A Journal for the Masonic Student
Published Monthly by the National Masonic Research Society
Vol. 6 No. 1 – January 1920
SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS OF THE FIRST ANNUAL MEETING OF THE MASONIC SERVICE ASSOCIATION OF THE UNITED STATES
Bro. Geo. L. Schoonover
Chairman Executive Commission
Though charged with a tremendous responsibility by the Association, the writer cannot refrain from giving to his brethren a summary of the hopes and aspirations which caused the notable assemblage gathered at Cedar Rapids to adopt a comprehensive Plan and Scope of operations directed toward the future welfare of American Freemasonry. If he shall fail to do acceptably the part which has been assigned him, the fault will lie in his state of unpreparedness, in failing to measure to the high responsibility. He believes in the fulfillment of the program, and believes also that only the closest sort of co-operation on the part of the whole Craft in America will bring the success which a program conceived in so splendid a spirit deserves. The measure of helpfulness which has been mutually promised by those who participated in the session bespeaks success. This Fraternity of ours is capable of success. Progress will necessarily be slow. But regardless of all personalities, a beginning has been made which should ultimately put Freemasonry in the vanguard of those who would serve mankind. The Craft are entitled to know what has been done in preparation for that service, and the methods which are to be selected for performing it.
IT WILL be remembered that at the Conference of Grand Masters and Representatives held in November, 1918, "The Masonic Service Association" was proposed to the Grand Lodges as a form of organization along the lines of a federation, which would for the future give to American Freemasonry a national voice. The need for such a voice, and the feeling that in times of national emergency there should be some method of uniting the resources of all our Grand Lodges in behalf of efficient service, had been impressed upon the brethren present by our inability to serve our soldier brethren during the Great War. It was the general conclusion that, while undoubtedly influences outside of the Fraternity had been active in preventing recognition of Freemasonry as an agency entitled to perform such service, yet as a matter of fact the state of our utter disunity had made it impossible for us to present our case. We had no way of proving that we had a country-wide desire to serve, at a time when only national agencies could be considered by the government.
The plan of federalization which was proposed at this meeting has been given publicity during the past year. It has been presented to the Grand Lodges, thirty-seven of whom have approved it. The meeting of the Association was assembled at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Armistice Day, November 11, 1919 for the purpose of perfecting the tentative organization proposed a year ago. "Service to Humanity" was interpreted one year ago in very general terms, under two heads, "Relief" and "Education and Enlightenment." It remained for this Organization meeting to define these terms. "Relief" had been provided for, and the form of proposed service adopted then was incorporated in the By-Laws of the Association. Consideration of the "Education and Enlightenment" clause received close consideration at this session, and an outline of the deliberations and conclusions of the delegates present follows. It may well be that from time to time this summary will be enlarged upon in future publicity, but for the sake of brevity and comprehensiveness this survey must be condensed so as to give only a birds-eye view of the accomplishments of the session.
- WHAT THE MASONIC SERVICE ASSOCIATION DID NOT DO.
- Infringe in any way upon the sovereignty of any Grand Jurisdiction.
- Form a General Grand Lodge, or take any step looking thereto.
- WHAT THE ASSOCIATION DID DO.
- Appreciated the responsibilities resting upon the Fraternity at this time.
- Endeavored to rise to those responsibilities by providing a way to serve.
- Provided for a mobilization of Masonic brain-power to meet its problems.
- Provided a practical Constitution and By-Laws—the Working Machinery.
- Adopted a carefully thought out Educational Program.
- Expressed the convictions of Freemasonry upon present-day problems in ringing resolutions, which all the world can understand.
- Brought together the representatives of thirty-four Grand Jurisdictions upon common ground where they came to know each other and to realize that they could unite and work, in peace and harmony, to the glory of God and for the service of mankind.
- HOW IT WAS DONE.
- By giving every one of the thirty-four Grand Jurisdictions represented at the session an opportunity to advance its particular contribution to the Cause.
- By remaining strictly within the plan and scope of effort which was outlined in the tentative plan of organization at the Conference in November, 1918.
- By surveying the entire field of need for service in America, both as regards relief and education, in an effort to ascertain that particular form of service which in the present unsettled state of things Freemasonry ought, by virtue of its peculiar genius and position, to give.
- By seriously considering the state of unrest prevailing today in America and the rest of the world, going to the roots of the causes therefor, confessing the weaknesses of our past performance, and pledging the Craft to forward-looking effort, on the broadest possible lines, for the future.
THE OUTSTANDING FEATURES OF THE MEETING
- APPREHENSIONS UNDER WHICH THE REPRESENTATIVES MET.
- The feeling, on the part of a few who were not present at the Conference last year that, despite the resolutions to the contrary, the formation of a National Grand Lodge might be in anticipation among the leaders.
- Fear lest Freemasonry might be permitted to deteriorate into an "Anti-" society. (Both of these fears were dissipated absolutely by the spirit of brotherhood which pervaded the meeting, and the positive steps taken to breathe unity, but not uniformity or legal control, into the organization.)
- THE CONCEDED POSITION OF FREEMASONRY REGARDING MODERN PROBLEMS
- We cannot press our ideals upon the world, as a Fraternity, but individual Masons must do it. We must therefore educate the individual so that he will understand these problems.
- Freemasonry is looked up to by the world, whether we will it so or otherwise, as an educational agency and a molder of public opinion. As such, the Fraternity as a whole has a tremendous responsibility.
- Freemasonry should therefore speak its mind on world problems.
- Its educational processes should be based upon its landmarks, and should make its age-old lessons teach its membership new duties, as the modern age demands.
- The rank and file of the Craft expect this Association, acting in behalf of the great body of the Fraternity, to come out into the open and with unified voice, speak for Freemasonry.
- Masonry should be resistant to the enemies of law and order.
- HOW IT WAS CONSIDERED THAT A COMPREHENSIVE PLAN SHOULD BE CONCEIVED AND CARRIED OUT.
- Any educational program must have for its foundation the one great Landmark, the Brotherhood of Man based on the Fatherhood of God.
- If we are to give Masonic service we must recognize conditions as they are. Necessarily we must know what they are.
- We must first look within the Fraternity, to find the problems existing there,
- We must have in view the larger viewpoint of American Masonry as a whole, and not the problems which affect each Jurisdiction locally.
- Our outstanding weaknesses are vanity and office-seeking.
- The Blue Lodge has too often been treated as a stepping stone.
- Statistics of membership increase are not reassuring when too little attention is paid to the spirit of Masonry.
- The Grand Lodges should control Freemasonry. They must hold themselves responsible for improper developments in the past.
- We must proceed along strictly Masonic lines, and work inside our lodges.
- Our greatest field of immediate service lies in that vast army of young men who are flocking to our doors, some seeking light, some buying a luxury — all needing real education in fundamental Masonic principles.
- Continuous, not emergency service, is necessary.
- We must forever recognize that the strength of Freemasonry rests upon the moral force and intelligence of the individual Mason.
- WHAT OUR WORK IN THE LODGES SHOULD AIM TO DO.
- Assimilate the tremendous number of our candidates. The lodges are deteriorating into degree mills, not altogether through their own fault. The congestion must be relieved — that is a local problem — but intelligent explanation of the ideals, aims and objects of Freemasonry to our candidates is a universally present problem, and must be a new phase of our labor. This effort must be interpretative of the work.
- We know that the Worshipful Master who is well educated and forceful makes the lodge a hive of industry and constructive work during his term of office. This Association must somehow help to make it possible for the lodge to retain these characteristics when the Master is not so fortunately situated. Proper thought and preparation will enable us to supply a reservoir of information adapt- ed to these purposes.
- Masonry professes to be a "Progressive Science." We must make it so.
- Our lodge membership must be encouraged to discuss the needs of the times, and material must be afforded them so that they can do it intelligently.
- A bureau of dissemination, or clearing house, is therefore needed.
- Some system must be devised whereby intelligent lecturers may be supplied to the lodges wishing to better inform their membership on the problems which face us, as Masons and as Americans.
- POSITION WHICH THE MASONIC SERVICE ASSOCIATION MUST OCCUPY IN RELATION TO GRAND LODGES.
- It must be the servant of all, and the master of none.
- Some sort of a centralized bureau must be erected which will keep in constant touch with the heads of our several Grand Lodges, so that the type of service which each needs may be afforded.
- The organization must be simple and economical, and yet must afford a comprehensive service. To this end, it should avail itself of every existing sympathetic agency which is available, on a basis of mutual helpfulness.
- Details of this labor must not be crowded onto already overburdened Grand Lodge officials.
- PLAN AND SCOPE OF ORGANIZATION ADOPTED FOLLOWING THE FOREGOING SUGGESTIONS.
- Meetings of the Association were made annual, instead of triennial as proposed a year ago, in order to insure continuity of program, upholding of interest, further development of details along practical lines, and responsibility for performance.
- The office-seeker was eliminated from the organization.
- The basic principle is the formation of a Masonic Clearing House.
- It was felt that we must recognize our responsibilities, and be unafraid of anything except wrong.
- Our program must be our own; constructive; adopted because we see a need, and aspire to perform a service.
- The fact was recognized that a mere enunciation of principles, if they remain passive, has but little value. Our peculiar need just now is to galvanize those principles into action.
- Declaration of principles — scope of activities.
DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES
The Masonic Service Association of the United States, among its principles, does specifically set forth and declare:
- We believe in the existence of one Ever-Living and True God, and that all men are His children, and therefore are Brothers.
- We reaffirm, without qualification, those principles for which Freemasonry has stood from time immemorial — self-government, by, of and for the people, reverence for law, and respect for constituted authority.
- We declare in unequivocal terms our conviction that a free public school system is essential to the perpetuity of American institutions. While recognizing the right of the individual to provide for himself other forms of elementary education, we believe that the State should exercise general supervision over the same, so far as such supervision is justified by the general good in safeguarding our American institutions.
We urge the speedy enactment of laws forbidding elementary education in a language other than English.
We believe that every child in America is entitled to an elementary education at public expense, and that the State should provide ample funds for that
We urge the speedy enactment of laws forbidding elementary education in a language other than English.
- We believe that thrift is a patriotic duty; that economy is a civic virtue, and that waste in any form is unMasonic, unpatriotic and vicious.
SCOPE OF ACTIVITIES
Among the primary purposes for which this Association was formed were Masonic relief and visitation, the method of affording which is amply provided for in the tentative Constitution adopted November 28th, 1918.
Said purposes further include the service of Mankind through education and enlightenment, the means of which are not therein provided for or set forth.
We recommend that the scope of the activities of this Association be declared to be as broad as the Universal Principles of Freemasonry, and to embrace, as those principles embrace, the entire field of human knowledge and truth, in their application to the welfare of the members of the Craft, and through them to humanity at large.
To carry into effect the aims thus declared, we recommend the creation by the Executive Commission of this Association of such agency or agencies, as they shall deem proper, to undertake and carry out, under the control and supervision of the Executive Commission, the following activities:
- Masonic research and dissemination of Masonic truth.
- The investigation of and report upon, such subjects of interest to the several Grand Jurisdictions as they may from time to time request.
- The inculcation of the principles of true democracy.
- A strong and aggressive program of Americanization. An instruction and lecture service, of which the Grand Jurisdictions may avail themselves.
- The Constitution of the Association, its most fundamental document, being of equal interest and importance, is likewise set out in full, as follows:
CONSTITUTION OF THE MASONIC SERVICE ASSOCIATION OF THE UNITED STATES
Name — The name of this Association shall be the Masonic Service Association of the United States.
Object — The object of this Association shall be the Service of Mankind, through education and enlightenment, financial relief and Masonic visitation, and ministering to, comforting and relieving the members of the Fraternity and their dependents, particularly in times of distress and disaster, whether caused by war, pestilence, famine, fire, flood, earthquake or other calamity.
Membership — The membership of this Association shall be composed of the Grand Lodges of the United States which have heretofore voted, or may hereafter vote, to become members of the Association.
Representation — The meetings of this Association shall be composed of such accredited representatives as may be chosen by each member Grand Jurisdiction but each member Grand Jurisdiction shall be entitled to only one vote.
Administration — For the purpose of administration the United States shall be divided into Divisions, as follows:
- New England Division:
- Great Lakes Division:
- Ohio *
- Ohio *
- North Pacific Division:
- North Atlantic Division:
- New Jersey
- New Jersey
- Gulf Division:
- Corn Belt Division:
- Southwestern Division:
New Mexico *
- South Atlantic Division:
District of Columbia
West Virginia *
- Central Division:
- Arkansas *
- Arkansas *
- South Pacific Division:
- California *
Philippine Islands **
- California *
* Not now members of the Association
** Represented at meeting, but not members.
Meetings — The stated meetings of this Association shall be held annually.
Quorum — A quorum of this Association at any stated or called meeting shall consist of the ac credited representatives of fifteen member Grand Jurisdictions.
Officers — At each meeting of this Association, the Association shall elect a Chairman and such other ofiicers as may be deemed necessary, who shall serve for the meeting only.
Executive Commission — The management and direction of the affairs of this Association shall be vested in an Executive Commission, composed of a Chairman to be elected annually by the Asso ciation, and ten members, one from each Division, to be elected annually by this Association, all of whom shall serve until their successors are elected and qualified.
The Executive Commission shall have power to elect and appoint a Vice-Chairman of the Execu tive Commission, Secretary and Treasurer of the Association and such other officers, committees and employes as they may deem necessary; to fix their compensation, if any, and to fill all vacancies.
Amendment — This Constitution may be amended only at a stated meeting of the Association by a two-thirds vote of the members present at such stated meeting, and after such proposed amend =ment has been sent to the Grand Secretary of each member Grand Jurisdiction at least thirty days before the stated meeting at which such amendment shall be acted upon, provided that this Constitution shall never be amended in such manner as to provide or permit the development of this Association into a National Grand Lodge.
Withdrawal — Any member Grand Lodge Jurisdiction of this Association may withdraw on ninety days' written notice given by registered mail to the Chairman of the Executive Commission and upon fulfillment of all its assumed obligations to the Association.
BY-LAWS OF THE MASONIC SERVICE ASSOCIATION OF THE UNITED STATES
Duties of Officers — The Chairman of the Executive Commission shall be the Executive Officer of this Association. He shall call to order all stated and special meetings of the Association, and shall preside at all meetings of the Executive Commission, provided that the Chairman of the Executive Commission shall be ineligible to serve as Chairman of this Association. He shall perform all acts and do all things necessary to carry out the purposes of the Association, subject to the direction or ratification of the Executive Commission. He shall, upon the written request of any three members of the Commission, call a special meeting of the Executive Commission.
The Vice Chairman shall perform all the duties of the Chairman in his absence or disability. The duties, powers and responsibilities of other officers, committees and employees of the Association and of the Executive Commission shall be fixed by the Executive Commission.
Meetings of the Association — The time and place of the Annual Meeting of this Association shall be fixed by the Executive Commission and notice thereof shall be sent by, or under direction of, the Chairman of the Executive Commission to the Grand Secretary of each member Grand Jurisdiction, at least sixty days before the designated date of such meeting.
Special meetings of the Association may be called by the Executive Commission at such times and places as it may deem necessary, upon twenty days' notice of such meeting. The business to be transacted at such special meeting shall be set forth in the call. Special meetings of the Association shall be convened by the Executive Commission at times and places designated by the Commission upon the request of fifteen or more member Grand Jurisdictions.
Voting — At all annual and special meetings of the Association each member Grand Jurisdiction shall be entitled to one vote in all elections on all questions affecting Constitution and By-Laws, and upon all other questions upon which a roll call is demanded. This one vote is to be determined by each member Grand Jurisdiction or by its representatives present and cast by the Grand Master or Chairman of the Delegation.
Nominations and Election of Members of Executive Commission — Members of the Executive Commission shall be elected at the annual meetings of the Association and may be nominated by the representatives present of their respective administrative divisions, provided such nomination may be rejected by the Association.
