THE BUILDER MAGAZINE
A Journal for the Masonic Student
Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
Vol. 4 No. 7 – July 1918
ENGLISH AND AMERICAN BROTHERHOOD
A LEAGUE OF MASONS
Bro. Sir Alfred Robbins
PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF GENERAL PURPOSES,
UNITED GRAND LODGE OF ENGLAND
The spell of this wonderful article is still upon me — I doubt whether it will ever disappear. With consummate grace, with all the niceties of expression to which our common tongue lends itself, this eminent English brother speaks words which ought to ring in the ears of every American Mason. Not content merely to say he yearns for the intimate fellowship of his American brethren, he extends his own hand across the sea. Can we do less than grasp it? With no professions that he understands America, and no protestations that he sympathizes with our historic separation from the British Empire, disclaiming in fact any Masonic responsibility for that separation, he boldly and frankly says that in Revolutionary days England, under the leadership of a king with German blood in his veins took a position which Masonry did not then countenance, any more than it does so now; that English Masonry of today, even as the English nation of this day, loses its regrets for that unhappy separation in its joy over the reunion of the present in our common cause; rejoices, indeed, in this thrilling consummation of the liberties then won; and pledges, himself to the battles of the future in behalf of Masonic ideals, inviting us to join him at the Masonic Altar, renew our vows to Masonry, and then, hand in hand, keeping step one with another, go forward to accomplish the destiny of our ONE Fraternity, Soberly, prayerfully consider the fraternal alliance which his words contemplate. Dream if you will — but dream not too long — over the wonderful possibilities of this joint effort in behalf of a war-torn and suffering Humanity. Starting from this true to LEVEL, what cannot Masonry accomplish? Let us not dream, let us act! Representatives? Ambassadors of Good Will? Yes, let us have them, and let us USE them! Let our acts, not less than our words, prove to Sir Alfred Robbins and the Grand Lodge of England that we are as free and as fervent in spirit as they are!
"And may the day soon dawn, when all the earth shall be ONE HOLY LAND, and all mankind ONE GREAT LODGE OF BRETHREN, and when all religions of hate and fear shall have vanished away, and wars and persecutions be known no more, forever!" — EDITOR
ON the evening of September 2nd, 1914, the United Grand Lodge of England held its first Quarterly Communication after the outbreak of war. It was a moment fraught with fate, not only for the British Empire, not alone for her Allies, but, as every Mason present felt in his heart, for liberty, for humanity, for civilization itself. The armies of France, of Britain, and of Belgium alike had been forced back in the sudden overwhelming onrush of the invading hosts; the enemy were sweeping on to the gates of Paris; the crowning mercy of the Marne was yet to come and was hardly dared hope for; and darkness had descended on many a soul. It was Sedan Day, the date fixed in the long-devised time-table of the enemy High Command for triumphal entry into the French capital; and the grim anniversary loomed an omen of evil out of the news that sobered all. In the Grand Temple of Freemasons' Hall in that awe-inspiring hour, not a word of gloom, not a hint of despondency, was to be heard. The Right Worshipful, the truly Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master of the English Craft — a legislator of prolonged experience, an administrator of proved skill, and a member of His Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council — struck on the instant a clear note. He at once proposed, in eloquent and moving terms, a resolution deeply appreciating the loyal and devoted service to their country rendered by brothers of all ranks, and offering an earnest prayer for their continued well-being. It was my privilege, as President of the Board of General Purposes of Grand Lodge to second this; and my closing words I echo today: "Those of us who are compelled to stay at home are prepared to make what sacrifices they can in the present emergency. There is probably not one of us who has not someone close to him concerned in this struggle. They go forth knowing that they possess all our confidence and our hope. We know our confidence will be justified. We earnestly pray our hope will be fulfilled. Grand Lodge sends forth this message to those fighting for their country, feeling confident it will cheer them in the hour of battle to know that with them are their brethren's hearts."
At this moment, and speaking, as I hope to do, to American Freemasons, especial interest attaches to the words of our Deputy Grand Master in submitting the resolution: "We have all come together in the hour of danger. We are gratified to have with us a Past Grand Master of South Carolina. Although I cannot, perhaps, allude to him as being entirely committed to this motion, because he belongs to the Grand Lodge of another Jurisdiction and to a neutral country, yet we feel that he is of a people who are bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh. America is a neutral country but I believe that our American brethren must appreciate, as we do, the manner in which our brethren and countrymen have risen and flocked to the service of King and Country in the hour of need." This proved a fitting prelude to the most impressive demonstration of Anglo-American Masonic fraternity ever known up to that time in the whole of the two-century annals of our Grand Lodge.
At the desire of the Grand Master — H.R.H. The Duke of Connaught, at that moment serving the Empire as Governor-General of the Dominion of Canada, there was read by our revered but now departed Grand Secretary, Sir Edward Letchworth, this communication from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts:
"As your eldest child in the Western hemisphere, the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, while officially avoiding partisanship in the civil conflict, nevertheless cannot let this hour pass without advising your Grand Lodge of its deep concern for those of your brethren and their dependants who are suffering in body or estate, and we wish to offer all the Masonic succour within our power consistent with citizenship in a neutral nation. I beg that you, not in any military or civic capacity, but solely as Grand Master, will cause me to be informed of any such aid or comfort to afflicted brethren or their families within our power to extend."
Promptly Grand Lodge adopted with enthusiasm a second resolution, thus associating itself with the Grand Master in thanks to Bro. Melvin Johnson, Grand Master of the Masons of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and in deep appreciation of his message as voicing a sincerity of Masonic feeling especially welcome to the Grand Lodge of England. "We are not insensible," exclaimed the Deputy Grand Master in making the motion, "to the sympathy and love of our brother Masons in foreign jurisdictions in this time of trouble and stress." "Grand Lodge," added the Provincial Grand Master of Norfolk (the late Bro. Hamon le Strange) in seconding, "must be deeply gratified by this mark of interest and sympathy shown by our eldest child across the Atlantic. We deeply appreciate the truly Masonic spirit shown by the Masons of Massachusetts, and their willingness to succour the old country, from which they came, in its hour of need." A striking and even dramatic episode immediately followed the resolution's unanimous acceptance. The very first visitor of distinction from America ever known to have attended a Quarterly Communication of the Grand Lodge of England was, as his name appears on our records, "John Hammerton, Esq., P.G.M. of S. Carolina." As in April, 1738, so in September, 1914, that State had a distinguished representative in Grand Lodge; and on this latter occasion it was Bro. J. Adger Smyth, Past Grand Master of South Carolina, who thus addressed the assembled brethren:
"I am the representative of the United Grand Lodge of England for the State of South Carolina, and have served you in that capacity for thirty years. My father was an Englishman, my grandfather was an Englishman, and my grandmother was a Scotch woman. If my sympathies do not flow out to you, my brethren, in this hour of distress and national anxiety, I am no living man. I wish you to know that I represent the feelings and sentiment of the Grand Lodge of South Carolina when I say to you, and the brethren in this country, that we heartily endorse and say word for word what has been so well said by our brethren of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts."
The thrill experienced in that earliest moment of the tremendous struggle still proceeding can never be forgotten. Every brother in Grand Lodge that night — from the venerable and venerated Deputy Grand Master of the English Jurisdiction to the youngest Junior Warden of a Private Lodge — had passed on his way into Grand Lodge a fine portrait of America's first President, Masonically clothed, which stands prominently forth, as a most honoured possession on the great staircase of Freemasons' Hall. Entering Grand Lodge under the serenely smiling shade of Washington, hearing, in Grand Lodge, united voices of cheer and hope from North and South, typified by Massachusetts and South Carolina, the English Masons felt, in Grand Lodge, an uplifting of the spirit of true Brotherhood which since has deepened and at no time has failed. As from Grand Temple they went forth to their homes, and midnight came, and Sedan Day, threatening so foul, passed with gleam of hope, there were those of us who from our hearts echoed Lincoln's immortal words. For we likewise that day had highly resolved that our dead should not have died in vain; that our nation, under God, should have a new birth of freedom; and that Government of the people, by the people and for the people should not perish from the earth.
One further war-time association between American and English Masons — and this even more intimate, for they now had become Allies — is to be recalled. At the Bi-centenary commemoration in June, 1917, of the first Assembly of the Grand Lodge of England, eight thousand brethren learned with deep satisfaction that messages of congratulation had come from the Grand Lodges of Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, of Rhode Island and New Jersey, as well as of South Dakota, which I have the honourable privilege to represent at Freemasons' Hall. In his opening address to that vast meeting of Masons, the Grand Master accorded hearty greeting to all the distinguished brethren from other Jurisdictions, emphasizing, amid loudly approving cheers, his welcome to those from the United States. "They well know," said His Royal Highness, "that we hold fast to our immemorial and immovable principles, and that, even in this time of very great difficulty to very many among us, we, through the agency of our Masonic Institutions, are ever broadening the avenues of benevolence towards those who fall by the way. And, with the fear of the Great Architect of the Universe ever before our eyes, we today dedicate ourselves anew to the supreme task of so maintaining Masonry in its fullest splendour, that the result of our counsels and our acts shall be the dispensing of justice to all men, the maintaining of the honour and safety of the Realm, and the uniting and knitting-together of the hearts of all our brethren in Love, Charity and Masonic Truth." Later, the Duke of Connaught added these words of special welcome: "To our American brethren, we say how sincerely we recognise that love of truth and loyalty to freedom which have led their Nation to join with our own and with our Allies in the present struggle. From its beginning we have felt that the cause which we defend is that of Masonic Brotherhood in its noblest aspects, and that the victory of our cause will ensure the spread throughout all lands of the Three Grand Principles on which our Order is founded, and the triumph of which was never more necessary, and, we trust, never more assured, than it is at this hour." And the loud acclaim which arose from every part of the great assemblage testified the instant effect of the appeal.
I have dealt thus in detail with these circumstances because they are the most recent illustration — and afforded in the present war-time — of the bond of unity which throughout our Masonic history has existed between British and American Freemasonry. Boundaries whether of nature or nationality have never, as such, served to sever from us our brethren, wherever dispersed over the face of earth or water. "Masonry", it is laid down in the very first of the Antient Charges of a Freemason, prefaced to the Book of Constitutions, a copy of which is placed in the hands of every English Initiate "is the centre of union between good men and true, and the happy means of conciliating friendship amongst those who must otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance." "It has ever flourished in times of peace," says the second, "and . . . Craftsmen are bound by peculiar ties to promote peace, cultivate harmony, and live in concord and brotherly love." No one, and especially today, will dispute these verities from of old; and in no direction have they been more persistently testified than in the relations of Anglo-American Freemasonry.
It is no exaggeration to say that, if the rulers of the English States had displayed the same breadth of wisdom and understanding towards her children and kinsmen in America as from the very outset was shown by the rulers of the English Craft, there would have been no War of Independence. The fullest liberty of self-government would, from the beginning, have existed, and would have been sweetened by the strongest yet simplest bonds of fraternal relationship, regard, and trust. Let us take of this the surest test — that not of theory or of tradition but of recorded fact. In 1730, and on the Fifth of June — American Masonry's Independence Day — the Duke of Norfolk, as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of England, signed in London a "Deputation to Daniel Cox, Esq., to be Provincial Grand Master of the Provinces of New York, New Jersey and Pensilvania in America." In this instrument, the one who was proud to describe himself therein as "Earl Marshal and Hereditary Marshal of England, after the Princes of the Royal Blood, first Duke, Earl and Baron of England, Chief of the Illustrious Family of the Howards," sent greeting "To all and every our Right Worshipful, Worshipful and loving Brethren now residing, or who may hereinafter reside, in the Provinces of New York, New Jersey, and Pensilvania." He declared that, in response to the desire and application of the Freemasons in those parts, Daniel Cox of New Jersey should be ordained, constituted and appointed Provincial Grand Master of the three Provinces "with full Power and Authority to nominate and appoint his Deputy Grand Master and Grand Wardens for the space of two years from the Feast of St. John the Baptist now next ensuing, after which time it is our Will and Pleasure and We do hereby ordain that the Brethren who so now reside or may hereafter reside in all or any of the said Provinces, shall and they are hereby I powered every other year on the Feast of St. John the Baptist to elect a Provincial Grand Master, who shall have the power of nominating and appointing his Deputy Grand Master and Grand Wardens."
American Freemasons, therefore, possessed the full choice of their immediate rulers in the Craft from the earliest moment of organised existence. They had virtually selected their first chief; they were directly empowered to elect every successor; and, in return, all that was required was that they should observe the Book of Constitutions, and forward to Masonry's central home an annual account of their lodges and membership "together with such other matters and things as they shall think fit to be communicated for the Prosperity of the Craft." There was no question of "Taxation without Representation." The American lodges from the beginning controlled their own finance, without either remittance or reference to England. All that was suggested in this direction was that their ruler at each annual gathering "at that time more particularly and at all Quarterly Communications do recommend a General Charity to be established for the Reliefe of poor Brethren of the said Provinces," this being the usual course adopted at home. Freedom to choose their own chiefs; freedom to work in order and regularity under those chiefs; freedom from overseas interference with their finance — these were the cornerstones of the Charter of Independence sent from England to American Masonry on June 5, 1730. They were not fully asked from England by American citizenship until July 4,1776.
From the outset, the relations thus happily and spontaneously established worked with smoothness. American Provincial Grand Masters, on the rare occasion of a stay in England, visited Grand Lodge and were placed in the official records with the rulers of the Craft. Individual lodges occasionally communicated with the central authority; but so little was there any idea of interference that the records of Grand Lodge during the War of Independence may be searched in vain for trace of intervention in the struggle or of intent to inqpose English ideas on American Masons. Grand Lodge at the very beginning had accorded liberty of thought and action, and it never departed from that original standpoint. Brethren remained brethren despite constitutional dispute and civil discord; and even today in some of our ancient lodges, closely allied by circumstance with Atlantic voyage, each entrant to the Craft has the universality of Masonry forcibly impressed upon him by allusions plainly dating from Continental times. "Wherever it shall please the will of Providence to cast your lot," he is told, "whether you traverse the banks of the Mississippi, whether you dwell amid the immeasurable wilds of the scattered Indian tribes across the mighty Atlantic, aye, even on the battle-field itself, you will everywhere find a brother who will greet you — in every nation a brother, in every clime a home."
A profound cause exists for this abiding alliance in spirit between American and British Freemasons. They alike hold in highest regard honourable obligation, moral responsibility, and human freedom. The "all men are created equal" of the Declaration of Independence is but to emphasise the demonstration by the Level that we have all sprung from the same stock, are partakers of the same nature, and sharers in the same hope. The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, directing that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting its free exercise, is in absolute accord with the First Article of the Antient Charges, which enjoins: "Let a man's religion be what it may, he is not excluded from the Order, provided he believes in the Glorious Architect of Heaven and Earth, and practice the sacred duties of morality." And nothing more completely could consort with the theory and practice of American citizenship than the declaration of our Fourth Article: "All preferment among Masons is grounded upon real worth and personal merit only; that so the lords may be well served, the brethren not put to shame, or the Craft despised."
These are of the fundamentals of Freemasonry as known and practised by American and British brethren alike; and they never better deserved remembrance than in this hour of allied nationhood amid external strife. It is a time for the ideal to be a beacon-light to the real, not to discover divergence but to cement union. "In things essential, unity; in things non-essential, diversity; in all things, charity." For two centuries, English and American Freemasons, standing side by side, have worked hand in hand. Rendering services not of the lip but of the life to the immortal truths — embodied in the principles of the Craft — not wasting energy in mystical speculation, but bending strength to practical endeavour — the union of hearts existing throughout our common Masonic history should now lead to a union of hands. It is given to us of today to dissipate the belief of the bygone that "Masonry has been always injured by war, bloodshed and confusion." The nominal official relationships long established between the majority of the Grand Lodges of the United States and the United Grand Lodge of England should be extended to all, and in every case made more real. Let the distinguished brethren thus accredited on both sides of the Atlantic act as ambassadors, keeping each other in constant comradeship. Let there be organised a system enabling representative English Masons visiting the United States and representative American Masons coming to this country — for, when the present stress ends, there will be even increased inter-visitation compared with pre-war times — to attend lodge meetings at their desire during their stay. Let means be devised for making us better acquainted with each other's ideas, each other's ways, for the first condition of true friendship is full knowledge. Even now there exists the nucleus of such a system in the two London lodges under the English Constitution in special kinship with the United States, the one composed of Americans by birth or association, the other of Americans alone. Development of the idea would demand time, entail trouble, necessitate thought. But the time, trouble, and thought alike would be well expended to bring the Craft in both countries into closer communion and surer touch.
