A Journal for the Masonic Student
Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
Vol. 2 No. 7 – July 1916
THE STORY OF "OLD GLORY" THE OLDEST FLAG
Bro. Jno. W. Barry, Iowa
[Missing, non-sequential, non-standard footnotes and plate references as found.]
WE Masons who teach so continuously and so much by symbols, point with a pride truly laudable to the part of Masonry in establishing the greatest symbol known among nations — the stars and stripes now so fondly called "Old Glory."
At its entrance it was received on the sharp points of many instruments, but being borne by those taught to yield their lives rather than their honor, it passed all obstructions and was finally raised and "in triumph it will wave o'er the land of the free so long as it is the home of the brave."
While most of the Masons were united in opposing their king's claim of "a divine right to govern wrong," yet some of them were on the king's side, but for the most part they moved to Canada, so that in general while every patriot was not a Mason, yet every Mason was a patriot. These Canadians from the States had long memories which served to promote and prolong a greater enmity toward us by Canada than had ever been evinced by England, greatly retarding the benign influence of the Masonic tie. Even to this day our Canadian brothers esteem it an honor that their ancestors refused to turn "traitor" and with us a Revolutionary ancestor is a birth mark of distinction — yet the mellowing of time has brought a kindlier note and "God save the King" and "America" are chanted to the same tune, and Old Glory is honored now by the descendants of its bitterest foes at its entrance in 1776.
THE ENTRANCE OF "OLD GLORY"
First will be given the story of the flag from the standpoint of the patriot — just as our fathers fought to establish it. Then will follow some of the things done by those who met upon the level and fought on the square.
Truly our flag came from "darkness to light" and many facts about its earlier history can never be known. The patriot cause in 1776 was worked out in the very shadow of the firing squad and the gallows. It was no jest but a most serious remark of Franklin that if they did not hang together they most certainly would hang separately. In Congress, therefore, the secrecy of Masonry, in which so many of them were initiates, was strictly enjoined on every member.
THE SECRET PACT
The "Secret Pact" (1) was a commandment in Congress to which every member was required to subscribe:
Resolved that every member of this Congress consider himself under the ties of virtue, honor and love of his country not to divulge directly or indirectly any matter or thing agitated or debated in Congress before the same shall have been determined, without leave of the Congress; nor any matter or thing determined in Congress which a majority shall order to be kept secret, and that if any member shall violate the agreement, he shall be expelled this Congress and deemed an enemy to the liberties of America and liable to be treated as such and that every member signify his consent to this agreement by signing the same.
The names include the leaders of the time — many of them the very makers of America. In keeping with the spirit of the famous "Pact," the secretary of Congress, Charles Thompson, made a record of only those doings requiring it. So the wonder is not that we have so few facts touching some matters but rather that we have any.
WASHINGTON GIVES THE BRITISH "JOY"
On January 1, 1776, the New Constitutional army was organized and a "Union flag" was raised. In writing to his secretary, Joseph Reed, at Philadelphia Washington said referring to this flag and the king's speech spurning the petition of Congress:
"The speech I send you. A volume of them was sent out by the Boston gentry, and farcical enough, we gave great joy to them (red coats, I mean) without knowing or intending it, for on that day, the day which gave being to our new Army, but before the proclamation came to hand we had hoisted the Union Flag in compliment to the United Coionies. But behold, it was received in Boston as a token of the deep impression the speech had made on us, and as a signal of submission. So we learn by a person out of Boston last night. By this time I presume they think it strange that we have not made a formal surrender of our lines...."
What sort of a flag could this have been?
THE ONLY CONTEMPORARY DRAWING OF WASHINGTON'S FIRST FLAG
Benson J. Lossing, who was a most eminent American Historian, in preparing his history of General Philip Schuylel, found among the general's papers, this drawing in colors — the only one known to exist of the new flag used by the Americans in 1776. As none of their flags are preserved to us, this drawing is a most important link in the flag story.
Benson J. Lossing says: (2) "Why the hoisting of the Union Flag in compliment to the colonies should have been received by the British as "signal of submission," was a question historians could not answer until 1855, when the writer of this work discovered among the papers of General Philip Schuyler a drawing of the Royal Savage with the Union flag at its mast-head." The sloop and flag are here shown in No. 1. The drawing is endorsed in the writing of Gen. Schuyler as "Captain Wynkoop's schooner on Lake Champlain," it being one of a small fleet under command of Arnold, assembled by Schuyler to oppose the British advance from Canada. Here you see the only contemporaneous drawing of the flag like the one raised by Washington at Cambridge. From the colored drawing of the Royal Savage flag plus the disjointed references in contemporaneous prints, the flag Washington raised to the "joy" of the enemy is found to be one and the same and is shown in No. 3 and is known as the Cambridge flag. The exact counterpart of the flag of India.
THE FLAG WASHINGTON RAISED AT CAMBRIDGE
It is often stated that the Cambridge flag was the work of a Committee from Congress — but such claim rests on inferences only. 'Tis true Congress did send a committee composed of Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Harrison and Thomas Lynch to confer with Washington at Cambridge. This committee arrived Oct. 16, 1775, and remained in conference with Washington and leading patriots about a week. The minutes of the committee's proceedings are on file in the Department of State, Washington, D. C., together with a letter in the writing of Franklin and signed by all the committee. Lloyd Balderston of Ridgway, Pa., (3) has recently examined these documents carefully. The letter was written to John Hancock, president of Congress, and fully described all the committee had done. But there is nothing in the minutes or in the letter giving the remotest intimation regarding a flag of any kind. How these flags came to be or who made them is unknown but since 1855, Lossing says, we know why they were taken as indicating submission. The answer is to be found in a well known flag of India.
THE ENGLISH EAST INDIA COMPANY
It is the flag of the English East India Company which practically owned India, subject only to the English king and not until Sept. 1, 1858, were its regal powers surrendered. This Company maintained a large army of its own as well as ships of commerce and of war. It had the right to make war and peace "in all heathen nations" and administered all laws — civil and criminal. No. 4 shows its flag in 1704, the 13 red and white stripes referring to India and St. George's Cross to England. It was reproduced by Rear-Admiral George Henry Preble in his monumental work of 800 pages on the United States flag. He takes it from a work called "The Present State of the Universe" by J. Beaumont, 4th edition, published in London, 1704. (4) At the time, 1704, the cross of St. George was the flag of England and the 13 stripes of alternate red and white the badge of her loyal East India Company, whose tea was used by St. Andrew's Lodge in its now famous Ocean Tea Party at Boston in 1773. There were slight changes in the union of the flag of India, following the changes in the flag of England until 1858 when India became a crown colony. These changes will be more readily understood in connection with Figure 5 which is St. George's Cross. This Cross was the flag of England until her union with Scotland in 1707. Then No. 5 was united with No. 6, St. Andrew's Cross, which at that time was the flag of Scotland, making No. 7 the union flag of England known as the King's Colors. So after 1707, the King's Colol s took the place of St. George's Cross in the flag of the English East India Company, making it the exact counterpart of the Royal Savage flag and Washington's Cambridge flag. In 1801 No. 4, Figure 8, St. Patrick's Cross, then the flag of Ireland, was united with No. 7, the King's Colors, making No. 9, the flag of England since 1801.
Again the flag of the English East India Company changed its "union" to accord with the flag of England. (5) The word "union" in connection with flags refers to any device in the upper staff corner, indicating a union of government — as of England and Scotland in 1707.
The King's speech had just been sent out and its stern tone was expected to overawe the rebels, whose many flags — several to each colony — were known and dubbed by the English, "rebel rags." Naturally they were all looked upon as the emblems of traitors but when (6) the "Union flag" raised by Washington was seen, many of the English troops being fresh from India, it was at once recognized as the distinctive flag of a loyal English colony, and it gave them joy and an indication of "submission." Truly Washington might have signaled them thus: — "However natural this supposition may be to you, yet it is erroneous," for to the honor of those "embattled farmers" be it said that Washington then and there proceeded to give the most daring knockout blow in the annals of war. Truly that which he proposed, he performed, for without powder and under the very guns of the English fleet and army, he disbanded one army and organized another and on March 17, 1776, forced the British to evacuate Boston and flee in terror from that flag which scarce two months ago, they had hailed as a flag of submission. Verily, that "supposition was erroneous."
Following his success at Boston, Washington was called to Philadelphia to confer with Congress. He arrived on May 22 and returned to the Army on June 5, and was not again in Philadelphia until August 2, 1777. During the time Washington was in Philadelphia the only official mention yet discovered of flags of any kind is in a post-script of his letter under date of May 28, 1776, to Major General Putnam, as follows:
"P. S. I desire you'll speak to the several Col's and hurry them to get their colours done." The "colours" of a regiment may be very different from the flag of the country — and again might be the same.
There is no other mention of flags in anything official or semi-official until Saturday, June 14, 1777, almost a year after the Declaration of Independence when Congress without previous discussion, resolution or committee report, recorded the "entrance" of Old Glory.
ORIGINAL JOURNAL OF CONGRESS PHOTOGRAPHED
Page 243 of the original journal of Congress is shown in No. 10 reproduced from a photograph. (7) That it may be the more easily read we reprint the flag resolution together with the John Paul Jones resolutions immediately following it, as if giving a reason for adopting the flag on this particular day. First the secretary, Charles Thompson, wrote, "Resolved, That the flag of the United states consist of." Then he erased "consist of" and wrote above "be distinguished," and changed "of" to "by." Finally he deleted the wolds "distinguished by," making the resolution read as follows:
"Resolved, That the Flag of the United States be 13 stripes alternate red and white, that the Union be 13 stars white in a blue field representing a new constellation."
Immediately following is the resolution appointing John Paul Jones to command the Ranger, as follows:
"The Council of the state of Massachusetts bay having represented by letter to the president of Congress that Capt. John Roach sometime since appointed to command the continental ship of war the Ranger is a person of doubtful character and ought not to be intrusted with such a command. Therefore
Resolved that Captain John Roach be suspended until the Navy Board for the eastern department shall have inquired fully into his character and reported thereon to the Marine committee.
Resolved that Captain John Paul Jones be appointed to command the said ship Ranger.
Resolved that William Whipple esq. member of Congress, and of the Marine committee, John Langdon Esq. continental agent and the said capt John Paul Jones be authorized to appoint the lieutenant and other commissioned and warrant officers necessary for the said ship and that blank commissions . ." — the resolution is finished on the next page of the Journal of Congress.
CONGRESS GIVING OFFICIAL SANCTION TO A FLAG IN ACTUAL USE
The papers of the day took no notice of the adoption of a flag by Congress — not until August was the fact even mentioned. So September 3, 1777, the flag resolution appeared over the signature of Charles Thompson, the secretary. Again April 23, 1783, AFTER, PEACE had been secured, Congress caused the flag resolution over the signature of secretary Thompson to be republished in the Pennsylvania Gazette, REQUESTING OTHER PAPERS TO COPY. (8)
From the total lack of interest in the public prints of the time, it would seem that the resolution of Congress was merely to give official recognition to a flag already familiar and in use. Why it was done June 14, 1777, instead of Sonle other day appears in the resolution immediately following appointing Bro. John Paul Jones to the command of the Ranger which actually carried "Old Glory" clear around England and right into her harbors.
Avery says, (9) "After the Declaration of Independence, the British "union" was removed from the colors of the new nation." True he does not say WHEN the British "union" was removed, but after the Declaration, there was EVERY REASON why the King's Colors should NOT be on the American flag. Indeed the resohltion itself is a proof that the flag being adopted was actually before Congress and too familiar to need detailed description, as to the arrangement of the stripes, whether the top and bottom stripes should be red or white, whether there should be 7 red or only 6, or as to the arrangement of the stars, or as to whether there should be stars or some other device in the staff CORNER or in some other part of the flag. It seems reasonable to conclude that Jones appointed to the Ranger and about to make his renowned voyage, needed all AUTHORIZED flag, and Congress adopted one in actual use but there is no official record of any kind except that above given.
WHO MADE THE FLAG CONGRESS ADOPTED?
In No. 11 is shown the flag adopted by Congress — the flag signaling the entrance of a new nation, "a new constellation," June 14, 1777.
Whence the idea and who made the flag?
George Canby's work on The Evolution of the American Flag, shows with reasonable conclusiveness that when Washington was in Philadelphia just before the Declaration of Independence, he with Robert Morris and George Ross, members of Congress, called at a little upholstering shop in Arch street. This was run by Betsy Ross, whose husband, John Ross, had been killed a shirt time before while in the service of his country. He was the nephew of George Ross, member of Congress, who now with Robert Morris brings Washington to one of the most expert needle women in Philadelphia — and who up to 1827 continued to make flags for the United states — a fact which makes it seem all the more probable that she really did make the first one, an honor never claimed by any one else.
In No. 12 is shown the little upholstering shop where Betsy Ross made flags for the U.S. from June, 1776, to 1827 when she retired and her daughter Clarissa Sidney Wilson, continued to make flags until 1857 when she moved to Fort Madison, Iowa. So for 81 years flags for the U. S. were made in this house now preserved by a patriotic association as a shrine of American liberty. A large proportion of the money to buy the Flag House and maintain it for posterity as a shrine of American liberty in the city of "brotherly love," was obtained by 10 cent subscriptions. A copy of Weisgerber's famous painting was given to each subscriber. The picture is shown in No. 13, in which the painter agreeably to an artist's license has reversed the historic fact and instead of showing Washington ordering the flag to be made, he shows him, with Robert Morris and George Ross, inspecting the finished work. The picture of Betsy Ross is built up as a composite from photographs of her four daughters, there being no actual picture of her — so far as known. The event here shown took place between May 22 and June 5, 1776, during Washington's stay in Philadelphia, about a year hefore the flag resolution. Washington was not in Philadelphia again until Aug. 2, 1777, almost 2 months after the resolution of June 14th. The event is based on the sworn testimony of the four daughters of Betsy Ross, who had helped her in the work and as before stated Clarissa carried on the business herself after the death of her mother.
As further corroboration, in the "Pennsylvania Archives" is an order dated May 29, 1777, "paying Elizabeth Ross fourteen pounds twelve shillings two pence for making ships colours." lf this payment was as slow as usual the chances are the work had been done long before. It is true that "ships colours" might not be stars and stripes, but it is also true that at this time there was no reason for making any other than our own Old Glory for "ship's colours." It is also suggested that "ships colours" might have been state flags but the fact is Pennsylvania had no state flag then and not until Oct. 9, 1799. So this record in fact does corroborate the Betsy Ross incident. Use before official adoption June 11, 1777.
"OLD GLORY" JAN. 3, 1777 — THE TESTIMONY OF WASHINGTON'S AID
Col. John Trumbull's reputation as an historical painter is world wide and rests on his FIDELITY to historic FACTS.
As he himself says, "Every minute article of dress, down to the buttons and spurs, were calefully painted from the different objects," (12) Col. Trumbull was present in command of his Company at Bunkel Hill and he fought as Washington's aid at Trenton and Princeton, taking active part in the battles. He is therefore a competent witness. But before giving his testimony as to the early use of the stars and stripes, let us show a sample of his accuracy in related events.
In his "Bunker Hill," (Fig. 11) note the Pine Tree flag opposing the King's colors. Joseph Warren is down just below the gun of John Knowlton who is one who had just shot at Pitcairn seen falling into the arms of his son under the King's colors. At the extreme right is Sam Salem the negro who also has shot at Pitcairn. The Americans were particularly incensed — at Pitcairn for many things and recently because in stirring a glass of grog with his finger had said that in that way he would stir the blood of the Yankees. But particular attention is called to the flags. (13)
Again in his "Burgoyne," (Fig. 15) the troops are arranged in accord with historic fact — Gates receiving the surrendered sword of Burgoyne and returning it in compliment to the bravery of a vanquished foe, and all is accul ate "to the buttons on the coats."
In his "Yorktown," (Fig. 16) is again the accuracy of a camera — the French on the left with their flag of white silk, the Americans on the right, Washington at their head and the stars and stripes above him. Between the lines the English marched in new uniforms but with colors cased and drums beating an Old English march — "The World Turned Upside Down." In the center General Lincoln receives from Gen. O'Hara the sword of Cornwallis in token of his surrender, and leturns it to him in token of Washington's generosity. No. 17 (Color Plate) is Trumbull's story of the battle of Princeton, being a direct photograph from the original. In his "Bunker Hill," "Burgoyne" and "Cornwallis," the scenes are everywhere admitted as correct and because of their correctness Congress paid Trumbull $32,000 for them. At Bunker Hill, Trumbull took an active part, and at Princeton was aid to Washington. Surely Trumbull should know what flag he was fighting under and he shows "Old Glory" and this on Jan. 3, 1777. This was six months before its official adoption by Congress. But in his "Bunker Hill," he does not show "Old Glory" because it was not there and he is recording the facts. Why shall we not give his "Princeton" the same credit for accuracy, so freely accorded his "Bunker Hill" and other productions? Further, Trumbull is corroborated by another eye witess who was in "Trenton" a week before, and also in active command.
