The Builder Magazine
May 1929 - Volume XV - Number 5
The Future of Freemasonry
The Concluding Article of a Series on Ancient Freemasonry and Present Day
BRO. HERBERT HUNGERFORD Author of Seeing Both Sides of Yourself
this final article Bro. Hungerford points out the reasons for an optimistic
outlook in regard to the future of the Craft. The old self-gratulatory spirit
is passing away. Thinking brethren everywhere are comparing our practice with
our Ideals in growing discontent; and in this growing dissatisfaction and
disinclination to rest upon the laurels of the past lies the great hope for
the future. For the Pharisee who thanks God that he is not as other men are
there is no hope, it was to the Publican who confessed his sins that the
promise of the future was given.
OUR PRINCIPAL OBJECTIVE in attempting this somewhat superficial survey of our
ancient institution and its relations to some of the outstanding problems of
our own times has been to formulate, or, at least, to suggest some forecast of
the future of Freemasonry.
this brief summing-up of the series, please bear in mind the point previously
mentioned so frequently, that our purpose is far more suggestive than
conclusive. In brief, as our previous articles have attempted to stimulate
your own thinking along the lines of our discussion rather than to present
complete and definite plans and programs to be carried out, so this final
article will not undertake to prophesy future events in Freemasonry, but will
be confined to pointing out certain observable tendencies and trends.
certainly have no desire to pose as a prophet. Yet, I have no hesitancy in
expressing my faith, or, at least, my hopes regarding the future possibilities
of Freemasonry, based upon observation and study of our past progress and our
The Importance of Ideals
Some of the brethren who have participated in this series of discussions by
contributing their criticisms or viewpoints on various topics we have touched
upon, have raised the objection that the writer's attitude has been too
idealistic; that he has been advocating principles and practices of perfection
far beyond the power and abilities of the poor, frail mortals comprising the
membership of our fraternity to live up to in the regular course of their
Admitting that we have been advocating ideals of achievement and practices in
human relationships far above the customary behavior of ordinary human beings,
still we do not admit that such criticism of our attitude is justified,
because we maintain that the ideals of our institution are not one whit lower
than our articles have represented them. Furthermore, when the far-seeing
founders of our fraternity established it as an art to be practiced, they
thereby indicated the fact that Freemasonry was to be regarded as an
idealistic institution. Every art is a striving towards certain ideals of
perfection which are never exactly and completely attained. There are
standards of perfection in all fields of activity. Those who parade these
standards and uphold the highest ideals as the goal to be aimed at by the
votaries of any order, surely should not be criticized as being "too
visionary." Bear in mind the fact that "where there is no vision, the people
The key-note of our theme throughout this series has been our conviction that,
by shifting the emphasis in our Masonic programs so that less attention is
paid to non-essential or side-line activities and our major effort given to
the promotion of better understanding of the fundamental principles of
Freemasonry and to the encouragement of a more universal practicing among the
Craft of the true art of Freemasonry, we would thereby make a large
contribution towards the solution of many of the world's problems in religion,
education, politics and business.
this final article, therefore, I propose to point out a few activities which
seem to me to be indications of hopeful endeavor towards the goals of highest
achievement. Because I have not hesitated to call attention to some of the
faults and shortcomings of modern Masonic activities, some of my readers,
possibly, may have classed me as a pessimistic critic. Possibly, however,
after you have read my views as to the trends and prospects of our fraternity,
you will change your opinion and put me down as "one of those incurable
optimists." If you do, I shall not greatly object.
The High Repute of Freemasonry
begin with, let me state that it is my sincere opinion, based upon a
considerable amount of observation on this particular matter, that the vast
majority of people in all walks of life today, outside of our Craft, look upon
the Masonic Order as the greatest of all fraternities. I am not using the term
as referring chiefly to size and extensiveness. I estimate that at least nine
persons out of every ten hold Freemasonry in the highest esteem. If my
observations are fairly accurate, the critics of Freemasonry, outside the
Craft today, are few and their criticisms are, usually, feeble or futile. The
caustic rantings of a few cantankerous professional scolds or fault-finders,
such as Ed Howe or Hank Mencken, because some of us may find pleasure in
rigging ourselves out in somewhat showy regalia, or in enjoying any of the
other innocent indulgences of our various ceremonials, are but a drop in the
bucket as compared to the high praise and almost universal commendation that
Freemasonry receives from the general public.
Without apology for what might appear to be a somewhat egotistic attitude
towards our Craft, I have no hesitancy in affirming my belief that Freemasonry
is deserving of the high place in the esteem of the world that it has won for
itself. It really is, I believe, the greatest fraternity in the world.
Furthermore, I regard it as greater today than ever in its history. Not for
one minute do I think that modern Freemasonry is resting upon laurels of the
past. Neither do I admit that there ever was a period in the history of the
Craft when more of its members were deeply and sincerely concerned with the
best ways of maintaining and promoting the highest and noblest ideals of the
you regard this optimistic viewpoint at variance with the criticisms of our
Order that have been presented in our previous articles, let me hasten to show
you why I believe these seemingly opposite points of view in reality are in
Freemasonry today would be facing a serious crisis if the leaders in Masonic
endeavors and activity held the same views that the world at large outside the
Craft apparently holds. The wise observation that it is a dangerous condition
when "all men speak well of you" applies to social groups as well as to
But, my personal observation leads to the opinion that the more thoughtful
members of our fraternity are far from complacent regarding the present
conditions of the Craft. Everywhere I come into touch with Masonic leaders, I
find plenty of evidence of wholesome dissatisfaction which I regard as the
most hopeful and healthy portent for the future of Freemasonry.
Many Cities Within Our Craft
There are thousands of Masonic leaders, I believe, who are diligently and
sincerely seeking ways and means of applying the teachings of Freemasonry to
the solution of present day problems. The many comments I have received on
this series of articles coming from every section of the country, is one
indication of this. Another of much greater significance is the generally
critical tone of the principal articles in the Masonic press everywhere,
excepting in the few back-patting and personal sheets which are too few and
insignificant to be deserving of serious attention.
During the several years I was connected with the staff of speakers of the
Masonic Bureau of Educational and Social Service of New York State, I was
afforded considerable opportunity of observing the sort of speeches which made
the biggest hits with the brethren. It appeared to me as a most gratifying
fact that the old back-patting palaver style of speech was not applauded or
appreciated nearly as much as the plain talks containing really constructive
criticism and practical suggestions for the improvement of the Order.
Unless I have failed to read aright the signs of the times, Freemasonry is on
the verge of the greatest era in the history of the institution. The unusual
and not altogether beneficial conditions in the Craft which came as an
aftermath of the world war are now passing. We are beginning to get away from
the notion that progress is denoted by increase in numbers. We are losing our
liking for big drives and mass movements, the direct resultant of the various
drives and campaigns which were so necessary a part of war activities. We are
beginning to think in terms of Masonic quality rather than mere quantity.
brief, I am confident that we are beginning to shift the emphasis in our
Masonic programs, so that in a steadily increasing number of Lodges, the
activities are being centered upon the real fundamentals of our great Masonic
teachings, instead of being concerned chiefly with the least important
features of Masonic endeavor.
Please do not misunderstand that I am pretending that, throughout the Craft
generally, we have already Shifted the emphasis. But I do insist that the
tendency in this direction is plainly discernable. It has been my privilege to
visit quite a number of lodges and to discuss the conditions of our Craft with
a good many devoted brethren in all parts of the country. Everywhere the same
thought has been uppermost in the minds of Masonic leaders: What can be done
to encourage a larger percentage of our members to practice the real art of
Freemasonry and live in accord with true Masonic teachings ?
There is a practical answer to this question, I sincerely believe; an answer
that has been tried and proven worthy. Granting the fact that our discussions
in this series have only scratched the surface and have not delved deeply into
historical research or social or economic analysis; still, I feel sure every
reader who has followed the series will admit that they have all pointed in
The point repeatedly emphasized is that no changes or modifications are
necessary in the purpose, plans or programs of Freemasonry in order to answer
the above vital question in a plain and practical way. All we need to do is to
continue the shifting of the emphasis in our Masonic programs and activities
in the ways already noted as being the tendency in many Lodges.
Getting right down to brass tacks, I contend, that the Masonic Study Club
Movement, as fostered and directed by The National Masonic Research Society,
offers the most effective answer to the question as to how any Lodge or any
group of really interested brethren may stimulate and encourage the more
widespread practice of the art of Freemasonry among all their fellows and
you are anxious to develop the true Masonic spirit among the members of your
Lodge, I doubt if you can find a more satisfactory and certain way of
accomplishing this commendable aim than by organizing a Study Club. You are
surely aware of the difficulty of deeply impressing the principles and
teachings of Freemasonry through the frequently hurried administering of
initiatory rites. Neither does sitting on the side lines listening to these
ceremonials or even participating in them, bring out clearly and completely
the noble ideals and practical teachings of our Order. Nor will a few brief
talks or lectures by well-informed brethren fully accomplish this objective.
All these things will help, of course, yet you will find no other means as
effective in teaching Masonic ideals and inculcating the practices of
Freemasonry as organizing and conducting a regular course of readings and
You will note, therefore, that although we have reached the final discussion
in our series on Ancient Freemasonry and Present Day Problems, we have really
just begun our endeavors towards the practical application of the points we
have attempted to present during this series.
accepting the appointment as sort of a chairman for The Masonic Study Club
Forum of THE BUILDER and general campaign manager for the extension of the
Study Club Movement, I admit my deep appreciation of the honor and privilege
of this service, but also wish to express my Obligations to, and my dependence
upon the counsel, criticism and cooperation of my brethren in all parts of the
country who have shown so much interest and given such splendid encouragement
to all efforts on behalf of the extension of Masonic education. If those who
have been encouraging my efforts in this series will continue their
cooperation by helping to awaken interest in the Study Club Movement among the
Craft everywhere and will also aid in organizing, conducting and passing
along, through our Study Club Forum, any practical pointers brought out by
actual Study Club activities, I certainly shall have no fears regarding the
future of Freemasonry.
Are We Drifting?
BRO. R. J. MEEKREN
Statistics Show Some Interesting Trends in Modern Masonry. They Are
Graphically Presented in the Article Which Follows. The Light Thrown on Our
Present System of Admissions Is an Important Contribution to the Craft.
is the actual condition of the Masonic Fraternity in America today? We know
that it has well over three million members, and there is undoubtedly a
certain prestige given by such huge numbers. But in itself this does not tell
us much of real value. Those who have read, even occasionally, the Reports of
our Grand Lodges during the past ten years know that there has been a great
expansion since the War. They will also be aware that there has been
considerable, though vague, uneasiness in regard to the increasing losses due
to members dropping out of the organization. Some Grand Lodges have been so
impressed by these fears that they have introduced regulations restricting the
freedom of the individual Mason by denying him the right to dimission from his
lodge, permitting him only to transfer his membership. Whether justified or
not, this is undoubtedly an innovation in the "body of Freemasonry," although
those who advocate it do not seem to realize the fact. But though such drastic
attempts to stop the leaks are being made or advocated, no one seems to have
any very clear comprehension of the amount of these losses and their relation
to the total membership.
a very curious thing that this lack of definite knowledge should exist, and
all the more curious in view of the fact that American Grand Lodges as a
anywhere available in the Masonic world. Whenever dual or plural membership is
suggested it almost always happens that the first objection advanced against
it is the alleged difficulty it would cause in keeping accurate membership
rolls. But such records are hardly worth while for their own sake and as an
end in themselves.
preliminary essay in what is almost a virgin field of investigation I have
prepared the accompanying charts to show certain relationships between the
gains and losses in membership over a period of fifteen years. The basic
figures used for this purpose have been taken from the tables that have been
compiled annually since 1913 by Bro. George A. Kies, Grand Secretary of
Connecticut, and published annually in the Proceedings of that Grand Lodge.
Without this foundation to build upon it is doubtful whether I should ever
have had the courage to undertake this task, even had time been available.
Bro. Kies, therefore, should have at least half of whatever credit may be due.
has already been mentioned, the official rulers and leaders of the Craft have
very Frequently expressed grave fears in regard to losses from various causes,
especially those by suspension for non-payment of dues. Rather less
frequently, doubts have been voiced as to whether the growth in the last
decade has not been altogether too rapid.
are four avenues of loss, one of which is inevitable, that is death. The other
three are dimission, suspension and expulsion. The first chart shows the
relationship between these last. The graphic method of showing the
relationship of varying figures is now so frequently used that most people are
more or less familiar with it. The curves A and B show respectively the
dimissions and affiliations for each year, according to the scale of numbers
on the perpendicular axis. It must be borne in mind that on such a scale only
round figures can be used. But this does not affect the general accuracy of
the result so far as showing the relationship between them is concerned.
thing is apparent immediately upon inspection of these two curves, A and B.
that they very closely parallel each other over the whole period. It will be
noted that in 1916, and again in 1923, the distance between them increases.
This distance represents in each year the difference between the number of
Masons dimitted and those affiliated. It is quite possible that economic and
other external causes would account for this divergence of the curves at these
two periods. The normal reason for dimission is change of residence. Whenever
conditions lead to a general movement of population, such divergence is
naturally to be expected. Whether the later divergence that appears in 1927
can be wholly accounted for in this way is not clear. For that we must wait
and see. But on the whole we may conclude that the relationship between
dimission and affiliation appears to be quite normal, and the difference no
greater than should be naturally expected.
curve E shows the expulsions. While 674, the total for 1927, is altogether too
many - it means that in over 600 lodges there has been careless investigation,
or too little courage in denying admission to unfit applicants, yet relatively
the figures are so small as to have little significance in a broad survey. And
while the number has nearly doubled in the fifteen years, the rate of increase
has been much less in proportion than the rate of growth. This is certainly
not a discouraging feature.
curves C and D show the relationship between suspensions and reinstatements.
As in the case of A and B. the distance between these two curves shows the
balance of the number of Masons suspended over those reinstated in any given
year. We see there was an increase in these from 1913 to 1915, and then, after
some fluctuations, a decrease. Roughly, only with larger numbers, the
suspended increased at much the same rate as the dimitted Masons until
1918-1919, when they began to decrease. There is no doubt that a proportion,
perhaps a larger proportion - there is no means of determining - of
suspensions are due to the same cause as dimissions. Brethren move to another
locality but neglect to keep in touch with their lodge. It is especially
noteworthy that while 1921 showed the smallest balance of unaffiliated Masons
in any year after 1915, the number of reinstatements was actually greater than
the suspensions. The year 1921 was a remarkable one in several ways. It is one
of the indications of the relation between dimissions and affiliations being
on the whole a normal one, that this year shows no greater balance of dimits
over affiliations than appears in 1925, when suspensions were rapidly
increasing and, as will be seen, accessions were still more rapidly falling.
rapid increase of suspensions is undoubtedly a very unhealthy symptom, and
should be carefully considered in the light of the curve of admissions in
Chart II. Though here a word of warning must be given. The difference in scale
must be taken into account. Were the curve A in Chart II drawn to the same
scale as in Chart I, the peak in 1921 would be roughly six times as far from
the base line as the curve of dimissions in the same year in the latter chart,
which would take it a long way out of the page. The greater numbers involved
in Chart II necessitated the reduction of scale. The larger scale was used in
Chart I in order to show more distinctly the trend and fluctuations of the
Turning now to the second chart, the curve D shows the total losses through
the three causes dealt with in Chart I. The interesting fact which strikes us
first is that from 1913 to 1926 this line falls well below C, the curve of the
losses by death during the same period. The death rate serves the purpose of a
standard of comparison. The dotted straight line drawn through C shows that
deaths have very steadily increased, which is a necessary consequence of the
increase in membership. The year 1919 shows a sharp increase, due doubtless to
the influenza epidemic. But the following years show a decreased rate which
about balances it. Comparing this with curve D we may perhaps be justified in
assuming that losses from other causes have not been critically serious. But
unfortunately the year 1927 shows them to be greater than the losses by death.
