THE BUILDER MAGAZINE
A Journal for the Masonic Student
Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
Vol. 5 No. 12 – December 1919
MEMORIALS TO GREAT MEN WHO WERE MASONS
Bro. Geo. W. Baird. P. G. M., District of Columbia
MAJOR GENERAL WINFIELD SCOTT HANCOCK
THE UNITED STATES ARMY has never developed a more exemplary or able character than Major General Winfield Scott Hancock, whose record bears no semblance to a blemish.
The Grand Secretary of Pennsylvania writes me: "Our records show that General Hancock was admitted a Master Mason in Charity Lodge No. 90, at Norristown, Pennsylvania, October 31st, 1860."
General Hancock was at that time 36 years of age, and was enjoying a rest at his home. Like most officers he could not remain long at one place, and even if he had desired to become active in his lodge he could not have continued so.
The General was born in Pennsylvania in 1824, a descendant from English and Welsh ancestry, and was brought up in the Baptist Church where his father had been a deacon for many years. At an early age he showed a fondness for military tactics, and began drilling his schoolmates in great earnestness. We have always thought that from such boys the plebes at West Point should be selected, instead of the present system.
At the age of sixteen Hancock was entered at West Point and in his class there were graduated Grant, McClellan, Franklin, W. F. Smith, J. J. Reynolds, Rosecrans, Lyon, Longstreet, Stonewall Jackson, F. K. Smith, and others, who became general officers during the civil war.
Hancock was graduated in 1844 and assigned to the Sixth Infantry, his first duty being in the "Indian Country" near Red River on the Texas border, and on this strenuous duty he remained about two years. He than went to the Mexican border where he remained until the beginning of the Mexican War when General Scott took him along with the invading army. Hancock commanded a storming party at Natural Bridge, between Pueblo and Vera Cruz, with great success and which won him brevet promotion. He was again brevetted for conspicuous bravery at Contreras and at Cherubusco.
Hancock was at headquarters when it was discovered that the entire "St. Patrick's Legion," numbering three hundred Irishmen, had deserted and joined the enemy. Hancock, as well as other officers, could not see that General Scott could pursue any other course than the one which he took when the Irish were captured, i.e., court-martial them. The result was that the three hundred Irish volunteers who had deserted in time of war and joined the enemy, were hanged by sentence of the court.
Hancock served as Regimental Quartermaster in Missouri from 1848 to 1855. In 1849 he secured a leave of absence and visited his home for the first time since joining the army.
Hancock served in the Seminole War in Florida and afterwards in the "Utah outbreak." He served at Benecia (California) and when transferred from there to Fort Leavenworth he rode the entire distance on horseback, the only available transportation at that time.
He was commissioned a Brigadier when the Civil War began, leading the Wisconsin, Maine, Pennsylvania and New York troops. His efforts in aiding McClelland's organization of the Army of the Potomac were untiring. He saw desperate fighting at Williamsburg, Frazier's Farm, and at South Mountain he commanded two Army Corps, as he did at Antietam, and after two days of battle his corps advanced to Harper's Ferry, where the troops were mobilized for the march on Warrenton and Fredericksburg.
His operations at the Wilderness, at Spottsylvania, and at Cold Harbor, were successful, but at Ream's Station his corps met with defeat.
After the assassination of the President the headquarters of General Hancock were transferred to Washington, and he was placed in command of the defenses. The times were strenuous. Mr. Davis was charged with conspiracy to assassinate the President, and the public was wild and hysterical over the assassination, but General Hancock, always calm and reasonable, never shared in the accusation of Mr. Davis.
There has probably never been a more popular officer in the Army than Winfield Scott Hancock. A poet has said "to know a man it is necessary to live with him." The men with whom Hancock lived were the men who loved him most. McClellan gave him the name of "Superbe," while Sherman said to a reporter: "If you will sit down and write the best thing that can be put in language about General Hancock as an officer and a gentleman, I will sign it without hesitation."
Hancock was a democrat. There are democrats and democrats. Hancock was the same kind as Jefferson and Cleveland — not the other kind. He was put in nomination by the democrats, not because he sought it, but because they probably saw a better chance of electing him than any other democrat of that day. They probably would have succeeded had not the other side nominated a splendid man who was better known, and who was "the most elected" of any man of his day. Though the usual mud-slinging was indulged in, there was nothing his adversaries could say further than that he was a good man and weighed 250 pounds. And if that is the worst the politicians could say, we may rest assured that General Hancock was all that General Sherman pronounced.
The memorial to General Hancock is a bronze equestrian statue on a handsomely sculptured granite base, situated at Pennsylvania Avenue and Seventh Street, in Washington. It was modeled by Henry Elliot and was unveiled in 1896 on the occasion of a rally of the Second Army Corps. The soldierly bearing, splendid pose and portraiture in the memorial excites admiration. The situation is in the business part of the city and on the principal thoroughfare.
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THE ENCYCLICAL LETTER "HUMANUM GENUS" OF THE POPE LEO XIII
In the November issue of THE BUILDER we published the Encyclical Letter "Humanum Genus" of Pope Leo XIII. Brother Albert Pike, Grand Commander of the Supreme Council 33° Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, made the following reference to it in his Allocution to the Supreme Council in October, 1884. Brother Pike's famous reply to the Pope's Letter will be published in an early issue.
IF THE Encyclical Letter of Leo XIII., entitled, from its opening words, "Humanum Genus," had been nothing more than a denunciation of Free-Masonry, I should not have thought it worth replying to. But under the guise of a condemnation of Free-Masonry, and a recital of the enormities and immoralities of the Order, in some respects so absurdly false as to be ludicrous, notwithstanding its malignity, it proved upon perusal to be a declaration of war, and the signal for a crusade, against the rights of men individually and of communities of men as organisms; against the separation of Church and State, and the confinement of the Church within the limits of its legitimate functions; against education free from sectarian religious influences; against the civil policy of non-Catholic countries in regard to marriage and divorce; against the great doctrine upon which, as upon a rock not to be shaken, the foundations of our Republic rest, that "men are superior to institutions, and not institutions to men"; against the right of the people to depose oppressive, cruel and worthless rulers; against the exercise of the rights of free thought and free speech, and against, not only republican, but all constitutional government.
It was the signal for the outbreaking of an already organized conspiracy against the peace of the world, the progress of intellect, the emancipation of humanity, the immunity of human creatures from arrest, imprisonment, torture, and murder by arbitrary power, the right of men to the free pursuit of happiness. It was a declaration of war, arraying all faithful Catholics in the United States, not only against their fellow-citizens, the Brethren of the Order of Free-Masons, but against the principles that are the very life-blood of the government of the people of which they were supposed to be a part, and not the members of Italian Colonies, docile and obedient subjects of a foreign Potentate, and of the Cardinals, European and American, his Princes of the Church.
Therefore, seeing it nowhere replied to in the English language in a manner that seemed to me worthy of Free-Masonry, I undertook to answer it for the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, which has been ever prompt to vindicate itself from aspersion, and carry the war into the quarters of error. I did not propose to stand upon the defensive, protesting against the accusations of the Papal Bull, as unjust to the Free-Masonry of the English-speaking countries of the world, pleading the irresponsibility of British and American Masonry for the acts or opinions of the Free-Masonry of the Continent of Europe: nor was I inclined to apologize for the audacity of Free-Masonry in daring to exist and to be on the side of the great principles of free government.
When the journal in London which speaks for the Free-Masonry of the Grand Lodge of England, deprecatingly protested that the English Masonry was innocent of the charges preferred by the Papal Bull against Free-Masonry as one and indivisible; when it declared that the English Free-Masonry had no opinions political or religious, and that it did not in the least degree sympathize with the loose opinions and extravagant utterances of part of the Continental Free-Masonry, it was very justly and very conclusively checkmated by the Romish organs with the reply: "It is idle for you to protest. You are Free-Masons, and you recognize them as Free-Masons. You give them countenance, encouragement and support, and you are jointly responsible with them and cannot shirk that responsibility."
And here is what is said by the Bishop of Ascalon, Vicar-Apostolic of Bombay, &c., in a pastoral letter promulgating the Bull:
"In the performance of their duty, the Parish Priests and Confessors must not admit as valid or reasonable the common excuse that Free-Masonry in India and England aims at nothing but social amusement, mutual advancement, and charitable benevolence. Such objects require neither a terrible oath of secrecy nor an elaborate system and scale of numerous Degrees, nor a connection with the Masonic Lodges of other countries, about whose anti-Christian, anti-social, and revolutionary character and aim no doubt nor further concealment is possible. The Masonic lodges all over the world are firmly knitted and bound together in solidarity. If all of them share in the pleasure of a triumph achieved by a particular Lodge, or by the Lodges of a particular country, all must likewise submit to the stigma of an anti-Christian, anti-social, and revolutionary sect, as which Free-Masonry is in many countries already openly known, and even unblushingly confessed by its own adepts."
I was not willing that the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States should humiliate itself to as little purpose: nor was there any danger that it would do so.
The organs of our American Masonry were inclined to treat the Encyclical Letter as needing no reply, and to regard it with contemptuous indifference. In their opinion, it seemed, the lightnings of the Vatican were harmless, and the American Masonry would do a foolish thing to pay any attention to the Bull. It may be so; and I receive with due humility the admonition that to reply to it was to make much ado about nothing.
But the Free-Masonry of the United States is not what it was in the days of the Fathers. While it has succeeded, obedient to the impulsion of Bro.'. Richard Vaux, of Pennsylvania, and others, in pretty effectually isolating itself from the Masonry of the rest of the world, other Orders at home unceremoniously jostle it in the struggle for precedence, and it in vain appeals to its antiquity and former prestige to protect it against irreverence. Incalculable harm is being done by Bodies of base origin, whose agents traverse the country soliciting men to receive the counterfeit Degrees which they peddle, selling them by the score for ten or fifteen dollars to any one who will buy, and conferring all in an hour or so, or by administering a single obligation. Rites without claim to be Masonic, teaching nothing, worth nothing, flauntingly advertise their multitudes of Degrees that are nothing but numbers and names; new Orders called Masonic spring up like mushrooms; and even the legitimate Masonry, held responsible for all these nuisances and vagaries, parades its uniforms and gewgaws, collars and jewels, too much in the public view, and has so gained popularity while losing its right to reverence.
Its complacent sense of security may be rudely disturbed by and by. It seems to me that an organized crusade against it by all the Roman Catholics in the United States, an anti-Masonic movement organized and directed by the Papacy, and engineered by Priests, Bishops and Cardinals, is not a thing to be made light of by the American Masonry, treated with indifference and regarded with a lordly and sublime contempt. And it is very certain that its protestations that it has no political or religious opinions, and no sympathies with the revolutionary tendencies of the Masonry of the Continent, will neither placate the Papacy nor win for it respect anywhere.
If, in other countries, Free-Masonry has lost sight of the Ancient Landmarks, even tolerating communism and atheism, it is better to endure ten years of these evils than it would be to live a week under the devilish tyranny of the Inquisition and of the black soldiery of Loyola. Atheism is a dreary unbelief, but it at least does not persecute, torture, or roast men who believes that there is a God. Free-Masonry will not long indulge in extravagances of opinion or action anywhere it has within itself the energy and capacity to free itself in time of all errors: and he greatly belittle Humanity who proclaims it to be unsafe to let Error say what it will, if Truth is free to combat and confute it. But Free-Masonry will effect its reforms in its own proper way; and would not resort, if it could, not even to save itself from dissolution, to means like those which the Papacy has heretofore employed, and would gladly employ again, to extirpate Judaism, Heresy and Free-Masonry.
Nowhere in the world has Free-Masonry ever conspired against any Government entitled to its obedient or to men's respect. Wherever now there is a Constitutional Government which respects the rights of me and of the people and the public opinion of the world it is the loyal supporter of that Government. It has never taken pay from armed Despotism, or abets persecution. It has fostered no Borgias; no stranglers or starvers to death of other Popes, like Boniface VII no poisoners, like Alexander VI. and Paul III. It has no roll of beatified Inquisitors or other murderers; as it has never, in any country, been the enemy of the people, the suppresser of scientific truth, the stifler of the God-given right of free inquiry as to the great problems, intellectual and spiritual, presented by the Universe, the extorter of confession by the rack, the burner of women and of the exhumed bodies of the dead. It has never been the enemy of the human race, and the curse and dread of Christendom. Its patron Saints have always been St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist, and not Pedro Arbues d'Epila, Principal Inquisitor of Zaragoza, who, slain in 1485, was beatified by Alexander VII. in 1664.
It is not when the powers of the Papacy are concentrated to crush the Free-Masonry of the Latin Kingdoms and Republics of the world, that the Masons of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in the United States will, from any motive whatever, proclaim that they have no sympathy with the Masons of the Continent of Europe, or with those of Mexico or of the South American Republics. If these fall into errors of practice or indulge in extravagances of dogma, we will dissent and remonstrate; but we will not forget that the Free-Masonry of our Rite and of the French Rite has always been the Apostle of Civil and Religious Liberty, and that the blood of Spanish and other Latin Free-Masons has again and again glorified and sanctified the implements of torture, the scaffold and the stake, of the Papacy and the Inquisition.
Neither does Free-Masonry any more execrate the atrocities of the Papacy than it does those of Henry VIII. of England and his daughter Elizabeth, the murder of Sir Thomas More and that of Servetus, and those of the Quakers put to death by bigotry in New England; than the cruel torturing and slaying of Covenanters and Non-Conformists, the ferocities of Claverhouse and Kirk, and the pitiless slaughtering of Catholic Priests by the revolutionary fury of France.
It well knows and cheerfully acknowledges the services which some of the Roman Pontiffs and a multitude of its clergy have in the past centuries rendered to Humanity. It has always done ample justice to their pure lives, their good deeds, their self-denial, their devotedness, their unostentatious heroism, as these have been eloquently and beautifully portrayed by Kenelm Henry Digby. It has always done full justice to the memories of the faithful and devoted Missionaries of the Order of Jesus and others, who bore the Cross into every barbarous land under the sun, to make known to savages the truths and errors taught by the Roman Church, and the simpler arts of civilization. It was never the unreasoning and insensate reviler of that church, railing against it without measure or regard to justice and truth; nor could it be, remembering that not only Bayard and Du Guesclin, but Sir Henry More, Las Casas and Fenelon were loyal servants of it.
But also it has known to its cost that none of the pages of the History of the World are more full of rightful crimes and monstrous acts of cruel outrage than those of the Papacy of Rome; and it now knows, by the revival of the Bulls of Benedict and Clement, that the seeming moderation, mildness and liberality of opinion of that Church have been but a mask, which, being torn from its face, its intolerant, persecuting, cruel, inhuman spirit flames out as ferociously as ever from its bloody eyes.
It seems to have learned nothing, and to be incapable of learning anything, although a higher will and a sterner law than its own have made it powerless to burn heretics, whether men or women, free-thinkers and Free-Masons, at the stake, or to extort confessions of guilt by torture; and permit it no longer to persecute science as heresy and blasphemy.
For surely if the age of the Papacy had brought with it a larger measure of wisdom, as men were fondly hoping, the present Pope would not, at this age of the world, have ordered every Catholic in every Republic in the world to become not only disloyal to but the irreconcilable enemy of the Government under which he lives.
Nor would the present Pope have re-enacted and made his own the Bulls of Benedict and Clement, or have pronounced against Catholics who persist in continuing to be Free-Masons, all the lesser and greater penalties ever prescribed by any of his predecessors. For (not to multiply appalling instances) he cannot be ignorant that, at the first auto da fe, ("Act of the Faith,") celebrated at Valladolid in Spain, on the 21st of May, 1559, and at the second even more solemn one, held in the same city in the presence of Philip II. himself, his son and sister, the Prince of Parma, and many Grandees and Nobles of Spain and high ladies of the Court and country, there were strangled and then burned, for the unpardonable sin of having become convinced of the truth of, and therefore having embraced, some of the opinions of Martin Luther, Dona Beatrix de Vibero Cazalla and nine other women, in presence of the audience; and at the first, the body of Dona Eleonora de Vibero, (who had been interred as a Catholic, without suspicion ever having been raised as to her orthodoxy, and when she had, in her last sickness, taken all the sacraments,) having been exhumed, was borne to the pyre on a bier, adorned with a San Benito of flames, the pasteboard mitre on its head, and so burned. Upon the confession extracted from some prisoners under the tortures, or by threats of torture, the Fiscal of the Inquisition had accused her, after her burial, of Lutheranism, for permitting her house to be used for Lutheran assemblings; whereupon she was adjudged by the beloved Tribunal of the Papacy to have died in heresy, her memory was condemned to infamy entailed on her posterity, and her property confiscated, her body ordered to be exhumed and burned, her house razed to the ground, and forbidden to be rebuilded, and a monument was ordered to be set up on the site with an inscription relating to this event.
