The Builder Magazine
March 1929 - Volume XV - Number 3
Freemasonry and the
Progress of Science
The fifth of a series of discussions of Ancient Freemasonry and Present Day
BRO. HERBERT HUNGERFORD Author of The Masons of Tomorrow
The present is commonly said to be an Age of Science. It is also an age of
super-specialization, and specialization leads to one-sided development. It is
often amazing to find out how little some people know outside their own
Speculative Freemasonry was definitely designed to be an all-round educational
influence. How has this come to be so completely forgotten? How can we recover
the original balance of interests in our Institution? ACCORDING to the views
of many profound observers, there is but one fundamental problem in the world
to which all other problems are auxiliary or incidental. This basic problem is
the conflict between ignorance and education; the warfare of science against
superstition, of truth against the twin falsehoods of prejudice and
From this point of view, our present article may be considered as the keystone
of our entire series of discussions of the relations of our ancient
institution to the various modern problems which our world is facing today. It
may readily be seen, after due reflection, how all the other social,
political, commercial and religious problems of our times might be regarded as
phases of this basic problem of the progress of scientific discovery and the
more popular diffusion of scientific knowledge and understanding. Probably,
there never has been a more excellent statement of the benefits to be derived
from the solution of this basis problem than the maxim of the Master Teacher
"Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." Surely the
founders of Freemasonry and the authors and revisers of our ritual must have
given due regard to this basic problem of life when they designed the
ceremonies whereby candidates are inducted into our Craft. Certainly the
central theme of all our rituals is the leading of those blinded by the
darkness of ignorance, and bound by the cords of superstition, out into the
uplifting light of truth and knowledge. No one will deny the design of
Freemasonry's educational aims and activities; but some may doubt whether, in
our modern Masonic program, we are placing proper emphasis on the fundamental
objectives of our Fraternity.
Have Our Lodges Shifted Their Objectives?
do not hesitate to state that my personal observations of present day Masonic
activities have developed the conviction that we modern members of the Craft
have shifted the emphasis from the matters of highest importance and practical
character-building value, which have been chiefly the cause of our world-wide
influence and our worthy history. We still talk about the ancient activities,
upon which the fame and credit of our institution has been established. We
still profess due reverence and admiration for our ancient traditions. But, in
our actual practice in most modern lodges, it seems to me that we place our
real emphasis upon trivial and incidental matters, and devote most of our
attention to "feeds," functions and fraternity politics.
This criticism is not directed against the essential social activities of our
Fraternity. My objection is that too few lodges devote any part of their
program to anything but social and ritualistic matters. The great popular
educational activities of our Order are thus side-tracked, or omitted
Freemasonry Had Educational Aims
Even the most superficial study of our ritual will disclose its essential
educational character. In the early days, as any student of Masonic history
will testify, the educational activities of Freemasonry were kept first and
foremost. In fact, it would not be wide of the mark for Freemasonry to lay
claims to the credit of being one of the earliest exemplars and advocates of
the now popular adult educational movement.
While it must not be denied that many foremost leaders in our Fraternity today
are putting forth most commendable efforts to preserve our worthy educational
traditions and still keep our educational activities in the foreground; yet I
doubt if any widely and well informed observer of Masonic activities will
pretend that the average lodge devotes one-tenth as much attention to affairs
that could in any sense be termed educational as every lodge ought to.
The Progress of Science: What Is It?
trust that I am not causing confusion among the Craft, or at least in the
minds of those who are following this series of discussions, by referring to
the progress of science as meaning the same as educational progress. The terms
actually are synonymous, even though so much of the activity of our times that
is labeled educational is neither scientific, nor truly deserving of the title
The scientist is a searcher for truth, an investigator, explorer and
experimenter with the facts of our natural world. The teacher or educator
explains and gives instruction regarding the facts discovered and the
conclusions deduced by the scientist. This, of course, is not the entire task
of the teacher, but it should comprise his principal endeavor.
Freemasonry and Science Are in Accord
Bearing these facts in mind, it will be noted that the aims of Freemasonry are
in complete accord with the attitude of science. Every Mason should be a
seeker after the enlightenment afforded by truth, on exactly the same basis as
the student of science.
The deepest personal impression that I have gained from a study of the
structure of our organization, and the history of the institution, is a
profound admiration for what appears to me the sound scientific principles on
which Freemasonry is based. It would, therefore, in my opinion, be a tragedy
if we permit our lodge programs to continue their present tendency towards
superficialities and frivolities, without serious protest and an earnest
endeavor to turn the trend of thought back to the great educational aims and
activities on which the solid fame of our Fraternity has been established.
Understand, please, that this must not be construed as a protest against any
wholesome social or entertaining feature of Masonic activity. It simply
registers my personal opinion that too many lodges at the present day are
concerned chiefly with the lesser things of Freemasonry, while they permit the
greater and more worthy features to be crowded out of their programs.
While I must admit that my observations of Masonic activities have been
limited principally to lodges in New York and a score or so suburban towns and
rural villages, but, I should conclude from this circumscribed survey that not
more than one lodge in a hundred now- a-days is placing proper emphasis upon
educational matters in its regular program.
What Do Masons Know of Masonry?
This is not a plea for more dry-as-dust lectures in lodges. Neither is it a
protest against a reasonable amount of fun and frivolity in our lodge
activities. Wholesome fun is just as essential to character development as any
other activity. But when your lodge devotes practically all its efforts to the
operation of your degree mill and to purely entertaining affairs, you
certainly are missing many of the real benefits and privileges of Freemasonry.
What I deplore most in modern Masonic activities, as I have observed the same
in my visits to various lodges in my section to deliver my address on "The
Masons of Tomorrow," is the appalling ignorance which so many of our younger
brethren disclose regarding the real fundamentals of Freemasonry.
was my observation of these matters which first drew my attention to the work
of the National Masonic Research Society, and THE BUILDER. No auxiliary of
Freemasonry, it seems to me, is undertaking a task that is closer to the
fundamental ideals of Freemasonry, and no present day activity in the
Fraternity is more deserving of the cooperation of all lodges and the support
of all thoughtful members of our Craft. The Crying Need of American Masonry
have long contended that the crying need of modern Masonry is for a better
understanding of the real principles and practices of the Craft. It is
practically impossible, under modern conditions, to give our novitiates more
than a smattering of Masonic information and understanding by depending
entirely upon our ceremonials and our occasional informal lectures.
Consequently a Masonic Study Club ought to be regarded at least as essential
in every lodge as the Entertainment Committee.
my travels, however, I have met with only one Study Club in the lodges that I
have visited, but every lodge had an active and aggressive Entertainment
Committee. I have been asked questions on Masonic matters which were such a
confession of ignorance of the fundamentals of Freemasonry that it would seem
to me that the questioners ought to be ashamed to ask them.
Some Little Things That Count
The blame for this condition, I believe, lies upon the Masters of our lodges,
who are blinded by modern notions of "making a big show," so that they fail to
estimate justly the value of certain things, which may be small in the general
esteem and make little noise, but which loom large in making for the sound
progress of a lodge.
have run across any number of lodges which have had all sorts of difficulty in
filling their chairs with men well grounded in the fundamental principles of
Freemasonry. I have seen lodges disrupted because untrained and injudicious
officials have been elected to responsibilities which they were incapable of
All these and many other difficulties would be overcome if it should become
the universal practice in our lodges for the Master to appoint an Educational
Committee to take charge of organizing and conducting a Masonic Study Club. It
is not pretended that the work of such a Club would make as much show as the
activities of the Entertainment Committee. It would be nonsense to claim that
any sort of scheme would make Masonic study as popular as Masonic
entertainment. But, in the long run, I believe, the half dozen members who
might meet quietly once or twice a month to study the real fundamentals of
Freemasonry would ultimately contribute more towards the permanent upbuilding
of your lodge than the biggest entertainment you could possibly hold, or a
whole series of them.
Perhaps you think I am straying from my subject. Quite the contrary, I assure
you. In fact, we have now reached the heart of this series of discussions that
I have been attempting to develop.
Let Freemasonry Keep Pace With the Advance of Science
firm conviction is that Masonic Study Clubs should not confine their research
to the dusty minutiae of Masonic history, but should include among their
investigations some comparison between ancient Masonic principles and
practices and the present day problems of our own lives and the real world in
which we live.
course we must delve into the history of our ancient and honorable institution
in order to discover its fundamental aims and objectives. Yet the vitalizing
factor of our historic research will be the connections we make between the
past, the present and the future of our grand old Fraternity.
is my sincere belief that no single activity would do more to make Freemasonry
keep Pace with the progress of science than to adopt some measure for
establishing Study Clubs in all lodges. I hope to live to see the day when any
lodge will be ashamed to admit that it does not maintain a Study Club.
in our previous discussions, we have not attempted to treat this tremendous
topic in any degree exhaustively. We have simply aimed to hit a few high
spots, but, principally, have endeavored to raise questions in the minds of
our readers. Our object, you understand, is to provoke or stimulate "come
backs" and thus develop genuine discussions rather than the one-sided
expounding of one man's personal opinions and observations.
The editors of THE BUILDER will welcome your comment on any phase of this
series of discussions. If your views are at variance with those of the writer,
so much the better. If you agree with the writer's general aims, but wish to
suggest other and, possibly, more practical solutions of problems involved, by
all means send in your suggestions.
the next article of this series, we expect to discuss "Freemasonry and Modern
The Degrees of Masonry; Their Origin and History
BROS. A. L. KRESS and R. J. MEEKREN (Continued from February)
ANOTHER scholar, Arthur Edward Waite, an authority in his own field, calls for
brief mention, although he does not seem to have investigated our problem very
deeply himself, but depends, it would seem, chiefly upon the conclusions
reached by others. Indeed he tells us that he has no direct interest in
archeological matters. (1) His views are not easily summarized, because to
fully understand them requires at least an acquaintance with his belief in a
"secret tradition," and a "mystical quest," a subject that is on a different
level altogether from that of the present discussion. He is willing to accept
either one, or two grades, in the original operative system, and assumes that
the present first degree is founded more or less upon the ancient ritual. (2)
He notes that Speth held that the original two degrees embodied the essentials
of our present system, but thinks that Gould modified this position
considerably, as he says the latter held that
. . the terms Fellow Craft and Master were interchangeable and had reference
to one and the same thing, being a Second Degree, but he did not suggest that
it contained the present elements of the Master Grade.
would not like to contradict this, as we gather Bro. Waite has had better
opportunities to learn what Gould's opinions really were than we have had,
but, from the latter's published works, we have distinctly gathered the
impression that in his opinion the original second grade did comprise the
elements of our third. But perhaps this difference of opinion rests on
differing idea of what the elements of the third degree really are.
Bro. Waite expresses himself as in a painful quandary. He has sought longingly
to find some trace of the existence of the allegory and symbolism of the
Master Builder earlier than the Grand Lodge era, but sorrowfully confesses he
has not yet heard of any indication of this; although he insists, on the other
hand, that it is incredible that any one of that particular period, and in
London of all places, could have invented it. With this we heartily agree. It
is, we believe, a psychological impossibility that it should have been
invented in the 18th century. The period is either too early or too later. (3)
The Rev. F. deP. Castells has very recently published two books, the Origin of
the Masonic Degrees and the Antiquity of the Holy Royal Arch. Like Bro. Waite
his interest chiefly lies in the symbolical and mystical side of the subject,
but unlike him he does not seem to retain so firm a grasp on fact. Bro. Waite
frankly admits the lack of support given by existing evidence to the
continuity of the "secret tradition," while Bro. Castells is inclined to
bridge the gap by force of suppositions and straining of the evidence. As his
books are easily obtainable there is no call here to set forth his views in
any detail. He is familiar with most of the documents in the case, and quotes
them freely. He holds the Royal Arch to be the original end of the Masonic
system, and seems to believe in there having been two lines of descent, a
purely Operative one, and a Speculative one concealed behind the former.
Attractive as this hypothesis may be, we feel sure that the critically minded
will prefer Bro. Waite's attitude of suspension of judgment, especially as
there can be very few who know as much about occult and mystical schools as
does the latter eminent scholar.
The Rev. Herbert Poole gave a paper before the Quatuor Coronati Lodge in 1924
on "Masonic Secrets and Ritual Before 1717." This exceedingly valuable essay
however does not contain very much that is relevant to the question in hand.
Bro. Poole classifies and discusses the evidence, and thence constructs a
provisional sketch of the ritual forms that seem to be implied in the
fragmentary descriptions and allusions that have come down to us. The only two
passages referring to degrees are the following. The first is from the body of
All the sources imply (if they do not state it explicitly) that secrets were
given after the oath of secrecy, and that this oath was administered at the
commencement of the Masonic career of the candidate. Now since an apprentice
was bound to his master for seven years, and forbidden under heavy penalties
to seek work elsewhere, it would seem to be not only unneccessary, but perhaps
even undesirable, for the apprentice to be able to prove himself a Mason to a
stranger. Is it possible that the giving of the secrets to the apprentice
indicates a "telescoping" of ceremonies for the benefit of the speculative? I
doubt if full weight has been allowed to this possibility by past
investigators of the problem of the number of degrees of ancient Masonry. (4)
The idea of a "continuing" ceremony is far from new as we have seen. Speth had
spoken of the two degrees having "been practically welded into one" and the
hypothesis had been accepted by other scholars. (5) The problem of the runaway
apprentice is a real one, or at least it was. There would not have been pains
and penalties so definitely provided had the phenomenon been unusual. But this
is speaking of apprentices in general, in all trades. One can imagine that the
temptation to run away was much greater in confined and sedentary employments.
Further, in Scotland express provision is made in the Masonic code for the
Apprentice to work "on his own" if his Master have no sufficient employment
for him. (6) It is a point certainly requiring consideration however. There is
evidence to indicate at least the possibility of such "welding" or
"telescoping" of degrees, which would be a further stage of degeneration
following upon a custom of "continuing" from one to the other on the same
The second passage referred to comes at the conclusion of the paper where Bro.
Before closing, I must revert to the vexed question of "degrees." I have put
this question on one side while dealing with my material; but it cannot be
left there, though I do not propose to enter upon it now. I wish merely to
throw out a suggestion, which I do not think has ever been emphasized, that in
my opinion it is tied up with the question of "operative" and "speculative";
and that two "degrees,"' though not the same degrees, may have been worked by
each- and that the operative "fellow" corresponded in some way with the
speculative "master-mason", while possibly, as I have hinted earlier, the two
operative degrees were communicated at once to the speculative. Along such
lines, I believe, the solution to the question recast he searched for.
hope that Bro; Poole will not forget his implied undertaking to develop this
further, because, aside from the general value that his researches would have,
we are not quite sure just what he has in mind in this distinction between
operative and speculative systems. We judge that he may be referring to the
present third degree, and if this guess is correct, then it would seem that
he, like Bro. Ramsden Riley and others, holds, in common with the supporters
of one degree, that the master's grade is an innovation in Masonry, even while
admitting the existence of two grades in the original system.
now come to the last scholar whose views call for mention, Bro. Lionel Vibert.
He is indeed the only recent writer who has treated this subject
systematically and at length, with the one exception of Bro. Castells. The
character and aim of their respective investigations are, however, radically
different. Bro. Vibert treats of the subject of "Ceremonies and Degrees" in a
chapter of his well known and useful work, The Story of the Craft. He has
since elaborated some phases of the problem in his Prestonian Lectures, the
second of which was very recently submitted to the Quatuor Coronati Lodge in a
somewhat amended form; the modifications being due to such criticisms and
suggestions from other students as seemed to him to have merit. As this
lecture was quite fully reviewed in THE BUILDER last year (7) it will be
possible to treat it more briefly than its importance would otherwise demand.
his earlier work Bro. Vibert accepts the conclusion reached by Murray Lyon,
which has since been accepted almost as an article of faith by Masonic
students generally, that:
The Scottish operatives in early days had but one ceremony and that was of the
Bro. Vibert then goes on to say:
The English had a form of admission for the apprentice, and may, on
continental analogies, have had some sort of feast at all events for the
apprentice, out of his indentures, admitted to full membership of the Guild.
But of ceremonial beyond an oath and prayers and the reading of the Charges
there is no clear evidence. Neither in Scotland nor in England was she
operative master distinguished from the Fellows by the possession of any
further secrets, or by anything that we should call a degree.
then intimates the probability of some legend being preserved in the
Fraternity concerning Hiram the Builder. and states his acceptance of the view
. . at all events by 1723, in England there were two ceremonies recognized.
One was the apprentices ceremony and the other the Master's Part.
And a little further on he refers to the Miracle Play hypothesis of the origin
of the Third Degree, pointing out however, that no play extant has been found
that could be taken as its source. (9)
Now there here appears a chasm that is unbridged. In the indefinite operative
period there is only one ceremony; for the possible feast hardly seems to come
under the head, that is, in the same sense. But some time before 1723 there
were in London at least two ceremonies each conferring a certain status. Bro.
Vibert has made no attempt to bridge this gap. He has only undertaken to
propound a reason for the two having been converted into three.
broad outline his hypothesis is that this evolution arose out of the problem
created by the need for new lodges, due to the rapid growth of the Fraternity
in London in and after the year 1720. He suggests that the establishment of
permanent organized bodies (in distinction to the casual lodges of six or
seven Masons "well met," which formed themselves by inherent right, and
dissolved immediately) was, if not an innovation altogether, regarded as such
by the brethren. And that it was as a measure of control over the situation
that Payne compiled his Regulations. And further, that the clause in
Regulation XIII, which has been so often referred to, was devised mainly for
the purpose of keeping a cheek on those who were to be eligible to office in
the new lodges. Bro. Vibert does not put it quite in this way, but it seems to
be what is implied in what he says.
Now the Regulations also provided that the Master and Wardens of a lodge
should be "among the Fellow Craft." As the old qualification of the Master's
Part could only be given in the Grand Lodge it is suggested that a new degree
of Fellow Craft was formed out of the original first grades like Eve out of
Adam's rib, for the purpose of qualifying those- selected for office without
going to the Grand Lodge. Stating it thus baldly does not do the theory
justice, and as the lecture is easily accessible we must refer our readers to
The great attraction of Bro. Vibert's theory is that for the first time a
definite, tangible, motive is suggested which does seem to be adequate to the
known effect; for Gould's theory of misunderstanding would be a cause rather
than a motive. Precisely for this reason it needs the closest scrutiny, for it
is a general failing to be blind to the difficulties raised by an explanation
that appeals to us. The chief difficulty here is that of seeing why the direct
way out of the dilemma was not taken. As was pointed out in the review above
mentioned, and by several of those who took part in the discussion in Quatuor
Coronati Lodge, the Grand Lodge was merely the particular lodges in general
council, and it is not easy to see how it could persist, as a unit, in a
course that was causing general dissatisfaction to its component parts. It
does not appear to us that Bro. Vibert has altogether succeeded in meeting
The discussion that followed the lecture revealed as many different points of
view as those who took part in it. To begin with, there seemed to be no
definite agreement as to the connotation of the terms used; degree, master,
fellow, apprentice, mason. And behind this, very different prepossessions in
regard to what the essential elements of the various ritual forms might have
been. As a result the impression is given that those taking part were, to some
extent, at cross purposes. Bro. Covey-Crump doubted if "Fellow" and "Master"
were identical terms. He seemed inclined to suspect that the masters, in the
sense of employers, "bosses," had ceremonies or traditions of their own, while
the non-operative honorary members became fellows immediately by the omission
of the apprenticeship, but that, though fellows, they were not masters. In
effect this seems to be bringing back the theory of an original three degrees
ceremonies-with-secrets instead of two.
