A Journal for the Masonic Student
Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
Vol. 3 No. 4 – April 1917
OPINION ON MASONIC SUBJECTS — A FRATERNAL FORUM
(Announcing a Monthly Department of Personal Opinion on Present-day Masonic subjects)
Edited by Bro. Geo. E. Frazier
President, The Board of Stewards
RESULTS speak louder than words. In reviewing the first two years of the Society, the Board of Stewards have been especially impressed with its loyalty to its original ideal, the character of its membership, and the increasing use now being made of its resources. Mere numbers give no adequate idea of its real strength, but it is surely significant that the Society has enlisted the interest of fourteen thousand Masons in two years. Its members include not only the rank and file of the Craft, but a large percentage of the leaders and students of Masonry in America, and not a few representative scholars from abroad. Indeed a list of the present members of the Society in any state shows a striking combination of the veteran Masonic leaders and the progressive young men of the jurisdiction.
Naturally the high character of the membership is making itself felt month by month in the contents of The Builder, whose leading articles provoke a wide response both in the Society as well as in the Masonic press of the country. This response finds expression in the correspondence column of The Builder, which increases in interest and value with each issue, and also in answer and comment direct from individual members. Because of the directness, vitality and farreaching interest of this response, the editor has taxed the limits of space devoted to it, often withholding new articles to make room for letters of reply or elaboration not infrequently as instructive as the original article. Fortunately this demand has been met in part by the Correspondence Circle Bulletin, edited by Brother Clegg, which is now an added and invaluable monthly feature. The Board of Stewards is in entire sympathy with the Study-Club movement, and wishes to make all possible provision to facilitate its growth and advancement.
All of which shows a very real and vital interest in the study of Masonry, and the development of our work so far reveals the wide range of Masonic activities — as a glance at the Index of the first two volumes of The Builder will make plain. We have, then, a trinity of working tools. First, we have fourteen thousand leading Masons who are reading The Builder, and the number is rapidly growing. Second, we have a hearty response from our members not only in appreciation, but in comment, criticism, and practical suggestion looking to the application of Masonic study to everyday life. Third, we have a list of contributors of serious articles which embraces the names of many of the finest Masonic students at home and abroad. Surely all this is as much an evidence of the strength and virility of Masonry as beautiful temples, the perfect exemplification of the ritual, or large numbers of candidates, excellent as all these are.
Your Board of Stewards has, therefore, felt the need of adding a department to The Builder that will bring the experience and special information of its past and present contributors to bear on present-day Masonic problems. We have accordingly established a department of personal opinion, which will appear monthly commencing with an early issue. This department will be edited by the President of the Board of Stewards, and he will invite contributions to the department each month from each writer who has contributed one or more articles to the magazine. At least four and not more than six such expressions of personal opinion will make up the department for each month. In order that opinions may be compared and opposite viewpoints fully considered the President will announce a subject for each month in the form of a query. Some possible subjects are:
- Shall Masonic lodges encourage the formation of local Masonic clubs for social purposes?
- Shall American Grand Lodges unite in a National Grand Lodge?
- Shall lodge dues be increased to cover the financial support of Masonic charitable institutions?
- Shall Masters and Grand Masters be elected from the floor without regard to service in subordinate offices?
- Shall present Masonic orders favor the promotion of new systems of Masonic or quasi-Masonic degrees?
- Shall Lodge officers be financially interested in the sale of Masonic supplies?
- Shall Masonic lodges appoint committees to investigate the non-sectarian administration of the public schools?
You are asked to read over again the typical subjects just given. Please note that they are subjects actively discussed in the official correspondence of practically all grand lodges. They are live topics on which Masons have opinion, and on which Masonic judgment must be passed. The subjects do not involve the discussion of politics, religious creeds or personal prejudices.
The subjects given are intended merely to sketch outthe possibilities of this department. Each member is earnestly invited to suggest other and better topics. Please remember that the department is not open to discussion on international policies or on religious organizations or on sects, cults and theories of personal application. The department is for the expression of personal opinion by our own former contributors on subjects that are alive in the administration of the Masonry of today.
The contributing editors of this department of personal opinion assume responsibility only for what each writes over his own signature. Each opinion must be expressed in one paragraph of not more than six hundred words. All those who have contributed articles to The Builder are invited to become contributing editors. The list will grow as all new contributors to The Builder will also become contributing editors to this department of personal opinion. Please note carefully that this department offers the only vehicle in Masonry for comparing the personal opinions of leading Masonic students as to present-day Masonic problems. With this in mind one can readily appreciate the possibilities before us for constructive thinking of a high order.
The Correspondence department of The Builder will be continued and will afford each member of the Society an opportunity to reply to any expression of opinion that he finds of especial interest. It is the hope of the Board of Stewards that this new department may stimulate many Masons to Masonic inquiry that will in turn lead them to contribute articles to The Builder, and to join our list of Contributing Editors
GEO. E. FRAZER, President of the Board of Stewards.
Above all, that I may not be a coward! That I may have couragc courage to be unmoved by the uncertainties of life, and without dread of loss, whether of friends, of health or of fortune: That I may come with a firm and tranquil mind to the work of this day, fearing nothing — ready to meet bravely failure or deprivation.
That I may bring to the day's efforts, good humor and a cheerful regard for all with whom I may come into contact: That I may not judge others hastily or with bitterness.
That I may not be grasping, but content with a fair share of this world's goods, willing to let others have theirs: That I may be diligent in the performance of duties and cheerful in manner: That I may be earnest in pursuit of the right.
That I may stand with open mind ready to receive the Truth in small affairs and in large — whether in learning new and better methods or in receiving that philosophy necessary to a brave, tranquil, well-poised, well-harmonized life. John Brisben Walker (Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association)
* * *
WORDS OF STRENGTH
By Friedrich Schiller, Born Nov. 10, 1759.
There are three lessons I would write,
Three words as with a burning pen,
In tracings of eternal light,
Upon the hearts of men:
Have hope. Though clouds environ now,
And gladness hides her face in scorn,
Put thou the shadow from thy brow,
No night but hath its morn.
Have faith. Where'er thy bark is driven —
The calm's disport, the tempest's mirth —
Know this — God rules the hosts of heaven,
The inhabitants of earth.
Have love. Not love alone for one,
But, man as man thy brother call,
And scatter, like the circling sun,
Thy charities on all.
Thus grave these lessons on thy soul —
Hope, Faith and Love and thou shalt find
Strength when life's surges rudest roll,
Light when thou else wert blind.
* * *
MASONRY AND KING SOLOMON'S TEMPLE
The Late Bro. Wm. A. Paine, Jamaica
Paine, William A., of English parentage, date of birth unknown; a man of business and a gentleman of the old school; Master of King Solomon's Lodge, Kingston, Jamaica, also a Royal Arch Mason; lost his life in the earthquake disaster at Kingston, Jan. 14th, 1907. He was a man of noble character, of winning personality, learned in the lore of Freemasonry, devoted to its service, and a pioneer in his jurisdiction in the cause of Masonic study. The essay here published is of unusual value for its wide research and its clear reasoning; and while all of its readers may not agree with the position taken, they must reckon with its argument opposing the Jewish claims of Masonic origin.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT (For the above information and photograph, and for Brother Paine's thoughtful paper herewith begun, we are indebted to our Brother Member, E. T. Skinkle, 33°, of Chicago.)
IT is necessary that we look at this important and instructive factor in the system of Speculative Freemasonry from two separate and distinct points — the positive and the negative.
The positive asserts itself from the fact that Solomon's Temple, the traditions connected therewith, and prominent Jewish Scriptural characters, are very extensively introduced; and, in fine, that the Jewish Ceremonials and Types are considerably availed of as the foundations on which the three Craft Degrees have been erected. With a limited knowledge of the origin and history of the Ritual, and of the Symbolism in Freemasonry, it is not to be wondered at that a very large proportion of Masons consider they are orthodox in holding the opinion that Solomon, King of Israel, and the two Hirams, were Freemasons, and that Speculative Freemasonry originated at the building of the First Temple. I need hardly say that it is only natural every Jewish Mason should hold firmly to such a view.
The negative side of the question is this: "That Hiram Abiff was not slain. Solomon and the two Hirams were not Masons, and that Freemasonry did not originate at the Temple." And as I shall be able to show that we have Masonic history to support this negative, and that we have only to deal with a series of interesting and instructive legends, the sooner we recognize and admit the same, by placing the Temple and the Jewish characters connected therewith under the legitimate and intelligent classification, — allegory. The sooner we seek for the origin of the Legend of the Temple, and the period in the history of Freemasonry, when it was introduced, the earlier and the better shall we be able to understand really what Speculative Freemasonry is; or, as in the words of one of our important charges, "Be the better able to distinguish and appreciate the connection of our whole system, and the relative dependency of its several parts."
If so great a Masonic student as Dr. Oliver, in his early career, believed literally all that had been told him in the Lodge Room, is it to be wondered at that the like erroneous view still exists? The Doctor's experience can be best given in his own words: "The Legend of the 3°, when given as a naked and unexplained fact, and recited with all the solemnity of truth, 99 out of every 100 candidates believe it implicitly, and would esteem it a casus belli if any one were to express a doubt respecting the most improbable particulars which it professes to record; and when I was first initiated at an early age, I confess that such were my own impressions."
Ragon, who died in 1866, and was considered one of the ablest of French Masonic writers, thus refers to the 3°: "All the fables which are introduced to excite the wonder and astonishment of the Neophyte, and repeated as undoubted facts as preserved by an ancient and accredited tradition, may be termed fanciful monstrosities, because the Holy Scriptures tacitly disprove them, for they contain no reference to the circumstances which constitute the Legend."
Grand Master Dalcho, in one of his orations, says: "I candidly confess that I feel a great degree of embarrassment, while I am relating to Ministers of God's Holy Word, or to any other gentlemen, a story founded on the grossest errors of accumulated ages; errors which they can prove to me to be such, from the sacred pages of Holy Writ, and from profane history; and, that too, in a minute after I have solemnly pronounced them to be undeniable truths, even by the Holy Bible on which I have received their obligation."
Oliver says also, on the same subject: "It is indeed indefensible as a sober matter of History, and the most rational application of it, which the W. M. could make at the conclusion of the ceremony, would be — to explain to the Candidate, that the drama in which he has sustained so conspicuous a part, is merely symbolical; and, then subjoin the reference. This course would be plausible, and prevent the Candidate leaving the Lodge, either with a fallacy on his mind, if he believes it to be true, or with a conviction that a clumsy and unworthy imposition has been practiced on him; which, from a better knowledge of the facts, he at once repudiates with a combined feeling of pity and disgust."
* * *
Such being the opinions of eminent Masonic writers, printed and published for the instruction even of entered apprentices, let us then ascertain the true definition as given by Oliver and others. "Freemasonry is confessedly an allegory, and as an allegory only must it be supported, for its traditional history admits of no palliation. Whoever would remove Freemasonry out of the category, as an allegorical institution, might as well destroy its existence; for in no other character would it be able to hold its own. It is one consistent and intelligible assemblage of symbols, and any attempt to explain it, by reference to facts, is sure to fail: instead of a clear, beautiful, and harmonious system connected in all its parts, a distorted caricature will be produced without a single redeeming trait of character."
Dalcho, holding similar views, says in addition: "Neither Moses, nor Solomon, nor Joshua, nor the two Hirams, nor the two Saints John belonged to the Masonic Order. It is unwise to assert more than we can prove, and to argue against probabilities. There is no record, sacred or profane, to induce us to believe that these holy and distinguished men were Freemasons. To assert which may make the ignorant stare, but will rather create the contempt than the admiration of the wise — let Freemasons give up their vain boastings, which ignorance has foisted into the Order, and relinquish a fabulous antiquity, rather than sacrifice common sense."
I invite your attention to the consideration of this fabulous antiquity as applicable to Solomon's Temple. Locke, the philosopher of the 17th century, and whom we know was a Freemason, says: "Religion is the only tie which will bind men, and where there is no religion, there can be no Masonry." Max Muller asks us to bear in mind — "That without a belief in a personal immortality, religion surely, is like an arch resting on one pillar, or like a bridge ending in an abyss;" and Bulwer Lytton truly adds: "Though all the world were carved over, and inscribed with the letters of divine knowledge, the characters would be valueless to him who does not pause to inquire the language, and meditate the truth." These three quotations supply religion, immortality, symbolism, a most appropriate triad, pointing to the pillars of wisdom, strength, and beauty: for wisdom abides in the man, who, with revealed religion as his guide, is strengthened in his belief in immortality, by recognizing the beautiful symbolism of Freemasonry, by which it inculcates so important a dogma.
Dr. Oliver considers that wherever and whenever the true God was worshiped, in the midst of idolatry, as in the time of Israel's apostacy under Ahab and Jezbel, that such worshipers of Jehovah were the representatives of ancient speculative Freemasons, and therefore he adds, at the erection of the First Temple, the Jews represented the pure speculative element which, joined to the Tyrian pure operative Masonry, was the first combination of speculative with operative. This can only be viewed at the most as merely sentimental — nothing historical as bearing on the point that either the Jews were architects, or that Solomon and the two Hirams were Freemasons. Nor can any such sentimental amalgamation of the Jew and Tyrian, at the first temple, be urged as analogous to the combination of Pagan and Christian architects in the time of Constantine the First at Byzantium, or of Romanist and Protestant architects in the 17th century under Wren at the erection of St. Paul's Cathedral.
Findel, that great German Masonic writer, entirely ignores Jewish origin and Temple traditions, and although admitting much that is historical, is only willing to trace Freemasonry from the German Gilds of the middle ages. Fort, a renowned American writer, admits Jewish influence not Jewish origin, but that influence as of a period long subsequent to the Second Temple, for he commences his line of argument at the early Byzantium period of architecture.
Woodford, Past Grand Chaplain of Grand Lodge of England, and equally a writer of note, considers "our present speculative system, in its modern development, as undoubtedly lineally and archaeologically the successor of the Gild Fraternities of the operative Masons, but he asks 'whence did the Gilds obtain the Masonic legends?' and he adds, I am not inclined to give up the legend of the temple, or even a connection with the ancient mysteries altogether."
Mackey, the American Masonic writer, referring to the 3rd degree, says, "When I speak of the antiquity of Freemasonry, I must say, if I must respect the axioms of historical science, that its body came out of the middle ages, but that its spirit is to be traced to far remoter periods, for Freemasonry is the successor of the Building Corporations of the middle ages — and through them with less certainty, but with great probability of the Roman Colleges of Artificers — its connection with Solomon's Temple as its birthplace may have been accidental or a mere arbitrary selection of its inventors, and bears therefore only an allegorical meaning. The Temple of Solomon has played an important part in Freemasonry. Time was, when every Masonic writer subscribed to the theory that Masonry was there first organized, that there Solomon and the two Hirams presided as Grand Masters, initiated the symbolic degrees and invented the system of initiation, and that — from that period in unbroken succession and unaltered — form has it passed to us, down the stream of time." But Mackey goes on to say, "The modern method of reading Masonic history has swept away this edifice of imagination as efficiently as the Babylonish King demolished the structure itself, upon which it is founded. No writer who values his reputation as a critical historian would now attempt to defend the theory that Masonry originated at the building of the First Temple."
Findel, Fort, Mackey — three of as great celebrities in Masonic literature as are to be found entirely ignore the Jewish origin; and if we bear this in view, together with the other important fact, that Freemasonry is only a beautiful system of symbolism and allegory, we cannot but admit that the Rabbi Mamonides' Commentary on the Legends of the Talmudists is very appropriate, and a fitting Commentary on the Symbolism of Freemasonry. His words are: "Beware that ye take not the words of the wise men in their literal signification, for this would be to degrade and sometimes to contradict the Sacred Doctrines. Search further for the hidden sense, and if you cannot find the kernel, let the shell alone, and confess you cannot — understand it."
( To be continued )
* * *
THE PERFECT ASHLAR
Bro. H. A. Kingsbury, Massachusetts
Kingsbury, Harold A.; born, Westfield, Mass., August 27, 1882; graduate in Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, Mass., 1907; graduate in Law, National University, Washington, D. C., 1910; graduate in Patent Law, George Washington University, Washington, D. C., 1911; Member of Bar of District of Columbia; Member of Bar of Supreme Court of United States; Assistant Examiner U.S. Patent Office, 1908-1912; at present, Assistant Patent Counsel, The New Departure Mfg. Co., Bristol, Connecticut; Washington Centennial Lodge No. 14, Washington, D. C.; Mount Vernon Chapter No. 3, Washington, D. C.; Scottish Rite Bodies, 4° to 18°, Springfield, Mass.; 19° to 32°, Massachusetts Consistory, Boston, Mass.
IN the case of many of the symbols used in Masonry it almost seems as though the ritual writers must have followed the rule, "The importance to be given a symbol in the ritual should be inversely proportional to the real importance of that symbol." Particularly does this rule seem to have been applied to the case of one of the Jewels of the Lodge — the Perfect Ashlar or Perfect stone Cube. For this symbol, though casually dismissed with but two or three brief sentences in the monitorial instructions, is, in reality, of very considerable importance and interest and deserving of the careful attention of the Mason.
The Perfect Ashlar is one of a group of three Jewels. Thus the symbol calls the Mason's attention to one more of the many (not less than twenty) references, in Craft Masonry, to the number Three — the most significant of all the numbers (unless it be Seven) held in veneration in nearly every ancient system of religious philosophy, and even having, in some of those systems, notably that of Plato, the importance of a symbol of Deity.
Stone, the material of the Perfect Ashlar, was considered of great importance in many of the ancient religions and, indeed, in some was worshiped. Stone worship existed among the early American races. There is good reason for believing that the Peruvians worshiped stones, as the protectors of their crops. The Greeks originally used unhewn stones to represent their deities. The Thebans represented the god Bacchus by a stone. In the Kaaba at Mecca is a stone, Hajar al Aswad, which was worshiped by the ancient Arabians and which present-day Mohammedans regard with veneration. The Druids represented their gods by stones.
Stone is so evidently the symbol of Permanency, Faith and Trust that it seems almost unnecessary to cite examples here. But any one familiar with his New Testament will recall the incident of the giving of the name Cephas, or Peter, meaning a stone, to simon, who stood for the permanency, faith and truth of the Early Christian Church, and will recall that Christ said, "Thou art Peter and on this rock I will build my Church."
The cubical form of the Perfect Ashlar serves to further identify it as the symbol of Permanency, Faith and Truth as the Cube, from the time of the Ancients has had this significance. We have an example of it in Revelations (XXI, 16) where the New Jerusalem is described as having its length, breadth and thickness equal, each to the other, giving, of course, a cubical form to the city.
The fact that Masonry uses a hewn, rather than an unhewn stone, for symbolizing Truth, furnishes an interesting example of the ways in which the introduction of (comparatively) self-evident conceptions derived from Operative Masonry has worked, in some instances, curious changes in the more abstruse symbolistic systems which Masonry has, apparently, inherited from the Hebrews and the Egyptians. That is, in the Masonic system, following at this point suggestions from Operative Masonry, the hewn and perfect condition of the Perfect Ashlar is understood to emphasize and make yet stronger the symbol's reference to Truth, whereas in the symbolistic systems of the Hebrews and the Egyptians a rough, unhewn cubical stone was considered to symbolize Truth and a perfect, hewn stone was understood to symbolize Falsehood.
However interesting and important the various other symbolic significances of the Cube may be, the symbolic suggestion that perhaps most concerns the Mason of today, and particularly the American Mason of today, is this: The Cube is the symbol of the state and it is placed in the Masonic Lodge to constantly remind the Mason, of the State, or political structure, of which he forms a part, and to recall him to those duties which he, a citizen, owes to that State.
If one views a cube with his eyes slightly above the top of it, and opposite one of its vertical edges, he will find that, as indicated in the figure, there are three faces visible, and three invisible, to him. The three visible faces symbolize the three departments of the State, the Legislative, which makes the laws, the Judicial which interprets them, and the Executive which executes them. The three invisible faces symbolize the invisible soul of the State, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. As these three invisible faces are necessary to complete and make stable the Cube so are Liberty, Equality and Fraternity necessary to complete and make stable the State.
The Perfect Ashlar, in its character of a symbol of the State, represents an ideal to be striven for — the perfect State has not yet been finally developed. But, upon his first entrance into Masonry, the Mason is presented with Working Tools with which to shape and to gauge his work — the Gavel, symbolizing Force, and the Gauge, symbolizing Rule or Law. And the Perfect Ashlar reminds the Mason that his entered apprentice's Working Tools are given him to use and that it is for him, a citizen, to apply them, using Force, properly held in restraint by Rule or Law, to, so far as in him lies, make his ashlar a Perfect Ashlar and his state a perfect State.
* * *
Destruction has its millions within its awful thralls;
To do its bidding night and day, and mandate all its calls.
Another host in other parts Construction does employ;
To build our homes and cities fair, and all that we enjoy.
Construction and destruction have been fighting hand to hand
Since this old world began to turn, and neither rules the land.
But what construction does today to build in modern ways
Destruction lays in desolate waste in future struggling days.
One hand can swing the mighty sword, and in its awful swath
The lives of millions fall like grain — why reckon up the loss?
But two hands do the building as we raise the wall again;
Two hands bind up the wounded, and two hands construct again.
One hand can raise the fire-brand from the smoldering coals of hate;
Two hands must stop the raging flames before it is too late.
One hand can give the signal for the largest guns to boom
Two hands must raise above the dead the flowers into bloom.
Two hands can build with stone on stone the highest wall that's laid;
One hand can burst the fatal shells, and debts alone are made.
One hand may wield destruction as it goes along life's path;
Two hands must do the healing, as we reap the aftermath.
Why not use the brick and mortar, not the rifle and the sword?
Why not use the trowel and level, at Construction's signal word?
Why not use the square and plumb-line as we raise our friendships kind?
For destruction's not external until cherished in man's mind.
What's within brings forth the harvest; thoughts rethought make up the seeds;
That same harvest may be useful, or a useless growth of weeds.
Why delay internal plantings when destruction's passions yield?
