THE BUILDER MAGAZINE
A Journal for the Masonic Student
Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
Vol. 4 No. 1 – January 1918
"DEMOCRACY FOR ME"
Bro. Thomas Riley Marshall, 33° Active
VICE PRESIDENT, U.S.A.
ADDRESS BEFORE THE SUPREME COUNCIL, A.A.S.R., N.M.J.
THESE are days when he who is uncertain as to whether what he is about to say will help or harm his country's cause would better remain silent. These are hours when the ordinarily thoughtful man is looking backward, looking forward, looking around, and looking within.
He wants to know the history of his country; to diagnose present conditions; to determine, if possible, the future, and his part in this world tragedy. He beholds in retrospect almost a century and a half of unexampled progress and prosperity, and reverently lifting his eyes to the God of Nations, exclaims with the Psalmist of old, "He hath not dealt so with any nation."'
He searches his dictionary for a word that will express the dominant feature of these glorious years. He reaches the conclusion that America in all these decades has spelt, at home and abroad, more clearly than any other the word "Opportunity."
He observes that America has not been exclusively a land where only men thoroughly imbued with the principles upon which it was founded might build for themselves homes. Isolated from the beginning by countless leagues of sea, it was never dreamed that it could become involved in the politics and policies of Europe. This isolation led the rulers to throw its gates open to all who might care to enter. These came in unnumbered thousands and for reasons, often times, remote from those purely of government — some to advance their fortune and some their social standing; others to divorce themselves from distressful conditions — social, economic, political, or religious.
It was not thought necessary to require the use of the official language in family and social life. We rather discouraged than encouraged the use of English. In many States we provided for the teaching of the home language in the public schools.
So thoughtless and indifferent were we to the shrinking of the ocean by steam and electricity that we rejoiced to observe everywhere business being conducted and social energies evinced under the hyphenations of British-American, Irish-American, German American, Franco-American, and Italio-American.
We took no trouble to protest against dual citizenship. We permitted foreign-born citizens to vote, with full knowledge of their right — which meant our consent — that whenever they chose to do so they could repudiate their American citizenship by appearing before a consul of their native land and become alien enemies.
All this and more because we never dreamed of European complications. We had but few whom we were pleased to denominate just plain, old-fashioned, American citizens. Within my knowledge, learned and patriotic Senators have debated with zeal whether it was American or Irish or German citizens who won for us our freedom in the Revolution.
Now, no one ever doubted the loyalty to the flag of all these people whether foreign-born or the sons of foreign-born. Our isolation made it immaterial to us whether there was any difference between loyalty and patriotism, and true to a thousand years of tradition, we did not face the question until it became of moment. The years drew us closer and closer to Europe in the ties of commerce and the friendly relations of travel. More and more we became a part of the world; and suddenly a mad monarch, drunk with military power and crazed with the idea that he was divinely ordained to rule the world, plunged Europe into a war so awful that all wars which had preceded it paled into insignificance.
Still we stood by our ancient ideas of isolation, but in two years and a half we discovered that there was a vast difference between loyalty and patriotism. The hearts of men flamed up very largely in response to the blood that flowed in their veins. Patriotism showed itself as dependent, not upon place of residence nor political ideas, but rather upon heredity.
Patience at last was exhausted, and there was nothing for a self-respecting people to do, if their Republic was to be true to its traditions, save to engage in the war on the side of democracy. I do not care to engage in any hair-splitting, although there seems to be much discussion as to whether this war is being waged "to make the world safe for democracy" or "to make democracy safe for the world." Of course, it was meant by the President, when he spoke of making "the world safe for democracy," of making it safe for real democracy.
We all know that liberty is not license, nor democracy demagogy. We all know that the world can not be made safe for murder and arson and pillage and anarchy and everything for which the syndicalist and the I. W. W.'s may stand; and we also know that such things as these can not be made safe for the world.
I do not stop to speak of the tradition, the history, and the duties of our own fraternity. There are three great forces, aside from arms and armament, which are molding the future as they have shaped the past. These are the teachings of the Nazarene, the tenets of our fraternity, and the tendency of democracy as disclosed in the ideas and ideals of the Republic.
When rulers and people are willing to do as they would be done by, when they are willing to meet upon the level, act by the plumb, and part upon the square. and when governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, then there will be a large assurance of permanent peace. This can be brought about only by an appeal to the conscience. To do so, discussion is needful. Free thought must never be hampered. But because a man thinks a thing to be true, and has a right to utter his belief under a democracy, he is not justified, if he believes in God, in brotherhood, and in the Republic, in voicing his views under all circumstances.
There are many of us who should accept Paul's advice to the Corinthians: "All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient."
Democracy means the rule of the people under whatever form of government they may choose to express it, but when once the rule of the people has been expressed, through their chosen representatives, then — and particularly in the hour of war — however much any of us may think that certain of the policies are mistaken policies, free speech, free press, and liberty of conscience do not justify criticism, for criticism, however unintentional, invariably gives aid and comfort to the enemy.
Conscription as a principle may be a subject of debate, but not now. This Democracy has adopted it for the purposes of this war, and discussion of it ought to be held in abeyance. This Government, by its chosen Representatives, has declared this war. If there be any who think it is not justified, let him not be of aid and comfort to the enemy by voicing his sentiments. If laws are silent in the midst of arms, let all discussion as to the rightfulness or wrongfulness of the war, and as to the methods by which it is being prosecuted cease, unless by discussion the cause of the Republic and of human liberty can be advanced.
Democracy is constructive, not destructive; it is advisory, not critical. I would not have it understood that it is our duty to walk over the dead bodies of out convictions even to attain success. I admit that failure with honor is preferable to success with disgrace; but, believing as I do in the justice and necessity of our cause, I beg my brothers of this most loyal order when they speak, to speak whole-heartedly for the cause in which we are engaged, and not to criticize until mature thought and consideration have convinced them that by criticism they can advance the cause of our country and of universal democracy.
I do not speak of your duty to the Flag, nor of duty at all. I know duty is with us always; that it rises with us in the morning, sits down with us at the breakfast table, goes with us to shop and field and office; that it is the very shadow of ourselves, and the governor which keeps the engine of life moving smoothly.
I would have all men with us in this cause from a sense of duty, if for no other reason, but I would preferably have all enter into it from a higher sense, that of living sacrifice for generations yet unborn.
And now, in the wilderness of thought and of words and in the darkness and desolation of this hour, eyes are being turned to the sunlight of a new day, and we are asking ourselves, "What of the morrow?" "Is America to continue to be the land of opportunity?" To this we all answer fervently, "Yes," but to the question, "Is America to be exclusively the land of opportunity?" many of us answer, "No." America must be more than the land of opportunity. It must also be the land of obligation, for if the sun break above the cloud tempest and the battle din of this war upon a land exclusively of opportunity, then we shall have a people who may be loyal to the material interests of the Republic, but whose inner sentiments may be disloyal to its ideals.
Common gratitude to the fathers and savers of the Republic demand that we pour out the last drop of blood and expend the last dollar of money in the cause in which we have engaged. This, loyalty demands; but objectives in crucial hours assume new forms. Martin Luther thought he died a loyal Catholic; instead he died the founder of a new church. Abraham Lincoln thought he was called to the presidency to preserve the Union; instead he died the emancipator of the black man.
Whatever the original causes of this war and whatever the motives in its earlier prosecution may have been, they have now resolved themselves into a conflict between the two great systems of government — autocracy and democracy.
If, therefore, America is to remain just the land of opportunity, then nothing of any moment will have been accomplished by this war, so far as we are concerned. What, therefore, is the lesson of the hour to a body of men whose obligation is to the flag of their country? I dare not speak for you. I speak only for myself, and yet I would that it might be for you also. That lesson is, that this war shall furnish a new definition of patriotism. The word shall no longer mean the land of a man's birth, or the land of his adoption, the language he speaks, or the place where those he loves reside. It shall have evolved into a different meaning. It will demand of everyone who owes allegiance to any prince, or potentate, or autocratic power on earth, that he renounce that allegiance, and renounce also allegiance to every purely selfish pursuit and aim; that he subordinate the material interests of this Government to its ideals; that he take an oath of allegiance to an invisible government which believes, which teaches. which holds that all men are born free and equal, that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that none is fit to rule save of the free and untrammeled consent of the majority of those over whom he rules, that wealth is good and honor is better, but above all, that democracy is best. Whoever believes these things is worthy to be an American; whoever does not, is unworthy.
The world around, a free expression of opinion would show a majority of the people to be for the right and not for the wrong; for justice, not for injustice; for honesty, not for dishonesty; for peace, not for war, and that given the opportunity, the people will speak for the arbitration of courts, rather than for the arbitrament of arms.
To these old ideas, reborn in the travail of war, I pledge my fealty. I want this war to end, but not to end until the people in every land shall possess the right to make peace and declare war, either directly or through their chosen representatives. I want blood, and birth, and social standing, and educational qualifications, and religious trend all to be forgotten in this new parliament of new men, this federation of the world. I want those in this our land who do not thus believe to become fewer and fewer as the days go by.
I do not want entangling alliances with European nations. It is not necessary to have them. When we sit at the council table of the world, I trust we may do so as the representative of a newer and better isolation — an isolation of the spirit, free to say to the Germanic people, "Have what Government you please, but let us know that it is yours ;" free to say to the oldest of constitutional governments, the British Empire, "We have made this fight with you as our ally in the cause of democracy, but we are not willing to change our system. The Windsor tie does not harmonize with the cut of our democracy."
In other words, I want to be in the world to voice a view, to uphold a theory, but never to be compelled to do a wrong unless unfortunately it be for my own country.
This seems to me but to express lamely the view;. of the President of the United States. If this were a Democratic war, I should keep silent; if it were a Republican war, I probably should say unjustifiable things. It is neither. It is an American war, for only a coward, a poltroon, a trickster, or a political charlatan, seeking personal advantage, would have dared to evade it.
The flag can not wave with terror to its enemies save in the hands of a standard bearer. What you and I may think of the domestic views of the standard bearer can afford to wait. Forgetting blood and business, there are now, as always, just two grades of citizens in the Republic — the man who asks himself, "What can I do for my country?" and the man who asks, "What can my country do for me?"
So long as America was simply the land of opportunity I had much to say about these two classes and the unjustifiable advantages which were afforded to the latter. But now that we have become the land of obligation my voice is silent for the present. I await the conduct of my fellowmen, as I trust they will await mine, if mine be of any moment. So far as mere partisan debts are concerned, I have declared a moratorium until the war ends.
Rich and poor, high and low, labor and capital, protected and unprotected, all are forgotten. What they have, what they do, is of no moment if they be willing to sacrifice for the Republic and for democracy.
I am hoping to see revised one of Macauley's lays of ancient Rome, in which it can truly be said that none is for the party, but all for the state. I have already seen so much splendid self-sacrifice upon the part of men whom I have freely criticised heretofore that I stand dumb and speechless in the presence of mere partisan politics, and dare to lift my voice only in the hope that there may be in it one clear call of loyalty and devotion to the principles in which we pretend to believe, and to the man who is our spokesman.
It was the custom, upon the crowning of a Roman emperor, for the legions to pass in review before him. As each-legion appeared it halted and the commander took a solemn obligation to be loyal to the emperor and to the gods of Rome. As he concluded, each man in the legion lifted his good right hand to Heaven, crying out "This for me," This solemn ceremonial was enacted alike at the crowning of Marcus Aurelius, seeker after God, and of Nero, finder of the devil. The man was nothing, the office all.
Democracy in its partisan sense, Republicanism, Socialism, are just now in abeyance. The chosen representatives of the American people, regardless of their partisan views upon internal matters, have taken their oath of loyalty and devotion to the principles of the Republic, and to the President of the United States. Is it not possible to have until the conclusion of this war all hands in America lifted to the God of our fathers, and all voices proclaiming, "Woodrow Wilson. America, democracy, for me?"
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THE GRAND ORIENT OF FRANCE AND THE THREE GREAT LIGHTS
Bro. J. H. Ramsey, Iowa
The grouping of England, America and France as "Allies" in the present war has furnished civilization with many peculiar situations, in which Masonry shares. Believing that our Members will be deeply interested in knowing the facts surrounding the non-intercourse of English-speaking branches of the Fraternity with the French, we announce a series of articles, of which this is the first, dealing with various aspects of the situation.
The first, distinctly historical in its scope, is a paper which was prepared by Brother Ramsey in response to a question proposed at a Study Club meeting of Anamosa Lodge No. 46, in which the sole effort was to present the reasons why the Grand Orient took the position it did regarding the use of the Bible, and the subsequent action of American Grand Lodges. At the Lodge discussion when this paper was read, two ministers of the Gospel were present. One of them had travelled in France, and was familiar with the subject, which caused him to take a most sympathetic attitude toward the French viewpoint.
The second contribution on this subject comes from the pen of Brother R.E. Kellett, Grand Master of Manitoba, and though it bears the title "Internationalism and Freemasonry," its dominant theme is the position which the Grand Orient of France occupies in the Masonic category. The essay was written before the entrance of America into the war. It has been read before the Masters' and Past Masters' Lodge of Christchurch, New Zealand, bringing out a discussion which we hope to be able to digest for our readers in due time. This discussion, occurring in a Lodge most intimately associated with the Mother Grand Lodge, revealed a wide diversity of opinion on the subject, as it will undoubtedly do among our own members. We mention this particularly, not only because it reveals the broadmindedness and temperate spirit of our New Zealand brethren, but because the very fact that a whole session of the Masters' and Past Masters' Lodge was devoted to it is in itself significant of the scholarly qualities of the paper.
The third essay, "Freemasonry in France," has been written at our request by Brother Geo. W. Baird, 33°, P.G.M., of the District of Columbia, whose name is already a familiar one to our readers, and who was made a Mason in Portugal in a French Lodge. Through his position as Fraternal Correspondent of his Grand Lodge, Brother Baird has had an exceptional opportunity to keep himself in touch with world movements. This article will appear in an early number of THE BUILDER.
All of these contributions evidence an eagerness on the part of the writers that some way shall be found by which the nonintercourse of nearly forty years shall be eliminated. Justification for a careful research of the facts, if needed, may be found in the recent action of the Grand Lodges of New York, California and Kentucky, permitting their soldier members to visit Lodges in France.
The Question Box and Correspondence columns of THE BUILDER are open to you, Brethren. We wish to hear both sides, and know that there are many who will not be slow to take up the cudgels in support of the historic position heretofore taken by our Grand Lodges. If this discussion shall be the means of ultimately acquainting our members with the facts, it may also give French members of the Society an up-to-date expression of the American position — a result which may perhaps be of influence to both sides, in the future.
JUST forty years ago, or to be exact, on September 14th, 1877, the Grand Orient of France voted to eliminate from its ancient constitution the following article: "Freemasonry has for its principles the existence of God, the immortality of the soul and the solidarity of mankind." It adopted in lieu thereof, the following:
"Whereas Freemasonry is not a religion and has therefore no doctrine or dogma to affirm in its constitution, this Assembly has decided and decreed that the second paragraph of Article 1, of the Constitution (above quoted) shall be erased, and that for the words of the said article the following shall be substituted:
1. Being an Institution essentially philanthropic, philosophic, and progressive, Freemasonry has for its object, search after truth, study of universal morality, science and arts, and the practice of benevolence. It has for its principles absolute liberty of conscience and human solidarity. It excludes no person on account of his belief, and its motto is 'Liberty, Equality and Fraternity."'
At the next annual session of the Grand Body in 1878 a move was made to conform the ritual to the change of the constitution and a committee directed to make report and recommendation for consideration at the following session.
Accordingly in September, 1879, upon report of the committee, a new ritual was adopted wherein all reference to the name and idea of God was eliminated, but liberty was given to the Lodges to adopt the new or old rituals as they should see fit. We are told, and can easily believe, that this action was taken in the Grand Lodge session amidst great excitement and in spite of a vigorous and determined opposition of the minority. Naturally, and as a matter of course, the change in the Constitution and ritual permitted the removal of the Bible from the Altar.
It is not too much to say that the Masonic world stood shocked and astounded at this radical departure taken by the French Masons. Probably nothing in Masonic affairs with the exception of the Morgan episode ever excited such widespread interest and apprehension. The Masonic press in every country was filled with vigorous discussion and many felt that it foreshadowed the division of the Craft into two great sections — one believers in Deity and non-political, and the other atheistic and democratic.
Grand Lodges especially in all English-speaking countries lost no time in condemning in bitterest terms the action of the Grand Orient and in severing fraternal relations. In our own State (Iowa) in the Grand Lodge session of 1878, the Grand Master said:
"The Grand Orient of France having obliterated from its constitution the paragraph which asserted a belief in the existence of Deity, and by such action placed itself in antagonism to the traditions, practice and feelings of all true and genuine Masons in this jurisdiction and the world, deserves no longer a recognition as a Masonic body from this Grand Lodge. Some years ago that Grand Orient persisted in an invasion of the American doctrine of Grand Lodge sovereignty, to the extent of organizing lodges in the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana and other states. We then cut loose for a time from all fraternal intercourse with French Masons rendering obedience to that Grand Orient. Having not only set at naught the supreme authority of American Grand Lodges over their respective jurisdictions, but that of God over men and Masons, we should wipe our hands of all such bogus Masonry."
The deep concern with which the Grand Lodge of Iowa viewed this matter was but an indication of the sentiment prevailing in Grand Lodges of all English speaking countries at that time and in order that we may realize something of this let us read the resolution of our Grand Lodge in 1878:
To the M. W. Grand Lodge of Iowa:
"The special committee to whom the committee on the M. W. Grand Master's address referred so much of the same as relates to the Grand Orient of France, submit the following report:
"While we cordially agree with and endorse all of the views of our M.W. Grand Master and the Committee on this subject, yet we consider that its importance requires more than a mere resolution. If the course of the Grand Orient of France is allowed to go unrebuked and become the recognized law, we may well say farewell to Masonry. It is the glory of our Institution that we do not interfere with any man's religious or political opinions. At the same time we discountenance atheism and doubt, disloyalty and rebellion. No atheist can be made a Mason; and the first inquiry made of a candidate, after entering the lodge is, in whom does he put his trust? These are the essential requisites, and the cornerstone on which our Masonic edifice is erected. Remove them, and the structure falls. What is the course that the Grand Orient of France takes? They have entirely blotted out this necessary qualification, and leave it to the "ipse dixit" of each initiate to decide as he prefers, thus entirely ignoring the imperative belief in God and His attributes, as understood in all enlightened countries. American Masons will not submit to such a monstrous proposition, and the mere thought of it is well calculated to arouse our indignation and dissent. We protest against such an innovation, and "wipe our hands" of it. Let such sentiments prevail, and our enemies will desire no better argument with which to destroy us. The Grand Lodges of Ireland and England have set noble examples to the Masonic world, by remonstrating, and breaking off all intercourse with these iconoclasts. Several of our Grand Lodges have followed their example, and others will doubtless soon join their ranks. We feel that we speak the sentiments of the Masons of Iowa when we say that we disapprove and condemn the course of the Grand Orient of France, and we desire to express these opinions still more emphatically by the resolution hereunto appended:
"RESOLVED, That the Grand Lodge of Iowa, having learned with surprise and regret that the Grand Orient of France has departed from the ancient landmarks, by blotting from the constitution and ignoring the name of God, and not making a belief in Deity a prerequisite for initiates, does hereby express its indignation at the course she has taken, and herewith severs all relations heretofore existing between us.
"RESOLVED, That a copy of this resolution be sent to the Grand Orient of France, and to each of the Masonic jurisdictions with which we are in amicable relation."
With both friends and enemies of Masonry unreservedly condemning the action of the French Brethren it would seem that there must be little justification or defense. But as is usually the case there were two sides to the issue. There were some peculiar circumstances including such a radical departure, and the most interesting part of this discussion will be to learn the motives and objects which actuated those responsible for it. Do not forget, that if allowed to exist at all in Catholic countries, as frequently they could not, Masonic Lodges necessarily had to he much different in character than are ours in this "land of the free and home of the brave." France and the French people had been under the dominion of the Catholic Church from time immemorial and at that period a large majority of the population were its members. The Church controlled all affairs of the State. Of course Masons were struggling for liberty, justice and equality in order to accomplish the separation of the Church and State and to loosen the hold of the Church on the school system and public affairs, it was essential that the reformers should be united and that none should be excluded by reason of his belief. Thus the Grand Orient stood as the logical nucleus around which an organization might be effected. They needed the support of all men of every shade of religious belief, hence the declaration of absolute freedom of thought and the elimination of all dogma, always, — as they expressed it — "the starting point of narrowness and persecution." This was in 1877. In 1907 — thirty years later — France accomplished the division of the Church and State and Catholicism no longer remained "The Religion of France."
There was another factor in the controversy — The Scottish Rite body of Masonry, with which the Grand Orient had been in continual controversy for many years over matters of jurisdiction and the right to confer certain degrees. The Grand Orient Masons have always resented the accusation that they promulgated unbelief and atheism. In fact, and in support of an opposite contention, they cite the circumstance, that when the amendment to change the constitution was proposed, at a meeting of the Council, preliminary to the Grand Session, a Protestant minister, M. Desmons, drew the report in support of the resolution in which he argued that the disappearance of the original article of belief would not imply a profession of atheism, but merely an admission into the Craft of men of all opinions, and that Masonry should welcome men of all doctrines and every shade of thought.
Here is the idea of a member of the Grand Orient, expressed only a few weeks since:
"The Grand Orient of France, while it respects all philosophical beliefs, insists upon absolute liberty of belief. This does not mean that we banish from our lodges the belief in God. The United Grand Lodge of England on the contrary desires to make a belief in God in some manner compulsory. The Grand Orient of France is much more liberal, since in proclaiming the absolute liberty of belief it permits to each one of its members the liberty to believe or not to believe in God, and by so doing desires to respect its members in their convictions, their doctrines and their beliefs.
"This is the reason why fraternal relations do not exist between the United Grand Lodge of England and the Grand Orient of France. We regret this exceedingly. England has always been considered, rightly in other respects, a country of liberty. It is difficult to understand under the circumstances why the Freemasons of this great and noble nation should want to deprive their brothers of France of this same liberty."
Brother J. G. Findel, the well known scholar, historian and journalist, in writing to the London Freemason in 1878, ably stated the contentions of the French body in these words:
"But it is not my intention to give such general declarations on the true meaning of the Royal Art, as it seems more necessary to help to a right understanding of the resolution of the Grand Orient of France. Our French brethren have not deserted the belief in the existence of God and immortality of the human soul, in striking out the discussed words of the first article of the constitutions, but they have only declared that such a profession of faith does not belong to Masonic law. The Grand Orient has only voted for liberty of conscience, not against any religious faith. Therefore, the true meaning of the French constitution is now only, that each brother Mason may believe in God or not, and that each French Lodge may judge for itself which candidate shall be initiated or not. The French vote is only an affirmative of liberty of conscience, and not a negation of faith.