If we adopted this as our ideal, means would be found to make it real. While Statesmen strive to establish a League of Nations, let us set up, for ourselves and the brethren with whom we always in principle and practice have been allied, a League of Masons. Reverent recognition of The Eternal, resolute renouncement of the political — these are the foundation and corner stone of our Masonic system. On so sure a base, a superstructure can be raised embracing, as in a house of many mansions, the vast Masonic family, independent as units, united as a whole. Britain and America, Australia and New Zealand, Canada and the Cape, India and the Isles beyond seas can dwell together under that roof. It may be but a vision, and yet even as a vision it inspires. That first Grand Original who stood upon Mount Pisgah could only see, could never enter, the Promised Land. Yet even the sight gladdened his failing eyes after his long toilings to lead his people into the light.
In the pursuit of so high an endeavour, difficulties exist only to be dispersed; and never was it more true that where there is a will, there is a way. Bound to each other by ties of common origin, identical ideals, and never broken friendship, American and British Freemasonry could render inestimable service, not only to the Brotherhood, but to mankind, by more intimacy of association and intensity of aim. What we have to do is at once to put ourselves to work and discover whether, by making the best use of Masonry, lasting good may not be gained from the present world-welter of war. It is a task worthy of the devotion of us all, and Masons on both sides of the Atlantic should worthily rise to so supreme an occasion. Then, even war will have its compensations. Out of the eater shall come forth meat, and out of the strong shall come forth sweetness. The far-flung battle-line shall give place to the far-flung brother-line; and, great though will be our labour, our reward shall be sure.
* * *
FURTHER NOTES ON THE COMACINE MASTERS
Bro. W. Ravenscroft, England
In presenting this article we wish again to emphasize that Brother Newton says of Brother Ravenscroft's work on Page 88 of the March issue of THE BUILDER. We have no hesitation in saying that this presentation of the latest researches of our noted English brother is in our judgment the most important contribution to the subject of the sources of Freemasonry as it now exists which has been given to the Masonic world since the organization of this Society. While perhaps not all Masonic scholars have agreed with the conclusions of Brother Ravenscroft in his small but monumental book, "The Comacines," it must be admitted that the new material herewith presented is of great value in supporting his former contentions. Members of our Society will find cause for gratification in the choice of THE BUILDER as the medium through which Brother Ravenscroft gives us this added light, and we welcome the opportunity to still further acknowledge our gratitude to our English brother for his continuing interest in our work. — EDITOR.
"You have often heard it said that Scotto was the founder of Art in Italy. He was not: neither he, nor Cianta Pisano, nor Niccolo Pisano. They all laid strong hands to the work, and brought it first into aspect above ground; but the foundation had been laid for them by the builders of the Lombardic churches in the valleys of the Adda and the Arno.
"It is in the sculpture of the round-arched churches of North Italy bearing disputable dates, ranging from the eighth to the twelfth century, that you will find the lowest struck roots of the Art of Titian and Raphael." — From John Ruskin's "Two Paths."
SEVEN years ago I wrote a little book, published by Elliot Stock, London, with the title, "The Comacines, Their Predecessors and Their Successors." It closed with the following summary of the points I wished to emphasize:
- Centuries before Christ and the foundation of Rome a race of Hametic descent spread along the Mediterranean shores and afterward became known in Syria and Asia Minor as Hittites, in Greece as Pelasgoi, and in Italy as Etruscans.
- Hittites were engaged in building the Temple at Jerusalem, the fame of which spread far and wide.
- The Romans learned their arts of building, decoration and pottery, etc., from the Etruscans, who were the same race as the Hittites, and carried with them some at least of their traditions.
- In Rome developed Collegia of Artificers, and in early Christian days these had traditions of King Solomon.
- At the downfall of Rome the Gild of Artificers left and settled in the district of Como, holding as their centre the Island of Comacina.
- That thence they spread their influence over all Western Europe and even to our own shores.
- That they merged into the great Masonic Gilds of the Middle Ages.
- That as these Gilds died out their forms and ceremonies were preserved to a great extent in our Masonic lodges; at any rate those under the English and American Constitutions.
Since my book was published I have continued to make its subject one of my principal studies and through the courtesy and influence of Cav. A. G. Caprani, the owner of the island of Comacina, I have obtained interviews with several Italian archaeologists who gave me valuable help in my investigations. This resulted in the collection of notes and drawings which, together with what I have been able to obtain by personal inspection in many Italian towns and especially in the Como district, forms the basis of what I have written in the present paper.
Of what I previously wrote on this subject I have had scarcely any adverse criticism, but I have seen the Comacines described by one writer as an "obscure association," while another refers to their story as a myth. One is reminded thus of the traveler who stated that he knew the Lake of Como from end to end and could positively assert that there was no island in it whatever.
It is not my intention here to recapitulate what I have already written, but rather by added evidence to substantiate the more important points therein. At the same time by keeping before the reader the eight points listed at the beginning of this article I hope as far as possible to make this paper self-contained.
One would not lay too much stress on the first three of these statements, especially on the first, which one has, of course, always regarded as more or less hypothetical. The statements numbered two and three have been repeatedly confirmed by American as well as English writers, but far as one could find, nowhere traversed.
The late J. Tavenor Perry, F.R.I.B.A., in an article communicated to the "Architect" of July 24th, 1914, entitled "The Origin of Lion Bases," traces direct Hittite influence on the lion bases found throughout Italy, and so intimately associated with the later Comacine work, his argument being that the use of beasts in connection with architecture especially as supporting the columns of porches, doorways, etc., was popular from the tenth century throughout Italy and parts of Southern France. These beasts, although by no means exclusively so, took generally the form of lions and were certainly much in vogue for a considerable time.
Mr. Tavenor Perry traces a striking likeness between Hittite lions, as revealed in sculptured remains, supporting pillars and doorposts, and those of Italy, and, differing from Riviora, who claims Etruscan source for the latter, concludes that the idea was brought home by returning Crusaders who, as they passed through the Hittite country, saw and carried home the recollection of the beasts in question.
This suggestion that the lion inspiration was originally Hittite, makes intelligible the associations of lions with King Solomon's throne, as also the Etruscan development of guardian lions. In this connection it is worthy of mention that during recent excavations at Corstopitum, near Corbridge on Tyne and Hexham, a lion, remarkably like those of the Comacine type, was discovered, of which the report of the excavation committee said:
"The lion, though in some respects a familiar Roman type, embodies artistic tendencies which break loose from Roman art and anticipate the Middle Ages."
The discovery of this lion in English soil properly suggests the enquiry as to how far it is associated with Comacine work in England to which a further reference in these pages will be made. A few notes relating to the Collegia of Artificers will help to confirm point four.
Pliny in a letter to the Emperor Trajan at the end of the first century refers to a college of workmen. This is confirmed by Professor Baldwin Brown in "From Schola to Cathedral" (Douglas, Edinburgh, 1886), while Villari in "The Barbarian Invasion of Italy" (Fisher Unwin, London, 1902), refers to there being found after the sack of Rome no artificers skilled to design buildings there.
Professor Merzario in his "Maestri Comacini," vol. I, p. 54, (Milan, 1893), tells us that when Constantine went to Byzantium, A. D. 328, he was accompanied by artificers who worked in Roman style. He also says there is reason to believe that unions of architects, workers in marble, painters, wall builders, joiners and other workmen existed in Rome to about the year 400 A. D. and that down to the fall of Imperial Rome there were similar unions in other important cities of Italy, particularly in Ravenna and Milan, which for many years were seats of Empire (vol. I, p. 36).
With regard to point five that "At the downfall of Rome the Gild of Artificers left and settled in the district of Como, holding as their centre the island of Comacina," there are to hand many items of interest.
It is to be presumed that no one questions the association of a Gild of Artificers with the Lake of Como from somewhere about A.D. 500 to the time when they were finally driven from the Island of Comacina by the men of Como, A. D. 1169. Two charters granted the Gild by Lombard Kings, that of Rotharis, A.D. 643, and that of Liutprand, nearly one hundred years later, beside many other documental references, give evidence of this. Nor will it be denied that these artificers developed a style of their own which probably underwent modifications according to the extent to which it was subjected, from time to time, to external influences.
But what may not be thought conclusive is that these were the men who, for five centuries at least, made their mark on, nay, were the chief factors in the development of architecture in Italy and Western Europe. In other words, that the Comacine Gild practically fills the hiatus which has been supposed to exist between the downfall of Rome and the development of what is generally understood as medieval architecture in Italy and the West. The point then is to establish that the Comacine influence was as widespread as is claimed for it.
But first as regards their connection with the Roman Collegia, and examination of some of their plans and of the detail of their ornament together with the general use of the semi-circular arch will render assistance. Wherever else the Comacine Masters may or may not have worked, they are clearly responsible for the buildings of their period in the district of Como, and indeed of the Lombardy plain generally, for the Lombards were no builders, and hence needed skilled assistance in the construction of their buildings.
Now whether we take the ground-plan of a Comacine Oratory, Church or Cathedral, we shall find its prototype chiefly at Rome. There is a small building of the eleventh century in the Comacine district known as the Oratory of S. Benedetto in Civate, and its plan, as well as the shaping of its roofs, shows striking similarity to one of the oldest Christian buildings in Rome, "The Memorial Cella" in the Cemetery of S. Callisto, each plan consisting of a rectangle with three semicircular apses placed so as to form a kind of chancel with transepts; the "Cella" dating from the end of the third century. The plan of the Comacine Church of Sta. Maria del Tiglio, at Gravedona on Lake Como, is also similar. And in this connection it is noteworthy that in one of the oldest but most recently discovered of the Catacombs at Rome, that of Priscilla, there is a second century chapel called, because of some of the inscriptions it contains, the Greek chapel, almost identical in plan with these. (Figs. 1, 2 and 3.)
In this district also are the Churches of S. Pietro at Monte (Fig. 3a), S. Andrea at Lenno, S. Giacomo at Spurano, the Church of the Ospedaletto between Campo and Sala, and the Church at Piona, with many others, all consisting of rectangular aisleless naves and semicircular apses following the plan of the larger Scholae at Rome. Then there are Baptisteries, such as that at Lenno, to all appearance modeled on the plan of early Christian ones in Rome, some dating from the establishment of Christianity by Constantine. And there are the larger churches, such as S. Benedetto di Monte Oltirone, (Fig. 3b), S. Giovanni at Bellagio, S. Eufemia on the Island of Comacina, S. Abbondio at Como, and hosts of others all following, with slight modifications, the general type of plan used for a Christian basilica in Rome in the early centuries of Christianity. Clearly so far as the general types of plan are concerned the Comacines, at any rate in their churches close at home, drew their inspiration from Rome.
In the development of the capitals of columns we get distinct traces of Roman influence both on the Island of Comacina and the district around. Three instances will suffice to explain this.
In the ninth century Crypt of S. Stefano at Lenno, with some variations, occurs the later type of Roman volute — the acanthus and even the aloe leaves of debased Roman capitals (Fig. 4). The capitals of some of the columns in the Church of S. Abbondio, Como, are obviously derived from Roman corinthian capitals and in the Baptistery at Gravedona the influence of the acanthus is unmistakable.
In this connection the association of the Comacine Masters with the Quatuor Coronati perhaps does not count for much, since these four martyrs were probably not only the patron saints of the Comacines, but also of other Gilds of Artificers, as certainly they were in subsequent times; but it is interesting to record the dedication of Comacine Churches to their memory as four as well as to individual members of them such as that of S. Carpoforo, just outside Como.
The antiquary, Sig. Ugo Monneret de Villard, who has been for a considerable time studying the Comacine district and has recently published the result (1) of his explorations on the Island of Comacina, and of research in the Archives of Milan and Como, etc., relating thereto, all carried out under the authority of the Italian Government, regards the Comacine Masters as the descendants of the Roman Collegia, but doubts the correctness of the statement that they fled from Rome, contending that they had before its fall established Collegia throughout Lombardy and elsewhere in the Roman Empire, and that from Rome's enemies rather than directly from Rome, they fled to Comacina.
He also thinks that the Gild, as such, ended with the twelfth century, and this would synchronize with the fall of Comacina, albeit at the dissolution of the Gild the individual members carried away traditions in many directions.
In this connection it may be desirable to recall the Greek name given to the Island of Comacina by one Abbot Floriano, "Christopolis," by reason of its having become a place of refuge for the many peaceful Romans who fled for security from the Lombard invasions and from the strife, turmoil, bloodshed and devastation of which the Lombardy plain and its surrounding districts was the unhappy scene. Not only would the Island be some little security against the Lombards, but also against Teutonic invasion from the Northeast, and from the valleys round the lakes; for the progress of Christianity in this district was but slow and the formation of the Episcopal see of Como was comparatively late
Fortified very strongly, the crowded little Island would thus become as fitting a home as could be found for the Magistri who made it their centre and marvelously contrived to carry on their craft in the surrounding district through ages of turmoil and internecine war. Refugees from their conquerors, they were in course of time called back when Craftsmen and builders were needed by the Lombards, and these Craftsmen would bring with them stone, marble and wood, since the Lombardy plain could not supply such materials.
Thus much for the relation between the Comacines and the Roman Collegia, but it is not suggested that the Comacines developed their style and worked out their buildings unaffected from without by other influences.
On the contrary it is evident that a Byzantine character was given to a good deal of their work, especially as it moved Eastward; and while asserting the claim for individual character in it against the criticism which complains that they are credited with what does not belong to them, it cannot be denied that, in the development of their style, Byzantium had some part. Indeed the suggestion of the following notes is that it was to a considerable extent through the Comacines that Byzantine art found expression in the West.
Up to the commencement of the great schism in the eighth century, it would be natural to expect Eastern influence to be direct and easy; but from that time onward it would be equally natural to look for its cessation, or at least diminution. And yet it seems to have been maintained right through the centuries, even to the twelfth, in which it is clearly discernable. How was this?
For the following reasons one would venture to believe that it was through the Comacines largely and in spite of the separation of the Churches, that its flow was more or less maintained. First, the Comacine district proper may be said to have extended from the plain of Lombardy at least as far as Istria. Secondly, this district was under the Ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Aquileja, and hence looked to Byzantium rather than Rome. Thirdly, Sig. Caprani says:
"The badge of the former inhabitants of the Island Comacina was most likely at the time when the town was destroyed (A. D. 1169) a Byzantine Cross, as they depended in Ecclesiastical matters from the Patriarch of Constantinople. Their descendants, the people of Varenna, are still called 'Patriarchini,' by way-of allusion to their Ecclesiastical allegiance to Byzantium instead of Rome. (2)
"It is supposed that this continued after the fatal year 1169, and the fact that in the parish of Varenna the Ambrosian Rite is observed instead of the Roman that is observed in all the parishes of the province of Como, may be in consequence of their political lien with Milan as their former adherence to Constantinople, was probably the reason for not depending from Rome in religious matters."
As a postscript to the above, Sig. Caprani adds:
"Referring to what I have already brought to your notice of what is related in the Revista Archaeologia of Como, 1908, I observe that the Byzantine Cross precedes the inscription found on a capital of the cloister of Voltorre (on Lake Varess), which includes the assumption that it was built under the direction of Magister Lanfrancus, one member of the Comacine Gild.
"This Magister Lanfrancus was perhaps the same who, in 1099, with increased fame, an acknowledged architect, began the renovation of the Cathedral of Modena and directed those works, at least until the end of 1106, called 'Mirabilis artifex mirificus edificator,' and who, in a tablet placed on the back of the apsis at Modena, is remembered with the following epitaph:
"Ingenio clarus Lanfrancus Doctus et aptus est operis Princepo Hujus Rectorque Magister.
Fourthly. It is a matter of history that in A.D. 553 an Aecumenical Council was held in Constantinople (the fifth acknowledged by the Christian Church) and condemned as heresy the writings of three deceased Bishops known as the "Three Chapters," two of which, however, had been previously, at the Council of Chalcedon (A. D. 451), acquitted.
