The Builder Magazine
November 1929 - Volume XV - Number
Ernst and Falk
From the German of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
Translated by BRO. B.A. EISENLOHR, Ohio
THERE appeared in THE BUILDER, vol. I, page 20, an article entitled: "Ernst
and Falk." " Translated from the German of G. E. Isessing (1778) by Louis
Block, P.G.M. of Masons in Iowa." In a precatory note the editor states that
it was during the author's "last years that he wrote 'Ernst and Falk: Five
Conversations for Freemasons'-a gem of purest ray and a treasure forever to
the Order which he loved." The translator calls them not " conversations " but
" discourses. " They are to be called "dialogs" here, if for no better reason
than that this term is suggestive of the Soeratic dialog whose manner was well
matched by Lessing's in "Ernst and Falk."
how far these dialogs constitute "a gem of purest ray," especially in the
light of the fourth and fifth dialog, here presented, each reader will have to
judge for himself. There probably will be differences of opinion. The article
on Masonry in the Catholic Encyclopedia, as reprinted in THE BUILDER, vol. V,
p. 250, does not seem to miss the truth so very far in what it says about
Lessing's opinion of Masonry, and the same would be true of other
intellectuals in Germany at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the
nineteenth century. That they did not hold such a very high opinion of the
Order is not at all surprising in view of the great number of different
"systems" prevailing then, or their experiences with the Johnsons, Cagliostros,
and like adventurers, or the evident frauds that everywhere were being
practiced under a pretended Masonic cloak. Lessing's connection with Masonry,
and His Masonic works: Nathan the Wise and The Education of the Human Race, as
well as Ernst and Falk are the fruits of the author's pure humanity. They are
not only Masonic Classics, they have been cataloged in the classic literature
of the world. Perhaps in some later articles in THE BUILDER some competent
brother will attempt to discuss the author and his Masonic writings. It is a
field ripe for the reaper. Here, the translation of only the fourth and fifth
dialogs is attempted. Why Brother Block did not continue the translations the
writer does not know. The prefatory note about there being "five
conversations" is quite correct. In THE BUILDER, vol. II, p. 201, appears the
third of the five. From the note accompanying it we quote: "Herewith we
present the Third Discourse, to appreciate which the reader must needs turn
baek to the first two," and in the present instance, this should be amended to
read "turn back to the first three," the first two appearing in vol. I, and
the third in vol. II.
very brief summary, the first three dialogs say that Masonry has its
foundation in those things that are part and parcel of human society. Each man
is to live with all his fellowmen so that the one shall perfect the other.
Individuals are hindered in this by such things as the diversity of races, of
political constitutions, differences in occupation, in social rank, and
differences in creed. Freemasonry is to do away with all these differences and
their infamous influence by establishing humanity as the bond that unites all
human beings. Freemasonry is not instituted, primarity, to lend assistanee in
extreme need, or to bestow benefactions upon others, or for purposes of
amusement and entertainment. Its purpose is to exercise the individual in
improving himself constantly and to assist others in the attainment of
This is "the spark" that "had kindled."
Ernst went and became a Free-Mason. What he found there forms the Subject of a
fourth and fifth discourse with which the road divides. (1)
The business or translating is often a treacherous thing. Even the best
translator may happen to have before him all edition of the original which is
faulty, through careless editing or other reasons, and the peculiarities of
the original idiom are ever with him, as will be manifest in the translation
herewith presented. Occasionally the idiom defies translation. Almost at the
end of the third dialog Falk says, in substance, that the Masons have never
made a secret of a certain fundamental principle of Masonry. According to this
principle they accept every worthy man of proper disposition without regard to
his nationality, his religion, his station in the social order. Then he
Naturally this fundamental principle takes for granted the existence of men
who have risen above such divisions, rather than those who intend to create
This translation seems justified according to two of four immediately
available editions, each by a different publisher. According to the other two,
Falk says something like this:
Indeed, this fact [that Masons accept worthy men regardless of their
nationality, religion, etc.] seems to presuppose the existence, even now, of
fundamental laws that were established by such men as have risen above these
divisions, rather than that the purpose of this fait should be the
establishment of such laws.
The passage as quoted above from THE BUILDER is clearer than this. But is it
as authoritative? The original German is not so very clear in either of the
available versions. The difference between them is merely one letter. The
following translation of the fourth and fifth dialogs is based upon Gotthold
Ephraim Lessing's samtliche Schriften. Herausgegeben von Karl Lachman, Dritte,
auf's neue durchgesehene und vermehrte Auflaye, besoryt durch Frank Muncker.
Vol. XIII. Leipzig: G. J. Goschen, 1897. This is the most scholarly,
painstaking, comprehensive, and most authoritative edition of Lessing's Works
that has appeared up to the present time.
Inasmuch as the author uses some English words and phrases in these dialogs,
their translation into English is an impossibility. Because of that fact and
others, the "flavor" of the original is lost somewhat in translation.
Lessing was librarian of the Ducal Library at Wolfenbuttel, Brunswick. The
first three dialogs were accompanied by a few lines of dedication to the Duke
of Brunswick, Ferdinand, who was himself a Mason. They were preceded also by a
"Preface by a Third Party." Not all editions contain these. Since they did not
appear in THE BUILDER, vol. I, they are given here. The first three dialogs
were published in 1778, the last two in 1780, though it is pretty well
established now that the fourth and fifth were written, at least in outline,
before the others were, and even before Lessing was made a Mason.
DEDICATION OF "ERNST AND FALK" Dialogs 1, 2 and 3
His Most Serene Highness, Duke Ferdinand. Most Serene Duke:
Even I was at the fount of Truth and drew from its waters. Only he can judge
of how deeply I have drawn, from whom I expect permission to draw even more
deeply. The people are languishing for water and are perishing. Your highness'
Most Humble Servant.
Preface by a Third Party
the following pages do not contain the true ontology of Freemasonry I would be
eager to learn in which of the innumerable writings that have been the cause
of them, a more definite idea of its substance may be found.
But if all Freemasons, regardless of what stamp they may be, will be glad to
admit that the viewpoint here indicated is the only one from which sound eyes
see a real form, and not one from which a mere phantom shows itself to the dim
visioned eye, then the question still might be asked, why no one has come out
in such plain language long ago?
There is much that could be replied to this question. But one will hardly be
able to find another question that resembles it more than does this one: Why
did the elementary books of instruction in Christianity come into existence so
late? Why have there been so many and good Christians who were neither able
nor willing to give an intelligible statement of their faith?
But this, after all, would have occurred too early, in Christendom, inasmuch
as faith would have gained but little, had it occurred. If only the thought
had not come to the Christians to give a statement of it in a very absurd
Let every individual make his own application.
FOURTH DIALOG Preface by a Third Party
is known, the author of the first three dialogs had this continuation in
manuscript, ready for printing, when he received a pleading hint, from higher
up, not to publish it.
Previous to that, however, he had communicated the fourth and fifth dialogs to
some friends. Presumably without his permission, these friends had made copies
of them. By a peculiar accident one of these copies came into the hands of the
present publisher. He regretted that so many magnificent truths were to be
suppressed and, not having received any hint, he resolved to have the
this liberty is not abundantly excused by the desire to see light east over
such important subjects, then nothing more can be said in defense of having
taken this liberty, than that the publisher is not an initiated Mason.
Nevertheless, it will be found, by the way, that for reasons of caution and
respect for a certain branch of this society he has not, in the publication,
mentioned several names which were spelled out in full.
FALK. Welcome, Ernst! Back again at last. I have long since finished my
mineral spring treatment.
ERNST. And because of that you feel quite well? I'm glad of that.
FALK. What does that mean? Never has a "I'm glad of that" (2) been uttered
ERNST. I am irritated, and it would lack but little for me to say that you are
the cause of my irritation.
FALK. I ?
ERNST. YOU induced me to take a foolish step. Give attention! Give me your
hand! What have you to say? You shrug your shoulders ? That caps the climax.
FALK. I induce you ?
ERNST. It may be, without intending to do so.
FALK. And yet the blame is mine.
ERNST. The man of God speaks to the people about a country which flows with
milk and honey, and the people should not be longing for it? And are the
people not to grumble over this man of God when, instead of leading them into
this promised land, he leads them into arid deserts ?
FALK. Well! Well! The damage can't be so very great. Besides, I see that you
have been working at the graves of our forefathers.
ERNST. They were not encompassed with flames, however, but with smoke.
FALK. Then wait until the smoke is dispersed, and the flame will shed light
ERNST. The smoke will suffocate me before the flame gives me any light. And I
will see that others, who are better able to stand the smoke, will warm
themselves at the flame.
FALK. You surely are not speaking of people who like to endure the pungent
smoke, if it but be the smoke of another's bountiful kitchen?
ERNST. So you know them, after all ?
FALK. I've heard about them.
ERNST. All the more, what is it that could induce you to trick me this way? To
make a false showing to me of things whose groundlessness you knew all too
FALK. Your vexation causes you to be very unjust. You claim that I spoke to
you of Freemasonry without having given you to understand, in more ways than
one, how useless it is that every honest man should become a Freemason? How
useless only? Indeed, how harmful.
ERNST. Well, that may be.
FALK. You claim that I did not tell you, that one may fulfill the highest
obligations of Masonry without being called a Freemason ?
ERNST. Rather, I remember that. However, you well know that, when my fancy has
once spread its pinions, has made one flap with them- can I restrain them? I
reproach you with nothing except that you held before them such a bait.
FALK. And you soon wearied of the effort to reach it. Why didn't you say a
word to me about your intention?
ERNST. Would you have dissuaded me ?
FALK. Most certainly. - Who, in the case of an active boy, wound talk him into
getting back into the gocart again because he still falls now and then? I'm
making you no compliments. You had already gone too far to make a new start
from there. No exception could be made in your case. All must set foot upon
ERNST. Nor should I rue having set foot upon it, if I could promise myself
better things of the remainder of the road. But, promises, excuses for delays,
and nothing but promises !
FALK. Well, it's something if they are already making promises. And what is it
they are giving promises about ?
ERNST. Oh pshaw, you know. It is the Scottish Masonry, the Scottish knight.
FALK. Oh yes, quite right - But based upon what promise is the Scottish knight
hoping for ?
ERNST. Would that somebody knew !
FALK. And those like you, the other novices in the Order, don't they know
anything either ?
ERNST. Ah they, they know so much, they expect so much! The one wants to make
gold, the other wants to conjure up spirits, the third wants to re-establish
the * * * (3). You're smiling, and smiling only?
FALK. What else can I do ?
ERNST. Show indignation at such nonsensical fellows!
FALK. If it were not for one thing that reconciles me with them again.
ERNST. And what's that?
FALK. That in all these dreamings I recognize a striving after reality, that
from all these mistaken paths one can nevertheless see whither the true path
ERNST. And from the making of gold, too ?
FALK. From the making of gold, too. Whether gold really can be made or not
made is a matter of indifference to me. But I am very certain that sensible
human beings will be wishing to be able to make it only with regard to
Freemasonry. Also, anyone who comes into possession of the Philosophers'
Stone, becomes a Freemason that very same moment. And it really is odd, that
all reports about actual or supposed goldmakers that are current in the world,
actually confirm this.
ERNST. And those who would conjure up spirits?
FALK. About the same is true of them. It is impossible that spirits can give
ear to the voice of any human being other than that of a Freemason.
ERNST. How seriously you can say such things !
FALK. By all that's sacred! Not more seriously than they are.
ERNST. Oh pshaw! But finally these new * * *, so it please God?
FALK. O well, they !
ERNST. Do you see? You know nothing to say about them. For surely, * * *
existed once upon a time, but goldmakers and spirit conjurers possibly never
existed. And, of course, it is easier to say what is the attitude of the
Freemasons to such creatures of the imagination, than what it is to real and
FALK. Indeed, in this case I can only express myself in a dilemma: Either, or
ERNST. That's good, too. If one at least but knows that, of two statements,
one of them is true. Well then: Either of these "would be (4) " * * *-
FALK. Ernst ! Stop before you finish your mockery. On my conscience! There It
is just they who either are surely on the right road, or they are so far from
it that there remains to them not even the hope of ever getting on it.
ERNST. Well, I can't help but listen to all of that. For, to ask you for a
more detailed explanation
FALK. Why not ? It has been long enough now that they have been using
secrecies from which to make the secret.
ERNST. What do you mean by that?
FALK. As I have already told you, the secret of Freemasonry is that which the
Freemason cannot reveal even were it possible that he wanted to reveal it. But
secrecies are things which, while they indeed can be revealed, were concealed
at certain times and in certain countries partly because of envy, were choked
back partly because of fear, were kept secret partly as a matter of prudence.
ERNST. For instance ?
FALK. For instance, in the first place, this relationship between * * * and
Freemasons. It may be, indeed, that once upon a time it was necessary and well
not to let anything of this be noticed by others. But now, now on the contrary
it may become very harmful if they continue to make a secret of this
relationship. Rather ought it to be loudly acknowledged, and all that ought to
be necessary is, to determine the exact period in which the * * * were the
Freemasons of their time.
ERNST. May I know it, this period?
FALK. Read the history of the * * * thoughtfully. You must hit upon it. you
surely will hit upon it, and that is the very reason why you should not have
become a Freemason.
ERNST. O, that I were sitting among my books this very minute. And if I hit
upon it, will I get your admission that I have done so ?
FALK. At the same time you will find, that you do not need my admission. But,
to get back to my dilemma again.
is this period alone which furnishes the data for its determination. If all
Freemasons who are now pregnant with the * * * see and feel this real period,
well for them ! Well for the world! Blessings upon everything that they
undertake! Blessings upon everything which they forbear from undertaking! But
if they do not see and feel it, this period; if a mere consonance has misled
them; if it was only the Freemason working in the * * * (5) who made them
think of the * * *; if they merely fell in love with * * * on the * * * (6);
if they merely would like to bestow on themselves and their friends nice * * *
fat prebends; well, then, may Heaven grant us very much compassion so that we
may refrain from laughing.
ERNST. Behold ! You still are able to get warmed up and bitter.
FALK. Sorry, yes ! I thank you for your remark, and I'm cold as ice again.
ERNST. And what do you think, which one on the two cases is the one of these
FALK. I fear it is the latter. Would that I might be mistaken! For if it
should be the former, how could they entertain such a peculiar project ? To
re-establish the * * * ! That great period at which the * * * were Freemasons
no longer occurs. Europe, at least, has long since passed it and, in matters
pertaining to it, no longer has need of any extraordinary assistance. What is
it then that they're after? Do they, too, want to become a saturated sponge
that the higher ups will sometime squeeze dry? But to whom am I directing this
question, and against whom ? Did you ever tell me, could you tell me that
other than novices burden themselves with these vagaries about goldmakers,
spirit conjurers, * * *? Other than children, than people who have no scruples
about abusing children? But children become men. Just leave them undisturbed!
Enough, as said, that even in the toy I behold the weapons which at some time
the men will wield with a sure hand.
ERNST. After all, my friend, it is not these childish things that put me out
of humor. Without presuming that anything serious might be back of them, I
ignored them. A cask, I thought, thrown overboard for the young whales ! But
what vexes me is this: Everywhere I see nothing, everywhere I hear nothing but
these childish things; that no one pretends to know anything about that
concerning which you aroused expectations within me. I may strike this tone as
often as I will and towards whom I will. Nobody cares to join in; always and
everywhere the deepest silence.
FALK. You mean
ERNST. That equality which you indicated to me as being the fundamental law of
the Order; that equality which filled all my soul with such unexpected hope:
at last to be able to breathe it in fellowship with men who understand how to
do their thinking in a sphere that is above all civil modifications, without
sinning against any one of these equalities to the detriment of a third party.
FALSE Well ?
ERNST. It still exists? If ever it did exist! Let an enlightened Jew come
along and put in his application. "O" they say, "a Jew? Of course, a Freemason
must at least be a Christian. It is quite a slatter of indifference as to what
kind of a Christian. Without distinction as to religion, means, only, without
distinction as to the three publicly tolerated religions in The Holy Roman
Empire. " Don't you think so, too?
