A Journal for the Masonic Student
Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
Vol. 5 No. 2 – February 1919
"LES FREE MASSONS" — A RARE MASONIC PLATE
Bro. Charles C. Hunt, Deputy Grand Secretary, Iowa
THE PLATE entitled "Les Free Massons," used as the frontispiece in this issue, is quite a rarity and has occasioned considerable curiosity and disputation. It is made from one of the original impressions which is preserved in the Iowa Masonic Library at Cedar Rapids. The plate was published in 1733-35 in connection with a list of lodges of the Society "des Massons Libres," edited by Pine, himself a Freemason, and dedicated to Weymouth, then Grand Master of England, whose arms appear in the print.
The portrait of Sir Richard Steele in the medallion above the tavern signs, and beneath the Weymouth arms, would seem to indicate him as a member of the Fraternity, yet this has been denied by later writers.
Mr. Richard Steele, familiarly known as "Dick" Steele, afterwards created Sir Richard Steele by Queen Anne, was noted as a "man about town" and a close observer of everything transpiring in London in his day. He was a contributor to the "Tatler" and mentions the subject of Freemasonry incidentally by alluding to "certain coteries of idle fellows who rail at woman-kind and have their signs and tokens like Free Masons."
Steele was an author of some repute, publishing a volume of dramatic works, 1723, containing plays written by him as early as 1714; "Theatre and Anti-Theatre," republished 1791; two volumes of "Epistolary Correspondence," reprinted in 1787; "Account of the State of the Roman Catholic Religion throughout the World," 1715. His connection with the Fraternity has been affirmed by some writers who mention him as a "Free Mason of the York Rite, or Ancient Masons." It would seem somewhat evident that Sir Richard was a Mason and a "good fellow," his portrait being so closely allied with the "Tavern Signs," representing the places of meeting of the Craft.
This same plate appears also in Picart's Ceremonies, of 1736-37, a very rare work published in seven large folio volumes, of which the Grand Lodge of Iowa has a complete set.
Brother Speth, in writing of this rare plate, says:
"It represents in the foreground the Worshipful Master, his Wardens and Brethren, all in the costume of the early part of the last century; beyond them stretches a table in the shape of a square, and behind this table rises a high panelled wainscoting. The panel is divided into 129 smaller squares, on each of which appears a number, the copy of a tavern sign, and the name of the tavern in question. . . . . The plate is valuable as showing us the Masonic costume of the period, and curious as suggesting that Sir Richard Steele must have been a Freemason. It is indeed our only evidence on that point as, although many expressions in his writings might be held to confirm such a view, we have no record in lodge minutes, or members' lists, that such was the case.
"Picart's ceremonies was published in many editions at various times and places, and in more than one language, and I believe all of them originally contained the plate in question, although the book is oftener met without it, some Masonic collector having evidently taken it out. In many of the later editions the plate is reversed, and the numbers of the lodges run from right to left instead of from left to right."
The Transactions of the Lodge Quatuor Coronati, as well as several rare Masonic works have referred to this plate as one of the rare Masonic plates of the day and it has proved of much interest to the Masonic student.
* * *
WAS WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE A FREEMASON?
Bro. Robert I. Clegg, New York
A few pertinent paragraphs from the great Bard, bearing on words and phrases in common use among the Craft:
"Put on two leather jerkins and aprons." — 2 Henry IV., 2: 190.
"They will put on two of your jerkins and aprons." — 2 Henry IV., II, 4:18.
"Here, Robin, an I die, I give thee my apron." — 2 Henry VI., II, 3:75.
"The nobility think scorn to go in leather aprons." — 2 Henry VI., II, 2:14.
"Hold up, you sluts, your aprons mountant." — Timothy of Athens, IV, 3:135.
"A carpenter— where is thy leather apron and thy rule?" — Julius Caesar I, 1:7.
"Mechanic slaves with greasy aprons, rules and hammers." — Antony and Cleopatra, V, 2:210.
"He will line your apron with gold." — Pericles, IV, 6:64.
"You have made good work, you and your apron." — Coriolanus, IV, 6:96.
"Being then appointed Master of this design." — Tempest, I, 2:163.
"The singing Masons, building roofs of gold." — Henry V., I, 2:98.
"What is he that builds stronger than either Mason?" — Henry V., I, 47.
"Who builds stronger than the Mason?" — Henry V., I, 57.
"Creaking my shoes on plain Masonry." — All's Well That Ends Well, II, 1:31.
"You shall see him in the triple pillar of the world." — Antony and Cleopatra, I, 1:12.
"And set it down with gold on lasting pillars." — Tempest, V, 1:208.
"And call them pillars that will stand to us." — 3 Henry VI., II, 3:87.
"He is not our Craft's Master." — 2 Henry IV., III, 2:297.
"Wooing poor craftsmen." — Richard II., I, 4:28.
THE ABOVE very interesting compilation appeared in the March, 1918, issue of the Rob Morris Bulletin, the bright publication of Rob Morris Lodge, Denver, Colorado, and is of course the production of its able editor, Henry F. Evans. One cannot but wish that our excellent brother had had the space and time to elaborate his article at such length and skill as his sound Masonic knowledge and literary capacity fully warranted. Then indeed we should have the more nearly arrived at a solution of the really knotty question behind the references he has patiently assembled and which but whet our curiosity to a keener edge. There is no present intention to offer a complete answer to the query. At the best we can but carry forward the inquiry a short stage or two but we shall feel quite content if we attract attention to the problem.
We are also denied the satisfaction of going thoroughly and definitely into explanations. This cannot be done in print. The reader must read between the lines. He must make his own references. If his remembrance of ritual is hazy and incomplete there is but one remedy, get the co-operation of some well-informed Mason, or better still, take the article over to the lodge and read it to the brethren. Their reaction will help. There is wisdom in the counsel of many.
Neither shall we on the present occasion delve into the peculiarities, political or otherwise, of the Elizabethan era. We have pointed out on another opportunity the Craft relation of the gilds and their pageantry and we shall curb our temptation to go deeply into Shakespeare's acquaintance with the trades and their customs. To take but the single instance, William Blades has put on record so many allusions to the one trade, printing, that Shakespeare might from the testimony of his literary output be set down not unfairly as an exponent of that calling.
How much did he know of Freemasonry? We may perhaps meet the inquiry by submitting such evidence as shows what he knew of things and of practices that especially concern Freemasons. Obviously these can be but fragmentary and merely suggestive.
Clarence tells us of King Edward's mysticism in these terms:
"Hearkens after prophecies and dreams; And from the cross-row plucks the letter G."
— Richard III, I, 1.
One might infer that the allusion is to some means of divination, forecasting the future, as the term "cross-row" is to be found explained as meaning the alphabet. Sometimes the alphabet was accompanied with a cross in the old primers or was arranged in the form of a cross as a token of good luck. But the choice of the letter "G" is significant.
Falstaff's death gives in a word by Mistress Quickly, "chrisom child," "Henry V.," II, 3, a striking comparison. Knowing the fullness of the reference the Freemason can with Shakespeare see the larger vision. For the child when christened was given a white garment and anointed with oil, the while was said the following prayer, "Receive this white, pure and holy vestment, which thou shalt wear before the tribunal of our Lord Jesus Christ, that thou mayest inherit eternal life. Amen." After the member of the Craft has thought over the Apron lectures of Brothers Strobo and Shaver, and also conned over the color allusion by Stowe, "Chronicles of London," to the gifts of the godfathers of "christening shirts with little bands and cuffs, wrought either with silk or blue thread," he will see no doubt what Shakespeare saw, the dying of an old man like unto an innocent child, as one wearing and deserving the purity badge of an Entered Apprentice, "went away an it had been any chrisom child."
Praise to excess is often spoken of as if it were laid on with a trowel. So does Shakespeare speak of it with reference to that very working tool of the Craft, see "As You Like It," I, 2.
Our friend and brother, the great Pythagoras, was by no means unknown to Shakespeare who mentions him by name and alludes familiarly to the theories associated with his school of philosophy. For example:
"To hold opinion with Pythagoras
That souls of animals infuse themselves
Into the trunks of men."
— Merchant of Venice, IV, 1.
Another instance is in "Twelfth Night," IV, 2:
"What is the opinion of Pythagoras concerning wild fowl?"
"That the soul of our grandam might haply inhabit a bird."
Transmigration of souls is elsewhere mentioned by Shakespeare, as in the "Tempest," IV, 1, and in "Hamlet," IV, 5. That beautiful if fanciful — certainly not unscientific — idea, "the music of the spheres," was also Pythagorian and well-known to Shakespeare. Thus it is said in the "Merchant of Venice," V, 1,
"There's not the smallest orb which thou beholdest,
But in his motion like an angel sings."
Does Shakespeare allude to the North? Yes, he deems it the place of darkness and of evil. He mentions a devil assigned to the north. The spirits, "I Henry VI.," V, 3, are sought "Under the lordly monarch of the north." See also "I Henry IV.," II, 4, and the "Merry Wives of Windsor," II, 2.
There is a noteworthy passage in "King John," IV, 2:
"And when they talk of him they shake their heads
And whisper one another in the ear;
And he that speaks doth gripe the hearer's wrist,
Whilst he that hears makes fearful action,
With wrinkled brows, with nods, with rolling eyes."
The sight of the open hand, as in the outstretched hand when extending it to clasp that of a presumed friendly acquaintance or raising the hand when taking an oath in a court of law or elsewhere or when elevating the hand in giving a military salute or answering one, all these and similar acts had a wider meaning in the days of Shakespeare than is even now known to many of the profane. Then it was not uncommon to brand criminals or otherwise maim or mutilate them. The word "stigma" means such an effect as if burned deeply by fire. Just as the mutilated criminal showed that those in authority had branded him noticeably to the end that the beholders could never mistake him for one unrestrained and unrestricted, free of birth and will, so the person born deformed or accidently so was deemed thus crippled or defaced by the will of God to designate his evil nature. Accordingly in "Richard III.," I, 8, the hunchbacked Duke is called:
"Thou elfish-marked, abortive, rooting hog!
Thou that was sealed in thy nativity,
The slave of nature, and the son of hell."
Bacon, about the same period, and by the way we will not here venture into a discussion of the true authorship of the plays of Shakespeare, but Bacon refers to the deformity of the body accompanying a perversion of the mind. Thus, agrees Shakespeare,
"A fellow by the hand of nature mark'd,
Quoted, and signed, to do a deed of shame."
— King John, II, 2.
"And the blots of nature's hand
Shall not in their issue stand;
Never mole, hare-lip, nor scar,
Nor mark prodigious, such as are
Despised in infancy."
— Midsummer Night's Dream, V, 1.
"But thou art neither like thy sire nor dam;
But like a foul misshapen stigmatic
Mark'd by the destinies to be avoided
As venom toads, or lizards' dreadful stings."
— 3 Henry VI., II, 2.
Probably an allusion to the branding by a heated crown is indicated by the words in "Richard III.," IV, 1. Assuredly there is some ground for the belief that some regicides, notably the Earl of Athol executed for the murder of James I. of Scotland, were tortured with a circlet of hot iron around the head. Note the passage:
"O, would to God that the inclusive verge
Of golden metal, that must round my brow,
Were red-hot steel, to sear me to the brain."
There is a classic story of the tree that revealed to Aeneas the murder of Polydorus in discovering the grave of the one so patiently sought. The account is to be found in Virgil or Dryden's translation of that author, III, 22. Shakespeare seems quite familiar with it. Thus in "Macbeth," III, 4, referring lo the fact that murder will out, we are told,
"It will have blood; they say, blood will have blood;
Stones have been known to move, and trees to speak;
Augurs and understood relations have
By magot-pies and choughs and rocks brought forth
The secret'st man of blood."
The symbolism of the glove is all but lost among Freemasons, not so in the days of Shakespeare. There was a time when the giving of a pair of gloves to the newly-made Mason was as significant as was the bestowal of anything else. Not infrequently a second pair of gloves was given the new member to be in turn transmitted to the one he loved best of the opposite sex. Today the Freemason is mainly accustomed to the white gloves as an appropriate emblem of mourning to be worn at a Masonic funeral or as adding a touch of Masonic uniform or "clothing" at any other ceremonial of a public character. Shakespeare refers to the gloves as a favor to be exchanged freely by friends but when once acquired and worn it could only be demanded as the act of an enemy. For instance,
"Give me any gage of thine, and I will wear it in my bonnet; then if ever thou darest acknowledge it, I will make it my quarrel."
"Here's my glove; give me another of thine."
"This will I also wear in my cap; if ever thou come to me and say, after tomorrow, 'This is my glove,' by this hand, I will take thee a box on the ear."
— Henry V., IV, 1.
Appropriately enough from a Masonic point of view where the glove has equal weight with the apron in symbolism, Shakespeare calls it "honor's pawn," and a "token of honor," as may be seen by an examination of "Richard II.," I, 1; "Richard II.," IV, 1; "Timon of Athens," V, 4.
We are taught as Masons that the form of a lodge is oblong; its length from east to west, in breadth from north to south, as high as heaven, and as deep as from the surface to the center. Thus are we shown the universality of Freemasonry and that a Mason's charity should be equally extensive. But the expressions must sound strange to the young Freemason, much more strange than they would would have been to the ears of Shakespeare. He uses east to west in the same limitless fashion thus:
"O heaven, that such companions thou'ldst unfold,
And put in every honest hand a whip
To lash the rascals naked through the world
Even from the east to the west!"
— Othello, IV, 2.
And as to the center, pray consider the following,
"As true as steel, as plantage to the moon,
As sun to day, as turtle to her mate,
As iron to adamant, as earth to the center."
— Troilus and Cressida, III, 2.
There is also the claim of the self-confident Polonius who says,
"I will find
Where truth is hid, though it were hid indeed
Within the center."
— Hamlet, II, 2.
While dealing to some extent with the points of the compass we must not overlook the location of graves upon which there is an interesting note in Tylor's "Primitive Culture," vol. 2, page 423. He says,
"It is not to late and isolated fancy, but to the carrying on of ancient and widespread solar ideas, that we trace the well known legend that the body of Christ was laid with the head toward the west, thus looking eastward, and the Christian usage of digging graves east and west, which prevailed through medieval times, and is not yet forgotten."
He also quotes an old work to the effect that the the laying of the head to the west was for the purpose that the dead should rise looking toward the east. Did Shakespeare know of this centuries-old belief? He did, as may be seen from the following, relative to the burial of the dead,
'Nay, Cadwal, we must lay his head to the east;
My father has a reason for't."
— Cymbeline, IV, 2.
On many occasions we have called attention to the punishment by drowning, the tying of the culprit to a stake at low water and then leaving the body there for at least the period of a couple of tides. Around this old English treatment of criminals grew up certain expressions and superstitions of the liveliest interest to we Freemasons. They are duly noted by Shakespeare. Thus of a rascal in the "Tempest," I, 1, it is said,
"Would thou might'st lie drowning
The washing of ten tides."
And in the "Midsummer Night's Dream," III, 2, we find,
"Damned spirits all,
That in cross-ways and floods have burial."
Falstaff's death is said to have been
"Even at the turning o' the tide."
— Henry V., II, 3.
and in the passing of the king in "2 Henry IV.," 4, is thus recorded by Shakespeare,
"The river hath thrice flow'd, no ebb between;
And the old folk, times doting chronicles,
Say it did so a little time before
That our great grandsire, Edward sick'd and died."
Of symbolism we have a wealth of references, too many for easy selection. In mere allusion to numbers there is too large a choice as the mention of significant numerals is extensive. Threes, sevens and nines are noted as of special importance by Shakespeare, as truly they are to all Freemasons. In fact he has put into the mouth of Falstaff, "Merry Wives of Windsor," V, 1, an explanation with which we may conclude this compilation,
"They say there is divinity in odd numbers,
Either in nativity, chance or death."
Of the symbolism of numbers much is taught in Freemasonry. Three, five, seven, nine, and their multiples are frequently met. All have a pertinent significance for the persevering student of the message shown and conveyed by symbolism. Among the manifold references it is well to reread in this connection the information to be found in the Mackey-Hughan Encyclopedia, Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible (the article on "Number"), and Morals and Dogma (pages 548 et seq).
Was Shakespeare aware of the peculiar associations that these particular numbers have for many if indeed not all of us? It is very likely that he was so informed. The obvious fact that these numbers are uneven was not unnoticed by him. Nay, he goes further and speaks of odd numbers in a way indicating his acquaintance with the beliefs that had grown around them through the ages of mankind's infancy and mental growth. Thus,
"They say there is a divinity in odd numbers, either in nativity,-chance, or death."
— Merry Wives of Windsor, V, 1.
So magical was the impression of odd numbers that Shakespeare to the better suggest the uncanny he puts into the mouth of a witch the two words "one" and "three" where four is meant.
