The Builder Magazine

July 1928 - Volume XIV - Number 7

 

The Order of St. John of Jerusalem

A Historical Sketch By BRO. R. J. NEWTON, Texas

THE Order of St. John has a long and honorable history. It is said that a hospital for pilgrims had existed at Jerusalem from the third century on. Charlemagne seems to have founded and endowed a Latin hospice towards the end of the eighth century. This probably combined the functions of a hostel (or hotel) and that of a hospital. Jerusalem was in the hands of the Saracens from the time of its capture by Omar in 637, but he and his successors interfered but little with the affairs of the resident Christians and the pilgrims, with some exceptions. In the year 1010 Abu Ali alMansur, the Fatimite Caliph of Egypt (himself the son of a Christian mother, and reputed to have been insane), ordered the destruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and other Christian buildings in Jerusalem. Some years after his death in 1020 some merchants of Amalfi, a city of Campania in Italy, purchased the site of Charlemagne's institution and founded a new hospital which was put in charge of monks of the Benedictine Order, and this was later dedicated to St. John the Baptist. The master of this hospital in 1087 was a certain Gerard, of whom very little is known, but he gained the favor of the Crusaders under Godfrey de Bouillon, and was enabled after the capture of the city to enlarge the institution of which he was the head. At this time the "rule" was changed from the Benedictine to that of the Augustinian Friars.

 

The fame of the hospital spread throughout Europe and gifts were made to it, by princes, prelates and nobles, of lands and money. In 1113 the Pope took it under his especial protection, and Gerard was entitled, by the bull of Paschal II, as the "Institutor" of the Order of the Hospital of St. John.

 

The change from a purely charitable and religious institution to a military one probably came about under the successor of Gerard, Raymond de Puiz. This does not seem to have been deliberate, but to have been due to force of circumstances. The Saracens were renewing their efforts to win back the Holy City, and defenders were doubtless at a premium. With the example of the Templars before them, it was only natural that those brethren of the Order who had previously been soldiers should have taken their weapons again in the emergency. However, though it became military it did not at once take on that exclusively aristocratic character that marked it in later times. The rules enacted by Raymond provided that the brethren were to be bound by the usual three monastic vows, chastity, proverty and obedience. They were to claim nothing for themselves but bread and water and coarse raiment, "since our Lord's poor, whose servants we are, go naked and sordid, and it is a disgrace for the servant to be proud when his master is humble." They were to wear the cross on the breast of their "capes and mantles" and were not to bear arms except when "the standard of the Cross is displayed" in war against the infidel.

 

The clothing of the brethren is said to have been black in peace and red in war, and in each case the cross was white. This usage has continued to the present day.

 

There were nuns of the order also, doubtless to care for female pilgrims, and these also wore the white cross on a hooded mantle of black over a red robe.

 

From being a local institution it rapidly expanded, and it had houses at various places in the East and on the pilgrims' route, and all over Europe as well. Like the Order of the Temple it was made independent of the local ecclesiastical authorities by repeated papal bulls. Though its character to some extent was changed by this wealth and prosperity, yet it must be said that its original purpose was never forgotten. There were hospital wards as we would say in all their houses; the best physicians and surgeons of the day were retained in their service, and the rule that the sick were masters and the brethren their servants was never wholly lost sight of. Unlike the Templars the affiliation of women to the Order was encouraged, and these ladies engaged actively in nursing the sick.

 

This great increase in numbers, and the acquiring of property largely in the form of landed estates necessitated a much more elaborate organization than had been necessary for the original hospital at Jerusalem. The head of the Order, the Grand Master, had perforce to be an administrator as well as a soldier. In fact he was, under feudal conditions, to all intents and purposes an independent prince. The organization adopted, or evolved, followed the lines familiar at the time, of devolved responsibilities. The Grand Master was to the other chief officers as a king to his chief barons. Through them the hierarchy passed down to the provinces, the priories and so to the commanderies, which were the smallest unit. The chiefs of these administered the estates and endowments of the order in their locality. The division into "Languages" was a later development, but sprang naturally out of the Provincial administration. It is possible that this form of division was intended to obviate the suspicion and jealousy of the rulers of the different countries in Europe consequent on the rise of a new nationalism in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The example of the fate of the Templars doubtless helped them to see the danger.

 

The later history of the Crusades is far from being a wholly edifying one. The domination of the Holy Land by the "Franks" was, or largely became, a commercial, or at least an economic business. Without adequate support from Western Europe it was only a question of time before the growing power of the Saracens forced the intruders out of Syria. And as intruders they were regarded not only by the Mohammedans but by the Oriental Christians as well. It does seem, however, that with the decadence of the Crusaders generally, the Knights and Brethren of St. John kept on the whole to a higher level. As has been noted they never forgot the claims of the sick, nor did they forget the claims of the weak. They fought the rear guard action of the ebbing occidental invasion. While the other warriors returned home they resisted obstinately at every step, and first at Rhodes and later at Malta they formed a bulwark against the aggressive attacks of the oriental hordes that, but for them, might quite possibly have overwhelmed a divided Europe piece-meal.

 

It will be impossible in the limits of a brief sketch to do more than to mention the heroic defense of Rhodes against the enormous forces of Muhammed II in 1480, under the leadership of Peter d'Aubusson; or the still more heroic defeat under Grand Master de l'Isle Adam in 1522 by Suleiman the Magnificent. From Rhodes the Knights withdrew to Candia in Crete, where they remained for a few years till the Emperor Charles V gave them the Island of Malta, with Tripoli in Africa. The latter possession they lost in 1551. Eleven years later the Ottoman fleet under Dragut attacked them in great force. They were besieged for nearly four months, during which 25,000 Turks are supposed to have been killed, including their leader. The Knights of St. John were again fortunate in having another heroic Grand Master, Jean de la Valette, under whom they withstood the fiercest attacks, until long delayed relief appeared in sight. Whereupon the Turks raised the siege and departed. It was the last serious attempt of the latter to conquer their ancient enemies in their stronghold; and though the Knights saw much fighting through the following centuries they remained in secure possession of Malta till 1798, when the feeble von Hompesch surrendered to Napoleon without a struggle. This really ended the career of the Order as a sovereign independent entity, although it did not cease to exist.

 

At the time of the Reformation in England, the Knights refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy were deprived of their estates and other revenues, but the Order was not definitely suppressed for some reason. However, it naturally became extinct with the death of its members.

 

In Scotland the preceptor, Sir James Sandilands, surrendered the property of the Order to the Crown. This was in 1547. It seems to have been something of a bargain, for he was created Lord Torpichen, and a considerable part of the estates was returned to him as his own property. There has been a claim made that the Order was continued under his headship as a Protestant organization.

 

In the time of Queen Mary steps were taken to revive the Order in England, but though a Royal Charter was issued nothing was actually done owing to the death of the queen and the accession of her sister Elizabeth. However the charter was not revoked, and it remained in abeyance until 1834.

 

After the final collapse of the first Napoleon there was an effort on the part of the Order to obtain a new sovereignty. Malta was out of the question, as it was too valuable to England for her to relinquish it, but there was a hope that they might regain Rhodes or some other island in the Eastern Mediterranean. Doubtless largely with a view to securing the support of the British Government steps were taken to revive the English Langue. In 1826 the Commission that had been instituted by the French Knights as an emergency administrative body appointed Sir William Peat as Prior for England, and he qualified for office under Queen Mary's charter. Thus, though the English Order has not had a continuous existence, it does have a legitimate descent.

 

It has justified its existence by quiet but persistent work for the sick. The Ambulance Association was formed in 1877 under its leadership and in considerations of the value of this movement Queen Victoria granted a new charter to the Order eleven years later, under which its later work has been carried on. The following account of the later developments is taken from a pamphlet published by the Order:

 

What was done for field hospitals by Florence Nightingale has been done for ambulance work generally by the St. John Ambulance Association. For nearly forty-five years its powers and organization have been steadily developing, not only in the British Isles, but throughout the Empire, so that India, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and all the other Dominions have now their own splendid organizations.

 

It was soon found that those who had received instruction in first aid and home nursing and had passed their examinations should be banded together to work in unison, and for this purpose the St. John Ambulance Brigade was formed as an offshoot of the St. John Ambulance Association. It may be said to have begun on the occasion of Queen Victoria's Jubilee in 1887 and has ever since steadily grown. The first war service of the St. John Ambulance was during the South African and Chinese Wars of 1899 and 1902, when upwards of 2,000 men went to the theatre of war and 70 of them laid down their lives in carrying on their work.

 

This war proved the expediency of establishing regular reserves for the naval and military authorities, a step which was taken with their most cordial cooperation, and on the outbreak of war in 1914 these reserves were called up.

 

On the 1st August orders were received from the Admiralty to mobilize the Royal Naval Sick Berth Reserve, the peace establishment of which was 1,200, out of which 849 men reported at their respective naval depots within forty-eight hours of the receipt of orders for their mobilization. Orders were received on the 4th August to mobilize Military Home Hospital Reserves, 2,000 strong, and by the 10th all members of this reserve had reported at their respective hospitals. On the 6th August the War Office called for 450 men to proceed with the Expeditionary Force immediately and the call was promptly answered. Following these demands the recruiting in the Brigade was continued with greatly renewed zeal in order to meet the constant demand of the naval and military authorities, and at the close of the war no less than 21,986 members of the St. John Ambulance had served with the naval and military forces. Amongst the chief work of the Order should be mentioned the St. John Ambulance Brigade Hospital at Etaples. The hospital was originally situated at Etaples and was designed for 585 beds, with splendidly equipped operating theatres, X-ray room, laboratory, dental surgery and all other necessary adjuncts to a first-class hospital and so superior were its personnel and equipment that the hospital came to be regarded as the autotype of a military hospital. On the 19th and 31st May, 1918, the hospital suffered severely from hostile air raids which resulted in death of eleven patients and four members of the hospital's personnel and many more casualties. Material damage was so great that the hospital had to be closed and was moved to the heights above the village of Deauville, and re-opened shortly before the Armistice.

 

A most interesting and successful experiment was carried out at Southport where an open-air hospital of 500 beds was formed by the local units of the St. John Ambulance, guaranteed financially by headquarters. This hospital proved entirely successful and demonstrated the fact that even cases where the lungs were involved did best in a hospital constructed on the open-air principle.

 

The ladies of the Order were in no way behindhand, and immediately on the outbreak of war formed a committee which was engaged chiefly in the despatch of surgeons and nurses for service abroad and in establishing and maintaining a warehouse from which nursing and medical comforts of all sorts were despatched.

 

In time of peace the Order is ever at work instructing tens of thousands annually in first aid to the injured, nursing and the elements of hygiene, and at the time of writing no less than 1,447,095 certificates of proficiency have been awarded. It is from these certificated workers that the ranks of the Brigade have been recruited, and that body has been enabled to carry out its programme of help to the injured on public occasions and processions. This work, though most under the notice of the public eye, represents by no means the bulk of the work of the St. John Ambulance, for there are the innumerable eases of injuries, great and small, which occur in factories, mines, railways and other industrial occupations, and here, though not in the limelight, the ambulance men are at work.

 

The British Ophthalmic Hospital at Jerusalem is another important undertaking of the Orderfounded in 1882, it continued its work amongst the population of Palestine and the neighboring countries until it was forced to close owing to the hostility of the Turks. On the entry of the British Forces into Jerusalem the hospital, which had been used as an ammunition depot, was blown up by the retiring Turks. It has, however, now been rebuilt and is continuing its work as of old.

 

The spirit which inspires the Order of St. John has its roots in the earliest years of chivalry, when the Knights of St. John combined for the first time in the history of the world the art of healing with valor as soldiers of the Cross. Through the centuries the Order has continued with a history more full and stimulating than that of any royal dynasty.

 

In England, the Order of St. John includes among its officers and members the greatest and oldest names of the realm. The King himself is its Sovereign and Patron. The Duke of Connaught, Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge, is the Grand Prior. The sub-Prior is the Earl of Scarbrough. The Prelate is the Archbishop of York, the King of Norway, the Prince of Wales and Prince Arthur of Connaught are Knights of the Order, and the list of the members of the Grand General contains many of those most notable for their services to their country as statesmen or as soldiers and sailors.

 

The Order of St. John in America plans to function along the same practical lines of humanitarian service which has distinguished the English Order above every other branch of the Hospital Order in other European countries. The record made in England shows what can be accomplished by a fraternal order existing for service only and the hundreds and thousands of Freemasons, and others, who have sought an opportunity and agency through which they can help their fellows will now find it in the Order of the Hospital of St. John.

 

----o----

 

A Grand Lodge Acts

 

PERHAPS it is the high privilege of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey to save a Lost Cause, or at least, a cause which many of those not actively engaged in the movement may have come to consider as lost.

 

From New Mexico come great tidings. Past Grand Master Herbert B. Holt, President of the National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Association, writes that Grand Master Samuel E. Wood of New Mexico has received a check in favor of the Tuberculosis Association in the sum of $21,878.90, which represents the total contribution of the Masons and members of the Order of the Eastern Star of New Jersey for the cause of Masonic tuberculosis relief. Of this total, $12,299.00 was contributed by members of Masonic Lodges, and $7,672.00 by members of the Eastern Star, the balance being represented by interest on the fund.

 

In forwarding the contribution the Grand Master of New Jersey wrote that it was sent "with the express request and distinct understanding that it is to be used exclusively for actual relief and hospitalization of Master Masons, their wives and children."

 

In commenting upon this generous donation, Bro. Holt writes:

 

This represents the most munificent contribution which our association has thus far received. It speaks more eloquently than words of the true spirit of Masonry which prevails among the brethren of the Grand Jurisdiction of New Jersey. Its receipt has given us new hope and courage. We shall now press forward toward our ultimate goal.

 

New Jersey's contribution comes at a time when apparently there was no more hope of securing any official action or assistance for Masonic tuberculosis relief, and it therefore has a value far in excess of the amount of money contributed, in that it will give the brethren of New Mexico new strength and courage to continue their self-imposed task.

 

New Jersey's action proves two things. First, that a cause that is right is never lost, and second, that Freemasons, anywhere and everywhere, will, when given the opportunity, always respond generously to the call to aid and assist their distressed brethren. The chief obstacle to the movement for relief has been the apathy and indifference of Masons in official positions, and their unwillingness to permit any appeal from the Southwest to be presented to the Masonic bodies under their supervision.

 

New Jersey's action is a challenge to every other Masonic Grand Jurisdiction in America. A precedent has been created, a tradition has been established, and a landmark has been founded, and those who worship at the shrine of this Masonic trinity may now, perhaps, be able to turn their gaze toward their brethren in need. Other Grand Lodges have voted small contributions paid out of Grand Lodge funds. A few have levied a small per capita tax. But New Jersey permitted an appeal direct to its constituent bodies, and to the Eastern Star, and this contribution is a voluntary free gift from individual Masons and their female relatives, for the succor of their suffering brethren. It is an evidence that Freemasonry, in America, can function to fulfill its obligations.

 

All honor to New Jersey. May its noble action help to arouse renewed interest and activity in every state for the help of our numerous brethren and the member, of their families, who are afflicted with tuberculosis. May it cause every Mason in official position to consider seriously whether he has been a stumbling block or not in the way of his brethren, in denying to them the opportunity and the privilege of serving their brethren in need.

 

----o----

 

The Degrees of Masonry; Their Origin and History

 

By BROS. A. L. KRESS AND R. J. MEEKREN

(Continued from June)

 

IN dealing last month with the arguments of William James Hughan in support of the theory that our present second and third degrees were invented some time during the interval between the definite organization of the Grand Lodge in June, 1717, and the publication of the Book of Constitutions in 1728, we had noticed that the minutes of the old lodge at Alnwick, like the pre-Grand Lodge records of the old lodges in Scotland, spoke of entering apprentices and admitting fellows, without any indication of what the terms used implied in the way of ceremonial, esoteric or otherwise, and suggested that aside from some interpretation based on other considerations these references were indeterminate in their bearing upon the problem.

 

Hughan next refers (1) to the "admission into the fraternity" of six gentlemen at Scarborough in 1705, and the Rules and Minutes of the old lodge at York. The former, which bears the date of 1725, provide only for the "making of a Brother," or "to make a Mason," which proves, he thinks, "the simple and primitive character of the regulations." The minutes use only the formula "admitted and sworn" varied by "sworn and admitted." Yet, as he points out, Dr. Drake, in his famous speech made on St. John's Day, Dec. 27, 1726, referred to three degrees under the initials E.P., F.C. and M.M., though the minutes go on to 1730 recording the swearing and admission only of candidates (2). One point which Hughan did not seem to have considered was that these records make no reference to any grades, apprentices do not seem to be mentioned at all, nor yet fellows. The head of the lodge was a President, though some of the brethren presiding signed themselves "master," as in 1725, followed by the two wardens, bracketed together without further distinction.

 

A number of other minutes and records of lodges subsequent to the formation of Grand Lodge are cited and discussed, the first being those of the lodge meeting at the Swan and Rummer, which was instituted Feb. 16, 1725-26, the two years being given because it was in the awkward period of transition between Old and New Style of dating. These minutes we unfortunately have not been able to consult. Hughan however definitely states that the degree of Fellow Craft (3) is never mentioned, but he says that this is not remarkable as the secretaries of lodges often ignored this ceremony even during the following decade when it is known from by-laws and other records that it was duly "sandwiched" between the first and third degrees. Consequently the omission in this case is not, in his opinion, conclusive that it was not being worked in this particular lodge. On the other hand it does not prove that it was.

 

According to the citation made by Hughan, at the meeting on June 8, 1726, Dr. Desaguliers and the Earl of Inchiquin being present as visitors, four gentlemen, including a lord and a baronet,

 

Were admitted Into the Society of Free Masonry and made by the Deputy Grand Master,

 

that is by Dr. Desaguliers. The terms "made" and "admitted" may be important.

 

The first reference in these minutes to the grade or degree of Master is under the date of April 29, 1727, and gives four names bracketed together with the brief note appended:

 

Were admitted Masters.

 

Hughan says that the first of these names, that of Jno. Dixon Hammond, Esq., appears "in the minutes of a remarkable meeting" in the previous month, March 26, with the remark

 

by Dispensation of the G. Master this Gent, was admitted.

 

What was remarkable about this meeting does not appear unless it was this entry. This is important as showing that the term "to admit" was not used in a specialized sense as applying to any particular grade or ceremony.

 

It may be noted also that this lodge was about a year old, if this year 1727 is reckoned New Style, as we presume it was. The next reference to Masters is under date of March 31, 1729, two years later, when in an entry headed

 

At a particular lodge held for passing of Masters . . .

 

we are told

 

The Masters Lodge was formed and the following brethren were admitted Masters .

 

followed by six names and this,

 

Brother John Emslie having been Recommended as a worthy and good Mason he was passed Master at the same time.

 

It appears that two of the six first mentioned brethren had been elected as Wardens of the lodge at a meeting on the 26th of the same month. There having been three meetings apparently between the 26th and the 29th, inclusive. It seems also that they were installed after being "admitted." But it may be better to quote what Hughan says in full, seeing we have not been able to refer to the original:

 

Two of the six who were thus made "Masters" or Master Masons, viz., Nelthorpe and Aynsworth, had been elected as Wardens at the previous Lodge held on the 26th of the same' month, and were so invested immediately after their becoming Masters, but certainly not because thereof, the third degree not being a qualification for office at that period (4).

 

The last statement refers to the first Book of Constitutions of 1723, where almost incidentally it is said

 

The most expert of the Fellow-Craftsmen shall be chosen or appointed the Master, or Overseer of the Lord's work,

 

which is adapted without very great change from the phraseology of the old MS. Charges or Constitutions (5).

 

As Hughan held that our three degrees were in existence in 1723, that is that the present F.C. and M.M. had been invented and super-posed upon the original simple initiation, he very naturally interpreted the reference to the "Master's Lodge" in the minute of Mar. 31, 1729, as indicating the working of a "third" degree at that date, or rather, of the third degree, as is indicated by the use of conjunction "or" between "Masters" and "Master Masons" in the quotation above. That this numerical designation is no more than his interpretation of these minutes is definitely indicated a little further on, where he says, in parenthesis,

 

The next entry respecting the third degree (though not so called) is dated, etc.

