The Builder Magazine
January 1929 - Volume XV - Number
Is Freemasonry Playing Its
Part In Promoting the Welfare of the World Today ?
The Third of a Series of Discussions of Over Ancient Fraternity and Present
BRO. HERBERT HUNGERFORD Author of Seeing Both Sides of Yourself
The question that Bro. Hungerford raises in this article is one of the gravest
importance, and we may certainty add, of peculiar difficulty also. It will
probably be taken in very many different ways, but we hope that it may lead to
a fresh scrutiny of the fundamentals of Masonry, and to consequent clarifying
of ideas. For there is undoubtedly much confusion on the subject of the
relation of our Institution to vital world problems, especially in the minds
of the younger generation of American Masons. THE ban upon discussions of
sectarian religious questions and partisan political problems in lodges has
proven a wise precaution on the part of the founders of Freemasonry. Let no
one misinterpret the intention of our present series of discussions as
suggesting the slighting of this sensible rule for promoting peace and harmony
among the brethren.
Like every good policy, however, this ban upon partisan and sectarian
arguments may be stretched beyond its natural limitations so as to read into
it a prohibition never intended by its originators and entirely contrary to
the basic objectives which the rule itself seeks to foster.
For example, where certain narrow-minded definitions of this rule attempt to
proscribe all discussions of the great problems of religion or of world
welfare, in my humble opinion, we are emasculating Freemasonry by a denial of
the cardinal principles on which our great fraternity has been established.
is easy for critics to claim that Freemasonry is not a forensic forum or a
debating club. No pretence is made to the contrary. But, does anybody deny
that seeking light, more light and still further light is proclaimed as the
central activity for all candidates for advancement in our mystic Order ? If
light-seeking does not mean investigating, discussing and studying the
problems of life, what does it mean?
brief, I contend that those who denounce this sincere effort to stimulate the
discussion of present day problems in Masonic lodges have lost sight of this
principal aim of our craft. We are seekers after true Masonic light. We are
builders of temples not made with hands. We profess the broadest principles of
benevolence and brotherhood and seek to serve humanity and advance the
interests of civilization. How can we accomplish these worthy aims and
endeavors unless we investigate, discuss and study the conditions of our world
today, and seek to make a practical tie-up between the principles and
practices of our ancient craft and the present-day problems of humanity?
Those who charge us with attempting to inject political and religious disputes
into our lodges, are deluding themselves and raising up a bogeyman. While we
do not prebend that weak, frail mortals will keep their discussions of any
proposition entirely free from expressions of personal prejudices and
partisanship, we maintain that the best way to minimize the amount of bigotry
and intolerance in any discussion is through the choice of subjects of such
broad and basic universal interest that the natural trend in their discussion
will be upon a high plane. In other words, it is the trivial and narrow nature
of the questions discussed which, generally, accounts for the airing of petty
notions and unkind personalities.
Real Charity Demands Real Understanding
we are to practice charity, in accord with the tenets of our profession that
the scope of Masonic charity is without limits, certainly this means that
Freemasonry is vitally interested and deeply concerned in all the real
problems of humanity everywhere through the world. The conclusion inevitably
follows that the investigation, discussion and study of world conditions and
world- wide problems should be a definite factor in every Masonic program. If
the outlook of Freemasonry is not a world-wide view-point, our professions of
universal benevolence and brotherhood would certainly seem like a hollow
Yet, we must confess that the charitable aims of some lodges we have observed
seem to be about as circumscribed as those of the old fellow who prayed
"Lord bless me and my wife and my son John and his wife us four and no more.
Before we can properly inquire (1) why (2), to what extent, and (3) in which
ways Freemasonry ought to participate in aiding the solution of present day
world-problems, we must first make some survey of these problems to discover
and decide what problems are of outstanding importance. This is by no means an
easy task, since we shall find no unity of opinion as to what is the most
important problem before the world today. In fact, we shall find that there
are almost as many claims that certain particular problems are paramount as
there are prominent leaders in various phases of world affairs.
For example, a few years ago, the writer was leader of an informal group of
members of the "younger generation" who, because of their propensity to engage
in red-hot debates on all sorts of subjects, were dubbed "The World Savers'
Club." One day, in this group, this question was raised, and as a result, on
the following day I wrote a note to about fifty persons, selected somewhat
hastily yet covering rather a wide range of view-points and interests and each
representing real achievements in a particular field of activity.
was both gratified as well as pleased to find that so many of these prominent
persons responded so promptly and with such evident personal interest to my
request that our World Savers' Club would like to have their views as to what
should be considered the foremost problem before the world at that time, about
four years ago.
Brief excerpts from the replies from a number of these well-known personages
are presented herewith:
What is the Most Important Problem We Are Facing Today?
REV. HARRY EMMERSON FOSDICK Preacher, philosopher, author.
"The provision of international substitutes for war."
DR. FRANK CRANE Prominent philosophical newspaper writer and lecturer.
"The promotion of a League of Nations or its equivalent."
EDWARD W. BOK-Former editor of The Ladies' Home Journal who offered $100,000
for the best plan for achieving international peace.
"The achievement and preservation of peace in the world."
SAMUEL UNTERMEYER One of the United States' greatest lawyers.
"The just distribution of wealth."
REV. JOHN HAYNES HOLMES Well-known preacher.
"The re-organization of industry in terms of cooperation and democracy."
HON. GIFFORD PINCHOT Ex-Governor of Pennsylvania.
"Equality of opportunity."
UPTON SINCLAIR Leading socialist, author, publicist, publisher.
"The abolition of poverty."
SOPHIE IRENE LOEB Chairman of National Child Welfare Committee.
"Elimination of pauperism among children."
DR. CHARLES W. ELIOT President Emeritus of Harvard University.
"Shall alcoholism and venereal diseases, acting in combination as they have
been doing for more than a century past, and aided as they are now by birth
control and the rejection by some women of motherhood as their most desirable
occupation, be allowed to extinguish before long the white race, or be
resisted to the utmost by effectual means now available."
BERNARR MACFADDEN Prominent publisher and leading exponent of physical culture
and sanity in sex-education.
"The general prevalence of venereal diseases."
WILLIAM J. BURNS Internationally known detective. "The spreading of radical
JOHN FARRAR Spokesman for the "younger generation" and former editor of The
"Shifting standards of morality among women."
NICHOLAS MURRAY BUTLER President of Columbia University.
"How to preserve personal, civil and political liberty in the face of a
movement which, by the use of conformities, aims to establish law-made
conformity and mediocrity for all."
CHARLES M. SCHWAB Head of the United States Steel Corporation.
"Making the most of our lives while having as good a time as possible."
CHARLES AUSTIN BATES Leader in the advertising profession.
"Making a living in a manner which shall be helpful to other people."
STUART P. SHERMAN Famous educator and essayist.
"The clear conception of an objective for our civilization. From a clear
conception of an objective, we might formulate a practical and binding working
philosophy. With a realistic and cogent working philosophy one could go to
work at producing a type of democratic character. And thus the movement of
disintegration now so observable in our society the movement towards
disintegration and anarchy might be checked."
GLENN FRANK Then editor of The Century Magazine, now, head of the University
"Can modern civilization morally control and socially use the results of
modern science? Every other problem is subsidiary to this."
JAMES C. PENNEY Founder of The Golden Rule Stores and publisher of the
OTTO A. ROSALSKY Judge of the Court of General Sessions New York City.
"The religious education of the young and the reeducation of the mature, where
HENRY SEIDEL CANBY Editor The Saturday Review of Literature.
"Preventing what the French call 'The petit bourgoisie' from vulgarizing our
DANIEL CARTER BEARD National Scout Commissioner and founder of the Boy Scouts
"The land question."
While some of those whose opinions are presented here have since passed to the
great beyond, I believe it will be agreed that the group, as a whole,
represents a fairly broad cross-section of American leadership. So, it seems
quite probable that any similar questionnaire today would bring forth a like
diversity of opinion.
brief, any broad survey of world-problems always will disclose a wide variety
of view-points as to the relative importance of all these problems. So we may
not hope ever to reach a common accord or agreement as to any one or two
problems being of paramount importance.
a matter of fact, it is not of utmost importance that we reach a common
agreement that one or another world-problem is of all- surpassing importance.
The more pertinent inquiry is to see if we can discover a common denominator
for all these problems; something that will act as sort of a universal solvent
to them all.
sincerely believe that there is such a common denominator solvent. Also, I
maintain that we shall find this solvent, this cure for the ills of the world,
in the basic doctrines and fundamental principles of Freemasonry. But this is
a matter of such importance that I intend to devote a second article to it.
Some New Year Greetings to the Craft
are very happy in being able to present to readers of THE BUILDER the
following letters and messages from a few of our friends among the Grand
Masters of the several jurisdictions of the country. They will be instructive
as indicating the special problems and immediate aims of the Craft in
different sections, and also inspiring as pointing to possibilities of a
practical kind, which, if followed up at all generally, may help the
Fraternity to actively realize some of its ideals, and to extricate our
organization from the state of inertia into which many of our keenest
observers believe it has fallen to a very considerable extent. It is the
beginning of another year, and we may well as Masons resolve, among other
things, that we will make a definite attempt to put the principles of Masonry
into our daily lives, and not leave them buried in the ritual, or as subjects
for lodge oratory, which we hear with a little thrill of pleasurable emotion,
and go away and forget.
Most Worshipful Bro. Hamp Williams comes first, chiefly because he is Grand
Master of Arkansas; but did not the alphabet put him in this place we might
have chosen him on other grounds.
GREETING TO THE LODGES AND THE CRAFT
as Masons are trying to make a better place in this country in which to live
for ourselves, our neighbors and our children. You may not belong to any
church but you are certainly interested in better society which adds to our
pleasure and safety. The principles of Freemasonry and the teaching of the
churches to our people lessen crime and afford greater protection to us, but
unless we progress there are a lot of lodges and a lot of churches in Arkansas
that are going out of business. Masonry is a progressive science and we should
not allow any lodge to die. When we do, it demoralizes the community and
discredits the Order. If I am properly informed there are some lodges in
Arkansas which are not fit places for brethren to dwell together.
What Masonry needs is evangelism, something that will set them afire with
brotherly love. Nobody ever follows the icewagon, they follow the fire-wagon,
which seems alive and breathes fire.
Masonry is not a mystery and there should not be anything about our lodge
halls that indicate mysterious acts within their walls. They are only a
mystery when their members are inactive, when the lodge hall is unattractive
and "spooky-looking." Our lodge halls should stand out like beacon lights and
they will if the lodges are functioning properly. If our lodge halls were
inviting and our conduct one to the other was good and we kept sacred our
obligations a small increase in our initiation and membership fees would not
keep good men out of the Order.
Anciently they never had to solicit men to become Masons. Their own lives and
acts one to another caused good men to have a desire to join with them. When
we reach a point where we need to solicit and advertise for new members and
give them the degrees on the installment plan, God help us. But it may reach
that point unless we wake up to a realization of our obligations one to the
Clean out all envy and jealousy in our minds- use a little charity and not so
much prejudice; use a little salve of affection on our sore spots; supplement
disappointments, regrets and vanities with a liberal supply of love and
gratefulness to the great God of the Universe for life, liberty and the
peaceful pursuit of happiness
Hereafter when I hear one brother Master Mason maligning another, I will at
the time or soon thereafter caution him and remind him of his obligations.
Have you not already agreed to do that?
Hereafter if I know of a brother Master Mason doing an unMasonic act, I will
go to him and warn him. Have you not agreed to do that also?
Master Mason who is a law-breaker and is unreliable is more dangerous to
society than a man who is not a Mason and restricted only by his conscience
and neither bound to God nor man by Masonic vows. Isn't that true?
Masonic lodges which have for their officers bootleggers, wildcatters and
law-breakers, if there are any such in Arkansas, will not fare very well
during my administration. Is this right?
Masons sixty years ago, when I was a boy, were outstanding in this country. To
say a man was a Mason conveyed the idea at once that he was a good man. What
does it mean today? Just what we make it mean. Are we living up to that
Belonging to the Masonic Order is one thing, to be a Mason is another. Is that
Wearing a Masonic emblem is to let folks know that you are a Mason, but there
are other ways of proving it which are more essential and lasting. Is that
pledge my Masonic lodge to which I belong that hereafter I will not speak evil
of any brother Master Mason. If I can't praise him I will say nothing. Will
you make the same promise to your lodge?
From this day hence, I pledge that I will watch myself more closely and be
very guarded and careful to say nothing disrespectful or disparagingly of any
person but more especially of a brother Master Mason or any member of his
family. Are you willing to join in this pledge?
are responsible to the higher orders of Freemasonry for the material they use
and we should not be jealous or envy a brother because he has the higher
degrees in Masonry. He is a child of a subordinate lodge. We are responsible
for his Masonic birth and he has assumed additional obligations of fidelity
which only strengthens his parent lodge and offers to the world a picture
beautiful and sublime, and builds a sacred temple dedicated to God and the
brotherhood of Masonry in the hearts of men.
Good Masons by the multiplied thousands are suffering and paying the penalty
of those who are sailing under false colors and who are Masons in name only.
What is the remedy? Turn them out and be more careful hereafter as to whom you
take into your portals. Am I right?
Our churches are continually reminding us of our duties to God and our
fellowmen. What are we doing along these lines?
"What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own
HAMP WILLIAMS Grand Master
This pregnant saying of the Master, who as at this time was born into the
world as a babe, is as true of institutions as of men. We may increase in
numbers and in riches to the stifling of the spirit and the final death of the
WORD FROM ARIZONA
Most Worshipful Bro. Lloyd C. Henning of Arizona has been ill, and in
consequence could send only the following brief greeting. But he, too, sees
the same need to stress the spirit of the Fraternity:
don't believe that I have any message relative to the jurisdiction of Arizona
that would be of any particular value to the Craft at large or more
particularly the subscribers to your estimable journal.
Masonry in Arizona is moving on the even tenor of its way with a healthy
increase in membership. We are interested in the tubercular situation at
Oracle and I think I stated that situation quite fully in a letter to the
Masonic Service Association which was published in the December number of the
Master Mason. I am rather hopeful that in time to come something may come of
the suggestions that I have made. Since the letter was written our Grand
Trustees have authorized an expenditure of $2,300 for repairs and improvements
to this property. That shows our faith.
closing I would just like to mention this thought which is perhaps not new and
would not be considered any message:
is, the longer I labor in Masonry, the more I am convinced that the good it
does to its own members is something that cannot be measured or tabulated in
statistics. It is within the inner man's spirit or soul that Masonry really
makes its mark. I am convinced of this more than ever even in this day and age
when all the old institutions of humanity are subject to ridicule. A good many
of our brethren seem to be impatient that we are not making the strides that
we should, or doing this thing or that thing for the benefit of humanity, but
I still have faith in the merit of our Institution, which is the humble
attempt to make men see for themselves the right path throughout this life.
LLOYD C. HENNING,
There is a feeling abroad, and not only among our younger members, that this
great organization should be doing something as such. There may be something
in that idea, though it is a path that has its pitfalls and dangers. Our
organization might at least be prevented from hindering group action among
Masons apart from and parallel to it. But this would follow inevitably were
Masons generally ruling their lives by our tenets and practicing the four
cardinal virtues. It is so much easier to demand corporate action instead of
working ourselves in our own sphere of action.
GEORGIA MASONRY'S TOMORROW
The Masons of Georgia have given Most Worshipful Bro. Raymund Daniel a second
term of office. They are to be congratulated upon their wisdom in doing so.
Bro. Daniel thus writes of:
year of efforts to re-establish the spirit of old Freemasonry- to rechristen
our faith baptized in the sacred waters of a holy past; a season of "putting
our house in order"; in insisting upon respect for and observance of Masonic
law, which too, upholds the statutes of the land- in clearing up old
obligations, and, with such things behind us, in looking forward to and
planning for bigger and better things for our Fraternity. Such was the year of
the Grand Lodge of Georgia that closed Oct. 30, last.
Outstanding in the twelve months' service was the completion of the campaign
for funds for building the $75,000 Tubercular Hospital for Little Children,
which will also be equipped and deeded by the Masonic Fraternity to the
commonwealth of Georgia as a unit of the State Sanatorium for Tuberculosis at
upholding Masonic statutes there were unfortunate instances which demanded
unpleasant action. Such instances always are to be regretted, but when
remedial efforts are inspired by and performed in conscience sought of God,
such actions bring out of problems the lasting results of good. Such good has
been demonstrated in the Grand Jurisdiction of Georgia.
Work has been begun on the Alto Cottage, marking the fulfillment of the long
cherished dream of Most Worshipful Joe P. Bowdoin, who, as Grand Master in
1922 and 1923, conceived the plan.
Every penny in the Cottage and many gifts are made up of pennies is the
imperishable declaration of those who forgot the self of today and gave that
little children may live to continue our world and build upward our
is doubtful if ever before members of any fraternity rallied by their
individual voluntary contributions to help all humanity as the Freemasons of
Georgia have. From over this Grand Jurisdiction responses came to the cry for
aid. On Georgia Craftsmen abides the commendation of a Heavenly Father,
Humanity and Little Children.
Gifts of every denomination have been made, from the one dollar by a blind
Freemason, to whom the dollar had been given for his own wants- from the
dollar by a lad who has worked for the money, on to the one thousand dollars,
given by an individual Craftsman; from the three little girls, who gave a
"Penny Show," and sent in their one dollar and seventy-five cents for their
unfortunate little brothers and sisters, to a lodge that subscribed over
The institution will provide fifty beds and an isolation ward of four rooms.
It will be open to children of all creeds and classes.
is the gift of Georgia Freemasonry to suffering little ones of humanity. There
has been no place in Georgia for a little tubercular child.
The hospital will be located near the main building of the State Tubercular
Sanatorium. It will be of similar design to the main building and in
conformity with the general plan of that structure. The hospital will be two
stories and a half in height at the rear, three and a half stories in front,
due to the contour of the ground. The half story, or attic, will be used for
the isolation ward. The building will be constructed in accordance with the
purposes and wishes of the Georgia State Board of Health. It is being built
with the cash contributions deposited in banks and will entail no cost more
than the donations in hand. The equipment will be made possible by the $19,000
pledges of various lodges and individuals.
the accomplishments of the past months have been laid the foundations for the
coming year, for the dawn of a better tomorrow.
the address of the Grand Master at the October annual Grand Communication, it
was pointed out that "the vital duty of and obligations upon Freemasonry today
are the revival of the old-time Freemasonry, brotherly love and relief, and
the inauguration of a program of Masonic education along old lines that will
bring pleasure and profit and create a renewed interest and attendance in
recognition of existing necessities, Grand Lodge fraternally saw fit to adopt
the following "Development Program of Nine Points," recommended by the Grand
(1) The ever-increasing desire for the carrying out of the Masonic tenets of
brotherly love and peace.
(2) A program of education for the development of the individual Craftsman,
for the advancement of the subordinate lodge and the upbuilding of the
(3) Consideration, establishment and inauguration by subordinate lodges of a
financial operation plan by which lodges can be placed on a more adequate and
agreeable basis for the conduct of its affairs and the fulfilment of its
(4) The strengthening of lodges.
(5) The establishment of a permanent voluntary subscription fund for the
Masonic Home and its proper enlargement.
(6) Advancement of the Penny Box Fund plan.
(7) Inauguration of further beneficial programs for Masonic District
(8) Extension of the Masonic County Conventions.
(9) Development of the Georgia Secretaries' Association.
The lack of interest in lodges, the decreasing attendance of members, the
consequent increasing suspensions and the drifting away of the Craft have been
and are a constant source of alarm and distress to all loyal members of the
Many causes have been set forth for this condition but to the Grand Master's
mind it is due to the fact that lodges, for the greater part, offer little to
interest, inspire or hold the Craft. There are other associations and bodies
that often afford greater pleasure and profit.
the hope of securing some advisory program which could be suggested, at least
as a basis to subordinate lodges, the Grand Master revived the former
Committee on Masonic Education and appointed thereon Craftsmen who have not
only considered educational advancement, but have achieved performances in
be of assistance to such a plan as well as to the committee and the Craft, the
Grand Master undertook a survey of our lodges by furnishing to lodges series
of questionnaires similar to those of the Masonic Educational Commission of
the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Missouri.
The report of the Committee on Masonic Education was one of the most
remarkable ever presented before Grand Lodge, and plans are now being formed
for the inauguration of Masonic programs. Local committees on education are
likewise being created in subordinate lodges.
The campaign for establishment of County Conventions is already showing
wide-spread results. Educational programs are to be employed in District and
Particular attention is being paid to the strengthening of lodges.
Most beneficial of all, is the manifestation of unity and fraternity as
Georgia Freemasonry, in a revival of brotherly love and understanding, awakes
and arises in its plans for future service to God and Humanity.
Next comes a greeting and review from the Grand Master of Illinois. Most
Worshipful Bro. Louis L. Emmerson is quite aware of the pre- eminence of the
ideals, but he sees also the importance of the business and administrative
affairs of our lodges. The spirit cannot function as it might if the organism
is not sound and healthy.