"Thrice and once the hedge-pig whined."
— Macbeth, IV, 1.
In this he had classic authority for his guide. But there is another example of very considerable interest from our point of view. This is in the promise made by Cade to Dick, the butcher of Ashford. Butchers in the reign of Elizabeth were forbidden to sell during Lent unless by dispensation. Cade therefore makes a double promise, to lengthen Lent and also grant a very unusual permission to kill. The number in the promise could have obviously been one thing as another were it not for the deeper meaning associated with the odd number.
"Therefore, thus will I reward thee — the Lent shall be as long again as it is; and thou shalt have a license to kill for a hundred lacking ane."
— 2 Henry VI, IV, 3.
There are instances where the uses of the expression has indeed become so fixed a custom and habit in our conversation that the symbolism and strength of lore is no longer noted by us. Yet even here it is well worth the notice that Shakespeare prefers to employ an odd number where with equal ease he might have used something else. As,
"Threescore and ten I can remember well:
Within the volume of which time I have seen
Hours dreadful and things strange: but this sore night
Hath trifled former knowings."
— Macbeth, II, 3.
Shakespeare has also reproduced an old charm or spell that may have been employed as an agency against attacks of nightmare. Here it is as will be seen the mention of a number is in both cases to an odd one.
"Saint Withold footed thrice the old wold;
He met the night-mare, and her nine-fold;
Bid her alight
And troth her plight,
And, aroint thee, witch, aroint thee!"
— King Lear, III, 4.
* * *
"FREEMASONRY IN AMERICA PRIOR TO 1750"
Bro. A.G. Pitts, Secretary Palestine Lodge, Michigan
"FREEMASONRY in America prior to 1750" by Brother Melvin M. Johnson, Past Grand Master of Massachusetts, is a book of the kind that used to characterize Masonry. The author, to maintain his thesis, relies especially upon the easy device of ascribing to former generations the ideas of the present. Such a device is not only easy but especially likely to be successful in Masonry. The average Mason is only too ready to believe that the laws and customs of Masonry were the same in 1730 as they are today.
The especial duty of the National Masonic Research Society is to study the changes in these laws and customs, to emphasize the fact that they have changed, and to prevent Masonic literature from falling back into the condition it was when Hallam wrote:
"The curious subject of Freemasonry has unfortunately been treated of only by panegryists and caluminators, both equally mendacious."
This was said in 1856. Soon after arose the new school including the Quatuor Coronati group — Hughan, Gould, Chetwode-Crawley, Speth and the rest, who adopted and steadfastly pursued the rigorous methods of modern historians. The most striking illustration of the effect of this reform upon the profane world and of the new respect for the Craft which the latter thereupon acquired is found in a comparison of the articles under the heading "Freemasonry" in the ninth and in the eleventh (latest) edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. The contemptuous tone of the ninth edition is well known and has been often referred to. The eleventh edition gives space to an article of extraordinary merit and of extraordinary length.
Past Grand Master Johnson's thesis is that Massachusetts has every kind of priority in the history of "Freemasonry in America Prior to 1750." The first lodge in Boston was of 1733. But there was a lodge at Philadelphia as early as 1730 and even a Grand Lodge. How is he to secure priority for Boston in respect to these matters?
He does it by heaping injurious epithets upon the Philadelphia brethren. Witness the following sample:
"1721 June 24. On this day the Mother Grand Lodge of the Masonic world, that at London, adopted a regulation quoted under '1700' supra. This has ever since been the law forbidding the formation of a lodge without a Grand Master's Warrant.
"This Mother Grand Lodge then had jurisdiction over the new world and every regular and duly constituted lodge which existed in America during the period with which we are dealing derived its authority directly or indirectly therefrom. At least from the public promulgation of this rule (1723) every lodge which met in the colonies without the required authority (and there were doubtless a number of them) was irregular and not entitled to Masonic recognition. All such came under the second paragraph of said Regulation VIII. Clandestine and irregularly made Masons were no more entitled to Masonic recognition in the eighteenth century than they are now in the twentieth century. The so-called lodges in the colonies, therefore meeting without warrant in those early days are no part of legitimate Masonic history until they 'humbled themselves' as did the Masons of Pennsylvania when in 1734 they applied for and received recognition from Provincial Grand Master Price 1734-6. Until then, under the law quoted they were 'rebels.' And never in any phase of the life of the world have rebels obtained the right of legitimacy unless the rebellion was successful. In dealing with questions of precedence, primacy is to be accorded to regularity, and obedience to law is to be preferred to violation thereof."
Section VIII upon which so much is based, was adopted by the first Grand Lodge not later than 1723 since it is found in the constitutions printed in that year. The statement is there made that the regulations then first printed were adopted June 24; 1721. Maybe there were, but we have no authority for the claim but the statement of Rev. James Anderson and we have learned not to accept any statement of his unless verified.
Here is Section VIII:
"VIII. No set or number of brethren shall withdraw or separate themselves from the lodge in which they were made brethren or were afterward admitted members, unless the lodge becomes too numerous; nor even then, without a dispensation from the Grand Master or his deputy: and when they are thus separated, they must immediately join themselves to such other lodge as they shall like best, with the unanimous consent of that other lodge to which they go (as above regulated) or else they must obtain the Grand Master's warrant to join in forming a new lodge.
"If any set or number of Masons shall take upon themselves to form a lodge without the Grand Master's warrant the regular lodges are not to countenance them nor own them as fair brethren and duly formed, nor approve of their action and deeds; but must treat them as rebels, until they humble themselves as the Grand Master shall in his prudence direct, and until he approve of them by his warrant, which must be signified to the other lodges as the custom is when a new lodge is to be registered in the list of lodges."
If the Grand Lodge which adopted Regulation VIII had undertaken to legislate for Masonry everywhere we should have many questions to ask as to where they got the authority to do so. But we are spared this inquiry for these regulations are expressly entitled "for the use of the lodges in and about London and Westminster."
Regulation III, printed at the same time, requires each lodge to keep a list of all the lodges "in town." Regulation XII provides that the Grand Lodge consists of the Masters and Wardens of all the regular particular lodges upon record. If this be of world-wide application and lodges not regular are irregular or clandestine then the Grand Lodge of London and Westminster meant to so characterize the scores of lodges in Scotland, in Ireland and in England outside the capital. We shall see if that was its intention.
Regulation XIII provides that apprentices must be admitted Masters and Fellow Craft only in Grand Lodge. Regulation XX that the Grand Master shall visit all the lodges "about town" during his Mastership. Regulation XXII that the brethren of all the lodges "in and about London and Westminster" shall meet at an annual communication and feast. Regulation XXXIX that no new regulation can be adopted except by vote of a majority of all the brethren present at the annual grand feast including "Even the youngest Entered Apprentice." All this points irresistibly to the idea of a local Grand Lodge, not one for all the world.
There follows a "postscript" giving the manner of constituting a new lodge which is by the Grand Master present in person. After that an "approbation" certifying that the regulations were adopted with the "consent of the brethren and fellows in and about the cities of London and Westminster" and ordering that they be received in every particular lodge "under our cognizance."
The truth is that the first Grand Lodge was formed to be a Grand Lodge for the four lodges which formed it and with no idea of territorial jurisdiction whatever. It is most curious to trace the growth of the idea of exclusive territorial jurisdiction until it reaches its full stature (as it has done in America alone) when it appears as the doctrine that there must be one Grand Lodge for each political State and only one and that any lodge in that State which does not hold of the established Grand Lodge of that State is ipso facto clandestine. Nowhere in the world is there so perfect an illustration of the dictum of Past Grand Master Simons (in his "Masonic Jurisprudence") that it is human nature to encroach. Brother Simons also laid down in emphatic language the duty of Freemasons to resist the never-ending, successive encroachments of Grand Lodge. Since his time the encroachments have gone on until now what he enjoined as a duty has become a crime and even the repetition of his injunction to resist is a Masonic crime.
This is the significance of the present inquiry. The question of precedency between Massachusetts and Pennsylvania is of little consequence. What is of the utmost consequence is to put the theory of Grand Lodge absolutism in its proper place. And a contribution can be made to this work by a study of the origin of Grand Lodges. The Grand Lodge of 1717 was successful beyond all expectation. Organized by and for four lodges it began almost at once to be joined by the other lodges of London and soon by those of Westminster. Already in 1723, as we have seen, it is powerful enough to enjoin upon its lodges a refusal to recognize any new lodge formed from among Masons under its authority without the authority of its Grand officers. But up to that time the Masons under its authority were only those who were members of its lodges.
In 1724 it takes the second step; it ordains "that no new lodge in or near London without it be regularly constituted, be countenanced by the Grand Lodge, nor the Master or Wardens be admitted at the Grand Lodge." (Gould's History of Freemasonry, American Edition, Vol. III, p. 127.)
This is the first appearance of territorial jurisdiction.
It is significant that in quoting this in the second edition of the Constitutions published in 1738 Anderson omits the words "in or near London." This interested omission is the measure of the extent of encroachment between 1724 and 1738.
At a later meeting in 1724, also, it was ordered that "if any brethren shall meet irregularly and shall make Masons at any place within ten miles of London the persons present at the making (the new brethren excepted) shall not be admitted even as visitors into any regular lodge whatsoever, unless they come and make such submission to the Grand Master and (Grand Lodge as they shall think fit to impose upon them." (Gould, Vol. III, p. 129.)
As in the last preceding quotation the boldface words indicate an omission made by Anderson in the Constitutions of 1738.
Now we are in position to understand what the Grand Lodge of 1717 understood by its characterization of certain brothers as "rebels" in Regulation VIII. Philadelphia was not "in or near London" and it was not "within ten miles of London." But, allowing the Grand Lodge all the authority it claimed, it did not even claim to control Masonry outside those territorial limits.
It may be remarked in passing that there is evidence that, at least as late as 1726, in the words of Brother Gould, "the 'beneficent despotism' which arose out of the unconditional surrender of their inherent privileges by four private lodges, was not submitted to without resistance by the Craft at large. (Gould, Vol. III, p. 133.)
In other words, even as far as we have got in 1726, we find that the pretensions of the Grand Lodge are treated with contempt "in and near London" and it is again to be noted that this article leaves aside the very large question — the enormous question — how did it come that four lodges could make new laws which should be binding upon Masons who never belonged to any of the four? But having asked the question it will not delay us much to give the answer. By assumption and encroachment only.
But up to 1734 and much later we can, for our present purpose, admit the validity of every law that they passed leaving this question aside. It was many years before they ever claimed jurisdiction over all England even, and they never claimed any jurisdiction over Scotland or Ireland and they never claimed exclusive jurisdiction over the colonies and other parts of the world.
In 1725 the regulation allowing the making of Fellowcrafts and Masters at Grand Lodge only was repealed. This marks the fact that the Grand Lodge had begun to secure the adherence of lodges more than ten miles from London. In 1727 Provincial Grand Masters were first appointed. In 1729 lodges were constituted in Bengal and at Gibraltar and in 1729 a lodge at Madrid was received. In 1730 a Provincial Grand Master was appointed for New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Upon this Brother Johnson remarks:
"The issuance of this deputation, however, establishes three facts, viz:
- The then jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of England over these colonies.
- That regular and duly constituted lodges could exist in the colonies only through the authority of a Provincial Grand Master appointed by the Grand Master of England.
- That no one else had authority to establish lodges in Pennsylvania, New York or New Jersey until at least after June 24, 1732, the end of the term of the deputation.
"The establishment of lodges in Pennsylvania during the term of Coxe's deputation and without his sanction was therefore irregular and in direct contravention of his authority. (Gould, Vol. IV, p. 362.)"
That reference to "Gould, Vol. IV" is startling. If Gould said anything like that we have to revise the opinion we have had of Gould for thirty years.
But be reassured "Gould, Vol. IV," is a reference to that pirated edition of Gould which stands for all time as a monument to American Masonry and a new demonstration of the evil effect of extravagant pretensions. American Masonry, since it makes an excessive parade of brotherly love, of rectitude and the like, might be expected to steal the life work of Masonry's most distinguished scholar, allowing him to die in poverty leaving his aged wife unprovided for. This we did — we Americans. Fifty cents a set on the copies of Gould's History sold in America would have made him comfortable and free from anxiety in his old age. He did not get a cent. Every American Mason that owns or uses the American edition of Gould's History owes Mrs. Gould a dollar.
This by the way. Perhaps an apology is due for such a digression. All that it was necessary to say is this: Volume IV of Gould's History, after page 300, is the American addition to the History and "Gould, Vol. IV, p. 362," is one of the precious pages which P.G.M. Drummond contributed.
But let us go back a little. In 1725 we find a Grand Lodge at Dublin showing signs of having been in existence for some time. In 1726 a Grand Lodge was organized for Munster probably by a single lodge. In 1728 this Grand Lodge adopted regulations, the tenth of which required each lodge to provide itself with a copy of the Constitutions printed at London in 1723. Upon these regulations as a whole, Bro. Chetwode-Crawley remarks:
"We have the same restrictions on jurisdiction as were current in the Grand Lodge of England. The provisions were only for constituted lodges within easy reach. Caementaria Hibernica Fas. I."
We find a Grand Lodge at Dublin in 1729 and in 1730 it published a book of Constitutions which is a copy of Anderson's Constitutions of 1723. Thus that famous Regulation VIII is almost precisely the same as already quoted above. In XXII "Dublin" takes the place of "London and Westminster."
If the Grand Lodge of London by its Constitution and regulations of 1723 was assuming jurisdiction over the whole Craft then the Grand Lodge at Dublin was making the identical claim in publishing its identical constitution and regulations of 1730 and these two Grand Lodges were rivals and enemies. As a matter of fact Lord Kingston was Grand Master of both Grand Lodges in succession — of the Grand Lodge at London in 1729, and of that at Dublin and that at Munster (at the same time) in 1731. As a matter of fact the Grand Lodges of Munster and of Dublin had not yet thought of being Grand Lodges for any territory or of being other than Grand Lodges for their own lodges wherever located, and the Grand Lodge of London was only just beginning to have such thoughts. Lord Kingston, while Grand Master of both Munster and Dublin in 1731, constituted a lodge at Mitchelstown (near Cork in Munster) which held under the Grand Lodge of Dublin.
Thus Ireland narrowly escaped coming under a system like that of Germany today where there are six Grand Lodges no one of which has or claims any exclusive territorial jurisdiction whatsoever. Undoubtedly to that extent the German usage represents the original form and idea of Grand Lodges. It is amusing to reflect that some of our Western Grand Lodges have made this adherence to the original form of Masonry ground for denying recognition of German Grand Lodges at all.
The next Grand Lodge to be noticed is that organized at York in 1725, of course in imitation of the one at London. Again we find them adopting the regulations published by the Grand Lodge of London in 1723. Under date of July 6, 1726, we find the Grand Lodge of York expelling a Wm. Scourfield for making Masons "without the consent of the Grand Master contrary to Article VIII." The conclusion is irresistible that the Grand Lodge at York accepted the authority and force of the regulations of 1723, applying them to its own locality as the Grand Lodge of London applied them to London and Westminster and as the Grand Lodge at Philadelphia applied them to Philadelphia.
Now let this be repeated so that it will be clearly understood.
In 1730 there were four Grand Lodges with identical regulations. Each Grand Lodge has its Regulation VIII. Each then was forbidding the formation of lodges without its Grand Master's warrant. Was the Grand Lodge of York, then, forbidding the organization of new lodges at London or at Belfast or at Cork? Of course not. Was it assuming exclusive jurisdiction over the whole Craft? Of course not. How shallow then to claim that the Grand Lodge at London was doing so. And how careless (?) to overlook the fact, which stares us in the face, that these regulations are entitled regulations for the lodges of London and Westminster.
In 1736 the Grand Lodge of Scotland was organized. Not fewer than 100 lodges were invited to take part and thirty-three accepted the invitation. Melrose did not join until 1891, and Kilwinning in 1744 resumed her independency and also her status as a Grand Lodge and continued to grant charters for seventy years thereafter.
Finally in 1723 another Grand Lodge was organized at London which proceeded to make itself "legitimate," according to the test laid down by Past Grand Master Johnson, by becoming "successful." As soon as it had made good its footing it was recognized by the Grand Lodges of Ireland and of Scotland and of York. Says Dr. Chetwode-Crawley:
"Toward the close of the century the Grand Lodge of the Moderns (the one founded in 1717) stood isolated among English-speaking Grand Lodges. Even in the Colonies, where it had been first to plant lodges, the more democratic organization of the Antients, aided by the ubiquitous Military Lodges, in which Ireland had such a preponderance, rapidly and surely won its way to acceptance. It has been generally found more convenient to ignore this isolation, than to accept the conclusions that must be drawn from it. Caementaria Hibernica Fas. II."
