The Builder Magazine
June 1928 - Volume XIV - Number 6
A Militia of Mercy
BRO. R.J. NEWTON, Texas
BEGINNING in December, 1921, at the Annual Communication of the M. W. Grand
Lodge of Texas, an effort has been made to unite the forty-nine Masonic Grand
Jurisdictions of the United States, and other Masonic bodies, in a national
humanitarian service organization to provide home relief and hospitalization
for tuberculous Freemasons and tuberculous members of Masonic families.
than six years have passed and the effort has not succeeded. When it is
remembered that American Freemasonry did not unite during the World War for
welfare work among the soldiers, at home and abroad, perhaps the failure to
secure united action by the Craft in this work of salvaging sick men, women
and children, who have some claim upon the Fraternity, cannot be charged to
those who have worked for years in the face of heavy odds and every
discouragement, to arouse the Craft to a recognition of the need for unity of
action against tuberculosis, the greatest enemy of the American home today.
strong sentiment has developed among the leaders of the Fraternity against any
kind of national Masonic association, or organization. Perhaps they have good
reason for such sentiment and we have no space to devote to argument to meet
their opinions. The sentiment of the rank and file, the great inarticulate
mass of American Freemasonry, may differ from the leaders' wishes and
opinions, but it is difficult to secure any expression of their desires.
National Masonic Tuberculosis Sanatoria Assoclation secured the interest and
approval of twentysix Masonic Grand Masters, who either accepted a place on
the Association's Board of Governors, or appointed a representative upon the
Board. Failure to win the approval and financial support of their Grand Lodges
resulted in withdrawal from the Board and caused its disintegration. By
eliminating the words, “national" and "sanatoria" from the name and by
changing its plan of organization and curtailing its purposes, the Masonic
Tuberculosis Association hopes to secure some measure of cooperation and
financial support from Masonic bodies for a modified program of relief work.
Apparently it will become increasingly difficult to secure continuity of
interest and action in any national Masonic association of official character,
no matter what its aim or purpose. The different objections raised by the
rulers of the Craft to any form of national activity are too numerous to be
recited here. Some feel that any national association might develop into a
national Grand Lodge, or create sentiment in favor of a national Grand Lodge,
and few or none look with favor upon such an institution. Some contend that
each Grand Jurisdiction and every Masonic Lodge should care for its own sick
and help its own needy. However, few are doing so on an adequate scale, and
few are making plans to do so. Where hospital care and home relief is provided
in the home state, it leaves unsolved the problem of helping those who have
migrated, and who will later migrate to the Southwest, seeking the benefit of
the milder climate of that section.
face of proof of the need for a Southwestern Tuberculosis Sanatorium to save
the lives of sick brethren from many states, and in spite of appeals for
financial assistance for them, few Masonic leaders were found who would
recommend that their lodges, or Grand Lodges unite in financing the erection,
or purchase and operation, of a national tuberculosis sanatorium located in
effort to unite Masonic Bodies in the establishment of a tuberculosis hospital
has not met with success. The final appeal made by the Tuberculosis Sanatorium
Association was for funds with which to purchase an existing hospital in the
city of El Paso, Texas which could have been purchased for $65,000 and which
would have housed approximately one hundred patients. The response to this
appeal was almost nil. The Sisters of St. Joseph purchased this hospital and
it is operating today as St. Joseph's Sanatorium and rendering good service.
Apparently little difficulty was experienced by the Sisters in financing the
purchase and operation of this institution.
MASONIC TUBERCULOSIS ASSOCIATION
Grand Lodge of New Mexico will again appeal for financial help to all Masonic
Bodies. They will not ask contributors to assume any part of the
responsibility for management or to undertake to give continued support for
the relief work they will undertake to do through the Masonic Tuberculosis
Association. The latter will do what it can with the funds thus contributed.
The movement to provide relief and hospitalization will not die, because it is
the right thing for Freemasonry to do and it will be done. It must and it will
be carried on, by those who believe in it, until it comes to a definite and
past it has not been possible to appeal to Freemasons individually to assist
in tuberculosis relief work, which was under the auspices of a purely Masonic
body or association, because the approval, or consent of the bodies to which
they belonged first had to be secured. It is now proposed to enlist the
brethren, and other men and women, who believe in the principle of
brotherhood, of relief and charity, and who have a real desire to serve their
brethren and their fellows in an organization for humanitarian work.
ORDER OF THE HOSPITAL
men and women in sympathy with practical movements for the good of humanity,
are invited to become Founder-Members of the Order of the Hospital of St. John
of Jerusalem, which is a modern American revival of the ancient brotherhood
which succored Pilgrims and Crusaders from the dawn of the Christian era,
developed into the great medieval Order for the care of the sick and helpless,
and serves the people of many European countries today.
Fraternity and charity to our own - in that respect the "Knights Hospitaller"
will be in a sense similar to other fraternities with whose work you are
familiar. But beyond that, and filling a place in the nation, our state and
our community which no other fraternal organization has ever sought to fill to
as great an extent, it is planned to lend a helping hand to sick and suffering
National Sanatorium in the Southwest for consumptives - Protestant General and
Special Hospitals in the large centers of population - relief of the sick, the
poor and the helpless in our own home towns, through our own efforts and by
cooperation with existing public and private organizations and institutions
for public health and charitable work - all these and more are embraced in our
contributing any amount to the organization expense of the Order will thereby
become eligible as a Founder-Member. The fee for initiation into the
Preceptory, or Lodge of the Brethren of St. John, is five dollars, payable
upon application. The fees for the four Orders of Knighthood are five dollars
each, payable when conferred.
daughters, mothers and sisters of male Founder-Members will be admitted for
one-half these fees. Later the fees will be increased. The dues will be small.
"Knights Hospitaller" in various countries, except that they work each in
their own way to achieve worthy ends of relief, are not under any common
authority; in some countries they are altogether Catholic, in others
Protestant. The Order in America, as in England and Prussia, is established as
a Protestant organization. All Protestants of good character, eighteen years
of age and over, are eligible to be elected members, and pending the
establishment of Priories and Preceptories in the various cities and towns,
application may be made direct to the Grand Commandery.
country needs this Order, and the time is not far distant when those who now
enroll will be justly proud of the fact that they were Founder-Members of it.
PURPOSES OF THE ORDER OF ST. JOHN
Planned to fit the needs of any American community, large or small, is the
program of the Hospitaller Order. Some part or parts of the following plan may
be adapted to the needs of the smallest village or the largest city. Members
of the Order will study the needs of their communities and seek to meet them
as an organization in a practical way. Our motto is "For the service of
humanity" and it is our purpose to help people help themselves.
propagate the principles of the Christian religion and to practice the
teachings of the Founder of Christianity.
encouragement and promotion of all works of humanity and charity in the relief
of sickness, distress, suffering and danger, by the founding of institutions
for such purposes under the auspices of the Order, and through cooperation
with existing organizations and institutions in such work; to instigate
movements, either state, county or municipal for the public relief of
distress; and to cooperate with existing organizations having these aims in
view. And finally, the extension of the great principle of the Order: Pro
establishment, and maintenance of a National Tuberculosis Sanatorium in the
Southwest for the care of members of the Order, Masons and others.
secure public provision for the care of indigent, migratory tuberculars.
establishment and operation of General and Special Protestant Hospitals, and,
in particular, of Maternity and other hospitals for the care of women and
children, in cities where the local branch of the Order may be able to
maintain such institutions.
provision of Clinics and Dispensaries for the care of out-patients of
support of Visiting Nurses for home visitation and care of the sick.
foundation of Training Schools for nurses and hospital workers.
establishment and operation of Convalescent Homes.
securing of Special Schools for the care and education of physically defective
establishment and operation of Training Camps for the physical education of
men and women, boys and girls.
instruction of the Protestant public in the elementary principles and practice
of nursing and hygiene, especially of the sick room.
instruction of persons in rendering "First Aid" in case of accident or sudden
illness and in transport of the sick or injured, and the promotion of popular
instruction in methods of caring for sick and injured in peace and war.
PUBLIC HEALTH WORK
all things which will promote the health and well-being of our home
communities and of members of the Order and such other persons as may need or
desire its services.
WAR WORK AND CALAMITY RELIEF
furnish aid to the sick and wounded in war or during any calamity, and the
promotion of such permanent organization for this purpose as may be at once
available in time of war or in the event of any calamity.
organization of Ambulance Corps and Nursing Corps.
manufacture and distribution, by sale or presentation, of ambulance material,
and the formation of ambulance depots in or near the centers of industry and
RECOGNITION OF SERVICE AND BRAVERY
award of Medals or Badges and Certificates of Honor for Humanitarian Service
and for saving human life at imminent personal risk.
formation of City or Town branches of the Order to extend and carry out its
purposes as above stated and as enlarged and developed in the future.
following is an outline of the form of organization of the "Knights
unit of the Order is the Preceptory, or Lodge of the Brethren of St. John, the
local branch, which consists of all members of the Order residing in and about
the city or town where the Preceptory is located.
duties of the Preceptory are relief of the sick and the poor of its city or
town; aiding the Priory in the establishment and operation of a General or
Special Hospital and in securing necessary public, state, county, or municipal
hospitals, and aiding the Grand Commandery in the establishment and operation
of a National Tuberculosis Hospital and in securing public tuberculosis
hospitals; health education and first aid instruction of all members; public
health work, campaigns for cleaner cities, etc.; cooperation in the Order's
work in time of war; relief work in calamities; and the carrying out of the
general purposes of the Order.
or more persons may secure the establishment of a Preceptory in their
community by first joining the Order and then filing their petition for a
Priory is the union of all Preceptories in one or more counties, or in a
certain designated territory or part of the State having within its area one
of the large centers of population in which the Order plans for the
establishment of a General or Special Hospital.
will be the duty of the Priories to establish and operate General and Special
Hospitals or to contract with existing hospitals for the care of the sick,
including both pay and charity patients, with preference in the admission of
patients to members of the Order and their families, Masons and Protestants.
State and Territory of the American Union and all countries in North and South
America will be a Province of the Order, under the supervision of a Provincial
Prior who will have administrative jurisdiction over all work of the Order
within its boundaries.
sovereign authority of the Order rests in the Grand Commandery, which will
determine the policies and direct the work of the Order throughout the United
States, its Territories, and other countries, direct the National Sanatorium,
which shall be conducted for the care of persons suffering from tuberculosis
with preference in the admission of patients to members of the Order and their
families, and Masons and Protestants, and grant charters to Priories and
Preceptories will be authorized to confer the First Degree only - the Lodge of
the Brethren of St. John. The four Knightly Orders will be conferred by the
Priories. The Honorary Orders of Knighthood and Grand Crosses will be
conferred by the Grand Commandery.
Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, although one of the most
ancient of existing societies, with Grand bodies in several European
countries, has not previously been organized in America.
Medieval legend sets the beginning of the Order in the days of the Maccabees,
with King Antiochus as the founder and Zacharias, father of John the Baptist,
as one of its first Masters. A hospital existed in Jerusalem, with rare
interruptions, from the very earliest centuries of the Christian era. This
hospital was in the charge of the "Poor Brethren of St. John."
eleventh century there existed a Latin hospital, established by Charlemagne.
This was destroyed by the Saracens in 1010, and in or about the year 1023,
certain merchants of Amalfi purchased the site and built thereon a new
hospital for pilgrims, dedicated to St. John the Baptist. From that day the
Order ceases to be legendary and becomes historical.
hospital at Jerusalem rendered important service to the Crusaders, and after
the Holy Land fell into the hands of the Christians great gifts of land and
treasure were made to it and the "Poor Brethren" became the "Knights of the
Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem."
Originally the Order was purely eleemosynary, but later it took up the armed
defense of pilgrims as a part of its functions and became an aggressive
military force, joining in the defense of the Holy Land. It grew in strength
and importance and branches were established in all parts of Europe, with the
highest nobility of all countries serving in its ranks. Though originally
instituted to serve a local need at Jerusalem, it became a universal society.
the Knights Templar, which were also in existence at that time, were a purely
military organization, the Hospitallers were primarily a nursing brotherhood,
and although this character was subordinated during their later period of
military importance, it never disappeared. In all their establishments the
sick gave orders and the brethren obeyed. The Hospitallers, moreover,
encouraged the affiliation with their Order of women, who devoted themselves
to prayer and nursing the sick and wounded.
1291 the Holy Land had ceased to be in Christian hands and the Order was
expelled. In 1309 it was established in Rhodes, which island was its home for
more than two hundred years. From 1529 to 1798 its headquarters were in Malta.
It was virtually destroyed in 1798, but was later reconstituted in various
European countries and has grown in strength and usefulness until the present
Order now exists in Germany and Italy as Roman Catholic bodies and in England
and Prussia as a Protestant organization. The English body, which had then
been several hundred years in existence, was chartered by Philip and Mary
about 1550 and was rechartered by Victoria. It numbers among its members the
royalty and nobility of England and rendered important service during the
Great War through the St. John's Ambulance Association. It maintains at the
present time a hospital in Jerusalem.
Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem is now established in America
as a Protestant organization. The primary purposes which it hopes to
accomplish, according to its articles of incorporation, are: (1) The
establishment and maintenance of a national hospital for the care of
tubercular patients; (2) the establishment and operation of general and
special hospitals throughout the United States.
national headquarters of the Order will be maintained in the Advertising
Building, St. Louis, Missouri. Local branches will be formed and chartered in
all parts of the country to carry out these purposes.
Order of the Hospital of St. John asks for the cooperation of all brethren,
and the members of their families, who wish to serve their fellow men.
than the Order Of the Temple, tracing its lineage back to the dawn of the
Christian era, and with a record of continuous service up to the present day,
the Hospitaller Order has a long and glorious history of service and sacrifice
in behalf of the poor, the sick and injured.
work of the Order will not be limited to the care of the tuberculous. Nor will
it be entirely limited to the members of the Order, to Freemasons and members
of their families, or even to Protestants, although primarily designed to
serve them. There is a great need for more, and larger, general medical and
surgical hospitals in the cities and towns of America. There is a great need
for Special Hospitals, for tuberculosis patients, for heart disease, for
maternity cases, for cancer patients, for chronic and incurable cases of all
kinds, etc. There is a great need for convalescent homes. These and other
institutions may be provided by local branches of the Order of St. John
according to local needs and according to the ability of the local branch of
the Order to meet such needs.
many cities and counties the local branch of the Order may take the initiative
in securing, or cooperate in securing, county or municipal provision and
support for the hospital needs of the city or county through bond issue
cities and counties need the services of clinics, or of additional clinics,
and of public health visiting nurses. These may be provided by local branches,
or county or municipal provision of same may be secured by local branches.
of the smaller cities and towns have no organized charity work and in such
places the local branch of the Order may undertake to do the work usually
carried on by Charity Societies.
working branch of the Order can render great service and meet many needs and
enlist its membership in every line of charitable, public health and social
work, if it recruits a large membership and secures necessary finances.
Order of the Mystic Shrine has been called "The Playground of Freemasonry."
Today it is more than that because of its great service to childhood in its
hospitals for crippled children. Perhaps the time may soon come, when the
Order of St. John, whose membership will be largely composed of men and women
with Masonic affiliations, or who are in complete sympathy with the principles
and teachings of Freemasonry, may be called the "Service Branch" of the Craft,
its "Life-Saving Crew," or "Red Cross Unit"; its "Ambulance Brigade or
Hospital Corps." It may become, in truth, Freemasonry's "Militia of Mercy."
this, even though membership in St. John is not based upon Freemasonry, or
limited to Freemasons There are many men and women, who are Freemasons at
heart, who will be glad to enlist in any way that they may serve the Craft,
even though afar off. The qualifications for St. John are the same as the
qualification for Freemasonry, in every respect, except the physical.
Order like St. John, with its marvelous historical and religious background,
whose chief objective is "Service," could not function, or succeed without
admitting women to membership. They played an important part in the work of
the Old Order in Europe and the Holy Land. They will likewise render great
service in the New Order.
men and women, who believe that any Brother or Sister, who for any reason is
in distress, should be aided, with the primary object of helping them to help
themselves, are members of the Order of the Hospital of St. John, AT HEART.
They will be welcomed as members, IN FACT.
General James Oglethorpe: Benefactor and Freemason
BRO. GILBERT W. DAYNES, Associate Editor, England
AMONGST the many outstanding and remarkable personalities of the 18th century
there is one whose association with Freemasonry gives him a more than passing
interest to the members of the Craft. James Edward Oglethorpe the youngest son
of Sir Theophilus Oglethorpe (1650-1702) of Westbrook Place, near Godalming,
Surrey was born in the Parish of St. James, Westminster, London, on the 1st
June, 1689. It has been stated that he entered the English Army as an Ensign
in 1710, but there is a regimental tradition, based upon old MS. Lists of
Officers, that he received his first Commission in the 1st Regiment of Foot,
or Grenadier, Guards in 1706. It is believed that his entry into the Army was
through the influence of the Duke of Marlborough. He soon saw service abroad,
but returned to England some time before the 9th July, 1714, when he
matriculated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He could not, however, have
continued his undergraduate course with any regularity, because we find him a
Captain-Lieutenant of the 1st Troop of the Queen's Life Guards, and leaving
England to join the Army of Prince Eugene, whose aide-de-camp he became before
the close of the same year. He served with distinction throughout the Turkish
Campaign, and was present at the siege and capture of Belgrade, in 1717. In
connection with this campaign, James Boswell, in his life of Dr. Samuel
Johnson, relates that, at a dinner on the 10th April, 1772,
The General told us, that when he was a very young man, I think only fifteen,
serving under Prince Eugene of Savoy, he was sitting in a company at table
with a Prince of Wirtemberg. The Prince took up a glass of wine, and, by a
fillip, made some of it fly in Oglethorpe's face. Here was a nice dilemma. To
have challenged him instantly, might have fixed a quarrelsome character upon
the young soldier: to have taken no notice of it might have been considered as
cowardice. Oglethorpe, therefore, keeping his eye upon the Prince, and smiling
all the time, as if he took what his Highness had done in jest, said "Mon
Prince (I forget the French words he used, the purport, however, was ), that's
a good joke; but we do it much better in England;" and threw a whole glass of
wine in the Prince's face. An old General who sat by, said, "II a bien fait,
mon Prince, vous l’avez commence:" and thus all ended in good humour.
After peace had been concluded between the Emperor and the Sultan, in 1718,
Oglethorpe returned to England. On the death of his brother Theophilus he
succeeded to the family estate at Westbrook, and resided there for some years.
In October, 1722, he was elected one of the Members for Haslemere, in Surrey,
and represented that ancient Borough and Market Town in Parliament
continuously for 32 years. Lecky, in his History of England, in the 18th
century, says of him:
Though a man of indomitable energy, and of some practical and organising
talent, he had no forensic ability, and he was both too hot-tempered, too
impulsive, and too magnanimous to take a high rank among the adroit and
intriguing politicians of his time.
Oglethorpe would probably have remained an undistinguished member of
Parliament had he not devoted his energies to improving the conditions, in
London prisons, for prisoners for debt. This subject he made preeminently his
own, and, by what he accomplished in the amelioration of that great national
evil, became, perhaps, the most notable of the philanthropists of his day.
this period imprisonment for debt was the cause of a vast amount of misery and
ruin; and until Oglethorpe turned his attention to the matter glaring abuses
in connection with its enforcement went on unchecked. In 1716 it is estimated
that about 60,000 debtors were incarcerated in English and Welsh prisons. The
mortality amongst these wretched victims was very high. Oglethorpe's notice to
this appalling state of affairs was attracted, apparently, by the imprisonment
in the Fleet of a friend of his, Robert Caster a man eminently skilled in
Architecture, and the author of The Villas of the Ancients Illustrated, a
costly folio produced in 1728 who had fallen from affluence into hopeless
debt. Owing to his inability to pay even the accustomed fees of the Warder of
his prison he was consigned to a house in which smallpox raged, where he
contracted the disease and died. In 1729 Oglethorpe secured a Parliamentary
enquiry into the terrible conditions obtaining in the Fleet and the Marshalsea,
which was afterwards extended to those of other goals. A Prison Visiting
Committee of 14 members of the House of Commons, with Oglethorpe as Chairman,
was appointed. The Committee commenced their labors by visiting the Fleet and
examining some of the debtors. It may be noted in passing that amongst the
prisoners examined was Sir William Rich, Baronet, who was a Freemason, having
been a member of the Lodge at the Fleece in Fleet Street, London, in 1725.
Many atrocities were revealed as the result of the three Reports of this
Committee of Investigation, and their exposure put a stop to much barbarous
and deliberate illtreatment; although Bambridge, the Warden of the Fleet, and
other gaolers, who were indicted for their treatment of prisoners, were
acquitted for lack of sufficient evidence.
Oglethorpe's endeavors in connection with prison reform did not exhaust his
activities. A pamphlet entitled The Sailor's Advocate was first published in
1728. This was attributed to Oglethorpe, and in it the evils of impressment
and other abuses countenanced by the Admiralty were clearly exposed. On the
31st July, 1731, he was created an M.A. at his University. During the same
year he was elected a Director of the Royal African Company, of which the King
was Governor, and in the following year became its Deputy Governor.