FIRST BATTLE OF OLD GLORY DEC. 26, 1776 — TESTIMONY OF A COMPANY COMMANDER
Charles Wilson Peale was a soldier, painter and Mason. He commanded a company at that awful Crossing of the Delaware, Dec. 26, 1776, and was actively engaged in the far famed Battle of Trenton. He is presumed to know what flag his company carried and therefore a competent witness. His picture, "Washington at Trenton," (Fig. 18) gives his testimony as to he flag used. Here it is, secured by direct photograph after long and patient effort. The painting now protected by a glass front hangs at the head of the grand stair case in the Senate wing of the Capitol at Washgton.
This drawing was made in 1779 only two years after the event, and many years later Titian R. Peale, his son, said in a letter quoted by both Preble and Canby:- "I have just had time to visit the Smithsonian Institute to see the portrait of Washington painted by my father, C.W. Peale, after the battle of Trenton. It is marked in his handwriting 1779. The flag represented is a blue field with white stars arranged in a circle. I don't know THAT I ever heard my father speak of that flag, but the trophies at Washington's feet I know he painted from the flags then captured, and which were left with him for the purpose. He was always very particular in matters of historic record in his pictures; the service sword in that picture is an instance and probably caused its acceptance by Congress. . . I have no other authority, but feel assured that the flag was the flag of our army at that time, 1779. My father commanded a company at the battles of Germantown, Trenton, Princeton, and Monmouth, and was a soldier as well as a painter, and I am sure, represented the flag then in use, not a regimental flag, but one to mark the new republic."
Therefore when the stars and stripes received their baptism of blood at Trenton, Dec. 26, 1776, and a week later at Princeton, one can easily understand why Congress adopted it on June 14, 1777, in a resolution of only thirty words — less than the limit of a day message at ordinary telegraph rates.
To sum up, first, the record shows that Washingon on his own initiative and authority raised the Cambridge flag of 13 stripes with the King's colors in its union. Second, though there be no actual record, yet the weight of evidence indicates that Washington again on his own INITIATIVE and authority ordered the stars and stripes to be made; and that he used the stars and stripes at the battles of Trenton and Princeton and on other occasions, and that Congress in the flag resolution of June 14, 1777, gave official recognition, for the first time, to the flag so used and constituted it the flag of the United States. Further each state holding itself to be a "sovereign independent commonwealth" and in most cases having a flag of its own, a variety of flags continued to be used, so that even after peace had been secured in 1783, Congress had the flag resolution republished over the signature of its secretary and requested all papers to copy. How essentially necessary such re-publication really was is evidenced by the fact that the "Board of War" did not know in 1779 a flag had been adopted. However this is not so strange for even now one Congress often shows culpable ignorance of what a previous Congress had done.
- Journal of American History, Vol 2, p. 235
- Vide page 1432, Vol. II Cyclopedia of U. S. History.
- Vide Evolution of The American Flag, Canby & Balderston.
- Vide Preble p. 220.
- Vide Preble p. 221 showing a cut of the English East India Company's flag in 1834, with the 13 stripes and the present flag of England in its "union."
- Vide Preble p. 193
- Vide Canby's Evolution of the American Flag.
- Vide Canby's Evolution of the American Flag.
- Vide Avery Vol. 6, p. 68.
- Vide Canby's Evolution of the American Flag.
- Vide 2nd Series Vol. I, page 164.
- Washington Irving's Washington Vol. IV, p. 327.
- Vide Avery's History of the United States Vol. 5.
* * *
Frederick LeRoy Sargent
(The following is a translation of Beranger's "La Sainte Alliance des Peuples." The original, written in 1818 to celebrate the evacuation of French territory, is quoted in the Nation of Dec. 23, 1915, for its early use of the expression "place in the sun.")
Peace have I seen descending on the world;
Peace, strewing gold, and flowers, and corn.
The air was calm, War's blood-stained banners furled,
And drowsy, sullen thunders overborne.
Peace said: "O peoples of English, French,
Belgian, Russian, and Germanic lands,
In holy alliance your hatreds quench;
Equals in valor, shake hands!
Mortals, a burden of hate hath wearied you.
Call not vain troubled sleep a victory won!
Portion the limited land, to each his due,
That each can so enjoy his place in the sun.
So long as ye are yoked to the chariot of power,
True happiness afar behind you stands.
Peoples of Europe, sanctify this hour;
Equals in justice, shake hands."
* * *
ERNST AND FALK
(Translated From The German Of G.E. Lessing (1778) By Louis Block, Past Grand Master Of Masons In Iowa)
(Last year Past Grand Master Block translated the first two of the five Discourses which make up the famous little Masonic classic, "Ernst and Falk," by Lessing. (The Builder, Vol. 1, pp. 20, 59). Owing to illness, and the pressure of business which piled up high during the interlude, he was unable to finish the work. Herewith we present the Third Discourse, to appreciate which the reader must needs turn back to the first two. As a preface to the first two Discourses we gave a brief sketch of Lessing and his work, for a fuller account of whom the reader is referred to a delightful little book on "The Life and Writings of Lessing," by T. W. Rolleston, in the Great Writersseries. While it makes scant reference to the Masonic life of Lessing, it is a fine estimate and record of his noble and fruitful life.)
Ernst — You have eluded me all day in the crush of the company. But I have followed you into your bed room.
Falk — Had you something so important to tell me? The day has tired me of ordinary conversation.
E. — You mock my curiosity.
F. — Your curiosity?
E. — Which you this morning knew how to arouse in such a masterly way.
F. — What did we talk about this morning?
E. — About the Free-Masons.
F. — Well? I surely did not betray their secret in the rush and whirl?
E. — That which you said could not be betrayed?
E. — Now I must confess that sets me at rest again.
E. — But you did tell me something about the FreeMasons that was unexpected by me, that astonished me, that made me think.
F. — What was that?
E. — O, don't torment me! — you certainly remember.
F. — Yes it comes back to me by degrees. That was what made you so absent-minded all day long among your lady and gentlemen friends?
E. — That was it! And I cannot go to sleep unless you answer me at least one more question.
F. — That depends upon what the question may be.
E. — How can you prove to me, or at least make it seem probable, that the Masons really have such great and worthy objects?
F. — Did I speak to you about their objects? I did not know it. On the contrary seeing that you could form no conception at all of the real activity of the Free-Masons, I simply called your attention to one matter in which much may yet occur concerning which the minds of our statesmen have as yet not even dreamed. Perhaps the Free-Masons are working at that. Or perhaps at — Just to take away your prejudice that all sites worthy of buildings had already been discovered and occupied, that all the needed structures had already been distributed among the workmen required for the task.
E. — Turn and twist about now as you will. It is enough that from your speeches I have now come to think of the Free-Masons as people who have voluntarily taken it upon themselves to strive against the inevitable evils of the state.
F. — That conception can at least do the Free-Masons no harm. Stick to it! Only get it right! Mix nothing in it that does not belong in it! The inevitable evils of the State! — Not this state, nor that state. Not the inevitable evils, which — a certain constitution having been once adopted — must necessarily result from that adopted constitution. With these the Free-Mason never concerns himself, at least not as a Free-Mason. The alleviation and culing of these he leaves to the citizen who may deal with them according to his insight, his courage, and, at his peril. Evils of a far different kind and of a higher character form the field of his activity.
E. — That I have very clearly grasped. — Not the evils that make discontented citizens but those evils without which even the most fortunate citizen could not exist.
F. — Right! To strive against — how do you put it? — to strive against these.
E. — Yes!
F. — That is saying a little too much. To work against them? To do away with them wholly? That cannot be, for along with them one would at the same time destroy the state itself. They must not even be suddenly called to the attention of those who have as yet no intimation of them. At most, to stimulate a perception of them from afar, to foster its growth, to transplant the young sprout, to cultivate it and make it blossom — can here be called striving against these evils. Do you see now why I said, that although the Free-Masons had long been active that still centuries might pass away without their being able to say: this have we done?
E. — And now I also understand the second feature of the problem — good deeds which shall make good deeds dispensable.
F. — 'Tis well — now go and study those evils and learn to know them all and weigh their influences one upon the other and be assured that this study will reveal things to you which in days of depression will appear to be most disheartening and incomprehensible exceptions to providence and virtue. This revelation, this enlightenment will make you peaceful and happy — even without your being called a Free-Mason.
E. — You lay so much stress on this being called.
F. — Because one can be something without being called it.
E. — That's good! I understand — but to get back to my question, which I must but clothe in a little different form. Now that I do know the evils against which Free-Masonry contends —
F. — You know them?
E. — Did you not name them for me yourself?
F. — I named a few as instances. Just a few of those which are apparent even to the most short-sighted eye, just a few of the most unquestionable, the most far-reaching. But how many are there not still remaining which although they are not so clear, so unquestionable and so all inclusive are never the less no less certain, none the less inevitable.
E. — Then let me confine my question to only those parts which you have yourself named for me. How can you show me that the Free-Masons have really given their attention to these? You are silent? You are thinking it over?
F. — Assuredly not over what answer I should make to this question!- -but I do not know what reasons you may have for putting this question.
E. — And you will answer my question if I tell you the reasons that prompt it?
F. — That I promise you.
E. — I know and distrust your ingenuity.
F. — My ingenuity?
E. — I feared you might sell me your speculations for facts.
F. — Much obliged!
E. — Does that offend you?
F. — Rather must I thank you for calling that "ingenuity" which you might have called something far different.
E. — Certainly not; on the contrary I know how easily the clever man deceives himself, how easily he suspects and attributes to other people plans and intentions of which they had never even thought.
F. — But, upon what does one base his idea of the plans and intentions of others? Surely upon their own actions alone?
E. — Upon what else? And here I come again to my question — From what single unquestionable act of the Free-Masons may we conclude that it is but one of Free-Masonry's objects through itself and in itself to do away with that division and disunion which you have said states and governments make inevitable among men?
F. — And that without detriment to these states and governments. E. — So much the better! It is not even necessary that there should be actions from which this might be concluded. Just so long as there are certain peculiarities or oddities which point to it or arise out of it. You must have begun with some such in making your supposition, assuming that your system was only hypothetical.
E. — Your distrust still shows itself. But I trust it will disappear when I bring home to your consciousness one of the fundamental principles of Free-Masonry
E. — And which may that be?
F. — One of which they have never made a secret. One according to which they have always acted beforethe eyes of the whole world.
E. — And that is?
F. — That is to welcome into their order every worthy man of fitting disposition without regard to his nationality, his creed, or his social station.
E. — Indeed!
F. — Naturally this fundamental principle takes for granted the existence of men who have risen above such divisions, rather than those who intend to create them. For nitre must be in the air before it can deposit itself upon the walls in the form of saltpetre.
E. — O, yes!
F. — And why should not the Free-Masons here call to their service the common ruse? That is, to pursue a part of one's secret objects quite openly in order that Mistrust, which always suspects something different from what it sees, may be led astray.
E. — And why not?
F. — Why should not the artist, who can make silver, deal in old broken silver so as to arouse less suspicion that he could make it?
E. — Why not?
F. — Ernst! Did you hear me? You answer as in a dream, I believe.
F. — No, friend! But I have enough, enough for tonight. Early tomorrow morning I return to the city.
F. — Already? Why so soon?
E. — You know me and ask? How much longer will your water-cure take?
F. — I only began it day before yesterday.
E. — Then I shall see you again before you finish it. Farewell!
F. — Good-night. Farewell!
* * *
BY WAY OF INFORMATION
The spark 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.
* * *
Character is the warp of ancestry and the woof of environment woven by the power of will on the loom of life.
— J. F. N.
* * *
A human being may lack eyes and be none the poorer in character; a human being may lack hands and be none the poorer in character; but whenever in life a person lacks any great emotion, that person is poorer in everything.
— James Lane Allen. A Cathedral Singer.
PATIENCE AND PERSEVERANCE
Bro. O. D. Street, Alabama
AMONG the modest and homely virtues taught by Masonry are Patience and Perseverance. It is largely because Masonry emphasizes the modest and the homely which gives it its wonderful staying powers. Let us then for a moment consider these two, because, as a rule, we are forgetful of the great part they play in the achievements of the human race.
Our ritual says, "Time, patience and perseverance accomplish all things." Or to state it conversely but just as truly, "Without time, patience and perseverance is nothing accomplished that is accomplished."
We stand in the presence of a great painting or piece of statuary. We are wont to think of it as having sprung in a moment of inspiration from the hands and brain of the artist. We forget the years of patient study and practice and the seasons of hardships and the hours of disappointment which beset him before he could even attempt such a work. We do not know of the ruined stones or spoiled canvasses which preceded the finished product.
We view a splendid edifice, designed with wisdom, erected in strength, and adorned with beauty. It looks like some super-human mind might have dreamed it into being. But who can estimate the hours of toil spent in preparation by the architect who planned it, the engineer who calculated the weight and thrust of its roof and walls, the artist who adorned it, and the masons who built it? We do not see the apparent confusion and disorder which attended its erection, the multitude of discordant sounds, the moving to and fro, the humble hod-carrier trudging up and down with brick and mortar and stone, the rubbish and the dirt. We can never know the number of designs on the trestle-board drawn, redrawn, then destroyed, and drawn again. Some of our greatest edifices consumed not only years but a whole generation; a few of them, several generations.
We sit beneath the eloquent words and the musical voice of the orator; it all seems so easy. We did not know him when his tongue stammered and his words came ill-chosen and haltingly. We did not witness the bitter failures, the moments of irresolution, not to say despair, the renewed determination and the long struggle that followed.
We read the works of a great writer. He says things so much like we feel that we would have said them ourselves. The thoughts flow so naturally and the conclusions are so obvious we wonder why it had not occurred to us to write this very book. It seems so simple we are sure we could do it. But let us try it even after we have read the book. The right word does not come to us, we gradually become conscious that we use half a dozen words to express a thought which he expresses better in one. The order of our thoughts soon becomes like a defeated army in retreat, baggage, artillery, infantry, and cavalry all jumbled together. We throw down the pen in disgust consoling ourselves with the belief that the writer has accomplished this thing through an inspiration of genius. We don't know the number of manuscripts he had rejected at the beginning. We do not see him poring over the dictionary and the thesaurus, the lists of synonyms and antonyms, seeking for words and noting their nice distinctions of meaning. We were sound asleep perhaps when he was burning the "midnight lamp," hands weary, blotting and blurring, interlining and erasing, and finally burning his manuscripts.
We are dazzled by the brilliance of the achievements of a great general; his armies disappear for a time and then reappear in a most unexpected manner at the most unexpected places as if by magic, spreading destruction, confusion, and terror among his enemies. We can see so little of how it is done we think surely here is a God-given power, an inherent talent which required no training. We would change this opinion if we could only see him in the subordinate capacities faithfully, thoroughly, and expeditiously discharging his lowly duties, possibly for many years before he was even entrusted with responsible command. We forget that he reached his high station by regular promotion for being able to do quickly and well a small and humble thing outside of the spotlight of publicity.
In all these instances, as probably in all others if we only knew the whole truth, it is time, patience, and perseverance that has wrought such great results. It has required years, often a life-time; sometimes several life-times. First there was preparation, then effort, next failure, then renewed effort, finally success.
The years of preparation demanded Patience; most persons cannot endure this apparent waste of time. They are impatient to try their luck in a profession or in business. We are not speaking of the indolent; we are speaking of those filled with zeal and a commendable enterprise. They rush in without preparation or only half prepared. The majority fail and retire from the race; they merely struggle for existence the rest of their lives. If some seem to succeed in a measure, rest assured their success is much less than it might have been with proper preparation.
Some have the Patience necessary to get them through the preparatory stage. With high hopes and promising prospects they enter life feeling that they cannot fail. In an evil hour misfortune overtakes them and failure results. The majority never rise from this experience to try again; they lack Perseverance.
The few, however, learn from the past; nothing daunted, they rally for another effort. As often as fail, they try again. One with this full measure of Perseverance is sure to succeed if life only holds out. And if life fails he succeeds nevertheless; thus conquer his fears and doubts of the future is a great moral victory for which reward will come in the next, if not in this life.
Patience, which waits for results, and Perseverance, which unceasingly strives to produce them, working in unison can not ultimately fail.
What a volume of truth, we exclaim, in these few simple, familiar words of our ritual! Could the young initiate only grasp this truth fully before it is too late, it would be worth to him many fold all the time, effort, cmd money bestowed by him upon the fraternity.
* * *
I AM FRATERNITY
I am the Supreme Architect in the City of Life. Human hearts are the sites whereon I build noble, strong, powerful characters.
I am the symbol of sovereignty; yet multitudes find me a commoner. The handgrasp expresses the diality of my nature. Love, charity, gentleness of word, kindness — these are worldly missionaries. Through altruistic relationships, pity for the distressed, unwavering loyalty in every human crisis, I speak to those who know me not.
I am often disguised in the co-operation which causes fraternal ties of fellowship. My affectionate regard for the interests of everyone identifies me a universal benefactor.