FALK. No, not exactly.
ERNST. Let an honest shoemaker who, at his last, has had leisure for many a
good thought (even though it were a Jacob Bohme and Hans Sachs (8)), let him
come and put in his application! "O" they say, "a shoemaker! Why, of course, a
shoemaker." Let a faithful, experienced, tried servant come and put in his
application. "O" they say, "of course, people of that kind, who can't
themselves select the color of their own coats - we enjoy such good company
FALK. And how good is their company ?
ERNST. Oh, well ! I have nothing in particular to criticize in regard to that,
except that it is exclusively good company, of which one gets so tired in the
world - princes, counts, gentlemen of the nobility, officers, councilors of
all sorts, merchants, artists - all of these, without distinction as to their
social class, have their topsy turvy fancies in the lodge, it is true. But as
a matter of fact all are of one and the same class and, alas, this is - (9)
FALK. In my time things were not exactly like that. And yet!. I don't know, I
can but guess. I have been outside of all connection with lodges too long a
time, whatever their form may be. Not to be able to be admitted for a while
into the lodge now and, to be debarred from freemasonry, these, surely, are
two different things.
ERNST. How so ?
FALK. Because the relationship between the lodge and Freemasonry is like that
between the church and belief. From the outward prosperity of the church we
can draw no conclusions as to the faith of its members, none whatever. There
is rather a certain outward prosperity of it concerning which it would be a
miracle if it could exist along with the true faith. And furthermore, both
have never yet gotten on with each other. On the contrary, the one has always
destroyed the other, as history teaches. And thus, I fear, I fear
ERNST. What ?
FALK. In short, this lodge business, as I hear it is carried on at the present
time, it will not down with me. Having a treasury; to acquire capital; invest
this capital; try to use it to make the best bargain; buy lands; have kings
and princes bestow privileges; to use the prestige and power of them for the
suppression of the brothers who belong to an observance different from the one
which they would so much like to establish as being the essence of the thing -
If this does well in the long run ! How gladly would I be willing to have
prophesied falsely !
ERNST. O well ! What is it than can happen ? The State does not carry on so
any longer now. And besides, among the persons that make its laws, or
administer them, are probably, even now, already too many Freemasons.
FALK. Very well ! Then even though they have nothing to fear from the State,
what kind of an influence, do you think, will such a form of government have
on them themselves? Will they not, evidently, get back to that, from which
they wanted to tear themselves away ? Will they not cease being what they
claim to be? I don 't know whether you quite understand me
ERNST. Just continue !
FALK. To be sure ! Yes indeed nothing endures forever. Possibly this is the
very means selected by Providence to put an end to the whole schema of
ERNST. Schema of Freemasonry? What is it you call by that term? Schema?
FALK. Well! Schema, husk, dress.
ERNST. I still don t know
FALK. You surely don't think that Freemasonry always played the part of
ERNST. Now what does that mean? That freemasonry did not always play the part
FALK. In other words, do you really think that that which is Freemasonry was
always called Freemasonry? - But see ! It's already past noon ! And there my
guests are already coming. You're surely going to stay?
ERNST. I didn't want to, but now I shall probably have to. For a twofold
satiation now awaits me.
FALK. Only, at table, please, not a word.
(1) THE BUILDER, vol. ii, p. 202.
(2) These italics. and all which follow, appear in the original.
(3) The asterisks here, and wherever they appear subsequently, represent the
Order of the Knights Templar. Not of course, the American Masonic Order, but
in most places the original one, and in others the pretended revived Templar
Order that was making claims to the leadership of German Masonry at the time
(4) Lessing here used the English words as marked by the inverted commas.
(5) Gosche's edition of Lessing's works, Berlin, 1875, p. 26, says: "An
attentive reader will easily be able to fill out the two * * * and some .'
(6) In the (second) edition of Ernst and Falk, 1781, the year of Lessing's
death, this passage reads: "the red cross on the white mantle."
(7) The punctuation of the original is here preserved. The sense is not very
clear. Two imprints of the 1780 edition have an exclamation point instead of
the question mark, The Gosche edition has however a comma instead but by what
authority? However the comma makes for clearer sense, viz., "It (this
equality) would still exist if ever it did exist! With the question mark as it
is given the meaning would be: "You say it still exists."
(8) The noted mystic and a well known poet of the Reformation period, both of
whom were shoemakers by trade.
(9) Here the edition of 1781 has: "one and the same class, that class namely,
on which time hangs heavily and whom the need to be occupied joins into one
and the same class."
BRO. CYRUS FIELD WILLARD, California (Concluded from October)
have spoken above of certain modifications which may be produced in the egg
and we ought to go further; proceeding from the idea that life is produced by
physico-chemical phenomena - which is, of course, metaphysical for the
experimental sciences show only a certain simultaneousness - certain
scientists leave tried to reproduce artificially, or at least to imitate
living tissue by beginning with the mysterious "protoplasm" which is their
Already the study of the "Brownian movements" have shown microscopic particles
in a state of incessant agitation, which appear inherent to them, and may be
perhaps the first stammering of life. But they have also wished to go farther
and surprise the secret of the construction and the genesis of the cell.
Von Schron, Benedikt and other scientists have tried to seize the process of
the formation of crystals, but always by proceeding from a "germ crystal," as
in the egg all proceeds from an organic germ. The celebrated experiments of
Leduc have shown crystalline formations imitating vegetation by letting fall a
drop of a solution of sugared sulphate of copper into a mixture of gelatine,
ferrocyanide of potassium and marine salt. These similitudes of plants possess
some of the properties peculiar to living beings, but they are not alive. If
they are a daring manifestation of the power of the human, they have not given
us true living beings. Only they prove that when man reproduces the putting to
work of certain processes of nature, he happens by the same effort to produce
coherent forms, and not merely a vague chaotic magma - is it not still
"geometry" which reappears, here artificially, there natural?
would say as much of the experiments of Benard, or of those of Butschli of
Heidelberg, with linseed oil, alkaline carbonates and water, or with the
yellow of an egg, etc.: Mere one imitates the substances called "colloidal"
which are at the base of organisms, and even in certain cases they have been
able to form little film envelopes, microscopic cells, containing a jelly
analogous to that of organic tissues. This is not the famous "homunculus"
dreamed of by certain alchemists, but it is an interesting demonstration of
the steps which nature follows "spontaneously" in its constructions:-
another order of ideas, it is fitting to observe that the examination of the
spectra of different flames permits us to note, by the lines that appear
there, the chemical composition of the luminous focus thus analyzed. Behold
then, light indicating by its shafts that which are finally seen as
geometrical outlines and are the elements of the body in Combustion. And the
number of the lines (arithmetic) happens to corroborate their position
the phenomena of acoustics the Mason will find still another reason for
meditation and study of the letter G.
wish to make allusion to the experiments which have become classic because
they are so old, although they have been multiplied and perfected in our day.
This is not only the problem of the proportions of the strings or sonorous
pipes, of which it would be commonplace to speak; it is not only the direct
graphs of the sonorous vibrations of the tuning-fork, which give such curious
designs by the combination of the two movements, parallel or rectangular; it
is the action of the vibration of a sonorous environment on flames, with the
old experiments of Helmholtz. There are also the curious designs formed by the
stroke of a violin bow on plates sprinkled over with sand, according to the
place where they produce a contact, which is combined with that of the violin
the same time we cannot help thinking of the other designs which are luminous
and which the phenomena of interference produce; the effects of the
polarization of light and the colored rings which appear in bi-refractory
crystals. Let us remark besides, that all these designs can be expressed in
numerical language: sound form and number.
The Mason in passing will salute the calculations of thermodynamics which
unite by figures the calorific vibration and the mechanical effect. But he
would not know that experimental psychology records sensation with figures,
and that the scientist Charles Henry has noted in this manner, in equations,
even the phenomena of life and of thought.
Then he would take cognizance of the results of stereochemistry, or the
relations of the atoms in their grouping in the molecule and the conceptions
which it inspires in the observer. Behold several composite bodies which are
formed of the same constituent chemical elements. Analysis reveals no
difference. What is it then which permits us to establish their identity and
to distinguish one from the other, to explain why they do not cause light to
deviate in the same way when it is caused to traverse their crystals.
This idea is that, in their chemical identity, that which distinguishes them
one from the other, is the molecular arrangement of their elements in space,
that is to say a geometrical rule. It is scarcely fifty years ago that Van
t'Hoff and de Bel, relying on the work of the great Pasteur, have brought to
light this new branch of science, which since has made considerable progress.
It has not only cleared the minds but it has permitted the synthesis of a
certain number of organic products. It is therefore no more a reverie than all
the other Scientific hypotheses, from which they have drawn the laws and the
results of it remain positively valid.
is likewise remarkable that chemistry has had to have recourse to symbolic
notations, and to formulas which are a veritable algebra, permitting the
noting of the composition of bodies, the results of their combinations and of
their modifications by notations which one may compare to real equations.
The atomic notation employed by modern chemistry based on the admission of the
atom, a notion conceived by Grecian antiquity, is moreover conformable to
those which are current, although under another aspect, in the Oriental
philosophy. But again we must insist that the systems and their expression are
only points of view and the main point alone is of consequence for Masonic
esotericism, the equivalents and the definite proportions of the combination
of bodies brings to light that which we might readily call the arithmetic of
chemistry, by the side of its geometry.
Ampere had already admitted experimentally that the atoms are maintained
"separated from each other by repulsive forces," necessitating by this the
corollary of attractive forces, like the love and the hate of the atoms, of
which the old Greek philosophy speaks.
Wurtz has again taken up the same conception which is now classic, but it is
an entirely different question than that of the constitution of the atom, or
what Leibnitz would have called the monad, for the ancient atomist admitted
the impenetrability and the indivisibility of the atoms and saw in force only
a manifestation of movement, the point of view followed by the materialists of
But the present scientific knowledge has left very far behind it the atoms of
Democritus, and we are going to see, by the following, how they are considered
The multiple and Protean-formed manifestations of the atoms, according to
contemporary physicists, no longer put us in the presence of a ponderable and
irreducible element but they make us meet, face to face, a new geometry of
which the constitutive factors will have to be determined and which will lead
us to new examinations. We shall see if they take us away from or bring us
closer to our point of departure.
The works of the experimentalists, our contemporaries, have demonstrated by
remarkable experiments that the theory of the atom, fundamental material
unity, has gone out of date and they have built a new theory of the atom,
which makes of it a multiplicity, of which the units have no longer the
character of matter in the sense that current language attaches to this word,
nor even in any acceptation.
The scientist M. Langevin has written this:
The conception of the atom of electricity, from which the material atoms are
formed, furnishes the necessary tie between matter and the Ether environment,
with which it is surrounded. The atom is a complex whole formed of a centre
positively electrified, called the nucleus, around which gravitate the
negative corpuscles or electrons. Ether, meta-ether, energy; what matters it
what they are called?
is a kind of planetary system; it seems that the genial Pascal may have
prophesied it when he wrote in his "Pensees," that he saw in his abridgment of
the atom, "an infinity of universes of which each one has its firmament. its
planets its earth."
The atom of each body forms thus a distinct little world. The study of the
radio-active power of bodies, causing the discovery among other things of the
Alpha particles, has permitted us to examine these microscopic universes.
The atom of aluminum contains around its nucleus a group of 13 electrons at
varying distances. The atom of gold contains 79 electrons gravitating in six
orbits around its nucleus. The nuclei themselves are of an astonishing
complexity; that of aluminum contains 14 electrons and 27 protons; that of
gold, 118 electrons and 197 protons and that of mercury 200 protons and 120
electrons. What would Pythagoras say today of this arithmetic, and of this
geometry, proceeding from nothing in order to construct everything? Into what
admiration would he be plunged in the examination of the work of Curie, of
Becquerel and of Perrin?
What would he think of the algebraic calculations scrutinizing the frame of
universal life and filling up the gaps in it, classifying a new chemical body
in the Mendeleieff's tables, or making the discovery of an invisible planet in
the sidereal spaces of the universe?
Spiritualist on materialist, the Mason can thus see his system surpassed and
restored to unity with the contrary system, by the sciences which the symbol
of the letter G conceals, and which seem everywhere present, in order to
realize a synthesis conformable to that of the esoteric tradition.
we deserve to be taxed with being reactionary in spirit because we approve of
our illustrious predecessors for having placed in the foreground geometry as
While much of the foregoing is "done over" into English in the words and
expressions of the translator, there are many things not covered. In
Langmuir's postulates we find a geometrical formation of the atom and in the
laboratory of the General Electric Co. at Schenectady there are young ladies
who have built up models of the different atoms in accordance with the
theories of Dr. Isangmuir showing the various geometrical shapes assumed.
There is an emphasis of the Letter G which is all the more effective because
silent. In many lodgerooms today in America, we see even when the lodge is not
in session the letter G in the East back of the Master's chair, and at the
same time, when the lodge is in session and the Master assumes his jewel,
there is a duplication and emphasis as he places his jewel in its proper
Pythagoras was a Greek born on the island of Samos in the Egean Sea, who
settled in the southern part of Italy, called Magna Grecia. He required from
those who wished to join his brotherhood at Krotona, that they should possess
a knowledge of geometry. In fact Plato, one of his later followers, said "God
geometrizes" and today we know how true this is. The Greeks called the earth,
"Gea," and its measurement was "metron" hence "geometry" was used to measure
the earth, the other planets and for other purposes. The letter G in Greek was
called "gamma" and it was made exactly in the form of the square, the jewel of
the Master, and one of the Great Lights.
The Compasses, another of the great lights, was used to circumscribe the
circle, or to give the spherical form of the earth, "Gea," and this circle
with a horizontal diameter and an upright line crossing in the center, the
Mundane Cross, formed a square, the fourth part of a circle, the Gamma or
The sphere drawn by the compasses represented the atom, as well as the earth
or the universe, following the old Hermetic maxim engraved on the Emerald
Tablet, " As above, so below." Four gammas (Tetragammaton) or four squares
with their ends joined at the center of a circle, make the Swastika, the
oldest symbol of the world according to the Smithsonian Institution.
When you next see the letter G in the East think of this and "our ancient
brother Pythagoras," who no doubt was the Master of building fraternities in
Greece, who built the surviving temple of Paestum not far from Krotona, as
well all the other temples that were "the glory that was Greece." Then
remember that our latest scientific knowledge is taking us back to the
knowledge of the ancients and the philosophy of Pythagoras who said, " God is
Universal Mind." When we realize the unit of matter, the atom, is composed of
electricity and has the three phases of energy, substance and consciousness,
and this consciousness is universal, we begin to get an awe-inspiring
conception of that Grand Architect of the Universe, who is always geometrizing,
based on the latest developments of modern science.
also see why, as stated in Anderson's Constitutions,
Mason * * * if he rightly understands the art, will never be a stupid atheist
nor an irreligious libertine.
That art is symbolised by the letter G.
The Almonte Stone
Communicated by BRO. N.W.J. HAYDON, Associate Editor
THIRTY-SEVEN years ago an alleged discovery was made of an inscription,
apparently of Masonic significance, near Almonte, a town about forty miles
southwest of Ottawa. It is necessary to make the statement guardedly, because,
as has so often happened in like cases, no adequate steps were taken at the
time to authenticate the find. In spite of having followed up every line of
inquiry that seemed likely to promise further information on the subject, one
must confess that the results have been very meagre and very unsatisfying.
The first, and most obvious approach was to the local lodge, Mississippi No.
147. The secretary wrote me saying that he had no information on the subject,
but would pass my letter on to the- Master of the lodge, W. Bro. R.A.
Jamieson, who as it happened was also Town Clerk, and very much interested in
the history of the locality. Not hearing anything further, after an interval
of some months I wrote to him direct. He replied that it was the first he had
heard of my inquiry. He said that he had heard vague rumors of the discovery
of the inscription, but had no definite information on the subject whatever.
He added that he had no means of prosecuting an inquiry along the most natural
lines, as the files of the local newspaper had been removed.
