The Builder Magazine
November 1928 - Volume XIV -
WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH
The First of a Series of Outspoken Articles of Critical Analysis and
Constructive Suggestion on Present Day Problems of Our Ancient Fraternity
BRO. HERBERT HUNGERFORD
Bro. Hungerford, the author of a striking and provactive book, “Seeing Both
Sides of Yourself,” in the present series hopes to show Masons that there are
two sides to the Institution by to which they belong. We fully expect that
these articles will shock, perhaps pain many good brethren, but the only way
to escape judgment by the world, for men and for societies both, is to
forestall it by selfcriticism, and correction of that which needs amendment or
HOW does this question strike you? Does the implication that there may
possibly be something the matter with Masonry instinctively arouse an attitude
of resentment? Do you feel that our beloved Fraternity, like Caesar's wife,
must surely be "above suspicion and beyond reproach ?" Do you cherish any sort
of subconscious notion that there is something disloyal about an inquiry as to
whether or not Freemasonry is meeting the challenge of our times and living up
to the principles it professes?
Instead of resenting the implication of our question, you may take just the
opposite attitude. Possibly, you may belong to the "anvil chorus" of your
lodge and, accordingly, our question inspires you with sort of an unholy hope
that somebody is about to give the Fraternity a good "ripping up the back."
Or, you may pass over our question with the indifference that seems to
characterize the great majority of those who have been enrolled in our
Fraternity, with the remark: "What difference does it make anyway?" Since less
than 20 per cent of our members regularly attend their lodges, and a
disproportionately large number show no sign that their membership in the
Fraternity has made any real impression upon their lives, it must be expected
that these inactive brethren are apt to be indifferent regarding any question
reflecting either credit or discredit upon Freemasonry.
the other hand, our question may not arouse you, personally, to any of the
attitudes just mentioned; yet I am sure you will admit that many of your
brethren will look upon our question in one of these three ways. You may be
alive to the fact that we are living in a challenging age, in which every
social agency or institution, no matter how ancient its origin or honorable
its history, is now being subjected to a critical analysis to determine
whether or not it is keeping pace with progress and doing its full share in
serving the needs of our times. Surely, a society which so emphatically
advocates the seeking for light, more light, and still further light, should
not shun the searching rays of a critical survey turned upon its own aims,
activities and achievements. Surely, as every student of its teaching knows,
the secrecy of Freemasonry was not intended, and should never be used, to hide
anything discreditable to the Craft.
Yet, you will not deny that the mere suggestion of a critical study of
Freemasonry will be received by many of our brethren in at least one of the
three ways outlined above. This fact alone, I believe, would fully justify our
series of studies, even though there were not so many additional objectives to
For example, when I mentioned the mere possibility of this undertaking to one
of the members of my lodge, he immediately began to raise objections before I
had a chance to explain anything further about my intentions than the fact
that a critical survey of the Fraternity was contemplated. This cautious
brother counseled: "Leave all the criticism of our Fraternity to outsiders.
Masonry always has had plenty of enemies to point out its faults and
shortcomings, and to throw brickbats at it, without any need for its own
members doing any inside knocking. You ought to remember the old saying that
'It's a bad bird that befouls its own nest' and so you ought to lay off doing
anything but boosting for your own Fraternity."
Now, I contend, that this "sacred cow" attitude is one of the outstanding
faults of the Craft in America. Probably it is an inherent shortcoming of all
secret societies. The impressive ceremonies of initiation, possibly, may
suggest that there is something sacrosanct or superhuman about such a
fraternity that no ordinary mortal should dare to question, much less
Should we Ostrich-like Bury Our Heads in the Sand?
reality, Freemasonry is a gloriously human institution, and actually lays
emphasis upon the facts of the frailty and weakness of the mortals who
comprise its membership. Yet, if we should heed the warnings of some misguided
Masonic "boosters," no one would ever venture the suggestion that anything
about our Institution might possibly be improved. According to the views of
these blind devotees to tradition, the Fraternity was so perfectly and
divinely devised originally that it is now beyond the power of any human
agency to improve its plans or programs. The real facts are that, while the
roots of Freemasonry are grounded in antiquity, the body and branches of the
Fraternity always have been alive and vigorous, and, consequently, always
growing. Our ever green emblem, the sprig of Acacia, is not merely a symbol of
individual immortality, it also suggests the immortality of our always-living
and ever-growing Institution itself.
the same way that too much self-esteem stunts the spiritual growth of any
individual, so too much pride in its own superiority, with consequent
resentment of criticism, hinders the growth of any society. Constructive
criticism always has been the great stimulus for progress and growth of all
institutions. So, in undertaking a series of investigations of the present
relationships of Freemasonry with its contemporary institutions and their
problems, I am breaking no precedents. Fortunately, Freemasonry has been
freely criticized in the past, from the inside, as well as by its so-called
enemies without its walls of secrecy.
This introductory outline of the objective of our series is not submitted as
an apology but simply to clear up my readers' understanding as to my motives
and to explain the means I propose to employ in conducting my investigations.
In particular, I hope to make clear the cooperative character of my studies
and to urge you, as a real "booster" for your Fraternity, to join with us to
the end that our combined endeavors may foster the continued growth and
further extend the beneficent influence of our beloved brotherhood.
During the course of this series, I propose considering every criticism that
has been directed against the present day activities of our Craft, including
the slurs and slams of careless or uninformed outside critics as well as the
more serious observation of shortcomings by those within the walls of our
Naturally, such an inquiry should start with the question as to what extent
the Fraternity is living up to its own ideals and accomplishing its stated
purpose. Consequently, I propose frankly to face our first question:
What Extent is Membership Today Improving, Morals: Unbuilding Character
Surely this is a fair question, since it is in no sense a secret that the
chief objective of Freemasonry is characterbuilding.
That it is a question frequently raised by outsiders, a few recent incidents
will illustrate. At the annual smoker of a club composed mainly of Masons,
Will Rogers, the principal entertainer for the occasion, told this story,
which I am relating, without attempting to reproduce the inimitable drawl of
the world-famous comedian.
"Back home in Oklahoma, when I was a boy," said Will, "there used to be an old
character living in our town who made his living shooting oil wells. He used
to go clattering about the country driving an old pair of mules and a rattling
old buckboard which was loaded with several cans of nitroglycerine while the
old well-shooter himself always was loaded with bad liquor. Nobody in our town
could ever remember seeing him completely sober and, naturally, everybody
expected that some day there would be an accident and he would be blown to
kingdom come. But, no matter how tight the old boy got, he always appeared to
be able to attend to his business. Of course, lots of folks tried to warn him
of his danger and to reform his wicked ways. I remember one day my dad got to
talking with this old fellow. "Jim," says dad, "are you a Shriner ? " "Nope,"
answered Jim. "Are you a Knight Templar?" dad inquired next. "Nope," was Jim's
reply. "Well, you surely must be a Mason, aren't you ? " dad persisted. "No
sir'ee, Mr. Rogers," Jim answered cheerfully. "I ain't no Mason, nor an
Oddfellow, nor an Elk; I'm jest an ordinary drunkard."
This sly dig at shortcomings very generally sups posed to be typical of
certain fraternal activities, which our famous comedian put over so cleverly,
was recently expressed more unpleasantly, with evident intent of "getting a
rise” out of our good friend Dr. S. Parkes Cadman, in a letter which recently
appeared in his column in "The New York Tribune." This critic's letter to Dr.
Cadman, who is one of the Grand Chaplains of New York state, asked the doctor
to explain why so many Freemasons of the letter-writer's acquaintance were
such "intemperate and dissolute characters," whereas it was generally
understood that every Masonic Lodge is supposed to inculcate and uphold high
moral principles and practices among its members. Dr. Cadman answered this
critic by asserting that those Masons who are guilty of such conduct are the
rare exceptions and, therefore, must not be regarded as representative of the
general moral attitude and behavior upheld by the Fraternity as a whole.
Nevertheless, this criticism of the misbehavior of certain bibulous brethren
seems to me quite common and I am not so sure that it is not fairly well
justified. While I would by no means admit that Masons are less temperate than
other men outside the Craft, still I think that the Fraternity falls far short
of living up to one of the principal tenets that it professes to inculcate and
However, the question as to whether by joining a Masonic Lodge a man may learn
the better to subdue his appetites and improve his behavior is not the main
issue of this particular inquiry. Surely it must be admitted that our
ceremonials of initiation do not transform weak, frail mortals into angels of
light. Likewise, it does not seem quite fair to expect Masonic behavior to
rank very much above that of average human beings.
But, before passing on to another phase of this inquiry, I desire to register
my protest against the common practice of meeting every criticism of Masonic
morality with the threadbare retort that "Masonry is not a reform school." No
one pretends that it is, because it is an open secret that lodges attempt to
guard their portals by making fairly strict inquiries into the past behavior
and moral character of everyone seeking admission into the Fraternity.
the other hand, if the answer to one of the first questions put up to each
candidate does not clearly state the moral objective of all Masonic
activities; in fact, if the entire Masonic ritual does not instill plain
principles of morality and impress the fact that Masonry is a cultural agency,
definitely aiming at the betterment its members and the advancement of all
humanity, then I have been sadly mistaught as to the meaning of the English
However, let us view this matter from another angle by considering a
psychological criticism of ritualism. This particular criticism, of course, is
not confined to our Craft, but is directed against all secret societies or
institutions in which symbolical ceremonials constitute a principal factor.
The question is:
Does Ritualism Menace Morality by Substituting Emotion for Effort?
The scientific principle involved in this criticism, which many prominent
psychologists have directed against the performing of ceremonials or the
reciting of creeds, is the same as the idea expressed by the Great Teacher who
said, "Be ye doers of the word, not hearers only."
brief, students of psychology argue that persons addicted to creeds and
ceremonials frequently fail to make correct distinctions between words and
deeds. By reciting a ritual, the individual is apt to feel that he has
actually accomplished a worthy work, therefore his real deeds or doings may
not square up with his moral professions.
doubt if any unprejudiced observer will deny that this danger exists, although
I believe that one psychologist has carried this criticism too far when he
claims that "Freemasons are our modern Pharisees who 'love the uppermost rooms
at feasts and the chief seats at the synagogue, and greetings in the markets,
and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.' "
While, as I have stated, this seems a bit thick, still I believe it would not
be a bad idea for every Freemason, particularly Masters of lodges, to read the
twenty-third chapter of St. Matthew and, thereby, learn something about the
shortcomings of those ancient addicts of ritualism, the Pharisees.
Perhaps you may never have heard any person bragging that he was "a good
Mason." Possibly, you have never met a brother Mason who could recite the
ritual backwards, yet has never begun to put into practice the real principles
of our profession.
Anyway, even though you may never have heard this effect of too much ritualism
upon the individual morality of members, surely you have heard another phase
of this criticism expressed by the following question:
the Average Lodge of Thy Twentieth Century Merely a Decree Mill?
metropolitan districts, this certainly is the most frequent inside complaint
against the present-day activities of our order. The claim is made that most
city lodges are compelled to devote their chief attention to the business of
putting candidates through the mill, in order to provide necessary funds for
Grand Lodge assessments and other steadily increasing expenses all down the
line. In many lodges, each successive Master endeavors to break the membership
and money-raising records of preceding administrations.
a personal canvass of as many absentee members of my lodge as I could reach
during my term as Master, the most frequent excuse given for not attending
lodge was that the constant repetition of degree ceremonials was tiresome and
boring. For instance, a certain exceptionally intelligent member, a
professional man of considerable prominence, told me frankly "I would just as
soon attend the sessions of a Chinese school as to sit in lodge and hear
nothing but that same old stuff droned over and over again until it sounds
like a mere rigmarole to most of the men on the benches."
Another frequent excuse for non-attendance was the objection to the frequent
drives for funds at meetings. "Why should I come to lodge and be held up for
some fund or another, when it is easier and less expensive to go out in the
street and be held up by a panhandler ?"
This protest by one of our brothers, of course, is not in keeping with the
spirit of Freemasonry; nevertheless, it represents a real criticism and,
possibly, explains to some extent why some members seldom attend their lodge
meetings. Furthermore, I am not so sure that the complaint against
commercialized charity is not more or less justified by the way some of the
fundraising campaigns are conducted in many lodges. It seems to me that some
of our Masonic fund-raising drives contain more of the "sounding brass and
tinkling cymbal" element than they do of the real spirit of charity which "vaunteth
not itself" and "is not puffed up.”
"Button" and "Knife and Fork" Members Dominate Numerically ?
all cases where the modern competitive spirit enters into our fraternal
activities and whenever lodges strive after quantity rather than quality
records of membership, this criticism against making a degree mill out of the
lodge seems justified. Likewise, it doubtless accounts for another common
criticism of our order, represented by the following question:
Based upon the truth of the old maxim that "There must be fire where there is
so much smoke," it surely must be admitted that this particular criticism is
prevalent. You hear the characterization of "button Masons" and "belly Masons"
everywhere you may go. Surely you have met many whose main activities in
Masonry consists of buying a pin nearly as big as a fireman's badge which they
display as conspicuously as possible everywhere they go. Likewise, you will
probably have to admit that there are a good many members of your own lodge
who never come out to any meetings excepting the ones which provide a free
feed. The popularity of the "Fourth Degree" in Freemasonry is comparable to
the popularity of the "Nineteenth Hole" in golf. Some of our brethren appear
to be deaf to nearly everything excepting the call "from labor to
While this, of course, merely represents a common weakness of frail humanity;
nevertheless it also indicates a shortcoming and handicap to the progress of
the more desirable and praiseworthy practices in our Craft. Surely, we have
"missed the mark of our high calling," if we have failed to impress our
candidates with the fact that Freemasonry means far more than either social or
However, it can not be denied that this particular criticism is based upon
fairly universal faults of human beings rather than any serious shortcoming of
our Institution. Let us, therefore, as our final question, consider a
criticism which is directly and definitely concerned with our customary lodge
Are Masonic Meetings Devoted Mainly to "Backpatting, Blah and Bunk" ?!
Here is a criticism that comes from a representative of our rather boisterous
and somewhat obstreperous "younger generation," a young man of my own
profession who has achieved quite a brilliant reputation in the magazine
field. If you find the language rather loose and the criticism somewhat
extravagant, please bear in mind that I am attempting to give it to you as I
received it. Likewise, pray do not overlook the fact that this criticism
represents a fairly common point of view among many of our younger brothers.
quit coming to lodge because I found that most Masonic meetings are devoted
mainly to backpatting, blah and bunk. Every lodge night I used to go home with
a pain in the neck from listening to some pompous old windbag spouting a lot
of stewed bologna about the grand and glorious deeds of some other old
windbag. Then, after the first hot-air artist ran out of gas, the old bird who
had been all puffed up at hearing himself lied about so fluently would have to
get up and hand back a big line of blah-blah to the big banana oil merchant
who began the palaver."
any of our older readers are unable to understand the above, get one of the
younger members of your lodge to translate it. Incidentally your younger
brother may give you an "earful" of information as to the attitude of the
Masons upon whom the destinies of the Craft will depend tomorrow.
You will note that I have made little attempt to elaborate or comment upon the
criticisms raised in the questions which have been presented. My hope has been
to arouse your interest in these problems and to obtain your observations or
views regarding these matters.
You may deny that any or all of these criticisms are in any degree justified.
You may pass lightly over them as minor matters, deserving of little or no
consideration. You may hold that these affairs should be kept under cover and
never discussed in any such a public forum as the pages of a magazine. But, I
contend, that if you are a true friend of our Fraternity you will frankly face
these issues, and try to find out to what extent they are operative in our
lodges. Likewise, if you are able to contribute your bit or observation or
experience towards the solution of these problems, or in answering the
questions that have been raised in this article, you will be rendering a real
service to the Craft by participating in this discussion. Address your letters
of comment, criticism or suggestion to the Editor of THE BUILDER.
ST. JOHN'S PUBLIC HEALTH
IN the purposes of the
Order of the Hospital of St John it is declared that the Order will work for
"The instruction of the public in the elementary principles and practice of
nursing and hygiene, especially of the sick room. To do all things which will
promote the public 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." It is also stated that the Order will work for "The securing of
Special Schools for the care and education of physically defective children,"
and for "The establishment and operation of Training Camps for the physical
education of men and women, boys and girls."
It may well be said that
sickness is fast becoming a prohibitive luxury in America. Those who are
unfortunate enough to have had any experience with the payment of hospital
bills will readily agree with this statement:
If the patient is very
ill and requires a day and night nurse then the cost may be from $20 to $25 a
day, plus the doctors’ fees. A week or more of this and the average family
sees bankruptcy ahead. Present day hospitals seem to provide for the needs of
two classes of our population, the well-to-do and the poor. The first class
can afford to pay hospital bills, while the poor secure some form of free
treatment. The great middle class, without sufficient income to finance a
hospital illness and too self-respecting to accept charity, are compelled to
care for their sick in their homes.
It is the plan of the
Order of St. John to provide hospital accommodations at reasonable prices for
this class of our population.
The necessity for caring
for the sick in the home finds the average family woefully unable to do so, no
matter how willing. It may be possible to pay the bills but nursing knowledge
is lacking. Neighbors and friends help out, and perhaps a "practical nurse," a
partially trained woman, may be secured. There is a real need for instruction
of women and girls in the "elementary principles and practices of nursing and
hygiene, especially of the sick room." The public schools can and should
provide such instruction. The hospitals could organize classes for the
purpose. The Order of St. John will advocate that such provision for nursing
education be made throughout the country, and until it is done Priories and
Preceptories of the Order may provide for the organization of classes in
nursing and form a staff of physicians for this purpose. This can easily be
made a part of the course in first aid work which it is also proposed to
A fraternal organization
with a social welfare purpose may be able to render great service to the
public along these and other lines. It is a project in which many Masons will
be glad to assist.
American Army Lodges in the World War
BRO. CHARLES F. IRWIN, Associate Editor, Pennsylvania
ONE of the most hotly debated questions before the Grand Lodges during the War
was the advisability of issuing either Dispensations or Charters to Military
Lodges. A few only of the Jurisdictions gave affirmative consideration while
the rest viewed with disfavor the entire matter. I am presenting in this issue
of THE BUILDER the Military Lodge of the Grand Lodge of Indiana as a fine
example of a conservative course pursued by that Grand body to show how both
elements of the discussion were met in a broad and open-minded way by the
brethren of that Grand Lodge. The work accomplished by this Emergency Lodge U.
D. for the brief time it was in existence cannot be measured by the number of
degrees conferred but by the spirit of fellowship that was cultivated in the
Masonic members belonging to these state troops during the long and grilling
days down in the southland. While this lodge did not get across to France, but
demised upon the removal of the Indiana troops into foreign service, yet it
displays for the thoughtful Mason one viewpoint in the problem of caring for
members of the Craft in times of National Emergency. Though limited in its
scope the experiment may be regarded as a success.
Emergency Lodge, U. D., of the Grand Lodge of Indiana
Located at Camp Shelby, Hattiesburg, Mississippi from May 29, 1918, to Selot.
THE steps taken in the inception, formation, labor and demise of this lodge
are displayed here in rotation from the official papers now resting in the
Archives of the Grand Lodge of Indiana, in its Masonic Temple in Indianapolis,
The first paper we reproduce is the Report of the Committee on Jurisprudence
of the Grand Lodge Communication of 1918 as read by its chairman, M.W. Bro. P.
G. M. Harry B. Tuthill, as published in the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge for
REPORT OF COMMITTEE ON JURISPRUDENCE
W. Harry B. Tuthill Past Grand Master, presents the following:
On-Organization of Lodge at Camp Shelby.
the Most Worshipful Grand Master and Grand Lodge of the State of Indiana:
petition having been heretofore presented to this Grand Body signed by O.O.
Dunbar, a member of Logan Lodge, No. 575, Indianapolis, Indiana, and three
hundred other Master Masons, members of Masonic Lodges in the State of Indiana
all under this Grand Jurisdiction, who are now in the army of the United
States and sojourning at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, praying that they be
permitted to organize, open lodge, hold meetings at suitable times and in a
proper place at or near said Camp Shelby, and there under the authority of
this Grand Lodge initiate, pass and raise candidates;
And said petition having been referred to Honorable W. Laurence Wilson, Most
Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge F. & A. M. of the State of
Mississippi, for his suggestions and approval, which approval has been given,
all of which appear by letters now on file in the office of Calvin W. Prather,
Grand Secretary of this Grand Lodge;
Which petition and correspondence have received the attention and
consideration of your Committee on Jurisprudence;
Said Committee now reports as follows:
That all bona fide residents of the State of Indiana who possess all of the
qualifications required for membership in subordinate Lodges within this Grand
Jurisdiction in the army of the United States and located at Camp Shelby in
the State of Mississippi, and none others, be, and they and each of them are
hereby authorized to petition the Lodge having jurisdiction over the territory
in which they now reside, and if two or more Lodges have concurrent
jurisdiction over said territory, then to petition any one of said Lodges with
such concurrent jurisdiction, and upon payment to said Lodge of the fee
required by the by-laws thereof, said Lodge shall be and is hereby permitted
to receive said petition, ballot upon, elect or reject said applicant, in all
things according to the Regulations of this Grand Lodge.
said candidate be rejected, the whole of said fee shall be immediately
returned to said petitioner. If said candidate be elected, said Lodge shall
forthwith transmit under the hand of the Secretary and seal thereof of said
Lodge under Dispensation at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, a request that it
proceed to confer upon said candidate the several degrees of Entered
Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason in full form, in all things
according to the Regulations of this Grand Jurisdiction; and therewith said
Lodge shall also enclose to said Lodge, under Dispensation, the sum of five
dollars to compensate it for the expense incurred in the performance of said
work. Forthwith after said degrees have been conferred upon said candidate,
said Lodge under Dispensation shall certify that fact to said Lodge so
requesting, which Lodge shall enroll the name of said candidate on its records
as a member thereof.
