A Journal for the Masonic Student
Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
Vol. 2 No. 10 – October 1916
MEMORIAL TO LAFAYETTE
Bro. Geo. W. Baird, P.G.M., District of Columbia
THE most beautiful group of bronze statuary in Washington is that of La Fayette. It shows a greater number of figures than any other group in the city, and is highly artistic in every way. It is situated in La Fayette Square, very properly, but unfortunately, there are other statues in that square. It deserved a separate site.
The group contains the figures of the French leaders who were prominent as our allies in the War of the Revolution, namely, La Fayette, Rochambeau, D'Estaing, Duportail and De Grasse.
The figures of these officers are all of life size. La Fayette surmounts the pedestal, while the others are at the base; La Fayette appearing in our continental uniform. The figure of America is at the base, offering her sword to La Fayette.
This magnificent group was modeled and cast in France, for which Congress made an appropriation of $50,000 in 1885. It was completed and turned over to the government in 1891, but there was no ceremony or demonstration whatever when it was unveiled.
During the time this group was being sculptured in France, our Ambassador at Paris, Gen. Horace Porter, was making his search for the body of Brother John Paul Jones, which search continued for a period of six years before his efforts were crowned with success.
Mr. Henry Watterson, who was present when Jones' coffin was opened, told the writer that its resemblance to Brother Houdon's bust of Jones was so close that the entire party involuntarily raised their hats.
The critical comparison of measurements of the head, with the sculptured bust of Houdon, the measurements of the body, the searching examination of the lungs, heart and kidneys, etc., by the savants of the French Academy, under the direct guidance of such eminent men as Dr. Capitan and Dr. Papillaut, left no question of identity unanswered.
La Fayette was made a Mason in an Army Lodge at Valley Forge, the degree being conferred by Washington himself. We find several records of his having visited lodges; for example, Lodge No. 9, Williamsburg, Va., just after the surrender of Lord Cornwallis, and in company with Thomas Nelson, John Marshall, and George Washington.
D'Estaing's name is found in the list of members of that famous lodge Neuf Soeurs in Paris. Rochambeau's Masonic record is lost, but (Monsieur Vadecard says) Madame Rochambeau was a member of the Ladies Masonic Auxiliary in Paris, membership in which was dependent on her husband's Masonic identity.
La Fayette served in the battles of Brandywine, Monmouth, and Yorktown. He offered his services to the Colonies in 1777, and being accepted, came at once to America.
The magnificent appearance of the La Fayette statue, though overlooked in its inauguration, attracted unusual attention. It is by far the most beautiful and most artistic of any of its kind in the city, and is the first memorial of the Revolutionary services to any foreigner.
Archbishop Ireland, an Irish enthusiast, in passing was struck not only by the singular beauty of the memorial, but evidently felt a twinge of jealousy, for at the meeting of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, in York, shortly after, he was the principal speaker and said:
"I charge you, Sons of St. Patrick, to see to it that in Washington City, near the monument of La Fayette and Rochambeau there be erected a monument to some Irish Soldier to commemorate the part Ireland took in the Revolutionary War." At the "meet" of the Ancient Order of Hibernians at Denver in 1902, Mr. Dunleary, in his speech of welcome, said "the roll of honor in the war of the Revolution shows such names as General Moylan, General Sullivan, who led the retreat successfully across Long Island and in whose honor the National Congress is contemplating a memorial in New Hampshire."
At Denver the speech of Archbishop Ireland was repeated (or quoted) by one of the speakers. They probably discovered that General Sullivan (Grand Master of Masons in N. H.) was not the kind of an Irish soldier the Bishop would endorse, and they shifted to John Barry, a captain in the Navy (not a soldier) during the Revolutionary War, whose record was fine.
A Bill paraphrasing Senator Lodge's Bill for the John Paul Jones Memorial, substituting the name of Barry for that of Jones, was introduced in Congress. The Barry Bill was lobbied by its adherents; the Jones Bill was neglected. But the Committee evidently thought it would not do to appropriate for the hitherto obscure Barry and neglect the historic Jones, so the two Bills were reported the same day, and were passed the same day.
At the obsequies of John Paul Jones at Annapolis, April 24th, 1906, when the President, Secretary of the Navy, Governor of Maryland, General Horace Porter, the French Ambassador and others spoke, it was decided to place the body of John Paul Jones in the crypt of the chapel (which was being built) in imitation of the tomb of Napoleon at Paris, and the President also determined to ask Congress to reimburse General Porter for the $35,000 he had spent in the recovery and identification of the body. General Porter, however, asked that the $35,000 be added to the architect's estimate for the changes in the crypt, to make it more beautiful, which was agreed to.
So the memorial of the great La Fayette and that of John Paul Jones, both Freemasons, are linked by a modern tie.
The ubiquitous Hoosier, who is more practical than aesthetic, gazed intently at the La Fayette statue, evolving an interpretation. Finally he said: "The girl at the base is saying 'Here, Mr. Soldier, I'll swap this sword for some of the clothes on your arm. I need the clothes and you may need the sword.'"
The words of this song were first printed in Watt's "Musical Miscellany", (V. III), 1730, under the title "The Freemason's Health." It appears to many eighteenth century song collections, the tune most commonly used appearing for the first time in "Pills to Purge Melancholy," (Vol. 2), 1719. It was popular well into the nineteenth century.
Come, let us prepare,
We brothers that are
Met together on merry Occasion;
Let us drink, laugh and sing,
Our Wine has a Spring,
'Tis a Health to an Accepted Mason.
The World is in Pain
Our Secret to gain,
But still let them wonder and gaze on;
Till they're shewn the Light
They'll ne'er know the right
Word or Sign of an Accepted Mason.
'Tis This and 'tis That,
They cannot tell what,
Why so many great Men in the Nation
Should Aprons put on,
To make themselves one
With a Free or an Accepted Mason.
Great Kings, Dukes, and Lords,
Have laid by their Swordes,
This our Myst'ry to put a good Grace on,
And ne'er been asham'd
To hear themselves nam'd
With a Free or an Accepted Mason.
We have on our Side,
It makes a Man Just in his Station;
There's nought but what's Good
To be understood
By a Free or an Accepted Mason.
Then Joyn Hand in Hand,
T'each other firm stand,
Let's be merry, and put a bright Face on;
What Mortal can boast
So noble a Toast,
As a Free or an Accepted Mason?
* * *
THE STORY OF "OLD GLORY" — THE OLDEST FLAG
Bro. Jno. W. Barry, Iowa
THE ONLY FLAG OF THE REVOLUTION KNOWN TO EXIST
[Missing, non-sequential, non-standard footnotes and plate references as found.]
In Fig. 32 (Color Plate) is a photograph of the only flag now in existence known to have been carried as a regimental flag during the Revolution. If you should enter the flag room of the State House at Annapolis, Maryland, you would see there this most treasured flag labeled as follows:
"NO. 1 — OLD GLORY" (56)
This flag is cherished as THE flag of the Revolution. It is the flag shown by Trumbull in his "Princeton," in his "Burgoyne" and in his "Cornwallis," it is the flag shown by Charles Wilson Peale in his "Washington at Trenton." It is the flag ordered by Washington to be made by Betsy Ross, the wife of a Master Mason, of whom a bit of personal history is now in point.
IN IOWA — THE ORIGINAL MASONIC CERTIFICATE OF THE FLAG MAKER'S HUSBAND
Betsy Griscom married John Ross (57) a nephew of George Ross, signer of the Declaration of Independence. He lost his life in the service of his country, January, 1776, only a short time before Betsy made the first flag. Betsy married Captain Ashburn in 1777. He was soon captured and in a few years died a prisoner of war in Mill Prison, near Portsmouth, England. John Claypoole, a lineal descendant of Oliver Cromwell, (58) had been his friend and fellow prisoner. When released from prison, Claypoole returned to his home in Philadelphia and delivered to Betsy the keepsakes and last message sent by her husband. Later John Claypoole married Betsy, a union blessed with a family of four daughters.
Betsy Ross-Claypoole continued the flag making for her new husband who like those she had heretofore taken, had devoted his life to the service of his country, had been wounded at Germantown and long confinement in Mill Prison had broken his health. So as the bread winner, Betsy Ross-Claypoole continued to make flags until 1827 when she turned the business over to her daughter Mrs. Clarissa Sidney Wilson who in turn continued it until 1857, when she moved to Fort Madison, Iowa Here ended all known record, so I wrote Brother L R. Traverse, P. M. of Claypoole Lodge of Fort Madison, for further information about the descendants of Betsy Ross-Claypoole. In response I received a letter from Mary C. Albright Robinson saying her great grandfather John Claypoole was a Mason and that she had his Masonic certificate under seal of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania — that it is written on vellum and in English, French and Italian. Here was something worth while. And immediately I got secretary A. C. Rowland on the long distance cable tow and urged him to secure the loan of that certificate — a most rare find. Here it is in Fig. 33 (Frontispiece, August), the actual certificate of the soldier husband of the flag maker. It is dated March 30, 1780, and was issued on a request accompanied by the following certificate:
"Chester Town, 17th Dec., 1779. (59)
"I do hereby certify that Mr. John Claypoole was regularly entered, passed and raised in Lodge No. 7, at "Chester Town, Maryland.
"By Order of the Master.
Signed "James Claypoole, Secy. Lodge No. 7."
Pennsylvania had previously constituted a number of lodges in Kent County on the "eastern shore of Maryland" of which No. 7 was one, hence the petition. Issued 136 years ago, it is a little the worse for wear, but
"Little of all we value here
Wakes on the morn of its hundredth year
Without both feeling and looking queer —
In fact there is nothing that keeps its youth
So far as I know but our flag and truth."
Therefore, this flag shown in Fig. 32, being of the series made by the Mason's wife, is cherished because of that association but it is also cherished because it is an actual battle flag, and the only one now left, carried in the war of the Revolution. It is the flag of the Third Maryland regiment commanded by Bro. John Eager Howard (60) at the battle of Cowpens, Jan. 17, 1791, and was carried by William Bachelor, who, being wounded was sent to his home in Baltimore, but was allowed to take his flag with him. His death soon followed and the flag was inherited by his son, William Bachelor, Jr., who carried that same flag against the same old enemy again during the War of 1812 in the battle of North Point near Baltimore. (61) After the War of 1812, William Bachelor carried this flag on many gala occasions as an attraction. Finally in 1907 it came into the keeping of the state of Maryland in trust for the people of the whole United States. All honor to Maryland — well is she guarding her trust. Finally this flag is cherished because it is the victory flag used in that pivotal battle of Cowpens of which Avery said:
"In point of tactics, the battle of Cowpens was THE most brilliant battle of the war." (62) It was the turning point leading directly to the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown nine months later, when occurred a most rare bit of retributive justice. But a year before, General Benjamin Lincoln had been driven to a humiliating surrender by Cornwallis at Charleston. Now Washington directed that the sword of Cornwallis should be delivered to Benjamin Lincoln — a brother who eight years before had been raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason in St. Andrew's Lodge at Boston, Mass. (63) Therefore this "Old GLORY No. 1" is cherished above other flags because it commemorates the devotion of the patriotic flag maker, the wife of a Mason, whose descendants are today honored citizens of our own Iowa; it is cherished because it commemorates the devotion of Masons to liberty in the defense of which they surrendered their lives rather than betray their trust; finally it is cherished because it is the victory flag leading directly to that final surrender of Cornwallis to Washington and his Masonic brothers in arms at Yorktown. Therefore, as in the beginning and all through the strife, so it was at the close, Masonry was in the saddle and the sword of the vanquished first opposed by Masons at Lexington, Concord and Bunker Hill was now directed by a Mason to be delivered into the hands of a Mason. Well, did he receive it not only in token of the surrender of Cornwallis, but as signalizing the final triumph of the TILER in putting out of the new nation all cowans and eavesdroppers. May we be ever mindful that the first great care of Masons is to see that the Lodge of The Nation is duly tiled to the end that all cowans may be kept out.
MASONRY IN THE HOMES BEHIND THE SOLDIERS
Had the Revolution been a soldiers' war only, this story would end here, but the fact is it was a Masons' war as well and there were Masons outside of the army working "without any tool of iron" and what they wrought fitted with remarkable exactness into the things wrought in "the clay grounds" by Washington and his generals. The printed proceedings of the grand jurisdictions of the several states give many names which when followed through into their connection with the events of their time show what seems wonderful "team work." It suggests a wide field of Masonic Research. Following are a few illustrative of the many — all reproduced from Lossing'sCyclopedia of U. S. History.
Here are six governors respectively of Virginia, North Carolina, New Hampshire, South Carolina and New Jersey, honors which came to these brothers as a recognition of their efforts for liberty through the long struggle and everyone of them rich in Masonic honors. On the bench, in Congress and in the state legislature, the team work was consistent and persistent. Further illustrating the fact, here in No. 47, is Grand Master Marshall, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. As a boy he followed his father in the Revolution and was fit inspiration for the well known picture, "The Spirit of '76." While he was Grand Master he laid corner stones with the lodge opened on the First Degree only.
IN CONGRESS THE PEN WROTE WHAT THE SWORD WROUGHT
Peyton Randolph, Grand Master of Virginia, was president of the first Congress in 1774, and from that date to the final victory Masonry continued to be a dominating influence at each and every session of Congress. The place of meeting was the old state house known as Independence Hall, Philadelphia.
There are many shrines of American liberty but perhaps none more revered. In No. 49 you see it as it appears today, with the Statue of Bro. Washington in front.
But if you could go back to 1776, and then around to the other or Walnut Street side of it, you would see it as shown in No. 50.
David Rittenhouse had erected the tower to observe the transit of Venus and it was used to herald the proclamation of Mars. Here hung the "Liberty Bell" to "proclaim liberty throughout the land to all the inhabitants thereof." The tower has been made higher — the clock taken from the end and placed in the tower, while the bell is carefully treasured in Independence room. Here Independence was declared. Here Congress sat during the Revolution and here a Massachusetts Mason, Bro. John Hancock, succeeded Peyton Randolph as president. But the crowning glory of the old building, erected in 1736, was the formation there of the Constitution of the United States under the guidance of Bro. Washington as chairman and Bro. Benjamin Franklin, a Grand Master of Pennsylvania.
Benjamin Franklin both at home and abroad did more by his wisdom and diplomatic skill than any other one Mason, Washington alone excepted, to place Old Glory high among the nations. He helped make both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and is a signer of both documents. In the treaty of peace in 1783, he secured such favorable concessions as to astound the nations of Europe and they were not slow to manifest their displeasure. It was a rare triumph of American diplomatic skill, seldom equaled and never exceeded even in our one hundred years of brilliant achievement. Well did he use the trowel.
THE MASTER'S CHAIR
The most historic furniture in America now in Independence Hall, Philadelphia, consists of the two pieces shown in No. 53. Elson says: "These two pieces of furniture were used for both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. On the chair a half sun is carved." (65) When the Constitution was being signed, Franklin said with a meaning well understood, referring to the half-sun emblazoned on the center of the back of the chair here shown, "Painters have found it difficult to paint a sun near the horizon so as to tell whether it was a setting or rising sun, but," said he, "after the Constitution had been passed and the members were signing, I looked at the sun behind President Washington and I saw for the first time it was a rising sun." (66) In very truth may we not call this the Master's Chair? From this chair the pen wrote what the sword wrought. As the sun rises in the east to govern the day so rose the Constitution in the east to govern the nation with equal justice and regularity.
"SECOND TO NONE IN PRIVATE LIFE"
When the war was over, Washington returned to his farm but never for a moment did he cease to be actively true to that vow he made to his officers on that memorable day in the "Temple" when he faced the ruffians. From 1783 to 1789 when there was only the semblance of a government, Washington's course endeared him more and more to every true patriot. His character was so aptly described by Bro. Henry Lee in a single sentence known the world over. How often you have heard the first part of that renowned sentence — and alas, how seldom the second! Here is the full sentence: "First in War, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen, HE WAS SECOND TO NONE IN THE HUMBLE AND ENDEARING SCENES OF PRIVATE LIFE." "Second to none in private life," in itself may not have made him president but it did give him the distinction of being the only one ever elected president of the United States by unanimous vote. Washington was inaugurated President at New York April 30, 1789. Grand Master Robert Livingston administered the oath of office to him using a Bible from St. John's Lodge. Well did he remember the vow he voluntarily made to his officers on that memorable 15th of March, 1783. Here is his first cabinet — all Masons but Jefferson. He appointed no one but those he considered best able to serve the country, but among the men he knew so well in other scenes, he found the right kind of nerve and loyalty to promote the best interest of all.
In the second office in power was an honored Mason of Philadelphia, (68) the Hon. F. A. Muhlinberg, Speaker of the House. Thus was "Old Glory" again sponsored by those taught to yield their lives rather than their honor.
FIRST NATIONAL CORNER STONE LAYING
September 18, 1793, the corner stone of the new capitol at Washington was laid by the Grand Lodge of Maryland, Washington using the trowel, which is a treasured relic of Alexandria Washington Lodge No. 22. In the description, two odd things occur as they appear to us now, first, the stone was laid in SOUTHEAST corner and second, in the grand procession was a place for
- Masons of the first degree
- Masons of the second degree
- Masons of the third degree.
The event is commemorated in one of the panels of the Crawford Bronze Doors, which open from the Senate Vestibule upon the portico. This is the north wing of the Capitol. The door is double with eight panels, each of which commemorates in high relief an important event in the life of our country. The door was designed by an American sculptor, Thomas Crawford.
'Tis well, yea 'tis meet and propel that our brothers of 1776 should be thus commemorated in undying bronze in the inner chamber of the national capitol at Washington. But me thinks that if these bronze lips could but speak to us we would hear familiar words — thus — "Go therefore and may the blessing of God attend you. Heretofore you have had brothers to speak and do for you. Now you must speak and do for yourselves and for those to follow you — even as we have done. We leave you the working tools bright from service — here is the emblem "Old Glory" with a star for every state. Go, see ye to it that there shall ever a state FOR EVERY star."
So mote it ever be.
(56) Vide Battle Flags in State House Md. Clinton L. Riggs p. 5
(57) Vide Canby's & Lloyd Balderston Evolution of the American Flag, p. 104-5.
(58) Vide Preble p. 265.
(59) Vide Old Masonic Lodges of Pa. Julius F. Sachse p. 210.
(60) Vide Shultz History of Freemasonry in Maryland, Vol 1, p. 67, says that a picture of Bro. John Eager Howard hung in a Baltimore Lodge room; that his son B.C. Howard also a general was a Grand Master of Masons in Md. Later John Eager Howard was governor & U.S. Senator.
(61) Battle Flags in the State House, Annapolis, Md., p. 5.
(62) Vide Avery, V. 6, p. 288.
(63) Vide Centennial Memorial St. Andrew's Lodge, p. 112.
(64) Vide Elson's History of the United States, V. 2.
(65) Vide Elson's History of the United States, V. 2.
(66) Vide Elson's History of the United States, V. 2, p. XVI.
(67) Vide Washington Man and Mason.
(68) Member Lodge No. 3 Vide Old Lodges of Penn. by Julius F. Sachse, p. 248.
(69) Vide Washington, Man and Mason.
(70) Hired Handy of Washington. D. C., to make for Research Committee
* * *
THE FIVE POINTS OF SYMBOLISM
1. Foot to foot that we may go,
Where our help we can bestow;
Pointing out the better way,
Lest our brothers go astray.
Thus our steps should always lead
To the souls that are in need.
2. Knee to knee, that we may share
Every brother's needs in prayer:
Giving all his wants a place,
When we seek the throne of grace.
In our thoughts from day to day
For each other we should pray.
3. Breast to breast, to there conceal,
What our lips must not reveal;
When a brother does confide,
We must by his will abide.
Mason's secrets to us known,
We must cherish as our own.
4. Hand to back, our love to show
To the brother, bending low:
Underneath a load of care,
Which we may and ought to share.
That the weak may always stand,
Let us lend a helping hand.
5. Cheek to cheek, or mouth to ear,
That our lips may whisper cheer,
To our brothel in distress:
Whom our words can aid and bless.
Warn him if he fails to see,
Dangers that are known to thee.
6. Foot to foot, and knee to knee,
Breast to breast, as brothers we:
Hand to back and mouth to ear,
Then that mystic word we hear,
Which we otherwise conceal,
But on these five points reveal.