Again that tender anthem of "Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men" comes out
of the distant past as a whispered greeting to warm the hearts of mankind. It
is like an echo of the ages. Humanity, represented by a busy world, again
spreads the spirit of brotherly love and once more good will and good cheer
prevail at every fireside.
And now, in this glad season, I pray that the ideals of Yuletide and their
material expressions may be ever present with you and the New Year be filled
with peace, plenty and happiness. It is my wish that you may find yourselves
helped onward and upward to the summit of success.
The festival of the nativity, recently observed, has left with us many innate
feelings toward life itself. We take a broader view of life at this season
than at any other period of the year. We are lifted onto a higher plane of
action through introspection.
we turn our faces to the New Year, which has just crossed the threshold of
brighter hopes, we realize that the record of another year has been folded up
a year full of interest and activity. Institutions as well as men, should take
stock of the past and plan for the future. The year just closed reflects much
of development in our Order.
During the past year Masonry in the Grand Jurisdiction of Illinois has
continued to exhibit the same qualities of broad activity in growth and
stability which have characterized preceding years. We have enjoyed unusual
and happy advantages, and in peace and good fellowship have been permitted to
practice the noble tenets of our Order. There has been a large and gratifying
increase in those things that make for effective strength.
review of the proceedings of the several Grand Lodges reveals that in not a
few instances there has been a loss in membership for the past year. It must
be realized and expected that the death rate will continue to increase because
many in the Fraternity are advancing in years and must ultimately pay the last
debt. It must further be realized that the Fraternity is commencing to
stabilize, and that as soon as it can pass through the period of adjustment in
the matter of suspensions it will reach a point when the net gain per year
will attain normalcy. In times past there has been entirely too much stress
placed upon numbers, overlooking the important fact that the real growth of
the Fraternity lies in the development and expansion of the principles for
which it stands.
a rule Masons do not care for statistics, but facts of material interest are
disclosed in an exhaustive report compiled by the Committee on Financial
Research of the Grand Lodge of Illinois. This research represents an extensive
and exhaustive examination into the general financial condition of subordinate
lodges in Illinois. An analysis of the information obtained may be of service
to Masons elsewhere, and to that end I address my remarks.
determining upon the procedure to be followed, the committee decided that it
would concern itself only with the financial condition of Illinois lodges as a
whole, and not in any way go into the financial status of the individual
lodges as such. In order to make a satisfactory study, it was necessary to
secure from each lodge its figures of income and expense for the past year
solely for the purpose of arriving at totals and averages for the state and
for several groups into which the lodges could analytically be divided.
Returns were received from 804 out of 1006 lodges, or 80 per cent. The lodges
reporting had a membership of 248,176 of a total membership at that time in
Illinois of 290,642.
round numbers, lodges in Illinois spend annually $2,575,000 and take in from
dues $1,900,000, leaving $675,000 to be made up out of petition fees. Such
fees amount to $850,000, thus leaving a credit balance of $175,000. To this is
added sundry income from rentals and other sources to bring the total net
income to $250,000.
The assets of Illinois lodges, totaling $8,662,800, have been grouped into
four classes, comprising cash on hand, furniture and other paraphernalia,
investment in Masonic temples and other investments. Sixty-two per cent of the
total assets of the lodges has been pub into Masonic temples or temple stock.
The liabilities outstanding against these assets are comparatively small,
being only 19 per cent of the total assets.
The amount invested in Masonic temples is approximately represented by an
investment of $4,406.329. The assets per capita of the lodges are greatest for
those having the smallest expenses and income per capita.
is apparent from the several analyses made of the lodges grouped according to
their losses and gains in annual income that the amount of profit or loss
depends in only a small number of cases upon the amount of the income from
either dues or petitions. The fact that practically all lodges have
accumulated some assets indicates to me that they are not operated at a
financial loss every year.
From an analysis appearing in the report, it would appear that growth of
lodges depends on three things: First, location of the lodge in a center of
population where plenty of material is available; second, the enthusiasm and
vitality possessed by the younger lodges; and third, the maintenance of lodge
activities in the form of wholesome entertainments and other features aside
from strictly ritual work.
While the totals for the entire state show that Masonry is living within its
income and is putting aside a little money, the necessity for laying aside a
larger amount is apparent. It would, of course, be almost impossible to design
a standard budget that would be appropriate for each individual lodge. In
preparing a budget, however, it has been suggested through an analysis of the
report, that the individual lodges should give consideration to the following
Make a conservative estimate of expected income from dues and petitions based
upon the experience of preceding years.
Subtract the amount which it is planned to save and add to surplus for the
Apply the remainder to the various items of expense, cutting down on the
variable items, if necessary, to come within the expected income.
From a yearly budget prepared in this way, make up a budget for each month.
Monthly budgets are necessary for the purpose of checking actual receipts and
expenditures with the budget so that modifications can be made, if necessary
to meet reduced income or unavoidable increases in certain items of expense.
final picture appears in the report with an analysis of the item of
investment, particularly the investment of lodges in Masonic temples. This
picture is alluded to as one of sharp contrasts. In the shadows is shown the
sad failure of many temple projects and the vast sum of money sunk in
non-earning properties. In the high lights appear the careful, conservative
management necessary to accumulate the funds for these projects. Of course,
this does not mean that all temples are financial failures, and it is true
that a few eases may exist where the sacrifice of capital to provide Masonic
homes is justifiable. In several instances it appears that the very poor
returns from such investments and the consequent shrinkage in their value is
evidence that these investments have been unwisely made.
Too many projects are undertaken through vanity, either on the part of the
lodge itself to build a monument, or on the part of individuals to obtain the
glory of promoting such a project.
Most of the temples are being financed on a conservative and businesslike
plan, which is necessary to insure success just as necessary as in any private
endeavor. The one real value growing out of building a temple is that it
provides something for the lodges to save for. As a matter of fact, it is
argued that Masonry has no other financial object outside of its own
operations and expenditures for charity. The committee in its report on this
phase of the investigation recommends that the Grand Lodge should give careful
study to the possibility of controlling this temple situation.
From an analysis and careful study of the research made by the committee it is
hoped to disseminate practical information that should be of great value in
the solution of the financial problems that confront many of the lodges of
today. The report made by the Committee on Financial Research is worthy of the
attention of every Mason.
The true Mason, however, labors for the benefit of those that are to come
after him, for his is a poor ambition indeed which merely contents itself
within the limits of a single life. "The Spartan mother, who, after giving her
son his shield, said 'With it, or upon it,' afterward shared the government of
Lacedaemon with the legislation of Lycurgus; for she too made a law that lived
after her. Long ages ago the temple built by Solomon and our ancient brethren
sank into ruin when the Assyrian armies sacked Jerusalem, but the quiet and
peaceful Order of which the son of a poor Phoenician widow was one of the
Grand Masters, with the Kings of Israel and Tyre, has continued to increase in
stature and influence, defying the angry waves of time and the storms of
The New Year will furnish us the opportunity for added effort toward the
making of a stronger institution and the ultimate success of the Order will,
as it does now, depend upon the energy exerted by the individual brother
toward that end. We must all do our part, not part of the time, but all the
time remembering that "the strongest argument for or against Masonry is the
LOUIS L. EMMERSON, Grand Mastor
The lesson that seems most important to be drawn from this review is that
lodges should be able to meet their usual and normal expenses from their
membership dues. Fees in a well-managed lodge should go to form a reserve for
benevolent purposed In too many places lodges would go bankrupt had they only
their dues to depend on. It is unnecessary, for even the smallest and poorest
lodges can live within their income if they plan wisely and spend
GREETINGS FROM MAINE
Most Worshipful Bro. Harold E. Cooke sends a brief message. To paraphrase a
well-known saying "Happy the jurisdiction that has no history." The Craft in
Maine has evidently been fortunate during the past year, and we wish them
equally good fortune in the coming one. Bro. Cooke says:
extending brotherly greetings and best wishes for the New Year to all brother
Master Masons, I do so in behalf of forty-three thousand Free and Accepted
Masons under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Maine. Our year past has
been marked by the absence of anything sensational or unusual, but we have, I
trust, made substantial progress in bringing the body of the Craft closer to
the best ideals of Masonry, closer to our fellow-men, and through them closer
to the Grand Architect of the Universe. We have been privileged, out of our
own store of material things, to assist worthy brothers, not only within our
own jurisdiction, but to render substantial aid to brethren in those
localities which have been Scourged by tempest, flood and disease. These
privileges are among the highest which Masonry offers to its votaries, and to
be able to respond in such times of need is one of the greatest joys of
would bid our brethren, wheresoever dispersed over the face of the earth,
Godspeed in all their laudable undertakings and ask to unite with them in
efforts and hopes and prayers that the standards and ideals of Masonry will be
held even higher in the years to come.
HAROLD E. COOKE, Grand Master
WARNING FROM MISSOURI
now come close to the present home of THE BUILDER. Most Worshipful Bro. Byrne
E. Bigger, Grand Master of Missouri, writes thus:
response to your kind letter of Nov. 28, I would call your attention to the
fact that one thing the Freemasons of Missouri have accomplished during the
past year under the able leadership of Most Worshipful Bro. Ittner, was to
raise a voluntary gift of a block of twenty-five thousand dollars for the
George Washington National Masonic Memorial Association in addition to the
quota that the Freemasons of Missouri have heretofore contributed. For some
time Missouri has been in the one hundred per cent class, and has provided for
a maintenance of that one hundred per cent ratio, and in addition thereto has
made this contribution as a slight token of its appreciation of the
magnificent work of building the memorial.
Having well accomplished the task of national import the program for the
future lays in the development of the interest and welfare of the individual
lodge. Already plans have been under way and are being carried out that will
be beneficial for the revival of interest and the stimulation of further
interest in the welfare and prosperity of each individual lodge, large and
small, in every Section of the state. To this task the Deputy Grand Master,
the Senior Grand Warden, the Junior Grand Warden and myself have dedicated
ourselves and in every effort so far expended the lodges have responded nobly
Having thought in terms of national interests we must not overlook the fact
that the chain is not any stronger than the weakest link, and the link in
Masonic affairs is the individual lodge.
recent years the tendency has been too much to think in terms of national
Freemasonry and not enough in terms of individual Masonry. American
Freemasonry must learn to think in terms of both at one and the same time,
because the national program cannot succeed without the individual program
succeeds nor can the individual program succeed to its fullest extent without
thinking in terms of national Masonry. To arise to the best interests each
program must proceed hand in hand.
whole host of Freemasons have come into Freemasonry who have not bean taught
and who do not understand the fundamental and rudimentary basic principles.
There has been so much mass movement that there has not been a sufficient
amount of individual progress.
Missouri the program for the coming year is to make each Freemason a better
Freemason with a broader and more general knowledge of the purposes and
function of the great Fraternity and thereby a more efficient Freemason.
BYRNE E. BIGGER,
Bro. Bigger's warning should be heeded. American Masonry is weakest in the
individual links, in this sense: that in many of them the spirit of fraternity
is being lost and forgotten in a huge and imposing machine, an efficient, mass
production concern for grinding out degrees. How brotherly love, and intimate
friendliness and companionship are to be recovered is one of the most
difficult and in truth most pressing problems facing the Craft in America. It
is always something, however, to have a problem pointed out and defined. It
may not carry us far, but until it has been done, no constructive plan can be
The Grand Master of Nebraska, Most Worshipful Bro. Frank H. Woodland, touches
on the problem of education unhappy word! Yet there is no other to take its
place. First in place comes the foundation work of the ritual, then its
meaning and implications:
Illness and absence from the city have combined to delay my acknowledgment of
your kind invitation of Nov. 28 to send you a New Year's greeting to be
published in the January number of THE BUILDER, and I fear that this delay
will make it impossible to comply with your request.
Masons in Nebraska are gratified in the continued growth of the Fraternity in
this state, as shown by the last published reports. This increase in
membership, while small is, we feel, significant in view of the continued
business depression common to most of the states in this Mid-West Section of
the country. More gratifying than mere increase in numbers is the continued
interest in the welfare of the Fraternity as manifested by the large number of
building projects carried to completion in the last year by the Blue lodges
and allied Masonic organizations in this Grand Jurisdiction, each of which,
without exception, being well financed and giving every prospect that
financial difficulties, only too frequently occurring in the past, will be
Even more gratifying is the evident interest of the more active members of the
Fraternity in the study of the history of Freemasonry and their evident desire
to perfect themselves in the ritual, as manifested by the large attendance at
Schools of instruction which are carried on under the personal supervision of
the Grand Custodian. As an example, the writer attended the last session of
such a School the other day, at which twenty-five lodges in four adjacent
counties were represented, and more than one hundred members of the Fraternity
attended the all-day meeting which concluded the session of this School.
During the past year, Nebraska Masons have renewed with marked enthusiasm and
Success their efforts to raise their share of the contribution of American
Masons to the construction and completion of the George Washington Memorial.
Their failure in the past to keep step with most other Grand Jurisdictions in
carrying out this great undertaking was due to circumstances beyond the
control of those now in authority. Scarcely a week goes by without our being
able to credit at least one Blue lodge with having met its share, placed at $1
therefore face the New Year with the hope and expectation that the Craft in
this Grand Jurisdiction will continue in the future as it has in the past to
measure up to the duties and obligations we assumed at the altar of
Freemasonry, confident that the Fraternity will continue to do its share in
the promotion of the peace, happiness and well-being of the state of which we
are so proud.
Nebraska Masons extend through the courtesy of THE BUILDER to its brothers
throughout the land their best wishes for a happy and prosperous New Year.
Frank H. Woodland Grand Master
Now we have a word from the "hill country" of the West. Most Worshipful Bro.
Charles F. Cutts sketches a most interesting picture, which we could hope
sometime to have in more detail, of Masonry in wild places, where men come to
realize what it may mean, and what high purposes it may serve. Bro. Cutts
thank you very much for so kindly asking me to send you a word of greeting
from this western land. While I grew up as a lad in the far East I have come
to love and know this mountain country until it seems as if I had always lived
Nevada is a land of magnificent distances, a land of golden sunshine and blue
skies, but our population is scattered and small in number. However we carry
on the responsibilities of statehood, form social groups in fertile valleys or
on the slopes of high mountains of the mining regions, living quite as
wholesome lives, with as many varied activities as do our Masonic brothers in
the more populous states of the far East.
Masonry had its beginning here when Nevada was a territory. It has seen lodges
grow strong and fine and then disappear with the decline of our mining towns.
Often though, there will be found little groups of faithful brothers who still
love these ghost towns and live there, and who meet together with a fine
fellowship and so carry on.
Here in this mountain land Masonry draws into a sympathetic fellowship groups
of men with high ideals who have reverent respect for the ancient landmarks of
this noble Institution.
The purpose of our hearts as we face the future is to bring the inspiration of
these ancient symbols to meet the needs of the constantly changing conditions
of our every-day life. We cannot escape the fact that the masses of humanity
only move forward as they respond to the intelligent advance of their leaders.
To meet fairly and frankly our responsibilities and problems as a great
fraternal organization is to test our own advancement and breadth of vision.
We cannot shut ourselves away from the crying voices demanding help and
assistance we cannot escape the destiny of our responsibilities.
The future of mankind, the stability of a growing and more intelligent
civilization, can only be assured when men have fixed in their hearts the
eternal principles of righteousness and justice.
Just so long as we live together as an organized society for a common good and
a common happiness, so long will it be necessary for men to plan and work for
a greater and kindlier tolerance, for less prejudice and bigotry, and so
create a practical, helpful spirit of cooperation.
it not within the power and destiny of this age-old organization, composed as
it is of thoughtful representative men of their communities, to mold and
change for better such forces as are known to be destructive into forces that
shall make for the best and wisest growth of this structure we call life?
Shall we not learn to see that all humanity is of one blood with common hopes
and fears, that the great ideal and hope of mankind is to work for a real
spirit of unity?
was an old philosopher of long ago that said, "When man will not help man the
end of the world is come."
CHARLES FRANCIS CUTTS, Grand Master.
Masonry, indirectly, in the efforts and influence exerted by Masons, might be,
and should be, one of the great formative social influences in favor of world
peace. Peace that is merely a negation, or the result of negatives cannot
live. It must be positive, active. We must live, and act for it, first in our
lives and then in the life of the community. When the standards of right and
wrong that Masonry, in common with the churches, upholds as between man and
man, are also admitted as binding upon states and nations, then the question
will solve itself.
NEW MEXICO'S ACHIEVEMENTS
Most Worshipful Bro. Samuel E. Wood, Grand Master of New Mexico, speaks of the
relief work being done in that state. And relief work in the Southwest, as our
readers well know, means almost entirely tubercular relief, and the relief of
sojourners. We have many times acknowledged the honor due to the Masons of New
Mexico for what they have done in this matter. New Jersey, too, must also
receive honor for the contributions which she has made to this pressing work.
Masonry in New Mexico has had a good year. Unless there are an unusual number
of suspensions for non-payment of dues we should show a fair gain in
membership. A majority of the lodges are active and doing good work. Relief
work is being carried on quietly and earnestly and only in extreme eases
beyond the financial resources of the subordinate lodges is aid requested from
the Grand Lodge relief fund.
Our Masonic Home fund totals approximately $100,000, all invested in
Government bonds. This fund will undoubtedly be allowed to accumulate into an
endowment fund sufficiently large that the interest therefrom will be ample to
take care of our aged and infirm brethren, not in a Masonic Home, but among
friends and neighbors.
The Grand Lodge revolving student loan fund amounts to approximately $4,000,
and is in great demand by college and university students requiring assistance
to complete their education. Great credit is due to the loan committee who
have so judiciously handled this fund. The same committee is also handling the
Knight Templar Educational Loan Fund with equal success.
The Sojourners' Club, at the Government Tubercular Hospital, Fort Bayard, N.
M., is the particular pride of the Grand Lodge of New Mexico. The Sojourners'
Club was brought into existence shortly after the close of the World War by a
few of the Masonic brethren, patients and employees of the hospital with the
idea of aiding their less fortunate brethren. Neighboring lodges at Silver
City, Santa Rita and Hurley became interested and aided in this work in every
way possible. Through these lodges the work being done was brought to the
attention of our Grand Lecturer, M. W. Bro. John J. Kelly, who in turn brought
the matter before the Grand Master M. W. Francis E. Lester. Bro. Lester
visioned the wonderful opportunity for service to our afflicted brethren and
started a campaign to raise funds for the club. The Northern Jurisdiction
Scottish Rite contributed $25,000 to erect a suitable club building, the
Southern Jurisdiction Scottish Rite assisted in furnishing, and many of our
sister jurisdictions have contributed liberally. The Grand Lodge of New Mexico
annually contributes $1,500 towards the support of the club. The Grand
Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, the Grand Commandery and the Grand Chapter, O. E.
S., of New Mexico, are liberal contributors. In addition to this many of the
subordinate lodges and Eastern Star chapters remember the club at Christmas
time with liberal offerings.
From a relief club aiding in a small way, the Sojourners' Club has developed
into not only a wonderful relief organization but has become the social center
of the entire hospital personnel. Here the ladies of the post entertain their
friends in the spacious and cozy tea room. Here the patients who are able to
leave their beds enjoy the conveniences of the well-stocked reading room and
write their letters on stationery furnished by the club. Then there is the
billiard room, where the boys pass many pleasant hours. The spacious
auditorium, equipped with stage projection booth, Victrola and radio, is the
scene of many entertainments and social gatherings. The Club is open to all.
The Sojourners' Club is under control of the Grand Lodge of New Mexico. Its
affairs are administered by a committee of three appointed by the Grand
Master. Both the Grand Lodge and the Sojourners' Club are fortunate in having
such a capable and efficient club secretary, Bro. Paul R. Gantz, who was one
of the organizers of the club and a former patient of the hospital. Bro. Gantz
not only looks after the financial affairs of the club but helps to arrange
the entertainments, visits the bed patients daily, writes their letters and
gives aid and encouragement in every way possible. He also makes two or three
weekly trips to Silver City to shop for the boys who are not able to get out.
means of an amplifier and ear phones all the confined patients are able to
enjoy the entertainment from the radio world.
Loans are made by the club to those requiring temporary assistance, and to the
credit of the patients requesting these loans, very few remain unpaid. Gifts
of clothing and necessities are also made to those without sufficient funds.
The work of the club is not confined to members of the Craft, but is extended
to all. There are many stories, some with tragic some with happy endings,
hidden within the records of the club.
The cost of operating the Sojourners' Club varies from $6,000 to $7,000 per
year. All funds are placed in the hands of the Grand Secretary and paid over
to the club monthly in such amounts as needed upon recommendation of the
committee and the approval of the Grand Master.
Everything in the way of hospitalization and up-to-date medical treatment is
being done by the Government for our boys, but the social contact and
entertainment features supplied by the Sojourners' Club has proven a wonderful
aid in keeping up the morale of the patients.
present there are 330 patients in the hospital, 50 of whom are Masons hailing
from many jurisdictions. The capacity of the hospital is 440 patients and the
prospects are that the hospital will be filled during the coming year.
The Grand Lodge of New Mexico deeply appreciates the aid we have received in
the past from the Craft and Masonic organizations, and trust that we will
continue to receive encouragement and financial support in this splendid
The Grand Lodge of New Mexico is also sponsoring the work of the Trowel Club
at the Tubercular Marine Hospital, Fort Stanton, N. M., contributing $50 per
month for the work being done by this club.