"The excommunication of the Grand Orient of France by the Masonic Grand Lodges, is therefore an intolerant act of Popery, the negation of the true principles of the Craft, the beginning of the end of cosmopolitan Freemasonry. The excommunication of the Grand Orient of France only proves the sectarian mind of the excommunicating Grand Lodges, which have forgotten that Masonry has for its purpose to unite all good men of all denominations and professions: they profess the separating element, and destroy the Craft, and waste the heritage of our more liberal and more tolerant forefathers. The Masonic union will in future be a mere illusion, if the AngloSaxon Masons condemn the French, German, Italian Masons, &c., and vice versa."
The great questions of recognition, invasion of jurisdiction, establishment of irregular lodges and many other matters which grew out of this movement can hardly be followed here. They are worthy of further discussion.
What we started to tell was "Why the French Grand Orient removed the Bible from its altar." It has been noted in a very brief way how they did it and under the exigency of the situation "got by with it" with a good conscience. That they were actuated by high purposes few will deny, but most Grand Lodges then held and still aver that Masonry can not be Masonry without strict adherence to the requirement of a belief in God. Few of the Grand Lodges severing relations have ever resumed them. Such action is still within the range of future possibilities. Who can tell?
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OPINION AND ACTION ON MILITARY LODGES BY GRAND MASTERS
In the December issue of THE BUILDER we published, in an article of five pages, a number of replies from Grand Masters of the United States and Canada concerning the action taken or contemplated in regard to the issuance of Dispensations to Military Lodges in their respective Grand Jurisdictions. The personal opinion of the Grand Masters was given where no action had been taken. Many of these replies were crowded out of that issue for lack of space and these are here presented.
REQUEST FOR DISPENSATION REFUSED
At our Annual Communication in May, 1916, M.W. Brother S.Y. Taylor, Grand Master, in his annual address stated that he had received requests from several brethren who were members of the 56th Overseas Battalion, to grant a Dispensation to them to form a Masonic Lodge. After careful investigation by him the request was not acceded to, and the Grand Lodge approved of his decision. After discussing the matter in Grand Lodge, the three principal objections brought forward were:
1. That as the Battalions leaving Canada would doubtless be broken up and drafted into other Battalions it would be difficult for the Lodge to hold its identity.
2. It was considered an infringement of jurisdiction to grant a charter to hold Lodges outside Alberta.
3. There were sufficient Lodges in England, France and elsewhere to amply look after our Military brethren Masonically.
Without going further in the matter, I personally am in complete accord with the decision of our Grand Lodge.
W.M. Connacher, Grand Master.
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GRAND MASTER DOUBTS PROPRIETY OF SUCH LODGES
I have given some consideration to the question you present and, in my judgment, the establishment of these Lodges would be of very unquestionable propriety, for several obvious reasons. First, it would be extremely difficult to exercise the same degree of care in the choice of materials, as well as in the actual operation of the Lodges, in conformity with the principles and precepts of Masonry. Second, it seems to me that, with the great responsibility now resting on our Government and the Nation, it is the duty of us all to eliminate to the least possible degree, every activity not calculated to contribute directly to the energetic prosecution of the war. Our soldiers, and many of them are Masons, will have an immense amount of work to perform that they will have but little time, if any, to devote to outside interests. It seems to me that the whole thought and energy, not only of our Army and Navy, but to a very large degree of our whole people, should be devoted, for the present at least, to this one great enterprise. Masons can serve not only their country but our Institution better in this way than if their energies are divided or in any way directed to the organization or maintenance of anything not calculated to contribute directly to the successful prosecution of the one enterprise.
Charles C. Woolf, Grand Master.
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GRAND MASTER NOT INCLINED TO MILITARY LODGE IDEA BUT THINKS HIS GRAND LODGE READY TO ASSIST OTHER GRAND LODGES IN ANY ADVANTAGEOUS ARRANGEMENT
In the main I do not approve of the idea of Military Lodges for history shows there is great difficulty in keeping records, etc., which to my mind is highly important.
However, I am sure it is the desire of the Grand Lodge of Florida to assist the American Grand Lodges in this matter as fully as circumstances will permit, and to make any arrangement that will be advantageous to the American Forces in Europe which will enable Army Lodges to confer degrees upon citizens of Florida who may be serving in the Army at that time and place, taking it for granted that the fact of the applicant being regularly in the service and on foreign soil, it would be considered a waiver of jurisdiction sufficient to enable the soldier or sailor to receive the degrees in a Lodge chartered by any of the American Grand Lodges.
Apelles S. York, Grand Master.
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DEPUTY GRAND MASTER STUART FOLLOWS PRECEDENT OF FORMER GRAND MASTERS AND DECLINES TO AUTHORIZE FORMATION OF MILITARY LODGE
I was called upon to take action on such matter, and the following is a copy of my decision.
Wm. I. Stuart, Deputy Grand Master.
(Copy) Colonel Frank L. Travis, Ammunition Train, 117th Division, Garden City, Long Island, New York.
My dear Sir and Brother:
The petition of yourself and other brethren addressed to the Most Worshipful Grand Master, Charles E. Lobdell, asking for letter of Dispensation, to form a military Lodge U. D., under authority of the Grand Lodge of Kansas, has in the absence of Brother Lobdell from the state, been referred to me. After giving the matter careful and due consideration, I have come to the conclusion that it is neither expedient or desirable to grant such a letter of Dispensation. To do so would be to act contrary to the rulings already laid down on this subject by previous Grand Masters. In the proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Kansas of 1866, page 15, it is said in relation to Military Lodges:
"Now when these lodges have ceased to exist, truly, indeed, it is said that the 'questions raised' are of the most grave and serious import. The Grand Lodge of Kansas has cause to rejoice that she unhesitatingly refused to give the sanction of her Masonic authority to a single military lodge, and may congratulate herself that none of those Masonic Ishmaelites can trace their paternity to her indiscretion."
The history of military lodges in other Grand Jurisdictions has proven most unsatisfactory. Most Worshipful Thomas J. Turner, Grand Master of Illinois, in his address to the Grand Lodge of Illinois in 1865, concerning military lodges, had this to say:
"Previous to my installation, several dispensations had been granted by my predecessor to open military lodges in the army then in the field. I have never been fully informed as to the extent of the powers granted by these dispensations, but I suppose they did not confer any authority to invade foreign jurisdictions and make Masons from the citizen soldiery of other States. In all the dispensations for military lodges granted by me, jurisdiction was limited to a single regiment of Illinois troops to which the dispensation was granted. I am led to believe that some of the military lodges working under dispensation from our jurisdiction have greatly abused their privileges, and brought reproach upon our Order. Instead of confining their operation to Illinois regiments and troops exclusively, as they ought to have done, they made Masons indiscriminately from soldiers and citizens of other States, with very little regard for the kind of material used. Wisconsin, Minnesota Iowa, and Missouri, have especial cause to complain in this respect.
"M∴ W∴ Brethren Geo. W. Washburne, Grand Master of Wisconsin, A. T. C. Pierson, Grand Master of Minnesota, and E. A. Guilbert, Grand Master of Iowa, in the most fraternal manner, called my attention to the fact that these military lodges were in the habit of making Masons of citizens belonging to their respective jurisdictions, and that candidates had been admitted whose characters wholly disqualified them from becoming Masons. As soon as these facts became known to me, I at once addressed letters to the Masters of all the military lodges working under dispensations from our jurisdiction, instructing them not to receive or act upon the petition of any one who was not known to be a citizen of the State of Illinois. About that time most of our military lodges suspended work, and, the war being closed, they ceased to exist, having done some good and much mischief. I would fraternally ask our sister Grand Lodges to overlook errors which were not designed or sanctioned by the Grand Master or the Grand Lodge of Illinois.
"There is one question connected with our military lodges to which I invite your careful attention. What is to be the status of Masons who were made in those lodges? The lodges ceased to exist when the war closed. Some of them had been broken up through the long marches and hard fighting which immediately preceded the cessation of hostilities; the brethren have no dimits, and in many cases cannot procure even certificates of having been made Masons; some have received only one and others only two degrees. They are all Masons, and will naturally seek affiliation with Masons when they return to their homes. How that affiliation shall be accomplished, and how those who seek advancement shall be disposed of, are questions of grave importance, and of sufficient magnitude to demand your prompt attention.
"In behalf of the brethren who have been made Masons in our military lodges from citizens of other States than Illinois, I would fraternally ask that our sister Grand Lodges adopt some plan by which they may, if found worthy, become affiliated with lodges in their respective jurisdictions."
That part of his address above quoted, was referred to a Committee on Grand Masters' addresses, who submitted the following as their report thereon:
"Very grave and serious questions are raised by so much of the address as relates to military lodges and their action. Either by direct authority of the Grand Lodge in dispensations conferred, or by usurpation of power in those to whom the dispensations were committed, it is clear that the rights of sister Grand Lodges have been repeatedly invaded. Masons have been made not only of citizen soldiers of Illinois in the field, but also of known citizens both of loyal and disloyal states, under apparent authority from this Grand Lodge. For those who were thus made Masons, and who reside in this jurisdiction, this Grand Lodge should provide by recognizing them as such, and a resolution to that effect is appended. For those who have been made Masons, and who of right belong to other jurisdictions, this Grand Lodge can do no more than to request the appropriate Grand Bodies where they may permanently reside to adopt them into the general Brotherhood, if in other respects found worthy, and thus to heal the breach which has been made in the walls.
"It is to be hoped that this experience will forever close the question of traveling lodges operating within regular foreign jurisdictions."
I desire also, to call your attention to an opinion of the Grand Lodge of California on this subject. It says:
"An army lodge is an anomaly in Masonry. Its meetings are held at any place where the exigencies of the military service may cause a temporary encampment. If held in our own country, such meetings are necessarily an invasion of the jurisdiction of other regularly constituted lodges. During the clash of battle in our late Civil War, it sometimes happened that army lodges, with their charters and records, were swept from existence, and the unfortunate members of such lodges were thus deprived of membership, without dimits or other records to show that they had received the degrees of Masonry in a regularly chartered Masonic Lodge."
There are many other authorities holding to the same effect, but it would seem unnecessary to quote them further. For the good of the Fraternity generally, throughout not only the Grand Jurisdiction of Kansas, but throughout the world, I am constrained to deny your petition for letter of Dispensation for such military Lodge.
(Signed) Wm. I. Stuart, Deputy Grand Master.
* * *
OPPOSED TO MILITARY LODGES — FAVORS RECOGNITION OF FRENCH MASONS
After giving the matter very careful consideration I must state that personally I am opposed to the establishment of Military Lodges in this country for various reasons.
First, I do not believe there is any power vested in the Grand Master to issue Dispensations for so-called Travelling Lodges. Second, I do not believe that one could avoid intrusion upon the jurisdiction of other Grand Lodges.
Third, The proper safe-guards could not be provided in the way of suitable Lodge rooms so that work could be done by the Lodges in a creditable manner.
Fourth, A Travelling Lodge cannot have the facilities of a Regular Lodge, as to tracing the genealogy of the profane, and upon this score it would cause confusion upon the disbanding of the Travelling Lodge and the members made therein might not be such as would be acceptable in a Regular Lodge. And if such were the case, those who had attained the Master Mason Degree in a Travelling Lodge and who would make application for affiliation to a regular Lodge would be more or less humiliated should they be unable to obtain membership in a Regular Lodge after their Travelling Lodge had disbanded.
I take the stand that in this country all cantonments are located near cities that have Masonic Lodges and in my jurisdiction, where I find that there are not sufficient Lodges, I recommend the establishment of another Regular Lodge.
I am also taking steps to provide proper rest-rooms, reading-rooms, etc., under the supervision of the Masonic Lodges located in cities near the cantonments. So far, we are utilizing the lower floors of the Masonic Temples for the purpose and committees are appointed to look after the welfare of visiting soldier-Masons.
I realize, however, that some arrangement should be made to look after the American soldier-Masons while in France, because of our not being in fraternal intercourse with the French brethren, and I believe there should be a concerted action by all Grand Lodges or Grand Masters.
I, for one, am strongly in favor of putting into practice that which we teach — "The Universality of Freemasonry," and stretching forth our-hands to our French brother and calling him "Brother" in every sense of the word. And why not do it?
John W. Armstrong, Grand Master.
* * *
NO ACTION TAKEN — GRAND MASTER UNFAVORABLE TO THE IDEA
No action has been taken by the Grand Lodge of Maine on the question of Military Lodges, neither have I taken any action in the matter. Personally I am not in favor of granting such permission.
Waldo Pettengill, Grand Master.
* * *
PRESENT CONDITIONS DO NOT WARRANT GRANTING SUCH DISPENSATIONS — RECOMMENDS ARMY AND NAVY MASONIC CLUBS
Under existing conditions I do not feel that it would be wise to grant Dispensations for Army or Travelling Lodges during the period of the war. Indeed there is perhaps some doubt as to whether or not, without an amendment to the Grand Constitutions, the Grand Master has the right to grant such privilege. It may be that conditions will change so that it will seem best at some future time to authorize the forming of Army Lodges under the jurisdiction of our Grand Lodge as was done during the period of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. I do not believe that such a time will come.
Masonic intercourse can be sustained and encouraged through the forming and maintaining of Masonic Clubs both in the Army and Naval branches of the service. With Masonic Lodges in almost every village and hamlet in this country there will certainly be no lack of opportunity to attend Lodge meetings so long as our military forces remain in the country.
Should the war be long continued and large numbers of our Massachusetts enlisted brethren be sent abroad the question of Travelling Lodges may assume a different aspect. For the present I do not think we should authorize such Lodges.
Leon M. Abbott, Grand Master.
* * *
GRAND MASTER OPPOSED TO MILITARY LODGES BUT FAVORS MEETINGS OF BRETHREN FOR INSTRUCTION, EXCHANGE OF FRATERNAL GREETINGS AND FOR MASONIC FUNERAL SERVICES
On the subject of Military Lodges our Grand Lodge has taken no action whatever. There are no cantonments within this State, neither are there any Regiments or other military organizations formed in, or coming from this State. Therefore my opinion will be personal and from a Masonic standpoint only, and as follows:
The several Grand Lodges should not issue Dispensations for Travelling Military Lodges during the period of this war for the following reasons:
The jurisdiction of a Grand Lodge of any State is confined entirely to the territory within the boundaries of that State, and therefore a Lodge receiving its charter from one jurisdiction could not hold its meetings in another State and do so without there being an invasion of Masonic rights.
I believe it would be unwise, irrespective of any legal barrier, to grant a Dispensation to a Lodge in a training camp, with full power to perform Masonic work. It would have a tendency to place our Institution on a plane beneath the one it has always held and to which it rightfully belongs.
Proper investigation on the part of committees on petitions might not be made, for reasons which must be apparent and need no setting forth at this time. Even in stable communities we all know the black ball is one of our pillars of protection and regret to admit that perhaps it is not used as often as it should be.
In the event of removal to France, let us say, of any Regiment holding a Dispensation from a certain jurisdiction which does not recognize the Grand Orient of France, what then? These brethren would not have the right of visitation and again it would be worse than an invasion on the rights of the French Masons; not recognizing them, yet establishing a Lodge in their midst, or in other uords, "flaunting a red flag."
The real Mason or Builder of the craft will not lose an opportunity to visit a nearby Lodge or to mingle with the brethren as often as possible, even if he be confined to a military camp. Nor will he forget his teachings, should he have a proper understanding of what Masonry tries to impart to its votaries.
I feel that permission should be given, on proper request and after due investigation, to our brethren to assemble in safe places for instruction if necessary, for the exchange of fraternal greetings and to hold Masonic services over a deceased brother.
Thomas Lindsay, Grand Master.
* * *
MATTER UNDER CONSIDERATION — ANY REQUEST MADE WILL PROBABLY BE GRANTED
We have had no request for a dispensation for a Military Lodge. However, this matter has been under consideration by us for some time and we are inclined to feel that should such request come to this office that it will be granted. North Dakota has gone squarely on record as backing the government and we wish ts show every consideration to the members of the Masonic fraternity who have responded to their country's call.
William J. Reynolds, Grand Master.
* * *
GRAND MASTER FAVORABLE TO THE IDEA BUT REFUSES TO GRANT DISPENSATION FOR MILITARY LODGE TO BE COMPOSED ONLY OF OFFICERS
Perhaps I can best convey my views on the question of Military Lodges, by the following extract from my address to the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia, delivered at the last annual communication, held in June, 1917:
"While the Brigade of Nova Scotia Highlanders were encamped at Aldershot undergoing training, I received a request from some fifty members of our Lodges who were officers praying for permission to establish a Lodge in connection with the Brigade, which they would take with them Overseas. Previously I had discussed the idea with some of our Brethren in the service there and who were members of this Grand Lodge, and had expressed myself as favourable to the idea. I believed that it would not be establishing a precedent, that dispensations had been issued in other Grand Jurisdictions for similar reasons, and I knew that we could not do too much to brighten the time while absent from us of our many brothers in this valiant Brigade. When the application, which was in perfect form, reached me, there was an accompanying number of resolutions, which had been adopted by the applicants at an informal meeting held some days previously. One of these resolutions was in effect that the membership of the Lodge would be restricted to the officers, of whom some eighty, I was told, were Masons. At the same time I was aware that there were in the ranks, among the non-commissioned officers and men also a large number of our Brethren. The reason advanced for the restricted membership was largely fear that a Lodge open to all classes in the Brigade would be unwieldy. While I had much sympathy with this view, the petition was denied on the grounds that owing to the governing resolution it might be construed as the establishment of a class Lodge."
The special committee appointed to report on the address did not deal specifically with this portion, but generally treated of the official acts in these terms:
"Regarding his official acts, we feel assured that dispensations were not granted unless the Grand Master was satisfied that it was in the best interest of the Craft that they should be. Your Committee concurs in the decisions he has given anrl recommend they receive your approval."
The report was unanimously adopted by Grand Lodge.
A close perusal of the annals of British history, especially with regard to naval and military adventure will establish that Masonry closely followed the flag. An instance is recorded in connection with the wresting of Canada from the French in 1759. The expedition was under command of General Wolfe and captured the strongholds of Louisburg and Quebec. A part of the "furniture" of the expedition was a Masonic Lodge, which held meetings on board the ships of the squadron.
Don F. Fraser, Grand Master.
* * *
DISPENSATION GRANTED TO OHIO BRETHREN IN ALABAMA — CAN CONFER DEGREES ONLY IN FRANCE ON OHIO MATERIAL
Answering yours of the 18th relative to Military Lodges will say that I made a recommendation against such Lodges in my annual Address, but of course based upon the hypothesis that these Lodges would be conferring degrees in various Jurisdictions of this Country.
At the meeting of our Grand Lodge a resolution was offered to grant a dispensation to a number of Ohio Brethren at Camp Sheridan, Montgomery, Alabama, to organize an Army Lodge, which, however, would not have power to confer any degrees anywhere in the United States, but only in France, and then upon such applicants as would be eligible to petition Ohio Lodges for the degrees. These and a number of other safeguards were provided in the regulations. After this there was no opposition whatever to the granting of the dispensation, and it was readily and unanimously granted by the Grand Lodge.
The Grand Master, Brother Henry M. Hagelbarger, of Akron, Ohio, has also been given power to grant dispensations to other Army Lodges in Ohio under the same restrictions and regulations.
Joel C. Clore, Past Grand Master.
* * *
GRAND MASTER HAS ISSUED DISPENSATIONS FOR CONFERRING DEGREES OUT OF TIME BUT IS OPPOSED TO ORGANIZATION OF MILITARY LODGES
Personally I am not in favor of chartering a lodge at any of the military or cantonment stations.
It is my opinion that the lodges near are sufflcient to carry on the work of the fraternity in a wholesome manner. I do not believe in too much fraternal agitation when we have to make a display of it as the chartering of a lodge would certainly do.
Personally, as Grand Master, I have given hundreds of special dispensations to confer the degrees out of time on worthy young men whose petitions for the degrees had been regularly received and had remained with the lodge a constitutional number of days for ballot, and who have been duly elected.
In my judgment this is the best way to handle the Masonic situation as far as military force is concerned. Any man who desires to become a Mason has the opportunity of being made one under such regulations as this and at the same time each individual lodge has the constitutional length of time to study the character of each applicant before he is elected.
If they petition for the degrees and have to leave before they can be elected, a special dispensation, together with a request, will give the applicant the work at whatever cantonment or fort at which he happens to be located.
In my judgment this is not the time to argue, or raise the question of the patriotic duty of the President or those associated with him in granting or refusing secret orders privileges on military grounds.
In other words, I am with the Government of the United States and intend to sustain our President, at least until the close of the war.
This battle is in the interests of democracy and democracy is in the interests of Masonry.
Samuel W. Hogan, Grand Master.
* * *
GRAND LODGE AND GRAND MASTER OPPOSED TO GRANTING OF SUCH DISPENSATIONS — REFUSED TO DO SO IN 1914 AND 1915
The question of granting dispensations to Naval and Military Lodges was, in 1914 and 1915, suggested by some of the members in our jurisdiction, but the weight of opinion was, and I think still is, that it would be unwise to grant Military and Naval warrants in these days when Grand Lodges are so evenly distributed in such numbers over the civilized world. It was felt that there would be great difficulty in regulating the powers of such lodges, controlling the conduct of the members thereof and preventing encroachments in jurisdictions where sensitive brethren might be offended by unwarranted trespassing on their rights. No matter how praiseworthy our conduct might be and how pure our motives, we felt there was too much to be lost and too little to be gained by warranting Military and Naval Lodges. We, therefore, decided to take no action.
I do not intend this as any reflection on any jurisdiction that has granted or intends to grant warrants for Military and Naval Lodges. I wish these courageous brethren all success.
W. H. Wardrope, Grand Master.
* * *
MILITARY LODGES WOULD DETRACT FROM THE BUILDING OF CHARACTER
No occasion has arisen for the official action of this Grand Lodge upon the subject of Military Lodges.
As Grand Master I have discouraged applications being made for warrants of "Regimental" or "Army Lodges." As I view it, there are several objections to the granting of such warrants — among them might be mentioned the difficulty and almost impossibility of keeping proper records. Then, too, Freemasonry is a solemn and serious business. One of its main objects is the building of character. This requires deliberate and careful study of the genuine principles of our Fraternity. The conditions which would warrant a peripatetic Lodge would be unfavorable to this result. In all probability neither the character of our work, nor the spirit of Freemasonry would be maintained to the high degree to which it is entitled, by the establishing of Military Lodges.
Louis A. Watres, Grand Master.
* * *
NO DEMAND FOR SUCH ACTION IN THIS JURISDICTION IN MANY YEARS
I presume your inquiry has been prompted by the prospective large number of soldiers going overseas but so far as this jurisdiction is concerned neither myself nor this Grand Lodge has taken any action in connection with the matter seeing that there has never been any demand for same for many years.
My personal opinion is that the necessity for such Lodges has long since passed away seeing that the common practice existing from 75 to 150 years ago of sending regiments to far off countries and keeping them there for long periods has to a large extent ceased and the rapid growth of Masonry in those parts of the world has placed within easy reach of Military forces Masonic communications which did not previously exist.