— N. A. McAulay.
Bro. C. M. Schenck, Colorado
UNDER the above caption in the May number ofThe Builder, Bro. J. L. Carson says, "Two lodges accompanied the American Army during the Mexican War, while over a hundred dispensations for lodges are supposed to have been issued during the Civil War," and continues, "Cannot some of our grand old veterans tell us something of some of these?"
The writer, the son of a veteran over whose grave in Mount Hope Cemetery, Topeka, Kansas, stands a stone on which is inscribed:
"Maj. W. L. Schenck Late Surgeon 17th O. V. I. 1825-1910"
submits the following from the October, 1862, issue of theMasonic Review, published at Cincinnati, Ohio:
An Ohio Army Lodge. Head Quarters 17th O. V. I.
Camp Schoepf, on Elk River, Tennessee, Aug. 15, 1862.
"Bro. Moore: When our army was encamped on the field of Shiloh, in this State, the 17th Ohio was there, and by virtue of a dispensation from the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Ohio, duly granted to Bro. Bonham H. Fox, W.M., Jno. Stinchcomb, S.W., D.M. Rex, J. W., and several other Brethen, a Regimental Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons was duly organized and called "Ward Lodge," in honor of our gallant Major, Durbin Ward. We organized near the place where General Beauregard's Head Quarters were during the bloody fight of the 6th and 7th of April last.
The officers elected were: Bro. Durbin Ward, Treasurer, W.L. Schenck, Secretary, Robert Gates, S.D., Owen W. Brown, J.D., — Sharp, Tyler.
"We keep our Lodge with us, and when we can't get a Lodge room, we meet on the 'highest hills,' or in the 'lowest vales.' We have spent many pleasant evenings together in the Lodge, but find many inconveniences you would little think of, unless you were with us. Sometimes we are on the march the night of our regular meeting, and so continue for several days, but as we are nearly all in our Regiment, we can call a meeting with but little trouble. We have done considerable work, and have to take advantage of our short stays at camps, to work.
"At Tuscumbia, also, we met several times in the Masons' Hall? which brethren there kindly gave into our charge. There is that romance and oddity about a Lodge of Masons meeting under such circumstances, that I am sure you would enjoy it.
"Our Colonel, J. M. Connell, was the first applicant, and has the honor of having been made a Mason on the battle-field of Shiloh.
"Our Tyler, Bro. Sharp, died at Corinth in hospital, a few days since, and Bro. Rex, our Junior Warden, formerly of Rushville Lodge, when on a scout with the Regiment, injured himself so badly as to produce rupture, and he by reason thereof has been compelled to resign. We lose two valuable officers thereby in the Lodge, and also in the Regiment. Bro. Sharp commenced in the ranks, but by his virtues and conduct as a soldier merited and received promotion, and died a Captain. I may give you an item occasionally.
"Fraternally yours, (Signed) Jno. Stinchcomb."
In his declining years my father, at the request of his children, wrote at considerable length "Recollections of his Life and Times" from which I copy references to this Ohio Army Lodge, and to Captain Stinchcomb.
"My regiment slowly advanced toward Corinth to take its place in the grand army under General Halleck that was following the rebels who had retreated to that point from Pittsburg Landing. One of the pleasant events in the regiment was the meetings on convenient occasions of Ward Lodge A. F. and A. M. working under dispensation from the state of Ohio. We were going to have such a meeting in one of my hospital tents on the way to Corinth, and I went over to General Schoepf's quarters to invite his medical director, Surgeon Strew, to meet with us. After doing so, he asked, 'Why don't you invite the General?' who stood near us. I replied, 'Because I don't know him as a Mason.' And addressing him, I asked, 'Are you a Mason, General?' He replied, 'I am.' Then I said, 'We would be glad to have you meet with us.'
"From this point, (Winchester, Tenn.) the army moved eastward to the foot of the Tennessee Mountains where I recall two or three incidents out of the common line of army life. . . . We were encamped in the edge of a thick woods and in cleaning out the underbrush the craftsmen of my regiment volunteered to make a lodge room in the open field in front of us by enclosing an oblong square with proper ante-rooms, the walls being so thickly brushed that the lights within could not be seen from without, and here Ward Lodge U.D. held several meetings, at some of which General George H. Thomas, General Thomas L. Crittenden, General Alvin Schoepf, and other officers and soldiers exchanged fraternal greetings.
"A four horse ambulance, belonging to my regiment, whose upper story had given out, had been fixed a la omnibus, and one of the boards along its sides was supported at one end by a box containing the 'working tools' of Ward Lodge A. F. & A. M. This being reported by my amiable assistant, who, like the newly appointed medical director, was an anti-mason, the latter lost no time in coming to enquire of me what was in the boxes that held up my omnibus seat.
"I said, 'Some of them contain air, and in one there is a square and compasses, a plumb and trowel, and sundry other like articles.'
"He said, 'I will give you just five minutes to take that box out of your ambulance.'
"I rode forward to Major Ward, W.M. of Ward Lodge U.D. and together we reported the facts to General Schoepf, who said, 'It is my order you keep that box where you got him. I report him to General Thomas.'
"During the afternoon the medical director came along again and asked if I had removed that box.
"I said, 'No it is still on duty.'
"'Didn't I say I would give you five minutes in which to remove it?'
"'Yes, and I believe I said I would take the five minutes.'
"'So you mean to disobey my orders?'
"'I'll report you to the General.'
"It is needless to say I never heard anything more about removing the box.
"While my regiment was made up in a distant part of the state, Fairfield and the adjoining counties, and the men all strangers to me excepting Major Durbin Ward, who was from Warren County, when I went home on furlough from Somerset, Kentucky, four of my personal friends, and members of my Masonic lodge, Eastern Star No. 55, R.F. and George Ireland, John Gage and Stephen Corwin went back with me and were mustered into Company B., Captain Stinchcomb, all serving until the close of the war."
My father, from whose writings the extracts are taken, was made a Mason in Eastern Star Lodge No. 55, F. & A. M., at Franklin, Ohio, in the year 1848, and was its Master in 1850. Of this Lodge, instituted in 1819, his uncle, William C. Schenck, was the first Master, and his father, Garret A. Schenck, the first Junior Warden.
At the time of his death, which occurred at Topeka, Kansas, in 1910, he was a member of Siloam Lodge No. 225, A. F. & A. M., Topeka, and Topeka Commandery No. 5, K. T. His funeral services were conducted by this Commandery.
* * *
"THE VOICE OF THE GUNS"
Never, perhaps, was lyric more bitterly born than Gilbert Frankau's stirring "A Song of the Guns." two stanzas of which herewith are given. Thus its prefatory note:
The author, who is now serving in Flanders, was present at the battle of Loos, and during a lull in the fighting — when the gunners, who had been sleepless for five nights, were resting like tired dogs under their guns — he jotted down the main theme of the poem. After the battle the artillery brigade to which he was attached was ordered to Ypres, and it was during the long trench warfare in this district, within sight of the ruined tower of Ypres Cathedral, that the poem was finally completed. The last three stanzas were written at midnight in brigade headquarters, with the German shells screaming over the ruined town.
We are the guns and your masters! Saw ye our flashes? Heard ye the scream of our shells in the night and the shuddering crashes? Saw ye our work by the roadside, the gray wounded lying, Moaning to God that He made them — the maimed and the dying? Husbands or sons, Fathers or lovers, we break them! We are the guns! We are the guns and ye serve us! Dare ye grow weary, Steadfast at nighttime, at noontime; or waking, when dawn winds blow dreary Over the fields and the flats and the reeds of the barrier water, To wait on the hour of our choosing the minute decided for slaughter? Swift the clock runs; Yes, to the ultimate second. Stand to your guns!
* * *
THE MESSAGE OF THE BUDDHA
From an Ancient Manuscript
"Hate is a cruel word. If men hate you, regard it not; and you can turn the hate of men to love and mercy and good will, and mercy is as large as all the heavens.
"And there is good enough for all. With good destroy the bad; with generous deeds make avarice ashamed; with truth make straight the crooked lines that error draws, for error is but truth distorted, gone astray.
"And pain will follow him who speaks or acts with evil thoughts, as does the wheel the foot of him who draws the cart.
"He is a greater man who conquers self than he who kills a thousand men in war.
"He is a noble man who is himself what he believes that other men should be.
"Return to him who does you wrong your purest love, and he will cease from doing wrong; for love will purify the heart of him who is beloved as truly as it purifies the heart of him who loves."
A COURSE OF MASONIC READING
Bro. Rod'k H. Baxter, Manchester, England
(Herewith we reproduce a list of books suggested for a course of Masonic reading, by the secretary of the Manchester Association for Masonic Research, to which we have ventured to add a few American books. Most heartily we recommend this reading course, (1) because the books named are authentic and trustworthy, giving in a popular form the results of the best Masonic research; (2) because they are, for the most part, inexpensive, and might easily be owned by any Lodge having an interest in Masonic Study; and (3) because a list of this kind will answer many inquiries which have come to ye editor. Later we propose to publish like lists dealing with other branches and rites of Masonry not included in the present course.)
"Knowledge is the solace of the intellect as religion is the comfort of the soul. And its acquisition is not a toil but an indescribable delight." — G.W. Speth.
INQUIRIES from young members of the Association have been so frequent as to what books should be read to enable them to acquire a proper knowledge of the craft, that the Council have decided to issue a curriculum, and have entrusted me with the preparation of the work — a task which I undertake with much pleasure.
Bro. Speth, than whom there could be no safer guide, published a curriculum for English readers in 1890, in Vol. III of theTransactionsof the Quatuor Coronati Lodge (Ars Quatuor Coronatorum), and in 1901 prepared an admirable and much more extensive list of works, suitable for American brethren, with a running commentary, forming a delightful essay, which was published at Detroit, Michigan, in 1901. It would be presumptuous on my part to endeavor in any way to improve on this work, were it not for the fact that so many fresh Masonic books have appeared since that date as to render a revision necessary, but I ought to add that my compilation is not merely a bringing up to date of Bro. Speth's list, but a fresh plan, which I consider the circumstances of the case require.
Bro. Dr. Chetwode Crawley, in the introduction to hisCaementaria Hibernica, says that there are three classical works which are absolutely indispensable to all Masonic students, viz: (1) Gould'sHistory of Freemasonry, (2) Hughan'sOrigin of the English Rite of Freemasonry, and (3) Sadler'sMasonic Facts and Fictions. Whilst fully appreciating the value of these works, I would not, however, suggest that the student should begin by reading them in the order given. The great history of Gould is too ponderous to be attractive, and necessary as it is to every library, I would rather class it as a work of reference than as a book likely to encourage a taste for Masonic literature. One serious fault the work possesses — it has never been brought up to date — and despite the fact that so many so-called fresh editions have appeared, the text so far as I am able to ascertain, has never been revised.
My own suggestion is that instead of entering on a course of advanced reading, the beginner should procure some of the more recently published "tabloid" works at reasonable prices, which, when properly assimilated, should create such a desire for further knowledge, that he would not then grudge the expenditure of time and money in acquiring it. I hope I may not be considered too egotistical in first of all mentioning a small work of my own, "General and Historic Notes on Freemasonry" (James Clegg, Rochdale, 1s., or, post free, 1s. 2d.), in which I may hasten to add, I have no financial interest whatever, as being probably the cheapest work available. Next in order I would recommend the works in the following list:
The Master Mason's Hand Book, by F. J. W. Crowe. (G. Kenning and Son, London. 1s. 6d.)
Things a Freemason Should Know, by F. J. W. Crowe. (Kenning, London. 2s. 6d.)
Freemasonry before the Existence of Grand Lodges, by Lionel Vibert. (Spencer and Co., London. 4s. 6d.)
A Short Masonic History, by Fredk. Armitage. (Weare and Co., London. 2 vols., 4s. 6d. each.)
The Comacines: Their Predecessors and Successors, by W. Ravenscroft. (Elliot Stock, London, 3s. 6d.)
The Builders, by J. F. Newton. (National Masonic Research Society, Anamosa, Iowa. $1.50.)
Having carefully perused the above primers, the student will have acquired an elementary knowledge of Masonic history, but those desirous of more light ought certainly next to read:
A Concise History of Freemasonry, by R. F. Gould. (Gale and Polden, London. 10s. 6d.)
The History of Freemasonry, by J. G. Findel. English translation. (Kenning, London. 5s.)
It is time now to provide one's self with an encyclopedia of some kind, and following the precedent already adopted, the following list gives the works in the order of simplicity.
A Concise Cyclopedia of Freemasonry, by E. L. Hawkins. (A. Lewis, London. 4s. 6d.)
Kenning's Cyclopedia of Freemasonry, edited by the Rev. A. F. A. Woodford. (Kenning, London. Originally 10s 6d., but now about 2s. 6d.)
Mackey's Lexicon of Freemasonry. (Second-hand, about 5s.)
Kenneth R. H. Mackenzie'sRoyal Masonic Cyclopedia. (Second-hand, about 12s. 6d.)
Dr. A. G. Mackey'sEncyclopedia, edited by E. L. Hawkins and W. J. Hughan. (A. Lewis, London. 2 vols., 50s.)
Under this heading, perhaps, ought to be classed Gould's great work:
The History of Freemasonry. (Jack, London. 6 half vols., :1883-7. Published at 3 pounds 15s., but now second-hand for about 15s.)
Before dipping into other works of reference, I suggest that the following works be read:
The Origin of the English Rite of Freemasonry, by Wm. Jas. Hughan. Second edition. (Research Lodge, Leicester. 10s. 6d.)
Masonic Facts and Fiction, by Hy. Sadler. (Second-hand, about 15s.)
Masonic Reprints and Historical Revelations, by Hy. Sadler. (Kenning, London. 5s. 6d.)
The introduction to the last-named work, by Bro. Chetwode Crawley is one of the finest pieces of Masonic writing that I have ever come across, and in my opinion ought to be read by every Mason, whether a student of craft lore or not.
For special study the works under the various headings hereafter given may be consulted.
The theory that our ancient lodges were in some way connected with the various guilds, amounts to something stronger than a mere possibility, so that a knowledge of these early organizations is desirable. Many good works have been issued on the subject, but a study of the following will suffice:
English Guilds, by Toulmin Smith, with a fine Introduction by Brentano.
Two Thousand Years of Guild Life, by the Rev. J. M. Lambert.
The Cathedral Builders. The Story of a Great Guild, by Leader Scott.
Records of the Hole Craft and Fellowship of Masons, by Edward Condel, Jr.
Aberdeen Merchant Crafts and Guilds, by Ebenezer Bain.
The Incorporated Trades of Edinburgh, by James Colston.
Most of the traditions of the craft are dealt with in general Masonic literature, but the following little work is of special interest:
The Symbols and Legends of Freemasonry, by J. Finlay Finlayson. (Kenning, London. 3s. 6d.)
Speculative Masonry, by A. S. MacBride. (D. Gilfillan, Glasgow. $1.50.)
SYMBOLISM AND ETHICS
The peculiarly difficult subject of symbolism is equally difficult to advise about, but I suggest:
The Perfect Ashlar, by the Rev. J. T. Lawrence.
The Keystone. Ibid.
Sidelights on Freemasonry. Ibid.
Byways of Freemasonry. Ibid.
The Etiquette of Freemasonry, by an Old Past Master (i. e., Bro. Franklin Thomas.)
(All published by A. Lewis, London. 4s. 6d. per vol.)
Symbolism of Masonry, by Dr. Mackey. (Macoy Co., New York. $1.50.)
The Book of Constitutions should, of course, be in the hands of every Mason, and should be carefully studied. No really good interpretation of the book has yet appeared. Oliver and Paton have made more a less indifferent attempts, and the most recent effort is:
Masonic Jurisprudence, by the Rev. J. T. Lawrence Second edition. (A Lewis, London. 7s. 6d.)
But on no account should the critique of the work by Bro. Hextell be passed over, as some of the author's conclusions are very seriously controverted.
No country in the world is richer in old lodges and their records than Scotland, and fortunately skilled craftsmen have done full justice to the subject. The following works are all good; but Murray Lyon's work is absolutely a classic, and must be consulted.
History of the Lodge of Edinburgh Mary's Chapel No. 1. Embracing an Account of the Rise and Progress of Freemasonry in Scotland, by D. Murray Lyon. (Second-hand about 15s.)
History of Canongate Kilwinning Lodge, No. 2, by Allan Mackenzie. (Lodge No. 2. 7s. 6d.)
History of the Ancient Masonic Lodge of Scoon and Perth, by D. Crawford Smith. (Cowan and Ca Perth. 10s. 6d.)
History of Freemasonry in Roxburgh, Peebles, and Selkirkshires, by W. Fred Vernon. (Kenning, London. 4s.)
Ireland stood void of any serious Masonic historical works until the advent of our distinguished Brother W. J. Chetwode Crawley, but his brilliant talents have amply removed the stigma. His three volumes of Irish Masonic Reprints are difficult to procure at any price but cannot possibly be omitted from any list of books for Masonic students.
Caementaria Hibernica, by W.J. Chetwode Crawley. Fasciculus I.
NUMBERS AND CHANGES OF LODGES
Bro. Jno. Lane, of Torquay, inspired doubtless by Bro. Hughan, earned the distinction of being the statistician of the craft par excellence, and although his works can scarcely be styled attractive, they must certainly be regarded as monuments of research.
The Four Old Lodges and Their Descendants, by R.F. Gould. (Spencer and Co., London. 5s. 6d.)
The Atholl Lodges, by R. F. Gould. (Spence London. 3s. 6d.)
Numerical and Numismatical Register of Lodgeby W. J. Hughan. (Second-hand, 1 pound. 1s.)
Handy Book to the Lists of Lodges, by Jno. Lan (Kenning, London. 6s. 6d.)
Masonic Records, 1717-1887, by Jno. Lane.
Do. Do.Second edition, 1717-1894. (Grand Lodge, 1 pound. 1s.)
Leaving out of account the early works of Metzdorf, Zaccharias, and Marvin, which are difficult of access, we have in the following list a series of very nice books.
Hughan'sNumerical and Numismatical Register(already cited.)
Centenary Warrants and Jewels, by Jno. Lane. (Kenning, London. 10s. 6d.)
The Medals of British Freemasonry, by G. L. Shackles. (Q. C. Lodge. 12s. 6d.)
To Bro. Wm. Jas. Hughan, the craft is indebted for the most careful investigations on the ancient MS. Constitutions, no roll having come to light during the past forty years without his opinion having been consulted. Unfortunately his books are all out of print and difficult to procure.
The Old Charges of the British Freemasons, by W. J. Hughan, with an Introduction by the Rev. A. F. A. Woodford. (Second-hand, about 1 pound 1s.)Do. Do.(Second-hand, about 15s.)
Ancient York Masonic Rolls, with an Introduction by W. J. Hughan. (Second-hand, about 10s. 6d.)
The first six volumes ofQuatuor Coronatorum Antigraphacontain sumptuous facsimile reproductions of the most important of the MS. Constitutions, with transcripts and commentaries, and Vols. IX and X are equally valuable as containing reproductions of other early writings.
OLD BOOKS OF CONSTITUTIONS
The early editions of theBook of Constitutionsare treasures eagerly sought for by collectors, and are only purchasable at fancy prices. Fortunately their contents are available in reprints, and no finer description of the whole series has ever been done than that by Bro. Hughan in Vol. II of theArchaeological Library.
Kenning'sArchaeological Library, Vol. I., edited by the Rev. A. F. A. Woodford, containing a (pretended) facsimile reproduction of the premierBook of Constitutions, 1723. (Kenning, London. 6s.)
Do. Do.Vol. II. Edited by W.J. Hughan, containing a facsimile reproduction of the Appendix, 1776, to the 1767Constitutions. (Kenning, London. 6s.)
Quatuor Coronatorum Antigrapha, Vol. VII, containing a facsimile reproduction of the 1738 Constitutions. (Q. C. Lodge. 10s. 6d.)
I am not aware of any reprints of theAhiman Rezon, the Book of Constitutions of the Ancients. Very curious readings are to be found in the different editions of this work. Copies of the 1778 and 1801 editions are in our own collection.