It appears that in A. D. 557 the Archbishop of Aquileja called together his suffragans and rejected the act of this council of 553, thereby estranging themselves in this particular matter from the Church's accepted view, both Eastern and Western. At the same time they constituted their Archbishop "Patriarch of Aquileja." At the close of the sixth century Pope Gregory the Great sought to bring them into line but they refused to obey his summons to Rome. In connection with these events there appears on the scene a Bishop of Como, Agrippinus, who died about 620 A.D., or perhaps, as some say, a little earlier, and whose seventh century epitaph is still to be seen in the Church at Isola on the mainland close to Comacina whence this epitaph was brought, Agrippinus having been buried on the Island. In this epitaph testimony is given to the part Agrippinus played in the controversy on the side of Aquileja. Since that time repeated efforts have been made to bring the district under the authority of Rome, but until the eighteenth century with but small, and that intermittent. success.
S. Carlo Borromeo tried it, as many of his predecessors had done, and yet it remained Eastern in its obedience until Aquileia. in a re-distribution of authority, lost its importance and ceased to have its jurisdiction. The point of all this for our purpose is obvious, since geographically as well as through religious attitude of its hierarchy this district could not be other than a direct and easy channel for the flow of Eastern ideas in matters of art as well as religion.
Lastly, the Church of S. Pietro al Monte di Civate (eleventh century Comacine work, Fig. 3a) had its altar three-quarters of the length of the church toward the West, in such a manner as that the celebrant faced the East and the people, according to the more ancient and oriental rite. This in the West at so late a date is very exceptional and a clear indication of the association. Taking together then these five points and remembering the connection between the Church and Gilds in the Middle Ages it is surely justifiable to suggest that its was to a great extent through the Comacines that Byzantine art owes largely such acceptance as it found in the West.
(To be continued)
(1) "Isola Comacina."
(2) In an article on Varenna recently published in an Italian journal occurs the following: Nel 1169 gli abitanti di Cristopoli (another name for Comacina) dai Comaschi cacciatidale Isola Comacina si refugiarono a Varenna portandovi il loro rito patriarchino dicui non sono del tutto estinte le traccie.
* * *
In our study paper "Approaching the East," by Brother Haywood, which appeared in the April Correspondence Circle Bulletin, was discussed the meaning of the expression "Gone West." Our members, especially those who belong to lodges or study clubs where our "Bulletin Course of Masonic Study" is being used, will find the following item which recently appeared in "The Christian Commonwealth" of much interest:
In his "First Expedition to Africa," Livingstone tells of his encounter with a lion, in which he reveals a very interesting fact. Once the beast had him by the shoulder, and had shaken him like a rat, all sense of terror and pain vanished. The shock produced, naturally, a condition of anesthesia. This seemed to the explorer a merciful provision of Nature to lessen the pain of death.
A similar, less intense, though more prolonged condition of anesthesia seems to supervene where men spend days and months in the presence of imminent death. The presence of death itself seems to produce an anesthetic effect. In pre-war days death, viewed at a distance by the average healthy man, had, to say the least, a very sinister aspect. Today all is changed. Men poke fun and talk slang in the dread presence. Humanity's propensity for humour will not stop short even here. Cartoons from the trenches show how true this is. To hob-nob with death seems to deprive it of the horrors it assumed when we knew it only as a nodding acquaintance. Anesthesia is produced by the very thing we feared.
The soldier refers to it in phrases which may well be classed under the heading of verbal anaesthetics. Take, for example, such a phrase as "Gone West." Here is a verbal charm before which grimness and ghastliness disappear. Instead, the mind is filled with suggestions of golden romance, sunset splendour, and a new world of distant mysteries.
These, at least, if nothing more definite, are suggested, and these do draw the sting and sweeten the bitterness a little. It is surprising what effect even a beautiful phrase may produce. And this is but one of many verbal anesthetics which we gladly use today.
It may surprise some of us to be told that "Going West" was a phrase well known to the old Egyptians, to the men of the Torres Straits, Fiji, Brazil and India. And they used the phrase with more definite conceptions than our soldiers do today. Let us see what some of those conceptions were.
The belief in an under-world, to which the souls of men journeyed, was common, of course, to the Hebrews, Greeks and Romana Certain tribes as far apart as South Africa and Mexico had a similar belief. If such a place existed it was only natural that it should have an entrance. And speculation, of course, was rife as to where the entrance was. The Romans believed it to be in the Comitium. In Ireland there is an old legend, which tells how Sir Oswain and a monk, Gilbert, discovered the entrance in an island of Lough Derg, in Donegal.
These, however, were purely local, and there was the suggestion of an entrance obvious to all. The sun, it was thought, passed into the under-world at his setting and emerged from it at dawn. Obviously, then, the sunset was the real entrance to the spirit abodes.
A conception arose, therefore, in some races that it was essential to journey with the sun, and under his charge to pass the clashing gates that guarded the entrance to the land of spirits. Such was the "Going West" of primitive man in Australia, Polynesia, India and Brazil. Among the Aryan races such a picture did not, however, prevail — to the Romans, e.g., it was unknown.
Amid the more primitive peoples it did exist, and was by some extended to embrace the idea of two worlds. To the idea of the gloomy underworld was added that of islands of the blessed which lay in the sunset, and to which went only the virtuous and the brave. The underworld was for bad men only. The nether world thus assumed a gloomier aspect. But the islands of the blessed were happy and fruitful abodes of joy and peace.
No such conceptions as these are present to the modern soldier; and whether his phrase "Gone West" can be traced back to any such origin or not, the fact remains that we have here a phrase which provides an esthetic, hides the terror of death, and suggests instead the distant glory of a new romance.
* * *
THE MEANING OF OUR RED CROSS
The red in our cross stands for sacrifice, for giving life, as the warm, crimson blood gives life to the body. The cross has the same length on all four sides of its arms, to signify that it gives life equally to all, high or low, east or west. It stands alone always, no words or markings on it, to show that the Red Cross workers have only one thought — to serve. They ask no questions, they care not whether the wounded be ours or of another people — their duty is to give, and to give quickly.
The Red Cross stands on a white ground, because real sacrifice can come only from pure hearts. Service must come, not from hate, but from love; from the noblest thoughts and wishes of the heart, or it will fail. That is why children love this flag. It is drawing them by millions in the schools of our land, in a wonderful army of rescue under the President, to make, to save, to give for others. And some day the children of all lands, under the Red Cross, will teach the grown people the ways of understanding and of friendship; the beautiful meaning of the Red Cross which is echoed in their lives.
— H. N. MacCracken.
* * *
THE FIRST DEGREE
The first degree in Masonry inculcates a knowledge of himself, and rightly understood, teaches the Initiate how he may "in the beginning" re-create himself. Man becomes king of the brutes by subduing or taming them. Brutes are fit types of our passions and are the instinctive forces of nature. Physical laws are millstones; if you are not the miller, you must be the grain. To attain the sanctum sanctorum, you must possess four indispensable capacities: an intelligence illuminated by study; an intrepidity which nothing can check; a will which nothing can break; and a discretion which nothing can corrupt and nothing intoxicate. "To know, to dare, to will, and to keep silence" were the four indispensable conditions for gaining admission into the ancient mysteries and are true today for real initiates. Have you really studied yourself? Are you insensible to temptation? Have you overcome the vortices of vague thoughts? Are you without indecision? Do you consent to pleasure when you will or when you should? To be able and to forbear is to be twice able. To learn self-conquest is to learn life. The intelligence and will of man are instruments of incalculable power and capacity. Properly directed imagination is a helpmeet, coupled with intelligence and will, that will make man almost omnipotent. Who would be a slave to his senses when he may be a king and reign with power and intelligence?
— Rob Morris Bulletin.
* * *
All our wants, beyond those which a very moderate income can supply, are purely imaginary.
* * *
If a man makes me keep my distance, the comfort is, he keeps his at the same time.
— Dean Swift.
* * *
THE FAITH THAT IS IN THEM — A FRATERNAL FORUM
Edited by Bro. Geo. E. Frazer
President, The Board of Stewards
Geo. W. Baird, District of Columbia
Joseph Barnett, California
John W. Barry, Iowa
Joe L. Carson, Virginia
Jos. W. Eggleston, Virginia
Henry R. Evans, District of Columbia
H. D. Funk, Minnesota
Joseph C. Greenfield, Georgia
Frederick W. Hamilton, Massachusetts
H. L. Haywood, Iowa
T. W. Hugo, Minnesota
M. M. Johnson, Massachusetts
John G. Keplinger, Illinois
Harold A. Kingsbury, Connecticut
Dr. Wm. F. Kuhn, Missouri
Julius H. McCollum, Connecticut
Dr. John Lewin McLeish, Ohio
Joseph W. Norwood, Kentucky
Frank E. Noyes, Wisconsin
John Pickard, Missouri
C. M. Schenck, Colorado
Francis W. Shepardson, Illinois
Silas H. Shepherd, Wisconsin
Oliver D. Street, Alabama
H. W. Ticknor, Maryland
Denman S. Wagstaff, California
S. W. Williams, Tennessee
(Contributions to this Monthly Department of Personal Opinion are invited from each writer who has contributed one or more articles to THE BUILDER. Subjects for discussion are selected as being alive in the administration of Masonry today. Discussions of politics, religious creeds or personal prejudices are avoided, the purpose of the Department being to afford a vehicle for comparing the personal opinions of leading Masonic students. The contributing editors assume responsibility only for what each writes over his own signature. Comment from our Members on the subjects discussed here will be welcomed in the Question Box and Correspondence Column.)
QUESTION NO. 11: "Shall each American lodge appoint one of its members as a personal representative in the lodge and in the home community of and for each member of the lodge who is on War duty in France?
"If so, shall each such personal representative be made responsible for furnishing personal letters, magazines, books, gifts, etc., to his Masonic brother in France?
"What other systematic scheme do you propose that will as effectually remind Masons in France of their Masonic brothers at home, as the K. of C. buildings remind Catholic soldiers of their Catholic brothers at home?"
* * *
Rotate the Work.
In the ritual of an ancient organization, one undergoing trials says, "My brother, my brother, hast thou forgotten me?"
Our enlisted Masonic brethren must not be neglected, even though they are well looked after by those in National authority, and even though we have subscribed liberally to the Y.M.C.A. for that particular purpose. All material needs are doubtless well cared for. What Masonry should do is to supply the personal friendly and sympathetic and appreciative element. Each of the boys in France should receive a letter from the lodge from time to time. And the boys should be encouraged to write the lodge, so that those less fortunate than themselves may be cheered up by learning that the lodge is not forgotten amid new and interesting experiences in foreign lands.
It would be an unreasonable burden on Secretaries of lodges to ask them to write to all the members in camp. Nor is it likely that any individual or group of individuals appointed permanently would accept such duty. It would probably be more fruitful if men were appointed for one such service, to be succeeded by others from time to time. And one man might write a letter to each of three or four men once or so in a year, either in his own name or in the name of the lodge. Most members would probably gladly do their share, and would take special pleasure in writing to those with whom they were intimately acquainted.
As regards books and packages, it would be still easier to interest members. Everyone would make some sacrifice in that way. But it is not at all certain that such things would reach our boys. Every ton of ship space is urgently needed for other purposes. Even if packages should reach France, there is no probability of immediate transportation to the front. For the present it would probably be wasted effort to send anything but first-class mail.
— Joseph Barnett, California.
* * *
The Plan Works.
I am strongly in favor of having every American lodge assign to an individual member the pleasing duty and responsibility of keeping another member, absent on service, informed of affairs at home.
Those who have had opportunity to visit the battle front state that nothing is more helpful to the soldiers than a cheery letter from home. I can see how a brother, who caught the idea, might make of such an assignment an opportunity for real service, not only encouraging his fellows in the trenches, but also finding his own patriotism strengthened by reason of constant thoughtfulness about things that might be of interest to the absent one.
College fraternities are making much of a similar plan. Each brother in service, whether known to the correspondent or not, is kept posted on affairs in the college, current events, and every possible item which might be of interest to one remote from the ordinary source of news. There is no reason for thinking that a work which has found abundant justification among college boys should not also commend itself in actual experience to those of maturer years.
— Francis W. Shepardson, Illinois.
* * *
Let the Secretary Write.
It seems to me that the Secretary of a lodge is the proper person to furnish personal letters, magazines, books, gifts, etc., to members serving in the army in France. Such work would add to his duties, but he is the proper channel for all lodge activities, such as the getting out of notices, bulletins, etc. He is familiar with the personnel of the lodge. Why transfer such activities to another? He might be given clerical assistance, however. The members of a lodge are better acquainted with the Secretary than with any individual member thereof. The members drop out, leave for other jurisdictions, etc., but the Secretary remains.
It seems to me that the combined Grand Lodges of the United States should take up the matter of establishing Masonic centers with our army in France; appointing a general committee and asking for funds from each jurisdiction to maintain such centers. We do not want to compete with the Y.M.C.A. in its particular line of work, but we could have centers where the brethren might meet and exchange views and obtain assistance when necessary.
— Henry R. Evans, District of Columbia.
* * *
I think the positive suggestions contained in the question are both of them admirable.
I do not think that our brethren at the front need the same kind of mental treatment as is administered to the Catholics through the K. C. buildings. I think there is some confusion of thought prevalent among us with regard to this particular matter.
The K. C. work is not primarily fraternal in the sense that ours is, but it is the Catholic substitute for the Y.M.C.A. with increased emphasis on the religion side.
The method of Masonic communication adopted by this Grand Lodge is the appointment of a special deputy with each military or naval unit in which there is any considerable number of Massachusetts men. These special deputies interest themselves in the promotion of Masonic clubs which are intended to organize Master Masons, and serve generally as a center around which the Masonic interests of the command may gather and as the means of regular communication between the brethren and the Grand Master and Grand Lodge.
— Frederick W. Hamilton, Massachusetts.
* * *
A Committee of Earnest Men.
I do not approve of appointing one member of a lodge to look after the comforts and interests of each soldier member. This is a lodge matter; every brother thereof should have the same burden on his heart and conscience. It is unfair, although easy, to put onto the other fellow the duties one should assume for oneself. On an average, only about ten per cent of a lodge roster is in the service. It would be manifestly unjust to put the work on one-tenth of the membership and let the other nine-tenths drift into the slacker class. Furthermore, it would be better for the nine-tenths themselves if they had a personal interest in the matter. It would keep war needs constantly before them, stimulate the fires of patriotism, and make them realize they are an important, integral unit in the fight.
If anything is done, it should be by a committee. I realize that committees are too often unsatisfactory and that one member thereof generally does the work. But this committee should be carefully selected, not named haphazard, as is too often done in Masonic lodges. It should demand and receive active support and assistance from every member and should insist on each one doing his part. Community effort is more productive of results than individual effort when wisely and tactfully handled. A band of earnest men acting as a unit can accomplish much, while the individual is limited by his ability or his inclination.
I note your question seems to refer to our brethren while in France. I believe the time to look after them is before they go, and after they come back. This man's army is going to France for strenuous work; it may be the last stand for freedom of thought and pure democracy of government. While over seas there will be little time to read books and magazines, and the soldier with a sixty pound pack on his back will not care to increase it, no matter how sweet the spirit of the giver. But, before he leaves America, he is ofttimes home-sick; many times anxious about those he is leaving behind, and ignorant largely of what is on the other side. And when he comes back, he will be confronted with lost years of effort for himself and with questions regarding the future.
— Joseph C. Greenfield, Georgia.
* * *
Teach Masonry at the Cantonments.
The idea does not appeal to me. I would want no one to represent me or to feel that he was in any way responsible for my acts, wants or needs.
As a member of the Masonic fraternity I would like to feel that my entire home organization took an interest in me but I would not want that interest focused in any one individual outside of my family.
"What would remind me of my brethren at home as the K. of C. buildings remind Catholic soldiers of their Catholic brethren at home?"
I would want no gifts, but I would welcome newsy and cheerful letters — many of them — and the privilege and ability to have Masonic intercourse with Masons of my own and of all other nationalities on and behind the firing line. But how many of us are equipped for such fellowship?
Let me illustrate. Thousands of young men are drafted into the service. Before going to France they are intensively trained for six to nine months or a year. Then they are in a fair way to care for themselves. Now consider what we Ancient Free and Accepted Masons do for our recruits. We take them in today and tomorrow they are Master Masons, entitled to all the rights and privileges of the fraternity. Most of them learn nothing but the catechism. True, a lot of brethren do assemble and enjoy themselves with the constant repetition of the ritual but let us give Masonic "meat" to the serious minded men who are going abroad. This will, in time, leaven the whole body of the Craft. How would I accomplish this? By establishing Masonic schools at each cantonment in the United States and in France and putting them in charge of such a man as Frank C. Higgins, who would teach us something worth while of Masonry so that we would not appear as intellectually poor Masonic relations when we come into contact with English, French and other brethren. Then let our Grand Lodges rescind their decrees relative to non-intercourse with other nations so that we can fraternize with Masons of every land and nation whom we are likely to meet. That's what I would like to have you do for me if I were going to France. I'd take chances with my fellows — Masons and non-Masons — on getting the material things in life.