Even the impudence of a Roman Catholic journalist will hardly venture to stigmatize this as false. It is related by Juan Antonio Llorente, in his "Critical History of the Inquisition in Spain," derived from original documents in the archives of the Supreme Tribunal and those of the Subterranean Tribunals of the Holy Office: from which came the statements contained in our "Reply" of the number of victims butchered by Torquemada and his successors. Llorente was ex-Secretary of the Inquisition of the Court, Canon of the Primatical Church of Toledo, Chancellor of the University of that city, Knight of the Order of Charles III., and member of the Royal Academies of History and of the Spanish Language at Madrid.
"All these dispositions" (of the judgment against the dead woman Eleonora) "were executed," Llorente says: "I have seen the place, the column and the inscriptions. It is stated that this monument of human ferocity against the dead was demolished in 1809."
But at these autos da fe the Archbishops and Bishops, clergy, nobles, and ladies present were not entirely deprived of the expected luxury and pleasure of seeing human creatures burned alive. At the first, Francisco de Vibero Cazalla and the Licentiate Antonio Herrezuelo, and at the second, Don Carlos de Seso and Juan Sanchez, were roasted alive for the mortal sin of Lutheranism. Of a score or two of suspected Lutherans and others, not burned alive, or strangled and then burned, all the property they possessed was confiscated to the uses of the Holy Office, a method of enriching itself which it had then pursued with great diligence, by continual confiscations, for eighty years, and yet was not weary.
At the second, Dona Marina de Guevara, a Nun, accused of Lutheranism, suffered. The Supreme Tribunal decreed that she was guilty, and had incurred the penalty of the greater excommunication, and "remitted" her "to the judicial power and to the secular arm" of the Corregidor and his Lieutenant, "to whom," the judgment said, "we recommend to treat her with kindness and pity," that Tribunal knowing that sentence of death must inevitably and necessarily follow, and that its own judgment was really the death-sentence. If the Corregidor had dared to mitigate the penalty, he would himself have felt fastened into his flesh the sharp and venomous fangs of the Inquisition, for he would have proven himself a favourer of heretics. What a hideous formula was that recommendation to kindness and pity! "It is impossible," Llorente says, "to impose on God by formulas contrary to the secret dispositions of the heart."
"Since the Inquisition was established," Llorente wrote in 1817, "there has hardly been a man celebrated for his knowledge who has not been persecuted as a heretic"; and he gives a formidable list of those who suffered in their liberty, honour and fortune "because they would not shamefully adopt scholastic opinions or erroneous systems born in the ages of ignorance and of barbarism."
Certainly the restoration of this convenient instrument of the Apostolic See, which acts on anonymous denunciations, takes testimony ex parte upon such denunciations, and convicts on suspicions, and confessions extorted by an admirable variety of tortures, and even upon persistent refusals to confess, is not impossible; because, on the 21st of July, 1814, Ferdinand VII. reestablished it in Spain, after Bonaparte had suppressed it in 1808, and the Cortes-General Extraordinary of Spain had done the same on the 12th of February, 1813. (1)
The time may even come again, if Constitutional Government can be destroyed by the Papacy in Spain, Portugal or Italy, when that may happen to a Free-Mason, which happened to Gaspardo de Santa Cruz and his son under Ferdinand and Isabella, about the year 1487. The father had taken refuge at Toulouse, in France, where he died, after he had been burned in effigy at Zaragoza. One of his sons was arrested by order of the Inquisitors for having aided the escape of his father. He underwent the punishment of the public auto da fe, and was condemned to take a copy of the judgment rendered against his father, to go to Toulouse and present this copy to the Dominicans, demanding that his father's body should be exhumed and burned; and, finally, to return to Zaragoza and make report to the Inquisitors of the execution of the sentence. And to this shameful, revolting, and monstrous judgment he submitted without murmuring, and executed it.
In 1524 (Charles V. being then Emperor of the Romans) there was put up, in the Inquisition at Sevilla, by the Licentiate de la Cueva, by the order and at the cost of the Emperor, an inscription in Latin, composed by Diego de Cortegana, by which it was stated that, from the time of the establishment of the Inquisition there, in 1485, under the Pontificate of Sextus IV. and during the reign of Ferdinand V. and Isabella, until 1524, "more than two thousand persons obstinate in heresy had been delivered to the flames, after having been judged conformably to law, with the approbation and favour of Innocent VIII., Alexander VI., Pius III., Julius II., Leo X., Adrian VI., and Clement VII."
The Church of Rome had prepared and matured all its plans of campaign against liberal institutions and Constitutional Government, carefully, thoroughly, and comprehensively, before the Encyclical Letter "Humanum Genus" gave the signal for opening the campaign and commencing the new crusade, to endanger the peace of the world, foment anarchy, and initiate a new era of violence and murder. A clerical victory at the elections in Belgium has been followed by the enactment of a law destructive of the common-school system, and placing education under the control of the Priests and Jesuits. It will not disturb the Pope or his Cardinal-Princes if civil war results, as now seems probable, if thousands of lives are sacrificed, if the King loses his throne, and the Kingdom of Belgium is obliterated. In Spain the Romish clergy have set on foot a demonstration in every Church throughout the realm in favour of the temporal power of the Pope; and if Alfonso does not place himself unreservedly in the hands and at the bidding of the Church, revolutionary movements against his throne, already beginning to appear in the north of Spain, will be fomented. The Pope promulgates an Encyclical Letter against the adoption of a new law of divorce by the legislative power of France, and instructs the Bishops to annul it so far as they may find it possible. And we may look for disturbances in Mexico and the South American States, fomented by the Priesthood in obedience to the orders issued from the Vatican against Free-Masons and Constitutional Government.
By Papal Brief of January 17, 1750, the Father Joseph Torrubia, Pro-Censor and Reviser of the Inquisition, was authorized to procure initiation into Masonry, to take all the oaths that might be required of him, and to use every means possible to acquire the most complete knowledge of the membership of the Free-Masonry of Spain: and in March, 1751, the Father Torrubia, having taken without sinfulness the oaths required, and been initiated, put into the hands of the Grand Inquisitor the ninety-seven lists of membership of the ninety-seven Lodges at that time in activity in Spain: upon which, on the 2nd of July, 1751, the King, Ferdinand VI., decreed the complete suppression of the Masonic Order, and prescribed the punishment of death, without any form of preliminary procedure, against all who should be convicted of belonging to it.
Undoubtedly Pope Leo XIII. would consider it laudable for any good Catholic now, if need were, to imitate the example of the Father Joseph Torrubia; and entirely proper for himself to grant such a brief as was granted to that worthy Father; although all honest men ought to regard such a service as base and infamous, and consider perjury and betrayal of confidence to be virtues only in the eyes of the Church and not in those of God.
But his Apostolic Holiness has graciously permitted that during one year, those who in obedience to his orders renounce Masonry, shall not be required to divulge the names of their superiors in the Order; not because to do so would be unutterable baseness, but because it is politic, as likely to induce many to renounce the Order, who would not be willing to do that and at the same time become faithless and perjured scoundrels.
While inciting the fanatical and venal instruments of his Priesthood against Free-Masonry and Constitutional Government, the Pope omits nothing to make more effectual his edict of Excommunication. It is necessary to give assurance to those who may help in the good work of exterminating Free-Masonry, overturning Constitutional Government, and re-enslaving intellects, souls and science, of immunity, if not in this world, then certainly in the next, for all the outrages, villainies and crimes that they may commit.
Accordingly the Pope embraces the present occasion, while he is causing disturbances in Belgium, Spain, Mexico and Italy, to issue his proclamation, as Spiritual Autocrat of the whole world, panoplied with all the powers of the Almighty God, by which he plenarily pardons all the sins of a great number of the faithful, neither knowing nor caring what the enormity of those sins may be.
The paragraphs which follow, taken from a translation in the Catholic Examiner of Brooklyn, of the Encyclical Letter of Leo XIII., of August 30, 1884, "setting apart October as a month of prayer to the Mother of God," will show that we do not misunderstand the use to which the Pope puts his plenary indulgences:
"For it is, indeed, an arduous and exceedingly weighty matter that is now in hand; it is to humiliate an old and most subtle enemy in the spread-out array of his power; to win back the freedom of the Church and of her Head; to preserve and secure the fortifications within which should rest in peace the safety and weal of human society.
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"That the heavenly treasures of the Church may be thrown open to all, we hereby renew every indulgence granted by us last year. To all those, therefore, who shall have assisted on the prescribed days at the public recital of the Rosary, and have prayed for our intentions, to all those also, who from legitimate causes shall have been compelled to do so in private, we grant for each occasion an indulgence of seven years and seven times forty days. To those who in the prescribed space of time, shall have performed these devotions at least ten times either publicly in the churches or from just causes in the privacy of their homes and shall have expiated their sins by confession and have received communion at the altar, we grant from the treasury of the Church a plenary indulgence. We also grant this full forgiveness of sins and plenary remission of punishment to all those who, either on the feast-day itself of our Blessed Lady of the Rosary, or on any day within the subsequent eight days, shall have washed the stains from their souls and have holily partaken of the Divine banquet, and shall have also prayed in any church to God and His holy Mother for our intentions."
What these "intentions" are, the Letter Humanum Genus does not permit the world to doubt. And in the latest Encyclical Letter, granting absolutions in advance, they are expressed in this sentence:
"May our Heavenly Patroness, invoked by us through the Rosary, graciously be with us and obtain that, all disagreements of opinion being removed and Christianity restored through the world, we may obtain from God the wished for peace in the Church."
It is also proclaimed that another letter is about to be issued which will cause a profound sensation in the Catholic world, in which the Pope is to expound to his vassals his opinions in regard to civil government. He cannot make them much more plain than he has already made them; but it is not probable that his lofty intentions will be in any degree abated. He has already proclaimed war against Protestantism, free education, and constitutional restraints upon arbitrary power; and he will continue to do so more and more emphatically and offensively, until not only the rulers of Protestant countries, but all, wherever constitutional government exists, will find themselves compelled to declare the Papacy the malignant disturber of the peace of the world, and to unite in measures to curb its arrogance and deprive it of the power of making mischief and of its cherished prerogative of being the curse and the terror of the world.
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Free-Masonry makes no war upon the Roman Catholic religion. To do this is impossible for it, because it has never ceased to proclaim its cardinal tenets to be the most perfect and absolute equality of right of free opinion in matters of faith and creed. It denies the right of one Faith to tolerate another. To tolerate is to permit; and to permit is to refrain from prohibiting or preventing; and so a right to tolerate would imply a right to forbid. If there be a right to tolerate, every Faith has it alike. One is in no wise, in the eye of Masonry, superior to the other; and of two opposing faiths each cannot be superior to the other, nor can each tolerate the other.
Rome does claim the right to prohibit, precisely now as she always did. She is never tolerant except upon compulsion. And Masonry, having nothing to say as to her religious tenets, denies her right to interfere with the free exercise of opinion.
It will be said that the English-speaking FreeMasonry will not receive Catholics into its bosom. That is not true. It will not receive Jesuits, because no oath that it can administer would bind the conscience of a Jesuit; and it refuses also to receive atheists; not denying their perfect right to be atheists, but declining to accept them for associates, because Masonry recognizes a Supreme Will, Wisdom and Power, a God, who is a protecting Providence, and to whom it is not folly to pray; and Who has not made persecution a religious duty, nor savage cruelty and blood-guiltiness a passport to Paradise.
(1) In the Gaceta of the Spanish Government, No. of date 23rd February, 1826, the execution of a person accused of Masonry is thus referred to:
"Yesterday was hung in this city Antonio Caso, (alias) Jaramalla: he died impenitent, and leaving in consternation the numerous concourse which were present at the spectacle; a terrible whirlwind making it more horrible, which took place while this criminal was expiring, who came forth from the prison blaspheming, speaking such words as may not be repeated without shame, and although gagged he repeated as well as he could, 'Viva mi Seeta! Viva la Institucion Masonica!" so he was dragged by the tail of a horse to the scaffold. Notwithstanding the efforts which Priests of all classes had made, they had not been able to induce him to pronounce the name of Jesus and Mary. After he was dead, his right hand was cut off, and dragging his body they took it to a dung-heap. Thus do these proclaimers of liberty miserably end their lives; and this is the felicity which they promise to those who follow them, — to go to abide where the beasts do."
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DR. GEORGE OLIVER
Bro. Dudley Wright, Assistant Editor "The London Freemason," England
TARDY RECOGNITION of the great services rendered to the Craft by a great veteran of past ages has at late length been meted out by the dedication of Lodge No. 3964, Peterborough, England, to the worthy name of "Dr. Oliver." The announcement has been received with gratification by all Masonic students, for it was in the city of Peterborough, in 1801, that the famous Masonic historian, Dr. George Oliver, was initiated in the St. Peter's Lodge, now No. 442, at the age of eighteen, by special dispensation.
He was descended from an ancient Scottish family of that name, and was the eldest son of the Rev. Samuel Oliver, Rector of Lambley, Notts., and was born on 5th November, 1782. He is sometimes confused with the Rev. George Oliver, D. D., the Roman Catholic divine and historian of Exeter, who was born in 1781 and died in 1861 who was also a renowned historian. Some members of the Masonic historian's family came to England in the reign of James I and subsequently settled at Clipstone Park, Notts.
In 1803, having only just attained his majority, he was appointed Second Master of Caistor Grammar School, and in the same year was advanced to the Mark Degree. In 1809, he became Head Master of Grimsby Grammar School and founded the Apollo Lodge at Grimsby, of which he was Worshipful Master for fourteen years, it being then not uncommon for the office to be held for a number of years. On 25th April, 1812, he laid the first stone of a Masonic Hall in a town where, previous to his advent, there was scarcely a representative of the Craft. In 1813, he was exalted to Royal Arch Masonry in the Chapter attached to the Rodney Lodge, Kingston-upon-Hull. In the same year he was ordained Deacon, becoming Priest (Episcopalian) in the following year. 1814 also saw him accepting office in the Provincial Grand Lodge as Steward, being advanced to Provincial Grand Chaplain in 1816. In 1814, also, he was presented to the living of Clee by Bishop Tomline. In 1815 he became a member of the Ancient and Accepted Rite and shortly afterwards he began his career as a Masonic author, publishing, in 1820 his celebrated "Antiquities of Freemasonry," which was followed immediately afterwards by "The Star in the East." In 1826 he published "Signs and Symbols" and the "History of Initiation," and, in 1829, he edited a new edition of Preston's "Illustrations of Masonry." During all this time he was attending to his important duties of Head Master of the Grammar School and had under his pastoral charges two parishes, one being very populous. In 1831, Bishop Kaye of Lincoln presented him to the living of Scopwick, which he held until his death in 1867. In 1834 the Dean of Windsor gave him the Rectory of Wolverhampton and a prebend in the Collegiate Church. He had previously been appointed Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Lincolnshire, an office which he held for nine years. In 1835 the Archbishop of Canterbury conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Divinity. In 1838, he joined the Witham Lodge at Lincoln, No. 297, of which he wrote the history. In 1842 he delivered an oration on the occasion of the dedication of the Masonic Hall, Saltergate, when there were present his father, son, and two grandsons four generations of Freemasons in one family.
The Masonic presentations to him were many. In 1839 the Witham Lodge presented him with a handsome silver salver and the Apollo Lodge with a handsome gold jewel, and in 1844 he was the recipient of a splendid testimonial consisting of a silver cup and service of Plate contributed to by Freemasons in all parts of the world. In 1862, the Rising Star Lodge, Bombay, presented him with a massive silver medal on the front of which was a design representing two native Freemasons, one on each side of an altar, in Masonic regalia and bearing wands and Masonic symbols. On the reverse was a portrait of the founder of the lodge. He became a member of the 33rd Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Rite in 1845 and in the same year was appointed Lieutenant Grand Commander of that Order, being advanced in 1850 to the highest dignity, that of Most Puissant Sovereign Grand Commander. In 1846 the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts conferred upon him the honorary rank of Deputy Grand Master.
In 1854 his voice began to fail and, confiding the care of his parishes to curates, he passed the remainder of his life in seclusion at Lincoln, where he died on 3rd March, 1867, and where he was buried on the 7th of that month in St. Swithin's Cemetery.