And to carry out the terms hereof, your Committee recommends that there issue
to Brother O. O. Dunbar and the other signers of said petition, residents of
Indiana, under the hand of the proper officers of this Grand Lodge and the
seal thereof, a dispensation enabling and empowering them to assemble at some
convenient and proper place in Camp Shelby, or in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and
there organize a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons with Brother Lieutenant C.
C. Brautigam, Past Master of Capital City Lodge, No. 312, Indianapolis, as
Worshipful Master; with Brother Major Raymond C. Chambers, Past Master
Excelsior Lodge, No. 41, La Porte, as Senior Warden; and Brother Captain C. R.
Dunn, Past Master of Decatur Lodge, No. 571, Decatur, as Junior Warden; and
that the other officers thereof be selected and appointed by said Master and
Wardens; that said Master and Wardens have full power by selection and
appointment to fill any office of said Lodge under dispensation except that of
Master and Wardens made vacant by death, inability to act, detailed to other
posts or cantonments, resignation, or by reason of such officer being sent
across the seas; any vacancy in the offices of Master and Wardens shall be
filled by the Grand Master of Indiana; that said Lodge be governed, and work
in all things according to the Regulations of this Grand Lodge.
The existence of said Lodge under dispensation shall cease and determine when
said cantonment at Camp Shelby is abandoned; and at the close of the war; or
at such time as this Grand Lodge may determine, or the Grand Master be
authorized to withdraw this dispensation and permission.
All of which is respectfully submitted,
Harry B. Tuthill
Lincoln V. Cravens,
Martin A. Morrison,
Orlando W. Brownback
John W. Hanan
Charles P. Benedict,
Wm. H. Swintz,
Olin E. Holloway,
Wm. E. English
Which report was adopted.
This report of the Committee on Jurisprudence was based on the reception by
the Grand Lodge of the following Petition for a Dispensation to open and
conduct a Military Lodge at Camp Shelby, Mississippi:
PETITION FOR DISPENSATION
the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons of the State of
We, the undersigned members of various Lodges in Indiana who are now located
at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, fraternally request that we be granted a
dispensation or permission by the Grand Lodge of Indiana to organize and open
Lodge and hold meetings in a suitable place near our cantonment, for the
purpose of conferring the Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason
degrees upon men who are in the United States Service and whose residence is
in the State of Indiana, and none other. This Lodge under dispensation or
permission to be immediately advised of the election or rejection of men in
the U. S. Service located in the cantonment, city or vicinity of Hattiesburg,
Mississippi, whose bona fide residence is in the State of Indiana; if elected,
five dollars ($5.00) of the fee to accompany the certificate of the Lodge in
Indiana electing him, to cover the necessary expenses of conferring all the
degrees upon the petitioner for his home Lodge in Indiana. If the petitioner
is rejected, the entire fee to be returned to the rejected petitioner.
Immediately upon the degrees having been conferred upon the petitioner elected
by his home Lodge, a certified notice will be at once forwarded to the Lodge
electing him to be enrolled as a member of said Lodge. If there is any excess
of money accumulated in this Special Lodge from the amount suggested to cover
expenses, when the Lodge is dissolved it will be donated to the Indiana
promise and agree as Master Masons, members of Masonic Lodges of Indiana to
conform Strictly to all the rules, regulations and requirements of the Grand
Lodge of Indiana. The existence of this Lodge to terminate when this
cantonment is abandoned or at the close of the war or at such other time as
the Grand Lodge may determine or the Grand Master be authorized to withdraw
the dispensation or permission.
this petition and request meets the approval of Grand Lodge for which we
earnestly pray, we recommend for the first Worshipful Master, Lieutenant C.C.
Brautigam, Past Master Capital City Lodge, No. 312, of Indianapolis for the
first Senior Warden, Major R. C. Chambers, Past Master Excelsior Lodge, No.
41, of La Porte; for the first Junior Warden. Captain C. R. Dunn, Past Master
Decatur Lodge, No. 571, Decatur. The other Officers to be appointed by the
first Master and first Wardens. We further recommend that authority be given
to the first Worshipful Master and first Wardens to fill by selection and
appointment any office vacated by virtue of the first officers named being
detailed to other posts or sent across the seas.
Your petitioners further promise to obtain for themselves or to rent from
Hattiesburg Lodge, suitable quarters in which to meet and necessary
paraphernalia to confer the degrees in accordance with the ritualistic
requirements of Indiana.
Accompanying this Petition for a Dispensation were the names and lodges of the
Master Masons who signed it.
Upon the favorable reception of the report of the Committee on Jurisprudence
the following Dispensation was issued by the Grand Lodge:
EMERGENCY LODGE U.D. at CAMP SHELBY, MISSISSIPPI.
FAITH HOPE AND CHARITY
All to Whom These Presents Shall Come, Greeting:
WHEREAS, It has been represented to us that in a cantonment near the city of
Hattiesburg, State of Mississippi, there are a large number of soldiers who
are Free and Accepted Masons, who are desirous of associating together
agreeably to the Constitution of Ancient Crafts Masonry, and for the purpose
of Entering Apprentices, Passing Fellow Crafts and Raising Master Masons
according to the known and established customs of Ancient Crafts Masonry and
is ordained that no petitions can be received or acted upon from any Source
whatever under this dispensation. It is further ordained that the degrees of
Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason can be conferred on persons
who are in the service of the United States and no others. It is further
ordained that the aforesaid degrees of Entered Apprentice Fellow Craft and
Master Mason can be conferred only upon persons who are bona fide residents of
the State of Indiana and who have been elected by the Lodge in Indiana in
whose jurisdiction they reside, to receive the degrees as above indicated.
Under this dispensation, the brethren aforesaid, whose petition is on file in
the office of the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Indiana, are permitted
to associate themselves together as a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons for
the purpose as indicated in the foregoingall these persons to adopt such
by-laws for the government and regulation of the Lodge as may appear necessary
for the proper transaction of any business coming before said Lodgesaid
by-laws to be submitted to the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Mississippi
for his approval; and while conforming to the General Regulations of the Grand
Lodge of Indiana, no authority is granted whatever to do any work, transact
any business or commit any act that would be in conflict and contrary to the
Grand Lodge or Grand Master of the State of Mississippi.
THEREFORE, I, Thomas B. Bohon, Grand Master of the Most Ancient and Honorable
Society of Free and Accepted Masons, in the State of Indiana, by and with the
consent of the Grand Lodge, and by their Regulations and Special Edict, do
hereby constitute and appoint for the first Worshipful Master Brother C. C.
Brautigam; for the first Senior Warden, Brother R. C. Chambers; and for the
first Junior Warden, Brother C. R. Dunn; the remaining officers to be selected
in accordance with the report of the Committee on Jurisprudence, copy of which
is hereto unattached and becomes a part of this dispensation.
For the more effectual preservation of these presents, the same is hereby
ordered to be recorded in the Record Book of the Lodge.
GIVEN UNDER THE HAND OF Thomas B. Bohon Grand Master of the Most Worshipful
Grand Lodge of Indiana, and the seal of said Grand Lodge, this 29th day of
May, Anno Domini, 1918, Anno Lucis, 5918
(Seal) (Signed) Thomas B. Bohon, Grand Master. Attest: Calvin W. Prather
With the Dispensation now a fact, upon its arrival in Camp Shelby, the first
problem to be considered was where to meet and what furniture to secure. I
take from the "Reminiscences of the first Worshipful Master of Emergency
Lodge, U.D.", W. Bro. C. C. Brautigam, the following history:
"One of the peculiar things that did happen occurred when we found that we
could not use the lodge at Hattiesburg. We were told of a lodge at McLaurin,
Mississippi (McLaurin was a lumber camp of twenty-five inhabitants). We
followed up this information to find that the hall had been blown down three
years previous, and the debris was piled up back of the railroad station. We
were then compelled to find out where the McLaurin Lodge was meeting. We were
told that the Worshipful Master of McLaurin Lodge was a brother by name of
White. He operated a general store and Post Office, in fact about everything
in town. Of him we inquired as to the possibility of meeting at the school
where the McLaurin Lodge met. He referred us to the Board of Trustees from
whom we gained permission. We did not have any equipment, so we inquired of
Bro. White as to the equipment they were using. He escorted us to an old
ware-room in the rear of his store. In an old barrel were twelve aprons, two
deacons tops, two steward rods, a plumb, square and level. We shall never
forget this peculiar incident. One of the boys who had ridden over to McLaurin
on a mule, volunteered to take the equipment over to the school house. When he
arrived at the school he had but five aprons left, for the mule had run away
with him on his way over and scattered equipment throughout the entire
"We were compelled to move all the seats in the school room to one side in
order to give us ample room to confer degrees, as McLaurin Lodge had not
conferred a degree in three years and had not required any floor space. We
used the piano stool for the altar, the strips torn from an old curtain for
cable-tow. When lodge was taken up, we locked the doors downstairs, and when
the brethren wanted to gain admission they would throw rocks at the window on
the second floor and the Tyler would go down and admit them provided they were
properly vouched for. We were compelled to confer all degrees in the daytime
as there were no lights in the building."
This Emergency Lodge having been primarily formed to care for the degree work
upon Indiana material within the Cantonment of Camp Shelby, its powers were
strictly limited and its labors confined within strait lines. I here attach a
brief summary of this Indiana Field Lodge as it comes to me from the pen of
its former Master, Bro. Lieut. C.C. Brautigam:
"On Sept. 22, 1917, the remainder of the Indiana troops stationed at Ft.
Benjamin Harrison were ordered to Camp Shelby, Miss., and was formed into the
76th Brigade of the 38th Division. It was while the Hoosier Troops were in
this camp that the petitions for Masonry began to pile up in the lodges at
home from soldier Candidates. The lodge at Hattiesburg, Miss., was overtaxed
with work, and was compelled to work four nights a week. As many as twenty
degrees were conferred on Candidates each Wednesday and Saturday by the
soldier Masons of Camp Shelby, which continued throughout the fall and winter
of 1917 and 1918.
"In the spring of 1918 the Masons of Camp Shelby set about to have a Field
Lodge in order to facilitate the work of Hattiesburg Lodge. This could not be
accomplished by correspondence, which, however, did not discourage our
"Petitions were circulated throughout the Camp for signatures of Indiana
soldier Masons, to present to the Grand Lodge of Indiana for a dispensation to
confer degrees in the Grand Jurisdiction of Mississippi. It required about
four weeks to obtain 380 signatures, which were presented to Bro. Calvin W.
Prather, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Indiana. A dispensation was
granted to the soldier Masons of the Camp in May, 1918, which was forwarded to
us immediately after the Grand Lodge Session, but we were not able to confer
degrees until June 29, 1918. This was due to the fact that the Grand
Jurisdiction of Mississippi was slow in giving consent in the matter.
"Having secured the dispensation from the Grand Lodge of Indiana, it then
became necessary for us to find a place to confer the degrees. The lodge in
Hattiesburg, Miss., agreed to the use of their rooms, but on account of the
vast amount of work which had piled up on them, we were compelled to look
elsewhere. Finally we secured the High School at McLaurin, Miss., a small town
about two and one-half miles from the Camp.
"On Saturday, June 29, 1918, the Emergency Lodge held its first meeting for
the purpose of conferring the E. A. Degree on Mr. Harry Morganthaler, Capital
City, No. 312, Indianapolis; Capt. Humphrey S. Evans, Southport Lodge, No.
270, Southport; Paul L. Myers, Samaritan Lodge, No. 105, Marion, Indiana.
"On July 13, 1918, we held our second meeting for the purpose of conferring
degrees and conferred the F. C. and M. M. Degrees on Bros. Morganthaler, Evans
"July 26, 1918, was our third meeting for the purpose of conferring the E.A.
Degree on nine candidates:
Walter Good, Prince Lodge, No. 231, Princeton, Ind. Russel H. Davis, Samaritan
Lodge, No. 105, Marion, Ind. Nathan Allen Cooper, Ancient Landmarks, No. 319,
Indianapolis, Ind.; Emory Neal Cook, Ancient Landmarks, No. 319, Indianapolis,
Ind. William R. Simmons, Terre Haute, No. 19, Terre Haute, Ind.: Howard M.
Baldwin, Samaritan, No. 105, Marion, Ind. Albert L. Lockwood, Peru-Miami, No.
67, Peru Ind. E. F. Minch, Samaritan, No. 105, Marion, Ind.; and Roland B.
Cooper, Mystic Tie, No. 398, Indianapolis, Ind.
"The next meeting was held on Aug. 3, 1918. The F. C. and M. M. Degrees were
conferred on Bros. Good, Davis, N. A. Cooper, Cook, Simmons, Baldwin,
Lockwood, Minch and R. B. Cooper.
"About Aug. 1, 1918, a request came to us to confer the F. C. and M. M.
Degrees on Col. Healey of Prairie Lodge, No. 125, Rensseler. He was in command
of the 151st Infantry and also the 76th Brigade. A meeting was called for the
evening of Aug. 3, 1918, and I am proud to say that we had a great many of the
brethren present to confer the F. C. Degrees.
"On Aug. 10, 1918, a meeting was called to confer the M. M. Degree on Col.
Healey. This meeting was a grand success. All of the machines and trucks that
were available were mustered into service to carry the brethren over to the
little school house. After arriving, there were so many present that we were
dubious as to where to put them all. However, everyone was satisfied, although
a number were compelled to find seats on the floor.
"The great amount of military work that was going on in Camp about this time
made it rather late for us to get started and as our Temple (or I should have
said, school house) was not equipped with lights, it was necessary for us to
muster in every light available, which constituted every kind, from candles to
automobile lamps, which made the meeting very unique.
"On Aug. 18, 1918, the lodge met again for the purpose of conferring the E.
A., F. C. and M. M. on Bros. Albert E. Mills and Walter Dodson of Shelburn,
No. 369, Shelburn, Ind.
"On Sept. 7, 1918, the last meeting of our lodge was held, and the E.A., F.C.
and M.M. Degrees were conferred on Bros. Thomas E. Kinnerman, of Samaritan,
No. 105, Marion, Ind., and John Frank Snyder, of St. Johns, No. 20, Columbus,
"It will be noted that we have mentioned above our last meeting. We were then
under orders for the great task, about to be undertaken on the other side.
That task which thousands of Masons gallantly and bravely faced. Hundreds of
our brave brethren are now sleeping in the Fields of Honor in France.
"In closing the history of the Emergency Lodge we wish to submit a few
figures. Our receipts were $85.00 for fees and our expenditures were $29.50,
which included the Secretary's fees, truck hire, postage, telegrams and
incidentals, which left a balance of $55.50 which sum was turned over to the
Masonic Home Fund.
"Although greatly handicapped in our efforts, every soldier brother took great
pride in the acknowledgment of having received the degrees in the Emergency
"Now that the brethren are all practically back home where they have
magnificent Temples in which to meet I am positive that the respective lodges
of which these brethren are members will be proud of them.
(signed) C. C. Brautigam, Worshipful Master.
When the orders moving the 38th Division from Camp Shelby came and the troops
began to travel toward the coast, the Emergency Lodge Dispensation was
returned as of date Sept. 16, 1918. Upon the Dispensation appears this brief
Emergency Lodge Dispensation Returned September 16, 1918, when our boys went
overseas from Hattiesburg, Miss.
Charles Brautigam, W. M.
Arthur Robinson, Secretary of Camp Shelby Emergency Lodge, U. D. This brief
recital of the inception and activities of a prescribed Field Lodge on
American soil, working busily to convey to comrades in the service some of
benefits and enjoyments of the Craft and all this with the full consent and
brotherly cooperation of the Grand Lodge of Mississippi, seems to refute the
prognostications of those brothers throughout many jurisdictions who shook
their heads whenever the matter of Field Lodges was broached.
This broad view taken by the Grand Lodge of Indiana carried into practical
life the principle that "everyone shall bear his own burdens." From the record
as given above we find the Hattiesburg Lodge overtaxed in the midst of most
strenuous days by the courtesy work furnished them by many of those very
jurisdictions that themselves refused to relieve the pressure. But Indiana by
her commonsense provision of this Emergency Lodge by means of which much of
the pressure was taken from the local lodge at Hattiesburg, have established a
precedent upon which American Masonry in future days may wisely build.
closing this history of Emergency Lodge, U. D., of the Grand Lodge of Indiana,
I wish to bear testimony to the unfailing good will and active interest of
Worshipful Grand Secretary Calvin W. Prather now gone to the lodge above, who
at all times gave me the information I desired. Also to W. Bro. William Swintz,
Grand Secretary, and to W. Bro. C. C. Brautigam, who gave unreservedly of the
facts on file in the archives of the Grand Lodge. And I take this opportunity
to say to them, in behalf of all the Craft who value the preservation of such
records, "My brothers, I thank you."
Cryptic Degrees and the Supreme Council
Being part of a chapter in the projected Official History of the Ancient and
Accepted Scottish Rite
BRO. CHAS. SUMNER LOBINGIER, Washington, D. C. (Concluded from October)
THE question of the origin of the Cryptic Degrees has thus far been considered
mainly from the standpoint of external evidence. Our late Companion William F.
Kuhn contended, however, that:
the solution of the riddle of the origin of the Cryptic Degrees is ever found,
it can never be obtained simply by investigating by whom and where the degrees
were first conferred, but its solution rests on the relation of these degrees
to existing degrees (73).
Those who regard the Scottish Rite as the source of the Cryptic Degrees need
not hesitate to apply such a test. But it is obvious that it can be
successfully employed only by a comparative study of the rituals and here we
are confronted with the fact, or at least probability, that the Cryptic
rituals of the present day are not the same as the original ones. We have seen
that as early as 1825 Holbrook pointed out that in the Jeremy Cross Ritual,
"the Select Master was garbled and had lost a good part of the signs and
words, etc. (74)." Bro. Hunt (75), a very fair and impartial writer, on this
Brothers Eekel and Niles were ardent Royal Arch Masons and very anxious to
have the Grand Chapter take over the control of the Select Master's degree. It
is, therefore, probable that they remodeled the degree so as to make it
conform to the Royal Arch as then worked in America . . . That there have been
changes made in the degrees we know from several sources. For instance, we
know that the Grand Bodies who have control of the degrees have frequently
revised the ritual and it is fair to assume that when controlled by
individuals, each would make such changes as he desired, to make them conform
to his purposes. Possibly Wilmans, Eekel and Cross each made some changes. At
any rate, the ritual has been changed.
Referring to another phase he adds:
would be very easy for a Royal Arch Mason to take this part of the degree and
remodel it to fill the gap in the Royal Arch Degree of the York Rite.
Bro. Warvelle, who claims (76) that "our inception may be traced by internal
evidence to the Ancient York Rite," does not specify what this internal
evidence is but does admit elsewhere (77) that the degree of Select Master can
be made to synchronize with the 14th degree of the latter (Scottish) rite,
while the scene of action in both degrees is identical, to-wit: the S. V.
Bro. Hunt (78) points out that in spite of the changes in the rituals to which
there are internal evidences to support the claim that these degrees
originated from the same source as those of the Scottish Rite.
then proceeds to marshal certain items of this internal evidence as follows:
In the present Select Master's degree and in the old Royal Arch of Solomon
reference is made to 27 workmen the number of whom could not be increased. In
both degrees also there is a reference to nine arches and there is no such
reference in the Royal Arch of Zerubbabel.
In some of the old forms of the two degrees there is a reference to some
valuable secrets deposited by the Patriarch Enoch in two pillars, one of which
was destroyed by the flood, and the other discovered by Noah after the water
subsided. These secrets were afterward placed in the Ark of the Covenant.
Webb, in the first edition of his Monitor, printed in 1797, describes the
Royal Arch Degree of the Scottish Rite and in this description gives incidents
which show a close association of this degree with those of the Cryptic Rite.
A prominent character in both the Royal and Select Master's degrees is
Adoniram, an official of the time of David. Solomon and Rehoboam . . .
Adoniram appears frequently in Scottish Rite Masonry but is found in York Rite
Masonry only in the Council Degrees.
This last point is especially significant for we have seen that Waite (79)
makes these Cryptic degrees "a part of Adonhiramite Masonry." Bro. Hunt also
points out that the following aspirant's description, written in 1817, "refers
to the Royal Arch of Solomon rather than the Royal Arch of Zerubbabel":
Still pressing forward for the prize, I obtained the beautiful and interesting
degree of the "select mason," in which I received a golden chain of
traditional knowledge extending from Enoch to H.A. (80)
These are a few of the signs which point unmistakably to Scottish Rite origin.
Doubtless an accomplished ritualist, familiar with all three rituals Scottish
Rite, Capitular and modern Cryptic could find many more, while none have been
cited to show such similarity between the two last named. As to the first
named we have seen that both the Snell certificate and the Holbrook report say
that the Myers' ritual was deposited in 1788 with the Charleston Council of
Princes of Jerusalem. J. Ross Robertson says: It is claimed (81) that in 1803
a copy of this ritual was made by J. Billeaud, and that it is a verbatim copy
of the Myers' ritual which, in 1788, was deposited by Myers in the archives of
the Council at Charleston.
his earlier work (82), the same author had said:
There is extant a ritual of the Select Degree purporting to be made in 1803 by
J. Billeaud. Bro. Drummond has examined it, had it copied, and has no doubt of
its genuineness, and that it is the copy of a ritual then in use. It came to
him from Companion Wilmot G. DeSaussure, of South Carolina, who had it from
Bro. John H. Honour, for a long time Grand Commander of the Supreme Council
for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States, to whom it came from his
predecessor in that office, among the archives of that Supreme Council. He
"There is no reference in this ritual to any governing authority whatever, nor
to any degree of Masonry save the third degree. It recognized no permanent
body whatever, but it is a ritual of a 'detached' or 'side' degree in every
This last feature is a convincing mark of genuineness and not even Bro.