The following July I met him at the meeting of the Grand Lodge of Canada (for
Ontario), and obtained some further information. The files of the local
newspaper, the Almonte Gazette, were in the hands of the Hon. Andrew Haydon
(no relative of mine, by the way, so far as I know) and through him I obtained
the first real light on the subject. He was preparing a history of Lanark
County, in which Pakenham Township is situated, and very kindly looked up the
original account that appeared in the Almonte Gazette. I might add that I had
previously written to the Department of National Archives at Ottawa, in the
hope that they might have a file of the Gazette there, but was informed that
if there had ever been one it had been destroyed with many other documents in
the destruction of the Parliament Buildings by fire some years ago.
soon as the date of the discovery was fixed I made a search through the files
of the Canadian Freemason and the Canadian Craftsman, but found no more than a
single paragraph in the former journal. This quoted a dispatch from London,
Ontario, which without giving any details, scoffed at the "discovery" as a
Since then I have had some further correspondence with Bro. Jamieson, whose
inquiries have resulted in very little further information. He, however, did
elicit from a son of Bro. Forsythe, the first Mason to examine the stone, that
he remembered a man coming to the farm when he was a boy, to cut out the
portion bearing the inscription. All those who were mentioned as having
examined the stone in the account in the gazette, are now dead with the
exception of R. Wor. Bro. Dr. McIntosh. To this brother I also wrote and was
informed by him that, so far as he knew, the proposal to cut out the inscribed
portion of the stone was carried out, though he had no knowledge of what
became of it.
Bro. Jamieson wrote to me more recently to say that he was going to have the
minutes of the lodge searched in order to see if any mention was made of the
discovery, or of the proposal to cut out the inscription, and if this was one,
how the relic was disposed of. However, nothing rather has come to hand, and
though I have written Bro. Jamieson twice since, no further word from him has
The date of the issue of the Almonte Gazette containing original report was
May 27, 1892. This account is here reproduced, with the heading and
sub-heading under which appeared, and a reproduction of the cut which
alleged relic of 1604 discovered in Pakenham Township - How it was found -
What it looks like - Speculation as to its author
Considerable interest has been created in Masonic circles in this district by
the discovery of a peculiar inscription on a rock situated on a mound in an
out-of-the-way place on Mrs. Joseph Dickson's farm in Upper Pakenham. The
discovery was accidentally made by Mrs. Dickson's son over a year ago. He told
Mr. John Forsythe, his neighbor, of what he had seen. The latter thought there
was nothing of importance in the affair, and paid little attention to it until
a few weeks ago, when, during a search for his cattle, his attention was drawn
to a polished rock with Masonic emblems carved on its surface. Mr. Forsythe,
being an enthusiastic member of the Craft, made a careful examination of the
stone, and, finding it to possess unusual interest for members of the
fraternity, he communicated the result of his investigations to his brethren
in Almonte and Pakenham and invited them out to inspect it for themselves. The
invitation was accepted, and a short time ago Messrs. R. Pollock, J. M. Munro,
A. J. McAdam and W. P. McEwen, of Almonte, and Dr. McIntosh, Major O'Neil and
R. Moore, of Pakenham, enjoyed the hospitality of Mr. and Mrs. Forsythe, and
during the afternoon paid a visit to the spot containing the mysterious
inscription. They found a rock with a polished surface six or seven feet in
length, and a couple of feet in depth, bearing an inscription that, judged by
its appearance, had been placed there by an unknown hand at a very early
period, as the action of the elements in the intervening period, clearly
demonstrated. The writer, believing that Gazette readers would be interested,
took an impression of the inscription, of which the following is a copy, but
greatly reduced in size:
How such an inscription came to be carved in such a place is a mystery. If it
was cut in the stone in the year 1604 - nearly three centuries ago - as the
figures would seem to indicate, it looks as if some follower of Champlain (who
passed through this section about the year 1603) had done the work; but of
course is mere speculation. We understand that Mr. Forsythe intends sawing out
the interesting relic, and it will form the nucleus of a museum in connection
with his lodge - Mississippi No. 147, A. F. and A. M., G.R.C., Almonte. Some
Almonte craftsmen have submitted specimens of the polished stone to a
prominent geologist, with the object of gaining information as to the effects
of the elements on it through the lapse of time, and every effort will be made
to unravel the mystery surrounding the affair.
The description leaves much to be desired. The writer says he "took an
impression of the inscription," by which is probably to be understood a
rubbing. The description of the stone as "polished" is very vague, and while
the dimensions given probably refer to the stone itself, grammatically they
refer to the polished surface. It remains doubtful whether this surface was
natural, or artificial. This makes a good deal or difference, for inscriptions
cut on natural surfaces, unless very deep and on a very large scale, very
rapidly become indistinct. The photograph of the Nova Scotia Stone reproduced
in THE BUILDER, vol. x, p. 295, shows such indistinctness very conclusively.
The crux of the inscription is naturally the date. The square and compass, in
unusual position it is true, the hand, the trowel and perhaps even the eye,
may probably be accepted as having been quite clear. The design below the
trowel looks as if intended to represent a wall of rubble Masonry, either in
course of erection, or else an unfinished part of the "inscription." Perhaps
both. But the date is naturally very difficult to accept; and if the cutting
was done on a natural surface, it is well within possibility that the second
figure was 8, of which part had been less deeply cut owing to irregularity of
the surface, and had thus been obliterated by weathering. The date 1804 might
not be too early for a pioneer settlement in the vicinity; the ostensible
date, however, seems to present such grave difficulties as to be incredible.
The whole history of this "discovery" is a striking instance of the ignorance
and carelessness with which possible evidences of Masonic antiquity are
treated. The project of cutting out the stone was unfortunate to say the
least. Better to have left it to the weather than to have removed and lost it.
On the other hand those who condemned it off hand as a hoax or imposition were
equally to blame; for that was only to be decided by examination. If only such
things could be carefully described and impartially judged at the time of
discovery, so that if genuine they might be preserved, and if not that the
fact might be authentically established! Unfortunately most of the Craft "care
for none of these things," and it is much easier to come to a snap decision
without information than it is to investigate. So some will believe and some
will reject, according to their individual disposition, while the student can
only regret that opportunities for examination were so carelessly neglected
Other difficulties to be solved lie in the fact that the first known white man
to travel the Mississippi River, which is joined by the Indian River quite
near the Dickson farm, was Etienne Brule in 1610, not 1603 as stated above.
There is, too, the opinion of the Department of Archives at Ottawa, who wrote
me after receiving a copy of the photostat of the Inscription, that the form
of the figures and letters is different from that in use at the date they
to the suggestion that the figure 6 was really an 8, I find on examining
Robertson's "History of Freemasonry in Canada", that there was no record of
any lodge in the vicinity of Almonte during the era of our Provincial Grand
Lodges of Upper Canada. He gives, however, details of a lodge that met at
Richmond, in Carleton County, under a warrant dated 1821, which place was a
village on the Goodwood River, some twenty miles southwest of Ottawa. in the
Rideau Military Settlement
Freemasonry in South Africa
BRO. WILLIAM MOISTER Transvaal
Bro. Moister, to whom we are indebted for this most interesting account of the
Craft in South Africa, is the Editor of the South African Masonic World. He is
also, if we have it correctly, Grand Organist of the District Grand lodge of
The situation in South Africa will seem very strange to American Masons, and
will be very instructive. It is a striking proof that the doctrine of
exclusive territorial jurisdiction is not a Landmark, as so many believe it to
be, nor is it even a necessary regulation for the good government of the
Fraternity and the preservation of peace and harmony among the Craft
THIS brief survey of freemasonry in South Africa makes no pretense whatever to
be a History of the Craft in this sub-continent, but is written, primarily,
with the view to correcting some erroneous impressions which prevail in other
countries, and also in the hope that the information may be of use to such
American brethren as may visit these shores, and who would like to enjoy
fraternal intercourse with their South African brethren.
have had the pleasure of meeting a number of brethren from different American
jurisdictions, and most of them have been under the impression that there is a
Grand Lodge of South Africa. Let me say at once that we have no Grand
jurisdiction at all in South Africa. The nearest approach to it is the case of
the Grand East of the Netherlands, which body has a Deputy Grand Master for
South Africa in the person of Right Wor. Bro. C. C. Silberbauer, 33d, to whom
the two Provincial grand Masters are subject, he being the direct
representative of the Grand Lodge at the Hague.
Just a word as to the order in which the four Constitutions were founded in
South Africa. The Netherlands started with Lodge de Goede Hoop (Anglice - Good
Hope) in 1772 and this Constitution was also the pioneer of Freemasonry in the
Transvaal. The English, after some military Lodges which functioned in the
latter part of the eighteenth and early in the 19th century, founded the
British Lodge No. 334 in 1811. Scotland followed (also at Capetown) in 1860
with the Southern Cross Lodge 398, but it was not until 1895 that the Irish
Grand Lodge Chartered a Lodge in South Africa, this being Abercorn, No. 159.
There are now about three hundred and fifty Lodges under all four
Constitutions, English, Irish, Scottish and Netherlandic, in the Union of
South Africa and Rhodesia. At present Rhodesia has no local government in the
shape of District or Provincial Grand Lodges, although there is a movement to
establish a District Grand Lodge under the Scottish Constitution. All Lodges
in these regions work directly under their respective Grand Lodges. This was
the case with many Scottish Lodges in the Union of South Africa until a few
years ago, when the District Grand Lodge of the Eastern Province was
established. The same remark applies to the Irish lodges at the Cape
(Peninsular) which did not come under the regime of the Provincial Grand Lodge
of South Africa. But a couple of years ago the Provincial Grand Lodge of South
Africa, Southern, was established at Capetown, with the Rev. Dr. Watters as
Prov. Grand Master.
The territorial divisions in South Africa, would, I imagine, appear somewhat
chaotic to the American brother who is used to clearly defined geographical
distinctions with supreme jurisdiction in each state. Constitutionally, the
boundaries overlap to a confusing extent, and as each Constitution has its own
ruling with regard to "higher" degrees, the Royal Arch, Mark Masonry, and so
on, it requires some study to grasp the position. Let me say one thing here;
in English, Irish, Scottish or Netherlandic Lodges any brother visiting Lodges
in South Africa from America will be sure of the same brotherly welcome and
hospitality. All work together for the common cause and with the utmost
harmony, and in many districts, have joint Funds of Benevolence, and
Education, and the like, no constitutional distinction being made either with
regard to maintenance or benefits.
THE ENGLISH CONSTITUTION.
There are five District Grand Lodges District Grand Lodge of South Africa,
Western Division, D.G.L. of S.A. Eastern Division, D.G.L. of S.A., Central
Division, D.G.L. of Natal and D.G.L. of Transvaal, under Right Wor. Bros.
Thos. N. Cranstoun-Day, J.C. Duff, Joseph Van Praagh, Daniel Saunders and G.S.
Burt Andrews respectively. The first District Grand Lodges covers the western
portion of Cape Province (formerly Cape Colony), the second has a very wide
range, extending to Matatiele in East Griqualand in the East, and as far as
Heilbron in the Orange Free State. Formerly the Lodge at De Aar came under
this District but has recently been transferred to the Central Division. The
Headquarters of the Western Division are at Capetown, of the Eastern at Port
Elizabeth and the Central at Kimberley. The D.G. Lodge of Natal has its seat
at Pietermaritzburg, while that of the Transvaal is at Freemasons' Hall,
Johannesburg. This last, by the way, is the only District Grand Lodge which
owns its own building, in which most of the English Lodges in Johannesburg
also hold their meetings. The Central Division takes in one Lodge in the
Western Free State (at Koffiefontein) while several Lodges in the Eastern
portion of this Province are subject to the D. G. Lodge of Natal. I must here
remark that the term " Province " used Masonically does not necessarily bear
any relation to the word in a geographical sense. The Central Division is the
smallest of the District Grand Lodges and governs Lodges in the Diamond Fields
area and North as far as Mafeking.
THE IRISH CONSTITUTION.
I have already remarked, the Lodges in the Cape Peninsular come within the
scope of the Prov. Grand Lodge of South Africa, Southern, while all the rest
of South Africa, including Rhodesia, is under the charge of Rt. Wor. Bro. Dr.
J. G. Croghan who resides at Johannesburg. Although starting many years later
than its Sister Constitutions, the Irish body is making splendid headway. The
enthusiasm displayed by the Irish Craft is wonderful and at the Annual Stated
Communication brethren travel many days' journey from the uttermost parts of
South Africa to attend.
THE SCOTTISH CONSTITUTION.
There are four District Grand Lodges, Western Province, Eastern Province,
Natal and Transvaal. The Transvaal D.G. Lodge includes the Orange Free State
and one Lodge in foreign Territory, Friendship Lodge at Lourenco Marques,
Portuguese East Africa. These are governed by Rt. Wor. Bros. James Murray
Wilson (Capetown), Dr. F. A. Saunders (Eastern Province), Robert R. Peattie
(Natal) and James Thompson (Transvaal). As remarked earlier, there is a
movement afoot to establish a District Grand Lodge in Rhodesia.
THE NETHERLANDIC CONSTITUTION.
The affairs of this Grand Lodge are controlled from Capetown by Rt. Wor. Bro.
C. C. Silberbauer. The Provincial Grand Master at Capetown is Rt. Wor. Bro.
Mossir Alexander, K. C., who has the whole of South Africa under his charge,
including Rhodesia, while the Prov. Grand Master of the Transvaal is Rt. Wor.
Bro. William B. M. Vogts. This, the oldest Constitution in South Africa, is
making good headway, although it is small, numerically, compared with the
English and Scottish Craft. Some old Lodges under this banner are dormant, but
a few have been revived of late years while new Lodges are being formed in
various parts of the country.
I said above, the fact that we have these four Constitutions working together,
with some diversity of territorial jurisdiction, will seem confusing to
brethren who reside in a country where the geographical boundaries are clearly
defined, and where only one Grand body holds sway in each. The confusion is,
however, intensified when we come to the "Higher," allied or side degrees, for
each Constitution has its own peculiarities in this respect. For instance: In
the English system the Royal Arch Degree, while worked in a separate Chapter
bearing the number of the Lodge with which it is identified (although not
always the same name) is regarded as part of "Pure and Antient" Freemasonry,
and a complementary degree to that of Master Mason. The brother who holds the
rank of District Grand Master is, as a rule, the Grand Superintendent of the
Royal Arch, though this is not an invariable rule. At Capetown the District
Grand Master is Rt. Wor. Bro. Cranstoun-Day, while the Office of Grand
Superintendent is held by the Deputy District Grand Master, M. E. Comp. W. J.
Gibbons. In all the other Districts the Grand Supt. is the District Grand
the Mark Degree the Office of District Grand Master is usually held by another
distinguished brother. This degree, although it has the Duke of Connaught as
Grand Master, is not actually recognized as part of Craft Freemasonry, under
the English Constitution, but with the Scottish it is different. Any Craft
Lodge may work the Mark degree, and some do; but in the Transvaal the degree
is usually worked in a R. A. Chapter. In the English one may take the R. A.
without the Mark, but not in the Scottish or Irish. And a Master Mason may
proceed to the Rose Croix without any intermediate degree under the English
rule, but not with the Scottish. In the last named Constitution there is a
degree, "Excellent Master," which comes before the Royal Arch, and an English
Companion has to retire while this is being worked, though an Irish Companion
is only required to take a short obligation, as it is considered that the
Irish R. A. approximates to the Scottish sufficiently to permit the Companion
to remain in the Chapter while it is being worked. There are other degrees
associated with the Royal Arch in the Scottish working, the R. A. Mariner,
Knights of the Sword, Knights of the East and Knights of the East and West,
and the Installed Degrees pertaining thereto, as well as the Cryptic degrees.
The R.A. does not appear to be worked by the Netherlandic Constitution,
although there are a few Rose Croix Chapters operating in South Africa. They
have, I believe, some other degrees of which I cannot say anything, excepting
that they are associated with the Rose Croix system.
THE HIGHER DEGREES.