It is notorious that the union of 1813 between the Grand Lodge of 1717 and that of 1753 was a surrender on the part of the older sister and to a large degree an admission that the younger had run her out of the field.
It is extraordinary but not at all inexplicable that never in this country has justice been done to the Grand Lodge of Antients, that never has its history been truthfully written. It is extraordinary because it is our real progenitor. The part of the Grand Lodge of Moderns in the establishment of Masonry in this country is negligible. Where the latter did succeed in establishing Masonry it was nearly always sooner or later supplanted by Masonry which originated with the Grand Lodge of Antients or with her affiliates, the Grand Lodges of Scotland and of Ireland.
It is not inexplicable because the history of this Grand Lodge is most annoying to certain Masonic Grand Lodge authorities.
A Mason writing Masonic history, with no axe to grind and no thesis to maintain, could write of the origin of the Grand Lodge of Antients very simply and naturally. It has been hushed up and covered up and made complicated because no one dared tell the truth and take the odium.
In 1751 the Grand Lodge of England had made much progress toward establishing the doctrine that it owned the territory over which it had undertaken to establish exclusive jurisdiction. Its claim was modest at its greatest extent. It did not claim, as do American Grand Lodges, that its exclusive jurisdiction was necessarily co-extensive with the jurisdiction of the political state. There was no Kingdom of England in 1751, nor in 1717. The political state was the Kingdom of Great Britain. England was no more a separate state at either date than is the upper peninsula of Michigan (which probably ought to have a separate Grand Lodge) today. No more a separate state than are those counties which formerly comprised the two separate jurisdictions of Oklahoma and Indian Territory, each of which formerly had its separate Grand Lodge, which Grand Lodges assumed that when the political divisions were united they also must hasten to unite.
But the first Grand Lodge did want to own England. Then arose a rival Grand Lodge which called itself the Grand Lodge of Antients, claiming the right to occupy the same territory and by making its claim good it forever destroyed the doctrine that any Grand Lodge can own any territory and forever established the opposite doctrine that a Grand Lodge, being the creature of lodges, cannot be given by those lodges what they themselves do not possess, that is to say, exclusive jurisdiction over any territory whatsoever. What they do possess and what they can grant is jurisdiction over their own members only.
Now we can go to work, we Americans, those of us that do not hold and would not accept office in any Grand Lodge, and rewrite American Masonic history giving its proper place to the Grand Lodge of Antients in that history. We can take down James Anderson from his pedestal and set up Lawrence Dermott in his place. Especially we can put Masonic jurisprudence upon a rational basis. It is miles from having one now.
Let us have no more talk about the "Mother" Grand Lodge. What P.G.M. Johnson means by that and what we have long understood by it he expresses when he says (by implication) that every lodge in the world derives its authority directly or indirectly therefrom.
The three Grand Lodges in Ireland none of them derived in any way or in any sense from the Grand Lodge of 1717. All three were organized by lodges composed wholly or for the most part of Masons who had never owed or paid allegiance to the premier Grand Lodge. The same is true still more emphatically of the Grand Lodges at York. True beyond any possible question or limitation of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. And when we come to the Grand Lodge of Antients there is no evidence that it is not true of it also. It has suited the purpose of the authorities to represent it as founded by rebels and seceders. The burden of proof is on them. They cannot produce any.
It is the Grand Lodge of Scotland, the Grand Lodge of Ireland, and the Grand Lodge of Antients that spread Freemasonry over the earth and especially over this continent. They are our mothers. We are all anxious to read a history of "Freemasonry Prior to 1800" written from this standpoint. Let some one write it. Not even the present writer knows how it would read.
It may be the fault of my method but only now I am ready to go back to my latest quotation from Brother Johnson and to complete my reply to it.
He makes the statement, it will be remembered, that no one had authority to establish lodges in Pennsylvania, etc., except by authority of the Grand Lodge of London.
This statement is so extraordinary that it is even doubtful what he means by it. It has never been seriously questioned but the Grand Lodges of England, Ireland and Scotland had concurrent jurisdiction over the colonies and all over the world outside the British Isles. The whole history of the early American Grand Lodges is a history of the English, Irish and Scottish lodges uniting to organize a Grand Lodge. Massachusetts herself derives from Scotland as much as from England, and Scotland is, of course, not derived from England. To this day there is no question of the right of any Grand Lodge to organize lodges in any country which has no Grand Lodge and it is understood that Massachusetts has chartered lodges for China.
To be sure the Grand Lodge of Scotland did not exist in 1730-32. But there were two Grand Lodges in Ireland and one of them became very active in chartering lodges in foreign parts. Whether it chartered any prior to 1732 it is not worth while to inquire for it certainly had the right to do so as much then as at any later time. It is not likely that the Philadelphia Lodge had any warrant or other express authority any more than did those that organized the Grand Lodges at London, at Cork, at Dublin, at York and in Scotland. Why they needed any, any more than did those other lodges, it is impossible for any candid person to understand. They also had the same right to organize a Grand Lodge that the other lodges had. No one would have questioned it in those days. The Grand Lodge at London had got no farther than "ten miles from London." If the Masons of Ireland could organize a Grand Lodge in 1730, and those of Scotland could organize one in 1736 why, in the name of sense, could not the Masons of Philadelphia organize one in 1732? As late as 1738 the Grand Lodge at London recognizes the regularity of the Grand Lodge at York, bracketing it with the Grand Lodges of Ireland, Scotland and Italy. See the "Constitutions" of that date.
It is most probable that the Masonry of Philadelphia was of Irish origin in some way. Dr. Chetwode Crawley has pointed out that the Penns were Irish Masons as early as the days of the Grand Lodge of Munster. This is not the evidence relied upon, however. What is relied upon is the language of Dr. Benjamin Franklin's letter to Henry Price at Boston, dated Nov. 28, 1734, in which he asks for a "charter."
Now at that time the only Grand Lodge that knew anything about charters was the Grand Lodge of Ireland. From Ireland they were adopted by the Grand Lodge of Antients in 1753 and the oldest Grand Lodge began to use them in 1757.
What Brother Price granted to Brother Franklin we do not know and especially we do not know and have grave reason to doubt that Franklin, if he received anything, accepted it and acted upon it. What he asked for was a charter for a Grand Lodge. Past Grand Master Johnson quotes with great exultation a Philadelphia newspaper of March 20 to 27, 1735, which states that at a Grand Lodge held at Boston, Feb. 21, Grand Master Price appointed Benjamin Franklin Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Pennsylvania.
Now of course Brother Price was himself only a Provincial Grand Master and had no power to appoint a Provincial Grand Master. That, however, is only an attempt to write like Brother Johnson. What Masonic authorities may lawfully do and what they actually undertook to do in the early days are two very different questions. But Past Grand Master Drummond asserts that "the record shows" that what Brother Price sent was a deputation to hold a lodge at Philadelphia under the Provincial Grand Lodge of Boston. Is he wrong? As a matter of fact there is no record. Referring to the newspaper item Brother Johnson says:
"We are now for the first time, in possession of the date of Franklin's appointment."
If the newspaper is his only authority it does not prove much. We know that the Grand Lodge at Philadelphia continued as a Grand Lodge at least until 1741. Also that what Brother Franklin asked for was a charter "confirming the brethren of Pennsylvania in the privileges they at present enjoy of holding annually their Grand Lodge, choosing their Grand Master, Wardens and other officers who may manage all affairs relating to the brethren here with full power and authority, according to the customs and usages of Masons, the said Grand Master of Pennsylvania only yielding his chair when the Grand Master of all America shall be in place." (Gould, Vol. IV, p. 236.)
This is that "humbling themselves" on the part of the Pennsylvania "rebels" to which Brother Johnson refers in our first quotation from him. He is easily satisfied.
As has been said the question of precedency between Pennsylvania and Massachusetts is of little consequence. It is to be hoped that there will be found in the present inquiry license to examine the question whether the modern doctrine as to the absolute and unlimited power of Grand Lodges is a doctrine necessary or useful.
It may be readily admitted that greater authority should be given to Masonic government than it had yet acquired in 1734. The evil of the looseness of these days appears from Brother Franklin's famous letter to Brother Price. He fears the establishment of a rival (and cheap) Masonry in Philadelphia which will discredit the institution and he believes that the sanction of some authority from Great Britain will add weight to his Grand Lodge.
It is proper, perhaps, that every Grand Lodge should enforce exclusive control over the territory it occupies if it can. This does not alter the fact that the methods adopted in many cases in the history of American Masonry have been most uncharitable, unfraternal and disgraceful and such as would not have been adopted if we had known the whole truth about the origin of Grand Lodge authority. Nor does it alter the fact that such exclusive jurisdiction has not been found necessary in other countries. Nor the fact that we are at liberty to consider a different organization of the Freemasonry of the United States. One could be found which would add to instead of diminishing the power, influence and prestige of the Craft.
There is another consideration which is important. The glory of Freemasonry is her great men. Says Carlyle:
"I say great men are still admirable! I say there is at bottom, nothing else admirable! No nobler feeling than this of admiration for one higher than himself dwells in the breast of man. It is to this hour, and at all hours, the vivifying influence in man's life."
Benjamin Franklin ought to be one of our Masonic heroes — second in this country to Washington alone. Nevertheless if it were true that he was an irregular or clandestine Mason, if it were true that he would act illegally for the sake of the petty vanity of writing himself Grand Master, if he was a "rebel" and a self-confessed rebel who made "humble submission" as such, then let the truth be told. In writing history historical truth is above everything. But none of these things are true.
Among the seven or eight Grand Lodges first organized none is more regular than Benjamin Franklin's. This is the conclusion of Brothers Hughan and Gould. Everyone should read what they have to say about it, especially Brother Gould. See the American Edition of his great history at page 241 of Vol. IV.
Of all the founders of early Grand Lodges the greatest name is Benjamin Franklin. Of all the early Grand Masters the greatest name is Benjamin Franklin. The glory of furnishing this name to Freemasonry belongs to us all. If Massachusetts cares nothing for this the rest of us ought to.
Let us protest against vilifying and blackening him without cause.
* * *
MASONIC RESEARCH WORK IN IOWA
Report Of Grand Lodge Committee On Masonic Research
A number of Grand Lodges employ Research Committees to stimulate Masonic study among their members. It is believed that those interested in the work of these Committees, in Study Clubs, and Masonic research generally, will find something worth while in the report of the Masonic Research Committee of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, submitted to and adopted by the Grand Lodge at its Annual Communication at Ottumwa last June.
Those who may desire further information concerning the work of this Committee are advised to write Brother C.C. Hunt, Deputy Grand Secretary, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
THE COMMITTEE on Masonic Research in coming before you with a report for another year is impressed more than ever with the greatness of the work. We have often heard the adage "Eternal vigilance is the price of Liberty." Let us add a corollary to that truth "Unceasing diligence is the price of progress." As a boatman rowing against the stream begins to go back the moment he stops rowing, so as Masons we are striving to gain the heights of truth where the horizon of our life is widened, our minds enlarged, our sympathies broadened, our souls uplifted and our affections deepened, must continue rowing against the current of indolence, indifference and procrastination, if we would not allow ourselves to drift back to the lowlands of ignorance, narrowness and selfishness. Your Committee has had to contend against these currents during the past year, but we are glad to say that progress has been made and that we are on higher ground than we were a year ago. The Clipping Bureau, the Traveling Libraries, Masonic Lectures, Study Clubs, distribution of papers and pamphlets, about which we reported a year ago, have continued to give good results.
For instance, material for the Clipping Bureau is more than double what it was then, and we hope to double it again during the coming year. Thousands of short articles on different Masonic topics have been clipped from magazines and arranged according to subjects which will be loaned to anyone requesting them. Many members who have been asked to give a short talk or address on some Masonic subject on various occasions have been able to receive valuable assistance from this material. We hope during the coming year to issue a catalog of articles on hand. We can here simply say briefly that the clippings are divided into about 60 subjects and placed in letter files with one or more letter files to each subject.
TRAVELING LIBRARIES AND BOOKS LOANED
Your Committee has found these libraries very valuable in assisting lodges in taking up courses of reading and study. As stated so often by your Grand Secretary, these libraries are furnished by the Grand Lodge Library and are put up in two size cases of respectively one and two shelves each. These libraries are loaned to any lodge requesting them for a period of ninety days. Where a lodge is making a study of some particular subject of Masonry we have attempted to supply them with library books on that particular subject.
In addition to the Traveling Libraries, a large number of individual books have been loaned for these purposes. Several duplicate volumes of standard works have been procured. One or more copies of each are always out on their mission to make man better, wiser and consequently happier.
Some time ago our M. W. Grand Master, Brother John W. Barry, prepared two lectures, one on the "Story of Old Glory," a history of our flag with special reference to Masonic activities in its design and adoption, and one on "The Pillars," the latter being a piece of Masonic research of unusual scholarly thoroughness. These two lectures proved of such value that sets of lantern slides were made to accompany them. These slides with a copy of the lecture, are now being loaned to such lodges or individuals as may care to use them.
BROTHER BARRY'S LECTURES
The demand for them has been continuous during the year and has extended beyond the confines of our own state. Requests for these lectures have come from the Atlantic and the Pacific, Alaska and from Canada. When these lectures were not in use by our own members we have been glad to supply this demand in other states. We make no charge except the payment of transportation both ways. It is gratifying to know that the lectures are doing a useful work and that the brethren are finding them interesting. The Obelisk lecture has been given in several lodges in and around Washington; D.C., and is now at New York to be given in one of the large lodges of Brooklyn. Reports from the brother who gave the lecture in these lodges indicate that it was very well received and great interest manifested, and from this interest several new members were added to the National Masonic Research Society. "The Story of Old Glory" continues to be the popular lecture and we wish that every lodge in the State could arrange to give it some time during the coming year.
SCHOOLS OF INSTRUCTION
The Grand Lodge Schools of Instruction, especially the general schools, are continually growing in interest each year and this year the attendance and interest shown has been greater than ever. The indefatigable efforts of the Board of Custodians and members to impart instruction in the ritualistic work cannot be too highly commended and it is gratifying to know that the Craft appreciates these efforts and are each year taking an increased interest in such instruction. In these days when so much is said about parrot Masons, we are glad to say that the experience at these schools proves that in this State at least, the term is not applicable to those who are striving to become masters of the ritual so that they can dot all the i's and cross all the t's to become not only word perfect but letter perfect. If the ritual has no meaning for them whence this desire of persevering labor to master its every word to its minutest detail. Men do not spend time and energy to acquire that which has no meaning to them and the schools have demonstrated that those who are most diligent in mastering the letter of the ritual are also most eager to understand its spirit.
The general schools this year were held at Oelwem, Sheldon, Shenandoah, Davenport and Grinnell. Each school lasted three days with ritualistic instruction during the day and actual work in the evening of two of the days. The evening of the second day, however, each school was in charge of the Research Committee and devoted to the explanation of the symbolism and practical application of the ritual which had been studied. Particular attention was paid this year to the work of the Third Degree and able, explanatory lectures were given by Brothers Naboth Osborne, of Burlington, and George Williams of Newton. Brother Osborne addressed the schools at Oelwein and Davenport and Brother Williams at the three other schools. The address at each place was over an hour in length Though it came at the end of a very strenuous day the attention paid throughout the entire lecture was very close and marked, nor did the brethren hasten to leave the hall when the lecture closed. A representative of the Research Committee was present at each school and at the close of the lecture invited questions from the brethren present. The invitation was accepted and all kinds of questions asked, proving beyond questior the deep interest that the brethren are taking in the practical application of the ritual to their every day life.
Mention was made both in the lectures and in the questions and discussions that the principles of Masonry are at stake in the world war in which our country is now engaged. In being true to our government we are fighting for the protection of the principles of brotherly love, relief and truth which are the very tenets of our professions as Masons. The relations of Masonry to the war, however, will be covered by the report of the Loyalty Committee and need be given only this incidental mention here.
In addition to the lectures given at the Schools of Instruction the lodges themselves have arranged for others to be given in their own community on the same or kindred topics. We do not know how many have been thus given but information has been received of several given by Brothers Robert D. Graham, of Denver, Colo., Robert Tipton, of Williamsburg, Iowa, and Brothers John A. Marquis and Chas. W. Flint, presidents of Coe and Cornell Colleges respectively.