 

There seems to be nothing of special importance in the remaining quotations from the records of this lodge. The entry of April 14, 1731, uses the phrase "passed" instead of "admitted":

 

Bro. Roul and Bro. Shipton having a desire to be passed Masters, the Master's Lodge was formed and they were passed accordingly.

 

The new term is used in the other citations, but we cannot say if the older word was disused completely after the above date.

 

Two quotations from old by-laws are also given which are important, taken in conjunction. Lodge No. 71, meeting at the Barbican, constituted in January, 1730. required each new member

 

To pay two Pounds seven shillings at his Making, and received Double Cloathing. Also when this Lodge shall think Convenient to confer the Superior Degree of Masonry upon him, he shall pay five Shillings more.

 

The term "superior" being comparative seems to imply two grades only. Hughan does not discuss this at all, nor yet the following from the by-laws of Lodge No. 83 meeting at the Three Tuns constituted in December, 1731,

 

. . . for making the sum of Three Pounds three Shillings, And for their admittance the sum of five Shillings, and every Brother who shall pass the Degrees of F. C. and M. shall pay the further sum of seven shillings and sixpence.

 

Both these Codes were framed in 1732, so on the face of it one lodge worked two degrees and the other three. The notable point is not that No. 83 practiced our present system, for we know from Prichard's work that three degrees were in existence in 1730, but that there was still a lodge in London that apparently provided only for two. Possibly the clause was copied without alteration from some earlier set of by-laws. But then again, it may equally have represented the actual usage of the lodge.

 

A brief reference is also made to the records of other old lodges which

 

. . . illustrate the working of both the F.C. and M.M. Degrees; as those of the old Lodge at Bath (now No. 41) from 1733; whilst others, similar to a still older lodge at Lincoln, arrange for the Master Mason's Degree being worked (By-laws, A.D. 1732, and Records 1734, etc.), but do not provide for the Fellow Craft's ceremony. Doubtless the latter was known to and practiced in the Lodges, whose Secretaries are uncommunicative on the point, as in the others, whose Scribes inform us of all three being worked. It is probable that the term "making" often included the First two Ceremonies; the third being left to convenient opportunities when the Master's Lodge was convened, or in many instances never communicated at all, the brethren being content as Fellow Craft Freemasons.

 

We have quoted this at length because it seems a curious argument from one who so greatly objected to inferences and suppositions when made by others, and who so constantly exhorted them to keep strictly to the evidence. "Doubtless" the "Fellow Craft's ceremony" was "known to and practiced" though no mention was made of it. "It is probable" that the first degree and the second (that "doubtless" was worked) were often included in the term making. But none of this is here on record.

 

The curious minutes of the Philo-Musicae et Archtecturae Societas were also quoted. This Society was an early instance of an "appendant" organization, having been inaugurated in February, 1725. It required its members to be Masons, and considered it had the power to form a lodge to initiate those who wished to become members who had not the necessary Masonic qualification. On the old theory it would seem that its members had this "inherent right," but the Grand Lodge naturally did not like it. These minutes on their face seem to refer to our present three degrees, and Hughan took this view of them, but as this point will have to be mentioned later it may be passed over here.

 

The question also of the interpretation of the references in the first and second editions of the Book of Constitutions was also discussed, but this also may be more conveniently treated when we come to the views of R.F. Gould. We may just quote the following from the close of Hughan's paper:

 

As respects the "Book of Constitutions," I consider the regulations of 1723 and the alteration agreed to in 1725, concerning the "Making of Masters," are alone sufficient to prove that the three degrees were known to the English Craft of that period, the uniform silence as to the trio of an earlier date, suggesting that the Ceremonies were arranged subsequent to the inauguration of the premier Grand Lodge.

 

Hughan expressed his views elsewhere than in the discussions of Quatuor Coronati Lodge; in fact they were fully crystallized long before the lodge was founded. A great many volumes of old periodicals have been gone through without much result so far as discovering any further argument for his views. In 1873 he replied at length in the London Masonic Magazine (6) to a review of Lyon's History of the Old Lodge of Edinburgh by the Rev. A.F.A. Woodford, in which he argued for the antiquity of three degrees. In his reply to this review Hughan rather takes, as he undoubtedly had the right to do, the position of an expert giving his dogmatic conclusions from prolonged study of the evidence. He says that nowhere is there any record from the sixteenth century "to the first half of the second decade of the eighteenth" of any assembly of Masons working ceremonies or communicating "secrets" from which any portion of the fraternity was excluded, or denied participation. He admits the existence of three grades or ranks, those spoken of in the Old Charges as Masters, who had men working for or under them, Fellows and Apprentices, but says that

 

. . . so far as the records throw light on the customs of our early brethren the apprentices were as welcome at the election and reception of masters as the latter were required to participate in the initiation of the former.

 

He might have put it more strongly and said that not only were apprentices welcome, but that their presence was required by the Shaw Statutes, as we have already seen. He goes on to say:

 

We are quite willing to grant for the sake of argument that a word may have been whispered in the ear of the Master of the lodge (or of Master Masons) on their introduction or constitution in the lodge, but supposing that such were the case, and we think the position is at least probable, the three degrees are so far from being proved as before, especially as we have never traced any intimation ever so slight of a special ceremony at the "passing" of Fellow Crafts peculiar to that grade, and from which the apprentices were excluded.

 

And further on he emphasizes this opinion:

 

We must reiterate our conviction that whatever the ceremonies may have been at the introduction of Fellow Crafts and Master Masons anterior to the last [the eighteenth] century, they were not such as to require the exclusion of apprentices from the lodge meetings . . . in other words we can only fairly advocate that to have existed of which we have evidence.

 

It must be borne in mind that in this earlier expression of his views he is arguing against the existence of three degrees of M.M., F.C., and E.A., while at the same time, it would seem, he believed that three grades existed, that is, that the Master was a grade or rank above that of Fellow, and not merely a Fellow holding an office in a lodge or acting as an employer or supervisor. The last sentence cuts both ways for it might be argued that there is no evidence in these old records (with one or two exceptions) for any initiatory ceremony at all.

 

In a letter to the Grand Lodge of Ohio (7) a few years later he asserted that

 

It is quite clear that the evidence submitted by Bro. Lyon proves that Modern Freemasonry was introduced into Scotland by Dr. Desaguliers in 1721. Before, however, the Past Grand Master was permitted to visit the Ancient Lodge of Edinburgh he was examined, and found to be "duly qualified in all points of Masonry," so that whatever differences (or additions) there might have been between Modern and Ancient Freemasonry they were not sufficient to obliterate the original character of the society or prevent visitation.

 

This is one more indication of how much Lyon's work was built upon. If the foundations fail the superstructure must fall. "Modern" and "Ancient" in this passage of course are to be understood generally, and not in their partisan sense during the schism between the senior and junior Grand Lodges in England.

 

We may now pass on to other exponents of the single initiation theory. In the discussions in Quatuor Coronati Lodge John Lane and Edward Macbean strongly supported Hughan's position, as did also Murray Lyon in a letter to him, but these brethren adduced no new evidence.

 

It will be noted that, so far, the discussion has been confined entirely to documentary records, statutes, bylaws and minutes, and early references to the Fraternity. Hughan was not inclined to place much weight on ritual evidence, though in criticizing the opinions of his opponents he referred to it. We now come to the American student, Albert Mackey, who did argue from this point of view. In his Encyclopedia, however, under the heading of Degrees (8) the conclusion is based chiefly on the external evidence. He says that "it is now [in 1874] the opinion of the best scholars, that the division" was the work

 

. . . of the revivalists of the beginning of the eighteenth century that before that period there was but one degree, or rather one common platform of ritualism; and that the division into Masters, Fellows and Apprentices was simply a division of ranks, there being but one initiation for all.

 

Then he continues with the startling assertion that

 

In 1717 the whole body of the Fraternity consisted only of Entered Apprentices, who were recognized by the thirty-nine Regulations, compiled in 1720, as among the law-givers of the Craft, no change in those Regulations being allowed unless first submitted "even to the youngest Apprentice."

 

We see what he means, of course, but it is very awkwardly, even inconsistently, stated. He then goes on to observe that in Anderson's Constitutions

 

.... the degree of Fellow Craft is introduced as being a necessary qualification for Grand Master, although the word degree is not used.

 

And he adds that in Regulation xiii

 

. . . the orders or degrees of Master and Fellow Craft are recognized in the following words: "Apprentices must be admitted Masters and Fellow Crafts only in the Grand Lodge."

 

This quotation is not quite correct, and the passage will have to be considered later. But neither the 1723 or 1738 editions have the phrase "in the Grand Lodge" though that is undoubtedly the meaning of the actual words, "admitted . . . only here." He then points to the change made in the revised book of 1738 in the fourth article of the Charges which definitely states the progression of the Candidate through "Entered Prentice," or "Free Mason of the lowest degree" through that of Fellow Craft to Master Mason," which does not appear in the earlier version, and from all this he deduces that

 

The division of the Masonic system into three degrees must have grown up between 1717 and 1730, but in so gradual and imperceptible a manner that we are unable to fix the precise date of the introduction of each degree, a conclusion which seems to have been inspired by Findel.

 

Now there is reason in the suggestion that the new system was the result of a growth or evolution, seeing that it was propagated with no recorded objections or disputes; but the introduction of two new superposed inventions, as he apparently envisages the process, is neither growth nor evolution, and could hardly have been imperceptible.

 

THE PRINTED CONSTITUTIONS

 

A brief reference is made to the Grand Mystery first published in 1724 (though he says 1725) as being "the earliest ritual extant" and as making no reference to degrees. Actually another "ritual," the Mason's Examination, was published in 1723, and there was yet another, earlier still, of which no copy remains, but evidently he had not then heard of these, nor perhaps later we may presume, as he does not mention them in the fuller discussion embodied in Chapter xxxii of his History. But before considering this it may be as well to dispose of the arguments based on references in the first edition of Anderson's Constitutions and the changes made fifteen years later in the second. Mackey of course was not the first to point out their significance but he may have seen it independently. In the first book we are told the Apprentice is to look forward to being made a Fellow Craft, and then perhaps to being elected Warden or Master; the Fellow Craft thus appearing to be eligible to any office in the Craft. The Tyler of Grand Lodge was to be a Fellow Craft, the Committee to examine visitors at the annual feast were to be Fellow Crafts, as also the Treasurer and Secretary of Grand Lodge. Naturally these officers would have to be of the highest degree known in the lodge. In constituting a new lodge the Master and Wardens were "among the Fellow Crafts" before installation, and finally the ultimate secrets of Masonry were only to be obtained by the "key of a Fellow Craft." In the second book all these passages have been systematically amended to read "Master Mason" instead of Fellow Craft. These were not the only changes it may be mentioned. In the first edition there was a distinct tendency to call the annual gathering, or assembly and feast, a General Lodge, and to restrict the term Grand Lodge to the quarterly meetings of the Masters and Wardens of particular lodges. In the revised book the term General Lodge has been everywhere deleted and Grand Lodge substituted, doubtless to be in accord with the disuse of the other and earlier term among members of the Craft.

 

The fourth charge in the first edition (10) has a long and rather obscure sentence:

 

Only Candidates may know that no Master should take an Apprentice, unless he has sufficient Imployment for him, and unless he be a perfect Youth, having no Maim or Defect in his Body, that may render him uncapable of learning the Art, of serving his Master's Lord, and of being made a Brother, and then a Fellow Craft in due time, even after he has served such a Term of Years as the Custom of the country directs.

 

This is a cumbersome adaptation of the language of the Old Charges, and leaving out the intermediate clauses it states negatively, that:

 

No Master should take an apprentice . . . unless he [have no defect that would render him] uncapable . . . of being made a Brother, and then a Fellow Craft in due time.

 

In the second edition this passage has been much changed, and the clause of special interest in the present connection runs as follows:

 

....that, when of Age, and Expert, he [the apprentice] may become an Enter'd Prentice, or a Free Mason of the lowest degree, and upon his due improvements a Fellow-Craft and a Master-Mason, capable to undertake a Lord's work.

 

The fiction of operative usage is carefully retained, but the highest grade now appears to be Master Mason, although the meaning is not absolutely unequivocal, as Master Mason might still be taken to mean Master of a lodge. But the next paragraph bars this interpretation. for it runs:

 

The WARDENS are chosen from among the Master-Masons, and no Brother can be a Master of a Lodge till he has acted as Warden somewhere, except in extraordinary Cases.

 

Regulation xiii deals with the Quarterly Communications, and states that

 

.... all matters that concern the Fraternity in general, or particular Lodges or single Brethren, are quietly, sedately, and maturely to be discoursed of and transacted: Apprentices must be admitted Masters and Fellow-Craft only here, unless by a dispensation. Here also all Differences, that cannot be made up and accommodated privately . . . are to be . . . decided:

 

and a right of appeal to the Annual Grand Lodge is provided for.

 

Mackey argues that the clause after the colon, about Apprentices being admitted Masters and Fellow Craft, is an interpolation. It certainly does seem to be an after thought, but it does not follow that we must conclude, as he would have us, that it was inserted after the manuscript had been submitted to the Grand Lodge for approval. Mackey supposes it to have been done surreptitiously by Anderson, at the instance of Dr. Desaguliers, to pave the way for the introduction of his newly invented degrees, and possibly connived at by some other members of the Grand Lodge. But the approbation and license to print give the impression that the manuscript was very fully considered; and in the second edition Anderson states, in the chronicle of events after 1717, that at the meeting of the Grand Lodge on March 7, 1722,

 

The said Committee of 14 reported that they had perused Brother Anderson's manuscript, viz., the History, Charges, Regulations and Master's Song, and after some Amendments had approved of it.

 

The awkward clause may quite well be an interpolation, as Mackey suggested, and yet one made regularly and in order by this Committee, or else in Grand Lodge. There is no reason to doubt this statement of Anderson's, and amendments to motions and by-laws are frequently interpolations that are quite as awkward as this. We shall have to return to the consideration of this clause again, so here we will only note that in the second edition it was repealed and made to read, according to Anderson,

 

The Master of a Lodge, with his Wardens and a competent Number of the Lodge assembled in due form, can make Masters and Fellows at discretion.

 

But he also made a change in the wording of the "Old Regulation" itself, making it read:

 

Apprentices must be admitted Fellow Crafts and Masters only here unless by a Dispensation from the Grand Master.

 

Thus, by reversing the sequence of "Masters" and "Fellow Craft" he has made the original enactment fit the new three degree system.

 

All this is also "interpretation." Mackey here apparently followed Gould, though it may possibly be that he reached this conclusion independently. It depends on when this part of his work was written, and that seems impossible to determine exactly. At least Gould has priority of publication. This will have to be further discussed when we come to the consideration of the views of the latter authority, when Hughan's comments will also have to be taken up again. Mackey, though at one with him in regarding both the second and third degrees as inventions made after 1719 as he insists there was but the one simple admission till that year, yet agrees with Speth and Gould in holding that in 1723 a two degree system was in existence. The possible permutations are confusing to say the least !

 

We may now go back and consider Mackey's arguments for the hypothesis of an original single ceremony of admission with one set of esoteric secrets. He quoted the thirteenth article of the Regius MS. (under the title of the Halliwell MS.) which deals with the Master's duty to instruct his apprentice. Mackey interprets the last two lines

 

That he the crafte abelyche may conne Whersever he go undur the sonne

 

to refer to means of recognition, and says that it implies that

 

He was to be invested with the modes of recognition common to all, whereby a mutual intercourse might be had. It was not that he was to know just enough to prove himself to be an apprentice, but he was to have such knowledge as would enable him to recognize in a stranger a Fellow-Craft or Master in other words, he was to have all they had in the way of recognition.

 

Old English is not very easy to understand. These verses might be paraphrased;

 

That he the craft ably may know Wherever he may go under the sun.

 

Mackey has taken "craft" to mean "the Craft" in our modern sense of the word, the members of the Fraternity at large. Of course it means the craft or art of operative masonry. But in any case the argument is a curious one. What kind of secrets would enable an Apprentice to recognize a Master as such that would not make it possible for him to pass himself off as one?

 

In his next quotation he is on more solid ground. This is the "third point," and gives a metrical version of a rule that appears in all the Old Charges, that the Mason is

 

....to hele the counsel of his fellows in lodge and in chamber and wherever Masons meet,

 

as the Cooke MS. has it; or as it is said in the William Watson MS.

 

That every Mason keep true councell both of Lodge & Chamber all other Councells that ought to be kept by way of Masonrie.

 

But there is nothing that is necessarily to be taken as esoteric about these "councells," or the "secrets" of his Master or Dame, that in later versions of the MS. Constitutions the Apprentice is charged to keep. Aside from ritual tradition these could be best and most naturally interpreted as referring only to trade and business secrets, and domestic privacies.

 

NOTES

 

(1) In the paper read before Quatuor Coronati Lodge in 1897 A.Q.C., Vol. x, p. 130.

(2) Ibid, p. 131.

(3) Ib., p. 134.

(4) Ib. p. 135.

(5) "And that . . . they should ordain the wisest of them to be Master of the Lord's work;" which, with variations, appears in the "charges" that, according to the Legend of the Craft, were delivered by Euclid in Egypt.

(6) Masonic Magazine (London 1873-74), Vol. i, p. 108

(7) Ibid (1867-77), Vol. iv, p. 418.

(8)The article will be found unchanged in the Revised edition Vol. i, p. 203.

(9) Mackey; History of Freemasonry (1905), Vol. iv, p. 975 et seq (In the Revised edition, Vol. iv, p. 1030.)

(10) The citations from the 1723 Book of Constitutions have been taken from the reproduction in Vol. i of Kennings, Masonic Archaeological Library, edited by the Rev. A.F.A. Woodford; and for those from the New Book of 1738, the reprint in Quatuor Coronatorum Antigrapha, Vol. vii, edited by W. J. Hughan has been employed.

(11) Mackey: op. cit., Vol. iv, p. 949.

 

----o----

 

The Papacy and the State

 

By DR. JOANNES GALLICAN

 

IN the January and February numbers of THE BUILDER a splendid article by Dr. Leo Cadius appeared, which was very instructive and showed a great deal of thought. The matter of bringing about the reforms that he desiderates is one that presents very grave difficulties..

 

It is not my desire in the following article to arouse the animosity of any Christian organization, but rather to show the origin of the papacy as we now understand it, which means the Roman Catholic Church in action; and if, by arousing honest discussion of the facts involved, we can once and for all remove the cancer of the seemingly growing religious strife in this country so needless among real intelligent Christian people, such as the United States holds within its confines.

 

GENERAL HISTORY OF THE PAPACY

 

Christianity arose in the East, Greek being the language of the common people and also the language of the New Testament, the rites of the Church were conducted in Greek. Christianity was bitterly opposed by the Roman Empire until Constantine was converted to Christianity, when it became the official religion of the Empire.

 

He divided his provinces into dioceses and the Church adopted the same division. The Council of Nicaea, called by Constantine and held in 325 A.D., the first of the Ecumenical Councils, recognized three patriarchates, Rome, Alexandria and Antioch. To these were subsequently added Constantinople and Jerusalem. When the Empire was divided there was only one patriarch in the West, viz., at Rome, while in the East there were two, Alexandria and Antioch; Constantinople and Jerusalem were later added as shown above. Each of these patriarchs was sovereign within his own territory; the early Church was governed by an oligarchy of patriarchs; there was no thought of a despotic monarch nor of the papacy as at present organized. The bishop of Rome was only called upon to act as a referee when any differences arose between brother bishops; even then his decisions were not always put into execution, nor even respected, unless the dissenting patriarch was condemned for heresy, as was Honorius I, bishop of Rome in the seventh century, for maintaining "one will" in Christ.

 

After the power of the Roman Empire was concentrated upon the Italian peninsula with provinces extending all over the known world, the bishop of Rome occupied a position of great prestige and vast power. In 1054 A.D. the Western Church separated from the Eastern Church. There never had been complete harmony between them; the Eastern Church used the Greek language in its liturgy, the Western used the Latin; the former remained dependent upon the state, the latter was to a large extent independent.