Bro. J. Heron Lepper also seemed to doubt the equivalence of Master and
Fellow-Craft in Regulation XIII, basing his questioning on the fact that
Pennell in his reprint (and revision) of the Constitutions quite unmistakably
makes provision for three grades. But, as has been pointed out previously,
Prichard exhibited three degrees two months later, while the Philo-Musicae et
Architecturae Societas had apparently worked three in London four years
Bro. Tuckett, assuming the existence of lodges and Masons throughout the
country, asked why, or how, they came to adopt the inserted grade, which had
no purpose or object outside the new organization? And he raised the further
point, that qualification is not derived from a mere name, which was all the
new degree amounted to. That is, the new-style fellow possessed no more than
the old-style mason or apprentice; and he reverts to his own hypothesis that
the two grades of the old system were equivalent to our first and second
degrees, containing the same esoteric essentials; and that there was the
additional ceremony-with-secrets (which was not a degree) containing the
Hiramic legend, and commonly known as the Master's Part.
Bro. W. J. Williams also doubted the equivalence of master and fellow, and
thought the use of the word "degree" in the discussion led to confusion of
thought; as in our sense degrees did not then really exist. He argues, and
quotes Gould in support, that master meant only master of the lodge.
Bro. Poole thus summarized his understanding of Bro. Vibert's position. Owing
to the non-operative or speculative members being made members of the
Fraternity the two steps as taken by them were
Apprentice and Fellow
What we now call Master
but that in 1723, though still containing the same elements in the same order,
Fellow Craft and Master
and gives it as his solution of the puzzle that the change was not an
innovation but a restoration of the older (operative?) practice. That is, if
we understand him, that the two ceremonies, which had been made one for the
speculative because he did not serve an apprenticeship, now became two again.
But this seems also to imply the original existence, in some form, of three
steps, grades or ceremonies-with-secrets.
Bro. J. Walter Hobbs, however, seemed to stand by the dual system, and
affirmed the two grades to have been apprentice and master, with fellow as an
alternate term for the latter, signifying full membership presumably, and he
pertinently points out what "a whirl of varied titles" are used in our
available documentary sources. Still he is inclined to adopt Bro. Poole's
suggestion as affording a possible avenue of escape from the confusion, that
the Operatives and Speculatives each worked two degrees but not the same
degrees. To us this would seem to promise to make the confusion worse
Bro. Bullamore rejected the conclusion that there were only two degrees in
1723, accepting the vague hint in the letter signed Verus Commodus in 1725
(12), that there were "five orders" in the Masonic system, which "orders" he
seems to accept as equivalent to degrees. The hostile skit he here referred to
is hardly sufficient authority by itself, and the phrase "the fifth order"
obviously refers, from the context, to the five orders of architecture.
Bro. Thos. M. Carter, while seeing a difficulty in the brief space of time in
which the supposed method for evading the force of Regulation XIII came to be
"practically universally adopted," sees also a moral difficulty in such a
systematic evasion. This objection does seem to have weight, and we are
inclined to hold that this facet of the complex dilemma is best resolved by
assuming that the Regulation was merely a restatement of the old rule that
apprentices were only to be passed in the general assembly, to which everybody
was agreed in theory, while force of habit and mere convenience tended to make
the attempted revival of the old law a dead letter from the start. There is
nothing strange or unusual in that. All organizations are subject to the same
experience, not only in their beginnings but even when well established, of
making rules that prove quite unworkable in practice.
Bro. Daynes, referring to the statement made by Bro. Vibert, that while
authority could be, and was, delegated to constitute new lodges, there was "no
delegation of the power to confer the Master's Part," pointed out that it was
not conclusive because the Regulation expressly adds, after the general
prohibition of making Masters and Fellow-Crafts in the private lodges, the
saving clause, "unless by dispensation." Bro. Vibert said that there being no
record of Grand Lodge passing Masters and Fellows proves nothing, which is
true; but neither does the absence of any record of the granting of
dispensations prove they were not given. It may be that they were, and that
the repeal of the clause was due to the absurdity of a practical annulment by
dispensation. He also pointed out, what the other brethren seem to have
somewhat lost sight of, that the Haughfoot records are definitely witness to a
dual system in 1702, (13) and he might have added Dunblane, a little lateral.
reply Bro. Vibert acknowledged the difficulties raised and sought to meet
them. Admitting the confused terminology in the sources, he yet thinks they
point to the sequence, Apprentice, Fellow and Master; changing that of Gould
and Speth who interpreted the documents as witnessing to the arrangement
Apprentice, Master, Fellow. He repeats that these ranks were given in two
steps, and to non-operatives, in the grouping A. & F., and then M. And he
insists that the character of the two steps was quite different, the first
being "purely symbolic and based on Two Pillars," while the other "was
associated with a Hiramic Legend." But this of course is precisely one of the
points at issue; was there at that time a step or ceremony based on a Hiramic
Legend? It is quite possible to deny that there was and yet hold that there
were two degrees, or ritual steps; and as we have seen, this explanation has
been advanced by more than one authority. It is thus only in obedience to a
natural progress in the investigation that in recent years attention has been
specially turned to the problem of the origin of our third degree.
Bro. Vibert then goes on to offer a modified version of his theory in view of
the suggestions and criticisms that had been offered to it in its original
form. It is in bare outline as follows:
The "trade system" had a symbolic step connected with Pillars. The apprentice
was merely sworn (just as in other crafts we judge) but when out of his time,
became a Fellow and full member of the fraternity by the symbolic steps of the
The non-operative honorary or speculative member "must needs go through the
form of being admitted an apprentice," yet nevertheless proceeded
. . then and there to full membership. The speculative, therefore, as an
apprentice, learnt about the Pillars, both of them. Nevertheless the step was
really a double one- it conferred in one day the rank of full membership that
in the trade was only to be achieved after years of work and sometimes not
do not know on what grounds the suggestion was made, that full membership was
not always attained, or how much it implies, but that is aside from the point.
The italics in the above passage are Bro. Vibert's. It seems to us that the
hypothesis is not the obvious or simplest way of relating the facts. While the
Regulations do expressly give "even the youngest Apprentice" a voice and a
vote in the annual Assembly of the Grand Lodge, or rather, concurrent with it,
it does not seem that this is to be taken as indicating that the majority of
Masons present ranked only as Apprentices, even in the light of the note in
the Mystery of Freemasons that;
There is not one Mason in a Hundred that be at the Expense to pass the
Master's Part, except it be for Interest.
Even granting that the only ceremonial in the operative period that was worthy
of the name of an initiation was that at the end of the apprenticeship, it
does not seem necessary to suppose, or even natural, that the non-operative
who, after being sworn in as an Apprentice in ordinary form, and then
straightaway given his freedom, by being passed through the initiation that
normally followed years later, should be denied the rank of a fellow, and held
to be only an apprentice. Or to put it another way; though for the honorary or
speculative candidate, apprentice oath and fellowship ritual were combined in
a continuing, or even "telescoped," ceremony, yet his status would be that of
the higher, not the lower rank, and he would be called fellow equally with
those who had served their full time.
Bro. Vibert then says:
While we cannot say categorically what esoteric knowledge is in every ease
implied in the use of the term Fellow or Fellow Craft, it does appear as
though, in the operative system, it cannot have involved a knowledge of
anything beyond the Pillars. Nowhere in the Constitutions is it suggested or
even hinted that the Master of the Lodge must have prior knowledge of the
narrative ceremony or its accessories.
By "narrative-ceremony" is meant that embodying the Hiramic legend. Bro.
Vibert further asserts that, technically, by the letter of the (English) law,
a Fellow-Craft is still qualified to serve as Warden and Master of a lodge.
But while this may have real foundation in fact, it seems here to becloud the
issue. The question in point is not whether at a later time the letter of the
law qualified for office those with the title, Fellow Craft, but, what did
that title imply in 1723? And further, while it may be true that there is no
hint that the brother elected to office as Master had to have the status of
Master Mason (and this might be questioned) (15) it does not follow,
necessarily, that "knowledge of the narrative" was not required, if it be
supposed to have been, at that time, included in the grade of Fellow. Bro.
Vibert of course does not suppose this. His scheme seems to be:
Status of Apprentice, acquired by the formality of registration, and an oath
to obey his master and the rules of the trade, just as in other occupations.
Fellow, attained normally at end of apprenticeship, with an initiation
concerning the Pillars
Master, a ceremony-with-secrets, originally restricted to employers, and
dealing with the Hiramic narrative.
This scheme being granted his hypothesis does seem logical. That is if we
grant his further contention that the office of Master of the lodge was a new
thing. And this does find support in the Old Charges, and from other sources,
too, in that it seems to be implied that the individual who presided in a
lodge was the senior fellow. In workshops, the master was of course the man
who "hired and fired", and paid wages. Under the new regime of speculative
Masonry the new lodges elected their presidents, and called them Masters. The
old qualification for an employer (i. e. the "narrative ceremony") might be
insisted on by analogy and we remember that Anderson takes pains to describe
the speculative lodge, figuratively, in terms of the workshop; the presiding
officer being the employer, in a speculative sense. But on the other hand, the
new elective officer might be regarded as taking the place of the "senior
fellow", who traditionally presided in such groups; in which case no further
qualification was needed. The Grand Lodge, having assumed control of the
"narrative ceremony," the lodges adopted the latter alternative; and then, to
make more of their ritual, enlarged the Apprentice part, by adding to its bare
formalities part of the symbolic content of the Fellow. The difficulty here is
that Regulation XIII speaks of Fellow Craft as well as Master. That would seem
to leave the lodges only the bare formality of an oath. Bro. Vibert of course
assumes that the Fellow's part (concerning the Pillars) had been attached to
that of the Apprentice, but if so why did the Regulation include the Fellow
Craft? Was it merely pure confusion, or divergence of opinion, or what?
are not absolutely sure that Bro. Vibert would accept this version of his
theory. (16) we have tried to distinguish his postulates from his argument,
and to present the latter apart from discussion of the validity of his
conception of the situation. And in our opinion, that being granted, his
theory seems to fit the case very well.
Bro. Vibert concludes by saying that the last word has not been said; and this
undoubted fact has its compensations, for were the question finally settled
there would be a distinct loss of interest in research, for it is without
doubt one of the most exciting problems connected with the history of the
Fraternity. Perhaps, though, the interest is after all only a derived one. We
have remarked above that discussion in recent years had turned from this
particular problem to that of the origin of the Master's grade. Really the
question of the number of the original degrees is a flank attack upon this
more significant problem, and agreement on this would doubtless greatly
increase the chances of agreement on the subsidiary investigation, the
progress of which we have been surveying.
(1) Waite, New Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Preface, p. vi.
(2) Ibid., vol. i, p. 280.
(3) It is impossible to enlarge upon Bro. Waite's theories of the Master's
grade, and we refer our readers to the work already mentioned, and to
Emblematic Freemasonry, Chapter iii, and especially page 52.
(4) A. Q. C., vol. xxxvii, p. 16.
(5) BUILDER, September, 1928, p. 270.
(6) Lyon, History of the Lodge of Edinburgh, p. 16.
(7) BUILDER, February, 1928, p. 56.
(8) Vibert, Story of the Craft, p. 75.
(9) The late Bro. Robert Race was the most prominent advocate of this theory,
which he set forth in a most interesting and suggestive article. (See Trans.
Manchester Ass'n, 1918-1919 vol. ix p. 9.) We may here remark that Bro. D. E.
Williamson Associate Editor of THE BUILDER, has carefully read every Medieval
play that has been published in English, French, German or Latin, and states
positively that there is nothing to be found that by any Stretch of the
imagination could be taken as a parallel to the legend in question.
(10) Bro. Vibert's second Prestonian Lecture is included in the Transactions
of the Merseyside Ass'n for Masonic Research 1926, p. 47, and those of the
Somerset Masters' Lodge for 1926 p. 562. In its amended form it appears in A.
Q. C., vol. xxxix, p. 208.
(11) BUILDER, January, p. 29, and December, 1928, p. 357.
(12) Gould, History, vol. iv, p. 286.
(13) In 1707 the lodge resolved, "except on special considerations" not to
"admit to the Society both of apprentice and fellowcraft, at the same time,
but that one year at least should intervene . . ." A. Q. C., vol. xvi p. 178.
(14) In 1716 it was enacted "that in tyme coming there he no measons or vthers
entered and passed ..... at one and the same time." Lyon, op. cit., p. 416.
(15) It could be argued, and it is the position that we are inclined to
accept, that the term "master" in the Constitutions is used in two, or rather
three, distinct senses: (a) Master of the Craft of the trade and its technical
processes; (b) master in the sense of an employer of other masons; and (c)
master, or presiding officer of a lodge. Indefinite as such usage may sound we
submit that there are very few places in the Constitutions where the
particular meaning is not fairly clear from the context, though there may be
places where two of the three meanings are combined. As in the much discussed
clause of Regulation xiii, "Master" may mean both masters as competent workmen
and masters as employers. There is no contradiction or difficulty raised in
such an interpretation, for the master as employer is assumed to be master of
his trade. We think, however, that in this place (and in others also) the
latter meaning is to be taken as the dominant one.
(16) Since this was written this resume was submitted to Bro. Vibert, and he
writes us that he considers it "perfectly fair" and remarks on the confusion
the matter is in due to the looseness of the terminology.
American Army Lodges in the World War
Sea and Field Lodge No. 2 of New York Stationed in Paris BY CHARLES F. IRWIN,
approach the problem of recounting the history of the several Army Lodges
established in France by the Grand Lodge of New York it is necessary to make a
brief survey of the efforts of the American Craft to carry aid and comradeship
to the Masons who went across the seas in the service of our government during
The war, as everyone knows, was officially declared in April of 1917. By
midsummer troops began to cross the Atlantic as an advance guard of the later
movement. As early as August of that summer a group of Engineers and others,
aboard the Cunarder "Saxonia", met in one of the Ward Rooms for a delightful
evening of Fellowship, and formed, for that occasion, an informal association
to which they attached the name "Saxonia Lodge, Somewhere at Sea." The story
of that evening will be told later in this series.
the old Coast Defense a Club had been organized, known as the "Fellowcraft
Club." And when this branch was reorganized into the Coast Artillery and
broken up into a number of regiments, the parent Club was likewise separated
into a group of Clubs. And among these, several went across and took root,
first at Bordeaux, and later, scattered throughout France wherever the former
units of the Coast Guard (now the C. A. C.) were stationed.
Meanwhile the Masonic bodies at home were busy forming various kinds of
organizations, every one of which had the welfare and comfort of Craftsmen and
their families at heart. Out in Missouri the Grand Lodge created an "Overseas
Commission", and appointed a number of their members as a Committee to proceed
to Europe and survey the situation, with a view to relief, not only to
Americans, but also to all the Allied countries. The Chairman of the Committee
was W. Bro. George S. McLanahan.
the Grand Lodge of Ohio, William Melish, known and loved throughout the United
States, had fathered and started an organization called the "Masonic War
Relief Association of the U.S.A." This organization eventually spread beyond
the confines of this Grand Lodge.
The Southern Jurisdiction Scottish Rite very early in 1917 took practical
steps to survey the situation and sent to Paris Judge George F. Moore,
Sovereign Grand Commander, with several of their prominent members. The
stories of all these movements will find a place later in this series.
In the Grand Lodge of New York, in the reconvened Annual Communication of
1917, a Resolution was introduced looking toward active work for the relief of
American Masons within our forces and candidates for the degrees in the same.
Their efforts culminated in the formation of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 1, the
story of which was told last month. At the same time this Grand Lodge
organized an "Overseas Masonic Mission" with powers to proceed to France and
survey the Field, and, if it was deemed necessary and advisable, to issue
dispensations for Sea and Field Lodges. The Chairman of this Mission was Chief
Justice Townsend Scudder of the Highest Court within the State of New York.
Associated with Justice Scudder were a number of the finest type of
professional and business men, all leaders in the Masonic Fraternity. The
story of this Mission will be made a matter of a special paper a little later.
But the story of this Mission is so intertwined in the history of the four Sea
and Field Lodges of France that it is necessary for me to go somewhat into
their preliminary history here. Many Craftsmen wondered during the year 1918,
and in the winter months of 1918-19, why it was that the home Lodges seemed to
have forgotten their very existence. It is due to these Masonic bodies to
speak very frankly in this paper. And I want to say that the Masonic
Fraternity was not negligent nor static during those months. Anyone who will
take the trouble to secure a copy of the "Report of the Masonic Overseas
Mission", issued on Dec. 31, 1918, by the Grand Lodge of New York, will find,
after reading the 129 pages of this report, which is signed by every member of
the Committee, why Masonry was unable to follow its members across the seas
until after the Armistice. A reading of this report would be very healthy food
for those Masons who still hold fond fancies as to the general friendliness
that is supposed to exist toward the Fraternity throughout the United States.
Suffice it to say here that passports which were first assured to this Mission
in the summer of 1918 were refused by the Government for almost a year;
statements were issued that General Pershing was opposed to the entrance of
the Fraternity into France in 1918, which statements he has, I am informed,
since denied, comparatively recently in fact. After the heaviest pressure was
placed upon the former Secretary of War, and even the President, the only way
the representatives of the forty-nine Grand Lodges of America could get to
France was in the garb of the Y.M.C.A., designated as Secretaries of the same.
However, the New York Mission finally landed in France, and reached Paris in
February, 1919, and proceeded immediately to obtain information as to the
state of affairs in regard to Masonry. They found Judge Moore already there
and assisted in opening the Paris Overseas Club. The formal housewarming of
this headquarters was on the twenty-second of the same month. The Masons
working at the Headquarters of the Y. M. C. A. at Paris had already formed the
Trowel and Triangle Club, the membership of which was composed of Y. M. C. A.
Secretaries scattered throughout France. The story of this Club will have to
Judge Moore soon after returned home. The Overseas Mission fitted themselves
into the scheme of things as they found them and proceeded to organize, the Y.
M. C. A. authorities giving them such assistance as lay in their power. The
Mission found a home at 10 Victor Emmanuel, and made this the center of their
soon as practicable, members of the Mission visited all parts of the country
to see what was to be done. Their experiences are being prepared now by former
members of the Mission and will find a place later on in the series.
was apparent to Justice Scudder and his companions that the establishment of a
Sea and Field Lodge at Paris would be very valuable, and so under the
authority of the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New York the dispensation
issued to Bro. Townsend Scudder was put into effect, and with Bro. Scudder as
Worshipful Master, Thomas Channing Moore as Senior Warden, and Merwin W. Lay
as Junior Warden, Sea and Field Lodge, No. 2, Paris, France, was instituted.
Associated with these brethren were William C. Prime, as Secretary; George S.
Goodrich, as Senior Deacon; B. D. Norman, as Junior Deacon; and C. B.
Blackwell as Junior Deacon.
The story of this Lodge was reported to the Grand Lodge in 1920 by Bro.
Scudder and published in the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge for 1920. I am
here largely reproducing this report, because being told so soon after the
events happened, and by the Master of the Lodge himself, the story is not only
official but undoubtedly comprehensive and accurate.
Justice Scudder said:
When you appointed me Chairman of the Mission to Freemasons in the United
States Forces Overseas, you also commissioned me as your plenipotentiary in
territory outside the United States, with all power and authority possessed by
yourself as Grand Master, in respect of Freemasons without the United States,
owing obedience to the Grand Lodge of New York in respect of the relations of
the Grand Lodge of New York with Masonic Grand Jurisdictions overseas, and you
committed to my care four Warrants for Overseas Sea and Field Lodges
exclusively military in their character, which Warrants were signed by you
Dec. 24, 1918. You instructed me to complete the same by inserting the names
of the seven principal officers of each at my discretion, and in case I should
determine that the welfare of the members of the Fraternity from New York,
with the A. E. F., required it, or would be promoted thereby, to institute
said Lodges, or any thereof, as regular Naval or Military Masonic Lodges, in
such places without the United States as I should see fit, for service to and
with the men enlisted, drafted or commissioned in the United States Forces in
the Great War, or regular members of the A. E. F. - Y.M.C.A. or American Red
Cross ministering to our men.