It may seem strange even to mention bibliographies as being readable books, but the first four catalogues in the following list have been so carefully annotated by Bro. Hughan that they are really interesting. The great work of Wolfstieg is the most complete of the kind ever attempted.
Catalogue of the Worcester Masonic Exhibition, 1884. Edited by Bro. Geo. Taylor.
Do. Do. Shanklin, 1886. Edited by Alfred Greenham.
Do. Do. Plymouth, 1887. Edited by W. J. Hughan.
Catalogue of the Worcester Masonic Library and Museum, 1891. Edited by Bro. Geo. Taylor. (Obtainable from F. L. Gardner, Gunnersbury. 7s. 6d.)
Bibliographie der Freimaurerischen Literatur, by A. Wolfstieg, 1911-13. 3 vols.
Although my list has already reached considerable length, I cannot possibly complete it without particularly mentioning:
The Transactions of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076. Vols. I to XXVI, which Bro. Hughan has described as veritable mines of wealth. Other books which may with advantage be consulted are:
Illustrations of Masonry, by Wm. Preston. (Second-hand, about 5s.)
The Spirit of Freemasonry, by William Hutchinson. (Second-hand, about 7s. 6d.)
Builders' Rites and Ceremonies, by G. W. Speth. (Second-hand, 3s.)
The Religion of Freemasonry, by H.J. Whymper. (Second-hand, 7s. 6d.)
Masonic Sketches and Reprints, by W.J. Hughan. (Second-hand, 1 pound. 1s.)
History of the Apollo Lodge, York, Ibid. (Second hand, 5s.)
The Jacobite Lodge at Rome, 1735-7, Ibid. (Research Lodge, Leicester. 7s. 6d.)
History of the Emulation Lodge of Improvement, by Hy. Sadler. (Kenning, London. 5s.)
Memorials of the Globe Lodge and Origin of the Red Apron, by Hy. Sadler. (Kenning, London. 4s.)
Thomas Dunckerley: His Life, Labours, and Letters. Ibid. (Kenning, London. 6s. 6d.)
Military Lodges, by R. F. Gould. (Gale and Polden, London. 5s.)
French Prisoners' Lodges, by J. T. Thorp. (Leicester. 5s.)
The Philosophy of Masonry, by Roscoe Pound, (National Masonic Research Society, Anamosa, Iowa. 76 cents.)
Morals and Dogma, by Albert Pike. $5.00.
It is quite essential for every Brother, desirous of keeping himself in touch with the current doings of the craft, to subscribe to some periodical. The "Freemason" and "Freemasons' Chronicle" appear weekly, and the "Northern Freemason" monthly. I do not for a minute suggest that these journals are of a high order of merit, but it must be remembered that a more generous response from the Masonic public would enable the proprietors to provide better and cheaper fare. A very useful little publication is "Miscellanea Latomorum, or Masonic Notes and Queries," edited by Bro. F. W. Levander, 30, North Villas, Camden Square, London, N. W. (9 parts per annum for 5s.), which enables questions to be asked and generally satisfactorily answered on altnost any branch of Freemasonry.
My strongest and last recommendation to every intelligent Brother is to join the Correspondence Circle of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge, the foremost literary lodge of the world, where, for a joining fee of half-a-guinea and an annual subscription of like amount, he will receive the published transactions of the lodge, and be entitled to all other advantages of membership, except holding office and voting on matters of business. I say advisedly that it is necessary to join this circle, and not merely to read some other subscriber's copies of the publications, for it must be evident that a very large influx of subscriptions is necessary to enable the work, which is so highly appreciated by the foremost Masonic scholars in all parts of the world, to be carried on.
* * *
SQUARE AND COMPASS
WORSHIPFUL Master and Brethren: Let us behold the glorious beauty that lies hidden beneath the symbolism of the Square and Compass; and first as to the Square. Geometry, the first and noblest of the sciences, is the basis on which the superstructure of Masonry has been erected. As you know, the word "Geometry" is derived from two Greek words which mean "to measure the earth," so that Geometry originated in measurement; and in those early days, when land first began to be measured, the Square, being a right angle, was the instrument used, so that in time the Square began to symbolize the Earth. And later it began to symbolize, Masonically, the earthly — in man, that is man's lower nature, and still later it began to symbolize man's duty in his earthly relations, or his moral obligations to his Fellowmen. The symbolism of the Square is as ancient as the Pyramids. The Egyptians used it in building the Pyramids. The base of every pyramid is a perfect square, and to the Egyptians the Square was their highest and most sacred emblem. Even the Chinese many, many centuries ago used the Square to represent Good, and Confucius in his writings speaks of the Square to represent a Just man.
As Masons we have adopted the 47th Problem of Euclid as the rule by which to determine or prove a perfect Square. Many of us remember with what interest we solved that problem in our school days. The Square has become our most significant Emblem. It rests upon the open Bible on this altar; it is one of the three great Lights; and it is the chief ornament of the Worshipful Master. There is a good reason why this distinction has been conferred upon the Square. There can be nothing truer than a perfect Square — a right angle. Hence the Square has become an emblem of Perfection.
Now a few words as to the Compass: Astronomy was the second great science promulgated among men. In the process of Man's evolution there came a time when he began to look up to the stars and wonder at the vaulted Heavens above him. When he began to study the stars, he found that the Square was not adapted to the measurement of the Heavens. He must have circular measure; he needed to draw a circle from a central point, and so the Compass was employed. By the use of the Compass man began to study the starry Heavens, and as the Square primarily symbolized the Earth, the Compass began to symbolize the Heavens, the celestial canopy, the study of which has led men to think of God, and adore Him as the Supreme Architect of the Universe. In later times the Compass began to symbolize the spiritual or higher nature of man, and it is a significant fact that the circumference of a circle, which is a line without end, has become an emblem of Eternity and symbolizes Divinity; so the Compass, and the circle drawn by the Compass, both point men Heavenward and Godward.
The Masonic teaching concerning the two points of the Compass is very interesting and instructive. The novitiate in Masonry, as he kneels at this altar, and asks for Light sees the Square, which symbolizes his lower nature, he may well note the position of the Compass. As he takes another step, and asks for more Light, the position of the Compass is changed somewhat, symbolizing that his spiritual nature can, in some measure, overcome his evil tendencies. As he takes another step in Masonry, and asks for further Light, and hears the significant words, "and God said let there be Light, and there was Light," he sees the Compass in new light; and for the first time he sees the meaning, thus unmistakably alluding to the sacred and eternal truth that as the Heavens are higher than the Earth, so the spiritual is higher than the material, and the spiritual in man must have its proper place, and should be above his lower nature, and dominate all his thoughts and actions. That eminent Philosopher, Edmund Burke, once said, "It is ordained that men of intemperate passions cannot be free. Their passions forge the chains which bind them, and make them slaves." Burke was right. Masonry, through the beautiful symbolism of the Compass, tells us how we can be free men, by permitting the spiritual within us to overcome our evil tendencies, and dominate all our thoughts and actions. Brethren, sometimes in the silent quiet hour, as we think of this conflict between our lower and higher natures, we sometimes say in the words of another, "Show me the way and let me bravely climb to where all conflicts with the flesh shall cease. Show me that way. Show me the way up to a higher plane where my body shall be servant of my Soul. Show me that way."
Brethren, if that prayer expresses desire of our hearts, let us take heed to the beautiful teachings of the Compass, which silently and persistently tells each one of us,
"You should not in the valley stay
While the great horizons stretch away
The very cliffs that wall you round
Are ladders up to higher ground.
And Heaven draws near as you ascend,
The Breeze invites, the Stars befriend.
All things are beckoning to the Best,
Then climb toward God and find sweet Rest."
— Bro. B. C. Ward, Iowa.
* * *
A Special Committee On Dispensation, Massachusetts
(Several Brethren have asked of late about the admission of non-Christians in general, and of Buddhists in particular, into the fellowship of Freemasonry. Pertinent to this important question is the following report of a Committee appointed to deal with the request for a Dispensation from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts for International Lodge at Pekin, China. The report is the work of a very able Committee, of which Brother Roscoe Pound was a member, and he it was who presented its findings to Grand Lodge. We take pleasure in reproducing the report, as worthy of wide reading and long pondering, for that it stands so squarely on the fundamental principle of Freemasonry, than which there is no firmer basis for Freedom, Friendship and Fraternity among men.)
In Grand Lodge, Boston, December 8, 1915.
The special committee appointed to take under consideration the fourth and fifth questions discussed in that part of the address of the M. W. Grand Master at the last Quarterly Communication which has to do with the establishment of International Lodge at Peking, China, begs to report as follows:
Stated briefly, the first of those questions is with reference to the eligibility of candidates who subscribe to prevailing Oriental religions. This question may be considered with respect to Oriental religions in general, but should also be looked at with respect to Buddhists and followers of Confucius, since it is probable that the matter, so far as this Grand Lodge is concerned, will be only academic as to other creeds. In the case of Mohammedan, Hindu, and Parsee, the question no longer admits of discussion. The practice of the United Grand Lodge of England and its predecessors, undoubted for almost a century and a half, would of itself suffice. In 1776, Umdat-ul — Umara, eldest son of the Nabob of Arcot, was initiated at Trichinopoly in a Lodge under the jurisdiction of the Provincial Grand Master for Madras. This reception of a Mohammedan Prince was an event of such significance that it was made the subject of congratulations by the Grand Lodge of England. The Parsees of Western India, so Gould informs us, long ago took an active interest in Masonry, and one of them, Brother Cama, was elected Grand Treasurer of the Grand Lodge of England in 1886. With respect to Hindus, it seems that there was an impression as late as 1860 that they were not eligible for Masonry, and the initiation of a Brahman in Meridian Lodge No. 345, in that year raised a vigorous discussion in the Masonic press. But it should be noted that the discussion did not turn upon any supposed ineligibility of the adherents of Oriental religions, but solely on the question whether the Brahman faith involved belief in God, as Masons understand such belief. The arguments of the Master of the Lodge was that "the very groundwork of the Brahman faith is the belief in one Grand Superintending Being." (SeeFreemason's Magazine, April 21, September 8, October 13, 1860; May 18, 1861.) In 1861, two Sikh Princes were initiated, and there does not appear to have been any doubt upon this matter since that time. In 1874 a Hindu was Master of a Lodge under the English constitutions. (See Gould,History of Freemasonry, III, 333, 336; Mackey,History of Freemasonry, VII, 1892.)
It would belie all our professions of universality if this were not so. We must guard jealously the Landmark — one of the few undoubted and universally admitted Landmarks — that calls for belief in God, the Grand Architect of the Universe. In Brother George F. Moore's well-known paper upon the subject he justly pronounces this the first Landmark in Freemasonry. But the idea of God here is universal. Each of us may interpret it in terms of his own creed. The requirement is not that Masons adhere to this or that theological system or conceive of God in terms of this or that creed. It is a simple requirement of belief in the One God, however manifested, upon which philosophers and prophets and saints and the enlightened religions of all time have been able to agree. It is enough to say that we fully concur in the eloquent and convincing presentation of this matter in the address of the Grand Master.
Perhaps it is superfluous to add anything to the argument from the practice of the premier Grand Lodge and the argument from principle. But if any still harbor scruples it may be noted that except for Hutchinson and Oliver, whose view that Masonry is a distinctively Christian institution obviously can not be admitted, Masonic scholars and teachers have been at one upon this point. In a passage afterward quoted in Webb'sMonitorPreston says: "The distant Chinese, the wild Arab, or the American Savage will embrace a brother Briton [Webb adds "Frank or German"] and he will know that beside the common ties of humanity there is still a stronger obligation to engage him to kind or friendly offices." (Illustrations of Masonry, Bk. 1, par. 3). Certainly we are not to suppose that this Chinaman and this "wild" Arab are Christians. But Preston speaks elsewhere in no uncertain tones:
"The doctrine of one God, the creator and preserver of the universe, has been their firm belief in every age; and under the influence of that doctrine their conduct has been regulated through a long succession of years. The progress of knowledge and philosophy, aided by divine revelation, having abolished many of the vain superstitions of antiquity and enlightened the minds of men with the knowledge of the true God and the sacred tenets of the Christian faith, Masons have readily acquiesced in and zealously pursued every measure which could promote a religion so wisely calculated to make men happy. In those countries, however, where the gospel has not reached and Christianity [has not] displayed her beauties, the Masons have pursued the universal religion or the religion of nature; that is to be good men and true, by whatever denomination or persuasion they have been distinguished; and by this universal religion the conduct of the fraternity still continues to be regulated." (Illustrations of Masonry, 2 ed., 154.)
The Grand Master's address has already quoted Mackey upon this subject. A score of passages from Albert Pike might be quoted to the same effect. Let one suffice. After explaining that "these ceremonies have one general significance to every one of every faith who believes in God and the soul's immortality," he proceeds: "In no other way could Masonry possess its character of universality; that character which has ever been peculiar to it from its origin; and which enabled two kings, worshippers of different Deities, to sit together as Masters while the walls of the first temple arose." Finally, we may cite the words of Rev. Joseph Fort Newton, which have the endorsement of the Grand Lodge of Iowa:
"While Masonry is theocratic in its faith and philosophy, it does not limit its conception of the Divine, much less insist upon any one name for 'the Nameless One of a hundred names.' Indeed, no feature of Masonry is more fascinating than its age-long quest of the Lost Word, the Ineffable Name; a quest that never tires, never tarries, knowing the while that every name is inadequate, and all words are but symbols of a Truth too great for words — every letter of the alphabet, in fact, having been evolved from some primeval sign or signal of the faith and hope of humanity. Thus Masonry, so far from limiting the thought of God, is evermore in search of a more satisfying and revealing vision of the meaning of the universe, now luminous and lovely, now dark and terrible; and it invites all men to unite in the quest —
One in the freedom of the Truth,
One in the joy of paths untrod,
One in the soul's perennial Youth,
One in the larger thought of God."
Truly the human consciousness of fellowship with the Eternal, under whatever name, may well hush all words, still more hush argument and anathema. Possession, not recognition, is the only thing important; and if it is not recognized, the fault must surely be, in large part, our own. Given the one great experience, and before long kindred spirits will join in the "Universal Prayer" of Alexander Pope, himself a Mason:
Father of all! in every age, In every clime adored, By Saint, by Savage, and by Sage, Jehovah, Jove, or Lord!" (The Builders, 262-263.)
It remains to consider whether Buddhists and followers of Confucius are believers in God in such sense that they may be made Masons. As to the former, we have the weighty opinion of Albert Pike that Buddha was a "Masonic legislator" — that is that he gave laws in the spirit of Masonry. He says of the original followers of Buddha: "They recognized the existence of a single uncreated God, in whose bosom everything grows, is developed and transformed" (Morals and Dogma, 277.) Professor Rhys Davids, the chief authority in English upon Buddhism, indicates that this may be a matter of dispute. But the committee does not deem it necessary to go into this question, to which it is indeed scarcely competent. For if any Buddhists are to be initiated in International Lodge they will be required to profess belief in God at the outset, and as they will be men in whom our Brethren have confidence and will come well recommended, we may be assured that their professions will be sincere. The same point may be made with respect to the followers of Confucius. But the Rev. J. Legge, an unquestioned authority, tells us that while the teaching of Confucius "was hardly more than a mere secularism" his predecessors on whom he built made abundant reference to the Supreme Being and their writings contain "an exulting awful recognition of Him as the almighty personal ruler who orders the course of nature and providence." It seems clear that monotheists may follow the ethical teachings of Confucius, even if sceptics may do so likewise, and the former only will be elected to receive the mysteries of Freemasonry.
The second question, put briefly, is with reference to the adaptability of our rites when applied to adherents of Oriental religions. Here again we may appeal to the settled and unquestioned practice of the United Grand Lodge of England. In response to a request for information addressed to him by the R. W. Grand Secretary, Sir Edward Letchworth, Grand Secretary of the English Grand Lodge, writes, under date of October 25, 1915: "Adverting to your letter to me of the 11th instant, it has always been the practice of this Grand Lodge to permit Candidates for Freemasonry who are believers in a Supreme Being, but not in the Christian Religion, to be obligated upon the Sacred Book of their own religion. Thus Jews are obligated on the Old Testament, Mohammedans on the Koran, Hindus on the Vedas, and Parsees on the Zendavesta."
On principle this must be the sound practice. It is indeed but a corollary of the proposition involved in the first question. Moreover the testimony of Masonic scholars is clear. The M. W. Grand Master has already quoted from Mackey's Masonic Jurisprudence. In another work Dr. Mackey says: "Masonically the book of the law is that sacred book which is believed by the Mason of any particular religion to contain the revealed will of God; although technically among the Jews the Torah, or Book of the Law, means only the Pentateuch or five books of Moses. Thus to the Christian Mason the Book of the Law is the Old and New Testaments; to the Jew the Old Testament; to the Mussulman the Koran; to the Brahman, the Vedas; and to the Parsee the Zendavesta." In the Entered Apprentice Lecture, as written by Albert Pike, he says: "The Holy Bible, Square, and Compass, are not only styled the Great Lights in Masonry, but they are also technically called the Furniture of the Lodge; and, as you have seen, it is held that there is no Lodge without them. This has sometimes been made a pretext for excluding Jews from Our Lodges, because they can not regard the New Testament as a holy book. The Bible is an indispensable part of the furniture of a Christian Lodge, only because it is the sacred book of the Christian religion. The Hebrew Pentateuch in a Hebrew Lodge, and the Koran in a Mohammedan one, belong on the Altar; and one of these, and the Square and Compass, properly understood, are the Great Lights by which a Mason must walk and work.
"The obligation of the candidate is always to be taken on the sacred book or books of his religion, that he may deem it more solemn and binding; and therefore it was that you were asked of what religion you were. We have no other concern with your religious creed." (Morals and Dogma, 11.)
Much more might be cited from Masonic writers authority. But the practice of more than a century the Grand Lodge of England and the principle of the thing require no other support.
The committee would report that the conclusions of the M.W. Grand Master upon the two questions referred are, in his opinion, beyond controversy, being sustained by — long precedent and usage, by the clearest deduction from the fundamental tenets of the Fraternity, and by the concurrent testimony of Masonic scholars. Fraternally submitted,
EDWIN B. HOLMES,
LEON M. ABBOTT,
FREDERIC W. HAMILTON.
R. PERRY BUSH,
Report was accepted and adopted.
* * *
I am a man, and nothing that concerns human beings is indifferent to me. By nature we are inclined to love mankind; take away this love and you take away all the joy of life, for men are born that they may mutually benefit one another. When one has studied the nature of things and has come to look upon himself as not confined within the walls of one city, or as a member of any particular community, but as a citizen of the Universe considered as a Commonwealth: amid such an acquaintance with Nature and such a grand magnificence of things, to what a Knowledge of himself will he attain! — Pagan Scriptures.
* * *
Narrow chested and gray blooded children living in dark rooms in congested tenement districts, eating adulterated food and corrupted in their childhood by an environment of dives, gambling dens and brothels, are a poor foundation for a first line of defense. — Raymond Robins.
* * *
ADDRESS AT THE INITIATION OF A FOREIGNER
(The following address, found on Page 147, in Part III of the 1798 edition of theBook of Constitutions, prepared for and under authority of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts by Brother Rev. Thaddeus Mason Harris, Grand Chaplain, rings true in this year 1916 as it did at that time. — Editor.)
"You, Brother, the native and subject of another nation, by entering into our Order, have connected yourself, by sacred and affectionate ties, with thousands of Masons in this and other countries. Ever recollect that the Order you have entered into, bids you always to look upon the world as ONE GREAT REPUBLIC, of which every nation is a family, and every particular person a child. When, therefore, you return and settle in your own country, take care that the progress of friendship be not confined to the narrow circle of national connections, or particular religions; but let it be universal, and extend to every branch of the human race. At the same time, remember that, besides the common ties of humanity, you have at this time entered into obligations, which engage you to kind and friendly actions to your Brother Mason, of whatever station country or religion."
* * *
THE HIGHER DEGREE
In the big heart of a true Mason there is no caste, but that which is born of true manhood; no sovereignty but that which willingly begets service; great because lowly, strong because faithful, invincible because patient. — W. F. Kuhn
* * *
For years we had stood together
And toiled at the self — same task,
With a hand that was worn to leather,
And the face of an age — old mask.