Go into internal pastures; there prepare the fertile field.
There prepare it for the planting, like a garden fair to see;
Sow it, watch it, tend and weed it, 'til from weeds the ground is free.
By and by the crop grows stronger, and no weeds can therein grow;
For the harvest forth is coming — a repayment for the sow.
By destruction things are severed from their proper place in life.
By construction brought together; fitted 'gainst a social strife.
By destruction strong connections are at once asunder torn;
By construction once well welded — and redone by son unborn.
When our lives are in their fittings and each unit has its place
The design has form and beauty which the artist's brush would trace;
With the back ground and perspective, and our hopes the foreground fill -
There's construction in the picture; beauty through the artist's will.
Faith it takes for all construction; faith it takes to plan to do;
Faith it takes at the foundation, and to see the matter through.
Faith it takes when all's destruction to rise up and build some more;
Faith it takes when broken idols lie upon the tiled floor.
Hope in all constructive action is the active force to move.
Faith is passive in the planning, and the two, resultants prove.
Hope moves faith into an action which before was in the breast,
And the two are both constructive counting for the very best.
The resultant is construction, in both matter and in mind;
Putting useful things together which apart, serve not mankind.
Two hands, with a mind and feeling make for charity and love
They produce the world's resultant guided by a Force above.
— Geo. N. Foster, Lincoln, Nebr.
* * *
Justice is as strictly due between neighbor nations, as between neighbor citizens. A highwayman is as much a robber when he plunders in a gang, as when single; and a nation that makes an unjust war is only a great gang of robbers.
* * *
Bro. Roscoe Pound
Dean, Harvard College of Law
I. THE DATA OF MASONIC JURISPRUDENCE
At the outset we may well ask ourselves why do we say Masonic Jurisprudence? Why not simply Masonic Law? Is there a science of Masonic law as distinct from Masonic law itself? For in its original and etymological meaning and in the best usage, jurisprudence means the science of law. It is true there are two other uses of the term. The French use it to mean the course of decision in the courts as contrasted on the one hand with legislation and on the other hand with doctrine or the consensus of opinion of learned writers and commentators. To some extent this French usage has been received with us, particularly in the phrase "equity jurisprudence," signifying the course of decision in Anglo-American courts of equity, which has gained currency through the classical work of Judge Story. But it must be obvious that Masons do not employ the word in this sense. Although the course of decision in Masonic tribunals in the form of rulings of the Grand Masters and action of Grand Lodges thereon and of review of trials in or by Grand Lodges, is an important form of Masonic law; it furnishes but a part, and relatively a modern part, of the materials of what we are wont to style Masonic jurisprudence.
By a not unnatural transition from the French use of the term it has come to be used also chiefly in this country, simply as a polysyllabic synonym for law. Medical jurisprudence, for the forensic applications of medicine, has much vogue. Dental jurisprudence for the law of interest to dentists, engineering jurisprudence for the law of interest to engineers, architectural jurisprudence for the law of interest to architects, are heard occasionally. These seem quite indefensible. But even if they were not to be critized, they would not warrant Masonic jurisprudence, for the latter term calls to mind not that part of the general law of the land which has special interest for the Mason, but the internal law of the fraternity itself. We come back, therefore, to our question whether Masonic jurisprudence is simply a grandiose name for Masonic law or whether, on the other hand, there is a science of Masonic law distinct from the law of each Masonic jurisdiction? Is there, in other words, an organized body of knowledge above and behind each particular local Masonic law upon which the latter rests as fully and truly as the particular legal rules of one of our commonwealths rest upon the principles of general legal science and the principles of Anglo-American legal tradition? For the moment I shall assume that there is, and my purpose in this course will be, not to expound dogmatically the rules of Masonic law which obtain here or elsewhere, but to show, if I may, that there is a science of Masonic law, to examine its material and its methods, and to set forth its principles.
In studying the law of politically organized society we say that it may be expounded dogmatically, that is, the content and application of its several rules and principles may be investigated and set forth, or it may be studied by one of the methods of jurisprudence — analytical, historical, or philosophical. In truth dogmatic study is of little value except as it makes use of and rests upon these methods of legal science. They justify themselves in the end by making for effective understanding and criticism and improvement of the law of each state. But they are methods of legal science generally, while the dogmatic method is applicable not to jurisprudence but to a particular body of law. We may study a particular body of law analytically, that is, we may investigate the structure, subject matter and rules of a legal system in order to reach by analysis the principles and theories which it logically presupposes, As a method of jurisprudence, however, the analytical method is comparative. It involves a comparative study of the purposes, methods and ideas common to developed systems of law by analysis of such systems and of their doctrines and institutions in their matured forms. Again, a particular body of law may be studied historically. That is, investigation may be made of the historical origin and development of the legal system and of its institutions and doctrines, looking to the past of the law to disclose the principles of the law of today. But here also, as a method of jurisprudence the historical method must be comparative. It involves a comparative study of the origin and development of law, of legal systems, and of particular doctrines and institutions in order to draw therefrom universal principles of legal science. Finally, a particular body of law may be studied philosophically. That is, investigation may be made of the philosophical bases of the institutions and doctrines of a legal system in order to reach its fundamental principles through philosophical speculation. When this method is pursued comparatively and the philosophical basis of law generally and of general legal institutions and universal legal doctrines is sought, in order to reach universal principles, the philosophical method becomes a method of jurisprudence. Formerly these three methods, the analytical, the historical and the philosophical, contended for the mastery. Today we recognize that no one of them is self-sufficient and that jurisprudence must employ each of them in order to achieve a well-rounded science.
If we apply these ideas to Masonic law, we may say that a dogmatic exposition of the law of any jurisdiction would, indeed, very likely be profitable. But it would be relatively of little value, certainly of little permanent value, unless it made use of and rested upon the analytical, the historical and the philosophical methods. Moreover these methods should be developed comparatively, as methods of a Masonic legal science, if they are to give their best results. On the other hand these methods are not pursued for their own sake. In the end they must justify themselves by making the law of each Masonic jurisdiction more scientific, better organized, more easy of comprehension and of application and more eflective for the purposes for which it exists. Unless he can give us principles of systematization, of criticism and of improvement in those parts of our law which are subject to change, the jurist has no claim upon the attention of a craft of workmen.
Another preliminary question confronts us. How far are we justified in speaking of Masonic law? Is the body of rules to which we give that name law in any proper sense of the term? Are we warranted in applying to it the methods and in attaching to it the ideas which are appropriate when treating of the law of politically organized society?
There are three common uses of the term "law": (1) Law as used in the natural and physical sciences; (2) natural law or law of nature as the term has been used by writers on ethics, politics and the philosophy of law; (3) law in the juridical sense. In the sciences, law is used to mean deductions from human experience of the course of events. Thus the law of gravitation is a record of human observation and experience of the manner in which bodies which are free to move do in fact move toward one another. Similarly Grimm's law in philology is a record of the observations of philologists as to the manner in which consonantal changes have taken place in the several Aryan languages. By natural law ethical, philosophical and political writers mean the principles which philosophy and ethics discover as those which should govern human action and the adjustment of human relations, and hence as those with respect to which obligatory rules of human conduct ought to be framed. Law in the juridical sense is said to be the body of rules, principles and standards recognized or enforced by public or regular tribunals in the administration of justice. Obviously there is an idea in common here, namely, the idea of a rule or principle, underlying a sequence of events, whether natural or moral, or judicial. In this wide sense, therefore, we may speak of the rules or principles which underly a sequence of events in a fraternal organization as law, just as we should so style the rules or principles underlying a sequence of events in a political society. But this wide use of the term law has been the subject of much objection and much dispute and we may put ourselves on firmer ground by looking at certain analogies between the rules which govern the decision of controversies and the adjustment of relations in a politically organized society and those which govern disputes and adjust relations in religious organizations and in fraternal organizations.
At bottom we must rest the whole structure of state and law upon the hard fundamental fact that in a finite world, human demands are infinite. If there were enough material goods to go around and enough room so that each of us might move in the widest orbit his fancy could picture or his desires could dictate without coming into collision with his felow men, we should not need any elaborate system of balancing conflicting interests nor any elaborate machinery for putting into effect the standards for delimiting and enforcing interests which result from such balancing. Unhappily the material goods of existence do not suffice to give to each everything which he may claim or which he does claim. Hence to conserve the values of life and to eliminate waste men organize themselves and organize or invent rules and standards and principles by which to eliminate waste and make the available stock of values go as far as possible. In the beginning these organizations are simply groups of kindred. Presently religious and maternal organizations develop. Subsequently political organizations arise. In time trade and professional associations are added. All these seek in one way or another to secure to men values which might otherwise be dissipated. They have their justification in the necessity of conserving what would otherwise be lost in the struggle of individuals to satisfy infinite claims upon a limited store. Accordingly, if we look for a moment at the state, we see that it eliminates waste by means of the law in several ways. For one thing it furnishes a rule of decision in case of dispute and thus obviates resort to private war when controversies arise. One has only to consider what happens today in case of an industrial dispute in order to see what this means.
In an ordinary dispute between man and man today we have a measure of conduct which is ascertainable within reasonable limits in advance. If the dispute becomes acute, one party or the other may summon his adversary before a public tribunal and may have the dispute adjudicated upon the basis of settled rules, according to a settled procedure, and with reference to settled modes of redress. When the judgment is pronounced, it is not optional with the defeated party to adhere to it or not. The whole power of the state is behind it and the force of organized society may be invoked to carry it out. In an industrial dispute on the other hand, we have no clear measure of conduct. Each party is referred to his individual sense of fairness and to the general sense of fairness of the public at large. But in a highly diversified community in which groups and classes with apparently divergent interests understand each other none too well and have conflicting ideas of justice, general public opinion is seldom sufficiently definite and consistent to serve as a restraint upon the partisan notions of justice entertained by the contending parties and hence is left to be the judge of its own case. With no clear predetermined measure of adjustment of such controversies, with no settled mode of procedure, with no settled mode of redress and no strong, permanent tribunal, backed by the moral sense of the community, long tradition, and the force of the state, to pronounce and give effect to a judgment, there is no way to satisfy or to coerce the disputants and in practice, as like as not, the interests of each and the interests of society suffer equally. Society struggles to maintain its interest in the general security and to prevent waste under such circumstances by seeking peace at whatever sacrifice. It is not a question of equal and exact justice. The paramount demands of peace and good order are to be met first. The policy is not "let justice be done though the heavens fall," but "peace at any price." Hence society endeavors to put pressure upon the disputants, directly, indirectly, openly or covertly, to submit to arbitration and to abide the award. A public service company may be threatened with forfeiture of franchise. A private owner may be threatened with extra-legal sequestration of his property. Both parties may be threatened with a report as to the causes of the dispute and the issues involved to be made public after an official inquiry. Press, pulpit and platform may exhort and rebuke. Thus in one way or another a compromise or an arbitration may be brought about. But when such a result has been achieved, no guide has been provided for the next dispute. No precedent has resulted. Nothing has been accomplished beyond averting or terminating a condition of private war in that one case. The whole process is crude and wasteful. Every time that this happens we act over again the inception of law. The Roman magistrate who stepped between the contending litigants and called out, "Let go, both of you," the praetor who pronounced the interdict, "I forbid that violence take place," and the indirect devices whereby a case for arbitration was formulated, not upon direct statement of their claims by the parties but through indirectly inducing or coercing a reference or an arbitration, testify to a general condition of which the special condition that obtains in a modern industrial dispute is perhaps the last remnant. By furnishing a rule for decision and by furnishing a guide to conduct the law enables society to reconcile conflicting interests, to conserve values and to eliminate waste.
This same problem of reconciling conflicting interests, of conserving values and of eliminating waste arises in every group — in religious and fraternal organizations no less than in political organizations. And it is met in the same way. By slow and painful development of customs through experience, followed by deliberate formulation of rules invented for the purpose, men select out of the great mass of possible claims those which seem to call most urgently for security, define them, weigh them against other recognized inter ests and devise means for giving them effect. This process of recognizing, delimiting and securing interests when carried on by a political society is called lawmaking and the rules and standards of conduct and rules and principles of decision thereby set up are called law. In like manner the rules and standards of conduct and the rules and principles of decision developed or devised to secure interests and conserve values In the universal medieval church are called the canon law. No less justly may we apply to the rules and standards of conduct and the rules and principles of decision evolved or devised to secure interests and conserve values in our universal fraternal organization the name of Masonic law. For if it is said that we cannot enforce our law as the state enforces its law — that the sheriff and his posse looms in the background of the latter while the former is but hortatory — the answer must be that our law has behind it the same sanction that was behind the law of the medieval church, namely, excommunication and that this is essentially nothing else than the sanction of the earlier stages of the law of politically organized society — namely, outlawry. The group in each case casts out the individual who, through defiance of its law threatens a waste of the values which it seeks to secure.
Assuming, then, that we are justified in speaking of Masonic law, what are the component parts of our Masonic legal system; what are the jural materials with which the Masonic lawyer must work? I venture to distinguish three types of rules: (1) The landmarks; (2) the Masonic common law; (3) Masonic legislation. I cannot deny that in so classifying the jural materials of Masonry I am influenced by our Anglo-American distinction of constitutional rules, common law and legislation. And one should not turn to such an analogy hastily or unadvisedly. For I shall endeavor to show in another connection that Masonic jurisprudence has suffered in this country from overzealous attempts to mould our law by the analogies of the political law of the time and place and from the hasty assumption that our American legal and political institutions might be relied upon to furnish principles of law for a universal fraternity. Nevertheless the craft has engaged the hearty service of great lawyers for at least two centuries and the revival from which we date the Masonry of today took place in a time and in a country in which certain legal and politic ideas were universally entertained and were almost taken to inhere in nature.
Hence we have more than analogy — we have, if not a causal relation, at least a relation of great influence.
Presupposing this three-fold division, we have first, the landmarks, a small not clearly defined body of fundamentals which are beyond reach of change. They are the prescriptive or unwritten constitution (using constitution in the purely American sense) by which every thing must be judged ultimately and to which we must all conform. Second, we have Masonic common law — the body of tradition and doctrine, which falling short of the sanctity and authority of the landmarks, nevertheless is of such long standing, and so universal, and so well attested, that we should hesitate to depart from it and are perforce wont to rely upon it whether to apply our own law or to appreciate the law of our neighbors.
These first two elements of Masonic law rest in tradition and in doctrinal writing. They take the form of: (a) Tradition — the mode of conducting Masonic affairs which has been handed down from master to master, from lodge to lodge for centuries and embodies the experience of countless sincere, zealous, well-informed brothers; (b) treatises, of which Oliver's Institutes of Masonic Jurisprudence and Mackey's Masonic Jurisprudence are the best types; (c) decisions of Grand Masters and review thereof by Grand Lodges, recorded in the published proceedings of Grand Lodges, chiefly in America; and (d) reports of the committees on correspondence of our American Grand Lodges, in which the decisions in other jurisdictions are reviewed and criticized and a comparative and universal element is introduced which is of the highest value to the Masonic jurist. These committees on correspondence have been much kicked at and it cannot be denied that the work of some of them at times has been crude. Yet for the present purpose their work has been invaluable. No one who has studied Masonic jurisprudence attentively can fail to testify to the unifying force exerted by these committees. The stimulus of their criticism, even when ill directed has made our local Masonic jurists pause to think of the rest of the Masonic world; it has exerted the scientific influence which is always involved in comparison; it has worked everywhere for universality in our welter of independent local jurisdictions, each ambitious to make its own law.
The two main elements just enumerated make up the unwritten law of Masonry. A third element, namely, Grand Lodge legislation, of which our American Grand Lodges have been exceedingly prolific, constitutes the written law of Masonry.
A moment's digression is required to explain these terms. As soon as legal systems attain any degree of maturity, they are made up of two elements: A traditional element and an imperative element. Following the Roman jurists, the traditional element is generally known in jurisprudence by the name of the unwritten law — jus non scriptum — and the imperative element by the name of the written law — jus scriptum ; not that we do not find the principles and rules of each today only in writings, but because the latter was deliberately and authoritatively reduced to writing at its inception.
Our main interest is in the unwritten law — the traditional element — which, except as local decisions interpret or apply local legislation, proceeds or purports to proceed on universal lines and is or seeks to be in principle permanent and general, even as legislation is ephemeral and local.
Let me develop this point a bit. As has been said, a developed legal system is made up of two elements, a traditional element and an enacted or imperative element. Although at present the balance in our law is shifting gradually to the side of the enacted element, the traditional element is still by far the more important. In the first instance, we must rely upon it to meet all new problems, for the legislator acts only after they attract attention. But even after the legislator has acted, it is seldom if ever that his foresight extends to all the details of his problem or that he is able to do more than provide a broad, if not a crude outline. Hence even in the field of the enacted law, the traditional element of the legal system plays a chief part. We must rely upon it to fill the gaps in legislation, to develop the principles introduced by legislation and to interpret them. Let us not forget that so-called interpretation is not merely ascertainment of the legislative intent. If it were, it would be the easiest instead of the most difficult of judicial tasks. Where the legislator has had an intent and has sought to express it, there is seldom a question of interpretation. The difficulties arise in the myriad cases with respect to which the law maker had no intention because he had never thought of them — indeed perhaps he could never have thought of them. Here under the guise of interpretation the court, willing or unwilling, must to some extent make the law, and our security that it will be made as law and not as arbitrary rule lies in the judicial and juristic tradition from which the materials of judicial law-making are derived. Accordingly the traditional element of the legal system is and must be used even in an age of copious legislation, to supplement, round out and develop the enacted element, and in the end it usually swallows up the latter and incorporates its results in the body of tradition. Moreover a large field is always unappropriated by enactment, and here the traditional element is supreme. In this part of the law fundamental ideas change slowly. The alterations wrought here and there by legislation, not always consistent with one another, do not produce a general advance. Indeed they may be held back at times in the interests, real or supposed, of uniformity and consistency, through the influence of the traditional element. It is obvious, therefore, that above all else the condition of the law depends upon the condition of this element of the legal system.
Another feature of the twofold composition of developed legal systems is of no less importance. The traditional element rests at first upon the traditional mode of advising litigants on the part of those upon whom tribunals rely for guidance or upon the usage and practice of tribunals. Later it rests upon juristic science and the habitual modes of thought of a learned profession. Thus the ultimate basis of its author;ty is reason and conformity to ideals of right. On the other hand the imperative element rests upon enactment. It rests upon the expressed will of the sovereign. The basis of its authority is the power of the state.
The parallel with Masonic law is exact. With us, the most important of our jural materials are in the traditional element.
First, we must rely upon the traditional element to meet all new problems, and the normal course of growth in Masonic law is: (1) A new application of a traditional principle by the decision of a Grand Master; (2) review thereof in a Grand Lodge; (3) comment thereon by the various committees on correspondence; (4) the growth of a consensus of opinion on the subject among Masonic jurists; and (5) incorporation in some text book of Masonic law or in declaratory legislation. Secondly, we must rely on the traditional element to fill all gaps in Masonic legislation. Thirdly, we must rely on it to interpret legislation and to develop legislation. Fourthly, above all, as we are a universal institution and ought to legislate cautiously, we must rely on the traditional element to furnish the principles of legislation and a critique of legislation. We are not like a political organization — mere will has no place in any theory of Masonic law-making.
Accordingly it is of the first importance to have a theory of the unwritten law of Masonry and an organized, systematic science of this traditional element of our law — in other words, to have a science of Masonic jurisprudence.
What are the data of this science? What are the materials which we may use in constructing it?
I take it they are five: (1) History; (2) general Masonic tradition; (3) philosophy; (4) logical (or systematic) construction on the basis of history, philosophy and tradition; and (5) authentic modern materials of Masonic common law.
Let me take these up in order. First as to history. Here there are two questions: (a) What materials does Masonic history furnish which are important for Masonic jurisprudence; (b) what is the function of history in Masonic jurisprudence — how and for what purpose should we use history in this connection? On such an occasion one can only speak summarily. In a few words, the historical materials which are important for the Masonic. jurist seem to be five:
- The manuscript constitutions of British Freemasons — a series of manuscripts the oldest of which go back to the fourteenth century, which are the foundation of authentic Masonic history. These are of especial importance on the subject of the landmarks. Thus, when we trace in the manuscripts the old charge to be true to God and holy church and the new charge of 1738 that if the Mason understands his art aright he will never be a stupid atheist, history reinforces the tradition contained in the master's obligation.
- Seventeenth and eighteenth-century notices of English Masonry prior to 1717. From these materials we are able to see how Masons met and what they meant by a lodge prior to the rise of Grand-Lodge Masonry and are enabled to distinguish between the landmarks and the common law as to Masonic organization.
- Old lodge records in England and Scotland. These also throw great light upon the organization of the Craft prior to 1717. When we find presidents and wardens and deacons as the highest officers of lodges, we see again what was from the beginning and what is simply common law.
- Eighteenth-century writers who had or purported to have access to traditions current among Masons at and prior to the organization of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717 and to old manuscripts not now extant. Even if some or much of the information which they purport to give on the basis of such traditions and such manuscripts is apocryphal, it has entered into the stream of subsequent Masonic tradition and may not be overlooked.
- Grand Lodge records, beginning in England in 1723, which show the settled practice of the formative period of Masonry as we know it today.
Of these five classes of historical materials, the fourth calls for some special notice. It is made up of three well-known books which have exerted an almost controlling influence upon our ideas of Masonic history and have largely determined Masonic tradition. These books are: Anderson's Constitution (1723, second edition 1738), Preston's Illustrations (1772) and Dermott's Ahiman Rezon (1756, second edition 1764). It would be out of place to attempt an appraisal of their historical value here. Moreover the thorough-going critique of Gould, which has definitely overthrown much which had long been accepted on the authority of these books has not wholly destroyed their importance for Masonic jurisprudence. As Hobbes puts it, "authority not truth makes the law." It may well happen that historical mistakes may become fixed in the legal fabric. For example, Lord Coke very likely erred in much that he laid down in his Second Institute as to the history of our Anglo- American constitutional doctrine of the supremacy of law. Yet his writing is the foundation of our public law and his results have amply justified themselves. It is no fatal objection in practical affairs that the conclusions must sustain the premises. Hence if Anderson and Preston and Dermott cannot be vouched for landmarks, they must be read diligently in order to reach the sources of much of our Masonic common law.