THE NATIONAL MASONIC RESEARCH SOCIETY
Notwithstanding the fact that a large majority of the members of the fraternity find their time largely taken up with war work of various kinds, interest in the work of the National Masonic Research Society continues to grow and the membership to gradually increase. Since our last Annual Communication a number of our sister Grand Jurisdictions have appointed committees on Masonic Research and Education and recommended the adoption of the Society's "Bulletin Course of Masonic Study" in the subordinate lodges of their jurisdictions. Letters recently sent out to all Iowa Masters by Grand Master Barry and your Committee on Masonic Research urging that the lodges of this jurisdiction take up the study plan as part of their monthly meetings for the purpose of educating their members in the meaning of our ceremonies and symbols, have resulted in committees for this purpose being appointed in some forty lodges, in addition to those in which the plan has already been put into effect during the past few months. In response to the call from other states, Brother Haywood attended two meetings and gave an illustration of a Study Club meeting in each. On the evening of January 16th, at St. Paul, the Grand Lodge of Minnesota was turned into a Study Club and as a result the movement was endorsed by the Grand Lodge. In Chicago, April 12th, under the auspices of the Masonic Employment Bureau, a meeting was held at which representatives from a large number of Chicago lodges were present. Brother Schoonover addressed the meeting and then it was turned into a Study Club which lasted for two hours and those present expressed themselves highly pleased with it. The outline followed in these two States was the same as in Iowa and while the ritualistic work of the American lodges, on which the study outline of the Research Society is founded, differs in many respects from that of foreign countries, yet the fundamentals are the same and the installments in THE BUILDER are being used as the subjects for reading and discussion in the monthly meetings of lodges and Study Clubs in far-off New Zealand, in the West Indies, in the Philippine Islands, and even in England, the home of many lodges of Masonic Research. Our Canadian brethren are not behind their American brothers in Masonic educational work, there having been scores of Canadian lodges that have become interested in the study movement during the past year whose members have affiliated with the National Masonic Research Society.
Many Study Clubs have been formed by our soldier brethren in the cantonments located in different parts of the country, and even among the Masons now at the front in France. In these clubs the Study papers and questions thereon which are appearing in the monthly issues of THE BUILDER are being used as a basis for discussion. Even one of our large battleships has its own Masonic Study Club which meets regularly and is largely and enthusiastically attended by the officers and enlisted men who are members of the Craft.
Brother Haywood has written a book on Masonic Symbolism, which we hope will be soon published. Its purpose is to present the subject in simple language and at the same time adapt it to the Masonic student. As it is especially designed for lodges and Study Clubs, the Committee overruled Bro. Haywood's objection and published two selections from it for distribution to the lodges in pamphlet form. The pamphlet has been widely distributed and favorably commented on.
Inasmuch as the present world war is drawing the people of England, France and America closer together and the Masons of this country are asking themselves why they should not be brothers in Masonry as well as brothers in arms, and some of the Grand Lodges have deemed the subject of sufficient importance to convene in special session to consider it, we thought it a proper subject of Masonic Research for our lodges to consider. We have, therefore, printed and distributed a paper on the subject of Masonic recognition, showing the way in which our brethren "over the seas" are beginning to consider the subject. Whether the views expressed in either of these papers are accepted or not is of minor importance. If we have awakened thought and aroused discussion which will lead to a better understanding of the subject treated, the work will not have been in vain.
During the coming year we hope to furnish to the lodges three lectures on the Symbolism of the Three Degrees, by Oliver Day Street, of Guntersville, Ala. These lectures have been delivered before the Pythagoras Club of Birmingham, and before various lodges where they have aroused great interest and established their value in throwing more light on our ritualistic work.
We cannot close this report without calling attention to THE BUILDER, which is the organ of the Committee. We cannot begin to tell you of the wealth of valuable material to be found in each number of this publication. Its Study Club talks and discussions — its question box — its correspondence department — its fraternal forum — its book reviews — its jurisprudence studies — its papers on symbolism, Masonic Law and Philosophy — its poems, lectures and papers covering every phase of Masonry give it a value far in excess of the small annual membership fee in the National Masonic Research Society.
You say you have no time to read; no time to study; that your life is so full of work to be done, with duties to be attended to that something must be neglected and therefore you cannot take time to read Masonic publications or spend any time in study. Know ye not that time spent in oiling the machine and keeping it in proper condition is not lost time? Did you ever hear of the kingdom that was lost for want of a horseshoe nail? If you would improve yourself in Masonry, take a little time each day to read some of the good things continually offered in our Masonic papers and magazines. As the time spent by the youth in school is not wasted time so it is true that the odd moments spent by the mature man in thoughtful reading is time well spent.
Let us so plant
"That seeds of truth and love may grow,
And flowers of generous virtue blow.
And sweet it is the growth to trace,
Of worth, of intellect, of grace,
And lead it on from hour to hour,
To ripen into perfect flower."
* * *
Example is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other.
* * *
CORRESPONDENCE CIRCLE BULLETIN — NO. 25
Edited by Bro. H. L. Haywood
THE BULLETIN COURSE OF MASONIC STUDY FOR MONTHLY LODGE MEETINGS AND STUDY CLUBS
FOUNDATION OF THE COURSE
THE Course of Study has for its foundation two sources of Masonic information: THE BUILDER and Mackey's Encyclopedia. In another paragraph is explained how the references to former issues of THE BUILDER and to Mackey's Encyclopedia may be worked up as supplemental papers to exactly fit into each installment of the Course with the paper by Brother Haywood.
The Course is divided into five principal divisions which are in turn subdivided, as is shown below:
- The Work of a Lodge.
- The Lodge and the Candidate.
- First Steps.
- Second Steps
- Third Steps.
- Working Tools.
- Religious Aspect.
- The Quest.
- The Secret Doctrine.
- The Grand Lodge.
- Ancient Constitutions.
- Codes of Law.
- Grand Lodge Practices.
- Relationship to Constituent Lodges.
- Official Duties and Prerogatives.
- The Constituent Lodge.
- Qualifications of Candidates.
- Initiation, Passing and Raising.
- Change of Membership.
- The Mysteries — Earliest Masonic Light.
- Study of Rites — Masonry in the Making.
- Contributions to Lodge Characteristics.
- National Masonry.
- Parallel Peculiarities in Lodge Study.
- Feminine Masonry.
- Masonic Alphabets.
- Historical Manuscripts of the Craft.
- Biographical Masonry.
- Philological Masonry — Study of Significant Words.
THE MONTHLY INSTALLMENTS
Each month we are presenting a paper written by Brother Haywood who is following the foregoing outline. We are now in "First Steps" of Ceremonial Masonry. There will be twelve monthly papers under this particular subdivision. At the head of each installment will be given a number of "Helpful Hints" consisting of questions to be used by the chairman of the Committee during the study period which will bring out every point touched upon in the paper.
Whenever possible we shall reprint in the Correspondence Circle Bulletin articles from other sources which have a direct bearing upon the particular subject covered by Brother Haywood in his monthly paper. These articles should be used as supplemental papers in addition to those prepared by the members from the monthly list of references. Much valuable material that would otherwise possibly never come to the attention of many of our members will thus be presented.
The monthly installments of the Course appearing in the Correspondence Circle Bulletin should be used one month later than their appearance. If this is done the Committees will have opportunity to arrange their programs several weeks in advance of the meetings and the Brethren who are members of the National Masonic Research Society will be better enabled to enter into the discussions after they have read over and studied the installment in THE BUILDER.
REFERENCES FOR SUPPLEMENTAL PAPERS
Immediately following each of Brother Haywood's monthly papers in the Correspondence Circle Bulletin will be found a list of references to THE BUILDER and Mackey's Encyclopedia. These references are pertinent to the paper and will either enlarge upon many of the points touched upon or bring out new points for reading and discussion. They should be assigned by the Committee to different Brethren who may compile papers of their own from the material thus to be found, or in many instances the articles themselves or extracts therefrom may be read directly from the originals. The latter method may be followed when the members may not feel able to compile original papers, or when the original may be deemed appropriate without any alterations or additions.
HOW TO ORGANIZE FOR AND CONDUCT THE STUDY MEETINGS
The Lodge should select a "Research Committee" preferably of three "live" members. The study meetings should be held once a month, either at a special meeting of the Lodge called for the purpose, or at a regular meeting at which no business (except the Lodge routine) should be transacted — all possible time to be given to the study period.
After the Lodge has been opened and all routine business disposed of, the Master should turn the Lodge over to the Chairman of the Research Committee. This Committee should be fully prepared in advance on the subject for the evening. All members to whom references for supplemental papers have been assigned should be prepared with their papers and should also have a comprehensive grasp of Brother Haywood's paper.
PROGRAM FOR STUDY MEETINGS
- Reading of the first section of Brother Haywood's paper and the supplemental papers thereto. (Suggestion: While these papers are being read the members of the Lodge should make notes of any points they may wish to discuss or inquire into when the discussion is opened. Tabs or slips of paper similar to those used in elections should be distributed among the members for this purpose at the opening of the study period.)
- Discussion of the above.
- The subsequent sections of Brother Haywood's paper and the supplemental papers should then be taken up, one at a time, and disposed of in the same manner.
- Question Box.
Invite questions from any and all Brethren present. Let them understand that these meetings are for their particular benefit and get them into the habit of asking all the questions they may think of. Every one of the papers read will suggest questions as to facts and meanings which may not perhaps be actually covered at all in the paper If at the time these questions are propounded no one can answer them, SEND THEM IN TO US. All the reference material we have will be gone through in an endeavor to supply a satisfactory answer. In fact we are prepared to make special research when called upon, and will usually be able to give answers within a day or two. Please remember, too, that the great Library of the Grand Lodge of Iowa is only a few miles away, and, by order of the Trustees of the Grand Lodge, the Grand Secretary places it at our disposal on any query raised by any member of the Society.
The foregoing information should enable local Committees to conduct their Lodge study meetings with success. However, we shall welcome all inquiries and communications from interested Brethren concerning any phase of the plan that is not entirely clear to them, and the services of our Study Club Department are at the command of our members, Lodge and Study Club Committees at all times.
QUESTIONS ON "A REVIEW OF FIRST STEPS"
"Re-view" means to take a view again; it suggests that one may overlook something the first time he looks at a thing: Masonry is so full of truths, as well as truth, that such reviews are always fruitful. Do you keep "reviewing" your own experiences during initiation?
I What does "apprentice" mean? What is the profane world, according to Masonic speech? Can you think of any other word than "Obedience" which would best sum up the First degree? If so, what? Tell how obedience is needed in learning anything, in entering any sphere of life. Is Obedience the same as blind credulity? slavery?
II Of what does the candidate divest himself? Why? What does the divestment symbolize? What is the real preparation demanded by Masonry? Did you so prepare yourself before seek admission? What is the difference between a "Mason" and a "member"?
III In what sense is initiation a "new birth"? How do you enter into any department of life? a business? a profession? Is the newcomer always like a babe in his helplessness and ignorance? What do the pillars at the door symbolize? Why? How would you define Masonry?
IV How do we know that there are Powers more than human? How can we come into relationship with those Divine Powers? Do you really believe in prayer? What is prayer? Is it asking for things or is it an attempt to get into a right relationship with God? Is prayer for the lodge room only, or for the whole Masonic life? What does the altar symbolize? What is the meaning of circumambulation? Do we practice truth in our every day life? How? Why? Can you give illustrations? What obstructions did the candidate encounter? What did they stand for? How do you get over obstructions in your home life? your business or professional life? How does the Masonic manner of getting over them teach you how always to get over them?
V What does the East mean? What is Masonic light? How is it found? How does a man "approach the east" in getting an education? What is an obligation? What do the penalties signify? What are the actual penalties for violating Masonic obligations? What does the cable tow stand for? Why is it removed?
VI What are the Great Lights of Masonry? The Lesser Lights? Do you really try to live in those Lights every day? How can we discover what is God's Will? What are the laws of brotherhood? How do you make yourself known to strange brethren? What are the uses of signs, etc?
VII What does the apron stand for? Why is it nobler than any other badge? Do you really believe that service and labor are the noblest of things? Why does the Northeast Corner signify self-sacrifice? Explain the uses of the Working Tools.
- THE BUILDER: Altar, The, May 1918
- C. C. B. Approaching the East, April 1918
- C. C. B. Apron, The, November 1918
- C. C. B. Circumambulation, The Rite of, March 1918
- C. C. B. Entrance and Reception, January 1918
- C. C. B. Lights, The, September 1918
- C. C. B. Northeast Corner, The, December 1918
- C. C. B. Obligation, The, June 1918
- C. C. B. Prayer, February 1918
- C. C. B. Preparation, Physical and Mental, December 1917
- C. C. B. Signs, October 1918
- C. C. B. Salutation, Rite of, October 1918
- C. C. B. Tokens, October 1918
- C. C. B. Tools, Working, January 1919
- C. C. B. Words, October 1918
- C. C. B. Working Tools, January 1919
- C. C. B. FIRST STEPS By Bro. H.L. Haywood, Iowa
PART XII — A REVIEW OF FIRST STEPS
IN OUR previous studies we have traversed those subjects which spring naturally from a study of a Mason's first steps; every lesson has been a more or less detailed analysis of the structure and meaning of each important division of the ritual insofar as a candidate comes to know it at the beginning, and there is now no more to be said about those matters until we have completed the full circle and are ready to reapproach the study of the first steps from a new point of view. It will be well, however, before undertaking our studies of second steps to pause for a telescopic review of the ground hitherto covered lest we forget the fundamental principles of the first steps through too great attention to details; with a summary in our minds we shall be all the better equipped for that which will be hereafter.
I In the First degree the candidate is always the Apprentice, that is, the beginner, or learner, the untrained youth (metaphorically, at least) taking his first lessons in the sublime art of life as that art is shadowed forth through our ritual. He has come from the darkness, Masonically speaking, of the profane world; he has humbly requested the privilege of birth into the world of Masonic light. Knowing nothing of that world he has been compelled to trust himself to the hands of trusted guides whom he has, for the most part, followed with implicit obedience; the entire degree, from a certain high standpoint, is nothing other than a lesson to teach him the necessity of thus learning from others. The watchword of the degree may be described as Obedience.
II Before coming into the life Masonic the candidate was made to strip himself of that which indicated his adherence to the non-Masonic life; he was brought into the lodge in a manner designed to teach him one of his first lessons the fundamental democracy of the Order. He was also asked to prepare himself in mind and spirit, and certain questions were asked to make sure that such preparation had been made. Inasmuch as the Craft seeks to make Masons rather than members, great care was taken to see that he was coming with the purpose to take Masonry seriously; to undertake a greater matter with the right motive, that is half the victory of achievement, and all possible means were utilized to see that the Learner came in the right spirit. There was a certain order in this procedure and in all that followed which it is not lawful to divulge but it is possible to recall certain salient features in his initiatory experiences; the reader will reassemble such things according to his memory of his own candidacy.
III The brethren met him at the portals in the persons of their trusted representatives, and through those representatives, assured themselves that he had made application for admission into the Order in due form; in causing him to seek admission in this due form the lesson was impressed upon him that no man can enter any of the great worlds of life until he is outwardly and inwardly prepared. He was told that Freemasonry is an art of moral and spiritual living taught through symbols and symbolical acts and he was given to understand that he was about to enter a new life and was cautioned to walk circumspectly.
Among all the emblems and furniture of the lodge none are more majestic in appearance or more suggestive of truth than the Two Pillars; these were (or at least should have been) so placed as to symbolize to the candidate that he was coming to a new birth. Certain instruments were used to remind him that the real penalties for the violation of Masonic obligations are felt in the heart and in the conscience.
IV The candidate who ventures upon the path of initiation soon learns that he needs for that Way a strength, a guidance, and a wisdom more than human; at the center of all worthy life stands prayer; of this the altar is the symbol, as it is also the symbol of every one of man's higher relations.
Through an ancient light symbolism he was taught that every true Mason is one who evermore approaches the East where is wisdom, healing and life; but he was at the same time shown that no man can approach that East except he make the attempt in an orderly fashion and according to certain fixed laws. The kingdom of light is not to be entered violently or capriciously; order is Heaven's first law. In the beginning of this, the real Masonic journey, he was taken to the altar where his spirit was linked to the hearts of his new brethren by the mystic ties that cannot be broken except at the peril of all the heart holds dear.
In one of our former studies we paid much attention to the Rite of Circumambulation; through a study of the evolution of that singularly impressive bit of ritual we found that it teaches us the secrets of cooperation; life is harmony with one's self and with one's environment; no man can live alone or die alone; he who does not keep step with the powers of life will fall upon disaster, defeat and death. A man must keep in step with the sun and stars and with all the orderly processes of nature, and with the mighty will of God. Obstructions were met in the candidate's pilgrimage, as they are met in every one of life's greater journeys, but these, with the help of certain trusted friends, were overcome; questions were more than once propounded which recalled to him that he was entering the Masonic life voluntarily, for Masonry is a mistress who seeks not lip service but the spontaneous love of the heart.