The Prison Inquiry with its disclosures particularly the hard lot of prisoners
for debt brought to Oglethorpe's attention the problem of pauperism generally;
and with a view of solving this problem he became the pioneer of, and took the
leading part in, the movement which resulted in a Royal Charter being granted
for a new Colony in America south of the river Savannah called Georgia, after
King George II. In February, 1730, Oglethorpe met Viscount Percival, then M.
P. for Harwich, in the Lobby of the House of Commons, and gained his
sympathies with regard to this project. Thereafter long and protracted
negotiations took place between the promoters and the Government. At one time
it looked as if nothing would materialize, and Lord Percival in his Diary,
early in 1732, states that he told Horatio Walpole, when discussing the
apprehended there was still a distrust that we sought our private advantage,
whereas we had no view but serving the public, and I did not know how we came
to be such knight-errants.
However, on the 9th June, 1732, a Charter was at last granted to Viscount
Percival (afterwards 2nd Earl of Egmont); Edward Digby (eldest son of the 5th
Baron Digby); George, Lord Carpenter; James Oglethorpe, M.P.; George Heathcote,
M.P.; Thomas Tower, M.P.; Robert Moor, M.P.; Robert Hucks, M.P.; Roger
Holland, M.P.; William Sloper, M.P.; Sir Francis Eyles, M.P.; John Laroche,
M.P.; James Vernon, Commissioner of Excise; William Beletha; John Burton, D.D.;
Richard Bundy, D.D.; Arthur Blaford; Samuel Smith; Adam Anderson, and Captain
Thomas Coram. Several of these gentlemen were Freemasons. For instance,
George, Lord Carpenter was a member of the Lodge at the Horn, Westminster, in
1723, becoming Senior Grand Warden in 1730. Roger Holland acted as Junior
Grand Warden on 13th April, 1732, although the name of his Lodge is unknown.
John Laroche was, in 1731, a member of the Lodge at the Prince Eugene's Head
Coffee House, St. Alban's Street. Mr. George Heathcote may perhaps be
identified with the Mr. Heathcote of the Lodge at the Rummer Tavern, Charing
Cross, and Mr. James Vernon may perchance be the Mr. Vernon who was a member
of the Lodge at the Bedford Head, Covent Garden. It is also quite likely that
some of the other Trustees were Freemasons, as we know James Oglethorpe to
have been, although there is no record of then having been initiated. As will
appear later on in this article there are records in the Colony of Georgia
proving that Oglethorpe was a Freemason, but at present we have no evidence to
show when or where he was made. In view of the interest taken by the Grand
Lodge of England in this scheme of colonization, and the cooperation
Oglethorpe received from well-know Freemasons, it is reasonable to suppose
that he was made in England prior to the granting of the Charter in 1732.
1732 Oglethorpe published A New and Accurate Account of the Province of South
Carolina and Georgia, and also An Essay on Plantations; or Tracts Relating to
the Colonies, wherein he expounded his theory as to the advantages and general
object to emigration. The settlers for the new Colony were selected from the
unfortunate but worthy indigent classes who had failed in England, and also
from the oppressed and persecute Protestant sects from Europe, particularly
those from the Bishopric of Salzberg. In addition, the Colony was intended to
exercise a civilizing and missionary influence upon the surrounding Indians,
while inserted in its Charter was a most memorable clause absolutely
prohibiting the introduction of slaves. One further clause may be quoted,
which shows quite clearly the character and ideas of the promoters:
And for the greater ease and encouragement of our loving subjects and such
others as shall come to inhabit in our said colony, we do . . . grant
establish and ordain that forever hereafter there shall be a liberty of
conscience allowed in the worship of God to all persons inhabiting . . . our
said province, and that all such persons except Papists shall have a free
exercise of their religion, so they be contented with the peaceable and quiet
enjoyment of the same, not giving offense or scandal to the government.
The Trustees were to receive no salary, payment, fee or profit from the
undertaking, nor be able to obtain any grant of land in the Colony.
Deputations were granted by the Trustees to influential people to enable them
to collect money on behalf of the scheme, and subscriptions came in freely
from private persons of every rank, as well as from various public
institutions. The government supported it, and the Duke of Newcastle (himself
a Freemason) and others remitted their fees of office upon the granting of the
Charter, amounting to some hundreds of pounds. Southey, in his life of John
colony was ever established upon principles more honourable to its projectors:
nor did the subsequent conduct of the Trustees discredit their profession.
Freemasons added their contributions to the rest. From the Newcastle Courant
of the 30th December 1732, we learn that a Lodge, which does not appear to
have ever come upon the roll of the premier Grand Lodge, "ordered a
considerable sum of money to be distributed among the poor families sent to
Georgia." A little later a subscription from all the Lodges under the premier
Grand Lodge was organized for the same purpose. In the minutes of the
Quarterly Communication, held at the Devil Tavern, Temple Bar, on Tuesday,
13th December, 1733, it is recorded:
Then the Depy Grand Master opened to the Lodge the Affairs of Planting the new
Colony in Georgia in America, and having sent an Account in Print of the
Nature of such Plantation to all the Lodges, and informed the Grand Lodge That
the Trustees had to Nathaniel Blackerby Esqr. and to himself Commissions under
their Common-Seal to collect the Charity of this Society towards enabling the
Trustees to send distressed Brethren to Georgia where they may be comfortably
Proposed that it be strenuously recommended by the Masters & Wardens of
regular Lodges to make a generous Collection amongst all their Members for
Which being seconded by Br. Rogers Holland Esqr. (one of the said Trustees)
who opened the nature of the Settlement, and by Sr. William Keith Bart. who
was many Years Governour of Pennsylvania by Dr. Desagulier, Lord Southwell Br.
Blackerby and many others, very worthy Brethren it was recommended
The Depy Grand Master and Br. Blackerby Treasurer informed the Grand Lodge
that they would wait upon the Noblemen, and others Persons of Distinction, who
are Members of this Society; for their Contribution to the charity of Georgia.
the following 18th March, a further resolution was passed, at a Quarterly
Communication held at the same place, which was as follows:
Resolved That the Masters of all regular Lodges who shall not bring in their
Contribution of Charity Do at the next Quarterly Communication give the
reasons why their respective Lodges do not contribute to the Settlement of
The Grand Festival was held on the 30th March, and the next Quarterly
Communication recorded was on the 24th February, 1735, but in the minutes of
neither of these Meetings are there any references to this matter. Thus, from
Craft Records, we cannot tell the extent of the support given by the
Freemasons to this deserving object. There seems, however, little doubt that
this Colonization had the special sympathy and active support of the
Brotherhood, no doubt on account of those Brethren who, headed by Oglethorpe,
set the enterprise in motion.
the 1st November, 1732, a meeting of the Trustees was held at which it was
resolved that a civil government should be established at Georgia; that the
first town to be erected should be named Savannah; that powers under seal
should be entrusted to James Oglethorpe; that a surgeon and apothecary should
go with the first settlers; and that the Rev. Henry Herbert son of the late
Lord Herbert of Cherbury a Church of England Clergyman, should go a voluntary
chaplain until a paid Clergyman could be supported and found. After attending
this meeting Viscount Percival records in his Diary:
Thus, I hope, with the blessing of God, this noble, charitable disinterested
and profitable design to the nation will take root and flourish, having taken
all possible care for its success.
length the move westward took place, and on the 16th November, 1732,
Oglethorpe sailed with 35 families (comprising 120 persons) in the ship, Ann,
commanded by Captain Thomas. They embarked at Graves-end, and arrived at
Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, on the 13th January, 1733. The only
casualties on the voyage were the deaths of two children, both under three
months old. Oglethorpe thus became the first Governor of Georgia, a position
he retained for nearly 20 years, and throughout that period not only received
no salary or recompense, but expended large sums out of his own private
the 31st January, 1733, the settlers had arrived at the site of the future
town of Savannah. They set to work to clear the site for the buildings to be
erected and Oglethorpe at once got on terms of amity with the Indian tribes,
who inhabited the district. On 12th March he wrote to the Trustees as follows:
This province is much larger than we thought, being 120 miles from this river
to the Alatamaha. The Savannah has a very long course, and a great trade is
carried on by the Indians, there having above twelve trading boats passed
since I have been here. There are in Georgia, on this side of the mountains,
three considerable nations of Indians.... One of these is within a short
distance of us and had concluded a peace with us, giving us the right of all
this part of the country: and I have marked out the lands which they have
reserved to themselves. Their King comes constantly to church, is desirous to
be instructed in the Christian religion, and has given me his nephew, a boy
who is his next heir, to educate.... We agree so well with the Indians that
the Creeks and the Uchees have referred to me a difference to determine, which
otherwise would have occasioned a war.
This same month the new Colony was visited by three or four residents of South
Carolina, one of whom in an account of his experiences wrote;
Mr. Oglethorpe is indefatigable, and takes a vast deal of pains. His fare is
but indifferent, having little else at present but salt provisions. He is
extremely well beloved by all the people. The title they give him is Father.
If any of them are sick he immediately visits them, and takes great care of
them. If any difference arises he is the person who decides it. Two happened
while I was here, and in my presence, and all the parties went away to outward
appearance satisfied and contented with the determination. He keeps a strict
discipline; I neither saw one of his people drunk nor heard one swear all the
time I have been here. He does not allow them rum, but in lieu gives them
English beer. It is surprising to see how cheerfully the men go to work,
considering they have not been bred to it. There are no idlers here; even the
boys and girls do their part. There are four houses already up, but none
finished; and he hopes when he has got more sawyers to finish two houses a
week. He has ploughed up some land, part of which is sowed with wheat, which
is come up and looks promising. He has two or three gardens, which he has
sowed with divers sorts of seeds and planted thyme, with other pot herbs, and
several sorts of fruit-trees. He was palisading the town round, including some
part of the Common. In short, he has done a vast deal of work for the time,
and I think his name deserved to he immortalized.
due course the town of Savannah was erected, to be followed subsequently by
other settlements, such as Abercorn and Ebenezer, when other parties from
England and the continent of Europe had followed, including many of Count
the 10th February, 1734, the first Lodge of Freemasons in Georgia was
organized and became known as "The Lodge at Savannah." The founders seem just
to have met together, without any formal ceremony of constitution, and to have
appointed James Oglethorpe as their first Master, an office he seems to have
held until he left the Colony about nine years later. He was succeeded, in
1743, by Noble Jones, who was the first initiate of the Lodge, having been
made between the first Meeting and the 25th March, 1734. The formal
Constitution of the Lodge did not take place until 1736, after the arrival of
Roger Lacey. In Anderson's Constitutions of 1738, amongst the "Deputations
sent beyond Sea," there is the following entry:
Weymouth Grand Master granted ..... Another to Mr. Roger Lacy, Merchant, for
constituting a Lodge at Savannah of Georgia in America.
The only other Masonic reference to Oglethorpe that I can find is contained in
A Memoir of General James Oglethorpe by Robert Wright, published in 1867, in
which it is stated:
There is, or before the late strife there was, in Savannah a Bible his gift to
a Masonic Lodge.
Oglethorpe spent a busy 15 months in exploring portions of his Province and
organizing such parts of it as were being settled. There were defensive posts
to be selected and manned. The town of Savannah had to be laid out, not merely
for the present, but with an eye to its future possibilities and magnitude.
The settlers had to have buildings erected for them as speedily as possible.
Then, too, the neighboring State of South Carolina had to be visited and
numerous points settled, besides many meetings with the Indians and arranging
treaties with them. As the Colony grew, and fresh settlers arrived, judicial
and administrative powers, at first exercised by Oglethorpe alone, had to be
delegated to others competent to carry them out.
March, 1734, Oglethorpe committed the charge of the Colony to Mr. Thomas
Causton, the Trustees' Storekeeper, with the title of Bailiff, and proceeding
via Charleston, South Carolina, returned to England, arriving in June, 1734.
He received a great welcome on reaching London. In the Gentleman's Magazine
Mr. Urban offered a prize for the best design for a medal to commemorate
Oglethorpe's benevolence and patriotism. It was subsequently cast, but after a
few specimens had been struck off the die was destroyed.
Whilst in England Oglethorpe obtained two statutory enactments for the benefit
of the new Province. One was an Act prohibiting the importation and sale of
rum, brandy and other distilled liquors, and the other was an Act for
rendering the Province of Georgia more defensive, by prohibiting the
importation of black slaves or negroes. Governor Belcher of Massachusetts, and
a brother Freemason, strongly approved of these measures, and in a letter to
Lord Egmont stated:
have read Mr. Oglethorpe's State of the New Colony of Georgia once and again;
and by its harbours, rivers, soil, and productions, do not doubt that it must
in time make a fine addition to the British Empire in America; and I still
insist upon it that the prohibitory regulations of the Trustees are essential
to its healthy and prosperous condition.
the 20th October, 1735, Oglethorpe sailed from Gravesend, and was accompanied
by John and Charles Wesley the Methodists who were to superintend the moral
and spiritual welfare of the Colony. Although the vessel got as far as St.
Helens it was detained for several weeks by bad weather, and it was not until
the 10th December that it finally stood out to sea, arriving at Georgia on the
following 4th February. Charles Wesley did not stay long in the Colony, and
was back in England in December, 1736. His place was subsequently taken by
George Whitfield, who reached America in May, 1737. In the following year John
Wesley, too, returned home to answer certain complaints made against him, and
his commission seems to have been revoked. George Whitfield has preserved an
interesting note upon Freemasonry, which Dr. Richard Rawlinson copied and
forwarded in the following letter to his friend and Masonic brother, Thomas
Towle of London:
you preserve all relating to the Subject of Masonry I send you this from Mr.
Whitfields Continuation of his Journal Lond. 1739. Oct. pag: 6.
Savannah in Georgia Friday 24 June 1738
the great surprise of myself and people was enabled to read Prayers and preach
with power before the Free Masons, with whom I afterwards dined, and was used
with the utmost Civility. May God make them servants of Christ, and then, and
not till then will they be free indeed.
What notions this Gent has of the Craft you may guess by his surprise and
am Sr. Yours to command,
Jany 1738/9 R. R.
was during this decade that Alexander Pope immortalized James Oglethorpe by
extolling his abundance of that Masonic virtue Charity. In his Imitations of
Horace, Epistle ii (1733-1737), Pope wrote these well-known lines:
One driven by strong benevolence of soul Shall fly like Oglethorpe from Pole
Back once more to the Colony, Oglethorpe was kept busy adjusting differences,
satisfying discontented settlers and superintending the formation of several
new settlements, including the town of Frederica. A considerable part of his
time was spent investigating and dealing with the problem of defence against
the Spaniards, including conferences with the Spanish authorities. Peremptory
demands by the Spaniards for evacuation of part of the territory occupied by
the settlers created further difficulties, and brought Oglethorpe's military
qualities into full play. Troubles from within also added to Oglethorpe's
anxieties. It was at this juncture that he received the following letter from
Mr. Verelst, the Trustees' Secretary:
The Earl of Egmont, Mr. Vernon, and Mr. Thomas Towers give their service to
you, and they with the rest of the Trustees have directed me to renew their
desire for your presence in England as early as may be, for the approaching
session of Parliament, which is expected to meet about the middle of January
next; for without your presence they have no manner of hopes of any further
supply, and then Georgia will be in a melancholy state.
This letter had its effect, and on the 29th November, 1736, Oglethorpe once
more left America. When back in England he enlarged upon the Spanish danger.
His Majesty sanctioned the raising of a corps for the protection of Georgia,
and appointed Oglethorpe General of all his forces in Carolina as well as in
Georgia. He was also appointed Colonel in that year, and on the 5t July, 1738,
Oglethorpe, for a third time, embarked for Georgia.
his reaching the Colony, Oglethorpe at once resumed control. In November,
1738, an attempt was made on his life by some mutinous soldiers, but it
fortunately miscarried, the soldiers being caught and the ringleader executed.
An arduous task now fell to Oglethorpe's lot, but by gaining the goodwill and
friendship of the Indians, and thus creating a strong bulwark between the
Colony of Georgia and the neighboring Spanish Colony, as well as by his clever
defence he saved Georgia from the Spaniards during the years that followed the
outbreak of the Spanish War of 1739.
Owing to serious financial matters Oglethorpe, in July, 1743, once more
crossed the Atlantic. The English Government, by failing to honor his bills,
cast a very heavy monetary burden upon Oglethorpe, from a part of which
apparently he was never relieved. William Stephen was left in charge of the
Colony as Deputy Governor, subsequently becoming President of the Colony when
a form of civil government was established under a President and four
Councillors. Lecky, in summing up Oglethorpe's rule over Georgia, says:
The administration of Oglethorpe was marred by some faults of temper and of
tact, but it was on the whole able, energetic and fortunate.
John M. Bolzius, a pastor who accompanied some of the Salzburg refugees to
Georgia in 1734, in his Journal, speaks of Oglethorpe, during the period just
Man having great reverence for God and his holy Word and Ordinance; a cordial
love for the servants and children of God; and who desired to see the name of
Christ glorified in all places.
the 15th September, 1744, at the age of 55, Oglethorpe married Elizabeth, only
surviving daughter and heiress of Sir Nathan Wright, Baronet, of Cranham Hall,
Just as Oglethorpe was about to return to America once more the Jacobite
Rebellion of 1745 broke out, and, promoted to the rank of Major General, he
was attached to the forces of the Duke of Cumberland. He was repulsed, with
some loss, at a minor engagement at Clifton in Westmoreland. His conduct in
connection with this reverse became the subject of an enquiry by Court Martial
in September, 1746; but although he was acquitted his military reputation
suffered. On the 13th September, 1747, he was promoted Lieutenant Colonel, and
was finally raised to the rank of General on the 22nd February, 1765.
Upon returning to England Oglethorpe resumed his place in Parliament, and
after the Rebellion was over was continually in his place. In 1749 he was
successful in getting an Act passed exempting the Moravians in England from
the necessity of violating their religious convictions. About 1765 he ceased
to sit in the House of Commons having failed to get re-elected. Throughout his
Parliamentary career he was thoroughly independent and consistent. His
political principles were high Tory, but he was a loyal subject and a strong
advocate of the Protestant Succession. Bills for the benefit of commerce and
the amelioration of grievances received his wholehearted support, and his
success may be gauged by what he effected rather than for what he said.
1749 Oglethorpe was a candidate for the Royal Society. His Certificate of
Candidature reads as follows:
The Honourable Lieutenant-General James Oglethorpe of Lisle Street, London.
gentleman well versed in Natural History, Mathematics, and all branches of
Polite Literature, being desirous of becoming a Member of the Royal Society,
we whose names are underwritten do from our personal knowledge of him and his
great merits recommend him as one who will be a useful member and every way
qualified to promote the designs of our Institution.
This Certificate of Candidature was signed by William Hanbury (1728), Cromwell
Mortimer, M. D. (1728), Peter Collinson (1728), Mark Catesby (1733), Sir Hans
Sloane, Bart. (1685, and P.R.S. 1727-1741), Charles, Lord Cadogan (1718), and
Martin ffolkes (1714, and P.R.S. 1741-1752). Oglethorpe was duly elected on
the 9th November, 1749, and was admitted a week later. Such interest as he had
at first in the Society must have subsequently evaporated, as on the 9th June,
1757, he was in arrear with his Subscriptions, and the records of the Society
show that, as a consequence, he was "Ejected out of the Society."
the later years of his life Oglethorpe was the friend of Johnson, Boswell,
Goldsmith, Burke and Reynolds, several references being made to these
friendships by Boswell in his Life of Dr. Samuel Johnson. Even before he
became acquainted with the Doctor he was an ardent admirer of his works. In
May, 1738, Johnson published his poem, London, and according to Boswell,
One of the warmest patrons of this poem on its first appearance was General
Oglethorpe, whose "strong benevolence of soul," was unabated during the course
of a very long lifethough it is painful to think, that he had but too much
reason to be cold and callous, and discontented with the world, from the
neglect which he experienced of his publick and private worth, by those in
whose power it was to gratify so gallant a veteran with marks of distinction.
This extraordinary person was as remarkable for his learning and taste, as for
his other eminent qualities; and no man was more prompt, active, and generous,
in encouraging merit.
1768 Boswell published his Account of Corsica, and shortly afterwards he tells
us that the General called on him and said, "My Name, Sir, is Oglethorpe, and
I wish to be acquainted with you." Continuing Boswell tells us:
was fortunate enough to be found worthy of his good opinion, insomuch, that I
not only was invited to make one in the many respectable companies whom he
entertained at his table, but had a cover at his hospitable board every day
when I happened to be disengaged; and in his society I never failed to enjoy
learned and animated conversation, seasoned with genuine sentiments of virtue
passing I may mention that James Boswell was certainly a Freemason under the
Scottish Constitution, and was one of those who subscribed to Wellins
Calcott's Candid Disquisitions on Masonry, published in 1768.
The friendship between Boswell and Oglethorpe no doubt brought the latter into
close touch with Dr. Johnson, and from 1772 onwards there are several
references by Boswell to Dr. Johnson dining with the General. For instance, on
Friday 10th April, 1772, Goldsmith being amongst those present, an interesting
discussion on duelling took place, the General asserting that "undoubtedly a
man has a right to defend his honour." He also took part in a controversy
concerning apparitions, and quoted from his military experiences. Then, again,
at a dinner in April, 1778, we learn that "General Oglethorpe declaimed
against luxury." The last recorded occasion was in 1783 when Boswell states
that "the General said he was busy reading the writers of the middle age."