Warvelle questions it; indeed, he admits it by implication when he says (83) :
There is not a ritual in existence, as far as I am aware, which antedates the
is of the original Myers' ritual that he observes:
This ritual no one now living has ever seen. Therefore it exists only by
faith. The late Comp. Pierson, of St. Paul elaimed to have seen and perused
same but admits that it eontained a vow of fealty to the Supreme Council
thirtythird degree which, as a matter of historic fact, was not organized
until nearly twenty years afterwards. It is not unlikely that the document
seen by Comp. Pierson was what purported to be a copy.
But in reality he seems to have here had in mind the Holbrook ritual, which,
as we have seen, is now in the Supreme Council's Library and of which
Bro. Drummond says that "the ritual annexed is certainly not a copy of the one
deposited in the archives in 1783, for the ritual of the Select Degree refers
to the Royal Degree, and moreover both of them recognize the Supreme Council
as the governing authority of the degrees, and that body did not exist till
1801. A comparison of this ritual with that of 1803 shows that the former is a
revision of the latter with only verbal changes, and the addition of declaring
allegiance to the Supreme Council and the prohibition of conferring the Select
Degree on any one below the degree of a Royal Arch Mason. The introduction
says the Select Degree follows the Royal Master's Degree; but the ritual is
inconsistent with that. And the allusions to the Royal Arch Degree, to the
Royal Master's Degree and to the Supreme Council, are evident interpolations.
This seems to sustain the assertion of Companion Stapleton, of Maryland, that
the allusion to the Royal Arch Degree was first interpolated by Cross for
mercenary purposes (84).
Upon this, Hunt comments as follows:
is possible that these rituals were copied from the one deposited at
Charleston with the exception of the interpolations referred to by Drummond.
It has sometimes been asked why if Myers actually deposited these rituals,
they have never been produced. The answer given to this is that they had been
destroyed in the conflagration at Charleston during the Civil War and it was
not until several years after their destruction that their existence was
But if the Myers' ritual existed as late as the beginning of the Civil War, we
may fairly assume that we have it in all essential respects in Pike's MS.
copy, now in the Supreme Council's Library, of all the Charleston rituals. In
the title page of those relating to the degrees of Royal and Select Master, we
find the notation in Pike's handwriting "as furnished by the Sec. Gen'l. of
the Supreme Council of the 33rd degree at Charleston, So. Carolina, in May,
1853." This copy, like Holbrook's and that mentioned by Pierson, does contain
an allusion to the Supreme Council, which, as above suggested, is an "evident
interpolation"; but it contains no allusion to the Royal Arch (of Zerubbabel)
and is clearly much closer to the original Cryptic rituals than those in use
by present day Councils which have come down to us with "the allusions to the
Royal Arch degree . . . first interpolated by Cross." It is to the Holbrook
and Pike copies both extant then, that we must resort for the internal
evidence of the origin of the Cryptic degrees; and those copies, even with the
interpolation as to the Supreme Council eliminated, confirm its claims to
jurisdiction over them and support the conclusion stated two generations ago
"The Degrees of Royal and Select Masters came from France prior to 1783, as
detached Degrees of the Seoteh Rite, the latter being, in point of fact, the
Ecossais or 5th Degree of the French Rite, and a Degree of the Rite of
Perfection, conferred in the Scotch Rite as an Auxiliary Degree, and that from
1783, if not from 1766, they were conferred by Lodges of Perfection and
Councils of Princes of Jerusalem (86).
THE SUPREME COUNCIL'S RELINQUISHMENT OF JURISDICTION
But while the Mother Supreme Council never wavered in its claim to confer
these Cryptic degrees as a matter of right and as a part of its heritage from
the older world, still the situation produced as a result of the work of the
"rival peddlers" was such as to cause grave concern to all who placed Masonic
harmony in the United States above personal aggrandizement. It is to the
lasting credit of the Supreme Council and the Scottish Rite leaders that they
initiated the plans which ultimately brought order out of chaos and that they
were willing to sacrifice their Masonic rights and prerogatives in the
interest of that harmony. As early as 1848, Secretary-General Mackey, writing
in one of the leading Masonic periodicals of the time, after reviewing the
history of the degrees and reasserting the Supreme Council's claim said:
The matter, however, has now become inextricably confused and I know of but
one method of getting out of the difficulty.. Although the Supreme Councils of
the 33d, are not willing to have their authority and rights wrested from them
vi et armis I have no doubt (but I do not speak officially) that for the good
of Masonry, they would willingly enter into any compromise. Let a Convention
of Royal and Select Masters be held at some central point. To this convention
let the most intelligent Companions, legitimately possessing the degrees,
whether from Councils of R. and S. M., as in most of the States; from R. A.
Chapters, as in Virginia; or from Councils of Princes of Jerusalem, or Grand
Inspectors General, as in South Carolina and Mississippi. Let the wisdom there
congregated be directed to the amicable settlement of this dispute. The
important point is not to have these degrees placed in any particular order,
but to make the mode and manner of conferring them, whether it be before or
after the Royal Arch, uniform throughout the country
Commenting on this proposal Bro. Warvelle (98) says:
attempt was made to have this convention held at Boston in 1850 during the
convocation of the General Grand Chapter but it does not appear that
sufficient interest in the subject could be created at that time to insure an
attendance and no call was issued. With this exception, however, no one seemed
prepared with a remedy, and no matters remained until 1867.
Undaunted by his first failure, Mackey came forward with a new plan. Two years
later, in his own magazine (89), he contributed an illuminating and convincing
article on the Supreme Council's prerogatives and their infringement, in
closing which he wrote:
There is but one method of cure which we can conscientiously recommend with
any hope of success, and we think it has the advantage of being a course that
will do justice to all parties while it restores to these degrees their
ancient landmarks. We propose then that the State Grand Councils shall retain
their control over their respective subordinate councils, but that they in
turn shall acknowledge the Supreme Councils of the 33d at Charleston and New
York to be the chiefs of Royal and Select Masonry, with power to determine a
uniform mode of work, to establish general laws for the government of the
degrees, to decide all disputed points between contending Grand Councils in
the respective jurisdictions of each Supreme Council, and, in one word, to
exercise all the prerogatives over these degrees which are now possessed over
Royal Arch Masonry by the General Grand Chapter. The objection that according
to the present organization of the Supreme Councils of the 33rd, the State
Grand Councils would not be represented, might be obviated by some arrangement
for the establishment, under the authority of the Supreme Grand Council, of a
Chamber of Deliberation, to be composed of representatives from each State
Grand Council who should assist the Inspectors in all their consultations for
the general good of the order. As these degrees are detached from the regular
order of the Scotch Rite degrees, such an arrangement might be made by the
Supreme Councils, without any infringement upon, or interference with their
inalienable prerogatives as "Sovereigns of Scotch Masonry."
Mutual concessions of this kind, would, we believe, be eminently productive of
unanimity, harmony and prosperity, and without some compromse of the kind, we
do not see how light and peace can be produced out of the chaos and confusion
in which the Royal and Select Masters' degrees are now involved.
the same year the Northern Supreme Council, after protesting against the
"invasion of its rights and prerogatives" regarding the Cryptic degrees,
This Supreme Grand Council, for the sake of harmony, is willing to confer and
advise with our Illustrious Brethren the Southern Supreme Grand Council at
Charleston, S. C., and act in concert with them in adopting such measures in
reference to those degrees as may be mutually adjudged most feasible and
proper, without infringing in any way whatever upon our supremaey over the
Nothing tangible followed immediately from any of these proposals, although
the Illinois Grand Chapter (91) which, as we have seen, was among the first to
question the Supreme Council's "exclusive authority," adopted, two years after
the announcement just mentioned, a report which contained the following:
Nothing is more to be deprecated in Masonry than conflict of jurisdictions.
There ought to be one common level. It is plain to see, that the State Grand
Councils are fast acquiring this jurisdiction, and your committee believe that
they are the source of authority, and ought to be, until they surrender, of
their own act, a portion of their power, to a Representative head of their own
Nothing further seems to have been done for a long time by anybody outside the
Scottish Rite regarding this matter. In his Allocution (92) of 1861, however,
Pike devoted nearly two pages to the Royal and Select Degrees, reporting that
he had invited the five Councils of Arkansas, which he had established to form
a Grand Council for that state. He then proceeded to say:
is desirable, I think that we should as soon as possible rid ourselves of all
control over those degrees everywhere. Our administration of them is an
anomaly; since it may very well be that more than one of our number are not in
possession of them. I think it bad policy for the authorities of a Rite to
administer any side or auxiliary degrees; and we, at least, have enough in our
regular scale to engage our attention and task our energies. . . It seems to
me that our wisest course would be, by Special Statute, to relinquish all
control over them to the Grand Councils already established in the several
states. Then those bodies could grant charters for subordinates in the
unoccupied States, and that branch of Masonry which has had a separate and
independent organization for so many years in several of the States, would be
recognized as independent and distinct, as Royal Arch Masonry is, and as it, I
think, has an equal right to be.
The Supreme Council approved this recommendation (93) but the Civil War came
on and any attempt which might have been made to put these views into effect
was rendered futile. Soon after its close, however, a statute (94) was enacted
which, while recognizing the Supreme Council's continued jurisdiction over
Cryptic Councils "in every state where no Grand Council of those degrees has
been established," further provided:
But so soon as there are three such Councils in any such State, the Supreme
Council recommend to such Councils to establish a Grand Council, and, upon the
establishment of the same, the jurisdiction of the Supreme Council over such
Councils shall cease.
Then at the Supreme Council session of 1870, Inspector Todd of Louisiana
offered the following resolution (95), which was unanimously adopted:
Whereas, in the opinion of this Supreme Council, the time has arrived when the
Degrees of Royal and Select Master are entitled to be considered as a separate
and distinct organization in Masonry; there being now twenty-eight Grand
Councils of Royal and Select Masters in the United States, and this Supreme
Council being desirous to cede and transfer to the said Grand Councils all its
rightful jurisdiction over the said degrees, and to sever its connection with
the same; Therefore,
Resolved, That this Supreme Council does now relinquish all control over the
Degrees of Royal and Select Masters, and leaves all Councils now under its
jurisdiction, at liberty to attach themselves to the obedience of such Grand
Council as they may select; and does hereby remit and release to all such
Councils, all their dues to this Supreme Council; and all sections and
provisions of the Statutes which refer to said Degrees, are hereby repealed.
Thus the long controversy came to an end so far as the actual conflict of
jurisdiction was concerned. As an academic discussion of historical origins,
it has continued, as we have seen, to the present hour. But whatever one's
conclusion may be as to the merits of that discussion, it will hardly be
denied that the amicable termination of the conflict and the avoidance of a
perpetual feud in American Cryptic Masonry was due to the forebearance and
magnanimity of the Mother Supreme Council. Following closely upon its action a
national convention of Cryptic Masons was held in New York City in 1872, and
after a series of other meetings a General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons of
the United States was finally organized (96) in 1880.
(1) Waite: The Secret Tradition of Freemasonry, I, pp. 158, 159. In the New
Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Vol. I, p. 5, he says:
Adonhiramite Masonry itself as the name of a specific system arose in France.
It has been referred to Baron Tschoudy and alternatively to Louis Guillemain
de SaintVictor. From the Grades of Royal and Select Master it follows as we
have seen that it enters also into Cryptic Masonry, about the symbolical
importance of which in connection with the Holy Royal Arch, I hold strong
views and on occasion have expressed them strongly.
(2) Secret Tradition, I, pp. 163, 165.
(3) New Encyc., II, p. 381.
(4) Warvelle: Genesis of the Degree of Royal Master Mason, p. 6.
(5) Letter of Wm. T. Gould, G. H. P. of Ga., reprinted, Florida Grand Chapter
Proc. 1849, pp. 35, 36.
(6) Proceedings, 1826, p. 6.
(7) Reprinted, Off. Bull., IX, p. 252.
(8) Reprinted off. Bull., X, p. 212.
(9) Reprinted Trans. 1857-1866 (reprint), pp. 19, 20.
(10) Note by the transcriber (Bro. W. L. Boyden): "The italics and
explanations in brackets are those of the transcriber."
(11) Folger, though hostile to the Mother Supreme Council, states that the
Cryptic Degrees were "conferred in Rhode Island by Myers in 1781." Ancient and
Accepted Scottish Rite, p. 128.
(12) For photostat copy of original see The New Age, Vol. xxxv, p. 315.
(13) See Pike's Rep. to Ark. Gr. Chap. Proc., 1853, App. 7, where he says that
G.H.P. (and Gr. Com.) John H. Honour, in his address to the S. Car. Gr. Chap.
in Feb., 1853, quoted the same certificate. Robertson, The Cryptic Rite
(Toronto, 1888), pp. 17, 18, also quotes from it. Other certificates of
similar import are the following, copies of which have been furnished me by
Bro. C. C. Hunt, Librarian of the Iowa Masonic Library:
New Orleans, La., Thursday, June 12, 1856.
all whom it may concern: Greeting:
hereby certify in my official capacity as Deputy Inspector General of the 33d
degree for the Southern District of the United States of America, that our
well beloved Companion I. E. Elliott is in possession of a literal and exact
copy of the Royal and Select Masters degrees, brought from Berlin, Prussia by
the Illustrious Deputy Inspector General Joseph Myers in the year A.D. 1783,
and afterwards conferred in due and ancient form, by the Sublime Grand Lodge
of Perfection, No. 2 in Charletson, S. C., United States of America, and
subsequently by the legitimate Councils of Royal and Select Masters throughout
the United States.
Testimony Whereof: I hereby affix my official signature as Deputy Inspector
General of the 33d Degree, on this twelfth day of June, in the year of our
Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-six and in the year of Masonry five
thousand eight hundred and fifty-six.
(Signature) PEREZ SNELL,
K.’.K.’. S.’.P.’.R.’.S.’. Deputy Inspector General of 33d Degree for the
Southern District of the United States of America.
hereby certify that I am personally acquainted with Deputy Grand Inspector
Snell whose signature is above written, and that the aforesaid signature is
genuine and authentic having been written in my presence, this twelfth day of
June A. D. one thousand eight hundred and fifty-six.
further certify that I have carefully examined both the original degrees above
referred to, and compared them with the copy in possession of Past Master J.
E. Elliott and hereby announce the Copy perfectly in accordanee with the
aforesaid degrees as brought from Berlin in Prussia in 1783 by Deputy
Inspector General Jos. Myers.
(Signature) W. P. COLEMAN,
K.’.K.’. S.’.P.’.R.’.S.’. P.’. of J, Grand Commander Jacques de Molay
Encampment No. 2 and W. M. of Dudley Lodge No. 66 of the City of New Orleans,
New Orleans La. June 12th. 1856)
(14) Maryland Grand Chapter Proc., 1827, pp. 16, 17.
(15) S. Car. Gr. Chap. Proc., 1829, reprinted S. Car. Gr. Council Proc. 1909,
(16) Gr. Coun. Proc. 1901, xxv.
(17) New Age, Vol. xxxv p. 143.
(18) Report of the Committee on Masonic Law and Usage, Ark. Grand Chapter
Proc. (Little Rock, 1853), App. 8.
(19) Patent, reprinted by Folger, op. cit., App. p. 77.
(20) Robertson, op. cit., p. 25.
(21) A Review of Cryptic Masonry (Chicago, 1895).
(22) The Cryptic Rite (Chicago, 1892), p. 10.
(23) Schultz, History of Freemasonry in Maryland (Baltimore 1884), pp.
(24 )Original returns, furnished by James N. Clift, Grand Sec'y, Virginia
(25) Warvelle, op. cit., p. 10.
(26) Review of Cryptic Masonry, p. 6.
(27) CoIes Freemasons' Library and General Ahiman Rezon (Baltimore, 1817), p.
221, attributed to Niles.
(28) Warvelle: Cryptic Rite, pp. 11, 12.
(29) Waite, Secret Tradition, I, pp. 163, 165.
(30) Reprinted in Folger, op. cit., App. 77.
(31) Ibid, pp. 83 101.
(32) lb., p. 89.
(33) Ib., pp. 102 110.
(34) Reprinted, lb., p. 102.
(35) Ib. p. 110
(36) Ib. pp. 103, 106.
(37) Ib., pp. 108 110.
(38) Reprinted, Brockaway. One Hundred Years of Aurora Grata (Brooklyn, 1908),
pp. 8, 9.
(39) Ib., pp. 3 5
(40) See its records (Portland, 1876), p. 3 et seq.
(41) Cryptic Masonry (Iowa Grand Council Proc., 1923, xliv).
Robertson says, Op. cit., p. 28:
received the Ineffable and other degrees from Jacobs, and it is quite likely
that he received from him also the Select Degree.
(42) Historical Notes, Illinois Grand Council Proc., 1901, p. 25.
(43) Reprinted, Voice of Masonry (Chicago, 1863), I, pp. 329, 330; Schultz,
Op. cit., I, p. 338; THE BUILDER Vi, p. 64.
(44) See his Charter to the Richmond Councii. Virginia Grand Chapter Proc.,
1848, p. 18.
(45) Pike: off. Bull. I, p. 398. Mackey says, Southern and Western Masonic
The (Cryptic) degrees were entirely conferred by Inspectors General whose
authority for so doing was derived from a patent granted by the Supreme
Council of the 33d.
(46) Maryland Grand Chapter Proc., 1817, p. 5.
(47) General Grand Chapter Proc., 1853 (reprint), p. 255.
(48) Ill. Grand Council Proc., 1901, App. xxv.
(49) 0ff. Bull., vii, p. 313.
(50) Ib. ix, 547
(51) Trans., 1857 1866 (Reprint), pp. 19, 20.
(52) Supreme Council Library, M 265, Pocket 1, Document 12.
(53) 0ff. Bull. Sup. Coun., x, p. 762.
(54) See its By-laws, 1836, p. 3.
(55) Southern and Western Masonic Miscellany, I, p. 43.
(56) Supreme Council Library, M-265, Pocket 1, Document 15.
(57) Ib., M-265, Pocket 1, Document 17.
(58) 0ff. Bull. Sup. Coun., 1, 399.
(59) Ia. Grand Coun. Proc., xlv-xlvii, where the jurisdictions are set out.
Cf. Lee, History of Cryptic Masonry, Conn. Gr. Coun. Proc., 1872, pp. 328-338;
Hatch, Jurisdiction of Royal and Select Master's Degree, Masonic Review, Vol.
v, p. 193.
(60) Royal and Select Master's Degrees, Freemasons' Mapazine, viii, p. 9,
Southern and Western Masonic Miscellany, I, p. 41.
(61) Proc Northern Sup. Council (reprint), Portland, 1876, pp. 45, 46, 205,
212, 214, 216; 217, where, after a recital of the history of these degrees the
This Supreme Grand Council, therefore, as in duty bound, protests against this
invasion of its rights and prerogatives, and further declares and makes known,
that the said degrees of Royal and Select Master, from their nature or
character, the history they develop and the circumstances upon which founded,
cannot, except in an anachronistic and improper manner, be conferred
disconneeted from the "Ineffable degree" and "Lodge of Perfection" (fourteenth
degree), and that said degrees belong not only characteristically and
historically, but legitimately, to "Ineffable Masons" and "Lodges of
Perfection," and do not appertain and cannot consistently and lawfully be made
an aPpendage to any Masonic system except said "Sublime system," nor to any
Rite except said "Ancient and Accepted Rite."
Bro. Warvelle (Genesis of the Degree of Royal Master Mason, 1893 P. 7). says
of this body that "from its organization until 1844 it was practically dormant
and it was not until 1860 that its present career of activity commenced." This
would seem sufficient to explain any delay in assessing its authonty.
(62) Revised Statutes, 1855, Articles, vi-viii.
(63) Grand Constitutions, 1866, Art. xxi.
(64) MS. Ritual, p. 376.
(65) Letter to Gouley, Trans., 1868, p. 193.
(66) The Book of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite (N. Y. 1868), p. 21.
(67) Robertson, Op. cit., Chap. v.
(68) Ib., Chap. iii.
(69) A Century of Cryptic Masonry, etc., S. Car. Gr. Chapter Proc., 1909, pp.
(70) Cryntic Masonry, Iowa Gr. Council Proc., 1923, pp. xxxviii xlvii.
(71) Proc., 1852, p. 92.
(72) Ark. Grand Chapter Proc., 1853, p. 8, App.
(73) Gen. Grand Coun. Proc., 1921, p. 53.
(74) Off. Bull., p. 252.
(75) Cryptic Masonry, la. Grand Coun. Proc., 1923, pp. 39, 40. (76) Warvelle:
Cryptic Rite, p. 15.
(77) lb., p. 5.
(78) Iowa Gr. Coun. Proc., 1923, xxxvii.
(79) Waite: Secret Tradition, I, pp. 158, 159.
(80) Cole, Op. cit., Vol. ii.
(81) The Freemason (Toronto, 1900), xix, pp. 8, 10.
(82) Robertson, Op. cit., p. 18.
(83) Historical Notes, Ill. Gr. Coun. Proc., 1901, xxiv.
(84) Robertson, Op. cit., p. 18.
(85) Cryptic Masonry, Iowa Grand Coun. Proc., 1923, xxxvii.
(86) Mellen, Ordo ab Chao, Masonic Review, xii, p. 239. Cf. Mitchell, History
of Freemasonry (1858), I, p. 707.
(87) Freemasons' Magazine, viii, p. 10.
(88) Warvelle: Review of Cryptic Masonry, P 9
(89) The Southern & Western Masonic Miscellany (Charleston, 1850), I, pp.
(90) Proceedings (reprint), 1850, pp. 206, 207.
(91) Proc., 1852, p. 93
(92) Trans., 1857 1866 (Reprint), pp. 200, 202.
(93) Ib., (Original), 1861, p. 17.
(94) Gr. Constitutions, 1865, Art. xxi, p. 1.
(95) Trans. 1870, pp. 88, 89.