V Man loves to register his new decisions in solemn vow and binding oath; the outward act fixes and confirms the inward will. Through his Masonic vows the candidate was made to feel, by an unforgettable symbolism, that he who sins against light and brotherhood is guilty of a wrong that is hard to forgive and difficult to atone. It was impressed upon him that Masons comprise an elect race, a secret brotherhood, and that all Masonic secrets must be kept inviolate, lest the fraternity be disrupted and the Order profaned. These lessons learned, he was permitted to walk without leading strings; he was also permitted more freedom to use his own eyes.
VI There was revealed to him that which is the light whereby Masons are guided; there was the Will of God, as symbolized by the Holy Bible; the laws of human fellowship, as symbolized by the square and compasses; and through the strange symbolism bodied forth by the three Lesser Lights he was taught the necessary lesson of Balance; Masonry is a great moral system and he who would live it must keep each his part in proper order and due proportion.
Masons live in all parts of the world; there is no telling where a man may go or when he may need to make himself known to his brethren; the candidate, in what manner we will all remember, was furnished with certain means of recognition. So equipped he was entitled to be known as a brother, and in the ceremony he was introduced to certain officers of the lodge as such. The Masonic officer, like everything connected with the lodge, is not only a fact but a symbol; he stands for the laws which every Mason must observe; the democracy of the Fraternity is not a Bolshevist anarchy but freedom it the bonds of law.
VII The profane world from which he came set great store by its badges of distinction, most of which had stood for some arbitrary or worthless distinction; he had abandoned all such badges but he was then given another badge which is of far more worth than Star and Garter: profane badges usually have an aristocratic significance and lead a man to despise labor and the humble life; the Masonic badge given him was one that reminded him that service is the only nobility and that only he who labors in behalf of all belongs to true knighthood.
It was not sufficient that he learn these lessons of democracy and service; he must be taught that it is always necessary for a true Mason to be wilting to sacrifice himself, even to the uttermost; accordingly he was taken to that place in the lodge room which symbolizes the giving of one's self; such a man is the real cornerstone of the Order and he was made to know that such he must be.- At the same time. lest he construe this as a degradation of his manhood, he was taught that unadorned human nature is the stuff whereof Masonry builds her temple.
All this was preliminary; it prepared him in mind and body to fulfill his functions as a Mason tried and true; after such a preparation his labors were to commence. In order to do this he was given his Apprentice equipment of Working Tools, one of which was to be used for knocking off the rough corners of his character, the other of which taught him the need of measure in all things. Being an ashlar, a building stone, he must make himself symmetrical in order that the master builders might fit him into his place in the temple. Thus equipped and taught he was ready for initiation into the Fellow Craft degree.
Have you ever, brethren, found anything more true, wise, and beautiful than all this? Masonry is indeed the sublime art, the spiritual science, the way of life: he who would truly walk in its paths and follow its guidance would learn what life really is, to what divine issues life may ascend. But the First degree is, after all, only preparatory; for the candidate, and for us who study his experience, the best is yet to be!
* * *
THE MOUNTAIN ALTAR
Bro. Lewis A. McConnell, Colorado
In isolated regions where
Life's burden I with patience bear
While oft depressed with anxious care
Though skies are bright and blue,
Where mountains gleam with sunshine bright
And heavens are decked with stars at night,
The fleeting dreams of fancy's flight
My leisure hours creep through.
My spirit gropes in fervent quest
Of mystic sweets, so oft impressed
Upon my heart e'er coming west
Where they are sparsely spread.
Yet, in the desert oft abound
The rarest flowers with charms profound
To cheer environments around
And subtle fragrance spread.
Across the mountain's brow at morn
I view the growing lustre born
Where steepled crags, of verdure shorn,
Through centuries were reared;
And as the floods of sunlight gild
Each pinnacle, my heart is thrilled
With rapturous awe, by these instilled
And sentiment endeared.
The mystic wisdom of the past
Breaks in upon my soul at last
As glowing lights their beauties cast
Where melancholy reigned,
Revealing scenes of beauty rare
Whose rniracles, God's truths declare
O'er all His footstool everywhere
In vividness explained.
Oft have I at the altar knelt
And every inspiration felt
While yet each moral impulse dealt
With mystic visions bright
And now once more, with outstretched hands
On mountain's brow the Master stands
And once again gives His commands, "Let there be light!"
Its beams my being penetrate
While influences concentrate
Within my soul, and thus create
Of mystic wisdom's lore
The fund of sweets for which I sought
In earnest plea with fancy fraught
Enriched with beauty every thought
From heaven's richest store.
* * *
SEA AND FIELD CLUB, NEW YORK CITY
Bro. Wm. C. Prime, New York
THE RECONVENED 136th Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of New York is memorable, not only because of the fact that it marked the first definite step by Freemasonry in the United States of America to provide for war service and the inevitable consequences of war, so far as the Craft might be concerned therewith, but also because though the general thought of the legislation enacted at that session was for the future and the protection and relief of consequences of the war after it should be over, the enlightened Grand Master of New York foresaw the high desirability of ministering to Freemasons engaged in the service, while the war was on, both at home and abroad.
Just as the government plans for creating and equipping an army and providing munitions, food, aircraft and other incidence of warfare required study, formulation and development, as well as funds, so the action of Free Masons in connection with a practical service to soldiers and sailors enlisted in the great cause required thought in planning and providing, and time for development.
The winter of 1917-1918 found at Camp Merritt, New Jersey, a Y.M.C.A. Secretary hailing from a Montana lodge, who had found his Masonic identity and connection of great service in reaching the heart of the down-cast, lonely and homesick Masons among the troops gathered there at an embarkation Camp for speedy departure overseas, knowledge of which led New York to keenly aspire to serve. It could not serve without its own territorial borders. Camp Mills, the only embarkation Camp provided within its borders, was not then in operation. Other Camps and Cantonments were amply provided, apparently, with every agency for the men's comfort that could reasonably be afforded within the limits of the government's rule regulating fraternal activities at such places.
In the course of a comparatively short time, however, it became apparent that there was need of an adequate and well-equipped rest place within the City of New York itself, at a central point, where men could gather at convenience, read and write, lounge, play cards and otherwise recreate.
In the autumn of 1918, the War Relief Administration, authorized by the Grand Lodge of New York at its Annual Communication in May, 1918, undertook to utilize for this purpose, three stores on the ground floor of the Masonic Hall, corner of West 23rd Street and 6th Avenue, in New York City, a location as central as could be found. The stores are contiguous, being separated only by partition walls, and are approximately 75 feet deep by 20 feet wide, facing south on the north side of 23rd Street. These stores were thrown into one commodious apartment, though kept separate, the method being by cutting through each partition a large passageway. They were redecorated in a soft buff, the floors finished and covered with grass rugs. They were furnished with mission furniture, appropriately planned and designed; tables for magazines and newspapers; writing desks, equipped with writing materials; a piano; a Victrola, and other appurtenances of a well-appointed lounging place for a normal man.
In the basement of the same building and reached by a flight of stairs from the corridor, affording entrance to the reading and lounging rooms, is a large room 73 by 43 feet, with a high ceiling, which was used as a banquet room by the several lodges occupying the building. It seemed reasonable to divert this also for the present uses of the men in the service. It has also been decorated and made cozy and attractive, amply provided with electric lights and furnished with billiard and pool tables, and a shuffle board. Adjoining it were quarters which were available for baths and lockers. They have been plumbed with modern sanitary plumbing, equipped with five enamel tubs and fine shower baths, furnished with hot and cold water, and dressing rooms adjoining. Towels and other necessary appurtenances of such service are provided, and the whole denominated Sea and Field Club, devoted to use of men in the Country's service, soldiers and sailors, Masons and nonMasons alike, without money and without price. The name of the Club with an appropriate emblem of crossed rifles over an anchor, is painted upon the windows of the Club rooms with the legend that it is maintained for the free use of soldiers and sailors by the Grand Lodge F. and A. M., of New York.
To make the service more extensive and promote the use of the quarters thus provided, the club has allied itself with the War Camp Community Service, whose emblem also decorates the windows in front of the Club, and the literature of that organization advertises and approves its facilities. In fact, it has been said by those who ought to know, that the equipment and facilities of Sea and Field Club are more extensive and perfect than of any other similar agency for the men in the City of New York.
This enterprise is maintained by the War Relief Administration of the Grand Lodge of New York. Since it was opened, it has enjoyed a very extensive patronage. The average use of the baths daily has been well over 100 and it is probably not without interest that the first man to bathe so appreciated the treat that he left the room as he found it, the tub rinsed clean and dried and the floor mopped and dried, the soiled towels carefully laid aside.
Apart from the satisfaction which the projectors and managers of the enterprise have derived from realizing the pleasure of a good work well done and unused quarters devoted to a useful purpose, their ocassional opportunity to note the exclamations of pleasure and appreciation by the men using the bathing facilities, who had not, in some cases, had a chance at a tub for weeks, has been an extreme joy. Some of their talk would make real comedy, especially the utterances of the chaps waiting for the men ahead to clean up and clear out.
The housing of men in uniform over night has been a perplexing problem for many months, and the War Camp Community Service has been very active in their behalf, providing much accommodation, but all too insufficient. None of their services of this character is gratuitous.
However, the War Relief Administration, in addition to the Sea and Field Club, has taken over the Shelter at 215 West 21st Street, previously operated by the local Board of Relief, a commodious building with sixty beds available for men in uniform on the same basis as the service of Sea and Field Club and maintained in connection therewith. This accommodation is also gratuitous.
The average attendance at the Club room is over 250 daily. The rooms are open from eight o'clock in the morning to midnight. The enterprise has amply justified itself and the considerable expense which was involved in its establishment. It contributes in no small way to affording the men healthy surroundings and defending them from the pitfalls of a great City.
* * *
Buried in the rough sands of the sea,
Buried at the low water mark,
Where the tide ebbs and flows, you see
Far across the bar in the dark.
Buried is the secret — mark you well,
A silent tongue that never will reveal
A mystery no human tongue can tell,
Is buried where the ocean waves conceal.
— O. B. Slane. Illinois.
* * *
Bro. Harold A. Kingsbury, Massachusetts
WHILE the Triangle is seldom directly called to the Mason's attention there are but few of the symbols used in Masonry which are so frequently placed before the Craftsman for him to recognize and to contemplate if he but will. The presentations of this symbol are, however, generally unemphasized and more or less veiled because that is the way of Masonry with respect to its first-rate symbols, i.e., the Cube, Point within the Circle, Square, Apron, etc., as distinguished from its second-rate symbols, the Beehive, Ark and Anchor, etc. And these repeated and partially concealed presentations are made with the design that the Mason will have aroused in him a Spirit of Inquiry and, so, will turn his attention to the symbol and, by his Masonic Craftsmanship, bring himself to a knowledge of its history and to an understanding of its symbolic significance.
The Triangle appears in Masonry in two forms, the Right Triangle, i.e., that Triangle which has one of its angles a right angle, ninety degrees, or the one-fourth part of a Circle, and the Equilateral Triangle, i.e., that Triangle which has all its sides equal, each to the other, and, of course, has each of its angles equal to sixty degrees. Although these two Triangles have, symbolically and historically, certain features in common, for example, both were used as symbols by the Egyptians and both present the significant number Three, yet their symbolic suggestions are in many respects so different that they may, not improperly, be considered as distinct symbols.
THE RIGHT TRIANGLE
Of all the references to this Symbol this is obviously not the place to speak, but any Mason can profitably occupy himself in discovering them. A few examples of the exoteric presentations and references to it are: the Forty-Seventh Problem of Euclid; the Square of the Square and Compass, which Square, when a third, and completing side is supplied, presents the Right Triangle; the stations of the Three Principal Officers of the Lodge, together with the Altar, which define two Right Triangles; and the Altar together with the Three Lesser Lights, which, when those Lights are placed, as in some jurisdictions, at the stations of the Three Principal Officers, rather than, as in other jurisdictions, about the Altar, mark out two Right Triangles. Various other examples could be cited, as there are many, but to do so would but defeat one of the principles of Masonry the Mason must learn of Masonry by his own effort.
The Right Triangle is to the Mason, as it was to the ancient Egyptians, the symbol of Universal Nature. The Egyptians, long prior to Pythagoras, the statement in the Monitor notwithsanding, knew of this symbol and of those peculiar properties set forth in the statement of the Forty-Seventh Problem, "In any right triangle the square (A in the figure) of the side (hypotenuse) opposite the right angle is equal to the sum of the square (B and C) of the sides (legs) making the right angle." And the Egyptians, making use of these properties for purposes of symbolism, considered one leg as symbolizing Osiris, the Male, considered the other leg as symbolizing Isis, the Female, and considered the hypotenuse as symbolizing Horus, the Son and product of Isis and Osiris. Thus, plainly, the Right Triangle presents to the Mason, for his most earnest and devout consideration, God's Great Handiwork Universal Nature.
Moreover, this symbol, in calling attention to Osiris and Isis, points out to the Mason the probable Raurea of an important Legend and teaches him that that Legend is but another and, so far as the specific character of its incidents are concerned, relatively "up to date" version of a world-old legend told and retold to us, as to the ancient Egyptians, by the rising, sinking, and rerising Sun and by the Procession of the Seasons.
Again, the Right Triangle, in calling attention to the Forty- Seventh Problem and, more particularly, to the graphical representation of that Problem (as in the figure), brings up for contemplation one of the oldest and most widespread symbols in the world the Swastika (heavy lines in the figure). Here, then, is presented to the Mason a symbol in the study of whose history he can profitably spend many hours, learning of its occurrence in Egypt, Persia, China, Japan, India, Europe and America; of the Burial Mound at Baharahat, India, dating from the third century B.C. and having its surrounding wall in the form of an immense swastika over one hundred feet in diameter; of the swastika's proud position as "that ancient Aryan symbol which was probably the first to be made with a definite intention and a consecutive meaning" (Enc. Brit. 4 641a), etc., etc.
THE EQUILATERAL TRIANGLE
This symbol, while perhaps more emphatically presented to the Royal Arch Mason than to the Master Mason is, nevertheless, a possession of the Master Mason and one that, however unobtrusive the references to it may be, is by no means absent from the Master's Lodge. Exoterically the Equilateral Triangle is presented by the Compass of the Square and Compass as, when that symbol is opened to the extent of sixty degrees (as it should be) and a third, and connecting, side, connecting the ends of the legs, is supplied, we have presented the Equilateral Triangle. Again, when the Three Lesser Lights are placed about the Altar they define the Equilateral Triangle.
From time immemorial the Equilateral Triangle has been preeminently the symbol for Deity. For the Triangle is the primary figure from which all others are built up and the Equilateral Triangle, being wholly symmetrical, is the one perfect Triangle and thus clearly becomes the symbol for that Perfect Being in which all things find their beginning This Symbol is so completely appropriated to the purpose of a symbol for Deity and Perfection that to here treat of its various other, and decidedly minor, symbolic significances would but obscure its pre-eminent symbolic meaning.
In conclusion, then, the Triangle, in the two forms here discussed, teaches the Mason that far more lies in Masonic symbolism and in Masonic instruction than appears upon the surface; causes him to contemplate Universal Nature; points out the probable source of an important symbolic Legend; draws his attention to what is probably, the world's oldest symbol, and fixes his attention upon Deity and Perfection. Is not the study of Masonic symbolism worth the while?
* * *
THE CRAFT IN ENGLAND IN 1918
Bro. Dudley Wright
Assistant Editor "The Freemason."
IT IS with great interest, satisfaction, and gratitude that a review can be taken of the progress made by the Craft in England in the year 1918, conjointly with a summary of the progress made in the three preceding years. The review serves to show how slight was the foundation for the fears expressed by some on the outbreak of the war in 1914 that all Masonic activity was doomed and that expression should be given to that fear by closing down all lodges for the period of the war and shutting the door against any who might present themselves for admission into the Order. Freemasonry in England, as, indeed, in all countries was never so strong as it is to-day and its progress during the past four years has been by leaps and bounds, and this notwithstanding the stringent care exercised by the various constituent lodges, in accordance with the regulations issued by the United Grand Lodge of England, in admitting applicants for initiation. Applications for charters for new lodges have been most carefully scrutinised and none has been granted except for special and urgent reasons. Thus the number of new lodges for which warrants were issued fell from sixty-eight in 1913 to thirty-two in 1914 with a further drop to twenty-one in 1915. In 1916 there was a slight increase but only twenty-four applications were granted. The year 1917 witnessed an advance to forty, but during the past year, notwithstanding the strict scrutiny of applications, no fewer than seventy-four new lodges were founded and warranted, nearly of which have come actually into being. There have been various contributory causes to this increase, not the least of which has been the known interest in the well-being of the Craft, practically demonstrated on many occasions, by the M.W. Grand Master, H.R.H. the Duke of Connaught. The continued absence of the Pro Grand Master, Bro. Lord Ampthill, has been felt, but its effect has been reduced to a minimum by the intense activity, despite his great age, his numerous county official engagements, and his sad domestic bereavements of the beloved and revered Deputy Grand Master, Bro. the Right Hon. T. F. Halsey. But above and beyond these reasons, in my opinion, lies the fact that men generally are beginning to realize that the Craft of Freemasonry stands for the highest and the noblest man can believe in and practice.