Where the narrow walls confined us
We had dreamed, as a bondsman can,
Of a world made free for brothers —
And a kingdom of every man.
We had dreamed of a space unbounded
Where the eye sees far and clear,
With never a thought for nations —
Ours was a world frontier!
And today it was that I found him
When we stormed the other trench,
With a hell — fire hot all round us,
And a deadlier poisoned stench.
There he lay, like a wild beast slaughtered,
And a stain on his mouth like wine,
And eyes that stared, unseeing,
To the heaven that's his and mine.
Perhaps, at to — morrow's dawning.
I, too, shall be lying there,
In the only peace and freedom
That he and I can share.
Elizabeth Berthon Fahnestock, In "The Outlook."
* * *
CORRESPONDENCE CIRCLE BULLETIN — No. 1
Edited by Bro. Robert I. Clegg
Caxton Building, Cleveland, Ohio
NOTE. Of the forty responses to Brother Clegg's "Get Together" Open Letter in the September issue (inside back cover) received up to September 12th, he has selected the following as covering the representative problems presented. The emphasis which he places upon the ability of ONE LIVE MEMBER of the Society to inspire a complete Study Club in his vicinity is well deserved. But let not the individual Brother who desires to be counted "present" in this movement be discouraged, even though others do not join him at once. He will find much of value (and to his liking) in this Department, as time goes on, and the recapitulation of the ways in which problems of organization are being solved, will help him.
The CORRESPONDENCE CIRCLE BULLETIN will for the present be published and distributed with the regular issues of The Builder. This is the most economical method: and, as we believe, will deserve the widest publicity that we can give it. EVERY MEMBER will at once appreciate the increased value of the Society to the Craft, and we hope to show EVERY MEMBER that his interest in Masonry will be best served by allying him self with other interested Brethren for the furtherance of the Society's aims.
THE METHODS WHEREBY STUDIOUS MASONS MAY MINGLE FOR BETTERMENT
THAT article on the inside back cover of the September issue ofThe Buildermust have been timely and truthful. It tapped a fount, yea, a flood of correspondence the end of which is not yet. That the opportunity was ripe there is no question. That there is great good to be accomplished is evident. That we should at once proceed to enter the promised land is beyond dispute. That the work is of the highest importance is unquestioned.
Urgent as is the need of action, it is supremely important that we all be as patient as possible remembering that the undertaking may develop difficulties unforeseen by the wisest. These we will all do our best to iron out as we go along.
Some of the letters telling of real difficulties are most interesting and I hope to give them space in full for general discussion. But as it may not be practical to do this at present I will make extracts from several of them and add such comments as seem most helpful from my point of view. It will be easy to come back to me for additional information if the suggestions I offer are not fully satisfactory, and the printing of the pointers inThe Builderwill enable others to profit wherever the data is seen to be of benefit, and every reader is also invited to give me and everybody else the advantage of such criticism as may occur to him in the study of this department.
WHEN LOCAL MEMBERS MAY BE FEW
Dear Brother: In re Masonic studies noted on last page last Builder, please furnish me list of local members. Providing there are not sufficient here how may I procure the information? C.W. Tedrowe, Elk City, Okla
Numbers will make no difference as regards the willingness of the Society to help you. Whether there be two or two hundred members of The National Masonic Research Society that you can reach locally, will not make any difference in that respect. In fact it will be an excellent plan to invite to your meetings Masons who are not already members of the Society. If you get them interested they are very likely to want membership, and as you are not going to invite those you would not care to have join hands with you in this work you thereby enlarge the influence of the Society and make useful additions to your numbers and ours. Tell us what success you have in assembling the brethren. Let us know what subjects seem of the greatest degree of interest to most of you, or what has come up for consideration at your meetings and we will suggest sources of information and lines of investigation that you may take up to profitably employ your time and energies.
LISTS WANTED — SUBJECTS FOR DISCUSSION, MASONIC BOOKS FOR PUBLIC LIBRARY
Dear Brother: Having just read Brother Clegg's letter on the inside cover of the September Builder, I hope to be among the first to respond, as his idea is certainly well worth attention. Our lodge is becoming interested in the history side of Masonry and is planning not only a series of lectures for the coming winter, but a study club of members. While I would appreciate a list of members of the N.M.R.S. in this section, yet am I more interested in a list of subjects for discussion. If I could trouble you for a list of subjects upon which you think a foundation might be built, or which would serve as a nucleus for later original efforts on our part, I would be very appreciative. A list of a few books which our local library has kindly offered to purchase would likewise be appreciated. H. C. Wolf, 408 N. Main St., Edwardsville, Ill.
Let me take the last of your requests first. Your Public Library should have the first volume ofThe Builderand should subscribe to the subsequent issues. There should also be on file the book on the Philosophy of Masonry by Dean Pound and published by The National Masonic Research Society. The best Encyclopedia is none too good and for this purpose get Mackey's latest edition. Mackey and Singleton's "History of Freemasonry," and R. F. Gould's "Concise History" are also most valuable. We will send you a pamphlet list of Masonic works and shall promptly inform you of the relative merits of any of the items upon which you may desire further light.
A list of subjects for consideration by your brethren and yourself is no easy task to prepare, and then be fully acceptable to you and to me. I am somewhat in the dark as to topics that would appeal to you. For instance I know of a group of Masons that found a very lively interest in digging up all the data obtainable upon such subjects as the Essenes. To me that would have been rather dry but they found it full of zest and charm. Lately I and a few other brothers spent an evening discussing some points in Masonic law and the time slipped away very rapidly but I can imagine there are brethren who would not find that topic at all attractive.
There is to my mind only one way to cut the Gordian knot and that is to do your best to select in the first instance subjects of the greatest general interest and then specialize later when you have the more accurately gauged the tendencies of your own taste and those of your associates.
Suppose we take any one or more of the following points: What is the purpose of Masonry? What is taught by the Entered Apprentice degree? What is taught by the Fellowcraft degree? What is taught by the Master Mason's degree? How should a visiting Mason be examined? What ought a member to know of Masonry? What has been the history of Masonry — tracing the progress of your local lodges, your Grand Lodge and the bodies from whence you drew your authority?
Any one of the above will keep you busy for some time if handled judiciously and thoroughly. Should you like other references please do not fail to write me.
It may also be that you will seek light on some angle of the above that is not clear, and here too every resource we possess is at your service. But start in courageously and keep going.
ANYTHING OF RITUALISTIC OR MONITORIAL MERIT VERY WELCOME
Dear Sir: I note your notices about study clubs, and I would like to do what I can to help you form a club. I am greatly interested in the study of Freemasonry. Could you use an article on the Symbolism of the Third Degree? Rasmus Bartleson, 452 Dayton Ave., St. Paul, Minn.
The Editor ofThe Builderis always pleased to receive essays from the brethren. Furthermore it is just such papers as the one you mention that will probably be found highly useful in our study clubs. Already we have had discussions upon Symbolism circulated among lodges when reprinted fromThe Builderand they were very enjoyable and thought-provoking. Our research into Masonry need not get too far away from what is suggested by the ritual. The "work" is known to all no matter how rusty they may be and the topics based upon it are all the more attractive on that account because all can take part. Right here is the very essence of the scheme; sociable contact in study of the successful sort for classes, the same being based upon the intimate and general appeal of the topics chosen for the attention of the brethren.
VOICES A NEW CRUSADE
Dear Sir and Brother: I read with great interest your very suggestive open letter to members of our Society and am fully in accord with your idea of Masonic study. I think now is the time for all Masons to not only study but also practice in our every day life the duties we owe to the great Institution and to ourselves.
Would it not be a grand uplift to Masonry if every member of every lodge belonged to the Society and then set an evening for study and debate? There are so many of our members who fail to see the concealed yet revealed beauty of Masonry. C. T. Laschinger, Bonners Ferry, Idaho.
You have indeed hit the nail on the head. May we not also say that the responsibility is ours of increasing the attractiveness of Masonic study? Shall we not all take hold of the situation in our respective localities and endeavor to make others see Masonry as you see it? How shall we do this?
I feel confident that we shall later on get from you some serviceable working ideas based on your progress with the brethren. What you say so definitely and well cannot but be followed by action and creditable results. Go forward along the path you have blazed so well, and then let the rest of us have the benefit of your plans and progressiveness.
PLANS VARY WITH PLACES
My dear Brother: In the late issue ofThe Builder, on the inside back page is a message which I felt was both proper and timely, in all respects.
I desire to be one who asks for the list of brethren in this locality, for the express purpose as mentioned in the article. There are four Blue Lodges in Davis county — at Bloomfield Drakeville, Pulaski, and one which meets at call, at Stiles. The first three are situated in corporate communities, and could well support their individual clubs, although if it is deemed best to start with interested brothers from these places, the best cooperation will be afforded.
If someone from here has already applied, I will gladly cooperate with him in the effort, otherwise I shall use my best endeavors in behalf of the movement, I assure you. John W. Teed, Bloomfield, Iowa.
P. S. — Any suggestion, information, or plans will be gratefully received and appreciated.
Whether you should try for several study clubs or have one is only to be determined by careful examination of the situation from firsthand opportunities. Large classes are unwieldy, small ones don't give the varied points of contact in debate that are afforded by large classes. Small classes are easily called and handled but the absence of one or two members makes a serious hole in the attendance, a large class is the opposite.
My plan would be to get all you can assemble together for a preliminary meeting. Have some well-equipped brother present some subject for consideration. Several others should have prepared themselves to take up the same topic and maintain the interest of the debate. Make the evening lively and useful, entertaining as well as instructive. Let everybody go away with a heart warmed to each of his neighbors in the class. Avoid contention and you will have no corroding resentment.
The simplest parliamentary organization is all that is necessary. You may even change your Chairman every meeting by election from the floor. But you require a good Secretary, some one brother who will make a cherished hobby of the thing.
Where you have several lodges there may be a possibility of having a meeting in each of the locations consecutively. This will depend upon local circumstances, but ought to have a tendency to promote study activities in each place visited. Any way, make a start and the rest will take care of itself as you go along.
Be sure to keep us posted on your progress. Every one of these organizations for study will have problems that in their solution will benefit other like bodies. Therefore let all hands make a practice of telling us of the details of their progress, what obstacles are met and how they are overcome, what has tended to harmony and what has not, what has been most edifying and what hasn't. Don't keep your troubles and your triumphs to yourself. Remember the time when successful and unsuccessful reports wound up in a triumphal procession for everybody. So tell us of all your doings.
THE FELLOWCRAFT DEGREE
Dear Sir and Brother: I have just read your open letter to members in the last number of The Builder.
The Fifth Saturday Research Work of City of the Straits Lodge No. 452 will take up the study of the Fellowcraft Degree at its next meeting and I would like very much to have not only a list of your Detroit members but the use of any articles and papers you may have dealing particularly with that branch of Masonry.
Our Research meetings are made compulsory by Lodge Bylaws and are meeting with much success, interest and contributions by members being general and attendance excellent.
We are indebted toThe Builderfor much advice and assistance. — F. A. Hilton, Chairman of Committee, Detroit, Mich.
A copy of the "Symbolism of the Fellowcraft Degree" has been sent to you and I daresay you found it of much interest and usefulness. I expect you also read in this connection the chapter on Preston in Dean Pound's "Philosophy of Masonry." The latter gives you a key to the meaning of Fellowcraft Masonry as it looks to me. But if I start in here to expound what in my humble judgment are the fundamentals of Masonic teaching I fear I shall take up too much space and I may get tedious at that!
Your report shows several exceedingly noteworthy points. First of all your Lodge in its wisdom has set an admirable example. Would that all Lodges were equally alert, and informed.
Please let us know the titles of the papers read by your members. Kindly advise us of the relative interest of the several subjects. How were the papers discussed and to what extent? As you will see from these answering notes of mine in this department there is a constant desire of my correspondents to know what to study. There is so much that can be studied that I must not overtax the efforts of the brethren by any long lists of topics. Now if I can from the experience of others add to my own conclusions I am not only the more nearly right but I shall feel much better satisfied that everybody w ill derive good and wholesome instruction.
ALREADY AT WORK
Dear Sir and Brother: Some of us have been trying to conduct something of a study club in our lodge here in the past year. Any information that will be of he]p to us as suggested by Bro. Robert I. Clegg in his letter to members on the last page of the last issue ofThe Builderwill be greatly appreciated. L. F. Knowles, Mantorville, Minn.
Dear Sir: I have read with much interest the open letter to members by Brother Robert I. Clegg and as the suggestion is directly in line with some ideas that I have already tried to start among the brothers, I would be pleased to receive a list of the members of the Society in Chicago and will do whatever I can to further the work. W. F. Reinbold, 212 W. Washington St., Chicago. P. S. — Any suggestions as to subjects, programs, etc., will, of course, be gratefully received.
Dear Brother: Just received the September Builder. I have for some time been dreaming of the plan suggested for study clubs by Brother Clegg. The only reason I haven't tried it has been the lack of time to work out programs. Your suggestions solve the difficulty. Count me in for starting one here. If anyone else has preceded me, let me know so I can help him out. Yours fraternally, Ralph B. Smith, Keokuk, Iowa.
Each of you has already thought over your local prospects and your problems are similar. I can therefore group what I have to say.
It is particularly gratifying to me that I happened to voice what has proved to be in the minds of so many of the brethren. They have doubtless cogitated over angles of the problem that have eluded me. As time goes on I expect to get in touch with some of this individual research and to profit by it. Let not any of us withhold whatever it is that will help the cause forward.
Another very pleasing aspect of our progress so far in this work is the readiness of brethren not only to start something but if they have happened not to be pioneers in the race they are equally willing and ready to play second fiddle and to support their leader heartily and vigorously. That is the feeling that wins. That is the true spirit of Masonry.
But of you three brethren and ail the others of your calibre wherever they may be dispersed, to use the time-honored phrase, I beg of you to read carefully what is here said inThe Builderof this date relative to organization and of matters for study and investigation.
How far my suggestions fit your problems it is of course impossible for me to say. If they fail to meet your wants, (and tentative as they are it is almost certain that they will come short and be found wanting in some respect for your purpose), I can only welcome your confidence and pledge you my best cooperation wherever and whenever what is known to me may serve you.
The main thing is to make a start. Get a few brethren together. See that they are congenial. Stage a discussion in which they can all take an active part. Make each member present a missionary. Increase your numbers slowly. Encourage your brethren to submit questions. A Question Box is a good thing, especially if you have some one to follow it up. Invite questions to be presented at the meetings and also sent to the Secretary between meetings. Assign these questions to well informed brethren. Taboo all half-baked replies. Make the answer stand on its feet firmly. Distinguish between speculation and knowledge. Set asunder fiction and fact. Ask for evidence. These and similar expedients conducted courteously and with fervor should hold combined interest and enlarge and make fruitful your gatherings. Try them out.
OFFICIAL ACTION ON MASONIC STUDY: WHAT SHALL BE DONE, AND HOW?
What could be done by our Grand Lodge to promote the study side of Masonry? Your opinion and suggestions are invited upon our making the right start. Your article on "How to Study Masonry," inThe Builder, impressed me so favorably that I venture to intrude upon your time and patience. Anything we do will probably be on a small scale to start, but I believe if we are able to make the start right we will eventually accomplish results. S. H. S.
You as Chairman of your Grand Lodge Committee honor me by what you ask. Nothing would please me more than to say something capable of being adopted by your Grand Lodge.
My thought in what I wrote forThe Builderwas to suggest some easy plan whereby a start could be made without of necessity requiring any Grand Lodge authority or encouragement. Your suggestion therefore carries my plan much further afield than was at the time contemplated by me. Please have patience with me if on that account I may offer an idea or two that seem amateurish or immature.
1. Have your Grand Lodge appoint a Committee on Masonic Education. Have this Committee submit a comprehensive report every year to the Grand Lodge on (a) The general progress of Masonic Research; (b) Masonic study in your state; (c) a summary of what has been done by individual lodges toward the Masonic improvement of their members, and what has been done by any individual members to promote Masonic Research. (d) submit a list of Masonic lecturers and lectures presented during the year to your lodges, and also maintain a list of available addresses of value that may be obtained by your lodges. You can readily extend this list of things that such a Committee ought to do.
2. Whenever you hold a School of Instruction let the above Committee present someone to give an able address. Not a weak mushy frothy flow of verbiage but a paper of scholarly brand. Don't let the speaker extemporize. Make him dig. Edit the paper carefully in advance. You have the men who can do this and do it right. Draw on them. Make the paper the climax of your work of instruction and do not permit it to be shelved or curtailed when you have decided what it shall be.
3. Have your Grand Lodge join with the Grand Lodge of Iowa in what is known as the Clipping Service. Write to the Grand Secretary, Brother N. R. Parvin, at Cedar Rapids, for his descriptive circular. Maybe you won't care to join with them notwithstanding the economy. Your independence pleases me. Go it alone.
Furthermore, have your Committee prepare two or three good addresses. Print them on plain, unglazed paper in large type, ten point or even larger for easy reading. Advise your Lodges of the papers you have on hand. Urge them to try these on the brethren. Have them read at a time when they will get proper attention. Get the Worshipful Master to inform the Committee over his signature and that of the Secretary of the Lodge what was done in every case to insure a good attendance, whether there was any discussion, and how long it lasted, and what was the effect of the paper, etc.
Of course I could easily write a lot of these things and at that I might easily miss the very things on which you particularly require my views. The only remedy is to ask me again. Two cents will reach me. Don't hesitate to call on me for anything I can tell you.
Don't forget that the National Masonic Research Society has a store of pamphlets and circulars of most interesting Masonic material.
But why wait for Grand Lodge action? Try out this scheme ofThe Builderin your own Lodge. Read once more what you have already gone through on the East end of the September issue. Find out what suits your Lodge. Ten to one that will give you a fair lead on all the other Lodges. Then go into your Grand Lodge prayerfully. Get a Committee appointed that has an interest in the study side of Masonry. Pick men of influence to give your Committee weight, men of brains to make its views respected, active men to accomplish results, men potent, apt and tactful. But don't expect too much of anybody except yourself. May all good luck attend you.
R. I. CLEGG.
OUR ORGANIZATION — FUNCTIONAL AND ORGANIC
A batch of letters had been answered to the best of my ability. I was catching up with the aftermath of that article of mine on the cover of the September Builder when lo there arrived, hot from the wire, a telegram from far-off Texas asking for a course of study to be outlined. Already the subject has been touched upon in a discussion scheduled for appearance in the October Builder. For the present that may serve. Meantime the matter will get careful consideration in such time as I can divert from the prosaic but necessary labors of business. Let not any of Our readers imagine for a moment that their inquiries and suggestions do not in every case receive prompt attention. But many of them are not adapted to offhand decision. Time and plenty of it is usually wanted and employed before these matters may receive their just due.
This brings me naturally to weighing our facilities for handling the correspondence that is coming our way. This flood of ideas, these requests for guidance, this presentation of cases in more or less detail for diagnosis, impress upon the mind of the receiver a sense of keen responsibility. In some way or another we must bring to bear upon these problems all the critical and constructive energies of theoretical and practical Masonry, certainly a much greater resource than any one Mason or group of Masons has at command.
Publication of letters from our members will constitute a valuable forum for the general discussion of aims and ends, methods and means. Already this promises to be an enlivening and most instructive department. To this section there will be freely added editorial comments based upon our constantly increasing sources of information at home and abroad.
But we must get beyond the forum stage. While it is an excellent thing in itself, and by all processes and in every particular to be vigorously encouraged, yet the Society ought not to halt content with that degree of progress. We need methodical plans, unified and finished. Speaking as an engineer I may say the whole proposition just aches for a layout and a blueprint of it prepared for every Mason.
Unfortunately a complete design precedes the working layout and the blueprints. We shall get the design into useful and generally acceptable shape when we have first compiled and digested all the attendant conditions. Having determined all the angles of the problem we can with the greater confidence seek a satisfactory solution.
Here at this point is the keynote of our project. Much of the preliminary work with study classes must be experimental. Let us be informed by our readers as to what is everywhere done and how it worked. Nothing is more important. Now, in the formative period, we need just that sort of information. We cannot have too much of it nor in too detailed a form.