You will discover in this paragraph that most extraordinary powers were
granted by Grand Master W. S. Farmer to his Committee. How statesmanlike was
his masterly foresight, and his confidence in the ability of his committee to
proceed on wise and sound lines, even if far away from New York! So utterly
different from many other Grand Masters who displayed such timidity and fear
as to the Masons who went with the Army, lest they might not know how to
proceed nor be able to control their zeal, should they be given powers to act
as Masons when abroad ! Particularly noticeable is the absence of any
"strings," of fettering provisos and exceptions, to the commission granted to
Justice Scudder. The soundness of his procedure, and the type of men he chose
for the responsible places in the four Overseas Lodges justified this carte
blanches and is in strong contrast to the hesitating and the non possums
attitude, found elsewhere. Of course, these other rulers of the Craft may have
been justified concerning their own members. Regarding this they were perhaps
the best judges, though my own observation does not incline me to agree with
Bro. Scudder in his report gives the blank dispensations used by all four of
SIT LUX ET LUX FUIT William S. Farmer, Grand Master
William S. Farmer, Grand Master of Masons in the State of New York, do, by
these presents, appoint, authorize and empower our
Worthy Brother to be Master, our
Worthy Brother to be Senior Warden, our
Worthy Brother to be Junior Warden, our
Worthy Brother to be the Treasurer, our
Worthy Brother to be the Secretary, our
Worthy Brother to be the Senior Deacon, our
Worthy Brother to be the Junior Deacon
a Sea and Field Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, to be, by virtue hereof,
constituted, formed and held at the City of New York, and elsewhere and
Overseas, as may be convenient and necessary, which Lodge shall be
distinguished and known by the name or style of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 2,
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.
And, further, the said Lodge is hereby invested with full power and authority
to assemble on all proper and lawful occasions and to elect and confer the
three degrees, or either of them, of Ancient Craft Masonry, without the usual
formalities and requirements of chartered Lodges upon Candidates, who have
actually enlisted, or been drafted, or commissioned officers in the United
States forces in the present great War, and who apply therefore in writing and
satisfy the Master and Wardens of said Lodge that they are qualified, and in
case they be sons of Master Masons, so they be over the age of eighteen years;
and on payment of twenty dollars; as also to do and perform all and every such
acts and things appertaining to the Craft as have been, and ought to be, done
for the honor and advantage thereof.
Membership or officership in said Lodge shall in no wise impair or affect
existing membership or officership in a regular chartered or warranted Lodge.
Said Lodge shall have a seal and shall have and keep all books required to be
kept by regular Lodges in the State of New York, the same and all records to
be surrendered to the Grand Lodge on the termination of this warrant.
This warrant shall terminate at the pleasure of the Grand Master.
Given under my hand and Private Seal, at the City of New York, in the United
States of America, this ..... day of .... in the year of our Lord, One
thousand nine hundred and eighteen.
Carrying with him these warrants in blank form, Bro. Scudder and his Mission
set sail, and he relates what occurred as follows:
left New York Jan. 30, 1919, and arrived in London, via Glasgow, Feb. 8,
remaining seven days, which were devoted to examining into the welfare of our
numerous sailors at several Naval Bases, in the United Kingdom, and many
soldiers and sailors on leave in Condone or at the several rest camps. Inquiry
of the proper authority of the United Grand Lodge of England led me to believe
that objection would not be made to a Sea and Field Lodge at some place in
that Jurisdiction if I should decide that the welfare of our men would be
promoted thereby. I also studied war service and activity of the United Grand
Lodge of England to the end that we might profit by the experience of our
mother Grand Lodge.
proceeded to Paris, arriving Feb. 15. We had mailed to France, in anticipation
of our arrival, some fifty letters addressed to well- known Brethren with the
Forces announcing our coming and giving them our address in Paris, and
soliciting their advice as to the paramount needs of men in the service and
particularly of our Brethren. Answers to these inquiries soon began to come
in, and in addition an active correspondence commenced with Masonic Clubs
which we located by various means, including advertisement in the Daily Mail,
the Paris Herald and the Stars and Stripes. Through the Trowel and Triangle
Club, an organization of Freemasons, who were Secretaries of the A. E. F.-Y.
M. C. A., through personal interviews with officers and men, members of the
Fraternity who came to us in Paris, and through a thorough canvas of the whole
of France by the several members of the Mission, I endeavored to sense the
situation and determine the needs of our men.
was greatly enlightened on conditions in the occupied territory by interviews
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 Davis, Past Grand Master, and by R. W. James S. 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 there 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, and Overseas Rhode Island Lodge, with Bro. Davis as W. Master, did
valiant service for the A. E. F. in the Occupied Territory and I am informed
has been preserved as a living instrumentality for such service as may be
required of it, at home. By virtue of the authority invested in me, I
exchanged plenary waivers, over all material in France and in Germany,
respectively, with Overseas Rhode Island Lodge and referred to it all requests
for courtesy service coming to me, affecting men stationed in the Occupied
The story of this Rhode Island Lodge was given in the January number of THE
BUILDER. This mention by Bro. Scudder calls attention to the perfect harmony
that prevailed among the several Masonic bodies representing various groups of
Masons at home. The kindly and courteous fellowship did much to deepen the
loyalty of the rank and file to the Institution.
The next thing dealt with in the report is the baffling and perplexing problem
of French Masonry. Bro. Scudder said in regard to this:
the Conference of Grand Masters, held at New York May 9, 1918, the possibility
of Overseas Lodge activity under New York auspices, was intimated to certain
of the representatives of Grand Jurisdictions there assembled, and by some,
plenary authority was granted me, to accommodate their material applying to me
in France, without reference to headquarters.
Though the Grand Lodge of New York was not, and is not, in fraternal relation
with any French Grand Jurisdiction, I bore letters to the Conseil Federal of
the Grand Orient, and to the Grande Loge de France, and also to the Supreme
Conseil of the Rite Ecossais Ancien et Accepte; also to Brother Edmond Heiseh,
Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Loge National et Regulaire pour la France,
and soon presented them and established most amicable and friendly personal
relations with them all. With each of these Obediences the possibility of
Lodge activity in France, under authority of the Grand Master of Masons in the
State of New York, for the benefit of the A. E. F. was discussed, and from
each cordial acquiescence was received, and offers of use of all facilities
and premises belonging to them, without change, were graciously made. It would
be difficult to imagine a more perfect courtesy than that shown me, and all
American Freemasons with whom I came in contact, by the Masonic Authorities
and brethren of France.
this statement I am sure the host of American Masons in the A. E. F. who came
to know the French brethren will agree. I had a wide contact with French
Freemasons throughout France and found them invariably courteous, generous,
willing to exhaust themselves to care for our Masonic needs. I also found them
to constitute the highest mentality in that nation and believe that within the
ranks of Freemasonry in France is to be found the great underlying stable
force that keeps France poised and sound.
But returning to the story as told by Bro. Scudder:
graphically descriptive of the condition of our men when I arrived in France,
let me quote the following from an article by Katherine Mayo in the Outlook
for March 3, 1920. Referring to Le Mans, she wrote:
"In order to appreciate, however, anything of what it really meant, one should
be able to realize, as perhaps only an eyewitness can do, the utter
depression, the weight of melancholy the general low morale of the whole body
of troops held waiting in the Embarkation Center Area.
"The great machine that had been throwing men across the ocean into France was
now to be reversed. All the big, nervous effort that had preceded the
Armistice had stopped short. The excitement was over. A dull, long pause had
ensued. Men had begun to fret and fear about their jobs at home- to ponder at
leisure the possible personal cost of their war period. Mail service had been
exceedingly defective. For many months, in many eases, home news had been
entirely shut off. Meantime, in America, the influenza had Slain its
thousands, and every man who had failed to hear from his family dreaded the
"Under conditions as anxious as these, with little but time killing labor to
occupy attention and with sailing orders still delayed, a vicious circle of
thought ground on."
saw these same conditions. Each member of the Mission saw them in every part
of France where our men were. The sad story was brought to me by Masons in
numbers, and by others, competent observers.
became convinced that valuable as was the influence of the Masonic Club, it
was not sufficient. The existence of Masonic life, to vary the tedium of
existence, was necessary. Once established it came to the knowledge of
innumerable non-Masons buddies of our brethren in the service, and they were
keen to acquire the same privilege. The need for more genuine Masonic life
than the Club could afford was conspicuous. If we were justified in our effort
to serve in the activity of our Sea and Field Lodge, No. 1, in New York, and
in our regularly chartered lodges, men about to be sent out of the country,
surely in their sorry plight, if we could, it was our duty to serve them "over
decided to institute Sea and Field Lodge! No. 2, in Paris, and arranged with
the officers of the Grande Loge National, to rent quarters for that lodge at
42 rue Rochechouart, Paris, in the headquarters in France of that Grand
Jurisdiction, and equipped our premises there with such furnishings as were
needed. You had designated the personnel of this lodge in the Warrant which
you had signed, and it was supplemented by Brothers Davis and Collins of Rhode
Island, Kelly of Nebraska Lee of Oklahoma, Crouch of West Virginia, Eddy, now
Grand Master of Michigan, Acker, Past Grand Master of Texas, and many other
keenly interested and devoted brethren, hailing from all over the United
sat first on April 3, 1919, and nine times thereafter, its last session being
July 10, 1919, at which you were present and took part, and it conferred the
degrees of Craft Masonry on 278 candidates, which included 40 candidates
accommodated by courtesy for other lodges.
The full personnel, and the roster, are appended to this report together with
the same information respecting the other Sea and Field Lodges temporarily
located in France in the A. E. F.
Thus we have a clear and, to my mind, a very true picture of the conditions
under which this Mission operated, and of the causes that led to the formation
of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 2, and its companion lodges. What they meant to
the Craft can never be overstated. The tonic they injected into the
demoralized conditions during the period of waiting; the progress of activity
which they provided; the outlet for the pent up emotions. As I sat in the East
at the closing communication of the Lodge in Paris, in July, and watched the
eager faces of the brethren and candidates, I was confirmed in my profound
conviction that the Military Lodge is just as justifiable, and just as
rational, as any civilian lodge ever was. Only those who have passed through
the field conditions of war can appreciate the tremendous import of the close
association afforded by the Masonic Lodge to men whose whole nature is strung
almost to the breaking point.
The tabulation of statistics referred to by Justice Scudder is as follows. It
covers the entire life and service of the lodge. A close study of this chart
yields much valuable information.
S & F Material
Dimitted: (1919) 31,
New York Lodges
Going into these statistics a little in detail we discover that the courtesy
work covered candidates from Missouri, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Washington,
Indiana, Kentucky, Ontario, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska,
South Dakota, California, Kansas, New Jersey, Montana, Tennessee, England,
France, South Carolina.
This Mission carried with it the following authorization from a number of the
Grand Lodges which had assembled at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to discuss the Masonic
situation both at home and abroad in 1918:
CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORITY OF BROTHER
TOWNSEND SCUDDER GRAND LODGE OF IOWA, A. F. & A. M. Geo. L. Schoonover Grand
Master of Masons of Iowa Anamosa, Iowa.
This is to certify that at a conference of Grand Masters of Masons in the
United States, held November 26, 27 and 28, 1918, at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the
following resolution was duly adopted:
it resolved, That Brother Townsend Scudder, Past Grand Master of New York, and
the Chairman of the Commissioners appointed by the Grand Master of New York.
to undertake the Overseas work among the soldiers and sailors of the American
Expeditionary Force, be and he is hereby, appointed and designated as the
agent and Commissioner of this Conference and the Grand Jurisdictions here
represented, and those which may hereafter adopt the Constitution of the
Masonic Service Association of the United States, to take charge of the
overseas work contemplated and embodied in the Constitution this day adopted.
GEORGE L. SCHOONOVER, Chairman of the Conference.
NEWTON R. PARVIN, Secretary of the Conference. December 1, 1918.
From this document it is to be seen that the Mission Overseas was acting not
only for New York, but also for a group of Grand Lodges who had subscribed to
the Constitution of the newly organized Masonic Service Association.
With the winding up of the work of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 2, of Paris
overseas, the records of this and the other New York Lodges were returned by
the Mission to New York, and deposited in the archives of the Grand Lodge of
The roster of No. 2 was consolidated with that of No. 1, and provision was
made to dimit all material on the No. 2 roster to the various lodges within
whose jurisdiction the membership of No. 2 resided when at home. This dimitted
membership was not turned adrift without further knowledge and information to
the Grand Lodges involved, but full information was transmitted by Sea and
Field Lodge, No. 1, to the Grand Officers of the Grand Lodges, within whose
bounds the dimitted brethren resided, so that a check up could be maintained.
spite of all this care there were wartime candidates, made overseas, who did
not take up their dimits, and in these cases the brothers have been carried on
the roster of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 1, of New York City.
a letter which I received some time ago from my friend and brother Merwin W.
Lay, one of the Overseas Mission. I find this paragraph:
Sea and Field Lodge, No. 2 (the Paris Lodge), has been perpetuated by a
dispensation from our Grand Master to veterans of the war. and I am glad it is
located in Syracuse.
Thus the brethren of New York have proceeded to do what those of Rhode Island
did; they have perpetuated the names and the activities of these overseas Army
Lodges. It was a wise provision, and as the years stretch out their course,
more and more will these names gather to themselves memories and traditions of
inestimable value to their membership and to the Craft at large.
Too much praise to the members of the Overseas Mission cannot be given. And
alongside this praise must ever be added the praise for the foresightedness of
those Grand Lodges which made possible the formation of the Masonic Service
Association in the time of War to meet the stringent requirements laid upon
the Craft by the Government, when great need arose for universal Masonic aid
to the Craft under arms.
That the reader may once more be reminded of the brothers who carried on the
labors of this Army Lodge, I offer the tableau of their Lodge:
M. Townsend Scudder, New York City.
W. Thomas Channing Moore, New York City.
W. Mermin W. Lay, Syracuse, N. Y.
Secy. William C. Prime, Yonkers, N. Y.
D. George S. Goodrich, Bronxville, N. Y.
D. B. D. Norman.
Tyl. C. B. Blackwell.
cannot close my story of this Lodge without revealing a personal contact I had
with Sea and Field, No. 2, in Paris. It is my first and only opportunity to
get back at dear Bro. Goodrich, who caused me to have a rather embarrassing
interview with my good wife upon my return home. I had received a very
distressing letter from my home parish, from a widowed and crippled aged
mother, asking me to try to locate the grave of her son. I obtained leave and
went to Paris, from which city I planned to re-visit the battle front and
attempt to find the boy's resting place. In Paris I ran in to the headquarters
of the Overseas Mission, as I was wont to do every time I went there. Having
heard of the fund of money they had at their command I resolved to try them
out in order that I might testify upon return to America to the actual working
of their financial scheme. I had more than sufficient money in my money belt
to cover all my expenses. Nevertheless I remarked to Bro. Goodrich, who
presided over the office at this time, "How about a little loan for a few
weeks ?" "Help yourself," replied George. Opening a drawer in his desk he
displayed enough French paper money to paper the four walls of an office. I
closed my eyes, stretched my fingers to utmost capacity, and reached in. I
drew out my hand holding a bundle of the money. Saying good-bye I left the
office and went down to the street. Then I retraced my steps and looked into
the office once more and said, "Goodrich, you never asked me for a receipt."
"Get along with you," replied he, "you have sufficient credentials already.
You are a Mason, a Chaplain, and officer of the U. S. Army." I wrote out an I.
O. U. after this manner: "This is to acknowledge the receipt of a loan of
..... francs from the Overseas Mission, Paris." I signed my name and went out.
I had assured Bro. Goodrich I would send him a French Postal Order as soon as
I returned to my station. He was to send to me the I. O. U. After some time on
the old battle line I returned to my station and sent the Postal Order to
Paris. But Goodrich never sent the I. O. U. back to camp. After months in the
service I landed in my home town in the late summer of 1919, and a few days
later my wife came to me with a very serious face, and handing me a slip of
paper inquired, "What does this mean? Why were you in Paris, without any
money?" Goodrich had sent the I. O. U. to my American address. And to this day
my wife has a reminiscent gleam in her eye every time Paris is mentioned in
conversation. Thus in my earnest desire to test the generosity of the Masons
at home, I created a situation that almost severed my relations with "friend"
wife. I have long wanted to get back at Bro. Goodrich, and now after almost
ten years I have accomplished it.
Owing to a regrettable error Bro. Prime was designated "Most Worshipful" on
page 39 last month. We apologize to Bro. Prime, and trust that this blunder
may not have caused him any annoyance or embarrassment.
Some Notes on Symbolism
BRO. SILAS H. SHEPHERD, Wisconsin
see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity
in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour. [William Blake]
The thoughts of all the greatest and wisest men have been expressed through
mythology. [John Ruskin]
myth is a narrative framed for the purpose of expressing some general truth. A
symbol is a silent myth, which impresses the truth which it conveys not by
successive stages, but at once throws together significant images of some
truth. [Wm. Fleming]
a symbol there is concealment and yet revelation, silence and speech acting
together some embodiment and revelation of the infinite, made to blend itself
with the finite, to stand visible and, as it were, attainable there. [Thos.
The first learning of the world consisted chiefly of symbols. The wisdom of
the Chaldeans, Phoenicians, Egyptians, Jews, of Zoroaster, Sanchoniathon,
Pherecydds, Cyrus, Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato and all of the ancients that is
come to our land. is symbolic. [Dr. Wm. Stukeley]
Symbolic representation of things sacred were coeval with religion itself as a
system of doctrine appealing to sense, and have accompanied its transmission
to ourselves from the earliest known period of monumental history. [H. C.
the absence of a written language or form of expression capable of conveying
abstract ideas, we can readily comprehend the necessity, among a primitive
people, of a symbolic system. [E. G. Squire]
The study of Freemasonry is essentially a study of symbolism because
Freemasonry teaches by symbolism only. Any inquiry therefore, into the
teachings of Freemasonry, should be preceded by a comprehensive investigation
of the nature of symbolism in general, its origin and its peculiar
characteristics. [M. R. Grant]
THE scarcity of literature dealing with symbolism seems strange when we
consider its importance and how much it influences our present life, as well
as the significant function it fulfilled in the development of human thought
Albert G. Mackey and Oliver D. Street have both written works of great merit
on the subject of Masonic symbolism which should be more extensively read.
Albert Pike was a profound scholar of symbolism, but unfortunately only
published limited editions of his "Lectures on Symbolism." All these talented
brethren have warned us against the errors into which we are liable to fall by
either neglecting to give the symbols the spiritual significance they deserve,
or by trying to give them forced interpretations.
H. Rylands, a distinguished brother, also warns us saying:
Symbolism is always a difficult affair as everyone knows or at least ought to
know. When once fairly launched on the subject, it often becomes an avalanche
or torrent which may carry one away into the open sea or more than empty
space. On few questions has more rubbish been written than that of symbolism,
it is a happy hunting ground for those who, guided by no sort of system or
rule, ruled only by their own sweet will, love to allow their fancies and
imaginations to run wild. Interpretations are given which have no other
foundation than the disordered brain of the writer and when proof or anything
approaching a definite statement is required symbols are confused with
metaphors and we are involved in a further maze of follies and wild fancies.