(96) Warveile, Op. cit., pp. 13 15; Williams, Sketch of the General Gr. Coun.,
Ohio Gr. Coun. Proc., 1895, App.
The Degrees of Masonry: Their Origin and History
BROS. A. L. KRESS and R. J. MEEKREN (Continued from October)
far as we have yet gone in our account of the different hypotheses advanced
regarding Masonic degrees, it will be noticed that one aspect of the problem
has hardly emerged, and it is really by no means an unimportant one.
Practically all the scholars whose views we have considered were agreed on one
point; that there had been a great expansion in the initiatory rites of the
Craft. The controversy really was only about the amount of the additional
matter, and whether it was pure innovation and invention, or based upon
genuine tradition. The question, that so far no one had raised, was how and
why this expansion came about.
say it is not important, and for this reason. The various solutions offered
for the main problem rest on a nice discrimination of the value and
implications of scattered references and fragmentary and ambiguous records.
Every possible interpretation must of necessity be mainly a structure of
inferences based on the scanty facts; and what these inferences are will
depend almost entirely on a more or less conscious preconception, or pattern,
in the mind. It is obvious that to be able to show that a given explanation
demands unusual and improbable motives on the part of the actors in the
process is to present a very formidable argument against it, no matter how
logical and self consistent it may be in itself. Conversely, if it can be
shown that each step in the development was a natural one, following lines
that can be observed in any human society, it will be a very strong
confirmation of the theory advanced.
seemed to be taken for granted that the great change from the ceremonial,
simple, bare and crude (as it is variously said to be) of the operative
Masons, to the elaborate and ornate ritual of the speculatives, was so natural
and inevitable that no explanation was necessary on this point. It was
casually assumed that part of it was due to the fashion of the period which
expressed itself in the formation of all kinds of eccentric clubs and
societies with bizarre ceremonials, and also in part due to a desire or a
necessity to dress up the alleged "crude" and "imperfect" initiations
practiced by "rough and ignorant workmen" so they would have an appeal for
"educated and cultured gentlemen."
But as we have said, this was only assumed, and was merely referred to in
passing allusions. The value of an answer to this question as an additional
test of the validity of the inferences based on the evidence had not been
seen. We are not at all sure even that Robert Freke Gould, to whom we now
come, definitely realized this point; though he did advance a general
explanation of the way in which an additional degree was inserted in the
original two degree system. His theory is that it was due almost entirely to a
misunderstanding of one or two sentences in the first edition of Anderson's
Constitutions. At first glance it looks very inadequate, but on closer
examination there is not a little to be said in its favor. It can be shown
that other "expansions" of the ritual are due to mistakes and misconceptions
(1), so that the supposition is not at all improbable in itself.
GOULD’S THEORY OF THE ORIGIN OF DEGREES
attempt to present a coherent account of Gould's position is, however,
singularly difficult, except in the broadest outline. His style is discursive
to extreme; he constantly interrupts the course of his argument to explore
each bypath as he comes to it, and it is necessary to read him with the
closest attention to avoid losing the thread of the discourse and getting lost
in a maze of apparently disconnected facts. Although it would not be quite
fair, without qualification, he might be described as essentially a man of
strong prejudices who had painstakingly cultivated the method of impartiality.
At least his prejudice on the subject of the Grand Lodge of the Ancients crops
out in almost every reference to it. Legalism has had a great deal to do with
the development of Masonic orthodoxies (as it has, indeed, in every
traditional system) and Gould had the typically legalistic type of mind, one
would judge, quite apart from his training, to which a form of law means more
than the human needs and motives in which it is rooted. To him the premier
Grand Lodge was legitimate; and consequently, by exclusion, that of the
Ancients was illegitimate, heretical and schismatic.
This is all quite outside our subject of course, but it has a bearing upon a
proper appreciation of Gould's arguments, for it certainly seems that it
caused a bias in his judgment which led him to summarily reject certain
statements made by Dermott in Ahiman Rezon, which if admitted as evidence
would have militated against some of his conclusions, or at least would have
modified them in some important details.
Another difficulty in presenting his views lies in the fact that it would
almost seem as if he had to some degree progressively changed them. Of this,
though, we are by no means certain; in the preface to the Concise History he
expresses himself in such a way as to imply that he held the same views then,
on the subject of Masonic Degrees, as he did when he wrote his large history
in 1882. Yet it must be said, that were a reader to have no other source of
information than the latter work he would come to the conclusion either that
the author had been unable to definitely make up his mind on the subject, or
even that he favored the hypothesis advanced by Findel and supported by Hughan
and Mackey. He accepts and insists upon Lyon's view that the "mason word" was
the only secret communicated in early Scottish lodges, even indeed going
beyond him, in throwing doubt on the latter's admission that this may have
implied something more than its literal meaning (2); he equally insists that
in the old lodge at York intrants were merely "admitted and sworn," and gives
the impression that there is no probability of there being anything more than
this in other parts of England in the seventeenth century (3). Yet as we shall
see he later protested against this very argument.
a paper read before Quatuor Coronati Lodge in 1886, On Some Old Scottish
Customs (4) he emphasized the comparative poverty of the ritual employed in
North Britain, stating that
. . as a simple matter of fact the only degree (of a speculative or symbolic
character) known in the early Masonry of Scotland was that in which the legend
of the Craft was read and the benefit of the Mason word conferred.
This belief in a material difference between the two countries is an important
factor in the development of his views. Whether he regarded the Scottish Craft
as being degenerate, or as having been defective from its origin, is nowhere
really made quite clear. (5) But as we are not concerned to follow out the
development of his thought it will be more direct to consider his later and
more mature pronouncements. These will be found chiefly in the "Digression on
Degrees" in the Concise History and the paper entitled The Degrees of Pure and
Ancient Freemasonry (6).
the latter he states his purpose as being to sum up.
. . the conclusions that seem to be deducible from the evidence, with respect
to the existence of Masonic Degrees in 1717 1738, and presumably from a time
far more remote,
and then he goes on to say:
we begin with the three Craft . . . degrees of today, their devolution can be
traced with sufficient exactitude from the year 1723, nor is it reasonable . .
. to believe that any change in the method of imparting the secrets of Masonry
could possibly have been carried out by the Grand Lodge of England between
1717 and 1723. But during the period immediately preceding the era of Grand
Lodges there is much darkness and uncertainty. To a necessarily great extent
therefore, all speculations with regard to the more remote past of the
sodality must repose on inference or conjecture; and deductions which are
accepted with easy faith by some, will be rejected as irrational by others.
The boundaries of legitimate conjecture cannot indeed be defined ex cathedra
by anyone and the utmost we can do is to pursue our researches according to
the evidential methods which have received the approval of the best
have quoted this passage at length because while in the first part he
expresses an opinion that Hughan, for one, regarded as "irrational"; in the
latter part he lays down the limits of the degree of certainty we may hope to
reach in this investigation in a most admirable manner, and which gives others
full warrant to disagree with him!
then proceeds to refer his readers to a paper read some years before, On the
Antiquity of Masonic Symbolism (7). In this he deals with much the same
subject but holds that the term symbolism is more inclusive than Degrees. He
evidently used it in rather a peculiar sense, and we may take it broadly that
by it he understands all the esoteric secrets of Masonry, signs, words,
ritual, ceremony, as well as the symbols and emblems as usually understood.
Each of these essays is along quite different lines and to adequately
summarize them would take altogether too much space. We shall, therefore,
adopt a shorter way, that we hope will be even more satisfactory than to
follow his arguments step by step. With most of the actual evidence he builds
on we have already become familiar and in consequence there is no need to take
it in detail. What we propose to do is to pick out what appear to be the
distinguishing features of his theories, and the arguments by which he
have already seen one general argument by which he supports the main
contention which he held in common with Speth, the inherent improbability of
radical innovations being introduced in the six years between 1717 and 1723.
And it would seem that this, for him, was the real starting point, when he
discovered the significant differences between the first and second editions
of the Constitutions in regard to Old Regulation XIII, and compared them with
the entry in the minutes of the Grand Lodge of Nov. 27, 1725, repealing the
clause in question and authorizing the lodges "to make Masters at their
regard to this we have a case, not of the "easy faith" of one being "rejected
as irrational" by another, but of the same thing being interpreted in
diametrically opposing fashion by two such keen minds as Hughan and Gould. If
we wish for an authority we can take our choice, but it will hardly be a
wholly satisfactory position to depend on authority alone in such a case.
ESTIMATE OF DR. ANDERSON
Hughan definitely took the stand that, in the first edition of the
Constitutions, the clause, "Apprentices and must be admitted Masters and
Fellowcraft only here" (that is in the Grand Lodge) must be interpreted by the
amendment that appeared in the second edition of 1738. He says:
all events Dr. Anderson ought to know what he meant by Masters and Fellowcraft
in 1723, and that he intended the words to refer to two distinct degrees
appears to me conclusive by the editorial remarks in 1738, under the year 1725
Just what Hughan meant by the last remark we are not quite clear. In the
account of the progress of the Craft up to the year 1738, that was added to
the second edition, Anderson makes no reference to this amendment in the brief
notice of the meeting of the Grand Lodge on Nov. 27, 1725. The note to Old
Regulation XIII on page 160 of the work hardly seems to be properly called an
editorial remark, as it appears in the form of an extract from the minutes of
Grand Lodge. But assuming, by elimination, that this is what Hughan referred
to, it may certainly be admitted as every one has done that Anderson did here
intend two distinct degrees by the terms Master and Fellowcraft. It may also
be admitted that Dr. Anderson knew in 1738 what he meant in 1723; but it does
not at all necessarily follow from that that in the later edition he intended
to let his readers into the secret. Anderson has been very freely accused of
literary dishonesty as well as inaccuracy, but it seems to us not entirely
with justice. His work we must remember was official, for though the
publication was his own private venture apparently, he depended on the
approbation of the Grand Master and the Grand Lodge. Before we cast our stone
at him let us ask ourselves if no other official works are similarly
inaccurate and evasive in regard to awkward facts. We all know that often
enough to speak of an explanation of some occurrence as "official" is as good
as to say it is to be received with caution, or even that it is to be highly
suspected. But we do not have to go to such pronouncements made on behalf of
governments and churches, there are a sufficient number concerned with the
Craft to give the Masonic historian constant trouble. We do not accuse those
responsible of dishonesty, because we realize that such statements are
expressions of practical compromises, or are ex parte justifications for
action taken. If Anderson is to be held guilty, we must condemn also the Grand
Lodge, which was equally conversant with whatever was concealed, and which
doubtless would have rejected and condemned a full and plain statement of the
But this is somewhat of a digression. Gould and Hughan drew directly opposite
conclusions from the same passages. As was intimated above, the facts may be
fitted into a number of different patterns. We may liken Anderson's account to
those curious perspective diagrams which alternately seem to represent a
cavity and then a solid; or to one of the puzzle pictures that may sometimes
be found in old print shops, where a study of "still life," or a landscape,
resolves itself into a grinning skull when looked at from another point of
view. The point of view in this case will probably be determined by some
latent bias or prejudice in the student's mind. To illustrate we may quote
has been too much the habit especially in America [this was written in 1893,
and presumably Gould had Mackey and perhaps Pike in mind] to assume that
Masonry was Scottish before 1717, and English afterwards. Thus it is contended
(with regard to the former period) that as there was only one degree in
Scotland, a plurality of degrees was unknown in Universal Masonry the English
evidence being coolly and quietly ignored. But the tables are turned, with a
vengeance, in 1723, when the Old Manuscript Constitutions "digested" by
Anderson for the Grand Lodge of England, are assumed from thenceforth to
govern every Mason under the sun (9).
The last statement is a little irrelevant, but it states very well that
legalistic attitude, of which Gould was not himself always guiltless, which
has done so much to obscure the real truth of the history and development of
the Craft. But we see here one of the reasons why Gould was always so
strenuously insisting on the gulf fixed between Scottish and English Masonry
before 1717. The English evidence, that he says is ignored, is very scanty,
and so disconnected as to be very difficult to bring it all into a coherent
system, at least one that will command assent. As a matter of fact, Gould
himself in the discussion of it in his History failed to definitely point out
its implication. On the other hand the Scottish evidence is most abundant,
comparatively speaking; and as Speth put it, it was "laid down by a consensus
of authorities" that it proves that apprentices when "entered" received all
the secrets known to the Craft in that country (10). It was very natural to
interpret the English remains in the light of this accepted conclusion, and
this we may suppose was the unconscious influence that prevented Hughan from
seeing the discrepancy between the first and second editions of the
Constitutions or appreciating its real significance.
Though we quoted Anderson's version in dealing with Mackey (11) it may be
better to cite the crucial passages again. In Regulation XIII, on page 61 of
1723 edition, the second clause runs;
Apprentices must be admitted Masters and Fellowcraft only here, unless by a
the regulation is dealing with the Quarterly Communications the words "only
here" mean "only in Grand Lodge."
has previously been pointed out that we are not sure whether this is the
actual wording of the Regulation as read over by Payne on St. John the
Baptist’s Day in 1721, as recorded by Stukeley in his Diary (12), but it is
all that is otherwise known about them.
the 1738 edition the Regulations (distinguished as the Old Regulations) are
printed in parallel columns with a set of New Regulations that supersede them.
First there is a change in the wording of the Old Regulation XIII which the
reader would naturally take to be an exact reproduction of the original. It
Apprentices must be admitted Fellow Crafts and Masters only here, unless by a
Dispensation from the Grand Master.
Not only have the words "from the Grand Master” been added, which is
unimportant, but the order of the terms "Master" and "Fellow Craft" has been
reversed. This may have a good deal of significance. The old Scottish minutes
very frequently spoke of "maister" or "mester" and "fallow of craft" but
rarely or never, at least we have not noticed any instance, of "fellow of
craft and master." In the old Operative sense of the terms the first was the
correct sequence. The apprentice having become master of his craft was
eligible, or became, a fellow of the fraternity; or in other crafts, of the
gild or company. But when the interpolated degree had been given the name
"Fellow Craft" it was naturally less appropriate to follow the old sequence.
Against this "corrected" version of the Old Regulation appears in the second
column the note:
22 Nov. 1725. The Master of a Lodge with his Wardens and a competent Number of
the Lodge assembled in due Form can make Masters and Fellows at Discretion.
must be admitted that in going back here to the MasterFellow sequence the note
rather disturbs the argument drawn above from the misquotation of the original
clause. Perhaps it was nothing but carelessness and general inaccuracy.
Anderson may have been muddled between a new phrase that he used more or less
consciously, and an old one that came by habit. It is hard to say. In any case
we may charitably suppose that the note of the repeal of the clause was not
intended to be misunderstood as an accurate transcript of the actual
resolution, for it is evident from the remainder of the notes and amendments
that complete accuracy was not proffered, nor, presumably, expected. The very
next item, for example, begins:
25 Nov. 1723. It was agreed (though forgotten to be recorded in the Grand
Lodge Book) . . .
With records kept in this way a paraphrase might seem as good as the actual
text! It may be as well to recall that this forgotten resolution was passed at
the second meeting recorded in the Minute Book. We now come to the amendment
as it appears in the latter under date of Nov. 27, not Nov. 22, as Anderson,
or the printer, gave it.
Motion being made that Such part of the 13th Article of the Genll Regulations
relating to the Making of Mars only at a Quarterly Communication may be
repealed. And that the Mars of Each Lodge, with the Consent of his Wardens and
the Majority of the Brethren being Mars may make Mars at their discretion.
Now, here we see that Anderson's paraphrase differs quite a little from the
record. Not only has he inserted the words Fellows, but "a competent number of
the lodge assembled in due form" is not by any means the same thing as "the
Majority of the brethren being Masters." This latter is not very likely
however to have been what was intended, and it might be taken that Anderson's
version confirms this, for we must keep in mind that the Book of Constitutions
was prepared and revised and adopted not as a history, still less a source
book for history, but as a legal code. It would seem, therefore, that we can
assume that what appears therein was in accordance with what was understood to
be the law of 1738. Of course it does not necessarily follow that this was the
same in 1725, though it may give a certain presumption that this was so.
Incidentally we may note that Hughan made a very strange slip in this place
(13). He asks:
Does not the qualification, "being Masters" so late as 1738 suggest that the
Degree was not then generally worked, though it was gradually becoming better
The "qualification" of course was made in 1725, not 1738. The error is all the
stranger in that he had quoted Anderson's 1738 paraphrase just a few lines
above, in which this proviso does not appear, as we have seen; even should the
suggestion be accepted that it implies that the number of Masters was very
limited. As we showed above, the resolution was so loosely drawn that it is
hard to say definitely what it did mean exactly, though the general intention
is clear enough. Hughan would appear to have been somewhat inconsistent in
advancing this particular argument seeing that he held that our present three
degrees were being worked in 1723, and that Regulation XIII in speaking of
Masters and Fellowcraft meant just what we would mean by the terms today. For
it would follow that these new degrees had lain almost dormant in the fifteen
years that had elapsed. It would almost seem as if any stick were good enough
to beat the dog !
(1) We may be permitted to refer to the series of articles, "The Precious
Jewels," which appeared in THE BUILDER in 1926 and 1927, for an example of
this kind of thing. It is there shown how the furniture, ornaments and jewels
of the lodge all sprang by a series of misunderstandings from a common root.
(2) Gould, History, Vol. iii, p. 62 (Yorston Edition).
(3) Ibid, Vol. iii, p. 116. Chapters xvi to xviii should be read to fully
appreciate the statement made in the article.
(4) A.Q.C., Vol. i, p. 10. Cf., also Gould Op. cit., Vol. iii, pp. 55 70, and
(5) 0p. cit., Vol. iii, p. 64. In this passage Gould seems even to doubt
whether there was any connection at all between the Masonry of Scotland and
that of England in matters esoteric.
(6) A.Q.C., Vol. xvi, p. 28. Reprinted in the Collected Essays.
(7) Ibid., Vol. iii, p. 7. Also reprinted in the Collected Essays.
(8) Ib., Vol. x, p. 132.
(9) lb., Vol. vi, p. 76. Review of Vernon's History of Freemasonry in the
Province of Rowburgh, Peebles and Selkirkshire.
(10) Ib., Vol. i, p. 143.
(11) THE BUILDER, P. 199, July, 1928.
(12) Gould, Concise History, p. 392 (Macoy Edition) also A.Q.C. Vol. vi, p.
(13) A.Q.C., Vol. x, p. 132.
Three Pioneer Masons of the Early West
Members of Nova Caesarea Harmony Lodge, No. 2
BRO. HENRY BAER, Ohio)
a bleak November morning of 1794, a stalwart figure in backwoodsman's garb
stepped with soft and noiseless tread on to the porch of a tavern in
Cincinnati, being probably of a mind to indulge in something designed to warm
and cheer the inner man before proceeding to the business which had brought
him to town. Hilarious sounds and loud talking reaching his ears convinced the
traveler that "first drink time" already was part of the history for that
particular day and establishment, with indications that some had negotiated a
point rather removed from their "eye-opener." About to enter, above the
roistering voices he heard the boastful proclamation, "I am the best man in
Ohio!" Before anyone inside could take issue with the speaker, if indeed any
were so inclined, the door whipped open and the newcomer in ringing tones
demanded to know what was said and who said it. “Captain Kibby !" went up a
shout in recognition, then silence.
From among the mixed crowd representative of a border town that filled the
place, there stepped forth a tall English officer, evidently a stranger in the
vicinity, who proceeded to a cool inspection of him who dared challenge his
claim to the aforesaid title. He faced a man of forty, inch for inch his equal
in height, dressed in picturesque fringed deerskin, splendidly proportioned,
keen-eyed, with features bronzed to the color of an Indian from a life in the
wilderness, an ideal type of the American frontiersman, Captain Ephraim Kibby,
leader of Wayne's scouts in the campaign against the savages then recently
say I am the best man in Ohio," repeated the Englishman, undaunted by his
"If you had said you were as good a man as there is in Ohio, there would be no
room for dispute, but as it is I dispute it," was the response of the
"Captain Kibby, step into the room," suggested the other, and opened a door
which led into the long room of the tavern. This the captain was prompt to do,
being followed inside by his opponent and all the onlookers, intent on seeing
The Britisher, undoubtedly a man of experience and reputation in duelling, had
things all prepared, for on the table lay two long flintlock pistols, primed
and ready for use. Pointing, he ordered, "Captain Kibby, take one of them." At
the latter's ready compliance he picked up the other with the words, "Name
your time and distance."
Removing the handkerchief from his neck, the American held to one corner with
his left hand and cocking the weapon in his right, reached the other end for
the Englishman to take and likewise prepare, at the same moment exclaiming,
"Here is the distance and now is the time!" Completely taken aback at such
unusual, if not positively unheard of, conditions, his rival wilted, whereupon
Kibby reversed his pistol and with the butt knocked him to the floor, while
the house rang with shouts of "Hurrah for Captain Kibby!"
Little, perhaps, when making his challenging boast did the Britisher figure on
the possibility of catching a Tartar, even in a rough frontier town as
Cincinnati then was, where, as in all places of such character, trouble could
be had for less than the asking. However, that he backed down before his
American antagonist need not necessarily stamp him as being deficient in
courage. Rather would it prove an unacquaintance with the ways of the West,
where the favorite method of settling disputes and questions of supremacy was
to engage at close quarters. Some of the more fierce among the backwoodsmen
are said to have even gone to the extreme of tying their left hands together
and fighting it out to the death with knives.
About a month later, on Dec. 27, 1794, there was instituted in Cincinnati the
Masonic body known today as Nova Caesarea Harmony Lodge, No. 2, under its
warrant of 1791, granted by the Grand Lodge of New Jersey, the delay in
organizing being due to the protraction of the Indian war raging in the
Northwestern Territory. The first petition for the degrees of Masonry was
received on Jan. 21, 1795, signed by Captain Ephraim Kibby, hero of the
foregoing near duel. Following investigation and favorable report, on March 4
he formed one of a class of three candidates who were the first to kneel at
the altar of this frontier lodge likely nothing better than a wood packing
box, or a stool. In due time he was passed as a Fellowcraft and raised to the
degree of Master Mason.