I teach individuals to act in terms of mutual concession, generous judgment, and sympathetic forebearance. I unlock the sacred portals of the lodge room and reign therein with kingly dignity. The marts of competitive trade court my superiority. I am a master force wherever people assemble to foster higher principles. I acknowledge that service is the measure of greatness and that through me men become sublime in helpfulness.
I am the message bealer of good will; the courier who relays the Gospel of Brotherhood; the moving spirit in every enterprise which champions man-to-man ennoblement and makes society more neighborly. Great men unconsciously write my biography —
I AM FRATERNITY.
— Louis Varnum Woulfe.
* * *
Within my heart some hopes there are,
Like captive bilds, that flit and sing, —
Yet beat against their prison walls,
And long to mount on loftier wing.
I dare not set the door ajar,
For well I know if once they fled,
My heart an empty cage would be,
And all life's music, hushed and dead.
— Alice Lewis Cook.
* * *
THE SONG OF THE BUILDERS
As the first faint flush of the morning glow
Falls full on a sleeping world;
While the curtain of night is lifted slow,
And the banner of stars is furled;
The morning march of The Builderband
Regins as the sun waves its silver wand.
Sturdy and strong, they march along
To the step of the Builder's morning song.
We shoulder our tools and march away,
And fill our lungs with the fresh, new day;
To the hammer's ring, our song we sing,
For the joy of work is a glorious thing.
So merrily ho! for every blow
Of the Builder's arm makes the city grow.
From "War Rhymes and Peace Poems,"
— Frank Adams Mitchell.
* * *
Perhaps the most searching poem of the war is one entitled "Five Souls," written by an obscure bank clerk heretofore unknown in the realm of letters. In this poem the spirits of a Pole, an Austrian, a Tyrolese, a Frenchman, a native of Lorraine, and a Scotchman, having been torn from their bodies on battle fields, chant us back the same refrain:
I gave my life for freedom — this I know:
For those who bade me fight had told me so.
The Fuller sisters of England, now singing in America, have adapted these lines to an impressive musical movement from Beethoven. In a quiet midnight after listening to the song there came to me an additional stanza, a chorus of the "Five Souls," after they were touched by the higher knowledge which has reached them in "the house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."
On God's eternal hills we now do mourn;
Our broken homes with wives and children dear.
That we were brothers then, as now, 'tis clear.
For war is hate and leaves the world forlorn.
We lost our lives through error, now we know:
For love supernal, it doth teach us so.
— Jenkin Lloyd Jones.
* * *
THE MEANING OF INITIATION
Bro. Frank C. Higgins, New York
(More than once we have called attention, editorially and otherwise, to the admirable work of Brother Frank C. Higgins, of the Magian Society, New York, in his department of Masonic Research in the Masonic Standard. At first it began as a column of inquiry and answer dealing with the Deeper Problems of the meaning of Masonry, but it grew, most happily, into a series of systematic studies, or lessons — Masonry, as Brother Higgins conceives it, being the perpetuation among us, albeit little understood, of the ancient philosophy of Cosmic Harmony which, among the Hebrews, traced everything to the great Jehovah; at once a religious and a scientific pursuit, conducted along mathematical, geometrical and astronomical lines. In this field Brother Higgins is a master, and comes nearer than anyone With whose work we are acquainted, making the treasures of that rich but difflcult culture intelligible to the average reader. In order to call attention again to his researches, and also to express the hope that they may be gathered into permanent form, we venture to reproduce two brief sections of his series of studies dealing with the meaning of initiation. This Society keeps an open and responsive heart toward all its fellow-workers, glad and grateful for any one who toils to make our great and many-sided Masonry more intelligible and effective. — The Editor).
In all ancient rites and mysteries the participants in which were received by initiation, the greatest care was always exercised with respect to certain details, which if not properly carried out might mar or invalidate the entire ceremony.
The true significance of all initiation has ever been that of a spiritual rebirth. The sacred Agrouchada of the Hindus says, "The first birth is merely the advent into material life; the second birth is the entrance to a spiritual life."
The newly initiated into the first degree of Brahmanism was called douidja, which means "twice born." The very word initiate indicates that the candidate is at least symbolically in the same situation as if he had had no previous existence. He is to be ushered into an altogether new world.
In ancient initiations the extremity of humility was expressed by the rent garments of contrition for past offenses in the life about to be blotted out, the bosom offered to the executinner's sword, and the attitude of a captive.
PREPARING THE CANDIDATE
The most curious custom perhaps had to do with what might be termed the complete preparation of the candidate against the influences that had affected his previous career. During the multitude of centuries in the course of which astrology was thought to play the strongest part in human affairs, every circumstance affecting the welfare of humanity was deemed to have its rise in one or another of the planets, or perhaps in a lucky or evil combination of several. The science of medicine rose entirely from this curious belief in planetary affinities. The ancient physician diagnosed his patient's malady according to the diseases listed under the latter's unlucky stars and tried to cure it by application of substances designated as governed by those planets favorable to him. The same idea governed the individual with reference to articles carried upon his person. The superstitious carried various charms and amulets intended to draw favorable planetary influences to his aid, and was just as careful to avoid substance that might produce a contrary effect.
In the ordering of the candidate for initiation into the ancient mysteries this belief played an important part. The candidate might carry upon his person nothing that would invite the attention of occult planetary powers through the mysterious tie that bound them to terrestrial objects.
The lists of plants, flowers, minerals, metals, and other things that were subject to these mysterious influences were long and complicated. Gold linked him with the sun which incited to the besetting sin of intellectual pride; silver drew upon him the fickle qualities of the moon; copper, sacred to Venus, provoked lust, and iron, the metal of Mars, quarrelsomeness; tin, tyranny and oppression, the qualities of Jupiter; lead, sloth and indolence, belonging to Saturn; while mercury or quicksilver was responsible for dishonesty and covetousness. Therefore a key or a coin, and above all a sword, was likely to bring confusion upon the whole mysterious operation of regeneration.
Above all were enjoined upon the candidate the three sacred virtues, which by the Jain sects in India are still called "the three jewels," represented by three circles, "right belief," "right knowledge," and "right conduct." In order to reach the spiritual plane, in which the soul is entirely freed from the bonds of matter, these were the chief necessities, and the person who clung to them would certainly go higher until he reached the state of liberation.
THREE REGULAR STEPS
To the ancient candidate were also recommended "the three successive steps which open the soul to free and unobstructed activity and communication on both the psychic and the spiritual planes." The first was to still the ego and empty the mind of every bias and standard of self and sense. The second consisted, when this passive state had been induced, in fixing and holding the attention upon the specific object about which the truth was desired.
Thirdly, the foregoing two steps having been taken, the individual was to stand firmly and persistently in the receptive and listening attitude for the immediate revelation of the truth, in the full expectation of getting it. This receptive state and expectant attitude opened the consciousness to "the psychic vibrations that write unerringly their story on the receptive mind."
WHOM DOES THE CANDIDATE REPRESENT?
Within the simple and easily formulated problem asked in the heading is contained the sublimest of all secrets, which various of the higher degrees have sought to answer, each in its own way. It involves the intimate application of all the symbolic degrees to the initiate himself, without which they are as empty as air.
In all the ancient mysteries a character was asumed by the candidate, and as the candidates were any and the character depicted always the same, it must have represented something essentially common to all alike. Furthermore, the precise similarity of the experiences to which each individual candidate was subjected argued the identical lesson in all cases.
Examination of all available detail, especially the sacred writings of many races, confirms us in the conviction that this universal character was but an allegorical representation of the ego or "self," engaged in the warfare of which it has been said that the victor is greater than he who taketh a city" and emerging a conqueror in the very instant of apparent defeat. We receive our earliest concrete presentation of such a character in the celebrated document known as the Egyptian Book of the Dead, the Bible of the builders of the Pyramids, fragments of which are found wrapped in the cloths of almost every mummy.
THE PILGRIM SOUL
The Book of the Dead presents the wanderings of a departed soul through the underworld to the council of the gods, who were to listen to its accusers, give heed to its defenders, and finally weigh its accumulated good deeds in the scales against the feather symbol of "truth." The name of this character is given as Ani the Scribe. It finally transpired that this name was equivalent to the Latin term ego, meaning the "I Am" or "self" in man. This leads to what was perhaps the greatest and most important of all secret teachings of the ancient world, one that has become so obscured by the confusion of its many dramatic representations with real historical characters, — that most clear and careful labor is required to trace the main ideas from age to age and people to people, in order to show that they are fundamentally everywhere exactly the same.
There is no difficulty whatever in recognizing the self-conscious principle in every man as being an actual spark of the infinite self-consciousness precipitated into material existence, through the labyrinth of which it is compelled to strive in ceaseless search for the Master's Word, the secret of its being and immortal destiny. If this idea of the struggle of a divine and immortal soul, weighed down with the burden of matter and assailed at every turn by foes that symbolize the continual transformations of matter from "life" to "death" and "death" to "life," be taken as the vital principle of every drama of regeneration, from the "Book of the Dead" to John Bunyan's "Pilgrim Progress," we too shall have progressed a long way upon the road to understanding that of Freemasonry.
THE PILOT STAR
The beautiful star that is the chief emblem of the Royal Arch degree, besides being the sacred symbol of Israel, has had no other meaning during the thousands of years from the most ancient Brahmanism to the Temple of today. Even when called "the United Seal of Vishnu and Siva," the "Immortal" and the "Mortal," or "Fire" the symbol of Spirit, and "Water" the symbol of Matter, it represented the same idea, that of the "Self Conqueror," the Perfect Man, who had learned the subjugation of human passions and perfection in attitude toward God and fellow man. Thus the uppointing triangle stood for the ascent of matter into spirit which is typified by the phrase "resurrection of the body," and the down-pointing triangle the descent of spirit into matter, and the complete star represents the immortal being fitted to dwell in "that house not built with hands, eternal in the heavens."
* * *
WHAT DID YOU DO?
Did you give him a lift? He's a brother of man,
And bearing about all the burden he can.
Did you give him a smile? He was downcast and blue,
And the smile would have helped him to battle it through.
Did you give him your hand? He was slipping down hill,
And the world, so I fancied, was using him ill.
Did you give him a word? Did you show him the road.
Or did you just let him go on with his load?
Did you help him along? He's a sinner like you,
But the grasp of your hahd might have carried him through.
Did you give him good cheer? Just a word and a smile
Were what he most needed that last weary mile.
Do you know what he bore in that burden of cares
That is every man's load and that sympathy shares?
Did you try to find out what he needed from you,
Or did you just leave him to battle it through?
Do you know what it means to be losing the fight,
When a lift just in time might set everything right?
Do you know what it means — just the clasp of a hand,
When a man's borne about all a man ought to stand?
Did you ask what it was — why the quivering lip,
And the glistening tears down the pale cheeks that slip?
Were you brother of his when the time came to be?
Did you offer to help him or didn't you see?
Don't you know it's the part of a brother of man,
To find what the grief is and help when you can?
Did you stop when he asked you to give him a lift,
Or were you so busy you left him to shift?
Oh, I know what you meant — what you say may be true —
But the test of your manhood is, What did you DO?
Did you reach out a hand? Did you find him the road,
Or did you just let him go by with his load?
— Bro. J. W. Foley, P.G.M., North Dakota.
* * *
LODGE FURNISHINGS AND DEGREES
Bro. H.R. Evans, Litt. D. 33° Hon., Washington, D.C.
"We 'ad'nt good regalia and our Lodge was old and bare,
But we knew the Ancient Landmarks, and we kept 'em to a hair."
Kipling: Mother Lodge.
MAN is first made a Mason in his heart, after that the Lodge takes hold of him and does the rest. In Rudyard Kipling's Mother Lodge there was no regalia to speak of and the loom was old and bare, but good work was accomplished because the members knew the ancient landmarks and observed them in the spirit as well as the letter of the law. I have seen the degrees of Craft Masonry worked in an old barn, a box for an altar, with three sputtering tallow candles stuck in cleft sticks doing duty for the three lesser lights. And yet, the ritual of the degrees was impressively presented. The glorious creations of Master Will Shakespeare's intellect were acted in barn-like structures, without curtain or scenery, but the Elizabethan audiences were not critical; imagination supplied what was lacking in dramatic mise-en-scene. Perhaps it is well not to rely too much on scenic effects, lest you dull the imagination of the spectator. There is a new school of scenic artists — Russian and German — that paints broadly and impressimistically; indicating a palace, for example, by a column or two, or a doorway heavily curtained, etc. Too great attention to scenic detail does distract the attention from the actor to the scenery. You often hear people say, when speaking of some dramatic production: "O the scenery was wonderful; such magnificence, such realism!" Never a word about the participants in the play. They might as well have been puppets pulled by strings. Now I believe that a happy medium can be struck between an overplus of scenery and a woeful lack of the same; likewise with the costumes of the actors. The Masonic degrees, from Entered Apprentice to Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret (32°) are dramas, and should be so regarded by Masons. They should be properly costumed and presented with appropriate scenic effects, if the lodge funds permit. But a happy limit should be reached in this regard, lest the imagination be dulled. The tendency in the West has been to make a theatre of the Scottish Rite Cathedral. I have had the pleasure of witnessing some very fine degrees in the Western country where everything was elaborately staged, the Brethren being seated in auditorium and galleries just like people at a show. I do not desire to be hypercritical, but the effect on me has been peculiar. I have always felt that I was not in a Masonic Temple but in a theatre; that I was not a part of the affair but a mere spectator. In a Blue Lodge I never had this feeling, because there was no stage, everything was done on the floor; I was an actual participant in the degree. I must confess that I prefer floor work, and yet there are some degrees of the Scottish Rite that appear better on a stage than on the floor of the Cathedral. Perhaps a happy combination of floor and stage is the solution of the problem. In out-door scenes the stage is the thing. It certainly requires a plethora of imagination to conjure up a rock-bound sea coast in a carpeted and well-upholstered lodge. But for interior scenes the lodge room should suffice and the act consummated therein. I do not think that the spectators — the class, for instance — should occupy the entire floor space of the lodge. That space should be reserved for the actors in the Masonic drama. I have seen the 31° of the Rite worked both on the stage and on the floor, and have long ago come to the conclusion that the floor is the proper place to present it. When acted on the lodge floor, it comes home to you in a wonderfully impressive manner. You feel that you are indeed that poor mummy from Memphis at the Court of the Divine Osiris. The imagination is stirred to its very depths. But in an exclusively stage presentation the imagination has nothing to work on; does not participate in the scene, as it were. It all seems unreal, the mere shadow of a shade, soon forgotten when the curtain closes in.
In Mobile, Alabama, the 31° is regarded particularly as a floor degree, and some remarkable effects of a spectacular nature are obtained that are awe-inspiring, very simple means being utilized to bring them about. In fact, the Consistory of Mobile has no stage, does not believe in one, and yet puts on all the degrees of the Rite in a manner most impressive. Several of the newly-built cathedrals of the Scottish Rite in the Southwest have followed the Mobile idea.
In Brother Rosenbaum's jurisdiction, at Little Rock, Ark., the stage is the thing to catch the conscience of the — I was going to say "king," to complete the Shakespearean quotation, but will change it to "Brethren." I do not believe there is a consistory in the United States where the Scottish Rite degrees are so splendidly presented as in Little Rock, the old home of Albert Pike. If the shade of Pike ever visits this earth, it must rejoice in the degrees as presented by the Brethren in Arkansas. Brother Rosenbaum is a past master of mise-en-scene. No one who has witnessed the rendition of the Rose-Croix degree, at Little Rock, will ever forget it. But after all is said, I prefer floor work; the more the better. It is only the personal preference of one man, however, and I do not consider myself an expert in things dramatic. I always want to feel that I am an integral part of the Masonic drama, and not a mere spectator. This I do in the Blue Lodge, but not always in the Scottish Rite Cathedral. But as I said before, the happy medium is perhaps the stage and floor.
With this idea in view, how should the room be furnished? I should say, first of all, that the apartment where the degrees are given, should be fashioned after an ancient temple — partly Jewish, partly Egyptian for Solomon's Temple partook of both features. The ceiling might be painted to represent the zodiac. The principal symbols of the Rite should be painted upon medallions around the walls, or upon the proscenium arch. This would do away with the use of a lantern. The stage of course should be equipped for the presentation of all out-door scenes, with the proper lighting effects. The Masonic altar should never be on the stage, but in its regular place in the lodge room. It should, however, be portable, so as to clear the room of all furniture when big floor work was required. There should be no opera-chairs on the main floor. The furniture should correspond with the architecture of the room. Robes of blue, brown, black, etc., might be provided for all Brethren seated on the main floor as spectators. It would give a bit of realism to the scene. I believe this is done in some jurisdictions, and consider it very effective.
I can anticipate one criticism from the Brethren to my views, namely: If you fashion the auditorium after an Oriental temple, where does the Templar idea come in? The Scottish Rite is built upon the Templar theory of Freemasonry. The room should represent a gothic chamber in keeping with the meeting place of Knights Templars — those who went to protect pilgrims to the Holy Sepulchre and came back from the Orient embued with the esoteric philosophy of the East; the secret enemies of the Roman hierarchy. Well, perhaps, the criticism is deserved, but as there are more Oriental degrees worked in the Rite than any other, it comes expedient to build the auditorium after the ancient temple type of architecture.