While the foregoing advice is timely and needs to be always considered, we
must also consider the equally important admonition of Albert Pike, who says:
The symbolism of Masonry is the soul of Masonry. Every symbol of a lodge is a
religious teacher, the mute teacher also of morals and philosophy. It is in
its ancient symbols and in the knowledge of their true meanings that the
pre-eminence of Freemasonry over all other orders consists. In other respects,
some of them may compete with it, rival it, perhaps even excel it- but by its
symbols it will reign without a peer when it learns again what its symbols
mean, and that each is the embodiment of some great, old, rare truth, and
again, that to translate the symbols into the trivial and commonplace is the
blundering of mediocrity.
Freemasonry is the custodian of a system of symbolism and we can never fully
comprehend the depth of its philosophy or the height of its spiritual
significance without some knowledge of the use of symbols in past ages.
Three theories have been advanced for the probable origin of Masonic
symbolism. First: it has come down from times antedating the Grand Lodge era.
Second: it was formulated by the brethren of the Grand Lodge about 1717.
Third: it has been an evolution, which is still going on.
either the second or third theories are correct the present paper is useless,
because it deals with evidence bearing out the first theory. The evidence,
from its very nature, can not be conclusive proof. If Freemasonry is really a
system of symbolic teaching, which is generally conceded; and if this
symbolism was undergoing a process of decay in the time immediately preceding
the Grand Lodge era as R. F. Gould thinks probable, we may well seek for the
earliest recorded use of symbols in general, and architectural and geometrical
symbols in particular, as possible aids to a better understanding of their
importance and utility.
The use of tools and implements of architecture as symbols, and a traditional
history distinguish the so-called operative Freemasons of the era preceding
the revival in 1717 from the many guilds of other crafts, and it is noteworthy
that architectural and geometrical symbols are much more in evidence as moral
and spiritual teachers than any other class of symbols. We may also note their
use many centuries ago, in much the same way Freemasonry uses them today.
Going then to the records we possess of the earliest historic times in China,
I find clear evidence of the existence of a mystic faith expressed in
allegorical form, and illustrated, as with us, by symbols. The secrets of this
faith were orally transmitted. the chiefs alone pretending to have full
knowledge of them. I find, moreover, that in these earliest ages this faith
took a Masonic form, the secrets being recorded in symbolic buildings like the
Tabernacle Moses put up in the desert, and the Temple his successor, Solomon,
built in Jerusalem; that the various offices in the hierarchy of this religion
were distinguished by the symbolic jewels held by them during their terms of
office, and that, as with us at the rites of their religion they wore leather
aprons, such as have come down to us, marked with the insignia of their rank.
I find in the earliest works that have come down to us, the square and
compasses, and regulated his life thereby being then, as now, considered to
possess the secrets and to carry out the principles of true propriety.
Finally, I find one of the most ancient names by which the Deity is spoken of
in China is that of the First Builder, or, as Masons say, the Great Architect
of the Universe.
The Mysteries of this ancient Faith have now become lost, or at best obscured,
though attempts at a revival may be traced in the proceedings of existing
brotherhoods, whose various rituals and signs are supposed to be in some
measure founded on ancient rites and symbols which have been handed down from
the earliest ages.
From time immemorial we find the square and compasses used by the Chinese
writers, either together or separately, to symbolize precisely the same phases
of moral conduct as in our own system of Freemasonry it has ever been accepted
as a physical axiom in China that "Heaven is round, Earth is square"; and
among the relies of the nature worship of old, we find the altar of Heaven at
Peking round, while the altar of Earth is square. By the marriage of Heaven
and Earth, the conjunction of the circle and the square, the Chinese believe
that all things were produced and subsequently distributed, each according to
its own proper function. And such is, in my opinion, the undoubted origin of
the terms "square and compasses" as figuratively applied to human conduct by
the earliest ancestors of the Chinese people.
Let us not imagine that symbols have become obsolete, or that they are not
commonly used in present everyday life. The symbols used by our remote
ancestors were in many cases their only method of conveying abstract thought,
while modern invention and education has in a pronounced manner supplemented
them with facilities for development which divert our conscious realization of
the importance of symbols.
we doubt the power of symbols? If so, let us take those we use daily and
analyze their power over our mental processes. The emblem "$" signifies
dollars. As a symbol it brings us to a clear consciousness of financial
affairs.. We cannot take this sign ($) and buy anything with it; but if we
have that which it symbolizes we are able to procure equivalent values in
necessities and luxuries. As a symbol it only partially effects our emotional
nature, and is only given because of its being so generally used.
The flag of our country, Old Glory, is an emblem of the government of the
United States of America. As a symbol it brings vividly into our mind yes,
into our hearts and souls the high ideals which made the United States of
America possible. As a symbol of the high ideals of liberty and equality it
keeps us eager to maintain and promote those ideals. For a brief moment
reflect on the emotions which have vibrated your whole body as you gazed at
this symbol of equality and liberty, and you cannot deny the power of a
symbol. As a physical object it is nothing but cloth. The colors are used in
many ways. To be sure the arrangement is very beautiful and from an artistic
viewpoint we can be justly proud of our flag; but its real power is the
wonderful things it symbolizes.
Likewise, let us consider the cross. To the Christian the cross is a continual
reminder of the great law of love which Christianity teaches. To the Christian
the cross must ever symbolize that Fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man
which the Master taught.
Both the flag as symbol of equality and liberty, which are the foundation
stones on which our country rests, and the cross, which symbolizes divine
love, are only partially understood by the great majority. To comprehend their
full significance it is necessary to understand how political equality and
liberty developed, and study the religious aspirations of humanity. To express
a sentiment of patriotism without a real conception of the great principles
which the flag symbolizes, or profess to be a Christian and fail to love God
with all your heart and soul and your neighbor as yourself, is to understand
only partially the things they symbolize. So, too, with the square and
compasses and other pertinent symbols of Freemasonry. They have deep
significance and the power to raise the brother from the prevailing
conceptions of social relationship to the highest ideals of brotherhood.
Symbols cannot make any impression on the human mind, except by desire and
consent. Freedom of action and even speech is sometimes restrained or
prohibited, but freedom of thought is something that is inviolable. We choose
whether to permit a symbol to influence us and to what extent.
The flag and the cross are the most potent symbols relating to political and
religious thought on this continent, but they are by no means the only way of
teaching these things. In Freemasonry, however, symbols are the very essence
of the whole system. Without the symbols it would be of no more value than the
many other fraternal societies which promote the welfare of humanity to
limited extent. It is by these symbols and a proper understanding of their use
in our lives that Freemasonry excells. To be a member of a Masonic lodge and
not understand its symbolism is as inconsistent as to be a citizen and not
understand the principles of government.
The object of the present essay is to direct attention to several of the more
important symbols of antiquity, as it is only by knowledge of what they have
meant to people of the past that we can fully understand the general system of
symbolism of which Freemasonry is custodian.
The word symbol comes from a Greek word meaning "a sign by which one knows a
thing." In its general use it is a visible sign of an ideal or quality of
another object. In a religious and moral or Masonic sense, it is a sign with a
moral or spiritual significance.
Symbols, emblems and types are very commonly used as synonymous, but must be
considered as distinct in any study of symbolic teaching. An emblem is a
representation of an idea by a visible object. A type is, more strictly
speaking, one thing which is a model for another, such as the tabernacle was a
model, or type, of King Solomon's Temple. As H. C. Barlow says in Essays on
Emblems, symbols and types all have this in common: they are the
representatives of something else for which they stand. Emblems and symbols
often differ only in their mode of application, thus the palm-branch is an
emblem of victory, but, taken in a Christian sense, it is a symbol,
significant of the victory of our faith, and is given to all Christian martyrs
who have thus overcome death. The anchor may be a mere emblem of hope, but
when it is put for the hope of a Christian it becomes a symbol. So, also, the
equilateral triangle may be nothing more than the emblem of three united in
one- but, as significant of the doctrine of the Trinity, it is a symbol of the
symbol is of the highest order when it expresses a religious dogma or
philosophical doctrine, but of the lowest when it is put for a received fact,
either real or legendary. Thus the anchor as a symbol of St. Clement, is of
the lowest order; and so are all those particular symbols of saints by which
they are distinguished from one another: as the sword of St. Paul the keys of
St. Peter, the knife of St. Bartholomew, the tower of St. Barbara. etc.
The Christian church is possessor of a wealth of the most impressive
symbolism. The sacraments are all symbolism of the highest type, but alas,
like Freemasonry, its votaries too often go through the forms and ceremonies
with very little conception of their full significance. The subjects of the
medieval artists were originally symbolical, but are now simply conventional
with a large majority. The Virgin and Child was introduced as a symbol of
those holding the orthodox faith after the Council of Ephesus had condemned
the Nestorians in A. D. 431. Barlow tells us:
The dogma of the Mother of God was of Egyptian origin, it was brought in,
along with the worship of Madonna, by Cyril and his monks of Alexandra, in the
The earliest representations of the Madonna and Child have quite a
Greco-Egyptian character, and there is little doubt that Isis nursing Horus
was the origin of them all. The Chinese also recognize this old pagan notion
in Tienhow, the Queen of Heaven, nursing her infant son, who is usually
represented holding a lotus- bud as the symbol of the new birth.
a recent work entitled The Celestial Ship of the North, a vast accumulation of
material bearing on the primitive conceptions of a divine Mother was
collected. There are many traditions which point to this Celestial Ship of the
North as being symbolized by the Great Bear, or Ursa Major. Miss Zelia Nuttall
in her Archaeological work for Harvard University has brought together much
evidence in favor of the theory that it was from this group of stars that the
Swastika was originally derived. The revolution of these stars around the
Poled Star annually with one spoke of an imaginary wheel at equal angles at
the four seasons of the year is, according to her theory, symbolized by the
Any study of the highest types of symbols, or those effecting the moral and
religious nature, should embrace considerable knowledge of all the religions
of antiquity. In such a study we should endeavor to find those basic
principles which are common to all religions, and to acquire as much as
possible the viewpoint of those primitive people among which symbols were
The use of symbols is prehistoric, because when man had developed to a point
where he recorded his actions and thoughts he was far advanced. The first
language of primitive man was undoubtedly a sign language. Spoken language
developed very slowly. The first language was probably limited to things
concerning physical acts and desires, such as desire for food, shelter,
clothing and to express fear and pain, joy and happiness.
Sustenance and reproduction are the motive forces which actuate physical man.
His mental, moral and spiritual nature are dependent on the leisure he may
find from the necessities nature has imposed. He has within him faculties
which are seldom developed to their capacity. Sustenance and reproduction have
been perverted, and selfish desire to live on what others produce, and use
reproductive natural propensities for lustful excess has diverted many of the
human race from the development of the higher phases of being.
far back as records guide us, or traditions permit us to speculate, a limited
number of men have held the highest ideals and helped their fellows to a
better understanding of the mental, moral and spiritual phases of life.
primitive shepherd sending his flocks on the plains of Chaldea gazed in
amazement at the starry heavens and eventually discovered that the sun, moon
and stars had orderly and systematic movements. He saw the return of seasons
and the wonderful reproduction of vegetable life and in his primitive way must
have speculated on the cause. The first line which primitive man saw was a
circle. It was the circle of the horizon. How long after he discovered this
circle and tried to reproduce it in miniature by the aid of two sticks which
eventually became our compasses must remain conjecture, but we may venture
purely as a probability that the circle, line and square were the first
geometrical figures used by man. It is probable that even before this he may
have made crude pictures gradually evolved a written language.
required a long period of time to develop both written and spoken language to
such a degree as to be capable of conveying abstract ideas that it is almost
certain that such ideas were originally expressed by symbols.
The records of pictographs in discovered caves, inscriptions on monuments,
vases, coins and tombs have given to us the information upon which all writers
on symbolism of antiquity have based their opinions. According to these
records we may consider the swastika as one of the most ancient of symbols. It
is also one of the most prolific and is found in almost every part of the
northern hemisphere, and in such parts of the southern as it might have been
carried by migration. The swastika is considered by many writers to be a form
of cross and, as such, to symbolize the four quarters of the earth in times
when it was believed the earth was flat and oblong. As previously mentioned,
Miss Nuttall, with many facts to substantiate her opinion, holds that it
represented the movements of Ursa Major around Polaris, and symbolized the
The migration of symbols has followed the migration of peoples and commerce.
Many symbols have been used on coins and thus in commerce the symbol has been
transplanted to places where its original significance was not understood.
Another symbol of great antiquity is the Phallus. The lingam and yoni of
ancient India and the Crux Ansata of ancient Egypt are the most ancient we
have any knowledge of. The reproductive principle in nature seems to have led
primitive man to use this symbol as the most pertinent way of expressing his
ideas of the Great Creator of the Universe. The ideas of propriety which make
it so repugnant to us did not occur to primitive man. The following quotation
from Primitive Symbolism, by H. M. Westropp, expresses this very clearly:
Nature to the early man was not brute matter, but a being invested with his
own personality, and endowed with the same feelings, passions and performing
the same functions. He could only conceive the course of nature from the
analogy to his own actions. By an easy illusion the functions of human nature
were transferred to physical nature. Man not only attributed his own mind and
feelings to the powers of nature but also the functions of his nature-
generation, begetting reproduction, bringing forth; they became his ideas of
cause and effect. To the sun, the great fecundator, and the chief cause of
awakening nature into life- to the earth, the great recipient in the bosom of
which all things are produced, man attributed the same powers and modes of
reproduction as in human nature. The human intellect being finite, man is
incapable of imagining a personal god inseparable from the functions of human
nature. Sex was given to them, the sun or sky were considered the male, or
active power- the earth, the female or passive power. The sky was the
fecundating and fertilizing power; the earth was looked upon as the mould of
nature as the recipient of seeds, the nurse of what was produced in its bosom.
An analogy was suggested in the union of the male and female. These
comparisons are found in ancient writers.
an example we may take this from the Greek poet and dramatist, Aeschylus:
The bright sky loves to penetrate the earth; the earth, on her part, aspires
to the heavenly marriage. Rain falling from the watery sky impregnates the
earth, and she produces for mortals pastures of the flocks, and the gifts of
The later writer, Plutarch, expresses the same idea:
The sky appeared to men to perform the functions of a father, as the earth
those of a mother. The sky was the father, for it east seed into the bosom of
the earth which, on receiving them, became fruitful and brought forth, and was
And finally we may quote Dr. Christian D. Ginsburg:
Eminent scholars who have devoted themselves to the investigation of ancient
cults, have shown to demonstration that the most primitive idea of God was
that He consisted of a dual nature, masculine and feminine, and the connubial
contact of this androgynous deity gave birth to creation.
Vast numbers of quotations might be made to further demonstrate the
conclusions eminent scholars have arrived at regarding the prevalence of this
primitive belief and also showing that it was general among all is primitive
people in every part of the world, even in the ancient civilizations of the
All prominent writers on Symbolism have stressed the importance of phallic
symbols in the religions and philosophies of primitive people. We feel that
their importance has not been over-estimated and that among the early
ancestors of our race this particular phase of nature's manifestations
produced in their minds a reverence which it is hard for modern people to
Primitive symbols were all very close to nature. The earliest pictographs were
crude pictures of animals which were probably the crudest and most elementary
symbols. Geometrical symbols, of which the Swastika, Cross and Crux Ansata are
the most important and interesting, were all closely allied to astrological
THE ARTIFICIAL CHARACTER OF CIVILIZATION
Twentieth century modes of life make most of us quite unconscious of nature
and the great universe, except as we relax from the daily routine and
seriously contemplate it. With our primitive ancestor it was the reverse. He
lived in a world that, while it was crude in modes of life as we know them,
was simple and very close to nature. His very existence depended on his
knowledge of nature. He must observe the sun, moon and stars and regulate his
life by them. To him the sun actually did rule the day and the moon govern the
night. In his crude way he started the study of astronomy which eventually
became astrology in which we find a most complex system of governing
influences. Constellations were named after mythological and fanciful
characters, each of which had its particular influence on earthly affairs.
Astrology and mythology are very intimately connected and a very extended
system of symbolism was developed. The zodiac with its twelve signs is the
central figure of this system of symbolism, and although we are prone to
ridicule astrology, it has been a most potent factor in the development of the
human mind. Perhaps we do an injustice to the ancient astrologers by judging
the ideas they expressed literally when much of all the expression of the
ancients was figurative.
Architecture was the first mechanical occupation of man. Early in his
development he learned to build crude shelter for himself and soon after built
altars for worship. He next built a temple, or house of God, and with the
tools he used probably associated moral tenets. The first use of tools and
implements of architecture was symbols of moral virtues is lost in antiquity.
They are closely associated with religion, and so, in fact, are all the
symbols that have come down from the remote past. It was a religious sentiment
that actuated their first use and the same sentiment that perpetuated their
use. If we study them today from purely intellectual motives, we may never
under stand them.
Freemasonry in Czechoslovakia
BRO. JOSEPH S. ROUCEK (Continued from February)
or about the year 1680, a young Bohemian nobleman, Francis Anthony Count de
Spork (born 1662), visited the Netherlands, and joined the Society of the
Friends of the Cross, which, most probably, was already united with the
operative Masonic Lodges. De Spork is said, in records of the time of Joseph
II, to have been initiated into Masonry in Holland; although this may have
happened on the occasion of his later visit to Holland, which took place about
1717. As there existed at that period no Masonic Lodges in the same sense as
those that came into existence after 1717; and as, on the other hand, it is an
undoubted fact that he joined the Friends of the Cross and afterwards founded
the first Prague Lodge; these matters can hardly be explained except in some
such way as above indicated. Another tradition tells us that Spork was
initiated into Masonry in 1717 by Anthony Sayer at London, and accepted from
him the power of founding Lodges in his native country; an assertion which,
however, lacks probability, although Spork had really been visiting England
about that time. However this may be, it is certain that Bro. de Spork
founded, on his return home, the very first Masonic Lodge at Prague, on June
26, 1726. This was named the Three Stars. From this fact it is more probable
that his initiation had taken place on his later visit to Holland and England,
in one or other of these two countries. Its jewel exists yet. It consists of a
Maltese Cross (brass) enameled blue; the upper limb exhibits the cypher 3, the
center the letter S (Stern; Star), and in the other three limbs, cherubs'
heads lock with four wings, all in silver. There exists also a medal struck in
commemoration of the foundation of the Lodge. Obverse, a portrait of Bro. de
Spork; reverse, the New Jerusalem of the Apocalypse (square with 12 gates, in
the center the Lamb on a mound, above all, the name of God in Hebrew letters
The seal of the Lodge, however, seems to have been lost. As for the members,
they belonged for the greater part to the nobility; among them were the Counts
Vrbna, Paradis, and Kaiserstein; but there were also many of the upper
commoners, especially authors and scholars. Among them is also to be noted,
Gottwald Fr. Stillenau, Spork's private secretary, a very learned man, who
later went to Holland in order to maintain a continuous intercourse between
the Dutch and the Prague Lodge. He afterwards wrote, under a pseudonym, a
biography of Spork, in which the proceedings of the Jesuits were sharply
scourged. Another member of the Lodge was Charles David, secretary to Count
Gallas and afterwards to Count Bubna, who later was appointed an Imperial
Chancellor, and was ennobled in consequence. On that occasion he applied for,
and received, three stars in his coat-of-arms.