Ephraim Kibby was born in New Jersey in the year 1754. As a seasoned veteran
of the Revolution, in which he was sergeant, he emigrated after the close of
actual hostilities in 1781 to the Southwestern Pennsylvania border, where
resided others from his native state. This region was constantly exposed to
Indian attacks and forays, and it was here that Kibby acquired his knowledge
of woodcraft and developed the skill in Indian fighting that afterwards made
him famous along the Ohio. Strangely, however, not many of his adventures and
exploits have come down to us, but it will be here recounted the few that are
known, although they are unfortunately in but the briefest outline.
After assisting Major Benjamin Stites, a noted frontiersman of Pennsylvania,
in founding Columbia, the first settlement in Southwestern Ohio, late in 1788,
and having a similar part in the erection of Cincinnati a month later, Kibby
became one of a number of hunters employed by contract to furnish buffalo,
deer and hear meat for the sustenance of the soldiers at Fort Washington. This
post was constructed at the latter place in the year following, lying about
five miles down river from Columbia. Once, of a party of six hunting in the
forest north of Cincinnati, all were killed in battle with the Indians with
the single exception of Kibby. Another time, when traveling alone, this
redoubtable adventurer, whose person apparently was greatly coveted by the red
enemy, was chased for twenty-four hours through the wilderness. However, being
in prime condition and exceedingly fleet of foot, he finally succeeded in
shaking off the relentless pursuit and safely reached his home at Columbia.
an officer in the frontier militia, Kibby was kept fully employed in the years
of the Indian war which raged for five years from 1790 and included campaigns
by Harmar, Wilkinson, St. Clair and "Mad Anthony" Wayne. In that of the
overconfident St. Clair he served as a spy, and doubtless was one of those to
"warn him of approaching danger," but whose reports were heeded not, to the
consequent slaughter of the American army. When Wayne was organizing his force
in 1792, in careful preparation for what was hoped to be the final action
against the troublesome tribes of the North, a first thought of this sagacious
soldier was the formation of a band of frontier scouts and spies to lead the
way through the wilderness. To this end Ephraim Kibby was named leader, with
the rank of captain, and doubtless to him was left the selection of personnel.
Its members, to the number of twoscore, were chosen from among the best and
most experienced Indian fighters of the Northwest, and henceforth were known
as Wayne's "forty famous scouts."
Roosevelt, in his Winning of the West, has this to say regarding the
employment of these rangers:
was on these fierce backwoods riflemen that Wayne chiefly relied for news of
the Indians, and they served him well. In small parties, or singly, they
threaded the forest scores of miles in advance or to one side of the marching
army, and kept close watch on the Indians' movements. As skillful and hardy as
the red wariors, much better marksmen, and even more daring, they took many
scalps, harrying the hunting parties and hanging on the outskirts of the big
wigwam villages. They captured and brought in Indian after Indian, from whom
Wayne got valuable information.... Among these wilderness warriors were some .
. . known far and wide along the border for their feats of reckless personal
prowess and their strange adventures. They were of course all men of
remarkable bodily strength, with almost unlimited powers of endurance, and the
keenest eyesight; and they were masters in the use of their weapons.
When figures with the widespread fame of Neal Washburn, Robert McClellan,
Andrew and Adam Poe, Ellis Palmer, "the Injun Killer," and ferocious Lewis
Wetzel, were numbered among these scouts, the choice of Kibby as leader at
once would establish his superior knowledge of the Western Ohio country and
testify to his great all-around skill and reputation in Indian warfare.
Furthermore, it points to qualifications peculiarly essential in the command
of hardened half-wild borderers, men who in their pronounced spirit of
independence found it ever irksome to work under orders, and who followed a
chosen leader only so long as it suited their convenience or inclinations.
Unquestionably Kibby's rangers were the greatest and most daring and desperate
band ever assembled on the American continent.
During the winter of 1793-4, while out on Wayne's campaign, he was scouting
with the famous McClellan in a howling blizzard and zero weather. The latter
after a time began to show signs of distress. Alone in a great snow covered
forest and unable at the moment to build a fire, Captain Kibby, with border
resourcefulness, killed one of the horses and slitting it open with his knife
made a large opening in the carcass. Then gathering up the benumbed and
stiffening McClellan, he placed him in the gory, but warm, aperture and in
this manner succeeded in saving him from being frozen to death.
When Wayne was gradually cornering the Indian tribes in Northwestern Ohio,
Kibby, in the spring of 1794, had opportunities to make several flying trips
to his home at Columbia; it probably was on one of these excursions that
occurred the marathon chase by the savages already mentioned. In March the
captain set out with a small party of settlers and killed two Indians who had
committed depredations in that vicinity. For this he was publicly
congratulated by Territorial Judge, George Turner, in a letter which was
copied in the Centinel of the Northwestern Territory, the earliest newspaper.
A month later the same publication notices that Kibby and ten men trailed a
body redskins who had stolen four horses from their settlement, and that
following a pursuit of many miles and his force overtook and defeated the
enemy in battle and returned in triumph with the purloined equines.
August, 1794, occurred the fast flying action of "Fallen Timbers," near
Toledo, Ohio, when the perfectly trained and disciplined troops of Wayne
smashed their way through the Indian lines in record time and put the savages
to complete rout, never again to be a serious menace to the peace and safety
of the white settlements of the Ohio. Although official accounts fail to note
the participation of Kibby's scouts in this battle, it is inconceivable that
men of their intrepid and warlike natures, after having been so conspicuously
employed, would be content to remain inactive when once the firing commenced.
Indeed, more than likely they were in the thick of the fighting on this
glorious occasion and added materially to their collection of scalps. Their
services after a time no longer required, this fierce and heroic band, whose
employment had proven of such value to Wayne, returned to Fort Washington,
where they were disbanded
The next known incident in the life of Kibby was the abortive duel already
related, with its unusual, and, to the onlookers, disappointing climax. This
occurred in the same year. It was shortly afterward that he was initiated in
N.C. Harmony Lodge. Just what prompted his action in petitioning so soon after
this body was organized, raises interesting conjecture. The answer, however,
is believed to lay in his undoubted close association with the officers and
soldiers of Wayne's army, in which a traveling military lodge was at work.
This was Lodge No. 28, under the registry of Pennsylvania, formed in the
spring of 1793, with Captain Robert Mis Campbell as Worshipful Master. Brother
Campbell was so unfortunate as to lose his life while leading a charge early
in the battle of Fallen Timbers. Numbers of Wayne's force were included among
the members enrolled in N.C. Harmony Lodge during its first year, an
illustration of the rush to the altar of Freemasonry that has obtained
throughout all the wars of this country.
The last adventure of Captain Kibby of which there is record occurred in 1797,
when he undertook the herculean task of cutting a road from Vincennes,
Indiana, to Cincinnati, a distance of more than 155 miles. After completing
the first 70 miles he in some manner became separated from his men in the
almost impenetrable wild. After a vain search of several days the undaunted
leader continued onward, blazing a path through the wilderness with no other
guide save the sun, moon and stars. Being left without his rifle, he was
forced to subsist almost wholly upon roots on his long and trying journey. At
last Brother Kibby broke through at Cincinnati, greatly worn from hardships
and exposure and reduced nearly to a skeleton from his exertions.
Not long hereafter he removed to the adjoining county of Warren, being one of
its early settlers. To this time he had shown quite versatile ability on the
border, having been hunter, Indian fighter and scout leader, surveyor,
township clerk and road builder. Now followed his election to the Territorial
and also the State legislature. After serving as inspector of Ohio militia
with the rank of major, this sterling character of the backwoods, unsung in
history except in one work as a "brave and intrepid soldier," passed away at
Deerfield, Warren County, Ohio, in 1809, at the comparatively early age of
fifty-four. Hardship and privation had their effect on the pioneers, even when
they escaped the perils of the wilderness.
(To be continued)
Study of Lecture Courses in Masonic Education
BRO. CHARLES S. PLUMB, Ohio
THE subject of Masonic education has been receiving special attention in
recent years. The writer does not mean to imply that educational work has not
had a place in the fraternity before that. The word special in this case,
however, applies to a rather modern phase of education. At the conferences
held at Detroit in 1927, and Cedar Rapids in 1928, the question was raised as
to what Masonic education really is. The opinion seemed to prevail with many
present, that anything whereby the Craft were benefited intellectually covered
Masonic education. One definition given at Detroit that seems rational is the
following: A method by which Masons will have a more intelligent comprehension
of the Craft.
the Cedar Rapids conference, Brother R. I. Clegg led with a paper on the
"Purpose of Masonic Education." He emphasized the fact that Freemasonry
especially relates to character, or a system of morals in action. This system
he thought worthy of study. He thought this a good time to lay stress on
education, following as we are a great period of extravagance. Brother R. J.
Meekren was inclined to begin with the study of history in its Masonic
application, and especially emphasized the study of the ritual. He referred to
the operative masons and their premium on morality and the symbols emblematic
of it. He thought we were really starting nothing new in modern Masonic
The writer has been especially interested in the various means of promoting
education within the Masonic group. This has been expressed in several ways
outside of the influence of the customary contact within the lodge during
stated or ritualistic work. No doubt the oldest and most common method has
been from special lectures. The use of Masonic books among English speaking
people has played its part since the day of the first edition of Anderson's
Constitution in 1723. During the course of two centuries Masonic literature
has grown into great volume. Masonic study clubs are of more recent birth, and
we learn of their organization in Iowa as recently as 1902 at Cedar Rapids.
These clubs have not in general proven a success. At the 1928 conference at
Cedar Rapids, where study clubs received much attention, it was agreed that
they could not expect to be successes, unless under inspired leadership. If
that was lacking, such clubs soon passed out of existence.
Masonic journals have been published many years in America, but they vary
greatly in purpose and merit, and have not thus far been used as special
mediums for educational work within lodges. Some of them have played a most
useful part in lodge uplift, but the influence has been more specifically on
the individual. Some lodges print monthly bulletins that are a credit to the
Craft, which, in their limited spheres, render good service.
careful consideration of the lecture system might impress one with the
superior advantage of this method of Masonic education, whereby considerable
groups should be reached. The lecture method has been made use of in several
ways. It has long been an essential factor in the degree work. Occasional
lectures not related to the degrees, yet bearing on the Craft, have been
given. Many lectures on the general beauties and inspirations of Freemasonry
have come from silver-tongued brethren, such as usually have a wide
application, and are prepared on short notice. Popular lectures have had a
place in the lodge room, whereby the brethren would be both entertained and
instructed, but not on things Masonic.
his Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Vol. 1, 1919 edition, the late Bro. Albert G.
Mackey discusses at some length the subject of Masonic lectures. From this the
writer offers some abstracts that are pertinent to the subject here under
Each degree of Masonry [he states] contains a course of instruction, in which
the ceremonies, traditions, and moral instruction appertaining to the degree
are set forth. This arrangement is called a lecture. Each lecture, for the
sake of convenience, and for the purpose of conforming to certain divisions in
the ceremonies, is divided into sections, the number of which has varied at
different periods, although the substance remains the same.
The application of the lecture to the three symbolic degrees is then briefly
explained, and Bro. Mackey continues:
must be confessed that many of the interpretations given in these lectures are
unsatisfactory to the cultivated mind, and seem to have been adopted on the
principle of the old Egyptians, who made use of symbols to conceal, rather
than to express their thoughts. Learned Masons have been, therefore, always
disposed to go beyond the mere technicalities and stereotyped phrases of the
lecture, and look into the history and the philosophy of the ancient
religions, and the organization of the ancient mysteries for a true
explanation of most of the symbols of Masonry, and there they have always been
enabled to find this true interpretation. The lectures, however, serve as an
introduction or preliminary essay, enabling the student, as he advances in his
initiation, to become acquainted with the symbolic character of the
institution. But if he ever expects to become a learned Mason, he must seek in
other sources for the true development of Masonic symbolism. The lectures
alone are but the primer of the science.
a rather extended consideration of the "History of the Lectures," Bro. Mackey
offers the following interesting opening paragraph, which is very pertinent to
the subject of Masonic education:
each of the degrees of Symbolic Masonry a catechetical instruction is
appended, in which the ceremonies, traditions, and other esoteric instructions
of the degree are contained. A knowledge of these lectures which must, of
course, be communicated by oral teaching constitutes a very important part of
Masonic education and until the great progress made, within the present
century in Masonic literature, many 'bright Masons,' as they are technically
styled, could claim no other foundation than such a knowledge for their high
Masonic reputation. But some share of learning more difficult to attain, and
more sublime in its character than anything to be found in these oral
catechisms is now considered necessary to form a Masonic scholar. Still, as
the best commentary on the ritual observances is to be found in the lectures,
and as they also furnish a large portion of that secret mode of recognition,
or that universal language, which has always been the boast of the
institution, not only is a knowledge of them absolutely necessary to every
practical Freemason, but a history of the changes which they have from time to
time undergone, constitutes an interesting part of the literature of the
The writer has been especially interested in a scheme for Masonic education
that might be consistently planned, which should not cover the ordinary
processes of the lodge, and that would appeal to a fairly representative group
of the Craft. With such a thought in mind, a lecture course seemed the only
feasible means of successfully carrying out the plans. Consequently, in
October, 1923, at a stated meeting of University Lodge, No. 631, of Columbus,
Ohio, a motion was adopted that a course of lectures in Masonic education be
conducted under the auspices of this lodge. A committee of three, consisting
of Bros. C.S. Plumb, L.E. Wolfe and B.A. Eisenlohr, was appointed to arrange
for such a course. This leads me to a rather systematic consideration of a
series of lectures on Masonic education. University Lodge occupies rooms in
York Temple in Columbus, the property of York Lodge, 563. Capital City Lodge,
656, also uses the same temple. Following the first course, it was thought
desirable for the three lodges jointly to promote a lecture course in York
THE COLUMBUS LECTURE COURSE
lecture committee was authorized to arrange for and supervise the conduct of
such a lecture course. The original committee of University Lodge was three.
The second course was supervised by three representatives from each lodge, or
nine in all. With the third course each lodge committee was reduced to two,
and again with the next course but one representative was appointed from each
lodge. The idea prevailed that appointments to this committee should represent
men who were interested in this special kind of work, and would give it their
best service. While different men have served on these committees, the writer
has from the beginning represented University Lodge, and served as Chairman.
Each committee man, I desire to say, rendered very worthy service, and
reflected credit upon his lodge.
The primary motive of each course was to present for the consideration of the
brethren, useful talks on Masonic topics that in general were not a part of
the ritual, and would give them a clearer knowledge of Freemasonry in general.
As the courses progressed, the endeavor was made to furnish better arranged
programs. Most of the invitations extended to lecturers were accompanied with
suggested topics. Each speaker was given to understand that the motive behind
the course was instruction, rather than entertainment. Six courses have been
conducted between 1923 and 1928.
The character of the lectures given is indicated by the following subjects,
not all, but most of which were suggested by the various committees.
Forty-seven lectures in all were scheduled, but seven of these were in fact
more or less short talks on special subjects. The following are the subjects,
under the dates given:
January 2, 1923 to June 5, 1924
Important Factors in Masonic Education, by C. S. Plumb, 32d, K.T.
Masonic Jurisprudence, by Ill. Bro. C. J. Pretzman, 33d, K.T., P.G.M. Ohio.
This was unavoidably postponed until the second course.
The Grand Lodge and Its Work, by Ill. Bro. C. M. Vorhees 33d, K.T., P.G.C.,
Masonry and Citizenship, by Ill. Bro. J. P. McCune, 33d, K.T., P.G.C. Ohio
Masonic Architecture, by Bro. Howard Dwight Smith, 32d.
Masonic Symbolism and the Ritual, by Ill. Bro. W. L. Van Sickle, 33d
Cerneauism, by Bro. F. H. Howe, 32d, K.T.
November 15, 1923 to May 15, 1924
Masonic Jurisprudence. (Held over from first course.)
The Old Constitutions, by Ill. Bro. J. E. Sater, 33d, K.T.
Albert Pike and His Work, by Bro. Henry P. Howe, 32d, K.T.
The Ancient Landmarks, by Bro. J.A. Bauer, K.T.
Negro Masonry, by Bro. R. C. Wolcott, 32d, K.T.
Solomon's Temple, by Rev. Bro. J.J. Tisdale, 32d.
Washington, the Mason, by Bro. G.E. Wood, 32d, K.T.
The Two Hirams, by Rev. Bro. W. R. Walker, K.T.
Masonic Journalism, by Bro. Bert Brown, 32d, K.T.
Masonic Library, by Ill. Bro. F. H. Marquis, 33d, K.T., P.G.M. Ohio
The Story of Freemasonry, by Bro. H. L. Haywood, then Editor "The Builder."
November 7, 1924 to April 17, 1925
Freemasonry in Foreign Lands, by Ill. Bro. Robert I. Clegg, 33d, K.T.
The Founding of Templar Masonry, by Ill. Bro. F.O. Schoedinger, 33d, K.T.,
P.G.C. Ohio. (Carried over from the third course.)
The Cathedral Builders, by Rev. Bro. M. H. Lichliter, 32d,
Our Greatest Light: The Book on the Altar, by Rev. Bro. A. H. Limouze, 32d
The Faith of Ancient Craft Masonry, by Bro. C.H. Merz, K.T.
The Story of Freemasonry in America, by Bro. H. L. Haywood.
December 21, 1925 to April 30, 1926
The Seeds of Freemasonry, by Bro. W.G. Sibley, 32d, K.T.
Night of Masonic Poetry and Song, Supervised by Bro. Grant Connell
Immortality; by Rev. Bro. A. H. Limouze, 32d, K.T.
Lodge Characteristics and Methods, by Bro. O.C. Riddle, 32d, K.T.
The Roman Church and Freemasonry, by Bro. David B. Sharp, 32d, K.T.
November 18, 1926 to April 15, 1927
Some Reference to Masonic Education in Ohio, by Bro. C. S. Plumb, 32d, K.T.
Freemasonry and the Church, by Rev. Bro. E. A. Krapp, K.T.
Tuberculosis and Masonic Obligation in Support of Treatment, by Bro. C.L.
Minor, 33d, K.T., G.M. G.L., Ohio.
Benjamin Franklin, M.W. Grand Master, by Bro. C. H. Valentine, 32d
Conferring the Entered Apprentice Degree at Bayreuth, Germany, by Ill. Rev.
Bro. H. G. Eisenlohr, 33d, K.T.
William Preston and the Masonic Ritual, by Bro. E.W. McCormick, 32.
The Temple Builders, by Bro. C.C. Hunt, 32d, G.Sec. G. L. Iowa.
November 22, 1927 to May 17, 1928
Mediaeval Operative Masonry, by Bro. C.T. Warner, 32d, K.T.
Rufus Putnam, by Bro. H. H. Maynard.
Masonic Traditions, by Ill. Bro. J. P. Kuhns, 33d, K.T., P.G.C. Ohio
Chester Griswold, by Bro. R.W. Taylor, 32d, K.T.
The Masonic Ritual, by Ill. Bro. H. S. Johnson, 33d, K.T., P.G.M., Gr. Sec.
John Snow, by Bro. J.E. Frahm, 32d.
Washington, the Man and Mason, by Bro. J.J. Tyler, P.M.
William B. Hubbard, by Bro. Simeon Nash, 32d, K.T., J.G.W. G.L. Ohio
Designs on the Trestle Board, by Ill. Bro. T. M. Stewart, 33d
Thomas Sparrow, by Bro. C.M. Vorhees, 33d, K.T., P.G.C., P.G.M. Ohio.
Masonic Philosophy, by Bro. H.C. Ramsower, K.T.
David N. Kinsman, 33d, by Ill. Bro. W. L. Van Sickle, 33d
Set the Craft at Work and Give Them Proper Instruction, by Bro. the Rev. Dr.
Joseph Fort Newton, 32d. K.T.
There are some very interesting phases to these subjects and the speakers.
Certain subjects, essentially religious, were presented by clergymen. Those
relative to lodge administration were discussed by Past Grand Masters of Ohio.
A number of biographical studies, especially in this last course, were handled
by local Masons interested in a study of noted Ohio Masons of other days. The
Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Ohio and four M.W. Past
Grand Masters of Ohio; one Past Grand High Priest, and three Past Grand
Commanders were among the list of speakers. After the first course it
essentially became a policy of the Committee to secure a distinguished
Craftsman from without Ohio, notable in the educational work of Freemasonry,
to act as the last speaker of the course. Twice Brother Haywood, then Editor
of "THE BUILDER," was the speaker, and he was followed by Bro. C.C. Hunt,
Grand Secretary and Librarian of the Iowa Grand Lodge, and by Bro. Rev. Dr.
Joseph Fort Newton of Philadelphia, Editor of the "Master Mason." Both Bros.
Newton and Haywood are noted authors of Masonic literature. Bro. Robert I.
Clegg of Chicago, on his return from Europe, in November, 1924, gave a talk on
"Freemasonry in Foreign Lands," and Bros. Marquis of Mansfield, Merz of
Sandusky, Sibley of Gallipolis, Johnson and Eisenlohr of Cincinnati, and Tyler
of Warren, gave valuable service as speakers.
is noteworthy that of this long list of speakers, over a period of six years,
not one failed to keep his appointment. Two unexpectedly were unable to be
present as scheduled, but met every obligation in the course following. Many
of the speakers used manuscript from which they spoke, while others presented
their subjects informally. The method of presentation seemed to make no
material difference in the interest of the audience. Emphasis, however, might
be made of the fact that the committee arranging these programs was fully
advised that each speaker possessed a personality and ability to address an
audience that should guarantee his success as a speaker. The speakers were
therefore secured with the knowledge of their fitness for the purposes
Each lecture was free. The first and last one of the course we planned to hold
on nights when no other Masonic function took place in York Temple. The other
lectures, as a rule, followed a stated meeting of one of the lodges, which
closed as near 8 p. m. as possible.