The Masonic tubercular problem is still with us. Like Banquo's ghost, "it will
not down." our afflicted brethren continue to come to the dry climate of the
arid Southwest, "chasing the cure," many of them without sufficient funds to
provide the bare necessities of life. It is pitiful to be compelled to dole
out charity to these brethren when rest and hospitalization is what they need.
Our dream of a National Tubercular Masonic organization has been shattered.
Many of our sister jurisdictions state that migration is not necessary, that
they are willing to take care of their own at home, that the National
Tubercular Sanatoria Association as instituted is too unwieldly and cannot be
efficiently managed. These statements may be true, but nevertheless our
afflicted brethren continue to come, and we cannot turn a deaf ear to their
the last annual communication of the Grand Lodge it was decided to take over
the work of the National Masonic Tubercular Sanatoria Association and handle
this work through the Grand Lodge, placing as many of our afflicted brethren,
who need hospitalization, in existing sanatoriums as our funds will permit.
With approximately $22,000 that the Masons and Eastern Star of New Jersey have
so generously contributed and with the $1 per capita tax voluntarily assessed
by the Masons of New Mexico, we can materially aid our brethren for a time at
SAMUEL E. WOOD Grand Master.
THE MAIN ISSUES BEFORE THE CRAFT
Most Worshipful Bro. St. Clair Smith, Grand Master of South Dakota, calls
attention to the same problem as others of his fellow rulers have done, but
from a somewhat different point of view. Pride of antiquity is good if it
inspires to emulation of the great achievements of antiquity. Otherwise it is
but an opiate, "dope," which leads to degeneration and decay. He sums up the
true function of history in a single sentence. It is indeed the only guide we
have to the future, without it we are blind and can only blindly guess. But
perhaps even more important in this message is the insistence that Masonry is
not a mere system of copy book moralities, but is designed to aid in the
exceedingly difficult task of putting those same trite moralities into life
and action. It is labor, work, not talk.
You have requested an expression of opinion as to what may be done to enhance
the effectiveness of Masonry in America. The purpose of this letter is to
The same method of keeping attention fixed on the main issue which has so
contributed to the success of organized business needs application in the
administration of our beloved institution of Freemasonry. The lore of Masonry,
the majestic sweep of its history, its heroes, its ritualistic ceremonies with
the accompanying insistence upon the right word, and its gala days have so
engrossed the interests and occupied the potential of the Craft, that too
small a proportion of our strength remains available for the accomplishment of
its objective. In fact, so much stress has been placed upon these aspects of
Freemasonry in our assemblages and in our literature, that to many these
things have come to represent the institution itself. Pride in a past has
become more important than the opportunities of today and tomorrow. Just as
families of strong fiber have gone to seed through such a process, so will
Masonry be dwarfed.
Our objective, as I understand it, is to increase the capacity of men to live
wholesome, successful, satisfying lives, and by thus moulding the character of
the individual, raise the level of present and future civilization. We cannot
travel far on the road towards achievement with our eyes fixed on the past.
Neither will men enlist themselves to the task of preserving a history. We can
afford no more time for our history than is required to discover the lessons
it teaches as guides for the future. Our energies and all of our intellectual
powers are required in a study of the men who constitute the raw material on
which we propose to exercise our skill, and in the analysis of methods
available for the accomplishment of our bask.
Masonry offers to men an understanding of the simple laws of conduct governing
successful living. Because of the complexity of present day civilization men
are more confused and bewildered and more in need of an understanding of the
fundamental and practical laws of living today than at any time in history.
Therefore Freemasonry has a larger place in our social political and economic
life, and a greater opportunity than at any time during its history. It can
only embrace its larger opportunities effectively by improving the efficeciney
of its methods of instruction, and by adapting those methods to the psychology
of the day. Men of today pride themselves in being practical above all else.
Anything that can be branded as idealistic is handicapped in advance in its
appeal. The lessons of Masonry are in fact intensely practical when applied to
everyday life because no success can be attained without their application. We
must present them in a practical as well as in an idealistic manner.
Supplementing our method of instruction need in no manner change the body of
Masonry. A literature, a slogan, group discussions and councils are needed for
the purpose of impressing upon the apprentice in life that not only his
personal and practical interests, but his selfish interests demand that he
honest. moral, just, friendly and charitable: that time is given him that he
may exchange it for knowledge; that he can only succeed in any phase of his
life by increasing his capacity; and that no human talent or skill expands
except through use. The trade apprentice was kept in close personal contact
with his instructors over a long period of time. Under our practices, when we
could make the greatest impression on the life of the apprentice, we are
satisfied with little more than demanding an exercise of his powers of memory.
By constant reiteration we need to teach him that a true Mason gives of
himself and can be no less than a certain type of rugged, wholesome,
trustworthy friendly man. Every man who kneels at our altars must be
repeatedly brought face to face with his personal responsibility to himself,
to Freemasonry and to society to measure up to our standards. None of this
should be done haphazardly, but should be followed out according to a well
thought out plan. We need an organized and directed program of
Masonry will not long be honored and loved for what it has been. It will be
Judged by the conduct of living men.
This year could well be spent in seeking new and supplementary methods of
translating the lessons of Freemasonry into the lives of practical men.
ST. CLAIR SMITH Grand Master.
RELIES IN SOUTH CAROLINA
Last comes Most Worshipful Bro. William A. Giles, Grand Master of Masons in
South Carolina. He speaks of the relief and benevolent work of the Craft in
his jurisdiction, and it is to us exceedingly good news that South Carolina
Masons have undertaken the erection of a hospital unit for tubercular cases.
Every step taken in this direction will prove an incitement for others to go
and do likewise:
The Grand Lodge of South Carolina extends fraternal greetings to the Craft
The past year in the Grand Jurisdiction of South Carolina has been one of
material progress. We have no Masonic Home, instead we have a Masonic Relief
Fund of approximately $160,000, the income from this fund being used to take
care of aged and indigent Masons and widows of Masons in their own homes and
among their own kindred and friends.
The orphans also are cared for in the home when it is possible to do so, but
if not, we have an arrangement with the four denominational orphanages in the
state whereby they take our Masonic orphans and the expense is borne from this
fund. In addition to the income derived from this fund we have a per capita
tax of $1 on every member in the state which is used entirely in this way.
Last year we expended about $31,000 for this purpose. The figures are not
available for this year, but the amount is gradually growing each year.
The crippled children's hospital at Greenville is maintained and supported by
the Shriners, but the Grand Lodge appropriated $1,500 this year to be used in
improving and beautifying the ground. There are a large number of children on
the waiting list.
The Educational Fund of the Grand Commandery has also been successfully
handled and many young men and women are enabled to complete their education
who might otherwise have never had a chance to do so.
But to me the outstanding work of the year was the erection of a sixteen-bed
unit at State Park for T. B. patients. This is a state institution and we have
the peculiar situation that a sufficient amount of money is always
appropriated by the state for maintenance, but none for buildings. At the last
report made to me there were over 180 on the waiting list, about 40 per cent
of these being young women.
Unless outside aid could be obtained most of these would die before they could
be admitted, and the Grand Lodge, recognizing this need, appropriated $10,000
to erect a unit at State Park and present it to the state. This was accepted
and the building is now complete and in use. In addition to this we are now
attempting to raise, by voluntary contribution from Masons and lodges in the
state, a sufficient sum to erect a twenty-eight bed unit for women, and while
the amount raised is yet comparatively small, I am much encouraged at the
reports from the several districts in the state, and I believe we will be
successful in building this unit also. I feel that this step, which was taken
by the Grand Lodge at its last annual communication in March, has been the
most outstanding accomplishment of Masons in our state in many years, because
it is for the good of humanity in general and Masons have no claim ahead of
anyone else The above gives a brief outline of what we are doing in a
charitable way. our Educational Director, C. K. Chreitzberg, Past Grand
Master, is doing a fine work, and the reports from all sections of the state
confirm me in the belief that the Grand Lodge made no mistake in adopting its
educational plan, thus giving Masons an opportunity to learn what Masonry
really means, and I think the results so far are very encouraging. W.A. Giles
behalf of members of the Research Society and other readers of THE BUILDER the
Editor expresses his gratitude to these brethren who have taken time in the
midst of the cares and responsibilities that throng upon them to send us these
messages. With such leaders the Craft should go on to greater and higher
achievements. We in our turn may wish them all happiness and success in their
efforts in this New Year just begun.
Monks and Masons
is a widespread opinion among Masonic writers that our Freemasonry is
descended from a "traveling gild" of cathedral builders, which formed, as it
were, the engineer corps of the church, and was more or less under the
protection of the Pope and under the supervision of the Bishops. The theory
was first started, apparently, by Elias Ashmole, the well known antiquarian
and Mason, and seems to have been later adopted, as an opinion, by Sir
Christopher Wren. Masonic authors have been repeating it ever since until, in
comparatively recent years, some who prefer facts to fiction have been bold
enough to throw doubts upon it.
Naturally the original theory was embroidered. In book after book we are
confidently assured that the early Craftsmen, and especially the masters and
architects, were mostly monks; that their skill and intelligence was far
superior to the general level of culture of the period; and that the Masonic
ceremonies were, owing to this intimate connection with the ecclesiastical
organization, largely borrowed or adapted from church ritual. Further, it
followed that the cathedral builders were quite apart from the common stone
workers of the gilds and had no fellowship with them, and finally that the
decay of the Operative Fraternity was due to the Reformation, and the
consequent cessation of all church building.
The difficulties presented by this theory are obvious to anyone in the least
acquainted with medieval history; or would have been, had any thought been
given to the matter. To take the last statement: church building did not cease
with the Reformation. And supposing it had done so in Protestant countries,
why should it have affected those countries which remained unreformed?
Then Churches and Cathedrals were not the only buildings erected in the Middle
Ages. While it is true that houses were generally of wood; there were
municipal buildings, gild halls, town halls, Royal palaces; and more than all
the rest put together probably, the fortifications of cities and castles. And
while, very naturally, castles were not, on the exterior, embellished with
mouldings and sculptures to any great extent, yet many municipal buildings
were as lavishly decorated as any cathedral.
There is just one consolation that we, as Masons, may take to ourselves for
this blind following of opinion in place of facts; it is that others have been
equally guilty. It has been very generally accepted by everyone that to the
monasteries the art and science of architecture owed its preservation and
re-emergence into western civilization.
this connection the recent work by Dr. G. G. Coulton, Fellow of St. John's
College, Cambridge; is a most useful corrective. Dr. Coulton is an authority
on the history of the Middle Ages, especially on the less known social and
economical aspects of that restless and active period, and in this latest
book, Art and the Reformation, he makes a real contribution to Masonic
history, all the more valuable, perhaps, because he is not a Mason and has no
intention of dealing with the subject from our point of view. He is also
singular among nonMasonic authors in that, where his subject has touched upon
the history of the Craft, he has gone to Masonic works. He quotes the Masonic
historian, Gould, quite freely, and is familiar with the Halliwell (or Regius)
Poem and the Cooke MS. of the Old Charges; though not in the magnificent
editions published by Quatuor Coronati Lodge. It is rather curious that he
should have remained in ignorance apparently of these publications, and of Ars
Quatuor Coronatorum the Proceedings of the Lodge, as there is much valuable
material that might have been of service to him. It shows how little the sound
work that has been done by Masonic students is yet known to the outside world,
even among those whose special subjects parallel or even penetrate the field
of Masonic historical research.
Dr. Coulton sets forth his object as being briefly to trace
. . the rise and decay of Medieval Art, and thence to argue that its origin
was less definitely religious than is commonly supposed; secondly, that its
decay was gradual a logical and natural consequence of its evolution and
lastly, that its deathblow came not so much from the Reformation as from that
general transformation of the western intellect which we can the Renaissance.
Sixteenth century cartoon from Nuremberg, shoving lay brethren building the
monastic church at Schoenau.
Art he limits, for his purpose, to Architecture and its subsidiary arts.
Religion he also restricts to Christianity as conceived between (roughly) A.
D. 1000 to 1600, and his general thesis is that though art parallels religion,
within the period set, very closely, yet there is no good reason to hold that
it was a causal relationship; we must not, he tells us
... take the line of least intellectual resistance, and assume that we can
find a single secret for the explicated process of Gothic decay.
Not that he would deny all interaction between the two, that would be equally
one-sided and untrue; but medieval art was not the mere creature of medieval
religion, an offshoot or by-product; it was itself the result of the same
social and intellectual forces that moulded and fixed the form of the Western
The roots of Gothic are in Byzantine art. The great buildings of Justinian at
Constantinople were the models and exemplars. From Greece, Byzantine
architectural design and technique spread westward along the regular trade
routes by sea and land, and their progress can to some extent be definitely
traced in remaining monuments. And as the author points out, it is very
significant that the commonest term in medieval documents for "mason" was
lathomus or latomus, which is pure Greek. The much discussed Lombardic or
Comacine school was Byzantine in origin; and as it came from the east so was
it transmitted to the west and north, till it reached Germany and England.
Another point insisted on is that though the Romanesque, as this architecture
of Byzantine origin is usually called, was to a large extent monastic, or at
least the largest and most important edifices in this style were monastic, the
Gothic was chiefly secular. The great cathedrals especially, and the parish
churches, were the expression of popular feeling, and were built by lay
artisans with funds contributed by the general public. The feeling was
doubtless religious, but far from being wholly so. There was also civic pride
and emulation, the desire to out-do neighboring cities; and also undoubtedly a
genuine appreciation of the result of the work as a whole, for Gothic was a
popular art and appealed to its public as the lines of the latest model car,
or the last word in ultra-modern furniture appeals to the general public
The rise and decline of Gothic follows in the main a simple curve. Beginning
with the rudest kind of construction, where immensely thick walls were
required to give the strength that the inexperience of the builders could not
obtain by more economical means, there was a steady advance in skill,
accompanied by diminution of the mass of the walls, which became thinner as
window openings were larger, until the peak was reached in the twelfth and
thirteenth centuries. This is of course speaking only of churches and civic
buildings, castles and city walls did not greatly alter in the massiveness of
their construction, though undoubtedly they became stronger as the masons
became more skilled.
But this skill and knowledge was not attained as we should seek it now, by
controlled experiment and careful calculations. It was learned by experience,
and many disasters followed the more daring experiments. Dr. Coulton quotes
Bishop Creighton's remark. Whenever being shown over an English Cathedral ask
when the central tower fell. For they have nearly all fallen at one time or
its highest the Gothic building, church, castle, hall or dwelling was the
inevitable form that expressed the possibilities of the material for that
particular purpose with the most perfect proportions and the minimum of
effort. The ornament, which was so often freely lavished, was subsidiary. The
chief structural elements were made the ornamental features, and the more
important they were the more work was spent on them. The main ribs of vaults.
for example, were always more elaborately moulded than the secondary ribs. The
flying buttress, which mechanically is nothing but a stone prop, was made one
of the most prominent decorative features of a Gothic cathedral. Gothic art
began to decline when its exponents had become too clever and, like our
ultra-modern schools of art, sought only for opportunities to invent something
new and unheard of, to use stone like wood, or rope, or anything but what it
was, and to make ornament the chief thing instead of strictly subordinate to
construction. We are suffering from the same thing today. Technical skill far
out-runs capacity to design or to appreciate good design. Thus Gothic had in
itself the seeds of its own decay, and the skill of the craftsmen at the end
was carried over to executing work in imitation of an alien and exotic style,
that of Greece, or more correctly, the decadent architecture of Imperial Rome.
But we must get on to the monks, who are faithfully dealt with in the second
and succeeding chapters. The author says he knows only two writers who, having
gone into the question in detail, do not ascribe all the beginning and much of
the development of Gothic art to the members of the monastic orders. One of
these two exceptions is Kingsley Porter in his great work, Medieval
Architecture. Dr. Coulton quotes a number of writers to the effect that the
monks planned their churches and convents, and not only planned but did much
of the work themselves, and that the layman masons learned their craft from
monkish masters. There is no need to cite any of these expressions of opinion
here. They have been repeated over and over again in almost every article
dealing with the operative past of Freemasonry, and in altogether too many of
the more serious works on the history of the Craft. However, when so many
outside the Fraternity were insisting on the same erroneous statements we can
hardly blame the brethren who repeated what they supposed to be opinions based
upon facts. By a careful analysis of the authorities cited in confirmation of
these opinions, Dr. Coulton has found that they all directly or indirectly go
back to Montalembert, the author of Les Moines d'Occident.
Dr. Coulton then proceeded to carefully verify the references given by
Montalembert to prove his claim that the monks were the original artists and
architects of western Europe. The latter's work purports to be a history of
western monasticism from St. Benedict to St. Bernard. Dr. Coulton expresses
the opinion that it is not really a history but a very elaborate party
. . written by an eloquent statesman who . . . would have been a great Scholar
had he given his life to scholarship but who in fact wrote these seven volumes
in the intervals of polities for a political purpose. Montalembert devoted
twenty pages in his sixth volume to the monk as an artist, and
. . these twenty pages form practically the basis of all that has been written
on the Subject for the last sixty years; for writers on art are not likely to
find the time (even if they have the linguistic equipment and the necessary
access to a great library) to verify the numerous references by means of which
this great French politician seems so clearly to establish his case.
And Dr. Coulton goes on to remark that a man of world-wide reputation writing
at the favorable moment can set in motion almost a n y misconception or error,
especially if he be
....what James Russell Lowell once called "an inaccurate man with an accurate
The result of the examination of the fifty odd references and their context
cited by Montalembert was as follows:
Three could not be verified as the works cited were not available.
twenty-one no proper reference is given, or else there is nothing to show that
the artists mentioned were monks; the documents cited proving only that such
and such work was done for some monastery, or in some monastery, quite a
different thing from being done by monks.
six cases the document definitely states or plainly implies that the artist
was a layman.
fifteen cases monastic artists are really spoken of, but the circumstances are
abnormal. Such as those where a missionary might plan and work on the erection
of a church for his converts today.
There are thus eight cases left in which a real artist is found to be a monk
under what may be termed normal monastic circumstances. Considering that in
the period covered there must have been at the lowest estimate half a million
monks, eight artists does not seem a very large proportion.
One of the worst cases is cited; it happens to be one that has been frequently
quoted as an example of monkish skill and genius, the famous St. Savin
paintings. Montalembert quotes Prosper Merimee, without giving page number.
When, however, the passage has been run down in the large folio volume
containing the Description des peintures de Saint-Savin, it turns out to be a
statement that the artists were, not monks, but Greek painters, imported for
the purpose. As a result of this painstaking investigation Dr. Coulton offers
a counter generalization:
The monks who did any kind of artistic work, at the most favorable times and
places, were a small minority in the community; and if we take all times and
places together, the monastic artist was quite an exception. As to monastic
workmen-builders, we have evidence for them only under still more exceptional
is impossible to quote all of the relentless proof by which this counter
thesis is supported; for that the book itself must be referred to.
However, there were some cases of work done by monks, though more often by
lay-brethren. At Nuremberg are a series of cartoons, probably designs for
windows, which represent Scenes in the life of St. Hildegund, and the founding
of the monastery of Schonau. These drawings are 16th century work and some
three hundred and fifty years later than the events depicted. One of them is
given in the text, which is here reproduced. It shows the church being built
by the "bearded" or lay-brethren, the inscription under the original,
translated, is as follows:
Lay brethren built the monastery of Sehonau led by devout love of religion.
And Dr. Coulton observes that it is quite in accordance with other instances
.... that we see no choir-monk directing the lay brethren; all are alike
barbati, from those doing the roughest work to him who is taking a well-earned
draught from the wine-flask.
other cases where choir monks and even, occasionally, abbots, worked on their
buildings, or like Henry of Hoxter,
.... learned how to chisel stones for the frame work of doors and windows, and
to form them and square them perfectly according to their proper pattern.
This is told as a singular and remarkable instance of piety and humility,
which the others admired and wondered at, and later made capital of, but were
not moved to emulate.
One rather unexpected statement is made, and though no special effort was made
apparently to accumulate instances, several are mentioned. This is that the
mason was not always a free man. The natural response to this would be to
suppose that a bondman mason must have been a layer, a rough mason or cowan.
But this was not always so, and in one case mentioned it was a master mason
who was a serf of William, Earl of Warrenne in the twelfth century, and in
1304 a mason's wife is a bondwoman, which makes it almost certain that he was
not free either. Other instances are also given, but as they are not from
England they are perhaps not so significant. It is suggested, by what the
author gives on this head, though he does not say it definitely, that the rule
found in the Old Charges that the apprentice must be free born, is a stage in
the development of the Craft organization; that is to say, part of the general
movement towards emancipation in the whole community, and at that time an
innovation on the body of Masonry rather than a landmark. He intimates also
that the medieval masons were rather a quarrelsome lot, and that the
prohibition of swords, daggers or pointed knives in the lodge was not an idle
or symbolic one. Although, and this he refers to more than once, the
hammer-axe, or as we should call it the gavel, which was always one of the
chief working tools, was also a most efficient weapon; one indeed that even a
man-at-arms, in full mail, could not afford to despise.