Quorum of Executive Commission — The Executive Commission shall meet at the call of the Chairman, and five members thereof shall constitute a quorum.
Relief — Upon the occurrence of disaster of greater magnitude than a local calamity, the Grand Masters of the several member Grand Jurisdictions within the division in which said disaster may occur shall appoint a committee to survey the needs and report forthwith its findings to the Executive Commission. The Executive Commission shall thereupon take action on the report of said Grand Masters to the end that necessary funds shall be provided and properly disbursed.
Disbursement of Funds — Funds of this Association shall be disbursed only by checks signed by the Treasurer and countersigned by the Chairman of the Executive Commission. An itemized and audited report of all receipts and disbursements shall be made by the Treasurer to each annual meeting of this Association.
Report of Executive Commission — The Executive Commission shall make a detailed report in writing to each annual meeting of the Association of all their activities since the last annual meeting.
Order of Business — The order of business for all meetings of this Association shall be as follows:
- Call to Order.
- Roll Call.
- Election of Officers.
- Opening Exercises.
- Reading of Minutes.
- Appointment of Committees.
- Report of Executive Commission.
- Report of Treasurer.
- Unfinished Business.
- New Business.
Amendment of By-Laws — The By-Laws of this Association may be amended at any stated meet ing thereof by a majority vote of the members present.
- THE MACHINERY OF ORGANIZATION WHICH WAS OUTLINED.
- Relief. Having read the foregoing Constitution, the following clause from the By-Laws, it can be readily seen, will afford a prompt and comprehensive method of dealing with any calamity arising in the future.
"Relief — Upon the occurrence of disaster of greater magnitude than a local calamity, the Grand Masters of the several member Grand Jurisdictions within the division in which said disaster may occur shall appoint a committee to survey the needs and report forthwith its findings to the Executive Commission. The Executive Commission shall thereupon take action on the report of said Grand Masters to the end that necessary funds shall be provided and properly disbursed."
- Investigation and Research.
- To co-operate with existing sympathetic agencies.
- To so build as to be able to answer inquiries from thoughtful Masons, directing them to competent sources where satisfactory answers may be obtained, in the event that the Association's resources do not cover the inquiry.
- To direct the reading of Masons desiring to inform and educate themselves along particular lines.
- To collect authentic material regarding present-day movements, so that Masons may have unbiased information regarding any which tend to destroy our liberties and the foundations of our Government.
- To prepare for distribution of the lodges' digests of information collected, and inspire the presentation of articles which will bring the needs of the day to Masons everywhere.
- To organize a speakers' bureau, enabling the lodges to secure at reasonable cost the services of men who can inspire, as well as inform the membership, along the lines of the educational program.
- The working out of the detail, as outlined in the Plan and Scope Report, was left to the Executive Commission.
- Relief. Having read the foregoing Constitution, the following clause from the By-Laws, it can be readily seen, will afford a prompt and comprehensive method of dealing with any calamity arising in the future.
- THOUGHTS ADVANCED REGARDING THE PROGRAM OF AMERICANIZATION.
- Things that we must recognize:
- That support of Country comes only second to duty to God.
- That education must go hand in hand with the development of democracy, as it has done throughout all history.
- That leadership, not narrow vision, is required now in America.
- That reverence for law should be the political religion of the United States.
- What we must do, that Masonry may be a balance wheel in this day of crisis:
- Teach every member of the Fraternity what is required of a loyal citizen.
- Stand for Americanism in Peace as in War.
- Emphasize the individual responsibility of our citizens.
- Support the public schools as the foundation of our liberties.
- Help to outgeneral the strategy and propaganda of those enemies of America, who are working now from within.
- American Masonry's Pledge. The following resolution, unanimously adopted, tells where Freemasonry in America stands:
- Things that we must recognize:
"Whereas, throughout the length and breadth of our beloved country, fostered by suspicion and nurtured by treachery, there is a growing sentiment directed at and threatening the foundations of American liberty; this specter of destruction traveling sometimes under the head of Bolshevism, as that term is understood in America, and sometimes under the false theory of the I. W. W., exaggerated Socialism and other kindred destroying institutions; therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED, By the Masonic Service Association of the United States, in convention assembled, recognizing and appreciating the great peril which threatens the very foundation of our Country, its liberty, freedom and right of self-government, and believing that our future and the future of our loved ones rest upon the manner in which we meet and combat this threatening evil, we now, in keeping with our precepts, pledge ourselves to the full limit of our power and financial resources, and hereby offer our government our unstinted and unqualified services, to stamp out and forever eradicate from our country any organization which is opposed to the cause of American democracy, American freedom and American fidelity — the three great principles upon which our country was founded, and upon which we have grown from the struggling people of the Pilgrim Fathers to the leaders of the civilized world.
RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Masonic Service Association of the United States recognizes and countenances, as being fitted for the honors of citizenship, only those who measure up to the full standard of one hundred per cent. Americanism."
* * *
THE SPIRIT OF BROTHER ROBERT BURNS
Bro. Joseph Fort Newton. New York
Address delivered by Bro. Rev. Dr. Fort Newton, Past Grand Chaplain, Iowa, U. S. A., in proposing the toast "To the Immortal Memory of Bro. Robert Burns," at the Burns Meeting of the Scots Lodge, No. 2319, English Constitution, on 24th January, 1918.
WE ARE met this evening, as I understand it, just to love Robert Burns and one another. Somehow I feel that Burns would rejoice to be here, for he loved more than all else that festival that was half a frolic and the feast where joy and goodwill were guests. The social magnetism of his spirit found its way into his songs, and we feel to this day, and he was nowhere more happy, nowhere more welcome, than in the fellowship of his Masonic Brethren. Higher tribute there none for any man than to say, justly, that the world is gentler and more joyous for his having lived — and that was true of Burns, whose very name is an emblem of pity, joy, and the genius of fraternity. And it is therefor that we love Robert Burns, as much for his weakness as for his strength, and all the more for that he was such an unveneered human being. If he was sinner, he was in that akin to ourselves, as God wots, little good and little bad, a little weak and little strong, foolish when he thought wise, and wise, often, when he feared he was foolish. It is given to but few men thus to live in the hearts of their fellows; and, to-day, from Ayr to Sydney, from Chicago to Calcutta, the memory of Burns is a sweet perfume. Yes, more than a fragrance, a living force uniting men of many lands, by a kind of Freemasonry, into league of liberty, justice, and pity.
There certain fitness in man of my country proposing this toast to the Memory of Robert Burns. Mark Twain, the Lincoln of our literature, used to say that our American Civil War was a fight between Sir Walter Scott and Robert Burns. Of course, was it was an exaggeration, but none the less a picturesque way of stating fact. We of the South read Sir Walter Scott for his pride of blood and extraction, for his grace and charm of courtesy, for his pictures of an old romantic feudalism — and, may I add, for the strength and sweetness of his genius. Our Southern society, for all its culture and hospitality, was the old feudalism transplanted to the New World. The Yankees read Robert Burns, who said that "a man's a man for a' that," whether white or black or brown. That is to say, our Civil War was a clash of ideals, each growing and struggling to be free, an old feudalism against uprising democracy of which Burns was the God-endowed prophet. And so the conflict was inevitable.
About the walls of Troy, as Homer saw it, two battles raged, one on the earth between Greeks and Trojans, one in the viewless air between gods and goddesses. So to-day, above the long, winding, ragged lines of the greatest of all wars, two battles are raging — a battle of guns and a battle of ideals. It conflict of two conceptions of life and civilisation which cannot live together on this earth and keep the peace; and we are struggling together to decide which ideal shall shape the destination of mankind. One in arts and aims and ideals, and now, at last, one in arms, the land of Lincoln and the land of Burns are fighting for the fundamental truths which Burns set to everlasting music.
Some there are who dream of a vague blur of cosmopolitanism, in which all local loyalties, all heroic national genius shall be merged and forgotten. Not so Burns. He was distinctively a national poet, striking deep roots into his native soil, and, for that very reason, touching a chord so haunting that echoes forever. When Burns appeared the spirit of Scotland was at a low ebb. Her people were crushed and her ancient fire almost quenched. Her scholars blushed to be convicted of a Scottism in speech. It was at such a time that Burns came, inspired by the history of his people, the traditions of Wallace and Bruce stirring him like a passion, his soul attuned to the ancient ballads of love and daring, singing the simple life of his nation in their vivid and simple language. He struck with a delicate but strong hand the deep and noble feelings of his countrymen, and somewhere upon his variegated robe of song will be found embroidered the life, the faith, the genius of his people. He made it a double honour to be a Scotsman. It is therefor that the men of Scotland love him, as, perhaps, never people loved a poet, and make his home at once a throne of melody and a shrine of national glory.
"The Memory of Burns," cried Emerson, "I am afraid heaven and earth have taken too good care of it to leave us anything to say. The west winds are murmuring it. Open the windows behind you and hearken to the incoming tide, what the waves say of it. The doves perching on the eaves of a stone chapel opposite may know something about it. The Memory of Burns — every man's, every boy's, every girl's head carries snatches of his songs, and they say them by heart; and, what is strangest of all, never learned them from a book, but from mouth to mouth. They are the property and the solace of mankind."
If ever of any one, it can be said of Robert Burns, that his soul goes marching on, striding over continents and years, trampling tyrannies down. He was the harbinger of the nineteenth century, the poet of the rights and reign of the common people, whom, it has been said, God must love because He made so many of them. The earth was fresh upon the tomb of Washington when that century was born; it discovered Lincoln and buried him with infinite regret. Indeed, had Burns reached his four-score years, he might have known our peasant-President; he surely must have known him by fame and warm appreciation. In this way Lincoln knew him and fondly repeated the sombre stanzas of "Man was made to Mourn," because it suited the temper of his melancholy spirit. But the victorious melody of the age of Lincoln first found voice in the songs of Burns, as the Greek singer inspired Petrarch with the fire that forced the Renaissance, and out of the inertia of the Middle Ages created modern times. So, when Taine came to account for that age he found that its spirit "broke first in a Scotch peasant, Robert Burns" — a man of all men most fitted to give it voice, because "scarcely ever was seen together more of misery and of talent."
This is not the time to rattle the dry bones of literary criticism — a dreary business at best, and a dismal business at worst. It is by all agreed that Robert Burns was a lyric poet of the first order, if not the greatest song-writer of the world. Draw a line from Shakespeare to Browning, and he is one of the few tall enough to touch it. The qualities of Burns are simplicity, naturalness, vividness, fire, sweet-toned pathos, and rollicking humour — qualities rare enough and still more rarely blended. But he was a man first, and his fame rests upon verses written swiftly, as men write letters, and upon songs that were as spontaneous, as artless, and as lovely as the songs of birds. But the spirit of Burns was not merely local. His passion for liberty, his affirmation of the nobility of man, his sense of the dignity of labour, his pictures of the beauties of nature, of the pathos and hard lot of the lowly, of the joys and woes and pieties of his people find response in every breast where beats the heart of a man. Surely no one, since the Son of Man lodged with the fisherman by the sea, has taught more clearly the brotherhood of man and the kinship of all breathing things.
That which lives in Robert Burns, and will live while human nature is the same, is his love of justice, of honesty, his touch of pathos, of melting sympathy, his demand for liberty, his faith in man, in nature, and in God — all uttered with simple speech and the golden voice of song. His poems were little jets of love and liberty and pity finding their way out through the fissures in the granite-like theology of his day. They came fresh from the heart of a man whom the death of a little bird set dreaming of the meaning of a world wherein life is woven of beauty, mystery, and sorrow. A flower crushed in the budding, a field mouse turned out of its home by a ploughshare, a wounded hare limping along the road to dusty death, or the memory of a tiny bird who sang for him in days agone, touched him to tears. His poems did not grow: they awoke complete. He was a child of the open air, and about all his songs there is an outdoor feeling. He saw Nature with the swift glances of a child — saw beauty in the fold of clouds, in the slant of trees, in the lilt and glint of flowing waters, in the immortal game of hide-and-seek played by sunbeams and shadows, in the mists trailing over the hills. The sigh of the wind in the forest filled him with a kind of wild, sad joy, and the tender face of a mountain daisy was like the thought of one much loved and long dead. So the throb of his heart is warm in his words, and it was a heart in which he carried an alabaster box of pity. He had a sad life and a soul of fire, the instincts of an angel in the midst of hard poverty; yet he lived with dash and daring, sometimes with folly, and, we must add — else we do not know Burns — with a certain bubbling joyousness, a lyric glee as of a bird singing in the boughs.
Such was the spirit of Robert Burns — a man passionate and piteous, compact of light and flame and beauty, capable of withering scorn of wrong, quickly shifting from the ludicrous to the horrible, poised between laughter and tears — and if by some art we could send it into all the dark places of the world, pity and joy would return to the common ways of man. Long live the Spirit of Robert Burns. May it grow and glow to the confounding of all unkindness, all injustice, all bitterness.
"He haunts his native land
As an immortal youth; his hand
Guides every plough.
His presence haunts this room to-night
A form of mingled mist and light
From that far coast."
His feet may be in the furrow, but the nobility of man hood is in his heart, on his lips the voice of eternal melody, and in his face the light of the morning star. I give you the toast, "To the Immortal Memory of Robert Burns!"
THE SONGS OF BURNS
Tis a little land that claims his birth,
But over the world wide,
His songs are sung
By old and young;
In the melting strains of the Scottish tongue,
With hallowed mirth are his sweet songs sung
At every Scot's reside.
There s never a land on the earth's broad breast,
From Clyde to the furthest sea,
But loves the sound
Of his name renowned,
And as oft as his natal day comes round
Wet eyes in the West to the Doon's green ground
Look homeward wistfully.
There's never a voice so sweet, so glad,
Floats over the lone sea-foam,
As the woodland wile
Of the Bard of Kyle,
Whose notes can the mourner's grief beguile,
Till eyes that are sad wear a welcome smile
At a glimpse of the hills of home."
— Kelso Kelly.
* * *
THE ANCHOR AND THE ARK
By Bro. Frank C. Hickman. Michigan
The Sun goes down mid clouds of gold
The twilight follows fast;
Night comes with footsteps damp and cold;
The light of day is past.
But as we sail life's troubled sea,
Tho night be on the wave;
Our anchor'll moor us to the lee,
Where all is calm and safe.
There, is a "peaceful harbor" where,
The wicked can't annoy,
And weary ones are rested there,
And hearts are filled with joy.
Our bark will bear use safely, too;
That good old "Ark Divine,"
That's e'er so old, yet ever new,
And sails in every clime.
"The emblem of well grounded hope;"
"A life well spent," and mark —
That these are represented by
The Anchor and The Ark.
* * *
To most men experience is like the stern lights of a ship, which illumine only the track it has passed
* * *
THEODORE ROOSEVELT, MASTER MASON
Bro. Herbert S. Hopkins, Illinois
THEODORE ROOSEVELT, former President of the United States, was initiated in Matinecock Lodge, No. 806, F. & A. M., at Oyster Bay, N.Y. on January 2, 1901, while Governor of the state of New York. He was passed on March 27 of the same year and was raised on April 24 in the presence of a distinguished assemblage of Masons with the Grand Master of New York in the East and three past Grand Masters taking an "important" part in the work.
An account of this meeting in the Masonic Standard (New York City) of April 27, 1901, says:
"R. W. Edward M. L. Ehlers, Grand Secretary, presided as Master. The candidate passed a perfect examination in open lodge. R. W. Frank E. Haff, D. D. G. M. of the 1st district, and R. W. Theodore A. Taylor, Grand Treasurer, assisted in the first section. Bro. Dr. Root of Matinecock Lodge, a warm personal friend of the candidate, acted as senior deacon.
"In the second section M. W. John Stewart, M. W. Wm. A. Brodie and M. W. John W. Vrooman, Past Grand Masters, rendered valuable assistance. The Grand Master, M. W. Charles W. Mead, raised the candidate. The historical lecture by M. W. Wright D. Pownall was an eloquent and ornate explanation of the symbolism of Freemasonry."