— John G. Keplinger, Illinois.
* * *
"The Junior Warden."
I absorb this inquiry as I would a timely admonition, as I think it needed. The question "Am I my brother's keeper?" thus comes home to us as men and Masons. Why do I say "men-and Masons"? By the ceremony of Masonic transubstantiation we have taken to ourselves a real heritage, separating us throughout our conscious lives from the common grovelling serfdom of ignorance, wherein we would say for examine, do live the beasts of the field who weave not, neither do they lay up treasures for the winter's day, but die with the grass. So when we call upon Masons, we call upon men, made Masons, who, by vow and practice have risen to the dignity of Masters, not slaves. This mastery is of self alone. When we have thus risen to our feet upon this great battlefield we become like those heroes upon the fields of France. We become then, mindful of the other fellow first. So men charge with bayonet and sword, through ringing, singing, screeching rain of shot and shell, and when the fight has lulled, go back again to seek upon the sodden field some brother who has fallen wounded sore, that this brother may by his side hobble back to life. This is the spirit of the field and trench, the humanity of a Christ, above the self that was once first — the Masonry above the ego of the world.
My lodge has sixty-five Masons in the war. We have four hundred at home. We have a large "field committee" constantly in touch with the absent ones. We publish a lodge paper, "The Junior Warden," that goes each month with its chats and home news to each boy in the army. The mail, too, is well loaded with these publications from everywhere.
I am not seeking argument, but I would say that one copy of "The Junior Warden" would look as big as the Vatican buildings and farm, to a soldier in the field because we as Masons have not asked him to divide his fealty. The "Junior Warden" means more to such a man than club houses could mean to a man not sufficiently free to form an intelligent idea of anything. We sow the seed in prolific soil. It puts nothing above Country. A man gets pretty close to God when he fights for his Flag. Masonry means Country first and in that service we find heaven within our grasp with all its realization, beatitude and glory. Masonry holds the key to every barrier that ofttimes seems to obstruct and nearly bar our upward, onward march.
— Denman S. Wagstaff, California.
* * *
Have Postal Cards in the Lodge Room.
I firmly believe in any plan which will cause our lodges to give proper care and attention to the brethren at the front. The suggestion of appointing a member as a personal representative of each brother is good. Some Michigan lodges are appointing committees of various size who see that each brother gets a letter at least once a month and a present of some kind once a month.
Some lodges have adopted the circular letter plan, the letter being specially written and containing not only lodge doings but also information about the families of the boys. One lodge has adopted the most admirable plan of having cards at its lodge room and each brother attending a meeting is requested to then and there write a card to a brother in service.
It appears to me that each lodge must determine the most effective course for itself. The principal thing is to see that the boys are reminded of their brethren back home and feel that the lodges have an interest in them.
By the way, one of the Canadian brethren, recently returned wounded from the trenches, told me that the most valuable packages that could be sent to the boys in France are those containing tobacco, good soap and a bath towel. These articles are practically unobtainable at the front, and a good smoke and a real bath and rub-down constitute the height of luxury for the soldiers when they return from the front trenches.
— Louis H. Fead, Michigan.
* * *
Help the Y.M.C.A.
I think it would be well for the brethren to give to the Secretary (the only paid officer of the lodge) excerpts from personal letters received from brethren at the front from which the Master should formulate and disseminate information to the members in open lodge. This would increase the work of the Master and Secretary, but it would also make them more interesting personages to the members.
The best scheme that presents itself to me at this moment by which to keep the soldier brethren mindful of their lodges at home, is to help, aid and assist the Y.M.C.A. units at the front, and identify them with the fraternity; to keep our soldier boys provided with Christian, Masonic, Patriotic and Americanized literature; to make it possible for them to fraternize with Masons in Europe, and to encourage them to kill the Huns.
The adherents to the food administration scheme believe the best way to win the war is to consume less food; the fuel administration adherents believe it may be done by burning less fuel, while the girl who sells Liberty Bonds believes it may be won by purchasing the bonds. My own belief is that the best way to end the war is to kill Huns.
While the soldier in the cantonment has leisure to play ball, write letters, attend dances and receive the coddling of sentimental maidens, he will not find these conditions when he reaches the firing line. In fact the boys on that line are harassed, hungry, in momentary danger of death; spending sleepless nights, plagued by vermin, suffering from sores and fevers, and their thoughts are probably more concerned with the making and transportation of the munitions which they need for defense, than of literature or love letters from lodges. They probably deplore a strike in a munitions factory at home and regret that they have relatives engaged in that enterprise.
— George W. Baird, District of Columbia.
* * *
A Sympathetic and Effective Plan.
I think it would be an excellent idea to have a personal representative or Masonic god-father in each lodge and home community for the member who is on war duty in France. It would surely be appreciated by their families, and by the boys. However, I think the best service could be obtained by calling for volunteers instead of having them officially appointed. It seems to me the most sympathetic and effective plan for keeping in touch with the Masonic brother in France would be through personal correspondence with the brother and letting it be known to his friends on this side that all gifts could be sent through him. This would help the Post Office as well as the soldier Mason.
New York is not waiting for the co-operation of other Grand Lodges but is going to establish Masonic centers of its own. The best scheme to effectively remind brothers in France of the brothers at home seems to me to be through a National Council of Defense. I am a warm admirer of Brother Schoonover's plan.
— Joseph W. Norwood, Kentucky.
* * *
Georgia Lodge Sends "The Builder" to Each Member in the Army in Addition to a Letter Every Week.
I suggest that each lodge that has members now serving in the National Army, either at home or abroad, subscribe for THE BUILDER for each member so employed. The Secretary of Columbia Lodge No. 7 has been instructed to prepare a list of those of its members now in the Army, order THE BUILDER sent to them and to write each a letter telling him of the action of the lodge and requesting him to leave the magazine, when read, upon the table in the Y.M.C.A. By this we hope to let our boys have a monthly reminder that we are interested in them but we hope further to put good Masonic literature where it will be effective in educating young manhood and leading them to a lofty conception of Masonry.
Our Secretary has been instructed further to prepare lists of our Army boys in groups of four, making four lists each containing the same four names, but the names so arranged that No. 1 on list No. 1 shall be No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 on the other lists. Each of these lists will be taken by some brother who agrees to write one letter a week. He will in this way write to four men in four weeks, and as each name appears on four lists, it will insure each man a letter every week. It will be more interesting to receive letters regularly from foul men at home than from only one as would be the case if only one man were appointed as correspondent for each soldier.
— Hal Riviere, Georgia.
* * *
The word "craft" is a very ancient one, signifying an art, mystery or science, which we as Masons claim to possess and impart in the "work." It meant the knowledge and skill, together with the practical application of the same, by which an artisan carried on his work, which constituted a system of knowledge of a distinctive or peculiar character. The "arts, parts and points" of Masonry consist of a system of science, philosophy and morals, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols. It is so far interwoven with religion as to lay us under obligation to pay that rational homage to the Deity which is due from a creature to its Creator. Its foundations lie in teaching man how to live a higher and more perfect life, and nearer the conception of a Christ.
Well-meaning, but improperly instructed Craftsmen, for many generations, have endeavored to turn the Craft aside from its God-given message, and-to make of it an institutional organization masonic homes, asylums, endowments and schools have too frequently proven sources of envy, discord and confusion among the Craft. The lesson of the degrees is to teach the individual the benefits of Friendship, charity and brotherly love, so that by his own Self-denial, he may be purified. Institutions are good in their proper sphere, and as society is constituted today, are a necessity. As individuals and as taxpayers, We should support them by every means in our power. When we take up such work as craftsmen, there is a grave danger that We may thereby make them the keepers of our masonic conscience; washing our hands of our personal responsibility thereby losing the "rights, lights and benefits," which is the real value of the "work" and which we have so earnestly asked for. We must guard the "Craft" against pharisaical and smug respectability, which our crosses, double eagles and crescents tend to foster, and see that the Degree mills turn out something more highly polished and Ornamental than gate-posts. It should be impressed upon the mind of every Initiate, that Masonry is not a mutual benefit organization and that by becoming a craftsman he receives nothing of a "metallic" or pecuniary value. Too often the eastern skies at dawn are murky with clouds and the darkening eve brings a sense of relief. Let no Initiate come within our portals with an untruth upon his lips or in his heart, that so Masonry may not prove to him an apple of Sodom.
— Rob Morris Bulletin
* * *
From naked stones of agony
I will build a house for me;
As a mason all alone
I will raise it, stone by stone,
And every stone where I have bled
Will show a sign of dusky red.
I have not gone the way in vain,
For I have good of all my pain;
My spirit's quiet house will be
Built of naked stones I trod
On roads where I lost sight of God.
— By Sara Teasdale.
From her "Love Songs," published by Macmillans
* * *
MEMORIALS TO GREAT BEEN WHO WERE MASONS
Bro. George W. Baird, P.G.M., District of Columbia
BROTHER ROBERT MORRIS, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, whose Masonic history is given in Volume IV, Library of Masonic History, was born in Lancashire, England, in 1731. His father came to the colonies and settled in Talbot County, Maryland, and Robert came to join his father at the age of thirteen. He received his early education in Philadelphia and began clerking in the counting house of Charles Willing. He entered into business in partnership with the younger Willing in 1764, and the business, "merchandising," grew rapidly.
He was a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church, was a delegate to the Second Continental Congress and chairman of the secret committee to procure arms and ammunition, and served oil the Committee of Ways and Means and on the Committee on Naval Affairs. He came into the limelight through his forceful speeches on the regulations and restrictions of trade. He borrowed large sums of money on his own responsibility to send to General Washington which enabled the initiation of active movements resulting in the battle at Trenton. Owing to the effects of gun-shot wounds received in his boyhood, he was was not a participant in this battle.
Brother Morris was reelected to Congress and was a member of the Conference Committee which visited Army Headquarters, and, in 1778, having been continuously the "financial manager" of Congress, was made Chief of the Committee on Finance.
He established the Bank of Pennsylvania in 1780, which was the first extensive monied institution in the United States. He later "gave the first vehement impulse toward the consolidation of the Federal Unions by the creation of the Bank of North America which soon after was able to loan the Nation $400,000 and also released it from its subscription of $200,000. In February, 1771, he was elected Superintendent of Finance at the most critical period of the War. In accepting the office he said "The United States may command everything I have except my integrity."
He personally supplied the troops with thousands of barrels of flour, as well as lead for their bullets. He supplied General Greene's army with funds, when Greene was in the last extremity, and he managed the equipping and provisioning of Washington's army, with which Washington entered the campaign against Cornwallis. To this end Morris issued his own notes to the amount of $1,400,000.
Not only was his entire estate pledged but he made many additional pledges in borrowing from his friends. We have given but a part of his financing of the War of the Revolution, but enough to remind the brethren of today what aid was rendered by a de facto brother in that dark hour of need.
Morris married Mary White, daughter of Thomas White and sister of the second Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States. He was elected in 1778 a member of the convention which framed the Federal Constitution, and elected to the first United States Senate. In 1784 he sent the first American vessel that ever appeared in the Port of Canton, China. He died in Philadelphia in the eighth of May, 1806, and was buried in the cemetery of Christ Church (P.E.) at Philadelphia. The engraving shows the modest memorial placed over the grave of this great patriot and brother. That part of the inscription on the tablet referring to Morris, reads as follows:
"The Family Vault
Wm. White & Robt. Morris
The latter who was financier
of the United States
during the Revolution,
died the 8th May 1806
aged 75 years."
* * *
"A CERTAIN POINT WITHIN A CIRCLE"
Bro. William F. Bowe, Past Grand Commander, Georgia
William Fairbanks Bowe was born August 9th, 1866, at Augusta, Georgia, his present home. During his boyhood he attended the private schools in that city of educational advantages and culture, until the age of fourteen years, when on account of his superabundant energy and the eagerness of youth he chose to enter the work-a-day world rather than pursue further his academic studies. He started his career as a true operative Mason. He served his time as a brick-layer and became a finished workman in that and the kindred crafts; was active during youth and early manhood in the civic organization that flourished in that day and time in his city and vicinity He was initiated as an Entered Apprentice, March 11, 1885, in Zerubbabel Lodge, Savannah and was raised in the same Lodge, June 11th, 1885.
He was always active in the local affairs of Masonry, passing through the chairs in both the Blue Lodge, Chapter, and Commandery, at the same time being an active member of Adoniram Council, R. and S. M., and also taking sympathetic interest in the affairs of the Eastern Star; he was a Trustee of the Masonic Hall in the city of Augusta for a period of fourteen years, serving as Chairman of the Building Committee of that body during the period of the erection of the present Masonic Hall. But his activities were not by any means confined to the local field. He was really the organizer and founder, as well as the first elected Master of Richmond Lodge, No. 412 F. & A. M. He served as local secretary of the State of Georgia for the Correspondence Circle of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2,057, in London, since 1897, and has served with distinction and success as the Georgia head of two of the Grand Bodies, the Grand Commandery and the Grand Chapter.
PERMIT me to endeavor to present to your minds an historical view and the physical attributes of an ancient and important Masonic symbol, for the facts of which I am mainly indebted to the researches of Brother Sydney Klein. "A Certain Point within a Circle" is our subject. It is not even designated as the central point of the circle, but simply "A Certain Point within a Circle."
Dr. Anderson, in the Grand Lodge Constitutions of 1723, declares that "Pythagoras instituted a lodge of good Geometricians and communicated to them as a secret" "That amazing proposition which is the foundation of all Masonry." This announcement of very few words contains a number of assertions of very great import. Note them again, "Pythagoras instituted a lodge of good Geometricians and communicated to them as a secret," "That amazing proposition which is the foundation of all Masonry."
The history of those ancient days leads us to believe this to be true and it probably occurred at the time he settled in the Dorian Colony at Cretona, Italy, where the Pythagorians are said to have first coined and used the word "Mathematics."
Like many unhistorical verities the symbol of "A Point within a Circle" comes to us from a past so remote that all knowledge of its origin is lost; and during its sojourning, its meaning and intention had been forgotten, and its real symbolism has been so changed that the interpretation now given to it by our Masonic Monitors is strained and insufficient and does not receive the approval of students of Masonry. Mackey does not give any historical reference to "The Point within a Circle," although he recites that, according to Higgins, "Circular Temples were in the very earliest ages universally erected in Cyclar Numbers to do honor to Deity," and that Oliver relates that the Druids erected a circle of about forty perpendicular stones, and in the center one stone of greater height than the others. To my mind there is no connection between these examples and our symbol of "A Point within a Circle."
McClenachen says there are found on ancient Egyptian monuments the figure of the point within the circle, and on each side of the circle an erect serpent. This figure is interpreted to mean: "The Alpha and Omega or the Egyptian omnipotent God surrounded by his creation, bounded by his limitless wisdom and power"; whether this interpretation is satisfactory or not to the ancient Egyptian I do not know.
It cannot be affirmed that this figure is or is not connected with our emblem, but in either event it does not affect the following historical fact, which is confidently believed to furnish the true explanation of our great Masonic symbol, "A Certain Point within a Circle."
In its travels down the corridors of time, the form of the emblem has been only slightly modified or added to; so the grave difficulty before us is to discover the teachings of the symbol, and I may here state my belief that any present day symbol of Masonry that is not understood, no matter how incongruous it may now appear, carries or conceals from the distant past some distinguishing element of Masonry.
I shall only present one historical view of such a symbol: "A Certain Point within a Circle." In order that you may easily conceive the ideas which I will attempt to convey, I must ask you to believe a proposition upon which this view is largely predicated: namely, that the great secret of the ancient Mason was the knowledge of how to make a perfect square without the possibility of error.
Time will not permit the giving of reasons calculated to establish the probability of this foundation, and many eminent Masonic students do not believe that the reasons given are sufficient to establish it as a fact; but I assure you that a strong argument can be made in support of the contention that the Great Secret of ancient Masonry was the knowledge of how to make a perfect square without the possibility of error, which I shall hereafter designate as the "Knowledge of the Square."