This may be no more than a temporary fluctuation, but it must be noted that
since 1921 these losses have tended to increase too steadily, and too sharply,
to be an altogether encouraging sign.
confidence is somewhat restored by the curve of accessions, the line A. These
have been so much greater than losses from all sources that, in spite of the
latter, the membership has rapidly increased. Yet it is not an altogether
healthy curve. It looks like - altogether too much like - a fever chart. The
tremendous number of admissions from 1919 to 1921 could not possibly be
normal. At least after this "temperature" there would be a period of
indigestion, if nothing worse.
curious to note that the peak in 1921 was also, as already observed in dealing
with Chart I, coincident with the lowest net loss in dimissions and a slight
gain as between suspensions and reinstatements. These phenomena, it may be
assumed, were all due to much the same causes, whatever they were. The same
influences that led to the unparalleled influx from the outside into the
Craft, led also to the renewal of lapsed memberships.
Curve B is plotted from the total net losses from all causes, and here again
cause for misgiving is shown. From 1921 on, these losses have been tending
ever upward as shown by the dotted line; while, ignoring the steep drop after
1921, there has been, from 1923 on, an even sharper trend downward in
accessions. This points to the two lines meeting, or even passing, in 1930;
which means in effect that the Masonic birthrate will fall below the
death-rate, and the organization come to a standstill, or start on the
downward grade, so far as membership is concerned.
III shows the cumulative gross increase over the same period. In this the
scale has been still further reduced, as we are now dealing with millions
instead of thousands. This increase has been roughly 2,400,000; an average of
160,000 a year, or a-little more than half of that for 1921.
this chart the four curves are all divergent (with the exception that D is not
uniformly so). This is because they show the successive totals in each year
from 1912, and not merely the number for each year by itself, as in the first
two charts. The greatly reduced scale also tends to iron out the annual
fluctuations. The divergence between A and B shows the cumulative totals of
losses from death, that between B and C the actual number of unaffiliated
Masons, that between C and D the total of the suspended and expelled, while
the space between D and the base line represents the number of members in good
standing in excess of 1,400,000. If the base were to show zero it would have
to be drawn as far below its actual position as the curve D is above it in
1923. When this is taken into account (and to visualize it a sheet of white
paper with a base line ruled on it at the right distance might be laid on the
page) it will be seen that the losses by non-affiliation and suspension form
only a very narrow fringe or border to the area showing total membership. In
short they do not give much support to alarmist views.
Coming now to the consideration of the curves in detail, we find that in 1927,
in round numbers, 2,460,000 candidates had been admitted into the Order since
1912; while in the same period 444,000 Masons had deceased. In the last named
year, 1927, there were 68,000 unaffiliated Masons - not a very large number
when compared with millions - and 192,000 who were under sentence of
suspension or expulsion; which number Is too large. According to this there
were in good standing 3,157,000 Masons. This figure is between 80,000 and
90,000 less than those usually given. But there are many ways in which this
discrepancy could have arisen. It must be remembered that returns come into
each Grand Lodge at different times and there always has to be a certain
amount of approximation. As these curves have been plotted from the positive
data it is not probable that they are very far from giving the correct totals.
curves bring out certain features that are not so easily observable in the two
previous charts. They confirm the inference that the number of unaffiliated
Masons is on the whole a normal one. Naturally there must always be some
unaffiliated Masons - unless every Grand Lodge followed the novel method of
forbidding dimission altogether. The greater the total number of Masons, the
greater must be the actual number of those who, for one or other of a
multitude of good and legitimate reasons, desire to leave one lodge and join
another. As this must take, at the least, several months in each case, there
must always be a balance of those who are for the time being unattached. The
regularity of the divergence between B and C shows conclusively that this
proportion has not increased, if anything it appears to have somewhat
lessened, when it is compared with the divergence between A and B. For the
loss by death must in the long run be about the same among Masons as for the
community at large, and thus it gives us a norm by which to judge the other
curve D does not show quite the same regularity as C, for after having
diverged rather too rapidly from 1913 to 1919 it then begins to approach C,
and in 1920, 1921 and 1922 runs almost exactly parallel to it, which means
that the total remained stationary during those years. But after 1922 it
begins to diverge again more rapidly than ever. Whether or not this is merely
temporary, a result of the "indigestion" following the orgy of the years 1920
to 1923, remains for the future to show us.
preliminary and hasty survey at least shows a very promising field for further
investigation and research, in which the statistics compiled annually by each
Grand Lodge may be made to give up their real significance. Every institution,
as every individual, exists in time. A wider realization of this fact is one
result of the popular interest in the mathematical theories of relativity
propounded by Einstein. As has been well said, history is not the bare record
of a series of isolated facts but the representation of a process. We cannot
understand any situation unless we have some idea of how it came to be.
Without some knowledge of the past it is impossible to even guess at the
future. The apparent conclusion to be drawn from this consideration of the
history of the growth of the Masonic Fraternity in recent years is mixed.
There is no cause for alarm apparently, yet we cannot say that it is wholly
healthy and as we could desire it to be.
may be convenient for reference, the round totals as used in preparing the
graphs for the article are here given, as taken from the Proceedings of the
Grand Lodge of Connecticut. Except in the case of expulsions, all figures
below the hundreds have been omitted, and in some eases those higher than that
have been approximated; as for example, 983 may be estimated as practically
thing may be gathered from this table which was not represented in the charts,
and that is the relationship of the number of lodges to total membership. The
average membership per lodge in 1927 was somewhat under 200, in 1913 it was a
little over 100. This again is a characteristic and not reassuring symptom.
The average number of suspended Masons to each lodge is very nearly twelve.
"G"; Gematria; Theology
BRO. L. F. STRAUSS, Massachusetts
ONCE upon a time long, long ago, there was an Organization, Federation,
Community of men living, working, praying, on the banks of the Jordan and the
Nile, on the shores of the Dead Sea, in the Desert of Arabia, in the town of
Engada and near an oasis at the foot of Mt. Sinai. A strange confederation, a
strange community of men, yea the strangest, the most wonderful Brotherhood
the world had ever seen for "By their fruits ye shall know them" was once
upon a time proclaimed by the Master.
Who were these men? What is the name given by the lips of men to this
Community, this Brotherhood?
The appellation was coined from the Greek word meaning "holy"; from which term
Josephus wrote "Essaes"; from which Philo Judaeus made "Essenoi," and Pliny
the Younger made "Essenes" (although the critic is not sure about the exact
coinage of Pliny).
The name used by contemporaries and by the common people was "Hasidim," which
term is translated into English by the word "saints." The designation given by
the Apostle Paul was also translated as "saints."
The self-designation of this Brotherhood, which should be of special interest
to Freemasons, was "Banaim." This word translated into English means Builders.
The universal aim of every member, called "Banus" by Josephus, was to build a
bridge between this world and the other, to become an architect under the
direction of and guided by the example of the Great Architect.
The term (h)agioi, the appellation used by Paul, is of interest to the
philologist. From ago, agere, egg actus we have the English active, action,
actor. The Latin is closely connected with the Greek ago, ayeix, with the same
meaning. The Greeks by means of the spiritus aspen that is by prefixing the
sign for the aspirate, or rough breathing (for they had no letter for H),
indicated a reverential feeling. Thus Paul gives "hagiois" "hagioy." This
word, to a Greek mind, would indicate men working, especially active for, a
holy cause. The translation of "hagioi" in our Bible is "saints." This word "hagioi"
we find in Chapter xvi of Paul's Letter to the Corinthians, a chapter of great
importance to the faithful, and of special interest to the historian, the
scholar, the philologist, and psychologist.
very strange phenomenon is there presented. The translation of the first two
verses of this chapter is, to use a mild expression, erroneous. Here we find
quite a variety of renderings, of translations. For historical, philological
and psychological reasons the translators were puzzled.
Thus the Revised Version has:
Now concerning the collection for the saints as I have given order to the
churches of Galatia even so do ye upon the first day of the week, let every
one of you lay by him in store as God hath prospered him, that there be no
gatherings when I come.
What a rendering, what a translation! The devil laughs and the angels weep. We
have here in Greek three terms, three words which puzzle the unsophisticated
reader: " (h) agiois," "logia," "sabbatou." ( H ) agiois rendered by "saints"
as before stated. But for the term "logia" to be rendered "collection" !
Philologically logia is related to logos, meaning "word"; to the Latin loquor,
loqui from which we have the English "colloquy" and "loquacious." Then the
translation of the Greek sabbatou by "the first day the week."
This last, most glaring falsification is of modern date. The Vulgate, the
Latin version, is here superior, more truthful. "The sabbath," at least is
faithfully kept in this translation, as by some few others, by Martin Luther
for example. He kept the Sabbath, too, in his translation and for "logia" he
gives "steuer" or "tax."
Now the word Sabbath is used in the Bible, in both the Old and the New
Testaments, very many times; and this word always designates the seventh day
of the week, a day of rest. What here puzzled the truth seeking translator was
"a collection of money" or, to Luther, an "imposition of tax" on the Sabbath.
Another small point of information: the rendering of Matthew xxviii, v. I, as
"end of Sabbath" is erroneous. The Greek word signifies evening, and the
translation here should be "Sabbath eve." At the time of Jesus and His
Apostles and in the orthodox Jewish world of today the term Sabbath eve means
Friday evening, the beginning and not the end of the Sabbath. "One half of the
world knows not how the other half lives" or thinks.
will here give the literal translation of the first two verses of Paul's
epistle to the Corinthians.
About the bequests (dedication) for the saints (church workers missionaries)
as I ordained (decreed) to the churches of Gaiatia, so do ye also. On some
Sabbath each one of you bequeath (dedicate) of his treasure (fortune) whatever
to him seems befitting (becoming or proper) so that not when I come a
dedication (bequest) will have to be made.
The term logia, a word of Hebrew-Hellenic coinage, translated in our Bible by
"collection," was connected with the Hebrew Divine service on the Sabbath,
even as in the Orthodox Jewry of today.
If in this case the term will arouses the curiosity of some readers of THE
BUILDER a dissertation will be given in a succeeding article.
After this brief excursion into the Biblical realm, made primarily because in
the word hagioi, translated "saints," we find a reference to our ancestors,
that is, our Masonic ancestors; let us now return to our subject, to our
heroes bearing such a different appellation, the Essenes, self-designated "Banaim"
or Builders. From this term Builders we have our modern "Masons" and the name
of our highly appreciated magazine, THE BUILDER.
Paul's hagioi furnished the pioneers the propagandists, to use a modern word
the missionaries, who preached and eventually founded what is today
Christianity. A miracle, a most undisputable miracle. A comparatively small
number of men a group of despised, poor Jews conquering, overcoming the Roman
empire, transforming, transmuting the Graeco-Roman civilization, converting
the Celtic, the Germanic, the Slavonic world. What a miracle!
Here we would refer the reader to previous articles by the author published in
THE BUILDER: "Joshua ben Joseph" (called "Jesus the Christ"), "The Essenes,"
"The Kabala," "The Kabala and Freemasonry," and "Gematria."
Learned scholars make Jesus the Christ a member of the Essenes. The Apostle
Paul informs us that he had sat at the feet of Gamaliel, a recognized teacher
of "Essenism." Masonic authorities make John the Baptist and John the
Evangelist members of the Order of Essenes and claim them as fathers of
this matter the psychologist finds a strange lesson and valuable information.
Some Christian historians object, repudiating the "descent." We might learn
from our opponents. In the Catholic Encyclopedia we find such statements as:
Deists and continental rationalists strive to metamorphose the Essenes into
predecessors from whom gradually and naturally developed Christianity, etc.
Freemasons pretended to find in Essenism pure Christianity, etc.
Why this objection to Christian Essenic relationship by the Holy Roman
Catholic Church? Why this unfriendly attitude toward the Essenes? For the
contemplation of the Holy Father, the Pope and his bishops we will give the
opinion, the judgment of an impartial "contemporary," a careful observer, in a
way an eye witness, the testimony of Pliny, a good and noble Roman.
oeeidente litora "Esseni fugiunt," usque qua nocent gens sola et in toto urbe
praetor eeteras mira; sine ulla femina, omni venere abdicata, sine pecunia,
socia palmarum in diem exaeque convenarum turba renascitur, large frequent-antibus
quos vita fessos admores eorum fortuna fluetibus agit. Ita per saeculorum
milia incredibile gens eterna est in qua nemo naseitur tam fecundia illis
aliorum vitae poenitentia est.
Now this will be of interest: In The History of the World, commonly called
"the Natural Historie of G. Plinius Secundus," translated into English by
Philemon Holland, Doctor in Physicke, Londini, Impensis G. B., 1601," we find
in the eighty-eighth chapter, headed "The People Esseni," the following
rendering of the above citation:
Along the west coast inhabite the Esseni, a nation that is living alone and
solitaire and of all others throughout the world admirable and wonderful.
Women they see not-carnall lust they know not- they handle no money- they lead
their lives by themselves and keep companie only with Date trees. Yet
nevertheless the countri is evermore well peopled for that daily numbers of
strangers report thither in great frequenei from other parts and namely such
as be wearie of this miserable life are by the surging waves of frowning
fortune driven thither to sort with them in their manner of living. Thus for
many thousand years (a thing incredible and yet most true) a people had
continued without any supply of new breed and generation. So mightily increase
they evermore by the wearisome state and repentence of other men.
Now there might be an objection to, a denial of, Essenic fatherhood of
Christianity or of Freemasonry but there cannot be, there is not a rejection,
a denial of Essenic paternity of a something called the Kabala.
And this other fact is just as indisputable; the nomenclature, the terminology
for Masonic presentation has been taken from that same Kabala.
a previous article by the author, published in THE BUILDER, such a list of
names was given. To this list we wish now to add the term En Soph. As the
fingers write this word the hand trembles. This word, this term En Soph in the
Essenic or Banaic realm stands for the Highest, whose Representative here on
the Earth is given the name Supreme Architect. In the Masonry of England the
word En Soph is a most important figure of speech, in a way a leading
Right here stands, ante ocalos, one scene in Masonic panorama; the ingenuity
of man is exhausted in an effort for calling special attention to some certain
things, certain forms, in an attempt to arouse at least what is called
curiosity; and we hear, "Search."