This matter of method applies not only to the manner of conducting meetings, the assembling of members, the generation of enthusiasm, the setting of the brethren to work individually and collectively, but it must treat of textbooks, their respective merits and the most efficient methods of using them. The latter is a slow task. A start has been made but much remains to do.
To set the Craft to work and give them wholesome instruction is the purpose of the National Masonic Research Society. That instruction will be the more effective when based upon the largest possible experience of the Craft. Therefore put the study plan to the test. Report the results. From these facts may lay a foundation for the future greatly improving our work of the past. Let us all take hold and at least lift our share of the burden wherever we may be.
A COURSE IN THE STUDY OF MASONRY
(A few emergency hints to meet an urgent demand)
Masonry may be divided into five departments for study — Ritual, History, Philosophy, Symbolism, Law.
- Ritual may be discussed in its relations to the Old Charges, folklore, mystery plays of the middle ages, survivals of tribal ceremonials, building customs, monitorial divergences and development, etc.
- History may be examined as of any Lodge (where for instance all members of a study class belong to one lodge); and Grand Lodge, and their original source of authority. Local and State historical records are valuable sources of information with Mackey's History, Gould's Concise History, etc.
- Philosophy may be studied with the aid of Dean Pound's book, an N.M.R.S. publication.
- Symbolism. The symbols of Masonry are all treated freely in Mackey's Encyclopedia.
- Law. The Masonic Code of one's own State has leading place of course. Then there is the indispensable Encyclopedia, and Mackey also has a book on Masonic Jurisprudence.
Get your local library to furnish a list of references to Masonic topics it possesses. Many are often obtained in that way. Assign the several foregoing subdivisions to as many brethren and give to each the references bearing upon his chosen alloted topic.
Every one should have his own library of Masonic works. Few as the books may be, they are at hand for convenient and frequent reference. A good, compact, general textbook, limited but of fine quality, is "The Builders" by Bro. Newton and obtainable through the N. M. R. S. R. I. CLEGG.
THE SOCIETY'S PUBLICATIONS
(Owing to the increased cost of printing and binding, it has become necessary for us to make a slight advance in the price of bound volumes, as stated below. The Society some time ago put out a catalog of various books, and the unsold copies in that catalog remain unchanged in price.)
THE BUILDERS, A Story and Study of Masonry. Joseph Fort Newton. $1.50
THE BUILDER, Volume 1, (Goldenrod Buckram), 8 vo. $3.00
THE BUILDER, Volume 1, (3/4 Morocco) $4.00
THE BUILDER, Volume 2, (Out in December), (Buckram) $3.00
THE BUILDER, Volume 2, (3/4, Morocco) $4.00
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Joseph Fort Newton
ON THE SEA
Prompt to the minute, on June 17, at noon, the Philadelphia moved from her pier and slowly turned to the open sea. The orchestra was playing, the decks were crowded, and perhaps a thousand people were waving farewells — among them a good Brother Mason who was kind enough to come and bid me good bye. It was a scene not soon to be forgotten. Surely, there is something infinite in every parting, and never more so than when the Sea is to separate us. Soon individual faces faded and we could only see the handkerchiefs fluttering signals of goodwill — handkerchiefs wet with tears.
New York, seen from the harbor, is a great picture indeed, albeit made less vivid by a haze of smoke and fog that hung over it. Suddenly the sun broke through the mist, and it seemed like a fairy city seen in a dream — a land of fairy cliff-dwellers! No wonder Poole wrote his story of The Harbor and the romance of it. But the picture does not remain long, save in memory where our pictures hang. Dimmer and dimmer it grows, until at last it is a blur, and then a thin blue line, and finally it fades. No one may put into words his feelings at such an hour, when for the first time he leaves his native land and turns to the great open sea!
And the Sea! For an inlander like myself, it is a thing of wonder, at once a fact and a figure, a symbol and a parable. Like sky, like sea. If the sky is gray, so is the sea. If blue, the sea is blue — such a dark, rich blue. But it was very gray when we set sail. Soon a fog fell over us and we could hardly see the boat that met us to take our pilot off. And that fog-horn is terrifying! What would life be if all our dangers made that much noise. Perhaps they do, only we do not hear the warnings.
But the fog soon lifted, like a curtain, and revealed the Sea 'The Sea! the Sea! so wide and grand, stretching away into infinity — yea, "The Sea is His, and He made it." All day long the great words of the Bible about the Sea kept coming to mind, with new meanings I had never guessed before. Truly that old Book is like a harp which says for us what our poor, dumb words cannot say. "There is sorrow upon the sea; it cannot be still," what words they are as one looks out over those restless, reinless waters. And there came also those other words, so freighted with meaning just now, "and the sea gave up the dead that were in it." But best of all the line of the Psalmist, "Thy way, O Lord, is in the sea."
Really, if I were a rich Pagan instead of a poor Mason, I would build a temple to the Sea. It is so strong and deep, so patient, merciful, and gracious, to ship or soul that bravely casts loose upon its mighty promises; so variable and cruel to the unpiloted and unseaworthy. It is a great burden-bearer. It cannot be overloaded. It cannot be broken down. It never grows weary. It never needs repairs. Also, it is a great physician. It rests the eye with its overpowering vastness of outlook. It calms the heart with its greatness and its never-ending music. It speaks to the mind of that Divine abyss over which the mystics brood but never fathom. It responds to every mood — now sad, now glad, now quietly meditative; it answers every call of the imagination, and can preach more sermons than all preachers. Besides, it is a great teacher. It lays its mighty law upon the restless spirit and tells us to stop sputtering — be still, listen, and know. And as we listen, the sighs of human care are lost in the murmur of its many waters. At last Restlessness, cut off from its supplies, surrenders to Rest.
Why did St. John leave the Sea out of his vision of heaven? He foresaw a time when "there shall be no more sea." Why so? No doubt the exile on the Isle of Patmos, longing for the fair city of Ephesus, the scene of his ministry, and hungering for the sight of familiar faces, grew weary of the imprisoning sea. Sundered by leagues of tumbling waves from those he loved, he dreamed of a world where there would be "no sea." But it is not so now — not so much so at least. Once the symbol of separation, the sea has become a bond of union between lands and peoples. Once the dread of daring sailors, who, despite their dread, braved its dangers and discovered its paths, it has become the servant of man, yielding to the quiet power of intelligence. The sea of which Homer and Virgil sing is the unknown, untamed sea. We today sail a sea whose ways, waves and winds are an open book, and whose forces have been converted into beneficent ministries.
Still, Matthew Arnold speaks of "unplumbed, salt, estranging sea," by which he meant the awful isolation of each soul in an unfathomable universe. More often in English poetry — and indeed in all poetry, since Homer, that has in it the sound of the sea — the tidal rhythms of the sea, its measured waves and its immeasurable horizons, have been the great symbols of the Divine depth and mystery; just as the stars round off the three divisions of the Divine Comedy of Dante. The music of this deeper and more eternal sea rolls through all great poetry, and nowhere with more melody than in Shakespeare, who caught the very cadence of that unfathomable sea whose waves are years and whose depth is eternity.
How can a man be irreligious on the Sea? Are we not, all of us, now and forever, out on the bosom of the deep, with the infinite above, beneath, and about us? We feel secure enough indeed, thanks largely to the cheerful company, the dear faces, the duties and pieties of the day. Still, when at times we look over the edge of the boat, up starts a primitive terror which only faith can allay. Religion is a thing of the depths and for the depths. "Have mercy upon me, O Lord, my boat is so small, and Thine ocean is so great," — in that cry of the old Breton fisherman we have the profound instinct which lies at the heart of faith. Reason may serve us in shallow waters, but when life takes us beyond our depth, as it so often does, faith saves us. There will be companies of believing souls, so long as there are deep, unplumbed places in this life of ours.
But here I am a — preaching, as usual — from force of habit, no doubt. Yet there are worse things one could be guilty of. Moreover, I cannot help it. Last night I sat up on the upper deck of the ship near the prow, at midnight, long after others had gone to bed — except, of course, the guzzlers in the saloon. It was a clear cool night of stars, and the great sea lay spread out beneath. It was a still and holy hour in which the sea and the stars told me many things. Never did the great old words, "What is man, that Thou art mindful of him?" come home with such awful majesty of simple truth to subdue the heart and still it. And yet, never did I have a more vivid sense of the greatness and worth of the soul as in that solemn trysting time. Then the ship bell rang out the hour, the watchman above cried, "All's Well," and I went to my couch knowing that if I sank it would be not into the sea, but beyond it!
Thus and so our good ship of Brotherly Love sails on and on, out over the blue rim of the world. Again and again one turns away from the Human Comedy on board to the mighty Sea whose lonely waters drift and sing! How indifferent it is to our human doings and undoings, how deaf to our jabbering gossip, its white caps suggesting shining teeth showing in laughter at our vanities. It knows nothing of the greatness of Kitchener, and buries him as quickly as it does the poor stoker dropped into a vast and wandering grave. Merciful when we obey her, merciless when we disobey, she lulls us to sleep at night as if the ship were a cradle rocked by an unseen hand. I have fallen in love with the Sea. As long as I live its mighty waters will whisper to my heart of "that immortal sea which brought us hither," and will receive us to its bosom "when that which drew from out the boundless deep, turns again home." Whatever betide, it is enough to know that
"There is a wideness in God's mercy,
Like the wideness of the Sea."
At Sea, June 22.
THE EMPIRE OF FREEMASONRY
Bro. J. George Gibson, England
An Empire implies an Imperator; and it is evident that Freemasonry cannot be imperial even with the limitation of the widest and most free of all the Empires of the political world at its head. There was a time when we should have thought that Older which comprised among its membership representatives from every one of our British colonies must be sufficiently broad to satisfy all the demands of the imperial state. That time has long gone by. Freemasonry is no longer willing, or able, to accept the tutelage of even the greatest profane Empire, and cannot accept either the limitation which that tutelage implies. The Craft has discovered that it exists not on sufferance as an adjunct of social amelioration, but that it is as ancient as the oldest form of government, and has at least an equal empire with that of the mightiest of worldly political systems. The researches of the savants of Masonry, and the dreams of the more imaginative, have done a great deal to make it impossible for us to begin our history in the 17th or 18th centuries. We can no longer find the warrant for our landmark in the determination of the four London Lodes, or in the older custom and law of the older operative lodges. There may be a difference of opinion as he antiquity of the earth, and of the Masonic cult of ancient days; but it is evident to the most casual student that our authority is antecedent to even the erection of the pyramids of Egypt and elsewhere, and that we must base our imperial structure right back upon the foundations that are of most ancient readings of the Book of the Sacred Law. But whether we accept the theory of the experts of Masonic literature as to the Egyptian origin of human civilization, or date our authority from the comparatively recent Grand Lodges of Sinai and Jerusalem, in either case we find our prime authority in the command of the Creator, which moved holy men in divers ways, and at divers times to fix in labour the determination of the Divine. And every conception of the Masonic Empire must assume the Authority of the G. A. O. T. U., without which neither Masonry nor Empire can exist.
There have been of recent years many evident signs of a desire on the part of mankind, including both true Masons and those who are under the impression that they can be true Masons without recognizing the Supremacy of the Creator, to come nearer together in labour and in the manifestation of Masonic Brotherhood. With many of these overtures we are to some extent in sympathy, though not as Masons. We recognize and admire much that has been done, or attempted. by those even who are not in sympathy with our aims, and our position respecting the place in the Lodge of the symbol of the Divine throne. And nothing would please us more than to have the power and the authority to give the grip of fellowship to those in whose testimony against iniquity and slavery we have felt the keenest delight. We have even been at times tempted to wonder whether we have not been just a little too hasty in our assumption that the symbols are necessary to the recognition of the authority they represent. We have been at times also agreeably surprised to find the members of these quasi-masonic bodies (as some regard them) acting very much as we would act in similar circumstances. And yet we have always come to see that any derogation from the sole authority of the Creator means the inevitable sequel of the setting up of a host of denominational authorities which each claims to exercise rule upon the great Level, and each renders anything like harmonious labour a something out of the question. We are more and more convinced that the only possible Empire is that which has supreme as its warrant the Imperator. We need not go abroad to see this. We have many institutions of a beautiful and useful character, such as the Christian orders of chivalry to which so many Masons delight to belong. Introduce the ritual and the legend of one of these into the lodge of Craft Masonry, and disruption is certain. And when we remember that there are so many of the religions of the world that do not accord to that we most of us belong to that respect that we render to it, we can see at once that the imperial Masonry must, and can alone come, upon the basis of true Craft and Royal Arch Masonry.
Nor can this Empire come under the aegis of any nation, or race. Religions have shown that their influence is greatest when they do not follow the flag. A flag not our own excites suspicion of dynastic aims and that religion is the most successful in establishing itself which is not identified with any nation, but only with the Imperator in whose name the missionary goes forth. The authority must become effective through the human and not the national instrumentality.
Mankind is more than Nations are, And human trust than nation's power.
Cordial intents have not been born through the skill of the diplomat; but have become effective through the pervasive friendship of peoples, which diplomats have recognized and made use of. And the empire of Freemasonry must come by a similar pervasion. We do not attack the religions that recognize the authority of the LORD of the Sacred Name; but we pervade them with the spirit which finds access to every one of them. It is this spirit which creates the empire. There are religions which as such have little in common and yet which in the lodge find that all are aiming at the correct building of the temple, and all are depending upon the accuracy of the same plans. Where we cannot meet in comfort in church, we can delight in gathering at the Pool of Siloam. We cannot unite in the propagation of a doctrine of religion; but we meet upon the square in all the work of education and nation building that we devote our common labour to as Freemasons. The place for flag waving is not the lodge; for there we realize as perhaps nowhere else that the Masonic Empire must be the goal of a perfect national ideal, and that all nations, whether they know it or not are working toward the ideal of a common brotherhood. And we feel assured that there is no common brotherhood without its anterior Common Fatherhood. Already Freemasonry has made war less terrible, and less in evidence as the final arbiter of nations. Already things are of common occurrence in the campaign which testify that the world is coming to the view that in the builder's Lodge there are things of greater importance than the dialect of the Mason or the garments he wears. The babel of tongues no longer shuts out from the universal communion any of the sons of God. As we are told the first wandering of Mankind began with Man's disobedience to the Supreme Law, so the return of Man to his proper Oneness will come about when the obedience is restored.
Yet, while we must place the flag in its proper relationship to Masonry, we cannot but be pleased that there is such a tendency among those who do speak our language and are filled with our spirit to a closer reunion within the bounds of the world Empire of our race. The Masonic leaven must begin to work in the homes of those who were once of our own household. And Freemasonry can only become imperial by this leavening process. Already the old suspicions and animosities which had much of their origin in political feuds centuries ago are dying a natural death. There is expressed on both sides of the Atlantic a feeling that it is about time that our common Anglo-Saxon conception of Masonry should be presented in more similar forms. Now that there is no reason for the suspicion that territorial considerations are at the base of the desire for unanimity some round table conference might be sought without invidious suggestion; and this would pave the way to many acts of community that would eventuate in a better understanding, and a more intelligent appreciation of each other's Masonic ideals. And a common ideal held by those who hail from the North of Europe, would not be allowed to end there. At present there is a sharp line of cleavage which insensibly divides the Latin from the other races of European descent. There is no reason why this should continue to exist, and the common understanding of the Masons, and the Masonic bodies that are represented in our American Colonies and the great Republic beyond the Atlantic would prepare the way to such a rapprochement as might result in a world Masonry that would be in deed and in truth a real Empire.
Without for a moment abating one demand of pure Masonry, and indeed with a common accentuation of that upon which Masonry is based, it might be found possible to replace the travesty of Masonry so much in evidence in the South with the real thing. And could this be done then we should indeed be impregnable as an army of Peace, and of Progress. Later the ancient, but less known systems of the yellow and red races might have attention, with the effect that the separating suspicions which are so hindering in their influence upon the advance of the race would prove easier of solution. There is no field in which the beneficent influence of Freemasonry might find itself barred. All that is disruptive in the present social system, all that is wasteful in the present method of government, all that is generative of suspicion or hatred in the councils of men, and all that in any way would, or could, tend to hold back mankind from the common labour which would build the temple of Humanity, would prove still more easy to get rid of, and Man would be elevated to more than his pristine purity and usefulness. The imperial ideal of Freemasonry has robbed the "wireless" of much of its terrors; and the "airship bogie" would lose half its dangers did we realize in the language of a common Masonic experience how much better it is for brethren to dwell together in unity, in an Empire of Brotherhood.
* * *
THE BUILDER OCTOBER 1916
Bro. M. S. Hughes, California
Ye editor does not have time to read the Proceedings of all the Grand Lodges, but he wishes to call attention from time to time to matters in such as he does read. For example, the report of the Committee on Masonic Education in the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of California — with which this Society had somewhat to do, by way of suggestion — is worthy of study. Furthermore, we wish to express appreciation of the brilliant address on "A Triad of Masonic Ideals," by the Grand Orator, Brother M. S. Hughes. It is thoughtful, finely phrased, and straight to the point, as well as rich in striking epigrams. He discusses the ideals of Quality, of Knowledge, of Religion, and where there is so much that is good it is not easy to select. We content ourselves, for the present at least, with that part of the address touching upon the necessity of Masonic education, which is not only pertinent to the purposes of this Society, but interesting as disclosing the attitude of the leaders of the Craft in the Grand Jurisdiction of California.)
Our second Masonic ideal is that of knowledge. One of the ends of Masonry is light; and light is synonymous with intelligence. The man who travels the highway from West to the East is a seeker after light. The implication is that Masonry has an educational function, and that every Lodge ought to be a school of instruction with a curriculum covering the theory and practice of brotherhood. This educational function of Masonry ought to have in view both the individual member and the world at large.
It is a necessity if we are to have a Masonically intelligent membership. It goes without saying that no man ever grasped the full significance of the principles Masonry simply by receiving the degrees. In the first place, a great deal of our ritual work has come to us from the past. Much of it, therefore, needs translation because of terms that are obsolete, and interpretation because of forms that are archaic. In the next place, there is much that is symbolical; and symbols, such as those employed by Masonry, need more than the passing explanation given in two or three brief lectures. Again, the circumstances under which the degrees are received are not conducive to clearness and continuity of thought. And, finally, many Lodges are all too lax in conferring degrees without even the superficial preparation required by Masonic usage. These are some of the reasons why every Lodge should be a school of instruction on the subject of Masonic spirit and methods.
The results of our failure in this respect are manifest. The first outcome is what may be called Masonic illiteracy. It is not too much to say that there are a great many who have received our degrees who have no clear idea as to what a Mason actually is. If they were held up at the point of a gun some night with the demand: "A definition of a Mason, or your life!" they would be likely to turn up in heaven or some other place at breakfast time. The current notions about our Order sometimes remind one of the famous college definition of a lobster. A freshman was asked by the professor of natural history to define a lobster. He gravely replied that a lobster is a red fish that walks backward. The professor said it was a most excellent definition with some trifling exceptions. In the first place, a lobster is not a fish; in the second place, it is not red; and, in the third place, it does not walk backward. Otherwise, he said, the freshman had given a good definition.
Now, Masonry either stands for something definite, or it does not. If it does mean anything definite and distinctive, then every member of a Lodge should have clear ideas on the subject. That desirable end can only be accomplished by making every Lodge a school of instruction, and having intelligence, as one of our Masonic ideals, kept constantly in view. Even our fundamental principles need interpretation. It is a commonplace, for example, to say that Masonry means brotherhood. But at once a score of questions are suggested to the inquisitive mind: What kind of brotherhood? What is brotherhood? What does Masonic brotherhood imply? What are the obligations of Masonic brotherhood under specific circumstances? What is the relation of the brotherhood to those who do not belong? The intelligent Mason ought, at the very least, to be able to give answers to such elementary questions.
When we remember that the man who comes into Masonry takes up a life work, the necessity for the educational function of the Masonic Lodge appears even more imperative. Brotherhood is a profession, comprising both a science and an art; but who acquires a profession in the conferring of three degrees on three evenings, together with the memorizing of a few paragraphs of a ritual service, and the hearing of a few brief lectures? The man who takes up the profession of medicine these days must have a preparatory college course; must prosecute four years of strenuous study; must serve his time in hospital; and after all that it is considered that he is just ready to begin practice. The same thing is true of the other learned professions. But we expect to turn out qualified Masons after the manner of some of our get-rich-quick advertisements. The impossibility of such a thing is self-evident; the imperative demand for the persistent diffusion of Masonic intelligence among the members of the craft is no less apparent.