This country has four hundred thousand men on active service 3,000 miles from their homes, but no question of this nature has arisen, indeed under present conditions of warfare such Lodges would be of little service or benefit. At the present time a Mason may easily be fighting at the front today and tomorrow night he may be in London attending his Lodge meeting. What a change in conditions from the time the battle of Waterloo, for instance, was fought!
W. W. Williamson, Grand Master.
* * *
OBJECTIONS TO SUCH LODGES OUTWEIGH RESULTANT GOOD SOUGHT FOR
The Grand Lodge of Rhode Island has taken no action with reference to the establishment of Military Lodges. The Semi-Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge will be held in November, but so far as I am advised there is no intention to take favorable action upon this question at that time. In my opinion the objections to the advisability of granting permission for the organization of such Lodges far outweigh the resultant good that is sought to be accomplished.
- While there may be ample precedents for the establishment of Military Lodges, such precedents are founded more upon the old than the new conception of Masonic regularity.
- It would be impossible to exercise over Military Lodges that direct supervision and control which now ensures harmony and uniformity among subordinate Lodges.
- The nature of the environment and the vicissitudes of military life would necessarily preclude the exercise of such prudence as should always safeguard Masonic activities.
- The inherent difficulty and impossibility at times of complying with constitutional rules and regulations and the consequent hasty, incomplete and ineffective exemplification of the work resulting therefrom.
- The temporary and transitory character of the authorization of such Lodges, the inevitable conflict of powers underdispensations from so many grand jurisdictions, and the slight and imperfect connection and attachment to a supreme body.
- The certainty of there being such a large number of unaffiliated Masons throughout the country after the termination of the war upon the revocation of the dispensations authorizing such Lodges.
- In general the establishment of such Lodges would not tend toward the maintenance of the present high standard of Masonic qualification that is now exacted, but would tend to the impairment of the authority, regularity, conservative reputation and future usefulness of the Fraternity.
Herbert Ambrose Rice, Grand Master.
* * *
NO ACTION TAKEN — WOULD BE UNWISE UNDER PRESENT CONDITIONS
I have your two letters requesting me to give you my views as to the advisability of getting permission for the organization of Military Lodges.
Our Grand Lodge has not taken any action with reference to this matter and I do not personally favor any such action at this time. So far as I know, all of the cantonments are located near regularly constituted Lodges and the Masons in this State are extending every privilege and courtesy to the brethren in camps. So long as this condition exists, I do not think it would be wise to authorize the organization of Military Lodges. In addition to this, it is very doubtful whether the War Department would permit such organizations.
R. A. Cooper, Grand Master.
* * *
MILITARY LODGES FAVORED — PROSPECTIVE CANDIDATES SHOULD BE ELECTED BY THEIR SOME LODGES — MILITARY LODGE TO CONFER DEGREES AND PROPERLY INSTRUCT CANDIDATES
The young manhood of our country is called upon to pass through an experience the far-reaching consequences of which they do not perhaps fully realize.
It is to be theirs to assist in the determination of the future of nations: to change the course of history.
They are going out to unknown perils — physical and moral.
Their physical welfare will be provided for as far as is possible.
Can we, believing as we do in the elevating influence of Masonry, do better than to make it easier for those eligible to admission to obtain entrance into our Order and receive the benefit of its infiuence as a moral balance-wheel?
I believe Army Lodges should be established; that they should not have power to receive and act on petitions; that prospective candidates should apply to their home lodges and, if elected, the lodge electing notify the army lodge, which should be empowered to confer the degrees and properly instruct the candidate, who would become a member of the electing lodge upon receiving the M. M. degree.
Fred H. Rugg, Grand Master.
* * *
NO PROVISION IN TEXAS LAW AUTHORIZING MILITARY LODGES
Our Grand Lodge meets in Annual Communication the first week in December, when this matter will probably come up for action. At present, there is no provision under our law for army lodges, and I do not believe that our Grand Lodge will establish them.
Frank C. Jones, Grand Master.
* * *
WOULD GRANT DISPENSATION TO MILITARY LODGE FOR SOCIAL AND BENEVOLENT PURPOSES
Your letter addressed to Brother Field has been passed on to me. Brother Field died on July 31st, and I have succeeded to the position of Grand Master.
I am opposed to the organizing of Military Lodges, at the present time. In 1864, Grand Master Harmon, who was in the Confederate Army refused to grant dispensations for the organization of Military Lodges in Virginia. When a soldier, who would of all men know of the needs of such Lodges, refused to organize same, I am constrained to believe that it would not be for the best interest of Masonry in Virginia for me to issue dispensations at this time to organize Military Lodges. I would strongly resent any Military Lodges coming into this Grand Jurisdiction and conferring degrees either on a man from Virginia or not. The facilities for obtaining the degrees are so great now that no worthy man need be kept out. In addition to this, no Grand Master would refuse to grant dispensations to those who are either in, or ready to go in, the Military service of the Country, that would expedite the conferring of the degrees upon them. I would, however, not object where there was a sufficient number of Masons in a Company or a Regiment from this State to granting them a dispensation to open a Masonic Lodge, provided that they would not be permitted to receive the petitions of anyone or confer degrees. In other words, if they wanted a Lodge for purely social and benevolent purposes, I would not be adverse to granting dispensation for same.
Earnest L. Cunningham, Grand Master.
* * *
GRAND LODGE HAS TAKEN NO ACTION
The Grand Lodge has taken no action on the matter and I have given it no consideration as yet. I will be glad to write you at a later time concerning this.
W. S. Griswold, Grand Master.
* * *
FIELD LODGES NOT FEASIBLE
You have asked me what, if any, action has been taken by the Grand Lodge, A. F. & A. M., of this jurisdiction or myself as Grand Master, upon the question of Military Lodges and in reply I beg to state that no action along this line has been taken either by the Grand Lodge or by myself. The Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge was held in September and the matter was not discussed; neither has any request or suggestion along the line been made to me in my official capacity.
My first impressions, after reading your letter were that Military Lodges might be considered somewhat in the nature of a necessity under the present stress of circumstances and that their creation would therefore be for the good of the craft. Upon more mature reflection, however, I am about convinced that no permanent and lasting good could come from this free and easy, and haphazard manner of dispensing Masonic authority. In the first place, a Military Lodge could in no sense of the word be stable or permanent; its officers and membership must necessarily be continuously changing with the demands of military necessity. A Lodge cannot give best results except under a Master and Wardens, as well as inferior officers, who are in a sense, permanent for at least a period of time, working for the welfare of the Lodge and the brethren. One of the Landmarks of the Institution is that only men of character and of good report before the world should be admitted to membership. The only method by which society may arrive at its conclusion as to these characteristics in a man is by observation of the deportment of an individual living in a community for a period of time. In a Military Lodge this would be entirely dispensed with and while it might be handled with sufficient care in the case of permanent Lodges in admitting military men without the required length of residence to afford security, yet where the entire membership is of this class, more or less slipshod methods would necessarily obtain. The bar naturally created by military discipline between officers and enlisted men would not serve to a good advantage in a Lodge composed strictly of these classes, while the same bar would not have effect in the ordinary civilian Lodge where officers and men mingle with civilians. The naturally floating character of a Military Lodge, the difficulty of keeping its records and keeping track of its membership, together with the very near offense against Masonic tradition and law of a Lodge under one Grand Jurisdiction sitting as a Lodge within a sister Grand Jurisdiction, throws a realm of doubt around the proposition which leads me to believe that it would not be the part of Masonic wisdom to constitute strictly Military Lodges, unless, perhaps, it might be at permanent military posts under the Grand Jurisdiction in which they are located.
The demand in our jurisdiction has been taken care of to a considerable extent by special dispensation to confer the degrees upon applicants who have been called to the colors.
T. Blake Kennedy, Grand Master.
* * *
THE RENASCENCE OF THE SCOTTISH RITE
Bro. Frederick W. Hamilton, 33° Active
Grand Secy., Mass.
THIS momentous event was far more than a union or reunion of bodies which had unfortunately fallen into separation and discord. Had it been only that, it would well deserve our rejoicings. Its inner significance, however, was so much greater that, so far as the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States is concerned, the title which I have chosen for this paper does not go beyond the facts.
Only the briefest historical resume is desirable at this time. We all remember how two movements purporting to be beginnings of the Scottish Rite were started in New York at nearly the same time, one by Bideau, the other by Cerneau. Judged by modern standards the Bideau movement was of doubtful regularity, the Cerneau movement undoubtedly irregular. We know how any irregularities which may have attached to the Bideau movement were healed by the action of the Southern Supreme Council, and we know how the Cerneau movement, again and again dying and as often revived, managed to maintain a precarious existence. We know the story of the unfortunate break in the ranks of the body descending from Bideau when the majority of the members of the Supreme Council repudiated the leadership of Raymond and chose Van Rensellaer for their head. We know also how the Raymond body combined with the Cerneau body and in turn reunited fifty years ago with the followers of Van Rensellaer.
We can never fully understand what occurred until we realize where the real root of the trouble is to be found. It lay in the unregulated and sometimes reckless use of the unquestionably great powers belonging to a Sovereign Grand Inspector General. A man who had attained to this rank was and is a Masonic monarch. Excepting so far as his powers were limited by the Constitutions of Frederick the Great, he was a Masonic autocrat. Even the Constitutional limitations were not always observed. The Sovereign Grand Inspectors General not only possessed these great powers, but they possessed the right of conferring them upon others without diminution. Unfortunately, these powers carried with them the opportunity for personal emolument, as it was entirely within the right of a Sovereign Grand Inspector General to take fees for degrees and deputations, and to convert those fees to his own use. Theoretically, these powers still belong to the office of a Sovereign Grand Inspector General. In practice, as I need not remind you, they are generally held in abeyance, at least so far as their exercise by individuals is concerned. In the earlier phase of the Scottish Rite in America, however, the Sovereign Grand Inspectors General took themselves and their powers very seriously indeed. We find them founding new bodies by their own authority and without conference with other Masons of like grade: We find them admitting others by patent to their own exalted rank, and these others, in turn, extending the Rite and passing on their powers by deputation. We find any Sovereign Grand Inspector General, without always exercising much care as to the letter of his authority and jurisdiction, conferring degrees on whomsoever-he chose.
The powers of a Sovereign Grand Inspector General were ad vitam, and he could confer powers ad vitam upon others by deputation. All the officers of Supreme Councils, whether elected or appointed, served ad vitam. It is only necessary to recall these conditions to see how practically inevitable it was that confusion should occur, that acts of doubtful regularity should be done, that questions of authority should arise practically impossible of solution, and that arbitrary and improper use should be made of power.
Indeed under those circumstances it would be very difficult to decide how far the powers of an individual Sovereign Grand Inspector General or of a Sovereign Grand Commander did really extend, or to pass authoritatively upon the regularity of many acts which might be seriously questioned though committed with the best of intentions. In fact the schism in the Northern Supreme Council arose out of just such a condition.
Fortunately we are not called upon to sit in judgment today upon the men of the period before 1867 or upon their acts. We are concerned only with the facts and we are happily able to say that the most important facts involve constitutional questions about which equally good men might wisely differ, questions which, indeed, have not been settled to this day. No one can question the absolute sincerity and entire conscientiousness of Edward A. Raymond. His distinguished career as a Mason in Massachusetts, leading through many honors and culminating in the great office of Grand Master of that ancient jurisdiction, is sufficient testimony to the quality of the man. Acting with a high sense of responsibility he interpreted in the largest sense the powers which he held not only as a Sovereign Grand Inspector General but as Sovereign Grand Commander. He undoubtedly felt that this last position gave him a measure of authority over the other Sovereign Grand Inspectors General which was in some respects even greater than the prerogatives of a Grand Master. The majority of the other Sovereign Grand Inspectors General, whom we should today consider as his peers, took a different view. They were men whose sincerity and conscientiousness are no more open to question than Raymond's. Among them were some of the wisest and most accomplished Masons of their day. Moved by the same high sense of duty and responsibility they not only refused to recognize the powers which Raymond claimed and exercised, but they went farther and claimed the right to depose him, a right which he in turn refused to recognize.
There was here an irreconcilable difference of opinion upon a grave question of Constitutional Law concerning which equally well intentioned men with equal knowledge of the Constitutions and equal Masonic vision and experience might and did differ irreconcilably. We are not called upon today to say that either party was wrong or that either was right. As we shall presently see, the question was removed from the region of practical importance by the conditions of the reunion.
The schism once created, the inevitable evil consequences ensued. It is not necessary to go into the details of mutual attack and defense, of competition and rivalry, or of desperate plans laid to meet desperate conditions. It is enough to say that in the storm and stress of the struggle between the rival councils, both were led to do things which neither would have thought of doing under normal conditions. It is significant that after the reunion the brethren were unwilling to discuss those days which seemed like nightmares in their recollections.
Our Ill. Brother Gallagher made earnest and repeated efforts to induce Ill. Brother Samuel C. Lawrence to record his memory of those days, offering to send a stenographer to whom General Lawrence could talk informally, and to do the work of editing these informal notes, submitting them to General Lawrence for his final approval, but in vain! Even to this day Ill. Brother Daniel W. Lawrence, the Nestor of Massachusetts Freemasonry, is unwilling to go into these discussions.
But after all these occurrences did not indicate the real nature of the brethren of those days. Most, if not all, of the members of both Supreme Councils were clear of head and sound of heart. Consider for a moment who and what they were. All men have a right to have their words and deeds, real or alleged, judged in the light of their personality and of their entire records. A certain man said, "I came not to bring peace, but a sword." The words themselves might well have fallen from the lips of the arch enemy of mankind. Their true value appears when we consider them in the light of the life and character of the man who uttered them, the man who has been called for nineteen centuries the Prince of Peace.
The members of the Rival Supreme Councils were picked and chosen from the body of Masonry, that is to say, from a body of men already selected with care. They had been tried and tested by many years of experience and of service. They had won the love and respect of their Brethren. Many of them stood very high in the esteem of their fellow citizens generally. They were outstanding individuals in the splendid body of American manhood and citizenship. Such men could not fail to perceive and to deplore the conditions which existed, nor could they fail earnestly to desire their amendment.
It was only necessary that they should be brought together face to face and kept together long enough to wear away the first antipathies and asperities and to bring their real natures to the surface, to bring about an amicable adjustment. Fortunately there were those among them who were ready to promote and assist such a conference, and who had the tact, the persistency, and the sweet reasonableness which would enable them to do away with surface difficulties and to keep at their task of peacemaking until the heart of the matter was reached. These peacemakers set about their task with a patience and a devotion worthy of their purpose. Without a trace of selfish ambition or desire for personal aggrandizement they set themselves wholeheartedly to the noble and glorious world of saving our beloved Institution from the condition into which it had fallen and making possible the realization of the splendid ideals of Scottish Rite Masonry. How gloriously successful they were, we know. How they labored and what sacrifices they made, we can never fully know. How full and free the mutual surrender and renunciation was which actually took place we have many times been told. It is no wonder that these men, not weaklings or callow youths, but strong men, mature, distinguished, flung themselves into each other's arms with shouts of joy, that they wept and sang, and danced and shouted like a group of school boys. They did not rejoice with the calm satisfaction of the statesmen who sees the fruition of plans long cherished. They rather rejoiced with the exuberant satisfaction of those who throw off an intolerable burden, who escape from thraldom and who feel that at last they can be themselves.
Had they stopped to think about it as statesmen they could hardly have adequately estimated the importance of what they had done. They had done more than bring together two rival bodies. They had brought together into a harmonious and effective whole two widely different temperaments and sets of ideals. The old Scottish Rite Masonry was deeply imbued with the political and social ideals of Continental Europe before the French Revolution, the age of the benevolent despots. It was deeply tinctured with the philosophical universalism and independent free thinking of a time when these intellectual qualities had to be cherished in secret. In spirit it was thoroughly monarchical. All power was inherent in and proceeded from the Sovereign Grand Inspectors General. Authority devolved downward from the head. It was not derived from the members. It was no accident that Frederick of Prussia was its great patron and organizer. The complex character of Frederick, the most autocratic of monarchs who yet considered himself the first functionary of the state, the military genius who found his greatest pleasure in writing verses and playing the flute, the widely read philosopher who regarded all religions with toleration not quite free from disdain, and who spent his life in the service of his fellow men as he understood it, but without ever learning to love them, finds many a reflection in the temper and spirit of the older Scottish Rite Masonry.
Blue Lodge Masonry, however, was of different origin and of a different spirit. In its organized form it came from England and brought with it the traditions of English liberty and democracy. Descended from a long line of organizations of intelligent workingmen, it was full of sturdy independence, of democratic self-reliance, of the wholesome scorn of artificial social distinction native to those who have learned in the school of breadwinning that true aristocracy restores efficiency and service.
While free from the narrow limitations of sect or creed, it was in fact mainly Christian and not a little disposed to be Puritan. In spirit it was thoroughly democratic. Its Grand Masters possessed great inherent powers and prerogatives. They were monarchs, it is true, but they were elected, Constitutional monarchs, serving for but a short time and returning into the body of the Brethren by whom they had been chosen and from whom they had derived their powers. The distinguishing characteristic of Blue Lodge Masonry of British origin is that the seat of power is not in a monarch or in a House of Peers; it is in the great body of the Brethren.
The happy blending of these widely differing temperaments and methods gave the newly organized Supreme Council union, stability, and power. The old lawless fashion of exercising the great powers of the Sovereign Grand Inspector General without regulation and without responsibility to his peers was distinctly ended. The introduction of the system of the election and appointment of the officers of the Supreme Council, including the Sovereign Grand Commander, for terms of short duration settled the question of the responsibility of the Sovereign Grand Commander to the Supreme Council. The question of the power of the Council to depose its Commander is hardly more than an academic one when that officer is elected for a term of only three years. He may well serve so long as health and strength may permit, but his peers by their triennial exercise of the suffrage pass judgment upon his stewardship.
The powers of a Sovereign Grand Inspector General are today in no wise really diminished or impaired, but his use of them is carefully regulated and remedies are provided for their abuse. More important than all the Constitutional regulations is the new spirit of solemn responsibility in the exercise of a great trust. The Sovereign Grand Inspector General no longer considers himself a ruler over his brethren, but a servant among them, recognizing in the high office to which he has been called, not a personal honor, a gift of power, or an opportunity for enrichment, but seeing in it only the call to a great service which his Brethren deem him better fitted than another to render.
The powers of the Supreme Council are unimpaired. It is still the source of all power and authority in the Rite. There is neither power nor authority anywhere in the Rite which does not devolve from it, but the Council as a body feels a solemn sense of responsibility in the exercise of these powers. It does not work for itself or for its members, it works for the good of the brethren.
The philosophy of the Rite is as broad and inclusive as ever. It knows no distinction among men who strive to find and serve God. It does not inquire into their philosophy or their theology. It does not ask in what sacred book they find their instruction and inspiration, it does not inquire into the form or substance of their prayers or even ask the name by which they address the one God when offering to him their petitions. It believes that God is God, no matter what men name Him, no matter how they pray to Him, no matter how they think about Him, for, after all, these matters depend largely on the accident of birth. The Christian Bishop might well be a Brahmin, if he had been born in India, and the Jewish Rabbi might well be a Protestant minister, if he were born in New England of Mayflower ancestry, but the new sense of responsibility extends here as well and the Scottish Rite Masonry of today, though not less tolerant, is more devout.
It is to these inner qualities more than to the external union that we owe the prosperity of the present and the splendid prospects for the future. Union, stability, and power have been realized. Like all of the finest things in the world, they are in their essence spiritual and not material. We are not strong because divisions have been banished from among us or because we are daily increasing in numbers and wealth, although the Rite enjoys a growth of prosperity undreamed of, indeed undesired, fifty years ago, but because we have learned better the Royal Secret, because into the new body created by the union of 1867 there has come a new soul. It is like the old stories which tell us how by some experience a being strong, beautiful, but mortal, became endowed with immortality through the infusion or the awakening of a soul. The future of our beloved Rite through the long vista of the years is safe because it has found its soul.
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OF MASONRY: AN ODE
John Bancks of Sunning
GENIUS of MASONRY! descend,
In mystic Numbers while We sing:
Enlarge Our Souls; the Craft defend;
And hither all Thy Influence bring.
With social Thoughts Our Bosoms fill,
And give Thy Turn to ev'ry Will!
While gross BATAVIA, wall'd with Mud,
Thy purer Joys delight no more;
And winding SEINE, a captive Flood,
Laments Thee wand'ring from his Shore;
Here spread Thy Wings, and glad these Isles,
Where ARTS reside, and FREEDOM smiles.
Behold the LODGE rise into View!
The Work of INDUSTRY and ART.
Tis grand, and regular, and true:
For so is each good MASON'S Heart.
FRIENDSHIP cements it from the Ground,
And SECRESY shall fense it round.
A STATELY DOME o'erlooks Our East,
Like Orient PROEBUS in the Morn:
And TWO TALL PILLARS in the West
At once support Us, and adorn.
Upholden thus, the Structure stands,
Untouch'd by sacrilegious Hands.
For Concord form's, Our Souls agree;
Nor Fate this Union shall destroy:
Our Toils and Sports alike are free;
And all is Harmony and Joy.
So SALEM'S Temple rose by Rule,
Without the Noise of noxious Tool.
As when AMPHION tun'd his Song,
Ev'n rugged Rocks the Musick knew;
Smooth'd into Form they glide along,
And to a THEBES the Desert grew.
So at the Sound of HIRAM'S Voice,
We rise, We join, and We rejoice.
Then may Our Vows to Virtue move!
To VIRTUE, own'd in all her Parts:
Come CANDOUR, INNOCENCE, and LOVE;
Come, and possess Our faithful Hearts!
MERCY, who feeds the hungry Poor,
And SILENCE, Guardian of the Door!
And Thou ASTRAEA, (tho' from Earth,
When Men on Men began to prey,
Thou fled'st, to claim celestial Birth;)
Down from OLYMPUS wing Thy Way!
And, mindful of Thy antient Seat,
Be present still where MASONS meet!
Immortal SCIENCE, too, be near!
(We own Thy Empire o'er the Mind) Dress'd in Thy radiant Robes appear,
With all Thy beauteous Train behind:
INVENTION, young and blooming, there;
Here GEOMETRY, with Rule and Square.
In EGYPT'S Fabrick Learning dwelt,
And ROMAN Breasts could Virtue hide:
And VULCAN'S Rage the Building felt,
And BRUTUS, last of ROMANS, dy'd:
Since when, disperss the Sisters rove,
Or fill paternal Thrones above.
But, lost to half the human Race,
With Us the VIRTUES shall revive;
And, driv'n no more from Place to Place,
Here SCIENCE shall be kept alive:
And MANLY TASTE, the Child of SENSE,
Shall banish VICE and DULNESS hence.
United thus, and for these Ends,
Let SCORN deride, and ENVY rail:
From Age to Age the CRAFT descends;
And what We build shall never fail:
Nor shall the World Our Works survey;
But ev'ry BROTHER keens the KEY.
From the Miscellaneous Works in Prose and Verse of John Bancks, (of Sunning, Berkshire, England), vol. 1, pages 33-39. London, 1738.