Let us now briefly consider the sign. The symbol, the most conspicuous and
ever present letter "G." Again this writer refers the reader to a previous
article in THE BUILDER, entitled "Gematria." We will here restate this much:
the modus and opus operandi of a community called Hagioi (saints)
Essenes-Kabalists, self-styled Banaim (builders) was, is, called Gematria. We
will also remind the reader of a well known statement: "There are more things
in heaven and earth that are dreamt of in our philosophy," and recall also a
certain oath of secrecy. And then there comes the injunctions of the Master:
"Give not that which is holy unto dogs." "Cast not your pearls before swine
lest they turn and rend you." "To you it is given to know the Kingdom of
heaven; to them we speak in parables."
also wish to here remind the reader of this fact: The pre- Christian Essenes
had the idea, the doctrine, of what today is called the Copernican or
heliocentric theory of the solar system. The exact wording of this doctrine
was given in an article published in THE BUILDER. To the Mason interested in
occultism in general, and in Masonic ideas and symbolism, we recommend the
reading and contemplation of Francis Bacon's New Atlantis.
this we are introduced to "Solomon's House"; we are informed that Moses by a
secret Kabala ordained the laws of Ben Salem, and are told "We are here in
God's bosom, a land unknown."
"G." Idea, Primary Principle: All creation has developed through emanation
from the En Soph. Remember, O remember, dear reader, En Soph constitutes one
of the most important symbols in modern Freemasonry. The first degrees of that
evolution are the ten Sephiroth, from the last of which Kingdom (Thy Kingdom
come) developed the twenty-two letters of the [Hebrew] alphabet. Through the
latter the whole finite world has come. These are dynamic powers, symbolized
by the written signs we call letters. Since these powers are numbers,
everything which has sprung from them is also number. Number is the essence of
Mr. Carey Lee of Philadelphia has written a strange little booklet entitled
Equivalent Numbers of Elementary Bodies. In this he introduces the reader to a
kind of Gematria in the realm of chemistry. Space allows of only short
quotations. The author says:
has been the object of this paper to develop as far as possible those
universal relations existing between the atomic weights of elements, etc.
this way, little by little, the materials are collected for future
generalizations with the reasonable hope of eventually arriving at an intimate
knowledge of the true constitution of the materials which compose our globe.
With the advent of Christianity there ensued a division in the realm of the
Essenes. We do not deem it expedient to state particulars, to give details.
There arose, there was born, a Christian Kabalism, a Greek Gematria.
The Rev. T. S. Lea, D. D., an English clergyman, informs us in his work
entitled Gematria, that:
. . it is during the last half of the 19th century that the complete
connection of the earliest Christianity with Greek Mithraic and other
mysteries has been brought to light. These mysteries have a connection, by no
means unimportant, with the symbolism of names and numbers.
The same . . . may be said of the Essenes, the Neopythagoreans and all the
many embryonic forms of Gnosticism which were like microbes in the air,
naturally infecting more or less every religious growth within their sphere or
influence. The disputants of past generations were unaware of most of these
things. Yet the Primitive Christian was an Initiate plainly enough and had a
disciplini areani, even as other Initiates. But the Christian Mysteries were
unique in that they brought with them the "open door," and offered an
initiation of a more universal nature than was allowed in the Eleusinian and
manifold other rites which are multiplying at and about the time of the
formation of the first Christian society, etc.
There is very early Christian authority for this Gematria. In the gospel
according to the Hebrews, quoted by Origen and St. Jerome. (See also Acts of
St. Thomas.) Hence it will be seen that the phoneen eremo is the germ of the
three-fold Logus plus the power of baptism, that being the second operation of
the same power of the Trinity becomes manifest. It will be remembered in this
connection that Ioannes stands for the triple Logos. Three is the number of
the greatest and most profound of the Christian Mysteries.
Let us now come to an exemplification of the Hebrew Gematria. The sacred
Tetragrammaton, the Name of God, I H V H as transliterated into our letters
(of which Jehovah is the familiar form) may be integrated in many ways. The
following four are the usual ones adopted. It must be remembered that in
Hebrew and other Semitic languages, as was also the case in Greek, the letters
of the alphabet were commonly used to represent numbers. Alph, the first
letter, stood for one, beth, the second, for two, and so on. The later letters
were used for tens, hundreds and thousands. In this way any group of letters
might equally spell a word or represent a certain sum. The four chief ways of
enumerating the sacred Name above mentioned are the following:
(1) Jot, Hei, Foif, He=45.
(2) Yot, He, V. H.=52.
(3) Yot, Hei, Foif, Hi=63.
(4) Jot, H. V. H.=72.
Vulliaud, a French author, gives the following:
Adonai=25, Ahih=61, Ja he donai=91, making a total of 203. And he says in
respect to this, the passage has been freely translated:
This number, 203, is equivalent to the word "beer" or fountain (strictly
speaking, a well) which numerically taken, Beth 2, Aleph 1, Resch 2000, which
added together is 203. This word "beer" is the symbol of the fountain or
spring from whence flows the love of God (Jehovah); the power of God (Adonai),
the truth of God (Ehyeh) and so on.
The same author also informs us that it is from the Kabbalistic Science that:
. Christianity has drawn its dogmatic system, and very probably its ethics
also the Essenico-Kabbalistic morality.
And he says further:
The word "Essaios" according to the most correct etymology is derived from the
Syro-chaldaic word, assa, signifying, "to cure," and thus it gives us a
literal translation of the Greek name Therapeutes, or in Latinized form,
The Christian Greek Gematria may now be set forth. Some of these figures have
been woven into the outer garments, and might be found in the innermost shrine
of modern Freemasonry.
First; the name Ioannes (our name John). I=10, O=800, A=1, N=50, N=50, E=8,
S=200, making a total, 1119.
Second; the name Iesous, which is the Greek form of Jesus. I=10, E=8, S=200,
O=70, U=400, S=200, which makes 888. The letter represented by "o" in Ioannes
is Omega, the last letter of the Greek alphabet. The "o" in Iesous is Omicron,
the fifteenth, which explains the apparent inconsistency in numerical value.
The number 888 is the most significative found in the inner shrine. Eight has
been called the Dominical number, it is found everywhere employed symbolically
to convey the idea of Salvation, Perfecting and Regeneration; from the company
of Noah onwards through the Bible, and it is nowhere more emphasized than in
the name of the Lord, which teaches the doctrine of the perfected Humanity in
the number 888 found in the name Iesous, which itself means Savior. There can
be little doubt that this is the mystery to which Ireaeus alludes when he
speaks of the "numbering of the name of Jesus."
PASSING OF RAE J. LEMERT
Bro. Ernest E. Murray, Montana
physical organism of Bro. Rae Lemert ceased to function on March 28; the mind
and the soul lives and passed on to the next sphere of the immortal cycle.
is no death and he had no fear of it, but rather looked forward to his
journey. On this earthly pilgrimage there were but two great affections to
make a desire to remain and work and fight - his great affection for his wife
and an equally great one for Masonry and the Masonic Fraternity. Which of
these two an actions were the greater he probably could not have himself
decided. Had he been given the choice where to die - either in the arms of his
wife or actively engaged on Masonic work - the writer, who knew them both so
well, believes he would have chosen the former, but it was decreed otherwise.
doubtful if a more dramatic passing for such a man could have arisen. Taking
part in the Scottish Rite ceremony of extinguishing the lights, within the
hour his own earthly light was extinguished and the Masonic Fraternity, the
world over, had lost one of its great intellectual lights. At the close of the
ceremony during the celebration of the Passover, when the brethren partook of
a small piece of cold lamb and unleavened bread, he was seen to quietly fall
forward in his seat. Mrs. Lemert was instantly summoned and arrived. Although
medical men who were present endeavored to restore breathing, it was useless.
Bro. Lemert had been called.
he should be called at the partaking of this simple meal is likewise dramatic
and significant, for he appeared to have no delights of the table - to him
simple food to sustain life was all he desired and chose. Neither did he have
any desire for the simplest luxuries. Giving only such time as was necessary
to his profession, he worked incessantly for Masonry. With limited means he
took over the Montana Mason, knowing that it involved a great amount of work
and the practical certainty of losing money. Most of the writing of articles
was done by him and are treasured by the scholars of the Craft. He has left
behind him a mass of manuscript, including a history of Freemasonry, as the
result of many years of intense research. He possessed one of the finest
private Masonic libraries extant.
term "genius" is often lightly used, but only that word fitly described him.
Possessing a most remarkable memory and an amazing reader, he had such an
intimate knowledge of the contents of his books that he could instantly clinch
a question by turning to the passage closing the point from any of his books.
Many of his books are beyond price. He once remarked to the writer that
whatever book he desired he always, somehow, came into possession of it; how
such possession came about was often uncanny.
the outside world he was always the "good fellow" and strove not to appear to
his brethren in any way conscious of any mental superiority, for anything
approaching flattery or ordinary praise of his abilities was abhorrent to him.
Always he worked wholeheartedly for the Craft and the principles of Scottish
Rite Masonry. He was a man of many parts, an attorney-at-law, a certified
public accountant, a chemist of high attainment, well versed in ethnology and
anthropology, a Bachelor of Arts at the age of 16, an accomplished linguist,
writing fluently in French, Spanish, Italian, German and Hebrew, and no mean
knowledge of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. He possessed a great collection of
old coins aggregating great value which he started as a boy.
who knew him personally loved him and he loved them. They keenly mourn their
loss, Ichabod. The Fraternity as a whole are not aware of the great loss they
held high rank in all the Masonic bodies with the single exception of the
Knights Templar, which he did not join, for there were parts of the ritual
which did not coincide with his religious views. Although not orthodox in his
beliefs, he joined the Baptist church, as he considered it incumbent for all
Masons, as he told the writer, to be affiliated with and attend some church.
took pride (if such a word can be applied in a man of his character) in being
a Mason of the 33d - no greater Scottish Rite Mason ever lived with the
exception of Albert Pike, whom he held in the greatest reverence.
funeral was conducted by the Grand Lodge of Montana, where he held the office
of Grand Historian. The attendance at the funeral service, which was held in
the Scottish Rite Temple at Helena, Mont., filling it to capacity, bore
testimony to the respect in which he was held.
as the sprig of Acacia is the symbol, although he has departed our midst, his
good works will thrive and benefit mankind.
American Army Lodges in the World War
Sea and Field Lodge No. 4, Overseas, at Marseilles, France
BRO. CHARLES F. IRWIN, Associate Editor
CAREFUL study of the map of France is necessary to the Masonic student of the
World War who would have any understanding of the intricate problems forced
upon the Allies by the immense frontage on which they faced the enemy, the
enormous tonnage of munitions, supplies of food and equipment, and the
transportation of troops, with the consequent overcrowding of all the
available ports with the ever-increasing thousands of men not only from
America, but also from Africa, South America and the East. Every point in the
social register was touched in this mad, this titanic activity.
The entrance doors to France were to the North, the West and the South. Those
to the North, such as Cherbourg and Le Havre, Boulogne and Calais, must be
kept open in the main for the movement of the British troops and supplies;
while Marseilles to the South was required for the movement of troops from the
Mediterranean and Africa.
This left the three main western gateways for the unrestricted entry of the
American troops and supplies, namely, Brest, St. Nazaire and Bordeaux.
However, Le Havre and Marseilles were also utilized for the handling of
American men and materials.
The Overseas Masonic Mission with Justice Scudder at its head, made a thorough
survey of the situation from a Masonic standpoint. A careful study of their
movements deepens our admiration for their grasp on the strategic values of
the situation. And the indications are plain that their attention was very
early attracted to the need and opportunity for Masonic work in these ports of
entry and departure. Thousands of the Craft had been constantly coming and
going through these gateways and many more were stationary in the permanent
staff of these bases.
The reports which the Mission submitted to the Grand Lodge of New York in 1920
indicates clearly that Marseilles came under their observation very soon after
they established headquarters in Paris. The story of the Masonic activities in
Marseilles is set down also in several accounts rendered by W. Bro. Charles T.
Arreghi, Master of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 4, Overseas, situated at
March 12, 1919, Bros. Thomas Channing Moore and Merwin W. Lay, of the Overseas
Mission, proceeded to Marseilles and got into touch with the active Masons at
that base. They found a Masonic Club which was attempting to hold the interest
of the members of the Craft sojourning there. Their stay in Marseilles was
long enough to enable them to visit the several camps outside the city and to
observe the conditions, social, military and fraternal. On their return to
Paris they made an exhaustive report to the full Mission, as a result of which
it was decided to investigate still further the situation in that base.
Consequently Bro. W. C. Prime proceeded to Marseilles, where he went over the
whole situation with a view to the placing of one of the Warrants therein.
Bro. Prime arrived at Marseilles on April 9, 1919, a n d eventually delivered
into the hands of Bro. Charles M. Conant, the Y. M. C. A. Secretary there, the
warrant for SEA AND FIELD LODGE, No. 4, Overseas. Turning now to the report
of Bro. Townsend Scudder in the 1920 Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of New
York (page 193), we read:
The Cathedral and Fort St. Jean across the harbor.
instituted Sea and Field Lodge, No. 4, at Marseilles, with Wor. Chas. T.
Arreghi, of New York, as Wor. Master- which sat 21 times at the Temple of the
Grand Orient, 24 Rue Piscatoris, and conferred the degrees on 142 candidates,
which included 5 accommodated by courtesy for other Lodges. Its first session
was April 16th, 1919, and its last June 4, 1919.
* * * * * * * * *
have before me several accounts of the forming and operation of this Lodge.
Some of them are from the pen of Wor. Bro. Arreghi. The earliest is a clipping
from the Masonic Standard of May 5, 1919. It is entitled "Sea and Field Lodge,
No. 4." Another was published in THE BUILDER for May, 1920. This was
reproduced verbatim in the History of Masonry in the World War compiled by my
very dear friend and brother, Alexander P. Anderson, of Brooklyn, New York.
Bro. Anderson, by the way, was the originator and active directing personality
in the "Granite Club" aboard the U.S.S. New Hampshire, during the War. This
Club has a most interesting record and furnished Masons en route to and from
France with Masonic entertainment. We owe much of our collection of data to
Bro. Anderson's cooperation. Bro. Jesse R. Ayer, of Michigan, who served as
one of the officers in this Lodge, provided us (through the kindness of Bro.
James G. Frey, Editor of The American Tyler- Keystone) with a very valuable
account of this Lodge, in which he served as Junior Warden.
Before giving these original accounts I wish to remind the Masonic reader of
the conditions prevailing in this seaport, Marseilles. The picture is a dark
one. But we must remember that all seaports contain sinister elements and
Marseilles was overcrowded to exhaustion during the World War and much
transpired there during the war which could not exist in times of peace. It is
only just to our French Allies to keep in mind that her manpower was drained
almost to the vanishing point, and that consequently she had to utilize her
older men, and often inferior material, to police the sections far from the
battle front. This condition impressed itself more and more upon us as we came
into contact with various sections of her country during the struggle.
the Masonic Standard for May 31, 1919, appears a communication from W. Bro.