As regards the architecture of a Scottish Rite Cathedral, I rejoice in the building of the Consistory at Meridian, Mississippi, a picture of which is contained in the New Age Magazine, for July, 1915. It is an Egyptian Temple, so modernized as to admit light into its rooms without destroying that weird effect peculiar to this style of architecture. I consider it a little gem. But here, the carping critic will insinuate: "Why Egyptian? — and not Gothic? It is a cathedral, don't you know!" Well, Mr. Critic, I throw up the sponge! If you want to pin me down to a mere technicality, I have nothing more to say. But the Egyptian temple for mine — with its mysterious sphinxes flanking the entrance, its painted pillars with lotus capitals, its —! I might expatiate forever on this theme without satisfying anybody except myself. Cathedral let it be, if you prefer the Gothic to the Egyptian type, and are a stickler for mere words. I have seen the degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite worked in all kinds of places and in all kinds of ways; but I shall never forget the Rose Croix degree at Little Rock; the 31° at St. Louis (I have never seen the Mobile presentation); the 14° at Wichita; the 15° in my own beloved Consistory at Washington, D. C.; and the Master Mason's degree, at Guthrie. Gentlemen, I thank you!
* * *
Bro. Rob Morris
(Frequently recited at presentation of trowel to candidate)
The Perfect Ashlars, duly set
Within the Walls, need mortar yet —
A cement mixed with ancient skill,
And tempered at the Builder's will:
With this each crevice is concealed —
Each flaw and crack securely sealed, —
And all the blocks within their place
United in one perfect mass!
Fol this the Trowel's use is given, —
It makes the work secure and even;
Secure, that storms may not displace,
Even, that Beauty's lines may grace;
It is the proof of Mason's art
Rightly to do the Trowel's part!
The rest is all reduced to rule,
But this must come from God's own school!
We build the "House not made with hands;"
Our Master, from Celestial lands,
Points out the plan, the blocks, the place,
And bids us build in strength and grace:
From quarries' store we choose the rock,
We shape and smooth the perfect block,
And placing it upon the wall,
Humbly the Master's blessing call.
But there is yet a work undone, —
To fix the true and polished stone!
The Master's blessings will not fall
Upon a loose, disjointed wall;
Exposed to ravages of time,
It cannot have the mark sublime
That age and honor did bestow
Upon the FANE on sion's brow.
Brothers, true Builders of the soul,
Would you become one perfect whole,
That all the blasts which time can move
Shall only strengthen you in love?
Would you, as Life's swift sands shall run,
Build up the Temple here begun,
That Death's worst onset it may brave,
And you eternal wages have?
Then fix in love's cement the heart!
Study and act the Trowel's part.
Strive in the Compass' span to live,
And mutual concessions give!
Daily your prayers and alms bestow,
As yonder light doth clearly show,
And walking by the Plummet just,
In God your hope, in God your trust.
* * *
THE RITES OF FREEMASONRY
Bro. J. L. Carson, Virginia
MASONIC students are prepared to accept the fact that at one time and another there have been over one hundred Rites, and at least fifteen hundred Degrees or grades connected directly and indirectly with Freemasonry. Many of these were, of course, quasi-Masonic, their names and origins being now almost unknown, and their history if it was known would be worthless except so far as it might interest the Masonic antiquarian. If it were possible to list all these known and unknown rites and degrees, they would fill quite a large volume, and after all serve no good purpose as many, indeed most of them, were the outcome of childishness, if not worse.
To the Brethren who have only recently joined our Fraternity, the following short resume of the more important of the Masonic Rites may be interesting and perhaps instructive. If it proves to be so, then the object of this paper will have been accomplished.
Our newly raised Brother seeking for Masonic light, naturally asks us what is a Rite? How many degrees make a Rite? To what Rite do I belong or do I belong to any? All perfectly natural questions, and worthy of our reply.
A Rite in Freemasonry is a collection of grades or degrees, always founded on the First three, the Entered Apprentice, the Fellow Craft, and the Master Mason. All the various Rites except the York and English Rites begin their systems with the Fourth degree, some claiming as many as ninety-six degrees.
I will try and give our inquiring Brother a few pointers about the best known of these Rites, so that he may recognize which of them he already belongs to, and decide which Rite will be most acceptable to the Masonic Jurisdiction in which he resides, and govern himself accordingly.
THE YORK RITE
was the oldest and first established Masonic Rite, consisting of the Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason degrees. When Dunckerley dismembered or disrupted the third degree about 1770, he destroyed the identity of this Rite, and as that portion he took from it has never been restored, this Rite therefore does not now exist. It never had any connection with the Grand Lodge of all England, or the York Grand Lodge as it was called, but represented the working of the Premier Grand Lodge established or revived in 1717, and for fifty years after this revival.
Why this Rite got the name of York who can tell? It was and is an unmeaning term, but the name has been so generally used by those in high places, it is no wonder the young craftsman gets confused.
THE ENGLISH RITE,
as laid down in the Articles of the Union in 1813, is as follows: "It is declared and pronounced that pure ancient Masonry consists of three degrees, and no more, viz: those of the Entered Apprentice, the Fellow Craft, and the Master Mason, including the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch. But this article is not intended to prevent any Lodge or Chapter from holding a meeting in any of the degrees of the Orders of Chivalry, according to the constitutions of the said orders." Thus the English Rite rests upon the three symbolic degrees, but makes the Royal Arch the completion of the Masonic edifice.
THE IRISH RITE
If the Irish had a "boat of their own at the time of the flood" they could not rest without a Masonic Rite of their own, and they have, — to my mind it is the most complete, useful and best regulated Rite in existence today. Like all other Rites it is based on the First Three degrees, followed by the Past Master, Mark Master, Royal Arch, and Knight Templar, and all these various degrees stand for. These degrees must be taken in the order named before the Prince Masons degree is conferred; this brings us into the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite at the 18°, followed by the Knight of the Sun 28°, Knight K. H. 30°, Commanders Inquisitors Grand Inspectors 31°, Prince of the Royal Secret 32°, Supreme Council 33°. There are less than four hundred Prince Masons 18° in Ireland; The one Council of the 28° is limited to thirty-five subscribing members; The College of Philosophical Masons 30° consists of thirty subscribing members; The Tribunal of the 31° is limited to twenty-one; and the Consistory 32° cannot have over sixteen members in addition to the nine members of the Supreme Council 33°.
THE AMERICAN RITE
or York Rite as it is commonly though erroneously called, is peculiar to the United states of America, and the term American Rite is perfectly applicable. It confers under the Royal Arch Chapter the Mark Master 4°, Past Master 5°, Most Excellent Master 6°, Holy Royal Arch 7°. The Council takes care of Royal Master 8°, Select Master 9°, Super Excellent Master 10°, while the Knight Red Cross 11°, Knight Templar 12°, and Knight of Malta 13° are taken care of by the Commandery.
THE ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED SCOTTISH RITE
A brother in good standing in his Blue Lodge may elect to take the degrees of this rite, which does not of course include any of the degrees of the American Rite, and is administered by bodies of the Thirty Third degree, called Supreme Councils. This Rite is today more widely extended than all the others put together, no other Rite being worked to any very great extent the United states, Canada, Great Britain, the Latin countries of Europe and South America. This Rite takes care of the degrees from the 4° to 14° in Lodges of Perfection. 15° to 18° in Chapters of Rose Croix. 19° to 30° in Councils of Knights K. H. 31° and 32° in Consistories of M. R. S. and 33° Supreme Council, of which there are but two in the United States.
This Rite came to us from Europe between the years 1783 and 1801, as the origin of the Rite is a subject of much controversy. We will "nick it at that" as a good old Brother used to say when he wanted an argument stopped in the Lodge. The word "Scottish" the name of this Rite is a misnomer, as none of the degrees ever originated in the "Land O Bibles Kirks and Haggis." It is claimed, however, that amongst its founders were Scotch exiles in France, followers of the Pretender, who introduced the word Scottish in order to make the degrees more attractive and acceptable to the Jacobite party resident there.
Our aspiring Brother will take notice that the degrees of the various Rites are not interchangeable, when he has taken all the degrees of the American Rite he is no further on his way to the 33°; if he elected to take the degrees of the A. & A. S. R. first, he would still have to come back to the American Rite to reach the Commandery.
THE RITE OF MEMPHIS
"The Egyptian Masonic Rite of Memphis" or the "Ancient Egyptian Rite of Freemasonry" is to be found working in several States. It claims to be international, educational, and practical, its influence exerted on behalf of Freedom, Equality, and Brotherhood. It was revived in France as the Rite of Memphis in 1814, and introduced into this country by M. De Negre in 1856. It consists of ninety-six degrees, the 96° being called he Sovereign Sublime Magi. In 1852 its Lodges were closed in France, in 1862 they were acknowledged by the Grand Orient and revived. Most of its Lodges, however, abandoned it to join the Modern French Rite. It gets its name from the Legend that an Egyptian Sage Ormus, converted in A.D. 46, introduced the secrets of the Egyptian Mysteries into Europe, claiming that these secrets are incorporated in the degrees of the Rite.
THE RITE OF MIZRAM
This Rite has a grand body of its own in France. It was founded in Milan 1805, and introduced into France in 1814. Its ninety degrees are divided into Seventeen classes. It once had, and may yet have, a Supreme Council in America with a small following; its teachings and Masonry cannot be too highly appreciated. Over one hundred years ago this rite was popular in Great Britain, particularly in Ireland, but it is unknown there now.
THE ANCIENT AND PRIMITIVE RITE
as brought to France by S. Honis in 1814. Introduced into America 1856, and to England from America 1873. Its degrees were reduced from ninety-five to thirty three in 1865, when an effort was made to popularize it. It was practically a revival of the Rite of Memphis, and has a small following in England and Scotland where the late Brother John Yarker was the head and guiding spirit.
THE FRENCH RITE
or Modern French Rite founded in 1786 by the Grand Orient of France, has seven degrees, 4° Elect, 5° Scotch Master, 6° Knight of the East, 7° Rose Croix. It is largely practiced in France and Brazil. It was formerly worked in the state of Louisiana more or less extensively.
THE ANCIENT REFORMED RITE
Established in 1783 is still practiced by the Grand Lodge of Holland, and the Grand Orient of Sweden.
THE RITE OF PERFECTION
had twenty-five degrees and was established by De Bonneville in 1754. It was also known as the "Chapter of Clermont," so named after a Jesuit College in France where a lot of political scheming was carried on in the stuart Cause — this rite was pretty closely identified with the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in its earliest days.
THE RITE OF RAMSEY
or the Rite de Bullion consists of six degrees and was founded about 1728 or later, by Chevalier Michael Andrew Ramsey, a Scotch gentleman of great ability, culture and travel. With other wearers of the "White Cockade" he was exiled in France, and if all said of him be true, and as Paddy said "the half of the lies told of him were not true," the word "Scottish" in most of the higher grades might be laid at his footstool, as well as half a dozen Rites and half a hundred degrees.
* * *
The old clock stands on the mantle shelf
Clicking the seconds with measured stroke
And as we listen it sounds to oneself
As clear as if another one spoke,
Pointing the hours with steady hands
And a forward move at every beat,
It measures this changing life of man's
As that one refrain we hear it repeat,
Through all the days of our sorrow and mirth
Time swings along with its measuring tread
And though we live long on the face of the earth
Why ever wish back the years that have fled.
Time weakens our form and lays it aside
Regardless of what we have or desire;
There's nothing in time that will ever abide,
But this we have left to make us aspire,
— Arthur B. Rugg, Minn.
* * *
THE EARLY DAYS — HISTORY VS. TRADITION
Bro. Melvin M. Johnson, G. M., Massachusetts
The article by Brother Mazyck of South Carolina in the March Buildercalls for reply mainly because of the prominence which The Buildergave it. He avers that there is naught but tradition to rely upon that there was any Grand Lodge in Massachusetts prior to 1750 when our contemporaneous records begin. He asserts "unhesitatingly * * * that Solomon's Lodge No. 1, of Charleston, S.C., is the oldest Masonic body in the Western Hemisphere, the Record of whose establishment is absolutely unassailable." He rests this invulnerability on an article in the South Carolina Gazette, Number 144, published October 30, 1736, containing an account of a Lodge meeting the night before.
I do not intend to weary your readers with an argument as to the position of Massachusetts. Those who are interested will kindly examine the printed Proceedingsof the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts for 1914, pages 243 to 288 inclusive, where may be found citations of authority for every statement made in my series of articles last year in The Builderupon The Establishment and Early Days of Masonry in America.
Now to demolish Bro. Mazyck's "unassailable" position with one shot. For the present purpose let us grant (though it is not the case) that a newspaper article is the best evidence; better than official records, original documents, contemporaneous letters, or inscriptions upon ancient tombstones. If Bro. Mazyck wants a newspaper article here it is for him.
The Boston Gazette, No. 743, published April 1, 1734, (copies of which may be found in the Boston Public Library, and in the Congressional Library), contains the following item, viz:
"On Friday evening last at Mr, Lutwytche's long Room in King street was held a Grand Lodge of the Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons, where His Excellency Governor Belcher and a Considerable Number of the Fraternity were present." This is two years and nearly six months earlier than the article quoted from the South Carolina Gazette. Bro. Mazyck's reply will be awaited with interest.
Having given publicity to certain gross charges by innuendo, you can not in fairness fail to allow a brief further comment. To the insinuations in Bro. Mazyck's article that the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts has "faked" the tombstone of Henry Price, now in the Boston Temple, we respectfully reply that opposite page 285 in the Proceedingsof our Grand Lodge for 1871, will be found a photograph of that tombstone as it formerly stood on the Price lot in the cemetery in Townsend, Mass. On page 53 of our Proceedingsfor 1857, you will find the statement of the then Grand Master M. W. John T. Heard, that on September 29, 1857, he visited the graveyard, saw the gravestone with its familiar epitaph, and consequently recommended that a monument be erected to take its place. A full account of this visit, including a copy of the inscription upon the gravestone, will be found in volume XVII of Moore's Freemason's Magazine, page 11, published in 1857. Then by turning to the Proceedingsof the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts for June 21, 1888, (pages 82 to 101), will be found an account of the dedication of the new monument. In those Proceedings and in the Commemorative Service of June 26, 1888, (pages 102 to 179 inclusive), will be found all the details covering the removal of the old gravestone to the Temple in Boston. Then will be seen, to use our Brother's own language, "just why or when it was removed from the cemetery."
To the innuendoes that Grand Secretary Pelham forged the copy of the Henry Price Commission of 1733 which opens the volume of our Grand Lodge records; that Provincial Grand Master Price deliberately falsified when he made, over his own signature, the statement that he had been appointed Provincial Grand Master in 1733 and had founded his Grand Lodge on July 30th of that year; that the Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master, Grand Secretary, and Master, Senior Warden, and Junior Warden of the First Lodge in Boston, also told what was deliberately false when on September 1, 1736, they wrote the Lodge Glasgow Kilwinning that the First Lodge in Boston had been Constituted by Right Worshipful Brother Henry Price, Provincial Grand Master, in 1733; and that all other similar things are vague, uncertain, guesswork, and tradition, we beg to reply that if Bro. Mazyck will kindly come to the Grand Master's office in the Temple in Boston, we will show him a copy of Henry Price's Commission, made in the handwriting of Francis Beteilhe who was Secretary of the First Lodge in Boston at least as early as 1736, and who was the business partner of Henry Price. We shall be glad also to show him, in the handwriting of Bro. Beteilhe, hitherto unpublished memoranda, among them being a record of the "By-Laws or Regulations," dated "O'ber 24th, 1733," and amendments thereto dated March 12, 1734, et seq. These came into the possession of the Grand Lodge on March 8, 1916.
We shall also be glad to show an entry in the handwriting of Brother Berteilhe, Grand Secretary, following his account of the Celebration of the Festival of St. John the Evangelist, Dec. 27th, 1735, reading as follows: — "About this time sundry Brethren going to South Carolina met with some Masons in Charlestown who thereupon went to work, from which sprung Masonry in those parts." This may, to say the least, explain how it was that there happened to be a Lodge in Charleston, S.C., to form a public procession in the Fall of 1736.
It is about time that slanderous and scandalous statements by way of insinuation and innuendo should cease, particularly in a Masonic discussion. No one should complain of fair and square arguments straight from the shoulder, whether given or taken. Any member of the Fraternity should be ready to acknowledge error. No Masonic historian should make use of unfounded insinuations or innuendoes.