His works, in addition to those already enumerated, were "A Dictionary of Symbolical Masonry," "Book of the Lodge," "The Symbol of Glory," "The History of Freemasonry from 1829 to 1841," "A Mirror for the Johannite Mason," "The Revelations of a Square," "Theocratic Philosophy of Freemasonry," "Historical Landmarks of Freemasonry" (two vols.), "Insignia of the Royal Arch," "Masonic Jurisprudence," "Treasury of Freemasonry," "History and Antiquity of the Collegiate Church of Beverley," "History and Antiquity of the Collegiate Church of Wolverhampton," "History of the Conventual Church of Grimsby," "Monumental Antiquities of Grimsby," "History of the Guild of Holy Trinity, Sleaford," "Six Pastoral Addresses to the Inhabitants of Grimsby," "Farewell Address to the Inhabitants of Grimsby," "Three Addresses to the Inhabitants of Wolverhampton," "Hints on Educational Societies," "Essays on Education," "Six Letters on the Liturgy," "Letter on Church Principles," "Letter on Doctrine," "Eighteen Sermons preached at Wolverhampton," "Monasteries on the Eastern Side of the Witham," "Druidical Remains near Lincoln," "Guide to the Druidical Temple at Nottingham," "British Antiquities in Nottingham and vicinity," "Remains of Ancient Britons between Lincoln and Sleaford," "Ye Byrde of Gryme."
He was a bright exemplar and clear expositor of the true principles of Freemasonry, who has had but few parallels. His name was, and is, a household word in the Craft, and his fame still lives. In his writings he has left a rich and enduring legacy. Immediately after his initiation he began to study the science of Freemasonry in an earnest and industrious spirit, unparalleled in the annals of the Craft in England and America. He delivered his last lecture in the Witham Lodge, Lincoln, in 1863, when in his eighty-first year, and his enthusiasm was then unabated. No more forceful tribute can be paid to his memory than was written on the occasion of his lamented death:
"His was the pen, not only of a ready writer, but of one who was capable of illustrating abstruse and recondite matters, and presenting them in a perspicuous and pleasing manner. His aim was to elevate the Order, which he took so closely to his heart, by informing its members, by explaining its observances, ceremonial, and ritual, and by placing it on a firmer and more philanthropic, rational, and religious basis, and he consequently for some years past has been an authority to the Masonic student. He also firmly but kindly inculcated the precepts of temperance, fortitude, justice, and brotherly love, which are indissolubly bound up with the tenets of the Institution, but which were, and still are, too frequently overlooked. He sought to explain the moral and practical tendency of Masonic symbols and teaching. It is somewhat remarkable that the Masonic works of the learned Doctor are all parts of a system he conceived when practically a young man, a plan or scheme intended to demonstrate the capabilities of Freemasonry as a literary institution."
The achievements of the Rev. Dr. George Oliver are not to be reckoned by the number of lodges to which he belonged, or the offices which he held, although here his record was a worthy one. Rather was his influence felt by all who read Masonic literature and study the esoteric meaning of Masonic ceremony and ritual. It was in his lectures to the brethren of his day that he became specially revered. It is in the written word he has left behind him that he is endeared to all Masonic students of the present day, and will, indeed, be appraised by the students of all time.
When he received the testimonial in 1844, to which reference has already been made, he delivered one of his striking orations, which was practically a summary of his life's work and aim. He spoke as follows:
"When I was first initiated into Masonry, about the year 1801, I resided at a distance of more than twenty miles from the lodge; and as facilities for communication between one place and another were not so great then as they are now, it may reasonably be presumed that I was not very regular in my attendance on the duties of the lodge. I possessed, however, the advantage of instruction in the lectures from a very intelligent Master, and I prosecuted the inquiries with great diligence and, I may add, with great success, although I was then little more than eighteen years of age. I soon became acquainted with the mechanism of the Order, for the details were very simple, and the lectures, as usually delivered, exceedingly short and commonplace. On inquiry, I found that the lectures were, in reality, much more comprehensive; and that they embraced a more extensive view of the morals and science of the Order than was contained in the meagre portions which were periodically doled out to the brethren in country lodges. In fact, at that time, I am afraid a majority of the brethren thought more of the convivialities than the science of Freemasonry On a mature consideration, I felt that this could not be the chief design of Freemasonry; but a change of situation about that time, and being removed to a distance from my Masonic instructor, drove Freemasonry entirely out of my head for a period of seven years. At the end of this time I found myself in a position to establish a new lodge; and I accordingly established the Apollo Lodge at Grimsby, and was appointed its first Worshipful Master. Here, then, I had an opportunity of bringing into operation those improvements which had suggested themselves to my mind many years before, and during the time that I presided over that lodge I flatter myself it was decently conducted. I am sure it was pre-eminently successful. Still, I could not divest myself of the idea that Freemasonry contained some further reference than what appeared upon the face of the lectures, even in their most extended form. But of the nature of that reference I was perfectly ignorant. I communicated with my Masonic instructor on the subject, but he was equally at a loss. I consulted other eminent Masons without success. I remained in this state of doubt and indecision for several years; when, at length, an unforeseen accident put me in possession of all the information I wanted. It was about the time when the Union was making a noise in the world in 1813 or 1814; a numerous or flourishing lodge, with which I was in the habit of occasional communication, appointed a committee to revise the lectures, for the purpose of making them palatable to all the brethren. Amongst the members of the lodge were several Jewish Masons, and they possessed sufficient influence to direct the Committee to withdraw from the lectures every reference to Christianity. The attempt was rash; because, if it had succeeded the ancient landmarks of the Order would not only have been removed, but actually destroyed. The committee entered on the work with great zeal and perseverance; but, as they proceeded, unforeseen obstacles impeded their progress. They complained that on a minute analysation of the lectures they found them so full of types and references to Christianity that they could not strike them out without reducing the noble system to a mere skeleton, unpossessed of either wisdom, strength or beauty. After mature deliberation, they unanimously resolved to abandon the undertaking; and pronounced it hopeless and impracticable. This experiment, which I watched with great attention, opened my eyes to the important force that Freemasonry is capable of being made, not only more extensively useful, but of great actual value to the moral and religious institutions of the country. I deliberated long on the most feasible method of bringing the Order before the world as an institution in which Christianity was imbedded and morals and religion incorporated with scientific attainments; and without the remotest idea that I was to be the instrument for its development. It is true I instituted a direct search into Masonic facts; I penetrated into the dark and abstruse origin of Masonic inequalities; and the further I advanced in my inquiries the more I became convinced of the absolute necessity of some systematic attempt to identify Freemasonry with the religious institutions of ancient nations, as typical of the universal religion of Christ.
"Before I conclude I shall take the opportunity of laying before you a brief sketch of my connection with the Provincial Grand Lodge of Lincolnshire. I have already said that I was initiated a minor, and have made a few observations on my Masonic feelings at that period. But it was not until the year 1813 that I attained Provincial rank. In that year Provincial Grand Master Peters made me a present of the Steward's Apron. Three years afterwards his successor, Provincial Grand Master White, appointed me to the office of Provincial Grand Chaplain, and I preached my first sermon before the Provincial Grand Lodge at Barton-upon-Humber. The next Provincial Grand Lodge was held at Spalding in 1818, about which time I was taken into the counsels of Brother Barnett, Deputy Provincial Grand Master, and the sole manager of Masonry in that county; for neither Provincial Master Peters nor his successor held a Provincial Grand Lodge in my time. Brother Barnett never convened a Provincial Grand Lodge or took any step in the execution of his office without consulting me, although he did not always follow my advice. It was, however, through my recommendation that annual Provincial Grand Lodges were brought into operation; and they were carried on with tolerable regularity until the appointment of the present Provincial Grand Master.
"Thus a Provincial Grand Lodge was held at Lincoln in 1820, at Sleaford in 1821, and at Grantham in 1822. Owing to the increasing infirmities of Brother Barnett, these interesting meetings were obliged to be temporarily suspended; and it was not until the year 1825 that the Deputy Provincial Grand Master found himself capable of convening another Provincial Grand Lodge. It was holden at Boston on the petition of the brethren of the Lodge of Harmony. About this time Brother D'Eyncourt was appointed to the office of Provincial Grand Master; and, owing to circumstances which he was probably unable to control, no Provincial Grand Lodge was convened for seven years. During this inauspicious period Freemasonry declined so much that there was scarcely an efficient lodge in the Province. The St. Matthew's Lodge at Barton, the Doric at Grantham, the Apollo at Grimsby, and the Hope at Sleaford, had entirely discontinued their meetings; and even the Witham at Lincoln and the Lodge of Harmony at Boston were extremely feeble. At length the Provincial Grand Master saw the necessity of doing something, and accordingly he convened a Provincial Grand Lodge at Lincoln in 1832, and another at Horncastle in the following year, at which my Deputation was confirmed by patent. Thenceforward mine was a forced interference and I set myself seriously to the work of regenerating Masonry in the Province. And the process I adopted was this: The Provincial Grand Officers had been continued for years, which constituted the chief ground of complaint. I determined to reform this abuse. I then framed a code of by-laws for the government of Masonry in the Province. I frequently held two Provincial Grand Lodges in the year, although I resided, for a great length of time, a hundred miles out of the province. I advanced active and intelligent brethren to the purple; I distributed honours with impartiality, and, I trust, with a strict regard to justice; and instituted an inquiry into the state of the lodges, and introduced a discipline which operated so effectually as not only to revive most of the lodges but to cause new ones to spring up in every part of the Province. During the progress of these measures for the purification of the Order, I assure you, brethren, most solemnly, that I never sought for popularity at the expense of principle; I never sought for popularity by the infringement of any Masonic law or a dereliction of any Masonic duty. In a word, I never thought of popularity; I thought only of the strict and conscientious discharge of my duty. I flatter myself that I improved the details of Masonry in the Province. I remodelled the ceremonial of the induction and departure of the Provincial Grand Master in Provincial Grand Lodge, which had been very loosely and inefficiently conducted before my time. I re-arranged the order of public processions; so that regularity and decorum succeeded carelessness and disorder, and, I am happy to add, that other Provinces have adopted my arrangements. Thus, Masonry became respected; and, instead of continuing to be a byeword and a reproach, it is now considered a title of distinction. It is more than thirty years since my connection with the Provincial Grand Lodge of Lincolnshire commenced. During the whole of that period Freemasonry has been my constant and unremitting care. Expense has not been spared, and much personal inconvenience has been sustained for the benefit of the Craft. I have had no common feeling on the subject. It has been a kind of monomania, which I have never endeavoured to suppress. The time has at length arrived when I feel myself called upon, by years and infirmities, to bid adieu to practical Freemasonry. You have this day pronounced that I have discharged my duty, during my official rule, like a good and worthy Mason; I shall therefore have the satisfaction of retiring from the scene assured of your approbation. I confess it is painful to sever a link which has cemented me to the Craft for so many happy years; and to mitigate my regret I must throw myself on your indulgence. Your approbation of what I have done will hallow the remembrance of our connection. Our Masonic union has ceased, and we regard each other only in the light of private friends. To the subscribers of the offering my thanks and gratitude are peculiarly due; and to withhold them on the present occasion would be of violence to my feelings. For more than forty years I have been a labourer in the forest, the quarry, and the mountain, for the advancement of the Order. Your sympathy and approbation have well rewarded my toil, although I have borne the heat and burden of the day.
"But I fatigue you. I confess, that the very idea of a last word and that word, Farewell, to brethren with whom I have acted so long and so cordially whose zeal has given instant effect to all my plans and all my wishes is exceedingly bitter and painful. But my Masonic course is nearly run. I have told you how I began; I have told you how I continued; I have no occasion to tell you, for you all know too well, how I ended. There are many brethren present whom, it is highly probable, I may never see again in this world. But there is another and a better. There I trust we shall all meet, never to part again. There, amidst the Masons of heaven's high arch, we may practice our system of universal love, and rejoice in the blessings of unadulterated Masonry for ever and ever. Brethren, farewell, and may God be with you."
The cup with which Dr. Oliver was presented was of exquisite workmanship. The body was embossed with cherubs' heads and festoons of roses; the cover and summit with emblems of corn and acacia; the cover was surmounted with a double triangle, and the F. P. O. F. intersecting at right angles. On one side of the cup was an inscription in Latin and on the other with the arms of Dr. Oliver, from which depended the emblem of the Past Provincial Deputy Grand Master, viz.,
E. R. on a chief sa.; three lions rampant of the first. EST, a demi-lion rampant erased er; collared and ringed ar.
The inscription on the Cup was as follows:
"Part of a Service of Plate presented by his Brother Masons to the Reverend and V. W. Dr. Oliver, P.P.D.G.M. for Lancashire, etc., etc., etc., by the W. M. of the Witham Lodge, No. 374, A. D. 1844, May 9th, A. L. 5844.
"To George Oliver, Doctor in Divinity, and Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, Edinburgh; Vicar of Scopwick, Incumbent of Wolverhampton; lately in the county of Lincoln, of Freemasons Deputy Grand Master; also of the Witham Lodge, 374, a member and Chaplain; a philosopher and archaeologian second to none; in historical subjects most learned; an Orator whether in the Church or in our Councils, of the modestic union founded in brotherly love, relief, and truth, for forty years the most ardent exponent to brethren, of reverence incessantly most worthy; a brother throughout the whole surface of the earth celebrated the rites of Freemasons; for the sake both of honour and of love, they give this offering. A. D. 1844; A. L. 5844."
It is truly fitting that the brethren of today should seek to preserve on the Register of the United Grand Lodge of England the name of a brother who will for ever be honoured in the annals of the Craft of Freemasonry.
* * *
When I am dead, if men can say,
"He helped the world upon its way;
With all his faults of word and deed
Mankind did have some little need
Of what he gave" — then in my grave
No greater honor shall I crave.
If they can say — if they but can —
"He did his best; he played the man;
His way was straight; his soul was clean;
His failings not unkind, nor mean;
He loved his fellow men and tried
To help them" — I'll be satisfied.
But when I'm gone, if even one
Can weep because my life is done,
And feel the world is something bare
Because I am no longer there;
Call me a knave, my life misspent —
No matter, I shall be content.
Alas for him who never sees
The stars shine through the cypress trees;
Who, helpless, lays his dead away,
Nor looks to see the breaking day
Across the mournful marbles play!
Who hath not learned in hours of faith
The truth of flesh and sense unknown,
That Life is ever lord of Death,
And Love can never lose its own.
* * *
The moderation of fortunate people comes from the calm which good fortune gives to their tempers.
— La Rochefoucauld.
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CORRESPONDENCE CIRCLE BULLETIN — NO. 33
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 "Second 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 preceding 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 "BUILDERS AND BUILDING TOOLS"
I. Why, do you suppose, were so many allusions to the art of Architecture incorporated in our ritual and monitorial lectures? (The study club leader should ask for the individual opinions of a number of the brethren present on this subject at the opening of the discussion and note the variety of ideas advanced.) What was Preston's idea in the formation of the Second degree lecture? What advantage has the boy or man of our day over the Masons of Preston's time?
II. What is Morris' definition of Architecture? Is a structure erected with a view of catering to physical needs only worthy of being designated as "architecture"?
Is Morris' definition borne out by facts?
What do the Parthenon and the colonnades at Thebes tell us? What part did art play in the Middle Ages?
III. To what have the buildings of men always had a reference? What is the story of the Tower of Babel?
What is the secret of Masonry's use of architecture? How are Masons at present interested in building? Is the use of builder's tools as symbols of modern origin? Is such symbolism to be found in the bible? Can you quote illustrators? Are similes in use at the present day? Name some of them. In what sense do we usually speak of a "builder"? a destroyer? Is there a connection between the present-day mission of Masonry and the language of architecture? From what Source do we derive our Masonic institution of the present day?
Is a Mason an "architect"? Why? What manner of a structure is each individual Mason engaged in building?
Do you agree with Brother Haywood's assertion that Masonry is a "world-builder"? If so, why? If not, why not? When will Masonry's work be completed?
IV. What part of the ceremonies or lectures most impressed you on the night you took your Second degree? (The study club leader should propound this question to a number of the brethren successively try to get an expression from everyone present.) How were you impressed by the lecture on the "Five Senses"? How have you expressed or carried out your impressions? Have you ever given the matter any further thought? Have you "Mason-ized" your Five Senses?
V. What thought have you gained from Brother Haywood's short discourse on the part played by the senses in a man's life? What is the underlying idea of the series of paintings in the Congressional Library at Washington mentioned by Brother Haywood?
In what direction should our senses be trained?
VI. How does Brother Haywood interpret the sense of feeling? the sense of tasting? the sense of smelling? the sense of hearing? the sense of seeing?
Can you give a different interpretation of any or all of these senses?
VII. What important lesson has Brother Haywood endeavored to emphasize in the present study paper? What new understandings have you gained from the foregoing discussions?