ANALYSIS OF TIME ATTENDANCE
The attendance at these lectures was made a special study. This was quite
overlooked in the first course. In the second and other courses, we recorded
attendance at some of the lectures. On Feb. 12, 1924, when Bro. Wood spoke on
"Washington, the Mason," 221 brethren were present, representing 49 lodges,
seven states and the District of Columbia. The maximum attendance in this
second course was 300, about the capacity of York Temple, when Bro. Haywood,
in brilliant style told "The Story of Freemasonry." In the third course, on
Dec. 16, 1924, there were 165 present, with 36 lodges represented. On Jan. 14
in this course, 202 were present, with 39 lodges represented. Again on April
17, 1925, there were 198 present, with 48 lodges represented. On April 15,
1927. at the lecture of Bro. Hunt, 219 were present. Of these 179 were from
Columbus and vicinity, and 40 from outside this jurisdiction. 45 lodges were
recorded, of which 13 were of Columbus, 28 of other parts of Ohio, and 4 from
without the state.
When we first began recording the attendance, we passed slips about among the
brethren, on which they were requested to write name, home address, and name
and lodge membership. This system was not most convenient, so we adopted a
plan to give each brother before the lecture began, a small blank voting slip,
on which he was requested to give this desired information. These slips were
very soon written and collected, and easily classified by lodges and states.
Prior to the 1927-1928 series, we had not kept a complete record of attendance
at any one course. Beginning with the sixth, we kept a careful record through
to the end. This involved much work, but furnished interesting and useful
information, which herewith follows. Attention here should be called to the
fact that in order to obtain more room for the lecture of Bro. Newton, by a
joint arrangement with the Blue Lodge Officers' Association of Columbus, and
the Temple trustees, the Scottish Rite auditorium in the Main Masonic Temple
in Columbus was used.
Attendance for 1927-1928 Series of Lectures
Date of Lecture No. Present Columbus Ohio Other States
Nov. 22, 1927 109 11 19
Dec. 15 100 12 12
Jan. 19, 1928 192 15 26
Feb. 22 131 14 14
March 15 94 13 11
April 13 74 13 9 2
May 17 160 20 38 14 72
Average 165.7 14 18.5
The above tabular statement gives one the more important figures representing
attendance. It will be noted that the attendance ranged from 74 to 460, with
165 the average. This course gives a high average because of Brother Joseph
Fort Newton, on May 17. Aside from this we have had other courses that no
doubt showed a higher average attendance. The record of lodges represented is
a most interesting one, with a minimum of 24 and a maximum of 72. Certain
factors will very readily explain the cause for the large number of lodges
represented. There are perhaps 15,000 Masons living in and about Columbus. The
Ohio State University has several hundred Masons, many of whom, living in and
about Columbus, have never dimited from the home lodge, and in reporting,
specify such membership. There are 28 lodges in the 14th Masonic District of
Ohio, and the attendance from these has varied. York Lodge, No. 563, with
about 2200 members, has invariably led in attendance at the lectures. On April
13 there were present 28 men from York, and on May 17 there were 90. At Bro.
Newton's lecture on May 17, there were 7 lodges from this Jurisdiction
represented with 23 or more members, with Humboldt, No. 476, showing 66, and
Magnolia, No. 20, 46. The number of Ohio lodges represented, outside of the
14th District, ranged from 9 to 38. Brethren also drove in from approximately
fifty miles away to hear some of the addresses.
During the entire course, eighteen states, the District of Columbia, Canada
and Scotland were represented at our gatherings. Colorado, Florida, Georgia,
Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, New York, North
Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, the
District of Columbia, Canada and Scotland show this wide distribution.
careful study was made of the records of each person in attendance at this
1927-1928 course of lectures. In checking up each person was placed in the
list in alphabetical order, with number of times at lectures placed against
his name. The total number of persons recorded as present was 721. A large
percentage of these had but one lecture to their credit. It is interesting to
note that 11 of the brethren attended each lecture of the course, 9 were at
six, 16 at five, 30 at four and 43 at three lectures. This comprises a list of
109 different persons, who attended from three to seven lectures in this
course, which one might regard as a very satisfactory showing. It is
especially gratifying that 20 of the brethren were present at either six or
seven of the lectures.
THE RESULTS ATTAINED
The beneficial effects of these lectures is rather difficult to determine. The
members of the Craft understood that they were purely educational, and if they
attended they were to listen to serious presentations of important subjects.
There were no entrance requirements, other than that one should be a Mason in
good standing. From three view points it is my opinion that these lectures
bore good fruit. The brethren took a keen interest in the subjects presented,
and after the meeting closed, in quite a number of instances, gathered about
the speaker and questioned him for more light. A number of the local speakers
engaged in considerable research in the preparation of their lectures, and
became much interested in their subjects. Some of these brethren, on request,
have delivered their addresses to Masons elsewhere, and so have carried
forward an important purpose in this work. Lastly, within the past two years
at least, it is notable that similar courses in Masonry are being introduced
in other communities in Ohio. Bro. Merz of Sandusky has promoted a valuable
course with Science, No. 50, and Perseverance, No. 329. At Warren, Bro. Tyler
has done a similar good work with Old Erie, No. 3. Some of the Cincinnati
lodges have conducted lecture courses for several years with real success.
Humboldt, No. 476, under the leadership of Bro. Meyer, the Secretary, has made
a notable record in holding special lectures, only partly Masonic, however,
during the past several years. Just how much influence the courses held in
York Temple may have had elsewhere, no one knows, but one is safe in saying
any credit is surely on the right side of the ledger.
EXPENSES INCIDENTAL TO THE COURSE
The expense attending these lectures has not been a serious one. No charge is
made for the use of the lodge room for this purpose. None of the local
speakers charged for services rendered. Brethren from other parts of Ohio who
participate have never asked more than their expenses. Only under certain
special conditions have more than expenses been allowed, and this in the case
of two speakers from other states, who were given slight honorariums above
their expenses. During the first two years of the courses we repaired to the
banquet hall after the lecture, and the brethren were given a light supper.
The third year this plan was abolished, without material injury to the
attendance. However, the last lecture of this and the other bourses was by a
distinguished brother from out of Ohio, on which occasion a complimentary
dinner was served. Brief advertising is given in the city daily papers for one
or two days prior to each lecture, and The Ohio Mason publishes a similar one,
and gives generous reading notices, both before and after each lecture, and
frequently publishes the address in full. The nature of the lecture course is
set forth in a four page leaflet about six by three and one-half inches in
size. Made of this size it easily fits in the pocket or in a standard small
envelope. The first is a title page; the second a brief historical resume of
the course; the third and fourth pages the program, with information regarding
each subject and speaker; and finally the names of the committee in charge.
The items of importance in expense have here been set forth. Anything else has
been of very minor importance.
Each of the three lodges conducting this course, bears one third of the cost
of the same. The course for the year 1924-25 cost each lodge $133.72; that for
1925-26, $91.00; that for 1926-27, $93.28; and for 1927-28, $107.07. In the
last item of expense, however, the Blue Lodge Officers' Association of
Columbus, very generously cared for the expenses of Joseph Fort Newton, but to
make the item of expense uniform, it is made a part of the average for each
should not close this rather lengthy communication without an expression of
appreciation of the cordial sympathy expressed by several Most Worshipful
Grand Masters of Ohio, over the lecture course at York Temple. They have shown
a most kindly and sympathetic interest. Here in the city of Columbus brethren
of Masonic distinction, of whom there are many, have rendered much valuable
service, and contributed whenever possible to a promotion of the cause of
Masonic education. We also feel a deep debt of gratitude to quite a number of
our Ohio brethren in various parts of the state, who have generously and
graciously played important parts in our programs.
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
years ago there was a war. It had nearly come to an end, but those in the
thick of it did not know that. Those years before. were a world nightmare.
Sometimes, to those who lived through it, the ten years since seem to have
gone by like a dream. Which was the dream and which the reality? Or is all our
life here a phantasmagoria of unreality?
in answer to that question that religions have been taught. Masonry follows at
a respectful distance, with the teaching that to do right, to be just and
upright, is what alone will give permanent satisfaction to a man.
termite, the so-called white ant of the tropics, is an industrious creature,
and collectively achieves wonderful things in the way of destruction - from
the human point of view - from the termite's side it is but the seeking of the
collective livelihood. The curious trait of this creature is that it will not
work in the open. Not that its operations are concealed exactly, but like men
in the trenches it advances by sap and tunnel. It will build a covered road of
mud when an open space has to be crossed. We are something like the white ant
in intellectual and spiritual matters. Between our naked souls and the vast
questioning abysses of the universe, the fundamental mystery of things, we
erect a shelter of conventions and conventional attitudes - the mental bases
of what we call our civilization.
where are we going and what is it all about? Apparently the present generation
does not care - it is enough that it is "on the way." It is doubtful if the
younger generation has ever really at heart had any very different attitude;
but that is not saying it is wise not to care. A man running amuck in a car in
a city street is wise and prudent compared to a community following its own
momentary fancies and fashions as to what is desirable for it - intensive
production and "progressive obsolescence" - oil concessions - large navies and
the like. The present generation has partly forgotten the war, in another
decade there will be another that has no remembrance. It is well perhaps to
think sometimes what it was all about - especially as so many now speak as if
it might have been avoided, was not necessary, and accomplished nothing.
contrary, it accomplished a great deal, and the price, though heavy, was not
too great. In America the watchword was to make the world safe for Democracy.
Pessimism has arisen because, so far from the world following the democratic
rule, it has outside of Anglo-Saxon countries turned towards dictatorships.
But here we must remember that Democracy as we understand it is not
fool-proof. It is a complex machine that needs skillful manipulation. It only
works among people who by hereditary experience have learned in some degree to
handle it. Underneath Democracy lies a wider and deeper ideal, one that might
quite well be attained in other ways than the cumbersome one of counting votes
and listening to political speeches.
the fashion to gibe at the efforts that have been made towards putting the
civilized world upon a peace basis. But one thing alone should give food for
thought. Before the war, war was not only one instrument of national policy,
it is not too much to say it was the instrument of national policy. Now when
the tenth anniversary of the Armistice comes round, those who returned can
feel that they did not serve for nothing, nor that their friends and comrades
who did not come back died in vain. The nations have formally and solemnly
agreed to renounce war as a means of furthering national aims and desires. It
is easy to say it is merely a pious hope, that such professions do not bind,
and mean nothing. It is not quite the same world as it was in 1913. Such an
undertaking would then have seemed madly impossible. Performance always lags
behind profession, but it yet follows. That such professions have been made
means at least that the peoples have at last come to suspect that war is not
inevitable in the nature of things, but that it is due chiefly to collective
stupidity. As a recent writer said, "There is wisdom enough in the world; what
the world needs is some machinery to apply it to its problems." In proposing
the recent Peace Pact the United States has once more thrown its influence on
the side of that ideal that underlies Democracy.
* * *
observe with - how shall we put it - with regret, tempered with amusement,
that our highly esteemed contemporary, the London Freemason, does not seem to
approve of the answer to a query published in the September number of THE
anonymous conductor of "The Question Box" in The Builder, St. Louis, U.S.A.,
answering a question as to whether a woman (wife, mother or daughter of a
Mason) is entitled to wear the Masonic emblem, says that the wearing of
emblems by anyone is to be regarded as a purely personal matter, and that if
there be no regulation for the Mason, it is obvious that still less can there
be for one who is not. "The propriety of the practice is another matter. It
would seem that while 'entitled' is hardly the right word to use, a woman is
at liberty to wear Masonic emblems and that there is no reason to object to
it. In any case we do not see how it can be prevented." The truth of the last
sentence is obvious; but that there is no reason to object to women wearing
Masonic emblems shows how far our brothers in America have gone.
really never occurred to us that the Question Box was conducted anonymously.
It has always been the editor's task, from the beginning of THE BUILDER;
though after the fashion of editors, the several incumbents of that none too
comfortable chair have as far as possible used the brains of brethren with
special knowledge to obtain answers. In this particular instance, however,
whatever of guilt and blame has been incurred must fall upon the editor's own
should hardly have noticed this comment here, only that it seems that our
confrere of the Freemason has got a somewhat distorted impression of what was
said, and seems to think it is an indication that American Masons have
diverged dangerously from the path marked out by the Ancient Landmarks. Let us
hasten to reassure him, and the English brethren who gain their information of
Masonic events from his pages. The opinion expressed in THE BUILDER was a
personal one, not in any way official, or representing any large body of
American Masonic opinion. To speak sooth we fully expected to hear about it
matter of fact the Square and Compasses, in the "familiar arrangement," have
been made much more of a sacred device in America than anywhere else in the
world. It is a tendency that we feel calls for protest, though doubtless it
will be of little use to make it. As we noted in the answer referred to, the
only devices or designs that peculiarly belong to the organized fraternity,
are first the armorial bearings granted to the Mason's Company by Edward IV in
1473, and the various arms and seals officially adopted by the various
sovereign Grand Lodges - we confine ourselves strictly to the Craft. It is
true that various jewels and decorations have also been formally adopted, but
so far as we have been able to find out, no Grand Lodge has ever officially
adopted the square and compasses, with or without the letter G, as a personal
badge or mark for its members to wear, in the way that has been done in other
orders and societies in regard to their emblems.
it is quite true that a number of American Grand Lodges have been interested
in, or availed themselves of, state laws forbidding, under penalties, anyone
not a Mason wearing a button, pin or charm with the square and compasses upon
it - for the information of our English brethren we may interject here that we
believe that in some states, by the strict letter of the law, a woman could be
imprisoned for wearing a "Masonic" pin - yet we repeat that so far as our
information goes, no Grand Lodge has ever formally, by resolution, adopted the
square and compasses. It has merely been taken for granted that it was
peculiar to Masonry.
this is simply not so. Every one of the crafts and trades that employ the
square and compass as working tools, and there are several besides the masons,
used this design in the past, and still use it, in some places, in the
present. The "familiar arrangement," for example, is frequently found in
Germany, on houses, on tombstones and elsewhere. It may be a token of
carpenters, bricklayers, stonemasons - as well as of Freemasons.
Furthermore, in regard to women wearing such ornaments, we believe it was much
more common fifty or seventy-five years ago than it is today - and for reasons
we indicated in the place referred to. It was done for a purpose, and a
purpose to which it would seem no Mason could see objection. Doubtless it is
done with the same purpose occasionally now, though the Eastern Star pin is so
well known that it has largely removed any occasion for such use.
finally is there any reason to object? As things are American Masons depend
altogether too much upon badges and buttons. Instead of making themselves
known to the Fraternity by the four perfect points, and to the world by the
four cardinal virtues to which they refer, they put on a button or charm that
anyone can buy in any jeweler's or pawnshop, and expect others to accept them
as Masons on the strength of it. If our contemporary had animadverted upon
this tendency of the American Craft we should have felt it to be fully
all lies in the sense of the word "object." Can we object, properly speaking -
we may dislike, be annoyed with, wish to prevent - but can we object to a
thing being done that other people have a right to do? We leave aside the
special cases where the law, mistakenly and improperly as we believe, has made
it a misdemeanor, but in general there is no such right, and historically we
have no grounds for claiming it. And besides this, unless we regard the device
as a sacred, tabu object, a fetich, is there any practical reason to be
annoyed or resentful? In the case of a man there is perhaps - if not a Mason
the presumption is that he is sailing under false colors. But in the case of a
woman there obviously cannot be any intention to deceive.
* * *
SPEAKING of the distance Masons in America have gone, we note another item,
although it again would not be fair to regard it as characteristic of American
Masonry as a whole. It is difficult for our brethren in other countries to
realize that there are not only forty-nine sovereign and independent Grand
Lodges in the United States, but also (without any great exaggeration)
forty-nine separate and distinct brands of Masonry. At least the different
Grand Lodges vary quite as much, and often much more, in legislation, ritual
and local traditions and usages, as do the three Grand Lodges of the British
Isles. Having thus prepared the way and warned our English readers it is not
to be taken as typical of American Masonry, we will relate the story that
appears in another of our contemporaries. According to this a lady approached
the Master of a lodge with a request for a petition blank, as she said she was
very anxious for her husband to become a Mason. She undertook to see that the
petition was duly sent in accompanied by the fee. This was sufficiently
unusual, but more extraordinary still, the Master of this lodge - instead of
explaining to the lady that applicants have to come entirely of their own
voluntary motion and desire, and not influenced by any other person, and that
therefore it would be impossible to comply with her request instead of
explaining this he gave her a form, which was subsequently sent in as she had
promised. What action, if any, the lodge took in regard to the matter does not
appear. All that can be said is that the Master exhibited a painful lack of
the most elementary knowledge of Masonic fundamental law, and no matter how
expert he may be in reciting the ritual he has never begun to appreciate its
does seem to be an idea growing up among the younger generation of Masons in
this country that the questions asked of the candidate are formal only, and
that they should be interpreted as narrowly as possible so that their
intention may be evaded by answers only formally true. Instead of being a real
test to weed out applicants, who though they may be good men will not make
good Masons, and there are many such, the desire is to open the gates as wide
as possible, and indirectly, "to compel them to come in."
supposed, for instance, that "improper solicitation" is restricted to
solicitation of friends who are Masons. There is no such restriction. The
influence or solicitation of a wife or mother or sister is just as improper as
that of a member of the Craft. We believe that many lodges are suffering from
a mass of undigested and indigestible material. It is not enough that a man
should be moral, just and upright, honest and under the tongue of good report.
He must want to belong to the Fraternity, he must have that element in his
make-up which is lacking in a great many men, that which finds an appeal in
ritualism, symbolism, and the whole idea of a universal brotherhood. Without
this disposition it will be better for him, and certainly much better for
Masonry, if he stay out.
is elementary; every Entered Apprentice should know it, but apparently there
is one Worshipful Master of a regular lodge who does not.
* * *
anyone first begins to acquire the habit of reading books, a habit that like
some others is easier to make than to break, the first stage is naturally to
think only of their contents. There are some people, of course, who take to
book collecting, as others take to collecting stamps, coins or old china. With
these we need not here concern themselves, except as they come under our first
classification as readers also.
reader of books, at first, takes them as they come. The binding, the place and
date of printing, even the author possibly, are quite ignored as insignificant
details. This is quite natural, for after all it is the primary purpose of
books to say something of interest to the reader. But after a time it is found
that these apparently extraneous facts may be of importance in more ways than
at first would seem possible. When the reader begins to specialize, as sooner
or later he must to some extent if he keeps on reading, he finds that in order
to judge the contents of a book it is sometimes necessary to know whether it
or another was first written, and so questions of editions and date arise.
Incidentally it is a bibliographical crime to publish a book without a date,
and something oriental with boiling oil in it, ought to be done about it.
who uses a library of any size, public or private, finds at once the necessity
of a catalog. A catalog is like a telephone or city directory, it tells us
whether such a book is there, and if so where to find it. But we find that,
useful and indispensable as directories are, they do not give the information
we would frequently like to have, and that it will save us time and trouble to
have condensed and in easily available form; and thus biographical
dictionaries of one kind or another have been prepared. Their practical value
is proved by the fact that not only are they to be found in every reference
library, but that many individuals find them indispensable, in spite of the
fact that they are all very expensive. A bibliography performs the same
service in respect to books that the Biographical Dictionary does for persons.
The latter is a "Who's Who," the former a "What's What."
field of books is so enormous that bibliographies have to be departmentalized.
Doubtless many educated people would be surprised to find out how many there
are. There are bibliographies of the sciences, of the arts, of history, of
archaeology and so on; and a good deal of work has been done in the field of
Masonic literature. The descriptive catalog of Bro. Carson's library was a
valuable bit of work. Wolfstieg's general Bibliography is invaluable so far as
it goes. The Library of the Grand Lodge of Iowa is preparing for publication a
full catalog of its treasures; while Bro. Quint is taking up the task in
Germany, and with true Teutonic thoroughness is proposing to devote the rest
of his life to it. In order to assist him we make an appeal to all Masonic
authors and publishers to send him copies of their works, large or small,
which will ensure their mention, and will greatly assist a project that will
be of incalculable value to the Craft in time to come.
* * *
EFFECTS OF TUBERCULOSIS
following item of news about the Missouri Masonic Home, published recently in
the MISSOURI FREEMASON confirms the numerous statements published in THE
BUILDER in the last few years about tuberculosis. The second paragraph is of
special interest. If the parents had been cared for, in time, perhaps they
would have been saved to rear their children. If they had been placed in a
tuberculosis hospital, in time, perhaps the children would never have been
infected. Freemasonry will now spend far more, in the effort to save these
children, and later to rear and educate them, than it would have cost to save
the father and mother. Whose the fault and whose the blame? Can those who have
opposed the effort to establish and operate Masonic Tuberculosis Hospitals be
free of guilt? Perhaps this tragic story of one Masonic family may stir the
Craft to action:
novel charge, has been on the hands of the Masonic Home of Missouri for about
four months, one that was not welcomed yet could not be avoided, and one upon
which is being expended every facility and care that can be commanded. The
charge is a boy, between two and three years old, in whom tuberculosis had
obtained more or less footing. Of course, the infant has been kept as isolated
as practicable and given the utmost care in the way of diet, etc., along with
every possible benefit from outdoor exposure to sunshine, and President
Waggoner notes with keenest satisfaction that traces of color are being
brought to its cheeks. The Masonic Home is not equipped for that sort of
demand, however, is strongly mindful of its obligation to protect members of
the family from contact with that or any similar dangerous malady, and
probably will place the child with the State sanitarium at Mt. Vernon as soon
as it reaches the age when it can be received there, now only a few months
infant is one of four children of parents who died of tuberculosis within a
short while of each other. They were Missourians, but went to Arizona in
search of health, without avail. The four children were brought to the Masonic
Home, being eligible by reason of the father's membership in the Order. All of
them bore traces of the malady that had orphaned them, but the three older
ones were removed to the Mt. Vernon sanitarium, where they are reported to be
Wilson has been Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Kansas for thirty-five
years. He has concurrently held the offices of Grand Secretary of the Grand
Chapter, Grand Recorder of the Grand Council of the same state for the last
twenty-one years and Grand Recorder of the Grand Commandery for eighteen
years. Recently re-elected, unanimously, in all these bodies, he asked to be
allowed to retire, not so much on account of age, but that he might be able to
devote all his time to the completion of a History of Freemasonry in Kansas, a
work for which he has been collecting material for a long time.
deep regret this permission was granted in each case, and it does great credit
to the generosity of Kansas Masons that his salary and honorarium is to be
Wilson has always been most helpful and ready to cooperate in any way possible
with the Research Society, and we are very pleased to learn that he will now
be enabled to carry out a work that should be a, valuable addition to the
literature of the Craft.