 

The bishop of Rome was assuming unconferred powers; while Western Christians accused the Eastern patriarchs of being disloyal to the See of Rome. Then the Western Church introduced the words Filioque into Nicene Creed, causing a complete separation. At this period the patriarch and bishop of Rome assumed the title of pontifex maximus (the pope), and the Western Church became the Roman Catholic Church, while the Eastern Church was henceforth known as the Orthodox Church, consisting of the four patriarchates of Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria and Jerusalem. They remain so to this day (1).

 

THE LANGUAGE IN WHICH THE FIRST MASS WAS CELEBRATED

 

In the time of our Lord three particular languages were common throughout Judea. They were, in some sense of the word, the languages of the world in those days, viz., the Hebrew, Greek and Latin. The first, better known as the SyroChaldaic, or more properly the Syriac, was the language of the greater part of Judea, especially of Jerusalem itself and its environs, and without a doubt, was the vernacular of our Divine Lord and His Blessed Mother. This can be proved almost to a demonstration, both from the common consent of critics and from the numerous Syriac expressions that we find here and there in the New Testament yet in their original dress, such as "talitha cumi," "eloi, eloi, lama sabacthani," and "ephphetha," all of which are Syriac, with a few euphonic changes made to suit Greek ears.

 

The second, or the Greek, obtained a large sway in Palestine also, as St. Jerome testifies (2), and various records show. "And this glory," says Brerwood in his Languages and Religions, "the glory the Greek tongue held in the Apostles' time, and long after in the Eastern parts (3)."

 

The third, or the Latin, had obtained a far wider sway in the Holy Land in the time of our Lord and His Apostles than either of the other two, for it was the language of imperial Rome; and as Judea was a Roman province at that time, and for years previous, it was but natural to expect that the language of Rome would be forced on the conquered people. But as we shall have occasion to treat of these languages more fully a little further on, we dismiss them with these brief remarks, and take up the subject that heads our article, viz., in what language was the first Mass offered?

 

Eckius, a learned German divine and antiquarian of the sixteenth century, was the first who broached the opinion that Mass was celebrated everywhere, in the beginning, in Hebrew. But this cannot be sustained for the ablest liturgical writers and linguists hold that in the days of the Apostles Mass was celebrated in the language that prevailed in those places whither the Apostles went to spread the light of the Gospel; hence, that at Jerusalem it was celebrated in Syriac; at Antioch, Alexandria and other Grecian cities, in Greek, and at Rome, and throughout the entire West, in Latin.

 

As the first Mass then was celebrated at Jerusalem, it is an opinion which it would be rash to differ from, that the language in which it was offered was the Syriac (4).

 

In the minds of many of the Roman Catholic people of the world the only official language used in the administration of their sacraments and of the Mass is the Latin. Many assume, also, that all priests of the Roman Church, and those in communion with Rome, are celibates. The following quotations from The History of the Mass by Father O'Brien prove conclusively that neither supposition is true.

 

THE LANGUAGE IN WHICH MASS IS CELEBRATED TODAY THROUGHOUT CHRISTENDOM

 

The Catholic Church of today celebrates the holy Sacrifice of the Mass in nine different languages, viz., in Latin, Greek, Syriac, Chaldaic, Sclavonic, Wallachian, Armenian, Coptic and Ethiopic.

 

Latin This is the language of the Mass in the entire West and in a few places in the East, and has been so, without change from the beginning of Christianity. It may, in fact, be called the vernacular language of the Western Church.

 

Greek At the present day Mass is said in Greek by the Uniat or Melchite Catholics of the East. They are to be found in Syria, Jerusalem, Russia, in the kingdom of Greece, in Italy, and in several places of Europe; and they comprise the Mingrelians, Georgians, Bulgarians, Muscontefs and others. These Catholics are allowed by Rome to retain all their ancient rites such as consecrating the Holy Eucharist in the leavened bread, giving Communion in both kinds, saying the Creed without the "Filioque," and putting warm water into the chalice after Consecration. Nay, more, the Holy See even allows their clergy to marry. They have three patriarchs, residing respectively at Antioch, Alexandria and Jerusalem; and they use three different Liturgies for the celebration of the Mass.

 

It is true, however, that Father O'Brien adds:

 

When we say the Holy See allows the Eastern clergy in her Communion to marry, we must not be understood as implying that she allows those who are in Sacred Orders to do so. This would not be true. Her discipline in this matter is precisely as follows: Marriage is allowed all the inferior clergy from the subdeacon, exclusive, down. Should any member, then, of this inferior body be promoted to Sacred Orders, whether to be subdiaconate, diaconate, or priesthood, he is allowed to retain his wife and do for her as best he can from his living, but he can never marry again. Should he do so he would be degraded and forbidden to officiate. There is no such thing allowed or heard of as a clergyman getting married in Sacred Orders. If he is not married when a subdeacon he never can be afterwards. And as for bishops, patriarchs, metropolitans and the other great dignitaries of the Oriental hierarchy, the rule is that they must be single men. Hence it is that all, or nearly all the Oriental bishops, are taken from the monasteries; and this is the rule with the schismatics (5) also.

 

Besides these there are the "Old Roman Catholics," who in 1870 refused to accept the dogma of Papal Infallibility, represented in this country by one Archbishop, Henry Cornell Corfora, who resides at Chicago. It permits its clergy to marry, allows the Latin, English and other languages; mention is here also made of "The American Catholic Church," with Archbishop F. Lloyd, Primate, whose headquarters are in Chicago, at 64 West Randolph St. This Church has also retained valid Holy Orders, is thoroughly American in ideals, receiving Apostolic Succession from the Patriarch of Antioch, the very seat of Catholicity. They believe in absolute separation of Church and State, their clergy may marry, auricular confession is optional, the sacraments are administered in Latin or the vernacular of the country; their members can and do join Masonic and any secret orders so long as they profess a belief in a Supreme Being. The Roman Pontificale is rigorously followed in administering Holy Orders to its clergy.

 

The pope is a despotic monarch, has complete control of his subjects, both temporal and spiritual. This has always been so.

 

The popes have been responsible for eight crusades. Pope Innocent III preached a crusade against the Albigenses and placed Pierre de Castelnan at its head in 1204, and afterwards the legates Milon and Arnaud Amalric as well as Simon de Montfort and the crusaders in 1209 obtained possession of Beziers and there slew 60,000, among whom were some Catholics.

 

Carcassone also soon fell into their hands The legate ordered his troops to slaughter all in this city without distinction of age or sex. Thirty thousand persons, including women and children, perished in one day and when one of the crusading officers affected with carnage came to the legate to inquire by what signs he could distinguish heretics in the crowd, the legate replied, "Kill, kill. God will know which are His."

 

The principle of action in this war was identical with that of the crusades against the Turks. The pontiffs of those times thought it right to exterminate by the sword the unbelievers whom they could not convert whenever their presence became dangerous to the Church and to society, or was supposed to be so.

 

Heresy was then regarded as rebellion against the State no less than against the Church. It was a crime of the deepest dye and worthy of the severest punishment. It was impossible to exaggerate the note of the evil or to devise means too severe for its suppression.

 

Let us remember that the present reigning pope in his recent Bull or Encyclical on "Church Unity," speaking for his Church, said,

 

We have received the deposit of faith from the Holy Ghost and anyone who knowingly refuses to join our Church, if in his own mind he feels that our Church is the only true Church, for him there is no salvation.

 

Inasmuch as the papacy was not thought of until the conversion of Constantine, how and from whom was the deposit of faith received? It is regrettable that the mere mention of historical data at the present time arouses such a storm of protest from many well meaning persons. It is regrettable that there should be religious hatred in any country, and if the papacy is divinely inspired by the Holy Ghost it is a peculiar negation that its early history should be written in blood. The papacy has time and again killed thousands and tens of thousands because they called themselves heretics; time and again preached the righteousness of crusades, and if American Roman Catholics only understood the history of the papacy and compared it with the teachings and life of Christ they would perhaps then learn to know really what real religion is. Romanists in this country support a despotic monarch, a nobility that they know nothing of; pay tribute and blind obedience to an institution that is neither Catholic nor Apostolic, an Institution that is political first, last and all the time and has very little real religion, simply to perpetuate a hierarchy of princes of the Church, papal knights, ministers accredited to foreign governments under the names of papal delegates, legates, nuncios, and so on.

 

The papacy never presents a financial statement of its condition, and the laymen are never expected to ask any questions, they are assessed for the construction of churches, schools, academies here and abroad, subscribe to all the magazines, papers; every parish is taxed for the support of the different colleges and seminaries and for the education of students for the priesthood, while many of the clergy are living lives of luxury and have fortunes to leave to their immediate families.

 

In attending services in the different parishes in many parts of this country about five minutes are spent in reading Gospels of the Sunday and thirty minutes in begging, or rather hounding, the people for money; so much so that a friend of mine was very careful in purchasing his new home in a certain diocese to avoid certain sections where they were building new churches.

 

Dr. L. Cadius' remedy to ameliorate the conditions he so eloquently depicts, viz., through the Knights of Columbus, is a hopeless task. The Knights of Columbus would not even dare to allow a lecturer to present the history of the papacy from some of their own publications, and how can any reform be brought about when the pope can excommunicate at any time and for any reason he sees fit. There is not a Judge of one of our Supreme or higher Courts that will even dare hear a case in which the prelates or princes of the Roman Catholic Church are concerned, and this is in free America, not Soviet Russia. What is the remedy?

 

As free born Americans why not organize and support an American Catholic Apostolic Church, having the real Apostolic Catholic faith and the primitive sacraments acknowledging complete separation of Church and State, where all of the clergy are allowed their God created rights to marry, and where every incentive to live upright lives is held out, that thoroughly believes in a sound public school educational system; a Church that has no princes nor nobility, a Church thoroughly liberal in all countries and climes, a Church that permits its clergy and members to membership in the Masonic or any fraternal association as long as they profess a belief in a Supreme Being, a Church that does not "double cross" Masonry in America, only to wage war on it in France, Italy and foreign countries. Would to God we had such a Church in this country.

 

Not until we come right out and show on what false premises the Roman Catholic Church and papacy stand and how insulting the Encyclical of the pope on church unity is to the millions of educated, liberty-loving Americans, and letting the world really know where we stand on this question, will there be real peace and brotherhood. And if this were done, all religious strife would disappear. I doubt whether even the Ku Klux Klan would fight such a program.

 

The way to successfully fight the false position of the papacy is to refuse to open up our pocket-books directly or indirectly; then let them keep their Canon Law with their forged decretals, their papacy, their hierarchy, their nobility, and all the corruption that goes with it in the country that desires it, and this will bring them to their knees quicker than anything else.

 

If America is to retain true freedom from all religious strife, several matters must be thoroughly understood and forever settled. There should be no room for any political interference of any religious sect or creed with the state or government and a church which must needs have the police powers to enact and enforce its creed of faith is neither Christian nor religious.

 

We have proven that the position of the Roman Catholic Church and papacy as expressed by the pope in his latest Encyclical is false, since Christ never founded the papacy nor the Roman Catholic Church; Christ founded an Apostolic Catholic Church. The Roman Catholics of America as citizens are the equal of any others, and those who claim America to be a Protestant country are as much in error as the Romanists. There is no room in America for a bigot, be he Romanist or Protestant, and anyone seeking office on such claims should be defeated continually and exposed to ridicule. It is regrettable that those of us who came from the Isle of Saints are prone to rancor and bigotry, and I must confess we are very quick to show it upon the slightest occasion. Our priests are continually preaching against the public schools as "Godless," as being responsible for loss of religion and morals. If this be true I would suggest that all Roman Catholic teachers be employed in Roman Catholic schools and institutions of learning and let Roman Catholics support them without any hope of taxpayers helping them out, because the atheist's and agnostic's child has the same equality according to our Constitution as the Romanists.

 

The pope is a despotic monarch as a temporal sovereign. As pope he is the head of the Roman Catholic Church. These are the claims of his Church and while the Romanists of America may never attempt to rule as they have in European Catholic countries, it may also be true that our American Roman Catholic priests are different; but until the entire papacy as at present organized is overthrown it would be a sad day for free American institutions to put the balance of power into the Roman Catholics' hands, or any other sect.

 

If the Knights of Columbus are attempting to organize the young boys of Italy with Mussolini's help that is their affair; nor should it concern Americans as to their reasons for so doing. All liberty-loving Americans should stamp out the professional ex-nun, and any periodical or magazine that continually strives to stir up religious rancor or hatred. The personnel of the Roman Catholic clerical and religious ministry are morally as good as any of the learned professions in America.

 

It is to be regretted, however, that Roman Catholics, who in this country preach so much broadmindedness and tolerance regarding their Protestant neighbors and the large fraternal orders, as Masonry, Odd Fellows, etc., are very intolerant of these same organizations in Catholic countries. Go to Ireland or the Province of Quebec to organize a Lodge of Masonry and report back the welcomed Oh, yes, the Romanists tell us that the Freemasons of Italy, France, Austria and the European countries are not like those of America. I have made it a point to interview Masons in this country as to their views on evolution, belief in a Supreme Being, and find the ratio the same; and according to the Roman Catholic Church, not one Mason have I met would pass muster.

 

A Wall Street banker recently told me that all the solid business financial interests should encourage the Roman Catholics of this country to prevent the Soviet system of Russia from taking a foothold in America; he was a 33rd Degree Mason; personally admitted the falsity of the papacy as to its divine origin; admitted the Roman Catholic Church was simply a part and parcel of the old Apostolic Church, but that it was a good business arrangement to have a responsible head, as the pope is, of a highly centralized government, even if he was a despotic monarch; admitted our system of electing presidents hadn't proved successful nor beneficial, and that as a solid business proposition he encouraged the missionary labors of the Roman Catholic Church; and this evidently is the opinion of many business people of America.

 

I have no reliable method of finding out just what the Soviet Government means, much less what they are accomplishing. I do know about the Roman Catholic Church here and in Europe, and if we are to retain a free government, of, by and for the people, as founded by the framers of this Constitutional Government, let us one and all, at all times and in all places, demand a complete separation of Church and State and refuse to allow any sect or creed to lobby bills or enact laws to perpetuate the religious teachings of their peculiar sect or creed.

 

NOTES

 

(1) Strictly speaking the title of the Eastern Church is the "Holy Orthodox, Catholic and Apostolic Church." That of Rome is the "Holy Roman Church," also Catholic and Apostolic. The conception of the Roman Church as actually including the other churches of Western Europe did not reach its final evolution till the nineteenth century. The term Catholic, or Universal can in its full sense apply only to the Christian Church as a whole. A division of the Church can properly call itself Catholic as an integral part of the Church Universal, or it can do so controversially by unchurching all other churches.

 

(2) St. Jerome, Proem, 1, 2, Com. Eptst. ad Cabal

 

(3) Brerwood, Languaves and Religions, p. 9.

 

(4) Bona, Re. Liturg. 207; Gavantus, Thesaur, Saer. Rit. 16, 17; Kozma, Liturg. Sacr. Cathol., p. 111.

 

(5) The "Schismatics" are those of the Oriental Church who steadfastly refuse to acknowledge the papal claims.

 

(6) [The writer seems to be somewhat misinformed here. In Quebec the comparatively few French Canadians who become Masons are subject to petty persecution in their own social circles, but there is no general opposition, nor can there be under the Constitutional safeguards, to the flourishing Grand Lodge of the Province. The same is true of Ireland. Ed.]

 

----o----

 

"The Religion of All Good Men"

 

Communicated by BRO. LOUIS BLOCK, Associate Editor, Iowa

 

THIS address was given by Rabbi Hirschberg in the auditorium of Medinah Temple at Chicago, on the occasion of the Feast of Atonement last year. It is a wonderful plea for religious charity and tolerance in the true sense of the word. The Rabbi is not a Mason, we understand, but he has, nevertheless, given utterance to the belief of all thinking Masons, that the essentials of true religion should draw men together and not separate them.

 

THESE holy days of ours, friends, and especially this solemn night, reveal as nothing else the philosophy of the Jewish religion. More than that of any other day, the ritual of Yom Kippur plainly indicates what is the ground-work and foundationstone of all Jewish belief and practice. Would we understand the real essence of Judaism, we need but consult those utterances of our Bible and prayer-book that are inseparably identified with the observance of this day. Whether it is the passionate declaration of an Isaiah, rebelling against the social abuses of his day, whether it is the flaming appeal of an Amos, crying out against the hypocritical pomp of the Temple service and the corruption of the priests, or whether it is the eloquent utterance of a Micah, phrasing in words that can never die his immortal definition of religion:

 

He hath told thee, oh man, what is good and what the Lord doth require of thee, but to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God:

 

there is, in reality, but one supreme theme to which they are all attuned: to win men back to God, to turn them away from evil thoughts and vain pursuits, to dedicate them to a life of loving service every day in the year, to foster a finer feeling of fellowship in the world, to free men's minds from the galling chains of prejudice, to bind their hearts with indissoluble bonds of brotherhood and love. This is the one melody, the one divine note, the supreme motif of the Kol Nidre anthem, the keynote of all the prayers of this holy night. All others are but minor chords that blend harmoniously with this major symphony.

 

Those who are still under the impression that this day is chiefly concerned with the mechanics of religion, prayer and fasting, ceremonial, creed and custom, may be surprised and shocked at such a revelation. They may consider me an iconoclast for making such a statement, but there is indisputable and incontrovertible evidence to support the contention. In fact, if we read the prophets with an open mind, dismissing all our inherited beliefs and traditions, there can be no doubt as to what religion meant to them and what they considered the prerequisites of a religious life, and the proper, the most fitting, observance of this day. Judaism, as they understood the term, was something more than a profession of faith or a declaration of principles. It was something more than a church or a synagogue, an elaborate ritual, an inspiring song-service or an eloquent sermon. It was life itself, the entire gamut of life, with all its play of light and shadow, comedy and tragedy, laughter and tears. Nothing was foreign to life. And so they interpreted religion in terms of human service and human brotherhood. What other interpretation than this can be given to such immortal utterances as:

 

Rend your hearts and not your garments. Cease to do evil, learn to do good. Let justice roll down as waters and righteousness as a mighty stream. Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment. Ye shall not curse the deaf nor put a stumbling block before the blind. Just weights, just measures shall ye have. Love thy neighbor as thyself.

 

What are these and countless other inspired passages, if they are not the mighty preachments of liberal-minded men, wedded to the broadest kind of universalism, world-embracing in its scope, with no geographical bounds and no racial limitations whatsoever? No narrow-minded, hide-bound sectarians these, but ambassadors of God, champions of humanity, praying and working to make life more clean and decent, to usher in an era of peace and good-will that would spell out the betterment and the happiness of the race, not Israel alone, but the whole human family.

 

And we, who are the spiritual heirs of the prophets, their religious legatees, are unalterably committed to just such an interpretation of religion. That is why, on such a night as this, the real leaders, interpreters and spokesmen of Judaism, devote their sermons to an enunciation of twentieth century problems rather than to a plea for the conservation of all the ancient rites and practices. We do not believe that just because a thing is old, it is therefore sacred and inviolate. We would not make a fetich of the dead past while ignoring the living present. We do not feel that the ancients knew all that could possibly be known about God and man. We have a profound respect for their piety and zeal, but we are unwilling to admit that the very last word, the very last chapter has been written in the story of religion. We feel that the book of revelation is not closed, that God is speaking to the heart and soul and mind of man today as He spoke to the ancients and that new times and new conditions call for new interpretations and a new vocabulary in keeping with the trend of modern thought and scientific discovery. If we could only get men, who have been alienated from religion, because of their belief that it is fossilized and static, to understand this, if we could convince them that there is just as much liberal and progressive thinking in the domain of religion as there is in that of science, I am sure that their antagonism would quickly be destroyed. For they would soon discover that we are not afraid of the truth but rather welcome the search-light of investigation and knowledge. We want to open wide the windows of our minds and let in the light so that superstition may speedily disappear and error be no more. We want no blind alleys, no darkened rooms where ignorance festers and superstition breeds. And as we do not fear the truth, so de we not fear any honest exploration in the realms of knowledge. It is only the darkness of fanaticism and bigotry of which we are afraid. Into the laboratory of the scientist, into the study of the scholar and the archaeologist, we go undaunted and unafraid, confident that the more we learn, the more we discover, the more light that is thrown on what is now obscure, the greater, the profounder our reverence for the Supreme Power that rules the universe.