The Ancient and Accepted Rite, and the A. and A. Scottish Rite have several
Chapters Rose Crois (18d). In the case of the English, there are under the
control of two Sovereign Grand Inspectors General, Ill. Bro. G. S. Burt
Andrews, for Northern South Africa, and Ill. Bro. J. C. Duff for the Southern
portion, while Ill. Bro. James Thompson is the Sov. Grand Inspector General of
the Transvaal for the Scottish body. As a rule the members of the Rose Croix
are all brethren who have served the Craft with distinction, and the degree
may be considered an exclusive one. After passing the Chair of Most Wise
Sovereign in a Rose Croix Chapter a brother is usually recommended by the
Chapter for the 30d, which is as high as most brethren ever get. There are
very few (probably not more than a score) of 31d and 32d Masons in South
Africa, while it is not until a brother is appointed to the charge of a
territory as Sov. Grand Inspector General that he has the honour of the 33d
conferred on him. There are other orders such as the Knights Templar and the
Order of the Secret Monitor working here, but their numbers are limited, and
few of the rank and file of the Craft enter them.
have noticed that the "Higher degrees" seem to command a large support in
America, and this is, probably, because where very large Lodges exist, the
brethren naturally seek for other channels of advancement. With us the Lodge
is a small unit, many Lodges containing perhaps twenty to thirty active
members. We consider a Lodge of a hundred a large one. Our opportunities for
advancement in the Craft proper, therefore, are greater than seems to be the
case in the United States, five to ten years being long enough in the ordinary
way for a brother to attain the Chair of King Solomon, while there are the
further prospects of advancement in District or Provincial Grand Lodge rank.
The four Constitutions unite in supporting Masonic Charities in most Districts
and Provinces. We have only one District which can boast of "Bricks and
Mortar" in this respect, namely the Transvaal, which has a fine Masonic Hostel
for boys at Boksburg, a few miles from Johannesburg. There is every prospect
of a similar institution for girls being established in the near future, while
another scheme which has been mooted from time to time is the foundation of a
Hostel for aged brethren and widows. The Boys' Home is under the auspices of
the Transvaal Masonic Educational Institution, while the relief of aged and
indigent brethren and their widows and dependents is undertaken by the
Transvaal Masonic Benevolent Fund. In addition to this, most District and Prov.
Grand Lodges have their own Benevolent Fund, as has every Private Lodge.
The only District Grand Lodge which owns a building is that under the English
Constitution for the Transvaal. Freemasons' Hall in Johannesburg was acquired
some years ago, and the Offices of District Grand Lodge are in this fine
building. Most of the English Lodges in the city meet there. In some other
cases a building is owned jointly by two or three Lodges under different
Constitutions. Most Lodges in the country, even the smallest towns, have their
own building; sometimes used entirely for Masonic purposes, and sometimes let
for entertainments, public meetings, school accommodation, and so on. There is
now no Lodge meeting on licensed premises (i.e. in hotels or restaurants).
Sometimes a Parish Hall or Town Hall is used, or a Church Schoolroom.
the larger centres, such as Capetown, Pretoria, Johannesburg, Kimberley,
Pietermaritzburg, etc., several Lodges meet in the same building which is the
property of one or more of the Lodges in these towns.
From time to time talk of a United Grand Lodge of South Africa has filled the
air, and some abortive attempts have been made to bring this about. Personally
I much doubt if the present generation will see this consummation. Despite the
many economic advantages it would offer, the ties of loyalty to the Mother
Grand Lodges are too strong for severance. In the meanwhile the utmost harmony
prevails between the four Constitutions, the interchange of visits being
general, while cordial cooperation in Masonic Charity is the rule in all
Provinces and Districts. There is much diversity of "working" for, besides the
natural differences between the Constitutions, there is much latitude
permitted, especially in the Scottish Craft, and one may see in Johannesburg,
the M. M. degree worked in at least four different ways in as many Lodges.
There is a tendency in the English Constitution to eliminate a number of
"innovations" which have crept in through association with other
Constitutions, and to return to "Emulation" work, a movement which has the
strong support of the District Grand Masters, of the Transvaal and the Eastern
and Western Divisions of South Africa.
The District and Provincial Grand Masters do a tremendous amount of travelling
in visiting the Lodges under their charge. With the advent of the motor car
and increased railway facilities this is easier than it was even so late as
twenty-five to thirty years ago; but with all these advantages the lot of the
Head of a District is a very arduous, even if a happy one.
There are now no Military Lodges, in the accepted sense of the term, in South
Africa, the last of these going away with the British forces which were
stationed at the capital cities of South Africa prior to Union in 1910. There
are, however, two lodges in Johannesburg of which the membership is confined
to those who have served their King and Country in one or another branch of
His Majesty's forces. The older of these is the Transvaal Volunteer Lodge,
under the Scottish Constitution, where one may see a Private in the Chair of
K. S., and a Lt. Colonel in one of the subordinate offices. The other was
formed only recently, under the English banner, and composed of Commissioned
the English, Scottish and Irish Constitutions the new Worshipful Master is
installed by a Board of Installed Masters mid-way in the Installation
Ceremony, but the Netherlandic Constitution has no degree of Installed Master.
In view, however, of the disability this would impose upon a Wor. Master of a
Netherlandic Lodge visiting other Constitutions, by arrangement with the three
other Constitutions this degree is worked after the Master Masons and all
other brethren have finally retired from the Lodge Room. It is not an
essential feature of his Mastership, and is only conferred as an act of
courtesy for the reason above stated.
American Army Lodges in the World War The Proposed Oklahoma Lodge
BRO. CHARLES IRWIN, Associate Editor
THERE came to my attention some years ago while reading the various Grand
Lodge Proceedings of the several Grand Jurisdictions a copy of the Grand Lodge
of Washington, 1919. In the review of the Correspondence section, p. 66, I
came upon the following paragraph: (under Texas, 1918):
Army Lodges were favored by this Grand Lodge and the Grand Master of Oklahoma
informed that his Army Lodge might work at Camp Bowie. Texas, assuming no
responsibility for it.
This paragraph was filed for future study and investigation but the pressure
of other matters caused it to lie dormant for quite a season.
few years later I had occasion to attend the Christmas Services of Lincoln
Commandery, Knights Templar, Wilkinsburg, Penn., as their speaker, and there I
met Dr. Fred W. Clarke, a member of the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma, and from him
received further information on the subject, and the name and address of Dr.
Hugh Scott, who had been instrumental in working up the petition for the Field
Lodge in 1917.
the course of time I corresponded with Brother Scott and from him obtained a
few more threads in the story. At the same time I wrote to Wor. Bro. William
M. Anderson, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma requesting from
him copies of the petition if possible and additional items concerning the
proposed Lodge. Bro. Anderson failed to supply me with a copy of the petition
but did give me several items of information.
From these scattered data I have reconstructed a brief and very unsatisfactory
account of the proposed Field Lodge of the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma, to be
located in Camp Bowie, Texas. The account should be incorporated for
completeness sake in the records we have been publishing in THE BUILDER, and
in fact will conclude them. The following is a letter from Grand Secretary W.
M. Anderson, of the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma, dated July 15, 1929:
have been holding response to your latest communication in the hope that we
might possibly be able to locate a little additional information concerning
the army lodge which was proposed by the Grand Jurisdiction of Oklahoma, but
our records contain no reference to it.
"Dr. Hugh Scott was to be the first Worshipful Master, but he was transferred
before the organization was consummated. There were 18 signers to the
petition, which was placed in the hands of the then Grand Master, Brother
Joseph W. Morris, who made a trip down there. Grand Master Morris informed me
that he was going to grant a dispensation, and the dispensation was made out.
When the organization failed neither the dispensation nor the petition was
returned to this office, and Grand Master Morris made no reference to it in
his annual address to the Grand Lodge.
"Dr. Scott was for some time in charge of U. S. Veterans Hospital No. 90, at
Muskogee, Oklahoma, but something like two years ago he was transferred to
another hospital in one of the suburbs of Chicago, I believe.
"Fraternally yours, 'WM. M. ANDERSON, "Grand Secretary."
obtained contact with Dr. Scott at the U. S. Veterans' Hospital at Maywood,
Illinois, and requested from him a statement as to this proposed lodge. Bro.
Scott most courteously made reply, and in his communication informed me as
"An attempt was made in the Field Hospital Section of the 111th Sanitary
Train, 36th Division, at Camp Bowie, Texas, in the winter of 1917 to organize
a Military Lodge. The Field Hospital Section of the 111th Sanitary Train was
made up largely of young men from Oklahoma. I had organized and trained these
four Field Hospitals, and had a very deep interest in their welfare. The men
were all of a very high type and a large number of them were Master Masons.
Believing that if a Military Lodge were organized and maintained in the Field
Hospital Section from Camp Bowie to France, that it would promote the morale
and a deeper interest in the welfare of the members of the organization. After
considerable correspondence with the officials of the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma,
who manifested a very marked interest, Brother Moses Anderson, arrived at Camp
Bowie, to install the officers who had been selected. However, the
installation was delayed pending the arrival of Grand Master Joe Morris of
Oklahoma, and by the time of the arrival of Brother Anderson and Grand Master
Morris, it was my misfortune to have been suddenly transferred from the
organization to Camp Colt, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
think largely because of the fact that I was the Commanding Officer of the
four hospitals and had initiated the effort, that on amount of my transfer
interest ceased and all plans were suspended and finally dropped, as the 36th
Division was soon ordered overseas."
show how interested Dr. Scott was in Masonry and in its development within the
military service, I am permitted to quote further from his interesting letter:
"After my arrival at Camp Colt, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, I continued my
Masonic activities and was the means of having a great number of soldiers
petition for the Scottish Rite Degrees at a Consistory, the name of which I
have now forgotten, but some distance removed from Gettysburg."
Going back to the proposed Military Lodge at Camp Bookie, Texas, Dr. Scott
enlarges upon their proposed plans by stating:
do not now recall all the officers who had been Selected, but remember that
the Worshipful Master to be, was Dr. C. R. McDonald, of Mannford, Oklahoma."
another letter from W. Bro. Anderson, dated Dec. 18, 1928, he says:
"The proposed Worshipful Master of this Army Lodge was Dr. Hugh F. Scott, then
a Colonel, who had charge of the Ambulance Corps of the 112th Ambulance Train
at Camp Donavan in our State. Colonel Scott was transferred to Philadelphia
(error for Gettysburg), Pa., just at that time and there was none to take his
place as Worshipful Master of the proposed Army Lodge and so it never
materialized. The demits that accompanied the petition for this dispensation
were returned to the brethren who had signed the petition for such a lodge and
thus it ended."
Some discrepancy is thus apparent between Bro. Scott's recollection and Bro.
Thus through the unavoidable military orders that transferred the proposed
Master of this proposed Military Lodge Oklahoma was deprived of sending into
the Field a fine group of enthusiastic Masons under a warrant. Nevertheless
this group went across the ocean and did their duty to "God, their country,
their neighbor and themselves."
With this brief sketch, which I am inserting in the series in order that the
record may be as complete as possible for the benefit of later investigators
into Military Masonry during the World War, I am bringing to a close this part
of the labor of the love that has traced throughout the Union and across
several continents traces of these officially organized activities of our
American Craft. I have been exceedingly careful to make no statements based on
hearsay, but have verified every one of them prior to giving them utterance.
wish to take this opportunity to convey to my host of Masonic friends who
occupy either official positions in the several grand Lodges, or were
identified in official positions in the several Field Lodges, or who as
members of the Field Lodges gave me unstinted assistance in the collection of
data. The past ten years in which I have been collecting this material have
widened my own Masonic horizon and have given me an insight into the
philosophy of Masonry that could have come to me in no other manner.
The next stage of our records will cover the more informal activities of
Masons which brought about the formation of Masonic Clubs. Some of the
overseas lodges, it will be recalled, took their rise in, or were connected
with such clubs, but on the whole the two types of organization seem to call
for separate treatment. I hope to be able to commence the new series early in
the coming year.
uttering a closing greeting to my readers I would urge upon them the great
value, as well as pleasure, to be obtained, in the taking up of some definite
line of research, and pushing it out further and further until definite
results are achieved. It is by such endeavor, pursued sometimes it may be
through a sort of patient drudgery, that the history of the Craft is to be
preserved and put upon permanent record.
Problem for the Order of the Eastern Star
BRO. ROBERT C. WRIGHT, Oregon
THE object of this present discussion is, first, to supply some facts,
historical and scientific; second, to put the question squarely before the
powers that be in the O. E. S.; shall the legend of Jephthah's Daughter he
eliminated and something more elevating and appropriate be substituted in its
The writer is a Past Patron and feels justified in pointing the way to
something better fitted for the good old order. Therefore let us not "get all
fussed up pronto" and call this a destructive attack, but sympathetically
analyze the problem. Let it be determined whether or not the O. E. S. shall
put its house in order and cease teaching the innocent and unthinking ones a
harrowing and sordid tale which would not for one moment be considered as
suitable for any ritual, if concerned with purported acts occurring today in
Jephthah's origin was such that he was an insignificant person and,
associating with fools, betrayed his tendency to be a fool. (Judges xi, 1-3)
He is one of four mentioned in The Scripture who made imprudent vows, and the
only one of these who is reported to have had occasion to deplore his
imprudence. Some commentators dispute the account and say he only kept his
daughter in seclusion. Others regard his acts as criminal, for he could have
applied to Phinehas, the High Priest, to absolve him from his vow. But he was
an arrogant soldier, and proud; therefore he said, "I, a judge of Israel, will
not humble Myself to my inferior." Neither would Phinehas go to Jephthah.
Therefore we are confronted with two premises, either the account is untrue
and we teach untruth or it is true and we teach a crime.
Jewish tradition relates that both Jephthah and Phinehas were punished.
Jephthah died by an unnatural decay of his body, fragments of flesh falling at
intervals from his bones, to be buried where they fell, his body being
attacked in many places. Phinehas was abandoned by the Holy Spirit. The rabbis
considered Jephthah an ignorant man, for he should have known that a vow of
that kind was not valid. According to Rabbi Johanan, Jephthah had merely to
pay a certain sum to the Temple treasury in order to be freed of the vow.
According to Rabbi Simeon ben Lakish, he was freed even without such payment.
According to other authorities, even when Jephthah made the vow the Lord was
angry with him.
The request of his daughter to go into the mountain to bewail her virginity
lends color to the assertion that he secluded her in the manner that nuns take
the vow of chastity in their chosen life. It was a custom in Israel. (Judges
xi, 37-39) Had an unclean animal, which could not be offered as a sacrifice,
come out of his premises instead of his daughter, what would Jephthah have
done in such a dilemma? His vow and the character of the sacrifice would have
been in utter conflict, and the vow would have had to fail. Was it not more
important that it should fail for his daughter than for an unclean animal ?
When about to proceed, his daughter inquired: "Is it written in the Torah that
human beings shall be brought as burnt offerings?" He replied: "My daughter,
my vow was, whatever cometh forth of the doors of my house." She answered:
"But Jacob too vowed that he would give to Yaveh the tenth part of all that
Yaveh gave him. Did he sacrifice his sons?" (Gen. xxviii, 22) Jephthah
remained inflexible, and the daughter declared that she would go to the
Sanhedrim to consult them about the vow, and -for that purpose asked for a
delay of two months. The daughter was right. Nowhere does Jewish law require a
human burnt sacrifice. The kind of sacrifice is clearly set forth for everyone
"that will offer his oblations for all his vows, and for all his free-will
offerings, which they will offer unto the Lord for a burnt offering." The
clean animals to be offered are specified (Lev. xxii, 18-33), the law
requiring the offering to be eaten the same day. If then Jephthah obeyed the
law in that respect he would have been a cannibal and the whole affair
degraded to the lowest order of savages. A vow, interpreted under this law, to
include a human sacrifice is as unlawful as if strained to include an unclean
animal. (Deut. xvii, 1) Israel was forbidden to follow the abomination of the
idolators in the land of Canaan. (Deut. xviii, 9-14) Among these abominations
was the burnt offering of their sons and daughters. This the Lord hateth, and
what he commandeth, thou shalt not add thereto nor diminish from it. (Deut.