Brother Sydney Klein, in his wonderful exposition of "The Great Symbol," expresses his belief that this "Knowledge of the Square" was referred to by Dr. Anderson in the Grand Lodge constitution of 1723 as that "Amazing proposition which is the foundation of all Masonry."
So, for the purpose of this discussion, it is assumed that all of my readers believe (temporarily at least) that the knowledge of how to make a perfect square without the possibility of error was a great Masonic secret known only to Masters of lodges and handed down by them to their successors with scrupulous secrecy, and it is worthy of consideration whether or not this knowledge was the secret intrusted to a new elected Master before he was inducted into the chair of K. S.
This knowledge of making perfect squares was known to the ancients; for Pamphalia, a female historian of the time of Nero, says that, "Thales, the Tutor of Pythagoras, learned in Egypt how to describe a right angled triangle in a Circle." Appolodorus says the same of Pythagoras. Plato, Proclus and many other ancient Greek writers refer to the right angled triangle as being Divine. The right angle of the square symbolizing the perfection of Deity. Your imagination may revel in the thought how ancient is the common Masonic saying, "To act by the square" — it means now, as foreshadowed by Plato, to live according to Divine Law.
It is important that during this exposition you should remember the fact that our ancient brethren probably approached the proposition of constructing a perfect square, with feelings of awe, because of their belief that the process was a sacred mystery, or a sort of divination.
In Europe during the Dark Ages, say from A. D. 700 to 1300, the art of Geometry was entirely lost; but the knowledge of how to make a perfect square within a circle was not lost.
This Truth is worthy of an essay as to whether or not the "Knowledge of the Square" was preserved by Freemasonry during those dark days when the intellect of men had become depressed almost to oblivion.
I say advisedly that the knowledge was not lost, because there is preserved to us a doggerel rhyme called the Stone Mason's speech. The oldest copy is of date about A. D. 1500, but it is evidently the copy of an older original. With this long prelude I am now ready to endeavor to prove to you "that the point within a circle" was a significant symbol at a period at least previous to the year A. D. 1500.
"The Stone Mason's Speech" is, literally translated, as follows: What in stone-craft to see is
Which no error nor bypath is
But straight as a line; a line
Through drawn the Circle, overall
Thus findest thou three in four stand.
And thus through one in the center go
Also again out of the center in three
Through the four in the Circle quite free
The stone-craft and all the things
To investigate makes the learning easy
A point which in the Circle goes
Which in the Square and three angles stand
Hit ye the point then have ye done
And come out of Need, Fear and Danger
Herewith have ye the whole science
Understand ye it not: so is it in vain
All which ye learnt have;
Of that bewail yourselves soon, therewith depart.
Now this speech almost certainly refers to the "Point within a Circle," because every direction given in it is applicable to that symbol, and the result together with every fact in the speech is in exact accord with the demonstration which I will now give.
First, I establish the point (Figure 1) and with it as a center I describe the circumference and we have the symbol of the "Point within a Circle."
The speech directs: "A line through drawn the circle," draw line A-C through the center. "Overall thus findest thou three in four stand."
That is to say you must draw lines on three out of four sides; each line the length of the diameter, or three lines equal to A-C on three sides (draw lines number one, two and three), "And thus through One in the center go."
That is to say, from the center of line No. 1 draw a line (draw a line from the center of side No. 1 as A-B). "Also again out of the center which is in three," that is to say from the center of side three draw a line (draw a line from the center of side three as C-B). "Through the Four in the circle quite free."
That is to say the lines should be drawn to the circumference of the circle towards the side four which is quite free.
"The stonework-craft and all the things To investigate makes the learning easy."
That is to say, any investigation into the matters pertaining to stone-craft are made easy by this "Knowledge of the Square."
"Now observe the result according to the speech, "A point which in the circle goes, which in the square and three angles stands, gives you the whole science and you cannot go wrong." That is to say the point within the circle is within the square of the two parallel lines and also within the triangle formed by the three angles, and you have accomplished the whole science, and therefore cannot go wrong.
This is an evident fact because no matter in what direction you draw the lines from A and C, provided they are exactly joined at the circumference of the circle, they will form a right angle or a perfect square, (see lines A-E and C-E) and, therefore, you can form an infinite number of right angles within the circle, every one of which will be a perfect square, and thus is accomplished the "Knowledge of the Square."
First a straight line, Second a square, Third a perfect knowledge of the square. As the speech further sums up the result:
"Hit ye the point then have ye done And come out of Need, Fear and Danger." Perpendicular, square and center.
A right angled triangle invested with sacredness by our ancient brethren as containing within its perfect angle the attributes of Deity formed not on the center, but by the aid of the "Point within a Circle."
Now if this explanation of our subject is plausible or even possible, let us endeavor to find a reason why the meaning of so important a symbol could be lost.
We have assumed that this "Knowledge of the Square" was confined to the Masters of lodges and whilst this knowledge was of great importance to the Operative Mason it would be of little practical use to a speculative Mason. In time the explanation would be disused and the meaning of the ritual be lost — the same as the stone mason's speech is preserved, but its teachings disused and its intention forgotten.
Notwithstanding our loss of the symbolism of the square, we preserve the square as one of the Great Lights and as an emblem peculiarly belonging to the Master.
Our ritual says:
The Bible is dedicated to God (for a very good reason) .
The compasses to the Craft (for a very good reason) . And the square to the Master for the totally inadequate reason, "That it is the emblem of his office."
After this demonstration we surely are compelled to believe that the square is dedicated to the Master for a far more noble and important purpose; and as a suggestive thought, in this connection, I leave with you a question: Is it not likely that the square may have originally been the emblem suspended over the Master's chair and because it is the exact shape of the Greek letter "Gamma" or "G," that in the evolution of time the emblem finally became changed from the square to the letter "G"?
In the early days Masonry was patronized by the controlling minds of the monasteries and they attached a religious meaning to their principal emblems, and they would be certain to do so to their symbols whose meaning was lost; and the concept would be natural to them that the point within the circle represented the G.A.O.T.U. whose horizon of operative power is a circle of infinite extent, and likewise we derive from this solution of that "amazing proposition" the speculative theory that the infinite number of perfect squares generated by the power of "A certain Point within a Circle" must be emblematic of the infinite number of perfect attributes of Deity, whose all pervading power is symbolized by the "Point within the Circle."
Now in this representation, according to this method, we have the point within a circle, but instead of the Holy Bible on top we have the illustration of that "Amazing proposition which is the foundation of all Masonry"; but can we give any reason at all why these two perpendicular lines are characterized by us as representing the two Saints John?
As a thought that may induce some brother to make an investigation intended at least to disprove it, I suggest that in order for the ancient Mason to demonstrate "The Knowledge of the Square" he needed to use two straight edges, and in the sorcery of the operation they possibly were stood one on each side of the circle the same as these two perpendicular lines would be drawn.
And likewise, as has long been the custom of operative craftsmen to give names to certain implements of the craft, it is possible that during the construction of the Cathedrals by the building societies of Masons, that these two straight edges may have been named by them "St. John," especially so, since the operation of making perfect squares was a hidden mystery, it naturally would be accomplished with some element of mysticism.
Among present day geometricians the solution of this knowledge of the square is very simple, but even to this day few operative craftsmen are familiar with the process, although the reverse of the proposition is readily known to all pattern makers, and yet, strange as it may seem, when the pattern maker's task is submitted to the geometrician it is equally incomprehensible to him as the knowledge of the square is to the operative craftsmen.
THE PATTERN MAKER'S PROBLEM
In order to demonstrate this I will make a physical exhibit. We have here a wheel six inches in diameter. It is desired to cut a mortise in a block of wood or stone or metal so that one-half of the wheel will perfectly fit the mortise. The problem is how to cut out the material with a perfect certainty that the wheel will accurately fit. I have here for convenience a piece of wood in which is a mortise six inches wide and four inches deep. I will fill this mortise with plastic modellers' clay, because, of course, if we accurately cut out the clay we could do the same with either metal, wood or stone.
The distance A-B is six inches, being the same as the diameter of the wheel.
By placing the two outside edges of a square on the extremities of the proposed mortise, say points A and B, with the corner or outside angle of the square "C" as a pointer to guide the cutting, let the square slide around its sides resting continuously on the two points A and B, and it will be found that the point or outside angle of the square will perform a true semi-circumference belonging to a diameter of six inches, (see Figure 3), and by testing our mortise with the six inch wheel we find that the fit is perfect. Having made a perfect semi-circle by the use of the square it is readily apparent that the same operation will make the remaining semi-circle, and by this means we can construct a perfect circle. For convenience I have already prepared the remaining semi-circle, and by joining them together we have the perfect figure as shown in Figure 4.
But the point within the circle is not seen for the circumference was made by the square and not by the compasses; and although the point is invisible, the Truth is self evident that it is there within the circle absolute and perfect on the center.
Now it has been demonstrated by the "Knowledge of the Square" that an infinite number of right angles or perfect squares can be drawn within the circle, bounded by two parallel lines, and touching the circumference.
And we now also know from the explanation of the pattern maker's problem that if the edges of a perfect square are kept in touch with the two parallel lines and caused to occupy an infinite number of locations, that the extreme angle of the square originally thought to contain the perfection of Deity, and (in this proposition) always under control of the power of the center will describe the line of a true circle, which will always be the circumference of the "Point within a Circle," and both of these propositions are true no matter how great the distance between the two parallel lines.
Therefore, it is obvious that if the distance of the two parallel lines is infinite then the circumference is also infinite and the point within the circle is always on the center.
The existence of Deity has been beautifully defined by Hermes Trismegistus, an Egyptian of the period 15 B.C., who says: "God is a circle whose center is everywhere, but whose circumference is nowhere to be found." This abstruse thought can be analyzed and proven to be conformable to our present exposition of "A Certain Point within a Circle."
I will not invade the vast field of speculative thought borne upon our minds by the demonstration of that "Amazing proposition," although, a contemplation of the process of creating a perfect circle by means of the square alone, naturally leads our minds to inquire into the speculative properties of the square. I will be content merely to continue the physical process or principle to its logical conclusion.
We have proven that if the edges of the square are operated as described against any two points that the right angle of the square will describe a circumference line belonging to a diameter, at the extremities of which those two points are located.
Now, if during the process of making this circumference the right angle of the square is caused to rotate into an infinite number of planes, that is to say if the square is caused to move against the points and is also at the same time rotated in such manner that its perfect angle will pass-through every point possible for it to do, then every such point will be in a circumference line belonging to a diameter equal in length to the distance between these two points.
It will be observed that in whatever direction the right angle of the square is moved even if during its rotations the edges of the square are continually moved against the two points A and B, that the distance from the angle of the square to the center of the circumference is always the same.
It is therefore obvious that the perfect angle of the square defining similar circumferences in infinite planes will inevitably produce the surface of a sphere.
Which is to say, that it is proven by this operation that while the edges of the square are moved against the two points and the right angle of the square at the same time is rotated into every possible place every such place will be exactly the same distance from the center, therefore the right angle or extreme point of the square during this operation will necessarily produce the surface of a perfect sphere.
Hence we derive the geometric fact that any two lines drawn from the extremities of every diameter of a sphere and exactly joined at the surface of the sphere will form a right angle or perfect square (Fig. 5) and we learn again the "Knowledge of the Square."
A — A Extremities B — B of C — C Diameters
A — D — A Right angles B — A — B of C — F — C Perfect squares
These Truths impress upon our minds the concept that if the central points of the parallel lines are an infinite distance apart, then every right angled triangle or square formed within the circle or within the sphere, by the demonstration of that "Amazing proposition," will be infinite.
Also that the circumference line generated by the right angle of the square whose edges are in touch with those distant points, as demonstrated by the pattern maker's problem, will be infinite. But our wonder is yet more astoundingly excited when we conceive the great Truth:
That the sphere designed and created by the evolutions of the perfect square constantly in touch with those two points of infinite distance, directed by the power of the center will be infinity itself and the invisible point within this sphere will be absolute and perfect.
* * *
THE MASONIC WRITINGS OF GEORGE FRANKLIN FORT
Bro. Oliver Day Street, Alabama
WHEN some years ago we sought to learn something of Brother George F. Fort and his writings, we found that printed information concerning him was not to be found. He is not so much as mentioned in either Mackey's, Macoy's, or Kenning's Cyclopedia of Freemasonry. Little more than incidental mention of him or of his work is made in the writings of others, and then generally to disagree with him. Some of our writers pay high tribute to the grace and elegance of his style, but make no attempt to fix his position in Masonic literature or to estimate the historical value of his writings. For years we sought in vain for an account of him that would even afford information as to when or where he was born, where he lived, or when or where he died. We appealed to the learned librarian of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, Brother Julius F. Sachse, who could only refer us to Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, where Brother Fort and his uncle of the same name are hopelessly confused and commingled in a single sketch. Finally we addressed a query to Miscellanea Latomorum, London, which may be found at page 69 in the January, 1914, issue of that excellent little journal. Its intelligent editor, the late lamented Brother F. W. Levander, became at once interested and made such search that he was able to present a brief sketch of Brother Fort in the August, 1915, issue of his paper, from the pen of Miss A. E. Bear, of Camden, N. J. Meanwhile we had also located Mr. John H. Fort, a brother of George F. Fort, from whom we obtained much information and who has furnished the readers of THE BUILDER an entertaining and instructive sketch of his distinguished brother. It is indeed strange that one of the most brilliant and scholarly writers on the subject of Freemasonry should have continued so long virtually unknown to the Craft and we take personal, satisfaction in having been to some extent instrumental in reviving interest in our learned brother.
George Franklin Fort was born at Absecon, Atlantic county, New Jersey, November 20, 1843. His father, John Fort, was a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and his uncle, George F. Fort, for whom he was named, was governor of New Jersey from 1851 to 1854. Another distinguished member of the family, John Franklin Fort, was also governor of New Jersey from 1908 to 1911. The family is an old and prominent one and has resided in the neighborhood of Pemberton, New Jersey, since colonial times.
George F. Fort, the subject of this sketch, received a liberal education which he improved by extensive travels in Europe, and by a course of lectures at Heidelburg University. It is said of him that he was able to lead and write seventeen languages besides his mother tongue and that some of these he could speak with fluency and ease. He was also trained for the bar, was admitted in 1866, and practiced his profession with success. But the study of history and antiquities was his passion. Upon these subjects he was a frequent contributor to the press and wrote among other things "Medical Economy in the Middle Ages" and an exhaustive treatise upon "Norse Mythology," the latter of which, however, was never published. He collected an extensive library in foreign languages relating to many branches of knowledge, but particularly to mythology, literature and art.
Substantial as were Brother Fort's contributions to the field of knowledge in general, his enduring fame must lest upon his Masonic labors. He was made a Mason in Camden Lodge No. 15, Camden, N. J., from which he dimitted in 1870 to become a charter member of Trimble Lodge No. 117, of Camden. He became Master of this last named lodge in 1871. He was a member of Cyrene Commandery No. 7, Knights Templar; of Van Hook Council No. 8, R. & S. M.; and of Excelsior Consistory 32°, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, all of Camden. He was an Honorary Life member of York Lodge No. 236, of England, and was the Representative of the United Grand Lodge of England near the Grand Lodge of New Jersey.
He wrote a number of articles which from time to time appeared in the Masonic press and was the author of "A Historical Treatise on Early Builders' Marks" and of "Medieval Builders," both important contributions to Masonic literature. But his chief work and that upon which his fame as a writer depends is "The Early History and Antiquities of Freemasonry." It is no exaggeration to say that this is one of the most remarkable books that has ever been written concerning Freemasonry.
In order to assign to Brother Fort his proper position among Masonic historians it will be necessary briefly to review those historians of the Fraternity who preceded as well as those who have followed him. Chief among his predecessors were Dr. James Anderson, William Preston, Dr. George Oliver, Alexander Lawrie (or rather as is generally supposed, Sir David Brewster), J. G. Findel, and W. J. Hughan. Perhaps we should not omit from this list Mr. J. O. Halliwell-Phillips, though a non-Mason. His most notable successors have been Robert Freke Gould, D. Murray Lyon, George William Speth, all of Great Britain, and Wilhelm Begemann, of Germany.
Masonic historians may be divided in a general way into the Idealistic and the Realistic schools. With the first of these may be classed the Rev. James Anderson, who wrote the first "Book of Constitutions," published in 1723; William Preston, who wrote what has been called the first Monitor, "The Illustrations of Masonry," published in 1772; and the Rev. George Oliver, a voluminous writer of the middle of the last century. To the Realistic school may be assigned Robert Freke Gould and William J. Hughan of England; D. Murray Lyon, of Scotland; J. G. Findel and W. Begemann of Germany. Each of these schools boasts a multitude of less conspicuous followers.