In my articles in The Builder, the statement was made that on Saint John the Baptist's Day in 1737, in Boston, occurred the first public procession of the Fraternity in America, Governor Belcher being in the line. That statement was made upon authority of the Boston Gazette, No. 911, published June 27, 1737. The entire article reads as follows:
"Friday last being the Feast of St. John the Baptist, the annual Meeting of the Free and Accepted Masons, they accordingly met. The right worshipful Mr. Robert Thomlinson, G. M., nominated and appointed his grand Officers for the Year ensuing, viz: Mr. Hugh Daniel, D.G.M., Mr. Thomas Moffatt (Doctor of Medicines) S.G.W., Mr. John Osborne, J.G.W., Mr. Benjamin Hallowell, G.T., Mr. Francis Beteillie, G.S., after which the Society attended the G.M. in Procession to his Excellency Governor Belcher, & from thence the Governor was attended by the G.M. and the Brotherhood to the Royal Exchange Tavern in King-Street, where they had an elegant Entertainment. It being the first Procession in America, they appeared in the proper Badges of their Order, some Gold, the rest Silver. The Procession was closed by the Grand Wardens."
Practically the same statement was made by the Saint James Evening Post, published in London, August 20, 1737.
Bro. Mazyck quotes a paragraph from the South Carolina Gazettepublished May 28, 1737, to the effect that on the Thursday night preceding, the Fraternity "came to the Play House about 7 o'clock, in the usual Manner, and made a very decent and solemn Appearance."
This was a month earlier than the procession in Boston. I have no doubt that his quotation is correct and is true. I gladly admit that there was a procession of Masons (though not of a Lodge or Grand Lodge, as such) in Charleston, South Carolina, earlier than any other known procession of Masons in America, the Saint James Evening Post and the Boston Gazetteto the contrary notwithstanding. It, however, is by no means clear that the Masons in South Carolina went to the theatre clothed in aprons or badges or other regalia. There is nothing in the South Carolina Gazettefrom which we are authorized definitely to conclude, or even justifiably to infer, that regalia was worn. Had it been worn, the regalia would, particularly at that day, have caused comment as it did in the Boston and London papers. Moreover, it is natural that the Fraternity should appear in full regalia when the Grand Lodge turned out to escort their Brother, the Governor, to the celebration of the Festival of St. John the Baptist. It is not expected, nowadays at least, to see the Fraternity march through the public streets in full regalia to attend the theatre. It would rather seem that "the usual manner" meant no more than in procession, perhaps left in front, as many of our Lodges attend divine service, in order but not in regalia. While, therefore we may gladly accord the earliest known American procession of Masons to South Carolina, it is open to us still to suggest that they went to a theatre merely as members, in a procession, and not officially as an open Lodge. That being true, the Boston Gazette and the London Post of 1737 may have recorded the first procession in America of Masons congregated as a Lodge.
Brother Mazyck, before giving us his newspaper quotations, says that I "thresh the old straw with great energy." Unfortunately that has to be done for the sake of truth, when Brethren now and then "unhesitatingly" present such "absolutely unimpeachable," "incontestable," "unassailable" arguments "far removed from any possibility of doubt and utterly beyond any contradiction."
We have to dispose of such claims one by one as they appear.
Up to date many have been heralded as equally infallible and all have proven equally fallible. Under the light of examination they have all lost their solidity like ice under the sun of a Spring noon.
We have had to meet the Rhode Island "dilapidated document" of 1656 or 1658, which the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island refused to father and which, in fact, never existed.
We have had to meet the "John Moore letter" of 1715 which, likewise, never existed.
We have had to meet the Daniel Coxe claim of 1730; although it is now universally admitted that he never exercised his deputation.
We have had to meet the apocryphal "Liber A" claim from Pennsylvania; although if there ever was a "Liber A," no one pretends it will if found prove anything which Massachusetts does not admit (any more than does "Liber B.")
We have had to meet the "Henry Bell letter" claim of 1730; although that claim was simply a fraud as Pennsylvania now admits. And now we had to put a quietus upon a 1736 claim from South Carolina, founded upon good evidence, but which, ostrich-like, buries its head in its own newspaper that it may not see the Boston Gazette of 1734.
We are not infallible in Massachusetts. We prefer not to use superlative adjectives in describing our claims. From some attic or cellar or other depositary may come forth definite evidence, hitherto unknown, to shed light for or against our present position. But until it does, (if ever, and we believe never) Massachusetts will remain secure in its position as the Premier Grand Lodge of the Western Hemisphere, and all the unbiased Masonic world will continue to acclaim Henry Price to be, as he said himself, the Founder of Duly Constituted Masonry in America.
* * *
They have triumphed who have died;
They have passed the porches wide,
Leading from the Home of Night
To the splendid lawns of Light.
They have gone on that far road
Leading to their new abode,
And from the curtained casements we
Watch their going wistfully.
Ah! that turn, that glimpse! That last
Wondering where their feet have passed!
They have read new meanings, they
Who have found the open way.
Now they know that hill and glen
Far beyond our mortal ken;
And they know why winter turns
To April; why Youth burns
With all its dreams that go to rust;
Why men falter, and yet trust;
Why the Autumn grieves and sighs
Underneath the brooding skies;
Why the grass, with punctual feet,
Comes in Spring our eyes to greet,
And white dawn succeeds white dawn,
And the moon shines on and on.
They have left our House of Night,
Faring to the bournes of Light.
Grieve not for them; rather say,
"They are victors on the way;
They have won, for they have read
The bright secrets of the dead;
And they gained the deep unknown,
Hearing life's strange undertone.
In the race across the days
They are victors; their's the praise;
Their's the glory and the pride;
They have triumphed — having died."
— Chas. Hanson Towne
* * *
LABORARE EST ORARE
Not solely on our Sabbath days
We render service fair;
For duties done go up like praise,
And kindly thought is prayer.
— Frederick Langbridge.
* * *
A thousand creeds and battle-cries,
A thousand warring social schemes,
A thousand new moralities,
And twenty thousand thousand dreams!
Each on his own anarchic way,
From the old order breaking free —
Our ruined world desires, you say,
License, once more, not Liberty.
But ah, beneath the struggling foam,
When storm and change are on the deep,
How quietly the tides come home,
And how the depths of sea-shine sleep;
And we who march toward a goal,
Destroying only to fulfil
The law, the law of that great soul
Which moves beneath your alien will;
We, that like foemen meet the past
Because we bring the future, know
We only fight to achieve at last
A great reunion with our foe;
Reunion in the truths that stand
When all our wars are rolled away;
Reunion of the heart and hand
And of the prayers wherewith we pray;
Reunion in the common needs,
The common strivings of mankind;
Reunion of our warring creeds
In the one God that dwells behind.
Forward! — what use in idle words?
Forward, O warriors of the soul!
There will be breaking up of swords
When the new morning makes us whole.
* * *
In radium there is said to be a virtue which enables it to affect adjacent objects with its own properties, and to turn them, for a time, and for certain purposes, into things of the same nature as itself. Certain human personalities have a similar virtue.
Ordeal by Battle, F. S. Oliver.
* * *
WASHINGTON IN HIS OWN TIME
Bro. Samuel Bullard, 1790
(By the kindness of Brother C.M. Schenck, of Denver, Colorado, we present herewith a contemporary estimate of Washington, being an excerpt from "An Almanack, for the Year of the Christian Aera 1790, by Samuel Bullard, Boston. Printed and Sold by John W. Folsom, No. 30 Union street; sold also by most of the Town and Country Booksellers." Added thereto is a poem F. Plumer, "a citizen of the World," from the same edition of the Almanack, albeit composed in 1782. It is more interesting than important, written in a high-flown manner, with many allusions to mythology — after the style affected in that day — but it recalls the spirit of the time. A copy of this Almanack is now in possession of Mrs. C.M. Schenck, of Denver. The extract takes us back for a brief moment, into the age in which Washington lived, and shows that the estimate of his character was then very much what it is today. As the editor of the Almanack said, "We cannot entertain a doubt of its being agreeable to all of our kind of Readers." — The Editor.)
As the following is a Sketch of the Life and Character of our American Fabius, we cannot entertain a doubt of its being agreeable to all our kind Readers. As this Gentleman always refused to accept of any pecuniary appointment for his public services, no salary was annexed by Congress to his important command, and he only drew weekly for the expenses of his public table, and other necessary demands.
General Washington, having never been in Europe, could not possibly have seen much military service when the armies of Britain were sent to subdue the Americans; yet still, for a variety of reasons he was by much the most proper man on the continent, and probably anywhere else, to be placed at the head of an American army. The very high estimation he stood in for integrity and honor, his engaging in the cause of his country from sentiment and conviction of her wrongs, his moderation in politics, his extensive property, and his approved abilities as a Commander, were motives which necessarily obliged the choice of America, to fall upon him.
That nature had given General Washington extraordinary talents, will hardly be controverted by his most bitter enemies. Having been early actuated with a warm passion to serve his country in the military line, he has greatly improved his talents, by unwearied industry, a close application to the best writers upon tactics, and by more than common method and exactness. In reality, when it comes to be considered, that at first he only headed a body of men entirely unacquainted with military discipline or operations, somewhat ungovernable in temper, and who at best could only be styled an alert and good militia, acting under very short enlistments, unclothed, unaccoutred, and at all times very ill supplied with ammunition and artillery; and that with such an army he withstood the ravages and progress of near 40,000 veteran troops plentifully provided with every necessary article, commanded by the bravest officers in Europe, supported by a very powerful navy, which effectually prevented all movements by water; when all this comes to be impartially considered, we can venture to pronounce, that General Washington may be regarded as one of the greatest military ornaments of the present age.
General Washington is now in the 58th year of his age; having completed his fifty-seventh on the 11th of February last, as it appears by the "Federal Calendar," that truly worthy and brave Veteran was born in the year 1732. He is a tall, well made man, rather large boned, and has a tolerable genteel address; his features are manly and bold; his eyes of a bluish cast, and very lively; his hair a deep brown; his face rather long, and marked with small-pox; his complexion sun-burnt, and without much color, and his countenance sensible, composed and thoughtful. There is a remarkable air of dignity about him, with a striking degree of gracefulness; he has an excellent understanding, without much quickness; is strictly just, vigilant and generous; an affectionate husband, a faithful friend, a father to the deserving soldier; gentle in his manner, in temper rather reserved; a total stranger to religious prejudices, which have so often excited Christians of one denomination to cut the throats of those of another; in his morals he is irreproachable, and was never known to exceed the bounds of the most rigid temperance. In a word, all his friends and acquaintances universally allow, that no man ever united in his own person a more perfect alliance of the virtues of the Philosopher with the talents of a General; candor, sincerity, affability, and simplicity, seem to be the striking features of his character, until an occasion offers of displaying the most determined Bravery and Independence of spirit.
A POEM, on Geo. Washington. — Composed in 1782, but never before published.
— By F. Plumer, a citizen of the World; also from "An Almanack," by Samuel Bullard, 1791.
Come all ye powers that e'er sent by Jove,
Did the great fancy of an Homer move.
To chant the praises of Ulysses great,
The Hero of the times of ancient date:
Come all ye powers that e'er did Virgil aid,
To sing of Aeneas and the wars he made;
To paint the Hero in the noblest lays,
To chant his honor and advance his praise;
Attend me while in feeble strains I try
To lisp of one whose fam'd above the sky;
A greater than the conquering Grecian King,
Great Washington's the Man, whose fame I'd sing.
Rejoice ye Dryades, O Collinna plance!
Exult ye forests, and ye mountains dance,
The time, the great, the glorious time is near,
When ye shall cease the noise of war to hear;
When barb'rous Britons shall their butchering cease,
When war and discord shall give way to Peace;
When Washington shall be completely found,
With victory and with conqueror's laurels crown'd.
Ceres be glad, our verdant fields shall be
From all destroyers, from arm'd Britons free;
Men's guns and pistols shall be turn'd to hoes,
And swords instead of men shall clip the rose;
Our Nymphs and Swains beneath the cooling shade,
Shall on the springing grass and herbs be laid,
And feast on fruit, while of no foes afraid.
Sons of Columbia give your hours to play,
No more we are the subjects of dismay;
No more the Sons of Justice in the earth,
Can doubt our prized Freedom's birth:
For thro' the world the tidings have been spread,
How Columbia's Sons have fought, and how been led;
Our General's spirit spreading wide and far,
Hath rous'd the nations in the East to war;
Hath given spirit to Hibernia's Sons,
And almost 'mongst the Dutch rais'd Washingtons.
Inspir'd by Washington, great Hyder rose,
And hurl'd destruction all around his foes;
Shew'd them the power of an Hero's arm,
When rous'd by Justice to loud war's alarm.
Sons of Nemesis thro' the world rejoice,
And sing your joy in clear and manly voice,
Columbia's numerous Race are free,
No more oppress'd by British Tyranny.
Our Hero's fame shall thro' the world be rung,
His deeds shall in heroic verse be sung,
And loud be chanted by both old and young.
The mortals of this age shall loudly sing,
And make his fame thro' all our regions ring;
Ten hundred thousand millions yet to come,
Shall on this Shore the pleasing theme resume;
Fathers to children shall with joy declare,
The glory that he's gain'd in deeds of war.
Nor shall ye cease to hear the cheerful sound,
While suns and other shining worlds are found.
Much sooner shall great Phoebus cease the skies
To illuminate, the gay Minerva cries,
Than Bards or Muses cease to chant aloud,
Washington's glory to th' astonished crowd;
Apollo and the Muses thus agree.
And thus the great, th' immortal Gods decree.
* * *
Wind puffs up empty bladders; opinions, fools.
We can be more clever than one, but not more clever than all.
— La Rochefoucauld.
A man who is proud of small things shows that small things are great to him.
— Madame de Girardin.
The rose does not bloom without thorns. True; but would that the thorns did not outlive the rose!
A man will be what his most cherished feelings are. If he encourage a noble generosity, every feeling will be enriched by it; if he nurse bitter thoughts his own spirit will absorb the poison.
— Henry Ward Beecher.
* * *
WASHINGTON AND LINCOLN
Unlike in certain qualities, our two supreme Americans were not unlike in their supreme achievements. There was no structural difference in the work they did; it was all of a piece. By the scale of a hemisphere they shaped their designs; but their work was larger than a hemisphere. Look upon it now as it lies spread out before you in the white light of world-wide criticism; it is of as noble dimensions as civilization itself. It matches the achievements of Alexander and Caesar, Charlemagne and Alfred, simon de Montfort and Cromwell. Nay, it is greater by as much as America, in prospect certainly, is greater than Greece or Rome, France or England. Europe herself admits the fact. The Iron Duke, speaking for the Old World, says: "I esteem Washington as perhaps the noblest character of modern times — possibly of all time." And an Italian scholar, spokesman for a world old before England was born, offers this stirring panegyric: "Lincoln stood higher in my estimation and love than all the Alexanders and Caesars who have reddened the pages of history with their brilliant exploits."
— Review of Reviews.
* * *
Behold the Builder! Here he stands erect,
By many labors perfected. By trial,
And sacrifice, he's won, beyond denial,
The place he merits. Grave and circumspect,
He labors now to plan and to perfect,
Before the shadows cover up the dial,
His edifice, awaiting all the while
The coming of the Master to inspect.
Thus future ages and that Wisdom bright,
That finds the lost, that brings to light the true,
Shall vindicate the soul that strives for right
Whate'er may be the obstacle.
To do That faithfully is all that God requires;
To see His Face fulfils all man desires.
— H. W. Ticknor, Florida.
* * *
THE LAMB-SKIN, OR WHITE LEATHER APRON
Of honest toil the humble garment thou,
Yet by the Ancient Craft to uses high
And splendid raised! No gorgeous panoply
Of knight or monarch, bright on breast or brow, —
Star, Cross or Garter, — can like thee endow
The wearer with pure honor! Emblem white
Of Innocence, — thou Lamb-skin Apron! Light
Breaks on the darkened eyes, and teaches how
Thou must be worthily worn, when thou'rt bestowed.
True to thy glorious precepts may I stand,
Upright and just, however life may test!
For, if I wear thee spotless on the road,
When next I have thee at the Master's hand,
I may deserve thee, spotless, o'er my breast.
— A. F. Van Bibber, Maryland.
QUESTIONS ON THE STORY OF FREEMASONRY
The Cincinnati Masonic Study School
- Who placed Masonic principles in our cradle of Liberty? 111-2.
- Where can Masonry be traced? When did it come to our shores and by whom was it nurtured? 111-2.
- What has always been required of anyone who seeks admission into a lodge? Page 81.
- In what year did the Grand Master of Knights Templar go to Paris at the bidding of the Pope with lots of wealth and by whom and why was he and his party put to torture and death? Page 65.
- Who was Wm. Morgan? 41.
- What degrees of Masonry is it known he received and what was his character? Page 41.
- What led to Wm. Morgan's attempted exposure of Freemasonry and what object did he have in view? Whom did he consult and who was his partner? 42-1.
- What was the nature of Wm. Morgan's so-called exposure? 42-2.
- Was an attempt made to discover the missing man Morgan and apprehend his captors? If so by whom? 43-2.
- What is said of Wm. Morgan's disappearance? 43-1.
- In what State was an Anti-Masonic political party formed and what was the cause and result? Page 46.
- Where and when were Masons excluded from Churches and their children from the schools? Page 46.
- What action did Ex-President of the United States John Quincy Adams take in the political persecution of Freemasonry during the William Morgan affair? 47-1.