It is also to be emphasized that Freemasonry owes something in the way of the spreading of its principles to the world at large. Our teachings are not to be kept in cotton-wool, only to be brought out and exhibited within the secrecy of the lodge-room. There are certain things for which Masonry stands and there are certain things against which Masonry stands, and those things may well be known to mankind, both for the sake of Masonry and for the sake of the world. My earliest Masonic recollection goes back to the time when I was a little boy. There was a man in the small community accused of stealing turkeys. He was brought up for trial in a Masonic Lodge, found guilty and expelled. The action of the Lodge became known to the public, and the community understood that, whatever else the Order favored or opposed, it was against turkey stealing. That is the first thing I remember about the Masonic Order; and now that I have had a rather extensive and comprehensive acquaintance, it is my conviction that it was a very wholesome beginning.
We believe that our principles are of value to mankind, and that each fraternity is a prophecy of the coming time of universal brotherhood. There ought to be some point of influential contact between Masonry and the social order whereby the public might profit by a knowledge of what it is trying to do in the world. This work cannot be accomplished by one Grand Lecturer, whose hands are full by reason of the demands of the Order. It might be feasible for each Masonic jurisdiction to maintain a sort of university extension course — to have a number of really qualified lecturers, who could not only interpret the work to Masons in the lodgeroom, but who in addition, could elucidate the broad principles of human brotherhood to the great world outside.
This program of education is a necessity if Freemasonry is to avoid the risk of being left behind in the progress of the race. The meaning of such a statement may be illustrated by reference to one of the familiar bits of our history. One of the stock stories frequently heard at Masonic banquets, is the incident of the wounded Mason on the battlefield giving the hailing sign of distress and being rescued and cared for by one of the enemy who was a brother Mason. It is always recited as a triumph of Masonic sentiment and principle. But without minifying the value of such a manifestation of fraternity, it may be declared that the real triumph of Masonry will not be seen in the world until its influence is so felt and applied, that brother Masons will never be compelled, by personal ambition and arbitrary power, to face one another in deadly combat on the battlefield. And that end can only be attained by a persistent and prolonged process of general education on the basis of the principle of brotherhood. Freemasonry cannot be content simply with the rescue of an individual here and there from the horrors of actual warfare; it must strive by every means in its power to bring to humanity the lasting era of peace.
Our point may also be illustrated by a reference to our familiar work of charity. Freemasonry is philanthropic. No little time and thought are given in such gatherings as this to the work of relief and the sustaining of charitable institutions. Our fraternity responds to the cry of distress with open-handed generosity; but the giving of alms is only the kindergarten course in human relief. The Good Samaritan was faithful to his immediate duty when he took care of the unfortunate victim of thieves on the Jericho road. It has been suggested, however, that the modern Samaritan has been extending his work of travelers' aid. He has been inquiring about the antecedents of the thieves and seeking to know why the boys in Jerusalem and Jericho are growing up as criminals; he has been wanting to know why the authorities do not give protection to those whose business calls them to and fro between the two cities. He is no longer content simply to exercise humane offices in behalf of the individual who has become the victim of preying criminals and negligent authorities.
Thus, in the nature of things, we must add to our work of relief, some inquiry into the reasons why appeals for help are being made from time to time. And if it is discovered that many of these burdens have been thrown upon Masonry by reason of wrong and oppression in the social order, then Masonry must do its part in the righting of the wrongs and in the prevention of such injustice. It is childish to imagine that a great order will always be content to care for specific cases of want, without inquiring as to the causes of the want it is called upon to relieve. These things, certainly practical and pressing in character, simply serve to show that we must give new attention to the Masonic deal of knowledge.
* * *
LIGHT ON THE HILLS
Forget thy sorrow, heart of mine;
Though shadows fall and fades the leaf
Somewhere is joy, though 'tis not thine;
The power that sent can heal thy grief:
And light lies on the farther hills.
Thou wouldst not with the world be one
If ne'er thou knowest hurt and wrong;
Take comfort, though the darkened sun
Never again bring gleam or song —
And light lies on the farther hills.
— Richard Watson Gilder.
MEXICAN MASONRY, ANOTHER SIDE
Bro. Eber Cole Byam, Illinois
I HAVE read with interest the article on Masonry by Brother John Lewin McLeish, published in the June issue ofThe Builder, and heartily agree with his abhorrence of needless bloodshed. I have read, with him, the excerpt from the writings of Albert Pike, and again agree with him — as I assume he agrees with Pike — that "wars, like thunderstorms, are necessary to purify the stagnant atmosphere;" and again, that "a war for a great principle ennobles a nation." But did anyone ever hear of any people ever going to war except to assert "a great principle?" Are not each and every one of the powers now at war fighting for that greatest of all principles — "national existence?" Even the United States Government, when persuaded to attack Vera Cruz, in order to deprive Huerta of his source of revenue, pleaded a point of honor," and urged the flimsy pretext of demanding "a salute to the flag," whereas, as a matter of fact, the greatest dishonor to that flag was the abandonment to possible massacre of helpless men, women and children. I refer to the withdrawal of the American warships from Tampico. Had it not been for the energy and determination of the German commander in rescuing from the infuriated mob those American citizens, who had been abandoned by their government, a horrible massacre would have been recorded.
Bro. McLeish refers to the article in the New Age for August, 1915, written by "a high Mexican Masonic brother." Does Bro. McLeish vouch for this "Brother?" I think not. So far as I am informed, the particular brand of Masonry that this "Brother" represents is "clandestine," and, therefore, not recognized by "regular Masons," and for very good and sufficient reasons, of which Bro. McLeish is perfectly aware.
Latin American Masonry is atheistic, revolutionary and contentious, and in Mexico it has become anarchistic and murderous. Whatever moral lessons — if any — are inculcated in its "lodges," they are certainly forgotten entirely when outside of them.
Bro. McLeish omits to mention the name of the "high Mexican Masonic Brother," — very likely because that name means nothing to him, but it might help in the illumination of events, past, present and to come, if ; this "brother's" name were known.
In championing the cause of the Mexican Revolution, Bro. McLeish is actuated by the most exalted motives of human sympathy and unquestionably is convinced that what "Bro." Jose Castellot says is gospel truth inspired by motives as equally sincere. As for Senior Castellot himself, I can only say to him that I have lived years in Mexico; I speak the language; I have the honor of knowing some of those who have served Mexico faithfully and well, and I have read a part — at least — of its long stormy history. But about Senior Castellot and his article I would like to remind Bro. McLeish that a close reading of it will disclose the fact that while it has a wealth of charges it is poor indeed in citations of fact. Unfortunately, these charges all agree with what Bro. McLeish and I were taught to expect and to accept as true. They agree with our inherited prejudices — prejudices that have persisted in spite the teachings of our lofty Masonic ideals of Truth, Charity and Toleration. These inherited prejudices of ours go back to the days of the Spanish Armada and the Reformation. We remember only the disagreeable events of the reign of "Bloody Mary," and only the agreeable events of that of the "Virgin Queen." The histories we studied are conveniently apologetic and frankly laudative about "Good Queen Bess," while they spare no censure for Mary. They fail to make prominent the fact that in that day, religion being a state affair, the state considered abandonment of the state religion as treason to the state. We have taken certain things for granted; have assumed them to be axiomatic, and in that assumption have measured evenly statement by that rule. If the statements agree with our preconceived opinions, well and good; if not, we give them no credence.
We are prepared to credit any story coming out of Mexico which charges oppression of the poor by the Church and the well-to-do; that the lands of the poor were taken from them by the Church which sought to keep them in ignorance that there might be no protest; that the Church was gorged with wealth and that Mexico was "priest-ridden."
Even if all these charges were true, would it merit the endorsement by American Masons of the horrible outrages which Senor Castellot condemns in one breath and condones in another? But are these charges true? What evidence has been produced to prove them? They have been repeated again and again by innumerable travellers and writers who deal in generalities but avoid particulars. But where is the evidence, where are the facts to prove them justified?
Masonry teaches us to be just and fair. Is it fair, then, to accept heal say evidence such as this — to accept the word of those who, obviously, are prejudiced witnesses?
In Mexico the Spanish conquerors found a people possessing a civilization not greatly different from that of our Southwestern Indians. But there was this difference — they were cannibals, and cannibals of a most horrible kind. This does not agree with Prescott, but it agrees with the facts. The early conquerors made slaves of some of these natives, but when they were all freed the number was found to be 151,000 men. This freedom was by older of the Pope and the Spanish Government. Pope Paul III decreed in a Bull issued June 17th, 1537, that the natives were by right free and with full right to own property, and that under no circumstances were they to be deprived of their liberties or their properties, nor in any manner to be made slaves. The Christian missionaries were active, not only in preaching the Gospel and baptizing the natives, but were particularly zealous in protecting them from the white immigrants. The Spanish Government, at the earnest solicitation of the Churchmen, (Las Casas and others), decreed a series of laws which have been declared by those who have studied them the most enlightened laws ever enacted for the government and protection of a primitive people. Under these laws the Indians of Mexico really prospered until the War of Independence. They were confirmed in the possession of their communal lands and were permitted practically to govern themselves. They were exempt from all tithes and taxes of every kind except a payment of $1.25 per year per man. The Attorney General was their official protector, and in court actions they paid no attorney's fees nor court costs.
That the Church made an honest effort to educate them is proven by the long list of educational institutions founded for their benefit. As a matter of fact, Mexico, in colonial days, was noted for its educational institutions. Of course, the Church was in charge of most of these, but that should be to its credit. The only reason there were no more was because the Church lacked the numbers and funds for the purpose.
A careful examination of the records will show that the Church establishment in Mexico has provided spiritual services with a far less proportionate number of clergy, and for a minute fraction of the sum per capita, than is done in the United States today. The monks and nuns were mostly engaged in educational work and the great monasteries and convents were in reality schools and colleges.
One writer, in a burst of enthusiasm to prove the riches of the nuns, tells of the income derived from all their properties and invested funds. This great sum divided among the 1847 nuns in Mexico gave $1.14 per day each, and this did not count the servants and the students who were more numerous than the nuns, and had to be supported from the same fund.
Another item overlooked is that all the Church schools were free. Before 1857 the schools in Mexico were mostly under the management of the Church, and the curriculum was as advanced as in any other schools of the same period. The Laws of Reform closed all these schools and prohibited the clergy from teaching, and ordered the monks and nuns out of the country, and confiscated their properties. The much exaggerated riches of the Church were in reality the endowments devoted to the maintenance of universities, colleges, academies, schools, orphanages, hospitals, and other benevolent purposes. The Government confiscated these funds and let the institutions go hang. Because the Churchmen protested against these outrages they were accused of "meddling in politics." Suppose some political party were to attempt to confiscate all the Masonic funds and properties, — would Masons submit without vigorous protest? Hardly! The Church in Mexico was stripped and had the melancholy satisfaction of witnessing the chagrin and rage of the strippers because the booty was so much below their calculations.
The Laws of Reform were not aimed at securing freedom of worship, but at the spoilation of the Catholic Church. Some justification was, of course, necessary even to themselves for such an act, and so we have had repeated to us a multitude of charges which, upon impartial investigation, are found without proof. Even under the Spanish Crown the Church had no such freedom of action as is permitted any church in the United States today. The records will show that the Church revenues were the reverse of what we have been led to believe, and of this revenue two-ninths was paid to the Spanish Crown as a tax; not to mention the appropriation of endowment funds which were never repaid.
The Laws of Reform denied clergymen the right to dress in any way indicative of their calling; denied the Church the right to own or administer property; to receive bequests or endowments for any purpose; denied it the right to operate schools and its clergy to teach in any manner except theology. The Government took possession of everything, including the churches with their contents, and all that was permitted the priests was to conduct religious services in them, but they could receive no support by trust funds nor from revenues of any property. In other words, they were limited to the free-will offering which might be tendered at the time of the service rendered. How would the American churches like to be restricted in this manner?
Of course, if Masons are ready to admit that they are seeking to destroy the Catholic Church, — wipe it out of existence, — then I have nothing to say; but I am persuaded that this is farthest from their thoughts, and that they are as ready to condemn such unjust restrictions and confiscations against the Catholic Church as they would be to condemn any such like acts against the Methodist, or Baptist or Presbyterian Church. I am persuaded that American Masons wish to be just and fair to everybody — even to those who are frankly opposed to them. The Catholic Church is frankly opposed to Masonry, and bases its opposition on the ground that Masonry is a church, a religion, the same as the Methodist or the Baptist Church, or any one of the other ninety odd different varieties. Some Masons even are under this impression, which is altogether erroneous, as all thoughtful Masons will agree. Masonry is no more a Church than the Oddfellows, or the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. But American Masonry does teach those virtues which the Latin branch of the craft seems pre-eminently to lack, — along with a proper perspective, knowledge of their own history and a sense of humor.
American Masons had best inquire closely into the antecedents of Mexican revolutions, and their leaders, before extending any sympathy which later may prove embarrassing.
Since the War of Mexican Independence, a militant minority — composed largely of socialistic "reformers," directing a collection of baser elements engaged in the enterprise for purposes of pillage — has dominated the majority. This has been made possible because of the heterogeneous elements in the Mexican population, which is composed of some fifty different Indian tribes, speaking as many different languages and preserving many of their pre-Columbian antagonisms. These are uniformly ignorant, not because of any lack of opportunity but because of a congenital conservatism which avoids everything new. Between the educated white elements and the Indians are the mixed bloods, inheriting sometimes good and sometimes bad. The presence of so many primitive characteristics, — so many that are in reality of the cave men and the Stone Age, has given Mexico a high percentage of mental defectives and criminals of the lower order. In addition to this, the student class has furnished a number of recruits to the socialist ranks, and the Latin socialist is a 'direct-actionist," impatient to destroy all of our present civilization in order to remake it to his own liking. It is from such elements as these that we have the present revolution. Even the "sainted Madero," well intentioned as he was, recruited his forces from the jails and the cattle rustlers, such as Villa and others like him. Madero's successors have not improved either in motives or in material. The result is that we have today in Mexico a condition just exactly such as might be expected from the teachings of Debs, Heywood, Mother Jones and Emma Goldman. And Senor Castellot is another of like kidney. Do American Masons vouch for this? I think not.
I am not in accord with the philosophy of the Catholic Church, neither do I subscribe to that of the Church of England, nor the Methodist Church, nor the Baptist Church, nor to any other church. But I do believe that each church has a right to existence, to carry on its work amongst its followers, and to enjoy individually the same freedom accorded to all the rest. An attack upon any one of the churches will lead inevitably to attacks upon all the others. Whichever happens to be the largest becomes the object of attack; he field unites against it. Nor do these attacks stop at the churches; they inevitably spread to all other property interests, for, fundamentally, they are inspired by envy and cupidity. Hence, it has been in Mexico that the attacks upon the Church have been directed to its spoilation and from that they have turned upon all owners of property with the purpose of destroying the very foundations of society. Not content with destroying the Church and driving the clergy from the country, they have turned their "reforming" attentions to the land owners, the shop owners and all employers of labor. These they have murdered or driven from the country, and have closed or destroyed the industrial establishments. The laboring classes for whom they were so solicitous are now without employment and are starving. The same revolutionary elements which have destroyed all semblance of law and government in Mexico and made of it a shambles, are actively at work in the United States, seeking to destroy our present industrial and social civilization. For the details of their intentions and desires I refer those interested to the literature published by the Industrial Workers of the World; for the Mexican Revolution is an I. W. W. Revolution.
I am confident that Masons unreservedly and heartily will condemn this Mexican revolution when its real inspiration, its real motives and its real results are made known to them.
* * *
MASONIC SIGNERS OF THE DECLARATION
Peyton Randolph, president of the first Continental Congress, in 1774, was Provincial Grand Master of Virginia; but he died and was succeeded by John Hancock.
John Hancock was raised in Merchants' Lodge; Quebec, in 1760, and affiliated with St. Andrew's, Boston, in 1763.
Josiah Bartlett, Grand Master of Massachusetts.
Wm. Whipple, Library Masonic History, vol. IV.
Matthew Thornton, same.
Samuel Adams, member of St. John's Lodge, Bos
John Adams, same. See Proceedings of Massachusetts G. L., 1733-92.
Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry, Roger Sherman, Oliver Wolcott, Philip Livingstone, Franz Lewis, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush., Library Masonic History, vol. IV.
Benjamin Franklin, Great Master of St. John's Lodge, Boston.
George Ross and Richard Henry Lee, Library Masonic History, IV.
Thomas Jefferson, on rolls of Lodge of Nine Muses in Paris.
Thomas Nelson Jr., Benjamin Harrison, Francis Lightfoot Lee, and Wm. Hopper, Grand Lodge Proceedings of Virginia, 1788-1822.
* * *
THE HOUSE OF LIFE
Strange the world around me lies,
Never yet familiar grown,
Still disturbs me with surprise,
Haunts me, like a face unknown.
In this house with starry dome,
Floor'd with gemlike plains and seas,
Shall I never feel at home,
Never wholly be at ease?
On from room to room I stray,
Yet my Host can ne'er espy,
And I know not to this day
Whether guest or captive I.
— William Watson.
MARQUIS DE LAFAYETTE
MUCH was said during the early days of the world‑war now raging as to the attitude of our Republic in the crisis; and opinions differed regarding our debt to France as compared with that to Germany, for aid given during our War of the Revolution. Both of those countries sent assistance of various kinds. Whatever the degree of obligation, it is the simple fact that of all the men who came over to aid the colonists in their struggle, the name of Lafayette has come down to us with a peculiar lustre. Questions have been raised as to the motives, high or low, disinterested or selfish, which led these men into the war. Bearing upon this question, in respect of Lafayette, it is interesting to read what is said about him in "The Household of the Lafayettes," by Edith Sichel, as follows:
"One night, in 1776, the Marshal de Broglie was giving a dinner party in honor of the Duke of Gloucester. This light-hearted brother of George III regaled the company with accounts of the American revolt, and especially of the affair of the tea in Boston Harbor. His sympathy was with the rebels, and he dwelt on their need of recruits. The guests were men of high rank, and gorgeous uniforms were much in evidence. Almost unnoticed among them sat a young man of nineteen, silent, solemn, absorbed in listening; he was thin, red‑haired, hook‑nosed, and awkward. After the dinner was over, he strode across the hall to the Duke of Gloucester, outwardly calm, but repressing deep emotion. "I will join those Americans," he cried. "I will help them fight for freedom. Tell me how to set about it." He was the Marquis de Lafayette, not long married; and it has been said of him that his whole life was ruled by two passions — love for his wife, and love of freedom."
Ninety‑two years ago New York City witnessed the most enthusiastic celebration of the birthday of Lafayette in the history of our Republic. Lafayette himself was present, on his final and memorable visit to the country whose struggle for independence he so nobly aided. Instead of thirteen weak colonies he found twenty‑four prosperous States. His journey through the States was an ovation of patriotic gratitude and pride, and he returned ladened with all the honors which a nation can bestow. On May 20th, 1834, he died in Paris in his seventy‑seventh year — a gracious gentleman, a knightly soldier, an honored and beloved member of the Masonic fraternity.
* * *
THE WORKS OF PIKE
At last we are to have, what many of our readers have no doubt long desired, a carefully edited set of the works of Albert Pike, one volume of which is to be a biography by his daughter, Lilian Pike Roome. It runs to six volumes, the first two of which will be ready shortly, and exhibits the many‑sided interest and activity of a myriad‑minded man who was explorer, hunter, teacher, soldier, poet, scholar, jurist, orator, philologist, philosopher, and a master genius of Masonry. Lyrics and Love Songs fill the first volume, followed by the Hymns to the Gods and other Poems — some of them never before published; while the third volume is the story of his life, told with painstaking accuracy and wealth of detail; revealing a rich and fruitful career touching all the elements of romance, adventure and achievement, from the wild Indian tribes in the Southwest to the high altar of the House of the Temple. A volume of Recollections will include his travel sketches and short stories, another is made up of Letters, and Addresses on various occasions — Masonic, academic and legal — and a final volume of selections from his Masonic Allocutions and other writings in exposition or defense of the Craft.
