characteristic of the adherents of the Roman Church. It is one of the sources of her strength. It is also one of the causes of her colossal losses. It works both ways.

 

IS EMANCIPATION POSSIBLE?

 

If the American Church is to be emancipated from the yoke of the absolutistic Italian Oligarchy, the initiative will have to be taken by the American non-Catholics, as an act friendly to their Catholic fellow citizens and also for the protection of the American ideals of democracy. For, as we have seen, the American bishops and priests are tongue-tied. Their economic security, their chances of promotion to ecclesiastical honors, to power and wealth, are involved. The American Catholic laymen are either indifferent about the subject, or, if interested, feel diffident or incompetent of approaching it.

 

It is probable that the Knights of Columbus would favor such emancipation, but there is little, if any, prospect that they will broach the subject. In the first place, who would agitate it? Assuredly not the Catholic press of the United States. It is, in its entirety, with the possible exception of the previously mentioned Fortnightly Review of St. Louis, subservient to the hierarchy.

 

Let us assume, for the sake of the argument, that the Knights of Columbus did resolve to identify themselves with the emancipation movement. A simple mode of procedure for them would be to draw up a petition requesting of the Holy Father that he inter-nationalize and democratize the government of the Church. They could, presumably, without great effort obtain millions of signatures of American Catholics. It would be a monster petition. It would have to contain a definite program of reorganization. The program would have to be formulated with the greatest of circumspection under the guidance of expert theologians and church historians. It could not conflict with any of the basic principles of the Catholic faith. It would have to be theologically unobjectionable.

 

Allowing now that such a monster petition is correctly formulated and duly forwarded to the Holy Father, what would he do? He would reply in a most benevolent, paternal tone. He would adduce a list of reasons why he cannot comply with the request. One of them would presumably be, that, the nations of the world being still aflame with hatred engendered by the great war, the internationalization of the government of the Church at this time would be too risky an experiment to be given a trial. In fact, that it would not be feasible, that it would lead to schisms. And the like. A good statesman, like a good lawyer, is never at a loss for arguments to plead his cause. The Holy Father will counsel patience. Yes, after the world has returned to a normal and stable condition, he will most gladly consider the proposal and give it his most careful attention. He will then proceed to sugar-coat the pill with a lavish effusion of expressions of his high regard for the great and glorious American people, of the deep love he harbors for them, of his profound, undying gratitude for the past generosity of the American Catholics. He will invoke the divine blessing upon them, and thus the performance will end, like a successful church service, with the Apostolic Benediction.

 

Still, one never knows. Let the Knights of Columbus stage the experiment. It would be a spectacle worth watching. It might lead to interesting developments.

 

But let us suppose that the Knights did not permit themselves to be sidetracked by honeyed talk. Let us assume that they insisted upon a revision of the constitution of the Church along the lines of democracy and international justice, and that they threatened, in the case of refusal, to withhold their contribution to the Peter's Pence. What then?

 

The Holy Father could (and most likely would) reply by dissolving the Order. The Knights are a powerful organization; some non-Catholics credit them with greater influence in the affairs of the American nation than is exercised even by Freemasonry (1). This is obviously an exaggeration, about 85 per cent of the members of the United States Senate and of the House of Representatives belong to the Masonic brotherhood. Nevertheless, nobody will deny that the Knights are one of the dominant factors in the life of the nation. A stroke of the Pope's pen, and the Knights are decreed out of existence, as Pope Clement the Fifth in 1312 by a stroke of the pen wiped out the great Order of the Knights Templar. Such is the power of the Pope, the head of an absolutistic foreign oligarchy!

 

However, all this seems to be idle talk. It is extremely improbable that the Knights will ever undertake the burden of such a petition. And even if they entered upon the project, the American hierarchy would soon prevail upon them to abandon it.

 

It would seem that the deliverance of the American Church from the yoke of the Italian Oligarchy can only come through the kind offices of our non-Catholic fellow-citizens. How this could be effected, we will see later.

 

THE ELECTION OF BISHOPS

 

We Roman Catholics believe that the bishops are the successors of the Apostles. The first vacancy in the episcopate was caused by the death of Judas Iscariot. He was replaced by the Apostle Matthias, who was elected by popular vote. The bishops of the early Christian era, such as St. Ambrose, St. Augustine, St. Martin, St. Nicholas, were chosen by the clergy and the people. But if I suggest today that we return to that custom of the primitive Church, that we let the Catholic clergy and the people of each diocese directly or through delegates nominate their bishops, I am guilty of rebellion against the divine constitution of the Church.

 

Up to the year 1925 the Catholic clergy of Ireland had the privilege of nominating their bishops. In May, 1925, an American priest had the "impudence" to inquire of the Papal Delegation in Washington, D.C., why that privilege was denied to the American clergy. A few months later, in the fall of 1925, the Vatican issued a decree depriving the Irish clergy of that privilege. I have not as yet heard that anybody in Ireland dared to protest against that high-minded measure.

 

If Zambo, the little French poodle, nominates our American bishops, we may expect that a little English bulldog belonging to some Cardinal's sister in Rome will nominate the bishops in Ireland.

 

The following incident is said to have taken place during the present generation: An American bishop made his quinquennial visit ad limina, that is, a pilgrimage to Rome to visit the graves of the Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul. At this occasion the bishop calls on the Holy Father to report to him on the state of his diocese. Said American bishop had been denounced to the Vatican as having been indifferent about the welfare of the Italians in his district. His reception was, accordingly, sub-zero.

 

"And what have you done for the Italians in your diocese?" the Pope frigidly asked the empurpled culprit during the audience.

 

"Holy. Father, what have you done for the Italians in your own country?" the American retorted. "Of all the Catholics that come to the United States, the Italians are the most backward both in attending and supporting their church. I have in my diocese ten different nationalities represented. They all manage to keep up their own churches and schools - all, except the Italians. They have to be subsidized by the other nationalities. A good-sized Irish, or German, or Polish congregation will build a magnificent church and fill the large edifice six times and oftener on Sundays. For an Italian congregation of the same size a little shack will do and one Mass is sufficient. In my diocese the churches are crowded to the doors. Here in Italy I see the churches empty on Sundays, barring a few women and children. Holy Father, I ask again, what have you done for the Italians in your own country?"

 

The audience did not last very long and the American bishop departed without the customary benediction.

 

It is to be feared that there is one thing wrong with the above story, namely, that it is merely - a story. It is extremely improbable that there ever lived an American bishop who had sufficient courage to utter even one word displeasing to the Holy Father.

 

APOSTOLIC FREEDOM

 

In the Acts of the Apostles we are told: "And in those days, the number of the disciples increasing, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, for that their widows were neglected in the daily ministrations." The little difficulty was promptly adjusted.

 

Today the discontent is over that preferment of the Italians in the government of the Church which has endured for centuries. But the murmuring is done by the timid Catholic clergy and people in a subdued voice, behind closed doors, lest the Italian taskmasters hear it. St. Paul was not afraid to administer a rebuke to St. Peter when the latter practiced dissimulation in the issue of eating with the Gentiles. We read in the epistle to the Galatians: "But when I saw that they walked not uprightly unto the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all: If thou being a Jew, livest after the manner of the Gentiles, and not of the Jews, how dost thou compel the Gentiles to follow the way of Jews?"

 

If the Apostle of the Gentiles lived today, he would step up to the successor of Cephas in Rome and say to him: "Thou bemoanest this world war, the most appalling of all catastrophes. Thou deplorest the selfishness of the nations and the greed of individuals that threaten to provoke another more destructive war that will leave the whole human race in a state of universal hopeless chaos. And thou thyself arrogatest to thyself and to thy nation unjust special privileges. Thou deniest to the flock of Christ equal rights with thy Italians. How canst thou expect the nations of the world to respect international justice, to foster a spirit of universal brotherhood and love, when thou, the greatest moral potentiality on earth - when thou, thyself, art tainted and blackened with unpardonable selfishness, art persistently practicing international injustice ?"

 

Yes, the Holy Father is most anxious to see a permanent world peace established on the basis of international justice. He is willing to do anything and everything towards the realization of that happy ideal  - anything and everything except practice social justice himself. He is an untiring advocate of social justice. Suum cuique! To introduce the reign of social justice throughout the world he is willing to do anything and everything - anything and everything except practice social justice himself. Ask him to restore to the Catholic clergy and laity their former rights, their just share and voice in the government of the Church, and you will find that either he has become a deaf- mute or else he will fulminate an anathema upon you.

 

COMMON ERRORS ABOUT THE CATHOLIC RELIGION

 

As we have seen, the American Catholics permit themselves to be used as a door mat by a small Italian Clique in Rome which I have symbolized under the name of Zambo. We must give them credit, however, for defending their rights at home against any aggressions on the part of American non- Catholics. They watch with jealous eyes against any encroachment on their interests by the daily press, the theater, the movies, the legislatures, the business houses.

 

One reason for this lies in the fact that they are a minority in this country. A minority is usually compact, spirited, aggressive, resentful, ready to raise its bristles at the slightest provocation.

 

Another reason is found in the circumstance that the Catholic religion is so much misunderstood and misrepresented. The Catholic feels that he is something of a martyr and this strengthens his attachment to his church.

 

Here are some of the most common errors one meets even among educated, fair-minded non-Catholics:

 

1. ADORATION OF THE VIRGIN MARY.

 

To adore means to accord divine honors. The Catholic considers it the greatest possible crime against God to adore any creature, even the Mother of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

 

2. DISRESPECT FOR PROTESTANT MARRIAGE.

 

The opposite is the case. The Catholic religion teaches that the marriage between two Protestants is valid and a sacrament. If a Protestant man would put his Protestant wife away, even on the ground of infidelity, and marry another woman, he could not be received into the Catholic Church unless he previously divorces his second wife. The Catholic, therefore, holds the Protestant marriage vows more sacred than many Protestants themselves regard them.

 

3. PAPAL INFALLIBILITY.

 

The Pope is infallible only as teacher of religion and morals when he speaks ex cathedra, that is, solemnly as the Head of the Church. As a private theologian he can err in matters of faith and morals, and needless to say, in everything else. His position is somewhat analogous to that of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Chief Justice as a private lawyer can err, but when he delivers an official decision as Chief Justice then the question is settled and there is no higher appeal.

 

In their boundless reverence for the Pope, however the Catholics let him actually be infallible in practically everything. That is, they dare not criticize him even when such criticism would redound to the benefit of the Church. For example, the rule of Zambo over the American Church is unjustifiable and indefensible but no American Catholic dares to criticize it.

 

4. THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION.

 

It means that the Blessed Virgin Mary was free from the stain of original sin from the very first moment of her existence in the womb of her mother. The original sin is, according to Christian fundamentalism, the spiritual stain or disability inherited from our first parents, Adam and Eve, wherewith every human being is born. It is washed off in baptism.

 

The Immaculate Conception is not to be confounded with the Virgin Birth of Christ. Much less does it imply that the conjugal act by which children are conceived in holy wedlock, is sinful.

 

5. CONVENTS.

 

No sane person can possibly lend credence to certain insinuations made against the convents by irresponsible and vile sheets. The nuns are good and holy women, worthy of every admiration and respect.

 

In the interest of democracy and humanity, however, some convents could bear inspection. I know one large community of over a thousand nuns, most of them school-sisters, educated American girls. They conduct a long string of academies and parish schools. This community was founded over fifty years ago. The sisters have never had to this day an opportunity of electing a Superior, neither by direct nor by indirect ballot. A small clique of tyrants perpetuates itself in power a la Zambo. The case has been reported to the Papal Delegation in Washington, but to no avail. The suspicion seems justified that the Superior, the "Venerable Mother," sends occasionally a fat check to Zambo in Rome. The community is financially very strong.

 

Another large community not far from the headquarters of the one just mentioned, has only very recently had its first chance of electing a Superior, after it had smarted for a long time under Zambo rule.

 

It would be a service to humanity if every state in the Union established a Bureau of Cults to investigate these religious institutions and all other public institutions, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, every five or ten years. I sincerely hope that the Knights of Columbus would rather encourage than thwart the creation of such Bureaus. Convents have nothing to lose, but rather a good deal to gain, by such investigation. They should be visited by women inspectors, of course.

 

These inspectrices would frequently be surprised to learn how little is done by the Catholic parishes and pastors for the comfort of the school-sisters. Often twenty or thirty of these noble, self-sacrificing women are packed together in a small building like herrings in a keg. They have to manage, with a minimum of modern conveniences, on the small salary of three hundred dollars a year per teaching sister. Across the street lives the Reverend Father in a luxuriously furnished stately mansion with the latest of everything in the line of comfort. If the good nuns received the tenth part of the attention he bestows on the welfare of his pet dog, they would consider themselves transferred to paradise.

 

6. CELIBACY.

 

The celibacy of the clergy has great advantages and serious disadvantages. Hence it has been styled by Catholic churchmen the perpetual question. Non-Catholics who condemn it should remember that to every Catholic priest in the United States there are at least one hundred unmarried men of the same age. Nobody seems to bother about them. Then why pick on the priest?

 

Above are but a few samples of a long list of misunderstood Catholic doctrines and practices. These misrepresentations irritate the Catholics and tend to consolidate them. Many a lukewarm Catholic who sees his religion distorted warms up to it again.

 

It may surprise some Protestants to hear that the Catholics are rather indifferent about other people's religion. The word Protestant is rarely heard in a Catholic pulpit and when it is mentioned it is done in a respectful, non- controversial way. An attack on Protestants and their religion in a Catholic pulpit is something extremely rare. These rare instances are, however, well advertised in certain periodicals.

 

OBJECTIONABLE CATHOLIC DOCTRINES

 

It must be admitted that some of our officially approved textbooks of Catholic Theology contain doctrines that are a source of just apprehension to nonCatholics.

 

I confine myself here to citing two from two modern standard works that are being used as textbooks in Catholic seminaries the world over. They are the Theologiae Dogmaticae Compendium (Compendium of Dogmatic Theology), by Hugo Hurter, and the Summa Theologiae Moralis (Sum of Moral Theology), by Hieronymus Noldin. Both authors, now deceased, were Jesuits and professors in the theological faculty of the state university of Innsbruck in Austria.

 

In the eighth edition of his compendium, volume the first, No. 446, Hurter quotes the Italian Jesuit Palmieri:

 

On account of the positive, though indirect, subjection of the civil authority to the authority of the primate (papacy), the Roman Pontiff can not only forbid the civil authorities any measure that would hurt the church, but he can also prescribe to them (the civil authorities) anything that is necessary, or even very useful, for the (welfare of the) Church; for he has the power to loose and to bind in everything that is conducive towards the good government of the Church and towards the right administration of the Christian commonwealth.

 

Palmieri then continues to demonstrate how papal independence from all civil authority, including the exemption of the Catholic clergy from the jurisdiction of the civil courts, is conducive to the good of the Church.

 

The Pope's claim that the civil authorities are subject to his authority will not secure any advantage for the Church, for he cannot force the governments to respect his demands. He merely engenders distrust and hatred of the papacy and of the Catholic religion. The Catholic people have to suffer for it.

 

In the nominally Catholic Latin countries, in which the papacy asserts all sorts of divine rights and prerogatives, there is continuous friction between the state and church. In soi-disante Catholic France, priests and bishops had to serve as combatants in the World War. In the mostly Protestant Nordic countries, in which owing to the separation of the (Catholic) Church from the state, the Pope asserts no such prerogatives, the Church progresses and prospers. During the war the priests were exempted from military service. The world may be, after all, not so hostile to religion. It seems as if it wants to say to the papacy: "If you come around with your divine rights, you will get nothing and less than that. But if you come and ask for courtesies and accommodations, you can have everything that is reasonable."

 

The other author mentioned was Hieronymus Noldin. In the thirteenth edition of his Sum of Moral Theology, published in 1920 by Felieian Raueh in Innsbruck, Vol. III, No. 67, he declares in the treatise on baptism:

 

67. De infantibus haereticorum -  The Children of Heretics:

 

It is certain that the Church has the right to baptize the children of heretics and to prevent them from being imbued with the errors of their parents, because heretics, being subjects of the Church, can be compelled to observe the divine law. The Church, however, does not make use of his right of hers, because she cannot prevent that children of heretics are brought up in heresy.

 

By "Church" the author means, of course, the Roman Catholic Church. She looks upon heretics as her subjects, because they, being baptized, are Christians. She asserts no claim whatsoever on nonChristians.

 

68. De infantibus infidelium - The Children of Infidels:

 

1. Ordinarily, it is not permitted to baptize the children of infidels without the knowledge and consent of their parents, because, if such baptized children are taken away from their parents, the natural right of the parents (to their children) is violated; while, if they are left in the custody of the parents, an injury is done to the Sacrament on account of the certain danger that these children will not be raised as Christians.

 

Moreover, in regard to the children of Hebrews, there exists a special legislation of the Church that they be not baptized without the consent of their parents.

 

2. A contingency may arise, however, when children of infidels may and should be baptized without the knowledge and consent of their parents:

 

(a) when they (the children) are in danger of death.

 

(b) when they happen to be outside the custody of their parents or guardians, so they may be raised in the Catholic faith

 

Note - When a non-Catholic child has been, licitly or illicitly, baptized without the knowledge or consent of the parents, it has to be taken away from them, if they are infidels or Jews on account of the proximate danger of perversion (in faith). A child of heretical parents, however, may be left under their custody, as long as they do not deny their faith in Christ.

 

How this theory works in practice, the following illustration will show:

 

It happened about the middle of last century when the pope still enjoyed possession of civil authority over the central part of Italy, the Patrimontgm Petri. Bologna belonged to the papal territory. A little Jewish boy, Edgar Mortara, son of Momolo Mortara, a resident of the city, fell dangerously ill. There was little, if any, hope for his life. The Catholic servant-maid, in Christian charity, clandestinely baptized the boy to open to him the gates of heaven. Contrary to expectation, he recovered. The maid, troubled in conscience, confided her action to a priest. He notified the papal authorities. On June 23, 1858, little Edgar, who had been christened Pio, in honor of the then reigning Pope, Pius IX, was forcibly abducted by them from his heart-broken parents and placed in a Catholic institution to make sure of his Christian education. He became later, of his own accord, a priest of the Augustinian Order, felt supremely happy as such and never ceased to thank God for his good fortune in having been raised a Christian. Thus the abduction that had aroused a storm of indignation throughout the world ended happily for the principal party concerned.

 

Few Catholic laymen, if any, and not many priests, are acquainted with this "divine" right and duty of the Church to abduct, under given circumstances, the children of non- Catholics. For all practical purposes, it is a dead-letter, nowhere in the world has the Church the power to enforce it. But the interesting question remains: would she enforce it, if she was able to? The last pope to wield secular power, Pius IX, did enforce it, and Catholic theologians to this very day are teaching and defending this "divine" right.

 

As long as it is asserted, Latin Freemasons will consider themselves justified in persecuting the Church as an enemy of the freedom of conscience.

 

As the Catholics continue to form a rapidly rising percentage of the population of the United States, American non-Catholics will naturally ask: If American Catholics should ever attain a numerical preponderance, would they lend themselves to carrying out a papal policy that encroaches on the religious liberty of others? To that question one can only answer that the present-day American Catholics would most intensely hate such a papal policy; but whether they would dare oppose it is a different proposition altogether. The present-day American Catholics have permitted themselves, without the slightest protest, to be stripped of every vestige and semblance of self- determination.

 

Would it not be to the interest of religious peace and to the interest of the Catholics the world over, if the papacy waived, in an official pronunciamento, some of its "divine" rights, such as the "positive, though indirect, subjection of the civil authority to the Roman Pontiff," and the forcible catholicization, under given conditions, of the children of non-Catholics?

 

It is with reluctance that I quote these two objectionable passages from the textbooks of my revered teachers, Hurter and Noldin. Personally, they were tolerant, kind-hearted, amiable, saintly priests, endowed with as large a portion of common sense as any human being ever enjoyed. They loved to see people cheerful and happy and always relished a joke.

 

One will ask: how then could they give utterance to such fanatical doctrines? The answer probably is: these doctrines are an inheritance from a narrow minded, austere age in which pennywise sophistry often triumphed over Christian charity and common sense. Instead of relegating these mischievous, trouble-breeding tenets to the junk pile, the scholastics, who dominate Roman Catholic theology, continue to venerate them as sacred relics. They are dangerous relics, these skeletons in the closet. But are they really relics? Is it certain that there is no life left in those bones? Has the papacy made up its mind never to enforce these fanatical doctrines again? This is a pertinent question the government of the United States ought to send the Vatican with the request: R.S.V.P.