- What claim was made during the Anti-Masonic political campaign, more than a year after the Wm. Morgan disappearance, relative to the finding of the body of a drowned man? 44-1. What was the result of the second inquest? 44-2.
- What mysteries existed in the times of antiquity, and what is said of Freemasonry in reference to them? 9-2.
- When and by whom were the Dionysian Mysteries introduced in Greece? 104.
- When did the Ionic migration occur? What resulted therefrom? 104.
- Who were the Dionysiacs of Ionia? In what did they resemble the Fraternity of Freemasons? 105.
- What is the present status of Masonry? What is its present condition in the United States? 111-1 111-2.
- What is Masonry as an Institution, where does it exist and what are its claims? 111-2.
- Does history furnish a parallel to Masonry? 111-2.
- What is said of the Negro Chapters of Royal Arch, Negro Commanderies of Knights Templar, and Negro Scottish Rite Masonry? 73-1.
- Have the colored Grand Lodges been recognized? What stand did the Grand Lodge of Ohio take against the Colored Grand Lodge of Ohio in 1876? 72-1.
- What is said of the first negroes to be made Freemasons, and the record of their lodges and grand lodges? 72-1.
- What is said of Liberia and Negro Masonry? 74-1.
- What is Freemasonry? 52-1. Has the Origin, purpose and history of this most ancient, famous, enduring and cosmopolitan of all the world's secret organizations, been investigated, discussed and speculated upon? 52. With what results? 52-53.
- In what year in England did we lay aside our operative character and become purely a moral and benevolent organization? 108.
- What is claimed to be the true origin of Masonry? 101-1. 102-1.
- Who were the Phoenicians? 102-1.
- Originally who only were admitted into Freemasonry? 102.
- How were the questions "Where did Masonry begin" and "Who did bring it Westerly" answered in the beginning of the 15th century in England? How were these answers predicated? 101-1.
- How does the intelligent Mason value Freemasonry? 100.
- How can Masonry be rightly estimated and by whom valued? 100-1.
- Upon what basis should Masters and Wardens be chosen? 83-1.
- How should the officers of a lodge be obeyed in their respective stations? 83-2.
- What is said of the Masonic Manuscript of 1388? 76-2.
- Of what does Freemasonry consist? And what is the foundation of same? 60-1.
- What is said of the Origin, Purpose and History of Freemasonry? 52-1.
- When was the first crude constitution and regulations written? 53-1.
- What do other learned authors believe of the existence of Freemasonry? And upon what do they base their claim? 53-1.
- What discovery gives evidence to prove Masonry existed 100 years before Christ and where now in the U. S. is such evidence? 54-55.
- Why is it reasonable that Masonry should be transmitted through organized bodies of intelligent and reverend men from the time of Solomon? 54-1.
* * *
(The Builderis an open forum for free and fraternal discussion. Each of its contributors writes under his own name, and is responsible for his own opinions. Believing that a unity of spirit is better than a uniformity of opinion, the Research Society, as such, does not champion any one school of Masonic thought as over against another; but offers to all alike a medium for fellowship and instruction, leaving each to stand or fall by its own merits.)
WITH deep sorrow and a keen sense of personal loss, we must now make record of the death of Brother Chetwode Crawley, Grand Treasurer of Ireland, one of the noblest men, as he was one of the finest Masonic scholars, of his generation. Ripe in years, rich in honors, radiant in faith, he passed away at his home in Dublin at the age of seventy-two, to receive the reward of an honorable character and a well-spent life. He held that the Landmarks of Masonry are the Fatherhood of God, the Brotherhood of Man and the Golden Rule, and these were also the landmarks of his life and character.
Brother Crawley was born November 15th, 1843, and was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, from which he was graduated with first Class Honors. Initiated into the mysteries of Freemasonry in 1873, in the Scientific Lodge, Dublin, he early devoted his talents to the service of the Order. He was the founder of the Chetwode Crawley Lodge, No. 395, Dublin, named in his honor. Indeed, he received, as he deserved, almost every honor within the gift of any Masonic body in Ireland, in recognition of his personal worth and his distinguished service to the cause of Masonic scholarship and research. There is hardly a question of general Masonic interest upon which he has not written, and always with the accuracy, industry and fine precision of a real scholar joined with a singular lucidity of style.
Irish Masonry, however, was his particular field, as witness his three stately volumes of "Caementaria Hibernica," which remain as an imposing monument to his memory and a treasure house for the Craft. He became a member in 1887 of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge, of London, in the transactions of which much of his best work as a Masonic student is to be found, and we wish there might be a collection of those essays in a volume, as was done in the case of Brother Gould. Like Brother Gould, he was one of the first to greet the founding of this Society, sending us his blessing in a gracious letter, in these words:
"Let me begin by expressing my deep satisfaction that the Grand Lodge of Iowa has extended its sanction to Masonic Research by the appointment of so influential and capable a committee. The adoption of such a plan by any Grand Lodge would have secured warm approval from all Brethren concerned for the welfare of the Craft, but there is a peculiar fitness in its adoption by the Grand Lodge of Iowa. For more than a generation, we have been accustomed to see the Grand Lodge of Iowa leading the van in the cultivation of the literature of Freemasonry."
Again and again, even during his illness, he sent us words of cheer across the sea, assuring us of his sympathy and regretting that he was not able to contribute to the pages of The Builder. Nor could he realize how much it meant to the young men who founded this Society to have the encouragement and blessing of so noble a scholar, so accomplished a Mason. Old as it is, there is always something new about death, the more so when one so honored and beloved vanishes into its soft and fascinating darkness. But no shadow can obscure the light of so pure a man, so true a Mason, so gracious a friend — a gentleman of the old school, exquisite in his grace of courtesy, skilled in the fine art of brotherliness, and so winning in his simple dignity and beauty of soul.
"And now on tired eyes
There softly lies
The stillest of all slumbers."
* * *
Accordingly, "on St. John's Baptist's Day, in the 3d year of King George 1, A. D. 1717, the Assembly and Feast of the Free and Accepted Masons was held in the aforesaid Goose and Gridiron Ale-house": so runs the record of the date and organization of the Mother Grand Lodge of modern Masonry. Quickly the flying months will bring us to the two-hundredth anniversary of that historic event, and we may well begin to bethink ourselves as to how that memorable date can best be celebrated. Already thoughtful Masons have it in mind to make that historic mile-stone the beginning, if possible, of a new era not only in the annals, but also in the influence and efficiency of Masonry in the world. As witness these words from a letter:
"Before long we shall have two million Master Masons in the United States; in twenty years, twice that number. Yet not one in ten of that number has any real or profound interest in Masonry, if one may judge by the fact that so few read any Masonic journal or literature, and that scarcely one in ten attends ritualistic work once a year, even when banquets are used as nubbins to toll them in. Am I wrong? If so, how much wrong? How may we cure this condition? Next year, 1917 is the two hundredth anniversary of the founding, or revival, of the Grand Lodge system. And yet after two hundred years the Tyler-Keystone prays, "God, give us men," and a past Grand Master of Illinois in the Illinois Freemason says that nine-tenths of the time of the Grand Lodge is spent on 'perfunctory bunk.' Neither of them seems to understand what the matter is.
What could be plainer! There is no organized Masonic purpose in the United States, no concerted and well-planned movement in behalf of a more efficient and influential Masonry. None, at least, now being interpreted to the Craft. Is it not high time that our Masonic press started a campaign — better still, a crusade — to develop personal interest and Lodge efficiency? Much could be done by 1917 to prepare the way for a distinctive celebration of that great anniversary, not by formal ceremonies which have no vitality of Purpose, but by opening a new Masonic era to which Masons may look back, two hundred years from now, with admiration and gratitude.
Why may not 1917 be characterized as the birthday of An Efficient Masonic Purpose? I am anxiously waiting to see what you have to say about 1917. I am sure it will not satisfy your soul to hold a banquet somewhere, with perfunctory 'bunkers' in attendance, applauding ourselves on membership, amount of money invested, antiquity, and the like of that. No, the low degree of Masonic efficiency does not justify Masonic rhapsody in 1917. Such a day and date call for greater Purpose and a more efficient organization to carry it out!"
With all of which we fully and heartily agree, except with what is surely too high an estimate of the percentage of Masons who have no real or profound interest in the Order. No matter; as a token of what is astir in the minds of thoughtful Masons as they look forward toward the celebration of a great and epochmaking event in our history, this letter is as valuable as it is pointedly pertinent. If adversity was the trial of Masonry in days agone, prosperity it its chief peril today. Often one fears that the many noble and beautiful Masonic temples now a-building, so perfect in design and appointment, may actually symbolize what we should the most dread. Prestige, power, esteem, numbers — have these made us better Masons than our fathers were in the days when the order was in disfavor, and it required some courage to join it?
Therefore, we ask our readers to discuss the question raised by the above letter in a frank and free manner. What should that memorable anniversary mean to the Mason of today? How can we most truly and appropriately celebrate it? Which is only another way of asking, what should Masonry mean in these new and strange times in which we live? What can it do? How can it best fulfill its benign mission? What part should it have in the reconstruction of the world after the stupendous disaster of war? Not only what, but how? Here is food for thought, deep and searching thought, the while we recall the days of old.
* * *
When this issue of The Builderreaches its readers ye editor expects to be in England, as the guest of the historic City Temple of London; returning the middle or last of August, if the Subs do not waylay him enroute and the Zeps do not blow him up while he is there. He hopes to meet many of our fellow-workers on the other side, and to come into closer touch with English Freemasonry, of which he will have something to say when he returns. Meantime, no member of the Society need hesitate to write to The Builderor its editor, sending a question or a contribution, as personal letters will be forwarded and the editorial work will be left in skillful hands. Brother Clegg, of Ohio, will write the editorials for the September issue, by which time we hope to be back with many things to tell our Brethren on this side. The journey is at once a holiday and a kind of ambassadorship, in the small, of fraternal goodwill in behalf of closer fellowship — with whatever else the hidden future may have and hold in its mystery.
* * *
The second article in the series of studies of Masonic Social Service will be found most interesting, telling, as it does, of the work of the Scottish Rite Home for Crippled Children, in Atlanta, Georgia. No man can read it without feeling a lump climb up in his throat, at sight and thought of little bodies twisted and awry, but he will rejoice that Masonry is finding new and rich fields of service to humanity. It will be followed by an article giving the story and describing the working of the Masonic Employment Bureau movement, which will be equally interesting in another way.
* * *
Most earnestly do we hope that the series of articles dealing with the Origin of Templarism, which have been running for the last six months in the Toronto Freemason, may find their way into permanent form. They are worthy of wide reading and long study, and we congratulate the Freemason on the publication of so valuable a series of papers.
* * *
There should be no need to call attention to the study of "The Oldest Flag," by Brother John W. Barry of the Iowa Research Committee, which begins in this issue. It is one of the finest, as it is surely one of the most interesting and important, studies which the Socicty has so far presented.
* * *
A CREED FOR THE CRAFT
R.I. Clegg, Ohio
- Thou shalt not make unto thyself any pretentious graven image of the Masonic faith, nor bow down thereto, for Freemasonry is more than the blazonry of big buttons or the ballast of weighty watch charms. Yea, the true Mason may lose his lapel label yet cares he not; lo, is it not with him blown into the glass for keeps? Therefore, my son, be thou wise and right speedily thereunto get next.
- Thou shalt not take the name of Freemason in vain, nor fail to live up to it.
- Remember the Lodge night and show up thereon.
- Honor thy Mother Lodge that the stranger from afar off may envy thy Masonic home.
- Thou shalt not kill the cheery prospect ahead; therefore, help thou the good work along and block not the game.
- Thou shalt not commit buffoonery as Steward nor lack dignity as Master.
- Thou shalt not steal away thy brother's pleasure, neither dilute thou his due joys.
- Thou shalt not bear falsehood nor grouch against any of thy brethren.
- Thou shalt not covet another's lodge. Get busy.
- Thou shalt not be other than brotherly — making friends by being one.
* * *
SCOTTISH RITE DOCUMENTS
ONCE again the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania has put the Craft under abiding obligations by its publication, in a stately volume, of a series of ancient Scottish Rite documents found in the archives of its Library. Its title is as follows: "Ancient Documents Relating to the Ancient Scottish Rite, with annotations by Julius F. Sachse, Librarian, Philadelphia." It is printed by permission of Brother J. Henry Williams, Grand Master of Masons in Pennsylvania, who remarks in the foreword: "The Masonic student may have his own individual opinion of the origin, growth and development of the present system guiding the Craft, but all men can meet upon the common level of search for the facts upon which the opinion may be based; and it is because of the desire to aid the searcher for truth that the volume of Scottish Rite History has my approval."
There is no need to say that this volume is edited with accuracy and care, with fine judgment and taste — all the work of Brother Sachse is after that manner — and it is a valuable contribution to Scottish Rite history; albeit little light is thrown upon certain questions which have long vexed students of that story. A picture of Moses Hays serves as a frontispiece, and a very good account of that useful man is found further on, together with Morin, Francken and others, who were pioneers of the Rite in this country. There is, however, no intimation as to whether any of these men had ever gone beyond the Rite of Perfection. So that, speaking of the fact, it is a documented story of the introduction of the Rite of Perfection into America — the Scottish Rite, if by that we mean — as we should — thirty-three degrees, came later. Ye editor was taken to task, somewhat superciliously, as he thought, a month or so ago for stating the fact which these venerable parchments abundantly confirm.
No matter; the outstanding fact in these old records, here reproduced in fac-simile, text, and translation, is that the Rite of Perfection was brought to this land by men of the Hebrew race and faith. Hays, Morin, Francken, were all of that ancient people, and to the men of that faith is due the credit of having planted on these shores a Rite to which they have been so loyal through all the years. The oldest document here preserved — believed to be "the most ancient authenticated Scottish Rite document known" — is a certificate issued to Ossonde Verriere, a planter in St. Domingo, date October 26th, 1764, by Stephen Morin. It was found, as if by chance, among a lot of old, musty, yellow and long forgotten papers in the archives of the Library of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.
Incidentally, of course, Brother Sachse finds it handy to remark that "Philadelphia has been acknowledged to be the mother city of Symbolic Free-Masonry in the Western World"; and he now puts in a claim for the City of Brotherly Love as the actual center where "Perfect and Sublime" Masonry was revived on these shores, as witness a Patent issued to one Abraham Forst, dated April 4th, 1781, at Philadelphia, signed by Moses Hays. It is also interesting to note that this document did not profess to give any authority over the three degrees of Blue Masonry, but confined itself to the Royal Arch and the Sublime Degrees as alone being within its jurisdiction. This is the more significant when we remember the subsequent misunderstanding, to name it mildly, in regard to this very matter, and the resignation by the Scottish Rite of the first three degrees of Craft Masonry.
The next document is of peculiar interest, being the "Minute Book for the Lodge of Grand Elect Perfect and Sublime Masons, in the city of Philadelphia, 25th June, 1789," which ends abruptly with the meeting of Feb. 21st, 1789. Of this body we read: "Next to the Grand Lodges of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, this Lodge was the most important Masonic organization in America, as it was through its membership that the Sublime Rite was introduced into the different States, and which now know as the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, is spread over the whole United States." Here again the names are all Hebrew, at least until the abrupt ending of the minutes in 1789: that it continued in existence after that date is known from other records. How firmly its members believed that Frederick of Prussia was the Grand Commander of the Order, is shown by the fact that they wrote a letter to him in November, 1785. No reply was received, the King at that time being ill and soon to die. Nothing daunted, two years later Solomon Bush was appointed to visit Frederick in Berlin.
As has been said, this old minute book comes to an abrupt close, and thereby hangs a mystery. At the next to the last meeting the secretary, Duplessis, stated that Brother Prevost had requested from him and taken away the Book containing to Sublime Degrees and the Seal. Further there is no document to show that Prevost authorized Duplessis to make this demand, nor by what authority he acted. The request of the Lodge that the Book and the Seal be returned was unheeded. By what right such a demand was made on the secretary and complied with by him, if true, is an unsolved problem, as is the reason and authority for not returning the Book and Seal. One would give much to know what lay back of this mystery.
Space does not permit us to go into further detail, much as we are tempted to do so. Taken as a whole, the volume is a notable addition to the store of Scottish Rite lore, and the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania is to be congratulated upon giving it to the Craft in so sumptuous a style.
* * *
A new edition of the "Master Mason's Handbook," by Brother F. J. W. Crowe, is most welcome, and we are glad to see that the original introduction by the late Brother Hughan is retained, as it should be. First published twenty-five years ago, this little volume has served, and will still serve, a useful purpose, as is shown by the demand for it which requires a fifth edition. The march of time brings many changes in the Means and methods of Masonry, even though its principles remain intact, and this little book, so carefully prepared and simple in style, still answers many questions for the beginner in Masonic affairs. Those who are absorbed only in matters of ceremonial will find that it makes many things, little understood, intelligible, and perchance a reading of it will lure them further into the meanings of Masonry. Commendation of such a book is superfluous.
ARTICLES OF INTEREST
Masonry and World Reconstruction.Masonic Standard.