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CORRESPONDENCE CIRCLE BULLETIN — NO. 14
DEVOTED ORGANIZED MASONIC STUDY
Edited by Bro. Robert I. Clegg
THE BULLETIN COURSE OF MASONIC STUDY FOR MONTHLY LODGE MEETINGS AND STUDY CLUBS
FOUNDATION OF THE COURSE
THE Course of Study has for its foundation two sources of Masonic information: THE BUILDER and Mackey's Encyclopedia. In another paragraph is explained how the references to former issues of THE BUILDER and to Mackey's Encyclopedia may be worked up as supplemental papers to exactly fit into each installment of the Course with the paper by Brother Clegg.
The Course is divided into five principal divisions which are in turn subdivided, as is shown below:
- The Work of a Lodge.
- The Lodge and the Candidate.
- First Steps.
- Second Steps
- Third Steps.
- Working Tools.
- Religious Aspect.
- The Quest.
- The Secret Doctrine.
- The Grand Lodge.
- Ancient Constitutions.
- Codes of Law.
- Grand Lodge Practices.
- Relationship to Constituent Lodges.
- Official Duties and Prerogatives.
- The Constituent Lodge.
- Qualifications of Candidates.
- Initiation, Passing and Raising.
- Change of Membership.
- The Mysteries — Earliest Masonic Light.
- Study of Rites — Masonry in the Making.
- Contributions to Lodge Characteristics.
- National Masonry.
- Parallel Peculiarities in Lodge Study.
- Feminine Masonry.
- Masonic Alphabets.
- Historical Manuscripts of the Craft.
- Biographical Masonry.
- Philological Masonry — Study of Significant Words.
THE MONTHLY INSTALLMENTS
Each month we are presenting a paper written by Brother Clegg who is following the foregoing outline. We are now in "First Steps" of Ceremonial Masonry. There will be twelve monthly papers under this particular subdivision. At the head of each installment will be given a number of "Helpful Hints" consisting of questions to be used by the chairman of the Committee during the study period which will bring out every point touched upon in the paper.
Whenever possible we shall reprint in the Correspondence Circle Bulletin articles from other sources which have a direct bearing upon the particular subject covered by Brother Clegg in his monthly paper. These articles should be used as supplemental papers in addition to those prepared by the members from the monthly list of references. Much valuable material that would otherwise possibly never come to the attention of many of our members will thus be presented.
The monthly installments of the Course appearing in the Correspondence Circle Bulletin should be used one month later than their appearance. If this is done the Committees will have opportunity to arrange their programs several weeks in advance of the meetings and the Brethren who are members of the National Masonic Research Society will be better enabled to enter into the discussions after they have read over and studied the installment in THE BUILDER.
REFERENCES FOR SUPPLEMENTAL PAPERS
Immediately following each of Brother Clegg's monthly papers in the Correspondence Circle Bulletin will be found a list of references to THE BUILDER and Mackey's Encyclopedia. These references are pertinent to the paper and will either enlarge upon many of the points touched upon or bring out new points for reading and discussion. They should be assigned by the Committee to different Brethren who may compile papers of their own from the material thus to be found, or in many instances the articles themselves or extracts therefrom may be read directly from the originals. The latter method may be followed when the members may not feel able to compile original papers, or when the original may be deemed appropriate without any alterations or additions.
HOW TO ORGANIZE FOR AND CONDUCT THE STUDY MEETINGS
The Lodge should select a "Research Committee" preferably of three "live" members. The study meetings should be held once a month, either at a special meeting of the Lodge called for the purpose, or at a regular meeting at which no business (except the Lodge routine) should be transacted — all possible time to be given to the study period.
After the Lodge has been opened and all routine business disposed of, the Master should turn the Lodge over to the Chairman of the Research Committee. This Committee should be fully prepared in advance on the subject for the evening. All members to whom references for supplemental papers have been assigned should be prepared with their papers and should also have a comprehensive grasp of Brother Clegg's paper.
PROGRAM FOR STUDY MEETINGS
- Reading of the first section of Brother Clegg's paper and the supplemental papers thereto. (Suggestion: While these papers are being read the members of the Lodge should make notes of any points they may wish to discuss or inquire into when the discussion is opened. Tabs or slips of paper similar to those used in elections should be distributed among the members for this purpose at the opening of the study period.)
- Discussion of the above.
- The subsequent sections of Brother Clegg's paper and the supplemental papers should then be taken up, one at a time, and disposed of in the same manner.
- Question Box.
Invite questions from any and all Brethren present. Let them understand that these meetings are for their particular benefit and get them into the habit of asking all the questions they may think of. Every one of the papers read will suggest questions as to facts and meanings which may not perhaps be actually covered at all in the paper If at the time these questions are propounded no one can answer them, SEND THEM IN TO US. All the reference material we have will be gone through in an endeavor to supply a satisfactory answer. In fact we are prepared to make special research when called upon, and will usually be able to give answers within a day or two. Please remember, too, that the great Library of the Grand Lodge of Iowa is only a few miles away, and, by order of the Trustees of the Grand Lodge, the Grand Secretary places it at our disposal on any query raised by any member of the Society.
The foregoing information should enable local Committees to conduct their Lodge study meetings with success. However, we shall welcome all inquiries and communications from interested Brethren concerning any phase of the plan that is not entirely clear to them, and the services of our Study Club Department are at the command of our members, Lodge and Study Club Committees at all times.
* * *
HELPFUL HINTS TO STUDY CLUB LEADERS
Bro. Robert I. Clegg
From the following questions the Committee should select, some time prior to the evening of the study meeting, the particular questions that they may wish to use at their meeting which will bring out the points in the following paper which they desire to discuss Even were but five minutes devoted to the discussion of each of the questions given it will be seen that it would be impossible to discuss all of them in ten or twelve hours. The wide variety of questions here given will afford individual Committees an opportunity to arrange their program to suit their own fancies and also furnish additional material for a second study meeting each month if desired by the members.
In conducting the study periods the Chairman should endeavor to hold the discussions closely to the text and not permit the members to speak too long at one time or to stray onto another subject. Whenever it becomes evident that the discussion is turning from the original subject the Chairman should request the speaker to make a note of the particular point or phase of the matter he wishes to discuss or inquire into, and bring it up when the Question Box period is opened
QUESTIONS ON "ENTRANCE AND RECEPTION"
- How many phases of initiation does Brother Clegg speak of? What are they?
- What is the Lodge's part in granting admission to a candidate? What is the candidate's part?
- Can a man become a Mason who does not declare his motives for seeking admission? What were your motives?
- Do you have to be vouched for in order to get a job? Why? How could the Senior Steward vouch for you when he was, perhaps, a stranger to you? Has your Masonic career justified his confidence in you? Can you give a history of the word vouch?
- Why did you await permission to enter? Why did you not walk right in? Is Masonry a right or a privilege? Do you treat it as such? Who granted you permission to enter? Why could not another officer have granted that privilege? Are you able to "wait with patience" until you are promoted in your business or your trade? Did the laws governing your entrance into Masonry signify or symbolize to you the laws governing entrance into all the great experiences and achievements of life? How do you gain entrance into business knowledge, trade skill, success or fame? Into art, knowledge, character?
- Can you give a definition of Masonry in your own language? Do you find it difficult to do so? Can you define the following: Home, religion, politics, love, happiness? Do you know Albert Pike's definition of Masonry?
- Did the brethren "meet you half way" when you sought admission? Why were they glad to receive you? Has your Masonic career disappointed them? Are you equally willing to admit a brother Mason to your friendship?
- What do the pillars symbolize to you?
- What are the real penalties of Masonry? Are they similar to the penalties of dishonor and disloyalty in other fields? Does friendship die when you are false to it? Does your body grow ill when you abuse it? Does truth die in the liar? How many kinds of death are there? Does manhood die in the man who breaks its laws? Does patriotism die in the traitor? Are the worst penalties physical and material? Have you ever felt as if an instrument of torture had been plunged into your body?
- Do you think that Entrance and Reception symbolize re-birth? Why? How were you born into education? Into citizenship? Into mastery of your trade? Is a man born into religion? What is meant by "new birth"? Does Masonry ever help a man to be born again? Can you give instances?
Bro. Robert I. Clegg
PART II — ENTRANCE AND RECEPTION
TWO PHASES OF INITIATION LET us consider the two-fold aspect of initiation. It is sought by the candidate, and if he is found worthy, it is granted by the Lodge. He personally demonstrates his needs, the Lodge grants him relief. When he grasps the latch of the door, the Lodge releases the bolts.
RELATIVE POSITION OF LODGE AND CANDIDATE
It will be seen at once that the relative positions of the Lodge and the candidate are quite different though closely related. In fact the common phrase from the Scriptures is deeply significant to the thinking Mason. The seventh chapter of St. Matthew says: Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh, seeketh; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. The Lodge does not seek the candidate. He himself must seek entrance into the Lodge and this must be of his own initiative.
DECLARATION OF MOTIVES
None may be received into our midst who does not first give satisfactory reasons as to why he is applying for admission. Note the coincidence of the initial letters of the three important words in the Scripture passage, Ask, Seek, Knock — the word ask being suggestive of the voluntary act of the candidate in speech. His will power is shown in the search, his quest for the promised reward, and his earnestness is evidenced by an alarm. The tidings of the applicant's desire and his devotion are made known to others by his speech and action.
MUST BE VOUCHED FOR
Yet not of himself can the candidate advance to the inner mysteries. Prepared as he is in mind, body and reputation, one thing more is essential — competent Masonic witnesses must vouch for him at any and all stages of his progress. We stand not alone in Masonry. None are apart from their fellows. Neither as lonely monument nor as solitary rock stands any Mason. Rather he is perfected for a place among the many others, supporting his share of the common load and bearing his part in upholding the social and moral structure erected by men upright and true.
AWAITS PERMISSION TO ENTER
Asking for acceptance, seeking for enlightenment, signalizing his readiness, the applicant awaits the pleasure of the one in authority.
RECEIVED BY THE LODGE
Let us now turn to the part played by the Lodge in the reception of the candidate. He is not received as are the visiting initiates. His admission is by other doors and by different paths than theirs; there is nothing similar at any stage.
The candidate is analyzed, the visiting brother is recognized. The Lodge meets the one with welcome while the other is temporarily put on probation. The Lodge is represented at all points by an officer whose duty it is to make the proper investigations that all present may be fully informed. So thorough are the inquiries that none in attendance may doubt the qualifications possessed by the applicant. Consider for yourself the nature of the examination, the manner of its administration and its aptness to the occasion. The measure of its completeness and accuracy is the standard of official competency in the Lodge.
MASONRY DEFINED TO THE CANDIDATE
Granted that the candidate has satisfied the Lodge of his worthiness, he is then in turn enlightened as to what a Mason should be, what he should know and what he should do. These are the essence of Masonic teaching.
Freemasonry is a system of moral knowledge in action. Other definitions are to be found but the one that is most easily memorized and workable will receive preference.
With this word of suggestion the student of Masonry may not unprofitably employ a few moments in defining Masonry for himself. He will gain much thereby. For a definite statement of what it means to him will give him a better grip on the foundation of the institution and what it means to him in personal value will enable him to take a Masonic inventory of his fraternity relations and rewards, his duties and his desires.
Let us not forget at this stage the good old definition which runs as follows:
"Freemasonry is a peculiar system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols."
Mackey deemed it more comprehensive and exact to define Freemasonry as a science engaged in the search after Divine Truth, and which employs symbolism as its method of instruction.
But still keeping in mind the attitude of the Lodge toward the candidate and in the light of the definition that we first submitted, let us briefly suggest the means employed for the communication of Masonic truths.
Masonry is rehearsed to the candidate by the rendition of ritual, imparted to his mind by story, and impressed upon the memory by symbols. By drama, story and symbol in combination, the eye and the ear and the recollection co-operate and continually tend to enrich and train the mind and quicken the consciousness and conscience of the reflecting members of the Craft.
THE CANDIDATE AMONG FRIENDS
That friendliness is of the very salt of the earth when it is true and trusty. Life's sweetness is in the friends of proven quality. To walk with such as these is security indeed. Dangers and difficulties fade away in their presence and we go forward fearlessly in that goodly company.
MASONRY AN ESTABLISHMENT OF STRENGTH
He that enters the Temple of the faithful walks between landmarks at right and left, the supporting symbols of strength and stability. Such is our institution to the initiate, a structure of permanence and of power made up of persons buttressed by benevolent principles and cemented by faith.
It is well for this building of ours that at the very entrance the candidate be reminded of where he stands and what is to be expected. Reminders may be acute or weak, strong or slight, gentle or vigorous, temporary or permanent, yet friendly. Truly it is the act of a friend that the lesson should be long of life. To chastise the body may be but to chasten the character; rather bodily anguish than starvation of soul.
PREPARATION, ENTRANCE AND RECEPTION SYMBOLIC OF RE-BIRTH
Three steps we have now taken in our study, Preparation, Entrance and Reception. Have we truly grasped their significance? To have done so we must have first realized what we have left behind. We have been divested of much which the outside world has to offer us, of power, wealth and honors. We have been reminded of the necessity of disrobing our minds of the ignorance and prejudice of every-day life. We have been taught the necessity for new ties and new restraints which remind us of the days of the school-room. "Preparation" has assumed a new meaning to us, yet a meaning which can be demonstrated in daily life as sane and wholesome.
"Entrance" likewise, has for us hidden meanings. The period of preparation ended, we advance toward new and unknown experiences. Not by our strength alone may we enter there. Aided and assisted by those who may as yet have no vital, personal interest in our progress, but who are moved by impulses born of a fellowship and a mission which they know and would share with us, we make this first Masonic venture. For us it is in fact a birth into a new world — a birth more clearly symbolized by the steps we take than we may have realized.
Are we to be "accepted" into this new world? Will we be received? Will those who have received Light and yet further Light be willing to take us into the bosom of their fellowship, bear with our misunderstandings, our awkward conformity to their customs, our worldly standards but partly cast off?
Not until we have been tried and tested. Not until we have shown our disposition to learn as they have learned. Not until our steps have grown steady, our ability to hold ourselves upright is proven. Not until we shall have proven ourselves worthy of the birthright.
Yet withal we are met by a love very much like the love of a mother for her child, by an understanding of our weaknesses and frailties; the while Masonry tenders us, in a spirit of fraternity and forbearance, that wholesome nourishment for the mind and soul which for us means growth, development and stature.
So are the pangs of birth. In travail and in labor are brought forth great good. Education is discipline. Character as a word shows its origin in that it means something cut or carved as by chisel or graver. The rod of the school-master is a symbol of the training of life. Fear is relieved by experience, and cast out by love made perfect. The glowing years of youth with every added light increases the vision, the steps of Masonry likewise broaden the outlook, enlarge the sympathies, illumine the understanding, and strengthen the convictions of the soul.
REFERENCES FOR SUPPLEMENTAL PAPERS
The following references to Mackey's Encyclopedia and THE BUILDER all have a bearing upon the subject treated in the foregoing paper by Brother Clegg. Lodge and Study Club Committees should decide upon those which they may wish to use and then assign to some of their interested members the task of preparing and presenting them as supplemental papers at the same meeting at which Brother Clegg's paper is used.
The article, "What An Entered Apprentice Ought to Know," by Brother Hal Riviere, which appeared in the April, 1917, Correspondence Circle Bulletin, will be found particularly appropriate in connection with the current installment of the Course.
- Declaration of Candidates;
- Sharp Instrument.
- Birth, vol. II, p. 205.
- Candidate's Motives for Making Application, vol. II, p. 377; vol. III, p. 311; Oct. 1917 C. C. B. p. 5
- Definitions of Masonry, vol. I, pp. 9, 54, 74, 263, Lib. 27, Q.B. 93 Cor. 245: vol. III, pp. 17, 44, 102, Apr. 1917 C.C.B. p. 5
- Definition of Masonry by Ball, J. O., vol. I, p. 285. Kuhn, Wm. F., vol. I, p. 87. Mackey, Albert G., vol. I, p. 67. Pike, Albert, vol. I, p. 37.
- Penalty, vol. III, Apr. 1917 C. C. B. p. 1.
- What An Entered Apprentice Ought to Know, vol. III, Apr. 1917 C. C. B. p. 5.
(NOTE — In order to give our readers who do not have access to a copy of Mackey's Encyclopedia an idea of the wealth of suggestive material to be found in those volumes, and to show them why we have adopted this work in connection with our own previous Volumes, as a basis for the Bulletin Course of Masonic Study, we shall from time to time publish a few pertinent references, instead of merely citing them. This will give Study Club leaders a better opportunity, perhaps, to appreciate the manner in which we believe the study hour can be made more interesting and more profitable.)
The verb "to alarm" signifies, in Freemasonry, "to give notice of the approach of some one desiring admission." Thus, "to alarm the Lodge" is to inform the Lodge that there is some one without who is seeking entrance. As a noun, the word "alarm" has two significations. 1. An alarm is a warning given by the Tiler, or other appropriate officer, by which he seeks to communicate with the interior of the Lodge or Chapter. In this sense the expression so often used, "an alarm at the door, simply signifies that the officer outside has given notice of his desire to communicate with the Lodge. 2. An alarm is also the peculiar mode in which this notice is to be given. In modern Masonic works, the number of knocks given in an alarm is generally expressed by musical notes. The word comes from the French "alarme," which in turn comes from the Italian "all arme," literally a cry "to arms," uttered by sentinels surprised by the enemy. The legal meaning of to alarm is not to frighten, but to make one aware of the necessity of defense or protection.
And this is precisely the Masonic signification of the word.
In every Symbolic Lodge, there are two officers who are called the Senior and Junior Deacons. In America the former is appointed by the Master and the latter by the Senior Warden; in England both are appointed by the Master. It is to the Deacons that the introduction of visitors should be properly entrusted. Their duties comprehend, also, a general surveillance over the security of the Lodge, and they are the proxies of the officers by whom they are appointed. Hence their jewel, in allusion to the necessity of circumspection and justice is a square and compasses. In the center, the Senior Deacon wears a sun, and the Junior Deacon a moon, which serve to distinguish their respective ranks. In the English system, the jewel of the Deacons is a dove, in allusion to the dove sent forth by Noah. In the Rite of Mizraim the Deacons are called acolytes.
The office of Deacons in Masonry appears to have been derived from the usages of the primitive church. In the Greek church, the Deacons were always the pylori or doorkeepers, and in the Apostolical Constitutions the Deacon was ordered to stand at the men's door, and the Subdeacon at the women's, to see that none came in or went out during the oblation.
In the earliest rituals of the last century, there is no mention of Deacons, and the duties of those officers were discharged partly by the Junior Warden and partly by the Senior and Junior Entered Apprentices, and they were not generally adopted in England until the Union of 1813.
The emblematic use of a "sharp instrument" as indicated in the ritual of the First Degree, is intended to be represented by a warlike weapon (the old rituals call it "a warlike instrument"), such as a dagger or sword. The use of the point of a pair of compasses, as is sometimes improperly done, is an erroneous application of the symbol, which should not be tolerated in a properly conducted Lodge. The compasses are, besides, a symbol peculiar to Third Degree.
DECLARATION OF CANDIDATES
Every candidate for initiation is required to make, "upon honor," the following declaration before an appropriate officer or committee. That, unbiased by the improper solicitation of friends and uninfluenced by mercenary motives, he freely and voluntarily offers himself as a candidate for the Mysteries of Masonry; that he is prompted to solicit the privileges of Masonry by a favorable opinion conceived of the Institution and a desire of knowledge; and that he will cheerfully conform to all the ancient usages and established customs of the Fraternity. This form is very old. It is to be found in precisely the same words in the earliest edition of Preston. It is required by the English Constitution, that the candidate should subscribe his name to this declaration. But in America the declaration is made orally, and usually before the Senior Deacon.
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SECRETARY OF WAR RESCINDS ORDER BARRING FRATERNITIES FROM ARMY CAMPS
Through the courtesy of Brother James W. Witten, Grand Master of the District of Columbia, we are furnished a complete report of the meeting of representatives of various fraternal organizations called in conference on October 29 last, by the Secretary of War, "to take up the matter of a constructive program that will secure co-operation in the work that is being done by the committee on training camp activities." The minutes of this meeting, made by E. St. Clair Thompson, Special Deputy of Edward W. Wellington, G.G.M. of the General Grand Council, R. & S. M. of the United States, are so complete and well written that we reproduce them here in full.
It is a matter of sincere congratulation to the Craft that Masonry was so ably represented, and that throughout the deliberations the spirit of tolerance was uppermost. We cannot refrain from expressing our own gratification that this conference has eliminated an apparent attitude of friction which has occasionally been present in the Masonic Press, as we read the text of the splendid Resolutions presented by Sovereign Grand Commander Moore and his confreres of the Committee. They breathe a spirit of loyalty of which Masonry may well be proud. They form a platform upon which every Branch of Freemasonry may stand shoulder to shoulder with every other Branch. It remains but to carry into effect the letter and spirit of the Resolutions — as has been pledged by the Brethren present at the conference — a task which should command the united effort and unselfish co-operation of every one of us, no matter what his degree or rank or title.
Brother Witten's letter to the Grand Masters of the Grand Jurisdictions of America, in which he briefly explains the conditions leading up to this conference, inviting their co-operation in a spirit as broadminded and sympathetic as his own, follows:
To the Grand Masters of Masons of the Several Grand Jurisdictions of the United States.
M. W. and Dear Brothers:
Soon after the Secretary of War excluded Freemasons and other fraternities and associations from engaging in welfare work within military camps and accorded that privilege exclusively to the Young Men's Christian Association and the Knights of Columbus, I requested our Grand Chaplain, Rev. Hugh T. Stevenson, of this City, who is experienced and deeply interested in work of that kind, and who, as I well knew, was otherwise especially qualified and particularly available for that purpose, to undertake to secure a modification of the Secretary's order. Through his able, earnest and indefatigable efforts, supplemented and greatly aided by Brother George Fleming Moore, Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of the Thirty-third and Last Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States of America, the Secretary's original action was modified by an order, a copy of which is herewith enclosed, under which our Craft, either individually or in conjunction with other fraternities, will be permitted to engage in welfare work within cantonments where local conditions will permit its doing so.
I was satisfied from the beginning that the Secretary did not either desire or intend to make any invidious distinction between the Knights of Columbus and Freemasonry or other fraternities, and that that organization was admitted only as the representative of one branch of the Christian Church whose adherents were not admitted to all the privileges and prerogatives accorded by the Young Men's Christian Association to the followers of the Protestant Churches. It was for that reason that I refrained from criticising or censuring his actions, believing as I did that far more harm than good would result from doing so, and that the de sired results could be much more easily secured by other methods. I am, with assurances of my highest esteem, Yours fraternally, JAS. W. WITTEN, Grand Master of Masons for the District of Columbia.
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Pursuant to request of the Secretary of War, a conference was held between the Secretary and a number of gentlemen representing various fraternal organizations, in the office of the Secretary, War Department, Washington, D.C., at 3 P.M., Monday, October 29, A.D. 1917, for the purpose above stated.