 

----o----

 

The Board of Editors

 

THIS collection of miscellaneous information is not intended to be humorous, even if some may think it funny. It has been prepared for the special entertainment and delectation of the eighteen brethren concerned and any ribald brother who proceeds to laugh will be excluded from the meeting; otherwise invited to skip the succeeding pages. It doesn't concern anybody else but ourselves anyhow.

 

The printer began the New Year very well by turning the Board of Associate Editors into a Board of Directors. The mystery has not yet been fathomed but perhaps he thought, perhaps (dreadful thought!) he had reasons for thinking, that one was needed, and intended it as a not too delicate hint. The Editor-in-Charge (please no one ask why) being "off the job," did not notice this nefarious deed until it was too late. He wishes to say, if anyone will listen, that it won't occur again, if he can help it, as he does not want sixteen directors directing him into the straight and narrow way. He has not got time to go any other way.

 

The idea of this collection of biological - no, biographical specimens - well, that again is hardly the word either, but let it pass, everyone ought to know what we mean - arose by chance, as most brilliant ideas have a way of doing. We insist the idea is brilliant. It dawned upon some of us that we really knew very little about each other, and in order to get acquainted it was decided to introduce ourselves to each other, and also to the members of the Society and the public-at-large, so far as it cares to pay the entrance fee to the show. But it is chiefly for ourselves, and we won't mind a bit if everyone else looks the other way and talks very fast about something else.

 

It must be admitted, or asserted, that certain members of the Board haven't played fair. If only we could have sent a traveling Inquisitor with a portable rack or a set of thumbscrews in his suit case, we might have gotten fuller and less evasive confessions. Failing this we might have invented some details to fill up the gaps; and it would have served these few slackers right if their life histories had been expanded in the light of unfettered imagination and fancy free. However, the high standards of THE BUILDER prevented, and we reluctantly gave up all thought of indulging in this pleasure. We stick to the evidence, such as it is, no matter how fragmentary the story may be.

 

Still there is enough to show what a remarkable lot we are. Our chests swell inches as we think of it. All kinds, shapes, sizes and ages are represented. There are five, for instance, who are or have been engineers - a goodly proportion. Six served in some capacity in the war, from the humble private in the ranks to Chaplain and Lieutenant-Colonel. Five there are who have had legal training - some thought better of it, but others have become successful in that profession. Nine are, or have been, editors - by vocation - or otherwise connected with the press - a state of affair perhaps not so remarkable when one comes to think of it. There is one clergyman, one statesman, two accountants, three stamp collectors, four scout masters, five especially interested in work for boys and education. Finally all of them are, of course, students and most of them are married.

 

This all totalled up makes a very large and imposing Board. Any one good at addition can find the total, but we are not going to give the answer, and do not desire correspondence on the subject.

 

Thus we begin with

 

Louis Block

 

Was born in Davenport, Iowa, in June, 1869, in which place he has lived all his life. He was educated in the Davenport public schools and later entered the State University, from which he graduated in due course. He entered the legal profession in which he has been eminently successful. He was married in June, 1893, to Cora Bollinger and has three sons.

 

Bro. Block was made a Mason in Trinity Lodge, No. 208, at Davenport, being raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason in February, 1895. He took the Capitular Degree, in Davenport Chapter, No. 16, and became a Knight Templar in St. Simon of Cyrene Commandery, No. 9, in January, 1901.

 

He was Master of Trinity Lodge for three years in succession, from 1899 to 1901. In 1899 he was appointed to serve on the Committee of Appeals and Grievances of the Grand Lodge. In 1905 he was elected Senior Grand Warden. In 1907 he became Deputy Grand Master and in 1911 was elected Grand Master of Iowa. For three years before this he had acted as Fraternal Correspondent, and after his term of office as Grand Master he was again chosen for this important task for which he was so well fitted. He served his Grand Lodge now in this capacity for a quarter of a century.

 

In 1899 he was exalted to the Royal Arch in Davenport Chapter, No. 16, and in 1901 became a Knight Templar in St. Simon of Cyrene Commandery, No. 9. In 1904 he was elected High Priest of his Chapter and in 1908 became Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter, R. A. M., of Iowa. He took also the degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite and has been successively Venerable Master of Adoniram Lodge of Perfection, No. 4; Wise Master of St. John's Chapter, Rose Croix; Preceptor of Coeur de Leon Council of Kadosh, and finally received an honorary 33rd Degree in 1907. In spite of his long Masonic life his interest in the Craft remains unabated, and his annual report on Fraternal Correspondence is one of the outstanding features of the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Iowa.

 

George Henry Dern

 

Was born in Dodge county, Nebraska, in 1872. He was the second child of John and Elizabeth Dern, who were both natives of Germany and among the pioneer settlers of the state.

 

He was educated in the Hooper public schools, the Fremont Normal College and the University of Nebraska. In between times he worked at various things, in the grain and lumber business, and in the County Treasurer's office. He stood high at the University both in his studies and in athletics. In 1894 he was captain of the, football team that won the Missouri Valley championship.

 

After graduation he went to Salt Lake City and entered the employ of the Mercur Gold Mining and Milling Co. Beginning as bookkeeper, he steadily advanced until he was made General Manager of the company in 1902. This position he has held ever since, though he has also acquired many other mining interests. In collaboration with T. P. Holt he developed a new process for treating ores, and devised the Holt-Dern furnace for low grade silver lead ores. He organized the Tintic Milling Company, and has been consulting engineer for other important firms.

 

Though so active in his profession be has found time for literary and public affairs. He has been on the School Board of the town of Mercur, and is a member of a number of clubs and professional associations, including the University Club, the American Political Science Association and the American Economic Association.

 

He was married in 1899 to Lottie Brown, of Fremont, Neb., and they now have five children.

 

In 1924 he stood for the office of Governor of Utah. His opponent was running for re-election and had the well organized Republican machine backing him. Bro. Dern stood alone. He had been in the State Legislature for some years, however, and had become known as a man with sound ideas and an ambition to make the management of public affairs as honest and efficient as those of private concerns. Against all expectation be defeated his opponent by a large majority. Since then he has been fully engaged by the cares of office. He has emerged as a statesman in his attempts to obtain a solution of the vexed problem of the Colorado River. It is impossible to go into the matter here, but while maintaining the rights of his own State he has endeavored, by not claiming more than was right and just, to induce the other States concerned to agree. He has also defended the rights of the States against the encroachments of Federal bureaucracy.

 

Bro. Dern was initiated in Wasatch Lodge, No. 1, at Salt Lake City in 1897. He was elected Master of the lodge in 1902. While at Mercur, though retaining membership in his Mother Lodge, he did so much for Rock Mountain Lodge, No. 11, that he was made an honorary member in recognition of his .services, a distinction very rarely granted in Utah.

 

He has been Grand Representative for Texas since 1904, Grand Lecturer in 1910 and 1911, and passing through the Grand Warden’s chairs in -succession became Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge, of Utah in 1912, and Grand Master in 1913.

 

He was exalted in Utah Chapter, No. 1, in 1898, became a Knight Templar in Utah Commandery, No. 1, in the same year, and received the 32nd Degree of the A. and A. S. R. in Utah Consistory, No. 1, in 1904. In 1925 he was created K.C.C.H. and in 1927 received the 33rd and last degree of the Rite. In spite of his manifold duties he takes a part in the ritualistic work of the 31st and 32nd Degrees.

 

His contributions on Masonic subjects have all appeared in THE BUILDER. Bro. Dern has a clear and incisive style, and strong common sense, which makes everything he writes interesting and worth reading. Even his official utterances have this quality of holding the attention of those who have no direct interest in the subjects and problems involved.

 

N. W. J. Haydon

 

Was born in the small but ancient town of Newton Abbott in Devonshire, England, in 1871, his father being a physician and a member of the local Masonic Lodge.

 

In 1889 he left England and came to the United States and was for a time settled in Minnesota. From there he went to Manitoba, and after four years went to St. John, N. B. Two years later he returned to the United States and found employment at Lowell, Mass. Here he became a member of the Theosophical Society, being introduced thereto by his employer, Bro. A. H. Hobson, who was also a Past Master of William North Lodge. This was in 1896. In 1899 he went to Boston, and in 1901 returned to -Canada and finally settled in Toronto. He was married in 1904 and has one daughter.

 

Bro. Haydon was initiated in William North Lodge, Massachusetts, in 1897, but transferred his affiliation when he went to Toronto, where he became a member of the newly instituted Riverdale Lodge. In 1913 he was among the group of brethren who were active in forming the Central Masonic Bureau, which was organized to assist the Toronto lodges in selection of material. Of this he was at first Assistant Secretary and later Secretary. The Bureau proved itself so useful that it was later adopted into the Constitutional Machinery of the Ontario Craft.

 

In 1920 he became an Associate Member of Lodge Quatuor Coronati and became its Provincial Secretary for Ontario in place of R. W. Bro. H. T. Smith who had resigned. The same year he was active in the formation of the Toronto Society for Masonic Research, of which he became Secretary-Treasurer, an office he has held ever since.

 

He was exalted in St. Alban's Chapter, R. A. M., in 1921, and admitted to Adoniram Council in 1925. In the same year he paid a visit to Boston and Lowell and by special dispensation of the Most Illustrious Grand Master of the Grand Council of Massachusetts, R. and S. M., M. W. Bro. Arthur Prince, who had been Senior Warden of William North Lodge at the time of his initiation, he received the degree of Super-Excellent Master, which had not then been worked in his own Council in Toronto.

 

His hobby is stamp collecting, though of late years it has been forced into the background. He has been a regular contributor to the Masonic Sun, of Toronto, for many years, and his contributions to THE BUILDER will not need mention here. He is in part author of First Steps in Freemasonry, a very useful little book published by the Toronto Research Society.

 

Robert Ingham Clegg

 

Vice-President of the National Masonic Research Society as well as an Associate Editor, he has been active in the organization from the start, and has been a frequent contributor to the columns of THE BUILDER. He is Editor-in-Chief of The Masonic History Company, of Chicago, Ill., and the revisor of Dr. Albert G. Mackey's famous books, the History of Freemasonry, Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Symbolism of Freemasonry and Jurisprudence of Freemasonry.

 

A mechanical engineer by profession, a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Civil Engineers' Club and the Cleveland Engineering Society, and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, he has served as chairman of the Committee on Constitution and By-Laws of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and until his frequent absences from his home city of Cleveland, Ohio, was active in engineering and other civic bodies there, serving also as vice-president and chairman of the Business Committee of the Board of Education, a position of joy and usefulness very much to his liking and a service only interrupted by protracted out-of-town work.

 

He has long been identified with technical and trade journalism and was engineering editor of the first journal in English devoted to the automobile, and since then an editor of leading metallurgical and other scientific publications in Cleveland and New York, also editing various reference books for engineers.

 

He is a Past Master of Tyrian Lodge, No. 370, Cleveland Ohio, and Past President of the Past Masters' Association of that district; Honorary Past President of the Past Masters' Association of Hamilton county, Ohio, and honorary member of the Library Association at Cincinnati. A member of Cleveland Chapter, No. 148, R. A. M., Cleveland Council, No. 36, R. & S. M., Holyrood Commandery, No. 42, K. T., Cleveland Chapter No. 139, O.E.S., and a Sovereign of St. Benedict Conclave No. 34, of the Red Cross of Constantine, all of Cleveland, Ohio He has occupied the appointive office of Grand Historian of Ohio.

 

For a number of years he was President of the Cleveland Masonic Temple Association and served as a member of the two building committees chosen to erect the combined structure in Cleveland housing the Scottish Rite, the Shrine and the Grotto, as well as the York bodies, and he has occasionally also given his services gratis as an engineer and Freemason in the design and erection of Masonic temples elsewhere in Ohio and other States of the Union. A similar advisory and working service was long ago also rendered by him in the organization of Masonic Study Clubs through the medium of THE BUILDER and other magazines. He is an honorary member of the Masonic Study Club of London.

 

While studying at the British Museum and the various Masonic Libraries in Europe, he received many additional Masonic degrees. A list of these appeared in the printed proceedings for 1924 of the Grand Lodge of Ohio as follows:

 

Received the Royal Order of Scotland, Degrees of Herodim and the Rosy Cross, on the nomination of several Officers of the Grand Lodge of Ireland at a meeting held in Edinburgh on July 4, 1924, the Earl of Elgin, Grand Master Mason of Scotland, presiding. In Newcastle, Northumberland, received the degrees conferred in Royal Kent Tabernacle, of Time Immemorial Antiquity, the principal as well as the appendant degrees being, among many others, Holy Royal Arch, Knight Templar Priest, Knight of Patmos, etc. In London received the degrees of St. Laurence the Martyr, the Red Cross of Babylon, Knight of Constantinople, the Grand Tyler of King Solomon, the Secret Monitor, Grand High Priest, and Ark Mariner. In the Metropolitan College of the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia was given the Zelator grade and afterwards advanced by the College of Adepts through further stages to the Seventh Grade.

 

He is a Steward of the Rose and Lily Council of London, a member of the Correspondence Circles of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076, also of London, the Lodge of Research at Leicester, England, and the Lodge of Research at Dublin, reading at the latter's invitation a paper at Belfast on "Irish Influence on American Freemasonry." He enjoys honorary membership in lodges as far asunder as Cleveland City Lodge, No. 15, Cleveland, Ohio, and Dundee Saint Mary's, No. 1149, of Scotland, the ceremony in the latter case being made all the more memorable by the presence of the officers and brethren from Mary's Chapel Lodge, No. 1, of Edinburgh, who journeyed to Dundee especially for this occasion.

 

He is also a life member of the Verein Deutscher Freimaurer and of the Ligo Framasona, the latter an international group of brethren each in possession of two or more languages.

 

He has also recently contributed several articles in the series of essays on the Masonic Survey for the Christian Science Monitor and has for years written for many publications of the Craft here and abroad.

 

He has received the Thirty-third Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.

 

In the Society of Operatives in England he was given the Seventh Grade of Operative Mason.

 

He is a Past President, and was also for some years chairman of the Committee on Resolutions of the National League of Masonic Clubs, and is also a Trustee of the Educational Foundation organized to endow in perpetuity a Professorial Chair for Diplomatic and Foreign Service, a project in line with the expressed desire in the last will of Bro. George Washington, our first President of the United States.

 

Joseph Edgerton Morcombe

 

Was born at Cardiff, in Wales, September, 1864. He omits to say when he came to America, or give any details of his private history. He became a Mason at Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The contiguity of the famous Masonic Library of the Grand Lodge of Iowa was of great service to him, and also the influence of the late Bro. T. S. Parvin. After the death of the latter, Bro. Morcombe wrote his biography at the request of the Grand Lodge. He also held the appointment of Grand Historian and was on the Committee of Fraternal Correspondence.

 

Bro. Morcombe is at present a member of Lodge Educator, No. 554, San Francisco Cal.; Rabbi Chapter, No. 103, Storm Lake, Iowa; Maple Valley Council, No. 25, Ida Grove, Iowa; San Francisco Commandry, No. 41, K.T.; San Francisco Consistiory, No. 1, A. and A. S. R. and Abu Bekr Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S., Sioux City, Iowa. Of this he writes:

 

"Here is the usual array of bodies, not always an indication of Masonic knowledge. Let me hope however that from some of these grades I have learned a bit here and there and that I am not altogether ignorant of the meaning and purpose of the ancient Craft."

 

And he adds:

 

"Masonic office holding has never appealed to me, nor have I ever been attracted by ritualism to the extent of memorizing and reciting set forms of words. I have rather sought to find significance than to be content with phraseology."

 

He became a frequent contributor to the Masonic press and in 1909 became the editor and publisher of The American Freemason, at Storm Lake, Iowa. The magazine was undoubtedly one of the best Masonic periodicals ever published. It was a great loss to the American Craft, did they but realize it, that it became necessary to discontinue during the war. It brought together a group of writers and students that it would be difficult to say has ever been matched before or since, even by THE BUILDER. The war was responsible for many losses, and this, for Masons, was not the least.

 

Bro. Morcombe later started the National Trestleboard in San Francisco, a periodical later merged with THE BUILDER. He then became Editor-in-Chief for the Masonic Publications Corporation. He is now editor and part proprietor of the Masonic World, also published in San Francisco, and he bids fair to make this magazine one of the outstanding Craft journals of the United States.

 

It will be seen from this record that American Masonry owes a great deal to Bro. Morcombe. He believes in the Institution even after more than thirty years labor in and for it, and the many disillusions that must have come in that time. He says that to him it "is a wonderful potentiality, to be used, perhaps, at some crisis" in the world "for immense benefit to the race and to our civilization." And also that be finds in it "a simple yet sufficient philosophy of life, which is saying much in this time of confusion and restlessness."

 

If Bro. Morcombe, has been chary of relating the facts of his personal life, these quotations will help to reveal the man.

 

Charles Clyde Hunt

 

Bro. Hunt has been interested in the National Masonic Research Society since its very inception, for he is one of its founders. Several years before the Society itself was formed, Bro. Hunt was active in Craft educational work in Iowa, and in 1912, as a member of the Committee on Masonic Research of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, rendered a report which can really be considered as the seed from which the N. M. R. S. grew. He has been a Steward of the Society since 1914, and has served as Secretary since August, 1923, when the Society's headquarters removed from Iowa to St. Louis. Numerous contributions from his pen have appeared in THE BUILDER, notably his report on the Thomas-McBain Masonic Fraud Case, at Salt Lake City in 1922. Bro. Hunt was one of the government's witnesses at that time.

 

Bro. Hunt was made a Mason in 1900, and served his lodge, Lafayette, No. 52, Montezuma, Iowa, as Master from 1904 to 1908. He was active in the educational work of the Grand Lodge, and in 1917 entered the Grand Secretary's office as Deputy to the late Newton R. Parvin, who was also an active supporter of the N. M. R. S. and one of its original officers. He was appointed Grand Secretary in January, 1925, and six months later elected to that office by an overwhelming vote which has been repeated each year since.

 

As a member of the Capitular Rite, Bro. Hunt has served Royal Arch Masonry of Iowa as Grand High Priest (1919-20) and is now a member of the educational committee of the General Grand Chapter, R. A. M., of the United States. His year as Eminent Commander of Apollo Commandery, No. 2, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, came to a close last December. Bro. Hunt is a Mason of the 32nd Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, S. J., where his services have been utilized in local degree work.

 

Bro. Hunt's greatest work in recent years has been his inauguration of modern methods and index systems in the Iowa Masonic Library, of which he is the ex-officio Librarian. Beginning with the Clipping Bureau, which he introduced while still Deputy Grand Secretary and Librarian, he has made the contents of the institution available to brethren unable to call at the library in person. He has gathered about him a corps of' individuals specially trained in the exacting requirements of a large library, and has developed an esprit de corps which sets out his administration as a new epoch in the history of the institution. The Grand Lodge Bulletin, which is sent free to all Iowa Masons upon request, has been changed from a quarterly to a monthly, and now ranks as one of the representative periodicals of the American Craft. A complete reclassification of the Library has been made, preparatory to the publication of a Newton Ray Parvin Memorial Catalogue, in which the Masonic literature of the library will be fully listed.

 

Thoroughly conversant with Masonic jurisprudence, Bro. Hunt has written a Masonic Trial Manual for use in Iowa, and he has also compiled a most copious index for the Masonic Code of Iowa and a similar volume for the Grand Commandery, Knights Templar of Iowa. During the past year, an index has been prepared for the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, A. F. & A. M., from 1844 down to date, which comprises more than 50,000 references. This touches not only upon Iowa, but through the indexing of the Correspondence Reports, is an intricate network in which Masonic activities of national importance in all American jurisdictions for the period covered can be caught.

 

With all of his abilities in Masonic fields, Bro. Hunt is not a one-sided man. He acquired a college education through his own efforts (B.A., 1892, Grinnell College, Iowa), and for a time thereafter taught school. His ability as an accountant was used for the public good through twenty-two years of service as Deputy and county treasurer, and as State Examiner of Iowa. He is also active in church work, and holds membership in several civic welfare organizations. A man of family, Bro. Hunt has had the hearty interest and support of his wife in his labors, and has two sons and two daughters who have made a marked success in their own fields of educational endeavor.