Chas. T. Arreghi, P. M. of Howard Lodge 35, to W. Bro. Harold W. Stimpson,
from which the following is taken:
Marseilles, France, April 22. Sea and Field Lodge, No. 4, of Marseilles, had
its first real meeting last night, and it was a complete success.
Notwithstanding the great variations of ritual among the offers, everything
went off like clockwork and the ceremonies were dignified and impressive. You
can understand what variations would exist, as I in the East hailed from New
York, the Senior Warden from California, Junior Warden from Michigan, Senior
Deacon from Texas, Junior Deacon from Kansas, and Senior Master of Ceremonies
from Texas. Forty-five members were elected and 35 of them were initiated in
were up against it for furnishings, but army efficiency overcame the
difficulties. The Aprons were made by the Salvage Corps women- the Square and
Compasses by one of our mechanics who fashioned them out of iron- for an Altar
we used a triangular shaped desk, and the Master wore as his Jewel the Past
Master's medallion donated him by Howard Lodge (35, NY). The candidates were
received in bunches of ten, nine and seven.
One incident would have tickled the risibilities of Howard members. Le Grand
Venerable Monsieur Mognier was received by me in the East. He is the head of
the 30, 31, 32 and 33 (degrees) Masons here and a most important Masonic
official. I greeted him after an introduction by the Senior Warden, Bro.
Conant, and thanked him for all the courtesies we had received from our French
brothers. Then I ordered the Grand Honors and presented him with the gavel. He
responded through an interpreter stating how delighted the French Masons were
to extend to their American Brothers what hospitality they could offer and
assured us of their highest esteem. Then, much to my embarrassment he embraced
me before all the Lodge, and kissed me four times on the cheeks. To the credit
of the Lodge, be it said, they viewed this demonstration with proper decorum.
The room was well filled, there being, beside the seven charter members, about
60 visiting American Brothers and 15 French Brothers, which made a total of
117. We now have over $500.00 in the treasury; so we are quite prosperous and
contemplate giving the French Brothers a dinner later on as a mark of
the article in THE BUILDER already mentioned, Bro. Arreghi gives a more
expanded account which is here reproduced to make the present series complete:
"One day in November, 1918, in the ancient, dirty and over- populated city of
Marseilles, France, four Americans were in the Officers' Mess Room in the
buildings facing the Place Victor Hugo, which formerly was the home of the
Faculte des Sciences, and later used as barracks for French-Algerian troops,
and at that time being used as Base Headquarters of Section No. 6, A.E.F.
"The four Americans were known to each other as Master Masons and consisted
of Major Charles T. Arreghi, a Past Master of Howard Lodge, No. 35, New York;
the Y.M.C.A. Secretary of the Section, Charles M. Conant, of Amicable Lodge,
Cambridge, Mass.; Major Basil G. Squier, of Manila Lodge, No. 1, Manila, P.
I., and Capt. Alex. H. Fairchild, of McAllen Lodge, No. 1110, McAllen, Texas.
The conversation had turned on the subject of instituting Masonic activities
in Marseilles a growing demand for such an undertaking having become
noticeable. Bro. Arreghi stated he had written to his home Lodge inquiring as
to the possibility of securing a charter from the Grand Lodge of New York
State and had received a reply informing him that efforts were being made to
comply with his request and also that a Masonic Commission was endeavoring to
secure permission to come overseas for the purpose of starting Masonic
"This meeting led to further informal meetings and talks by the four brothers,
to which were invited other enthusiastic Masons. Bro. Conant then conceived
the idea of a Masonic Club, and working along these lines got in touch with
local French Masons who most generously offered the use of the French Masonic
Temple at 24 rue Piseatoris, which had housed several ancient French Lodges,
some for a continuous period of seventy-five years. The French Lodges whose
home was here were "Parfaite Sincerite", founded in 1767; "Reunion des Amis
Choises", 1801; "Phare de la Renaissance", 1859; "Parfaite Union", 1863; "Verite-Reforme",
1875; "Amis du Travail", 1882. The years stated are the years in which these
Lodges were founded as Free and Accepted Masons, but most of them were
outgrowths of more ancient Operative Masonic Societies and direct descendants
of such. This building was admirably situated for the new Club, being
convenient to all sections of the city where the Americans were stationed. Rue
Piscatoris is a very narrow, winding street, reached from Cours Lita Litand,
one of the main thoroughfares, by a series of stone stairs of varying steps,
the ascent of which reminded the brothers of their progress in the Second
Degree to the famous Middle Chamber.
"Arriving at the door of Number 24, one mounted another stone stairs which
brought him to an open courtyard furnished with tables and chairs, and which
became a most popular rendezvous where the brothers could sit warm evenings,
converse and indulge in light refreshments.
"To the right of the courtyard was a door entering into the building proper,
opening which one found himself in a comfortable sized room, also equipped
with tables and chairs which was used by the French brethren for social
purposes. The walls bore many bulletin boards of the various lodges, Masonic
pictures, portraits and devices. At one end of the room was a small stage and
piano. To the left of this stage was an anteroom that led to the lodge room.
"It was in the banquet hall, as the first described room was known, there was
held on the evening of Thanksgiving Day, 1918, the first meeting of the 'A.E.F.
Masonic Club of Marseilles', with Bro. Charles M. Conant as President and
Treasurer, and Bro. Fred. G. Redwine as Secretary. Anyone who could prove
either by examination or the presentation of membership cards or certificate
that he was a Mason, was eligible for admission and at this first meeting
there were about 150 American Masons present. A subscription was taken up for
the purposes of entertainment and the evening was most pleasantly passed in
this 'get-together' meeting. Refreshments in the shape of sandwiches and
coffee were procured from the Base Commissary, supplemented by various light
beverages procured from the French brothers charged with the care of the
"This meeting was but the first of a series of such gatherings. The room was
available for use by the Americans three times a week, and every Wednesday
night an entertainment or dance was given, the talent for the entertainments
being furnished by Bro. Conant, from the various Y.M.C.A. entertainers that
happened to be in town at the time. The club was a success from the start. The
meetings were well patronized by American Masons and on entertainment nights
the room was usually packed to the doors.
"Many Americans, brought to these entertainments by their Masonic friends,
witnessing the good-fellowship and perfect harmony existing, became interested
and the demand for a chartered Lodge grew stronger and stronger. Bro. Arreghi
in the meanwhile had been corresponding with brothers in the States in an
endeavor to secure the necessary authority to confer degrees, but delays in
postal transit prevented a speedy accomplishment of his request. Finally not
until March, 1919, he received a letter from R.W.T. Channing Moore, who
informed him that he, together with M. W. Townsend Scudder, Past Grand Master
of the State of New York, as Chairman; R.W.W.C. Prime; R. W. George S.
Goodrich and R. W. Merwin W. Lay, were in Paris, having come from the United
States under the auspices of the Y.M.C.A., as a Masonic Commission to
investigate conditions and further the Masonic work in the A.E.F. A few days
later, Bro. Moore and Bro. Goodrich arrived in Marseilles and were presented
to the Club, whom they informed that a Dispensation would be granted for a
Lodge in Marseilles. This good news was joyfully received and it seemed as
though the ambition of the brothers in Marseilles would be realized.
"But alas, the inevitable flies appeared in the ointment, for two weeks later
Bro. Prime arrived with the Dispensation. He was also the bearer of the news
that the Dispensation could only be used under prewar restrictions; that only
classes of not more than five could be initiated, passed and raised at a time;
that two weeks must elapse between degrees; and that candidates hailing from
homes outside of the States of New York, Massachusetts and Oregon would have
to receive the consent of their home jurisdictions before degrees could be
conferred upon them. This in view of the fact that it was probable that the
Base would be evacuated by the American Forces in two or three months meant
that only a few candidates could be accepted, and after a conference between
Bros. Prime, Arreghi, Conant and Hood, it was decided with deep regret not to
accept the Dispensation.
"Bro. Prime returned to Paris with the document, but the disappointment as
voiced throughout the American Forces was so intense that Bro. Conant made a
hurried trip to Paris, and after an interview with Bro. Scudder, in which the
situation was explained to him, all the objectionable restrictions were
eliminated, and Bro. Conant returned in triumph to Marseilles, the proud
bearer of the Dispensation.
"No delay was made in calling a meeting of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 4, and it
was held in the Lodge Room of the Masonic Temple, on the evening of April 16,
1919 the Charter Members being:
M. Charles T. Arreghi, of New York
S.W. Charles M. Conant, of Massachusetts
J.W. Bishop E. Shirey, of Pennsylvania;
Treas. Clarence E. Mayo, of Oklahoma;
Secy. William F. Hood, of Wisconsin
S.D. John Bonner, of Texas
J.D. Carrol E. Griffin, of Montana.
"In addition to the above-mentioned officers, the Worshipful Master appointed
S.M.C. Alex. H. Fairchild, of Texas;
J.M.C. Jesse R. Ayer, of Michigan
S.S. Hiram Jennings, of California
J.S. John C. Fletcher, of North Carolina
Tiler Allison Webb, of Ohio.
"This first meeting was devoted to organizing and installing the various
officers. On account of the temporary nature of the Lodge, the Initiation Fee
was fixed at the minimum, $20.00 with no dues, as the expenses being light, no
rent to be paid, etc., it was not desired to make the initiation burdensome on
the applicants, many of whom were dependent on their meagre army pay. It was
ruled by the Master that in as much as service abroad deprived a man of his
franchise as a voter, he therefore temporarily was without United States
residence and could justly claim his station as his residence and that
applications would be based on these premises.
"It was decided that the seven charter members would constitute an examining
committee to pass on applicants and that the applicant should be judged as to
fitness for membership from personal examination, his army record and the
testimony of his comrades. On account of the various jurisdictions from which
the officers of the Lodge hailed and the variation in ritual, it necessitated,
as the Lodge was operating under a New York Dispensation, that they conform to
the work standard in New York State. This caused a little raggedness in the
rendition of the ritual at first but the rough spots were soon ironed out by
"Paraphernalia was loaned by the French but owing to the absence of an Altar,
one had to be improvised out of a desk belonging to one of the minor French
officers. The Bible was furnished by the Y.M.C.A. and the Square and Compasses
hand-hammered out of steel by Bro. Bonner. The Aprons were made by the
seamstresses of the Base Salvage Repair Shop and the Costumes of the Initiates
were obtained from the same sources.
"Thirty-one applications for Initiation were acted upon, all having been
thoroughly investigated; also forty (40) applications for affiliation.
Affiliation in Sea and Field Lodge, No. 4, being only temporary it did not
affect the status of the affiliate in his home Lodge.
"The second meeting, at which the first degree work was performed, was held on
April 21, with the Wor. Master Charles T. Arreghi in the East and all the
officers at their respective stations. Shortly after the opening it was
announced that the Venerable Grand Maitre Aime Mognier, 33, and head of all
the Masonic activities of southern France, sought admittance. He was received,
together with a delegation consisting of Masters of the local Lodges, by the
Master who made an address of welcome in French, necessarily short as he was
not exactly a fluent speaker of that language. Bro. Mognier responded,
translated as follows:
is indeed a pleasure and an honor for me to be present at the first meeting of
the American Lodge, No. 4, Sea and Field. As a member of the Council of the
Grand Orient, of France, and as Worshipful Master of a Lodge of the Orient at
Marseilles I assure you, my dear brethren of our entire fraternal affection.
As we declared to you on the occasion of your first visit and reception at the
solemn meeting of the French Rite, it is with all our hearts that we offer you
in its entirety the halls of the Masonic Lodges of the Grand Orient of France.
In the name of the Grand Orient of France I salute your Worshipful Master your
Worthy Officers, and you, my brethren. Our affection for America is already of
long standing and today since this frightful war has permitted you to know us
better, we hope that sentiments of a new and great reciprocal affection will
be established between us and that our relations will be of intimate
friendliness. To the glory of our Masonic ancestors, American and French, our
heart is with you.
"At the conclusion of his remarks, Bro. Mognier embraced the Master and
saluted him with a kiss on each cheek, in due French form, which rather
unexpected honor was bravely borne by the embarrassed Master. After the Grand
Honors were given the distinguished visitors were seated in the East and the
meeting was continued.
"During the work, 35 candidates were initiated in full form. For the first
section they were disposed of in batches of ten, nine, nine and seven. The
second section was performed on one only, the others being seated west of the
Altar where they could benefit by the instruction.
"Notwithstanding the unfamiliarity of some of the officers with the standard
New York work, the degree was presented in a dignified and impressive manner,
the trifling irregularities in ritual which existed proving to be no
impediment to the effective performance of the ceremonies. At this meeting
there were present the seven charter members, fifty brethren who had all been
duly examined and vouched for, thirty-five candidates, and fourteen visiting
French brothers, a total of 106. Receipts for the evening were $550.00, quite
a fair start financially for the infant Lodge. After the meeting all adjourned
to the banquet room, where a supper of sandwiches, cheese and coffee was
furnished and the balance of the evening was passed in social intercourse.
"Up to and including the last meeting on June 4, there were 21 stated
communications and three special meetings. June 4 was the last meeting, as
Bro. Arreghi was to sail for the United States on June 7 and the Dispensation
had been granted with the understanding that the Charter would lapse with his
withdrawal from Marseilles; also the city was being evacuated as an American
Base. Before closing the Lodge sine die, a contribution of 2000 francs to the
French Masonic Building Fund was made as part recognition of their great
hospitality and use of their Temple free of rent. An artistic and appropriate
memorial done by one of the local artists was framed and also presented to the
"Notwithstanding these expenses, the cost of several entertainments, the usual
expenses of a Lodge for printing, etc., and the small fee charged for
membership, there was finally at the close of the Lodge, turned over to the
Grand Lodge of New York, in addition to the percentage of fees due the Grand
Lodge, the sum of $678.00 to be added to the Charity Fund, or to be devoted to
such other purposes as the Grand Master saw fit.
"The net results as to the activities of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 4, in
respect to creating Masons were that 137 candidates were initiated, passed and
raised; 5 candidates were passed and raised for other Lodges and 140 brethren
temporarily affiliated, which with the original charter members of seven, made
a total of 289 members after an existence of exactly seven weeks. Materially,
it is evident that the Lodge prospered. Morally and spiritually it is also
evident that the Lodge was an instrument of great good. Marseilles even in
peace times has an atmosphere not tending toward right living, which was
greatly magnified by wartime conditions. The city was congested, its normal
population of 500,000 being more than doubled by the great influx of troops
from all parts of the globe French and British Colonials, black and white,
Asiatics, Brazilians, Americans, swarms of refugees from the devastated parts
of France, and riffraff from Paris, the shores of the Mediterranean, Spain and
Italy. It made the city a veritable rabbit warren of things unclean in person
and mind, where vice of the most loathsome kind and crime of all varieties
flourished and human life, let alone morals, wasn't worth a sou.