For years ye editor has had it in mind to write a Life and Study of Albert Pike, but has delayed doing so at the request of his daughter, who wished her biography of her father to be the first in the field. So, and naturally so, there has been a revision of our plan, limiting our study to the Masonic labors of Pike, which his daughter, with all her filial piety and devotion, could hardly interpret. There is need for such a book, just as is a sore need for a new edition of "Morals and Dogma," which is little more than a compilation, and which ought to be revised, re-edited, re-arranged, many parts of it recast, if not rewritten, in behalf of clarity and simplicity — as, for example, the brief exposition of the Doctrine of the Balance in our last issue. It is a vast mountain of ore, with many a nugget of gem-like truth sparkling in the sunlight, but it needs to be worked and its treasures recast in the molds of today and interpreted to the young men entering the Order. As it is, few Masons read Morals and Dogma through, and fewer still understand it, when, in fact, its teaching is very simple when clarified and made vivid.
Masons everywhere, and many who are not members of the Order, will welcome the Works of Pike, and the story of his life will recall to this generation the memory of a truly great American, who has not received the honor to which he is entitled; a man imperious by nature, but gracious withal and lovable; a stately, grave and noble genius devoted to the highest things — a poet to whom the world was a song, a Mason to whom the world was a temple of the Eternal Beauty, Wisdom, and Love. (1)
* * *
Most heartily and earnestly we commend the Open Letter to Our Members, by Brother R.I. Clegg, in the September issue, inviting a closer fellowship and cooperation in the study of Masonry. The spirit of the letter is as admirable as its plan is practical, and we bespeak for it the careful attention of our Members, the more so because it involves the welfare of the Society which has no other aim but to spread light and to promote a finer, closer fellowship among Masons. The response so far to the Open Letter is most encouraging, and we feel that the Society is now at the beginning, in a tangible way, of what is perhaps the most important part of the work which it was founded to do. Its organization, its journal, its activity were all intended with this purpose in view; and we believe that it will yet work out as it was planned, albeit at no little cost of labor and sacrifice, and that it will mark the opening of a new era in American Masonry. The fact that Brother Clegg, who is one of the ablest Masonic students among us, has undertaken to lead in the development of the Study Club program, means much, uniting as he does sincere Masonic interest with practical acumen. No man could be better fitted for such a labor, and we are sure that the end of another season will find the work well along its way toward the ideal set up to be hit. Space permits us only to add our earnest Amen to the plan, and to promise our aid in promoting it to the utmost.
* * *
We are deeply grateful to Brother Clegg for his labor in editing the September issue ofThe Builder, while we were away on the other side of the sea. It was a gracious and brotherly service, alike in the spirit and manner in which it was done. Our only fear is that our own work will seem flat, tame and amateurish by contrast.
* * *
The sermons preached by ye editor in the City Temple, London, during the month of July, are to be published in a little volume by Revell & Co., New York — the volume taking its title from the first sermon, "An Ambassador." Should any reader ofThe Builderventure to read the book, we can only hope that the punishment will not be held to exceed that prescribed in the by-laws of the Society.
* * *
(1)Works of Albert Pike, edited by Lilian Pike Roome. Published by Allsopp & Chapple, Little Rock, Ark. 12 mo., 300 pages to Vol., Illustrated, $1.50 each; half Mor., $2.50. First two vols ready Sept. 1st, 1916; other vols. three months apart.
* * *
Blessed is he who is charitable, for he shall inherit Eternal Life.
Blessed is he who overlooks the faults of others, for he shall enjoy Divine Beatitude.
Blessed is he who associates with all with joy and fragrance, for he has obeyed the commands of Baha Ullah.
Blessed is he who is kind to his enemies, for he has walked in the footsteps of Christ.
Blessed is he who proclaims the doctrine of Spiritual Brotherhood, for he shall be the Child of Light.
Blessed is he whose heart is tender and compassionate, for he will throw stones at no one.
Words of Abdul Baha.
* * *
THE THINGS I MISS
An easy thing, O Power Divine,
To thank thee for these gifts of thine!
For summer's sunshine, winter's snow,
For hearts that kindle, thoughts that glow.
But when shall I attain to this —
To thank thee for the things I miss?
For all young Fancy's early gleams,
The dreamed — of joys that still are dreams,
Hopes unfulfilled, and pleasures known
Through others' fortunes, not my own,
And blessings seen that are not given,
And never will be, this side heaven.
Had I too shared the joys I see,
Would there have been a heaven for me?
Could I have felt thy presence near
Had I possessed what I held dear?
My deepest fortune, highest bliss,
Have grown perchance from things I miss.
Sometimes there comes an hour of calm;
Grief turns to blessing, pain to balm;
A power that works above my will
Still leads me onward, upward still;
And then my heart attains to this, —
To thank thee for the things I miss.
— Thomas Wentworth Higginson.
* * *
Out from the heart of nature rolled
The burdens of the Bible old;
The litanies of nations came,
Like the volcano's tongue of flame,
Up from the burning core below, —
The canticles of love and woe.
The word unto the prophet spoken
Was writ on tables yet unbroken;
The word by seers or sybils told,
In groves of oak, or fanes of gold,
Still floats upon the morning wind,
Still whispers to the willing mind
One accent of the Holy Ghost
The heedless world hath never lost.
— R. W. Emerson.
* * *
PATRIOT AND PARTISAN
A patriot is a man who regards the enemies of his country as his personal enemies: a partisan is a man who regards his personal enemies as the enemies of his country. — Henry Clay.
* * *
THE HIDDEN CHURCH
Beyond all wealth, honor, or even health is the attachment we form to all noble souls, because to become one with the good, generous and true, is to become, in a measure, good, generous and true. — Thomas Arnold.
* * *
ALAS! there is a vacant chair in the Library. While ye Scribe was on the other side of the sea, one of his best beloved poets passed quietly away to where, beyond these voices, there is peace. He was a gracious, kindly, wise and brotherly man, a great uninitiated Mason,and though the singer has vanished, his songs still sing. We venture to reproduce a little tribute written some months ago, while he was still with us, concerning which he wrote us a very kind note. It speaks for itself:
No man among us has ever received less of critical estimate, as a poet, than Whitcomb Riley. People would only get mad and sit back and call names if any one attempted to study him in that manner. They do not care to analyze his genius, or to set him in order among other singers. They just love him — because he is a man made to be loved. They love him as a friend as one who knows them and the life they live, and who has "figgered out" a simple and hopeful way of living it; and they hold that he is a man altogether worthy of being loved.
Riley was born at Greenfield, Indiana, in 1854, the son of Ruben Riley, a lawyer of that town — a blue-eyed, tow-haired, happy-hearted boy who saw pictures in the pastures, and heard melodies in the rustle of the wind in the corn. He began to study law in his father's office, and got along very well in winter time, but reading Blackstone "knee-deep in June" was impossible. So, when a patent-medicine man drifted into town needing a boy to beat the drum, Riley enlisted. Autumn found him far from home, stranded, and he had to paint signs to work his way back. This is what his biographers mean when they speak of him as "a traveling actor in his youth."
After that, he became local editor of the Anderson Democrat, his duty being to record the fact that John Jones had gone to Kokomo, and that Mrs. Jeremiah Snodgrass, of Greencastle, was visiting in town. But soon he began to mix odd prankish bits of verse with his items and his paper was more sought after than a comic almanac. All the while he was writing verses and sending them to the magazines, and always they were returned, until he decided that no poem not even Paradise Lost, signed J. W. Riley, would ever be published. Howbeit, he sent a poem called "The Old Swimmin' Hole" to the Indianapolis Journal, and it was printed. But he signed it "Ben F. Johnson, of Boone," and when the editor went to hunt Johnson he found Riley.
Grace, charm and melody are the obvious traits of Riley as a poet. But not one of these gifts, nor all of them together, can account for his hold upon us. No, people love Riley because of his pictures of our common human life, with its joys and sorrows, its blend of humor and pathos — life seen, for the most part, as a mirage through the prism of memory. He is the singer of the days of long ago, when life was new and wonderful, and whence our eyes are so often turned back pensively, knowing that those days come not back. He has, at times, the dramatic touch, as in "Good-bye, Jim," and the quick surprise of tears, as in "Nothin' to Say," mingled with the homely, wholesome philosophy of his dialect pieces.
Riley is as truly American as Mark Twain. Poe might just as well have done his work in Bagdad, for all the influence that his native land had upon his poetry. Our Yankee singers seemed to have been derived from England. Whitman, to be sure, sought to interpret the vague, vast, abundant spirit of America, but he did not often attain to poetic form. But in mental habit, in gesture of soul, in temper, spirit and feeling Riley is always American. He sings of simple things, of human life, of joys and sorrows and beauties that remain whatever kings and empires may be doing or undoing. God Be thanked for a poet of common sense and every-day life, for a singer in whom "thought grew tired of wandering over the world and home-bound fancy ran her bark ashore."
Riley has never married, but he has made his peace with the women through the children. Such poems as "The Bear story," and "Who Santa Claus Wuz," and "Out at Old Aunt Mary's" — not to name "The Little White Hearse" — show that he is a citizen of Never, Never Land. Yet he is a poet who writes about children, not a children's poet — like Eugene Field.
His song is of childhood as we who are older remember it, not as the child knows and sees it. That is why we who have not let the boy and girl die in us love him, for that he reminds us of those fair, lost days which we never wholly forget, and never wholly remember, when life was stainless and free from cares that fret and sins that defile.
That is Riley, God bless him! He knows that the Goddess of Beauty still holds her court in the dell where the fire-flies bestar her leafy firmament. Still for him the dew is on the clover and the drone of busy bees makes melody among the flowers. Now as of yore, for him, good fairies, crowned with silveriest moonlight, perch upon the window-sill and sing chuckling songs to good children, and fire-eyed, gratchy-fingered goblins will get the bad ones "ef you don't watch out." The rose has still her hinted secret for the curious breeze, and down by the old swimming hole of youth
"The dragon — fly in light
Gauzy armor, burnished bright,
Comes a — tilting down the water
In a wild bewildered flight."
And in the autumn-time, "when the frost is on the pumpkin and the fodder's in the shock" the cobwebs carpet the November lowlands with a glittering weft of beauty, finer by far than ever a Fairy wove on her airy loom. Blessed is the man who can see these things, and who by his art can make us look, listen, and remember.
And now that he belongs to a time that is gone and to the people who are no longer with us here — gone to join the Great White Lodge — there come to mind those lines in which he was wont to say good-bye when death robbed him of his friends; the familiar and simple lines beginning,
"I cannot say, and I will not say
That he is dead. — He is just away."
* * *
THE EASTERN STAR
Baring-Gould wrote learnedly of the myths of the Middle Ages, but the myths of Masonry still await the touch of a master hand. They are many and various, one of them being that Adoptive Masonry was introduced into this country in 1780, Washington and Lafayette constituting the first chapter. Adoptive Masonry — or more accurately Androgynous Masonry, from two Greek words signifying Man and Woman, was established in France as early as 1730; and an edition of the French ritual was printed in Philadelphia in 1768. Albert Pike made an English translation of it about 1874, revised and amplified, but efforts to establish lodges proved futile. Faint traces of something like the Eastern Star are reported in Boston in 1798, if we may judge from a poem published in the Columbian Centinel of that date; and even earlier in a pamphlet entitled "The Thesauros of the Ancient and Honorable Order of the Eastern Star," 1793 — this, however, is of doubtful authenticity, too uncertain to be trusted.
Robert Morris, of Kentucky, claimed to have originated the Order of the Eastern Star, and affirmed that "no one can show any proofs of its existence prior to 1849." Whereas the fact seems to have been that he received the degree of the Eastern Star at that time at the hands of Giles M. Hillyer, of Vicksburg, Miss. Nor is there apparently any record of where Hillyer got the rite. Morris took the rite in a crude form, elaborated and embellished it — much as Pike did the Scottish Rite — and started it toward organization; whereof we may read in his "Lights and Shadows of Masonry." Certainly, as it now exists, he builded better than he knew, and the Order is his monument. All of which is duly set forth in authentic form in "The History of the Order of the Eastern Star," by W. D. Engle, an able and admirable book, tracing the growth of the Order, its Grand bodies, its rituals, its objects and landmarks, its various Grand Chapters, and its home and charity work. This volume may be had by addressing the author, Masonic Temple, Indianapolis, Ind., $2.50.
* * *
The second volume of the Transactions of the Author's Lodge, of London, is expected to appear this month, and is a book to which Masonic students will look forward. We had the pleasure of meeting its editor, Brother Albert F. Calvert, while in England, and it is a joy to announce that our readers are to have the opportunity of meeting him in these pages in the not distant future.
* * *
Another forthcoming book, which will be awaited with interest, is the work of Brother Dr. Hammond, Librarian of the Grand Lodge of England, and will be descriptive of the treasures of the Library over which he presides. It will be finely illustrated, as we can testify after looking over the plates, and besides the account of the Library it will contain an introductory essay by Brother Hammond on the origin and development of the Craft. Brother Hammond will also be among our contributors not many months hence, in celebration of the bi-centennial of the Mother Grand Lodge.
* * *
Most heartily and earnestly we join in the request that Brother A. S. MacBride, of the Lodge of Progress, Glasgow, publish another volume of his Masonic studies. Surely his volume of lectures, entitled "Speculative Masonry," is one of the best Masonic books ever written, and we sincerely hope that it may be only one of many from the same pen. One of the happiest days of our journey abroad was a visit to Glasgow, and the reception given us by the Lodge of Progress, of which Brother MacBride is the honored and beloved leader. Concerning this famous Lodge and its distinguished leader we shall have much to say shortly, in the travel sketches we have it in mind to record.
* * *
Years ago Brother George Fleming Moore remarked that the true history of the Scottish Rite has never been written, and that is the fact. Rumor has reached us of a History of the Rite now being written, and we devoutly hope and believe that this is the book we have been waiting for. While we are not yet permitted to announce the name of the author, we are sure that it will be a thorough and careful piece of work and will do much to clear the air of fog and set forth the facts in a true light.
* * *
Was Jesus an Essene?, by Dudley Wright. Unity Publishing Society, Kansas City, Mo. 25 cents net.
The Adventure of Death, by R. W. Mackenna. John Murray, London. $1.00.
Hinduism, The World Ideal, by H. Maitra. Palmer & Haywood, London. 75 cents.
Ancient India, by H. Oldenberg. Open Court Pub. Co., Chicago. 25 cents.
Abraham Lincoln, by Lord Charnwood. Constable & Co., London. $1.50
The Cultivated Man, by C. W. Eliot. Houghton Mifflin Co. 50 cents.
* * *
ARTICLES OF INTEREST
Freemasonry in the Bible, by L. Bosman.The Channel.
The Eternities of Masonry, by A. B. Beresford.American Freemason.
Masonry in Politics, by J. E. Morcomb.American Freemason.
Early Records of Modern Templar Masonry, J. L. Carson.Tyler-Keystone.
Christian Mysteries, by J. L. Davidge.South Australian Freemason.
Cuban Freemasonry, by F. de P. Rodriguez.Bulletin Iowa Masonic Library.
Masonic Research in Iowa, Interview with Ye Editor.London Freemason.
Labor Ideals of Masons, by J. G. Gibson.London Freemason.
The Widow's Son, by F. C. Higgins.Masonic Standard.
The Lion in Freemasonry, by F. C. Higgins.Masonic Standard.
Dramatic History of French Masonry, by J. F. Renou.Masonic Standard.
The Blue and the Gray, by Ye Editor.Masonic Home Journal.
Masonic Toasts and Table Lodges, by J. L. Carson.Virginia Masonic Journal.
The Word Blue in the First Three Degrees, by R. E. L. Hall.The New Age.
* * *
THE PERFECT PRAYER
Dear Lord! Kind Lord!
Gracious Lord! I pray
Thou wilt look on all I love
Weed their hearts of weariness;
Scatter every care
Down a wake of angel wings
Winnowing the air.
Bring unto the sorrowing
All release from pain;
Let the life of laughter
And with all the needy
O divide, I pray,
This vast treasure of content
That is mine today!
— James Whitcomb Riley
* * *
THE QUESTION BOX
WESLEY AND MASONRY
A Brother asks if we were correct in saying some time ago, in answer to a question, that Wesley, the founder of Methodism, was not a Mason. Yes; there was a John Wesley initiated into Masonry during the lifetime of the evangelist, but not the evangelist himself — albeit the great preacher sometimes held services in a Freemason's Hall, as we learn from his Journal. Our Brother will find the facts thoroughly sifted and examined in an essay by the late Brother Crawley, in the Transaction of the Coronati Lodge, (vol. 15). If our Brother does not have access to those volumes, we shall be glad to give a more detailed account of the matter.
Some months ago you said that there were intimations in Shakespeare to the effect that he knew something of Masonry. Please give some examples.
— J. H. L.
The Duke in Measure for Measure speaks of himself as "a brother of a gracious Order," which may or may not mean the Masonic order. Boindello, in the Taming of the Shrew, addresses old Vincentio as "Worshipful Master." The Archbishop in Henry V. refers to "the singing masons." A servant in Winter's Tale speaks of "working on the square." Mrs. Quickly in Merry Wives refers to "the chairs of the Order." Herbert, in King John, uses these words, which are surely significant:
"They whisper one another in the ear,
And he that speaks doth grip the hearer's wrist."
For further examples, together with an argument trying to prove that Shakespeare himself was a Mason, see "Shakespeare a Freemason," by J. C. Parkinson, pp. 52-63.
* * *
KITCHENER AS FREEMASON
In looking through theGlasgow Weekly Herald, of June 24th, I ran across the following statement which may be of interest to Members of the Society: "In all the Kitchener memoirs published recently no mention seems to have been made of his Masonic connections. Yet he has held some of the highest offices in the Craft. Strangely enough, there are few English Masons who can give you the name of his mother Lodge. As a matter of fact, Kitchener was initiated into the Order in Egypt, and there is in existence a photograph of him wearing Masonic regalia." Very truly yours, A. W. Hoy, Iowa.
* * *
ACTUAL PAST MASTERS
I have asked you twice for information of any kind about the Actual Past Master's Degree. Have you neglected it, or is every one else as ignorant on the subject as I am?
— T. W. S.
Actual Past Masters are those who receive the degree of Past Master in symbolic Lodges, as a part of the installation service — after the manner of the Installed Master's rite in England — when elected to preside, and are called Actual Past Masters to distinguish them from those who pass through a ceremony in the Chapter as preparatory to receiving the Royal Arch. It would not be proper to describe the degree, but of its history and development our Brother may read in the article on Past Master, in Mackey'sEncyclopedia of Freemasonry.
* * *
THE FIRST IDEALIST
In The Builders, your little book which I much enjoyed, you speak of Akhnaton, king of Egypt, as "the first idealist." Tell me, please, where I can read more about him. — G.D.
It was Arthur E. P. Weigall, Inspector of Antiquities, Upper Egypt, who described the Egyptian monarch as "the first idealist." He seems to have been a pacifist as well, for he refused to fight to retain a province of his empire on the ground that "a resort to arms was an offense to God." He was born in Thebes in 1375 B. C., and his bones were found in the tomb of his mother, in 1907. Almost any recent history of Egypt will record his story, as for example "The Development of Religion and Thought in Egypt," by Breasted — a most charming and important book.
* * *
RITUAL OF ANCIENT EGYPT
In the SeptemberBuilderI note a question asked relative to the Ritual of Ancient Egypt and find that I have in hand a circular announcing such a publication, as follows: New Publication of the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia,Ritual of the Mystery of the Judgment of the Soul, From the Ancient Egyptian Papyrus, translated and edited by M. W. Blackden, and described as of peculiar interest to students of Freemasonry. Published by John M. Watkins, 21, Cecil Court, Charing Cross Road, London. Price $1.30 post free. Perhaps this is the book the Brother is in quest of. Fraternally, H. L. Seibert, Lakewood, Ohio.
* * *
THE CITY TEMPLE
Our Study Club has used your book, "The Builders," as a text-book during the last year, and it proved an inspiration to all. Could you suggest another book suitable to follow it in the second year's study? Also, would it be proper to tell us something about the City Temple and its work in a future issue ofThe Builder? It would greatly interest many of your Brethren, knowing that you have been called to that historic pulpit.