 

F. H. Littlefield

 

Was barn at Avon, Mass. His parents were of the old New England stock. He was educated in the public schools and later at Thayer Academy at Braintree, the school founded by Gen. Sylvanus Thayer, father of West Point Military Academy. He entered Harvard University but left to enter journalism, removing to Jacksonville, Fla., where he read law and was also on the editorial staff of the Jacksonville Times-Union. Thence lie went to Indianapolis, where he was on the staff of The Sentinel for a time. Removing to St. Louis he continued newspaper work in executive positions on The Republic, The Globe-Democrat, The Star and other daily and class journals. In 1917 he became interested in fraternal publications and organized the Standard Masonic Publishing Co., acquiring "The Missouri Freemason," one of the oldest and best established Craft periodicals in the United States. He became an Associate Editor of THE BUILDER, and in 1923 was elected Executive Secretary and Treasurer of the National Masonic Research Society. It is not too much to say that it is owing to Bro. Littlefield's efforts that the Society was brought through a difficult and critical period, and its members owe him a greater debt than many of them realize.

 

He is married and has one son, who is also a Mason, a member of the same lodge as his father.

 

Bro. Littlefield was initiated in Duval Lodge, No. 18, at Jacksonville, Fla., and later transferred his membership to Occidental Lodge, No. 163, of St. Louis. He was elected Master in 1918, serving through 1919.

 

He received the Capitular Degrees in St. Louis Chapter, No. 8, R. A. M., and was later made a Knight Templar in St. Aldemar Commandery, No. 18, of which he was Commander in 1925. He is also a member of St. Cloud Conclave, No. 42, Red Cross of Constantine and Hiram Council, No. 1, Royal and Select Masters. He received the degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in Missouri Gonsistery, No. 1, and is a member of Moolah Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S. He has been very active in real Masonic affairs, serving from time to time on important committees, such as the Building and Finance Committees of the Masonic Temple of St. Louis.

 

He is a member of the Missouri Athletic Club of St. Louis, the Rotary Club and other similar organizations.

 

David E. W. Williamson

 

Was born in California, how long ago he does not say, but not too long and not too short one would judge. He started in life as a civil engineer, but took to writing, and since then has been chiefly engaged in newspaper work in California and Nevada. For the last thirteen years he has been editor of the Reno Evening Gazette. His chief hobby seems to be the acquisition of languages, with the study of archeology and ancient history, but takes an interest in modern history as well. He is a communicant of the Episcopal Church and a member of the Vestry of Trinity Church in Reno. He is married and has a son, who is also a Mason.

 

His family has the Masonic tradition, his father and both his grand-fathers were Masons, his father and his father's father being also Knights Templar.

 

Bro. Williamson has contributed a number of valuable articles to THE BUILDER, all marked by strong common sense, and what is not too common, sound learning. He has a marked gift of discriminating criticism, of which the article in THE BUILDER for May, 1922, is a good example.

 

He is a member of Reno Lodge, No. 13, also of Reno Chapter; he belongs to the Council of Royal and Select Masters and is a Knight Templar. He has held the office of Chaplain in Reno Lodge for several years; is a Past High Priest of his Chapter, a Past Grand Chaplain of the Grand Chapter, R. A. M., of Nevada, and present Grand Chaplain of the Grand Council, R. and S. M. He took the degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in 1921, and is, now Prior of the Consistory.

 

He became a member of the N. M. R. S. in 1920, through having been shown a copy of THE BUILDER. This induced him to write to Bro. H. L. Haywood who introduced him, by letter, to other members of the Society with similar interests to himself. He became an Associate Editor in 1922.

 

Charles F. Irwin

 

Was born in the Borough of Bellevue, Pa., and educated in the schools there and at Pittsburgh. Is a graduate of Washington and Jefferson College and studied for the ministry in the Western Theological Seminary of Pittsburgh, with a post graduate course at Oberlin College, Ohio. He has held a number of pastorates in different parts of the country, and done specialist work for the State Sabbath School Association of Pennsylvania. Served a year and a half as Chaplain in the U. S Army during the war, and is now a pastor at Wilmerding, Pa. He is married and has one son and several daughters.

 

He has been much interested in work for boys, and has been a leader of a number of clubs for them, and conducted summer camps or Boys' Cities. He is also interested in the DeMolay Order, to which his son belongs.

 

His Masonic career was determined by family tradition, as his father was a Mason and Past Master of Alleghany Lodge, No. 223, of Pittsburgh. He was initiated in Kedron Lodge, No. 389, at West Middlesex, Pa., in July, 1903. Later he joined his father's old lodge. When he went to Ohio in 1907 he dimitted and joined Belle Centre Lodge, No. 347, at that place, of which he was elected Master in 1914. He joined Lafayette Chapter, R.A.M., at Bellefontaine in 1911, Logan Council of the same place, and Bellefontaine Commandery, of which he is Past Commander. He dimitted from Lafayette Chapter in 1920 and became a member of Eaton Chapter, at Eaton, Ohio, where he was elected to the office of King. His military service prevented his going further in office. He took the degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite at Dayton, and also joined Hamma Chapter, O.E.S., at Belle Centre, of which Mrs. Irwin and his daughters were also members, Mrs. Irwin being a Past Worthy Matron.

 

Bro. Irwin is interested in archeology and in Military Masonic bodies and is a collector of Masonic relies. In connection with this he has made, partly under the auspices of the N.M.R.S., a card index of more than 12,000 Masons who were in the American Expeditionary Forces, and is still adding to it. He has also much data on the various Masonic clubs and like organizations and military lodges that came into existence during the war. It is his hope to make these unique records as nearly complete as is humanly possible.

 

He has published a number of articles along these lines, some in THE BUILDER, and during 1927 a series that appeared in "The Master Mason" under the title of The Quest of the Twelve Fellowcrafts, which is the story of Masonic club life during the war. An archaeological article appeared in THE BUILDER, The Walum Olum, which was of great interest.

 

His present chief interest looks forward to the day when his son can enter the Fraternity, with the hope that some day another Past Master's jewel may lie beside those of grandfather and father.

 

Ray Vaughn Denslow

 

Was born at Spickard, Mo., in March, 1885, being the son of William Marvin and Malinda Caroline Denslow. He received his education in the public schools of his home town, at Blees Military Academy, Macon, Mo., Macon High School and the University of Missouri, from which he graduated in 1903 with the degree of A. B.

 

He was editor of the Trenton Daily News from 1909 to 1911; Assistant Postmaster from 1911 to 1921; National Supervisor of the Order of DeMolay for Boys from 1921 to 1923, when he was elected Grand Secretary of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons; Grand Recorder of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar and also Grand Recorder of the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters in Missouri.

 

His special interest is the history of the Middle West and the State of Missouri in particular. He is the author of the interesting and valuable work on the beginnings of the Craft in the West, Territorial Masonry, and is also an associate editor of Walter Williams' History of Northwest Missouri.

 

He is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, of the Missouri Historical Society, the Acacia Fraternity and the International Rotary. He was married to Clara Alice Merrifield, of Mason, Mo., and has one son, born in 1916.

 

Bro. Denslow was initiated in Censer Lodge, No. 172, at Macon, in March, 1906, and went on in due course to take the degree of the Royal Arch Chapter, the Council of Royal and Select Masters, the Knights Templar, Red Cross of Constantine and the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. He is Past Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Missouri, has been created K.C.C.H. in the Scottish Rite and is now Grand Senior Deacon of the Grand Lodge of Missouri and General Grand Master of the Third Veil of the General Grand Chapter, R.A.M. He is also on the Committee of History of the General Grand Council and Editor of the Missouri Grand Lodge Bulletin, as well as Associate Editor of THE BUILDER. Bro. Denslow is also a bibliophile and has in his collection some very rare and curious books.

 

Jesse Meigs Whited

 

Was born at Carlin, Nev., in November, 1876, and received his education in the Nevada public schools, later going to Stanford University (1893-1896) and later graduated from the University of California with the degree of L. L. B.

 

He is engaged in insurance, representing a number of companies in an executive and other capacities. Is now Agent General for the Central Surety and Insurance Corporation of Kansas City, Mo.

 

During the war he was the Director of the Executive Committee which recruited and equipped the Masonic Ambulance Corps as the 364th Ambulance Co., U. S. A. He was an honorary member of the Corps.

 

He has been greatly interested in work among boys, and is active in the Associated Boys' Council of San Francisco and Secretary of the Public Schools' Welfare Association. He was elected active member in 1921 of the Grand Council of De Molay and has since them been Grand Marshal and Active Member in Charge of Northern California and Nevada, and is National Trustee of the De Molay Endowment Fund. He is also National President of the Delta Sigma Lambda, the De Molay College Fraternity, and a member of the Commonwealth Club of California, the State Bar Association, and of the Alumni Associations of the University of California and Stanford University.

 

He was initiated in California Lodge, No. 1, and raised in September, 1907. He was elected Master of the lodge in 1916. In the Grand Lodge of California he has been on the Committee of Masonic Education since 1917 and was chairman in 1921; served on the Committee on Charters in 1924 and on the Correspondence Committee since 1918, with a few intermissions. He belongs also to California Chapter, No. 5, R. A. M., California Commandery, No. 1, K. T., and to the San Francisco bodies of the A. and A. S. R., in which he has served as Venerable Master in 1915, Wise Master in 1916 and received the 33rd and last degree in 1918. He joined the O.E.S. and was Worthy Patron in 1914 of King Solomon's Chapter, No. 170. Is also a member of Islam Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S., and of the Past Masters' Association of California, of which body he has been Secretary since 1920. He belongs also to the Ancient Egyptian Order of Sciots, and served as Pharaoh in 1923-24, and is editor of the Sciots' Magazine.

 

Bro. Whited is a member of the Correspondence Circle of Quatuor Coronati Lodge and is a Steward of the N.M.R.S as well as Associate Editor of THE BUILDER.

 

Arthur Caswell Parker

 

Was born in the Indian Mission Settlement of Iroquois, Erie County, New York, in 1881. His father, a teacher, graduate of Albany Normal School, was the son of the leading chief of the tribe, and held the office of Secretary for many years. His mother was of Scotch ancestry. It was inevitable under these circumstances that the son of this marriage should grow up in an atmosphere of books. They were his first toys. His grand father, the Chief, took great delight in reading Milton and Shakespeare to his little grandson. It was in this home library that he first became acquainted with Masonic literature, for in it were such works as Harris' Masonic Discourses, Mackey's Lexicon, and Masonic Guide.

 

Bro. Parker was educated in the Reservation Schools, the High School of White Plains, the Dickinson Seminary of Williamsport, and Rochester University, from which be graduated with the degree of Master of Science.

 

In 1902 he became field assistant of the American Museum of Natural History; then in 1903 Field Archeologist for the Peabody-Harvard Museum of American Archeology, and in 1906 received the appointment of State Archeologist for New York, with offices in the State Education Department.

 

Always interested in his own people he became Organization Secretary of the Society of American Indians in 1911, and after four years' service in this office was elected President. He founded the "American Indian Magazine" and was its editor for four years. He also founded and was first President of the New York State Indian Welfare Association, and fought proposed legislation detrimental to the interests of the Indians' for many years, being consulted on these matters by Presidents Roosevelt, Taft and Wilson. In 1919 he was Secretary of the New York State Indian Commission and did much to help solve the complex problems confronting the State in regard to Indian affairs. In 1923 he became Chairman of the Committee of One Hundred, of which many noted men and women were members.

 

He also organized the New York State Archeological Association and the Albany Philosophical Association, and for many years was active in Boy Scout work.

 

In 1925 he became Director of the Rochester Municipal Museum, and his work in this institution led to great improvements in methods. He is Vice-President of the American Association of Museums, and is one of the leading proponents of modern museum administration which seeks to make of such collections a popular university of visual instruction. His official publication, Museum Service, is regarded as an authoritative text on this subject.

 

Bro. Parker's archeological works are numerous, the State of New York has published seven including the two volume Archeological History of New York. He contributed two volume to the Buffalo Historical Society's publications, The Last Grand Sachem and Seneca Myths and Folktales. Of more popular works are Skunny Wundy and Other Indian Tales and The Indian How Book. He has also published various works of American Ornithology.

 

He joined Sylvan Lodge, No. 303, at Sinclairville, N. Y., and was raised in November, 1907. It was natural that he should seek to become a member of the Craft as there was a strong Masonic tradition in his family. One of his great-uncles was Gen. Ely S. Parker, who was Gen. Grant's Military Secretary, who was instrumental in founding several lodges in New York and has been Worshipful Master of most of them. Gen. Parker was a full-blood Seneca, and the Head Chief of his Nation.

 

Bro. Parker later joined Masters' Lodge, No. 5, at Albany, and in that city he became a member of Temple Chapter, No. 5, R. A. M., of which he was the historian. He also joined DeWitt Clinton Council, R. and S. M., Temple Commandery, No. 5, K. T., and Buffalo Consistory, A. and A. S. R. In 1924 he received the 33rd Degree and became a member of the Supreme Council. In the same year he was admitted to the Royal Order of Scotland.

 

His work on Masonic subjects has led to the production of the two booklets, American Indian Freemasonry and Secrets of the Temple, which were published by the Buffalo Consistory. A more scientific work was the essay on The Masonic Motif in Iroquois Silverwork, which was published in the American Anthropologist in 1916. His articles in THE BUILDER include, The Double-Headed Eagle, Indian Freemasonry and The Ark of the Covenant. He has other works in hand and in the press.

 

Jacob Hugo Tatsch

 

Was born in Milwaukee, Wis., in January, 1888. He was educated in the public schools of that city; attended George Washington University, Washington, D. C., and Coe College at Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

 

In 1905 he entered the banking profession with the Old National Bank of Spokane, Wash., advancing through various departments until his election as assistant cashier. He resigned this position to enter the foreign departments of New York and Boston banks in 1919 and in 1922 was elected assistant cashier of the Union Bank and Trust Co. of Los Angeles, Cal.

 

Being offered an opportunity to devote all of his time to Masonic research, Bro. Tatsch came to Cedar Rapids as research assistant with the National Masonic Research Society, of which he was made a Fellow in 1922. He was appointed assistant secretary of the Society in 1923, in which capacity he also served as assistant editor of THE BUILDER. When the Society removed its headquarters to St. Louis he entered the employ of the Masonic Service Association of the United States, Washington, D. C., and became the manager of its book department and also assisted the Rev. Joseph Fort Newton as associate editor of The Master Mason.

 

Unsatisfactory conditions prompted Bro. Tatsch and two other department managers to resign in August, 1924, and after an assignment to active duty at the Army Finance School in Washington, where he was the first reserve officer to graduate from the institution, he entered the Iowa Masonic Library at Cedar Rapids to work in the German and French sections for two months; but upon the death of Grand Secretary N. R. Parvin, he was offered a permanent engagement as assistant to Bro. C. C. Hunt, the new incumbent, and then took office as curator and associate editor. One of his outstanding accomplishments is the change which he inaugurated in the Grand Lodge Bulletin, which had become a monthly publication in 1.925 upon recommendation of Grand Master Ernest R. Moore and the hearty approval of the Grand Lodge.

 

He was made a Mason in Oriental Lodge, No. 74, Spokane, Wash., in 1909, and was elected Worshipful Master for the year 1914; he was appointed Junior Grand Deacon of the Grand Lodge of the same state during the year 1914 and Grand Orator for 1917-18. He received the Scottish Rite Degrees in Oriental Consistory, No. 2, Spokane, in November, 1909, and has held various offices in the Rite in that city. He was a member of El Katif Temple of Spokane, but received the Capitular Degrees in Washington, D. C., as a candidate of Trowel Chapter, No. 49, R. A. M., Cedar Rapids, in 1924; the Cryptic Degrees in Palestine Council, R. and S. M., Cedar Rapids, in 1925.

 

Always interested in Masonic research he joined the Correspondence Circle of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076, in 1912, and for many years has been one of its most active local Secretaries in the United States. He is also a member of the Correspondence Circles of Lodge of Research, No. 2429, Leicester, England; Lodge of Research, No. 200, Dublin, Ireland; Manchester Association for Masonic Research; Merseyside Association for Masonic Research, and Somerset Installed Masters Lodge.

 

Two honors accorded Bro. Tatsch in 1927 were the election to membership in the Authors' Club of London, and Authors' Lodge, No. 3456, restricted to members of the club. This was made possible through his activities as an author, for in addition to numerous contributions to the Masonic press of the United States and countries overseas - where his articles have appeared in German, French, Dutch and Norwegian - he has written several books. His first was Short Readings in Masonic History, which went into two editions in 1926, and is now being translated into Spanish for publication in the Bulletin of the Grand Lodge of Cuba and for circulation in book form in Latin America, generally. German and French translations are also under way. He also brought out High Lights of Crescent History, a readable account of Crescent Lodge events from 1851 to 1926. Bro. Tatsch is an affiliated Past Master of that lodge in Cedar Rapids, and for his work was presented with one of the lodge's Past Master's pins. A third book, Freemasonry, in the Thirteen Colonies, is now in the hands of the Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Co., of which Bro. Tatsch was elected vice-president recently. He is also the firm's literary editor. A fourth volume is to be completed in 1928, written in collaboration with E. M. Eriksson, Ph. D., The History of Anti-Masonry in the United States, 1737-1927, of which some of the chapters have appeared in THE BUILDER. Masonic Bookplates, written with Winward Prescott, M. A. (Harvard), is also on the press for distribution early this year. Bro. Tatsch has also translated Wilhelm Begemann's Friederich de Grosse ,under der Alte and Angenommene Schottische Ritus, on behalf of the Supreme Council, A. and A. S. R., S. J., whose history has been written by Bro. Charles S. Lobingier, 33rd Degree, Grand Cross.

 

Bro. Tatsch's many years of bank training have made him intensely practical, and this has also been stimulated by his military experience. Beginning as a Captain in the National Guard of Washington during 1917, he spent the closing months of the war in the Military Intelligence Department, and upon signing of the Armistice reverted to the National Guard Reserve until 1922. In 1924 he was commissioned Captain in the Finance Department, Officers' Reserve Corps, and last March passed his examinations for promotion to Major. He is now President of the Iowa Department, Reserve Officers' Association of the United States, and is a member of the Corps Area Advisory Board of the Seventh Corps Area, U. S. Army, Fort Omaha, Neb. Two of his articles on Army finance are a part of the official texts for students at the Army Finance School and the Correspondence Courses. In event of a major emergency, Captain Tatsch will be on duty at the school as instructor.

 

During his residence in Washington he served as Secretary of Washington Chapter, No. 3, National Sojourners, and is also a member of Washington Camp, Heroes of '76. He is a charter member and a trustee of the Cedar Rapids High Twelve Club, was Scoutmaster, Boy Scouts of America, 1919, graduate Scout Masters' Training Course, and received a medal for displaying qualities of unusual leadership in the work. He was a member of Spokane Council, Boy Scouts of America, in 1919.

 

Robert James Meekren

 

Was born in London, England, in June, 1876. At the age of fifteen he went to Canada, and lived on a farm in Quebec Province for six years. He returned to England and took an engineering course at the Polytechnic, after which he returned to Canada. He married, in 1901, the eldest daughter of the late Dr. John Meigs, of Stanstead, Quebec, in which place he made his home. His wife died in June, 1907.

 

A member of the Anglican Church he served as church warden for many years, and also as lay reader. He organized the first troop of Boy Scouts in Canada outside of the cities of Ottawa and Montreal. This work engaged a great deal of his time until 1915. He was also a School Commissioner for Stanstead for a number of years.

 

He enlisted in the 4th University Company of the P. P. C. L. I. and went overseas in November of 1915. He went to France in the early spring of 1916 and joined the Battalion then at Ypres. In June he was buried in a bombardment, suffering injuries to the back. Was taken prisoner and was several months in hospitals at Courtrai and Julich. In the autumn was sent to a convalescent camp (so-called) at Stendahl, where he remained until the end of December, 1918. Returned to England via Copenhagen and was in hospitals there and in Canada till September of the next year when he was discharged at his own request. It was not, however, until 1920 that he was able to do very much. ;Since then his general health and strength has gradually returned.

 

Bro. Meekren joined Golden Rule Lodge, No. 5, at Stanstead in May, 1911, and was raised the, September following. In 1914 he entered the newly formed Lively Stone Chapter, No. 16, being exalted to the Royal Arch in March, 1914. In July of the same year he took the Ineffable Degrees of the A. and A. S. R. in Newport Lodge of Perfection, receiving the remainder in Burlington Consistory, Burlington, Vt., in 1920. He was elected Master of Golden Rule Lodge in 1922, and owing to the accident of death and removal, was elected also as First Principal of Lively Stone Chapter for the same year; the double duty making it necessary to devote practically the whole time to the work.

 

In 1920 he became a member of the N.M.R.S., and some time after joined the Correspondence Circle of Quatuor Coronati Lodge. He became an Associate Editor of THE BUILDER at the end of 1923, and in 1925 came to St. Louis to assist Bro. H. L. Haywood, then Editor-in-Chief. He took full charge when Bro. Haywood's health made it necessary for him to give up this part of the work, he being then Editor of The New York Masonic Outlook as well.