"In this plague-spot of rotton and noisome influences, Sea and Field Lodge,
No. 4, proved a haven of cleaned wholesome character, where Masons and their
friends could meet in pleasant surroundings and be free from the degrading and
revolting influences of the city. In that Lodge Room, as Masons they met and
conversed and as many testified it was the nearest approach to 'home' that
they had encountered since their arrival on those alien shores. Here it was
that they all met on that common level of true Masonic democracy where the
humblest private could talk as man to man to his colonel without the
restrictions of military regulation, and in this way better understanding and
closer relations were established. The Lodge exerted a wholesome effect on the
entire American establishment in that section, and operating as it did in
those weary, homesick days existing between the Armistice and the actual
return home, it proved a steadying and uplifting influence to a sagging
Bro. Jesse R. Ayer, in a letter written in the fall of 1928, had this to say
about this Lodge:
Transferred to Marseilles, I soon found that the Grand Lodge of the State of
New York had issued a dispensation for forming "Sea and Field Lodge, No. 4, U.
D." and was welcomed with open arms. The original Junior Warden was from
Pennsylvania, but he became doubtful of the attitude of his own Grand Lodge,
especially when he found New York had granted a dispensation allowing the
exchange of fraternal courtesies with the Grand Orient of France for the time
being. The Master of No. 4 asked me to fill the chair (of J. W.), and it
resulted in some of the pleasantest hours I spent in France. Faced by the
differences in state rituals, we were a little discouraged as the Master was a
P. M. of New York; the S.W. from Los Angeles; the J.W. (myself) from Michigan,
and the S. D. from Texas. Experience on the Visitors' Committee at home
induced me to advise the W. M. to start the First Degree, and the subordinate
officers had an answer for every question but two, through to the end of the
Third. Their words were not always just what the W. M. expected but they were
good Masonry, and it worked. And when I quoted the Michigan Apron Lecture, and
the Secretary (Wisconsin) vouched for it, we were directed that thereafter the
Junior Warden or the Secretary would always present the Apron! We met three
times a week with an attendance of from 50 to 200 and the visitors. More than
once I have seen tears in the eyes of men who had not as they said been "so
close to home" in months, or in years.
met in the French Temple half way up the rue Piscatoris and the French
brothers were all that could be fraternal. But on one memorable night the
French Tyler was gone, had taken the key, and two Great Lights were missing.
We were a bit beyond the two half- opened knives used at Is-sur-Tille, but I
had in my pocket the embossed match safe I carried away from the dance at St.
Nazaire. It was the work of a moment to pry off the embossing, and voila! -
the work was on ! Three (I think) Entered Apprentices were admitted that night
and proved good Craftsmen.
Our officers' jewels were made to represent an army officers' identification
bracelet, gold plated and inscribed, and I have mine yet. And I still have and
cherish my NE VARIETUR, issued by Sea and Field Lodge, No. 4, U. D.,
The latest reference to this lodge that I have found is the report of the
Master, W. Bro. Arreghi, to the Overseas Masonic Mission, which is included in
the report of the latter already referred to in the Proceedings of the Grand
Lodge of New York for 1920. Bro. Arreghi stated that "the Warrant and all the
records had been surrendered to the Grand Secretary, the regular annual report
required of lodges duly made, and dues paid up on one hundred and thirty-seven
members. The surplus in the treasury had been turned over to the War Relief
Fund. The same procedure was followed in respect to the remaining members as
in the other Overseas Lodges, the members were transferred to Sea and Field
Lodge, No. 1, to the number of ninety-two, forty-six having dimitted previous
The following is a copy of the Dispensation under which Sea and Field Lodge,
No. 4, Marseilles, France, worked:
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, Charles T. Arreghi, New York, to be the Master, our Worthy
Brother, Charles M. Conant, Mass., to be the S. W. Our Worthy Brother, Jesse
R. Ayer, Michigan, to be our J. W., our Worthy Brother, Clarence E. Mayo,
Oklahoma, to be our Treas., our Worthy Brother, William F. Hood, Wisconsin, to
be our Secy., our Worthy Brother, John Bonner, Texas, to be our S. D., our
Worthy Brother Carrol E. Griffith, Montana, to be our J. D., of a Sea and
Field Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, to be by virtue hereof, constituted,
formed and held at Marseilles, France, and elsewhere overseas as may be
convenient and necessary, which Lodge shall be distinguished and known by the
name and style of Sea and Field Lodge, No. 4, overseas.
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 as may be necessary and
requisite, subject to my approval and subject as hereinafter set forth.
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 of Ancient Craft Masonry or any or either thereof upon
candidates who have actually enlisted or been drafted or commissioned officers
in the United States Forces in the present great war, on payment of Twenty
Dollars- conforming in all respects and at all times to the provisions of the
Book of Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of the State of New York and to the
standard ritual prescribed thereby, 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 nowise 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 14th day of December, in the year of our Lord, One
thousand nine hundred and eighteen, and in the year of Masonry, Five thousand
nine hundred and eighteen.
William S. Farmer, Grand Master.
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
DAVID E.W. WILLIAMSON, Nevada
seems to be busy among Masonic scholars. Last month we had to announce the
decease of Bros. J. Walter Hobbs and Bascom Clark; this month it is Bro. R. J.
the request of the editor, Bro. E. E. Murray, a close friend of Bro. Lemert,
has prepared a brief account of his life and work, which will be found on
another page. We may add here the details of his Masonic connections, for
which we are also indebted to Bro. Murray.
Lemert was a Past Master of King Solomon Lodge, No. 9, of Helena, Mont. He was
a member of Helena Chapter, No. 2, R.A.M. He had twice served as Thrice
Illustrious Master of Helena Council, No. I, Royal and Select Masters. He was
a charter member of Helena Consistory, No. 3, A.&A.S.R., and was the first
Wise Master of Helena Chapter of Rose Croix. He had received the Thirty-third
and last degree of the A.&A.S.R. He was also Recorder of Algeria Temple,
A.A.O.N.M.S., and was a member of Miriam Chapter, O.E.S., both of Helena,
number of years ago he took over the Montana Mason, which he made one of the
small group of really worth while Masonic journals in America. This task was
undertaken in addition to the carrying on of his professional work.
possible that in some quarters Bro. Lemert's ability was underestimated on
account of his interest in what is loosely known as "occultism." This has
often been the fate of men who went against the fashionable line of thought of
their day. But whatever judgment may be passed on this point, it is certain
that American Masonry has lost a great student, a keen thinker and an able and
incisive writer. A loss that it can ill afford to sustain.
* * *
who are not actively engaged in the effort to promote Masonic education find
it hard to understand many of the problems which must be faced. There is no
denying, for example, of the fact that the forty-nine Grand Lodges in the
United States are extremely jealous of their own traditions and laws. No one
of them but has its own particular fetish of ritual. They do not criticise too
severely the differences in ritual that are known to exist, but they do
tacitly adopt the stand that the ritual as practiced in their own jurisdiction
is the one and only authentic one, and that the others in so far as they
differ from this, contain innovations which should not be adopted. In a
national sense, therefore, it is a problem of how to treat matters of ritual
so that no one will be disgruntled. Another thing exceedingly hard to
counteract is the mass of fallacies which has been foisted upon the Masonic
public by so many writers and speakers. Unfortunately such misinformation is
to be found in the pages of many Masonic books regarded as authoritative. The
great mass of people are inclined to accept the words which appear on the
printed page as gospel. Our method of counteracting this situation is to quote
several conflicting points of view and depend upon the individual's sense of
proportion to decide which is the correct one. We endeavor to lead him into
the right path, and to teach him how to avoid the pitfalls of misinformation
by furnishing only such material as has some foundation in fact. Teaching, in
this way, to weigh evidence before reaching conclusions is the only method by
which we can discount the dogmatic assertions of would-be prophets with more
self-confidence than knowledge. But the most difficult thing of all is to
overcome the apathy of the Masonic public in general. The great numbers do not
seem to have any interest in getting at the root of a problem but are willing
to take anything that is said as truth.
of us who are interested in the promulgation of Masonic truth are frequently
confronted with the same type of insidious persecution that has been, and is,
prevalent in ecclesiastical and even academic circles. It is taken for granted
in any sort of scientific work that the research student is about "ten jumps"
ahead of public opinion. How true that is may be illustrated by an occurrence
of nearly a century ago. A few years after the opening of the Baltimore & Ohio
Railroad a group of school children in Ohio chose as a subject for debate the
following proposition: "Resolved, that the railroad is a more practicable
means of transportation than the rivers." The authorities forbad the
discussion on the grounds that it was sacrilegious to make comparisons between
the work of God and the work of man. Apparently it did not once occur to these
ardent religionists that there was another point of view entirely compatible
with their religious tendencies, and that was to the effect that the railroad
was the work of God through his instrument, man. That the whole thing was
utterly foolish will be granted by every thinking person today.
same mild form of insanity is being foisted upon the Masonic public today. It
frequently happens that an effort is made to define that portion of the
Masonic ritual which demands a belief in God. A Liberal cites his views, and
that of people of similar bent. Some Conservative immediately wants him thrown
out of the Order. The writer has had such an experience. If called upon to
defend his position he, as a Liberal, would base his defense upon the premise
that each Mason is entitled to worship God according to his own opinion and
belief. There is another thing which should have some weight, and that is the
old regulation which encouraged Masons to adopt the religion of the country in
which they were working. Deep under the surface the question is resolved into
a plea for tolerance. There is no reason for one Mason to make an effort to
thrust his views upon another. To return to the educational significance of
the thing - Masonic educators who hold to the liberal views are liable to find
themselves opposed by the conservatives. The argument simmers down, in the
last analysis, to the question of Masonic law. The scholar who is in a much
better position to know the legal phases of the matter is often worsted in
argument, but not because he is wrong, but that he prefers to accede to some
petty demand in order not to sacrifice a higher ideal.
pertinent illustration of what is meant is to be found in the recent action of
the Board of Curators of the University of Missouri in suspending from its
faculty Dr. Max F. Meyer and in summarily dismissing Dr. H.O. DeGraff (who
incidentally is a member of the Fraternity) and a student assistant in
Psychology. The cause of this action was the circulation of a questionnaire
designed to furnish the material for a research paper for a class taught by
Dr. DeGraff. Some of the questions were of an intimate character and dealt
with relations between the sexes. It must be understood that the
questionnaires were to be anonymously answered, that there was no compulsion
to answer, and that the preface left ample room for any sort of an answer the
recipient chose to give. Twenty-five years ago such a questionnaire circulated
among young people would have been thought impertinent and perhaps even
insulting. The young people of today would not consider it so. Persons who
were young at the opening of the present century are considering the matter in
the same light as they would have considered it during their younger days.
They have not kept up with the changing atmosphere of thought. It is
unfortunate that men of this calibre should sit in judgment in such a case;
that they did, is amply shown by the action of the board.
may be asked, what has this to do with Masonic education? Simply this; we have
just as many men sitting in judgment on Masonic scholars, whose thinking is
centered in the past as we have in profane education. They do not know, or
perhaps do not want to know, that the world has moved; that much water has
gone under bridges; and that much evidence is now available which had not been
unearthed when the authorities on whom they depend were active. Views of
Masonic history are much changed, we now have facts where only speculation
existed before. Why such a lack of progressive thinking should exist is hard
to explain, but there is no denying its reality and there is no denying its
hampering influence on Masonic scholarship.
conservation of truth, and the propagation of that truth, is one of the
sublimes" objects of Freemasonry. The love of tradition is so strong in
Masonic circles that a custom once thought to have a foundation in fact
remains a fetish regardless of how thoroughly scholars have proven its
falsity. When a Masonic student mentions one of these fetishes as a falsity,
he is heretical and should be expelled from the Order. We hold to the
desirability of truth and we plead for the acceptance of it, but like the
scientist or the religionist, if Masonic scholars step ahead of Masonic public
opinion they are, if not persecuted, condemned and burned at the stake, at
least denounced as innovators, destroyers of tradition, and as unfit for
association with their brethren. Such may be the situation in spite of the
fact that the scholar is making a serious effort to replace a modern
innovation by a really ancient custom or usage, and much more in accord with
Masonic scholars may practice to the utmost three of the cardinal virtues.
They must, or should be temperate in their views; prudent in accepting
evidence. They must practice fortitude when they see their theses scorned by
those ignorant of the facts; but they must beg for justice from those who hear
what they have to say.
ONLY TWO WAYS TO WRITE A STORY. By John Gallishaw. Published by G. P. Putnam's
Sons. Cloth, Table of Contents, vii, 486 pages. 6 x 2 x 9 1/2 inches. Price
Gallishaw has trained, examined and compared short story writers for over ten
years. The result of this laboratory work is Mr. Gallishaw's assertion: "There
are only two ways to write a story."
book follows the case method of teaching that has been found so fruitful in
the study of law. The text includes stories by some of the best writers of the
day. Aside from its value as a text for those learning to write it is
interesting reading for the case content.
THE BUILDER MAY 1929
Why Are You a Mason?
BRO. HERBERT HUNGERFORD
Personal Challenge From the Campaign Manager of the Masonic Study Club
Movement to Every Brother Who Really Relieves in Practicing the Art of
YOU might regard this as sort of an inaugural address in appreciation of my
appointment as Campaign Manager of the Masonic Study Club Movement and
chairman of the Masonic Study Club Forum of THE BUILDER. At any rate, you may
rest assured that, after this opening address, it is my intention to devote
most of the space allotted to this department to contributions from those who
may offer ideas, suggestions and experiences for the practical advancement of
Masonic education through Study Clubs.
is fitting and proper, however, that I should, in accepting the responsibility
of leadership in such an important endeavor, make some statement of my
personal views as to the purpose, plans and possible programs of the work in
which we are mutually engaging.
Even as I accept this appointment as a personal challenge for me to employ my
abilities and experience on behalf of the betterment of Freemasonry through
the encouragement and extension of Masonic education, so I am passing along to
you the challenge of this service as your individual opportunity to do your
bit in furthering the Masonic Study Club Movement.
putting up to you personally the question, Why are you a Mason? I do not wish
to be considered impertinent, but simply desirous of bringing this matter to
you as a personal responsibility. Your reasons for joining the Masonic
Fraternity, probably, will determine your attitude towards the Craft.
WHY EVERY MASON SHOULD STUDY MASONRY
question might have been put even more bluntly by asking, What kind of a Mason
are you ? or, I might have toned it down more politely by inquiring, What does
your Masonry mean to you? But, all I am driving at is to stimulate a little
self-inquiry on your part as to whether and to what extent you really believe
in personally practicing the art of Freemasonry.
your Masonry means something more than a passing impulse or fancy on your
part, you certainly must be interested in any endeavor which promises to aid
you "to improve yourself in Masonry."
Without reservations, I claim that the Masonic Study Club Movement affords
every member of the Craft who sincerely desires to improve himself in Masonry
one of the most certain and fruitful means of individual improvement and
general Masonic advancement.