— J. E. E.
One of the best Masonic books ever written is "Speculative Masonry," by A. S. MacBride, of the Lodge of Progress, Glasgow, Scotland, and we believe you will find it suitable and profitable for your Club. The Society can secure it for you should you desire it. The story of the City Temple is perhaps best told in the "Life of Joseph Parker," by Albert Dawson. Address the author, 133 Salisbury Square, Fleet Street London E. C., price $1.50. Parker was the founder of the City Temple which stands in the heart of the old city of London, a few squares from the Bank, "the cathedral of the Free Churches," and is perhaps the most responsible pulpit in the world.
* * *
ETHICS OF THE BALLOT
Dear Bro. Newton: "The Ethics of the Ballot" in the May number, p 160, prompts me to the following, which I read about forty years ago: "A young man from one of the best families in town — financially socially and religiously, a trusted employee in a bank — sent in his application, and the Brethren congratulated themselves and each other on the influence the acquisition of such a desirable citizen would have on the Order. It went the regular course and a black ball appeared. The W. M. then cautioned the members to be particularly careful as two or three as well as himself had expressed their opinion that it was a mistake. Still the ballot was foul and others expressed themselves, and contrary to all law the W. M. allowed the ballot spread the third time, and still one black ball appeared. Then others were allowed to discuss it until finally all but one brother had spoken, and of course all were looking at him. He was a physician, and when he arose he said, 'Brethren, I cast the blackball; I know this young man to be an irreligious libertine; I know he seduced the daughter of one of our members, our Worshipful Master.'
Use this or not, in any way you like.
S. A. Pancoast.
* * *
THE EARLY DAYS: HISTORY VS. TRADITION
It is much to be regretted that one may not attempt to arrive at the truth of History without being subjected to such unwarranted abuse as characterizes the Article in the July number ofThe Builderby P.G.M. Melvin M. Johnson of Massachusetts. Bro. Johnson evidently does not comprehend that ridicule or attempted ridicule is not argument, or that misstatement and deliberate misquotation is not legitimate criticism.
In a series of Articles inThe Builderduring 1915 Bro. Johnson cited several items which the leading Masonic Historians of the country have declared possess little if any historical value, and of the truth of some of his "facts," it is asserted that "it will require authentic documents to satisfy an impartial reader." I ventured to "take friendly issue with Bro. Johnson in some of his statements and conclusions," basing my conclusions upon existing original records only, regarding the authenticity of which no doubt has ever been expressed, and quoting such eminently able authorities as Bros. Gould, Meyer and Nickerson. Nowhere did I make a single statement which may truthfully justify the use of such a phrase as "gross charges by innuendo," "insinuations of faked" statements, or "slanderous and scandalous statements by way of insinuation and innuendo." The quotations cited were carefully noted by me, page and volume stated, and no opinion of my own given in any other way. I was exceedingly careful to say that "we eliminate the ifs, buts, possiblys and every other form of expression which implies doubt, — will present no evidence but that which can today be produced in the Original Record, no copy, no substitute, nor any writing based upon any man's recollection, nor will we admit on either side the employment of any statement whose authenticity is susceptible of any reasonable doubt." Certainly this is eminently fair to both sides of this discussion. The very highest authorities have declared the Massachusetts "history" to be susceptible of very grave doubt. The authenticity of the Henry Price deputation is positively denied, and in the "facsimile" published in theProceedings of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, 1871, it is declared that the figures of the date have been altered.
Brethren of the Craft, you who may read this article, in quoting these authors, how say you, have I made "gross charges" against any one by insinuation or otherwise?
I have made no claim that Masonry in America was not born in Massachusetts, but I decline to accept Bro. Johnson's copies of documents said to have existed a century and three-quarters ago, and I do not ask him or you to accept any copy from me. I was simply giving my reasons for the statement elsewhere made regarding one particular Ledge, Solomon's Lodge No. 1, of Charleston, S. C., which I declared to be upon absolutely unimpeachable evidence the oldest Masonic body in the Western Hemisphere, the existing Record of whose establishment is incontestable. Bro. Johnson has produced nothing whatever to disprove this statement. If he can do so, by any authentic original document, ante-dating our South Carolina Record, by one day, I shall unhesitatingly yield our claim with infinitely larger courtesy than he has seen fit to accord me.
One word more please. I proved beyond question that the first public procession of the Craft in America was in Charleston on May 26, 1737. Bro. Johnson admits the truth "that there was a procession of Masons (though not of a Lodge or Grand Lodge, as such)" on that occasion, but adds "there is nothing to even justifiably infer that regalia was worn." The paragraph copied by me states positively that the occasion was an Entertainment arranged for the "ancient and honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons" "who came to the Play House, in the usual manner and made a very decent and solemn appearance" and "after the Play the Masons returned to the Lodge in the same order observed in coming to the Play House." How it is possible not to infer that they went as Masons, clothed as Masons, and returned as Masons to their Lodge, must certainly be beyond the comprehension of any candid reader.
Wm. G. Mazyck, South Carolina.
* * *
THE CHURCH AND FREEMASONRY
Dear Brother Editor: I have been very much interested in the article on "The Church and the Craft," by Brother Mitchell, appearing in our June number. While I am of the opinion that both institutions have a noble and well-defined objective in the world today yet each must proceed along certain distinct lines to accomplish their destiny. There are, of course, various points of contact wherein they may coincide. Thus far we are agreed, but I must take issue with my good brother in his perhaps unintentional arraignment of the Church in its relations to social progress.
Let us, again, consider these two forces upon the basis of their contributions to human welfare and uplift. What is the Christian Church? "First, it is a Commonwealth. In other words, it is a society of men who meet together for common objects, and it differs from the minor clubs or unions under which men avail themselves of the principles of association and resembles those greater societies which we call states, in this respect — that it claims unlimited self-sacrifice on the part of its members and demands that the interest and safety of the whole shall be set by each member above his own interest and above all private interests whatever. Secondly, as all commonwealths are originally based upon some common quality and for the most part on a blood relationship, real or supposed, of the members so is the Christian Church based upon a blood relationship, but the most comprehensive of all — the kindred of every human being to every other. It is therefore absolutely open to all human beings who choose to become members of it."
No institution has exerted such a wonderful influence for the welfare of humanity as the Church. Founded by the indomitable will of one man, it stands today, the greatest achievement mankind has ever witnessed; it has experienced every change of form, reflecting the dominant lines of thinking through all ages. Much is being written at the present time concerning "The Social Mission of the Church." Not a few persons are denying themselves the privilege of association with the Church, believing that it can bring no message to them. Some think, as does Brother Mitchell, that it goes forward "weighted down with dogmas."
It is fitting that we pause and consider these questions. What is the Social Mission of the Church? Can the Church lend impetus to economic reforms, identifying itself with class legislation and still preserve itself as a sanctuary for every human heart? The supreme task of the Church is still the preaching of the Gospel, intensifying the individual conscience and bringing to us the precepts of redemption and eternal life. The second task is the "reconstruction of congregational life." The third great task is to "enter into some relation with the arrangements of the world as it finds them. Christianity ought to stand aloof from no common experience of life and the world and it should be open to the consideration of all great questions." These three tasks, briefly stated, are the chief lines of effort involved in the fulfillment of the Social Mission of the Church today. But, "it is enough if religion prepares men's minds for great economic changes and revolutions." We are constrained to admit that in the past, the true character of the Church has been somewhat obscured by scholasticism. But this has been but one more stage in its evolution towards its ultimate destiny as the greatest moral force the world shall ever know. We can no longer rightly say that the Church "takes a man because he has a creed" — it is because he has a need.
What is Freemasonry? "Masonry is the activity of closely united men, who employing symbolical forms borrowed principally from the mason's trade and from architecture work for the welfare of humanity, striving morally to ennoble themselves and others and thereby to bring about a universal league of mankind which they aspire to exhibit, even now, on a small scale." As Masons, we are taught that our institution is only for those who are "moral and upright before God and of good repute before the world." The Church takes every man as it finds him, seeking to awaken that innate desire for companionship with the higher things in life. Having aroused this yearning in men, they see their existence justified and feel that through surrender and service can they approach nearer these ideals.
For the betterment of the great rank and file of humanity Freemasonry can only extend its influence indirectly through its adherents. We are a chosen body of men, selected because we possess certain qualifications, requisite to a proper appreciation of the teachings of Masonry and upon which, we are admonished to build our lives, applying the plumb, square, level and trowel. We too, as all other institutions, distinctly state certain principles to which petitioners must conform before they can "participate with us in our labors and privileges." And religion does recommend a man to Masonry, if by religion is understood the feelings and acts of men which relate to God. The great teachings of our order are necessarily confined to a small proportion of mankind. Therefore, despite its strong plea for tolerance, it can never be as universal as the Church of Christ.
In conclusion, perhaps we have unconsciously merited some opposition from the Church inasmuch as too often a brother declares "Masonry is religion enough for him." But Freemasonry, even though it were a religion, can never satisfactorily answer the four great fundamental questions of every age — God Life, Death, Immortality. Nor can any institution or belief which does not have for its inspiration the life and work of Jesus Christ. Masonry is eternally a quest for light. If, profiting by Masonic intercourse, we have learned to find good in every faith, and if we are truly pursuing that eternal quest for light, we are inevitably led to Him w ho is indeed the very Fountain of Light — the Man of Galilee, whose teachings have illuminated mankind these two thousand years.
Leland Kress, New Brunswick.
* * *
AN ANCIENT PETITION
Dear Sir and Brother: In your notice in the July number ofThe Builderof my work on the "Ancient Documents relating to the A. and A. Scottish Rite in the Archives of the Grand Lodge F. and A. M. of Pennsylvania," the patent of Abram Forst dated April 4, 1781, is mentioned. On page 18 of the book it states that "in his later years Brother Forst appears to have fallen into poverty and returned to Philadelphia, where he applied to the Masonic Fraternity for Charity." The only records upon our minutes show that his petition was read before Grand Lodge September 5, 1791, and referred to the committee on charity. No record of their action has thus far been found in this case. Our records show that Bro. Forst was in the West Indies in April, 1791. From his application to the Grand Lodge it appears that he returned to Philadelphia during the summer of that year.
Since our Book was published a bundle of petitions for charity from 1779-1809, undisturbed for more than a century in our archives, has been found. These are now arranged, collated and indexed, among which was the original petition of Bro. Abram Forst; a copy of this document is attached as a further example of some of the struggles of our early pioneers in the establishment of the Scottish Rite in America.
— Julius F. Sachse, Pennsylvania.
TO THE RIGHT WORSHIPFUL GRAND MASTER, GRAND OFFICERS AND MEMBERS OF THE RIGHT WORSHIPFUL GRAND LODGE OF PENNSYLVANIA.
The Memorial of Abraham Forst,
Past Master &c. &c.
That your Memorialist is at this time much embarrassed owing to unexpected heavy losses and disappointments and is necessitated to supplicate the Right Worshipful Grand Lodge collectively or the Worthy Brethren individually for the loan of a Small Sum of Money to defrey a few debts he has incurred for Board, Lodging, &c. &c. for himself and Son. And as he has a prospect of obtaining a Station in the course of next Month, which will establish him in Such a line of life, as to secure a decent Support for himself and Child; he is fully resolved to repay with Gratitude and Sincere Acknowledgement whatever Sum the Brethren may be pleased to advance him.
Your Memorialist not being accustomed to make application of this nature, is at a loss how to appologize for trespassing on your time, therefore leaves it to the Subject, and conscious of having never deviated from the strict and Sound Principles of Masonry, Your memorialist trusts that he will meet with that Candor and Generosity which ought be the characteristic of the Franernity, and the requested assistance which he is in so much need of at this particular juncture and can be authenticated by Several of your respectable Members. Your Memorialist challenges any man to prove that he is not a strict Moral man & it may alledged with truth that he has been very unfortunate during a Series of 10 years, but never guilty of a dishonest or mean action.
And your Memorialist as in Duty Bound will ever pray &c. Abr. h Forst,
Philada, 5h, Septemr, 1791.
A. C. and of Masonry, 5791.
If any of the respectable Brethren, should at any time have occasion to employ an accomptant or Book Keeper, The Memorialist begs to offer his services, till he is provided for.
* * *
"UNTO THE LEAST OF THESE"
The Atlanta Bodies of the Scottish Rite of Free Masonry maintain a Hospital for crippled children. There is no limitation of applicants on account of State Lines, Creed, Masonic connection or anything, save that the applicant must be absolutely poor and unable to pay anything, and there must be some hope of improvement being possible — nothing else.
We have received applicants from various States and only three in whom we could trace any Masonic connection. The finest orthopedic surgery in the Country is given by the surgeon without charge or fee of any kind. The Hospital is now located in two connected wood shingle roofed cottages. The result of a fire would be appalling. There is no operating room. Children must be carried to some Sanitarium, operating room rented, and carried back to the Hospital after operation. Any movement after severe bone operation is excessively painful. Some of these children must undergo several separate operations. The Hospital can accommodate only twenty patients. There are 4000 of these unfortunates in the State of Georgia alone. We must build and equip a Hospital that will be fire proof and accommodate from 76 to 100 children. To do this will cost about $75,000.00. To maintain such an institution will cost about $30,000 a year. This, the Atlanta Bodies propose to do but it will tax their resources to the limit of their capacity. It is therefore necessary that we receive aid in building the Hospital. The cures already effected have been remarkable.
I am only a poor little cripple,
Crooked, gnarled, twisted and knotted
I tugged at a starved, flaccid nipple,
The spawn of a father, besotted.
Born contorted and warped in this fashion
I live, because live I must;
The fruit of a drunken passion,
The result of a whirlwind of lust.
Yet somehow, within this poor framework,
From some source, God only knows where;
As if to rebuke this vile shamework,
Has entered a spirit most fair.
While I lie here so helpless and quiet,
Unable to turn or to move,
My thoughts in wild fancies run riot
In fields that my eyes can not prove.
Can you, who are born better sired
Who could do, if only you would,
Dream the Hell in which I am mired
Who would do, if only I could?
Can you feel the wild, passionate longing?
Can you hear that which doth to me talk?
Every moment my tired brain thronging,
Dear God! If I only could walk.
God grant that unto you never,
May come such a thought, in a dream,
It would haunt you forever and ever;
And murder your sleep, with a scream.
There's one hope. But for me a grim specter
Bars even that one tiny door,
I have no one to aid — No protector,
Dear Christ! I am frightfully poor.
Had I Gold, then perhaps I could hire
The help of a great surgeon's knife
To fashion my clay from this mire
And fit me for something in life.
Yet though a great surgeon be ready
To save me, without charge or fee;
Though my soul and my nerve be both steady,
There is nowhere a home built for me.
My spirit cries out with wild yearning —
The saving knife beckons me — Come —
Oh Man, spare enough of your earning,
For Christ's sake; to build me a home.
Checks should be sent to
Jos. C. Greenfield, Gen'l Sec'y
* * *
MASONRY IN WAR-TIME
Dear Sir: In contrast to the attitude of the Grand Lodge of England during the present war in excluding from meetings of the Fraternity in Lodges under its jurisdiction all Brethren who owe allegiance to enemy flags, or are descended from such it may be interesting to note the action proposed by R. W. Henry Price, the Founder of Duly Constituted Masonry in America, at a meeting of The First Lodge in Boston which was held on October 10, 1744, viz:
"The Lodge being Open'd, Brother Henry Price propos'd Capt: Delabraz as a Candidate and acquainted the Lodge that he was a Gentleman who being a Prisoner of War was thereby reduced, but as he might be servicable (when at Home) to any Bro whom Providence might cast in his way, it was desir'd he might be excus'd the Expence of his making, provided each Bro: would contribute his Cloathing, which the Rt: Worshl: Masr: was pleas'd to put to Vote, when it was carried in affirmative, & by dispensation from the Rt: W: Masr: & Wards: upon accot: of his leaving the Province very soon, he was Ballotted in, Introduced & made a Mason in due Form. * * Voted That the Secr: grant Bro: Delabraz a Letter of Recommendation."
I have a notion that even those Brethren of neutral countries whose sympathies are entirely with England and her allies in this war will regard this action of 1744 as more Masonic than the action of 1915. Indeed, I am reliably informed by an officer of the Grand Lodge of England who was present when the vote in question was taken last year, that if the question had been decided by the older and more experienced Brethren — say for instance those who had attained to the rank of Right Worshipful — the action of our English Brethren in Grand Lodge would have been quite different.
Melvin M. Johnson, Mass.
* * *
Dear Editor: An explanation would be interesting of the attitude Masons should assume in regard to those non-masonic bodies who are building upon Masonic foundations. Such as the White Shrine of Jerusalem, The Senate, The Grotto, etc. The following interpretation was given by the Grand Lodge of Nebraska, in its last communication:
"This Grand Lodge claims and will exercise the right to determine the Masonic standing of any Mason who joins any society, lodge or organization, a requisite to whose membership is membership in a Masonic lodge, and therefore recommends the adoption of the following preamble and resolution:
"Whereas, divers and sundry societies and organizations are seeking to establish themselves in Nebraska and build on Masonry as their foundation stone; and
"Whereas, it is the duty of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Nebraska, to care for the welfare of the members of its several lodges, and protect them from organizations that have no relation to Masonry, and yet seek to attach themselves thereto:
"Therefore Be It Resolved, That the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Nebraska, in the exercise of its sovereign rights and powers, declares that it is unlawful for any Mason of this Grand Jurisdiction to make application to or join any lodge, society or institution that shall provide as a condition precedent that one shall be a Master Mason in good standing, or shall have taken the degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason; providing that this inhibition shall not apply to York and Scottish Rite bodies, the Order of the Eastern Star, or to the Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine."
Amendments to the Law — Sect. 96-A — "A lodge room can be lawfully dedicated if occupied only by the following othe bodies: a chapter of Royal Arch Masons, a council of Royal an Select Masters, a commandery of Knights Templar, a body of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, a chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star, a temple of the Ancient and Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, and a chapter of the Acacia Fraternity and the Achoth Sorority.
Masonic Offenses — Sect. :148 — "In making application to, a joining, any lodge, society or institution that shall provide as a condition precedent that one shall be a Master Mason in good standing, or shall have taken the degrees of Entered Apprentice Mason, Fellow Craft Mason, and Master Mason, provided this inhibition shall not apply to York or Scottish bodies the Order of the Eastern Star, the Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mysti Shrine, or the Acacia Fraternity."
Henry H. Andrews, Nebraska.
* * *
PENNSYLVANIA VS. MASSACHUSETTS
Dear Sir and Brother: Referring to the "Early Days" in the July issue — Mazyck vs. Johnson — Massachusetts as usual seeks to claim everything and attempts to fortify the claim by notice from the Boston Gazette of April 1, 1734, which so far as it goes is all right; but how about Pennsylvania? I am sending you by package post an electro of the heading of Franklin Gazette of December 3 — 8, 1730, No. 108, which if you can find room for, will speak for itself.
The true facts are, and cannot be controverted by argume or sophistry:
Pennsylvania 1730 — Massachusetts 1734
Magna est Veritas et Praevalet.
It would be well if the R. W. Bro. of Massachusetts would consult the Franklin Memorial Volume issued by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania in 1907.
So far as South Carolina is concerned, there are evidence that Freemasonry was originally introduced in South Carolina by Bro. Thomas Whitemarsh, a member of St. John's Lodge, in Philadelphia, and partner of Franklin in the printing business in Charlestown, S.C., as early as 1701-2.
Julius F. Sachse, Pennsylvania.
* * *
Although you are just a poor man,
And your clothes are cheap and worn
If your heart has known repentance,
I'll welcome you to our home.
Even though your birth be humble,
If you want to be a man,
We'll believe in you, my brother,
And extend a helping hand
It matters not about your past,
Or the color of your skin,
Or what your education is,
Listen to the Voice within.
If you will spend your time and earnings
On a brother in distress,
Helping those who are afflicted,
And the weak ones' wrongs redress,
Then you are a man deserving
Of my love and my esteem
And I care not what your actions
In the eyes of others seem.
Should society disown you,
As inferior to its caste
Let it do so — I'll befriend you,
And be your brother to the last.
— Z P. Smith.