* * *
STEPHEN YOUNG TAYLOR
have received an In Memoriam booklet prepared for the Grand Lodge of Alberta,
A. F. and A. M. in honor of their late Grand Secretary, Bro. Stephen Young
Taylor, who died rather suddenly last March. Bro. Taylor was an active friend
of the N.M.R.S., which indeed has a larger number of members in Alberta than
in any other Canadian Province.
Taylor was born in August, 1866, in Huron County, Ontario. He entered the
teaching profession, and held various principalships in his native Province.
In 1906 he removed to Calgary, Alberta, and became principal of the Alexandria
Public School. Later he was on the Board of Trustees of the Calgary School
District. He was Grand Master of Alberta for the years 1915-16, and the
following year was elected Grand Treasurer, and the year after that, Grand
Secretary, to which office he was continually re-elected until his death.
Alberta recognizes two rituals, the so-called "York" or "Webb" work, and the
Canadian, which is based on that of England. Bro. Taylor was custodian of the
Canadian rite in Alberta and was very active in bringing the lodges that
follow this usage to a very high level of proficiency. Naturally, as a
teacher, he was not satisfied with mere parrot repetition of the words, but
used his position of influence to set a higher standard of understanding and
appreciation of ritual forms and symbolism.
behalf of the members of the Research Society, we desire to extend our
sympathy to our brethren of Alberta for the great loss they have sustained.
THE STUDY CLUB
Papers of the Cedar Rapids Conference
begin this month the publication of the papers read before the conference of
Librarians held in Cedar Rapids last May. The first of these documents is that
read by Bro. Robert L. Clegg, Associate Editor of THE BUILDER, and was the
opening address of the conference. The full report of the proceedings of the
meeting which was published in the September number of THE BUILDER makes it
unnecessary for us to go into detail regarding the purposes of the meeting.
Without further introduction we present Bro. Clegg's paper on
PURPOSES OF MASONIC EDUCATION
The very word initiation if it means anything means education. By initiation
we learn. By education we are also instructed. Initiation indicates individual
training. There is no initiation by proxy among Freemasons. We get it
ourselves or we don't get it at all. We have it conferred or communicated. We
follow guides. But we are not initiated by merely seeing or hearing or feeling
even if the eye, the ear, the hand, are intimately concerned with Freemasons
Brain and heart are the principal elements in Masonic education. Knowledge
deeply founded in the heart and wisdom exhibited by the mind are essentials to
the Freemason. Without these he falters and falls in his Freemasonry, with
them he soars in the spiritual realm.
Well, what is Freemasonry ? What has Freemasonry to teach? How may Freemasonry
be taught? These questions are always suitable for Masonic discussion. No
attempt will be made by me to answer them at length. At the very most all that
may be undertaken will be such comments as may, it is hoped, bring forth
Freemasonry refers to character. Over ten years ago, in THE BUlLDER, my
definition of Freemasonry was venturesome perhaps, but it is still my opinion.
Freemasonry is a system of moral knowledge in action. An older brother long
ago, Bro. A. T. Pierson, said it was the Science of Sciences because it
comprehends within itself that of all others. This was indeed all-inclusive
but did not give that touch of human warmth that we usually ascribe to
Freemasonry. Probably Bro. Gilbert Parker, the celebrated author, gets more
brotherliness into it. He says Masonry is not the exposition of a manufactured
article, nor is it a relevation. It expresses the underlying principles which
govern all the religions which the race has loved, and it is founded upon the
accumulated traditions which are necessities to humanity. May we not truly and
conscientiously ask ourselves are these things not worth sincere study? Do
they not deserve expression and circulation? Of course we are all well aware
of the various other definitions that may be given of Freemasonry. It is
indeed a system of morals explained principally by symbols pertaining to the
art and science of the building trade, and impressed upon the mind chiefly by
an allegory in dramatic form.
these most important elementary principles in Masonic ethics are, first,
reverence for God as the Grand Architect of the Universe, second, love for our
brethren; third, loyalty to the government of our country, and patriotism for
all our country's flag represents. With faith triumphant in God, mutually
encouraging hope in our cause, and abiding charity for all mankind we shall
fulfill the Masonic duties of brotherly love, relief and truth.
There are other basic principles of the Masonic Institution. Of these we may
here mention toleration, justice, sincerity moral rectitude. These are logical
outgrowths of our first step in Freemasonry the Entered Apprentice Degree
where we are taught such wise and useful lessons as prepare the mind for a
regular advance in the principles of knowledge and philosophy. These are in
our Masonic Institution imprinted in the memory by lively and sensible images
well calculated to influence our conduct in the proper discharge of the duties
of an honest, able, God-fearing life.
may therefore not regard Freemasonry merely as a memorial, but as an example,
not simply to commemorate, but to inspire. This Freemasonry of ours is not
just another secret Order in which to claim membership and accumulate degrees.
None other compares with it. The history of its progress, the caliber of its
real initiates past and present, the peculiar and significant methods of its
operation, and its universal exposition through the centuries in all the four
corners of the globe, are abundant and convincing testimonies to its unique
and surpassing worth among all human agencies for good. Next to the Church of
God it stands secure.
For those anxious ever to put upon us in any particular the customs and
trappings of any other organization there is but one thing to say: Hands off!
Initiation to the negligent may become but a dim memory, the solemn
obligations feebly remembered as to substance, but may we not hope for
recollection enough to maintain a fervent respect, a heartwarming love, and
some pride of possession for every brother in the enjoyment of his
affiliation. We all need at least to be reminded. Such is Masonic education.
promote such a competent sentiment for proficiency, to advance with emphasis
the serious claims of the Craft, and to increase the sterling pleasure and the
just pride in the search for more Masonic light is for me the purpose of
are builders carrying forward the designs of the Grand Architect. Our houses
are not made materially to last for a few years but for many, yes, eternally
in the heavens. And is there a better time to consider this education
carefully than now when the rush of successive ceremonies has somewhat abated
and we now face not the flood tide but rather an ebb in our rate of numerical
growth? At all events we can in this breathing spell the more fittingly urge
our brethren to join with us in unearthing and applying all that our Masonic
Institution has to teach.
Much of this instruction is especially individual. Man is ordinarily too much
a crowd. A man is often not enough of himself. Our eyes too frequently are
seldom raised from the heels of the fellow in front. The Golden Rule applies
to the individual. Each of us is responsible. It is a personal matter. We are
not expected to wait for some magical elevation of everybody at once.
Assuredly we all get raised to loftier heights by the efforts of the
enthusiastic and the stalwart who advance themselves and so lift the general
average. Yet the path for each is marked out by Masonic precepts. The heights
are within the range of Masonic Craftsmanship. The means to attain the goal
are by the quiet study of Masonic fundamentals, the ritual, the symbolism, the
regulations, the history and the objectives of its leaders.
May we not in our patient, helpful deliberation, one with another, also do
something to aid each and all of us to stem the stream of so much modern
reactionary movement at all events to re-direct and control the rising flood
in the world of rubbish? Are we not in our civilization altogether too apt to
overvalue the material and undervalue the spiritual, to overvalue knowledge
and undervalue wisdom, to overvalue quantity and undervalue quality, to
overvalue the body and undervalue the soul ? We often insist upon rights but
usually neglect duties. In every direction there are to be seen flagrantly
mistaken values for comparing play against work, standardization against
originality, state against individual, noise against silence. Let us not
overvalue the temporal and undervalue the eternal.
these preferable things is the substance of Masonic education. And the essence
of it all is individual.
Right here in Cedar Rapids were held conferences of honored Masonic brethren
in authority to deal with wartime problems. Here was the inception of the
National Masonic Research Society with which most of us have been for years
actively identified. In my mind and heart this present meeting appears as
another promising step in Masonic service having the active support of these
our Freemason brothers of Iowa and it is a happy omen of success that we have
their cordial encouragement and hospitable reception.
the conclusion of Bro. Clegg's address the program called for a discussion of
Masonic Education by Bro. F. H. Littlefield Executive Secretary and Treasurer
of the National Masonic Research Society. Bro. Littlefield was detained
unavoidably and Bro. R. J. Meekren, Editor-in-Chief of THE BUILDER, was called
upon to fill his place. His address follows:
am inclined to believe that in the consideration of the subject before us we
may find it useful, as in so many other things, to approach it from the
historical side. And as an aside, may I be pardoned for saying that I hold
that in a country with a democratic form of government, history is the most
important subject the schools can teach. The children of today choose the
government of tomorrow, and they need a grounding in accurate history to
enable them to function intelligently as citizens. I mean history, of course,
not mythology or propaganda, which is too often, in all countries, supplied in
History is popularly supposed to be the very ultimate the last word in things
dry, uninteresting and useless. But it is not. Everyone finds history the most
interesting and entertaining of subjects; it is in regard to historical
matters that everyone has the most lively curiosity only they do not know it
by that name. They have in their school days been introduced to some dry
bones, and told that that was the Muse of History. No one can love a skeleton;
it is flesh and blood and the "skin you love to touch" that excites admiration
and affection. To prove what I say, it is only necessary to call attention to
the fact, which I am sure has been equally your experience as it has been ours
in the Research Society, that there are no subjects on which more inquiries
are received than whether such and such a prominent man was a Mason, or what
influence Masons have had in the making of the Nation, in fighting its battles
or administering its affairs. And what is this but history?
return from this digression, however. I said that I believed the historical
approach might enable us to see the question of Masonic education in a new
perspective. It is generally agreed that our Speculative Institution was
evolved out of a Fraternity of actual working stonemasons of Operative
Craftsmen. To modern ears, the terms "workmen," "artisans," "mechanics," have
a smack of inferiority if not social inferiority at least intellectual and
cultural. It is therefore necessary to remember that a mediaeval craft was
differently organized and recruited than equivalent occupations today. Now we
have horizontal classification workers, superintendents, directors. Then,
roughly speaking, it w as perpendicular the employer designer, administrators
all began with the training and status of the worker. Mediaeval Freemasons
should not be spoken of as "mere artisans," with the present day implications
of the term. This point I regard as of great importance in any attempt to
evaluate the state of affairs in the original Operative organization in which
our modern Freemasonry has its roots.
would be entirely aside from the present subject to go into the probable
character of Operative Masonry on its Speculative side. We know practically
nothing about it directly, and it is impossible to speak of it with any
assurance. But there is some evidence, aside from general considerations, that
makes it quite probable that the Mediaeval Freemasons moralized upon their
working tools a simple and obvious symbolism of ethical character. To some the
evidence may seem conclusive. I prefer however, to distinguish always between
the three levels of opinion, the possible, the probable and the certain. There
has been so much loose assertion in regard to Masonic origins that it is
better to be cautious.
is also probable, perhaps highly probable, that there were ceremonies of a
primitive religious and magical nature of the type with which modern
anthropology and folklore have made us so familiar. These ceremonies could not
have been properly placed and understood in the eighteenth century, yet they
would inevitably have intrigued the curiosity of the educated men who joined
the Fraternity at the time it emerges into the light of history. With the
prepossessions and mental patterns of the period it was again inevitable that
this ritual should have been taken as the vehicle of some great and occult
secret, and that attempts should be made to interpret it in this sense. Thus
we have the multitude of high degrees which all professed to give the key to
unlock the mystery. The most significant and meritorious of these degrees have
been collected, with many modifications, into the various rites that still
exist, as the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, and the so-called York Rite.
Some of these degrees gave an occultist interpretation, others related the
symbolism to alchemy, others were theosophical others mystical, others
metaphysical. All were alike in that they assumed that Freemasonry enshrined a
great mystery, and in claiming to reveal it more fully.
Thus from the first, Speculative Masonry was what we should call educational.
It claimed to illuminate its initiates, to put them in possession of hidden
knowledge. And it will hardly be necessary to point out that our modern
rituals assume the same viewpoint at every step. The candidate comes with a
"desire for knowledge." It is through "the secrets of our art" that he is
expected to exhibit to the world an estimable and virtuous character; while
the central point of the initiation is the revelation of light, illumination.
our modern programs we are, therefore, making no innovation, or breaking fresh
ground, except possibly in the methods adopted; and even these are by no means
wholly new. Naturally, in our rather materialistic and practical age, we are
inclined more to a purely scientific treatment, yet the occult and mythical
schools still flourish among us. There is no orthodox doctrine in Freemasonry
and consequently there is no heresy. The brethren of mystical leanings, and
those who seek occult knowledge, have an equal right with the utilitarian and
historically minded. There has been, and still is, however, a tendency to
belittle one aspect of Freemasonry, and that even by some brethren of the
greatest eminence and authority. Just as the "mere artisan" of the Middle Ages
has been despised so also have the "trite moralities" of the symbolical
degrees been held up to scorn by those who sought "some great thing.” This
attitude has led to theories which assume that the Speculative side of
Freemasonry did not belong to the Operative Masons, but that their fraternity
was used as a veil or a disguise by some school of mystical or occult
philosophers, or by some noble and chivalric order suppressed and persecuted.
Anything, indeed, rather than admit a real fellowship with "common workmen."
Now it must be admitted that there is a difficulty here. We cannot possibly
claim that any new moral teaching is given the initiate. Indeed we will not
accept a candidate unless we suppose him not only to be acquainted with
ethical rules, but also esteemed to be moral and virtuous in his life and
conduct. At least that is the theory. What then does it mean ? Are
unnecessarily and foolishly putting him into the kindergarten again when he
comes to us with a graduate's diploma? It seems that it has been some such
idea as this that has led to the belittling of the moral teaching of the first
three degrees. But this is all a mistake. The symbolical teaching is not
directed to teaching a higher, and as yet unknown morality; but to the
practical end of putting what is known and understood into effect. Simple and
obvious as these moral teachings may be, they are yet fundamental, and they
are most hard to put into practice. We have to consider our symbolism as a
whole. Masons are builders. They do not build wholly for themselves, but for
the community. There is no need for every man to be able to cut stone or lay
brick, a comparatively few specialists can do all that is needed in that way.
This is the reason for the exclusive character of our Institution. It is a
body (supposedly) of picked men, who are trained to serve society at large.
For this end we are taught to labor first to improve our own characters, not
for purely self-centered reasons, but that we may build speculatively,
morally, for other people to make the world a better, happier and more
beautiful place to live in.
Once this practical side of Masonic teaching is grasped no one will be tempted
to sneer at its being a set of obvious platitudes. Furthermore, everything
else falls into its proper place about this central motive. We must improve
not only our characters, but also our minds, in order to better carry out our
fundamental purpose. All the various departments of Masonic study and research
are subordinate to this. To some they are of interest in themselves. That is
perfectly proper and natural. But they also have their place in the
functioning of Freemasonry as a whole, if it is to be what Freemasons have
supposed it to be from the beginning: an institution that through the
co-operation of its members tends to the general betterment of all mankind.
books reviewed in these pages can be procured through the Book Department of
the N.M.R.S. at the prices given, which always include postage. These prices
are subject (as a matter of precaution) to change without notice; though
occasion for this will very seldom arise. Occasionally it may happen, where
books are privately printed, that there is no supply available, but some
indication of this will be given in the review. The Book Department is
equipped to procure any books in print on any subject, and will make inquiries
for second-hand works and books out of print.
LAW AND CUSTOM OF FREEMASONRY. By Lewis Edwards. Published by A. Lewis,
London. Cloth, Table of Contents, Index, 253 pages. Price, $4.00.
begin a discussion of Masonic Jurisprudence leads into complications without
number. For this reason no attempt will be made to discuss the subject matter
of the volume under consideration lest we use as much space as the book
someone would attempt such a discussion of Masonic Law for each Masonic
Jurisdiction in this country the task of comparison would be made less
difficult than it is at present and there might come out of such works a
uniform code for all of our Grand Lodges. Such a consummation is devoutly to
be wished, but we fear impossible of realization.
present work deals solely with the Grand Lodge of England. It is divided into
six sections and two appendices. The titles will serve as a means of
estimating their content.
- Sources of the Law.
II - The Freemason.
III - Private Lodges.
IV - Provincial and District Grand Lodges; London and Overseas Rank.
- Grand Lodge and Its Boards and Committees.
VI - Masonic Tribunals and Their Powers.
Appendix I - Decisions of Grand Lodge and Its Committees.
Appendix II - Recent Changes in the Book of Constitutions.
work seems thoroughly authentic. The discussion is free from technical
language and is easily readable. There have been few enough contributions to
the subject of Masonic Jurisprudence and such a work as this is a most welcome
* * *
NEW MORALITY. By Durant Drake. Published by The Macmillan Company. Cloth,
Table of Contents, 359 pages. Price $2.65.
morals of the world today, both individual, national, and international, have
taken their place in the sun of comment. At various times during the past
several years there have been magazine articles, and not a few books,
published which professed to show us what was wrong with the world in which we
live. Doubtless there will be more of this to come. Whether our morals at the
present time are any better or any worse than they have been in times past is
a question which might be interminably argued. It is difficult to make
comparisons on anything like an intelligent basis. Morals, like everything
else, are constantly changing. They must change to meet new conditions - it
makes no difference whether the new requirements have to do with business,
with national politics, with international affairs, or with individual conduct
- the times are changing, there is no doubt about that, and changes in
environment mean new problems which must be solved upon the basis of a moral
real question is what shall our moral code be? Shall it consist in merely
following the dictates of our own consciences? Shall it consist in following a
set of laws laid down for the guidance of conduct under an environment
entirely different from our own? The real problem is, shall there be such a
thing as a definite, prescribed list of laws, carefully tabulated and
enumerated, or shall our moral code be a basic principle subject to
application to every possible contingency, and by which we can rightly judge
between exemplary conduct and wrong doing ?
of laws has been the standard of Christian morality for almost two thousand
years. Before that the same code was the standard of moral behavior among the
Hebrews for unknown centuries. This list is known as the Ten Commandments. Is
it, as it stands, applicable to all of the phases of life today? Or is this
code obsolete? Does it cover every possible contingency that may arise in the
complicated life of the present time?
are just a few questions which arise in connection with any discussion of
ethics. Let us look backward for a few moments and endeavor to analyze the
origin of morality. There are, perhaps, three definite branches to the root.
One of them will not fit in with the beliefs of the dogmatic members of the
churches known as fundamentalist. This is what we might call the Animal Origin
of Morality. Relative to this phase of the subject Mr. Drake says in The New
morality has its roots far back in the lives of our prehuman ancestors. It is
the product of millions of years of natural selection. Since this stern
process results, in general, in the survival of the fittest structures, we may
be pretty sure that morality has survived, persisted, developed because of its
conclusion he reaches in regard to the animal origin of morality is summed up
in a very few words:
Morality is, in its early stages, as natural and unconscious a development as
any other sort of animal behavior.
origin of morality which characterizes the fundamentalist and which to a large
extent differentiates him from the modernist in matters of religion is too
complicated a subject to be discussed in any adequate way in a review. Briefly
the "supernatural" morality owes its origin to religious development, but the
result as we see it reflected in present conditions is that
theological exposition and ecclesiastical edict, morality is stamped as, in
its origin and sanctions, the expression of His [God's] will. Thus a
contemporary churchman writes "God does not require actions because they are
right, but they are right because He requires them, just as others are evil
because He forbids them."
dangers of the acceptance of such a moral code may be summed up in the
voice from without, even of a Creator and Ruler of the Universe, could alter
the duties that inhere in the very nature and conditions of human life now
that it exists; such a command could not make right other than right, or wrong
other than wrong. If God is a conscious Being, aware of and interested in our
fortunes, he does no doubt wish us to do right; but the rightness or wrongness
of an act is independent of his desire, and just as real if there be no such
Being interested in it. [Durant Drake, Problems of Religion, p. 321, quoted
from The New Morality.]
ascription of morality to supernatural sources is not only irrelevant, it is
dangerous. A supposedly supernatural morality is above criticism and resists
other possible origin of morality is a kind of consolidation of the two
sources already discussed and there is no need for mentioning it in any detail
at the present time.
doubt we are in a position to answer some of the questions asked in regard to
the Ten Commandments a bit earlier in the discussion. First let it be made
quite plain that the reviewer does not consider it in any sense necessary to
discard the Laws of Moses. They are a wonderful moral guide, but is that all
there is in them? These laws were written before the day of radio, telephone,
telegraph, newspapers, big business, international politics, and countless
other things that might be mentioned. They can be made to fit all walks in
life it is true, but there is something lacking - they must be interpreted in
order to fit the needs of the present day. That is fairly obvious. Then they
are not literally applicable to all phases of modern life. Since, however,
they can be made to conform to modern life, they are not what might be termed
obsolete. There are certainly things that are not covered by this moral code
of centuries ago. What are the moral duties of a newspaper toward the national
government? What is the duty of the employer toward the employee? The Ten
Commandments made no specific mention of these things.
above everything else the Hebraic laws are supernatural morality. They are
God's gift to the people. They must, therefore, be infallible. They must not
be changed. Still, they are being changed. We believe in them as rules for the
guidance of personal conduct, but we do not believe in them as rules for the
guidance of nations, newspapers, or international councils. At least they do
not appear upon the statute books.
supernaturally inspired moral code is not acceptable to modern religion what
sort of a code shall we establish? Frequently mention is made of the Golden
Rule. That truly seems to be the sum and substance of the whole matter. It has
been said that philosophers took volumes to prove their contentions and their
followers used sentences to describe their theories. This is perfectly true,
even in the case at hand. Mr. Drake has taken a whole volume to say no more
than that our modern moral code should be to do unto others as you would have
them do unto you. But, and here is the advantage of the philosophical mind,
Mr. Drake says this in such a way that the average person can see its
application to every phase of modern life. The new morality of which he
speaks, to use his own words, can be summed up as follows:
morality which, basing itself solidly upon observation of the results of
conduct, consciously aims to secure the maximum of attainable happiness for
follow this line a little farther and see where it leads.
conscious beings had no capacity for pain or pleasure, for sorrow or joy,
there would be no sense in preferring one act to another, no meaning to
morality, no possibility of any sort of evaluation (of actions) at all... Yet
it is not widely recognized, at least with any clearness, that morality
actually serves to foster human happiness or lessen human suffering... It is
easy enough to see that most of our accepted moral ideals do serve that
purpose. But what needs clearer recognition is the fact that if any one of
these accepted ideals does not make for the greatest attainable human
happiness, it is a cruel ideal, not deserving of our allegiance, and in need
of emphatic repudiation.
is of prime importance is to see clearly that if an act has no tendency to
lessen the amount of happiness in the world, it is not wrong, and no
prohibition by man or God or conscience could make it wrong.
way to secure human happiness is to be moral; not, necessarily, to follow the
code accepted by the majority in a given community, for that may be a
distorted or inadequate code, but to be really moral.