Some two years later, on the 1st July, 1785, General James Oglethorpe died at
Cranham Hall in Essex.
Smollett, in his History of England, refers to Oglethorpe as "a gentleman of
unblemished character, brave, generous and humane." Robert Wright, when
summing up the General's life in his Memoir, before quoted from, states:
Oglethorpe's was no selfish benevolence; his sympathies were not absorbed by
his own schemes; he was ever ready to assist the worthy, in whatever form was
best suited to their wants or desires. Few books of merit were published in
his time to which he did not subscribe in many cases for several copies, and
while he liberally contributed to public charities, his private benefactions
And thus we take leave of a man and a Mason whose life was one of singular
variety and usefulness, and throughout which the principles and tenets of the
Craft shine forth with steady brilliance.
The following works were consulted: Encyclopedia Britannica Boswell's Life of
Johnson, Lecky's History of England in the 18th Century, Turberville's Men and
Manners of the 18th Century, Wright's Memoir of General James Oglethorpe,
Transactions of the Historical Society, 4th Series, Vol. VI, and A.Q.C. Vol.
XI. The quotation from the Records of the Royal Society was kindly supplied by
the Assistant Secretary of the Royal Society.
The Degrees of Masonry; Their Origin and History
BROS. A. L. KRESS AND R. J. MEEKREN
(Continued from May)
discussing the visit of Dr. Desaguliers to the Lodge of Mary's Chapel, and his
reception as a brother, fully "qualified in all points of Masonry," Murray
Lyon says that the fact that the members of the lodge and the learned Doctor
. . so thoroughly understood each other on all the points of Masonry, shows
that either in their main features the secrets of the old Operative Lodges of
the two countries were somewhat similar, or that an inkling of the novelty had
already been conveyed into Scotland.
Not impossible, of course, however unlikely it may seem, supposing a novelty
to have existed. In this case some of those present who had received it might
have assisted; but it is all guess-work, and guess-work founded on conjecture
at that, for there is no proof that any new degree had then been invented. The
very first known allusion to an invention is that in Dr. Stukeley's diary,
under Dec. 28 of the following year, 1722, where he speaks of making two
friends members of the Order of the Book, or Roman Knighthood. (1) Even if the
Master's part was deliberately fabricated there seems no reason that has so
far appeared to make us suppose it was done before August, 1721, the date of
Lyon also advances another argument in the following passage:
Some years ago, and when unaware of Desaguliers' visit to Mary's Chapel, we
publicly expressed our opinion that the system of Masonic Degrees which for
nearly a century and a half has been known in Scotland as Freemasonry, was an
importation from England, seeing that in the processes of initiation and
advancement conformity to the new ceremonial required the adoption of
genuflexions, postures, etc., which in the manner of their use the country
being then purely Presbyterian were regarded by our forefathers with
abhorrence as relies of Popery and Prelacy (2).
Whatever weight this psychological consideration may have is all against the
acceptance of a novelty from England, so at least it seems to us. The country
was not less Presbyterian in 1721 than in the years before that. There is
really far more likelihood of "genuflections" having survived in an old secret
ritual to which each individual was introduced separately and to which he got
accustomed in the corporate atmosphere, than in the acceptance of such
ceremonies by the Craft en masse, or at least by lodges, as an importation
from another and prelatical country. In saying this we are not here advancing
any alternative hypothesis, but only that, without the entirely conjectural
premises imagined by Lyon, the natural conclusion from the facts cited would
be this, that whatever the Masonry of London in 1721 may have been, it was
sufficiently like that of Scotland to enable a member of the premier Grand
Lodge to "work his way into" the "head lodge" (as the Schaw Statutes call it)
of the Northern Kingdom. Gould (3) says of the incident that it
. . may mean that Desaguliers passed a satisfactory examination in all the
Masonic Secrets then known in the Scottish metropolis, or the words italicized
[i. e. in all points of Masonry] may simply import in Masonic phrase that the
two parties to the conference were mutually satisfied with the result.
This seems, whether so intended or not, to throw a cloud of innuendo over what
in itself seems fairly clear. The phrase in the minute book is sufficiently in
line with our present terminology to make very good and obvious sense. Gould's
two interpretations either mean the same thing, in which case one was only a
paraphrase of the other and hardly worth while, or else they imply, the one
that Desaguliers may have been in possession of Masonic secrets unknown in
Mary's Chapel, or that other considerations besides those included in our
phrase, "strict trial and due examination," were taken into account (such as,
for instance, his known position in the London organization) and that actually
there may have been little or nothing in common, esoterically speaking,
between them. Gould, in a number of places, both in his History and in various
essays and articles on the subject, insists on the difference between English
and Scottish Masonry at this period, and it might almost seem that his
intention here was to lessen the force of a record that implies there was no
essential difference in ritual matters. Certainly the natural implication of
the whole record is that Desaguliers was formally and Masonically examined;
such an examination would necessarily be in a mode that would also satisfy the
examinee of the right of the examiners to question him. And finally the
phraseology used does not indicate the slightest recognition of any deficiency
of Masonic information in Mary's Chapel.
Gould seemed to depend entirely on Lyon for his estimate of the esoteric side
of the early Scottish Craft, and it is now necessary to see what the
considerations were from which the latter drew his conclusions. The first in
order, and one that he dwells on repeatedly is the following provision in the
Schaw Statutes. These it mart he understood were formulated by the King's
Master Mason in his official capacity, and had the force of law; although like
all such regulations they were based on the customs and usages of the trade;
and it may be added that the various provisions run closely parallel to those
of the Old Charges. The passage in point is as follows:
Item, that na maister or fallow of craft be ressauit nor admittit wtout the
numer of sex maisteris and twa enterit prenteissis, the wardene of that ludge
being ane of the said sex and that the day of the ressauyng of the said fallow
craft or maister be ordlie buikit and his name and mark insert in the said
buik wt the names of his sex admitteris and enterit prenteissis, and the names
of the intendaris that salbe chosin to everie persone to be alsua insert in
thair buik. Providing alwayis that na man be atmittit wtout ane assay and
sufficient tryall of skill and worthynes in his vocatioun and craft (4).
this Lyon remarks:
The presence of so many masters was doubtless intended as a barrier to the
advancement of incompetent craftsmen and not for the communication of secrets
with which entered apprentices were unacquainted, for the arrangement referred
to proves beyond question that whatever secrets were imparted in and by the
Lodge were, as a means of recognition, patent to the intrant (5).
The last sentence seems somewhat obscure, but we take it that here the "intrant"
is the candidate for the mastership, and that it means he already knew the
secrets. He goes on to say.
The "trial of skill in ,his craft," the production of an "essay piece," and
the insertion of his name and mark in the Lodge book, with the names of his
six "admitters" and "intendaris," were merely practical tests and
confirmations of the applicant's qualifications . . . and the apprentice's
attendance at such an examination could not be otherwise than beneficial to
him because of the opportunity it afforded for increasing his professional
this one is inclined emphatically to dissent. Presence at an examination may
help a prospective candidate in several ways to prepare to pass one himself,
but not very much in gaining skill and knowledge and the apprentice's
instruction was in the hands of his intenders. This could hardly have been
"professional" instruction, which he would receive in due course working for
his master. Another point, in the clause of the statutes referred to the
requirement of the essay and examination comes last, as a proviso, and might
be taken quite naturally as referring to a prior condition that had to be met,
more especially as it is laid down at greater length in a preceding clause.
Further, the reference to intenders does not read as if it referred to those
who had instructed him as an apprentice, who were now being discharged, but as
appointed to instruct him as a fellow of craft. But in what should he need
instruction, seeing he had just passed an examination as to his professional
refers to this again (6) after having given some typical excerpts from the
minutes of Mary's Chapel ranging from January, 1600, to March, 1603. He notes
that in such of these items as refer to the passing of fellows and masters
that the custom of the lodge agreed with the old Statutes of 1598. Then a
little later he makes the statement that
The attendance of apprentices in the lodge during the making of a fellow-craft
is confirmed by the minutes of Nov. 26, 1601, Nov. 10, 1606, Feb. 24, 1637,
and June 23, 1637. This fact demolishes the theory propounded by the
representatives of the Grand Lodge of Scotland at the Conference on the Mark
Degree, held at London in April, 1871 viz., that apprentices "were merely
present at the constitution of the Lodge" for the reception of fellows of
craft or masters, but "were not present during the time the business was going
Only one of these four critical entries is given by him, which runs as
Tertio Martij 1601. The qlk day Blais Hamilton, prenteis sum tyme to Thomas
Weir, present warden and frieman and burges of Edinbruch, is admittet and
ressavit in fallow of craft of the massoun craft, and he's done he's dewitie
in all poyntts as effeirs, to the satisfaction and contentment of the dekyn,
warden, and haill Mrs. of the said craft undersubscriving and marking; and
upon the haill premisses the said Blais Hamiltoun askit and tuik instruments
fra me notar publico underwritten the scribe. Ita est Mr. Gibsone no'rious.
The signatures and marks of those present, other than the secretary, are not
given. Hamilton evidently received from the latter a legal instrument or
certificate of the fact that he had been admitted a master, which would
entitle him to the freedom of the trade in the city of Edinburgh. The point of
the entry from Lyon's point of view must lie, not in its form, which is quite
normal, but in the fact that it can be demonstrated that some one or more of
those who signed it or appended their marks can be shown to have been at the
time only apprentices. Thus if the name of such an individual be found in an
earlier minute which records his being entered as an apprentice, and again in
a later one as being received as a fellow, then it would follow that when he
attested the intervening record he was an apprentice and present at the
proceedings. He does not mention however the name or names in point.
Nevertheless it is not obvious how such records, whether few or many, demolish
the theory alluded to above. To do so logically requires an unexpressed
premise. Put formally the argument runs
or M. was an apprentice. He signed the minutes.
Therefore, an apprentice was present during the whole proceedings of the
is obviously a non sequitur as it stands, and requires the introduction of
some such step as this;
Everyone signing the minutes was present in the lodge throughout the whole
Quite obviously this would be a pure assumption, though of course it might be
in any given case a true one. Nevertheless the fact that Masonic lodges all
over the world, outside the United States (and in the United States before
1830 or thereabouts) require in theory the presence of all grades when the
lodge is formed and opened, and that those of a lower degree retire when there
is any work to be done in a higher one, and return when that is concluded, it
would seem that the theory of the Scottish representatives at the Mark Degree
Conference is not disproved by these minutes, though they do not, of course,
establish it. But it remains a possibility.
One more assertion is made by Lyon in favor of his thesis, and that is that
apprentices were sometimes elected to the chief offices Deacon or Warden of
the Lodge of Kilwinning. He cites no record but seems to promise it later on
in his work, though this we have been unable to discover. Gould however (8)
refers to an account in the Freemason's Magazine for 1863 of this old lodge,
as a reference in support of the same assertion, and in another place (9) he
states that the Earl of Cassilis was elected a Deacon (principal officer)
though not received as a Fellowcraft till the next year. This gentleman
distinguished himself, by the way, at the battle of Marston Moor, fighting for
King Charles I. Ashmole was also in the Royalist service, acting as a Quarter
Master at Oxford, the Royalist headquarters, while Col. Mainwaring, who was
initiated with him at Barrington, was in the Parliamentary forces. The
possible significance of these and like facts Robert Moray or Murray, for
example, was initiated by some members of the Lodge of Edinburgh at the siege
of Newcastle a few years before has, curiously enough, never been emphasized.
There may have been other and more practical reasons than mere curiosity, or
desire for good fellowship, that prompted these men of high social position in
stormy political periods to seek to unite themselves with a widespread
fraternity. However, returning to the subject in hand, it certainly seems that
the election of an earl, who had just joined the lodge, to the chief position
was at least exceptional, and probably a purely formal honor. It seems that an
active deputy was also elected to do the work. There have been cases where a
lady has been appointed honorary colonel of a regiment, but it is not to be
supposed that she would know very much about its administration and
discipline. The position of the apprentice was by the nature of the case
subordinate, and his election to preside over a lodge would be exceptional
even if the question of degrees be left entirely out of consideration. Each
such case would have to be judged on its merits. Gould insists very strongly
on the differences between the Masonries of the two kingdoms, and we believe
there was a great difference; but it lay rather in their organization and
their relationship to the body politic than in the esoteric secrets, whatever
these may have been. The lodges in Scotland seem to have taken the status and
functions, to a varying extent, of gilds, a status and function that was
really foreign to their original character and purpose, and this led to all
kinds of compromises and complications. Thus it seems that grown men, though
fully competent professionally, and actually employing other men, and even
having apprentices of their own, in some cases ranked only as Entered
Apprentices (10). Such individuals could have been apprentices only in a
purely formal sense, and were in fact small masters, without the "freedom" of
the city. When matters got into such an abnormal state the further anomaly of
choosing an apprentice to preside does not seem so extraordinary. We have then
to consider its real bearing on the claim that receiving a "fellow craft"
involved no further esoteric ceremony.
the two cases cited by Gould (11) the latter was where a nobleman was chosen,
apparently in his absence, and a deputy elected to do the work. This hardly
seems a safe instance to build on. In the other we are told that apprentices
were "not infrequently" chosen to preside pro tem, when the Deacon was absent.
This again is not conclusive, and could hardly be so unless there were a
definite record of an apprentice acting as Deacon or Warden when other
apprentices were received as fellows. This would certainly be an amazing
anomaly in any case, whether there were secret ceremonies or not.
There is just one more point to be made before we pass on from the
consideration of Lyon's views; and that is why did the Schaw Statutes, and
other regulations based on them, insist that no one was to be received as a
fellow without at least six masters and two apprentices? Lyon's suggestion as
to the masters is possible enough from the practical point of view, but there
is no practical reason for the apprentices being there. The supposition that
it was for its educative value is simply ridiculous. Lyon was unacquainted (at
least he gives them no consideration) with the vestiges of ritual evidence
that have come down to us. It certainly seems that this regulation merely
embodied a ritual requirement. If so it is quite impossible to say what the
presence of apprentices really implied from the bare record that they were
SUMMARY OF LYON'S ARGUMENT
have given so much space to Lyon because his conclusions have been largely
used by the other proponents of the single initiation hypothesis in its
various forms. And it may be as well to briefly summarize his position. He
insists that the legal requirement for the presence of apprentices when a
fellow or master was received is proof that there were no ritual secrets
involved peculiar to the higher rank which were unknown to the lower. This is
really the chief foundation of his argument. He further deduces from the bare
and laconic references in the early records of the old lodges and from the
fact that in some cases individuals has apparently "made masons" single
handed, that the ritual or ceremony must have been of the barest and simplest
character, consisting (we judge, though has does not definitely say so) of the
administration of an oath of secrecy and the communication of a word, which
may also have been accompanied by a grip, and possible a sign or signal of
some kind. He minimizes the effect of the few minutes that seem to hint at
something more as being exceptional, although he uses the equally exceptional
cases, of men ranking as apprentices being chosen to preside in the lodge, to
support his own contentions. He also advances a psychological argument based
on the Presbyterian prejudices of the Scotch which would tend to make them
object to "genuflexions"' and other like ritual elements, as Popish and
superstitious, and that in consequence they would not have employed anything
of the kind in their form of "entering apprentices," or "making masons,"
though he does not seem to think that this prejudice would have tended to
hinder the adoption of such ritual practices imported from England in the
HUGHAN’S THEORY OF DEGREES
From Lyon we go next to William James Hughan. It must be remembered that all
the brethren we have mentioned were partially contemporary with each other. It
does not appear, so far as we have been able to discover in their work, that
Oliver ever corresponded with Lyon and Hughan, but he did with Mackey and
Albert Pike, and these two latter brethren were in touch with them. The views
of all four were thus, apparently, worked out more or less in communication
with each other before they were published.
Hughan's name is associated chiefly in connection with the manuscript
Constitutions or Old Charges. Although sundry copies had been previously
published in the Masonic press, in full or in part, he was the first to issue
a critical edition of as many as were then known. In a paper read before
Quatuor Coronati Lodge in 1897 he says that he and Lyon had been working on
this subject for over thirty years, and that it was their considered judgment
. . until the second decade of the last century  there was but the one
simple ceremony never were brethren required to leave the lodge because a
higher degree was to be worked for which they were not eligible but whether
Apprentices, Fellow Crafts or Master Masons, all were equally entitled to be
present, irrespective of any notion of Degrees whatever. In other words, so
far as we can determine, in the light of duly authenticated facts distinct and
separate Masonic degrees are never met with, alluded to, or even probable,
prior to 1716-7 (circa) (12).
goes on to say that he believes in the great antiquity of the Fraternity, in
the continuity of the Freemasonry of today with that of the Middle Ages, but
insists that "the antiquity or continuity of Freemasonry is one thing, and
that of Degrees quite another." In which statement all must agree. The paper
referred to contains a summary of the argument and the kind of evidence on
which his opinion is based. In matters of this kind reference to the original
documents is really essential for complete judgment; with the best will in the
world to be fair and impartial a writer's selection of evidence will be
colored by his own views. This we painfully realize in trying to fairly
summarize the arguments of these brethren with whose conclusions we do not
CHIEFLY NEGATIVE ARGUMENT
Hughan states his purpose as being that of examining "the chief arguments in
support of the alleged antiquity of two or more distinct Masonic ceremonies,"
so that in a sense it is rather critical than constructive. His criticism can
be more compendiously handled when we reach the arguments on the other side,
at present we will pick out the evidence offered for his own view that has not
already been mentioned in presenting Lyon's argument. Yet, as Dr. Chetwode-Crawley
pointed out in discussion, his conclusion does seem to rest more on lack of
positive evidence for, rather than unambiguous evidence against, which makes
it very difficult to summarize his argument. He says:
to the proof of the existence of two or more separate degrees in England,
prior to the last century, where is it to be found? Certainly not in any of
the "Old Charges" which were the common property of the Lodge Company, or
Fellowship, and were more Specifically addressed to the Apprentices though all
grades were addressed therein: "Brethren and Fellows" included all the
craftsmen in the Lodge when the scroll was read; an examination of the text of
any or either of these ancient documents exhibiting the fact that three
classes were then recognized and usually termed Apprentices, Fellows (or
Journeymen) and Masters; the last of the trio sometimes meaning a Master Mason
(being a skilled workman or employer) and at other times the Master of the
Lodge, according to the context, and as illustrated in my "Old Charges of the
British Freemasons," 1895.
These old Regulations reminded the senior brethren of their duties as well as
instructed the neophytes. Had there been distinct degrees during the 17th
century, it is not easy to explain such a uniform silence thereon in all these
scrolls, particularly in the later versions containing the "New Articles,"
first met with about two hundred years ago. (13).
From this extract the negative character of the argument can be seen. The
assumption is that had there been two or more secret ceremonies appropriate to
the two or more grades that are mentioned, they too would have been distinctly
spoken of. This is possible, but hardly certain, especially as there is only
the barest allusion to anything esoteric, other than trade secrets, in any
case. So little, indeed, that it would be even possible to argue, except for
some of the latest documents, very close in date to the period in which
degrees do appear, that there was absolutely nothing of this sort implied.
Another point that might be made is that these "scrolls" seem to have been
used in some places after the critical period, and it might be argued if used
then in conjunction with a degree system why not before? But this could of
course be countered by saying it was in such cases due to the inconsistencies
consequent to a period of transition.
refers to the initiation of Robert Moray at Newcastle, by certain members of
the Lodge of Mary's Chapel, present with the army at Newcastle in 1641. The
minute runs as follows:
Newcastell the 20th day off May 1641. The quilk day ane serten nomber off
Mester and others being lafule conveined doeth admit Mr the Right Honerabell
Mr Robert Moray, General quarter Mr off the Armie off Scotlan, and the same
bing aproven be the hell Mester off the Mesone of the Log off Edenbroth,
quherto they heaue set to ther handes or markes. (14)
The important part of this may be modernized and Englished thus:
The which day a certain number of Masters and other [members] being lawfully
convened, did admit [as] Master the Rt. Hon. Mr. Robert Moray, Quartermaster
General of the Scottish army, and the same being approved by all the Masters
of the Masons of the lodge of Edinburgh they have set thereto their hands or
Hughan comments on this by saying that
The title of Master, thus conferred, was complimentary only, not a "degree,"
for even at the "making of masters" then, and for many years subsequently, the
presence of two Apprentices was necessary to make the ceremony complete.
For this he refers to the provisions in the Schaw Statutes that have been
already discussed in dealing with the position of Murray Lyon.
then goes on to the initiation of Elias Ashmole at Warrington some five years
later. The entry in the diary is as follows:
1646, Oct. 16, 4:30 p. m. I was made a FreeMason at Warrington, in Lancashire,
with Coll. Henry Mainwaring of Karincham in Cheshire. (15)
There is no further allusion to the Craft till 1682 when he attended a lodge
at Masons Hall in London on March 11, having received "a summons to appear"
the previous day. He says:
Accordingly I went, & about noone were admitted into the Fellowship of Free
Masons, Sir William Wilson Knight, Capt. Rich: Borthwick, Mr. Will: Woodman,
Mr. Wm. Grey, Mr. Samuell Taylour, & Mr. William Wisc.
was the Senior Fellow among them (it being 35 years since I was admitted).