 

FREEDOM THE LIFE OF TRUE RELIGION

 

Our one aim, our sole desire is to strike off the shackles from the minds of men that they might be free to think for themselves and to decide for themselves, free to believe or not to believe, free to pray or not to pray. our only regret is that the day, envisioned by the prophets and for whose speedy coming we earnestly pray, "when every man might sit under his own roof-tree and none there will be to make him afraid," has not yet been realized. In this respect our system of education has been thus far a dismal failure; in spite of all our institutions of learning the vast majority of men are still victims of inherited fanaticisms and bigotries. And the saddest thing of all is the fact that their number is not confined merely to the ignorant and uneducated, but even college graduates and university professors are guilty of blind and unreasoning hatreds. Amongst all the varieties of the human species, amongst all the millions upon millions of people in the world, the rarest specimen of all is an absolutely unprejudiced man, without any preconceived opinions, whose judgments are based solely upon the facts, whose decisions and convictions are the result of inexorable logic and whose only concern is the naked and unvarnished truth. A modern Diogenes, lantern in hand, would have as difficult a time finding such a man in Chicago or New York in 1927 as did his ancient predecessor, the Greek philosopher, when searching for an honest man in the city of Athens twenty-three hundred years ago. We like to think of justice as the artist conceived her, blindfolded, holding in her hands evenly balanced scales. That is our democratic ideal, that is the principal upon which our republican form of government is founded, equal rights to all, special privileges to none. And yet, how many of us even faintly measure up to that ideal in practice. Who of us, in this congregation tonight, can honestly and sincerely say that he is free from the slightest taint of prejudice and that he approaches every question with an open and unbiased mind? How many of us even try to put ourselves in the other man's place and see any given question from his viewpoint ? How many of us are willing to admit that he may be right and we may be wrong?

 

And it is right here, I believe, that is to be found the crying fault of the present generation, its lack of gentleness and consideration, its brutal disregard of tender sensibilities. Our age is brilliantly intellectual. We are blessed with a wealth of genius. Sometimes I fear that we have too much brain and would be infinitely better off if we had a little less and a little more heart, a little more human sympathy and understanding. The world, unfortunately, has not yet rid itself of its encumbering ostracisms and taboos, its petty class distinctions, its superficial aristocracies of birth and fortune. Even in the church, within the sacred precincts of the House of God, the last place where it ought to exist, the very first place where we ought to find a spirit of absolute equality, there still exists the absurd, the ridiculous notion of a preferred class. Think of it, friends, men and women, pious members of the church, have yet to gain a broader and more liberal outlook upon life, a finer feeling of fellowship and tolerance. Tolerance, how I hate that word, how I wish it could be completely expunged from the dictionary and the thoughts of men! How it smacks of that snobbish superiority and arrogant condescension against which this day so passionately protests. Tolerance, how contrary to the challenge of this holy night, the challenge to meet together, not as master and slave, but as equals, children of the same Father, members of the same great human family, with equal rights, equal privileges and equal duties. "Have we not all One Father, has not One God created us all?"

 

RELIGION AND HUMANITY

 

It is the challenge, friends, that finds its noblest expression in the glorious vision of One God and one Humanity. Here is an aspiration whose sublimity the flight of time has not dimmed, whose nobility all the battering rams of scientific criticism has not destroyed. For untold ages, the Jew has cherished this lofty hope. It has always uplifted and inspired him, it has been his strength and stay even in the darkest years of persecution and oppression. He read it in his Bible, he recited it in his daily prayers, he taught it in his schools and over the doorways of his House of Worship in every age and in every clime, carved the inscription, which is vocal with this same noble aspiration: "My House Shall be Called a House of Prayer for All Peoples."

 

When all has been said, this is the one outstanding, distinguishing and dynamic principle of our religion. It is the only genuine test of real religion; not its theology, not its conception of the universe, not its speculation about a vague hereafter, but its power to fire the hearts and souls of its devotees with a consuming passion for humanity that transcends all the barriers and bounds of sectarian prejudice. Has modern science with all of its inventive genius, modern philosophy with its cold and mechanistic theory of the universe as a blind and ruthless machine, formulated any thought comparably as fine and ennobling and inspiring as this? Suppose the Bible is an intensively human document, suppose it is not the best or most authoritative history or treatise on the origin of man, grant that there are many imperfections and defects in it and, yet, may we not ask without the fear of contradiction is not its vision of a world-at-peace, the rude alarms of war stilled forever, swords beaten into plowshares and spears into pruning-hooks, is not the vision of a united family of man, all hatred and tolerance banished forever, and completely under the domination of a loving and universal Father, the sublimest conception that has ever dawned upon the mind of man?

 

LOVE AND GOOD WILL TO ALL MEN

 

And is not this the most urgent need of the present hour? I am only too ready to admit that it is highly important that we have a reasonable and enlightened faith to which a thinking man can readily subscribe. It is highly important that we be ever ready to welcome the truth no matter whence the revelation, that we be hospitable to the latest findings of careful scientific research and investigation and learn as much as we possibly can about the universe in which we live. God only knows that we need light, more and more light to illumine the stygian darkness of ignorance and chase away the shadows of superstition and blind credulity. I would be the last person in the world to oppose any honest effort to get at the truth, but let us not forget that, important as it is to break asunder the shackles that enslave the mind, even more important is it to sunder the chains that shackle the heart and soul. We need something more than science and logic and philosophy to satisfy the hungry heart and the starving soul of man. Life is something more than a mere cold abstraction or mathematical theorem and there is something more urgent and pressing today than the proof of the doctrine of evolution. There is need as there never has been need for the emancipation of men from every kind of hatred and intolerance. Above every other need of the present hour is the vital need for a recognition of the inalienable, the God-given right of every human being to live his own life, think his own thoughts, obey the dictates of his own conscience, be the captain of his own soul, the master of his own destiny. Call no man great, no matter what his fame, be he even the President of these United States, who has not done everything in his power to bring this about, to put an end to all the antagonisms that set man against man, nation against nation, religion against religion and bring about an era of good-will and better understanding that will stress instead the heritage that we all hold in common. "Have we not all One Father, has not One God created us all?"

 

Under the dome of God's temple of humanity God, who is the universal Father of all, who knows no favorites and will tolerate no distinctions, with whom there are no high and no low, no proud and no humble under that dome, wide and high and all-embracing as the overarching skies, there are no reserved seats for the high and mighty and powerful of the earth, but there is room for all His children, men of every creed, color and nationality, white, black or yellow, American or European, Jew or Christian, Protestant or Catholic, Fundamentalist or Modernist, believer or unbeliever. Such is the lesson that this day teaches above every other lesson. Such, indeed, is the fact that, according to the prophet Isaiah, the Lord hath chosen to break every yoke and let the oppressed go free. Such is the ministry to which we are asked to dedicate ourselves tonight. In it there is a defense of the down-trodden, a brief for the widow and the orphan, the sorrowing and the heavy laden. Oh! that we might begin that ministry this holy eve and see in the man struggling, toiling at our side not a hated adversary but a loving brother, with the same desires, hopes and dreams that we possess oh! that tonight we might hear this evening whisper of peace and goodwill, pardon, forgiveness and reconciliation and speed the coming of the day when "men will no longer hurt nor destroy in all God's holy mountain, when the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea." Oh ! that tonight we might attune our hearts to the music of the Kol Nidre song and prayer:

 

Brothers hear the sounds which now invite

"Men," they plead, "let love God's sons unite

Let hate take flight. Love ye for God is love

Forgive like God above. Burdens sore make light,"

 

and thus make our atonement by achievement of our at-onementat-one with God, at-one with man !

 

----o----

 

BRO. JOHN T. THORP

 

We have received a copy of the Leicester Mercury of May 24, published in Leicester, England, in which is an account of a presentation made to Bro. John T. Thorp, whose name is well known to American Masonic students. The brethren of Leicester gathered to do him special honor, and the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Lt. Col. Oliver, presented him with his portrait in oils.

 

Bro. Thorp became a Mason as long ago as 1870. In 1875 he was installed as Master of John of Gaunt Lodge. In 1892 he was the first Master of the famous Leicester Lodge of Research. It is as Secretary of this lodge that he is best known in America. He has edited the lodge proceedings from the first, and has superintended the publication of reprints of a number of rare and valuable workson Masonry, including a number of those of the late Bro. Hughan.

 

In 1900 he became a full member of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, to whose transactions the well-known Ars Quatuor Coronatorum he has contributed a number of valuable papers.

 

He has won honors not only in the Craft but outside as well. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, of the Royal Society of Literature of Great Britain, of the Royal Society of Antiquities of Ireland, and of a number of similar institutions in various parts of the world.

 

Bro. Thorp is now well advanced in years and it seems well that he should receive these deserved honors while he is yet with us. We are very glad of this occasion to contribute the felicitations and good wishes of members of the Research Society to one who has done so much for Masonic scholarship.

 

----o----

 

MASONIC SATANISM

 

Seeing that we quoted the Fortnightly Review on this subject in the last issue of THE BUILDER it will be only fair to reproduce the following from the number for June 1, which shows that the original story is as incredible to intelligent Roman Catholics as it is to us. The quaint thing about the situation is that the Freemasons of France are supposed to be atheists, and yet believers in the real and miraculous effect of the valid consecration of the elements in the Eucharist. The paragraph referred to is as follows:

 

Apropos of the article on "Masonic Satanism" (F.R., XXXV, 9, 181 sq.) an eminent Catholic physician and author writes to us: "I find it very hard to bring myself to think that men would do such things unless they were distinctly disequilibrated. The mentally alienated often do things of this nature. I am inclined to think, however, that there is something wrong also about the reporter. For instance, the woman who reported when dying that she had been present at black masses by apostate priests, would have exactly the same place in my mind as the women who, during the witchcraft delusions, confessed to attendance at the witches' sabbath and direct communication with the devil, even succubation, if there is such a word, and all the rest. Such people are affected by a combination of hysteria and mental alienation. The Leo Taxil matter and the way that a lot of our otherwise sensible people fell for that delusion or counterfeiting always comes back to me in this connection."

 

----o----

 

Richmond-Randolph Lodge, No. 19

 

A Historical Sketch

 

ONE cannot help but be fascinated by the City of Richmond in that aristocratic State of Virginia. It is full of historical associations, yet charming in its modernity. It is, perhaps, a bit unfortunate that the older section of the city has become an ant hill of industry. Modern business buzzes around the curios of a century and more ago with a vitality that distracts from the quiet of meditation that one would prefer in contemplating such reminders of times long past as is the home of Richmond - Randolph Lodge, No. 19. The commission house which flanks the lodge hall upon one side, and the other equally squalid commercial enterprises which surround it upon every hand, are certainly not in keeping with the antiquity of the building and the air of an American Masonic shrine which should envelop it. The large frame building seems out of place among the more modern brick structures and its air of quiet refinement seems particularly inappropriate to its present environment. Still the fact remains that this structure is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, Masonic building in America.

 

The present writer understands that Pennsylvania claims to have possessed the first building erected solely for Masonic purposes, and in order to avoid any controversy and the necessity for searching out the facts of the case it is the intention to qualify the statement of Virginia brethren and to leave our colonial friends to settle the matter between themselves. There is at least no doubt in his mind but that the brethren of Richmond-Randolph Lodge can claim the distinction of holding their meetings in a building which has been used for strictly Masonic purposes for a longer period of time than any other.

 

The origin and history of this temple is most interesting, and doubtless readers of THE BUILDER Will Welcome an opportunity to learn something of its past existence. In order that credit may fall where it is due, let it be frankly stated that the following description is taken, by special permission, from the account compiled by Bros. M.J. DeWitt, W.A. Clarke, Jr., A.J. Clarke and C.P. Eldridge, the historical committee of the lodge.

 

The structure was built by Richmond Lodge, No. 10 (then No. 13), in 1785. During the first century, until 1878, to be precise, the building was occupied jointly by Richmond-Randolph Lodge, No. 19, and Richmond Lodge, No. 10, at which time No. 10, changed its place: of meeting to St. Alban's Hall. It is interesting to note. that No. 19 has met regularly in the hall for over one hundred and forty years. The title to the old hall was held by trustees of these two lodges, but the title to the ground on which it stood was clouded, and for a long time there was a tradition that. the land had been donated, and that it would revert to the heirs of the original owners should it no longer be used for the purposes originally intended. An investigation undertaken in order to perfect the sale of the rights of Lodge No. 10 to Lodge No. 19, in 1883, has. brought to light some interesting facts.

 

The first Grand Lodge in Virginia was assembled in Williamsburg, Va., on Tuesday, 6th of May, 1777. The first lodge in Richmond was chartered on Dec. 28, 1780. It assembled at the Raleigh Tavern, and was known as Richmond Lodge, No. 13 (now No. 10). The Grand Lodge assembled in Richmond on 14th November, 1784, in the "Lodge Room" in the city of Richmond, and Edmund Randolph appeared as the Representative of Richmond Lodge, No. 13. We can only conjecture as to the location of this lodge room, but it was probably in McGuire's school house, then next to the present site of the Mason's hall.

 

A building which would serve as a suitable lodge room, and also as a permanent location for the Grand Lodge, soon became necessary, and, accordingly, on the 12th of August, 1785, Gabriel Galt sold to "George Anderson, Alexander Nelson, Foster Webb, Jr., Alexander MeRobert, Patrick Wright, Samuel Scherer and John Grooves, a committee from Lodge No. 13, a lot of ground fronting 80 feet on the back street, opposite Mrs. Warrocks," an d engaged, "under a penalty of 9500, to convey the above ground in fee simple and make a deed for the same whenever required to do so."

 

Steps were then taken to erect a hall upon this lot. The cornerstone was laid by Most Worshipful James Mercer, Grand Master, assisted by the officers and members of Richmond Lodge, No. 13, Oct. 12, 1785.

 

RAISING MONEY BY LOTTERY

 

On Dec. 27, 1785, the Legislature passed an act authorizing "the Society of Freemasons of the City of Richmond to raise, under the direction of the Common Hall (now the Common Council) of said city, a sum of money not exceeding 11,500, by way of lottery, for the purpose of erecting and completing a Freemason's Hall in said city." The Common Hall, at a meeting held Jan. 2, 1786, appointed a committee, consisting of John Marshall, Recorder, Gabriel Galt, Foster Webb, Jr., David Lambert, and John Beckley, to form a scheme of lottery agreeably to the above act. The committee reported, Jan. 9, a scheme which was adopted, and managers were appointed. This scheme for raising money did not seem to meet with much success, and at the expiration of one year the managers reported that but few tickets had been sold.

 

NEW LOTTERY SCHEME

 

About this time the Common Hall, it appears, had abandoned the hope of raising money by the lottery scheme. There was much complaint on the part of those who had purchased tickets and the managers desired to be relieved.

 

At a meeting held April 13, 1787, it was

 

Resolved, That the Society of Freemasons be requested to nominate a committee to call upon the lottery managers to render an account and to receive the money for tickets sold; that they be required to give security in the sum of X5,000, and that they (the committee from the lodge) be appointed managers of said lottery, according to the following, which was only one third of the original scheme.

 

This scheme provided for the raising of 500 instead of 1,500, as was first proposed. It is probable that the building had not been raised above the first story at this time; that it was roofed over, and served as a lodge room and a hall for public meetings of citizens.

 

This first story is built of brick, and it was the original design to erect a building of that material, but after the abandonment of the most ambitious scheme of raising 11,500, the plan was changed; the remaining stories were constructed of wood, and the Hall, as it now stands, was fully completed Dec. 10, 1787. And now the members of the lodge were sorely perplexed as to how the money should be raised to pay the debt incurred. The lottery scheme appeared a failure.

 

The difficulty of raising money at this time is easily accounted for when we remember that, on the 9th of January, 1787, a most disastrous fire had destroyed between thirty and forty houses in Richmond, and swept away property of the value of more than 1130,000. But there were some members of the lodge who bad determined the enterprise should succeed. John Marshall came to the front to awaken enthusiasm and restore harmony. Lodge No. 13 was, in 1786, renumbered as Richmond Lodge, No. 10.

 

On the 29th of October, 1787, Richmond-Randolpn Lodge, No. 19, was chartered, with William Waddill as Master, John Dixon, Senior Warden, and David Lambert, Junior Warden. The members of the two lodges then went earnestly to work; the remainder of the tickets in the lottery were sold, and the drawing took place in the Hall June 10, 1788, when over 2400 was realized. This amount served to satisfy t h e clamors of the workmen or a time, but there was still a large sum due on the building. May 28, 1791, William Booker, the contractor, filed his bill in the County Court of Henrico, praying a sale of the building for t he payment to him of the balance of 247, 18s., 2d. This sum was, however, advanced to the lodges by Joseph Darmstadt an d the suit dismissed. The Hall was not completed and the lodges were receiving numerous accessions to their membership, and among them were many of the most influential citizens of Richmond.

 

The debt which had embarrassed them was gradually reduced and several years of prosperity followed.

 

All the business of the lodge was then transacted in a lodge on the First Degree of Masonry, and a lodge on the Fourth Degree was opened whenever it became necessary, for the purpose of raising a Master-elect to the degree of Past Master. The Steward's Committee were the almoners of the lodge, and made regular reports at every meeting.

 

The annual festivals of St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist were occasions of much interest, and the following extract from the Richmond Gazette, Jan. 4, 1788, will show how they were celebrated:

 

Thursday last (Dec. 27) being the Festival of St. John the Evangelist, the ancient and honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons of lodges in this city went in procession from their hall, with a band of music, to the church, where their Chaplain delivered a very suitable discourse, after which they returned, in the same order; and in the evening they concluded with a grand ball.

 

At this time the Masons' Hall was the most popular place in the city; with the exception of the court house (Main and 22nd streets), it was the only building east of Shockoe Creek in which public meetings could be held. The large room on the ground floor was in frequent use as a place of amusement, for public and political meetings and for religious worship. Three times a week Monsieur Capers instructed the "youth of both sexes in the most approved court dances and the latest and most popular figures and steps." Here tke citizens assembled to instruct their delegates to the convention; on the absorbing topic of the adoption or rejection of the Federal Constitution. Here grand balls were given on the Fourth of July and also

 

on the 22nd of February, the anniversary of the birth of the illustrious General George Washington, whose exertions, under the smile of heaven, have been productive of freedom, happiness and glory to a grateful people.

 

Here the Hustings Court of the city was held when the General Court was sitting in the court house, and John Marshall as recorder was having his first judicial experience; and here, on Sunday afternoon, "dissenting ministers" proclaimed the new era of religious freedom and preached the gospel of Christ.

 

In 1792 the question of title to the property was agitated. Gabriel Galt had died in 1788 without having made a deed to the property, and the original trustees, with two exceptions, had died or removed from the city. At the August, 1792, term of the County Court of Henrico, the surviving trustees filed their bill in chancery against the widow and heirs at law of Gabriel Galt, praying that they might be required specifically to perform the contract of said Galt with them, and make a deed conveying the property. The cause remained on the docket until the August, 1794, term, when a decree was rendered requiring the defendants, within thirty days, to execute a deed conveying the property to John Marshall, Joseph Darmstadt, John Moody, Alexander Yuille, Thomas Nicholson, Julius B. Dandridge, Jacob L. Cohen, Jacob Ege, John Steward, William H. Fitzwhylson, John K. Reed, John Crawford, John Dixon and Samuel McCraw in trust for the sole use and benefit of the Richmond Lodges, No. 10 and No. 19, and their legal representatives and successors forever.

 

The original deed was doubtless executed, but it is no longer in existence. At that time there was much doubt as to the proper office in which deeds to property in the city of Richmond should be recorded. Some were recorded in the County Court of Henrico, some in the Hustings Court of the city, others in District Court, and many in the office of the General Court. It is presumed from a recital in a deed to another lot on the same square, that the deed to this property was recorded in the General Court, the records of which have all been destroyed. The record in the suit above referred to is, however, sufficient to show that lodges 10 and 19 have an indefeasible title to the property.

 

This history of the old Hall and Lodge No. 19 is indeed full of interest. Patriots, warriors, statesmen and philanthropists, whose fame was not confined to one hemisphere, have been seated around its lodge altar. From the Grand Lodge, assembled within its walls, have emanated the charters of nearly all the lodges in the state. While it is true that the Grand Lodge had its birth elsewhere, yet here it was nourished to vigor and manhood, and the "Masons' Hall, on Franklin street, between 18th and 19th street, Richmond, Virginia, may justly be regarded as the cradle of Virginia Masonry.