Bro. Spork himself, who was the Master (then styled Grand Master) of the
Lodge, had been made a Chamberlain in 1690, previous to the formation of the
Lodge. In 1691 he had been appointed Governor of Bohemia, and a Privy
Councillor in 1692. He did a great deal in propagating enlightenment and
culture as well as laboring for the common welfare and interests of his
became the Maecenas of a great number of artists and scholars. He cared for
the poor and miserable. He raised very considerable foundations for charitable
purposes. He was an indefatigable champion of light and progress. As was but
natural this proceeding soon rendered him an object of hatred to the fathers
of the Society of Jesus. They succeeded in rousing the suspicions of the
Emperor Charles VI concerning him. They accused him and his friends of
fighting, not only against the Church, but against the state also. An inquiry
was ordered. At the head of the Commission stood a Jesuit named Konias. On the
proceedings of this Commission some light is thrown by the fact that the
Count's library was confiscated, and the whole contents, instead of being
examined, was burnt unread. A charge of high treason was brought against the
Count, and he was tried. The trial lasted seven years. No one knows what the
end of it would have been had it not been for the intercession of Francis,
then Duke of Lorraine (a personal friend of Spork, who in 1731 had been
himself initiated a Mason), with his imperial father-in-law. So the trial was
closed, and soon after Spork was re-established in his former dignities. But
his sorrow had entirely shaken and broken the old man, so that only a short
time after the conclusion of his trial, he entered the eternal East, on March
Now to return to the Lodge. Before going further, it may not be out of place
to describe where the meetings of the Brethren were held. This was in Spork's
palace situated in the so-called "Angelus Garden." In the newly-rebuilt palace
and the gardens adjoining it the Brethren of the "Three Stars" Lodge met for a
long period. At present the Palace of the Directory for Posts and Telegraphs
stands on the spot.
Other Lodges were subsequently constituted from Prague, in Galicia, Hungary,
Luxembourg, Styria, and Moravia.
THE SUPPRESSION OF MASONRY IN AUSTRO-HUNGARY
The first Lodge in Vienna, Zu Drei Kanonen, was founded in 1742. The first
Lodge in Hungary is known to have existed at Pressburg (now the capital of
Slovakia) in 1766. A Grand Lodge for Austria and its dependencies, ruling over
45 Lodges, was established in 1748. An Imperial Edict in the following year
ordered that not more than three Lodges should exist in any single town, while
those that were at work in any place which was not a "Seat of Government" were
The consequences may be supposed. The newly formed Austrian Grand Lodge,
together with its Provincial Grand Lodges, passed off the scene; and the
general discontent of the Craft betokened the beginning of the end.
Then came the French Revolution. The Freemasons were regarded with suspicion.
The Austrian Lodges voluntarily closed in 1792, and those in Bohemia during
the following year. Masonry in Hungary had a somewhat longer life, but by an
Edict of 1795, all secret societies in the Austrian dominions were ordered to
dissolve. Since then Freemasonry in Austria has been prohibited, except for
one short period, till the year 1918. In 1867, after the Civil War, Masonry
was revived in Hungary, nevertheless in Austria it still continued to be
THE REVIVAL IN THE HUNGARIAN KINGDOM
The Constitution of Hungary of 1867 did not prohibit Masonry. A Lodge, Unity
in the MotherLand, was founded at Budapest in 1868, and this, with six
daughter Lodges, formed, on Jan. 30, 1870, the St. John's Grand Lodge of
Hungary. The three Craft degrees only, were recognized or tolerated by this
1869, however, a Lodge, Matthias Corvinus, established under the auspices of
the so-called Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite (after a vain application to
the Grand Lodge of Scotland) obtained a warrant from the Grand Orient of
France. This likewise warranted daughter lodges and they in November, 1871,
founded the Grand Orient of Hungary. Ultimately the Grand Lodge and the Grand
Orient amalgamated under the title of the Symbolic Grand Lodge of Hungary, on
March 23, 1886. "Freedom of Conscience" was acclaimed by this Grand Lodge, and
the preamble of its Statutes follows rather closely that of the Grand Orient
of France. There are nominally 83 Lodges, with a total number of members of
over 6,000; but in 1920 the Government closed them all. The furniture and
property was seized and the funds distributed in other directions. The Masonic
officials were imprisoned; The chief reason, probably, was the newly-aroused
antiSemitism, which was directed against Freemasonry chiefly because the great
majority of the members of the Lodges, with but one or two exceptions, were
THE SITUATION IN AUSTRIA
Austria, after 1867, when more liberal legislation had been passed by the
influence of liberally-minded Germans, old Masons, who were members of Lodges
in Bavaria, Saxony, and Prussia, hoped that they would be allowed to establish
Lodges within the scope of the new law concerning societies, or according to
the law for political societies, the members of which had to be named to
political and police authorities. The meetings were attended by police
officials, who had the right to stop any speaker if, according to their
judgment, he had violated existing laws. These officials even had the right to
stop all proceedings of the meetings, to forbid further activity; and they
were obliged to make an official report, which ended very often in subpoenas.
Where state officials were concerned the treatment was more severe than with
civilians. Very often the state employee was transferred, without any reason
being assigned, to places where he received a smaller salary, where there were
no schools, and where there was a lack of communications, doctors, etc. It was
in fact - exile.
Consequently after 1867 the Austrians became members of foreign Lodges. Many
Lodges performed their work of initiation, etc., in Hungary, in such places as
Neudorfel, Pressburg, situated near the frontier. It took only a half hour
from Vienna to Bratislava (the Czechoslovak name for Pressburg, the present
capital of Slovakia) by train. In Bratislava the Lodge remains until the
present time. It still has the archives and property from the pre-war time.
INDIRECT MASONIC ACTIVITIES
Bohemia, especially in Prague, Masons formed mutual benefit societies, only
occasionally devoting their meetings to ritual work. In order to secure the
possibility of meeting on the Austrian territory for purposes of
administration, instruction, or social intercourse, each of the Lodges formed
a parallel society with a profane name and character, publicly maintaining a
social, cultural, educational or charitable purpose. Most of the Lodges also
maintained special benevolent institutions.
Many other Bohemian societies had the same tendencies and interests as
Masonry. Such was the well known society even in America - the Sokol, which,
however, put more emphasis on physical training than on intellectual activity.
The main task of the Sokol is the physical and Slovak people. In this endeavor
the Sokols recognize no differences in regard to age, rank, wealth, and
religious or political convictions, for they address one another as "brother"
and employ the second person singular. Similar principles are followed also by
the female Sokols, whose members address each other as "sister." The Sokols
have grown into an organization of national education. A recent manifesto
expresses their aims in these words:
wish to train our members so that they may reflect on their view of life,
their religion, and their efforts towards a high moral standard, and act
according to the results of their reflections. Thus, free of all hatred, and
not knowing in our midst any political, class, religious or party conflicts,
we advance like one single powerful body, united by true brotherhood, and work
with good spirit on the tasks allotted to us; A life. Another interesting
watchword is: We will eliminate the weak by helping them to become strong.
The Sokol organization is well disciplined despite the fact that it is based
on voluntary activities.
1914 Austria-Hungary was quite out of touch with the spirit of nationalism and
democracy. Because the old Empire could not satisfy the Czechoslovak idea of
freedom, a man appeared who was to lead his people to freedom. Thomas Garigue
Masaryk, the first President of the Czechoslovak Republic, began his career as
a locksmith's apprentice in Vienna, but the protests of his former
schoolmaster persuaded his parents to let him be a teacher as he desired. He
spent a year in Leipzig, Germany, where he became acquainted with Miss Charlie
Garigue of Brooklyn, who later became his wife. His family relations with
America continued when their son, John, recently married the daughter of
Charles R. Crane, former U. S. ambassador to China. John is an ardent Mason.
December, 1914, Prof. Masaryk fled from Austria and went abroad to become the
leader in the work of national redemption. He became the chief apostle of the
Czechoslovaks among the Allies; he inspired the Czechoslovak legionnaires in
Russia, Italy and France. In 1915 he had been joined by Dr. Eduard Benes. The
story how these two statesmen brought about the creation of Czechoslovakia is
well known today. It is discussed in daily newspapers and magazines. It is of
great interest to Americans to notice that Masaryk reached America on May 5,
1918, and was welcomed enthusiastically by his fellow countrymen. With the
consent of Wilson, on Oct. 18, 1918, he proclaimed Czechoslovak independence.
The document was written in America, in Washington, D. C., in the houses at
3620 Sixteenth street and 1125 Fourteenth street. On Oct. 28 the Czechoslovak
State was formed.
Czechoslovakia never forgot this fact. Subsequent aid given to Czechoslovakia
in the form of loans and food-stuff by Mr. Hoover still increased the sympathy
of that country for America. Last year, on July 4, 1928, to be exact, a
monument to Wilson was unveiled in presence of the Czechoslovak Government and
distinguished Americans as a token of appreciation. These little facts might
explain why the Czechoslovak Masons are so anxious to receive recognition from
their American brethren and establish fraternal contacts as soon as possible.
INSTITUTION OF THE FIRST CZECHOSLOVAK MASONIC LODGE
When it was evident that Austria would fall, fourteen Czechs met in a private
house and decided to create a Czech Lodge. It happened two days before the
fall of the Empire, which was sooner than expected. Thus Czechoslovak
independence was proclaimed two days after the foundation of the first
Czechoslovak Masonic Lodge, viz., on Oct. 26, 1918.
Among the first members of the independent Czechoslovak Lodge are brothers who
in 1927 have been wearing the Masonic apron for thirty years, and one even for
Freemasonry has been placed under the ban in Russia, Hungary and Italy. In
Germany a hostile campaign is being waged against it. In almost every part of
Continental Europe a relentless anti-Masonic propaganda is kept up to
discredit and suppress it, since the closing of the War. An unsettled economic
and political situation furnishes perhaps the chief explanation. Settled
prejudices offer another. Atmospheric conditions, that is the pervading
something which has been called post-war psychology, may no doubt be also
considered a contributory cause. The general public in Continental Europe
knows next to nothing about Freemasons, who they are, what they are, and what
they are trying to accomplish. This may be accounted for by either the
exclusiveness of the Lodges, general lack of interest on the subject, current
misconceptions, or a more or less deep-seated prejudice among the members of
the public at large.
remember very clearly my school days; the compulsory Catholic education was
assiduously directed towards influencing our minds against anything connected
with Freemasonry. Quite skilfully the ministers were trying to impress us
psychologically that everything connected with this Fraternity is morally
degrading, antireligious and anti-social. In fact the general idea among my
fellow-men and students was that the Mason was a man armed with a dagger and
ready to commit any sort of murder. This psychological conviction still
remains in the Central Europe of today, as I had the chance to convince myself
Furthermore, in Central Europe the state is looked upon as the highest
interest. Not only from the political and economic point of view, but also
intellectually and spiritually; philosophy as well as politics, religion as
well as literature should serve the needs of the state. There is not space to
discuss it here, but it has had an overwhelming influence upon the whole
people, and especially upon religious life. It is the chief explanation of the
attacks on Freemasonry, for it is assumed that it does take no account of the
state, but thinks first, or only, of internationalism, pacifism, and the
spiritual agencies of life. Thus, in summary, may this prejudice be accounted
for. Arguing with an enemy of Freemasonry has always been a futile
undertaking. Freemasonry is an experience; it cannot be explained adequately
in a set of phrases, least of all to one who is prejudiced against it to begin
with. This general introduction is necessary in order that the reader might
realize the several limitations of the Order in Europe, as well as understand
popular feeling toward it. It will also explain why an American Mason, who is
not well informed about conditions does not get any opportunity to visit the
Lodges, unless by accident.
THE ANTECEDENTS OF CZECHOSLOVAK MASONRY
Czechoslovakian Masons received the light from the French brethren of the
Grand Orient of France. When they learned that the Grand Orient was not of the
Scottish Rite, they asked to be released; and they were successful in
obtaining their request. They received authority from the Great Orient of
Switzerland, situated at Lausanne.
Czechoslovak Masonry follows the so-called Scottish Rite. The third degree is
worked four times a year only. At all other meetings the lodges open in the
first degree and Masons of all grades are present. The forms of initiation are
in accordance with the ecossats rituals, which differ in detail from those
practiced in America; but recently it has been decided to conform the
ceremonies to those used in America.
Brethren of unusual merit receive their degrees at five-month intervals. This
is the minimum. Ordinarily it takes much longer than this, the usual period
between initiation and receiving the third degree is about two years.
Today there are ten lodges of Czechoslovak brethren, with five hundred
members; and in addition there are eighteen German lodges and one Magyar lodge
with a membership of one thousand and fifty- three brethren. The greater
number of the German lodges is due to the fact that there were German lodges,
and in Bratislava, Magyar lodges, before the war, when there were no
Czechoslovak lodges in existence.
The oldest lodge, as previously mentioned, is named Jan Amos Komensky, after
the famous Bohemian philosopher of the seventeenth century, better known by
the Latin form of his name, Comenius. The other Czechoslovak lodges are named
as follows: The Nation; The Twenty-eighth of October; this is in allusion to
the date of the signing the Declaration of Czechoslovak Independence. Then
there is one named Work; and Bolzano. As a disciple of Kant, Bolzano was a
rationalist, and, in the spirit of John Hus, demanded that religion be a moral
code of love and progress, while at the same time he condemned everything that
he considered superstitious and opposed to reason in Christian dogma. Another
lodge is named, Truth Will Win, and yet another is named after Dobrovsky.
Dobrovsky, though he had been a Jesuit father, was an enthusiastic Freemason,
and throughout his work he put science, reason and humanity above everything
else. It is impossible not to be struck by the similarity of his character to
that of Hus, or Masaryk, especially in regard to his frankness, love of truth
and the unselfishness and kindness of heart that distinguished him, to which
all hatred and jealousy was quite foreign. He was one of the Bohemian patriots
of the nineteenth century. The lodge named for him is in Plzen (Pilzen),
famous for its Pilsen beer, and the Skoda steel works. In Bratislava
(Pressburg) is the Jan Kollar Lodge. Kollar was the first Czech poet, but his
chief claim to greatness lies in the enthusiasm with which he inspired the
Czechs for Pan-Slavic ideals, founded on the idealization of the past and the
future mission of the Slavs to world progress. The Pavel Joseph Savarik Lodge
is in Kosice. Savarik, with Dobrovsky, remains to this day an authority on
questions of Slav philosophy. His work on Slav antiquities, his history of
Slav literature and his work on the origin of the Slavs have made him known
among all the Slavic peoples, and well fitted him to be the President of the
Slav Congress held in Prague in 1848. The Road to Light Lodge is situated in
Brno, Maravia. The name was taken from the title of one of the philosophical
works of Komensky, written in 1642, and which had much influence in the
foundation of the Academy of Science in Paris in 1666, and the Royal Society
in London in 1663.
The German speaking lodges are situated in Prague, Liberec, Karlsburg,
Marienbad, Zatec, Jaclonec and Brno. The one Magyar lodge is in Bratislava.
According to the Annual Year Book of the International Masonic Association for
1928, Czechoslovakia comes tenth in the proportion of membership per capita to
the population of the country. It holds twelfth place in respect to the number
of lodges, and is seventeenth in regard to the actual number of members.
(To be concluded)
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
PRACTICE AND THEORY
very difficult to discern the tendencies and undercurrents in a social
organism of which we form an integral part. Just as hard as it is to detect
the drift of a ship at sea. Sailors have been forced to overcome this
difficulty, and have learned, by reference to sun and stars, how to determine
their course. Their calculations are based on observations of very minute
variations of angle, and the smallest error will make very great differences
in the result.
one is disposed to laugh at a navigator for being so careful in "taking the
sun" or in the calculations that ensue; but in the more complex situations of
life analogous observations of small changes are usually ignored, and those
who dwell upon their significance are derided as alarmists, cranks, or even
(by a strange reversal) as revolutionaries. And yet, when we form part of a
drifting whole our landmarks are moving with us, and it is only by faintest
indications we can hope to determine our direction and the distance we have
time ago, there is no need here to particularize where or when, a certain
brother of influence and standing in his own jurisdiction, deprecated calling
the Masonic society a Fraternity; chiefly on the grounds that so many other
organizations were also so designated. More recently it has been suggested
that Freemasonry is not universal, but only (to some degree) an international
descriptive of the existing state of affairs we may accept these dicta as
unfortunately only too accurate. But are we to give up our traditional ideals
simply because we have departed so far from them as to make it hopeless, short
of a miracle, to see them even approximately realized in our own day? This
certainly seems to be the fashionable philosophy in this "de-bunked" and
ultra-sophisticated period. But is it not precisely against such tendencies
that all ethical and religious organizations are in necessary opposition?
Little as these may agree with each other, they do at least take the same
attitude against things as they are by setting forth some ideal of what they
should be, and by offering some method of working towards that end.
we can be seriously told that Freemasonry should not be called a Fraternity we
see, if we have the least knowledge of the past, how far we have drifted from
the ideal of brotherhood. It gives us a shock; and though it is not true -
yet, we can see that, in America at least, we are on the way to make it true.
We can see the process in any city under our own eyes.
lodges are growing ever larger and larger, and are yearly becoming more and
more mere organizations, institutions, branches of a huge corporation that
exists - for what? Quantity production of members?
so, too, with the Universality of Masonry. Our predecessors of two hundred
years ago dreamed, not only of brotherhood, but of universal brotherhood. That
ideal was so embedded in our rituals that it will be very difficult to cut it
out and leave much of any value behind. But is it any good reason to wish to
cut it out because the ideal has never been realized? Or even that it is
further from realization than it was a hundred years ago? Would not the more
logical thing be to change the direction in which we are going?
too easy to blame others. We should rather look to our own failures. When we
have come back to the course that our fundamental principles imply we would be
in a stronger position to ask that others also return to the old ways.
result of years of imperceptible changes cannot be undone in a moment; but it
is not too much to demand of the leaders and official guides of the Craft that
they should know in what direction we ought to be going, and to govern -
themselves and others - accordingly.
* * *
SOUTH AFRICAN PROBLEM
HISTORY never does repeat itself exactly, but it often does present cases and
events of the same kind. We learn from the South African Masonic World of a
grievance existing in the lodges under the Scottish Constitution in that
country that closely parallels those endured by the lodges in Canada some
seventy years and more ago, and which, not being amended, led to the formation
of an independent Grand Lodge in that country.
grievance was one that should naturally touch a responsive chord in the heart
of the American Mason, namely taxation without representation, or at least
something approximating thereto. From the pages of our able South African
contemporary we gather that the situation is, that lodges holding warrants
from the Grand Lodge of Scotland are required by the regulations of that
sovereign body to devote the collection taken on the occasion of the
installation of their officers to a Grand Lodge benevolent fund. This is a
matter of obligation. In British Masonry generally, the Installation meeting
of a lodge is easily the most important one in the year. It corresponds, one
might say, to Easter in the Christian church, and the Installation collection
is generally in the same proportion as an Easter Offertory to those taken at
this money is sent to Scotland where it is used, undoubtedly, in the most
efficient way for the most charitable purposes. But the point is that,
probably, for one South African Mason going to Scotland, ten Scottish Masons
go to South Africa. And it is highly probable that for one South African Mason
needing assistance in Scotland there would be a hundred Scottish Masons
needing it in South Africa. This was precisely the state of affairs complained
of by Canadian Masons in 1850. They were very frequently being called on to
relieve distressed brethren from England, while it was practically unheard of
for a Canadian Mason to ask for aid in England; yet they were required to make
the same contributions to English funds as the lodges in England.
course the cases are not wholly alike. The Grand Lodge of England coupled this
injustice with the grossest neglect in other respects. Letters remained
unanswered for years, remittances were unacknowledged, certificates took an
endless time to reach those entitled to them though all fees had been paid.
There is nothing like this in South Africa. Indeed the occasion for the
subject being raised by our contemporary is the official visitation by a Grand
Lodge deputation, by which the officers of the Grand Lodge of Scotland expect
to get in touch with actual conditions in South Africa, and in the Scottish
lodges working there; and no doubt the result will be to find some means of
removing these unnecessary and aggravating causes for complaint.