 

Bro. Meekren has written a good deal, but published very little excepting ephemeral articles. The most important work on Masonic subjects outside of what has appeared in THE BUILDER was an article, The Sublime Degree, written mostly in 1914 but not published until 1915, when it appeared in the Tyler-Keystone, then edited by the late Bro. Campbell.

 

His chief interest is the study of Philosophy, Comparative Religion and kindred subjects. His hobbies, which he cannot now indulge, are gardening and making and mending things mechanical, from clocks and watches up.

 

A. L. Kress

 

He is a native of Iowa where he was brought up and educated. He took up the profession of engineer and has specialized latterly in industrial relationships. In the exercise of his profession he has been in different parts of the United States and lived for more than a year at Halifax in Nova Scotia. In recent years he has been in the employment of the United States Rubber Company, being in charge of the efficiency work of their subsidiary factory at Williamsport, Pa. Recently he has been made Assistant Manager of another of the company's factories at Hartford, Conn.

 

In 1923 he obtained third prize for the best essay on the Relations of Capital and Labor in a competition arranged by the American Economic Association. He is also Senior Member of the Taylor Society, the membership of which is composed of professional industrial engineers.

 

He is married but has no children. His hobby is collecting United States postage stamps and old Masonic rituals, the latter a very expensive game, even if the collector knows it and has lots of patience.

 

Bro. Kress joined Bethel Lodge, No. 319, at Garner, Iowa, in December, 1914, and was raised in January, 1915. Was appointed Senior Deacon in 1916, but removing in April of the same year was forced to give up his chances of going through the chairs of the lodge. He still, however, retains his membership in his mother lodge. He is also a member of Bethel Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, No. 116, and of Bethel Council of Royal and Select Masters, No. 33, both of Garner, Iowa. In 1915 he acted as proxy for the Master of his lodge at the Communication of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, this being permissible under the rules of this jurisdiction.

 

In 1922 he came into touch with Bro. Meekren through Bro. H. L. Haywood, then Editor of THE BUILDER, both having been working on the obscure but interesting subject of the history and evolution of the Masonic Ritual. In collaboration they have pushed their researches to a very considerable extent, and have collected between them an imposing mass of material.

 

Bro. Kress has published numerous articles in the Iowa Grand Lodge Bulletin and in THE BUILDER. A partial list follows: How Iowa Got Its Ritual; The Masonic Ritual in the United States; Cagliostro and the Lodge of the Reunion of True Friends (a translation from the French); Masonic Ritual in the U. S., Fact vs. Fiction; The Carmick MS.; Frederick or the God of the Fable (translated from A. Lantoine's Histoire de la Franc-Maconnerie Francaise); Frederick, Fact or Fable.

 

He also assisted in the preparation of two series of articles that have appeared in the Study Club Department of THE BUILDER, dealing with The Form of the Lodge and The Precious Jewels.

 

Reginald V. Harris

 

Was born at Londonderry Mines, Nova Scotia, in March, 1881, the son of Rev. Canon V. E. Harris, D. C. L., and Emma Chandler Troop.

 

He was educated at Amherst Academy, Amherst, N. S., Trinity College School, Port Hope, Ont. (twice Governor-General's medallist), and Trinity University, Toronto. (Prince of Wales Prizeman and Duke of Wellington scholar, in Mathematics.) B. A., 1902; M. A. (Toronto University), 1910; M.A. (King's College, Windsor, N.S.), 1912; D.C.L. (University of Bishop's College, Lennoxville, P.Q.), 1924. He was admitted to Nova Scotia Bar, 1905; practiced law in Manitoba and Nova Scotia, and appointed King's Counsel, N. S., in 1922.

 

An Anglican in religion and active in the work and polity of the church, Bro. Harris is especially interested along its educational lines, being a Governor of both King's Collegiate School and the University of King's College and Chancellor of the Diocese of Nova Scotia since 1923.

 

He has held and still holds many important positions in connection with civil, educational and various forms of philanthropic and social service work, both local and Provincial.

 

He is a prolific writer on municipal, educational, historical and Masonic subjects, is author of "Organization of a Legal Business" and "The Trial of Christ from a Legal Standpoint." From a large collection of essays of very high quality, submitted by a great number of able contributors from every portion of the Empire, he was the winner of the first prize of one hundred guineas, offered by the "Standard of Empire" (London) for the best short essay on the "Governance of Empire."

 

He was a lieutenant in the 246th Battalion, C.E.F., during 1916-17, Staff Captain, Military District No. 6, 1917-18, and Chief Public Representative, Military Service Act, 1918. He was created esquire, Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem in England, 1917.

 

In 1907 he married Ethel W. Smith, daughter of Edmund G. Smith, and has two sons.

 

Bro. Harris was raised in St. Andrew's Lodge, No. 1, in October, 1913, and was elected Worshipful Master in 1918. In 1920 he was elected Secretary of his lodge and is still serving in that capacity. He is, the author of History of St. Andrew's Lodge, No. 1, 1750-1920, and is a member of Keith Lodge, No. 17, and Honorary Member Royal Standard Lodge, No. 398, E.C.

 

In 1923 Bro. Harris was elected Grand Historian of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia, which position he still holds. He is the author of Annotated Constitution of Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia and a History of Freemasonry in Nova Scotia; also the author and producer of "Masonic Play," "As It Was in the Beginning." He is also Grand Representative of the Grand Lodge of Quebec, near the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia, Secretary of Nova Scotia Lodge of Research from 1915 to the present time and author of numerous lodge histories. Bro. Harris is also a member of the Correspondence Circle of the Lodge of Research, Dublin.

 

He was exalted in St. Andrew's Chapter, No. 2, on February, 1915, Halifax; High Priest, 1923; O.H.P., 1923; Grand Archivist, Grand Chapter, 1923; Grand King, 1924; Grand Archivist, 1925; Grand High Priest, 1926; re-elected, 1927; Author of Annotated Constitution, Grand Chapter, 1922, and Supplement, 1927.

 

Knight Templar, N. S., Preceptory, No. 5, Halifax, 1919; Presiding Preceptor, 1923-5; member of History Committee, Sovereign Grand Priory of Canada. Author of The Early History of Knight Templarism in Nova Scotia (a pamphlet), 1922; Annotated Statutes Sovereign Great Priory of Canada, 1926. Fourteenth Degree A. & A. S. R., Victoria Lodge of Perfection, April, 1915; 18th Degree, Keith Chapter, Rose Croix, November, 1917; M. W. S., 1924-6; 32nd Degree, N. S. Consistory, July, 1918; Second Lieut.-Commander, 1922 to date; Author of History of Scottish Rite in Nova Scotia, 1926; Whom Seek Ye? (an address to Scottish Rite Masons), 1925.

Charter member of the Royal Order of Scotland; P. G. L. of Nova Scotia, August, 1925.

 

Gilbert William Daynes

 

Was born at Norwich, Norfolk, England, in March, 1885. He was educated at the King Edward VI School in his native city, and later read for the law. He was admitted a Solicitor in 1906, taking second class honors in his final examinations, and became a partner in the firm J. C. W. Daynes, Son & Keefe. Was Under-Sheriff for the City of Norwich in 1926, and auditor and Committeeman of the Norfolk and Norwich Incorporated Law Society.

 

In 1902 he joined the 1st East Anglian Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, and in 1905 commanded the Battery that won the King's prize. He also commanded the Territorial R. F. A. team that visited Canada in 1907 which won the cup given for field artillery practice. He went on the Reserve in 1912 but rejoined on the outbreak of war and served with the 21st Division in France in 1915 and 1916. Was mentioned in dispatches and in 1918 was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel. Received General Service Medal and Victory Medal and was awarded the Territorial Decoration in 1920.

 

He is a member of the Anglican Church and has served in many capacities; he has been Representative at the Norwich Diocesan Conference and on the General Purpose Committee since 1922.

 

He is one, of the original members of the Norwich District of the Historical Association, and is now its President. He is also a member of the Authors' Club.

 

In June, 1913, he was married to Margaret, the youngest daughter of Henry ffiske. They have three sons.

 

Bro. Daynes was initiated in April, 1920, in Union Lodge, No. 52. Like many other English Masons he is a member of a number of other lodges, and was a charter member, as we would say in America, of St. Giles Lodge, No. 4569, and its first Junior Warden. He is a Past Master of Norfolk Lodge, No. 2852, and Senior Deacon of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, of which he became a full member in 1925. He is Secretary of the Norfolk Installed Masters' Lodge, No. 3905, and became a member of the Authors' Lodge, No. 3456, last year. He is also a member of the Correspondence Circles of many Research Lodges and Associations.

 

He was exalted in Royal George Chapter, No. 52, in 1921, and has helped to found Sincerity Chapter, No. 943, of which he is now Principal Sojourner.

 

In 1922 he was advanced in Walpole Mark Lodge, No. 92, Mark Masonry in England having its own separate organization. He took the Royal Ark Mariners in 1922 also, and became a Knight Templar in Cabbell Preceptory, No. 69, in which he is now Captain of the Guard. He has taken a number of other degrees and orders which are unknown in this country, and besides these the Rose Croix and the 30th Degree of the A. and A. S. R., and also the Royal Order of Scotland. He is a life governor of the Royal Masonic Institution for Girls, the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution and other like honors.

 

In 1922 he won the Masonic Record Silver Cup for the best essay on Masonic subjects - that taken being the Growth of Speculative Masonry. He is the author of the following works, Untrodden Paths of Masonic Research, Two Hundred Years of Freemasonry in Norfolk and The Birth and Growth of the Grand Lodge of England, 1717-1926. He has also contributed many articles on Masonic subjects to the Masonic press in this country as well as in England, besides those which have appeared in THE BUILDER. He has read papers before many of the Research Lodges and Associations in England including Quatuor Coronati.

 

Most of his spare time, in fact, is devoted to Masonic Research, his chief interest being the history of the Craft in the period before and after the formation of the first Grand Lodge, but he does not neglect the symbolical and philosophical aspects of the Masonic system. Beside this his chief recreations are tennis and boating.

 

Ernest E. Thiemeyer

 

Was born on March 30, 1900, in Baltimore, Md. At a very early age his family migrated to Chicago, Ill., and in November of 1906 to St. Louis, which has since been his home except for a brief period in 1911 and 1912 when the family lived in Pittsburgh, Pa. He was educated in the public schools of St. Louis, finishing his high school course in June of 1917 at Soldan High School in that city. After a brief period of commercial work he applied for foreign service with the American Red Cross and in September of 1918 went overseas with that body. Until Thanksgiving of that year he was stationed at an advanced warehouse located at Varennes a short distance northwest of Verdun. He went to Coblenz with the American Third Army and remained on the Rhine until February of 1919.

 

In the fall of that year he matriculated at the University of Missouri and was elected to membership in the Phi Kappi Psi Fraternity. During his college career he served in various capacities in his chapter and in December of 1921 was elected undergraduate member of the National Executive Council from his district, an office he held until April of 1923. His principal college work was done in physical sciences and romance languages.

 

Early in 1924 Bro. Thiemeyer was elected to membership in Tuscan Lodge, No. 360, and has been active in the work of that organization since his raising on June 10, 1924. Early in the following year he became interested in Masonic research and it has been a hobby with him ever since. He was exalted to the Royal Arch in Cabany Chapter, No. 140, in January, 1926, and became a member of Missouri Consistory, No. 1, A. & A. S. R., in December of 1927. Shortly thereafter be joined Moolah Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S.

 

He became a member of the Correspondence Circle of Quatuor Coronati Lodge in the spring of 1926 and an unofficial member of the N.M.R.S. about the same time. In the spring of 1927 he became Research Editor of the Society's journal, THE BUILDER. His Masonic articles all appeared in THE BUILDER, the most important of these was undoubtedly the discussion of the Hiramic Legend and the Medieval Stage which appeared in 1926. He has in preparation an important discussion of the records direct and indirect that concern the formation of the first Grand Lodge in 1716 and 1717. Another task that has been under way for a longer time but which will earn the gratitude of all Masonic scholars when it is completed is a combined index of Ars Quatuor Coronatorum. to the last volume published. It is hoped that this may be finished in the coming year. Those who have ever undertaken the work of making indices will have some conception of the amount of work that has had to be done.

 

Thus the tale of our staff is told, and their tales are ended. We trust the play on words may be forgiven, we will not stigmatize it as a pun. It has taken more space than was expected at the first, but then, it is not often that an Editorial Number is put out, and we may be forgiven, we hope, for thus thrusting ourselves forward into the public eye, if on no other grounds, then because it is a first offence. And truly we have found it most interesting; perhaps others may, too. Why not?

 

----o----

 

The Initiation of George Washington in Tableau

 

Recently some of the students of Richmond University and brethren of Fredericksburg, Va., reproduced in the costume of the period the initiation of George Washington. In this representation, so far as possible, every accessory was as in the original ceremony. The Bible used was the one on which Washington was actually obligated. It would seem that the idea of recalling the customs and manners of the Masonry of two centuries ago is in the air. Such dramas and tableaus have given rise to the greatest interest where they have been put on, and any lodge desiring to entertain and instruct its members should certainly consider the possibilities along this line. The following article tells how it was recently done in Canada with great success.

 

AN EIGHTEENTH CENTURY LODGE REPRODUCED

 

Last October Bro. Milborne, whose name will be familiar to readers of THE BUILDER, "produced" in his lodge, Westmount, No. 76, Province of Quebec, a reconstruction of the proceedings of a lodge in the early eighteenth century. This has been done a few times before in recent years, once at least in England and two or three times in the United States. Bro. Milborne's presentation is, however, an entirely independent piece of work. The following account is taken from the Bulletin of Westmount Lodge. For the benefit of those not familiar with Canadian geography it may be mentioned that Westmount is a city contiguous with, but independent of, the City of Montreal:

 

After the regular business of the lodge had been transacted the "Right Worshipful Master," his Wardens, Secretary, Senior and Junior Entered Apprentices, and brethren of the 18th century lodge were expected to appear. To attempt to adequately describe the proceedings, it is first necessary to give the reader some idea of the surroundings, so that the imagination may picture the lodge of the period. Two long tables, parallel; at one end is placed the table and chair of the R.W.M., the space between the tables being used by the candidate. The lodge is held in an upper room of an old London tavern and Mine Host (Bro. C. A. Hewlings) is also Tyler of the lodge, indeed he is the first person to appear, clad in serviceable cloth and wearing a large white apron. His first duty was to provide the tables with candle sticks and to light all the candles. It was noticed he occasionally rested - always in the more comfortable chair of the R. W. M., in fact, he made a hasty retreat when some of the early brethren arrived, and, be it noted, the costumes and flowing locks of these men of 1727 were most becoming, indicating that they were men of substance and of good Society. At last the Master and his Wardens appear, greetings are exchanged and the brethren take their places.

 

With brief ceremonial the lodge is opened, the R. W. M. using a prayer taken from the Grand Lodge MSS., 1583. Bro. Secretary (Bro. J. W. Armstead) was asked to read the minutes of the last meeting. These were prepared from actual 18th Century Lodge minutes and were most interesting. It was noted that among moneys received were fines inflicted for swearing in open lodge. All was well until Bro. Heasley enquired quite innocently what had become of the money subscribed by the brethren for the erection of a new Freemasons' Hall. This matter seemed to arouse the interest not only of the 18th Century brethren, but of the audience in general. The R.W.M. solemnly informed the lodge that a site had been secured, which was at present being occupied by McGarr's Hackney Stand, beyond which he had no further information, a declaration which brought forth an outburst of laughter. The business of the lodge - all motions being moved, seconded and thirded - and the passing of accounts, brought one brother to his feet with the startling information that he had in his travels discovered one of the lodge's Past Masters languishing in Fleet Street gaol for the non-payment of his rent which amounted to 3.3.0. No further plea was necessary, for the generosity of the brethren found expression in a unanimous vote to pay the debt and secure the release of the imprisoned Freemason. Bro. Secretary, who had all along made valuable use of the time taken in discussion, by scratching away in his minute-book with a long quill, painstakingly "blotting" his writings with a find sand from a "shaker," rose to ask where the money was coming from. The R. W. M., pointing to the strong-box on the table which, by the way, was secured by three padlocks of different makes and sizes, asked Bro. Secretary to state the position of the lodge funds. The brethren seemed surprised to, learn that of a total of 22.14.3 1/2, 19.17.8 was set aside in a "Tercentenary Fund" and could not be touched for many, many years.

 

This situation was altogether too much for the Westmount brethren who recalled the "Semi-Centennial" Fund of more recent date - it was to laugh! So provoked was Bro. Parkes (W. Bro. Jas. S.) that he gave expression to his indignation in terms which he said warranted the use of strong language, to which he gave vent only to be fined sixpence for swearing twice in the lodge. Bro. J. W. (Bro. A. G. Ray) collected the fine, which the offending brother increased in anticipation of further lapses. "What the d-," cried Bro. Parkes, "have the generations to come done for us?"

 

After the commotion had subsided, Bro. Rorke (W. Bro. H. B.), read to the brethren a letter (prepared by R. W. Bro. R. Chas. Young) he had recently received from his son in North America. This missive proved of great interest in its description of the influence of the French from Upper Canada down to the Mississippi Valley, and in its references to the accession of George II to the throne, and to the death of the scientist, Sir Isaac Newton.

 

Little can be described here of the Ceremony of Making a Mason, save that the ritual of the period was closely followed, from the introduction of the candidate (Bro. C. V. Sifton) by the Tyler, to the concluding ceremony in which he was provided with a mop and pail. The candidate gradually progressed, receiving the charge at the hands of the Senior Entered Apprenti6e (Bro. C. E. Whitten) followed by the reading of the ByLaws. The ritual throughout, strangely worded, fundamentally as today's, was delivered by Master, Wardens and others, as readily as though it were a matter of daily habit.

 

During the delivery of the lecture, which took the form of a dialogue between Master and Wardens, the brethren were "called off" half a dozen times when they refreshed themselves with good rye bread and cheese, Mine Host seeing to it that the punch flowed freely. After the toast to His Majesty the King, the brethren loaded their Churchwarden pipes and thus created a truly friendly and Masonic atmosphere.

 

The candidate was toasted by Bro. Senior Warden (W. Bro. H. A. Mitchell), the brethren drank his health in the style peculiar to the times and the initiate was suitably hesitant in his reply. The brethren sang together "The Enter'd 'Prentice's Song." Bro. "Dr." Atkinson also received a toast in recognition of his gift to the lodge of a complete set of jewels, which gave the R. W. M. the opportunity of referring to the Grand Lodge instructions of 1726 and 1727 regarding the wearing of jewels. Then came a quartette, "Guardian Genius of Our Art Divine," a delightful roundelay rendered by Bros. Perrins, Rendall, Loiselle and the R. W. Master.

 

The closing of the lodge was musical too, when the brethren all sang the catch, "Hark! The Hiram Sounds to Close." The brethren did not disperse, however, before drinking, at the behest of the jovial Tyler, to the health of "all poor and distressed Masons." The brethren then left their seats and, surrounding the R. W. M., drank his health as a mark of loyalty and affection.

 

Space does not permit even a passing reference to practices and rites which were so fully exemplified throughout the evening. Two hours and a half slipped by as a dream, the visitors and brethren in attendance listening with rapt attention throughout. An outstanding feature of the evening was the general freedom in the proceedings, although the degree work was carried out with the utmost decorum. It was a wonderful performance, revealing a mass of detail, a wealth of Masonic history, a masterly exposition of Craft lodge work, and a brilliant exemplification of Eighteenth Century Masonry in which each member contributed a definite part under the capable direction of W. Bro. Milborne. At the conclusion of the special proceedings the 18th Century brethren retired, but were recalled when the lodge was "called on." W. Bro. Piper addressing W. Bro. Milborne and his brethren expressed the profound appreciation of all present, voicing the opinion that Freemasons of this jurisdiction would do well to keep in the front ranks, one who had by diligent research work and careful study made such a delightful and instructive evening possible. W. Bro. Milborne replied with customary modesty, paying tribute to the splendid support of all who had taken part.

 

The large gathering adjourned to a hall downstairs where R. W. Bro. R. Chas. Young proposed the toast to the Grand Lodge of Quebec, which was responded to by M. W. Bro. W. W. Williamson, who, in referring to W. Bro. Milborne's work, that Grand Lodge honors might appropriately fall to him. R. W. Bro. W. R. Allen proposed the toast to W. Bro. Milborne and the brethren of the 18th Century Lodge, expressing the hope that the work of the evening might be preserved for the future. W. Bro. Milborne in returning thanks again referred to the willingness and loyalty of all who had assisted him, mentioning in particular W. Bro. Hayman who had done considerable work behind the scenes.