Let us turn now to the other question, what are the uses of Masonic history? One use is to correct tradition, as for example, in the case of the apocryphal long list of royal and noble Grand Masters. Another is to hold philosophy in bounds, as for example, in the case of the controversy which raged once in one of our American Grand Lodges as to the wearing of white gloves, on the theory that gloves were unknown at the time of the building of the temple, or, again, in the rejection of the letter G on philosophical grounds by another of our Grand Lodges. Another use is to test doctrinal (systematic, logical) exposition, as in the case of Mackey's twenty-five landmarks. But this correction by history should not be pressed too far. It should not be used as the basis of rejecting settled Masonic common law, shown by universal practice since the end of the eighteenth century. For example, nothing is better settled than the doctrines of territorial jurisdiction in Craft Masonry and the impropriety of invasion of jurisdiction. If there are no landmarks here, there are settled principles of Masonic conflict of laws which are a part of the universal law of the Craft.
Our second main source of law is tradition. Today this is set forth in the form of doctrinal exposition and Grand-Lodge decision. Much of it is declared by Grand-Lodge legislation. It is of the highest value in fixing the principles of Masonic common law. But elsewhere it is dangerous. It must always be corrected by careful historical consideration of whether the tradition in question is authentic, immemorial and pure.
Our third main source of law is philosophy, that is, deduction from principles found by philosophical study of the ends and purpose of Masonry — for example, deduction from the principle of universality, from the principle of organization of moral sentiments of mankind, from the principle of furthering human civilization. It may be compared with the metaphysical method in jurisprudence which seeks to deduce all legal rules from or correct them by a fundamental principle of human freedom. Philosophy is chiefly useful as a check on Masonic history. For example, if one were to look only to history, he might make a strong argument that the dinner or banquet following the work on important occasions was a landmark. Certainly as far back as we have accounts of Masonic work we find the brethren sitting about the board in this way. But consideration of the purposes and ends of the order shows us at once that we have here but an incident of ordinary human social intercourse. So in the case of the objection to white gloves above referred to. The Masonic philosopher perceives at once that we have here a traditional symbol and that purely historical considerations cannot be suffered to prevail.
Our fourth main source of law is logical construction. It has the same place with us as juristic science has in the law of the state. It is of the first importance if the data are sound and are well used. Mackey's famous text book of Masonic jurisprudence (1859) is still the best example of the use of logical construction.
The fifth main source of Masonic law is to be found in authentic modern materials of Masonic customary law and in settled Masonic usage since the last half of the eighteenth century. Indeed the general principles of this settled usage have all but the force of landmarks. Thus Mackey recognizes: (1) Landmarks; (2) general laws or regulations; (3) local laws or regulations. Here the second is substantially what I call Masonic common law and the third what I call Masonic legislation. Mackey says of the second: "These are all those regulations that have been enacted by such bodies as had at the time universal jurisdiction. They operate, therefore, over the Craft wheresoever dispersed; and as the paramount bodies which enacted them have long ceased to exist, it would seem that they are unrepealable. It is generally agreed that these general or universal laws are to be found in the old constitutions or charges, so far as they were recognized and accepted by the Grand Lodge of England at the revival in 1717 and adopted previous to the year 1726." This would receive Anderson's first edition without question as a conclusive exposition of the principles of the traditional element. Today it is clear that we cannot accept it. But the idea at the bottom of Mackey's system is sound.
I take it we must distinguish two things. (a) We may perceive certain settled principles adhered to by all regular and well-governed lodges since the last quarter of the eighteenth century. For example, with one exception it has always been recognized that at least three lodges are required to set up a Grand Lodge. But we must be cautious here. It will be noticed that Mackey assumes that fluidity is at an end by 1721. We cannot accept this proposition. We must recognize a great deal of fluidity till much later. But Masonry is not bound to retain forever the fluidity of the first half of the eighteenth century. (b) Next we must differentiate from the principles themselves the development of these principles (i) by logical deduction and juristic speculation, and (ii) by judicial empiricism in the decisions of Grand Masters and the review thereof by Grand Lodges.
The latter is almost wholly American and much of it is worthy to rank with the best achievements of legal development in any political organization. If the law of the medieval church became for a time the law of the world and gave ideas and doctrines to the law of the state which are valuable for all time, it is not at all impossible that our universal organization, coming much later to the work of law-making, may in its turn develop legal ideas of universal value and thus contribute indirectly to the furtherance of civilization while contributing directly thereto in its ordinary work.
* * *
Bro. Geo. W. Warvelle, Illinois
I CONTINUE to hear complaints from certain quarters concerning the wasteful extravagance in the matter of refreshments, together with suggestions as to the good that might be accomplished if the money so expended were applied to works of charity and pure beneficence. But, notwithstanding these oft repeated admonitions from those who stand on the watch towers of zion, the Craft jogs along in the same old way and the banquet is still a potent factor in Masonic life. And yet, this is strictly in keeping with the old precedents; a faithful adherence to the old land. marks.
Freemasonry, in its inception, was strictly a convivial institution, all reports to the contrary notwithstanding. In later years it took on liturgic features,but the old customs, in large measure, were continued and in modified forms are still practiced. The custom of "refreshment" may be traced back to the mediaeval Gilds, while the oldest records of the Masonic Fraternity, as a speculative society, contain references to the feasting (including drinking) at the craft meetings.
The seventeenth century has left many authentic references to the conviviality which characterized the meetings in those days. Thus, Plot in his history, when alluding to the Masons, says: "When any are admitted, they call a meeting (or Lodge as they term it in some places) and entertain with a collation according to the custom of the place; This ended, they proceed to the admission of them." Plot was not a Mason. Ashmole, in his diary, notes a meeting he attended at London in 1682. Of this he says: "We all dined at the Half-moon Tavern in Cheapside, at a noble Dinner prepared at the Charge of the new accepted Masons." And so, it will be seen that from very early times a feast was an important part of a Masonic meeting.
It has been suggested, by some of the English scholars, that this custom of a feast originated in the actual necessities of the occasion; that many of the members of the early lodges came long distances to attend the meetings and frequently on foot. Hence, it was necessary that they should be provided with refreshment of some kind either on their arrival or before setting out on their return journey. You will see, therefore, that the J. W.'s call to refreshment was not an empty formality in those days.
It would seem that in the old days the feast always preceded the work, a custom that has not yet died out in England. And as in nature the tendency is to constantly revert to earlier types, so in human institutions we may observe the same phenomena. In many localities the six o'clock dinner has taken the place of the eleven o'clock banquet, while the old-time flow of post prandial oratory has been eliminated. This was the custom of the Grand Lodge of England far into the historic period, as witness the minutes of the "assembly and feast" at Stationers Hall on June 22, 1721, when "after Grace said, they sat down in the antient manner of Masons to a very elegant Feast, and dined with Joy and Gladness." After this followed the regular business, and.then the Grand Master ordered the Warden "to close the Lodge in good Time." * * *
But the banquet is too firmly entrenched to be obliterated by any shell fire the disciples of the new thought may pour upon it. The Freemasons are still, even as in the old days, a social brotherhood and the customs of the fathers will long continue, notwithstanding the edict "The Banquet must go." From the dawn of history we may find the custom in connection with fraternal societies. It is not peculiar to Freemasonry. In fact, our Masonic ancestors simply borrowed the custom from those who preceded them. Long years ago, in ancient Greece, the banquet followed the initiations into the mysteries, as witness the following, which I quote from the "Golden Ass" of Apuleius:
"All the uninitiated having been sent away, the priest clothed me in a new linen garment, and, taking my hand, let me into the penetralia of the sanctuary. You will perhaps, ask, studious reader, and be anxious to know, what was then done. What was done, ask you? I would tell, if it were lawful to tell; thou shouldst know, if it were lawful for thee to hear. But I will not detain in long suspense you, who are, perchance, in a state of suspense with religious anxiety. Hear, therefore, and believe, for the things I narrate are true. I approached the confines of death, and, having trod the threshold of Proserpine, I was earried back through all the elements. At midnight, I beheld the sun glittering with clear light; l approached the gods of Hades and of Heaven, and adored them face to face. Thus have I related to you things, which, although heard by thee, thou canst not know. . . After this, I celebrated a most cheerful banquet in honor of my birth day into these rites; pleasant was the banquet and lively the entertainment."
I direct your special attention to the closing lines of the above paragraph. They simply show that mankind and human nature are much the same in all ages and all lands. * * *
A few years ago Admiral Dewey is reported to have said, that he attributed his robust health and length of days to these facts: that he had entered the navy and kept away from public banquets. Perhaps all of us cannot take the first part of his prescription, and perhaps also, the real worth lies in the latter part of it. Certain it is, that while the 12-inch gun may have slain its thousands the deviled crab and the overripe lobster have laid low their tens of thousands. It is not given to all of us to die in behalf of a great cause. In fact, few of us care to die. But everyone is privileged to incur indigestion and other gastronomic ills, and this privilege the most of us insist in availing ourselves of with remarkable persistence.
It is said, however, that the fatalities which mark the history of public feeding do not constitute its worst reproach; that the gleater harm consists in the undigested ideas which every well regulated banquet is bound to liberate. Bad food and poor talk make a combination that is fatal to the soundest human system. Thus is it written:
Avoid the groaning board, my son, The devilled crab, the Melbaed peach, But, deadliest of all, avoid The after-dinner speech.
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Does the square that you wear mean the test by your God
Of the work that you do, and the word that you speak,
Of the will of your mind, the thought of your heart,
Of the Past that is gone, of the Future you seek?
The Compass you wear, does it mean that you move
Within the true bound appointed and sure,
Restricted desire, pleasure defined,
A yielding of self to the bonds that endure?
The Triangle too — great emblem of Him
Who is Maker, and Master, Beginning and End, —
Do you wear it to show that He is to you
The Source and the Aim that all others transcend?
What means the gold trowel that hangs at your chain?
Does it tell of the mortar of Love that you spread?
Of the joint well cement with fine brotherly love?
Of the stones that now lie in the well-mortared bed?
If 'tis not so, then take the poor jewels away;
The meaningless bauble will only deceive
Yourself and the others you meet on your way
As meaningless lies which none ever believe.
— John George Gibson.
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NOTES ON THE ORIGIN OF CO-MASONRY
Bro. Arthur Edward Waite, England
IT is said that in or about 1879, several Chapters under the obedience of the Supreme Council of France, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, revolted from that authority and re-incorporated themselves as La Grande Loge Symbolique de France. The rebellion, as usual, was fomented by the Grand Orient.
It is impossible from the confused evidence to decide what Degrees were conferred by the new body, but they were probably the Craft Grades only and not the High Grades of the Scottish Rite. The central body appears to have governed Lodges and not Chapters.
One of the separated Lodges, the nature of whose dissatisfaction is shown by its title of Les Libres Penseurs, held its meetings at Pecq, a village in the department of Seine et Oise.
This Lodge on November 25, 1881, proposed that Mlle Maria Desraimes, a writer on humanitarian subjects and the rights of women, should be admitted to Freemasonry.
The proposers were the W.M. Hubron and six other Master Masons. The initiation took place on January 14, 1882, in the presence of Brethren drawn from all parts. From her subsequent history, the candidate must have been also passed and raised, but there are no particulars in the sources to which I have had access.
The Lodge was suspended, but whether by the authority which it had helped to create, by the Supreme Council, or by the Grand Orient, does not appear.
On March 14, April 1 and April 4, 1893, Mlle Desraimes, acting under the influence of a certain Docteur Georges Martin, was concerned in the initiation, passing and raising of 17 candidates. The information does not say whether they were women only or members of both sexes, but the former probably.
Some kind of Temple was founded about the same period, place not indicated; a Constitution was framed; and an androgynous Masonic body thus came into existence, under the title of Grande Loge Symbolique Ecossaise, being identical with that of the Schismatic body already mentioned.
Its one Lodge at the moment was called Le Droit Humain and that which it communicated was termed Universal Joint Freemasonry.
In 1900 the Lodge in question adopted the 30 Degrees superposed on the Craft Grades by the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
This was brought about by the intervention of French Masons said to be in possession of the 33rd Degree.
In 1903 there were centres at Benares, Paris and London.
At the same period Joint Freemasonry in the British dominion is stated to have used a Craft Ritual appertaining to the Grand Lodge of Scotland.
The movement seems to have spread from France to India and thence to England.
The title in the British dominions was altered from Joint Freemasonry to Co-Masonry about 1905.
The first English Lodge was called Human Duty and is, I infer, number 6 on the Roll.
In 1908 there was a feud in London, which has resulted in the foundation of an independent branch, the reason being that the original body, under Annie Besant and her vice-regents, constituted an automatic and irresponsible headship, in opposition to Masonic principles.
The English Ritual used by Universal Co-Masonry has been printed and had reached a second edition in 1908. It is called The Dharma Working of Craft Masonry, Dharma being the title of the Lodge at Benares.
The Ceremony of the Installation of the Worshipful Master and the Investiture of Officers has also been printed.
In the Ritual of the Three Degrees the variations from our own form are at once numerous and slight, but there are also certain new things introduced.
Some of them may be tabulated as follows:
- The W. M. is called throughout the Right Worshipful Master, following the Scottish fashion.
- The rubrics are much fuller.
- The Entered Apprentice is taken three times round the Lodge and is brought back on each occasion to the centre.
- (d) The second circumambulation is opposite to the first, or against the sun; the third is the same as the first, or with the sun.
- In the Second Degree, after the usual circumambulations, the Candidate is placed in the centre and passes through five stages or experiences, corresponding (1) to work on the rough stone; (2) the arts; (3) Sciences; (4) the Humanities, and (5) apparently rest after work, with the idea of work to follow.
- In the Third Degree the Obligation is shortened and certain significant covenants are not found, presumably because women take it. The wording also differs.
- The wording differs throughout in many places and some of the prayers are changed.
THINGS NOT MADE
Thou art what we are; Thou art what we do; Thou art what we say. Thou art all things, and there is nothing which Thou art not. Thou art that which is made and all that is not made.
— Egyptian Scriptures.
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CORRESPONDENCE CIRCLE BULLETIN — No. 7
Edited by Bro. Robert I. Clegg, Caxton Building, Cleveland Ohio
THE OFFICERS OF A LODGE AND THEIR DUTIES
Bro. Robert I. Clegg
If we may properly assume that the officers of the Lodge form the machinery of Masonry, the means to make its labor most useful and efficient, the power plant of the institution; then the Master is the governor or regulator, the very spark-plug of the motor. Upon him rests responsibility for the rate of progress, the dignity of the work, the spirit of the labor. With him much may be done, without him all is undone.
Of necessity, therefore, he must be obeyed and he ought to be worthy of such obedience. So it was of old. Let us turn to that ancient account of bygone laws and read from the White Book of the City of London of what in those days of the past they esteemed due and right from the members to the officers of the "mysteries," the gilds of the Masons and the other operative and speculative crafts seven centuries ago.
OF THE PENALTY FOR REBELLING AGAINST THE MASTERS OF THE MYSTERIES
"Item, it is ordained that all the mysteries of the City of London shall be lawfully regulated and governed, each according to its nature in due manner, that is no knavery, false workmanship, or deceit, shall be found in said mysteries, for the honor of the good folk of the said mysteries, and for the common profit of the people. And in each mystery there shall be chosen and sworn four or six, or more or less, according as the mystery shall need; which person, so chosen and sworn, shall have full power from the Mayor well and lawfully to do and perform the same. And if any person of the said mysteries shall be rebellious, contradictory, or fractious, that so such persons may not duly perform their duties, and shall thereof be attainted (convicted), he shall remain in prison, the first time, ten days, and shall pay ten shillings for such contempt."
It was further provided that on a second offense he should go to prison for twenty days and pay a fine of twenty shillings, and on a third offense he paid thirty shillings and was imprisoned thirty days, and so on for every further case of the like wrong doing.
Why were the authorities so very clear and helpful in stating what the City officials held proper to be done in supporting the hands of the respective Masters? It is not necessary to guess at the motives behind their action. We can find them on record in the very same code of laws. In the introduction to an ordinance relating to the admission of members to these gild bodies, we note: "Because as well as in times past, out of memory, as also in modern times, the City aforesaid is wont to be defended and governed by the aid and counsels as well of the reputable men of the trades merchant as of the other trades handicraft; and from of old it hath been the usage, that no strange person, native or alien, as to whose conversation and condition there is no certain knowledge, shall be admitted to the freedom of the City, unless first, the merchants or traders of the City following the trade which the person so to be admitted intends to adopt, shall be lawfully convoked; that so, by such his fellow citizens, so convoked, the Mayor and Aldermen aforesaid, being certified as to the condition and trustworthiness of the persons so to be admitted, may know whether such persons ought to be admitted or rejected; — the whole community demands, that the form aforesaid, so far as concerns the more important trades and handicrafts, shall in future be inviolably observed, that so no person in future may against the provision aforesaid be admitted to the freedom of the City."
There indeed are the reasons why any city or community might well have a lively interest and a friendly confidence in the long-established practices of such an institution as ours, and to rely upon the aid and the counsels of good men and true assembled lawfully and governed wisely by competent officers.
From the same source as the foregoing quotations we take the approved obligation prescribed for the officers of the old gilds.
OATH OF THE MASTERS AND WARDENS OF THE MYSTERIES
"You shall swear, that well and lawfully you shall overlook the art or mystery of Masonry, of which you are Master, or Wardens, for the year elected. And the good rules and ordinances of the same mystery, approved here by the Court, you shall keep and cause to be kept. And all the defaults that you shall find therein, done contrary thereto, you shall present unto the Chamberlain of the City, from time to time, sparing no one for favor, and aggrieving no one for hate. Extortion or wrong unto no one, by colour of your office, you shall do; nor unto anything that shall be against the estate and peace of the King, or the City, you shall consent. But for the time that you shall be in office, in all things pertaining unto the said mystery, according to the good laws and franchises of the said City, well and lawfully you shall behave yourself. So help you God and the Saints."
Today the Master of a Lodge also promises faithfully and impartially, to the best of his ability, to perform all the duties belonging to the office to which he has been elected; that he will conform to the "constitution, laws, rules, and regulations" of the Grand Lodge and will enforce a strict obedience to them. He is likewise at installation required to give his assent to the old charges pertaining to the position of Master. These are in general the following:
"You agree and promise to be a good man and true, and strictly to obey the moral law; a peaceable citizen, and to cheerfully conform to the laws of the country in which you reside; not to be concerned in plots and conspiracies against the government, but patiently to submit to the decisions of the supreme legislature; pay a proper respect to the civil magistrates, to work diligently, live creditably, and act honorably by all men; hold in veneration the original rulers and patrons of the institution of Masonry, and their regular successors, supreme and subordinate, according to their stations, and to submit to the awards and resolutions of your brethren, when convened, in every case consistent with the constitutions of the order; to avoid private piques and quarrels, and guard against intemperance and excess; cautious in carriage and behavior, courteous to your brethren, and faithful to your Lodge; to respect genuine brethren, and to discountenance imposters, and all dissenters from the original plan of Masonry; to promote the general good of society, to cultivate the social virtues, and propagate the knowledge of the art; to pay homage to the Grand Master for the time being, and to his officers when duly installed, and strictly to conform to every edict of the Grand Lodge, or general assembly of Masons, that is not subversive of the principles and ground-work of Masonry; that it is not in the power of any man, or body of men, to make innovations in the body of Masonry; to make a regular attendance upon the committees and communications of the Grand Lodge, on receiving proper notice, and to pay attention to all the duties of Masonry, on convenient occasions; that no new Lodge shall be formed without permission of the Grand Lodge; and that no countenance be given to an irregular Lodge, or to any person clandestinely initiated therein, being contrary to the Ancient Charges of the Order; that no person can be regularly made a Mason in, or admitted a member of, any regular Lodge, without previous notice, and due inquiry into his character; that no visitors shall be admitted into your Lodge, without due examination, and producing proper vouchers of their having been initiated into a regular lodge."
Various implements of Masonry are at the same time called to the Master's attention. Among them are the Holy Writings, the Book of Constitutions (Masonic Code), and the By-laws of his Lodge. Of these he is thus admonished:
"The Holy Writings, that great light in Masonry, will guide you in all truth; it will direct your path to the temple of happiness, and point out to you the whole duty of man.
"The Book of Constitutions you are to search at all times. Cause it to be read in your Lodge, that none may pretend ignorance of the excellent precepts it enjoins.
"You will also receive in charge the By-laws of your Lodge, which you are to see carefully and punctually executed."
Several symbols, as the Square, the Compasses, the Rule, and the Line, are at the same time used to impress upon the Master's mind with renewed force on this solemn occasion the principles of morality, the just limit of desires, the eminence obtained by merit, the upright walk in the path of virtue, and the standards of rectitude. Upon the Master is especially placed the duty of diffusing light and instruction to the brethren of his Lodge.
Having selected and installed the Master, a brother "of good morals, of great skill, true and trusty, and a lover of the whole fraternity, wheresoever dispersed over the face of the earth," we may indeed further fairly assume that he will "discharge the duties of the office with fidelity."
THE WORSHIPFUL MASTER
The prerogatives and duties of the Worshipful Master are many and various. His very title, quaint and old, throws a flood of light upon his place and power. Master he is truly, but much more than a mere ruler. "Worshipful" means one worthy of honor deserving of respect and deference. For many hundreds of years it has been employed toward those attaining high position in English civil life. Magistrates are still so addressed in that country; their "Your Worship" being equivalent to our "Your Honor," and meaning no more or less. To many of our brethren it may strike upon the ear at first as savoring of irreverence the misuse of a word commonly employed for religious purposes only. But to us it has no such significance. We so designate the officer so addressed because it is he who holds greatest preferment in the Lodge and thereupon we continue in speaking to or of him to use that subtle word of distinction implying the very aristocracy of pure personal worth and mental merit among his skilled fellows.