The Idealists do not feel themselves restrained by the limitations applied to the history of other subjects. They maintain, at least impliedly, that they are warranted in accepting fully all the traditions of the Craft, as well as all that may be legitimately inferred from them. Guided by this rule, or rather absence of rule, they have furnished the fraternity with numerous fanciful and highly improbable accounts of Freemasonry. It can not be denied that in recent years they have been pretty thoroughly discredited as historians.
On the other hand the Realistic school insists, at least impliedly, that nothing is to be accepted as fact unless it is sustained by contemporaneous documentary evidence of unquestioned genuineness. They reject tradition in toto, deny that any play is to be allowed to the imagination, and concede small scope to reasonable inference and deduction; forgetful that, if these rigid rules were applied, the early history of no subject could be written.
It is inevitable that between two such diverse schools there could be slight common ground of agreement. Hence, Dr. Oliver wrote that without doubt Freemasonry had existed from before the creation of the world; Anderson that it dated from the days of Adam. Preston is scarcely a less offender in this regard than Anderson. According to these authors and their imitators, nearly every distinguished man of ancient or Medieval times was a Grand Master, or a patron of the Craft.
The Realists generally, on the contrary, contend that the earliest possible historical date which can be assigned to Speculative Freemasonry is A. D. 1600, or thereabout, though they admit that prior to that period and as far back as A. D. 1390, and probably much earlier, there was an operative society of Masons from which the Speculative is a development. These hardheaded brethren, who so completely reject tradition of all kinds, have surely in recent years had their skepticism rudely shaken by the confirmations which they have seen given to Biblical stories, long regarded by some as mere fables, through the excavations of scholars in Egypt, Greece, Babylonia, Palestine and other countries. The lesson of it all is that it is equally unwise either to accept or to reject tradition by the wholesale and unquestioningly.
It has thus happened that during the period from A. D. 1722 to a time well after the middle of last century much foolish stuff was put forth by Masonic writers under the denomination of Masonic History. The foremost writers were our worst offenders. No tale, it has been said, was too idle or too absurd to be narrated or too marvelous to be believed provided only it was related concerning the Society of Freemasons. But the pendulum has now swung to the other extreme. Most of our leading historians as above stated now laugh at tradition; they reject out of hand as absurd the idea that Solomon had any connection with our fraternity or that the Temple was built by Freemasons. They declare that Hiram Abif's death is a myth and that there is no evidence of the existence of Speculative Freemasonry prior to A. D. 1600. They pronounce as fables the traditions recorded in our "Old Charges," that Naymus Graecus introduced Freemasonry into France, that Charles Martel there patronized and became a member of the Craft, and that St. Alban introduced it into England in the third century. They regard it as a waste of effort to attempt to solve the meanings of these traditions among us. These incredulous and perhaps overcautious brethren, it appears to us, have gone as far to one extreme as did our historians of the past go to the other. The truth is no doubt between the two.
Another large class, therefore, of our Masonic scholars have recognized that there is something of the extreme in the contentions of both of these schools. They have accordingly taken a middle ground and hold that Masonic tradition, though to be received with great caution is nevertheless entitled to consideration in even a sober history of the Craft; that it usually possesses a grain of truth, and is not to be lightly rejected; that it should be tested by the known facts of history and if consistent with them and with reason, may be accepted in its broad outline; and that to subject our traditions to this process is one of the chief offices of the Masonic historian. They further hold that from the established facts of Masonic history they are justified in drawing such further inferences and deductions as may appear reasonable. This is the rule applied to the history of all other subjects and they can not see why it should not apply to Masonic history. The fact that the rule is one difficult of application and requires the hand of a master does not render it any less sound. Histories of Masonry thus written will be only of greater or less value, as have been histories of all other subjects, according to the several abilities of their authors.
Perhaps the most distinguished representative of this intermediate school is the late Brother George William Speth, of England, certainly one of the sanest and most luminous minds that has ever written on the vexed subject of Masonic history. To this school we assign Brother Fort also, but it would be a mistake to class him as the follower or imitator of any one. Indeed his most notable contributions to the literature of the Craft antedated those of Brother Speth and others of this school.
The only general historians of the Craft who antedated Brother Fort, whose works are accessible in English and who can be said to have possessed the true historical spirit, were Sir David Brewster (generally understood to have been the author of Lawrie's "History") and J. G. Findel, of Germany. Lawrie's "History" is greatly marred, if not rendered worthless, by the bias of its author in favor of the Essenean origin of Freemasonry.
Findel's history betrays the strong Germanic prejudice of its author. With all the zeal of racial and national pride he set himself the task of proving that British Freemasonry was derived directly and solely from the Steinmetzen of Germany. This, of course, involved a denial that it descended from the Medieval and ancient building corporations of Gaul, Italy, Rome, or Greece, to say nothing of those that may have existed in Asia Minor, Palestine, or Egypt. Findel's idea seems further to be that the German Steinmetzen borrowed little or nothing from the older societies of Europe; that in short it was an indigenous product of German soil. It is needless to say that British Masonic scholars have vigorously taken issue with his theory. At the same time, it must be admitted that he brought scholarship and a fluent pen to the support of his cause. His book is plainly not to be classed with such effusions as those of Anderson, Preston and Oliver. While strongly biased, it securely places Brother Findel among the critical school of Masonic historians. It is now generally conceded that the most that can be claimed for the Steimnetzen is a remote common ancestry with Freemasonry.
Now in order to get a better appreciation of Brother Fort and the place of his work in the literature of the Craft, it is necessary to state somewhat fully his line of argument as developed in his magnum opus, "The Early History and Antiquities of Freemasonry." This is really as its title indicates two separate and distinct works. The author has very properly discriminated both in substance and method of treatment between what is historical and what is only traditional. The "Early History" occupies the first half of the book and in it the author endeavors to present, to use his own words, "a narrative of the state of fine arts at the decline of the Roman Empire and also of the propagation of architecture and its kindred sciences by bodies of builders, who developed into the Middle-Age Freemasons, whose history is carried down to the formal extinction of this society as an operative brotherhood in the year 1717."
Brother Fort's view is that, in accordance with our oral and written traditions, the Speculative Craft is directly descended from the operative societies of past ages. These societies he conceives to have been in full development before the fall of the Roman Empire. With the fall of the Western Empire, arts and the artists removed to Byzantium, the capital of the Eastern Empire. In the fifth century, when Theodoric and the Longobards undertook the readornment of Italy, artists came from Byzantium and other parts of Greece and formed themselves into corporations which, under the doctrine known as profession of law, enjoyed the right of living under the laws of the country whence they came instead of those of the country in which they were sojourning. The native building societies of Italy which had survived the fall were thus brought in contact with and subjected to the influence of these Greek artists, with the result that in Northern Italy particularly there arose a school of architects known as the Magistri Comacini, or Comacine Masters. They were organized into societies quite similar to our lodges. These societies at a very early date entered into close contact and association with the ecclesiastical authorities. He points for evidence of this to the possession by our present day Craft of a symbolism familiar to the church in its early ages. Architecture received renewed impetus under the Carlovingian kings in France. By the middle of the eighth century the building societies had become religio-artistic from their close and long association with the monastic institutions of Western Europe and in them architecture and its kindred arts were particularly cultivated. Through Greek and Oriental artisans all the useful rules and technicalities in possession of the East were introduced into Western Europe and thus transmitted to the monastic artificers and finally by them in turn abandoned to the lay corporations of the Medieval Freemasons.
This union of the religious and the building orders resulted in a system of symbolism combining both Oriental and Teutonic ideas. This mingling of the Eastern and the Northern, Brother Fort thinks, first occurred in Northern Italy under the Gothic and Lombardic rulers. With the eleventh century began an unprecedented era of church building demanding great numbers of the most skilled artists. By the end of the twelfth century these had grown into a very powerful and widespread building society of a quasi-religious nature, combining the church symbolism of the East with that of the pagan mythology of the North. Thus is explained the strange mixture of Hebrew and Norse ideas found in Freemasonry. From the monasteries, this building society appropriated the three grades of apprentice, fellow and master. With the decline of church building the control of architecture gradually passed from the church to the lay societies, carrying into them the old system of symbolism.
By the twelfth century, Brother Fort evidently regards Freemasonry and the building corporations as identical. Boileau's Code of A. D. 1254, he thinks, proves the Fraternity of Masons then fully organized in France with presumptively a long history already to its credit.
His view is that the history of British Freemasonry begins in A. D. 1136 with the building of Melrose Abbey, but that it was not regularly organized in England till the thirteenth century. He regards the York Assembly of A.D. 926 as fabulous.
Before the twelfth century England depended on Gallic Masons and thus she derived her Freemasonry directly from France. The influence, however, of German Masonry on that of England is recognized.
Long prior to the middle of the fourteenth century numerous so-called "statutes of laborers" had been passed by the British Parliament regulating prices to be charged by the various handicrafts. By A. D. 1350, the societies of Masons were so well organized that they felt strong enough to resist these statutes. In A. D. 1451, those employed in constructing Windsor Castle "struck" for higher wages. A statute was passed providing for their branding upon refusal to return to work after due notice. Other legislation followed which was in turn broken by the Masons. Finally in A. D. 1424, in the reign of Henry VI, they were forbidden to assemble in their "chapters and congregations." Thus they were deprived of the power of regulating the craft of Masons or of determining who should work at such labors. Nevertheless, they continued to meet in their lodges and to practice their ancient rites and ceremonies of initiation. But by these measures they were reduced from the dignity of a craft to the position of clubs chiefly employed in works of benevolence. At this period perhaps must be sought the point of departure of Speculative Freemasonry from the operative craft of Masons. The rites and ceremonies and moral instructions hitherto in vogue in the lodges were however continued under the new regime. Gradually the speculative features encroached upon and finally almost effaced the operative. Even before A. D. 1424, "from a very early age," non-operatives of high standing had been occasionally admitted to the lodges. In Italy this custom prevailed from the time the gilds obtained a legal corporate recognition. In like manner, Edward III became a member of the gild of Linen Armorers. The change from the operative to the Speculative continued to grow during the remainder of the fifteenth and the whole of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This change became complete with the organization of the Grand Lodge of England in A. D. 1717.
Brother Fort habitually refers to the German Steinmetzen as the "German Freemasons." In thus apparently assuming the identity of the Steinmetzen with the Freemasonry of England, it must be admitted Brother Fort departs from sound historical methods. While the evidence is very strong of their kinship and of their development from a remote common source, evidence is lacking of their identity, notwithstanding Brother Findel as above stated and other loyal German brothers have insisted earnestly that Freemasonry is merely a direct derivative from the Steinmetzen. It is very clear, however, that Brother Fort did not mean identity in this sense.
This completes the review of the first portion of Brother Fort's history, the portion which alone professes to be an attempt to sketch an outline of the real history of the Society of Freemasons. It will also be observed that this sketch does not attempt to go further back than the "later Roman Emperors." By this expression he apparently means Marcus Aurelius and his immediate predecessors, or from about the beginning of the second century A. D.
The strength of Brother Fort's theory lies chiefly in three things: (1) that it accords with our oral and written traditions; (2) that it is not inconsistent at any point with the known facts of history; (3) that it is throughout a reasonable hypothesis. He wisely refrains in the historical portion of his book from any attempt to trace the history or origin of the Society back of historic times.
No one would pretend that Brother Fort has certainly hit the solution of the development of Freemasonry during the last fifteen hundred years. If it can not be said of him, neither can it be said of any other writer. Notwithstanding recent researches and much that has been written on this subject since Brother Fort's day, the probabilities still remain about as strong in favor of the truth of his theory as of any other. Indeed our opinion is that it has the balance of probability in its favor.
The crux of Brother Fort's theory may be said to be that the Magistri Comacini of Northern Italy afforded the connecting link between the ancient building societies of Rome and Greece on the one hand and modern Freemasonry on the other. In propounding this theory he may be fairly regarded as the pioneer. It must be conceded that his conclusions are largely the result of inference and deduction. Many facts now known to Masonic scholars were not known to those of Brother Fort's day. Recent studies and discoveries have lent more or less corroboration to his views.
In 1899, there appeared a remarkable book written by a woman and therefore a non-Mason, (The Cathedral Builders, by Leader Scott), in which many proofs are adduced tending strongly to corroborate Brother Fort. Brother Speth, in his Masonic Curriculum, thus comments upon the support received from Leader Scott's book:
"It (The Cathedral Builders) supplies the evidence which was lacking in Fort's work and is a brilliant vindication of our brother's intuition, which I trust he has been spared to enjoy."
In this same connection Brother Speth refers to Brother Fort as "the first Masonic writer to show the possibility of the reintroduction of the usages and traditions of the Roman Collegia into Medieval Masonry." He also says that when Brother Fort advanced this theory he was looked upon as an "ingenious visionary" and that his surmises "evoked little comment."
Still later another learned brother, Mr. W. Ravenscroft, of England, published a book, The Comacines, in which he strongly supports the view so long ago expressed by Brother Fort. Brother Joseph Fort Newton, whose studies entitle his opinion to great weight, gives his voice in favor of a like conclusion.
The remaining portion of Brother Fort's history can scarcely be called history, he himself denominates it "Antiquities." It is a discussion of our traditions, customs and symbols. The purpose, to state it in his own words, is "to note with care such portions of Freemasonry as have descended unimpaired and unchanged from Gothic- sources and at what probable epoch Judaistic rites began to be introduced into lodge or gildic observances."
It would be tedious even to enumerate the variety of topics touched upon in the second portion of his book. Only a careful reading can give any idea of its store of learning.
He supports his argument with such a wealth of illustrations and authorities that it would be presumptuous for any but a profound scholar in the mythology of the Northern races of Europe even to attempt a criticism of this portion of the book. Nor would such a thing be possible within the limits of an article suitable for the pages of THE BUILDER. Suffice it to say of this part of Brother Fort's work that for elegance of diction and sustained interest of narrative no Masonic writer certainly has ever achieved a greater success.
We have been promised at an early date a volume embracing an adequate biographical sketch of Brother Fort and reprints of his most important fugitive contributions to the Masonic press. We trust the publication of this book will not be long delayed.
* * *
"A LEAGUE OF MASONS"*
IN my office as Ambassador I have the honor to transmit herewith, through the Research Society, to the Masons of America a message truly memorable in Masonic annals, and which will command the attention of brethren of every jurisdiction. The distinction of its author, Worshipful Brother Sir Alfred Robbins, the high office of President of the Board of General Purposes of the Grand Lodge of England which he has held for so many years, its vision of "English and American Brotherhood," its gracious spirit, its lofty tone — all these set it apart as a document unique in our literature, and prophetic of a closer fellowship in the days to be. It is a pleasure to have suggested such an article; it is an honor to spread it before the Masons of America, who will not fail to respond to its brotherly spirit and its historic meaning.
Surely, in a world torn by strife, and divided by so many feuds of race, religion and nationality we have a right to rejoice in a fellowship, at once free, gentle and refining, which spans all distances of space and all differences of speech, and brings men together by a common impulse and inspiration in mutual respect and brotherly regard. It needs no prophet to discern that such a fraternity, the very existence of which is a fact eloquent beyond words, is an influence for good to which we can set pro limit, and a prophecy for the future the meaning of which no one can measure; doubly so now, because, by its genius, Masonry is international, and therefore ought to be responsive to the ideal of world-fellowship which will surely emerge from the welter of the world-war.
For that reason, in the reunion of English-speaking peoples, upon which the future freedom and peace of the world so much depend, among the many ties of language, literature, love of liberty, respect for law, social institutions and historic inheritance, that unite us, must be counted a common and great Freemasonry. By the same token, upon our Fraternity rests an obligation only equalled by the opportunity, to have a far reaching part in promoting fellowship, interpretation and sympathetic and intelligent understanding between two peoples in whose history it is so deeply interwoven, and of whose unity it is itself a tie, a token, and a prophecy. Our differences are superficial; our unities fundamental. Such variations as exist between English and American Masonry — like the differences between the two peoples — are interesting, albeit insignificant, no more important than the variations of accent and inflection, of dialect and brogue; its basic truths and principles are alike, and its spirit is the same in its breadth, beauty, and benignity.