Perhaps, however, at any rate to the outsider, the most striking illustration of Masonic activity has been in the magnificent results during the past year, in particular, of the three great Masonic festivals of the Institutions for Boys, Girls, and aged Freemasons and their widows. In the aggregate these three Festivals realised well over 200,000 pounds, the sum which the late Grand Secretary, Bro. Sir Edward Letchworth, once estimated as the total amount contributed to Masonic Benevolence annually throughout the country, and in this sum he included the contributions to the various Provincial Funds, of which at least one is attached to each of the forty-six Provinces — in some instances there are two or three Provincial Benevolent Funds. Now, that amount has to be set down as the sum contributed during the past year to the three Institutions apart from the donations to the Fremasons War Hospital, the Provincial Funds, and the Mark Benevolent Fund. In this last instance, also, a record was achieved during the year on the occasion of the Jubilee Festival when the result was announced at 10,000 pounds.
Not only in the direction of the formation of new lodges has the strictest care been exercised but with respect to the admission of new candidates Grand Lodge has deemed it wise to formulate new and more stringent rules, which have been welcomed on all sides by the members of the Craft generally. Other proposals brought forward by the Board of General Purposes for the betterment of the Craft, though meeting at first with local opposition have, after explanation, been heartily agreed to as devised in its best interests. To the President of that Board, Bro. Sir Alfred Robbins, whose disinterested and arduous labours on behalf of Freemasonry many deserved tributes have been paid, was also due the admirable suggestion for the formation of a League of Masons, of which, doubtless, more of a practical character will be heard during the coming year. The year 1919 will also doubtless see the erection of the proposed Memorial to the late Grand Secretary, Bro. Sir Edward Letchworth.
But if the gains have been great, the losses have been many — losses in personnel and not in stability, and sadness must come over the perusal of the long list of active workers, who during the past year have gone to join the Grand Lodge Above. Three Provincial Grand Masters are among the number, all of whom proved by their deeds that they had the interests of the Craft at heart — Bros. Hamon le Strange (Norfolk); General Sir William Campbell (Worcestershire); and now, as the sands of the year were running out, Lord Barnard (Durham). There should also be included the name of Bro. the Duke of Northumberland, Past Provincial Grand Master of Northumberland. Four District Grand Masters joined the great rnajority: Bros. T. Sherlock Graham (Otago, New Zealand); Sir Henry A. Blake (Ceylon); Admiral Sir Hastings Markham (Past of Malta); and John Locke (Past of Barbados). It is, however, when we come to domestic Masonic life in England that the losses are felt more severely, and no reminder is needed to recall the loss which has been sustained by the withdrawal on the call of the angel Azrael of several prominent Brethren whose soul aim seemed to be the betterment of the Craft, men well known in London and the Provinces, and whose names were also renowned in other circles. But though losses are, and should be, regretted, the sense of loss is lessened by the appropriateness and popularity of the appointments made in filling the official vacancies which have thus occurred, and no appointments could be more popular than those of Bros. Col. W. F. Wyley, to fill the principal Masonic vacancy in Warwickshire; Sir William P. Raynor to the like position in West Yorkshire; Lord St. Levan in Cornwall, and General Sir Francis Davies to a like position in Worcestershire, as well as the appointment of the Rev. Canon Barnard to the post of Grand Superintendent of Royal Arch Masons of Warwickshire. The same remark applies to the appointment of Bro. G.H. Redwood as Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Surrey in place of the late Bro. J. D. Langton and that of Bro. Richard Gill as Deputy Provincial Grand Master of West Yorkshire, who fills the Masonic vacancy caused by the promotion of Bro. Sir William Raynor. Last, but by no means least, the election of Bro. Percy G. Mallory, Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, as Secretary of the Royal Masonic Institution for Boys, was hailed with satisfaction by the members of the Craft generally and the supporters of the Institution in particular.
Will a complete Roll of Honour be compiled during the coming year? It will be a record of which no organization need be ashamed and at present the lists published in the Masonic Year Book are detached and incomplete. There is another point out of many on which the Craft in England can congratulate itself. There have been many Masonic occupants of the Metropolitan civic chair and it is no disparagement to them to say that the present Lord Mayor of London, Bro. Sir Horace Brooks Marshall, Past Grand Treasurer, is renowned throughout the country for his benefactions to charity generally, his personal efforts on behalf of the poor and distressed and the "Brethren of the Mystic Tie" for his consistent and persistent Masonic endeavour right from the day of his initiation into the Craft, and particularly for his arduous labours in connection with the Freemasons War Hospital, of which he is the Treasurer.
* * *
THE TRESTLE BOARD DESIGN
Bro. L. B. Mitchell, Michigan
What's the design, my brother, pray?
Upon the Trestle Board today?
Your Temple building has begun
And each day's work from sun to sun
Should show in its design the plan
That means the building of a man, —
The building that interprets fine
The ideal Trestle Board design.
The Temple building you essay
Should grow in beauty by the way
E'en though it be a rugged road
And your's to bear a heavy load.
But whereso'er the way may lead
Or whatso'er may be your need,
The heart must everything refine
That's in the Trestle Board design.
And while there's none can build for you
It compensatingly is true
That none can your soul work destroy
Or take from it its keener joy.
And if its plan be bold and clear
As in the light it may appear,
Yet others may the soul divine
That's in your Trestle Board design.
And in the Temple building plan
That Masonry unfolds to man
The Truth, as it is understood,—
Real Service and true Brotherhood, —
With Character is what supplies
The best that is beneath the skies.
And this will serve you to refine
The better Trestle Board design.
And there is in the mystic Art
So much that centers in the heart, —
So much that leads your loves away
To social cheer and rest and play
And yet, that traces in its plan
The larger way to build a man, —
That helps you so much to refine
Your special Trestle Board Design.
And now my brother, tell me, pray,
What is your thought of Masonry
As helping you to find the best
And leaving to your heart the rest
While ever pleading that you be
From every moral blemish free?
O, what can hold more that's sublime
Than this, your Trestle Board design?
* * *
Equality is the life of conversation; and he is as much out who assumes to himself any part above another, as he who considers himself below the rest of the society.
* * *
PROGRESS IN PALESTINE
AS THE traditional land of its origin and as the scene of its oldest legends Masonry and its adherents must always maintain an interest, real even if sentimental, in Palestine. More than most outsiders, therefore, Masons will watch with keen attention the developments in that historic land in the brief time since it was freed from the blighting and ruinous rule of the Turk.
Upon the recovery of Jerusalem in December, 1917, the writer had occasion  to call attention to the significance of that event from the standpoint of internationalism and interreligious rapprochement and, having thus entered upon the study of the subject he has naturally been interested in following it and especially in observing how events have shaped themselves there in various fields of activity.
1. Military. General Allenby may fairly claim the title of the modern Joshua, if not that of the modern David, for he literally "smote the Philistines, hip and thigh." It is highly fitting that the Jewish community of Jerusalem should have presented him, at the hands of Dr. Chaim Weitzman, the foremost living Zionist, with a scroll of Torah the Sacred Law and that a Maccabean guard of honor should have attended the ceremony. In that land of many battles General Allenby fought and won perhaps the most remarkable of all. Not only Palestine "from Dan to Beersheba" but all of Syria was freed from the Turks let us hope forever and the way was thus opened to relieve prostrate Armenia as well as Mesopotamia and to end that disgraceful anachronism the Turkish Empire.
Not the least interesting feature of the accounts which have filtered in from the scene of those great victories is the mention, in the despatches of September 24, of the Jewish legion. One regiment of this was recruited in London and another in New York, whence it sailed only last February, and it is gratifying to find this new force so soon giving a good account of its presence. Coupled with General Pershing's call for twenty-five more Jewish Chaplains it becomes evident that the new Zionist need not lack the nucleus of an army.
Hardly less interesting was the reference in the same despatches to the service of the Druses that strange race and sect whose cult affords so much of interest for Masons, especially those of the Scottish Rite  — who fought with the army of the King of Hedjaz against the Turks in 'the land of Moab" east of Jordan.
2. Industrial. The Jewish colonies which flourished in Palestine before the war were among the chief sufferers from Turkish ferocity and one of the principal tasks of the deliverers has been to repatriate the colonists and help them to restore their too often devastated homes. The extension of this work so well begun has occupied the attention of various agencies.
The British army has helped the colonists with the loan of draft animals. Other animals and supplies have been brought in by railway from Egypt, which, though built originally as a military line, is proving of permanent and increasing value to the country.
The Palestine Fund Restoration Commission of America has been most effective and is giving special attention to water-supply and the modernization of Jerusalem. Anronsohn, the Jewish agricultural expert, refused a tempting offer from America in order to devote his whole time to the development of Palestinian agriculture.
Early in the summer, announcement was made from Petrograd of Zionist industrial activity among Russian Jews the expansion of the Haboneh (Builder) Company, the organization of a Zionist emigration society at Moscow with a capital of rbls. 10,000,000; the formation of a steamship company for service between Odessa and Palestine with a capital of rbls. 5,000,000; a Palestine Oil Company and a modern hotel company for Palestine each with a capital of rbls. 3,000,000; and a Palestine agricultural bank at Petrograd with a capital of rbls. 25,000,000. These are some of the forces which are again to make the weary land, whose once productive soil has lain fallow for two milleniums, rejoice and blossom as the rose.
3. Educational. The Zionist program includes the revival of ancient Hebrew culture including the language. And this is being adapted to modern needs. A great Hebrew scholar has been at work for some time on a new Hebrew dictionary which is to contain not only the classical vocabulary but the additional terms needed in modern life.
Moreover a new Hebrew-English and English-Hebrew lexicon has been prepared and, in order to facilitate communication between resident Jews and the British army of occupation, is being printed in serial form as a supplement to the Palestine News whose editors are supervising the enterprise.
Another project is the scheme of 'The City of the Book,' adjacent to the site reserved for the university settlement. The idea is to concentrate there gradually the Hebrew book printing industry so as to supply the whole of the Diaspora from Jerusalem with Jewish literature, sacred and profane. Before the war the number of Talmudic, Rabbinic, and prayer-books sold in different countries amounted to millions yearly. Warsaw and Vilna were the principal centres of publication, but the war seems to have destroyed them and Jerusalem could gather and utilize what remains of the skilled labour. Adding the 'profane,' and especially educational Hebrew literature, of which the demand is increasing daily throughout the world, a flourishing industry could be created, giving sustenance to many thousands of families, and strengthening the position of Jerusalem as a leading force in all branches of the Jewish revival all the world over." 
Jewish elementary schools in Palestine had been brought to an advanced state long before the war. A college had been established at Jaffa and the beginnings made of a technical school at Haifa, all of which prepared the way for the crowning event of the year in Palestine, the foundation of the new Hebrew University. A commanding site for it, on the Mount of Olives, overlooking Jerusalem on the west and the Jordan Valley on the east, was chosen months ago. There on April 11, amid the applause of an audience of six thousand, Dr. Weitzman declared that a new moral force would go forth from that site for the uplift of the whole Jewish people. The foundation stone was laid on July 24, curiously enough the tenth anniversary of the Turkish Revolution and later came the announcement that Henri Bergson, the greatest of French, and perhaps of all living philosophers, had accepted a place in the faculty of the new institution.
4. Political. Mr. Balfour's declaration of Nov. 2, last, in favor of "a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine" was indorsed by the King of Greece on Feb. 7, 1918, by the French government on Feb. 12, by the Italian on Feb. 25 and more recently by the governments of Holland, Serbia, Siam and the all-Russian government at Omsk, while President Wilson has added his great influence by expressing his unqualified approval.
Shortly after its declaration the British government authorized the despatch to Palestine of a Jewish Administrative Commission and this, headed by Dr. Weitzman, arrived in Jerusalem on April 10 and was welcomed by representatives not only of all three of the great monotheistic religions but of several branches of each. Since then this commission has been at work in laying the foundation of the new government. Dr. Weitzman returned to London on October 9, expressing satisfaction at the results of his mission and speaking hopefully of the future of Palestine.
As recited in one of their publications,  "the Zionists are resolved that the constitution of the state they are building shall contain not only all that is best in the fundamental law of the most enlightened countries of the world, but something even beyond that. The aspiration of the Zionists is to establish a model state in which the conflict of the classes, the eternal warfare between capital and labor, will have no place. There must be no room in Jewish Palestine, they are determined, for exploitation for private gain, and the amassing plutocratic millions will be impossible. Their high aim is a state that will exemplify the highest ideals of democracy."
It is a mark of the practical sagacity of those who are undertaking this interesting task that they have turned their attention first to public health and sanitation. Disease has already been reduced and special care is given to child welfare.
Another vital subject to receive attention is the administration of justice. The old, corrupt, inefficient and dilatory Turkish Courts have, of course, been superseded. But the administrators have not made the mistake of uprooting suddenly the Mohammedan law which has now prevailed in Palestine for so many centuries. This has been retained for the present and an English Jew, recently stationed in Cairo in the judicial service of the British government, and therefore familiar with Arabic and Muslim law, has been transferred to Jerusalem and placed at the head of the new judicial system. In time we may perhaps realize a parallel to the Philippine situation with the old law administered in part by American judges and with a gradual introduction of reforms in the subject matter.
Such then are the first steps in the Redemption of Palestine. As for the future and as regards the larger aspects of the question I only wish that all might read a stimulating book which has recently appeared under the title of "The World Significance of a Jewish State."  For its main thesis is one which is bound to challenge our profound attention, viz. "the possibilities for political good in an independent Jewish Palestine mediating between an insistent East and a war tired Europe."
It was most fitting for Zionists to observe the anniversary of Britain's declaration. In the years to come that announcement seems destined to mean as much for the Jews throughout the world as the Declaration of Independence has for the Americans. Both days are likely to be "writ large" in the annals of human progress and as the Peace Conference proceeds to grapple with its gigantic program it will find no feature more interesting than that of carrying out this promise to the Jewish people and thus insuring continued progress in Palestine.
- "Jerusalem Delivered," THE BUILDER, IV, 301.↩
- See The Far Eastern Freemason, III, 335-338↩
- London "Times."↩
- Special Bulletin No. 141 of that Provisional Executive Committee for General Zionist Affairs.↩
- By A. A. Berle; reviewed in The Nation, Vol. 107, p. 104.↩
* * *
THE BUILDER TRUE
Bro. Lawrence N. Greenleaf, P.G.M., Colorado
The builder true is he who seeks the universal good,
To whom life's purpose and its goal is human brotherhood.
The helping hand, the loving heart, the faith 'tis God doth plan,
These are the tools wherewith to build earth's paradise for man.
So slow the work, 'tis scarce perceived, as nations wax and wane,
While man still fights his brother man and hate holds wide domain.
We oft lose heart and sadly say, these evils needs must be,
What hope is there for brotherhood with frail humanity.
Forgetful, ah! forgetful we, amid our doubts and fears,
How in God's mighty universe even time as naught appears.
Ten million years a ray of light is speeding on its way,
A thousand years in His calm sight are but as yesterday.
O thought sublime which soars beyond the bounds of time or space,
Hushed are our dark forebodings of a retrograding race.
With hope refreshed, with mind elate, with broader vision see
The long, long way which marks the course of human destiny.
What broods of passion and of hate have met with overthrow,
What horrors have been left behind, what centuries of woe,
What forces of stern nature curbed, subjective to man's will,
What stores of wisdom have accrued, what handicrafts, what skill
But grander than achievements all in learning, science and art,
The glories of self-sacrifice, the promptings of the heart.
'Tis these through all the ages past reflect the light divine,
The conquests of the world forgot, love's deeds still brighter shine.
* * *
BRITAIN AND AMERICA: THE GREAT FRIENDSHIP
NEXT to the victory of right over might and the overthrow of enthroned iniquity, we have nothing for which to be more grateful than the reunion of our English-speaking race. Perhaps, in the future, the historian will reckon this new friendship of Britain and America as the outstanding fact in connection with the world-war. Certainly it is the most hopeful asset left to our humanity as it turns from the terrible business of destruction to the rebuilding of a devasted world. We stand at a grave and critical hour — how critical, none of us alive will ever realize. The words of John Galsworthy are none too strong:
"For the advance of civilization the solidarity of the English-speaking races is vital. Without it there is no bottom on which to build. He who ever gives a thought to the life of man at large, to his miseries, and disappointments, to the waste and cruelty of existence, will remember that if American or Briton fail himself, or fail the other, there can be but for both, and for all other peoples, a hideous slip, a swift and fearful fall into an abyss, whence all shall have to be begun over again. We shall not fail — neither ourselves nor each other. Our comradeship will endure."