Bro. H. L. Haywood, Iowa
PART VIII — BUILDERS AND BUILDING TOOLS
IN THE November Correspondence Circle Bulletin I interpreted the group of five steps as alluding to the five senses, as the Monitorial lectures suggest; but these same lectures also make the five steps to allude to the Five Orders of Architecture, and it is to this that we must now devote our attention. In so doing we must remember that Preston's great idea in the formation of the lectures just here was to give to the candidate certain useful information which the average man of that day was unable to get elsewhere; in our times such matters are taught in the public schools and a man does not go to lodge for instruction. Besides, some recent critics have heaped ridicule on this lecture because the division of architecture into five orders is no longer countenanced by architects themselves; be that as it may, we need not quarrel over details, for it was a wise insight that led Preston to devote so much space to the builder's art, seeing that it is the one art that has given most to Masonry, even as it is still the art that furnishes Masonry with most of its symbols and illustrations. So while we may ignore a discussion of the Five Orders (though such a discussion would not be fruitless by any means and might be carried out by a Masonic Study Club with great profit) we can not afford to omit from our study some reflections on Architecture as a whole and its meanings for the Masonic life.
Perhaps the one man of modern times who, next to Ruskin, has written most beautifully of Architecture, was William Morris, a great prophet who blazed and throbbed with the spirit which is the soul of Masonry. One of his biographers (Clutton-Brock) says that "for him the great art was always Architecture; for in that he saw use made beautiful and the needs of man ennobled by their manner of satisfying them." When we ask Morris to give us a definition of this "great art" we have the following as our reply:
"A true architectural work is a building duly provided with all necessary furniture, decorated with all due ornament, according to the use, quality and dignity of the building, from mere mouldings or abstract lines, to the great epical works of sculpture and painting, which, except as decorations of the nobler forms of such buildings, cannot be produced at all."
In this definition Morris contends that a building deserving of the name of architecture must satisfy physical needs and that it must also satisfy the need for beauty. Only a structure satisfying both needs can be called architecture; therefore a mere pergola which is ornamental only, or a pigsty, which is practical only, cannot be described as architecture.
When we turn to a study of the art of building we find that Morris' definition is borne out by facts, for always, from the first rude hut down to the last erected dwelling house or public building, men have made their buildings to house both the mind and the body. The stately structures of the ancient world were houses, books, monuments, statues, creeds, and dreams all in one; "the solemn colonnades at Thebes, and the graceful dignity of the Parthenon," tell us what men hoped and believed as well as how they lived. In the Middle Ages it was the same, for throughout that long period architecture was the very mother of all the arts; "it stood above all other arts, and made all others subservient to it. It commanded the sciences of the most brilliant intellects, and the greatest artists." Always a great building is more than a building; it is a human document; and a man might recover the history of the life of man upon the earth from the records left us in the ruins and remains of his architecture, so completely has man embodied his soul in the work of his hands.
"For, whatever else man may have been cruel, tyrannous, vindictive his buildings always have reference to religion. They bespeak a vivid sense of the Unseen and his awareness of his relation to it. As you travel through Europe, what arrests you most are the glorious cathedrals which tell of the faith of the past. One can read the history of Christianity, of its bewildering varieties, of its contradictions and oppositions, of the secrets of its life, in its buildings. The story of the Tower of Babel is not a fable. Man has ever been trying to build to heaven, embodying his prayer and dream in brick and stone. And as he wrought his faith and vision into stone, it was but natural that the tools of the builder should become the emblems of the thoughts of the thinker. Not only his tools, but his temples themselves are symbols of that House of Doctrine, that Home of the Soul, which, though unseen, he is building in the midst of the years."
"That Home of the Soul." In these words we have the secret of Masonry's use of architecture. No longer are we, as Masons, interested in the building of material structures but we are using the builder's tools and methods, hallowed by long use, enriched by ancient associations, and found appropriate through centuries of experience, as symbols arid types of a building work of a different kind, even a great structure of truth and love wherein brethren may dwell in unity and joy. Not arbitrarily have we chosen these symbols, for men leave so used them from the earliest times, as may be learned from very ancient books, the Holy Bible especially, which is full of allusions, references and metaphors, drawn from the builder's art. And this emblematic use of tools which was so instructive to early man is equally instructive now as one may learn from a study of our daily language. How often do expressions, words, and phrases, borrowed from architecture, spring to our lips! "Edification," "constructive," "solid foundation," "well founded," "roof of the world," "erect," "construct," "raise," "edify"; one could extend such a list indefinitely, for we use the ideas of building up or tearing down almost every day of our lives, and almost always, be it noted, we use the builder in a good sense, and the tearer-down in a bad sense. There is something appropriate, in the nature of things, in the intimate relation between the message of Masonry and the language of architecture. This is not to forget, of course, that there is also a historical connection between the two, for from our study of backgrounds we may recall how one grew out of the other, but even had there been no such actual relationships the two arts, that of the builder and that of the Mason respectively, have so much in common as to ideals and method, that the latter has a native right to employ the terms and symbols of the former.
What is a Mason, if not an architect of the mystical order? Insofar as he is true to his Royal Art he is one engaged in building up within himself a real, but viewless, Temple; its foundations laid deep in character, its walls formed of the solid stuff of genuine manhood, its roof the stately dome of truth, its spires the upreaching of that aspiration toward a higher which was the original inspiration of every great cathedral. This is no fanciful picture or collection of high sounding words; you and I have both known of brethren, have we not, formed by their Masonic fellowships, and inspired by their Masonic ideals, to be with whom was itself an act of worship? Truly such men are Temples, Temples not made with hands!
What is Masonry itself if not a world builder, a social architecture on the grand style? With its fellowships established in every nation under heaven, its activities ceasing never night or day, its message uttered in nearly all the languages of the race but always the same message, it is one of the mightiest, one of the most benign, one of the most constructive of all-forces in the world. When its work is finished, which will not be until the end is ended, it will have proved itself a builder of an unseen cathedral more noble. more enduring than any empire ever made.
All the emotions and thoughts aroused in me on the night I took my "Second" are still fresh in my memory after these many years, but nothing remains more vividly than my surprise at the elaborate lecture about the Five Senses. "What," I kept saying to myself, "does all this mean? In what possible way can our sense apparatus have anything to do with the Masonic life?" I remained nonplussed over the matter until I began to ask myself what Dart these senses play in life outside Masonry and then it dawned upon me that the ritual would be incomplete were it to omit the senses from the scope of its illumination. When I discovered later that at least one scientist Havelock Ellis had written several volumes about them, I began to see that an interpreter could write whole libraries about the senses from the Masonic point of view; and I began to believe that it would require a long life-time for a man to thoroughly Mason-ize his five senses.
Consider the part played by the senses in a man's life! At the center of the man is his consciousness, a lonely, isolated, invisible, center of awareness; outside the man, surrounding him on all sides, the universe, with its limitless number of things and happenings; the senses are nothing other than the channels perhaps the only channels through which the outside universe gets into the man's consciousness. He is an island; the senses are the bridge over which he passes to the mainland, and over which the mainland passes into him. Every impression, every experience, every sensation, every word must pass by way of them; if you could control a man's senses then you would be able to determine how much of the universe gets into him and how much of him gets into the universe. This is the idea at the bottom of the great series of wall paintings in the Congressional Library at Washington wherein a picture is devoted to each sense. Since this is true it follows that the man who would make his mind the home of goodness, truth and beauty, will be one who sees to it that his senses are trained to do their work efficiently, and that he permits nothing to travel back and forth over their bridges except that which is good, or true, or beautiful.
This, I take it, is the chief point made in the Second degree lecture; a Mason is to make his five senses into five points of contact with his fellows by seeing to it that only good-will, kindliness, and all the fine things of brotherhood are permitted to travel back and forth between him and them. This implies the further point and it is one that we shall need to elaborate that the senses, like every other faculty of a man, may be trained and improved, so that the man who has been making a bad use of them can learn to make a good use. If this seems far-fetched or even impossible to us we need only direct our attention to each sense in turn to be convinced that it is always being done.
"What is more or less than a touch?" says Walt Whitman. Touch is the first, or original sense, and is employed in the lowest forms of life, such as the jellyfish, long before separate organs are dreamed of; as the living creature grows more and more responsive to the world outside it the general sense of touch grows more and more defined until it gradually breaks itself up into the other senses of smelling, tasting, seeing, and hearing, and by so doing the creature rises in the scale of life. From one point of view, at least, it is not too much to say that the whole process of physical evolution consists of splitting up the general sense of touch and of refining and specializing each of the splitoffs. Even when we get to man, the highest animal in the scale, this development and improvement of the sense of touch need not stop; a musician or an artist can carry the development of touch to the utmost limit of refinement.
At the back of the tongue is a series of little organs, called taste-buds; when any object is brought against them they give to the consciousness a feeling of flavor. This sense, also, may be developed. Only a few days ago I watched a "tea taster" at work determining the quality of various kinds of tea. He sat at a revolving table on which were several cups of the beverage and he would sip from each one in turn; it was only a mouthful but it sufficed, for his taste-buds were so accurate that he could tell the jobber where the tea had been grown and what it was worth.
In lower animals the sense of smell is often unimaginable acute. Henri Fabre describes a moth which can detect the presence of a female rods away in forest at night merely by the odor. This is the sense of smell raised to the nth degree of acuteness, for the naturalist himself was unable to detect the slightest odor even in a jar full of the insects. We can not smell as the animals can because we do not need to; nevertheless, like the other senses, one can develop this faculty, as is demonstrated by the perfumery expert who can detect the various kinds and grades of perfumery quite as easily as my tea taster could judge of tea.
When we make sounds in the air, either by speaking or by striking against some object, waves travel through the atmosphere in all directions; when these waves strike against the tympanum of the ear they give us the experience of hearing, so that hearing itself is a kind of touch. The extent to which hearing can be developed and educated is shown by the expert musician who can detect subtle variations of sound wholly lost on the others of us.
"Seeing is touch at a distance." The sun, or some artificial light, sends waves through the ether; these strike against the retina of the eye and give us the sense of seeing. If the waves are of one length and speed we see one color; if of another we see a different color. The Indian who can see an antelope grazing afar off on the prairie, the pilot who can detect the smoke of a coming ship in the remote distance, are examples of men who have raised this sense to an extraordinary effectiveness.
In this discussion, which may seem to some almost school-boyish, I have had it in mind to emphasize the fact that we humans have a considerable degree of control over our senses, and that, if we choose, we can improve them by right training. From the point of view of general culture this means that we can greatly enrich our lives, and that is surely worth while; from the point of view of Masonry, which is necessarily our chief concern, it means that the senses may be so used as to Mason-ize our lives. The candidate is urged to touch, taste, or smell nothing that would injure himself or brethren: he is, in the language of the V. S. L., to "take heed how he hears," lest some word of slander against a brother be given admission to his mind; and he is to see nothing in his fellows except their better selves. How much it would mean to every lodge, by way of avoiding friction and of increasing brotherhood, if every Mason would train his senses to ignore the things that divide or injure, and to heed only those things that increase brotherly love! This is a high ideal, truly, but, then, Masonry itself is a high ideal!
* * *
A MEMORIAL TO WASHINGTON THE MASON
By Bro. Geo. L. Schoonover, P.G.M., Iowa
WE AMERICANS build monuments to hearts. Sentimental we are, and sentimental we must remain, if we are to accomplish our destiny. America was founded in sentiment. America, in 1776, was a living protest against tyranny — not the tyranny which makes men physical slaves, but that tyranny which makes men slaves by denying them the right to possess sentiment. The pioneer may have been somewhat of a soldier of fortune. He may have craved excitement — the excitement of the chase and the hazard of discovering and subduing the unknown. But underneath it all was the throbbing sentiment of absolute freedom. It was a passion with him. It was worth any price. The conquering of the West was born of the same sentiment. Every war in which we have engaged has been won because our deepest sentiments were aroused. We may search, and perhaps find, commercial, practical and sometimes sordid motives among individual Americans — but they did not rule our people.
The heart has ruled our people. The greatest hearts among us have been our heroes and our great men. The greatest hearts have won us by their senti ments of real Americanism. No more outstanding figure pervades the recollection of the recent Greal War than Theodore Roosevelt. America, North and South, knows that the greatest loss of the Civil War was Lincoln's death. And the Anglo-Saxon world, England no less than the United States, pays homage to the great heart of the Revolution, George Washington.
The world knows the real George Washington less because of the sentimental myths woven about his his torical character. Americans appreciate his service to our Country. They have pictured him as a great, self-made character. "Father of his Country" they call him, having in mind his service as a statesman and a nation-builder. But of the human side of him they know little. When they think of his stalwartness, they think of him as a General of the American Army. Little do they know of the countless authentic instances of his stalwartness as an incorruptible first citizen. His great heart, for most people, is emblazoned upon battle fields and the history of campaigns.
To a little town in Virginia, and to a little old Masonic lodge in that town, are we indebted for the little known but well authenticated human side of this world renowned character. Lose the personal relics of that lodge, and even Mount Vernon itself can never redeem the record of the man great because the heart of him was great. The homely, home-grown heart, of which the world knows so little. Those brave and persistent women who have saved Mt. Vernon for us performed a service for America which is only now beginning to be appreciated. What they have preserved for us is invaluable. More than a house or a farm, it is a heritage, barely rescued from destruction.
To Masonry comes now an even greater opportunity. Housed in a little nineteenth century lodge room in Alexandria are more relics — human relics — of Washington than ever were or ever can be gathered together, of the real Washington. They appertain to Washington, The Mason. It is to Washington The Mason that we must look if we would understand the true character of the man. It is into this little lodge room that we must enter, if we would find the source of his inspiration and aspiration,the things that have made him a World-character.
He who would deny that this is the true source of the qualities which made George Washington great must in this lodge-room face his Masonic Apron; the charter for the lodge, granted to "George Washington, Late Commander-in-Chief" of the United States forces, as Worshipful Master, by Edmund Randolph, Grand Master of Virginia; letters in autograph, proving his pride in his Masonic connection, and not one, but hundreds of other mementoes, personal and Masonic in their character, conclusive in their evidence that it is to Masonry that we must look for the groundwork of Washington's Americanism, even as we must do likewise with most of the other great characters of the formative period of this Republic.
Because this old Lodge-Hall houses these relics; because the surroundings are hazardous in that they are not fire-proof; because this heritage is worthy of being placed in a memorial temple befitting so exalted a character; because to lose them would be an irreparable loss to a great Republic which delights to do Washington honor; for these reasons has it come about that Masons of vision outside of Virginia have proposed a National Memorial, typifying the loyalty of the Fraternity in the United States as a whole, in which these relics should find an eternal resting place. The sentiment that pervades the very atmosphere of the old Hall, no less than these priceless material mementoes of the man Washington, belongs to American Masons, and has provoked in members of the Fraternity a sense of duty unfulfilled, until the memorial house in which they are to be kept shall be a Mecca worthy of the Fraternity of Washington's inspiration.
To build such a memorial by the free-will offerings of the Masonic Fraternity in the United States is to perform a great service to the Fraternity, also. There is need for a national symbol of the interdependence of our American liberties and this great patriotic organization of ours. The campaign for its erection will be more than a campaign for funds. It will mean a reawakening of our members to the civic responsibilities devolving upon us. Those who undertake to promote this enterprise will not be solicitors for dollars, they will be evangels of Masonic duty to our Country in time of stress.
* * *
Bro. L. B. Mitchell, Michigan
I do not know what it can be, but some mysterious thing
Seems running through the Order with a gracious, soulful ring;
E'en though 'tis but a gathering of neighbors from around
'Tis something so much different than elsewhere can be found.
The touch of its investiture brings its peculiar thrill,
It seems to hold, as it is placed, a "string" upon the will,
It gives its message to the soul, it beautifies the place
That needs it most that it may there reflect its matchless grace.
There's something in its opening, — though often heard before,
That so appeals we can but help to love it more and more;
Though formal it may really be and anciently expressed,
It seems to lead into the way of brother-biding rest.
And there's its work, — the symbols rare that teach in ways sublime
Upon the nature plane the way to e'en the gold refine;
It summons to the true ideals and to them lights the way,
Its working tools in simple form true character display.
And there's its closing, beautiful, we part upon the Square;
The heart has tested from its wealth a sample of its fare,
And as we go there's something seems to "carry on" the grace
That somehow crept in unawares while we were in the place.
I do not know what it can be, but some mysterious thing
Plays on the heart within its walls, e'en to its finest string;
'Tis something all unknown to words, this dear old mystic Art
Expressed alone to those who bring to it the brother-heart.
* * *
THE KIND MESSENGER
Bro. Gerald A. Nancarrow, Indiana
See that figure in the distance
With his scythe upon his arm?
Does the end of this existence
Bring but fear and hold no charm?
Do you look upon the reaper
As a monster in your way;
Do you feel no hope that's deeper
Than the joys of this poor day?
Ah! That figure in the distance
Is but pointing to the hour,
Is but off'ring his assistance -
Doing all within his power,
To show how fast the grains of sand
Hasten through the glass he holds;
How much of work on ev'ry hand
E'er another life enfolds.