Present: Newton D. Baker, Secretary of War, Raymond B. Fosdick, in charge of training camp activities, and the following:
John J. Brown, Supreme Chancellor, Knights of Pythias; Joseph A. Burkhart, representing the Grand Exalted Ruler, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. Col. P.H. Callahan, representative of the Supreme Knight, Knights of Columbus; George E. Corson, General Grand High Priest of the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of the United States; Joseph A. Flaherty, Supreme Knight, Knights of Columbus; J. W. Ford, Supreme Dictator, Loyal Order of Moose; L. S. Gottleib, representing the B'rith Abraham Order; Frank C. Goudy, Grand Sire, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, accompanied by E. W. Bradford, representative of the Grand Sire; Adolph Kraus, president of the Independent Order of B'nai B'rith; Max L. Hollander, grand secretary, B'nai Abraham; W. W. Mansfield, representing the Supreme Councillor, Order of United Commercial Travelers of America; Hon. Jos. McLaughlin, president of the Ancient Order of Hibernians of America; Hon. George Fleming Moore, Sovereign Grand Commander, Supreme Council 33d, of the A. & A. S. R., Southern Jurisdiction, U. S. A.; Charles E. Ovenshire, Imperial Potentate, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine; Dr. J. G. Pace, representing the Society of Modern Woodmen of America; Wm. S. Parks, representing Lee S. Smith, Grand Master of Knights Templar of the United States; Solomon Schelinsky, Grand Master of Independent Order of B'rith Abraham; Edwin S. Schmid, Grand Monarch, Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm; Hon. Morris Sheppard, representing the Sovereign Commander, Modern Woodmen of the World; Lewis E. Sisler, representing the Supreme Commander of the Maccabees; Hon. Barton Smith, Sovereign Grand Commander, Supreme Council 33d, A. & A. S. R., Northern Jurisdiction, U. S. A.; E. St. Clair Thompson, representing Edward W. Wellington, General Thrice Illustrious Master of the Royal and Select Masters of the United States.
The meeting was called to order by the Secretary of War.
The Secretary called attention to the fact that the Government is in the business of raising and training a large army made up of young men taken from time to time from the usual environment of young men with regard to church, social and fraternal affiliations; that these men are being congregated in camps of unusual size, which are in fact cities of 40,000 or more inhabitants; that both because of the different method of selection as well as the large and more unique organizations of troops and the problems to be met and solved in connection with their handling, we are face to face with questions never before presented to us.
The Secretary alluded to the statutory provision made for caring for the religious side of camp life, in the legal provision for army chaplains, but said it was found that this did not meet the situation in all its social, fraternal and moral aspects.
After commenting on a large number of developments along this line since the mobilization began, the Secretary stated that the matter had shaped itself in his thought under two heads:
First: What shall we do for the soldier in camp?
Second: What can we do for the soldier in communities adjacent to the camp?
Nearly all the men have some traditional religious affiliation. The law provides for that in the appointment of chaplains. The function of a chaplain is entirely religious. In addition to that, is what we know as the social side. The Knights of Columbus and the Y.M.C.A. are built around that idea. We now have chaplains, the Y.M.C.A. and the Knights of Columbus, and lately the Y.W.C.A. has undertaken to help in the communities on the girls' side in providing suitable meeting places and surroundings where the men may meet women.
The committee on training camp activities has been at work on these problems and in considering what had been accomplished, the revelations made in the course of the work and the suggestions which come from these sources, the Secretary stated he felt if there could be a way in which members of the same society could meet in camp, he felt sure it would be a helpful thing but that considering the necessities of discipline and the various questions involved, he was also of the opinion that the major help to be rendered by fraternal societies is in the communities outside rather than in the camp itself, from which the soldier wants to go whenever he has an opportunity.
The Secretary declared himself as being without prejudice and that what he sought was the best way: the way which will produce the most efficient use of co-operation.
The Secretary alluded to the fact that some of the camps are temporary; that the purpose of training these men is to send them to France; that it would be a serious financial burden to encourage the erection of buildings in the camps, if there were no other objections; that the Government has had to purchase or rent most of the land on which these camps are located and that the demand for more land is constantly increasing. He therefore suggested that the men present in the meeting work out some plan by which a single building could be erected which would be available for all the societies so that by a committee they could manage access to the building and have these places as central points for distribution of literature, etc.
The thought of the Secretary, as developed, seemed to be to leave intact, matters so far as they now exist in connection with training camp activities but that the societies represented in the meeting should get together in some additional campaign.
He was asked if that was his thought, and if it was, that he give some suggestions of how a movement independent of the committee on training camp activities could result in co-operation in the work Or that committee, in which the various societies represented in the meeting would have no part.
This led to the development of the thought that the Y.M.C.A. does not represent all the Protestant affiliations or social activities or view points and that the Knights of Columbus is wholly sectarian; that none of the societies represented desire the establishment of units of their particular organizations for the purpose of conferring degrees, etc., having Lodge meetings or the like, but that they felt that neither the Y.M.C.A. or the Knights of Columbus nor the Jewish Welfare Society adequately covered the field and that so long as the present order continues, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to secure whole-hearted enlistment, in the work to be done, on the part of those social and fraternal organizations which are now barred from privileges such as are accorded the Y.M.C.A. and the Knights of Columbus; that what is demanded is that all be treated alike and all be subordinated to the exigencies of necessary discipline of the camps; that they were perfectly willing to work outside of the camps and were doing so but that they thought they should have a "look-in" on the inside as well as those now particularly favored; that the motive and desire of every society was to be of service to the country. It seemed to be a consensus of opinion that no lodge work of any kind should be permitted in the camps or any other practice allowed which would interfere with discipline or arouse controversy among the men in the camps or those outside of the camps who might be interested. The Secretary was again told that there had been much dissatisfaction because of the order that no organization except the Y.M.C.A. and the Knights of Columbus would be allowed inside of camps but the Secretary was assured that if he would outline a plan which would meet with the approbation of the representatives there assembled, they would put it through.
A vote was then taken expressing the sentiment of those present that it would be unwise to have buildings erected in the camps for holding meetings of lodges of fraternal organizations, for conferring degrees, etc.
The Secretary then said: Every society or order which desires to erect a building for social use in a camp is free to apply to the commanding officer and he is free to grant permission if the land is available but it is understood that they must, of course, take and abide by the judgment of the commanding officer as to that and that the Secretary of War would be available for consideration of any injustice which might arise or be thought to have arisen so far as such action on the part of the Secretary would not be an overruling of the discretion of the commanding officer.
The Secretary stated that the Government cannot undertake to erect buildings for common use of organizations.
The Secretary here called Mr. Raymond B. Fosdick to the chair and retired for consultation with Mr. Thomas A. Edison. A pleasant diversion was the entrance of Mr. Edison into the room where he was greeted with much applause and then retired.
Mr. Fosdick took the chair and the discussion proceeded.
Various attempts were made to frame a resolution which would meet the voice of those present and finally a motion was adopted that the chair appoint a committee of seven from this meeting to draft a set of resolutions concerning the participation of fraternal organizations in social work and helpful endeavor in the various camps and cantonments; that this committee report to the conference at 9 A.M. tomorrow, the 30th of October, in the War Department; that the resolution so drafted by the committee may be considered by the conference for adoption and that the conference meet with the Secretary of War at 10 A. M. for presentation of the action of the conference on these resolutions. The chair named: George Fleming Moore, Sovereign Grand Commander, S. R. S. J., Chairman. Frank C. Goudy, Grand Sire, Odd Fellows. John J. Brown, Supreme Chancellor, K. P. Morris Sheppard, Banker, W. O. W. Dr. J. G. Pace, M. W. A. Col. P. H. Callahan, Knights of Columbus. Adolf Kraus, President, B'nai B'rith.
The discussion was participated in by Messrs. Thompson, Brown, Smith, Moore, Pace, Sheppard, Goudy, Kraus, Hollander, Callahan and Flaherty.
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Tuesday, October 30, 1917, 9 A.M.
The conference of representatives of fraternal societies on training camp activities of the United States army reassembled in the War Department at this office for the purpose of hearing and acting on report of the committee appointed on the 29th instant by a meeting of these representatives to draft resolutions expressive of its desire in this behalf.
Present: E. W. Bradford, John J. Brown, Joseph A. Burkhart, P. H. Callahan, George E. Corson, Raymond B. Fosdick, Frank C. Goudy, Adolf Kraus, Dr. J. G. Pace, W. W. Mansfield, Joseph McLaughlin, George F. Moore, W. S. Parks, Morris Sheppard, Rev. Hugh T. Stevenson, E. St. Clair Thompson.
The meeting was called to order by Judge George F. Moore, E. St. Clair Thompson acting as Secretary.
The resolutions as prepared by the committee were presented by the Chairman of the Committee, Judge George F. Moore. Upon consideration and after general discussion the resolutions were perfected and unanimously adopted as follows:
Your Committee appointed to consider and report our conclusions, suggest the adoption of the following Resolution:
Resolved, That we earnestly thank the Secretary of War for his clear, frank and able statement of the reasons on which the former action of the War Department was based, relating to the erection of buildings within the camps and cantonments of the armies of the United States: we thank him for the patient and courteous hearing which he has accorded us and we especially thank him for his wise, patriotic and timely announcement that hereafter all the camps and cantonments of the armies will be open for the erection, occupation or use of buildings within them or for other desirable activities in such camps and cantonments by any fraternal, benevolent or similar society of recognized and well established character, having members in such camps or cantonments, which shall have first obtained permission from the General of the Army or other officer commanding the particular camp or cantonment, under rules prescribed by the Secretary of War, and that after the erection or arrangement for use of a building or buildings within the camps and cantonments, or the beginning of desirable activities therein by such fraternities or groups of fraternities, all of them would be accorded equal facilities and privileges for doing social, fraternal and benevolent work and service.
Resolved further, That since it is necessary to provide the means to erect or arrange for use of buildings and carry on the work which these orders desire to undertake and to determine the modes in which our services may be rendered effective to secure the voluntary support of the orders which we directly represent, as well as the constituent and associated Bodies, we request that time be given each order to formulate and report to the War Department the scope and details of the work or service in which each society or combination of societies desires to engage.
Resolved further, That it is the opinion of this Conference that no order or society should be permitted to confer degrees or engage in any of its secret work within the camps or cantonments.
Resolved further, That we pledge to the Secretary of War and our Government our best efforts to help and assist in the work and service of securing and maintaining the comfort, entertainment and well-being, moral as well as physical, of our soldiers without the camps and cantonments, as well as within them.
George F. Moore, Chairman.
John J. Brown.
J. G. Pace.
Frank C. Goudy.
P. H. Callahazl.
During the discussion of the resolutions it appeared that fraternal societies represented in this Conference but not included in the previous order of the War Department have already taken steps and have collected large sums of money for the erection and equipment on the outside of camps and cantonments of gymnasiums, clubs and other means of caring for the needs, comfort and entertainment of soldiers in camps and cantonments in various parts of the country, particular mention being made of Camp Devon, Mass., Battle Creek, Mich., Yaphank, N. Y., Des Moines, Iowa.
At this point Mr. Fosdick was requested to retire and advise the Secretary of War that the meeting was ready to present resolutions it had adopted.
The Secretary of War entered the meeting and assumed the chair. The resolutions as adopted by the meeting were presented by Judge Moore as the unanimous voice of those assembled.
THE SECRETARY OF WAR: Except as to the first three paragraphs which thank the Secretary of War, the resolution seems most happily conceived. This means then, as I understand it, that the several societies here represented, or with such affiliated bodies as are in their judgment more or less cognate, will work out plans according to their own theory as to how they can best be satisfied and those plans will come to me and my end of it is to draw orders to make those plans effective within the limits of possibility and opportunity. It is understood that all this effort is to be along helpful, social and fraternal lines making for clean lives, good health and effective service to the Government and that in carrying on these lines of activities no secret work of any organization is to be conducted inside of the camps or cantonments and that is not desired.
Second: To the extent of available ground at any camp, authority is to be given, in the discretion of the commanding officer, for the erection of any building or buildings of any fraternal society or group of societies.
Third: To the extent that there exist available buildings in a camp or cantonment the commanding officer is to lend his assistance in securing their use for social and fellowship purposes of these societies.
* * *
Attention was called to the fact that much work has already been done by these societies on the outside of camps and that it was desired that duly accredited representatives of these societies having members within the camps should be accorded the privilege of going into the camps and cantonments, greeting the boys and inviting them to places of provision for then without the camps. This was assented to by the Secretary of War who stated that this would be a matter of detail within the discretion of the commanding officer.
The meeting adjourned with the understanding that the Secretary of War would be furnished a complete copy of the Minutes of the Conference including the Resolutions adopted at this session; that the Secretary of War would issue orders in conformity with the determination had at this Conference and that the various representatives in the Conference would be furnished copies of this order.
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ROSICRUCIANS AND FREEMASONS
Bro. John G. Keplinger, Illinois
THERE is, perhaps, no more interesting theory of the origin of Freemasonry than that given by DeQuincey, in his essay on "Rosicrucians and Freemasons." This account is an expansion of a Latin dissertation prepared by Prof. J. G. Buhle, logic professor in a great German university and read by him before the Gottingen Philosophical Society in the year 1803.
In this paper Prof. Buhle endeavors to do two things: First — to show that the Rosicrucian cult was the miscarriage of a projected secret society by means of which a young Lutheran theologian hoped to correct the flagrant evils of his time, and —
Second — that Freemasonry was an outgrowth of Rosicrucianism. I will briefly review the essay and leave it for you to decide whether or not DeQuincey and the professor establish their case.
Towards the close of the sixteenth century the evils of Germany were said to be enormous and the necessity for some great reform was universally admitted. That the desire to institute such a reform was in the mind of at least one writer of the period is evident from three books of fiction which he produced and published in or about the year 1610.
The first of these books is worthy of notice because it serves as an introduction to the others. This book, entitled "Universal Reformation of the Whole Wide World," is a tale of no inconsiderable wit and humor. According to it the Seven Wise Men of Greece, together with M. Cato and Seneca, were summoned to Delphi by Apollo to deliberate on the best way of redressing human misery.
All sorts of strange schemes were proposed by these wise men. Thales advised that a hole be cut in every man's breast, and a little window placed in it so that vice and hypocrisy in the heart could be detected and extinguished. Solon proposed an equal partition of all possessions and wealth. Chilo thought the best way to the end in view was to banish from the world those two infamous and rascally metals — gold and silver.
Kleobulus came forward as the apologist of gold and silver. He thought that if the use of iron was prohibited wars would be discontinued among men. Pittacus insisted on the passing of more rigorous laws which would make virtue and merit the sole passports to honor. Periander objected to the suggestion of Pittacus because he thought there never had been a scarcity of such laws, nor of princes to execute them, but scarcity enough of subjects conformable to good laws.
Bias thought that the nations should be kept apart. To confine each to its own territory he advocated that bridges be demolished, mountains rendered insurmountable and navigation totally forbidden.
Cato, said to be the wisest of the party, wished that God, in his mercy, would wash all women from the earth by another deluge and at the same time introduce a new arrangement for the continuance of the excellent male sex without female help.
The whole assembly, however, deemed this proposal so abominable that they unanimously prostrated themselves on the ground and besought God that he would graciously vouchsafe to preserve the lovely race of women and save the world from a second deluge.
After a long debate the counsel of Seneca prevailed. His proposal was "that out of all ranks a society should be composed which would have for its object the general welfare of mankind and that this object should be pursued in secret."
In the second book the writer took advantage of the fact that Cabbalism, Theosophy and Alchemy had overspread the whole of Western Europe and hinged his plot on the tenets of these cults. The title of this book was "Fama Fraternitatis of the meritorius order of the Rosy Cross, addressed to the learned in general, and the governors of Europe." Its object was to correct the evils of the time by giving an account of a society such as Seneca proposed as if it were already established. By the publication of this book the author hoped to draw about him a body of enlightened and forward looking men who would co-operate with him in his plans to elevate the moral order of mankind.
According to this book, Christian Rosycross, a man of noble descent, and living two centuries before this time, had traveled extensively in the East and Africa. There he had learned great mysteries from the Arabians and Chaldeans. Upon his return to Germany he founded a secret society whose headquarters were in a building called the House of The Holy Ghost.
This building was erected by Rosycross but its location was a mystery to all but members of the order. Here, under a vow of secrecy, Rosycross communicated his mysteries to his followers and then sent them forth into the world.
Their mission can be gathered from a few rules of the order: The members were to cure the sick without fee or reward. None was to wear a peculiar habit but was to dress after the fashion of the country in which he lived or traveled. On a certain day in every year all the brethren were to assemble in the House of The Holy Ghost or to account for their absence. The word "Rosycross" was to be their seal, watchword and characteristic mark. The association was to be kept unrevealed for a hundred years. To perpetuate it during this time each member, at his death, was to select some individual with proper qualifications to be his successor in the order.
Christian Rosycross died at the age of one hundred and six years and, while his death was known to the society, the location of his grave was unknown to the members. One hundred and twenty years after the death-of Rosycross the brethren discovered a secret door in the House of The Holy Ghost upon which was this inscription: "One hundred and twenty years hence I shall open." Opening the door they found it to be the entrance to a sepulchral vault which was illuminated by an artificial sun. This vault was in the shape of a heptagon and every side was five feet broad and eight feet high. In the center was a circular altar on which was an engraved brass plate with this inscription: "This grave, an abstract of the whole world, I made for myself while yet living." About the margin of the plate an inscription read, "To me Jesus is all in all." In the center of the altar were four figures enclosed in a circle by this revolving legend: "The empty yoke of the law is made void. The liberty of the gospel. The unsullied glory of God."
Having observed these things with wonder the brethren next discovered that each of the seven sides of the vault had a door opening into a chest. In this chest they found secret books of the order and, chief among them, the Vocabularium of Paracelsus. In addition they found an assortment of mirrors, lamps, little bells and marvelous musical mechanisms, all so arranged that even after the lapse of many centuries the whole order could be re-established even though all the members had perished.
Under the altar the brethren found the body of Rosycross. It was without taint or corruption. In the right hand he held a vellum book inscribed with letters of gold. This book the brethren called T, and after the Bible it became the most precious jewel of the society. In two separate circles near the end of the book were found the names of the eight initiates who had been the immediate followers of Rosycross. Then follows a declaration of the principles of the order which was addressed to the society of the whole world. According to this declaration the followers of Rosycross professed to be of the Protestant faith — that they honored the emperor and observed the laws of the empire — and that the art of gold making was but a slight object with them. The whole declaration ended with these words: "Our House of The Holy Ghost, though a hundred thousand men should have looked upon it, is yet destined to remain untouched, imperturbable, out of sight and unrevealed to the godless world forever."
The third book appeared in Latin and contained general explanations upon the object and spirit of the order of Rosycross. It explained that the order had different degrees; that not only princes, men of rank, rich men and learned men, but also mean and inconsiderable persons were admitted to its communion provided they had pure and disinterested motives and were able and willing to exert themselves for the ends of the institution. It was claimed that the order had a peculiar language; that it possessed more gold and silver than the whole world but that it was not this but rather true philosophy which was the object of their labors.
Who was the author of these books?
Although there has been considerable discussion pro and con on this subject, both DeQuincey and Prof. Buhle maintain that he was none other than John Valentine Andrea, a celebrated theologian of Wutemberg and known as a satirist and a poet. Andrea was born at Herrenberg in 1586. His grandfather was the Chancellor Jacob Andrea who was celebrated for his services to the church of Wurtemberg. Andrea's father was the Abbot of Konigsbronn and from him he received an excellent education. Besides, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, French, Italian and Spanish, Andrea was well versed in mathematics, natural and civil history, geography and historical genealogy without in the least neglecting his professional study of divinity.
Very early in life he seems to have had a deep sense of the evils and abuses of his time — not so much in the realm of politics as in the realms of philosophy, morals and religion. These, we learn from manuscripts found among his papers, he sought to correct by means of societies acting in secret.
DeQuincey made a close review of his life and opinions of Andrea and as a result of it writes: "I am not only satisfied that Andrea wrote the three works which laid the foundation of Rosicrucianism, but I clearly see why he wrote them." This he ascribes to the great evils existing in Germany and to Andrea's overwhelming desire to redress them.
As a young man without experience Andrea imagined that this would be easy of accomplishment. Had he not the example of Luther before him and was not a similar effort necessary in the existing generation? It was to the mind of Andrea and to organize these efforts and direct them to the proper object he projected a society composed of the noble, the intellectual, the enlightened and the learned — which he hoped to see moving as under the influence of one soul towards the end he had in view. Young as he was, Andrea knew that men of various tempers and characters could be brought to co-operate steadily for an object so purely disinterested as the elevation of human nature. In an age, then, of Theosophy, Cabbalism and Alchemy he knew the popular ear would be quickly caught by an account, issuing nobody knew whence, of a secret society which professed to be a depositary of Oriental mysteries and to have lasted two centuries. Many, naturally, would seek to connect themselves with such a society and from these he hoped he might gradually select the members of the real society which he had in mind. The pretensions of the society as projected were indeed illusions; but, he hoped that before these were detected as such by the proselytes, they would become connected with himself and be moulded to his nobler aspirations. On this view of Andrea's real intentions, we understand his contradictory statements regarding astrology and the transmutation of metals.
From his satirical works we see that he looked through the follies of his age with a penetrating eye — that he tolerated these follies as an exoteric concession to the age in which he lived while he condemned them in his own esoteric character of a religious philosopher. Wishing to conciliate prejudices he does not forbear to bait his scheme with these delusions; but in doing so he was careful to let us know that they were mere collateral pursuits with his society — the direct and main one being true philosophy and religion.
That Andrea was the formulator of the foregoing ideas and the producer of the three books, DeQuincey conclusively proves to himself by the further fact that, "The armorial bearings of Andrea's family were a St. Andrew's cross and four roses. By the order of Rosy Cross, Andrea therefore, means an order founded by himself."
DeQuincey, in a foot-note, refers to Bishop Myles Coverdale's translation of the third "boke of the Kynges," the eighth chapter, part of section C and all of D, which I quote in full.
"And Kynge Salomon sent to fetch one Hiram of Tyre a wedowes sonne, of the trybe of Nephtali, and his father had bene a man of Tyre, which was a connynge man in metall, full of wyszdome, vnderstondinge and knowledge to worke all manner of metall worke. When he came to Kynge Salomon, he made all his worke, and made two brasen pilers, ether of them eightene cubites hye; and a threde of xij cubites was the measure aboute both of ye pilers; and he made two knoppes of brasse molten, to set above vpon the pilers: and every knoppe was fyve cubytes hye; and on every knoppe above vpon ye pilers seue wrythen ropes like cheynes. And vpon every knoppe he made two rowes of pomgranates rounde aboute on one rope, wherwith ye knoppe was covered. And the knoppes were like roses before ye porche foure cubites greate. And the pomgranates in the rowes rounde aboute were two hudreth aboue and beneth vpon the rope, which wete rounde aboute the thickness of the knoppe, on euery knoppe vpon both the pilers. And set vp the pilers before the porche of the temple. And that which he set on the right hande, called he Iachin: and that which he set on the lefte hande, called he Boos. And so stode it aboue vpon the pilers euen like roses. Thus was the worke of ye pilers fynished."