 

It was a great event and those who were privileged to attend will long remember the ceremonies and proceedings of an Eighteenth Century Lodge of Freemasons.

 

There are two ways in which such a dramatic effort as above described might be carried out. It might be made a sort of drama in full costume, seeking to reproduce as accurately as possible the spectacular features, with the social atmosphere of the period. This was the way in which Bro. Milborne staged it. The other way is to do it strictly from the ritual point of view, reproducing the ceremonies as then worked as if they had come down to us without any change. This latter has the merit of being very much easier to put on, and though not so generally attractive would be fully as effective from the educational point of view. Where it is not possible to arrange for the expense of proper costumes this latter mode of presentation is to be recommended.

 

The primary difficulty in the great majority of cases will be to obtain what may be called a "book of words," for naturally there are not many lodges that number among their members brethren capable of doing what Bro. Milborne has done. However this difficulty is not insuperable. The ritual part of such a presentation could not well be printed in full, though a good part of it might be, the parts that may be said to correspond to what is given in our Monitors. If there were any demand this might be done. For the remainder typed copies could be made for properly accredited members of the Society.

 

The amount of work necessary to get up such a presentation would vary with the amount of elaboration demanded. If only the ritual work was to be reproduced the number of brethren participating would not need to be more than eight or nine, and of these most would be almost supernumerary. The ritual proper is (or rather was) worked entirely by the Master and Wardens. It would thus call for only three participants to commit much to memory. Though if it were desired the work could be divided up to some extent. The part of the Master is by far the longest of these, and of the two Wardens the Junior has the largest share.

 

It would also give an opportunity for an explanatory lecture showing how these old and long forgotten usages are connected with those of today, though if put on in more elaborate form there would hardly be time for this on the same, occasion. Lodges and study clubs desirous of putting on attractive and informing entertainment might do well to consider the possibilities in this.

 

----o----

 

EDITORIAL

 

R.J. MEEKREN, Editor in Charge

E.E. Thiemeyer, Research Editor

 

BOARD OF EDITORS

 

LOUIS BLOCK, Iowa

ROBERT I. CLEGG, Illinois

GILBERT W. DAYNES, England

RAY V. DENSLOW, Missouri

GEORGE H. DERN, Utah

N.W.J. HAYDON, Canada

R.V. HARRIS, Canada

C. C. HUNT, Iowa

CHARLES F. IRWIN, Pennsylvania

A. L. KRESS, Pennsylvania

F. H. LITTLEFIELD, Missouri

JOSEPH E. MORCOMBE, California

ARTHUR C. PARKER, New York

J. HUGO TATSCH, Iowa

JESSE M. WHITED, California

DAVID E. W WILLIAMSON Nevada

 

THE PROBLEM OF RECOGNITION

 

IN the Question Box last month there were some letters dealing with the lack of fraternal relationship between the Grand Lodges of this country and Swedish Masonry. This follows some others that appeared last October. The case in which Bro. Petersen finds himself is peculiar and unpleasant. A Mason in good standing, member of a regular American lodge, he is denied recognition in Sweden. No Anglo-Saxon Grand Lodge has ever denied the legitimacy and orthodoxy of Swedish Masonry, nor has Sweden ever openly declared non-recognition of English speaking Masonry, though there are some grounds for thinking that we are regarded by Sweden in much the same way as we ourselves regard French Masonry, as being apostates from the "original plan." However, the Swedish brethren are too polite to say so definitely in official pronouncements.

 

The whole subject of recognition is in inextricable confusion, and very badly needs a complete and impartial discussion, which obviously is beyond the scope of an editorial article. But there is one point that comes out in the letter of Bro. Glass to which special attention may here be drawn; he says he believes that American Freemasonry would gladly be in fraternal relationship with all Grand jurisdictions in the world (excepting, we presume, the Masonry of France, Belgium, Spain, etc., which American Masons generally denounce as irregular, clandestine and spurious) and would "gladly take steps" to this desired end. The point we wish to bring out here, and leave to the consideration of the members of the Research Society, is that in America we have by, degrees evolved an entirely new theory of recognition. Originally the matter of visitation and recognition of an individual brother was wholly in the hands of the lodge or the individuals concerned. Each case was decided on its merits. Later when rival Grand Lodges got to squabbling they arrogated to themselves the power to forbid members of their lodges to recognize in any way members of the hostile organization. This led to the theory of the power of excommunication, the power to sever fraternal relationship with another jurisdiction. Still the older concept held good, that all Masons, as such, were ipso facto in fraternal relations, unless and until in any given case these had been formally ruptured. But now we have arrived at a new doctrine altogether; it has crept upon us unawares, no Grand Lodge so far as we know has ever deliberately announced it as being henceforth its policy, no Masonic jurist has ever discussed it or definitely ruled upon it, it has simply "growed," like Topsy. It is assumed generally by Masons, and especially by what we may call "official" Masonry in this country, that fraternal relations do not exist until they have been definitely negotiated and reciprocally and formally declared between individual jurisdictions. In other words the underlying theory of Masonic Fraternity has been completely reversed, turned end for end, without anyone realizing or being able to say how or when it came about. The new theory, current everywhere in America, logically negates the ideal of Universality. Freemasonry, according to this, is not a universal Fraternity, but a collection of societies each in a water-tight compartment, between which communication may be established when any two of the high contracting sovereign powers so choose.

 

The matter is really more complex than appears in this bare statement of course, yet that complexity only conceals this change, and the new conception of fraternity that this widely received principle is fostering in the Craft at large. But the universality of Masonry has been one of its greatest attractions; it is still taught in our rituals; and the ordinary brother devoutly believes in it. Is it really necessary for our Grand Lodges to negate it in their practice and to develop principles of law (or new landmarks) to justify their action in doing so? We are not now suggesting any answer, we are merely raising the question, which certainly seems to be of sufficient importance to be "maturely considered and resolved upon" by the leaders and thinkers of the Craft.

 

* * *

 

CRITICISM

 

PROPERLY speaking the word criticism signifies the act of passing judgment, or a judgment passed, upon any given subject, ranging from a work of art or a book to our neighbors' domestic affairs. But it implies more than giving an opinion, a criticism is a judgment based upon a full and impartial examination and discussion of all circumstances bearing upon whatever is being criticised. It follows from this that there is nothing in the word itself that implies unfavorable judgment or condemnation. On the other hand there is no doubt that the word has come to have this connotation, improper as it may be, in common every-day usage. When it is said, as certain cynics are apt to assert, that ladies when met together frequently indulge in criticism of absent acquaintances, it is understood not that they are impartially discussing their characters, but that they are picking out flaws in their dress, their housekeeping or their conduct generally.

 

In certain matters of more impersonal nature, the word is generally understood in its proper sense, in discussing books or scientific hypotheses, no one assumes the critic is seeking only for grounds of condemnation, but there is no doubt that in the measure in which the personal element enters into the matter so is criticism taken to be adverse only.

 

It is only natural after all. A critic must be impartial, he must separate good from not so good, wise from foolish, logical from sophistical. But this means that he must bring into view faults and errors and weaknesses. The fact that he also brings out the strong points and the virtues does not count, for they are, by the individuals concerned, taken to be so obvious that only the wilfully blind can fail to see them. The critic is therefore instinctively regarded as an enemy, and criticism is thus understood to be something prevailingly hostile.

 

This is an unfortunate state of affairs, for until people learn to bear criticism and to profit by it no advance is possible. Everyone recognizes this in certain relations of life. That of pupil to teacher, of employes to employer and the like. It is as between equals that criticism is so easily resented and felt to be unfriendly at least. This simply means that we instinctively shrink from the truth, and, as little children, feel like striking out at the table leg against which we have bumped our heads.

 

All despotisms are exceedingly sensitive to criticism, nothing but praise and flattery is welcome. This is the basis of the repression of free speech and a free press under any government of this character, whether it is the despotism of an aristocracy, an oligarchy, or an autocrat. There is no need to cite examples - history is full of them. So are the chronicles of history in the making, our daily newspapers. Russia and Italy may be mentioned as examples in excelsis. But what is not realized fully is that a democracy can be despotic and tyrannical, too, and even more so the Boards and Bureaus and Committees by which a democracy must perforce function. No such body welcomes criticism, and the more permanent it is the more resentful is it, or its members for it, of any whisper of doubt or disapproval of the heaven-born perfection of its acts and resolutions and rulings.

 

It comes to this, a group of men are picked out in some way - they may be appointed, elected or self-chosen - to get something done for the community, or organization, or whatever social group it is they may be acting for. Between themselves, by discussion, examination and criticism they arrive at some conclusion, some plan, and this is later presented to those for whom they are acting. Naturally they feel that further discussion will only go over the ground they have already 'traversed, and this will make them feel somewhat impatient to begin with. Then if their conclusions are traversed they naturally feel that this may be for insufficient reasons. They are apt to forget that they are only delegates and agents, and that they have properly only to inform and submit to their principals some plan or proposal for approval or rejection. Instead they take rather the position that they are leaders and governors, and that no one among the governed should question what they have decided. Political and ecclesiastical hierarchies exhibit this resentment of criticism in the highest degree, but it is apt to appear in any group, delegated or voluntary.

 

An example in point, it is only one, and happens to be the latest, arose over an expression of opinion in a Masonic periodical recently. It was in reference to a subject very much in the minds of many members of the Craft - the public schools. The editor said that legislation often had unexpected and unforeseen and sometimes undesirable results, especially when it was along entirely new lines. This is so true that no one, we think, would venture to deny it. He said more particularly, that legislation along certain lines, legislation which has been strongly advocated by many Masons, might possibly lead to results diametrically opposite to those intended. That to centralize the control of the public schools would make it, in some respects, easier for any given group to obtain complete control, which under present conditions was practically impossible.

 

He immediately was told that he was "attacking" this project, and it might seem that in this it was implied that he also was indifferent to the improvement of the educational system.

 

We cite this purely as an example of how a perfectly reasonable criticism may be taken to be an exhibition of hostility. And hostility being thus assumed, that it furthermore implied opposition to the aims and objects for which the proponents of the plans criticized are working. Stated generally, no one can refuse to admit that the pointing out of flaws in an argument, or defects in a plan, is not necessarily the action of an enemy, it may be equally that of a friend who wishes the project to succeed or who strongly desires the end sought for, and is therefore anxious that the means shall be adequate to attain that end.

 

But there is another important function of criticism in public and semi-public affairs, the exercise of which is even more apt to be taken as hostile, as an attack, than is the discussion of plans and projects; and that is the criticism of administration. Executives, especially when not large-minded men, are very much inclined to take criticism as personally hostile to themselves, and they very easily confuse their administration with the organization administered, and thus go on to argue that any question raised concerning their own official action is directed against the organization itself, and perhaps even against the objects it has in view. Amour propre, human vanity and self-interest lead to this almost inevitably. But this should all be discounted, and will be discounted among sensible men. To take another concrete example, we are inclined to criticise the tactics of the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association. We believe that its executives have made certain mistakes in their efforts to reach the end sought for, the adequate relief of destitute tubercular Masons. But surely no one is going to believe that THE BUILDER is therefore hostile to this object, or even to those devoted brethren who formed the Association and have given to it so freely of their time, their thought and their money.

 

We have adduced these two concrete cases, but there are and have been many others. One case there is in which criticism is inevitably taken to be hostile in its character, and that is where the plan, project or administration is such that any questioning, any examination at all, shows up such inherent defects and weaknesses as to make it obviously indefensible. In such a case the critic, no matter how friendly he may feel, no matter how innocently he may have approached the subject, will inevitably be regarded as an enemy. When a man builds a stone wall he does not mind if the passer-by leans against it, or pushes it, for such action merely proves its strength. But if it be a house of cards that has been built, then anyone who approaches is suspect, and even to breathe near it is an attack.

 

In this we are only in the presence of the universal short-comings of mankind, and the imperfection of human wisdom. But though we must allow for it, yet the right of criticism must be maintained, And especially is this true in a democratically governed country or institution, in which every individual and every member has his definite share of responsibility in its government and administration. We have to learn both to criticise fairly and honestly, and to endure it patiently without assuming that those who criticise us are personally hostile to us.

 

----o----

 

THE NORTHEAST CORNER

 

Bulletin of the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association

 

Incorporated by Authority of the Grand Lodge of New Mexico, A.F.&A.M.

MASONIC TEMPLE, ALBUQUERQUE, N. M.

 

OFFICERS AND BOARD OF GOVERNORS

 

HERBERT B. HOLT, Past Grand Master, President

RICHARD H. HANNA, Vice-President

JAFFA MILLER, Vice-President

FRANCIS E. LESTER, Vice-President

WILBUR L. ELSER, Executive Secretary

ALPHEUS A. KEEN, Secretary

JOHN W. BOWMAN, Treasurer

ROBERT J. NEWTON, Editor, Manager N.M.T.S.A.. Las Cruces, New Mexico

 

The Tuberculosis Triangle

 

By BRO. ROBERT JESSUP NEWTON, New Mexico

(Continued from January)

 

THE fourth class of migrant, the tuberculous tramp, is usually a young man, and he and his kind are wanderers in the Southwest, sometimes working, but more often living off the community in which they happen to be at the time. , Physically they are much below par and therefore unable to perform continuous manual labor, the only kind for which most of them are fitted.

 

The extent of their wanderings is remarkable as is the length of time they can keep going before death. If they apply for help and an effort is made to put them in touch with home or friends, they are on their way before an answer is received. A pitiful remnant of pride will often cause them to use a false name. Applications for help to officials and organizations are usually for aid to get to some other town, and most communities are glad to be rid of them at that small price. They are a pitiable and a miserable class, attributing their decline in strength to the poor climate of the place they happen to be in and always seeking "the greener grass of some far pasture." They travel in a circle within the "Tuberculosis Triangle" until death finally meets up with them in the ward of some county hospital or poor house. They are fortunate to find even that shelter for the last few weeks or months of life. Some of them leave behind a heritage of widows and orphans, nearly all of whom are infected with tuberculosis, to be cared for by public and private charity.

 

THE NUMBER OF INDIGENTS

 

How many of these indigent migrants there are in the Southwest cannot be estimated. One principal reason for this is that they do not "stay put." Not only do they migrate to the Southwest, but they migrate in the Southwest.

 

In 1920 the National Tuberculosis Association made a study of the six leading Southwestern health resort cities to ascertain the number and the needs of the indigent tuberculous. These cities were Denver, Colorado Springs, Phoenix, Los Angeles, El Paso and San Antonio. It was found in these six cities that within a period of only one year some assistance had been given by some charitable agency to a total of 7319 tuberculous indigents. With the sick, and also objects of charity, were 9315 other members of their families making a total indigent group of 16,734 supported in whole or in part by public and private charity. Included in these family groups were 5347 children under sixteen years of age, all of them living under conditions most favorable to infection, during the tender years when the danger of infection is the greatest. That this danger is real is shown by the fact that one-tenth of the sick were children under the age of fourteen and 1 per cent of the sick were children under four years of age.

 

The degree of destitution of these unfortunates may be judged by the fact that 16 per cent of all non-residents made application for help within one week after their arrival, 33 per cent within one month, 50 per cent within three months, and 90 per cent within less than a year.

 

That few of them received any permanent benefit or received adequate help is shown by the fact that at the end of the year 54 per cent had been lost sight of and could not be traced; 13 per cent had died; 10 per cent were known to have removed from the city and only one-fourth remained in these six cities.

 

The extent of the burden of caring for these indigents may be gauged by the fact that Phoenix, with a population of 29,053, had one indigent tubercular to every 58 of the population, with a total of 499 cases, of whom 426 were men of the "tramp" class. The cost to Phoenix of caring for these cases was $51,000 in the year 1920 or an average of $1.75 per capita of population; Colorado Springs, which is about the same size, population 30,105, had one indigent to every 78 of population, a total of 385, of whom 235 were males. It cost this city about $32,000, or $1 per capita, to care for these sick in 1920.

 

Why do the sick, and especially those without money to supply their needs, leave home and friends to travel several thousand miles to a strange country in which they might have a difficult time to make their living if well and strong?

 

The fame of the southwestern states as the most healthful part of the country and the beneficial effects of its climate are the magnet that draws, and will continue to draw, countless thousands. The belief that climate alone is all that is needed for cure or "arrest" of tuberculosis is primarily responsible for migration of consumptives. The study of six cities made by the National Tuberculosis Association, which dealt almost exclusively with the problem of the indigent tuberculous, revealed the fact that more than one-half of these cases came on the definite advice of their physicians.

 

Physicians who give such advice consider the medical aspects of the case and fail entirely to give consideration to the economic features in each case-the finances of the patient, present and future, his chances for earning a living at his trade or occupation or his adaptability to another means of livelihood.

 

The patient - panic-stricken - who has often heard that the Southwest is the one and only chance for life for a consumptive, asks himself, "Why should I risk my life by staying at home?" He believes that a few months of the life-giving ozone of the Southwest will heal his lungs and give him new life and vigor. So he sets forth, often accompanied by wife and children, with not much more than his railroad fare, giving no heed to the problem of food, shelter and medical care at his journey's end.

 

In some instances patients have been helped to go West by county, municipal or village officials, who thus seek to avoid the expense to their own tax-payers of the care of a sick citizen.

 

The hope of employment brings many. They intend to do "light work" until they are strong again. Or they plan to "rough it" on a ranch. They little realize the number of candidates, like themselves, for every job of light work, nor do they understand the strenuous nature of ranch work.

 

The advertising of many Southwestern cities and towns is doubtless responsible for a large part of the migration and for the fact that such migration is increasing. Since climate is its greatest asset, it is to be expected that the Southwest will capitalize it. Chambers of Commerce and business organizations have seen other cities grow in wealth and population because of the influx of consumptives with money, and it is very natural and typical of the Southwest that they should also go after their share of this "business."

 

So it is that the tuberculous have come and are coming in increasing thousands, and what to do with them is a question which the Southwest is now putting up to the nation. Absence from their home states, after a certain time, deprives them of citizenship. Residence in the Southwest for the same period automatically makes them citizens of the state in which they have settled. Their work in their northern or eastern homes helped to some extent in building up the communities in which they lived; they were an asset. But from the day they come into a Southwestern state most of them are a liability.

 

Whence come these sick? What states and cities contribute the most of these vast hordes of unfortunates who go forth from the place of their birth and residence, from the large cities of the East to the small towns of the West; from the great Mississippi and Ohio River valleys and from the low plains of the Gulf Coast into the high mountains of the West, changing the habits and environments of a lifetime, adventuring forth sick, weak and suffering on a journey which many would hesitate to take if they were well, strong and in good financial circumstances.

 

According to one of the Public Health Reports, the states of Illinois, Ohio and Missouri contributed 32 per cent of the sick who died in Western Texas and whose bodies were shipped home, and if there are added to these figures the numbers who came from Kentucky, Tennessee and New York, these six states furnished 48 per cent of these migrants.

 

The National Tuberculosis Association found in their 1920 study of indigent cases in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver, Colorado Springs, El Paso and San Antonio, that the following states in the order named furnished one-half of these pauper and semi-pauper consumptives: Illinois, New York, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Minnesota.

 

The sources of migration are nation-wide and there is no state and probably very few cities of any size which are not represented by some of their sick citizens in the Southwest. None of these states or cities have manifested any concern as to the fate of these unfortunates. None of them have contributed anything to their support and some of them, unofficially, encourage migration to rid themselves of a burden of care and support.

 

WHAT DOES THE HEALTH-SEEKER FIND?

 

None but a Victor Hugo could chronicle the experiences of these "Miserables" in their, too often, vain search for health and life in a hostile land. The statistical records of busy, under-staffed charity organizations and the brief records of over-crowded municipal and county hospitals and poor farms cannot be expected to show what they have suffered and endured.

 

First, let us consider the needs of a consumptive if he is to have a chance for life. What must he have and what is his chance to get it?

 

Medical men will disagree about many things but they all agree on four cardinal needs for every consumptive, no matter where he be, north, south, east or west, in home or hospital. These four things are in the order of their importance, rest, outdoor life, proper nourishment and medical supervision. These four items can be bought if one has the money and the intelligence to pay the price. But the percentage of migrants who have the price is distressingly small, and the number of those who have the price and who have sufficient intelligence to pay it is likewise small.

 

Not many can realize the length of time that must be spent in "chasing the cure" before they can again take up their business or occupation. A year or more of care and proper living is required and failure to realize that fact means defeat and death.