* * *
THE FRATERNAL FORUM
Edited By Bro. Geo. E. Frazer, President, Board Of Stewards
- Wm. F. Bowe, Georgia.
- Joseph Barnet, California.
- Wm. F. Bowe, Georgia.
- H. P. Burke, Colorado.
- Joe L. Carson, Virginia.
- R. M. C. Condon, Michigan.
- John A. Davilla, Louisiana.
- Jos. W. Eggleston, Virginia.
- Henry R. Evans, District of Columbia.
- H. D. Funk, Minnesota.
- Asahel W. Gage, Florida.
- Joseph C. Greenfield, Georgia.
- Frederick W. Hamilton, Massachusetts.
- H. L. Haywood, Iowa.
- T. W. Hugo, Minnesota.
- M. M. Johnson, Massachusetts.
- P. E. Kellett, Manitoba.
- John G. Keplinger, Illinois.
- Harold A. Kingsbury, Connecticut.
- Dr. Wm. F. Kuhn, Missouri.
- Dr. G. Alfred Lawrence, New York.
- Julius H. McCollum, Connecticut.
- Dr. John Lewin McLeish, Ohio.
- Joseph W. Norwood, Kentucky.
- Frank E. Noyes, Wisconsin.
- John Pickard, Missouri.
- A. G. Pitts, Michigan.
- C. M. Sehenck, Colorado.
- Francis W. Shepardson. Illinois.
- Silas H. Shepherd, Wisconsin.
- Oliver D. Street, Alabama.
- Denman S. Wagstaff, California.
- S. W. Williams Tennessee
Contributions to this Monthly Department of Personal Opinion are invited from each writer who has contributed one or more articles to THE BUILDER. Subjects for discussion are selected as being alive in the administration of Masonry today. Discussions of polities, religious creeds or personal prejudices are avoided, the purpose of the Department being to afford a vehicle for comparing the personal opinions of leading Masonic students. The contributing editors assume responsibility only for what each writes over his own signature. Comment from our Members on the subjects discussed here will be welcomed in the Question Box Department.
QUESTION NO. 14
"How far should the social side of Masonry be encouraged in the meetings of the Blue Lodge? In what manner should it be promoted?"
The Augusta Club.
Many records attest to the prominence given to the social side of Masonry in the old lodges. Because of the changed attitude of opinion toward this side as usually conducted, the lodges gradually abandoned the social features instead of adapting themselves to the changed conditions, and it is to be hoped that discussions upon your questionnaire will result in widespread adoption of the methods calculated to establish a social side of Masonry in our lodges in accord with modern thought.
Theories upon untried systems are apt to prove unsound. The practice of individual cases may not result uniformly, but the experience of such practice is the best evidence we have. A great orator declared:
"I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the Lamp of Experience."
The experience in Augusta is briefly as follows:
For more than twenty years a library, reading room, or Club had been a vision of certain of our Masonic membership. Many futile efforts towards these ends were made in various directions. These finally crystallized in a weak call for a Masonic Club rather than for a Study Club, or Library. From time to time efforts were made by committees to formulate rules for the financing and government of such a Club. The stumbling block was always the difficulty of the distinction which would be made between Masons who contributed to sustain the Club and those who did not, and it was found impossible for us to determine satisfactory methods or rules to avoid this difficulty.
In the year 1915 the call for the Club features had grown into the minds of many besides the "visionaries" when suddenly someone whose perception was keener proposed to establish a Masonic Club and operate it at the expense of the Masonic Fraternity for a period of three months. This was done and continued with growing success until the great conflagration of March 22, 1916, which entirely destroyed our Temple. This public catastrophe demonstrated the value of the Club connection with our lodges for it became the inspiration and the center of Masonic activity to relieve the consequent distress. Fifteen thousand dollars was raised and distributed and whilst the needs of Masons and their families were a particular care, relief was freely given to others.
During the time that this great work was being consummated arrangements were made for a temporary lodge room. At once the call was insistent for the continuance of the Club. Therefore a building was rented and the third story connected to the temporary lodge room, the intention being to use this third story as a makeshift club quarters. But the call demanded more and better club facilities, so the second story was used, consisting of two large parlors, a large card room and large billiard room, kitchen and serving rooms, two dining rooms, office, ladies' dressing room and two large hallways for banqueting and dancing purposes. Shower baths were installed in the third story and lockers put in two third-story rooms for costumes and uniforms.
Here was our home for two years. The Past Masters' Association continued its work of Masonic study. The desire for Masonic reading and information increased among the Fraternity, and lectures were well attended.
The Masonic Club was the inspiration and mainspring of efforts which resulted in our present new Masonic Temple, in which the fourth floor, 77 1/2 by 160 feet, is entirely devoted to Club purposes to which any Mason in the world is welcomed to all its privileges without cost or subscription of any kind. Naturally the expense of the Club has continued to increase. This has been met cheerfully by the various Masonic Bodies of the city.
Beginning with assets of about $40,000 we have built a Temple costing $325,000. This is not believed to have been possible without the social intercourse and the enthusiasm of the Masonic Club connection with our Masonry.
The Club influence is spreading and growing. Our reading room and library is in constant use for Masonic reading and study. This intermingling of Masons, together with the increase in knowledge of Masonic principles, has resulted in a great uplift among the Brethren, so that it now seems certain that a Masonic Club is an established institution in Augusta. This at least proves that Augusta Masons consider that the social intercourse of Masons in connection with their lodge work is a necessity.
In a continuation of this article I propose to relate some of the Club activities, especially of the great work performed by the entertainment of the Soldier Masons stationed at Camp Hancock, near Augusta.
William F. Bowe, P.G.C., Georgia.
* * *
A Social Schedule for the Lodge Year.
I am in favor of emphasizing the social side of the Blue Lodge. To make the lodge a mere degree factory is a great mistake. After a man is familiar with the ceremonial of the degree he looks for something more "more light." Failing to get that in the lodge he moves up higher, in the Commandery for instance, where considerable attention is given to social features. Whether the aspirant obtains more mental illumination in the higher degrees of the York Rite is a question, but he certainly sees more of the social phases of Masonry, and his attendance is better. Many men, after becoming familiar with the degrees of the Blue Lodge, fall away and are seen no more at the meetings. If the social and intellectual features were better organized and emphasized we would see more interest manifested by Masons in their lodges. An occasional lecture, on some Masonic or sociological topic, followed by a smoker, often proves a decided attraction.
The Master of a lodge on taking office, aided by a representative committee of the brethren, might arrange a series of affairs for the Masonic year, literary and social in character. The best way to announce these affairs is through the publication of a monthly bulletin, giving the news of the lodge. A lodge in Washington, D. C., (Temple-Noyes) recently inaugurated a "Father and Son" get-together meeting. The sons, big and little, of the members were invited to an elaborate entertainment. Great sociability prevailed; 'stunts" of all kinds were staged for the amusement of the guests, many of the youngsters taking part in them. A banquet followed.
I also advocate a ladies' night at the close of the Masonic year. St. John's Lodge, of Washington, gives an excellent entertainment of this character once a year. This lodge closely affiliates with St. John's Chapter of the Eastern Star, and whenever it gives an entertainment the ladies of the Eastern Star lend their aid in getting up the banquet and even wait on the tables.
Yes, I am decidedly in favor of the social side of Freemasonry, but it should also be combined with the intellectual. Masons will often turn out to a good lecture and the proverbial feed, when they will not otherwise attend the lodge. On such occasions the lodge should be opened and closed in regular form, so as to keep up the dignity of Masonry and remind the brethren of their duties to God and their fellow men.
Henry R. Evans, District of Columbia.
* * *
"With Points and Without Heeltaps."
The question "How far should the social side of Masonry be encouraged in the meetings of the Blue Lodge? In what manner should it be promoted?" is best answered by my personal experience here in Virginia. Virginia is, as you are aware, dry, very dry. It is, however, a land of letter- or word-perfect Masons, the ritual dominating everything. Here, as in all other Jurisdictions, the thinking and reading Mason is the exception. We have, therefore, the problem up to us of bringing candidates and members into our lodges by making the lodge attractive without the assistance of "Old King Booze," attractive not only to the small minority of reading Masons, but to the ritualist, and the big majority of members who are always ready to respond to the social call of our Order, which feature, though now very much neglected, was once part of "The Original Design."
My experience begins with almost my first visit to a lodge on this side of the Atlantic (Unity Lodge No. 146, Front Royal, Virginia, of which I am now a member), about three years ago. On that occasion I sat for two mortal hours listening to a discussion on "ways and means," ways of raising the wind in the shape of unpaid dues, and means of getting enough brethren together to keep the lodge going and elect officers for the ensuing year. After they had exhausted the subject, I rose and explained a method which I had never known to fail, asking a free hand with the "refreshment fund" and their co-operation after the lodge was closed. As a last resort they agreed to let the "big Irishman go to it" so I waded right in that evening. As far as I can remember there were only about ten of us, but with a dozen bottles of "pop," a couple of pounds of biscuits and a bit of cheese, we had "some night" as they expressed it. I went right through the whole program, gave the "seven Masonic Toasts," and had every man jack of them on his feet several times. We gave the "Grand Honors," drinking the toasts with "points and without heeltaps." We had the "Tyler's Toast" and the "Charter Song," the "Mystic Chain," and "Auld Lang Syne," and a "Three and one in solemn silence." We really did have a splendid night. We kept it up, we boosted it, it caught on, and today our lodge room is regularly filled. We are talking of building, our "Degree Team" now visits neighboring lodges, and our sister lodges, when they visit us, go home with something to think about.
We had exactly the same experience in the Chapter with equally good results.
Yes! get the boys together around the social board, start your lodge early or cut out some of the work, but don't neglect the social feature. Think out the new stunts for the next meeting and get the members interested. They don't want a feed every night. A bottle of pop, a cup of coffee, a biscuit and a nibble of cheese will do, but get them together round the festive board to yarn and laugh and gag each other over a cigar or jimmy-pipe.
Try it, Worshipful Masters, don't let the Shrine monopolize all the fun, and write THE BUILDER your experience twelve months hence.
I believe the social feature of Freemasonry is just as surely a Landmark as is the Hiramic Legend and, notwithstanding Deuteronomy 27:17, a landmark which is being slowly but surely obliterated.
J. L. Carson, Virginia.
* * *
The Example of the Churches.
As far as it is in the churches. The aim of these organizations is first, to worship; second, to strengthen each participant so as to make him or her a better and happier individual. The latter end is achieved, in a great measure, by the spirit of friendliness manifested by each and all.
This, to my mind, illustrates how far the social side of Masonry should be encouraged in the meetings of the Blue Lodge and how it should be promoted.
John G. Keplinger, Illinois.
* * *
Talks by the Better Informed Brethren.
The social side of Masonry is something we have all thought about. As the lodge extends a level on which we all meet, it should not be overlooked that the men prominent in the community, who are accustomed to being shown more or less attention, cannot always forget that, even in the lodge. Others may notice this and resent it. The Master and the brethren are usually tactful, and strive to promote harmony.
There are two obstacles to peace and harmony: the one is idleness and the other jealousy. So, it seems to the writer, it is very plain that an effort should be made to attract the earnest attention of all present, and to interest them all. But the subjects should be such as the brethren are all interested in and free from what may irritate, such as politics and religion. These two exponents of belief and opinion should be forever barred in lodges.
When there are no degrees to be conferred, the writer thinks, a lecture should take its place a lecture on current topics, or on history or on some popular science. This would, we think, be a matter of education as well as giving a compliment to the better informed brother who is invited to talk. The members get tired of all-Masonic lectures and would frequently enjoy current topics.
G. W. Baird, District of Columbia.
* * *
Monthly Visiting Plan.
I would suggest to the Masters of lodges that they inaugurate as a social feature a monthly visiting plan to confer degrees, either the First, Second or Third, at the meeting rooms of sister lodges. Go to some lodge with your officers and members (do not go without your members), receive a similar visit the next month, and so on until there be no further opportunities. Do not confine yourselves to working the Third degree. See and let others observe how well you can confer either the First, Second or Third, and deliver the lectures. Use pictures through the monitorial parts, get them made by some moving picture expert to fit the several recitations. Do not be satisfied with the highly colored and unnatural lantern-slide effect. Allow the Senior and Junior Wardens to alternate in the recitations in the same degree. Take lots of time. Do not hurry. Have but one candidate of an evening. A good man is entitled to have all your attention and your best and undivided efforts. If he is not, you do not want him at all. The visiting lodge will instill enough variety into the occasion to make up for any absent sociability. This sort of work will never grow stale. When the work is well done, it does not pall upon the most sensitive. It is only when "murdered" by faulty delivery, as stumbling over unusual words, haste or lack of memory on the part of a poor officer, and like idiosyncracies, that the work does not satisfy. Think of what can be done if you can but enter into the spirit of it all. If you cannot, let some one else take the candidate. He should not be misled because of your inability to lead him. Masonry demands more of every man than mediocrity. She must have the best. To be real sociable in a Masonic lodge, get completely en rapport with your task, like the orator who can make his audience laugh or cry at will. Masonic ritualism has the "stuff" in it and it only remains for you to bring it to the surface where both the candidate and the audience can see and feel it. When ready, have the candidate "say something." Let the occasion be replete with short speeches. Have some refreshments, even if they be but coffee and doughnuts. However, let there be a lunch of some kind after "lodge time," so that the members can linger about the sacred place to talk and think. Keep them a half hour at least. As they go home they may talk to a brother on the way, but I would wager that the last thought and about the last word would be in appreciation of this distinctively "social side" of Masonry.
Every Master, of course, cannot be made to work as suggested. There are one or two in the lodge "who can put it on right!" Arrange special "honor nights" for such, so as not to have to tell the Master (if a ripple) "right off" that the lodge wants somebody who, "real good" to do the work, when particular company is invited. The Master can get his glory by presiding soon as the work is done. He will, in fact, be better pleased than though you insisted on his going through an ordeal in which he knows himself that he cuts but a sorry figure.
What Masonry needs is a social service along Masonic lines. What men want is a better understanding of Masonry. How long would a theatrical venture pay or remain popular, to say the least, were Shakespeare's "Hamlet" to be acted in the "nude" and the soliloquy set to the tune of "John Brown's Body" and sung with all the gusto and abandon of a bar room tapster?
It would not be a bad idea to let your "malpractitioners" read an article like this once and awhile. Most anyone can understand what I believe to be the matter with the present brand of "social Masonry." Most anyone can come to know as well how very full of sociability Masonry is when properly "put upon the boards." I am sure that it will furnish much food for mental "being" and as we as Masons are here to cater to the "better part of man," such procedure should meet the requirement so often surnamed "sociability."
In connection with the suggestion for moving pictures, I would call the attention of Masters to the immense possibilities of Middle Chamber Work the Armies at the river, the progress of building, and in fact, every situation of the portrayal of the subject in its entirety that can be accentuated by the free use of the "movie."
Denman S. Wagstaff, Committee on Education of the Grand Lodge of California.
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Get the Members Acquainted.
I would first like to delete the word "Blue." I am an old fashioned Mason and, many as are my degrees, I consider all but the basic three, side degrees. But, that aside, the answer to the above must be that the "social side" itself must be defined. If it is to be used to mean promiscuous assemblies held jointly with other organizations like the O. E. S., to be dancing and card parties, or to be held to advertise Masonry and indirectly solicit petitioners, I would say not at all.
All the features of Masonry are important and brotherly sociability, feasting together on terms of perfect equality, regardless of "worldly wealth or honors," is not the least of them and should never be neglected. I cannot, in view of the 18th amendment to the Constitutions of the United States, advocate resuming the punch bowl and toddy glass of our forebears, but I do hold and have long advocated a feast of some sort at every lodge meeting. I go so far as to tell lodges to resort to crackers and cheese if needs must, but feast together as brothers anyhow. It brings together at table those who "might otherwise remain at a perpetual distance." I have seen a former Governor and present Congressman seated by a car repairer whose hands were like coarse sandpaper, but whose life was well known to be a truly Masonic one, and who was a brilliant ritualist. The Governor was introduced to him and said: "Brother I have often heard of you as a Mason and I wish I were as worthy and well equipped a one." The words were well deserved and sent that plain, half-educated man home warmed at heart. Nowhere else would they have ever met.
Another sort of social converse still more important and often sadly neglected, is the greeting and noticing of visitors, especially the aged and the poor, in lodge and anteroom. Rather than rush to shake hands with prominent men, it is better Masonry to make sure that no brother's humble rank in life makes him a Masonic wall flower. Hunt out the one whose modesty and humble opinion of his importance causes him to hang back. If you don't know him tell him "My name is Jones. What is yours, and how are you?"