You are well aware of the fact that, in order to become a Mason, you were
obliged to study to prepare yourself for the initiatory rites of the order. If
you observed those rites carefully, you must also be aware of the fact that it
was by no means the intention of the founders of the Fraternity that your
study of the purposes and principles of the Order should cease as soon as you
were admitted to the inner fold. On the contrary, since nearly every
admonition you received during your advancement through the Degrees of Masonry
impressed the fact that you were engaging yourself into an art to be
practiced, you surely could not overlook the direct implication that this must
mean that your Masonic study ought to be continued even more diligently after
you assumed the obligations and responsibilities of membership in the Craft.
However, I would not have you consider your relations to the Masonic Study
Club Movement merely from the standpoint of your personal obligation or
responsibility. Rather, I would have you regard the opportunity you are
offered of organizing, acting as leader, or simply enrolling as a member of a
Masonic Study Club as one of the choicest privileges that you may possibly
gain from your membership in our great Fraternity. PLEASURE AND PROFIT TO BE
really appreciate Freemasonry, you should supplement the knowledge you gain
through its impressive ceremonials by some study of the origin and development
of these ceremonials and their symbolic meaning. Likewise, to gain a clear
conception of what Freemasonry stands for and how it is related to all the
problems of life, you should study something of the great historical
background and the inspiring achievements that Masonry has made during its
long and honorable career.
The consensus of opinion among thoughtful observers is that character,
influence and happiness which, when properly combined, constitute the best
achievement of success in life, can be gained only through the discovery and
development of a personal philosophy of life. To build character, wield
influence and enjoy happiness you must develop a fairly clear conception of
the meaning of life and your relations to your world.
mention this in order that I may offer personal testimony to the fact that,
through my study of Freemasonry, I have discovered and developed a most
inspiring and soul-satisfying philosophy. Also, I may add that a number of
other brethren with whom I have discussed these intimate matters, have told me
that their Masonic studies have brought to them an understanding of life's
real values and meanings similar to those I have discovered. Accordingly, I
would recommend this as one of the highest personal benefits to be derived
from your Masonic Study Club.
MASONIC STUDY IN ANTIQUITY
You understand, of course, that we are proposing nothing new or unique in
advising that every Mason should belong to a Study Club. Among our ancient
brethren, the study of the principles and the formulation of the practices of
Freemasonry, doubtless, was a fairly universal activity of the Craft.
Likewise, there have been groups of Freemasons since time immemorial who have
met together regularly or occasionally to study the teachings of the Order.
One of the principal objectives for which the National Masonic Research
Society was chartered fifteen years ago was the promotion of Masonic education
and the encouragement of Masonic Study Clubs. During ail these years, this
particular endeavor of the N.M.R.S. has been carried forward with steadily
increasing success. Each year there has been a greater advance in the number
of Study Clubs as well as marked improvement in the programs of these clubs.
accepting this appointment to help organize and conduct a campaign for the
further extension of this Study Club Movement, let me sincerely acknowledge my
personal gratitude for the excellent foundations that have been so firmly
established as well as for the good work that already has been accomplished.
Let me frankly confess that my chief qualifications for undertaking the
direction of this campaign is my keen enthusiasm for the work that is already
being done. Possibly, another qualification may be the fact that my natural
disposition is that of a "booster," although some of our high-brow brethren
may not regard this admission with much favor.
iron-clad rules and regulations and no cut-and-dried formulas are required in
forming and conducting a Masonic Study Club. Of course, all new Clubs may
wisely profit by the experience of their predecessors, but there is the widest
possible latitude in the plans of organization as well as in the programs.
Some of the most successful clubs are conducted with the least possible
formality, while others equally successful adopt regular rules of government,
elect regular officers, and conduct all activities in accordance with regular
schedules and carefully planned programs.
The N.M.R.S. stands ready and is duly prepared to aid all types and classes of
Masonic Study Clubs having really serious aims. The size of the club is of far
less import than the earnestness of its intentions.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Finally, brethren, if you believe in the importance and value of Masonic
study, let me earnestly appeal for your cooperation and support in this
undertaking. I am not outlining any particular plans or procedure and my only
policy, as the director of this campaign, will be sincere effort to give all
possible encouragement to everyone who feels in any way inclined to
participate in the project; also to give fair consideration and due credit for
every idea, suggestion or plan proposed by any interested brother.
am not a "desk hound," but spend most of my time out in the field, so I may
not always be able to answer my correspondents promptly. But, I assure you
that every letter containing a question, suggestion, criticism or comment of
any sort will, in due course of time, receive my careful attention and
personal, reply. Meantime, the boys in my office will promptly attend to all
requests for bulletins and data regarding the campaign and will promptly
forward your letters to me for my personal attention wherever I may be out in
hope, therefore, that every brother who has a word to offer on this matter of
stimulating more widespread interest and encouraging the organization of more
Masonic Study Clubs, will respond to this Macedonian call. Address Herbert
Hungerford, Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Communicated by Bro. W. M. Brydon, Virginia.
1926 THE BUILDER published an article by M. W. Bro. Baird on John Penn, a
Signer of the Declaration of Independence, as one of his series on the
Memorials to Great Men Who Were Masons. In this it was said that the author
had not been able to secure a photograph of the monument to Bro. Penn.
Penn died at his home in Granville County, N. C., in 1788, and according to
Winfield he was buried near Island Creek. The same authority states that in
1874 his remains were exhumed and removed to Guilford Court House, N. C., and
there re-interred, and a monument erected to his memory which is shown in the
accompanying illustration. This monument stands at the side of the road which
goes through Guilford Battle Grounds, between the two entrances to the
Grounds. The following is the inscription upon the bronze plaque built into
the pediment. It consists, apparently, of an excerpt from the diary of John
William Hooper and John Penn
Delegates from North Carolina, 1776, to the Continental
Congress, and Signers of the Declaration of Independence.
remains were reinterred here 1894. Hewes' grave is lost.
the third signer.
Henry and Hooper were the orators of the Congress.
Adams' Private Diary, Vol. II, page 396.)
Baird was unable to find out anything very definite about Penn's Masonic
connections. Bro. William L. Boyden in his invaluable work, Masonic
Presidents, Vice-Presidents and Signers, has little more to say. He quotes the
1919 Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina in which it was that
"Colonel William L. Taylor, of Granville County, a zealous Mason, as his
father was before him, states that his father and Penn had attended lodges
together in North Carolina." As in so many other eases, we know indirectly,
but definitely, that individuals were members of the Craft, though no record
remains of where they were made or when.
number of John Penn's descendants still live at Guilford, one of them his
grandson and namesake, though not a Mason. This family of Penns so far as has
been discovered, had no connection with the better known Penns of
* * *
the April number, a very interesting scholarly article by Bro. C.H. Briggs,
Past Grand Master of Missouri, appears, that is too strongly tinged with
fundamentalism to be permitted to go unchallenged in a modernistic age.
the first place he states that each petitioner for the degrees, must declare a
"firm belief in the one living and true God." I think he has added somewhat to
the context of the belief required. That may be the law under the Grand Lodge
of Missouri, but it is certainly not in some other jurisdictions where a
simple belief in God is required. A definition of the God is not required,
fortunately, for the growth and welfare of the Craft.
viewpoint may be Unitarian, Trinitarian, Deistic, or Pantheistic and as Albert
Pike has well said in the Morals and Dogma, "No one Mason has the right to
measure for another the degree of veneration which shall feel for any God or
for the founder of any faith. We teach belief in no particular creed, as we
teach unbelief in none."
distinguished brother says that forty years ago a Freemason who had outgrown
his belief was expelled from a Masonic lodge. Possibly so in Missouri, of
forty years ago, but hardly so, even in that state now, tinged as it may be
with the obscurantism of the same nature which has rendered Tennessee,
Mississippi, and other states a laughing stock among intelligent people. so
far as their stand on evolution is concerned.
this token, such a distinguished brother as the late Luther Burbank, 33rd
degree, Honorary Member of the Southern Jurisdiction and for a long time
active in his lodge in California, would be condemned, and so would Thomas
Edison, so would have been the late Samuel Clements, "Mark Twain," and many
another distinguished brother who could not subscribe to the creed as set
forth by Bro. Briggs. All Freemasons profess belief in God confined to the
center of unity in "the one religion common to all mankind," that is, "the
religion of humanity."
is your religion? That of all wise men. What is the religion of wise men? Wise
men never tell. That may sum up the position as far as Freemasonry and its
attitude toward religion is concerned, leaving each to find for himself that
path which he judges would best serve him in preparation for the unknown.
Whether that unknown be a raising again to a newer form of activity for
service or whether that be simply one of the fond imaginations of mankind and
the end be simply deep mystery. What matters as far as our preparation is
says to live this life here and now, so as to be ever prepared to hear the
call, to go to meet his God, speaking reverently. Another says so live from
day to day so you can look every man in the eye and tell him to go to Hell.
That is to say, that being honest, and having dealt squarely, you fear
nothing. It is simply a different expression of the same idea and neither is
to be valued above the other.
price fundamentalism ?
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.
FASCISM, MASONRY AND THE VATICAN IN ITALY. By James P. Roe. Pamphlet No. 5.
Published by the Italian Historical Society of New York. Paper, 9 pages.
itself this pamphlet would not call for more than the briefest bibliographical
reference, but there are secondary features which make it desirable to give it
more extended notice.
are informed, in a "Publisher's Note" on the second page, that
Italian Historical Society assembles in quarterly publications the documents
relating to social reforms, economic developments and achievements, which are
of interest to students and to the public at large, and which shed light on
the life of contemporary Italy.
information is that this Society is a propaganda agency for Fascism. This is
really borne out by the carefully worded statement of purposes just quoted. We
have no quarrel with this Society, or its members, for wishing to propagate
their views on the political and social developments in Italy, or for
preaching Fascist doctrines if they believe in them; though it may be thought
that their choice of title for their organization (whether adopted purposely
for such end or not) is definitely misleading, tending to produce the
impression that the subjects discussed will be dealt with dispassionately and
letter accompanying the pamphlet, signed by the Chairman of the Society's
Board of Trustees, it is stated that
author of the monograph, Mr. Roe, is himself a prominent American Mason. He
has spent much time in Italy since the beginning of the Facist Regime and he
writes with authority.
reading the pamphlet one is inclined to wonder, with what authority does he
write ? The authority possessed by those fully and adequately seized of all
the facts? Or the authority of counsel for the defense, of an accredited
is also inclined to question Mr. Roe's prominence as a Mason. Very possibly
he, like thousands of other men, is prominent in his own circle, and we can
let it go at that. But the statement in this place seems to be designed to
create a favorable reception of any strictures Mr. Roe might make upon Italian
Masonry. It would be taken by those without any knowledge of the subject, that
a Mason would not treat other Masons with injustice.
understand that Mr. Roe was for a number of years the English Editor of
Giovinezza, the "official" Fascist organ of the U. S. A. This feet may further
assist us in estimating the kind of authority with which he writes.
Coming to the pamphlet itself, it may be frankly said, to begin with, that it
presents a very pretty and plausible picture which might well be accepted by
anyone with no knowledge of events in Italy during the past five years or so.
But it will leave even those who have only read newspaper reports gasping with
amazement. There is scarcely a paragraph in the seven pages of text which does
not present its flagrant misstatement or its insidious suggestio falsi. The
very first sentence sets the keynote. We are told
. . .
Mussolini has had to solve no greater, no more complex problem than that
involving Masonic activities and the so-called "Roman Question."
should these two entirely separate and disparate things be linked together as
one problem? Unless to carry over the undoubted difficulties and complexities
of the Roman Question, that is the political problems connected with the
status of the Pope, into the simple and innocuous subject of Masonry, where in
truth no problem existed. There was no danger to Mussolini from the Italian
Masons, either individually or collectively. Many of them were Fascists, and
both of the two governing bodies of the Italian Craft acceded to every demand
made by the dictator. No one could have followed the course of events, even at
a distance, in newspaper headlines, without realizing that the dispute was
like that of the wolf and the lamb in Aesop's fable. In reality Mussolini's
action was parallel to that of Nero in dealing with the Christians. In each
ease an autocrat gave over a small and unpopular group to persecution to
please the majority, especially of the lower and more brutal elements of
society. It is possible, as has been suggested, that he had a personal grudge
against the Fraternity, on account of his having been rejected as unfit
material. But this is not necessary to account for what happened. All
autocrats have to pander to the populace; the attention of the latter has
often to be turned from important matters by some political or social red
herring confusing the scent. In this ease the Italian Masons had the ill luck
to be the sacrifice.
hardly knows how to deal with such an extraordinary complex of
misrepresentation. To do so fully would take four or five times the length of
the pamphlet itself, though it is only about three pages that are devoted to
Masonry. We are told "Masonry in Italy was not . . . the open, benevolent and
fraternal organization" we know in America. This is mostly innuendo. If
Masonry in Roman Catholic countries generally is not "open" there is an
excellent reason, and it is not the fault of Masonry.
"Italian Masonry was mainly a small, almost exclusive body of men, socially,
financially and politically determined to maintain control of the . . .
Government . . . and to combat the influences of the Roman Catholic Church."
When was Masonry in any country not exclusive ? When was smallness of numbers
made a sin or a crime? Why should the Masons be condemned for withstanding
their age-old and most bitter enemy, the Curia, when a page or two later
Mussolini is fulsomely praised for doing the same thing?
perhaps the next sentence will explain. All "This program was part of the
major political plan which sought to control government generally in Europe."
Mr. Roe may believe this but all that can be said, if he does, is that he is
abysmally ignorant of European Masonry, and could not possibly have sought
information about it except from its enemies.
it seems that in consequence of this "program" Italian Masonry degenerated "to
a low estate, unworthy of its hallowed name and purposes." The best answer to
that, to anyone who knows anything about it, is the character of the Italian
the next paragraph allusion is made to an internal quarrel that split Italian
Masonry about the end of last century. What bearing this has is hard to see.
From the political viewpoint a divided fraternity would be impotent even if it
had political aims. But we are told that one of the groups affiliated itself
"unashamedly with the organized endeavor of the politically manipulated Grand
Orient of Paris to dominate the Italian Government of whatever ruling party in
the interests of the French Government."
this truly astounding sentence had come from the pen of a "Clerical"
anti-Masonic hack-writer, of whom there are so many in Europe, it would not
surprise anyone. But from a man who is said to be a Mason it is appalling.
may quote some further gems: the Fascisti found "the State undermined by the
secret, illegal unpatriotic attitude and activities of men . . . who diluted
their allegiance with a pretense of Masonic loyalty." What does this mean ?
Allegiance to whom? And what is Masonic loyalty? The suggestion is obvious of
course; but if Italy is a united nation today it is wholly due to the efforts
of Freemasons. Fascism itself created most, if not all, the disorder it found.
is one more thing only that space will permit touching upon. Statements are
made on pages 5, and 9, that necessarily imply that Masonry still exists and
functions in Italy, in a "purged" and "purified" state of course. We must not
be too hard on the author. It is possible this was written before the final
crushing of the Fraternity, and the issuance of the slogan, "Make it
impossible for Freemasons to live," that has been so thoroughly carried out.
But if so, then the good faith of the Italian Historical Society suffers.
part dealing with the Vatican must make its author and publishers feel a
little foolish in view of the recent alliance between Mussolini and the Pope.