There were present beside my selfe the Fellowes after named:
There is no need to give these names here, but he concludes by saying they all
. . at a Noble dinner prepaired at the charge of the New accepted Masons.
Regarding this Hughan remarks:
Ashmole was made a Freemason in 1646, and other gentlemen were likewise
"accepted" in 1682, whatever that may mean; just as we read later on of other
receptions at Alnwick, Scarborough York, etc., but there is not the slightest
reference to more than one ceremony, neither do we ever meet with entries of
meetings at which Apprentices were excluded because of not being eligible for
a higher degree.
And he goes on to say that "we know there were visitations" by members of
English and Scottish lodges between the two countries so that there "must have
been some common basis to work on." From which it would follow apparently that
there being no more than one degree in Scotland there was only one in England.
This however is not explicitly stated, and it is obviously not conclusive. A
Scottish E.A. might visit an English lodge today and be present all through
the proceedings if there were no work in a higher degree.
will be noted that Hughan says that certain "gentlemen were 'accepted' in
1682." Ashmole speaks of them as the "Newaccepted Masons," but he previously
said they "were admitted into the Fellowship of Free Masons," and in the next
sentence uses the same word of himself. What is obvious is that Ashmole became
a Fellow when he was "made" in 1646, and that the candidates on the later
occasion were also made, or admitted Fellows. But Hughan says that to suppose
there were two ceremonies performed on the same occasion, two degrees
conferred at once, "is wholly fanciful."
then refers to the lodge at Chester mentioned by Randle Holme, and the "Accepcon"
discovered by Conder in the records of the Mason's Company of London, but we
get only further instances of individuals being "made" or "accepted." He
quotes Conder as authority that in the records of the Mason's Company the term
master often described "one able to undertake work as a Master of his Art or
Craft," and that
There is no evidence of any particular ceremony attending the position of
Master Mason; possibly it consisted of administering another and a different
oath from the one taken by the apprentice on being entered and presented by
commenting on this Rylands (also a member of the Mason's Company) said in a
note to this article:
being made free the man became a member of the Company and a fellow of the
Craft, though this term is never used in the Books at the same time he was
"admitted to be a Master," Mason understood, as he was not Master of anything
This is important, as it shows that the impression these two authorities had
gained from their close study of the records of the London Company was that
Mastership, if it were not merely another name for the same status as
Fellowship, was the necessary qualification to become a Fellow.
return to Hughan, he next refers to Plot's often quoted account (18) and the
note made by Aubrey respecting the "adoption" of Sir Christopher Wren (19) in
which as in the records of the Mason's Company there are no references to a
second degree. As both authors were non-Masons this does not seem to carry
much weight. The next reference is to the Alnwick minutes and orders, the
latter dating from September, 1701. The fifth of these requires:
Thatt noe mason shall take any Apprentice [but he must] enter him and give him
his charge within one whole year after.
And the ninth runs
There shall noe apprentice after he have served seven years be admitted or
accepted but upon the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel (20).
Michaelmas, Sept. 29, was the day these "orders" were confirmed and is called
the "Gen (11) Head Meeting Day." Hughan says that the minutes, which run from
1703 to 1757, contain:
Not even a solitary reference to Masonic degrees, the "admittances" (or
Initiations) from first to last being recorded in the customary manner.
adds that this lodge (which was to the last operative in character) never
surrendered its independence though "there was undoubtedly a common bond"
between it and lodges under the newer regime. As for example a visitor was
present at a meeting on Christmas Day 1755 from Canongate Kilwinning Lodge of
Edinburgh, long after the three degree system was established elsewhere. The
inference does not seem altogether to support Hughan's opinion.
Indeed Gould remarks, in his History, that throughout the entire series of the
Alnwick records, with the obscure exception of the twelfth of the "Orders,"
there is nothing from which, taken by themselves, even "by the greatest
latitude of construction," it could be inferred that secrets of any kind were
communicated to the brethren of this lodge. It would almost seem that this
proves too much. If no esoteric secrets are referred to at all, except in one
rule which might well be understood as referring only to trade and personal
affairs, how is the absence of degrees supported by these records ? The
apprentices were "entered and charged," the fellows were "made free and
admitted," that is definitely recorded, but no hint is given as to what was
implied by these phrases. It seems open to any interpretation. The point is
quite important; the records have to be interpreted in any case, and such
interpretations are inferences. No one inference is more "fanciful" than
another if made with due regard to logic.
(1) Gould. History of Freemasonry, Vol. 3, p. 40, note 6.
(2) Lyon. History of the Lodge of Edinburg, p. 153.
(3) Gould. Op. cit., Vol. 3, p. 17, note 3.
(4) Lyon. Op. cit., p. 10.
(5) lb., p. 17.
(6) lb., p. 74.
(7) Ib., p. 73.
(8) Gould. Op. cit., Vol. 3, p. 56, note 3.
(9) Ib., Vol. 2, p. 15.
(10) Lyon. Op. cit., p. 31.
(11) Gould. Op. cit., Vol. 2, p. 14, and Vol. 3, p. 56.
(12) Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Vol. 10, p. 127.
(13) lb., p. 128.
(14) Lyon. Op. cit., p. 98.
(15) The entries are given in full by Gould. Op. cit., Vol. 2, p. 264, and
also Concise History, pp. 112 and 116.
(16)Conder. Hole Craft and Fellowship Masons.
(17) A.Q.C., Vol. 9, p. 36.
(18) Gould. Concise History, p. 119. See also the larger History.
(19) Ib., p. 120.
(20) Gould gives the Alnwick Statutes in full. History, Vol. 3 p. 14, et seq.
(21) Hughan. Masonic Sketches and Reprints, American Edition p. 112. Also
Gould, Concise History, p. 191 and the larger work Vol. 3, pp. 23 and 153.
The Legend of the Cross
BRO. CHARLES H. MERZ. Ohio
WHILE there is no symbolism of the cross to be found in the early degrees of
Ancient Craft Masonry, probably because it was regarded by the inventors of
these degrees only in its character as a Christian sign, yet we find it
referred to under the name of the "rode" or "rood" in the Halliwell MSS. of
the 14th century. The early Operative Masons made frequent allusions to it and
in the high degrees it forms an important symbol.
matter what interpretation be given to it, it must always prove an interesting
subject for study.
The unconsciousness that the cross had any other relation than that pertaining
to the crucifixion of Jesus illustrates a prevailing lack of historical
knowledge. Far back in the twilight of the pictured history of the past, the
cross is found on the borders of the River Nile. A horizontal piece of wood
fastened to an upright beam indicated the height of the water in flood. This
is one, so-called, origin of the cross.
The cross has been revered by every nation as an emblem of life and
regeneration. It bespeaks evolution in religion. It is the product of time,
beginning with one thing and ending with another. It is found in Peru, Egypt,
India, Assyria, Chaldea, Babylonia, China, and Phoenicia.
The figure of a man seems inseparably connected with the cross but this figure
was a later addition. It had its origin with the Hindus who portrayed the god
Vittoba as a man crucified in space. The Secret Doctrine states that not one
of the world's Saviours actually suffered death on the cross, that crucifixion
is a spiritual and not a physical fact in nature, symbolizing a sacrifice.
The early Christians revered the cross as the way of the truth and the life.
They had no knowledge of a crucified Saviour. Jesus was worshipped as the
lamb. In the course of time the lamb was pictured as leaning against the
cross. About the year 680 A. D. it was decided to substitute the man for the
lamb. It is stated that the earliest figure on the cross was one crucifix
presented by Pope Gregory to Queen Theodolinda of Lombardy. It is certain that
while the cross as a sacred or mystic symbol dates from the remotest
antiquity, and its use as an instrument of punishment is scarcely less
ancient, there was no connection between the two before Christianity.
The symbolic cross of many shapes may be resolved into four primitive forms:
(a) The Greek cross found on Assyrian tablets, on Egyptian and Persian
monuments, and on Etruscan pottery.
(b) The crux decussata or oblique cross, vulgarly called St. Andrew's cross,
no less common in ancient sculptures.
(c) The Latin cross or crux immissa, found on monuments, coins, and medals,
(d) The tau cross, crux commissa, or patibulata, a mystic symbol of very
ancient origin, probably a phallic emblem, thought by archaeologists to be the
oldest form, the Greek cross being its double.
(e) The crux ansata, the tau cross combined with a circle, as in the hands of
the Egyptian divinities the symbol of life and immortality.
There are extant many legends of the cross. The Talmud, held by the Jews in as
high esteem as the Bible; contains hidden in its depths innumerable pearls and
many priceless treasures. At the same time it contains many passages whose
conceits are puerile. It presents many strange mixtures of history interwoven
with fiction, as well as many curious illustrations of the Masonic system.
The following Mediaeval legend will prove interesting and instructive:
Adam was weary of life and longed to die. Calling his son, Seth (Sut, Set or
Typhon), he said: "Go to the gates of Eden and ask St. Michael to send me some
of the oil of mercy God promised me when he thrust me out of Paradise." Seth
replied, "I know not the way." "Go by the valley that lieth to the eastward,"
said Adam. "There is a green path along which you will find blackened
footprints, for where my feet and the feet of your mother trod in leaving the
Garden, no grass has since grown."
Seth found the gate guarded by an angel with a sword of fire, but he was
allowed a glimpse of Paradise. He saw a fountain through which the water
rolled in four mighty rivers. Before the fountain was a gigantic tree, bare of
leaves and fruit. Around its trunk a terrible serpent had writhed itself,
burned the bark and devoured the leaves. Beneath was a precipice that reached
to the depths of hell. The only human inhabitant was Cain, who strove to climb
the tree to re-enter Paradise, but the roots, as if instinct with life, turned
around the murderer, even penetrating his flesh. Appalled, Seth raised his
eyes to implore mercy and gazed at the top of the tree. Its head reached into
heaven, its branches were covered with flowers and fruits, and, most beautiful
of all, a little babe was listening to the songs of seven white doves circling
'round him, and a woman, more glorious and lovely than the moon, bore the
child in her arms. The angel refused the oil of mercy, telling Seth that it
could not be bestowed until 5,500 years had elapsed, but, in token of future
pardon, he gave him three seeds from the Tree of Life, and commanded him to
bury them with his father.
When Adam heard the message, he laughed for the first time since his
transgression, and said: "Oh, God, I have lived long enough. Take my soul from
me." Adam died the third day after Seth's return, and his sons buried him in
the Valley of Hebron. The seeds produced three saplings, which marvelously
became one, yet were distinct in nature. This sapling Moses found and plucked
as his rod. As the prophet was punished for his presumptuousness in not
calling upon God when he smote the rock the second time, he was not permitted
to carry the rod into the Promised Land, so he planted it in Moab.
David, being moved by an angelic vision to transplant it to Jerusalem, sought
for it three days before he found it. On his way to the Holy City, divers
miracles were wrought, sick were healed, lepers cleansed, etc. The monarch
planted it in that part of his garden to which he repaired for private
devotions. He begirt it with twenty rings of sapphire and built a wall around
it. In time the tree became gigantic, and Solomon desired to use it as a
column in the Temple but cut it as they might, the workmen found that it
became miraculously either too long or too short for their purpose. In anger
it was thrown aside. A woman named Isbylla sat upon it to rest. Suddenly her
clothes took fire, and she prophesied that Christ should hang upon that beam.
Whereupon the Jews beat her to death and then threw the beam as a footbridge
across a stream that it might be trampled under foot. When Balkis, the Queen
of Sheba, visited Solomon, she refused to walk over it, but worshipping it,
took off her sandals and forded the stream. And she declared to Solomon that
upon that holy wood the Savior of Adam and his posterity would suffer.
Thereupon Solomon commanded that the beam should be overlaid with silver, gold
and jewels, and placed it over the doorway of the Temple which faced the
rising sun. Solomon's grandson, Abijah, coveting the treasure, stripped the
adornments from the wood, and, to conceal the theft, buried the beam in the
ground. A spring welled forth from the spot, which in after times was known as
the Pool of Bethesda, and the angel to whom was committed the care of the
sacred wood at times "troubled the water," and the tree, giving forth its
virtues, healed the sick.
the time of the crucifixion of our Lord, the wood floated to the surface, and
from it the cross was formed, in which were four species of wood, the palm,
cypress, cedar, and olive. When St. Helena, the mother of Constantine, visited
Jerusalem, the spirit having infused into her the wish to discover the cross
of our Lord, she called together the wise men and Elders of the Jews, who,
much fearing, sought anxiously among themselves what this assembling could
mean. one of them, Judas by name, said: "I know that she wishes to learn where
is the wood of the Cross upon which Jesus was crucified, but beware lest ye
reveal it, for as soon as the Cross shall be found, our law will be done away.
I have learned from my forefathers, one of whom, Zaccheus, was the father of
But the Jews agreed upon no account to reveal where was the wood of the Cross.
But when the Empress terrified them with threats of death by fire, they
pointed out Judas as a just man and the son of a prophet who was skilled in
their law and traditions. The old man being obdurate, St. Helena commanded him
to be cast into a pit, to starve until he disclosed the truth. He endured the
agony of hunger for six days; on the seventh he yielded and led the Empress to
Calvary. Upon the sacred mount was a temple of Venus that Satan had subtly
caused Hadrian to build in order that when the Christians came to that spot to
worship, they might be charged with adoring the pagan goddess. Judas, having
prayed, the earth trembled and a fragrant odor was diffused. St. Helena
commanded the pagan temple to be destroyed and the ground ploughed up. Then
Judas began to dig vigorously, and at the depth of twenty feet he found three
crosses. They could not, however, distinguish the Cross of Christ from that of
the thieves. And about the ninth hour, a dead man was carried by and Judas
laid the first and the second cross upon the dead man, but he moved not. Then
he laid the third cross upon him, and he came to life. Judas was converted by
this miracle and later became Bishop of Jerusalem. St. Helena desired the
nails that held our Savior to the Cross, and Bishop Quirlachus, having prayed,
the nails immediately appeared upon the ground, glittering like gold. The
Empress adored them and placed one in the crown of her son, Constantine;
another was forged as a bit or placed upon the bridle of his war horse in
verification of the Prophet's words: "In that day shall be upon the bells
(bridles) of the horses: Holiness to the Lord." (Zech. xiv20.) The third nail
she reserved for herself, but, being in a dangerous storm in the Adriatic, she
threw it into the sea, which until that time had been a whirlpool. Some say
there was a fourth nail which was placed in the statue of Constantine.
The Cross she divided; part she sent to her son, and the rest she enclosed in
a silver shrine and left it at Jerusalem, and she appointed the Feast of the
Invention of the Holy Cross to be celebrated every year. Chosroes, King of the
Persians, subdued all the kingdoms of the East. Coming to Jerusalem, he fled,
terrified, from the sepulcher of the Lord yet he carried away the portion of
the Lord's Cross left there by St. Helena. Wishing to be adored as a god, he
built a tower of gold, silver and precious stones, and placed therein images
of the sun, moon and stars. Giving up the kingdom to his son, Chosroes, he
enthroned himself in the tower as the Father, and put' the Cross on his right
in place of the Sun, and a cock for the Holy Spirit.
Then the Emperor Heraclius came with a mighty army to recover the Cross. They
met by the Danube, and the two princes fought on the bridge, agreeing that he
who was victor should dispose of the army of the other. Heraclius, commending
himself to God and the Cross, won the fight and immediately the whole army of
the Persians became Christians and were baptized. Heraclius offered to
Chosroes that, as he had revered the Cross after a fashion, his life should be
preserved. Refusing this, Heraclius straightway beheaded him, but because he
had been a king, he ordered him to be buried. The tower was destroyed, but the
gold and precious stones the Emperor gave to the churches the tyrant had
destroyed. Heraclius took the Cross to Jerusalem. As he would have entered the
gate, the stones of the gate descended and closed the gate like a wall. The
angel of the Lord appeared, holding the sign of the Cross, and said, "When the
King of Heaven went to His passion by this gate, He went not arrayed as a King
on horseback, but humbly upon an ass." Then the Emperor took off his shoes and
took the Cross of our Lord and bore it humbly to the gate. The gate opened and
the precious tree of the Cross was reestablished in its place.
MEEKREN, Editor in Charge
Thiemeyer, Research Editor
I. CLEGG, Illinois
GILBERT W. DAYNES, England
H. DERN, Utah
CHARLES F. IRWIN, Pennsylvania
E. MORCOMBE, California
C. PARKER, New York
HUGO TATSCH, Iowa
M. WHITED, California
E. W WILLIAMSON Nevada
JOHN OF JERUSALEM
wish to draw especial attention to the article on an earlier page by Bro. R.
J. Newton. The Order of St. John during the centuries has been known by many
names. As most of our readers know it still exists in three acknowledged
branches, while a fourth also claims continuous descent.
curious thing is that the Papal Order and the Protestant Bailiwick of
Brandenburg are both hostile to Freemasonry. The first because it is papal,
the second because it is aristocratic, and the German aristocracy are now
engaged in an anti-Masonic movement, apparently in order, first, to excuse the
failure of their oligarchy in the disasters of the war, and second, to aid a
national-royalist movement with the aim of reestablishing their privileged
position. Yet the Order began with a group of men who devoted themselves to
the far from pleasant task of caring for the sick. It was only by accident and
force of circumstances they became a military order. And though this change
did come they never forgot, as the Templars did, their original purpose. To
care for the sick and protect the weak and helpless.
new Order of St. John of which Bro. Newton tells us makes no pretentions to
antiquity. It was founded under analogous circumstances to the older one.
Those who organized it saw numbers of pilgrims seeking health, destitute and
helpless, and they banded together to aid them. Being all, or nearly all,
Masons they were familiar with the story of the ancient Knights of St. John,
and thought, appropriately enough, that to emphasize the example of those
truly Christian men of eight hundred years ago, they might adopt the same
name; for really to them, as Masons, it had a double significance.
it began to be seen that the effort to meet the tubercular problem in the
Southwest through an official organization was likely to fail, we have
received letters from many correspondents asking if it would not be possible
to form some more flexible association that would not be hampered by the
precedents and traditions that hem our Grand Lodges in so strictly. Owing to
the self-abnegation of the Order of St. John we hardly knew of their
existence. As Bro. Newton tells us, the members agreed to stand aside and give
the N.M.T.S.A. a clear field. Now that they have taken up their task again we
cannot see how better those brethren who have been interested can help than by
affiliating with it.
object and purpose is both Masonic and Christian in the widest sense. Among
the many societies and fraternities that exist for social purposes, for
amusement or for show, this aims at service. Service to those who need it
most. It is organized to cooperate in any possible way with existing means for
combatting sickness; and while it aims in the future to found its own
hospitals, it plans, to begin with, to use funds collected to assist needy
brethren to obtain treatment through existing agencies. What may be done in
the future remains to be seen, but something can be done now through even the
* * *
problem of the universality of the Craft on its practical side, that of
recognition, is perhaps the most highly controversial of any question before
us today. It is not only a matter of disagreement, but of disagreement with
heat. For this reason it is apt to be avoided and passed over, except by those
who hold extreme views, and do not care whether they disturb fraternal good
feeling or not.
appeal for unity issued by a very influential group of Masons in Holland
deserves serious consideration. The "Great East" of the Netherlands is
Masonically most respectable, in age and in its Constitution. It is fully
recognized by the British Grand Lodges, and if any of our American
Jurisdictions fail to do so it is without any adequate reason. Yet insistent
as the Masons of Holland are upon those Landmarks which we regard as a sine
qua non, they are more tolerant than we are. They realize far better than we
can the conditions under which the Masons of other European countries have
labored and suffered and they are not prepared to excommunicate them.
we have paid no attention to the character and qualities of the men to whom we
deny the name of Mason, we have stood rigidly upon the letter of our
interpretation of the law. We have been ready to believe the worst slanders
their enemies have invented about them, we have refused to take any steps
towards a reconciliation. And most curious thing of all, looked at
objectively, we have been very much inclined to glory in this attitude.
unrecognized Masons of Europe have maintained a most dignified attitude. They
have been reviled, and described in most unflattering terms. They have never
responded in kind, They have been refused all fraternal amenities, yet they
have never refused to assist an Anglo-Saxon Mason in distress. They have done
it without any question. It was enough for them that he was a Mason.
question is, are we really satisfied with this situation? Could not some way
out be found to heal the breach of unity? Our histories praise the efforts of
those who healed the schism between the Ancients and Moderns a hundred years
ago - in the face of the bitter opposition of extremists on both sides. Will
historians of a hundred years hence have cause to praise us - or not?