There were present in addition to those named, the full official corps of the Grand Lodge of New York, the the Grand Master and two Past Grand Masters of Connecticut and two Past Grand Masters of New Jersey.
So much for the ceremony by which Theodore Roosevelt was made a Master Mason. That Masonry made a deep and lasting impression upon the mind of the candidate is evidenced by some of his recorded Masonic addresses. Perhaps the most notable of these was the address before the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania on the occasion of the sesquicentennial of the initiation of George Washington, which was held on November 5, 1902, in Philadelphia. In this address, perhaps the most widely quoted Masonic utterance of the last quarter century, Bro. Roosevelt, then President, after a brilliant reception by the Pennsylvania Grand Lodge, told the Grand Master that he enjoyed meeting with his brethren in some little lodge room "the one place in the world where brothers meet on the level and where they can speak their thoughts without being misquoted and misunderstood."
In the course of his speech, Bro. Roosevelt said:
"One of the things that attracted me so greatly to Masonry that I hailed the chance of becoming a Mason was that it really did act up to what we, as a government and as a people are pledged to, — of treating each man on his merits as a man. When Brother George Washington went into a lodge of the fraternity he went into the one place in the United States where he stood below or above his fellows according to their official position in the lodge. He went into the place where the idea of our government was realized so far as it is humanly possible for mankind to realize a lofty idea]. And I know that you will not only understand me, but sympathize with me, when I say that, great as my pleasure is in being here as your guest in this beautiful temple and in meeting such a body of men as this that I am now addressing, I think my pleasure is even greater when going into some little lodge, where I meet the plain, hard working men — the men who work with their hands — and meet them on a footing of genuine equality, not false equality, of genuine equality conditioned upon each man being a decent man, a fair dealing man....
"Masonry should make, and must make, each man who conscientiously and understandingly takes its obligations a fine type of American citizenship, because Masonry teaches him his obligations to his fellows in practical fashion....
"Masonry teaches and fosters in the man, the qualities of self-respect and self-help, — the qualities that make a man fit to stand by himself, — and yet it must foster in everyone who appreciates it as it should be appreciated the beautiful and solemn ritual — it must foster in him a genuine feeling for the rights of others and for the feelings of others; and the Masons who help one another help in a way that is free from that curse of help, patronizing condescension."
Such was the Rooseveltian theory of Masonry enunciated only a few months after he was made a Mason. It was the theory which he held to until he died.
In one of his last interviews, Bro. Roosevelt is quoted in the July, 1919, McClure's Magazine as saying:
"I violate no secret when I say that one of the greatest values in Masonry is that it affords an opportunity for men in all walks of life to meet on common ground, where all men are equal and have one common interest.
"For example, when I was President, the Master was Worshipful Brother Doughty, gardener on the estate of one of my neighbors, and a most excellent public-spirited citizen, with whom I liked to maintain contact. Clearly I could not call upon him when I came home. It would have embarrased him. Neither could he, without embarrassment, call on me. In the lodge, it was different. He was over me, though I was President, and it was good for him and good for me.
"I go to the lodge, and even the folks who do not belong to or believe in the order rather like it that I should go. They seem to feel it's part of the eternal fitness of things. Whenever I return from one of my journeys, I always go there to tell of the lodges I have visited, in Nairobi in Africa, in Trinidad, or the quaint little lodge I found away up on the Ascension River. They sort of feel I am their representative to these lodges, and they like it. There's a real community of interest."
No sketch of Bro. Roosevelt would be complete without reference to the important discovery made by the Grand Master of the District of Columbia when the cornerstone of the Masonic Temple in Washington was laid. In the minutes of the special communication of the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia for June 8, 1907 we find: "The President of the United States, Bro. Theodore Roosevelt, accompanied by his Secretary. Bro. William Loeb, Jr., and his personal escort, Bro. William B. Hibbs, arrived, his coming being signaled by 'The Star Spangled Banner' by the Marine Band. He was invested with an apron by the Grand Master." And just them, according to tradition, a gust of Wind lifted the Presidential coat-tails revealing a healthy pistol on each hip!
In his speech that day, Bro. Roosevelt said:
"I have but a word to say to you and that word must always be appropriate in any Masonic meeting where the name of Washington is mentioned. I ask of each Mason, of each member, of each brother, that he shall remember ever that there is upon him a peculiar obligation to show himself in every respect a good citizen; for after all, the way in which he can best do his duty by the ancient order to which he belongs is by reflecting credit upon that order by the way in which he performs his duty as a citizen of the United States."
Bro. Roosevelt's last lengthy Grand Lodge address, before the Grand Lodge of New York in 1917, was so widely quoted and is so recent that extracts from it are needless.
* * *
Bro. Gerald A. Nancarrow, Indiana
To him, who in the pride of wealth and power,
And love of self, and stress of busy hour,
Has come to view himself as nearly God;
Who walks beyond the ways that once he trod
And far above the reach of fellowman,
Calls the glorious voice of Night to scan
Her blazing book, and from it learn how small
A part he is of Universal plan.
The flower, the bee, the tossing brook,
The soaring eagle and the noisy rook,
Each is a tiny dot in God's great plan,
And each in his own way doth try to span
Eternal years between himself and God.
The blade of grass beneath the pressing clod
With zealous faith moves upward to the Light —
That goal toward which all beings slowly plod.
Though man has climbed the nearest to the sun
No man has all his upward climbing done;
And he who, in the pomp of worldly power
Feels himself upon a stilted tower,
Should view majestic mountains from afar;
Should watch the waves roll up along the bar;
Gaze on the mighty ocean's endless move,
And oft compare his being with a star.
The spirit of the world has four kinds of spirits diametrically opposed to charity, resentment, aversion, jealousy, and indifferences.
Look inwards, for you have a lasting fountain of happiness at home that will always bubble up if you will but dig for it.
— Marcus Aurelius.
* * *
CORRESPONDENCE CIRCLE BULLETIN — NO. 34
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.
MAKE THE "QUESTION BOX" THE FEATURE OF YOUR MEETINGS
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 "THE LIBERAL ARTS AND SCIENCES — THE AMMONITISH WAR — CORN, WINE AND OIL"
I. What branches of learning were taught in the medieval system of education? How were they divided? What is the meaning of "trivium"? of "quadrivium"? What studies comprised the former group? the latter group? After mastering these studies what sort of an education was the graduate said to have acquired? What are the schools in which such subjects are taught called?
Why did the early Operative Lodges take up the study of the Liberal Arts and Sciences? At what period was the Master Mason first required to take up such study?
Did the Liberal Arts and Sciences always occupy a place in the Second degree as at present? If not, when were they placed there? Do you believe that Preston's idea of making Masonry a "school" should be modernized to meet present-day conditions, and put into effect in our lodges? Do you agree in the statement made in paragraph "f" under subdivision "3" of the "Summary of the Proceedings of the First Annual Meeting of the Masonic Service Association of the United States" which appears on page 5 of this issue of THE BUILDER? If not, why not? What is your opinion regarding paragraph "a" under subdivision "4" on the same page? paragraph "b"? paragraph "c"? paragraph "d"? paragraph "0"? paragraph "f"? What is your opinion regarding paragraphs "b" and "c" under sub division "7" on page 8?
II. What is Brother Haywood's answer to his questions concern ing the location of the Arts and Sciences in the middle of our ritual, why the lectures devote so much space to them, and what connection they have with a man's Masonic Life? Do you agree with him? If not, on what particular points do you disagree, and why?
III. Have you ever heard a satisfactory explanation for the connection of the use of a sheaf of grain with the war between Jephthah and the Ephraimites? If so, what is it?
What was the cause of the Ammonitish war? Who was Jephthah? How did he intercept his enemies?
IV. How did the custom originate of placing gifts on altars to appease the gods in early times? How was the nature of the gifts determined?
Whence originated the present-day custom of depositing records and valuables in the corner stones of buildings?
What is Brother Haywood's interpretation of the symbolism of corn, wine and oil? Can you give a different interpretation?
Vol. I. — William Preston, p. 7.
Vol. II. — Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences, p. 241.
Vol. III. — Corn, Wine and Oil, Feb. C. C. B. p. 3.
Vol. IV. — Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences, pp. 177, 267; Wages of a Fellow Craft, p. 267.
Vol. V. — Freemasonry and Education, p. 294.
Ammonitish War, p. 54; Cornerstone, p. 178; Corn, Wine and Oil, p. 179; Ephraimites, p. 247; Jephthah, p. 367; Liberal Arts and Sciences, p. 444.
* * *
Bro. H. L. Haywood, Iowa
PART IX — THE LIBERAL ARTS AND SCIENCES — THE AMMONITISH WAR — CORN, WINE AND OIL
THE LIBERAL ARTS AND SCIENCES
THE EDUCATORS of the Middle Ages taught seven branches of learning in their school and these were divided into two groups, the first of which was called the "trivium" meaning "where three roads meet," and the second "quadrivium," "where four roads meet." Grammar, Rhetoric, and Logic comprised the former groups usually, and it was these subjects the young student in college first studied; the latter group included Arithmetic, Music, Astronomy, and Geometry. When all of these subjects were mastered the man was said to have a "liberal education" and the school in which they were taught was called (as it still is) a "college of liberal arts."
This educational system was in vogue when the earliest Operative Lodges were practicing, and it was inevitable that the Masons, who refused to permit their Gild to become a mere labor organization, should incorporate the Liberal Arts and Sciences in their schemes of study and in their literature. Brother Conder informs us that as early as the fourteenth century the London Society of Masons "required the Master Mason to be acquainted with the seven liberal sciences." In the Ahiman Rezon, much used by the "Ancients" in the eighteenth century, we have a reminiscence of this in the following bit of doggerel:
"The grammar rules instruct the tongue and pen,
Rhetoric teaches eloquence to men;
By logic we are taught to reason well,
Music has claims beyond our power to tell;
The use of numbers, numberless we find;
Geometry gives measure to mankind.
The heavenly system elevates the mind.
All those, and, many secrets more,
The Masons taught in days of yore."
This doggerel is really a free paraphrase of a few lines from the oldest of our Manuscripts, written about 1390, and it goes to show that for four or five centuries the Arts and Sciences had held a prominent place in the thought, as well as in the Ritual and Constitutions, of Freemasons.
In the beginning of the eighteenth century the Liberal Arts and Sciences were embedded in the First degree; after the revision of the ritual they were moved to the Second degree, where they very naturally served Preston's scheme for making this degree a little course in education. There they still remain; if they can no longer fulfill Preston's great purpose they may still very fittingly remind us of the place which such culture must have in the life of every complete and well-furnished Mason.
To enter into any detailed analysis of the seven subjects is obviously impossible here, though it might prove more interesting than we would think; but we may well ask ourselves, why are these Arts and Sciences set in the middle of the ritual? Why do the lectures devote so much space to them? What possible connection can they have with a man's Masonic Life? I believe that we can find a satisfactory answer to these questions by recalling a bit of history.
During the so-called Dark Ages what few scholars there were in Europe devoted themselves almost entirely to studies that had little or no connection with human life; they debated such questions as, What are the attributes of Deity? what are angels? what are demons? What is being? what is existence? how many angels can stand on a point of a needle? etc. After the great Revival of Learning had come, with its rediscovery of history, of nature, of human life, and of classical literature, the scholars turned from the old subjects to themes that were nearer to life — history, the arts, science, politics, and so on. The men who took up these studies were called Humanists because they were more interested in questions related to the life and needs of humanity than they were to the dry-as-dust discussion of metaphysics; and they urged in favor of their new studies that they would "humanize" men who would pursue them.
I believe that Masonry is justified in retaining the Liberal Arts and Sciences in its ritual just because they still have power to humanize us, to "improve us in social intercourse," to make us broader of mind, more tolerant in opinion, more humane in action, and more brotherly in conduct.
Besides, knowledge of them, even a little knowledge of them, can make us more useful to the lodge. The brother who understands enough grammar to write a paper to be read to his brethren; who has studied enough rhetoric to learn how to speak well in open lodge; who has so disciplined his mind by logic as to think straight and clear without prejudice or passion; who has an appreciation of a fine art like music so as to be mellowed and softened by the charm it throws about one's personality; who has had his mental outlook broadened and his store of knowledge enriched so as to have useful information to place at the disposal of the Craft; such a brother, it seems to me, is one who exemplifies the Masonic love of light.
We may go a step further. Suppose a lodge member is critical, captious, fault-finding, prejudiced, and ignorant; he adds nothing to the Brotherhood and he is a cause of trouble. If the lodge could persuade him to ascend the seven steps of the arts and sciences, consider how it would affect him; his prejudice and vanity would drop away, for these are fruits of ignorance; his enlarged mind would make him more tolerant of others' opinions and more patient with others' faults, for great knowledge always begets humility. The man who has captured even a little vision of the wide world of knowledge can never be bigoted or vainglorious because he has learned how little he himself really knows. Masonry needs to cling to the Arts and Sciences for the sake of brotherhood itself!
THE AMMONITISH WAR
I am frank to confess to a feeling of embarrassment as I come to deal with this subject. It is easy to see the reasonableness of using a sheaf of grain as a symbol peculiar to Fellow Crafts because it may well typify the fruit of that toil which is enjoined on the candidate in the Second degree; but why this has been connected up to the barbarous war between Jephthah and the Ephraimites is something that has escaped my search. There are no records at hand to show when and by whom the story was introduced into the Ritual nor can the internal evidence give us any light except the hint that to some old ritualist, familiar with the Scriptures, "corn" may have suggested "shibboleth" and that in turn brought back the story of the war. But this is only conjecture and I must leave it at that, except to retell the strange story of the fords of Jordan which may have grown dim in my readers' minds.
For many years the Jewish tribes had been harassed on one side by the Philistines and on the other by the Ammonites, the latter a rude Bedouin tribe of crafty, fearless, desert people. Made desperate by their losses the Israelites at last gathered behind a semi-barbarous chieftain from the land of Tob, a region just north of the Ammonites and as full of folk almost as barbarous as they. This chieftain, whose name was Jephthah and who suffered the disgrace of illegal birth, easily bested the foes and was afterwards made one of the Judges of Israel. (See book of Judges.)
On this the men of the Jewish tribe of Ephraim became jealous of the new leader and undertook to destroy his power. They crossed over to the east side of the Jordan where Jephthah lived and there engaged him in war. After he had thoroughly whipped them he set groups of his men at each of the Jordan fords to intercept the refugees. But Jephthah discovered that the Ephraimites were so much like his own soldiers in appearance that confusion would result so he hit upon the ingenious expedient of having every suspect under take to say "shibboleth" as he waded across the river. The Ephraimites were so unable to frame the sound of sh as Englishmen are to pronounce the Scotch ch; the nearest they could come to the pronunciation was "sibboleth." This betrayed them, and forty-two thousand were slain.
This is a strange tale and it is difficult to see what connection it has with the ritual, except that "shibboleth" may mean "corn" (that is, "grain"; it may also mean "stream"), and that some ritualist, having knowledge of this, used the story of the Jordan fords as a sure means of keeping the Mason in remembrance of the pass and token of the pass of a Fellowcraft.
CORN, WINE AND OIL
Among all primitive peoples the gods were supposed to have need of food; from that idea arose the custom of placing gifts on the altar, a custom as universal as it was ancient. The nature of the gifts was determined, usually, by the occupation of a people; the shepherds, for example, offered a sheep or a lamb, while agricultural peoples appropriately gave fruits or grain. This explains why it was that the Greeks and Romans. in their early periods, so often brought to their altars gifts of corn, oil and wine.