 

Worshipful William Waddill was the first Master of No. 19 and commenced his administration with four members - three besides himself, viz.: David Lambert, John Dixon, Sr., and John V. Kautzman. David Lambert was appointed Secretary and John V. Kautzman, Tiler. The remaining subordinate officers were appointed as members were received. WorshipfuI William Waddill's administration extended over a period of two years and was very prosperous, having held one stated meeting and ten occasional meetings during the month of December, 1787, and a total of forty-nine meetings during the two years. Twelve brothers joined the lodge, twenty-two persons were regularly initiated, eleven were passed to the Degree of Fellowcraft, and ten raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason. During this period there were no deaths, no withdrawals, and only two persons recommended whose characters were not good and were consequently rejected.

 

Erection of Master's Chair in the Hall, Sept. 7, 1791. The lodge having agreed to the proposition for the erection of a Master's Chair and other accommodations in the lodge room, the Master appointed Bro. Crawford, Senior Warden, to inform No. 10 that the lodge desired concurrence in the same. Lodge No. 10 concurred, and at the next meeting of the Grand Lodge, Oct. 29, 1791, the Grand Lodge resolved to pay one-third of expenses, not exceeding fifty pounds. The chair thus erected in the lodge is now in good condition, and used regularly by the Master of No. 19, and was purchased in England. The Grand Tiler's sword, used by the Grand Tiler of the Grand Lodge at this time, was presented to No. 19 by Worshipful Bro. John Dove, and is now suspended over the same chair.

 

At this time all the business of the lodge was transacted in the First Degree.

 

Sept. 5, 1792, the lodge purchased ten tickets in the Richmond Lottery, gotten up to build a bridge over Shockoe Creek. They drew blanks.

 

On Oct. 3, 1793, the Worshipful Master of No. 19 received a letter under seal of the Grand Lodge from Right Worshipful Thomas Matthews, Grand Master, appointing Bro. William Waddill "Inspector-General of Lodges."

 

The first penitentiary house in Virginia was built in Richmond and the cornerstone laid on the 12th day of August, 1797, and of American Independence the XXII, by Richmond-Randolph Lodge, No. 19, assisted by the other lodges of the city and Manchester.

 

The following is a copy from the Lodge Records, "Oct. 6, 1824, at a stated meeting of No. 19, held this evening at Masons' Hall, a communication was received from Richmond Lodge, No. 10, through Worshipful Bro. John Dove, concerning suitable arrangements for the reception of Illustrious Worshipful Bro. Lafayette." A preamble unanimously adopted appointing a committee to confer with committees of sister lodges, and to carry into effect such measures as may be deemed by them proper for paying due respect to our illustrious brother, General Lafayette, when he shall have arrived in this city and directed the Tiler to draw upon the Treasurer for any expenses attending the illumination of Masons' Hall.

 

Reception, etc., to Worshipful General Lafayette Saturday, Oct. 30, 1824. At a called meeting of Richmond-Randolph Lodge, No. 19, held at Masons' Hall, in the city of Richmond, the lodge was opened in the First Degree of Masonry in due form. On motion of Worshipful Brother Cabell, seconded by Brother Ives' Worshipful Brother Lafayette was unanimously elected an Honorary Member of this lodge. On motion of Brother Ives, Brother George Washington Lafayette (a son of Gen. Lafayette) was unanimously elected an Honorary Member of this lodge. On motion of Brother Anderson, Brother LaVasseur was unanimously elected an Honorary Member of this lodge. The lodge was then called from labor to refreshments.

 

The lodge, after having joined in a procession, proceeded to the Union Hotel (corner Main and Nineteenth streets) to partake of a dinner provided in compliment to Brother General Lafayette. The lodge then escorted that brother to his lodgings at the "Eagle Hotel" (corner Fifteenth and Main streets) and returned to the Masons' Hall and resumed labors. Wor. Bro. R. A. Carrington was Master at this time.

 

The signatures of all the foregoing honorary members appear on the recorded by-laws of No. 19 preceding the record of this meeting and reception (and have been inspected by thousands of Masons from all parts of the world).

 

At the Nov. 3, 1824, meeting it was resolved that the Master and Wardens of No. 19 procure appropriate certificates of membership, written on parchment, and present them to the brethren recently elected honorary members.

 

W. Bro. Gen. Lafayette died on 20th of May, 1834, and this lodge held suitable memorial exercises to pay the last sad tribute of respect to our deceased brother June 23, 1834.

 

The lodge was called Thursday, July 9, 1835, to pay the last sad tribute of respect to our deceased brother, Worthy Brother John Marshal, Chief Justice and late Most Worshipful Master of the Grand Lodge of Virginia. The procession formed and moved to the county court house, where they met the body, and thence proceeded to the house of the deceased, on the corner of Ninth and Marshall streets, where a suitable discourse was delivered, thence to Shockoe burial ground, where the body was interred with the usual Masonic honors. Judge Marshall was A member of No. 10. Why No. 19 buried him is not known. There is no record that No. 10 participated.

 

We will close this historical sketch with an impressive scene in No. 19, Dec. 17, 1872.

 

At this meeting a most impressive scene was witnessed - that of initiating the grandson of our esteemed Worthy and ever useful Worshipful Grand Secretary, John Dove (Win. B. Isaacs, Jr., son of Wm. B. Isaacs, Sr., Past Master of No. 19). This occasion called forth feeling remarks to the time (1817) when No. 36 Lodge was amalgamated with Lodge No. 19, and some twenty or more members of No. 36 were nominated and elected members of No. 19, and returning their charter to the Grand Lodge of Virginia. Shortly thereafter (June 24, 1820) Bro. John Dove became Master of No. 19, continuing, he said:

 

"In 1842 the father of this candidate (Wm. B. Isaacs, Sr.) became a member of No. 19, and has continued a member to this evening." Turning to the Worshipful Master, he said: "Thus, Worshipful Sir, you see what very rarely occurs, if it ever occurred in Virginia, or elsewhere, three generations in good standing, and present members of our respected lodge, No. 19, over which a John Marshall and Edmund Randolph presided."

 

Then turning to his grandson (the candidate), Bro. Dove explained to him the importance of keeping well in mind the impressive ceremonies he had just gone through; and, concluding, he said:

 

"The infidel may scoff, the unbeliever sneer, the renegade denounce; yet will we strive to emulate her noble teachings, and bound by the ties of brotherly love and affection, continue on until the last setting sun sheds its golden rays upon the unshaken dome of Freemasonry. But the crowning commentary on this word 'brother' and the inestimable value of its relations to society is to be found in the august words of Him who spake as never man spake, when He said, 'Ye have heard it said of them of olden time, thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill, shall be in danger of the judgment; but I say unto you, whosoever is angry with his brother, without a cause, shall be in danger of the judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother Raca, shall be in danger of hell fire.' Thus, my brother, may we always appreciate our noble institution."

 

The lodge was one hundred years old Oct. 29, 1887, and celebrated its centennial Oct. 31, 1887, at 8 o'clock, Worshipful Master Judson Cunningham, Master. The lodge history was read by Wor. Charles P. Rady (now deceased), Historian of the lodge, and many stirring addresses made, some of the speakers being Grand Master Drankard, Judge B. R. Wellford, Col. Thomas J. Evans, Senator William Lovenstein and R. W. William B. Isaacs, Grand Secretary, and others. And thus could we proceed with the ancient history of the ancient lodge, No. 19, until volumes would be consumed.

 

RELICS AND PRESENTS

 

In January, 1904, Bro. W. A. Clarke, Jr., while rummaging about the hall for any relies of the past of historical value, found in the bottom of a closet three heavy brass candlesticks, or columns, each 21 inches high and of Doric, Ionic and Corinthian styles of architecture, an old Bible, and an old ballot box. The candlesticks were green with canker, and were turned over to Bro. W. A. Beard, of this lodge (now dead), who had them cleaned and polished. He gave the opinion of expert brass moulders, who had examined them, that they were very old - at least one hundred years old (opinion given 1904), as they were probably made before the art of core-making was discovered, being cast in two lengthwise sections and brazed. The lodge ordered them to be mounted on suitable pedestals and to be used as the burning tapers about the altar. They are fine specimens of brass work and have been much admired by the brethren. What they were used for in the past is not known, but they now serve a very appropriate purpose.

 

The old wooden columns or candlesticks of Doric, Ionic and Corinthian styles of architecture, originally used about the altar, are kept in the cloak room of the lodge, though not now used. They are probably as old as the building, and from the best information obtainable were in use until 1838, when the "appropriate chandelier" over the altar, given to the lodge by St. James Episcopal Church, replaced them.

 

The old Bible is in a fairly good state of preservation. The fly-leaf contains the following inscription in ink: "Richmond-Randolph Lodge, No. 19, August, A. L., 5795" (or 1795). This Bible was printed in "Cambridge, England, 1773, by John Archdeacon, printer to the University," and no doubt adorned the altar of old 19 for a long time in its early years.

 

The ballot box is rather a small one, and appears to be very old. On its sides is painted: "Richmond Lodge, No. 10, and Richmond-Randolph Lodge, No. 19." It contained a quantity of white and black peas, which were probably used for ballots.

 

The large and handsome triangular shaped brass chandelier now suspended over the altar was presented to No. 19 on May 2, 1838, by the Vestry of St. James Episcopal Church, in appreciation of the "very handsome and spirited manner in which Lodge No. 19 complied with their request to lay the cornerstone of the new church."

 

NORTHERN CAVALRYMAN'S SABRE

 

On Tuesday, Dec. 20, 1898, a motion was unanimously adopted instructing the trustees to place on deposit with the Valentine Museum, corner 12th and Clay streets, this city (in trust for the lodge), the old blue crockery which was in use in the dining room of Masons' Hall for over one hundred years. The set consists of six large dishes, three cups, two saucers and fourteen small plates, all that remains of the original set. They are very old and beautiful specimens of blue China. There are three different patterns or designs in the set, the most beautiful being the willow.

 

At one of the meetings of the lodge held after the evacuation of Richmond, at the close of the Civil War, and while the city was under military control, a number of Northern soldiers who were Masons visited the lodge. One of them wore his sabre at his side. Before entering the lodge he divested himself of his sabre and hung it on a hook in the cloak-room. After the lodge closed he went away and forgot his sabre, and it is still in the hall, a reminder of those dark days of civil strife. Neither the sabre or belt contains a name or anything to indicate its ownership.

 

When the city was under military control some of the older members of the lodge, fearing that some harm might be done the old Hall by disorderly soldiers, waited upon the commandment of troops and asked for its protection. That officer (Gen. Godfrey Weitzel, a Mason) was pleased to grant their request, and a guard was placed at the Hall whenever the sentinels were posted, and no harm was done it. Mr. John W. Fergusson, an old citizen of Richmond (now deceased) informed the writer that he well remembers seeing the sentinels around Masons' Hall in those days.

 

On Jan. 17, 1888, Bro. C. W. Ragland, through the Worshipful Master, Judson Cunningham, presented the lodge with a handsome set of Wardens' columns, which were received on behalf of the lodge by Worshipful C. P. Rady.

 

On Tuesday, June 18, 1889, Bro. J. M. Newell, through Wor. Bro. C. P. Brady, presented the lodge with a very handsome set of Deacon's rods, made of walnut and jointed with silver bands, inscribed: "Presented to Richmond-Randolph Lodge, No. 19, by J. M. Newell, 1889." Worshipful Judson Cunningham accepted the rods in behalf of the lodge. On the same evening Bro. A. B. Crowell presented the lodge, through Worshipful Judson Cunningham, three gavels made of wood from the Libby Prison.

 

The Mason & Hamlin organ in the lodge room was given the lodge some years ago by Bro. E. H. Fergusson.

 

During the administration of Worshipful Judson Cunningham, Bro. (now Worshipful) Ed. E. Richardson presented the lodge with a large steel knocker, made by himself, for the lodge room door. It consists of the square, compass and letter G, and the knocker is a metal gavel.

 

Among the pictures in the lodge room is a photograph of His Excellency Most Worshipful Edmund Randolph, after whom the lodge is named; a photograph of Bro. William J. Riddick, for eighteen years Secretary of No. 19; a photograph of the gavel used by Worshipful Brother George Washington in laying the cornerstone of the Capitol of the United States at Washington, and subsequently used in laying cornerstones of many important buildings in this country, and a picture of the Hon. Mrs. Aldworth, the only woman ever made a Mason.

 

Bro. P. M. Slaughter presented the lodge with a pretty Masonic emblem, composed of beautiful minerals and metals from the Rocky Mountains, all enclosed in a neat frame.

 

A history of the old Hall would be incomplete without a reference to the faithful old negro janitor, Joshua Henley, or Uncle Josh, as he is familiarly known. He was over eighty years old when he died, and a genuine old-time Virginia darkey, a type of whom, unfortunately, so few remain. He became janitor in 1867 and remained until February, 1904, when he was relieved by the trustees of active duties, given a pension by the lodge, and a home secured for him, in appreciation of the thirty-seven years of faithful service he rendered in taking such good care of the property entrusted to him. Although not required to do so, he came to the Hall every meeting night as long as he lived. Upon giving up his charge, he turned over to the trustees eight massive iron keys of ancient design, which he said were given him when he took charge of the building. Most of the big locks which they fitted have been removed and modern locks with small keys substituted. The old keys will be preserved as relies of the past.

 

An eventful evening was held Monday, Feb. 8, 1909, when Worshipful Leonard G. Roberts, Master of St. John's Lodge, Boston, Mass. (chartered July 30, 1733), the oldest lodge in America, visited No. 19, to pay a fraternal visit from the oldest lodge to this, the oldest Masonic building in America. He was accompanied by Grand Master Joseph W. Eggleston and other Virginia Grand Lodge officers. The officers of No. 19 were all clad in colonial costumes. The address of Bro. Roberts was most masterly. No. 19 presented St. John's Lodge a framed picture of the Hall and a set of working tools made of wood taken from the building. The fraternal relations thus established between these two lodges were further cemented when, on Oct. 30, 1922, R. Wor. Harry N. Shepherd, Past Master of St. John's Lodge, visited No. 19 and presented it with a large and handsome silver facsimile of the seal of St. John's Lodge, on the reverse side of which is inscribed: "Presented to Richmond-Randolph Lodge, No. 19, A. F. & A. M., Richmond, Virginia, at its 135th anniversary, Oct. 30, 1922, by St. John's Lodge, Boston, Mass."

 

All of the records of the lodge, from its institution to the present time, have been preserved and are safely kept in a fireproof vault. From them and from other sources a much better history can be written, which we will leave for a more competent historian to write.

 

----o----

 

EDITORIAL

 

R.J. MEEKREN, Editor in Charge

E.E. Thiemeyer, Research Editor

 

BOARD OF EDITORS

 

LOUIS BLOCK, Iowa

ROBERT I. CLEGG, Illinois

GILBERT W. DAYNES, England

RAY V. DENSLOW, Missouri

GEORGE H. DERN, Utah

N.W.J. HAYDON, Canada

R.V. HARRIS, Canada

C. C. HUNT, Iowa

CHARLES F. IRWIN, Pennsylvania

A. L. KRESS, Pennsylvania

F. H. LITTLEFIELD, Missouri

JOSEPH E. MORCOMBE, California

ARTHUR C. PARKER, New York

J. HUGO TATSCH, Iowa

JESSE M. WHITED, California

DAVID E. W WILLIAMSON Nevada

 

ITALIAN FREEMASONS

 

A CORRESPONDENT, an American Mason of Italian descent, wishes to know why American Masonry has not given any sympathy to the trials and persecutions to which Italian Masons have been subjected in their own country. We presume that an official expression is what is intended, for there have been many sympathetic reports of what has happened in the American Masonic press generally.

 

The situation from the official point of view undoubtedly presents difficulties. In the first place a majority of our Grand Lodges did not "recognize" either of the two Italian governing bodies, the Grand Orient and the Grand Lodge. There have thus been many good brethren who have taken it for granted that Italian Masonry was a political and irreligious organization and was only meeting its more or less just deserts. This general prejudice, based though it is on ignorance of actual conditions, has had its effect.

 

Recently there has been a kind of treaty arranged between Mussolini and the United Grand Lodge of England, in which the Italian dictator acknowledges a difference between the Masonry of England and that of Italy. As this has been reported in the Masonic press it would, at first glance, appear to be an impertinence on Mussolini's part and a little undignified on the part of the United Grand Lodge. It has been the occasion of some complacent self-congratulation that English speaking Masons are not as their brethren of other nationalities, but of far superior clay. Really this is not at all a just or exact estimate of what was done. The Italian laws and edicts made no exceptions, it was a crime for any citizen of Italy to be a Mason, a crime to be avenged on his relatives if he were out of reach. The Grand Lodge of England was only doing its duty in seeking to gain an exemption from the strict application of these laws to those Italians who were resident in England and were members of English lodges. Mussolini, to save his face in agreeing to such exemption, had to differentiate between the two brands of Masonry. Thus he was enabled with some superficial show of reason and consistency, to hold Italian Masonry guilty of all the crimes and treasons of which it has been accused, while making the exceptions in favor of English Masons of Italian allegiance. No one however is likely to believe that this exception was made from any real conviction of a difference. It was a matter of political and diplomatic expediency solely. In the eyes of autocrats all Freemasonry is equally pernicious. Its very virtues only make it more dangerous to despotism. Like the early Christians in the Roman Empire, it is not what Freemasons do, but what they are, that the reactionary forces are afraid of. In countries possessing free institutions this is most difficult to realize.

 

Thus to some extent, official action of the kind desiderated by our correspondent has been inhibited by prejudice and misinformation as to the facts. But there has been another, and much more fraternal motive as well. One that has definitely operated in the case of those more enlightened Grand Lodges that knew the real character of, and had recognized, Italian Masonry. This was the well-grounded fear that such action could do no good, and was practically certain to do great harm. Grand Master Torrigiani himself begged his friends in other countries to take no such action; and his fears were justified, for the protests that were made by various European Grand Bodies only added fuel to the fire of persecution. However such abstention from official expression of opinion need not be interpreted as lack of sympathy. Nor does there seem to be any logical necessity to construe it into a prohibition of any mention of the subject, or presentation of the facts, either in Masonic lodges or other assemblies of Masons.

 

* * *

 

THE SCOPE OF RESEARCH

 

IN the May number we expressed ourselves editorially upon the question of the scope of a Masonic journal, what subjects may be considered proper to discuss in its pages, and what improper. And as such questions can hardly be answered without some guiding principle we attempted a preliminary analysis for the purpose of trying to discover something of the sort. So far as we are aware it is a point that has hardly ever been explicitly raised and certainly has never been fully discussed.

 

Since then we have had some interesting letters from several members of the Society, who seem on the whole inclined to disagree with the position taken, though on the other hand there is not much more agreement between their several points of view. One brother, for example, comes directly to cases. He grants a wide liberty in the choice of subjects to Masonic periodicals generally, but would restrict it in the case of a research organ such as THE BUILDER. Rather unfortunately he did not give his reasons for this judgment. We are inclined to believe that he is not alone in this view, however, and it may be well to consider this aspect of the general problem more closely, for there seem to be certain misapprehensions that obscure the judgment. Such an opinion must rest, it would seem, upon a conception of what Masonic Research is, and we suppose that this conception must be a narrow one. There is some cause for this, if not any very good reason. Masonic Research began and has developed almost entirely upon the purely historical side. This is due, however, to purely extraneous conditions, for "research" is not merely a synonym for historical investigation. The history of the institution had become so swathed in and distorted by myth and legend, that this was naturally the place where those brethren who desired to know the truth began their labors of clearing away the rubbish and laying foundations for a new and more stable structure. Thus, for the mere reason that the great majority of really sound Masonic students have dealt with historical aspects of the Craft, it has been quite natural for everyone to think that Masonic research had to do only with Masonic history.