From the decision of the Master there can be no appeal save only to the higher body; he can invite any member to preside over his Lodge; he can issue a proxy to any member to represent him at the Grand Lodge Communication; at the Communication of the Grand Lodge he is independent in action — voting as he pleases irrespective of any action taken by his Lodge; he alone is the judge as to convening and opening Lodge and of the conduct of its business; he determines when special communications of his Lodge shall be held and what shall be done therein; he may cut short discussion on other business at any time and close the Lodge; he controls the admission of visitors; his permission is essential, whenever he is present, to the admission of members and candidates; he has charge of the charter or warrant; he appoints whatever officers are appointed and he may install all the officers whether elected or appointed if so he chooses; in the absence of an officer he appoints the substitute; he announces the result of balloting and elections; he appoints all committees; and while this is seldom insisted upon he has from of old the privilege of being present at the meetings of all committees and of presiding over them at his pleasure — following the ancient practice recorded by Anderson nearly two centuries ago that wherever Masons congregate together the Master is entitled to govern and direct their labors on all Masonic matters; he may vote and also cast another vote in the event of a tie but this is not universal though of ancient usage; he is immune from trial by his Lodge; he decides points of order without appeal permitted to Lodge, and he presides at trials and determines questions of law.
Before the installation of the Master-elect it is no means uniform in the several jurisdictions. usually required that he shall have received the Past Master's degree.
THE SENIOR WARDEN
In the absence of the Master the Senior Warden governs the Lodge; in the presence of the Master the Senior Warden assists him in the Lodge government. At the Communication of the Grand Lodge the Senior Warden is one of the three officers, Master, Senior and Junior Wardens or their proxies, charged with the duty of representing the Lodge.
In 1721 we find that the regulations specified that "In case of death or sickness, or necessary absence of the Master, the Senior Warden shall act as Master pro tempore, if no brother is present who has been Master of that Lodge before. For the absent Master's authority reverts to the last Master present, though he cannot act till the Senior Warden has congregated the Lodge."
Under some foreign Constitutions it is the case that among the sitting officers of the Lodge is the Immediate Past Master and upon him devolves the duty of taking up the work in the absence of the installed Master of the Lodge, the Senior Warden assembling the Lodge but the I.P.M. assuming the East for all ritualistic and monitorial purposes while the Senior Warden is in charge of other matters. With us there is not that established method. The Master being absent the Senior Warden takes his place and calls to his assistance whatever help he may find is requisite in conducting the affairs of the Lodge, opening and closing and performing all other functions as if he be indeed the Master of the Lodge.
THE JUNIOR WARDEN
The Junior Warden is presumed to have especial control of the brethren at refreshment, as the Senior Warden is assumed to be in charge of the Craft when at labor. These changes of control within the Lodge are signified by the position of the columns placed at the respective stations of the Senior and Junior Wardens. When the Master and the Senior Warden are absent or incapacitated in any way, the Junior Warden succeeds to the position in direction of the Lodge.
Let it here be stated that the several officers of a Masonic Lodge do not in the event of any vacancy each move up one station or position. The various officers remain as they were, as far as this is practicable, and the vacancies are filled for the time by appointment.
One of the prerogatives of the Wardens that they share with the Master and Past Masters is that of being eligible to election to the East.
In the absence of the Master and the two Wardens a Lodge can only be opened and transact business by special dispensation.
Mention has been made of the Master making appointments. It was one time the custom, (which yet prevails in some jurisdictions) that the Senior Warden appoints the Junior Deacon, and the Junior Warden in turn appoints the two Stewards. Custom as to the election and appointment of the respective officers is by no means uniform in the several jurisdictions.
The Treasurer is the banker of the Lodge and has nothing to do with the collections which are made by the Secretary and duly turned over to him. Of the receipt of these monies he must make due entries and pay them out only on the order of the Master and with the consent of the Lodge. Worth while is it to note here that the old custom of the Grand Lodge of England provides for the election only of the Master and the Treasurer, all other officers being appointed by the former. Evidently the idea behind this practice was to avoid any appearance of collusion between the two officers and to make each of them all the more directly responsible to the electing body, the Lodge. Bonds are commonly and should always be exacted of the Treasurer for the faithful performance of his duties. An honest man as Treasurer will not object to every safeguard being thrown about and around his financial relations to his Lodge.
The Secretary receives all money due to the Lodge and pays them over to the Treasurer, taking his receipt therefor. He also observes the proceedings of the Lodge and makes a suitable record of all things proper to be written. Both the Secretary and the Treasurer make an annual report to the Lodge and the former is as a rule also required to transmit this and a copy of the membership roster with all other desirable particulars of the work done to the Grand Secretary at such dates or times as the laws of the Grand Lodge require. The Secretary is indeed the recording, the corresponding and collecting agent for the Lodge. From him proceed all the summonses for meetings, regular or special. All dimits, diplomas, and communications are issued by him. He is in charge of the seal and the archives. In common with the Treasurer he submits his books and Lodge property to the examination of a committee at such stated intervals as the by-laws or the pleasure of the Master may dictate.
Among the appointive officers is the Chaplain. Upon him rests the duty of performing such parts in our public and private ceremonies as are required. Manifestly Freemasonry pretends not to be a religion but does act as an auxiliary to whatever is great and good, "a pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night pointing the way, teaching a gospel of love, leading men to light and life everlasting." To further this practice and profession is primarily the place and function of the Chaplain.
The Deacons have especial duties. The Senior Deacon is the first lieutenant of the Worshipful Master, carrying out his orders in the management of the affairs of the Lodge. The Junior Deacon acts in the same capacity to the Senior Warden. The Senior Deacon is the immediate connecting link between the Master and all candidates, and similarly with all the members and visitors. The Junior Deacon assists the Senior Warden upon the inside of the inner door in guarding the proceedings against the intrusion of all those not qualified to enter. The two Deacons jointly carry out the respective orders of the presiding officer in the proper preparation of the Lodge and its adaptation to the several ceremonies.
The handling of the ballot box, the reception of visitors and their introduction and accommodation, the care of the altar and lights, all belong peculiarly to the duties of the Senior Deacon. None enter or leave, no one opens the Lodge door, no one instructs the Tyler, but with the co-operation of the Junior Deacon.
The Stewards assist the Secretary in the collection of dues and subscriptions, keep track of the Lodge table expenses, see that the tables are properly furnished at refreshment, that every brother is suitably provided for at the banquets, and generally assist the Deacons and other officers in performing their duties. So substantially has been the labor set for the performance of the Stewards from the days certainly of Preston and of Webb who so record their functions. Yes, it is even older for ten centuries ago in the old Constitutions we note that then "The Steward shall provide good cheer against the hour of refreshment, and each Fellow shall punctually defray his share of the reckoning, the Steward rendering a true and correct account."
The Tyler permits none to pass or repass unless they are fully qualified and possess permission. Upon his early and punctual attendance will depend very much of the success of the Lodge labors. He serves the summonses of the Lodge, prepares the room for the Lodge meetings, lays out the jewels and other requisite items (as gavels and so forth) for the use of the Lodge, and in the anteroom and the preparation room he provides a supply of aprons or whatever else may be required. He is never to open the door from without, nor permit it to be opened from within, without the exchange of the preliminary alarms between himself and the Junior Deacon.
Mackey's Encyclopedia: Seal. Appeal, Right of. Secretary. Oath, Tiler's. Tiler. Obedience. Treasurer. Officers. Wardens. Past Master. Worshipful.
The Worshipful Master's Assistant, by Robert Macoy. "Worshipful" as title, The Builder, Vol. I, p. 96. The Worshipful Master's Assistant, by Delmar D. Darrah.
AN APPEAL TO OUR MEMBERS
Up to the time this issue of the Correspondence Circle Bulletin goes to press more than 1,000 Lodges and Study Clubs throughout the United States and Canada were considering, or had already gone to work on, our plan for the systematic study of Masonry.
We know there are thousands of other Lodges that would welcome the opportunity to take up this plan if it were presented to them.
But how are we to reach the remaining 13,000 Lodges?
We should like to be able to do so at an early date as possible in order that they may take up the work before the course is much further advanced.
We have printed in circular form under the heading "1,000 Wide-Awake Lodges" a complete list of suggestions for organizing Study Clubs or introducing the study feature into the Lodges at regular or special meetings once each month.
Will you help us to place this circular in the hands of the officers of your Lodge? Many of them are not members of the Society and we can not reach them except with your co-operation.
Read on page 8 of this Bulletin what a New Mexico Brother has to say anent this movement. Note especially what he says in the fifth paragraph about a brother taking his degrees. Does not this parallel your own experience? You will also agree with what he says a little further on, that there is something in Masonry that most of us failed to get. There is yet time for us to get this "something," and the way to get it is through our Study plan. We shall also be helping each newly-raised Brother in the future in a way that we ourselves were not helped.
A number of interested members have heeded our call to send in complete lists of the officers of their Lodges. This has enabled us to get in touch with these Brethren who might otherwise never have heard of the Society or its work, and as a consequence committees have in a majority of these instances been appointed to put the Study plan into effect.
The fact remains that, numerically speaking, we have as yet only scratched the surface. If our members who are interested in the progress of the Society and its activities in promoting the study of Masonry will lend their assistance very much can be accomplished.
Brethren, the ultimate success of this movement depends as much, if not more, upon YOUR INDIVIDUAL HELP, than the work of Brother Clegg and those of us in the Secretary's office.
Therefore we ask you to lend your aid to this movement by sending in a full list of the officers of your own Lodge, from the Worshipful Master down to the Tiler. Do not depend upon some other member of the Society in your community, but send in the list YOURSELF. We would much rather have the lists duplicated than not to receive them at all.
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WHAT AN ENTERED APPRENTICE OUGHT TO KNOW
Bro. Hal Riviere, Georgia
(The following article, prepared as an address to a newly-made Entered Apprentice, appeals to the Editor of this Department as peculiarly in harmony with the purposes for which the Department itself is designed. It would seem to be a worthwhile presentation of fundamental facts not now provided for in any Jurisdiction with which we are familiar. That it answers many of the questions asked by Initiates, and at the same time gives the candidate a glimpse of the high idealism of the Fraternity at a time when his mind is most receptive, commends the lecture to us as of great value. We believe that a Worshipful Master who desires to give his candidates the best possible conception of Masonry, could do no better, on the First Degree, than to present this lecture.)
Once upon a time a certain man named Philip, while traveling from Jerusalem to Gaza, came upon a man of Ethiopia, a Eunuch who was an officer in the court of an Eastern queen. This Ethiopian was reading the Holy Scriptures but being of a foreign tongue and unfamiliar with the history of the Scriptures and the idioms and symbols with which they were illustrated, he was not able to interpret what he read to his satisfaction. Philip drew near to him and seeing his perplexity asked, "Understandest thou what thou readest?" The man replied, "How can I understand unless some man shall guide me?" So, my Entered Apprentice Brother, if I should ask you tonight if you understand what you have passed through, you would doubtless reply in the words of the Ethiopian, "How can I understand unless some one shall guide me?" Will you permit me to perform that service for you?
Masonry, has been defined as a beautiful system of Morality, veiled in Allegory and illustrated by symbols. Now an allegory is a story told to illustrate or convey some truth. Some of the most important truths have been handed down to us through allegories, that being one of the favorite methods the Master used to convey his teachings. It is one of the peculiarities of an allegory that its message may not be understood by all men. One must be prepared within his own mind and heart to receive the truth or else he sees it not. It is only a few of all those who hear who perceive the lesson designed to be taught by the allegory. The great majority, having ears to hear, hear not; having eyes to see, see not the beautiful lesson but hear only a pretty story that interests for a short while and then is lost. But the earnest seeker for truth, he who is duly and truly prepared for its reception, sees beyond the veil of the allegory and perceives the beautiful simple truth which it conceals from the multitude but reveals to the chosen few.
A symbol is a visible sign for an idea. From the earliest dawn of creation, man has realized that there is a Supreme Being, a Creator who is all powerful. Many were the ancient names he bore. As the sun was the most powerful, most wonderful object visible to the primitive peoples, they used it as a symbol of the Supreme Being. The majority, seeing no further than the symbol, worshiped the sun itself; but the learned, the wise, the thoughtful ever regarded the sun as only a symbol of God's power and saw beyond it to the Great Father over all.
So, my Brother, Masonry teaches by allegories and symbols, and it is your part to extract from them the truths that will be of service to you in the building of an upright Masonic character. If you perceive only the stories that Masonry presents to you and do not see deeper into what they are designed to teach, you will miss the best part of Masonry, yet you may comfort yourself with the thought that by far the great majority of Masons are no wiser than yourself. But if by pondering over the allegories and symbols of these degrees you find the hidden truth, a new world of wisdom, strength and beauty will be revealed to you.
In order to understand the symbols of the three degrees it is necessary for you to know that, broadly speaking, Masonry has come from two general sources. One of these was the societies of stone masons who flourished in medieval times, and who were the builders of those great cathedrals that are being so ruthlessly destroyed in France and Belgium today. These societies gradually ceased to be bands of operative workers and admitted men not really connected with the actual work of building. By the year 1717 Masonic lodges had become purely speculative. But the working tools of the operative Masons, the square, level, plumb, rule, gavel, etc., were still retained as symbols to teach important truths in character building. We, as Masons, no longer build temples and cathedrals of stone but we build spiritual temples, temples of character, temples of upright manhood and integrity.
The second great source from which Masonry derived its symbolism was the ancient Mysteries. The relation they bear to our order will be unfolded to you as you advance in the degrees. It is only necessary to tell you here that in every ancient nation that attained any degree of civilization, were secret organizations known as the Mysteries, having initiation ceremonies. These organizations were composed of the wisest men of those nations, and all the higher knowledge of religion, art, and science was taught in them alone. Men waited and labored for years to become prepared or worthy to be initiated into the Mysteries. It is said that the great philosopher, Pythagoras waited for twenty years to be initiated into the mysteries of Egypt. Moses seems also to have been an Egyptian initiate, while St. John the Baptist came from the Jewish sect called Essenes, which practiced the mystical rites. It has been claimed that Jesus of Nazareth was an Essene, his teachings conforming somewhat closely to their practices.
In the ancient Mysteries of India, the candidate might receive the first degree as early as eight years of age. Then began a severe system of mental and moral training to fit him for advancement, for with every degree it was intended that he should attain more of perfection. He was invested with a three-ply cord called the zennar, emblematic of their tri-une God. From that cord we get our cable tow. The candidate was kept a long time in darkness before taking a degree, to reflect upon the seriousness of the step he was about to take. Truly wanting light, he was taught to worship God as the Source of Light. He was conducted regularly around the room — usually a cave or grotto hewn out of solid rock — passing from East to West by way of the South, his right side being next the altar; the priests chanted, "I copy the example of the Sun and follow his benevolent course." He next made a declaration that he would keep himself pure, that he would be obedient and would maintain secrecy. After that, he was divested of his shoes and clothed in a white linen robe. We read in the Book of Ruth that it was a custom in Israel that, to confirm a contract or agreement, a man took off his shoe and gave it to his neighbor. You see in all these ceremonies, the beginnings of some of our Masonic customs; and with these general principles in mind you are ready to hear an explanation of some of the teachings of the E. A. Degree.
Before initiation, Masonry demands that a candidate be duly and truly prepared. This preparation should be mental and moral as well as physical. Our Order subscribes to no system of religious doctrine, but it requires that every man who presents himself as a candidate for initiation shall declare a belief in one God, all-wise, all-powerful, all-good, who reveals himself to mankind; also teaches that there is life beyond the grave.
The candidate must come of his own free will; must be a man, free born, twenty-one years of age, able to read and write, and his moral qualities must be such as will bear a rigid investigation by a committee of Master Masons appointed for that purpose. Masonry tries to exclude those who come through mere curiosity or through a desire for business or social gain. To be a member of the investigating committee is one of the most serious duties a Mason is called upon to perform, and every candidate deserves careful consideration; even then, many duly and truly unprepared make their way into our lodges.
Masonry invites no man. He knocks at the door of the lodge of his own free will, bearing nothing that will indicate poverty or wealth, rank or station. At the inner door of the preparation room all are equal, and entrance through this door into the lodge room is only granted after the candidate has satisfied all present that he is worthy and well qualified to gain admission, and comes as an earnest seeker for Light and Truth. Gold cannot buy, rank cannot demand; neither can learning guarantee admission unless a reputation for generosity, truthfulness and rectitude of conduct be coupled with it.
Secrecy is the first great lesson of the E. A. degree. This great virtue is necessary in our order so that Masons will appreciate the lessons taught. As a secret shared between two people binds them together, so the secrets of our fraternity bind the Brethren together. If our teachings of beautiful truths were scattered broadcast through the world, they would become commonplace; so they are taught under secrecy, only to those deemed worthy to receive and practice them. Taken with the salt of curiosity and expectation, they are the more readily perceived.
Nothing can more torture a man than the pangs of remorse which a guilty conscience can force upon him. Sharp instruments may torture the flesh, but unless the torture be unto death a few short days suffice to heal the wounds and only the scars remain to remind of the agony endured. But the torture of a guilty conscience is not so. Memory of pledges violated, evil deeds done, kind actions left undone comes to us after years have passed; comes as we lie upon our beds and chases "Sleep, tired Nature's sweet restorer" from our eyes, and makes our bed a hell; comes amid our innocent social pleasures and turns our joy to pain; a face, a word or an odor may bring back the hateful incidents of a scene that no subsequent life of purity and holiness and rectitude of conduct can banish from the memory. Brother, guard well your actions, that henceforth no memory of evil deeds disturb your peace or rack your mind and conscience.
We are taught that a Mason should never enter upon any great or laudable undertaking without invoking the aid of Almighty God. In the light of that lesson, prayer becomes a duty as well as the privilege of every Mason. How few understand the nature and effects of prayer. Prayer that has become merely a bed-time custom is not a prayer; it is an incantation to soothe the conscience or satisfy the demands of a habit formed in more innocent and unsophisticated days. The object and effect of prayer are to bring the soul into conscious harmony with the all wise Father, whose laws are true and just and righteous altogether.
"Prayer is the soul's sincere desire," so says the old song. If that be true, (and who says not?) how earnestly should the compasses be used to circumscribe our desires and keep our passions within due bounds, so that no unrighteous, no unworthy, no covetous, no licentious prayer insult the Father whose all-seeing eye looks into the innermost recesses of our being. Prayer reveals a man to himself. For what do you pray; on what do you meditate; what thought do you ponder over and keep within your heart? Be sure that it will find expression in your outer life, for "the within is ceaselessly becoming the without." Guard well your thoughts, the source of all your deeds and actions.
The trust of a Mason is in God. But before a man can trust in God whom he cannot see, he must learn to trust in his fellow man who is made in God's image. As you placed yourself in the hands of this lodge and followed your conductors through the ceremonies of initiation, you exemplified your trust in your fellow man. So ever place your trust in God and walk uprightly through life, fearing no danger; know that a man's worst enemy is himself, and that one with God is a majority.
Masonic Light is the object of every Mason's search. That is truly a laudable object. Light, ever and ever more light; from the first faint perception of those Three Great Lights, the Holy Bible, Square and Compasses, until he shuffle off this mortal coil, the earnest Mason seeks for Light; seeks in the Holy Bible, that inestimable gift from God to man which is given us as a rule and guide for our faith and practice; seeks in the symbolism of the Square and Compasses; seeks in the great book of Nature; seeks in the hearts and lives of men. If he realize that Masonic Light is a symbol for Truth; if he see beyond the symbol to the Truth itself, comprehending it by the light of knowledge and wisdom, then the full glory of Masonic Light will shine in his heart, and he will go forth to bear the light aloft and let it shine among men.
As the lodge is a symbol of the world, in the circumambulation of the lodge room the candidate symbolizes the progress of a man from ignorance to knowledge, and also the progress of the human race from savagery to civilization. Cares and temptations of business and pleasure throw obstacles in the way of men and of nations, and challenge their capability and integrity. Both individuals and nations must overcome obstacles and demonstrate their right to advance to broader fields of usefulness.
As seen in the West, the light of the sun is ever a declining glory. The East, as the birth-place of the sun and source of light, has always been venerated by primitive peoples. As devout Moslems pray with their faces toward Mecca, the birth-place of their prophet, and as the ancient sun worshipers bowed to the rising sun, so Masons give the highest place to the East, as the true source of all Masonic Light and it is there the Worshipful Master has his station. Hence a Mason travels from West to East on his search for Masonic Light, and hence also the regular upright manner of approaching the East and rendering it due respect.
While demanding that all Masons yield obedience to the tenets of the order, Masonry requires no act or belief that will conflict with any of the exalted duties that a man owes to God, his country, his neighbor, his family or himself. Reverence for God, patriotism and brotherly love are so frequently inculcated and so forcibly recommended in the lodge, that the Mason who does not practice those virtues is recreant to the trust imposed in him by his Brethren. Truth being the center of all Masonic teaching and the highest principles of reverence, patriotism and charity being founded on Truth, it follows that he who lives up to the highest principles of Masonic duty will naturally practice all moral, social and religious virtues.
He who is in conscience bound to perform an act, to accomplish a purpose or to keep a secret, is bound by ties though invisible, that are stronger than any bonds that could be forged or contrived by man. The release of the candidate from the last ties that bind him to the world he has left outside the lodge room, coupled with the reception of light is a symbol of a new birth, a birth from the darkness of ignorance and superstition to the light of wisdom, toleration, generosity and all commendable virtues.