Freemasonry in South America, by R.W. Hornsby.American Freemason.
The Golden Age of Masonry, by W. R. Hervey.Tyler-Keystone.
The Proper Uses of Titles, by G. M. Moulton.Tyler-Keystone.
James Buchanan, by G. P. Brown.Masonic Monthly.
Antiquity of Masonry, by C. M. Perkins.Masonic Herald.
How Frederick the Great Became a Mason, by O. Lang.New England Craftsman.
The Hope of the Scottish Rite, by B. S. Grosscup.The New Age.
The Means and the End, by J. G. Gibson.London Freemason.
* * *
Address, by L. A. Watres, Grand Master Pennsylvania.
The Lincoln Life-mask, by H. B. Rankin.
The College of the Pioneers, by Thomas H. MacBride.
* * *
Ancient Documents of the Scottish Rite, edited by J. F. Sachse, Philadelphia.
Personal Recollections of Lincoln, by H. B. Rankin, Introduction by Ye Editor. Putnam's Sons, New York. $2.00
The Meaning of Personal Life, by Newman Smyth. Scribner's Sons. $2.00.
Ordeal by Battle, by F. S. Oliver. Macmillan Co. $1.50.
Things a Mason Should Know, by F. J. W. Crowe. G. Kenning, London. $1.00
Master Mason's Handbook, by F. J. W. Crowe. G. Kenning, London. $1.00.
The Gospel of Goodwill, by W. D. Hyde. Macmillan Co. $1.50.
American Public Health Protection, by H. B. Hemenway. Bobbs Merrill Co., Indianapolis. $1.25.
* * *
THE QUESTION BOX
"THE VALLEY OF SHADOWS"
Brother Newton: As a student of the Civil War period, will you tell me what in your opinion is the greatest book which that period has produced — I mean as interpreting its spiritual meaning?
— H. L. P.
Well, it would be hard for any book to stand alongside "The Valley of the Shadows," by Francis Grierson — a most remarkable volume by a most remarkable man, who is a poet, a musician, an essayist whose pages exhibit a singular blend of sagacity and prophecy. It is the nearest approach to an epic we have yet had of our Civil War, displaying the oncoming of that cataclysm with wonderful vividness, intensity and solemnity; painting with a large brush on a large canvas, and dealing with the unseen but seemingly almighty influences which moved events at that time.
* * *
Seems to me that your discussion of the Dionysiac Artificers in The Buildersis rather hazy, and that the chain is rather weak at that point. Perhaps I am wrong, but so I felt while reading the book, which I very much enjoyed. — R. G. C.
The first part of The Builders, as was distinctly stated, has to do with the hints and prophecies of Masonry, and in the nature of the case is less definite than other sections. But the Dionysiacs are not a myth; they are the first order of architects, of which we have record, who were a secret order practicing the rites of the Mysteries. For example, Professor Robinson writes: "We know that the Dionysiacs of Ionia were a great corporation of architects and engineers, who undertook, and even monopolized, the building of temples and stadia, precisely as the fraternity of Freemasons monopolized the bullding of cathedrals and conventional churches in the Middle Ages. Indeed, the Dionysiacs resembled in many respects the mystic fraternity now called Freemasons. They allowed no strangers to interfere in their employment; they recognized each other by signs and tokens; they professed certain mysterious doctrines under the tutelage of Bacchus, (Bacchus represents the sun, which is the outward symbol of the One God, so that the worship of the Dionysiacs resolved itself into the worship of the One God) to whom they built a magnificent temple as Teos, where they celebrated his mysteries at solemn festivals, and they called all other men profanes, because not admitted to these mysteries." Article on the Arch in "Brewster's Edinburgh Encyclopedia."
* * *
LECTURES ON MASONRY
Some years ago I found in the library of an old Virginia Mason a book entitled "Ancient Craft Masonry Revealed in Religion, Fifteen Lectures," by Charles Scott. I obtained this old book and read it. Thinking it might be of some service to you, I write to ask if you would like to see it. No book, except the Bible ever gave me more light on religion. — Miss L. K. Lewis.
We are familiar with the work of Brother Scott, who was Grand Master, we believe, of the Grand Lodge of Mississippi in 1850, and his work, so deeply spiritual, deserves all the kind words here said about it. Many have found in Masonry more light on religion than they have been able to find anywhere else perhaps because Masonry puts aside the non-essentials about which there have been so many debates, and goes at once and always to the vital and fundamental realities that underlie and transfigure our human life. Also, the book to which Miss Lewis refers makes it plain that Masonry meant very much to the Masons of the olden time, and it surely should not mean less to us.
* * *
CHRIST AND MASONRY
Will you please give me some light in regard to whether a Master Mason must believe in the Divinity of Jesus Christ, and the inspiration of every part of the Protestant Bible, in order to continue in good standing?
— C. G. H.
Most certainly not. To make such dogmas tests of Masonic fellowship and standing would be to violate the fundamental law and principle of Freemasonry, and turn it into a sect. Those who suggest such a thing know not what they do. They would destroy Masonry, by making it only one more factor in a world of factional feud, one more atom in the agglomeration of sectarian confusion. The fact that the Bible lies open upon our altar does not commit the Order, or any member of it, to any dogma of inspiration, much less to the dogma suggested in the above question. Masonry is content to open the Bible — and an open Bible means much — and leave each man free to interpret it as his own heart dictates, and instructs him to allow all his Brethren to do the same without question and without cavil. Many Masons are Christians, but Masonry is not distinctively Christian either in its teaching or in its basis of fellowship — though a Christian man has a right to interpret its symbols from his point of view, as a Hebrew or a Hindu may interpret them from other points of view. It stands for Freedom, Friendship and Fraternity among men.
* * *
THE OBLONG SQUARE
Dear Brother: — When the candidate is told that he thus makes an oblong square, what he is really forming is the ark cross. We know that the ark cross is symbolic of the Supreme Being as a self-created, all-creating being combining in His person a triune being at once Father, Mother, and Son. I take the view that he is so placed when making his declaration, signifying his belief accordingly, and that that was the ancient intention. When he takes three steps he is further asserting that belief. Shortly put I take the view that he takes his stand on that belief. I should like to hear other Brethren more learned on the historical side of the Craft discuss this question
Ernest E. Murray, Montana.
* * *
THE TEMPLE OF MELEKARTHA
Some days ago I bought from an old book store an old book published in London in 1831, entitled "The Temple of Melekartha." The name of the author is not given, and I would like to know who wrote it and why. I found it quite interesting.
— W. S. B.
The book was written by Isaac Taylor, Jr., a very prolific writer of that day, son of another Isaac Taylor, a line engraver of London. Many of his volumes were very highly esteemed at that period and nearly all the foremost British Reviews published articles of importance about his work. At the present time his thought is antiquated, and his books have gone glimmering down the stream of things that were — lost in that vast limbo of books which aimed high but missed the sure, authentic note that sings forever.
* * *
Will you tell me whether the Jewish people at the time of Jesus practiced polygamy? I have had quite a discussion of this question of late, and opinion seems divided. Perhaps you can settle it.
— C. W. B.
Unfortunately the authorities are also divided. For example, Callichan, in his work on "Women Under Polygamy," (pp. 292-3 ) says: "There is no doubt that the earlier Christian teachers were much perplexed by the errant desires of their converts and disciples. Polygamy had a strong hold upon the Jewish inhabitants of Palestine and the Eastern alien proselytes. It was impossible to extirpate so ancient a practice in a few years." So also Dr. Shailer Mathews in his "History of the New Testament Times in Palestine," (p. 163) in which he says that polygamy was practiced to some extent at the time of Jesus, but chiefly by the very wealthy. On the other side, Abrahams in his "Jewish Life in the Middle Ages," thinks that monogamy had become a settled custom among the Jews at the time when Jesus lived and taught.
* * *
QUEEN OF SHEBA
According to the Bible account the visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon occurred some thirteen years after the dedication of the Temple, and I am a little puzzled by the fact that in the ceremonial of the Most Excellent Master's degree she is associated with Solomon at the time of the dedication. Help!
— W. J. L.
Our Brother has an erroneous view of the nature of Masonic degrees, if he thinks that they are supposed to follow chronologically the facts of history in the order given in the Bible. Not so. Nor were they intended to do so. They are but a memorial subsequently established, for purposes of symbolical teaching, of events in connection with the temple, its building and its dedication, as well as its destruction and its rebuilding. It is by no means necessary, for the purpose intended, to make the visit of the Queen of Sheba contemporary with the dedication. (See "The Book of the Chapter," by Mackey, p. 78; also essay on "King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba," by F.J.W. Crowe,Transactions of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, Vol 19, p. 112.)
* * *
By the kindness of Brother Hutchings, of Montana, we have received a picture reproduced from an old print of a Masonic Parade of some sort, on which is written "St John’s Lodge, Clerkenwell, London, April 27th, 1742." The print is owned by Brother Herbert Chatterton, but neither he nor Brother Hutchings has been able to make out just what kind of a procession it is. Fortunately a larger and completer print of the same parade is to be found in the Library of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, showing the whole procession, whereas that of the print owned by Brother Chatterton shows only a part — the part in which a Donkey is seen acting as Grand Master, riding in a carriage attended by much dignity. Enter Apprentices, Fellowcrafts, Master Masons, all are made utterly ridiculous in this oldtime procession. It is an interesting and valuable print, a reminiscence of the Mock Masonry which had quite a vogue in the early days shortly after the organization of the Grand Lodge of England, and this was no doubt one reason why the Grand Lodge gave up public processions. We should be glad to have some Member of the Society — why not Brother Hutchings or Brother Chatterton? — make a little study of that movement, giving the facts and also the causes back of the ridicule of the order. They will find a clue, and much more than a clue, in the essays of Brother Crawley, entitled "Mock Masonry in the Eighteenth Century," Transactions of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge, Vol. 18, p. 129, also p. 217.
* * *
RITUAL AND COLOR
Brother Editor: -I am interested in two questions and would like to make a study of them, if you will refer me to materials. One is the growth of the ritual, and the other is the place and meaning of colors in Masonry. Can you put me on track of something to read along these lines?
— J. H. G.
These are interesting questions, but rather difficult. We are shortly to publish articles dealing with both of the topics you have in mind, but (1) if you have access to the transactions of the Coronati Lodge, you will find a very fine essay on "Colors in Freemasonry," by Brother F. J. W. Crowe, at hand, (Vol. 19, p. 112), and another on "Masonic Blue," by Brother Crawley, (Vol. 23, p. 309). (2) And in the same set of volumes, so valuable to the student, may be found a delightful study of "The Evolution of the Masonic Ritual," by the late Brother E.L. Hawkins. (Vol. 26, pp. 6‑21). The earlier volumes of the Transactions are hardly to be had at any price, but those here referred to belong to later issues and are not so difficult to obtain.
* * *
Three Brethren have asked for information about Findel, the Masonic historian. Not much is known about him. He was born in Germany in 1828, and was initiated into Freemasonry in 1856 at Bayreuth. He published his "History of Freemasonry," in German, in 1861. An English translation was made in 1865, but no one seems to know who did it. The preface by Charles van Dalen, dated November, 1865, refers to the translator as "a descendent of two dignitaries of the Grand Lodge of England, now residing in Berlin." In the Freemason's Magazine, May 16th, 1863, appeared "The Constitutions of the Masons of Strasburg, from Findel’s History of Masonry, translated, by permission of the author, by C.M. The "Constitutions," as printed, contained paragraphs not to be found in the Findel History published in London in 1869. In the meantime an American edition of Findel appeared, but no one now seems to know by whom it was translated. There ought to be some way to clear these questions up. At any rate, the Findel history was one of the earliest, if not the very first, attempt to write Masonic history as the history of other institutions is written — carefully, critically, accurately, separating legend from fact, and producing documents; and as such it was a great step forward toward real Masonic research. Moreover, as Brother Findel died on Nov. 23rd, 1905, there ought to be some one who could give us more of the details of his life, together with an appreciation of his services to the fraternity. This Society will welcome such a contribution at any time, from any source.
* * *
JACHIN AND BOAZ
Can you advise me from what source, by what authority, the following statement, or quotation, is taken: "In strength will I establish this mine (or my) house and kingdom forever." In our jurisdiction (Arizona) the above statement is used in the lecture given by the Senior Deacon in the second section of the Second Degree, in connection with the explanation of the two Brazen Pillars. I have made considerable research to ascertain the source of the quotation, but have been unable to find it, and shall be very glad to have any light on the subject. — C.W.
There is no such sentence in the Bible, so far as we are able to discover. We take it to be a statement made after the manner of Bible speech, using the meanings of the words Jachin and Boaz, the first meaning "He shall establish," and the second "In it is strength." As such it is true to the meaning of the Bible, (1 Kings 7:21) a legitimate paraphrase, and to all intents a quotation.
* * *
ROYAL ARCH HISTORY
Brother Editor: — Now you "have done gone and done it." You got us to take up the study of Arch Masonry, and here we are "all balled up," unable to tell when, where, or by whom the Royal Arch Degree began. It is "up to you" to pull us out of the hole.
— W. E. S.
This has long been a vexed question, and still remains obscure. We think the late Brother Woodford, author of "Kenning's Cyclopedia," hit the truth when he said that, originally the Royal Arch degree was a part of the Master's Degree, an that Lawrence Dermott, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Ancients, conceived the idea of elaborating it into a separate degree the better to attract members to his Grand Lodge, and so cripple the Grand Lodge of Moderns — this being at the time of their bitter schism, before 1813. Which thing he also did and it worked to the disadvantage of the Moderns; so much so that the Moderns appointed Thomas Dunckerley — called "the Father of Masonic Knight Templarism" — to do the same thing in that jurisdiction. In doing so he took the word which, it is held, originally belonged to the Master Degree and transferred it to the Royal Arch Degree. As to date, Brother Hughan thought "that in view of all the surroundings, it is not unsafe to venture to ascribe the introduction of Royal Arch Masonry at 1737-1740." (The English Rite.) Oliver and Mackey both concur, substantially, in this conclusion both as to date and as to the "mutilation" of the Master Degree. The earliest known mention of the degree in a contemporary record is found in an account of a meeting of a Lodge (No. 21) at Youghal, in Ireland, in 1743, when the members walked in procession, and the Master was preceded by "the Royal Arch carried by two Excellent Masons." The next mention is in Dassigny's "Serious Enquiry," published in 1744, in which we are told that in York "is held an assembly of Masons, under the title of Royal Arch Masons, who, as their qualifications and excellencies are superior to others, receive a larger pay than working Masons." (Concise Cyclopedia, by Hawkins). At the time of the Lodge of Reconciliation, in 1813, it was well established, and it was agreed that the Royal Arch degree should be accepted as a part of "pure ancient Masonry." (Book of Constitutions, Art. 1.) And this was wise, not only in behalf of harmony, but also because the Degree is obviously an exposition of old Craft Masonry, and deserves the honor and influence which it enjoys. (See the discussion of the origin of the Royal Arch, by Brother Gould, in his "Essays on Freemasonry," and particularly "The English Rite, by Hughan.)
* * *
Dear Brother Newton: — In the February issue of The Builder, I note an article by Bro. Geo. W. Baird, P.G.M. District of Columbia, on John Marshall, in which he states, "But for a fact, during that time John Marshall was particularly active in Freemasonry, being Deputy Grand Master in 1792, and Grand Master in 1793 and 1794."
I do not doubt the historical accurateness of this statement, but there is one matter which has come to my attention, which, in views of the fact that we, as a Craft, are seeking true Light and in absolute honesty to ourselves, and the Brethren, causes me to doubt the advisability of placing much emphasis on John Marshall as a Mason, even though "so great a man brought us great credit and honor."
The reason for my doubt is found on pp. 97 to 102, inclusive of "Political and Economic Doctrines of John Marshall," by John Edward Oster. (The Neale Publishing Co., N. Y.) This book is composed largely of collected letters of Marshall. That you may not be inconvenienced any more than necessary, in answering my question, I enclose a copy of these pages.
I should like to know what the general opinion of Masonic scholars is, concerning the authenticity of these letters, and whether Marshall really did repudiate Masonry, as he seems to have done. If these letters are authentic, I think we should not confer upon Marshall the honor of being classed as one of our foremost Brethren, even though in return we acquire some glory and dignity. But candor and honesty should compel us to state the regrettable truth — that though he may have once been a good Mason, he allowed himself to be led astray by the stories and charges against our institution, then so prevalent, and allowed his unusually capable and judicial mind to pronounce judgment, for once, without knowledge of the facts.
Even though I should like to believe that that great patriot and pre-eminent jurist was an ardent enthusiastic Mason until his death, I do not see how to avoid these letters, and I shall appreciate a statement from you or Bro. Baird.