They should have waited a little longer.
presume that Mr. Roe, like most people, has his living to make, but we would
wish that an American, and especially an American Mason, could find a better
occupation than this.
* * *
AU JARDIN DES OLIVIERS. By Albert Lantoine. Published by V. Gloton, Paris.
Paper, 32 pages. Price 5 francs.
having written of Hiram Couronne d'Epines the historian of French Freemasonry
writes of Hiram in the Garden of Olives." But the symmetry is rather oriental.
The first work was in two fat volumes, the present one is nothing but a very
slim booklet. Is the difference in size significant?
titles tell their own tale. The earlier work was critical, not to say sharply
and caustically critical, although the utterance of one who loved the thing
criticized and would fain have it amended and perfected. The little book now
under review is a historical sketch of the connection of Masonry - and
naturally of French Masonry in particular - with movements and tendencies
leading to the promotion and maintenance of world peace.
Reading between the lines, one gathers that even in the tolerant atmosphere of
French lodges there are still remains of war bitterness, and the assumption of
the natural man is to be found, that loyalty is always first to the smaller
group, and that it must always be, "my country, right or wrong." This is all
in the sequence of evolution, and is inevitable. It takes much knowledge, and
more imagination, to feel loyalty to all humanity. Perhaps it is too much to
ask; perhaps mankind, as our pessimists are so fond of telling us, is
incapable of it. But it is not a pleasant prospect; for the alternative is
that civilization must commit suicide, stinging itself to death, as the
scorpion ringed with fire is fabled to do, with its weapons of defense - but
unlike and more foolish than the scorpion, itself kindling the flames that
lead to the tragic climax.
However this may be, Lantoine shows us by a series of quotations from long
forgotten books, addresses, orations, poems and the like, how strongly and
consistently Masons from the first have advocated peace; peace between
nations, based on justice and good will. Even the reviewer, who is not
unfamiliar with 18th century Masonic literature, felt not a little
astonishment at the volume and continuity of the expression of this sentiment.
Masons naturally began with the feet that their Fraternity was universal in
its scope; that within its bond men of different races and countries became
brothers. And the corollary was inevitable that what was possible among a few
was not inherently impossible among many - on the same basis.
not logically impossible, whatever the practical obstacles may be; that much
must be admitted. But the practical obstacles are many and great, and it may
take more wisdom than the rulers and leaders of the nations have to overcome
them. Masonry too, in expanding, has lost its cohesion; and with its schisms
is losing sight of its greatest ideal - universal brotherhood. As the author
says, in his Conclusion, the translation is the reviewer's:
Indeed, events seem always go contrary to its [Freemasonry's] mission; and not
only do the ambitions of the great present obstacles but also, alas, the
smallness of little men.
little later he goes on to say:
still today, in spite of the complications which prolong a state of war,
remain faithful to our program. Do we shut our eyes before realities? Perhaps.
But it has been, through the course of the ages, those who looked higher and
saw further, beyond the passions of the day, who prepared the way for better
this lies the justification. Only the path is not an easy one, and it is to be
feared that our merely formal initiations do not well prepare the neophyte to
take the harder ways for the distant gain.
book is illustrated by a striking woodcut portrait of the author in profile.
* * *
HISTORY OF THE MOTHER SUPREME COUNCIL
BRO. CHAS. S. LOBINGIER
important work has not yet been published. The MS. has been submitted to Bros.
C.C. Hunt, J. Hugo Tatsch and E. M. Eriksson, all of whom are authorities in
historical research, and whose names are well known to readers of THE BUILDER.
report was submitted to the authorities of the A. & A. S. R. of the Southern
Jurisdiction, and is published in THE BUILDER by request. It runs as follows:
take pleasure in expressing herein our opinion of the manuscript submitted to
us for review by Bro. Chas. S. Lobingier, 33d, G. C., "The History of the
Mother Supreme Council."
first beheld the huge bundle of manuscript, we involuntarily asked, "What
manner of work is this?" Its very proportions tell the story of an
indefatigable labor which still further amazes one as he goes through the
manuscript page by page.
begin, the undertaking was carefully charted and the outline as approved by
the Supreme Council has been faithfully followed. This is emphasized by Bro.
Lobingier in his introduction under "Scope and Limits," which we commend for
careful reading, as it is advisable to bring this compliance with instructions
before the Supreme Council when expressing an opinion on the work. The Table
of Contents indicates very clearly just what subjects have been developed; and
to those familiar with the preparation of historical works, it is apparent
that the author selected his background very carefully, and brought not only
the essential facts to bear, but gave them a judicious and sympathetic
interpretation which shows him to be a historian in the real sense of the
term, rather than a compiler of miscellaneous facts placed together in a more
or less haphazard fashion. The work, in our opinion, will go down in Scottish
Rite history with Albert Pike's "Morals and Dogma," and as such will take an
honored place among the immortal documents of the Supreme Council.
Another point worthy of emphasis is this: Though the work is naturally a
pronouncement in favor of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, it is
clearly evident that it has been written in a very impartial manner. The
arguments which have to be presented for the Rite are all supported by
authoritative quotations, and are not left entirely as the personal opinions
of the author. Furthermore, opposing statements - where any exist - are also
quoted carefully, and where such quotations, either for or against, are
impracticable, copious references are given so that the student who wishes to
pursue the subject further can find the sources very readily. This not only
indicates the fairness of the work, but further impresses the reader with the
feet that our Rite has nothing to hide, in spite of what opponents have said
in the past.
predict that one of the book's greatest attributes, namely, the addition of
copious footnotes and references, will be commented upon adversely by those
who clamor for Masonic books written in a popular vein. It may be true that
such additions tend to make a volume pedantic and heavy; but it is also true
that in such a work as this, such footnotes and references are necessary to
stamp the work as scholarly and authoritative, for by their aid the critical
reader can verify the sources quoted and satisfy himself that they are
correct. Only a writer who can quote no authority for his statements, who is
making statements which are generally accepted as true, can afford to omit the
footnotes. In this particular ease, in view of the feet that the work deals
with subjects about which many conflicting views have been expressed, it is
eminently fitting that all sources be cited. It must not be forgotten that
this is really the first exhaustive treatment of our history which has been
prepared, and as such, must be presented in such a way as to convince the
impartial and painstaking critic that it is indeed authoritative and
trustworthy. It is therefore all the more fitting that the author fortify his
work by citing chapter and verse for all assertions.
are much impressed with the opening chapters, which introduce the reader to
the background against which our Rite stands in such splendid relief. Bro.
Lobingier's knowledge of the classic past has been condensed in a most
readable form, and with the deft touch of the artist, he has brought out the
essential points. It is not difficult to take musty documents and dry minute
books from which to present a tale of events in chronological order; but
ability of a high degree is required to present both history and the
interpretation thereof, and further still, to weave in the essence of a
subject - in this ease the philosophy of Scottish Rite Masonry as it bears
upon the conditions of the past which gave it birth. The contributions of the
Renaissance, the Protestant Revolt, the Political Revolution and the
Industrial and Social Revolution to the birth and development of Scottish Rite
Freemasonry are concisely touched upon, and give the reader a perspective
which he would not have were the story to begin with 1801, or with the period
of a few decades earlier. Yet through it all runs the critical analysis of the
jurist, and the reader at all times feels that his feet are placed upon solid
ground. Were there any tendency to romancing and sheer invention - which those
of us who know the author realize is impossible - it is apparent that such
fanciful additions have no place in this truly historical work.
Lobingier has not blindly followed previous writers. He has blazed a trail of
his own, and the extent of his sources is shown by his footnotes. He does not
flinch from disagreeing with Gould, the eminent English historian; and, in
proof of his statements, cites other English historians who followed Gould as
members of representative research societies. Bro. Lobingier also analyzes
Gould's treatment of French history in which he used material of a writer
which he (Gould) himself criticized as being "sometimes blinded by his hatred
of the 'High Degrees'."
I of the work, "The Historical Background," is a masterly condensation of a
vast deal of material. Though a book in itself, it contains essentials which
cannot be omitted from a work such as Bro. Lobingier has prepared, limited as
the undertaking as a whole is to a history of the Mother Supreme Council. It
is this portion of the work which we have used more than any other upon which
to base our opinions, for obviously we cannot go into all of the subjects
covered, by careful examination on our part of original documents and other
difficult sources available only to the author. From our knowledge of Part I
of the book, we have every confidence in the worth of the latter chapters and
such reading as we have given them enables us to say with fullest assurance
that they are written in the same careful and scholarly manner as the sections
which we have analyzed more thoroughly.
Another phase of the work which has impressed us is the readable manner in
which some of the simplest yet least known functions and attributes of our
Rite and of the Supreme Council have been treated. The volume is more than a
history; it is an encyclopedia - for it answers questions to which no one
except perhaps the active officers of the Supreme Council can respond
satisfactorily. The volume will do much to remove the air of exclusiveness and
secrecy which pervades the activities of the Rite, and will do more than
anything we know of to relieve the Rite from the charge of aristocracy and
superiority which has been made about it. It contains material that every
zealous devotee of Scottish Rite Masonry can use in informing the Masonic
world of-the real nature and functions of the higher degrees, and in this
respect Bro. Lobingier's work will have a lasting worth - something far in
excess of that possessed by a volume which is looked at for a moment, and then
consigned to oblivion in a seldom used bookcase.
enumerate the various points would simply mean to recapitulate the table of
contents. The work is not only a history, but it is a chart by which Scottish
Rite Masonry can plot its course through the unborn years. It is history,
philosophy and prophecy under one cover - history of the past, philosophy of
the Rite and a prophecy of what the combination of history and philosophy will
bring about in legitimate Masonic fields in the future.
say more at this time would be redundant. Each one of us signing this report
has had more than average access to the literature of Freemasonry, and
ordinarily our attitude to anything new in Masonic books is rather critical,
for we know much is perpetrated in the name of Masonic literature which is of
no outstanding merit. Hence the privilege of examining a work such as Bro.
Lobingier's comes as an experience but rarely met with. The author, by virtue
of temperament, education, professional fitness and long experience in
Scottish Rite Masonry, is unusually well qualified to undertake a work such as
he has successfully completed. In unequivocally endorsing his labors and
earnestly recommending their acceptance, we express a judgment which is based
upon experience in examining other Craft and related literature, and upon
hours of discussion and reading. It will be remembered that Bro. Lobingier has
personally consulted with us twice during the past year, and has also been in
close touch with us by correspondence. Thus we feel that we have had an
opportunity for an intimate and sympathetic understanding of his assignment -
one which he has completed with marked success.
unhesitatingly recommend that the work be given your endorsement and support.
We feel much indebted to you for the privilege of reviewing this volume in
manuscript form, and assure you that the hours spent upon it have been most
Secretary and Librarian, Grand Lodge of Iowa.
HUGO TATSCH, 32d,
Curator and Associate Editor, Iowa Masonic Library.
ERIKSSON, Ph. D., 32d,
Professor of American History, Coe College.
COMING UP THE ROAD. By Irving Bacheller. Published by The Bobbs Merrill
Company. Cloth, table of contents, 5 /2 x 9 inches, 816 pages. Price $8.65.
sub-title Memories of a North Country Boyhood tells about all that can be said
concerning this latest product from the pen of Bro. Bacheller. (Readers of THE
BUILDER will recall that Dawn, Bro. Bacheller's latest novel, was reviewed in
these pages some months ago and that the Masonic affiliations of the author
were mentioned at that time.) The title chosen for the work is one of the most
appropriate that it has been our pleasure to see in recent months. There are
several conflicting thoughts that come to mind when first one sees it; the
implication of a struggle up the highway of success; the mere passage of an
individual along the roadway of life, and several other that might be
mentioned if space were available. When one has finished reading the book,
however, he sees how each of these first impressions finds its place in the
scheme of the tale. There is the serene contentment that suggests a calm
passage along life's road, but there are also the trials and tribulations
besetting the path of the young man in his struggle for success.
of this and more too forms a vital part of Bro. Bacheller's autobiographical
sketch. Above these generalities there stands one other that seems
particularly appropriate in this instance. In all of Bro. Bacheller's works
that it has been our pleasure to read we have noticed a certain wistfulness, a
kind of longing, that defies description, but which can be felt nevertheless.
This characteristic is even more evident in Coming Up the Road. It makes one
feel that possibly the author in living over the scenes he describes longed
for them and possessed an actual desire to re-live them in reality.
Particularly is this felt in the early pages of the book and more specifically
in those chapters which describe the experiences of sap-collecting in the
north woods and continue with an account of summer play on the farm. More
interesting still is the tale of a camping trip into the woods. The journey
was not a howling success from the standpoint of comfort and enjoyment, but
one cannot help but feel that the author is describing the experience in the
eyes of one who has passed the age when such a trip could be thoroughly
enjoyed, but who nevertheless would like to undertake it again in the same
attitude of mind in which the first journey was planned and executed.
struggles of a young journalist in New York take up a large part of the book.
They are interesting and entertaining, but more than that they are
illustrative of the paths that joined to form the road along which he was
toiling. Those of our readers who recall the popularity of Eben Holden at the
beginning of this century will be interested in the account of how it was
written, of the trials that accompanied its struggle for publication and of
the success which ultimately came its way.
is hardly a dull page in the whole volume and it takes a real effort to put it
down once the reading has been started. When the final page has been reached
there is a desire for more of the same sort of material and perhaps that is
the best test of the readability of any volume.
* * *
HANDBOOK OF ALL DENOMINATIONS. Prepared by M. Phelan. Published by The
Cokesbury Press, Nashville, Tenn. Cloth. 215 pages. Price $1.40.
this Compendium has been gathered particulars of the history, faith and usages
of all Christian doctrines. The Old World origins and present connection with
existing American sects of over fifty separate and distinct denominations, as
well as the subdivisions into which many of them have been divided are
concisely treated by the author.
statistical matter prepared from reliable sources and brought up-to-date and
the alphabetical arrangement of the contents render the volume very convenient
for reference. The work has been carefully revised and as it is now in its
fourth edition it may safely be said that it will meet the needs and
expectations of those who are interested in the subject of which it treats.
* * *
IS WRONG WITH MARRIAGE? By Dr. G. V. Hamilton and Kenneth MacGowan. Published
by Albert and Charles Boni, New York. Cloth, Table of Contents, Index. 319
pages. Price $3.15.
question which forms the title of the present volume has an answer which is
another of those things which have been long sought. It has had many and
varied answers, none of them satisfactory. Perhaps the fairest criticism that
could be made of the attempts to solve this perplexing problem is that none of
them have been scientific. No one has actually endeavored to make use of the
law of averages in determining the percentage of marriages that are
successful. Even this book does not do that, but when one considers the feet
that four years were spent in interviewing the 100 men and 100 women who made
up the experimental group it is readily seen that any sort of research into
this field planned and executed upon a thoroughly scientific basis would
require several life-times to complete.