Charity should be a distinguishing characteristic of every Mason. It is in the practice of this virtue that man most nearly reveals his kinship to God. Hear Buddha on the charitable man: "The charitable man is loved by all; his friendship is prized highly; in death his heart is at rest and full of joy for he suffers not from repentance; he receives the opening flower of his reward and the fruit that ripens from it. The charitable man has found the path of salvation. He is like the man who plants a sapling, securing thereby the shade, the flowers and the fruit in future years. Even so is the result of charity, even so is the joy of him who helps those who are in need of assistance." If the cardinal virtues of Freemasonry, which are Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence and Justice, were practiced by all mankind, then charity, as an act of almsgiving, would cease. For ignorance and intemperance and injustice would be banished from the world, and the woes of misery and penury that follow them would then give place to joy. But the poor we have with us always; so, as we administer our charity let us remember that it is not only those who are in straightened financial circumstances who need our assistance, but that the poor in spirit, the despondent, the discouraged may be heartened and lifted up by kind and encouraging words. Let us give bountifully of our love and sympathy to every Brother in distress.
* * *
HAVE A QUESTION BOX IN YOUR STUDY CLUB!
Assuming that your Lodge or Study Club has determined to undertake Masonic study on a serious basis, and is working toward our "Bulletin Course," the arrangement of a program, in order to hold its interest, should be given careful attention. We are able to say, from actual experience, that the reading of Brother Clegg's paper, and the supplemental papers which are prepared by the Brethren, should occupy in a formal way, no more than one hour.
Some of the papers will provoke discussion. Others will not, since the material used in their preparation will tell practically the whole story, and the authorities given will only serve to clinch the argument.
In any event, discussion aroused will probably not, on the average, consume more than another half hour. Experience shows that when the Brethren get themselves comfortably seated for Masonic discussion, the formal paper arouses in them an ordinarily latent curiosity. And after the pre-arranged discussion is concluded, more than one of the faces will suddenly light up, and immediately there will come forth some question which has been bothering the Brother. And no sooner will he have propounded his, than someone on the opposite side of the room will remember that he, too, has a question which he has tried to answer, and failing this, to get answered, to no avail.
Here is one of the very best of symptoms. A discussion of these questions should by all means be entered into. Let the presiding officer of the meeting answer them if he can. If none of the committee in charge of the meeting are able to answer them all, have the Secretary take the unanswered questions down. Let the Chairman then parcel out these questions, answers to be brought in at the next meeting. Here are samples of the questions that were carried over in one meeting of the kind:
Why did a Protestant Minister move to take the Bible off the Altar in Lodges working under the jurisdiction of the Grand Orient of France?
What is the symbolic significance of the position of the square and compasses in the Blue Lodge Degrees?
What Grand Lodges does our Grand Lodge recognize?
What does the word "Orientation" mean, as applied to Masonic Temples?
What is the present-day tendency in the administration of Masonic charity?
What is the significance of "The East" in the Masonic sense?
These questions (all of them inspired by Brother Clegg's paper on "Foundations and Fundamentals") were carried over to the next meeting. At least six other questions were asked and answered. There were brethren present who rather thought that they could answer some of the above questions offhand, but it was thought advisable to work them up more carefully and give all the best authorities on the subjects presented.
At the succeeding meeting all but one of the above questions were answered, most of them fully and all to the satisfaction of the Brethren present.
Can anyone doubt that this particular meeting was a success?
Ninety-six per cent. of the Brethren present at the beginning stayed through until after 11:00 P. M., when the meeting closed! Many Lodges will feel that this hour is too late. That may be true. But the fact remains that young men, finding all at once that the study of Masonry, when directed along definite lines, holds a fascination for them, and offers them a welcome diversion from the routine of business cares, will want to stay by it. And they will go out from these study meetings, not only inspired to further work, but actually elated with the opportunity to discover what other men of the Fraternity are thinking. This is as it should be. It brings back the Masonry of other days, when men glorified in its fellowship, using each meeting of the Lodge to ripen the man-to-man intimacy which results in true Brotherhood.
The plan works. It is working in many, many Lodges. It will work in yours. With three or four Brethren willing to make some search — and if necessary research — the full attendance of a Lodge can find themselves absorbingly interested in the discussions that will be born, almost automatically, from the reading of a formal paper.
A NEW MEXICO ESTIMATE OF OUR STUDY CLUB MOVEMENT
In my search through the Masonic exchanges which come to this office, there is no item of news more gratifying than that Clubs for the Study of the Science and Philosophy of Masonry are being formed all over the land.
This is truly the supplying of a "long felt want" and is an augury for better things both civically and Masonically.
It is neither my purpose nor province to be a scold, but in common with many of my Brethren the realization has been painful that we as Masons are not getting the good out of Masonry that we should and we are not giving to the young members that to which they are entitled.
The true story of the average Lodge would read about as follows:
A profane petitions for membership, he is elected, he is given the first and second degrees with little more than the necessary quorum of members present. In order to have a respectable number of Craftsmen present at his raising, the Master orders a "feed," and, to make sure that they will not slip away, he puts on the second section before the feast is spread; then, sad to relate, not more than a handful remain to give the "newly Obligated Brother" a prefunctory congratulation at the close of the Lodge.
Whether they have made a Mason or just a member is not the concern of the majority; nor are they to be severely criticised, for they received the same kind of a welcome from those who preceded them.
In very truth Brethren it is surprising, with the circumscribed opportunities for learning what Masonry really is, that the Brotherhood entertain so high a regard for the order in the abstract. They must instinctively feel that there is a something in Masonry that they have failed to get, and that feeling prompts those who become students to dig out for themselves those beauties, which with a little help from their "better" informed Brethren, could have been acquired in half the time and with more accurate deductions.
The teachings of Masonry are sublime and ennobling, but these teachings must be sought elsewhere and beyond the rituals and monitors of our symbolic Lodges.
The first two degrees are only introductory to the third, and all Masonic students concur that the Master's degree contains the basic principles, and is the "stone of foundation" upon which the entire superstructure of Masonic philosophy has been erected; but how few of us ever realize what that degree really contains.
It does not make the same impression upon any two men, and the exchange of impressions in an hour's fraternal gathering, at the close of the Lodge, or on some other night in each month, would be far more beneficial to Masonry in general and the Lodge in particular than the making of any number of new "members of the order."
It is readily perceived that the organization of these Study Clubs has been undertaken with the determination to stop the trend of making "members" by giving all, present and to come, an opportunity to become Masons in fact as well as in name.
In this work the Fraternity in New Mexico cannot afford to lag behind, for there is as great need of real Masonry here as in any other jurisdiction; and, an appeal is hereby made to our Scottish Rite Brethren to take the initiative in the work of organizing Study Clubs all over the state. You know much better than they know themselves the imperative need for Masonic study by the mass of members with whom you come in contact
These clubs are in no way to conflict with our Scottish Rite Clubs, nor need the Scottish Rite be ever mentioned therein; and yet, your patently superior knowledge of Masonry, acquired in the Scottish Rite, will prove to be a stronger incentive for others to seek what they can there secure than any direct appeal.
— Scottish Rite Bulletin, Santa Fe, N.M.
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THE FOUR HIRAMS OF TRYE
Bro. A. S. MacBride, Scotland
II. THE TWO ARTISANS* CALLED HIRAM
* The word "Artisan" is here used in its proper sense as one skilled in Art; a master of Arts.
IN the traditions of Masonry connected with the M. M. degree, the central figure is that of "Hiram Abif." A martyr to fidelity and honour, his memory has been held sacred by the Craft. Yet, historically, there is very little known of him. By many, if not by the most, of those who troubled themselves to think on the subject, the traditions regarding him, until recently, were considered to be mythological legends similar to those on which the ancient mysteries were formed, and altogether devoid of truth. The fact that in the Biblical accounts of the building of King Solomon's Temple there is no mention, nor apparently the smallest hint, of his death, has been accepted as a proof that he did not die, during the building of that structure. Dr. Oliver, the well known Masonic writer, evidently considered the tradition of his death as mythical, for in the "Freemason's Treasury," Lecture XLV, he says: "It is well known that the celebrated artist was living at Tyre many years after the Temple was completed."
But let us examine the Biblical narrative a little more closely than we have hitherto done. Assuming for the time being as correct, the generally accepted belief that only one artisan of the name of Hiram, or Huram, is mentioned in that historical account of the building of the Temple; we are immediately confronted with three contradictions demanding attention. These are:
- in the descriptions of his parentage;
- in the descriptions of his qualifications;
- in the periods named of his arrival at the Temple.
In the first place then, let us look at
THE DESCRIPTIONS OF HIRAM'S PARENTAGE
In 2 Chron. H. 14, Hiram is said to be: "the son of a woman of the daughters of Dan." In I Kings VII. 14, he is described as: "the Son of a widow woman of the tribe of Naphtali." Now, no man can have two mothers, and no mother can belong to two tribes. On what supposition then, can these two differing descriptions be reconciled? Is it some mistake as to the tribe to which the mother belonged? With writers unacquainted with the tribes of Israel, or of the peculiarities of Hebrew history, that might be. But the writers of the books of Kings and Chronicles had an intimate knowledge of all these things, and we can scarcely suppose for a moment any such mistake.
The tribe of Dan occupied the hilly country in the immediate neighborhood of the Philistines and Samson the celebrated warrior and patriot was of that tribe.
Unable to subdue the Philistines the Danites, after the death of Samson, migrated to the plains of the upper Jordan around the city of Laish, which was then the granary of Sidon. Their proximity to Tyre, no doubt, resulted in intermarriages with the Tyrians; and hence, there would be nothing very remarkable in "the Son of a woman of the daughters of Dan," being a famous artisan of Tyre.
The tribe of Naphtali were located in the mountains on the northern border of Palestine; and from their nearness to Tyre and the necessities of trade from the sea-coast, they had regular intercourse with the Tyrians, and intermarriage would, consequently, more or less result. Thus there seems nothing extraordinary in the recorded fact, that a Tyrian artisan was "the son of a widow woman of the tribe of Naphtali."
There is little likelihood that, in either of these two cases, the writer of the book of Kings, or the writer of the book of Chronicles, would make any mistake in the matter of lineage; for on this point the Hebrew writers seem to have been very particular. The fact that in both instances the father is not mentioned, adds weight to the correctness of the description of the mother; and, if there was only one artisan of the name of Hiram at the building of the Temple, we have before us the insuperable difficulty of believing that he had two mothers.
Let us now pass on to consider, in the second place;
THE DESCRIPTIONS OF HIRAM'S QUALIFICATIONS
In 2nd. Chronicles II. 14, Hiram is described as: "Skillful to work in gold, and in silver, in brass, in iron, in stone, and in timber, in purple, in blue, and in fine linen, and in crimson; and also to grave any manner of graving, and to find out every device." In 1st Kings VII. 14, he is called: "A worker in brass, and he was filled with wisdom and understanding, and cunning to work all works in brass." Now, just think for a little on these two descriptions. The one is skillful to work metals — gold, silver, brass and iron; also stone and timber. In weaving and in dyeing, in engraving and in every device, he is an expert. He is an all around architect — a marvel, a genius, a man of large experience and, no doubt, of ripe years, whose fame would be sure to go down the ages. The other is merely a worker in brass — no doubt a man of good parts, but limited in experience and knowledge — probably young in years, and, according to the description, as yet only a worker in brass. This statement that his craftsmanship is confined to brass is most carefully noted by the historian, for it is reiterated in the description. He says: "A worker in brass filled with wisdom and understanding, and cunning to work all works in brass," He repeats the words "in brass," as if he was afraid that the individual he was describing might be mistaken for some other person of the same name, also celebrated as an artisan and a worker, at the building of the Temple.
Considering these two descriptions, is it reasonable to believe that they refer to the same individual? They are not loose, nor in any way vague. On the contrary, they are very precise and detailed, and no one reading them, without prejudice, would imagine them to refer to the same artisan.
We now come to our third point, viz:
THE PERIODS NAMED OF HIRAM'S ARRIVAL AT THE TEMPLE
In 2nd Chronicles II. 13, before the work of the Temple was begun, Hiram king of Tyre in his letter to Solomon says: "And now I have sent a cunning man endued with understanding," etc. In I Kings VII. 13, after the house of the Lord and the house of Solomon had been built, we are informed: "King Solomon sent and fetched Hiram out of Tyre." In the one statement we are told that before the house was built a skillful man was sent to King Solomon by Hiram King of Tyre; in the other that after the house was built Solomon "sent and fetched" Hiram out of Tyre. These periods were twenty years apart; for the house of the Lord took seven years, and the house of Solomon and the courts of the Temple other thirteen years in building.
To understand the biblical narrative properly one has to keep in view that there are several "finishes" mentioned, and that these refer only to certain parts of the work at the building of the Temple. The first "finish" is mentioned in I. Kings VI. 9: " So he built the house and finished it" — that is the mason-work, or shell of the building. Then comes the second part of the work, consisting of the carpenter-work of the roof, and of the chambers around about, as stated in verses 9 and 10; and in verse 14, the narrative goes on to say: "So Solomon built the house and finished it." The third part of the work described, consists of the decorations — the gold plating and gilding. Verse 22 says: "And the whole house he overlaid with gold, until he had finished all the house." The fourth part of the work is stated to have been the internal fittings and carvings of the house, and the building of the inner court, and the whole is summed up in verse 38, as follows: "And in the eleventh year, in the month of Bul, which is the eight month, was the house finished throughout all the parts thereof, and according to all the fashion of it. So was he seven years in building it."
So far as we have followed the narrative, the house itself, in its plan and embellishments, has been finished; but the Temple is still far from being completed. The outer courts and the houses of the king, with all their magnificence and ornamentation; the pillars of the porch, and the altars and utensils of the inner court, have not yet been begun. These were to take other thirteen years to construct and finish. In the meantime, let us go on. The house of the forest of Lebanon, the porch of judgment, Solomon's Palace, the palace for Pharaoh's daughter, and the great court; had all just been built when the sacred narrative is abruptly interrupted by the statement: "And king Solomon sent and fetched Hiram out of Tyre." All the work of building proper had been completed, but many things had yet to be done before the sacrifices and magnificent services of the Hebrew religion could be begun and maintained at the Temple. But, if Hiram was sent by the king of Tyre before the work was begun, why did Solomon, at this particular stage, need to send and "fetch" him out of Tyre? Had he gone back to Tyre after some years of laborious work, and was he again needed to complete the building? There are one or two objections to the idea. If he did return to Tyre, we would naturally expect the historian to give us some indication of his having done so. But, search as we may, there is not the smallest hint, or indication of that. All writers on the subject, differing as they do on many points, agree that Hiram had the superintendence of the work at the building of the Temple. Is it likely then, that he could have gone back, while the work was unfinished? The time necessary for such a journey in those days would have so interfered with the progress of the building operations that we are scarcely entitled to assume such a thing, unless on something approaching substantial grounds. The custom then, and for many centuries afterwards, with artisans such as Hiram, was to make their home for the time being wherever their work was. Building operations in connection with temples were necessarily of long duration. In the present case they had probably already stretched over fifteen years. The building of the holy house had occupied seven years, and the royal houses and the courts were finished, so far as mason and carpenter work were concerned; and, as they occupied thirteen years to complete, we may safely estimate that at least eight of these thirteen years had already passed when "Solomon sent and fetched Hiram out of Tyre." In all probability then, Hiram had already spent thirteen years in Jerusalem and, if alive, was still there. If that was so, why and wherefore did Solomon need to send and fetch him out of Tyre? So far as all the records go, the periods named of Hiram's arrival at the Temple are not consistent with the course of events, and are contradictory to each other; so long as we assume there was only one Hiram engaged at the work of the Temple.
These three contradictions as to the Parentage, Qualifications, and Period of arrival at the Temple, which we have now been considering, must apparently remain inexplicable, unless on the natural and, at present, the only reasonable explanation that there were two artisans of the same name, engaged at the work of that famous structure. This hypothesis reconciles those contradictions, makes clear the biblical narrative, explains certain hitherto unintelligible statements, and lends corroborative testimony to the truth, in its substance, of the Masonic tradition of the death of Hiram Abif. In the light of this hypothesis let us now review the whole circumstances mentioned in the sacred narrative.
The first Hiram is "the son of a woman of the daughters of Dan," and arrives at the beginning of the building of the Temple. He is an all around artisan, skillful to work in stone, timber, gold, iron, etc. He superintends the building operations. It is a task of no common difficulty. A great Temple has to be built on the top of a rugged hill, almost entirely surrounded by sharp precipices. Immense walls, the lowest of which is to be 450 feet high, have to be reared up in the valley out from the precipices, and the intervening space has to be filled up with earth in order to make room for the Temple with all its courts and palaces on the top. This work has to be done under the peculiar conditions that neither hammer, nor axe, nor any tool of iron is to be heard in the main structure, that is the sanctuary; while it is being built. All this would require great skill, knowledge and experience. Stonework, timber-work, and metal-work of various kinds have to be executed. The Sanctuary has to be covered inside and outside with gold. Great curtains, with cherubims and other devices, have to be manufactured. Carvings on stone, and on timber; engravings on gold and silver; have to be done, and done in the highest and most skillful manner possible. The work is not only stupendous in its nature; it is also magnificent in its character. Well, the years pass on and, at the seventh, the house of the Lord and the inner court have been built. Then began the work of the outer courts and the royal palaces. These, while parts of the Temple scheme, were not considered as parts of the sanctuary, and hence, sacred silence was no longer a necessary condition. All was now bustle. The sounds of hammer and chisel, and the stir of toil filled the air, while the great courts and palaces were gradually erected. Other eight years passed in this work, and Hiram the first, with his wonderful genius and skill, built a structure whose fame has been echoed down through the long corridors of Time. Now it is at this stage that Hiram the first disappeared and Hiram the second, "the son of a widow woman of the tribe of Naphtali" came into view. Everything, except the molten brass-work, has been done. Why did Hiram the first not do it? That he was perfectly capable, there can be no reasonable doubt. Why then, did Solomon need to send for Hiram the second to do it? It is evident that Hiram the first was no longer available. Why? Neither scripture narrative nor profane history, so far as we can trace, give any answer to this question. But the traditions of Masonry supply a very clear and natural answer. Hiram the first was dead, and hence Solomon sent and fetched Hiram (the second) out of Tyre, to finish the work. Everything had been completed except the brass-work. and Hiram the second is described specially as "a worker in brass." Five more years passed and the final finish of the Temple came. The mighty brass pillars — the casting of which was a wonderful achievement — the various altars and utensils, the golden candlesticks etc., were all made and put in their places and, with full pomp and sacrifice, Solomon dedicated and consecrated the house of the Lord.
In this way, on the assumption that there were two Hirams engaged at the work of the Temple the sacred narrative is clear and coherent; and the seeming inconsistencies and contradictions we have referred to, disappear.
But there still remain one or two passages in the narrative which puzzle us. In I. Kings VII. 45, we read: "And the pots and the shovels and the basins, and all these vessels, which Hiram made to king Solomon for the house of the Lord, were of bright brass." In II. Chronicles IV. 16, after ascribing as in the book of Kings, the various things made by Hiram — the pillars, the bases, the layers, and the sea with twelve oxen under it — we read: "And the pots also, and the shovels, and the flesh-hooks and all their instruments, did Hiram, his father make to king Solomon, for the house of the Lord, of bright brass." Here we have evidently a parenthetical remark interjected by the writer of the narrative with the object of making plain to the reader some fact which would be otherwise obscure. The words "of bright brass" arrest our attention. What do they mean? They evidently want to emphasize that the pots, shovels, and all the work of brass done by "Hiram, his father" were of bright brass that is, malleable brass; while the pillars, the bases, the lavers, as mentioned in the context were of cast brass. This distinction is associated with the words "his father." Whose father could it be, but the father of the person whose work is being described? In verse II of the last mentioned chapter in Chronicles, we read: "And Huram made the pots and the shovels and the basins. And Huram finished the work that he was to make for King Solomon for the house of God." Now, according to Hebrew scholars the words here translated "Huram" in both instances, are distinct, and different in the original. In I. Kings VII. 40, our translation should read: "And Chirom made the layers and the shovels and the basins. So Chiram made an end of doing all the work, etc.": and in II. Chronicles IV. 11, it should read: "And Chiram finished the work that he was to make for king Solomon" etc.
In view of the distinction in the names, and of the apparent parenthetical character of the 45th verse in I. Kings VII. and of the 16th verse in II. Chronicles IV., the reading of the sacred narrative appears to be as follows, beginning at I. Kings VII. 40:
"But Chirom made the lavers and the shovels and the basins, and Chiram made an end of the work that Chirom was to have made king Solomon for the house of the Lord: the two pillars, and the two bowls of the chapiters that were on the top of the two pillars; and the two net-works, to cover the two bowls of the chapiters which were upon the top of the pillars; and four hundred pomegranates for the two net-works, even two rows of pomegranates for one net-work, to cover the two bowls of the chapiters that were upon the pillars; and the ten bases, and ten lavers on the bases; and one sea, and twelve oxen under the sea: but the pots and the shovels, and the basins; and all those vessels which Chirom made to king Solomon for the house of the Lord were of bright brass."
In the same way beginning at II. Chronicles IV. 11, we would read: "But Churam made the pots, and the shovels, and the basins; and Chiram finished the work which Churam was to have made for king Solomon for the house of God — to-wit: the two pillars, and the pommels, and the chapiters which were on the top of the two pillars, and the two wreaths to cover the two pommels of the chapiters which were upon the pillars. He made also bases, and lavers made he upon the bases: One sea and twelve oxen under it; But the pots, and the shovels and the flesh-hooks, and all the instruments which Churam, his father, did make to king Solomon for the house of the Lord were of bright brass."
This reading of the narrative, seems to us, the only one that gives any appearance of consistency and plain sense. The repetition of the name "Hiram" in I. Kings VII. 40, and its use in verse 45; the repetition of "Huram" in II. Chronicles IV. 11, and the words "Huram his father" are all inexplicable and confusing, as they stand. The explanation that makes everything plain and clear is that Hiram the son made the pillars, the lavers, etc., of cast-brass, and that Huram his father made the pots, basins, etc., of bright or malleable brass. In this view the words "his father" (in the original "Abif") is rendered quite natural and intelligible, and accords with Masonic tradition.