* * *
MEMBERSHIP AND RESEARCH
question of the advantages and disadvantages of restricting the membership of
the individual Mason to one lodge only have been debated pro and con from
several different points of view. In our opinion the objections to plural
membership are not very weighty; the one chiefly dwelt upon by those who
oppose it is the difficulty it would create in compiling Grand Lodge
statistics. In fact it comes down to one particular difficulty, that of being
able to tell exactly how many men are members of the Order. Far be it from us
to decry the value of exact knowledge in such matters, but, valuable as
statistics of all kinds certainly are in their place, it does nevertheless
seem as if those who object upon this ground are seeing the matter out of true
perspective. They would hardly, we presume, be prepared to maintain that the
primary object of the Masonic Institution is to produce statistics, or that
the chief function of Grand Lodge machinery is to compile membership lists.
These things are obviously very secondary, and while they naturally and
properly bulk very largely in the minds of those whose official duty it is to
keep the records, yet even these brethren would hardly be prepared to say that
the higher objects of Masonry should give way and be subordinated to them. And
besides this it is far from clear that there is any insuperable difficulty in
devising means to keep exact tally of the totals where plural membership may
be permitted; but we do not wish to go into that aspect of the question here.
Grand Lodge of New York at its last communication accepted the report of a
committee that had been investigating the question and enacted certain
amendments to its code recommended by the committee, the effect of which is to
enable a New York Mason to belong to two (but not more than two) lodges in the
state at the same time. The committee seemed to feel that to belong to three
lodges at once might be, in some unspecified way, a source of some kind of
danger. Still a step forward (or backward) towards greater freedom has been
taken. In by far the greater number of cases the brother desiring to affiliate
with a second lodge will be moved by a desire to retain membership in his
mother lodge, and to have at the same time the privilege of membership in the
place of his residence. But though this will probably be the principal motive
for a time, it is possible that it may open the door to that bogey of many
good brethren, the "class lodge."
term seems to have been unfortunate in that it has been assumed that the only
meaning it had was that of lodges graded according to the standards of
“society," the "four hundred" or its local equivalent. The class lodge in this
sense we actually have with us, more or less, in every large center of
population, only as it is not so called it is not recognized as such. The
class lodge is a lodge of Masons who have some special bond of interest. Men,
as a rule, do not group themselves according to social rank, and the kind who
do are not likely to be Masons, even in name. The class lodge in the sense of
the term in which it is intended to be understood, can hardly exist where
Masons cannot belong to more than one lodge at a time. Most members of class
lodges (where they exist) are also members of other lodges. Most of them join
their class lodge by affiliation, and retain their connection with their
mother lodge. A physician can affiliate with a lodge of physicians, an
architect with an architects' lodge, but equally the railroad man, the
electrician, the carpenter, might also have lodges of their own. There is no
more harm in such interests drawing Masons together in lodges than outside
them, so long, and the proviso is important, as they are not obliged to belong
only to the class lodge if they would enjoy the privilege.
quite expect that objection will persist in view of the unfortunate
associations the name has been given in the minds of most American Masons.
There is one kind of class lodge, however, that no one has yet objected to,
and that is the one devoted to study and research. No more than any other kind
of class lodge can the research lodge exist unless dual membership at least is
permitted. They have been attempted in different states where this was not
allowed, but in no case successfully. Either the Constitution stood in the
way, or not enough Masons could be found who were willing to dimit from their
old lodges to join the new one. But with dual membership the door is opened
wide, and we are looking forward, as one of the first and most important
results of the action of New York, to seeing a Research Lodge established
there that may worthily emulate the labors of those in other parts of the
pamphlet on "How to Organize and Maintain a Study Club" will be sent free on
request, in quantities to fifty
Purposes of a Study Club
recent conference of Masonic librarians and educators held in Cedar Rapids,
Iowa, a detailed report of which will appear in a forthcoming number of THE
BUILDER, Study Clubs were quite generally discussed. There was a wide
divergence of opinion as to what should be expected of these groups, though
there was very little of a tangible nature that developed in the discussion.
This was not due to the fact that no decision could be reached, but to the
fact that this particular phase of the question was not the principal theme.
Such opinions as were brought to light were merely incidental.
purposes and ambitions of Study Clubs are more or less clearly defined. The
aim most generally accepted and most widely known is, of course, to teach the
members of the group something about Masonry. There are other less appreciated
purposes which will come in for their share of the discussion a little later.
first thing to be considered is the fact that, generally speaking, in a newly
organized Club the members are in what might be termed the kindergarten stage
of Masonic knowledge. They have, to begin at the very beginning. Before the
Club can hope to accomplish very much along other lines, it must acquaint its
members with the fundamentals. The usual beginning is the symbolism of the
ritual, leading into the history of some of the symbols, the general history,
and the jurisprudence and philosophy of the Craft. When a point has been
reached where all of the members know the basic facts in these subjects we are
ready to branch out and do something else.
matter of fact a great many Study Clubs die at this point, simply because they
lack initiative to find other fields to conquer. There is plenty to be done
and it is only a question of finding the tasks particularly suited to the
needs of the individual organization. Some things suitable in large lodges
would be impracticable in a smaller group. It cannot be hoped that any brief
article could suggest all possible ways in which the Club could serve the
lodge. All that can be desired is to make some suggestions that will assist
the members of Study Clubs in finding their proper place and in enabling them
to continue their work.
first place, there will be in any group a few men, perhaps only one or two,
who will be interested in delving into the more recondite phases of research.
Such members should be encouraged. Their researches will be of benefit to the
Club and will enable those who, through lack of time or inclination, find it
impossible to go into the deeper phases of the subject, to learn more about
the Craft without doing a vast amount of reading and digging. These more
advanced students should be given opportunities to present their findings to
the Club at large. Let them read papers at some of the meetings. Such a
practice will help to avoid the danger of falling into a rut and developing a
cut and dried routine which might grow boresome. If they are in need of
material the National Masonic Research Society is ready and willing to help if
they will only ask for what they want. If they care to submit their
manuscripts to us for publication we will be glad to consider them.
will doubtless be new members coming on. These men will be fresh and will have
to begin at the bottom. The older members can assist them in making a start.
An occasional meeting, as many as are required by the influx of new members,
can be set aside for a discussion of more rudimentary phases of Masonic Study.
Even the members who have been over the same ground will find many new things
cropping up. There will be additional discussion which will doubtless bring to
light questions which have not been raised before.
large lodge in a central western state has a Study Club meeting each week. One
meeting each month is devoted to the Entered Apprentice Degree, one to the
Fellowcraft and the balance to the Master Mason Degree. All of the candidates
are invited to attend the meetings devoted to the degree they have just
attained. This may work very well in a large lodge where there are five or six
or more candidates each month. A variation of the plan could be adopted even
to a very small body. As an illustration let us go to the other extreme. In a
small country lodge where perhaps there are only one or two candidates each
year, as these candidates progress up the Masonic ladder, Study Club meetings
could be devoted to the degree they had attained. All variations between these
extremes are possible. One advantage of such a plan lies in the fact that each
candidate is formally initiated into the Study Group. He gets the habit early
in his Masonic career and becomes a real prospect for membership.
question and answer service might be maintained. The lodge bulletin, if one is
published, will furnish a medium for answering queries, or they can be
answered in open lodge. Members of the lodge will frequently propound
questions which cannot be answered on the spot. These can be referred to
members of the Study Club for report. There are a vast number of Masons who
have questions in their minds, but who do not ask them because they don't know
anyone who can give them the answer. These queries will come to light if the
brethren ire told that members of the Study Club will be glad to investigate
and report back at the next meeting of the lodge. A Master willing to devote a
small amount of time each meeting to a service of this sort will find
attendance bettered because of an increased interest in the meetings. There is
something new coming up every evening. The brethren generally will soon become
interested in these discussions, and not only will the lodge prosper through
this new interest, but the Study Club will gain new members.
variation of this scheme is to invite the members of the Study Club to present
programs before the lodge. Either one speaker could consume the whole time
allotted, or several short talks might be given. Subjects are plentiful and
there is no danger of draining the well dry.
it may seem that we have drifted somewhat from our original topic actually we
have not. The illustrations cited are simply methods by which the Study Club
may increase its field of usefulness. They are all illustrations of how a
secondary aim of Study Clubs can be carried out. As soon as the members of the
group become sufficiently proficient they should start out on a campaign of
assisting their less informed brethren along the path they have followed. More
precisely, the Study Club should first teach its own members, and then become
a center for the teaching of others.
is an old axiom that one cannot teach everything he knows. A man's knowledge
of a subject must be greater than his spoke or written word about it. As the
Study Club progresses, and a it sets out upon its campaign of teaching, it
must be born i mind that the teaching group must keep ahead of the pupils
Don't, therefore, lose sight of the fact that you must progress in the Study
Club as well as in the lodge. Vary your field, when you seem to have exhausted
one subject begin on something else. No one person can hope to know all that
is known to the human race, and no one Mason can hope to know all there is to
know about Masonry. Masonic Research is one way of seeking after light - like
the symbolic search of the fraternity, the quest is endless.
Appeal for Unity
September, 1924, several brother Freemasons belonging to the jurisdiction of
different Grand Lodges met together in The Hague in order to discuss the
What is it that keeps Freemasons, who are spread over the whole world,
In what manner can the dissension be altered into unity?
Their discussions led to the compiling of an appeal, translated into four
languages, and signed by the members of the gathering, in which they submitted
for consideration, a solution of the two points which have been and still are
the principal cause of estrangement, viz., recognition of the Grand Architect
of the Universe, and the attitude adopted by Freemasons in regard to political
and religious questions.
Although in no way commissioned by the Grand Lodges to which the Brothers
belonged, and although their gathering was in no way of an official character,
they nevertheless hoped, in view of their earnest endeavors, to be allowed to
take the liberty of presenting their appeal before all the recognized Grand
Lodges for their consideration, and to be able to depend on their support.
would occupy too much time and space to give in full all the replies we
received to this appeal. Much, very much enthusiasm on the one hand, doubt and
a reserved attitude on the other. Both answers were greatly appreciated.
Others apparently considered it not worth the trouble even to acknowledge
receipt of the summons and to reply Why not ? It was not egotism which caused
us to make these endeavors! Are not Brotherhood and Tolerance the two great
signs which distinguish Freemasonry from the profane societies which exist on
ethical, philosophic and philanthropical grounds? Then why not stretch out a
helping hand to those who because of the apparent lack of forbearance,
apparent lack of brotherhood, want to try to alter it into an all-binding
therefore appeared, on the one hand, from the answers received from the Grand
Lodges, that the need of more unity and combination was generally recognized,
whilst at the same time, on the other hand, practically no help could be hoped
for from those sources in order to obtain a solution as we had hoped. The
objections appeared to devolve principally upon the following:
Did some of the Grand Lodges, members of the Association Maconnique
Internationale, think that we had encroached upon the path of the A.M.I., and
that the attainment on the desired union ought to be left to that society?
Were they of the opinion that our endeavors would be in opposition to the
Ancient Landmarks ?
Neither of these two objections is just.
Far from underestimating the value of the steps taken by the A.M.I., the
originators of the appeal intended that their endeavor should support the
efforts of the A.M.I. towards creating unity between the Grand Lodges. The
fact of the meeting of the originators having no official character is
sufficient to prove that there was no question of competition with the A.M.I.
It is clear, therefore, that there must be some misunderstanding.
This is also the ease with the objections in regard to the Landmarks.
None of the originators had the slightest intention of meddling with them in
Thus here again a misunderstanding.
Will this therefore say that because the support of the Grand Lodges cannot
with certainty be relied upon, a fresh endeavor to attain the ideal must
immediately be dropped ? The writers of this letter do not think so. The
object, viz., the unity of the members of the Order, is too important.
reason however of the experience gained, as outlined above, we conclude that
the way in which we went to work was not the right one. At least it is clearly
shown that it was a mistake for us to first approach the boards of the Grand
Lodges themselves with a view to obtaining their support. We forget that these
bodies are bound by their own rules and statutes, and if they thought that the
appeal was in any way in conflict with those statutes and rules, no matter how
sincere the object of the appeal, they could not give their support.
appears to us, however, that the desire to attain concord between the Grand
Lodges is paramount throughout the whole of the Brotherhood of Freemasonry.
How could it be otherwise? Wherever a desire for unity expresses itself, no
matter in which walk of life, the Brotherhood of Freemasonry cannot remain
behind. The harmony among brethren of all countries must be advanced, should
Freemasonry not wish to be considered a lie.
now think it advisable to follow another path, viz., that we, together with
some earnest and foremost Brothers in other countries, gird up our loins to
grow by common study more acquainted with the reasons that prevent today the
effectuation of the so hoped for concord between the Grand Lodges and with all
that may unite us, in order to get a better view of the road the Grand Lodges
have to go in the future.
Nowadays everywhere in the world the opinions about these subjects are
different and the manner in which they are treated is different too. The cause
may be looked for in the difference in nationalities, national characters,
history and the personal surroundings of the members of the Order. Everyone
has the same ideal but the point from which they view the ideal is different,
according to the race to which they belong, the country in which they were
born, the surroundings among which they were reared. It is as if each one
takes a different road, yet all these roads lead to the same goal.
These surmises are reciprocated in the words of Anderson: that "a mason is
obliged by his tenure to obey the moral laws and if he rightly understands the
art he will never be a stupid atheist, nor an irreligious libertine," and also
"although in ancient times masons were charged to be of the religion of that
country, it is now thought more expedient only to oblige them to that religion
in which all men agree, leaving their particular opinions to themselves."
the Order takes this principle and builds thereon it will become a centre of
unity by quickening friendship between people who would otherwise remain
divided. Vide Anderson in his Constitutions of 1723.
However much the efficiency of the Constitutions may be altered, yet the
quoted words hold their full power; we ought to take their meaning in and
revive it among the great Brotherhood of Freemasons. Alas, on the contrary a
great many of them do not understand that meaning any more. Partly hence the
lack of agreement among us.
Another reason of that discord is the fault which has gradually arisen in some
Grand Lodges, in making the Order and the Lodges subservient to special
politic interests and special religious dogmas. For the sake of harmony among
us, it ought to be avoided. If there is anything what tends to disharmony in
the lodges, discussions on dogmatic and political subjects will do. The Order
is great enough to respect every opinion regarding religion as well as
regarding polities (in the sense of party polities). But because of this,
because the members must be free to exercise their own opinions in this
respect, such subjects ought to be kept out of the lodge, in any ease it ought
never to influence any resolution passed in lodge. They ought to be prohibited
wish to recommend the above to your earnest consideration.
you, like us, are convinced that unity must obtain instead of the dissension
prevailing at present, we would request you to give your whole-hearted support
to our efforts towards this end. In our opinion the best way to obtain unity
are efforts to induce in words and in writing the positive idea of Freemasonry
to the consciousness of all Freemasons spread on the surface of the earth,
that little by little the hearts of the brethren may approach each other more
Therefore, in the first place, we would request you to work with us, insofar
as to use your power in your Masonic circle to lead the thoughts of your
fellow brethren towards the bridging over of that gulf which keeps the
brethren divided, so that this Masonic idea may obtain more and more
supporters, which in the end must lead to an increase in peace and happiness
among the peoples of the earth.
therefore urgently request you to take the necessary steps to arrange for the
following questions to be considered and answered by one or more eminent
united brethren in your circle to be selected by you:
Ought not the Order of Freemasonry which is spread over the surface of the
earth to set the example for the Building of a Temple of Humanity founded on
Love, Harmony and Justice ?
What must and what can be done to counteract the dissension which exists also
internationally in our own community ?
What must and what can be done to give Freemasonry which has "Brotherhood" at
the head of its ideals a prominent place in the growing community of active
lovers of peace outside the Tessellated Border ?
Would you be prepared to give us active help by:
1st. Causing these questions to be the subject of consideration in the lodges
in the jurisdiction of your Grand Lodge and, if possible, giving same your
personal direction, and
2nd. Advising us as briefly but at the same time as completely as possible of
the result of such considerations ?
Finally we bring to your attention, that the questions mentioned above may be
answered in as detached a way as possible, also that narrow national views
should not be considered the only decisive ones, in order that a conclusion
may be drawn which will satisfy Freemasons in all countries.
this way we hope to establish through our agency an international,
intellectual and spiritual contact, however without putting anyone under the
least obligation or binding you in any way. We suggest that discussions on
these points will meet other questions, asking your attention, f. i.: What is
the real value of our symbols and rituals in regard to our work? Are rituals
and symbols only accidental or do they constitute the starting point of our
work? Is there any practical aim to be pursued by all Grand Lodges in order
that in the future human society may be ruled by the Masonic idea of Humanity?
propose forming the replies received from you into a sort of pamphlet to be
printed and sent to the brethren in all countries We do not believe it
impossible that our effort may involve the issuing of a periodical to be
published regularly though on unfixed dates, apt to imbue the hearts of the
brethren with the ideal of the universal brotherhood.
With sincere fraternal greetings.
ARIENS KAPPERS, Merchant and Consul, Amsterdam.
Rev. A. E. F. JUNOD, Late Ministered Wassenaar near The Hague.
Colonel W. A. F. G. BOLKEN, Amersfoort.
CARPENTER ALTING, Late Director of the Civil Service of the Dutch East Indies,
J. HOOIBERG, Librarian of the Great East of the Netherlands The Hague (VanBeuingenstraat
12), to whom your letters maw be addressed.
The Hague. March. 1928.
The following from The Fortnightly Review of St. Louis, Mo., for May 1, 1928,
will probably be of interest to readers of THE BUILDER. The Fortnightly Review
is an exceedingly high class Roman Catholic periodical of a religious and
literary character. The item here reproduced should not be taken as
representative of the general nature of its contents.
Under this title [Masonic Satanism] M. Pierre Colmet, in La Revue
Internationale des Societes Secretes (Paris, Nov. 13, 1927, Vol. XVI, No. 46),
quotes from a circular letter issued by Charles Bernardin, member of the
Conseil d'Ordre of the Grand Orient of France and Master of the Lodge "Amis de
la Verite" at Metz, through the Masonic journal Acacia, a passage in which
that worthy asserts that one of his best friends, a monk who died three years
ago in good standing in the Catholic Church, became a Freemason in his youth,
and not only continued his affiliation with the Masonic sect after his
ordination to the priesthood, but rose to high dignity in the Order, and did
not hesitate to deliver consecrated hosts to Freemasons for purposes of
"This priest," says M. Bernardin, "was no fool; quite the contrary. . . Whom
did he deceive? The Church. No doubt about that? Us? And why?" He adds that
his object in pointing out this ease is to encourage his fellow Masons to
search the records of the Masonic Order for traces of other renegade priests
who disobeyed the Church and incurred excommunication by affiliating with
Colmet, who is an Anti-Masonic author of note, prints this horrible story
under the title "Satanisme Maconnique." He finds it not at all incredible in
view of many similar cases for which he says there is authentic proof. He
refers to twenty such cases, among them that of the Abbe Boullan, whose life
has lately been published by the Librairie Chacornac, of Paris, under the
title, L'Abbe Boullan, sa Vie, sa Doctrine et ses Pratiques Magiques. Boullan
was the prototype of "Docteur Johannes," a character in Huymans' Labas.
regards the circular letter of M. Bernardin, M. Colmet points out two
interesting points: first, this prominent Freemason's open avowal that
consecrated hosts are still sought for by Masons and that he (Bernardin)
himself did not hesitate to accept specimens from the apostate monk to whom he
refers; secondly, that in spite of the respect he professes for his
ecclesiastical accomplice, he did not fully trust him. M. Colmet thinks that
this distrust was founded not on the character of the renegade priest, but on
the suspicion that the hosts he gave to his Masonic friends for purposes of
"ritual profanation," were not validly consecrated. "He suspected this wicked
priest either of having drawn back before this terrible abuse of the
sacerdotal power and to have merely pretended to give up the body and blood of
his God, or perhaps, of not having had, because of his unbelief, the strict
intention necessary for the efficacious use of the sacramental formulas."
That the so-called "Black Mass," at which these hosts are supposed to be used,
still takes place under the auspices of the Grand Orient of France is
confirmed, according to M. Colmet (who cites as his authority the venerable
founder of the Revue Internationale des Societes Secretes, Monsignor Jouin),
by the recent testimony of a dying woman, who positively declared that she had
attended several such ceremonies performed by apostate priests, for which she
herself had furnished the hosts, and that the reason why hosts were stolen
from Catholic churches for this abominable purpose was that the Masons
themselves do not trust those priests.
The whole thing points to a dark chapter in the history of human perversion,
and if the statements quoted above were not based on such good authority, we
should hesitate to take notice of them.
the number for May 15, appears a letter signed Sacerdos, part of which we
quote below. The "great fakir" alluded to is presumably Leo Taxil, whose real
name is said to have been Gabriel Jogand. The extraordinary hoax he
perpetrated has very largely been forgotten, but we believe La Revue
Internationale des Societes Secretes must have had his inventions in mind.
The letter of Sacerdos, addressed to the editor of The Fortnightly Review,
your article of May 1 on "Masonic Satanism" you wind up by saying: "If the
statements quoted above were not based on such good authority, we should
hesitate to take notice of them."
While reading this, I could not help thinking of that great fakir (I do not
recall his name) who wrote years ago several volumes on "The Three Point
Brethren." You remember what great excitement his writings caused, and how he
was finally exposed. It seems that periodically horrid tales make the rounds
about Satanic cults and Masonic secret machinations. I remember, when I was a
boy going to high school, a somber, darklooking house in a side alley was
pointed out to us as being the gathering place of Masons, and as a temple
wherein the devil was worshipped. We would avoid passing the place, and when
we did pass it, a shudder would go through me.