Dr. Coulton touches on the origin of the term "Freemason," and is inclined to
adopt the theory that it originally meant a worker in "free stone" as compared
to the hard-hewer. He points out that "free," applied to the softer stone used
for carving and fine work, appears before the term "free-mason," and that
intermediate is the phrase "mason of free-stone." But he also suggests that
later on the term took also the second meaning, of freedom to work where and
when he would. In this he has come to much the same conclusion as a number of
the foremost Masonic scholars who have discussed this point.
The three chapters that will probably prove of the greatest interest to the
Masonic reader are those on the Freemasons, the Mason's Mark, and the
Handgrip, but the chapter immediately preceding these is also of great
interest, for in it the author quotes largely from the "self-characterization"
of four medieval artists, taken as typical of the personal interests, ideals
and mental ability of the masters of the Craft. These are the German monk
called Theophilus, who wrote a general hand-book on all the arts and the
crafts connected with them; the French Master Mason, Villard de Honnecourt,
whose so-called sketch book, Dr. Coulton thinks was prepared for publication,
in the medieval sense of the word; Cennino Cennini, the Italian painter, and
last, Albrecht Durer. The first is of the twelfth century, the second of the
thirteenth and the last two of the fourteenth. Actually there is a hundred and
forty years' interval between Theophilus and Millard, and about fifty years
between each of the last three.
Theophilus is very interesting, as he assumes that hardly anything can be
bought ready for use. Not only the raw material has to be procured by the
artist or artisan there was no distinction between the two but he must also
make his own tools and instruments, and them also from the raw material. He
concludes with a rhetorical summary of what his Little Roll of Divers Arts
. . thou wilt here find whatsoever Greece hath in divers kinds and mixtures of
colours- with all that Tuscany knows of laborous mosaic or of varied enamels
with all that Arabia displays in casting or hammering or casing metal; with
whatsoever Italy adorns with gold, in various vessels or carvings in gems or
in bone- with all that France loves in precious variety of windows, or that
industrious Germany approves in cunning work of gold, silver, copper or iron,
timber or stone.
But while Theophilus seems to think the arts can be learned from his book,
Cennini, two hundred years later, insists that one can only learn from a
master; and that best from one master only, till the pupil, or apprentice, has
advanced far enough ( if he have ability) to develop his own style. It is
probable that Cennini so felt because he himself had learned that way, and
masters were plenty in his day. Theophilus on the other hand may have largely
taught himself aided by similar handbooks to the one he compiled. At least, in
North Germany in the twelfth century, the arts were not so definitely
specialized as they were later on, though even in the Renaissance period the
greater Italian artists turned their hands to everything on occasion, either
for their own pleasure, or for their employers. There is more than one case of
architects and sculptors being set to do such work as cutting stone cannon
balls, making gun carriages, platforms or scaffolds, and even garden benches.
But possibly these last were what we would consider art work, and they would
probably be carved.
Villard de Honnecourt is undoubtedly the most interesting of the four from the
Masonic point of view, as he was an architect, either in charge, or consultant
or assistant, in a number of notable works, and was indeed probably
responsible for the design of Cambrai Cathedral. We could wish that he had
written more of his life, instead of tantalizing us with stray allusions in
the notes to his drawings and designs.
his book we find passing mention of different places he had been to. He was
some years in Hungary, for example. While the studies and drawings of
architectural features, windows, mouldings and so on, described as from
different places, by themselves prove how he had traveled. In one note, upon
which Dr. Coulton specially dwells as giving a glimpse of the intellectual
life of the lodge, he says, "Many a time have masters discussed" how to make a
wheel turn of its own accord. Perpetual motion, in short; and he gives a
scheme of his own that he thinks might work. In another place he sketches the
plan of the apse of a cathedral which he says was devised by himself and
another master, Pierre de Corbie; or as he put it "invented in discussion with
each other." The design would involve most complicated problems of vaulting,
and that seems to have been its chief interest to its inventors, rather than
its effectiveness from the architectural point of view. He also gives
....of difficult practical problems not only in stone cutting, but in
carpentering, he shows the working of a saw mill, of a screw jack and how to
cut a screw how to make a machine to straightening timber houses that lean
from the perpendicular and the construction of a great mangonel for siege
operations. He can take approximate measurements from a distance by rough and
ready trigonometrical methods.... And he ends with a recipe . . . for a potion
that is sovereign for all wounds: "drink not too much, for in an eggshell ye
may have enough . . . Whatsoever wound or sore ye may have this will heal
reproduce here one page of his notebook which is very curious. It gives a
method for obtaining the proportions, by triangles and straight lines, of
human figures, and animals, in different attitudes. The attitudes are
precisely those that are constantly met with in medieval painting and carving.
The Virgin and child, the king on his throne especially so. The man using the
flail seems much more like a study from life. (1)
other pages are more drawings of animals that seem also to have been from
life, and in the case of a lion's head he expressly says that this was so.
the chapter on "The Freemasons" there is a brief notice of the Comacine
Masters, or as Dr. Coulton prefers to spell it Commacine. It is probable this
is more correct. He observes that from the very scanty records of this period
(the seventh century) the most that can be said is that some of the trade
associations may have survived from imperial times. He notes, too, that
besides the Masons there were other gilds existing or surviving, and names
those of the shipwrights and the soapboilers.
goes on to point out the causes that tended to differentiate the building
crafts from all others; they have been observed before, but his opinion adds
weight to them. In the first place, on large edifices there would be more men
working together under common direction than in any other occupation, but that
of war. Two or three hundred men may seem a small enough personnel to us, but
in those days all manufacture was conducted in small workshops, and he was a
master in a large way who employed more than four or five men and a couple of
apprentices or so. This question of numbers alone called for something in the
way of executive work. So far as finance and purchasing was concerned that was
done by the employer. But the master, with even no more than thirty or forty
craftsmen and their laborers under him, would be obliged to spend a good deal
of time in overseeing and allocating work. The other differentiating feature
was the migratory character of the craft. Though some buildings took many
years to complete, many others were very rapidly built. Churches and
cathedrals were put up in a far more leisurely way than dwellings and
fortifications, especially the latter. Froissart, for example, gives the
impression of city walls being erected, or castles rebuilt, in a few months
sometimes. Doubtless the work was done largely by forced labor; even the
masons and carpenters were frequently impressed for such work.
But normal conditions of employment were such that it was seldom that there
were enough members of the building trades resident in one place to form, even
all together, a gild of their own. For gild protection and municipal purposes
they joined the gilds of other trades. Yet their constant moving in search of
work made some kind of general organization almost essential in an age where,
as hardly ever since, a man who had not the backing of some organization was
helpless and at the mercy of any oppressor.
is in this way that he accounts for the special laws against masons and
carpenters in England. The men of other crafts were under control through
their gilds. The gild had its charter and its property, and these were
hostages to the government. The one might be revoked and the other
confiscated. But the builders had no gilds no property, at least none to sneak
of. They were here today and gone next week. Consequently the only way to get
at them was to forbid the annual Assemblies, Congregations or "Chapiters,"
under the pains and penalties of felony. And little enough effect it seems to
There is one point on which Dr. Coulton differs from our most authoritative
historians. He is very much inclined to treat the Freemasons, Steinmetzen and
Compagnons as all practically the same thing adapted to local conditions in
different countries. From the outside this seems justified. Medieval culture
was not national; we have already seen a French Master in Hungary. There were
Germans in Italy, and Frenchmen in Scotland, and doubtless Scots and English
abroad. In general, it is hard to say that these Craft organizations had no
inter-relations. But it is also fairly obvious that, when we first definitely
come to know of them, that no one of them was derived from either of the
others. Excepting only, that as the Craft technique traveled west and north,
it may be said that the forerunner of the Compagnnonage in France was probably
the origin of the Craft in England in Saxon or Norman times.
The chapter on Mason's Marks is most valuable. In spite of all that has been
written about this by Masons we do not seem to have got very far. There have
been several suggestions for the systematic collection of these marks, coupled
with accurate details of their position, probable age and so on. Dr. Coulton
has shown what might be done. There were two distinct kinds of marks, personal
marks or signatures, and position marks. The latter being perhaps the most
common. Several illustrations are given of these, and we here reproduce one
showing position marks cut on the drapery of statues at Rheims. The scheme
here was very elaborate. The T or tau-cross was for the south side of the
south door. The statues for this position were then marked in their order
beginning from the inside. The north side of the central door was designated
by a crescent and the others by yet other signs. There was no recondite
symbolism in this, the marks were used simply as letters and numbers would be
The remainder of the book is also very interesting, but it is impossible to
deal with it in the space available. There is a delightful reconstruction of
the breaking up of a lodge on the completion of the building and the
pilgrimage of the masons elsewhere to seek new work. If Dr. Coulton were not
so busy writing history he could produce delightful fiction if he chose.
the later chapters the effect of Puritanism and the Renaissance is fully
discussed, and many new sidelights are given on facts that are generally
known, but of which the full significance has not been realized. The Puritan
hostility to art did not cause the decay of Gothic architecture for that was
already advanced. But for this readers must be referred to the book itself.
(1) Another drawing from Villard de Honnecourt's Sketch book was reproduced in
THE BUILDER, December, 1925, p. 367, which showed an elevation of two bays,
inside and out, intended for Cambrai Cathedral.
American Army Lodges in the World War
BRO. CHARLES F. IRWIN, Associate Editor
Overseas Rhode Island Lodge No. I, U. D., at Coblentz, Germany
the history of the Overseas Rhode Island Lodge, No. 1, U.D., that was
established at Coblentz, Germany, during the period of the Army of Occupation,
we come upon a number of valuable steps that have established precedents that
will have a very decided effect upon the actions of American Grand Lodges
should another National Emergency arise.
Rhode Island Lodge was a direct outgrowth of a Masonic Club already in most
flourishing condition in Coblentz. With a membership reaching into the
thousands this club had fixed itself in the organic life of the Army of
Occupation. It had been hailed as a beneficent movement by officers in
important stations in the military system. It was composed of Masons from
widely scattered portions of America and other countries. Consequently the
young lodge was destined to wield a most potent influence among Craft members
up and down the Rhine Valley.
origin of the Rhode Island Lodge, out of an existing Club, was not unique in
our Overseas Masonic life. For of the four New York "Sea and Field Lodges,"
every one was planted upon soil cultivated by an already existing Masonic
Club. But the good fortune of the Rhode Island Lodge lay in the fact that the
A. E. F. was rapidly drawing to a close, whereas, the Army of Occupation faced
a long season of service. The one group was declining, while this later one
this as it may be, there is a chapter of history not very widely known, which
relates how nearly Coblentz came to possessing, at least temporarily, one of
the New York "Sea and Field" Charters. Let Past Grand Master Townsend Scudder
tell this story. It is embedded in his report to the New York Grand Lodge in
Reports From Lodges Overseas.
greatly enlightened on conditions in the occupied territory, by interviews in
Paris, with Major W. S. Solomon, 417 Telegraph Battalion, Signal Corps, a
prominent and zealous member of the Fraternity from Rhode Island, who was
stationed at Coblentz, and who had, as President, undertaken the
reorganization of the "Third Army Masonic Club" in the occupied territory of
Germany, assisted by M. W. Wendell R. Davis, P.G.M., and by R. W. James C.
Collins, then Deputy Grand Master, now Grand Master of Rhode Island, both
Secretaries of the A.E.F.-Y.M.C.A. These Brethren who had been with the forces
for months, in conflict, and behind the lines, and who had been in Germany for
some time, since the Armistice, not only recognized the need of the Masonic
Club, referred to, but had cabled the Grand Master of Rhode Island requesting
a Warrant for an Overseas Lodge with the Army of Occupation. and in due time
were assured that their request had been granted and a warrant dispatched. I
offered these Brethren, whatever I might decide as respects Lodge Activities
in France, to hold for them one of the Warrants which I carried, until their
own should arrive, or until they should be assured it had not been lost in
transit. Their Warrant, a replica as to authority of those entrusted to me,
arrived in due course.
Returning, now, to the story proper of the Rhode Island Lodge, we turn to the
History and Roster of the Masonic Club of the Third American Army and Rhode
Island Overseas Lodge, and find on page 121 the record of the formation of the
might arise some confusion in the mind of the average reader of the story, and
he might come to the conclusion that the Club and the Lodge were both Rhode
Island productions. This is inaccurate. The Club was not a Rhode Island Club.
It was made up of active Craftsmen from all the Grand Lodges of the United
States, as well as of Canada and other countries.
fact is, however, that Rhode Island contributed some of the most active
leaders in the Club. And these Rhode Island members of the Club came together
shortly after it was formed, and conferred together as to the possibility of
their obtaining a Warrant from their Grand Master to form and carry on a
desire found expression in other groups of Masons in the A.E.F. at earlier
dates. For example, the Masonic Club of Base No. 1 at St. Nazaire, France,
through Bro. Charles I. Cook, a very active member, sent in a request to the
Grand Master of North Dakota for a Dispensation for a Military Lodge, to work
at that Base. In a letter from W. Bro. W. L. Stockwell, Grand Secretary of
North Dakota, this paragraph occurs:
one time he ( Charles I. Cook) tried to induce us to issue a Dispensation to
organize a Lodge at that place. This we declined to do because it was planned
to include in the membership many brethren from other jurisdictions and we did
not believe it would be advisable for us to go outside the jurisdiction of
group of Rhode Island Masons at Coblentz came together for conference and the
outcome was a decision to cable a request to the Grand Master of Rhode Island
for a Warrant for a Military Lodge. Accordingly the cablegram was sent. Then
set in the period of waiting for the reply. They were not held in long
suspense. The word came back that a Warrant had been granted and was on its
way to Coblentz. Thirty-seven Rhode Island Masons signed the request for the
Warrant. This dispensation was dated March 15, 1919.
dispensation arrived in April, 1919. The word was sent round, and a meeting
was called for April 24, 1919, to be held on the floor above the Masonic Club,
at No. 6, Lohrrondell, Coblentz, Germany.
the regular meeting of the Club on the Monday preceding, the announcement was
made of the arrival of the dispensation and the proposed opening of the new
Lodge. Within a very brief period applications began to come in for the
degrees. And on the opening night fifty-four petitions were read.
word will be useful at I this point in regard to the meeting place of this
Lodge. I Like others which grew in favor with our Craft in the A.E.F., the
original meeting places were always taxed beyond their capacity, and newer and
larger quarters were absolutely necessary. There has always remained the
lurking conviction that these large assemblages of Craftsmen in the Lodges and
Clubs of the A.E.F., while the Lodges at home struggle to secure sufficient
brethren to fill the chairs and transact business, was due to the fact that
higher bodies and parasitic growths of appendant bodies grafted on to the
Blue Lodge, and which draw on its vitality were wholly absent, which left the
field clear for basic Masonry to obtain its due place in the interest of the
Craft. Perhaps the Grand Lodges will take this into consideration some day
when selecting candidates for its highest honors, and lean rather to the Mason
who is not mortgaged by membership in a number of other so-called higher
bodies of Masonry, thereby giving his whole Masonic attention to Craft
However, to return from this digression. This Rhode Island Lodge was unable to
entertain the number of Craftsmen who sought its halls, and at last provision
was made for the use of the Lodge Rooms of the German Lodge, "Johannes L.
Friederick Zur Vaterlandsliebe," their rooms being very commodious. This Lodge
has had a remarkable history, being a child of the French wars of 1812 with
Germany generally known as the Napoleonic Wars. Its history will be presented
in THE BUILDER as a separate article in the near future.
first meeting for work was held on May 1, 1919, at which time five candidates
were given the Entered Apprentice Degree. From this time on to the close of
the Lodge almost daily sessions were held, occasionally twice a day.
Lodge finally ceased from its labors in Coblentz on July 31, 1919. During this
period from May 1 to July 31, the Lodge conferred the degrees upon 517
candidates. Four hundred and ninety-eight of these were initiates of Overseas
Lodge, U. D., while 19 were courtesy work for other home Jurisdictions. This
material was stamped in the history of the Lodge: '"MADE IN GERMANY."
addition to these communications held within their own Lodge Room, the
Overseas Lodge held two communications at the town of Neuweid, Germany, in the
Lodge Room of the German Lodge located at that place.
the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island for 1919 is the report of
W. Bro. Wendell R. Davis, Master of Overseas Lodge, in which he gives some
valuable information. He states that eighty communications in all were held
during the life of this Military Lodge. Fifteen of them were regular and
sixty-five were special communications. Four hundred and ninety-eight E. A.
Degrees were conferred, four hundred and ninety-one F.C., and four hundred and
eighty-six M.M. It is significant that the Lodge rejected ten, showing that
care was maintained -throughout all their work. In addition to this work, they
conferred by courtesy, fourteen E. A., sixteen F. C. and eighteen M. M. Four
hundred and eighty-six signed their by-laws, thus becoming members of the
Lodge. Forty-five of the forty-eight states were represented in this
Lodge was a success financially, for we find in W. Bro. Davis' report that the
Lodge transmitted to the Grand Master of Rhode Island the sum of $12,858.86.
care with which all visitors were examined as to their knowledge of and
membership in the Craft is indicated by the fact that eight hundred and
thirty-seven brethren submitted to this test prior to entering the Lodge Room
of this Military Lodge.
working the degrees the Lodge usually employed a larger room for the first two
degrees and a smaller room for the third.
the number of candidates were made Masons they were arranged in groups of
convenient size and these groups were all thoroughly trained in the lectures
of the three degrees. No home Lodge ever worked upon its material more
thoroughly than did not only this Military Lodge, but every Military Lodge we
had in Europe did likewise. This refutes the gloomy predictions of the
officers of Grand Lodges at home who opposed the granting of Dispensations to
groups of their soldier Masons for Army Lodges, on the ground that great
looseness would prevail, and much undesirable material creep into the Craft.
With regard to this fallacious argument I believe I am in position to pass
judgment on the point after a most intimate contact with the official records
of all the Military Lodges that thrived during the War. I am prepared to
demonstrate that every one of them both at home and abroad took the utmost
care to guard the doors, and to have thorough satisfaction as to the
qualifications of every profane who knocked at their doors. Comparing the
military material admitted with the great influx permitted by these same
critical brethren at home, not one of our Military Lodges needs to take a back
are several fine illustrations given in the official history of this Rhode
Island Lodge which I believe ought to be passed on to the readers. Take the
case of Bro. H. A. Stewart, of the State of Indiana. Our Hoosier brethren
ought to be proud of this candidate. He served as a chauffeur in the army. He
was admitted into Rhode Island Overseas Lodge in Coblentz on May 8, 1919,
receiving his first degree that night. He was passed on the 14th of the same
month and raised on the 17th. That is, his course ran between the dates 8 and
17 or ten days in all. The records of the Lodge reveal this brother serving as
Junior Steward on the 21st of May, as Junior Deacon on the 31st, and as Senior
Deacon on June 3. On June 10, he delivered the Lecture in the F. C. Degree. M.
W. Bro. Davis remarks:
three weeks from becoming a M. M., in addition to thoroughly learning his
examinations, he was able to competently fill any subordinate position in the
Davis then calls attention to several other brethren, who within a few days
after being raised, were actively at work assisting in the conferring of the
degrees and lectures.
the popular mind the average high officer in the military forces was a rather
bizarre figure, tending largely to enlargement of the abdomen and
circumference of the head. Needless to say that this is a fallacy. Take this
incident reported by Bro. Davis:
Frank Parker was a Brigadier General in the First Division. He was entered
June 10, 1919, passed on June 17. He presented himself for his examination in
the lecture of the Entered Degree on June 17. He was asked to stand a personal
examination from among the 22 others in the class and responded. Having
received his Entered Apprentice Degree only one week previously, he had so
perfected himself in the lecture that Bro. Davis remarks: "He passed a highly
work of the Lodge having been completed on July 31, 1919, the Lodge became
inactive for some time. At the 1919 Communication of the Grand Lodge of Rhode
Island, the suggestion was made that the warrant or dispensation be continued
on the American shores in Rhode Island, and that its work should be confined
to military material, that is, those either in the active or auxiliary service
or veterans of that service.
Norris G. Abbott presented the following Resolution, which was unanimously
RESOLVED, That the dispensation heretofore granted to Overseas Lodge, No. 1,
U. D., to do work in Coblentz, Germany and continued in force at the last
Annual Communication until this time, be further continued until the next
Annual Communication, but with the provision that it shall hold its meetings
and do work in the city of Providence, with jurisdiction comprising the whole
state, and that it shall have authority to confer the degrees of Freemasonry
upon such candidates as shall be elected from those who shall have served in
the Army or Navy of the United States, or in any organization associated with
said Army or Navy in the World War and who shall have resided within this
Grand Jurisdiction for a period of one year prior to the time of filing his
application, or shall then belong to the Army or Navy of the United States.
Following the passage of this Resolution, a second was introduced by Wor.
Grand Marshal John M. Capron, who served as the Secretary of the Military
Lodge in Coblentz, which also was adopted, as follows:
WHEREAS, The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Rhode Island has learned from the
officers and members of Overseas Lodge, No. 1, U. D., of the faithful and
untiring interest shown by several brethren of other jurisdictions, in the
formation and work of Overseas Lodge while in Germany.