In all the variations of the Masonic traditions, the Hiram whose death occurred immediately preceding the completion of the Temple is named "Hiram Abif." This designation becomes significant only in view of the fact that another Hiram, his son, also superintended at the building of the Temple and finished the work which his father would no doubt have finished had he lived a few years longer. Why should the designation "Abif" have been given if there was no other Hiram engaged at the Temple? It surely. indicates not only another Hiram, but also that the other was the son of the Hiram so named.
The Hiram whom Solomon "fetched out of Tyre" is described as the son of a widow. This description accords exactly with the theory now advanced. If Hiram Abif was dead and his wife alive, his son Hiram would naturally be the son of a widow.
The expression "sent and fetched" is peculiar and is also perhaps very significant. It seems to indicate in all probability that the King Solomon sent an escort for Hiram. Our Rev. Brother Rosenbaum thinks this was to protect him from his father's enemies. With this we can scarcely agree. These enemies were all too insignificant to demand for him a royal escort. Ordinary guards as was usual for travelers, would have been sufficient so far as safety was concerned. A royal escort was, and is a mark of honour and it seems much more probable that this respect was shown to the son, in honour of the fame and memory of the father.
This theory of the two Hirams-Artisans at the building of the Temple also harmonizes with the statement made by Dr. Oliver to which reference has already been made, viz: "It is well known that the celebrated artist was living in Tyre many years after the Temple was completed." This statement has been used as an argument against the truth of the Masonic tradition regarding the death of Hiram. But if there were two Hirams the statement of Dr. Oliver and the tradition of Hiram's death may both be true. Hiram the son may very probably have returned to Tyre and lived, let us fondly believe, many years the worthy son of a noble father.
* * *
TO A SKELETON
The MS. of this poem was found in the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons, in London, near a perfect human skeleton, and sent by the curator to the Morning Chronicle for publication. It excited so much attention that every effort was made to discover the author, and a responsible party went so far as to offer a reward of fifty guineas for information that would discover its origin. The author preserved his incognito, and, we believe, has never been discovered.
The above ascription is fictional. The correct attribution is given below. Several stanzas of the poem have been incorporated into the Third Degree ritual of some Masonic lodges. (The Skirret)
Anna Jane Vardill
Behold this ruin! 'Twas a skull,
Once of ethereal spirit full,
This narrow cell was life's retreat;
This space was thought's mysterious seat.
What beauteous visions filled this spot;
What dreams of pleasure long forgot?
Nor hope, nor joy, nor love, nor fear
Have left one trace of record here.
Beneath this mouldering canopy
Once shone the bright and busy eye;
But start not at the dismal void.
If social love that eye employed,
If with no lawless fire it gleamed,
But through the dews of kindness beamed -
That eye shall be forever bright
When stars and sun are sunk in night.
Within this hollow cavern hung
The ready, swift, and tuneful tongue;
If falsehood's honey it disdained,
And when it could not praise was chained;
If bold in virtue's cause it spoke,
Yet gentle concord never broke -
This silent tongue shall plead for thee
When time unveils eternity!
Say, did these fingers delve the mine,
Or with the envied rubies shine?
To hew the rock or wear a gem
Can little now avail to them.
But if the page of truth they sought,
Or comfort to the mourner brought,
These hands a richer meed shall claim
Than all that wait on wealth and fame.
Avails it whether bare or shod
These feet the paths of duty trod?
If from the bowers of ease they fled,
To seek affliction's humble shed;
If grandeur's guilty bride they spurned,
And home to virtue's cot returned -
These feet with angel wings shall vie,
And tread the palace of the sky!
* * *
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF MAUNDY THURSDAY
Bro. Frank B. Gault, Washington
MASONIC observances and ceremonies are founded upon authentic history or upon legends and traditions our race cherishes with unremitting fervor. In our recurring commemorations of these time-honored events we, in an appreciative way, reengage with those ancient worthies in their notable contributions to human welfare. Thus the Maundy Thursday feast reminds us of the closing scenes of the earthly career of the Saviour of the world. Yea, more, for by our recurring celebrations of this mystic banquet we perpetuate and we accentuate the greatest world-lesson that ever fell upon the ears of our common humanity for inspiration and guidance. The outlying incidents may be briefly told.
Our Lord was reaching the culmination of his week of passion. A few days before he had entered Jerusalem in triumph amid the waving of palms and the glad acclaims of an expectant populace. The people looked for a king. Our Lord was truly to found a kingdom but it was to be a spiritual kingdom, investing man with a new worth and dignity. Peace on earth, social equality, liberty of conscience, and the worth of the common man were to be ruling virtues in this new order of human affairs.
It was Thursday "Green Thursday," the Middle Ages called it. Approaching night had thrown its lengthening shadows o'er the Judean hills. The Son of Man, accompanied by the Twelve, leaving the little city of Bethany, passed over "Olive's brow" to the upper room in the city of David where, by prearrangement, the great Jewish feast of the Passover was to be celebrated. It proved to be the first Maundy Thursday feast, now so happily known as the "Mystic Banquet."
In that land the host met his guests with a laver of water that they might bathe their feet after laying aside their sandals, a most welcome attention after travel upon the dusty roads. This service was committed to slaves. Upon this occasion there being no host, provision for this refreshing act had been omitted. Observing this our Lord arose and in simple but gracious manner washed the feet of his disciples not, however, without some earnest protests.
Thus was exemplified in unaffected sincerity and modest condescension the most impressive lesson in human service and social democracy the race ever received. In thus bestowing upon his disciples this omitted act of hospitality, although the courtesy of menials, the Lord gave mankind an object lesson for all time which means that he who rules must himself serve. Let us in this festal hour hearken unto this effective lesson, centuries old, though too often neglected, that all must serve. It is not the obeisance of the inferior to a superior; not a mercenary hope of reciprocal gain; but the mercy that is unrestrained. Our civilization is based upon this principle. Our firesides, our schools, our hospitals, our neighborliness, our democracy itself, rest upon this law of human relationship — we serve each other and together we are servants of the common good. However humble that service, if it is needed, it must be rendered freely and joyously.
This simple ceremony concluded, our Lord, turning to his disciples, said, "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another." Here is the motive of the service — love, good will to men, sympathy, devotion to well being, lending a hand.
Of kindred origin with the word commandment is mandate, mandatory and mandamus. These words, indeed, are identical. The day of the command, the Thursday of the commandment, the mandate Thursday, and we have Maundy Thursday.
The literal and formal observance of the washing of feet in a public manner by church and state officials has long existed. The emperor of Austria, the king of Bavaria, and the czar of Russia are notable examples. Usually the twelve oldest men in the realm are selected and the sovereign through servants, performs the ablution. Sometimes prelates of the church select twelve very poor men for the rite.
This incident and the new commandment afford many candid variances of opinion as to important features, but these must not be obscured by the imperative lesson, — our obligations to our fellow man regardless of race, status or creed. The attitude toward humanity exemplified at that Passover feast two thousand years ago is our challenge. Democracy must be the ruling principle in the world, and humanity our service, aristocracy, royalty, dynasty, imperialism, undeserved privilege, and "man's inhumanity to man" must cease to disturb and destroy. The sorrows, the distresses and the enmities of today show that the incident and the commandment of that far-off first Maundy Thursday feast can not too often be impressed upon a chaotic and unhappy world.
The democracy of service and the service of democracy are the hope of mankind.
* * *
THE WORK OF A MASON
The work of the Freemason is the important work of life. It involves the development of his body so that he may be the better enabled to support himself and family; the development of his mind so that he may be enabled to think and act intelligently and rationally; the development of his soul so that he may gradually evolve into that more perfect condition — the Master.
— W. L. Sharp.
* * *
THE MASONIC COMPEERS OF WASHINGTON
Bro. Frank E. Notes, Wisconsin
GREAT exigencies and great occasions give birth to great men, and many a man who under ordinary circumstances would not rise above mediocrity, has, under the spur of great demands, become really and truly great.
There is always a tendency to make heroes of those who took prominent part in the birth of the Nation; but when all allowances have been made, the fact still remains that in proportion to numbers the years preceding and following the organization of our National government produced more men of courage, ability and true patriotism than any other period in our history, not even excepting the years of the Civil War.
Among the colossal figures that stood out prominently in those trying years, the Masons of revolutionary times, the Masonic Compeers of our immortal Washington, are justly entitled to have their names written high on the pillars of worldly fame.
There is an unwritten history of the silent but patient influences of Masonry in producing the various political associations of that period, and the mighty brotherhood of Masonry, ever the friend of liberty, was omnipotent for good.
While there were doubtless transient meetings of Masons in diflerent American colonies from time to time late in the seventeenth and early in the eighteenth centuries, it was not until about the time of Washington's birth that the workings of the order began to assume definite shape and the written records of Masonry in America commenced. In April, 1733, Lord Montagu, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of England, appointed Henry Price as "Provincial Grand Master of New England and dominions and territories thereunto belonging." Organizing the Grand Lodge in July of that year,. he granted a charter to eighteen brethren in Boston to form "First Lodge," a name maintained till 1783 when it was changed to St. John's Lodge. If Washington was the "father of his country," Henry Price was in a like sense the father of American Masonry. In the following year, 1734, his authority was extended to the whole of North America and he granted warrants to brethren for lodges at Philadelphia, Pa., and at Portsmouth, N. H.; and in December, 1735, for one at Charleston, S. C.
Prominent in the early history of the country was the Randolph family of Virginia. Peyton Randolph was the first president of the Continental Congress which convened in 1774. He was also the last provincial Grand Master in that colony. In 1778 an Independent Grand Lodge was organized in Virginia and Edmund Randolph, nephew of Peyton, became its Grand Master in 1786. He was also Governor of Virginia the same year and in 1787 was a member of the convention that drafted the Federal Constitution.
In 1787 an independent Grand Lodge was formed in Georgia and Gen. James Jackson became its Grand Master. Distinguished in his state for military valor, he was also, in 1788, its first elected Governor.
In the same year the Grand Lodge of South Carolina was organized and in 1790 Gen. Mordecai Gist became its Grand Master.
North Carolina organized its Grand Lodge in 1787. Richard Caswell, who was the first elected Governor in that state and who served as such in 1776, '77, '78 and '79, and again in 1787, was the second Grand Master in 1788. Also in national affairs he was prominent in the Continental Congress and as a member of the Constitutional Convention. Another prominent Mason in that state was Wm. R. Davie, Governor in 1798 and Grand Master in 1790.
The first Grand Master of Connecticut was Pierpont Edward in 1790. He was a son of the famous divine, the Rev. Jonathan Edward, one of the early Presidents of Princeton College.
Gen. John Sullivan was Governor of New Hampshire from 1786 to 1790. During his last term a Grand Lodge was organized in that state and he was its first Grand Master. Gen. Sullivan is noted for the splendid campaign he made in 1779 against the Six Nations of Indians who were fighting with the British troops.
Gen. Rufus Putman was prominent in Massachusetts, went to Ohio late in the eighteenth century and became Grand Master in that state in 1808.
There were many other prominent men who were Masonic Compeers of Washington, but the list is too long to dwell upon.
How many Masons are familiar with the part that Masons played in the Boston Tea Party? It was on the evening of the 18th of December, 1773, when a party of Masons, mostly members of St. Andrew's Lodge in Boston, assembled for the purpose of protesting against the iniquitous tax on tea. Samuel Adams is said to have been a member of that party. Gen. Warren, the first prominent martyr to the cause of American Independence and once Grand Master of Massachusetts, was a member of that party. Paul Revere, celebrated for his famous ride before the battle of Lexington, at that time Junior. Warden of the Lodge and afterwards Grand Master, was a leading spirit among the resolute Masons who emptied the tea into Boston harbor.
While much of the specific wording of the Declaration of Independence is credited to Thomas Jefferson, Masons were the leading spirits in the movement. Almost simultaneously and perhaps not knowing of the other's action, Samuel Adams in Massachusetts and Richard Henry Lee in Virginia wrote vigorous protests in 1774 against the tyrannous acts of the English government. It was Lee who in the Constitutional Congress, June 12, 1776, made the motion that the colonies were and of right ought to be free and independent.
The battle of Lexington was the result of an attempt on the part of the British soldiers to arrest John Hancock and Samuel Adams as arch traitors, but they were warned and escaped to Philadelphia. Of the fifty-six members of the Continental Congress who signed the Declaration of Independence, twenty-two are known to have been Masons and quite a number of others are believed to have been members of the order, but the imperfect records of those days leaves a doubt as to their membership. Of the committee of five appointed to prepare the Declaration, three, viz: Sherman, Livingston and Adams, were Masons. John Hancock, who was the president of the Congress, was the first Mason to affix his signature. He was afterwards for thirteen years Governor of Massachusetts. Of the first eight signers of the declaration, seven were Masons. The Masons were the head and front of the movement.
Besides Hancock and Adams, the following Masons signed the Declaration:
Josiah Bartlett, first to vote for and second to sign. He was at first a prominent physician, afterwards a lawyer and for six years Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New Hampshire and the first Governor of that state. He was also Grand Master of the Grand Lodge in 1798.
William Whipple, born in Maine two years before Washington, prominent as a lawyer and a Judge of the Supreme Court of New Hampshire for three years.
Matthew Thornton, born in Ireland in 1714 and an advocate of ability; for six years a member of the Supreme Court of New Hampshire.
Robert Treat Paine, born the year before Washington in Boston; was for fourteen years a justice of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts.
Elbridge Gerry, a member of the Constitutional Congress five times, member of the Constitutional Convention, Governor of Massachusetts in 1810-'11 and Vice President at the time of his death in 1814. It was from his work of districting the state that we get the word "gerrymander."
Stephen Hopkins, Speaker of the Massachusetts Assembly in 1742 and for several years following, Governor of the state for thirteen years and for severalyears a member of the Continental Congress.
Roger Sherman, prominent in the legislative affairs of Connecticut, member of the first and several succeeding Continental Congresses, and one of the five members of the committee to draft the Declaration of Independence. Among his distinguished descendants were Senators Wm. M. Evarts of New York and Geo. F. Hoar of Massachusetts.
Philip Livingston, member of the Continental Congress and of the Constitutional Convention, and one of the Committee of five who drafted the Declaration.
Oliver Wolcott, member of the Continental Congress for several years and Governor of Connecticut for eleven years.
Francis Lewis, a native of Wales, who engaged in commerce and amassed a large fortune much of which he spent in the cause of American liberty, was a member of the Continental Congress from New York, in which state he died at the ripe old age of 90 years.
John Witherspoon, a Scottish Doctor of Divinity who came to the Colonies after he had made a reputation as one of the strongest preachers of his age. He became president of Princeton College in 1768 and by his wise administration greatly raised the rank of that institution. Sat in the Continental Congress for three years at a time at two different periods.
Francis Hopkinson, head of the Navy during the Revolution, Judge of the Admiralty in Pennsylvania for ten years to 1789 and then, as an appointee of President Washington, a United States Judge till his death in 1791.
Lewis Morris, a wealthy resident of New York who risked his fortune in the cause of liberty and whose large estates were burned by the British in 1776.
Benjamin Rush, the most noted physician of his age, who, with Richard Henry Lee moved the adoption of a resolution for independence early in June, 1776. He was treasurer of the U. S. Mint in Philadelphia from 1799 till his death in 1813. It was after him that Rush Medical College in Chicago was named.
Benjamin Franklin, Grand Master of Pennsylvania in 1784 and the most distinguished diplomat and scientist of that period. George Ross, a judge of the Pennsylvania Admiralty Court who died in 1779.
Richard Henry Lee, who, although a Virginian, took strong grounds against Slavery in 1761. In 1784 he was president of the Continental Congress and was the first U. S. Senator from Virginia. His younger brother, Francis Lightfoot Lee, was also a signer of the Declaration.
Benjamin Harrison, four times a member of the Continental Congress, twice Governor of Virginia, and the father of William Henry Harrison ("Old Tippecanoe"), the ninth President.
William Hooper, a native of Boston but a representative for several terms of North Carolina in the Continental Congress. These twenty-two Masonic signers of the Declaration were a sturdy group — men for the most part of great learning and influence. By occupation eleven of them were traders and farmers, eight of them were lawyers, two were doctors and one a minister of the gospel. Seven of them served their states as governors and gave a combined service of 48 years or an average of about seven years each. Seven of them were judges, mostly of the highest courts, and rendered a combined service of 64 years or an average of about 9 years each. Two of them were Grand Masters of Masonic Grand Lodges.
Statisticians tell us that science and modern methods of living have greatly increased the average span of human life in these latter days. But the twenty two Masonic signers of the Declaration, living for the most part under primitive conditions, far outran the average age of their fellows both in those times and now. Only two of them died before the age of 50; twelve of them were over 70 years of age; five of them were over 80, and one reached the age of 90 years; while the average span of life for the whole twenty-two was 70 years. The earliest death among them was in 1779, the latest in 1814. This is a remarkable exhibit of the strength of mind and body of the leading founders of the government of our great Nation.
They did their work well and were an honor not only to themselves, their families, their communities, their states and the Nation, but they honored the great brotherhood to which they belonged and were among the noblest representatives of true Masonry, which has always stood for the highest patriotism. Of them may well be said,
"When mature growth had marked their manly brows,
They sought our altar and they made their vows —
Upon our tesselated floor they trod,
Bended their knees and placed their trust in God.
Through all their great and glorious lives they stood
As true, warm brothers, foremost e'er in good;
And when they died, amid profoundest gloom,
Their mourning brethren bore them to the tomb."
Upon their coffins were the aprons placed
Of Masonry, which through their life they graced.
The profound gratitude of men unborn
Will follow them until the dawn of morn
When Nations, true to Christian brotherhood
Shall nevermore shed unprotected blood.
When Peace, the angel guest of heaven divine,
Brings greatest happiness to all mankind.
* * *
Would I might rouse the Lincoln in you all,
That which is gendered in the wilderness,
From lonely prairies and God's tenderness.
Imperial soul, star of a weedy stream,
Born where the ghosts of buffaloes still dream,
Whose spirit hoof-beats storm above his grave,
About that breast of earth and prairie-fire —
Fire that freed the slave.
— Vachel Lindsay.
* * *
LET THE LIGHT SHINE
The essence of Free Masonry is light. Its function is to illumine. To be sure Masonry has its secrets and mysteries, but so has sunlight. The one may be understood by the adept as the other has been analyzed by the scientist. Opaque objects on the earth cast shadows and in the movements of the planets the sun becomes eclipsed. So in Masonry there are emblems of darkness and ceremonies wherein light is extinguished; but these are only for contrast. Light, ever increasing light, is the ideal.
And yet there are dimmers in the Masonic World. A lodge is such if it fails to illumine, and so is a Mason who does not let his light shine before men. Such lodges and such brethren are like opaque objects in nature. Light either does not permeate them, or if it does, it stays there instead of shining through or being reflected by them. They not only shut ofl light from others, but really stand in their own light; for if a lodge would flourish, or if a brother would get for himself the best that Masonry can give him, that lodge and that brother must let the light shine, not within only, like an electric light with dimmers on, but through them and from them out into the world upon human institutions and upon humanity outside the Craft.
The final test of Masonry is its altruism, what it accomplishes, not for itself and its votaries only, but for humanity; and he is the best Mason and does the most for his lodge and the advancement of the Order, who most carries out into the business, political and social world, the light with which he himself has been illuminated in the lodge room, and who most lets that light shine, through his beneficent words and deeds, for enlightenment and enlivening of his fellow men.
— Calvin Graves Greene, 33° Hon.
* * *
THE THINGS I SHARE
I thank Thee, Lord, for strength of arm
To win my bread,
And that, beyond my need, is meat
For friend unfed:
I thank Thee much for bread to live,
I thank Thee more for bread to give.
I thank Thee, Lord, for snug-thatched roof
In cold and storm,
And that beyond my need is room
For friend forlorn:
I thank Thee much for place to rest,
But more for shelter for my guest.
I thank Thee, Lord, for lavish love
On me bestowed,
Enough to share with loveless folk
To ease their load:
Thy love to me I ill could spare,
Yet dearer is Thy love I share.
— Robert Davis.
* * *
SLOWLY our Republic is being drawn into the vortex of world-war, which it cannot much longer honorably avoid. Indeed, by the time these words are read it may already have made the plunge, taking up its great white sword in behalf of the humanity of the nation and the humanity of the world. Peace without victory, peace at any price, are becoming increasingly impossible in theory and in fact. They are not just who will not fight for justice; and there is one thing better than keeping the peace — that is having a peace that is worth keeping.
No nation can turn hermit and live apart from the world, shut in by a narrow, selfish nationalism. The world is too small, too closely bound together, too delicately organized. In 1870 England held aloof and saw France crushed, but she prepared disaster for herself. This lesson is for us, because we have behind us three generations of national isolation, and that policy is now obsolete. It is not whether America shall enter the war — that hangs in the balance — but whether she shall enter the world, not for conquest but for co-operation, for service, for sacrifice, if need be, in behalf of a common civilization.
Some things there are more precious than life, without which life is not worth living — Liberty, Justice, Mercy. If these precious things can be secured by wise delay, by moral power alone, let us give thanks; but if moral power is finally set at naught, let the aggressor meet an invincible defender of humanity! If that issue is drawn, no one need be told where American Masons will stand: they will insist that the flag should stand for the protection of our citizens, and that our citizens stand for the protection of the flag! A little high school girl wrote these words, and through them her gentle hand will touch the heart-strings of thousands of men:
"This is my flag. For it I will give
All that I have, even as they gave -
They who dyed those blood-red bands -
Their lives that it might wave.
This is my flag. I am prepared
To answer now its first clear call,
And with Thy help, oh God,
Strive that it may not fall.
This is my flag. Dark days seem near.
O Lord, let me not fail.
Always my flag has led the right,
O Lord, let it not fail."
* * *
THE NEW THINKING
Every movement, every institution, has two wings, and must have if it is to fly very far. Time out of mind they have been called the Radical and the Conservative; the one looking to the future, and the other seeking to conserve the hard-won inheritance of the past. Both are needed, but they must be held in balance, each serving the other and working together, else the result will be disaster and wreck. Between those who will let nothing alone, and those who will allow no change at all, there is a middle path of cautious and reliable progress. If we do not conserve what we have gained, we cannot improve it. Nor can we really conserve it without improving it. But we must have not only the wish but the ability to improve, else we shall lose what we have while blunderingly trying to get what we want.