 

But, surely, it only needs to state this in so many words for everyone to see that it is a wholly arbitrary and needless limitation. After all, any subject whatever that has a connection with Freemasonry (and there are few major subjects that do not touch it somewhere) is a proper subject for investigation by critical and scientific methods. There are mistakes and errors to be corrected, principles to be established, new connecting links to be noted, and everywhere differing opinions to be noted and discussed. Here again, as we said previously, it resolves itself into a question of treatment rather than any arbitrary delimitation of subject. Not even "news," which in general is out of place in such a magazine as THE BUILDER, can be wholly excluded. There are many things that are "news" at the time they occur, that should be recorded for their historical value, as well as, often enough, as illustrating the various tendencies and "movements" that are always affecting every living organization in a changing world.

 

So we are told that nothing bearing at all on practical matters; nothing dealing with the problems of the moment, should ever be a subject of research, nor discussed in the pages of THE BUILDER. The doctrine seems rather strange. While we are far from holding that intellectual curiosity should be set to labor in fetters solely for the sake of practical activity, nevertheless it is a happy coincidence in the nature of things that any item of knowledge may turn out to be of the most practical value, and it is certain that the average intelligent man (either in or out of the Craft) will support research of any kind chiefly for the sake of its practical value. It is for the reason that Masonic study has been so abstract that the majority of Masons have neglected it and passed it by.

 

The advocacy of any special cause or movement is, from this restricted view of which we speak, very improper in a research periodical. Our support of the Tuberculosis Campaign has been criticised on these grounds. We have defended this before on the grounds that we are Masons first and Masonic students second, and that certain duties and obligations rest upon all Masons alike. This defense we hold to be quite sufficient. But it can further be insisted that there is a real place for research in such questions as this. There is information to be collected, verified and disseminated for one thing, and the best methods to solve the problems presented can only be decided after full discussion. We might here paraphrase the well-known passage from Milton and say that we do not love a "cloistered knowledge" that avoids the arena of practical affairs, and its "dust and heat." The facts concerning any need for Masonic benevolence cannot be barred from the purview of Masonic research, nor the investigation of ways and means of exercising it. It is only on arbitrary limitation that this appears even plausible. Research cannot be divorced from action. Ultimately, even if only at times indirectly, all knowledge acquired has a bearing on what we do and how we do it.

 

* * *

 

TOLERATION

 

EVERY word that is not limited to the simplest and most definite signification is capable of being used with different shades of meaning and thus of collecting very different associations in the minds of individuals. It is in this way that words change their significance, and either ascend the scale or become "degraded," as philologists say. The word charity, one of the noblest in origin in our language, is an example of a word on the downward path. Taken by the translators of the English version of the Bible to represent the Greek word for love, in its purest and highest meanings, it has come to be too often used for cold and heartless almsgiving. Toleration is another word that is frequently misused in the same way. In both cases the tendency to degradation in meaning is due, it would seem, to the employment of the words to designate actions or attitudes unworthy of the name. Virtues are always being imitated in outward show for selfish ends, and words are always a convenient cloak.

 

Through its misuse toleration is coming to mean to many Masons an unworthy laxity and indifference of opinion. Less generally, it is taken as designating an arrogant and snobbish condescension. This tendency should be checked if possible for there are other words to use for these purposes and we need the word toleration in its proper sense, just as we need the word charity. The language would be definitely the poorer if they were lost.

 

Toleration of other people's beliefs and opinions, does not imply a self-sufficient indifference to them nor yet a lack of any belief or principles of our own. Toleration properly speaking can exist only between equals. We do not tolerate the naive ideas of children nor yet the ignorance of the illiterate. Tolerance is really the same thing in the realm of opinion and belief that probity and honesty are in material things. It is a recognition on its own plane that other people have a right to their own opinions just as they have a right to their goods and chattels, and the wealth they have lawfully acquired.

 

The analogy is illuminating. No community or aggregate of human beings is perfectly logical and systematic. Its customs, conventions, laws and regulations are the result of an evolution determined by practical considerations. By compromises and adaptations to meet new situations with the least possible alteration and disturbance of existing habits and customs a modus vivendi is arrived at. A state of affairs that, difficult as it may be to realize, is always to some extent fluid and unfixed. We find, therefore, that the individual is not free to possess any and every kind of material objects without restriction, and still less entirely free to make, transport or buy and sell them. Poisons, narcotics, explosives and the like will occur at once as being in this category. In exactly the same way, no community, civilized or savage, is absolutely tolerant in regard to ideas and opinions. The intolerance may be in any given case a mistaken policy, but its motive is sound enough. A social unit instinctively condemns ideas that have, or seem to have, a tendency to disrupt it.

 

We no longer burn people at the stake for heresy, and we are apt to plume ourselves on the fact. But it is far from assured that we have really made much advance, except perhaps in humanizing the penalties provided by our laws. Heresy once meant the disruption of the social organism. To understand the situation we should substitute political for religious doctrine. Communists to us are what the Albigenses or Lollards were to Mediaeval states.

 

Toleration is thus an ideal, like liberty, but it is an ideal that could only be realized in an ideal state. Toleration is indeed only the formal expression of liberty in the realm of opinion and belief. It remains always to some extent a compromise, and the limitations to freedom of thought, like those to freedom of action are purely practical, and should not be greater than are necessary to prevent interference with the rights of others or the well being of society. We are slowly learning that repressions and inhibitions are worse in their effects than the diseases they are employed to cure, both in the body politic and the individual mind. Tolerance, in this sense, is an essential characteristic of Freemasonry. Not fully or logically worked out perhaps, but generally in advance of the community at large. And in Masonry, toleration is felt to be the result of knowledge and understanding of the position and point of view of those with whom we disagree.

 

----o----

 

THE SQUARE

 

Communicated by Bro. Chas, H. Merz, Ohio

 

I have read with interest the communication by T.H.P., of Illinois, in the May number of THE BUILDER. It calls to mind the following item which appeared in a recent issue of the Sandusky Masonic Bulletin, which was apropos of the following statement quoted from another periodical:

 

"It (the Gallows Square) is the ordinary carpenter's square, one leg 18 inches long and the other 12, which makes it look like a gallows if stood on end, the short leg ready to swing the culprit. One sees it occasionally in old Masonic illustrations. But the real Masonic square is a little try-square, the legs of which are equal."

 

In comment upon this the Bulletin said:

 

There are some things in this connection which the writer of the above paragraph has not taken into consideration. There is a form of square proper to be used as a "Great Light" in each degree in Masonry, and there is a manner of placing the proper symbolic geometric figure in each degree. Masonry I founded on geometry. The compasses and square are called second and third Great Lights. It has been asserted that square of equal limbs has no place in Masonry, and that the square of unequal limbs is not a Masonic implement. What wonder that there is confusion on this point.

 

The square of equal limbs (equilateral triangle) is the representative, in geometry, of the Divine in its essence or being; the right-angled triangle (the square) represents the Divine existence, operation, or works. Each has its own proper and peculiar place in the degrees. The reasons may not be given here.

 

Again, the Operative Mason's Square is the true square of Freemasonry, and it is met with more frequently in early symbolism than the so-called Speculative Square.

 

It is sufficient to say here that the square mentioned in the above quotation as the gallows square pertains more particularly to the E. A. and F. C. Degrees. It is not proper to explain its particular use and positions in these degrees, but they may be readily learned by every Mason with a little study and reflection. Reference to the accompanying illustration will help make this clear.

 

The square of equal limbs finds its application particularly in the second section of the Master's Degree. The rightangled triangle is the prime symbol throughout the "work" in all the degrees, and equilateral in the finality. The Masonic student who is desirous of informing himself upon this subject more fully, will find much to interest him in Bromwell's Masonic Geometry and Symbolry Restored.

 

[It is curious how mistakes concerning easily ascertainable matters of fact are copied by one writer from another with never a thought of verification. By the "carpenter's square" in the quotation given above is presumably meant the steel square so widely used in this country. Its dimensions are, however, the blade twenty-four inches long and two inches wide, the "tongue" or shorter arm, sixteen inches long and one and a half inches wide. Many masons use this same kind of square, though there is one expressly made for stone cutters which differs chiefly in the size, the tongue being two feet long and the blade two feet and a half-thirty inches. It is not graduated so finely, showing only eighths of an inch instead of sixteenths. But it must be remembered, and insisted upon, that this type of square is a modern American invention. No argument can be based upon it regarding the "proper" or original form of, mason's square. Ed.]

 

----o----

 

THE STUDY CLUB

 

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

 

Lodge Quatuor Coronati, No. 2076

 

EVERY reading Mason, no matter how superficial his interest in Masonic Research, has at some time met with the letters A.Q.C. Reference to the list of abbreviations used in the text will tell him that these letters stand for Ars Quatuor Coronatorum. Less frequently he encounters the letters Q.C.A. In like manner he learns that these mean Quatuor Coronatorum Antigrapha. To many neither of these inscriptions mean very much, but the Masonic student recognizes therein the sign of Lodge Quatuor Coronati, and the implied meanings are many. The American Mason generally knows little or nothing about this famous research body. Only too frequently he is unable even to pronounce the name. It is because everyone in the least interested in Masonic Research should know something about this lodge that we are devoting this month's Study Club page to it.

 

For nearly half a century No. 2076 has been functioning as a Research Lodge. The oldest body of its kind in the world, it set for itself at the very beginning the highest of Scholastic standards. It has maintained those standards through all the years of its existence. In spite of the fact that other lodges have Since been chartered with similar purposes, Quatuor Coronati still stands upon the pinnacle, and the aim of every research writer is to see his name included among the list of contributors to the Transactions of this lodge, which have for their title, Ars Quatuor Coronatorum. Such an inclusion immediately places an author in the forefront among Masonic scholars.

 

The Transactions of the Lodge are published three times each year. The three parts, together with the title page, St. John's Card and Index which accompany Part III of each year's publication, constitute one volume. Included in the Transactions are accounts of every meeting of the lodge, the paper read at each meeting, what was said in the discussion of the paper, and occasionally other treatises which have not been read, but which are deemed worthy of inclusion in this publication.

 

Before leaving the subject of the publications of the lodge, let us briefly touch upon the history, aims and membership of the group itself. Chartered in 1884 as the pioneer Research Lodge in the world, it had for its first Master, Sir Charles Warren, whose name is so well known in connection with archaeological work in Palestine, and equally noted for his brilliant record in the military forces of England. Associated with him was George William Speth, whose work on Builders' Rites is still eagerly sought, though rarely obtained, by Masonic students. Bro. Speth became the first editor of A.Q.C., and the Lodge Transactions owe much of their present form to his untiring effort in this field. Bro. Speth was succeeded in this position by Bro. W. H. Rylands, an indefatigable worker and frequent contributor to the publication, as well as editor of Volume I of the Records of Antiquity Lodge, No. 2. This work has long been unobtainable and just recently has been reprinted under the editorship of Capt. Firebrace, who scarcely a year ago had published the second volume of the lodge history. Bro. Rylands was followed by Bro. W. J. Songhurst, the present Secretary of the lodge and editor of its publications.

 

Membership in the Inner Circle, or rather the active membership of the lodge, has always been limited to forty by the bylaws. The high literary and Scholastic standing of the founders has insured the maintenance and the qualifications originally set. It has never happened, in the forty-four years of the lodge's existence, that the membership roll was filled. Among the many well-known names to be found upon it are those of William James Hughan, who first published a critical collection of the old MS. Constitutions, Robert Freke Gould, the famous Masonic historian, and Count Goblet d'Alviella, statesman and scholar, author of the much sought after work, The Migration of Symbols. Without special reference to their accomplishments may also be mentioned, Dr. Chetwode Crawley, W. Wonnacott (both unfortunately deceased), John T. Thorp, Arthur Heiron, E. H. Dring, Lionel Vibert, J. Heron Lepper and Gilbert W. Daynes, the names of whom are all more or less familiar to American Masonic students. Is there any reason for wonder that Quatuor Coronati Lodge still ranks first among bodies devoted to Masonic Research?

 

The purposes of the lodge are set forth as follows:

 

1. To provide a center and bond of union for Masonic students.

 

2. To attract intelligent Masons to its meetings, in order to imbue them with a love for Masonic research.

 

3. To submit the discoveries or conclusions of students to the judgment and criticism of their fellows by means of papers read in lodge.

 

4. To submit these communications and the discussions arising thereon to the general body of the Craft by publishing, at proper intervals, the Transactions of the Lodge in their entirety.

 

5. To tabulate concisely, in the printed Transactions of the Lodge, the progress of the Craft throughout the world.

 

6. To make the English-speaking Craft acquainted with the progress of Masonic study abroad, by translations (in whole or part) of foreign works.

 

7. To reprint scarce and valuable works on Freemasonry, and to publish manuscripts, etc.

 

8. To form a Masonic Library and Museum.

 

9. To acquire permanent London premises, and open a readingroom for the members.

 

There is no need to comment upon the methods followed for accomplishing these aims except to say that the lodge owns its own domicile at 27 Great Queen street, and there maintains a library, museum and reading-room. The seventh clause has been in part fulfilled by the publication of ten volumes of Reprints, the Q.C.A. earlier mentioned. The first six objects are fulfilled by the publication of the Transactions and the establishment of a Correspondence Circle in conjunction with the Active Membership.

 

It may be said now that a complete set of A.Q.C. of which thirty-eight complete volumes have been published, is very difficult to obtain and, unfortunately, those sets which are in existence are not always available to students of Freemasonry. There is doubtless, no more complete and no more accurate source of information relative to Masonic history available than A.Q.C. Practically every theory of the origin of the Institution is discussed therein; almost every outstanding character in the early history of the Grand Lodge is represented by a biographical sketch; the ritual is traced from its earliest beginnings; in fact A.Q.C. occupies much the same position in the world of Masonic knowledge as the Encyclopedia Britannica occupies in general knowledge.

 

Membership in the Correspondence Circle is open to Master Masons owing allegiance to any Grand Jurisdiction in official communication with the United Grand Lodge of England. Such 3 members enjoy all of the privileges of active members except voting and holding office. There are some 3600 members of this group at present. It is the desire of the lodge to increase the membership to approximately four thousand. During the past fifteen years Quatuor Coronati Lodge has been laboring under severe handicaps. Due to the war and the rapid increase in the price of everything connected with printing, they have been unable to publish all of their Transactions. At the present time this deficiency has been reduced to approximately two years. We are informed that there is much valuable material ready which should be made available to the Masonic student through the medium of Q.C.A. This will be done as soon as funds are available.

 

Two methods of accomplishing these purposes are suggested. The members of the Correspondence Circle have been asked to assist in increasing membership in this group, and a publication fund has been established. THE BUILDER welcomes the opportunity to be of service to Quatuor Coronati Lodge and is sure that there are many American Masons who will be more than willing to cooperate in this movement to promulgate Masonic knowledge. We are not positive, but we believe that every member of our editorial Staff is a member of the Correspondence Circle. For the information of the members of the Society, the joining fee is twenty-one shillings, approximately $5, included in this fee is the first year's dues and the complete current volume of the Transactions. The annual dues are 10s. 6d, about $2.50. In addition to new memberships subscriptions in any amount are solicited for the publication of additional volumes of Q.C.A. It is our understanding that with 500 additional members and a publication fund of approximately $8,000 the lodge will have ample money to bring its work up to date. With 4,000 Correspondence Circle members it will be possible to carry on as before the war, without increasing the fees, which are today the same as they were forty-four years ago. It may be well to state that none of the funds solicited are for the purpose of paying debts. The lodge is free of all but current obligations. The additional funds are to be used entirely for publication purposes.

 

Subscriptions to the Publication Fund and applications for membership in the Correspondence Circle should be by postal money order made payable to W. J. Songhurst, Sec'y, 27 Great Queen St., London, W. C. 2, England. We shall be very glad to recommend any member of the N.M.R.S. for this purpose. Lodges and Study Clubs and Libraries are eligible for membership as well as individual brethren. We shall be glad to furnish any additional information required to those interested.

 

----o----

 

THE LIBRARY

 

The books reviewed in these pages can be procured through the Book Department of the N.M.R.S. at the prices given, which always include postage. These prices are subject (as a matter of precaution) to change without notice; though occasion for this will very seldom arise. Occasionally it may happen, where books are privately printed, that there is no supply available, but some indication of this will be given in the review. The Book Department is equipped to procure any books in print on any subject, and will make inquiries for second-hand works and books out of print.

 

THE LEGISLATION OF THE CRAFT. By Lionel Vibert, P.D.S.G.W. Madras, etc. Inaugural Address delivered at Bristol on Sept. 29, 1927, as President of the Bristol Masonic Society. Paper, 15 pages. Privately printed.

 

TWO PAPERS read at the 150th Anniversary of the Founding of the York Lodge, No. 236. York and the Craft through the Centuries. By' W. Bro. Lionel Vibert. Also, The Founding and Early Years of the Union Lodge, No. 504, by W. Bro. W. R. Makins. Paper, 39 pages, privately printed at York on the presses of W. Bros. C. B. and G. V. Johnson.

 

BRO. VIBERT, who as is well known to readers of THE BUILDER is an authority on the early history of the Craft, has touched on a subject, in the first of the two pamphlets under review, that has not received anything like the attention its importance deserves. The paper is a very brief one, and within its narrow compass it was naturally impossible to do much more than mention a number of points that one could wish to see fully developed. Bro. Vibert divides the consideration of Masonic Legislation, or Jurisprudence, into three periods. One before the gilds and fraternities had been made the subject of civil enactments. The second, that during which Masonic regulations were modified under the pressure of the requirements of the state, the third being the era of Grand Lodge Constitutions. The first period lasted to the reign of Henry VI, Bro. Vibert holds which will not mean much to most American readers. Perhaps if we substituted the name of Joan of Are it might be better appreciated.

 

The Black Death or, as it is now called, bubonic plague, so reduced the population of England in the years 1347-1350 that the economic balance of the, social organism was totally upset. The ruling classes tried hard to keep wages and prices at the old level, but in spite of laws and penalties the lack of supply to meet the demand had its effect. The first Statute of Laborers was passed in 1351, re-enacting an Ordinance of two years earlier. From that time on such laws were repeatedly re-enacted, with apparently but small effect, as the preambles of each successive act confesses. At first they confined their provisions to agricultural laborers and servants; but very soon artificers were included as well, among them Freemasons.

 

The Masonic code of the earliest period is represented only by the Regius Poem and the Cooke MS. The law is divided into three parts, Charges, Manners and what Bro. Vibert calls "the Rule." 'This term appears to be taken from the passage in the Cooke MS., that "kynge adhelstone," and his council, for the great default found among Masons, "ordeyned a certayne reule" among them, that once a year or once in three years, "congreciones" should be held in different provinces and "countries."

 

The Charges in these two earliest documents are chiefly concerned with the relations of Masons to the public and their employers. The "points" of the "Manners," or as the Regius MS. calls them Plures Constituciones, deal almost entirely with the behavior, morals, of the individual Mason and his relations with his fellows.

 

Bro. Vibert says the Charges and Manners are fairly clear, but

 

… whether owing to faulty transcription or to a faulty MS. that the Scribe was working on, the Rule has come down to us in a very confused manner.

 

This is quite possible, yet it seems fairly plain that the two accounts provide for periodical assemblies, called congregations, in different centers, of all the Masons working or domiciled within the surrounding district, up a radius of sixty miles according to some later versions. And that such "congregations” had power to legislate, if there were need, for the whole Craft within the district, but their particular function was that of a, court to decide disputes, punish offenders, and to "pass masters," if a modern phrase is permissible, examining the candidates', (whether apprentices who had served their time, or others is not, said) and giving them their charge.

 

Bro. Vibert holds that such assemblies were regularly held up till the period of the various Statutes of Laborers. In the third year of Henry VI an act was passed specifically forbidding the "yearly congregations" and "general assemblies" of the Masons. This was in 1425, but in 1460 a statute was enacted that prohibited "all alliances and covins of masons and carpenters" and "the congregations, chapters, ordinances and caths betwixt them made." Bro. Vibert thinks the law of Henry VI was effective and that the assemblies were no longer held. He bases this belief upon the fact that the later versions of the Constitutions divide the laws of the Craft into two parts instead of three. The "Rule" disappears, and the articles and points of the two earliest documents become "Charges General and Special"; as he says:

 

. . . it is significant that there are now no instructions as to the Assembly beyond the bare recital that the Mason is bound to attend it and there to stand to the award of his fellows.

 

An additional confirmation is instanced in the complaint of the Masons at Norwich in 1491 that "since they are forbidden to convene their meetings they are unable to appoint masters and frame or enforce regulations."