Grand Lodges of the British Isles are in somewhat the same position as the
British Parliament. They have to act, like the latter body, primarily as local
legislatures for compact, circumscribed areas with very much the same
conditions everywhere; but at the same time they have to legislate for groups
scattered all over the world existing under the most varied conditions
possible. It is true there are Provincial and District Grand Lodges, but these
have very little real power or authority. From the outside it would seem the
most practical thing to give these provincial bodies a much more extensive
jurisdiction in local affairs. But, if history teaches anything at all, it has
made it clear that no centralized authority ever devolves any of its powers,
except it be compelled to do so. And yet the lesson never seems to be learned.
* * *
QUATUOR CORONATI LODGE
MEMBERS of the Society will be interested to learn that at the last annual
meeting of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076, Bro. Lionel Vibert was elected as
Secretary. Bro. W. J. Songhurst, who has so ably filled this position for more
than twenty years, is going to devote his whole time to the editing and
publishing the minutes of the Grand Lodge of England, a first installment of
which appeared in 1913 as the tenth volume of this lodges reprints (Quatuor
Coronatornm Antigrapha). This is a work of very great importance, and it is
good news indeed that the lodge has so improved its financial position that it
can once more take up this work of publication, so unhappily interrupted by
Vibert needs no introduction to readers of THE BUILDER. We are sure that in
him Bro. Songhurst will have an able and energetic successor, competent in
every way to fulfill the many duties that fall to the Secretary of the
foremost Research Lodge in the world. We extend our congratulations to him and
to the lodge.
* * *
explain explanation may seem a work of supererrogation, a carrying of coal to
Newcastle - importing corn to the Middle West, or any equally fatuous
enterprise. But it may not be so silly to ask as might at first appear. Most
people would probably conceive explanation - were they asked suddenly - as
peculiarly an intellectual thing. Or to put it the other way about; that the
function of the intellect is to explain, to make clear what is obscure, to
flatten out or unfold what is heaped up in confusion or involved and hidden.
And really this would be a very good answer, and no less an authority than
Henry Bergson (and he not alone) insists that the intellect has no other use,
and little further possibility, than this.
explain a country by drawing a map; we explain the orbits of the stars by
diagrams and mathematical formulae. What we have explained is dried up,
crushed flat, torn to pieces. The botanist picks a flower and pulls off the
petals and counts the anthers and stamens - and so explains it. We kill a man
and cut him up in pieces, or more politely and technically, dissect his body -
and all is explained. Is it? Yes, if explanation is intended only to lead to
action and nothing more.
we are all held by the illusion that our explanations do explain, or at least
can explain in some further, more subtle and wholly undefined, sense. We have
a comfortable feeling that even if we individually have not the answer at the
tip of our tongues, yet there is an explanation to be had, and that someone,
somewhere, knows it and can provide it when called upon. Of this we are
instinctively sure. We congratulate ourselves on the wonders (no longer
wondered at) and the achievements (that have so soon become commonplace) of
our age and generation, and we take it for granted that there are no more
mysteries; or at least that the few remaining ones will soon be cleared up in
the routine work of scientists, engineers and others.
an opinion that many previous generations have also held. Millions of years
ago, doubtless, men were likewise congratulating themselves on the fact that
they then knew it all, and that there was no more to be explained. They had
discovered the appropriate songs to sing, and the flint stone would flake away
under their hands, and give them beautiful and efficient knives, axes and
spear heads. Or they could repeat the right evocations, and call forth the all
devouring flame from the fire-drill as they twisted it. They could compare
their state of knowledge and affluence with the poverty and ignorance of their
forerunners, who had had no weapons but sticks and rough stones, and lacked
the many gifts brought by that powerful servant fire. There could be little
doubt that all mystery and the unknown had been abolished.
is not a jest. Knowledge and civilization are as relative as all other things
in the universe. The first step towards civilization, the first step up from
the animal to the human, must have cost infinitely more, and was far more
significant than any taken since. We deal in mathematical formulas instead of
incantations - to a like end - to do things. We think that the latter were
non-essential, while our formulae are important and necessary. Perhaps it is a
just judgment, but we cannot yet be sure of our judgment. It is too human, and
follows the age-old trail too closely.
and when, we stop to think what our explanations are – essentially - we see
how little they explain. They relate the unknown to the known. They use
familiar images and ideas to compose a picture of the unfamiliar. But this is
only a process of substitution and association. What are these familiar things
? Our formulae do not deal in names of power, but in x and y and infinitesimal
differences and signs of integration. We have disintegrated reality in order
to understand, as we say, in the naive belief that familiarity is
understanding. Whereas at every point in our lives the unknown opens out; the
unknown, the. inscrutable, the incomprehensible. Omnia eat in mysteries was
said long ago, but all those who have really counted in the advance of the
race have known it. "Everything goes out into mystery." Perhaps to see and
realize this too clearly would unfit us for the work-a-day world. Perhaps that
is the reason we shut ourselves in with curtains and veils of illusion. But it
is not well to forget entirely.
proposing that the sessions of the Federal Convention, in 1787, should be
opened with prayer, Benjamin Franklin said:
also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed no better in
this political building than the builders of Babel. And what is worse, mankind
may hereafter, from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing
government by wisdom; and leave it to chance, war and conquest "
Papers of the Cedar Rapids Conference
The last general topic taken up at the Conference was that of Masonic
periodicals and their relation to Masonic Education. This was presented under
three heads: the independent journal, the Grand Lodge official organ and the
lodge bulletin or leaflet. Of the second of these classes the Missouri Grand
Lodge Bulletin was discussed by M.W. Bro. Ittner and the Iowa Grand Lodge
Bulletin by Bro. C. C. Hunt. Unfortunately these were presented only in
informal addreses and so cannot be recorded here. In regard to the first class
Bro. J. A. Fetterly, Editor of the Masonic Tidings presented the following
paper on Masonic journalism:
MASONIC JOURNALISM By J. A. FETTERLY, Editor, "Masonic Tidings," Milwaukee,
discussing Masonic Journalism and particularly privately owned Masonic
journals, before an audience like this, one such owner is powerfully prompted
to liberate a few thoughts that have long been held captive, and to emit some
"home truths" fully warranted by the circumstanees which gave them birth.
have been discussing "Masonic Education" and ways and means of creating a more
general desire for Masonic knowledge by members of the Fraternity.
am convinced such a desire can be created but only among the new Craftsmen.
The old Craftsmen except about 10 per cent of them are hopeless from an
educational standpoint. Masonry to them is made up of a lot of waste history,
wornout traditions and discredited old- wives tales, compounded with some
questionable philosophy and superstitious symbolism.
The above statement may fairly be applied to 90 per cent of the present
membership. The remainder are earnest, sincere, upright- minded men and some
of them have a real desire for "more light."
conviction is that we should give our attention to, and labor with, the
newly-raised Master Mason. Think back on your own experience. Think of that
"fine frenzy" as Shakespeare calls it, for "light" and "still more light" on
Masonic history, symbolism and philosophy which possessed your mind while
taking your three Blue Lodge degrees. You and I both actually hungered for
knowledge of this wonderful old Craft of ours.
The newly-made Mason of today is not different. Here is the fruitful soil
awaiting our labors; here the harvest crying for the reaper. Great dividends
will be paid on all investments of information and knowledge planted in that
was only last year that I offered to send my magazine for a year, free of
charge, to all newly raised Master Masons in Milwaukee county, if the lodge
would supply their names and addresses for me.
Five lodges out of the twenty-two in the county accepted the offer in the
spirit in which it was made. Most of the others did not even answer my
communication. One of the largest lodges in the city refused to supply the
names of its newly-raised members, because it "smacked of commercialism."
That is a fair sample of the cooperation given us by Official Masonry.
Some of us are publishing our magazines at a cost of 22.1 cents per copy and
those of us who are lucky, get as high as 16 2/3 cents per copy from our
subscribers. The majority of us get far less.
Yet when we are forced to run advertising to make up this deficit and to
supply a sufficient margin on which to live, such advertising is actually
resented. Instead of rejoicing at the thought of the improved magazine this
makes possible, Official Masonry often charges us with "commercializing" our
How those "Lily Whites" must suffer at the thought of the Salary paid their
pastor, the Secretary of their Grand Lodge or the Secretary of their Blue
Lodge! Such "commercialism" is deplorable.
this point I want to pay my tribute to those Grand Masters and officials as
well as to those lay brethren, who have given us their hearty support and
cooperation. About 10 per cent of the Craft can be thus classified. They are
as an oasis in an otherwise arid desert; as cool water to parched lips. Their
name shall be called Blessed.
Let me, in conclusion, ask that Official Masonry be somewhat more broad-minded
in its atitude toward the privately-owned Masonic journal. It is the house
organ of the Craft and its management is willing nay anxious, to do all
possible for the good of the whole. We appreciate our responsibility and
desire to measure up to it.
Also let me repeat: The best and most fertile field of labor for Masonic
education is among the newly-made Masons. To their hands we, of the older
generation, must commit the future interests of our Beloved Craft. Let us do
what and all we can to prepare them for their serious responsibilities.
Bros. W. H. Braun and N. H. Hicks followed with papers on the objects and
scope of the lodge publication. A great many lodges publish some form of
leaflet or bulletin as a matter of convenience, but a few of these attempt a
good deal more than the announcement of meetings and social entertainments and
the record of local Masonic gossip. Among these the Palmer Templegram and
Light stand out as among the best.
THE PALMER TEMPLEGRAM Monthly Publication of Henry L. Palmer Lodge, No. 301,
F. & A. M., Milwaukee, Wis. By WALTER H. BBAUN, Editor
OUR publication is the second of its kind of local lodge publications and made
its first appearance on March 1, 1920, as a four-page leaflet containing at
that time officers rostrum, monthly schedules, announcements of special events
and short items of interest to the members of our lodge and those Masonic and
allied bodies meeting at Palmer Masonic Temple. It appeared regularly every
month of each year until 1925 when the July and August issues were combined
into one single issue and has since 1925 appeared in the form of eleven issues
each year. From four pages in 1920 our monthly editions have been increased to
sixteen pages at present with occasional twenty page issues.
Beginning with approximately one thousand copies per month circulation in 1920
our present mailing lists number about two thousand seven hundred. Beginning
with elected candidates for degrees each member of Henry L. Palmer Lodge, No.
301, Henry L. Palmer Chapter, No. 87, R. A. M., Henry L. Palmer Commandery,
No. 42, K. T., and Golden Rule Chapter, No. 194, O. E. S., is placed on our
mailing lists. Duplications are avoided by counter- checking and cooperation
among the secretaries of the various Masonic and allied bodies occupying space
in our publication. Beside our regular membership circulation we also maintain
a Special "exchange"' and "courtesy" mailing list, which includes numerous
local, domestic and foreign Masonic and other publications of interest to our
own readers, present and past member of the Wisconsin, sister and foreign
Grand Jurisdictions, who have expressed interest in our publication and a
desire to be numbered among our readers.
the annual meeting of the lodge a typewritten, signed statement is rendered by
the Editor giving all details of cost. The ownership of our publication
resting solely in Henry L. Palmer Lodge, all other Masonic and allied bodies
occupying space in it are billed monthly for such space at cost plus postage
and cost of envelopes. The cost to the owners, Henry L. Palmer Lodge, per
Master Mason per year delivered to home address is about ninety cents per year
at present. This is paid out of the general funds of the lodge, no special
assessment being levied from any individual reader.
The responsibility for the contents of our publication rests solely with the
annually appointed editors of the various Masonic and allied bodies
represented in our pages. In cases of doubt, the respective editors consult
with their respective presiding officer as to the propriety of any particular
contribution. None of the editors expects or receives remuneration for his
Contributions to the columns of our publication are invited at all times from
any one of our readers. However, with rare exceptions, the respective editors
personally provide the necessary material for their columns. All other
contributions and reprints are identified by name or source, to distinguish
them from original contributions of the editors. The latter kind of
contributions appear unsigned.
The Palmer Templegram is conducted strictly on a Masonic, i.e.,
non-commercial, basis. No advertisements are solicited or accepted. While this
policy accounts for approximately one half of the cost of our publication, its
owners are willing and ready to pay for the maintenance of this principle,
which we consider as the first essential of a Masonic publication. Each
month's issue is mailed out to our readers on or before the 1st of the month
preceding its date.
the conduct of our publication we have found the resources of a Masonic
Library of inestimable help and are fortunate to have at our disposition at
all times all books and records of the Palmer Temple Masonic Library, which is
the largest in the Wisconsin Grand Jurisdiction and consists of little less
than a thousand volumes. We aim at all times to serve the educational purposes
of the Craft and each issue contains between twenty-five and eighty per cent
of Masonic educational subjects. Regular correspondence is maintained with all
domestic and foreign exchanges, respectively, their editors, and carbon copies
of such correspondence are filed in the reference section of our Masonic
Library for the perusal and inspection of all auhorized individuals. All
"exchanges" are displayed, as received, on the reading table of our Library
for perusal and inspection of visitors and members.
strongly advocate the establishment of "official" Grand Lodge publications in
all Grand Jurisdictions, but with the priviso, that such Grand Lodge
publications should be managed on a strictly Masonic basis and published
without commercial advertising of any form. The Grand Lodge of Iowa among the
few Grand Jurisdictions which have proven that such an undertaking is feasible
and practical. To measure the benefit to the Craft in general of such plan in
dollars and cents is beyond the scope of mathematical calculation.
The trials and tribulations of an Editor of an individual lodge publication
are in complementary relation to the quality of the publication. Troubles
increase in the same ratio as the quality of a publication. The more original
a lodge publication and the greater the latitude permitted for individual
expression always of course within the limits of Masonic ethics and good
common sense the greater will be the amount of criticism received. If properly
managed, this, however, will have only the effect to spur on the editors to do
still better and still more individual work. The wages of sin are said to be
death, but the wages of Masonic lodge paper editors are a multitude of
character studies and human experiences as no other voluntary Masonic task can
LOCAL LODGE BULLETINS By N. L. HICKS, Editor of "Light," Marshalltown, Iowa
THE Subject of local lodge bulletins must necessarily be treated in this paper
by one whose experience has been confined to the one particular publication of
which he has been in charge for the past few years. This monthly publication,
LIGHT, is the official organ of Marshall Lodge, No. 108, located at
Marshalltown, Ia., one of the leading cities of the state, Masonically and
otherwise. This lodge has a membership of three hundred forty, which, combined
with the membership of the local Chapter, Council and Commandery gives an
aggregate membership of over thirteen hundred. This Subject may be best
handled under three headings, viz.: finance, editorial and results
The perplexing problem confronting every publication is finance. It would be
well nigh impossible to finance a local lodge bulletin where the revenue is
confined to personal subscriptions. In such event it would require practically
all the time of one person to obtain subscriptions and collect for them.
Our experience has been that for convenience and efficiency the best method of
carrying on the work is for the lodge to turn the whole matter over to an
association with authority to handle all matters pertaining to the publication
as in its judgment may be deemed best. The Worshipful Master and Wardens of
the lodge are ex-officio the board of governors of the association and they,
in turn, appoint the editor, business manager and other members of the staff.
Advertising rates are made as reasonable as possible in order to make it
appeal to the largest number of advertisers, who are all members of the
Fraternity. In this connection I might say that since the publication was
started over three years ago, fifteen business men and fifteen professional
men have been continuous advertisers. Of course there have been a great many
who bought space from time to time. Naturally, we try to cooperate with these
advertisers and make money spent with us a profitable investment. Without a
proper Masonic spirit in the town and a willingness on the part of the Masons
to assist through advertising, a Masonic publication will find its road indeed
rough and rugged.
Advertising space being limited and it being inadvisable to charge a high
rate, it follows that the revenue from this Source will not cover the entire
expense. It is therefore necessary for the lodge to contribute a sum which may
be as much as one hundred dollars to cover the deficit.. By careful figuring
last year we were able to keep our expense down to $937.98. Our income from
advertising and contributions from other Masonic bodies for special pages was
$902.61, leaving a small deficit which was taken care of by an appropriation
from the lodge.
Editorial matter must be carefully chosen when one has only eight pages, nine
by twelve inches, at his disposal for advertising, news, announcements and
personal items. While we have three able Masonic writers on our staff as
associate editors, who are willing to contribute articles whenever called
upon, yet limits of space prevent the use of their talent as often as we
present the writer is presenting to the readers a history of Marshall Lodge,
chartered in 1858. This is run in monthly installments and requires about two
pages for each chapter. After much correspondence photographs of nearly all
the Past Masters have been secured and from these half-tone cuts has been made
for use in presenting the history. This feature has been highly complimented
by old and new members alike.
least one column of each issue is written by the Master of the lodge under the
heading "Tidings from the East." This gives the principal officer an
opportunity to speak intimately with every member of the lodge once each
Another section headed "Tidings from near and far" contains communications
from members of the lodge who write in during the month preceding publication.
These letters always contain the full address of the writer and thus LIGHT
serves as a broadcasting station to keep the members in touch with each other
and gives an accurate knowledge of the whereabouts of each writer as he
changes his residence from time to time.
local lodge bulletin is of great assistance in the collection of dues. Many
members fail to pay their dues promptly simply because they forget to do so.
If they read a publication from their own lodge they are reminded of this
important duty and many of them will respond.
exchange for our own publication we receive each month copies of sixty-two of
the best Masonic publications in print. These are placed in order in a
magazine rack in the lodge library and are at the disposal of the reading
Masons of the city at all times. At the end of the year when the files are
complete, many of these magazines are nicely bound and become a permanent part
of the library. Thus we are gradually building up a library at practically no
Members who take part in the discussions of the monthly meetings of our study
club are urged to bring in their material in written form. In that ease their
papers are published in LIGHT and even the non-resident members receive the
benefit of them.
Each year in January a special twenty-four page number is published. This
requires considerable extra advertising to cover the additional expense. In
this special number a summary of the work in the different Masonic bodies
during the preceding year is given in detail; photographs of the retiring
presiding officers as well as the incoming officials are published;
statistical tables of historical value are presented; when space permits a
complete roster of the membership of all bodies is published as well as a
complete catalog of the library. Much greater interest has been shown in the
lodge library since the members became familiar with its contents through the
pages of LIGHT.
regard the following as among the most important results accomplished by this
publication: Non-resident members retain their membership in the lodge because
they are constantly in touch with it; local Masons who are members of other
lodges often petition for membership because they have been sent complimentary
copies of LIGHT and become familiar with the activities of Marshall Lodge;
attendance at lodge meetings is increased because the members know just who is
receiving the degrees from time to time; greater interest is shown in the
library and study club as the members read about the contents of the former
and the activities of the latter. However if there is one result being
accomplished which is outstanding it is the fact that the history of the
lodge, as it is being made today, is being recorded in detail from month to
month. Possibly the greatest value of the papers will be in the years to come
when future members of the lodge may read about events which are transpiring
FUTURE OF LODGE BULLETINS
is my opinion that in the near future there will be many lodge bulletins
published. At present there are only four in Iowa to my knowledge. I have
talked with the officers of several of the larger lodges and find they are
paying nearly as much for printed announcements of coming events as our net
expense comes to for a monthly publication. As soon as the lodge begins to
realize that the expense of publication is not excessive, they will favor the
Assistance is freely given by the management of other publications, whether
local or commercial, and the brethren of Iowa are exceptionally fortunate in
having the Iowa Masonic Library at hand to assist them in all such endeavors.
Our own publication could be made larger and very much better. All that would
be required would be the services of some brother who could devote more time
and effort to the work than it is receiving at present.