Even the singular vow of Jephthah could have been overcome by payment to the
Temple of a penance or ransom. (Lev. iv, 2) The account seems in fact to
indicate that she was consecrated by her father to a virgin life. He had no
other to perpetuate his name, hence that was a real sacrifice, and the custom
was such that the daughters of Israel lamented it every four years. (Judges xi,
37- 40) A perusal of the law should fully bear out what is above set forth,
and convince all fair-minded people.
Three possible constructions of the legend are apparent in fulfilling the vow.
First, the consecration to a virgin life. Second, release by payment to the
Temple. Third, actual immolation as a burnt sacrifice. The ritual does not
contemplate either of the first two, as they do not fit into its purported
lesson at all. It has always taught the third.
Assume that the horrible tale is literally true, and further that Jephthah
knew the law of consecration and ransom and that human sacrifice was an
abomination and forbidden. Assume that he was thoroughly counselled as to all
this during the two months' delay. The scientific conclusion is irresistible,
that Jephthah, the arrogant soldier, who could slay forty-two thousand
Ephraimites in cold blood and did not hesitate to sacrifice his own daughter,
was insane, a paranoiac. The unfortunate Ephraimites were of Israel, related
to him. Human nature has not changed since that day and proof exists now.
Undoubtedly Jephthah suffered from an insane delusion that because he had made
the vow to the Lord it must be carried out literally. A delusion is the
product of an insane belief, a false conception or idea arising from a
disordered mind. Argument will convince the sane of error, but nothing will
convince the insane.
March, 1925, at Oroville, Cal., one, Sharlow, offered himself as a sacrifice
to the Holy Ghost in a cult he had joined. His head and the soles of his feet
were burned with the sign of the cross and from these tortures he died.
January, 1925, a Mr. Bingaman in Pennsylvania, killed two of his children and
caused his aged father to die of excitement witnessing this. Bingaman was a
paranoiac with religious delusions. He told the officers: "I did right. The
spirit told me to kill them and I did."
True occurrences of this kind could be multiplied, but sufficient are these.
The O. E. S. naturally would not use any of them to base lessons upon, because
of their repugnant hideousness. If the acts of Jephthah are equally insane,
the O. E. S. is confronted with the full force of the ritualistic view it
takes, which is indisputably a literal human sacrifice. The author of the
ritual surely was hasty and did not give this portion of the ritual the
careful study he should have given it. He had a choice beyond any question
among many other women whose lives and characters are noble and elevating.
The serious question proposed in the beginning of this article is timely. It
is not too late. It should be solved calmly and without prejudice, for the
real good of the Order and its thousands of loyal members. Historical matter
and references herein have been carefully sought out. The record is submitted
for a decision. Reformation never comes until error is pointed out. When that
occurs, reformation should come speedily. There should be no clinging to
anything because of some fancied notion that long use and familiarity with it
have clothed it with imaginary beauty or lesson of duty. No falsehood, no
hideous thing should be retained and worshipped in like manner as the savage
of Africa worships his fetich. The writer hopefully awaits the day when
something finer and grander shall replace this portion of the ritual.
Old Masonic Apron
BRO. GEORGE R. RAUB, Michigan
in the fall of 1928, Bro. R. J. Meekren, Editor of THE Builder, saw a
description of an old Masonic apron in the Masonic Home Journal. This notice
was a transcription of one which appeared in the daily press of Detroit,
Michigan, during the Knight Templar Conclave held there from July 14th to 18th
1928, and which dealt with an apron in the possession of Mr. John Eldredge of
Detroit and purporting to have been made in London in the year 1727. The
article has been reprinted many times in Masonic journals and I am pleased to
furnish an account of the investigation made to prove or disprove the
authenticity of the statements made therein.
article as published contained a description of the material and colors of the
apron and stated that it was of Scottish Rite design. The balance of the
account was composed of the Masonic connections of the present owner and his
father, together with some historical data of the period in which the apron
was presumed to have been made and a chronological list of the members of the
family through whose hands it had passed.
Meekren realized that if the claims made for the apron were true, that Mackey
and other authorities were wrong. Mackey says: -
or satin aprons, bespangled, painted and embroidered, which have been
gradually creeping into our lodges, have no sort of connection with Antient
Craft Masonry. They are an innovation of our French Brethren who are never
pleased with simplicity ....
Mason who understands and appreciates the true symbolic meaning of his apron
would no more tolerate a painted or embroidered satin one than an artist would
a gilded statue.
According to the Transactions of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076, London
Masons wore long leather aprons in 1727.
Meekren addressed a letter to Mr. Eldredge and asked for proof of the age of
the apron. He was not satisfied with the reply and addressed a second
communication to Mr. EIdredge who failed to reply.
was then that Bro. Meekren turned to the Service Commission of the Grand Lodge
of Michigan, whose head-quarters are in Detroit, and asked if some local Mason
would be willing to investigate the story of the apron and if possible
determine whether the claims made for it were correct.
Secretary of the Service Commission delegated the task to me.
felt that the apron would in itself constitute proof of its age. I have always
marvelled at the efficacy of the scientists in changing man's cosmological
conception of the universe. Nature alters, but does not eradicate; all things
are homogenetic to the period in which they are created; accordingly I looked
to science to give the required information about the apron. At my request
Adele C. Weibel, Curator of Textiles of the Detroit Institute of Arts, agreed
to make a technical examination of the apron, providing I could bring the
apron to the Art Institute for examination.
this object in view I called Mr. Eldredge and made an appointment to see him.
I did not know why he had dropped the correspondence with Bro. Meekren and
thought I might experience some difficulty in persuading him to submit the
apron to an expert for examination. I was pleased to find that my fears were
unnecessary. Mr. Eldredge is a frank, open-minded, lovable gentleman, who has
seen sixty-eight years of life; he has been sober and industrious and he has
no feeling against mankind in spite of the fact that at his advanced age he is
still dependent upon his daily wage in a Detroit automobile factory for
paternal forefathers for six generations have been Masons. Mr. Eldredge said
that although he held the Fraternity in high esteem he had never petitioned
for membership in a Masonic lodge His father had been honored with the 33rd
Degree and had devoted his whole life to its interests. As a boy he seldom saw
his father, who was away from home working for the lodge. That his character
had been molded by these experiences is doubtless true. He had always been
interested in his home and when he married he found the whole world in the
companionship of his wife His reminiscences of week-ends spent camping and
fishing with his wife are interesting, but they are not directly connected
with the investigation.
told that he had stopped writing "to the man in St. Louis," because he had
told everything he knew about the apron and was at a loss to say anything
more. He had no documentary evidence with which to prove the age of the apron.
There had been such documents but they were destroyed in a flood in the
Allegheny Valley in the 70's. However, he had an account written by his Aunt
Delia, who was born in 1807, from her memory of the originals.
apron was made by Katherine Fink and given to John Dredge in 1727 as a present
and wan handed to his son Horace E. Eldredge in 1752, and Horace E. Eldredge
handed it to his son Haskins Eldredge in 1786. Haskins handed it to his son
Alanzo Eldredge in 1807, and Alanzo Eldredge to his son Hezakiah Eldredge in
1831, and Hezakiah handed it to his son Hykins in 1847, and Hykins handed it
to his son, Frank, the present owner, in 1883.
border of the apron is a light red. This was not the original border, I was
told. The original was so badly rotted that in 1883 he and his mother, under
his father's supervision, had sewed on the new one. They put it on as nearly
to the original as was possible. He made the folds and his mother did the
sewing. The original border, as remembered, was a sort of peach color; it was
ago the Editor of the Cincinnati Inquirer had tried to buy the apron, but he
had always refused to sell it. He hadn't thought about selling it until last
summer. His housekeeper had explained that inasmuch as he had no one to leave
the apron to he would be justified in selling it and that at his age the money
that might be derived from its sale would do him far more good than would the
the Knight Templar Conclave was held they called a newspaper and gave them the
story of the apron, thinking that the attention of some Mason who wanted such
a relic might be attracted.
agreed gladly to submit the apron to the Curator of the Art Institute whenever
it would be convenient for me to take it there.
the afternoon of the 21st of May, 1929, accompanied by Mr. Eldredge's
housekeeper, I took the apron to the Art Institute and Mrs. Weibel examined
it. Her opinion was that it was impossible for the apron to have been made in
1727. The cloth was woven on a power loom and they did not exist at that time.
The kind of a loom on which the cloth was woven did not come into existence
until the last quarter of the 18th century. She thought the cloth was several
years old at the time the designs were put on it, as the style of costume as
shown on the two cherubims was created about 1825. On the back of the apron is
found the date 1727. The ink is the color of walnut juice. Mrs. Weibel said
that from the style of figures used that must have been written about 1830.
Brother Hills, Librarian of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge, was kind enough to
search the old Masonic records for the name of Eldredge, but to no avail.
This, of course, proves nothing because the records are only fragmentary.
believe that the present owner of the apron has been honest and sincere from
the beginning. I am positive that somewhere a gross discrepancy has crept into
the family tradition. The "1727" that appears on the back of the apron might
mean that the first Eldredge was made a Mason in 1727; or that the first
Eldredge made a Mason was born in 1727. Someone has made the mistake of
believing that the date signified the age of the apron.
inclined to think that there is a Masonic connection between the Eldredge
family and the date 1727; but I am positive that the apron itself has nothing
to do with that connection. I am willing to accept the report of Mrs. Weibel
as that of a competent authority and base my further conclusions upon her
Canadian Masonic Manual
BRO. A. J. B. MILBORNE, Canada
THERE recently came into my possession a copy of the very rare Mason's Manual
issued by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Lower Canada in the year 1818. The
book is leather bound, measuring 5 1/4 by 8 3/4 inches, find contains 114
pages with an Index. It was printed at 'The New Printing Office," by T. Cary,
Junr. & Co., No. 21 Buade Street, Quebec.
From the Preface we learn that "the design of this little work was suggested
by the Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master, Brother Snelling," and that it
. intended to supersede the inconveniences which all the subordinate lodges,
and particularly those in remote situations, have hitherto suffered so much
by, and to prevent the regularities they have fallen into, arising frequently
from a want of acquaintance with the regulations as laid down in the BOOK OF
NEW CONSTITUTIONS," unanimously accepted by the United Grand Lodge of England,
at the memorable epoch when the Interests of ANCIENT and MODERN MASONS were
cemented forever in one Grand Plan of perpetual Union, under the name of
UNITED ANCIENT FREEMASONS OF ENGLAND" and subsequently recognized and acted
upon by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Lower Canada.
The volume is dedicated to H.R.H., the Duke of Kent, Past Grand Master of
Masons in Lower Canada, a wood cut portrait of whom forms the frontispiece.
the Quarterly Communication of the Grand Lodge Lower Canada held on the 2nd
day of March, 1818, was resolved unanimously that "all the Rules laid down in
said Code (i.e., The Mason's Manual) shall be the sole and only Laws for the
Government of the Craft, hereby repealing all those promulgated by this Grand
Lodge, that are not therein contained." It was also resolved "That every
person initiated into Masonry in this Province shall have a Copy of the
MASON'S MANUAL delivered to him by the Secretary of the Lodge, who shall
account for the same to the Grand Secretary."
addition to the Rules and Regulations for the Government of the Craft, the
Grand Lodge and Private Lodges, there is an Appendix containing the
Installation and Funeral Ceremonies, various Charges and Prayers, and
. . it being very essential, in order to preserve due decorum when the Craft
are at refreshment, and on other occasions, that no songs, but such as are
truly Masonic, or such as are moral and chaste, should be used, the compilers
of this little work have inserted a few that are Strictly so, which they beg
to recommend to the Brethren.
One of these songs was written by Bro. Thomas Bennett, P. G. S. of the Grand
Lodge of Nova Scotia.
The "Short Charge to a new admitted Mason" is practically the same as that
printed in the Irish Pocket Companion of 1734 (See THE BUILDER, Vol. XI, page
158), except that the phrase "the greatest monarchs in all ages," etc., has
been altered to read "the greatest monarchs, governors and rulers in all ages,
as well of ASIA, AFRICA and EUROPE as of AMERICA, have been encouragers of the
There are a number of Christian references in the Prayers and Charges. The
Manual also contains a set of "Rules recommended to the serious attention of
every Christian FreeMason" as well as "A Christian Masonic Hymn on the
Nativity of our Blessed Saviour," written by the Rev. Bro. Doty of Three
Rivers, Lower Canada.
Many of the Regulations are of more than ordinary interest, particularly those
concerning the appointment of the Provincial Grand Master. Prior to the Union
of 1813 the Provincial Grand Lodge of Lower Canada had apparently assumed
powers it did not possess, and had come to consider itself as a sovereign
body. The Charters which it had granted were carried on the Provincial Grand
Registry only, and few, if any, returns were made to the Grand Lodge of
England. This assumption of sovereign power was not deliberate, but appears to
have grown up as a result of the difficulties incident to those days when the
means of communication with the Mother Country were irregular and slow, and at
a time when, happily for the Craft, the spirit of Masonry was stronger than
the letter of its constitutional structure. Following the retirement of H. R.
H., the Duke of Kent, from the office of Provincial Grand Master of Lower
Canada, to which he had been appointed in 1792 by Warrant issued under the
authority of John, fourth Duke of Athole, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of
England, " Ancients, " the Provincial Grand Lodge met on the 27th December,
1811, and "elected" the Hon. Claude Denechau to succeed him. The irregularity
of this proceeding is now apparent from a reading of the regulations contained
in the Manual, where it is stated that the appointment of the Provincial Grand
Master is a prerogative of the Grand Master of England. It is known that
Denechau applied to England for a Patent, so that it may be presumed that the
"election" was a temporary expedient to meet the peculiar situation that had
arisen. That a Patent was essential to the holding of the office is also
clear, for the Regulation goes on to provide that the Provincial Grand Master
was to be installed on the 27th December annually, " provided his Patent has
been obtained this phrase being in italics. W. Bro. Pemberton Smith of St.
Paul 's Lodge, E.R. Montreal, has drawn my attention to the fact that nowhere
in the Manual is any reference made to the Hon. Claude Denechau, the Manual
itself being issued by the "Committee," and under the sanction of the R.W.
Bro. William Handfield Snelling, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, which, he
writes, "shows a proper Masonic modesty and sense of discipline on Denechau's
part." In spite of the absence of the Patent, Denechau, however, exercised the
functions of his office, even to the granting of Warrants, but he regularized
these Warrants after his Patent had been received in 1820 by ratifying them.
curious claim is made in Regulation 9;
The Provincial Grand Lodge has also the inherent power . . . Of suspending
those (Lodges) of other registers.
is to be hoped that no attempt was ever made to exercise this power.
The Regulations provided that all the Grand Lodge Officers were to be
appointed by the Provincial Grand Master; the appointment of the Grand
Treasurer, however, was to be made from three Brethren nominated by the Grand
Lodge. Lodge representation in the Grand Lodge was limited to the Master,
Wardens and one Past Master from every warranted Lodge.
the rules for the regulation of Private Lodges, it is provided that no person
shall be initiated or admitted if three black balls appear against him; that
. . no other Lodge shall initiate into Masonry, any non- commissioned officer
belonging to a Regiment or Battalion, to which a military Lodge is attached,
nor shall any Lodge initiate any military person below the rank of Corporal,
except as a serving brother, or by dispensation . . .
Lodge shall make a Mason for a less sum than Three Pounds, exclusive of the
Graham, in his History of Freemasonry in the Province of Quebec, written in
1892, refers to the rarity of the Mason 's Manual, and although I have found
references to it in the Minutes of some of the older Quebec Lodges, the only
other copy that I know of is in the possession of Golden Rule Lodge, No. 5, at
Stanstead, which, incidentally, happens to be the mother lodge of the Editor
of THE BUILDER.
With the slow and haphazard communications of a hundred years ago it is not at
all strange that with the best will in the world to abide by Masonic law, the
brethren in Canada were forced into many irregularities. Even the home
authorities added to these by their discrepant and sometimes contradictory
actions. And in addition were the complications following on the existence of
two Grand lodges in England, both warranting lodges in the new world.