 

There is no doubt that the question is a very obscure one. The Statutes undoubtedly had effect - at times and in places. It is hard to say that they were effective equally everywhere, and we know they were not effective all the time. The fact that all the later documents continue to insist on the absolute duty of masters and fellows to attend the Congregation or Assembly may be significant of their continued existence here and there sufficiently at least to keep the tradition alive. The point is not one of mere antiquarian curiosity, for if such general assemblies did persist in some form or other, then the Grand Lodge of 1716-1717 was not the complete, innovation it is now generally considered to be by students of Masonic history.

 

The first of the two papers in the second pamphlet is a sketch of the history of Masonry in York. The first part deals with the early legends that ascribe the organization of the Craft in England to the Assembly held there under the Athelstan or Edwin. There is much information concerning the customs and regulation of working Masons during the Middle Ages, to be derived from the documents in the archives of York Minister. Much of this is quite well known, but it is possible that valuable information still awaits discovery by diligent research workers.

 

The records of the old lodge at York begin in 1712. The usual interpretation of the facts concerning it, which Bro. Vibert takes for granted, is that an old lodge had existed there for an indefinite period - perhaps a very long one, perhaps not - and that moved by the reorganization of the Fraternity in London by four old lodges there, it decided to form itself into a Grand Lodge. Our strict legalists of the older school have always been inclined to hold this a highly irregular proceeding upon the grounds that a Grand Lodge must be formed out of several - three at least private or particular lodges. That the York body borrowed the term "Grand Lodge" is practically certain, but that in doing so it changed its character or claimed new powers is not at all certain. We are peculiarly liable to interpret the scanty vestiges of the past in the light of our present organization, and to suppose that the terms we use meant the same thing then that they do now. The York records can quite consistently be interpreted in another way altogether. The St. John's Day meetings of Masons in York may have been regarded as an Assembly, in the meaning of the Old Charges, at which every Mason within reach was supposed to appear - even if in 1712 this might have been more in theory than practice. If so, the use of the new and more magniloquent term "Grand Lodge" instead of "General Assembly" may have been effectually concealing the fact that the ancient traditional organization persisted at York till well within the "Grand Lodge Era."

 

Bro. Vibert concludes with a discussion of the origin and original meaning of the term "York work." There has been much confusion about the term, and its origin has been ascribed to downright dishonesty on the part of Laurence Dermott. But we must agree with Bro. Vibert that Dermott meant, not Masonry as practiced at York in his own day, but the original Masonry of the traditional York Assembly, which the Ancients claimed to have maintained in its purity as against the innovations and improvements of the Moderns.

 

The second of the two papers is a sketch of the history of York Lodge, No. 236, originally Union Lodge, No. 504, the 150th anniversary of which was the occasion of both addresses. Bro. Makins is a Past Master of the Lodge and an authority on the history and antiquities of the Craft in the North of England. He has been for some years now Assistant Librarian to Grand Lodge.

 

When the York Lodge was founded the old Lodge of York was still in existence, and there was also a military lodge warranted by the Ancients at work in the city.

 

It is rather curious to note that even in a new lodge authorized by the Moderns in 1774 that Provincial affairs were mixed up with the private business. It thus happens that in the minutes of the Apollo Lodge under date of 1777 is recorded the petition of several brethren to receive authority to form themselves into a lodge - the lodge in fact that became Union Lodge and has continued its existence to the present day. It would seem that in York it was hard for Masons in the 18th century to distinguish clearly between a private lodge and a general governing body such as we call a Grand Lodge. It may be that there is much yet to be learned from the Masonic records of the North of England if we could only find the right key to unlock the secret of their meaning. 

 

M.

 

* * *

 

SYMBOLISM: Its Meaning and Effect. By Alfred North Whitehead. The Macmillan Company. Cloth, Table of Contents, 88 Pages. Price, $1.50.

 

THE author of this little book is a professor of philosophy in Harvard, with degree of Doctor of Science from five different universities, LL.D. from another, Fellow of the Royal Society, and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge University. It consists of three lectures delivered in 1927 and published by the University of Virginia.

 

Insofar as the man of the street can apprehend the meaning of words, the title is misleading. The Mason, for instance, who understands that the lamb is a symbol of innocence, that the Bible is a symbol of divine truth, that light is a symbol of knowledge and darkness of ignorance, and so on, will find but. little in the book that is of direct interest. It is a book for metaphysicians, but not for poets.

 

Saying this, however, is not to belittle the book. It is a profound discussion, briefly combining the sciences of being, knowing and thinking from the metaphysical realistic angle, in its application to the psychological processes of the development of civilized society.

 

Broadly speaking, in the author's use of language, all knowledge is symbolic. It might seem at first blush as if he were a pronounced idealist and skeptic as to reality. For, "things-in-themselves" cannot pass through the alembic of the brain. All the knowledge we derive from sense-presentations is representative and not real. The landscape does not become a part of us merely because its lights, shadows and colors have left a sense impression upon the nerves and organs of sight. It is only an image, or picture of the landscape that we retain. And the author calls this image or picture a symbol. So with all sense-presentations, whether through sight, hearing or the modifications of feeling.

 

But the author is in fact a metaphysical realist. He reminds the present reviewer of Sir William Hamilton's view that we must accept the revelations of our senses as true. "The root of our nature cannot be a lie." In the author's view, that direct knowledge which comes from "presentational immediacy," or what is usually known as sense perception, is infallible; what we have experienced is experienced beyond all possibility of doubt. It is not in the experience that we are liable to err, but in the symbolic reference of perceptive data, by which are induced actions, feelings, emotions and beliefs about things, which are mere notions without that exemplification in the outer world which the symbolism leads us to suppose.

 

He defines symbolism thus:

 

The human mind is functioning symbolically when some components of its experience elicit consciousness, beliefs, emotions, and usages, respecting other components of its experience. The former set of components are the symbols, and the latter set constitute the "meaning" of the symbols.

 

The organic functioning, whereby the transition is made from the symbol to the meaning, the author calls "symbolic reference."

 

This symbolic reference is an activity of the percipient, although it may be intuitive. The author calls it "self-production," and bases moral responsibility upon it. "The potter," he says, "and not the pot, is responsible for the shape of the pot." There is no indication of religious belief, however, in the author's discussion, either of pantheism, or of old Tom Carlyle's distinction of "pot-theism," despite this reference to the pot. On the contrary, the determinism of Carlyle appears to be substituted by freedom of the will in self -production.

 

We are somewhat in doubt as to the author's all-inclusive treatment of symbolism. For instance:

 

If you are a poet and wish to write a lyric on trees, you will walk into the forest in order that the trees may suggest the appropriate words. Thus for the poet in his ecstacy - or perhaps, agony - of composition the trees are the symbols and the words are the meaning. He concentrates on the trees in order to get at the words. . . . For us, the words are the symbols which enable us to capture the rapture of the poet in the forest.

 

It is true that words are signs, or symbols, of ideas. In their original adoption they must have been purely arbitrary and conventional signs, without any symbolic reference whatever beyond the mere recall of the idea signified. They only become actually symbolic as distinguished from a mere sign, after they have become a part of the unconscious mechanism of thought. But after they become symbols, our judgment is that they remain symbols, and the poet, instead of symbolizing language with trees, simply uses the symbols of language to symbolize the feelings induced by the trees.

 

While the first lecture is devoted to sense perception under the phrase "presentational immediacy," the second treats of "causal efficacy," which includes both the subjective and objective sides of perception in its cognition of phenomena as simple cogs in a world unified as a relational whole in space and time. He attributes this cognition to pure perception, and not to a subsequent judgment. He disputes Hume's skeptical view that thinking and judging are mere habits of thought on the one hand; and on the other he disputes Kant's position that such judging is a category of thought. It is this view of "causal efficacy" on the part of the author that distinguishes him as a metaphysical realist from the skepticism of Hume or the idealism of Kant. His view of time is that it is the scope of concrete succession rather than the mere scope of duration.

 

The conclusion of the second lecture is that symbolism provides the higher animals with the power to forecast with some degree of probable accuracy the features of the immediate future, but not infallibly, and therefore with the risk of error and consequent disaster.

 

The third lecture is so full of matter that it is impossible to give an intelligible synopsis of it. It is entitled "Uses of Symbolism." Man's attitude toward symbolism is an unstable mixture of attraction and repulsion. But however much you may expel it, it ever returns. It is inherent in the very texture of human life. When you eliminate symbolistic ceremonials from state affairs, at once private institutions began to develop the masquerade. It would seem that the author is hylozoistic in his biological views. For instance:

 

A rock is nothing else than a society of molecules indulging in every species of activity open to molecules. I draw attention to this lowly form of society in order to dispel the notion that social life is a peculiarity of the higher organisms. The contrary is the case. So far as survival value is concerned, a piece of rock, with its past history of some eight hundred millions of years, far outstrips the span attained by any nation.

 

The general conclusion of the book is that the progress of society is dependent upon its symbolism, and this symbolism is undergoing constant changes in the effort to adapt itself to the continual changes in social life and ideals. The differing meanings evolved from symbolic reference as made by individuals divides them into two classes, conservatives and radicals, comparable to the two forces operating in circular motion, the centrifugal and centripetal; one tending to centralize power at the expense of freedom, and the other to fly off into space at a tangent at the expense of integrity.

 

It is the first step in sociological wisdom to recognize that the major advances in civilization are processes which all but wreck the societies in which they occur - like an arrow in the hand of a child. The art of free society consists first in the maintenance of the symbolic code; and secondly in fearlessness of revision, to secure that the code serves those purposes which satisfy an enlightened reason. Those societies which cannot combine reverence to their symbols with freedom of revision, must ultimately decay either from anarchy, or from the slow atrophy of a life stifled by useless shadows.

 

Taken as a whole, it is both interesting and instructive to the student of sociology from a metaphysical and psychological basis; but the rhetorician, unless he combines his rhetoric with profound thought on the deeper things of life, would do better to give it a wide berth.

 

L.B.R.

 

* * *

 

AMERICAN INQUISITORS: A Commentary on Dayton and Chicago. By Walter Lippmann. Published by the Macmillan Co. Cloth, table of contents, 120 pages. Price, $1.35.

 

THIS is an exceedingly clever and amusing book, but it is much more than merely clever and amusing. It really is one that every American interested in the future of his country should read, more than once. This includes every thinking American Mason.

 

People in the mass are exceedingly easy to lead - either in the safe path, or far astray -  by catch-words, slogans, platitudes in short by "bunk." Even the "debunking" of the moment, so much affected by our "civilized" circles, is nothing but the familiar stuff turned inside out. 'So long as the majority of people are not really educated but only trained - it makes no difference with what scholastic paraphernalia the training is given - the minority who think, or try to think for themselves, must always expect to find every new and corrective statement of truth transferred into a truism and used as a formula for popular consumption. It is discouraging, but so far it seems to be the way humanity has wobbled and staggered along the path of progress like a kitten that has not yet got its eyes open. So long as the majority are not able to appreciate the thought of the intellectual leaders of the race, so long many things that in themselves are simple, obvious and practical, will in truth be outside "practical politics." By the time the new idea has reached the mass mind it has become crystallized into a platitude or dogma, and the intellectual pioneers have gone far beyond it.

 

It is the fate of the pioneer. He is regarded as a fool by his contemporaries, and as a hero by their grandchildren. It is the conservative, safe, unprogressive, practical people who have ridiculed or persecuted the inventor, philosopher and prophet since men were men. It is the same conservative, safe, unprogressive people who have always grabbed the profits, material, moral or spiritual, of the men they persecuted, as soon as by use and wont, and the evidence of their eyes, the new idea had been demonstrated through the labor and sacrifice of their natural, but never recognized, leaders.

 

In these three lectures delivered at the University of Virginia on the Barbour-Page Foundation, Mr. Lippmann has raised in a few pages more questions than could be easily answered in many times their number. It may be asked, perhaps, to what end - seeing that the average man will ignore their implications, will probably fail to see them, even if he be persuaded to read the book; which he may well do for the sake of its humor.

 

The device is adopted of imagining a conversation between Socrates, Jefferson and Bryan, on the question of the relationship of church and state - religious and political creeds. Like most Socratic dialogues the subject is left unsettled - only one is left with a devastating sense that a lot of sacred principles, maxims and dogmas are not much more than mere platitudes, if not sheer humbug.

 

The author insists, and all who have considered the events of recent years as a whole must agree with him, that the Scopes trial at Dayton, and the Thompson episode of Chicago, are merely two typical and specially dramatic instances of what has been occurring over and over again throughout the country. He asserts, too - and this will undoubtedly rouse instant dissent, though it will be hard to prove him wrong - that the Fundamentalists and Patriots have a much stronger case than the intellectuals have perceived. He says, indeed:

 

These assaults upon the freedom of teaching have been supported by the ignorant part of our population, the spokesmen of these inquisitions have often been mountebanks, and invariably they have been ignoramuses. As a result, educated men have been disposed, partly because they were sincerely contemptuous, partly because they were prudent, to treat the whole matter as a farce which would soon break down of its own absurdity.

 

"Partly because they were prudent"! The author says that he is convinced that had "Mr. Bryan at Dayton been as acute as his opponents he would have conquered them in debate." In other words, the intellectual minority, consciously or unconsciously, have taken advantage of the stupidity of their opponents, because it would have been much more difficult to meet the issue squarely on its merits.

 

To make this plain Mr. Lippmann proposed in his lectures to take the part of the Advocatus Diaboli, and argue the case for the modern suppressors of heresy - or the suppressors of our modern heresies - because as he says, there "is no advantage in winning a cheap victory because the opposition has a poor lawyer."

 

However, this is not really much encouragement for fundamentalists - reIigious or political - for he also says:

 

. . . it is a curious fact that in the conflict between reason and authority, the conflict itself is a victory for reason. Authority is always on the road to defeat when it has to appeal either to force or reason. It is secure only when it rests upon unquestioned habit. Inquisitions and heresy haunts are therefore invariably the signs that reformation and emancipation are under way.

 

The difficulty is that we live in a world of change, where nothing is certain, nothing is clear, where we have to continually stake our future on the present - it is, in the favorite scientific slang of the day - a purely "relative" world. But men have to act, and those who are disinclined to reflect, or whose daily labor leaves them no time for it, earnestly desire certainties - rules of action. The human mind creates these certainties for itself, and is naturally disturbed when they are questioned. Being disturbed it is naturally indignant with the questioner. Hence, the sentence of death passed on Socrates - and the dismissal of the modern school teacher who believes in modern science. Perhaps the real fault of the latter is that he makes a new dogma out of his science, not one whit better in principle than the old ones be opposes.

 

The world being transitory, its conditions constantly changing, men are not really standing still, or sitting comfortably under metaphorical vines or fig trees, but are careering along at a dizzy speed in a high-powered automotive vehicle. Because it proves safe to turn one way here gives no absolute rule for steering, or for putting on the brakes or "stepping on the gas." As Socrates is made to say:

 

Your Washington was willing to shed blood in order to defy the constituted authorities. Your Lincoln was willing to shed blood to uphold the constituted authorities. They have both been justified. There can be no rule of conduct. That which brave men do with wisdom lesser men make rules to justify.

 

And that pretty well sums it up. The lesser men do this because they follow on in the footsteps of the last great leader - the one immediately before them - and because they must have a rule of thumb to work by, being unable or unwilling to think for themselves. We may conclude with one more quotation. Socrates having led Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Bryan into an impenetrable thicket of contradictions consequent on the application of their principles of freedom of conscience and majority rule, is asked point blank what he would do himself, and he replies, "I'd re-examine my fundamental principles." If the book will lead others to do likewise, it will be well worth the hour or so it will take to read it.

 

* * *

 

CREATION BY EVOLUTION. Edited by Frances Mason. Published by the Macmillan Company. Cloth, table of contents, illustrated, index, 371 pages. Price, $5.25.

 

WE see that this symposium on evolution is dedicated "To those who seek evidence of Nature's Universal Method of Creation and to those who find the story of inexhaustible interest." Under this dedication should appear a bold-faced solid capital line reading, "All others keep out." Possibly you will question the propriety of such a warning, but unless the Fundamentalist, or better, the opponent of Evolution, wishes to have his faith shaken to its very roots, he had best not read the modern story of Genesis, which, to use a formula I have previously expressed, has replaced the Book of Genesis.

 

The immediate consequence of such a statement as that just made will probably be to rouse dissent and disappointment in some quarters, but those who are inclined to criticise and censor may be answered in the words of David Starr Jordan:

 

Does any educated person now respect the dictum ascribed to Archbishop Ussher, who said 200 years ago, that "Heaven and earth, center and circumference, were created all together at the same instant, with clouds of water, on October 24, 4004 B. C., at 9 o'clock in the morning?"

 

That query, propounded by the Chancellor Emeritus of Leland Stanford University, may be supplemented with the pronouncement of James McCloud, a Presbyterian minister of Lexington, Ky., in 1818, when Darwin was a small boy:

 

Progressive evolution is the universal plan. Everything which we meet in the world around us, matter and mind, every individual and all congregated masses, begin their course as germs and unfold in slow progression. . . . The faculties of all intelligent creation, all that you call mind, all that you call heart, are framed for an interminable series of evolutions. . . . It is not mainly the mould of this mighty frame of things which establishes it, it is the fact that creation is eternally unfolding new resources and presenting itself under successive and amazing combinations of which no creature in the universe had imagined it capable.

 

But it is too late in the day to argue the cause of evolution with anyone. Frankly, the reviewer holds to it and is satisfied with the evidence and considers it so preponderant that he can only say to those who, after reading this book, do not accept it, "There are none so blind as those who will not see."

 

The work is one which has long been needed. If it is read open-mindedly and with a sense of fairness one cannot but be convinced of the weight of the evidence in favor of evolution. The work is composed of twenty-four separate articles, each intended to cover a particular phase of the subject and each written by a specialist in his field. Thus all of the evidence upon the subject is marshalled for the reader's consideration.

 

The plan of the book is admirable and carries out the purpose of the editor as stated above. Not only are the articles authoritatively written, but each chapter is accompanied by a list of reference works which will enable those interested in learning more about that particular branch of the subject to follow their inclinations as far as they wish.

 

Above all the work is interesting, not merely sufficiently so to hold attention, but grippingly. One reads it with all of the ease of the lighter types of literature. It presents at the same time a picture of the universe that, so far as the present writer knows, cannot be obtained from any other source without a vast amount of reading and study. The authors avoid the use of technical terms as much as possible and consequently avoid the too frequent mistake of specialists who are apt to speak in language, compendious for their own purposes, but obscure to dullness to everybody else.

 

One could not begin to discuss any one of the many points that are brought up in the several essays, but one is sufficiently important to merit comment. The popular conception of the theory of evolution is simply that man was once a monkey. The absurdity of this belief is strikingly shown in this new book. If it does no more than correct this false impression the book will have accomplished a great deal of good and will be worth all the effort that may have been expended in its compilation.

 

It is curious that the controversy should have to be fought again in this country fifty years after the rest of the, civilized world had made up its mind to accept it. What is to be understood as evolution? David Starr Jordan says:

 

The theory of organic evolution is, in brief, that in our world no living thing and no succession of living things remain exactly the same for any period of time, long or short; and furthermore, that all change is orderly, never the result of accident or caprice or favoritism.

 

Apply that to one's own body. Are we the same today as we were yesterday, or the day before? The chemical changes which take place in the body are concrete evidences of evolution.

 

But let us take another definition. J. Arthur Thomson, Regius Professor of Natural History in Aberdeen University, says:

 

Evolution just means that the present is the child of the past and the parent of the future.

 

Dr. Edwin Grant Conklin, Professor of Biology, Princeton University, says:

 

Evolution means only the transformation of an earlier into a later stage according to natural laws.

 

The present work should go far to remove prejudice and misunderstanding, if it meets the reception that it undoubtedly deserves.

 

M. T.

 

* * *

 

AL SMITH, THE POPE AND THE PRESIDENCY: A Sober Discussion of the Church-State Issue. By Theodore Schroeder. Published by the author. Cloth, table of contents, 212 pages.

 

MR. SCHROEDER has a fine vein of sarcasm and ironic humor. Those who are really quite certain about their position and beliefs may read him with much interest and considerable amusement. But those who have any secret doubts, conscious or unconscious, will do better to avoid him as a pestilence if they do not wish to have their peace of mind disturbed.