Indeed, yes. Britain and America have got to stand together, not in aggressive and jealous policies, but for the common welfare of humanity. No petty matters, no differences of manner, no divergences of material interest must mar a fellowship upon which the very existence of civilization depends. If we who are kinsmen both in blood and ideal quarrel and become disunited, our civilization will split and go to ruin. By the same token, if we fail to pool our thought and hopes, and refuse to keep the welfare of mankind in view, the future will be haunted by insecurity, as the past has been.
It is an occasion not for boasting, but for grave thought, that we are made the custodians of civilization; and our confidence must be not in formal bonds, but in our spiritual affinities and our common lovalty to the democratic ideal. There is no way out of the old welter of rivalries, chicanery and strife, except to make the world democratic, and then by education to remove the weakness and shams of democracy. Our history, our geographical positions, our temperaments, and still more our ideals, make us the trustees of mankind, and what we do will decide whether the civilization built up since the fall of Rome is to break up and fall to pieces, or, unified, move forward to a new day.
If there should be no League of Nations following the war, what then? This, at least; upon the united shoulders of Britain and America, by the providence of God, henceforth and forever, so far as we can see, the peace of the world will rest. We did not seek this responsibility of guardianship of the main line of human development; nor can we evade it. Our genius of private liberty and public order at home, of honor and fair-dealing and friendliness abroad, our ideal of a Commonwealth, of the service of man to his neighbor, near and far, require of us a leadership of service in the reorganization of the world. Our common and great Freemasonry demands it.
There may be, there surely should be, a League of Nations following the war. Never again must we allow history to drift to and fro, as hitherto. It will not be enough to hold a Peace Conference, sign a treaty, and then each go his way to intrigue against the other. No; we must lay hold of history with a common purpose and shape it after a new pattern, adding to Divine Providence a sagacious, disinterested and forward-looking Human Providence. So, and only so, can we transform a temporary military association into a permanent League of Security, and insure those yet unborn against another such a disaster.
The old nationalisms have broken down — our paths have led us slowly out of isolation into the larger life of the world. Indeed, the ideal of nationality as we know it is a modern idea, born of the ambitions of the Napoleonic era, fashioned to sanctify political greed and hallow military conquest. It must be transformed and made to yield to the spirit of service. In letters of fire it is being written before us that the hope of the world lies in the spiritual guide, which can take from nationality its exclusiveness and dedicate it to higher ends. Hitherto, no matter what the private life of men of state may have been, selfishness has been the first law of statesmanship. Surely the tragedy of the war has prepared us for a new vision, a new consecration, and a new renunciation.
For, renunciation, in some degree there must be, else it is idle to talk of a League of Nations. Nations must renounce, as individuals have been compelled to do. Otherwise the old anarchy will go on indefinitely, one war following another forever. Unless we are ready for some great brotherly feat of world service, putting the welfare of the race above any interest of our own, we have not learned the lesson of the war. Let us pray that in this Britain and America will lead the way, and that the Eternal Creative Goodwill will find in our reunited race an instrument He can use for the redemption of the world from cruelty and brutality.
Here is the great opportunity of Freemasonry, by its spirit universal, by its genius brotherly and unsectarian. But a united world requires a united Freemasonry. There are things that Masonry cannot do, influences it cannot wield, voices it cannot utter, moral demands it cannot make, services it cannot render, because it is divided. Therefore, if we would really influence the new world into which we are entering, we must draw together, lay aside old technicalities, and realize our true character as an international fellowship, at once intelligent and free. Here, again, Britain and America must lead the way, holding out hands of good will to their brethren of the Craft everywhere.
Joseph Fort Newton.
* * *
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, if you desire to purchase a book — any book — we will help you get it with no charge for the service. Make this your Department of Literary Consultation.
A BOOK FOR TODAY
"Patriotism and Religion," by Shailer Mathews, Dean of the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. Published by Macmillan's at $1.25.
DEAN MATHEWS is not always over vigorous in his style but in this volume he writes with a vim conferred upon him by the importance of his theme, albeit he does not permit his subject to run away with him, as is the manner with many earnest writers. Patriotism and religion are both on trial today; like everything else they have been thrown into the furnace seven-times heated and there is a flutter in many minds to think of the danger they seem to be in. Those who believe that wars spring from jingoistic passions, who hope for a federation of mankind, a parliament of man, a new internationalism, have come to hate patriotism as the feeder of jingoism and the great obstacle in the way of the international state: those who believe that wars come from national and racial rivalry, who tell us that the church was utterly unable to prevent war and is now impotent to lead to peace, tell us that religion is now dead and that the sooner it is buried the better.
What all such people need is the gentle art of discrimination. There is patriotism and patriotism, just as there is, and always has been, religion and religion. There is a selfish, parochial, junker type of it which justifies Dr. Johnson's snort about patriotism being "the last refuge of a scoundrel," but there is also another type which is the friend, rather than the foe, of international comity. There is a religion of an Old Testament "eye for an eye" type which is the enemy of the more generous spirit which is now aborning, but there is also another kind of religion which is the friend and aider of man in all his more forward-looking social efforts.
It is the merit of Dean Mathews' excellent little book that he points out very clearly what kind of patriotism and what kind of religion are worthy of survival and allegiance. Space does not here permit us to epitomize his argument; all the more cheerfully do we refer our readers to the book itself. It is one of those volumes which is worth owning because it is so richly worth reading.
* * *
"The Development of the United States," by Max Farrand, Professor of History in Yale University. Published by Houghton. Mifflin & Company, at $1.60.
There have been many kinds of history. The old chroniclers were content to narrate a tale in the spirit of the fire-side story teller, dwelling with love on each homely detail, but neither critical nor scholarly. The court historians were hired scribes employed to throw a glamour about the exploits of their employers, the kings and queens, or other members of nobility; being ex parte such histories have little value as fact, are little more, indeed, than "historical novels," which writings, we thank our stars, are now passing from fashion. The literary historian, a Carlyle or a Gibbon, saw in the past a mine of material whereof to fashion a thrilling narrative, a panorama of colorful movement fit to appeal to the imagination. The so-called scientific historian with his lust for "cold facts" has turned history into a mere store-house of data out of which to fashion some hard dogma. Now comes the "new historian"; he sees the past as a living organism full of life and movement and his task is to display to us, actually at work, the genetic forces which carried human life out of the past into the present.
Professor Farrand has written a history of the United States according to the last named method, and a most satisfactory method it is, for in consequence of it our own past becomes alive, almost intimate. Dates, names, and battles, the stock in trade of old-fashioned chroniclers, are used only when necessary to depict the living movements, and the whole amazing story is kept so well in hand that it is told, with vivacious English, in something over three hundred pages. He who reads this book will learn, as he has never learned before, how garbled has been the account in many of our school histories, many of which, as we now know, have been edited by German propaganda.
* * *
PLYMOUTH ONCE MORE
"The Pilgrims and Their History," by Roland G. Usher, Professor of History, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri. Published by the Macmillan Company at $2.00.
Nearly three hundred years have passed since the venturesome band of religious enthusiasts landed on the sand-bars at Plymouth; during this long period hundreds of historians and scholars have been busy with the scant records. Every nook and cranny of history or tradition has been searched with zealous care, so zealous that a mountain of material has been accumulated. A "mountain of material" makes the specialist very happy but the busy modern man needs the mountain passed through a sieve; he is too much otherwise engaged to sift facts, weigh data, to wade through thousands of documents. Many have never carefully read the story of the Pilgrims, therefore, because there has been too much to read.
Now enters Professor Usher to bring relief to the pressed modern man; he has gone through the mountain of material with critical and meticulous care to give us the net results in as interesting a book as the present writer has encountered in many a day. Through the power of his scholarship and the magic of words he has called the dour pioneers back from their sea-side graves; they are not the kind of men and women we have been led to picture them but they are human and very likeable, and a reader is the better for his acquaintance with them, their stern characters, their uncompromisingness, their inflexible theocracies.
The Pilgrims gave us no new religion; they took their theology from the Puritans at second-hand; but they did demonstrate the fact that here on the new continent a group of hard-working people could make a living without help from European capital. This was their great contribution to American history and to demonstrate this is the most original virtue of Professor Usher's volume.
* * *
"FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO."
"Far Away and Long Ago," by W.H. Hudson, published by E.P. Dutton & Company, of New York, at $2.50.
In his "The Purple Land," "The Crystal Age," "Green Mansions," and other previous volumes Mr. Hudson gave his readers such tantalizing glimpses of his early life in South America that many of us longed to have him tell us at length the strange tale of his own life: now, happily, that wish has been realized. Nor will any of the author's admirers find any cause for disappointment in the winning pages of "Far Away and Long Ago"; herein is prose as limpid, as chaste, as hauntingly beautiful as that which lent so irresistible a glamour to his earlier books. It is autobiography with a difference; in reality an autobiography of a human spirit wherein the growth of the soul is portrayed through incidents and experiences and through glimpses of outdoor life masterfully described. Not for a long time will a reader forget the description of Buenos Ayres, with its night watchmen, its wild youth and its grotesque out-doors washing scene; or the neighbors, half wild and wholly unique, to whom the boy often went avisiting; or the reticent but truthful account of the writer's gradual growth out of a traditional religion into a Wordsworthian nature mysticism. The readers of this wise and genial volume will be tempted to agree with John Galsworthy in appraising Hudson as our greatest master of language "now that Tolstoy has gone."
* * *
THE MUSE MILITANT
"The Muse in Arms," an anthology of war verse compiled by E. B. Osborn. Published by Frederick A. Stokes, New York, at $2.00.
It was one of the favorite doctrines of Wordsworth that poetry must be composed of experiences viewed retrospectively through memory: in the midst of an experience we confuse its incidentals with its essence, we cannot see it steadily or whole; therefore we must draw away from it a space if we are to see it justly and grasp its larger meaning for life. As a general rule this canon holds good but there are exceptions to all rules and the book now under review is a witness to such an exception to the Wordsworthian rule.
The poets represented in "The Muse in Arms" are, or were, all men of action: their visions came where
The thundering line of battle stands,
And in the air Death moans and sings:
oftentimes they actually composed their stanzas while waiting to go over the top; and in many cases they made the last solemn sacrifice before their songs found their way to print. Nevertheless, most of the poems in this collection belong to genuine and lasting art. Taken as a whole they give us an authentic autobiography of the British soldiers' soul and a divine soul it is: absolute confidence in the justice of their cause; a willingness to pay any price that England may be kept stainless; a fearlessness in the face of death and of even worse disasters; an unquestioning confidence in the reality of a life beyond "the West"; an unfaltering sense of the nearness and reality of God; all this, combined with a magnanimity of spirit, a loftiness of soul above hating even their enemies, such is the inner heart of the poet-fighters whose memorials are here preserved fittingly in a volume which it is a tender joy to read and a reverent pride to own.
* * *
Work without hope draws nectar in a sieve,
And hope without an object cannot live.
* * *
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.
MACKEY'S HISTORY OF FREEMASONRY
Will you kindly give me your opinion of "The History of Freemasonry," by Brother Albert G. Mackey, published by the Masonic History Company, New York? I have not read this work myself. Is it as good a work of this kind as Is available?
The Masonic historians of the early half of the past century (and previous to that time) were really not historians at all, but panegyrists who accepted any and all traditions and fables that seemed to shed lustre upon a Fraternity that is singularly able to do without such lustre. Then came the new school, the scholars who cared more for fact and truth than for "glory," and great is the work they have done. Accepting nothing on faith they have passed all our traditions through the fine sieve of exact research to the end that a valid and trustworthy Masonic history is at last emerging. It is the great virtue of Albert Mackey that he was the first American writer on Masonic history to go over to the side of the new school and his significance, apart from the great work he achieved, lies in this fact. His "History of Freemasonry" will ever have a unique interest for the Masonic student precisely because it marks an entirely new epoch in our scholarship.
But a deal of water has gone under the mill since Mackey wrote his great volume; new manuscripts have been discovered, hundreds of them, new facts have been unearthed, new interpretations have been brought forward; therefore is it that the student will not rest content with Mackey, necessary as he is. The historical essays of Speth, Crawley, Baxter, Vibert, Waite, etc., and many others of the same school, are modern and valuable; and there are historical chapters in Newton's "The Builders," and in MacBride's "Speculative Masonry" which you cannot afford to miss; but the monumental work on the subject is, of course, Gould's; that will not be surpassed in many a day. Mackey and Gould would give you about everything you need.
* * *
LITERATURE CONCERNING KING SOLOMON'S TEMPLE
For some time past I have been searching for literature (books, pamphlets, etc.,) dealing with the structure of King Solomon's Temple, and the thought has come to me that perhaps you could direct me in in this matter.
I should be obliged for any information on the subject. The information I want is, of course, such as would assist one in the interpretation of the ritual of the various degrees.
W. J. G., Ireland.
One of the best works on this voluminous subject is Osgood's "The Temple of Solomon," published by the Open Court Company, of Chicago. See also articles in the following: Hasting's Bible Dictionary, Encyclopaedia Biblica, and Jewish Encyclopaedia. James Ferguson has published a book called "The Temple of the Jews" which is very valuable. Trumbull, in his "Threshold Covenant," includes much material as does also Stanley, in his "Old Testament History." See Transactions of the Quatuor Coronati as follows: vol. VI, page 8; vol. X, page 60; vol. XII, page 136; vol. XIV, page 172; vol. XIX, page 112, and vol. XXI, page 264. Bishop Lightfoot published a long time ago "A Prospect of the Temple," which may possibly still be available. Pierson, in his "Traditions of Freemasonry," devotes several pages to the subject, beginning with page 189. Waite, in his "Studies in Mysticism," (last part), has much to say about the matter and so has Mackey in his "Symbolism of Freemasonry." If you wish to get at the matter through modern biblical scholarship, look up the commentary on Kings in the "New International Critical Commentary." In reading the above you will encounter references to other books too numerous to mention.
H. L. H.
* * *
MATERIAL FOR MASONIC ADDRESSES
Do you know of any book on Masonry that would assist one when called upon for short talks on visiting a lodge or gathering of Masons?
Y. E. W., Kansas.
There is no one book known to us which would fill your needs as described. However, there are certain Masonic themes always appropriate, and on these there is an abundance of material. If you deal with any point in the history of Masonry you will find useful Mackey's History, Gould's History, Vibert's "Freemasonry Before the Existence of Grand Lodges," etc. For matters of interpretation we suggest Newton's "The Builders," and MacBride's "Speculative Masonry." If you care to deal with the higher grades there is nothing better than Waite's "Secret Tradition in Freemasonry." Mackey's Encyclopaedia is a compendium on almost every imaginable Masonic topic. Pound's "Philosophy of Masonry" deals with the larger issues and meanings of the Craft. The various books published by Brother Lawrence, of England, are of great assistance in preparing speeches, as also is Albert Pike's "Morals and Dogma." Also, we shall not permit you to forget, there is THE BUILDER; a search through the four published volumes and the current issues will furnish you with worth while articles on well nigh every imaginable Masonic theme. If you can furnish us with a list of topics attractive to you, we can be more specific in our recommendations.
Most of the above volumes may be obtained through the Society, or may be borrowed from almost any Masonic library.
* * *
"WHO WHO IN MASONRY"
Has there ever been published or compiled a list, at all comprehensive, of prominent men who have been Masons, either in the present century or in earlier times?
E. J. R., New Hampshire.
The only such compilation of which we have knowledge is the list of Presidents of the United States that have been Masons; you will find such a list, not complete, in the Question Box for October, 1915.
An English concern has published a book called "Who's Who in Masonry"; inasmuch as it confines itself to Englishmen, and they prominent in the lodge rather than in the world, the volume may do you but very little good.
If some studious brother, with plenty of time and money, were to devote himself to the preparation of a "Who's Who in Masonry," giving only the greatest, and telling us when and where each was made a Mason, he would place the whole Craft under obligation to him forever. It is one of the few virgin fields left to Masonic authorship.
* * *
FIVE REASONS FOR MASONIC STUDY
(Brother H. L. Haywood, our Correspondence Circle Bulletin and Library Department Editor, conducts the meetings of the Study Club in his home town of Waterloo, Iowa. We are informed that the Study Club has over one hundred members. On the occasion of a recent visit to Anamosa by Brother Haywood he told us of a paper read at one of the Fall meetings of the Waterloo club. The description sounded so good to us that we wrote to the President of the Club, Brother George C. Welker, who is also the author of the paper, for a copy of it to give to the rest of our members. A reading of it will prove that Brother Haywood cannot claim that he himself is the only "live one" in the Waterloo Club. Brother Haywood is soon to take up his residence in Davenport, but while the Davenport Study will gain a new member thereby, we do not think that the Waterloo Study Club will deteriorate in any way while it has Brother Welker to guide it. — W. E. A.)