The Duke of Kent was inconsistently enough recognized by both bodies, though
originally belonging to neither, for he was initiated in Switzerland. But it
would appear that "Ancients" and "Moderns" in Canada were on fairly good terms
with each other. At least when the Duke was about to leave Quebec for the West
Indies in 1794, a joint address from the representatives of the two systems
was presented to him, expressing a lope that his "conciliating influence"
might lead to a reunion. A hope which was well founded, for he with his
brother, the Duke of Sussex, presided over the amalgamation of the two rival
bodies into the United Grand Lodge of England.
The Canadian brethren had requested that he should be appointed Provincial
Grand Master for the whole of Canada, and he to appoint Deputy Provincial
Grand Masters for Upper and Lower Canada, respectively, and this the Grand
Lodge evidently wished very much to do, only Rt. Wor. Bro. Jarvis had already
been selected when this petition was received.
MEEKREN, Editor in Charge
ROBERT I. CLEGG, Illinois
GILBERT W. DAYNES, England
V. DENSLOW, Missouri
GEORGE H. DERN, Utah
N.W.J. HAYDON, Canada
CHARLES F. IRWIN, Pennsylvania
JOSEPH E. MORCOMBE, California
ARTHUR C. PARKER, New York
HUGO TATSCH, Iowa
M. WHTED, California
E.W. WILLIAMSON, Nevada
his "Farewell" and apologia pro labore suo as Research Editor of THE BUILDER,
Bro. E.E. Thiemeyer quite neglected to give any indication of his reasons for
relinquishing the position. The explanation is very simple. Some time ago he
got married, and he now finds it necessary to find some more remunerative
employment than Masonic Research. His salary has only been a nominal one, and
it was only because he had other sources of income that he was in a position
to undertake the tasks he has so ably and zealously performed since his
appointment some three years ago. No one but the Editor can begin to
appreciate how much Bro. Thiemeyer has done, or the value of his assistance in
the carrying on the work of the Society. The Editor may confess to having had
some hope that Bro. Thiemeyer might be his successor, and thus provide for
continuity in the work. But he knew all the time that such an outcome was
hardly probable. The Research Society, the Graft in general, cannot expect
young men of outstanding ability to devote their lives to such work as this,
without paying something more for it than the day wages of a carpenter or
we do not expect to lose Bro. Thiemeyer entirely He will take a place on the
Board of Associate Editors, and we shall continue to have the benefit of his
advice and suggestions. We wish him success in his new undertakings, and with
his gifts and energy there is little doubt that he will attain it.
* * *
RESPONSIBILITY OF MASONIC EDITORS
the August number of the Masonic Digest, Bro. Reynold E. Blight, himself the
editor, expressed himself upon this subject. We gather that the pronouncement
was not made in vacuo, that is, it was not merely the exposition of a theme,
but that it had reference to some local differences of opinion among the
brethren in California, or at least in Los Angeles. This was made more
apparent by the publication in the succeeding issue of letters from a number
of brethren of prominence, warmly praising this editorial utterance.
very much in agreement with most of what was said, there were certain
statements that we could only accept with some reserve. Bro. Blight said that
an "editor is not altogether a free individual," which is so true that it is
almost a truism. The only editor who is free is one who owns the periodical he
directs, and who is rich enough to pay all its expenses out of his own pocket.
Even then his freedom is limited by various laws of the state. Few, however,
are in this happy state of liberty, and the great majority of editors have to
conform themselves to some extent, greater or less, to what their readers
want, or at any rate to what they will stand.
was also stated that "no individual, no magazine, can claim to represent
Freemasonry. There is only one body authorized to speak for the Craft and that
is Grand Lodge." Naturally, for it represents the Craft, in any given
Jurisdiction. But again those who are at a distance, and who do not know the
circumstances that inspired the utterance, may wonder why anything so obvious
should have to be said, and what is more important, what it might be taken to
succeeding paragraph it is said that the same rules that govern him in the
lodge must guide a Masonic editor in the conduct of his publication. So far as
these concern "restraint, tolerance and courtesy" and "the ideals of the
fraternity" we unhesitatingly agree. A Masonic editor is a Mason, and a Mason
is bound to act Masonically in all his dealings with his fellowmen, and
especially with his brethren. But here is where we feel it necessary to make
certain reservations. Whatever appears in the columns of a Masonic journal
should be distinguished by courtesy and restraint, and whatever is said
editorially should be just and tolerant, but it is not clear that this is all
that is intended, and this doubt is increased by the letter of M. Wor. Bro.
Will H. Fischer, in which he says:
way of thinking, the editor of a Masonic magazine should be sensitive and
responsive to, and limited by the clearly enunciated principles, purposes and
commitments of Masonry and the policies laid down by Grand Lodge.... If there
is a difference of opinion as to principles, policies or procedure, or a
desire to enter new fields of action, policy or discussion, the same should
first be discussed and settled in Grand Lodge, or with the Grand Master, in an
the particular questions at issue which it would appear are being dealt with
under these general statements it would be an impertinence for us to say
anything, even if we knew anything about them and had formed an opinion. But
on the question of the freedom of the Masonic press we have a very decided
opinion and we cannot admit that an editor has to follow the same rules in
regard to his journal that the Master of a lodge has to enforce, in regard to
the subjects raised for discussion. The two things are on different levels.
There are matters that can be discussed in lodge that could not possibly be
published, and conversely there are subjects that cannot be brought up in
lodge that may very properly be treated in a Masonic periodical, precisely
because its pages are open to all the world. The logical result of Bro.
Fischer's understanding of Bro. Blight's article would lead to a Masonic
bureaucracy, and make every editor its partizan and propagandist. Exactly the
same reasons exist in American Masonry, in its present day development, for a
free press, as exist in the civil state. Democratic governing machines are
clumsy and very slow to act - they need the free and mobile criticism of a
free press both as a curb and as a spur, according to circumstances. Grand
Lodges are no more perfect than any other legislative bodies.
limits and functions of the Masonic press is another subject that might well
be elucidated by research, and we would welcome any further discussion of the
* * *
has been some discussion recently as to the fitness and propriety of
protecting the articles published in Masonic periodicals by copyright. Several
of our contemporaries have expressed the opinion that there should be no
restriction whatever on the use and promulgation of material prepared for the
information and instruction of the Craft, and this is a consideration that
undoubtedly carries much weight.
has to be admitted that there has been a very low standard of professional
ethics in the American Masonic Press taken as a whole. This is not the place
to attempt to account for the fact, it is there and has to be regretted. The
recently organized Masonic Press Association has set very high requirements
for its members, and we have no doubt that in time its influence will have
great and far-reaching effect. It insists on the observance of the regular
established usages of publication, including the elementary and primary rule
that permission be obtained to reprint articles published elsewhere, and full
credit given to the publication in which they first appeared.
the procedure of protecting a publication legally is a very simple one, it is
fair to assume that the editor and publishers of any periodical not
copyrighted tacitly gives a general permission to reprint articles from its
pages without further formality. Though even in such cases courtesy at least
would demand that it should be explicitly asked for and received.
Builder has been protected by copyright from the beginning, for reasons that
we believe are fairly obvious. The articles and essays that have appeared in
it are all original, with very few exceptions, and for the most part have been
the work of members of the National Masonic Research Society. The general
copyright is intended to protect their interests. It is for the author to say
what use may be made of his work.
position is therefore quite simple. Contributed articles appearing under the
names of their authors should not be reprinted without permission. In most
cases, we know, such permission will be gladly given by the contributor,
unless there is some special reason for not doing so, such as an intention to
republish in another form. But so far as other material is concerned we are
very glad to offer it for general use, on the condition that full credit is
given to THE Builder. And here we must say that when such material has been
reprinted in another journal, it is hardly fair to ascribe the credit to the
latter - though we have known this to be done more than once.
has been in the past, and still is, unfortunately, an altogether improper and
unjust view taken by members of the Craft at large toward authors and
publishers both. The laborer in general is admittedly worthy of his hire, even
the ox is not to be muzzled as he treads out the corn, but the Masonic writer
is expected to work for nothing, and the publisher is expected to give his
periodical away, or at least make concessions as to payment. And if either
objects then they are straightway held to be "commercializing" Masonry. Really
it is those who expect such favors who are exploiting Masonry, for they are
demanding something for nothing on account of the fraternal tie. We believe
that if consideration is given to this the misconception will be removed. It
takes as much time and effort to write a Masonic article as any other, and it
costs as much money to publish a Masonic journal as any other, and those who
seek undue favors are themselves the commercializers.
* * *
several months past THE BUILDER has contained brief notices of the charitable
festivals of the Grand Lodge of England. There are three of these festivals
held annually which are of major importance. Each one is devoted to raising
funds for one of the homes operated by the Grand Lodge of England. The Royal
Masonic Benevolent Institution for Girls, the Royal Masonic Benevolent
Institution for Boys, and the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution which is
for old folks and indigent Masons are the recipients of the funds subscribed
at these major festivals.
customary in England to sell jewels for subscriptions of certain sums of money
to be devoted to these institutions. Stewardships are also for sale. The word
"sale" is perhaps harsh, but in an uncharitable attitude is correct. Either
lodges or individuals may purchase jewels or qualify as stewards. If
recollection serves aright, the fee for a lodge stewardship is considerably
larger than that for an individual.
BUILDER has commented favorably upon the amount of money raised at these
festivals, and made comparisons which were none too favorable with the charity
of American Grand Lodges. The recent festivals held in England produced
considerably over a million dollars for charitable purposes. This is well over
an average of $4.00 per member for the jurisdiction. With a system of
contribution as outlined above, it is evident that these funds are in excess
of any deduction from the annual dues of the members to their respective
lodges, or a per capita tax by the Grand Lodge. And this in a country where
government taxes approximate 35% of the income of the individual. It is
immediately apparent that our English brethren take their Masonic charity with
a great deal of seriousness.
are informed by a correspondent that a very large percentage of the funds
received are brought forth by social pressure exercised by lodge officers upon
those who do not seem to be inclined to contribute as liberally as they
should. The impression given in the letter to which reference is made, was
that this practice is to be condemned rather than praised. The present writer
cannot concur in that opinion, and while the following views are expressed
editorially, it must be said at the outset that they are personal, although
the writer feels that the majority of the membership of the National Masonic
Research Society will concur.
us admit that it would be much better to secure funds for charity without
coercion if possible. Of course, the desirable thing is to have the members of
the Masonic Fraternity take their obligations of charity so seriously that
there would be no need to force them by social pressure or otherwise to
contribute ample funds for the maintenance of charitable enterprises.
is much to be said on the other side of the question. In the first place, a
candidate petitioning for Masonic degrees has some sort of an idea that
Masonry is a charitable institution. It must be self-evident that the funds
for maintenance must come from the members. It is the general practice in
America to secure these funds by a per capita tax levied by the Grand Lodge.
The amount of this levy is small, but in theory the coercion exercised is just
as strong, perhaps even stronger than the social pressure brought to bear by
lodge officers in England. Regardless of any opinions to the contrary, the
fact cannot be denied that American Masons are being forced to contribute to
their Masonic homes just as strongly as English Masons. The difference is only
second reason for preferring the English practice is that the charitable
obligation is brought home more forcibly under that plan than under the
American scheme. In this country a certain portion of dues is automaticaly set
aside for charitable purposes. The member pays his lodge dues and assumes that
he has no further obligations to his Masonic brethren. That is altogether the
wrong attitude. The average American Mason will contribute to all sorts of
secular charity, but will not add one penny to his dues for Masonic charity.
That is perfectly all right, but it does not enable the fraternity to practice
to the full the charity which it claims lies at its foundation.
does not take a keen observer to realize that there are many ways in which
money could be spent by the Masons of this country to help unfortunate members
of the craft. There should not be included in this group any unworthy cause.
To cite a few examples however, we might spend money for the education of
children of Masons who could not otherwise receive proper training. The Shrine
hospitals for crippled children, which devote their attention not only to the
children of Masons, but others as well, cannot cover the entire field. More
funds could be used in this way. We might found homes for contagious cases and
Masonic insane, who are not provided for at the present time. The caring for
indigent tubercular patients in the Southwest has been mentioned so many times
that it must be known to everyone today. If American Masons were compelled by
social pressure to dig in their pocket to the extent of $4.00 per member, we
would have twelve million dollars a year to devote to such worthy enterprises.
In following such a practice, we would be helping others who would be willing
to help us, if their obligations meant anything to them, instead of helping
people in whom we have no interest whatever, except that interest of pity
which any normal human being has toward one less fortunate. In other words,
there is money devoted to general charity today which would do just as much
good, and perhaps more, if it was devoted to Masonic charity. That these
outside charitable organizations would miss the Masonic contributions is
doubtful. The Masonic Fraternity would relieve them of enough charges to make
up whatever depletion in funds they might suffer and Masonry be credited with
adequately caring for its own. In other words, what is being advocated here is
nothing more than the old adage that " Charity begins at home."
American plan does not provide sufficient funds for these purposes, as has
been said. Perhaps the English plan also fails. However, it is certain that by
bringing pressure to bear, every member of the Masonic Fraternity in England
is forced to realize that he is abiding by his obligations, and that is as it
should be. If men will not live up to oaths of honor willingly, they should be
made to do so forcibly. It would doubtless be well if the forty-nine American
Grand Lodges would adopt the English plan in regard to contributions for
charitable enterprises. We would have more money for charity, and American
Masons would be made to realize that the Masonic Fraternity was an active
organization, and not one whose emblem was a means of getting more business,
or simply a form of odd age insurance. E.E.T.
Chronicle and Comment
Review of Masonry the World Over
Question of Plural Membership
breaking down of the prejudice in the American Craft against a brother
belonging to more than one lodge at the same time seems well under way. Not
only is Michigan seriously considering the matter, but it has been definitely
proposed in Idaho and New Jersey. In the former Grand Lodge two resolutions
were introduced, according to the Idaho Freeman, but "on account of the
importance of the subject and the press of other business the matter was
withdrawn from consideration for the present."
New Jersey the Grand Master recommended it and proposed regulations to govern
it. The Committee on the Address reported it to the Grand Lodge, but on a
technical objection it was laid over for action at the next Annual
Grand Lodge of Oregon has also taken it up, and has a committee studying the
problem. An article by R. W. Bro. L. W. Matthews, a member of this committee,
appeared in the October number of the Masonic Analyst, from which we gather
that probably the committee will not only report favorably, but will offer
weighty arguments for relaxing the unnecessary restrictions that have become
traditional in this country.
Ruling on Dimits
Several of our contemporaries have been recently discussing a ruling of the
Grand Master of Louisiana which appeared in the Proceedings of that Grand
Lodge in 1928. This was to the effect that a lodge is justified before
granting a dimit in demanding not only a payment of all dues but also a pro
rata share of all the lawful indebtedness of the lodge.
the decision was not commented on by the committee on the Grand Master's
Address, it is to be presumed that it was accepted as in accordance with
Louisiana Masonic Law. It has not, however, met with approval elsewhere. The
Idaho Freemason points out that if this be granted, in justice the demitted
brother should receive a pro rata share of the assets of a lodge also. The
logic is unimpeachable. The Masonic Chronicler says that in Illinois a lodge
cannot levy any assessment on its members, and the Tyler-Keystone commenting
on this states that the same is true of Michigan.
might be specific eases where such a demand might be fairly made, but stated
as a general rule it is dangerous, and could possibly work the gravest
injustice on individuals.
Solicitation of Candidates
following paragraph appeared in the August issue of the Illinois Freemason:
good many old Masons hold up their hands in horror if anybody suggests that
Masonic lodges might, with propriety, make a modest solicitation for members.