RESOLVED, That at this Semi-Annual Communication, held in Freemasons Hall,
Providence, Rhode Island, this seventeenth day of November, 1919 it be the
unanimous vote of the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island, that its thanks and
appreciation be expressed to Brothers Lieut. A. H. S. Haffenden Washington
Lodge, No. 46, Portland, Oregon; Capt. Frank P. Stewart, Argenta Lodge, No. 3,
Salt Lake City, Utah, Sergt. William F. Throckmorton, Kaw Lodge, No. 272,
Kansas City Kan.; Sergt. Robert S. Brown, Homewood Lodge, No. 635, Pittsburgh,
Penna., Ellis H. Duvall, Moriah Lodge, No. 105, Powhatton Point, Ohio; Dr. Guy
Potter Benson, Burlington Lodge No. 100, Burlington, Vt.; Sydney B. Snow,
Eureka Lodge, No. 70, Concord, N. H., Rev. L. R. S. Ferguson, St. Croix Lodge
No. 56, Hudson, Wisc.; Lieut. Ernest M. Myers, Las Palmas Lodge, No. 366,
Fresno, Calif.; Dr. J. W. McDonald, Fairmont Lodge, No. 9, Fairmont, W. Va.;
Clair H. Norton, Walnut Hills Lodge, No. 483, Cincinnati, Ohio; L. A.
Patterson, Weston Lodge, No. 562, Whiting, Iowa, for their invaluable services
rendered to Overseas Lodge while in Coblentz, Germany.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That a letter expressing these sentiments be sent to
each of the above named brethren, over the signature of the Grand Master
through the Grand Secretaries of their respective Grand Lodges.
following amendment to the Constitution of the Grand Lodge was introduced at
this point by P. G. M. Wendell R. Davis, former Master of the Overseas Lodge
RESOLVED, That Article VII of the Constitution of the Grand Lodge be amended
by the addition of the following section:
Section 25. It shall be permissible for a member of any Lodge in this
Jurisdiction, being in good standing, who shall have served in the Army or
Navy of the United States, or in any organization associated with the said
Army or Navy in the recent World War, to become a member of Overseas Lodge
formerly exercising jurisdiction in Coblentz, Germany, under dispensation,
when it is duly chartered by this Grand Lodge without losing his rights of
membership in his original Lodge and it shall be permissible for any member of
said Overseas Lodge to become a member of any other regular Lodge in this
Jurisdiction in whose jurisdiction he may reside, without relinquishing his
membership in said Overseas Lodge, notwithstanding any provisions in this
Constitution to the contrary.
Resolution was referred to the Committee on Jurisprudence with instructions to
report at the Communication in May, 1920. Following up this important step we
turn to the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge for the Annual Communication which
opened on May 17, 1920, and find in the East M. W. James C. Collins as Grand
Master. W. Bro. Collins served as a Secretary of Welfare Work in the Army of
Occupation, and was one of the guiding spirits of this Military Lodge.
Therefore what he has to say about it is of peculiar worth. In his address at
this time he says:
Lodge was ever established under such unique circumstances nor was ever more
successful in the accomplishment of its purposes. This success was obtained
only through the good judgment and the untiring efforts of its officers.
then goes on to call the attention of Grand Lodge to the fact that
dispensation under which it worked was continued until this Annual
Communication with permission to do work in Providence upon Candidates who had
been in the military service or auxiliary service of the United States in the
World War, or were still in military service. Its jurisdiction was fixed as
that of the limits of our Grand Jurisdiction. In the month of January, the
first meeting of the Lodge in America was held. . . . They conduct their
meetings clothed in the uniforms in which they saw service. . . . I sincerely
hope that this Lodge . . . will receive favorable action upon its petition for
a charter at this communication.... There is an incident in the activities of
Overseas Lodge in this jurisdiction which is worthy of your attention. On
Wednesday evening, March 17, 1920 the Officers of Overseas Lodge visited St.
Johns Lodge No. 1, Providence, at its special invitation and worked by request
the first section of the Entered Apprentice Degree upon Candidates of St.
Johns Lodge. I had the honor to be present that evening in my official
capacity and observe the work. The work was rendered with a military precision
and a finish which was most inspiring.... We were impressed more clearly than
ever before how closely interwoven are our Masonic and Civil duties, that true
Masonic teachings and practice stood for patriotism and loyalty to one's
country.... On May 11 Overseas Lodge worked the Master Mason Degree upon
twenty-one Candidates. This was the first time it had worked this degree in
Committee on Jurisprudence in making its general report, took occasion to
refer to the proposed Amendment to the Constitution of the Grand Lodge in
order to permit dual membership for veterans of the war, in the following
practice that has consistently obtained in this jurisdiction has been to limit
membership to one Lodge. With one or two exceptions this is the universal
practice in the several Grand Jurisdictions in this country. In a few
jurisdictions a secondary membership in another but not in the same
jurisdiction is permissible. The Committee expresses no opinion with reference
to the advisability of establishing dual membership in this jurisdiction. It
is of the opinion, however, that if this Grand Lodge deems dual membership
advisable, it should be generally and not specially applicable, and that the
Constitution should be amended in a manner that would make the fundamental law
confer equal obligations and equal privileges in a uniformity of spirit that
has ever marked Masonic legislation.
proposed amendment in its present form does not permit the consideration by
this Grand Lodge of the broader question of granting the privilege of dual
membership to all Masons in this Jurisdiction. In order, therefore, to present
the question for the full consideration of Grand Lodge at the present
Communication, the Committee recommend and hereby propose, as an amendment to
the proposed amendment now before the Grand Lodge, that a proviso be added to
Section 16, of Article VII, of the Constitution, in the following form:
"Provided, however that a brother may be a member of not more than two Lodges
within this Jurisdiction." Section 16 of Article VII by such addition would
read as follows:
"Section 16. No subordinate Lodge shall admit to membership a brother made in
another Lodge, or confer the First Degree upon any person, except upon a clear
ballot therefor at a regular communication; nor permit a brother admitted to
membership to qualify himself as such until he shall have presented a dimit
from the Lodge to which he formerly belonged. PROVIDED, HOWEVER, that a
brother may be a member of not more than two Lodges within this jurisdiction.
Joseph W. Freeman,
Walter A. Presbrey,
Herbert A. Rice.
report of the Committee on Jurisprudence is accepted and the recommendation
contained in the report is approved.
this point Bro. W. S. Solomon, as Master of Overseas Lodge, under
dispensation, presented the claims of that Lodge, with the request that a
charter, in form as follows, be granted said Lodge. For this Charter see the
later part of this article.
following resolution was introduced and carried:
RESOLVED, That the dispensation of Overseas Lodge, No. 1, U. D., be continued
in force until such time as said Lodge shall be regularly constituted under
we learn that this notable Lodge which started upon its career as an American
Military Lodge, located at Coblentz, Germany, was transplanted into the soil
of the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island, to become a class Lodge, and to develop a
history most enviable.
the very beginning this Lodge attracted to its membership men who have
attained high rank in the Military branches of our National Forces, as well as
men who have reached the heights in civilian life. Its roster is crowded with
such names, and as the years pass this Lodge will attain to the prominence
that has long been held by other Military Lodges of earlier Wars, and are now
engrafted into the Grand Jurisdictions in various parts of our country.
would be invidious for us to indicate here any particular group without giving
the same position to the humblest who have passed the portals of Overseas
Lodge, No. 40, of Rhode Island.
Suffice it to say that these brethren have the latchstring of their present
Lodge out, and they are noted for the most delightful hospitality that they
display to itinerant Masons who once wore the uniform of their country, or of
its auxiliary organizations.
highest commendations are due Worshipful Bro. Winfield S. Solomon for his
constant interest in our inquiries, and his responsiveness to the many
requests we have made for information concerning this Military Lodge.
most pleasing incident occurred during the life of the Overseas Lodge, No. 1,
U. D., while at Coblentz. It appears that at the Communication of July 2,
1919, Bro. Lt. Col. Donald B. Sanger, who was present, presented the
the Worshipful Master:
sending you herewith the contributions of 30 Signal Corps Master Masons
gathered for the purpose of starting a fund for a Lodge of Signal Corps Men.
As this Lodge never materialized and Overseas Lodge, No. 1, is the home of
many Signal Corps men, I feel that its purpose can best be served by donating
it to your Lodge to be used at the will and pleasure of the Worshipful Master.
(signed) DONALD B. SANGER
Harmony Lodge, No. 6, Galveston, Texas.
Regarding the jewels and furniture of this Lodge the following gifts were
28th, 1919, a valuable ancient Bible dated 1729, by Bro. Adolf Lotz of the
Lodge Friederiek Zur Vaterlandsliebe
4th, 1919, Tyler's sword, by Bro. Major George Cockrill, A. P. M. of Coblentz.
Taken from a Spartacist arrested and disarmed at Coblentz.
by Herr and Frau Julius Wegeler, Coblentz.
Masonic Diploma purchased from descendant of a member of the French Lodge
stationed in Coblentz during Napoleon's War, said to bear the signatures of
both Napoleon and Marshal Ney.
Rhode Island the following presents were received:
Oxford Edition of the Bible, from St. Johns Lodge of Providence,
Silver Square and Compasses from Doric Lodge of Auburn,
of silver working tools by Union Lodge of Pawtucket,
Cloth from Mt. Vernon Lodge of Providence,
Ballot Box, from Nestell Lodge of Providence.
ANCIENT AND HONORABLE SOCIETY OF FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS FOR THE STATE OF
RHODE ISLAND AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS.
all to Whom these presents shall come
Whereas, a petition has been received by me from several Rhode Island Masons
now serving with the Army of Occupation in Coblentz, in Germany; stating that
they have organized and are maintaining a successful Masonic Club in that
city, and are desirous of obtaining a charter for an Army and Navy Lodge; and,
Whereas, three of the petitioners are well-known members of this Grand Lodge,
to wit: - Wendell R. Davis, Past Grand Master, James C. Collins, Deputy Grand
Master, and Winfield S. Solomon, Past Master of Morning Star Lodge; and,
Whereas, I am convinced that the granting of this request will be of great
benefit to an Masons, in that vicinity as well as to those loyal citizens of
this country, who by their isolation, are at present deprived of receiving the
advantages to be obtained from membership in this Ancient and Honorable
Therefore, I, G. Tudor Gross, by virtue of the power vested in me as Grand
Master of Masons in Rhode Island, do hereby appoint, authorize and empower our
worthy Brother Wendell R. Davis, to be the Master; our worthy Brother Winfield
S. Solomon, to be the Senior Warden; and our worthy Brother James C. Collins,
to be the Junior Warden of a Military and Naval Lodge of Free and Accepted
Masons to be by virtue hereof constituted, formed and held in the City of
Coblentz, in Germany, which Lodge shall be designated and known by the name of
OVERSEAS LODGE, No. 1, U. D.; and the said Master is hereby authorized to
appoint subordinate officers of said Lodge, and said Lodge is authorized to
adopt all such by-laws and regulations for the governance of its proceedings
and labor; subject to my approval, as it may see fit, always adhering so far
as conditions will warrant to the constitution of this Grand Lodge.
Lodge is hereby vested with full power and authority to assemble on proper and
lawful occasions to elect, initiate, pass and raise candidates without the
usual formalities and requirements of chartered Lodges, provided that such
candidates shall be selected only from citizens of the United States serving
in the Army or Navy of the United States, or in any organization associated
with said Army or Navy. Membership in this Lodge shall in no wise impair or
affect existing memberships in a regular, chartered Lodge.
warrant shall terminate at the pleasure of the Grand Master, or of Grand
Lodge; and shall automatically terminate if all the three Brothers named
herein shall be unable to continue as active officers of said Lodge.
Witness my hand and seal this fifteenth day of March, A. D. 1919 and A. L.
6919, at the Grand East in the City of Providence in the State of Rhode
Island. (signed) G. Tudor Gross,
all the Fraternity to whom these presents shall come:
the Most Worshipful, the Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society
of Free and Accepted Masons for the State of Rhode Island and Providence
Plantations, Send Greeting:
Whereas, on the fifteenth day of March, in the year of our Lord, one thousand
nine hundred and nineteen, and of Freemasonry, five thousand nine hundred and
nineteen, our Most Worshipful Grand Master did issue his dispensation to
certain brethren then overseas in the cause of our country in the World War,
authorizing and empowering them to open a Lodge in the City of Goblentz,
situated on the Rhine River, in the Republic of Germany; and,
Whereas, the granting of this dispensation was approved and confirmed at the
following Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge, and was further continued
in force until the Semi-Annual Communication thereafter; and,
Whereas, the dispensation was further continued in force at said Semi-Annual
Communication of the Grand Lodge until this Annual Communication with the
privilege of removing said Lodge from said City of Coblentz to the City of
Providence in this jurisdiction and to receive applications from those
residents thereof who were formerly in the Army or Navy, or in the auxiliary
service, of the United States during the World War, or who may be at the time
of making their application, in the Army or Navy of the United States; and,
Whereas, in our Annual Communication this day said dispensation, with the
record of their doings under the same, has been returned to us, together with
a petition signed by our trusty and well-beloved brethren:
Wendell R. Davis
Harold L. McAusland,
Charles T. Glines,
W. L. Sorterup
Richard E. Golf,
Winfield S. Solomon,
Arthur S. Vaughn
Arthur W. Peace,
William H. Preston
Walter E. Grocock,
Howard H. Payne,
Free and Accepted Masons, praying that they with such others as may be
hereafter associated with them, may be created and constituted into a regular
Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons; and the doings of our brethren under said
dispensation, having been approved by us, the petition, after due
consideration, appearing to us as tending to the advancement of Freemasonry
and the good of the Craft, was granted.
Therefore, Know ye, that we, the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge aforesaid,
reposing full confidence in the fervency, prudence, and fidelity of our
brethren Forenamed, have this day in our said Annual Communication constituted
and appointed, and by these presents do constitute and appoint them, the said
brethren, a just and legal Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, to be hereafter
known and designated by the title of Overseas Lodge, No. 40, Free and Accepted
Masons, for the purpose of putting into practice the principles of
Freemasonry, thereby inculcating and sustaining at all times the spirit of
patriotism and loyalty to our country, giving and granting unto them full
power and authority to convene as Freemasons in the City of Providence, to
receive, and enter Apprentices, pass Fellow Craft, and raise Master Masons;
for the payment of such compensation for the same as may be determined on by
the said Lodge; as also to elect a Master, Wardens and other officers
annually, to receive and collect funds for the relief of poor and distressed
brethren, their widows and orphans; to make by-laws and the same to alter,
amend or repeal, as occasion may require, and in general to do and transact
all matters relative to Freemasonry which may to them appear to be for the
good of the Craft, according to ancient usage and custom of Freemasons.
jurisdiction of this Lodge shall embrace the limits of our Grand Jurisdiction
and it shall have the right to accept applications only from those residents
thereof who were in the Army or Navy, or in the auxiliary service connected
with the Army or Navy of the United States and who have served in the World
we do hereby require of them to attend us at our Annual and all other
Communications, by their Master and Wardens, or by their proxies, regularly
appointed, as also to keep just, regular and accurate records of all their
proceedings, and to lay them before us when required, making due return to us
of all persons whom they may have entered, passed, raised or admitted members
of said Lodge. And we do hereby enjoin upon our brethren of said Overseas
Lodge, No. 40, Free and Accepted Masons, that they be punctual in the payment
of such sums as may be assessed for our support; and in all things that they
strictly conform to our Constitution and Edicts, and the general regulations
of Freemasonry. Furthermore, we do hereby declare the precedence of said Lodge
in the Grand Lodge and elsewhere to be the fortieth from us.
testimony whereof, we, the Most Worshipful Grand Master, the Right Worshipful
Deputy Grand Master and the Right Worshipful Grand Wardens by virtue of the
power and authority to us committed, have hereunto set our hands and caused
the seal of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge aforesaid to be hereunto affixed,
at Providence, this seventeenth day of May, in the year of our Lord one
thousand nine hundred and twenty, and of Freemasonry, five thousand nine
hundred and twenty.
C. COLLINS, Grand Master.
E. BEATTY, Deputy Grand Master.
JOSEPH LAWTON, Senior Grand Warden.
FREDERICK I. DANA, Junior Grand Warden.
order of the Grand Lodge,
The Degrees of Masonry; Their Origin and History
BROS. A. L. KRESS AND R. J. MEEKREN (Continued from December)
BEFORE commenting on Gould's argument as a whole that the evolution of the
original primitive two degree system into our present one of three degrees,
one more quotation must be given, that in some ways is very illuminating,
though perhaps not exactly in the way the author intended it.
. . I have expressed my belief that Anderson only joined the English Craft in
1721, but whatever the period may have been, his opportunities of grafting the
nomenclature of one Masonic system upon that of another only commenced in the
latter part of that year, and lasted barely six months, as his manuscript
Constitutions were ordered to be printed March 25 1722. He was, therefore,
debarred from borrowing as largely as he must have wished judging from his
fuller work of 1738 from the operative phraseology of the Northern Kingdom
This really seems like building a pyramid with its apex down! The second
edition contained one extra Scottish term, the word Cowan." It is true that
Gould brings up in support like a troop of camp followers camouflaged as
reserves the mention in the 1738 book of the old custom of meetings held
. . early in the Morning on the Tops of Hills, especially on St. John
Evangelist's Day . . . according to the tradition of the old Scots Masons,
particularly those of the antient lodges of Killwinning, Sterling, Aberdeen,
This, he seems to think, may have given rise to like statements which appear
in most of the early printed exposures. But really this is putting the cart
before the horse! The paragraph in question did not appear until 1738, and at
least four such "exposures," three of which are quite distinct and
characteristic in their contents (3), had been published before 1738, or
rather before 1731, and they all contain closely analogous statements. The
more reasonable interpretation is surely that we have here a genuine operative
tradition, current equally in England and in Scotland.
the critical date of 1723 the sum total of the Scottish importations
discoverable by Gould is actually two compound titles, Entered Apprentice and
Fellow Craft, of which compounds the chief element in each case was admittedly
known and familiar in England, so that it is only the addition of the
qualifying terms, "entered" in the one case and "Craft" in the other, that can
be claimed as new. It would seem that a far more natural, and perfectly
adequate explanation (granting that the terms were an importation) is that
Anderson, who wrote calamo currents and who evidently never stopped to verify
quotations but just put down things as he remembered them, simply used the
phraseology that was familiar to him as a Scottish Mason, with not the least
idea or intention of supplanting or altering that which was in use in London,
or even realizing that he was using terms that might be unfamiliar to his
English brethren. If so, it would follow that in his mind Entered Apprentice
was the same thing as Apprentice, Master Mason as Master, and Fellow Craft as
Fellow, and conversely that his English readers understood what he intended as
well as he did himself.
First of all, Gould's argument rests on the supposition that these terms
really were not known in England before Anderson's work was published. Here we
are once more presented with a negative argument, and one resting on very
slender evidence. There are, roughly speaking, the Old Charges, the references
of Ashmole and Randle Holme, and the accounts of Plot and Aubrey. The "Old
Charges" hardly tell us anything, for they were copied from older exemplars
and would not have been changed even if current terminology had been modified
in this regard. And for proof of this we have only to go to Scotland itself,
where we find copies of the old MS. Constitutions in which the terms Fellow
and Apprentice are found without qualifying additions. The copy that was used
in the Lodge of Aberdeen, which (if Bro. Miller's suggestion be accepted) was
copied by Dr. Anderson's father, may be taken as a peculiarly appropriate
example. It contains the normal phraseology, Fellow, Master and Apprentice,
though the Statutes of the lodge speak of Master Masons, Entered Prentices and
Thus it would certainly appear that Scottish Masons must have quite understood
the English terminology, and it seems pertinent to ask why English Masons
should misunderstand that of Scotland; at least we can rule out the evidence
of Old Charges as being quite irrelevant to this particular question. We thus
have only four brief mentions, which, were they more conclusive than they are,
could not possibly prove, being all earlier than the 18th century, that London
Masons were ignorant of these compound terms in 1720, or even 1700. We are not
suggesting that they were known, but merely pointing out the fact that the
evidence adduced is altogether inadequate to prove such a sweeping negative as
Gould required for his argument.
is to be noted, as Gould points out in more than one place, that the earliest
copies of the Old Catechisms, both printed and in manuscript, contain some
mention of these two "scotticisms." The curious and rather exasperating thing
here is that none of the manuscripts can be dated with any certainty before
1723, while all the printed versions extant are later than the date of
publication of the Book of Constitutions. We have references to a catechism
printed before 1723, but no copy of it exists so far as is known. Should it
turn up some day, and prove to be (as we think very probable) an earlier
publication of the document printed in 1723 under the title of the "Mason's
Examination" (and many times thereafter under other titles) it might settle
the question definitely as against Gould. Or on the other hand it might lend
him strong support; though even then not to the point of absolute
conclusiveness. But that this should happen is only a pious hope.
the matter stands, the evidence of the Catechisms is tied up with the
hypothesis we are considering in a very peculiar way. They do not lend it any
logical support, nor do they militate against it. If on other grounds we agree
with Gould that Anderson imported these phrases, then it is likely that the
compilers or publishers of these effusions borrowed from him. If we doubt
whether Gould is right and suppose the terms were not wholly unknown, then
their appearance here will confirm our doubt. They fit either hypothesis
The case of Sloane MS. 3329 and the Trinity College and Chetwode Crawley MSS.
is still more annoying (4). They have no date. From appearance, paper,
handwriting and the other criteria by which experts judge the age of
documents, they are all of about the critical period. They may be earlier,
they may be later. It is equally obvious that they, like the printed versions,
give no certain indication. All three of them have a strongly Scottish
character, over and above the use of the terms "Entered Prentice" and "Fellow
Craft," or "fellow craftsman," and one is apparently closely linked up with
the usages of the old Haughfoot Lodge. Gould was so obsessed with the idea
that the Scottish Craft knew nothing but the "Mason word," that he had to put
on one side as "exceptional" the indications plainly pointing to more than
this which appear in the records of Haughfoot and Dunblane, and which are
confirmed, and elucidated to some extent, by these MSS. And if the two degree
system was known in Scotland as well as in England before 1723 or earlier,
then the theory of misunderstanding will become still more incredible. But we
will have to discuss these documents more fully later on and for the present
we may leave them on one side.