 

(To Be Concluded)

 

----o----

 

THE LIBRARY

 

The 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.

 

A LODGE IN MEDIAEVAL TIMES. A Dissertation. Paper, 12 pages. Lionel Vibert.

 

THE EVOLUTION OF THE SECOND DEGREE. (The Prestonian Lecture for 1926.) Paper, 15 pages. By the same author. Both privately, printed.

 

THE value of these two pamphlets is not to be measured by their size, though no one who is acquainted with Bro. Vibert's previous work will need to be told this.

 

The first was read before Constitution Lodge, No. 3392, last September and is one of the most interesting and illuminative descriptions of the status of the mediaeval Freemason and the conditions under which he worked and the nature of the organization to which he belonged that we have ever come across. While the student will be familiar with the materials from which it is constructed, yet he will be interested to view the picture Bro. Vibert constructs out of his data, and will find very little to question. The brother who knows nothing of the subject will find himself led back into the past by simple and easy stages, and will probably finish by wanting to know still more about the early history of the Craft.

 

It was just remarked that the student would find little to question. However there are a few minor points on which 'we do not quite agree with the author. We are told that the Craft organization would have to enable the Mason to know where there was work, and to establish his status as a Craftsman and also to enable the masters to be "quickly apprised of every new discovery because Gothic [architecture] was a science which developed with astonishing rapidity." It did, its advance was as marked and as wonderful in its way as the advance of the physical sciences have been in the last hundred years, but we are not sure whether Bro. Vibert intended all that many readers might understand from the first statement. In view of the often repeated, but groundless contrast drawn between the "traveling Cathedral Builders" and the mere common Gild Masons, and of confidently asserted claims for some central school or executive body which furnished plans for every Gothic building in Europe, it seems well to point out that no such machinery is necessary to explain the facts. Rapid as the development of Gothic seems in historical perspective, it would not actually be so in the life time of the individual Mason. There have been almost revolutionary changes in machine shop practice in the last thirty years, but no engineer or skilled mechanic has ever at any time felt that things were changing too fast for him to keep up with them. And to men trained in any occupation the barest description or even a mere hint, or casual inspection of new work, will be sufficient to give them a grasp of any new invention or improved process. Yet there were two things about the Mason's fraternity that did directly encourage the spread of new ideas. One was the provisions that made it not only possible but easy for men to move from job to job, and the other the rule that no point of technique was to be withheld from a fellow mason as a personal trade secret. Masters in all crafts undertook to teach their apprentices all they themselves knew - all their most cherished trade secrets - but the mason was bound to instruct his fellow whenever he saw he was likely to spoil his work for lack of knowledge and skill.

 

One is rather inclined to doubt the absolute nature of the statement that "no one not a member of the Fraternity could under any circumstances gain admission" to the working lodge or shed where the stones were cut. There is every probability that casual strangers would be kept out, but it does not seem likely that the employer - especially when a nobleman or church dignitary - could well be refused admission it he desired it. There would be no practical reason to object to it. The conservative British workmen of all trades object strenuously, or did, to visitors coming into the sanctum of their daily toil. But if they "pay their footing," good feeling is at once restored. We can well believe that the feeling was much more vigorous in the Middle Ages, but still it is hard to see how a Bishop or an Abbot or an Earl or Duke could be kept out of a building put up at his own charge where work he was paying for was being carried on. Of course the men might "down tools" and quit the job – only such employers as those mentioned had, or took powers of summary jurisdiction; and short and sharp methods were taken with strikers in those days. It is possible that a fairly considerable number of churchmen, abbots or, more likely, priors, sacristans and monks, were interested in technique and design, and so became speculative members of the Craft, but we doubt if there would be many among the aristocratic lay employers of masons who would be moved by any such curiosity. What would interest them, if they heard of it, would be that masons belonged to a widespread Fraternity whose members were all mutually bound to assist each other. In days of constant warfare many a man in high position, or even lowly knights and esquires, might have joined such an organization purely as a sort of accident insurance policy. The benefit, in feudal times, would be mutual, for the local magnate, lord of the manor or whatever he was, could greatly aid and assist his operative brethren without much trouble to himself.

 

The "elaborate rules as to hours of work" at York Minster probably only embodied ordinary usage, not only among Masons but in all crafts. The hours are very much what they used to be in English machine shops and factories. While German customs at the present day are almost identical, both in the changes between winter and summer, the second breakfast, and the afternoon spell off - only coffee is drunk instead of beer as a rule.

 

It is stated also that in France and Germany the parallel organizations of the Compagnonnage and Steinmetzen, not having any number of speculative or honorary members, died out when conditions changed. This is not by any means certain. The Compagnonnage was still alive in parts of France twenty-five years ago-performing its ancient rites at the burial of a companion-and there are some reasons to think that certain survivals of the Steinmetzen organization continued their existence up to the time of the war at least. But of course it is quite obvious that such survivals are on quite a different footing to the process in the British Isles where the trade fraternity gradually lost its operative members, but nevertheless grew and expanded by the increasing accession of speculatives, until its character was completely transformed.

 

Two other things one is inclined to quarrel with. Why should it be assumed that the builders of flying buttresses and lofty vaulting should work on "very primitive scaffolding?" They had wood in plenty and ropes, and with these materials it is simple enough to make scaffolding as safe as any used in construction today, even under the eye of the strictest building inspector. The carpenters who did the framing of the timbers that support the roofs of the old cathedrals, or that, for instance, in the central spire of Salisbury, did not do primitive work, and one must believe that their methods of staging and centering for arches and vaults were as adequate as any used today.

 

The other thing is the use of the word gild for the mason's organization. It must be admitted that it is not easy to choose any one word to denote it, as it seems to have been sui generis and thus to have no class name. It was a society, a Fraternity of which local groups were sometimes called Companies or similar terms; and Bro. Vibert himself has clearly shown that it differed from the Gilds in every point that distinguished the latter. If some note had been made that the word was used as a convenience merely, and for lack of a better, there would have been less chance for the hasty reader to go astray.

 

In the second of these two booklets, the Evolution of the Second Degree, the theory advanced in his first Prestonian Lecture in 1925 [See BUILDER May, 1926, p. 157] is further developed. Scholarship, like politics, generally progresses by reactions from one extreme to the other. From an uncritical acceptance of the traditions of the Craft at their face value Masonic students swung round to the position that originally there was but a single form of admission by which men were made Masons, and that this form was so simple and bare that it was hardly correct even to describe it as an initiation. This however was going too far, as this view ignored or unduly minimized a large part of the evidence. Another reaction set in the opposite direction with the theory of two original grades and ceremonies of admission. The first consisted of the entrance or "making," which marked the stage of the apprentice, and the second that of Fellow and Master, by which the apprentice when his time was completed was passed as a Master of his Art and a Fellow of the Fraternity. This theory is now very generally accepted, but it embraces a number of divergent conceptions which roughly fall into two groups: those which suppose the present Third Degree to be an invention introduced about 1725 or 1730, and those which suppose that it was our Second Degree that was invented and inserted between the two older grades, which corresponded in essentials with our First and Third. Bro. Vibert holds the latter view, which again is probably the one most in accord with all the evidence as well as the one most generally held by students. So far, however, no one has suggested any very good reason for the invention or compilation of our present Fellowcraft. The usual view is that it was to fill out a symbolic group of grades or steps, and to complete the analogy with the three ancient ranks in the operative craft. The late R. F. Gould supposed the starting point was, all in a misunderstanding of the ambiguous language in Article xiii of the Regulations in the first Book of Constitutions. We may allow full weight to both considerations and yet feel that neither, singly or both together, could really have been sufficient cause. It is the particular merit of Bro. Vibert's lecture that in it he has most ingeniously worked out a definite motive for the framing of a new Second Degree.

 

In brief, his theory is that it all hinges on the "Old" Regulation xiii, or that particular clause which enacted that "Apprentices must be admitted Masters and Fellow-Craft only here unless by dispensation," that is only in the Grand Lodge, so that it has the same starting point as that of Gould. These Regulations - we do not know how much Anderson "revised" them - were supposed to have been approved by the Grand Lodge, that is by the General Assembly and Feast of the London Masons in June, 1721. It was about this time that the Fraternity began to rapidly expand in numbers, which brought to the forefront the problem of constituting new lodges. This problem Bro. Vibert holds necessitated serious innovations, and the way in which it was met he suggests is reflected in certain of the Regulations and in the "Postscript" of the first Book of Constitutions, which gives the form of constituting new lodges, stating it was first used by the Duke of Wharton when Grand Master.

 

The situation that then arose, so Bro. Vibert thinks, was something as if Masters of Lodges could only be qualified for office in Grand Lodge. The original second grade, Master or Fellow, could only be given in the Grand or General Lodge, and at the same time none but Fellows (or Fellow-Craft as Anderson called them) were eligible to office. It meant that the Grand Lodge could dictate to the private lodges who they must choose for their Masters and Wardens. This might have caused discontent and in order to evade the Regulation advantage was taken of its ambiguity - it apparently spoke of two things, Master and Fellowcraft. Elsewhere Fellowcraft was stated to be the qualification of office. The old superior grade had been really Master and Fellow, so Anderson's Scotticism was assumed to be something different, and a new qualifying grade was supplied somehow, by someone, out of the original first grade, the Apprentice. Some things were duplicated, others were reserved in the first step and made peculiar to the new second. By the time this clause of Regulation xiii was repealed, in November, 1725, the new division of the First Degree into two parts had become firmly established, though with the authority to "make Masters at their discretion" the lodges no longer needed it in order to control their own private affairs.

 

Attractive as the theory is, especially in offering a real tangible motive for the innovation, yet as the reviewer said in commenting on Bro. Vibert's first Prestonian Lecture, there are a number of gaps in the evidence and the argument. It requires first of all the supposition that Regulation xiii was actually enforced. We can fully agree "it was none of Anderson's devising" and yet doubt whether it was ever anything but a dead letter.

 

Of course if it was devised by Payne in order to control the new lodges it would be natural that there would at least be an attempt to enforce it; but suppose it was only the embodiment of a traditional belief that originally apprentices were made free and passed as Masters and became Fellows only at a general meeting (or lodge) of the whole Craft in the district, we could imagine that while everyone agreed it was proper and right, yet the inconvenience on the one hand and habit on the other united to make it inoperative from the first; and that it was finally repealed merely because it was unenforced and unenforceable. While it is true that the fact that the Grand Lodge minutes make no mention of any "passings" does not prove anything - negative evidence never proves anything absolutely except under practically impossible conditions - it may give rise to a strong presumption. And in this case the presumption seems very strong indeed that if apprentices were passed Masters in Grand Lodge their names would have been recorded, because this would qualify them for office, both in the private lodges and in the Grand Lodge itself. At the very least this silence leaves the question open.

 

Another point that it is not easy to give assent to is the suggestion that it was a complete innovation, in and about London, to form new lodges. Even granting that no new lodges had been formed within the personal knowledge of the London Masons of 1716-1720, yet it is hard to believe that they were not all fully aware of the tradition that any seven, or perhaps five, Mason-, could form a lodge. Indeed it could be argued that Dr. Stukeley was initiated by a casual lodge having no permanent existence. This is at least as good an inference from his statement that "We had great difficulty to find members enough to perform the ceremony" as the one Bro. Vibert draws from his mention, in recording the meeting in June, 1719, that Grand Master Payne "read over a new sett of articles to be observ'd," which is that these articles (or regulations) were imposed "on Grand Lodge by his (Payne's) own authority," and that we may doubt if the Grand Lodge had even then "assumed any administrative functions." Strictly speaking to approve and adopt new regulations would be legislative and not administrative.

 

Nor again can we accept without question that the phrase in Regulation i (as it appears in the first edition of the Constitutions) "Any true lodge" implies that in 1722 the Grand Lodge was already regarding all groups of Masons who had not submitted to it as rebellious and clandestine. The phrase "true and perfect" appears in several of the old Catechisms in place of the more general "just and perfect" as the description of the lodge and in the Dumfries Kilwinning MS. No. 4, Anderson's phrase appears exactly, "the true lodge of St. John." It is just as val'd to argue that it was another Scottish phrase which Anderson used quite naturally, and the fact that it was left out in the second edition might possibly be taken as confirming such a view.

 

The confusion in the use of familiar terminology which for us has stereotyped significance but which in the early eighteenth century was not only differently employed but also fluid in its meaning does indeed make the task of interpreting the scattered references left to us very difficult. The paper by Bro. Herbert Poole (A. Q. C. Vol. xxxvii) is referred to as suggesting that perhaps there were two systems in existence previous to 1716, an Operative and a Speculative. It depends on what is to be understood by system in this connection. If it is to be taken that the speculative lodges employed forms and ceremonies that had no counterpart among the Operatives we must confess that we do not so understand Bro. Poole. We should understand his position to be that the speculative tended to amalgamate the two original grades into one and to make their candidates Fellows at once, thus in effect eliminating the Apprentice grade. Undoubtedly there were wide variations in usage then as there are now, and if this be all that is intended the statement can be accepted, but hardly if we are to understand that there were essential differences between the two classes of lodges.

 

Bro. Poole's theories seem to be a development of those advanced by Speth long ago, while those of Bro. Vibert in some respects carry on the hypothesis of Gould. On the whole with each new rearrangement of the evidence we seem to be getting Pearer to some general conclusion that may be safely accepted. The great merit in Bro. Vibert's work is that he has faced and attempted to answer the question why the original system of two degrees should have been expanded into three.

 

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TRANSACTIONS OF THE DORSET MASTERS LODGE, No. 3366. 1926-27.

 

THIS Research Lodge has been in existence eighteen years, and has steadily grown in strength from its inception. The inaugural address of the Worshipful Master installed for the year 1926-27 dealt with the very interesting subject of signs and symbols, and their universal use throughout the world. It would seem, however, that W. Bro. A. H. Yeatman depended too much upon Bro. J.S.M. Ward, who with all his erudition and brilliant talents as a writer is not a wholly safe guide in the obscure paths of esoteric research. Bro. Yeatman, too, seems to have accepted certain statements made by Bro. Ward as being within his own personal knowledge, when it actually appears that the information was derived from other authors.

 

We note also that he accepts the theory that the Royal Arch was originally part of our present Third Degree, and that that again in the first place was merely a "ceremony-with-secrets." Attractive as this hypothesis has been to many Masonic students, it has by no means passed beyond the stage of conjecture, and it is to be doubted if it ever will be more than this.

 

The second paper was by Bro. F. W. Bilson and dealt with the Origin and Purpose of Freemasonry. Bro. Bilson has the distinction also of being a Past Master of the Leicester Lodge of Research. He states his purpose to examine the claim made in the Charge given to the candidate on his initiation that Freemasonry is an ancient institution. Undoubtedly it has existed for well over two hundred years, but does this age, respectable as it may be, constitute it as "ancient" and of time-immemorial origin? He proposes to answer the question, at least in part, by a consensus of the conclusions of Masonic students.

 

One statement he made quite at the beginning, and repeated in the body of the paper, arrests attention at once, incidentally as it is made. It is that Dr. James Anderson, "Author" of the Book of Constitutions, was the first Secretary of the newly organized Grand Lodge of 1717 or 1716. Naturally this was taken up in the discussion that followed, and was defended on rather curious grounds. Supposing that at first there was no secretary appointed at all, he asserts that Anderson was in 1722 appointed Junior Grand Warden, and that "at that time he was engaged upon important secretarial work on behalf of Grand Lodge," and that "to relieve him of some of the routine clerical work" Win. Cowper was appointed to a newly-formed office of Grand Secretary in 1723, but that in fact he was "little more than Anderson's assistant." And to confirm this he adds that this new office was at first so little esteemed that "its occupant was not admitted a member of Grand Lodge until 1741."

 

It has been well remarked that a statement incapable of proof cannot be refuted. Bro. Bilson's argument leaves one rather bewildered. The office of secretary was instituted to give Anderson an assistant to deal with routine matters, yet Anderson was in effect Grand Secretary before that, because he was engaged in "important secretarial work" for the Grand Lodge. This must refer to the compilation of the Book of Constitutions, for there is no indication anywhere of his being engaged on anything else on behalf of the new organization. Is such work properly called secretarial? Is not secretarial work properly the keeping of records and attending to correspondence? The existing minutes of the Grand Lodge begin with an entry dated June 24, 1723, in such a way that it is obvious that they are the continuation of a record previously kept in some other book now lost. Anderson is recorded apparently as the second of two brothers whose names are bracketed together as "G. Wardens." There has, however, been an erasure which in the photograph of the page is clearly shown, the deleted passage being quite legible. It reads "who officiated for Mr. William Hawkins." In the end of the book is a record of the Grand officers from 1717 and under the year 1722 appears another alteration, not an erasure this time but an insertion. First appears the name Mr. William Hawkins, and then in another hand the words "who demitted and then James Anderson A. M. was chosen in his place." This insertion is almost certainly Dr. Anderson's own handwriting. Whatever inferences are to be drawn from these facts it seems certain that in no sense of the word was Anderson secretary of the Grand Lodge in 1722.

 

Further, to say that this office was held in so little esteem at first that it was not till eighteen years later that its occupant was formally made a member of Grand Lodge is misleading and seems to be based on a misconception of the meaning of the records. The secretary must at first have been regarded as a member of the Grand Lodge, not ex officio, that was unnecessary, because every Mason in the London area was regarded as a member. As the character of the Grand Lodge changed from a General Assembly of the Craft held once a year, to the representative body it now is, it became necessary to legislate expressly on this subject. Bro. Wm. Cowper certainly was not regarded as of no consequence in Grand Lodge affairs for we find him in the following year not only a member of a most important committee but chosen as its chairman; the committee had among its members the Duke of Montague and Dr. Desaguliers. Perhaps too much attention has been given to this point, which really has nothing to do with the main argument, and it would not have been noticed had not Bro. Bilson been so determined to defend it in his reply. It would not have been in the interests of accurate scholarship, of which there is all too little among Masonic writers, to have let it pass.

 

Bro. Bilson first briefly describes the various theories that in turn have held the field, beginning with Hutchinson and Preston and Dr. Oliver, who assumed that Freemasonry was a survival of the Ancient Mysteries. To this list Dr. Stukeley might have been added, and it should also have been noted that Dr. Oliver greatly changed his views in later life.

 

He then says that the next school of thought "unfortunately started with a preconceived idea," that Masonry was a very ancient institution. This school in which he classes Hughan, Speth, Lane and Gould, supposed Speculative Freemasonry was derived from the Operative Masons, and that they thenceforth "set themselves to discover the history of these Churchbuilders." The brief sketch of the way in which these scholars reached their conclusions is very misleading, however. It did not depend solely on the records of the Grand Lodge being "in order as far back as 1717," which is not, as we have seen strictly true, for they only begin in 1723, nor on the old Lodge in St. Paul's Churchyard being the one chiefly concerned in the new organization. All the contributory evidence, so overwhelming in its mass, drawn from the records of the old Scottish Lodges, those of York, and others in England, is completely ignored.

 

The political theory is then mentioned, the late Bro. Hextall being quoted in its favor. We are not quite sure where he bad expressed the opinions cited, but it is certainly going beyond the evidence to suppose that the papers which some overscrupulous brethren destroyed in 1720, according to Anderson had anything to do with plots and conspiracies.

 

Prof. Robison is also quoted as an authority on this point. His name, by the way (perhaps the printer is at fault) appears as Robinson, a mistake that is frequently made. But Robison wrote his Proofs of a Conspiracy in 1797-seventy years later, and is a good witness only for the continental lodges of his own time, if indeed to be relied on even in this. The initiation of Ashmole is also adduced in favor of this theory. The "third degree" legend being regarded as an allegory of the martyrdom of King Charles 1. But Charles was still alive in 1646 with armies still in the field. Besides the fact that Ashmole's fellow candidate was a colonel in the Parliamentary forces does not seem possibly to admit any political purpose or aim in the lodge at Warrington. AshmoIe's later preferment was by no means unsuitable to his learning and his social position, and if political gratitude entered into it, his open service in the Royalist army is surely sufficient without supposing any secret-society activities as well.

 

A brief picture is given of the old Operative organization, based on the older conjectures, and stressing its impermanence and lack of records. This we would not quarrel with though it is incomplete, but when we are told that it was customary for each lodge to have two gentlemen or non-operative members, namely a Chaplain and a Doctor, it must be said that there is not the slightest evidence in fact for any such state of affairs; nothing indeed but the wholly unsupported statements of the late Bro. Stretton made in support of his "Operative" organization, the so-called Gild Masons. That this is the source of his information becomes a certainty when shortly after we find him repeating Stretton's fantastic fairy tale of Anderson as Chaplain of "St. Paul's Lodge" making gentlemen Masons at five guineas per head.