The same people also were accustomed to offer similar gifts to the gods when they undertook the erection of a building. Thinking to appease the gods for taking possession of the soil they would place fruits and grains in the bottom of the foundation pits, a practice well described by Ovid in his mythical history of the building of Rome, "a pit is dug down to the firm clay," he writes, "fruits of the earth are thrown to the bottom, and a sample of earth of the adjacent soil. The pit is filled with the earth, and when filled an altar is placed over it," etc. The present day habit of placing valuables in a cornerstone is a reminiscence of that ancient custom.
The Masonic reader will understand from this our custom of using corn, wine and oil in the dedication of Masonic buildings, but these things have a very different significance in the Fellowcraft lecture. There they symbolize the wages of the workmen, alluding to Nourishment, Refreshment, and Joy. This symbolism interprets itself. It is nothing more than a figurative manner of saying to the Candidate: "If you actually put into practice the teachings of this degree you will receive a rich reward; you will be nourished in mind and body; you will be refreshed by the consciousness of work well done; you will know the joys of brotherhood, of achievement, of a life well lived." Compared with such wages money compensation is a very poor thing.
* * *
TO MEMBERS OF STUDY CLUBS
The attention of Study Club members is called to the announcement on the inside back cover of this issue of THE BUILDER inviting communications from all thinking Masons concerning the Plan and Scope of the Masonic Service Association of the United States as presented in the Summary of Proceedings of the First Annual Meeting of the Association beginning on the title page of this issue.
Having discussed some of the phases of the matter at the Study Club meeting at which the preceding study lesson was used you may have some good suggestions to make that will be of value to the Association. If so, send them in to Brother Schoonover, Chairman of the Executive Commission.
* * *
THE ENCYCLICAL LETTER "HUMANUM GENUS" OF THE POPE LEO XIII
In the November, 1919, issue of THE BUILDER we published, in response to many requests from members of the Society, the Encyclical Letter "Humanum Genus" of the Pope Leo XIII, which was followed in the December number by an extract from the Allocution of Brother Albert Pike, Grand Commander of the Supreme Council 33° Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, having especial reference to the Pope's Letter. In this issue we give the "Reply" to the Bull, as made by Pike in August, 1884.
TO THE BRETHREN of our Obedience throughout all our Jurisdiction: It is known unto you that Leo XIII, at present the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, claiming to be the successor of Saint Peter the Apostle, infallible, and the Vicegerent of God, has lately issued an Encyclical Letter to the Catholic World, to be known hereafter, from the words with which it begins, as the Letter Humanum Genus, in calumnious denunciation of Freemasonry and Free-Masons.
The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Free Masonry, which, a century and more ago, accepted the Apostolate of Civil and Religious Liberty, and hath, since then, not faltered in its purpose of making these as common among men as light and air, has not thought it necessary to be in haste, here in the United States, to make reply to the Bull of Excommunication of the Roman Pontiff; because it finds, in the Letter itself, the most sufficient proof that it does not need to feel any fear for the result of the long controversy which, forced by the Church of Rome, by its Jesuit soldiery and by its bloody and ferocious Tribunals of the Holy Office, on long-suffering Humanity, has brought upon itself signal discomfiture, with immense loss of temporal and spiritual power.
Least of all will it, now or at any time, or any where, seek to conciliate the Church of Rome, or to plead in avoidance of its denunciations, that it does not in any wise intermeddle or concern itself with questions of civil government or religion. It leaves that to those Bodies and Journals, to which it may deem advisable or expedient, reminding them that it long ago said to them this, which it may now be profitable for them to ponder upon:
"In this Free-Masonry we do not disclaim all the attributes that once distinguished the Order, except a portion of its morality; nor protest against the suspicion that it has a political and religious creed, as though it were an accusation of crime. It is not a negative but a positive Institution, that does not rely upon the insignificance of its objects to make it sufficiently contemptible not to excite the fears of Emperors and Kings. The sedulous disclaimer by English and German Masonry, and very recently by that of France, of all pretence to religious or political principle, has not averted the thunderbolts of the Vatican, and the humiliation has, so far, been fruitless."
But it is the right of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Free-Masonry to make answer if it sees fit, and to carry the war into the quarters of error, how ever willing it might be to leave the Encyclical Letter to have its effect, and work to the Church of Rome all the harm it may, without comment. It neither fears the Pontiff, nor concerns itself about his vituperations; and it could do itself, and the great cause in which it is enlisted, sufficient service, perhaps, by republishing the Letter, and giving to it as wide publicity as possible.
We will probably do that hereafter; as we have already, some years ago, published in full translations of the equally formidable Bulls of the Predecessors, Clement and Benedict, of the present Pope. Neither should we be concerned if it were to be thought, by the outside world, in case we should remain silent, that our Free-Masonry is afraid to reply, or feels that it cannot efficiently defend itself. But, as it seems to be considered by many of you, our very dear Brethren, that we ought to make answer for you, we willingly undertake to do so, for ourselves and you, and for our Free Masonry, as far as we may have authority to speak for it.
In doing this we shall not set forth the whole Letter, nor quote from it at very great length; but only so far as it may be necessary to set its words forth, to enable you and others who may read what we write, to see against what it in reality is that the Church of Rome launches its no longer formidable lightnings.
In its long war against Humanity and human progress, against Science and Civilization, and against the truth of God revealed in Nature, the Roman Church has been greatly shorn of power and influence, until it has become but the feeble effigy of what it was in 1483, when it made Tomas Torquemada Inquisitor of the Faith in Spain, and in the eighteen years of that Official's rule, burned at the stake in that Kingdom eight thousand eight hundred Hebrews and Heretics.
But the Pope is still a great religious Potentate, wielding an immense influence, especially over ignorance, throughout a large part of Christendom, with an army of over 11,000 Jesuit Fathers, Professors and Coadjutors, of whom there are nearly 2,000 Fathers in England and the United States. While Free-Masonry has never feared, it has never undervalued its mighty antagonist, and it does not under-estimate him now, although it listens with equanimity to these words, with which his Letter begins:
"The Human Race, after its most miserable defection, through the wiles of the Devil, from its Creator, God the giver of celestial gifts, has divided into two different and opposite factions; of which one fights ever for truth and virtue, the other for their opposites. One is the Kingdom of God on earth, the true Church of Jesus Christ, . . . the other is the Kingdom of Satan. . . . But at this time those who support the worst faction seem all to be conspiring and striving most vigorously, led and aided by what is called Free-Masonry, a society of men most widely spread and firmly established. For now in no way concealing their designs, they are rousing themselves most boldly against the power of God; undisguisedly and openly they are planning destruction for the Holy Church, and they do so with this intention,— that they may, if it be possible, completely despoil Christian Nations of the benefits obtained through Jesus Christ our Saviour."
"In so pressing a danger, in so monstrous and obstinate an attack on Christianity, it is Our duty to indicate the peril, to point out Our adversaries, and as far as we can to resist their plans and designs, that those whose safety has been entrusted to Us may not perish everlastingly; and that the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, which We have received to protect, not only may stand and remain unimpaired, but may even be increased throughout the world."
This is clearly a manifesto against every other Church, calling itself "Christian," than the Roman Catholic Church, as no part of "the Kingdom of God upon Earth," of "the true Church of Jesus Christ"; as in no wise dispensing among men "the benefits obtained through Jesus Christ our Saviour." The Pope has alone received "the Kingdom of Jesus Christ" to protect. All so-called "Christianity," except the Roman Church, is "the Kingdom of Satan." Thus this Letter is the shrill and discordant war-cry of Intolerance and of "death to Heresy," sounded from the summit of the Vatican, and echoing and re~echoing over the world.
"Therefore, whatsoever the Popes our Predecessors have decreed to hinder the designs and attempts of the Sect of Free-Masons; whatsoever they have ordained to deter or recall persons from Societies of this kind, each and all we do ratify and confirm by our Apostolic Authority."
And these are specially stated to be, the Bull In Eminenti of Clement XII., dated 27th April, 1738, confirmed and renewed by that beginning Providas of Benedict XIV., 17th of May, 1751; the Edict of Pius VII., in 1821, and the Apostolic Edict Quo Graviora of Leo XII., in 1825; with those of Pius VII., in 1829, Gregory XVI., in 1832, and Pius IX., in 1846, 1865, etc. The title of the Bull In Eminenti of Clement XII. is "Condemnatio Societatis seu Conventiculorum de Liberi Muratori, seu the Free-Masons, under the penalty ipso facto incurred, of excommunication; absolution from it, except in articulo mortis, being reserved to the Supreme Pontiff."
Let us give the exact language, translated, of the closing sentences of this celebrated Bull. It will sound strangely, even to Catholics, at this day; but their Spiritual Sovereign has, by plenarily confirming and reenacting it, made it a part, in the very words, of his Letter Encyclical:
"We will, moreover, and command, that as well Bishops and Superior Prelates, and other Ordinaries of particular places, AS THE INQUISITORS OF HERETICAL PRAVITY UNIVERSALLY DEPUTED, of what State, degree, condition, Order, dignity or pre-eminence soever, proceed and inquire, and restrain and coerce the same, as vehemently suspected of heresy, with condign punishment; for to them and each of them we hereby give and impart free power of proceeding, inquiring against, and of coercing and restraining with condign punishments, the same transgressors; and of calling in, if it shall be necessary, THE HELP OF THE SECULAR ARM. . . . Let no one, therefore, infringe, or by rash attempt contradict, this page of our Declaration, Condemnation, Command, Prohibition and Interdict; but if any one shall presume to attempt this, let him know that he will incur the indignation of Almighty God, and of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul."
The Bull of Benedict XIV., "By which," the title reads, "certain Societies or Conventicles, de Liberi Muratori, seu the Free-Masons, or otherwise called, iterum damnantur et prohibentur, with invocations of the arm and aid of the Secular Princes and Powers," was issued to remove doubts whether the penalty of excommunication ipso facto pronounced by Clement, was still in full force, not having yet been confirmed by Benedict. It prescribed how absolution might be obtained by penitents renouncing Masonry; but incited the competent judges and tribunals to proceed with renewed activity against the violators of that Constitution of Clement, and he confirmed it in its very words. inserting it in full in this his own Bull.
And he specially declared that "among the gravest causes of the aforesaid prohibition and damnation, one is, that in such Societies and Conventicles, men of any Religion and Sect whatsoever do consociate; whereby it sufficiently appears that great mischief to the purity of the Catholic religion may arise."
The Archbishop of Avignon, publishing this Bull on the 22nd of July, 1751, to the Clergy and Faithful of his Diocese, required all Free-Masons therein to renounce the Order, addressing themselves to him or to the Father Inquisitor or one of the Vicars-General; and specially commanded, on penalty of excommunication, those having possession of a certain manuscript-book, containing the Regulations of the Order, and the signatures of those admitted into it, to place it, as soon as possible, in his hands, or those of the Inquisitor; and any one knowing where it was, to give information thereof. And he said, "If any one, which God forbid! is blind and hardened enough to still persist in these Societies named Free-Masons, or called by any other name, let him know that we will proceed against him as suspected of heresy, according to the full rigour of the law."
The ratification and full confirmation of everything in these Bulls of Clement and Benedict, formally excommunicates ipso facto every Free-Mason in the world: and, so far as the Pope can do it, releases the people of Germany and Brazil from their allegiance to their Emperors, and those of Sweden and Norway and the Netherlands from their allegiance to their Kings: and, when the Prince of Wales shall become King, will release every Catholic in Great Britain and its Colonies from their allegiance.
How fully these Excommunications ipso facto, and references of cases, as of heretical pravity, to the Inquisition, with power to call on the Secular arm, and light again the fire of Hell on earth at new Autos da Fé, are re-enacted by the new Bull Humanum Genus, will fully appear from the words which we next quote:
"Seeing then that the purpose and nature of Free-Masonry has been discovered from the clear evidence of facts, from the knowledge of its causes, from the publication of its laws, rites and documents, and from the confirmatory testimony of those who had part in it, this Apostolic See has declared and clearly proclaimed that the Sect of Free-Masons, established against law and right, is dangerous no less to Christianity than to the State, and has proclaimed and ordered, under the heavier penalties used by the Church against the guilty, that no one should be enrolled in that Society."
"And this action of the Popes seemed to be entirely approved by many Princes and rulers whose care it was either to proceed against the Masonic Society before the Apostolic See, or of themselves to condemn them to punishment, by laws passed for this purpose, as in Holland, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Bavaria, Savoy, and other parts of Italy."
"Proceedings against it before the Apostolic See" — that is, making their subjects victims of the merciless and remorseless Inquisition, in Portugal. "Or by laws passed by themselves, to condemn them to punishment," like that of Ferdinand VII. of Spain, of August 1st, 1824, — a decree expedited condemning to death all Free-Masons who should not declare themselves such within thirty days; after which time all were to be hung within twenty-four hours, without other form of trial, who might be recognized as Free-Masons, not having so declared themselves. The Masons of France do not forget that, soon after the Bull In Eminenti issued, (of April 27, 1738,) a French writer on Free-Masonry was burned to death at Rome: nor those of Portugal the memorable Bull of 1st September, 1774, which proclaimed and eulogized the services rendered to the Papacy in Portugal, since 1732; viz., that there had been made to do penance in public Autos 23,068 persons; that 1,415 had been burned; that 2,000 had been thrown into the Tagus, and more than that number had died in prison: nor those of Spain, that Riego was brutally put to death at Madrid, Palacios at Cadiz, Galvez at Granada, and others in Sevilla and Barcelona, for the sole offence of being Masons.
In 1737, Clement XII. issued an Allocution, authorizing the mission of an Inquisitor to Leghorn, because a Lodge there was said to receive Roman Catholics, Protestants and Jews.
It is the crowning glory of Free-Masonry that, requiring only that a Candidate shall believe and put his trust in a living and personal God, a beneficent and protecting Providence, to whom it is not folly to pray; and shall believe in the continued existence of the Soul of man after the death of the body, it receives into its Lodges the Christian of every sect, the Hebrew, the Moslem and the Parsee, and unites them in the holy bonds of Brotherhood.
In the eye of the Papacy, it is a crime to belong to an Order which is thus constituted; and this the Letter of the Pope Leo (successor of "Divus Alexander VL, Iste Deus"),  preaches to Catholics living in a Republic, the very corner-stone of which is religious toleration, and which was peopled in large measure, at first, by Puritans, Quakers, Church-of-England-men and Huguenots.
"Under the heavier penalties used by the Church against the guilty." Yea, under the heaviest; to which, if that Church could do it, it would again resort to-day. We have seen a Catholic Ultramontane Archbishop, in Brazil, within a few years, excommunicate all the Free-Masons in his jurisdiction; forbid the administration of the Last Sacraments to Masons dying; forbid their burial in consecrated ground; forbid the Priests to solemnize the Rites of Marriage between a Free-Mason and any woman, and so compel the Parliament of that Catholic country to make lawful a marriage solemnized by a civil magistrate.