Sentiment in the lodge is decidedly in favor of continuing the publication
indefinitely. This is especially true with non- resident members who are
continually writing in expressing their pleasure at receiving it. The full
Masonic report of each newly made brother is published as soon as his work is
completed, also the record of each brother lost by death. In this way the
member in California, New York or Canada is accurately informed of the changes
in personnel from time to time.
fact, one of the main arguments favoring a lodge publication is in the fact
that it is highly appreciated by non-resident members. These brethren pay the
same dues as the resident members but cannot take advantage of all the
privileges of the Order because of their distance from the lodge. Resident
members, for instance, may partake of a banquet occasionally at the expense of
the lodge. Those members living at a distance are at least entitled to a lodge
bulletin, if they so desire, when their dues are helping to support it.
books reviewed in these pages can be procured through the Book Department of
the N. M. R. S. at the prices given, which always include postage. These
prices are subject (as a matter of precaution) to change without notice,
though occasion for this will very seldom arise. Occasionally it may happen,
where books are privately printed, that; there is no supply available, but
some indication of this will be given in the review. The Book Department is
equipped to procure any books in print on any subject, and will make inquiries
for second-hand works and books out of print.
ALBERT PIKE: A BIOGRAPHY. By Fred W. Allsopp. Published by Parke-Harper
Company, Little Rock, Ark. Cloth, Illustrated, Table of Contents, Index,
Appendices. 869 pages. Price $3.65.
LITTLE need exists for any painstaking analysis of the contents of a book
whose subject is the life of Albert Pike.
Sovereign Grand Commander of the A.A.S.R., Southern Jurisdiction, and as the
author, or at least the reviser, of its rituals his Life is sufficiently
familiar to Masons generally to make anything more than the briefest comments
superfluous. That he was born in Massachusetts and as a very young man
journeyed into the then wild and decidedly woolly west is a matter of general
knowledge. This western experience and its accompanying failure led Albert
Pike into Fort Smith, Arkansas, and back to the profession of school teacher
which he had deserted when he left New England. How he came to be, first an
associate editor, and later owner and sole editor of the Advocate, a Little
Rock newspaper, only to desert this field to read and practice law, forms an
appealing story which is typically the struggle for success that we see around
us even at this date. The trials and tribulations that came to Pike as a
Confederate officer, the difficulties that faced him after the close of the
war, and his Masonic activities complete a life that was full to the brim of
present biography is not all that could be wished. It seems that much of real
interest is either omitted or treated in a dull manner. Pike's experiences on
the western prairies would furnish enough material for a thoroughly exciting
novel, but as it appears in Bro. Allsopp's book it can hardly be classed as
interesting reading. As much might be said of other portions of the book.
While the critical mood is present it may not be amiss to ask why the author
deems it necessary to harp constantly upon the greatness of his subject. It
seems to this writer, at least, that one of the best ways of impressing a
reader with the greatness of a man is to show by the incidents of his life how
far above the average he actually is. By his manner the author leads his
reader to the opinion that Pike was not really so great as he says, else it
would not be necessary to reiterate the statement so constantly.
Factually the book seems accurate and because of this it will prove a valuable
addition to Masonic literature.
* * *
ENGLISH MEN AND MANNERS IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY. By A. S. Turberville.
Published by The Oxford University Press, New York. Cloth, table of contents,
illustrated, preface, index, xxiii and 581 pages. Price $4.25.
of the outstanding characteristics of the present day is the universal passion
for travel. By rail and steamer, in car and aeroplane, men and women of the
twentieth century imitate Puck and put a girdle round the earth. Nor are they
satisfied with journeying in space, but desire also to travel backward through
time and visit the past ages of human history, to study the life of Periclean
Athens or the London of Elizabeth. And as the volumes of Baedecker and the
Guide Joanne are published to direct the traveller's attention to the sites
most worthy of a visit in the course of his peregrinations, so scholars of the
present day are producing works which may not inaptly be described as
guide-books to the past. Of such a character is Mr. Turberville's English Men
and Manners in the Eighteenth Century.
period which the author has selected for treatment is one of the most
fascinating and important in the whole course of human progress. It is not,
perhaps, too much to say that during these hundred years the transition was
made from earlier England to the England of today. Externally, the old British
Empire was rent asunder, the American colonies entered upon a separate
existence, and a new British Empire arose, in shape and character much as we
know it. In domestic politics, parliamentary government was evolved and the
periodical press created. In the sphere of economics, the machine replaced the
handicraftsman; in the realm of thought natural science assumed the
predominance, and ideas which are commonplaces today, such as toleration and
philanthropy, make their appearance; while Masons will recall that it was at
this time that Masonry entered upon its present phase.
importance of a period is, in general, a guarantee of its interest, as
implying great characters and striking events. And there are few ages that
could match statesmen and soldiers with the age of Walpole and Pitt, George
Washington and Warren Hastings, of Marlborough, Wolfe and Clive. Moreover,
strange as it may seem to those who recall the formal social character of the
period, there are few epochs which present us with so many quaint and original
personalities, personalities that have become a part of the Anglo-Saxon
inheritance We know Steele and Addison and Swift, Dr. Johnson and Garrick and
Goldsmith, better than we know most of the great figures of the succeeding
age. For the twentieth century, the eighteenth is sufficiently remote to have
acquired the flavor of the antique, sufficiently near to be easily
to this changing, many-sided and fascinating age that Mr. Turberville
introduces his readers. Throughout the whole work he has kept steadily in view
the two-fold function of the guide-book, of pointing out the chief features of
the subject with which it deals, and of arousing an interest that will only be
satisfied with personal first-hand knowledge. His book sketches in outline the
various interesting developments of the age - the great historical events, the
fluctuating party polities, the social, economic and artistic life of
eighteenth century England. It introduces us into the cabinet of the
statesman, the Pump Room at Bath, the workshops in which the inventors were
creating the machinery that was to revolutionize industry, and carries us to
the farms on which scientific husbandry was being evolved. The reader thus
acquires a grasp of the general character of the age, and is enabled to decide
which aspect or aspects will be of greatest interest to himself, and will best
repay further investigation.
second function, that of arousing the reader's enthusiasm is the more
difficult to perform. But the author has triumphantly overcome the difficulty
by the only possible method, that of giving just so much information as will
whet, but not satisfy the curiosity. Whether a chapter deals with statesmen or
highwaymen, with divines, philanthropists, or inventors, it not only presents
the reader with matter of interest, but leaves the feeling that the half or
the quarter has not been told, and the desire to round out the subject by
personal investigation. The book is thus in the truest sense an Introduction
to the men and manners of this by-gone era. Mr. Turberville "wants us to meet"
his old friends Sir Robert Walpole and Dr. Johnson and Lady Mary Wortley
Montagu, and gives us just such an account of them that we shall desire to
pursue the acquaintance thus made until they are our own old friends.
with the aim of effecting a real introduction that the book has been so
lavishly illustrated. An introduction over the telephone is of little value.
It is only when the parties are brought face to face that the introduction has
any chance of developing into familiar friendship; and in the excellent series
of illustrations we are placed vis-a-vis with the actual eighteenth century.
Portraits, caricatures, broadsides like that of 1725 attacking Walpole under
the presence of a hue and cry after a defaulting coachman, make us feel the
eighteenth century, not as something dead and gone, but as something living
and present, as an age in which we may live in the imagination among
interesting people with whose persons and characters we are intimately
* * *
MASONIC CEREMONIALS FOR USE OF THE M.W. GRAND LODGE OF IOWA, A. F. & A. M.,
AND ITS CONSTITUENT LODGES. Compiled by Charles Clyde Hunt Grand Secretary,
and the Board of Custodians. Privately printed, Grand Lodge of Iowa, A. F. &
A. M., Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Cloth, 18 mo., 181 pages. Sixty cents, postpaid.
pocket-size volume, received with much acclaim I through the Iowa Jurisdiction
because of the manifest improvement over the cumbersome volume of the previous
edition, has particular interest for brethren of other jurisdictions because
of several marked improvements in customary ceremonies. The outstanding
feature is the very desirable change in the old funeral service, which has
persisted in so many jurisdictions because the ultra-conservatives consider a
deviation from the work as they learned it as a "violation of the landmarks" -
whatever they may be. It is so difficult for the worshippers of the letter to
distinguish between the essentials of ritual and those portions of our work
which are monitorial. The attempt to modernize those peculiar features of
Masonic ritual which are a heritage of ancient days, and which give flavor and
distinction to Freemasonry, is rightfully to be decried; but to cling to the
obsolete, archaic and benighted views of death, as held by the lugubrious and
unctuous religionists of a century and more ago, is something which should not
be upheld in this enlightened day and age. The Grand Lodge of Iowa permits
marked deviation in certain of its work and ceremonies from the generally
accepted text, and it is not an uncommon thing for a Master of a lodge to fit
the funeral ceremonies to the beliefs held by the deceased brother in his
life. In recognition of this desire for latitude, the new Book of Ceremonials
has optional texts.
Another feature is the chapter on "Visitation." The subject of Masonic
etiquette is a perplexing one, and with the American tendency to override form
and ceremony, such as is one of the distinctive features of the British Craft,
there are many flagrant breaches of established Masonic etiquette apparent to
the informed brother in many lodges. The present work simplifies matters for
the uninformed Master, and establishes an official procedure for the reception
of Grand Lodge dignitaries. It is to be regretted that the cut illustrating
the appropriate floor work was made from an apparently tentative and
incomplete sketch, for the expenditure of a dollar or two would have produced
a complete, symmetrical and well lettered drawing.
volume conforms to the canons of bookmaking in the essential details. It has a
preface by R. W. Bro. Charles C. Hunt, Grand Secretary, in which the
development and scope of the book are set forth. A table of contents
facilitates ready reference; an index to the concise volume would have been an
unnecessary addendum. The type is clear and very legible; the captions are in
bold face type, so that the use of the text in ceremonies where reading from a
book is permissible whit not hinder proceedings. The literary features measure
up to the standards which the American Craft have learned to expect from Iowa
Freemasonry, and are in keeping with the other editorial productions emanating
from the Iowa Masonic Library, over which the Grand Secretary presides as en
* * *
IS THE MIND? By George T.W. Patrick. Published by The Macmillan Company, New
York. Cloth, Table of Contents, index, 185 pages. Price $2.65.
advanced student of philosophy or psychology will find little of interest in
Professor Patrick's answer to the question "What is the mind?" The book makes
no pretense of being the result of original research, but is no more than a
resume of modern developments in its field. Designed to furnish this
information devoid of technicality and in a language sufficiently simple to be
understood by the untrained reader it is apparent that the author has set
himself a difficult task. Some technical language cannot be avoided, but the
scrupulous care exercised in defining such terms when they appear, is
assurance that Prof. Patrick has succeeded at least passably well. Doubtless
no more should be expected in a field where commonly used words like
consciousness, behavior, mind, and others have connotations quite different
from their common meanings.
warning is necessary for those who are acquainted with the vagaries of
language which make their appearance in philosophical and psychological works.
The technical use of words in the mental sciences is somewhat difficult to the
ordinary reader It might have been well for the author to have emphasized this
point at the outset. However, the careful definition of terms implicitly, at
least, accomplished the purpose fairly well.
work is not as valuable for its definition of the mind as it is for the
interpretation of philosophical theory that it contains. The author has
endeavored to analyze the views of the most outstanding men in the realm of
mental sciences, not only the moderns, but the ancients as well. It is obvious
that this can only be done in a superficial way in such a short work, but the
lay reader will find the comparisons of great assistance in clarifying their
own views on the subject. Prof. Patrick shows with surprising clearness not
only wherein these views differ from his own, but the reasons therefor.
theory advanced by the author is a modification of behaviorism. He disagrees
with those of the modern school who adhere to the view that the mind is
entirely objective. This hypothesis, according to Prof. Patrick, leaves no
room for consciousness, interests, thinking, and other mental activities which
are not subjects for objective study.
nearly as is possible the following quotations express in brief the views held
by the author:
seem to have arrived at a definition of mind as the sum total of those
processes and activities studied in psychology, and to have given to these a
definite meaning in defining them as the behavior of living beings as they
adjust themselves to their surroundings in such a way as to maintain their
integrity and satisfy their desires. Let us regard this definition of mind as
provisional rather than final.
. . .
If the mind is the name of that kind of behavior by which living beings adjust
themselves and adapt themselves to their physical and social environment, why,
then, many problems hitherto perplexing and disturbing become easy of
solution. The mind-body problem, for instance, which has puzzled many thinkers
in many ages, seems suddenly to have disappeared . . . since we now see that
the mind is simply the sum of a class of activities of a living being.
definition, too, should be considered only tentative. In the final analysis
the conclusion is reached that Prof. Patrick's view is hardly more than a
modification of the monad theory advanced by Liebnitz. It can be seen that
there is much left open in the field of consciousness, etc., in both of these
Professor Patrick asks the following questions, answers to which form a major
portion of the discussion and lead to a more complete understanding of his
interpretation of the mind:
does this view (mentioned in the definitions above) affect the reality of the
bearing does it have on the dignity and worth of the soul?
intelligence is a form of activity of living beings, how have they acquired
the human mind a kind of special creation, or has it been evolved from the
simple responses of the lower organisms?
there no consciousness or is it the same as mind?
are the springs of conduct?
are the "wishes"?
these, too, be considered forms of behavior or must we seek an altogether
different source for them?
in the answers to these and other questions that the value of the comparisons
of philosophical theories mentioned above plays such an important part. The
reader is led into complex studies too wide in implication to be touched here,
but still within the understanding of the ordinary reader.
book is unquestionably a valuable addition to the elementary literature of
this subject. With the reservations above made it is easily read and
understood. For these reasons, if no others, it is a worthy sequel to the
other volumes in the Philosophy for the Layman series.
* * *
THREE MUSKETEERS OF THE AIR. By Captain Hermann Koehl, Major James C.
Fitzmaurice, Baron Guenther von Huenefeld. Cloth, table of contents,
illustrated, 330 pages. Price $2.65.
HRS. 40 MIN. OUR FLIGHT IN THE FRIENDSHIP. By Amelia, Earhart. Cloth, table of
contents, illustrated, 814 pages. Price $2.65.
FLYING THE ARCTIC. By Capt. George H. Wilkins. Cloth, table of contents,
illustrated, 836 pages. Price $2.65.
FLYING WITH LINDBERGH. By Donald E. Keghoe. Cloth, table of contents,
illustrated, 299 pages. Price $2.65.
year 1928 was, perhaps, more fruitful in successful pioneering in aviation
than any of those immediately preceding. Of course, 1927 saw the completion of
Lindbergh's flight from New York to Paris and immediately following his effort
there were two additional transatlantic flights which were eminently
successful. We are not particularly interested in the achievements of that
year, except that one of the books included In our list has to do with our
tour of the United States made by Col. (as well as Bro. Lindbergh) under the
auspices of the Guggenheim Fund. That flight in its direct bearing upon the
future of aviation was perhaps as important as any of the more spectacular
trips. made by other air pioneers. This tour was not commonplace from any
standpoint, but it lacked the showiness that makes an emotional appeal. With
precision that rivalled the crack trains on our best known railway systems the
tour party arrived at scheduled stops. Their departure was not always so
precise, but that part of the story is better told by Mr. Keyhoe than by
anyone else. That such an extensive program could be carried out with so
little deviation from the schedule speaks well for the stability of aerial
transportation. Today there are few who will admit that this form of travel
has not "arrived" as a permanent part of our commercial existence.
story of the tour as told in Flying With Lindbergh is a delightful account of
a trip that, while it was filled with formalities that must have grown
boresome before the conclusion, furnished many impromptu amusements that kept
the life of the party at a hilarious pitch. Mr. Keyhoe is an interesting and
entertaining writer whose ability to make other people see the amusing side of
this tour is sufficient recommendation for spending pleasant hours in reading
so very long after the conclusion of this air tour in the Spirit of St. Louis
the world was informed that Capt. George H. Wilkins had hopped off from Point
Barrow, Alaska, on a flight to Spitzbergen. If this news affected others as it
did me, there was no more than a feeling that it was about time. For the past
two or three years the newspapers had contained accounts of the expedition
under the direction of Capt. Wilkins whose expressed purpose was to explore
the Arctic wastes by airplane. These efforts had successively culminated in
failure as we would estimate it, and I think there was not one who paid very
much attention to the preparations that were made for the third trip last
year. Doubtless this was as much due to lack of publicity as any other cause.
We are informed of the difficulties that stood in the way of this last attempt
and of the many trials and disappointments that confronted the explorers in
their previous efforts. People had, by this time, however, become accustomed
to daring flights, and I am confident that the eyes of the world were not so
earnestly directed to the Arctic wastes in the spring of 1928 as they had been
turned toward the reaches of the Atlantic Ocean on that day in May, 1927, when
the first attempt to span this body of water from mainland to mainland was
under way. There is no need to go into detail on that score, the mere mention
is sufficient to cause a surge of emotion even at this distant date. Captain
Wilkins in his flight over the northern wastes could not, and did not, grasp
the imagination of the people as Col. Lindbergh did a year earlier. There was
a feeling of trepidation when day after day passed with no word from the
Australian explorer and his redoubtable aid, Carl Ben Eielson. When the word
was flashed to the world that they had finally arrived at their destination
there was a feeling of relief that two more gallant souls had not yielded
their lives in pioneering the air.
not necessary to mention how interesting the account of this trip really is
when we have it at first hand. Those who have read works by others who have
explored the Arctic and Antarctic wastes have no need of assurance of its
interest and thrill. To others who have not felt the thrill of reading about
new accomplishments in the face of discouragement and danger we can only offer
the advice that they begin at once. Unless they do they are missing a great
many hours of real pleasure.
adventures of the Bremen flyers as set down in their joint book The Three
Musketeers of the Air are as interesting and entertaining as any book in the
lot. Unfortunately they have each set down their own account of the flight and
the repetition of the same story becomes just a bit monotonous before the end.
After I had read it I felt that not enough space had been devoted to the
efforts that were made to rescue the flyers from Greenly Island, and further
that they had been a bit too brief in recounting their experiences on tour in
the United States and Canada. They each tell the story of the actual flight in
interesting though diverse styles. There is a certain interest in learning of
the things on the flight that impressed each of these men, but even that does
not take away from the monotony of an oft-repeated tale. I think a better
arrangement of the story would have been for Koehl to have told the actual
story of the trip, Fitzmaurice to have devoted his attention to the efforts at
rescue and the problems associated with the repair of the Bremen and for
Huenefeld, who has capabilities in a philosophical direction, to have devoted
himself to his thoughts during the flight and a more detailed description of
their trip over this country. It strikes me that the Baron is more observant,
or perhaps it would be better to say that he seems to sense the emotions of
those with whom he Is associated more clearly than his companions. I think his
observations on America would have added materially to the value of this
volume which in spite of its defects remains intensely interesting.
Hardly had the clamor of the Bremen flight died away when the world was
advised of the attempt of Miss Earhart and the Friendship crew to span the
Atlantic. The successful conclusion of this flight was due in but small
measure to any effort on the part of Miss Earhart, a fact which she frankly
admits. In spite of this, however, one cannot help but admire her courage in
taking part in the flight. Perhaps her role as passenger was, after all, the
most trying of the three. It is not so difficult to venture into the unknown
when you are occupied, but she seems to have had no particular duties aboard
the craft and one gathers the impression that the trip was anything but
comfortable though it must have been thrilling beyond measure.