If there is to be a League of Nations following the war, such a federation of free peoples as shall make the repetition of this disaster impossible, it should begin with a league of English-speaking peoples who have one historic faith, one conception of civilization, and one political ideal. Looking toward that consummation so devoutly to be wished, how better can we begin than by seeking to realize a League of Masons, such as Sir Alfred Robbins suggests; the more so because it is the declared purpose of our Craft to labor for a league of mankind, which it seeks even now to exhibit on a small scale. Freemasonry, by virtue of its exalted purpose, its high intellectual quality, its noble morality. and its wise spirituality, ought to lead the way toward that City of Equity which poets and prophets have seen afar off adown the ages.
For, to say no more, our English-speaking race, by its spirit, its genius, its history, no less than by its great Freemasonry, is committed to the ideal of a Commonwealth, the application to the field of government and social policy of the law of human brotherhood, the duty of man to his neighbor, near and far, wherein lies our only hope of a world fit for free men to live in, where maternity can flourish and the spirit of good will can grow and be glorified.
— Joseph Fort Newton.
City Temple, London.
* See "English and American Brotherhood," beginning on title page of this issue.
* * *
Lots of sunny corners if you only look around;
Lots of sunny corners that are always to be found
When the heart with sun is shining and the love of sunny things,
And the spirit of the sunshine in the voice of beauty sings.
Lots of sunny corners,
And they make the world so sweet
When we strew its path with blossoms
For the sake of other feet.
Lots of sunny corners if you try to make them so
With the gladness you inherit and the beauty that you know;
With the blossoms you have gathered from the gardens of your life
Just to scatter in those gardens that are deep with weeds of strife.
Lots of sunny corners
If you only look around
Through the love that leads us onward
Where the sunshine may be found.
When I am dead, Friends,
Carve no words in marble for epitaph,
Nor raise for me a splendid tomb,
For at such things time shall laugh,
But hold me in your faithful thought,
While briefly thought and life are lent;
Your tears shall be my ample praise,
Your love my monument.
* * *
BACK OF THE FIRING LINE
WE Masons back of the firing line must do our part. What shall it be? A very obvious answer will be: Appoint a Committee. Let every lodge establish a Committee, and let them begin work at once. A long experience with Committees leads to the conclusion that an excellent one may be of three members where the most self-sacrificing and efficiently adept of them is protected from any interference or discouragement from the other two. This arrangement insures such a high degree of effectiveness that there really ought to be some way of increasing the popularity of the plan. It does handicap the scheme that in order to be successful you must render the two superfluous members absolutely harmless. As a rule you cannot expect that luck will provide for one member of the Committee being called out of town and the other not get back in time to trip up any of the good work done by the laboring member on the job.
True, it can happen that the third member is willing to wait for the other two and then that spoils everything.
Seeing that the one member can be so effective when he has the ability, the capability, and the responsibility, the rest of this article will be directed to him. And to him only. For be it understood that we are he, all of us being that brother when all of us are what we should be as Masons.
Two things are imperative, others may be chosen as perhaps worth while in addition to these two but these twain are essential: One-manned Committees completely competent and thoroughly active, and second, the means whereby the energies of these Committees shall be universally, here and abroad, contagious and infectious and inflammatory. Granted these things and the rest follows. Therefore note the rest:
Let each of us do the Masonic act that is nearest to his hand. Do that first.
Then keep your ear to the ground for the next call, and answer it promptly.
If you are on the job, alert and resourceful, you are in position to advise the other brethren and to do so powerfully. You will be all the more powerful if you put all possible kindliness and prayer into the proposal. A suggestion need not carry the punishment of the spur nor the rankle of the whip. Appeal and persuade, reclaim and recall; that's the idea and the programme.
Across the Atlantic Masons find companions. Drawn together by the mystic tie of brotherhood the Masons of many lands are bringing about that international bond of fraternal fellowship we have long sought. Our search has not been in vain. The end is not yet, but in sight.
This goodly companionship of the faithful, continuously increasing and deepening as it flows and swells, depending not on the walls of any mere building of mortar-bound brick, needs to be fostered in every sympathetic manner and by every appropriate means. Brethren will not lack for places to meet. Be it in shell-scarred city or Hun-swept desert there is a meeting place wherever is found the grip of Master Mason.
So then there is for those of us who stay, the task primarily of taking the place of those who go.
Those who go should bear from us every evidence that they are of us. Army and navy regulations do not permit as free use of badges as some civilians employ. However, a ring may be distinctive yet unobjectionable, and a diploma also is an excellent possession by the Mason at large in other countries. More than these is the equipment of a knowledge of the letter and the spirit of Masonry. With this information in the head and brotherhood in the heart, Masons will meet on the level and they will know how to make use of their meetings to the fullest extent if they are worthy of the meeting.
— Robert I. Clegg.
* * *
WHY IS A CANDIDATE?
You have heard, we doubt not, that on some night there will be big doings in the lodge. There will be, of course, a banquet. That is so regular a feature of all special nights that it may be taken for granted as the ever ordinary part of the extraordinary. Then comes the appendix which is usually and maybe not inaptly the cause or the excuse for the major operation.
Perhaps the oldest Past Master and the younger dittos as satellites revolving about him will confer a degree. Maybe he has not done it or seen it done in years. What of that? The others will prompt him whenever his memory slips a cog. Sure they will.
It has happened that the one least expected to fall down has been the very person to slip up. Sometimes that has been embarassing and has even been known to be hilarious in the extreme, according to the viewpoint.
When the same ceremonial is performed, as it sometimes is, by persons who have never done it before, there is also an opportunity for things to happen that never were expected to occur. A spectator really enjoyed what he recently reported to us as a scene that the candidate himself laughed about merrily as soon as he felt that the affair had gone far enough so that he could safely do more than smile.
What everybody may deem proper and what anybody may find funny is fairly well founded as an institution, but —
Mark you, my brethren, we have an ancient ceremonial valuable only as a means of impression. We take a man of character and put the stamp of Masonry upon him; thenceforward he is as a coin of sterling metal, pure gold mint-marked, legal tender among all good men and true. We are not makers of counterfeit money. Surely not. Yet false impressions count. They last, and may blast efforts most arduous and painstaking to correct them.
Did any candidate ever resent the lofty quality of his initiation? Was he deserving of anything else? What was due him? Did he get what was due? If not, why not?
Certainly, the officers of a lodge may need a rehearsal but why give that to the candidate? He does not need it if they do. Give him the best for that is what an initiate today and in all the long yesterdays of centuries has expected of Masonry.
Cut out the jesting, festering, blistering, awkward appendix. Give the candidate THE WORK.
— Robert I. Clegg.
* * *
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 review write us about it; 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.
IT is now pretty generally known that there once lived such an individual as Mark Twain: indeed it is doubtful if there are very many now living in the world who don't know that. Mark Twain, as William Dean Howells once said of him, belongs to the solar system; he was one of the solar system's greatest masterpieces; the man who hasn't read "Tom Sawyer," or "Huckleberry Finn," or "Innocents Abroad," or "Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc" is as much to be pitied as the man without a country. And now comes Albert Bigelow Paine to add to the gaiety of the nations by telling us the complete and authentic story of that amazing career. His story is published by Harpers, in three volumes, and the price is $4.50.
The reader may be warned against undertaking this book during a busy season; if he once gets into it he won't get out of it until he has read the last page; he will forget to eat, he won't want to sleep, he will be ready to go to bed for a week after he has read it. It is about the most entertaining book that ever was written; moreover, it is a kind of cyclorama of this nation's history from the 1850's on down, for Mark Twain was always in the thick of events; if there were no events he would make some.
Mark lived through everything of which he wrote. Tom Sawyer is a composite portrait of himself and two other boys; Huck Finn was, in real life, a lovable little roustabout in Hannibal, Missouri, named Tom Blankenship. "Roughing It" is photographic of Mark's career in Nevada; except for a few exaggerations it is legitimate history. "Innocents Abroad" is the history of a real journey, and the people described were real people.
Mark was a river pilot, a Rebel soldier on a spavined old mule, a gold seeker, a newspaper man, a printer, a traveler, a lecturer, a writer, an inventor, an investor (what he earned by writing he lost by investing), and, altogether, a kind of epitome of Yankeedom in general, a great, elemental, unspoiled, large-hearted human being.
While on the famous tour through the Holy Land a young man showed him the miniature portrait of Olivia Langdon, of Elmira, New York; Mark fell in love with the portrait, and afterwards fell in love with the original, even more violently; after a courtship full of hardships and dangers he finally succeeded in marrying Olivia and never was a married life more ideal albeit the slender little woman had her hands full civilizing her half savage husband. She called him "Youth" to the end of her days. He was always a boy, full of mischief.
During his courtship he carefully concealed his profanity from her; but he couldn't conceal it for long; there was too much of it. One morning she amazed him by reciting some choice specimens of it to his astonished ears but even that didn't cure him. Steve Gillis says that after Mark once cursed a dog the owner sold the animal for a Hairless Mexican! He was a constant smoker. William Dean Howells, while entertaining him, used to slip into his room after he had fallen asleep in order to remove the lighted cigar stubs which were endangering the house. Although a writer he was never very literary and entertained a frank and outspoken contempt for most of the standard authors, Scott for example. In a speech to a group of ladies at Hartford he unburdened himself concerning the woes of spelling:
"I don't see any use in spelling a word right — and never did. I mean I don't see any use in having a uniform and arbitrary way of spelling words. We might as well make all clothes alike and cook all dishes alike. Sameness is tiresome; variety is pleasing. I have a correspondent whose letters are always a refreshment to me; there is such a breezy, unfettered originality about his orthography. He always spells 'kow' with a large 'K.' Now that is just as good as to spell it with a small one. It is better. It gives the imagination a broader field, a wider scope. It suggests to the mind a grand, vague, impressive new kind of cow."
Mark was not a church man himself, albeit he was fond of preachers, certain of them; he used to call the church to which his family belonged, "The Church of the Holy Speculators." But he had pious aspirations; when asked to furnish a golden saying which might always be true he gave this:
"We should all live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry."
Under his Joker's exterior Mark was one of the most human men that ever lived; he would share his last penny with the needy, and he would spend himself without stint to defend the unjustly abused. When Talmage remarked in a sermon that he didn't care to have laboring men come into his church because they carried disagreeable odors Mark wrote one of the most scathing replies that was ever put on paper: it completely destroyed the odor of sanctity about T. DeWitt Talmage. So was it with his defense of Harriet Shelley, with his loyalty to Grant in bitter times; with his caring for his foolish brother Orion, and in a hundred other cases. Moreover, he was a profoundly serious man at bottom and it may be safely said that in the future his books will be even more read for the historical, sociological and philosophical value in them than for the humor; that is saying much but it may be safely said.
* * *
A WORD AS TO MASONIC BOOKS
One would naturally expect a fraternity numbering almost two million members in this country alone, to be prolific in literature. In one sense American Masonry is prolific in literature; there are scores of journals and papers published, and hundreds of articles and pamphlets; but Masonic books, strictly so-called, are all too few. The present writer has discovered this in his attempt to conduct the Library Department. Hardly once a month is it possible to find one new book on Masonry.
In consequence of this the policy was adopted of reviewing old books in such a manner that the readers of THE BUILDER might have some knowledge of their contents even if they never find opportunity to read them; this was deemed of value because it was felt that every Mason should know something of the Masonic classics. At the time this was undertaken it was still possible to secure books from England where most of the older works are published; but at the present time it is next to impossible to get a single book across the Atlantic, for obvious and justifiable reasons. Hence is it that we have been unable to secure some of the books reviewed for such brothers as have desired the same. After the war has passed we will once again be able to secure any of the books thus far reviewed, and we shall be very glad to do so, albeit the Research Society has no desire to make any money out of this service.
For this same reason it is often necessary to call the Craft's attention to some work not dealing exclusively with Masonry, but which may have an angle of interest for Masons. For the same reasons we are asking that any brother who knows of a book, Masonic or semi-Masonic, which would be worth reviewing, he will either send us a copy or notify us of the same. The Library Department is intended to be of service to you; we are asking you to help make it more serviceable.
* * *
This is the title of a slender little volume bound in blue boards, written by Winward Prescott, and published by the Four Seas Company of Boston, price not quoted. It is the third publication issued by the Society of Bookplate Bibliophiles, and contains twenty-nine pages. Masons who take pleasure, as many do, in the study of Masonic Bookplates will find this a useful little hand-book, albeit it is not all that could be desired. The author is evidently not a Masonic scholar, as his reference to the Knights Templar as a "divisional body," would seem to indicate. One may also wish that he had consulted the various volumes of the Proceedings of the Lodge Quatuor Coronati, in which are photographs and drawings of hundreds of bookplates with explanations and history. Those who have access to the Coronati Proceedings will find a far larger collection than in the present book; but for those who have not such access, "Masonic Bookplates," with its long list of plates and its dozen or so of illustrations, will prove of value. The subject is by no means an idle one; our historians have been enabled to untie more than one riddle by a diligent study of Masonic Bookplates.
* * *
The old, old things are the poetic things. The objects, the acts which have been steeped in human emotions through generation after generation inevitably tend toward poetry. Therefore is it, and for other reasons, too, that Masonry, especially the ritual of Masonry, has ever tempted the singers. Many are the volumes, from Robert Burns and Robert Morris unto our own day, in which Masonry has been set to music, the better to evoke its haunting rhythms and its ancient meaning.
To this list of the poetic interpretation of our lore must now be added a tiny, paper-covered volume from the pen of Odillon B. Slane, 32°, of Peoria, Illinois, entitled "Story of the Ancient Craft; its Lessons in Verse," and published by the author at twenty-five cents. The author's songs are as modest as his price; he attempts no Miltonic flights but prefers to stay in the minor key, as is fitting. "Opening," "From Night to Light," "More Light," "Long Lost — Now Found," and "Closing" — such are his titles. Exemplifiers of the ritual who seek to add the touch of music to their renditions will find this a useful little book.
* * *
A generous and free-minded confession doth disable a reproach and disarm an injury.
* * *
Riches are the baggage of virtue; they cannot be spared nor left behind, but they hinder the march.
* * *
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.
The Question Box and Correspondence Column are open to all members of the Society at all times. Questions of any nature on Masonic subjects are earnestly invited from our members, particularly those connected with lodges or study clubs which are following our "Bulletin Course of Masonic Study." When requested, questions will be answered promptly by mail before publication in this department.
MASONRY IN GREECE
I have just received my first copy of THE BUILDER and wish to say that it is just what I needed and something which every Mason should have. It has given me my first light to the meaning of Masonic symbols and I am happy to be a member of the N.M.R.S. and entitled to such a valuable and enterprising journal as THE BUILDER.
I am of Greek origin and would like very much to know something about Masonry in Greece (if there is any there) and will greatly appreciate any information given me on the subject. A.S.R., Missouri.
From Vol. IV of Gould's History of Freemasonry we learn that Freemasonry was late in obtaining a footing on the mainland of this kingdom, but somewhat earlier accounts come to us from what is now an integral part of the territory of Greece, the Ionian Islands. These islands, in early days the prey of Naples, Genoa and Venice, were ceded to France in 1797. They were next successively taken possession of by Russia and Turkey in 1800, by France in 1807, and by England in 1809 The Grand Orient of France founded a lodge at Corfu — St. Napoleon — in 1809, and a second in 1810. In 1815 the islands were formed into the Ionian Republic under the protection of England, and a lodge, No. 654, "Pythagoras" (to which a Royal Arch Chapter was subsequently attached), was erected at Corfu in 1837. About 1840 we hear also of a Grand Lodge of Greece at Corfu, with Angelo Calichiopulo as Grand Master. He died November 13, 1812, and further information respecting this Grand Lodge is altogether wanting Another English lodge — No. 1182, Star of the East — was established in Zante in 1861. This and Lodge Pythagoras are still active (1889). The lodges under the Grand Orient of France (1809-10) are extinct, but two others were constituted by the same authority at Corfu — Phoenix, 1843 — and at Zante — Star, 1859 — the former of which still survives.
On the mainland there was in existence in 1866 a Provincial Grand Lodge or Directory under the Grand Orient of Italy, with eight subordinate lodges — at Syra, Athens, Piroeus, Chalkis, Corfu, Patras, Lamia and Argos — dating from 1860-1866. In 1867 these eight lodges, with the consent of the Grand Orient of Italy, formed themselves into an independent Grand Lodge of Greece. A council of nine members to direct the Grand Lodge was appointed by the representatives of the lodges, July 9, 1872. By this council — July 11 — Prince Rhodocanakis of Scio was elected Grand Master and retained the office until 1881, when he was succeeded by Nicholas Damaschino. The Grand Lodge shook off the fetters of the high degrees, but otherwise retains much of an Italian impress. A Supreme Council 33° was, however, formed at a later period for the degrees of the A. and A.S.R., with the same individuals as office-bearers in the Grand Lodge, but without any control over or influence in the latter.