Objects are not good because desired, but because, whether desired or not,
they are actually means toward the enhancement of happiness.
are just a few random thoughts gleaned from different parts of the author's
discussion which help to clarify the definition of the new morality which he
gives in the first sentence of his preface.
first part of the work is devoted entirely to establishing the necessity for
this definition of morality and to showing that it does fit the case. It is
easily seen that the author's plan does not encompass any aim to set a
definite set of rules for guidance, but to give one general rule which will
enable any intelligent person to weigh his actions and determine whether they
are moral or immoral.
the arguments in favor of this view well in hand Mr. Drake launches upon a
discussion of many of the important problems which confront the world today.
The problems brought to the attention of the reader are treated with respect
to America, but they are applicable to other nations as well. The presentation
is masterly and scholarly. The following are some of the phases of modern life
to which attention is called, at this time:
Self-Indulgence and Luxury. Lawlessness and Crime. Intoxication. and
Bootlegging. Marital Failures. Irresponsible Parenthood. Corrupt Politics.
Selfish Business. Privilege. Suppression of Opinion. Poisoned Journalism.
Demoralizing Art and Literature. Dogmatism and Indoctrination. Race Prejudice.
such an array of topics one would hardly think that a brief three hundred
sixty pages would be sufficient. The real defect of the whole book is that it
is too short. Mr. Drake has succeeded in writing a splendidly constructed
outline for a library of modern philosophy, or better, the philosophy of
modern problems. He has crammed so much into so little space that every
sentence is important, not one phrase or one word can be left unread else
something really worth while will be missed.
Perhaps, to many readers of this review, the subject will seem dull and
uninteresting. Usually philosophical discussions do fall into this category,
but there is one that is an exception to the rule. The reviewer knows one
professor of philosophy who has written more than one interesting novel. Mr.
Drake is not that man, but he has the knack, lacking in so many scholars, of
treating serious subjects in a vein that detracts not one whit from their
seriousness, but which adds a great deal to their readability and their
* * *
By Valeriu Marcu. Published by The Macmillan Company, New York. Cloth, Table
of Contents, Illustrated, Index, 412 pages. Price $5.65.
methods of biographical writing which are antithetical appear to comprise
about all that can be said for difference in treatment. Of course there is
every gradation between the two poles and these might, perhaps, be termed
other styles. Really, they are only variations. In one of the two major
methods a great deal of knowledge upon the part of the reader is presumed. For
example, in treating the life of a character prominent in history it
frequently happens that little or no description of the events surrounding his
life is included in the discussion. It is presumed by the author that the
state of society which makes for the development of the character described is
quite generally known by the readers. A life of Lincoln might perhaps be
written which made no mention of the battles of the Civil War, because the
history of this struggle is fairly well understood by most Americans. The
other treatment does not presume any knowledge of current conditions upon the
part of the reader and endeavors to show how closely the life of the man is
enmeshed in the history of his country.
this latter style that Mr. Mareu has chosen to follow in Lenin. The
advisability of such a practice is immediately apparent. There are few persons
who know very much about the progress of the Russian Revolution. The newspaper
reports of the time were garbled and, at least to me, were very confusing.
Things were changing so rapidly that it was very difficult indeed to keep
track of all of the developments in the new Russian Government. Baron Wrangel
wrote a book some time ago which was reviewed in the pages of THE BUILDER
called From Serfdom to Bolshevism. The book did not purport to be a history of
the past sixty or seventy years in Russia, but contained merely personal
recollections of the events which took place. Naturally the conclusions were
tinged with aristocratic bias. The reign of terror centering around the
transition from the second to the third decade of the twentieth century was
pictured in all of its gruesome horror. This was the Russia seen by the
Lenin we see, so to speak, the power behind the throne. We are shown the
reasons for such actions on the part of the new government and there is
painted for us the portrait of a man who was possessed of an all consuming
purpose. The years of his struggle to bring this aim before the populace of
his native land to endeavor to practice the theories that he had been
preaching for years, sometimes in Russia, again in Siberia, not unfrequently
in prison, and in more than one country in Europe as an exile from his native
country. In this frank discussion of the man nothing is lost except the horror
that most Westerners feel for the leader of the Bolshevist party.
Whether Lenin, whose real name was Vladimir Ilyitch Uhanov, was the tartar he
has so often been pictured, whether he was a menace to modern civilization
does not enter into our estimate of the man. Right or wrong in his theories
one cannot help but be convinced of his morality, if we may define morality as
doing the right thing according to his estimate of right or wrong. He was
sincere in his opinion that Socialism was the remedy for the ills that beset
the world. He worked with that aim in view. His every action was tinctured
with a real desire to be of service not only to the Russians, but to the world
at large. At one stage in his career he attempted to broaden the scope of his
activities. The failure of the campaign led him to the conclusion that the
world was not yet ready for the doctrine he was prepared to preach and he
turned all of his attention to solving the problems which confronted him in
his own land.
was always ready to listen to the voice of the people. He encouraged them to
speak, but - strange paradox - he encouraged them to talk along lines that be
dictated. Constantly in touch with the peasant he had the ability to analyze
their ideas and often promulgated doctrines or policies that they wanted
before they really knew that they wanted them. His analysis of popular opinion
was accurate and forehanded. His ideas were always subject to change. One
minute he was advocating capital punishment and terrorism because it seemed to
him that that was what the people wanted. This was not in accord with his
previous teachings, but when the wave of popular opinion changed Lenin changed
with it and reverted to his former viewpoint. His aim was to crush opposition
because it was only by full control that he could give his theories a chance.
in his experience he found that the absolutely socialistic state was not
practicable at that time. He accordingly modified his views to some extent.
The impression is given in Mr. Marcu's book that Lenin was very much an
opportunist. He kept the higher aim constantly in view, but was willing to
adopt any means at hand if it seemed that through this adoption his ultimate
goal was going to be better served in time. In this one characteristic Lenin
differed materially from the fanatic who sees only one all consuming purpose
and sees no possibility of modifying his views on unimportant points. Before
his death Lenin had succeeded in bringing some measure of order out of the
chaos. This in spite of opposition not only from within, but from the other
nations as well.
Whether or not we agree with the teachings of Lenin, we cannot help but admire
him for his fervent devotion to an ideal, his earnest desire to serve the
people, and his willingness to sacrifice personal gain for the common good. It
is said that even after his advent to power he refused to purchase a new pair
of trousers, though the ones he was wearing were old, ragged, and perhaps even
grimy. For years he had belonged to the poorest of the poor, and he continued
to be a member of this group even during his days of realization.
read Lenin is to revaluate the man. To study Lenin is to gain a new estimate
of revolutionary Russia. To do either needs some patience as the style of the
book is somewhat labored and the task of reading it is not as easy as it might
at first seem. The early days of his life are, or at least were to this
reader, dull, drab reading, but the days of power, the history of the Russian
Revolution was as fascinating as any story it has been my pleasure to read.
Unfortunately the publishers have not been too careful of misprints. There are
a few rather annoying ones that have remained in spite of the vigilance of the
proof readers. These do not materially detract from the book, but they do mar
* * *
STAIRS. By Joseph Fort Newton. Published by The Macmillan Company, New York.
Cloth, Table of Contents, 203 pages. Price $1.90.
JOSEPH FORT NEWTON is perhaps best known in Masonic circles as the author of
The Builders, but he has written and published numerous other works not
pertaining to Masonry. This is one of his works on religion - a book of
prayers that may be used either by laymen or in the pulpit. All of them
express a beautiful philosophy and a goodly number would be suitable for
Masonic use, though they make no pretense of being Masonic prayers. Many of
the readers of THE BUILDER who are interested in securing prayers for
different functions will find in Altar Stairs a book of no little value. That
it is of pocket size will undoubtedly add to its usefulness.
A MASONIC LODGE?
letter under this head that we published in the September number did not bring
out as much comment as might have been expected. The challenge of F. V. J. can
hardly be regarded as unimportant. Is it that our readers so completely agree
with what he says that there was nothing more to say, or is it that the
difficulties presented were too great? For a number of years now Freemasonry
in America has been in a state of rapid expansion, on the material side, in
numbers and wealth. The moral and spiritual side have become obscured. There
are definite signs that a period of slackness, if not of depression, is
setting in and it is time for us to return to first principles. The following
three letters are of interest. Bro. Feige points out what might be done, Bro.
Murray and Bro. Block each tell what they have themselves found as an answer
to the question.
reading the September issue I laid it on the desk so that I would not forget
to write you, there having been several articles which I wished to mention.
shall take the last one in the number first, viz., "Why Is a Masonic Lodge?"
opinion a good deal of benefit might accrue were this question to be discussed
quite thoroughly. I was formerly a member of the lodge in Woonsocket, S. D.,
and both in that lodge and in this I have on several occasions in speaking to
the lodge said that if all they cared to do was to meet to transact their
business and to make new members it might be as well to disband, and I can see
it no other way. It seems that there are a great many things that might be
accomplished by the large number of Masons if they would only get the idea and
work toward those ends, and once they were well started along these lines the
idea would grow and there is no telling how far they would go and what a vast
amount of good they would accomplish. Incidentally, there can be little doubt
but what the average lodge attendance would be immensely increased and all who
attended would be benefited more than ever before.
have made a good attempt to get lodges generally started in work which would
be of great benefit to all who participated, but it seems that in this, as in
almost everything else, it is extremely hard to do the right thing and I
presume that it will be a long time before it will be done.
every issue of "The New Age," except one number, bound up to and including
1915. I have every issue of THE BUILDER and some day when money is more
plentiful I expect to have all of them bound. Then some day it will be up to
me to decide how to dispose of them all in the best way. Maybe you could offer
a good suggestion along that line.
Feige, South Dakota.
letter from your correspondent F. V. J. of Kansas in the September number
demands answer. As you say in the footnote to his letter, it does not seem at
all easy to answer his questions generally and fully, but I would like to set
forth some aspects as they appear to me.
begin with, just what does Masonry (in the Blue Lodge) "teach"? It has no
dogma whatever; that which it "teaches" is revealed only by the study of its
symbols and these are interpreted differently by different people. No, Masonry
has no dogma and in this respect it differs from the churches. The only thing
that Masonry "teaches" is that it teaches you to think. The first thing that
it asks you to give thought to is a knowledge of yourself, and where can you
find a more difficult task than that? Next, you are given to understand that
you have a quest imposed upon you to determine the true name or nature of the
G.A.O.T.U.; in that it differs from the churches - in what way is a matter we
will not enter into here, for it is a big subject; that also is quite a task,
but you are greatly aided by studying the symbols. One thing you are taught,
and that is that you should educate yourself to study the arts and sciences
and thus improve your mind. Only by improving your mind can you arrive at a
knowledge of yourself and the true name of Deity. All churches have a
different creed and each has certain tenets; these you must subscribe to in
order to obtain membership therein; Masonry has no tenets and only one broad
creed. Other associations of men such as the Rotary Clubs, which your
correspondent refers to, have a written code of ethics. Masonry requires none
such, as ethics come spontaneously as you educate and improve your mind.
charity. Masonry is not a "charitable organization" in the generally accepted
meaning of the words. Masonic charity is charity of the mind and not confined
to charity of the heart. It is not the giving of alms. As your correspondent
points out, all cities have charitable organizations to that end, and
therefore Masonry is not required for that purpose. Our charity is charity for
the opinion of others, charity for them in their wrongful acts. Maybe the
churches are too hard in this latter respect; if so then we differ from them.
No, you will not find many edifices of stone and brick, you will not find
drinking fountains and signs for "Quiet" in hospitals districts, with a
statement that they have been erected or donated by Masons, and I do not want
to see any. But we give sums of money to charitable and benevolent
institutions nevertheless. In my city the Masonic bodies gave $20,000 to the
hospital but you will not find any tablets or cots dedicated, recording the
fact. We don't want them. The Scottish Rite gives away from $600 to $800
annually to the poor and destitute of the city. And there is no song about it.
During the 35 years I have been a Mason, during which time I have belonged to
six Blue Lodges, I could tell you all sorts of good deeds done by Blue Lodges;
not just to brethren of the Order but to outsiders.
Masonry is not a benefit society; if it were, there would be no virtue in the
benefits to its members; such benefits would be rights.
Kansas brother refers to Rotary and the "fellowship" therein. Now I happen to
be a Rotarian and an enthusiastic one. But I have to admit that much of the
fellowship lasts but an hour or so a week; we call each other by our given
names for that space; it is one of the rules to do so. But in the Masonic
lodge there is no rule or ordinance to this effect, but we do it. In the lodge
we refer to each other as Brother Jones or Brother Smith, but it is no
uncommon thing for us to refer to Bill Jones instead of Brother Jones. We just
can't help it. We call each other by given names because we have an affection
for each other; there is a tie that binds. If this condition does not exist in
your lodge, my Kansas Brother, there is something wrong. If we could get down
to the bottom of it, we would probably find that it is due to shyness. The
poorer brethren hesitate to get close to the brethren who are more successful
in a monetary sense. You are a Rotarian and therefore the recognized head of
your classification in your city; you have a fine opportunity to put Masonry
and Rotary into practice. Get acquainted; call some of the "lesser" brethren
by their first names; give them a smile, a handshake that has a real grasp of
friendship in it; start a topic in lodge; give them an inspiring or humorous
talk; break the ice; start some social affair this winter; by spring you will
be a popular brother and have some fine friends and be a good one yourself;
you will get real joy out of life and find that there is a "Why" for a Masonic
is a Masonic Lodge?" You will have a lot of answers to that but I want to
include mine. If my language seems to be too violent, you tell the brother
that it is that way for one purpose - to get itself remembered. Not to offend
anyone, because I love the brother just the same and maybe a little more so
for giving me this opportunity.
says "the teachings of the Craft are the same as the teachings of the church."
Are they? Does his church teach "Forget yourself, forget your desire for
preservation of species, forget your immortality? Travel the middle way as
hard and as straight as you can to the land of contentment?" If he has a
church like that - oh, brother - congratulate him. I can't find one.
where I can go and here the Master say, "I give it you strictly in charge ever
to walk and act as such."
church to which I have access teaches my religion. If I want further
exposition of its precepts I can get it only from constant repetition of that
ritual which puts thoughts in a man's mouth so tremendous that he cannot even
know of their presence.
to hear the doctrine expounded that "God is God and He has many prophets."
Where can I hear it except in a Masonic lodge room?
Christians teach "It is more blessed to give than to receive." That is only an
infinitesimal fraction of the truth which is that positively anything is more
blessed than to receive for what you take will be taken from you and what you
give you keep forever. Has the brother found these teachings in lodge? If not,
let him stay there until he does, for I am not the only one who has found them
does the brother contend that the teachings of the church which he finds
duplicated by the lodge are sufficiently well and widely taught by the church?
Then every mortal knows them and neither church nor lodge need teach further.
No teachings are to be taught. No teacher needs any excuse for so doing.
for his "real purpose" - to inquire why Freemasonry has nothing to which to
point with pride - let me doubt that this is the fact and conclude by saying
that if it is so it is because the Institution is innoculated with the germ of
selfishness so that it is so jealous of its Grand Lodge Sovereignty - its
wooden leg - that the Grand Lodges cannot surrender this insular idea and get
together for the good of the Order.
F. Block, Iowa.
* * *
your brotherly letter of July 26 my sincere thanks. I also thank you very much
for the pamphlets. Not one of them was previously known here, even by name.
You may realize how happy I was to get them. It is the American Masonic
literature which is so hard to obtain and I am therefore very much pleased to
have found someone who is interested in our laborious bibliographical work.
still greater pleasure you have given me in promising to give this work in the
future too your brotherly attention. It is such interest and assistance which
is necessary if the work is to be complete. For a single individual working
alone, such a task is impossible. Only with the support of the whole brethren
can it be carried out as we want to do it. I personally have taken it up as a
voluntary and gratuitous labor, because there was no one else to do it. Now I
acknowledge and see in this work my Masonic life - object to which I shall
devote every free hour and week, every free day and month, because I am
convinced of its necessity, and the labor is a great pleasure to me.
dear Bro. J. Hugo Tatsch, I have found a true supporter of my undertaking and
a rarely brilliant man. To him I am indebted for much valuable assistance. He
has sent me The Bulletin of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, which enables me to work
upon this one American periodical. I would like to work on other periodicals
too, but unfortunately I cannot afford to subscribe to them as I do not have
the money to spare, and no financial aid from any other source is available.
Therefore, my dear brother, I shall be very thankful to you for every little
contribution and I beg you now to be so kind and give my work your brotherly
attention in the future. Everything you may send will be very welcome and each
new item will bring us nearer to our goal.
years ago, a German Mason, Dr. Wolfstieg, compiled in two large volumes the
most comprehensive bibliography of Masonic literature that had hitherto been
published. He endeavored to make it exhaustive for the eighteenth century, and
for the nineteenth and twentieth he aimed at listing all important works and
everything published in German. The work was greatly needed and has proved
invaluable to students. But it is obvious that bibliographies can never be
absolutely complete. Bro. Hans Quint has taken up the task as a contribution
to Masonic scholarship, and be is desirous to fill up the gaps in his
predecessor's work and to bring it up to date. He also desires to include
periodicals. We strongly urge that every Mason publishing a pamphlet, or book,
should send him a copy for inclusion. He would be glad also to receive the
pamphlets and booklets that so many Grand Lodges are now having printed and
distributed. We suggest also that editors and publishers of Masonic journals
would be helping a really useful work if they sent him copies of their
publications, or even put him on their exchange lists.
will be glad to forward any material to him, but it would probably be better
to send it direct. His address is Dr. Hans Quint, 10 Mosenstrasse, Falkenstein
i. V., Germany.]
* * *
MORRIS ON ARABIC MASONRY
read with much interest the article "The Degrees of Masonry," which has been
published in the last three numbers of THE BUILDER. The question is raised as
to the number of degrees in the original rite.
think it was in the early part of the year 1882, that I listened to a lecture
delivered by the venerable Bro. Rob Morris of Kentucky, who is remembered as
the founder of the Order of the Eastern Star, also author of several books,
including Freemasonry in the Holy Land. In his lecture he told that one night
he went out of the city of Jerusalem, down into the valley where in a tent he
was given the Arabic form of the Masonic Order by several Arabs themselves,
the oldest one being then about ninety years of age. After the ceremony which
was only one degree Bro. Morris explained the ceremony used in this country,
for the three degrees, and the aged Arab brother said, "Masonry is a mass of
gold, we keep it all in one piece, while you divide it into three parts, it is
all the same." When Bro. Morris offered him pay for the work, the old Arab put
his hands behind him and said, "We don't sell this Holy Rite for money," or
words to that effect.
never seen this peculiar and interesting, as well as instructive, Arabic
ceremony in print, but I have told it in a Master Masons Lodge a number of
times. I am an old man, now about seventy-seven years of age, but perhaps
there are some other Masons living who may have heard the same lecture by Bro.
Morris delivered at about the date mentioned. That Arabic Masonic ceremony,
like certain religious creeds, seems to indicate a handing down for antiquity
some ideas pertaining to the Astrological signs of Aries and others. The
question comes, From whence did the Arabs get their Masonic degree? Perhaps
some of our research brethren have delved in on that line and may be able to
desired, I can send in another well authenticated story of a Masonic nature
pertaining to the American Indians at the Northwest of the United States.
* * *
you inform me who is the author of the following verse, and in what work it
touch the cup with eager lips and taste, not drain it;
and tempt and court a bliss - and not attain it;
fondle and caress a joy, yet hold it lightly,
it become necessity and cling too tightly;
Pardillio, Philippine Islands.
regret to say it is entirely unknown to us. Do any of our readers know where
it is to be found?
* * *
undersigned wishes to secure volumes 1, 3 and 6 of Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, to
complete a set. However the parts of unbound volumes of the same might be very
useful in completing a volume.
any reader of T.HF, BUILDER have a copy of a Bibliography of Masonic
Literature by Enoch Terry Carson, the writer would like to purchase, if for
Plumb, 1980 Indianola Ave., Columbus, Ohio.