Now these principles apply equally to Masonry, and ye editor confesses that he is a radical in heart but a conservative in thought, having the disposition to improve and the desire to conserve, seeking, as John Bright was wont to say, to "make the past glide easily into the future." For that reason, he would have Masons be doers as well as dreamers, conservatives but not mere preservatives, and radical without being revolutionary — in short, Builders and not mere Agitators. For the same reason he is ready and willing to listen to Brethren of the radical wing of the maternity, who are making themselves heard of late, assured that they ought to be heard because they have something to say, as witness the following words from a letter before us:
"How can the Society undertake a progressive study of Masonic fundamentals with its back turned to the future? The facts are, Brother, the Society has not dared to touch on a single vital issue before us. While it may be a subject highly interesting to a close student, you would hardly admit that a controversy over some technicality in the records of the Mystics of the Middle Ages is a matter of vital importance to us here in the flesh and blood now. I am a radical in thought, and although as were promised that a circle would be drawn that would include all, we find that the promise has not been fulfilled. If the motive back of the formation of the Society visas the hope of diverting a rapidly growing radical sentiment into conservative channels, I will admit that in part you have succeeded. But the tide will turn and you will soon have to take cognizance of the radical wing of the Society. Among the present-day subjects of vital interest to the Craft are the following:
Universal military training, would it be used to defeat or to aid Masonic Brotherhood? Famous Masons who are working for a league to enforce world-peace. Are Masons neglecting the public schools, if so what will be the ultimate result? President Wilson’s challenge to the liberals of the world on world peace, is it a challenge to Masonry or Democracy? What is Masonry doing today to uphold the right of free speech, free press, and free public assembly? Where must Masonry stand tomorrow on present-day subjects, if its future is to be as honorable as its past? Is Masonry an institution with definite objects in view; if so, what are they? Is Masonry merely a set of rules for individual conduct? Can Masonry squarely turn from its age-old admiration of its past and resolutely face the problems of the future? Shall Masonry organize to combat the growing influence of Romanism in American politics? Can Masonry afford to allow its membership to form its opinions from a controlled press?
But I hear you saying that these are political, moral and economic questions, and have no part in the program of Masonry, nor are they proper subjects for discussion in our journal. If this is your thought, Brother, then I ask you where under high heaven can a poor soul go for reliable information? Far be it from me to detract from the glory of Masonry's past, but I am interested more in a glorious present and a bright and shining future. Before the coming of The Builder, recent Masonry was like the Chinese Empire, great in bulk, unwieldy, selfsatisfied and with no particular object in view worthy of its manhood or traditions."
Here is the typical radical — God bless him — eager, utterly sincere, impatient, a pace-maker but not a peace-maker, who would transform the Masonic Lodge into a debating society, and so upset things that it would take a generation to set them right. We respect his motive — even if he suspects the motive which prompted the founding of this Society; we admire his idealism and enthusiasm; but we cannot agree with his method. And, after all, it is all a matter of method; since all of us want to do what is wisest and best, making the present worthy of the past and prophetic of the future. Of course our Brother exaggerates, after the manner of his clan, leaving the impression that our present studies are devoted to untangling the technicalities of the Mystics of the Middle Ages. But if he thinks that honorable past of Masonry, to which he wishes us to be true, was made by methods such as he recommends, he had better look into the old records a little.
Far, very far from it. Had our fathers followed such leadership, there would be no Masonic Lodge today, or else it would be only an indistinguishable atom in a welter of partisan feud. Suppose the church should open its pulpit to issues such as our Brother outlines, it would become a place not of devotion but of debate, and injure its influence — as, indeed, it has done in so far as it has followed this program. No more can the Masonic Lodge commit itself to such a program, unless it wishes deliberately to invite destruction. What then shall we do? Ignore present-day issues, turn our back upon them and leave them to be fought out in the spirit of feud? Not at all. Masonry, as an organized body, cannot deal with issues of this sort, but Masons can. And it is the mission of Masonry so to train men in the spirit of truth, righteousness, human sympathy and social obligation that they will face and solve such questions in a spirit of justice, wisdom and truth!
Once for all ye editor stated his position in respect to this whole matter in "The Builders," (pp. 244-250) and he sees no reason to alter it by one iota; but instead all the more reason to insist upon it, with due regard for his Brethren who disagree. He feels profoundly in the matter, not because he is indifferent to the living issues of this dark and troubled time — God forbid — but just because the tendency which our Brother voices, now becoming clamorous, means the overthrow of the Order. Speaking plainly, yet kindly, he is frank to say that if such a program were adopted by the Masonic Order he would leave it instantly, and he would be followed by the vast majority of its members. It would no longer be the Masonry he loves and seeks to serve, but something so utterly unlike the Masonry whose past is honorable, and so alien to its spirit, as to be its enemy. So may it never be, while grass grows and the sun shines!
Masons may form groups, if they like, and discuss the questions which our Brother suggests, and others of a sort similar; but the Fraternity cannot indulge in such debates without disaster. In saying this we are thinking far ahead to a time when the noises of today shall have followed the feet that made them into the Silence remembering, too, the wisdom of our fathers which has approved itself by results. Our Brother thinks we have drawn a circle too small to include him in its embrace. No, no, it is the other way round. Somehow, in thinking of this matter, we recall the words of Browning:
"Oh if we draw a circle premature,
Heedless of far gain,
Greedy for quick returns of profits, sure
Bad is the bargain!"
* * *
From Brother Oswald Wirth, of Paris, comes a very gracious letter, not only expressing appreciation of the work of the Society and its journal, but suggesting that it be made international. He is the editor of Le Symbolisme, and he gives a hint of the difficulties that beset him in publishing a Masonic journal under pressure of war conditions in France. Indeed, Le Symbolisme is suspended temporarily, owing to financial perplexities, but we trust that dawn will come soon, and that its gentle labors may be resumed. The following excerpt, as setting forth a more spiritual ideal of Masonry, may be of interest and profit to our readers:
"Since 1717, our Order has been especially ceremonial; the material, external side has been too predominant. It is not right to be contented henceforth to practice Freemasonry ritualistically; we must come to comprehend it, to possess all the intelligence of it. It is therefore no longer for men to wish to associate together, pay their dues, and bear the symbols by which we must address ourselves, but to have intellects capable of comprehending our philosophy. I am formulating no criticism in regard to Masonic bodies, and I do not wish to interfere, at least not directly, to reform them. That which interests me is the eternal wisdom to which the symbolism makes allusion. It is necessary to revive this wisdom, while searching everywhere for the remnants of its symbolic corpse. This is the task to which I have assigned myself; but when I have tried to communicate to others the fruits of my researches, I have found that Freemasons often show less receptivity than the profane. Having been consecrated and initiated, and placing there the value of Freemasonry, they believe too easily that they have nothing more to learn. This experience decides me to propagate a Masonry of the spirit independent of Masonic bodies.”
* * *
If your morals make you dreary, depend upon it they are wrong. I do not say give them up, for they may be all you have; but conceal them, like a vice, lest they should spoil the lives of other mender. — R.L. Stevenson
* * *
LIFE AFTER DEATH
DEAR EDITOR: In the list of books received by The Builder, I note the work of Sir Oliver Lodge, entitled "Raymond, or Life After Death," purporting to give the communications received from his son who was killed in Flanders. Remembering what you said about "Patience Worth," I have a keen curiosity to know what you think of this book. I venture to transcribe the following words written by William Dean Howells thirty-five years ago, in his story, "The Undiscovered Country," and quoted in the March Atlantic Monthly, fearing that you may have missed them. Speaking of spiritualism and its materializations, he says:
"All other systems of belief, all other revelations of the unseen world, have supplied a rule of life, have been given for our use here. But this offers nothing but the barren fact that we live again. It is as thoroughly godless as atheism itself, and no man can accept it upon any other man's word, because it has not yet shown its truth in the ameliorated life of men. As long as it is used merely to establish the fact of a future life it will remain sterile. It will continue to be doubted, like a conjuror's trick, by all who have not seen it; and those who have seen it will afterwards come to discredit their own senses. The world has been mocked with something of the kind from the beginning; it is no new thing."
I do not say that this expresses my view of the matter. In fact, I do not say that I have any view, preferring to keep an open mind, and being deeply convinced of a future life on other grounds. Perhaps such a matter has no place in our journal, but if it has — and I recall your saying that Masonry is concerned with all things human — some of us would be glad to know your thought.
— T. J. L.
My Brother, we live in dark and terrible times, and the Unseen World seems very near, its gates thronged by a host no man can number of the bravest and the best who are giving their lives for the things that make life dear. Death, so multitudinous and overwhelming, has brought immortality to light. For many, as for Sir Oliver Lodge, its silence is broken by the accents of familiar voices — as in a cablegram that lies before us, signed, "A Mother of Five" — and for all the assurance is doubly sure that "Life is ever lord of Death and Love can never lose its own." The book by Sir Oliver Lodge is noble and notable, not only for what it recites but for the dignity, restraint and austere care of the recital. As he says in the preface, only his sympathy with the appalling premature and unnatural bereavement due to the war would have induced him to remove the veil from his own private grief, and he writes in the hope that his words may help to heal hearts wounded by the deep stab of war and death.
The book is divided into three parts: the first of which tells the brief life of a boy, his letters home from the front, his death on the field of honor — a pitiful page by his mother, and a memoir by his brother. The second recites the messages supposed to have been received from him after his death, telling, in his characteristic manner, of the after life, trying to make its conditions real to his friends; of his interest and solicitude for them, with many touches as beautiful as they are tender. The third part is a discussion by the father of the meaning of it all — a majestic piece of writing, in which the mind of the scientist masters the heart of the father, making him critical of evidence, careful of fact, and doubly cautious because his heart is involved. Altogether it is a book to make one pause and ponder, and does not at all come under the category described in the words of Howells thirty-five years ago; because it is the work of a great man of science, and because the whole question is looked at in a different light now than then.
Personally, we are in much the same case as Brother Liggon, wishing to keep an open mind and a tender heart — not mistaking sentiment for substance, fancy for fact — and, like him, utterly convinced of eternal life on other grounds. Nevertheless, we confess that this book has been a great inspiration, in that it has helped to make the unseen world more real, more human, and has touched it with light and color and joy. Certainly it makes it something more than a "barren" fact, and that means very much to such as wait for those who return no more. Of Patience Worth we said that, while we were unable to say whether her stories and songs were revelations of the unseen, they were worthy of being such, alike for their beauty and grace. And we say the same of this book. If it deals at times, in matters seemingly trivial, we remember that they are the best kind of personal identification even in a court of law, and not less so in the Court of the Dead.
Nor can we agree with Howells that such communications, as they are now reported and studied, are "sterile" of influence and furnish no "rule of life." What it means to have a real assurance — to be triumphantly convinced — of the deathless life may be seen in the life of Frederick Myers, who, by way of scientific psychic research, came to certainty about it. The result was not simply a transformation, but a transfiguration. He seemed to have a new character, a new personality — as William James has told us. A passionate, disdainful impatient unhandy man, became tender sympathetic endlessly patient and above all, radiantly hanny: and the fortitude of his last days, amidst atrocious sufferings touched the heroic. No, it does not delete life, but adds a new hemisphere to it.
Such thoughts are surely timely in a world of griefs and graves, and the more so on the eve of Easter day, when millions of men, women and little children find their way to the House of Hope — in quiet country meeting-houses, in old ivy-covered chapels, in stately cathedrals — to renew the ancient expectation of their race. Happy are those to whom it is given to see that there is no future life, but that life is one here and hereafter — a vision of love, comradeship and character — and that death is a shadowy gate through which we pass out of phantoms into reality, out of darkness into light!
* * *
THE EASTERN STAR
A new and elaborate "History of the Order of the Eastern Star," by Mrs. Jean M'kee Kenaston, of the Grand Chapter of South Dakota, lies before us. Taking as her motto the saying of Lord Acton, that "history, to be above evasion or dispute, must stand on documents, not opinions," the author has done a very careful piece of work worthy of the great Order whose story she tells with interest and charm. She has endeavored to perform two duties: first, to interest her readers in the records and achievements of those honored women and men whose acts combined to make possible the greatest fraternal organization of women; and second, to produce some evidence of the value and useful character of the Institution — that its claims for Charity, Truth and Loving Kindness may be the more readily seen and appreciated.
The work is well written, and informed by a noble spirit, including a sketch of the origin of the order, a biography of its founder, Dr. Morris — one of the best we have seen — the history of the General Grand Chapter, and brief accounts of the Grand Chapters of the States, as well as foreign Grand Chapters. To which are added the Mosaic Book, the Manual of the Eastern Star Degree, the Book of Instructions, and the Rosary of the Eastern Star — making the volume as nearly complete as it could well be. The work is a distinct achievement in Masonic research, a real addition to our literature, and we congratulate the author and the Order, the while we most heartily commend the volume to our Members. The book is neatly printed and well illustrated.
* * *
"YOU IN AMERICA"
As an example of noble writing, as an example of the spirit in which the men of Europe lay aside their dreams for the bitter reality of war, we venture to reproduce the following preface to "The Last Book of Wonder," by Lord Dunsany, of England. The dreams of this book will grow more real as the memory of the Europe of today fades. Our hope is, that out of the "burning house" not only his dreams, but the man himself will be saved to give us more books of beauty, to cast upon us the spell of his charms.
I do not know where I may be when this preface is read. As I write it in August, 1916, I am at Ebrington Barracks, Londonderry, recovering from a slight wound. But it does not greatly matter where I am; my dreams are here before you amongst the following pages; and, writing in a day when life is cheap, dreams seem to me all the dearer, the only things that survive.
Just now the civilization of Europe seems almost to have ceased, and nothing seems to grow in her torn fields but death; yet this is only for a while and dreams will come back again and bloom as of old, all the more radiantly for this terrible ploughing, as the flowers will bloom again where the trenches are and the primroses shelter in shell-holes for many seasons, when weeping Liberty has come home to Flanders.
To some of you in America this may seem an unnecessary and wasteful quarrel, as other people's quarrels often are; but it comes to this, that though we are all killed there will be songs again, but if we were to submit and so survive there could be neither songs nor dreams, nor any joyous free things any more.
And do not regret the lives that are wasted amongst us, or the work that the dead would have done, for war is no accident that man's care could have averted, but is as natural, though not as regular, as the tides; as well regret the things that the tide has washed away, which destroys and cleanses and crumbles, and spares the minutest shells.
And now I will write nothing further about our war, but offer you these books of dreams from Europe as one throws things of value, if only to oneself, at the last moment out of a burning house.
ALBERT PIKE'S LETTERS
By the kindness of Brother J. H. Tatsch, of Spokane, we have a copy of a letter written of Albert Pike, which he found some time ago in Goddspeed's Bookshop, Boston. It breathes a spirit which endeared Pike to those who knew him, showing the personal side in a way not always brought out in our usual conception of the man. Brother Tatsch suggests that we make request for copies of other letters by Pike, believing that such a request might bring to light, from unknown places, much of value to the Craft. We made such a request in one of the earliest issues of The Builder, but gladly renew it, hoping that the prophecy may come true. The Society is anxious to collect all possible material about Albert Pike, and we are sure that our Members will assist in every way. The letter referred to was addressed to Brother R.S. Spafford, in 1878, and is as follows:
My dear Friend: I thank you with all my heart. Simple words are the best. I am greatly touched by your kind words; and the poems come to me as a voice from the old State which I left near forty-seven years ago, not unkindly remembering me, now. I live here and rarely go out. Gout has lessened by locomotive powers and my inclination to move. If you can get about "fluently" come and see me. Please present my very kind regards to Mrs. Spafford, and for her and yourself accept all manner of good wishes, and especially that this New Year may prove a happy one for you both, until her latest breath.
Faithfully your friend and brother,
* * *
History of the Eastern Star, by Mrs. J. M. Kenaston. Torch Press, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. $2.50.
Ancient Times, a History of the Early World, by J. H. Breasted. Ginn and Co., New York. $1.50.
Lincoln's Cooper Institute Speech, by H. B. Rankin.
Valley Forge Revolutionary Encampment Commission, by J. H. Fort.
Installation Address, by B. H. Saxton, Fort Dodge, Iowa.
War the Cross of Nations, by L. Swetenham. Robert Scott, London.
The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, by J. M. Whistler. New Edition. London. $4.00.
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THE QUESTION BOX
Dear Brother: As a member of the Craft, I am enclosing a brief letter herewith sent me by the Indo-American Book Co., which explains itself: "The Harmonic Series, complete in three books, are now out of print, and cannot be furnished. They were discontinued because some of the claims set forth therein have been found to be untrue." Can you please inform me as to which of the claims as set forth in those books have been found to be untrue? Judging by the trend of this letter, it seems plain that thousands of Masonic Brethren have been imposed upon. I shall be under obligations for any information.
— O. B. S., Georgia.
Thereby hangs a long tale, which we were familiar with at the time we were writing replies to the dear Brethren who thought us stupid and unspiritual because we did not accept the claims and theories advanced by the TK. ( The Builder, Vol. I, pp. 118, 143, 163, 181, 203-206). Fortunately, we could not tell it then, and it would serve no good purpose to recite it now. Let us be kind; it is a case calling less for censure than for the sweetest charity which our Order has taught us to cultivate.
* * *
Some time ago you referred, in an address, to a statement by Edmund Burke which you said had long been the basis of all your political thinking, and that you first heard it used by the late Senator Hoar in a Lincoln-day address in Boston seventeen years ago. I see that you refer to it again in one of the sermons preached in the City Temple last summer, in the volume entitled "An Ambassador," but you do not give it in full — at least I infer that it is only reference. Will you please give it in full and tell me where I may find it in the works of Burke?
— A. W. P., Michigan.
It is indeed a remarkable utterance, and may be found in "Reflections on the French Revolution," by Edmund Burke — Bohn Library Edition of Works of Burke, pp. 368-9 — and is as follows: "Society is indeed a contract. It is to be looked upon with reverence, because it is not a partnership in things subservient only to the gross animal existence of a temporary and perishable nature. It is a partnership in all science; a partnership in all art; a partnership in every virtue, and in all perfection. As the ends of such a partnership cannot be obtained in many generations, it becomes a partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born. Each contract of each particular state is but a clause in the great primaeval contract of eternal society, linking the lower with the higher natures, connecting the visible and invisible world, according to a fixed compact sanctioned by the inviolable oath which holds all physical and all moral natures, each in their appointed place."
* * *
Perhaps half a hundred Brethren have sent us the following prayer, saying that it had been sent to them with the request that they send it on to nine Brother Masons, forming an endless chain of prayer: "O Lord, I implore Thee to bless all mankind. Bring us to Thee, keep us to dwell with Thee." So far, good; it is a brief, wise, and universal prayer, like a line caught from a vast litany of humanity. But the usual form of the letter adds that this prayer was sent by all Masons in the olden time and that all who wrote it would be free from calamity, and that those who did not pass it on would be in danger of misfortune. What a pity to spoil the beauty of it all, breaking the links which Tennyson said bind us as with "chains of gold about the feet of God," with such a bribe and such a threat. It becomes a matter of luck, like wearing a rabbit-foot, or some other token handed down from old time magic — whereas prayer, if it has any meaning, much less worth, is a wish sent Godward, a law of life. Over gainst this superstitious notion of prayer set the noble words of George Meredith, in "Beauchamp's Career," and write them in your heart:
"He who has the fountain of prayer in him will not complain of hazards. Prayer is the recognition of laws; the soul's exercise and source of strength; its thread of conjunction with them. Prayer for an object is the cajolery of an idol; the resource of superstition. There you misread it. We that fight the living world must have the universal f or succor of the truth in it. Cast forth the soul in prayer, you meet the effluence of the outer truth, you join with the creative elements giving breath to you. Who rises from prayer a better man, his prayer is answered."
* * *
MANUAL OF MASONRY
Brother Editor: I am anxious to find a manual of Masonry that will cover each degree and each rite briefly, with such information in general as an ill-read Mason would like to find in a small space, and would be obliged if you will cite me to such a book, if there is any.
— R. P. H., Ohio.
Ye editor has long wished to write such a book as you here ask for, but he fears that it will be among his lost and broken dreams. As it is, the best book of the sort, (so far, is "The Problem of Masonry," by J. G. Gibson, whose articles our readers have enjoyed. It is brief, comprehensive, accurate, and written in a style simple, lucid and singularly happy in its light and easy grace; the late Brother R. F. Gould furnished an introduction, in which he commended the book most highly. It contains a sketch of the history of the order, a chapter on each of the first three degrees, on each of the several rites, with much else which every Mason wishes to know. It is an English book, and will be difficult to obtain for a while, unless copies can be found in this country.
* * *
Brother Editor: Perhaps you do not know it, but many ladies also read The Builder, and I, for one, very much enjoy it. We read it aloud in our family circle. Some of us would like to know what you think are the best books which the war has produced, if that is not too big a question.
— Mrs. I.B. N.
So far there have been over three thousand books published about the war and that is only the beginning. For generations new books will be appearing, and even then the whole story will not be told — nor the half of it. Histories, biographies, memoirs, arguments, state documents, poems, stories — there will be a stream of them swelling into a flood. We can name only a few. The "Ordeal of Battle," by Oliver, is a very strong book, having one of the finest prefaces ever written; while "The War and Humanity" by Beck, shows what an American thinks of the vast tragedy — a brilliant book it is, too. "Mr. Britling Sees it Through," by Wells, is one of the best war stories behind the lines, showing the shock, the awakening, — both spiritual and political — in England; also the enthusiasm of the author over his own discovery of religion. "Mademoiselle Miss," made up of letters from an American girl serving with the rank of Lieutenant in a French Army Hospital at the front, is a book to stir the heart to the depth; and So is "My Home on the Field of Honor," by Huard. One of the most brilliant series of sketches is "Men, Women and Guns," by "Sapper," matched by "A Student in Arms," by Hankey — this last notable for its glimpses of the religious aspects of the war. In poetry there are the songs of Rupert Brooke, Emile Verhaven of Belgium, Oxenham, and not least of all our own Alan Seeger, who fell in Flanders on July 4th, 1916 — nor must we forget Cunliffe's collection of "Poems of the Great War." But, my dear friend, much of the deepest and most heart-gripping literature of war will never find its way into books, as for example the following letter of a French soldier to his wife, found on his body after battle, which you cannot read aloud in your home without choking:
"I am writing this letter to you in any event — for one never knows. If it reaches you it will be that France will have needed me unto the end. You must not weep, for I swear to you that I shall die happy if I need to give my life to my country.