WAS ANDERSON MISUNDERSTOOD?
Let us admit, for the sake of argument, that these two phrases were not known
in England, and we think it is quite probable they were at least not usual or
familiar; the question then arises, were they so new and unintelligible as to
cause confusion in the minds of the Masonic readers of the Book of
There surely could have been none in regard to the Apprentice. For if, in
England, he was not "entered," he was "admitted." The difference in meaning is
too slight for there to have been any doubt in anyone's mind what was
intended. The whole burden of the alleged misunderstanding must rest on the
term Fellow Craft.
If, as seems certain the sequence in England was Apprentice, Master (of his
Craft) and Fellow (the Mason being accepted as a Fellow of the Fraternity
because he had become master of his trade) it would seem that it would have
taken truly preternatural stupidity to suppose that Master Mason and Fellow
Craft meant something different. The old sequence was not changed in
Regulation XIII, and in the fourth Charge the term Master obviously means
Master of the Lodge the two meanings one would suppose, were obvious enough,
and usual enough, to make misunderstanding very improbable. The two uses of
the term Master were not peculiar to the Masons, they were general; and not
only that, they have continued down to the present time. We all understand at
once the difference between a master- workman, a man proficient in his trade,
and the master, "boss," or employer. But we may here quote a contemporary
writer, Martin Clare (5). In the Defense of Masonry, written in reply to
Prichard's Masonry Dissected, he says:
There are a MASTER, two Wardens and a number of Assistants, to make what the
Dissector may call (if he pleases) a Perfect Lodge in the City Companies.
There is the Degree of Enter'd Apprentice, Master of his Trade, or Fellow
Craft and Master, or the Master of the Company (6).
This seems to indicate that seven years later there was no confusion in
Clare's mind about the equivalence of the old English and the Scottish terms;
and as the Defense was widely circulated, and was reprinted as an appendix to
the second Book of Constitutions it would further seem to show that there was
not much room for misapprehension elsewhere; neither does Clare's language
betray any objection to the compound terms as Gould's argument would seem to
Gould bases his belief that misunderstanding did exist chiefly on the
appearance of Prichard's three degree system, but he supports it also by two
other items of evidence. The first is the apparent reference to three degrees
by Francis Drake, F. R. S., in his speech to the assembled Fraternity at York
on the Festival of St. John's Day, 17268. The passage in question follows a
lengthy quotation from Addison. Drake then goes on to say:
From what he [Addison] has said, the great Antiquity of the Art of Building or
Masonry may be easily deduced; for without running up to Seth's Pillars or the
Tower of Babel for proofs the Temple- of Belus alone, or the Walls of Babylon
. . . are sufficient testimonies, or at least give great Reason to conjecture,
that three parts in four of the whole Earth might then be divided into E-P-F-C
quite frankly do not have any clear idea what this means. It may be that Drake
had mistaken Dr. Anderson to speak of three grades in London and did not wish
to admit any fewer in York; it may be he first learned of the term Fellow
Craft in the 1723 Book of Constitutions, and that Masons in the North of
England had no previous knowledge of its use in Scotland; it may be that they
were familiar with the terms and used them in the old way; but what actually
may be properly deduced from it as it stands we do not even wish to guess.
Gould held that there was but one ceremony employed at York; basing that
opinion on the minutes, which speak only of candidates being "admitted and
sworn." But then what did the three titles mean to Drake and those who
listened to him ranks merely? Or Degrees?
But, as it appears to myself, Drake had evidently constructed an imaginary
tri-gradal system, from a mis-reading of James Anderson's ambiguous
expressions in O. R. XIII.
But why should the "Apprentices," "Masters" and "Fellow Craft" of the 1723
Regulation lead to such an imaginary construction when the "Apprentices",
"Masters" and "Fellows" of the Old Charges, with which Drake must have been
familiar, had not done so? The natural thing would be to interpret the new in
the light of the old, and we have really nothing in the obscure reference to
show that Drake, if he did borrow his terms, understood them in any other
sense than Anderson in 1723 had intended them.
IRISH USAGE IN 1730
The next piece of evidence seems much stronger. In our opinion it is the one
really relevant fact he offers. In Pennell's Constitutions, virtually an
edition of Anderson, published in Dublin before the end of August, 1730 (that
is a little earlier than Prichard's work) we find the following addition to
Charge IV (9):
Master should take an Apprentice unless . . . [he is physically qualified and
so on, and thus not incapable] . . . Of being made a Brother and a Fellow
Craft, and in due time a Master; and when quailfy'd, he may arrive to the
Honour of being Warden, then Master of a Lodge, etc.
When this is compared with Anderson it certainly does give the strong
impression that three degrees are intended. But seeing that only a month or
two later Prichard presents us with a complete sketch of a trigradal system,
it will depend on our opinion of the origin of that work what significance we
give to this. The curious thing is that in 1734-1735 William Smith published
in London and Dublin A Pocket Companion for Freemasons, virtually a book of
Constitutions, having official approval of the Grand Lodge of Ireland, which
the 1730 work did not have. This follows Pennell very closely, but it omits
the pregnant words "and in due time a Master."
This raises a number of questions. Was the omission intentional ? If so did it
mean that more than two degrees were unknown in Ireland? Or was the Grand
Lodge of Ireland seeking to suppress a three degree arrangement introduced
unofficially from England, and trying to maintain the ancient system? It is
impossible to say without more evidence. So far, however, as Gould's theory
goes, Pennell's work is overshadowed by Prichard's Masonry Dissected, which
followed it so closely.
a number of different places, Gould has intimated his theory of how the change
was effected, as for example, in the History he says (10):
is probable that about this period [1724-25] the existing degrees were
remodelled, and the titles of Fellow Craft and Master disjoined the latter
becoming the degree of Master Mason, and the former virtually denoting a new
degree, though its essentials were merely composed of a severed portion of the
ceremonial hitherto observed at the entry of an apprentice.
This opinion (with which, as it is here stated, we fully agree) is based on a
comparison of Prichard with the other versions of the Old Catechisms. The
process is by no means fully complete in Prichard, but it does show us a
second degree, called the Fellow Craft's Part, which is not so much a severed
portion, but a variant version of part of the old Mason's Examination or
Catechism. It is a separate degree almost entirely in virtue of having a name
and being set apart, rather than in its content; indeed if might almost be
called a doublet of the first. However, in spite of its embryonic form it may
be taken as a sketch of what later became the normal type.
Gould adduces another fact to support his contention that in 1723 the Grand
Lodge recognized only two degrees. A French lodge was constituted in London in
August of that year, by the Earl of Strathmore, and 'le Maitre, les
Survetllants, les Compagnons et les Apprentifs [The Master, the Wardens, the
Fellows and the Apprentices] were alone particularized. He goes on. (11)
Soon after 1730, indeed a system of three degrees crept into use, of which the
proximate cause appears to have been the influence exercised both directly and
indirectly by the spurious ritual of Samuel Prichard. But there is nothing
from which we may infer that a division of the old "Apprentice Part" into two
moieties each forming a distinct step or degree had been approved by the Grand
Lodge prior to the publication of the New Book of Constitutions in 1738.
an article in the Northern Freemason in 1906 he recapitulated his position
(12). Referring briefly to the fact that
Scotland, both before and long after the year 1723, the expressions "Fellow
Craft" and "Master" were terms of indifferent application, meaning one and the
goes on to repeat the assertion, which while possible (and even probable) is
not as, we have said, demonstrated, that the term "Fellow Craft" was unknown
in England until Anderson imported it. He then says:
The combined use, therefore, of the terms Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master
in the XIIIth of the "General Regulations" (1723) gave rise to the singular
hallucination that they denoted three distinct and separate degrees which were
then recognized by the Grand Lodge.
And then after running over the earliest allusions to three separate degrees,
that we have already discussed, down to Pennell's Constitutions, he adds:
. . After this the delusion assumed such proportions that yielding to the
popular clamor, the two degrees inherited and hitherto only recognized by the
Grand Lodge of England were by the bisection of the Apprentice part declared
not only to be, but to have been, THREE.
For a historian this seems to us a very unguarded statement. Granting, as we
are certainly willing to do, that the change might have been made in the way
he asserts; it is going entirely beyond any evidence adduced by himself, or
known to us, to say the Grand Lodge made any such declaration unless he means
no more than the official approval, or acquiescence, in the changes made by
Anderson in his New Book of 1738. If this was his meaning, it seems so over-
emphatic as to be very misleading to any reader who has not been able to weigh
all the evidence for himself.
DID THE GRAND LODGE OPPOSE THE NEW SYSTEM ?
had been more cautious in 1903. In a paper read to the Quatuor Coronati Lodge,
he said (13):
The precise circumstances under which an expansion of the original system of
degrees was authorized, or perhaps it would be better to say regulated, by the
earliest of Grand Lodges, have not been recorded, but there is a sufficiency
of evidence from which the broad facts of the ease become distinguishable. The
governing body of English Masonry evidently tried to combat the new doctrine
of which Samuel Prichard was the high priest by having the "Discourse" of
Martin Clare read in the lodges and doubtless in other ways. But finding the
novelty had taken root and there can be no doubt that the seed from which
Masonry Dissected ultimately germinated, had been sown by Anderson . . . the
Grand Lodge, it is more than probable, felt bound to regulate a movement it
was unable to suppress. Three steps therefore, were declared. to exist in the
Constitutions of 1738 and the order of their precedence was determined by the
Grand Officers, in the manner which appeared to them in the greatest harmony
with the ancient and Symbolic traditions of the Craft.
see that here, perhaps because addressing a more critical audience, he inserts
a qualification, "it is more than probable" the Grand Lodge felt bound to act.
It seems to us that Anderson's emendations in the New Book are rather a
recognition or an adaptation of formula to a fait accompli; but perhaps this
is all Gould meant. If by his Discourse, reference is made to the Defence of
Martin Clare we presume the passage that we quoted above is what Gould had in
mind as the reason for the Grand Lodge having it read in the lodges (14). But
there is so much more of value in Clare's tract that it is hard to pick on one
brief, and not especially striking paragraph, and say that that was
pre-eminently the thing it was desired to disseminate. And finally, where is
there the least shadow of an indication that "the Grand Officers" took counsel
together on the subject? It is all pure inference, based in Gould's mind on
another part of his general hypothesis which we will shortly have to consider,
respecting the "order in which the two moities" of the Apprentices part were
given. We now continue the quotation:
The second edition of the Constitutions, like the first, was the cause of
serious trouble in the lodges, and in each ease the discontent appears to have
been at its height about a year after the publication of the work. In 1739,
the rearrangement of the degrees gave offense, not only to brethren who were
working in the old way, i. e., according to the system of two degrees as
existing prior to and after 1717; but also to all those practicing three
ceremonies, who followed the method of conferring them as laid down in
Prichard's Spurious Ritual of 1730. There were other causes which tended to
widen the breach between the Masons who were submissive and those who were
disobedient to the mandates of the Grand Lodge. The principal of these was a
second tampering with the "Mason's Creed," which, at a later period, caused a
further divergence of procedure between the two parties into which English
Freemasons ultimately became separated. (15)
The two parties are the rival Grand Lodges of "Moderns" and "Antients," and
the "Mason's Creed" is, we suppose, the first charge, "Concerning God and
Religion," which was somewhat modified in the New Book; but while those lodges
which continued to work only two degrees may have objected to the innovation,
no evidence whatever has been brought to light, in such minutes as have
survived, to show either that they rebelled on this account, or that the Grand
Lodge sought, for the sake of uniformity, or any other reason, to force them
to do their work in three stages instead of two. It may have been so, but
there is absolutely nothing to show it.
Gould, History, Vol. iii, p. 111.
Ibid, Vol. iii, p. 45.
These are the Mason's Examination published in the Flying Post of April 13,
1723, the Grand Mystery of Freemasons Discovered, published in 1725. These two
Gould reproduces in the Appendix of his History, Vol. iv, p. 281. On Aug. 16,
1730 the Daily Journal published the Mystery of Freemasons, the catechism in
which is a slightly variant version from that of the Examination. It was
reproduced by Franklin in the Pennsylvania Gazette in the December following.
In October Prichard's Masonry Dissected appeared. Besides these we really
should add the Sloane MS. No. 3329 as no authority gives it so late a date as
1738. The Trinity College and Chetwode Crawley MSS. might be also adduced if
it were not that they may be of Scottish origin
The Trinity College has on it the following endorsement, "Freemasonry, Feb.
1711" but this is in a different hand from the contents of the MS. itself, and
as we have no idea who made it or when, or what grounds there were for the
statement it is impossible to receive it as evidence.
A. Q. C., Vol. iv, p. 33; Vol. 28, p. 80.
Anderson's New Book of Constitutions 1738, p. 217, Reproduced in Q. C. A.,
For Gould's argument on this point the Concise History, p. 400, and Essays, p.
223, may be consulted.
Hughan's Masonic Sketches and Reprints (1871), p. 112.
Gould, Essays, p. 218. Pennell's work was reproduced by Dr. Chetwode Crawley
in Caementaria Hibernica, Vol. i.
10. History, Vol. iii, p. 114.
11. Essays, p. 218
12. Ibid, p. 269.
13. Ib., p. 223.
14. We judge that it is. see Concise Hist., pp. 400-401. Compare also
Wonnacott, A. Q. C., Vol. xxviii, p. 80.
15. Compare also the Concise History, p. 417.
(To be continued)
MEEKREN, Editor in Charge
THIEMEYER, Research Editor
ROBERT I. CLEGG, Illinois
GILBERT W. DAYNES, England
V. DENSLOW, Missouri
GEORGE H. DERN, Utah
N.W.J. HAYDON, Canada
CHARLES F. IRWIN, Pennsylvania
JOSEPH E. MORCOMBE, California
ARTHUR C. PARKER, New York
HUGO TATSCH, Iowa
M. WHTED, California
E.W. WILLIAMSON, Nevada
REGARD TO RESEARCH LODGES
are in the United States a number of local organizations, clubs, societies and
associations, that are specifically devoted to Masonic Study, Research and
Instruction. So far as our information goes there is no Lodge of Research.
general rule in this country against plural membership doubtless accounts for
this fact. Few Masons want to give up their ordinary lodge membership in order
to join one devoted entirely to study and research. While a research lodge, on
the other hand, cannot very well perform the usual functions of a lodge for
several good reasons. For one, there would not be time to do both; but the
most compelling is that it would be practically impossible for an applicant to
understand whether a Research Lodge was what he wanted to join, and equally
difficult for the lodge to know whether a candidate was likely to be of
assistance in its special work. A lodge of research, to be successful, must
recruit its membership from Master Masons who know what they want and who show
a definite interest in learning more about Masonry.
are several jurisdictions where the experiment might be tried. There are about
twelve Grand Lodges in this country that permit, in some form or other, dual
or plural membership. Of these five only, so far as our information goes,
allow a brother to belong to more than one lodge within the jurisdiction:
these are Massachusetts, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia, and very
recently New York. In these states it is open to interested brothers to form a
a lodge does not require any different form of dispensation or charter. It is
sufficient that there be an understanding, which might be embodied in the
by-laws if thought advisable, that no applications for initiation should be
received. If the Grand Lodge should decide to favor the formation of such
lodges by remitting the customary dues, so much the better; but this in most
cases is not a heavy tax and could easily be met. The other expenses can be
reduced to a minimum and the lodge dues calculated on a basis to provide
sufficient income. There is no reason why, in any Grand Lodge permitting dual
membership within its jurisdiction, such a lodge should not be constituted
without any constitutional or legislative changes.
Naturally, such a lodge could be more easily formed in large centers of
population, where there are many brethren to draw from, as unfortunately the
percentage of those interested in the higher aspects of Masonry is very small.
They form the elite of the Craft, and would have more influence if organized
as a lodge than in any other way, and this would be very much to the good.
would thus seem, now that it has been made possible by the Grand Lodge of New
York, that the time has come for the experiment to be made. There must be a
sufficient number of brethren in New York City to support such a lodge, and to
make it a success. We hope that they will avail themselves of the opportunity
now opened up, and not wait for the start to be made elsewhere.
* * *
MOMENTOUS STEP RETRACED
THIRTEEN years ago, when the World War was blazing up to its height, the
United Grand Lodge of England took a step that aroused a good deal of
criticism and caused genuine regret in this country. This was the exclusion of
members of English lodges who were of German or Austrian birth, and a
declaration of non-recognition and non-intercourse with the Grand Lodges of
enemy countries. The then editor of THE BUILDER spoke of it "with mingled
sorrow and amazement." The amazement has long since passed, but the sorrow and
regret have remained.
members of the English Grand Lodge were by no means unanimous in this
decision. The resolution was forcibly opposed, and the minority was a large
one. This shows that in spite of the provocation - and provocation there
certainly was - many of our English brethren felt it would establish a most
will briefly recapitulate the circumstances. First, the German Grand Lodges
had, in very arrogant terms, repudiated the idea of universality in the Craft,
and had severed all connection with the Masonry in the allied countries. But
this, though unpleasant, did not raise any question as regarding brethren of
German birth who were English Masons; and there were many such.
real cause of complaint was the behavior of these brethren, behavior that was
un-Masonic to a very high degree. It was not their loyalty to their country,
their desire to serve it in any way, even by espionage. There is nothing
reprehensible in this. If we are just, we must recognize that a German
civilian was as noble and self-sacrificing in risking his life to obtain
information for the government of his country as Englishmen and Frenchmen were
in doing likewise - and many did. The difficulty was that the German brethren
insisted on bringing the subject of the war into the lodges.
sounds rather incredible. but we have it on the best of authority that it was
true, not only here and there, but almost generally. What was difficult to
understand, and is still obscure, is why the ordinary, normal machinery of
Masonic discipline could not have fully met the case. To do anything to
disturb the harmony of a lodge is a recognized offense, one that the Master
has full power to take cognizance of summarily. Any brother refusing to submit
is thereby contumacious and liable to exclusion on that ground alone. And
action along such lines so far from creating a bad precedent, would have
strengthened a good one.
Originally particular lodges had the power to exclude anyone who was persona
non grata to a majority of the members, and the right was frequently
exercised. Such exclusion did not affect the brother's standing generally, it
left him much in the position of a dimitted Mason among ourselves. But lodges,
both in England and America, have been progressively shorn of their powers
until they are approaching the stage of being little more than the agencies of
Grand Lodges with no other function than that of running candidates through
the "degree mill." It is a melancholy lesson of history that rights once lost
are seldom or never regained. Instead of reviving and strengthening the old
powers of the individual lodges, and encouraging them to take such action as
seemed best to fit individual cases, and thus putting the matter on the
eminently Masonic ground of maintaining peace and harmony in the lodge,
without specific reference to any particular cause of irritation or
disturbance of fraternal feelings, it appeared to be necessary to make an ad
hoc rule along lines which, at the very best, were contrary to the great ideal
of the Craft, universal brotherhood.
was all the more unfortunate because the whole Masonic world is affected,
willingly or unwillingly, by the action of the Grand Lodge of England.
Englishmen are reputed to have many faults and failings, but impulsive and
resentful action is not looked for from them. And when they do act in that way
it has a very far reaching effect. In this case, we cannot help feeling, a
very unfortunate one.
now ten years since the war ended, nine since the treaty of peace was made,
and this resolution has at last been rescinded. It is now open to the English
lodges to restore such of their excluded members as they may unanimously
During this period, so we are informed, the lodges holding of the Grand Lodge
of England have been forbidden to admit to Masonic intercourse brethren whom
no one would have dreamed of wanting to exclude. In some cases, so we are
informed, these brethren, though born in Germany or Austria, had lived their
whole lives under the British flag, had served in some cases in British
armies, whose sons fought in the Great War for their father's adopted country,
and indeed in some cases have been honored by British Governments for services
rendered. It certainly seems time that such an injustice was remedied, if
remedied it can be.