Demosthenes Depos, Master of Lodge Patria, Athens, writing in the Bulletin of the International Bureau of Masonic Affairs, says that in that country which, ever since antiquity has always shown itself favorable to progress and which gave birth to the grandest ideas of ancient civilization, it was impossible that the sublime ideal of Masonry should not find ardent partisans. At the outset, however, Masonry met with a little opposition on account of a certain bishop who aroused public opinion against it. Several brethren were persecuted and one lodge, that of Patras. was even dissolved about fifteen years ago. Its members had to flee in order to escape from personal danger, as did in the olden times the disciples of the cosmopolitan school of Pythagoras, the great Greek philosopher. But at the present time Masonry enjoys great liberty in Greece, for neither the nation nor the church forgets the great services rendered to the country by the revolution of 1821, the instigators of which were members of the "Hetaireia." This society had been founded by Freemasons and its organization was none other than that of Masonry, it is claimed.
Two Masonic papers of considerable importance are published at Athens: one "Pythagoras," edited by the celebrated Brother Eminent Galanis, and the other, "Ypsylanti," by Brother Kiriasopoulos, a man of great knowledge and a celebrated doctor of Athens.
According to the latest figures obtainable which are given by the Masonic Relief Association of the United States and Canada, there are eighteen lodges under the registry of the Grand Orient of Greece having a combined membership of 950 members.
The Grand Orient of Greece is recognized by the Grand Lodges of Arizona, Arkansas, Canada, Maryland, Montana, North Dakota and Nova Scotia. However, since you are a member of a Missouri lodge it is doubtful whether or not your own Grand Lodge would knowingly concede to you the right of visitation to Greek lodges such as is accorded the members of the foregoing Grand Lodges.
W. E. A.
* * *
OBJECTIONS TO THE ADVANCEMENT OF A CANDIDATE
Will you please explain to me how a candidate can be kept from advancing, and if possible, dropped entirely after taking the Entered Apprentice degree?
Suppose objections are found after a candidate has taken the Fellow Craft degree; what can be done to prevent him from becoming a Master Mason?
— M. S., New York.
Section 96 of the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of New York reads in part as follows:
"No written or verbal objection shall have the effect to reject the petition of a candidate or the advancement of a brother. An objections however, must be respected, and will defer the initiation of a candidate or the advancement of a brother until a subsequent communication of the lodge."
To stop the advancement of an Entered Apprentice in your State (the laws on this subject are different in some other jurisdictions) a complaint in writing must be filed with the proper authorities and a Masonic trial must be had. If found guilty the penalties which may be inflicted upon the individual are:
1. Reprimand or fine, or both. 2. Suspension from all the rights of Masonry for a definite time. 3. Expulsion. 4. In case the penalty of a fine be imposed, an alternative penalty of suspension from all the rights and privileges of Masonry may also be imposed until the fine is paid.
A Mason has the right to appeal to the Grand Master or the Grand Lodge.
The laws governing the advancement of an Entered Apprentice are equally applicable to the advancement of a Fellow Craft.
A digest of the laws of all the Grand Lodges of the United States covering the following subjects will be found in volume III of THE BUILDER (issues for 1917):
Affiliation, p. 9 (January number); Advancement, p. 50 (February number): Ballot for the Degrees, p. 70 (March number); Dimits, p. 134 (May number); Physical Qualifications for lnitiation, p. 278 (September number).W. E. A.
* * *
THE OBLONG SQUARE
I have derived much pleasure and profit from the study of each copy of THE BUILDER as it comes to me. I have tried to learn the real significance of the right and left angle of an oblong square. Upon first thought the term would seem to be misleading and yet there is probably a deeper significance than appears on the surface.
— A. C. M., Pennsylvania.
Right and left as applied to the oblong square probably refers to the foot which first advances to form one side of the angle of the square. As the left is regarded as the weaker part of man, we are taught that it signifies the entering upon the weaker part or beginning of Masonry. This explanation, however, is only partial. Oliver, Mackey, and the early Monitors and rituals define the oblong square as "a rectangle, having two sides longer than the others." An old catechism of the year 1760 is as follows: "Of what form is your lodge?" "An oblong Square." "How long Brother?" "From East to West." "How wide Brother? " "Between North and South." "How high, Brother?" "From the earth to the heavens." "How deep, Brother?" "From the surface of the earth to the center." "Why?" "Because that Masonry is universal."
The oblong square, therefore, represents the world in which we live and in which we are to do our work. It is situated East and West, with the Master, who represents the source of light in the East, the long sides being in the North and the South. "As we face the East to catch the first glimmer of the dawn of a new day, so the E. A. must face the East before he can be brought to light. In this position the north side of the lodge is on his left and the south upon his right. Thus the left angle of the oblong square is the northeast corner of the lodge and the right angle is the southeast. When placed in the northeast corner to lay the corner stone of his Masonic Temple the E. A. must face the South and in this position the left angle is formed as he faces the Master. In some jurisdictions he is placed in the southeast corner in the Second Degree and informed that as in the First Degree he was placed in the northeast corner to show that he was newly admitted and had laid his foundation, he is now placed in the southeast to mark his progress in the science; and as in the First Degree he had an opportunity of making himself acquainted with the principles of moral truth and virtue, he is now permitted to extend his researches into the hidden mysteries of Nature and Science.
There is much which cannot here be revealed, but briefly, we would say that as the left is regarded as the weaker part of man so the left angle represents the weaker part or beginnings of Masonry. It is weaker, however, only in the sense that it is the beginning, less active, and less conspicuous. The child is weaker than the man, but the character developed by the child becomes the foundation of the character of the man. So while the left is regarded as the weaker part we must not forget that it is in the N. E. corner that the foundation stone is laid and that upon the foundation thus laid the Mason is to raise a superstructure perfect in its parts and honorable to the Builder. As the right side of man represents the active working side, so the right angle represents the part of the building which is most used. One is just as important as the other. As the foundation supports the superstructure so the left supports the right and "all the building fitly framed together groweth into a holy temple in the Lord."
C. C. H.
* * *
General Lafayette's Visit To Richmond, Virginia
Complying with your request on the inside back cover of the March number of THE BUILDER, I am sending you a history of Richmond Randolph Lodge No. 19, A. F. and A. M., of Richmond, Va., which owns and occupies the first building erected in America for Masonic purposes, showing that in 1824 General Lafayette; his nephew, George Washington Lafayette, and General Lavasseur, of his staff, visited this lodge and were elected honorary members. You will find the account on pages 15 and 16 and I trust it will prove of interest to the members of the Society.
— W. A. James, Virginia.
The account follows:
The following is a copy from the lodge records: October 6, 1824, at a stated meeting of No. 19, held this evening at Masons' Hall, a communication was received from Richmond Lodge No. 10, through Worshipful Brother John Dove, concerning suitable arrangements for the reception of Illustrious Worshipful Brother Lafayette. A preamble unanimously adopted appointing a committee to confer with committees of sister lodges, and to carry into effect such measures as may be deemed by them proper for paying due respect to our illustrious brother, General Lafayette, when he shall have arrived in this city and directed the Tiler to draw upon the Treasurer for any expenses attending the illumination of Masons' Hall.
Reception, etc., to Worshipful General Lafayette, Saturday, October 30, 1824. At a called meeting of Richmond Randolph Lodge No. 19, held at Masons' Hall in the city of Richmond, the lodge was opened in the first degree of Masonry in due form. On motion of Wor. Bro. Cabell, seconded by Bro. Ives, Wor. Bro. Lafayette was unanimously elected an Honorary Member of this lodge. On motion of Brother Ives, Brother George Washington Lafayette (a nephew of Genl. Lafayette) was unanimously elected an Honorary Member of this lodge. On motion of Bro. Anderson, Brother Lavasseur was unanimously elected an Honorary Member of this lodge. The lodge was then called from labor to refreshment.
The lodge, after having joined in a procession, proceeded to the Union Hotel (corner Main and Nineteenth streets) to partake of a dinner provided in compliment to Brother General Lafayette. The lodge then escorted that brother to his lodgings at the Eagle Hotel (corner Fifteenth and Main streets) and returned to the Masons' Hall and resumed labors. Wor. Bro. R.A. Carrington was Master at this time.
The signatures of all the foregoing Honorary Members appear on the recorded By-Laws of No. 19 preceding the record of this meeting and reception and have been inspected by thousands of Masons from all parts of the world.
At the November 3, 1824, meeting it was resolved that the Master and Wardens of No. 19 procure appropriate certificates of membership, written on parchment, and present them to the brethren recently elected Honorary Members.
Wor. Bro. Genl. Lafayette died on 20th of May, 1834, and this lodge held suitable memorial exercises to pay the last sad tribute of respect to our deceased brother, June 23,1834.
* * *
GENERAL LAFAYETTE'S VISIT TO NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE
In the March issue of THE BUILDER I notice that information with regard to the Masonic connections of General Lafayette may perhaps be of some service to the Society and interest to the members.
— Wilbur F. Foster, Tennessee.
From a reprint of the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee for 1826 the following facts are gleaned:
At a called meeting of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee, at the Masonic Hall in the town of Nashville, on Monday, April 25, 1825, the M. W. Grand Master informed the Grand Lodge that the object of the Convention was the reception of our illustrious brother, General Lafayette. The lodge then adjourned until 7 o'clock P. M., April 26th, when it met according to adjournment and the committee previously appointed by the Grand Master to make the necessary arrangements for the reception of our illustrious brother, General Lafayette, made the following report, which was concurred in by the Grand Lodge:
Resolved, That the following general arrangement be made: As soon as it is ascertained at what time Lafayette will probably arrive, the Grand Lodge shall be convened, by order of the Grand Master, and shall assemble at the Masonic Hall, in Nashville.
The Masonic Fraternity, as such, shall take no part in the reception of Lafayette on his arrival in Nashville, but immediately after he reaches his lodgings a committee, appointed by the Grand Master, shall wait on him and inform him that his brethren of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee will expect his company at the Masonic Hall the same evening, at 7 o'clock (or on such other evening as may conform with the general arrangements), and that arrangements have been made for a Masonic dinner and public parade to take place on the next day. The Grand Master, and other principal Grand Officers of the Grand Lodge, shall then wait upon him at his lodgings, and be introduced. In the evening, at 6 o'clock, the Grand Lodge shall assemble in the lodge-room, and after opening, shall adjourn to the hall below, which shall be previously fitted up for the occasion. A committee shall then be dispatched in a carriage or carriages for Lafayette, and such of his suite as are Masons, who, on their arrival at the hall, shall be received by the Grand Marshal, and he shall conduct them to the lodge-room upstairs, where they may partake of refreshments. The Grand Lodge, still in session, shall then be notified of their arrival, and the Grand Marshal and committees shall conduct them separately into the hall, and be received with appropriate honors, and shall be seated on the right of the Most Worshipful Grand Master. The Grand Master shall then deliver to Lafayette an appropriate address, in the name of the Masonic Fraternity of the State of Tennessee, greeting him with a hearty welcome.
The Grand Lodge shall then be called off, and adjourn to the next day, at 1 o'clock P.M.
The brethren and their guests shall repair successively, as may be convenient, to the chapter-room above, where a table shall be previously spread, and partake of a supper provided for the occasion. Lafayette and his suite shall then be conducted to their lodgings by the committee.
The next day, at 1 o'clock, the Grand Lodge shall again convene, in conjunction with the subordinate lodges and Royal Arch chapters, and march to the lodgings of Lafayette, where he and his suite, and such other persons as may be invited, shall join, and all shall proceed, under direction of the Grand and Deputy Marshals, through the Public Square and principal streets to the Presbyterian Church, where an oration, suited to the occasion, shall be delivered by some brother previously selected for that purpose.
The procession shall then march to the hall, where a Grand Masonic dinner shall have been provided, and after the enjoyment of appropriate festivity, shall again escort Lafayette and his suite to their lodgings, and return to the hall and separate. The Grand Lodge shall then be closed.
Resolved, That Brother W. G. Hunt be requested to deliver the oration.
Signed by the Committee.
On motion of brother W. G. Hunt it was resolved that a committee be appointed to attend to the illumination of the Masonic Hall on the evening of General Lafayette's arrival, and that they use the necessary precaution to prevent any accident by fire or otherwise. A committee was then appointed by the Grand Master for this purpose.
The Grand Lodge then adjourned during the pleasure of the M. W. Grand Master.
The Grand Lodge met again on Wednesday, May 4th, and at this meeting Brother Lafayette was unanimously elected an Honorary Member. The Grand Lodge was then called from labor to refreshment, and formed a procession in conjunction with Cumberland R.A. Chapter No. 1, Franklin R.A. Chapter No. 2 and Clarksville R.A. Chapter No. 3, and Lodges No. 8 and 37, and proceeded to the Nashville Inn, where they were joined by Brother Lafayette and suite and returned to the hall.
The Grand Lodge was then called from refreshment to labor, when Brother George W. Lafayette and Brother Lavasseur were announced and introduced. Brother General Lafayette was introduced by Brothers Andrew Jackson and G.W. Campbell, received with the Grand Honors, and seated at the right of the Grand Master, who then rose and addressed him on the part of the Masonic Fraternity of Tennessee.
After being informed that he had been unanimously elected an Honorary Member of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee, Brother Lafayette made a feeling and appropriate reply, in substance as follows:
He felt himself highly gratified at being so kindly welcomed by the Grand Lodge of Tennessee, and at being made an Honorary Member of that body, in which he had been introduced by the distinguished brother Mason who had erected the lines of New Orleans, and, in technical language of the Craft, had made them "well-formed, true and trusty." He had, he said, been long a member of the Order, having been initiated, young as he was, even before he entered the service of our country in the Revolutionary War. He had never for a moment ceased to love and venerate the institution, and was, therefore, peculiarly delighted to see that it had spread its genial influence thus far to the West, and that his brethren here were not only comfortably, but brilliantly accommodated. He considered the Order as peculiarly. valuable in this country, where it not only fostered the principles of civil and religious liberty, but was eminently calculated to link the extremities of this wide republic together, and to perpetuate, by its fraternizing influence, the union of the States.
* * *
A ROMAN CATHOLIC AND MASON
I wish to call your attention to an incident that occurred here on Sunday, April 7th, 1918. An incident that is unique and one that is very seldom met with in Masonry.
Brother Clem Hodes had been a member of Eugene Lodge No. 11, A.F. & A.M., for forty years. He esteemed Masonry very highly and appreciated its teachings. Until failing health prevented, he was a frequent attendant at the regular and special communications of the lodge. He was also a member of the Roman Catholic Church.
On April 3rd, Bro. Hodes passed to that realm from whose bourne no traveler ever returns, and his funeral was held on Sunday, April 7th. He left a request for a Masonic burial, to be conducted by Bro. S. M. Yoran. Eugene Lodge met in special communication Sunday afternoon, and repaired to the chapel of the undertaker where the first service was held. This service was conducted by the Roman Catholic Priest, who gave a short address which was highly appreciated by our members — an address to which not one person present could have taken the least exception. He then offered up prayers for the repose of the soul of the dead to which there was a very audible response from the members of the Roman Catholic Church present. The service ended by the singing of "Nearer My God to Thee" by a choir composed of members of the fraternity.
Eugene Lodge then took charge of the remains and conveyed them to the Masonic Cemetery where they were interred in a crypt of the mausoleum with full Masonic burial service conducted by Bro. S. M. Yoran. There was a large attendance of Roman Catholics at this service.
I will not comment on this incident, but will only say: May we have more such incidents.
— C. S. Freeland, Oregon.
* * *
SOLOMON'S TEMPLE AND EARLY HISTORY OF MASONRY — A CORRECTION
Under the above heading in the June Question Box the latter part of the answer to the second question should read "most of what we are told about him, however, is purely legendary, which means that we have no way of proving that it is historical," and in that part of the answer to the fourth question reading "the same size applies only to the main body of the temple" the word "same" should read "small."
— C. C. Hunt, Iowa.
* * *
Passion and prejudice govern the world; only under the name of reason.
— John Wesley.