 

The state of society in the early 19th century is then sketched, and the need for some reform organization stressed. Sir Thomas More and Francis Bacon are mentioned as describing ideal states. There were other and later inventors of "Utopias" who might have been mentioned, notably Harrington's Oceana, which might seem more relevant than More's ideal government, but Bacon's Island of Bensalem did have a kind of semi-esoteric priesthood in "Solomon's House," a fancy that has much intrigued imaginative Masons. It had three ranks and had rites and ceremonies and so on, and the implication here is that it would serve as a model for the later actual society of Speculative Free Masons, for in short Bro. Bilson does not believe that Freemasonry is properly to be called ancient.

 

Hughan, Lane and Oliver are all cited to prove this, and Bro. Vibert in support of the fact that in 1723 only two degrees were known. Then follows a discussion of the early exposures. The impression we gather from this part of the paper is that these were produced by operative Masons who were thoroughly dissatisfied with the goings on of the new Speculative Grand Lodge. In spite of having supposed that many Operative Masons may have visited the Grand Lodge in their character as Masons and then gone away to oppose it, Bro. Bilson goes on to state that the only connection between the old Operative organization and the new Speculative system was that some working masons might have been Freemasons, and he concludes by supposing that "antiquity" was feigned as an attraction to outsiders in early days, and now that the society has two solid centuries of proved existence it can well forego the claim to immemorial antiquity.

 

The paper was not allowed to pass unchallenged. Bro. Yeatman took up the defense of Masonry's antiquity though we are hardly prepared to accept his arguments without reserve, especially when he draws upon the mythical Dionysian Artificers and the Leyland-Locke MS.; though in making a distinction between Freemasons and Gild Masons he is in very reputable company. Bro. Symes, Deputy Provincial Grand Master, also demurred to the opinions expressed in the paper, and especially to the idea of the Masonic Ritual having been invented by a Frenchman and a Scottish Minister "collaborating in a London lodging."

 

In his reply Bro. Bilson especially attacked the so-called "Transition Period" as having been invented as a necessary link between the old Operatives and the new Speculatives. Like many other writers, he has much contempt for the Operatives, mere rude uneducated mechanics, of whom it is "unbelievable that they practiced any, even the crudest, system of morality." He finally poses three questions which he says that "the stoutest supporters of the continuity theory" will answer in the negative, while yet a negative answer implies, in his opinion, lack of any real connection between new and old. The questions are these: (1) Was there before the eighteenth century any such organization such as was founded in 1717? (2) Was there any such sequence of degrees such as was in existence in 1725? (3) Was there any ritual in existence? The present reviewer, in all candor, must admit that his reading of the available evidence would force him to answer all three questions in the affirmative. There was, or the earlier Masons believed there was, an organization such as the Grand Lodge set out to be, a General Assembly of the Craft. There was such a sequence of degrees as we now have consisting of the essentials of our first and third, between which the second was interpolated between 1723 and 1730, and there was undoubtedly a ritual.

 

Bro. Wilkes had a very interesting paper on the true purpose and character of Freemasonry, taking as a text the description so well known that it is a system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols. The discussion is one that is very difficult to summarize. The author apparently does not believe that this peculiar system is any older than the 18th century, thus agreeing with Bro. Bilson, at least in part. But we may allow the peculiar system expressed in present day English rituals to be far from ancient and yet maintain the existence of the essentials of the ceremonies and of some of the symbols from an undetermined antiquity preceding the eighteenth century. The paper as a whole is very stimulating and provocative of thought. It is a subject which every Mason must investigate for himself and find an answer as he can, for no one can answer for him.

 

The lodge also had an address by Bro. J. S. M. Ward, on the subject of some recent observations made by him on the antiquities and folk customs of North Africa. He stresses as usual his so-called "Sign of Preservation" which he sees everywhere; but though some new facts are adduced in support there was little of moment added to what may be found in his work Freemasonry and the Ancient Gods. Bro. Ward is always interesting, and if he could only bring himself to be more critical would do good work in his chosen field. Bro. Bilson took him to task in the discussion, and the reviewer's feeling is that he is ready to agree with each in his criticism of the position of the other!

 

The Rev. W. S. Hildesly in "Churchmen and Masonry" ably upheld the propriety of members of the clerical profession becoming Masons if they so desire. A position with which all Masons will naturally agree; yet a discussion of the views of critics and opponents is always interesting, and also agreeable, when ably handled by an advocate on our own side!

 

The remainder of the volume is devoted to various dedications and other ceremonies in the county which are of course chiefly of local interest, and to Part II of Freemasonry in Dorset. The first appeared in the previous volume.

 

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THE SECRET HISTORY OF PROCOPIUS. Translated by Richard Atwater. Published by Pascal Covici, Chicago. Cloth, frontispiece, glossary, 286 pages. Price $20.50.

 

THE writings of fourteen centuries ago seem somewhat belated subjects for review in a modern periodical. Most of the classical writings are so well known that they need no introduction to a present day public. When a new edition of such a work is produced one occasionally sees a brief paragraph mentioning its salient features, but Procopius is different. His works are not well known, doubtless many of our readers have never even heard of him. It is with this explanation that a brief account of the man and his work is made available for readers of THE BUILDER.

 

Though most, if not all, of Procopius' work that has come down to us was written in Constantinople during the reign of Justinian, he was not a Latin by birth. Some time about 500 A. D. Procopius was born in Caesarea; he was doubtless one of the Samaritans to whom he makes reference as adopting Christianity, not from the conviction that it was the true religion, but from convenience. The profession of rhetorician appealed to him and by 527 he had gained sufficient fame to be appointed secretary and aide to the great general, Belisarius. As such he accompanied the general on the campaign against the Persians.

 

Procopius met with considerable success in this post and continued to serve in the Vandal campaign in 533 and against the Ostrogoths in Italy in 535. After the capture of Ravenna in 540 he returned to Constantinople to write, or complete, his "Military Histories." These works are of high merit and have been acclaimed as particularly brilliant when compared to the low literary level of his age. In these writings Procopius seems to have been fairly careful to write as much of the truth about the campaigns he had seen as could diplomatically be told under a jealous Emperor. He did, however, praise the real greatness of Belisarius more highly than Justinian thought necessary.

 

Thus did the author incur the imperial hatred of his dissolute ruler, and to save his own head he set to work on a description of the "Edifices" erected by Justinian throughout the Empire. By filling this work with almost slavish flattery the Emperor was appeased - so delighted in fact that Procopius was made a Senator. Such compensation was not sufficient to appease the conscience of the scholar and he determined to write the whole truth about the autocrat - would that some modern writers also could suffer similarly from the pangs of conscience. Certain it is that they would have no occasion to fear, as Procopius did, for their lives. Thus it was that the Secret History came to be written.

 

The work was completed during the thirty-second year of Justinian's reign, or in 559 A. D. Obviously it could not be published during the lifetime of this dissolute monarch. There seems to be some reason for not publishing it at an even later date since it was lost to the world until the latter part of the 16th or early 17th century when it was unearthed in the Vatican Library. The first English translation appeared in 1623 and in 1548 we hear of one of the Vatican librarians lamenting its loss. The date of its reappearance can, therefore, be fixed as some time between those dates.

 

So much for the history of the work, the book itself hardly deserves the title of a history. It is really a collection of incidents scribbled at random as they occurred to the author. In its present form the work owes much to the translator. The chapter heads, so Mr. Atwater says, are a "whim of the translator." They are reminiscent of Boccaccio and Rabelais, cleverly executed and of themselves entertaining. More than this, however, is a debt of gratitude due Mr. Atwater for the evident fidelity with which he has preserved the subtlety of expression which must have been in the original.

 

The price will seem prohibitive to the ordinary book buyer, even if the edition is limited to seven hundred and sixty copies, each numbered and autographed by the translator and the typographer, Douglas C. McMurtrie. One would expect that the book would be a perfect sample of the printer's art. So it is in general appearance, but appearances are deceiving. The paper is of excellent quality, the binding reasonably good, and the makeup is pleasing to the eye. But the chief purpose of a book, after all, is to be read, and it is here that the disappointment- comes. The type is quite new, designed especially for the purpose by Mr. McMurtrie - he calls it the "Procopius." It is based on the appearance of a Greek manuscript in uncial characters. Like some people's handwriting, it looks very nice till one comes to read it. In addition the composition is not up to the standard one would expect. Frequently the spacing between words is so insufficient, that with the unfamiliarity of the type one has to stop to decipher the words intended. There are also typographical errors, some of which are really inexcusable. Two of them are obvious at a glance, "opposite" for "opposite," on page 184, and on page 226 "with" appears as "wtih." And who can imagine Washington "walking the shows of Valley Forge" as he is made to do on page 8?

 

And yet, even for those who read Greek, the work is almost unattainable, and to have an intimate picture in English of the Byzantine court life and its amazing intrigues may overbalance all the deficiencies to which attention has been called. The strange figure of Justinian, faithless to everyone but his tigerish wife, and by no means faithful to her in the ordinary sense of the phrase. Cruel, cold, avaricious, spendthrift, avid of flattery, wandering about his palace at all hours of the day and night, never sleeping except in snatches, never eating except in hasty snacks taken at any odd time, so that people thought he was a warlock or a wizard or worse.

 

He was well mated in Theodora his wife. Now Theodora means God's gift, but she was a strange gift to any country as its queen. If Byzantium deserved her it must have been worse than has been supposed. Her favorite sport was to drop her callers into the cellar, otherwise the palace dungeons. Men would go to see her, not often by their own will, and no more would be heard of them. She and Justinian pretended to work against each other. Theodora would have people made away with whom Justinian pretended to favor, and he would do the same for her; and doubtless they were both much amused by the dismay of their victims when they found that royal favor meant so little. It is an amazing and incredible picture, and yet it has upon it the stamp of truth. If the Eastern Empire was so rotten at its heart it was due to fall before the Turk. The Turk has been bad in his day but it would be impossible for him to have been worse than this.

M. T.

 

* * *

 

UN PRECURSEUR DE LA FRANC MACONNERIE, JOHN TOLAND 1670-1722 SUIVI DE LA TRADUCTION FRANCAISE DU PANTHEISTICON DE JOHN TOLAND. By Albert Lantoine. Published by Emile Nourry, Paris. Price 30 francs.

 

THE author, whose valuable Histoire de la Franc-Maconnerie Francaise was reviewed in THE BUILDER for April, 1926, began his present task with the idea merely of writing a brief introduction to a translation of the Pantheisticon into French; so, at least, we gather from the last paragraph of his essay. It seems that this curious work, the last published by Toland, has never been published before in France, although the translation was possibly made not long after 1720, the year in which the original appeared. Bro. Lantoine seems to think that it was made by some one of the esprits cultives et curieux de savoir, amateurs of knowledge, dilletantes in the original sense of the word, of whom there were so many at that time. The manuscript was carefully bound "in calf" as a valued possession. Its history is unkown.

 

In considering how to best present it in a series now being published by the firm of Emile Nourry on "Modern Initiates" the first of which was Joseph de Maistre Franc-Macon [see THE BUILDER, Sept., 1926] Bro. Lantoine discarded the idea of attempting to make a comparison of the formulas of Toland's Socratic Societies with the Masonic Ritual as quite useless. He thought that the only way to make the work intelligible, was to give an account of the intellectual movements of the time, and Toland's reactions to them.

 

The Pantheisticon was printed for private circulation only, in a very limited edition. It however very soon reached the hands of people who were greatly outraged by it, who took it as the service book of an atheistic church so to speak. It was assumed by these critics that this ritual was a parody of the services of the Church of England. Except that it is put into a responsive form, between the President and the members, it seems really to the impartial mind no more to resemble any form of church service than it does the Masonic Ritual. But considering the point of view of Toland's opponents - and Protestants, English Churchmen and Roman Catholics were all at one in condeming him - there is no wonder that controversialists of the latter church were very eager to equate the "Socratic formula" with the forms and ceremonies of the Masonic Table Ledges of the day. Deschamps goes so far as to say that "the ritual of these [Socratic] reunions is almost word for word the same as that of the [Masonic] tenues de table actuelles." Which could, it seems, have only been written by one not well acquainted with one, or other of the things compared, unless deliberate dishonesty be supposed. Lantoine, however, finds the connection with Freemasonry to be much more of the spirit than the form, although there are some very curious coincidences, as when he says that the numbers will in general be no more than the Muses and not less than the Graces, but the most perfect that of the Planets. That is, that each Sodality should not consist of more than nine or less than three members, and that seven was the perfect number.

 

Again they were to meet especially on the days of the solstices and the equinoxes. The addition of the latter days however rather detracts from the significance (if any) of the former. There are other turns of thought and phraseology which seem to parallel those familiar to Masons, but we must judge that Lantoine is right in thinking effort expended on working out such parallels would be wasted. Toland himself gives the Symposia of the Greeks, the conversations at the banquets of Socrates and his followers, and the esoteric and exoteric teaching of many of the philosophers, as the source of authority for all he has, to say, and it seems perfectly adequate to account for everything, except perhaps the idea of a formal ritual. Toland writes as if these Sodalities actually existed.

 

Perhaps, such groups did exist, indeed it is almost certain there must have been such. But whether any of them had a regular organization is much more doubtful, and that any ever used Toland's proposed formulary most doubtful of all. It is altogether too much a thing of the pen. It could hardly be said with any comfort, and there is nothing inspired in it, however eagerly the ideas expressed might have been seized upon by inquiring minds dissatisfied with a dull and dogmatic theology. However, the question greatly intrigued Toland's opponents - almost as much as the earlier question whether the Rosicrucians were more than an elaborate hoax.

 

Toland was born in the north of Ireland, and brought up in the Roman Church. At the early age of. sixteen he left it and became a zealous Protestant. It was not a matter of fancy or chance, but the beginning of a restless questioning mind, critical of all dogmas, to diligently seek out the truth for himself. He studied in Edinburgh, at the University of Leyden and later at Oxford, where he began to write the book that put him "into the limelight," so to speak - Christianity Not Mysterious. It was intended as an apology, a defense of the Christian faith, but in trying to found it on reason, he overturned a lot of cherished dogmas concerning miracles and revelation, and also doubtless came near to heresy regarding the doctrines of the Trinity and those connected with the person of our Lord. So that his work roused fiercer and more bitter opposition than an open attack on religion by a professed atheist would have done, had such a thing been possible in those days. His effort would doubtless seem very innocuous today, but things were very different then.

 

He was freely called an atheist, but be never admitted that he was one. He went further and further along the path of rationalism until he reached a position about midway between what we might now describe as monism and pantheism. As Leibniz said in a letter in reference to one of his works, Origines Judaicae,

 

I admit that one cannot do too much to break down superstition, provided that means are given at the same time to distinguish it from true religion.

 

But to do this, the critic entering upon the task of "thunderstriking" superstition and error, finds very difficult if not impossible. These movements of the mind go by reactions just as in the material realm, and the first tendency is to make a clean sweep. It is the task of others to follow the destructive critic to find and restore the truths he overlooked or rejected. It is seldom that the same individual is great enough to do both. Lantoine quotes Horace Walpole:

 

I cannot see that there is less bigotry in trying to make conversions against than to religion,

 

and adds "that all strife leads to injustice," which is only too true. Were men like Toland allowed to develop their ideas without opposition it is very probable that they would not go so far. And that is as true of our own day as of any other.

 

The intellectuals of the period were practically all Deists, and their opponents were continually insisting that Deism was but concealed or disguised atheism, just as the Monism of Ernst Haeckle is so considered by our fundamentalists. Lantoine quotes the clever definition of de Bonald:

 

A deist is a man who in his short existence has not had time to become an atheist.

 

This too was possibly as true as general statements concerning men and their minds can be. Deism and Theism really mean the same thing in etymology, but the latter term, by usage, denotes one who, while in much the same position as the deist, is not moving in the same direction. The deist is passing from dogmatic religion towards unbelief, the theist is reacting from unbelief in the contrary direction. After all the fiercest warfare is always about the things that from the truly religious point of view (as distinguished from what may be called the ecclesiastical) are non-essential.

 

Toland then, as one of the foremost champions of the revolt against religious intolerance, set forth an idea of God, the Supreme Being, as the cause of order in the world, as immanent in nature as we would say. This, Lantoine thinks, is equivalent to the essential Masonic conception of the Grand Architect of the Universe; he says specifically that:

 

It is the point, the single point, upon which it is possible to rally all beliefs.

 

He is contemptuous of the attempts of certain French Masons to distinguish between the "stupid atheist" of the Book of Constitutions and the intellectual or philosophical atheist. If we understand him aright he holds that the conception of the Grand Architect is a symbol within which freedom of thought is assured, and he says that in view of its history it was, aside from anything else, an act of ingratitude for the Grand Orients of France and Belgium to erase it from their formulas. So far from being a restrictive dogma it is the standard of religious and intellectual freedom.

 

There are a few things in which we believe the author to be mistaken. It was not Anderson who suppressed the Invocation to the Virgin in the Old Charges. That only appears in the oldest copies. Those that Anderson had before him invoked only the Trinity. The Virgin doubtless disappeared from Masonic documents after the Reformation. However Anderson, or the Grand Lodge, did go a step further and replaced the Trinity by the Grand Architect of the Universe. But then the invocation with which the old MS. Constitutions began was omitted entirely, while Christian references in the ritual remained till 1813. In the first Charge, "Concerning God and Religion," the Deity is not so much as mentioned, except obliquely in the term "stupid Atheist." Which is exceedingly curious when one comes to consider it, seeing its author was a Presbyterian minister. The Presbyterians have not been distinguished for a wide tolerance in the past; at that period it would be more accurate to describe them as most tolerant. How then did it come about? Frankly there seems to us to be a mystery that has not yet been explained. The present work brings the point out quite clearly, which is well, for we all take the present state of things entirely too much for granted.

 

Another thing Bro. Lantoine insists upon is the essentially Protestant character of English speaking Masonry, which implies also its anti-Catholicism. The fact may perhaps be admitted, but is it not due to the fact that Masonry is colorless in regard to religion, and so takes the shade of its members in any country or community? Freemasonry undoubtedly became in a sense, Protestant after the Reformation; it was a Protestant institution, in this sense, and this sense only, that was revived or reorganized, but this Protestant character consisted in the Protestantism of Masons and not in the Fraternity itself. In other words Anderson merely restated in his own pompous words what had always been true, and still is, for that matter, that Freemasonry, as a speculative system, has always been concerned with morality and brotherly love - with those things against which, as St. Paul remarked, there is no law. And this is the essence of Anderson's statement that

 

. . . though in ancient times men were charg'd in ever country to be of the Religion of that Country or Nation, whatever it was, it is now thought more expedient only to oblige them to that Religion in which all Men agree.

 

And this explicit statement was doubtless made in London in 1723 because there was only in form a "Religion of the Country.” Actually there were Dissenters of all kinds, from Papists to Independents, not to speak of the Deists, as well as the established Church of England. It was merely making explicit what already existed.

 

There are a few errors of proof-reading in regard to English words and names. One, which many English and American writers are guilty of, spelling the name of Prof. Robison as Robinson. Considering the many pitfalls that the English Ianguage offers there is remarkably little to call in question. It is a book that every thinking Mason with a knowledge of the French language should undoubtedly read.

 

S. J. C.

 

----o----

 

 

THE STUDY CLUB

A pamphlet on "How to Organize and Maintain a Study Club" will be sent free on request, in quantities to fifty

 

Sustaining Interest in Study Clubs

 

THE general rule which applies to all organizations is equally forceful in the case of Masonic Study Clubs. It is a known fact that all clubs retrograde immediately their organization has been perfected to such an extent that the proceedings take upon themselves the character of routine. The human intellect, particularly the intellect of a group, is so constituted that constant repetition becomes something of a bore. If these generalities are applied to Study Clubs something of a concrete illustration of the problem we have in mind will emerge.

 

A group of men, perhaps only six or seven, contemplate the organization of a Study Club. They are all interested in learning something about Freemasonry, be it symbolism, history, philosophy, or what not. As a general rule they are not clear in their own minds as to what they want to study or what is best for them to discuss. The first period is taken up with organization and there is work enough for all. Quite frequently speakers are invited to discuss various Masonic subjects and there the thing stops. There is no systematic discussion of any phase of Masonic Research. A haphazard schedule naturally results in a loss of interest. There is no set task to perform.