Sincerely and fraternally yours,
Wm. R. James, Arkans
(Owing to the illness of Brother Baird, to whom we referred this letter and its enclosures, the reply has been delayed. Happily he has recovered in a measure, and while not yet equal to hard work, he has sent us the results of his investigations, of which we make use. It is no wonder that Brother James, finding these alleged letters in a book, should ask to know if they are authentic; for, as he says, if Marshall renounced Masonry, we do not wish to count him among our leaders. We are grateful to Brother James for bringing the matter up once more, as it gives opportunity to show, for the benefit of our younger Brethren, the arts of falsification practiced by the anti-Masonic fanatics, as well as to set forth the facts in regard to John Marshall. This has been done many times before, but lies are hard to kill — like cats, they have nine lives — and we must break their heads anew whenever they appear. Precisely the same kind of lies were told about Washington, in the effort to show that if he was ever a Mason at all, he threw it aside as a worthless toy, unworthy of notice. To that end his letters were garbled, others were forged out right — or out wrong — and the pack of falsehoods thus concocted was industriously scattered to the four winds to poison and pervert the public mind. Fortunately the publication of the facts, including the Masonic correspondence of Washington, settles the question once for all, leaving not even a hook on which to hang the old, weather-beaten, worn-out lies of olden time.
It now remains to do the same thing in respect of John Marshall. Of the two alleged letters in question, it should be said, first, that neither of them has ever been exhibited in manuscript or even in facsimile, and if they are genuine it is high time they show themselves for inspection. Second, the first letter bears the legend, "A gentleman from Norfolk County, Mass., presented the following letter," etc. What gentleman? Why not produce the name? A letter cited as being in the possession of a 'gentleman" not named is unworthy of notice. It is manifestly a forgery on the face of it. Moreover, it is not written in the style of Marshall, and has no trace of his hand. It is a lie out of whole cloth, like many others invented by the fertile minds of passion-clouded men who did not hesitate to stoop to any device to serve their infamous ends. Third, the second letter is pronounced by Past Grand Master Eggleston, of Virginia, a forgery of like kind. We are disposed to think that this letter, if written by Marshall, has been doctored — as was done in the case of the letters of Washington — until it amounts to a forgery. Marshall was too high a man to have written such a letter, as it stands, even if his political life depended on a renunciation of Masonry. He was incapable of such an act.
In the second letter Marshall is made to say that he had not been a member of a Masonic Lodge for forty years, wheras the records show that he had been Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Virginia during that time! But what did such falsifiers care about records and facts? Fanatics at best, liars at worst, their solitary aim was to belittle and defame the Masonic fraternity. Politicians and clergymen — Protestant clergymen, let it be added — worked hand in hand to destroy the order, and they are still at it. Even today there are two such organizations, one in Chicago and the other in Boston, who circulate these old forgeries and falsehoods, as if they had not been exploded times without number. Now what are the facts? Grand Master M.M. Johnson, of Massachusetts, in an address at the Feast of St. John, last December, went into the matter thoroughly, and we can do no better than reproduce his findings, in which he gives his sources of information, as is his habit. He spoke in part as follows:
"It is reported that Marshall was made a Mason in 1777 in St. John's Regimental Lodge (a military lodge chartered by the Provincial Grand Lodge of New York in July, 1775), but that in 1783, after removing to Richmond, he took membership in Richmond Lodge, No. 13 (now No. 10), chartered in 1780 by the Grand Lodge of Virginia. The original records of this Lodge from 1780 to 1789 are lost, but in 1785 Marshall's name appears on its roll of members, containing one hundred and six names, filed with the Grand Lodge. We also know that he was present at a meeting of the Lodge, August 18 1785, convened for the purpose of laying the Corner-stone of the State Capitol. I cannot find when, if ever, he was Master of a Lodge but in 1786 he was appointed by Grand Master Edmund Randolph as his Deputy Grand Master. He was Deputy again in 1792. At some unknown time he ceased to be a member of Richmond Lodge (changed to No. 10 in 1787) and in July, 1792, was one of the unsuccessful petitioners for a new Lodge. October 19, 1792, he was "again" elected a member of No. 10 and was chosen to represent it in Grand Lodge. For years he served as one of the Trustees of the Masonic Hall built by this Lodge, the first Masonic body in this country to build such a hall.
"He was Grand Master from October 28, 1793, to November 23, 1795. Upon his retirement, the following resolution was adopted:
" 'Resolved, That the Grand Lodge are truly sensible of the great attention of our late Grand Master, John Marshall, to the duties of Masonry, and that they entertain a high sense of the wisdom displayed by him in the discharge of the duties of his office and, as a token of their entire approbation of his conduct, do direct the Grand Treasurer to procure and present him with an elegant Past Master's jewel.'
"On October 30, 1824, by request of the Worshipful Master, Marshall was introduced and presided as Master of Richmond Lodge at a festival occasion called in honor of General La Fayette who paid the Lodge a fraternal visit and was sumptuously entertained.
"In 1734, the Grand Lodge of Virginia undertook the establishment of a school for the purpose of educating the orphan children of Master Masons, and Marshall was the first Trustee of the school named by the Grand Lodge in its petition for incorporation. He held this position as Trustee at the time of his death. By the records of Lodge No. 19 and from other sources we are informed that on July 9, 1835, our Brother Marshall's body was interred with Masonic Honors.
"For facts concerning the personal and Masonic life of John Marshall I rely particularly upon the Discourse upon the Life, Character and Services of the Hon. John Marshall, LL.D., Chief Justice of the United States of America, pronounced on October 15, 1835, at the request of the Suffolk County Bar (Massachusetts), by Judge Joseph Story, LL.D.; the Records of the Grand Lodge of Virginia, the History of Richmond Lodge, No. 10, by Rev. David K. Walthall, Ph.D., published in 1909; and the memorial volume published by the United States Government in 1884, reporting the exercises at the ceremony of the unveiling of the statue of John Marshall in front of the capitol, Washinglon, on May 10, 1864."
* * *
THE SWORD OF FREDERICK
(From "New York and The War with Spain";New York(State)Historian's Report, 1903, pp. 5-9, sent by Brother Isaac H. Vrooman, New York.)
For years more or less discussion has occurred over the history of the sword in the State Library in Albany that originally was bequeathed by will by General Washington, to a relative. A legend has drifted along from source unknown in effect that Baron Steuben brought the sword from Frederick the Great and presented it to George Washington with a message from the "oldest general in the world to the greatest." In the winter of 1902 when Prince Henry of Prussia, brother of Emperor William, visited Albany the sword was placed on exhibition in the Executive Chamber and was handed by Governor Odell to the distinguished caller. Prince Henry drew the sword from the scabbard and vainly scrutinized it for a mark of identification to establish the place where the weapon was manufactured. It is needless to say that all marks had been obliterated by constant polishing; even the color of the scabbard had been changed from its original color white to green. Those conversant with the subject have averred that from its general appearance the sword was made at Solingen, but whether it was a present from the greatest soldier Prussia ever produced, is open to more or less skepticism. In the attempt to determine the authenticity of the sword under date of March 27, 1902, a letter was sent to the Hon. Andrew D. White, United States Embassy, Berlin, Germany, which read:
"State Historian's Office, Albany, N. Y.
March 27th, 1902.
Hon. Andrew D. White, United States Embassy, Berlin, Germany:
Sir: — As you no doubt have seen, considerable discussion has been raised in certain of our American newspapers, over the question whether Frederick the Great really gave to General Washington the sword now on exhibition in the State Library in this city. There is no direct proof to sustain the position that Frederick the Great actually presented it, or that he did not. The sword is supposed to have been received by Washington in 1780.
At the suggestion of several persons, among whom is included Mr. Charles R. Miller, editor of the New York Times, I write to ask if it be possible to institute an investigation among either the financial or diplomatic archives, in order that this discussed and uncertain question may be settled for all time. I am well aware of the difficulties that even the American Ambassador may encounter in the prosecution of this investigation, but I do not know of a happier time than the present to carry it to a fulfillment if it be possible.
Prince Henry handled the sword, which had been brought from the State Library to the Executive Chamber, and looked in vain for the name of the city where it was constructed.
I have the honor to forward you several newspaper clippings in regard to the sword.
With assurances of the highest esteem, believe me to remain,
Yours very respectfully,
(Signed) HUGH HASTINGS
In reply the subjoined was received on May 3, 1902:
"Embassy of the United States of America,
Berlin April 22, 1902.
Hugh Hastings, Esq., Albany, N.Y.:
My dear Sir: — Returning to Berlin, I open your letter of March 27. It would give me pleasure to be of use in the way you suggest; but, with the time at my disposal and various duties pressing upon me, and in view of the intricacy and difficulty such an investigation as that proposed, I should not feel at liberty to undertake it without special instructions from the Department of State.
Should any American scholar of proper standing be properly accredited here for the purpose, it would give me pleasure to introduce him in the right quarters and to do what I can to make his quest successful.
I remain, dear Sir,
Very respectfully yours,
(Signed) AND. D. WHITE
In the meantime the Hon. John B. Jackson, who was the Secretary of the American Embassy and at that time Charge d'Affairs, in the absence of Mr. White, had sent the following:
"Embassy of the United States of America, Berlin
April 7, 1902.
Hon. Hugh Hastings, State Historian, Capitol, Albany, New York:
Sir: — In the absence of Ambassador White, who is in Italy on leave, I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 27th ultimo, and to inform you that I have at once requested the German Foreign Office to cause an investigation to be made for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not Frederick the Great ever presented a sword to General Washington. I shall gladly inform you as to the nature of any reply which may be made to this request.
I am, Sir, Your obedient servant,
(Signed) JOHN B. JACKSON,
The then German Minister in Washington, Doctor A. von Hollenben, was interested in the subject and was presented through this office with enlarged photographs of the sword and its reputed history. Up to the present time nothing has been heard from Dr. von Hollenben's investigation. Under date of June 26, 1902, Mr. Jackson, whose efforts to co-operate with this Department in establishing the identity of the sword were worthy of all commendation, transmitted the accompanying communication:
"Embassy of the United States of America, Berlin,
June 26, 1902.
Hon. Hugh Hastings, State Historian, Capitol, Albany, New York
Sir:- Referring to previous correspondence I have now to inform you of the receipt of a note from the German Foreign Office, in which it is stated that with regard to the "angeregte Frage einer Schenkung Friedrichs des Grossen an den General Washington eingehende Ermittelungen in den Koniglich Preussischen Staatsarchiven angeordnet worden sind, diese indess bisher zu einem befriedigenden Ergebniss nicht gefuhrt haben." Translation — ("question submitted of a presentation by Frederick the Great to General Washington, searching investigation in the Royal Prussian State-archives has been ordered, this so far to a satisfactory result has not led.")
Hoping that the Prussian authorities may still be able to find out something positive with regard to the reported gift, I am, Sir,
Your obedient servant
(Signed) JOHN B. JACKSON
Sec'y of Embassy."
Under date of September 23, 1902, Mr. Jackson wrote as follows:
"Embassy of the United States of America, Berlin,
September 23, 1902.
Hon. Hugh Hastings, State Historian, Capitol, Albany, New York:
Sir:- Referring to my letter to you of June 26th last, M. No. 4425, I have now to inform you that, to my regret, the Foreign Office states that no record can be found of the matter in question, — the presentation of a sword to General Washington, by Frederick the Great of Prussia. Consequently, I am afraid that the tradition that such was the case, was not founded on fact.
I am, Sir, Your obedient servant,
(Signed) JOHN B. JACKSON,
Sec'y of Embassy.''
And in the language of diplomacy the episode was closed.
* * *
MAKING MASONS AT SIGHT
My dear Bro. Newton: — I wish to add my word to the "Making Masons at Sight" controversy that you seem to invite.
The Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Florida says (Art. VI, Sec. 4) that the Grand Master "can grant dispensations for new Lodges.... He can make a Mason at sight; but he must be made in a body of a regularly constituted Lodge, and by trial of the ballot. He can grant dispensations..."
And I find in "The Masonic Text-Book of Tennessee," "printed by order of the Grand Lodge 1883," p. 322, among the powers belonging to the Grand Master, "The right to make Masons at sight, under the restrictions prescribed in the Landmarks," and it is said to be an inherent prerogative. The Landmark referred to is given on p. 241, "The prerogative of the Grand Master..... to make Masons at sight, in a regular Lodge, by the consent thereof . . ." This Landmark is also given in Mackey's list of twenty-five (cf. his Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, sub voce).
Mackey argues in favor of the prerogative by saying that a Grand Master has the power to open a lodge by dispensation, and by dispensation he may permit the accumulation of degrees, or the conferring of the degrees per saltem, to use an ecclesiastical term for a corresponding situation. His full argument may be seen in the work above cited, under the word "Sight, Making Masons at."
From these, and other considerations it seems to me that the Grand Master, in acting for the best interests of the Craft, and with the testimonial of the Craft as to the worthiness and qualification of the candidate, may dispense with whatever regulations he deems best to omit, taking care not to violate any other landmark, either ritual or ceremonial. But I quite agree that such procedure should not ordinarily be practiced.
Now, however, here is a consideration. The Square, we are told, is dedicated to the Master, and the Compasses to the Craft. Possibly the relative positions of these in the Master's degree might argue that the Master, though he be Grand Master, cannot go too far in creating a member of the Craft. But this little piece of symbolism may be a separate point of argument.
I am, as ever,
H. W. Ticknor, Florida.
* * *
AN UPRIGHT MASON
Dear Brother Newton: — I have read with much interest the April issue of "The Builder." Among the various communications I wish to confirm the view of Brother C. C. Hunt, Iowa, in his remarks on "The Oblong Square." The phrase was current at the opening of the 19th century, in this country, to describe a rectangle with one set of parallel lines somewhat longer than the other set.
Caleb Atwater, in his "Descriptions of the Antiquities of Ohio," 1820, (on pages 137-8), inserts a letter written to him by Dr. S. P. Hildreth, of Marietta, Ohio, on June 8, 1819. He was writing regarding the fortifications of Marietta, and says: "On the outside of the parapet, near the OBLONG SQUARE, l picked up a considerable number of fragments of ancient potter's ware." This term then was current in the western country as early as 1819 and must have been a term in current use eastward for considerable time prior to 1819. Which tends to confirm the view taken by Brother Hunt.
In regard to the communication, "An Upright Mason," I was very much in the same predicament as Brother Gayle, Iowa, over your explanation. And I regard your explanation in this April number as still more disappointing. I have always been satisfied that the system practiced in Pennsylvania regarding the preparation of the candidate for the several degrees is logically more in line with ancient Masonry than in some other jurisdictions. Having brought a candidate to light he is never again blinded. He has received light in Masonry and though his sight may be untrained and inexperienced yet it is light. In Ohio we take from the novitiate that which we so gladly gave him at the altar in the Entered Apprentice Degree. It is depriving him of that which is his of right. Also, in all jurisdictions, I believe, we place the candidate in the northeast corner of the room and assure him he is an upright Mason. Here, Pennsylvania again can instruct other jurisdictions. Objections can be made without reasons up to the point where the novitiate comes to light as an EA but ever after can be estopped in his Masonic progress only by a trial after charges have been preferred.
There is no doubt that it was due to the popular movement in the second decade of the 19th Century, at Baltimore, that work was taken from the EA Degree and placed in the the MM Degree. Up to that time all EAs heard the transactions of the lodge, though they may have been debarred from a vote on the same. When a candidate has once pressed the threshold of Masonry he has changed his relations forever. Brother Waite in his Lecture this month has beautifully demonstrated that point. Will you not take another look at the question and grant to our EA brethren their Masonic right?
Charles F. Irwin, Ohio.
* * *
THE GREAT WHITE PLAGUE
Dear Sir and Brother: — While I fear that I am getting a little out of line of the work of the Research Society; yet there is a matter that I would like to bring to your attention. We all acknowledge the duties that we owe each other as members of the Masonic Fraternity, and most especially do we look after the widows and orphans of deceased brothers. So much so that we have builded homes for these orphans and widows (in which I believe I am right in saying that Kentucky took the lead), and consider it our most sacred duty to support and maintain. Now the question that I have in mind is this: Can we not establish a Sanatorium for Masonic Brothers who are afflicted, or at least in the first stages of tuberculosis? Such an institution could be made a national affair, and let the Brothers all over the U.S.A. get the benefit of same. There are many thousand in the United States who belong to our Order, and if they would just contribute the sum of One Dollar each, and many will contribute freely to such an enterprise, a large sum could soon be raised, and a National Masonic Tubercular Sanatorium could become a reality. I think I am right in saying that the Masonic Fraternity has no institution of this kind at the present time. As the great slogan of the present is Preparedness and Conservation, would we not be doing a great work if we prepare such an institution and conserve the many brethren who annually fall as victims of the great White Plague?
Gilbert Adams, Jr., Kentucky.
* * *
THE LAND IS BRIGHT
Say not, the struggle naught availeth,
The labor and the wounds are vain,
The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
And as things have been, they remain.
If hopes are dupes, fears may be liars;
It may be, in yon smoke concealed
Your comrades chase e'en now the fliers
And, but for you, possess the field.
For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,
Seem here no painful inch to gain,
Far back, through creeks and inlets making,
Comes silent, flooding in, the main.
And not by eastern windows only,
When daylight comes, comes in the light;
In front, the sun climbs slow, how slowly,
But westward, look, the land is bright.
— Arthur H. Clough.