Earhart's style is much more amusing than that of any other author here
discussed. Whether you admire the young lady or not has no real bearing upon
the case. She has a sense of humor that is thoroughly amusing and a sparkle
and vivacity must be present in her personality to make itself so clearly felt
in her writing.
these pioneers of the air is the public indebted for four volumes of
* * *
TEACHINGS OF FREEMASONRY. By “Essex Master". Published by Cecil Palmer,
London. Boards, Table of Contents, 176 pages. Price $2.00.
on Masonic symbolism seem to find ready acceptance by the majority of Masons
who devote themselves to reading about the Fraternity. For this reason, if no
other, it may have been better for the publishers or the author of the work
under review to have selected a title which would have pictured more
accurately the contents of this volume. There are two connotations usually
placed upon teachings as the word is used in titles for Masonic books. In one
sense the word applies to the philosophic side of the Order and in the other
to the symbolic as it does in the present instance.
this is not a review of Masonic book titles, it is the contents of the volume
that are, or should be under discussion. A brief opening chapter is devoted to
"The Approach to Freemasonry." In these pages the author discusses the manner
in which a candidate for the degrees should consider the institution. The
approach to the Craft should be actuated by a desire for the subjugation of
self and the opportunity for service to humanity
reached. This may seem to have little connection with a book dealing primarily
with Masonic symbolism, but the next sentence furnishes the key to what it is
all about. The author says:
Brethren who may have failed in this conception of their membership must have
misread their obligations, and failed utterly to understand the meanings of
things they say and do.
purpose of the work as a whole is, therefore, to explain those things that are
said and done and which are frequently misunderstood by the brethren.
author deems it necessary to discuss the antiquity of the Fraternity before
entering upon his main thesis. The wisdom of this is dubious, but since it has
met with the approval of the author some consideration must be paid the views
expressed. The contents of this chapter may very well be summed up in one
Between the two schools (of Masonic scholarship), which on the one hand
endeavors to weave some link of continuity from the stone builders of ancient
history to the modern speculative Masonic Order, and those who refuse to
distinguish any such connection, there appears to be a position favored by the
present writer, which is that the texture of our ritual of today is to some
considerable extent the same as the lodge rituals of the old guildsmen, and
that although the objectives of the working of this ritual may be entirely
different from those of earlier days, the ideals are similar, namely, to
preserve the exclusiveness of an organization to inspire its members with
is nothing with which we may find fault in this states meet. It is in brief
the exact policy that this reviewer has been advocating for some time. This is
not, however, the place in which to air personal views upon Masonic
scholarship in general. The difficulty with the view expressed in the
quotation above is not Its applicability, but the application of the author of
the work now under review. He does not adhere in the later portion of his book
to this opinion. In feet the reader may become convinced that "Essex Master"
is a follower of the first of the two schools mentioned, and then, on another
page, perhaps not far from the one that led to this conviction he will be
inclined to the opposite opinion. The path followed by the author is not a
middle road between the two schools of scholarship, but a wavering lane
trending first in one direction and then in another. In reading the book the
present reviewer came to the uncharitable conclusion that the author was an
adherent of either school depending solely upon which plan of scholarship best
fitted the symbolism under discussion at the moment. It is, perhaps, unfair to
base any positive statements upon such a brief work as The Teachings of
Freemasonry and it may be that it is the brevity alone which conveys the above
chapter on "The Practice of the Craft" which fills nearly half of the book is
indeed worthy of careful reading. Much of the material to be found in these
pages is not new, but there is enough that is new to warrant a careful perusal
of the whole. "Essex Master" has an ability to interpret symbols that warrants
ranking his work among the best on the subject. Because the book deals with
ritual workings as found in England there is a good deal that does not apply
particularly to anything in American Masonry. It would be well, perhaps, to
consider at some length the author's interpretation of the Apron as
illustrative not only of new material in Masonic symbolism, but of the
inapplicability of some of the English symbolism to American Masonry. This one
symbol offers a concrete illustration on both of these points. We are not, in
this country, accustomed to decorating the aprons of members in accordance
with the offices that they hold or permitting the wearing of such distinctive
badges in our lodges. It is not the general practice, for example, for a Past
Master or even a Past Grand Master to wear in lodge an apron signifying his
attainment of these ranks. It is, however, the custom in England and the
author of this book has found a symbolic interpretation for the decorations
that appear upon such aprons. Some scholars might find fault with this as they
certainly would with the fact that "Essex Master" has found much of a symbolic
nature in the shape of the apron. Both shape and the ornamentation are
comparatively new in Masonic circles. It is not true that new things are
necessarily without symbolic significance, but an air of antiquity should not
be thrown about new things for the sake of supporting a possible symbolic
interpretation. In this one respect does the author err in the symbolism of
the Apron. He endeavors to show that Masons wore rectangular aprons long
before the Grand Lodge era. He also asserts that the flap on the apron was
triangular. It may have been so in some eases, but the impression is left that
such aprons were worn to the exclusion of all others which is manifestly false
when we consider the evidence. So far as that goes aprons with rounded corners
were generally, if not universally worn by our operative forebears, and by
speculative Masons, too, even to the present day in some places.
necessary to pass briefly over the last chapter which deals with the symbolism
or teachings of the legend of the Temple and the drama of the Third Degree. As
has been previously stated the symbolism is exceedingly good, but the history
is not nearly so accurate.
Taking the book as a whole it may be stated that it is a valuable contribution
to the Literature of Masonic symbolism, but the history must not be considered
either as authoritative or accurate. There are, of course, statements made
that are strictly true, but it takes a discerning reader to know wherein lies
the true and wherein the false, and for the elementary student it is best to
issue warning that all of the history should be east into the discard and more
accurate sources found for such information. In the narrower field of symbolic
interpretation there are more complete books, but none that are any better.
This little volume can take a place in the front rank of books on Masonic
* * *
SPECULATION ON LIFE AND RELIGION. By: C. L. Kasson. Privately printed. Paper,
some extent this would appear to be a further development of a line of thought
followed out in part in a previous pamphlet published by the author,
Speculation on Human Life, but with much more emphasis on the spiritual and
moral side. The later essay might be described as a superstructure on the
foundation of the earlier one.
generation regards its own conventions and mental furniture as absolute, as
the final and perfect standard by which all others are to be judged. This
makes it difficult to realize that the vital truths of man's higher nature
continually require to be translated into the language of the day - or even of
the hour. More especially so, as one generation is always overlapped by older
ones, which act as a conservative, and often as a reactionary force.
translation is spoken of it must be understood as a more subtle thing than
translation from English into French or Latin into German. We can there see
the necessity. But this is rather a translation into a new set of ideas, and
perhaps the word "restatement" is in some ways better than "translation."
it is considered without prejudice, it is obvious that minds furnished with a
set of concepts based on modern physical science, familiar with electricity
and radio, and with the broad outlines of astronomical, biological and
physical theories, cannot possibly see or grasp spiritual truths under the
same aspects and figures of speech that our forefathers did. However the
conservatives in religion may dislike it, the change of formulae is inevitable
in the nature of things.
the usefulness of such essays as the one under consideration. The author has
grasped some of the implications of the change, not in our collective
mentality, but in the counters and images of collective thought. He rightly
deprecates the tendency to the standardization of our ideals, especially as
the standards, while good enough of their kind are not of a very high or
rather prone, like so many writers, to use the word religion too loosely.
Those with sufficient knowledge of the differentiating features of the various
Christian sects will see from what the reaction is made, but it would be
better to define, or label more accurately. Popular protestantism took many
things for granted, accepted many things literally, that are no part of
religion in general, or the Christian religion in particular.
is but a passing thought. The author does not offend nearly so much as many
others. In the main we may agree with him. In other places we must,
presumably, understand him, when he speaks of religion, as referring to a
definite code of ethical precepts promulgated under the sanction of certain
metaphysical conceptions, such as those of God, or of gods, and held together
in a community knit up with more or less of ritual observance. He likens
religion, any religion, in this sense, to crutches, which mankind
progressively improves. It may be asked if it be possible to improve upon
Christianity? Though the answer to that be no, yet it must be admitted that
Christians have to return continually to the religion of Christ, for none have
ever fully comprehended it.
may conclude by one rather striking sentence. The thought is not wholly new of
course, but it bears repetition. "Hell is right here on earth, and heaven
might be, too." So it might if we only willed it.
* * *
TAKING THE NAME OF SCIENCE IN VAIN. By Horace J. Bridges. Published by The
Macmillan (company. Cloth, Table of Contents, Appendices, Index, 273 pages. 5
½ x 7 ¾ inches. $2.65.
Herein is contained a challenge to young men and women to be as skeptical in
their scrutiny or what is offered them upon the alleged authority of science,
as they are with what is tendered for their acceptance in the name of church
or Bible. It undertakes to show that certain tenets very popular at present
which are derogatory to human worth and dignity are devoid of any sound
foundation and that, when dissociated from a number of dogmas which we can no
longer honestly receive, the reality of the spiritual universe is the
inescapable conclusion yielded by the facts of our own nature.
PRESENT DAY PROBLEMS
have just received my February BUILDER and am writing to let you know how much
I have enjoyed it. I was especially interested in the article by Bro.
Hungerford. His diagnosis of the present situation in American Masonry seems
to me to go right to the disease center in our Fraternal organization. We are
paying lip service to the Landmarks, to formal rules and regulations that
affect only the externals of Masonry, the dead letter of the law; while all
the time the real living Landmarks, the spirit of universal brotherhood, is
being smothered and stifled. And I dare say we shall soon be told that it does
not exist, that there is no such thing as universal brotherhood, and that
Freemasonry has nothing to do with Fraternity.
Forgive me, if I am letting myself go too much, but I do think we need a
change of heart, or anyway a change of direction; and that we need to break
loose from a lot of this red-tape tradition that has grown up, all tending to
prevent Masonry from doing anything, or amounting to anything.
* * *
Without expressing any opinion of my own, for or against, I would like to
point out that the implications of the article by Bro. Hungerford in your last
issue are by no means novel or original.
stresses universal brotherhood very strongly, and its necessary consequence,
universal peace. He says that a beginning must be made somewhere and that it
is "his sincere conviction that the leaven of this great ideal has already
begun its work in our great Fraternity." This is all very true, and I do not
suppose anyone would question it as a general statement, but when it comes to
putting it in practice it is quite another thing.
However, what I would especially like to point out is, that this view is
precisely that taken by the Masons of Europe. most of whom we do not
recognize. They very generally - outside of Germany - hold passionately to the
ideal of the universal brotherhood of mankind, and more heretical still, think
that the general tenor of their Masonic obligations binds them to find ways of
putting it into practice. For instance, I would refer to the manifesto signed
by several brethren in Holland that you published last year under the head of
"An Appeal for Unity" in the June number, page 181, and also that of the
Universal League of Freemasons that appeared in October, page 318. This last
especially dwells on the idea that Freemasonry, in view of its universal
fraternal ideals, is inevitably bound to seek in all ways to promote world
peace. I fancy that the number of American Masons who have associated
themselves with this movement is negligible, even to a vanishing point.
not want to pose as a pessimist, but life disillusions one. I am inclined to
think that the root source of the differences between American and European
Masonry, under all the camouflage of the continual harping on the Landmarks,
is that our European brethren will persist in taking Masonry seriously, which
we do not want to do at any price.
B., New York.
* * *
Hungerford seems very anxious that readers of THE BUILDER should write and
express their views on the subjects he is treating in his articles. I do not
know to what extent his wishes have been fulfilled, but my own feeling is that
there is nothing to say. Every thinking Mason is already in full agreement
with his indictment, and no other but thinking Masons will read it. It has all
been said before, possibly not so systematically, but very frequently. So
frequently indeed that it has become material for the addresses of Masonic
Grand Lodge officials in the lodges. Everybody agrees and applauds, but no one
dreams of doing anything, least of all the official orators, who could give a
lead if they took it seriously. Meantime the degree mills run overtime, and
those who would like to help, if they were given a lead, get tired and bored,
and cease to come to lodge, and eventually cease to take any further interest
in an organization that promises so much and does so little.
* * *
have been a reader of THE BUILDER for some years, and I feel obliged to say
that I regret very much the present policy of giving so much prominence to
what are called modern problems and social service activities. I think these
things are very inappropriate in a research organ such as THE BUILDER is
supposed to be, and that they seriously detract from its dignity. If it
continues, I am afraid that I shall lose interest in it altogether.
proper limits of Masonry are well defined. It has nothing to do with social,
charitable or humanitarian work. It is, of course, benevolent, within closely
defined limits, outside which it has no right to go. Such work should be left
to the churches and other organizations which are specifically intended for
the purpose. Masons may, and should, associate themselves with these; but they
should not import such interests into the lodges or any definitely Masonic
society. To do so can only lead to confusion, and possibly to much graver
evils in the long run, unless checked in time.
trust that you win not deem this criticism too severe, but I feel that you are
moving along the wrong lines and that the situation demands a protest if THE
BUILDER is to be kept up to its former high standard and to retain the
interest of its old readers.
* * *
last statement in Bro. Hungerford's article in the January BUILDER to the
effect that he contemplates a second article on the subject may make it
manifestly unfair to criticize his views at this time. However, his opinion to
the effect that controversial subjects such as religion and polities should be
admitted to the lodge as subjects for discussion seems improper.
Harmony cannot, in America at least, prevail when discussions take the form of
debate. Too often is this illustrated by the formation of factions within the
lodge due solely to difference of opinion on matters of lodge policy. If we
inject subjects on which there is a divergence of opinion, regardless of how
big the subject may be, it seems that this very harmony we are trying to
promote is likely to be destroyed.
have no objection to discussions of such subjects in their Masonic import
appearing in periodicals and extra-lodge activities. That is where they
* * *
Masons will agree with Bro. Hungerford and those who have preceded him in his
views on religion and politics in Masonic lodges. This barring of such
controversial subjects in lodge meetings has done much to further the
interests of the Craft. I do not agree with Bro. Hungerford, however, in his
opinion that present day problems should be talked over in lodge meetings.
the first place there is hardly time for any adequate discussion of such
subjects; farther than this, they are generally speaking as controversial as
the two subjects which are specifically barred.
view that these subjects should not be considered by Masons is false. But the
subjects in their Masonic import should be brought to the attention of the
Craft through Masonic journals. Such discussions would increase the interest
in those periodicals, and ere long it would be found that a growing number of
Masons were becoming reading members of the Craft. Ample space could be given
to any important subject and those interested could read both sides of the
questions if the journals would endeavor to be impartial.
Incidentally THE BUILDER could easily set the pace the rest of the
publications. Why doesn't more of such material appear ?
Note.] If brethren will furnish us with material of the type suggested above
we will be very glad to publish it. There is no little difficulty in obtaining
articles of this nature.
* * *
letter of Dee. 28 was read at the last monthly meeting of the Toronto Society
for Masonic Study and Research, and it has helped to crystallize our own
intentions and wishes. Our Grand Lodge will hold its Annual Communication this
year at Ottawa, in July next, and some of us hope to be present and win
afterwards arrange to visit Almonte.
have written again to the Master of the local lodge, Mississippi, No. 147, and
asked him for all possible information, so that we can make the best use of
time and effort when we go.
very strange that the local brethren do not seem to have made any further
effort in the matter since 1892, but neither the Master nor the Secretary have
been able to tell me any more about it - except that most of those mentioned
in the old newspaper report of the discovery are now dead. The Master is also
the Town Clerk of Almonte, but all he knows about it is "a memory of a
tradition!" Almonte is some forty miles northwest of Ottawa, and about two
hundred and fifty miles from Toronto by rail, so that the expense of a journey
for this alone would be rather a burden for any one of us, quite apart from
the difficulties of visiting a farm some distance out in the country at this
time of year.
N.W.J. Haydon, Sec.-Treas.
was the matter alluded to editorially last month. It almost seems as if the
attempt to investigate will prove to be too late, in this also. The newspaper
report referred to by Bro. Haydon mentioned a proposal to cut out the part of
the stone bearing the inscription and depositing it in a museum. It is
possible that this was attempted by unskillful hands and the record wholly
have also had a letter from Dr. Austin Evans, President of the Toronto
Research Society, in which he says that he has received information from an
old inhabitant "that the portion of the stone bearing the Masonic marks was
cut out and taken to the lodge at Almonte, but that no one seems to know
whether it ever arrived at its destination or what happened to it afterwards."
it seems that the prospect of obtaining any definite information is not very
bright; but we hope that the personal visit of a deputation of the Toronto
brethren may be the means of eliciting more, even if it is not actually
possible to find and photograph and describe the actual inscription itself.
* * *
DESIGNS ON THE TRESTLEBOARD
Master of an Ottawa lodge was recently asked, presumably by one of the younger
Masons, this very embarrassing question: "When do you propose to lay lines and
draw designs on the Tracing Board?" At least it would be a most embarrassing
question to ninety-nine per cent of the Masters of lodges in this country, and
from what I am told, in the United States also.
is it that the brethren who are chosen to the most responsible positions in
the Craft should so completely ignore a charge laid upon them in the most
solemn manner at their installation, and of which they are reminded every time
the lodge is opened? Making all allowance possible for bad traditions,
timidity, ignorance and laziness, yet one would expect by the mathematical law
of chance that there would be some among those chosen to guide and govern the
Craft to whom the wording of the ritual would have some meaning, and who would
seriously hold themselves bound to attempt to instruct their brethren,
personally or by proxy. Yet as a matter of feet those who make even the least
attempt at doing this are so few that their appearance is more like the return
of a comet in its stupendous orbit rather than the regular procession of the
sun and moon.
deeply curious about this. Was it always so? Have those who have sought to
elevate the Craft intellectually always been a negligible minority? Is it
another case of stoning the prophets in one generation and building their
tombs in the next? But if so, then Freemasonry is, as a whole, operating under
false pretenses. The promise of light is offered to the candidate, and then he
is fobbed off with a few formal and trite moralities. Is it any wonder that so
many to whom our doors have been opened, after a period of gradual
disillusionment, lose all interest, and either become totally inactive as
Masons, or let their membership lapse?
what can be done about it?
* * *
CANDIDATES UNDER AGE
reader of THE BUILDER I have enjoyed the articles edited by Bro. Irwin on
Masonic activities during the war.
the last number, I see in the account of the New York Sea and Field Lodge, No.
1, on page 41, a reference to the initiation of the sons of Master Masons
under twenty-one years of age - "Lewises" in fact. And again on page 42, it is
said that on one occasion there were no less than fifty-seven candidates, all
under twenty-one, and each a "Lewis."
have made inquiries of one of our Past Grand Masters concerning this, and he
admitted that he knew nothing about it. Can you give me any further
information about this? I always supposed it was unlawful in the U. S. A. to
initiate any candidate under the legal age of majority.
perfectly true that American Grand Lodges construe the requirements that the
candidate be of "mature age" as meaning that he has attained his legal
majority. While this is practically safe and convenient, it is nevertheless
rather artificial. In many ways young men of eighteen or nineteen are mature,
in other ways, very few men can be regarded as mature before they are
twenty-five, or even older. Twenty-one is frankly a compromise.
bold action taken by the Grand Lodge of New York, in view of the caution, and
even timidity of most Grand Lodges in such matters, was as surprising as
commendable. But we have no further information than can be gleaned from the
article referred to. The argument, we presume, was that these young men were
mature enough to die for their country, and so were mature enough to be made
subject is both interesting and important and we should be glad to hear the
views of others, and to have any further information that may be available.
* * *
living in the Northwest of the U. S. A. where I have found Indians who seem to
have something resembling Freemasonry, or else some knowledge of it. They use
certain signs which have a strong resemblance to those in use in Masonic
lodges. An old Indian informed me that these signs and certain words were
originally received from the Big White Father on the top of a high mountain,
but when asked further only smiled and would say nothing more.
therefore, greatly interested in what Bro. A.O. Robinson Said in his letter in
THE BUILDER last November, and hope very much to see a further communication
from him in the near future. There are others who have lived here longer than
I have who know more of the Indian mysteries. I have only been here forty-two
would be very glad if Bro. Nelson could prevail on some of these older
inhabitants to inform us of any facts in their possession.
* * *
widow of the late Col. C. Miller has a partial set of THE BUILDER for sale,
comprising volumes 8 to 14 unbound. She finds it necessary to dispose of these
and has desired us to insert a notice to this effect.. Bro. Miller was one of
the original members of the Society and retained his membership in it to the