About 30 years ago, the daily papers were writing about a house in the city of
Paris, where devil worship was practiced. Even the pictures of the place were
published and some of the scenes inside. At that time I was preparing for a
trip to Europe, and I copied the address of that particular place and took it
along, with the picture of the place. When I was in Paris, I made it a point
to investigate. But I could not find the address given in the paper. I
inquired in the neighborhood, and no one knew or had ever heard of such a
place. So the whole thing must have been a sensational humbug......
The remainder of the letter describes a Montmartre Cabaret with the lurid name
the cabaret of Heaven and Hell." It seems to have been a silly and disgusting
place intended to take in and take the money of visitors to Paris seeking
thrills in an imitation underworld provided especially for their benefit. It
of course has absolutely nothing to do with Freemasonry.
criticism in the January number of THE BUILDER, of Bro. J. S. M. Ward's
discussion of the descent of the Freemasons from the "Companions," in the
collection entitled From Labor to Refreshment, is another one of the
"cock-sure" pronunciamentos by one who is as equally guilty of inaccuracies as
the one he accuses of that fault.
says in his Concise History of Freemasonry, page 60:
literature of the Companionage that has sprung into existence since 1839,
seems to me remarkable in itself, and when taken with the allusions to the
society of much older dates a problem is presented, its possible derivation
from the same sources of origin as our Freemasonry, which though doomed to
slumber in the present, will yet, I hope and believe, be partly if not wholly
solved in the future.
only is Ward correct in asserting that Freemasonry came to us through the
"Companions," as Gould intimidated, but he is also right in saying that they
had the Legend of Hiram.
is shown conclusively in Les Origines Compagonniques de la Franc-Maconnerie by
M. Henri Gray of Paris, and published in L'Acacia, the organ of the Grand
Orient of France, which I have translated into English and for which I have
vainly sought a publisher.
few Masons know anything about the "Companions" I may quote, from my
introduction as translator, the following passage:
Compagnonnage was and is a trade-union of several trades, existing today in
France, which is mystical in its tendencies and so secret in its nature that
it existed for centuries in France, almost unknown. Since 1725, when
Freemasonry is said to have been established in France, it has lived there
alongside the Masonic bodies, practically unknown to most of the Masons of
word "Compagnonnage," according to the French dictionary, means "trade-union"
while the word "Compagnon," from which it is derived, means "companion,
associate, colleague, fellow, journeyman or trade-unionist."
France the regular second degree of Masonry is called the degree of the "Compagnon"
and hence corresponds to our Fellowcraft Degree.
time to time as knowledge of their existence leaked out they were exposed to
the persecution of Church and State. Some of their practices were condemned,
as far back as 1541 by an edict of Francis I.
therefore not strange that the reviewer of Bro. Ward's work should be ignorant
of the historical fact that the Faculty of the Sorbonne (Theology) in 1655, in
their printed condemnation of the acts of the Companions of France as
sacrilegious, brought out the fact that the Companions claimed to have been
organized by King Solomon himself at the building of his Temple and the
Companions of the rival and seceding bodies, the Children of Maitre Jacques
and those of Pere Soubine, brought the charge against the Children of Solomon
or Traveling Companions (Masons) that it was they who killed Hiram and in
proof of their statement appeared clad in white gloves "in token of their own
Another peculiar fact is that the Freemasons of France do not prepare their
candidates for initiation as we do in America, but the Companions do so at the
consider the term "Companion" as used in the Royal Arch, with the statement of
Dr. Oliver that the Royal Arch was brought from France by Andrew Michael
Ramsay in 1730, the year Gould says he was in London to receive membership in
the Royal Society and his degree of D.C.L. at Oxford, we may get some idea of
what happened. If we could only get hold of Father Helyot's monumental work,
Histaire des Ordres Monastiques, Religieux and Militaires, which Gould says
Ramsay read and which appeared when Ramsay was in Paris publishing his "Life
of Fenelon," we might find the source of many of the higher degrees,
so-called, which later appeared in France and which Ramsay is said by French
historians to have formulated. This contained an account of the Companionage
and the condemnation of the Faculty of the Sorbonne.
Gray in his work says:
Strictly speaking all ancient gilds, fraternities, brotherhoods, etc., that
are not in possession of the Solomonic legend are not to be confounded with
that reason, be concludes the Regius poem is of Germanic origin, since
Freemasonry is of the Rite of Solomon while the Four Crowned Martyrs' bodies
are of the North of Europe and did not possess the legend of Solomon and of
his Temple, the property of the Masonic society.
Gould points out on page 88 of his Concise History in relation to the
statement of Perdiguier that he thought the story about Hiram was a Masonic
should be borne in mind that Perdiguier was neither a Freemason nor a
stonemason of Solomon . . . Also a propos of chien [dog], a title bestowed on
all the Companions du devoir. he [Perdiguier] says, "It is believed by some to
be derived from the fact that it was a dog which discovered the place where
the body of Hiram, architect of the Temple, lay under the rubbish, after which
all the companions who separated from the murderers of Hiram were called
chiens or dogs."
shows the Hiramic Legend imbedded in the customs of the warring bodies. In the
Old Charges, from the time of Charles Martel and King Athelstane, down to the
great fire of London in 1666, the French Companions composed of stonemasons,
carvers and sculptors, came over to England bringing their legend of Hiram.
They were an organization of the South of France where the Pointed Arch (the
Gothic Style) was introduced by Foreign Companions from Palestine, as Prof.
Hayter Lewis, P. M. of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, points out in Gould's Concise
History. Henri Gray says in this regard:
who are authors of books on the Companionage, studies and works of history on
the subject, and who are not members of the Society of Freemasons have reached
the conclusion that in ancient times the Companionage and Freemasonry were one
and the same thing. The specialists in the history of labor and the working
classes, like M. Levasseur for example, who do not embarrass themselves at all
with the mysterious side of the two societies, think the same also. For them
the mystery is only the form. That which is more serious to them is the real
purpose for which the workers have been led to form secret associations. Among
these scholars there does not seem to have been a single doubt as to the
identity, in the beginning, of Freemasonry and the Companionage.
also tersely described the Companionage by a definition which fits the
Operative Masons equally well.
Companionage is a society of workmen who connect its legendary formation back
to the construction of the Temple of Solomon and of which the most ancient
members were the stone cutters.
as a Freemason adds, ",On these two points the Companionage holds an interest
more might be said on the subject and it is the hope of the writer that some
day his translation of Henri Gray may be printed, as there are many facts
therein which are not known to English speaking Freemasons, especially the
Masons of America who have obtained their conceptions of Masonry largely from
the work of English writers.
the Companions of France who brought their legend of Hiram to England,
especially after the strike at the building of the Cathedral church of Orleans
in 1287, when the church authorities tried to catholicize the workers of
France, and the Foreign Companions from Italy and Greece, many of whom were
non-Christians, left the work. They only had to travel about fifty miles to,
be in English territory which at that time extended from Normandy down to
Marseilles, diagonally across France, when Edward I was King of England, the
king who Ramsay said had brought the Masons back from Palestine with him.
There is a prolific field here which has been well cultivated by Henri Gray.
re-read what I said in my review of Bro. J. S. M. Ward's article in Labour and
Refreshment on the subject of the Compagnonnage, and I do not find any
"cocksure pronunciamento" as stated by Bro. Willard, or evidences of
dogmatism, which perhaps would be a kinder expression to use in a discussion
of a Masonic subject.
simply stated that Bro. Ward supported the claim that the Compagnonnage
possessed the Hiramic Legend, and within the narrow limits of a brief review,
examined some of the evidence put forward by him. While such an examination
may have leaned towards the counter-viewpoint, there was no definite opinion
expressed by me. Indeed, in view of Bro. Gould's statements "How long before
the year 1840 the legend of Hiram (or Adonhiram) had obtained currency among
the stonemasons of the divisions . . . must remain a matter for speculation"
(Con. Hist. Rev. Edn., p. 42), and "whether, in 1839-41 it was of ancient, or
comparatively modern date, is a point on which opinion may possibly be
divided" (Ibid. p. 44), I would hesitate to dogmatize. Whatever may be the
value of the review it has fulfilled a purpose in directing attention to this
most interesting subject, and drawing a useful contribution from Bro. Willard.
Willard emphatically supports Bro. Ward's assertion that Freemasonry came to
us through the Compagnonnage, but he is unfortunate in his quotation from
Gould's Concise History to support his own statement that this authority
intimated such was the case, for "its (i. e., the Compagnonnage's) possible
derivation from the same sources of origin as our Freemasonry" is not the same
thing at all.
fully aware of the condemnation of the organization by the Doctors of the
Sorbonne in 1655, but the fact that the Companions claimed to have been
organized by King Solomon at the building of the Temple does not prove the
existence of the Hiramic Legend any more than the legend of the Craft in the
M.S. Constitutions does. Nothing further as to legend save that as to its
origin, appears in the Sorbonne disclosures
the difficulties which beset the enquirer into the question of the possession
of the legend is that pointed out by Bro Vibert, of distinguishing "between
references to Hiram as the architect and builder, and the definite narrative
with which we are familiar and which alone constitutes the Hiramic Legend."
Hiramic Legend does not seem to be definitely mentioned as being in the
possession of the Compagonnage until after the establishment of Freemasonry in
France. Mere was a legend of a murder, and, as it was almost an invariable
thing, from very early ages, and among all peoples, to connect a tragedy with
every building of importance, in fact or in legend, as pointed out by the late
Bro. Speth, it would be surprising, indeed, if the Compagnonnage, from the
very nature of its personneI, and its claim to originate from the building of
the Temple, had not such a legend. The question narrows itself to this, who
was the victim?
Count Goblet d'Alviella says "it is not inadmissible that a fellow, initiated
by chance into some Masonic lodge, would impart to his "companions" the
information that he has learned the real name of their first Master, and that
this name is Hiram or Adonhiram; but the new name would only be accepted if
there was a previous legend to which it could attach itself. The science of
Mythology teaches us that names are much more easily altered or exchanged than
legends. The hero varies, the myth remains." Might not this previous legend
have been that of the murder of Maitre Jacques? Against this view, however,
there is the evidence, apparently sufficient, in the opinion of Bro. J. E. S.
Tuckett, that Hiram and Jacques both play some part in the legend of the
foundation of the Compagnonnage. But even a story rightly belonging to one
might, he says, in process of time, became transferred to the other.
Willard refers to the fact that the mode of preparation in France differs from
that practised in America. The French Masons, however, prepare much as the
"Moderns" did in 1760 and probably earlier, and the fact that the "Companions"
of today conform to our method, if this be a fact, is of no value to our
present enquiry, for they may have borrowed from the Craft. What would be of
value is the determination of the custom in each body prior to the
introduction of Freemasonry into France.
Willard is unhappy in quoting Dr. Oliver's statement that the Royal Arch was
brought from France by the Chevalier Ramsay in 1730, for in The Freemason's
Treasury (Lecture xlvii, p. 298) Oliver himself admits that the supposed
evidence on which that assertion was founded is groundless. He is, however,
inaccurate in stating that Gould asserted that Ramsay had read HeIyot's
Histoire. What Gould did say was this: "In 1714-19 Helyot's great work . . .
was published at Paris. The third volume contains the History of the Order of
St. Lazarus of which Ramsay was a Knight. Who can doubt that he read it?"
(Hist., Vol. 3, p. 343, Yorston Edn.)
regard to the last paragraph of Bro. Willard's communication I confess myself
at a complete loss to understand precisely what he means. What difference
could it have made in the year 1287 if the Companions did only "have to travel
about fifty miles to be in English territory?" The argument seems to require
us to understand that the English were non-Catholics, but surely Bro. Willard
does not mean to imply this. While it is probably true that there were in
remote corners, and under cover, many survivals of paganism, yet everyone was
professedly a Christian, and all Christians in Western Europe were
"Catholics." And though it is also undoubtedly true that the Church then, as
now, suspected all secret organizations, and was quick to impute heresy, there
would have been no greater liberality in this regard under English rule than
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THE ROYAL SOMERSET HOUSE AND INVERNESS LODGE. By Dr. A. W. Oxford. Published
by Bernard Quaritch, London. Cloth, table of contents, illustrated, appendices
and index. 316 pages. Limited edition, published by subscription at 2.12.6.
mere mention of No. 4 on the rolls of the Grand Lodge of England should cause
every Mason to pay attention, if nothing more. Practically everyone knows that
four lodges met and "revived the Quarterly Communications" which grew into the
present Grand Lodge organization. Naturally, therefore, when No. 4 is
mentioned the hearer wonders whether this was one of the Four Old Lodges. The
answer is that it was and is. It was the fourth of the four, the one which met
at the Rummer and Grapes Tavern in Channel Row, Westminster. It subsequently
moved to the Horn, and came to be known as the Old Horn Lodge, No. 2, after
the demise of the lodges originally Nos. 2 and 3. On Jan. 10, 1774, it was
united with, and took the name of, the Somerset House Lodge, which was founded
in 1762. At the Union in 1813 it again became No. 4 and has held its original
number to the present day. Prior to this it was variously numbered 4, 5, 4, 3,
2. Though it might be proud to have been listed as No. 2 and to bear that
designation today, what could be more appropriate than that 217 years after
the Union of the Four Old Lodges that No. 4 has its original number. In spite
of the fact that this is largely a matter of chance (the vagaries of English
lodge numeration are too complicated to be noted here) certainly Royal
Somerset House and Inverness Lodge is more fortunate than Antiquity, No. 2,
which finds itself in the peculiar position of being the oldest of the Four
Old Lodges, and still not enrolled as No. 1.
mention of Antiquity leads us to note the fact that the present Nos. 2 and 4
are the only ones of the Four original lodges which are still in existence.
Some years ago Bro. W. H. Rylands wrote the first volume of a history of No.
2. More recently, within the past year in fact, Bro. Firebrace has produced
the second volume, and the intention is to reprint the first volume which from
the first has been very scarce, in sufficient number to enable those who have
the second volume only to complete the set. Thus it is that we have had a
history of the other of the Four Old Lodges which is still working. It is most
fortunate that No. 4 should also decide to give its history to the world.
have seen that the Old Horn Lodge amalgamated with that of Somerset House in
1774. It maintained its identity under this name, with fourth place on the
roll, until Nov. 25, 1828, when it was united with the Royal Inverness Lodge,
which had been established in 1815, and its name was changed once more. By
permission of H. R. H. the Duke of Sussex, the then Grand Master, it became
Royal Somerset House and Inverness Lodge, its present title. The lodge is
acting by "immemorial constitution," a privilege it shares with Antiquity, No.
2, and Fortitude and Old Cumberland, No. 12. Its history from the earliest
days is, therefore, a part of the history of Freemasonry.
might here be said that Dr. Oxford intends his work primarily for the members
of the lodge. As a result, we are told, it is written in a form quite
different from what it would have been adopted had the intention been to cater
to the general reader. The present writer has no idea what different form Dr.
Oxford may have had in mind, unless it be that he would have adhered more
closely to the existing minutes of the lodge. Such a plan would have given
Masonic students generally the opportunity to quote exactly from the minutes,
instead of from Dr. Oxford's resume of those documents. There would have been
advantages in this, but it would of course have been accompanied by a distinct
loss of readability. As the work stands it is intensely interesting. It avoids
the constant repetition which makes the reading of actual minutes so dull. In
fact, the reviewer found the work of such absorbing interest that he read it
in one sitting. A unique experience, with any other Masonic work of equal
length and standard of scholarship.
Unfortunately the first extant minute book of the lodge begins in 1783. This
leaves a great gap in the early years of the history that must be filled in
from other sources. The history of the lodge, and of Somerset House Lodge up
to the time of the amalgamation in 1762, and from there to 1783, has been
reconstructed from the records of the Grand Lodge and other sources. The
resume of the minutes from that date has already been mentioned as of great
interest. Included in the work is a list of the members of the lodge taken
from various sources. There will be occasion to mention some of these later.
precise date of the formation of No. 4 is unknown, but Dr. Oxford thinks it
was not earlier than 1712. It could not, of course, have been later than 1716
because we find the Four Old Lodges holding a preliminary meeting in that year
at which it was decided to revive the Quarterly Communications and Annual
Feast the following year. At first the lodge seems to have met on the third
Friday in each month; a little later the date was the second Thursday.
time of the revival the membership of No. 4 was 71, as compared with 22 for
the lodge at the Goose and Gridiron, 21 for that at the Appletree, and 15 for
that at the Crown AleHouse. Perhaps it is not strange, therefore, that No. 4
seems to have played a most important part in early Grand Lodge affairs. Aside
from this majority strength, however, the character of the membership of No. 4
seems to have been an important factor in its dominance of the new
organization. The first list of members shows not more than two who were, or
might have been, operatives. The balance were of high social rank, peers,
officers of the Army, Magistrates, members of Parliament, several of them
connected with the Royal Household, and one of them the Envoy to the Court of
Sweden. Perhaps, therefore, it is not strange that three of the most famous
men in Masonic history held their membership in No. 4. George Payne (Grand
Master in 1718 and 1720), the Rev. J. T. Desaguliers (Grand Master in 1719 and
Deputy Grand Master in 1723‑4‑6), and the Rev. James Anderson, who produced
the first two editions of the Book of Constitutions in 1723 and 1738,
respectively, were all members of the lodge which met at the Rummer and Grapes
in 1716. In later years we find the name of Thomas Dunckerley, who played a
prominent part as the founder of Somerset House Lodge in 1762 on board H. M.
S. "The Prince," on which he was then the gunner.
June 24, 1727, the Grand Master nominated Payne, Folkes and Sorrel, the first
and third being members of No. 4, "to be three of the Committee of Seven for
Managing the Bank of Charity." At the same time he nominated Nathaniel
Blackerby to be Treasurer.
Blackerby was also a member of No. 4. This office he held until April 6, 1738.
The reason for his resignation is very interesting and is quoted in full.
proposed and carried that the Treasurer should give and find security for the
money in his charge. "The Treasurer then stood up and thanked the Brethren for
the honour they had done him in continuing him so long their Treasurer, but
told them that he could not be insensible to the Indignity offered him in the
above Resolutions and the ill-treatment he had met with in the Debate and that
he resented the same in the highest manner. And then resigned his office of
Treasurer and promised to send next morning to the G. S. a Draught on the Bank
for the Ballance in his hands." He was never again present at Grand Lodge.
was not slow in showing its confidence in its old member, for the London Daily
Post of April 22, 1738, states that "On Thursday last there was a numerous
appearance of Persons of Distinction of the Society of Free and Accepted
Masons at the Lodge held at the Horn Tavern in New Palace Yard, Westminster,
when his Grace the Duke of Richmond having resign'd the Mastership of the said
Lodge, by the unanimous Consent of all the Members present, Nathaniel
Blackerby, Esq. (the late Treasurer of the whole Society, formerly Deputy to
the Lord Kingston, when Grand Master, and also to his Grace the late Duke of
Norfolk) was chosen Master of the Lodge."
Treasurer's accounts were not quite in order, for his successor reported on
April 13, 1739, that the balance handed over to him included "promissory Notes
16.18." It was "ordered that the Treasurer do cause Application to be made for
the payment of the said Notes for 16.18."
June 30, 1739, "the Treasurer informed the Lodge that he had caused
Application to be made for the Payment of the Notes for 16.18 mentioned in the
Minutes of the last Q. C. And thereon found that the same were Promissory
Notes under the hand of Br Batson payable to Br Blackerby the late Treasurer
and were taken by him some years past instead of so much money due to the Gd
Batson, a member of No. 4, had been Deputy Grand Master from 1731 to 1734.
Following this controversy the attendance of the lodge officers at Grand Lodge
was very irregular, and owing to this non-attendance "at the general meetings
of the Society," the lodge was off the roll for four years, being restored in
are many other points one would like to discuss which are raised in this
really fascinating history. To even mention them would occupy altogether too
much space. The History of No. 4 is so closely interwoven with the History of
Modern Freemasonry that the field opened by this single volume has contact
with almost every branch of Masonic research.
are only three hundred copies of the work available. Brethren who are desirous
of adding what will be an almost priceless possession to their libraries have
need to hasten if they would not find the supply exhausted.
* * *
QUEST OF THE GOLDEN STAIRS. By Arthur Edward Waite. Published by the
Theosophical Publishing House, London. Cloth (4to.), table of contents, 176
pages. Price, $3.85.
MYSTERY of Kinghood in Faerie," so runs the second title. It is not a fairy
story, but a story of faerie, which is not quite the same thing. It is the
story of a mystic quest, and itself a mystery because of its many meanings,
and meanings within meanings. It is an allegory, if one will, but not an
allegory with a simple interpretation. Preeminently is it one that each must
read as he can, and interpret according to his own knowledge. It is worth
reading for its beauty alone; like a song in an unknown language, the melody
alone may give pleasure, or bring tears - while yet the words may he far more
than the music if one but knew them. It may be that youth will not have
experience enough of life to fully understand the story that is told. Age may
have lost the power of vision. Who then may interpret it? Perhaps the old who
have remained young at heart, possibly youth to whom sorrow has too early
brought the knowledge of the years. But, one would judge, prosperous
middle-age will understand as hardly as a rich man can enter the Kingdom of
Waite has, during a long life, patiently investigated every path that gave
promise of leading out of the present world of material things - the world of
desire and decay and death - into what is beyond. All the schools of
occultism, magic and mysticism, and everything parallel or analogous to them.
