The Builder Magazine
February 1928 - Volume XIV -
The Shadow of the Vatican
DR. LEO CADIUS (Continued from January)
THIS series of articles is written by a member of the Roman Church.
is still a member of that Church and has no desire to leave it.
The articles do not touch on any matter of faith or doctrine, and while
severely critical of the administration are in no sense an attack upon the
is the author's opinion that the reforms he proposes would not only be to the
advantage of Roman Catholics but would largely remove the suspicions of so
many thoughtful non-Romanist American citizens.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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?"
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
COMMON ERRORS ABOUT THE CATHOLIC RELIGION
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,
ADORATION OF THE VIRGIN MARY.
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.
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
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.
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.
THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
must be admitted that some of our officially approved textbooks of Catholic
Theology contain doctrines that are a source of just apprehension to
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.
the eighth edition of his compendium, volume the first, No. 446, Hurter quotes
the Italian Jesuit Palmieri:
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.
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:
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.
"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:
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
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:
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.
long as it is asserted, Latin Freemasons will consider themselves justified in
persecuting the Church as an enemy of the freedom of conscience.
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-
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?
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.
Board of Editors
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
we begin with
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
married in 1899 to Lottie Brown, of Fremont, Neb., and they now have five
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
received the Thirty-third Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
Society of Operatives in England he was given the Seventh Grade of Operative
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
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.
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:
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."
"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
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.
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.
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
Bro. Morcombe, has been chary of relating the facts of his personal life,
these quotations will help to reveal the man.
Charles Clyde Hunt
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
married and has one son, who is also a Mason, a member of the same lodge as
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.
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.
a member of the Missouri Athletic Club of St. Louis, the Rotary Club and other
E. W. Williamson
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
also organized the New York State Archeological Association and the Albany
Philosophical Association, and for many years was active in Boy Scout work.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
born at Londonderry Mines, Nova Scotia, in March, 1881, the son of Rev. Canon
V. E. Harris, D. C. L., and Emma Chandler Troop.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
1907 he married Ethel W. Smith, daughter of Edmund G. Smith, and has two sons.
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.
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,
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.
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,
Gilbert William Daynes
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.
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.
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.
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'
June, 1913, he was married to Margaret, the youngest daughter of Henry ffiske.
They have three sons.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
EIGHTEENTH CENTURY LODGE REPRODUCED
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:
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.
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.
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?"
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
a great event and those who were privileged to attend will long remember the
ceremonies and proceedings of an Eighteenth Century Lodge of Freemasons.
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.
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.
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
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.
MEEKREN, Editor in Charge
Thiemeyer, Research Editor
I. CLEGG, Illinois
GILBERT W. DAYNES, England
H. DERN, Utah
CHARLES F. IRWIN, Pennsylvania
E. MORCOMBE, California
C. PARKER, New York
HUGO TATSCH, Iowa
M. WHITED, California
E. W WILLIAMSON Nevada
PROBLEM OF RECOGNITION
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
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.
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.
* * *
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bulletin of the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association
Incorporated by Authority of the Grand Lodge of New Mexico, A.F.&A.M.
MASONIC TEMPLE, ALBUQUERQUE, N. M.
OFFICERS AND BOARD OF GOVERNORS
HERBERT B. HOLT, Past Grand Master, President
RICHARD H. HANNA, Vice-President
FRANCIS E. LESTER, Vice-President
L. ELSER, Executive Secretary
ALPHEUS A. KEEN, Secretary
W. BOWMAN, Treasurer
J. NEWTON, Editor, Manager N.M.T.S.A.. Las Cruces, New Mexico
BRO. ROBERT JESSUP NEWTON, New Mexico
(Continued from January)
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.
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.
NUMBER OF INDIGENTS
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
DOES THE HEALTH-SEEKER FIND?
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.
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.
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.
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.
LODGE IN MEDIAEVAL TIMES. A Dissertation. Paper, 12 pages. Lionel Vibert.
EVOLUTION OF THE SECOND DEGREE. (The Prestonian Lecture for 1926.) Paper, 15
pages. By the same author. Both privately, printed.
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
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
* * *
TRANSACTIONS OF THE DORSET MASTERS LODGE, No. 3366. 1926-27.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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."
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
* * *
SECRET HISTORY OF PROCOPIUS. Translated by Richard Atwater. Published by
Pascal Covici, Chicago. Cloth, frontispiece, glossary, 286 pages. Price
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
* * *
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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,
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.
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
cannot see that there is less bigotry in trying to make conversions against
than to religion,
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.
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:
deist is a man who in his short existence has not had time to become an
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.
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:
the point, the single point, upon which it is possible to rally all beliefs.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
* * *
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.
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.
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.
reiterate: It is our desire to be of service, we would appreciate your help
and your cooperation.
* * *
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
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.
* * *
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.
QUESTION BOX and
AND NEW YORK
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.
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
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.
Judson Kenworthy, G. S., New York.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
* * *
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.
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.
* * *
was the Origin of Masonic Signs?
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."
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.
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.
Tatton, Philippine Islands.