German Grand Lodges have received much reprobation for their action in
breaking off fraternal relations. But in following their example we have
condoned their action. In any case we ought now to be free enough from
war-bred passion and prejudice to be able to see that this action was really
inevitable, practically speaking, on their part. Indeed it might with truth be
said that it was compulsory. Aside from the pressure of mass sentiment, which
was so fully organized and exploited in pre-war Germany, they would have been
suspect in the eyes of their own government had they not taken the step they
did. Under the circumstances it is not fair to blame them. We might have
admired them more had they made themselves martyrs for the Masonic ideal, but
we have no right to demand that they should have done so, even had we also
been willing to sacrifice everything for that ideal - it is far from certain
that we should.
thing, however, remains. The actions of Grand Lodges have not always the
importance they seem to have. Practically, and in effect, all relations
between the Grand Lodges of the combatant countries were severed by the
existence of a state of war. Declarations of non-intercourse were really no
more than rubricating and underlining the unfortunate fact. These declarations
had little or no effect on the actions of individual Masons. The present
writer can vouch from personal knowledge that German Masons did in many cases
aid and assist enemy brothers so far as lay in their power. Undoubtedly the
reverse was also true, though of that he cannot speak so certainly. Thus in
reality the formal action was not much more than what the French would call a
"facade." Behind that screen individual Masons were fulfilling their
obligations with little regard to the thunders of official excommunication.
have sometimes thought that if the chief priests and rulers of our particular
synagogues could be thrown for a time into the stress and danger of flood and
field, battle and murder and shipwreck, destitution and starvation, and had
personal experience of the workings of Masonry in such circumstances, that
many questions would be seen in an altogether new light, and that some
obstacles to the ideal of universality would not appear so insurmountable as
they seem to do at present.
AMERICAN ARMY LODGES
pamphlet on "How to Organize and Maintain a Study Club" will be sent free on
request, in quantities to fifty
Papers of the Cedar Rapids Conference
paper given by Bro. William J. Patterson, Acting Librarian and Curator of the
Library of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, dealt with the foundation and
growth of that institution, in which incidentally the salient points of the
history of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania were touched upon.
LIBRARY OF THE GRAND LODGE OF PENNSYLVANIA
BRO. WILLIAM J. PATTERSON
account of the library of our Grand Lodge that is to be presented to this
Conference may be more interesting if I preface it with a brief recapitulation
of the chief events in the Masonic history of the State of Pennsylvania.
The first mention of Masonry in Pennsylvania is that contained in a letter by
John Moore, Esq., the King's Collector of the Port at Philadelphia, to a
friend, in 1715, in which he states that "he had spent a few evenings in
festivity with his Masonic brethren in this city."
Thomas Duke of Norfolk, Grand Master of the Free and Accepted Masons of the
Grand Lodge of England, granted a deputation to Bro. Daniel Coxe as Provincial
Grand Master of the provinces of New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania June 5,
Benjamin Franklin was initiated into St. John's Lodge, of Philadelphia, Feb.
1, 1730, which feet he recorded in his journal.
The Pennsylvania Gazette, Franklin's newspaper, announces the meetings of
"several lodges of Freemasons." These lodges united in the organization of an
independent Grand Lodge which did not recognize superior authority.
The Pennsylvania Gazette of June 26, 1732, gives notice of a meeting held by
the Grand Lodge of the Society of Free and Accepted Masons at the Tun Tavern,
when Bro. William Allen was elected Grand Master for the ensuing Masonic Year,
and that he appointed Bro. William Pringle as Deputy Grand Master; the Wardens
were Thomas Boude and Benjamin Franklin.
June 24, 1734, Benjamin Franklin was elected Grand Master.
The first Masonic book printed in America, a reprint of Anderson's
Constitutions of 1723, was published in 1734 by Benjamin Franklin.
Thomas Oxnard, Esq., of Boston, Mass., Provincial Grand Master of all North
America, on July 10, 1749, appointed Bro. Benjamin Franklin Provincial Grand
Master of Pennsylvania, with full authority. The first Grand Lodge under this
warrant was held Sept. 5, 1749, at the house of Bro. Henry Pratt, "The Royal
Standard," Market street, near Second, in Philadelphia.
The regularity of the Oxnard appointment was questioned, and on March 13,
1750, at the communication of the Independent Grand Lodge, William Allen,
Esq., presented to the Grand Lodge a commission direct from the Grand Master
of all England appointing him Provincial Grand Master of Pennsylvania,
recognized as valid, and Grand Master Allen then appointed Bro. Benjamin
Franklin Deputy Grand Master, which position he retained until after his
departure in 1757 to England. The minutes of the Grand Lodge of England, Nov.
17, 1760, records him as "Benjamin Franklin, Esq., P. G. M., of Philadelphia."
June 24, 1755, the Grand Lodge dedicated Freemasons' Lodge building, in Lodge
Alley, Philadelphia, which was the first Masonic building erected in this
On July 15, 1761, Thomas Erskin, Earl of Kelly, then Grand Master of England
"Ancients," granted his warrant No. 1 in Pennsylvania (No. 89 in England) for
a Grand Lodge in Philadelphia, "independent of any former dispensation,
warrant or constitution granted to any person or persons in America." Under
this warrant the Grand Lodge met as a Provincial Grand Lodge subject to the
Grand Lodge of England according to the Old Constitutions [the "Ancients"].
This Grand Lodge continued through the Revolution and until Sept. 25, 1786,
when it was resolved "That the lodges under the jurisdiction of the Grand
Lodge of Pennsylvania, lately held under the authority of the Grand Lodge of
England, will and do form themselves into a Grand Lodge to be called 'The
Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and Masonic Jurisdiction Thereunto Belonging."'
Account of the Library
June 7, 1871, the following resolution was adopted:
WHEREAS: It has for a long time been the desire of a large number of the
brethren that the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania should possess a Masonic Library
that would reflect credit upon the Fraternity; and
WHEREAS: The Building Committee have, with a wise forethought, set apart a
room in the Masonic Temple for that purpose;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED: That a committee of five be appointed to examine
and arrange such material as may now be in the possession of the Grand Lodge,
to procure, if practicable, complete sets of the proceedings of Sister Grand
Lodges with which we are in correspondence, and take such other steps as may
be necessary for the formation of a Masonic Library.
Dee. 5, 1871, the Library Committee appointed by resolution of the Grand Lodge
in June last, fraternally beg leave to present their first annual report.
meeting for organization was held on the 27th day of September, at which the
following brethren were chosen as officers:
Charles E. Meyer, Chairman; M. Richards Muckle, Treasurer, and John Hanold,
that time many meetings have been held, all of the books, papers, etc., in the
office of the Grand Secretary, Bro. John Thomson, properly belonging to this
committee were received. Contributions started to come in and the Library
commenced to grow.
Masonic Temple, Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, October, 1871:
minutes of the R. W. Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania contain resolutions passed as
early as March 26, 1787, and subsequently, on Oct. 7, 1816, and March 17,
1817, showing that efforts were made to establish a Library. Attention has
also been at various times called to the subject in the addresses of the R. W.
Past Grand Master Richard Vaux. Nothing appears however to have been
accomplished, and the subject was permitted to rest until the Quarterly
Communication held June 7, 1871.
Committee on Library then solicited the membership to contribute such
publications (Records, Biographies, Essays, Addresses, etc., Masonic and
anti-Masonic) relating to Freemasonry as they could, thereby assisting in the
collection and the furnishing of information to the brotherhood which would be
accessible to all, and be productive of much good, both as to the
dissemination of instruction and for the purpose of reference.
anyone acquainted with the subject of forming a Masonic Library, the very
great difficulties to be encountered will be at once apparent. The entire
history of each Grand Lodge and other Masonic bodies must be gone over to
ascertain when organized, when the first publication was issued and what years
publications or meetings were omitted. Take for instance the Grand Lodge of
first Masonic book published in America was printed in the city of Brotherly
Love by Bro. Benjamin Franklin in 1734, being a reprint of Anderson's
Constitution. This work is very rare, and would bring a high price to those
engaged in collecting Masonic works.
first publication of the present Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania was "Smith's
Ahiman Rezon," in 1783, published by direction of the Grand Lodge, and
dedicated to our Bro. George Washington.
next we find is a large folio-4-page sheet, being an abstract of proceedings
for 1792. The size and shape of the publication from that year seemed to vary
to suit the taste of the printer or Grand Secretary, and was confined
principally to lists of expulsions, suspensions, etc. In 1801 brief extracts
of proceedings were published and were reduced to a size as much too small as
before they had been too large. In 1823 another Constitution or Ahiman Rezon
was published, which was largely taken from Anderson's Constitution.
1850 the present size of proceedings of the R. W. Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania
Library has grown and for the past 57 years of labor it has had a continuous
and fruitful increase of material worthy of note, under the guidance of the
members of the Committee on Library, and time has filled the book shelves and
museum cases to their full capacity.
Library is now capable of furnishing the scholar, who is in search of Masonic
knowledge, the means for the study of Freemasonry in its various branches.
gratifying to know the interest in the Library and Museum is continually
growing, and information is daily sought by the members of the Fraternity.
Grand Lodge Library has helped in the progressive work of the Committee on
Lectures in assisting the lecturers from the different districts in their
labors, and by giving the brethren from the various subordinate lodges
information they have from time to time requested.
full resources of the Library are at the command of the Master Mason, and the
Library staff are at all times glad to be of service.
Visitors registered in the Library for the year 1927 total 1169. They viewed
the valuable collection contained therein, but it is only possible to display
a portion of the museum collection owing to the lack of space.
total number of volumes on the shelves in the Library total 19,117. The museum
collection contains 7721 specimens.
are over 210,000 Master Masons in the State of Pennsylvania, 60,000 in the
city of Philadelphia; 565 lodges now hold warrants from the Grand Lodge of
Pennsylvania in the state, and there are 95 lodges meeting in Philadelphia, 87
lodges meeting in the Masonic Temple, Broad and Filbert streets.
60,000 Chapter Masons in the State of Pennsylvania, and between 18,000 and
20,000 in the city of Philadelphia; 153 Chapters throughout the state and 19
in the city of Philadelphia, 13 meet in the Masonic Temple, Broad and Filbert
little over 42,000 Knights Templar in the State of Pennsylvania and about
12,000 in Philadelphia; 98 Commanderies throughout the state and 8 meet in the
Masonic Temple, Broad and Filbert streets.
Mark lodges are still in existence in Philadelphia; Girard Mark Lodge and
Excelsior Mark Lodge meet each month in the Temple.
Philadelphia Consistory, Valley of Philadelphia, now meets in its new temple,
Broad and Race streets, and a large room has been set aside for a library,
which, in time, will be the finest of its kind in this country.
T. S. Southwick, Librarian of the Los Angeles Masonic Library, then discussed
the particular problems of the local library. The Los Angeles library is not a
Grand Lodge institution nor yet the enterprise of an individual lodge. It is
under the management of the Masonic Library Association, which is composed of
representatives of such lodges as care to contribute. Their ideas of library
management are very liberal and they seem to think that the chief purpose of
books is to have them read by as many people as possible.
THE OPERATION OF A LOCAL MASONIC LIBRARY
BRO. T. S. SOUTHWICK
LIBRARIES have their problems, which vary according to location, equipment,
management, finances, etc. The library at Los Angeles is the outgrowth of a
Mason's request for used magazines for the use of candidates and others
waiting in the ante-room. It was soon suggested that a library association be
formed. A conference with three lodges brought financial assistance of five
dollars per month from each of these lodges. In time, other Masonic bodies
The lodges nominated a library committee of two or three brethren who were
known as representatives to the Library Board, and acted as an advisory
directorate. Experience has demonstrated that this kind of government or
management is not satisfactory, because the appointments made no reference to
the selected individuals' fitness or interest in the work. Everything rested
upon the Secretary who, of course, had his own business to look after. Unless
the Secretary was especially altruistic, he did no more than was absolutely
necessary. Most of the lodges felt a self-satisfaction if they contributed a
monthly cheek, and did not advertise the library to their members. Now,
however, many of the lodge bulletins give the library publicity by book
reviews and items of library activities.
The library is constantly growing in patronage. Members of every lodge in the
city use the books. In some of the lodges an assortment of books has been
placed as a branch. We place as few restrictions as possible upon the
borrower; for we want him to read the books, knowing it to be the best service
we can render. Men today are so occupied that they have little time for
serious reading, and we do not insist upon a brother returning a book in seven
or fourteen days (some books cannot be digested in a month), but we do require
that books be returned as promptly as possible after reading.
Masonic librarians think little of the intrinsic value of a shelf of books.
They consider them the means to an end. A library is not merely a collection
of books; it is an educational institute. Education means the development of
mental faculties for better adjustment to the relationships of life. The life
of man improves in direct ratio to his intellectual development.
Most of our initiates are intelligent, cultured men and desire to know the
meaning of all the steps of the degrees. Unless they do understand truth
through the symbols of the ritual they cannot grasp the ideals and purpose of
Masonry. If these brethren were better acquainted with the library, they would
know where to look for inspiration and instruction in regard to the Masonic
cannot read for them. We cannot thrust a book at them, but it is our privilege
to suggest books which may lead to a better understanding of the ritual and
aims of the Craft. Books are the tools which help us to build high ideals, or
to delve into Masonic history. A library is like potential energy; the student
must release the power.
The library is of great assistance to those who are doing research work. It
procures and gives out books, pamphlets and other data necessary to such
studies. For the past two years, one of our brethren has been engaged in the
preparation of matter that will be a reliable and valuable contribution to the
Fraternity at large. He has already arranged the Masonic affiliations and the
important acts in the lives of more than nine hundred past and contemporary
Masons of prominence. I allude to Bro. Herman Bauling, whom some of you may
know through correspondence. He is an indefatigable worker, very particular
about the accuracy and his source of knowledge for his statements. We are glad
that our library has been of assistance to him in many of his investigations
and to furnish necessary information for his work.
have frequent requests for reports of proceedings of our Grand bodies, and are
glad to be able to furnish them, as we have made a special work of collecting
this valuable matter. Such a collection contains the accurate history of our
Craft throughout the country, and also many matters of special Masonic
interest. Since the first issue of a Grand Lodge report, in 1734, there have
been published about 13,700 of these annuals, of which we have more than
eleven thousand. We have also a large number from foreign jurisdictions, and
files of those from the General Grand bodies, Knight Templar Encampments,
Supreme Council, A. A. S. R. of the Northern Jurisdiction, Chicago, and other
Consistories. We will ever be grateful to our good friends, the Grand
Secretaries, whose patience we must often have tried by our insistent
requests. With the exception of about six states, we have exhausted the
available supply of our Grand Secretaries. However, they possess the knowledge
that they have contributed to the benefit of the Craft by placing in our
library their reports and thus making them available to many brethren.
hold monthly meetings which any Master Mason may attend. At some of these we
have a speaker to address us on some topic of Masonic interest. In the future,
when conditions are favorable, we plan to have regular monthly meetings for
the purpose of Masonic study, and another monthly meeting for a discussion in
open form. To successfully handle these activities, we should have a building
of our own. At the present time we are restricted for room, cramped for
finances and handicapped by lack of interest from some of the lodges.
believe that a Masonic library is a decided asset to the Fraternity, and now,
as in the past, we are preparing our library for its work of tomorrow. Our
income has been very small, but by careful buying we have collected many
valuable works for research study, which we are confident will be required in
the future. There are fifty thousand Masons in the lodges of Los Angeles, and
there are fifty thousand transients, many of them probably permanently located
with us, but unaffiliated. There is no reason why we should not in time be as
important and as influential in Masonic activities as the great library at
Cedar Rapids Ia. now is.
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 charge 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.
AND THE REFORMATION. By G.G. Coulton. Published by Blackwell, Oxford. Cloth,
table of contents, illustrated, 26 plates, appendix, index xxii and 622 pages.
author presents this as a source book on Mediaeval architecture and artisans.
It is this, but it is much more also. Dr. Coulton is well and widely known as
an authority on this subject and period, he is hardly less known for his
literary gifts. Even the appendices, where not merely quotations, are
interestingly written. The work will prove indispensable for obtaining a
correct idea of the conditions in which the Mediaeval Freemasons lived and
labored, and no Masonic student or library can well afford to be without it.
For a more extended account see previous page.
BIBLIOGRAPHIC DE L'ORDRE DES TEMPLIERS (Imprimes et Manuscrits). By M.
Dessubre, with a preface by Albert Lantoine. Published by Emile Nourry, Paris.
Paper, addenda, tables, xv and 324 pages. Price 50 francs.
work is the fifth of the series of volumes being published by the firm of
Emile Nourry, The Library of Modern Initiation (Bibliotheque des Initiations
Modernes), several of which have already been reviewed In THE BUILDER. A
bibliography is not an exciting kind of book, any more than a dictionary, but
to the student it is a working tool no less indispensable.
preface by M. Albert Lantoine, were there space to translate it in full, would
serve as an excellent critique and the reviewer can hardly do better than cite
some specially informative passages from it.
tells us that there is no subject that has been treated at once more wisely
and more foolishly than that of the Templars. And there is no doubt that those
who have endeavored to connect Freemasonry with them are more frequently to be
put in the latter class than the former.
quotes the motto put by Chevalier at the beginning of his great Bibliography
of the Middle Ages, "Bibliography is the vestibule of Science," and says that
not historians who will contradict this, for they know the inestimable service
rendered by those authors who with laborious tenacity task their ingenuity to
discover the most complete documentation upon a given subject,
he goes on to remark how much time a bibliography intelligently employed will
save a student.
in spite of the value of the service rendered by the bibliographer it seems
that it is the most thankless task a scholar can undertake.
Bibliography is an extremely ungrateful task. It always runs the risk of
exciting more blame than praise, for an impossible quality is demanded of it
which no one would ask of any other work, no less than perfection. The
omissions, which are inevitable, are picked out in a spirit of criticism which
may be strictly just, but Is hardly fair. Then, some want more information
regarding the value of the books cited while others, contrary wise, judge that
the bibliographer . . . should limit himself merely to a dry list of titles.
In short, it is most difficult to please the learned and one should never be
upset by their ingratitude.
Dessubre has, from the reviewer's point of view, very wisely and properly
conceived it his duty to give, wherever it seemed called for, some note on the
nature of the contents of the books and manuscripts mentioned. In some cases
quite lengthy notes. Thus in the work of Henri de Auryon, La Regle du Temple,
the full Table of Contents is given, which in itself contains much valuable
order to save repetition the works have been listed in strict alphabetic order
by the author's name, and where more than one work comes from the same writer
they are put in order of the date of publication. For cross reference there
are Tables of Classification at the end of the book, by the aid of which the
works on any special aspect of the subject, or of any special type, may be
publisher has not expected any overwhelming demand for the work, as the
edition is limited to five hundred numbered copies. It is, therefore, quite
possible that it will not be very long before it is out of print. Every
Masonic library should possess a copy, for it will be indispensable in any
research work upon this most interesting and highly controversial subject.
* * *
LIGHT OF FREEMASONRY. By Jacob Slomovitz. Published by the Author. Boards,
frontispiece, table of contents, 132 pages. Price 10/6.
SLOMOVITZ is the Rabbi of a Jewish congregation in Kroonstad, in the old
Orange Free State, South Africa. He is evidently a scholar well versed in the
Hebrew Scriptures and the Talmud, and his interpretation of the symbolism of
the Craft is exceedingly interesting, and will appeal to many Masons; though
it is to be feared that not many will be able to appreciate the arguments
based on the exact form of Hebrew words and phraseology. But there is enough
aside from this to give plenty of food for thought.
are two main types of Masonic students, with many who partake more or less of
the characteristics of both. There are those who are interested in the history
of the organization pure and simple, and those who are concerned only with its
content. To put it in a metaphor: the first, are interested in the vehicle
only, where was it made, who did the work, who bought it; while the second
accept the fact that there is a vehicle and are interested only in the nature
of what it contains.
Slomovitz is really one of the last, but he has let some of his interest pass
over to the historical aspects. The danger in such a case is that the history
is apt to be colored and distorted to fit symbolical interpretations.
the Preface and Introduction we are told that the author shortly after his
initiation read a number of books about Masonry. He does not mention any by
name, but one of these was evidently the History of Freemasonry by R. F.