He has written of them indefatigably, so that the very list of the titles of
his books is amazing. He has written with the meticulous accuracy of the
scholar but concealed it under a style of the highest literary art. He has
written mystical poems with much of the same quality as this book of Quest,
which indeed is a poem in prose. It may be, seeing that in one of his most
recent works he intimated that the task he had set himself was done, at least
so far forth as a man may hope to finish - it - may be that, "under veils," he
has told the story of his own seeking. Indeed it could hardly be else, in some
sort at least; yet it is not very significant, for the truth of life and
spirit is wide and many faced, and can only be told in allegory and symbol.
Then if the tale be true for the teller it is true for the hearer also, each
seeing his own particular truth.
this as it may, it would he absurd, both in the strict sense of impossible and
the colloquial sense of ridiculous, to attempt to explain or interpret such a
work as this. Those who have loved will understand, those who have had sorrow
will know, for love and sorrow each impose a quest.
Something may be said of the means used to the end. They are simple, like the
singing of a bird. That is much; it were better if one knew the language of
birds, but for that one must taste the dragon's heart, as in the ancient tale
of Sigurd. This tale has some power of gramarye, it takes us straight into an
enchanted land, far from the sordid world of every day. Far? "To him who can
open a door which leads within to Faerie the end is everywhere" and "There is
no Faerie but Faerie, and it is not there but here." And yet again, "From over
the way, from anywhere over the way, out of a great distance, to those who are
meant for Faerie, comes Faerie at the appointed hour."
effect is produced largely, it would seem, by a certain inconsequence of
description, studied or instinctive, which continually intrudes upon the
story, like leitmotives in the music of Tannhauser or Parsifal. Description
largely of English landscape, it might seem, by or near the narrow sea, and
this, as by some spell, leads straight, as the voice of the nightingale did an
earlier poet, to those
. . .
magic casements on the foam
perilous seas in faerie land forlorn.
this land is not forlorn or perilous, even though it has
darksome forest of fir-trees . . . an worn chapel, bidden in a little hollow,
overgrown There also flourished the deadly night-shade, be monk's hood, with
other plants of bale, exhaling unhallowed incense in the dews and darkness.
chiefly it is a bright and beautiful country, as when in the beginning of the
quest we are told that the Prince was
….moving presently through the middle place of a woodland, where the linden
whispered secrets and beneath it were sweet waters which answered in light and
shade. Many secrets are held in the deep brown wells of Faerie. He came in his
faring to a clear and shining pool. A host of red foxgloves in Faerie
congregated about the marge.
. . .
he went betimes through the forest to visit the Haunted Well. Who follows the
lizard's track shall come to the spring's, source; but he found that the well
was dry, and all that he saw was a green lizard crawling among the stones. . .
. It was, a bright, bright day, running with golden hours. O tales told by the
throstle and birds that chant legends: there was singing of birds everywhere;
and the wind, full of scented secrets,. whispered and crooned among answering
leaves, and dappled shadows on grasses. It might have been eventide when
silence fell for a space, and then the shrill voice of a lark pealed in the
empyrean without stint in its ecstasy. There are worlds beyond wells in
Faerie, and wells in the world of song. A fountain deeper than these unlocked
in Prince Starbeam's heart and flowed over in saving tears. So opens the heart
in Faerie, and so in other where.
prepared the body of the Master for his cold bridal of the grave. "Lay me not
down at the West: I would look to the East in Faerie." Was it Death on a white
horse which rode through the marish chase in the light of the setting moon?
Was it Death that rode in splendor? Was it Death in radiant armour that passed
from the room of death, with echoing footclanking on stone stairs? Who brought
the ghostly to the old porch of the House? Who carried the Banners before,
which flowed and plunged in the mist? And whither, of your mercy, turns the
Path of Souls which leads to the Bright Land under a Bright Sky? Is this the
World of Faerie or do we look for another?
Because of a Magic Ring the Prince is pursued and hunted .by enemies:
yesterday and today and - as it seemed - forever the chase went on. I have
heard that he hid among bracken while horses and riders passed; I have heard
that he crossed the water; there are rumors of wreck and rescue, whether on
lake or sea. I have heard of wooded valleys, and he tarried in the valleys of
silence. . . . There are houses in lonely woods and grey towers by very secret
meres which keep the memory of his presence. . . .
last the fugitive came
the bleak shore of the lonely ocean, when heavy clouds covered the face of
heaven. The receding tide took out the cold gray sea, a penetrating mist began
to fall. . . .
Towards the ending of the Quest
were following a narrow path which went up a certain hill. O storied hills and
mountains far away; at the hill top they saw through unmeasured distance the
lights of a long promontory going out into the sea. In the wind and moonlight
they went down that hill and they came to the Dream Tower, the place of sleep
and vision, the sleep and trance of Faerie. . . . O path of dreams and path of
knowing of dreams; who tells in the morning glory a dream by the light of the
more description. The Prince
. . .
passed through the forest as one who goes unawares but straight to the
destined place. . . . Wait until the trees of the forest begin to speak in the
heart. . . . He heard the leaves as they whispered; he heard and understood.
He knew that he moved on the threshold of strange new things to come. 'The
morning glory of bindweeds shook their bells at him, telling of secret ways
and things beyond thought in the forest. He knew not the hour or the day,
except that the time of the end stood at his door of life. . . . O the wild
light, the wine light, the light of the earth and air: they tinctured and
scented his way. The wisp light, the gold light through lattice work of leaves
wrote words of strange meaning as it filtered through glens and hollows. The
air that breathed through lattices was air that brought a message; the message
contained a secret; the secret needed a key; but the key was in the heart of
is enough and more. Those for whom the book is written will understand. To
begin picking out passages is not to know when to stop. Yet one must conclude:
the Lion and the Lamb are at peace in Faerie, the Dove is in the Eagle's nest;
there are golden waters, rivers of waters of gold, footmarks of enchantment,
wings for rainbow flight; there is a Spirit of the woods beside me clothed in
green samite, singing through a herb garden of savours; And this is the very
end - I bear my faithful witness - to the Quest of the Golden Stairs and the
Way of a Crown in Faerie.
* * *
CHRISTIANITY, PAST AND PRESENT. By Charles Guignebert. Published by the
Macmillan Co. Cloth, analytio table of contents, 507 pages. Price, $3.85.
author is Professor of the History of Christianity in the University of Paris.
His position and previous work guarantee the quality of the present volume in
regard to scholarship. Nothing is said about a translator on the title page,
so that we may suppose that it was either written in English in the first
place, or that Prof. Guignebert made his own translation. An occasional phrase
or sentence here and there rather bears the last supposition out, where the
construction is not really English nor yet quite like a too - literal
translation from a French original. But there are very few of these places,
and in general the style is decidedly vivid and graphic, especially
considering the subject of which it treats.
position of the author is that of the critical school, which treats the
phenomena of Christianity quite objectively and without belief in its divine
character or origin. Though believing Christians seldom make the distinction,
this attitude is quite different from that of the enemy of the church, or of
religion. The latter uses the critic's work as an armory where he finds his
weapons - but so also does the Christian apologist if he be abreast of the
times. This does not mean that the critic is always right, or even right at
any time, for that matter.
the author endeavors to explain away everything of a supernormal character he
is yet very sympathetic in his treatment. One supposes that his general
position would be that religion in some form is a psychological necessity for
mankind collectively, and that, as being so purely human and natural, no man
should scorn it even if he has peeped behind the scenes, and knows the strings
and rods which move the puppets on the stage. An Olympic attitude, which will
annoy some religionists much more than the bitter attacks of professed
atheists and self-styled rationalists.
book is divided into three parts. Many Protestants might feel like condoning
the first one for the sake of the last. The first part deals with primitive
Christianity - the person of our Lord, his character And work, as
reconstructed by the critic, and then the transformation of an insignificant
Jewish sect into a world religion through its fertilization by Hellenistic
philosophy and theosophy. It is headed the "Creed and the Church." The second
part treats of the Mediaeval period under the heading of "Theology and the
Papacy." The last takes us from the Reformation to the final triumph of
Ultramontanism in the Vatican Council. The author, though it must not be for a
moment supposed he ignores or is uninformed regarding Protestant and other
non-Roman churches, does regard things from a viewpoint in which the Roman
Church is central and perhaps most important. This is only natural, and
perhaps inevitable under the circumstances. Everyone is limited and biased by
his own environment in some degree. Which is equally true of critics as of
readers who have not some acquaintance with the progress of Biblical
criticism, and history of religion, much of the Introduction, and the first
part of the book, will seem rather incomprehensible and perhaps disturbing. It
is not easy to accept the objective attitude towards things which really count
in our own lives. However, we must allow for the presumed basic metaphysical
premises of the author, that there cannot be any divine element in any form of
religion. This being done, the picture drawn may help even the most
""fundamental" believer to distinguish between essentials and non-essentials
in his own inherited system of beliefs. Religions are social organisms, they
do grow, evolve, decay and die. They have important resemblances to each other
which are concealed in the traditional attitude that "my religion is the only
true one and every other is utterly false."
granting all this, to the present reviewer (here revealing objectively his own
presuppositions) the account given of the life and death of the Carpenter's
Son seems much like a blind man writing a treatise on optics. If the great
majority of men were entirely color blind, their descriptions of things seen
would be found lacking in an essential element to the abnormal individual who
was not. As his, contrary-wise, would seem fantastic and absurd to the
picture of Christ as a Gallilean of the lower class, uneducated but with an
urge to take up the role of a prophet in order to announce the immediate
coming of the Day of Jehovah, the Day of Vengeance on the enemies and
oppressors of Israel, has its own difficulties. These are not concealed by the
author, though he does not dwell upon them. So also, his reconstruction of the
steps by which a reforming "Adventist" sect of Judaism grew into the Catholic
Church again presents other difficulties. We must be frank. There are
difficulties every way we turn. That is one unique thing at least about the
crucified Nazarene - no explanation seems fully adequate and satisfying It is
something like a mathematical expression, containing an incommensurable
quantity. We can write it in many ways. We may transform it so that a, b, or
c, or x, or y is the incommensurable, and take our choice. But whatever we do
the surd remains somewhere. After all it may be that the explanation arrived
at by the early Hellenistic Fathers and the Doctors of the Church is no more
unintelligible objectively than that of the most thorough going rationalist.
It all depends on our primary conceptions of the universe. If we take it to be
an order or system in which there is no place for the divine, for leading or
guidance or even concern, on the part of a supreme intelligence or
personality, then we must make the rationalistic hypothesis do as best we can.
It would seem that too often the critics, who are seldom metaphysicians, do
not see this at all. For one thing, most of the defenders of orthodox
conceptions are equally oblivious to such considerations, and insist on
non-essentials even more strenuously, sometimes, than upon the essentials.
second part of the work covers the ground that is more or less familiar to
everyone who has read anything at all about Church History, though the author
has brought out with exceptional clearness the purely human and social
tendencies which later on caused the development of the papacy. The tendency
of every religion, as with every other social motive, is to evolve an
organization, or we may say, an organism. The living principle of a religion,
the emotions experienced in common, the insight or visions of some
communicated to others, crystalize into a body of beliefs which may later be
systematized into a formal creed. Then ritual will develop, and a hierarchy;
and inevitably all these external things, which form the body of the religion,
are taken as of divine origin, and necessary. Just as a man thinks of his
hands or feet as part of himself, even though he may know quite well that his
body began in an undifferentiated gerin cell, and that he may lose limbs and
organs and still continue to live and work without any deficiency in his
personality. So in a religion it is the simple believer and the mystic who are
the source of its life, even though the organization may develop and harden to
the point where it is practically dead-like the finger nails and epidermis of
a man, or the scales of a snake or fish, or the shell of a mollusc. These are
the products of living activity, but there is no life in them and they have
become inert, and subject to mechanical forces and laws only. In a religion
the organization ceases to be spiritual and becomes secular and worldly. It is
precisely as it reaches this stage that those who benefit by it are most
insistent as to the divine, origin of the whole machine; which in a sense is
true enough if the divine governance of the universe be granted - only at this
stage the defenders of the status quo (and their privileges under it) conceive
divine operation in the most mechanical way. The author says the church
ought not to have let her official doctrine be confined and cramped in
formulas that were too abstract and unyielding. Finally her organization
should have preserved some elasticity and not have become set hard and fast in
a uniformity incapable of adapting itself readily to the varying needs of the
men of different nationalities who constitute the Christian body. Just the
contrary however occurred.
is put hypothetically as if it had been a matter of conscious decision and
choice. In reality of course it is a natural development, apparently an
inevitable one. Institutions evolve as unconsciously as the living organism
step by step the papacy developed, becoming a true monarchy, tending "more and
more toward narrow centralization" with "pretensions without limit and an
autocracy beyond control." That revolt against the system which we call "The
Reformation" was very incomplete and one-sided in many ways, precisely because
it was a revolt, and was developed in a state of war. Protestantism, to group,
as the author says, "quite artificially, all the various churches born of the
opposition to Roman pontificalism" turned to polemic rather than to seeking
for truth for its own sake, and tended to react from everything distinctive in
the older system regardless of its value. The counter-Reformation of the Roman
Church, resulting in the reformulation of doctrine by the Council of Trent,
reacted again from Protestantism, and as the author judges the result,
succeeded in so hardening and crystallizing the Roman system that no real
growth or development was thenceforward possible. The Index was established to
guard the mental innocence of the faithful from contamination, and a catechism
prepared "which states the faith in accurate, if not lucid formulas,
accessible, if not intelligible to all."
Chapter on Liberalism is most interesting and valuable. It sums up the
opposition between "clericalism" and all free search for truth, whether in
science or history. This opposition, constant and violent, has produced the
natural result. Says the author:
would be foreseen that constantly meeting the church as an obstacle the
liberals and the scientists would be led to pause and ponder over her, make a
tour of inspection and put her solidity to proof; in other words, that they
would verify the grounds of the pretensions made by theology to tell the sole
truth and to impose it everywhere.
Unfortunately scientists and liberals are also human, and they, like the
Protestant reformers before them, also reacted - and rejected truth and error
together. Many of the theoretical conclusions of scientists as to the nature
of the universe, as many judgments of Biblical critics, are ultimately based
on the unconscious and uncriticized assumption that there is and can be no
divine influence in the world.
last chapter the last state of the Roman Church is discussed. This will
perhaps be the most interesting in the whole work to the general reader. The
author finds that
official church is dominated by the letter and by superstition; she has become
incapable of holding her own effectively against them and she no longer seems
to believe that any attempt to do so is to her interest. This is, indeed,
equal to submission to her own death. . . . As a matter of fact the orthodox
systematic theology does not receive any solid support from the majority of
the faithful, who cling to the practices of religion alone, and no longer try
to comprehend its dogmas.
other words ignorance is the rampart behind which the Roman Church defends
herself. Ignorance of doctrine, and everything else so far as possible, on the
part of the mass of believers, while the clergy have to be trained in an
atmosphere from which the "air and light from the world without" are carefully
excluded. For deprived of all means of re-adaptation to modern knowledge the
. . .
can do no more than reassert itself. It does so by publishing in an incessant
stream books of apologetics more or less well composed, which [however] are
hardly read by any but those who have no need of them.
immobility of death that be sees is only spiritual. He is fully aware of the
great activity of the Roman Church, of its forward movement all over the
has modernized her ways . . . taking as her pattern the measures usually
adopted in political struggles. She makes use of aggressive newspapers which
feel no scruples concerning Christian charity and delicacy. . . . She has put
her confidence in the influence of the press, and so, in addition to her own
journals she directs or inspires numerous publications of all kinds carefully
edited to suit all stages of development and culture. . . . Finally she has
her own electoral policy and her political directives. She takes a hand in the
great game played by the various parties centered round every government. In
particular she tries to retain her influence in the education of the young, or
to recover it where she has lost it.
this, of course, with the keenest appreciation of the fact that her strength
lies in the ignorance of the great mass of her members.
writes specially of France and European countries, but he adds:
hour is approaching when the battle will be waged as eagerly in England, the
United States and all countries in which the 'Church feels herself menaced by
state schools which are laic and unsectarian.
activity is, as he says, one of the most interesting of post-war world
phenomena. It has secured Catholics "more consideration and gives them better
standing" and has strengthened their political position greatly.
this is flattering and it may be of practical importance to an extent it would
be risky to exaggerate, but what advantage does Catholicism itself derive from
it? Are its dogmatic assertions re-established by it in their full value in
the judgment of a greater number of human beings?
in other words, spiritually dead or dying, but remain a huge and powerful
machine, the sheer inertia of which will carry it for a long time yet. This is
a judgment that the believer in Christianity will not be wholly ready to
accept how ever completely he may reject the peculiarly Roman dogmas The
Spirit moves "where it listeth" and its influence and power are incalculable.
too bad that so important a work should be disfigured by so many annoying
evidences of lack of careful editing. There are a few typographical errors; as
Vanini, who was born in 1586, is said to have been executed as a heretic in
1919! But the mistakes specially alluded to, and which are hardly excusable,
often make the sense of the passage obscure. As on page 391 there is an
unwanted preposition in the sentence "express alike of the economic
wretchedness . . ." On page 435 we have, "It is well to remember that
Voltaire, who minded the appelation 'I'Infame,' looked carefully,
nevertheless, after the devotional needs of his Ferney peasants." The sense of
the passage seems to demand that the phrase "who minded" should be understood
as "who delighted in" or "gloried in." There are also many places where a
plural subject has a singular verb or vice versa, and other like evidences of
lack of care in the final preparation of the manuscript. These disfigurements
should be remedied in the second edition, which it is certainly to be hoped
will be found necessary, as it is a work that should have the very widest
* * *
SYMBOLISM OF THE GODS OF THE EGYPTIANS. By Dr. T. M. Stewart. Published by the
Baskerville Press, London. Cloth, table of contents, illustrated, index, 120
pages. Price, $4.25.
SYMBOLISM in all its branches is a subject of intense interest to all
Freemasons. The reasons for this are not so deeply hidden as it may seem at
first thought. Quite early in the Masonic ceremony the candidate is taught
that the Fraternity is a "beautiful system of morals, veiled in allegory, and
illustrated by symbols." Almost immediately the thinking candidate begins to
wonder about the symbolic import of the ritual. Even the older members of the
Craft are seeking the symbolic light. No question is so frequently heard in
gatherings of Masons as what is the meaning of this or that portion of the
this is true it is not surprising that any book dealing with the subject of
symbolism is welcomed by the members of the Craft at large. One of the
beauties of teaching by symbols lies in the fact that the individual is
entitled to interpret the lessons according to his own views. This is also one
of the principal dangers of the method, for symbols, while they may be subject
to individual interpretation, must be construed along certain well defined
lines. Variation within certain limits is permissible, but the basic
boundaries must be known and care exercised not to overlap the limits of
propriety - symbolic propriety.
leads us to another point, and one which is of particular importance in
connection with Bro. Stewart's work. There is a school of Masonic scholars of
which Bro. J. S. M. Ward is perhaps the foremost exemplar which believes that
Freemasonry has its roots in the initiation ceremonies of primitive peoples.
This group of anthropological workers finds evidence sufficient to satisfy
themselves of the existence of Masonry from the most remote times. They find
resemblances not only in Ravage ceremonials, but in the religious rites of the
Chinese, Hindus, Egyptians, Hebrews, Greeks and other races of higher cultural
Stewart, while not explicitly stating such a thesis, implies the existence of
Freemasonry among the Egyptians. He uses freely the wording of the Masonic
ritual in explaining the symbolism of the Egyptian gods. This is most
unfortunate, since it tends to lead the unsuspecting reader to fall into a
trap which is only too much in evidence in the path of the unwary. As an
illustration of what is meant by the foregoing may the writer cite from an
incident from personal experience? At a Masonic gathering a few years ago the
principal speaker, a clergyman, made the assertion that history teaches us
that Freemasonry descended from the Egyptians. The writer challenges any
Masonic student to produce one bit of evidence that will withstand the tests
of historical criticism and that will prove Masonry's descent from the
Egyptians, and just for the sake 0 argument the Greeks, Hebrews, Hindus,
Chinese, and more primitive races may be included. That there is a lot of
inferential evidence must be admitted; by following the comparative method, so
fruitful in ethnological and anthropological research, we are led to suspect
that there may be some truth in the assertion that Masonry comes down to us
from the most remote antiquity. But there is a wide difference between saying
that Masonry may have evolved out of the dim past, and flatly stating that it
has developed through countless ages and that history proves this development.
things can be inferred, and much good result from the inferential method of
research, but with all members of the anthropological school of Masonic
research, including Bro. Ward and Bro. Stewart, we find fault, and a serious
fault at that. Their evidence is presented, for the most part fairly, though
the present writer has found cases where quotations were not quite accurate,
but even that may be passed over at this time, we are all liable to err. But
granting that the facts are as stated, the conclusions drawn are not presented
to the reader with that fine distinction between possibility, probability and
certainty which characterizes the true scholar. Why should men who are
indulging in research in fields where all conclusions are to some extent
doubtful at the best, and where any opinion is based only upon partial
evidence, and where definite and conclusive proof can never be obtained,
express their views as facts instead of as probabilities? What right has any
one to say that the Masonic Fraternity is known to savages simply because they
happen to make a sign closely resembling a Masonic sign, or because they have
a rite of circumambulation which parallels ours? Numerous instances equally as
pointed could be cited as illustrations of what is meant.