A comparison of this translation with part of our Fellow Craft lecture should prove interesting.
The sensation which was produced throughout Germany by the works in question is not only evidenced by the repeated editions of them which appeared between 1614 and 1617, but still more by the prodigious commotion which followed in the literary world. In the library at Gottingen there is a collection of letters written between these dates and addressed to the imaginary order of Father Rosycross by persons offering themselves as members. These letters are filled with complimentary expressions of the highest respect and are all printed — the writers alleging that, being unacquainted with the address of the society, they could not send them through any other than the public channel.
Other literary persons forebore to write letters to the society but threw out small pamphlets containing their opinions of the order and its place of residence. Each successive writer pretended to be better informed on that point than all his predecessors. Quarrels arose; partisans started up on all sides; the uproar and confusion became indescribable; cries of heresy and atheism resounded from every side; some were calling for the secular power; and the more coyly the invisible society retreated from the public advances, so much the more eager and amorous were its admirers — and so much the more bloodthirsty its antagonists.
Meantime there were some who, from the beginning, had escaped the general delusion, and there were many who had gradually recovered from it. It was also generally observed, that of the many printed letters to the society, none had been answered, and all attempts to penetrate the darkness in which the order was shrouded by its unknown memorialist were successfully baffled. Naturally a suspicion arose that some bad designs lurked under the ostensible purposes of these mysterious publications. These suspicions were strengthened by the many impostors who arose and advertised themselves as Rosicrucians.
Upon the credit which they obtained by their pretended knowledge of Alchemy they cheated great numbers of their money and others of their health by panaceas. Three, in particular, made a great noise at Wetzlar, at Nuremberg and at Augsburg. All were punished by the magistracy, one lost his ears in running the gantlet and one was hanged.
At this crisis a powerful writer came forward and attacked the supposed order with much scorn and homely good sense. This man was Andrew Libau. He exposed the impracticability of the meditated reformation, the incredibility of the legend of Father Rosycross, and the hollowness of the pretended science which they professed. These writings might have led to the suppression of the Rosicrucian books and pretensions; but this termination of the mania was defeated by two circumstances: The first was the conduct of the Paracelsists who, after vainly trying to press into the order, proclaimed themselves the Rosicrucians. This distracted the public and the uproar became greater than ever. The other circumstance was the conduct of Andrea and his friends.
It is clear that Andrea enjoyed the confusion until he became sensible that he had called up an apparition he could not lay. Well knowing that in all the great crowd of aspirants, who were clamorously knocking for admittance into the airy college of Father Rosycross — though one and all pretended to be enamoured of that — mystic wisdom he had promised, yet by far the majority were enamoured of that gold he had hinted at — it is evident that his satirical propensities were violently tickled. He, therefore, kept up the hubbub of delusion by flinging out a couple of pamphlets amongst the hungry crowd, which he thought ten(led to amuse them.
But in a few years Andrea was shocked to find that the further delusion had taken root in the public mind.
There were other writers, too, who wrote with a sincere design to countenance the notion of a pretended Rosicrucian society. Of these there were four notables, namely: Julianas a Campis, Julius Sperber, Radlich Brotoffer and most important of all — Michael Maier. It was Maier who first transplanted Rosicrucianism into England, where its effects were more lasting than in Germany. This man was an extensive traveler and on his return to Germany became acquainted with the fierce controversy on the Rosicrucian sect. Unable to introduce himself into the society he set himself to establish such an order by his own efforts and to do so published a work in which DeQuincey claims to find the first traces of Freemasonry. In the same year Maier published another book written by Robert Fludd, a friend living in England. These books convinced Andrea that his romance had succeeded in a way which he had never designed. The public had accredited the charlatanerie of his books, but gave no welcome to that for the sake of which the charlatanerie was adopted as a vehicle. The alchemy had been approved, the moral and religious scheme slighted. And societies were forming even amongst the learned upon the basis of all that was false in the system to the exclusion of all that was true. This was a spectacle which he could no longer view in the light of a joke. The folly was becoming too serious and Andrea set himself to counteract it with all his powers.
For this purpose he published his Chemical Nuptials of Christian Rosycross. This was a comic romance of extraordinary talent in which the Paracelsists were invested with cap and bells. Unfortunately for the purpose of Andrea this romance, too, was swallowed by the public as a true and serious history. Upon this he published a series of satirical dialogues in which he more openly unveiled his true design. In this his efforts were seconded by those of his friends, especially Irenaeus, Agnostus and John Val. Alberti under the name of Menapius.
Soon after this a learned foreigner placed the Rosicrucians in a still more ludicrous light by showing that the first of the Rosicrucian books (the Universal Reformation) was nothing more than a literal translation, word for word, of the Parnasso of Boccalini. As a result of this ridicule and satire, no regular lodge of Rosicrucians was ever believed to have been established in Germany. Thus DeQuincey claims to have traced Rosicrucianism from its birth in Germany and then undertakes to prove that it was transplanted to England where, in a modified form, it has since flourished under the name of Freemasonry.
At the beginning of the seventeenth century many learned heads in England were occupied with Theosophy, Cabbalism and Alchemy. Among these was Robert Fludd. It was he, no doubt, who in 1629 wrote "Summum Bonum" and must be considered as the immediate father of Freemasonry as Andrea was its remote father.
It is not recorded how Fludd secured his first acquaintance with Rosicrucianism but it is probable that he acquired it from his friend Maier with whom he corresponded after the latter left England. At all events he must have been interested in Rosicrucianism at an early period for he published an apology for it in 1617.
The first question which naturally arises is why Fludd dropped the name of Rosicrucian. The reason in brief was this. His apology for the Rosicrucians was attacked by the celebrated Father Mersenne. To this Fludd replied in two witty but coarse books entitled "Summum Bonum" and "Sophiae cum Moria certamen." In answer to the question, "Where the Rosicrucians resided," Fludd replied: "In the house of God, where Christ is the corner stone." Then he explained the symbols of the Rose and the Cross in a new sense, as meaning the cross sprinkled with the rosy blood of Christ.
Mersenne, being no match for Fludd, Gassendi, in 1630, published a rejoinder in which he analyzed and ridiculed Fludd's principles in general and in particular reproached him for his belief in the highly romantic legend of the Rosicrucians.
Fludd was hard pressed under his conscious inability to assign their place of abode and in 1633, in his answer to Gassendi, evaded the question by formally withdrawing the name Rosicrucian.
Here, then, we have the negative question answered — why and when they ceased to be called Rosicrucians. But now comes the second of affirmative question — why and when did they become known as Freemasons? We have seen how in 1633 the old name was abolished, but as yet no new name was substituted. In default of such a name they were known under the general term of wise men. This, however, was too vague and the immediate hint for the name "Masons" was derived from the legend contained in the Fama Fraternitatis, of the House of The Holy Ghost.
"Where and what was that house?" This had been a subject of much speculation in Germany; and many had been simple enough to understand the expression to mean a literal house and had inquired of it up and down the empire. Andrea, however, had made it impossible to understand it in any other than an allegorical sense by describing it as a building which would remain invisible to the godless world forever. This building, in fact, represented the purpose or object of the Rosicrucians. And what was that?
To know the secret wisdom, or, in their language, magic — that is: first, Philosophy of nature or occult knowledge of the works of God; second, Theology, or the occult knowledge of God himself; third, Religion, or God's occult intercourse with the spirit of man, which they imagined to have been handed down from Adam through the Cabbalists to themselves. The Rosicrucians distinguished between a carnal and a spiritual knowledge of this magic. The spiritual knowledge was the business of Christianity and was symbolized by Christ himself as a rock and as a building of which he is the head and foundation.
What rock and what building?" says Fludd.
"A spiritual rock, and a building of human nature in which men are the stones and Christ the corner stone."
"But how shall stones move and arrange themselves into a building?"
"They must become living stones," says Fludd.
"But what is a living stone?"
"A living stone is a Mason who builds himself up into the wall as a part of the temple of human nature."
In these passages we see the rise of the allegorical name of Masons. The society was, therefore, a Masonic society in order to represent typically that temple of the Holy Ghost which it was their business to erect in the spirit of man.
This temple was the abstract of the doctrine of Christ, who was the Grand Master — hence the light from the East, of which so much is said in Rosicrucian and Masonic books. St. John was the beloved disciple of Christ — hence the solemn celebration of his festival.
Having, moreover, adopted the attributes of Masonry as the figurative expression of their objects the Freemasons were led to attend more minutely to the legends and history of the building art. In these again they found an occult analogy with their own relations to the Christian wisdom.
The first great event in the art of Masonry was the building of the Tower of Babel. This figuratively expressed the attempt of some unknown Mason to build the temple of the Holy Ghost in anticipation of Christianity. This attempt, however, had been confounded by the vanity of the builders.
The building of King Solomon's Temple was the second great incident in the art and this had an obvious meaning as a prefiguration of Christianity.
Hiram — which name was understood by the elder Freemasons as an anagram: H.I.R.A.M., meant Homo Jesus Redemptor Animarum — was simply the architect of this building to the real professors of the art of building. To the English Rosicrucians or Freemasons he was a type of Christ, and the legend of the Masons, which represented this Hiram as having been murdered by his fellow workmen, made the type still more striking.
The two pillars, Jachin and Boaz (strength and power) also, which were among the memorable singularities of Solomon's temple, had a symbolic interest to the English Rosicrucians in the attributes, incidents and legends of the art exercised by the literal Masons and enabled them to realize the symbols of their own allegories. Then, too, the same building which accommodated the gild of builders in their professional meetings, offered a desirable means for holding the secret assemblies of the early Freemasons. An assortment of implements and utensils such as were presented in the fabulous sepulchre of Father Rosycross were here actually brought together.
Accordingly it is upon record that the first formal and solemn lodge of Freemasons on occasion of which the name of Freemasons was first publicly made known, was held in Mason's Hall, Mason's Alley, Basinghall Street in London in the year 1646. Into this lodge it was that Ashmole, the antiquary, was admitted, and Ashmole, from his writings, appears to have been a zealous Rosicrucian.
DeQuincey then sums up the results of his inquiry into the origin and nature of Freemasonry, as follows:
First: The original Freemasons were a society that arose out of the Rosicrucian mania, certainly within the thirteen years from 1633 to 1646 and probably between 1633 and 1640. Their object was magic in the cabbalistic sense — that is — the occult wisdom transmitted from the beginning of the world and matured in Christ; to communicate this when they had it — to search for it when they had it not; and both under an oath of secrecy.
Second: This object of Freemasonry was represented under the form of Solomon's Temple — as a type of the true church whose cornerstone was Christ.
This temple was to be built of men, or living stones, and the true method and art of building with men it is the province of magic to teach.
Hence it is that all the Masonic symbols either refer to Solomon's Temple, or are figurative modes of expressing the ideas and doctrines of magic in the sense of the Rosicrucians and their mystical predecessors in general.
Third: The Freemasons having once adopted symbols, etc., from the art of masonry, to which they were led by the language of Scripture, went on to connect themselves in a certain degree with the order of handicraft masons and adopted their distribution of members into apprentices, journeymen and masters. Christ, to them, was the Grand Master who was put to death whilst laying the foundation of the temple of human nature.
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IF ALL THE WORLD WERE SMILING
If all the world were smiling, wouldn't everything be fine?
Wouldn't you and I just drop that frown and try to get in line?
Hate, envy, fear and trouble would have to go away,
Because if everyone were smiling, they simply couldn't stay.
The next time you walk down the street, just simply wear a smile,
For frowns are bad, they make you sad,
And smiles are good, they make you glad,
The only thing worth while.
Whenever you have a thing to do, do it with a smile,
For after all we're only here for just a little while.
And while we're here let's make the world just look at us and say:
"If everyone would work that way, wouldn't this old world be gay,
And everyone be satisfied, and trouble pass away?"
If all the world were smiling, and trying to be gay,
It would get to be a fashion, and a fashion that would stay.
When you whistle and smile trouble moves along,
For it simply can't remain where everything's a song.
So everything you have to do, just do it with a smile.
Just make this world a pleasure park, a place to live worthwhile.
— Eugene Littlefield.
* * *
CAPITULAR MASONRY IN SHANGHAI
Bro. Charles Sumner Lobingier, China
A MEMORABLE CONVOCATlON OF KEYSTONE CHAPTER NO. 1
PROBABLY the most unique situation existing anywhere, as regards Capitular Masonry, is found at Shanghai, China, where three Chapters, each of a distinct grand jurisdiction, differing not only in the ritual followed but in the degrees worked, meet in the same building and labor side by side, in fraternal harmony. Zion Chapter, chartered by the Grand Chapter of England, works only the Royal Arch degree, the Mark being conferred, as in England, in a separate body which, in Shanghai, is Orient Mark Masters' Lodge. Rising Sun Chapter under the Grand Chapter of Scotland works the Mark, Most Excellent and Royal Arch degrees, while Keystone Chapter No. 1, organized in 1871 under the General Grand Chapter of the United States (and still its farthest eastern — or western — outpost) confers the usual four degrees of American Capitular Masonry. Two lodges chartered by the Grand Lodge of Scotland, also meet in the same building and work the Mark degree in connection with the Fellow Craft which appears to have been the original as it is the normal arrangement.
The unusual opportunities thus presented for a comparison of the different forms of Capitular Masonry led the High Priest of this year to plan a comparative exemplification at which different bodies, each working the same degree in its own way, should meet on the same night in the same hall.
The degree selected was the Mark which it was planned to have worked on the evening of May 28, successively by Keystone Chapter, Saltoun Lodge and Orient Mark Master's Lodge. Unfortunately the Master of the last named body was absent for so long that the arrangement could not be perfected in time.
The next meeting of Keystone Chapter fell, however, on June 14 — Flag Day — and it was decided, in lieu of the former project, to observe the occasion by conferring the Royal Arch degree followed by a dinner to which members of other bodies would be invited. The High Priest, accompanied by M ∴ E ∴ Com. Springer of Luzon Chapter, Manila, visited Zion Chapter on the evening of May 25 and extended the invitation there and special invitations were sent to others. Besides the presence of those who responded to these invitations other features combined to make the occasion a memorable one. It was the last regular convocation before autumn and as the High Priest was planning a trip to the States during the summer, the meeting was, in a sense, a farewell to him. Moreover his predecessor, Past High Priest Darrah, had just returned from a similar visit and the occasion was made a welcome home to him.
Commencing at 6 P.M. the R ∴ A ∴ degree was conferred on a team consisting of Bros. Thomas Sammons (American Consul General at Shanghai), G. J. Petrocelli and Thomas J. Broderick. The following officers, all in full costume and regalia, exemplifed the work:
Charles S. Lobingier, M.E.H.P.
John M. Darrah, as E.K.
W. C. Woodfleld, E. S.
George A. Derby, Secretary.
John Kavanaugh, C.H.
Wm. Whiting, P.S.
E. Lindquist, R.A.C.
Companions Swettenham, Street and others as Masters of the Veils.
H. Schultze, Tyler.
The ceremonies were completed by 8 P. M. and the companions then repaired to the refectory where a substantial repast was served, upon conclusion of which the High Priest presented to M ∴ E ∴ Companion Darrah, in behalf of the Chapter, a handsome Past High Priest's Jewel, at the time expressing verbally the Chapter's fraternal regard for the recipient and the general recognition of his faithfulness, reliability and zeal.
Continuing, the High Priest said that there was another of his predecessors present who deserved special mention for his long and devoted service to the Chapter. He recounted how, in September, 1904, when enroute for the first time to the Philippines, he, the present High Priest, had stopped overnight at Shanghai, called at the old Masonic building which occupied the site of the present more imposing structure, and, finding that the American Chapter was at work that evening, proceeded to visit. There he met and was welcomed by M.E. Companion Derby, then, as now, Secretary of Keystone Chapter. The friendship then formed had continued ever since and, though he little dreamed then that he should ever be a member, and much less an officer, of the Chapter, the High Priest had always remembered the occasion with pleasure, particularly as it was his first visit to a Chapter outside of his home jurisdiction of Nebraska. M ∴ E ∴ Companion Derby and himself were the only ones present who were there on the previous occasion and in view of this among other evidences of the former's faithful attachment to the cause of Capitular Masonry in Shanghai he proposed the health of M ∴ E ∴ Companion Derby.
The latter responded feelingly stating that, in over twenty years of residence in Shanghai, he had never missed a meeting of the Chapter when in town and that he cared more for Capitular than for any other form of York Masonry.
The High Priest next proposed a toast to the team and called for a response from Companion Sammons who, he said, was reputed to be a hard worker but had never so much resembled a workingman as he had that evening and who, though endowed with the grace of humility in a reasonable degree, had probably never so humbled himself before.
Companion Sammons expressed himself as greatly impressed by the work he had just witnessed. He liked the term "Companion," enjoyed the good fellowship of the occasion and hoped to be able to attend the meetings in the future.
The High Priest then remarked that, among the visiting Companions present was one who had taken an active part in the formation of the Grand Chapter of Western Australia and he felt sure that all would like to learn first hand something of that interesting process. He, therefore, proposed a toast to said Grand Chapter and called upon M∴ E∴ Comp. H. B. Joseph to respond.
The Companion referred to, who is a barrister by profession, proved to be a most interesting speaker. He told how the Chapters in Western Australia were once divided between those of Scotland and those of England and how, after the achievement of Australian unity in 1901 the idea of home grand bodies took form and was finally realized in that State by the formation of the Grand Chapter of Western Australia. Of this body the speaker was the first Grand Secretary and one of the most interesting features of his work as such was the receipt and perusal of Proceedings of other Grand Chapters especially those of America which were prepared with such great care and elaborateness of detail.
Companion Charles Kliene who, though a Danish subject, appeared to have received most of his Masonry in Scotland, was called upon for some remarks and told how he had entered the Craft just twenty years ago and was therefore one of the group known as "Jubilee Masons" being those who joined in the year of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. The speaker mentioned various Masonic organizations which he had joined, including the Glasgow Conclave of the Knights of the Red Cross of Constantine. He hoped that the High Priest, as Intendant General in the Far East would some day grant a dispensation for a Conclave in China.
* * *
THE SIGN OF THE COMPASS AND SQUARE
Bro. Denman S. Wagstaff, California
IN European countries there is a fashion followed almost universally, of having a Sign upon a business place, nearly always quite contrary in its symbolic meaning to the character of the trade carried on within. For example — an Ale House in old England is called "the Hen and Chickens," another "The Gray Goose," another "The White Horse," etc. There are many curious signs displayed, which in our day, mean something quite the reverse of the apparent ancient understanding of titles. This would be the conclusion of the casual observer. Yet these signs did have some reason for existence. They told a story, often forgotten, in the turning of this old world upon its axis; yet today they simply stand as evidence of the "peculiarities" of a past generation. There is one Sign, however, which has never changed its meaning and symbolic significance anywhere in the civilized world — The Compass and The Square. A sign of the Union of the Body and Soul. A Sign, that though the World may change its garb, from spring and summer to winter endlessly, yet still will live to mark the milestones that civilization shall leave along the roads of progress. This Compass and Square! You may find it above a door, even in the very Catholic city of Quebec, in a little narrow passageway, next to the well known "Military Club." One may not see it from the street, yet it is there for the Mason to feast his eyes upon! If the profane chance to see it, they may look upon it as the equivalent of "Le Chat Noir" on lower Government street. It stands, however, for the same "something" it stood for hundreds of years ago. The characters of its keepers are branded with the same sign of endeavor the world has always known Masons by; and the same dignity of purpose guides their march from East to West and back again toward the Light that rises out of the bed of the Sun. In all countries and under all conditions, it stands for the same gospel. It has never failed to fulfill its purpose in a greater measure, than any SIGN man ever put upon an edifice of his own raising. I saw a Compass and Square upon a barren wall in an abandoned mining camp in Wyoming one day in the 70's. The place had been known as South Pass City. It had been the home of Wyoming Lodge No. 2. I learned afterward that dispensation was given it to move to Landers, when the "Camp" "petered." I learned this from Brother John Ramsay who was a member there. Where he may be now I would like to be able to say, as he was to my knowledge a good man and fit to be a Mason.
As I entered the deserted sanctuary, with its uneven dusty floor the memories of a life time of years almost crowded one by one about me. I realized that there in that vacant place, a Masonic Lodge had held conclave. Not a soul remained to tell me the story. There upon the wall, in all the silent grandeur of its stately living loneliness, The Sign looked down upon me, with the great eyes of a world's righteousness. It meant what it said to me. Where were its guardians? They had left it alone upon the sands of time. Thus I thought on for a minute or two. Then as I raised my broad brimmed hat before its majesty, I realized that it needed no guardian but myself — it needed no guardian but each other wanderer as he might come this way to look up at it and silently pray to the Great Architect who had willed that man should place it there. It was indeed not alone. It was a Universe by itself and of itself, surrounded by the pledges of the souls of men and guarded by the Spirit of The Great Creator.
Afterward, as I came to know that the Lodge still lived and prospered, I realized that the knowledge detracted not a whit from the lesson its sign upon the wall had lent to me. It had fulfilled its mission, as far as one soul was concerned; and just for me at least, it had been left upon that wall, that I might treasure in my heart the pass word its symbolism portrayed. The sign surely meant just what it said.
Now let those of us who go about with a Compass and Square upon our coats, be worthy of the sign, that we may bear out the splendid traditions of its significance. Let us have the inward strength and power it outwardly points to. The strength and power to square our actions by the square of virtue; and so to circumscribe our lives, that within the circle there may be found the sublime secret of Life.
* * *
The time is never lost that is devoted to work.
* * *
Youth looks forward and age backward.
* * *
Bro. Joseph Fort Newton, England
PERHAPS I owe an apology to the readers of THE BUILDER, in that I may seem to have been remiss in making my usual reports as Ambassador. But that is only seeming. If I have fallen behind with my reports, it is because I have been too busy, and too much on the wing, to write them. Returning to America, I spent all the time and power I had in trying to tell my countrymen what the war is like after my trip along the British Front and to Paris. Now that I am back in London, I shall take up the thread of my reports and keep THE BUILDER in touch with things Masonic and otherwise on this side of the great waters.
No mention has been made in America, so far as I am aware, of the new Lodge consecrated in May last, composed of Grand Secretaries and Secretaries of Lodges — called the Fratres Calami Lodge, No. 3791. As the name indicates, it is a Fraternity of the Pen, the object of which is really to promote Masonic research and information. They are issuing a journal, three numbers of which have appeared, known as the Masonic Secretaries' Journal, and it promises to be of unusual interest and value. The second issue is before me, and it contains, among other things, a very gracious review of my little book, "The Builders," by the Secretary. An article on "The Future of Freemasonry," by Brother Dudley Wright, is of special interest to American Masons, because he thinks that the new undertakings of the Craft should be in the way of Social Service — as is more and more the tendency among American Masons. Indeed, he says that America has already led the way in this regard, and that in his opinion it is the next step before us.