We know what these heavier penalties of the Church were. They are the same as when, at Toledo, in 1486, 27 persons were burned by the Inquisition, chiefly for being Hebrews; and at Seville, in 1481, 2,000, for the same crime, — two thousand human beings, roasted to death by slow fires, assassinated in the name of a religion of peace;— the same, as when, in Spain, from 1481 to 1498, Torquemada burned eight thousand eight hundred men and women;— as when his successor, the Dominican Friar Diego Deza, successively Bishop of Samora, Salamanca, Jaen and Palencia, and Archbishop of Sevilla, in eight years, from 1498 to 1506, burned 1,664;— as when his successor, the most celebrated Archbishop of Toledo, Cisneros, a Franciscan Brother, from 1507 to 1517, burned 2,536;— as when the Cardinal Adriano, Bishop of Tortosa, succeeding Cisneros as Inquisitor-General, from 1518 to 1522, burned 1,344;— as when the Cardinal Alonso Manrique, Archbishop of Sevilla, succeeding him, from 1523 to 1538, burned 2,250;— as when Taveda, Archbishop of Toledo, succeeding Manrique in 1539, and dying in 1545, burned alive 840;— as when Cardinal Loaisa, General of the Dominicans, Confessor of Charles V., Commissary General of the Crusade and Archbishop of Sevilla, from the 15th of February, 1546, to the 22nd of April in the same year, burned 120;— as when his successor, Fernando Valdés, Archbishop of Sevilla, from 1547 to 1566, burned 2,400;— as when, from 1566 to 1572, Cardinal Espinosa burned 720; and from 1572 to 1594, Pedro de Cordova Ponce de Liano, Bishop of Badajoz, Inquisitor General, burned 2,816; and Jeronimo de Lara, Bishop of Cartagena, in a few months, 128; and Pedro Portocarrero, Bishop of Cuenca, Inquisitor-General from 1596 to 1599, burned 184; and Fernando Niiio de Gue vara, from 1599 to 1602, burned 240; and Juan de Zuniga, Bishop of Cartagena, in a few months, 80; and Juan Baptista de Azevedo, from 1603 to 1607, 400;— as when, from 1643 to 1665, the Inquisitor-General Diego Arce y Reinoso burned 1,422; and Diego Sarmiento de Valladares, from 1669 to 1699, burned 1,248;— as when, from 1699 to 1720, 884 were burned; and from 1720 to 1733, by the Inquisitor-General Juan de Camargo, 442; 238 from 1733 to 1740; 136 from 1742 to 1745; 10 from 1746 to 1759, and 4 from 1750 to 1783.
As when, in all, from 1481 to 1783, besides the thousands upon thousands murdered by the Inquisition in other ways, thirty-four thousand six hundred and fifty-six men and women were burned to death, in Spain alone; and 304,451 endured other heavy punishments. What a Devil's Carnival, of the Church that so hates Free-Masonry!
Civilized Humanity was successfully endeavoring to forget these and a thousand other atrocities of savage mercilessness that seem to those who have not read history to be incredible and monstrous fictions. It was beginning to believe that the Church, which had during three hundred long years resorted to and availed itself of the methods and practices of its creature, the Holy Office, or Inquisition, had become humanized and enlightened, by the beautiful influences of Science and an immensely larger knowledge of Humanity and of God, acquired by studying the great Book of Nature, His first and absolutely authentic Revelation of Himself. It was believed that the Papal Despotism, Vicegerency of God in its own estimation, would not to-day, if it had the power, imprison or torture an observer of nature who should deny that, at the command of Joshua, in order to enable the Israelites to slaughter the Amorites satisfactorily, the Sun stood still upon Gibeon in the midst of Heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day, and the Moon stayed in the Valley of Ajalon. It was not believed that it would now, if it could, visit with "the heavier penalties" a physician who might doubt whether, when Christ abode on earth, Devils found homes somewhere in the interiors of men, and when compelled to vacate these homes, sought new abodes in the swine, grubbing for roots in the arid soil of Galilee.
It was believed that the Church Infallible had at least tacitly relinquished some of the gross absurdities of its old belief, errors and fallacies contradicted and exploded by the revelation of the Creator Himself, made known to men by His hand-maidens, Geology and Palæontology, Chemistry, Astronomy and Dynamics. It was not supposed, that, if it still had the power, the Church of Rome would to-day sentence Darwin and his disciples even to march in procession in an Auto da Fé grotesquely clad as heretics, much less burn them alive, as it would with great rejoicing have done three centuries ago.
It was believed that the Pope looked with at least tolerant and indulgent eyes upon the people of the great Protestant Kingdoms and Countries, upon the Clergy and Laity of other denominations of Christians, upon even such Hebrews as Sir Moses Montefiore; felt that the Turk, the Moor, the Parsee or the Hebrew was entitled to somewhat more merciful consideration and greater immunity from torture and mutilation than the dog, the wolf or the hyæna; and no longer considered it to be contrary to the law of God for men to insist upon imposing constitutional restrictions upon Autocracies and Despotisms, and for the People to demand to have a voice in the making of laws.
We, here in the United States, fondly believed in the entente cordiale between our Constitutional Republicanism and the humanized Church of Rome. Free of all apprehension of danger from its ambition, slow to believe that it would gladly, if it could, turn back the hands upon the dial of Time, rob Humanity here of all the civil, political and religious rights which it has acquired in the long and bloody struggle of ages against its murderous oppressors, and put in force from Ocean to Ocean and from the Arctic Seas to the Gulf of Mexico the ferocious régime of Loyola and Torquemada, we looked with indifference on its acquisition everywhere of property of immense value, free from taxation, on its creation here of Princes of the Church, on its energetic proselytism, and on its stealthy approaches to power.
There has never been, in this country, any opposition on the part of Free-Masonry to Catholicism as a religion. One great and cardinal principle of our Order being Toleration, perfect and absolute, the right of every man to worship God in accordance with the convictions of his own conscience, we have not even felt indignation when the educational establishments of Catholicism have made priests of our sons, and devotees or nuns of our daughters. With a hundred thousand members of the Roman Catholic faith in its Lodges, in the various Latin countries of the world, the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite could have no dislike to Catholicism as a religion. It has only denied its right to compel men to profess a belief in what it might, in its pretended infallibility, decree to be religious truth, and to persecute with rack and fagot, or otherwise, and grill and roast alive those who do not consent to believe that which they cannot believe.
Free-Masonry here has not been willing to think that the Head of the oldest and greatest of Christian Churches, successor of the penniless Galilean Fisherman Peter, dreamed of renewing and reviving against the Order throughout the whole world, the Bulls of his predecessors Clement and Benedict, and of excommunicating and declaring subject to the heavier penalties of the Church the Emperor and Crown-Prince of Germany, Masons and Patrons of Masonry; the Crown Princes of the Netherlands, of Denmark and of Great Britain, and the King of Sweden and Norway, Grand Masters of Masons; the Emperor of Brazil, member of the Supreme Council of that Empire; the President and Ex-President of Mexico, the Ex-President of Honduras, the President of Venezuela, Sagasta, Prime Minister, and Ex-Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of Spain, with hundreds upon hundreds of the great, wise men of the age in every civilized country in the world. For, by thus reviving and confirming all the enactments of his Predecessors, it is decreed that the Inquisition, if its existence and powers can be restored, will have the power and right, and find it to be its duty, to cause to be dug up and burned in an Auto da Fé, (as it has in its days of power and irresponsibility done by its sentences with the mortal remains of relapsed Jews and heretics,) the bones of Bishops of the Episcopal Church, of Chief Magistrates of Republics, of great Princes and immortal Patriots, of Riego and Juarez, of Garfield and Garibaldi and Washington.
But suddenly, the ghastly spectre of a hideous and frightful Past, stands in the twilight after the red sunset of the Papacy, upon the summit of the Vatican, and cries out this baleful proclamation to a startled world:
"For this reason, when We first came to the helm of the Church, We saw and plainly felt that, so far as was possible, We ought to resist this enormous evil by the opposition of our authority. Having often obtained a favourable opportunity. We have attacked the chief heads of the doctrines into which the perversity of Masonic opinions seemed especially to have entered. . . . Moreover, by the Letter beginning 'Diuturnum,' we have marked out and set forth a form of political power in accordance with the principles of Christian wisdom, wonderfully coherent both with the nature of things, and with the safety of Peoples and Princes. Now therefore by the example of our Predecessors we have decided to proceed directly against the Masonic Society itself, against their whole teaching. their plans and habit of thought and act, so that the poisonous strength of that Sect may be more and more brought to light, and that this may avail to check the contagion of the dangerous plague."
Thus this Letter, beginning "Humanum Genus," The Human Race, is not only an open declaration of war against Free-Masonry, unexpected, but not unwelcome; but it is, as will be more fully seen as we proceed further with it, much more than that, and fitly beginning with those words; because, if what has come to pass during the last hundred years, not only in Protestant countries, but in Catholic countries as well, in the matter of civil polity, the advancement of scientific knowledge, and immunity from persecution and torture, has been for the benefit of the Common People, this Encyclical Letter is a Declaration of war against the Human Race.
It is not unwelcome to Free-Masonry, we repeat; not because Free-Masonry desires hostile relations with the Church of Rome, but because it prefers open war to covert hostility: and it has long known that, in these United States, and especially in Louisiana, the influence of that Church has been constantly exerted against itself, while there has been seeming peace, by attempts to procure renunciation of Masonry from Masons on their deathbeds, and by making wives agents of the Priesthood, to persuade their husbands, if by persuasion they could effect it, and if not, then by persistent discontent and querulous complaining, making home a Purgatory, to force them, either to renounce Free-Masonry altogether, or at least to cease to attend the meetings of the Lodges, and be no longer actively engaged in the good works of the Order.
Having informed those to whom the Letter is addressed that he had already expressed to them his views in regard to the proper form and nature of political government, the Pontifex Maximus proceeds to allege that Free-Masonry endeavoring to carry into is real effect the views of the Materialists; than which nothing could be more untrue, in regard to the Free Masonry of all English-speaking countries; and in reply to which, as to other countries than these, it is true to say that not one Free-Mason in a thousand, anywhere, is a Materialist, except in France and Belgium; and that even in these two countries, those who are far from being Materialists outnumber the latter five-hundred fold.
The Letter proceeds to make proof of its assertion in these words, speaking of Free-Masonry:
"In truth, with long and pertinacious labour, it exerts this purpose, that the rule of the Church should be of no weight, that its authority should be as nothing in a State; and for this reason they everywhere assert and insist that sacred and civil matters ought to be wholly distinct. By this they exclude the most wholesome virtue of the Catholic religion from the laws and from the administration of a country; and the consequence is that they think whole States ought to be constituted outside of the institutes and precepts of the Church."
In other words, the Roman Church protests against that fundamental principle of Constitutional government, dear above almost all else to the people of the United States, that Church and State should act each within its proper sphere, and that with the civil government and political administration of affairs, the Church should have nothing to do. The people of the United States do not propose to argue that with the Church of Rome.
"Nor are they content," the letter continues, "with neglecting the Church, their best guide, unless they can injure her by hostility. And in truth, they are allowed with impunity to attack the very foundations of the Catholic religion, by speaking, writing and teaching." Alas! Humanity has at last an opportunity, not in Protestant countries only, but in Italy itself, in Spain and Portugal, Mexico and Brazil, and all South in America, in speech and writing, to utter its thoughts, arraign its oppressors and defend the rights given it by God; and there is no longer an Inquisition to burn at the stake those who are too free with tongue or pen. The people of the United States will never permit any Church to circumscribe the freedom of the Press; nor can they ever be made to believe that free discussion will be for the discomfiture of Truth and to the profit of Error, unless God ceases to be on the side of the Truth.
The Letter then complains of various measures of the Italian Government to the injury of the Papacy; as to which that government is probably not afraid of the Pope's appeal to the public opinion of the world. One sentence only we quote: "We see the Societies of religious Orders overturned and dispersed." Yes, on the 3rd of September, 1759, all Jesuits were banished from Portugal and its dominions; and other Catholic countries, not urged thereto by Free-Masonry, have found it necessary to their own peace and well-being to do the same. And it proved to be an unfortunate day for Brazil when, not very many years ago, offering an asylum to the Jesuits expelled from other countries, it entrusted to them the charge of the public institutions of education; and Jesuitism and Ultra-montanism undertook to possess themselves of the government of the country and suppress Free-Masonry.
"If," the Pope says, "those who are enrolled into their number are by no means ordered to forswear in set form the Catholic Institutions, this indeed is so far from being repugnant to the designs of Free-Masons, that it rather serves them. For, in the first place they easily deceive in this way the simple and incautious, and offer attractions to far more persons. Then, moreover, by accepting any that present themselves, no matter of what religion, they gain their purpose of urging that great error of the present day, viz., that questions of religion ought to be left undetermined, and that there should be no distinction made between varieties. And this policy aims at the destruction of all religions, specially at that of the Catholic Religion, which, since it is the only true one, cannot be reduced to equality with the rest without the greatest injury."
Questions of religion, then, must not be left undetermined, and distinction must be made between varieties; and the Catholic religion must be determined to be the only true one. How? By what power? By the Sovereign, by the Civil Power? or shall the power to decree itself the only Church "possessed of the Kingdom of God," be admitted to be inherent in the Catholic Church itself? Of course, this. Is not the Pope in fallible? Is he not Jove, and Divus, and Iste Deus? In either case, the power to prohibit the existence of all other Churches must follow; the power to punish adherence to other creeds as heresies, civil power and criminal jurisdiction, the power of repression, of punishing relapses, must be vested in the Jesuits, and in the Inquisition, revived, and armed with all its old powers. All means to effect the absolutely necessary end of suppression and extirpation must be legitimate, and the reign of the Devil of persecution and torture must begin again.
Free-Masonry opens its doors to men of all religions alike; and the most splendid jewel of the prerogative of the Scottish Free-Masonry in the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States is, that on Maundy-Thursday and Easter-Sunday, the Episcopal Clergyman and Hebrew Rabbi can and do stand together at its altars, in presence of the Seven Lights, the latter thanking God that he has at length found one place where he is the perfect equal and full brother of men of the Christian faith. Never, never will that Free-Masonry permit this jewel to be filched from it by craft and treachery, and fraud and falsehood, or torn from it by force. It has been once attempted here, and failed; and it will always fail.
The Encyclical Letter then makes this extraordinary statement, to which every Free-Mason in every English-speaking country in the world, and those of every other, with but two or three exceptions, will oppose either an indignant or contemptuous denial; for, as a charge against Free-Masonry in general, it is a shameless libel:
"But, in truth, the Sect grants great license to its initiates, allowing them to defend either position, that there is a God, or that there is no God; and those who resolutely maintain that there is none are initiated as easily as those who think indeed that there is a God, but hold about him views as depraved as are those of the Pantheists."
The Grand Orient of France has been proclaimed by the Free-Masonry of Great Britain and the United States to be no longer a Masonic Power, because it has struck out of its Constitution the requirement of a declaration of belief in the existence of a God; not denying it, but, as it claims, leaving entire freedom of conscience. And when the Convention of certain Supreme Councils, at Lausanne, substituted for the word "God" the phrases "Force Supérieure" and "Principe Creative," we denounced it as a departure from Masonic principles, and it was finally abandoned. By the Ancient Ritual of Free-Masonry, and by its fundamental Law, no Atheist can be made a Mason, any more than a woman can; and no person can be initiated with out kneeling "for the benefit of Lodge-prayer," and professing that he puts his trust in God. It is true that there are Lodges in France and Belgium, and perhaps Italy, which do not deny initiation to one professing himself an Atheist; but these are condemned with almost entire unanimity everywhere else in the world. Free-Masonry is not responsible for private vagaries of unbelief in France. If its principles were what the Pope alleges them to be, there would not be thousands of clergymen, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and of other denominations, members of Masonic Lodges in all the English-speaking countries, and very many of them members of the higher Bodies of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
The Pope next proceeds to speak of the subjects of marriage, education and civil government; and it is herein that the full scope and intent of the Letter appear.
The Materialists, he says, have this system: "Marriage, they say, belongs to the class of contracts: it can lawfully be rescinded at the will of the contracting parties; and power as regards the marriage-tie is in the hands of the civil rulers. In educating children, they consider that no religious instruction should be given according to any fixed and determined purpose: it is to be open to each, when grown up, to follow what religion he may prefer."