 

At the present time there is a way to eliminate this difficulty. The National Masonic Research Society has, from its inception in 1915, endeavored to assist Study Clubs in planning their work. The outcome of their experience has been the production of a Syllabus of Masonic Study. If the hypothetical Study Club under discussion decides to follow this course, the dangers of an unsystematic study are eliminated. The course is designed to follow the candidate through the ceremonies of the Craft degrees explaining the symbolic import of each step as it occurs. For fear we may be misunderstood let it be stated that there is no reason for eliminating outside speakers solely on the ground that a course of study has been adopted.

 

We are somewhat ahead of the argument and can discuss this phase of the question to better advantage a little later. The first lessons will carry interest of their own weight, but there is a danger even here. The meetings must be varied or the evils of routine will again manifest themselves. It is the avoidance of this difficulty which constitutes the main purpose of this month's discussion. Something must be done, but what?

 

One of the most helpful ideas was originated by the Glendale Masonic Research Club of Glendale, Calif. This Club was organized early in 1927 and draws its membership from Unity Lodge, No. 368, and Glendale Lodge, No. 544. These lodges jointly publish each month a sixteen-page Bulletin, an illustration of which appears on this page. In the number for August, 1927, appears under the heading of "Questions and Answers" the following note by the Editor:

 

A column under the above heading will appear each month in The Glendale Masonic Bulletin for the benefit of members of the Fraternity. All Masons are urged to avail themselves of this privilege and use it whenever possible. There is no doubt but that most of us have a question regarding the history of Freemasonry that we would like to have answered. All one has to do is to sit down and write your question on a slip of paper and hand it or mail it to any officer of any Masonic organization in Glendale. The editor of the Bulletin will be glad to receive any questions and will see that they are turned over to the proper authorities.

 

The Questions and Answers column will be supervised by The Glendale Masonic Research Club and the officers of this Club desire that as many Masons as can attend the meetings of this interesting body. At the present time the meetings are held at the home of Willard Roberts, 506 St. Clair St., Glendale.

 

The queries that have appeared from month to month have been interesting and thoroughly instructive. It must be recognized that there are certain prerequisites to following such a plan. First, some form of lodge publication, or local journal whose pages would be opened to the members of the Study Club. Equally as important is a collection of authoritative Masonic works from which answers may be compiled. While a lodge periodical has its advantages it is not nearly as essential as many would think. If there is any Masonic journal published in your vicinity the editor, I am sure, would be more than pleased to allot certain space in each issue to a Query Column. One could through such an arrangement reach even a larger number of Masons than would be possible in a magazine whose circulation is limited to members of one or two lodges. The editor would probably be willing to include a short announcement with each group of questions published, telling how the answers are obtained and giving directions as to the procedure necessary.

 

Some of the questions would doubtless be of sufficient importance to warrant their being used as topics for Study Club meetings. The propounder of the query might be invited to attend and take part in the meeting as well as hear his subject discussed in an authoritative manner. On such occasions the regular order could be set aside and some variety would be lent to the formal course being followed. The Study Club would gain by having matters brought before it which might otherwise be missed; the periodical would add interest to its columns; but most important the Study Club would obtain publicity in a way otherwise impossible and there would certainly be an increase in attendance at the meetings and in all likelihood an increase in active membership.

 

It is in the matter of books that the National Masonic Research Society can be of greatest benefit in following out such a plan. The texts required to study the Syllabus would be sufficient to answer most questions. If the answers are not readily obtainable therein, the Society stands ready to prepare answers to any queries sent to its office. There are several ways in which we can be of service. The simplest, of course, is by preparing an answer for you. Of necessity this is the most unsatisfactory plan. We do the work and you simply read the answer. That is not a complaint and should not be construed as such. We are here to serve you and are more than willing to cooperate in any way. The other more difficult method is for us to compile information from which you can prepare your own answer. This method often entails our going through considerable material in order to sort out the varying opinions and submit them for your consideration. In a brief discussion we can only touch upon such service, but there is one other way in which your wants can be fulfilled. If a question is received and it is your desire to use it for a meeting, we will plan the discussion for you and where possible send you all of the material necessary for the proper presentation of the subject. It becomes evident that you do not need any vast library to carry out such a program as the Glendale Masonic Research Club has inaugurated.

 

There is still another way in which a Study Club can maintain its interest. Unfortunately it would not be practicable in a small lodge, but Study Clubs in such lodges are often community affairs - several lodges joining to maintain the group. In such cases it will frequently happen that ceremonies are sufficiently numerous to make the plan effective. There is one large lodge in a northern state which has a Study Club. Meetings are held once a week, rather too often, I think. The plan they use could be modified to some extent to meet local conditions. Here is the procedure as we have it. Meetings are held for Master Masons at which time only subjects of general interest to M. M's are discussed. Other meetings are held primarily for the newly-made Entered Apprentices, at which time they are told something of the ceremonies through which they have passed and the symbolism is explained to them. The same sort of meetings are held for F. C's and newly-raised M. M's. The arrangement is a splendid one. It will work in any community where three or four candidates could be found who were going through the degrees on approximately the same schedule. Attendance by these initiates could be made compulsory if necessary, but with by far the larger majority of candidates it will be found that they are more than glad to have the opportunity to learn something of the Order. Here again is there an opportunity to keep Study Club membership on the increase. The older Master Masons will find much of interest in these candidates' meetings and the material for their own gatherings can be of a more advanced nature.

 

Still another plan has been suggested by a Study Club in Arizona. Here it has been the practice during the past year to intersperse talks on Masonic subjects with addresses on matters of interest to the state at large. It would be well to follow this plan with caution, however, for one will soon find the Masonry being shunted to one side to make room for the discussion of local problems.

 

From these suggestions it is comparatively easy to see that there is much that can be done to maintain interest in the Study Club when it begins to border on routine. There is no reason why such a group should not devote itself to a broader field than those who are merely members of the Club. A wider range of activity will be of much assistance in obtaining new members and will enable the Club to progress.

 

Another matter worthy of consideration and one which must be reserved for future discussion is the problem of bringing the new members up to the same level in Masonic knowledge as those who have been members for some time.

 

* * *

 

AN INVITATION

 

At the time this section of THE BUILDER was changed to its present form it was admittedly an experiment. Thus far it has met with the approval of our readers and there seems to be no reason for a return to the old practice. There has been a considerable quantity of material sent in, either in such shape that it formed an article in itself, or in the form of queries which suggested difficulties that were being quite generally encountered.

 

Our purpose in making the change was to be of assistance to those who were actively engaged in Study Club work. We hope that the articles of the past several months have proved instructive and helpful. In accordance with this policy, and equally in line with the purpose of the founders of the National Masonic Research Society, we extend to those interested an invitation to send their queries to us. We will be pleased to cooperate in any way possible with those having some difficulties in their Study Club work.

 

In addition to this we should be very glad to receive accounts of your Study Club, the work it is doing, or any unusual enterprise it has undertaken. Help us to pass the word along and be of assistance to other Study Clubs. What may seem trivial to you may be of considerable importance to some other Club It may help them to solve a problem.

 

May we reiterate: It is our desire to be of service, we would appreciate your help and your cooperation.

 

* * *

 

A REQUEST

 

It is indeed unfortunate that we cannot always answer queries relative to Study Clubs and Research problems on the day they are received. Our wish is to answer every question in as authentic a manner as is possible. With this aim in view we have established connections with students the world over and it frequently happens that your query is referred to some specialist in the particular field for answer. Then, too, some inquiries which reach this office require a considerable amount of research. In many instances this is slow work.

 

In order to assist us in securing information for you we would greatly appreciate your setting a date by which you must have a reply. This will be a great help and we will endeavor to have the answer in your hands not later than the specified date and as much earlier as is possible.

 

* * *

 

No symbolism can be more simple, more profound, more universal, and it becomes more wonderful the longer one ponders it. Indeed, if Masonry is in any sense a religion, it is Universe Religion, in which all men can unite. Its principles are as wide as the world, as high as the sky. Nature and Revelation blend in its teaching; its morality is rooted in the order of the world, and its roof is the blue vault above. The Lodge, as we are apt to forget, is always open to the sky, whence come those influences which exalt and ennoble the life of man. Symbolically, at least it has no rafters but the arching heavens to which, as sparks ascending seek the sun, our life and labor tend. Of the heavenly side of Masonry, the Compasses are the symbol, and they are perhaps the most spiritual of our working tools.

 

----o----

 

THE QUESTION BOX and

CORRESPONDENCE BOX

 

SWEDEN AND NEW YORK

 

In your Question Box of the January BUILDER you have published three interesting letters under the caption "Relations of Swedish Masonry," to which you add a statement which is not quite correct. The Grand Lodge of New York has been in fraternal relations with Sweden, Denmark and Norway for many, many years.

 

Recognition has been extended also to the Spanish Grand Lodge of Barcelona, although we have not yet established full fraternal relations, biding the receipt by Grand Lodge of a report from the Committee which visited Barcelona and made a thorough investigation of Masonic conditions under that Grand Jurisdiction. Fraternal relations with the Grand Orient of Italy were established in 1923. Perhaps Rumania also might be counted among the Latin Jurisdictions, and then our recognition of the Grand Orient of Rumania would furnish additional proof that your statement is not quite true to fact.

 

You are no doubt aware that our relationships with the lodges in Continental Europe were based on direct examination, in each country, of the character of the Grand Lodges there existing. They were formed after assurance that the Grand Lodges recognized actually met in every way the conditions laid down by our Grand Lodge for exchange of representatives as a guarantee of fraternal relationship.

 

We feel sure that you will make the necessary corrections. It is a pleasure for us always to furnish information as to our relations with foreign Grand Lodges and the reasons for such relationship.

 

Robert Judson Kenworthy, G. S., New York.

 

We are very glad to insert this correction relative to the Grand Lodge of New York and that of Sweden. We are also glad to learn that New York has been able to establish and maintain fraternal relationship with the Grand bodies of Scandinavia as well as with those of most of the other countries of Europe. New York deserves for this, with one or two other of our Grand Lodges, the fullest credit and the gratitude of every thinking American Mason. We may say in excuse for the mistake made last month that there was not time to refer the matter to the Grand Secretary, and we assumed from the fact that these Grand Lodges were not referred to in the New York Proceedings in the list of those with which the Grand Lodge had fraternal relations that therefore, according to the doctrine now generally accepted in America, they did not exist. We are doubly glad to learn that there are fraternal relations in this instance, and that lack of express mention does not, in New York, imply lack of recognition.

 

* * *

 

RITES AND HIGHER DEGREES

 

Wishing to petition for some of the higher degrees in Masonry, I would like to know where I can get information regarding the two rites, the number of members in each and which lead in the West, and some of the fundamental differences, if they can be told.

 

A. C. S.. Colorado.

 

The question of rites and degrees has been treated a number of times in THE BUILDER in the past, but as back numbers and volumes are not always accessible, and as junior members of the Craft and our Society need information, it seems advisable to touch on the Subject again.

 

Both terms are very loosely employed by Masons. It would perhaps be too much to say inaccurately employed, seeing no proper use has ever been authoritatively determined; nevertheless the observance of distinctions of meaning would lead to less confusion of thought.

 

Strictly speaking there is no higher degree in Masonry than that of Master Mason. There are, however, many degrees that were framed with the definite idea on the part of their inventors that they should be higher; higher in the knowledge imparted and also higher in honor and power. It has been the attempt to establish such claims that have been responsible for many unseemly quarrels and schisms in the Craft during the past hundred and fifty years and more. Nevertheless it is the opinion of almost all instructed Masons that there is nothing in the Masonic system higher in any real sense than the Third Degree. Yet the term is so convenient to describe the degrees and orders that follow this, that it probably win continue to be retained in the sense of higher or more advanced in numerical order. That sense can be allowed, the trouble is that the younger brethren will (till it is explained) naturally take the term in other senses as well.

 

There exist in the United States two systems, or rather aggregations of degrees and orders, which are usually called the York and the Scottish Rites, respectively. There are one or two others in a dormant condition that may be neglected. Of these two the Scottish Rite is, in a sense, a system and a rite properly so-called. The York Rite is not a rite in the same sense, though not much less Systematic. It would be necessary to go too extensively into the origin and history of "high" degrees to explain their relationship, or the relationship of their parts to each other in the respective "rites."

 

A rite is defined, Masonically, as a system of degrees under one governing power. It is in this sense that the Scottish Rite is properly so termed as it is ruled by the Supreme Council, the York "Rite" is governed by a succession of Grand bodies, Grand Lodges, Chapters, Encampments and, perhaps, Councils, if the Cryptic Degrees are included. Really the definition of "rite" could be changed, only then it might include those appendages to American Masonry, the Shrine, the Grotto and their too numerous offspring, such as the Cedars of Lebanon and the Knights of Birmingham and like organizations, which whatever else they may be are no part of Masonry.

 

Of all the "high" degrees the Royal Arch is the oldest and most closely connected with the degrees of the "blue" lodge, that is, the three degrees of Craft Masonry. The Council degrees fit in fairly well with the Chapter system, but the Chivalric Orders of the Temple and of Malta have no connection at all, except, as one might say, a geographical one. The original Knights Templar having had their church at Jerusalem on the same site as King Solomon's Temple, whence their name.

 

Some of the degrees of the Scottish Rite also have fairly close affinities to Craft Masonry, though not so close as the Royal Arch. There is also a variant form of the Royal Arch, but so different in detail it is not easy to recognize it as such. The others are very heterogeneous and cover almost every period of history since King Solomon to Frederick the Great, and they are not in any order, historical or otherwise, so that the term system is almost less applicable than in the York Rite.

 

Something may be said as to the names. It is often said that "York" is an entirely erroneous title for the "rite" which it designates. "American Rite" has been suggested as a substitute. This however is not much more accurate for the same hierarchy of degrees and orders is practiced in the British Isles and Empire, with of course various differences such as exist between all rites and degrees, even when nominally the same thing. "York" is just as correct and well founded as "Scottish." Neither are to be understood geographically, both originated in a desire to emphasize antiquity, and of the two York seems the most respectable in origin, if there be anything to choose between them. Its history is briefly this: York is mentioned in all the old Manuscript Constitutions (a series of documents ranging in date from the fourteenth to the eighteenth centuries) as the place where the Craft was organized in England under Prince Edwin in Saxon times. "Ancient York Masonry" then came at a much later time to be understood as the Masonry practiced at that time at York. The phrase was especially used by the "Ancients" to emphasize their adherence to old customs in contradistinction to the "Moderns" who were supposed to have followed after innovations. As most American Grand Lodges are descended more or less directly from the Ancient Grand Lodge, the term was preserved and later became a convenient label to distinguish one set of degrees from another, and by its convenience it is justified.

 

The term Scottish or Scotch has an analogous though not exactly parallel history. About 1745 or somewhat earlier a grade or rank of Scotch masters appeared in France. Members of this degree claimed all the rights and privileges in a "blue" or "craft" lodge, that now pertain to a Grand Master. They could remain covered, they could take the gavel from the Master in the East and preside in his stead; they could even nullify a vote of the lodge. These claims were apparently made on their own authority and strangely enough were in some cases allowed. Though called Scottish (Ecossais) this degree seems to have been French in origin, but it claimed to derive its being and authority from Scotland, and especially from Mother Kilwinning. Far off fields are green! Kilwinning Lodge at that time quite probably knew of no more than the original two degrees, Entered Apprentice and Fellow of the Craft (or Master) and certainly knew no more than our three. However sheltered by this fiction the Ecossais' idea rapidly grew and developed into systems of degrees, which later were lumped together in larger and larger groups till at the beginning of last century, or the end of the eighteenth, the Scottish Rite we have today received its final form. The date selected will depend on whether we accept the Frederick the Great tradition or not.

 

A final word may be said about the term "blue" lodge. When all these new degrees and rites were being first propagated the question of differences in clothing became important. Originally all required the use of aprons. As blue had become the special color of the Craft, the Royal Arch selected red or scarlet, the Knights Templar took black. And at one time it was customary to speak of blue, red and black Masonry, meaning these different bodies. Blue is the only one that has survived. It is no more logical than any of the others, but it must be useful or it would not have persisted, and its usefulness is as sufficient warrant as in the case of other terms, and for that matter of any word or name.

 

As for the practical side we would rather not advise. It is possible that the Scottish Rite is numerically stronger in the West than the "York" Rite bodies, Chapter and Commandery. Personal preference must decide, but we believe that to begin with the Chapter may prove most satisfactory.

 

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THE ANNAPOLIS STONE

 

A clipping has been sent to me which gives a brief account of the stone discovered in Nova Scotia in 1827, upon which was the date 1606 and a "splendidly cut square and compass," which is supposed to have been cut by early French explorers. Can you give me any further information about this?

 

E. W. H., England.

 

This was fully discussed by Bro. R. V. Harris, Associate Editor, in THE BUILDER for October, 1924; it hardly seems likely that anything more can be said on the subject.

 

The inscription was cut on a rough piece of local stone, which to begin with made it impossible that it should be "splendidly cut." The date, however, is very deeply and clearly marked; for the rest this cannot be said. Some have even thought the marks were accidental scratches, but Bro. Harris is of the opinion that it was part of the inscription, and that it was intended to represent the square, and compasses, It must be admitted on the other hand that this does not appear very evident in the photographs we have seen of the stone.

 

Bro. Harris' conclusions are as follows: that it was probably a grave stone; that it marked the resting place of a member of the French Colony founded at Port Royal in 1604 by Champlain, and that the individual may have been one of the artificers - carpenters or stone cutters - attached to the Colony.

 

That it was just as likely to have been a carpenter as a stonecutter is made clear by further quotations in Bro. Harris' article, which might easily be added to. A modern instance may be adduced. In the town of St. Anne de Bellevue, on the Island of Montreal, is a small wooden building used by a friendly society of carpenters - charpentiers et menuissiers, upon which appears the square and compass in the usual arrangement. The society is purely French Canadian in membership and is dedicated to St. Joseph. In view of the strong prejudice in French Canada against everything pertaining to Freemasonry, it seems impossible to believe that this emblem was borrowed; it is doubtless an independent tradition.

 

Whatever the purpose of the Annapolis stone, it can be safely said it was not Masonic in our sense of the term as Speculative Masonry did not then exist, except possibly as a nucleus of moral and symbolic teaching in the Operative organization.

 

It may be added that the stone has most unfortunately been lost. It was sent to Toronto in 1887 to be built into the wall of the new building of the Canadian institute, and this is said to have been done. But either the inscription was not exposed or else it has been covered with plaster. In any case no one knows where it is.

 

* * *

 

MASONIC RINGS

 

I have had several arguments with different brethren regarding the way a "Masonic Ring" should be worn. Some claim that the proper way to wear it is to have the points of the compasses towards the hand and wrist. I claim that they should be towards the tips of the finger just the Masonic button is now usually worn so the compasses point towards the face, as a reminder that you are a Mason. I should be greatly obliged if you will clear the air in this argument, for "Light" is what we are searching for all the time.

 

F. F. M., Connecticut.

 

The question is one that quite frequently is asked. One might indeed call it a "hardy perennial." We regret to say that there is no answer to it, it is a matter wholly in the hands of the individual. He is not obliged to wear a ring, or a button either. In some countries it is considered bad taste to do so, in others it is not always safe; in America, however, it is the general rule. It still, however, remains a purely personal matter. A brother can wear any badge or emblem he may choose or may design for himself, and he may wear it any way that pleases him. Some men prefer to wear a ring so that other people see the square and compass right side up as it were. Others hold it a purely personal matter and wear it so it is right side up for themselves. The idea of having the compasses point towards the face is new to us. Surely on the same grounds the compasses on a Masonic ring should be towards the body. This would be a reminder under one's own eyes, the button would only serve before a looking glass. We believe that F. F. M. had better agree with his brethren to disagree, each holding to their own way, being justified by their own purpose in doing so.

 

* * *

 

MEANS OF RECOGNITION

 

"What was the Origin of Masonic Signs?

 

"Fable and imagination have traced back the origin of Freemasonry to the Roman Empire, to the Pharaohs, the Temple of Solomon, the Tower of Babel, and even to the building of Noah's Ark. In reality, it took its rise in the Middle Ages along with other incorporated crafts.

 

"Skilled masons moved from place to place to assist in building the magnificent sacred structures - cathedrals, abbeys, etc. - which had their origin in these times, and it was essential for them to have some signs by which, on coming to a strange place, they could be recognized as real craftsmen and not impostors."

 

The above question and answer will be found on page 261 of The Wonder Book of Knowledge, compiled and edited by Henry Chase Hill. First published in 1918 by the John C. Winston Company at Philadelphia.

 

No fault can be found with the answer. It is submitted because of the fact that it is included in a book where it might be least expected to be found.

 

A. E. Tatton, Philippine Islands.

 

 

 

 

         

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