This Lodge of Secretaries recalls another very old gild of London, the Fraternity of the Scriveners — or Mystery of the Writers — of the Court Letter of the City of London. It has been in existence "time out of mind," or to be exact since 1374, and it played an important part in the City life. The Scrivener discharged many of the duties which now devolve upon lawyers; he made charters and deeds concerning land, tenements, and inheritances, and all other writings which, by the custom of the realm, required to be sealed. The Company of Scriveners had an ancient book called the "Common Paper," which contains much valuable information. It is of the nature of a minute book, in which we may read the oath of a Scrivener, recorded in a set of ordinances drawn up in 1390 — the date of the oldest document of Freemasonry now in existence — as follows:
"I, N......., of my own proper will, do swear upon the holy evangelist to be true to my office and mystery and to do by diligence, that all the feats that I shall make to be sealed shall be well and lawfully made after my learning and cunning.
Like the Masons, they had their feast days and festivals, and there is a curious entry on the Common Paper under the year 1497. It was felt that many of the apprentices had not "their proper congruity of grammar which is the thing most necessary and expedient to every person exercising the science and faculty of the mystery. So it was ordered that apprentices should be examined by the wardens, and if found deficient, sent to the grammar school until they "be erudite in the boks of gender, declensions, preterits and supines, equivox and sinonimes." Truly, those old scribes had to be very learned.
Such a Lodge, editing such a Journal, should have a great and far-reaching influence on the Craft, stimulating the study of Masonry as the practice of its virtues. I am sure that thousands of secretaries in America will wish to come in touch with this new Lodge of Writers, whose Secretary is Brother I. Cohen, 22 St. George's Square, London, S.W.1, England. I bespeak for the Fratres Calami long life, great prosperity, and the wide influence which it deserves.
My readers, especially the ministers among them, will be glad to know that my predecessor at the City Temple, Rev. R. J. Campbell, has recently become a member of the Craft, largely through the influence of the Bishop of Birmingham, who is Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of England. I find, to my amazement, a certain indifference — and occasionally, hostility — to our gentle Craft among men of the Free Churches. Of late, however, Lodges have been organized among Free Churchmen, and this will do much to melt such a prejudge away. I think I can do something to that end myself, and I have in mind a great Masonic service in the City Temple in the not distant future — of which more anon.
City Temple, London.
* * *
"THE SEVEN FOLD COMPASS OF MAN"
SYMPATHY is the needle of the heart and should always point to the good.
CONVICTION is the needle of the intellect and should always point to the truth.
VOLITION is the needle of the will and should always point to the useful.
ADMIRATION is the needle of the imagination and should always point to the beautiful.
OBLIGATION is the needle of the conscience and should always point to the right.
ASPIRATION is the needle of the soul and should always point to the free.
DEVOTION is the needle of the personality and should always point to God.
— Rev. Bro. William Roundsville Alger.
* * *
HE would be a bold man and Mason, who would attempt to give expression to all of the cross currents which are coursing through the veins of Masonry these days. Each of the extreme types of mind is having its say. The War is viewed through as many different pairs of spectacles as there are pairs of Masonic eyes, and the angles of the conflict twist this way and that way in an endless variety of pictures. With our good American (and good Masonic, too) habit of being sure that we are absolutely right, we agree on this point and disagree upon that,the discussion's length being limited only by the lack of sleep. It would be distinctly pleasant if all could be right in their opinion of what Masonry's Duty is, right now. Then we could all make a New Year Resolution, and everybody would be satisfied.
Let us "try on" a few of these various pairs of spectacles. The first one that comes to hand is the property of one of those "I move that a Committee of three be appointed, with power to act" Brethren. He's a busy sort of chap. He wants to see all the good things in the world done, and done quickly. He knows just who could do the job, and he is sure that the right Committee could carry the whole thing through. Probably he has thought of Masonry's duty in this War, only as a matter for his Lodge, or at moat, his Grand Lodge. There should be a fund collected, and a Committee appointed to disburse it. He's no grafter, he doesn't want to be appointed on the Committee because he wants to make anything out of it at all, he just naturally believes in Committees. Personally, in fact, he is too busy to do anything about it. Contribute? Oh, yes, gladly.
To him the War is a thing apart, an ugly Thing, but a Committee to deal with Masonry's part in it would be exactly the right thing to counteract its influence.
Then here is the good brother whose spectacles make a Lodge donation almost the parting with some of his own personal property. "We bought $500.00 worth of Liberty Bonds last night" and "we" are taking a lot of satisfaction in it.
Take up another pair and all you can see is Red Crosses. Masonry should help.
The next pair shows Red Triangles. Masonry should help.
This pair was worn by a Brother who went "over the top" in the recent Y.M.C.A. campaign. He was full of enthusiasm, and the 20 or 40 per cent. excess that his Committee got spells SUCCESS in capital letters. We should do likewise, says he.
Here is a dark pair. For the wearer they counteract the actinic rays of the sun. To him, however, the glory is all gone. He's not exactly a pacifist, but no good can possibly come out of it all, and Masonry has no rightful part in it, anyway. For Masonry is an Institution of Peace, for Peace, and lives by Peace. In war it is out of place. And since the war has involved all the earth, Masonry's title to a "place in the sun" as a constructive Human Institution is very small — almost eliminated.
The Brother who wore these saw clearly that Masonry should put its club houses into the Cantonments, and minister to the needs of the good Brethren of the Army.
And right beside them is another pair which made that plan look absolutely impractical. Donations to the established agencies recognized by the Government would fulfill every obligation, without imposing any such financial burden as any other plan would involve.
* * *
Not a word of the above is written with any thought of malice. Every single one of these ideas has been voiced, thousands upon thousands of times, in these United States, and yet not a single constructive, comprehensive plan of unified ACTION has been advanced to our knowledge. It is a self-evident fact that if we look through all of those spectacles at once, there wil be nothing ahead of us except a blur. And yet every one of these Brothers is absolutely sincere, and reall and truly wants to see Masonry assert itself in this War, along constructive lines, which shall be of real value to the Brethren who are offering up their lives upon the Altar of their Country, and at the same time convince the world that Masonry has the strength and power to meet even a world-wide WAR in a dignified practical and efficient manner.
* * *
Can we not analyze this dilemma, and make it little clearer? Let us endeavor to state a few self evident facts that are fundamental, and then see if the logic of events will not bring us to a real basis for united action, along lines that shall not depart from the traditional conservatism of the Fraternity, and yet give us a guide for real work.
What Is Masonry? For the sake of cool judgment let us take the definition given to us in the German Handbuch: "Masonry is the activity of closely unites men who, employing symbolical forms borrowed principally from the mason's trade and from architecture work for the welfare of mankind, striving morally to ennoble themselves and others, and thereby to bring about a universal league of mankind, which they aspire to exhibit even now on a small scale." This definition may not be acceptable to many, either in form or substance, but because it contains that clause "work for the welfare of mankind" it will do for the present discussion.
Is This War Masonry's War? Can our answer be anything but "YES"? Is Prussian Autocracy working for the welfare of mankind? Does Kultur strive morally to ennoble its votaries and others? Surely "bringing about a league of mankind" does not mean that we must all be subjects of an autocratic Kaiser! The Brotherhood of Man — an Anglo-Saxon phrase as we understand it — has been tabooed and called weak and unmanly by Prussianism. And in these days when the military idea has crowded all else off the highways of Germany, the heel of that Despotism has ground down the head of Freemasonry wherever possible. Masonry's War it is, my Brethren, by every token of Fellowship and Fraternity and Freedom which we have been taught to hold sacred.
How Does Masonry "Work for the Welfare of Mankind"? "Through the individual" would be the time-tried answer. By instilling into him, through the medium of an oft-repeated ritual, the principles upon which our whole conception of human development is based. By illustrating typical lessons which teach these truths, by explaining its symbols, each calculated to impress upon the mind a vital measure of conduct, or an inspiration for self-improvement, or a recognition of and an obedience to the God that is within us.
What Has Masonry Ever Done in War Time? Spread itself around the civilized globe. Installed itself in the hearts and lives of Americans, through army Lodges, travelling under warrants issued by what we call the "Mother Grand Lodges." Ministered to soidiers wounded in battle; given decent burial to those who fought and died that Freedom and Democracy might live; built rainbow bridges between the lines of opposing forces that humanity might for the moment have its way; mitigated the horrors and prevented the worst atrocities of war; insured fair trial to those who were courtmartialled; kept soldiers and sailors clean, by giving them clean associations and the indescribable delights of calm, dispassionate "work," when otherwise idle moments would have been less profitably spent.
* * *
There is but one more obvious question. "WHAT IS TO PREVENT MASONRY FROM DOING THE THINGS THAT NEED TO BE DONE, NOW?"
And there is an answer equally obvious, "NOTHING!"
All that Masonry in the United States has to do is to forget that it is composed of 49 Grand Lodges, a General Grand Chapter, a General Grand Council, a General Grand Encampment, a Northern Jurisdiction of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, a Southern Jurisdiction of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, an Ancient, Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, a Grotto and whatnot, and show itself TO BE ONE great, big, grand old MASONIC FRATERNITY! AN INSTITUTION, composed of nearly 2,000,000 MEN, AMERICANS, BIG — HEARTED, RED — BLOODED, without distention, without jealousy, without self-seeking motives, ready to work and to sacrifice, looking not for Glory but for an OPPORTUNITY OF SERVICE, and willing, for once, to stand up and be counted AS A WHOLE!
"UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL!" is as true now, as it ever was!
With some strong, centralized organization, a "Masonic Council of Defense" if you please, composed of the men in American Masonry who know how to do things and to take advice before treading paths they do not know, backed by the 1,800,000 Masons of these United States and the $5,000,000.00 or the $10,000,000.00 which these men would be glad to give in such a Cause, Masonry could do anything that She willed to do. She could build Masonic Club Houses in Cantonments and Cities nearby. She could tie soldier to soldier as of old whether silver or gold insignia decorated shoulder straps or not. She could be a GREAT MOTHER, my Brethren, and carry her gentle, human influence whither she would. She could have her children in France or in Italy or even in Russia betimes, ready to add her "bit" to the welfare of her votaries wherever dispersed, in a way that would be efficient wherever the Stars and Stripes may fly.
"SO LET IT BE DONE. TOGETHER, BRETHREN!"
G. L. S.
* * *
CONSERVE — BUT WHERE?
The things we need we pay for whether we buy them or not. Economy must be practiced in times like these — but where shall we begin?
We need an adding machine in our business but delay buying it "on account of the war." Have we saved anything? No. The extra hours of labor required and the inefficiency experienced because of not having the machine we need exceeded in best the purchase price of the machine.
BUSINESS — Shall we cease to develop our business because of the war? No. Not if we are patriotic business men.
CHURCH — Shall we stop our subscription to the church on account of the war? No. Not if we value the necessity of the Christianizing influences.
CHARITY — Shall we withdraw our support from the children's Orphanages and other deserving charities on account of the war? No. Not if we love humanity more than dollars.
Y.M.C.A. — Shall we refuse to support the Y.M.C.A. activities on account of the war? No. Because the moral and physical development of this and the coming generations are the most valuable assets a nation can possess.
NATIONAL DEFENSE — Shall we refuse to subscribe to the Red Cross, Liberty Bonds, and other means of national support on account of the war? No. Not if we are worthy the name "American Citizen."
LODGE — Shall we dimit from all our Masonic affiliations on account of the war? No. Unless our spirit of fraternalism is and has been a deception and for selfish gain only.
BUILDER — Shall we stop indulging in many of our unnecessary pleasures and support the National Masonic Research Society? YES. Because the development of the fraternal spirit is so closely related to the development of the American Spirit that they must BOTH be enthusiastically disseminated.
DECISION — This economic necessity must not interfere with those fundamental activities which develop a nation to its highest possibilities.
Neither our Business, our Church, our Charity, our Y.M.C.A. support, our National Spirit nor our Fraternal Spirit can he effected by the economic effort without serious loss to our nation.
DON'T PUT MASONRY IN THE DISCARD — but notify us by return mail that you are full of the spirit "Don't give up the ship." For the things we need we pay for whether we buy them or not.
* * *
Edited By Bro. H.L. Haywood
(The object of this Department is to acquaint our readers with time-tried Masonic books not always familiar; with the best Masonic literature now being published; and with such non-Masonic books as may especially appeal to Masons. The Library editor will be very glad to render any possible assistance to studious individuals or to study clubs and lodges, either through this Department or by personal correspondence; if you wish to learn something concerning any book — what is its nature, what is its value or how it may be obtained — be free to ask him. If you have read a book which you think is worth a renew write us about it; if you desire to purchase a book — any book — we will help you get it, with no charge for the service. Make this your Department of Literary Consultation.)
MASONRY IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA
TO a Masonic student living amid the prairies of the Middle West of the United States it seems good to read a "History of Masonry in South Australia," for it serves to make more vivid, if that were possible, his sense of the universality and the solidarity of the Order. Brother Charles R. Glover, P.D.G.M., the author of this "History of the First Fifty Years of Freemasonry in South Australia," modestly states in his brief Introduction that he does not "pretend that this work will add materially to the literature of Masonic History; it must be regarded as a compilation of the records of the various Lodges in this State." This disclaimer to the contrary notwithstanding, the volume does add very materially to the "literature of Masonic History" for it acquaints us as few histories can with the story of a heroic band of Brothers who established Masonry in a State even before its official colonization. Would that Masonic writers of the early 18th Century had taken it into their heads to preserve, as is here done, the early records of Masonic activity! How much idle speculation it would have saved us who come after! For history, Masonic or otherwise, must first begin as a "compilation of records" (so is it that Brother Glover describes his volume) else all that is written thereafter be mere guesswork.
Brother Eustace B. Grundy, G.M., contributes a Foreword to the book written in simple and unaffected but effective style. This is followed by the author's own "concise history" of the State of South Australia itself, the better to set his narrative in the framework of the past. Thereafter follow the "records" themselves, Lodge minutes, dedication ceremonies, speeches, and what not, furnishing us with the essential data of the unfolding of the Craft down to 1884. A second volume, to bring the story down to date, is also promised. Seeing that there are now more than 6,000 members in the State, the second, as well as the first, of the volumes will attract attention in lands far removed from Australia.
Freemasonry was first established in Australasia in 1803, seventy-five years after it had set foot in the United States. But the first Lodge established "under a regular warrant" from the Grand Lodge of England was a military body which began its work in 1816. Four years afterwards a non-military Lodge was erected. The first Lodge to be established in South Australia was consecrated in London October 22, 1834, just two years, strange to say, before the Colony was formally opened. Naturally, these first organizations operated under warrants from England, albeit some were established under Irish Constitutions. But during the decade between 1844 and 1854 the fraternity had grown to such dimensions that a Provincial Grand Lodge was established.
This bare hint cannot even suggest the full human interest of the story, the heroism, the self-sacrifices, the overcoming of apparently insuperable obstacles, through which our brethren of that remote continent toiled toward the consummation of their Masonic endeavors. May the Grand Architect of Masons speed them on their future way!
Brother Glover has informed us that a limited number of copies are yet to be had; the half morocco selling at $4.00 and the cloth at $3.50. Any orders sent to the headquarters of this Society will be promptly forwarded to South Australia.
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RELIGION AND EXPERIENCE
Freemasonry is not a religion but it is religious, its fundamental landmarks being Faith in God, Belief in Immortality, and the Brotherhod of Man. Holding such tenets in its heart of hearts it cannot remain indifferent to the changing winds of doctrine that blow across the theological world. Here are two books, therefore, which many craftsmen will care to purchase for their private libraries:
"The Religion of Experience" by Horace J. Bridges, published by Macmillan's at $1.50.
"The Validity of the Religious Experience" by George A. Barrow, published by Sherman, French & Company at $1.50.
Both of these volumes bear witness to the changing center of gravity in religious discussions. Once was when all writers assumed that a body of doctrine had been delivered once and for all in a book. Holding such a view it was natural that theology should consist of the interpretation and defense of this divinely donated creed. Therefore was it that in the old days a doctrine was based on some authority external to the human soul.
But now our point of view has shifted. The modern mind cannot tolerate the idea that any set of doctrines was ever delivered to us, ready-made, from without, to be supinely accepted, however much they might conflict with reason and observation; nor does it ask for any authentication of religious truths by any authority, for religious truth is its own authority, manifesting itself by its own self-shining.
In consequence of this the center of gravity has shifted from authority to experience, as may be so clearly seen in any of the great modern works in theology; such, for instance, as August Sabatier's epoch-marking book, "Religions of Authority and of the Spirit"; or in a volume of popular essays such as Jonathan Brierley's "Religion and Experience."
The two volumes now under review are both designed to interpret the religious life from the point of view of experience. Professor Barrow delivered a course of lectures on the subject before the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University, thereby receiving such favorable comment that he was requested to publish his studies in a volume "as an approach to the awakening of modern theology." Mr. Horace J. Bridges, an ethical culturist, has undertaken the same task from a slightly different point of view in his "Religion of Experience," a volume adequately described by itself, as witness the following:
"The 19th Century, the author maintains, was characterized by a bitter and long continued conflict between religion and science. The 20th Century will, he thinks, be distinguished by a reconciliation between the two. All the great issues have been fought out and the combatants have learned to understand and respect each other. It is now time for terms of peace to be drawn up. This book is an attempt in that direction."
If a reader is at all dissatisfied with these two volumes it is that both share in that which is the fundamental defect of so much "religious" literature in our day: they are books ABOUT religion instead of books OF religion; that is to say, their authors have told us what other men have experienced of the life of God; they have not told us of their own experiences. There are many of us who long for the return of the day when prophets will arise among us who can speak out of their own hearts of the Great Life; then will books become studies of vision and power, possessing in themselves the appeal which can alone enable us to discover that divine Lost Word within us which we, as Masons, believe to slumber in the depths of every man.
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"THE GARDEN OF NUTS"
"I know that the mystical life is the great light of literature and the other arts. God is the sum of the arts, and all their grace is from Him. The well-spring of pure inspiration flows from the search after Him, and of Him are all the books of life. Thou art the Pierian fount, O Lord. I have come to Thee as a poet; I have desired to drink deeply. I have looked for thy revelation in the night and in the day I have waited on thy inbreathing. Thou hast sent the gifts of literature into the world as a voice of direction for those who would return to Thee." Thus writes a great seer of the present day who loves a secrecy that will here be thrown about his name.
Not often are books written in this spirit, which is only another way of saying that not many books compose that "gift of literature" herein mentioned; but when such a volume comes to hand one is placed under bounden obligations to make known the tidings.
"The Garden of Nuts" by W. Robertson Nicoll, editor of the British Weekly, is not a new volume, except in the sense that it cannot grow old, but it has not received the circulation of which it is so richly deserving; therefore is it that we mention it as a service to those brethren who love real literature. "Real" is here used advisedly, and "literature" also, for, though we have received many volumes from the gifted pen of this author, this little volume on the mystical life surpasses them all. Those who have read "The Letters of a Book-Man" and the "Life of Christ" will be familiar with his virtuosity of style; and they will appreciate our tribute when we say that in this present study Nicoll's style surpasses itself, rising into a region from which few men have ever spoken to this world.
The purpose of "The Garden of Nuts" (it borrows its title from a verse in the Song of Songs) is to set before the reader the truth about mysticism, and more especially, Christian mysticism. Therefore is it that we recommend it to our readers, for, as everybody knows, Masonry has affinities not a few with the life mystical.
Always is it needful to keep in mind the deep-going distinction between mysticism and occultism. The latter seeks for power; the former aims at character. The occultist believes in a universal force, or what not, which will yield itself to the adept for good or evil, as is abundantly explained in Eliphas Levi's "History of Magic." The mystic yearns evermore for the Presence of God and seeks only to reordain his character to the Divine Will. Thus it is that they are worlds apart; and thus it is that every Masonic student must beware lest he confuse the two in his mind.
Many are the books now being put forth to explain mysticism to the neophytes; some of them are good and not a few are bad, for of nothing is it easier to write nonsense. But to him who seeks a BRIEF introduction to the study we would almost sooner recommend The Garden of Nuts than any other book we know. It leaves a reader wistful and reverent, his mind filled with musings that are half poetry and half music, his memory enriched with sentences that cling about the mind like silken tapestries.
* * *
Religion should be the rule of life, not a casual incident of it.
* * *
Trust your heart, especially when it has been proved. Never deny it a hearing.
* * *
No indulgence of passion destroys the spiritual nature so much as respectable selfishness.
— George Macdonald.
* * *
However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names.
* * *
It were endless to dispute upon everything that were disputable.
— William Penn.
* * *
THE QUESTION BOX
(The Builder is an open forum for free and fraternal discussion. Each of its contributors writes under his own name, and is responsible for his own opinions. Believing that a unity of spirit is better than a uniformity of opinion, the Research Society, as such, does not champion any one school of Masonic thought as over against another; but offers to all alike a medium for fellowship and instruction, leaving each to stand or fall by its own merits.)
Who were the Giblimites and where were they from?
J. W. K., Illinois.
We shall let Brother Robert Morris answer your question by citing an account of his visit to Gebal, which first appeared in "The Evergreen," a Masonic journal published at Dubuque, Iowa, in 1868. Dr. Morris' description of his visit follows:
The town of Gebal lies about twenty-four miles up the coast from Beyrout. It stands upon an easy and regular slope from the sea, eastward, the slope extending about two miles along the coast, and from one to two miles back. All this space and more, was once thronged with Temples, palaces and other splendid erections, the remains of which in granite, marble and Liboman limestone are visible in every stone fence, upon the surface, and appear in excavations at distances varying from ten to thirty feet. But now Gebal is a poor and forlorn little village of five hundred inhabitants. There is not one edifice standing that has the least attraction, unless it be the old Maronite Church, and that does not date much beyond the Crusaders. The soldiers constitute a force of about one hundred and fifty red-legged Turkish Zouaves, who live in some new buildings, the remnants of more costly structures; while the grand old Castle next the sea, is suffered to fall into irreparable decay. Desolation and neglect are written upon all the remains of Gebal.
Gebal derived its name originally from the hill on which it stood. The Greeks changed the name to Byblos, but in this case, as in many others, the title imposed by the conquerors fell into oblivion, while the original name was retained. Gebal gave its name to the country around it, which in Joshua XIII, 5, is termed "the land of the Giblites;" this, it will be remembered, was more than fourteen centuries before Christ, or 3,300 years ago. In the days of Solomon the people of Gebal were the most skillful sailors and artists under the dominion of King Hiram. So eminent were they in architecture that the word "Giblites" in Hebrew is translated "Stone-squarers" a most remarkable circumstance. (Read I Kings, v. 18). In the tremendous denunciations by Ezekiel against all Phoenicia, he says, concerning the city of Tyre "the ancients of Gebal and the wise men thereof were in thee, thy calkers." (Read Ezekiel XXVII, 9). This was written about four hundred years after the building of Solomon's Temple, and refers to the city I am now describing.