And then he says: "Free-Masons, moreover, clearly assent to these very principles; and not only do they assent, but they are, and have long been, anxious to introduce them into habit and usage."To prove this, for it is the only thing that he offers in justification of the assertion, he says: "Already in many regions, and those, too, belonging to the Catholic faith, it is decided that no marriages shall be deemed lawful except those contracted by the civil rite: in some places divorces are allowed by law; in other places efforts are being made that they should be so allowed as soon as possible. Thus, what they are hastening to is, that the nature of marriage may be converted into unstable and temporary unions, which passion may form, and passion again dissolve." Pope Leo XIII. does not know, and has not a shred of evidence to convince him, that Free-Masonry takes into consideration, in any way, the question of the mode of marriage. That is a matter wholly foreign to Free Masonry, and about which as an Order it has never sought to ascertain the collective opinion of its members. Each has his own opinion, whatever it may be; and no other Mason has anything to do with that opinion. Marriage has been declared by legislation in many countries to be a civil contract; but it is certainly not known among Masons that Free-Masonry, as an Order, or by any sort of concert among any considerable number of its members, has borne any part in procuring such legislation anywhere. We doubt if any Mason in England or the United States ever heard the subject mentioned in a Lodge. Nothing could more certainly tend to dissension; for very many Free-Masons every where agree to a great extent with the Church of Rome in its views of marriage and divorce. Of these I am one. Again, the Pope quite recklessly says: "However, with the utmost harmony of intentions, the Sect of Free-Masons has this also in view,—to seize for itself the education of youth." Their object, he says, is to mould those of tender age, and pervert them to their own ends. "Wherefore, in the education and teaching of boys, they allow the Ministers of the Church no share in direction or watchfulness; and already in several places they have gained their point, that the whole training of youth should be in the hands of the Laity; and that also in forming their characters there should be no mixture of those great and most holy duties which unite man to God."
Free-Masonry has turned its attention to the education of the young, so far only as it has here and there established institutions of very moderate pretensions, for the education of children of poor or deceased Brethren of the Order. It is quite true that it has not seen fit to entrust such schools to the care and charge of the Roman Catholic Clergy, its enemies; but the offices of religion are in none of them disregarded. The Order has never made any attempt anywhere "to seize for itself the education of youth." It has never endeavored anywhere "to gain the point that the whole training of youths should be in the hands of the Laity." It has meddled with that matter just as little as it has meddled with the subject of marriage; and there are as many different opinions among Free-Masons upon the one subject as upon the other; but what these opinions are, Free-Masonry does not inquire. It has not been the Free-Masons who have settled these things in the United States. Each of them has acted on his own private opinion in regard to each, without any Masonic organization or concert of action whatever.
But Pope Leo XIII desired to denounce the laws which in many countries make marriage a civil contract and allow divorces; and the laws, institutions, corporations, and associations which maintain schools, academies and colleges unconnected with the churches; and especially, perhaps, those laws which do not permit any portion of the monies raised by public taxation or appropriated by our States for the support of public schools, to be placed in the hands of the Roman Catholic Clergy for the maintenance of schools to be managed by them, and in which children are to be educated to become Roman Catholics. And this portion of his letter, so entirely foreign to the subject of Free-Masonry, is evidently a mandate of urgency to the Catholic Clergy and Laity to secure active, combined and persistent effort by them hereafter, in the United States, and elsewhere, to have marriage made no longer a civil contract, but a Sacrament of Holy Church, with prohibition of divorce; and to obtain for the Catholic Clergy the control, as far as it can be done, of the public education of the young, and of a share of the funds furnished for that purpose by the public.
If the Jesuits and other clergy who manage and conduct the Catholic Schools and Seminaries in the United States are also instructed by it to devote their efforts hereafter to converting to Catholicism the children of Protestants who may be entrusted to them for tuition, so that each school and seminary and college is to be an institution de Propaganda fide, it will be manly and honest to avow this openly. The suppressions of the true and suggestions of the false, once justified by the Disciples of Loyola and exposed by Pascal, are not now regarded by honest men as consistent with religious duty or personal honour or common honesty. Hitherto, though many converts to Catholicism, especially among pupils of that sex which is more sensitive to religious influences than the other, have returned to their homes from Roman Catholic Seminaries, the managers of these have always protested that all attempts to convert pupils were scrupulously refrained from; and these protestations have been believed; many Protestants, indeed, not being unwilling that their children, if fairly dealt with, should embrace the Roman Catholic faith, if their convictions should lead them to do so. Unquestionably the Encyclical Letter contains a vigorous denunciation of the omission of the special religious instruction of that Church in the education of the young, and chides all who neglect the work of proselyting.
- Corius, in Historia Mediolanense, describes more accurately than any other writer the coronation at Rome in the Church of San Pietro, on the 27th of August, 1492, of Pope Alexander VI. [Rodrigo Borgia, father of Cesar Borgia]. When his election was announced, by throwing from the windows of the Vatican little strips of paper, with his name as Pope written in Latin on them, and these beginnings, full of a vain ostentation, were observed with astonishment, the Cardinal de Medicis said to Lorenzo Cibo, "Monseigneur, we are delivered over to the gullet of the most voracious wolf that has perhaps ever been in the world, and which will infallibly devour us, if we do not anticipate him by flight."↩
On one of the great triumphal arches erected, in letters of gold on a blue ground, was the legend:
VATICINIUM VATICANI IMPERII;
on another part of it,
ALEX. VI. PONT. MAX.;
and on another,
DIVI ALEXANDRI MAGNI CORONATIO.
And on another arch were inscribed the lines, composed by the Protonotary Agnello,
"Cæsare Magna fuit, Nunc Roma est Maxima, Sextus Regnat ALEXANDER, ille vir, ISTE DEUS;"
"By Cæsar Rome was great, but now is greatest:
Reigns Alexander Sixth: the former was a man,
The latter is God."
In another verse, it was written,
Scit venisse suum Patria grata Jovem:
The grateful Country knows its Jove has come;
Invictoque Jovi est cura. primus honor,
To the unconquered Jove protection is the chiefest honour.
And another verse was,
Libertas, pia, justitia, et pax aurea, opes, quæ
Sunt tibi, Roma, novus fuit Deus iste tibi.
Liberty, pious Justice, golden Peace, the largesses
Which, Rome! are thine, THIS NEW GOD brings to thee.
Petrus Delphinus, who was a spectator, says that he read the inscription "Cæsare magna fuit, nunc Roma est Maxima: Sextus Regnat Alexander: ille Vir, iste Deus," and that he heard it "not much commended" by many considerable persons.
* * *
MASONRY has always been related to life. This is a fact, however, which is not appreciated these latter days. But we may as well face facts, and confess that the Masonic lodge to the many has been simply a meeting place for social intercourse and the aesthetic enjoyment of the dramatic interpretation of life through its degrees. We must be careful here to give no offense by dealing in platitudes, as the market is already overstocked. Yet, in order to justify ourselves, we must resort to remarks that sound very much like the platitudes.
We are living in the most critical period of history known to the mind of man, for we are determining for ourselves what the next stage of civilization shall be. Bolshevism looms up as a terrible possibility; and if we admit the argument of those who believe in social evolution, and who are irresistibly logical, Bolshevism is the next stage of civilization; but we cannot persuade ourselves that sane men and thinking people, who have reasonable understanding of the part that brains and initiative and sacrifice have played in the ushering in of such Democracy as we have, will permit and tolerate the reign of the hydra-headed monster that indulges in rapine and gloats over disaster.
We cannot, however, vociferously decry Bolshevism without endeavoring to account for the cause of such conditions of mind as make man a Bolshevist. While we have never faced the condition that Russia faced that swooped her into the depths of Anarchy, yet we have conditions existent in this broad land that have been arraigned times without number these later years by the radical and reformer, which we must take heed of and remedy once and for all.
Of necessity War has awakened us to the need for revaluation. We have been so accustomed to talking of "group interests," "class struggles" and "quantative worth," that we have lost all sense of appreciation of the value of the unit. A man in any sphere or station of life, whether it be a trades' union, a corporation, or what-not, has simply been regarded as a cog in a vast machine. The independence of man, as well as the interdependence of man, has emerged from the War with greater emphasis than we have been prone to recognize in recent years. A certain feeling of indispensability seems to have gripped man everywhere.
In the mass it has manifested itself in the arrogance of certain labor unions, or the cupidity of large and powerful corporations. Because of this, the ground for another battle is staked out, and the efforts of conferences where militants meet serve only to reveal that each is concerned more with the thought of power to compel the other side to submit to its demands, than of ascertaining what honorable compromises can be agreed upon as to insure social welfare and prosperity.
In these conferences the line is rather finely drawn, the reactionary on the one side, and the Bolshevist on the other. Between these swings the pendulum, and at this very hour it appears that the greater swing is toward the Bolshevist. If it reaches that goal, disaster is inevitable, the objects of culture and antiquity are doomed, and humankind retrogrades to depths never before known; for, despite the limitations of our civilization, mankind has never attained such heights of achievement in industry, invention and commerce, in literature, art and religion.
The Masonic lodge, then, comprised as it is, or as we judge it to be, of the best men in our communities, should face these great issues at this particular moment, and see what, in the light of the great principles of Masonry, can be done to save what is worth saving in the present economic situation, and to stave off the reign of terror such as eventually will dominate us should the ugly whims of anarchistic demagogues and the rule by class be substituted for our democratic idealism and practice. Masonry can, we believe, again become vitally related to life. Looking toward the East its two million votaries may see the light that shall enable them to lead this great nation out of its present uncertainty, to days of stability; to prosperity and to peace that is just and abiding. In a Mason's lodge there are no petty politics involved. When we meet to talk over national welfare where principles are at stake, no factional policy is to be considered; but the general good, and the part — be it small or great — that each can contribute toward the desired end. Let us fully persuade ourselves that the nation cannot be any greater than the many communities which compose it, and let us suggest further that the nation's problems are in no small degree solved when communities solve their problems. National problems, let it be said, are but community problems writ large. It is an old say ing that Masons meet in the lodge room to practice there the things that they would see realized in the great world without. The cardinal principle observed and obeyed is the one enjoined upon us; regard for each other as brethren, and obedience to, and reverence for, God Almighty.
In this fundamental principle of the Craft is recognized the only sort of equality that will eternally be valid — equality before God and at law. There is no measure of insistence upon any brother's part to depreciate the superiority of another brother's worth to the community. On the other hand, it is conceded and acknowledged that skill, industry and zeal are varieties of measure and worth. Let us then, if you please, impress this concept upon the world. We will be aided in this from without as the shibboleth of man's being the product of his environment and training is not held to with the tenacity that the Darwinian disciples used to reveal. Trades' unions could not and dare not, as a matter of ethical justice, designate our worth as being of equal value. To adjust, then, by intelligent communication of the Masonic principle of human worth, the community relationship existent between factions and parties, is both feasible and practicable.
The value of one Mason's life in intelligently expounding the Masonic standard of regard for service rendered and the necessary recognition for meritorious service, can be of immeasurable worth to the community. Problems discussed dispassionately, where prejudice is eliminated and caste is obliterated, can but bring to men a reasonable conviction that somewhere between the conservative and the radical will be found the ground upon which each can receive justice, and thus avoid strife and maintain mutual respect. This is the time, if ever, when we must extend the ministrations of our Order as we practice them among ourselves. Instead of living solely for one another we must live for our common country; and living for our common country means living for the highest interests of the communities in which we dwell.
Masonic charity from now on will assume a different role. Instead of the Master and his Wardens seeking for the poor for the giving of alms, there must be with the service an intelligible encouragement for the common citizens to own their homes. To this end let us see to it that within the precincts of our lodges each Mason lives under his own roof and owns his little plot of land. This is but a worthy status to be achieved which will enhance the character of the Fraternity where numbers play so large a part today, and where misfortunes may render men incapable of supporting themselves and thus become sorry objects of men's pity. The reasonableness of this procedure and its immediate necessity will be appreciated if we but remember that the great appeal by ultrasocialists and Bolshevists is to the propertyless classes. Let Masons grasp this truth. Working men with homes, with daily lives conducted according to the dictates of the twenty four inch gauge, with possibly small savings accounts, can never succumb to Bolshevistic persuasion and thus add to the anarchical forces of life.
Let us for a moment, if you please, from what has been suggested that the Masonic lodge can do in the field of economics, turn our attention to religion and education. A Frenchman has said that man is incurably religious. Masons everywhere ought deeply to appreciate this fact. They, of all men, ought to be possessed of a religious passion that would be interpreted in broad humanitarian terms to the world without. Indeed, we profess to practice, in terms of real life, the religion of all good men. Too often, however, like all other bodies, our profession and practice stand in contradiction. Religion is life at its best, serving and sacrificing, actuated by the same spirit that has inspired the masters of men, enabling them to defy the dungeon, the flame and the cross in vindication of the truth they proclaim. The harrowing prejudices present among churches are eliminated by the requirements of Masonry as far as the lodge room is concerned. Why not compel the community to see the same light, and practice the same mutual respect? We do not honor men in lodge rooms because coming in they seem to be less religious, but because they seem to divine the fundamentals of universal religion. Masonry cannot ignore the effort of organized religion to redeem the world, as its exclusive nature forbids Masonry from doing the work completely in transforming the world. We take men, worthy, well-born, fulfilling the Masonic standards, eliminating forever the possibility of making the Masonic lodge a hospital or a reformatory. To transform the world, that it may have the aspect of Masonic character is our mission, and insofar as those agencies of religion are laboring earnestly and with zeal for common good and human uplift, we must stand by them.
No Mason need be told of the agencies of religion that are conducive to the establishment of world Brotherhood. Our wives and our children still attend certain churches, and woe betide the people when free religion, whether in churches or out of churches, is abolished from the earth.
The next factor that we must briefly consider, is education. Preeminent in the ministry to a people of republican democracy is the educational institution, where, in the impressionable period of life are imprint ed the indelible principles that are to determine the individual and social characters of men, throughout life. In the school is to be given the great fundamental teaching that will assure clean, honest and fair citizenry. Our Public School, let us not forget, is just what it implies by its name. We are today observing a sorry spectacle of an effort on the part of representatives of various factions of the people to come together to consider their differences. This coming together should be incorporated as the first necessary principle of education, and such measure should be enacted as would be insistent that at the beginning-of the journey of life, in the school of the people, children should have the same common understanding of the need of coming together, that they later would be coerced into, to avoid strife. The American School, the Public School, is the first big, broad and abiding expression of Americanism. Rich and poor, learned and ignorant, sending their children to the one common school of the whole people is our one positive assurance that our experiment in democracy and the republican form of government, is going to have a fair trial in this great land. To this end, in every community, the persuasive power of the Masonic Fraternity must be vigorously exercised in maintaining the greatest institution that we have for the making of real Americans. If there are those who have grievances against this institution, they being Americans and can prove themselves such, let us heed them respectfully, and make an effort to speedily improve upon the limitations they evince. But let none be tolerated to insidiously attempt to destroy, and point with scorn at this great structure which in the eyes of the Fathers was seen to be the channel through which Americanism was to be promulgated to the end of time. Let us assure that our children learn American history, American traditions, American ideals, art, literature, America's places of beauty, before we make effort to learn of the greatness of nations burned out.
Loyalty to America is generated, as we understand those who best interpret "America First." We are indebted to the whole world, and we should not ignore older peoples' contributions to our making; but the world is indebted to us as well, and we insist upon the working out of our own destiny according to our own plans, which, we believe, are approved by God. American education in American principles, traditions and ideals, can save this country today.
This, in brief, is our effort to point out what part a lodge can play in the life of a community; economically, socially, religiously and educationally. Every channel of national well-being admits of the influence of our great, beneficent and magnanimous Order. We must in no wise tolerate either the fanatic or the fool within our midst. The obsessionist, a man with a one-track mind, is not the man for this hour or for this land. Broad, generous and large in character is our Order, and as is its character so must we make the communities in which we live.
* * *
IMPRESSIONS OF THE MASONIC SERVICE ASSOCIATION MEETING
Rarely is there seen so distinguished a gathering of Masons as that which was witnessed in Cedar Rapids the week of November 10th–14th. From all parts of the Union, even from the distant Philippines, Masters and Craftsmen came together to discuss the good of the Order. Cosmopolitan in its nature, it amply demonstrated the fact that the good and the true, despite any sectional prejudices that they might have held, or any particular faiths to which they might have subscribed, could meet upon the level and part upon the square. Of a truth, as Kipling sung, there was
"Neither East nor West
Border not Breed nor Birth;
When two strong men stand face to face,
Though they come from the ends of the Earth."
or it was the harbinger of the better days, as Burns had in mind when he wrote
"Then let us pray that come it may
(As come it will for a' that)
That Sense and Worth o'er all the Earth
Shall bear the gree an' a' that!