Doubtless many of our readers will wonder why we are reviewing such a book in
the pages of a Masonic magazine. It may be as well to interpolate some
explanation before we proceed with any discussion of the book itself. In the
first place this volume was bought by a member of the editorial staff for his
own perusal and information. After reading it the conclusion that it would be
valuable to Masons generally in helping them solve the problems of life was
reached. No more explanation than that should be necessary. If only one of the
vast number of Masons in this country is helped to a happier solution of his
problems through reading this volume our efforts will have been very much
impossible in the short space of a review to adequately criticise the mass of
detail that is compiled in the short space of three hundred pages. Any
adequate attempt at such an analysis would run to almost as much length as the
book itself. A discussion of the method followed will probably be much more
interesting and will recommend the book with as much force as would be
possible by any other method.
Hamilton selected 100 married men and 100 married women who would represent a
certain stratum of society. They were supposedly normal in every respect. Not
all of the subjects were college graduates and not all of them were married to
each other. Several divorced persons of each sex were included. The problem
was not limited solely to securing persons who were normal in every respect.
The persons selected must be willing to speak frankly and freely about their
affairs and all phases of their marriage. It is not easy to find such people.
Few persons in this world today are willing to make themselves the guinea pigs
of scientific investigation into marriage.
problem was not the only one, neither was it the most serious one which
confronted the investigators. Some means must be found by which the
personality of the investigator would not inject itself into the discussion.
It would be nothing more than human nature to suggest reasons for happenings
as described by the persons investigated. The results must not be distorted by
the entry of a foreign element into the research. In order to avoid this
possibility the questions to be asked were typed upon cards and the person
questioned picked them up, read them and then made such answers as came to
mind. The examiner sitting opposite did no more than take down all of the
Another pitfall had to be avoided and that was that the frankness and
truthfulness of each person in the experiment must be checked. By means of
specially designed questions appearing at strategic points in the examination
this necessary checking was obtained. It was necessary to throw out two or
three answers because it was obvious that the person was not as truthful as he
should have been. From this it can be seen that not only were the cheek
questions present, but they were effective.
scientific results of the investigation were published in a limited edition
solely for students. The volume we are describing was written by Mr. Kenneth
MacGowan, a prominent critic. It is in a very readable style though one cannot
help but wish that the opportunity to go into more detail on some phases of
the investigation was utilized. The discussion is brief and is limited to very
little more than a presentation of the facts. The conclusions to be drawn from
these facts are grouped for the most part in the closing chapter of the book,
though many of them are mentioned at the time the evidence is presented.
results of the research are such that every married man and woman should read
the work if for no other reason than to help them educate their children
against some of the pitfalls that await them when they reach the marriageable
age. The book should be in every home in which there are children; it should
be used as a text-book for the guidance of married people and for the
education of the growing child.
BROTHERS J. W. HOBBS AND BASCOM CLARK
following personal reminiscences and appreciation of our deeply regretted
brethren, J. Walter Hobbs and Baseom Clark from Bro. Robert I. Clegg, the
Vice-President of the Society, are a welcome addition to the brief notices
that appeared in THE BUILDER last month. With Bro. Cleggs' permission we
present them here in the assurance that it will be of general interest to our
you say so well of Walter Hobbs and Bascom Clark in the current issue of
BUI1DER does appeal to me. With the first I made many trips. I was in his
company at Port Sunlight, at Chester, at Liverpool, at York, and frequently at
Masonic meetings in London. Our exchanges of occasional letters were to me a
constant delight. I have been his guest at home and always he was most
congenial, sincere, enlivening and brotherly.
Baseom Clark I have passed many hours at his office in Madison and elsewhere.
We were in Atlantic City together last September with Dr. A. G. Lawrence who
has also passed on.
Brother Clark did much in quiet and effective charity. He excused his charity
by saying privately to me that he not only made it pay as a Masonic
satisfaction but he would have his brother Masons join him in defraying the
proposed to himself that as a writer on Masonic subjects he would make some
extra money by such use of the pen. Hence the books he published. Many of them
were given away but such funds as came along from these sources were used
exclusively in Masonic Charity and he took great comfort thereby.
will I am sure be interested in these few further personal details of a couple
of excellent brethren whose passing has been to me a great shock.
Robert I. Clegg, Illinois.
* * *
the April BUILDER, Bro. H.H.D., of Canada, says under the heading of "Masonic
Collars" that his lodge has quite a few relics and curiosities that have been
given by different brethren in the past.... Was there at one time any
symbolism attached to them (the collars) ? If so what did they signify? Or was
it merely the natural and obvious way to carry the jewels of office?
H.H.D. shows that he too has been doing some thinking of his own.
that more of our members raised such questions as these. With all possible
respect for the opinion advanced by the Editor of THE BUILDER, the writer
believes that there is ample authority for stating that the Worshipful Master
at least, wears a collar of elliptical form and of a celestial blue color. His
collar represents (or formerly represented) the circle of the Zodiac, which is
that apparent elliptical belt of 16 degrees in width which goes round the
heavens, on the middle of which the sun pursues his apparent annual course
from West to East, as seen from the earth, which belt includes the planes of
the orbits of all the planets. His collar is (was) studded with stars,
representing the planets, which are always to be found within the Zodiacal
belt, and nowhere else, as seen from the earth, the ground floor of the
symbolic lodge. It is more than probable that the "signs" of the Zodiac were
anciently on the collar, but, if so, they have disappeared, but the stars
remain. Lodges today throw aside the "old-fashioned" collar and substitute a
chain of metallic links, an invention to be attributed to the love of the
regalia makers for innovations and financial gains.
Former practices are being subverted, and Masonry, as to its usages, as well
as fundamental principles, is being constantly cast aside for want of
knowledge, caused by negligence.
Charles H. Merz, Ohio
* * *
LIGHTING THE CANDLES
interested in the inquiry in the April number of THE BUILDER, from G.M.C.,
Montana, regarding lighting of the candles, and am glad the brother brought up
method taught in this jurisdiction is as follows: in opening we light the
candles first, East, West and South, and in closing we close the Great Light
first, then the candles, South, West and East; this is in conformity to the
idea advanced by the brother from Montana, that the Great Light should never
be open during a period of darkness.
use of electric substitutes is taboo in this state, and many of the lodges
have discontinued their use and gone back to the true symbolism of the burning
candle, until well over 90 per cent of our lodges are using candles.
are glad to have this authoritative statement concerning the procedure in the
jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Wisconsin. Bro. Keenan being Grand Lecturer
in that state. The question has also elicited comment from Dr. Merz editor of
the Sandusky Masonic Bulletin and author of the well known work, Guild Masonry
in the Making. We give here the part of his letter dealing with this.
question as to the proper order of "Lighting the Candles" submitted by G.M.C.,
of Montana, in the April number of THE BUILDER is an interesting one from
several points of view. I do not regard the matter as a "tweedle-dum or
tweedle-dee" proposition. The brother from Montana gives evidence of having
done some thinking for himself, for which he is to be commended. That the
colors, white (a modified form of the yellow), red and blue were dedicated to
the three principal officers of the lodge, is clearly set forth by Cross in
his Installation Charges. "This symbol (Eternal light) is also represented by
a white taper, which at the opening of the lodge you (the Master) are
(presumed) to light at the altar." "This symbol (red) is represented by the
red taper, which at the opening of the lodge you (the Senior Warden) are
presumed to light." "This symbol is also represented by a blue taper, which at
the opening of the lodge you (the Junior Warden) are (presumed) to light at
G.M.C. has good authority for lighting the tapers representing the W. Master
first and then the other tapers in order.
lodge should ever permit the use of electric candelabra. By their use every
vestige of symbolism is destroyed. I am aware that many Grand Masters have
ruled that the electric candelabra are permissible and so they have passed
upon many other questions in a manner that shows all too little knowledge of
Thirdly, we have a letter from Bro. C. C. Hunt, Grand Secretary of Iowa, and
general Secretary of our own Research Society. Bro. Hunt calls in question the
tacitly assumed connection between the three chief officers of the lodge and
the three lesser lights.
the April BUILDER, page 127, is a question and answer regarding the order in
which the candles should be lighted, which in my mind raises another
interesting question and that is: In how many Grand Jurisdictions do the
candles or tapers represent the three principal officers of the lodge? I do
not find it so in the rituals I have examined. In the Work of Webb, Cross,
Barney and others in this country as well as in the celebrated Emulation Work
of Great Britain these tapers represent the sun, moon, and Master of the
lodge. This is also the interpretation given in the Iowa Work and here it
makes no difference in which order they are lighted.
practice also differs from that of the Montana brother as to the time of
opening the Bible. With us it is the first to be opened and the last to be
closed. With the first dawn of physical light the Mason finds the open bible
and when his labor is finished, with the last gleam of his material light he
still sees before him the open Bible. Your correspondent says: "The first
Great Light is not to be opened or closed during a period of darkness." May I
ask why? It is the Great Light of Masonry. It should always be available to a
Mason when at labor, and a closed Bible does not give light. As long as a
Mason has physical light with which to pursue his calling he should not be
deprived of the open Bible to give him spiritual light.
the Great Light we are informed "In the beginning God created the heaven and
the earth"; God also said: "Let there be light and there was light"; but this
was the work of the first day of creation. It was not until the fourth day
that the sun, moon and stars were made. Thus the heaven was created before the
earth and heavenly light before physical, all of which is symbolized by
displaying the symbol of spiritual light before that of physical and
extinguishing the physical before closing the symbol of the spiritual.
we come to the end of life's toilsome journey and from our nerveless grasp
shall drop forever the working tools of life, how will it seem to have someone
say, "Your eyes will soon be closed in death, the Bible cannot be closed in
darkness therefore your Great Light must be closed before the darkness of
death settles upon you?"
* * *
KNIGHTS OF MALTA IN AMERICA
following communication has been received in response to the note under the
above head in the April number of THE BUILDER. We fail, however, to appreciate
exactly Bro. Gretzinger's point. The facts he relates are well known, to Bro.
Bennett, as to every one else who has ever read anything of the history of the
Knights of St. John, called variously of Rhodes and Malta. A sovereign power,
however decadent, as the Order is supposed to have been in 1798, is not a
negligible entity. And there is no doubt that the Knights in Malta at that
time were Roman Catholic in religion, whatever the Knights of Brandenburg may
have been, or the alleged survival, as a Protestant Order, of the Sixth or
English "Langue" in Scotland.
reply to the note of Bro. Burton E. Bennett in your April issue, I would like
to offer the following observations:
the year 1517 the great Protestant Reformation became an historical fact.
Luther's teachings and doctrines reached the furthest civilization of the
world. As far back as 1463 the Knights of St. John held intercourse with the
English and Scottish Knights under Grand Master Knells. The branches that
refused to accept the Protestant faith ceased to exist or had but a precarious
existence for a few years, then passed away. Even the Latin or rather the
heterogeneous branch that lived until 1789 on this island was weakened by
Protestant Knights deserting to Scotland and England in 1557. [See Vertot's
Histoire doe Chevaliers Hospitalers de S. Jean de Jerusalem, and the Encyc.
island was taken by Bonaparte in the outset of his expedition to Egypt, June
12, 1798. It was again surrendered to the British under Pigot, in Sept. 5,
1800. At the Peace of Amiens it was stipulated that it should be restored to
the Knights. The British, however, retained possession, and war recommenced;
but by the Treaty of Paris in 1814 the island was guaranteed to Great Britain.
Through these years, it will be observed, the Knights from the Island of Malta
not only held intercourse but actually affiliated with those of England and
the Scottish branch was able to purify and correct its work and sustain its
sometimes struggling life.
During the period of Reformation the Sixth Language accepted the doctrine of
the reformed faith; and, under the leadership of Sir James Sandilands, of
Scotland, assisted the sainted John Knox in establishing Protestantism in
the 7th day of March, 1853, the Grand Lodge of Scotland did by public
proclamation establish its right to the supreme government of the Religious
and Military Order of the Knights of Malta, and has since been known as the
Imperial Parent Grand Black Encampment of the Universe, with headquarters at
Glasgow, Scotland. The claim to this title is being perpetuated at the present
day in Scotland by this body.
the year 1870 the Order was first introduced into America, an encampment being
chartered in Toronto, Canada, from which it soon spread to the United States,
and in 1875 the Supreme Encampment of America began its career under a grant
issued by the imperial body of Scotland; but a few years later the charter or
grant was revoked by the Imperial body, and the members expelled, for
violation of obligation, ceasing to be a Protestant fraternity, destroying the
degree work and ancient landmarks, defying the authority of the Imperial body,
changing the name and objects of the Order.
of the subordinate commanderies, however, remained loyal to the Imperial
Encampment. They continued to carry on the work, and in 1884 formed themselves
into a Grand body. Their growth was most remarkable, and on June 1, 1889, the
"Supreme Grand Commandery of the Continent of America" was chartered by the
"Imperial Parent Grand Black Encampment of the Universe," and under this
charter the Supreme Grand Commandery of America is granted the sole power on
the American Continent to issue charters to Grand and Subordinate bodies, is
made the final arbiter in all questions of dispute, and is given unlimited
authority on this continent so long as it maintains Protestantism, civil and
religious liberty and the ancient landmarks of the Order.
* * *
A.F.&A.M. AND F. &A.M.
should like an explanation as to the reason why we have the title, "Free and
Accepted Masons" in some jurisdictions and "Ancient Free and Accepted Masons"
in others, all recognizing one another though with different designations. Was
this caused by their being chartered by the two Grand Bodies in England prior
to the year 1813 ?
same query, propounded by A. J. B., was briefly answered in 1916, in the
second volume of THE BUILDER, p. 190. Bro. Beltz has indicated the usually
accepted explanation. All Masons, between 1760 and 1813, claimed to be both
Free and Accepted, but the junior organization claimed to follow the "Ancient
Institutions" - hence their nickname "Ancients," or "Antients." The premier
Grand Lodge had made very considerable changes in the old system, and
described their modified system as Modern Masonry. This was done, without any
doubt, without due reflection, or with any realization of what an excellent
controversial weapon it gave to their able antagonist Laurence Dermott, Grand
Secretary of the Ancients.
Grand Lodge of the Antients founded more lodges in America than did their
rivals, though in some of the Colonies the latter were the strongest. The
exact sequence of events has never been fully traced out, and is a task
waiting for some competent brother to take up. The actual adoption of one
title rather than the other in the different states when their Grand Lodges
were organized, seems in general to have had little relation to ancestry -
most American Grand Lodges are descended, directly or indirectly, from both
the English systems. There being no observable rule we may guess that the
choice in most eases was due to fortuitous circumstances. To some influential
brother preferring one or the other, or to other like considerations.
Probably, as the records of the formative years of the older jurisdictions are
so scanty, it may be impossible to discover in most eases what did happen. But
something might be done to throw more light upon the question than we now
have, and it is to be hoped that some of our budding historical students may
be moved to take it up.
* * *
SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK
page 71 of the March number of THE BUILDER occurs this sentence: "The chairman
of the Mission was Chief Justice Townsend Scudder of the Highest Court within
the State of New York."
Scudder was and is a Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York;
there is no Chief Justice. This is the highest court of original jurisdiction;
above it is the Court of Appeals, which is a distinct body and of which he
never was a member.
Vrooman, Jr., New York.