My visit to Gebal as it was the first of my more extended Masonic explorations, has impressed itself more deeply upon my mind than any other visit can be expected to do. Here I find upon the monstrous ashlars of Phoenician ages (hewn stones eighteen feet long and upwards), the distinguishing mark, the "rebate" or "bevel" of which I have so much read, but now for the first time in my life seen. This is the "Mason's mark" of ancient Craft Masonry. Our fathers wrought them and set them up in useful places in great edifices and we, their lineal descendants in the mystical line, have not forfeited our inheritance therein. The stones themselves strike an American, unused to such architectural prodigies, as enormous. They are twice as heavy as any wrought ashlar I had ever seen.
Gebal is full of the days of Hiram. Hundreds and thousands of granite columns are here, both of the red and white varieties, taken from the quarries of Egypt, with all the enormous labor which the working of that primitive stone requires; brought a thousand miles down the Nile, shipped thence on Phoenician vessels or rafts to this coast, landed here, drawn up this steep hill by human hands, and reared up, doubtless, with shoutings and rejoicings; thousands of them I say are here from twelve to thirty inches in surface as smooth and unaffected by the weather as on the day they left Egypt, two, three or four thousand years ago. They prop up the stalls in the bazaars; they sustain the filthy roofs of stables; they are built into the military castle and other public buildings in numbers; they are worked into stone walls; in short they are used with a profuseness that shows the inexhaustible number of them that lie among the ruins.
It is but a brief seven miles east of this place that Aphaca, the principal seat of the worship of Adonis or Tammuz, existed for an indefinite period. This was the original Freemasonry of the heathen and that upon which King Solomon engrafted the revealed precepts given to his fathers upon Sinai. As the wild stock into which the inspired Word was engrafted, these Rites of Tammuz deserve the attention of Masonic writers. This is not the place to enlarge upon the theme but I must be permitted to say that a system which had the favor and support of the wisest and best cultivated of the human race for two thousand years, that led to the cultivation of the fine Arts as they have never been cultivated since, and that was thought worthy by so far-reaching a mind as King Solomon's, of adoption and incorporation into the true theology, cannot have been altogether vile. That by the age of Constantine it may have become so corrupt that zealous reformer thought it necessary to uproot the last traces of it, is quite likely; but the same thing may be said of the prevailing system of Christianity a few centuries later. By the age of Constantine, the Rites of Adonis had probably accomplished whatever good was involved in them, but they must have presented many innocent and pure traits to attract the admiration of a Solomon. It was then, doubtless, that this wide spread system of worship gave to the poet his idea of the Age of Gold.
I reserve to this place, however, to justify Freemasons in selecting Gebal as one of their seven prominent Masonic Localities. It is, that here was the Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences. Here in the days of Hiram, the Widow's Son, was a congregation of earth's wisest (let us believe earth's best also), to whom a seeker of knowledge like himself could come for instruction and where such a genius could be fitly schooled. From this center of learning went the men who planned that unparalled Temple, across the hills eastward, that crowns the plateau of Boalbec; just as from here went southward down the coast, to build a matchless Fane on Mount Moriah at Jerusalem. The Paphian Temple on the Island of Cyprus, yonder, which was thought in its day unapproachable for beauty, doubtless received its inspiration from those men, as many a temple, palace and stronghold did during a succession of ages. I stood within the tombs of some of these Giblites — excavations painfully chiseled in the hard, blue limestone of yonder hills; I saw a row of their stone coffins (Sarcophagi) opened. I purchased many of their funeral lamps, scarabaei, and other tokens of their faith, and coming back to my house-top, I walk and muse upon the hopes embodied in these emblems. Hopes of some kind (the resurrection and the soul's immortality) we know these old Masons had; the rites handed down through so many generations from them to us clearly prove that. But a resurrection to what? an l an immortality for what? what secret was so heled within these emblems of theirs, what made them so anxious to express it in outward marks but to conceal it, even at the risk of its being forever lost, as to its esoteric meaning?
Did he who prepared the rituals of the Select Master's Degree have in mind that exquisite passage from an English poet?
Silence and darkness, solemn sisters, twins, From ancient night, who mark the tender thought. To reason, and on reason build resolve, That column of true majesty in man.
The "twenty-two from Gebal" who constituted so large a portion of the mystic number "twenty-seven" in a Lodge of Select Masters, were of course drawn from this city, and each of them must have seen, as I see today, this enormous ashlar that forms the base of the old castle wall. It is nearly twenty feet long and broad and deep in proportion. To whom can I dedicate it with so great propriety as to King Solomon himself, who ordered a number of stones cut upon this model, bevelled as this is, and built into the foundation of the Temple wall on Mount Moriah, as may be seen to this day.
Before leaving Gebal I sought out the entrance to one of the great Phoenician tombs, carved out of the face of the cliffs, high above the town, and there cut deeply with my chisel the Square and Compass, dedicating it to a number of active, working and renowned members of the Craft.
* * *
GRAND LODGE RECOGNITION AND THE RIGHT OF VISITATION
The article on Grand Lodge Recognition and The Right of Visitation in the September "Question Box" has brought again to my mind a question for which I have long sought an answer and as I will probably soon be "travelling in foreign countries," I submit it to you for explanation.
I have read many very interesting anecdotes by different brethren in which they told of visiting bodies closely resembling our order. It occurs to me at present that I read one such in the February, 1917, issue of THE BUILDER where a brother visited a Chinese Lodge on the Coast and observed many signs and symbols easily recognized by him. In fact, if my memory fails not, he was vouched for by a brother who had himself worked his way into this Lodge through his Masonic knowledge. From the tenor of the article I gathered that the place mentioned was not "regularly recognized."
Other similar stories by army officers in the Philippine Islands and travellers in the Far East tell of brethren gaining admission by means of Masonic knowledge to secret places not "regularly recognized." For my own part I cannot see how these brethren reconcile their actions. Can you give me some light?
— J. F. W. Jr., Texas.
Never having visited any of these places ourself, Brother W., we cannot satisfactorily answer your query as to how these brethren reconciled their actions.
But as to the particular matter of the Masons of some United States jurisdictions visiting Lodges under the jurisdiction of the Grand Orient of France, we quote a resolution adopted by the Grand Lodge of Kentucky at its Annual Communication held in Louisville, October 16-18, as follows:
"Whereas, In the year 1869 the Grand Lodge of Kentucky issued an edict of non-intercourse against the Grand Orient of France; and,
"Whereas, The reason for such edict of non-intercourse has long since ceased to exist; and
"Whereas, Said edict of non-intercourse is selfish and embodied in Regulation No. 155,
"Resolved, That said edict of non-intercourse against the Grand Orient of France be, and the same is, hereby revoked, repealed and held for naught; and,
"Resolved, That said Regulation No. 155 be, and the same is, hereby repealed."
In another resolution also adopted by the Kentucky Grand Lodge the above was interpreted to mean that any regular Kentucky Mason may visit any Lodge under the Jurisdiction of a Grand Lodge against which no edict of non-intercourse has been issued by the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, or vice versa, and Masons of such Jurisdictions may visit Kentucky Lodges. This holds good whether the foreign Grand Lodge has ever been "officially recognized" by the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, or not.
Similar action was taken by the Grand Lodge of New York at its last Annual Communication.
From the tenor of the Kentucky resolutions it would appear that, for instance, should a Kentucky Mason (and by the way, the article mentioned as appearing in the February, 1917, issue of THE BUILDER was written by a Kentucky Mason, Brother J. W. Norwood) visit the so-called Chinese Lodge on the Coast he would be within his rights as granted by the Kentucky Grand Lodge, so long as no interdict exists against the so-called Chinese Lodge by the Kentucky Grand Lodge. But, on the other hand, this particular Chinese organization does not claim to be a Masonic organization but a Chinese Tong, the Bing Kong Leong. Why should there be any more objection to a Mason visiting a meeting of this Tong, provided he could gain admission without revealing any of his Masonic secrets or signs, than to his visiting a Lodge of the Senussiyuh in Africa under the same circumstances?
W. E. A.
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NAMES OF CANDIDATES IN LODGE NOTICES
In some jurisdictions all communications from the Lodge are mailed in sealed envelopes. It is a good rule.
A candidate's name appears in the Lodge notice thus:
"To ballot for, and if approved, to initiate Mr. John Doe, proposed by Brother John Black, seconded by Brother John White," or, "To pass Brother John Doe," or, "To raise Brother John Doe."
In the jurisdiction in which I am now domiciled a post-card notice states briefly "Work on the 1d, or 2d or 3d as the case may be." Had the under-cover rule been compulsory here I would have known what to do.
I am growing old, and live in the country a long distance from the Lodge, therefore am irregular in attendance. The other night, however, I attended Lodge, there was work on the 3rd degree, I was a bit late, the work had commented.
To my dismay the Brother receiving the 3rd degree was a man whom I knew to be a thief.
What would you have done?
L. J., Virginia.
If you "knew the brother to be a thief," you were certainly under a strong obligation to prevent his advancement. Just how you should proceed would depend upon the law of your Jurisdiction. In some States a candidate may be stopped up to the time that he is obligated; while others make the time of formal reception the end of the use of an objection, thereafter requiring preferment of charges. (See THE BUILDER, February, 1917).
Now, if the time for making objection, and thereby stopping his progress had passed, there would be but one thing which you could do, in justice to yourself and to the Lodge: present the facts to the Lodge by means of charges, in the regular manner, and let the Lodge then pass upon him again.
G. L. S.
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A FEW "LIVE" SUBJECTS FOR DISCUSSlON
The following are a few thoughts gathered while perusing the October issue of THE BUILDER and I should like to have the questions answered in THE BUILDER. If I have raised any points worthy of discussion I shall be pleased to hear from others on them.
- The question of balloting for a candidate is indeed a serious matter. However well a committee may know a man there is still a chance that someone may know something of his character that would make him undesirable. Supposing such a case, would there be anything wrong if that man, having knowledge of something not generally known, should write anonymously to the committee, fully stating the case and asking that it be investigated?
- In the article on "Freemasonry in the Far East," in the next to last paragraph on page 307, do you imply that though the Islamite takes his obligation on the Koran it is necessary to also have the Holy Bible in the Lodge room?
- Has France both particular and clandestine Lodges?
- How may one know a clandestine Lodge in the United States, save by color?
- On page 309 it is stated that the Institution is "keeping strict tab on the social and political encroachments of Rome. Where and how is the Institution doing this?.
- The question of physical qualifications of candidates in the days of Anderson (1723) in Operative Masonry, necessarily would exclude a maimed man. Doubtless he would refuse to employ a carpenter with a peg leg, but do you think if Brother Anderson were with us today he would refuse a good man who could prove that he could climb a ladder and shingle a roof? Conditions are vastly different today and we should not hew too close to the line. If a candidate is well-qualified and competent in all other requirements let us not refuse him if he has met his misfortune honestly. Think of the many noble, self-sacrificing men who may return to us maimed and halt, from the present world conflagration, true noblemen; mayhap your son, your brother, who has met misfortune that we may be safe. Exclude them? No! a thousand times No!
"Who would think of putting a broken stone in a fine edifice?" My friend, that would depend on how badly broken; if not so badly broken but that it would fill its purpose, use it — otherwise refuse it.
It was my pleasure during the erection of our great Temple in Philadelphia, to watch the workmen some part of nearly every day. I recall how well the faces of the massive blocks of granite were protected by wooden coverings, the other five sides being practically bare. Is it not quite probable that in knocking the coverings off of these stones, some of the inside edges may have been chipped? Suppose an inside corner had, by accident, been broken off, would the builders have refused it? Doubtless many rough, misshapen ashlars were used to fill in interstices in the foundation and walls; they had their places and served the purpose well. When the Temple was dedicated were they not one with the perfect ashlar?
— B. F. B., Florida.
It is quite apparent that you read THE BUILDER, Brother B. We wish that all the rest of our members would realize that just such letters are invited monthly from every one of them. If we can not get all of them in the present number of pages alloted to the monthly issues, we will enlarge THE BUILDER to get them in. Such thoughts as are here presented are, we know, of absorbing interest to all members of the Craft. Therefore, brethren, take due notice and govern yourselves accordingly. This particular department of THE BUILDER is your own department and we wish you to make use of it.
We shall endeavor to reply to the foregoing queries in their order:
1. BALLOTING FOR CANDIDATES
We think the brother would be fully justified in notifying the committee as you suggest. Presumably you state the case just as you do in view of the fact that a near friend of the candidate might be one of the committee and you fear that it might lead him to think that you were prejudiced against the candidate were you to convey the information to the committee in person. This brother himself might know the same facts and yet, believing that the particular acts would never be repeated and that the candidate having already made amends for them they should not be held against him, he might possibly withhold them from the remainder of the committee.
A much better plan would be to report the facts to the Master of your Lodge in confidence and secure his opinion in the matter. One might be just a little prejudiced against a person and be unconscious of the fact. A very good rule to follow in cases of this kind is "Judge others as you would be judged."
2. PRESENCE OF THE HOLY BIBLE NECESSARY WHEN CANDIDATE OBLIGATED ON THE KORAN
It should be understood that Brother Johnson, in his article on "Freemasonry in the Far East," is speaking of Lodges under the registry of some duly recognized Grand Lodge which recognizes the Holy Bible as a necessary part of the furniture of such Lodges. In this instance the presence of the Holy Bible in the Lodge room would be necessary to the regularity of the proceedings. However note what Mackey has to say about Lodges in Mohammedan Countries in the second paragraph preceding the one you mention.
3. FRENCH MASONRY
The Grand Orient has been, and is yet, considered a clandestine body by many Grand Lodges. See reply to B. F. B., Florida, in this issue concerning the recent action of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky in regard to the Grand Orient of France and the right of visitation. Also the article in this issue by Brother Ramsey.
4. CLANDESTINE LODGES IN THE UNITED STATES
A complete list of all the regular Grand Lodges of the world with the name, number and location of each subordinate Lodge is published by the Masonic Relief Association of the United States and Canada. Copies may be obtained by writing Brother Willis D. Engle, Secretary, Masonic Temple, Indianapolis, Indiana.
5. LOYAL ORANGE INSTITUTlON
The "Institution" here referred to is not the Masonic Institution but the "Loyal Orange Institution," a purely political society to which only Protestants are admitted by ballot, as is stated in the last paragraph of Brother Carson's article, on page 307.
6. PHYSICAL QUALIFICATIONS
"Respectfully referred" to Brother O. D. Street, of Alabama. He started it.
— W. E. A.
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I notice a discussion of the desirability of establishing Military Lodges, with the authority to confer the three degrees upon candidates taken from the military command to which each Lodge would be attached.
As a soldier of the Regular Army, who has been stationed in two camps of the Regulars and one of the National Army, I state most positively that I have found a need for such Army Lodges, and heartily endorse the plan.
I have found one comrade who was ordered away from home a week after receiving the First Degree, and has since been kept so constantly on the move that his only chance of Masonic advancement is through a Lodge in his military organization; another, who was ordered away just after preparing his application for the First Degree in his home town; and several similar cases.
A Lodge should not be chartered in any particular military unit, however, until it seems reasonably probable that the personnel of that unit, and hence the membership of that Lodge, has fair prospects of permanency for half a year.
Rogers H. Galt,
Med. Dept. 347th Field Artillery, U. S. A., Washington.
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I wish to thank you especially for your assistance in the search after the lost "Swedenborgian Rite." So far the same has not been recovered, and we are left at the mercy of those who know. The answers received are, however, sufficient to show that there is yet a large field to be explored by Masonic students.
"SAYS THE YOUNG MASTER MASON"
There is an appeal in the September number of THE BUILDER, "Says the Young Master Mason," which should be answered. I would be glad to read what the elder brethren have to answer to this heart-gripping, heart-searching question: "Why then stand ye here idle?" As a young Master Mason I share his fate and join in his willingness to learn.
Joseph Hollrigl, New Hampshire.
(The opportunity is within your grasp, brother. Take your October BUILDER to the next regular meeting of your Lodge and read to the members the article on page 7 of the Correspondence Circle Bulletin, "Organized Masonic Study in Monthly Lodge Meetings," and get the Lodge to appoint a "Research Committee" and advise us of the members of this committee. We will help them to get the plan started in your Lodge. There is no need to "stand idle." — W. E. A.)
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GRAND LODGE OF ILLINOIS REFUSES RECOGNITION TO THE GRAND LODGE OF PANAMA
The following report of the Committee on Foreign Correspondence of the Grand Lodge of Ilinois adopted by that Grand Body at its Annual Communication in Chicago the second week in October of this year, is herewith presented to our members through the courtesy of Brother Charles H. Martin, Chairman of the Committee. It presents another side of the question in contradistinction to the views held by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts as given in the article published in the November issue of THE BUILDER, "Masonry in Panama," by Brother Melvin M. Johnson, Past brand Master of Massachusetts.
To the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Illinois:
Your Committee on Foreign Correspondence, to whom was referred the application of the Grand Lodge of Panama for fraternal recognition and an exchange of representatives, would fraternally and respectfully report that there is nothing in or accompanying said application tending to show that the said Grand Lodge of Panama possesses the qualifications essential to a Sovereign Grand Lodge of Ancient Craft Masons, as heretofore set forth and defined, and uniformly insisted upon by this Grand Lodge, in order to obtain such recognition. Elsewhere it is learned, however, that the first essential in order to regularity of formation is entirely wanting, to-wit: "Legitimacy of origin of constituent Lodges uniting to form a Grand Lodge."
In a showing made by this soi disant Grand Lodge of Panama, to the Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, and by him (the latter) reported to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, it is said: "In the year 1913, Panama having six Lodges, and believing that the claim to territorial occupancy was theirs, conceived the idea that the time was opportune for establishing both a Supreme Council and Grand Lodge, and believing the claim was a just one, approached Venezuela with the request.
"The subject was favorably received, and a Special Deputy was sent to Caracas, fully empowered to place the application before the Supreme Council of Venezuela: in due time and form a meeting was convened, and the application was placed before the Supreme Council, that Body approved the application and appointed a Special Commissioned Deputy, who accompanied the Commissioners of Panama to Panama, and without any delay, with legal authority and in due ceremony established the Supreme Council of Panama, conferring the 33d on certain selected members. In the same year Declaration of a Grand Lodge was made by the six Lodges above mentioned, and with the ceremony suitable to the occasion, the Grand Lodge was instituted and its officers elected and installed. This Grand Lodge believing in good faith that the establishment was legally formed, continued its work and granted a charter for the establishment of a lodge under its immediate jurisdiction; a lodge to conduct and carry on the work in the English tongue. This lodge was established in December, 1913, and is known as "Unity" Lodge No. 7. The six Lodges above mentioned, which had been chartered by Venezuela, were transferred to the jurisdiction of Panama, and their respective numbers were changed to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 — Panama now having seven Lodges.
"The question of the world's official recognition was taken up, correspondence was sent out detailing all the information, and with the exception of a few of the South American Republics, San Salvador and Santo Domingo, the requests did not meet with success.
"That being the case, the best means of settling the question was most carefully considered, and it was agreed upon by the Panama Supreme Council to approach the Colombia Supreme Council on the subject; the approach was met in the most brotherly spirit, resulting in a happy amalgamation." — Proceedings of Mass., 1916, page 711.
The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts has published a "Treaty" or "Protocol," in which the high contracting parties are the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts and the Grand Lodge of Panama. In the history therein given, antecedent to the "Protocol" proper, appears the following:
"When Panama, in 1903, definitely severed itself from Colombia, its territory was regarded as open to the Masonic World. Consequently the Supreme Councils of Colombia and Venezuela (the latter founded in 1875) both established Symbolic Lodges within the Republic.
"On the 16th of April, 1916, there existed in the Republic of Panama the following Blue Lodges:
"Rosa de America, formerly No. 65 of Venezuela, now No. 1 of Panama; Pro Mundi Beneficio, formerly No. 67 of Venezuela, now No. 2 of Panama; Orion, formerly No. 68 of Venezuela, now No. 3 of Panama; Aurora del Istmo, formerly No. 69 of Venezuela, now No. 4 of Panama; Restauracion, formerly No. 70 of Venezuela, now No. 5 of Panama; Jose Bernito Alivizua, formerly No. 71 of Venezuela, now No. 6 of Panama; Unity, constituted December, 1913, by a Grand Lodge of Panama which was under the auspices of the Supreme Council, now No. 7 of Panama; Cosmopolita, formerly No. 55 under the jurisdiction of Colombia, constituted 1910, now No. 8 of Panama. Spanish, the language of the country, is used by all except Unity Lodge, which is permitted to work in English.
"On the 16th day of April, 1916, these Lodges met in convention and executed a formal declaration of the establishment of a Grand Lodge of Symbolic Masonry for the Republic of Panama. At a meeting held August 19, 1916, they adopted Grand Constitutions by the unanimous vote of delegates from all of said eight lodges and elected Grand Officers. The organization of La Gran Logia de Panama was consummated on October 12, 1916, when the Most Worshipful Grand Master and other Grand Officers were publicly installed and proclaimed. This organization of a Sovereign Grand Lodge having exclusive jurisdiction over the three degrees of Symbolic Masonry has been approved, and accorded recognition by the Supreme Councils of Panama, Venezuela and Colombia, etc."
Taking the two accounts above quoted at their face value, and waiving the discrepancies therein appearing, it is altogether fair to conclude that every one of the lodges uniting to form the present and last Grand Lodge of Panama was planted by a Supreme Council; that failing to obtain recognition of the Grand Lodge formed in 1913, the expedient was resorted to by the Supreme Councils concerned, and above named, of procuring charters from the Grand Lodge of Venezuela for the same lodges. In other words the Grand Lodge of Venezuela was induced to pull down the curtain and hide the shame of this aggregation of lodges from the Masonic world.
To all those who take seriously the landmarks of Masonry, and the principles and rules elucidated in the fifteen points of the Masters' installation vows, this specious expedient cannot avail. The Grand Lodge of Venezuela has never been recognized by the Grand Lodge of Illinois, nor by any considerable number of regular grand lodges as a sovereign, governing body.
The above recital of facts tend to indicate that it is not such, but that its action in issuing charters was on the initiative and at the instance of, if not dictated by, the so-called Supreme Council.
The lodges originally contributing to form the Grand Lodge of Venezuela were warranted by the Grand Orient of Spain, which is also a body which the Grand Lodge of Illinois has never recognized as a grand lodge. As a controlling reason why it can never be recognized as such, it is sufficient to suggest that it was formed of lodges created and established by a Supreme Council. This Grand Lodge has time and again approved the doctrine that no tribunal or power on earth is competent to form or warrant a lodge of the original plan except a regular sovereign grand lodge.
In one report expressly approved by this Grand Lodge the following language was used: "We utterly deny that any body save a representative Grand Lodge can by warrant or charter create a Lodge that has any claim whatever to the name of Masonry, or that can administer its rites."
Neither the Supreme Council, the Grand Orient of Spain nor the Grand Lodge of Venezuela is, or ever was, competent to form or bring into being a Lodge of the original plan, and hence not a single Lodge contributing to form the present Grand Lodge of Panama can be regarded as a regular Lodge of Ancient Craft Masons.
Your committee therefore recommends that the request of the Grand Lodge of Panama for recognition and an exchange of representatives be declined.
Committee on Correspondence.