Stewart in his book now under discussion has developed a symbolic system about
the Gods of the Egyptians which is in accord with Masonic teachings. But by
the use of Masonic language in defining his symbols, a practice greatly to be
deprecated, he has given the impression that Masonry is descended from the
Egyptians. There is no doubt but that there are parallels in Masonic symbolism
and Egyptian teachings, but that is no reason for assuming, or even appearing
to assume, that the religion of the Egyptians, which seems to have consisted
of a symbolic searching after spiritual enlightenment, and which according to
Dr. Stewart consisted of three grades, which he calls degrees, is identical
with Masonry and this is true no matter how closely the two systems resemble
seems that from very remote ages one of the chief characteristics of human
intelligence has been a seeking after immortality. Races and peoples have
conducted the search in very different ways, they have been striving to reach
the same goal, and it is not at all surprising that there has been a constant
duplication of effort with widely divergent systems of symbols, but with many
varying symbols having precisely the same meaning, and still further with the
same things adopted by different peoples to convey the same meanings. It is
not surprising that the serpent, regardless of locality, has been made the
symbol of death and resurrection, or rebirth. All snakes enter a period of
lethargy, shed their skins and come forth as seemingly new creatures. Is there
any reason for believing that the Egyptians, or any other race had such a hold
on the sum total of human intelligence, that they were the only ones to
discover a significance in this natural phenomenon? It seems much more
reasonable to presume that the human mind working along the same lines arrived
at the same conclusions in different parts of the world. Lack of communication
and interchange of ideas would account for much in the way of duplication of
much space has already been devoted to a discussion of matter somewhat
extraneous to Bro. Stewart's book. The work is valuable to the student of
symbology, not so much for anything new that it brings out, but because it
does give in comparatively brief form the symbolic system of the Egyptians.
This system is developed along mystical lines. Bro. Stewart is of the opinion
that the Egyptians were monotheistic, and that all of the minor gods were
merely manifestations of the one supreme deity. Just how he reconciles this
theory with the fact that all of the gods were worshipped is hard to
understand. It looks to the present writer as though the system was comparable
with that of the Greeks. That it was polytheistic and that one particular
deity was merely the ruler, the chief, or king of the other gods. Even Dr.
Stewart's work, in spite of his assertions of monotheism, bears out this view.
this and like reasons, the reviewer would hesitate to recommend the work to
any reader who is not in possession of a clear critical faculty, and some
general knowledge of the subject as a guide. The work is too valuable to be
ignored, and at the same time too misleading to be read without caution and
due attention. It must be read with an open mind and in a sufficiently
leisurely manner to enable one to analyze the value of the work. The evidence
adduced must be weighed carefully and one must question every assertion of
fact. Only by doing this can one separate the wheat from the chaff and gain
arty benefit from the reading.
* * *
CONCORDIA: DER GEDANKENKREIS DER LEHRLINGSGRADES. (Ideals for the Apprentice.)
Alfred Unger, Berlin. Cloth, index, 203 pages. Price, $2.25. (Also bound in
book presents the latest information, gives a good picture of the German
Masonic world. We have here a graphic account of interest to ordinary readers,
as well as to the most. learned psychologist, scientist and even philosopher.
Some features of the picture presented are highly interesting, deeply
instructive and therefore ought to be widely distributed.
book, besides a number of philosophical observations and idealistic
suggestions, contains eighteen orations by leading German Masons, delivered on
festive occasions to the German members of the Craft. Our orators in their
mental flights again and again reach those lofty heights from which are seen,
alongside the material, commercial, mercenary struggle of the genus homo upon
the physical plane, some strange scenes and landscapes, in which the inner eye
recognizes the country promised by the Religious Teacher to those that love
Him, keep His commandments, do their duty, Build now their House for their
of our German orators remind their audiences that for building successfully
the builder must ward off the allurements of Lust, Greed and Pride; must
overcome the attacks of three vicious Highwaymen.
already stated our book contains eighteen orations, and places before the
reader a judicious selection of the ideals of German thinkers, leaders in the
realm of Freemasonry. The best oration - in the opinion of the critic - is by
Bro. August V. Reinhardt. This brother, in his oration entitled "The Ideals of
the Mason," gives as his leading question, "What is the destiny of man?" and
answers: "To become like unto God." We are here reminded of the Master's
answer, "Is it not written in your law, I said Ye are Gods?"
there are two sides to most questions. This statement brings ante oculos the
late Rev. Charles Crane, the father of the well known living Masonic orator,
the Rev. Henry Crane. Charles Crane, in answer to frequent declarations by the
present writer, "There are two sides," never failed to answer: "Yes, a right
side and a wrong side."
this our book we meet a few strange exemplifications of German presumption. We
read on page 195, Unsere deutsche Freimaurerei steht nicht auf der fast
beschamend elementaren Stufe wie die in America: "Our German Freemasonry is
not at such an almost shamefully low level as that of the United States."
philosophy teaches that good, bad, high, low are relative terms, belong to the
realm of subjectivity. We are here reminded of the most popular song in
Germany: Dentschland, Deutschland Uberalles: Germany, Germany above
everything. In one lecture the audience is treated to a part of the song,
Deutsche Sitte deutsche Treue deutscher Muth und deutscher Sang: German
costumes, German manners, German courage, German song.
Patriotism may become pride. Pride, even national pride, constitutes a fall, a
bow to our third Highwayman, to the one that gives the fatal blow.
oration by Bro. Reinhald Taute Gera constitutes another most vivid
illustration of "There are two sides," and the answer, "Yes, a right side and
a wrong side."
given instructive features, elevating thoughts and logical reasonings, but we
say that Masonry has a Christian foundation only, demonstrated by the fact
that the Bible is presented as the Great Light. How then can we admit as
Masons, Israelites or Mohammedans?
monde est une chose bien &range, says Moliere. In the lodge it is always the
Old Testament that is presented to the hands of the candidates, and should not
these German Freemasons reflect? Consider: not only the Old but also the New
Testament was written by Jews, Israelites, Hebrews, Semites. "A name, what's
in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Strange, the fact
that Jesus (Joshua ben Joseph), the Apostles, Paul, the two Saints John were
Jews, seems altogether unknown in the Christian world, seems hidden in the
deepest "subconscious unconsciousness" even of Protestant Ministers, Bishops,
Cardinals and Popes.
Another feature of the other side: By some of our German orators, the year
1717 is given as the beginning of Freemasonry. This supposition constitutes a
kind of parallel to the reasoning which makes Luther nailing his "protest" in
the year 1517, the beginning of Christianity.
* * *
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF ST. ALBAN'S LODGE. By Bro. Henry T. Smith. Privately
printed for the Lodge. Paper, illustrated, 44 pages.
this small brochure we find another of the short lodge histories which are
becoming increasingly popular. These works will doubtless be of inestimate
value to the research workers of the future.
most interesting feature of the present work is the fact that the first Master
of St. Alban's Lodge (1913) is now a Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of
Canada. He is also a Catholic.
* * *
RECORDS OF ANTIQUITY, No. 2
informed that the reprint of the first volume of the Records of the Lodge of
Antiquity No. 2 is very shortly to go to press. The second volume by Bro. C.
W. Firebrace was reviewed in THE BUILDER in July of last year. By subscribing
now Masonic students and libraries can make sure of obtaining copies. We
understand that those who have not purchased copies of the second volume may
obtain the two when the reprint is issued for 4-4-0 net. This, with duties and
carriage, will probably make the cost to American subscribers approximately
$30. It is needless to inform members of the Society that this is an
opportunity that will not occur again, and that the complete work will
inevitably increase in value in the future.
* * *
SCHILLER AS FREEMASON
long time any proof of Schiller's affiliation with Freemasonry has been
lacking. Only in 1911 the Masonic press published a letter of Sept. 9, 1929,
in which two members of the lodge in Rudolstadt regret the discontinuation of
their lodge, which had been honored by Schiller's membership in it. However,
the records of this lodge do not show anything in regard to Schillers
initiation, yet this cannot be taken as denial. But Franz Luedke in the
"Literary Echo" furnishes a new proof of Schiller's Masonic affiliation. It is
a poem, which the poet Anton v. Klein, born in 1746, published on the occasion
of Schiller's death, and which in its caption refers to the passing away of
the Masonic Brother Schiller. Klein, who met Schiller in Mannheim, was
business manager of the palatination "German Society," with which Schiller was
affiliated in 1784. He induced Schiller to write "Don Carlos" in iambic meter,
and may have interested him for Freemasonry, because Schiller's Letters About
Don Carlos show that the poet was much occupied reflectively with the ideals
[Translated from Auf der Warte by Bro. R.I. Clegg, Illinois]
CONCERNING A TITLE
June, 1925, THE, BUILDER advertised Gibson's "Builders of Man or the Story of
the Craft." My publishers at once wrote to Gibson whom we had threatened with
legal proceedings for this infringement of my title. He replied that he knew
nothing about your advertisement. I wrote to you on July 1, 1925. As a result
a correction was printed in the August number, on the last page.
more than surprised to see that in the May, 1928, number you have again
infringed my title and repeated the advertisement of Gibson's book with the
title he was made to withdraw. I must ask you once more to correct the
advertisement. Gibson himself is dead, but that is no reason why THE BUILDER
should try to unload their stock of his book under a description which
infringes my rights.
correction referred to appeared on page 256 of Vol. XI, and ran as follows:
have received information of an error in the title of a work given in our book
lists in the June number. When the book was first published it was under the
title as given in our catalog, The Builders of Man: The Doctrine and History
of Masonry, or the Story of the Craft. The secondary title was later changed
to the Romance of the Craft.
tender our apologies to Bro. Vibert. The repetition of this slip is as
annoying to us as it is to him. It was due in the present instance to the
preparation of the copy for the advertisement from an uncorrected catalog
card. The personnel of the Book Department having been completely changed
since 1925 there was no one with any recollection of the matter.
justice to the Society, however, we must add that the Book Department has no
stock to unload. As Bro. Vibert explains, the publishers changed the title
page of the work in consequence of his threatened action. So far as can be
discovered no copy of this work under the title objected to by Bro. Vibert,
has ever been sold through the Society. The publishers are, we suppose, a
reputable firm, and would have called in any unsold copies of the work in its
first form; and we are quite sure that the author, a Clergyman of the Church
of England and an Honorary P. G.S. W. of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, was quite
innocent of any intention of infringing upon the copyright of a brother Mason.
At this time, it is impossible to find out exactly how the mistake arose, but
most probably the title was taken in the first place from the publisher's
original announcement, and no one ever noticed that it did not agree with the
title page of the book, which naturally is always referred to by the short
title only, The Builders of Man. It is, by the way, a very valuable work in
its own field, and has not had the attention it deserves.
* * *
read with pleasure, as usual, the April number of THE BUILDER. I believe I
should, however, offer further information regarding the question of Bro. L.
D. of Missouri regarding the French Masonic Obediences. There is indeed some
error in the reply. It is possible that the Grand Lodge of Missouri has
refused to recognize the Grand Lodge of France because the latter does not
work with the Bible, but in the case of other jurisdictions, though this may
be the motive advanced, it is not the real one. The Bible on the Altar does
not constitute a [universal] landmark, because French Freemasonry has never
officially used it, which nevertheless did not in the past interfere with
relations between it and the other Masonic powers of the world. And even
today, the United Grand Lodge of England, rigorist as it is, exchanges
representatives with the Grand Loge Alpina of Switzerland, the lodges of
which, for the greater part, do not use the Bible.
has caused all this trouble in the relationship of French Freemasonry with
that of Anglo-Saxon countries was the suppression in 1877 by the Grand Orient
of the formula "To the glory of the Grand Architect of the Universe." Rightly
or wrongly this action was taken in other countries to have been a declaration
of atheism. And although the Scottish Rite continued to observe its ancient
traditions without "proclaiming it on the housetops," American ignorance
concerning conditions in France has confounded both the same condemnation. But
I would not speak of American ignorance, for it is evident that your Masonry
numbers among As members many who are informed of the difference which exists
between the Grand Orient and the Grand Lodge of France. Still the great
majority of American Masons evidently know nothing of French Freemasonry.
Little by little, however, information is spreading, and the Grand Lodge of
France (Scottish Rite), which invokes the Grand Architect of the Universe and
which permits its lodges (though without making it obligatory) to use the
Bible, is not only recognized by the Grand Lodges of the States to which you
allude but also, by others. The following is the list of its official
relations with America: In Canada, the Grand Lodge of Manitoba; in the United
States, the Grand Lodges of Alabama, Arkansas, California, the District of
Columbia, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey,
Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Utah; in all seventeen.
the other jurisdictions come to make an honest and impartial investigation,
there is little doubt that they will join these mentioned, to the end that
Masonic union may be completely re-established between the two countries.
reply counts among French Obediences the National. Grand Lodge, and you remark
that it is recognized by the Grand Lodge of England. How should it be
otherwise seeing it is but a daughter institution in disguise, planted in our
territory? This Grand Lodge calls itself National in order to impress Masonic
powers in other countries. In truth, except for the titular Grand Master and a
few Frenchmen who are there to aid the illusion, its lodges are composed of
foreigners, English in a very large majority.
not wish to attack this Grand Lodge, we are too tolerant to even wish it any
harm, but it is a little unfair upon its part to call itself National. And
this has no other purpose than to mislead Masons in other countries, for here
it deceives no one. On this point, as upon every other point mentioned in this
letter, it is easy to furnish proof.
are in the United States some Grand Lodges, as that of California, which have
allowed themselves to be taken in by the professions of this Grand Lodge. The
fact that it is recognized by the Grand Lodge of England, and puts the Bible
on its Altars, has seemed to them sufficient reason for this, when in reality
there were more important questions to consider; the nature of its working and
its quality as French. Now this status of a French Obedience it in reality
does not possess. In my opinion the Grand Lodge of France should refuse
relations with Grand Lodges that recognize it, for it is in reality what you
reason that the Grand Lodge of England refuses to recognize the Grand Lodge of
France is because the latter refuses to sever its relations with the Grand
Orient, which it considers schismatic. The Grand Lodge of France, though it
has steadily refused to follow the errors of the Grand Orient, is not able to
consent to break with it. This would be a fatal action in the face of the
attacks to which Masonry is subject in France by the Catholic Party. Above all
ritual questions stands that of the "front" that must be maintained against an
implacable enemy, an enemy our division could not fail to embolden and
strengthen. We do not desire that the Clerical Party in France should reduce
French Freemasonry to the point to which Fascism has brought the Freemasonry
greatly wish I could make the Masons of your country realize this situation. I
do not despair of this, and the time will come, I hope soon, that all your
Grand Lodges will render justice to the loyal attitude of the Grand Lodge of
France to the traditions of Freemasonry as it has received them.
* * *
GRAND LODGE OF FRANCE
reference to the item in the April number of THE BUILDER, page 128, under the
heading, "French Freemasonry," I submit the list of American Grand Lodges that
are in fraternal relationship with the Grand Lodge of France. In addition to
those you mentioned, Alabama, California and Manitoba, there are: Arkansas,
District of Columbia, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey,
Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Kentucky.
* * *
ARK OF THE COVENANT WITH ISRAEL
article with the above heading in THE BUILDER for May reminds one of Dr.
Albert Taylor Bledsoe's comment on a book written by a Frenchman: "He gives us
some new things and some true things, but his new things are not true things,
and his true things are not new things."
Bennett tells us that the serpent of brass which Moses made "was worshipped
from the time of the Exodus until David established his capital at Jerusalem
and continued to be worshipped there until at least 700 B. C."
simple statement in II Kings, eighteenth chapter and fourth verse that
Hezekiah "brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made; for unto
these days the Children of Israel did burn incense to it, and he called it
Nehushtan" hardly warrants the sweeping claim that it was worshipped from the
Exodus to 700 B. C. "Nehushtan" means "a piece of brass."
he says "the most reasonable and satisfying explanation as to what the Ark
contained is that in it was the bones of Joseph." We can concede that this is
new but not that it is true.
bones of Joseph were taken out of Egypt and the Ark was made in the
wilderness. Several articles are named as having been deposited in the Ark,
but not the bones of Joseph.
Further on he says of Joseph, "He had become a god to Israel." We admit that
this is new but do not believe it is true. There is no proof that the
Israelites "had spiritualized Joseph into their great God, Yahweh, whose
symbol was his bones."
Ten Commandments he says there are two statements "in the Bible that
contradict each other." Here we must join issue. The two accounts in Exodus
and Deuteronomy differ slightly in verbiage but are in no sense contradictory.
He says, "Critical Bible scholars agree that the Ten Commandments in their
present form date from some five hundred years after the time of Moses." Here
again we dissent. Some critical scholars may hold that view but there is no
general agreement to that effect among them. There are strong commonsense
statements that are a sufficient answer to the critics that are trying to
minimize the work of Moses and assign the Pentateuch to a period later than
the days of David.
Pentateuch does not name Jerusalem.
term Lord of Hosts is not in the Pentateuch.
Music formed no part of the Mosaic Ritual.
David's day Jerusalem was a Jebusite stronghold. He conquered it and made it
the capital of his kingdom. When you tell me that the so-called Five Books of
Moses took form long after Jerusalem became the glory of Israel, the Holy City
of God's chosen people, and yet its very name does not appear in these books
you are presuming on my credulity.
the term Lord of Hosts runs through Old Testament literature. These five books
which do not contain it are certainly older than those portions in which it so
frequently appears. Further David was known as the "sweet singer of Israel."
Music, instrumental and vocal, became prominent from his day in the worship
rendered by the Israelites. We are asked to believe that there were literary
forgers long after David's day, so skillful as to invent a ritualism which
they falsely assert took form hundreds of years earlier in the days of Moses,
and to give it an antique form kept, out of it all reference to music which
was then so prominent in Hebrew worship. My answer is "tell it to the Marines,
the Sailors won't believe it."
* * *
Question Box Department in the April, 1926, issue of THE BUILDER, under the
heading "The Cable Tow," the opinion is given in the last paragraph that the
explanation given in the ritual makes the symbolism apply to the strength of
the obligation. What is meant by the expression "the strength of the
dictionary definition of the word "obligation" most applicable in one sense is
"duty imposed by promise." But it seems to me that when we speak of the
obligations taken at the altar we do not mean the "duty imposed." A connection
has been made between the candidate and the Fraternity. The obligations
(three) are the promises made by the candidate whereby a duty is imposed upon
him. The first set of promises made a strong tie (connection); the second set
doubles the strength, making the tie stronger, and the third set makes a
three-fold tie. The word “obligation" as you use it seems to convey the idea
of "contract" or "promise."
symbolism of the ritual, leaving out the question of position, seems to apply
not so much to the strength of the promises made as to the bond or tie that
binds the candidate to the Fraternity.
T., Manila, P. I.
expression Bro. A. E. T. quotes we acknowledge was rather hazy and indefinite.
The sense intended was the binding power or nature of the obligation. The word
itself means "a binding," obligare in Latin is to tie up, and ligamentum is a
band, cord or string. It would thus have been more definite, and perhaps more
accurate, to have said simply that the C. T. was a symbol of the Obligation.
not however quite see the force of our correspondent's remarks about "a duty
imposed by promise." The duties are imposed by the promise or vow after the
individual has made it. This does not at all affect the voluntary nature of
the act of promising or vowing; but once that act has, been performed the
obligation rests upon him and imposes these duties. Nevertheless we do not
think that there is any real difference between us, we are merely trying to
say the same thing, each in his own way.
* * *
SHADOW OF THE VATICAN
ask whether the important articles by Dr. Leo Cadius, published this year in
THE BUILDER, are to be made available in pamphlet or book form? I believe that
these articles should be given the widest circulation possible, as they are a
testimony from inside the Church as to the conflict between its principles and
purposes and our American ideals.
* * *
should very much like to obtain a copy of the Symbols and Legends of
Freemasonry by J. Finlay Finlayson, which is now out of print. If any reader
has a copy of this work he would like to dispose of I should be glad to
communicate with him. C. E. Martin, c/o
* * *
THE BUILDER FOR SALE
all copies of THE BUILDER, of which 1915, 1916, 1917 are bound. All in good
condition. Force of circumstances make it necessary for me to dispose of
these. Will accept any reasonable offer.
Charles Miller, California.
interested may address Bro. Miller in care of THE BUILDER.
* * *
trying to complete a set of the American Freemason, founded and edited by Bro.
Morcombe. If any readers of THE BUILDER have in their possession copies of
this periodical that they would be willing to dispose of, I should be very
glad to hear from them.
Barr, Muscatine, Iowa.