For a' that and a' that,
It's coming yet for a' that,
That man to man the world o'er
Shall Brithers be for a' that."
We oft state that the Fraternity draws to itself the most representative men. The First Annual Meeting of the Masonic Service Association of the United States amply demonstrated the fact. If there be such a thing as Masonic character, and this can be reflected, it was in evidence in those men who met together to talk of the things nearest Masons' hearts. A love for Freemasonry was the paramount conviction with which one would leave that meeting. Absolute sincerity in the appreciation of convictions, no matter how widely one man might differ from another in his views, was the omniscient characteristic.
An analysis of the Conference, in order to do justice, would take full account of the personnel, but one must refrain from too free an indulgence of certain of the outstanding members for fear that one man's admiration may suggest to another a desire to make comparisons.
Too many great gatherings reveal petty traits on the part of the confreres. A disposition seems to be ever present to assert what is deemed to be right, and this we frequently note to the neglect of proclaiming what must be regarded as paramount duties. Indeed, one might suggest that, were it possible, the Cedar Rapids Conference might well serve for an example for Conferences where men of different types, convictions and beliefs, meet face to face to endeavor to solve vital problematic issues. It is the spirit of such men gathering together for mutual counsel that warrants the outcome of the interchange of thought being conducive to the realization of great purposes, and coming together as they do in the true Masonic Spirit, cannot help but warrant an amicable adjustment of things that sever and divide men in their human relationships.
So we may conclude that one of the first gains of the 1919 meeting which will be of great and lasting benefit was the compulsion of men under the persuasive power of the Masonic Spirit to regard each other as brethren and to reconsecrate themselves to the greater cause of the wider Brotherhood in their several Grand Jurisdictions.
Differences could exist, and passionate utterances born of deep convictions were noticed, but the ultimate analysis found men in the spirit of mutual respect and an appreciation of each other's viewpoint that could not help but come of a tolerant consideration of each other's views and differences.
From such a gathering one thing will surely rise — a new birth of the spirit that makes a Mason, a man who is ever revealed to be a lover of the highest human ideals. Sane and wise and fraught with compassion will be the endeavors for the good of human kind, staunch and reliant will the championship of every agency that ministers to the human family's better ment be discovered as a result of this First Annual Meeting of the Masonic Service Association of the United States.
* * *
Bro. Gerald A. Nancarrow, Indiana
Master give me eyes to see
My weaknesses and need of Thee!
Master teach my heart to know
The brother's heart that holds a woe,
Show me how I best can be
A Craftsman true to him and Thee!
* * *
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.
THE SACRED BOOKS AND EARLY LITERATURE OF THE EAST
The publishers of this set of books are contemplating the publication of a special Masonic edition of the work, if the demand should justify it, sometime during the year. If those of our members who may be interested in securing a set for their lodge library or themselves will write us we shall be glad to give them further information as to the styles of binding, price, etc.
OUR LIBRARY has been very much enriched of late by the addition of a set of the Sacred Books and Early Literature of the East.
To the studious Mason these books will prove invaluable. We wish that we might say to every Mason they are indispensable and such indeed would be true if all Masons could be persuaded to take upon themselves a Masonic study which would involve the Genesis of religion and its evolution to the present.
While one cannot dogmatize about Masonry being religion, one can on the other hand assert with confidence that Masonry is first and last religious. A retrospective view and a comprehensive appreciation of the ancient mysteries leads us to believe that if we insist upon any relationship in a Masonic way with that ancient period, Masonry there was recognized as religion by our brethren.
From the dawn of time unto the wondrous present the dictum of Sabatier that man is incurably religious, finds ample confirmation. The studies of the archaeologist delving amid the excavations in the Orient discover that the most primitive civilizations had their concept of God and of immortality and of the world. Surely if we are going to have a full-orbed understand ing of a man's religious development we must have a full measure of appreciation of the things in which he has been interested from the beginning of time.
Logical and reasonable is the arrangement of the books. The quest for light is admirably set forth in this epitome of sacred religions brought to our notice and the "Sons of Light," a name by which our brethren have been designated in the past, ought to be more than interested in this story of the grand effort of man to approximate unto the standards of human perfection.
Pure and undefiled religion has ever been saved unto the world by the unselfish devotion to religion of rare white souls who have lived in the past. Keeping aloof from the superstitious practices and beliefs of the multitude, those men who comprehended sacred truth imparted their knowledge to such as were eminently fit ted to receive it. The mysteries were not the possession of the vulgar and the uninitiate, and no doubt that in the early beginning of the apprehension of the divine Will and Law, those who were true to the light as they saw it and practiced it consistently must have often lived endangered by the menacing hand of the ignorant rabble and superstitious priestcraft. In one of these sacred books, dealing with the dawn of religious thought, when men in the infancy of imaginative effort endeavored to understand the eternal mystery of life and being, we learn this from an interesting old scholar, King Ashur Banipol, "that among the Craftsmen he busied himself and the Counsel and the wisdom of the Heavens with the wise Masters did he solve." Pertinently suggestive to the Masonic student is such a statement as this. Elucidating further upon religion, he says "I read the dreadful mysteries which should not be revealed." The Masonic student then should be vitally interested in knowing what were these mysteries that were communicated to the initiate, the Craftsmen and the Masters. Thus it behooves us to make a fundamental import, a study of ancient religious thought. What we teach today by a symbol as being impregnable and irrefutable truth was set forth ages ago by our ancient brethren in terms that were understandable alone to their own day and in the light of the cosmogony of their own time.
Assyria and Babylonia and the wonderful story of their arise and decay, with the magnanimous code of the great King Hammurabbi, anteceding the great laws of Israel, are revealed in this work as being the possession of the elect, to be communicated to their less enlightened brethren. A glimpse at the architecture of the countries of that period intelligently interprets for us the significance of the words "Craftsman" and "Masters" in that most ancient day. Prototype of all mighty structures, resplendent in beauty and majesty in form and symbolic of divine truth are they indeed discovered to be.
Among the pyramids of Egypt, we are brought face to face with what our ancient brethren who practiced the mysteries, thought of Life and Death. The Scottish Rite Mason will find here to his heart's content a goodly treasure of religious literature, the wondrous Book of the Dead of which he has heard, with its solemn enjoinder upon the initiate to fortify himself with those incantations and prayers that would permit him to pass that labyrinthine realm of the world beyond, in which gods and goddesses arraign and judge of the deeds of man in the flesh. There is an aroma of a far-gone day about these writings that indicates for the reader a close kinship with his own earthly experience.
Wonder grips man, especially those who are not of the faith of our Hebrew brethren, when through the ancient Talmud he apprehends the vital and all-absorbing interest of the ancient Rabbis in the law and the precepts bequeathed to them by Moses and other of the Jewish law-givers whose great patriotic intent was to keep the feet of Israel traveling continuously in the paths of God. Hebrew genius again is presented for us in the Medieval period of history when the traditional bequeathments of their ancient brethren were their continuous grounds for religious exegisis. Rabbi Ben Ezra and Maimonides with their illuminating philosophies and much of whose thought is projected in the exalted days of our order afford a field of fertile interest. Through Arabia and Persia the breath of the Mystic East is felt. The chanting of joyous souls, the devout offering of incense, the militant code of Mahomet and the wondrous power of his mighty genius are brought to light.
The way of man towards the City of Light has ever been beset with many dangers and we have not a complete concept of the magnitude of the dangers that have beset us unless we are acquainted with the thought, life and religious aspiration of peoples among whom the light of religious genius has burned brightly.
Only yesterday did we become acquainted with the religious treasure of the East, so as to intelligently appreciate the mighty yearnings of the Oriental peoples. These days we are constantly brought face to face with those who are fond of endeavoring to convince us that the only analysis of life is in the posses sion of those who are the lineal descendants of certain ones in dim ages that were the favored recipients of truth from a divine source. However that may be, India and China, through their mighty systems of religious thought, contributed immeasurably to the enrichment of our understanding of life in a significant fashion, as these religious books of the Buddhist and Brahmin amply indicate.
Woe betide us if we neglect as Masons to hear the voices of those who discerned truth from a different angle than that by which we may discern it in our day. And these Sacred Books of the East are the portrayal of the seeking for Light of ancient and learned men. A variety of angles is presented for us, each however hinging on the one great vital thing, for all mankind.
It is becoming more and more a recognized fact that we can only appreciate people rightly as we understand those forces that have come to make them. Men never rise higher than their religious ideal, and human genius approximates its highest expression when it lives its noblest religious conception. By a study of a peoples' literature, religious and secular, and a comparison with one's own concept of life as interpreted through our literature and religious idealism one can come to a reasonable understanding on what grounds there could be a uniting of all peoples for human welfare.
There is a grave danger always attending those who attach too great an importance to their own selves and opinions and it behooves us as Masons, who discriminate not against men who adhere to the principles of a belief in God and a Brotherhood of Man, to investigate and impartially judge of the value of those things which other peoples, cherishing ideas other than our own, have to offer. The larger part of the persecutions of the world have been carried on in the name of religion. It is extremely doubtful whether war of any appreciable magnitude could ever be carried on in the future on such basis as has characterized Holy Wars in the past.
As Masons we are committed to the cause of promoting a translation of the Brotherhood that we profess among ourselves into an actual fact for the whole world. To this end we must always seek what there is in other peoples whose fundamental religious concepts are alike unto ours, but whose religious practices and economic dealings may be different. On agreement in fundamentals we take men into our Order whether they be Buddhist, Mohammedan, Hebrew or Christian. We take them because of their adherence to those principal tenets of the religion of all good men.
Being among us should give sufficient impetus to our curiosity, not to speak of our necessity, of becoming well informed to investigate those things which have brought us the characters such as we obligate as Masons, yet different in faith and nationality to our selves.
Who would not be broadened and bettered in mind by a wholesome knowledge of the teachings of Prince Gautama? Whose horizon would not be widened by finding an unutterable expression of our own souls, so uttered by the wise Oriental Confucius? Who could help but be charmed by the wild and sensuous poetry of Araby, and who, knowing the apocryphal literature of the Hebrew, would not say that it should be part of our own literature, to be instructed, inspired and comforted by such? We do not wish here to give attention to those specific allusions to Masonry with which this set of books teems, suffice is it just to recommend that Masonic allusions throughout the volumes are many, and always fruitful. One will go back to them time and again because of their pertinent and illuminating value. They afford a course in comparative religion that compares more than favorably with such giant works as Max Mueller's.
It is said that a five-foot book shelf would give one a liberal education. We believe that this set of books can be crowded into a space less than three feet; and we venture to say that within these three feet a liberal education in the great processes of human enlightenment can well be attained.
We recommend them heartily, having enjoyed and profited reading from these books, in a nook by the fire. The winds may howl without, and the storm may sound both fierce and relentless, and to us by the light of our study fire, is symbolic of the turbulence of the world, but in the company of these rare souls, who faced life and won and left an impressionable heritage that can be a continuous guide and uplifting power to Pilgrim souls, towards a better day we become reassured that even as the light has been reflected until we have the glorious illumination of the present, even so will light continue to shine until the whole earth will be as that city that had no need of the sun or the moon for he who walked therein was the light thereof.
* * *
JANUARY BOOK LIST
We are continually receiving inquiries, especially from new members of the Society, asking us to secure such and such Masonic books for them, many of which have been out of print for years and of which new or second-hand copies are absolutely unobtainable. That lodges and individual Masons are awakening to the fact that the possession of a collection of the most worthwhile Masonic books is a valuable asset to them in their Masonic studies is evidenced by the many orders we are daily receiving for complete sets of the bound volumes of THE BUILDER, Mackey's Encyclopaedia, and all the other items we are listing in this column each month.
The little book on the Comacine Masters, by Ravenscroft, which we listed last month, is now out of print, but we still have a supply of his pamphlet, "Further Notes on the Comacine Masters," which gives the results of his latest researches and is complete in itself.
A new stock of Gould's Concise History of Freemasonry has just been received from England and a limited number of Gould's Collected Essays on Freemasonry, from the publishers in Ireland.
We are booking advance orders for the 1919 bound volumes of THE BUILDER which will be filled in the order of their receipt when the bindery makes delivery to us. We hope to have a supply for delivery about January 15th or February 1st.
Publications Issued by the Society
- 1915 bound volume of THE BUILDER. $3.75
- 1916 bound volume of THE BUILDER. $3.75
- 1917 bound volume of THE BUILDER. $3.75
- 1918 bound volume of THE BUILDER. $3.75
- 1919 bound volume of THE BUILDER (for delivery about January 15th or February 1st). $3.75
- 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
- Philosophy of Masonry, Roscoe Pound. $1.25
- "The Story of Old Glory, The Oldest Flag," by Bro. J. W. Barry, P.G.M. Iowa, red buffing binding, gilt lettering, illustrated. A story of the flag and Masonry. $1.25
- "The Story of Old Glory, The Oldest Flag," paper covers. 50¢
- "Further Notes on the Comacine Masters," W. Ravenscroft, England. A sequel to "The Comacines, Their Predecessors and Their Successors," a Masonic digest of Leader Scott's book "The Cathedral Builders" and containing the latest researches of Brother Ravenscroft which present a very logical argument for the connection of Freemasonry of the present day with the Roman Collegia and traveling Masons of the early times, paper covers, illustrated. 50¢
- Symbolism of the First Degree, Gage, (pamphlet). 15¢
- Symbolism of the Third Degree, Ball, (pamphlet). 15¢
- Symbolism of the Three Degrees, Street, 68 pages, paper covers. The lessons and symbols of each degree traced to their origin, in every instance that it has been possible to so trace them. Brother Street gives many explanations of our symbols in this little book on which our monitors but vaguely touch. 35¢
- 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, 1919 edition, in 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
- Masonic Jurisprudence, Mackey. $2.65
- Masonic Parliamentary Law, Mackey. $2.15
- Freemasonry in America Prior to 1759, Melvin M. Johnson, P.G.M., Massachusetts. $1.35
- Collected Essays on Freemasonry, Robert Freke Gould. $7.00
- Concise History of Freemasonry, Robert Freke Gould. $4.50
The foregoing 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.
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THE MASONIC TRINITIES
Bro. L. B. Mitchell, Michigan
Brotherly Love, the fundamental grace
By which man finds his true and rightful place;
We cannot know how much its meaning holds
For life with it, to all that's best, unfolds.
Relief, the deed responsive to the sway
Of Love that loves in sacrificial way,
And' thereby finds that life's a golden mine
With dividends that truly are sublime.
And Truth, the find of right relation to,—
Like sun and sight, — reveals unto the view
The right of things in bold finality
And holds at once the all so mote it be.
Friendship, the tie that gives to life its zest,
The bond by which we know each other best,—
The sweetest chord in human harmony,—
Its tuneful lyre the heart-strings by the way.
Morality, the sense that qualifies
To things ordained as nature's highest prize;
The test alone that measures to the man
And which by right all compromises ban.
And Brotherly Love, again we meet the Art
That gives to life its courage and its heart;
It is indeed the soul-bind of the earth,—
The kindredness that gives all else its worth.
* * *
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.
MASONIC RECORD OF MAJOR GENERAL LEONARD WOOD
Is Major General Leonard Wood a Roman Catholic?
M. D. B., Minnesota.
No. He is a Mason.
Major General Leonard Wood, U. S. Army, was born October 9, 1860, at Winchester, Massachusetts. He was raised to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason in Anglo-Saxon Lodge No. 137, F. & A. M., Brooklyn, New York, and is still a member of that lodge; exalted to the Royal Arch Degree in Normal Park Chapter No. 210, R. A. M., July 26, 1919; elected to receive the Council degrees in Imperial Council No. 85, R. & S. M., of Chicago, but as yet has not been able to book a date to be present and receive the degrees; Knighted in Englewood Commandery No. 50, K. T., Chicago, August 23rd, 1919.