If Masonry is a good thing why should we not be permitted to tell our friends
about it and suggest to them that it would be to their advantage to become
members of the society. The facts are that four-fifths of all petitions
received in lodges today result from someone having presented the value of
Masonry to a friend.
not holding up our hands in horror, or any other emotion, we certainly believe
the suggestion is a mistaken one. There is a sound practical and psychological
basis for the rule that no one should ever be solicited to become a' Mason, it
is not merely a tradition. It does not follow that a "good thing" for some men
is a good thing for all; and Freemasonry is a peculiar institution, its nature
is such that only those who are attracted to it of their own motion are at all
likely to prove good Masons. It is not true that every good man can be a good
Mason. In addition to being just, upright and honorable, he must have that
peculiar predisposition that can appreciate ritual and symbolism and the ideal
of fraternity. There are many excellent and admirable men in whom this is
Masonic Emblems on Auto Radiators
Recently this subject was brought up in the Grand Lodge of New York. No
definite prohibition was enacted, but the brethren of that Jurisdiction have
been requested to cease from following the practice - those of them who had
should hardly have thought this matter of sufficient importance to mention,
were it not for the feet that it seems to have aroused a great deal of
interest everywhere. A large number of our contemporaries have given publicity
to it, and some have commented upon it editorially. The news has even crossed
the Atlantic, where it has been received with half incredulous wonder. Not
wonder at the mild action taken in the premises, but wonder that a Mason
should, or could, want so to advertise himself.
Revived Interest in Count Pulaski
friends who belong to the Roman Church have re-discovered that noble soldier
of fortune and partisan of liberty, Count Casimir Pulaski, who fell at the
siege of Savannah in the War of Independence. From different parts of the
country we hear of various suggestions for honoring his memory. In Wisconsin a
public park has had its name changed from Lindbergh Park to Pulaski Park; in
New Jersey a monument is proposed. In St. Louis there was a celebration and
memorial service. Naturally those of our citizens of Polish descent are
interested, and as these nearly all belong to the Roman Church, the attempt to
add him to the Romanist Pantheon of national heroes is logical enough. Whether
Pulaski was a member of the Roman Church himself we do not know, he may have
belonged to the Moravian Church; but however this may be, he was certainly a
Freemason. We need not grudge the new honors being paid to him, but the
situation is rather amusing.
Withdrawal of Charges
the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey for 1929 we learn that one of
the decisions made by the Grand Master, M. W. Bro. W. T. Vanderlipp, was that
charges preferred against a brother might be withdrawn by consent of all
parties when they did not involve criminal acts in the eyes of the law. And he
went on to express the opinion that where the complaint concerns money matters
charges should not be received by the lodge unless fraud is alleged in the
is a very important matter. Originally lodges took cognizance of any quarrel
or dispute between individual members, and there were no formal regulations
governing such eases. To obviate abuses that appeared from time to time a
procedure analogous to that of courts of law has been provided in all
jurisdictions. But this procedure is not at all adapted to deal with disputes
and misunderstandings, and the consequence is that these are now almost
everywhere ignored by our lodges, with very evil results at times.
it not be possible to devise some less formal and serious method for
arbitrating and appeasing differences between brethren? It might go far to
reviving true friendship and fellowship in the American Craft.
Alleged Find of Masonic Manuscript
reported that an old manuscript dealing with Masonry has been found among some
old books at a farmhouse in Wisconsin. The discovery was made by Dr. B. C.
Meacher of Portage, Wis. The manuscript is stated to be several hundred years
old, but on what grounds this estimate was made does not appear.
might guess, if the report has any foundation, that this would prove to be
another copy of the Old Charges; but the locality seems a very unpromising one
for this. It is possible it is a modern copy of one of the published versions,
made by some Mason for his own use. We hope that some of the Wisconsin
brethren will try to find out more about it. One of the brethren of Henry L.
Palmer Lodge, or perhaps some member of the Grand Lodge Committee on Masonic
Research seem to come within their province. Such claims as this should be
examined at once, for as time passes the difficulties of establishing the
truth rapidly increase.
lowa Grand Lodge Bulletin
Members of the N.M.R.S. are naturally interested in the Iowa Craft, seeing
that it was founded through the efforts of Iowa Masons, chartered under the
Iowa law governing non-profit making corporations, and for the first eight
years of its existence had its headquarters within its borders.
Grand Lodge of Iowa has a world-wide reputation. It would not be too much to
say that it stands in the very forefront of the English speaking Masonic world
in regard to its achievements from the intellectual and educational point of'
view. The Iowa Masonic Library, though it may have one or two equals, has no
superior. Its resources have been put freely at the disposal of Masonic
students the world over, and there is no reading Mason anywhere who does not
know of its fame.
conjunction with the educational work of the library a Bulletin has been
issued for many years, with the object of bringing the library and its
resources, and its acquisitions to the knowledge of the brethren in the
Jurisdiction. The expense was met by the Grand Lodge, and it was always
considered as port of the Library work. It was sent to all Iowa Masons, and to
any Masonic student elsewhere who asked to receive it. It became one of the
few Masonic periodicals published in the English language that was of general
interest. It is no wonder that the name of Iowa stood so high in the Masonic
Naturally this was due, as everything worth while always is, to the efforts of
a few leaders, notably the two Parvins, father and son. It is to be feared
that the majority of Iowa Masons neither know nor care about such things. They
do not realize they have a world reputation, perhaps they would not value it
if they did. At least there were signs at the last communication of the Grand
Lodge that the character of the Bulletin is to be changed. The Board of
trustees suggested that "more emphasis should be placed on the Craft in Iowa."
There was some flowery verbiage about the "worth while achievements of the
several lodges," and how recording them "would bring renewed enthusiasm and
fresh courage" to all. But the meaning seemed to be that Iowa would recede
from its prominent position and would turn its attention to its internal and
private affairs, and that the Bulletin should become more and more a local
rest of us, of course, have nothing to say. We can only be grateful for what
Iowa has done, and, if this tendency should be continued, we can only regret
the loss of Iowa leadership. It will come to many as a shock that even the
existence of the great Library is dependent from year to year on a bare
majority in the Grand Lodge, and we can only hope that this regressive
tendency will go no further, otherwise we may have to mourn the fall of one of
the principal pillars oft organized Masonry on its intellectual side.
Educational Secretary in North Carolina
recent issue (Sept. 16) of the Orphans Portend and Masonic Journal, which is
the organ of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina, has an article by Bro. R. R.
Saunders, who is Educational Secretary of Reidsville Lodge, No. 384. In this
article he briefly recounts his experience. He apparently had to start with
very little assistance and very little knowledge of what has been done
elsewhere. He incidentally remarks on the failure of the Grand Lodge to
"provide some system of study covering all the phases of Masonic thought for
the guidance of the secretaries."
everyone else who has had to do with educational work he has come to the
conclusion that outside speakers, no matter how eloquent or well informed, can
never take the place of individual work by the members of the lodge, or study
club, themselves. He states his conclusions thus:
study of, and experience in, this phase of Masonic work has been limited and,
without a pilot to guide me it has been more or less of a pioneering nature To
begin with I laid down certain rules about which to build my programmed, rules
which conform to the standard of common sense as far as I was able to apply
They must be brief, they must be interesting, they must be instructive.
That the work must not be overdone by having too many meetings. I arranged my
meetings of four each, one in the Spring and one in the Fall, skipping the hot
That the work must be done systematically and progressively.
Masonry is no different from any other science or philosophy and I assumed
that it could not be treated any differently for practical results.
possible that the Syllabus published by the N.M.R.S. might serve him as a
guide. It has been used in similar eases with the most gratifying results.
Masonic Education in Idaho
the Communication of the Grand Lodge of Idaho, held in September, Bro. Curtis
F. Pike, chairman, dwelt on the feet in his report that within a generation
conditions had completely changed. Once the lodge meeting was a welcome break
in the daily monotony of life, now it has to compete with a thousand
distractions and forms of entertainment. In consequence Masonry must develop
some new appeal, and the question of Masonic Education assumes more and more
committee has compiled and published a list of Masonic books to assist lodges
in building up libraries, and this has apparently had some result. No definite
scheme or course of study has been arranged as yet, though some lodges have
formed Study Clubs. The committee looks forward to being able to accomplish
still more in the coming year.
appropriation granted the committee last year seems a very small one, only
$500.00. This would seem to show that the real importance of this work has not
yet been so fully realized by the Grand Lodge as it has been by the committee.
Masonic Relief Association
the Missouri Freemason we learn of the recent biennial meeting of the Masonic
Relief Association of the United States and Canada, which was held in St.
Louis last month. This is undoubtedly the most efficient of the various
organizations established to harmonize and co-ordinate inter-Jurisdictional
efforts. And being the most efficient, is the least known and the least talked
about. Twenty-six Boards were represented directly by their own delegates, and
many of these were proxies, so that some fifty Boards were represented in all.
agenda called for discussion of the following questions, and we are informed
that it was carried out in its entirety:
the Masonic fraternity really relieve distress among its members, their widows
should be done to a lodge that fails to make provision for distress among its
own members or their dependents?
can you tell us of the lodge that makes Masons and then turns them out for
other lodges to relieve when they are in distress?
Grand Lodge requires each lodge to collect sufficient dues to maintain a
relief fund to meet emergencies?
the Masonic fraternity countenance and conceal the identity of persons
claiming to be members in good standing who are guilty of fraudulent
transactions or does it expose them? Which should it do?
can a Mason guard against a fraud or impostor if not warned and warned in an
not a feet that too much time is given to ritual and not enough to the study
and acquirement of a knowledge of its meaning and application?
not the Masonic fraternity getting away from its original plan of relieving
the distress of worthy members and their dependents ?
not a fact that many lodges undertake to tie the hands of their officers and
actually prevent them from relieving distress?
this consistent with the original plan as taught in its lectures and ritual?
were nine papers in all, these being by Bros. John A. Davilla, Joseph L Kirk,
Holland L. Kraw, J. B. Nixon, Phil. A. Roth, E. E. Axtell, Stewart Gamble,
Walter L. Stockwell and Lewis E. Smith.
Between reading of the eighth and ninth papers election of officers was held
and luncheon served, again in the temple dining hall. Those chosen to serve
for the next two years are Stewart Gamble, Baltimore, President; Dr. John D.
Henderson, Knoxville, Tenn., First Vice-President; J. B. Nixon, Toronto,
Second Vice-President; Lou B. Winsor, Grand Rapids, Mich., reselected
Treasurer; Andrew J. O'Reilly, St. Louis, reselected Secretary; Lewis E.
Smith, Omaha, Chairman Executive Board, and these members of that body: Ira
Weingrun, New Orleans; D. R. Cheney, Portland, Ore.; E. Earl Axtell, Buffalo,
and George D. Riley, Jackson, Miss.
Elimination of the Chapter
the Introduction of the Report of the Committee on Review in the Proceedings
of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Illinois, the following passage
appears under the above heading:
general impression which the writer has gained from reviewing the proceedings
of the Grand Commanderies of the United States is that something must be done
in order to bring the Order of Knights Templar back to its own.
"Various measures have been suggested, and in some quarters one of the
outstanding has been the elimination of the Royal Arch Chapter as a
prerequisite to membership in the commandery. We are living in an age of the
survival of the fittest. There is no reason in the world why the Order of'
Knights Templar should be called upon to propagate the chapter at its own
expense. Someone has declared that if the chapter is eliminated, in the course
of five years the membership of the Knights Templar will be doubled. This may
be an extravagant claim, but the fact remains just the same, that the Royal
Arch Chapter is a mill stone about the neck of the Order of Knights Templar.
this new age in which we are living when many Masonic organizations are
fighting for existence, there must be a readjustment, and it should be along
sensible lines. If the Royal Arch Chapter cannot stand upon its own merits,
then the sooner it goes out of business the better.
subject of chapter elimination is receiving the attention of Knights Templars
in many quarters, and it is believed that it is but a short time until the
Grand Encampment will be called upon to consider the advisability of dropping
the chapter, and opening admission to the Order to all Master Masons in good
standing who can pass the test."
we expect will prove a very startling suggestion to most Masons. It is another
indication of the distance the American Masonic Institution has traveled in
the last thirty years or so. The basic idea of the so-called higher degrees
and appendant Orders was selection. The membership of the lodge was a selected
group of men, that of the chapter was selected from them, that of the
commandery selected yet once more. They were the elite, the very cream of the
Fraternity, three times investigated and examined, and thrice approved.
have been in other periods and in different countries unseemly struggles
between Masonic systems and Rites, but it was for power or control. The
present situation would seem to be a mere struggle for existence, a sordid
competition for membership, and presumably fees.
only one symptom - there are plenty of others for those with their eyes open.
But what the remedy is no one seems to know. It does, however, seem
unfortunate that those organizations connected with Masonry which make so
large a showing in the public eye, and which attract so many of the unthinking
because of their showy features, are nearly all at the end of the succession
of grades. It might be better to break this artificial connection, it might be
better even to make them open to Entered Apprentices; playgrounds and parades
would seem more suitable for the novices and Masonic “youths.”
Whatever may be the right course to take in the present situation it is going
to need hard and sober thinking to find it, and the policy of shutting our
eyes and insisting that all is well in the best of possible institutions will
have to be given up, for that way lies disaster.
of Recognition by the Grand Lodge of England
the Quarterly Communication of the United Grand Lodge of England the following
"Basic Principles for Grand Lodge Recognition" were adopted:
Regularity of' origin; i. e., each Grand Lodge shall have been established
lawfully by a duly recognized Grand Lodge or by three or more regularly
That a belief in the G.A.O.T.U. and His revealed will shall be an essential
qualification for membership.
That all Initiates shall take their Obligation on or in full view of the open
Volume of the Sacred Law, by which is meant the revelation from above which is
binding on the conscience of the particular individual who is being initiated.
That the membership of the Grand Lodge and individual lodges shall be composed
exclusively of men; and that each Grand Lodge shall have no Masonic
intercourse of any kind with mixed lodges or bodies which admit women to
That the Grand Lodge shall have sovereign jurisdiction over the lodges under
its control; i.e., that it shall be a responsible, independent, self-governing
organization, with sole and undisputed authority over the Craft or Symbolic
Degrees (Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason) within its
Jurisdiction; and shall not in any way be subject to or divide such authority
with a Supreme Council or other Power claiming any control or supervision over
That the three Great Lights of Freemasonry (namely, the Volume of the Sacred
Law, the Square, and the Compasses) shall always be exhibited when the Grand
Lodge or its subordinate lodges are at work, the chief of these being the
Volume of the Sacred Law.
That the discussion of religion and polities within the lodge shall be
That the principles of the Ancient Landmarks, customs, and usages Of' the
Craft shall be strictly observed.
requirements are very much what anyone might have expected, even to the
uncertainty of meaning that envelopes such terms as "religion" and "politics,"
and the indefinite content of "Landmarks, customs and usages," while a critic
might not find it difficult to show inconsistencies latent in the phrases
dealing with the "revelation" of the Divine will. Nevertheless we may hope
that these attempts at defining requirements, and stating essentials, which
are now appearing in different parts of the Masonic world will lead to the
removal of misunderstanding, and perhaps eventually to the realization of the
almost despaired of ideal of universality.
International League of Freemasons
fourth Congress of this league the official title of which is "Universala
Framasona Ligo" was held last month at Amsterdam. The only report of the
proceedings that has so far come to hand is that in the London Masonic News of
September 21st. From this we learn that the organization was started by a
number of Masons who were in attendance at the Esperantist Congress held at
Boulogne in 1906, and was at first most concerned in advancing the cause of
that universal language. It took its present form in 1913.
President of the League is Dr. Fritz Uhlmann of Basle, who is master of a
lodge under the Grand Lodge Alpina of Switzerland.
Incidentally it may be remarked that Bro. Ossian Lang, Grand Historian of the
Grand Lodge of New York, was expected to attend, but was detained by illness
in Vienna. The authorities of the Grand Lodge of England gave the meetings a
guarded recognition, warning English Masons who intended to be present that
they represented only themselves. As the League strongly emphasis the fact it
is an organization of individual Masons only, this warning was perhaps not
Actual Situation in Italy
Reports continue to come through various channels that, if anything, the
situation of Italian Masons is worse than ever. A brother who has recently
been in Italy informs us that in spite of the persecution and the spies some
of the lodges continue to maintain their organization and to hold occasional
meetings. Naturally those brethren who are most prominent suffer most.