Gould. What is curious in connection with this is that the only one of the
many theories concerning the origin of Masonry that Gould discussed that seems
to have impressed itself on the author's attention was that it was derived
from India and transmitted by the gypsies! Now Gould was a baffling writer in
some respects. It was his habit to discuss both sides of every question in a
most discursive way, seldom giving any indication as to what his own
conclusions were. Bro. Slomovitz has quite misunderstood him here.
other books that came into his hands would seem to be several by Dr. George
Oliver. A rather mixed diet! One hardly wonders that he set out to construct
hypotheses for himself. His first suggestion is not, we fear, a very happy
one. It is that Masonry was introduced into England and America by Jews from
Holland, or Spain, in the last part of the 17th or the beginning of the 18th
century. He accepts the story of the 17th century working of Masonic "degrees"
on Mordecai Campannell - as the alleged record spells the name. But there is
so much doubt about the authenticity of this alleged record, which no one but
its reporter has ever seen, that as a foundation for a historical theory it is
little better than a quicksand. From the purely historical point of view, the
great, and one might say insuperable, difficulty in accepting a theory of the
Hebrew origin of Freemasonry, is that the further back we go the less it has
about it characteristic of Hebrew thought or learning. In the earliest forms
known to us it contains nothing of this kind that is not obviously borrowed
from the English versions of the Bible.
this is by no means to say that Freemasonry as it exists is unaffected by the
lore of Israel. This was undoubtedly largely drawn upon by ritualists and
others during the eighteenth century, and is especially evident in the various
"high" degrees. Including in that not only the Royal Arch but many of those
grades now included in the system of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
is inclined to demur to a statement that "the translation of the word 'Aviv'
or 'Abif’ was not known to the translators of the King James version of the
Holy Bible," from which Bro. Slomovitz infers that "Freemasonry was not
introduced into England" at that time, 1611. With the conclusion we must
agree; but it does not seem to follow from the premises. The word is
translated as "father" or rather "his father," which is grammatically correct
enough, although the King James translators show no indication of realizing
that it was a term or title of honor, and might have been rendered as lord,
seigneur, master, teacher. Doubtless they must have realized it was not to be
taken literally. Actually, the first English versions were translated from the
Latin of the Vulgate, which was based on the Greek translation of the Hebrew
known as the Septuagint; though Jerome in his revision of the Latin version
went to the original Hebrew as it existed in his day. In the Vulgate the word
"Aviv" is translated into the equivalent of "his father," and thus appeared
when again translated, into English, by Wiklif and his forerunners. The first
English printed Bible, that of Coverdale, and the next by Matthew, and his
successor Taverner, were taken direct from the original Hebrew, and in them
"Aviv" is not translated, but appears as part of a proper name, "Hiram Abif."
The Bishop's bible returned to "Hiram his father," and all versions since have
done the same.
would thus appear that the third degree legend probably took its present form
in the few years that these versions of the Bible were in circulation. Which,
however, is not saying that it was then invented or introduced.
are a number of other points in the book to which exception might be taken
from the purely historical point of view, but to enumerate them might give an
unfair impression. If read as an interpretation of the content of Freemasonry
it will not mislead, and no doubt many will find it most valuable. S. J. C.
* * *
MASONIC SPEECH MAKING. By J. Walter Hobbs. Published by the Masonic Record,
Ltd., London. Cloth. Table of contents, 118 pages. Price $2.00.
is another of the excellent series of books published by the Masonic Record in
what is now the well-known and distinctive pale blue binding. The present work
is naturally prepared with a view to the habits and usages of the English
Craft, which of course lessens to some extent its value to the American Mason
who needs aid and assistance in these matters. Nevertheless a great deal of it
could be used with only those minor additions and changes that would have to
be made in any case to fit the particular circumstances, while most of the
remainder would give valuable suggestions.
probable that the ability to speak is still more general in the United States
than in England; it was certainly so a generation ago. Perhaps Americans are
not quite so fond of oratory as they once were, and, the demand slackening,
the supply may have fallen off. But the present work is not intended to give
models for orations or the art of eloquence in general. Its scope is much more
limited and practical. It covers that intermediate field in lodge life that
falls between the ritual and regular addresses and speeches or lectures. Such
matters as introducing and welcoming visitors, formal presentations and so on.
For these are given most admirable models which it would in many cases be well
worth the while of lodge officers to learn by heart.
American Mason in looking through the book will probably be struck by the
great number of occasions when such little speeches and replies may be
required in an English lodge. It will indicate that there is something there
that has been lost in our overgrown institutions. An English lodge is still a
workshop, ours are huge factories running on a high production basis. It may
be that a perusal of the book may give an incoming Master some ideas as to
what may be done in the way of lodge amenities to foster and promote the
fraternal spirit. M T.
* * *
IMHOTEP. The Vizier and Physician of King Zoser, and afterwards The Egyptian
God of Medicine. By Jamieson B. Hurry, M. A., M. D. Published by the Oxford
University Press. Cloth, illustrated, index xvi and 118 pages. Price $2.65.
is perhaps no more fascinating reading than the history of an individual who
exercised a powerful influence in his lifetime, and whose record persists over
a period of three thousand years. Such an individual was Imhotep, who lived in
the reign of King Zoser, a Pharaoh of the IIIrd Dynasty (circa 2980-2900 B.
C.) at whose court he was Vizier. The office of Vizier was of such importance
and covered such a multiplicity of activities that it was entrusted to men of
the most outstanding ability alone, men whose qualifications must have been
far greater than the existing written documents bear witness to, for they were
capable in every field of human endeavor, and conferred imperishable fame on
their Royal Masters. Of these brilliant functionaries Imhotep was pre-eminent,
for in recognition of his skill in the healing art he was raised to the status
of a demi-god and exalted eventually to complete apotheosis as the Egyptian
God of Medicine.
son of a distinguished architect named Kanofer, Imhotep was a notable member
of that profession and the author suggests that it is probable that he
designed and superintended the construction of the Step-Pyramid of Sakkarah,
near Memphis, the earliest monument constructed of hewn stone. This pyramid, a
transition between the mastaba tombs of the earlier kings and the true pyramid
form met with later was destined to become the repository of the bones of King
Zoser. Imhotep is also associated with the building of the first temple at
Reputed to be one of the greatest of Egyptian sages, Imhotep produced works on
medicine and architecture as well as on more general subjects, and his
proverbs were handed down to posterity.
chief interest of this book, however, lies in the claim set forth for the
recognition of Imhotep as the patronal deity of medicine, a claim incomparably
older than that of his semi-mythical rival Asklepios (Aesculapius). The
elevation of Imhotep to the status of demi-god had been formerly associated
with the religious revival that occurred at the advent of the New Kingdom
(1580 B. C.) but relying on the trustworthiness of one of Oxyrhyncus Papyri,
dating probably from the second century A. D., the possibility is now assumed
of his being an object of worship as early as the IVth Dynasty. The narrative
of Nechautis, the writer of the papyrus in question, is related in some
detail, throwing light, as it does, on the practice of incubation and the use
of Temples as centers of healing.
was not until 525 B. C., however, that Imhotep was assigned a divine father in
the person of Ptah and became a member of the triad of Memphis-Ptah, Sekhmet
and Imhotep. Under the possible influence of Hellenism he was gradually
assimilated with the Greek god, Asklepios - the fusion of Greek and Egyptian
deities being quite common. Temples were built in his honor, one at Memphis
becoming a famous hospital and school of magic and medicine, while portions
exist to the present day of another at Philae, his worship extending well into
the Roman period. The deification of an ordinary mortal, a rare honor, is
attributed by Maspero to the cumulative qualifications of architect,
physician, sage and magician.
the presentation of his subject the author has drawn on his personal
researches in Egyptology, and gone to authoritative sources for material.
There is a great deal of useful information in the appendixes and numerous
footnotes, and an excursus on ancient Egyptian medicine will be of particular
interest to the medical profession.
* * *
PRESS. By Sir Alfred Robbins. Published by Ernest Bern, Ltd. Paper, 80 pages.
Price 25 cents.
gifted author is not only a publicist of high standing, and President of the
Board of General Purposes of the - United Grand Lodge of England, but, and
this in the eyes of Masonic students will not be the least of his claims to
distinction, he is also a Past Master of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076.
Robbins' professional qualifications plus those of a historian, make him
pre-eminetly the man to handle the subject of this little book, which is one
of a series dealing with aspects of history, ancient and modern, which are
largely neglected in the regular textbooks. It is usually just such by-paths
that are the most interesting.
present work covers in brief compass the history of the development of means
for disseminating news. It is remarkable that, while compressed, the account
is not merely a bare synopsis. A most difficult thing to accomplish. The story
is told. very largely in the words of contemporaries, of the different stages
the printed news sheet passed through in its evolution into the modern
newspaper. We are reminded that it long existed under sufferance and
supervision. That governments feared it, that those concerned with it had
little favor from law, from judges or from kings and their counsellors.
However, it persisted, chiefly because there was such an insistent demand.
Thus gradually from irregular suppression, through hostile sufferance, the
Press - in civilized countries without dictators, is free, and is a potent
instrument for the preservation of the liberties of all free peoples.
* * *
SPIES. By Joseph Gollomb. Published by The Macmillan Company. Cloth, Table of
Contents, 389 pages. 6x8 inches. Price $2.65.
short history of spies which is gripping as only true stories of adventure can
be. Special emphasis is laid upon some of the modern spies, but there are
stories that go back into the very remote past.
* * *
"SOUL" OF THE PRIMITIVE. By Lucien Levy-Brukl. Published by The Macmillan
Company. Cloth, Table of Contents, Index, 851 pages. 6x8 3/4 inches. Price
hardly necessary to comment upon another work by this celebrated student of
the psychology of the primitive. Those who are interested in the subject will
find this a valuable contribution.
PRESENT DAY PROBLEMS
splendid articles you are publishing by Bro. Hungerford appeal to me as being
exactly what is needed at the present time. I do not wish to decry research
and study into the history of the Order. We are interested in that, of course,
and proud to belong to the oldest Fraternity in existence, but still what we
need is something looking to the future. Such discussions as these help us in
this, and I hope we may get a lot of good ideas from the further articles that
are promised us.
think Bro. Hungerford is getting very near the danger line in his article,
especially the one in the December number. It is one of the landmarks of
Freemasonry that all discussion of religious questions is barred. While I have
no doubt he has the interests of the Craft at heart, I hope he will not
overstep the proper limits in his remarks.
Hungerford, in his second article, has, in my opinion, put his finger on one
of the danger spots of our American civilization, the "menace of materialism."
Christ startled his disciples, we are told, by telling them that a camel could
pass through a needle's eye sooner than a rich man could enter the Kingdom of
Heaven. We can hardly suppose that he meant this poetic expression of
practical impossibility to be taken as absolute, as covering every ease in all
circumstances. As a general maxim, applicable to the majority of eases, is it
not true within our own observation? It seems to me that it must be equally
true of communities and nations as well as of individuals. The United States
by comparison is the richest nation in the world, the richest nation that has
ever been. It is not only a question of money or credit, but of wealth of
goods and luxuries. Indeed things that are regarded as luxuries of the rich,
or at least of the well-to-do in other countries, with us are regarded as
necessities, that even the poorest working people must have.
not true that it is the races that are poorest in material things are richest
in spiritual ideals, and religious and ethical leaders ? The Jews were a poor
people in their own land, compared with the neighboring empires, of Egypt,
Babylon; even the Philistines and the Tyrians had more wealth and luxury. The
western world owes all its religions to the Jews; the contributions, if such
may be called, of other ancient peoples, are current only in restricted
circles of cranks and occultists.
Materialism, the dependence on material things, the feeling of
self-sufficiency that great possessions give, are a hindrance and a danger to
the spiritual life. Freemasonry is professedly on the side of idealism, of
altruism, of high ethical standards in life. But is not American Freemasonry
also in danger of a surfeit of material wealth, so that members of the Order
are thinking of their own interests and ambitions rather than of opportunities
to aid their brethren in need and to do good to all mankind? So at least it
has seemed to me, and I welcome any honest attempt to face the situation.
American Freemasonry stands by a belief in God, and in a future life; and it
holds by the Bible as the rule and guide not only of our faith but of our
actions. We cannot avoid contact with religious belief or religious questions;
and to my mind we have been too cowardly in the past in dealing with them. It
may be difficult in theory to fit in the claims of Freemasonry and those of
the different churches. We can see there is a border land where they overlap.
But I am sure that no religious minded Mason has ever found any difficulty in
practice. Nothing in Freemasonry at least that conflicts with the practice of
his religion, where his church does not arbitrarily oppose Masonry. And there
it is not a matter of faith but of rules and regulations.
let us have more of such discussions, and perhaps we may have a real revival
in the Craft and begin to count by quality and not by numbers.
* * *
FRENCH LODGES AND THE BIBLE
time ago I recall reading the reason why the Bible was removed from the altar
of Masonic Lodges in France, but I cannot recall the particulars. It may have
been in THE BUILDER, but if so I do not seem able to find it in any of the
have been incidental references to this subject in THE BUILDER, but not,
presumably, deemed of sufficient importance to be noted in the index. As a
matter of feet Bro. E. P. H. has been misled by the very inaccurate
information that is so often and so dogmatically repeated. The Bible could not
have been removed from the altar of French lodges for two good reasons, one
because in the first place the Bible was never on the altar and the second
because there is no altar.
Masons naturally think in terms of the ritual and usages to which they are
accustomed, and the American brethren are not to be specially blamed for
failing to realize what very wide variations have always existed in ritual
forms; though surely those in responsible positions might be expected to
inform themselves - only too often they have not.
has always been great freedom in the matter of ritual in most European
countries and especially so in France. Though Grand Lodges and Grand Orients
often adopted official rituals it was seldom or never made obligatory to
follow them. Some lodges did follow the custom of Anglo-Saxon Masonry, so far
at least as to use the Bible, or the New Testament, or the Book of the
Gospels, in obligating candidates, and thus placed it with other paraphernalia
on the pedestal of the Master of the lodge. In other places the Book of
Constitutions took its place, and sometimes a Book of blank pages, which was
regarded as a symbol of universal moral law.
excommunication of the Grand Orient of France was occasioned not by any action
taken regarding the Bible but on account of the official disuse of the phrase
"the Grand Architect of the Universe." The story is a long and complicated
one, and cannot be repeated here. But it can be said that in the light of the
previous history of Masonry in France, its peculiar difficulties and the
conditions under which it then existed, the action taken was, not inevitable
perhaps, but certainly most natural. However convinced we may be that the
severance of relations by American Grand Lodges was right, we should at least
base our judgment upon the facts and not upon loose and exaggerated
statements, many of which are derived entirely from the inventions of the
opponents of Freemasonry, not only in France but throughout the whole world.
* * *
have read with interest your August issue relating to the Ancient and
Illustrious Order of Knights of Malta, and have noticed they claim a pointed
fish-tail white maltose cross. I have seen this emblem on Templar uniforms.
Who is the better entitled to it?
are two sides to this question; whether the title to this badge or emblem is
to be taken as a legal one or as a moral one.
so-called eight-point or fish-tail Maltese Cross was adopted many centuries
ago by the Order of the Knights of St. John, variously known as of Jerusalem,
Rhodes and Malta. It is a well recognized rule regarding heraldic bearings or
coats of arms that they descend in different branches of a family, frequently
with some addition or change, technically known as a "difference." The same
rule was naturally applied to organizations. A somewhat similar case is in
regard to the well known grant of arms to the Mason's Company of London. Many
of the other Mason's gilds, both in England and even in Scotland, seem to have
assumed they had a right to use them, and individual Masons also. There is no
record that any objection was ever raised to this, though the grant was not
made to the Craft but to the specific, independent, London gild.
the case of the Knights of Malta there are, as the recent articles in THE
BUILDER have shown, a number of recognized or legitimate branches - which can
all prove their connection and descent from the original Order. These all use
the ancient emblem. The Ancient and Illustrious Order of Knights of Malta
claims legitimate descent, so also does the Masonic Order of Knights of Malta.
It follows from the rule that if they are descended they equally have a right
to this particular form of cross. Their adoption of the emblem may be taken as
an indirect statement of their claim.
the legal point of view there is first of all the question of priority of use.
This is complicated further by the question whether it is original priority or
priority in the United States. If either or both the claims to descent are
good (no opinion is here expressed on that score) the question of original
priority does not arise, for as has been said the right of one descendant does
not exclude the right of another. If we take priority in the United States
only, then as between these two organizations the Masonic of Malta has the
better claim, as it was in existence at the beginning of the nineteenth
century certainly and probably before, while the other was not introduced into
this country till 1870.
this does not fully cover the legal aspect. Designs are to be taken as a
whole. The official and copyrighted emblem of the more recently introduced
organization contains the eight-point cross as component part, but in
combination with other elements. The cross by itself has been in use so long,
and has been used so frequently as an element of designs, heraldic and other,
that it must be regarded as public property.
not pretended that this opinion is final, but it will show the complex nature
of the considerations on which the question has to be judged.
* * *
MASONIC SATANISM AGAIN
following letter was addressed to the Editor of "The Missouri Freemason,"
which reprinted in a recent issue all the matter that had been published in
THE BUILDER under this head. The letter was passed on to us as a curiosity,
and as a curiosity we are presenting it to our readers.
have just come across a copy of The Freemason and certainly was more disgusted
than amused with the piffle under the heading "Masonic Satanism."
think you, as a Mason, and Masons are supposed to be broadminded and tolerant,
to all men and creeds should have more dignity or respect for the Craft than
publish such utter rotten rubbish. I do not say that you have composed the
rubbish which you quote, for your comments are of a broader mind, but why
publish it at all, it only tends to keep up bad feeling. Many small towns here
in the East have both Masonic Lodges and Knights of Columbus and both have
combined and picnicked together. That is a feeling which should exist
everywhere, but by the publication of such rubbish it only tends to keep up
the feeling of hatred engendered by one of the former Popes who, because he
was not allowed the passwords, etc., without the obligation of becoming a
Mason (as many of the previous Popes had done) issued a Bull excommunicating
all Catholics. My father was a 33rd Degree Mason in New York City. I am a
Catholic and became a Mason in Scotland, as much to find out the truth of all
this silly rubbish about Masons as anything. I was secretary and treasurer of
a School of Instruction and left Masonry because I became disgusted with the
lack of sincere interest to the codes to which each had sworn an oath to obey.
Charity, one of the Masonic tenets, was practiced for self-aggrandizement
within the lodge. In other words, Masonry is not what it is supposed to be and
they (with very few exceptions) do not practice what they preach. I can get no
assistance to employment, even from the Grand Lodge in New York City. You are
hail fellow well met when you have plenty of money with Masons here, but can
go to hell when you ask them to help you get employment. R. Toope,
Editor was so intrigued by this communication that he wrote to Mr. Toope as
must confess I fail quite to see your point in your letter of Sept. 5th to
"The Missouri Freemason." I should be glad to have it made clear.
object to Masonic journals reproducing accusations made against the Fraternity
in Roman Catholic periodicals. Do you also object to the latter doing this ?
agree that the accusations are rubbish, and even that the adjectives you
employ are appropriate, but why should we be criticized for informing our
readers of what is being said about us? It is certainly of some importance to
us to know it.
also throw doubt on the truth of the quotations - but the journal in which
they appeared was cited. You can write to its editor for copies if you wish to
is no doubt that the majority of Masons are good friends with Roman Catholics
as neighbors and fellow citizens, and desire so to continue. There is equally
no doubt that your church as a church is very hostile to Masonry. Why pretend
it is not so when everyone knows it is?
Toope is evidently a bird of passage as this letter was returned marked
"present address unknown." Further comment we will leave to our readers - if
comment be needed.
* * *
BULLS AGAINST MASONRY
did the Roman Church issue an edict against Masonry and why ?
the sake of new readers of THE BUILDER we will briefly answer this question
here. The first formal condemnation of Freemasonry was in 1783, when Clement
XII issued the Bull In eminent). This condemnation, which is as drastic and
sweeping as it could well be, has been frequently reaffirmed since then. Full
particulars may be found in the Catholic Encyclopaedia, which is to be found
in most public libraries. THE BUILDER treated the subject fully in volumes 2,
4 and 6, and also later.
question why, is harder to answer. We can only judge by probabilities, as
naturally we cannot admit the reasons officially given, that Masonry is
treasonable, seditious, subversive of all true religion and piety, etc., etc.
The occasion of the first Bull was the discovery of a lodge in Rome. All
despotic governments are inevitably suspicious of any associations among their
subjects, and much more so of one with secret obligations, signs and passwords
and so on. That in itself was reason enough for the Pope, as the temporal
sovereign of the Papal states, to condemn it. But not content with civil
enactments and police action, he carried his opposition over into the
spiritual realm, and made his condemnation universal.
the Roman Church is justified, from its standpoint, in condemning Masonry must
be admitted. The principles and spirit of the Craft are quite incompatible
with those of Romanism. It is freedom and tolerance against intolerance and
autocracy. The two are opposed in the nature of things. To be just we have to
* * *
RED CROSS OF CONSTANTINE IN CANADA
should like to know if the Order of the Red Cross of Constantine has ever been
established in Canada, and if so, in what places.
are informed by the Rev. Bro. C. G. Lawrence, of St. John, N. B., that sixty
years ago there was organized in St. John a lodge of the Masonic and Military
Order of the Red Cross of Constantine and Knights of the Holy Sepulchre and
St. John the Evangelist. It was registered as McLeod Moore Conclave, No. 13,
by the Imperial Council of England, and the Warrant was issued by Lord
Kenliss, subsequently the Earl of Bective. It was the first Conclave of the
Order on the North American continent, and is now the only one in operation in
Canada. The officers elected for 1929 are: Dr. Ferris S. Sawaya, M. P. S.;
Stanley M. Wetmore, Esq., yen. Eus.; Albert C. Lemmon, Esq., S. G.; J. W.
Duncan, Esq., J. G.; Rev. C. G. Lawrence, Prelate; Col. M. B. Edwards, Treas.
The membership has been slightly increased during the past year.