These seem small matters but they are large ones and go far towards practicing what we so vehemently profess. The lodge as a lodge should give some of its meetings to lectures on Masonic subjects, music and an occasional, say annual, ladies' night, with refreshments.
A Masonic lodge is not a proper medium for bringing together our respective families on social lines. All attempts at this are dangerous.
Joseph W. Eggleston, P.G.M., Virginia.
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The basic meaning of "social" is comradeship; and this signifies something mutual, giving as well as receiving and refers to duty as well as entertainment. Masonic entertainment concerns club rooms and banquet halls, or, where such do not exist, the anteroom. In the lodge room, the social symbol is a cordiality that rings true, a courteous consideration of all present, and an opportunity for all members to take part in discussing business.
At Masonic meetings, the social side of Masonry represents relaxation from duty; and it is best cultivated in the hour that follows the formal meeting. If Master and officers do not hurry away, but remain a while with the brethren, after lodge, it unquestionably produces a feeling of real comradeship; it looks as though those in authority really liked the company of the modest and unassuming.
Occasional games or refreshments, in as informal a manner as possible, add to the pleasure of meeting together. We must remember that "social" suggests "mutual." Members should go away from such meetings, not feeling that they have been entertained, but that they themselves have contributed to the good fellowship. This gives everyone the feeling of being of service; and that is the meaning of Freemasonry. In the lodge room, officers are of eminent service. In the social hour, "those also present" can arise and shine. For officers to try to entertain the boys is fatal to success. Let all have a share in the entertaining, and all will feel that their presence is essential. Give the boys a chance.
Joseph Barnett, California.
To say exactly how far the social features should be carried on in lodge work is supremely difficult. When a prescription is being written by an "M. D." and needs to indicate an uncertain quantity which, however, is necessarily a certain one he does so by using the letters "q. s." standing for quantum sufficit .
It is much the same in lodge work. There is, unquestionably, a great need for cultivating the social virtues, and I believe it is quite as much our duty to do so, as to "carry on" in any other line of Masonic endeavor. However, the Master should be, and is, the guiding hand he, and he alone should direct all lodge activities and be the actual head during the term of his office. After retiring from it, he surely owes an obligation to the Craft to be always ready and willing to "help, aid, and assist in the noble and glorious work of rebuilding the House of the Lord" which is characterized in all the various phases of life but the Master should possess the "all-seeing eye" that only can discover the needs of the Craft over which he is chosen to preside. How he can get this wonderful perceptive quality save by resorting to the power of prayer, I do not know!
In conclusion, let me say that it behooves us to follow the advice given us by the Saviour, "Pray without ceasing." Strength, and wisdom, and Light will surely come. In this manner only can this, and many other important questions be settled. None can absolutely say, "how far," but it is "q. s."
S. W. Williams, Tennessee.
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The "Fourth Degree."
Man representing the highest order of the animal kingdom is by nature social. Altruism is the highest manifestation of this sociability. The very fact that men organize themselves into Masonic lodges is an evidence of this social instinct carried out in everyday life.
The social side of Masonry in its narrower sense includes in a general way banquets, entertainments, initiations and correspondence other than that pertaining to business and official reports. Unquestionably the period of "refreshment" following "labor" is the time when the brethren come into close personal contact with one another.
The inspiration of the high ideals as dramatically set forth in well rendered "labor" will find its practical application in the close and intimate contact of brother with brother during this period of sociability, and many a life-long and valuable friendship is often thus formed.
The homely but apt quotation "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" is directly applicable in our lodge activities. The stress of well conducted "labor" must have its adequate period of variable social "refreshment" in order to round out and fulfill the highest functions of the lodge. The nature of this entertainment will naturally depend upon the character and taste of the members of the particular lodge and its environment. A picnic in the woods, with the members of the family included, might prove a day of rare social enjoyment to a lodge situated near country surroundings, whereas a theatre supper would be a far greater success in thus city lodge. The so-called "Fourth degree" it parlor with instructive talks from those having something of interest to impart to the brethren, interspersed with music, informal conversation and a collation undoubtedly act as powerful adjuncts to the securing of a large attendance at every lodge communication. The program can and should be varied for each communication and announced beforehand in the regular notices sent out to the brethren.
Intellectual "feasts" in the form of some Masonic historical event or problem attractively presented can well be included from time to time as part of the social side of the Masonic activities of the lodge. Frequent exchanges of visitations with sister lodges undoubtedly promote a wider sociability and extends the horizon of the individual lodge members.
Social amenities by correspondence with other lodges and especially with absent brethren does likewise, and a committee in social corresponded can well be productive of good results in rounding out the social side of any lodge. This was demonstrated time and again in the great World War.
Banquets, picnics, excursions, theatre parties, musicals and other entertainments-all these have their places as valuable social agencies.
A well organized system of home visitation in charge of a discreet and carefully selected committee undoubtedly would promote sociability in many lodges and bring out brethren to its communications who otherwise would not come.
G. Alfred Lawrence, New York.
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The Informal Study Club at Members' Homes.
The function of a Masonic lodge is to teach morality according to a system of symbolic instruction. While this is the real function and should never be lost sight of, there are many ways in which it may be definitely practiced as well as taught by the members of the Fraternity. To cultivate the social side of life is a valuable and Masonic act. The Fraternal greetings and the social chat in the anteroom before the lodge is opened and after it is closed; the lunch or banquet with its post-prandial speeches and stories; the family night at which the members of the brother's families are invited to the lodge room and entertained, are all of value when conducted judiciously.
There are, however, abuses to the social features of a lodge which must be apparent to the brethren who have a high conception of Freemasonry, and to whom the tendency of XYZ Lodge to the title of a ball team or whist club is unsavory.
The best possible manner in which the social side of Freemasonry has been promoted, to my observation, was by an informal Study Club, which met monthly at the homes of the members and combined a profitable evening's improvement in Masonry with light refreshments and a social hour.
An installation (either private or public) on St. John's Day, may include a social program suited to the occasion.
The traditional banquet after work in the Third degree, however, furnishes the best opportunity for the social side of Masonry.
There is such a good opportunity to promote the social side of Masonry in a legitimate way that it is to be lamented if abuses are indulged in.
Silas H. Shepherd,
Chairman Masonic Research Committee,
Grand Lodge of Wisconsin.
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Interest the Ladies.
It is difficult to understand why there should be a need for any medium other than that of a well conducted degree ceremony to keep up an active interest in lodge affairs.
However, it is a fact that we must admit, that an attendance of 40 to 60 out of a membership of 400 or over is as much as we usually obtain.
I believe that the social side of Masonry can be fostered best by bringing the families of the brethren together by means of entertainment of various sorts. When the ladies begin to have an interest in the lodge of their male relative connections they are apt to see that he is not unmindful of his duty as to attendance at lodge communications. Give the ladies an interest.
John A. Davilla, G.S., Louisiana.
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Complete Equipment for the Social Side.
Nothing in the conduct of the lodge is half so important as the promotion of the social side of Masonry. Certainly not perfection of ritualistic work.
Three principles should be recognized. First, that, whatever may be the theory, in practice no Mason who has no part in the work can be expected to be a regular attendant at lodge meetings for very long if there is no attraction except that of seeing the work.
Second, that a member of a lodge is doing himself and the lodge just as much good when he spends an evening in the anteroom of the lodge parlors getting acquainted and keeping acquainted with his brother members as when he spends the whole evening in the lodge room as a spectator on the benches.
Third, that the promotion of the social side is so important that it ought not to be lost to chance or to he accident of the faculty of the lodge officers for the time being for the promotion of social intercourse. It ought to be provided for in the very situation and equipment of the lodge.
To appreciate these principles is the important thing. They will be applied according to the situation, size and circumstances of each lodge and the tastes and character of its members. Trying to increase or to maintain the attendance at lodge is beating the air so long as one looks only to the interior of the lodge room. There should be something, much or little, as may be possible, outside.
For example, my own lodge has dining rooms where lunch is served every day and dinner every evening. It has ample room for ladies and they frequent the Lodge House. It has card rooms, billiard rooms, chess rooms, a reading room and a ball room. Sometimes there will be at the same time fifty people, men and women, dining in the small dining rooms, 300 members dining together in the large dining room, 50 to 75 carrying on the work in the lodge room, 50 men playing games in the card rooms, 50 more talking or reading in other rooms, some ladies playing bridge in the ladies' sitting room and 40 members and ladies together in the large ladies' drawing room.
This is meant only to allow an extreme application of the principles laid down. Perhaps no other lodge could carry them to that point. But any lodge can go along this road a short distance or further according to circumstances.
A. G. Pitts, Michigan.
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The Duty of the Junior Warden.
Experience in my own lodge and observation in many others enables me to answer this with some degree of certainty. The very nature of a Masonic lodge as a voluntary association of friends and brothers recognizing the social principle, obligates it to the encouragement of social intercourse in its meetings wherever and whenever possible. The periods of refreshment are especially set aside for that purpose and an officer placed in charge during those periods to see that no "excesses" be permitted.
By "social intercourse" it is presumed one means the natural social amenities and the good fellowship that comes from mutual participation in whatever forms of amusement the brethren prefer, whether eating, dancing, debates or whether physical or mental recreation. Our lodge tried about everything before we found the plan that suited us best. I should say that this is an individual matter for each lodge to decide for itself, depending upon the temperament of the members and the customs of the community.
We started with a Study Club. We found in our "researches" that our forebears gave considerable more attention to the "social side" than the more serious side of Masonry. The English, Scotch and Irish brothers of the old country met in taverns and after initiations devoted most of their time to conviviality. The Masons of the Revolution seriously occupied themselves with the questions of the day, affecting the young nation's welfare and had less time for banquets. They inclined toward the French idea of patriotic addresses. Our lodge was one of the pioneer bodies on the Kentucky "frontier" and its early meetings were great occasions to which members traveled hundreds of miles that they might experience the social joys. Community welfare matters those days were largely lodge matters too. They were talked over among members of our political party in the period of refreshments. Later the feasts were separated from the lodge meetings proper.
Our Study Club eventually organized and today looks after the lecturing of new candidates, provides a place for informal discussion of all questions in which members are interested from war to economics, from dances to public affairs. The Masonic Body supports the Club financially and every Mason is a member. The lodge therefore feels that it may at any time call upon the Club to arrange social affairs on a large scale and has come to look upon the Club as an aid to the Junior Warden.
We are a "city lodge" and necessarily the greater part of our time is spent in labor, with little opportunity for social intercourse. But before the lodge is called on and during the periods of refreshment and just after its close, the Master and all the brethren welcome visitors and each other. Always visitors are urged to give us a little talk tell us about himself. If one is in difficulties we get to know about it at these times and the lodge is invariably left "at refreshment" whenever there is any delay in work.
Now in country lodges, where the candidates for degrees are not so numerous and more time can be given to social enjoyment the club feature of Masonic life can easily be omitted. Cynthiana No. 18, this State, of which I am an honorary life member, has solved the social problem by placing all social features in the hands of the Junior Warden and Stewards and making them work. That is what they are for! So these officers are ready to fill up every gap with something that contributes to good fellowship. If there is five minutes to spare while the lodge is "at ease," they know everyone present and will call on someone for a remark or start introductions of strangers. They arrange community picnics, "socials," anything to give members an opportunity to rub shoulders. They arrange co-operative entertainments with other Fraternities; have held one or two Fraternity Days; went into partnership with Church and city authorities during the war to follow their soldier boys with home comforts. In short through its social progress, the lodge has become a recognized social constructive agency in its community.
We need a little more democracy in our lodges and a little less timidity of our officers in discharging their plain social duties. I have found that where the membership itself is asked to decide upon some program of social features, or left to evolve one with only a suggestion now and then from the Master, they may be trusted to evolve something worth while.
Were I again placed in the Master's chair in some lodge needing more social intercourses, I would certainly not attempt to force my own views on the members. But I would instruct the Junior Warden and the Stewards under him to do their duty. I should at convenient periods turn the lodge over to them; first, that they might ascertain the sense of the membership on the kinds of social enjoyment preferred by it, second, that long enough periods of refreshment might be provided whenever there was not ritualistic work to be done, for the proper officers to "make good" in what the membership expected of them.
As to the kind of and variety of social features possible at these periods when the lodge was "at ease," that would require another story. In answer to such a question if propounded, I think lies the solution of the troublesome problem of getting good attendance and of making Freemasonry something strong and virile in public life as its founders intended.
Joseph W. Norwood, Kentucky.
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THE RITUALISM OF MASONRY
Bro. Louis H. Fead, P.G.M., Michigan
The ritualism of Masonry is truly a wonderful thing. Simple in its dignity and with no striving for dramatic effect, its power is so intense that, when even fairly rendered, levity is impossible and the initiate is consciously impressed with a serious grandeur. With such possibilities of histrionic expression that the great Booth pronounced the Third degree the greatest tragedy ever written, even the Master who mouths his words and misconceives his emphasis cannot entirely destroy its beauty. So distinctive is it in character that ten consecutive words from it cannot be used in the press, on the rostrum or in conversation without practically every Mason recognizing them; so quaint is its context that its antiquity is instantly impressed upon the hearer; so tuneful is its rhythm that it rivals the stately measure of poetry; so natural in its movements and so devoid of restraint that its force is felt at first subconsciously but the words often spoken always convey a new idea; and withal, so lofty in its principles and so true its precepts that it is not a wonder some men make Masonry their religion.
Yet the ritual is not all there is to Masonry. Underlying the ritual, there is a symbolism which attaches to each form and rite and ceremony a significance not before known. From the forgotten past of the Ancient Mysteries, it brings the magic of the dead art of symbolic teaching and transfigures the commonplace. It transforms the lodge room into a world and the candidate into an unborn child. It depicts the building of a perfect life. It portrays the child born into the world, burdened with the cabletow of inherited tendencies. With solemn ceremonies, he is purified and consecrated, the evils of his inheritance fall from him, the light of knowledge floods him, and he is invested with purity and innocence. To build the foundation and strong walls of the temple of his character, he is given the working tools of the Entered Apprentice and, as each rite is performed and each emblem passes before his vision, he learns to employ his time and to divest his mind and conscience of vice and the things that hurt.
Having builded the walls of his character, he is taught as a Fellowcraft, by the use of his physical senses and the contemplation of a mind enriched by a study of the liberal arts and sciences, to adorn the temple with the pillars of culture and mental strength. And finally, as a Master Mason, the symbols impress upon him the certainty of death and the resurrection that there may be within the house he has builded a living presence conscious of Immortality and that its various halls and corridors and chambers and apartments may be the home of an enlightened soul.
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Love is the great motive power without which all our intelligence, knowledge and understanding is impotent. Unless we make use of both Pillars of the Mind, so that Truth and Love co-operate we shall miss Happiness the Goal of Life. Love fulfills the law.
— Oriental Consistory Bulletin .
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One line, a line fraught with instruction, includes the secret of Lord Kenyon's final success. He was prudent, he was patient and he persevered.
— G. Townsend.
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Justice without wisdom is impossible.
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PEACE AND GOOD WILL
THE SEASON of Good Will will soon be upon us. Christendom at least will then naturally turn its thoughts to the founder of the Christian religion.
For one brief moment the so-called civilized world is compelled to consider the life of one man, the burden of whose message was for Peace on earth and good will toward men. The sublime idealism which He declared as the only practical basis for the government of the world seems today indeed very far ahead of us. Let us then change our common practice of looking backward to the days of his flesh and consider that the ethic that he taught and practiced is not something declared for an ancient generation and since found impracticable for mankind's wider activities, but is something yet ahead for aspiring man as an individual and for the government of society to realize.
The divine event which will know brotherhood as a reality still beckons man on. Righteousness, as the emanating principle in man and the foundation of society universally accepted, is yet to be the result of patient, unselfish work to be zealously undertaken by those who believe that the world should be regulated and governed by the principles of brotherhood, charity and pity.
The trying days that we have known for near five years have revealed that we are not yet far removed from the beast. Man, and mobs of men, have revealed capacity for cruelty only these last few years, aye months, that seem almost unprecedented for ferocity and barbarity. We have killed, maimed and burned each other and the heart of humanity still bleeds while the air is yet rent with the cries of the widowed and orphaned. Every method of reform known to the ingenuity of man has been suggested as a palliative for the ills of mankind. Bolshevism, Unionism and patronizing individualism hold out their schemes for the abolition of the foul madness that has gripped the world and sent it sheltering toward darkness and chaos. Like weak and decrepit men religionists in ecclesiastical raiment have tried to stem the tide of disaster only to be caught themselves in the maelstrom and to become in time weak and blind apologists for this or that cause or interest. To settle our differences with reference to God and universal brotherhood has not been largely thought of. And if here or there a courageous prophet has been heard, his voice has been drowned by the medley of noises whose selfish insanity served only to add fuel to the fires of hate, fanaticism and greed.