During the vacation season the Study Club has been a subject of my thoughts many times.
Vision of an apparent lack of interest displayed by many of our members was not lacking, and when I say this, I do, not in any way mean to exclude myself from the number.
I can shut my eyes and see a crowd of men (sometimes a very small crowd) sitting in a semi-circle, like certain animals in the far North that sit on their haunches and await the bits of meat thrown to them by the driver of the team. Sometimes I wonder if we could be still further true to the comparison and fall upon and rend our master if when we meet some evening the bits of meat were not forthcoming.
This is but a homely comparison. It is not true to the situation altogether, for unlike those teams of the frozen Northland, when we gather in our circle after a period of other activities, we are not mentally hungry enough to rend anything or anybody if the bits of meat should fail to come our way.
Then again, our director is not a driver, but rather a leader, and I fear the most of us are not broken to lead.
Yesterday afternoon I took my dictionary from its place in the bookcase and finding the division of S’s I came to the word "study." I found this is the definition:
"Application of the mind for acquiring knowledge. To apply the mind with earnest and reasoned effort."
Then I turned to the C's and came to the word 'club." In the definition I found this:
"An association of persons to promote a common object. Especially one meeting periodically or at stated times."
I said, "That should mean us." Only some of us are periodic with variations in the length of the periods.
From the foregoing we conclude that a Masonic Study Club is, or ought to be, an association of Masons meeting at stated times to promote the application of the mind by earnest effort in acquiring Masonic knowledge. This is such a big definition that I wonder if all of us comprehend it.
The question may arise, "Why should we study at all?"
Masonry is a picture of human life. It is as extensive as the universe and will admit of all the study we can give to it.
I have chosen five words, the meanings of which form five reasons as to why we should study Masonry. Not because they are the only reasons or the beast reasons, but because they are the ones that come to my mind. Reasons are without number; in fact I do not believe there is one reason why we should not pursue Masonic study. It will be noted that the initial letters of the words chosen spell the word "study."
We should stabilize ourselves. To stabilize means to acquire steadiness, or firmness of purpose. We cannot flit about mentally like butterflies and develop steadiness or firmness of character. If we would live and not merely exist we must have a fixed purpose in life.
We should study that we may tally. This may seem very homely. The general environments of one are the environments of all. To tally we must bring ourselves to correspond with our environments — to match with them, as it were. Surely we need steadiness and firmness of character in order that we may correspond with our environments.
We should also study that we may acquire utility. Utility means quality or state of being useful. Utilitarianism means the greatest good to the greatest number. To attain this is surely a laudable ambition.
We must have firmness of character or purpose before we can correspond with our environments, and both conditions must obtain before we can be useful.
Another purpose of study should be domination. Not in the sense of kaiserism — no king ever had, or ever can have, a greater realm over which to rule than "self." Domination is the act of having authority, sovereignty, supremacy or control. The greatest ruler is the ruler of self.
We must have steadiness of purpose before we can correspond with our environments. We must have correspondence with our environments before we can be useful, and we must possess stability, correspondence with our environments, and utility, before we can dominate self.
The fifth reason for Masonic study is that we may be yoked.
Originally a yoke was a bar or frame of wood by which oxen were joined at the heads or necks for working together. To be yoked is to be connected or bound together.
If we have stability we may be able to tally or correspond with our environments and develop utility. At this stage we may be able to dominate or control self, and then we can make proper connection with the Great Architect of the Universe.
If this little preachment is the means of giving any of us a slight reason for better study, then I do not regret having encroached upon the time of our director to read it.
The great world war has brought forth an expression which should be a constant admonition to us. Let us repeat it over and over again until it becomes a part of us, then do it.
That expression is, "Carry on!"
George C. Welker, Iowa.
* * *
AN INTERESTING LETTER FROM THE MASONIC CLUB. SAINT NAZAIRE, FRANCE
Newton R. Parvin,
Grand Secretary A. F. and A. M.,
Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Dear Brother Parvin:
I have before me your letter dated October 4th, 1918. I do not know whether it has been answered, but fearing that it has not I will endeavor to answer it.
PRELIMINARY ORGANIZATION WORK
Along in March, l918, a notice was posted in all the Y.M.C.A. huts and in the Farmers Loan and Trust Bank here, calling for a meeting of all Master Masons in this Base Section. This Base Section is a military division and covers a territory approximately 200 miles long and 100 miles wide in which is located this port of Saint Nazaire.
We met at one of the Y.M.C.A. huts and had a very enthusiastic gathering of several hundred Master Masons, most of them soldiers, a few Y.M.C.A. and Red Cross workers. Officers were elected and committees were appointed after which the meeting adjourned, all of us filled to the brim with enthusiasm.
When it came time for these different committees to meet and talk over the things necessary to be done, it was found that some of the members had been sent away on some duty or other, so others had to be appointed in their places. Many of these were, in turn, sent away and finding it difficult to get together to do much, our activities ceased for a time. But along in May a few pioneers again started the ball to rolling and this time it resulted in the formation of our present Club.
The military situation in Europe last Spring was very acute, as you probably know as well as we can tell you. American troops and supplies were badly needed by the Allies and just as soon as the roads became in the least degree passable the Americans began to move. Troops that were here one day might be ordered away within twenty-four hours. This was a proposition with which we had to deal. All of us had our military duties to look after, and it was vitally necessary that these be attended to first. Saint Nazaire is one of the base ports where fleets of troop ships arrived, landed their troops in record time and immediately set sail for America to take on more men.
The troops which were landed here went to a Rest Camp located a mile from the docks where they went through the varous forms of disinfection, received their fighting equipment, etc. Some of them remained here for months, while others would be moved immediately.
Everything was bustle and motion, and the grim purpose of our Government to do its part in the world war was everywhere apparent. Consequently other things came second.
On the arriving troop ships when they docked were many sick soldiers. Numbers of others became sick after landing and many were accidentally injured in handling supplies in the process of unloading the ships. Among these sick and injured were some Masons, I am both sorry and glad to say. Sorry, because they were in distress, and glad, because it showed that Masons were in the game and already giving their hearts' blood for their country and its cause.
I became attached to the Base Hospital No. 101, in Saint Nazaire, in January, 1918. In passing through the wards one day shortly after my assignment I came upon a Mason and did all that was in my power to make him comfortable and contented.
It grieved me very much to see soldier Masons die and be buried without their White Aprons. I thought enough of my White Apron to bring it with me, but up to this time I have met but one other brother who had his with him. I know that it was practically impossible for the enlisted men who were Masons to carry their Aprons with them.
It also grieved me to think that the Masonic Fraternity was not here in the person of representatives who could do something for us. With those of us in the service it was simply a question of time; the time we had to spare from our duties was not adequate to the demands that were made upon it for the proper attention of our sick and wounded brethren.
CLUB FINALLY ORGANIZED
After the organization of our Club it soon became apparent that the burden would have to be carried by a limited number of us, and those interested (among whom I wish to mention Brother Edmond Dupras, our former Secretary) entered into the work with all our hearts and souls. We have not accomplished as much as we have desired, but we feel that we have done the best we could under the circumstances.
To summarize the results of our endeavors we have:
- Organized the Masonic Club, Base Section No. 1, A. E. F.
- Elected officers and appointed committees, (executive, advisory, sick and wounded, entertainment, etc.)
- Held business meetings every Tuesday night and social meetings every Thursday night.
- Hired rooms over a French cafe for our Club rooms.
- Subscribed for two daily papers; begged an old piano and some books from the Y.M.C.A., and Masonic journals from any publishers that we could, in the States — for we were indeed poor at the beginning.
INITIATION FEES AND DUES
The initiation fee for officers was made ten francs, and for enlisted men five francs. The monthly dues are 2½ francs. Because of the number of enlisted men here whose princely salaries are $33.00 per month (and some months either the paymaster does not show up, or they are on the move so that they cannot get paid) we made the dues as low as possible.
GAVE TWO SMOKERS UNDER DIFFICULTIES
Through the summer months we held two smokers. At these smokers a charge of five francs was made, and we served a buffet luncheon of salads, bread and butter sandwiches, hot roast beef sandwiches, lemonade and coffee. We had talks by several brothers present and music from volunteer musicians. We had a good time, and the proceeds went into our sick and wounded fund. But we were not without our difficulties in arranging for these smokers. This part of France is almost wholly Roman Catholic and many were the obstacles that were placed in our way. Also in the French stores food was very scarce and very high-priced. All the food which we used had to be purchased from the U. S. Commissary, cooked at one of the Camp kitchens and carried to the Club rooms.
WORK AMONG SICK AND WOUNDED
We tried to organize sick and wounded committees in the different hospitals in this Base Section, but met with only halfhearted support for the reasons before stated, everyone's time was taken up by military duties.
In my trips through the wards in this hospital I have found many Masons. Most of these I recognized by the rings they wore. These I have visited with, and I have been authorized by the Club to advance to needy ones sums us to twenty francs. I would go to the Red Cross and Y.M.C.A. representatives and ask them to see that these men received anything they had for distribution such as candy, papers, books, toothbrushes, etc. In making such requests I have always met with hearty responses, for there are many "square" men among these workers.
The lodge to which a brother Mason belonged mattered not to us. We gave him what we could of our little store and helped him sometimes to get better food, to obtain passes when they were convalescing, and we would try to get them down to our meetings. These "blesses" were always cordially and enthusiiastically received at our Club rooms.
FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE RECEIVED
In response to the appeal which we sent to lodges in the States for money and papers we have received the following donations in money:
- From Grand Master Schoonover of the Grand Lodge of Iowa $500.00
- From Ashlar Lodge of Detroit, Michigan $100.00
- From Morgan Park Lodge No. 999, Chicago. Fr. 135.00
Several other Bodies and lodges have wirtten us that they were sending, or had sent money to us, but so far we have not received it. The Scottish Rite Bodies of the Southern Jurisdiction in the Valley of San Antonio, Texas, sent us a check for $100.00, but it was not certified properly and we have not been able to cash it.
READING MATTER AND WRITING MATERIAL
We have received the bound volumes of THE BUILDER and the loose copies, new and old, that have been sent to us. Several individuals have sent us copies of THE BUILDER and the New Age. I feel that many others will be coming right along now. These are certainly very much appreciated. Our hall is open every day from about 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and any brother who is in that district may drop in and read them. We have our stationery on which the brethren may write home without having to use that furnished by the Y.M.C.A., the Red Cross, or, what is worse, the K. of C. Some of the brethren have at times been forced to use the K. of C. stationery because there was none other available at Camps where they were located. In this country you cannot run into a store every time you wish and buy what you want. Even the simplest things are hard to get, for this country has been war ridden so long that comforts and luxuries are not to be had.
THANKSGIVING DAY BANQUET
Our Club gave a Thanksgiving dinner this year and everyone seemed to have a good time. At least those present said that they did. I was so busy waiting on the table that all I had time to do was to drink coffee and smoke while on the run.
I want to tell you about this dinner, not from the point of self-praise, but simply to show you how hard it is to do anything over here while we are tied up with our other duties.
I was appointed, with several others, to serve as the Entertainment Committee to make arrangements for this Thanksgiving Day banquet. On such days most of the officers have invitations to various places of amusement, but we felt that it was our duty to give the enlisted men a good time. We went along on very short notice, had the menus printed, and then started rustling for the turkeys. We soon discovered there were no turkeys to be had. We tried through the American and French markets, and through the Commissary, but there was "nothing doing." We then decided that chicken would serve as well, and bought 270 pounds from one of the American beef boats — but if it had not been for a Mason on the boat we should not have obtained them. About two o'clock in the afternoon of the twenty-seventh, the French woman who runs the Cafe under our Club rooms threw up her hands and said "Impossebeel"; she could not get any help, and simply could not take care of our affair. When I heard this I was in despair. Here we were, with a reservation of about 250, and the game was off, as far as this woman was concerned. I spent a restless night, but arose in the morning with a scheme which I proceeded to carry out.
I borrowed a Ford and sent it out to the hotel for the food. I persuaded the cooks in the officers' mess here at the base hospital, to make the pumpkin pies; the cooks in the enlisted mens' mess to cook the chickens and glace the sweet potatoes, while the cooks in the nurses' mess cooked the dressing. Another brother took three geese to a Frenchman's house where he was acquainted, and had them cooked there. All of our cooks here worked with a will all afternoon after their own dinners were over. The banquet was scheduled for 6 p.m.
It was just about 5:30 when, after borrowing a Ford from our Quartermaster and another from the American Red Cross, we breezed up to the kitchens and started to pile on the food, right from the ovens. We took with us two of the French maids who wait on the table at the nurses' mess, and it was well that we did, for we needed them. When we drove up to the hotel with the food it was 6:10 p. m., and the tables were already filled with a clamoring crowd of "just and upright men," soldiers all, except for a few Y.M.C.A. and Red Cross workers.
I went in and talked to them for a few minutes, asking for a little more forbearance while the girls were carving the birds. They answered with a roar of approval. Almost before I had finished talking the food was being served. I called for some volunteer waiters among the enlisted men and many of them responded. I elected myself head waiter and the game started. I am enclosing a menu which will show you that we had a good meal.
We called upon a brother Chaplain to open the affair with prayer, which he did, and then followed short talks from many of the brethren as the meal progressed. With music from half-a-dozen soldier musicians between times, everything was as merry as a marriage feast. When it was all over we asked, "Are you hungry?" A roar answered, "Not" "Have you any kicks?" Again a roar, "No!" "Are we down-hearted?" "Not" So we all felt repaid for the efforts which we had put forth.
During the course of the meal twelve new-comers arrived, saying they had lost their way, otherwise they would have been in sooner. I asked a like number of those who had finished eating if they would give up their seats to these brethren, which they did, and we fed them. Then another party of twenty-two arrived and again we requested places for them, which were made. And then came more stragglers, until we had served about fifty more than the hall would hold. All together we fed about 300. We charged five francs a plate and paid the balance out of the Club treasury. It cost us about ten francs a plate, as we got the food at cost. We paid 100 francs for the use of the hall.
NEW YEAR'S PARTY
Now we are trying to prepare for a New Year's party. We hope to hire a small French theatre that is run by a French Mason, and have a doughnut party, distributing doughnuts and coffee between the acts. We have written to Brother George F. Moore, a National Mason who, we are informed, is now in Paris, to come and talk to us. Our whole idea is to do something for the Master Masons in the American Expeditionary forces and exemplify the fraternalism which we teach.
MASONIC CLUB ROOMS ONLY PLACE IN ARMY WHERE OFFICERS AND MEN MEET ON A LEVEL
Our Club rooms are the only places in the Army where all men can meet on a level. Here the distinction between officer and enlisted man is not drawn, and since it is the enlisted man who is carrying the burden the officers are glad to do whatever is possible to show them a good time. At a Masonic gathering, all of us, officers and men, feel at home — we feel that it is our own affair and it serves to draw the bonds of friendship closer.
URGENT NECESSITY FOR MASONIC WELFARE WORK AMONG SOLDIERS OF THE A.E.F.
In closing, allow me to thank you in the name of the Masonic Club, Base Section No. 1, for the help that you have given us. The armistice has been signed, but there are many of us who will have to remain "over here" for many months to come, and there are many Masons here that would appreciate having a civilian Masonic secretary to look after us. We are willing to pay dues, and willing to work and help, but it is very hard for us to do all the good things that we might be able to do if there were someone here who could devote all his time to the work.
Sincerely and fraternally yours.
Captain Robert C. Murphy, M.C.,
Masonic Club, Base Section No. 1,
Saint Nazaire, France, December 20,1918.
* * *
THE OTHER FELLOW'S JOB
If I were the Thrice Potent Master,
The Sovereign Prince, or Most Wise,
Or e'en the Illustrious Commander,
There are many plans I could devise
To correct the defects I have noticed.
The solutions seem plain as can be.
I would soon have things snug and in order
If the brethren would listen to me.
The attendance is not what it should be,
The work could be greatly improved.
Those working the ritual are "has beens,"
And for this reason should be removed.
The food and cigars at the banquets
Are not the right kinds, as you see;
And I would revise and improve things
If the brethren would listen to me
There are many who feel just as I do;
They tell all their troubles to me;
But seem not inclined to take action —
They do not the remedy see.
Or else they would soon move in concert
And change things the way they should be;
But some day a change will be noticed
When they learn to listen to me.
— Oriental Consistory.