General Wood received the Scottish Rite degrees, 4th to 32nd inclusive, in Anglo-Saxon Consistory and coördinate bodies, of Brooklyn, New York; was created a Noble of the Mystic Shrine in Medinah Temple, Chicago.
THE FIFTY-FOUR LANDMARKS OF THE GRAND LODGE OF KENTUCKY
Where may I secure a list of the fifty-four landmarks recognized by the Grand Lodge of Kentucky?
W. H. R., Indiana.
The list appears in the Book of Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky and is supplemented by foot-notes to each landmark in substantiation thereof. We simply give the land marks, eliminating the foot-notes for lack of space.
THE ANCIENT LANDMARKS
- The Ancient Landmarks of Freemasonry are the immemorial usages and fundamental principles of the Craft, and are unchangeable.
FREEMASONRY — OPERATIVE AND SPECULATIVE
- Anciently, Freemasonry was both operative and speculative; it is now speculative, embracing a system of ethics — moral, religious and philosophical — and relates to the social, ethical and intellectual progress of man.
- Freemasonry embraces the degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason, conferred in regular lodges whose rites and ceremonies are private.
- The legend of the Third degree is a part of it.
- Secrecy is an essential element of Freemasonry, and every Mason is bound by irrevocable ties to keep inviolate its private ceremonies, signs, words, the business of the lodge, and (excepting treason and murder) never to divulge any secret that may be confided by a brother if accepted as such.
- Writing or printing the esoteric part of Freemasonry by word, syllable or signs, is contrary to the covenants of the Fraternity.
- The covenants of a Mason do not conflict with his duty to God, his family, his neighbor, or himself, but are binding upon his conscience and actions.
- Belief in the existence and reverencing the name of the Supreme Being, who men call God and whom Masons refer to as "The Grand Architect of the Universe," is unqualifiedly demanded.
- Belief in the immortality of the soul and the resurrection to a future life.
LIGHTS, TENETS AND CARDINAL VIRTUES
- "The Book of the Law," Square and Compasses, are the Great Lights in Freemasonry, and the presence in an open lodge is indispensable.
- The Great Tenets of Freemasonry are Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth.
- The Cardinal Virtues of Freemasonry are Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence and Justice.
APRON AND PRINCIPAL SYMBOLS
- The white lambskin apron is the badge of a Mason.
- The Square and the Compasses are Masonic symbols of morality.
- The Saints Johns' Days (June 24 and December 27) are Masonic Festival days. One of which is the time for the annual election of officers.
THE GRAND LODGE
- The "General Assembly," or Grand Lodge, is the Supreme legislative, judicial and executive body of the Craft in all matters Masonic within its territorial jurisdiction, and is composed of representatives from lodges therein.
- A lodge is a regularly organized body of Freemasons, having a Warrant of Constitution authorizing it to work in conformity with the laws and usages of the Craft.
- Every Lodge, Grand or Subordinate, when lawfully congregated, must be regularly clothed, tyled and opened, before it can proceed to work.
- Freemasons meet in the lodge upon the level of equality, and address each other as brother, when assembled.
- A lodge, duly opened, has the right to instruct its representatives to Grand Lodge.
POLITICS AND SECTARIANISM IN LODGE
- Questions of politics or sectarian religious belief cannot be brought into a lodge.
- A Freemason in good fellowship with some regular lodge of Freemasons, may visit any lodge not his own when it will not disturb the harmony of the lodge visited.
- A Freemason cannot sit in a clandestine lodge nor converse upon the secrets of Freemasonry with a clandestine made Mason, nor with one who is under suspension or expulsion.
THE GRAND MASTER
- The Grand Master is the executive head of the Craft, and presiding ofiicer of the Grand Lodge, by which he is elected. and whose laws he must obey.
- The Grand Master may preside in any lodge in his jurisdiction.
- The Grand Master may suspend the Master of a lodge or arrest a charter for cause.
- The officers of a lodge are the Master, the Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Treasurer, Secretary, Senior Deacon, Junior Deacon, Steward and Tyler.
- The Master is the head of the lodge, and, as a presiding officer, governs it according to the laws and usages of the fraternity, and may convene it at pleasure.
- The Master must have been a Warden (except in the formation of a new lodge, or when no Past Master or Past Warden, who is competent and willing to serve, is a member of the lodge.)
- The Master, by virtue of his office, represents his lodge in Grand Lodge.
- The Master of a lodge becomes "Past Master" at the close of his official term. (That is, has "passed the chair" into and out of it by serving his term.)
- The Wardens of a lodge must be Master Masons.
- In the absence of the Master, the Senior Warden performs his duties. In the absence of both, the Junior Warden acts. If all are absent, the Junior Past Master of the lodge who is present and a member thereof, may preside at a stated or lawfully called meeting.
- Officers of a Lodge, Grand or Subordinate, hold their offices until their successors, are lawfully chosen and inducted into office, or become lawfully disqualified.
- A Mason is not to urge any person to become a candidate for the mysteries of Masonry, for every candidate must offer himself voluntarily and unsolicited.
- Every candidate must be a man, free born, of mature and discreet age, of good morals and report, possessed of intelligence, and having the natural use of his limbs that will enable him to receive and impart Craft mysteries.
- It is the internal qualifications of a man that recommend him to become a Mason.
- Careful inquiry into the physical, intellectual and moral fitness of every candidate for the mysteries of Masonry is indispensable.
- Advancement to the degrees of Fellow Craft or Master Mason is not to be made without examination as to the qualifications of the candidate.
- Unanimous consent of the lodge, expressed by ballot, is essential before initiation, or admission to affiliation.
- A Mason must be a good man and true, conforming to the laws of justice and virtue, called "the moral law."
- Every Mason must be obedient to the laws of the country in which he lives.
- No brother can recognize any one as a Mason until after strict trial or lawful information.
- A Mason is bound to use the utmost caution when in the presence of strangers or profanes, that no sign, token or word to which they may not be entitled shall be discovered by them.
- Every Mason ought to belong to some regular lodge, attend its meetings, and share its burdens.
- A brother is not to be admitted to lodge membership without certificate (of demit), due notice and inquiry.
- Every Mason must patiently submit to the award of his brethren in lodge assembled, subject to appeal to Grand Lodge.
- A Mason must be true to his fellow; instruct, admonish, defend and assist, but never traduce or supplant him.
- A Mason shall not have unlawful knowledge of the wife, daughter, mother, sister or servant of his fellow.
- A Mason should be diligent in business, and pay his just debts.
- Every Mason must obey lodge summons.
- The only penalties known to Masonry are fines, reprimand, suspension for a definite period, and expulsion.
- A Mason cannot be disciplined without having an opportunity to be heard in his own defense, unless he absconds, or cannot be reached by notice.
- Every (affiliated) Master Mason is entitled to burial with Masonic (ceremonies and) honors.
* * *
STATUS OF AN IOWA ENTERED APPRENTICE PETITIONING FOR ADVANCEMENT MORE THAN SIX MONTHS AFTER HIS INITIATION
To settle a difference in opinion please answer the following query:
A petitioner is given his Entered Apprentice initiation, but fails. to take examination on the lecture of that degree until a considerable time after the expiration of the six months' period; he has never been posted in the work — or at least but little; he moves to another town in the same county and after living there for nearly a year decides to go on with the work. He is aware that he will have to be balloted on again, but wishes to be posted in the meantime in preparation for the work as soon as the balloting is had — if it results in his favor.
The question is, has a brother in the town where the candidate now lives a right to post him before the lodge that received his petition takes the necessary action and ballot to permit him to proceed with the work?
I was not in the East at the time I was asked to pass opinion on the matter, but gave it as my judgment that no brother has a right to post a candidate under such circumstances, which seem to me to be practically suspension from the lodge.
Am I right or wrong? and by what authority?
M. L. G., Iowa.
Since the question seemed to be one to be decided by the Grand Master, the Iowa Code apparently not entirely covering it, we passed it on to Grand Master Westfall who gave the following decision:
"In my judgment, the Entered Apprentice is entitled to be posted in that degree. Under our law he is an Entered Apprentice and entitled to all the privileges appertaining to that degree until such time as he may be expelled, or suspended upon charges properly preferred and acted upon by the lodge. Being an Entered Apprentice, he is entitled to instruction as to proficiency. The prohibition caused by the Entered Apprentice waiting more than six months in presenting himself for advancement is only to his advancement to the higher degrees, but does not preclude him from obtaining proficiency in the Entered Apprentice degree."
* * *
FIFTY-SECOND INSTALLATION AS SECRETARY OF HIS LODGE
While we are not claiming it as a record, we expect in December to install our Secretary for the fifty-second time. He is now completing his fifty-first year of office. He is unable to attend to his duties but we have an assistant for him and some of our younger members are anticipating his installation for the hundredth time. While the furniture of a lodge is strictly limited, yet the members of Star Lodge feel that we have an additional piece in him. Up to a few years ago he had only missed four meetings, each time due to a death in his family. He was ill for several months later, but I do not believe he has missed more than a dozen communications in the last fifty years. Is not this some record?
Joseph L. Quinby, South Carolina.
* * *
RESTORE THE ANCIENT MEANING OF GEOMETRY AND MASONRY
I do not know of anything I have seen in THE BUILDER which has given me more pleasure, and may I say hope, for the future of the Craft, than Brother Haywood's wonderful article "The Divine Geometry," which appeared in the issue of June, 1918.
In that article Brother Haywood takes us into the inmost chambers of the Divine Geometer and gives us an insight into the general designs laid out upon the Eternal Trestle Board of all the kingdoms of nature — mineral, plant, animal and man. And how wonderful they are! Space will not permit me to quote those remarkable statements in their entirety but suffice it to say that Brother Haywood shows us that God is eternally geometrizing — in the ice crystals upon the window, in the snow flakes, in the form and contour of flowers, in the movements of the heavenly bodies, and that it is the same Infinite Mind which is eternally manifesting itself in all the arts of man — music, architecture and painting.
This, then, is Divine Geometry or Masonry which the Missouri monitor informs us were originally synonymous terms and which science we are particularly enjoined to study. This Divine Geometry, as Brother Haywood so truly says "is a royal road and one that will lead us into Divine things if we but follow it. Pythagoras, our ancient friend and brother, taught it in his hidden schools and referred to God as the Great Geometrician. Plato, the most opulent thinker of antiquity, regarded geometry as a revelation of the Infinite Mind and looked upon it as the knowledge of God — the very essence of religion." "God," said he, "is always geometrizing" and we know that if we but follow it as Brother Haywood suggests this geometry will be found to be an infallible science which will enable the veriest tyro to go out and analyze the most mysterious monuments of antiquity, both in the old world and the new; to correctly estimate the volume of information possessed by their builders and to put an interpretation upon the whole cosmic scheme more sublime than anything this age has ever known and at the same time absolutely proving itself the whole groundwork of Masonic science.
Brethren of the National Masonic Research Society, we have long been wandering in the mazes of ritualism and matters of secondary importance and forsaking the fundamental principles of our Craft. Is it any wonder it is difficult for us to maintain the interest of our membership when they come hungering for the bread of life and we give them ritualistic stones which nourish not?
The responsibility lies with us — each and every member of this research organization. Will we continue with the consideration of non-essentials or will we get down to fundamentals as suggested in Brother Haywood's splendid article and so restore the meaning of the words Geometry and Masonry to their original significance so as to lead us all unto divine things — the only true foundation of brotherly love, relief and truth?
John G. Keplinger, Illinois.
* * *
A PROFITABLE "LODGE NIGHT"
I have just read the editorial "Lodge Night," by Brother Schoonover, in the November issue and I want to say what is in my mind.
That we should attend lodge often and participate in the degree work, that it is well worth while, that it gives us a deal of peaceful enjoyment and takes us out of our daily grind, and, most of all, that it strengthens us in our journey through life — all these there is no gainsaying. But what do we find everywhere — that there are so many candidates, the officers are so busy, there are always being "specials" to handle the mass of work. It is one long grind of degrees, just as you say, and as soon as the degrees are finished it is a case of beating it for home. And the trouble is that we are not making Masons; we are just rushing men through the degrees, few know what it is all about, and there is no time given for real acquaintance and brotherhood. Against this there is a very strong desire, freely expressed, to know more about Masonry as a whole, to know what is back of the ritual — as one brother put it to me, to "know the wherefor of it all." I visit numerous lodges and everywhere I find the same condition of things.
What is the remedy?
In spite of the fact that there is so much work to do, special nights must be set aside when there is to be no work of the degrees and the whole evening given over to a program when Masonry must be the theme with all the avenues leading from it. Recently I enjoyed, immensely, just such an evening in a small town. In my little world I have gained some reputation as a Masonic scholar, doubtless due to the fact that there are so few that it is easy to get such a reputation, and I am asked to give lectures on various subjects, especially explaining the hidden secrets of the ritual. The lodge in question set aside a special night, knowing I was visiting their town. We began to assemble in the lodge room about 7:30 o'clock. Some few had an animated game of cards, while the rest were grouped chatting and laughing until 8:30. The lodge was then opened on the Third degree and I was called upon to do my little stunt, the subject being "Below the Surface," explaining the degrees and indicating the secrets therein hidden. This lasted some two hours and questions arising from the lecture soon took us to eleven o'clock when a strong aroma of hot coffee from the supper room led us in that direction. The speeches that followed were not "long, barren and boresome," for the ice was broken, and we had been set to thinking. We were soon talking about the influence of Masonry in the world and in the United States in particular; the change that had come over the Protestant churches in the last decade, and the ministers who really "ministered"; the scope of education in the schools, and Masonry's mission in the present condition of unrest.
It was truly a great evening. We opened up. We got to know each other in a way we had never done before. And we did some good, for we went away thinking, and when we met the next day we got to talking about the very things of which we had talked the night before. I think it will lead to action.
Possibly we did not get to bed as early as we should, but then we do not have such nights often. If we had more of them we would close earlier. Let us have more.
Ernest E. Murray, Montana.
* * *
IS THIS THE RECORD FOR MEMBERS IN THE SERVICE?
I think our lodge, Etiwan No. 95, A. F. & A. M., located at Mount Pleasant, S. C., holds the record for members in the Service. We have a total membership of 188 out of which 126 were in the Army and 94 went overseas.
Fred W. Kellar, South Carolina.
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"DEMIT" AND "DIMIT"
In The Question Box for November, page 309, second column, you have me say "Dimission, from dimitto, obsolete. A lowering; degrading; depression. Demission, from demitto, living. A relinquishment; resignation; transference." The first should be from de and the second from di, just the reverse of what you have it. This is possibly an error in proof-reading, as I had it the other way around.
I note what you say about the study of the forty-nine codes of the Grand Lodges of the United States revealing the fact that forty-one use the word "dimit" while but eight use "demit." This is a curious fact, since the word "dimit" came into the English language through the church usage, where a priest would be sent by his bishop from one diocese to another. The bishop would give him a "dimit," which was virtually an order for him to leave the diocese. The priest had nothing to say about it but must accept his dismissal and go wherever he was sent. This word is now obsolete since the words "letter of dismissal, or dimissory letter" have taken its place.
The word "demit" came into the language from the same Latin word, but it came from the late Latin and the French, and came in with the meaning of a voluntary relinquishment or resignation. It is in this sense that it came to be used by Masons, the thought being that a member of a lodge, in good stand ing, had an absolute right to relinquish his membership and obtain a certificate to that effect. Until with a comparatively recent time the word invariably used was "demit." The fact to which you call attention in your note at the end of my article indicates that the history of the word has been lost sight of, and that the ecclesiastical rather than the Masonic sense has now been attached to the word by the Grand Lodges that use the word "dimit."
C. C. Hunt, Iowa.
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Half the ills we board within our hearts are ills because we hoard them.
— Barry Cornwall.