In the wise economy of the universe it is ordained that there shall be seasons when man shall rest. Manes weary body cannot stand a ceaseless grind. Merciful sleep intervenes to recuperate him for the morrow's task, Night follows the day and the new morn ought to be witness of a new awakening of the soul. Even so, may the season of Good Will cause us to pause in this goodly land and under the benign influence of the Holy season may there be taken such retrospect as will reveal to us the high road of folly which we have been following and resolve us as free men blessed of God in noble heritage to follow in the days to be the paths of sanity and mutual aid and brotherhood. The principles of religion force themselves upon us whether we will or no, when we consider the significance of the birth, life and death of the humble carpenter of Galilee. In Him it is forever witnessed that a good Christian is a Christian and that a good Jew is a Christian practicing in life and conduct the religion of the sage and prophet followed by his fathers.
Man is incurably religious, said a great Frenchman. Christmastide is usually the season that justifies the statement. Then it is that coldest hearts are melted and a pitying consideration is extended that expresses itself in charity and goes out from man to his less fortunate brethren. But charity in the way of the giving of alms is not the great and imperative need of the world. Justice born of the diviner concept of charity, known as love, is the universal desire. Let us re-emphasize to ourselves also, brethren, that from time immemorial the Mason has been an incurably religious being. The mysteries of the ancients with its speculative genius ever concerned with what the will of God or of the gods was, is still our first great care. To translate into visible expression and deed the holy tenets of our order is the holy doctrine taught us and which we unitedly confess the need of in the world. Masonry would solve the problems of human life in the light of religion. It would deal with men in the spirit we have learned as having animated the Man of Galilee. In the least of mankind we would see a brother and to the least we would extend the hand of love. Strikes, riots and famine, war and pestilence and man's inhumanity to man will cease some time, but not until there is an universal crisis of the Religion of all Good Men whether that man be black or white, Jew or Gentile, Christian or Mohammedan.
May Masons far and wide earnestly hope and constantly work to the end that this land of ours among the nations of the earth shall indeed be a place of Peace and Good Will. Let us resist the menacing actions of all castes and classes, all factions and sections, not by violent criticism and abuse of those who disagree with us, but by revealing that the genius of the Fraternity of Masons consists in gathering to its altar all those who believe that the necessity of recognition of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man is fundamental to human happiness and can be extended for practical and holy purposes in the world. Where men meet on such a platform, for a moment there is a dispelling of ugly distrust and there arises the patient endeavor to sense the significance of the differences that separate. At last when hearts have been made mellow through a recognition that each one of us is human, from the East there will surely dawn the light that enables each man to walk this earth by the aid of a new vision, and in such a way that at last we humbly believe will earn for him from the Master of life who lived unselfishly and died for love, "Well done thou good and faithful servant. Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."
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Edited by Bro. Robert Tipton
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 "SEE AMERICA FIRST" SERIES OF BOOKS
"Alaska, Our Beautiful Northland of Opportunity," by Agnes R. Burr. Published by Page Company, 53 Beacon Street, Boston, Mass. Price $4.00.
THE APPROACHING Christmas season brings with it the age old custom of gift giving. The appropriateness of the gift we buy sometimes is a matter of concern. We are not sure that it will be fully appreciated. We take it for granted that after four years of awful war in which our beloved land was spared the devastating hand of Mars that most of us are unquestionably convinced that America is a good place to live in. Travel abroad was a dangerous project during the war and those who insisted during that critical period on vacationing were compelled to heed the injunction, "See America First." Others too, are heeding the call. But many of us who would love to travel are compelled to do it on the train of imagination in the small leisure hours that are ours. The Page Company have enriched the literature of travel and have done excellent work for the American public by their publication of the "See America First" series of books.
This book will prove of fascinating interest to those who love to learn of new lands, new peoples and new opportunities for the adventurous spirit of man. One feels the incomparableness of America after reading of this, our beautiful northland. The trip from Seattle to the north as seen through the eyes of the author is of momentous and fascinating interest. The magnificence of distances, the glory of quiet waters, the majesty of snow capped peaks, the lure that draws the seeker for gold, are here seen and felt. Beautifully illustrated, it leaves vivid impressions and strange longings to see and tread this wonderland of America. The other beauty spots of earth pale beside the grandeur of this land of endless charm. We feel grateful that we still have a frontier where the adventurous spirit of America can be satisfied. The book is a challenge to go north and see the last frontier that in days to come will contribute a stock that will vitalize afresh our national life. To know Alaska is to give one assurance that our coal, iron, tin and gold outputs are not to be depleted yet awhile. It is still Eldorado. And to be filled with the romance of its pioneer days from the time of its purchase from Russia to the present hour is to have in one's life a theme of endless fascination.
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THE MYSTERY OF DEATH
"Gone West," by A Soldier Doctor. Published by Alfred A. Knopf, 220 West 42nd Street, New York. Price $1.00.
"The Dead That Have Never Died," by Edward C. Randall. Published at $1.76 by Alfred A. Knopf, 220 West 42nd St., New York.
As long as man lives upon the earth and day and night alternate, so long will man stand confronted with the mystery of death. And death will stand as the great arch fear in the minds of most men until this old earth, cold, desolate and perishable, has witnessed the extinction of the last of the race. Poets, sages and philosophers have sung and speculated. Religion and science have said their word and man has been comforted, but, despite all, to him recurs the age old question, "If a man die, shall he live again?" That light can be thrown on this perplexing problem is the eternal hope of the human spirit, and our own generation has been witness to too many wonders to permit us setting skeptically in the seat of the scornful. War with its sweeping out of existence of millions of the flower of the race has given new impetus to the universal interest in the after life. Let us then, stand with open minds and hear the conclusions of those who have interested themselves in spiritual phenomena and who persistently tell us that the so-called dead live and that they have many times communicated the fact of their existence in the spirit world.
"Gone West" purports to be the messages of a soldier doctor who, as Frederick W. Kendall of the Buffalo Express says, served "throughout the war on the spirit side" and who is making through these letters or messages a "plea for a more rational acceptance of the thing we call death." It is pertinent from the fact that it suggests the interest of those on the other side in those who are bereaved of them. We do not know just what to make of the statement that those who have died keep close to earth because of our unwillingness to be reconciled to their loss which fact causes the departed unhappiness, but there is a sort of admonition in it for those who believe that the departed are in a better land. It is worth reading and no doubt will give comfort to many.
"The Dead That Have Never Died" is a more extensive work dealing with the facts concerned in the evidences in psychic phenomena. The writer has been an investigator, we learn from his own testimony, for twenty years and his interest was first drawn to the subject by Mrs. Perrine, the mother-in-law of Grover Cleveland. It is a book elaborate in its descriptions of conversations with the dead. There is something uncanny about its narrative of the spirit experience of a soldier in the Civil War and his passing into the other world. After his being mortally wounded — which he is hardly conscious of — there is a description which the soldier is supposed to have made to the author of his rising from the ground and seeing his dead body lying there. Other equally strange experiences are the burden of the chronicle. The book is written in an impressive and scholarly style calculated at every step to challenge serious thought and consideration, which fact ought to commend it to those who are interested in what men of serious and scientific bent have to say on the great question pertaining to doubt and immortality.
* * *
"Reconstructing America," edited by Edwin Wildman. Published by Page Company, 53 Beacon Street, Boston, Mass. Price $3.00.
The day of social and economic peace seems far from dawning. Many round tables will have to be conducted for the arbitrating of great differences before we again sail smoothly on the seas of national well-being. That we are in the throes of social revolution few doubt, but the character that society will assume at the end of the revolution we profoundly believe lies in the hands of the American people themselves. The period of reconstruction is fraught with many dangers and only a calm dispassionate consideration of the many viewpoints of those who have the national welfare at heart can promise us prospects of arriving at satisfactory adjustments of our great national problems. Edwin Wildman, Editor of The Forum, has rendered a very valuable service in gathering into a volume the views and opinions of the country's greatest thinkers and industrial geniuses. The topics touched upon range from international reconstruction through the league of nations and the great battle between capital and labor, to prohibition and the people. The contributors to "The Compendium" include President Wilson, Mr. Taft, Samuel Gompers, Charles M. Schwab and many others. Every student of the great vital issues of the moment would do well to possess this book.
* * *
"THE RELIGION OF OLD GLORY"
"The Religion of Old Glory," William Nerman Guthrie. Published by George H. Doran Company, 38 Vfest 32nd St., New York, N. Y., at $2.50.
Here is a timely book worthy of the reading of every red-blooded American. We feel indeed that the brilliant Churchman has rendered an inestimable service in the writing of this volume. Every chapter is conducive to the making of better Americans. Too academic, possibly, for the average reader, but every Mason should be able to read it and be the better for it. The significance of Old Glory is told here as in no other book that we know of. The insight of the man is wonderful as he gathers from every source the data that ultimately makes the symbol of the American people intelligible.
In this work the author makes it clear that Old Glory is the symbol of a living ideal and the antithesis of all, by the way, that is working toward the disintegration of the people of this great land today. We could wish indeed for an epitome of this book in smaller form which might be used in our schools for the benefit of our children and for the revitalizing of those who are forgetting their Americanism in their Bolshevist experimenting.
Lodges that have libraries would do well to include this book on their shelves.
* * *
THE SACRED LITERATURE OF THE EAST
We are delighted to record the arrival of a set of books that will prove a veritable treasure in the study of all Masons and on the library shelves of all lodges. In the January number we intend to give an elaborate account and a Masonic valuation of "The Sacred Literature of the East" in fourteen volumes, and published by the Parke, Austin and Linscombe Company, Inc. London and New York scholars acclaim the putting of this work upon the market. Within these volumes are contained the records of the religious aspiration of man from the earliest known records. Here is the indisputable evidence of Sabatier's statement that "man is incurably religious." In the January number it is our hope to state clearly their Masonic and general value.
* * *
DECEMBER BOOK LIST
Publications Issued by the Society
- 1915 bound volume of THE BUILDER. $3.00
- 1916 bound volume of THE BUILDER. $3.00
- 1917 bound volume of THE BUILDER. $3.00
- 1918 bound volume of THE BUILDER. $3.50
- Philosophy of Masonry, by Bro. Roscoe Pound, Dean of the Harvard Law School. $1.25
- 1722 Constitutions (reproduced by photographic plates from an original copy in the archives of the Iowa Masonic Library, Cedar Rapids.) Edition limited to 1,000 copies. $2.00
- "The Story of Old Glory, The Oldest Flag," by P.G.M. Barry, Iowa, red buffing binding, gilt lettering, illustrated.$1.25
- Same paper covers. 50¢
- Symbolism of the Three Degrees, Street, (pamphlet). 35¢
- Symbolism of the First Degree, Gage, (pamphlet). 15¢
- Symbolism of the Third Degree, Ball, (pamphlet). 15¢
- Deeper Aspects of Masonic Symbolism, Waite, (pamphlet). 15¢
* * *
Publications from other sources, kept in stock at Anamosa.
- The Builders, a story and study of Masonry, by Brother Joseph Fort Newton. Formerly Editor-in-Chief of THE BUILDER. $1.50
- Mackey's Encyclopaedia, 1918 edition, two volumes, black Fabrikoid binding. $15.00
- Philosophy of Masonry, by Bro. Roscoe Pound, Dean of the Harvard Law School. $1.25
- Symbolism of Freemasonry, Mackey. $3.15
- True Principles of Freemasonry, Grant. $2.00
- Speculative Masonry, MacBride. $2.00
- "The Comacines, Their Predecessors and Their Successors," last remaining copies of the original English edition, cloth covers, sold only in combination with the Society reprint of "Further Notes on the Comacine Masters.” Both by W. Ravenscroft, England. Combination price. $1.50
- Concise History of Freemasonry, Robert Freke Gould, English Edition. $4.50
* * *
The above prices include postage and insurance or registration fee on all items except pamphlets. The latter will be sent by regular mail, not insured or registered.
* * *
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.
MATERIAL FOR DEBATE ON THE SUBJECT OF THE NEED FOR A CENTRAL MASONIC ORGANIZATION
Our Past Master's Club at its next monthly meeting will debate on the advisability of a central Masonic bureau or organization for such emergencies as confronted us during the War. Have you any information that I might use to enlighten our members?
The following articles appearing in recent issues of THE BUILDER all have a more or less direct bearing on the subject:
- October, 1918. — Editorials "Stop, Look and Listen" and "Listen Again."
- November, 1918. — Editorial "Has Masonry a Duty in the War?"
- January, 1919. — "The Cedar Rapids Masonic Conference and the Masonic Service Association of the United States."
- March, 1919. — The Report of the Masonic Overseas Mission; Editorials "Something to Talk About" and "The Birth of American Masonry."
- April, 1919. — The Report of the Masonic Overseas Mission; "The Place of Masonry in the Renaissance of Democracy."
- May, 1919. — The Report of the Masonic Overseas Mission; "The Influence of the Masonic Service Association"; Editorial "Masonry and the World-Flux."
- June, 1919. — "Masonry is Thinking"; "A Letter from the Heather Hill Masonic Club."
- July, 1919. — Editorial "A Challenge."
- August, 1919. — "Progress of the Masonic Overseas Mission"; Editorial "Peace and the New War"; "A National Masonic Organization Needed"; "A Washington Brother's Endorsement of the Masonic Service Association."
- September, 1919. — Editorial "A Practical Masonry for a Practical World," and "Co-ordination Needed"; "Reveal Masonry to Masons."
- October, 1919. — Editorials "America Needs Us Now" and "American Unity"; "What Can Masonry do for Democracy?"
- November, 1919. — Editorials "The Education of the Craft" and "Lodge Night."
* * *
GRAND ENCAMPMENT KNIGHTS TEMPLAR
Do you expect to publish a full report of the Proceedings of the 34th Triennial Conclave of Knights Templar recently held in Philadelphia?
If the experience of some of the Grand Lodges in having their Proceedings issued in printed form during these times when all printing concerns seem to be months behind on their printing orders is any indication of the length of time it will take to have the Triennial Proceedings issued we fear they will not be available to the Craft until some time next Spring.
However, for the information of those of the Society who may be interested in learning of the important happenings of the meeting we give the following brief resume:
In the drill competitions Englewood Commandery No. 59, of Chicago, won the first prize; and Rapier Commandery No. 1, of Indianapolis, the second. Cyrene Commandery of Camden, N. J., Washington Commandery of Newport and Cyrene Commandery of Rochester gained honorable mention.
The proposition to make membership in the Council a prerequisite to petitioning for the Commandery degrees was defeated. 500 French war orphans of Masonic parentage were adopted by the Grand Encampment and a contribution of $5,004 was voted for the rebuilding of the Hospital of St. John at Jerusalem.
The following Grand Officers will serve until the next Triennial which is to be held in New Orleans in 1922:
- Grand Master — Joseph K. Orr, Atlanta, Ga.
- Deputy Grand Master — Jehiel W. Chamberlain, St. Pau Minn.
- Grand Generalissimo — L. P. Newby, Knightstown, Indiana.
- Grand Captain General — William H. Norris, Manchester Iowa.
- Grand Senior Warden — George W. Vallery, Denver, Colo.
- Grand Junior Warden — William L. Sharp, Chicago, Ill.
- Grand Treasurer — H. Wales Lines, Meriden, Connecticut.
- Grand Recorder — Frank H. Johnson, Louisville, Ky.
- Grand Standard Bearer — Perry Weidner, Los Angeles, Calif.
- Grand Sword Bearer — Robert S. Teague, Montgomery, Ala.
- Grand Warden — Charles C. Homer Jr., Baltimore, Maryland.
- Grand Captain of the Guard — George T. Campbell, Owosso, Michigan.
* * *
VOLUME THREE ARS QUATUOR CORONATORUM WANTED AND OTHER SETS FOR SALE
I am trying to complete my set of Ars Quatuor Coronatorum. All I now lack is volume 3, parts 1, 2 and 3. I have the St. John's Card. Can you help me?
In about a week I shall have the following volumes in duplicate: 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17. Possibly you know of some brother who needs these to fill out his set. I would like to exchange one or two of these for volume 3 and sell the balance at what they cost me, $3.00 per volume.
D. D. Berolzheimer,
1 Madison Avenue,
New York, N. Y.
(Note. If any reader of THE BUILDER can accommodate Brother Berolzheimer to fill out his set as above, please communicate with him direct.
Here is an opportunity for anyone wishing to complete their sets with any of the duplicates Brother Berolzheimer has to offer. — Editor.)
* * *
GREAT MEN WHO WERE NOT MASONS
In my efforts to verify the Masonic connections of great men who had been claimed to belong to the Fraternity, I have not always succeeded. It is better to let this be known.