 

Upon the title page is a brief explanation of the circumstances which led to the author producing his book himself. It seems that the subject is so "unimportant" that "most of the many publishers consulted refused even to consider the manuscript." This we can quite believe, not on the grounds of unimportance, nor of intemperance of presentation, but because the author, taking no sides, like an Irishman at Donnybrook Fair, hits wherever he sees an available head. In a subsequent leaflet advertising the work he remarks:

 

Letters already received indicate that every organized prejudice can find some displeasure in this book. Is there no prejudice anywhere in favor of the METHOD of a sober discussion of this question?

 

This is an example. None of us like to have our own beliefs described as an "organized prejudice," and we all flatter ourselves that we are in favor of the method of sober discussion. We can test the soundness of this private opinion by observing the equanimity and patience with which we can listen to arguments in support of some one of the many highly erroneous and pernicious beliefs held by other people, who in general, aside from these, appear to be quite respectable and fairly intelligent.

 

The book is written, as its title suggests, about the now historic Marshall-Smith correspondence of last year. It will doubtless be remembered with what a remarkably unanimous chorus of enthusiastic approval the majority of the newspapers of the country received Governor Smith's reply to Mr. Marshall, in curious contrast to the timid reception of the latter's Open Letter. To the thoughtful citizen, who has some interest in his country's future, that phenomenon alone pointed to an unhealthy condition in the body politic. When in any community or state there are subjects which must not be discussed, then there is danger ahead for free speech. And when speech is no longer free, freedom herself is ready to depart. This is true regardless of what the tabu is upon - whether prohibition, historical textbooks, or the relations of church and state. Freedom is never lost at a blow; tyrannies and despotisms do not spring fully armed from the earth. They grow silently in the shadow like pestilent weeds. And there are always those who are momentarily profiting to say "Peace, peace," and "Hush-hush," when any attempt is made to check or uproot them; and always many more who are unable to remember from yesterday or foresee tomorrow, who will join this chorus of the "yes men," to use the latest term for the breed. It is possible that the most significant thing about this book is the refusal of publishers to have anything to do with it.

 

This is not to say that it has no significance in itself. Very much the contrary. It contains an acute, subtle and detailed examination of the question that was raised by Mr. Marshall. To this is prefaced four chapters on church history in special reference to its relations to the state. This is not particularly illuminating, as it is merely retelling an oft-told tale. While it could hardly have been left out, seeing so few people now-a-days know anything of the history of the church, there is yet the danger that always lies in condensed synopses of this kind; necessarily selective, bias is almost certain to creep in. We must judge the church in the past by the circumstances of the age, which is precisely what cannot be done in any such brief account. It is perhaps for this reason so little use is made of history in judging problems of the present - it is so easily turned to the uses of propaganda. As easily indeed as statistics.

 

It seems to the present writer that neither Mr. Marshall nor Mr. Schroeder have realized that we are in a period of transition. Political theories always begin with the existing state of affairs. The theory of feudalism, for example, was founded on a practical condition that had come about as naturally and inevitably as the interlocking of gangsters, bootleggers and corrupt politicians in our large cities, and for much the same reasons at bottom - or to use a more respectable example, the consolidation of financial and commercial interests. No nation or people has ever yet had a wholly consistent form of government, or a permanently fixed one. Every state is the resultant of internal forces, that is, a result of compromise. As soon as any given compromise becomes relatively stable, it is rationalized, and eternal and immutable principles are deduced from it, which become the pet platitudes of politicians and sometimes even of statesmen. Mr. Marshall believes in the "civic supremacy of the people," we gather that Mr. Schroeder, though he does not definitely say so, is a "secularist," and Governor Smith himself, in his reply to Mr. Marshall, professed his adherence to the principle of the separation of church and state. But that is just the question - is it a principle? Mr. Schroeder shows in how many different ways the phrase may be understood, and also that everyone actually tends to understand it in accordance with his own general system of prejudices and beliefs, religious and otherwise. But the still more fundamental question remains - is this political "Principle," enshrined in the American Constitution, an eternal truth, or a dogma, a mere formula expressing in a convenient and compendious way a compromise that hitherto has worked without too much friction? And if it is this last only, is it a compromise that will continue to work? Or has the balance of internal social and religious forces been gradually changing so that sooner or later some new arrangement will have to be made?

 

It is not a question that can be answered off hand, it cannot well be answered at all – safely - without much study and thought, but it is one that every intelligent American citizen should consider, and Mr. Schroeder's book, if it does not supply any answer, will certainly be of assistance in pointing to new viewpoints and opening up an approach to the essentials of the problem.

 

S. J. C.

 

* * *

 

ANCIENT RECORDS. Published by the Ancient Records Publishers. Cloth, 120 pages. Price, $2.50.

 

THE book appears to be a collection of tracts printed separately and now issued in a single volume. The several titles of these are: The Secret Law; The English Alphabet; The Arabic Numerals; The Zodiac; Blessings of Israel. The dedication is to "the Sons of God," and on the title page we are informed that the work is

 

An interpretation of very ancient records which seem to have been left to humanity by a people who lived in an erudite age, one from a long forgotten past, wherein God was One. Language was one language, the people one people under divine law.

 

Most Masonic students have taken a keen interest in symbolism in general as well as the more particular geometrical and architectural symbolism familiar to all. This leads many of us to read a wide variety of works which purport to interpret and elucidate a most difficult subject.

 

The present work gives some very interesting interpretations of figures included in a complicated chart. The central figure is a triangle on each side of which is another triangle in which are inscribed a pyramid, a cube and a sphere or the three geometrical manifestations of the Great Geometer. Around this is constructed the manifestations of the spiritual principles which are symbolized by the alphabet, the numerals and the zodiac.

 

The zodiac was probably the earliest systematic astrological symbolism, and numerical symbolism has been used from ancient times. Present knowledge of their full significance, however, is problematic and the present interpretation is useful only as it stimulates philosophical speculation. The "Blessing of Israel" shows correspondence between the twelve tribes of Israel and twelve officers of a Masonic lodge. This also is only useful as a process of thought stimulant.

 

S. H. S.

 

* * *

 

FOLLOWING CHRIST. By Charles Lewis Slattery, D.D. Published by Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston. Cloth, table of contents, 167 pages. Price, $1.15.

 

THE book has evidently been written for Episcopalians, not for the general public, and more especially for those who have been initiated (baptized) and become learners of the wisdom contained in the forms and ritual of the church.

 

It postulates and explains the duties and service of those who have been confirmed and have taken upon themselves the full obligations of fellowship in the church and the method adopted, and the reasons for the method by which Episcopalians are expected to work and live, as they journey through life "following Christ."

 

Short concise paragraphs tell of the church's history, of the vestments, their use and meaning.

 

In another section the evolution of church architecture, the chancel, choir, altar, lectern are briefly, authoritatively and pleasingly told.

 

The book is not only interesting and informative, but lays down a line of conduct, which by following truly the individual must surely benefit.

 

The book can be read with profit by anyone who wishes to know the joy of a church service centuries old carried majestically along, by the use of a beautiful ritual.

 

W. H. W.

 

----o----

 

THE QUESTION BOX

and CORRESPONDENCE

 

HISTORY OF ST. ALBAN'S LODGE

 

I would like to ask you to make a correction in the next issue of THE BUILDER.

 

On page 190, in the June number, you noticed the History of St. Alban's Lodge, and the reviewer makes a statement that is wholly incorrect, doubtless due to a too hasty reading of the paragraph referred to.

 

M. Wor. Bro. F. W. Harcourt, the first Master of this Lodge, is not and never was an adherent of the Roman Church. The paragraph on page 7 of the History refers to his father, Bro. Michael Harcourt, of whom it says that although a Roman Catholic he "was opposed to Separate Schools and was also a Freemason."

 

I am taking this upon myself as the author, R. W. Bro. H. T. Smith, is away at present and I know he would wish to have the correction made at the earliest opportunity.

 

N. W. J. Haydon, Canada.

 

Your reviewer wishes to apologize for the error, which was due, as Bro. Haydon suggests, to a too hasty reading of the passage in question.

 

* * *

 

AN AMAZING STATEMENT.

 

In the June BUILDER, in an article on "The Legend of the Cross" Bro. Chas. Merz of Ohio tells us "The early Christians revered the Cross as the way of the truth and the life. They had no knowledge of a crucified Savior."

 

Paul, who is a better authority than Bro. Merz, in an Epistle whose authenticity is generally recognized, says, "I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live." (Gal. 11:20.) Again he says, "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ by whom the world is crucified unto me and I unto the world." (Gal. VI:14.) To the Corinthians he wrote, "But we preach Christ crucified." (1 Cor. 1:23.) "Crucified under Pontius Pilate" has always been believed and preached in the Christian Church.

 

C. H. Briggs, Missouri.

 

* * *

 

THE CRUX ANSATA

 

In the June number of THE BUILDER Bro. Chas H. Merz gives us a paraphrase of the "Legendary History of the Cross." In this he says in listing various forms:

 

(e) The crux ansata, the tau cross combined with the circle, as in the hands of the Egyptian divinities - the symbol of life and immortality.

 

The crux ansata in the hands of Egyptian divinities does not consist of the tau cross combined with a circle, but with an oval, or rather an egg-shaped loop, the two combined representing the male and female principles, and can only symbolize the generating and creative attributes of the Deity.

 

Ernest E. Murray, Montana.

 

* * *

 

THE ARK OF THE COVENTANT.

 

Bro. C.H. Briggs of Missouri in the June BUILDER offers some criticism of my article on the "Ark of the Covenant" printed in the May number of THE BUILDER. I am always glad to have any mistakes that I make corrected.

 

My authority for three of the statements that he criticizes is the article in the Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 7, pages 907 and 908, by William Robertson Smith, LL.D., editor of the 9th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica; professor of natural philosophy, Edinburgh University, 1863-1870; some time professor of Oriental languages and Old Testament exegesis Free Church College, Aberdeen; appointed one of the Old Testament revisors, 1875; Lord Almoner's Professor of Arabic, Cambridge, 1883; author of "The Old Testament in the Jewish Church," "Lectures on the Religion of the Semites," etc., and Stanley Arthur Cook, M. A., editor of the Palestine Exploration Fund; Lecturer in Hebrew and Syriac; formerly a Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge; examiner in Hebrew and Aramaic, London University, 1904-1908; author of "Glossary of Aramic Inscriptions," "The Laws of Moses and the Code of Hammurabi ... .. Critical Notes on Old Testament History," "Religion of Ancient Palestine," etc. They say:

 

Even Moses is said to have made a brazen serpent which, down to Hezekiah's time, continued to be worshipped at Jerusalem. . . [The only certain date in Hezekiah's time is 801, B. C.]

 

In the narrative of Exodus the relation of the "ten words" of xxxiv to the words spoken from Sinai xx, 2-17, is not so clearly indicated, and it is generally agreed that the Pentateuch presents divergent and irreconcilable views of the Sinaitic covenant . . .

 

But the general result of the study of the Decalogue as a whole, in connection with Israelite political history and religion, strongly supports, in fact demands, a post-Mosaic origin, and modern criticism is chiefly divided only as to the approximate date to which it is to be ascribed. The time of Manassah has found many adherents, but an earlier period, about 750 B. C., is often held to satisfy the main conditions; the former, however, is probably nearer the mark.

 

I pass over the rest of Bro. Briggs' criticism, although there is ample authority for every statement made.

 

B. E. Bennett, Washington.

 

* * *

 

THE COMPAGNONNAGE IN QUEBEC

 

In THE BUILDER for February, 1928, on page 64, in re "The Annapolis Stone," it is said:

 

In the town of Ste. Anne de Bellevue on the Island of Montreal, is a small wooden building used by a friendly society of carpenters (charpentiers et menuisiers) 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 and it is doubtless an independent tradition.

 

There would be no difficulty in explaining this, or the Annapolis stone with its date of 1606 and the Square and Compass, if we accept that these things are the product of members of  the French body, the "Compagnonnage," which ante-dates modern Freemasonry and of which modern Freemasons as a rule are in total ignorance. Members of this body naturally went to Canada, when it was settled by French workmen, and used the symbol of the Square and Compass (Equerre et compas) which was the common property of the three Devoirs, the Enfants de (children of) Solomon, the Enfants de Maitre Jacques, and the Enfants de Pere Soubise. "The stone cutters and joiners (menuisiers) who recognize Solomon say that this King in order to recompense them for their work gave them a Devoir (Charge or Obligation) and united them fraternally in the precincts of the Temple, work of their hands." [See Le Livre du Compagnonnage. Agricol Perdiguier, Paris, 2nd edition, 1841, page 20, beginning Les tailleurs de pierres, etc.]

 

The carpenters at one time all belonged to the children of Pere Soubise. The menuisiers (joiners) were divided, one section belonging to the children of Solomon, and the other to the children of Maitre Jacques, who is, according to a legend, Jacques de Molay. The members of the Devoirs of Maitre Jacques and of Pere Soubise admitted only Roman Catholics, after the strike at the Church of the Holy Cross at Orleans, which church was begun, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, in 1287.

 

The children of Solomon admitted those of all religions, hence they called their Devoir, the Devoir de Liberte. The Roman Church attempted to catholicize the workmen of France, and did; while the "Foreign Companions," as the stone cutters called themselves after the strike, refusing to become Roman Catholics, went over into English territory and from thence into England which was the cause of the building of so many edifices in stone and the development of the operative art in that country.

 

It is easy to see how the Catholic carpenters of Canada have used this emblem, for the Square and Compass was used in the Companionage from the earliest times. In 1551, during the reign of Francis I, an edict was issued against them. On page 61, of Perdiguier's book, we read:

 

L’equerre et le compas sont les attributs de tout le Compagnonnage, car on pense, je l'ai deja dit, que le mot 'compagnon' derive de compas,

 

which is in English,

 

The Square and the Compass are the attributes of the whole Companionage, for it is thought, as I have already said, that the word companion is derived from compass.

 

We may say here, in passing, that those who are striving to have Masons use the singular form Compass, are correct etymologically and that form is imbedded in our California ritual. On page 64, Perdiguier says:

 

The stone cutters celebrate the festival of the Ascension and the carpenters that of St. Joseph,

 

like the Canadian society, which was undoubtedly a branch of the Compagnonnage. It is easy to see that a member of this society could have carved the Square and Compass on the "Annapolis Stone" in 1608, as they were in existence and used this emblem when the edict was issued against them in 1551. It may also explain the legend of the Jews coming from Lisbon to Newport, R. I., and bringing the "degrees of Maconrie" and initiating Abm. Moses "at Mordecai Campunall's house after synagog" in 1658. We know that the Faculty of the Sorbonne fulminated against the Compagnonnage in 1655, and gave their ceremonies in full, and at which time the ceremonies of initiation had extended to the trades "without the Compass," that is, to trades which did not use the Square and Compass in their daily work.

 

In the "Book of the Companionage," page 24, Perdiguier says, quoting the letter of King Hiram to Solomon after saying that the latter had formed the earlier branch, the stone cutters, "Now I am sending you a man expert and skillful," and in a footnote, on that page he adds:

 

Cet homme expert et habile est sans doute, cet autre Hiram que l’on considere comme l'un des architets du temple. (This expert and skillful man is without doubt that other Hiram that they consider as one of the architects of the Temple.)

 

Perdiguier was not a stone cutter but a joiner, and yet he says on page 39 "They wear also white gloves because they have not, so they say, dipped their hands in the blood of Hiram."

 

There are many other facts and sayings in the literature of the Companions, which I shall bring out later, that shows that it was known that the body of Hiram was placed in a certain place and how that place was discovered where under the rubbish lay the body of Hiram, architect of the Temple, as he relates.

 

This shows the existence of the Hiramic Legend among the Companions of France as early as 1551 and by analogy, in 1287. At some time, the writer hopes to bring out a book on the Companions which will give more of these facts and show how Masonry came into England from France and that Desaguliers adapted it in modern Freemasonry, when he and George Payne made the laws and regulations of English Freemasonry.

 

C. F. W., California.

 

* * *

 

THE FIRST (?) MASONIC FUNERAL

 

Apropos of Bro. Williamson's article on the Dionysiac Artificers, as being only a group of disreputables associated with Greek theaters, it may be interesting to note the following which I quote from the Transactions of the Lodge of Research, Leicester, 1922-23:

 

The Weekly Journal or British Gazatteer of Jan. 12, 1723 - "Mr. Birkhead was last Saturday night carried from his lodgings in Wych Street to be interred in S. Clement Danes: the pall was supported by six Freemasons belonging to Drury Lane playhouse; the other members of that particular lodge, with a vast number of other Accepted Masons, followed two and two; both the pall bearers and others were in their white aprons."

 

Bro. Matthew Birkhead was Master of Lodge No. 5, now Lodge of Friendship, No. 6. He was a comedian and dancer at Drury Lane Theater, and sufficiently important there to receive an annual benefit performance, one being on June 10, 1713. He appears to have been partly responsible for the famous "Entered Apprentice's Song," which appears in the first (1723) edition of Anderson's Constitutions.

 

J. W. N. Haydon, Canada.

 

* * *

 

THE LETTER "G"

 

I would appreciate it if you will furnish me with some information in respect to the use of the letter "G" with the square and compass as the Masonic emblem. This question was recently discussed at a meeting of our lodge, wherein a number of brethren participated. With one exception it was asserted by the speakers that in London they had observed the Masonic emblem of the square and compass with the letter "G."

 

This only adds confusion to my mind for I have frequently heard it stated that English and Scotch lodges do not use the letter "G" with the square and compass, any more than Masonic publications in those countries show it in their cover designs. I am therefore very much interested in learning the facts regarding this subject.

 

I would also like to know if the lodges of non-English speaking countries use an emblem differing from the emblem of the American lodges, and if so, in what particular.

 

C. B. R., California.

 

This is a question that might be gone into more thoroughly than it is possible to do so here. There are several aspects to it. How, or through what stages, did the square and compasses come to be, par excellence, the emblem or distinguishing mark of the Craft? How and when did the, letter "G" come to be so intimately associated with it, as it now is in America? And what is the real status of the square and compasses, with or without the letter "G," regarded as an emblem?

 

We might, briefly, take this last question first. All such distinguishing emblems or designs are individual and voluntary, although there is little doubt that the tendency in American Masonry is towards regarding the, square and compass, arranged in the well known way, as part of the Masonic system, to be defended and regulated as such. This may not be altogether desirable - but then there are other tendencies still less desirable.

 

The first two subsidiary questions may be taken together. The vogue for personal adornments with Masonic designs seems to have set in towards the end of the eighteenth century. Watches, signet rings, seals were the natural vehicles for such designs. At first they were of a complex type, like miniature trestle boards, or Webb's "Master's Carpet." Some were very ingenious and pleasingly arranged. However, when reduced in size such designs became indistinguishable except on close examination, and when the desire rose to advertise one's membership to the world at large, it was necessary to simplify it. Doubtless many other factors led to simplification other than the one mentioned. In the, British Isles, so far as our information goes, such articles of a personal and metallic kind as bear Masonic designs usually have the compass and square simply. In Europe, France, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, and so on, such designs generally include, with the square and compasses, other implements,. The triangle or triangular level is common, perhaps most common, but mallet and trowel are very frequent also. Often a five-point star appears where the "G" does in the common American emblem. Now in the old complex designs the letter "G" usually appears, and is very frequently enclosed in a five-point star, sometimes plain and sometimes radiated. Historically, it would seem the process of simplification has gone further in Great Britain than in America, and that, as in many other things, the Masonry of Europe is most conservative of all.

 

It is quite possible that American visitors to England have seen the letter "G" associated with the compass and square. Such exceptions do not make or break a general rule. There are Masonic temples in America that have the emblem of the square and compasses without the letter "G" carved upon the cornerstone or in some other equally prominent position, but even two or three swallows do not make a summer, and such exceptional cases, due probably to the architect's whim or ignorance of accepted usage, most certainly do not nullify the obvious fact that the inclusion of the letter is the general rule in America.

 

 

         

Museum Home Page     Phoenixmasonry Home Page

Copyrighted © 1999 - 2014   Phoenixmasonry, Inc.      The Fine Print