Guiseppe Meoni, Grand Master of the Grand Orient, has recently been
"deported," and even Past Grand Master Ettore Ferrari, now over seventy years
of age, was threatened with the same fate. Some remaining sense of shame,
however, seems to have halted this, but he is held practically a prisoner in
his own house, unable to communicate with friends, or to go out except by
special police permission.
Indifference or Cowardice?
Morcombe asks this question concerning the Italian situation in the October
number of the Masonic World. He points out the difficulties in the way of any
concerted official protest on the part of American Freemasonry; the very same
conditions, it must be said, that faced it at the outbreak of the war. He also
observes that no protest would have made any practical difference, an opinion
THE BUILDER has also expressed. But he believes that indignation is widely
felt among American Masons, or at least among those who know anything about
the matter, and he thus concludes:
deprecatory allusions to the Italian situation can be credited to Grand
Masters and others in authority, but so far no real voice of official protest
has been heard. On the other hand, there have been attempts to explain the
silence by asserting that Italian Masonry is political, altogether unlike our
own. The inference is that, being accounted heretical, American Masonic
sympathy would be misplaced. One might be justified in asking whether our
Masonry, having been long dumb on every question of importance, and living a
peaceful and protected life, has not grown cowardly. An expression, manfully
phrased, protesting against the persecution of Italian Masons, would at least
have defined our position, and would have proved to the sufferers that there
was with them the moral support of the largest section of the universal
society. Whether the reason for silence be indifference or cowardice, it is
not to the credit of the American Craft.
sounds like a contradiction in terms, but the latest number of Alpina, the
organ of the Grand Lodge Alpina of Switzerland quotes from Italia, a journal
published in Paris (on behalf of the Italian exiles we presume) an article
under the heading "A Freemasonry of Fascist Adventurers." In this it is
asserted that Mussolini has a pressing need of a ghost or shadow of Masonry
(for reasons that might easily be imagined) and that a certain Edouard Frosini
has been created Grand Master, a man "without either political or moral
influence." It is also stated that reports have been received from both Vienna
and Copenhagen to the effect that:
. . .
this suspicious personage, who naturally acts in accord with the Fascist
party, has demanded recognition. At the very moment when the Italian police
are deporting the real Free Masons, he is able to constitute lodges openly,
and to send diplomas and patents abroad. It is obvious that he is nothing but
an instrument of the police for purposes of espionage and provocation.
might account for sundry letters now being sent to various newspapers in
England and elsewhere, purporting to be from Italian Masons, claiming that
there is no Masonic persecution in Italy, and implying that all those who were
deported or imprisoned were traitors and scoundrels, and deserved all and more
than they have received in the way of punishment.
Church and State in Malta
press dispatches it appears that the parish cures of Malta, at a meeting
described as "secret," passed resolutions to the effect that they would
collectively express their adhesion with the Archbishop in his controversy
with the Governor; that they would exert every effort to enlist the support of
all clubs, societies and other organizations in thus cause; and generally to
open a campaign to rouse a strong public opinion against the government in
regard to the matter in dispute.
seems also that the Papal Secretary of' State, Cardinal Gasparri, wrote to the
Archbishop of Malta stating that the Maltese Government was violating the
"Catholic traditions" of the island, and that he has sent an official note to
Mr. Chilton, the British Envoy to the Vatican, to inform him that Lord
Strickland, the Governor, was persona non grata to the Holy See.
Strickland in reply has stated that he was a descendant of a Roman Catholic
family whose members through generations had suffered loss of life and
property, and who had endured loss of civil status and exclusion from public
life on account of their religion, but who stood to the pledge made at the
time of the Emancipation Bill, that English Roman Catholics "would take their
religion from Rome and their politics from themselves," adding that only on
these conditions could they continue to serve as ministers of the English
matter in dispute, it will be remembered, arose about a high handed attempt on
the part of the ecclesiastical authorities of Malta to deport a priest,
against his will, to Sicily in defiance of his rights as a British subject.
This attempt Lord Strickland, as Governor, very properly vetoed - "hence all
Grand Lodges of Germany
answer to a correspondent the Illinois Freemason says:
Grand Lodge of Illinois has never extended recognition to any Grand Lodge in
Germany. Masonic conditions in Germany are rather chaotic, and while attempts
have been made in times past to secure recognition, yet the same has not been
extended for the reason that such Grand Lodges as have existed have not been
able to measure up to those fundamentals which Illinois requires.
Grand Lodge of Illinois was organized in 1823. The Grand Lodge of the Three
Globes at Berlin was founded in 1744, the National Grand Lodge in 1770, the
Grand Mother Lodge of the Eclectic Union in 1783, the Prussian Grand Lodge of
Friendship in 1798, the Grand Lodge of Hamburg, the Grand; Lodge of the Sun at
Bayreuth, and the Grand Lodge of Saxony were all formed in 1811. In origin no
one has ever dreamed of calling any of them irregular, in regard to the
beliefs required of their candidates, the Great Lights, and the conduct of
discussion in their lodges, there has never been a suspicion of their
orthodoxy from the strictest Anglo-Saxon viewpoint. The only thing that could
possibly be questioned is that they have never adopted the American doctrine
of exclusive territorial jurisdiction, being content to dwell together in
amity within the same boundaries. German lodges have always been well
disciplined, and their membership is of the very highest character.
true that the German Masonry severed relations with the Grand Lodges of enemy
countries during the war, and with some neutral Grand Lodges also. It is true
likewise that since the war it has stood aloof from the rest of the Masonic
world, a course that the sympathetic observer will have no difficulty in
understanding, but this does not in the least impeach its regularity, its
orthodoxy, or its claims on the fraternal consideration of the rest of the
* * *
have learned with deep regret of the death of Bro. "Gus" Hankins, for many
years the editor of the Virginia Masonic Journal. An enthusiastic Mason, he
gave a great deal of time and work to the Institution. He was Grand Recorder
of the Grand Commandery, Grand Secretary of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter, and
at one time Secretary of the Scottish Rite Bodies in Richmond, and at the time
of his death he was a Vice President of the Masonic Press Association.
was educated at Hampden-Sydney College. Later he studied law, and eventually
became Chief Clerk in the office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, which
position he held through several administrations. He finally gave this up to
devote all his time to Masonic work.
had been in ill-health for a number of years, but it was about a year ago that
he was stricken with the complaint that caused his death, in his sixty-second
year. We offer to his surviving relatives and friends our most sincere
Modern Problems of the Craft
Answers to Some Questions By Herbert Hungerford, Author of Our Ancient
Fraternity and Present Day Problems
SINCE proposing the adoption of a program of Popular Masonic education-that is
a program designed particularly to appeal to the interests of the rank and
file of ordinary Masons-as a solution for many of the present day problems of
our Order, a good many challenging questions have been put up to me in person
and by letters from brethren. Some of these questions, which I now propose to
face, even though I may not be able to give adequate answers to all of them,
doubtless, are the questions arising in the minds of many of our members when
they confront the problems that must be solved and the tasks that must be
undertaken if Freemasonry is to meet the challenge of the changing conditions
in our day and age.
1-Since Membership in the Order is Increasing Every Year, Why Do You Insist
That Anything is Wrong?
do not base my opinion that Freemasonry has shifted to a wrong direction,
simply because the rate of increase in membership has declined every year for
at least five years. I am quite willing to concede that our growth at one
period may have been too rapid for the health of the Order. Frankly, I am far
more concerned about the quantitative than the quantitative extension of
Freemasonry. It is the decline in the quality of membership and, particularly,
the cheapening of the quality of Masonic activities that seems to me apparent
everywhere that caused the protest I have voiced.
2-Is Not the Real Spirit of Freemasonry Manifested More in the Lives of Its
Members Than in Their Attendance at Meetings?
Certainly; yet this admission does not alter the criticism of a Lodge for its
failure to provide a program that will attract more than five or ten per cent
of its members. No one can deny that many good men and Masons seldom attend
their Lodge. I claim that the Lodge is at fault if it does not provide
programs which appeal to every good Mason
3-Isn't Masonry Losing Ground for the Same Reason That the Church is?
this question means to imply that folks are no longer interested in the
cultural or spiritual values of life, my own observation of the widespread
interest in various other cultural activities appears to give a negative
answer. But, if the purport of the inquiry is that many churches as well as
many Lodges have failed to adjust their programs to keep in tune with the new
cultural key- note of our times, I think it must be admitted that this surely
is one cause of the decline of both institutions.
4-Isn't Our Present Masonic Problem Due Chiefly to the Fact That During the
Period When the Order Grew so Rapidly Too Many Members of Low Grade
Intelligence Were Admitted?
This is the classic criticism of the high-brow. The question implies that
Masonry is, or should be, an aristocratic instead of a democratic institution.
This is a suggestion of intellectual snobbery, which seems to me false to
every ideal and contrary to every precept of our Order. The appeal of our
ancient fraternity always has been and, I trust, ever will be to the common
citizen, the average man.
5-Don't You Think the Big Trouble With Our Lodges Comes From Too Many Square
Clubs and Other Auxiliary Organizations?
No, I do not think this is necessarily so. Doubtless some "joiners" simply use
the Lodge as an entrance to some of the modern auxiliaries of Freemasonry.
But, if our lodges were fulfilling their true mission and providing a
distinctive cultural program that could not be obtained elsewhere, every
society and fraternity connected with the fundamental organization would help
rather than hinder its growth and influence.
6-Don't You Think That the Opposition of Certain Religious Denominations Has
Been Detrimental to Freemasonry?
Quite the contrary. In my opinion, the greatest achievement of Freemasonry has
been its firm stand against the twin evils of bigotry and intolerance. I am
firmly persuaded that this has drawn more into the Order than the forces of
bigotry have kept out of it. Is there anyone in these days who cannot read in
the signs of the times the doom of bigotry and the ultimate triumph of the
truth and light which our great institution has so long upheld?
Haven't You Found That the Major Fault of Masonry is Too Much Masonic
Well, I agree with Brother Cyrus Field Williard, who pointed out in THE
BUILDER last month that the sacerdotal class in all ages, and in all bodies,
even Grand Lodges, have always sought to keep the multitude in ignorance that
their own schemes might be forwarded." So, I must admit quite frankly that
some of the political activities of our "big guns" have not helped much to
raise the ideals or advance the interests of the Craft. But, I also agree most
emphatically with Brother Willard, that in our fraternal democracy, the rank
and file are the real rulers, so if we make a genuine demand for our ancient
"birthright" all good Masonic politicians will be quick to aid us in procuring
all the educational advantages we may require.
8-Don't You Realize That the Worst Evil in Our Lodges is the Continuous Money
Raising Campaigns, So That One Can Not Attend a Meeting Without Being Tackled
for a Contribution or a Subscription, Which Makes Such a Steady Drain Upon the
Pocketbook That Some Star Away From Lodge in Order to Avoid These Constant
do not deny that there is some excuse for this complaint because, frankly, it
seems to me that some of our fund-raising drives would require a considerable
stretch of the imagination to be classed as charity. But, I do not think
true-spirited Masons ever will complain about or dodge the appeals of true
Masonic charity. Our trouble, I believe, lies in the failure of our present
programs to fully impress the teachings of our fraternity and to inculcate the
true Masonic spirit in all brethren admitted to our fellowship.
9-Getting Right Down to Brass Tacks, Hasn't Masonry Slumped for the Same
Reason That All Cultural Activities Are Going Backwards?
Since I am unable to agree with the assumption that all cultural activities in
this country are going backwards, of course, I cannot admit that this-whatever
it may be - is a cause of the slacking of the progress of our fraternity. In
the wide-spread sale of thoughtful books, such as Dr. Durant's Story of
Philosophy for example; in the eager interest that so many people manifest in
many new cultural movements such as The Humanistic Society and in the tribute
that the whole world now pays to its men of genius, before they die; as in the
recent celebrations in honor of Thomas A. Edison and Dr. John Dewey; all these
and other present day activities seem to me to be definite indications of a
genuine revival of cultural interest.
10-Why Waste Energies in Chasing the Delusion That It Is Possible to Interest
the Rank and File of Our Craft in Anything of an Educational Character? Why
Not Be Content to Concentrate Your Educational Efforts in Behalf of the Small
Minority of Really Intelligent Members?
I have already tried to answer this question several times, perhaps it will
suffice to remind readers of what he Great Teacher said when He was rebuked
for His association with and His interest in the "low-brows" of his day. "The
Son of Man came not to call the righteous but sinners unto repentance." The
real students and scholars of our Craft do not need more Masonic education.
11- if Masonic Education Is Such a Good Thing, Why Is There so Much Difficulty
in Putting it Across?
One way of treating this would be to label it Foolish question No. 9,733,562.
Yankee method of answering it is to ask - Can you name anything really worth
while that did not require great pains and effort to establish?
- Why Do You Talk as Though Masonic Education Were a Newly Discovered Remedy
for Our Ills, When Others Have Been Preaching the virtues of This Panacea for
The answer to this simply is that I have never advocated the virtues of
Masonic education either as a panacea or a novelty. Always I have tried to
convey my belief that the shifting of our emphasis, so as to devote more
attention to the educational and cultural features of our Masonic program,
instead of an innovation or a novelty simply would be getting back to the
principle on which our great Institution was originally established.
13-One of Our Well Informed Brothers Recently Gave Us an Address on Masonic
Education Which Put Most of Our Members Asleep. Why Do You Insist on
Inflicting More of This Sort of Thing Upon Us?
The only answer to this is that old-time classic, "You can't drive a nail with
a sponge, no matter how hard you may soak it."
- We Started a Study Club Which Petered Out After a Few Meetings. Why Should
we Try it Again?
am not convinced that it is the best way to begin a Masonic educational
program by starting a Study Club. Certainly there are many other things that
may be done to introduce more educational features into Lodge programs. The
chief secret of success in conducting a Study Club is having an enthusiastic
and tactful leader. This type of leadership can make a success of any group
activity. But it is not always easy to discover or develop such leadership in
Lodge work. Yet it can be done.
- Our Lodge of Three Hundred Members Is Finding Difficulty in Discovering Good
Men to Fill Our Chairs. Can You Help us?
What a confession of weakness this is of the present practice in a modern
Lodge! If it were an exceptional situation it would not seem so pitiful; but
my observation convinces me that it is a frequent problem of many Lodges. It
seems to me that the cause of this serious shortcoming can be due only to one
condition. The Lodge program has been so lacking in many of the fundamental
educational teachings of the fraternity that it has failed to inspire and
train even a paltry percentage of its own membership with any of the true
ideals and interests of our Order which should make men eager for an
opportunity to serve, and at the same time become duly informed in Masonic
principles and inspired with the high ideals of the spirit of Freemasonry so
as to assure their competence in filling any chair of their Lodge.
- Since Our Fraternity Is Already Staggering Under the Burden of Too Many
Side-Line Societies, Why Do You Propose Another Association to Carry on Your
Particular Plan of Masonic Education?
suggesting that those of us who are mutually interested in this proposition of
endeavoring to devise and develop a program that will appeal to ordinary
Masons and interest them in some sort of educational or cultural activities in
our Order, should adopt such a title as "The Loyal Order of Builders," I had
no notion of suggesting a new society, but merely a method of co-operation in
the development of our program. We do not need another organization, but we do
need some sort of a group heading under which we may formulate our plans and
exchange experiences in carrying on the work we are undertaking. It seems to
me that The Loyal Order of Builders is a proper and significant title for us
to adopt as kind of a working slogan, so I shall be glad to hear from everyone
interested in the aims we have been describing and the program we are trying
to develop. Bear in mind that our great purpose is not to start something new,
but rather a plan to get back to first principles in our Masonic programs, yet
adopting modern ideas and instrumentalities in furthering these principles.
Address your letters of comment, criticism, inquiry or enlistment in this
effort to Herbert Hungerford, The Loyal Order of Builders, Scarsdale, N. Y.