"My only care is the difficult situation in which you will find yourself — you and the children. How can you provide for yourself and the babies? Happily you can count upon your former profession of teaching and the full assistance of all my people. How I should like to feel sure that some arrangement will be found.
DISCUSSES HIS CHILDREN
"As to the education of the little ones, I am not worried. You will know how to direct it as well as I. I hope that they can create for themselves an independent position as I had hoped to assure for them had I lived. Kiss the dear little ones for their father; tell them that he has gone on a long, very long, journey without ceasing to love them; to think of them and to protect them from afar. I should like to have Cotte at least remember me.
"There will be the baby whom I shall not have known. If it is a boy, my wish is that he should be a doctor, unless after the war France still has need of officers. You will tell him when he is old enough to understand, that his papa gave his life for a great ideal — that of our country reconstructed and strong.
"DON'T BLAME FRANCE"
"I think I have written the most necessary. Good-by, my darling, my love. Promise me not to bear a grudge against France if she has asked my life. Promise me to console papa and mamma and to tell the little girts that their father, however far he may be, will never cease to watch over them and to love them.
"We shall find ourselves one day reunited, I hope, near Him who guides our lives and who has given me, near you and through you, such happiness.
"Poor darling, I have not even time to think long of our love, so great, however, and so strong. Good-by, the long goodby, true one. Be strong. Your JEAN."
* * *
Brother Newton: You have several times recommended Hastings' Encyclopcedia of Religion and Ethics, and I should like to know what you think of the article on the Inquisition. To me it seems a lame and miserable apology for an institution infernal in the extreme. Two sentences made me mad in six spots at once: "The tribunal of the Inquisition conformed to a very high ideal of justice." And this: "Taking everything into consideration we may hold that the institution and workings of the tribunals of the Inquisition were the means of real social progress." Surely that is the limit.
— G. W. L., Nebraska.
We do not remember to have recommended the Encyclopaedia as a whole, but only certain articles in it, notably the one on Freemasonry and the one on Circumambulation; but we do say that it is a great work, notwithstanding the article complained of. It was the policy of the editor, Dr. Hastings, to entrust articles to men of the communions most concerned, and so he selected Dr. Vacandard to write on the Inquisition. The article is indeed an unconvincing defense, but it is interesting as showing — what is repeated in regard to the atrocities of the present war — how far a man will go in defense of a thing which it suits his interest or purpose to explain away. He goes to great length, even making such use of Lea's classical "History of the Inquisition" as to misrepresent him utterly — actually garbling his words and twisting them every kind of way. It is absurd to say that the evils and iniquities of the Inquisition were incidental. They were inherent in the very genius of the institution, and foreknown — as, for example, in the Bull of 1256 which authorized Inquisitors to absolve each other, making a closed corporation of grime. The final verdict of Lea (111, p. 650) is overwhelming, when he says that the Inquisition "introduced a system of jurisprudence which infected the criminal law of the lands subjected to its influence, and rendered the administration of penal justice a cruel mockery for centuries. It furnished the Holy See with a powerful weapon in aid of political aggrandisement, it tempted secular sovereigns to imitate the example, and it prostituted the name of religion to the vilest temporal ends. It stimulated a morbid sensitiveness to doctrinal aberrations until the most trifling dissidence was capable of arousing insane fury and of convulsing Europe from end to end. On the other hand, when atheism became fashionable in high places its thunders were mute." That does not read like a description of a benign institution, or one that made for social progress. We could go into detail? but we are soon to publish an article in three parts describing, in cool fact, first, the organization of that infernal machine; second, its procedure; and third, its attempt to destroy Masonry.
* * *
Brother Editor: I do not want to seem to "butt in" and raise a row, but do you understand that Masonry teaches the resurrection of the body? I have often thought of this, but never had the nerve to ask anyone. So there now, throw this in the waste basket, if you want to.
— F. J. D., Minnesota.
No; Masonry teaches the immortality of the soul, but it does not specifically affirm or deny the resurrection of the body — leaving that issue for each man to interpret for himself, and so avoid the "row" which our Brother fears. So far as Masonry is concerned, a man may believe in the resurrection of the body or not, according to his faith. Beyond the fundamental truths of faith it does not go — never adventuring into speculative theology which is a breeding place of animosities of many kinds. Personally — and our opinion is worth no more than that of another — we do not believe in the resurrection of the body, as it is, or used to be, held. Nor do we think the Great Light in Masonry teaches it. Certainly St. Paul distinguished very sharply between the "natural body and the spiritual body," and when he spoke of the resurrection of the body he did not mean our body of "flesh and blood," but our personality, the form and spirit of our life. Some of our Brethren may not agree with this, and they are at liberty to disagree and we promise not to start a "rough house."
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HEBREW AND EGYPTIAN
If there is any one thing I am thankful for it is to have the brethren give us the titles of the books which have helped them on the way to Life and Light. In the last issue of The Builder, Brother Henderson mentions two books I do not have as yet, while in regard to the third I wish you would lose no time in giving us the bill of particulars, plans or specifications to demonstrate that General Pike's volume "Morals and Dogma" needs revision.
As The Builder is a "research" publication may I ask the various brethren to cite authorities for some of their more important statements? For instance: Some time ago I read an article, I think it was by Brother Norwood, in which he stated that the whole of Masonry was comprehended in the stars or the science of astronomy. That bothered me for quite a long time for I hardly knew where to look for the information without writing him. Shortly afterward, however, I learned of James Morgan Pryse's New Testament Restored. This book gave me a great deal of light on the subject.
In the February issue Brother Norwood has another very interesting article in which he refers to the declarations of early Christian Fathers relative to the pre-existence of Christianity before the advent of the Master. Pryse also refers to the incautious admissions made by early Christian writers regarding this matter but like Brother Norwood does not cite any volume to which we can refer. Fortunately, however, I can appreciate Brother Norwood's statement for the simple reason that within the week I found on the shelves of an old bookshop, an old, badly dilapidated copy of the Rev. Robert Taylor's volume entitled Taylor's Diegesis.
In the same article Brother Norwood states "Egypt has left the records of a Masonry where may be found all our signs and most of our words." Here, too, Brother Norwood should cite his authority. If I had not found Gerald Massey's two volumes, "A Book of the Beginnings," I'd simply have to take his "ipse dixit" and let it go until I ran upon the information in some way or other. That, however, is a haphazard way of development of the craft and I hope we can secure the information which will enable us to grow systematically.
Thinking it might be of interest to some of the brethren I will quote some of the information Massey gives us:
"So Mote It Be" — vol. I, page 178: "The Freemasons make use of a formula "So MOTE It Be," in stead of So Be It, or Amen. This MOTE is purely Egyptian, a rare form of May it be. "MET" is to fix, establish. "MET" is an ejaculation. "MET" means to pronounce conservative formulae. (Pierret "Met") "So Mote It Be," is the conservative formula of the Masons, as it was in Egypt of the Priests."
The same author also gives us a number of Egyptian words with their Hebrew equivalents.
|mmuth : a corpse, the dead, state of dying, dead.||mum : the dead|
|msa : a dart.||mash : an archer.|
|sair : goat.||ser : goat kind of sheep.|
|mah : the womb.||ma : the mother.|
|chvt : measuring line.||kept : measured out.|
|chbq : girdle.||sevekh : noose, tie, girdle.|
|ab : first ancestor, father.||ap : first ancestor.|
|bnh : to build, metaphorically to beget.||benn : engender.|
|chbrth : the coupling point or place of junction; chprth : the mercy seat and place of the two cherubs; in Egyptian arks the two scarabs, afterwards feather-winged.||Khepr-at : house of the two beetles; the crab constellation, as a place of summer solstice, the point of junction; sign of the god Khepr.|
|mth : a rod, staff, rod that blossomed, branch twig, sceptre, expansion, extension||mata : phallus.|
|hah : cry of joy.||haa : jubilation.|
|shrth : supposed black marble marble pavement tessallated in colors.||srut : sculpture, carve, engrave tessellated.|
|Succoth-benoth : 2 Kings xvii: 30, supposed image of the Pleiades.||Sekht : ark. bennu-t : the Phoenix constellation, emblematic of the resurrection.|
|qdm : eastward, Eden, image of the eternal and of the beginning.||khetam : shut, a circle, closed seal ring with ankh, image of life.|
|qvn : a horn, symbol of male power.||Ka : karu and karunata male symbols.|
|shba(g) : seven — the oath covenant, or binding, is synonymous with number 7 in the Egyptian sefekh as it is in the Hebrew read shevag .||Sefekh : seven.|
|shphchh : typical maid or handmaiden, one of a family, as if a noun of unity, the concubine or whore.||sefekh : a goddess, consort of Taht. Her name is number 7. Sefekh is a survival of Khefekh or Khepsh , of the Seven Stars, who was once the "Living Word," degraded as the Great Harlot.|
|kd : a symbolical pitcher Ecc. XII :6.||kat : the womb.|
The last words "kd" and "kat" are interesting for the reason that the figures of speech in the third degree scripture reading have long been a puzzle to me. This is a clue worth following.
Here is another — relative to the "grasshopper" in the same reading which will be of interest to the Mason who is not satisfied with the superficial explanation so often given of Ecc. XII.
This item is found in Note 84, page 169 of the volume "Talks With Socrates About Life," published by Scribners, 1891. I quote:
"To be closely cropped was regarded in Athens as a badge of slavery, while flowing hair on the other hand was worn only by fops. It was customary for boys to wear their hair long until they were admitted to the rights of gitizenship, when it was cut off and dedicated to some deity, generally a river god, although a visit was sometimes made to Delphi for the express object of consecrating this as an offering to Apollo. Upon reaching manhood, they allowed their hair to grow again. Thucydides (1, 6) speaks of the golden clasps, in the shape of grasshoppers, wherewith the Athenians, in the old times before the Persian Wars, were accustomed to fasten their hair in a knot at the top or back of the head."
I think we'll make much greater progress if we can refer to and verify the statements made by other research students instead of having to devote so much of our time to gain the heights they have already scaled. What do you think?
Yours very,sincerely and fraternally, John G. Keplinger, Illinois.
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In the January number of "The Builder" just received I notice the inquiry of Bro. John Whicher of California, in regard to more light on the life of David Vinton, who is reputed to be the author of our hymn, "Solemn Strikes the Funeral Chime." I do not have access to the previous article referred to in the March, 1915, number, and so do not know how much you may know of him. But my mother was a "Vinton" and I have the Vinton Memorial Volume from which I can give you the following information which may be of interest to you, to him and to other Masons:
The said David Vinton was the son of another David Vinton who was a descendent of one JOHN VINTON, from whom all the Vintons in America trace their descent. The DAVID VINTON, of Masonic note, was born in Medford, Mass., Jan. 6,1774, and married in Providence, R. I., one Mary Atwell who seems to have belonged to a prominent Providence family. Our DAVID, after serving an apprenticeship in Boston at the goldsmith business with David Tyler, went to Providence and established himself in business. He spent his life in Providence, engaged in traffic; not rich but moderately successful. He was quite prominent in the Masonic Fraternity, and compiled and published a volume entitled, "The Masonic Minstrel," (do you know anything about that book?), and according to the book, on a visit to Kentucky on Masonic business, died about 1830 when 56 years of age. His wife was a woman of uncommon powers of mind, and to her energy and force of character we owe the education and training of the children. As early as 1818 Mrs. Vinton wrote a letter to John C. Calhoun, then Secretary of War, and secured the admission of her son David to the Military Academy. Later, two other sons attended the same school. (The rules then were different, and this is the only instance of three brothers attending the same school as Cadets.) After the death of her husband Mrs. Vinton purchased an Estate called "La Plaisance," in Pomfret, Conn., where she died in 1854. Two of the children became prominent clergymen of the Episcopal Churgh. The Rev. Alexander Hamilton Vinton, D. D., was for many years. He was a graduate of Brown University and other schools, and after practicing medicine for a few years, studied for the ministry and was Rector of St. Paul's church, Boston, Mass. Another son was Rev. Francis Vinton who also graduated at Brown; was also for awhile at West Point, and for a while served in the Creek War. Afterwards he, too, studied for the ministry and became Rector of several large Episcopal Churches in Providence, and later of Grace Church, Brooklyn, N. Y. In 1849 he was chosen Bishop of the Diocese of Indiana, but declined the honor. In 1854 he lacked only a few votes of election to the Bishopric of New York, at the election that elected the since famous Bishop Potter to the place. Dr. Vinton was chosen later assistant-minister of Trinity Church, New York, having charge of St. Paul's Chapel in that parish. Yet two other sons of DAVID were prominent in Military circles: John Rogers Vinton, who fell at Monterey, and was very prominently commended by Gerl. Scott for his bravery. He was Brevet Major at his death. Another brother was David Hammond Vinton who was also in the Mexican War as Major of Staff and Quartermaster. One of the daughters was married to Lieut. George Green of the U. S. Army. Truly a remarkable family.
Rev. C. L. Nye, Independence, Iowa.
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LINCOLN, THE FRATERNALIST
"Many of the best educated men of this and earlier ages never had any extended experience with the schools. A great number of the most religious men, in the history of the progress of Man, have been obliged, for conscience sake, to remain outside the Churches. And we are beginning to learn that one may be a Fraternalist without being a member of a lodge.
In the last analysis it will be found that the Thought, the Life and the Works of the individual count more than the professions. Perhaps no Man of modern times illustrates the principle we present more fully than does Abraham Lincoln. He was educated without the help or the hindrance of the schools. He was intensely religious without being hampered by the limitations of a creed. He was a Fraternalist, "in his heart" without having been brought to the Light through the process of lnitiation in the lodge.
Lincoln achieved self-control, self-reliance and self-sacrifice — the three great achievements of Man — without any of the "helps" which most of us need, or think we need, for the accomplishment of The Great Work of fitting ourselves for the building of the Temple — that house not made with hands — a perfect Moral Character.
Few, if any, of the Great Masters of Life have been able to evolve within the hampering limits of the institutions of their times. In almost every case they have either developed without the help of institutions or have been ejected from the institutions within which they have begun their struggles for individual perfection. They have usually discovered that the "aids" of institutions were merely crutches to emphasize the infirmities of those who used them. Strong individuals soon learn that they must “tread the wine press alone."
Before the election of Lincoln to the office of President of the United States, he found himself opposed by all of the institutionalists of his day. Almost all of the products of the institutions of "learning" despised him openly. The ministers of the church were against him almost to a man. In reference to this last he says: "Here are twenty-three ministers of different denominations (in Springfield, Ill.), and all of them are against me but three. Mr. Bateman, I am not a Christian: God knows, I would be one; but I have garefully read the Bible, and I do not so understand this book. These men know that I am for Freedom in the territories, Freedom everywhere as far as the Constitution and; laws will permit; and that my opponents are for slavery. They know this; and yet with this book in their hands in the light of which human bondage cannot live a moment, they are going to vote against me. I do not understand this."
Later in his experience Lincoln understood. He learned, what all must learn, that Principle is one thing and the institution built up around the principle is another.
So must all of us learn that there is no saving power in lodges, as institutions, but that we shall grow and expand only as we understand the Principle and apply to our Life and Conduct that which is taught by the society, the association, the fraterluty, of our own Free-will and accord."
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."
Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, just ninety-two years after the Masonic Fraternity began to teach character building and just ten years before the Odd Fellows in America began to establish night schools for the teaching of character formation instead of character reformation. Fifty-five years after Lincoln was born, the Pythians began to establish their schools in the United States for the purpose of helping to restore reason by the process of fraternal education to a nation that had been captured by policy-controlled men, legal-minded men and money-mad men.
Since February 19, 1864, the fraternal orders have increased in the United States from three to over six hundred and some of these fraternal orders have over a million members. Perhaps over 12,000,000 men in the United States now belong to these various fraternal orders which teach men to shun war, hell and politics.
Oriental Consistory Official Bulletin of Chicago of February 12, 1917, had the above contribution on Fraternity and Lincoln. The word "Fraternalist" is substituted herein for the word "Mason" so that it will apply to all fraternities that are teaching Brotherhood.
Joe Beatty Burtt.
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MASONRY AND ITS IDEALS
Dear Brother: "Masonry and Its Ideals" — that is the subject, too vast and too profound to be more than indicated in an article of this kind. The ideals of Masonry are co-extensive with the aspirations of men. Whatever is good, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is manly, this appeals to one who has caught the vision of the spirit of Masonry.
Is it not worth while to pause and consider, and, if possible, to discover what is the one thing, or the several things, the underlying principle, it may be, that has enabled Masonry to survive these thousands of years, not only to survive, but ever to be in the van of the army of progress, civilization and enlightenment; that has caused men, real men, virile men whose names will be remembered and honored as long as history is read or tradition heard to be votaries at her shrine; and that has suffered her to endure more vicious and virulent abuse, calumny and anethemas from ignorance, superstition and blind hatred than any other institution, save one, of which the world's annals tell and yet gloriously triumph?
The fact that it is esoteric has no doubt been conducive to its longevity, though that would not suffice, and certainly could not explain its remarkable influence and power, because other fraternal orders innumerable have had their secret signs, emblems and words and miserably perished. Some have adopted this outward manifestation of Masonry, and others that, which did not avail to resist the dreadful onslaught of time. The soul of Masonry they did not find; its ideals they did not grasp. Whatever stands the attrition and test of time is grounded on the immutable principles of right and truth.
The history of Masonry is a history of the search for light and truth. Every step of the candidate from the time he first seeks admission until he beholds the last solemn scene is strewn with fragrant flowers of truth. It has been sought at times with patient zeal, and again with the feverish and fanatical enthusiasm with which the ancient alchemists pursued the philosopher's stone, the universal solvent and the elixir of life. And to what end? To teach men to know God and to love the good, the pure and the true. Masonry is non-sectarian, but no atheist can become a Mason; it points to the Supreme Being, and teaches the immortality of the soul, and he who profits by the precepts and spirit of Masonry must be a reverent man.
Masonry is, too, a system of morality, the truths of which are veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols. Her purpose is to develop character, which, like an unseen garment woven about our souls with invisible fingers from materials of imperishable beauty, sparkling with the light of every virtue, guards us from all dangers and permits us to stand unabashed and unawed in the presence of the forms clothed with the spotless robes of holiness, and to light and show the way of the struggling brother. "Morality is her foundation, Truth and Virtue are her pillars, and Brotherly Love is the High Priest that ministers at her altars." Her basic principle is the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of man.
Elbert Johnson, Miss.
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My dear Brother: We have in our Lodge Library a pamphlet, the title page of which reads as follows: "Oration delivered at the City of Detroit, to Zion Lodge No. 1 at their request on the anniversary of St. John The Evangelist, December 27th A. L. 5810 by brother Harris Hampden Hickman, published at the request of the Lodge, Pittsburgh, 1811." On the last page of the pamphlet is the following: "The first charter of Zion Lodge was obtained in the year 1764 from an authority in the (then) Colony of New York, and was renewed in the year 1806 by the Grand Lodge of the State of New York."
Officers of Zion Lodge for the year 1811: W. Sylvester Day, Master. Bro. Jonathan Eastman, S.W. Bro. Augustus B. Woodward, J.W. Bro. Philip Lecuyer, Treasurer. Bro. James Abbott, Secretary. Bro. Harris H. Hickman, S.D. Bro. John Anderson, J.D. Bro. Andrew W. Vanalstine, Steward. Bro. George Johnston, Steward. Bro. John Palmer, Tyler
This book came into the possession of our Lodge in 1816. In two recent numbers of The Builder there have been statements made that the first lodge of Detroit was founded about 1799.
It seems to me that Zion Lodge should get into communication with the Grand Lodge of New York.
Yours fraternally Wm. M. Simons, Secretary, Hiram Lodge No. 18, Delaware, O.
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THE APRON LECTURE
Written for and suggested by Dr. Walter C. Miller, J. W., of Webb's Lodge No. 166, Augusta, Ga.
The coming years may bring to you success,
The victory laurel wreath may deck your brow,
And you may feel Love's hallowed caress,
And have withal domestic tenderness,
And fortune's god may smile on you as now,
And jewels fit for Eastern potentate
Hang over your ambitious heart, and Fate
May call thee "Prince of Men," or "King of Hearts,"
While Cupid strives to pierce you with his darts.
Nay, even more than these, with coming light
Your feet may press Fame's loftiest dazzling height,
And looking down upon the world below
You may exclaim, "I can not greater grow!"
But, nevermore, O worthy brother mine,
Can innocence and purity combine
With all that's sweet and tender here below
As in this emblem which I now bestow.
'Tis yours to wear throughout a life of Love,
And when your spirit wings to realms above
'Twill with your cold clay rest beneath the sod,
While breeze-kissed flowers whisper of your God.
O, may its stainless, spotless surface be
An emblem of that perfect purity
Distinguished far above all else on earth
And sacred as the virtue of the hearth,
And when at last your naked soul shall stand
Before the throne in yon great temple grand,
O, may it be your portion there to hear
"Well done," and find a host of brothers near
To join the angel choir in glad refrain
Till Northeast corner echoes come again.
Then while the hosts in silent grandeur stand
The Supreme Builder smiling in command
Shall say to you to whom this emblem's given,
"Welcome art thou to all the joys of heaven.”
And then shall dawn within your 'lightened soul
The purpose divine that held control -
The full fruition of the Builder's plan -
The Fatherhood of God — The Brotherhood of man.