A General Officer, who was a 33rd degree Mason, assured me many years ago, that he had a memoranda with the author's name and address, who was present and saw Second Lieutenant U. S. Grant initiated and passed. I afterwards wrote the General for that memoranda, but it was too late — the General was on his deathbed, and I never received any reply. I later took up the matter with General Hodges and other old officers, all of whom contradicted.
An old letter from John Corson Smith said:
"When in Victoria, B. C., last Spring (1902) a Sir Knight, Mr. Graham, a man 84 years of age who is connected with the Hudson Bay Company, informed me that he had seen General Grant raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason in Portland Lodge No. 2, 1852—3. I went to Portland to make inquiry and examine the records. This is how I learned that Generals McClellan, Ingalls and Hodges were there made Masons. I there learned from an officer of General Miles Staff that he had seen General Grant made an Entered Apprentice Mason. I found no such record and General Hodges, whom I met, who was a Lieutenant in the Fourth Infantry with Grant, told me Grant was never made a Mason to his knowledge."
I have a letter from Brother John Whicher, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of California, dated January 13, 1919, which says:
"While looking through a bound volume of the Masonic Review I noticed in the number for February, 1864, page 65, the following:
"General Grant Not A Mason. — There is a strong penchant among some of the Craft to claim almost every distinguished man as belonging to the Order. This is, to say the least, a very silly practice, and indicates a weak spot somewhere. Among others General Grant has been declared a Mason, and numerous inquiries have been made of us to know whether it was true. Now we take occasion to say to you that General Grant was not a Mason. We propounded to him the question and he did us the honor to reply: "Although it has been my intention for many years to become a Freemason, yet I have never done so, for the reason that I have usually been so unsettled in life, and but little of the time where there was an opportunity of connecting myself with the Order."
Oliver Wolcott. — The Oliver Wolcott who was a Grand Master of Masons in Connecticut was not the Oliver Wolcott who signed the Declaration of Independence. A letter from George S. Goddard, State Librarian, dated September 24th, 1919, says:
"Replying to your inquiry of July 30th, I am unable to find that Oliver Wolcott Sr., born 1726, died 1797, and signer of the Declaration of Independence, was a Mason. His son, Oliver Wolcott, born 1760, died 1833, was made Grand Master in Connecticut about 1818. It is barely possible that father and son have been confused."
I may add that George S. Goddard is a Mason of distinction.
Many years ago while in Europe I was assured by an American Mason that he knew that Abraham Lincoln was a Mason. When I began to write up Masonic Memorials for THE BUILDER I wrote a letter to Mr. Robert Lincoln, the President's son, and in his reply he assured me that his father was never a member of the Order.
The Stephen Hopkins who was a member of St. John's Lodge in Rhode Island, and pointed to as a "signer," was not born at the time of the signing. But his brother, Essek Hopkins, the first Captain appointed in the Colonial Navy, was a Mason.
Many Massachusetts Masons believe that the Josiah Bartlett who signed the Declaration was the same man that was Grand Master, but the descendants of the signer dispute it. There are other prominent Masons in Massachusetts who are satisfied the signer and the Grand Master were not the same.
Three Massachusetts lodges carry the name of John Adams on their rolls, and the locations, dates, etc., would make it easy to believe that either may have been the President. But the President, during the cataclysm following the Morgan excitement when the subject was boiling in the political pot, said he was not a member. While many claim that his reply on that occasion was ambiguous we think it would not be wise to claim him.
It is easy to understand how a man, witnessing the initiation of three or four Second Lieutenants in 1852, and never having met them afterwards, but finding their names as General Officers half a century later, might get them confused and this, I think, is what occurred in Grant's case.
It is not so easy to understand the liberty some men take in proclaiming membership for a particular man because he finds the bare name on a register, without other identification.
This is, however, not peculiar to any class nor set of men. The Brooklyn Tablet (Roman Catholic) of December 29, 1918, announced General Pershing as a Roman Catholic, but as a matter of fact he is an Episcopalian.
George W. Baird, P.G.M.
District of Columbia.
* * *
EARLY MASONRY IN NEW MEXICO
In the Question Box department of THE BUILDER for September you state in an answer to W.P.M. of Texas that "the Grand Lodge of Missouri chartered the first three lodges in New Mexico." This is not correct.
The Grand Lodge of Texas issued a dispensation to Santa Fe Lodge, at Santa Fe, in May, 1841, and revoked it in January, 1844. The Grand Lodge of Missouri granted dispensations to nine lodges in that Territory and afterwards gave each of them charters, viz., Montezuma No. 109, Santa Fe, May 1851; Chapman Lodge No. 95, Las Vegas, U.D. 1862; Aztec Lodge No. 108, Las Cruces, U.D. June 1866; Union Lodge No. 480, Watrous, U.D. May 1874; Silver City Lodge No. 465, Silver City, U.D. May 1873; Bent Lodge No. 204, Fernando de Taos, chartered in June 1860, surrendered charter in 1861; Rocky Mountain Lodge No. 205, Camp Ford, chartered in 1860 and surrendered charter in 1862. This was probably a soldier's lodge, as I have never been able to locate Camp Ford. Kit Carson Lodge No. 326, Elizabethtown, chartered October 1869, arrested by the Grand Master in 1878; Cimarron Lodge No. 348, Cimarron, chartered in October 1875, surrendered charter in 1879. The writer was found worthy by the members of Cimarron Lodge, and was made a Mason by that lodge in the summer of 1875.
All of these lodges, with the exception of Rocky Mountain and Kit Carson, are working at the present time under charters granted by the Grand Lodge of New Mexico.
I think you will find all the above information confirmed in the Historical Memorandum, Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of New Mexico, 1915. You will note that Masonry was introduced into that Territory before the Mexican War.
In the Proceedings for 1915 of the Grand Lodge of New Mexico will be found some interesting action by the Grand Lodge relative to the old home of Brother Kit Carson, at Taos. The home was owned by the Grand Lodge, but was turned over to Bent Lodge No. 42 as a Kit Carson Memorial.
Geo. S. Raper, Minnesota.
* * *
CONSTITUTIONS OF THE GRANDE LOGE DE FRANCE NEVER ALTERED
The Editor of THE BUILDER:
I send you herewith copy of a letter I have addressed to the Editor of the Freemason's Chronicle which commented, in its issue of 23rd August, 1919, upon a reply made by Dr. J. Fort Newton in one of your recent issues to certain remarks made by the Christian Commonwealth upon that which it describes as a "controversy of interest to the general religious public now going on in Masonic circles."
In that letter you will observe the important distinction drawn between the respective attitudes of the Grand Orient and the Grande Loge de France, and of Freemasonry in general; and in the interests of Truth, and of the Grande Loge de France and of Freemasonry in general, I beg you to make this distinction clearly known to your readers.
With thanks in anticipations of your kind compliance with this request,
I am, Dear Sir,
W. P. Campbell-Everden.
* * *
To the Editor Freemason's Chronicle,
Fleet Works, Plantagenet Road, New Barnet, England.
I am sorry to trouble you again so soon with a letter from me on the subject of the Grande Loge de France, but there is a note in your issue of 23rd inst., page 91, under the heading of "The Word of God" which I cannot allow to pass unchallenged.
One would have thought that under such a heading the Christian Commonwealth might have been expected to take the trouble to be accurate, but when it says "the dispute ranges round the action of the Grand Orient and the Grand Lodge of France in altering their Constitution as far back as 1877," it simply falls into, adopts and spreads the usual and tiresome fundamental error, made by so many others, of erroneously coupling the Grand Orient de France with the Grande Loge de France.
These two bodies are entirely distinct in organization, constitution and principles.
The Grand Orient de France did, in 1877, alter its Constitution in the way described, and thus incurred the consequences which are well known to many Masons. Whether in doing so it was right or wrong, wise or unwise, and whether the consequences incurred were merited or unmerited, I do not propose to discuss in this letter. These questions may be left to the champions of the Grand Orient, of whom I am not one.
But what I wish to emphasize to the uttermost in this letter is that the Grande Loge de France did not, either in 1877 or at any other time, alter its Constitution in the manner indicated.
There never has been on the part of the Grande Loge de France any change of custom or principle such as induced the severance of relations with the Grand Orient de France. It is a baseless calumny which has been widely spread, usually in ignorance, but sometimes intentionally; a calumny of which the Grande Loge has long suffered in silence the unmerited consequences.
If it be true that this calumny was "submitted to the consideration of the Committee on Recognition of Foreign Grand Lodges of the Grand Lodge of Missouri," small wonder the Grande Loge de France met with a refusal of recognition from that august Body!
But since 1904 there has been no valid ground for the refusal of recognition of the Grande Loge de France either by the Grand Lodge of Missouri or by any Grand Lodge.
The Masonic principles of the Grande Loge de France are as pure and as orthodox as those of the United Grand Lodge of England itself. The Constitution of the Grande Loge de France is based upon the Declaration of Principles made by the Convent of the Superior Councils of Scottish Rite Freemasonry which met in Lausanne in 1875, just two years before the Grand Orient made its counterblast.
This juxtaposition of facts and dates should alone give to the thinking Mason some evidence of the fundamental distinction between the two Bodies.
One of the principal points of the Ancient and Imprescriptible Doctrines of Scottish Rite Freemasonry is:
"Freemasonry is an Institution of Brotherhood whose origin is in the cradle of Human Society. It has as its doctrine the recognition of a Superior Force whose existence it proclaims under the name of the Great Architect of the Universe."
The Declaration of Principles above referred to commences:
"Freemasonry proclaims, as it has proclaimed since its origin, the existence of a Creative Principle under the name of the Great Architect of the Universe."
The Grande Loge de France, in an official letter on the subject of "the first and most important of the antient landmarks," says:
"We, the Grande Loge de France, are now and always have been in perfect accord with that landmark, which we, in common with the whole Scottish Rite, have always conserved as fundamental in every Country, because the Scottish Rite is one and indivisible throughout the World.
"We, the Grande Loge de France, have therefore no power and certainly no desire to change or modify any of the ancient landmarks."
What could be plainer?
What more do the Masons of Missouri require?
How much longer must the Grande Loge de France wait for its universal recognition?
The Grande Loge de France asks for recognition not on any sentimental ground so much talked of lately of affection for the French people, or of military community of interest or of the mingling of our blood in the military defence of our common right against a ruthless enemy, but on the eternal grounds of Justice and Principle; because the Grande Loge de France has a right to be recognized on these grounds. Its Masonic principles entitle it to Masonic recognition everywhere.
I am, dear Sir and Brother,
Yours faithfully and fraternally,
(Signed) W.P. Campbell-Everden.
P.S. — I am sending a copy of this protest to the Christian Commonwealth, The Builder, Dr. Fort Newton, The Grand Lodge of Missouri.
* * *
THE STORY OF "OLD GLORY"
In "The Story of Old Glory" by Brother John W. Barry published in volume II of THE BUILDER, page 199, and another article on the same subject in volume IV, page 110, the author lays great stress on the evidence of the paintings by John Trunbull to prove the use of the Stars and Stripes prior to their adoption by Congress on June 14, 1777. In this connection I desire to call attention to the following extracts from "The Dramatic Story of Old Glory" by Samuel Abbott (Boni and Liveright, New York, 1919):
Page 12. "There appears to have been some confusion in the minds of historians and painters of this year and a half in our history (January, 1776, to June, 1777), as to the use of the Grand Union Flag. John Trumbull, whose painting, 'The Death of Warren at the Battle of Bunker's Hill,' we have mentioned, was in the camp at Boston in 1775-76, attached to Washington's staff. He should have known if the Grand Union Flag was carried into action during the campaign around New York and, later, through those swift and dramatic struggles at Trenton and Princeton. But Trumbull, as he confessed, sought to perpetuate the faces of the chief actors in the drama of the Revolution, and had little concern for absolute fidelity in painting his backgrounds. His 'Bunker Hill and his 'Declaration of Independence' are valuable only as groupings of portraits. They are of little worth as presentations of the events as they must have occurred.
"In Trumbull's painting, 'The Battle of Princeton,' we have the Stars and Stripes prominently displayed, although, as the artist knew, it was not adopted by Congress as the national Flag until nearly six months after the date of the battle. He was one of a group of men who frequently included the Stars and Stripes in their word-accounts or paintings of events that happened while the Grand Union Flag was the standard of the Continental Army, before the Stars and Stripes were ever thought of.
"The only excuse for Trumbull's peculiar anticipation of an historical truth, lies in his expressed wish to depict men who were the champions of liberty. He placed them in groups that often defied the facts of history, and accompanied them with certain signs of his symbols of the period. The Pine Tree Flag in his 'Bunker Hill' and the captured British drum and flags in his 'Declaration of Independence,' together with his admitting the Stars and Stripes into his 'Princeton' are evidences of his carelessness. They are permissible only under the excuse of his passionate desire to hand over to posterity the presentations of the events portrayed. Their values are in their curious disregard of the truth, their attempts at symbolism, and their portraits of the leading men of the age. It is strange that almost all historians of the Flag go to Trumbull for their argument for the presence of the Stars and Stripes at Saratoga, and never consider his method of composition and his statements of purpose as given in his autobiography."
It might be well to bring these extracts to Brother Barry's attention and later publish them with his comments in THE BUILDER. By so doing, both sides of the argument will be in the files for future reference.
Isaac Henry Vrooman Jr., New York.
(Brother J. W. Barry, Past Grand Master of Iowa, passed away in December, 1918. We print Brother Vrooman's communication agreeably to his request as a matter of record. — Editor.)
* * *
PRESIDENT JOHN QUINCY ADAMS NOT A MASON
The question whether or not President John Quincy Adams was a Mason has been recently revived by the publication of the fact that John Quincy Adams joined St. John's Lodge, of Boston, in 1826.
The records of the lodge contain the following extracts:
"Oct. 11, 5826.
"Bro. John Quincy Adams was proposed by Bro. Priest for membership, Bro. Phipps Comee.
"Dec. 5, A. L. 5826.
"Bro. John Quiney Adams, a regular Candidate for membership was inquired for, and being well recommended, was voted to be balloted for & on balloting, was unanimously admitted a member of St. John's Lodge. He was afterwards introduced, welcomed by the Chair, & signed the By laws, but was not then prepared to pay the fee."
I have examined the signature to the by-laws and find that it is unquestionably not that of the President. President John Quincy Adams' autograph is well known and very markedly individual. He signed "J. Q. Adams." This signature is "Jno. Q. Adams," and the handwriting in no respect resembles that of the President.
A reference to the Boston Directory shows that John Q. Adams was a printer at 5 Stillman Place, a Place still in existence in the north end of Boston.
The ceremony of introducing a newly affiliated member, to be welcomed by the Worshipful Master and presented to the brethren was the usual custom in St. John's Lodge at that time.
This investigation seems to remove any possible doubt from his statement "I told Wilkins he might answer Tracy that I am not, and never was, a Freemason." (Memoirs published by Lippincott, vol. VII, p. 345. — I am indebted to Bro. Robert I. Clegg for this reference.)
John Quincy Adams was ever a hard fighter. It is a satisfaction to know that in his fight against Masonry, as in all his others, he fought fairly.
Frederick W. Hamilton, Grand Secretary,
* * *
In THE BUILDER for May, 1919, we published a poem under the above title which had been sent in by some brother who did not know the name of the author. We have received at least half a dozen letters, including several from Australia, informing us that the lines were written by a well known New Zealand brother, Thomas Bracken, of Wellington. The District Grand Master of Queensland, Brother Alexander Corrie, thinks that the version published in the May number must have been supplied from memory by the brother submitting it and gives us the correct one which we print herewith:
Not understood. We move along asunder,
Our paths grow wider as the seasons creep
Along the years; we marvel and we wonder
Why life is life? and then we fall asleep,
Not understood. We gather false impressions
And hug them closer as the years go by,
Till virtues often seem to us transgressions;
And thus men rise and fall, and live and die,
Not understood. Poor souls with stunted vision
Oft measure giants by their narrow gauge;
The poisoned shafts of falsehood and derision
Are oft impelled 'gainst those who mould the age,
Not understood. The secret springs of action,
Which lie beneath the surface and the show,
Are disregarded; with self-satisfaction
We judge our neighbors, and they often go,
Not understood. How trifles often change us!
The thoughtless sentence or the fancied slight
Destroy long years of friendship and estrange us,
And on our souls there falls a freezing blight;
Not understood. How many breasts are aching
For lack of sympathy! Ah, day by day,
How many cheerless, lonely hearts are breaking,
How many noble spirits pass away
Oh, God! that we would see a little clearer,
Or judge less harshly where they cannot see;
Oh, God! that we would draw a little nearer
To one another, they'd be nearer Thee,
* * *
Oft expectation fails, and most oft there where it most promises; and oft it hits where hope is coldest, and despair most sits.